Robin’s Bite: Inside the Fridge

Today I am over at Robin’s Bite as part of her ‘Inside the Fridge’ segment. You know me, I love food! I’ve shared pictures with you before of my fridge and pantry so when I found out there was a whole segment on a website dedicated to this topic I asked if I could be a part of it. I’m so happy to be able to share more with you, as well as Robin’s readers, in regards to what I eat, buy and covet when it comes to food.

Please stop by Robin’s Biteand check out Inside the Fridge. Make sure to take a look around while you are there. It is an uber informative website all about food and nutrition put together by Robin who is an expert in her field. What’s not to love!

What’s in your fridge?

Thanks for reading!

February 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Food, Inside the Fridge. 2 comments.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: FOOD

I was asked to take pictures of all the new recipes I tried out over the holiday weekend. I failed miserably. I only took a few pictures. Sorry. So I will share what I do have along with some pictures of my kitchen so you can see what I eat and how I stock my fridge and pantry.

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Veggie Burgers with Kale, Cabbage, and Leek Grill Mix

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Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce and Spicy Rainbow Rice and Bean Salad

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Caribbean Peas & Rice

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Back on Track Wheat Berry and Bean Salad

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Our freezer is filled with frozen soups, Ezekiel and Alvarado St breads, frozen veggies and veggie burgers, sweet treats: chocolate almond milk ice cream and some no-bake frozen chocolate treats, some frozen bean balls and some flours and seeds.

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Fridge staples: tons of fruit and veggies tucked away in the crisper, coconut milk creamer, earth balance, Daiya vegan cheese, Ezekiel and Alvarado St. tortillas, salsa, almond butter, hemp seeds, and of course leftovers.

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Pantry: rolled oats, chia seeds, lentils, quinoa and quinoa pasta, rice noodles, brown rice, almond butter and almonds, herbal teas, and my snacks: wasabi soybeans and vegan cookies 🙂

Our spice cabinet is filled with a ton a different spices and an ever growing supply of baking essentials. We have organic (vegan friendly) sugars, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, vegan chocolate chips, nutritional yeast and a various types of hot sauces.

Keeping a well stocked fridge and pantry has really made cooking and meal planning so much easier.

Thanks for reading!

January 11, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Food, wordless wednesday. 5 comments.

Weekend Reading and a Special Giveaway

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I am excited to be able to link up with James & Jax for her weekend reading blog hop. I am even more excited that my post is not only about what I’ve been reading lately but it also features a giveaway that is both book and health related. Even more exciting is that I am going to let you chose the prize but I’ll get to that part shortly. First let me give you some background details.

I’ve been following a vegan diet for a couple of months now; a decision I came to for health reasons after realizing my body was having a hard time processing dairy. Just a few weeks into making this change I instantly knew it was the best thing for me. I felt great physically, I had tons of energy, and surprisingly I had no cravings. To this day I still feel the same, it’s pretty amazing. It also didn’t take very long before I wanted to learn more about veganism and plant-based diets. Thankfully our public library now has eBooks for the Kindle and I have been checking out tons of eBooks that deal with veganism as well as books about healthy eating in general. I realized that I research everything from safety ratings for automobiles to diner reviews on yelp why shouldn’t I research more about my health and how I am eating? So that’s what I did.

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The book I first started off with, which is also part of the giveaway, was Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. You probably have heard of Pollan from his widely successful books; “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food”. Heck, you have probably heard of the “Food Rules” (and maybe have already read it) as well. If you have read Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” then you will recognize this principle; Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. That principle in and of itself is a great rule of thumb to follow but Pollan has taken it a step further and broken those three statements down into a set of 64 guidelines which is what “Food Rules” is.

To call “Food Rules” a book is a bit of an exaggeration. The description of the book from Amazon refers to it as “a pocket compendium of food wisdom” and that’s exactly what it is. A set of 64 guidelines broken down into three sections: What should I eat? (Eat food) What kind of food should I eat? (Mostly plants) and How should I eat? (Not too much). Pollan recognizes that it is very challenging for every reader to adapt all 64 guidelines but asks that we at least try to incorporate one from each section into our lifestyle. Below I have listed three of my favorite rules that I have incorporated into my lifestyle.

Part 1- What should I eat?

“Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle”

I would say that 80-85% of my shopping is done in the peripheries of the store with a few big exceptions being beans and grains that are located in the middle aisles. I think I am ok though, I don’t think Pollan meant avoid bulgur wheat, I think he meant avoid Twinkies.

Part 2- What kind of food should I eat?

“Eat your colors”

Someone once told me I should eat five different colored fruits/veggies a day and I thought that was a great idea. Pollan’s rule is very similar and it is something I try to do every day. I love fruits and veggies, especially raw ones, but I do sometimes find myself eating the same colors every day. Now I try to eat an assortment of colors and I can tell I am getting in a ton of different vitamins and nutrients my body needs which is a great feeling.

Part 3- How should I eat?

“Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored”

I was notorious for sitting on the couch and snacking out of boredom. There were times where I finished a whole bag of chips (family size) and didn’t even realize it until there was nothing left. I call that mindless eating and that was something I only did out of boredom. Now if I am watching TV and feel the urge to snack I ask myself whether I am hungry or bored. If I am hungry I grab a piece of fruit, if I am bored I do something else. It took awhile but I have learned how to tell the difference and it has really impacted not only my weight loss but my overall feeling of well-being.

For this giveaway I would love to give you a copy of Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. Don’t worry if you are an omnivore, this book is perfect for you. Pollan has both plant and meat based guidelines- perfect for everyone! If you have read this book please still enter. I am sure you know someone who could benefit from reading this. Plus with the holidays coming up you can always re-gift it 😉

But wait- there’s still more. Remember earlier when I said you got to pick your own prize. Well, that is true too. In addition to “Food Rules” you also get one other prize of your choosing. I am listing below some of my favorite books, cookbooks, and DVDs that are health/diet/eating related and you get to pick one of them as your prize.

1. “The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living” by Mark Bittman

I bought this cookbook about a year ago and have made many recipes from it. Bittman follows a vegan diet half the day so there are recipes for meat-eaters and vegans alike. Every recipe I have made from it was fabulous and I love that there are indicators for fast, make ahead, and pantry staple recipes.

2. “Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock” and “Vegan Pie in the Sky: 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and More” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

VwaV was my first vegan cookbook and was purchased at the same time as “Food Matters”. I love this cookbook and I did even before I adopted a vegan diet. My favorite recipe is the beet, barley and black soybean soup. So yummy! Even Paul, a meat-eating Midwesterner, loves her recipes. I am also including “Vegan Pie in the Sky” which is her newest cookbook but will swap out with her cupcake or cookie cookbook if you prefer either of those over pie 🙂

3. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” and “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” by Michael Pollan

In “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” Pollan discusses the evolution of the American diet and the American way of eating and “In Defense of Food” shows us how to change it.

4. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingslover

I haven’t read this book but it is on my to-read list. I bought it at a library sale and hopefully will get to it soon. A friend of mine said it completely changed how she eats so I thought it would be a good book to include on the list. This is the book description from Amazon:

“Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.”

5. Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives (on DVD but you can choose the books instead if you prefer)

Two movies that I think will completely change how you look at food and both tie in to Pollan’s “Food Rules” completely. Food, Inc. gives us an in-depth view of how the demand for cheap food has impacted what we are eating; choosing cheap over nutritious and the ripple effect it has created. Forks Over Knives shows the consequences of a Western diet and the benefits of adopting a plant-based one. If I wasn’t a vegan already this movie (actually book, I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve read the book) would have pushed me to it.

Contest Rules

To enter leave a comment as to which one of the five prizes you would want and why.

One entry per person

The contest runs November 28th, 2011 until 1159pm CST December 4th, 2011. One winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) and announced on this blog December 5th, 2011. Once notified, the winner will need to supply their mailing address.

If you have any issues leaving a comment you can email me (axid200@gmail.com) or DM me (@dacialee33) and I will add them for you.

Good luck! Thanks for reading!

*No purchase necessary for entry, all opinions and viewpoints expressed are my own and I did not receive payment nor was I solicited for this giveaway.

November 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Books, Food, Giveaway. 18 comments.

Move Over Greek Yogurt, There’s a New Sheriff in Town

A few months ago, back at the beginning of my blogging career, I had asked for some healthy snack ideas. I received numerous responses and from them was able to find some great, healthy snacks that I incorporated into my diet. Multiple people suggested that I try Greek yogurt and I immediately was hooked. Greek yogurt became a staple in my diet. It is high in protein (also lower in carbs and sodium vs. regular yogurt) so it is filling as well as a great post workout snack. Not being a milk drinker, yogurt has always been my go-to dairy product and it’s great to still be able to have the yogurt I love but with so many more health benefits.

Yes, everything was going along quite smoothly in my Greek yogurt romance until I started finding yogurts that were moldy, well in advance of the expiration date. I contacted the company directly and they apologized and sent us some coupons for free yogurts to replace the expired ones. Unfortunately, upon buying the replacements I still found moldy yogurts. Now, I am not 100% sure that this is the fault of the manufacturer and am thinking it is more likely the fault of the grocery store for not storing them properly. Not only were all the moldy yogurts made on different machines, at different times (I found out how to read the manufacturers code when I had to send them the information for their records) but that same grocery store sold me, around the same time, mini babybels that were moldy before the expiration date as well. Because of this Paul and I decided to not by dairy products from that store anymore.

While grocery shopping elsewhere I went back to the dairy department to pick up some Greek yogurt. Although this store offered half a dozen different brand Greek yogurts they did not offer the brand I had grown accustomed to eating. This left me checking the labels on every brand trying to find one that was comparable to the brand I bought. I didn’t find any. What I found instead wasn’t even Greek yogurt at all, it was Icelandic Skyr (pronounced skeer) something I had never even seen or heard of before. Intrigued by the flavors offered and the nutritional information I decided to give it a try. Skyr is similar to yogurt except for the fact that it is strained, which I think technically makes it more like soft cheese than yogurt, but I digress. It is thick and creamy like Greek yogurt but it is even better. This brand, Siggi’s, offers up a product that is high in protein (14g), fat free (on the ones I tried), 100 calories, low in carbs and sugar (sweetened with fruit and agave nectar, no sugar) the milk used does not contain bovine recombinant growth hormone and they use vegetable-based rennet, not the rennet made from mammal stomachs, so it is vegetarian friendly as well.

I have been eating Siggi’s Skyr mixed with ¾ cup of Kashi Go Lean cereal every morning for breakfast and I love it. For those of you doing WW, the fat free Siggi’s are only 2 points and ¾ c of Kashi (which is ¾ of a serving) is 3 points. So for 5 points I am getting a total of 0.8 g fat, 33.5g carbs, 7.5g of fiber, and a whopping 23.8g of protein. Add a piece of fruit and some unsweetened green tea and you have the perfect breakfast.

If you are interested in trying some Siggi’s Icelandic Skyr hop over to their website- Siggi’s Yogurt– and you can search for locations by zip code to find locations near you that carry it. I believe all Whole Foods as well as Wegmans carry it. If you are in San Antonio you can find it at Central Market as well as Whole Foods. Siggi’s is also on FB and Twitter (@siggisyogurt) if you want to talk to them to find out more about their products. I should note that they also make a probiotic drink which I have yet to try but hopefully will do so soon.

I have tried every flavor carried at CM and I love them all. However, I do have two favorites the orange & ginger and the pomegranate & passion fruit. Yum! I highly recommend Siggi’s for anyone who likes Greek yogurt, looking for a healthy snack/meal option, wants to eat good tasting food that is good for them, vegetarians, meat eaters, I mean really, this product is excellent and I think everyone should try it.

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Have you tried skyr before? I would love to know what you think of it or any other healthy foods you have been eating lately. Thanks for reading!

** photos taken from Siggi’s Yogurt website

***These are my honest opinions. I was not solicited by or received payment or products from Siggi’s to endorse their product.

August 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Diet, Food. 3 comments.

Recipes

I have received feedback to my post yesterday in regards to my weekly meals. I would like to say that I am superwoman and am going to be making all of those meals from scratch but that is just not true. Most of the meals are based around items I bought ready to cook like the shrimp burgers and turkey burgers, they came already seasoned/flavored and all I need to do is cook them. For my stir-fry I use Saigon Sizzle Stir-fry sauce by House of Tsang and buy pre-chopped (fresh) stir fry veggies- pretty basic. The pesto chicken was bought already marinated and the couscous is Near East, ready in five minutes. However, there are two things I am making myself and so I will share with you the recipes. Enjoy!

Spaghetti alle Vongole (WW 18 PP per serving, definitely a splurge points wise but totally worth it)

Recipe by the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

May 2011

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. spaghetti
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lb. cockles, Manila clams, or littlenecks, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

  • Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season lightly with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until just golden. Add red pepper flakes and continue cooking 15 more seconds. Add wine, then clams; increase heat to high. Cover skillet and cook until clams open and release their juices, 3-6 minutes, depending on size of clams. As clams open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet; bring to a boil. Add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce from the pan. Add clams and any juices from bowl to pan, along with parsley, and toss to combine. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil

 Nutritional Information

One serving contains:
Calories (kcal) 674.8
%Calories from Fat 41.6
Fat (g) 31.2
Saturated Fat (g) 4.4
Cholesterol (mg) 41.0
Carbohydrates (g) 68.0
Dietary Fiber (g) 4.0
Total Sugars (g) 1.2
Net Carbs (g) 64.1
Protein (g) 27.9
Sodium (mg) 73.1

Read More : http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/05/spaghetti-alle-vongole

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower (WW 3 PP per serving)

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 118

Total Fat: 8.2g

Cholesterol: 4mg

Sodium: 111mg

Total Carbs: 8.6g

Dietary Fiber: 3.6g

Protein: 4.7g

Recipe from allrecipes.com : http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Garlic-Cauliflower/Detail.aspx

June 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Cooking, Food, Recipes. 8 comments.

Tuesday’s Mishmash of Thoughts

This post is a compilation of random facts/note and information on some of the classes I have taken this week. Sorry for the hodgepodge.

The proper stance to use when weighing yourself on a scale

I found myself in a situation one day where I weighed myself and was so happy with the number on the scale that I wanted to take a picture to send to Paul. I hopped off the scale, grabbed my iPhone, hopped back on and presto- I gained two pounds. WTF! So I stepped off and stepped back on and voila I was down a pound from my second weight. Blerg! In the span of one minute my weight fluctuated three pounds. Now we all know I didn’t really gain and lose weight that quickly but I was frustrated nonetheless. What was I doing wrong? My guess was I was changing my stance on the scale. I talked to Paul about this and he said when the get weighed for their Army PT tests they are told to stand ‘at attention’ on the scale. This means heels together, toes out- feet in a v-shape, looking straight ahead. I have since adopted this method because it is a method I can consistently duplicate on a daily basis. Is this the correct way to stand on a scale? Maybe. I have read articles saying to can stand with your feet in a V-shape or stand with your feet shoulder-with apart. I would guess that either stance is ok as long as you make sure you face forward, stand perfectly still, and are consistent with the stance you use. My recommendation: do whichever feels most comfortable/natural to you.

Skin on redfish is like…skin

I was at the grocery store on Sunday buying some redfish that was on sale. I have never eaten or prepared redfish before so I asked the fish monger if you leave the skin on while cooking and if so, is it edible? His response to me was that the skin on the fish is like skin so it is edible. This comment was disturbing to me because what other type of skin was he comparing it to? Human skin? Chicken skin? I don’t know, all this typing about skin is grossing me out. That is how I felt at the fish counter. I left the counter wondering if I would be able to stomach the fish skin after his ‘like skin’ comment. It’s on the menu for dinner tomorrow night, I will keep you posted. 

You shouldn’t wear 100% cotton socks while working out

I finally broke down and bought a high-quality sports bra this past weekend. It was somewhat of an adventure finding a store that carried plus size sports bras but I was able to find one and lucked out that they had one available in my size. Most times, I have no problem ordering things online but I really wanted to be able to try it on and was looking for that instant gratification of walking out the store with my purchase in hand. The store I found it at was a high-end running store so while I was there I decided to check out their running shoes as well. I have been using a pair of New Balances purchased when I lived in Philadelphia for all of my workouts and they are starting to show their age especially from all of my outdoor walking. I love going into small, specialty stores because of the attention you receive and the knowledge the employees have. I was measured, told to walk barefoot through the store, and then brought out four pairs of shoes that met my requirements and walking profile. I loved them all, the employee was spot on with her choices and I ended up leaving with a new pair of sneakers as well as my sports bra.

The store was running a special offer: 20% off accessories with any sneaker purchase. This made me happy because I was getting 20% off my $64 dollar sports bra. I’m sorry, I just can’t get over how expensive that is for a sports bra. I know it is worth the money or I wouldn’t have spent it but man it seems a little ridiculous. Anywho, that’s not the point of this story. While I was checking out the employee asked me if I wanted to look at any other accessories because of the 20% off deal and suggested new socks. So, I went over to look at their sock selection which was very expansive but I really couldn’t see myself paying $10-$20 for a pair of socks so I passed. As she was ringing me up she said to make sure that I am not wearing 100% cotton socks when I work out because they keep moisture in and cause blisters. Really? Was this true? I had never heard that before. I thought maybe she just wanted to sell me some fancy socks but no, she was telling the truth. I did some research and found this to be true. 100% cotton socks keep your feet wet which can lead to blisters. You should wear synthetic blends that wick moisture away. Hmph! Maybe I should have bought some fancy socks. I will be checking out the PX (department store on post) to see if they carry any synthetic blend socks this weekend.

Goodbye Food Pyramid

I am sure by now you have all heard the news that the food pyramid has been replaced by the food plate. Check out choosemyplate.gov to find out all about it. I think this is a great change and provides us with a more accurate picture of how we should be eating.

 

I love how half of the plate is made up of fruits and veggies. Someone must have been reading my blog, it was just a week or so ago when I was telling you about how I was replacing a serving of veggies with a serving of fruit at dinnertime. Look at the trend I started 😉 I am just kidding of course but I am thrilled to know I have been following the new guidelines without even trying. Here are some helpful tips taken from the choosemyplate.gov website that I think everyone should try to incorporate into their diet.

Balancing Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium in food like soup, bread, and frozen meals- and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks

*Image and guidelines taken from the USDA’s MyPlate website: choosemyplate.gov

I’m Famous!

Ok, that is a bit of a stretch. I am far from famous but I was recognized from my Twitter profile picture on Sunday which was kind of crazy. I recently purchased a Groupon for 8 classes at the Synergy Studio here in San Antonio and went in on Sunday to take my first class. Prior to going , I spent some time reading about all the different types of classes they offer, so much more than yoga, and decided I wanted to try Nia, which I will talk about in detail later in this post. I went into the studio for a 4p Nia class and while waiting in the lobby I met KM; she was also there because of the Groupon and was going to be taking the Nia class as well. She and I were talking for a bit when she asked me if I was on Twitter, I said yes, and she asked what my Twitter handle was, to which I said dacialee33 (follow me on Twitter if you aren’t already!) and she said she had thought she had recognized me. KM is the social media person for the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in San Antonio which I follow on Twitter because of their affiliation with the Gorilla Challenge. We had tweeted back and forth a few times but I had no idea who I was talking to aside from a Hyatt employee. I was as amazed she remembered who I was and recognized me. So crazy!

Nia

Nia is described on the Synergy Studio website as “movement practice that not only offers the cardiovascular benefits of traditional fitness classes, but also encourages emotional expression and engagement to nourish the mind, body and soul.” It is a blend of modern and jazz dance, aerobics, martial arts, yoga and body integration therapy. I thought it sounded unique and a big change from boxing so I wanted to give it a try. It was fun, it was unusual, and it was a great workout that was somehow relaxing at the same time. I have never done anything like it before and although I did find myself spinning in circles and moving in the opposite direction from the rest of the class at times no one seemed to mind, they were off in their own world. Everyone in the class was kind and welcoming and although it was so different from what I expected I will definitely be going  back. The best way I can describe the class would be aerobics on acid.

Yoga – Gentle Hatha

My plans fell through yesterday so instead of staying in and cleaning I decided to head back to the Synergy Studio to try out a different class. This time I went for Gentle Hatha Yoga which is described as a slower paced yoga class ideal for people of all sizes, ages, fitness/experience levels. The website says this class “creates an atmosphere of safety and comfort that fosters self-acceptance” and this statement is 100% accurate. I loved this class. It was taught by Esther Vexler who is 93 years old and the ‘Mother of Yoga’ in San Antonio. I read an article about her, and the celebration held for her 93rd birthday earlier this year and it said this about taking a class with Esther:

     “In her class, you may not break a sweat or get a killer workout. You will, however, probably leave the class feeling more relaxed, more in tune, and a little wiser.”

Continue reading on Examiner.com Celebrating Esther Vexler: the Mother of Yoga in San Antonio – San Antonio Yoga | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/yoga-in-san-antonio/celebrating-esther-vexler-the-mother-of-yoga-san-antonio#ixzz1Obazwoic

That is exactly how I felt. By the end of the class I felt relaxed and at peace, it was wonderful. It was the perfect class to take on a Monday evening in order to let go of all the chaos of the day. I will definitely be making Monday yoga with Esther a part of my weekly routine.

Thanks for reading!

June 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Food, inspiration, Life, San Antonio. 12 comments.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Food Edition

Yesterday I talked about having one of my goals this week is to eat whatever I want. By this I meant to eat whatever types of food I wanted at any point in the day; to break out of the box a little and really start to have fun with the food I am eating. Today I would like to share with you some pictures that better capture what I mean.

My favorite combination: Sweet & Savory

Watermelon Gazpacho and Vietnamese-style Braised Pork Lettuce Wraps from Tapa Tapa

 
 
 
I had vegetables for breakfast in place of eggs
 

Breakfast: sautéed yellow squash, veggie bacon, and a bowl full of watermelon

 

Breakfast: multi-grain sandwich thin, carrots and hummus, watermelon and a banana for my post-workout snack

 
 
I tried a mix of both raw and cooked veggies with dinner
 

Dinner: barramundi (high in Omega-3), garlicky broccolini, Easter Egg radishes

 

I replaced one of my vegetable sides with a serving of fruit instead

Dinner: turkey burger on multi-grain sandwich thin, homemade vinegar based cole slaw, rainier cherries

 
 
 
I tried out a new snack combo this week; a great combination of light and crisp with rich and creamy. It makes for an excellent treat!
 

My new favorite sweet snack: Biscoff spread on Magic Pop

 

Trust me; it tastes a million times better than it looks. For only two WW points you get a wonderfully delicious treat the size of a medium paper plate. Yum!

 

What are you doing to keep mealtimes interesting? Any new foods you have tried out recently?

Thanks for reading!

June 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Diet, Food, Weight Watchers, wordless wednesday. 10 comments.

Weekly and Monthly Goals

Monthly Goal

Another month has come and gone, can you believe it? It feels like just the other day it was May 1st. It is pretty unbelievable that tomorrow is June 1st.  As it is the last day of the month I needed to weigh myself to see if I met my monthly goal of losing ten pounds. This morning I weighed in at 258.8 (hello 250’s!) to which I added 0.8 pounds to adjust for the difference between my scale and the WW scale. This brought my weight to 259.6 for a loss of 8.2 pounds for the month of May. Not ten pounds but I’ll take it! Although I would love to reach the goals I set for myself I cannot be upset because I gave it my all this month. There is nothing I would have done differently and for that I am proud. Tomorrow is June 1st and I start the month with a clean slate hoping I can get that ten pound loss this time. I also have another weight loss goal I am trying to reach this month; my 10% (28 pounds) weight loss from the starting weight when I joined Weight Watchers. I hope to be at 252 by June 18th, or at the very least the end of the month, because once I hit my 10% I will reward myself with some new clothes.  In case you were wondering, my reward for reaching my 5% loss was tickets to Austin City Limits in September. I am really liking this whole reward system!

Last Week’s Goals:

Stay On Plan! Yes, I stayed on plan all week. I used all of my daily points each day and all but two of my weekly points. I also made sure to take my vitamins every day, drink at least 8 glasses of water, and every day I ate at least 8 servings of fruit/veg.

Keep moving! I stuck to the schedule I had laid out for myself; Monday and Wednesday were days off, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I went to boxing classes, Saturday I rode 20.3 miles in 65 minutes on the recumbent bike and Sunday I went for a three plus mile walk with my friend KJ and our dogs.

Eat More Fiber! I tried to incorporate more fiber rich foods into my diet but I think what helped the most was that taking a fiber supplement. It has worked wonders. I believe that one of the main reasons I had such a big loss this week was that I ‘regular’.

Lighten Up! I think I did a pretty good job putting the previous week’s gain behind me. This week I focused on keeping a positive attitude and not being too critical of myself. I just tried to relax and have fun. By focusing on all of the positives, not just the weight loss, I was able to enjoy myself a little more. Like on Friday, when my sparring partner (one of the trainers) told me how much I had improved from the class two weeks prior I was ecstatic.  It felt great having someone, especially a trainer, recognize my progress.

Weekly Goals 5/30 – 6/5

Keep moving! Workout schedule is as follows

Monday: 2.5 mile walk plus swimming

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: Combo class (1/2 boxing, 1/2 weights)

Thursday: Recumbent bike

Friday: Boxing

Saturday: Recumbent bike

Sunday: Walk 5K

Clean House! I literally need to clean my house. My goal this week is to spend thirty minutes a day (non-boxing days) during the week and 2 hours Saturday and Sunday cleaning house. Man, what I wouldn’t give to be able to afford someone to clean my house for me.

Eat Whatever I Want! This goal stems from a discussion we had at WW last week on the subject of breakfast foods. Our group leader was asking what people typically ate for breakfast and most people had fairly typical answers like eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, etc. Our leader then asked if anyone ate salad for breakfast and most scoffed at this idea. She followed up that question with asking if we ever ate lunch/dinner items for breakfast and most people said no with the exception being pizza. She was trying to get us to think outside the box for breakfast ideas. I mean there is no reason why we need to eat standard breakfast foods. So, Sunday morning I made myself sautéed yellow squash for breakfast accompanied by veggie bacon and watermelon. Yesterday I had carrots, a multi-grain sandwich thin, hummus and watermelon for breakfast because why not? It’s what I wanted to eat. So this week I am going to continue eating whatever types of foods I want, when I want them.

Read more! Preferably read more poolside 😉  I have a serious addiction, books. I keep bringing more books into my apartment but yet I have really been slacking on reading them. I need to devote some time to reading so this week I am making it part of my goals. Hopefully I can get back into the habit of reading every night before bed.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! Thanks for reading!

May 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Food, Life, Weight Watchers. 6 comments.

Five Reason Why Today is Awesome!

#1 I am wearing a shirt today that I haven’t worn in 19 months. I loved this shirt when I first bought it and was wearing it on Halloween of 2009, the night I got shat on by thirty birds. Well, maybe it wasn’t thirty but it was so many birds that I got poop on my shirt, arms, and head. We quickly returned home so I could shower and wash my shirt, in hot water. After that night the shirt was too tight across my chest and stomach that it made me uncomfortable to wear. This morning while searching my closet for something to wear I stumbled across it and voila- it fits beautifully, not tight in either area. Yay for progress!

Sorry, I am still trying to master taking photos of myself. I know I could have flipped the camera on my iPhone but the picture would have been so close you wouldn't have seen the shirt. My apologies for the crap picture.

#2 One of my co-workers, the only one I talk to about WW, brought me in a bag of tomatoes and squash from his garden. Fresh, organic veggies for free! Double yay!

Bag o' veggies- YUM!

#3 One of my favorite bloggers wrote in her post today that I was an inspiration to her. I cried. It was so amazing hearing (RE: reading) someone say that about me. Not to cast shadow on the real message of her post though which was meeting her weekly goals and her big decrease in BMI. Congrats Simply Sidney! You are amazing!

#4 This happened last night but it put me in a good mood when it happened which in turn carried over into today so I am going to count it. Last night I received my Silver Stars (WNBA) season tickets. I am so excited for opening night next Saturday, June 4th. Go Stars!

Girls Rule!

#5 Tonight I will be attending the special boxing class where I get to punch people in the face AND they can’t hit me back. This class is so much fun even though we only spar for a portion of it, which is good because sparring is hard and drains me of every ounce of energy. You would think that it wouldn’t be much different from hitting the bag but it is like a million times harder trying to hit a moving target. It is difficult but I love it.

I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and please take some time to honor those men and women who have served or are serving in the military- this holiday is for them. We owe them so much.

Thanks for reading!

 

May 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Diet, Food, Life, San Antonio. 7 comments.

Let Them Eat Cake!

My office is trying to sabotage my diet. I know it’s not intentional but really, five cakes in five days- that’s just too much! Monday was cheesecake, well cheesecakes actually because we had two; one giant plain one and one giant variety cheesecake. I am not sure what varieties they had because I didn’t want to get too close. It’s like playing with fire; I love cheesecake. Tuesday was German Chocolate which was easy to resist as I have an aversion to sweets with nuts in them. Yesterday was blackberry grunt which I had no idea what that was, I had never heard of a grunt other than the sound I make playing tennis/racquetball. I did a quick Google search and found a bunch of recipes, first and foremost one from Alton Brown, so I knew it was not a made-up dessert name. Today, sitting mere feet away from my desk is some type of chocolate layer cake. It is El Jefe’s birthday but he may not come in to work so I was asked to take a picture of the cake so he can see how awesome it was prior to it being devoured by my co-workers. I think I contracted diabetes just by smelling it. Holy Willy Wonka that cake smells heavenly. I hear tomorrow we are having homemade carrot cake, thankfully that will fall into the desserts with nuts and I will easily be able to turn it down.  

You may be wondering right now why I am depriving myself of cake when I preach about ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘not restricting our diets’. It seems like I am being hypocritical but I don’t mean to be. You know that I plan out every meal and snack and each day I have already accounted for how I will use all 40 of my points. This includes some type of sweet treat for dessert.  I could have a piece of cake if I wanted though. I could swap it with tonight’s dessert or I could dip into what is left of my weekly points, and I could even use some of my activity points.  Really I could have some cake IF I actually wanted to.

See, I am trying to practice restraint. I don’t mind a splurge, which a piece of cake would be (this is a splurge, where what I have as my nightly dessert is normally pretty healthy or at least low-calorie) but I don’t want to splurge all the time. I had a big splurge on Saturday after the Gorilla Challenge. Paul and I hit up our favorite Mexican joint after the race and devoured some nachos and fajitas. Then Sunday, while grocery shopping I picked up a little single serving dessert as a treat for me. That was all I really needed. I work really hard during the week and yes I do think I deserve a splurge or special treat every now and again but not every day, that’s how I ended up here in the first place. 

I know I make it sound so easy. I say ‘just don’t eat the cake’ and I don’t eat the cake but really it takes all of my strength and willpower to not go over and grab a piece on the sly. FYI- the view from my desk is of the cubicle we use as our coffee station which is where we put out the cake. So it’s not as easy as walking away or shutting my door (I don’t have one) in order to put it out of my mind. I have to sit here and see/smell these damn cakes all day long. To add insult to injury, the cake table (which is also breakfast taco table on Friday’s) is my office’s water cooler. People love to congregate around the cake and BS. It’s another perk that comes with where I sit but I digress. With all of the temptation it takes much more than mental strength especially when I am hungry and trying to tell myself that cake is an acceptable lunch. This is why I always plan for snacks at work. I come prepared with an arsenal of healthy and satisfying treats that keep me feeling full all day which is how I can stay strong and just say no. Damn cake pushers!

This is the view from my desk. The {evil} cake is sitting under the Happy Birthday sign.

 

But that’s just me. I don’t want to eat thiscake. But if I did have some, I wouldn’t beat myself up over it and you shouldn’t either. Trust me, when I was eating my Crema Catalana on Sunday I didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. I didn’t feel guilty either when I realized it was 9 points for one serving. Instead I savored every creamy bite, I almost licked the ramekin it came in, and then put it in my Weight Watchers tracker and called it a night. See, we can have our cake (or creamy custardy dessert) and eat it too. For me, I just don’t have it every day.

How do you survive cakes or other foods hanging out in your office. Do they sabotage your diet or are you able to restrain yourself? Any tips for how to stay strong?

Thanks for reading!

May 26, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Diet, Food, Life, Weight Watchers. 14 comments.

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