Weekly Update + Grocery List

Standard

Sorry, its been almost two weeks since my last update, so I am going to throw a lot into this post. I have been consistently running and doing my group fitness classes since my last post. Last week I did 2 spinning classes, 1 body pump class, 1 yoga class and three runs. I ate well, I went out of town and still managed to eat well. I did have dairy queen ice cream one night, but after that I kept things healthier. This weeks goals were to continue to eat well and not slack off on my exercise.

I also signed up for a 5k!!! Yep, I will run a 5k November 9th and I am also thinking of running a 10k at the end of November. I am signing up for a half marathon in February this week, so the 10k may be a good in between race to run. However, right now the only thing set in stone is the 5k. I am running four days a week and training for the half right now.

I went grocery shopping Sunday with the idea of making banana bread, a couple of Indian chicken dinners, and chicken noodle soup for lunch. Accordingly, my list looked like this:

photo-23

 

Lemons

Sweet Potatoes

White Potatoes

Tomatoes

Bananas

Pears

Carrots

Thyme

Raspberries

Green Bell Pepper

Onions

Chicken Thighs

Chicken Drumsticks

Chobani Yogurt

White Whole Wheat Flour

Eggs

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Vanilla Extract

Vegetable Broth

Sweet Potato Fries

Ginger Ale, Rum and Moscato for a party punch

Rolled Oats

Fennel Seeds

I have already made a couple of the dishes, and I plan to do a couple of recipe reviews this weekend. If you haven’t noticed, I am not mentioning my weight because I do not plan to step on the scale until October 1. In the mean time, I’m gonna go make some banana bread.

Two Recipe Reviews

Standard

Pasta with Veggies

Lately I have been trying out new recipes for lunch each week, so this week I tried a vegetable and pasta recipe mix. I used brown rice angel hair pasta and my veggies were broccoli, red bell pepper, green onion, and tomato. I followed the recipe, even adding some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

Once finished, the result was just “meh.” Nothing spectacular, but also not bland or unappetizing. I made enough for 4 lunch sessions, so I will finish the left overs tomorrow, and I will not make this recipe again. Healthy and tasty pasta recipes seem to be challenging. I mean spaghetti with red sauce is always an easy option, but I am looking for variety. Any suggestions?

Vegetable Medley

Some time two weeks ago I had all of these vegetables in my fridge and I said to myself, how about a veggie only dish, something asian. So I took stock of what I had, and I almost just threw some oil in a pan, threw in the veggies an ate them. Instead, I said to myself, check out Youtube, see what creative ways people are cooking their fresh veggies. I wanted something simple, tasty, easy and versatile (meaning it wouldn’t matter which veggies I used). After many videos, I decided to try this approach:

I did take a quick trip to the store for fresh ginger, otherwise I had everything else in my house. I used peanut oil as my base oil because I have it. I was very happy to have something to use my peanut oil for as I have had it for a year and only used it twice prior to this dish. In an attempt to come as close to the veggies used in the video, I used broccoli, carrots, yellow bell pepper, red cabbage, and onion. I didn’t add celery because I do not like the taste of cooked celery.

The first time I made this, I followed the video exactly, and I was surprised at how the veggies came out. They were the perfect consistency, not too hard and not too soft, yet flavorful. Who knew oil infused in ginger could produce such wonderful results! The second time (and yes I have made this two times so far), I added a couple of squirts of soy sauce to the finished product just to experiment with flavor. Next time, I plan to use oyster sauce and see what happens.

vegetable medley

If you can’t tell by the review above, I LOVE this vegetable medley, and the only calories come from the oil (I’ll speak on why I do not care about calories in another post). Initially, I was concerned that this plate of veggies would not fill me up enough to be satisfied, and then once I finished prep I wasn’t sure that I could eat all of the veggies in front of me, but in the end, its a perfect dinner portion. Like I stated above, I plan to do this again, this weekend, and use oyster sauce, this dish takes no time to make, the prep is the most time consuming part, aside from prep it takes about 7 minutes total to make this dish.

The vegetables aren’t pulverized in this vegetable medley, so I consider this a seriously healthy and tasty dinner option.

Group Fitness Classes

Standard

I stated in the video about my plan for this month that I am doing group fitness classes this month. Well, the first  week of the month was a bust. I just didn’t find the time to go in and sign up for the gym, etc. Well, the second week I made sure I signed up first thing Monday and signed up for spin class that evening. Last week I went to two spin classes and once Les Mills Body Pump class. I freakin LOVED IT!

1st: Spinning

I haven’t done a spin class since my Freshman year of college, so that was an illuminating experience. I was happy to find that I was able to make it through the class, meaning that I am in shape! Plus the class was a challenge, which means that it is right for me. I was so very sore the next day (especially in the parts of my but that the seat resides)! The class was high energy, the music was loud and PERFECT, it really helped to push me harder. The instructor was wonderful and very helpful with set up. I went back for my second spin class with a different instructor and enjoyed the class just as much.

2nd: Body Pump

HOLY HELL!!! That class was the challenge of my life! I thought I was pretty strong thanks to Zuzka, but the ladies in that class put me to shame! I wasn’t even using much weight! The combinations were just so effective at getting your muscles to that point where they are working hard. I mean I have never been so sore for so long in my life! I barely made it to the end of the 55 minute class! I felt like such a wimp in the end, but I am also really excited to see what this class will do for my body. Its just the challenge I am up for. The instructor was very helpful, and pumped to be there.  The atmosphere was one of seriousness, those ladies were there to lift and then once class was over they turned into the sweetest people you could meet. I am only doing this class once a week for now.

3rd: Yoga

I am still going to the same yoga studio, but I am now doing a flow class once a week (its in a heated room). I want to get more into my yoga practice and I feel that flow yoga is what I want right now. I was FINALLY able to do Wheel Pose, I didn’t think about it, I just suddenly went from Bridge to Wheel without any problems. I knew I was having a mental block with the pose, and I finally broke through. The high that came from that achievement lasted me days.

All in all, I think I FINALLY found the perfect sustainable fitness for me. I LOVE group fitness, and I am glad I decided to spend the money on that instead of renewing a standard gym membership. I will be doing the same classes this week, two spinning, one body pump, and one flow yoga class plus 3 days of running. Yep, I am kicking my own ass to reach my goals.

My Pantry Staples

Standard

I have spent a good portion of the year developing MY pantry staples, determined by what I actually eat. I mostly refill my pantry from the bulk foods section of my local health food stores. I refill the spice containers with spices bought from my local Indian Store as well as the bulk food section of my local health food store.

M y Pantry

P1020197

Left to right: Quinoa, Milled Flaxseed, Israeli Couscous, Rolled Oats, Semolina, Chia Seeds

Once I run out of Milled Flaxseed I will replace it with Hemp Hearts. I prefer to get my Omegas from nuts and fish oil pills. I put the milled Flaxseed in my smoothies, plus it does take away from the great taste just a little.

P1020196

Top From left to right: Red Lentils, Chick peas, Popcorn, Kidney Beans, Wheat Farina, Wasabi Peas
Bottom From left to right: Brown Rice Rotini, Egg Noodles, Brown Basmati Rice, Brown Rice, Brown Rice Spaghetti, Brown Rice Angel Hair Pasta

You may have noticed that I now have a brown rice arsenal! I enjoy pasta and brown rice is often a perfect side dish, so I keep it all stocked. I am in love with brown rice pasta as a healthy tasty alternative that just soaks up sauce.

P1020198

Canisters: All purpose flour, brown sugar, rock sugar, tea. Lazy susans: spices, sauces, vinagrettes, Coconut oil, Olive oil. Bottom: Spices

There really isn’t anything more important in my kitchen than my spice arsenal. There is no better way to compliment your meats, vegetables, soups, stews, etc than with spice. Like I stated above, I buy a spice from the grocery store and once that container is empty, I replace it with spices from my local indian grocery or health food store. I find that those spices have more intense flavor and the containers provided at the grocery store last forever. Plus I do not have to buy separate expensive spice jars, nope, I recycle and reuse. About a month ago I did a spice overhaul in which I wrote down my most used spices and got rid of the expired ones. If I need a spice that I rarely use, I just go buy a tablespoon or two in the bulk foods section and use it up, so that no spice in my pantry expires. Let me know if you want a full listing of my spices and how I use them.

Not pictured are my stash of nuts, and cans. The cans include tomato paste, whole tomatoes, curry sauce, garbanzo beans, black beans and vegetable broth. The current nuts are sunflower seeds and almonds.

I am so happy with my pantry now, it truly supports healthy habits. There is no candy stash, no sugary cereal stash, no juice stash, no cans of soup, no cans of fruit, etc. It took over half of a year, but I now have a pantry that supports healthy eating habits. I am still working on my refrigerator staples, just when I think I have a good base, I change something, that may take all year.

Grocery List: 09/08/13

Standard

I needed odds and ends this grocery trip. I still have plenty of chicken left from last week, I plan to make a lentil dish for lunch and  dinner will  be based on what I already have. I did give in and buy a processed food item, a Digiorno Pepperoni Pizza. I figured one thing will keep me from binging at some point, and considering the fact that I have been good for over a month and its not sugar, I’ll take it.

The List

Produce

Celery Sticks

Bananas

Broccoli Florets

Garlic

Lemons

Peaches

Asparagus

Baby Spinach

Baby Kale

Jalapeño Peppers

Spices

Cinnamon Sticks

Chili Powder

Dairy

Monterey Jack Cheese

Blue Diamond Almond MIlk

Grocery

Digiorno Rising Crust Pizza

Almonds

Water

Grocer2y

Meal Ideas

Lentils and Rice

Meat with veggies

Nut Mix

Green Smoothies

Pizza

Grilled Cheese

Veggies and Dip

Recipe Review:East Indian Chicken Curry

Standard

On my last grocery shopping trip I bought a good bit of chicken because it was on sale. I froze everything except the chicken thighs because I knew I was going to make SOMETHING from them when I got home. My favorite way to eat chicken (when not considering fried) is sauced or heavily spiced, which for me generally means Indian cooking. I of course turned to handy dandy Youtube and came across this video/channel:

I had everything for the dish, so I gave it a go. Boy oh boy was I happy I made this dish, its delicious and more than I expected! I really felt like it was a dish I could have gotten from a local Indian restaurant. I always use plain greek yogurt for my Indian dishes, meaning that it is a healthy dish. I also used coconut oil for the initial cooking. I paired the curry with Brown Basmati Rice because it soaks up flavor very well and is just as nutritious as other brown grain rice.  The dish is actually quite simple to make and the flavors just meld together so beautifully. Its not spicy/hot at all, so I would probably add more green chili’s next time because I LOVE hot food. Otherwise the dish was perfect as is, which for me, is rare.

I would make this dish again in a heart beat, but instead I plan to try one of the lentil dishes as my lunch entree for next week. This Youtube channel is a very welcome find and one I plan to take full advantage of.

Snacking at Work

Standard

I wrote a post awhile back discussing how and what I am taking to lunch these days. Well, I feel that the snacks I take are just as important, so as promised my work snack:

snack

My lunch consists of an entree + a vegetable and fruit side (1/2 portion each). Naturally, I usually do  not get through all of that food during lunch as my entree is always pretty hearty and filling, but I do eat some of the sides. Later, when I get hungry again I tend to finish the sides, but I am still a little hungry and this is when my snack comes into play. As you may be able to tell above, my snack is nuts, seeds and wasabi peas. Why?

Well, I should really eat nuts and seeds every day as they are full of Omegas, protein, fiber and other vitamins, however it has been hard figuring out how to get them in alongside everything else you are supposed to ingest each day. I thought to myself, what better way to ensure I get my Omega’s each day than to take them as a mixed nut snack. So I put together a portion of nuts, a portion of seeds and wasabi peas because I like a little bite and sugar in my nut mixes.  The nuts I like to keep around are Peanuts, Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts. The seeds I tend to go for are Sunflower or Pumpkin (I want to try flax, but I’m scared!). I keep myself stocked up on Wasabi peas by way of the bulk foods section in health food stores. I do not add any dried fruits because I bring fresh fruit with me and that would just drive up the cost.

I do not actively go for a certain number or a certain measurement of nuts. I just grab, mix and go, resulting in about 4 ounces of the mix. I find it quite satisfying and since I change up the nut or seed when one runs out, the mix continues to hold my interest. So, I will add this change to the list, now I regularly eat Nuts and Seeds. Can you tell that I feel proud of myself 🙂