Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stopping the cycle

On Monday, a dear friend sent me an inspirational qoute that was actually inspirational.  It said, "if you are tired of starting over stop giving up."  This qoute arrived in my inbox the day I had already deemed to be the day I would start up my morning workout again.  Coincidence, the universe, angels, not fitting into my clothes again, or whatever you want to call it, I needed that affirmation.  So, not only am I back in the groove of waking up super early, I am also excited about reviving the blog and telling folks all about it.  Cheers and here is to not giving up anymore!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Soylent is...protein!

When Sergio decided to join me on my "Paleo" journey I was really excited for multiple reasons.  Of course, I was happy about the support I would be receiving but also the ability to not have to worry about, his an hers meals.  Cooking for two has become second nature to me, but cooking 2 separate meals for each of us would not be so simple or enjoyable.  The only issue we ran into was that it became very difficult to stay creative.  Of course there are tons of recipes out there, but how many of them are reasonable?  How many are going to have crazy exotic ingredients, a long prep time and cook time and are palatable?  Sergio has endured a lot in my food adventures but this time we hit a wall.  On top of trying to come up with creative, tasty and reasonable dishes we both got his with carb flu.  Yup, we were having withdrawals!  It sucked, big time!!  i was so sleepy and Sergio was getting headaches, we were both in misery and I was feeling so mentally drained with the thought of having to prepare food that was in line with the diet.  Sergio had already been researching a product called Soylent.  They pretty much mix up a bunch of protein powders, minerals and carbs (in the form of masa harina) and sell it.  You then mix water and oil into it, drink it and get all the bodies necessary macronutrients and calories an easy, affordable, very bachelor-like  beverage.  So how did this help?  Sergio began replacing his breakfast and lunch with a DIY version of Soylent and that left me to fend for myself and then just make one meal for the both of us in the evening.  I helped, but then I was in the predicament of having to cook for myself (breakfast and lunch).  I knew, that I too had to start doing soylent to keep my sanity from slipping away.
My journey was a bit more complicated than Sergio's, when it comes to Soylent, I think as a woman I just tend to do that to myself. But the reason was that I wanted to create a "Paleo" soyent.  Most of the recipes on the DIY Soylent involve Whey Isolate (which is dairy) and Masa Harina (corn), neither of which is a Paleo property.  My first attempt was a complete failure because I attempted to use coconut flour and almond flour, the grit was so bad I couldn't manage it without drinking a liter of water alongside it.  The next variation I tried adding a crushed multivitamin and using pea protein and a vegan protein, but this combination resulted in very painful gastrointestinal issues.  When I removed the vitamin, I was better but then I was cutting out almost all my vitamins and minerals.  I struggled with that concept for a bit and now I am on my 3rd version of the Paleo Soylent and have discovered Hemp Protein, Egg White Protein and GNC Women's Ultra Complex.  These three are the base for my recipe and I adjust these to match my caloric goal for the day.  To get my fat I add a tablespoon of MCT (coconut oil) and a tablespoon of Almond Butter.  Finally, to make it tasty I add either a combo of blueberries and cocoa powder, or strawberries and banana.  It is smooth, easy to drink and keeps me full.  it definitely took some time to get over not eating per se, but it has made our transition so much easier.  We both show more willpower than ever before, being able to avoid pizza and donuts in the office as well as avoiding processed foods altogether.
My actual recipe has many more ingredients that what I listed, I've added a link HERE to the DIY Solent site where you can access the recipe and many others.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A new chapter...again!

As you can see, I have been on a hiatus from writing about food. Back in May of last year I was doing  bootcamp 5 days a week and lasted 2 months.  I lost zero pounds and was then told that my initial measurement may have been wrong, so I would need to disregard that.  That's right, a big fat goose egg after all that work.  But you may say, well did your clothes fit better, or did you at have more energy?
Well, my clothes fit before and after the program and unfortunately I'm not too sure about the energy, because I've never been  too much of a slug.  So the big question for me was, why? It was most certainly two things:
1) Consistency
2) Nutrition
How am I so sure?  Well, three weeks ago I started a program to target both my nutrition and weight with an emphasis on these two aspects.  I have since lost 8 pounds.  Yes, congratulations to me, but had I not been so judgmental and ignorant I could have done this so much sooner.  A few months ago I noticed that ALL my pants were starting to get, well...snug, to put it nicely.  But on the day that I actually busted a button off my pants, while at work, I new something had to change quickly.  After making a minor wardrobe adjustment, to leggings and dresses, I began to research what I was going to do.  I needed a plan because I didn't want to just go back to the gym and mindlessly walk a treadmill or play around on some machines.  What I found was a 12-week program written specifically for women with and inclusive nutrition plan.  The program has 3 phases which satisfies condition #1 - working out in some way, shape or form on an almost daily basis.  It also has other key features, including a steady progression of weight/reps/sets across the 12-week period.
So here I explain the ignorance piece.  The parameters of the "diet" involved removing all legumes, dairy, sweets, and grains; including, rice, corn, oats, wheat, quinoa etc. I had no idea that there was name for this diet already and it's typically called Paleo.  If I would have seen that on the get go, I would have scoffed and turned the program away. Why?  Pure ignorance which comes from fear.  I'm so used to that pretty picture of the Standard American Meal (SAD) with 3 divisions for a starch, protein and some veggies.  Paleo takes out our modern addiction to processed foods and forces us to eat more green vegetables, protein, and fruits.  Well, instead of getting into the philosophy and issues with the diet, I'll just say the combo of the diet and exercise are working.  More to come soon, including my favorite new recipes, pictures, some of my new favorite moves, and soylent!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sausage Veggie Quinoa Stirfry




Inspired by my trainer, while discussing quinoa recipes, I came up with this idea to turn the remainder of my zucchini quinoa into stir fry.  I like having items ready to go for the next night, it was even better because I wasn't expecting it!

Ingredients

2 cups Zucchini Quinoa - refrigerated overnight
3 Jenni-O Hot Italian Saugage links
2 cups of chopped fresh or frozen broccoli
1 large zucchini - chopped
2 cups mushrooms - chopped
1/2 red onion - quartered
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds or 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Heat a wok or pan with high sides on medium high heat.  Remove the sausage from their casings and add to the hot, dry skillet.  Break up and cook throughly, drain the excess oil and set aside on a paper towel for later.
  2. Add zucchini, broccoli, quinoa, vegetable broth, onion and garlic powder, crushed red pepper and soy sauce to the wok or pan.  Allow vegetable broth to come to a boil and then reduce heat and cover for about 5-8 minutes.  Add in the ground turkey, mushrooms, and sesame seeds and cover for another 5 minutes.  Add more broth if desired (I prefer a firm broccoli but you can blanche the broccoli before starting if desired).  
  3. I topped with chives my trainer gave me, but this optional.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zucchini Quinoa and Tilapia



Sergio loves to say the word quinoa, I wish you could hear it, but I actually haven't cooked it for a while.  Sergio said he thought I wasn't cooking it because he likes to say it over and over again when I'm preparing it. But no, I'm not holding out on quinoa goodness I just didn't have the inspiration until I got these great looking zucchinis in my delivery on Friday. Enjoy!


Ingredients

Makes 4 servings of quinoa
For the quinoa:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the fish:
2 frozen or fresh tilapia filets, fully defrosted
1 teaspoon onion powder, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon basil (dried or fresh), divided


  1. Add oil to a small pot and heat on medium high heat.  Once the oil is shimmering add the onion, and garlic.  After the onion begins to soften and the garlic becomes fragrant add the crushed red pepper, zucchini vegetable broth and quinoa.  Once the broth comes to a boil reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the broth has evaporated.
  2. Meanwhile, pat the Tilapia dry and coat both sides of each tilapia with a onion powder, garlic powder and the dry or fresh basil.  Heat a non stick skillet with a light coat of olive oil.  Add the tilapia for around 5-7 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the filet).
  3. Serve the tilapia over a bed or quinoa.  Enjoy!
Serving Size (1 cup quinoa and 1 tilapia filet)
Calories           240
Fat                   3.6g
Cholesterol      50mg
Sodium            47.7mg
Total Carbs      23.8g
Protein             28g



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brussels Sprouts "In Season"


Previously (while living in CA) I never appreciated the featured articles aimed at selling the magazines in the cashiers aisles describing how to prepare this seasons variety of veggies.  Living in California offered a unique situation where everything was in season all year long, making these specialized articles about asparagus and peaches a bit senseless. But now that I reside in Texas it makes more sense to our pocketbook to focus on those veggies that are "in season." My Farmhouse Delivery also consists mostly of veggies that are in prime season forcing me to delve into veggies that I would typically ignore back in California.  A few weeks ago I received a small bundle of brussel sprouts and delicate baby carrots.  I then realized that I had seen recent articles on how to show case brussel sprouts...and artichokes, zucchini  and baby carrots, but one blog at a time okay?  Below is a variation on a recipe from www.allrecipes.com for preparing brussel sprouts without turning on the oven. Enjoy!



INGREDIENTS
1 olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons golden raisins
salt and ground black pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:
1.Add olive oil to a large pan and  heat on medium high for about 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring to coat the onions and garlic with the oil, allow to cook for about 3 minutes. Add the  Brussels sprouts(cut-side down), cover and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
2.Flip Brussels sprouts; add the vegetable broth and raisins. Cover and cook until a paring knife can go through the Brussels sprouts without resistance and the broth has mostly evaporated, about 6 more minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt, and black pepper if desired.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Curried Quinoa Salad

Curried Quinoa Salad

This was so delicious, it is must try for those on vegetarian or vegan diets.  I used coriander instead of cumin only because I didn't have any in the pantry.  Also, I paired it with some chile verde chicken which complimented the tangy curry.  Enjoy!