Posts tagged ‘florida’

March 3, 2011

Nothing but good

My countdown to Florida has officially reached 1 week! I’m thinking I will probably mentally check out sometime around next Tuesday? Sounds about right.

Breakfast this morning was a little something different from my regular carb load… Vanilla pudding? An extremely healthy version of Vanilla pudding that has 3 ingredients. Unsweetened Almond Milk, NuNaturals Stevia Vanilla Pure Liquid and Chia Seeds.

2 tbsp of chia seeds – 1 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk & 12 drops of NuNaturals Stevia Liquid… Combine all ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes. I let mine sit for 24 hours…The longer it sits, the thicker it becomes!

I Mixed it with one of my protein bars of course! I loved the texture, the flavor, the way I can drive/take a picture/hold my food at the same time and of course how healthy this was!

Do you use Chia Seeds? They are insanely good for you. Check out some of the health benefits …

  1. Supports Heart Health
    Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.
  2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
    Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily.
  3. Energizing
    The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
    A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
  5. Weight Loss
    The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  6. Detoxification and Elimination
    Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
  7. High Quality Protein
    Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
  8. Antioxidants
    Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.
  9. Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients
    Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
    2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3
  10. Brain Power
    EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration).

Source

I had promised the girls that we could make cupcakes one day this week (children never let you forget ANYTHING) so as soon as I got there this morning they were ready! We used Cherry Chip (from a box) batter and experimented from there…

Add some fruit loops? Sure, why not!

What about crushed graham crackers & chocolate chips?

You’re right…It’s missing something else!

Marshmallows & Dark Chocolate Bar chopped added with 5 minutes left of baking

MMM. I love colorful things…No need for icing on these! The crunch on top is perfect.

But, a little powdered sugar never hurt anybody 😉

S’mores Flavored. Yes PLEASE.

marshmallow + chocolate + graham crackers is almost as incredible as peanut butter + chocolate

Then the plain ones….

Dyed the vanilla icing the girls favorite colors and stuck it in a dessert bag for easy spreading.

Who doesn’t love icing?

The girls love playing Secret Cupcake Santa and dropping these off at their friend’s houses 🙂 I wish someone would drop these off for me!! Any takers?

Lunch was gigundo. I was attempting to make a wrap…

*Low Carb whole wheat wrap, bib lettuce, sliced carrots, sprouts, sliced tomato and a piece of chicken tossed in Franks Buffalo Sauce*

The wrap was too big to wrap… so i shoved some toothpicks in there to keep it closed.

Whatevs. Still delicious!

I rushed to Camp24 after work which kicked my butt once again. My glutes are already feeling it!! I love the sore feeling you get after an awesome workout.

After the gym I headed straight to my girlfriends house for dinner (without showering, sorry girls!) She was recently married and I wanted to check out their place – No better way to do it then with food, right? Their house is GORGEOUS. She’s done a great job decorating 🙂 I wish I would’ve taken pics – Next time!

We made Sesame Miso Glazed Salmon. This is by far my favorite Salmon dish… If you eat Salmon often and are looking for a new way to make it – try this. It won’t disappoint!

We also attempted a dessert that came out less than pretty so it went undocumented. I still inhaled it. I’m not one to waste food, especially when there is peanut butter involved 😉

By the time I got home it was dark but I could see a huge glowing box on my steps!

Oh, Hellllllo there Chobani! The people over at Chobani were kind enough to send me a box of Greek Yogurt to sample. There are SO many yummy flavors included in this package I can’t wait to get to work on them 🙂

Strawberry, Vanilla, Honey, Lemon, Raspberry, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Pomegranate, Mango, Pineapple, Strawberry Banana and Peach! Have I mentioned that I was excited yet?? Because I am! I’ll clearly be having one of these for breakfast 🙂

I figured out another way for me to save money…

Um, I’m ridiculous and need an intervention asap. This is from the past month and not even counting my gossip trash mags…. Do you know how many I’ve read? ZERO.  No more getting sucked in at the checkout line! New goal to be added for March…

I’m falling asleep typing this so it’s off to bed for me… See you tomorrow on everyone’s Favorite Day of the Week – Friiiiidayyyyyy!

QUESTIONS: What is your favorite Chobani flavor? Do you use Chia Seeds? Tell me your favorite thing you ate this week!

February 13, 2011

3 days in 1 post

Hellllo out there. I have so many great things to tell you guys! Let’s start off with food… I have Thurs, Fri & Sat to catch you up on… I’ve had A LOT of awesome Vegan eats. My meals have are so much easier now, which is great because I would’ve quit by now if it was anything like day 1!

Thursday

Breakfast: Banana Berry Protein Smoothie (1 banana, 1 cup almond milk, frozen berries & Amazing Grass chocolate flavor)


Lunch: Whole Wheat Pasta w/ Crushed Tomatoes and grilled Vegetables

Dinner: Homemade Vegan Chili


Dessert: Vegan Peanut  Butter cups – Chocolate + Better n Peanut Butter  + Cinnamon Graham Crackers = LOVE

I have to share this recipe. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t give you a recipe that included chocolate and peanut butter? Let alone combined…

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance butter
  • 1/2 cup Better n Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup cinnamon graham crackers crushed + more if desired for topping
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk

Directions

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the mold cups.
  • Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
  • Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
  • Top with more crushed graham crackers
  • Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

I’m gonna pull a Rachel Ray and say Yumm-O (even though I make fun of her for saying that). Not only are these healthy, low in calories and easy to make but they are SO SO good. I even tricked one of my cousins into thinking it was a high calorie, unhealthy dessert 🙂

Friday

Breakfast: Van’s Whole Wheat Waffles w/ Protein “Cake Batter”

Protein “Cake Batter”

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 packet of Vega Vanilla Protein Powder

Directions

  • Blend together

Dessert for breakfast is becoming way too common… But I don’t mind. It’s healthy 🙂

Lunch: Leftover Vegan Chili

Dinner: Vegan Mushroom Pizza & A vegan chocolate chip cookie

The cookie monster must’ve gotten a hold of this before I could grab the camera 🙂 Btw, soy cheese – um, really? Why does every pizza place not offer this as an option? Try it just once, for me! Pleassseee.

Saturday

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Cinnamon Apple Swirl Pancakes w/ Apple Topping (longest name?)

I wanted to make something that my boyfriend and I could eat together so I had to think of something that looked like a man’s meal! He had seconds so I’m pretty positive I succeeded.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Apple Swirl Pancakes w/ Apple Topping

Ingredients:

Pancake Batter

  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons stevia
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ener-G mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • Cinnamon-Apple Swirl Batter:
    • 2 tablespoons prepared batter (above)
    • 2 tablespoons natural apple sauce
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Apple “Syrup” Topping

     

    • 1 chopped granny smith apple
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

    Directions

    • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

    • Add almond (or soy) milk and egg replacer mixture and stir just until flour is moistened. (For thicker pancakes, use only 1 cup milk.) Let the batter rest for 5 minutes while the skillet heats.

    • While the batter is resting, combine all of the “swirl” ingredients, using 2 tablespoons of the prepared batter.
    • Heat a non-stick griddle or skillet (sprayed lightly with non-stick spray) over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles. Pour batter by scant 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Immediately drizzle the cinnamon-apple batter over the top of each pancake in a swirl pattern. Cook until tops are bubbly and bubbles burst; edges will look dry. With a pancake turner, turn and cook until undersides are golden. Place on a warm platter; keep warm.


    • Repeat until all batter is used, brushing griddle lightly with olive oil, if necessary, to prevent sticking.

    • Cook apple topping.

    • Melt butter in saucepan.
    • Add brown sugar, apples and cinnamon and cook until apples are tender and syrup has formed.
    • Pour over pancakes.

    These were delightful and kept us full for hours… Well me, longer than him. But I wasn’t hungry until dinner! (I did have a snack at the show – 2 clementines and 100 calorie pack of almonds)

    We went out to dinner to celebrate Valentines Day since we wont actually see each other on Monday. My boyfriend IS the best because he was craving lamb chops and we had reservations at Capital Grille but they didn’t have ONE Vegan option so he switched it to an Organic restaurant nearby just for me. Such a good guy 🙂 The restaurant was called Dogwood. If you live in Maryland this is definitely a place to check out. Everything was so fresh, the service was great and the atmosphere was comfy-cozy yet funky. I will 100% be a repeat offender.


    FYI – I only had my iPhone for pictures so they didn’t come out that great…

    Appetizer: Beet & Carrot Soup w/ a slice of Fresh Bread

    Dinner: Forbidden Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Curry with zucchini and yellow squash, organic black rice, mild curried coconut sauce with Vann’s spices, golden currants and toasted almonds

    I am literally speechless over a veggie dish! These flavors were spicy, nutty and flavorful. I would love to make this one night…and eat it for days and days.

    Unfortunately they didn’t offer any Vegan desserts 😦 But my trusty iPhone found a place right around the corner that did!

    Thank you, Sweet Sin for fulfilling my craving. I ordered a chocolate ganache raspberry cupcake.

    I die.

    On our way out there was something else staring me in the eye.

    I couldn’t eat a cupcake and not a cookie. That’s prejudiced and I wont stand for that. So i ordered one for the car ride home. Hey, it was 40 minutes you never know when a craving will strike! I ate it 5 minutes into the drive. This cookie was so fluffy. I had only planned to eat half…Half turned into 3/4’s which turned into the whole thing. Oh well, life goes on. The cupcake was also lovely. Extremely decadent is how I would describe it.

    Are you hungry after reading all of that? Because I am!

    Friday night my boyfriend arrived and I FINALLY got to give him his birthday present… 5 days in Key West in less than a month!!! I better get serious about my workouts!

    Can.Not.Wait. Sun.Beach.Drinks w/ Umbrellas. Need I say more?

    On Saturday he got me tickets to the Disney Princess on Ice show in Baltimore. I LOVE princesses and claim to be am one so I was overly excited. There was a couple in the elevator with us who were probably in their 80’s going to see the show too and that made me think “That will absolutely be us one day”. Once a princess, always a princess.

    I was like a little kid in a candy shop…or a little girl at a Disney Princess show. After the show was over we waited in line with the 6 year olds other girls and he bought me a light up tiara.

    Really, does it get any better than this? Pancakes for breakfast, Disney on Ice, a Princess tiara, amazing vegan dinner, even better 2 vegan desserts? I think not. If you think of something please, feel free to let me know.

    I highly doubt Adam had as much fun as I did but he was a great sport.

    Thanks babe 🙂 Love you lots!

    We also watched The Social Network & Easy A. Neither were academy award winners but they were both entertaining and I liked learning the background story about how Facebook begun.

    On Friday night we also discovered Tasti D-lite was FINALLY open. I have been waiting for this for about a year…No joke. Please tell me you have one of these near you? If not maybe I should do a giveaway with some because I know they ship them ( I may or may not have had some shipped to me from Florida once). I discovered this ice cream with one of my best friends last May. 50 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, over 100 flavors and 50 toppings.  You can guarantee I will be there at least 3x next week.

    They switch flavors out daily so I have already programmed their number to my speed dial. Even though I couldn’t order anything because of Vegan week I went in and told the owner he’d be seeing a lot more of me and expressed my excitement. I’m not sure if he was flattered or wanted to request a restraining order.

    Ah, okay. I’m done obsessing.

    Also some other great news is I won the shoes from Shanna’s giveaway!! Charles David wedges are on their way to my house and I am so thankful and happy 🙂 Thanks so much again. I’ll post a picture of me in them when I get them but here is a sneak peek in the meantime.

    Sorry I didn’t have time to post on Favorite Friday… I’ll make up for it next week! I hope everyone is having a great weekend. This post was really long so hopefully you didn’t get too bored!

    QUESTIONS: Have you ever had a vegan dessert? What are you doing for Valentines Day?

    Day 16: Dream house

    I dream big… I want a lot of children, a huge kitchen where I have so much room I could ice skate if I wanted to, and someone to clean up after me because I am sort of messy when I cook. I’d also like an amazing view of the water and pottery barn-esque designed rooms. It will be colorful yet classy. Is that too much to ask?


    Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to

    Key West vacation… I’m so done with the snow, ice and numbing winds. Goodbye winter coat. Hello bikini.

    ANOTHER great giveaway by Angie! Go enter 🙂 All of these giveaways are making me want to have another….