Banana

Two for One

Sunday night dinner ended up being just as fabulous as I predicted. 🙂 We started off with a nice spread for appetizers because we didn’t eat anything since breakfast! Our platter had two types of hummus, scallion and roasted red pepper, plus goat cheese, cucumbers (fresh from our farm share!) and flatbreads:

We polished everything except a little bit of the goat cheese and some of the hummus. We had gone to Whole Foods during the day and I did some shopping for lunch and other random things I needed and Wil went in search of dinner. I love that he loves to cook because it makes my Sunday nights a lot easier and more delicious.

He found sockeye salmon, which is wild salmon that actually swims upstream, so its less fatty than Atlantic Salmon and really flavorful. He did a dry rub on the salmon with some different spices, which is a great way to get tons of flavor into anything you cook without having to think ahead and marinate it. Basically, you mix together the spices that you want to use, and you literally rub them onto your fish, chicken, steak, etc, and then when you cook it, the spices form a crust on the protein and lock in all the flavor. I requested no oil in the meal since I had been eating heavier than normal during my time in Minneapolis, so he just baked the fish, and it turned out incredible.

He served the salmon over a succotash with potatoes, yellow tomatoes, red onions, okra, and corn which he cooked in veggie stock. He also made a little peach chutney at the last minute because the spice mix was.. pretty spicy, so he wanted something sweet to help offset it. He just used a fresh peach from our farm share and some vinegar and sauteed it together until the peaches were soft.

It was incredible! I guess just because the veggies were all fresh and organic, but this succotash was to die for. He only used veggie stock to cook it, so it was super healthy, but very flavorful. And the salmon was also very flavorful and perfectly cooked so that it felt apart while I was eating it and basically melted in my mouth. So, so good.

Breakfast today was simple and quick.

A Siggi’s Blueberry (2 pts), a small banana (1.5 pts), and a small peach (.5 pts). I ended up mixing some Fiber One (0 pts) into the yogurt while I was eating it, but unfortunately the Siggi’s blueberry is just not my favorite. It’s a little tart and maybe just not sweet enough for me. I’ve heard good things about their Vanilla flavor, but have yet to try it/find it in the stores. I think I’ll be sticking with Greek yogurt going forward because that’s much more up my alley. The good thing about Siggi’s is it packs a ton of protein – 16g in that little container! This breakfast, though simple, kept me full for hours.

I only ate about 1/2 the salmon on my plate from last night because I had filled up on the hummus and goat cheese, and the piece of salmon was pretty huge.  It worked out great though because I just flaked the leftover salmon and mixed it into leftover succotash for lunch today. I ate it cold so it was sort of like a pasta salad and it was SO good.

There was about 1 cup of succotash (2 pts) and 3.5 oz of salmon (5 pts). I had a side of organic grapes (1pt) which were on sale at Whole Foods.

I love using leftovers to make lunch the next day so you get two meals out of one evening of cooking. There is still a ton of succotash leftover so I have to figure out some other ways to use it up – I’m thinking mixed into eggs, or just straight up because the flavors are so delicious.

In other news, my farm share this week had 4 heads of cabbage!!! I haven’t even begun to use it but I need to think of some different ways to use it so I don’t let it go bad. What is your favorite way to enjoy cabbage? Do you have any recipes I should try? Feel free to link to your recipe in the comments section!!

Chocolate Banana Frosting

Good morning and TGIF! I am soooo ready for the weekend, just have to get through today! Last night was really fun at the reception, but I didn’t end up doing THAT well with not drinking/healthy eating, though I didn’t bomb it either. It really helps not eating meat because they passed around a bunch of hors d’oeuvre that had meat on them, so I easily passed those up. I had two jumbo cocktail shrimp and two mini crab cakes from the passed appetizers. To drink, I had two glasses of Malbec and two vodka sodas, a bit more than I was intending. After the reception was over, a few of us finished our last drink at the bar and the waitress brought over some cheese and bread. I didn’t snap a picture, but there was some blue cheese, brie cheese, and a semi soft white cheese that I’m not sure what it was. It was all delicious and a nice treat!

This morning I woke up and was craving one thing… pancakes! Chiacakes to be exact. I altered the recipe slightly to make it a little less pointy, and had 3 perfect pancakes with chocolate banana frosting!

Into the batter went:

  • 2 tbsp flax pancake mix (1 pt)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (1 pt)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites (0 pts)
  • 1/4 cup light soy milk (.5 pts)

So 3.5 points for 3 pancakes!

Then, to make the frosting, I heated up 1/2 small banana (1 pt) with 2 tbsp soy milk for 30 seconds in the microwave.

The bananas got soft, so I mashed them with a knife and added 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (0 pts). It turned into a thick chocolatey banana frosting. If you wanted it to be thinner, you can add a bit more milk, but I liked it thick! I spread some on each on the chia cakes, and got ready to feast on a delicious breakfast.

Soooooo good. I haven’t had pancakes in a while, so these really hit the spot! This frosting can be used for a lot of things, and it’s just 1 pt for all of it! Yum. So the total breakfast was 4.5 points, and super filling. I want more only because they were so good, not because I’m still hungry.

What are you looking forward to most this weekend? I have a bachelorette tomorrow night in Atlantic City. One of my best friends is getting married in less than two months, so we’re going all out to celebrate!

I’m Baaack

Hello! Sorry for the blogging hiatus, but I’m back and plan to be on regular schedule going forward, blogging after breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I mentioned during my trip in OKC, the powercord for my laptop broke, so my computer died and I had no way of charging it. It made it really tough to blog because typing long entries on my phone was semi-painful, plus having to take all the pictures on my droid instead of on my camera. I basically gave up after Saturday morning, but wanted to share a few highlights of the trip.

First, the frozen yogurt place. It was called Peach Wave, and was SO cute and delicious. Here’s a picture of the inside of the shop:

It was a self-serve frozen yogurt place, and they had 16 flavors of frozen yogurt to choose from!

Plus tons of different toppings, from fresh fruit, nuts and granola

to every kind of candy you could ever want

I went there twice during my trip to OKC. The first time I went the healthy route:

Plain tart yogurt with raspberries, kiwi, mochi, and organic granola. It was sooo good and the fruit was super fresh. The next night (no picture) I went the candy route, and got cookies and cream frozen yogurt with oreos and cookie dough. SO good, but definitely not the healthiest.

Instead of recounting every detail from the last four days, I’m just going to summarize what went right and what I need to work on for my next business trip (one in July and a big one in September coming up).

Good things:

  • I went to the gym 2x and got in great workouts and strength training
  • I ate a lot of fruits and veggies the whole time I was there
  • I ate a healthy breakfast every single day, either egg whites and veggies or oatmeal, plus lots of fresh fruit
  • I ate at the buffet for several meals, and didn’t overdo it ONCE (This one is HUGE for me)
  • I got back on track after indulging on weekend meals yesterday and ate really healthy even though I was traveling/in airports all day. Breakfast at the hotel of egg whites with veggies, skim milk, fresh fruit, and an english muffin. Lunch was at Moe’s and I got the Personal Trainer, which was basically a salad with black beans, veggies, rice, and pico de gallo. I opted out of cheese and the tortilla bowl, but did get chips on the side. Dinner was a Grilled Veggie Wrap and a fruit cup that I bought at the airport and ate on the final leg of my trip.

Better luck next time:

  • I overindulged on dinner for the last three nights of my trip – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Friday night was the crab feast, Saturday we went to Mexican and I had way too many chips and salsa, a margarita, and shrimp fajitas for my meal, and Sunday was the worst. We ate at the hotel bar and ordered chips with blue cheese melted on them, crab mac and cheese, and some other random snacky items – everything was shared but it was way too much and way too unhealthy and I woke up HURTING yesterday)
  • I only went to the gym the first two days – I should have tried to squeeze one more trip in over the weekend to get myself refocused
  • I didn’t drink enough water after the first few days
  • I overpacked (not a huge deal, but my suitcase was really heavy and I only wore 1/2 of what I brought!)
  • I drank too much coffee and now I feel myself craving it again when I hadn’t had it regularly for a few months before this trip
  • I had a few too many drinks on the trip – I’ll leave it at that

I have another major highlight of the trip to share – a trip to an incredible art gallery (and I’m not really into art but this was amazing). I’ll save pictures of that for another post so this one doesn’t get out of control!

Today I am back to the grind. I still have to unpack since I didn’t get home until almost 10 last night, as well as go grocery shopping and just relax a bit so I can get my life back in order. I had an egg white puff breakfast sandwich this morning for breakfast.

I used 1/3 cup egg whites and microwaved them in a bowl for 1 minute. I added a bit of spinach which wilted from the hot eggwhites, and then some sriracha, all on an arnold thin. It was really good but I was hungry a bit later, so I dug into a banana that I bought yesterday for a snack on the plane and didn’t end up eating.

Back to work to sort through my millions of emails and catch up on everything I missed from being out of the office!

I know I’m a day late, but what was the highlight of your weekend? If nothing exciting happened, what are you looking forward to NEXT weekend? I have one of my best friend’s Bachelorettes on Saturday night in Atlantic City! We are staying at the Borgata and will be living it up and I can’t wait. All our best friends from college will be together for the first time in a while.

Party Time

Today has been such a fun day but I am so sad this day and the weekend in general are wrapping up! Yesterday was a bunch of running around doing errands to get ready for the party, and all day today was cooking, cleaning, picking up some last minute things, and then having people over! We had about 15 people total (including us) and Wil cooked up a storm. I had a stabilizing and light breakfast because I knew there’d be heavy eating later in the day, but didn’t want to NOT eat so that I overate when the party started.

This was 2 egg whites microwaved into a puff on an arnold thin with some melted cheddar, a little sriracha, and half a banana sliced on the side. I just poured the egg whites into a bowl that I had sprayed with nonstick spray and then microwaved them for 1 minute and it puffed up into the perfect size for a sandwich.

Then, we got geared up for the party, which started around 1pm. Here’s a peek at the buffet:

Grilled Veggies + Fried Chicken. Wil made the fried chicken by marinating it overnight and then frying it in a wok of oil and then finishing it in the oven. I didn’t have any, but heard it was incredible!

And that is the grilled veggie plater up close. It had eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, and roasted red peppers, plus some olives. We grilled the veggies last night in balsamic vinaigrette and then shaved some romano cheese over them today.

Cucumber Salad, Potato Salad, and Homemade Biscuits.

The cucumber salad just had cucumbers and red onions, and was marinated in white vinegar, a little sugar, and some salt. It was very tasty and light and so easy to throw together, too. The potato salad was incredible, but not so light. It had olive oil mayo, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, dill, and mustard. It was sooo good, but I tried to go easy on that and heavier on the cucumber salad.

After I took pics of the buffet, blackened shrimp was added for those of who don’t eat chicken. I bought blackening spice and just coated the shrimp in it and then seared it on a flat grill pan with a little butter. Here’s a picture of my plate:

Some blackened shrimp, cucumber salad, grilled veggies, potato salad, and a biscuit. I definitely had some more shrimp, veggies, and cucumber salad, and maybe another biscuit or two. All of the food was soooo good, and the company even better. We spent some time at the pool and the weather was PERFECT. Clear, sunny, and not at all humid.

I’m so sad this weekend is over because I have such a busy day ahead. Tomorrow is my only day in the office, and then Wednesday I am flying to Oklahoma City for a conference. I always struggle with being healthy on conferences, but I really want to do well because I feel like I’ve been slacking a bit on healthy eating/exercise. During this whole weekend, I only worked out one time (Bikram on Sunday) and usually weekends are when I get the most working out in.

I’m going to try to get a workout in tomorrow while also getting ready for my business trip, and then hopefully get a few workouts in while I’m in OKC. Once I get back from OKC, I’m in full fledged get-to-goal weight mode because I really need to lose these last few pounds and get to goal so I can become lifetime and stop paying for Weight Watchers. I’ll probably be eating a lot stricter and posting points for a lot of my recipes, which I don’t usually do. I’ve been more in maintenance mode for the last few months, but the truth is I still have a few pounds left to go and I really need to start crackin’!

What was the highlight of your Memorial Day weekend? For me, definitely today’s party! It was so fun and nice to spend time with friends eating good food and in the sun.

Yoga Pose May

Good morning and happy Friday! I am SO excited for the 3 day weekend that lies ahead, even though I have no concrete plans.

Tina and Kate are hosting a blog-wide challenge called Yoga Pose May where each day a few bloggers feature a different pose, and today is my day! The idea behind it is that readers of all different blogs may be inspired to give yoga a try.

Now let me start with this… I have only very recently started doing yoga. Before the last few months, I only was running or working out in the gym with the stationary bike, elliptical, and weights. While this helped me to lose most of my weight, I really wanted to start trying new things. I consider myself to be one of the least flexible people I know and was sooooo hesistant to try yoga, I can’t even explain it. I started doing some On Demand videos on ExerciseTV of different beginners yoga because I wanted to figure some things out on my own before venturing to a studio. Then, after a few weeks of doing random videos, I decided to give Bikram a try. You can read about my first experience here. That was April 28th – one month ago yesterday! (Thank you blog for helping me know that) Since then, I’ve become sort of obsessed with it and love going to Bikram and seeing myself get better at the postures each time I go. It’s small victories like being able to hold the Bow posture for the whole 40 seconds yesterday (first time I could do that!) that makes me want to go back for more.

Moving along, my pose for today is Eagle Pose, which I think is one of the more challenging poses to get right. There are several different varieties of this pose depending on which practice of yoga you are doing, but I walked through the Bikram way because that’s all I know! I had my friend Amber from last night do it along side me so you could see the difference between someone who has been practicing for 10 years (AMBER) and someone who’s been practicing for one month (guess who).

Step One is to cross your right arm under your left arm.

If that’s enough, you can stay there.

Step two is to have your palms facing each other while keeping your elbows crossed.

We interlocked our fingers because its easier to hold that way, but eventually you want your palms to line up against each other exactly, and have the tips of your fingers below your nose.

Step three is to keep your arms like this, and bend at the knees.

Step Four is to bring the same leg as the bottom elbow go over the opposite leg. So, when you have your left elbow under your right elbow, you want to move your left leg over your right leg. When you reverse the posture and have your right elbow under your left elbow, you want your right leg over your left. Make sense?

It’s kind of hard to see, but my left foot (I’m on the right) is right next to my calf, but you really want to move your toes around your calf so they’re peeking out the other side. Ambers toes are much more behind her calf and if the picture was at a better angle you’d probably see her toes peeking out. The important thing is to point your toes/leg in the direction you want it to go. Each time you practice, your leg/foot will move a little deeper into the posture and with consistent practice, you’ll eventually get completely into the posture. I’ll definitely post a follow up shot once/if my body has changed enough that I can do this posture fully and my toes are peeking out, too! PS: Check out the gorgeous scenery in the background! We took these photos last night at our picnic while the sun was setting. 🙂

So, bottom line, give yoga a try!! There are sooo many different types of yoga, so it’s good to experiment with different practices so you can find one that’s right for you. Many studios offer intro specials where your first class or week is free, or offer discounted intro weeks. Sample out different studios so you can find one that’s a good fit with your body and your fitness goals! The thing that really convinced me to take on yoga was that there are three pilars of fitness: cardio (which I’m in great shape with), Strength (Decent but needs work) and Flexibility (needs a lot of work). It’s also an awesome change of pace from our busy everyday lives, especially for someone like me who can be a little spastic at times… 😉

Now, onto breakfast! Nothing new, but I just love eating these Vegan Overnight Oats.

Into the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 sliced banana, on top

So good but not terribly exciting, I know. 🙂

What is your favorite type of yoga practice? If you’ve not yet tried yoga, which kind would you be interested in trying? What’s your favorite pose/posture if you have one? I like Bikram but only because that’s the only practice I’ve tried. I plan to venture out a little bit once my package is up that I just purchased at my Bikram studio. My favorite posture in Bikram is the Bow Pose but I’m still working on it, and my favorite non Bikram pose is downward dog, because it just feels so good to stretch out!

Lunch in Parts

Sorry for the late and likely lame post! Work is extremely busy, plus lunch was eaten in parts, and all I know is somehow it’s already almost 4pm! 🙂 I’m going to make this quick because I still have lots to do and not much time in the day!

Morning snack (around 11:30am) was a banana.

Unfortunately this baby was as bruised on the inside as on the outside so I had to eat around the brown parts. ick.

Lunch was in parts, both pretty exciting in my book. First, I had a mini homemade pizza that I made after the main event on Sunday night with some baby carrots.

This had garlic oil, mozzarella, ricotta, basil, and parmesan. Not going to lie, it was a little dry because the crust was thicker on this one and heating it back up didn’t turn out as well as I was hoping. Pizza is pizza though and I enjoyed it. 🙂 And some carrots on the side so I can say my lunch was semi-healthy. 😉

Part Two:

The leftover veggie patty from last night over a bed of arugula – had to try to cancel out the pizza! This burger was awesome today, though definitely better pan fried than in the toaster/microwave. It held together really well and tasted great. I’ll never be buying frozen veggie burgers again – these are so much better, cheaper, and really easy!

Tonight is Date Night so the boy and I are going out to grab dinner and get a few more plants for the balcony. I’ll show some pictures on here once we’re done setting it up, but its really coming together! I’m hoping to get in a run or some sort of workout before dinner but will be back tonight!

Leisurely Morning

Good morning and happy Monday! 🙂 I actually have had quite a long morning (for me). I left my phone in my car yesterday after returning from errands, and didn’t realize until we were ready for bed that I didn’t have it. It was much too late to go to the car to get it, so I asked Wil (about 5 times) if he would set his alarm for me and make sure I woke up. I get really worried I’ll sleep in without an alarm (duh) and really only trust myself (barely, at that) to set the alarm right.

So, my eyes opened at 6am and I was worried it was really late so I jumped out of bed and ran into the kitchen to check the time. I’m the type of person where, once I’m up and moving around, going back to sleep is nearly impossible, though I did get back in bed for another 30 minutes or so. I got out of bed (for good) at 6:30, went and got my phone, and decided to have a leisurely morning. I am feeling really, really sore today (probably worse than yesterday) but they always say day 2 after an intense workout can be the best. I wanted to stretch out and loosen up a bit,  so I turned on ExerciseTV on Demand to see what was there. AM Yoga was missing so I looked around for something else that looked light, easy, and stretchy, and settled on Yoga for Beginners with Shiva Rea. It was a 25 minutes yoga flow series with lots of downward dogs, warrior 2s, cobras, and some other postures that I don’t know the names of. It was a little bit harder than I was expecting (I definitely broke a sweat!) but felt so good to stretch out my sore muscles and move around a bit.

After taking my time getting ready, I decided to make chiacakes! I had been craving them since Friday and finally got around to making them today. Into the mix went:

  • 3 tbsp pancake & waffle mix
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 3 tbsp almond milk

I let that sit while I through together lunch, and then used the skillet with nonstick spray to make 4 little chiacakes.

I topped them with a sliced banana, and 1 tbsp real maple syrup. SO good.

I haven’t had real maple syrup since… I can’t even remember when, and have had it on my list to buy for so long, but its just so expensive! I finally found some at Whole Foods (weird that I found it cheapest there!) for $4.99 (most places it was 7.99 – 13.99+ for a small bottle) so I took the plunge. 1 tbsp has 50 calories and sooo much flavor, so it was totally worth it. Definitely made these chiacakes a bit special.

Though I don’t think I’ll make shooting out of bed at 6am a habit, it was really nice to get to take my time this morning and do some yoga before work! I even got to watch the Today Show while chowing down on breakfast, which is something I miss, so maybe I’ll get up a bit earlier on weekday mornings so I can take my time. Maybe.

Also, Liz, who hosted the workout party on Saturday, posted a cute picture of the group, check it out here.

Overdone

Hey guys! After I posted yesterday I was out all day zooming from place to place and didn’t have time to come back! My first stop was The Washington Sports Club in Columbia Heights, DC for a workout party sponsored by Dove. Liz, another DC blogger, was the host of the party and there were about 10 people, mostly bloggers, who came to the event. It was intense! It was a one hour long workout, 30 minutes were cardio kickboxing and 30 minutes were spent in “bootcamp.”

During the first half, there was lots of punching and kicking and complex moves combining several steps. I am a little lacking in the coordination department so I just had a smile on my face most of the time laughing at how hard it was to figure out what was going on. The moves changed frequently so by the time I nailed down one, it was already time to move onto the next. Then the next part was the actual bootcamp, and that was intense. We were doing minute intervals of different moves and then randomly the instructor would point to 2 people and have them do something different, like knee kicks with a medicine ball, or weighted squats with a bar bell against the wall with a stability ball. Whew! It was super fun and I actually really enjoyed it. I don’t usually do classes since I’m not a member of a gym, but it was so fun and it took so long to figure out what I was supposed to be doing that I almost forgot I was working out.

Then came the overdone part. I did not take my own advice, and decided to accompany my friend Amber to a Bikram class after the bootcamp. Now, in my defense, the reason I felt compelled to go is because yesterday was the last day of Yoga Week in DC and I hadn’t attended any of the events or tried any free/reduced classes. Yesterday’s 4pm Bikram class was free, my friend was going, and it was at a new-to-me Bikram studio. I made it through the whole class, but I felt pretty famished afterwards. I didn’t eat anything since having the eggs in the morning because I was rushing from one class the the next, and it just kind of shot my day. My back was really sore afterwards and I felt a little too sore.

After the Bikram class, my friend Amber and I went to grab some food at Booeymonger. It was rainy and chilly out, so I wanted to go with something warm and ordered the Veggie Special. It was a sandwich with grilled mushrooms, spinach, tomato, salad veggies, alfalfa sprouts, onions and melted provolone cheese with mayonnaise on a French baguette, but I ordered it without the mayo.

And it was just OK. It was a little bland because there was no sauce on it and the cheese and bread were pretty mild in flavor. I did inhale the whole thing because I was sooo hungry, but I’ll probably try something different next time I go.

After that, it was already somehow almost 7pm and the rest of my day was kind of shot. I stopped by my friend Jess’s to say hello to her and Rachel, but then I came home and took it easy because my back was so shot. I snacked a bunch on random things (think pretzels, baked tortilla chips, dark chocolate chips) and just laid low.

Today I woke up, and this probably won’t be a shocker, but I am sore. My arms, my calves, my whole body… wow. That’s what two back to back intense classes will do to you, I guess. 🙂 I woke up really hungry, and though we’re stocked with a lot of veggies, we are out of the essentials like milk, eggs, fruit, bread, etc, so a grocery trip is definitely in order later today. I found some frozen mini waffles so I threw them in the toaster, and then took some frozen fruit (mix of cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) and microwaved it for 1 minute to melt it and make it saucy. I added some agave nectar to sweeten it, and then chopped half a banana and used those for the sauce on the waffles.

I may have ended up adding 1 tbsp of almond butter half way through. These waffles were fine and worked in a pinch, but I much prefer fresh waffles or pancakes – – though I don’t think that makes me stick out from the crowd. 🙂

Hope your weekends are going well! I will be back later, promise. 🙂

Diet v. Exercise

Good morning and Happy Friday! I had the hardest time falling asleep last night even though I was tired – I think that 2 hour nap really threw me off. Though not feeling very well rested, I did wake up feeling good health-wise. My throat doesn’t hut at all and I’m really proud of myself for taking care of myself and fighting this sickness off before it got bad. I was in the mood for pancakes when I woke up, but I was dragging and running behind and didn’t have time to cook them without being ridiculously late for work, so I went another route.

This morning, I mixed together:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2/3 cup almond milk

And then I made a Breakfast Parfait by layering a sliced banana, a few strawberries, and the oats together.

It was delicious and so simple. Making parfaits out of “overnight oats” (can I really call them that when they don’t sit overnight?) makes them a lot more fun and spreads the toppings throughout. Yum!

I got the new issue of Women’s Health Magazine yesterday and I am loving it so far. This is definitely one of my favorite mags, and there was an interesting article in there asking whether diet or exercise is the primary factor affecting certain things. I was surprised by some of the answers, but take a stab at these and I’ll report the correct answers at lunch.

1.) Lose Weight

2.) Boost Energy

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

4.) Prevent Diabetes

5.) Prevent Cancer

6.) Improve Mood

Do you think diet or exercise works best for each of these 6 factors?

Also, I never heard from the winner of the KIND Bar Giveaway, so I’ll post a new winner at lunch today as well.

The Low Down on Protein Powders

Good morning and happy Thursday! It seems like you guys liked last night’s Healthy Eggplant Parm! And with good reason, it was DELICIOUS! I’m reworking the leftovers for lunch today and can’t wait for it. There were several questions asked in the comments section, so I thought I’d address them here because I doubt many people look back to the comments section. A lot of people who don’t care for eggplant don’t like it for two main reasons. First, it can get slimy/soft when cooked, and second, it can taste bitter. These two reasons are where the salt on the eggplant come in. This process, called degorging removes the liquid from the eggplant, causing it to become more firm and less melty when cooked. Degorging also removes the bitter taste of eggplant, because it draws on the bitter tasting liquid that is in the seeds. So, if you have an eggplant hater that you’re trying to convert, just use the salting method to draw out the liquid, and they will love it.

Moving along, before the last few months, powders of any sort kind of scared me. I never thought of myself as someone who would use powders on a regular basis or even try them. But, when I saw the Breakfast Cookie on Gina’s blog, I needed to have it, and one of the key ingredients in it is protein powder. I went to Whole Foods and just bought the 365 brand of vanilla whey (which has 80 calories v. 110 in the chocolate) and went on my way. Since then, I’ve added it to pancakes, to oatmeal, to breakfast cookies, and to smoothies, and I have to say, it really does make a huge difference in how long it keeps me full. I usually only use 1/2 scoop, which has 40 calories and 8 grams of protein. You can barely notice a taste difference, but I feel a huge difference in staying power with my meals.

There are some benefits other than staying fuller longer with protein powders. Here are some:

  • Having it daily can boost your immune system
  • Help with healing wounds  after getting injured or surgery
  • Promote healthy skin
  • Foster muscle strength/development

Some other interesting protein facts:

  • The body needs protein second only to water.
  • The body has no where to store extra protein, which is why we have to eat it on a daily basis.
  • There are four basic sources of protein powder: whey (milk), egg, soy, and rice.

I thought that was pretty interesting, so thought I’d share. I’m not saying you should go out and buy protein powder, but don’t rule it out because there are lots of benefits. Especially getting to eat a cookie for breakfast.

This Breakfast Cookie has:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 tbsp light soy milk
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 mashed banana

This morning I topped it with the other half of the banana.

I’ve officially decided that I do not like mashed banana IN my breakfast cookies. I tried it once before and added a whole banana, and it didn’t get very cookie-like, it stayed pretty soft. So today, I added just 1/2 a banana, but the same thing happened. I think using drier mix-ins is a better idea than using banana. It does taste good on top, though. You live, you learn.

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