Tag Archives: nutrition

Check Out the Leaner, Meaner You

weight-lossSo, it’s about that time when we all start thinking about what it might be like if someone asked us to don a bathing suit right this very minute. But instead of it being just a mere thought, the truth is that the skin revealing time of  year really is just around the corner.

And, yes, setting weight loss or get-in-shape goals really are key to achieving the swimsuit bodies we all desire. But wouldn’t it be much more helpful if we had a clear vision of what results our hard work might churn out? Like, a photo of our brand-spanking new, buff bodies?

Well …. you CAN have it. Just check out WeightView.com, a site that allows you to upload a photo of your current self and plug in your weight loss goals. The result? A specially altered picture that allows you to see what your fab self might look like should you commit to eating healthier and pumping some iron.

Talk about inspiration, right? In the April issue of SELF magazine, one writer hung the photo at her desk as a reminder to hit the gym after work.

Technology … whatever will they come up with next?

(Hmmm … something that involves calorie-free, chocolate lava cake … please?)

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Filed under Eat, March 2009, Pray, Run

Oh, Yummy Judaism.

Yesterday, Dan and I celebrated Rosh Hashanah with a very yummy Jewish Apple Cake. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah is, in its simplest terms, the Jewish New Year. The holiday is a celebration of a new beginning, and certain foods, such as apples and honey, are consumed for good luck.

Since I have been with Dan, I have been making him this cake to mark the commencement of the new year. The bonus? It’s healthy, too! And it makes your kitchen smell absolutely delish. So, here it is — it’s as tasty as it is pretty! And, hey, you don’t have to be Jewish to fall in love with this cake. (;

Jewish Apple Cake

Pre-baking ... beautiful, huh?

Pre-baking ... beautiful, huh?

Makes 16 servings
Ingredients
* Cooking spray
* 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
* 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 large egg whites
* 2 large eggs
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 1/2 cups sliced peeled apple (about 1 pound)
* 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour. Set prepared pan aside. Beat granulated sugar and next 8 ingredients (sugar through eggs) at medium speed of a mixer until blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Combine apple and remaining ingredients. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Voila!

Voila!

Calories:287 (21% from fat)
Fat:6.6g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.9g,poly 2.8g)
Protein:4.4g
Carbohydrate:53.6g
Fiber:1.5g
Cholesterol:29mg
Iron:2mg
Sodium:196mg
Calcium:84mg

©Cooking Light, APRIL 2000

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Berry-licious Water!

I love cool, refreshing water, but sometimes it is fun to add a little pizazz! I particularly like fresh lemon or about 1/8 cup  of all-natural cranberry juice added to my agua. But protein and fiber? I never really considered that as an option, but I came across this Kellogg’s Special K2O Protein Water with a mixed berry flavoring and I decided to give it a try.

This bottle of water has 50 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar. And, gals and guys, it sure is yummy!

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Bake Up Some Homemade Energy!

As promised … the Energy Bars!  These are a yummy treat, too, and I feel like it is a recipe you can really play around with. For example, I added a 1/2 cup of oat bran to my batch for a little extra fiber. And Dan made ones that were flavored with peanut butter instead of the raisins and apricots that are used in this recipe. Another thing I am going to try is substituting the eggs with bananas. By the way, this is another one from Ellie Krieger. I love this book!

Have fun, and create your own. They are tasty!

Energy Bars
Makes about 20 servings

Ingredients:

Cooking spray
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk (I used about 1/3 cup soy milk instead.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except the syrup and eggs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the syrup and eggs and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It will resemble a coarse paste.

Transfer to the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until just done, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.


Nutritional Analysis (per serving):
Calories: 133
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.6 grams
Protein 5 grams
Carbohydrates 20 grams
Fiber 2.5 grams

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run, September 2008

Strawberries + Cereal = Mmm, mmm, mmm!

OK, so I have a new favorite cereal. I know, can you believe it?! Something other than my beloved shredded oats. (: I just found these babies yesterday, and, boy, are they yummy. Just the right touch of strawberry flavor! Every 1.9-oz. serving of Kellogg’s Smart Start Strawberry Oat Bites cereal is 200 calories,2.5 grams of fat, zero grams of trans fat and 6 grams of fiber.

If you can get your hands on a box of it, go for it. And the even better news: My grocery store had it on sale, so, hopefully, yours does, too!

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Final Day of the Challenge!

Yes, yes . . . the final 30-Day Challenge post has come. But don’t fret, I will still be blogging about food choices and recipes, reviewing new food items, and, of course, filling you in on my exercise progress. But before I give you a run-down of what I have learned, let’s go over yesterday’s meals.

Breakfast was two slices of whole grain bread with about 1 Tbsp. of almond butter and 1/2 Tbsp. of jam on each. I also had some more green grapes and blueberries. Can you tell what fruit was on sale this week? (;

I had a ton of work to do in the morning and time just flew! So, when 2 p.m. rolled around and I realized I had not yet eaten lunch, I decided to roast a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables in the oven. Everything you see is frozen except for the portobello mushrooms; those were left over from when Dan marinated them the other day. I threw a bit of olive oil on top, put the oven on 425 degrees and roasted them for about 12 minutes. I sliced some Trader Joe’s teriyaki-flavored baked tofu and put it on the side.

After lunch, I did some more work, and then went for a walk with my sister around 4 p.m. We walked (and talked) through some serious hills — yep, the one-miler! — for a little more than an hour. It was good to get out and sweat and, of course, spend some time with my sister. I will miss those impromptu walks when I move. ):

Dinner was a Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella veggie patty on two slices of whole grain bread. I added about 1 Tbsp. each of ketchup and Lemonaise Light, along with a few leaves of Boston bibb lettuce. This was the first time I tried this kind of Boca patty, and I really enjoyed it. I was hoping for some bigger chunks of mushrooms in the patty — I love them! — but there was a really great mushroom taste to make up for it.

So, that’s it! My last day of the Challenge. But don’t think that the everyday “challenge” stops here. I will continue to work toward living a healthy life, and I will be sure to share it here with you. But, in the mean time, a few things I have learned along the way:

1.) Portions, portions, portions! I was much more conscious of portion sizes when I knew I was going to be sharing my dietary habits with the World Wide Web. Even when I splurged, I tried to watch what I was eating for the rest of the day and/or limit my intake of whatever it was I was enjoying — except for those dang s’mores! It’s a factor I am still working on, but this experience helped me to pay more attention before digging in.

2.) Fitness is key. At least, for me it is. On the days that I got up and got moving, I ate better, was more focused at work, felt better and slept sounder. I already knew all of these things, but the Challenge helped me to reaffirm the importance of physical activity in my daily life. Even if I take a break from computer work and only go for a 10-minute walk, it helps me. I do wish, however, that I would have shared more of it with you. I feel like I was so focused on food, food, food, that I missed the emphasis on exercise in the process. Perhaps, I will to share more of that with you over the next few weeks . . .

3.) More fruit and vegetables. Seeing all of my meals on display throughout the last 30+ days has really allowed me to see food aspects that I still need to improve. For example, when I see a day with little or no color, I know that I really skimped on fruits and vegetables. I may not have eaten unhealthy per say, but I did lack produce. This is one thing I am still working on which, technically, should not be too hard because I love fruits and veggies. I will keep you posted on that progress!

So, I am curious: What is one of the best changes you have ever made? Let me know, and we can chat about it in the “Comments” section of this post.

Ready to take on a new change? Check out First30Days and make the change of your choice, including “Go Green,” “Dealing with Depression” and “Living Healthier.” Want to read about it? I am loving Ariane De Bonvoisin’s The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More).

Well, I am saying so long to the Challenge, but hello to a healthier life! I look forward to continue sharing with you all of my efforts toward a better, well, . . . me! So, stay tuned. (:

3 Comments

Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

A Day on the Run and Thai Chicken Pizza Delish!

And the 30-Day Challenge is coming to a close! . . .

So, I kicked off yesterday morning with a bowl of All Bran Strawberry Fields cereal and about 1 cup soy milk. The All Bran cereals are another one of my favorite cereals, and I think this one currently takes the cake. It’s yummy!

I had an appointment around lunchtime, so I grabbed a Special K Protein bar and a bottle of water for the car.

When I got home, I was still hungry, so I had a small bowl of whole wheat noodles with a bit of onion salt and 1 Tbsp. of Smart Balance Omega Olive Oil “butter” spread.

Dinner was a special treat — Thai Chicken Pizza! It is one of our favorite’s and Dan made a special request, so I whipped it up for him (and me, too!).

This is one of the best pizzas/recipes I have ever tried, so I, of course, have to share it with you. It’s from Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals, and it totally rocks:

Ingredients

* 1 lb pizza dough

* 1/2 cup Chinese duck sauce or plum sauce

* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

* 10 ounces provolone cheese (2 cups) or Monterey jack cheese

* 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

* 2 tablespoons tamari

* 1 tablespoon peanut butter

* 2 teaspoons hot sauce

* 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning

* 2 tablespoons honey

* 1/2 lb chicken breast, cutlets (about 4)

* 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

* 1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks

* 4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

* 1 cup bean sprouts, a couple of handfuls

* Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

* 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F Form the pizza crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. Top it with duck or plum sauce, spreading it around like you would pizza sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with some red pepper flakes, then top it with the cheese and bell peppers. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 17 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil, tamari, and peanut butter with the hot sauce and grill seasoning. Use the microwave to loosen up the peanut butter if it is too cold to blend into sauce; 10 seconds ought to do it. Coat the chicken evenly with the mixture and let it stand for 10 minutes. Preheat a grill pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken cutlets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until firm. Slice the chicken into very thin strips.

3. While the chicken cooks, mix the honey and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the cucumber and turn to coat in the dressing.

4. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the chicken, scallions, sprouts, and cilantro. Drain the cucumbers and scatter them over the pizza. Garnish the pizza with peanuts, cut it into 8 wedges, and serve.

A few things I do differently: I use plum sauce instead of duck; I have tried the duck sauce before and, it wasn’t bad, but the plum sauce is our favorite. I also nix the cilantro (Dan does not really care for it), and take the pizza out half way through the cook time to add all of the remaining garnishes before baking for the remainder of the time. It tastes better when they have a few minutes to bake in there.

I had two medium slices and was totally stuffed. This pizza is yummy, yummy, but I only have so much room in there!

Dan and I went for a walk after dinner, — it was a perfect summer evening — and then called it a night.

Anyway, I was going to combine yesterday’s and today’s challenge meals in one big post, but this is turning into a rather long one! So, I think I will talk about today’s meals tomorrow (Wednesday), and we will also chat then about my experiences during the last 30 days.

Sound good? I am looking forward to it!

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Filed under Eat, Pray, Run