Tag Archives: blueberries

My staycation rocks!

First of all, I just want to thank all of you guys for your support over yesterday’s post. All of your comments made me feel so much better. I did manage to let go of most of the guilt and I ate a phenomenal burger. I also enjoyed some great company in the form of my husband. :)

Today was a great day! Tomorrow is the last day of our “staycation.” We are both going to be a little sad to have to go back to work, I think.

This morning I told my husband I was in the mood for pancakes for breakfast. I have a couple of recipes in my arsenal that we usually make. But my husband wanted to make me breakfast and he wanted to surprise me. This concept was very scary to me. I feel a need to be in control of every ingredient to monitor the nutrition. Usually when Corey wants to make me breakfast, I give him a recipe and he follows it accordingly!

I’m glad I trusted him because he did make excellent pancakes. He used this recipe from Allrecipes. The only change he made was to add a teaspoon of vanilla and to add fruit to the batter. He made several blueberry pancakes and several strawberry ones.

They were so delicious! I had never put strawberries in my pancakes before and I have no idea why. I loved it! The pancakes came out light and fluffy. They don’t have a lot of sugar so they weren’t very sweet, which I enjoyed. And the butter in the recipe gave them a wonderfully buttery taste.

Just a little side note: for the butter in most of my recipes (except maybe a few sweets like cookies and cakes), I use I can’t believe it’s not butter fat-free. I know, it’s horribly processed and this is probably the one thing that I eat that has this many ingredients. But I actually prefer the taste to real butter. I’m weird like that. ;)

After some relaxing and eating, I needed a workout. My quads were still sore from Sunday’s Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones workout. This workout was one of my new workouts for the month and I love it! It’s 50 minutes of pure strength training. My quads, thighs, abs, and triceps were so sore yesterday from the workout. My triceps and quads are still sore today. But that was not going to stop me from getting in some good cardio. I did a 25 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout (can you tell I love her??), followed by 35 minutes on the elliptical. The elliptical may be boring, but it sure does make me break a sweat. :)

By the time my workout was complete and by the time I took a shower, it was time for lunch. I have been a little light on my veggies lately so I was craving a salad . . . a taco salad! I swear, that’s my favorite way to eat veggies.

The salad consisted of lettuce, taco meat with peppers and onions, salsa, and some refried beans. I ate this salad with some tortilla chips. Yummy!

Today was a beautiful 80 degrees so we did not want to spend the day indoors.

We took Callie to this little creek in the nearby park so she could run off some energy play. I didn’t realize that it was a little of a hike to the creek. It was over a mile there and back. Ordinarily, that would not have been an issue. But my quads were already sore from my morning workout. And the hike back to the car was mostly uphill. Not what I was in the mood for.

After spending some time at the creek and then doing some house cleaning, we were hungry. And tonight was pizza night. I love pizza night! We bought some whole wheat pizza dough at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. I had a couple of slices with pizza sauce, a little mozzarella cheese, some all natural pepperoni, and some red and green peppers.

The pizza was yummy. The only issue was that the crust was a little underbaked so there wasn’t any of the crispness that I enjoy. Next time we will bake it up a little more and I’m sure it will be fine. All in all, not a bad pizza.

After dinner, Corey and I went to a movie. I can’t remember the last time we went to a movie on a weeknight. A couple of weeks ago, both of us had bought a Groupon that would allow us to get 2 movie tickets on Fandango for only $9. What a deal! We decided that tonight was a great time to use it.

We went to see “Limitless.” There were only a few people in the theatre. The movie was a pretty good one. I thought the ending was a little abrupt for my taste, but it was still a decent movie.

Now we are both relaxing a little on the couch before going to bed. I got a little bedtime snack of Butter Toffee peanuts.

I bought these at the Farmer’s Market last weekend and they are so incredibly addicting. It’s hard to just grab a handful or two at a time. But I have a little self-control.

Now I am exhausted! All that time in the sun has made me so sleepy. Good night everyone!

Question: Do you still work out when your muscles are very sore? How do you cope with that?

The most important meal of the day

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. My favorite quick breakfast is eggs and bacon. Mmm . . . love. But when I have the time I love pancakes, waffles and French toast. Don’t ask me which one is my favorite. It would be way too hard to decide.

Today’s tip for National Nutrition Month is to eat breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories during the day. It also boosts your metabolism and increases your energy levels. Today’s tip comes at a perfect time since I have two new breakfast recipes to share with you. They are both healthy, delicious, and a little indulgent as well.

The first recipe is one that I made this morning. It is decadent and I’m sure it’s healthy because it has blueberries in it. And who doesn’t like chocolate for breakfast?

Stuffed Blueberry and White Chocolate French Toast (serves 2)

4 slices whole grain bread
2 egg whites
1/3 c. nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
1/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and set aside. Spread  1 tablespoon cream cheese on two of the slices of bread. On top of each of the cream cheese slices, top with 1/8 c. of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of white chocolate chips. Cover each with another piece of bread to make a sandwich. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture and cook on medium heat about 2-3 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and chocolate is melted. Serve with maple syrup or any other toppings you may desire.

The second recipe includes one of my favorite foods: peanut butter. Peanut butter and waffles are a great combination. Trust me. And if you don’t trust me, trust the good people of the Peanut Butter and Company. :)

BTW: I’m sorry about the lack of pictures for these waffles. For some reason, the only pics are the waffles with hot apples on them. Trust me when I say they are light and fluffy.

Peanut Butter Waffles – adapted from The Peanut Butter & Co. cookbook

2 cups flour (I used half white and half wheat)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 3/4 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat waffle iron. In large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, sugar and peanut butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour 1/2 c. batter into center of each waffle iron and close. Bake for about 6 minutes, or until waffle is crisp and golden brown. Serve with maple syrup or other toppings of your choice. Makes 8 waffles.

I love these waffles topped with hot apples, cinnamon and a little maple syrup. Yummy!

What is your favorite breakfast?

10K training and snack bars

I decided that today was the day I would start running again.

I haven’t done any form of running, jogging, or walking since September. First, I had trouble with my knees. Then I had trouble with my migraines which prevented me from getting out there. And by the time I got my migraines back under control . . . it was winter. And very, very cold. But I am determined to do the Peachtree Road Race 10K in July, even if I have to walk it. :)

The day started with my husband making me a lovely breakfast. I love that he cooks me breakfast on Sundays! He made me a sandwich made of multigrain bread, an egg, a couple of slices of bacon, some cheese, and a little hot sauce. Yummy!

After breakfast, Corey and I (and Callie) headed out. A couple of days ago, I downloaded the Couch to 10K app on my iPhone. It’s a 13 week program and day 1 was great. The program gently eases you back into running. Today, the program had me run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I was supposed to do this 9 times, or 41 minutes. 30 seconds may not seem like a long time for running, but it is a way to make sure I don’t overdo it on my first time out!

Today’s weather was perfect too. It was in the mid-40’s and the sun was shining. My running coat kept me from getting too chilly. I didn’t focus on distance, or even speed. I just focused on the wonderful weather and spending some time with my husband.

After the run, I had to get ready for an outing with a friend. Nothing fancy. We just met up at Moe’s for lunch and then saw the movie Tangled (which was awesome, by the way). At Moe’s, I got a grilled chicken rice bowl. It had grilled chicken, rice, pinto beans, cheese, peppers, onions, salsa, and guacamole. It was so tasty and filling!

When I got home, my husband had prepared dinner for me. Yay! We had steak, a baked potato, and corn on the cob. Such a tasty treat and so nice to come home to a nice dinner. :)

After dinner, Corey and I made some Gingerbread Spice cookies. We had purchased pre-made dough at Whole Foods last week and I was in the mood for some sugar!

I did manage to have just one cookie. They were so good, very chewy and moist. I considered it a small victory that I only had one cookie. And this was the only sugar I had all day. Yay for me! :)

The baking did not stop there. It occurred to me that the reason I crave sugar so much is because I don’t have proper snacks to take with me to work. And when I get hungry, sugary snacks are the closest (and easiest) thing to grab. But if I had an easy (and nutritious) snack prepared, then maybe I wouldn’t crave sweets so much.

These bars are perfect. They do have  a little sweetness in them, with the honey. And I used white chocolate peanut butter to satisfy my sugar craving a little bit. They also have plenty of fiber and protein, which are guaranteed to fill me up.

I was really nervous about this recipe. I was crossing my fingers for this one because I just took a bunch of ingredients from different recipes and threw them together. I knew that I wanted something with peanut butter and I also wanted some blueberries for added nutrition.

Blueberry Peanut Butter Bars (makes 6 bars)

1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful)
1/4 c. honey
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix honey, peanut butter, and olive oil together in a saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mix oats, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a separate mixing bowl. Once peanut butter mixture has been brought to a boil, mix with the dry ingredients. Press mixture down in a greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees until browned, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or so before cutting into bars. These are very soft so they need some refrigeration time to let them cool off. Enjoy!

Lazy Sundays

First, I just want to say that I love my new header! My wonderfully, technologically savvy husband took some ideas that I had and did exactly what I wanted. I have no clue how to use Photoshop, so I didn’t know where to begin. I think he did an AWESOME job!

I always intend for Sundays to be much more productive than they are. But today was kind of a lazy one. Although I did get a lot of working out done.

My husband does enjoy making me breakfast, so this morning I had him make me some blueberry pancakes from a recipe that I saw on Health.com. The recipe is one that combines oats, cottage cheese, vanilla, and eggs . . . and blueberries, of course! The pancakes came out very moist and super tasty!

First, you mix some oats, cottage cheese, eggs, and vanilla in a blender.

Then stir in some blueberries . . .

Then you fry them up and this is the final product . . .

Of course I just had to fry up some bacon to go with them!

And no, I didn’t eat ALL the pancakes! I just thought they looked pretty this way. :) I will have some good leftovers a couple days this week for breakfast. That’s why I love pancake breakfasts!

Corey and I decided to go for a run right before lunch. We are actually trying to sell our house (we have been trying at that for quite a while now) and someone wanted to come see it today, so we had to go away for a while. We were planning a 4 mile run, but somewhere along the way I got a headache that was threatening to turn into a migraine. Maybe it was dehydration or the heat or something. So we had to cut the run in half. I’m hoping to go for a 4 mile run tomorrow. Long runs don’t have to be on the weekend, right?

The rest of the day was spent going to the Farmer’s Market, which was super crowded and where we spent a lot of our food budget on fruits and veggies. Everything looked so good though and I should have plenty of good snacks for the week.

Dinner was simple hamburger steaks with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Can you believe I never tried asparagus until a year ago? And I have never actually cooked it for myself. I have always been afraid to do that, afraid that I would screw it up. My dad gave me a kind of fool proof, tasty recipe. I pretty much just drizzled it with a little olive oil, sprinkled it with a little cajun seasoning and then tossed it around on a baking sheet to make sure it was evenly coated. Then, bake for 15-20 minutes and voila! Tasty asparagus. And it was super tasty. It’s not easy finding a vegetable that I like and that I can cook, but I like asparagus.

I even got Corey to try it as part of his trying something new.

Corey trying asparagus while making cupcakes

He said the taste was okay, but he wasn’t sure about the texture. I swear, whatever new thing he tries, it’s always a texture thing with him. Always.

And speaking of cupcakes, Corey has been craving cupcakes for over a week now. We had a box of cake mix in the cabinet and we bought a box if chocolate frosting over the weekend just so he could make them.

Apparently, I have a really hard time with the whole “balance” thing . Before he started making them, I was telling him ways he could make them healthier (such as replace the oil with applesauce). He didn’t want any part of that. Then I told him the cake mix has trans fats in it, which raises your chances of heart attack by some outrageous number. I think I made up the number I actually told him. Seriously, what was I doing? I am supposed to believe in balance and giving in to your craving and the man has been craving a cupcake for over a week. Maybe I still have problems with eating foods that have always been on my “forbidden list.” I still feel guilty about it. My husband actually said to me, “You’re ruining cupcake day.” I just had to laugh at that and I stopped myself at that point and just let him have his fun. Let him have his cupcake. And I may have snuck one too.

Asparagus on one hand and chocolate batter on the other . . . that's what I call balance!

delicious, creamy cupcake

The day ended on a great note with a Jillian Michaels workout, followed by fifteen minutes on the elliptical. So all in all, it was a pretty good day. And maybe one of these days, I will work on the balance thing and the guilt that it produces.