My Go To Breakfast Choices

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I have finally conquered breakfast. After trying many things last year, I keep certain choices that make my stomach happy:

1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

I love to combine Plain Greek Yogurt, fruit and flax granola. I buy a tub of Greek Yogurt from Trader Joe’s, it can last 5 days with leftovers, as I only use 1/2 a cup. Then I buy some berries (strawberries, blueberries and/or blackberries), prep them and store them in a container in the fridge. I freakin’ love Whole Foods Flax Granola varieties. I simply get some from the bulk foods section and put it in one of my Mason Jars in the pantry. I add a 1/3 cup of Granola and a 1/3 cup of berries to my Yogurt. I finish it off by adding a sprinkle of Cinnamon and Tupelo Honey for a flavorful sweet touch.

Nutrition: Protein, serving of fruit, oil, gluten free and more
Calories: 238

2. Cereal in Almond Milk

Lately (meaning like the whole month of March) I have turned back to a favorite of mine. Remember last year I discovered Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Cereal and I fell in love. Well, I have discovered that all of the Ezekiel cereal varieties are pretty darn great. I use Almond Milk because I really just do not like the taste of Cows MIlk, and then I add a banana for sweetness and more flavor. I just follow the serving size recommended by using a 1/2 c of cereal and 1 cup milk. I do not add any sweeteners because the almond milk and fruit are sweet enough together.

Nutrition: So much nutritiousness here! Protein, oils, fruit, grains, gluten free, etc.
Calories: 355

3. Eggs w/toast and bacon

Another quick and easy favorite is two eggs and toast with two strips of bacon. Sometimes I put the eggs on the toast, other times I put peanut butter on the toast and eat the eggs separately. I really do not add anything here. Its a simple and quick breakfast. Nutritious, tasty and filling.

Nutrition: Protein, brains, oils, etc
Calories: 295

4. Cream of Brown Rice Farina w/fruit and seeds

The last, but certainly not least ideal choice for breakfast is Cream of Wheat/Farina. I use almond milk to cook the cream of wheat and once done I add 1/3 cup of fruit and chia seeds. This little bowl only contains 3 tblsp of COW, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1 tblsp of seeds.

Nutrition: Wheat, Protein, Fruit
Calories: 236

I occasionally have the full southern breakfast as a treat (grits, eggs, bacon, pancakes/waffles), maybe once a month or more. Regardless, these breakfasts are fillings, low in calories, tasty, customizable and very satisfying. I usually drink a cup of lemon water alongside breakfast. All of these meals also make great post workout meals. I prefer to exercise in the morning on an empty stomach and these meals are a great way to start my day of healthy eating.

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Running Gear

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As late I have been running longer, and in colder weather. The time is also changing which means its dark either when I start my run or by the time I finish. Florida drivers make it necessary for runners/walkers/and bikers to be extra cautious, and to do everything we can to ensure our own safety. So, I’ve purchased some new running gear and have made a list of what else I need to purchase.

1. Nathan QuickShot Water Bottle

I am running faster, and longer which means that I need water! I have been running thirty minutes or less for years, but now my long runs are taking me past the 30 minute mark and I need water. I find that the best time for me to drink water is as I am doing my cool down walk because I get home, drink a glass of water and that’s it for awhile. When I take water with me, I drink it on the way home and I drink a couple of glasses once I enter my house. Also, if I run for more than 40 minutes, I find that if I drink a couple of ounces at the 20 minute mark, I finish stronger, sometimes even picking up the pace as opposed to slowly decreasing until I halt. This has led me to purchase a hand held water bottle from my local running store.

2. Nathan Reflex Reflective Snap Bands

Its dark, a car and I come up to a stop sign at the same time. I need to run in front of the car, but I can’t tell if they see me or not, so I just wait for them to go. If they see me, they also wait for me to go, creating this awkward moment that makes us both feel annoyed and sheepish. OR the car doesn’t see me and the driver is startled when I emerge on the other side of their car after going behind the car to get around. Both scenarios have led to purchasing four snap bands, two for my legs and two for my arms. I thought about a running vest, but I went with the cheaper option. Lo-and-behold, they were a great purchase. The continuous moment of my arms and legs is more likely to be seen by a driver than most static alternatives. My local running store is truly getting to know my face.

3. Long, Warm, Sweat Wicking Pants

I need to buy a couple pairs of pants for running. I’m not talking yoga pants, I’m talking warm, sweat woking pants just for running. I am thinking about making a Lululemon purchase, but that seems like a whole lot of money for pants, I mean a whole lot. Instead I plan to go to Target, TJ Maxx and Marshalls this weekend to see what I can find. Florida has only experienced one cold front so far, so I have a little while before I truly need running pants, so I have time to do some foot research.

4. Garmin Forrunner 10

As I train for these races, and I run in groups, I am truly beginning to see the advantage of a watch that tells you your stats as you run. I currently use MapMyRun on my phone, and even though it works just fine, its really not nearly as convenient or as accurate as gps watches. Not to mention the watches that do those things are cool and somewhat of a racing-runner right of passage. I think I will purchase this watch (if so, I will not make a Lululemon purchase right now).

If you read this and are a runner, tell me your top running gear essentials.

Snacking at Work

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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 🙂

Healthy Tacos

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I know I was supposed to make the pasta last night, but I needed to use my ground chicken, so I made delicious tacos instead. Do you remember when I bought the Brown Rice Tortillas? Well, I finally used them, all I can say is tasty and healthy, can’t beat it!!!!

I got the idea for brown rice pasta as well as brown rice tortillas from the Youtuber DearNaptural85:

I used ground chicken for the fillings along with onions, peppers and mushrooms. It is soooo delicious, I made hard taco shells by folding the shell and warming in a pan, once one side was hard I flipped it to the other. I had one for dinner and one for lunch this afternoon with a sweet potato as a side. Soooooooo good!!!! I will make pasta tomorrow, for my last two meals today, I will have a green smoothie (will post on Instagram) and another taco with avocado as a side. I’m very happy with this discovery and will continue my brown rice adventures tomorrow!

taco2 taco

Weekly Update

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I LOST A POUND!!!!

This means that my detox did what I wanted it to, it gave my body a little shock and a boost. I have been consistently getting my runs in, 3 a week so far. I hope to bump it up to 4 a week, but it is going to depend on time as I am doing more traveling this summer. Zuzana of Zuzkalight.com has come out with a strength series and I plan to begin that as soon as the videos arrive alongside my running. The running is a great stress reliever for me, it also seems to give me more energy and I can’t help be happy with how my legs are beginning to look. I took some new body photos this weekend that I will share this week once I load them.

Food has been so much better on my part since deciding to allow myself sweets. I have stopped binging and am instead controlling my sugar intake. Cold turkey is not the way to go for this sugar addict, instead controlling when and how frequently I  intake my allowed sweets seems to be a better solution. I have been trying some awesome recipes, so I will be sharing those as well. Its been almost 6 months since I began this health journey, and so far things are going great!!! I am slowly making changes (be sure the health changes tab to keep up with those), and as a result I have more energy, my skin is glowing, and I just plain feel good!

Lemon Water

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 Every since I did Shred, I have been drinking lemon water    each and every morning. I stopped for about a week, and my digestion was just not the same, so I started back and have been happy ever since. I have tried organic and non-organic lemons and the difference is taste, not results. The organic lemon water has less of a bitter taste and much more of a refreshing taste. The ratio I use is 8 oz water to the juice of 1/2 a lemon. There is absolutely no point in doing this with anything except fresh lemon juice, otherwise you are not getting the benefits. I drink the water first thing, before I am even aware of life :-).

 The benefits of drinking lemon water:

1.Lemon water will help you cleanse your body of toxins, which is going to show on your skin. Lemons are full of skin-rejuvinating and anti-aging products.

2. Lemon water will improve your digestion. The lemon juice will activate the production of bile in your digestive system and when combined with water it will flush out the unwelcome stuff from your body to help with bloating and heartburn.

3. Lemon water eliminates headaches.

4. Lemon water fights infections. The high amount of Vitamin C in lemons fights illness.

5. Lemon water helps with weight loss. Lemons are full of pectin fiber, which will regulate your hunger levels.

Source: Zuzkalight.com

 

 

What’s In the Mason Jars?

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My Grains, Beans & Seeds

 

From left to right: Flaxseed Mill, Chia Seeds, French Couscous, Israeli Couscous, Tri-Color Quinoa, Rolled Oats, Red Lentils, Garbanzo Beans, and the last two are popcorn. I plan to buy a large airtight container for the popcorn, I have so much that my quart Mason Jar’s are just too small. I do go through a whole lot of popcorn as it is one of my favorite snacks, so I must accommodate its quantity in my life by getting a large/long jar. Putting everything in Mason Jars is one way to get these foods out of the bulk bags and into preservative storage. I also make sure to use something from a Mason Jar with each meal, for example today:

Meal 1: Cream of Wheat + 1 tbsp Chia Seeds

Meal 2: Turkey Sandwich + Vegetable Stew (includes garbanzo beans)

Meal 3: Green Smoothie with 2 tbsp Flaxseed Mill

Meal 4 (in the oven right now): Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 1/2 cup Israeli Couscous, Asparagus & a Sweet Potato

Before I put everything in the Jars, it was an out of sight out of mind situation, now that everything is in the jars, I simply take a peep at them and make a choice of what to use. I bought a box of 12 Jars from Walmart and I do plan to use them all eventually as part of challenging myself to eat healthier. I will be emptying the popcorn jars, so I will have 4 empty jars. So far I plan to put kidney beans in one of them and my own cream of wheat mixture in another, other than that I do not know what to put in the last two jars. Any suggestions?