Mediterranean Cleanse Day Six

Saturday there wasn’t much change in my condition but I did finally have my ceviche! (Which was perfect as it was Cinco de Mayo but I actually didn’t plan it that way).

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252316/shrimp-ceviche/

  • Note: As I couldn’t bear standing in place chopping for longer than I had to, I chopped up my last two roma tomatoes and a seeded large cucumber…then used two containers of Rouse’s pico de gallo (which I drained) and then used the citrus juices from the recipe.
  • Note 2: If you’re making shrimp cocktail or any other boil shrimp recipe, the cooking method for this ceviche is FOOL PROOF.

 

We also tried two dessert recipes last night.

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1341355

  • I added some olive oil cooking spray to the bananas and sprinkled some walnuts around the pan. Everything came out delicious! Chris LOVED it.

http://www.imaginegreatliving.com/heavenly-ricotta-chocolate-mousse-sugar-free/

  • This was so rich and amazing. I added strawberries 🙂

 

Just a short one today. I have to start meal planning for next week!

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Mediterranean Cleanse Days Four and Five

When I knew I wanted to start this cleanse, I planned for leftovers so I could have a day or two off from cooking during the week. This is in case I didn’t feel well or just had an absolute crap day at work.

Let’s go back to Wednesday, my last blog post. Wednesday morning I had a great workout (or so I thought). Going into work Thursday morning, I felt fine. It was a normal morning of typical post-workout, post-30 aches and pains; nothing out of the ordinary. I bent down to open the night depository and when I got back up I noticed that my lumbar was hurting. Thursday was the 3rd of the month, so in banking that means you’re busy…and this was bad news for me. Luckily, it was only a half day for me. I left work with mild tension in my back and noticed it was sort of hard to walk. I chalked it up to just needing to be worked out. I met my friend for coffee and we did a little walking around the promenade in D’Iberville. When it was time to pick up Chris, I could barely walk at all without looking completely ridiculous (think waddling, late stage pregnancy walk). I picked up Chris and told him that we could have leftovers for dinner and that I would be eating in bed, taking some tylenol PM, and then passing out.

Friday gets worse and I ended up leaving work to see a doctor at Urgent Care. He told me that I am having muscle spasms in my back and prescribed me some muscle relaxers to help. They make me really sleepy but they keep me from walking like I have a stick up my butt. Also, NO GYM for a week. 😦

BUT enough about my sad medical issues, time for some recipes.

Buckwheat Protein Pancakes 

  • 1 cup buckwheat pancake mix
  • 1.5 c  whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t vanilla 
  • optional toppings: fresh fruit, honey, nuts, light maple syrup
    1.  Heat skillet on medium high
    2. Mix first six ingredients together 
    3. Using a 1/4 cup as a scoop, pour a small amount of batter into the hot skillet. Depending on the size of the cake, it should take no more than one minute per side. 
    4. Remove from heat and cool
  • Note: This will either make 5 servings of 3 small pancakes or 4 servings of very small pancakes. Put each serving in a bag
  • Note 2: My go to topping for this is 1/4 ricotta cheese mixed with swerve and fresh strawberries. So, so GOOD.
  • Nutrition: 173 calories (just pancakes) 
    • Fat: 4.7 g
    • Carbs: 20.6
    • Protein: 12.8 g
  • The fruit topping is 108 calories and brings the meal up to 282 calories

 

This next recipe was Friday night’s dinner and Chris made it all by himself. I was so proud and so thankful that he allowed me to rest.

Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/stuffed-peppers-recipe/

We really enjoyed them, but felt they could use a little something more. Next time, I may use more tomato sauce or a little cheese for extra flavor. I like spicy and bold so that could be the issue here.

Mediterranean Cleanse Day Three

Despite only getting about 6 hours of sleep, I had a very good workout this morning. We got up at 4:30, I took a green tea booster and out the door we went. I burnt about 400 calories doing varied intensity on the treadmill for 45 minutes…

And then I was a hungry RAVENOUS BEAST ALL DAY! Ahem.

Breakfast: Caprese Quiche

  • Note, this is more dense than a quiche because I use more eggs and less milk. You will need:
    • 6 large eggs, preferably organic. 
    • 3/4 cup lowfat dairy milk (I haven’t tried a nut milk but it may work so long as it was unflavored)
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
    • 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella, divided
    • 6-8 large basil leaves, roughly chopped 
    • olive oil cooking spray
    • 1 T garlic powder
    • 1 t salt and pepper
      1. Preheat oven to 375
      2. Spray glass or aluminum pie pan with cooking spray
      3. Whisk together eggs, milk, and dry seasonings; set aside
      4. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the bottom of the greased dish
      5. Layer tomatoes over the cheese
      6. Add basil evenly 
      7. Add the rest of the cheese
      8. Pour egg mixture over and bake for 30 minutes or until firm, but slightly jiggly.

According to My Fitness Pal, 1/6 of this is 122 calories. The flavor is absolutely amazing, but it just wasn’t enough calories for a morning workout day. My suggestion is to pair it with fruit and Greek yogurt with nuts for added calories and protein. Or, you can add sausage to it…but this cleanse refrains from too much, if any, processed food. So again, overall a winner, just not enough food for breakfast by itself.

 

Lunch: Nothing special here, just my normal work day go to of spring mix, feta, tomatoes and 4oz of grilled chicken breast with the aforementioned Greek dressing. (Sometimes I add kalamata olives, cucumbers, bell peppers, banana peppers, or even cold beets)  I love a good salad. I had a banana for dessert.

 

Work snacks: Again, I was a starvin marvin today! I had mixed nuts, a zesty pickle, plain Greek yogurt with Swerve, vanilla extract and strawberries, and the last of my Skinny Girl dark chocolate almond truffles. Everything was portioned out!

 

Dinner: Leftovers from Monday plus 4 oz of Pinot Noir and sugar/dairy free chocolate pudding for dessert.

 

Today, I realized that having too small of a breakfast will fail you later on in the day. I will be having overnight oats tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Mediterranean Cleanse Day Two

Y’all, I don’t know what I was thinking saying that I will blog once a day. Clearly that isn’t going to happen! On Mondays and Tuesdays, Chris and I get our cardio by walking the beach with our dog, Turner. Wed and Thursday we hit the gym by 5am…which means we are up at 430. Yes, 430am. Last night, in an oversight by myself, I decided to cook dinner and let us eat before we went on our walk, which pushed us getting home at 845pm. I basically had to shower, drink some sleep tea and go to sleep for today’s early morning workout. So, that didn’t leave anytime for blogging.

 

So, here I am on my lunch break at work, typing this up on my phone and adding the recipes in once I get to the laptop.

Tuesday, May 2, 2018-Day 2

Breakfast: Overnight Oats, blackberry variation.

  • RECIPE:  
    1. 1/3-1/2 cup dry oats 
    2. 1.2 cup low fat milk (Dairy on non…but on this cleanse, dairy is limited. PLUS Almond milk packs in a lot of extra protein)
    3. 1 T chia seeds (more protein)
    4. 1 T flax meal
    5. Optional: vanilla extract, diced fruit or berries or mashed banana (just be mindful of sugar), nuts, seeds, honey or other natural unprocessed sweetener
  • Note- The 30 calorie unsweetened vanilla almond milk is NOT sweet enough and not enough creaminess to use just a half cup. I will be adding another 1/2 cup next time and probably some Swerve (if you don’t know what Swerve is, you’re seriously missing out!)

Snacks at work: 1 oz lightly salted mixed nuts (50% less peanut variety) and 1 zesty dill pickle (pickles are LIFE)

Lunch: Chris hasn’t grilled my chicken yet so I brought 1/3 cup rotisserie chicken salad I’d made over some spring mix with feta, tomatoes, and Herb Feta Greek dressing by Food Network Kitchen (YOU NEED IT- just stick to serving size!)

  • Two notes about my chicken salad- this is a great way to utilize scraps. For example, I’m making stuffed peppers this week, so I diced up three of the tops I’d cut off for that (1/3 cup worth!!!) and it gave great crunch and extra vitamins to my chicken salad. I used some of my own herbs as well. You NEED an herb garden in your life.
  • Mayo is NOT the enemy if you use it sparingly and swap the old school kind for one made with a good fat oil, like Olive. We use just enough to keep it together along with Dijon mustard. Greek yogurt, plain of course, also works very well but doesn’t give it quite the same kick. Sometimes, I use all three together- and always garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, salt and pepper.

Dinner: Roast Pork. Asparagus and Tomato Bowl with Quinoa and salad. I had to improvise because we couldn’t find bulgur AND I wasn’t ever going to use it again. I love quinoa so it seemed a better choice. I used the lemon juice, zest and parsley in the quinoa (boiled in chicken broth) and added my go-to spices. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/251352/roast-pork-asparagus-cherry-tomato-bowl/

No dessert again because I was too tired from our walk and had to get to bed quickly. I just had some tea.

30 Day Mediterranean Cleanse

A few years ago when we were living in Carlsbad, I visited a general practitioner who told me that I really needed to lose weight (Like I didn’t know that). He told me he wanted me to eat no more than 1100 calories and day from a list of foods he gave me. It was the SADDEST list of food I thought I had ever seen. He explained it was the Mediterranean way of eating and the healthiest way anyone could possibly eat. (He also told me to literally go out and buy a treadmill for my apartment…I didn’t see him again.)

As whacked out as doctor psycho was, he was correct in the Mediterranean theory; and since then he isn’t the only doctor to corroborate it.  Now, I have tried a few different things since then and have been successful in weight loss (keeping it off is a different story). This particular way of eating allows for some carbs, but they’re heart healthy and whole. I am really excited to eat less meat, pump up my veggies and challenge my comfort level in the kitchen.

An important note before I share this week’s meal plan: Healthy eating takes some preparation and some extra kitchen tools. Some things I have learned:

  1. YOU MUST MEASURE AND WEIGH FOOD if you’re going to log it. Truthfully, I was never successful at losing weight before I held myself accountable and logged what I ate. Americans are accustomed to ridiculous portion sizes and it’s easy to go overboard.
  2. To do step one you’ll need measuring cups, spoons and a food scale. I have a small stainless steel one from Amazon: Etekcity silver digital scale $11; Prime eligible.
  3. MEAL PREP MEAL PREP MEAL PREP! I check sales as best I can, create my meal plan, figure out the foods I need and categorize them onto a shopping list (dry, dairy, produce, frozen, dry/canned, other). I take a day I am off and do my grocery shopping, then take a few hours to do the dinner/lunch/breakfast prep work for the week. This is so crucial for someone like me who shares a vehicle and works 830-5pm most days. Having your vegetables chopped, sauces made and meats marinated SAVES SO MUCH FREAKING TIME. Having breakfast made and just needing to be reheating is a God-send. Taking time to portion out and bag snacks to bring with you on the go or to work takes the guess work out and saves you from over indulging.
  4. Have healthy snacks on hand!!!! At ALL TIMES! ha.
  5. Use MyFitnessPal or FitBit to track your calories and fitness. I like MFP because I can import recipes straight from the web or add my own manually. Fitness trackers, in my opinion, all very important and help motivate you. You don’t have to use a FitBit, but that is my favorite.

Final thoughts on this section: If you want to change how you eat, you’ll have to put in work…or you’ll have to spend a lot of money for one of those meal kit delivery services/healthy take out. Whatever works for you…but I can’t afford to do that every night. It seems overwhelming, but it will soon become a habit.

I started this morning by weighing myself and taking several measurements. I will also take a picture in my skivvies (YIKES)

The following is today’s meal plan, complete with links to the recipes. I will try very hard to do this daily, at the very least, every two days.

Day One, Monday April 30th, 2018: 

Breakfast: **Disclaimer- I’d meant to do this all Sunday and have a badass breakfast and lunch planned but we went out for a friend’s going away party Saturday night and yeah…Sunday was a bust** ANYWAY, breakfast this morning was 2 local farm eggs scrambled. There is nothing, I REPEAT, NOTHING-better than farm fresh eggs.

Lunch: Southwest Avocado Salad half size, from Wendy’s. (So. Good…let’s hope there’s no side of e. coli with it)

Dinner: Roasted Gnocchi with Brussels sprouts and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/255748/roasted-gnocchi-brussels-sprouts-with-meyer-lemon-vinaigrette/

  • Note: I didn’t have meyer lemons…I just used regular. Apparently you can use a little orange juice with the lemon juice but I totally forgot. It was delicious anyway. The serving size was generous and my husband was very happy with this. We paired it with a 4 oz glass of Pinot Grigio (made by one of the park volunteers) and a side salad with spring mix, feta, grape tomatoes and this BOMB ASS Food Network kitchen Feta Herb greek dressing. YUM.

Dessert: None tonight cause we didn’t go for our jog. I had to meal prep and Chris put together a squash trellis for us. We were both smoked. I may have a small piece of fruit if I need a sugar fix.

All in all, I am feeling good, albeit tired from the weekend, my recent trip and likely from the hiatus we took from working out. It really goes make a difference. Thanks for listening- stay tuned.

Wheat-Free Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Bread

I adapted this from one of my favorite Dark Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipes. It is so good. You will want to eat the entire pan in one sitting. But, don’t do that! It makes 1 loaf…which should yield 8 servings. Each serving is 216 calories (according to MyFitnessPal). You can do smaller slices for less calories if you’d like.

Ingredients 
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded zucchini, packed tight (no skin)
  • 1 medium Fuji, Gala or Honeycrisp apple, grated (I did half on the large side and half on the small side so that I wouldn’t have too much watery puree)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a loaf pan well
  3. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the water, vanilla, agave, shredded zucchini, and apple. Mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean in the center.

The longer you let it cool, the better your first slice will stay together. Or, you can be like me and cut into it right away….and just eat it with a fork because you’re impatient. Enjoy!

Meal Plan & Healthy Eating Week 3

Wow! I’ve “survived” two weeks! Just kidding… I am totally loving it. This week, I introduced some dessert back in (healthy alternatives of course). I am happy to report that I am back  to my pre- Christmas weight so that is very exciting! Chris and I have discussed buying an Aria scale from FitBit as well as the ChargeHR (for me) when we get to MS. I love Daily Burn, but I don’t trust what the screen says when it comes to calorie burn since I sometimes have to take more rest breaks, my weight, etc. I don’t want to overestimate my calorie burn and end up overeating for the day. Since we still aren’t sure where we are going to be moving and whether or not they’ll have a gym — I really need to be careful until we leave New Mexico. That being said, this coming weekend is going to be ROUGH. Ha! We are going to Adobe Rose for dinner on Friday night, then Saturday is our going away party at Mike & Monica’s, and Sunday I am having lunch with my sweet Candlewood ladies. Since I am NOT trying to calorie count my food those nights I will have to sweat it out instead. Chris and I wanted to hike Guadalupe Peak tomorrow but last night we both came to the realization that we were not in good shape to do it. Chris has been killing himself at work since the elevators are down. He is so tired and sore every night when he comes home. I’ve mostly been good, but the endurance mode on the treadmill is a little rough with the inclines on my knee. So, we’ve decided to hit up Cloudcroft and White Sands instead. (not sad!) Now, if only I could figure out how to get to those damn waterfalls near High Rolls…

This past week I made some really delicious new recipes that Chris and I agreed needed to be added to our roster. I made lamb chops for the first time! (Delish but pricy). I experimented with a new zucchini bread recipe and it paid off big time. I’ll post it after this. I really pushed my body this week on the treadmill too and can now achieve a mile in 16 minutes! I feel pretty damn good about that! 🙂 I did struggle keeping up with my strength schedule between working and keeping up this damn house, but I feel at this stage in the game that cardio is more the priority.

For this week, I am cleaning out the freezer and trying to make dinners out of stuff we already have. (I’m baking a bunch of “bad” stuff for the party Saturday to use up all my old nasty white sugars and flours). Also, I won’t have dinner plans for Friday and Saturday since we will be eating out.

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Leftover quiche (which I am making today since I didn’t have time yesterday)
  • Lunch: Somewhere in Cloudcroft
  • Dinner: Turkey Chili (This is my recipe and it changes everytime. I use 3 pounds of ground turkey, a whole red onion, 3 different kinds of hot peppers, 3 different kinds of beans, lime juice, spices…just whatever I am feeling. I don’t have measurements for anything. But, it will be cooking all day while we are in Cloudcroft)

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of turkey bacon &  an egg
  • Lunch: leftovers and fruit
  • Dinner: Adobe Rose!!! (yum yum yummmmm!!! I am totally getting duck!)

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Fruit & Greek Gods Honey vanilla yogurt
  • Lunch: leftovers or green salad & fruit
  • Dinner: Going away party

Sunday:

 

I am hoping to weigh myself next Saturday and see a number I haven’t seen before! I’ll being going hard as I can this week — walking with Jackson and then coming home and getting on the treadmill. I wanna make 12,000 steps everyday. It’s a big goal but I think I can do it M-F if I really push myself.

Have a fab week y’all!