Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

My Dress is Here!

Workout

I slept absolutely terrible the night before last, so by the time Corey’s alarm went off at 6:15AM, I was already wide awake.  He convinced me to go for a run with him.  Somehow, he’s become some sort of marathon runner in a matter of days, and our usual 3-mile distance (which was quite a feat for me) has turned into 5 or 6 miles for him.

I like to run.

Luckily, I was able to threaten his life effectively enough that he stuck to a 3-mile route this time.  I actually hung in there pretty well, up until the very end, where I may have dropped a few F-bombs.  But, I survived!

Breakfast

I started the day with a bowl of Quick Cooking Oats with 1/2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter stirred in, topped with fresh blueberries.

After breakfast, I headed to the bridal store to…drum roll please…

PICK UP MY WEDDING DRESS!

I was so excited, but at the same time, really nervous.  I originally purchased my dress in ivory, but at the last minute, I changed it to white without seeing that version of the dress, or even trying it on.  Risky, I know.  I was so happy when I put it on and realized that I loved the white 100 times more than the ivory.

Ivory

White

Now that my dress is actually in my house, I can’t stop thinking about it!  I’ve already tried it on twice 🙂 .  4 more months until I can actually wear it!

Lunch

I was starving by the time I got home, and one of my favorite childhood meals was calling to me.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup! I heated up a can of Amy’s Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque:

And served it alongside a toasted whole wheat bagel thin, topped with a melted slice of Meunster cheese.

Dinner

Being the coupon lovers that we are, Corey and I couldn’t resist a “Buy One Meal, Get the Other Free” deal at a brand new Panera that opened by our house.  I ordered French Onion Soup and half of a Greek Salad.

 

Summer Corn Salad

Yesterday was a day full of fun, food, and friends!

Breakfast

Laura made breakfast for all of us, consisting of classic bacon and eggs.

After we ate, Laura and I headed to Publix to pick up food for the weekend, while the boys went to stock up on beer.  Laura’s older brother and his girlfriend, as well as a few of their friends, were planning to join us yesterday to cook out and hang by the pool.  He told us he was bringing filet mignon and shrimp, so we volunteered to make the rest of the food for dinner.

After a quick Google search, I was able to find the recipe for a delicious-looking corn salad that I saw Sunny Anderson make on her Food Network show last week.

I grilled 9 ears of corn and 2 endive, chopped it up and threw it in a bowl with feta, parsley, red onion and lime juice.

It was quite a hit! Sunny’s recipe can be found here.

We also blended up some skinny pina coladas, thanks to a bottle of Skinny Mixes that Corey picked up for us.  He knows me well.

The boys lounged in the pool while Laura and I slaved away in the kitchen.  So typical 🙂 .

Kitchen Slave

Laura made some fabulous bruschetta for everyone to enjoy as an appetizer.

Laura’s brother grilled bacon-wrapped filets and shrimp, and once they were ready, we had a feast!  Laura and I also made some smashed potatoes to go along with it.

Once we were finished eating, some of us stayed out by the pool, others came inside to take a nap.

Later on, a string of strange activities ensued, including, but not limited to…

iPad dance party…

Espresso making…

And measuring ourselves with a tape measure…

And the party continues today!

Easy Healthy Lunch: Salad Bags!

Coming up with healthy and quick lunch ideas can sometimes be a pain in the butt.  After my new pledge to incorporate more raw foods into my meals, I decided that the best option for lunches is an obvious one: salads!

However, I am almost always on the go around lunch time, and salads aren’t exactly the simplest thing to whip up when you’re in a hurry.  There’s way too much chopping involved!  Not to mention, how am I supposed to know what to put in it?

Problem solved, friends!

Most people do their grocery shopping on Sunday.  If you do, then this will work out perfectly for ya!  If you don’t, try to make a trip before the busy week begins, just to pick up essential produce items.

Step 1: Choose a base.

-This could be Romaine, Spring Mix, Butter Lettuce, or shredded cabbage…it’s up to you!

Step 2: Choose your veggies.

-I like carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, and celery

Step 3: Choose a protein.

-Sometimes I don’t want meat on my salads, so I like to add garbanzo beans or hardboiled eggwhites.  If you’re a meat-lover, grilled chicken, shredded pork, or deli turkey are all great options.  If you wanna get really fancy, add some grilled or baked salmon on top!

Step 4: Choose a healthy fat.

-A dressing made with olive oil is a great choice, but avocado slices add great texture and flavor!  Cheese doesn’t really count as a “healthy fat”, but a little feta cheese can make a world of difference in a salad.

-Don’t forget that your dressing also counts as a fat (unless you use pure vinegar), so don’t go overboard with this step!

Step 5: Choose a dressing.

-You could choose a homemade mix of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar, or go the store-bought route.  Remember to check the ingredients (the fewer, the better) and the fat and calories per serving.  I like to choose one that has less than 90 calories per 2 tablespoons.

-Try organic!  When I think “organic” I think “expensive”- but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that organic salad dressings at my store were only 40 cents more than the normal kind that I would usually buy.  It’s worth the switch to get rid of all of the processed and “foreign” things they throw in there.  Yuck!

Step 6: Chop, chop, chop!

-After you shop, immediately wash your lettuce and veggies, and get to choppin’!  Prepare enough to fill at least 5 sandwich baggies (or tupperware) per produce item.

Step 7: Grab and go!

-Before you leave for work or class, just grab a clean tupperware with a lid, and fill with a handful or two of your base, and a handful of each of your other items from their baggies.  Pour a little dressing in a smaller container, and your lunch is ready to go!

I’ve been using this lunch idea for the last week, and it is such a time saver.  Not to mention, it takes out the guess work of “how am I going to eat healthy for lunch today?”, which can sometimes frustrate people and force them to make an unhealthy decision.  With pre-made salad fixin’s at your disposal, there’s nothing to think about- just grab and go!

Workout Funk

If you take a look at my Workout Log, it’s not hard to figure out that I’ve been in a little “workout funk” lately.  Corey and I have both been waking up every morning with this weird feeling…I think they call it “laziness” ?

Before we moved, we used to wake up almost every weekday at the same time, and get in our prospective workouts at the gym before starting the day.  Lately, this has been quite a challenge.  I’ve been taking way too many days off, and I’m not happy about it!

I’ve decided the best way to get out of my funk is to set some small goals.

Here’s what I came up with: 

-Aim to work out every weekday, plus one weekend day.

-Add more outside running to my routine.

-BodyPump twice a week.

-Spinning at least once a week.

Some people set fitness goals based around their weight or appearance, and this is something I used to do all the time- but I’m at the point where that is just not a good idea anymore.  Setting body-related goals just causes me to obsess over numbers, and that’s not very productive!  I think getting my mind and body into a routine is the best way to ensure that I get my workouts in, and the benefits of that will follow.

Onto the food!

Breakfast

I toasted a whole wheat English muffin, and topped it with pear slices and a drizzle of honey.

A large cup of coffee was enjoyed alongside my pear sandwich.

I’ve been slowly trying to ween myself off of my beloved Coffeemate Sugar-Free Hazelnut Creamer in favor of  “raw friendly” almond milk, but I’m not gonna lie…it’s tough!

Lunch

Yesterday’s lunch reminded me of being in pre-school, possibly because of the finger-foods I had on the side, but it was still filling and delicious!

I toasted a whole wheat sandwich thin and topped it with Dijon mustard, a slice of meunster cheese and deli turkey.  On the side, I had some baby carrots and sliced kiwi.

Dinner

In favor of trying to eat more natural foods and stay away from processed crap, I’ve been browsing through the organic brands at the grocery store lately.  It definitely is more expensive, but I think a few substitutions here and there won’t break the bank.

I was craving some comfort food last night, so a bowl of macaroni and cheese sounded perfect!

I picked up a box of Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, made with whole wheat pasta and natural cheese.  I was a little skeptical about how it would taste, but I was pleasantly surprised.  To spruce it up and add some extra nutrition, I added some roasted broccoli and a sprinkle of 2% shredded cheddar cheese.

Alongside, I had a salad made with chopped Romaine lettuce and raw broccoli florets.

I topped my salad with Organicville Sesame Goddess dressing.

I’ll admit that 87% of the reason that I got this flavor was the fact that it had the word “goddess” in it.  I’m a marketer’s dream.

 

Do you have any tricks for getting out of a “workout funk” ? 

Going Raw

So, what the heck have I been up to the last 2 weeks?

Lots!

I’ve done lots of wedding-related things, but I am planning to dedicate a post to each step of the way, so stay tuned for details!

Going Raw

Corey and I got a subscription to Netflix, and we have been in documentary-heaven lately!  (Nerd alert) We came across one called Food Matters, and we decided to give it a whirl.

Basically, the documentary described the problems that exist within our country when it comes to nutrition and people’s health.  There is a clear link between eating organically-grown, natural foods and staying illness-free.  The documentary went on to show case studies where cancer patients were treated with nutrition and vitamin therapy, meaning they were given a diet of raw, whole foods, and also consumed huge amounts of vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Niacin.  The case studies showed patients with giant tumors that disappeared after months of this therapy, without the assistance of prescription drugs or chemotherapy.

If you think about it, the prescription-drug industry creates billions of dollars, because we are told that we “need” medicine to feel better.  The truth is, natural foods and vitamins are medicine, and if we made it a priority to eat the right way, we would feel the right way, too.

I am not one to try and push my views about eating on other people, because I know that eating healthy, no matter to what degree, is a personal choice.  However, this documentary really struck a chord with both Corey and I, and we decided that we really want to make an effort to incorporate more whole foods, as well as a vitamin regimen, into our daily lives.

The reason the raw food movement is called “raw” is because a lot of studies have been done that show that cooking vegetables above a certain temperature kills the important enzymes that are the whole reason you’re supposed to eat vegetables in the first place!

Here are some small changes I have made to better align myself with the raw food movement:

-Every morning, before consuming anything (including coffee), I chug at least 16 oz. of water.  Water is a natural “irrigation” system for your body, and drinking it first thing in the morning helps to immediately flush your body of toxins and waste.

-Every night before bed (after eating something), I take vitamins.  I plan to add more to my regimen, but as of right now, this includes 1000mg of Vitamin C, 1000mg of Niacin, and 1000mg of Flaxseed Oil

-At least 2 meals per day must be 80% raw.  This means the bulk of a meal is in the form of veggies, nuts or grains

I am the first person to admit that “diets” or any type of restricted eating have never worked for me- they actually cause me to sabotage myself!  When I know I “can’t” have something, that means I HAVE to have it!  Therefore, I’m not going to say that this is how I’m definitely going to eat 100% of the time, because I have always felt that life is all about enjoying the indulgences it has to offer.  But, I am a big believer in the science behind this, and I think it does a body good to go “raw” in any way that you can!

Here are some examples of my latest raw meals:

Breakfast

Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey and fresh blueberries.

Lunch

 

Chopped Romaine lettuce, carrots, green pepper, tomato, hardboiled eggwhite, and avocado, topped with organic dressing.

Dinner

Grilled shrimp on a bed of chopped fresh Romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and onions.

 

What do you think about eating “raw”?  

Curry Tempeh

Workout

After returning home from a busy weekend and getting a good night’s sleep, I awoke ready to start the week on the right foot- in the gym!  I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 25 minutes on the treadmill doing running intervals.

Breakfast

After my workout, I rewarded myself with a little Starbucks treat!  I stopped by and ordered a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Soy Latte:

I’m always amused by the different spellings the Starbucks baristas’ come up with for “Carly”.  I kind of wish my name was spelled the way this particular barista dreamed up today!

When I got home, I had a Lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt.

Lunch

During my 20-minute lunch break, I had the exact same salad that I’ve come to love as a quick hunger-fix during the short time I have for lunch Monday through Thursday.

Butter lettuce topped with red and yellow bell pepper slices and Naturally Fresh Ginger Dressing.

Dinner

Corey and I got pretty adventurous with last night’s dinner.  While grocery shopping, we came across Coconut Curry Tempeh- a soy product I’ve been curious about for a while.  I convinced Corey that it would be worth a try, and we threw it in the cart.

I started by cooking the tempeh strips in a skillet with a little olive oil, for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned.

While they cooked, I microwaved a bag of steam-able frozen vegetable medley, which had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  Next, I microwaved a bag of Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Whole Grain Rice.  I combined the rice and steamed veggies in the skillet off the heat, and mixed with half a jar of Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry.

Although I’m not a vegetarian, I always say that I might as well just be one.  Chicken and steak has the potential to really gross me out- I much prefer eating seafood or just plain old vegetarian dishes.  Corey and I both agreed that tempeh is not something we would necessarily crave, but it was a great meat replacement. I would describe the texture as hardened rice, with more flavor, thanks to the curry spice.  If you aren’t a fan of the texture of tofu, give tempeh a try!

Have you ever tried tempeh? What do you think of it?

2 Great Salad Recipes: Greek and Taco

Workout

I can so easily get out of the routine of working out, and it sucks!  I took Sunday off, as I normally do, but then, Monday and Tuesday came and went, and I hadn’t done a darn thing.  I was determined to make it to the gym on Wednesday, and I did.  I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 25 minutes of running intervals on the treadmill.

Breakfasts

Tuesday was a big day for my brain- I had to take a 3-hour nursing school entrance test, and then go straight to a 4-hour class!  I knew I needed a filling breakfast, so I turned to trusty oatmeal to do the trick.

I microwaved the oats with a 1/3 cup almond milk, and then stirred in a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Yesterday, I pretty much repeated the same meal, except that I used a packet of Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal in Maple Brown Sugar.

Lunch

After finishing my entrance test, I had a short break before my class started, so I headed over to Publix to grab a sandwich.  I ordered Boar’s Head Turkey on whole wheat, with honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles and banana peppers.

Dinners

Tuesday’s dinner was simple.  I quickly cooked a package of whole wheat gnocchi in boiling water, and then tossed it with 1/2 cup marinara sauce.

On the side, we had a Greek Chopped Salad.  This is one of my favorites.

Greek Chopped Salad


Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped

3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup feta cheese

10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (optional ingredient)

1 cucumber, finely chopped (optional ingredient)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Whisk together in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Directions:

After all ingredients are chopped, throw in a large bowl, top with dressing and feta cheese, and mix together.

**************************************************************************************************************

Last night, we had another great salad- Taco Salad!

This is a great solution for dinner when you want to feed a lot of people for cheap.  Plus, if you do it build-your-own style, it’s a huge time-saver.  There are tons of variations for this meal- just pick your favorites!

Taco Salad


Select Base: chopped Romaine, shredded iceburg, brown rice

Select Protein: ground turkey, lean ground beef, shredded rotisserie chicken, CrockPot pulled pork.  Cook meat with 1/2 packet of taco seasoning.

Select Beans: black, pinto, garbanzo

Select Veggies: diced tomatoes, chopped onion, cilantro, corn (use all of them!)

Select Fats: (use only one, or a combination, but do so sparingly) reduced-fat sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices

Select Dressing: I like to use salsa from a jar, but you could use any regular salad dressing you like!

Directions:

Place each ingredient in it’s own bowl, and set up a build-your-own-salad bar!


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