Posts Tagged by happy hour
|January 2, 2014|
I know I have been a little MIA the past few months… let me explain. The past few months I have been on a roller coaster. One minute I am super motivated and eating right and the next I am picking up old habits and saying things like “tomorrow I will go to the gym” and “tomorrow I will be more strict on my diet” … but waiting until tomorrow is the oldest cliche in the book.
Yes, every day is a new day and new opportunity to start fresh and make good decisions, but every time you take another bite is a decision. You don’t have to wait until the next day to make a change. Why not start (or re-start) with the next fork full of noms?
I know very very well how temping the gooey artichoke dip can be or happy hour at the local sushi place. Trust me, I will admit that in the past 3 months I have gained 10 pounds. I felt like I couldn’t preach to the blogging world about my weight loss journey when all I was doing was gaining – sitting on my couch while eating Thai take-out. That’s not a positive journey at all – a journey to the dark side. I was feeling so guilty about my new habits but didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it. Even my trainer started to get more on my back about what I ate and my lack of exercise because it was noticeable.
So what happened? I had the right mindset and I was on top of my game…. life happens. No one said it was easy. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many people out there struggling with the same things I am. You have to make time for your goals because no one is there to micromanage your every decision.
I was talking to a friend of mine on new years eve who recently lost 50 pounds. There are no miracle diets or workouts any one person can do that works for everyone across the board, but the true secret to her success was and is her mindset. I know it sounds cliche but even I have said that in the past (when I was on my weight loss streak). She told me that every day she took some “me” time to keep her on track, just thinking about the future.
This leads me to my new year’s resolution:
I will wake up every morning and stretch. Side Tangent: I am not a fan of yoga. I’m going old school with traditional stretching because if your muscles are tight, you have a far higher risk of injury when working out. While stretching, I wont think about my scary long to-do list. This time is for reminding myself who I want to be. Where do I see myself next year and how do I get there? I am the only one holding me back from my goals. This year will be a year of change.
Also, from now on I am counting macros (macronutrients). So all my new recipes will have the fat, protein, carbs and fiber listed (throwing in fiber for good measure). My trainer Emily Mraule thought it might be easier for me and my creative cooking to calculate my macros rather than just tell me what to eat. So I am keeping a food journal to keep me on track. Too bad I didn’t get that food scale I wanted from Santa this year, haha.
Did you make a plan-for-sucess to keep you on track for your new year’s resolution?
|July 27, 2013|
I have been trying SO HARD to kick this newly reclaimed habit of drinking diet soda. I know it’s bad for me but it can be so refreshing sometimes. Like I mentioned in my last recipe post, I have white grapefruits galore. So I figured it was time to do a little experimenting with stevia.
When life gives you grapefruits, make grapefruit sweet tea!
White Grapefruit Sweet Tea
- 6 cups water
- 6 green tea bags
- 2 cups white grapefruit juice (3 large white grapefruits)
- 5 tbsp stevia
- 1 lemon
Boil the 6 cups of water. You can use a large tea kettle or if your tea kettle isn’t large enough, just use a pot. After it’s reached a rolling bubble or your tea kettle is whistling, remove from the heat and put the 6 tea bags in. Let the bags steep for about an hour.
While your tea is steeping, juice your grapefruits. You can use a juicer or juice by hand, like I did. You should get about 2 cups of juice. Don’t worry if you have a little more or less than this, it won’t effect the recipe too much if the measurement is off.
After the hour of steeping, remove the tea bags. Stir in the juice and stevia. Slice the lemons and let them float in the pitcher for looks. They will also add just enough lemon to the tea, not enough to over power the grapefruit. Put in the fridge to chill completely before serving.
Directions for your pitcher: If you have a heat resistant pitcher, you can put the boiling water into the pitcher right after it gets to the rolling bubble and let the tea steep directly in the pitcher. If you’re pitcher isn’t heat resistant, then allow your tea to cool in the fridge after steeping. If you used a pot, be sure to cover it while in the fridge. Once it’s about room temperature, then pour the tea into your pitcher and continue with adding the juice, stevia, and lemon.
Serve it “happy hour style” – just add gin! It’s still a better alternative to a sugary margarita or cranberry cocktail. All that syrupy juice and mixer stuff is horrible for you. (add gin after the tea has been chilled)
|May 4, 2013|
Cinco de Mayo is this weekend! That means margaritas and more Mexican food than you should probably eat. Before the fiesta begins, I want to give you a few pointers…
If you’re planning to go out:
Limit your chip eating or just don’t have any at all. Seriously! Chips at Mexican food restaurants are like crack. You eat one – next thing you know the whole basket is gone. Been there, done that! If you are going to indulge in chips, pre-plan how many chips you will eat before you go.
When you order your food, avoid any fried and cheesy items. Go for the fajitas or grilled chicken and skip the tortillas. Try the taco salad without the shell, hold the sour cream.
For drinks, stay away from beer and sugary cocktail drinks. A good restaurant will make a margarita from scratch using lime, versus the cheaper way – using a syrup. It’s a safer bet if the menu says it’s served on the rocks and tells you what type of tequila. Generally, they don’t like to blend a good tequila. But let’s be honest, if you’re going to have a drink, the option with the least amount of calories is the one without any mix-ins. Get a shot of tequila! OLE!
Easy Shrimp Ceviche
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/2 a cup of lime juice
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 a bundle of cilantro (1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 lb prepped cooked shrimp (small)
- 1 mango
- 2 celery stalks
- sea salt to taste
Using the food processor, chop the garlic clove, jalapeno, roma tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber. You can add the lime juice if you need a little liquid to allow the processor to do it’s job. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Hand chop the cilantro, shrimp, mango, and celery stalks and add it to the mixing bowl. I hand chop this stuff because: 1) the cilantro will only wrap itself around the blade if you try to chop it with the food processor. 2) The shrimp is generally cut in larger pieces which you cant control with a food processor. 3) It would absolutely kill your mango into mush. 4) Celery strings might mess up your food processor.
Mix all the ingredients together (including any of the lime juice you didn’t already add). Add the sea salt to taste. Now you can stuff an avocado with it, serve with chips, or just grab a fork and dig in.
Optional: So I cheated on the shrimp by using pre-cooked cocktail shrimp which I then made sure all the tails and shells were taken off. But if you have the time and aren’t lazy, buy raw shrimp. After removing the shells and tails, place in a bag or tupperware with 1/2 cup of lime juice. Refrigerate until the shrimp turns opaque. Then boil the shrimp and put it in a bowl of ice to stop it from over-cooking. Then use this shrimp in the recipe above instead of the pre-cooked stuff.
- 1 shot of tequila
- 1 shot of lime juice
- 1/4 shot agave
- 1/4 peeled orange
- rimming salt
In a shaker, add all the ingredients together (minus the rimming salt) and mash the orange into the shaker. Add ice shake, shake, and pour in a glass rimmed with salt over fresh ice. If you think it’s too strong, feel free to add a little water to it. But no more than a shot or two of water, otherwise it will just be a watered down drink.
By using agave, it’s a cleaner way to get the sweet flavor without using a margarita sweet syrup. The orange replaces the Triple Sec, a citrus based liquor in most margarita recipes. Is the Triple Sec really necessary when you can use the real thing? Hope you enjoy 🙂
|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.