Weekend Meal Monday 02/03/14

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl or at least some of the Super Bowl festivities. Personally, Bruno Mars was my favorite part. Since the Broncos as well as the commercials basically sucked, the halftime show was the only thing that I enjoyed. That’s coming from a girl who typically loves watching football. It was just not a good sports night for me. Hopefully, the Pacers can win tonight and put my world right again.

Now, here’s what you probably really want to know. How did my weekend food go? Honestly, not very well compared to last weekend. This weekend involved traveling and eating out, which made it not as good as it should have been. Add in the Super Bowl food, and I’m feeling pretty crappy this morning. I only took pictures of the healthy food I ate this weekend, which is the opposite thing I was trying to do with this whole ‘virtual food diary.’ I actually didn’t do it on purpose, but it ended up happening that way. On a happy note, I did continue tracking my calories.

On Saturday night, I had Mexican with my best friend, and I didn’t think about it until halfway through my meal (chips and salsa, enchilada, tamale, refried beans with rice). At that point, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by taking picture of my food in a crowded restaurant, so I didn’t.

On Sunday night, I had Pizza King during the game, which involved probably six breadsticks with nacho cheese and a few slices of pizza (small, square-cut). That sounds bad, and it was. It was also delicious.

Throughout the weekend, I also nibbled on pieces of ‘healthier’ lemon bars that I made on Thursday. With the number of pieces I ate though, it kind of defeats the purpose of being ‘healthier.’

shrug-houseThis is about how I’m feeling about this weekend. Although my eating wasn’t great, I did learn a couple of things.

  • If I make something, especially dessert, I will eat it. There is major guilt if I just leave it, so I either need to throw away what I don’t want or pawn it off on someone else.
  • Being aware of the number of calories I’m eating does not make those calories magically go away. Since I’ve been consistently tracking my calories now, I think I’ve been operating under the impression that just keeping track was going to make me lose weight. Definitely need to change that.

One last thing,

Indy will always love Peyton Manning.

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Blueberry Banana Protein Bars

I got the urge to bake over the weekend. This happens to me from time to time, and it usually results in magnificent quantities of cookies, brownies, or cupcakes. Sometimes all three…and I end up like this.

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This time I felt the need to use up my ripe bananas in a Pinterest recipe – which turned into three Pinterest recipes. Since I just absolutely had to make all three recipes, and I had an idea to change one up, I needed more bananas and oats. In Indiana. In the winter. In the freezing ass cold and wind. Anyway, the results of my little bake-a-thon were in the pictures I posted yesterday of my weekend eats (just in case you were wondering why I was eating so many granola bar/banana-ish things – I had to try them all, duh). The recipe I’m sharing with you today is my version of the strawberry banana granola bars, which can be found here.

I give you – Blueberry Banana Protein Bars!

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I made a double batch for a little thicker bars, so the ingredient list is doubled.

Ingredients (Makes 16 bars):

2 tsp canola oil
2 bananas, mashed
1 c 2% milk
2 tbs honey
5 c oats
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 c semi-frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Mix everything together.
3. Spread in pan. I used a baking sheet, but one batch would also fit in an 8×8 pan.
4. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes – longer if you like crunchier bars.
5. Let cool in pan before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any).

Calorie information (Serving size: 1 bar) – 109 calories, 1.2 g fat, 0.5 g sat. fat, 21.2 mg cholesterol, 59 mg sodium, 13.3 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 4.4 g sugar, 11.4 g protein

IMG_1307 - 1I absolutely love these, and I’ll tell you why.

  • No nuts! It is so very difficult to find a healthy, yet still tasty, granola/protein bar without nuts. Tree nut allergies suck!
  • Extremely easy to make. Only two dishes dirtied? I’ll take it!
  • Nutritious! Compared to the protein bars I normally buy, these bars have fewer calories, fat, sat. fat, sodium, carbs, and sugar. Plus more protein! I’m thinking about changing the recipe a bit to get some more fiber in there, but that’s all that I would change.
  • Customizable! Don’t like blueberries? Try anything else you’d like! Chocolate protein powder, bananas only, peanut butter…the possibilities are endless.

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Weekend Meal Monday 01/27/14

As promised, here is exactly what I ate over the weekend, starting with my dinner on Friday.

Friday

IMG_1291[1]Top: Large coffee with peppermint mocha creamer and Truvia
Bottom: Roasted vegetables and salmon

Saturday

IMG_1329[1]Left: Raspberry green tea and 2-egg omelet
Right: Coffee (same as above) and corn chowder

IMG_1330[1]Left: Oatmeal banana protein bread and oatmeal banana mini-muffin
Right: Homemade strawberry oatmeal granola bar

IMG_1331[1]Top: Linguini with homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce and garlic bread
Bottom: One (yes, one!) loaded waffle fry

Sunday

IMG_1332[1]Top: Coffee (same as above), oatmeal banana mini-muffins, oatmeal banana protein bread
Bottom: Linguini with homemade cauliflower alfredo sauce

IMG_1333[1]Top: Homemade strawberry banana granola bars
Bottom: 100-calorie popcorn
Right: Twizzlers

This is how I’m feeling right about now.

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Although I regret the Twizzlers and the amount of food for dinner on Saturday, I’m otherwise completely happy with my choices over the weekend. I can’t remember the last weekend that was like that, so I’m definitely going to continue this.

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Battle of the Pancake

This little experiment is technically part two of the Battle of the Pancake. One of my goals is to find a delicious and healthier alternative to the carb-y goodness that is the classic pancake. Think IHOP style. Admit it, nothing beats an IHOP pancake. Just look at it!

Compliments of IHOP

Via ihop.com

Anyway, my first try really came about because I wanted to get rid of some protein powder that I’ve had for a few months. You know, the same protein powder that I swore I’d use in my daily green smoothies. Yeah, right. A little searching on Pinterest told me to add water to the protein powder until I got a consistency similar to pancake batter. When they were cooking, I was doing mental leaps of joy (because I don’t jump…unless there is a spider nearby). They were really looking like pancakes! Although they looked the part, I could not have been more wrong on the taste. Does moist vanilla protein powder sound appetizing to you? Let me tell you, it wasn’t. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. I dare you.

Now onto the semi-successful portion of our program! More searching on Pinterest told me that a simple recipe (2 eggs + 1 banana) would basically rock my world. It did not disappoint! Never one to make something easy for myself, I of course had to put my own spin on it. Enter – chocolate peanut butter banana pancakes with strawberries!

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I needed to get rid of some bananas, so I used three relatively small ones. I wasn’t sure how to change the eggs accordingly, so I planned on using up to four. I ended up using only two. For the chocolatey peanut butter goodness, I used a couple of spoonfuls of chocolate PB2.

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The bottom right picture is without any eggs added. It may look a little chunky, but I didn’t get any huge bites of banana.

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For the first batch, I tried adding the strawberries directly to the pancakes. You can see how well that turned out. They made the pancakes extremely difficult to turn because they wouldn’t stay together. It was much easier without the strawberries.

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They aren’t the prettiest, but they taste pretty darn good. My recipe made about 15 small pancakes. I ate half for dinner and ate the rest for breakfast the next morning.

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Just like this! Although they definitely weren’t the fluffy deliciousness that I hoped for, I think they’ll do as an alternative.

Some suggestions:

  • Leave them cooking for longer than you think they need. They’ll be much easier to turn and won’t fall apart.
  • Add extras like PB2, regular peanut butter, oatmeal, etc. It’ll thicken it up a little bit and make it stick together a bit more. Next time, I’m going to add chia seeds. We’ll see how that works.
  • Don’t add syrup. These are so moist and sweet (especially if you add fruit) that you really won’t miss it.

Enjoy!

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Herb Baked Spinach Chips

Happy Thursday!

Just a quick little post today about one of my new favorite recipes – Herb Baked Spinach Chips! I made them a couple of weeks ago, and they were absolutely delicious. Not to mention super easy!

You can find the original recipe here.

The recipe calls for Italian seasoning, but you can definitely switch it up if you’re feeling frisky. I’ll probably try garlic or ranch flavors next.

The best thing about this recipe though is that it is relatively guilt-free. You can bet your behind that I ate both servings. No guilt here!

I promise that I’ll have actual pictures next time!

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Quinoa and Spinach Patties

Happy Wednesday!

Today I’m sharing my new favorite recipe – quinoa and spinach patties! I found this recipe on Pinterest, and you can see the original here. It’s delicious, nutritious, and super easy!

Make your quinoa.

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Chop up some garlic and scallions.

IMG_0901[1]Add the remaining ingredients. I added a tablespoon of chia seeds here. Mix together.

IMG_0902[1]Form the patties with 1/4 cup each.

Cook for 6-8 minutes on each side.

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My recipe made 17 patties, so the nutritional information is a little different than the original recipe.

One patty contains:

106 calories
3 g fat
1 g saturated fat
50 mg cholesterol
143 mg sodium
14 g carbs
2 g fiber
2 g sugars
5 g protein

Enjoy!

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Non-Scale Victories 09/26/13

I’m back with another non-scale victory today!

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I’ll start this out by saying that I love McDonald’s. I’m not ashamed of it. Those big yellow arches call my name every single time. Big Macs aren’t my thing though. I prefer my calories in liquid form from this particular establishment. One large caramel iced coffee please!

How does this relate to a non-scale victory, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I haven’t had one drop of that heavenly goodness in over two weeks. I’ll be honest, it didn’t start out as a health change. It was all about the money. Each drink cost me $2.47. That doesn’t seem like much, but those babies add up. In case you haven’t heard, college students don’t have very much money. Shocking, I know. Health-wise, my drink costs a whopping 260 calories (according to my Lose It! app). Luckily, I’ve found an alternative that is good for my wallet and my waistline!

Meet my new best friend:

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This little beauty is 35 calories per tablespoon and only cost me $2.79. Seems like a bargain to me in more ways than one! Next time, I think I might try the pumpkin spice or creme brulee flavors. Yum!

Do you have a favorite coffee flavoring?
What is your non-scale victory for the week? 

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I’m not usually one to come up with something new on my own, let alone write down how much of each ingredient I used. I had an urge to make something with the pumpkin I picked up the other day though, and I decided on a pumpkin pie smoothie. It may seem like a weird choice for the middle of July. It’s been so hot here in Indy though that my body is craving cooler weather and fall flavors – hence (did I use that correctly?), pumpkin pie.

Recipe:
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon honey
Stevia to taste
Ice, as needed, for consistency
Ground cloves, ground allspice, and cinnamon to taste

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As you can see, more of an idea than a strict recipe. It also looks nasty but tastes delicious. This makes enough for two good-sized servings, so go crazy!

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Nutritional Information (for entire recipe):
Calories – 254
Fat – 5 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 65.8 mg
Carbohydrate – 48.4 g
Fiber – 6 g
Sugars – 30.2 g
Protein – 4 g
Seems like a lot of sugar, but I was more concerned with the calories. Replace or get rid of the honey for fewer carbs.

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Realization

I’ve talked a little bit before about the trouble I have on weekends. Specifically, I have no self-control when I’m at home, and I realized today why that is.

I absolutely love going home (which is quite a bit different from how many of my friends feel). I love being around my family again and getting away from school. Since I am always so excited to be there, it almost feels like a mini-vacation. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I could care less how many calories are in that cookie. This translates to eating whatever I want for about three days. It’s fun while I’m doing it, but it feels pretty crappy when I have to go back to school on Monday.

I’ve gone home the past couple of weekends, and it always takes me the entire week back at school to undo whatever I’ve done. It’s an endless cycle. That cycle changes next week though because the semester is ending, and I’ll be going back home. This worries me. I’ll be at home for over three months, rather than three days, and I’m worried that I’ll completely lose sight of what it takes to be successful.

For that reason, I’ve decided to implement a cheat day. We’ll see if it actually helps!

Later gators.

Addiction

I am addicted to food.

I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m bored.

Name an emotion or event, and I have probably used it as an excuse to eat. Food has always been a source of comfort for me, and it still is. Screwed up a presentation? Have a cookie. Miss your favorite TV show? Have some ice cream. Trip up the stairs? Make a batch of brownies, eat half of the batter, and shove the rest in your mouth after only two seconds out of the oven, burning your mouth in the process. No? That last one hasn’t happened to you?

Anyway, my relationship with food is the biggest change that I need to make in order to be healthy. Not just for a couple of years but for the rest of my life. It’s not going to be easy, but honestly, something like this shouldn’t be easy. If it’s easy, then it won’t mean as much when I actually do it.

Later gators.