WIAW #4: Water Challenge & Egg White Muffin Recipe

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post isn’t going to include as many photos as usual because, well, I wasn’t on my A-game today.  It happens, right?  I think you’ll get the drift. 😉

As always, you can find the link-up here:

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Water

I’ve been going to a chiropractor for about 2 years now for my scoliosis and am so glad I made the choice.  I’ve had scoliosis since I was young and never thought it would be possible for the curvature of my spine to improve.  My scoliosis wasn’t severe enough to warrant surgery or a brace and it honestly hadn’t bothered me until a few years ago.  I started having more pain in my lower back after walking for a long period of time and even sitting was getting uncomfortable because one side of my back was protruding more than the other, which caused one side to touch the back of a chair when the other wasn’t.  There were also visible signs that probably the average person wouldn’t notice but I certainly couldn’t keep my eyes off of the “obvious hump” on my left side…you know how that goes. 😉  Fast forward two years later and my spine is visibly straighter and the discomfort basically non-existent.  Anywayyyy, this long back story brings me to the first part of my WIAW post…water!

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It is National Chiropractic Health Month and to celebrate, my chiropractor’s office is doing a month long event called the Healthy Habits Challenge. Each week they will focus on a different healthy habit and this week, it’s water!  They challenged everyone to at least set a goal of adding 8oz of water every day.  My personal goal is to drink at least 64oz of water a day.  Monday I succeeded and yesterday I probably got 3/4 of the way there.  Baby steps.  I really do feel so much better when I am hydrated so I’m going to carry this goal past this week and make it an ongoing habit!

Tip: if you are feeling slightly hungry but aren’t sure if you are ready for a meal/snack yet, drink a cold glass of water.  Sometimes it’s your dehydration talking, not your stomach!  Obviously if you are still hungry after drinking the water, then dig in!

Breakfast

As you all know, I am always on the lookout for a new quick go-to breakfast option.  I’ve tried making different egg casseroles before but nothing has really stuck.  I made my second attempt at egg “muffins” and this time I think I’ve found a winner.  My first attempt included frozen spinach…I won’t be doing that again.  It made the muffins waaay too runny.  This time I used fresh spinach leaves and the texture is much better.

You can use whatever combination of vegetables, meat and cheese that you want.  I used chopped peppers, spinach, deli meat and shredded cheese.  I subbed the shredded cheese with goat cheese for some of them because I’m obsessed.

Start by spraying the muffin pan with olive oil spray.  Then fill the cups halfway with the veggies/cheese/meat of your choice.

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The fill the rest of the cups with egg whites.

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Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Egg White Muffins

 

Lunch

My office provided pizza from a delicious restaurant in St. Louis called Dewey’s.  I had two small slices, one with goat cheese (see?!), artichokes and pesto and the other was a BBQ chicken variety.  I only ended up eating part of the goat cheese slice because the pesto wasn’t really doing it for me.  Luckily I also had some kale salad that I brought from home (so I wouldn’t fill up on pizza). 😉 I wish I had paused long enough to take a picture but anything that tries to get in between me and my pizza….

Mid Afternoon Snack

I’m trying to get back in the habit of eating only vegetables and cutting out the fruit after lunchtime.  Celery and peanut butter is a snack that satisfies my sweet tooth and still allows me to get in my veggies.

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Dinner

Roasted green beans and a black bean turkey burger.  Oldies but goodies.  Again, sorry for the lack of photos!  Apparently I was extra hungry today.

 

Have a great day!

 

WIAW #3: Pumpkin-palooza

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post surrounds one thing and one thing only.  Pumpkin, my friends. Delicious, glorious, pumpkin.  Like everyone else, I’ve been incorporating pumpkin into my meals since the first day the temperature dropped below 70 degrees.

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 Thanks again to Jenn for hosting! 🙂

Obviously I didn’t eat/drink all of these meals in one day, more like one week, but it sure is tempting….

Pumpkin Spice Latte

You can’t say the words fall and pumpkin without a #psl, let’s be real.  I think it’s hilarious that the phenomenon that is the #psl has caused millions of  people to post pictures of their coffee cups like it’s their first born child.  Can’t say they are alone.  Whoops.

Tip: Make it “skinny-er” by asking for non-fat milk, no whip and only 2 pumps of the syrup in a tall.  If your coffee shop has almond milk- bonus!  I always try to cut the calories where I can and I don’t even notice the difference with a little less syrup.

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Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

This is one of my favorite smoothies to make in the morning.  It’s quick, easy and is a nice change from the usual fruit smoothie.

Pumpkin Protein Shake

Skinny Pumpkin Cookies

This is one of the most genius recipes I’ve ever seen.  Three ingredients, no milk, oil or eggs, and you won’t add an inch to your waistline by just smelling them.  When I say these are easy to make, that’s an understatement.  You can also substitute any other flavor of cake mix like my personal favorite, Devil’s Food, for a non-pumpkin-like cookie.

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Skinny Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 box cake mix (I used spice cake mix)
  • 1 cup (or more) chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together, place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cooking times will vary depending on your oven but I will say they are better when a little under cooked. 🙂

Pumpkin Spice K-cups

I found these K-cups at Target, for when I don’t have time to get my beloved latte.  Add a little stevia and almond milk or sugar free caramel creamer…it’s not the real thing, but it’ll do (and with a lot less calories, I’m sure). 🙂

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Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

One of my favorite breakfasts (when I have time on the weekends) is protein pancakes.  What’s better than protein pancakes? PUMPKIN protein pancakes.  Duh.  I found this recipe over at The Healthy Maven and immediately pinned it to try at a later date.  I like to top them with a little peanut butter or sugar-free syrup. I’ve now made these twice and I’m sure they will make their way into my meals many more times before fall is over!

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That’ll do it for today!

Question:

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe??

WIAW #2: Almond Milk Latte, Happy Hour & Everything In Between

It’s that time again!  WIAW: numero dos.  Thanks again to Jenn for hosting!

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And by Wednesday, I mean Monday. 🙂

Breakfast:

I was in a hurry to get out the door on Monday, so just grabbed some trail mix and a Homemade Protein Bar to save time.  Ok, so really I just wanted to have enough time to stop and get a latte on the way to work.  Priorities, people.

IMG_20130923_074626Meet my Monday saving grace: Sugar-free Caramel latte with Almond Milk.  Doesn’t it kind of look like the heavens are shining down on my coffee in this picture?  I’m now a regular at Kaldi’s when it’s in close proximity to me, solely for the fact that they have unsweetened almond milk AND they put two shots of espresso in the tall latte.  In the words of Carrie, hello lovahhh.

Mid Morning Snack:

It goes without saying that I was hungry a couple hours later so I grabbed the apple that I brought with me to work and dipped it in this Trader Joe’s Unsalted Peanut Butter.  I’m usually not a crunchy peanut butter fan, but I like the extra crunch with the apple.  I also was really skeptical about this unsalted business.  I wouldn’t suggest eating it straight from the jar with a spoon, but when paired with something sweet, like an apple, or on a rice cake or celery, I can’t really tell the difference.

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Lunch:

For lunch, I had leftovers from lunch on Sunday– buffalo chicken salad.  Delish.  I also had about a cup or two of grapes.

DSC01249Mid Afternoon Snack:

Non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt topped with chopped walnuts and chia seeds.  I swear, it never gets old. 🙂

IMAG0116Dinner:

Now THIS was the highlight of my day!  I had plans with some of my best friends for happy hour at one of our favorite new spots, EdgeWild Winery.  It’s a great atmosphere and with half off wine, wine slushies, and all appetizers…we’re hooked.  I will preface this by saying that when we go to happy hour, we all know we are going to splurge.  I’m pretty sure it’s required for any and all girls’ nights, no?

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IMAG0118Margherita Flatbread, Steak Bruschetta, Olive/Artichoke/Goat Cheese Flatbread and Goat Cheese dip were our apps of choice.  Yes, it was as good as it looks.  Annnd now I want to go back…

 

We’re halfway there!  Have a great rest of the week. 🙂

 

WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday #1

After seeing many other What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) posts around the blogging world, I decided to finally take part myself!  I love reading what other healthy living bloggers eat on a “normal” day and even though I do post recipes and some of my daily go-to meals, I haven’t posted an entire day’s worth of meals yet.  No better time like the present, right?  So, let’s get to it!

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Tuesday’s Menu:

Breakfast

I started out my morning with one of Matt’s and my favorites lately, non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt with fresh bluberries, chopped walnuts, and a little homemade Peanut Butter Granola.  I threw in a few chia seeds this time too, for good measure.

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Oh, and I can’t forget my coffee, complete with Stevia and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Anyone else love the fact that Target now has K-cups?  I went with the Caramel Machiatto flavor this time but I also spotted Pumpkin Spice, which you better believe will make it into my little red basket next time. 🙂

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Mid-Morning Snack

Fast forward a couple hours and per usual, I’m hungry again.  For a snack, I paired an apple with one of my new favs, Dark Chocolate Almond butter.  This stuff is no joke.

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Lunch

For lunch, I had had Kale Salad with grilled chicken and a few slivered almonds on top.  To top it off, I grabbed a small handful of trail mix and of course, no meal would be complete without a little dark chocolate.

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Gotta love Dove. 🙂

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Mid-Afternoon Snack

I really take this 5-6 small meals a day seriously, you guys. 🙂  A few hours after lunch, I grabbed a Homemade Protein Bar to hold me over until dinner.  This time, I used vanilla protein powder and added chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Gooey and delicious, just the way I like them!

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Dinner

While I was cooking dinner, I snacked on a couple (seriously, just a couple!) of these new lentil chips I found at the store, with spicy hummus.  The chips were an interesting texture, but pretty good!

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When I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday, I spotted a bag of shredded brussel sprouts.  I always hear about these tasty recipes people come up with for brussel sprouts, but I just haven’t been able to jump on the bandwagon.  I thought maybe they would be better in the shredded form??  I sauteed them with broccoli, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning.  I can’t say I’m convinced, but they weren’t too bad, especially after I added a little goat cheese on top.  Goat cheese fixes everything, let’s be real.  I paired the veggies with grilled chicken and a few dark chocolate acai berries for dessert (yum!).

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 Welp, there you have it!  Happy Hump Day!

Burpee Bonanza & Green Protein Smoothie

Yesterday, my day started like it usually does- half awake at the gym.  I started out with 10 minutes of light intervals on the Stairmaster to get warmed up.  Then, I got to work on the ladder workout below.  Here’s how it works: Start out with 20 Burpees, 10 V-Situps, 20 Air Squats, and 10 Push-ups.  Then, 18 Burpees, 9 V-Situps, 18 Air Squats, and 9 Push-ups, and so on….basically the exercises that start with 20, you go down by 2 each time and the exercises that start with 10, you go down by 1.  I started out trying to do everything at 20 reps and down, but I quickly realized that, #1 I was going to run out of time before I needed to go home and get ready for work, and #2 I might not make it through the entire workout because my body wasn’t havin’ any of that.  I also realized early on that when you don’t do burpees for a while, your mind/body forget how hard they are; aka, your selective memory blocks them out of your mind, for obvious reasons.  I haven’t incorporated burpees into my workouts in a while because I’ve been trying to let my hamstring heal. It was starting to feel better, so I thought I would give this one a whirl.  Turns out, with this workout you end up doing 110 burpees!  Might have been a little aggressive, but I made it through…barely. You can always modify this by taking everything down to 10 reps and decrease by 1 each round.

Burpee Ladder Workout

After my workout, I made one of my breakfast staples- a Green Protein Smoothie.  I had always heard about putting greens like spinach and kale into smoothies, but never believed anyone when they said you can’t taste it. Lettuce in a smoothie? Yeah right…well, I was wrong.   I swear, you really can’t taste the spinach, and as long as it is blended thoroughly you won’t even notice it is there.  By adding spinach, you get the added bonus of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and other health benefits it provides.  The recipe is below, feel free to substitute whatever fruit or nut butter you prefer!

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 There you have it!  A delicious green- er, grey- smoothie…I promise it tastes better than it looks.

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Green Protein Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 servings whey protein powder (I usually use chocolate, obvi)
  • 2-4 cups spinach (I don’t usually measure this, just fill the rest of the blender with spinach)

Directions:

Blend together and enjoy!

 

Also, if you haven’t already, click the link below or the button on the right side of the page, to follow my blog with Bloglovin, along with all of your favorites.  It’s a great site that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place, and you can also get a daily email letting you know of new posts from those blogs.

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Fighting that cardio boredom…

Hey there!

I started off my morning yesterday with a little 5:30 am workout, per usual.  I have to admit, I wasn’t really in the mood to “get after it” like I usually am but hey, I figured I’m there, might as well make the most of it right?  My hamstring is STILL giving me issues, so I decided to take it easy on the cardio.  I started off with 10 min on the bike, 10 min on the elliptical, then my boredom got the best of me, so I decided to do a quick 10 min Tabata workout to switch things up, before I finished with 10 more minutes on the elliptical.  On it’s own, this Tabata workout only adds up to 10 minutes, but paired with extra cardio and a workout like the 24 x 24 Leg Burners, it’s a quick and easy way to break a sweat and avoid the boredom.

Timely Tabata

Plank Spider Squat

Start in straight arm plank position.  Bring your right foot up next to your right arm, come back to starting positions.  Repeat on left, come back to starting position.  Then, jump both feet to squat position, keeping hands on the ground.  Return to starting position and repeat continuously until the time is up.

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 P.S. I got these adorable monogram Nike running shorts as a bridesmaid gift last weekend.  Note to brides out there: LOVE this idea! It’s not another tote to add to the collection, and obviously something I will wear time and time again. 🙂  Thanks Kelly!

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One of my latest obsessions is protein pancakes.  I’ve tried a million and one recipes out there and, I have to say, most are pretty darn good!  This recipe is a combination of some of the recipes I’ve tried.  I just opened up my pantry and decided to give it a go. If you haven’t gathered this by now, I’m a sucker for anything and everything low carb, and I think these fit into that category so I have a little extra love for them. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

 If you make a smiley face with the syrup, it tastes better. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

2 tbsp oats

1 tbsp almond flour

1 tsp (or more) cinnamon

1 tsp (or more) stevia

1/8 tsp baking powder

Optional add-ins- chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, etc.

Makes one large pancake.  I usually top it with a little peanut butter and sugar free syrup.