Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zeus's Greek Salad

Fancy name, huh?

On Monday nights Kyle and I run sprints and then we eat salad.  It's a good way to get our week off to a healthy and fat burning start.

This week's salad was a winner!  And with a name like Zeus it better be!

Mondays can stink sometimes, so I make my life easier by using a rotisserie chicken for the salad.  It's like a Monday gift to myself! (that and the DVR'ed Real Housewives of OC)  Plus, I know I will like the leftovers tomorrow which gives me another healthy, clean meal to look forward to.
This salad was a notch above excellent because I was using a home-grown tomato.  Those always have MUCH more flavor then those watery, red orbs they sell at the grocery store.  Thank you to Amanda from my chemistry class for the tomato.

Zeus's Greek Salad

  • 1 tomato (diced with no goo)
  • torn spinach
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
  • 1 mini sweet yellow pepper
  • 4oz rotisserie chicken
  • 2oz feta cheese
  • 5 black olives (quartered)
  • Any Greek style dressing (we used Ken's Northern Italian)
  • Croutons (optional and not highly recommended)

Do you have any healthy traditions in your house?

Love and international greens, 
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

Breakfast is a wonderful meal.  

I say it's the most important meal of the day....BUT poor breakfast is the meal that I think gets rushed the most on the weekdays.  Poor breakfast.  It gets tossed in a purse, eaten in the car, or forgotten all together. It's like the middle child of meals and it's not even in the middle.  Oh the irony!
Therefore on weekends I try to pay homage to our early morning meal (even if I am eating it at 10am).
Asia was getting in on some breakfast action.
For those of you who have never heard my breakfast's the cliff's note version....
To lose weight you must keep your metabolism burning.  When you don't eat and you get hungry your metabolism shuts down and you store fat.  Think of your metabolism as a fire...keep putting logs (aka food) on it and it will keep burning.  Burning = not storing = losing weight.

These pancakes are a health nut's dream breakfast.  They satisfy the sweet, carb craving with a ton of whole grains and protein.  They are also very inexpensive to make for those budgeting.

I decided to be sweet and whip up a batch of protein pancakes for Kyle and I this Sunday am.  And I even cleaned up the dishes too!  :) (don't think I'm all "wife of the year"..I did later get mad bc he made me "do all the work"- heehee.  Sorry babe!) 
Waiting for breakfast...and then the rapture.
Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
1 cup egg whites
1 cup oatmeal (try to avoid the instant)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 scoop of protein powder - I like vanilla flavor *optional but recommended*
2 packs of splenda *optional*
1 tsp of cinnamon
1t vanilla
1/4 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup berries *optional*
Mix all the ingredients together into a batter using a blender. Spray a skillet with a little non-stick Pam and heat up. Pour a little batter into the hot skillet. Flip when the edges of the batter become dry or bubbles form in the middle. Cook for about a minute longer then put on plate and serve.

You can top them with peanut butter, agave nectar, or sugar free syrup.

I didn't process mine the in mine had a very rough day on Saturday...the recipe still worked it was just a thicker pancake. I also cooked mine longer than listed.

For this recipe I often times pull a Rachel Ray and "eyeball" it.  

It's not rocket science.  It's breakfast.

psst- Polie would like you to know that she was present at breakfast as well.  However she has better manners and stays off the counter.
Love and the early bird, 
Carissa & Kyle

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sad smoothie story

Most smoothie stories are happy.

They're cool, icey goodness. They're a vessel for any fruit in the world!  They're colorful and palate pleasing.

How is that not happy?

Its not happy if your blender breaks!  :(  After making my double-choco berry smooothie I saw it. A crack. A chink in the armor of my smoothie making machine. The blender was toast. Ironically in my kitchen my blender is next to my toaster. Was there foreshadowing?

Tragedy aside my smoothie was good. Not great. I wasn't in love with the chocolately flavor I created. I'll have to tweak the recipe.

Here's what I used today:

Double Choco Berry Smoothie
1 scoop chocolate Dessert protein powder
Yoplait smoothie sensations blueberry pomegranate
Handful spinach
1t Hershey's cocoa powder
1 cup almond milk
1/3c oatmeal
1/4c flaxseed

I guess the moral of the story is that you never know when its your last blend. For my blender, today was the end of the world.
The bittersweet last blend

Love and electrolux,
Carissa and Kyle

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Junk Food Wars

RAWR!  Must fight the junk food to save abs worldwide!
A BIG thank you to our friend TC for helping with today's blog topic.  I love to know what health/fitness topic is on your mind so we can tackle it together.

TC suggested that I write about ways to conquer the evil junk food cravings!  Pretty good idea, huh!  Now why didn't I think of that???  

We'll get to the junk food but first a random thought- 

Doesn't shopping at Target make you happy?  :)  

I'm very excited about the super cute food luggage I got!  *nerd alert*  AND I also took my bill from $157 to $116 using coupons and my 5% Target card rebate!  Huzzah!  Maybe I should be a professional Target blogger???

See the resemblance? 

Onto the aforementioned, JUNK FOOD WARS!

Food cravings are hard to beat.  They may be salty.  They may be sweet.  But overcoming them is no small feat!  (how bout that rhyme!)

But in all seriousness, cravings are killer to overcome.  And don't beat yourself up.  Your body can become scientifically hardwired to make you want sugar and/or salt.  

Once you can overcome the craving and keep that pattern up (for about a week) your body will desire the forbidden foods less and the cravings will decrease.  For real!

Tips to win the JUNK FOOD WARS:

1. Drink Water - I know TC is laughing because she asked for any tips besides this one, but hear me out.  Sometimes when we think we're hungry we are actually thirsty.  8oz of high quality H20 may just do the trick.  And if it doesn't, just count yourself better hydrated and move on to step 2.

2.  Chew Gum - chewing sugar free gum is a great way to "change the flavor" in your mouth and hopefully steer you away from the craving.  Extra has 2 fantastic flavors I recommend for sweet cravings; Key Lime Pie and Mint Chocolate Chip.

3.  Brush your teeth - this also changes the taste in your mouth and your junk food might not taste as marvelous against a back drop of spearmint.

4.  Distract yourself - if all you can think about is the urge to eat then make yourself think about something else.  Top distractions include- going for a walk, calling a friend, doing a quick 10 minute cleaning of your house, answering emails, reading, or anything that gets you away from the kitchen.  This is my favorite tip and I think it really works!  It's allll in the mind my friends. psst- you can even keep a list of distraction tips on the fridge!

5.  Keep junk food out of the house- if you buy will eat it.  Practice your best restraint at the store and will power will increase at home.  Who wants to binge eat egg whites and raw bell peppers????

6.  Don't start eating- I mean haven't you seen the pringles commercials?  You can't have just one!  And you cant!  Try ALL my distraction tips.....and.....If you really, really, really can't fight the craving place a measured portion onto a plate and sit down to eat it.  Try to enjoy every bite.

7.  Think about it- <insert best Christopher Walken impersonation here>Think about 2 things.  
            1. Why do you really want to eat?  Are you bored, emotional, stressed, hungry, or is it just habit?  
            2. What else have you eaten today?  Remembering another "cheat" earlier in the day may guilt you into fighting harder to avoid junk food now.

Fight the good fight my friends!  Beat junk food!  

And when you do I shall give ye a gold star!  How's that for motivation?

Love and raw vegetables,
Carissa & Kyle