Cheese

Substitutes

Hey! How’s your Friday going? Mine is goooood. It is absolutely gorgeous outside, so making it a little tough to want to be in the office, but I got out and took a nice long walk during my lunch break, so at least I got some fresh air. That egg and crab from this morning kept me full for a few hours so I didn’t eat lunch until almost 1! When I was looking in my fridge trying to figure out what to make for lunch, I spotted these:

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I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with them, but I’d bought them a few months ago and knew they needed to be used up soon, so I threw them in my bag. I’m not really into processed foods or meat substitutes too much, so I wasn’t sure what these would turn out like, especially given the fact that I’d have to heat them up in the microwave. I tried one of the strips plain and didn’t LOVE it, but the dish I threw together actually turned out really good. Eating them with the veggies and cheese made them totally palatable, and for 80 calories a serving (and just 1 WW point) I think they were worth it!

I grabbed some frozen tricolored peppers and threw them in the microwave, and then mixed them in with the heated Steak Style Strips. I added some RF cheddar (1 pt) and put them in a toasted over an arnold thin (1 pt) to get the cheese melty. I also topped them with salsa after the cheese melted, and had a sliced up cucumber from the farmer’s market on the side.

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The verdict? These were actually quite good mixed with everything! I don’t think eating them plain is a good idea, but if you add them in with other stuff they’re a great low-cal source of protein. And for only 3 points for this whole plate, they were great.

What’s your opinion on meat substitutes? Like ’em or leave ’em? In general I try to stay away from processed stuff but do indulge from time to time, especially now that I’ve given up meat. I mostly prefer beans, tofu, eggs, and tempeh for sources of protein, but every once in a while I don’t mind having these. I do love the sausage style crumbles and think they taste great plain or mixed in with other things, but I only eat meat substitutes a few times a month.

Limo Ride

Happy Friday afternoon! Just a few more hours and it’ll be the weekend. Woohoo! I had a banana (1.5pts) for a snack this morning because I got hungry around 11:30am… that’s what I get when I eat lunch at home instead of at work!

Lunch was a remake of Tuesday’s salad, in a wrap form with a few tweaks.

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup corn (1 pt)
  • 2 cups mixed greens (0 pts)
  • 1/4 tiny avocado (1 pt)
  • salsa (0)

On the side, I had the same as yesterday…

Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, and RF Cheddar Cheese (1 pt). I seriously love this combo.  The cheese makes eating the veggies so much better. Who am I kidding? Cheese makes everything better.

So if you follow me on twitter, (@bethsjourneytt) you might have seen that I got a ride to the airport in a limo on Monday when i was coming back from OKC. This limo, to be exact.

Here’s Kelly and I, one of my friends/coworkers.

And Kelly, Kobi, and I.

Even though the hotel name was on the side of the limo, it still felt pretty snazzy to be taken to the airport in it!

Have you ever been in a limo? When/where/what’s the story?

On Track

Hiya! I’m going to make this a quick one because it is already almost 11pm! The day slipped away but I was 100% on track for the first time in a while and it feels great to end my day with that sentiment. That salad kept me full for a while and was so tasty, definitely something I will make again. In the afternoon I had fruit for a snack. First, some cherries.

And then a fuji apple right before leaving work.

Fujis are my favorite, so crispy and delicious. And I loooove cherries, but can’t even tell you the last time I had any. They are always so expensive, but I got them on sale for $2.44/pound at the store yesterday, which is cheap for DC!

After work, I struggled with myself but ended up getting in an awesome workout. I wanted to do weights and went upstairs to the gym in my apartment building for what felt like the first time in ages. I did some free weights for my biceps and triceps, and then did the machines for my back, shoulder, and chest. I did 3 sets of 15 reps of everything, and it took about 20 minutes in total. When I first got there, only one person was on the treadmill and there were 2 ellipticals and 2 treadmills available. By the time I finished doing the weights, people had come and gotten on both of the open treadmills AND both of the ellipticals. I decided to come downstairs to my apartment and maybe go for a run or a bikeride, or else do a workout video.

I ended up forcing myself to go outside for a run, and it was HARD. It was my first time running outside in a while, and I just felt it from the first step. I set out to do 3 miles, but I ended up going 4. It took me 39:52 and I did exactly 4.0 miles, so a 9:58 average pace. The first two miles were a lot faster than the second two, and i was really struggling to mak it through the run. I thought I learned my lesson the last time I went too long between runs outside, but apparently not. After I got home, I felt realllly good and was so happy I made myself do 4.0. It’s always a little dangerous for me to come back to my apartment mid workout because my couch usually calls my name, but I’m so glad I made myself go.

After my run, I made myself a quick snack because I was hungry. I bought these veggie dogs at the grocery store:

And had heard good things. They have 45 calories and 0 grams of fat per hotdog (1 pt), so I heated one up in the microwave and rolled it up in a flatout wrap (1 pt) with som melted reduced fat cheese (1 pt).

I smothered it in some reduced sugar ketchup (0 pts, 5 calories per tbsp)

And rolled it up and ate it. It was so good for a quick 3 pt snack! I was meeting my boyfriend for a quick dinner at Chef Geoff Tysons but knew I couldn’t wait until then to eat something. When I got to the restaurant, I decided to keep it really light, and ordered the Shrimp Wonton Soup, with a baby lettuce salad. The salad came with blue cheese (2 pts) and berry vinaigrette, which I ordered on the side and just used a tiny bit of (1 pt).

I also got the Shrimp Wonton Soup, which was delicious. I’m guessing that had 5 points, but that’s just an estimate.

It had 3 shrimp wontons and some greens and mushrooms in the broth. It was chilly in the restaurant and was just what I wanted.

So today was an awesome day in terms of being on track. I had 13 pts at work + 3 snack + 8 dinner which is 24, my exact daily target. I also got a great workout in, so I am feeling great about now.

I hope you had an awesome day too! Be back manana.

Easy Homemade Veggie Burgers

Unfortunately I don’t think I fully kicked off the sickness that was threatening last week – I’ve been feeling kind of under the weather all day. It’s nothing major, it’s just a cough and some congestion in my chest, but I picked up some meds and am going to take it easy so that hopefully this doesn’t turn into a full blown anything. Argh.

Also unfortunate, my lunch did not hold me over at all. My stomach was grumbling about an hour later – not sure why because it was a lot of food, but I was able to hold off until 3:30 or so to eat again. My afternoon snack was awesome and different than usual for me.

A flatout wrap with almond butter and a sliced apple. I rolled it up and this was so good and filling. Winning combo in my book.

I was originally planning on doing something low key like walking or elliptical tonight after work, but I was starting to feel a little worse, so decided to just relax and watch TV instead. I did come up with an awesome recipe for homemade veggie burgers on a whim that turned out awesome and helped me feel a bit better. 🙂

Ingredients (for 2 burgers – 1 point each):

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot
  • ~1 cup kale
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • salt and pepper to taste

I put the carrot, kale, and basil into a food processor and pulsed it a little first, and then added the chickpeas, parmesan, and oats to the mix.

I pulsed that all together for 30 seconds until the consistency was uniform and it looked like this:

I shaped the mixture into two patties:

I cooked one on a pan over low heat for 2 minutes on each side and that was it! These burgers are awesome, and I honestly cannot believe I waited so long to make my own veggie burgers. The fresh basil and parmesan cheese each added such delicious flavor to the mix and the texture was just incredible. I looooove these and am so excited that they are so easy to whip up. It literally took 10 minutes from start to finish for these burgers.

You might be shocked to hear that I topped my burger with cheese… 🙂

Romano cheese to be exact. I served it on a toasted arnold thin with a few basil leaves. I also had some McCain’s Sweet Potato Fries on the side (frozen and cooked according to package directions) and a little reduced-sugar ketchip.

Note: I’m not normally that stingy with ketchup, it was just the end of the bottle.

This was such a simple and awesome dinner, and completely customizable based on what ingredients you have to work with. You could easily sub in a different kind of beans or other veggies, but I think the addition of a fresh herb and the parmesan really make the burger. The texture of these is SO good, I honestly can’t wait to have the other one that’s in my fridge!

I’m going to take it easy, watch TV, drink tea, and scare this sickness away. Let’s hope. 🙂

Surprises! (And a New Winner)

Happy Friday afternoon! Today has been an awesome day for a few reasons.

First, it’s amazing outside. Mid 80’s, sunny, and not at all humid. Awesome.

Second, I had a fabulous lunch but did a really bad job photographing it.

This mega salad had:

  • Tons of farmer’s market spinach
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Look at all those toppings!

The fail part of this was that I had some Baked Tortilla Chips that I forgot to take a picture of (1 serving) and made an awesome dressing to go with the salad. I mixed together salsa + greek yogurt and drizzled it all over. It wasn’t very pretty (the color of the dressing), but it tasted great. This salad was awesome, huge, and so filling. I couldn’t even finish it all and that rarely, if ever, happens to me.

Third, my boyfriend surprised me at work with flowers!

And some veggies from a new Farmer’s Market that just opened in DC!

He know’s me pretty well, eh?

He brought microgreens, red and white radishes, black bok choy, and two bunches of kale!

Good job!! 🙂

And to follow up on the post from this morning, here are the answers to which wins for each, diet or exercise.

1.) Lose Weight – Diet – As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller size. It’s much easier to cut 500 calories from your diet every day than it is to go to the gym and burn 500 calories. Both diet and exercise are essential for keeping weight off, however.

2.) Boost Energy – Exercise – Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. People who train consistently report surges in energy.

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Diet – Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish lower hear disease risk by up to 64 percent. Working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system, though.

4.) Prevent Diabetes – Exercise – Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the biggest defense against diabetes, but exercise has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

5.) Prevent Cancer – Both – Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. The more consistently you workout, the greater the protection.

6.) Improve Mood – Exercise A 20-minute session can perk up your mood for up to 12 hours! It may also be as effective as mediacation for treating depression in some people. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that strengthen your resolve against stress.

What do you guys think? To me it seems like each thing has an element of both exercise and diet, but its good to know that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in your overall health. I found this information pretty interesting!

And the NEW KIND BAR Giveaway Winner is… #18, April, who said:

“I’m already a subscriber and have never tried KIND before! The Almond and Coconut sounds delish!”

Congrats April!! Please send me your shipping info to bethklein at gmail dot com and I’ll have the KIND Bar people get you out those bars to try.

Whew this post ended up being longer than expected, hope your Friday is going great too!!

Super Saturday

Today has been such a fun day, minus the one little bump in the road (quite literally).

My friend Lianne met me at my apartment, and then we biked into DC along the Mount Vernon Trail to meet up with our other friends. There were 6 of us in total, and we ended up biking all around the monuments and feeling like tourists, in a good way. It was fun snapping pictures of ourselves around the monuments, but the crowds everywhere did leave something to be desired.

We had a picnic down near the monuments on the grass and everyone contributed different things to the picnic.

We had:

  • Egg Salad
  • Regular salad w cheese, grapes, and chickpeas
  • Celery
  • Crackers
  • Bread
  • Hummus
  • Strawberries
  • Goat Cheese
  • Brie Cheese
  • Wine

I had a bit of everything while we chilled out in the sun. It was such a gorgeous day and the weather held up the whole time. After our picnic, we biked over to the Jefferson Memorial to explore a bit. Here we all are during a break from biking:

Katie, Kat, Me, Lianne, Amy, and Martyna

And here’s Lianne and I, a little sweaty but happy 🙂 We stopped for frozen yogurt at one point in the Old Post Office building, and I got a medium half vanilla half strawberry nonfat.

It was good, but not as good as my regular fro yo place. This was sweetened and didn’t sit that great in my stomach on the rest of the ride, but definitely tasted good and refreshing during the day of being outdoors.

We also went by the White House and saw a few other memorials, and then I ended up biking home. My Garmin said we had gone around 17 miles when I was within 2 miles of my apartment, and all of a sudden I heard a “pop” and my tire blew out! I had never had this happen before, didn’t have a repair kit with me (not that I would have had any clue what to do with it) but kept surprisngly cool and just decided to walk my bike the last 2 miles home. One guy stopped and asked me if I needed some help but said he had a tube but it wouldn’t fit my tire and apologized. I was surprised how nice he was to stop and offer to help considering he didn’t know me at all.

Then, another girl, Christy, stopped and insisted on helping me. She pulled out all these tools, an extra tube, an air pump, and several other gadgets that I needed to get. She said she was happy to help and it gave her a break from riding. She took out the tube and replaced it with an extra one she had, and walked me through the whole process so I think I can do it on my own next time! She was so nice, and I was seriously taken aback by how out of her way she went for me. Something I will definitely pay forward as soon as I figure out what I’m doinge. I was able to ride the last 1.5 miles home no problem on the tire, and I’m so relieved it was a simple fix! I must go to the bike store soon though to get all these gadgets I need, and now vaguely know how to use.

In the end, the Garmin said I traveled around 19 miles and the total time was a bit over 2 hours. I was biking pretty fast to DC and home from there, but the whole time around DC and the monuments we were all going very slow because there were so many people out and it was impossible to go fast.

All in all, today was a fabulous day! I can’t believe how nice people are in DC, and it was so amazing spending the whole day outside picnicking and biking. What a day!

Waffle Fail

The days seem to be flying by lately! It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start winding down on Monday night. I am exhausted, though. I think my body is still trying to catch up from Saturday nights 2 hours of sleep, so I’m going to make this pretty quick.

Afternoon snacks were popcorn with nutmeg and cinnamon and a pink lady apple:

After I got home from work, I decided to play around with some of the ExerciseTV on Demand to try to find a good yoga workout to do. I got a little stiffer throughout the day, but still feel much better than I expected. I found the YogaWorks Body Slim on demand, which was a 45 minute yoga video with intervals of slower strength and opening postures and some cardio. It was the most challenging yoga I’ve done so far of all the on demand options, and I was definitely sweating a bit during it. I got some really good stretches in and felt a looser and very relaxed when it was over. This workout is one I’ll do again for sure.

I told you’d there’d be some random meals to come this week with the things in my fridge and I proved myself right with dinner. I had grand plans to make stuffed peppers, but I went out to get a few things and by the time I got home I wasn’t really feeling like making a big meal. I picked up a waffle iron at Target, so decided I would just make some waffles and an egg, but the waffle iron was cheap and didn’t work well. It said it was nonstick and not to use spray, but it definitely needed some. The two waffles I tried to make on it completely stuck to the iron, so I couldn’t eat them, much less get them out of the iron. 🙁

I had already started an egg, so I decided to make it into an egg sandwich instead:

I used a whole wheat bagel thin and some reduced fat shredded mozzarella for the sammie. Then I grabbed a plain Oikos and stirred in a little agave syrup and sliced up some strawberries to have on the side.

After I was done I was craving something else, so I took a few slices of the two leftover cheeses from Friday with some whole wheat crostini.

This is a little bit of aged pecorino and goats milk gouda. These crostini I bought at the grocery store and they are really crunchy and go perfect with the cheese. You can make your own crostini by toasting a sliced baguette, but its so much easier when you buy them already made in the store. 😛

No greens with dinner but I had a lot of green at lunch so I still think the day was pretty balanced. If anything, too much cheese, but you can never have enough cheese so I’m OK with that. I’m going to watch a bit of TV and then get to bed early. Goodnight!