Nutrition Humor – What I Ate Was. . .

I had a solid laugh over this.  I have a couple of friends who are unapologetic, and would have been damn proud, and outright, with the whole pizza situation.  A former dance partner who’d go so far as to douse his in additional sauces comes to mind.

But there are a few who also try really hard to be good…but end up with an, oh I don’t know, pizza, for example…  Who then endeavor to make it sound (at least initially) healthier than it was. . . in a way (I think) to make their inner voice less hands-on-hips when declared.  

Not to worry, though, the inner voice was chomping along with you (and probably enjoyed it too!) so express your choices freely!

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Rainy Day Fun

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This weekend we had a whole smattering of rain… After our healthy breakfast, we thought we might go visit a farm, just for some fun and sunshine.  But, those water drops came down early, and our trip was out rather suddenly!

It’s been a long time since I visited the amazing sites around my old college campus (the White House WAS my neighbor!) so rather out of the blue, we chose to hit the road – sitting around makes me feel lethargic!  (Active rest CAN include walking for a few hours, even if inside…)

We decided we’d visit one of the Smithsonian complexes on the mall (nevermind the St, Patrick’s Day parade we didn’t realize was going on simultaneously!) because really, what better place to explore when you can’t be outside?  

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I haven’t gone into a Natural History Museum in ages, and I have to say…it was an incredible joy.  As a little girl, I wanted desperately to be an archeologist – the prospect of discovering some meaningful antiquity, coming face to face with a mummy, or finding precious rocks had me enamored.  

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Maybe it was the idea that I’d be close to Earth…and in finding such things, I would have “touched” history in a way – like time travel, albeit not temporally!  

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Anyway…it always amazes me to see the wonders of the Natural World, and it was a perfect activity for such a gloomy day.  After the visit, my cloudy white cowboy boots (to jive with the grey skies) and all-black attire marched to a Hard Rock cafe for some fuel.  Most people would say you can’t fin anything healthy in a restaurant like that  but…I did!  Admittedly, the first time it didn’t come out as I asked…but…we managed!

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You can always ask for plain, grilled fish (I usually ask for this instead of chicken, which often is overly marinated already) and steamed vegetables.  My plate came with mashed potatoes, but I just ignored them (had I known they came in tow, I would have requested they save the food!)  It was exactly what I needed after a lengthy afternoon – protein works wonders to stabilize you, and keep you full longer.  I always as for veggies too because I need volume.

All in all, it was a wonderful day – I enjoyed being out and about, and doing something new and different. I know many folks go to Museums for their children, but it is equally as enriching as an adult…plus, even when it’s pouring, you get to walk round and stay active.  Win, win, win! 🙂 

My Current Go-To Meal

Despite my immense propensity for “getting bored,” I never seem to tire of healthy foods.  I’m enormously thankful for that, as I am scarcely exempt from getting cravings.  Fortunately a giant bowl protein and vegetables is generally enough to derail those venomous “you know you want a cookie”s, but it doesn’t mean it is always easy!  My willpower is tightly tied to my goals – I do my best to adhere to those, and focus on the end result as much as I can, which helps me see past the immediate satisfaction I *think* I’ll feel. 

gvu.gatech.edu

gvu.gatech.edu

Eating protein DOES help – you are providing your body with a slower-digesting source of fuel that registers as “satiety” for a longer period…and I definitely need that!  If not, I’d be in trouble – after my late 20s, food started to “stick,” whether I protested or not.  Staying well hydrated helps to stave off cravings as well, which helps me stick to my goals as best I can.

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Shutterstock 283730408

Lately my protein choices have changed (just a hair!) – since I eat a lot of the same foods, it isn’t at all surprising!  That said, it also isn’t so dramatic a change, my body will have any issues processing.  I’ve swapped out chicken breasts and tenders for ground chicken.  At least for now. I can’t say why specifically, but it totally hits the spot! 😀 Regardless of the protein source (salmon, shrimp and mild fish are other favorites!), I will always add vegetables.  

I add a few veggies into this recipe, but I add even more with it for a meal – I probably go through about 8  lbs of vegetables a day.  Yes…I said A DAY.  You know those enormous 4 lb frozen mixed vegetable packages at the supermarket?  I go through at least two a day (sometimes I use one, along with several smaller packages, varying the “mix.”)  Veggies add healthy, less calorically-dense VOLUME and, because I love to eat, volume is key.  My favorite picks are:

  • California Blend – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. (I use these for the bulk)
  • Italian Blend – broccoli, cauliflower, Italian green beans, zucchini, carrots
  • Asian Blend – broccoli, snap peas, water chestnuts, red peppers, mushrooms
  • Ranchero Fiesta – broccoli, white beans, chickpeas, carrots, red peppers, dark red kidney beans, Italian green beans. (I generally use half a bag, mixed with less starchy vegetables, but I love these for the extra fiber and protein (which, again, helps you stay satisfied longer!))

Those aside, my favorite vegetables to prepare with the ground chicken are organic red, yellow, and orange peppers (sweeter than the green), sliced baby bella mushrooms, and fire roasted tomatoes.  Sometimes I also add baby spinach, but I’ll toss it in towards the end if I do so it doesn’t get cooked too much and lose nutrients.

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I slice the peppers into small strips, after removing the stem and seeds, and quartering.  The mushrooms just need to be rinsed, and that’s it!  I will heat the stove on high and toss all the veggies with some salt and pepper into my snazzy Curtis Stone pan (which I don’t have to use any oil with! 🙂 ) I generally put the cover on and let them simmer, stirring occasionally, for about six or seven minutes.  

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Then I put two pounds of ground chicken (Whole Foods can grind breast meat for you if they are out!) into a second, larger pan, over high heat – again, no oil is necessary, but I do sprinkle Jane’s Mixed Up Salt on both sides (it’s easy to sprinkle on one side while in the package, then when you place it in the pan face down, you can add to the second side.)  I give it about two or three minutes on high to let one side brown gently, then I flip.  I’ll give it a minute or two and then start to chop it with my spatula, and flip as necessary.  

I DON’T like dried-out meat, so I will get it cooked about 75% through, then add in the vegetable mixture, which is softened by now, but not overcooked.  I’ll let that simmer on a medium to high heat mixing periodically until it’s cooked through.  

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And voila…easy as that.  The whole thing doesn’t take more than about 15 minutes or so, and it lasts me through a few meals.  I DO tend to eat “dinner” a few times at Night, though… 🙂  It really is like feeding a raptor.

For more of my Nutritional Choices… 😀

Healthy Options – Day Trip

I had the blessing to visit an old college haunt this weekend with my man – Old Glory BBQ in Georgetown, Washington, D.C..  We ate with such frequency that I remembered tables where I once sat, as well as dishes no longer on the menu…  Good times! 😀

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I try to be as healthy as I can when I’m traveling, and I am incredibly thankful I am able to do so – once upon a time, that was nigh impossible.  (I also have the support of my significant other, which is a huge deal in my book.)

Despite the down-home-comfort of most of what they serve, it was incredibly easy to get a healthy meal.  The turkey was smoked and grilled, and the veggies were grilled on a kebab – perfect!  If sodium was a substantial concern, the smoked turkey may have been substituted with the chicken (which generally had less, as I recall.)  But overall, it was a delicious (and filling!) combination of protein and veggies.

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We got a little hungry later so we stopped at D&D on M Street – a supermarket would have been better in the pricing department, but I was thankful to be able to buy fresh fruit so I’m not complaining!  Grapes have quite a bit of sugar, but we walked quite a bit, and had a long drive back home – for me, that was just what I needed.  I loved the mixture of green, red and black grapes, too – the colors and taste variety keep the snack interesting.

More of my nutritional stuff here!

Snow Day Snacks

Depending on where you are, you may have gotten some snow the other day – for many locations in the US, it was a nice, wintery foot and a half or so.  

Now I realize it isn’t as easy to get around in inclement weather (or the aftermath)… And I, too, have to stand on those horrific impending-apocalypse lines at the supermarket.  But I LOVE the Seasons, and I LOVE snow – it changes things up and gives us a chance to SLOW DOWN (rest days?  What are those?!)

My man and I decided to venture out during the blizzard (I mean, why make it easy for ourselves!?)  The pubs in the area had promised to stay open and sure enough, they were.  We wandered (er, were wind-blown!) into one we hadn’t yet tried, and were delightfully surprised – there may have been only four of us in the entire place, but they were incredibly accommodating.

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Not only was I able to get coffee with almond milk (how many pubs have that, you ask?  Not many!), but I was also able to order something clean and delicious for lunch – sliced, roasted turkey.

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The menu was very limited but the bartender didn’t bat a lash when I said I didn’t drink, and that I wanted turkey…minus the sandwich part!  It seems like a small thing, but it is the kind of accommodation and consideration I truly appreciate – while the world has become more conscious overall, offering healthy options at restaurants, it still can’t be expected that every establishment is on board.  

I’m not as flexible with my nutritional choices as most people and I am always and ever thankful to be met with “no problem” or even “let me double check for you!”  

The turkey happened to be UH-MAZING, and I made a point to tell the owner that if I liked it…it is DEFINITELY good!  

Yes indeed, Mrs. Particular LOVED it – it was just what I needed for a snowy day.

Weekend Lunch

Right before moving, my hunnie and I had a chance to get together with all the parents (always a treat – they are all amazing! ❤ ) We went out to dinner together, which was a ball, but he and I had a chance to get some lunch together earlier.  It was a gorgeous day…still quite warm, but Fall was undoubtedly present, trailing on the end-of-summer breeze.

We sat outside and ordered some unsweetened iced tea – I’ve recently decided I am steering clear of Splenda (sucralose) and the like, as I *may* have intolerance.  (PS, that’s rather a topic all its own.  Alarming, some of what I was reading!)

I feel like whatever I order is simple – fortunately this waitress agreed!  Most of the time I can order healthily and people are accommodating – it is SO much more commonplace these days to be asked to “modify” a meal, whether because people are more health conscious, have allergies etc…  But in the end, a simple meal without the extra butter, oil or paraphernalia IS easy to prepare.  So modify away!

I asked for “a usual” for me, baby spinach, tomatoes and grilled chicken.  That’s it.  Nothing else!  It sounds sp plain but when you add salt and pepper and chip it up a bit, the moisture from the baby spinach helps it all mix in.  It’s delicious, and incredibly good for you.  It’s also filling because of the protein, so I’m not starving in two seconds. 

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I’m looking at it now, somewhat hungrily, actually!  I used to eat a lot of lettuce, but baby spinach, or really deep greens, pack so much more of a nutritional punch that it’s worth at least mixing some in if you don’t want to go ALL in.