Category Archives: Food

Black Bean Protein Brownies

This is a John-Approved desert that you can feel good about as you get 8g of protein per serving and far less sugar than any other brownie with only 8g. And these aren’t tiny servings; I calculated nutrition based on 9 brownies per 8×8 pan.

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used a single serving packet of Jay Robb)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder for baking
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • optional cacao nibs and cinnamon to sprinkle on top

In a food processor or blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake 18-20 minutes at 350.

I ❤ that the recipe uses stevia in combination with 2 natural sweeteners that actually have some nutritional value. These brownies are of the cakey variety and super delicious.

You are welcome. 🙂

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Nutrition calculated with My Fitness Pal.

skinnystrong

 

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Another round of #TransformationTuesday made me curious to go back and compare some of my own pictures. The photo on the left is from the summer of 2012 when I ventured down to Hawaii. I really like this picture of me! That is one of my favorite shirts, and I was having a great hair day! 🙂 The picture on the right is from the summer of 2014, and I love this picture, too!

The difference between the two?

I started lifting weights and completely overhauled my diet. I quit buying pre-packaged frozen lunches. I went mostly vegetarian, and I discovered that protein powder after you workout actually does work in building muscle. The difference in the 2 pictures is a whole 5lbs, but the definition is TREMENDOUSLY DIFFERENT! I have always been skinny, but I’ve never been strong.

skinnystrong looks and feels much different than skinny.

Healthy Chicken Curry Masala

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  • Organic, air chilled, chicken with noses
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Shallot, minced
  • 1-2 spoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp corn starch
  • Chicken curry masala seasoning
  • Light beer
  • Olive oil
  • 1 packet stevia

In salted and masala seasoned water, boil one chicken breast. Cube for quicker cooking. Shred and set aside.

In a skillet, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil until golden. Add 1/2 bottle of light beer (Shiner Light Blonde) to deglaze. Add flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, and masala sauce to taste. Stir. Mix in shredded chicken and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Add 1/2 packet of stevia at the end. (Stevia gives it the hint of sweetness found in many curries without the coconut milk.)

Serve over quinoa.

Fried Egg English Muffin – Recipe

No picture… It was too delicious, and it was gone before I thought to grab my camera.

  • 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Fat Free Refried Black Beans (with Roasted Red Jalapeno Peppers)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 pastured egg, fried until the yolk is solid
  • a smidge of Weight Watchers Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
  • Salsa

On a toasted English muffin, spread warmed refried beans. Tops with the fried egg, sprinkles of cheese, and plenty of salsa (my new favorite is Native Texan Restaurant Style Medium).

So darn delicious!

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  • Clean Eating Challenge

    Well, this might suck.

    I haven’t posted a whole lot this summer as my schedule has been nothing short of irregular. I don’t mind that. During the school year, everything is pretty set in stone day after day. The randomness of summer is welcome. For the most part I’ve done a good job of keeping the ball rolling. I’ve worked out most days, though not following any sort of program, and I haven’t eaten TERRIBLY… I haven’t eaten amazingly either, but honestly I need some cheat time here and there keep me willing to eat exceptionally healthy the rest of the time. Ice cream and nachos are necessary from time to time. 🙂

    On Thursday I came home to find a package on my doorstep: PiYo!!! Last week I ordered PiYo, a new Beachbody program that is a mix of pilates and yoga. This program might as well have been made specifically for me. 🙂 I am doing a few of the workouts this weekend just as a sampling, but I start the program for real on Monday. I anticipate a new blog series coming on…

    PiYo comes with a basic nutrition guide much like P90X3, but as I’m about to jump back into the school routine, I figure now might be a good time to start something new.

    THE CHALLENGE: food prep for the upcoming week eating (as) clean (as possible), mostly whole, doing my best to remove processed, prepackaged food

    Now, I do a lot of this anyhow, but I’m also a convenience and stress/boredom eater. My goal is to keep the right stuff available in the right servings so as to end the habit of grabbing the wrong thing.

    Enter today’s HEB trip:

    heb receipt

    First of all, let’s look at the bottom line. $81.65. That might sound like a lot for one person. $36.99 + $2.49 of that is Jay Robb Protein Powder. This will last me quite a while and is vital for someone who doesn’t eat meat regularly. I opted for whey protein this time because I’m a cheapskate and it $2 cheaper, but more frequently I buy the egg white protein. So let’s subtract that leaving the total at $42.17. That’s better.

    Then let’s look a little closer…$4.85 for bulk chestnuts????? Let me call bullshit on that! The woman at HEB scanned my kale tag that I printed (98¢ for a bunch), but the barcode tag wouldn’t read it so she punched it in manually… $4.85 for bulk chestnuts??? Gosh darn it! That is the last time I ever assume anyone knows how to do their job. She managed to catch that she had charged me double for garlic and corrected that, but she didn’t notice that the enormous, overflowing bag of kale didn’t feel like chestnuts nor should it ring up for almost $5!!! Whatever. I’m a wildly rich teacher.

    Subtract the chestnut…. *sigh*…. and we come to $37.32 a TON of food. Some of it is organic, some of it is not. All of it is ridiculously nutrient rich and low calorie. There’s enough fiber in there to keep me polyp free and in the bathroom plenty. 🙂 But more importantly, all of that is about to go into tiny tupperware containers that can measure appropriate portions and grabbed with no effort or mixed with another container more a recipe.

    We’ll start seeing on Monday how the PiYo goes, and my intestines will let me know about the new food challenge very soon. 🙂

     

    Breakfast Quinoa: Round 2! FIGHT!

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    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • couple of drops of vanilla
    • dash of nutmeg
    • 3 TBSP vanilla almond milk
    • twirl of honey
    • quartered strawberries
    • blueberries

    Over medium heat, bring the quinoa, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to a simmer. Stir periodically. Once rings start to pop, remove from heat and stir in almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, and honey to taste.

    This version of breakfast quinoa was HEAD OVER HEELS BETTER than attempt #1. Delicious and crazy healthy!

    Summer Goals

    ☐Run at least 3 times a week (heat permitting)

    ☐Splits on both legs

    ☐Pigeon Pose every day

    ☐Single shoulder stretches every day

    ☐2 consecutive pull ups

    ☐4-pack abs 🙂

    ☐Handstands without the wall

    ☐Cut out added sugar entirely

     

    Baked Eggs & Asparagus

     

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    • 10-15 asparagus spears
    • spinach
    • cherry tomatoes
    • clove of garlic
    • salt
    • pepper
    • garlic powder
    • 1 large egg (preferably pastured)
    • Optional parmesan

    Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a ramekin. Julienne cut spinach to your liking. Quarter 3 cherry tomatoes. Dice 1/2 clove garlic. Put spinach, tomatoes, garlic, salt to taste, and pepper in the ramekin. Break one large egg over contents of ramekin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until whites set.

    Meanwhile, in a skillet drizzle olive oil over asparagus. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir until all asparagus are lightly coated. Cover and cook over medium heat until asparagus turn bright green. Stir, then recover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is cooked to your textural liking.

    Serve with egg on top. Yolk should be thick but runny. A sprinkle of grated parmesan on top adds to the deliciousness.

    Breakfast Quinoa: Take 1

    HEB has stopped carrying all of my favorite super healthy oatmeals… Which tells you exactly what the people of this area are NOT buying. 😦 So I’ve decided to experiment with breakfast quinoa! Quinoa has far more protein than oatmeal (with protein consumption being a problem for me), higher fiber content, and is a source of complete protein – meaning quinoa has every amino acid your body needs to work.

    BREAKFAST QUINOA EXPERIMENT RECIPE ONE:

    • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
    • 1/4 water + 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
    • couple of drops of vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp cocoa powder
    • sprinkle of cacoa nibs
    • small swirl of agave syrup
    • dash of cinnamon

    Well, guess what happens when you try to cook almond milk on the stove… It gets super duper foamy and expands beyond the limits of traditional physics. Seriously, almond milk could be used to demonstrate how a very small amount of concentrated matter can expand almost infinitely to create the universe as we know it. It was crazy.

    I let the quinoa cook down for a few minutes while trying to keep the foam at bay, and then I added enough water to just cover the quinoa and a few drops of vanilla. After about 10ish minutes, or until the quinoa rings started popping, I turned the heat off and added a drizzle of almond milk back to the pot. The quinoa continues to absorb liquids, so I let it soak in the vanilla goodness. Meanwhile, I added in the cocoa powder, cacoa nibs, cinnamon, and the agave. A little stir and it was time for breakfast.

    It was pretty dang good! 🙂 Actually, it was really enjoyable. It definitely has the texture of quinoa, which might be a turn off to some, but the flavor was nice. I can see this being a good base for a number of varieties of quinoa “oatmeal”.

    Edit for next time: try soy milk or coconut milk… must find something that doesn’t foam as much. Or perhaps, cook in water and add almond milk only at the end.

    Day 75 & the Dietary Week from Hell

    block375Oh my… This week has been a dietary nightmare. This was our last week of school (heavens open, angels sing) and with that comes a plethora of baked treats and excuses to eat out. The idea of packing a lunch for the 176-180th time had zero interest for me, and my rebellion led to some tasty, very much non-vegetarian outings this week. While most of the cookies/brownies/etc found their way into the hands of others or the I-Can’t-Eat-Another-Cookie receptacle, I am reaping the consequences in this sluggish state in which I find myself. I was super good this week and did every workout on the specified day! What a novel idea! 🙂

    Wednesday I rocked the Challenge. Last time I did it, my numbers were completely unrealistic choices. This week I was far more conservative, and it paid off as I was able to do do every push up and every pull using correct form, unlike last time in which I ended up on my knees. 😦 After the Challenge, I went out with my dude on one of our “ironic” dates… Those are a whole other story. 🙂

    Thursday, I came home and went all out on my X3 Yoga. I pushed every move to the limit, and the result is a sore butt. 🙂 Woohoo! After feeling like a badass, I went out for a friend’s birthday dinner and had the most delicious martini.

    Today was Triometrics. Perhaps not my best performance.  I got home late last night, plus the last day of school is always an energy drain. I took a quick power nap and then made my way through the workout with a few more pauses than usual. I will, however, give myself props for doing a couple of the moves plyo for the first time! Yes, I’m on Day 75, and there are still moves in which I having “firsts” in terms of success of completion. I was going to double up and do a second workout today to balance out some of the calorie excess of the week, but as I drank my protein shake outside, it was just so darn pleasant! I instead opted to mow to avoid wasting my first weekend of the summer on yard maintenance. 🙂

    All of that being said, it IS the last day of school, and that in and of itself warranted a tasty beverage, this time a Lime Cactus Michelob Ultra – only 90 calories of awesomeness. 😀

    GOAL FOR TOMORROW: Stop eating like a moron.