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Monday, August 10, 2015

Days 6-8, quick recap

I would be lying if I didn't tell you I am losing a bit of enthusiasm for this diet.  However, the food is still generally pretty good, and I am on the home stretch, right?  I'm sticking with the spirit of it, if not following it to the letter.

Day 6
Breakfast -- Mango Pistachio Chia Pudding
****
Good.

Lunch -- Salmon, Green Bean and Arugula Salad w/Dijon Dressing
*****
Sorta like a nicoise but different.  Good combo of flavor

Snack-- Carrots and Cucumber w/Hummus
***

Skipped carrots since my neighbors keep giving me piles of cucumbers.

Dinner -- Black Bean Chile
*****

OK, this turned out excellent, but only with major changes.  I read through the recipe.  Not a spice in it.  Not one measly thing that would make chile, chile.  Celery?  Parsley?  My New Mexican family would disown me.  So, this is what I did.  I chopped up a couple of poblano peppers from the fridge.  Poblanos are mild peppers, so I just subbed them for bell peppers.  Then, because I am New Mexican, I added a couple of peppers from my garden and 1/2 an habanero.  Be crazy like me or don't.  Skip the celery and the parsley. These ingredients NEVER belong in chile. Just don't.  The rest was excellent.  Loved the yogurt topping and the addition of the zucchini at the end.

Snack-- I don't remember
*

Again, some fruit.  Whichever one in my kitchen needed to be used.

Day 7
Breakfast -- Asparagus and Poached Eggs
*****
This was great except that I had a fail on my new microwave egg poacher the first go round.

Lunch -- SaladI didn't do what the diet said
***
Instead, I tried baking something called the Healthiest Bread Ever by a blogger called the Clean Eating Goddess.  This was my answer to REALLY, REALLY wanting bread without going completely off the rails.  BTW, it is delicious and hearty.  I slapped some almond butter on one of the slices.

Snack-- Skipped
*

Cause, homemade bread.

Dinner -- Turkey Meatballs over Collards w/Marinara
*****

The sauce recipe is a real keeper.  YUM.  I was chatting with a friend while preparing the meatballs, and I overcooked them.  Oh well, flavor was good and with the sauce you could hide the overdoneness a bit.

Snack-- Coconut popsicle
***

Left over from last challenge

Day 8
Breakfast -- BlueberryStraberry Yogurt Smoothie
****

Remember there wasn't a blueberry in my local Smith's.  I used strawberries from the freezer instead.

Lunch -- Shashuska
****
I liked this more than I thought I would.  Of course, I already told you how excellently the sauce was from Saturday's dinner.

Snack --A 1/2 slice of my bread w/ Homemade nutella
*****

Did you know you can make a healthier nutella?  I'll share my latest Pinterest madness in a future post.

Dinner -- Eggplant, Chickpea, Cauliflower and Lemon ParsleyPaprika Yogurt
****
This was good.  I still had some yogurt whipped up from chile night, so I didn't bother with the parsley.

Snack -- Figs and AlmondsBlackberries and Pistachios
*****
Cause fresh fruit gets used before dried.  I am NOT going to throw food away.

The greatest news this week is that I am more than 3 pounds down; despite the horrible physical week I had last week.  I just need to keep the momentum going!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day 5 - From hell

Today was rough.  Not enough sleep, cranky and annoyed.

I pushed through, though, and I am still kicking.

My phone was dead, so no pics.

Breakfast - Cauliflower Omelette
****
This was good, but I just didn't have an appetite so I ate half of it.

Lunch -- FennelBeet, BlueberryBlackberry, Quinoa Salad
****
Would you believe the gigantic store in the town I work had not ONE blueberry in it?  I grabbed some blackberries instead.  It seemed to work out fine.  I was still sick of fennel, so I had roasted golden beet and parsnip instead.  Overall, this was a good experience.

Snack -- Wasn't hungry....

Dinner -- Simple RoastedGrilled Salmon with Steamed Green Beans and Lentils
*****
We grilled the salmon because......SUMMER!  Our only tweak was to add some dijon to this.

Snack -- Blackberries and Pistachios
*****
I felt I was still a little light on calories (despite 2 glasses of red wine), so I ate this.

Hoping for better days ahead.

Oh, there was one bit of good news.  Someone told me I looked like I'd lost weight today!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Days 3 & 4 -- Sometimes things just don't go your way

It's been a rough few days.  Energy has been low, mood generally sour and life more difficult than usual.  I
am soldiering on in the food department, and hobbling along in the exercise department.  Here's a quick synopsis.

Day 3
Breakfast -- Blackberry Yogurt Parfait
****
Nothing to write home about, but good.

Lunch -- Asian Chicken Salad
***
I couldn't understand why this didn't have a sesame component.  I added some seeds (next time I'd toast them) and I'd make my vinaigrette with sesame oil.

Snack -- Avocado
*****

 Love avocado, and could eat this every afternoon.

Dinner -- Cauliflower Steaks w/Lentils
****

This looked like a hot mess, but actually tasted good.  I used red lentils, which cooked up faster but did make more of a porridge than pretty lentils as in the pictures.

Snack-- Almond Milk w/Dark Chocolate
***

I still think this needs something.  Cinnamon?  Something just a bit sweet?  Honey? Agave?

Day 4
Breakfast -- Scallion FetaCheddar Omelette
****

I thought I was out of feta, made this with cheddar, bought more feta, then found a full container of feta in the back of the cheese drawer.  Guess I will have to spice something up greek style in days to come.

Lunch -- Greek Salad
***
I just wasn't feeling good this day; plus, I put tamari in all the lime dressing, which didn't go with this AT ALL.  This was more a personal failure than a fault of the recipe.

Snack -- Mango Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds
****

This, I liked.  Plus, I used the last of the mango banana sorbet I made in the first challenge.

Dinner -- Chicken w/FennelRoasted Beet & Spinach
***
I am fenneled out.  Seriously.  I only just like fennel and it was on the menu about 5 or six times.  I had a roasted golden beet and I added some roasted parsnip.

Snack -- Fig Rainier Cherries & Almond
*****
Cause they won't be around much longer......

I pushed through this despite a bad attitude.  I did drink 2 glasses of wine on day 4; let's just call it medicinal.  I didn't eat half my lunch, and ate about 2/3 my dinner, so I think it works out in the end..... Let's call it my grape serving for the day, ok?

Oh, and my phone is dead, so there are no pictures.  That's just how things are rolling this week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day Two --

Today was a good food day.  Furthermore, I also managed to get some exercise in.  Woot!

Before breakfast, I did the 28 day bootcamp DVD workout.  Plus I did a little yoga rejuvenation challenge.

Breakfast -- Overnight Oats w/Bluberries
***
I am not a fan of the mush of overnight oats.  Overall the flavor on this was ok.

Lunch -- Kale, Quinoa and Fennel Salad
****
Overall good flavor with the orange vinaigrette.  I gotta wonder, why so much fennel.  I'll be roasting something different for some future meals.


Snack -- Tomatoes, Feta and Balsamic w/Basil
****
Sorta like the dieter's caprese.  I missed the mozz, but it sure was pretty.

Dinner -- Napa Cabbage Wraps w/Chicken Salad
*****
The flavor on this was superb.  My only complaint is that WalMart sucks and I bought the one and only Napa cabbage they had and it was spotted and not very pretty.  Back to Sprouts for me!  I was stuck going there because I needed some supplies from the Lowe's next door.  Boo, WalMart.


After work I managed 30 minutes of Hip Hop Abs, so this was a good day!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 1 -- Complete, and a recipe to keep!

OK, I'm starting out strong this time.  Ready for some new healthy food ideas

Breakfast - Kale/Banana Smoothie
***
Just ok.  Why does it always feel like I have to chew smoothies made with kale?

Lunch - Shaved Asparagus Salad w/Fried Eggs
*****
This lunch should be a dinner some other time.  Sauteed shallots and asparagus mixed with crunchy arugula and the yumminess of fried egg on top and the tanginess of lemon.  Winner!  Kinda sad Terry didn't get a chance to taste it.


Snack - Carrots and Hummus
****
As always and forever.  Good.

Dinner -- Kale, Chicken and Quinoa w/OrangeClementine Vinaigrette
****
This was better than I expected.  The steamed kale went nicely with the nuttiness of the quinoa.  My only tweak here was to spice the chicken up more. This diet has a lot of meat with only salt and pepper, and I think chicken needs more. I had a bourbon dry rub in my cabinet that did the trick.
Snack -- Pear w/Almond Butter
****
Again, these are pretty standard snacks.  What's not to like with this one?

I also figured out what some mystery trees in my yard were this week, albeit a bit too late.  I almost yanked them out, as they grow horrible runners that go 20 feet from the trees!  They are choke cherries!  Unfortunately, the birds discovered them way before I did, picking 2 of the three trees clean.  I was able to salvage a good strainer's worth, though, and made some jam.  Next year......netting.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Yogic thoughts coming soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

My week of debauchery is over

Just kidding!  I didn't get that far off track.

My guilty pleasures were:

1 margarita
1 green chile cheeseburger w/garlic fries
a couple of beers throughout the week
bread!  homemade and slathered with some butter and homemade choke cherry jam

THERE!

One winner of a recipe I haven't shared is a noodleless pad thai that both Terry and I really enjoyed.  The "noodles" are spaghetti squash, but it really does taste like pad thai!  Plus, seriously, if you have the spaghetti squash roasted (like anytime you turn on the oven in the summer heat, just stick it in there), then it comes together super fast.

Find the recipe over at Shared Appetite

Another winner for lunch fare is the Riceless Sushi over at The Clothes Make the Girl.  I am not avoiding soy, so I dipped in tamari and wasabi and it was delicious.

So, now it's time to buckle down again.  I am doing the 2014 Clean Eating Challenge starting today.  After a 5 pound loss and lots of extra energy, I decided to do it again.  I have much more than 5 pounds to lose, so I may even do them again (or some variation based on my fave recipes).  After just two weeks, I found some of the recipes from the 2015 challenge good enough to eat during my "cheat week", so I look forward to adapting my kitchen to be healthy more time that not.

I'll do some menu reviews on the 2014 version.  This time, I'll actually reincorporate some exercise into my life as well.  Let's see if I can make that 6 or 7 pounds this time.

Now, to get some quilting done!

Happy day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 15 and Beyond -- Adventures in Spiralizing and Other Pinterest Ideas

During the challenge, I bought our home a spiralizer.  I've wanted one for a while (how else would I manage to make all those Pinterest Pins come alive?).  So, I am allowing myself a couple of things that would have been taboo over the last two weeks, but still trying to keep with the overall idea; after all, I have a lot more weight to shed....

Here's a little internet roundup of my finds so far.

First, I have missed bread, so I whipped this up:

Terry said this bread actually chewed back.  I didn't have any fresh out of the oven, but the next evening it made great toast. 
TWEAKS: I didn't have all the dried herbs it called for, but I did have a bit of pesto in my fridge, so I mixed that in for the olive oil crust treatment.

Then, I got to spiralizing!  I really enjoy making things with this.  The first item was my lunch, a lovely carrot and spinach salad in a jar.
TWEAKS: I didn't have cashews, so I tossed in shelled pistachios instead.  YUM.

Then I whipped up a soup with sweet potato "noodles":

TWEAKS: I didn't find the Japanese variety of yam, so I just used what they had.  It was more colorful than this soup, but I don't think it hurt it any.

This morning I whipped up a new smoothie:
TWEAKS: I couldn't find my molasses, so I tossed in maple syrup, plus I added some oatmeal to up the fiber count on this.  It was like a really nice cinnamon oatmeal that you can drink.

Tonight, the spiralizing maddness continued (sorta).  I tried to spiralize a slaw, but only some of the veggies cooperated.

Tweaks: I added pear.  Oh, and this did not need to be spiralized at all, I just thought I'd try.

That got served with meatballs.  Oh, how I missed beef over the past two weeks.  Our grass fed beef stash was calling to me, so I made meatballs based on this, with one surprise:
TWEAKS: I used oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs.  I also hid one baby mozzarella in each of these.  Divine.

My big cheat today were restaurant fish tacos (grilled), but I skipped the beans/rice.  Oh, and I did allow myself a beer today.  Just one.  It tasted really good.

Gonna try to keep up with the healthy eating with just a few treats for myself until the next two week clean eating challenge on Sunday.