Friday, November 30, 2012

Currently Reading

I just started World War Z by Max Brooks. I feel a little late to the game but oh well I think it is still going to be a great book.. although I'm sure by now all of my fellow book connoisseurs have moved on to bigger and better things.

My friend and I are planning to motivate one another in a start fresh eat clean self challenge. We start Monday. Fruits. Veggies. Lots of those. Old fashioned oats. Nuts. Things like that.
Things we will avoid. Sugar, junk food like chips, cookies, candy.
These foods can still be enjoyed in the future but on an 80/20 basis.
I'm really excited about and this I have actually done really well with my eating as of late. Not an A+ by any means but I'll take an improvement any day.

My weekend will be filled with lots of studying as my final exams draw near. Tuesday is accounting and Friday is management. I'm mostly nervous about the accounting. Her tests are monsters! She admits this but says it's all in good faith. Most of the students will be taking the CPA exam and have to get used to seeing difficult material. Oh well I will study study study and hope for the best.


Cheers to a productive weekend!



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poinsettia

This is the biggest poinsettia I've ever had!! I don't know if I can keep this thing alive!?

Yummy Evening





 
This was my dinner.
Salad with avocado.
Grilled Toasted "Cheese"
My new obsession.. Tomato Basil soup
I lOOOve this stuff.
I know canned soup isn't the best choice but I have never really made my own soup and I'm kind of scared!!
But I do have a recipe that I should try out.. Who knows... maybe it will taste better than the canned stuff.


I like to take chunks of the sandwich and drown it in soup and then I just swoop it all up in one yummy bite!

 
This is Eggnog Chocolate Chip Bread that I veganized from a really cool blog. Jessica from How Sweet It Is makes some of the best food!!
 

List of Supplies:

1/2 cup Earth Balance "butter", melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs ( I used Ener-G)
2 1/8 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbs Vegan Eggnog
2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips tossed in 2 teaspoons of flour (I forgot to toss)
glaze
1/4 cup brown butter (I used Earth Balance and it didn't fully brown so I did it wrong or it doesn't work as well with the vegan version.)
1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons eggnog

Tools:
oven (duh.. but its pretty important),small mixing bowl, large mixing bowl, whisk, large spoon, loaf pan,

How To Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, powder, nutmeg and salt until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk cooled butter with sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla extract, mixing until combined, then whisk in the Ener-G until totally combined. Add half of the flour mixture, stirring with a large spoon, then stir in the eggnog until smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined and smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour in the greased loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until top is golden and cake is just set. Let cool completely, then cover in glaze.
To make glaze, whisk together brown butter, sugar and eggnog, stirring well for 1-2 full minutes until combined. If it still doesn’t appear glaze-like, add in eggnog 1/2 tablespoon at a time and mix again. Don’t worry if it becomes too liquidy – just add a tiny bit of powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Spoon glaze on bread then serve.


 < blurry pic BOOOO!!
 
 
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Holiday Weekend

I had a terrific holiday!

No... I didn't rule thanksgiving like I had planned. The carbs were calling my name and in the end I just wasn't strong enough to resist. But so what.. I'm over it. It was a fun day and the food was so seriously yummy.



Friday I went to Estelline to visit my grandparents. It was so much fun. My grandma cooked lunch and it rocked my world! And then my dad had the great idea to go on a hike through my grandparents land, its pretty hilly so it was an okay workout. My twin brother and husband went with us. We found some "sea" shells from when their land must've ,at one time way back in the past, been a swamp or lake. My husband stepped on a cactus and it freaked him out pretty good. One of the needles went all the way into the sole of his shoe.



On Saturday I went with my sister and two of her awesome kiddos to see Life Of Pi. I really enjoyed the movie... not as much as my nephew. This kid LOVES animals and this movie is a little violent but it didn't bother him. He said at one time "What? He had to do it. He had to eat." He's not even 7 yet but he is extremely mature for his age. My niece, she's 4 1/2, totally fell asleep. I don't think she even watched half of it. But I really enjoy spending time with the little ones in the family. That was probably one of the best parts of my holiday weekend.
On Saturday evening we went to the grocery store. I had read a quote earlier in the week about procrastination and how you have to just bite the bullet and finally do what you said you would do. You waste less time and you benefit faster. So at the grocery store I thought hard about that lesson. So I decided to surround myself with healthier foods. I chose tangerines, apples, avocado, sweet potatoes etc... It's true. I really need to just make that step. Treat my body with respect. It's a line I've dropped 100 times... I know... but eventually it will stick. Practice makes perfect better and changing over to a healthier lifestyle will take lots of practice.

Sunday morning started out very lazing. My husband and I (plus Oscar because he has to be in all up in our business) laid around together on the couch. Dozing off and on and watching "How the Earth was Made" or something like that. Eventually I hopped off the couch and put on my workout clothes (thus ensuring I would go) and then I made lunch. Tomato soup... I'm obsessed.... must be a weird soup phase. Then off to the gym where I got in some cardio and Combat class! It felt great!! Then I came home and spent the rest of the day working on good ole homework.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Pledge


How am I going to succeed on Thanksgiving?

I am fearful of over doing it.

The carbs.

Carbs carbs carbs

That’s what most holidays are about.

Plus I don’t eat meat so I’m not really sure how to balance out my carbs... you know, with protein.

I haven’t thought a lot on that issue yet.
And it seems as though I have procrastinated for far too long.

So now I’m in a rush to make a vegan/vegetarian protein rich dish.

Vegan sausage balls?

Not sure what else though

I better hit up Google

Also I need to remember, and I think this is important, that Thanksgiving is like any other day. . . just with special food.

Meaning

I don’t need to go all day with a stuffed belly feeling like I could explode.

Who wants to feel like that all day?!

I will say

No

I will pledge

That this Thanksgiving I will have self control

I will eat reasonably

I will not make myself miserable!
 
(In my head, as I say this pledge to myself, I am a cartoon and I'm standing on my desk with my hand to my chest and my chin held up) ... does anyone else ever do this? I mean, make cartoons in their heads? hmmm... maybe I'm just a weirdo.  
 
 
 

 

But for now I am hitting the books and prepping for my tutoring session tonight. Maybe he’ll have a trick to help me remember some of this accounting mumbo jumbo.

 

Cheers!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Reason

My emotions run high on this day.  It was November 16, 2007. I lost my mother to a heart attack. She was 41. Too young to go. She was the life of the party and always had a good time.. ALWAYS! She was also the one who rode the roller coasters with me, played my favorite CD's loud in the car, always found the cutest pair of shoes, and made sure everyone was having fun. The holidays were a blast because she carried such a lively spirit. Losing her so close to the two major ones (Thanksgiving & Christmas) makes those days and this time of year especially hard.
 
I am an emotional eater, and I know I'm not alone, but really all we're looking for is a little bit of comfort. A pat on the back to say "hey, it's going to be okay". But what sense does this make? Heart disease is extremely prevalent in my family therefore making me a prime candidate. Shouldn't I take this and turn into something else? Maybe motivation to eat healthier not binge on comfort food. I know I know... a person can do everything "right" and still have heart disease or cancer or just about any other devastating disease but at least, in my case, there are preventative measures I can take.
I've struggled with this since she passed away.
 
How can I make sure my family and I never have to go through this. Years of chest pains, threat of heart attack, real heart attacks (yes she had more than 1), having no energy as the disease progresses. It was so hard for us to watch and for her the fight was so much harder.
So how can I go about my day, weeks, months, years ignoring the fact that I could very easily have to fight this very same fight while my own family struggles to watch? I . can't . do . that!
 
We often get so caught up in our appearances that we forget what is most important... our health. We should work out and eat right so we can live long and healthy not just to look good for bikini season. Maybe our relationships with food would be positive if we could embrace the health aspect and let go of self imposed expectations. I have struggled with a cycle of eating disordered habits for as long as I can remember trying to fit some image in my head of what I'm supposed to look like or what the number on the scale is supposed to read. But as I mature I notice that slowly, very slowly, I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin. Well that's a lie.. I don't feel comfortable in my own skin at all... but I'm trying to. I am honestly trying to feel better about my self. Maybe I'm in a transitioning phase. Maybe soon I can focus on "What's right for my body and health" rather than "What size do I need to be and how much weight should I lose".
 
So for today, I will choose to remember my mother, I will remember her fight, and I will remember to make decisions for my health not the scale. 
 
 
 
 
 
Cheers!
~She would definitely make a toast. :) ~

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hot Artichoke Dip

So! I ran for the first time in like... forever... on Saturday. I was so sore the next day!! But man it felt so good. My abs are always really sore afterwards too. Maybe I'll try running again today. Plus it's like a rockin form of cardio. But two things have to happen before I can pull off a good workout.
1. Be in the mood. Nothing kills a good run like a wonky attitude
2. My workout playlist has to feel fresh. That doesn't mean all new music.. just fresh in my mind.. that's why I can bust out with some Savage Garden like its new jam ;p I love the chick-a-cherry cola song.
 
I needed the good run to get in ahead of the calories I would consume during wine night with my friends.
Like this artichoke dip!
But one GREAT thing about this dip is that it's easily veganized!
 
 
 
 
This was adapted from the Pioneer Woman's hot artichoke dip.  

List of Supplies

  • Two 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained
  • One 8-ounce block cream cheese or tofutti brand (vegan)
  • 1 cup veganaise (vegan) or real mayo
  • Cayenne Pepper (if you like it spicy)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Galaxy brand (vegan)
  • Dash of Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • oh! and you'll need an oven, oven mitt, oven safe bowl, mixing bowl, knife, spoon, blender or food processor... you know.. all that good stuff

How To Do It

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add one can of the artichokes, the cream cheese, and the mayonnaise to the bowl of a food processor,(if you don’t have a food processor, do smaller batches in the blender or simply chop and stir together)
  •  Sprinkle in cayenne pepper to taste. Add the green onions to the bowl as well.
  •  Pulse the mixture 6 or 7 times. You don’t want to liquify it, just get the artichokes all chopped up and mixed with the other ingredients. Mix in the Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  •  Now roughly chop the artichokes  from the remaining can (this grossed me out because they were so squishy). Get them down to bite-size pieces.
  •  Add the artichoke pieces to the dip and stir together gently.
  •  Pour the mixture into an oven-safe dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers...
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting Back On My Feet


Body Pump

Kicked

My

Rear!

It’s been two weeks since I‘ve gone.

Week 1- I was out of town

Week 2- I was sick and my body refused to get out of bed at 4:30am

This week... GAME ON!

But in the mean time the new release came out and it’s a killer!

In a good way

My legs and back were screaming… again… in a good way.

I know I’ve said it before but that class always makes me feel so strong afterwards.

Class fitness groups are important to me.

They are away to stay accountable

Plus you make friends

And they in turn can be a source of motivation

Seriously though... I was not feeling well... for about a week and a half.
I never get that sick.
I hate having to miss the gym.

But I didn't feel well enough to go
and plus
It would've been kind of rude to expose other gym goers to my germy germs.
There are enough germs there anyway.
BUT BUT BUT Going just makes me feel better.
I feel better mentally and physically and I am always a little afraid that I will get out of the habit if a take too long of a break.
ANYHOW
I'm back on my feet and ready to get back into the routine.
 
 
 

Oh my gosh

Oh my gosh

Tomorrow night is wine night with some of my friends!!

I can’t wait!!!!

It will consist of two of our favorite things.

Wine and Food

I especially can’t wait to share my foods with you.

So far my menu is

Hot artichoke dip from the Ree Drummond cookbook  

Garlicky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from the Cookin’ Crunk cookbook


And Skillet Candy Cookie bake thing that my friend Jennifer told me about.

 

IT’LL be SO much fun J

 

 

Cheers to a happy Friday!

 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Ask me why they're easy?
Because you buy premade cake donut holes at the store :)
And then just mix in your own flare!
I haven't tried this with yeast donut holes... not sure if it would work the same way.
Anyway this may seem like cheating to you hardcore bakers but for a college student who works full time... this is about all the energy I have to devote to some things.
PLUS
I love finding ways to shake up the ordinary.
Regular donut holes? Meh..
Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes... Yes please!  

List of Supplies:
24 premade cake donut holes
2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Dipping chocolate
1 cup crushed pecans
 
How you do it:
So you take your donut holes and pulverize them in a bowl.
Then you add
2 tablespoons of pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Mix together, I used my hands.. they were clean
Let it chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes
Roll mixture into balls.. about the same size they were before you pulverized them
Melt some white chocolate or whatever kind of chocolate you prefer
Dip
Roll in pecans

 



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Miserable

Oh my goodness!
I have been ill for over a week now. :,( Cry Baby
I usually can get up go to the gym and carry on about my business but this time I was knocked clear off my feet.
I couldn't think straight.
I couldn't remember things.
I would email people about the same thing twice.
I could hardly wake up in the mornings.
So I haven't been to the gym and I haven't made any yummy food to share with you.
I love tomato and basil soup.
Accounting has been kicking my ass and eating my lunch-  so I gave in and decided to get tutoring.
I will have to miss work and that also means co-workers have to fill in for me.
I feel awful about it.
Like seriously awful...
I know that no one wants to sit for me and especially when they have things to get done too.
But I have to do this.
I can't believe how bad its kicking my butt.
Then I found out my dad has to find a new home for his dog :(
I'm especially sad about that.
I can't take her because my dog isnt fixed and my Dad can't wait long enough for me to get him fixed.
Luckily a very nice and caring animal person co-worker said he would take her in.
Thank goodness.
I'm just happy she will have a happy home.
But know she'll miss my Dad and my Dad will miss her.
Sadly
I had better get back to the books.
Obviously I need to put more time into that!

AND
 A
  BIG
Thank you to Jennifer for her wonderful Halloween post!
Everyone seemed to love it! :)
And maybe I can talk her into posting more often ;p


Cheers!