Sunday, September 13, 2015

First Meal Prep Session EVER!

So I start a new, full time job tomorrow. (Yay!) I wanted to make sure I have all of my meals done ahead of time to relieve any unnecessary stress & wasting of time throughout the week.

So I boiled some eggs...
Did up some sweet potato... 
Made some Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. Recipe here. 
And grilled a bunch of chicken breast on the BBQ. I did up 4oz. bags. 

I also made up a huge salad, soaked apple slices in lemon/pineapple juice (to prevent browning), made up containers with assorted nut butters, and made freezer bags with ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Smoothies (recipe to follow).

So after it was all said, & done, this is what I have for the week: 

1) Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (just need to add protein powder, water & sweetener (stevia)
2) AM Snack: Apple slices with nut butter
3) Lunch: Garden Salad with 4oz chicken, 1 egg & assorted salad dressing
4) PM Snack: Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (each mini-muffin is 47 calories)

I think it was well worth the effort & I'm happy that I don't have to make a lunch/snack each night!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

*100g sweet potato
*100g yogurt (vanilla)
*1 scoop protein powder of choice
*1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice 
(I make my own blend ... recipe for that below)
*1 tsp vanilla
*sweetener of choice (to taste) I use stevia.
*Ice - 5-6 cubes
*water to desired thickness

Blend well & Happy Fall, y'all!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

*1/4 cup ground cinnamon
*4 tsp ground nutmeg
*4 tsp ground ginger
*1 tbsp ground allspice

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Smoothie Bowl

Tired of smoothie after smoothie? Make a smoothie bowl. Similar principle, different experience!  It's nice sometimes to get the feeling like your eating, rather than drinking something.  Sometimes it's more satisfying. So here's my take on it.

You will need:

*1 Scoop protein powder (I used Beyond Yourself Choc Chip Cookie Dough)
*2/3 C Vanilla Yogurt of choice (I used Iogo Original)
*1 tsp vanilla
*A few drops of stevia (or sweetener of choice)
*Ice (I used about 7-8 cubes
*A little water (or milk of choice) - to get things moving in the blender
*1/2 protein bar (I used Kellogg's Double Chocolate Protein Bar)
*2 tsp unsweetened coconut

*Additions - I added 1 TBSP each of chia & psyllium husk, you could also add flax, seed, coconut oil, etc.

- Add all ingredients (except bar & coconut) to blender (I use a VitaMix) & blend away! 
- Top with chopped protein bar & coconut. 

Macros: 380 Cal.  C 42/F 9/P 34

Breakfast is so gives you a great start to your day, especially for those looking to control their weight. Check out this article here to read about the many benefits of starting your day with a good breakfast. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

The End of Exercise! ... Bring On the "CIZE"!

First day doing Beachbody's new program... "Cize" ... I absolutely love it!! Andrea L Davison Pahulu posted about it a while ago and I was intrigued. (I always love a "new thing"! - It helps to get me excited about working out, especially if I've been on a motivational "plateau", shall we say.)  

Here's what it's all about... 

Here's the link to the info page on Beach body's website.

And here's where you can buy it directly from the fabulous JJ Choo: (Just click on "SHOP", "Featured Programs", "Cize".)

It's only about 30 minutes long & it was so fun!  And SOOOO schweaty!!! I'd been to Zumba before, but didn't feel like I was "getting" all of the moves properly... And there's a huge crowd...and the social anxiety & paranoia kicks in. So when I saw that I could learn some fun dance moves & work out...I was in! 

So if you want to give it a try, let JJ know...she said she'd do a motivational group on Facebook, which would totally help too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guacamole & The Many Ways You Can Enjoy It!

Can you see the edges of the bowl where I tried to clean it up a little for presentation's sake? Yea... didn't really work :)  And I can't take more pics because it's gone... because I ate it...ALL. So good. 

This is the kind I made tonight... Cilantro-Garlic Guac

~1 avocado - ripe & ready to go, cut & flesh removed. Mash the flesh!
~Add in approx 1 TBSP Cilantro paste. (I use cilantro paste because when I buy fresh it always goes bad & cost wise, the paste is pretty good for how much you get.) I don't know how much fresh you'd need to get the same taste.
~Add in approx 2 cloves minced garlic (I just used approx 1 tsp garlic powder)
~Then add onion of your choice... I used about 1 TBSP dehydrated onion (from Costco) but you could use minced frsh...maybe like 1/8-1/4 C. I am all about what's fastest & the least annoying.
~Add in 1/4 tsp cumin.
~Add a splash of lemon juice.
~Then add some sea salt. I did 3 turns on my grinder... so maybe like 1/4 tsp
~Mix together & you are good to go... Enjoy with veggies, plantain chips or regular chips...whatever plan you're on!

Tex-Mex Guac

~1 avocado - same as above...ripe & ready to go, cut & flesh removed. Mash the flesh!
~Add in 1/4 C salsa & 1/4 C sour cream
~Mix in sea salt to taste.
~Add garlic & onion if desired.
~Mix together & enjoy!

Garlic-Onion Guac

This is my go-to recipe because it's so quick & really tasty. My husband says it gives me awful breathe, though. Oh well, it tastes really good. 
~Add in approx 2 cloves minced garlic (I just use approx 1- 1 & 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
~Then add onion of your choice... I use about 1 TBSP dehydrated onion
~Throw in some sea salt - approx 1/4 tsp
~Mix all together & yum! You're good to go!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

NSV - "Non Scale Victories"

Well I have to say the scale isn't moving as much as I'd like...So today I'm going to touch on some non-scale victories I've been experiencing lately.

First off...I gave up sugar...Like all forms including maple syrup, honey, agave, etc. The only things I'll still have are stevia & sucralose (no haters please, it's my choice :) )  And what I've found is that my skin has cleared up remarkably. For me, it's been a really noticeable difference.  Now I can feel comfortable going out in public sans make up & not be horribly embarrassed. (Hence the make up-less pics & videos on IG & FB lately)  And when I do wear make up it's because I want to play around with colors & not because I feel like I need to cover up.

So I'm really cool with that.  That's enough motivation to not have sugar in & of itself. 

2nd:  Because of the way I've been eating I have had ZERO intestinal distress. I'm not sure if any of you know what I'm talking about but there's a meme that says "When you eat like crap, you feel like crap" it is...
And it is SOOO true.  When I'd eat "junky" food & even just carbs from bread, etc., there'd be an undeniable sense of crappiness going on. I won't get too specific but all I know is, since I've gone Low Carb, High Fat, Keto, Atkins or whatever you want to call it, I've had none of that to worry about.  So that's a win!

3rd: Things are fitting better. My work pants are getting a little loose (yay!) & the winter jacket I bought at the beginning of the season that was a little too tight & couldn't get done up all the way (because I refused to buy the next size up) FITS NOW! Yay! I'll take that.! 

So those are my little non-scale victories... it's important to think about those types of things when the scale isn't moving the way you'd  like it to.  I'm not sure why the scale isn't moving as quickly as I'd like... I know there are people that say ditch the scale altogether but I'm just not one of those people. I basically live by the scale.  I know I'm defined by the number it spits out, but I sure do like to see what it has to say every morning. Anyone else out there like that?

I'm going to get some blood work done next week to get a good baseline of things like cholesterol, to make sure I'm ok to be doing this LCHF diet & to check for thyroid issues, etc. So I'll ask her opinion about why things aren't moving as quickly as I'd like. Chances are she'll recommend a low fat diet with carbs & then I don't know what I'll do :)  But we'll see.Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Coco-Choco Bites

Needed a treat.  Well... didn't really need...just had some Sunfoods Cacao Butter that I wanted to use.

What is Cacao Butter?
The pure oil of the cacao bean, raw cacao butter consists of healthy fats including essential omega fatty acids. Easily melted, cacao butter may be added to your favorite smoothie, dessert, ice cream or chocolate creation for a rich, delicate chocolate aroma.

So I took a few ingredients & started to play a little. 

First I took 1/2 C of the cacao butter & put it in a casserole dish & melted it in the oven at 300 for a little while (til it was completely melted). Then I spooned in 3 TBSP of Nikki's Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Coconut Butter (available here), 2 TBSP of Nutiva's Coconut Manna, & 1 TBSP of Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil. It didn't melt all the way, so I melted it a bit more in the microwave (but you could place it back in the oven for a bit if you are anti-microwave).

Then I added 2 TBSP of Camino's Organic Cocoa Powder (if I still had some, I would've used Nativas Raw Cacao Powder. Don't know the difference between cocoa powder & cacao powder? Read here.
For sweetener I added 1/3 C of Sugar Twin's granular sucralose. In retrospect I would've added liquid stevia, or maybe even powdered stevia (or when my erythritol gets here I'll use that)...I say this because the sucralose DID NOT MIX WELL!!! It didn't incorporate into the just kind of stayed along the surface.  

Once I realized it wasn't going to mix I just decided to go ahead & pour the liquid into some silicone molds I had. The batch made 36.  I poured & then placed the molds into the freezer & let them set. I would recommend keeping them in the fridge or freezer to keep them nice & solid. 

Here's the result!
Yay! You can see the lines where the sucralose didn't mix.  It did, however, make that part of the chocolate a little bit crispy (if that makes sense) so if you'd be into that, go ahead & try it with the sucralose :)

So here's the recipe:

*1/2 C Cacao Butter (melted)
*3 TBSP Nikkis Coconut Butter (I used Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie)
*2 TBSP Coconut Manna
*1 TBSP Coconut Oil (could be upped a little if you wanted to)
*2 TBSP unsw cocoa powder or cacao powder
*Sweetener of choice, to taste. (I used 1/3 C Sucralose but we all know how that turned out)

*I didn't, but you could add a tsp of vanilla
* Nuts or shredded, unsw coconut could be added. The macros for this recipe do not include these though.

(Whole recipe)
Calories: 1,718   Net Carbs: 9g   Fat: 175g   Protein: 9g

(Each, when making 36)
Calories: 47.7   Net Carbs: 0.25g   Fat: 4.9g   Protein: 0.25g


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Bacon Brussel Sprout Slaw

Yummy lunch today! You will need:

*Bacon - as many slices as you'd like. I think I used 6
*Brussel sprouts - I used enough to make about 2 cups of shredded slaw.
*Sea salt, pepper, garlic powder & dehydrated onion to taste.

*Start by baking the bacon in the oven. (390 degrees until medium done)
*While bacon is baking, trim, peel & slice brussel sprouts into slaw. 
*Saute brussel sprouts in butter, bacon fat or coconut oil (your choice!) until heated through/still crisp
*Remove brussel sprouts from pan
*Remove strips when mostly done & place in saute pan. 
*Finish cooking bacon in saute pan & then add brussel sprouts to pan, mixing well with bacon.
*Add spices to taste.
*Remove from pan & enjoy! (I had about 1/2 for lunch & will have the rest at supper!)


Whole recipe:

Calories: 810,  Net Carbs: 10g, Fat: 75g, Protein: 19g

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Fluff

Such a long name...such amazing results! do not need very much of this stuff to be satisfied... it is wonderfully rich! 

So I've been experimenting with making low carb I don't go insane & go out & get a large cookie dough/skor blizzard (let's say) & this is what I came up with yesterday. And I literally had like 4 TBSP & I was good...just sayin'.
(p.s. this is not my picture... I borrowed it from here...but this is what it looked like. My picture just wasn't that pretty :) )

What you'll need:
(And these measurements are approximate...I'm a "throw things in until it tastes good" kinda girl. Please feel free to adjust to your individual tastes.)

*2/3 C full fat cream cheese
*1 can coconut milk...just the coconut cream part (refrigerated so the coconut cream will separate from the coconut water and harden)
*2/3 C whipping cream
*1/2 C raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
*1/3 C PB2
*1/3 C Sugar Twin granular Sucralose (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
*1 tsp vanilla (I forgot to add this, but I think it would be really great!)
*Coconut water (leftover from the can of coconut milk - enough to get the consistency you want)

What you'll do:

*Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form
*Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl (I used a hand mixer), adding a little coconut water as needed to get a nice consistency.
*Fold in whipping cream & whip until nicely blended. 
*Enjoy a little & save the rest for later!


Entire recipe
Calories: 1,200  Net Carbs: 32g  Fat: 95g  Protein: 40g

Based on 6 servings, each serving
Calories: 200  Net Carbs: 5.3g  Fat: 15.83g  Protein: 6.67g

Monday, February 02, 2015

"Unusually Fluffy Muffins"

So I wanted to bake something... but it had to be something I could have following a LCHF/Keto diet. I found this recipe in my Facebook feed & was intrigued. Thought I'd give them a shot. The "unusually fluffy" part is what got me. 

Here they are!

5 tablespoons = 75 ml coconut flour
3 eggs
2 tablespoons sparkling water
1/3 cup = 80 ml Natvia for Baking OR other powdered erythritol-based sweetener  (I used Sugar Twin's granular Sucralose)...waiting for the erythritol that I ordered to arrive!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Line a muffin pan with sturdy paper liners.
  3. Combine the coconut flour and the baking powder in a small bowl. Mix well.
  4. Combine the eggs, sparkling water and the sweetener in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed.
  5. Add the coconut flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
  6. Scoop the batter into each muffin cup.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a stick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out dry.
  8. Let cool and serve.

This recipe made 5 good sized muffins. I baked these for exactly 20 min at 350 & they turned out perfectly.  I had even added a little vanilla to the batter & they came out tasting like golden cake mix cupcakes. (I'm not gonna lie, the texture is a little "eggy" but they were still really good. I say were because Kacie proceeded to eat all of them (I had 1). So I'd say they were a win!

Nutrition information Protein Fat Net carbs kcal
In total: 26.9 g 21.3 g 10.1 g 340 kcal
Per muffin if 6 muffins in total: 4.5 g 3.6 g 1.7 g 57 kcal

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lemon Drop Fat Bombs

First of all... WHY fat bombs?

"If you are following the keto diet you probably already know that your main source of energy should come from fat. Sometimes it can be hard to find good easy snacks that contain a very high percentage of fat. The solution however is to make “fat bombs” that you can use whenever you feel for a little snack." *1

"Keep in mind that fat bombs are meant to be eaten as occasional snacks - they are not meal replacements. So, you can have them as:
  • Pre-workout snacks (1-2 pieces), I use snacks high in MCTs before or during my intense workouts - weights, HIIT.
  • On a fat fast 1-2 pieces a day together with other foods suitable for the FAT FAST
  • Energy boost. If you just started following a ketogenic diet and find it hard to eat enough fat (1-2 pieces a day)." *2
There's no shortage of fat when you're doing a keto (Low Carb, High Fat) diet, but sometimes you need a quick, sweet snack & the fat content makes it very filling. 

I've made them a few times & each time have been very pleased.  They're great because I find I don't go crazy on them like other treats I've made... you really only need 1 or 2 & then you're good.  So here's my recipe for Lemon Drop Fat Bombs.

-1/2 cup coconut oil
-1/2 cup coconut butter (I used Artisana's Raw Organic Coconut Butter)
-Juice & zest from one lemon
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-Stevia (or other sweetener of choice) to taste. I used 2.5 Krisda's Vanilla Stevia packets

Melt coconut oil & butter to liquid form. Mix in other ingredients. Pour into molds of choice. Freeze or refrigerate until solid. Keep in fridge or freezer until you'd like to enjoy them! 

Per Fat Bomb ~ Calories: 123 / Net Carbs: 1g / Fat: 12g / Protein: 1g

1*Source - Diet
2*Source - The Keto Diet

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie (Low Carb)

So I was getting sick of eating eggs I decided to try to make a low carb shake.  I knew I couldn't do lots of fruit so I decided to go with peanut butter & chocolate...yay!

The base was ice cubes made out of coconut milk (canned, but it had been mixed together ~ meaning the cream wasn't separated from the coconut water,so it was more "liquidy"... I had prepared these coconut milk ice cubes ahead of time, but if you didn't have those you could used canned coconut milk & regular ice cubes) Added to this was a bit of full fat cream (remember...low card, high fat diet here)... I used whipping cream. And I threw a little water in there just for fun. :)

Then I added some Kraft All Natural Peanut Butter, Camino's Organic Cocoa Powder...but you could use cacao powder as well. Don't know the difference between the here.  I added a scoop of LeanFit's Vanilla Protein Powder & some Extra Virgin Coconut oil. For sweetener I added some liquid stevia. I used Skinny Girl's Liquid Stevia, but any sweetener of choice (in the stevia family) would work for this. You could add a little xantham gum but I didn't & found this shake to be thick and creamy as is.

And here it is!

* 5 coconut milk ice cubes (approx 1/3 C coconut milk)
* 1/4-1/3 C whipping cream (or milk of choice ~almond milk, etc)
*1/4-1/3 C water
* 1 1/2 TBSP natural peanut butter (more to taste if desired)
* 1 1/2 TBSP unsw cocoa or cacao powder
* 1 scoop of low carb protein powder of choice (choc or vanilla)
* Liquid stevia to taste.

 Blend & enjoy!

Here are the details: (Remember...don't be afraid...DON'T FEAR FAT!!)

Calories: 520
Carbs: 12g (net 7g)  Net carbs are total carb grams minus Fiber grams
Fat: 38g
Protein: 36g
Sugars: 4g
Fiber: 5g

p.s. Cereal Killers was a REALLY good, very informative documentary & TOTALLY worth an hour of your life... If you don't have an hour, how about 10 minutes? Wanna see how a LCHF Diet changed this girl's body?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Living La Vida Low Carb

Well... you all know know I've tried everything...Paleo, Eat Clean, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, & on & on... I'm now trying Low Carb/High Fat. So far it's been great & I'm down 10 lbs. I'm in what's called the induction phase so I'm trying to kkep my net carbs at about 20g/day. (Net carbs are the grams of carbs after you've subtracted the grams of dietary fiber)

It's a little bizarre not worrying about fat because we've been so ingrained with the idea that fat makes you fat. But all I can tell you is I started this a week and a half ago & I've lost 10 lbs.  I've eliminated sugar (all forms) and so far I've been doing okay with that (no freak outs with large cookie dough blizzards).   Also, I've noticed that my skin has cleared up noticeably & I'm convinced it has to do with eliminating sugar & my increase in water intake.

It's been a little tricky with prepping meals...I usually have to make something for the family & then something else for me...but it's been ok. Nomally we have the same protein source & then I'll have a salad or veggies along with it while they have veggies & rice or pasta. Sometimes, though, they just eat what I eat & that's even better! What's been awesome is Kacie eats my salads along with me at lunch time (she asks if she can have "leaves"), so it's good that she's learning to include veggies in her diet.

So I'll try to keep you all posted as to how things come along & please wish me continued success!

Here's a video from a movie (similar to "Super Size Me") called "Cereal Killers"