August 18, 2016

Not-so-thrilling Wednesday



Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 



Workout:  tried 20 pound dumbbells!  And ran a quick arm up run.  I personally want to see a little more definition in my triceps area and from what I read and hear and with some tips from a fellow lady blogger, go higher with weights!  We shall see.  I try to incorporate weights and different circuit movements 2-3 times a week.






Breakfast: Was a little hungry but just ate a banana and picked up my coffee from dunkin’.

Around 830am my co-worker brought in soft and HOT pretzels from the pretzel factory.  How can I say no?  I ate it with some spicy mustard.  It hit the spot! 





Lunch:   Delicious Brown rice, chicken and veggie bowl with steamed dumplings filled with tasty spinach and water from Wok Works.  It is so crazy fresh and good there- and the workers are such a friendly group!  ( no picture because I ate it at my desk and I'm over the awful lighting in there).

Dinner:  I didn't eat until around 8pm because I swear the lunch I had held me over until around then.  I'm also learning that my body must hate me, because when I eat lighter things, I am never satisfied, but god forbid I eat something more substantial like a rice bowl (i didn't even finish the whole thing) my stomach is filled for hours.  I see that as good and bad.  I had a bowl of peanut butter puffins and about an hour later I binged watched The Real Housewives of New York for an hour and scarfed down the rest of cubed watermelon that I had in the fridge. 

It wasn't a typical day as my husband text me in the later afternoon and told me he felt like absolute piss- chills, sweats, aches, head hurt.  Poor guy.  I decided to still take a half hour yoga core class that I wanted to try at 6:30 because I cannot remember the last time I took an evening class of any kind, let alone a workout class.  It felt great and I;m glad I stuck with it and the most interesting part?  I was the only one in the class!  I have had the yoga teacher a few times before this one but MAN is she pretty tough but sweet at the same time and kicked my arse for sure.  But it was cool because for 30 minutes I had a personal trainer, sort of.

I'd like to stick with that class at least 2x a week, but it also depends on my schedule so we'll see what happens.

It was an interesting day for sure!  

Lunch:  big meal or small?  I have to keep it small and I just try to go with how hungry I am.  I like to feel filled for a while but feeling not so hungry by 9pm is sort of a bummer too.




August 16, 2016

A Muggy Tuesday



Tuesday: August 16th, 2016


Workout: Hot Vinyassa Yoga- 1hr.






Breakfast: small vanilla nonfat latte, half of a Lemon Meringue flavored Greek yogurt and some raw almonds and walnuts. (The yogurt was just okay and I wasn’t too hungry).


 

Lunch:  buffet!! I opted for healthy and filling:  a small spinach salad with three cucumbers, 3 chunks of avocado, 3 cooked yams, a couple cooked string beans, a barley and rice mixed salad with feta and dried cranberries, one slice of watermelon and three slices of fresh mango and 1 lonely hard boiled egg.  A little bit of balsamic vinaigrette.  I ate most of it. It was goooood.





Dinner:  Grilled Salmon.  No Photo. Was hungry and too lazy.  Once I sit on the couch, all bets are off.  Rest assured, it was so yummy!



Today I went in the office, a bit bleary eyed and in shock mode upon first waking up.  I must have been in really deep sleep because I know I had crazy dreams, but don’t actually remember what kind specifically.  My alarm went off at 5AM and I for a minute, had no clue where I was or what was happening.  I literally jumped out of bed, ran to my phone that I purposefully place across the room, turned off my annoying alarm and promptly got dressed for hot yoga that was to begin at 530AM.  It’s about a 10-15 min. drive to there from my house.  I packed my big “workout” bag with work clothes and it already had shower staples inside so I was set to go.  It’s been a few weeks now of, as I like to say, over-indulging on amazing food.  My husband and I are well aware that we’ve gone overboard on ice cream and donuts over the past month, eating out a little more than necessary instead of eating in and cooking our own food, but I do know we have savored enjoyed every.single.bite.  Because let’s face it, food IS amazing.  I wouldn’t say we’ve gone crazy with devouring huge portions, and we both don’t snack too often.  I love snacks just a much as the next person, but I’ve been trying to focus more on eating “meals.” And foods that are whole and can keep me fuller longer.  It’s a struggle for me certain days, especially when I work from home because I want to eat all the things!



I think everybody experiences that feeling at one time or another. So back to the overboard on dessert train for a minute.  The hubs and I decided that in order to regain some of our control over food choices, in this case desserts, we are cutting them out until the Holiday season. I can’t and will not go without a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  His birthday actually falls on Labor Day this year and we’re going out to dinner to celebrate, which I’m sure we’ll indulge in a dessert of some sort. So yes, up until that night out we won’t be having ice cream or cake, and the day after his birthday until Thanksgiving, no ice cream or cake or pie.  Halloween will be interesting.  I don’t think I’ll buy candy to hand out because we’ll be taking our daughter who is only 2 ½ out to trick or treat and then probably go out to dinner afterward.  This doesn’t mean I may not freeze any Reese’s cups she might get and maybe let her try half of one.  Who’s to say?  It’s Halloween.   But regardless, we both definitely need a little break up with ice cream for a bit.



Dinner tonight is grilled Salmon.  Oddly, Salmon fills me up on its own and I looove that.  If I do feel a bit hungrier, I’ll have some carrot sticks or make a small salad with cucumber.  I like to go with how I feel.  Can you guess who will be cooking dinner?  HUSBAND!!  Salmon on the grill is just the best!  At the point, I think we have Salmon once every 2 weeks?  But it varies.   If I feel like I need something sweet later after dinner, I’m set up with healthy options.  I have chunks of watermelon in the fridge, yogurt and strawberries.  Hope you had a great Tuesday!




August 5, 2016

Recipe Findings: Weekly Menu- Week 1


I love finding easy, sometimes healthy and delicious recipes to make for my family and I.  They either come from old cookbooks, magazines, food blogs and some are even within my family.  I always seem to keep them in binders and folders, which is a good start to collecting them, but then they don't get touched for months.  In the summer it's easy and hard because I love to cook but my husband takes on grilling ( fine by me)! and so my weekly menu plans eventually lack their luster and I get into a rut with " Monday: grilled chicken breasts with grilled corn on the cobb" Tuesday: Grilled BBQ ribs with a side salad....still delish, but you see where I'm going with this.

I've decided to plan a weekly menu based on all of the dinner recipes I have found and collected over the years and will cook that meal in its entirety.  From purchasing all of the ingredients, to planning each meal out for the week and finally kicking my meal rut to the curb.  There will be some caveats to this as it's still summer and 2-3 nights a week, especially on a day where I'm not home from work until 6pm, my husband can still grill.  Work commitments, or dinner with a friend can pop up, so a take out night might happen. Hey,  it happens. And if I make a casserole type dish or something that has plenty of servings, there will definitely be a leftover night. Here and there, I'll post desserts too.  But I'm the one who plans the weekly menu and I like it that way.


Menu Week 1:  8/8-8/12

Monday:  I have a dr. appointment at 7pm so the hubs can order us a pizza. Easy peasy.
Tuesday: On the Grill: Honey Sriracha Orange Chicken with corn on the cobb. *I will marinate the chicken overnight*
Wednesday: Stuffed Peppers with lean ground beef, brown rice, Monterrey jack cheese and salsa.
Thursday: Leftover peppers or chicken.
Friday: Parmesan Crusted Pesto and tomato grilled cheese from food blog *two peas and their pod* I added the tomato because tomatoes rock!
Saturday:  We are going to a BBQ later in the day.
Sunday: Roasted Red Pepper Pasta from The Pioneer Woman


 Do you plan out weekly dinners? It works for my family and I. Eating out can be too pricey and not as healthy, of course.  Again, certain days of the week we WANT to go out and sometimes it feels like we HAVE to get out of the house since both my husband and I work from home a good amount.

 Do you still love scrolling through magazines for inspiration?  I looooove magazines just for recipe and healthy snacking ideas.

June 7, 2016

Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins



The smell of the maple syrup baking in the oven makes your house smell like there are pancakes cooking away on a Sunday morning!


I literally said out loud the other day, "are you freakin' kidding me?  This smell is amazing!"




Full of strawberry flavor
Moist
Just enough sweetness
Healthier
Hearty
Filling
Makes your house smell like a maple syrup conglomerate

Pretty


Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins 
Adapted from Sweet Little Kitchen

Ingredients:

-1 egg yolk

-1 egg
-1/2 cup milk ( I used skim)
-1/2 cup maple syrup or honey ( I used organic maple syrup)
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup AP flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-cooking spray or muffin liners
 

 Directions: 



-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk, egg, milk, vanilla, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and melted butter together until smooth. Slowly add in both flours, baking powder and salt. Stir until just combined.
-Gently fold in the strawberries.
-Scoop the batter in prepared muffin tin ( I sprayed the tin with coconut oil spray)
-Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let muffins cool completely.


Claire dug these and that's what I want to do more of. For easy breakfasts and snacks when we're on the go, I like making easy and healthy muffins or bars like these and take them out of the freezer as we go.  Muffins especially are perfect for freezing.

Notes:

-If you use honey in this recipe, first spray your measuring cup with some cooking spray.  The honey will slide right out.

-Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium high heat and keep an eye on it so as not to burn it.  Keep stirring and once completely melted, take off heat.  It was the last thing I added to the rest of the ingredients.


Hope you enjoy!

Let me know if your kids tried them/liked them.




All that strawberry goodness!



 



June 6, 2016

The Best Fudgy Brownies!



For a while now, I've been longing to find a recipe for brownies that was homemade and delicious, but also pretty simple to make and that had simple in ingredients.  I'm a lover of chewy, dense and fudgy style brownies with the top being a bit crispy. Thick or thin, doesn't matter.  They just had to be chewy and crispy all in one scrumptious bite.  These brownies are all that and more.

I think I finally found "the one" when it comes to a go-to homemade brownie and MAN are they good!




The BEST Fudgy Brownies

Adapted from The Tasty kitchen ( eat live run guest post)
*I made a few modifications.

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 ounces Unsweetened baking chocolate. (I used the brand Bakers)
-1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa powder
-2 cups sugar ( I had on hand organic cane sugar)
-3 eggs
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp. sea salt ( I used kosher salt)
-cooking spray or butter to grease the baking pan *
 
 Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. * This recipe mentions placing foil in the baking pan and spraying with cooking spray or to use butter. I sprayed coconut oil cooking spray in a 9x13 baking pan and it worked fine.
2. In a medium sauce pan over very low heat, melt together the butter and baking chocolate until combined and melted through. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Pour the hot chocolate in a large mixing bowl.  Add in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar , vanilla and eggs. * I first whisked the cocoa powder and flour together in a separate small bowl.
4. Pour the batter into prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
5. Top with some more sea/kosher salt.
6. Bake for 35-40 min. or until the batter looks cooked through. I think I took mine out at 37 min.  Test with a toothpick insert.  You want the inside to still be a touch soft/fudge-like texture.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 min. at room temp. and then place in fridge to cool down and firm up for about 45 min-hour. *hardest part is waiting*

*Dust with powdered sugar.  

I hope you'll try this recipe.  It's fun to make and they are seriously the best fudge like brownies I've had to date.





 
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