Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another lunch!

This was my lunch the day after my last post... Hahaa. Another wrap (exactly the same as the day before), mini heirloom tomatoes with hummus, mixed lettuce greens with blueberries and trader joes light champagne vinaigrette, and grapes. Yum!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lunch! And products I'm currently obsessed with

This was my lunch the other day! I was STUFFED and it was only 430 calories! It was 19g of fat (only 1 gram of saturated fat from the avocado), 25g of protein, 49g of carbs, 17gs of fiber (NICE!), and only 4g of sugar. I've decided I need to start eating bigger lunches (but still healthy) to hold me over until well after I leave work. This way I can work out right after work without feeling hungry and tired. I still give myself an afternoon snack, but eating a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner definitely makes this easier for me.

I made myself a wrap from FlatOut light flatbread, Bitchin' Sauce, a little bit of turkey breast, avocado, red bell pepper, and some mixed lettuce greens. SO GOOD! I made another one exactly the same for lunch the next day too... haha 

I also made a massaged kale salad. "Massaging" kale with a little acid (citrus or vinegar) and salt breaks up a lot of the toughness in raw kale, making it more enjoyable to eat. I made my kale salad with red bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Then I added some snap peas and hummus and some Chip'ins to my little lunchbox and voila! My awesome lunch!! :)

A lot of products I used in this lunch I am currently obsessing over:

Bento Box Lunch Box

I saw this at Fresh & Easy the other day and I HAD to get it. It has little handles (like a lunchbox) that can fold down to flatten out with the box and fit nicely in the fridge or other tight spaces.
It separates in to 2 levels - each with it's own lid. One lid has a little section with attached utensils! The bottom compartment is one big section and the top compartment is divided in to two smaller sections (see very first picture). And everything is microwave and dishwasher safe!

FlatOut Light Flatbread
I found these at Sprout's the other day when I was looking for a whole wheat flatbread. I was kind of disappointed by a lot of them because they were higher calorie than I wanted and had more sugar and fat than I wanted... Then I saw just one pack of FlatOut Light Flatbread kind of hidden in the back! Each flatbread is only 90 calories and is made with low fat, whole grains, and no sugar!

Chip'ins Jalapeno Ranch
These are popcorn chips!  They're whole grain and gluten free and because they're air popped, they're fairly low calorie. I'll usually only eat about half the serving size with something else I'm eating. These aren't actually South Beach Diet Safe because corn has a high glycemic index, but if I'm craving some chips these are still decent and better than most other chips! And the Jalapeno Ranch flavor is yummmmmm. I don't normally eat a lot of chips, but my boyfriend LOVES chips... I originally bought these for him and now I love them :P

Bitchin' Sauce
This actually isn't something new I discovered, I've been obsessed with it for a while... but it's definitely "bitchin'!" It's vegan, gluten-free, and (if I remember correctly) raw. It's made from almonds, grapeseed oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, and spices. It's just a creamy, savory sauce that tastes AWESOME! The website lists their servings size as 2 tablespoons, but I never use more than a tablespoon on anything I spread it on - 2 tablespoons seems like way too much for anything - so split all the nutrition info in half for a more realistic servings size. These can only be found in farmer's markets in San Diego right now. It looks like they are working on a method of ordering online, but don't have anything yet. I like the original and chipotle flavors the best. It also comes in a pesto flavor and they have a limited time "heat" flavor right now that I haven't tried yet.

Trader Joe's Grounded Flaxseed with Blueberries
And of course there has to be something from Trader Joe's on here! I first tried this a long time ago when they were sampling it at Trader Joe's when it first came out. I don't know why I never bought it until recently. I've used this stuff on the majority of my breakfasts lately: on top of plain oatmeal, non-fat cottage cheese, or vanilla yogurt (I always buy plain, non-fat yogurt then flavor it myself with vanilla and splenda so there is less calories than buying the pre-flavored yogurts with sugar). It adds a really nutty and a little bit fruity flavor to whatever you top it on. And if you don't mix it in completely, it adds a little bit of crunch too! Like Bitchin' Sauce, the back of this package says the serving size is 2 tbsp, but I think that is way too much and never use more than a tablespoon. So I would half the nutrition info on the back to more like 45 calories per serving.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Drink Up!

I've never been the type of person who struggled to drink enough water, but I've started carrying around a giant 1.5 L water bottle with me to make sure I'm drinking enough. I'm pretty tiny, so this 1.5L bottle I make sure I drink at work plus the 2-3 glasses I normally drink with breakfast and dinner and all of the herbal/decaf teas I drink at work already meets my water requirement (you can calculate how much water your body needs here I know I definitely get much more than enough because I can comfortably go through two of this size bottle while just at work. Right now, it's around noon and I am just eating my lunch and have already re-filled the bottle.

I know a lot of people struggle to drink water because they hate drinking things with no flavor, but drinking a lot of water is really one of the best things you can do for your health and weight loss! When I was in high school, I stopped drinking soda / sugary drinks and replaced them with water just because I hated the way my teeth felt after I drank it and I lost some weight without even trying! Plus a lot of times when we think we're hungry, our bodies are really just thirsty. Try drinking some water before you stuff your face! Also, when I was in college I was sick for about two weeks and it was the only time in my life that I've lost my voice - at the worst time too because I had to sing and dance and talk in a ridiculously high pitched voice for a performance (I was Little Sally in Urinetown).... But randomly just a few nights before the show, I was at rehearsal practicing and I decided to fill up on of these 1.5L bottles FIVE TIMES and drank all of it just in that night (we were also dancing/exercising and sweating, so I'm sure this is much more than most people would need), but when I woke up the next morning my voice came back! And I VERY QUICKLY and completely recovered over the next few days just in time for the show :) A little story to prove that your body NEEDS water!!

Here are some pics of me as Little Sally in Urinetown a few years ago (in the pink dress and pigtails hahahaha)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

More giant zucchini - stuffed!

Split another zucchini in half lengthwise and scooped out the large seeds then stuffed it with eggplant, tomato, garlic, parsley, basil, and Parmesan that was sautéed in olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Workout at work!

I recently got the idea from my coworker to do quick work-time workouts! It's probably one of the best workout decisions I've ever made. I used to rarely ever take my two 15 min breaks the California law is required to give us - only when I was so tired and my brain couldn't function anymore I would step outside for 10 minutes and take a slow walk to clear my head.

My coworker brought up that he takes his 15 minute breaks even if he's not tired and just walks anyways. He sets his alarm for 7 minutes, starts walking, then when his alarm rings, he heads back to the office. If you take both of those breaks, that's already 30 minutes of walking! And even better if you speed walk! If you add in 30 minutes at lunch, that's a WHOLE HOUR! I didn't realize how much it adds up until I heard that! So I started doing it too and I feel awesome :) I'm much more energized, work more efficiently when I get back to the office, plus get a good amount of extra exercise for the day.

A lot of times I don't make it out to walk all three times every day, but I try. Most of the time I'll get only two walks in, but it still adds up!

Today I made the decision to add a few simple strength exercises in to my lunch time walk. So instead of setting my alarm for 15 minute to walk out during lunch, I only set it for 10 minutes then I stop to do some exercises before walking the 10 minutes back. I didn't want to get too crazy because I don't want to show up at work super sweaty, so today I did a 1 minute plank, 30 second side-planks on each side, and 10 push-ups. Then I speed-walked back to my office and ran up the three stories worth of stairs to my office two steps at a time, so that my heart rate was still up when I sat back at my desk. I only spent a little over 20 minutes out there, so I still have time to eat lunch at my desk and write a little post right now :P

I didn't want to do anything too crazy for strength today, but I think tomorrow I will have to add more. It was a little too easy. Maybe I'll repeat everything another time and add some tricep strengthening also - my triceps are WEEEAK.

On my way walking back to the office, I saw a food truck along the street called Epic Eatz. It's supposed to be San Diego Surf style foods. I saw they had halibut ceviche and ahi poki on their menu.... MMMMMM I think I need to try that when they are back next Tuesday.

Also, I just ate a really yummy and simple salad that I brought from home! Mache lettuce with micro-basil, mini heirloom tomatoes, half of a part-skim mozzarella string cheese sliced thin, balsamic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. So yummy! That micro-basil really does it, I think.

For a mid-afternoon snack, I brought a plain brown rice cake (one of those crispy puffed rice cake things) with some of Trader Joe's flaxseed almond butter to spread on top

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Hour

I went to happy hour with my mom and my brother last night as a last night get-together before my brother left to go back to school today. We went to Truluck's, a seafood/steak restaurant. Eating out is always hard when you're trying to eat healthy - ESPECIALLY if it's eating out for happy hour... And even more hard if you just really, REALLY love food! But I think I did pretty good and I stayed Phase 2 safe!!

I had a glass of white wine, a few oysters with lemon, split a huge serving of ceviche with my mom (I let her have all of the chips that it came with for scooping), and we all shared some sweet potato fries (I tried to put sweet potato fries in front of my mom and brother so I wouldn't be as tempted to eat them too much haha).

I'm pretty proud of myself! I still got to enjoy eating out with and was very happy with staying fairly healthy in my choices!

Giant Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash

A giant zucchini and yellow squash picked fresh two day before! (see previous post). They were so thick.. I HAD to throw these on the grill.

The seeds inside were huge. So I scooped out the centers, saved the seeds for roasting, and saved the meaty parts of the center to cook with some other things later.

Zucchini and yellow squash are probably a few of my FAVORITE things to grill. MMMMMMM. And eggplant. I love flavor the char adds to these veggies.

Such a fresh meal! The squash were picked just a few days before and my brother caught these fish earlier in the day, so we grilled those too! yum

Monday, July 9, 2012

Awesome Vegetables

Look how giant these zucchini and yellow squash are!! MMMMMM!!! A little gift from my coworker's in-law's garden lol.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baked Salmon

I was at Fresh & Easy the other day and they had a really great price on wild, fresh, never frozen salmon fillets with the skin on! I hadn't planned anything for dinner that night yet, so it was perfect.

Once I saw that it had the skin on, I was immediately craving crispy, delicious salmon skin. Here's what I did to make this simple, quick, and yummy salmon!

Baked Salmon with Crispy Skin:

- salmon fillet with skin
- 2 tsp capers, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp dill
- lemon slices
- olive oil
- salt pepper
- lemon pepper (I used Trader Joe's lemon pepper grinder bc it also has garlic and onion in it)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and start heating a pan with a little olive oil and butter over high heat.
2. First step is to pat down the fish with paper towels. It is important to dry it, so you get a nice browned and crispy skin.
3. Rub a little olive oil over entire fish (both meat and skin side) and season with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper.
4. Start cooking the salmon skin-side down on the pan. You don't want to cook the salmon through. We are only cooking the salmon on the pan to crisp up the skin. Keep a careful watch on the salmon and remove from the stove-top once the skin is lightly browned. Do not flip the salmon over!
5. While the skin is crisping up, sprinkle dill, garlic, capers, and lemon slices on top of the salmon. Squeeze a tiny bit of lemon juice over the salmon (not too much because you don't want a lot of liquid in the pan) and do a final light drizzle of olive oil.
6. When the skin is nice and browned, throw the entire pan in to the oven and finish off the cooking in there! It will be done when the thickest part of the salmon flakes easily. I check mine often because I hate overcooked salmon.

Salmon and toppings in the pan after crisping the skin and before baking.

After baking... Look at all the delicious, healthy fats (the creamy-looking, white parts) that came from the salmon!!

These toppings/seasonings add nice flavor while still allowing the salmon to be the star. The salmon is moist and the skin is nice and crispy! Salmon skin is very healthy for you too - lots of Omega-3s!