Kale Chips, homemade chicken nuggets, Veganomicon

Hey! How’s your Monday? It’s been a beautiful day here in Rhode Island. It’s starting to finally feel like summer, and I have no reason to complain about the weather.

I want to start by sharing some foods that I’ve had recently and haven’t got bored or sick of yet.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS

Today, I had an amazing workout at the gym. I ran intervals on the treadmill and was *literally* dripping sweat (sorry if TMI). I also went on the elliptical afterwards, and as I was watching TV (’cause I really can’t look anywhere else lol ) , I saw a commercial for a fast food restaurant’s chicken nuggets and I really started to crave some! So, I decided to  make my own instead of going out and getting some fatty, deep-fried ones.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS

  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs (can also use other substitutes such as oat bran, etc)
  • 1/4 cup of egg whites
  • salt, pepper, onion powder, spices to taste
With a knife or kitchen shears, cut the breast into smaller pieces about 1″ –  1 .5″ long x 1.5″ wide (bigger or smaller if you prefer). mix the salt & pepper and other spices with the bread crumbs. Dredge the pieces of chicken by placing in the egg whites and then into the bread crumbs. Place each chicken piece in a frying pan and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes (or until chicken is completely white) on each side on medium high heat.
Voila. My apologies for picture quality. These were taken with my Android. Eaten with some spicy brown mustard. Next time, I think I’m going to try some wasabi sauce!

 

KALE CHIPS!

Saturday after the 5K, I went to the store and picked up some fresh kale. It was on sale for $.79 a lb, and I picked up a bunch and it ended up costing me around $1.78! Not too bad! With the kale, I’ve been baking up some kale chips. If you’re unfamiliar with kale chips, they are a nutritious substitution to potato chips due to the fact that they contain lots of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals that help prevent cancer. They are extremely easy to make and delicious, and I obtained a great recipe from here . I usually take them out after 12 minutes and they are absolutely perfectly crunchy and not overcooked 🙂

These are the chips before going in the oven. I topped them with some extra virgin olive oil, onion powder, NuSalt, pepper, and some curry powder for more of a smokey flavor.

Here they are baking away in the oven.

Finito. The yellowish stuff on the plate is actually spicy brown mustard from the chicken nuggets I made.

VEGANOMICON

A friend lent me the cook book VEGANOMICON this evening. It contains many gluten-free, low-fat, vegan recipes ranging from salads to soups to desserts. I was looking throw the book and I came across SO MANY that I want to try! I will let you know what I decide to make when I take the time to sit down and pick one. Right now, it is REALLY hard because everything looks delicious!

Here I am with VEGANOMICON!

Well, that’s about it. I am off for the night to relax and possibly watch ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT with my boyfriend. Oh, and of course,  search through the book to find something delicious to make and post about 😉

Have a great night!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE COOK BOOK?

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5K, Gazelle, Intervals, & New foods!

Hola amigos, how’s your Sunday going? Mine’s pretty good so far 🙂

I had an overall good weekend that I’d like to share. Yesterday, I ran my first 5K! It was intense but I LOVED IT.
It was at Colt State Park in Bristol, and it was to raise money so that others wouldn’t go hungry — a great cause! $10 bought 100 lbs of food, and registration was $30 so I alone bought 300 lbs of food for needy and hungry families! It was such a great feeling to participate in something that not only made me feel good, but also made others feel good, also.

The water I bought for the 5K. It’s over 50 fl oz!

Can you believe I drank it all before/during/after the race? I LOVE water!

It was such a beautiful day for a race yesterday. We were really lucky we didn’t get the thunderstorms that were predicted.

 

Here I am ready to get my 5K on!

 

The race began near the beach, looped around by the water, and continued through the park. I finished in 41 minutes. Not first, nor last, but I was SO proud of myself, and for my first 5K, that was EXCELLENT TIMING!

After the race, I grabbed an apple, and they were also giving away this…

They had regular baked chips, white cheddar popped crisps, and these — kettle corn crisps! Trust me, they were delicious (sadly, not entirely sugar-free), but they hit the spot!

 

EXERCISE

Last week, a friend of my boyfriend and I gave us a Gazelle for free! Since then, my boyfriend has been using it religiously in the mornings. Oddly enough, the Gazelle was the way my brother lost all of his weight. I hopped on it the other day and worked out on it only to pull a muscle in my left calf!  Luckily, it did not interfere with the 5K, and I am feeling much better! I love going to the gym, so I personally wouldn’t use the Gazelle in place of it; but it sure is a nice alternative!

I’ve been looking into more interval exercises to do. I downloaded a HIIT and Tabata timer to my Android. I do best with interval exercises because:

  • they are effective in a short amount of time
  • I don’t feel like I’m exercising
  • they work out many groups of muscles at one
I’ve been searching the internet for some great  HIIT and Tabata exercises, many of which include push-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, high knees, and floor jacks. I am hoping to try these out and let you know how they go!

FOODS

I’ve been trying my best to eliminate sugar from my diet after a fall-back. I was at the store the other day when I spotted some unsweetened coconut. As I inspected the package, I saw a recipe for some chocolate macaroons and then my mind got creative.

I followed the recipe as given. However, these were  my substitutions:

  • instead of using chocolate chips, I bought some Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and used that instead. I used between 4-6 oz.
  • I used 1/2 cup of Stevia in the Raw baking stevia instead of the sugar
  • I added 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, as well
(taken from Bob’s Red Mill package) You will need:
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 6-ounce package (3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled.

Preheat oven to 325’F. Beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff. Add sugar (or stevia), slowly beating until egg whites stand in peaks. Add flavoring. Fold in coconut. Add melted chocolate and stir until well mixed. Drop my teaspoonfuls on parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake for 15 min. Cool slightly and remove from paper with spatula.

Mmm melted chocolate.
This is the coconut mixture with the stevia, egg whites, salt, and flavorings. I folded the chocolate into it after it was cooled.
The macaroons looked like this upon baking!
The verdict?
They were not bad! I think next time, I will add some more stevia and use less chocolate. The flavor wasn’t exactly too bad, though. It was EXTREMELY chocolatey, but not sweet chocolately. Next time, I may try a different method of chocolate. I think perhaps cocoa powder? I love the way my black bean brownies come out when I use the powder 🙂
But, on the plus side, it’s curbed my chocolate craving for the week and I still love the taste!
Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Food Buys, Good Buys

Hey everyone 🙂 How’s your Monday going? Mine’s going pretty well! I am actually in a great mood because I went grocery shopping at a new store and bought a lot of food at a fraction of what I usually spend!

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Price Rite, but that’s where I went today. Usually, I go to Shaw’s or Stop & Shop (living in New England, these are the stores available in our area). I actually have a Shaw’s that’s *literally* a two minute drive from my apartment, and that’s where I usually buy my food. Because I work part-time now, I really have to watch my spending. I was trying to think of ways in which to do so, and then remembering that Price Rite was fair in their pricing. I hadn’t been there since September 2009, so going back was interesting.

What my boyfriend and I do is split our groceries down the middle. I get what I need, and if he’s not with me, pick up what he needs and he reimburses me for it. Because he’s working today, I ended up getting his favorite meals. I noticed that I was saving between 1-3 dollars an item, and even as much as $.50 on some items. I spent $60, but I got A LOT of food. Plus, with Massachusetts taxes, the price was even cheaper! So, in all, it was a win/win. Some of what I ended up getting (NOTE: not all of it was for me. Can you guess what I bought for myself and what I bought for my boyfriend?)

  • 4 boxes of Velveeta Shells $1.99/ each (usually around $3 in other stores)
  • 4 Chobani Plain Greek Yogurts $.99/ each (usually $1.29)
  • 1 package of Chips Ahoy! Chewy cookies $1.99 (usually around as much as $3 in other stores)
  • Buffalo Chicken Anytizers $1.99
  • 1 gallon 1% milk $2.99 (I was paying around $3.59 – $3.69 in other stores)
  • 2 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal $2.99 each
  • 3 packages of alfredo and noodles $.79 each
  • 1 wheel of Weight Watchers Swiss Cheese wedges $1.99 (usually around or more than $3.00 in other stores)

So, overall not too bad. I was really happy about my purchases, and next time I’ll remember to bring my reusable bags. I forgot today, and made for a sad shopper! But, the ladies at the checkout were very helpful in giving me information on what to expect shopping there (I told them it was my second time there).  You can purchase bags there, too, for $.10 each. I got 4.

Well, I am off. I have to shower and get ready for tonight’s plans. Adios!

WHERE DO YOU USUALLY FIND FOOD BARGAINS?

fruits of summer & news

Hey all, how is your Sunday so far? Mine is pretty lax. I’m currently getting my laundry done and surfing the net and watching some movies. Pretty much a do-nothing day.

So I have a few pieces of exciting news. First is that this Saturday, I am participating in my first 5K! Never in my wildest dream have I imagined that I would want to or even have the capability to do it. If you asked me to do a 5K two years ago, I would’ve laughed and told you that you were crazy. It’s amazing how much you can change over a couple of years span. Anyway, in case you’re curious, I really haven’t done any “training” for the race… I’ve just been doing some intervals on the treadmill — running and then walking patterns. I don’t mind doing them all that much, to be honest. I’m really used to them, so the thought of running for a minute on the treadmill doesn’t freak me out that much. The most I’ve ever run without stopping was 10 min. Yeah, it may not seem like all that long, but it’s A LOT better than what I used to be capable of. I’ve also done 30 min on the treadmill, but I stopped plenty to catch my breath and get some water. Running seems really hard right now, but I know that if I keep at it, I will get better at it.

The second piece of news is that I have a job interview on Thursday! I’ve been out of work for about a month now (which has been one of the things behind my stress eating), but I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I get the position! Working part-time right now has helped, but at the same time, it’s not enough. I need to be able to pay rent, bills, groceries, and all that fun stuff. Knowing that you’re financially stable really has an affect on how you feel about yourself, whether or not you know it. I know that my uncertainty has really turned my attitude towards things in a negative way — even the way I eat. I realized that although you’re told to look at the glass half full, it’s easier said than done. My outlet (other than eating) when I get stressed is working out. I now get pumped full of adrenaline that the only thing I want to think about is releasing that adrenaline by moving somehow. I usually do kickboxing or something with strength training.

Food-wise, things have turned around. I’ve been getting more and more into the fruits of summer. I love strawberries, blueberries, and pretty much any other kind of berry. I put them in almost anything! This morning, I made oatmeal with 3/4c of almond milk, 1/4c of water, and 1/2c of oats. I also added 2 packets of stevia, some cinnamon, and at the end added a small scoop of peanut butter. I don’t know what it is, but I love that combination of nut butter and oats. I crave it sometimes! Anyway, breakfast was delicious. I miss making oats because it takes a little while longer on the stove (we don’t have a microwave). But, in the end, it’s still great and satisfying.

I also love making smoothies and shakes with berries. I’ve been making berry parfaits lately, too.

Berry Parfait

1/2 cup of Plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup of frozen berries

1/4 cup of fresh berries

1-2 packets of stevia

*1/4 cup of almonds (optional, and can also use walnuts)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

blend yogurt vanilla extract, stevia, and berries until smooth. Place in container and freeze for approximately 30 min. Top with nuts.

So delicious and refreshing!

That’s about all that’s going on with me. I can’t wait to hit the gym tomorrow and begin the week on a positive foot.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

HAVE YOU EVER PARTICIPATED IN A 5K BEFORE?

Quick update

Hello.

I first want to apologize for the lack of updating in these past weeks. I’ve been preoccupied and distracted since I stopped working full-time. You would think that would give me more time to update, but on the contrary, it hasn’t. I’ve spent day after day job searching, updating my resume, and writing cover letters for job prospectors to see.

I know this doesn’t really sound like a foodie update, but in a way it is. When something stressful occurs in my life, it throws some if not all of my weight loss progress off track. It’s formidable at times, but other times I get right back up and get through it. Knowing that I don’t have the financial stability I once had, I have been buying cheaper yet I’ve still been trying to eat healthily. It’s a constant struggle, but I’ve been trying to go to the gym and work out as much as I can to counterbalance my diet. Overall, I’ve been doing okay, but the stress sometimes gets the best of me and really hurts me more than helps me.

I know some of you can relate to this, which is why I bring it up. It’s so frustrating to lose yourself and lose what you’ve worked on when life throws you the unexpected. I am trying harder than ever to get back on track and if you’re in fact going through this, I encourage you to do the same.

I’ll update more later (with a more positive update, I promise!) , but in case you’re reading, this is what has been going on in my life.