Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Slow day at work. Most people are either out in CA for the Grammys, or stayed home because of the pending storm. Wish I could have stayed wrapped up in bed this morning.

Did the Max Interval Circuit last night, and it was definitely intense. In only the second round of the first set I found myself frustrated. I felt challenged and a little defeated and unaccustomed to a lot of the new exercises, but I pushed through. Looking at the schedule, this week seems to be the most difficult of Month 2. If I can get through the next 5 days, I can get through it all!

In this down time at work, I wanted to share a recipe I made last week and didn’t have time to post. I forgot to take a picture, but I’ll take one next time I make this recipe!

Tempeh Sloppy Joes  (3 servings)

8oz of tempeh, crumbled

1/2 of an onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups of water

Combine tomato paste, ketchup, bbq sauce, vinegar, and dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add oil to a medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Stir for about 2 minutes, until they start to brown a little and the onions start to get soft. Add in tempeh. Saute for about 5 minutes, until tempeh starts to cook and brown. Add in the tomato paste mixture and water. Let simmer until the water has mostly evaporated, about 10-15 mins. You may want to add a little extra ketchup or bbq sauce, depending on your tastes.

I also made a super simple coleslaw with this. It was about a cup of shredded cabbage (I used red because it’s what I had in my fridge) 1 shredded carrot, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbsp light mayo (or vegenaise if you prefer) 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s all! Throw on a bun of your choosing and enjoy!

8 weeks

Hello Everyone

Gosh, I’ve been super busy lately and honestly, it’s starting to overwhelm me a bit.  Saturday I finally had a day off. It made me wish that I could have every Saturday off, just one little day off in the week. But being that my 3 day internship is unpaid, I really can’t afford to take any days off on a weekly basis :/ In any case, Mike and I had a wonderful time. After doing Insanity in the morning, we ate brunch in Brooklyn and then went to the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Discovery Center in Times Square. We spent a good amount of time in Central Park and then walked to 92nd and 2nd to a wine bar that we had a wine tasting and dinner Groupon for. Brunch and dinner on Saturday weren’t the healthiest meals, but they also weren’t SUPER unhealthy, and I felt like we didn’t over eat. We also worked out in the morning and walked pretty much all day, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. What I did feel bad about was my late night snacking over the weekend. Night time tends to be difficult for me when it comes to over indulging in snacks. I definitely could have been worse. At least the things I was snacking on were all relatively healthy and there weren’t any full blown binging episodes. But I also could have been better. I spent most of yesterday beating myself up about not eating well enough over the weekend, but you know what, I’m only human. And upon further reflection, overall, I’ve been doing a really good job. I need to focus on the positive things I’m doing rather than picking on myself for not being perfect all the time.

I wanted to share this AMAZING recipe I found on Detoxinista’s Blog for Almond Butter Fudge. Mike and I did a Trader Joe’s run early last week and I made sure to purchase almond butter and coconut oil specifically for this recipe 🙂 I seriously could not believe that the only ingredients were almond butter, coconut oil and raw honey or stevia (I used a little it of each). A delicious snack that melts in you mouth.

Today is the 8 week mark since I gradually started to eat better and exercise (and I’m finishing up week 3 of Insanity). I’m at the point in my weight loss (about 13lbs) where I’m starting to see some results, but I still feel like I have a long way to go (23lbs to my initial goal weight). It’s strange to imagine what my body will look like 3 months from now. Over the past 6-8 years, my weight has fluctuated due to my eating disorder from about 150-180. Right now, I’m still within that range. I’m familiar with certain changes that occur to my body within the 150-180 weight range, but anything below 150, I can’t really recall.  I wore a shirt yesterday that I haven’t worn in a while. I remember trying to put it on over the summer and then taking it off right away because the sleeves were cutting off circulation to my arms and it just didn’t really fit well anywhere. The fit was actually pretty loose on me when I put it on yesterday. A little hard to comprehend. Even though I’m still in the 160s, I feel like the amount of inches I’ve lost so far is more significant than when I’ve previously been this weight. I made 140 my initial goal weight because I felt it was challenging and because I hope to feel and look in shape at that weight. I haven’t been in the 140s since I was about 15-16. I’m 5’5 with a large frame. My hands are bigger than my boyfriend’s. I’m not a petite person and I never will be. I just want my body to be the best it can be within it’s own limits. Right now, 140 seems a long way away. But I’m determined to get there and I hope that when I do, I’m happy with the results. I’m worried my mind may go back to it’s old ways and that no matter what weight I get to, it won’t ever be good enough. But I guess I’ll jump that hurdle when I get to it.

Not sure how much time I’ll have to update this week, so have a wonderful week everyone!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal

Hello there!

Not much to update on since my last post. Still spending most of my time working/interning. Can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of my second week of Insanity. It’s flying by! March 6th (Day 63 of Insanity) will be here in no time!

I wanted to share an easy and delicious breakfast that I enjoy. It’s particularly good after a morning workout.

PB& J Oatmeal

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All you have to do is cook yourself a half a cup of oatmeal the way you normally would (I made mine with mostly water and a splash of soy milk)

In a saucepan, on low heat, throw in some chopped strawberries and blueberries. Drizzle honey on top. Stir berries until they become sauce-like. Around 5-10 minutes. Put on top of oatmeal. Add a spoon of peanut butter, chopped almonds, cinnamon and/or any toppings of your choosing.

My appetite has been fluctuating lately. Yesterday I was pretty hungry, so I had a larger dinner than I might have liked to. Today, I’ve barely had any appetite at all. I guess it’s a normal part of my body adjusting to its new diet. Just have to be aware and make sure I’m eating the proper amounts.

My brain is shot right now so can’t really think of anything else to write about. Gunna settle down and watch some Breaking Bad! Have a good week everyone!

Orange Teriyaki Tofu

Thursday night, I ended up making some orange teriyaki tofu with garlic, peppers, onion, and quinoa. It was my first time trying and cooking tofu, and it really wasn’t bad! I used some firm tofu that I had purchased, but next time I’d probably use extra firm for this particular recipe.

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Orange Teriyaki Tofu

Half a package of Extra Firm Tofu cut into cubes

Sprinkle of Salt

1 Pepper Sliced

1/2 Yellow Onion Sliced

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

About 3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

1/2 Cup of Teriyaki Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki)

1/2 of a Large Orange, peeled and separated into wedges

Sprinkle of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 cup of Quinoa

I started with the Quinoa. It was my first time making it, but it’s pretty simply, very similar to rice. Get a large sauce pan. Make sure to pam the pan because the quinoa will stick to it a little if you don’t. Add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil without a cover over the saucepan. Once it’s boiling, bring it down to a simmer and cover the sauce pan. Leave it to simmer for about 10-15 mins, or until all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa and the quinoa appears to look clear.

While the Quinoa is cooking, take your chopped tofu and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on them. Put about a Tbsp of oil into a sauce pan on medium. Add one clove of minced garlic. Then add the tofu and cook for about 9 minutes or until they start browning.

I started the peppers in a wok right as I put my tofu into the sauce pan. Start off the wok with 2 Tbsp of oil followed by 2 cloves of minced garlic. Then add the onions and peppers. The onions should start looking clear and the peppers look more cooked around the same time the tofu is ready. Push the peppers and onions to the sides of the wok and put the tofu into the middle. Pour in your teriyaki sauce. Take your wedges of oranges, squeeze the juices in, and throw the remainder into the wok as well. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes to your taste and stir. Let cook for about 2-5 minutes.

When done, mix together with the cooked quinoa and enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and is as excited for 2013 as I am! Mike and I spent New Year’s Eve at my friend’s house party in NJ.

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Yesterday was my birthday and my last hoorah for any unhealthy holiday meals (although overall, I didn’t do too badly and was mostly able to stick to healthy eating with a few exceptions, my birthday being one of them). From here on out it’s a strict diet of healthy eating and exercise!

Last weekend, I didn’t have time to go to the gym before work on Saturday, so Mike and I decided to try out The Fit Test from Insanity instead. It kicked our butts in a good way. I start Insanity for real in 5 days! Still nervous and excited for it. Next week I also start my new internship at Warner Bros Records which I’m very much looking forward to.

Mike got me this really great healthy eating cook book as part of my birthday present and I’m super excited to start trying out some of the delicious looking recipes and share them on here! He also got me a gift card to H&M which I’ll probably save for a little while and use to purchase some new clothes once I’ve lost a bit more weight/inches 🙂

My dad also gave me his old juicer which I’m very happy about! Mike and I were going to buy one anyway, but getting one for free is financially ideal. We’re gunna test it out soon but I’m looking forward to using it when we do our 10 day juice fasts! I plan on doing one at the end of January and one at the end of March.

2012 was a really great and eventful year for me and I am truly appreciative for it. I’m looking forward to making 2013 just as great, continuing to grow, and becoming the healthiest person I can be.

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Turkey Taco Salad w/Guac

I really love tacos, as do many other people, I’m sure! We wanted to create a healthy version of one of our favorite dinners.

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This meal consisted of ground turkey meat with a healthy taco seasoning, peppers, onions, and guacamole over spinach leaves.

First we’ll start off with the guac.

Guacamole

About 3 Haas Avocados (we used 3 and a half)

1 lime

1/2 teaspoon of each: cayenne, salt, and cumin

1 tablespoon cilantro

1-2 cloves of minces garlic (to taste)

About half of an onion, chopped

Half of a jalapeno, chopped and seeds removed

1-2 tomatoes, chopped

In a bowl, mash up the avocados and add in lime juice. Then add in yours seasonings and mix together. Finally add in your garlic, onion, jalapeno, and tomatoes. Let it sit for a little while for all of the flavors to blend together. Also, if you want to keep your guac from turning brown quickly, save the avocado pits and place them in the guac.

Turkey Taco Meat and Seasoning:

Approximately 4 servings

1 lb ground turkey meat

1/2 chopped onion

1/2 chopped jalapeno without seeds

About 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup of tomato paste or sauce

First prepare a bowl with all of the seasonings mixed together. Heat up a large pan on medium with a thin layer of oil. Add in your minced garlic and chopped onions. Once they start browning a little, add in your ground turkey. Mix up the turkey meat with the onions and garlic. Once the meat begins cooking a bit, add in your mixed bowl of seasonings and the chopped jalapenos. Be sure to mix everything well. Finally, add in the cup of tomato sauce. Mix and let simmer for a few minutes.

In another pan we heated up a little oil with 2 cloves of minced garlic, and about 1/2 a chopped onion and 1 sliced red pepper.

For our leaves, we chose spinach. Once everything was done we put in a bowl: spinach leaves, sauteed peppers and onions, the turkey taco meat, topped off with guac. And there you have it. A great taco salad!

Zucchini Chips with Hummus

Yesterday I found out that I got an internship at Warner Bros Records as a Video Marketing Intern that I interviewed for last week, so I’m very excited about that. I also closed the coffee shop in the lower east side for the first time and am doing it again tonight. Last night Mike and I did a little work out at the apartment instead of going to the gym because I was kind of drained. Tonight we’ll definitely be going to the gym, drained or not. I’m taking this week a little easy since I still have some congestion and it was suggested not to do anything super strenuous for at least 2 weeks after bronchitis. So this week will just kind of be getting back on board because I couldn’t do anything last week, and hopefully next week I am good as new and can go full force!

I just got Mike’s last Christmas present in the mail and it’s way smaller than I thought it was going to be, so I may have to return it and think of something else :/ Bummer. Other than that, things are going pretty well! I showed Mike some of that documentary I had mentioned a few days ago: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Here’s the cover with before and after pictures of the main guy in the film:

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He started off at 309 lbs. The other guy in the movie started off at 420 lbs. Their journeys and results are truly motivational. If a man who could barely take a 10 minute walk is willing to do what ever it takes to get healthy, I sure as hell can do it! Mike agreed to do a juice fast with me sometime in the near future. I’m thinking maybe at the end of January and then again in March. I want to do them for 10 days.

I also wanted to share a delicious yummy snack we made the other day and something we’ll definitely do again.

Zucchini Chips with Hummus 

(Sorry forgot to take a picture! I’ll take one next time and post it here :p)

For the zucchini, all we did was cut them in very thin slices and put them on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. They tasted great when they came out, but the weren’t really chip like, they were kind of mushy. We used forks to dip them into the hummus which we didn’t mind, but if you want your zucchini to be more like chips or fries so it this way:

Set your oven to 425.

Slice your zucchini into thin slices or strips, whichever you prefer.

Mix together some eggwhites with a little bit of skim milk.

Get some whole wheat panko crumbs and mix it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little bit of parmesan cheese if you like, and any other spices you might want.

Dip your zucchini in the eggwhites and then in the panko mix.

Place on a baking sheet and cook for about 25-30 minutes until they are golden.

For the Hummus:

About 3 minced garlic cloves

1/4 cup of greek yogurt

About 2 cups of cooked chickpeas or 1 19 ounce can of chickpeas, drained

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tsp olive oil

1/4 Tsp Each of Salt and Paprika

1/8 Tsp of Pepper

1 Tbsp Chopped fresh Parsley

Throw everything in the blender or food processor and that’s it! If it’s too thick, add a little more greek yogurt or olive oil.

Hope everyone is doing well! Have a good day 🙂

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Pesto Pizza

Mike and I made some pesto pizza two weekends ago that I didn’t get to post because of my bronchitis.

I loveeee making homemade pesto because it’s really easy and great on so many things. We used it as the pizza sauce but also had some left over which I used on sandwiches and with omelettes.

Pesto Pizza

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For the Pesto:

2 cups of basil leaves

3 cloves of minced garlic

About 1/3 cup of pinenuts or walnuts (I tend to use walnuts because they are cheaper and taste just as good)

3/4- 1 cup of olive oil (I start off with 2/4 cups in the food processor and then add a 1/4 cup as needed. Depends on how thin you want the pesto to get)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In the food processor I start off with 1 cup of basil, the walnuts, minced garlic and 2/4 cups of olive oil. Blend that together a little then add in the rest of the basil and another 1/4 cup of olive oil and see how the consistency is. If it’s still a little too chunky, I’ll all the final 1/4 cup of olive oil, making it 1 cup of olive oil total. Then add in the salt and pepper to taste, and you have your pesto!

 

For the pizza dough, we get whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s. Heat the oven to 425. Toss your dough and get it into pizza shape. (I’m pretty bad at this but Mike used to work at a pizza shop so he handles it. I used to have to roll is out.) Add the pesto sauce first and then what ever toppings you’d like. We typically go with tomato slices. We’ve also done spinach and grilled chicken which is really great. Top off with some grated part skim mozzarella cheese (I’ve also done it with fresh mozzarella and that works out really well). Keep it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (depending on how crispy you like your crust). And then remove and consume your yummy pesto pizza 🙂

 

Whole Wheat Pasta with a Light Alfredo Sauce, Grilled Chicken, and Sauteed Kale

Happy Sunday Everyone! Can you believe that Christmas is just about 2 weeks away? I seriously can’t.

Today Mike and I spent most of the day cleaning/doing chores while playing Home Alone in the background. We finished decorating our little Christmas tree that we bought last night. It’s a live planted tree that we got from Pathmark for 10 bucks! Only about 2 feet tall and his name is Herbert.

Mike had mentioned being in the mood for some pasta with Alfredo sauce so  I went on the look out for a healthy Alfredo recipe! The one we ended up using is  from Minimalist Baker’s food blog, but I used whole wheat flour for mine so the amount is a little different. We also added some grilled chicken and sauteed kale and it worked wonderfully!

Whole Wheat Pasta with a Light Alfredo Sauce, Grilled Chicken, and Sauteed Kale

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(approx 3-4 servings)

For the Light Alfredo Sauce:

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 Cloves of Minced Garlic

1 Cup of Skim Milk

1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth

2-3 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbsp Pesto Sauce

1/4 Tsp Each of Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes

Heat up a large sauce pan on medium. Once it’s hot add the oil and garlic and stir them. Add in the milk and broth, stirring all of them together. Slowly add in the whole wheat flour, making sure to sprinkle in only a little at a time and to whisk well and get rid of any lumps. We used about 3 tbsps and the sauce came out pretty thick. So if you don’t like yours too thick, you may want to stop at about 2. Finally add in the cheese, pesto, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. And viola! A super yummy Alfredo Sauce, but way less heavy and much healthier!

We grilled the chicken in a large sauce pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, some minced garlic and chopped up onions. Once the chicken started cooking a bit, we added handfuls of kale and cooked that in with all the yummy chicken, garlic, and onions. And that was it! Threw the pasta in a bowl with the chicken and kale and mixed in the sauce. It was delicious.

Rise and Shine!

This morning, Mike and I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym. Never thought I’d get up at such an hour to go to the gym, but it was actually really good! We made sure to be in bed by 11 last night, so I’m sure that helped. I personally prefer to go to the gym in the morning and get it done right away, that way I’m not putting it off. It also makes me energized throughout the day and puts me in a better mood. After a good morning workout, I crave a healthy and fresh breakfast which makes me more likely to eat well throughout the entire day. Plus it’s much more empty in the morning, which I enjoy.

Last night, I made a nice and easy yummy dinner which also doubled as my lunch today (gotta love leftovers!)

Here’s a pretty crappy picture from my phone:

Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce, grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, and spinach sauteed in a little olive oil with garlic, and onions.

This recipe is as straight forward as it gets! First you cook your pasta and grill your chicken. For the spinach, put a thin layer of olive oil in a pan, let the oil heat up a bit and then add the chopped onions and garlic. As they start to brown, add in the spinach. Once that’s done, mix it all together and top off with some sliced up fresh mozz!

Mike picked up the fresh mozzarella on his way home from Murray’s Cheese at the Grand Central Market.

I’ve been trying to be very aware of the nutrition facts and ingredients in everything that I’m eating, which will be particularly important for when I challenge myself to eat clean for the entire month of February.

The marinara sauce I used was Victoria Marinara Sauce

The general rule of thumb is to make sure that the ingredients are things that you recognize and can easily pronounce and the fewer amount of ingredients, the better. About 5 ingredients or less seems to be what most people suggest.

The pasta that I used was Barilla Whole Wheat, which I now realize isn’t 100% whole wheat. I found this article on different types of pasta and I’m definitely going to look for some of the brands suggested that at 100% whole wheat. Here’s the link:   The whole truth: How healthy if your pasta?

I’m going to try and post meal recipes along with pictures as often as possible, hopefully daily!

In other news: I travelled to Harlem this evening to take my food handler’s license test. I passed! And it’s a good thing too, because I definitely would not want to go through that whole process again. Now I’m off to go watch some Star Wars with Mike and Marc. I’d say it’s been a pretty good day 🙂