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Pylometrics and Pita Chips

1 Apr

After tossing and turning most of the night, I was finally able to get a few hours of deep sleep in the early morning hours.

Woke up famished.

Breakfast: coffee x 2 (half and half, cinnamon), 2 eggs, 2 slices Mack’s Flax, 6pz fresh OJ. Ended up only eating 2/3. Eyes bigger than my stomach apparently. Usually it’s the opposite.

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A few clients and group classes later…I was dying for some lunch:

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Taco salad part 2, this time without yogurt or chips and with 1/4 avocado. And lots of hot sauce.

And another cup of coffee to get me ready for my own workout. For simplicity’s sake I’m following the p90x “Classic” order.

Workout: Plyometrics. Let’s just call it jump squats and jump squat variations…for an hour. I can honestly say this is my favorite of all the p90x workouts. Plyo is just my thing. I threw in a couple burpees at the end because I love those too. (please don’t smack me)

I drank coconut water during the workout. Staying hydrated helps keep energy up and alleviates muscle cramps/Charlie horses that may show up later.

Post-workout snack: cucumbers, red pepper hummus, nutritional yeast, and a handful of homemade pita chips.

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Speaking of, you should totally make these right now.

Whole Wheat Pita Chips

  • Whole Wheat pita bread – look for one with simple ingredients.
  • 1 tbs avocado or olive oil
  • Sea salt

Cut into strips or triangles. Toss lightly in oil. Spread into cookie sheets in an even later. Bake at 325 for about 8-12 minutes. Let cool. Try to stop at 1 small handful.

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli + carrots, 1 wholegrain Wasa cracker with 1/4 avocado and about a tsp of cream cheese.

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I find that I need a protein-heavy dinner to avoid the late night snacking. I’m also eating dinner later these days, around 7:30, which helps. I’m in bed my 9:30 most nights, so I don’t have time to get hungry enough to raid the kitchen between dinner and lights out.

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday Things + Strawberry Shortcake Recovery Shakes

31 Mar

Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed and on a rollersoaster of emotions. Life is changing fast and in big ways. I need an outlet, so I have decided to tweak this blog back to its original intention: a daily food/fitness/life diary.

Today began conference week at the kids’ school. After realizing they get out early all week, adjusting my appointments and clients to fit everybody’s schedules, and still struggling to figure out how to balance it all over next week (spring break), and all on top of everything else, I found myself close to banging my head against the wall. But I think *knock wood* we have it all figured out. Whew. Times like these GOOD habits become necessary habits. Yoga on Sunday = calm clarity on Monday 😉

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Breakfast: egg scramble (1 whole, 3 whites, diced bell peppers, 1 very small link left over chicken+fennel sausage, 1/4 haas avocado), oven roasted red potatoes. Not pictured: coffee with 1 tbs half and half, dash cinnamon.

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Lunch: Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with roasted red pepper hummus, lettuce, tomato, schmear avocado because it will go bad….!
On Mack’s Flax Sprouted Bread.

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Snack: Mini peppers, more hummus. I could live happily for a while on nothing but peppers + red pepper hummus. And avocados.

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After I managed to get the house spotless top to bottom – this gorgeous spring weather is SO energizing! – I took a mocha break. Normally I reserve treat coffees for the weekend, but sometimes you just need a little extra comfort, you know?

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Because of the school schedule and in light of the fact the kids already had to spend some time in the gym earlier, I’m opting for home workouts this week. My good ol’ buddy Tony can always be counted on to bring the sweat.

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I honestly forgot how hard P90X can be. I mean, I haven’t touched these dvds since ’09. After completing all 90 days thankyouverymuch. But I workout. A lot. Heavy. Still…

After an ungodly amount of push-ups and pull-ups and core work (I found myself thinking is this what my clients feel like?! ARRG) I knew I needed a killer-delicious shake to get me to dinner:

Strawberry Shortcake Recovery Shake

  • 1 scoop AT “Birthday Cake”
  • 4 large frozen strawberries
  • 6-8oz almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbs coconut milk

Blend.

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This shake kept me full for quite a while. Which was good, because we walked the dog and weeded the flower beds all afternoon. In the sun. Am I dreaming?

Dinner: A simple and veggie-heavy taco salad (extra lean local sirloin, kidney beans, taco seasoning, spinach, romaine, organic frozen sweet corn, sautéed peppers and onions, olives, hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt, a literal pinch of extra sharp cheddar). And a small handful of homemade oven baked lime+salt corn chips.

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Now I’m finishing up the day – blogging all this – and sipping a big mug of Bigelow Sweet Dreams tea.

G’night!

And goodbye March.

Easy, Affordable, Deliciously Addicting, No-Excuses Take to Work Lunches

10 Jan

Hi. My name is Jessica and I kind of suck at constistent blogging. This is a new year – and with SO MUCH going on over the holdiays, I have to admit, sitting down and taking the time to write about all the food I’ve been making and eating and buying was really the last thing I had time for.

Todays post is simple: how to make 5 lunches without a) breaking your bank account and b) using a ton of ingredients that will go to waste.

I like to prep on Sundays. But that’s me. And also because Sunday is usually the only full day I have off.

To start, you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts (if they’re large, you can get 2 meals out of them. A serving is approx 4 oz or the palm of your hand.)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • quinoa or brown rice
  • tatziki sauce (awesome recipe here or buy some. Costco’s is good.)
  • Smoked salmon (I like Nova Scotia style. It’s super thin and milder. I’m not huge on a ton of “smoke” flavor. Again, COSTCO.)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • Ezekiel bread (Or other simple whole-grain bread)

Grill, bake, roast, whatever 4 chicken breasts. Use no oil and season with whatever spices you like. Oh! I learned just last week that using a hammer and some plastic wrap to flatten the breasts REALLY DOES make a difference in tenderness and texture. Crazy, right?

Cook some quinoa and/or brown rice. You’re looking for about 1/4 – 1/2c for each lunch.

Veggies for this week: green leaf lettuce, tomato, shallot, cucumber. Chop them. Container them – separately!

Thats your base for Greek(ish) bowls.

To make the bowl:

4oz cooked chicken, handful lettuce, some tomatoes, cucmbers, pinch shallot, 1/4 avocado, 1/4c quinoa or rice, 1 Tbs Tatziki. I love this bowl. It’s filling and clean and will hold you for hours. Other variations/swaps:

  • 1/2 diced, roast sweet potato instead of rice/quinoa
  • lamb or steak instead of chicken, if you’re bulking, brah.
  • hummus instead of (or totally in addition to) tatziki

Its your bowl – tweak it to your tastes!

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Next Up: Smoked Salmon and Grilled Chicken Sandwiches.

Ok, sandwiches are not a revolutionary lunch idea. I get that. But here is what i like about mine:

Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread that is about 60-80 calories per slice and makes the toastiest, crunchiest, best toast you could ever imagine. Low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, and free of all that processed artificial nonsense.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich:

  • 2 oz smoked salmon (I am telling you, you want the thin stuff!)
  • Lettuce, tomato, 1/4 avocado, thin cucumber slices, sprinkling of sea salt & black pepper. A thin smear of tatziki sauce is a fantastic addition, too 😉

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Chicken Sandwich:

  • 1 (flattened!) breast
  • Mustard, tomato, lettuce, 1/4 avocado (OR 1/2 oz thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar), shallot, salt & pepper.

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There you have it. One quick grocery trip, 5-6 days worth or lunches (or dinners). All nutritional bases are covered, energy is high, moods are good. But now, since I did this last week, I have to come up with something new. Dang.

The children and I are attempting brown rice, smoked salmon (we love it, okay!) sushi tonight. I’m sure it will go flawlessly…

Have a great week!

Simple Superfood Steak Tacos & Low Cal “Broccamole”

7 Mar

I love tacos.

You already knew that, if you’re ever spent so much as 5 minutes with me or reading my blog.

So, Costco has a new thing in their obnoxiously cold produce section:  superfood salad mix. With kale, chicory, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and chicory. Included is a packet of poppyseed dressing, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. I ignore the dressing and berries. Because I’m a snob and don’t do “kits.” There, I said it. HOWEVER, this particular blend of hearty greens makes for a fantastic (and crazy healthy) taco toppin’. And who doesn’t love roasted pumpkin seeds? Who?!

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Superfood Steak Tacos

For the tacos, I used:

  • 1 NY cut steak, seasoned liberally with garlic salt and black pepper, and grilled to med-rare. It’s local, it’s fresh, why not?
  • 2 heaping cups of aforementioned greens
  • Sprinkling of included pumpkin seeds.
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • Trader Jose’s (yeah, they went there) Truly Handmade Small Tortillas
  • Low Cal Broccamole (recipe below.)
  • Spread broccamole on a warmed tortilla, add a few strips of steak, handful of greens, tomato, and pumpkin seeds. Fold, eat. They’re healthy – you can eat more!

Broccamole

recipe adapted from Pinterest

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 small avocado, sliced
  • 1 seeded jalepeno, chopped
  • 2 Tbs finely diced shallot
  • 1 very small garlic clove (optional)
  • Sprinkle of fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Put broccoli, avocado, jalapeno, and garlic into food processor and blend until creamy smooth. Scoop into bowl and stir in shallot, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper. Squeeze of lime isn’t necessary, but is really, really good.

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Now go. Eat your tacos. Slather that tortilla. Dunk those (few!) corn chips. You’ve earned it. Probably.

‘Night! 🙂

TGIF

22 Dec

Just kidding. The days of the week mean nothing to me.

Oh, Friday.

Holiday madness.

Spare time? What’s that?

Up with the sun, gotta get that workout in. Christmas parties and delicious eats and drinks everywhere! No excuses. At least not today.

3 Rounds

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 10 jump squats
  • 20 weighted squats (40lbs)
  • 100 high knees
  • 10 burpees
  • 40 mountain climbers
  • 25 push-ups
  • 60 second plank hold

OOF.

Breakfast: Coffee with half & half

French toast

Mixture: 2 eggs, splash of 2% milk, dash of sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

The “toast”: Dave’s Good Seed, small banana, peanut butter, chia seeds, maple syrup.

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Lunch: Huge salad (romaine, red cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, green onions, carrots, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and mozzarella). Salt, pepper, and a splash of olive oil+red wine vinegar for dressing.

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Dinner: French Bread Pizza. To celebrate the not-end-of-the-world. Also, Friday is pizza night. Everybody knows that. And more salad, this time with avocado.

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Dessert: Again, we were celebrating. Cold Stone on a cold night. Nothin’ beats it! 😉

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Mine: Founder’s Favorite (sweet cream ice cream, caramel, brownie, pecans, fudge), Mikayla: Cotton Candy ice cream (guh) AND Crunch Bar pieces. I gagged a little. Max: dark chocolate ice cream and gummi bears. That’s my boy.

G’night!

Roasted Butternut Apple Harvest Salad

27 Nov

It’s almost winter. Can you tell? I can. There are markers for such events.

It’s also the season of winter squash. I am also in love. With a lot of things, including this salad. And squash, obviously.

I seriously plan to eat this everyday for lunch until every last ingredient is gone. I think butternut squash is my new “sweet potato.”

Roasted Butternut Apple Harvest Salad

1 butternut squash

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1  red apple, cored and chopped

1 oz soft goat cheese (chevre)

2-4 cups arugula

3oz whole grain baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces

1-2 tsp (preferably local) honey

1-2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp each of the following:

  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon

Cut squash lengthwise, spritz with olive oil, and season. Bake at 375 for 40-60 minutes, until just tender.

Add bread and apples to baking sheet during the last 15-20 minutes of squash cooking.

Remove, let cool, then peel skin and cube squash.

Toss it all together.

Drizzle with a little honey and balsamic.

That’s a boatload of veggies. And a serving of fruit. And whole grains.

Clean eating at its finest.

But now . . . what’s for dinner?

A Few Last-Minute, Waistline-Friendly Side Dish Ideas

22 Nov

Once again, I feel the need to tell you I am not cooking this Thanksgiving. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I’m a little bummed, because I freaking love being in the kitchen. I love having my house full of people I love. Heck, I even sort of love the clean-up: chaos to spotless is soothing to me. Is it weird that I love to see order restored?

Don’t answer that.

I’m not too upset though, because I did declare myself in charge of the booze. Pomegranate margaritas, anyone? This is your formal invite . . .

Anyway, you probably already have plans, menus, and prep done. But if you don’t or if you’re thinking you need just one more (light) something-or-other, I hope this helps. Also, these are great sides for any day of the week. Simple, clean, healthy, and cheap. Basically, everything you could ever ask for in a side-dish.

Simple Salad with Roasted Chickpea “Croutons”

Rinse, dry, season (i use a little olive oil and Emeril’s homemade Creole seasoning) and roast chickpeas at 350 for 15-20ish minutes until crunchy.

Whatever greens you want. You know how to make a salad. I’m just telling you roasted chickpeas are way better than croutons.

Sage and Garlic Smoky Sweet Potato Fries

Cut sweet potato into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika, minced garlic, and fresh sage. Bake at 450 for 15-25 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Self-explanatory. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Garlicky Green Beans

Minced garlic, fresh green beans, olive oil. Saute over medium heat until just barely tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yes, I eat a lot of garlic.

Yes, I carry breath mints and perfume with me at all times.

Happy Early Thanksgiving!