October 6, 2016

Easy Yellow and Green Salad

yellow-saladThis salad is refreshing and a great alternative to plain old lettuce. It takes all of 5 minutes to make, could not be easier and looks so pretty on the plate. We eat with our eyes first, did you know that?  Pretty food tricks our brains into thinking it tastes better and is more filling.  #Winning.  Another fun fact, herbs have like 3X the anti-oxidants of most berries.  Bring on the herbs!  I first made this salad with both mint and cilantro but ran out of cilantro when I took this pic. It is definitely better with both herbs. If you make it, let me know what you think!

Ingredients

1 yellow zucchini or courgette if you’re fancy/Euro

Hand full mint and/or cilantro – chopped or not, depends how you feel/lazy.

1 tbsp good quality olive oil. I like this one

2 tsp vinegar, any kind you like. I used apple cider.

Salt and pepper to taste. I love this salt, reminds me of when I studied abroad.  It is what my host family used.

Method

Wash and dry the zucchini and herbs

Using a veggie peeler, peel the zucchini in long strips. This peeling method is great. Less dishes to wash and is actually faster than chopping.  Trust.

Dress the zucchini strips with the olive oil and vinegar

Sprinkle with herbs, salt, pepper.

Enjoy!

December 5, 2013

What I Eat

So a few readers have asked me for daily menus, what my typical day of food looks like, especially without meat.  I thought this would be a perfect post so here goes!

I am pretty boring and tend to eat the same things every day, especially during the week.  As I have mentioned before, the Mr. and I have pretty busy schedules and don’t have a lot of time on weeknights to cook.

Breakfast
I start out every day with a smoothie using my NutriBullet.  Oh NutriBullet how I love you!  My adoration for this machine is a whole other post. 

Basic Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 cup coconut milk plus more depending on desired consistency (I like this one) 

I sometimes I add protein powder and other fruits depending on what’s around.  I love to add frozen kale too, I don’t even taste it.

Snack
I eat my breakfast early like 5:45 – 6am so by the time I get done working out and head to the office at 9am, I am ready for a snack.  I will have a piece of fruit, like an apple or a banana when I get to work.

Lunch
Lunch lately has been salad with my homemade oil-free dressing, a green juice, and either a cup of quinoa or some of my special beans.  I order the salad and green juice from Free Foods.  They aren’t a chain but I am sure there are other places like it all over. 

My favorite green juice has celery, kale, lime and ginger.  YUM!  I admit, it took me a while to get used to the taste but now I really enjoy it.

green juice

salad

Homemade Dressing

I make this in the NutriBullet.  I used to use a food processor but the NB is so much easier to clean!  I make a double batch on weekends to get me through the week.

  • 2/3 cashews – raw unsalted.  I use the ice attachment on the bullet to grind the cashews to a nice pulp
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk or almond milk, any alternative milk really
  • 2 tsp (or more depending on taste) Dijon mustard
  • juice of 2 lemons (I like mine pretty lemony.  The original recipe only calls for 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • tsp black pepper (i just do a few grinds)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves (don’t skip the roasting, I did it once and regretted it)
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • Blend all the ingredients and store in glass jars.  Best served cold.

Emma’s Special Beans – like the inside of a bean burrito

      • 2/3-3/4 cup beans – red, white, black whatever you like
      • about half a cup, more or less, of salsa
      • Microwave together for about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave
      • Add a tbsp or two of guac or plain old avocado and voila!  Easy tasty beans. 

beans

I put Franks Red Hot in mine after.  I am a little obsessed with that hot sauce right now.  I even have a little bottle on my desk at work.

red hot

Snack
I usually need another snack in the afternoon. I love pickles, kale chips, fruit, carrots and celery – any cut up veggie really. 

Dinner
The salad is the main dish for dinner.  John and I love to put fruit in our salad.  Our favorites are blueberries, strawberries, figs when they are in season, apples.  If I have beans at lunch, I have quinoa at dinner and vice versa.  I will often take a bag of frozen artichoke hearts, defrost them in the microwave and put them under the broiler to crisp.  Their moisture from being frozen gives them nice brown edges.  I usually have a prune or two after dinner, I feel like they are just good for my digestion.  So the dinner is basically a big salad, some other cooked vegetable and either beans or quinoa and a few prunes.

So there you have it!  A day in the life of my (current) eating!

 

 

December 3, 2013

Status Report – A Meatless Thanksgiving

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Hi All!  Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  I definitely did. I loved being with my family.  We did a lot of eating, a little shopping, some more eating, more shopping.  You get it. 

In my last post, I talked about my commitment to Eat To Live and I am here to tell you that I am on track!  I made it through with my first meatless Thanksgiving.  It wasn’t all that hard, I had lots of veggies during the appetizer portion of the day then a huge salad with homemade oil free dressing, sweet potatoes, a rice stuffing, sugarless cranberry chutney and then a sugarless/gluten-free apple strudel all courtesy of Mama Lynda.  The hardest part of this is the suggestion of avoiding oil, oil is everywhere.  I am taking it easy on myself and if I have a little oil, oh well.  I have to be realistic for my life and I order lunch out every day – it is impossible to control how restaurants prepare food.  I order mostly salads and green juices but if there is a little oil in the quinoa salad I like, I am not going to get worked up about it.  One of my friends who is also rocking out ETL style said she and her husband don’t freak out about oil outside the home and take a good, realistic 90% of the time approach.  Sounds like good advice to me!

 

November 27, 2013

Eat to Live Revisited

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So not that long ago I posted about a book I was reading, Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live.  I gave it a good old college try for two weeks, going basically vegan.  These two weeks smashed right up against our trip to Maine and my heart just wasn’t in it. 

The thing is, I started this journey for my health but mainly for vanity.  Let’s face it, I want to look good as well as feel good.  But now, it has taken on a whole new direction.  Yes, I want to lose these last 20 lbs and in the process, finally hit that 100 mark.  But I am really interested in what food is doing to my insides.  What can I eat now that will give me a longer life, what will give me more energy?  I had been trying to cut down on the meat just because I know I feel better when I eat less of it. 

After watching the contestants butcher a pig on Top Chef and seeing this video called Vegucated (Caution, that video really freaked me out and made me incredibly sad. Viewer’s discretion advised) I am giving it another go. I know, great timing, right before Thanksgiving where meat is the main thing. I mean a Thanksgiving without turkey? Who ever heard of that?! To be honest, I don’t really like turkey that much. I have been bringing my own ham to Thanksgiving the last few years. My In-laws are awesome about what I am and am not eating.

I made it through a horrendous day of detox – worst migraine of my life on Monday – and today is day four of being a “vegetarian/vegan.”  I’m not big on labels like that, I am not focusing on “being” anything. I am just focusing on the foods I feel good about and right now that means no meat or dairy. Besides, I don’t know if you would call me a real vegan ’cause I’m wearing leather shoes.  Oh shoes, how I love you. 

Will I ever eat meat again? I don’t know.  But for today, I am what the mister called me, “a hippie”,  and not eating meat. 

 

November 22, 2013

Biscuit Goodness

cooked

 

Yeah, so my sweet potato biscuits did not come out looking like the ones pictured here

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BUT they did taste , good.  I followed the recipe and used my silpat – first time ever since we got married over three years ago!  If you like baking and don’t have a silpat, I suggest you run, not walk, to the nearest Bed Bath & Beyond and get one.  No sticking at all.  These babies slid right off the sheet.

raw

The thing is, these are TOO GOOD.  The consistency is spot on and they are buttery and delicious.  I can’t handle it, these are a total binge food.  My mind wants to trick my body into thinking these are an “OK” food for me since they are wheat free and I used a sugar alternative.  In reality, my body thinks they might as well be this

bread

 

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I can’t just eat a little of that, I have to have the whole loaf.  So I will have my second bread-free Thanksgiving this year.  At first I was kinda bummed but you know what?  I love looking like this MORE than I want to eat bread at Thanksgiving.  And yes, that is a selfie and no I have no shame.

leggings

 

 

November 12, 2013

Foods I Used To Hate – Part 2

salmon

 Disclaimer…that is NOT chicken.

I have really worked on “teaching” myself to like new things, as I mentioned in the first part of this series, Foods I Used To hate.  Mr. Brussels Sprout, I used to fear you, hate you and now you are almost a staple…OK now I am getting carried away, once or twice a week for those green jewels is PLENTY.  There is only so much of that intense flavor I can take. 

The second food I have recently taught myself to like is….SALMON!  When I told my sister Ruthie this, her eyebrows pretty much left her face they were raised so high.  Shock is the best way I can describe her reaction.  I used to be 100% anti this healthy fish (except in sushi and even then it has to be spicy crunch salmon).  Now, I eat it once a week at least.  In that photo above, the salmon is even COLD. 

My favorite way to eat it is a salmon steak flash sautéed on the stove and served with grey poupon.  Delicious.  John is so good at making salmon for me I even ask him to do it instead of “Oh man!  Salmon? YUCK!”

Try it for yourself, the mustard really goes well with the unctuous-ness of the fish. 

 

 

November 5, 2013

JJ Virgin Update or I Love Peanut Butter

 

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I really thought dairy was going to be the hardest thing to keep out of my food plan.  I was wrong.  Peanuts and peanut butter is.  I already caved and had some yesterday and today.  Apparently I am weak willed….or just human. 

While I am ok with AVOIDING dairy and peanut butter I can’t leave them out completely for any length of time, apparently not even for a few days.  The dairy thing I really get, I mean I noticed right away how much better I felt without it.  My nose is not as runny and I just feel clearer somehow.  However, life without a little cheese or greek yogurt sauce on a gyro platter is just not any fun.   

I have been thinking about the past two years of my health and fitness journey.  I didn’t lose the majority of this weight by eating Paleo, or following a prescribed plan in a book.  I lost it by eating well; three balanced meals and two snacks a day.  I lost it by weighing and measuring portions.  I lost it by exercising consistently.  I have been playing around with all these different lifestyles – which I have to be honest, ended up feeling like the dreaded diet to me –  and what I have learned is that eating normally is the only way for me to continue down this path in a sane way.  And that has always been my goal – no dieting, just sane healthy eating.  For me, that means including peanut butter, cheese, and of course my favorite salt and vinegar chips from time to time.  Not every day, just once in a while.  I don’t want to feel like I am cheating, that is totally opposite of what I am trying to achieve.  I want to know that if I choose to have some peanut butter, it’s cool.  I am not going to gain 5 pounds or even 1 pound from a little peanut butter.  That feels like sanity to me. 

 

October 29, 2013

Halloween!

How are you celebrating Halloween?  Are you choosing this…

unhealthy halloween

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Or this?

halloween

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Betcha know which one I will be snacking on!

October 24, 2013

Food I Used To Hate – Part 1

 

 brussels

If you have told me a year ago that I would order brussels sprouts for lunch willingly without a gun to my head or the promise of a million dollar pay out, I would have laughed in your face.  Brussels sprouts represent vegetables I used to hate but now enjoy along, like bok choy.  I mean, let’s not get crazy, I am not eating brussels every day and I am most certainly picky about them.  But when made like the salad above, in a vinaigrette with pine nuts and sultanas, they really are something.  Scary before, delicious and crave-worthy after the first bite.  I will eat my brussels roasted or flash fried (OMG little pieces of heaven first discovered at this Brooklyn hot spot) preferably with something on them like a nice balsamic or the aforementioned vinaigrette. 

I encourage you to give brussels, especially the baby ones mmmm tasty, a try.  Prepared the right way, these fall veggies are a treat.

 

October 23, 2013

Let’s Talk Turkey

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Turkey bacon that is.  Better for you than regular bacon.  This one by Applegate Farms Organics has no nitrites or nitrates added.  It is organic, preservative- and gluten-free. 

Paleo followers love bacon.  There are websites and t-shirts devoted to it.  However, too much bacon can lead to scary things like clogged arteries and heart attacks and ugh, I don’t want to think about it.  That is why I eat this amazing turkey bacon at home.  I eat regular bacon if it is on a burger or for brunch at restaurants but this is not a regular thing for me. Sure, this is a little more processed than say regular old turkey breast but hey, when you want bacon, this is it.

I put it in a non-stick pan without any added fat and brown it up.  I eat it hot and cold leftover.  It is an easy quick breakfast protein and adds a nice salty bite to any salad when cut up into small bites.  Use it in place of regular bacon in any recipe.  I promise you won’t regret it!