Monthly Archives: February 2009

A bit overzealous

DSCN0153

I have been loving biking lately- I’ve been hooked on cycling/spinning classes for a year now and a few weeks ago I finally got a bike that I could use to get around town. Well, the last week or so I have been really putting it to good use and today was definitely the most by far- it might have been a little TOO much, but it was still fun.

I started my day by cooking my oatmeal and packing it up to eat at the gym. I have to get there so early to get a bike now that I just eat in the locker room most days that I cycle.

DSCN0150 

-1/2 cup rolled oats, water, unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-1 medium banana

-cinnamon

sweet potato raisin muffin crumbled on top

I loved the muffin on top! Afterwards my belly felt a little full I wasn’t sure if it would give me problems cycling immediately afterwards, but I ended up being fine.

After a great spin class with the same instructor from yesterday, I rode my bike to Kmart for some necessities and spent some time wandering the aisles. Then I stopped by Jamba Juice to put my gift card from Christmas to good use. I love their steel-cut oatmeal but since I already had oatmeal this morning I was just going to stick with a smoothie, but when she asked if I wanted oatmeal or a baked good for $1 I couldn’t turn it down.

DSCN0157

I was halfway through before I remembered to take a picture. I got it with banana slices on top & no brown sugar crumbles. They called them “crumbles” but they are more like huge clumps of sugar.

DSCN0160

I also got a sixteen strawberry nirvana and a banana. I love putting slices on top of the smoothie and eating it with a spoon.

DSCN0155

All together & enjoyed on a bright, sunny, beautiful California day!

I was pretty exhausted at this point as I had already been gone from the house for 3 1/2 hours and started to regret my biking adventure. But I trudged on home and felt very accomplished, but exhausted. Still after my big Jamba lunch I came home hungry. I grabbed a pink lady apple and some carrots since my lunch lacked veggies and slathered them with my fake pb. 🙂

DSCN0163

Well I’m pretty beat- but I definitely had a fun morning and blasted lots of calories so I am not making any promises for photographing my intake today- I’m sure I’ll be ravenous all day and I might be at the gym again with Chris later for his workout- so we’ll see! Happy Friday!

Sweet Potato Raisin Muffins

DSCN0144

I bought some canned sweet potato a while ago to use in my oatmeal, hoping I would like it better than the pumpkin oatmeal that everyone on their blogs raves about. It was better than pumpkin, but still not my favorite. So I had a whole bunch of canned sweet potato and decided to use them to create a muffin recipe. I looked at a few of my favorite muffin/bread recipes as a guide for the recipe, but created it on my own; which I was proud of because that’s a first for me.

These weren’t the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had (I think I’ve decided I just like more traditional forms of sweet potato) but I was proud that they stuck together like muffins and were fairly good. And super healthy of course.

Sweet Potato Raisin Muffins (makes 24 mini muffins)

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp baking poder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar/splenda mix

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup canned or cooked sweet potato

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F & grease muffin pan

2. In a food processor, process oatmeal until flour-like

3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl & wet in another. Pour wet into dry and mix.

4. Fold in raisins

5. Spoon dough into muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Like I said, I was proud of myself for how they turned out considering it was my first real recipe I created on my own. I think what throws me off about these is that I don’t like the sweet potato flavor much in other foods I’ve learned. The texture was good and they were very moist & fluffy. I like that they weren’t too sweet so they would be good for a snack or breakfast.

I Eat A Lot

Dang man, I feel like I eat a lot when I photograph everything I eat. Or at least it seems like I’m eating all the time when I keep whipping out the camera.

Today was a good day- not the most productive, but hey, I’m unemployed. I’m entitled to be unproductive. 🙂

In the afternoon my tummy started rumbling again so I warmed up a PB clif z-bar in the micro- it totally felt like a dessert- delish!DSCN0142 

Grr for blurry pictures.

I spent the afternoon doing some baking and was planning to make myself dinner when my mom offered to go out for dinner. It’s hard to turn down a free meal. We went to my new favorite restaurant lately, Red Brick Pizza. For some reason I really love their Chicken Caesar Salad more than other places. It’s HUGE for the price- so maybe that’s why. And they have good croutons.

DSCN0147 

I also had half a slice of Chris’ Veggie pizza which I forgot to photograph. It was good though and I normally don’t like things with that many veggies on it. Then even though I was content, my bad-influence wonderful mother suggested frozen yogurt from Yogurt Land across the street. Now how can I turn that offer down?!

DSCN0148

I got non-fat chocolate/butterfinger swirl fro-yo topped with banana slices (!!!!), peanut butter swirl chocolate chips, brownie bites, cookie dough, and peanut butter cup. It was amazing.

I’ve been listening to Pandora radio all day and I love every song they’ve played so far– how come I haven’t done this earlier?!

I’ll share what I baked tomorrow. Goodnight!

Change of (Meal) Plans

Chris ended up getting out of class early today so he decided to come home for his 3 hour break rather than me meet him at Panera in the mall. It was fine with me except I was all excited for Panera, next week though!

Instead we saved money and ate a healthy meal at home. (more later) But first, I had a great morning at the gym, spinning was especially awesome today. What is it about exercise that makes you feel so awesome? Oh yeah, endorphins 😛

I’m very picky about my group exercise instructors I’ve realized. I love the lady whose class I went to today for spinning, but I can’t stand her yoga class. It’s for the stupidest reason too, but I can’t seem to get over it. It’s because she says “inhale” and “exhale” really weird. She extends them out really long like “iinnnhhhalllee…” & “exxhhhallllee…”. I know a lot of instructors do this but something about the way she does and her voice really bothers me. But as a cycle teacher, she’s awesome. She is motivating, fun, & always keeps my heart rate high more than any other teacher for some reason. I really like when teachers talk about things other than just spin, like their families or kids or what’s going on in the world. The girl who normally teaches on Thursdays is super boring and serious and all she ever talks about is form and pace and all that but in a serious tone, taking all the fun out of it.

Anyways, I was pretty surprised when I looked down at my HRM and saw I had burned 500 calories in the class. I finished up with some light reading on the stairmill & some abs.

DSCN0127

I think I waited too long to eat because when I was trying to figure out what I wanted for lunch I felt lightheaded and shaky. Oops! I ended up making myself a salad with lots of the fruits & veggies we had in the fridge. Here’s the breakdown:

Veggies:

-Romaine Lettuce/Spinach

-Zuchinni

-Red bell pepper

-Eggplant

Fruit:

-Strawberries

-Grapes

Protein:

-Chicken

Healthy fats:

-Raspberry walnut dressing

DSCN0128

& an Ezekiel pita (grains) & carrots on the side (I ate a lot of the carrots pre-photo) All I needed was some dairy and it woulda covered all the bases!

DSCN0139

Shortly after I got hungry again and had a banana w/pb, grapes & some key lime non-fat yogurt. I only took a couple bits of the yogurt and decided I didn’t like the key lime flavor.

DSCN0140

So I had half a cup of Kashi go lean & puffs w/milk & a pink lady with more grapes. Can you tell I’m addicted to grapes? I seriously am. And gum too.

I’m hungry again, I think this food blog business is not so easy for people like me who snack & graze all day. I could go on but this has been a long enough post already. See ya for dinner!

Who Needs Sleep?

For some reason I could not sleep this morning, but instead of fighting it and trying to go back to sleep I just got up at 7 am which is early for me. Usually I get up around 8 or 9, but I wasn’t worried about it today because I can take a nap anytime I want because…. I’m officially unemployed! And I couldn’t be happier about it. I was working at a stupid clothing store where everyone were complete jackasses and I finally called it quits on Monday and should have done it way earlier. I feel so much less stressed just knowing I don’t have to go back there. I’m just lucky my parents help support me & I’ll be starting school in the beginning of April so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy once that starts.

Since I had extra time this morning I made steel-cut oats again, this time following the directions on the back of the bag but in reduced serving size.

DSCN0120

-1/2 cup water

-1/4 cup skim milk

-1/4 cup steel cut oats

-A crap-load of ground cinnamon (it came out a lot faster than I thought it would)

-1 large banana

-1 TBSP trail mix

-1 spoonful Better ‘n Peanut Butter

1. Bring water, milk & cinnamon to a boil

2. Add oats & half banana & simmer for 10-15 minutes- stir occassionally

3. Add other half of banana towards end & top with toppings

DSCN0113 DSCN0115

These 2 were my favorite additions 🙂 I’ve been seeing a lot of low-fat PB options on blogland and figured I’d give it a try just for kicks and I actually really like the taste of this Better’n Peanut Butter. It says it’s low sodium but it’s still a lot higher than all my other nut butters. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with de-fatting the peanuts to reduce the fat since it’s healthy fat, but if it lets me eat more of the yummy stuff for the time being, I’ll go for it.

The trail mix is a pre-made mix I buy in bulk at my grocery store and my mom is pretty much addicted to the stuff. For Christmas this year since I was pretty broke I bought a whole bunch of those canning jars and made my own personalized trail-mixes for everyone. I bought all the ingredients in bulk and mix-matched according to what I knew people liked/didn’t like. I also named them cheesy names like “Dad’s Delicious Dried Fruit Mix.” It turned out to be a really cheap x-mas gift and a total hit! My gramma, sister, and mom especially loved it and are now refilling their own jars constantly (look what I started!) But I thought it was a pretty cool idea that I came up with and I also tied an ornament around each jar. I think I know what I’ll be doing next year 🙂

Well I’m off to spinning after I finish this delicious bowl of oats. It’s ridiculous how early I have to get to the gym now to get a bike. People start lining up just to sign up 35 minutes before the class starts. It’s pretty insane, but I still think it’s worth it. I thought the whole New Years resolution group was supposed to have given up by now?! Just give up people and give me back my gym!! 🙂

I am looking forward to lunch today- I have a date with my Christopher at Panera which I haven’t been to in months! woo hoo! Happy Thursday & happy unemployment to me

Steel-Cut Goodness & V-day

Good Morning!

Ever since Jamba Juice came out with their steel-cut oats I have not been super satisfied with my regular rolled oats that I have absurdly grown to love.  I can’t believe I love any oatmeal at all, but I really love the texture of the steel-cut variety. So a couple weeks ago I bought some of my own steel-cut oats to try. The first time I cooked them, I burned them to the bottom of the pot because I thought it was supposed to take 30 minutes to cook– oops! Then the second time I tried the crock pot method which was awesome the next morning. Tasted just like Jamba; the only problem being that I’m the only one who really eats oatmeal in the house so I had 3 extra servings which were purely disgusting the next morning and could not be salvaged. Lame.

DSCN0105This morning I gave them another shot since I had more time this morning. I stood over them the entire time and cooked them like I do stove-top rolled oats. Except the proportions were different since they’re steel cut. Here’s how I did it and it turned out scrumptious:

*1/4 cup dry steel-cut oats

*1/4 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water

*Dash of cinnamon

*whole banana added towards the end

*topped with Kashi Go lean Crunch & Cinnamon Raisin PB

 Directions:

1) Add oats, milk, water & cinnamon to pot & turn on medium-high heat

2) Watch & Stir (mine took about 8 minutes)

3) Add banana about a minute or two before done

4) Top with your favorite toppings & Enjoy!

DSCN0107

I really like the crunchiness texture, I don’t know if I will change to eat these every morning just because of the extra time, but they are definitely a nice treat for mornings I’m not in a rush. I have some wheat berries I’ve been dying to try in my oatmeal since everyone in blogland is hooked on them, but I also had a disaster the first time I tried cooking those… don’t ask, I’m apparently the only person who can burn anything, even wheat berries 😛 I imagine though, that they will give a nice texture to the oats similar to the steel-cut but in less time, so I’m going to give those a try very soon.

Now on to my Valentine’s Day recap. By the way, I would love to be a regular blogger, I just really don’t know how people do it. I’m such a snacker I would be photographing ALL day long and I’m not as busy as many of the bloggers, I just don’t know how they fit it in everyday, some people 3 times a day! Anyways, I’m very inconsistent with my posts as you can tell, but maybe some day I will be a regular blogger.

DSCN0102

Valentine’s Day 2009

Chris and I didn’t know what we were doing for Valentine’s Day up until a few days before the day. I took off work and wanted to do something fun and special, but with us both being pretty poor and broke, our options were pretty limited. I offered to cook a romantic dinner since it was cheap and would be fun. I did it the first year we were together and we had a really good time. The first year I made steaks on the grill and ate it just for him. This time, I made pulled BBQ pork sandwiches in the crock-pot. I hadn’t eaten pork or red meat in at least 5 months and ate it just for him this V-day. I admit though, it was pretty delicious. I even bought a sweet BBQ sauce that had high-fructose corn syrup as the first ingredient because he told me he liked sweet sauces and that one looked good– oh I hope he knows I love him 🙂

DSCN0092

For side dishes we had green beans & corn for me, mac & cheese for him. He was a sweetheart and brought me roses even though I told him not to. He said it was Valentine’s Day so I needed roses. He’s so sweet ❤

We both agreed it was the best Valentine’s Day we’ve ever had and I can’t wait DSCN0090for many more great ones to come. I’m such a cheese-ball and so many people are so anti-valentine’s day, but you don’t have to make it a hallmark holiday if you don’t want to. You can just make it a special day to appreciate the one(s) you love. Hope everyone had a great V-day as well and for those of you who hate it, at least it’s over for the year 😛