Thursday, September 29, 2011

taco thursday

I have been so crazy busy with work - and life- and getting ready for my VACATION woo hoo! I just really have not been properly taking care of myself and I am feeeeling it. UGH. 

Last night I had this great recipe planned - wrap some spinach, quinoa and shrimp in foil - bake it add some mango and avo and yumm... well when I got to the store for the Mango and Avo - none were ripe, I refuse to buy pre-made guac and the mango salsa all looked like it was about to go bad. I almost had a melt down (that's how I know I am tired) My boyfriend said - OK well its Tuesday! Lets make Tacos! [Insert slight roll of the eyes] Fine, I sighed. SO here goes... Taco Thursday - like the name? I came up with it myself. My boyfriends roommate was home so we invited him to join us, family style! 

Shrimp tacos for 3! (or 4)
Serves 6-8 tacos

Shrimp - how ever many you like
Cilantro bunch - chopped, divided in two
Half onion chopped
Two roma tomatoes chopped
1/4c. Plain Greek yogurt (for toppings)
Sm can of green chilies
Yellow corn tortillas
Fat-Free refried black beans
Quinoa (instead of rice)
Garlic powder
Jalapeno sliced

Directions: As always, 1tbs Olive Oil in a pan and add half the chopped cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno. Prep and clean shrimp and add to the pan. Cook on low - until shrimp is pink and set aside. Place the other half of chopped cilantro in a bowl, chop 1/2 onion and place in separate bowl, and chop tomatoes... you guessed it, place in separate bowl. 
I take the can of beans and place it in a pot, add 1/2 can of water and bring to a boil - lots of pepper, and then simmer so it thickens. Prepare quinoa with a little bit of garlic powder for flavor. I heat the corn tortillas -one by one - on the pan after the shrimp was cooked.  and serve family style! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Maintaining while on vacation!

I am traveling this weekend - and it will be the first time I have traveled for leisure since I have started this journey. I have flown home a few times, but its easy to eat well when you're staying at your Mom's (especially when she is also health conscious.) 

This weekend I will be on a girls trip - hello cookies and "drink of the day!" In an effort to avoid binges and overeating or snacking while away, I am going to be packing a few items in my checked luggage and following these traveling tips -Eating Healthy while on the plane. Luckily, the other girls joining me are also somewhat healthy - one used to be a model (where's my moo-moo?), one is a personal trainer (she'll keep me motivated) and the other is my one of my best friends, who will remind me to relax and have a drink. 

Here is what I am thinking:
Lara Bars

Fiber One cereal
Instant Organic Oatmeal for a quick snack before our morning work out. 

Have the cab stop at a grocer before we hit the hotel (or after) and pick up a case of water and some fruits and veggies to snack on...

OH I can't wait I can feel the sunshine now...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Half-Assed Keema, White girl style and working with left overs

Disclaimer - my lyfestyle change is evolving, still relatively new and although I try. I do fall off the wagon occasionally. Thankfully this isn't one of those times. But since I over did it on Veggies and Hummus at our work social and didn't have energy on Sunday or time on Monday to run to the grocery store - I did what I could with what we had in the fridge... and judging by the last picture, I think my boyfriend liked it!

My boyfriend's mom is a saint. She cooks every meal, everyday, from scratch - and boy has she given her son some high expectations, which I am happy to exceed. This meal however, is probably her worst night mare, good thing shes not blog savvy. OK I'll shut up now!

Here is what the recipe called for:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup beef broth

And here is what we used:
I had two patties of bison (about 4oz each) and 8oz of crumbled tofu
half an onion
2 table spoons (left over) tikka masala
1 tsp salt
4tbs ketchup, 1tsp Sriracha
3/4 c water with 1tbs chicken bullion

 First I added 1 tbs EVOO to the pan, and the tofu - pan fry about 6 min until a little toasty
 Meanwhile I made my tomato "paste" with ketchup and Sriracha 
 Then added onion and garlic... cooked till onions were just about clear
 Then added the chicken bullion to 3/4c water...
 Chopped up my bison patties
 Added it to the mixture...
 Finally, I added my "paste" and "chicken broth", let that simmer for 10-15minutes until the liquids have evaporated.
(I'll save this for him.)
 I served it with our left over Saag, Naan and Mango Chutney...
 I think he liked it.
Now, this meal was a surprise, and as thankful as he was, he definitely felt the need to inform me that, although delicious - it tasted nothing like Keema.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hydration Station

Over the weekend I became seriously dehydrated and extremely ill - fortunately I was able to keep liquids down long enough to sit through Moneyball - but over all I was feeling like shit. 
I met up with my workout club on Saturday for a new class we wanted to try at Crunch. I told them how the night before I woke up with these horrible pains in the middle of the night, I have gotten them before a couple times - even went to the ER once - they couldn't diagnose what it could be. By my own research I notice I get these pains when I am burning the candle at both ends, and not taking proper care of myself. 
It made sense this happened to me on Friday - all week I was so busy at work, I lost my camel back so I wasn't drinking as much water as I would normally, each night that week I had plans that didn't work well with my fitness routine and diet and to top it off I got less than 8 hours of sleep each night - Friday we stayed in, but indulged on a good movie, quality time with each other and my biggest vice: Indian food. 
So back to being sick - after my workout, I had a big glass of water hopped in the shower and went over to the eat real fest in Oakland. I started to not feel very well but was a trooper. After about two hours, I couldn't take it anymore I was too light headed and started to feel dizzy. Had I realized I was feeling THAT bad, I would have asked my boyfriend not to have another beer - so at this point he couldn't drive us and I felt awful. I got a ginger ale which settled my stomach a bit, driving home I thought I was going to pass out on the freeway - we made it safely and I fell right asleep. After an hour or so I woke up and we were going to meet friends for a movie, I popped some Advil as my head was pounding and we were on our way. On the bus I was NOT feeling right and at our transfer stop, lost my (lack there of) lunch. My boyfriend said lets go home and I insisted on going to the movies still. Once we got there - AGAIN threw up. Thank god for Gatorade and my boyfriend - all of our friends were there and I was not about to leave. I took some breaths and settled into my seat. I felt fine and made it through the whole movie. When we got home I had some saltines and drank more water. 
Sunday morning I woke up and felt 100% better, but after laying in bed for a bit still had a headache. Too scared to take something again and possivbly be sick  - I sipped water and gaotrade all day. I ate an english muffin (ME! I ate one, i was so proud of myself and disgusted at the same time haha.) I slept all day and gathered enough energy to walk to the corner store for some more gatorade...
All this got me thinking though - what are healthy remedies for being sick? I HATE chicken noodle soup. I dont know why its just never done it for me. I did a little research and investigation in my kitchen. So this weeks recipes will be sickness cures, my boyfriend will take part in creating and cooking these. Flu season is around the corner and I, for one, am not immune to anything - so he should know what to make to take care of me! 

Multitasking - burning calories on a date!

Getting my boyfriend to workout is like taking a three year old to get a shot. 

In order for him not to deter me from my quest, and in addition to my workout club and my healthy meals, I have Googled my way around the web and found these fun dates into sneaking in burning some extra calories! 

Mini Golf - 225 Cal an hour (I also try and do some extra squats when picking up the balls, yes I am ridiculous)

Batting Cages - pending frequency and effort you can burn around 200 an hour..

Hiking to a picnic between 450 and 550 calories an hour (Each way!)

In between football games on Sunday's grab your man for some catch - 30min burns about 100 calories and at the end of the day sit down, relax, reach over and give him a quick 20min massage - theres an extra 100 burned just before bed!

OK - so lets be clear, I am not saying play four rounds of mini-golf and you will meet your cardio for the day, but - these do make me feel a bit less guilty if i skip that morning weekend run. 

Friday, September 23, 2011


Ahh is has been a long week filled with birthdays, work deadlines and musical entertainment with my love.

I did my best to stick to my workout plan and diet this week - but I'll admit the home cooked meal I strive for at least 4 nights a week didn't happen. I did however cook chicken and bison, steam some veggies for some on the go meals.

When I know my life will be crazy I try and prep as many meals as possible without overdosing on certain items, and still maintaining a fresh menu!

I try to have lunches prepped for at least three days at a time, and enough for leftovers if needed :)

Sunday night:
Boil chicken breasts for 20min and bake for 7 at 375 degrees
I try to cook 4 - chop in half and there is 5 lunches and 3 leftover for dinner!

For veggies on the go - I try an get the broccoli in the steam-able bags (cross my fingers they're on sale.) Each bag is 12oz, I pop them in the microwave and voila! The perfect serving of veggies - brainless right?

Splurge (no modifications needed)

The first meal, and his favorite, I ever cooked for my boyfriend was a 4 cheese jalapeno twice baked mac and cheese with pulled pork sliders. I drool just thinking about it. This was also before I had my clarity and would eat just about whatever I wanted. I would have gone for the best cheeses and the pre-cooked Trader Joe's pulled pork. I still love the smell and taste of these comfort foods - except now when I cook them I am going for a more natural feel:

Less-Guilt Mac and Cheese
Serves: 6
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:8 oz elbow macaroni, dry - try whole grain or gluten free!
1 jalapeno (half chopped and half sliced)

1 tbsp un-bleached flour
1 cup fat-free milk
2 oz fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

2 oz fat-free shredded (other) cheese
2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups fat-free cottage cheese small curd
3 tbsp panko flakes
3 tbsp fat-free grated parmesan or romano cheese
Olive Oil (for pan - you can use non-stick stray but I opt out)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil up a 9x11 casserole dish. In a big pot, prepare macaroni to taste, I try and under-cook it, because I know its going to cook more in the oven. Drain (no rise) and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 2 tablespoons of milk. In large saucepan, heat remaining milk. Whisk in a little hot milk into bowl with milk flour mixture, just enough to warm mixture up and then pour mix back into pan with hot milk and stir over medium heat until the mix boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
Add the chopped jalapeno, cheese(s), mustard, salt and black pepper; set aside.  In a food processor or blender, puree fat-free cottage cheese until very smooth, then add to the cheese sauce. Finally, add the macaroni and mix well - pour mixture into casserole dish. In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs and Parmesan/romano cheese - Sprinkle over top of macaroni and cheese, then place the sliced jalapenos on top (presentation, duh!).  Bake 40-45min, or until brown (I like mine almost burnt!)

Make this on Friday and you can serve the left overs on Sunday when the boys come over for football and you go out for a hike with your girlfriends! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Musical Fruit Burger

Ahh I told you I love burgers...

Black Bean Burgers
Serves 4
Time: about 20min

3 rings of pickled jalapenos (optional)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup panko flakes
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
sea salt
Romaine letture (to wrap)
For Him: Pepper-Jack (or whatever you like) cheese, Bun, "all the burger fixings"
Directions: Heat a pan with EVOO. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic - grill until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool, throw in the food process or blender and blend away (similar to the GOOP). Add the cilantro and beans, "grind" or "pulse" a few times till the beans are broken down - but still chunky! 

Scrape the creamy and chunky mixture into a bowl and add the panko flakes. Mix well with hands and form 4 patties.
Heat the pan once more with a little more EVOO and place patties in - heat for about 6-7 minutes, they should be a bit crisp on each side! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Schloppy Healthy Joes - for him!

mm.. slopppy joes. Meat.. sauce... bun...more buns to schlep up the extra meat and sauce. Ahh those were the days. My boyfriend LOVES these and I do too, but now I skip the bun and the alternative recipe is for me to enjoy!

Schloppy Healthy Joes
Serves 4
Cook Time: 30min

1lb Turkey (or Bison) meat
2tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic – minced
½ yellow onion – chopped
2tbs Sririacha
1tbs mustard
¼ c BBQ Sauce (I go organic from Trader Joes)
1c Ketchup (again organic)
1c tomatoe sauce (I use the broth from the left over veggie soup)

For him:
Hamburger (or slider) bun of choice!

In large sauce pan add olive oil and onions – cook until soft. Add garlic and turkey meat: stirring until meat is completely cooked, crumbled and brown! Add tomato, BBQ sauce, ketchup mustard and Sriracha. Simmer for about 10min.

So, I always taste this for flavor and add either more BBQ, ketchup or Sririacha (pending my desired spice) and cook longer or less depending on the consistency .

For you: If I have left over soup, I will add this to it and have a meaty soup. Sometimes I will also add it to spinach or romaine and have a schloppy salad. I always skip the bun. Always. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hearty Veggie Soup

This soup is so good! and I usually don't have to add anything to it for my man to enjoy it also. Depending on how hungry we actually are, sometimes I will boil some chicken or add turkey meat. (I always have chicken cooked and ready to go, just in case I am not up to cooking.)

Hearty Veggie Soup
Servings  4
Cook time: 20min

2tsp olive oil
Yellow onion - chopped
1 clove of garlic - minced
12oz broccoli
12oz cauliflower
2 carrots – chopped
8oz spinach
16oz can of stewed tomatoes (sugar and salt free)
8oz can of tomato sauce (sugar and salt free)
16oz water – for POT
2 ½ c water – for PAN
Spices to taste!

In a sauce pan, with olive oil, cook the onions and garlic in olive oil in a medium pan, add the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots and 2 1/2c water – cover for 10min until cooked.
In large pot over medium, add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, spinach and water. When veggies are cooked add and simmer – if you want a thicker soup cook longer!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Workout Club

Ahh my workout club... This started off very simple - lets jog to the top of Buena Vista and run some steps, glass of wine after. Well... these casual strolls a few times a week were quickly counter acted by that glass of wine and we were not seeing results. Club President Michele, had already been with out personal trainer for a few weeks - so she was burning the extra calories mean time. I however still had not had my awakening.

A few weeks in it dawned on me Michele had added a new member, Leta, and the Buena Vista social club wasn't working out for her. They had joined Crunch and were in full force. After much convincing, I signed up for a two week membership pass - that came with two comped training sessions. I went to one class in that two weeks.

After meeting the trainer, and giving him a very tight deadline for my goal - I had a wedding I was in in three weeks and wanted to "tone up" - he said it was doable, I just need to commit. Le sigh.. here it comes.

We set up a meal plan, we'll meet 2 times a week and I will do cardio on top of that 5 times. With the help of my workout club, I made it to the gym twice a week, on top of my training sessions, and I would run on my own outside it of it at least once (twice on a good week.)  After week 1, I started to feel the results. When I ate well, pure and good foods, I felt better! I actually would WANT to run and get outside and be active.

I did have one weekend where it all went out the window - drinks, pizza, burgers, everything it was a free for all - and I paid for it. I woke up Sunday morning with the hangover from hell (I had limited my self to 2 or 3 5oz glasses of wine a week) and what others would politely call Montezuma's revenge. I was so sick, sick as a dog, I had never felt so horrible. I spent a week cleaning out my system, a detox if you will, and then went and loaded it up with all that crap. How could I have done this?!

When I saw my trainer next - I told him I binged and ate horribly, he knew exactly what followed. I expected punishment but he didn't, he knew that past Sunday was enough for me to never do it again. 

Moral of the story - you are what you eat. and I truly believe that now.

 Eat crap = Feel like CRAP 
 Eat well = Feel UHH-MAZING

 and YES it's that simple. 

Mini Bison Bites

I love burgers, love love love a good burger. The only thing I think I like more are sliders (and sex.) Giving up a delicious #2 from In&Out was super hard - even protein style. So I had to take matters into my own hands. 

Bison Bites
Serves 2
Time: 25

2tsp olive oil
1lb ground Bison meat (I buy it in a package from Safeway, but I know the fancy places have it in the deli section)
1/2 Chopped Yellow onion
1 tbs Worchestire
Yellow mustard
Romaine Lettuce leaves whole (or your preferred lettuce for a wrap)

Optional burger fixings:
Tofu Cheese

For him:
Slider buns (Kings Hawaiian rolls work, Sara Lee and Trader Joe's make slider buns)
Cheese (optional - I used the mini Brie)

Pre-heat oven to 425. Take the bison meat into a bowl, add chopped onion and worchestire sauce. Mix well and divide meat into 6 equal "meat balls", place into glass bake ware - with olive oil in bottom. "Smash" balls into patties and place in oven - check after 15min and turn over for 5. Leave in for 5 more if you preferred your meat well done.

When the patties are ready - wrap yours in lettuce with your fixings and put your man's on the slider bun! 
I usually eat about 2 patties to meet my meal requirement, and my boyfriend will generally take out the rest - sometimes leaving me one for lunch the next day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

GOOP for 2

This was my first experiment with incorporating my daily serving of greens into something other than 12oz of steamed veggies. My man liked his version, but said he liked the one I ate better (hes just being sweet...)

GOOP Broccoli and Arugula Detox Soup
TIME: 25 minutes


    1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced 1/2 yellow onion, roughly diced 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2/3 pound) 2 1/2 cups water 1/4 teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup arugula (watercress would be good, too) 1/2 lemon
For Him:
1/2c. Shredded Cheese
Dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt
Tapatio to taste


Heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for just a minute or until fragrant.  Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green.  Add the water, S&P bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender. Pour the soup into a blender and puree with the arugula until quite smooth. Caution: when blending hot liquids; start slowly and work in batches, steam could blow the lid off!  Serve the soup with a bit of fresh lemon - add the cheese, sour cream and Tapatio to your man's bowl. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So after meeting with my trainer (and advice from my amazing workout club members and fitness experts)- and given the short time for my goal we set a diet a long these lines:

Breakfast: Egg whites, spinach, avocado and an apple
Mid Morning Snack: 15 almonds, 2 slices turkey meat
Lunch: 3oz chicken, 12oz broccoli and 3oz sweet potato
Afternoon Snack: Lara Bar (sometimes a protein bar)
Dinner: 3oz chicken, 12oz broccoli

Total calories: around 1200 - I am under strict directions to never go below.

The goal is to have your diet  40% Protein 30% Carb & 30% Fat.

The Lara bar was the hardest part for me - although all natural and pure - its tons of carbs and sugar. Becuase the rest of my diet was protein I needed that carb to function. I still occasionally switch it up with a protein bar!

This is just a base - I cant live off this alone, it gets boring! (BUT it works.) I do mix it up with cauliflower and brussel sprouts - or swap the chicken for Tuna or Bison.

Diet is a HUGE part - but you will double if not triple your results when combining cardio and strength training. I hate cardio, hate hate hate it. Its suggested to do 45min 5 days a week. I average about 3 days - and sometimes will push it to an hour. I started a workout club with my fitnessy friends - it really helps keep you motivated! I love that I have these girls - we meet after work and have replaced our happy hours with treadmills and smart water. (Most of the time)

motivation nation

I have always been on a diet. ALWAYS. I was quite plump at a young age and my mother put me on one. In 5th grade my favorite after school activity was Tae-Bo, and in high school Xenedrine still had phen-phen in it and was $18.99 at Longs.  I am pretty sure I have been around the same size since 8th grade - I could wear the same jeans from freshman year through senior - and no matter how extreme my diet or workout routine became, my weight always juggled 5-10lbs. Then college came - hello 10 lbs. Then work came, no one prepares you for 8hr + days and what a toll that takes on your body! (I mean yes there are long classes in school - but after 5 hours you get up and walk half a mile to the next one!) Then you move - the emotional strain (good and bad), the physical exhaustion of looking for a new place, making new friends and finding your new favorite watering hole.. When I moved to San Francisco last April - I lost 12lbs instantly, walking everywhere, running around, stressing about little things and after about a month I gained it all back plus some... blah blah story of my life. Then I got the boyfriend - hello comfort weight! Well, finally I woke up one morning and thought... nope, not any more. 

After a short stint with a personal trainer (and a long term commitment to my health and workout club) - I learned what and when to eat and how to work out. 

In 3 weeks I lost 7lbs of fat and lowered my BMI 6%... For the first time ever, I am so stoked - I work out like a normal person and eat right - and it REALLY works. 

So here I am, pretty sick of chicken and broccoli for each meal - and in order not to detour from my plans and my goal to just be healthy (I see a 5k in my near future!) I love food, and I love to cook - my boyfriend loves food  and my cooking even more - until lately... all these healthy recipes are not as satisfying for him.

 I can not be the ONLY person this is happening to! So here it is - One recipe, two appetites. 

The base is the healthy recipe, for us watching their figure and the additions are for the hungry man sitting next to us at the dinner table. Most of the recipes taste amazing on their own - but I will admit, some do need that extra dose of cheese (my thigh however, don't.)