|February 19, 2013|
I was really craving an egg salad sandwich this weekend. Egg salad used to be a staple in my lunchbox. But I am definitely the type that wants is super creamy (aka covered in mayo). I also am not the type to sit there and stomach fat free mayo. Seriously? If you don’t like it, why eat it at all.
So back to this weekend. I decided to try a few things and see where it took me. Firstly, if you try to limit the mayo to only a teaspoon or so, it’s kinda dry. Does not satisfy a craving for egg salad what-so-ever. Secondly, never swap the mayo for cottage cheese. It’s kinda gross and lumpy (unless you’re really into cottage cheese then I guess you could try it). Thirdly, if all you used to add to your egg salad was mayo and S&P, then you will also learn that after swapping the mayo for a healthier alternative, you will need to add a little more than plain salt and pepper.
Finally, I was able to satisfy my craving and I am IN LOVE with my recipe (not to be tooting my own horn). I used Greek yogurt! The texture is thinner than the fatty-mayo version, so if you’re packing it for lunch, you might want to put it in a Tupperware and assemble your sandwich when your ready to eat to prevent the bread from getting soggy. But it’s really good. My boyfriend was skeptical (he’s not a healthy nutty like me), but even he liked it!
Healthy Egg Salad Sandwich
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 1/2 tbs plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbs chopped celery (about a 1/4 of a stock)
- 1/2 tsp chives
- 1/4 tsp (a pinch) of salt and pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 slices, bread of your choice (I used whole grain wheat bread)
Mash the hard boiled eggs in a bowl using a fork. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and spread it on your bread. Easy peasy 🙂
(Next time I’m gonna try toasting the bread and see how that comes out.)
|February 7, 2013|
Ok, many of you have been asking about the perfected smoothie recipe I included on my 2012 recap photo, so here it is! I LOVE this recipe. Bananas are always in the house because I can’t seem to get enough of them.
Bananas are also great if you’re craving something sweet. Only 110 calories each and has about 3 grams of fiber helping you feel full. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, and possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Combine these two ingredients with a little extra whey protein and you got a power smoothie in your hands!
Cinnamon Banana Smoothie
- 2 spotted bananas
- 1/2 cup ice
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Add all the ingredients into the blender and blend till smooth. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon on top or some chia if you like. For an extra vanilla punch, add the optional 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. When I’m running out the door I usually don’t add it but when I have the time, it really does add some extra vanilla flavor which compliments the drink.
Tip: For thicker smoothies, freeze the fruit and skip the ice. This works with any smoothie recipe. Just be sure that your blender can handle the frozen fruits. Strawberries and a few other fruits are very tough when they’re frozen and could send your blender to it’s death bed if it’s not build for high intensity blending.
|January 29, 2013|
I’m a HUGE True Food Kitchen fan: food made with purpose and with intent that goes beyond flavor. Food that’s rich in nutrients and good for you. A good friend of mine that introduced me to this restaurant invited me to go hear Dr. Andrew Weil (the founder of the restaurant) speak. WHAT? How could I turn that down? Plus, he would be available to sign my copy of his cookbook after the show. Bonus points!
He spoke about so many things at this lecture I don’t even know where to start. It’s almost hard to pick and choose what to write about in this post. So I am going to pin point what had the biggest impact on me or what I personally found most interesting (and of course I will share the secret to his Kale Salad recipe).
Not only is Dr. Weil responsible for True Food Kitchen, he also has written numerous books about health and happiness. Many people in today’s society see happiness as being associated with luck or wealth. He believes “contentment is integral fulfillment.” What I took from this was not that we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves and reach for our goals, but to be able to stop and look our own life and say, “I am happy.” Sure, there are a lot of things I want to do and accomplish that I haven’t done yet, but it doesn’t mean I’m not content. Ultimately, being happy and content with your present state will only help you live a better life physically and mentally helping you to achieve those future goals.
During his seminar, he gave us a breathing technique to help with anxiety and stress. I tried it and it really does have a calming effect. It’s recommended to do no more than 4 sets of the exercise in one sitting.
- Place your feet flat on the floor. Back straight. Your tongue should be touching the roof of your mouth.
- Breath in through the nose for 4 seconds
- Hold for 7 seconds
- Breath out through the mouth (forcefully) for 8 seconds
And finally, I know this last part is random but I can’t help but to point this out. Leaving the lecture, one thing I found funny was the amount of people taking the elevator. After listening to an hour or two of Dr. Weil talk about being healthy and eating and exercising and all this good stuff, you would think that there would be an influx of people opting for the stairs…nope. I know our seats were more than a few flights up the stairs but seriously, such an inspiring speech I would think would make more people consider stairs as an option. Especially because going down is always easier than the climb up.
True Food Kitchen’s Kale Salad (with a few modifications)
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pinch of red pepper chili flakes
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- free range organic eggs (optional)
To prepare the kale, wash very thoroughly in cold water. Seriously, wash it good: One time I got kale from a farmer’s market and you know it was freshly picked when there were these little green bugs in there. Completely safe but still, you don’t want to eat those. Then slice the kale along the stem. The stems can be tough to eat so when eating raw kale, it’s normal to omit the stems from the recipe. Slice the leaves in smaller bites to your preference.
In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and chili flakes. Add the kale and toss until evenly coated. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10 – 30 minutes. (That’s right! This is the secret. There’s something about the lemon and salt combo that pulls some of the bitterness out of kale according to Dr. Weil.) Then add the grated cheese and toss again. Serve into individual bowls. True Food Kitchen’s recipe calls for 1 tbs of toasted whole wheat bread crumbs which they tossed in with the cheese. I omitted this to be gluten-free friendly and I also try to avoid extra carbs when they can easily be excluded.
Pan fry an egg using some of the leftover salad dressing. I did mine sunny-side-up but you can prepare yours how you choose. Then slide it out of the pan onto your salad. The egg is something I added to the recipe, not served at True Food Kitchen. I personally like salads as a meal and thought it needed some additional protein (and eggs are my favorite). I am sure hard boiled eggs wouldn’t be half bad either if you are taking this as a packed lunch.
1. Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and very low in fat. One cup of kale has only 34 calories, 5% of your daily fiber and 0.5 grams of fat.
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of anemia, common in the vegan and vegetarian communities.
3. Kale is filled with Vitamin K and other antioxidants. Vitamin K and antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
4. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Adding more kale to your diet can help lower cholesterol levels.
5. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk.
|November 19, 2012|
Check that off my bucket list! I completed the Disneyland Half Marathon in September and wanted to relay some things I wish I knew before running. Words of advice and encouragement that you can use if you decide to run a half. (Ok, I know it’s been a while since I ran, but it took a while to get the photos I ordered and I wanted to get some good recipes up first.)
Firstly, let me tell you a little about my experience. I registered for the half marathon in January of 2012, a whole nine months before the actual run was to take place. I registered because I was having one of those moments. We have all experienced them. I was on Pinterest and pinning away – all these motivational quotes and healthy recipes and I was really in the mood to take a leap and really turn up the heat on my healthy lifestyle. I saw all those photos and I just wanted to get up and work out and eat healthy. That’s what Pinterest is for, right?
So I registered for the half marathon. Well precious training time went by and nothing happened. I continued my regular routine: gym 3xs a week, mostly healthy eating, 8hrs of sleep. But I never really started actually running. In late June, my gym trainer convinced everyone to do a 5k. I ran it with no prep but I fell in love! I loved being among other people that liked running (because I hated running). Feeling accomplished, I decided to start training for my half marathon. Too bad I still didn’t like running so I failed. I could not run more than a mile on my own without getting bored and walking back home.
I ran a few more 5ks before the Disneyland Half Marathon. I figured it might be enough. After all, a half marathon is only 4x the distance as a 5k. That meant I was 25% there! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Day of, I woke up at 3am (more like 3:15, hello snooze!) and drove over to Disneyland. I thought I was all set with my favorite workout shirt, my iphone to keep time and for music if I needed it. Wasn’t feeling nervous at all.
The first 5 miles or so was all fun and games because we ran through the park and I was totally pumped with all that Disney music feeding my inner Disney Fanatic. At one point, I realized I had so much adrenaline that my legs were numb. I was having a blast! It was after we left Disneyland when the fun started to fade.
Up until that point, I had no doubt I would make it. But at the 6th mile marker, I was thinking I might want to take a break. BIG MISTAKE! I am not a walk jogger by any means. Stopping to walk, for me, makes it so much harder to get back and run. I never walked in any of my 5ks (not even my first one). MIND OVER MATTER! But I stopped. I stretched. Then kept running. About a mile later, I stopped again… and so on. My goal was to run that last 5k so around the 9th mile I was all set to start running again. But the muscles in my legs were spasing and going crazy. I ended up only being able to run that last mile instead of 5k.
But I finished, and that is the most important part! I did it! My time was 3:33:45. (Ignore the time on the photos. That’s the time for corral A, and I was in E.) With little training and no experience, mission accomplished. Besides more training, here are a few things I wish I had known I needed for the half I thought I would share with you:
- Running Belt – I saw this Spibelt at the RunDisney Health Expo but I didn’t think I needed it, especially for the price. But now I wished I had gotten one. They expand to hold however much stuff you need to carry. Great for holding your snacks, phone and travel vaseline. And I would have preferred this for my phone over my arm band because I ended up not needing my music and my arm band just became an annoyance. There are so many options/brands, so get one that suits your needs.
- Vaseline – This is a MUST! There are also brands like BodyGlide made specifically for runners that I hear do a better job than vaseline. But there are also a lot of runners that tell me Vaseline does the job just fine. Your call. Rub some in between your legs, under your arms (where your arms rub against your shirt) and if you’re a guy you might want to put some on your chest. It keeps the chaffing at bay. I would also suggest carrying a small bottle with you just incase you need to reapply. Take it from me, I was in some serious pain!
- Lara Bars – Half way through I was craving Lara Bars. Pick whatever snack you choose, but have it on hand for when those cravings hit.
- Good Shoes – Hopefully you train more than I did so you are able to recognize how bad of shape your shoes are in before you run. I didn’t, and by the end my feet were killing me. Wear good shoes. End of story.
- Sweat Band – I saw the HALO head band at the expo and thought I’d try it. I sweat a lot and would get sweat in my eyes (ouch) during 5ks. So I could only imagine what it was going to be like doing a half. So I splurged and got one. It has a Sweat Block Seal that is basically like a rubber sweat catcher that makes it so your sweat falls on the side of your face versus into your eyes. It worked like a charm! I highly recommend this.
- KTape – Also known as kinesiology tape. At about the 7th mile, my muscles were throbbing and cramping and there was nothing I could do. In my attempt to stretch, another runner suggested next time I use my KTape. Well if I had KTape and knew what it was, I would have used it. Basically it’s a fitness tape that gives a little extra support to the applied muscle. Some tape brands are pre-cut to give you the right shape for the right area and some provide a how-to for each muscle location on the body. I haven’t tried it yet but I will give it a go next time I do a long distance run and let you know. It’s best to get to know your body during training so that you know where you need to apply the KTape. Most commonly, KTape is applied to support the knees.
**This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by RunDisney or any of the companies mentioned. All content is of my own opinion.
|November 5, 2012|
While it may not seem like fall in SoCal these days (it was 100 degrees today), it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the wonderful flavors of autumn. My favorite fall flavor, hands-down, is CINNAMON! I have been adding it to everything. And it adds flavor without extra calories. Just wait for all my cinnamon recipes coming up! I’m so excited to share.
But my recipe below does have added sugar, so if you’re watching your sugar intake, as we all should be doing, just take note of the amount of sugar. And I guess you could always not add the sugar and it will still taste pretty good, but I personally like the added sweet. What harm is a dessert every here and there? Maybe you should try replacing the pie at Thanksgiving with this! I promise it’s healthier than most pies out there.
Banana Sweet Potato Souffle
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 overripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- optional: 1/2 tbsp ground flax (it’s good for you!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake for 50 minutes or until tender. Place sliced (peeled) bananas and baked sweet potatoes (with the skin, we all know that’s where all the nutrients are) in a food processor until the mixture is somewhat smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients starting with the eggs and working your way down the ingredient list until all have been added.
Spray your ramekins (or bowls or mugs, whatever you choose) with non-stick cooking spray. Fill your ramekins 80% of the way. They will rise a little but not like a cake would. Bake 35 minutes or so until bake is heated all the way through and the top of the souffles have a golden color to them (like my picture). Let cool and serve.
Tastes great with ice cream, but that defeats the purpose of it being a healthier dessert 😉
**You might need to cook your’s more or less depending on the size of your containers. This recipe filled 4 of my bowls and 40 minutes seem to do the trick. If this recipe fills 6 of your ramekins, then you might need to decrease your baking time.
|October 29, 2012|
You might not want to ditch your go-to drink of choice and I don’t blame you. We all have our favorites. But why not goul them up for Halloween?
Some of the healthier drink options at any bar or house party can be plain and very un-festive. The best choice of alcohol when it comes to calories is generally vodka and the best mixer is always soda water. When I go out and I want to drink on the healthier side, I usually pick a vodka soda with a splash of cranberry and a lime wedge. (And yes, I have gone to fun themed bars with all these great drinks and the bartenders have said my drink of choice is boring.)
Anyways, with these cocktail garnishes I made any drink can be festive. Put them in a vodka soda or martini as is. Or if you wanted to put it in a fruity drink or something that may not mix well with the olive, freeze them with water in the ice cube tray. Just finish your drink before the ice cube melts. These also look GREAT in red sangria. A perfect Halloween drink idea for a crowd.
Halloween Cocktail Eyeballs
- Manzanilla Olives
- Paring Knife
- Extra Small Melon Scooper or Equivalent
- Optional: Ice Cube Tray
After washing your radishes, use your paring knife to slice the stem off. Carefully (very) use the blade to scrape the red off the radish. (Word to the wise, always scrape away from your body. You have less a chance to slice your thumbs.) It’s ok to leave some of the red still showing. It gives it a veiny look.
Use your melon scooper to make a hole the size of the olive in the radish. The hole should be at the opposite pole to the string of the root. If you don’t have a small enough melon scooper (like myself), improvise. I used the tip of my potato peeler because it was the perfect shape to scoop and had a semi pointy end to break into the radish. You can also use a paring knife here but it will be a lot harder to get a scoop versus a cut.
Then slice an olive in half and insert the rounded end into the hole you made in the radish. Adjust the size of the hole in the radish until it’s a snug fit.
Tip: If you are having trouble with your olive staying in the radish, use a toothpick to hold it in place. It actually adds a different creepy look. Insert the toothpick so the stick is perpendicular to the “line of vision” to the eye or through the side and out the other side. Meaning, if you are looking at the eyeball straight in the eye, you should see the stick on a plain and not pointing at you. Just be sure you get the stick in both the radish and the olive. Otherwise it won’t do it’s job holding the eyeball together.
Optional: Place one eyeball each in the sections of an ice cube tray. Fill water to the top of the tray. Freeze. Now you can use your eyeball in any drink with out worry that the flavors of the radish and olive will clash.
|October 20, 2012|
Halloween is approaching fast! I still don’t have a costume but this Halloween inspired martini might help bring the creative ‘juices’ out.
The biggest thing to remember with cocktails are the hidden calories and fat in every sip. So I’ve devised a few healthier drink recipes that will meet your needs to party while minimizing the excess calories from syrups and other dangerous things.
My Sludge Monster Martini has that spike that makes it party (and monster) worthy. Now what makes my cocktail ‘healthy’? Well without the alcohol, it’s basically a juice cleanse assuming the pineapple juice you choose to use doesn’t have added sugars. I think it’s safe to say alcohol isn’t healthy. That’s why this is ‘healthy.’
The Sludge Monster Martini
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach
- 1/2 red delicious apple
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 shot triple sec
- 1/2 shot vodka
In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients except the alcohol. I had to use a food processor because my blender wouldn’t puree such a small amount of ingredients. After everything is liquified, pour the green mixture and alcohol into a shaker over ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass to serve.
**You can also make the green juice ahead of time in a large batch. Multiply the ingredients by the number of drinks you’d like to make. Just keep in the fridge and be sure to shake (or stir) the green juice before adding the alcohol to make the martinis. The pulp tends to settle at the bottom if you let it sit for too long.