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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finding Time

It has been a tough week so far. After exercising each weekday for the last 3 weeks while teaching summer camp elective in the afternoon we have switched groups and started at very basic, beginning levels again so a solid hour of doing Yoga went to about 15 minutes. Zumba hasn't happened at all this week due to "movie" afternoon and a trip tomorrow. Good news is I walked around a boat for a few hours on our fishing trip today and will be walking in the sand tomorrow so I guess that counts as some exercise. I am hoping to get motivated after work and do some on my own after our camp class so I can really put more effort into it but being in the sun all day has really wiped me out. I will however, try again tomorrow, and if all else fails for the week I can always kick it up and do more over the weekend.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Spiced Up Eggs

On the weekends I have a lot more time for planning and cooking, so I ended up making eggs. I have heard adding spice to anything and everything you eat is a good way to boost your metabolism so I thought I would give it a try. I normally sprinkle some garlic powder and salt on my eggs while they are frying, and then slather them in cheese. Since I'm trying to cut back on the amount of cheese I eat (I had it at almost every meal and in between) I used about a teaspoon of parmesan cheese.
To kick it up a little in the spice department I thought I would try something new.

Yesterday I made my normal eggs with garlic powder, and then added about a teaspoon of paprika. I just sprinkled some ground paprika on the entire egg after lightly salting. I didn't really taste much difference, they were a little more colorful but the taste was the same.  Today, I added ground mustard powder. I figured mustard powder is spicy, and it goes well with eggs since it is normally used in deviled eggs. The mustard powder did add spice and flavored, it was much better then the paprika I thought about combining them next weekend. If I do I think I'll leave out the parmesan cheese and just do the eggs with garlic powder, light salt, teaspoon of mustard powder and a teaspoon of paprika.

Any suggestions on different spices to add to kick up my eggs with out killing my mouth?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

How It Happened

My name is Vicki. I am 28 years old. I am a wife and "mom" of two dogs. I am a middle school years who doesn't exactly take the summer off. And I am like many others in the United States over weight. I am not just over weight, I am considered morbidly obese by my doctors, my WII Fit, and society. I am, as of today, 189.2 lbs. I have fluctuated between 180 lbs- 188 lbs for the last four years or so. After graduating high school in 2002, I went from 140 to 165 lbs my freshmen year of college. Even at 140 lbs my senior year of high school I was still obese according to my height and BMI but I was much, much healthier.
I think my healthiest weight was 130 lbs, at least that I can remember. It was my junior year of high school. I played three sports that year in high school-soccer, basketball, and softball. Ever year since middle school I played fall softball and summer softball, and I normally played soccer and softball during the school year. I had never really considered playing basketball since I barely had any understanding or interest in the sport, but my softball coach insisted I join the team to increase my running speed so I did. In addition to the constant sport practice and games I took to running a mile on the track as soon as the winter weather cleared up. I was moving one way or another constantly every day that year. I dropped down to a size 8 in almost all of my clothes. At some point, I stopped running the track and just watched my food type and portion sizes. And I went up to a size 10 in most of my clothes, I wore a size 10 dress to my prom and still held a healthy outlook on my life and body.
After going away to college, and eating in the cafeteria for most of my meals my weight began to increase again.
I was not watching what I was eating. I ate late at night, ordered out whenever I could, stayed up to all hours of the night. I was not eating a balanced diet and was certainly not exercising as I had before I went away to college. And unfortunately after college my habits didn't improve much. I was dating my husband at the end of my senior year of college and moved in with him right after. We went out, and ate out a lot. Our small apartment didn't allow for much kitchen space, without drawers our counters space was limited and when the oven/stove were in use the entire place felt it for hours after we were done cooking. Anyway that lead to sizes 14 and more recently size 16. I got married in a size 16 wedding dress, and go back and forth between size 14 and 16 pants though I don't think I've worn the 14s in a while. My newest weight, 189 lbs doesn't exactly help when  I am getting dressed for work or buying a new outfit. I barely ever like what I'm wearing and see cute clothes that of course don't look cute on me. I've been just getting by and I am tired of it. I'm tired of being tired and saying I'm going to try to lose weight or get in shape and NOT doing it. I start and don't follow through, and when I rebound from my exercise and diet routine it is always at a higher weight then when I started. I have tried Weightwatches, I was successful on it for a while while home from college between breaks but fell off again after returing. I have tried Nutrisystem but the sodium content made me bloated, and I'm a picky eater with some food allergies so I didn't have much choice, got bored and stopped. I've tried eating using the Paelodiet, I did it and felt ok but I'm not a huge meat eater and again the food allergy thing came up. I have tried eating according to my blood type, and found that some of my food irritations were foods I wasn't supposed to eat, but again foods that my blood type should eat are food I'm highly allergic to so that works in combination with the Paelodiet but I didn't see much weight change with them. So again I am at a loss at 189 lbs. Edging my way slowly to 200 lbs. And I am terrified!