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No Dinner WIAW

Today is the first WIAW(T) in which I do not document a workout…. which is because I didn’t do a workout yesterday. My schedule is such that I’m going to bed in the wee hours of the morning lately, and I’ve made the executive decision that sleep is more important than working out right now.

I don’t love it, but it is what it is.

What I do love?

This breakfast:

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I’m so Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point right now.

I am seriously obsessed with these raw oats yogurt bowls right now. Obsessed.

Into the mix went:

  • 1 vanilla Activia yogurt
  • ~ 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • blackberries
  • a sprinkle of glazed walnuts (makes the bowl)

I also enjoyed my random, piecemeal lunch, which was a Green Giants veggie & black bean mix (I think it’s called Healthy Weight?) + a toasted English muffin with a slice of cheddar cheese split across the two halves.

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Random but totally effective.

My sweet tooth kicked in and I treated it with two clementines for lunch dessert:

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Snack came a few hours later and was in the form of bunch of Wheat Thins + a string cheese.

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I’m on a major string cheese kick lately.

It was a good thing I had that snack, as I didn’t end up having dinner.  Instead, I had drinks.

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I know, healthy of me. I got the above cherry cocktail (which is alongside a drink that wasn’t mine but also begged to be photographed, which was a blueberry & blackberry cocktail).

I also had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I also took a few bites of the artichoke and potatoes that some of the others at my table ordered.

But, really, I’m sorry for being a bad HLB and not eating dinner last night. Still, I’d rather tell you the truth.

I’d like to make it up to you. Does showing you a picture of my amahhhhzing (said a la my doppelganger, Penny from “Happy Endings”) lunch today help?

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What about two pictures, with the second one all mixed up?

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(That’s tuna, by the way, not chicken).

It makes me feel better, anyway.

… so did eating it.

What are you eating today?

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WIAW: January 24 (Because it’s about Tuesday…)

I’m going to make this one quick… today is a little overwhelming at work!

I started yesterday off with a quick workout at the gym — just about 25 minutes of biking (all my knee can really handle at the moment) to get my metabolism started for the day.

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Breakfast: not-at-all overnight oats, which really is just more like… raw oats and vanilla yogurt with a whole banana, sliced. I have it all the time. I’m obsessed with it.

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Plus, all of the ingredients are free at the office, which is awesome.

Lunch: The Super Spinach Salad from Trader Joe’s, which I love. However, I replaced the dressing that comes with it with leftover balsamic vinaigrette from the salad I’d had from the day before because I am completely obsessed with that dressing.

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Snack #1: Cheese Stick. I am so into these lately.

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Snack #2: Cocoa Roast Almonds.

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Have you tried these yet? If not, don’t walk, but RUN to the nearest grocery store. These things are the bomb!!!

Yes, the bomb. You like it.

I also may or may not have nibbled on an amazing cookie — double chocolate pecan — made by a co-worker.

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Totally worth the calories. And the stomach-ache. Whatever. It was so good.

For dinner, I went out with a friend of mine to  Lala’s, which is an Argentinian restaurant and one of my all-time faves out here.

I started off with a slice of bread.

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I also split a small pitcher of Sangria with Tyler (the friend I went to dinner with, of course), which somehow went unpictured. I was probably too busy drinking it. The sangria, not Tyler.

Awkward.

Dinner was the Vegetable Plate, which is a skewer of grilled veggies. It comes with mashed potatoes, rice and salad,  but I figure mashed potatoes offer enough starch and I just get double salad.

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Works like a charm. Happy belly.

What are you eating today?

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Strawberry Coconut Muffins

Remember how I said the other day, when I posted those Banana Walnut Muffins, how I made two different kinds of muffins?

Well, I wasn’t kidding! I did! And actually, I liked these a lot better (though I will say that banana walnut just isn’t my favorite flavor). And thankfully, because they came from the same base as the Banana Walnut Muffins, they are similarly low in fat and fluffy and light.

These were Strawberry Coconut Muffins and I thought they were just lovely. This is a recipe I never would have come up with on my own.  I came up with it because I was baking for a friend of mine and, while she doesn’t love sweet foods, she does love both strawberries and coconut.

(Look at all those strawberries! Yum.)

And thus, these muffins were born.

Strawberry Coconut Muffins

makes one dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Greek-style)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).

In a separate bowl, blend sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla yogurt, almond milk, vanilla extract and coconut extract. Combine with dry mix.

Use a spoon to mix in strawberries and coconut

Fill cups in muffin tin about 3/4 full with batter.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.


And, as with the other muffins, these are best served cut in half, toasted, and slathered with a little Earth Balance or butter.

 

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Vegan: Two Days In

 

I thought I might give you a look at what my first two days of trying out a vegan lifestyle have looked like. I’m still loving it, of course. Yay!

I’ve cheated once, and it was ENTIRELY by accident. I guess I shouldn’t call it “cheating,” but instead “messing up.” That was in my smoothie on Tuesday. I’ll explain in a minute.

Breakfast on Monday — my very first vegan meal (well, vegan on purpose, anyway!) — was a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter.

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I know, kind of lame. But I was in a rush and it was what I wanted, so… whatever. It worked.

It was not, however, enough food. I ended up being pretty hungry until lunch. Thankfully, the new kids at work had brought in a big fruit salad as a part of their hazing breakfast (which was pumpkin spice pancakes made to order — and I wasn’t even tempted! Be proud.), so I snacked on the fruit throughout the morning.

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I will definitely be having a banana with nut butter for breakfast again, I just think I might also add something else.

Lunch was — as it was every day last week and will be every day this week (because surgery has kept me from really cooking) — a frozen Amy’s meal. This one was the Thai Stir-Fry, which was quite good.

20111101-211618.jpgI snack on dried mango after lunch every day now. It’s the perfect sweet end to a meal (which I feel I need, personally).

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And for afternoon grazing, both days, I’ve just had small handfuls of dried edamame.

 

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I love this snack because it’s both tasty and filling. I don’t need much and it allows me to graze (a habit I need to break, but this is a good way to do it) without being unhealthy.

For dinner, I popped open these new (to me) Sunshine Burgers.

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My friend Becky introduced them to me because I’d told her on Sunday about my plans to be vegan but also about how I want to watch my soy intake. She’s allergic to soy, and she loves these, so she told me to try them out.

I did, alongside a cup of peas with a little Earth Balance and nutritional yeast.

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The burgers were really good, so I’m excited to have something new on my plate (literally and figuratively!).

I’m also, by the way, watching my sodium intake. After a couple of weeks of lots of frozen food, soup, and saltines, I think I definitely had way too much sodium in my diet. That’s why you just saw my peas topped with nutritional yeast instead of salt and pepper.

Dessert was a little serving (like, less than 1/8 cup) of some vegan & raw granola that Mark buys and I steal regularly (unpictured) and a cup of double dark chocolate tea (also Mark’s).

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On Tuesday, I knew I wanted a more filling breakfast than Monday’s, so I made myself a smoothie.

20111101-211635.jpgInto the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup (ish) frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Sooooo, here’s where I went wrong (and figured out much later): the protein powder, which I’d gotten from a bulk bin a while back (and thus had left unmarked), was WHEY! (AKA from milk). Ugh.

Oh, well. I didn’t mean to. I’ll just have to live and learn.

I also had a coffee (as I had the day before and forgot to mention) with coconut creamer, as suggested to me by Amanda (formerly of Two Boos Who Eat… RIP — to the blog, not to Amanda!! Thank God.)

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I’m a big fan of the creamer and am very happy that there exists a kind not made of soy. Again, I’m trying to watch my soy intake.

Lunch was another frozen Amy’s — a Teriyaki Bowl. This was new to me and it’s now one of my favorites.

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After a long day — actually, after a long MONTH — I was happy to come home and enjoy a glass of red wine with Mark.

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It was needed. Trust me.

I nursed that while I made my dinner, which was a vegan take on tacos.

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I had two corn tortillas, TJ’s Cuban black beans, and frozen peppers, onion and corn sauteed in EVOO. I didn’t add any salt or pepper or CHEESE (!) (that was tough). I think one thing that trying to be a vegan and watching my sodium intake will teach me, together, is that I need to learn to flavor my meals more with other herbs and spices.

So that’s my question of the day: What are your favorite flavorings/ herbs/ spices/ additions to meals to give them a bigger & better flavor profile?

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Honey Nut Cookies

So, here’s the thing: I have a sweet tooth. And fruit cuts it a lot of the time, but sometimes, I just want a cookie, or something. You know what I mean?


But I also really want to succeed in sticking to my plan at least most of the time (I have this mindset that 80/20 is a fair goal to aim for), so it’s not like I’m okay with getting off track on a regular basis.

This is why I came up with a recipe for protein-packed, filling and delicious cookie made without flour or regular sugar.

I also came up with this recipe because I was inspired by Honey Nut Cheerios, which I have been craving for over a week now. No big deal.

I also came up with this recipe because my friend Amanda now has to eat a grain-free diet and I want to have more recipes in my repertoire that I can make for her.

I also came up with this recipe because I’m awesome.

Oh, was I not supposed to say that?

Whoops.

Honey Nut Cookies

makes about 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 1/2 cup sucanat (brown sugar would probably work too)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond butter since it’s what we had, but I really wanted to use peanut butter)
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the oven has heated, toast chopped walnuts on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Sift together almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add honey, sucanat and butter. Use electric mixer to blend — and blend well!

Add nut butter, vanilla and egg and blend well again.

Stir in toasted walnuts.

Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough and place on greased baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will spread and brown slightly.

They will be chewy, soft and delightful! Enjoy.

So good. Make them. Your tastebuds will be happy and so will your waistline.

You’re welcome.

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The Weekend: Days 5 and 6 and the $100 WINNER!

First up: HAPPY OCTOBER! Also known as happy my second-favorite month of the year! (Second favorite only to December — clearly the best month of the year. Clearly.)

(Also, I can’t believe I haven’t introduced pumpkin into my diet yet. Who am I? What kind of healthy living blogger am I? Seriously.)

So, as you may remember, I spent my Friday evening with some of my cold and carbonated friends. As a result, I woke up late the next day, wasn’t particularly interested in food for most of the day, spent the majority of the day reading in my pajamas, didn’t work out, and wanted only one thing for breakfast: eggs and toast.

Fortunately, Mark had replenished the egg supply by the time I woke up.

I also stole two slices of his vegetable bread. Don’t tell him, ‘kay?

The breakfast I made is one I grew up with, which you may remember my mom making for me when I went home in August.

I didn’t eat again until about 3pm, when I decided to get off my butt for a little while and run a few errands. While I was out, I picked up some snacks, which became my lunch: a big thing of melon and some peanut butter pretzels. They were all that sounded good.

And they were. Ooooh so good.

I ate these snacks while finishing a book, which I’d borrowed from Amanda. The book is called Escape, by Carolyn Jessop.

(source)

It’s a memoir about how she lived in and then escaped from the FLDS cult. It was such an interesting read and I’m so glad Amanda recommended it, because I’m not sure it’s something I would have picked up on my own. I highly encourage all of you to give it a read! It teaches you a lot about a world that you almost definitely don’t know anything about. Or, at least, that’s what it did for me.

I actually wasn’t really hungry for the rest of the day — I know, so unlike me. However, when I baked protein cookies that night (the recipe for which is to come — and you’ll loooove them!), I had a couple of those as “dinner.”

Whatever. It worked. I’m not going to force myself to eat if I’m not hungry!

When I woke up this morning, I really felt like being back on track. After not working out for two days, I knew I wanted to get a workout in. So, I chowed down a protein bar…

… and hit the gym, yo!

I did 60 minutes on the PreCor. I did 30 minutes doing intervals and then 35 minutes doing a really intense climb. The first 30 minutes were a struggle, but I felt the endorphins kick in during the second half and I felt so good!

I wasn’t hungry for hours after that (seriously, what’s with me?), but eventually the hunger kicked in and I got a Thai Chopped Chicken Salad at Panera.

I ate the bread kind of without even thinking about it. Oh well. The salad was awesomesauce. It’s so spicy that it makes my nose run! Then again, I’m a total wimp. Seriously, it’s embarrassing.

Dinner that night was ol’ faithful and was that thing I was craving so badly on Friday night.

Yum, yum, yum.

I also had a Honey Nut cookie (those are the cookies I made on Saturday) for dessert. I’m a genius.

And last but certainly not least, I have the winner of the Dinner @ 6 $100 American Express Gift Card Giveaway! HOORAY!

The winner is… drumroll please…

Mac! Congratulations!

Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited when I realized it was someone who has been so supportive of KWH that ended up winning. Nice to come full circle like that.

Everyone have a nice weekend? Tell me the highlights, yo!

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Trois

I’m already getting tired of the listing of days as post titles for this two week-long food diary deal. I’ve already turned to my French language skills (“skills”). We’ll see whatI end up doing by day 14. I may revert to creating my own languages, or something.

I didn’t work out yesterday, which, believe it or not, was actually following my rules. I really managed to further aggravate my knee on either Monday or Tuesday (again, I’m guessing it was Monday), so I decided that yesterday needed to be a day off. It worked out nicely, too, because yesterday was an important career day for me and getting a full night of sleep before days like those is always a good idea.

Anyway, I was still up bright and early (you know, for that whole important career day thing) and started my day off with a healthy, colorful and well-rounded breakfast.

I know you can’t tell, but there is yogurt in that yogurt bowl .

Can you sort of see the yogurt there? No? Oh well. It’s there. I promise.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/2 cup 0% plain greek yogurt
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • ~1 tbs sunflower seed butter

(Have you noticed that yogurt bowls are back with a vengeance, by the way? Or maybe, since I stopped blogging about my every breakfast, you barely even noticed that I’d curbed their consumption for a while. Either way, they’re back! Hooray!)

It was good. Reaaaaal good. Sunflower seed butter is my new obsession. You know, in case you hadn’t noticed. It’s ridiculous how quickly I’m getting through the jar all on my own.

I also had a big ol’ coffee with vanilla almond milk in it.

I like soy milk best, fat-free half & half second-best, and vanilla almond milk third-best. The only thing I don’t particularly like is regular milk. I’m sure you guys were curious.

Lunch was leftovers of the previous night’s dinner: curry socca and thai stir-fried vegetables.

Again, I swear there’s socca underneath those vegetables. I tried to take a side shot to prove it to you, but I’m not sure it actually helps any.

See it? Down there on the bottom?

I was actually really nervous to eat this once I realized that I’d be microwaving it in the office kitchen, which is really just a part of the floor with not so many people. I was afraid I was going to be the girl with the stinky lunch and that this was how I’d be remembered. As it turned out, nobody noticed. And other people had aromatic, hot meals, too. Maybe I worry too much somtimes.

Snack was a serving of almonds. Always does the trick.

It’s funny, though. The job I usually have has me on my feet all day. I get hungry, sure, but I’m distracted, so I end up eating less (usually). At a desk job, though (like my previous jobs and in the one I’m covering for this week), I end up much “hungrier” — which I think I’m starting to realize is just boredom. I’m trying to keep that in check simply by being aware of it.

By the time I got home, however, I genuinely was incredibly hungry. I could not make my dinner quickly enough. Fortunately, I had a ready-in-a-jiffy (who says that?) meal planned: an omelet made with microwave veggies and shredded mozzarella! In no time at all, I went from this:

To this:

To this:

To this!

I absolutely devoured it. Oh, and I saved the burnt cheese parts for last. Doesn’t everyone?

Finally, for a little dessert a while later, I… well, I kind of cheated. I know I said I’d only have fruit and tea for dessert, but I was really low on my frozen cherries and they just seemed to be calling out to be paired with chocolate.

Soooooo this was my dessert:

I feel mostly okay about it. I did, however, end up with a little tummyache. Not sure if that’s from consuming chocolate or from the speed with which I wolfed down my dinner, though. 😉

Don’t forget to enter my $100 AmEx gift card giveaway! It all ends tomorrow at noon!

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