Lazy Sunday

After a week of eating fabulously sinful (and delightfully tasty) Thanksgiving foods, I decided to get back on track today.  I made up a batch of turkey taco meat and tomatoes. I serve the meat with reduced fat cheddar cheese, salsa, and Hearts of Romaine.

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Mrs. Dash has the best taco seasoning; it’s salt-free too!

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Last weekend was insane and I didn’t get much meal prep done.  I’m normally very good at prepping and eating only what I make.  This saves me a lot of money and calories.  I actually prefer home-made foods over eating out.  Making it to the gym this week has been a struggle too!  I have been squeezing in short home workouts when I can, but there is always tomorrow 🙂

My weekend:

Private Gala in Detroit

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Ring Girls for the Fights in Macomb

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I spent today relaxing with this little guy:

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Cinnamon Sugar Oat Muffins

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I love this recipe!!  I make it at least twice a week because these muffins make for a perfect breakfast.  I use Greek yogurt and unsweetened apple sauce in place of butter or oil.  You could use all applesauce and no Greek yogurt, but I have found they do not come out as moist.  The use of apple sauce does not leave these with an apple taste.  I make my own oat flour by blending oats in my Ninja.  You could buy oat flour, but it is much more expensive!   There are a lot of variations you could do with the recipe based on your preferences.

Cinnamon Sugar Oat Muffins

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups oat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup white sugar (organic)
3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Topping:
1 cup melted smart balance spread
1/2 cup white sugar (organic)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (organic)
2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees °F and line 20-24 muffin tins with muffin liners (I prefer the aluminum ones).
  2. In one bowl whisk together oat flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together apple sauce, Greek yogurt, white sugar, coconut sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and almond milk.
  4. Add the bowl of liquid ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin tins ¾ of the way full.
  6. Bake until muffin tops are a light brown and springy to the touch (21 to 23 minutes).
  7. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl for the topping. Melted smart balance spread should be in a separate bowl.  Once the muffins are done, dip muffins in melted butter, and then roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.

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Enjoy!!

*This was adapted from a recipe found on http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/

Meatless Monday Recipe (Only uses one pot and takes 20 minutes!)

I started my week of with a meat-less one pot dish that used up leftover vegetables I had in the fridge.  This was super easy to make and it turned out fabulous!  You could use whatever vegetables you have around or even add meat to this. One pot dishes are easily changed and easry to make.

One Pot Pasta

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16 oz. box of spaghetti or linguine pasta, broken in half (I used whole wheat)

1 large green bell pepper, cut into ¾” pieces

3-4 small Roma Tomatoes cut into pieces

½ of a medium onion, chopped

1 can great northern beans

1 teaspoon parsley

1 table-spoon basil (from a squeeze tube)

1 tablespoon garlic (from a squeeze tube)

I packet of dry Italian dressing mix

1 teaspoon corn starch

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

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Add the pasta to a large stock pot first. Then add the remaining ingredients, cover. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook covered for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Remove the lid and let set for a few minutes before serving.

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This is the secret ingredient that give’s it all of the flavor:

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Michigan has had cold and rainy weather the past few days.  I ran 8 miles at a moderate pace before it started raining.  60 degrees is perfect running weather; I wish it would stay like that all the time!

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Later in the week (once I finally go grocery shopping) I am making healthy doughnut muffins!

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New Recipes!!

I haven’t written a post in a few months (sorry!).  I got busy with summer classes and working way too much (promotions and on my house).

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Since my last post I completed 3 summer classes: Organic Chemistry, Food and Cultures, and Lifetime Health.  I sprained my ankle and was out of running for 8 whole weeks!  Now I am back at it and training for a half marathon. I also filmed a commercial in July and another one will be filmed tomorrow!

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In the meantime, I have been collecting and perfecting healthy and delicious recipes for YOU!! The first one, Redskin Pickle Potato Mash, swhich ounds a little strange.  After testing it out, I am in love!  The second recipe I have is a Mexi- Macaroni casserole.  I have already eaten 3 bowls of each 🙂

Redskin Pickle Potato Mash

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1.5 pounds small redskin potatoes
½ cup dill pickle juice
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
½ cup finely chopped dill pickles
*Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Scrub all dirt off of the potatoes
  2. Boil potatoes with skins on them until tender.
  3. Cool potatoes and cut into ¾” pieces
  4. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash until you have a slightly creamy texture that still have some “lumps”.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

I made-up the Mexi- Macaroni casserole last night and I love it!  This recipe is very in expensive to make; I found most of my ingredients on-sale.  This casserole would make 8-10 servings.  The price per serving is about $1.66-$1.33 depending on how large your portions are.  I also use all organic ingredients.  If you used items that were not organic, your cost would be much lower as well.

Mexi-Macaroni

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3 cups cooked macaroni pasta al dente
1 pounds extra lean ground turkey
2 cups salsa (I used one that was not chunky)
1 15oz can tomato sauce
½ small Finley chopped onion
1 bell pepper chopped into small pieces
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans
2 cups shredded 2% cheddar cheese

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 °F
  2. Cook pasta according to directions while you are browning the turkey meat.
  3. Chop onion and bell pepper while you wait for the noodles and turkey to be cooked.
  4. Mix pasta, ground turkey, salsa, tomato sauce, onion, bell pepper, corn, and beans together in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Transfer to a 13” x 9” glass baking dish and cover with tinfoil.
  6. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes, or union peppers and onions are soft.
  7. Uncover, top with cheese, and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.

*pretty much any type of noodle would work.

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Weekly Work-out
I am trying to train for a half marathon and get great definition for a few photo-shoots I have coming up.  This is what my work-out looks like from last week:
Monday- 5 mile run at a 7:33″ pace
Tuesday– ins and outs on the treadmill mile 1 was completed in 6:20″.  Then I did arm weights, weighted squats, and abs. I ran another mile of ins and outs and it was completed in 6:12″.
Wednesday– REST
Thursday– I ran 8 miles at a pace of 7:55/ mile.  It was very hot and my asthma was horrible this day!
Friday– REST
Saturday– easy 3 mile run
Sunday– 6 mile run

I am trying to mix up my distances and work-outs.  I am short on time lately so my long runs are incorporated only on the days I have time.

Next week I’ll be posting a recipe for healthier cinnamon nutmeg doughnut muffins!

Weekender Work-out and BBQ Chicken Potatoe Skins

St. Patrick’s Day was very busy for me, just as Friday. I ended up working 16 hours Friday evening, a few promotions Saturday and Sunday, then 10 hours Monday. Tuesday I glued my self to the couch, for the entire day. It felt AMAZING to sit; I never get to sit around like that (the cats were in heaven). Granted I was catching up on homework, paying bills, contacting agencies, making signage requests, witting approval letters, signing contracts, scheduling, and mapping out my course requirements for the next year and a half.   Then Wednesday and thursday both slipped away from me too.  I am now finally posting this Friday evening (LATE).   Team no days off. On a side note, my final proofs came back from a photo shoot I did for a spray tanning company!

Kahuna Bay Tanning

Kahuna Bay Tanning

Anyway, I didn’t go to the gym I did my workout’s at home this week/weekend and ran outside.

Weightly work out:
12 squats
12 lunges R Leg
12 lunges L Leg
15 R Leg Lifts (Rear)
15 L Leg Lifts (Rear)
10 squats holding weights
10 sumo squats holding weights
10 lunges R Leg (side)
10 Lunges L Leg (side)
15 R Leg Lifts
15 L Leg Lifts
*Repeat 3 times. Pair this work out with a 2-4 mile run and your booty will be whipped into shape in no time.

Vitacost is amazing for finding great deals on almost any healthy food.supplement. I order supplements here and there, pre-work out for the days I need an extra lift, and finding organic goods.  I received my order, standard shipping, only 3 days after ordering!  Now that is what I call excellent service.

Vitacost Treasures:

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http://www.Vitacost.com

I am currently addicted to these chicken potato skins, after having them at one of my accounts a few weeks ago.  Of course they were fried and greasy where I had them, so I made a healthier version.  No oil or butter here!

BBQ Chicken Potato Skins

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Ingredients:

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Grilled Chicken
Barbeque Sauce
Veggie Cheese or Skim Cheddar Cheese
Red Skin Potatoes

Bake potatoes on 375 for 30-45 minutes, or until done.
Cut the potatoes in half and Scoop out most of the in-sides.

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Fill in the halves with chicken, bbq sauce. and “cheese.”
Broil for 5 minutes.

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These are the definition of perfection.  I just love them.  I realize that barbeque sauce is high in sugar… oh well.  My husband does not like barbecue sauce, so I make him these sans sauce. If you want to dip them in something, plain Greek yogurt or Greek yogurt mixed with dry ranch dressing mix tastes awesome.

*I save the left over potatoe insides, mix them with non-fat plain greek yogurt, garlic powder, chives, and Mrs.Dash. I love pairing that with either grilled chicken or broiled salmon.

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

I decided to do a blog of some of this week’s meal prep.  I discovered it is pretty hard to make recipes for others to follow because I make 90% of my meals up in my head as I go.  That means I never measure or time anything (my husband finds this really annoying ha!).  I usually just go with it.  Most of my recipes are easy, with few ingredients and steps to follow.  I realize the Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Caps look a bit involved.  They are really easy; I promise!

Additional Note:  I DO NOT ADD SALT TO ANYTHING I MAKE.

 With all of my recipes, you will see either “a pinch of salt” or “salt and pepper to taste”, but that is really for your taste preference.  I have a low sodium diet naturally.  This began a couple years ago during the summer when I wanted to stop retaining water for pool days.  I cut out a lot of processed foods and stopped adding salt recipes.   After I stopped cold turkey, I don’t miss salty tastes.  Now, it is second nature to eat, mostly, sodium free.  I taste the flavors of foods and use a lot of seasons and spices rather than salt.  You get used to foods without adding salt; I promise!  Even my husband, who used to be a fast food junkie, doesn’t miss salt anymore.

Also, I do not add sugar to recipes either; most of the time.  I no longer have the extreme sweet tooth I once had.  However, if I feel like something needs a little extra sweetening I will use: honey, organic coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, or on occasion brown sugar.  You will never see me using artificial sweeteners, low-calorie sweeteners, refined white sugar, or anything else gross like that.

 

 Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Caps

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3-12 Ounce Packages of White Mushrooms.
¾ cup Spinach (fresh or frozen)
¾ cup Artichoke Hearts (I used frozen)
2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Beef/Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1/8 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Pinch of Salt
6 Ounce Whipped Cream Cheese (regular is fine too, but will be more difficult to incorporate)
½ Cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

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    1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees °F.  Wash and dry mushrooms, remove stems, and set stems aside for later use.  Bake mushroom caps on a baking sheet, rounded side up, for 10 minutes.

    2. While caps are baking, prepare spinach artichoke filling.  Finely chop some of the reserved mushroom stems, spinach, and artichoke hearts.  Sautee the chopped ingredients in broth (you could use olive oil here instead of broth).  Add garlic powder, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt to the items already sautéing.

    *I actually had to drain the released water off of my pan and mushroom caps.
    3. Remove sautéed mixture from stove top.
    4. Add whipped cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and parmesan cheese to semi-cooled sautéed mixture.  Combine all ingredients.
    5. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps.
    6. Broil stuffed caps on HIGH until the mixture is lightly browned (about 5-10 minutes).

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    Peanut Butter Jelly Overnight Oats

    2 tablespoons Pb2 powder
    1 tablespoon all natural jams or jellies
    1 cup Old fashioned oats
    ¾ – 1 cup Unsweetened almond milk

    Optional add-ins:
    1 teaspoon organic coconut Sugar
    1 teaspoon All natural Peanut butter
    Salt, if desired

    I put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake it until ingredients are mixed thoroughly.  Set in fridge overnight and enjoy the next morning.  I heat mine up for a few minutes.  This is an easy and thoughtless breakfast.

    Pizza Chicken

    4 chicken breasts (organic boneless skinless)
    Pizza or spaghetti sauce
    ¾ cup sliced Black olives
    1 large Green peppers, sliced thinly
    4 Thin Slices Mozzarella cheese

    Other toppings you could add: Turkey sausage, Feta Cheese, Turkey pepperoni, Red Onion, Pineapple, Ham, Sweet onion, turkey bacon, garlic, mushrooms, etc.

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    Bake chicken at 375 degrees °F for 15-20 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven and turn the chicken breasts over.  Add a spoonful of sauce to the chicken breast.  Then add olives, green pepper, and any other toppings on top of the sauce.  Next, cover the toppings with a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Broil chicken for 3-6 more minutes.

    I made up this Steak and mushrooms recipe last night and it turned out FABULOUS.  I am obsessed with the drippings sauce; I think it would taste incredible with mashed potatoes too!   Although, last night I served it with the Green Beans and Red Skins recipe.

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    Steak and mushrooms

    16 ounces Sliced white mushrooms
    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    1 teaspoon Garlic powder
    Nature seasons
    1 tablespoon Parsley
    1 teaspoon basil
    1 cup Beef broth
    1-1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 pound Cubed steak (bite size pieces)
    1 tablespoon Corn starch

     1. Sautee mushrooms in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes.  Then add in garlic powder, nature seasons, parsley, and basil.
    2. Add beef broth and worcestershire sauce to seasoned and sautéed mushrooms.
    3. Add steak chunks and simmer for 15 minutes, or until steak is thoroughly cooked.
    4. Mix corn starch with a little bit of cold water.  Then add to simmering pan of steak, mushrooms, and drippings.  Remove pan from heat and mix everything together thoroughly.  The drippings should now be thicker, almost like a gravy.

    Green bean red skins

    1 pound Green beans
    15 small Red skin potatoes or fingerlings
    3 Tablespoons Olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

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    Clean, chop, toss, cover, and bake (at 375 °F for an hour). That’s it!

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    ^^Post muddy run selfie 😉 I’m just glad it was warm for a few days!

    Over the weekend, Monday, and Tuesday there was gorgeous weather.  I took advantage of it and ran outside leisurely rather than on a treadmill.  I ran at a steady 8 minute pace for 5 miles each day.  Running outside is relaxing, to me, this is this time where I clear my mind.  I have missed outside runs with nice weather for a while now.  I prefer being outside rather than at a gym, but, of course the beautiful weather was short-lived and we got piles of snow yesterday.  Today is freezing, the roads suck, my photo shoot got cancelled (due to weather), and I still have to make business calls.

    At least the sun is out and I have coffee!

Weird Weekend

My weekends get very strange and unusual; I do the most random jobs.  This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Oscar preview night for a local casino as a Vegas style show girl.  Earlier in the weekend I conducted a wine sampling and trained a model on a cocktail in a can promotion.  

Working as a Vegas style show girl was slightly nerve-racking!  I was dressed in an outrageous costume that had: gold sequins, a bra style top, and a HEAVY feather-head piece.   This experience was one of a kind in a good and bad way.  Working as a show girl was extremely fun during, but after looking at pictures I was beginning to feel horrible about my body.  I normally do not feel that way about myself, but the pictures taken that evening made me feel so uncomfortable.  When I got home, I had my husband take swim wear photos of me for a model submission (totally unrelated).  After looking at the pictures he took of me I realized that different cameras, positioned at different angles, and different lighting can cause different results.    I am posting these two pictures to show how much of a difference all of these factors can play.

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Again, these pictures were taken the exact same night, within 4 hours of each other.  The picture on the left was taken on an empty stomach (I was running late and didn’t grab dinner) and right was after I got home, ate boneless wings, and potato casserole.  It is crazy how different these images look. This just goes to show things are not always as they appear.  Bye bye negative body thoughts.

On another note, I am slightly obsessed with all the fabulous deals I scored this weekend.  This whole outfit only cost about $100.00!  Wearing dress pants are a horrible and uncomfortable experience for me.  I have discovered these insanely comfortable dress pant leggings; LOVE THEM!!

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*My whole outfit came from Kohls.

Even though I had a jam-packed weekend that involved a lot of driving to and from events/accounts, I made sure I went to the gym.  Saturday I only had time for a quick cardio session.  Sunday I was able to do cardio and some weights.

Saturday

Moderate Running Schedule                                   Intermediate Running Schedule

Mile                             Speed                                      Mile                 Speed

0.0  – 0.5                       6.5                                           0.0 – 0.5          4.0

0.5 – 1.5                       8.0                                           0.5 – 1.5           5.5

1.5-2.5                         9.0                                           1.5 – 2.5           6.5

2.5-3.0                         8.0                                           2.5 – 3.0           5.5

Sunday

25 Squats while holding 2-10 pound weights

4 mile run, speed 8 the whole time

25 squats

10 lunges Right leg

10 lunges Left leg

3 reps of 10 crunches on an incline bench

2 set of 15 leg lifts on each side (4 sets total)

Normally, I meal prep on the weekends; my new schedule doesn’t allow it to happen until mid-week.  I absolutely love meal prep day more than most!  I have some clean recipes that I will post next post.

Meal Prep:

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

Peanut Butter Jelly Overnight Oats

Pizza Chicken

P.s. I have to share this picture because I am so excited for the rest of the proofs to come back…

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Kahuna Bay spray tan ad photographed by GSIPhotography