Category Archives: Vegetarian
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.
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
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!
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:
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. 🙂
- 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
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!
- 10-15 asparagus spears
- cherry tomatoes
- clove of garlic
- 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.
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.
I always find that I’m somehow shocked by just how busy the end of the school year is. My afternoons and evenings seem crowded with and endless array of small things but things that eat away at my precious “free time”. These last two weeks I’ve found it impossible to blog… or want to… about my quest for a 4 pack 🙂 even thought I’ve done a good job of staying committed.
Monday – I managed to blog about my evening of Eccentric Upper.
Tuesday – Heck, I even managed to blog about Triometrics and my attempts at following the nutrition guide.
…and then the rest of the week kicked in…
Wednesday – I cranked out my yoga and then went on a lovely (needed) date with my dude. Yoga went really well actually… not that it usually doesn’t. I decided before I even started though that I was going to go hardcore. I held each posture as deeply as possible, and my little legs were exhausted by the end of my half hour.
Thursday – Eccentric lower followed by a birthday dinner for one of our band director friends. I have some dumbbells with removable weights that I bought about a billion years ago, and I finally decided to use them. John has used them, but I’ve focused on my 5s and 8s up until now. I made them 15lbs each and used those for the squats and lunges. It definitely made a difference as my butt and hamstrings were nice and sore the next day. I also got my new glasses. Yay for good vision or something, but hooray for new fancy frames!!!
Friday – I really enjoy Incinerator. Since getting better at push ups (read do them the right way), I like the challenge of having a set timeframe to do as many as possible. That being said, I need to either do more reps or suck it up and get the heavier weights because I feel like any workout called “the incinerator” should leave my arms incapable of virtually anything afterward. It’s still great!
Saturday – My only workout was mowing. I did have some delicious tequila based wonderment at Tacos and Tequila for an early Mother’s Day with my parents and dude.
Sunday – John did a round of MMX with me Sunday afternoon. It never fails to amaze me just how much I can sweat during MMX, especially since I’m not a big sweater. Despite hating the sprawls and renaming all of the sprawl moves to “Sprawls Suck #1”, “I hate F’ing Sprawls #2”, and “Sprawls are a g** d*** piece of s*** #3”, I did ALL of the sprawls this go round. 🙂 🙂 🙂
On a completely different note, following the nutrition guide is not easy or convenient. While I know I do a good job of eating well and eating balanced 95% of the time, following a nutrition guide that really expects you to eat WHOLE foods is difficult for the busy bee I am. Admittedly… I didn’t even make it a week before deciding that as long as I watch what I put into my body I don’t need the nutrition guide. It’s probably WILDLY helpful for folks that aren’t sure how to regulate their intake but is far more micromanaging that I feel I need to commit.
Tonight for dinner
- roasted sweet potato spears, no oil, just cinnamon
- roasted okra, 1 drizzle of oil for 20 pieces, salt, pepper, garlic powder
- 1 Quorn “unit” as my dude would say, AKA a Quorn chick’n patty with Stubbs BBQ sauce
To all the critics out there:
Not only do I eat, but I eat extremely healthy 95% of the time. The interesting thing about eating healthy is that it doesn’t generally add to your food stores AKA fat.
About 2 years ago, I started eating mostly vegetarian after watching a string of horrific food documentaries. Yes, Shanna (my semantic-crazed sister), mostly vegetarian. I eat fish regularly, and very occasionally I eat other meats. My diet is primarily vegetarian. And while I’ve cut out milk, I still do eat cheese and yogurt.
A lot of calorie excess goes away when you cut out meats. Some of that comes from the type of preparation and the sauces; some of that comes from the kinds of food you are cutting out. Despite that, I keep track of what I’m eating throughout the day. In the past I’ve used Lose It!, but I recently switched to MyFitnessPal as it has a better database for restaurant and supermarket foods. I don’t use these apps necessarily for the calorie counting but more for the accountability that comes from having to log a candy bar.
Along with the workout program, the P90X line of products comes with a nutrition guide that helps you know what to eat and how much. You answer a series of questions about your size, your daily lifestyle/energy expenditure, etc, and then it gives you a calorie level to aim for. As a woman of 130lbs or less, with a moderate activity level outside of working out, and wanting to maintain my current weight, I am allotted 1800 calories a day. Knowing that the average daily calorie consumption is estimated at 2000 calories/day and knowing that I am a fairly small girl with a slight frame to begin with, 1800 calories/day is a fair frame within to work.
The nutrition guide further tells you how many servings of protein, carbs, and fats you should have per meal or per snack. Throughout the course of the day, 50% of my calories should be healthy carbs (veggies, fruits, healthy grains), 25% proteins (for me through eggs, egg-white based protein powder, nuts, yogurt, etc), and 25% healthy fats (nuts, avocados, coconut and olive oils). Although I don’t follow the exact spreading out of each of theses servings like the guide suggests, my daily intake hits this almost exactly based on the diet analysis of MyFitnessPal… another reason I log everything I’m eating.
Here’s an example of my daily log:
This is from today. I haven’t logged dinner yet as John is making fish tacos right now, but this gives you an idea. Based on the percentages from above, each day I am aiming for 225g of healthy carbs, 40g healthy fats, and 135g of protein. I probably won’t make it to my protein goal today, though I’m usually pretty good about meeting that on a normal school day. I’m already 3g of fat over, and my sugar intake was crazy high because of the maple syrup from breakfast. Plus, there was that bloody mary… 🙂
A normal day looks more like this:
The numbers at the bottom are off as I had accidentally given MyFitnessPal the ability to determine my numbers, and it changed all my settings. This was pre-sushi dinner with John, so my protein numbers would have gone up dramatically, as would the calorie count. 🙂 My vegetable intake wasn’t as high as it usually is due to sushi time.
I’m not a numbers nazi, but I also think there is nothing wrong with knowing exactly what is going in. I definitely haven’t always held myself accountable to what I choose to eat, and there are still moments when we, say, visit In and Out Burger at 11:30pm. I have eaten an entire bag of cheese puffs in one sitting by myself. I can for certain do the same thing with a huge bag of Funions, and in a moment of extreme stress eating, I have allowed myself to consume a case of Butterfingers over the course of about a month… yes, a case… but we were getting ready to take the band to Seattle, and Jenna was pregnant… Let’s call it sympathy eating. 🙂 But now that I know what it feels like to eat healthy and in the right configurations, I feel gross and sluggish when I eat poorly.
When I graduated college I was 20lbs heavier. I lost a lot of that when I started cooking at home. My current weight has remained steady for about a year and a half which, yes Mom, is heavier than I was in high school. Interestingly, in the last year, my weight has remained the same yet I have gotten smaller and dropped a pant size… Science and nutrition tells us that I have converted fat to muscle. 🙂 Woohoo!
So, yes Mom, I eat. 🙂 You can cross that particular item off your list and worry about me for so many other reasons. 🙂
STUFFED PEPPERS WITH QUINOA, TOMATO, & BLACK BEANS
- 2 bell peppers
- 1/8 cup quinoa
- 4-6 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 can drained black beans
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 spoonfuls Native Texan Restaurant Style salsa
- 1/8 cup Weight Watchers low fat mozzarella cheese
- garlic powder
Prepare the grill.
Cut the tops off 2 deep red bell peppers and clean out the innards. Grill over direct heat until skin softens and chars a bit.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, just cover quinoa with water. Add shallot and SPG. Cover, stirring periodically until rings pop. Mix in tomatoes then cover until tomatoes start to juice. Add black beans and salsa. Stir. Cook until beans are warm. Remove from heat and mix in cheese. Set aside.
Once peppers are blackened, spoon in quinoa mixture. Return to grill over indirect heat for 10-15 more minutes, or until pepper has completely softened.
Serve with tasty beer like Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus. 🙂
- Pillsbury Whole Wheat Artisan pizza crust
- flax seed
- whole wheat flour, for dusting
- peanut sauce
- medium tofu
- 2 TBSP sesame oil
- salt & pepper
- crown of broccoli florets, steamed
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- Weight Watchers Shreaded Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 400*. Dust cookie sheet with whole wheat flour. Spread pizza crust on cookie sheet. Sprinkle flax seed on crust. Bake for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, steam broccoli florets and slice bell pepper. Cube two 1/4″ slices of tofu. In a skillet over medium heat, toss sesame oil, cubed tofu, salt, and pepper. Stir periodically until brown.
Remove pizza crust from oven. Lightly spread peanut sauce over interior of the crust. Evenly spread the tofu cubes, bell pepper strips, and broccoli florets. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over pizza. Bake for 10 minutes longer or until crust and broccoli brown.