Posts tagged ‘winner’

February 16, 2011

White, no more…

Well, the long stretch of Holidays is finally OVER. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, My Anniversary, Adam’s Birthday and Valentines Day… It’s been fun, no doubt. But, whew, these past 3 months have been filled with a lot of time in the kitchen which means a ton of food and even more sweets. So you know what that means? It’s time to break the addiction… Put down the bag of sugar, throw the candy in the trash and pour bleach all over it (that way it can’t be pulled out of there – I know, that’s sick). Something has to be done… I can’t decide – Do I dare go Sugar Free for the next 3 1/2 weeks because I have to be in a bikini? Or do I start out small and cut out daily desserts? I’m not sure which one is more realistic. My body has been trained (by me of course) to “need” chocolate after dinner or to have that cupcake on the weekend. I know a little here and there is fine but my mindset was set on “I exercise and eat healthy for the most part so why not indulge?” My 1 cupcake turned into a cupcake a la mode…and then adding toppings to that. That to me is over indulging. I work to hard to sabotage it with a night like that. Here is an example of the sweets I had Sunday night and Monday:

I’m getting a stomach-ache just looking at these pictures! When I have a little I just can’t seem to stop… It’s my addiction. I want to have better self-control and discipline and save calories while doing so. With that said, I think I will start off with no processed foods, no refined sugar and no desserts after dinner! I’m going to start Wednesday morning and aim for 10 days. If I can go longer, perfect 🙂

Last week I did the 7 day Vegan challenge – I was SO impressed with myself for sticking with it — until Sunday night at 7pm. I mean really, I couldn’t hold out FIVE more hours!?!?! The next day I was pretty disappointed in myself but tried to see the positive in the fact that i lasted 164 hours…and then patted myself on the back and ate a cookie. Here is how I would review my 7 days as a Vegan.

The Good

  • I tried new foods and looked at the labels of EVERYTHING. I got a feel for how many items are really made with animal products.
  • My stomach was a lot flatter, less bloated and my abs were more defined. It could also be because I’m lactose intolerant and I had completely cut it out of my diet?
  • Overall I felt fine…No extreme side effects
  • Vegan desserts are just as yummy!!

The Bad

  • Eating with others who are not Vegan was difficult! As my boyfriend sat there and had a steak I wanted one, and I rarely eat steak…
  • People were extremely confused as to why I would go Vegan for a week and would look at me like I was insane.
  • I had  A LOT of cravings… But I think it’s because in my mind I was being deprived of something. On a normal weekly basis I rarely eat meat but now my body wanted it EVERYDAY.
  • I felt like I was on carb overload.
  • Planning your meals takes a lot of time and reading labels (good and bad) while google searching every ten minutes becomes exhausting.
  • I felt on edge… Extremely irritable.

My Conclusion

Will I go Vegan? Most likely not… Will I be making some changes? Absolutely… I don’t think I fit into a category of a certain eating style. I eat what I like, what my body craves and I’m not one for restrictions. I kind of felt like I was on a diet… If you know you can’t have it, you are going to want it and I hate feeling that way! Veganism is also expensive.. Sure, you could head over to Peta’s website and eat all of the processed foods they promote but I wouldn’t do that in my normal life so I’m surely not going to do it as a challenge. I will continue to eat meat, dairy products and seafood when my body craves it – I will also continue to make sure I know where it came from. Buy locally! Hats off to all the Vegans out there! It takes a lot of work and passion and I admire that for sure. I loved the challenge and will continue to keep a couple of Vegan meals in my diet. Also a BIG THANK YOU to my mom who hopped on the Vegan challenge bus with me all week – It’s great to have someone who supports you 🙂

OK, I’m sure you’re thinking – enough babbling for one day.. Onto the eats.

Valentines Dinner was still part of Meatless Monday so I enjoyed some spinach and ricotta ravioli with vodka sauce while my mom, grandma and brother had spaghetti & meatballs.

I LOVE Vodka Sauce. I rarely get it because it’s triple the calories but it was a special occasion! For dessert we all made our own strawberry shortcakes

and since we had leftover strawberries I decided I should make the most purchased gift on Valentines Day for a little extra wow factor.

$2.50 for me to make 12 of these…Do you know how much Godiva charges for ONE? $8.99! 12 x 9 = HA, no way on earth. Do you know what else I could buy with $110? 3 things at whole foods! Just kidding 🙂 Way too much… Maybe I will do a post on purchasing over buying pre-bought and the money you can save by doing so?

We had a great dinner, an amazing dessert and I even got some great gifts. We are big fans of LOVE.

After reading all of your posts on Valentines Day it looks like everyone had a wonderful day.

Tuesday was a little more low-key… The girls and I stayed in the house ALL DAY long.

Breakfast: 1 egg + 1 egg white on sandwich thin w/ half of a sun-dried tomato basil laughing cow cheese wedge

Lunch: Vegetable Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

The girls and I were so busy cleaning, making dinner, dessert and a special picture frame for their parents as a surprise I actually forgot to eat lunch… So not like me!

For their dinner we had to be creative and find things around the house.

Just kiiiidding, no garbage plates. We made a chicken, broccoli, cheesey brown rice casserole for dinner.

and a Butterscotch Banana Creme Pie for Dessert!

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Looked so good! However I didn’t try anything because I had my mind-set on ONE last thing before my attempt at being Sugar Free.

Tasti D-Lite! I ordered the s’mores ice cream with mini pb & choc chips… Would you believe me if I told you this was 100 calories? It’s true… I wouldn’t lie to you. I left there looking like this.


Before I go Sugar Free I wanted to share with you two sweet recipes… Don’t worry, I’ll still bake – just going to take the healthier route for a while…

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies – I’m sure you have all seen these floating around blog blog land but if not go check out The Picky Palate for the recipe. These were so sweet I couldn’t even finish an entire one! Yeah, that just happened.

Hufreakingmongous, scrumpdiddlyumpcious and if there is anything better than a chocolate chip cookie its gotta be one that’s stuffed with an oreo!

Also the Funfetti Cake Batter Bark I made was super easy, festive and can be used for any type of holiday!

Funfetti Cake Batter Bark – adapted from Jess

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Ghiradelli White Chocolate
  • 6 oz Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate
  • 4 tbsp Funfetti Valentines Day Cake Batter
  • Heart sprinkles

Directions

  • Melt dark chocolate in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
  • When melted pour onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Spread to desired thickness
  • Freeze for 20 minutes
  • Melt white chocolate in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
  • When melted add 4 tbsp of Funfetti mix and whisk until the lumps are gone.
  • Let sit for 3 minutes
  • Remove dark chocolate from freezer and layer with white chocolate batter.
  • Immediately add sprinkles and freeze for another 20 minutes.
  • Break apart and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Funfetti does it again 🙂

I also found out that I won another giveaway! Woooohoo! Two things in one week? I must have a horseshoe stuck to me… Kate over at A Healthy Passion is sending me a 50 count box of Stevia, one jar of liquid Stevia & a superstar recipe book! I’m so very excited to create some recipes! Thanks again Kate!

Happy Wednesday everyone… I plan to get back in the gym and start my sugar-free week (10 days) off on the right foot. Wish me luck…I’m DEFINITELY going to need it! If you have any tips for me…let me know – All of the Vegan tips you girls posted really helped!

QUESTIONS: Have you ever gone Sugar Free? Do you ever over indulge and feel as though you need a cleanse? Is dessert your weakness?

Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat

My favorite place to eat out is somewhere that’s unhealthy… If I go out to eat I am going to order something I wouldn’t normally make at home so it’s a treat. My favorite would have to be the Japanese Steakhouse – You get sushi, soup, salad, fried rice, appetizer, main course, veggies, bean sprouts and the best yellow sauce in the world all in one meal. They also offer fried ice cream for dessert…. Score.

Day 19: Something you miss

If it’s someTHING and not someONE then it would have to be being in high school. You really never know how good your life is until it changes. I didn’t have to work, I never worried, everyday was spent with friends and I was built like J.Lo when my diet consisted of mac&cheese, bags of utz chips, mcdonalds and never stepping foot in a gym. Ohhh the good old days!


Day 20: Nicknames

I have a lot of nicknames… Lyss, Lyssi, Sissa, Shisha, LB, Princess, Punkin, Nickel, and Punky to name a few. None of them are inside jokes or secretive…Pretty self explanatory!

 

 

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….