An Epic Day

1 04 2010

Lovies!

 Can you believe it’s already Thursday?  I know, right?.  So insane.

 Did anyone notice I forgot to give my post a title last night?  Oops.  :lol:  

Question for all my fellow bloggies out there:  Are you constantly worried your blog is too boring and you should spice it up because no one cares what you eat every day? 

I think this on a day-to-day basis and then realize, I LOVE seeing what other people are eating on a day-to-day basis.  So, I’m going to subject you to my food as well!  I guess you have to be a true foodie to understand the enjoyment it gives me to see one of you eat tofu, while the other is enjoying a burger made with grass-fed beef.  I find it so interesting and inspiring to try all of these new ideas I’m finding! 

 I am SO weird.  Let’s just move on.

 I had a great 4.52 mile run today and then hopped on the elliptical for 20 minutes more.  ‘Twas a sweaty mess at the end of it and enjoyed it very much.  I’m officially missing weight lifting and can’t wait to start again on Monday.  I feel lazy when I don’t lift, mainly because I don’t get that FANTASTIC sore feeling.  It’s making me bonkers!  Of course, next week, I’ll be so sore that I can’t even walk and will need Mr. KD’s assistance just to sit on the toilet :shock:  

Haha…just kidding but the thought of it made you giggle, didn’t it? 

Now let’s get to the good stuff….

 …specifically JUSTIN’S CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BUTTER.

I wrote to Justin’s a few weeks ago and explained that Justin’s is my favorite nut butter that I’ve tried (it’s true) and I have been DYING – and I mean dying – to try hazelnut butter.  Nutella is another of my trigger foods, but since the hazelnuts are so easily disguised with SUGAR, I wanted to find a healthier solution.  I inquired as to whether they would send me a sample for review and these sexy ladies arrived in the mail not long after.

Squeal!  SO EXCITED.

Look at the difference in the ingredients lists.  While Justin’s first ingredient is hazelnuts, Nutella’s is sugar.  This means Nutella has more sugar than anything else in

Justins:  Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

Nutella: Ingredients: sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Now, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t seen me eat Justin’s if it’s supposedly my favorite.  Two reasons: 1)  I just recently saw it showing up in my supermarket.  Justin’s is a small company located in Boulder, CO, so it took them a bit to get out to the East Coast (at a regular store and not a WF/TJ’s) and 2)  While Justin’s is all-natural, it is still sweetened, so it’s another “treat” nut butter in my eyes.  Right now, I’m trying out (and loving) my PB & Co White Chocolate Wonderful and Naturally Nutty Chocolate Butter Toffee.  They are similar to Justin’s in the fact that they are naturally sweetened and treat-like, so I don’t need a tub of Justin’s on top of that.  Don’t forget that I also always have a jar of plain almond butter and plain peanut butter on hand.  Know what I’m saying?  I’m trying to have Equal Opportunity Nut Butter Lovin’.  Thank you for understanding.

I knew the very first place I wanted to use the hazelnut butter was on my oats, so last night, I made a fantastic overnight oats version!

Epic Breakfast:

Chocolate Hazelnut Overnight Oats!

In the Mix:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ banana
  • ½ tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Cinnamon

 Toppings:

  • Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

 Before we even go there with the Justin’s, let me ask you this:  WHY haven’t I thought to add cocoa to my oats before today?!?  As you know, it obviously takes a lot of sugar mixed with the cocoa to really obtain that chocolate flavor we all know and love, but on its own, it provides a subtly bitter chocolate flavor that was just perfect for these oats.  Great with the cinnamon too!  Plus, we all know that cocoa is good for you, so this will definitely be a new member of my overnight oats family!

Back to the nut butter.  I heated my oats in the microwave for 45 seconds and mushed the nut butter around as is my routine with oats.  When I started eating them, I couldn’t taste it and was SO disappointed.

Then, I found the secret to eating hazelnut butter.  You need a lot in one place.  We’re all so used to peanut butter, which has a very strong flavor.  A little goes a long way with PB, ya know?  The hazelnut butter is a little different in the sense that it has a “softer” flavor and was easily getting masked by the chocolate oats.  When I finally hit the jackpot, my mouth, belly and mind knew: I was head-over-heels in love with hazelnut butter.

It is WAY more dessert like than peanut butter or almond butter.  The hazelnut flavor is extremely smooth and delicate.  It’s similar to Nutella, actually, but definitely less sweet.  Think: more hazelnut and less sugar.  I immediately envisioned melting it and putting it over vanilla ice cream.  Yeah, I went there. 

And, THEN I thought, “I wonder what this would be like melted over a pineapple Chobani.”  OBVIOUSLY, I am going to test out this little masterpiece, so stay tuned.

Way to go, Justin’s.  You continue to surprise with your delicious nut butters and I totally *heart* you.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Justin’s sent me the packets that contain 2 tablespoons, which is the actual serving size of a nut butter.  However, I generally only eat one tbsp at a time, so I split the container in half.  Watch out for that if you buy some on your own.  If you go to the Justin’s site, however, they do sell packs in half quantities for only 80 calories a piece if that’s more your speed.

Now that we’ve talked about how EXCELLENT it was, I know you’re dying to know a little more about hazelnuts.  Aren’t you? :smile:

As with everything I try to tell you guys about, hazelnuts are nutritional rock stars!!  They are loaded with poly- and monounsaturated fats (good for the heart), as well as an EXCELLENT source of Vitamin E (good for the formation of red blood cells).  They are also a good source of fiber and protein.  In addition to these traits (which are also common among walnuts), hazelnuts contain a high level of folate, which reduces risks associated with cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.  Folate is even known to fight depression.  Pretty interesting, huh?

Hazelnuts also contain phytochemicals (which were also HUGE benefits of the Amazing Grass products that I didn’t get into enough detail about), which are plant compounds that also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.  There are a variety phytochemicals, including proanthocyanidins (say that 3 times fast!) which may reduce the risks of blood clotting.  Of all the tree nuts, hazelnuts have the highest amount.

As with all nuts, the calories are dense, so a handful of nuts or a tbsp or two of the nut butter is all you need per day!!

I want to send out one last HUGE, “THANK YOU” to Justin’s for providing such an awesome product I can feel great about eating :smile:

Lunch was ANOTHER epic meal, which unfortunately, was not photographed properly.  I took along a serving of my curried chicken salad with a dollop of hummus with some fresh pineapple. 

Look at that Granny Smith in the corner!  Still crunchy and delish!

At work, I put together a salad MASTERPIECE that acted as the bed for my chicken salad. 

Epic Lunch:

The salad included:

  • Mixed greens
  • Red Grapes
  • ~ 1.5 tbsp feta
  • ~ 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • Red onions
  • Carrot shreds
  • Mushrooms
  • Green peppers 

I topped the salad with the combo of chicken salad and hummus and drizzled it all with balsamic vinegar.  Out.of.this.world.  So sorry I couldn’t take a pic for you.  It was heavenly.  I enjoyed the pineapple for dessert.

Epic Snack

Then, snack time rolled around and I thought I had used up my epic meals allotment for the day.  W-R-O-N-G.  I tried the first of the no-bake protein bars I made with Mr. KD.  If you remember from that day, we followed the original recipe except didn’t add any dried fruit.  Instead, we decided to use a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, which in turn meant an additional ¼ cup of agave had to be used to get it back to the proper consistency.

I THINK WE HAVE CREATED A MASTERPIECE.

The original no-bake bars were so good, I wasn’t sure they could be topped.  I think they may have found their match.  The vanilla whey makes the base taste like a peanut butter cookie dough.  I was so in awe that I called Mr. KD at work right away.  As he answered in his eloquent work voice, I shouted, “If you LOVED me, why didn’t you tell me that these bars we made tasted like cookie dough?!?” 

His response:

“You think they taste like cookie dough?  I didn’t notice.”

This is because he inahles food without breathing and, therefore, can’t possibly enjoy it his tastebuds are just not as developed as mine.  Would I lie to you about something as serious as faux cookie dough?

And, scout’s honor, that IS a true story.

I then received an email from him as he was snacking on the bar he brought to work that said, “I see what you’re saying about the cookie dough”.  So there you have it.

Here she is:

Dinner, on the other hand, was less than epic.  As I told you, we literally have zero food and are going to the store tomorrow to stock up on Easter eats.  I had leftover lasagna with the remainder of my grilled, frozen veggies.  I’m not saying it wasn’t tasty, but we’ve been-here-done-that this week.   Oh well, you can’t have it all.

I had dinner about 40 minutes ago and my belly is still rumbling.  What is my deal lately? I feel so out of whack.  Hungry and thirsty all the time!  I might have some greek yogurt with a drizzle of agave.  It’s about the only thing left in the fridge!

So stoked for tomorrow!  Have a date with my sister to decorate Easter eggs and then a Fish & Chips date, as I mentioned earlier in the week.  How lucky can one girl get?!?

I will leave you with this, which is an article I have saved and refer to every once in awhile.  It’s simply a list of vitamins and how they are important to a woman’s health.  Check it out!

Question of the day:  Do you find it more difficult to lose weight/stay healthy in the fall/winter or spring/summer.

Gosh, I find staying healthy to be tough every day, all the time, to be honest.  I obviously love healthy food, but, I also love unhealthy food.  And, I like ALL food in large portions.  Portion control is definitely my biggest weakness.  I can very easily just TAKE OFF with a food like you saw me do with that ice cream.  That being said, I actually think it’s tougher for me in the summer.  I’m going to make a conscious effort to work on this.  The summer is filled with BBQs (they kill me), parties, concerts, weddings, ball games etc, etc.  Do you know what all of these things have in common?  BEER.  During the winter, I hardly ever – and I mean ever – drink.  Show me a sunny day and  I LOVE drinking beer.  Not to mention, I DO more in the summer.  My  calendar is almost always full with something that involves food (and beer).  Obviously, with alcohol comes fewer food inhibitions and the rest is history.  So, even though football season and the holidays are tough, I don’t find them nearly as tempting as floating in a pool with an ice cold beer and a plate of nachos on my lap.  Oh, and did I mention a little something called ice cream?!?  I feel my pants getting tighter already!





A Bunch of Randoms

30 03 2010

Hi, bloggies :smile:

Ya missed me, didn’t ya?  I can just feel it!  24 hours is too long to separate us from our chats!!

You guys, I have a (random) confession. 

Are you ready? 

I’m OBSESSED with my Google Reader.  I can’t wait to get home every day and see how many blog posts I have to catch up on!  Do any other bloggers feel this way?  Sometimes, I even get overwhelmed with the thought of not finishing them all, as though I’ll be the only blogger in the universe that didn’t know what YOU had for lunch.  Haha.  It’s funny if you think about it, actually.

Random complaint: And while we’re here, if you use Google Reader, won’t you please subscribe to me?  As of right now, I have a whopping 4 followers :sad:   Show a girl a lil’ love!

Random question:  I want to work with tofu next week.  Anyone have a good recipe for me?  I keep finding ones where the tofu has to be “pressed.”  Without an actual tofu press, can I still do this?  I like tofu and enjoy it out at restaurants, but I don’t cook it at home, so I’m looking for a little inspiration!

Random Shout Out:  Jessica, did you make the no-bake protein bars yet?!?  How’d they turn out?

Okay, I think that’s enough random shenanigans for one day.

Oh, wait.

Random thought: Kelly commented on my P90 post and told me that there definitely is not much cardio involved in the program.  Eek!  While I want to use this for weight training and strength, I wonder if my 4 cardio sessions per week is enough?  I guess I’ll just have to see in the first week, but gosh, I am SO ANXIOUS.  I just want to START already!

I have some exciting news to share with you guys!  Well, it’s exciting for me! 

When I first started reading food blogs, I was amazed at how many people reviewed products for their blogs.  Most of the bloggers were sponsored by Foodbuzz, like I am, so I was thrilled to sign up for the Foodbuzz Tastemaster Program.  The Tastemaster program is exactly what you would infer from the name!  Bloggers receive products to review on their blog.  Well, I’ve had my blog over a month and I’m still waiting.  I emailed the Foodbuzz team to inquire and they basically told me I should friggin relax am new to the blogging community and shouldn’t be too worried that I haven’t received anything yet.  Because I am a control freak go-getter, I decided to send a quick email to three companies and explain that I recently started a wellness blog and would like to try a sample of their products for review.  All three companies happily obliged and I received them all within a few days of each other! 

It really is true:  Sometimes, you just have to ASK!

Now, I want to give all of these products their due, so only one company at a time.

First up are a plethora of products by Amazing Grass!

When I recently wrote to Amazing Grass, I told them I was interested in trying their Chocolate Green Superfood because, well, if it’s healthy and tastes like chocolate, then I HAVE to try it!  Much to my surprise, the company actually sent me a sample of EVERY product.  Love!  Thank you, Amazing Grass!  You guys totally rock :smile:

Look at all of these goodies!

Now, I haven’t tried any of these yet mostly because I was so overwhelmed by the quantity of samples that I wanted to do a little research first to figure out what the heck I was consuming and how it would be beneficial to my diet!  And, no, I am not being paid to review them by the company and I WILL give you my honest opinion.  Scout’s honor, people!  Believe me, if it actually tastes like grass, you will hear about it from here to California!

Here is what I found out (paraphrased from their website).  Amazing Grass creates powders and bars that are organic, raw and gluten-free.  Each product category has its own benefit, so let’s break them down.  There are 7 (s-e-v-e-n!) different product categories, btw.  Crazy that one company can create so many healthy things!

Wheat Grass: 

Increases & sustains energy
Detoxifies & Cleanses the body
Balances your pH level
Strengthens your immune system

How you eat it: This is a powder that can be mixed into smoothies.

Green Superfood/Berry Superfood/Chocolate Superfood:

These products are essentially the same (I counted them as 3 of the 7 products as listed on their site), but with different flavors, from what I can gather.  They are a powdered mix of a variety of organic superfoods.  The powders contain actual whole foods, which are simple processed into a powder.  I’m telling you the ingredient lists are crazy!  Organic beets?  Organic Rose hips?  What the heck?  Hey, I’ll try anything once!  Plus, I’ve heard great things about them on other blogs!

These products not only help you sustain energy via all of the vitamins and minerals, but they also contain probiotics for healthy digestion.

KIDZ Superfood:

This product is, obviously, aimed at kids.  It comes in chocolate or berry flavor and is a great way to “trick” kids into eating their veggies!

Energy Bars (Peanut Butter Protein, Chocolate, Berry, Original)

These bars contain 2/3 of a serving of the drink powder, and are a great source of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Amazing Meal (Pomegranate Mango, Original, Chocolate)

Many of the benefits of Wheat Grass, but with added protein

Phew – are you with me?!? 

Now that you are more educated on the products, look for them in the coming days/weeks!

Nothing really happened today in terms of excitement.  Today just was.

Waking up to the sound of rain would be great if I had nothing to do all day.  But knowing I have to get my behind up at the crack o dawn to exercise and then work, it’s less than motivating to say the least!  Do you guys ever have a day where you really, really, really don’t feel like running?  Haha.  I’m sure a lot of you just jumped out of your seats, proclaiming, “ME!  ME!”.  Let me rephrase.  I am always less than impressed to get on the treadmill too BUT the thought of the feeling after the run gets me motivated enough to get through.  Today, even that motivation wasn’t enough for me.  I just didn’t FEEL like it.  I had to talk myself up the entire boat ride to the gym.  I blame it on the rain.

I got there and ya know what?  I did okay.  It wasn’t my best run, but I was really sweaty, which made me feel good.  I compromised that I only had to do 30 minutes of running, so long as I completed the remainder of my 60 minutes on other machines.  My compromise turned into this:
Time    Pace    Incline
0 – 5   4.0       0     
5 – 7   6.0     0     
7 – 9   6.5     0     
9 – 11  7.0     0     
11 – 13 6.0     0     
13 – 15 6.5     0     
15 – 16 7.0     0     
16 – 17 6.0     0     
17 – 18 6.5     0     
18 – 19 7.0     0     
19 – 20 6.0     0     
20 – 21 6.5     0     
21 – 22 7.0     0     
22 – 23 6.5     0     
23 – 35 Repeat Minutes 19 – 22 four more times  0     
35 – 36  4.7     4     
36 – 37 4.7     5     
37 – 38 4.5     6     
38 – 39 4.5     7     
39 – 40 4.7     4     
40 – 42 4.3     8     
42 – 44 4.0     10    
44 – 45 4.7     5     
Total Mileage: 4.22

Sorry that looks so messy…I need to update my Word.  Long story.

I then hit the bike for 15 minutes.  It felt so great to work out my quads.  And then, as promised, I stretched!
Now that I see this workout written out, I realize I’ve been slacking on running at an incline this week.  Must do this.  Thursday, perhaps?

It’s getting difficult to come up with tasty meals, guys.  Our fridge is getting empty and since we’re hosting Easter brunch & dinner (yes, that’s right: TWO meals!), Mr. KD and I decided that we’ll hit the store this weekend for Easter items only.  When the rush is over on Monday, we’ll head the store for what we need.  So, I just have to make sure I get something to feed us on Saturday.  We plan to go Friday during the day (again, both off), but I don’t have to worry about dinner because I have my fish and chips date!  Making it til Friday, however, is going to be tough.  We are low on the eats, so I apologize for anything that may appear really, really boring.

I have two really ugly pictures to show you now.  I’m apologizing in advance.  To heed my own advice for P90 and 5 small meals a day, I figured I should have something to eat after I came home from my workout.  I almost dug into an Amazing Grass bar, but when I saw they were about 230 calories/each, I decided those were best for actually replacing breakfast, as opposed to a “snack”.  I opted for half of a banana with some almond butter. 

Okay, before you look at the picture, let me explain.  I’ve been freezing bananas halves because it allows me to grab them quickly for oatmeal and other such things.  I couldn’t bite into the thing frozen, so I threw it in the microwave for 15 seconds and it got slightly mushy.  If you can’t handle bananas that way, I’m sorry.  I don’t mind, so long as they’re not brown.  Since these were frozen when they were just ripe, they actually had more banana flavor that a fresh one.  Anyway, I cut the half down the middle and added the almond butter.  The almond butter is at the end and all of the oil is gone.  Does this happen to anyone else?  I hate that!  It makes the end all crumbly. 

The end result was this:

Oh. Em. Gee.

Doesn’t it look vulgar?  Let’s just move on to ugly pic number 2!

This pic just so happens to have an ugly banana too!  This is the remainder of the banana from Saturday’s oatmeal.  As you know, placing bananas in the fridge forces their skins to turn brown. However, the inside was NOT brown.  At all.  Let’s just get that little clarification out there.  I sliced it up and placed it on a bed of Kashi Go Lean, which was also mixed with walnuts and dried cranberries.  They all went swimming in some almond milk :smile:

I am a huge fan of this breakfast.  Sometimes, a nice bowl of cereal just does the trick.

Lunch was more curried chicken salad because I think it is Heaven sent.  I think I’m going to start making my own chicken salad much more frequently.  It is SO much more delish than the store-bought kinds.  I placed it on my last (tear, tear) whole wheat pita.  I rounded out the meal with the remainder of my roasted broccoli and pineapple.  This lunch made me FULL.  I truly didn’t even need the pineapple, but didn’t realize it until after I ate it.

I eventually did get hungry for my snack, but later than usual.

Oh, Chobani pineapple.  Will you marry me?  I promise to always cherish you and tell you you’re prettier than all other yogurts whenever you ask :wink:

Seriously though, WHY is this stuff SO good?!?  I’m convinced it’s the 2% yogurt.  Has anyone actually seen the plain, 2% at the store?  I know it exists, but I haven’t seen it.  According the nutrition label, the difference between the low-fat and non-fat is the addition of cream.  Oh.  No wonder why it’s so good!!!  The 2% just doesn’t have that weird tang at the end like the non-fat.  Will the 2% be as beneficial to me even with the cream in it?  Does anyone know?  I’m thinking “no”, but I would LOVE to be pleasantly surprised.  C’mon!  Lie to me, people!

Random Interruption:  Is this the longest post ever?

Dinner was some pork chops served with quinoa and roasted brussel sprouts.

I coated the chops in some whole wheat flour and cornmeal and placed them in a pan with olive oil just enough for them to brown.  I then baked the rest of the way and had some BBQ sauce on the side.   I would like to reiterate my serious L-O-V-E for this BBQ Sauce.

I was recently lamenting to Kelly about my dislike for brussel sprouts.  I love almost all veggies, but I was NOT a fan of the Brussels.  She told me to roast them, so I went out on a whim and gave it a whirl.  The result?

Pretty dang good!  I am officially a brussel sprout fan.  As Mr. KD said, they sort of taste like broccoli.  I think it’ll take me a little to love the texture, but all things considered, I give them a thumb’s up.  I’ll defintiely be making them again!

I noticed that we had a try of mushrooms in the fridge that were in do-or-die mode, so I added them to the quinoa with a touch of thyme.  WOWZA!  This was good.  The thyme and mushrooms made this a completely different side dish.  It was yummy.  I love when things come together on a whim.

All together: 

I apologize that I subjected you to the fat that I cut off the pork.  Meant to take that off my plate first.  Sorry :oops:

Look at the roasted perfection.

Until we eat again…

Question of the day:  What is your favorite flower?

Mine is a gerbera daisy, but I’m also a big fan of lilies and tulips.  **Cough** Mr. KD **Cough**





Classic Lasagna is Getting Slim

29 03 2010

Hey, hey, hey!

How did Monday treat everyone?!? 

I woke up in a MUCH better mood from where I last left you guys!  And thank goodness because it was pouring here all.day.long.  If my mood was sour on top it, the day would have been a total drag!

Good news though:  The weekend forecast looks like we might hit 77 degrees on Easter.  Can you believe it?!?  I am SO stoked.  I just hope it comes true!!

Plus, I was so grateful to your comments about not beating myself up.  You guys make me smile :smile:

Before we get into things tonight, I’d like to take you back to December 2009.  As always, the end of the year is exhausting and I found 2009 to be no different than any other.  However, this is the first time that I could truly feel exhaustion set in.  I’m talking the kind of tired where you couldn’t pay me to go to the gym.  The thought of it made me want to cry.  That is SO not like me, so I did a little soul-searching and came up with this conclusion: When you exercise 5 – 6 a week for an entire year (or more than a year in my case), it takes its toll on you mentally and physically.  By the time December rolls around and there are social events to attend and presents to buy, this exhaustion only seems amplified. 

Therefore, I came up with a solution for myself, as to not get overwhelmed by December in 2010.  I decided that every quarter (can you tell I work in the business world?), I would take a week off from working out.  I figured that this would not only be a great physical break, but also a much-needed mental exercise for me.  I wanted to teach myself that with mindful eating, I could take a week off without ill effects.

Well, guess what?  The quarter ends THIS WEEK :shock:   I can hardly believe it myself.  While the idea of resting sounds ah-mazing (3 months is the perfect time to take a break!), I looked at the week ahead, which consists of:

  • Fish N Chips date with parents on Friday (Fried deliciousness…I can’t wait!  And, don’t judge!  We’re Portuguese and it’s tradition, all right?)
  • Easter Candy
  • Easter Dinner
  • Mini Cadbury eggs (Yes, these require their own bullet)

Through further analysis, I didn’t think taking a week off would be best served during this week of indulgence. So, I made a compromise.  This week would be comprised of hour-long cardio workouts.  As I’ve mentioned previously, P90X starts a week from today, so I really wanted to take time off of lifting and allow my muscles to rest up.  After my cardio sessions, I vowed to stretch the way I should stretch every day (I often rush it).

With this being said, I had a great cardio workout this morning and am looking forward to my new lifting routine next week.  I did a classic pyramid this time, as follows:

0 – 5 min: 4.0 – 4.7
5 – 10 min: 6.3
10 – 20 min: 6.5
20 – 30 min: 6.7
30 – 40 min: 6.5
40 – 45 min: 6.3
Total Mileage: 4.69

I actually wanted to stay on the treadmill for the remainder of my workout, but I ended up getting a ferocious cramp in the last few minutes, so opted off the treadmill.  I then hopped onto the elliptical and continued to grind it out for an additional 20 mintues.  I then stretched and stretched and it felt SO good!

I want to talk briefly about P90X and our decision to do this program.  I feel as though I keep discussing it without further detail, which is kind of annoying, wouldn’t you say? 

Mr. KD and I have been seeing the infommercials for P90 for almost two years now.  We always said that “someday” we’d do it.  Well, Mr. KD turns 30 in a few weeks and we figured now was the perfect time, especially because we have an empty room in our house perfect for the two of us to exercise side-by-side.

To read about P90X in detail, you can click here.  To summarize it for those of you that are not interested in reading on your own, P90X is centered around the idea of “muscle confusion.”  This means that over the course of 90 days, we will perform 12 workouts via DVDs that are constantly switching things up for our muscles.  There are basic weight training days for chest/back/legs/shoulders, plyometrics (lots of jumpting), kenpo (think Tae Bo on speed) and even yoga.  The program runs consistently for 90 days straight with a rest/stretch day on every seventh day.  We are choosing to start on a Monday, so that every Sunday will be our rest/stretch day.

There are three workouts to choose from: Classic, 2-A-Day and Lean.  Classic is obviously just as it is, while 2-a-day is for conditioned athletes that are looking for that extra workout (um, no thanks).  Lean is targeted specifically at women who would like a bit more cardio in their routine.  Of course, this sounds great to me, but Mr. KD was less than impressed, so we’re opting for Classic.

I’ve talked to two people (one male, one female) that have completed (or are completing) the Classic routine to gather their thoughts on it.  While the male loved every aspect about it, the female admits that it’s extremely motivating on a weight-lifting aspect.  However, she wishes there were more cardio.

Considering I am just starting to get better at running, I really don’t want to give it up.  I also expect that this is going to be the most physically grueling activity I’ve ever done.  BUT, I must try to do both.  If it’s too much for me, I’ll stop.  I don’t want ot overexert myself, but to begin, I’m going to attempt cardio 4 days a week in addition to the program.  My plan is to do it M/T/Th/F.  This way, I won’t be here, there and everywhere on a Saturday morning and I’ll take Wednesday as a day off of cardio.  This is going to be tough for me because mentally as I am used to doing cardio at a minimum of 5 days (and I love those Saturday runs).  The reason I stress mentally is because if you’ve ever seen the P90 commercials, you know I’m still in for some serious cardio.  I promise – if it becomes too much - I will stop.

Now, exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.  Nutrition is obviously a huge component to look like the folks on the commercials.  Mr. KD and I gave the meal plan (it accompanies the workouts) a lot of thought over the past few weeks.  We have both come to the conclusion that we’re going to eat well, but not follow the plan.

Now before you get in a tizzy, I realize that I’m not going to walk away with a six-pack unless I cut out almost all sugar and truly deplete my carbs in the beginning (this is phase 1 of the plan).  To be honest, it’s not worth that much to me right now.  We’ve talked about this a little in the past.  I’ve come too far to be controlled by a meal plan and to turn down social engagments because I have to eat a certain salad at a certain time.  Ick.  The thought of it makes me scoff.

Instead, I’m following these rules for myself:

  • Incorporate more protein into meals and snacks
  • Eat 5 small meals a day (right now, I only eat 4)
  • Limit desserts as much as possible (I’m really going to try, but in the beginning, I’m nibbling on my Easter candy.  Please don’t judge)
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies
  • Eat all of my calories (1800 is recommeneded for my weight under this program)

If I follow these rules, I may not look like the women on the commercial, but I should definitely look like a better version of myself.  That’s all I can ask for!

As of right now, I see two major roadblocks: a girls’ weekend I planned forever ago during the weekend of April 16th (I WILL miss a workout here…so I guess I’m P89-ing?  I’m not happy about it, but what can you do?) and my birthday, Mr. KD’s bday AND my dad’s bday all fall in the last weekend of April.  Can you say lots of cake and lots of going out to dinner?

Other than that, I plan to think of new, clean dinners and lunches Mr. KD and I can have.  It will certainly take some time getting used to since I am SO used to the gym, but I think it will be great to switch it up.  I get so bored with my weight lifting routine and this will be a welcome change.  In addition, it will be great to workout WITH Mr. KD, which is something our schedules don’t allow for now.  I’m excited!

One more thing while we’re on this topic:  I’m looking for a protein bar that I can snack on after cardio/before I start the DVD.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking the Think Thin bars because they are high in protein yet low in sugar.  I know you should refuel after a lifting session with protein, but I figured this would be what my breakfast was for.

Okay, now onto today’s eats!

Breakfast was the remainder of my Saturday oatmeal with some egg beaters.  Lots of protein here and it held me over well until lunch!

Now, here’s where my pics get a little confusing.  I packed up some Curried Chicken Salad in a whole wheat pita with some pineapple.  However, I decided I wanted to save the pineapple for my snack and swaped it out for the plum that was supposed to be my snack.  Are you with me?  So, I take a bite out of the plum and it was gross.  All mushy.  Ick.  So, I then purchased an orange to enjoy with my sandwich instead.  No pic, but I’m sure you know what an orange looks like :wink:  

I also purchased a small side salad from the caf that I couldn’t photograph.  It contained mixed greens, red onions, ~ tbsp feta and ~1.5 tsp sunflower seeds.  I drizzled it with olive oil and balsamic. 

This curried chicken was SO yummy!  If you enjoy curry flavor, you will love this!  And the texture of the Granny Smith in there is to die for.  So delish!  Sorry that the pic is so boring!  Just picture it next to a small salad and orange!

Snack time was plain Greek yogurt, drizzeld with agave, ~ tsp vanilla and cinnamon.  You know what?  I thought it was pretty good!  This is the reason I saved my pineapple.  I mixed it up with the fresh pineapple and found it quite tasty!  It was still no Chobani pineapple, but it was good :wink:

Omit the plum, please.

Add: pineapple

Now, onto dinner and the lasagna recipe I promised you!  This is a classic lasagna, made healthy by Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta (It’s the recipe located on the back of the box).  I follow their recipe almost exactly, but add a few of my own spices here and there.  You can also view it online here under “Healthy Harvest Easy Lasagna”.

Now, many of you may be wondering why I share so many recipes that aren’t my own.  Well, sillies, it’s because recipes are meant to be shared and if I find one from a website that is healthy and tastes great, I want to share it with you even if it isn’t my own idea!  Glad we cleared that up :wink:

Below is the modified version in which I used more seasonings:

Ingredients:

1lb ground beef
3 cups (26 oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 3/4 cups (15 oz container) ricotta or small curd cottage cheese (I use 1% cottage cheese)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper
Dried basil
Italian seasoning
9 pieces Ronzoni Healthy Harves lasagna, uncooked

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. In 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, brown meat; drain. Add spaghetti sauce and water; simmer about 10 minutes and sprinkle mixture with dried basil. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, one-half mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning (to taste), garlic powder (to taste), onion powder (to taste) and crushed red pepper (to taste)  Pour about 1 cup sauce on bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 UNCOOKED pasta pieces lengthwise over sauce; cover with 1 cup sauce. Spread one-half cheese filling over sauce. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese filling. Top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and dried basil and bake additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

The box says it makes 12 servings, but I find that to be way small.  Instead, I cut it into 10.  We will be putting A LOT of lasagna in the freezer!!

I served it tonight with some roasted broccoli.

Layers of cheesy and beefy deliciousness.  So comforting on a rainy day!

After dinner, I might have some warmed almond milk with Cafe Mocha swirled in.  I’m also thinking about a vegan cookie.  Gotta get those desserts in while I can :wink:

Until we eat again…

Question of the day:  Are you right-handed or left-handed?

I’m a leftie, but only for writing.  I pretty much do everything else with my right hand and I can eat with both, depending on what is most convenient to my surroundings, i.e. on the outside of a booth, I’m going righty!





Ice Cream Debauchery and Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

28 03 2010

Mornin’, my loves! :smile:

How are you today?  I’m already feeling great!  It’s 7:42 as I type this and I’ve already started laundry, started prepping a meal, made myself breakfast, cut a pineapple and put on a pot of coffee.  How’s that for being motivated in the morning, huh?

Shhh…we have to be very quiet.  Mr. KD is still sleeping :wink:

Okay – let’s get this out of the way: I ate way too much ice cream last night.  Like, way too much.  My normal small mug went out the window and I opted for a bowl instead :oops:   I haven’t eaten ice cream out of bowl in a really long time and now I remember why.  I have zero self-control around it.  After downing the bowl, which admittedly was dripping with hot fudge and whipped cream, I felt sick.  My general weekend treat that I enjoy went from being just that to something that made me sick.  How did I get here?

First of all, I know myself and know that I should NOT have put the ice cream in the bowl.  I eat it out of mugs for a reason.  Let’s just say this: I refuse to obsess about it.  I screwed up and am opening up to tell you guys, so that it is out there and you can hold me accountable.  Of course, in my mind, I’m convinced that I can see a difference in myself, but I’ve come far enough along on this journey to know that one bowl of ice cream doesn’t change a thing, especially when the rest of your eating all week was packed with the good stuff.

The best I can do is go back to my mugs in the future and not beat myself up over it.  I have a delicious lasagna planned for this evening, which uses whole wheat pasta, lean beef and low-fat cottage cheese.  Healthy?  Check!  I am already on the right track again.  No need to obsess over a lil ice cream!

I did, however, wake up STARVING from all of the sugar, so I ate breakfast a little earlier than usual.  I will probably snack on some pineapple before church to hold me over.  I decided to make myself a veggie scramble using mushrooms, broccoli and scallions.  I simply tossed them in a frying pan with some non-stick spray and seasonings until they began to cook.  I tossed in some egg beaters and cooked until scrambled goodness appeared!

Served with a whole wheat english that has been topped with ICBINBL and Polaner grape.  Yummers.  After I post this, I’m going to have a warm cup of Joe and relax while I do some blog related things.  Love Sunday mornings!!

I also want to share a recipe with you that I am preparing for this week’s lunches.  As you may have gathered from my posts, I only like to hit the grocery store every other week.  A lot of people find this surprising, but with a little strategizing, your produce really WILL stay fresh, so long as you’re using up the fragile stuff in the first week.  With that being said, the only thing that will not last is sandwich meat.  I often find it’s difficult to make lunches during that second week unless I am taking leftovers every day.

So, this past grocery run, I decided I was going to make a homemade chicken salad during the second week.  Obviously, I can’t taste test this until I actually pack it in my lunch, but the ingredients sound tasty enough to convince me it’ll be great.  I will give you the full recipe, which uses 6 chicken breasts.  I am only using a package of 4, so I am using just over half of all ingredients.

Curried Chicken Salad:

Ingredients:

  •  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mango chutney
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup currants, or raisins

Directions:

  • Bring broth and water to a boil in a large shallow pan. Add chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is no longer pink inside, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a shallow dish and pour the cooking liquid over the top. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and dice.
  • Stir mayonnaise, yogurt, chutney and curry powder in a medium bowl until well blended. Add the diced chicken, apple and currants (or raisins) and toss until thoroughly coated
  • I am currently at the stage of cooling the chicken in the fridge :smile:   Can’t wait to try this!

    And with that, I’m off.  I have a bunch of emails to send out and coffee to drink.  Mr. KD and I also plan to order our table this afternoon, so I may have to post lunch and dinner at the same time if I’m out all afternoon.  Have a SUPER Sunday and I’ll chat with you guys later!