Happy, happy! It’s FRIDAY!!

July 30, 2010

Happy Friday, happy weekend!

I am so happy the weekend is here.  I guess it has been a couple of days, so let’s catch up!  Thursday I went to BodyStep with all of my kids in tow.  I had an uninterrupted class where I busted it out.  Seriously busted it out. Resulting in a 623 calorie burn!  I told my instructor, my calorie burn is always indicative of how much I’ve enjoyed myself. 🙂

Jeremy also came home Thursday night, which was a blessing, as I had “the week from heck”.  I do not wish to revisit the week so if you haven’t been following, please see my previous posts. 😉

Let’s talk about my lettuce in my Aerogarden.  It’s growing fast!  I haven’t bought another one yet, though….

Home-grown lettuce 🙂

Sophia has some sprouts of her own but they’re flowers. 😉

I could not decide what to eat that night, either.  It was a toss up between ordering out for sashimi and sushi or making something at home.  I voted on a Gardenburger with chipotle-gouda cheese, a salad, and cottage cheese with Mrs. Dash:

That’s actually a really good picture, LOL!  The following shows the whole plate:

YUM!

I ate all of that, then my weight in natural peanut butter with graham crackers.  I could not stop eating!  Bottomless pit, that was me. 😉  I wish I had a picture of what I ate for lunch, the girls came out to lunch with me and the kids and we had Mexican.  I had fish taco’s (no tortillas) and 2 frozen strawberry margaritas that looked like this, because I felt

totally entitled after the week I’d had. 😀  SO, loaded with sugar, and some other excess sugar I ate (I hadn’t had any in almost 2 weeks) I woke up this morning feeling AWFUL.

Determined to start my day out the right way, I started with my old standby:

Lunch was another smoked salmon sandwich:

Complete with greek yogurt and some Mrs. Dash………..YUM!  With a side of another old standby, cottage cheese and no-sugar added fruit spread:

The end of the week always sneaks  up on me and for whatever reason, I run out of ideas for meals and I also run out of food, LOL!  So we wound up ordering out BBQ, which is a favorite of the entire family:

I stayed away from the mac-n-cheese and potato salad and made some broccoli to accompany the pulled pork and big honkin’ slice of white stripped-of-all-nutrients bread.

Tomorrow I am hitting the gym for Attack and Bodypump and then who knows what the rest of the weekend holds?

What are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything fun?

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Cooking Frenzy

July 22, 2010

Hello all!

Since I last posted, I have completely cleaned up my diet, and have been on a cooking frenzy!  It’s crazy how much I’ve cooked over the last couple of days, and I have lots of pictures too! 🙂

Has it been hot where you are? Here in GA it’s been in the high 90’s every day!  I honestly feel like I can’t get cool.  Hence the digging in my backyard as of Monday morning at 7am:

The Big Hole

We’ve been working on getting this pool for a while now.  There were all sorts of issues to begin with but they’ve been resolved, as you can see!  Can’t wait for it to be finished!  I’m an instant gratification kind of person.  When I want something, I want it right away, and usually yesterday. LOL  I’m working on my patience. 😉

On to the cooking frenzy. I’ve obviously been on a clean eating kick.  I am also on a 1200 calorie kick, also.  I’ve been eating a ton of food for that little calories.  Let me explain what I’ve been doing.  In a nutshell I’ve:

1.  Cut out preservatives

2.  Lowered sodium and fat

3.  Increased protein

4.  Lowered carbs

5.  No refined sugar

That leaves unprocessed, whole foods.  In a nutshell!

I guess I’ll start with breakfast, since it is obviously the first meal of the day.  After we got back from NY, I didn’t have anything in the fridge.  Including eggs.  The chicken farmer down the road told my husband that his chickens weren’t laying very many eggs.  I was so disappointed, because I love my fresh eggs.  Off to the grocery store I went, though, because I cannot not have eggs in the house!  I bought 2 cartons of 18 and commenced to hard-boil an entire carton:


and there were some omelets but they all look the same, LOL! This morning I made a 5 egg white omelet that had chipotle gouda cheese in it.  YUM!

I’ve been all about hot sauce and seafood this week. I’m giving you advance warning!

We did manage to get some homegrown beefsteak tomatoes from the chicken farmer and they were so great!

These became part of a sandwich I made with snow crab (that I took the time to crack out of the shell!) a preservative free “thin bun” and hot sauce for lunch one day:

I do not recommend the snow crab.  It took forever to shell them, and the end of the process (a total process, by the way) I got 4 ounces of meat from 2 bunches of crabs.  King crab all the way!!! 😀

I also made some chicken tortilla soup this week and it was so good. It had veggies in it, chicken broth, chicken, and a ton of chipotle chili powder along with some cumin, onion, oregano, garlic….

Soup's On!

I ate that for lunch 2 days in a row!  I did find some tortilla chips at Publix (my local grocery store) that are clean so I had half an ounce of those with it today:

Yep, they're blue!

The end result. 😀

Since I am going to be home until at least November, I decided to grow some lettuce in my Aerogarden.   I love my Aerogarden!  Since the pool is taking up most of the backyard I’m not sure we’re going to have room for much of a garden next year.  I really want to plant some herbs too…maybe an excuse to get another Aerogarden? Hmmmm!

My Aerogarden

Those are little pods that have seeds in them.  According to the directions, I should have spouts in 1- 3 days!  I will take progress pictures to share. 🙂

The POD

Well, back to the food. 😉

I had purchased scallops along with the crab (I don’t know where this seafood kick came from!)  I’ve never actually cooked a scallop before.  I read how to do it online (broiling them) and made a little lemon juice and paprika sauce to eat along with them.  They were good, but I think I need practice at broiling.  😉

With some broccoliciousness on the side!

Dinner tonight was chicken.  Jeremy’s family recipe for Fireman’s Chicken.  Marinated, grilled chicken.  I had 4 ounces of sweet potato with cinnamon on it and a really large spinach salad on the side.  Fireman’s chicken, by the way, is when the Firemen raise money by selling their marinated, BBQ chicken.  They sometimes have tables where you can go and eat outside with the family, or you can get it to go.  It’s common up in Western New York and Northern NY.  Not sure where else. 😉

BBQ Chicken

along with the sweet potato:

and salad make for a perfect meal. 😀

The salad had tomatoes, banana peppers, red onion, mushrooms, goat cheese and Seeds of Change Organic Dressing.  I love goat cheese!  Absolutely one of my favorite cheeses.

Let’s talk about working out for a minute.  I took class at the gym today (BodyStep) and burned 573 calories in 60 minutes.  KILLER!!! And I loved every.single.minute of it! 🙂

Question of the day:

What are you all cooking this summer?  I love trying new things!

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Detoxification

July 19, 2010

Howdy!

As you can ascertain from the title of this blog post, I have finally arrived back in GA with my family.  For those of you that don’t know, we took a trip to Northern NY for the week of July 4th and then went down to Rochester, NY (just my husband and myself, we left the kids with my in-laws) to begin packing up my parents house and tie up loose ends there.

The second part of our trip was long and arduous.

This is where I like to have a blog, to show how a real person (myself, of course) deals with everyday frustrations that may or may not be common situations for others.  I would also like to share with you, that honestly, I fell off of the clean eating bandwagon.  The second week, I ate out ever meal except for breakfast.  Toward the end of the week, I gave up and ate breakfast out too.  I began to feel physically awful.  I blew up like a balloon (really – 10 pounds) which I am more then certain that it was from the sodium, fried, and preservative laden foods that I was ingesting in the restaurants.

The great thing about clean eating is that even if you stop, for any amount of time, you can start making wiser decisions at your very next meal. I came home with a plan.  It’s a detox plan, but not detox in the traditional sense (um, anyone heard of the water with lemon and cayenne cleanse??) I’ve never tried it and probably never will.  (It sounds disgusting!)

Detox clean eating style is cutting out the sugar, the unhealthy fats, and bad carbs, while drinking boat-loads of water to get rid of excess sodium, which causes bloat. I try to drink 80-100 ounces a day.

I shall get off my soap box now! 😉  I tried to make better choices at times, and wanted to share the better (and worse choices) that I made with you.

TGIFriday’s (which was incidentally next to the hotel):

This meal was under the “Right Portion, Right Price” part of the menu.  The description:  Parmesan Crusted Chicken: “A sautéed chicken breast basted with Caesar dressing, then finished with a Parmesan-crust topping. Served with three cheese tortelloni tossed in spinach Alfredo sauce and a side of our fresh tomato Mozzarella salad.”

The other meal that I had was a salmon meal: (called Dragonfire Salmon)

The description:  “Norwegian salmon fillet fire-grilled and glazed with spicy Chinese Kung Pao sauce. Served over jasmine rice with pineapple pico de gallo, Mandarin oranges and broccoli.”

Those two meals weren’t terrible.  It was all of the rest of the yuck that I ate that put my body over the edge! Like these:

Buffalo Chicken Wings.

Let the detoxing begin:

Boars Head preservative free chicken and low sodium cottage cheese with Mrs. Dash on a whole grain preservative free thin-bun.


Tortilla Soup in the Vitamix.  So as some of you remember, I can sometimes cook and sometimes not so much 😉 and this was one of those recipes that needs some doctoring (so I guess it wasn’t my fault, lol…it’s not my recipe!).  It kind of tasted like veggie soup with taco seasoning.  Hopefully I can fix it tomorrow with the addition of more taco seasoning (organic) and boneless, skinless chicken breast!!


3 ounces of steak, boiled cauliflower and roasted sweet potato.  (Can you believe that the potato is just over 100 calories? All of that potato is only 1 cup!!)

Rotisserie chicken breast eaten sans skin with broiled broccoli with Mrs. Dash.  On the side I had leftover greek salad with Newman’s Own Lighten Up Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing.

I was disappointed today because the farmer down the road from my house was out of fresh eggs.  He told my husband that his chicken’s weren’t laying that many.  We’re supposing because it’s been so hot. 😦  I only have one egg for tomorrow!  I guess I need to stop at the grocery store.  Jeremy did come home with a boat load of tomatoes, though! 🙂

So it’s been a couple of weeks of ups and downs.  I was sad when I came home, but then my girlfriends all decided to stop by the night I got back:

They made my night! 😀


Back to Blogging!

June 2, 2010

Hello all.

This year has been an extremely hard year for me.  As some of you may know, my parents were both very sick, my Father with lung cancer and my Mother with a rare form of leukemia.  My Dad passed away at the end of March and my Mom at the end of April, and they both passed away within a year of learning that they were sick.   I was traveling a lot, between the end of January and the end of April. There was a lot of back and forth between Atlanta and Rochester, trying to take care of my own family as well as my parents.  So I thank everyone for their well wishes during those difficult times.

Mom and Sophia

and of course,

Dad with Aidan and Sean

I’m ok, but I miss them terribly.

So onto the plans I have for the blog.  Out with the old foods, and in with the new!  I’ve gotten myself a Vitamix, which is just fantastic, and have many plans for it in the future.  Unfortunately, I decided to blog on “leftovers day”, so my foods were all different and whatever I felt like eating today.  So here it goes, I hope you enjoy my first blog in 3 months! 🙂

Breakfast was eggs.  And no, I don’t have a picture of the eggs that I cooked.  I have a picture of the fresh farmers eggs that I’ve been getting down the street, instead!  Did I mention that they are fresh?  He only charges $2/dozen.  I typically buy 2 dozen at a time, and will go through them in less then a week:

FRESH eggs!!!

Who knows how long the eggs at the grocery store have been around? I’ve been told that they’re at least a month old before they get into our hands. UGH.

My review of farm fresh eggs:  The yolks are brighter, the whites are runnier (when raw), and they have a milder taste than the eggs from the store without the after taste.  If you have a chance to buy some, I highly recommend them!

I recently made some homemade salsa:

Salsa

Tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, lime juice.  Easy, simple and absolutely clean. I took the salsa and decided that tonight would be a good night to mix it in with a guacamole, to make the guacamole salad that they sell in Mexican restaurants here in GA:

It turned out really, really good!

Today I also made homemade black beans.  The beans are actually from my garden last year.  I made a sofrito (green pepper, onion, garlic and spices) mixed it in with the beans, boiled them down, and it was awesome.  I guess I was into eating Mexican today!  And beans are a good source of protein and fiber, also.

step 1.

and then the finished Sofrito:

Sofrito

and my dinner:

Leftovers.

Those are the beans, down in the front part of the picture. To the left is guacamole salad, roasted broccoli, steak and salad with mushrooms.  All of it was so good!  The beans had a ton of flavor. I made a pound of beans, so they’re kind of coming out of my ears. 😀

I was still hungry after dinner so I had a snack I hadn’t had in a really long time…

apple. natural peanut butter.

Isn’t it on such a pretty plate? I really have to get back into the swing of things, lol!  Sorry!

One thing that I want to mention is that I have been trying to drink 60-80 ounces of water every day. I tend to retain water, and I find that this is helping.  Plus it’s good for you. I also went to the gym and did the Les Mills BodyAttack class.

Hope you all enjoyed the blog…I will try to post as much as I can! You can also follow on Facebook.

Ciao for now,

Jessica


Energizing for the Day

February 24, 2010

Hello all!  I knew I was going to need energy this morning for my fave class, BodyAttack.  This is a very demanding, very hard, but really fun class that I take 1-3 times per week.  (Gonna get back into it, for sure, now that my Wednesdays are freed up from the “long runs”).  If you want to increase your fitness, take that class.

Knowing that I was going to need to fuel before class, I started my day with this:

Oats!

chocolate covered raisins protein oatmeal.  Did you get all of that? LOL.  In this bowl:  1 serving of oats, 1 scoop of Sun Warrior Chocolate Protein Powder, 1Tb. Hershey’s unsweetened chocolate powder, stevia, and raisins.  Guess what? It carried me through Attack!  The perfect breakfast for a high intensity cardio class!  I would also like to mention that I burned 484 calories @ 24% fat.  It’s not as high as I normally do (around 500-550) but I’ll take it!

I actually had some running around to do today and didn’t get home until noon.  I really wanted to be home an hour earlier than that.  I had to go to the marina, and to Publix…to get the cottage cheese that I wanted yesterday, along with some extras (uh, beer ;), a yellow pepper, chick peas to make homemade hummus with, yellow rice, and baby bella mushrooms).  HAHA!!!

I was mainly happy about the cottage cheese.  Let me tell you why.  I fell in love with the Friendship low-fat, low sodium cottage cheese.  I like to watch my sodium, and it only has 50 mg.  The regular has 450-500!  WOW!

My fave 🙂

I came home and made a quick and yummy lunch:

Marinaded salmon in Wegmans Santa Fe Marinade.  (I sent it home from NY!)  Cottage cheese (of course!) and half a yellow pepper.  I actually put some of Annie’s Goddess Dressing on the cottage cheese and mixed the peppers in, and that really hit the spot.

Side note: I plan on making some homemade hummus tomorrow.  I also plan on making some peanut sauce to eat with stuff. 🙂

I got really hungry again about 3pm.  I also craved salt. To stop my craving, I had a plate of broccoli with Braggs Amino’s and real parmesan:

Broccoli. Braggs. Cheese. Foodgasm!

That is honestly a rockin’ snack! 😀

So I worked some and blogged some and facebooked some haha.  Jeremy grilled up some chicken and I roasted about 2 pounds of carrots, resulting in my dinner looking like this:

The rice is Rice-A-Roni, but it is the Nature’s Way, and doesn’t have any yucky stuff in it (and actually tastes really good…my kids love it!)

Jeremy and the kids actually had a pasta version (a la Pasta Roni):

and of course a close-up of the chicken…nothing beats marinaded grilled chicken (subsequently marinated in the same marinade as the salmon, :))

Hope y’all have a great hump day!  I know I am!  Things to do today: gym (duh, LOL!) and meeting a friend for coffee.  Oh, and we’re cooking a 22 pound turkey!  Jeremy agreed to put it in if I made homemade mashed potatoes.  I think I’m going to need to get some canning jars, because I plan on lots of soup…and turkey tetrazzini, turkey pot pie, turkey stock, turkey gravy, turkey legs, turkey breast (sliced for sandwiches)….

Question of the day:  Any suggestions for what we can do with the turkey leftovers?  They have to be clean recipes! 😉


Clean Food With Flavor

February 23, 2010

If you all recall, I had a bunch of things to do yesterday.  I actually got most of them done!  Here was the list as it was, and I crossed out all of the things that I did:

  1. Call eye doctor to make appointment
  2. Make reservations for vacation with the family to the beach
  3. Put gas in the car (nothing like having one square left).
  4. Go to WalMart (ugh, need I say more??)
  5. Study for the ACE Exam
  6. Schedule the ACE Exam (I’m thinking 2 months out from now).
  7. Go to the bank
  8. Figure out what to make for dinner.  (This one is especially hard).
  9. Go to the gym for 6:30pm cardio core class.  (This may be the one thing not done, because I may be really tired…I hate that the class is so late in the day).

Whoo-hoo! I’ve promised myself that after the gym this morning I am going to not stay and socialize and I am going to come home and study.  Gotta get my studyin’ on! You understand.

Today’s eats were fantastic.  I ate lunch before I went to WalMart, because my being hungry in WalMart while grocery shopping is never a good thing.  I have to say, I was disappointed that they didn’t have the cottage cheese I was looking for.  Now I have to stop at the grocery tomorrow for 1 thing.  That’s irritating. Oh well, I guess I’ll get over it! 😉

Before I left I had a gardenburger, cottage cheese, and broccoli with Braggs (my new fave condiment):

I have to apologize for some of these pictures. The battery in my camera is dying and apparently makes things look funny (yes, that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, LOL) 😉

The burger doesn’t look like anything wonderful but has a ton of flavor.  Really good!!!

Then not 3 hours later, right on schedule, so I had a snack and then a cheese stick that there is not a picture of:

Blueberry Luna Bar!

It is strange, how each picture is blurry, though!  Ugh, sorry!  As I was inhaling the Luna Bar (I love Luna) I actually looked at it when there was this much left, and decided it warranted a picture!

Looks kinda cool 🙂

Yummy.  Then I went to the gym, where I took Cardio Core with Gloria who is a cardio phenomenon…and burned 300 calories.  I came home and made the most fantastic dinner I’ve had in a while.

Get a look at this:

French Bread. Roast Chicken.

I started with Jeremy’s homemade French Bread and leftover roasted chicken.  I added about an ounce of goat cheese:

the addition of goat cheese.

I put that in my convection oven for about 7 minutes.  In the meantime, I grabbed one of these:

tomato!!

I actually bought tomatoes at WalMart. Impressive!  I cut up the tomato and added some fresh basil.  I then proceeded to put it all together with some EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  OH MY GOODNESS.  I just made something that I would eat at a restaurant.  Maybe there’s hope for me after all! 😉

I ate it with broccoli, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

While I’m on the subject, I wish restaurants didn’t put so much junk in their food.  I would gladly pay a little more to eat clean, fresh food instead of all of the processed junk that I know they’re getting frozen and reheating.  I’m not saying all restaurants, but I don’t have access to a lot of good restaurants near my house (I think there’s 2 that come to mind right this instant).  Just good, clean, fresh food.  How hard is that concept?

It kills me that when you ask for your vegetables without anything on them, the waitresses start stuttering and then tell me that they’re not sure that they can do that in the kitchen.  Ugh.

I also ate an orange and a square of dark chocolate (Lindt 85%) YUMMY.  I didn’t eat them together, in case you were wondering.  But the pictures would have been boring compared to my “Balsamic Basil Chicken Stack”.

Clean food with flavor.

I hope you all have a productive Tuesday!  Mine will be less busy as I have 2 things to accomplish today:

  1. Study for the ACE exam
  2. Buy cottage cheese

Jessica xoxo


Back on schedule and fun run!

February 22, 2010

Good Morning! 😉  Today in the ATL it is soooo dreary. Last night we had thunderstorms and lightening all night long.  I think I got a total of 4 hours of sleep!  All of my kids went back to school today (February break = OVER, LOL).  So if I get tired, I can always take a nap. 😉

I want to begin by talking about my run yesterday – which I actually enjoyed now that there is no pressure.  I did a 3 mile run, just under 10 minute miles, and burned about 350 calories.  Sundays are good run days, for sure!  Since it was 70 degrees out, that was an added bonus – no bundling up!

Today I have a plan, there’s some things that I need to knock off of my list (there is always a list).  The following should keep me busy until the kids get home from school (and when my day ultimately begins)

  1. Call eye doctor to make appointment
  2. Make reservations for vacation with the family to the beach
  3. Put gas in the car (nothing like having one square left).
  4. Go to WalMart (ugh, need I say more??)
  5. Study for the ACE Exam
  6. Schedule the ACE Exam (I’m thinking 2 months out from now).
  7. Go to the bank
  8. Figure out what to make for dinner.  (This one is especially hard).
  9. Go to the gym for 6:30pm cardio core class.  (This may be the one thing not done, because I may be really tired…I hate that the class is so late in the day).

Yep, that’s my day to a tee.  Did I mention I may need a nap?

Well, enough about my schedule today!  This morning I had a great breakfast that was very filling:

Eggs!

What you see above is an Ezekial muffin, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites with herbs de Provence and real, freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Really filling!

Yesterday before my run I had some lunch, and as always, I hate to waste food.  This resulted in a lunch of leftovers:

Leftovers.

Wow, that picture is terrible!  What is in it is my homemade butternut squash with craisins and basil, leftover roasted chicken, and the spicy salsa that I’ve been all about lately.

Salsa.

After my run I was hungry again (about 3 hours had gone by) so I had a snack:

Broccoli with Braggs and low sodium cottage cheese.  Dinner always throws me for a loop when Jeremy is home, it’s always so hard to decide what to eat!  Tonight we decided on easy taco’s…and for the record, they were *almost* clean…Ortega mix has maltodextrin in it, but none of the other yucky colors or additives.  I had mine with some more salsa and leftover green beans on the side:

The seasoning was actually kind of bland.  Not sure why!

It was perfect for Sophia, though, who had her taco in the form of a burrito:

and lots of carrots.  Sophia’s fave foods include canned carrots and spaghetti. 🙂

After watching the US win at hockey and then a show on TLC about one of The Biggest Loser contestants who won and then gained it all back I decided I needed another snack:

Homemade french bread with Polaner All Fruit Blueberry Jam.  YUMMY!

Well, I’m off.  I have a ton to do today!  Wherever you are, here’s to hoping you have a fantastic Monday!

Jessica xoxo