Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Yummy Post

Hi everybody!! I’m starting this post out with some promised food porn in the form of Beadie’s brownies that I made last night! If you’ll recall, my camera ate most of the ones I took yesterday!
Oh, yeah! See how fudgy these babies are?

I accomplished 2 things with my breakfast today that I’ve been meaning to do – using my immersion blender and tofu. The results were spectacular, if I do say so myself!

Cream of Wheat with Tofu

-1/2 cup unsweetened almond breeze
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup soft tofu
-3 Tbsp cream of wheat
-1 Tbsp raisins
-1 Tbsp SF maple syrup

*Combine first 4 ingredients in a small pot and blend until nice and frothy
*bring to a boil and add 3 Tbsp of cream of wheat, whisking until smooth and creamy
*cook for about 3 mins
*at the end stir in maple syrup and raisins

I loved everything about this bowl. It was super creamy and thick and I was good and full by the end of it! The tofu didn’t change the taste any, but added a silkiness to the cream of wheat that I really enjoyed! I’ll be trying this method out with my oats, too!

When breakfast was done, I parked my rear in front of the computer to get some blog reading done. While at this I sipped on a hazelnut chocolate tea that DS was super sweet enough to make and bring to me in bed! That kid can be so sweet! :) Next came vacuuming. Fun times, I know, but with 3 cats it has got to be done! Next on the list was kitchen clean up. Then I sat down with a coffee and 3 medjool dates and watched some Food TV.
By noon I decided I’d better hit the shower because I had some errands to run before DD got home at 1pm. I scored some REAL blood oranges at one of the stores I had to go to.
I’m pretty sure the colour of the peel says it all! I was just starting to get hungry at 1pm….go breakfast!! I wasn’t really sure what I wanted so I decided to make a plate full of bright hues a la Sharon @ Snippets & Bites. She always has the most amazing display of vibrant food on her site!
Here we have some tri coloured bell peppers, Sabra jalapeno hummus, a flatout wrap which is filled with a ¼ cup of egg beaters, more hummus and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge, and a blood orange to seal the deal! This lunch did a great job of filling me up and I thoroughly enjoyed the blood orange!

Look here at who all decided to be sleeping buddies!
Normally, these 2 are fighting constantly so I had to get photo proof that they actually do get along! :)

Here’s another contest alert!! Leah over at Simply Fabulous Now is hosting a **Trek bar** give away! Too cool! Check it out!

DS had hockey practice at 3pm so I let DD have a friend over for the afternoon. They had a good time and kept themselves busy playing board games. I knew I was making a pot of chili for dinner so I got to work on a batch of biscuits to go with it. I got the recipe out of this book (it's where my breakfast recipe came from, too!)….
These were really easy to do. The ingredients included 1.5 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 cup oats, 2 Tbsp WW flour, 1/4 cup butter, 4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup soft tofu, 2/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond breeze). Here they are straight out of the oven;
While the biscuits were baking, I snacked on this juicy red pear...
Like I said before, dinner tonight was a big ole pot of chili. I combined extra lean ground beef, onion, peppers, carrots,celery, black beans, kidney beans, can of diced tomato, can tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp of each dried oregano, basil, chili powder, cumin, coriander, 1 tsp salt & pepper. Here's all the veg that went in...
The picture is missing the 28oz can of diced tomatoes. Bubbling on the stove top...
All together now! :)
Dessert was one brownie, then I got the heck out of the kitchen! It's 6pm where I am and the sun is just starting to set! It was nice not to have to use my flash for my dinner pic's! It was cold out today, but that sun makes a world of difference!
Please check back in tomorrow because I have my own GREAT give away announcement….a Krista’s Kraving’s first…and it’s gonna be a good one full of treats! I hope everybody had a marvelous Saturday! I'm going to shut the computer down and go enjoy the rest of the daylight. There may be a movie or 2 in my very near future, as well! I'll "see" you all tomorrow for a very fun filled post! Ohhh....I'm SO excited!! :)

Bye for now!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hooray for Friday!

OK…I have to start this post out with a totally cool “give away” by Katie over at Chocolate Covered Katie. She’s got a full box of Jocolat bars up for grabs for someone, regardless of location, to win! How fabulous is that???? Hopefully you’ll continue to read my post before you head on over there, though! :)

It poured rain ALL night in my neck of the woods. A bit of an odd, yet welcome, sound after such a l-o-n-g winter! Good riddance, snow!! I’m ecstatic to see signs that indicate that spring is just around the bend!

Here’s my morning eats!!
-1/2 cup water, unsweetened almond breeze
-1/3 cup oat bran
-1/2 mashed up banana
-sprinkle of Nature's Path pumpkin granola
This bowl of oat bran was super creamy….just the way I like it!!

Seeing as my dinner was on the smallish side last night, I knew I’d probably get hungry again before I went to bed. And I did! I was going to have a piece of fruit but didn’t think it would do that trick so I had a bowl of plain yogurt with a scoop of strawberry & coconut jams mixed in.
It was delicious and just what I needed to settle my tummy! It probably would’ve been more enjoyable if I wasn’t fighting Pepper off of it the whole time! Little beggar is slow in learning his manners! :)

I had the cranberry Dempsters Fresh Bar before the gym today.
I liked it much better this go around! Maybe my taste buds were a little off last time or it’s quite possible that I was actually hungry for it this time! Whatever the case, it was a pleasure to eat.

My hubby joined me in the gym today for a nice sweaty workout! I love that he’s been coming in on his Friday’s off! It gives me an extra little push cuz I don’t want to look like a loser while he’s there! Just a little friendly competition! *WINK WINK* I did one of the programmed courses on the new treadmill today called “Smooth Strolling” Let me tell you, there was NOTHING smooth about it! What a tough run that was! But, I’m proud of finishing it!

Time: 50 minutes
Avg Hr: 154
Max Hr: 180
Calories Burned: 445
Distance: 4.2 miles (45 minutes of treadmill)

This morning I just wanted to grab a quick lunch for myself so I flew out the door with a can of Amy’s minestrone soup in my bag.

I love this soup for its big chunks of veggies and cool noodles!!

Before I left work, I ate a crisp apple. I had it half gone before I remembered to take a picture!
Dinner was a quick one tonight because I didn't really know what to have. I'm like that every Friday! I settled on a Lean Cuisine Panini and salad...
Looky, looky what came for me in the mail yesterday!!

This here is the ingredients to make Beadie’s Best Fudge Brownies!! I won the bidding on these at Meghann’s blogger bake sale and am especially appreciative to have them because dorky me got so excited about the sale that I neglected to read the whole post and missed the very important part about US residents only! DUH! Beadie was kind enough to send the fixings my way regardless of my dopiness! DD and I baked them up when I got home from work.

Here they are straight out of oven...
You can bet your bottom dollar that I had one, OK 2, for dessert! They were so good that my camera at the picture! I'll post another one tomorrow! These brownies are decadent! The only sound at the dinner table were the ohhh's and ahhh's coming out of our chocolate filled mouths! My hubby even ate 2 and he's not a chocolate guy! Thanks, Beadie for the fabulous treats!!!

DD is going for a sleep over at my parents house tonight so we're one kid down! I sent a few brownies along for bedtime snacks! :) I'm feeling kinda wiped out like I usually do come Friday so I think it'll be an early night for me! Anybody have any fun plans this weekend??

Bye for now!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Citrus Confusion!

I must warn you now that today was pretty uneventful! I even ate a very similar breakfast as yesterday! What can I say? It was GOOD! The weather today was much milder than it has been, but wet and dreary. I guess we can’t have it all (yet)! I’ll take the warmer temps, though. Back to breakie…here it goes!
-1 cup brewed coffee
-splash unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
-1/2 cup Quaker oats
-2 Tbsp Enjoy Life trial mix
I’m really digging the coffee in my oats! I think maybe it’s because we bought a new coffee pot the other night and it makes a mean cuppa joe! :)

Last night I was excited to peel into my blood orange. Boy, was I ever disappointed! Right away I knew something was not right when I did not see the signature red flesh. I took one bite and realized that it was a grapefruit!! WTF?? Luckily, I happen to like grapefruit! Here it is….
And probably because of my citrus let down, I decided I needed a little something else so I munched on a ½ cup of Nature’s Path Optimum Cinnamon Blueberry cereal. It coulda been worse….initially I had 2 chocolate chip cookies in my hands!!
Before hitting the gym I snacked on a Dempster’s Fresh Square in apple/cinnamon.
I liked this one better than the cranberry one. I think it was the cinnamon that won me over and I didn’t find it as sweet. It was perfect for some pre workout grub!

At the gym today I did 30 mins on the elliptical (257cal), 10 mins stair master (96cal), 10 min treadmill (109 cal)

Time: 50 minutes
Avg Hr: 157
Max Hr: 171
Calories Burned: 462

Lunch was a quick and simple “stir fry”. I used the remainder of last night’s veggies and combined them with some chicken breast strips, soy sauce, hot pepper flakes and a few other spices. All of it went into the microwave until piping hot.
Not very creative but it was a lunch with a lot of volume which is a good thing for me!

Later on in the afternoon I ate some lovely green grapes.
I think grapes may be one of my favourite fruits… but they have to be crisp, not mushy!! Aside from breakfast the past 2 days, I’ve done a pretty good job of incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet. AWESOME!

Tonight was skating lesson night for DD. I put a roast in the crock pot this morning with a cup of V8 tomato soup and some spices so that dinner would be set to go when ever it was needed. I wasn't hungry before hand (the grapes kept hunger at bay) so I opted to eat when we got back at 6:45pm. I warmed up 2oz of beef with a tbsp of BBQ sauce and served it on a toasted WW bun that had a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on it.
I know....nary a vegetable in sight! I thought about adding a salad to the plate but I really wasn't that hungry for anything more. I may eat a blood orange...I mean...grapefruit a little later if I feel the need. On the agenda for the rest of the night is lunches, some laundry, flipping through "Vegan with a Vengeance" (I found it at the library tonight) and then settling in to watch CSI. It's Friday yet again tomorrow and I can not wait! I don't have any major plans for the weekend but I'm looking forward to it anyways!! Enjoy your evening, every one!!!

Bye for now!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coffee Time

It’s taken me a bit but I’ve finally realized that getting out of bed has been a little easier this week because it’s not pitch black anymore! Yay for longer days!!! Now, just because it’s been easier to get out of bed, doesn’t mean I’m not still tired when I do! Such was the case this morning so I made some double duty oats!
-3/4 cup brewed coffee
-1/4 unsweetened almond breeze
-1/2 cup Quaker oats
-splash of French Vanilla coffee creamer
-Mocha Hazelnut sprinkles
This bowl did its job of picking me up! Tasted fabulous, too! Nothing like eating your coffee!

Work plodded along again this morning. The afternoons tend to go much quicker! About an hour before hitting the gym I downed 3 medjool dates and ½ of a Weil bar…

The bar (banana manna flavour) was really, really good! To me, it was like eating a banana without the gaggy mushiness. There were also big chunks of almonds in there that offered are real nice crunch!

I decided to do a nice 45 minute, no incline run at the gym today. I’ve been setting the incline to 1% and even though it’s not much, I tend to get shin splints. I thought I’d see if the same thing happened without the incline. So….no pain! For today, anyways! I’ve always been prone to shin splints for some reason or another. Today’s run felt really cleansing somehow. Like icky toxins were banished from my body. I love a run like that! Why don’t I share my stats?

Time: 45 minutes
Avg HR: 166
Max HR: 181
Calories Burned: 474
Distance: 4.8 miles

I should also mention that I tried out the new treadmill that we got in the gym on Monday. Man…that thing is the Cadillac of ‘mills! I just did a straight run and it times you in laps which is really cool! I completed 19 laps in 45 minutes. Another neat feature is that it tells you your pace once you’ve completed 4 laps. I was running at 6.5mph which equaled a 9.14 minutes mile. Gotta give myself a big ole pat on the shoulder for that!! :)

I packed a super easy, but good, lunch today. It was a toasted WW bagel with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese and a 1/4 cup of egg beaters. There was also a small salad on the side that was topped with a bit of honey mustard dressing. Lunch "dessert" was some sliced strawberries. Mmmm!!
Simple and delish! This is a lunch I would normally make on the weekend so I thought it would make a good weekday lunch, too. And that it did!

I was so happy to see 4:30 roll around! I was more than ready to leave work and go home at that point! I think it was partly due to the fact that I dreamed up a neat little dinner for myself during the afternoon! Here's my idea!

I cooked up a 4oz chicken breast that I seasoned with cumin, hot peppers, dried oregano, salt and pepper. When it was done I chopped it up into bite size chunks and put it back into the pot with a 1/4 cup WW couscous, a 1/3 cup of V8 tomato soup and a little extra water....maybe an additional 2 tbsp. I gave it a good stir, covered it and let it sit over very low heat for about 10 minutes.After fluffing it up with a fork, I served it with a big helping of steamed veggies...
This turned out to be a bit more than I expected it would, but I still polished it off. The vegetables are what really gave it some heft! I ate 2 more medjool dates as a bit of a sweet end. Now I am stuffed, but this should hold me over pretty darn good.

Tonight is pool night and I'm looking forward to the hour of reading! Next week is the last class...8 weeks goes by quite fast when you think about it! The Biggest Loser is on again at 8 so I will be missing the first half. That's a bit of a bummer but at least I'll get to see the juicy stuff at the end! :) I might munch on a blood orange later on. I bought some and haven't gotten around to trying one yet. This is a new fruit for me as the name has always freaked me out! We'll see it I chicken out again!! Have a great night everybody!!!

Bye for now!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Monday

I had a wonderful sleep last night and even got to sleep in a tad because this is my week to start at 8:30. I much prefer morning’s where I don’t feel like I have to rush around! I enjoyed a leisurely bowl of oats in a warm ray of sunshine…so enjoyable and relaxing! I whipped up some gingerbread oats and topped them with a sprinkle of Enjoy Life Foods Trail Mix.

I doubled up the spices and molasses in this batch and it was terrific! I also used Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain cereal. DELISH!!

While I was snapping photos of my breakfast, I decided to snap one of DD’s new Starbuck’s tumbler as it was right in front of me…

It’s just a tiny one holding maybe ¾ of a cup of liquid. In other words, the perfect size for her!

The morning went by relatively smooth at work. It was basically spent catching up on some stuff from yesterday. I’m late lunch this week…12:30….so I snacked on 3 medjool dates around noon to tide me through my work out.
I had planned to do my elliptical/stair climber/bike workout today but when I got to the gym somebody was on the elliptical so I switched it up and did 35 minutes on the treadmill (3.58 miles, 315 calories) and 15 minutes on the stair climber (154 calories). Still a great workout!!

Time: 50 minutes
Avg HR: 162
Max HR: 174
Calories Burned: 469

I’m really enjoying the mix up of equipment that I’ve been doing the last few weeks. It’s really helped to keep boredom at bay!

Before I get on to lunch, I’m please to say that Michelle at Lucky Taste Buds gave me a Kreativ Blogger award!! YAY!! Thank you, thank you!!

I’m passing the award on to the following 5 bloggers because I think they’re just great!!

Sarah @ Mom on the Run
Marianne @ From French Fries to Flax Seeds
Cory @ Zesty Cooks
Jenn @ Eating Bender
Kristie @ Lighter Portions

On to lunch!! I brought another lovely serving of vegan chili from the freezer. I realized this morning that while I made lunches for the kids, I neglected to make one for myself! I almost grabbed a Lean Cuisine Panini, but knew that the chili was a much healthier choice. That, and I love it!

I also noshed on some pepper strips and Sabra jalapeno hummus. I stirred a bit of the hummus into the chili, too! Gave it a nice kick!
The afternoon went much quicker than the morning. My hubby called to tell me that he was told at work that he will be going on afternoon shift to avoid being laid off. Now, afternoons really SUCKS but I'll certainly take it over the alternative! He'll be working 3-11pm so I've be taking over all night duties. The only thing I'm trying to figure out is how I can still get to Pilates for 5 on Monday's when DD has to be at dance for that time....and what to do with DS while we're at our classes? I'm gonna have to put my thinking cap on. On the positive side, he will be home to take the kids to school every morning which will save me some time.

Speaking of "duties", tonight was hockey/swim night for DS so DD and I had dinner on our own. I made chicken tortellini soup for the fam. Mine had no tortellini, but I kept the little noodles that were in there and I added some peas and sweet potato to my bowl. On the side I had a WW bagel with a smear of butter, roasted asparagus and some sweet potato fries. The fam also ate tempura fish sticks.

No sweet end for me tonight....this meal made me pretty full. I do have a snack ready for munching on while I watch The Biggest Loser later on, though...
Strawberries and a pear. Looks pretty tasty, doesn't it??

I feel like today was a long day now that I'm sitting here cozy at home. I'm looking forward to watching some tube and then hitting the sack! On the bright side, tomorrow is hump day and one day closer to Friday! YIPEE! Well, sweet dreams to all...I'm turning this baby off for the night!!

Bye for now!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Home for the Day!

Oh, it was SO nice to have been off work today! I got up at 7 and followed my normal getting ready for work routine because DS had hockey camp from 8:30-4:30 across town that I had to get him to. I also started off the morning with my much missed oats!
-1 cup water
-1/3 cup Quaker oats
-1/2 banana, 2 strawberries, handful cranberries all mashed up
-sprinkle of Nature’s path pumpkin granola
YUM! I loved all the fruit in this meal! I set a goal for myself this week to try to squeeze as much fruits and veggies into each meal as I can. This was a good start!

After DS was safe and sound at the rink, DD and I headed over to Walmart to get ourselves some rain boots. Hers were too small and I missed the boat last year and regretted not buying any!
Aren’t they the cutest??? I walked out of there with minimal damage to my wallet, too! The only other things I bought were Dino Egg porridge for the kids as the grocery store was out last week and a bag of frozen blueberries. Pretty good for me!!

The 2 of us spent the morning playing Big Brain on the Wii. I really need to practice at this because she kicked my butt at almost every challenge! I ate many a medjool date in the process….probably 5? I’m gonna have to hide them because I can’t stay away!!

We had eggs, toast and salad for lunch. DD’s were easy over with 2 pieces of WW toast and a Caesar salad, mine was egg whites on WW toast with jalapeno hummus and another huge salad like last night only this one had leftover steamed veggies on it instead of fruit.
Spectacular! In hindsight, I should’ve taken a photo of DD’s plate, as well. It was pretty impressive, too! ;) After lunch I put ingredients in the bread machine for pizza dough then we hit up the mall. There wasn’t really too much happening there, but it was nice to walk around for a few hours! Before we left we stopped in at Starbucks where I got a grande NF Vanilla Rooibos tea latte.
DD noticed that they had their small size V-day tumblers on sale for $6.00 so she decided to use the $10.00 that she brought with her to buy one. She then proceeded to get a complimentary hot chocolate along with a double chocolate chip cookie. She was very proud of herself for that buy!! ;)

Before I left for Pilate's, I ate the other half of my Clif Bar from Saturday....
Then I prepared the pizza's for the oven. All my hubby had to do was pop them in when he returned from picking DS up. Here's mine before it got all toasty....
This was 4oz of dough, red, orange and yellow bell pepper, green and black olives and hot peppers all topped off with 2oz of a mix of orange cheddar and smoked cheddar. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that I ate the whole thing! It all started with these 3 pieces...
Then I realized how hungry I actually was and downed the rest! No sweet end, though!! I do have about a cup of mango waiting for me should the need for a snack arise later on!

I totally multi tasked while making the pizza and prepared lunches for tomorrow, too. I washed all the sheets today so I still have beds to make and as I type, DD is in the tub with DS in line behind her. I plan on getting those 2 off to bed a little earlier tonight because they both have colds and haven't been sleeping well. Then I plan on finishing up my book! I'll catch you all tomorrow!!

Bye for now!!