Health and Clean Eating

August 9, 2010

Good Monday evening to you all!  I am happy, happy today! 😀  The pool is coming along, the kids were good today, I went to a fantastic BodyPump class (ummm…400 calories….the most I’ve ever burned in BodyPump ever!!)  Plus, it’s launch week, where all of the new material is introduced, which makes it fun!  If you’re ever in my area, let me know, and you can come to my gym with me…you won’t be disappointed.  (Email for details! :))

For more information:  check out the Les Mills web site!

BodyPump

I would like to begin this next section with some questions:

Are you tired during the day, especially around mid-afternoon?

Do you feel sluggish and “foggy”?

Do you have health issues such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol or high blood pressure?

Then clean eating is for you. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!  Please don’t be scared off by that statement.  If you are just beginning, here are some things you can do to ease into the clean eating lifestyle:

1.  STOP eating fast food.  Anything that you make at home, in your own kitchen, is better than this:

Not sure about the story of the 4 year old burger that didn’t mold…you can Google it and make your own determination. 😉

2.  Start eating more of these:

Homemade Eat Clean Wheat Berry Salad

Veggies!!!

I think that is the perfect way to ease into the clean eating lifestyle.  It’s that simple!!

OK, so let me show you some of what I’ve been eating these last couple of days:

April’s brownies with peanut butter (which were great, by the way!! Thanks, April!)

Amy’s All American Veggie Burger with some organic ketchup, mustard, goat cheese and vinegar green beans on the side.

Ezekial toast with the last of my Artisana coconut butter. 😦  Egg whites (great source of a clean protein!)

Panoli!!

It’s the return of the panoli. For those of you that are new to my blog, I actually invented something delicious! 🙂  A whole grain pancake, made really, really, thin.  Stuffed with protein, and eaten for breakfast.  This panoli had a cottage cheese and blueberry blend.  It looks interesting, but it was yummy and sweet! 🙂

Thin.

The pancake was super thin.

It was soooo good! 🙂

Lots of smiles today! 😀  I am still working on my dot com, and will let you know when it is up and running.  Possibly by tomorrow!

Have a great night!



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?


Sprouts, Shopping, and a Cleaning Frenzy! Oooooh MY!!

July 26, 2010

Hey Cutie Patooties!  How has your Monday been?  Mine has been extraordinarily frustrating and productive at the same time.  One week until school starts! It’s so hard dragging all 3 kids around everywhere. First they got dragged to the gym, where I took BodyPump.  Then we came home, and then took a field trip to Whole Foods which is about half an hour away.  Then, when we got back, Biscuit decided to chew on a blue crayola non-toxic washable marker.

OMG. Her paws were blue!  As was my carpet. 😦  What commenced was a cleaning frenzy that lasted almost 3 hours.  It rolled into the kids, because I’m tired of their rooms being a mess, and I desperately want my house back.  My one son’s room still isn’t clean!!  Wait ’till they get back to school.  <insert evil laugh here, LOL>

I wanted to show you all this:

Salad Sprouts!

All it took was 2 days.  They were even bigger today!  I really think I’m going to invest in another Aerogarden.  They are worth their weight in gold!  Pretty soon, I’ll have lettuce plants that I can harvest for up to 4 months!

So, as I mentioned above, we took a trip to Whole Foods today, which always makes me happy.  Please let me point out that I do not shop there on a regular basis….I shop there for specific specialty items that I need.  Otherwise, I’d spend a ton of $$.  I did splurge and buy my lunch there today:

I ate it in the car in the parking lot! 🙂

Seared Tuna.  It was fantastic. I am still totally on my seafood kick!  My other purchases included:

Whole wheat pastry flour.  I hear it’s awesome.  RAW nuts to make nut butter with, Annie’s Bunnies Mac and Cheese, and Seeds of Change (the same company that makes the salad dressing that I loooove) Cuban kit.

Amy’s Chili (I’ve been looking for this forever, I hear it’s good, we shall see!)  Pine nuts to make homemade pesto, Pumpkin to make protein pumpkin muffins  (I have a small story about the pumpkin),  organic red beans, hydroponic basil and Braggs Aminos.

About the Pumpkin:  I went to my local grocery store (Publix) and asked them where their pumpkin was, and they told me it was a “seasonal item”.  I was dumbfounded that a grocery store wouldn’t carry at least a couple throughout the year!  Silly.

A HUGE package of blueberries – only $4.99!!! Avocado, and parsley.

Then, a BIG SURPRISE, A kabocha squash!  I’ve been looking for this type of squash forever.  Bloggers talk about it all of the time and I’ve never been able to find it.  Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

See?  Everything I bought there was for a reason.  There was no frivolous buying whatsoever.  I also bought one other thing and we ate it for dinner (well, Aidan and I did, the other kids aren’t big on seafood)…..

There were two of these HUGE clusters.  They were the bulk of the $$ I spent at Whole Paycheck!  The above picture doesn’t really do them justice, but hopefully the one below will:

CRAAAAAAB!

Hahahaha!  That was about 10 ounces of meat!  I ate 6 ounces for dinner!! 😀  It was so fantastic, and was totally different from the snow crab I got from my local grocery store!

Of course I have been eating my normal eats as well:

Spinach salad with goat cheese,

hardboiled eggs with Ezekial bread and Strawberry All Fruit,

BSN Syntha-6 Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake,

and a fave of mine: oven roasted zucchini chips.  I used whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika.

Well, after the completely exhausting day that I have had, I think it’s time to hit the hay!  I did get a BodyPump class in this morning at the gym (no Insanity yet, sorry!)  I think Wednesday will be a GREAT day to start the Insanity program, as I don’t go to the gym that day. 😉

Hope you all have a fantastic evening! See y’all tomorrow!! 🙂


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! 😀


Happy!

June 17, 2010

Hey Y’all!  Today was a long day of fun and the sun for me.  I started my morning getting the boys up and fed, then Sophia.  Off we drove to camp to drop off the boys, then on to the gym where I dropped Sophia in the daycare and headed to BodyStep class.

Ooooh.  It was a fantastic class!  I love that feeling of having a great class, it really sets the tone for the rest of the day!  I wish I had my Polar watch so I could tell you how many calories I burned, because I busted it out. Unfortunately, we are on round 2 with my sending that thing back to Polar under the 2 year warranty.  The first round they replaced the strap and batteries.  Maybe they’ll replace the entire thing this round.  UGH!  (sigh of frustration) I like to at least have an idea.  If I were to guess, (based on previous numbers when I work out really hard) I would say 500-600 calories.  I hope I get it back soon!!!

I am excited because in 2 days I will be headed back to here with the family for a much needed and well deserved vacation:

THE BEACH 😀

This picture was taken last year in Pensacola, FL.  We usually go to Sandestin, FL but last year we couldn’t get reservations at the hotel we like to stay at, and that’s how we ended up about 60 miles east.  This year we are back in Sandestin!  And I would like to mention, there is no oil there yet. Hopefully there won’t be, either.  I was chatting with some friends today (we’re all going to the beach on the Gulf at the same time…just different areas) and they were saying how the marine life has been pushed toward shore because of the oil.  Although that would be cool to see, I don’t think I’d be very happy swimming with sharks, lol!

Oh, I can’t wait!!

The other thing that I am happy about is that I got to spend some time with my girlfriends! It was maybe the second time since I’ve been home from NY.  It was a very nice, very fun and relaxing day! 😀

My eats have been mostly clean and I’ve been trying some new things so…some new things were introduced to my diet. Such as a new protein powder:

Anything that says “chocolate peanut-butter” and I’m all over that!  I believe it’s 200 calories for one serving and I have been drinking it for recovery/lunch after the gym.  I’m hungry a couple of hours later, so generally I need a snack:

Cottage Cheese

Yes, I am still eating my Friendship Low Sodium Cottage Cheese.  I like to give it some flavor, so in the picture I added my friend Lauren’s homemade strawberry rhubarb preserves.  YUMMY!! 🙂  I want to try to make the cottage cheese into a dip in the Vitamix, because I like to dip things in it, like peppers and Mary’s Gone Crackers.  Maybe when I get back from the beach.  (The Vitamix will not be going to the beach with me, but I have a portable bullet blender that will be, as well as the protein powder).  I am working on increasing my protein and decreasing my carbs.  (Yes, still working on it…it’s not as simple as you would think!  I’m a work in progress ;))

cottage cheese and all fruit

There were of course, some eggs for breakfast.  I have gravitated from the egg whites (I ran out of mushrooms!) and have been eating 2 whole eggs for breakfast with a carb.  For whatever reason, I’ve found that I wasn’t eating enough before my classes and was feeling icky (yes, the technical term) and I would get ravenous during class, so I’m attempting to increase the amount I eat at breakfast resulting in the following:

eggs and enough carbs

It doesn’t work out real well when you’re trying to eat a Larabar in-between tracks of a step class, lol!  That’s how hungry I was getting!  I was also getting tired fairly easily.  I think I cut out too many carbs.  Like I said, a work in progress!

This eggs and carb picture was apparently not enough because this is what I ate before the class that I was starving in:

eggs and not enough carbs.

and these eggs:

eggs and....not enough carbs!

While I am gone here:

The Ocean!

We eat in the hotel restaurant at the Hilton, and they make eggs any way you want.  Last summer, I was into the oatmeal (can’t do oatmeal anymore in the morning, too many carbs) so I will be getting egg-white omelets with some whole wheat carb of some sort.  I’ve got it all planned out in my head, but sometimes that doesn’t always work out, so we shall see.

and yes, I can blog from the beach on my iphone 🙂

I made some broccoli salad this week that showed up on a blog on my FaceBook News Feed, and it was ok, but boy, not the same as the sugar-laden one that I ate as a kid:

The broccoli was made with non-fat yogurt, balsamic vinegar, almonds, and raisins.  It wasn’t fantastic, but edible.  There was also a breaded pork chop and potatoes with onions. (which were leftover from this meal):

This was a lean ground beef hamburger, with potatoes, onions and carrots on top baked in a foil packet in the oven.  I had some organic ketchup that I ate it with.

I did some research on sugar substitutes and while I like Truvia the best out of all of them, I decided to try something new:

Sugar Substitute

Erythritol.  Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol.  Sugar alcohols occur naturally in plants.  Other ones that you may be familiar with are Sorbitol and Xylitol.  It also does not affect blood sugar levels and is a zero on the glycemic index.  Just some food for thought 🙂  As with any sugar substitute, the taste is a bit different then actual sugar, and takes some getting used to.  Erythritol is only 70% as sweet as sugar, FYI.

I’ve been snacking at night which I want to get away from, but it’s clean at least.  It’s usually a slice of Ezekial Bread with coconut butter or apples with nut butter:

lots of nut butter 🙂

I want to try protein shakes at night and limit the carbs and fats.  We’ll see how that goes, as well.

Hope you all have a great weekend. My next post will be from the beach! 😀

Jessica



sugarless day 2!

March 10, 2010

Hello all.  Today was my second day of sugar detox and it went phenomenally.  I only had 1 dark chocolate truffle.  (Not much sugar for 1, it was about 4.5 grams).  The guy at Trader Joe’s was following me and a friend of mine around and wanted us to try all the food…true story!! LOL!  We also tried some dehydrated green beans that had oil and sea salt on them…they were sooo good, but I didn’t buy them.  I didn’t buy the chocolates, either! 😉

My cart held 3 bottles of “2 buck Chuck” (Trader Joe’s wine), their brand of sprouted grain bread, some soft whole grain flour tortillas that are preservative free, preservative free chicken and garlic sausage, low fat havarti cheese, and alphabet cookies (preservative free) for the kids.

This morning I made some eggs for breakfast, and as much as I was trying to take a great picture, they look strange:

There are actually 2 over-easy eggs in there, and herbs de provence sprinkled on top and cooked in.  Biscuit actually ate my first piece of toast (Ezekial Bread).  She also ate some other things today, that weren’t so good for her, but I don’t think I’m going to get into that. It involved phone calls to the vet. She’s ok, though, it wasn’t anything real serious.

I didn’t eat until quite a bit later, but it worked out as a late lunch/really early dinner before I went to the gym for 5:30pm.

My knew soft tortilla, leftover pork chop, Williamson Bros. BBQ Sauce (clean with the exception of the little bit of sugar in it), tomato and havarti cheese:

everything's better with cheese!

It tasted fantastic.  I was still hungry after so I enjoyed a treat that I hadn’t had in a while:

Greek Yogurt

Oikos yogurt with blueberries.  No fat, low in calories, naturally sweet.  I’ve tried their greek yogurt with honey, but in that case I like the Fage yogurt better.  The honey tastes different.

So tonight was BodyCombat, and it ROCKED, as usual.  I wish I could tell you how many calories I burned, but I still haven’t gotten my HRM back yet. 😦 Hopefully soon!  I did find that my hamstrings are super tight.  I suspect it was from BodyAttack yesterday…lots of kicking and jumping was involved.  Then there was more kicking tonight, so…that all = really tight hamstrings!

I got home and was staaarving.  Jeremy took care of the kids so I could make myself dinner.  I kind of went with some more leftovers with a spin on it:

Nachos.

Baked Scoops are preservative free, FYI.  There was around 3 ounces of grilled chicken, some black beans, preservative free salsa, Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce, and goat cheese.  (My new mantra…everything’s better with cheese!) LOL!  I wanted cheddar, but both the shredded cheddar and mozzarella had a preservative in it.  These are the upper-class nachos. Goat Cheese Nachos! My new invention! 😀

Goat Cheese Nachos

Mmmmm! YUMMY!

My side dish was plain roasted broccoli:

which I put some Braggs Amino’s on.  I love Braggs! Tastes like soy sauce (but better), lower in sodium then low sodium soy sauce, and has lots of protein per half teaspoon.

I guess today was the day of trying new things:  I thought I would try Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate today in lieu of my usual 85% dark chocolate that I normally eat.  Ugh.  Tasted like cardboard! I guess if you’re going to melt it and mix it with some sort of sweetener that it would be good.  Otherwise, not so much.

What it would be good with is melted and frozen on a banana.  I think I will try that!  I’ll let you know how it turns out, of course!

I also had a well deserved glass of Merlot. 😉

Hope you all had a great day!

Jessica xoxo