Archive for the ‘Smoothies’ Category

Coasting

I don’t know about you guys but I feel like I have just been coasting through this week. A euphoric feeling of laziness has taken over my body and while I’m going through the motions, I haven’t been on my game as much as usual.

I didn’t get enough spinach when I went grocery shopping last week and ate the entirety of my supply by Tuesday. Spinach fail. I may or may not judge my entire day on whether or not I drink my morning smoothie (we won’t get into that) so instead of making a “green” smoothie, I’ve been opting for apple/banana.

This “coasting” smoothie contains 1 cup almond milk, 3 ice-cubes, 1 apple, 1 banana and flaxseed meal.

For those of you wondering what Flaxseed Meal is, it has a nutty taste and helps digestion. It’s also high in fiber and a powerful cholesterol controller. Just 2 Tablespoons gives you your daily supply of Omega 3 Fatty Acids too! Some people put it in their hot or cold cereal or oats, but I choose to put it in my morning smoothie.

Bottom’s UP!

Lunch has quickly become my least favorite meal of the day. Taking out meat throughout the day severely cut down on my usual lunch fixings! No half turkey sandwich, no leftovers from the night before, no Zaxby’s chicken house salad, no tuna salad, etc. My favorite go-to’s now are organic tomato soup and veggie crackers, a veggie wrap, a spicy black-bean burger with carrots or a kale salad with half an avocado. Those meals can usually tide me over till my afternoon snack, but I’m still craving meat for lunch.

Group Power really kicked my butt on Tuesday. So much so that I am trying to sike myself up for tonight’s class! We have changed our tracks and exercises and they are brutal! A lot of push-ups and the bicep track was insane, I almost had to give up. Maybe after Tuesday’s class is when things began to really coast…

I did recently stumble upon a tofu recipe that I really enjoyed and sometimes those are hard to come by. I appreciate the food and that being said, eat it quite frequently throughout the week but so far I’ve only found a few recipes that I would make again…this is one of them and it’s EASY. Score. Recipe courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame

Ingredients:

  • I block (14 oz) extra firm tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • Optional: sliced green onions

 Directions:

Cut tofu in half crosswise. Blot each piece on both sides with paper towels, pressing down to remove as much liquid as you can. (The wetter the tofu, the longer you will have to bake it).

Turn oven on and set to 350 F. Whisk together the sesame oil and soy sauce  in a small bowl, then use pastry brush to brush both sides of the tofu pieces generously with the mixture. Let tofu marinate in the soy-sesame mixture for 5-10 minutes while the oven heats.

Spray a non-stick baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place tofu slices on sheet. Bake about one hour, not turning, but brushing with the soy-sesame mixture several times, until the glaze is all gone. It’s done when the tofu feels firm to the touch, and looks glazed and nicely browned. I cooked my tofu about 60 minutes.

(source)

It’s officially February. Moving right along through these winter months…am I the only one that is lusting after Spring?

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

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ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


Good-bye Dairy

Hi there bloggers and readers! Sorry if my last post was a teaser, but you’ll be happy to know that I have still been reading, I just have had no time for posting…so here we go!

Still reading The Beauty Detox Solution and WOW is all I have to say. I’m totally sucked into this book and everything the author is teaching me about food.

It’s kind of scary realizing all that you don’t know, and realizing what you do know, isn’t much and quite frankly completely skewed.

Rewinding a bit…I opted to work a cheer-leading competition all day on Saturday for some easy money.  I was up at 5:15 am and worked till about 7:00 pm and basically went right to bed once I was done. After being on my feet and watching what had to be well over 100 competitions all dubbed with the same pop music blaring, I was exhausted=no post.  Just look at some of the line-up….

It continues on the next page-yikes!

I did have one proud moment…my sister and most of her UNCC teammates are on a competitive team so I was able to watch them, they did so great!

Sunday I slept in and it felt good. My body slept like a rock, it was a little hard to get up and get moving. I was supposed to work the same event on Sunday but opted out and gladly let another girl take my place.  Instead I read some more of my book (I’m way past the intended chapters) did a little yoga (stretching more frequently is one of my New Year Resolutions) and went grocery shopping.

Boy has that become a harder task since reading Kimberly’s book! In case you are wondering she suggests living a more vegan lifestyle than I’m use to I have ever experienced. However, her research alone has scared me away from dairy, point-blank. Which if you are a follower, you know how much my oats, fruit and yogurt concoction is going to be missed. 😦

No Milk. No cheese. No animal by-products really…

and this tiiiinnnnyyy little section is where I can get some organic. This unfortunately is not going to cut it so I’ll probably have to make more trips to TJ’s.

After spending more than a 1/3 of my grocery money on produce, I ventured off to get some things for Chris. This change is going to be interesting within the household to say the least. While I preach to Chris the practices I’m learning about, I think it’s going to take him more than words on a page.

I’d like to be clear that I’m not starting the detox just yet. I still want to complete the entirety of the book so I can be better assured that I won’t make a mistake and that longevity is my friend. On a personal level, I just can’t really fathom eating any dairy anymore after what I’ve read. I still plan on eating meat for the next few weeks as I’m not starting the official detox till a week from today and even then she transitions you out, or at least gets you down to only eating it 2 nights a week, if you prefer.

This book is changing my life, the outcome is yet to be seen but it sure is powerful.

Let me highlight a few of the things in Chapters 2 and 3, I believe that will suffice for tonight’s post.

  • I’ve learned what causes us to age and how it can be avoided and reversed just by our diets
  • Also, the single most important way to redirect large amounts of energy to make weight loss efficient and fight aging is freeing up energy from digestion.
  • A food that takes the quickest time to digest=the healthiest for you and vice versa.
  • I’ve been taught the proper way to eat and it’s not every three hours…and breakfast isn’t the healthiest meal of the day (according to your stomach).

For more info on Kimberly Snyder’s book, go here.

In order to get a jump-start on Kimberly’s program, I made it a little easier on myself by doing a lot of prep work after the grocery store.

Here you will see spinach washed and separated for salad use and green smoothies, cucumbers, celery  sticks, apple slices for (sandwiches snacks and salads), red and green bell peppers chopped up and lastly, some iceberg and romaine lettuce.

I also am attempting to get my taste-buds use to Silk Milk (hey, it’s an alternative for things right?) Does anyone else notice the distinct difference in color from the actual glass to the advertisement. This will take some getting use to.

Hope to try her green smoothie in the morning after an early gym session-if all goes according to plan. I could potentially sleep in till the last second and go to work with my hair wet. Not uncommon for a Monday 😉

How were your weekends? Have you ever tried a detox or cleanse before??

IT’S ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!

The Produce Bible has arrived! My very sweet, soon-to-be, but already feels like, sister-in-law bought me the coveted Produce Bible for my birthday 🙂 THANKS MICHELLE! I love getting birthday presents early!

I can NOT wait to dive into this tonight in bed! I want to learn so much more about produce and farmer’s markets and what exactly you do with a kumquat. The book came in perfect time because I had an exciting vegetable and fruit day yesterday…

For lunch I had Panera’s Mediterranean veggie sandwich with some tomato soup and an apple for dessert. The sandwich included Zesty Peppadew piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro Jalapeño hummus on Tomato Basil bread. It was delish.

Who would have thought that I would ever be eating a sandwich with no meat? Moving on, for dinner I was anxious to try baked eggs in tomatoes and I thought it would pair well with some Tilapia.

For the baked eggs you want to take a melon baller or spoon and gut the beefsteak tomato, leaving only the membrane.

Then you want to fill it with the egg mixture (I did 3 eggs for 2 tomatoes and added in some herbs along with some Gruyère cheese, the recipe called for chives and parmesan cheese.)

The oven was set to 350 degrees and the side dish took about 45 minutes for the eggs to set. Serve while hot!

Be extra careful not to cut the tomato membrane, otherwise it will look like this:

Tilapia Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Tilapia-4 fillets
  • salt-1 teaspoon
  • black pepper-1/2 teaspoon
  • all-purpose flour-1/2 cup
  • olive oil-1/2 cup
  • unsalted butter-2 tablespoons
  • capers-2 tablespoons (drained)

Directions:

Salt and pepper the tilapia fillets and refrigerate for at least a 1/2 hour.
Spread the all-purpose flour across a plate.
Take a tilapia fillet and gently pat each side into the all-purpose flour. You’re looking to lightly coat the tilapia fillet.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan and add the lemon slices. Fry for about 5 minutes and remove.
In batches fry the tilapia fillets in the lemon infused olive oil for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Place on your serving dish.
Increase the heat of the sauté pan to high and add the unsalted butter and capers.
Gently stir for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon the sauce over the tilapia fillets and serve.

For breakfast this morning I was craving and I mean CRAVING a smoothie. It’s been a while since I made a banana and strawberry smoothie for an “ode to the produce bible”-I revisited my favorite breakfast (on the go) today!

Do you incorporate enough fruits and veggies in your diet? What are your favorite recipes? I know I could do better but it helps to find great recipes to incorporate the everyday veggies into something more unique and delightful! 😉

Roadblocks

So the painting has come to a screeching halt. Or rather, it never officially got started. Roadblock #1. I taped up the entire living room on Friday night and prepped as best as I could but after finding holes that needed to be patched and Chris’s perfectionism I have been forced to do this project “the right way” and hold off until next Saturday.

I guess I can live with it for 6 more days. Although it looks like this…

Roadblock #2 was the Hubs craving for Friday night pizza. I folded. How could I resist?

Saturday morning I knew we had a BUSY day but I really wanted to get a work-out in. I was originally supposed to run Latta with Linds but we had planned for 9:45 and that was just going to be pushing it. I ended up just running my normal 2 mile route around 9 (in under 18 minutes!!) and then immediately came home to make some cupcakes for the baby shower I hosted and a cold Green Monster smoothie! Refreshingly YUM.

After my liquid breakfast I went to the shower where I practiced some self-control but gave in to a few indulgences. I did have a cupcake (I figured, I made em’…might as well test them out) but steered clear of salty chips and other junk.

I decided not to go to my softball game this afternoon which is no bueno for the team (and Linds-sorry girl!) but I had to meal plan, go grocery shopping, laundry (all roadblocks #3, 4 &5) and if I don’t get some rest today I will burn out.

Gotta figure out what we are having for dinner! Anyone have any ideas? Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Case of the Monday’s

I do not get sick very often and to be honest, I still can’t quite figure out if I’m officially sick yet or not, but I ended up leaving work early because I felt so bad.  As soon as I got home I took a nap till about 7:30. I’m feeling better but still congested. This is not the week to be sick at work and it’s only Monday so I’m trying to drink plenty of fluids and I will definitely be hitting the bed early tonight. I had originally planned to go to spin class this morning but when my alarm went off at 5:30 am I was not feeling it. Not getting a work-out in today kind of stinks but I don’t want to push myself, especially this early on in the work week. I had planned to make a turkey meat loaf with roasted red peppers and a salad for dinner tonight, but that got postponed as well and instead I ended up making some boxed Thai noodles from Trader Joes instead. I made Chris a frozen dinner pizza and my meal was ready in about 15 minutes with minimal prep and effort. (Isn’t this supposed to be a cooking blog too??) Let’s chalk this up to bad timing and here is an example of what I have to eat when I don’t cook 😦

I cooked up some broccoli and shrimp to add to the rice noodles. Gotta get those veggies in there somewhere!

I just recently started eating Thai food and I have to say the peanut flavor and mild spices in tonight’s dinner was interesting and refreshing. I’m glad I added the shrimp and broccoli because I was hungrier than I thought.

On another note, I made the Green Monster smoothie and let me tell you, it’s phenom! I ended up putting a banana, 1 cup milk, a scoop of whey protein powder (vanilla flavored), ice and 2 cups spinach. You couldn’t even taste the spinach! It kept me full all morning long.  Too bad it was kinda all down hill after that…

I am going to watch The Bachelorette and then going to bed. Hope everyone else had a better Monday and I really am going to try and get some actual running talk and some cooking in this blog once again! Cross your fingers that Tuesday is better!