Posts tagged ‘food’

September 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Spicy

The Good:

Food pushers planned an ice cream social at the office yesterday, and I did not eat any ice cream.  Not even a cone, y’all – this is serious.  Given my overall lack of willpower and my infatuation with sweets, this is good.  Really good.

I’m not the only one who fought the urge to partake.  I’m not sure why companies don’t just offer fruit socials or tea time instead.  Many health insurance providers give discounts for employees’ healthy actions, so why is our insurer cool with this?  It just sounds hypocritical to me.

The Bad:

I am skipping today’s workout.  I hit the gym kind of hard yesterday morning, and my body was dragging the rest of the day.  I’ve been in a slump all week, so I think rest is more important.  I only hope I’m not getting sick.  I have started to hear coughs and sniffles in the office.  Yipes!

The Spicy:

Here’s a makeshift version of the recipe I promised yesterday.  I was inspired by the Whole Foods recipe I saw on Brittany’s blog.  It’s not hot n’ spicy; it just contains a lot of spice.  You could easily spice it up if you wanted though.

pot o' soup

I’d love to provide the nutritional information for this, but my numbers are very different from Whole Foods.  This is partially because I used different lentils and changed things a wee bit, but I’m still surprised at the size of the variance.

Indian Spiced Lentil Soup

soup

My pepper thinks it's a star, and my lentils look like fish food.

Ingredients

  •  8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups orange lentils (Next Time I’d Use Green Lentils)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (More If You Like it Hot)
  • 3 handfulls of kale leaves, torn into bite-size chunks
  • 2 tsp cumin (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped (I Didn’t Add This But Might Next Time)
spicy!

Directions

  1. Prep all your ingredients (washing, chopping, rinsing the lentils)
  2. Put everything in your slow cooker except for the kale.  Give it a stir.
  3. Here’s the hard part… turn the slow cooker to “low.”
  4. Let the slow cooker do the work for about 8 hours.
  5. Add the kale in the last hour of cooking.  It’s firm, but that’s better than mushy.

***I was running low on time and cooked mine for 3 hours on high.  I added kale for one additional half-hour.  This was okay, but I wish it had cooked a bit longer.

Why is this adapted recipe awesome?

If you don’t mind eating the same thing all week, this is a great lunch.  Although I ate it without sides, I think naan would pair well with the meal.

In addition, according to the American Cancer Society, turmeric might be able to slow the growth of some cancers, help lower “bad” cholesterol, serve as an anti-inflammatory, and more.  Gotta love spices!

Have colds started circulating in your area yet?  Do you love your slow cooker as much as I do?

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September 8, 2011

I’m a Prep

I’m a total prepster.  I’m not saying this because I adore cardigans, cable-knit sweaters, and Lily Pulitzer dresses.

Cleo got in the way of my cable!

but I forgave her

I’m not even saying I’m a prep because I’m obsessed with all things nautical, think retrievers are the best dogs on Earth, and not-so-secretly idolize Martha Stewart.

His & Hers Sperry

Nope. I’m a prepster (prep-star?) because I prep everying!  I’m mainly into prepping lunch, and y’all know I’m the queen of leftovers.  Just check out my “veggie bowls” for examples.

I may not do it weekly, but on a regular basis, I make a big pot-o-goodies on Sunday with the sole intention of eating it for lunch all week at work.  I am motivated to do this because pre-packed lunches take less of my time in the morning, and they usually tastes pretty darn good.

Big Quinoa Bowl

Lean Cuisine and other frozen entrees aren’t expensive, but if cost is your thing, this is definitely cheaper This is also a great way to eat more natural foods.  Prepping lunch for the entire week is also waaaaay cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.  (All this obviously depends on your ingredients, but you get the idea.)

Divide & Conquer

Making your own Healthy Choice or Smart Ones-style meal probably tastes better too.  You can add whatever you want.  I happen to love quinoa and radishes.  You don’t usually see those in the frozen section!

I have to admit, sometimes you can flop… like I did Monday.  My dish is good, but it was supposed to have edamame that I forgot to add.  It was also supposed to have a wonderful kale puree.

the kale was pretty enough to put in a vase

Yeah, that didn’t turn out for me.  The bowl is actually really good without it though.  Just throw on a TBS of soy sauce, and you’re good to go!  This week’s bowl has a wee bit of kale, sweet white corn, zucchini, radishes, quinoa, 2 TBS balsamic dressing, and canned tuna (packed in water).  Yum!

Do you prep your food for the week, or do you make everything fresh to order? Or do you let Healthy Choice or nearby restaurants do the cooking (and cleaning!) for you?

PS: Last night’s book club was lovely!  We all met at a frozen yogurt shop, and you can read more about it on Caitlin’s post.

Frozen Yogurt with the Girls!

September 7, 2011

WIAW: Melon Baller

Sorry about yesterday’s bum post.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a bum mood.  Stupid hormones.  I digress…

I’m in a much better mood today.  We’re all one day closer to Friday.  My book club meets tonight.  And of course it’s What I Ate Wednesday time!  Woohoo!  Be sure to check out Peas & Crayons for other great meal ideas.  I stole this little ditty about Jack and Dianne WIAW from her site, and it helps explain why I love it:

What WIAW isn’t about
Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt
What WIAW is about
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, inspiring
yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so
much more ❤
Celebrate blogging. Celebrate Food. Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]
Yesterday’s breakfast began with a rice cake, though I predict I’ll be having half an Eat.Think.Smile chewy bar before my other workouts this week.  I also had an Oikos plain, fat-free, organic Greek yogurt (mouthful) with almost a cup of raspberries and half a cup of Kashi GoLean cereal after my workout.
On Monday, I made a quinoa bowl with summer veggies that I plan to eat on all week.  I also threw in half a can of tuna (though I’ll be using a full can for other days this week).  This actually tasted much better than anticipated.  I’ll share more about this veggie bowl tomorrow.
Oh, I also had a few (okay… 10… exactly 10) raw almonds with lunch.
(Not Pictured) I ate a peach with a hard boiled egg for snack.  
loads of nutrients + a little fat + non-refined carbs + protein = perfection

Dinner was a simple dinner straight from the kids’ menu, but I don’t care.  It’s an organic chicken frank on a wheat bun with onions.  I assume I also had about 2 cups of cantaloupe.

As you can see, I do not have a melon baller.  But I’m loving this melon so much that I think I am actually a melon baller, if you will.  Eatin’ melon the flyyyyyy way… (You’re welcome.  You know you’re going to have this song in your head all day.)

I also had a hearty serving of all-natural peeb and some totally unnatural popcorn.  It was the last bag of the pack, so hopefully I’ll swing for something more natural next time!

Lastly (sorry… long post… too many saved words from the weekend?), I have not only been eating, but I’ve been eaten.  I have soooooo many verrrrrry itchy bug bites from the cookout this weekend.  It’s driving me bonkers!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?  Is that song in your head yet???

September 6, 2011

Mini Me n’ Mini Post

Hellooooo! I wish I could share loads of fun pics from the weekend, but I actually didn’t take many. I wish I could tell you all about my healthy weekend, but I failed in that arena as well. Lastly, I wish I was still home, but it’s back to the daily grind. Oh well – at least I had fun!

So what do I have for you? Tidbits from yesterday and a promise for a more enlightening post in the (hopefully-near) future. I also have a blog recap. In case you missed it…

Yesterday, I hit the gym in the morning before Kev and I got started on our housework. I followed my September workout and did leg curls and leg extensions as a superset. I also completed 40 minutes of moderate cardio. Austin Powers (the one with Mini Me) was on television, so that made cardio a bit more enjoyable.

Mini Mesource

I tried to “healthify” my evening by making a grilled veggie wrap, which consisted of eggplant, zucchini, homemade hummus, kalamata olives, and a Flatout wrap. This was the third eggplant wrap I made this weekend. I think I should lay off for a while!

Sadly, I left it on the grill a little too long. It’s an ugly pic, but I’m not so sure eggplant wraps could ever look attractive.

Leia, on the other hand, is always pretty!

She and I relaxed on the couch before I took a break for yet another treat (ice cream n’ granola). Yeah… ending the indulgent weekend on a healthy note didn’t work out so well for me.

Do you have a hard time staying on track on the weekends?

If you stay on track, do you have any tips for me??? 🙂

August 25, 2011

Eat, Think, Smile… and Eat Some More!

The awesome people at Eat. Think. Smile sent me goodies. Actually, they sent lots of goodies!

The boxes held individually wrapped baked nutrition bars in 3 exciting flavors, many boxes of different chewy bars, and numerous bags of various other munchies.

Yesterday morning, I ate half of a peanut chewy bar before my workout instead of my usual rice cake. It was much more filling! The bar tasted like baked oatmeal with a hint of chocolate – and of course there’s peanut flavor too! I really enjoyed this this one, though I didn’t find it particularly sweet or salty.

The orange & cranberry baked nutrition bar was only mediocre. The bitter taste reminded me of an overly bitter, dark chocolate bar without the chocolate awesomeness. (This is probably because they use “the natural antioxidant power of cocoa” in the bars. Seriously, check out that link; it’s interesting.)

The oatmeal raisin baked nutrition bar was much better. This bar also had that bitter cocoa taste, but it wasn’t as overpowering. The texture was like a mix between a cookie and a very dense bread.

Sadly, I did not have time to try all the Eat. Think. Smile products before writing this review, but I am sure I’ll try more goods once it’s time to announce the giveaway winners.

What did that say? You read correctly; it’s time for a giveaway! Yew! I’ll send 5 randomly selected readers a little bundle of goodness. The giveaway ends Monday at 5:00 p.m. ET, and I will announce a winner the following Tuesday, August 30. Here’s how to get in on this; you can enter up to 4 times!

  1. Leave a comment telling me which product intrests you the most.
  2. Follow my blog and/or subscribe via email. Leave a comment letting me know you did this.
  3. Follow me on Twitter @LoveSweatBeers, and leave a comment to let me know about it.
  4. Tweet something along the lines of, ” @LoveSweatBeers is giving away healthy treats at http://wp.me/p1xLfG-i7” and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted.

Good luck! And I’m sorry, but there are no bonus points for commenting about “world peace.” 😉

August 17, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: Simple Eats

I know today is “What I Ate Wednesday,” but I have to share a wee bit about yesterday.  I swam laps in the morning, and that made me sooooo hungry and tired for the rest of the day.

Speaking of tired, I got the kitties new toys last night, so we played like champs.  Leia was totally tuckered out by bedtime.

Okay, now on with the eats…

Breakfast this week includes half a banana before my workout, then 100 calories of oats + 80 calories of protein, and the other half of the banana once I get to the office.  Soooo hungry by the time I get there!

recycled pic

Lunch is boring but wonderful.  No new veggie bowl recipes this week!  It’s a turkey wrap with lettuce, mustard, and leftover shredded carrots.  I pair that with tart, green grapes.

it's a wrap

Snack has been good, but it was too small Monday and Tuesday.  I had carrots with 1.5 servings of hummus.  I am bringing a couple extra crackers for the other days this week.

Sorry – no snack pics.  Then again, do you really need more photographs of yummus?  I think probably not.

Dinner has been excellent.  I’m the queen of simple meals, and Monday’s was pretty much perfect.

Dessert included two graham crackers (not pictured).   Tuesday’s dinner wasn’t bad either…

Of course, cooking meat for dinner draws extra attention to the dinner table.

table shark

I promise I don’t drink a beer every night with dinner.  It’s actually very rare that I drink mid-week at all, but these were just hitting the spot.  Plus, they’ve been in my fridge for months, and I’m sick of looking at them.

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently?  Do you think other people’s eats are interesting? 

I like checking out other people’s healthy meal ideas.  Check out all the great eats at Peas and Crayons’ weekly WIAW post:

July 27, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday (And Most Every Other Day)

We’ll get to my meals in a wee bit. First I’d like to share a thing or two about yesterday’s workout. I woke up tired, very sore, and super hungry. It’s a good thing I wasn’t also freezing cold; that’d be too cliché.

kitty

Snuggle Monster wants more zzzzs.... and snuggles

After I finally quit snuggling with my kitty, I had a peeb-covered rice cake. It was the perfect pre-workout hunger fix. I couldn’t do much for the soreness, but I completed 35 sweaty minutes on the elliptical before finishing up with about 20-25 minutes of abdominal work.

I was mainly sore in my lats and inner thighs. This can be expected when you switch up your routines on a regular basis. Gotta keep loading the guns! Instead of hitting the gym bright and early this morning, I leisurely enjoyed breakfast and coffee with Kevin.

Don’t worry; I’m not skipping my workout today. I’m simply postponing it. I’ll attend body pump tonight, and if I have time, I’ll also do 15-20 minutes of cardio before class.

Speaking of breakfast, let’s get to the yum stuff…

Breakfast for the week has included a pre-gym rice cake, a post-workout hardboiled egg, and oats upon arrival to the office. The oats include ½ a cup oats, 1 cup cherries, and 1 or ½ tsp ground flax. Can you tell I really really really like breakfast???

oats n' cherries

Like last week, I’m having a daily salad for lunch. One day I might have to have a wrap or pita instead though. Too much salad makes Tiff a dull girl.

20110726-051253.jpg

Snack consists of an apple and some almonds. I finally sprung for organic apples! Seeing as how they sit at the top of the Dirty Dozen list, it’s about time I splurged on them.  Oh, and I may have also cheated by grabbing a bagel from the break room around 2.  Willpower, 0.  Carbs, 1.

apple

Dinner this week has been a mix of goodness, and it only gets better from here. You’ve already seen the grilled veggie wrap (sooooo good) and the Greek stuffed peppers. Last night was this awesome teriyaki chicken.

chickenYup, it was darn good.

bowl

Tonight I plan to have my always satisfying Chinese Take-In. This is one Kevin can manage while I’m at body pump. Yes, menu planning is very strategic in my house!

Thanks for checking out my eats! Be sure to head over to Peas & Crayons to get other great meal ideas.

What was the best thing you have eaten so far this week?

June 29, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s WIAW time!  Blog parties are fun, and if you agree, hop over to Jenn’s site to check out other WIAW entries.

If you all read Monday’s post, you’ll know I’ve boarded the healthy train this week.  Yup, the train is right on track.  I’ve been working out despite my inexplicable lethargy, and I’ve been eating relatively well.

gun show

Welcome to the Gun Show

Breakfast consists of my regular three-part breakfasts.  I have a pre-gym brown rice cake and a post-gym hardboiled egg.  I’ve really taken a liking to these eggs!  Sometimes, if I wake up hungry, I throw a little peeb (peanut butter) on the rice cake.  It hits the spot.  Once I arrive at work, I have a parfait full of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, homemade granola (not very sweet or tasty, but filling), and ½ cup of berries.

parfait

The snozberries taste like snozberries!

Lunch is another veggie bowl.  Woohoo!  I’ll be posting the recipe tomorrow, so stay tuned.  Hint, it involves red quinoa that I ordered from Amazon… and veggies… duh.

I pair the veggie bowl with five almonds.  Why?  I sometimes feel like munching, and that’s just enough to satisfy my greedy taste buds.

Snack includes veggies (carrots or celery, usually) with one 90-calorie serving of 2% Daisy cottage cheese.  I love that stuff, but I don’t understand how something so seemingly natural has such a long shelf life.  Maybe I shouldn’t question a good thing – just roll with it Tiff…

snack

Recycled Pic - I brought more carrots, but same idea...

Dinner is the same for three nights this week.  I’m having half a humongous chicken breast with barely boiled asparagus (0.3 lbs of it to be exact), and a leftover slice of eggplant.  I just learned the eggplant is great on the countertop grill – no oil needed!

dinner

Plain Jane Kind of Meal – No Offense Jane

Oh, and I also had popcorn after dinner Monday and a couple servings of ice cream (light organic strawberry) after dinner Tuesday.

Kevin’s dinner three nights this week has been a little more interesting, so I’ll post it too.  I made him a tuna-noodle casserole with peas and celery.  The store did not have any natural or whole-wheat egg noodles (grocery store = fail), so he got the regular kind.  Luckily, I’m the only one who actually enjoys wheat pasta/bread/etc.

dinner kev

30% is missing - I was too late for a good pic

Instead of two cans of condensed cream of celery soup, I made the creamy sauce for the casserole with cashews, unsweetened almond milk, and a few herbs.  This was my first cashew sauce experiment, and it was a winner!  The sauce was sort of bland, and it dried out a wee bit in the oven.  However, the dish still tasted good, and the tuna was not overpowered by soup flavor.

Bad Things = cooking two separate meals leads double kitchen clean-up

Good Things = leftovers for both of us for three nights – Wahoooo!

What are your thoughts on leftovers?  Do you make extra so you get leftovers, or do you avoid them when possible?

June 27, 2011

Gravy Train to Healthy Train

Diet schmiet, who needs it?  Apparently I do, and after this weekend, it’s time to buckle-down on some better habits.  If you thought I lead a healthy example of good nutrition and regular workouts, you are wrong (and you’re probably not an avid reader of this blog).  I’m used to a few splurges on the weekend, but this weekend with the in-laws takes the cake.  Cake?  Did someone say cake???  Ha – that’s been me lately, so after I recap my weekend via pictures, you’ll see why I’ll be back on the calorie-counting train for a while.

I already blogged about Thursday’s splurge, and after that meal, I had plans to be more mindful of nutrition on my weekend trip.  Well… this was Friday’s dinner…

bbq

Not Many Healthy Options on That Menu...

It was good Southern food.  The okra wasn’t as good as my mommy’s, but it was still tasty.  Those little things to the left are hush puppies.  I love those little buggars!  The beer was not impressive, but at $1 per draft, I couldn’t turn it down.

I tried to run on Saturday.  To my dismay, Kevin’s parents’ live in an area that is not safe for runners (no shoulder or sidewalk but lots of turns and hills), so I drove up to a local school’s track.  I was pumped to do some speed training, but this is what I found.

no run

No Run 4 You

My motivation took a nose dive, and I gave up.  Run = Fail

We had more Southern cookin’ for lunch and dinner Saturday.  No exercise and lots of food makes Tiff an uncomfy girl.  Lunch included a hearty chicken salad sandwich and blueberry n’ peach cobbler.  I know cupcakes are in vogue right now, but they don’t even touch the greatness of pies and cobblers!  They’re two of my (many) weaknesses.

Dinner was… interesting…

We went to an Italian restaurant.  Never have I seen fried pickles and jalapeno poppers on an Italian restaurant’s menu.

Menu

Italiamerican Food?

The food was edible.  Don’t let the cheese fool you; the sauce and noodles were not so yummy.  In fact, I was kicking myself for not ordering a side salad and baked sweet potato for my meal.  You guys know how much I love sweet potatoes!

ziti

Cheese = Good ~ Ziti n' Sauce = Meh

Sooooo… Sunday I spent allllll day in the kitchen.  Don’t worry, recipes are soon to come.  It’s time to get back on the healthy train!  I could use your support and bikini-body tips, so if you’ve got any, send them my way!  Luckily, I got a great workout in first thing this morning.

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

June 15, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)

It’s time again for another wiiiaaawwwww (What I Ate Wednesday).  I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons, so check go check out the other WIAW posts.  Well, go check them out when you’re done here, of course!

As you all know, I eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and snack all week every week – at least for the most part.  This makes my shopping list easier, and I like to think it keeps costs down.  This week’s three-part breakfast included a pre-gym rice cake, a post-workout hardboiled egg, and an at-work oat concoction.

berry

Berry Good Breakfast

The concoction is ½ cup dry oats, approximately 1 tsp of chia seeds, and ½ cup blueberries.

I’m trying out some alternative beauty this week.  I’m trying to eat a bunch of skin-feeding foods.  My skin has been horrible lately, so I’m trying to give it a little extra nutritional boost. Here are links to two articles on the subject:

I am having blueberries for their radical-fighting antioxidants that supposedly contribute to a youthful appearance, eggs for their skin-repairing properties, and oats for their skin-clearing, whole-grain goodness.  Two nights this week, I am enjoying sweet potatoes for dinner for their glow-enhancing properties, and I’m eating lots of greens for a multitude of skin-related reasons.  I’m also including chia seeds, salmon, and almonds for healthy, nourishing fats that should hydrate my skin.  Lastly, I’m also trying to drink more water and decaf green tea.  In theory, the tea should help with inflammation.  I’ll let you know if I can tell a difference.

Lunch is a romaine salad with shredded green cabbage, snow peas, and a hint of leftover red bell pepper (wish I bought more of that at the store Sunday)!  I top it with Annie’s Naturals Gingerly Light dressing, almost half a can of skinless, boneless salmon, and a rice cake on the side.  This canned salmon is soooo yummy!

lunch

Asian Salad

Snacks vary.  Two days were red bell pepper strips with 3 TBS hummus, and yesterday was a plain, nonfat yogurt and a peach followed by organic, no-sugar-added applesauce.  Sadly, I think some unhealthy selections are on the horizon.  My office is having a “dip party” with various dips (cheese, salsa, chili, whatever), and they’ll also serve cookies and sodas.  I’ll try and abstain, but let’s face it – cookies are probably in my future.  (That’s probably not so good for the skin!)

Dinner tonight will be either a sweet potato (one of my favorite dinners) with a side of about 7 almonds, or I will make Chinese Take-In.  Either way, it’s gonna be good!  The last two nights’ dinners were only mediocre.  They included quinoa, loads of spinach, grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, and half a chicken breast.  Good, but not great.

vibrant

Vibrant Veggies

Definitely not recipe-worthy…

dinner
I can feel my skin healing itself already!

But certainly picture-worthy.  By the way, after dinner snacks have included almonds, mini bags of popcorn, and/or mini cones.

  • What is the best thing you have eaten so far this week?
  • What do you think of food-focused office parties?
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