Coconut

Chiacake Tacos

Good morning! It’s Fridayyyyy! Woohoo! I looked at Women’s Health Mag’s Day 5 Tips for National Women’s Health Week and loved the tips because they are all about healthy weight loss, something I can totally relate to. The tips are very simple and straightforward, but I think its good to see them put out so simply to get back to the basics.

  1. Eat when you’re hungry! This one is a lot easier said than done, but obviously makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to limit yourself and not eat when you’re physically hungry, but you also don’t want to give into emotional eating out of boredom, sadness, happiness, etc etc. For me, this is a constant struggle. When food is in front of me, my impulse is to eat it whether I’m hungry or not. Recently I’ve been working on listening to my hunger cues, but also controlling my environment. If there are chips and salsa (or guac!) out, I will eat them, hands down. So, I try to either move away from the snacks (after having a few, of course) or just put them away if I’m at my own house. I’d love to have the self control to have them out there and just resist, but I’m not there yet.
  2. Be realistic. This is why I love Weight Watchers so much. I tried Atkins and was quite successful on the program, but gained back nearly all of the weight I lost once I started eating carbs again. Cutting out any food group is just not realistic longterm (for me – especially carbs!), and you need to be able to make lifestyle changes, not just quick fixes. Weight Watchers is great because it helps you learn how to navigate certain social situations, gives you a supportive group of people who struggle with the same things you do so you don’t feel alone, and doesn’t have you cut out any one food group, even cake and sweets. I think being realistic is also super important in terms of time frame. The longer it takes you take off the weight, the longer it’ll stay off. I think having milestones or mini goals can be a good motivator to help you stay on track, but not if you’re going to set unrealistic goals and beat yourself up if you don’t reach them. My weight loss journey started in 2005 and I’ve been working hard and focusing on weight loss for over a year and am not even there yet (but am getting very close).
  3. Get moving. This one goes without saying. You don’t NEED to exercise to lose weight, but you do need to exercise to maintain weight loss, and to be healthy overall! It doesn’t mean you have to compete in triathlons or run for hours on end (see point #2 – be realistic!) but you do need to do something. Walking can be a good starting point for a long of people, but its good to change up your activity, and find something you love! And don’t be afraid to try new things – you might surprise yourself. I never in a million years thought I’d love running – I literally used to do anything in my power to avoid doing the mandatory laps at soccer practice when I was a kid and would call out sick during the day of the mile run in gym class. But for me, I love the challenge of running and even though I’ve had a brief hiatus from it recently, I’m happy to be back to it!

What do you think about these tips? Any other big ones you think are important to be mindful of?

Now, today’s breakfast! This one was pretty amazing. I made Chia Cake Batter with:

I couldn’t decide what I wanted for toppings on the pancakes, so I did something a little different on each one!

One with almond butter & banana, one with greek yogurt & strawberries, and one with coconut flakes & hershey’s syrup. I picked these up and ate them like tacos, as seen on Kath’s blog (except she actually cooked them in taco shapes, I made mine normal and just rolled ’em up!). I’ll use any excuse I can to eat with my hands.

Do you see how thick and fluffy these pancakes are? The chia seeds soak up all the liquid (which is why I used more than normal today) and make for the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes.

Nom, nom, nom.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Hiya! Can you believe tomorrow is already Friday and there’s a whole night of great TV ahead!? Sounds good to me! 🙂

After work, I stopped by the Farmer’s Market. I had brought $20 to spend with me, so I did a loop first to check out what they had, and then went back and bought the things I wanted. I spent exactly $20, and did REALLY well.

I got:

  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 bag of kale
  • 2 turnips
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 pink lady apples
  • 2 fuji apples
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 white potatoes

My CSA starts the first week of June, so I cannot wait! I’m basically paying $22 a week and am supposed to be getting 6-8 types of produce every week. I’m so excited to see what they give me and to try new fruits and veggies. I’ll probably still go to the Farmer’s Market a little bit to supplement what I get in the farm share, but I’m going to play it by ear because this is my first time ever doing a CSA so I’m not even sure how much I’ll get exactly/how long it’ll last. All I know is I’m excited for it to start!

My post from earlier really did pump me up a bit and reading all your comments about loving biking made me smile. I went for a nice ride after work and was speedier than usual! I think I’m getting the hang of biking more, and I came back and was a bit sweaty so I feel like I got a good workout. Here are today’s stats:

Distance: 8.01 miles

Duration: 34:25

Avg. Pace: 4:17 min/mile (!!)

Avg. Speed: 14.0 mph

Calories Burned: 449

I felt so good during the ride, and I kept glancing down at my Garmin and was going over 15.0mph during a lot of the ride. On the past few rides I was struggling to get up to 15, and this time I wasn’t even focusing on speed too much and was going that fast or faster! Exciting stuff. 🙂

For some reason I woke up today and my first thought was Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Now I have never in my life made gnocchi, or even attempted it, and the thought of making homemade gnocchi makes a lot of people cringe. I decided to give it a go and looked up some recipes today to get an idea of the process and then sort of made my own. While I was biking, I baked 2 sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 400 degrees (not advisable but no fire here) which sped up the whole process greatly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • ~2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

I started by putting the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl after removing the skin (which came off easily). I mashed the potatoes up with a potato masher, but a ricer is supposed to work better (but I don’t own one).

I let that cool for about 15 minutes (so the egg doesn’t scramble!) and then added the egg, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

I mixed that together, and then started adding the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

I used 2 full cups of flour, but you’re supposed to go by texture, not measurements, because it depends on the size of the egg, potatoes, and the humidity in the air. You want the dough to not be sticky, but want to be careful not to add too much flour so it stays fluffy. Once you’ve gotten it to your desired texture, put flour down on your counter and place the ball of dough on top of the flour.

Cut the ball into 4 segments.

And keep the flour close while you roll each of the four sections into logs. You’ll need extra to keep it from sticking to your hands/the counter. Not gonna lie, this part was a bit tedious.

Then you want to cut the log into gnocchi sized pieces, about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.

Repeat until all of the dough is cut.

Salt and boil a pot of water, and gently place gnocchi in the water. Once they start to float, leave for another 1-2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon into a colander, and then top them with your sauce of choice.

I made an Almond Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Microwave for 30 seconds and stir together. I tossed 1/2 of this sauce with a batch of the gnocchi.

Tada! It turned out pretty good! Not the best gnocchi I’ve ever had, but I enjoyed it and the sauce went really well with the sweet potato. This would be a great sauce to make with the Sweet Potato Ravioli. The gnocchi were a little heavier than ideal because of the whole wheat flour. Most recipes called for white flour but I really wanted to use whole wheat. Next time I might do half whole wheat, half white, and I’ve also heard its good to mix some white/russet potato in with the sweet potato to get the right consistency. Either way, I’m pretty impressed with my first attempt ever at gnocchi and it was a lot less scary than I was expecting!

For dessert, I had an ice cream-less sundae that was out of this world!

I didn’t even miss the ice cream! In the bowl:

  • 1 chocolate walnut vitabrownie
  • 1 sliced banana
  • sprinkle of coconut flakes
  • drizzle of light Hershey’s syrup
  • drizzle of almond butter
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chunks

Amazing way to end that meal. This post is getting long so I’m going to go relax. Have a good night!!

Easy Creamy Tomato Soup

Hey! How has your Wednesday been? Mine has actually been really good! The weather held up for most of the day, so I got to run the errands I put off yesterday and now have another pair of work pants that fit! Woohoo. I had an awesome snack in the afternoon around 4:30.

A plain Chobani with a packet of Truvia, a crushed Weetabix biscuit, and 1 tbsp coconut flakes. Delicious. As soon as 5pm rolled around, it started sprinkling outside, but it was still pretty warm, so I came home and decided to go for a run. It actually felt GREAT. There were parts of the run that were tough (miles 1-2, and 4.5-5.5) but overall it was much better than Saturday, and the light rain actually kept me cool. I also remember my ipod shuffle this time, which was a lifesaver. 🙂

Stats:

Distance: 6.00 miles

Duration: 58:35

Avg Pace: 9:46 min/mile

Avg Speed: 6.1 mph

Calories Burned: 701

I’m glad to be back to running where it actually feels good! 🙂

After my run, I made an easy, delicious Creamy Tomato Soup that you have to try! This recipe is courtesy of my sister Wendy, with a few tweaks by me. This is all you need for the soup:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp oil of choice (I used olive)
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used organic fire roasted)
  • 1 container plain Chobani (You can substitute half and half)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pot over medium heat
  2. Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft, not browned
  3. Add can of tomatoes, juice and all, and stir in with onion
  4. Continue to cook for 5 minutes
  5. Mix with a hand blender, or a regular blender (but be careful not to close the lid fully since the soup will be hot!) to desired consistency. I left mine a little chunky because I like the soup that way.
  6. Mix in Chobani or desired amount of 1/2 and 1/2 and keep over the flame until heated through
  7. Garnish soup however you like. I used shredded cheddar.

This recipe makes 2 good sized bowls of soup (with 2 WW points each if you use the same ingredients I did) and is creamy, chunky, and delicious!

I had the soup with a toasted everything bagel thin with an over easy egg and more cheddar.

Such an easy and delicious dinner! I looove cream of tomato soup and this version is delicious and healthy too!

Dessert was 1/2 a mango, chopped up.

Off to catch up on the Biggest Loser and take it easy! Goodnight!

Delicious Morning

Good Morning! I’m happy to report that I actually did go to bed around 11pm last night and slept until a few minutes after 8. The sleeping until after 8 was unintentional, but I was proud of getting myself in bed early and clearly I needed the sleep. I’m feeling really refreshed and well rested today which is definitely a good way to approach the day. Plus, its Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday aka start of the weekend!

Today’s breakfast was not too shabby, either. I threw together ingredients for one of Gina’s breakfast cookies last night and it turned out fabulous.

Into the mix went:

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

What made this breakfast cookie so special was the mix-ins!

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chunks
  • 5 dried strawberries, rough chopped

Presenting… The Chocolate Coconut Breakfast Cookie with Strawberries!

Ohhhh man was this good. I actually leave it in the fridge uncovered overnight because I think it dries it out a bit more and makes it more cookie like. I could pick pieces of this off the plate rather than having to spoon it up (obviously because I’m classy like that ;)). I looove this combo. Plus, if the chia seeds work the same as they did yesterday, I will be full for hours.

I also made an iced green tea to have with my breakfast cookie.

This is just as good as the ones at Starbucks and so much cheaper. I just did 2 green tea bags in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes, and then poured it over ice. Such a nice pick-me-up in the morning!

We have a team lunch today at Teaism because its our interns last day! Should be fun and this time I don’t have to shy away from snapping some pictures.

Have an awesome Tuesday!!

Same Day Breakfast Cookie

Morning! I caved last night and went to Best Buy to buy a new charger for my camera. I was going to order it off Amazon.com because I found it for a bit cheaper, but with shipping it would have come out to about the same, plus I would have had to wait a few days to get it. So I decided to just buy it in person rather than online and Best Buy had a universal Cannon charger that was $41 instead of $50, so not as bad. I’m going to hold on to this for dear life though – – I still can’t believe the little charger costs that much!

I am feeling really good this morning! Everyone told me I was going to be so sore today, but I’m not really sore at all. I honestly cannot wait to go back and do it again. Soon, I hope!

Since I got home late from Bikram last night, I didn’t pack my breakfast or lunch until this morning. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, so I just started throwing things into a tupperware and then realized I was adding all the ingredients for a Breakfast Cookie. I wasn’t sure how it would be since its supposed to sit over night, but I figured I’d give it a go and see.

Into the mix went:

– 1/2 cup rolled oats

– 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

– 1 tbsp almond butter

– 2 tbsp almond milk

– 1 tbsp chocolate chips

– 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Here is the coconut that I used:

It’s finely shredded so its not as good as flaked coconut for a topping, but it works really well when you want coconut flavor spread throughout whatever you’re eating. It went great in the breakfast cookie, works well in oatmeal, and also was the kind I used in the granola. The stats are good on this too – 4 tbsp (1/4 a cup) which is a LOT only has 70 calories and 6 grams of fat. I used half that, so only 35 calories and 3 grams of fat, and lots of coconut flavor.

Presenting… The Chocolate Coconut Breakfast Cookie.

I’m happy to say it turned out PERFECT! It ended up sitting for about an hour between when I made it and when I ate it and tasted just as good as the one that sat overnight. The coconut chocolate combo really works here and adding the protein powder makes it a super filling and satisfying breakfast. Yum!

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday. Have a good one and be back after lunch!!