Archive for the Category » Food «
Hello my friends! It’s been a while. I’ve been MIA! With the hustle and bustle of the holidays and shopping, I’ve really managed to put my blogging on the back burner. But, after much needed time away with the family, and a bit of time put into relaxing and adjusting to the huge alterations in my life, I finally feel its time to come back and commit to a little blogging.
I’ve missed it!
So, what’s new in my world? Well, most importantly, I’ve managed to stay committed to taking good care of my physical and mental wellbeing!! Diet and exercise, Baby! I’ve been creating and motivating myself with vision boards. Check it out! Here is the fitness one I’m working on!
I’m no longer going to a trainer 3 times a week, but those 2 months really had a huge impact on my life. Even though I hadn’t managed to lose any pounds while I was there, I had lost several inches around my waist; but most importantly, I developed a healthy relationship and love for working out! Since the training I’ve joined Franco’s, my local fitness and spa resort, (look it up if you hadn’t heard of it, its insane!! It was actually on the Discovery channel as one o the Top 10 Fitness resorts in the Us a few years back! Yowza!) and have kept to a flexible regimen of attending strength, cardio, and flexibility classes regularly. Body Pump, Body Combat, Body Attack, Zumba, CxWorx, Cycling, Yoga, Thai Chi, Pilates, Boxing, Circuit Training, etc. You name it, they have it! I love it! I’m pretty addicted really… But in the best way possible!
Yoga is my passion right now!
Anyway, besides all the love for physical training, I’ve recently committed to a 40 day Detox. I read, and then re-read and took notes, and then implemented! If you’re interested the book is called Detox for Women by Natalia Rose (Click the title and it’ll bring you to the book on Amazon). It’s really a great book and a great program. The idea behind the detox is to flush out all of the bacteria and yeast in our bodies (ew, I know! But we are all maxed out on the amount we actually carry in our systems! Yucky!) and get our bodies back to excellent health! The reason I really like this particular program is because the rules are simple and easy to follow, and there is room for flexibility and fun. In this particular 4 week program, you cut out grains, fruit, cow’s milk, and most meats, but you are allowed, goat’s cheese, fish, dark chocolate (68% or higher), and wine! All of which make this program super easy to follow and stick with, in my opinion. You also focus on incorporating vegetable juices each morning, a practice I already follow and love, and also eating salads (loaded with avocado, might I add) for lunch. It’s a do-able program, and so far I haven’t had an ounce of trouble following it and I actually enjoy it very much. I don’t feel deprived in the slightest.
Check this out, I even came up with an easy snack solution so I can munch while I blog!
I came up with an easy alternative to my craving for chips and salsa. I thought about why I really liked the combo and it was really all bout the flavor of the salsa, the crunchiness of the chip, and the fun and convenience of the dipping and finger foods. So, after digging through the fridge, carrots seemed like the perfect solution! And I’m really enjoying it just as much!
Buttons really seems to enjoy it too! Yum! Carrots!
Well, my original idea for this post was to share some personal hurdles and feats with you to help keep my progress on track and also to motivate me to keep going and keep posting. My friend Marissa has being blogging about her progress on her own private blog and it has really inspired me to record and share my goals and accomplishments. I wanted to share with you my progress so far… and even though I tossed the idea back in forth in my head on whether or not to share this, I decided its really what I needed to do, for me, and for you, if it helps with motivation at all.
(*By the way, pretend I’m wearing a bathing suit if it helps with the shock factor of me in my skivvies!)
I took these before pictures a little over a year ago. I posted them all over my house (on my fridge, in the bathroom, in my purse) to help keep me focused on the goal. After about a month, each of the photos went missing (or rather they were hidden, one by one over time, to avoid unexpected guests from seeing) and were forgotten. Well, I found them today, and decided I needed an update! At the time of these photos I was about 141-144lbs.
(Sorry! These photos are a little embarrassing! I have them posted on the password protected version!)
And today, at the time of these new photos, I’m 134!! Go me! I still have a ways to go, but I ‘m really proud of myself. Its only been about 3 months of semi-focusing (I say semi because I wasn’t really focused on keeping my food on track as much as I should have), 2 of which were with the trainer, gaining muscle, 2 weeks working out on my own at Franco’s, 2 weeks hiatus with the holidays (can we say Pumpkin Pie?! Gah! My weakness!), and then 15 days or so of re-focusing and getting back on track. I’ve managed to drop more inches and (finally!) some pounds without even focusing on the weight loss part. It was more of just really going to the gym because its fun and I love to do it. (I removed the undies pix! Those are on the password protected version! Sorry guys!)
Can you see the difference?! (If you can’t, its cool, just keep it to yourself and don’t pop my balloon, ok? hehe! Thanks!) My favorite part, is my arms and shoulders!! Look!!! They have shape and definition to them!!! Just what I had always wanted! I can’t wait to see what they will look like a month from now! Or 2 months from now! WooHoo! And check it out, my butt!! Its got a little more shape and a little less junk in the trunk! LOL!!! I know its not a HUGE difference! But its enough to keep me going full speed ahead! And just the inches in my waist alone are enough to be happy about!
I plan on using this blog to help keep me on track, and to also motivate me to keep it up! I’ll keep posting pics as time and results continue, and I’ll also post goals and everything else I need to keep me on track. Like check these out! I cut them out from all of my Yoga Journal magazines.
THIS IS MY GOAL!! One day, I WILL look this good doing yoga (NAKED!)!
This is Kathryn Budig! Her body and yoga skills are amazing. She’s my current inspiration!
Well, anyway, Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for the love. I’m glad to be back. Hopefully I can inspire a few people with my posts.
Hugs and snuggles!! (And muscle flexes!!)
I started my morning off right today, with a quick ride on my motorcycle (which didn’t last long, because I quickly turned into a popsicle), and then an incredibly healthy green juice for breakfast when I walked in the door.
Beautiful morning, calm mind
Beautiful juice, grateful body
Usually, I’m more of a green smoothie fan, but today I wanted to try something different. I’m fortunate enough to have parents, that bought a nice expensive juicer, and then went on vacation so I could sneak it out the pantry, dust it off, and give it a whirl.
I’m glad I did, because this stuff is very powerful!! It had me zinging off the walls with energy! Very cool!
The juicer seems to be something that is brought up in all the natural health books that I read. What is so great about it, and also what makes it different from a green smoothie in a blender, is that it extracts all of the juice from the fiber of the fruit or vegetable, so that way the liquid goodness is absorbed immediately into your body, and it gives a break to all of your digestive organs because it doesn’t have to focus on processing the fiber-y pulp. Major Score!! Instant energy! Happy body!
In my juice today, I had lots of green yummy things. I followed a recipe from Kris Carr’s wonderful book Crazy Sexy Diet. Out of every health book I’ve read, this is my Go-To. I’d even go as far as saying its my Healthy Living Bible. It has so much goodness packed in one perfectly sized book, and Kris Carr is like, my idol. I first stumbled upon her when I watched her documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer, and have fallen quickly and hard, for this spunky health guru. She’s amazing.
Here’s a little bit about her story. At the age of 31 she found out she had stage 4 cancer (there is no stage 5) all over her lungs and liver. She was young and energetic and was an upcoming actress in New York living life the way we all do, with an average American diet, drinking, partying, and being young. But something happened… She got cancer! And it changed her world entirely. Her cancer was so rare, that every doctor she went to see had suggested something entirely different from the last, coming up with a large variety of different solutions – basically guest work (chemo, radiation, multiple organ transplant, etc.), but Kris refused to be used as a lab rat. instead she took matters into her own hands and submerged herself in the self healing, holistic world. After almost 10 years (she just had her 40th b-day, but you’d swear she was still in her 20’s) she managed to throw all of the health care practitioners for a loop, for one, by still being here, and also by being the most healthy and radiate woman you could meet. She’s completely changed her own life. She got the tumors to quit growing. They will never go away, due to the type that they are, but the doctors now say that she can basically look at them as “beauty marks’ as they are no longer a threat to her life, and she’s by far one of the healthiest women you’ll meet. Go Kris!! I Absolutely love her!! If you get the chance pick up her book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she will knock your socks off and have you rolling on the floor laughing. She’s really great.
-5 celery stalks
-1 large leaf kale
-1 broccoli stem
-1/2 apple (added at the end, because I thought it needed a tad more sweetness)
This stuff was really neat and very different, but I enjoyed the taste. Very subtle hint of sweet.
It was the perfect way to start this morning. It gave me the energy to start this day with a blog post, and to get my booty out the door early, ready to go. Seriously, I have so much energy, I feel like I could go run a marathon. Lol!!
Have a great Saturday everyone!!!
Next post is on Remie’s wedding. I’m finally getting to the extra good stuff, wedding dresses, dancing, and pretty things.
Lately I’ve been having a craving for some finger foods!! And dipping and dunking foods are always my favorite! There’s nothing like having fun while eating something delicious, right?!
Well, one of my Go-To fun foods is steamed artichokes and different dipping sauces! YUM! And since I’m a fan of variety, I figured sweet potato fries would be perfect for dipping too! So here are instructions showing you how to steam artichoke, bake some sweet potato “chips’” and also the recipes for 2 different fun and tasty dips to go with!! ENJOY, My Friends!!
Let’s start with steaming artichokes!
The easiest way to steam anything if you don’t have a steamer or rice cooker or anything fancy like that, is to grab a large pot, the lid, and a colander!
All you need to do is put a few inches of water in the bottom of the pot (say 3-4 inches), place the strainer on top the pot, and the lid on top the colander. And there ya go! Perfect steaming contraption! I just place the artichokes face down, set the stove on medium high, and let them steam with the lid on for 30 to 45 minutes. Just keep checking to see if the artichokes are cooked by trying to pull one of the leaves off the artichoke, and if it comes of with little effort, its ready to eat! Easy Easy!
To make the sweet potato chips (or fries!) I slice the washed sweet potato in round, thin, chip like shapes, or in skinny, long fry like shapes. All you need is a sharp knife. I like to leave the skin on because I like the texture, and its easier than to mess with peeling the sweet potatoes. This time I used a mandolin slicer, but I usually just use my knife.
Next, all you do is spread some olive oil on the bottom of a cooking sheet, place the potato pieces on top, and drizzle a bit more olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix everything thing up until the slices are nicely coated. I use my hands because its simple and I’m a big fan of messy cooking!
Last step is to bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. I like mine nice and crispy, so I leave it in close to the whole 45 minutes.
Next is the DIPS!! YAY!!
I have 2 dips that I’m a fan of. Both are vegan. One is healthy!! And the other… not so much!! And its funny because everyone that tries them both really enjoy the healthy one the most!! SCORE!!! But, like I said, variety is fun, so I’ll give you both!
1/2 cup Vegan Mayo
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
2 tsp. Sriracha (or any hot sauce)
1 small juiced lime (or lemon)
1/2 tbsp. curry powder
THAT’S IT!! Just mix and serve!
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp Herbes De Provence (or Italian seasoning)
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
squirt or 2 Sriracha (or any hot sauce), to taste
-Sautee garlic in a sauce pan with a tiny bit of water, until browned.
-Add in the remaining ingredients
-Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often
-Let simmer for a few minutes to allow the mixture to thicken (you’ll know when to stop cooking when the mixture has reached a consistency that sticks to the spoon)
(Check out my super kick-ass shirt! I’m so stylin’ when I’m cooking! )
That’s it!!! This is so easy to make and so yummy! Just serve the dips in cute little bowls and go to town! I make it to snack on during movies, football games, or as a dinner itself. It’s always fun!
Check out this craziness below, that I feasted on one Girls Night not that long ago!
NOM! NOM! NOM!
Can’t go wrong with finger foods and great friends! Enjoy your evening!!! Hopefully you’re grubbing down on this deliciousness!
I figured it was about time for another recipe… Its been a few weeks since the last one. With all the catch-up posts I need to do: Colorado, working out, growing my own wheat grass, even Remie’s Wedding back in July! I really wish I had more time! But, you do what you can and enjoy as you go!
So the dish we are making is very refreshing and light! I’ll give you a super quick back story on where this sweet little dish came from. My older brother Daniel’s girlfriend Paula, is/was in school to become a nutritionist (WooHoo! Go Paula!!). For one of her classes the students were required to make dishes, each week focusing on a different theme (this meat, that grain, that type of dish, this type of sauce, etc.). I want to say that this dish came from the best themed week there could be! Vegetarian Week!
Paula sent me every recipe that came from that class, and out of the few I tried, this one was especially amazing!! I wanted to share with all of you here, as I don’t think anyone will mind (or even know, hehe!). Thank you, Paula!
So here it is! Brown Rice, Tomato and Basil Salad
2 cups water
1 cup long-grain basmati brown rice
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 vine tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Whisk vinegar and sugar in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour over rice.
*Note: I tried this dish with normal brown rice and it wasn’t so great. The Basmati rice seems to hold a bit more stiffness to the cooked grain and not wind up as mushy as the brown rice turned out. Maybe if you attempted, you’d have better luck, but from my experience, the basmati is a must. Find it in the bulk section at your local Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
Here are some super sweet action shots! (Not really, but they’re fun anyway!!)
Chop! Chop! chop! Wisk! Wisk! Wisk!
NOM! NOM! NOM!
I’m such a nerd!
I really hope you enjoy this super magnifico dish! I’ve made it several times for get togethers and everyone that tried was a fan! The basil and white wine vinegar are the flavors that stand out in
this dish, and they are oh-so-perfect together! Enjoy!
Happy Day, Everyone!!! Smooches! Snuggles!! And Love Bubbles!!!
Remember how I told you I stumbled across a dish in the grocery store that looked so amazing but wasn’t vegan friendly in the slightest (Bacon Bits Galore, bleh!)? WELL, here is my version of the dish that I created that turned out better than I could have hoped for! Its so simple and very delicious!
Here is the Broccoli Crunch recipe, as promised!
1/2 bunch of broccoli, chopped in bite-sized bits (I prefer teeny tiny bits!)
1 handful of nuts of your choice (sunflower or walnuts <—My Fav!)
1 handful of raisins
2 globs of vegan mayo (to taste! and by glob, I mean hefty spoon full, lol)
Many squirts of Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, (I‘d say 4 Tbsps. but taste as you go!)
1/2 white onion, chopped in tiny pieces
A pinch of Sea Salt
Ok! I know this ingredient list and the proportion instructions is quite vague, BUT its really one of those dishes where you add the ingredients in to the amount to which you prefer! Like I’m a HUGE fan of having raisins in this dish so I kept finding myself adding more and more! Also, the walnuts I used added a satisfying crunch that I couldn’t get enough of so I kept breaking up more walnuts and tossing the pieces in! This whole dish is based off of your taste and texture preference, but honestly, the more the merrier in this situation! It all tastes so good together!
I thought you might like a picture of what I used for my dressing so here is a picture. I added a bit of salt to balance out the sweet and it worked out perfectly!
With the ingredient list all you need to do is chop chop chop the broccoli and onions, crunch crunch crunch up the walnuts, and toss everything in a big bowl.
After that, glob and squirt in the dressing and mayo and stir stir stir until everything is well mixed and coated!
AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GET!!
I know you can’t SEE how wonderful this truly is in real life, but WOW, I promise, it wont disappoint! ::I’d totally be drooling on myself if I opened my mouth right now::
I chowed down on this for dinner that night, lunch the next day, and then dinner again that night. I know, over kill, right?! But no!!! This stuff is SO GOOD! I couldn’t get tired of it. The crunch, the sweetness, and the fact that I getting my broccoli fill was all I needed to hunker down and zone in to my food for a moment of extreme joy and appreciation! LOL, seriously! It’s satisfying! If you give this one a whirl, leave me a comment and let me know how you like it!
So, question of the day! Is there a household recipe that was inspired by something you saw somewhere and then went home and recreated ?!
Every year New Orleans holds a charity fund raiser called the Red Dress Run where thousands of men and women get together and dress up in red dresses (yes, the men TOO!) and walk/jog through the streets of the French Quarter from bar to bar drinking beer and having a great time. All of the proceeds are divided between several charities so everything is for a good cause. I think I heard someone mention that last year they raised 94k! Go them! You spend between $40-$60 to get in which includes 2 meal tickets to the food bar, endless beer, and a back pack for the first several hundred people to sign up. As if beer, food, and live music weren’t enough, you also get a map to the many participating bars that also give you access to endless beer included in the ticket charge. WONDERFUL, eh?! Yea, I thought so. This will be the second year in a row that I’ve gone and it seems to be catching on as an annual birthday tradition for me as it always falls on the Saturday after my birthday each year. How perfect!? My birthday seems to stretch out each year, turning into more of a birth-month celebration! Yea, I’m not complaining.
I went with Daniel and before we made it to the even we stopped and grubbed down on the only thing we could find at the gas station close to some sort of meal… Nachos!! Lol! Blah, not the best way to start the morning, but it was better than nothing! When we arrived in the Square where every thing was going on we checked in, got pinned on out numbers, and went straight for the beer! We know how to party! We learned from last years experience to keep stacking the cups to keep track of how many beers in we had already had, as last year… um, yea, we had no clue!!
We ran into a few interesting characters while at the park. But honestly that’s not uncommon in New Orleans on a regular day. People love the culture and to show off and party! Gotta Love the City!
We bumped into a few buddies along the way. We had so much fun! We went from rockin’ out to the band on stage, to doing line dances in the middle of the square with hundreds of other Red Dress Runners, to watching 2 really cute and incredible fit guys booty dance it up on stage like, um, strippers… lol!, to bar hopping with buddies down random French Quarter streets, and then ending back in the square to grub down, all while drinking many many glasses of endless Abita Beer! Whoop Whoop! Great time!
(I know, I know, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but was amazing after 5 beers and having to make do with what cha got as a veggie girl! I scarfed it down!) I piled on coleslaw and beans on a hamburger bun and had a salad on the side! Hahahaha! It tasted like $50 when you’re drunk and hungry!
Somewhere along the way, very far into my drunken stupor, I got the idea in my head that I NEEDED to find a hula hoop ASAP and I wasn’t going to stop until I found one. LIKE IT WAS A MUST, and I wasn’t going to stop walking in drunken laps around the park until I HAD one! When we first arrived there were many many kiddy hoops all over the place but they got scooped up pretty quickly. Well, when I‘ve had a few drinks in me I’m always in the groove to hoop it up! That first hilarious photo is if my drunken, frustrated face as after much searching I still hadn’t found one… UNTIL BAM!! Out of nowhere, I catch a glimpse and ITS ON! Lol! I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t do all the cool tricks I’ve learned because this was a cheap little tiny hoop, but I was super happy and enjoying myself immensely!
I think we finally hit the road around 4pm. BUT we had been there since like, 10am I want to say. Yea, that’s plenty plenty hours or drinking, walking, dancing, and goofing off. Not to mention we had a plane to catch the very next day at 7:30am! Yea, I know, we tried to keep the drinking to a minimum, as being hung over on a plane to Colorado didn’t sound very fun to either of us. We were good though!
I had a really great time with some really great people! The only thing that could have made it better was having my Remie-Girl there with like she was last time! Next Year!! (Heard that Remie?! You better be there! )
I stopped at my local Fresh Market and picked up an organic cucumber, some bruschetta and hummus from the deli section, and a few stuffed grape leaves from the olive bar. Less than $10 and I have left overs for tomorrow’s lunch! Yum!
My pups are huge fans of cucumbers, by the way. That’s Molly under my chair and Buttons standing on her hind legs trying to reach me up on my chair. Adorable! I love my girls!
Tell me this doesn’t completely set your salivary glands on overdrive!!! Bet ya cant! This dish is SO delicious! General Tso’s Tofu has been a favorite dish of mine for a few years now and the spicy flavors, the sauce drenched broccoli, and fried tofu chunks get my mouthwatering big time!! Ding! Pavlov’s Dogs Style! Mega Yum!
Let me fill you in with a little back story on my survival strategy as a brand new vegetarian back in the day (3 years, 6 months, 11 days, 21 hours and still going strong! WooHoo!) Eat More…
Yup! Not the healthiest way to go, but it worked for me. When I first stumbled into my animal free lifestyle, I had no other choice but to cut out animal protein cold-turkey and become an over night tofu-ivore! I was terrified of tofu as every time I had ever tried it before it wasn’t the best experience. “Ew, a spongy, tasteless, mushy block… that I was suppose to eat…?! Bleh, no thanks!” BUT I was lucky enough to discover a China Star restaurant right across the street from my neighborhood that knew how to prepare tofu really well, and with a $4.25 combo dish, they couldn’t stop me (or I guess it was me who couldn’t stop me!)! It was General Tso’s Tofu, Sweet and Sour Tofu, Hot and Spicy Tofu, Tofu and Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, Tofu Buddhist Delight! Anything I used to order that had meat in it I’d just sub out for the tofu and go to town. Surprisingly enough the tofu flavor and texture was satisfy and a great substitute! I’m not saying that it tasted anything like chicken or beef, but it was so good on its own for what it was, and I loved it! And craved it! And it saved me in the beginning by helping me transition from being a full on 3-animal-protein-meals-a-day omnivore, to cutting out chicken, beef, pork, and turkey completely. BAM! Never again!
I was probably ordering Chinese food every other week, or maybe even once a week for while there, but it was because I had no idea what I was doing as a new veg-head and with no veggie friendly friends to turn to, Chinese food did the trick. It worked for me. I subbed out the white rice for the brown and called it a day. Those Chinese food days are long gone for me and are but a distant memory as I moved back home, became obsessed with learning about my body and a healthier lifestyle, and said “Sayonara college take-out days!”
But, its still nice to splurge every once and again!
So, in honor of my Chinese food love affair I made homemade General Tso’s Tofu/Mock Chicken! And of course, I thought I’d share!
Here goes! You will need:
1 box extra firm tofu OR 1 bag Morning Star Chicken’ Strips
1 eggs worth of Egg Replacer
5 tablespoons water
1 cup cornstarch
olive oil for frying
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/3 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon white vinegar
red pepper, to taste
1 bunch steamed broccoli
1. Mix 1 eggs worth of the egg replacer with 3 tablespoons water and whisk. Dip, roll, and coat the tofu or Mock Chicken’ strips in the egg replacer mixture. Remove from the bowl and roll the “egg” soaked chunks into a plate of cornstarch and make sure to coat completely. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in pan and fry tofu and/or mock chicken’ pieces until golden and slightly crispy. Get rid of the used oil. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add chopped green onions, minced ginger, and minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add vegetable stock, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper.
We served ours over brown rice and ate it with chop sticks and Abita beer!
YumYumYum! We had so much left over I made Daniel take the entire thing home so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat any more!!
TRY THIS RECIPE OUT! You will LOVE it!!! Its easy easy to make and so satisfying!! Even meat eaters will dig this one, BIG TIME! ENJOY!! Let me know how it goes of you test this one out!!
Have a lovely day!