Posts tagged ‘healthy recipes’

Ch-ch-ch-chia!

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great day.

If you haven’t already heard, it has been SWELTERING in Chicago these past few days. Seriously, walking outside in the morning is like walking directly into an oven. It has not been fun!

One of the things I really love about my work is that we have the option to work from home every Wednesday as long as we get our work done (obviously). I planned on sleeping in this morning since I was pretty tired from the concert last night, not to mention that it was already like, 800 degrees already by 9am (okay, more like 90 degrees, but still!).

Unfortunately, we got an email from our tech guy saying that the VPN connection was down since our company is still working out some server changes, and everyone who was working from home had to come in. What a bummer, dude. I lost some time commuting since I planned on starting a little late anyway, so I think I’ll have to be at work late tonight. Oh well, it’s too freakin’ hot to do anything outside today anyway…

Millennium Park Crown Fountain...wishing I could be cooling off here!

source: ChicagoNow

Even though it was a BAGILLION degrees when I met up with my brother to head over to the park yesterday, I was super excited for Mr. LaMontagne. After work, I changed into some sweat-wicking workout clothes and couldn’t have been happier that I did.

Of course there were all these girls looking super cute in their colorful sundresses and maxis, but I was perfectly happy in my ratty t-shirt and Nike shorts :) I could have been mistaken for someone who clearly didn’t belong there, but thankfully my brother held up his end of that whole, looking stylish thing.

what a neat venue, huh?

source: PlaybillArts

The show was a blast and I had such a good time hanging out with my big bro. I’m so glad we don’t hate each other anymore like we used to :) He TORTURED me when we were kids…Farting in my face regularly, doing the “I’m not touching you!” game, and just about anything else he knew was guaranteed to drive me insane. Ahhh, siblings…

This morning, I took my time getting ready since I thought I would be working from home, so I decided to brew a fancy cup of Joe with the French press. The AC has been on non-stop (I don’t turn it off when I leave the house on super hot days, because I worry the kitties might overheat — my electricity bill most likely thanks me for this…), so hot coffee wasn’t a dealbreaker, even in Hades Chicago today.

Unfortunately when I got the word that I had to go into the office, I needed to hustle my undressed and unkempt self, so I decided to have Julie’s famous chocolate chia pudding for breakfast. I had prepped it for a post-work snack s. Not my typical yogurt, granola + fruit or cereal + almond milk for breakfast, but at least I started off the day with some protein, fiber and omegas.

I didn’t take a picture because honestly, this stuff looks SUPER nasty, but I swear it tastes amazing and the texture is really neat! As Julie said, it’s sort of like tapioca, but a little crunchier. I love it. In my mix:

  • 3-4 tbsp chia seeds (didn’t measure)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup original almond milk (didn’t measure either)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower butter
  • packet stevia
  • pinch cacao nibs

All you do is mix everything together in a bowl the night before, and the next day, you’ll have a gooey, gelatinous mess to tantalize your taste buds. Oooh yes you will.

I just tried sunflower butter for the first time and this stuff is INCREDIBLE! I can’t believe I waited so long after seeing Tina and Kath having it to try it out. It’s savory and salty and just has this delicious flavor that is really unique. Yum :)

Off to finish some more work. Stay cool, kiddos!

June 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm 2 comments

Tragic

I didn’t charge my camera battery after I used it the last time, so it’s dead.

This is tragic, because I couldn’t show you my breakfast this morning.

It had these:


Some of this:

A little this, a little that:

But best of all, it had some of these guys. Yeah — I finally made Katie’s fudge babies! I honestly didn’t think I could pull it off, but they truly are as easy as she says. I added some vanilla extract, a quick grind of sea salt and a dab of cinnamon to mine (not to mention the *accidental* extra heap of cocoa) and they were SO GOOD. I rolled them up into tiny balls and snacked on quite a few before I had to convince myself to put them away in the fridge.

I promise I will take a picture, but for now, just daydream about how wonderful this breakfast was…I enjoyed every single bite. Immensely.

That is all.

May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm 2 comments

Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt or, How to Salvage a Ruined Batch of Soup

I was looking through some Google results on The Magic Bullet for this post when I came across this site (which supplied this post’s title) and it had me nearly doubled over in laughter. If you’re looking for a good mid-day laugh, or just want to know what the hell the Magic Bullet is (a “Cuisinart for hookers,” obviously), you’ll want to check it out.

So having been inspired by Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake, I have begun trying to eat and shop a little more cheaply. I always have tons of halfway used bags of food in my freezer and pantry, so I decided to try my hand at making a quickie vegetable soup.

One of my favorite “office” lunches during the colder months (aka most of the year) is soup. Part of this (okay, a huge factor) is that I am lazy. I usually forget or don’t take the time to make a lunch the night before, so I’ll walk to the grocery store nearby and pick up a can of healthy-ish soup and a cucumber and piece of fruit to cut up. BAM. Healthy lunch, minimal effort.

Unfortunately, though, this tends to get expensive. While some soups are on the cheaper side, I try to get  either something organic, or at least lower sodium, high-veggie, low-cal, etc. Those usually run $3-$4 a can. CRAZY, right?

So the other night, I simmered some onions and garlic with olive oil, added some veggie broth then cooked about a serving’s worth of pearled barley in the mix for an hour-ish. Turned out great…next step, add frozen veggies that I have hiding throughout my freezer and stealth canned goods from the pantry.

In the mix:

  • Trader Joe’s fire roasted peppers + onions
  • TJ’s cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Muir Farms diced tomatoes (no salt added kind)
  • huge bag of Whole Foods’ new leafy greens mix, with kale, collard and mustard greens

Sounds delicious, right? Well…let’s just say I underestimated the size of the leafy greens bag. I dumped the whole thing in, thinking I could save some freezer space. Bad idea.

The soup turned into a big, mushy blob of cold leafy greens with a little bit of broth, beans and veggies floating around on top. It almost spilled over because the addition of the greens filled up the ENTIRE POT. I am really dumb, fo real.

Remember Antoine Dodson, Bed Intruder Singer? Now He's Richer Than You

hide your kids, hide your wife

source

I should have taken a picture to really emphasize the mess that was this soup, but I was too frazzled to even think about grabbing my camera. (Plus, my flash card reader hasn’t come in the mail yet). I tried manually scooping out some of the mess, but I kept getting bits of roasted peppers/onions and barley with it, and didn’t want to take out all that good stuff too.

After adding more water and veggie broth to effectively split the batch into two pots, I eventually gave up after scooping out maybe a cup’s worth of greens, packed the soup up in a container, and went out with a dude for some drinks. Although the individual ingredients didn’t cost very much, I was still mad at myself for wasting all that food, as well as doing something silly like dumping an ENTIRE package of kale into the soup without thinking about it. I tend to do stupid things like that sometimes. Welcome to my life.

But then, I had a brilliant idea. Since the soup was essentially ruined anyway, why not try one last ditch effort at salvaging it? I portioned out a small amount of the wet, goopy mound of kale mush and plopped it into my trusty Magic Bullet. (For those of you who are wondering, a Magic Bullet is a COUNTERTOP BLENDER/FOOD PROCESSER. I have made the mistake of referencing my “beloved magic bullet” in the presence of people who don’t know what it is, and needless to say, they thought I had an oversharing problem).

With a few quick pulses, the little blender whipped everything up into a smooth, creamy vegetable soup with lovely color and thickness, but still left some chunks of veggies and whatnot in tact. I was a little nervous about blending the mix because it seemed really odd to blend barley, plus I would lose the texture of the whole beans, but these were desperate times, people.

The true test, though, was of course the taste. I popped the little blender cup into the microwave (microwave safe, baby!) and brought the pseudo-soup nearly to a boil (things always taste better when they’re hot, in my opinion), took a deep breath and took a sip.

Woah.

It was good! I had salvaged the unsalvageable! The Bullet left enough texture but still blended the greens into the brothy part enough to disguise their overabundance. It was a bit salty, rich but not fatty, smooth, creamy, delicious and best of all, INSANELY healthy. Really. I only used about 2 T of olive oil and three grinds of sea salt for two huge pots worth of soup.

I am a genius. Just wanted to share with you. That is all.

February 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

Droolworthy: Sausage Stuffed Eggplant and Wine

This blog is beginning to look like a tribute to Kate @ Diethood.

I swear I’m not obsessed.

You know how I bought an eggplant like, forever ago? Yeah, it’s still chilling in my crisper drawer. But I think I finally found ze perrrfect recipe for that little sucker. Kate talks about St. Trifun Day, which celebrates, “St. Trifun, the Guardian of wine and wine makers.”

Sounds like my kind of holiday.

See below, and let the drooling begin…

St. Trifun Day: Sausage Stuffed Eggplant and Wine. (photos via Diethood)

February 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm 1 comment

My workout story + the importance of *FUN* in your health/fitness routine

well, hi there!

Naomi from OneFitFoodie had a great post today about doing what you love to achieve your fitness goals. (She says she’s “preaching,” but I’d hardly call it that!). This is something I truly believe in, and will also be the first to admit that it is something I need to be reminded of regularly.

When I first started exercising in high school, I had every ounce of motivation I needed just in going to the gym. I had never exercised (consciously) before, so the results (even with just 30 min of easy cardio a few days per week) were noticeable pretty quickly. I found the new activities fun and challenging, and loved how great I felt for the first time in quite awhile.

But as anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows, a plateau eventually came and my body wanted to stay at its “set point.” From what I understand, your set point can change and be budged with some hard work, but after losing a certain amount of weight, your body starts to say, “Nope, I’m done.”

This is why motivation is HUGELY important, because when that plateau hits, the looser jeans or slimmer face aren’t enough because that’s where it (albeit temporarily) stops. You’ve got to find a way to keep moving, new ways to change up your routine, and new reasons to focus on why making your health a priority is so important to you. And one of the easiest, and longest-lasting ways to keep up that motivation is by making achieving your goals fun. You have to love what you’re eating and thoroughly enjoy (or at least somewhat enjoy!) your workouts. Plain and simple, you will not stick with anything if you can’t find a way to enjoy it.

My workout routine, while still challenging, is beginning to feel somewhat repetitive. There could be a few reasons for this: I do the same thing on every gym day (work, gym, dinner, shower, bed – repeat) and it gets boring at times; the sun still sets before I leave work, so heading home in the dark can be kind of a drag; or perhaps I’m just afraid to shake things up and see where I can push my mind and body to next.

While I’m sure all of these things contribute to my little fitness rut, I’m pretty sure the last one has a lot to do with it.

I’ve never been thin. Save a few childhood years when just about everybody is a beanpole, I spent most of my adolescence as a chubby, albeit sassy kid. The weight loss in high school was hugely motivating, and while it ultimately sparked my interest in food (okay, that interest was always there), fitness and healthy living, I still had a lot to learn. I thought that my newly-slim figure was permission to begin eating whatever I wanted again. Obviously, this didn’t work, and I began slowly gaining weight though my freshman year of college. While I didn’t gain the “freshman 15,” I did arrive back home that summer plumper than when I had left.

The “cycle” began again when I was home for the summer, where a boring summer office job and few friends in town meant I quelled my boredom by hitting the gym every day on my way home from work. I wasn’t aware of any weight loss this time around, but many of my friends commented that I looked thinner when I went back to college in the fall. Again, though, I eased up on both exercise and healthy eating habits, and slowly filled out again.

My biggest battle, therefore, is consistency. Taking care of yourself by eating proper portions of healthy food and exercising regularly is rewarding, but sometimes…well, you just want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “ENOUGH ALREADY!” I love healthy food, but I sometimes feel I can become obsessive and hyper-focused on what I eat when I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet. And that’s just no way to live.

A hard lesson I’ve had to learn is that you need to treat yourself regularly, but you must build those treats into your overall health and fitness plan. A glass of wine means a little less pasta at dinner, or 3 days at the gym instead of 4 one week means squeezing in a little extra time at the end of each of those 3 workouts. That extra skip day, of course, would be for a manicure or massage :)

I’m still trying to figure out how I can have a big, juicy burger once in awhile though! Alas, a work in progress…

One of the reasons I love blogs like Carrot’s ‘n’ Cake, EatLiveRun, Peanut Butter Fingers and food.fitness.fashion. is because they all focus on living a life with balance and moderation. Julie from PBF has admitted regularly that she is a maniac about sweets and carb-y cereals, Tina and Ali (CNC and FFF, respectively) are both regular beer drinkers (women after my own heart) and Jenna from ELR quite possibly posts the most delicious recipes I have ever come across. These ladies know how to do it right, and I love them for that.

My workday is finally starting to wind down, and I plan to hit the gym with a new goal in mind: try a machine, exercise or routine I have never tried before. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but I’m hoping a little butt-kicking is exactly what I need :)

Cheers!

February 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Only noon and already thinking about dinner

Bought a spaghetti squash on sale at Whole Paycheck and have been daydreaming about what I’ll do with it. (Food porn?)

Decided I’m making this tonight:

 

 

Lovely, no?

 

Foodie Fridays: Greek Spaghetti Squash with Chicken « The Fat Girl’s Guide to Living – a life hacker for the full-figured set.

January 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

As we speak…

…I am making the Fitnessista’s socca!

sizzlin

I’ll let ya know how it turns out!

January 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

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