Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tuna Salad Bowl My Way

For the last year or so I have been making my sandwiches (when I make them at home) on Ezekiel Sprout Grain Bread. I normally get the orange label, I have tried the low sodium but it doesn't taste the same to me. While in the healthy aisle at the grocery store I saw Ezekiel tortillas and decided to try them. Normal tortillas are high in carbohydrates and if I keep them in the house my husband can't help but make himself wraps until they are all gone. I refuse to buy them because he is diabetic and they spike his blood sugar more then most other foods. Anyway, today I tried the Ezekiel tortilla for lunch by making tuna salad in a tortilla bowl. Ezekiel tortillas are bought and stored frozen so I heated the one up in a frying pan with the slightest bit of cooking spray. It only took a minute or so until I could smell a sweet, warm scent coming from the frying pan. As soon as the tortilla heated up it filled my home with the most amazing aroma, which made me more eager to try it. I loved every bite of my salad bowl, even the tortilla alone was great! For anyone looking for an alternative to white or wheat bread I would definitely recommend trying the Ezekiel products. I first read about them in the Paelo diet book I picked up and have been eating the bread ever since. Now that I found the tortillas I won't by a wrap when I can make a better tasting one.
My Tuna Salad Recipe

1 small can of tuna in water
1/2 cucumbers peeled and diced
1/4 cup white beans
.5 oz of dried cranberries 
1 tsp. reduced fat mayo (you may find you don't need as much each time you make it my goal is    eventually none at all)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 
dash of salt
a few dashes of cayenne pepper (to taste I like it a little spicy)
a handfull of leafy green salad

After I heating the tortilla I put it in a ceramic bowl to hold the shape of the bowl.
For the tuna salad I mix everything except the salad in a separate bowl. Then I line the tortilla bowl with the handful of salad and top it all off with the tuna salad. You can add additional ingredients or a dash more of vinegar if you would like. I find that the cayenne pepper spices the entire salad up while the cranberries add some sweetness to the mixture. I love the sweet and spicy combination!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Oat Meal Reheats

After searching for recipes for dinner this week and next I came across a few oatmeal recipes. A note said oatmeal is often better reheated the next day then the first. When I am home (not working aka in the summer) I often make myself steel cut oats for breakfast. I don't usually make the oats during the work week because they take about 30 minutes to cook completely. I more often then not cook the oats and don't have time to eat them. I know I can always wake up a little earlier but that doesn't happen. 

Anyway, after reading the little note in the recipe book I decided to try cooking the oats tonight and reheating them tomorrow before heading out to a workshop.  I'm a little bit of a freak when it comes to reheating things, I will not reheat a lot of food it just freaks me out for some reason & always has but I am willing to give it a try. Plus the oats had a little extra liquid (water and a splash of non-fat milk) left when I cooked them so I'm thinking they will be nice and creamy with extra time to soak the liquid in. 

I cook the oats using the directions on the package. I like to use mostly water and add a splash of milk. I  made 4 servings of oats so I used 3 3/4 cups of water and 1/4 non-fat milk. After cooking I put them in a microwave safe container, let them cook then put them in the refrigerator for the week. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Homemade Salad CAN Taste Good!

My lunch today consisted of a home made mixed greens salad with strawberries, walnuts, goat cheese and cucumbers in red wine vinegar and oil. It was colorful, full of flavor and delicious! I normally wouldn't have put the effort, which in reality was not much, to create this tasty treat. The walnuts and fresh cucumbers added crunch, while the sweet strawberries contrasted nicely with the tangy goat cheese. Definitely worth the little washing and chopping required before hand! Next time I think I might add some toasted chickpeas. I've made them before by adding a little honey, garlic, and allspice to the chickpeas before baking them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

All it took to make this easy salad was:
 - a few handfuls of salad
- 4 strawberries (because of my fruit allergies I can't eat more then 3-4 a day)
- 6 walnut halves
- cucumber half (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
- tablespoon goat cheese
-red wine vinegar *to taste (I normally use a few tablespoons)
- dab of olive oil (about a teaspoon)
-shake of salt and garlic

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Staying on the Wagon

Lately I have definitely fallen off the wagon with my exercise. I got up to 190 lbs, snacking on chips and popcorn, and eating out. So instead of giving up like I almost always do I decided to wait until the start of the next week and keep on going. I swept the internet for a healthier grocery list and found one on Doctor Oz's website. After looking the list over I noticed a lot of it was already on my normal list, minus the junk food so I was curious what kinds of healthy recipes would go with the shopping list. I couldn't find exactly what went with the list that was on the website but I did find out that the list came from one of his books, You on a Diet by Doctor Oz & Doctor Roisen, and since I'm a sucker for reading and eating I bought it. I'm not completely finished with it yet, I actually haven't even gotten to the shopping list. It started off by explaining how my body works and how it works when you eat, it progresses to how your brain works. I'm currently on why most diets fail and go figure its because people like me fall off the wagon and give up. Well I'm trying to beat that while finishing the book, and hopefully getting a healthier life. I have done Zumba (Activate and Tone) 2 days in a row, equally over 60 minutes of movement. And I've been tracking my food in take on my ipad calendar listing the times, foods & how hungry I am when I actually eat.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 2

This week has only just begun but I am happy to say I have been on a better path with exercise. Monday I did an hour of Zumba using the Step by Step & Activate Dvd's from my Zumba Exhilarate DVD set. Today, Tuesday I did 30 minutes of Zumba using the Activate Dvd and about 40 minutes of stretching and yoga. I have also been eating a little better, for breakfast the last to mornings I ate a homemade broccoli quiche. I have adapted the quiche from a few different recipes I have seen, kind of combining and adding different pieces from different recipes.

My Crustless Quiche Recipe:
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites (1 cup if you use the prepared whites)
1 1/2 -2 cups of broccoli crowns
1 cup of low fat milk ( I use Lactaid Non-fat)
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp of ground mustard powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp garlic powder
cooking spray or coconut oil

I lightly saute the onion in a frying pan with a quick spritz of cooking spray or a teaspoon of coconut oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. While the onions saute, microwave the broccoli according to package instructions (normally add a few teaspoons of water & microwave for 4 minutes). While broccoli cooks combine the eggs, egg whites and milk in a bowl. Beat ingredients together with salt, mustard powder, flour & garlic. Add broccoli and onions and stir. Coat round quiche pan with cooking spray, and then carefully add mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until center is firm.
I have also made this with a 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese OR 2 oz of provolone cheese when my hubby requests it, you can add your favorite low fat cheese if you would like.
The recipe makes 8 servings.

*If you would like to add a crust to your quiche I would recommend using quinoa. I would cook 1/2 cup quinoa in 1 cup of water (or 1/2 c water 1/2 veggies stock). Depending on the quinoa you use you may need to boil the liquid first then add the quinoa until it boils then lower to a simmer or low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until liquid is cooked out. Lay the quinoa in the bottom of your quiche dish after spraying, and then add mixture as explained above. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekly Weigh In

I am happy to say when I stepped on the scale this morning I weighed in at 186.8! That is 2.4 lbs less then my initial weight. I didn't exactly do everything the way I wanted on my first week of "a healthier life" but I did make some small changes. I tried snacking on fruit, specifically grapes in between meals when I was hungry towards the end of the week. I only ate pasta once this week, and it wasn't exactly a planned meal it was more of a I'm starving -and-DO-NOT-want-to-eat-out quick fix meal. My exercise plan was kind of put on hold from all the trips I went on with camp, but I did end up exercising each day in a different way.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turkey Swamp Workout

So I closed out my week with three field trips. I went to the beach and fishing earlier in the week and ending yesterday with an outdoor trip to Turkey Swamp a Monmouth County Park with hiking trails and boating. I was excited to get to hiking, the park reminded me a lot of where I grew up in North Western New Jersey, but hiking didn't happen for me. Instead I ended up canoeing for 2 1/2 hours! My arms and back are a little stiff but not nearly as bad as I thought they would be and I got a great work out. I am not exactly a swimmer. As a kid I took swimming lessons but they never really sunk in. I am not afraid of the water I just can't do laps or anything like that. I have been rafting a bunch of times, my first when I was in middle school so I know how to paddle and steer but never attempted in a canoe before. Anyway I was a little nervous to start out in the canoe, not only am I a spastic swimmer I am also not exactly balanced so I was freaked out that we would flip the canoe at any moment on the water. But it all worked out and I ended up being one of two adults who didn't mind rowing, and ended up taking over 30 students out 3 kids at a time.
The new experience makes me anxious to try it again. It was a good workout, I definitely feel the worked muscles thought it was more relaxed ride some rounds then others. I had fun and I can boat and walk the trails when I go back on my own.