Tag Archives: oatmeal

Eats and Feats (of the exercise variety)

Bowl o' BrekkieHappy Thursday, friends! I couldn’t be happier that tomorrow is Friday. Sometimes, short weeks seem to last forever. That has been especially true this week because I have been crazy busy at work. I’m looking forward to leaving it all behind for a couple of days! I haven’t had time to do much cooking this week, but I think I’ve still eaten quite well.

My big batch of slow cooker steel cut oats have made my mornings go a bit quicker, and I’ve been enjoying their creamy goodness over the past few days. This morning’s bowl had some raisins and almonds on top– you can’t go wrong with that combo! I also mixed in the very last of the pomegranate honey jelly I bought at the farmer’s market a while back. I was sad to scrape the last bits from the jar. 😦

The UsualI needed a bit of a morning snack, in part, since I didn’t add any protein powder to my oats this morning. It really does make a difference in whether or not I stay full until lunch. I had the usual apple with peanut butter. I always love this combo, although I’m glad that this was the last of the fuji apples in my fruit bowl. I like crispier apples, and these fuji apples just weren’t doing it for me. I bought a few pink ladies at Whole Foods the other day, and I’m really looking forward to them.

You might also notice that the apples are in front of a brightly colored plate. I got the plate last summer in Portugal, and I use it as a perch for a candle. I vowed not to have the bluebird sisters in every photo today. The bluebirds are privileged to sit in my sunniest spot, which is why they seem to sneak into every photo. 🙂 This spot seemed to work ok!

Smoky Tofu LoveSee the little bit of bluebird sneaking in to the top corner of my lunch? They are so persistent! Ha!

Lunch was an interesting mix. Yesterday, there was an e-mail at work about some items leftover from a luncheon that featured salads from Chop’t. Usually, the e-mails are about leftover cake. I was excited about the prospect of salad items! I had taken a salad to work for lunch yesterday, so I just picked up a few add ins.

I got a little bit carried away, and later realized that I probably didn’t need smoked tofu and chicken to go along with the hardboiled egg, turkey bacon and goat cheese already topping my salad. I decided to bring the smoked tofu home and do something else with it. At the end of the day, I volunteered to rescue the rest of the spinach from a trashy fate because, while it wasn’t the freshest, I knew it would be fine when cooked. I hope that Sarah will be proud! 🙂

So, today’s lunch bowl is courtesy of work (spinach and tofu) with some asparagus, broccoli and Country Bob’s sauce from the fridge tossed in. I had only tried smoked tofu once before, and, although I liked it, I kind of forgot about it. It was so good that I made a trip to Whole Foods today in search of more. I’m hooked!

Smoked tofu really reminds me of smoked gouda, which I love, and hey– you can’t really stir fry gouda without making an interesting mess. It might be tasty, but I’d hate to have to clean the pan. I can’t wait to have more of this tofu and spinach combo. I had to get some more spinach today too because I’ve already made it through most of the leftovers I brought home. Just call me Popeye!

Messy Yogurt BowlAfter my tasty bowl of goodness, I had another tasty bowl of goodness. This is a mix of Greek yogurt, strawberries, honey and some of my broken graham cracker pie crust crumbles. Yum! It was sweet, but not too sweet. I’m trying to save any serious sugar eating for later in the day, and that strategy really seems to be helping me to keep the evil sugar monster at bay. Hooray!

Bowl of CherriesMy first afternoon snack was a delightful and luscious bowl of cherries. I should compose an ode to cherries. I love them SO much!

Munchie BowlSome time after that, I had this little bowl of random munchies. I had a lot of food in bowls today! I have a bit of Galaxy Granola Almond Vanilla Munch in here along with some Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran squares, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I loved this little mix. I probably would not have thought to mix it up in the morning and take it to work, but since I was working from home today, I had the luxury of going in the kitchen and coming up with the snack I was truly craving. What a perk!

On a Steeeek!Another great thing about working from home is my proximity to the freezer…. and my frozen bananas! This is one of the ginger chocolate bananas I made the other day. Seriously, if you haven’t made your own, you should find the most amazing looking bar of chocolate on the shelf at the store and wrap it around a few frozen nanners. Oh, and I decided to pose him in front of my very old cake cover too. The blue bird sisters were kind of miffed, but I think they will get over it.

Lovely LeftoversDinner was a leftover salmon cake and some grilled zucchini straight off of the Griddler. The raspberry honey wasabi mustard on the top of the cake really adds a nice sweet flavor and a bit of a bite. I bought that mustard on an impulse when I was in some foodie type store. I really like variety, and I tend to pick up things like that if they speak to me. I’m so glad I opened up the jar the other day when I made my salmon cakes. I doubt I will find this particular mustard again, but I’ll be on the look-out for something similar. Yum!

What a Treat!Ah yes. Dessert! When I was avoiding the neighborhood gelateria the other day by buying gelato (with nutritional information… unlike the gelateria…) at Whole Foods, I got more than one kind. 🙂 Dolci Gelati is a local company, and this was my first time to try their frozen goodness. Pumpkin pie gelato sounded too good to pass up. I suspect this is a brand that might only be available around here, so I won’t emphasize how good it is. Nope. 

My papaw always had such a serious sweet tooth. When I was a kid, I could never resist asking him how he liked his dessert. I knew what the answer would be. In between smiles and bites, he would say something like: “This is awful. You don’t want any of it. It’s no good.” That’s how this gelato tastes. It’s awful! 😉

After my yummy (oops… I mean awful) dessert, I headed off to a session with my trainer. A few people have asked about my workouts, and I haven’t really said much about them lately. My workout schedule has gotten a bit off track, so I haven’t been to kickboxing in ages. I’m hoping to make it next week, and I’m sure it will be HARD! I’m kind of looking forward to the challenge. Is that twisted of me?

The times I can meet with my trainer are a bit limited, and I have to organize other work-outs around my strength training sessions. It’s no big deal, but that’s been the reason (plus vacation) that I haven’t worn my pretty pink boxing gloves in nearly a month. 

Tonight I worked out with my trainer, and also did forty minutes of cardio split between the elliptical and the stairmaster. I should have hopped on the treadmill for a bit of a run, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I thought it might be interesting if I told you how a typical class with my trainer might go.

Each exercise lasts for a minute, and there is a cardio interval in between movements. Tonight’s interval was three jumping jacks followed by a squat, three jacks, one squat, three jacks and one more squat. So, just plug that sequence in between each of the following movements and you will see how my work-out went this evening:

Wall Sitting

Walking Plank Hold

Cherry Picker Type Movement with a Medicine Ball

Bicycle Crunches

Total Body Crunches with a Ball

One Legged Hip Thrusts (to work the hamstrings– one leg for a minute and then the other leg)

Push-ups

Lat Pull Down (weight machine)

Overhead Shoulder Press (weight machine)

Plie Squats (while holding a 20 pound weight)

Regular Squats (while holding a 25 pound weight)

Chest Presses (weight machine)

Overhead Shoulder Presses (free weights)

Standing Bicep Curls (free weights)

Bench Dips (to work triceps using body weight)

This thing that involved stepping on and off of a weight bench with one leg, and then doing another set on the other leg

The END… except for the cardio. 🙂

Classes last about 45 minutes, and I really enjoy them– for the most part. Tonight, I was sick of squats by the end after doing the squats with weights and the jumping jack squat sequence a zillion times! Even though I’m usually pooped, I always feel such a sense of accomplishment at the end. When I first started these classes, gosh, two years ago? Has it been that long? I had such a hard time doing many of the moves. My strength and balance have certainly improved, and I’ve lost a ton of weight since I started. I can do push-ups… on my toes! I would never have thought it possible!! As happy as I am about those improvements, I think the best part is probably the fact that I just feel so much more confident in the gym. That’s one of the awesome benefits of exercise that can’t really be measured on the scale!

So, that’s an example of the workout I do twice a week. It’s a bit different each time, but it is usually something along those lines. If you haven’t incorporated strength training into your workout, I have to recommend it. It even makes carrying groceries easier!

I’m curious to know what other people do, so I’d love to hear about the ways you pump some iron. Do you have a set of five pounders that live in your closet? Do you work out with a trainer? Do you do your own thing in the weight room at the gym? Do you just shop a lot and carry around heavy bags? I really would love to know!

I’ll leave you with those questions now, because I have a few things to do before I mosey off to bed. I hope that you have a great Friday, and, more importantly, an awesome weekend!!! Ciao for now! 🙂

 

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Filed under cooking, D.C., diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Salmon, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

I’ve Gone Bananas!

Hello to you, and here’s hoping that your Tuesday was more like a Tuesday than a Monday. Mine? It was Monday all the way. Ugh! I had a busy day, and it spilled over into my evening. I’m going to make this quick so I can get to bed and be ready to tackle tomorrow!

I have one more set of photos from my vacation that I want to share from our zipline adventure in Ketchikan, but I don’t quite have them ready. I have so many photos to sort through, it’s taking awhile! Instead of me in crazy zipping gear, here’s a quick mountain scene of the calming and majestic variety:

Beautiful!My vacation was so relaxing, and that photo is a nice reminder of the calm. That’s just the kind of scene I need after my hectic day!

Blue is known as a calming color, so keeping with that theme, here’s one more glacier photo too from my helicopter glacier adventure:

Calming BlueI was so taken with the blue water that I have a ton of photos just like this one. The glacier really amazed me. I do promise you some zipline photos soon (hopefully tomorrow), and then I think my vacation recap will be done. I missed y’all while I was gone, and I’m glad I’ve been able to show you some of the cool sights I saw while I was away!

Now, on to today’s menu! I put four servings of steel cut oats (1 cup dry) in the slow cooker last night with about 5 cups of water. I set it on medium low and left it all night. When I woke up, I had lovely, creamy oats ready to go into my bowl with some Jay Robb’s, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar. I love this classic combo!

Steel Cut LoveI have oats ready to go for the next three mornings, and they will only need a quick zap in the micro. I love a little morning time saver like that! Speaking of time savers, I realized one of the benefits of keeping my little camera in my purse when I decided to buy some dried cherries out of the bulk bin at Whole Foods on Monday. Instead of searching for a scrap of paper in my purse and then scribbling down the nutrition info, I have this:

Paper SaverI’m glad I remembered the camera, and I’ll be using this trick from now on for sure!! Ok, back to today’s eats…

For lunch, I had a big salad full of crispy veggies (lettuce, celery, cucumbers, scallions and grape tomatoes) topped with a hardboiled egg, two slices of crumbled turkey bacon, an ounce of goat cheese and some Italian dressing.

Lunchie LunchI typically just prefer vinegar on my salad so the dressing is a bit unusual for me. I recently found these little packets on sale and decided they might not be a bad thing to keep in the desk drawer stash. It was nice to have something different, and it was great not to have a vinegar spillage incident in my lunch bag. I’ve had that before, and it was NOT pleasant. This isn’t really my favorite dressing, but, for 25 calories, it was pretty good! 

I also had the Wallaby nonfat Pineapple and Coconut yogurt that you see in the photo. This was a new flavor for me, and it was pina colada-esque, as I expected. I could tell that it was nonfat yogurt, unlike my favorite Wallaby– the Dulce de Leche species, and I definitely think I prefer a little fat in my yogurt. Still, I liked the flavor, and I’d buy it again!

My snacks this afternoon were pretty typical. I had some cherries (nom nom nom!!!) Such a treat!!

Sweet Cherries!I decided to follow those up with a salty snack even though I had a hankering for something sweet. This popcorn seemed to do the trick, and the sugar craving went away. Yay!!

PopcornLater on, I wanted some peanut butter. I realized that I often eat extra foods just because I think something needs to go with the peanut butter– vanilla wafers, crackers, celery, whatever. Sometimes, a spoon is the best accessory! I had a few prunes on the side, but I ate this like two separate snacks.

PB and PrunesI have a smarty pants camera, and it made me laugh today. I took the photo of the PB and prunes, and my camera highlighted one of the prunes and said “Did someone blink?” Maybe my camera saw intelligent life in the prunes? Oh well. I ate him so we will never know! 🙂

I had one last snack this afternoon. Can you find it in this photo? It’s hiding!

Search for the SnackI love recycling these pretty metal tea boxes by using them to hold my writing utensils. You can see one holding plastic eating utensils in the background too. I don’t usually keep string cheese in there, but I needed to have a little goofiness break. 🙂

When I got home, I grilled up a zucchini on the Griddler, made a quick micro baked sweet potato, and reheated one of yesterday’s salmon cakes. It was a very tasty dinner indeed!

Din DinI followed my dinner up with a bowl of the new gelato living in my freezer and topped it with some rescued broken graham cracker crust. Yum!!

GelatoliciousFinally, I tried one of the ginger chocolate covered bananas I made yesterday. I love the ginger!! I can report that this is a winning combination. The crystallized ginger pieces are nice and a little bit chewy, and they go well with the chocolate and the banana. I’m loving these bananas! I hated bananas as a kid because of the texture, and I wonder if I would have liked them frozen. It seems possible. I certainly like them now. Yummy!!

Ginger Chockie NannerI just finished my workout for the evening, and I’m looking forward to having Wednesday off from the gym. I’ve had some good workouts over the last week, and it has actually been nice to get back into the gym after my week away. Even so, I’ll be happy to relax tomorrow night, and I can tell you that my body will appreciate a break too! Now, it’s time for me to make a cup of tea and head to bed. I have another doozy of a day to look forward to tomorrow, and I definitely need my rest. Ciao for now! I’ll catch you later! 🙂

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Filed under Alaska, Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

The Day Before Friday…

My Thursday thoughts often drift to the fact that it is the day before Friday. Not that I’m wishing my life away, but the weekend is almost here. As usual, I’m so ready!! I feel like this week has been a bit of a treadmill of tedium, and I’m ready to jump off and do something fun. I did try to break up the boredom a little bit with a different kind of breakfast this morning:

BrekkieI took a banana wheat bran scone out of the freezer, toasted it and then topped it with some PB2 and pomegranate honey jelly. I take back my negative opinion of these scones. Topped with some PB and jelly, this little scone was awesome! I had some blackberries on the side, and a bowl of my “ambrosia.” I had 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt mixed with some canned mandarin oranges and topped with a little bit of sweetened coconut. I loved it just as much this week, as I did when I came up with it last week. Unlike last week, I didn’t eat the whole can of oranges today, so there’s more in my future! I also had a cup of coconut coffee mixed with skim milk and some sugar free hazelnut Torani. This breakfast was a fun and different start to the day.

Throughout the day, I snacked on this little baggie of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal. This is, of course, my favorite “snacking” cereal, and you could win a box in my 100th post giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, you have until midnight on Friday. Just go to this post to find out how to enter. I’m looking forward to announcing a winner on Saturday, and Sweetie Pie’s Prize Pack is all packed up and ready to go to its new home. It could be headed your way!

Baggie of SunshineAround 11:00, I had what has become my traditional morning snack this week:

Pink Lady LoveI had a little trouble removing the middle with my plastic child safe knife today, so there are some extra pieces. There was plenty of Bee’s Knees PB to go around!

When lunchtime rolled around, I had another of my turkey burgers from the other night on an Arnold’s thin with some dijon and brie. I scored this brie the other day at a party, Sarah style, and I decided it would taste good on today’s burger. Using a different cheese was an easy way to change up my leftovers! Plus, I’ve eaten all of my chipotle cheddar. 🙂 I also had hummus and some baby carrots. Is it just me, or are these baby carrots huge? Several of them were bigger than my thumb. They really are as big as they look in the photo, and it took some serious chomping to eat them. I kind of liked the crunch!

Lunchy LunchSpeaking of crunch, I had one of these after lunch:

Mmmmm.....I love taking a bite and letting the chocolate and the honeycomb sort of melt in my mouth. YUM! Still craving chocolate, I went and got a fudgy peanut butter vitatop out of the work freezer. I started eating it before I remembered to snap a picture. Oops!

Oopsie!Ok, now I need you to put your imagination cap on. You have one of those, right? It might be hanging next to your thinking cap? I had another work reception to attend this afternoon and it included a random afternoon glass of vino, a few nibbles of parmesan, an artichoke heart, and a few nibbles of marinated zucchini and peppers. I skipped the bruschetta, and other items, but had enough nibbles to satisfy my curiosity. That seemed reasonable, and balanced. Hooray!

After that, I went back to my office and had my afternoon bowl of oatmeal:

Afternoon OatsToday’s bowl is full of Kashi Heart to Heart Apple Cinnamon instant oatmeal. Unless I find some hiding in an unexpected place, I believe I’m out of pre-flavored oatmeal packages. CRISIS! Ok, not really. Maybe I’ll just have a different snack tomorrow, or maybe I’ll take some plain oatmeal and fix it up. Either way, I’m kind of happy that I’ve eaten all of my random little pouches of oatmeal. That means I can buy a new kind to try now! Since I have limited kitchen storage space in my apartment, I have to try to use things up before buying more as often as possible. That rule obviously does not apply to coffee from the ‘burg!

When I got home, I had something great planned for dinner. The weather was kind of dreary today, and I decided to abandon my plan completely and just have a bowl of Trader Joe’s turkey chili topped with a piece of cheese. It doesn’t get any easier than opening a can, and I really wanted the warmth and coziness of this bowl. I’m doing better at thinking about what I really want, and trying to have it. I can just make my new recipe another night. This bowl was completely satisfying, and I don’t think you can go wrong with melted cheese!

Cheesy Turkey ChiliI followed that up with a small salad. I had the rest of my farmer’s market lettuce mix topped with a little goat cheese, a few dried cherries, and some balsamic vinegar. It was a bright little spot of green. I’m definitely going to visit the lettuce lady again on Saturday!

Little SaladMy veggies were followed up with the rest of my little container of Vanilla Snowflake LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream topped with vanilla almonds and a few blackberries. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much I love this ice cream. My previous posts have probably made that point. Ok. I’m going to tell you again anyway. It’s SO GOOD!!! 

Woo hoo, LaLoo!I got back from the gym later than usual. It was 10:15 by the time I got back to my apartment and started writing this post. While I’ve been typing, I’ve been munching on one of my favorite little sweet snacks:

Sweet Little SnackI have some Galaxy vanilla almond munch granola mixed with some Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. This bowl keeps me nibbling for a nice long while, and feeds my chocolate tooth. It really is one of my faves. I’ve been eating other granolas lately, and I was so excited when I made the return to the Galaxy. I love it, and I especially dig all of the whole almonds in the mix!

Now, I’m going to make some chamomile tea and read a bit before I head to bed. My workout was really good tonight. I burned 706 calories and felt totally energized throughout the workout!! In fact, it left me a bit too energized for bedtime. 😦 Sometimes that happens. I’ll count some sheep, sip some tea, and hopefully nod off pretty soon. What helps you to unwind at the end of the day?

Have a great Friday, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already!! Ciao for now, bloggie friends!

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Filed under cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake and A Lovely Day of Eats

Hi! Sorry to be posting so late, but I just got home. If you are reading this on Friday morning: TGIF! If you are up late on Thursday, happy almost TGIF! I had a couple of birthday gatherings to attend this evening, so I’m up a little past my bedtime. Even so, I wanted to give you the scoop on my grub for the day as well as a new and tasty recipe that I made. First things first, here’s a re-run for you:

"Tropical Pineapple Right Side Up Breakfast Cookie"I have enough pineapple for one more “Tropical Pineapple Right Side Up Breakfast Cookie.” I’ll be having it a few hours from now, and I’m looking forward to it already. I’m a little bit hungry, but hopefully I will make it until then! I had this morning’s cookie along with a cup of blueberry tea mixed with skim milk and unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. I’m loving this breakfast SO much! 

Today was a work from home day, and I usually go to noontime kickboxing when I’m working at home. Since I’ve been a bit more sore than usual this week, I decided to just do a more laid back cardio workout in the gym this evening. I still scorched about 600 calories, but I think my muscles were probably glad not to be subjected to a kickboxing workout today. I usually have a pre-kickboxing snack, and I decided to uphold the tradition– despite the lack of actual kickboxing. 🙂 I snacked on a Sunshiny Blueberry Muffin from the freezer. Remember those? I did, once I found a couple in the freezer. It was still perfect once I gave it a very quick zap in the micro. I guess I can add “freezes well” to their list of attributes. 

Sunshiny Blueberry MuffinI love these little muffins, and can’t wait until I have some bona fide Virginia berries from the farmer’s market to use in them. YUM! Eventually, lunchtime rolled around. My lunch looks very similar to last night’s dinner with two exceptions: skewer #1 and skewer #2.

I wanted to reheat my fries, and I was hoping to make them crispy. What’s a girl with no toaster oven to do? Well, make French fry kabobs in the pop up toaster! What else?!  Seriously!

Toaster Fries

 

Lunchy LunchI’m glad I thought of this, although I was a bit skeptical of the idea at first. I envisioned having potato bits trapped in my toaster forever or pulling flaming skewers from the toaster with my tongs in a blaze of glory, but it worked just fine. My fries crisped up, and I didn’t set anything on fire. Perfect! Plus, I got to eat my fries on a stick. 🙂 There should be more foods on sticks! The leftover burger from last night was great along with some leftover steamed veggies and Country Bob’s sauce. I do love my leftovers! 

Milk and CookiesFor dessert number one, I had a Brent & Sam’s Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie with some almond breeze on the side. I like to buy these cookies from time to time because they come individually wrapped. That’s perfect for me since it could take me months to eat a package of cookies! After that, I was still craving a little something.

PB WafersI had two vanilla wafers with a smear of Mighty Maple PB. I just had three more, although you won’t see any photos of my late night snack. Sorry. 😦 Dessert number two was followed up sometime later by my afternoon snacks. I had a bowl of Greek yogurt from the Blue Ridge Dairy folks topped with some Bees ‘n Blossoms pomegranate honey jelly and some Zoe’s cinnamon raisin granola. I love how the jelly looks like a jewel sitting on top. This bowl was yummy and satisfying. I should mention that the bowl itself is one of my favorites. It’s jadeite, and it spent years holding bacon grease in my grandmother’s kitchen. It’s contents have changed somewhat, but the beautiful color is just the same. 

Awesome in a bowlI also had a Pink Lady apple with some cashew butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon before I went to the gym. The apple was so crisp, and that’s just the way I like them. I hate mealy apples! Red delicious apples are NOT delicious, in my opinion.

One Nutty LadyBefore I hopped into the shower after my time in the gym, I mixed up a quick snack cake recipe that I found on the Cooking Light website. I was, once again, trying to use up some of the frozen bananas in my freezer jungle, and this cake looked too easy and good to pass up. I’ll give you the link if you want to check it out: LINK. I, of course, tweaked my version based on what I had on hand, and my desire to knock the calories back a tiny bit. Here were my changes to the recipe I linked to above:

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

  • I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1 cup. I thought it was sweet enough, and the chocolate really rocked!
  • I used 3/4 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of teff flour.
  • I only had a little cup of Mott’s unsweetened pomegranate plus applesauce, and that worked just fine for the applesauce requirement.
  • I used instant espresso powder since that’s the only “instant coffee” in my cupboard.
  • I did not bake it on parchment paper, but rather in a 9×9 glass baking dish coated in cooking spray.
  • I cut mine into 12 instead of 16 because… I like bigger pieces. 🙂

I’m sure that it would be fabulous if you just followed the recipe, but I thought I’d mention my little changes just in case you were curious. I can also think of about a zillion add ins that would be amazing! Peanut butter chips are at the top of that list! I do love Cooking Light, and I like that they provide the nutritional information for all of their recipes. When you start tweaking, you have to do some recalculating on your own, but it does provide you with a nice general idea, which I find to be very helpful.

Mmm.... Cake...This cake is similar to a cakey brownie. I like that the edges crisped up. I put mine in a bowl so that I could add…

The Perfect Pair… a bit of ice cream on the side, of course! Instead of having my fake cake this evening, I had the real deal. It was goooood! I have to recommend this recipe! I wrapped some pieces up and put them into the freezer. If I made them to clean out the freezer, but then put them back in, is this progress? Methinks the answer is yes. I’d rather find a bag of this chocolate banana cake in the freezer than a bag of gooey bananas any day. 

Oh gosh! I just remembered that I totally forgot to tell you about dinner. I was too excited about dessert! No surprise there, right? My dinner was quick since I had parties to attend. I heated up a container of Boca chili (one more thing out of the freezer), with a corn vita top (another thing out of the frozen jungle) and a piece of light string cheese. Quick and easy– which was perfect since I was in a bit of a hurry. I really did eat this before I had my cake and ice cream. Really. I did. 🙂

Quick Din DinNow, I need to mix up my breakfast cookie, finish putting clean sheets on my bed, and then put myself to bed! Is it just me, or are clean sheets THE BEST?!

If you had to choose between “milk and cookies” or “cake and ice cream,” which would you pick? I’d have a hard time, but I think I’d probably have to go with cake and ice cream. Especially if the cake had frosting on it. Mmm… frosting!

Before I go:

Karen at To Be The Whole Package is hosting an Honest Foods giveaway that I would love to win, but you should enter it too. 🙂

Kelly at Happy Texans is having an awesome bagel giveaway, but you only have until tomorrow to enter so hurry!

There is a Barney Butter giveaway going on at Meloncauliflower’s site. Check out her recent Barney Butter fiasco. This post cracked me up. If you travel and are a foodie, you can likely relate!

Ciao for now, bloggies!

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Filed under Baking, Cake, Chocolate, Cookies, cooking, Cooking Light, diet, Fitness, Food, Pineapple, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Humpday Hamburgers

I’m so happy to be almost over the hump. How about you? My day started off in a fabulous fashion. I had an AMAZING breakfast! What better way to start the day. I made a brekkie cookie with some of the nut butter I made a couple of days ago, oats, vanilla whey Jay Robb, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, cinnamon and ginger– the usual, but then…

Tropical Pineapple Right Side Up Breakfast Cookie…I topped it with some of the pineapple “pie filling” that I made last night and a little bit of coconut. I also dressed it in a festive lei. 🙂 I had a couple of bites and thought, “hmm… this tastes familiar…” and then I figured it out. What did it taste like: Pineapple upside down cake!! I think I’m in love with this combo, which I call the “Tropical Pineapple Right Side Up Breakfast Cookie.” It deserves a long and illustrious title! It’s on the menu for tomorrow, and probably the day after that! So good!

Around mid-morning, I couldn’t resist the Easter treatster I’d brought for the afternoon:

Easter TreatsterI couldn’t resist having a bit of Easter candy goodness, and Russell Stover hooked me up! Luckily, since a girl can’t live on sugar alone (if I could…), lunch wasn’t far behind.

LunchyI had the last serving of my Spring Cleaning Sausage and Spinach Soup, a little package of pretzel thins that WW sent along with an order of smoothie mix months ago, a little piece of Apricot Raisin Amaretto English cheese from Trader Joe’s and a bowl of Greek yogurt with more of my pineapple topping. Since my office is such a difficult place to take nice photos, and since a pop of color helps a tiny bit, I decided to invite my red Swingline stapler to be in the picture. If you’ve seen the movie, “Office Space,” you know the joke. My brother gave me this stapler as a stocking stuffer a few years back, and it makes me smile when I see it sitting on my desk. 

Pineapple YogurtThe pineapple was great in my yogurt, but it was amazing on the breakfast cookie. I’m going to save the rest for the cookies and find something else to toss in my yogurt. Given my jam collection, it shouldn’t be hard! A few bites in, I realized that I was missing my granola. I forgot to pack it today, but I had a Kellogg’s bar in my desk. These little 90 calorie bars taste great, but they don’t do anything for hunger. I think they are much more useful as a garnish!

Granola GarnishThis was a bigger lunch than I usually have, and I was actually stuffed! I didn’t need a snack until quite sometime later. I played with my food a bit at snacktime. I hope you won’t mind! 🙂

Milk Dudley'sI’m calling these fruit critters “Milk Dudleys.” I decided to have an apple with some PB&Co. Bee’s Knees PB. I also had a tiny box with four Milk Duds that I had stashed away back at Halloween. The desk drawer could use a bit of a clean out too, and I decided that they would be a good addition. I love milk duds. If you try to eat them too quickly, your teeth get totally stuck together. They are made to be savored! My snack hit the spot, and held me until I got home.

That brings me to the Humpday Hamburgers that inspired the name of this post. I’d taken a package of 96/4 ground beef out of the freezer jungle to thaw, and wanted to turn it into burgers. Since the meat is so lean, the burgers have to be handled with care as they don’t have a lot of sticky fat to hold them together. I sauteed some onion, carrot and garlic, which I mixed in to the beef with some of the Country Bob’s sauce that I won from Lucky Taste Buds. The veggies and sauce added a little moisture and a punch of flavor. Then, I heated up my Cuisinart Griddler (love this machine!!!), and sprayed it well with cooking spray. I gently placed my little burgers on the “grill”, and was so happy that they held together well!

Humpday HamburgersOn the side, I had a couple of other things straight from the freezer. I’ve had this enormous Alexia fry bag in the freezer for quite some time with just a few fries floating around inside. You can see my blender in the background, which should give you a little context. The bag itself is enormous! I decided to just cook up everything left in the bag while the oven was hot.

Old BagThese are good, by the way, but I hope to never invest in such a large bag again. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ll be having some fries as leftovers over the next few days. I’m sure they won’t be as good when they aren’t fresh from the oven, but I think I will still enjoy them. I also steamed up a bag of Steamfresh brocco/cauli/carrot mix to add a bit of color to my plate (and my diet). I don’t eat red meat that often, and, when I do, it is super satisfying. Although, I will say that my house now smells a bit like a greasy spoon! 

Ice Cream and "Cake"For dessert, I had some ice cream and “cake.” I like the vitatop and Edy’s slow churned cookies and cream combo. My favorite part is when the ice cream sort of melts and gets absorbed by the muffin. Oh my. I was here by myself, and I didn’t feel the tiniest bit bad about licking the bowl clean. 🙂 I also had a little piece of dark chocolate, but he didn’t want his picture taken. I obliged. 

My freezer clean out project has turned into a bit of a freezer/pantry/desk drawer stash clean out. Do you have any spring cleaning projects underway?

I don’t traditionally “spring clean,” but I do think that the change in seasons sort of inspires it naturally. I put away the sweaters and heavy clothes, and dig out the warm weather wear, which often leads to a closet clean out. I clean out the pots on my balcony and ready them for a new warm weather “crop” of flowers and herbs. I kind of think that my kitchen clean out project is a way to get ready for warm weather foods. I don’t do my best when it comes to eating seasonally, but I definitely eat differently in the warm weather months than I do during the months of dark and cold. I crave lighter cooler foods, and different things, like berries, are screaming for attention at the market. I’m more than happy to answer their call, and I’m going to have my kitchen in good shape so that I can do that hospitably.

Now, I need to do a bit of “cleaning,” which is different, in my opinion, than “cleaning out.” Laundry– here I come! I guess I’d better get to it. 

Before I sign off, I want to mention a nutty giveaway:

Sarah is hosting a pistachiolicious giveaway HERE.

Ciao for now!

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Filed under Cookies, cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Pineapple, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

It Was About Time…

TGIF!!! I hope this finds everyone doing well and getting a good start to the weekend! Quitting time could not come soon enough today, especially after I saw a spot of sunshine at lunch. 🙂 I was in the middle of a serious downpour on my way into the office this morning, so I was so surprised that it was gorgeous at lunchtime. When you have a windowless office, the weather is often a surprise.

Aside from the rain, my day started off pretty well. Now that Jay Robb and I have become friends, I decided that it was time for me to give Fitnessista’s breakfast cookie a try. Last night, before heading off to bed, I mixed up this baby:

Breakfast Cookie

My breakfast cookie is made of 1/3 cup of oats, 1 ounce of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 15 grams of Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder, 7 grams of chopped vanilla almonds, 1 Tbsp. of The Bee’s Knees peanut butter from PB&Co, and some leftover dried strawberries from my berry bar making adventure. I put it in the fridge to set up over night, and it was waiting for me when I got up this morning. 

I loved the chewiness. It really felt like a substantial breakfast, and yet tasted like a dessert. That’s just about perfect in my book! I topped it with a fresh berry that I sliced all fancy in honor of Friday with a little bit of dark chocolate dreams PB. I need my chocolate and strawberry fix in the morning! I will be having this again, and the breakfast cookie seems like a perfect hot weather breakfast option. Thanks, Fitnessista!!

Cookie Monster!

I decided to toss the lunch I’d packed in the freezer at work and enjoy lunch with a friend from work instead. That sort of spontaneous eating would not likely have happened a few weeks ago, but the change in my eating approach has given me such a new outlook and so much more freedom! By the way, I’m not going to report on my weight today, but I will say that things are still going well. I’m so much happier too!! 🙂

My friend suggested that we get lunch at Busboys and Poets, and I wasn’t hard to convince. I’ve looked through their window a number of times, but I’ve never gone inside. Have I been missing out! They have so many amazing options on the menu, including a number of great things for vegetarians and vegans. My lunch really hit the spot, and the company did too!

Lovely Little LunchI got the falafel wrap with a side of fruit. It was SO good! There was a delightfully nutty hummus in the wrap with the falafel and veggies, and I’m always happy with berries and fresh pineapple. There was also a fresh tasting drizzle in the little teacup that added a nice extra layer of flavor to the wrap. Lunch was really good, not heavy at all, and my plate had just the right amount of food. Perfect!

Busboys and Poets Vegan CheesecakeAs usual, I couldn’t resist checking out the desserts. My friend and I split a slice of vegan cheesecake at the end of the meal, and– oh my! It was so good. It kind of reminded me of frozen cake frosting (love it!!), and the raspberries were an awesome complement. It was really good, and I always love the opportunity to share a dessert! I have to highly recommend Busboys and Poets. I will definitely be going back again soon.

When I got hungry later in the day, I had the snack I’d packed this morning. I scraped the last of my dalmatian orange and fig spread from the jar this morning. 😦 It is on the shopping list. I really love it with my Greek yogurt and vanilla almonds. Have I mentioned that I love it?? It really is so good. I’m going to recycle yesterday’s photo so get ready:

Happy in a BowlWhen I got home, I decided to eat a couple of things from the freezer in honor of “Project Clean Out the Freezer.” I had frozen a tiny bit of 96/4 ground beef awhile ago, and I decided to finish off a bag of TJ’s frozen naan by using the beef on one of my little pizzas.

BeefySee, I do label things sometimes! Here’s my empty naan bag. I’d be worried that the bag is empty except… there’s more in the scary freezer!

Bag of EmptyI tried out some of the Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce that I won from the giveaway hosted by Lucky Tastebuds, and, mixed with the beef, it provided a barbecue pizza type experience. It was yummy! That sauce is great! There is also some roasted vegetable tapenade and smoked mozzarella on the top. As usual, I enjoyed the crunchy naan with my favorite TJ’s soup: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato. 

Din DinIn continuing with the freezer theme, I had some more of my Edy’s slow churned light cookies and cream on top of a Triple Chocolate Chunk Vitatop. Essentially, I had cake and ice cream. Woo hoo! I don’t think you can go wrong with that combination.

Party in a BowlI really enjoyed reading the comments y’all left about the state of your freezers. I am glad to know that I have some kindred freezer spirits, and I’m also glad to know that it is possible to have a more organized freezer space. I think I’m shooting for something in the middle, but we will see. I’ve taken a few things out to thaw and I’m planning to turn them into something tomorrow. Stay tuned for that one! I did have a freezer avalanche event this morning, but things are already looking better. 

I hope your weekend is the best! The weather is supposed to be nice here, so I’m hoping to walk?/run?/bike? down to the tidal basin to see this year’s cherry blossom crop. If I do, you can be sure that there will be some new photos!

What are you up to this weekend?

I wanted to mention this giveaway before I go:

The Girl in the Little Black Dress is hosting a Quaker giveaway!! That robe looks too cozy!

Ciao, y’all!

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Filed under Cookies, D.C., diet, Food, Uncategorized, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Pretzelogically Delicious and My Opinions on Some New Eats

BrekkiePretzelogically speaking, I’ve had a great day!! Why? I ate the rest of my Berkshire Bark’s Pretzelogical bar as my end of the day treat. I’m getting ahead of myself by skipping to dinner dessert, but that’s appropriate since I started looking forward to it while I was making my yummy oat breakfast right beside the rest of the bar! This morning’s bowl had regular oats, half a banana, a few strawberries, some brown sugar that had gotten a bit dried out, 1/3 a packet of Jay Robb’s strawberry whey powder and a few vanilla bean almonds. It was good and held me over until lunch and then some!

Jay Robb looks so friendly on the package, but sort of intimidating too. Do you think he would be fun to hang out with? I guess it’s hard to tell just from the picture. I’m a fan of his whey powders, that’s for sure. Today was my first time to try the strawberry, and I thought it was good. It had a nice berry smell, but not really a strong berry taste. It mixed in well with the other things in my bowl and bumped up the protein a bit, so I can’t complain. I still think I like his vanilla whey variety the best.

The pretzel chocolate goodness is not the only reason I’ve had a great day. I also finished my taxes. Woo hoo! I always put them off, but then feel so much better when they’re done. It’s nice to be able to check that off of the “to do” list. I also exchanged some pants that I bought over the weekend and later realized were TOO short. Shopping is much more fun now than it used to be, but I need to remember to look at the bottom of my legs when buying pants and not just focus on how they fit on my behind! It was a productive day, and properly fitting pants are always a good thing.

Before I headed to the store for my quick lunch hour trip, I had this:

LunchI put the leftover pork tenderloin on an Arnold’s whole wheat sandwich thin with a few pickles, a bit of mustard and some Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar. I love this sandwich! I may have to visit the farmer for some more of his awesome pork tenderloin on Saturday. It was sooo good. I also had an orange, a serving of baba ghanouj and a pile of chippy cucumbers. Following that, I had this So Delicious strawberry coconut milk yogurt with some Zoe’s granola for lunch dessert.

So Delicious?This was my first time to try one of these coconut milk yogurts, and I think I’d built my expectations up too high. I didn’t love it. It was fine, but the texture wasn’t as creamy as I would have liked. It wasn’t incredibly sweet, which was ok since I had it with the granola, but I don’t think I would have enjoyed it much on its own. I usually love anything involving coconut, so I’m sad that I didn’t love this. I probably won’t buy the strawberry again, but I am still open to trying some of the other flavors.

I tried to do a better job of gauging my hunger before eating my snacks this afternoon, and I think I did pretty well. It may also help, that the first snack I had was a very satisfying one. On my crazy “pointless” shopping trip to Whole Foods this weekend, I picked up so many fun things that I’ve passed by time and time again. One of those things was this peanut butter cookie from the Alternative Baking Company. This little vegan cookie is one of the best peanut butter cookies I’ve ever had. Period. It’s dense and chewy (as all good PB cookies should be!!) and it had big chunks of peanuts scattered throughout. Half of the cookie was 230 calories, so I’ve been eating it in thirds. As you can see, there is one third left in the wrapper. I’m looking forward to having it tomorrow!

Peanut Buttery HeavenMuch later (did I mention that the cookie was satisfying!!!), I had the little bowl of Peanut Butter Puffins. Man, those things are good. I was surprised that I didn’t reach for my snacks sooner, and it was almost 3:30 when I jumped into my bowl of Puffins. That’s a whole hour later than I usually start the snack parade. Wow! I realized that things were off schedule, and thought I’d make the most of it by really paying attention to what was going on. Sitting in front of the computer, it’s easy to fall into the same trap that often presents itself when eating in front of the television: mindless eating. Have you ever eaten something and then realized that the bowl was empty and you’d really only barely tasted the food? I think that often happens with my afternoon snacks. I tried to really enjoy the Puffins today. This may sound silly, but I tried to actually LOOK at the Puffins while I was eating them. It’s amazing what a difference it made. The bowl lasted longer too. Hooray!!! Closer to quittin’ time, I decided to have one other snack– a Prune Activia yogurt.

PrunieliciousSo, there’s a story that goes along with this yogurt. I often vacation with a friend I’ve known practically since birth, and our excursions are always a great chance to get caught up. Unlike me…, she’s great at planning trips. We’re both pretty laid back tourists, and I love traveling with her. I don’t do well with a packed schedule. It’s vacation! She understands this well. Anyway, she’d been living abroad in a place where this yogurt was available, and had been missing it after a recent move back to the states. When we went to the grocery store in Portugal last summer, she was excited to find this yogurt. Yep, they have Activia in Portugal. I didn’t know what the big deal could possibly be until I tasted it. It has a flavor unlike any yogurt I’ve ever had, and I love it!! I was so excited when it showed up at my grocery store. I always think of her when I eat it. 🙂

I don’t eat this yogurt for its probiotic properties, but I did come across an interesting article today that discussed the recent probiotic trend. I won’t get into the details, but if you are interested, here’s a link to the article. As for me, the thing that motivates me to buy this is simply the pruney goodness!

The metro was having some issues tonight, and I got home a bit later than I would have preferred. That meant that I needed to grab a quick dinner and then scamper off to strength training with my trainer. I decided that a quick salad was the answer, and I painted the dressing on this one “Jackson Pollock style.” Fun!

Jackson Pollack StyleThis salad has red leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, a hardboiled egg, some turkey pepperoni, a bit of feta, and my Greek yogurt and smoked paprika hummus dressing concoction. I used a knife to sort of spatter the dressing around on the salad, which gave it a bit of Jackson Pollock flair. It was good and had lots of satisfying protein. Of course, I probably ate it faster than I should have because I knew that this was waiting for me:

Pretzelogical

I ate the much anticipated remains of my Pretzelogical bar, and I enjoyed every bite. What’s more, I wasn’t tempted to follow it up with fifty little snacks. It satisfied my sweet tooth once again. I had half before I went to workout and the other half after I got back. I earned it! That workout was tough. I love that my trainer provides variety, but sometimes the new moves can be a bit frustrating. Lying on my back holding a medicine ball between my feet, lifting and dipping the ball this way and that, trying to stay in a neutral position the whole time, and trying to avoid dropping the ball or flinging it across the room at another exerciser was a new form of torture. Thank goodness it only lasted for a minute! I’m sure it will be easier the next time, but wow– it was tough!

I’m off now to have one last nibble before I head off to bed. There is a graham cracker and a smear of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB in the kitchen with my name on it. I should sleep well now that I’ve checked “do taxes” off of my “to do” list. Now, on to the next thing. It has something to do with choosing some excursions for the Alaskan cruise I’m going on with my prune yogurt eating friend in May… Did I mention that I’m not much of a planner? 🙂

I love posing questions and reading all of the awesome comments. If you were going to Alaska and needed to pick an excursion, would you: 1.) Go rafting, 2.) Go hiking, 3.) Participate in an activity requiring crampons, 4.) Zipline, 5.) Bicycle through the countryside, 6.) Fly fish, 7.) Ride around on a boat looking for whales, or 8.)Shop and eat tasty things? Hmm… I’d love to know what you’d do if it were you!

Before I go, there are a crazy number of fun giveaways going on around blogland. Check them out! You may win something cool, and you will definitely find some awesome blogs along the way!

There is a Quaker giveaway at Run, Eat, Repeat.

Check out the Barney Butter giveaway over at The Hungry Yogini.

Tons of Michael Seasons natural snacks could be yours at Missy Maintains.

Glorious almonds are the prize at Melissa’s Journey.

You could win a “survive the slump” goodiebag at Meloncauliflower.

There is an awesome granola giveaway at Foods That Fit!

Finally, and I love this one, there is a cool Seventh Generation cleaning product giveaway over at Hey What’s For Dinner?

In the spirit of 30 Rock: Sweetie Out!

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Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers