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??

Weekend Recap: Sweet Potato Hash & Buffalo Chicken Salad + Workout

Happy Monday!

This weekend was relatively simple, yet amazing at the same time.  Here’s a little recap:

Friday night: Matt went to the St. Louis Blues game, so I spent the evening with my DVR (a little Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and Real Housewives, don’t be jealous) and went to bed at 10pm.  Glorious.

Saturday: Got up early to go shopping with my mom at the new outlet mall in St. Louis.  Also glorious.  Then spent the evening with one of my best friends, Dana, and her two kids because her husband was out of town.  Glorious in a change-5-diapers-in-one-night kind of way.  Her, not me. 🙂  But really, it was great to hang with her and enjoy a big girl drink with her again- finally!  Plus, I’m utterly obsessed with her kids, in a totally non-creepy way.

Sunday: Matt and I went to the gym and the grocery store; typical Sunday afternoon.  Here is the workout I completed, after a 20min warmup:

Full Body Workout

I spent the rest of the afternoon making Peanut Butter Granola and Homemade Protein Bars for the week and got a little relaxing time in too.  For lunch, I made Buffalo Chicken Salad and I ate mine in a lettuce wrap.  I loved the twist on the typical chicken salad.  The recipe is at the end of this post!

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We had to eat lunch outside because the weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. I’m beyond excited for fall.  I just hope Missouri actually let’s us enjoy the season, instead of skipping straight to winter. It’s kind of our M.O.

For dinner, we made Sweet Potato Hash and enjoyed it on our patio (again) with a tall glass of wine.  My kind of Sunday night. 🙂  Now we also have enough food for dinner the next few nights.  Even better.

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I found the recipe here, at Carrots and Cake, one of the many blogs I follow.  I’ve made it in the past and Matt’s a big fan.  Now that the weather is changing, it felt like a good time to bust it out again.  Feels like comfort food. 🙂  I followed the recipe exactly, but this time I eliminated the cinnamon.  We ended up liking it a little bit better that way, but it depends on your taste!

Turkey & Spinach Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-4 handfuls of fresh spinach

Directions:

  1. Dice sweet potato into small pieces and then add them to a large sauté pan with olive oil, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Coat sweet potatoes in olive oil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. While sweet potatoes are cooking, dice onion.
  2. Add ground turkey to the pan with the sweet potatoes. Break it up with a fork as it cooks. Add onion.
  3. Continue to cook sweet potatoes, turkey, and onion until turkey is no longer pink and sweet potatoes begin to soften.
  4. When sweet potatoes are soft, add spinach and cook until it is wilted.
  5. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately.

 

Buffalo Chicken Salad 

(I found the original recipe  for the here.)

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, cilantro, and blue cheese. Refrigerate until serving or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Yield: ~ 4 cups chicken salad (~8 servings, 1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup): 100 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 34 mg. cholesterol; 381 mg. sodium; 1.6 g. carbohydrate; 0.25g. fiber; 16.3 g. protein; 1.0 g. sugar

 

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!

WIAWbutton(Thanks for hosting, Jenn!) 🙂

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!

3 x 3 Full Body Circuit Workout

One more day and it’s Fridaaaayyyyy!!!!!!

I’ve been loving my lunch/dinner combinations the past few days, so I thought I should share.  When I can, I try to find easy/healthy recipes that will make enough food that I don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. I’m such a good housewife, huh? On Tuesday night, I made kale salad so I would have it for lunch during the week, and for dinner I threw together a chicken stir-fry that was just as easy to make as it was tasty. For my lunch the past few days, I have paired the kale salad with plain tuna.  Usually, I would think plain tuna would be gross and boring, but the salad has enough flavor (at least I think so), that I don’t even notice.  For the stir-fry, I used two bags of a veggie mix I found in the produce section that included snow peas, broccoli, sprouts and cabbage.  I grilled it all on the stove, then mixed it together with a low-sodium soy sauce and a little General Tso’s sauce.  Normally, I would try to keep the added sauces and syrups out of my meals, but as long as you don’t over do it, it’s not the end of the world.  I know “food is fuel” (direct quote from my dad) but personally, I prefer my fuel to at least have some flavor. 😉

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Backtracking to my morning workout yesterday, I started out with 15min of light cardio, then put together this full body circuit workout.  For that little extra “kick”, add in 10 burpees or run on the treadmill for 5min in between each circuit!

3x3 Full Body Circuit

 

Exercise Details/Links

Walking Overhead Lunges– walking lunges holding a 15-25 pound plate/weight above your head, arms straight. (I used a 25 pound plate this time)

Superman Planks

Walking Planks  (Plank Push-ups…I have a variety of names for this one, apparently.) 🙂

Plank Spider Squats

Stability Ball Jack Knifes

Walking Push-ups– start standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

 

Have a great 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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Skinny “Fish & Chips”

Anyone else feeling like this sums up their Monday?

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(Thanks Kate, for the much needed laugh today!)

I had to throw that out there.  That’s all.  Anywayyyy……back to your regularly scheduled programming.

One of the go-to meals in our house lately has been fish and chips.  No, not your heart-attack-on-a-plate fish and chips.  This dish is more like I-can’t-believe-this-is-actually-healthy fish and chips.  Keeping with the low carb theme that is my life, I replaced half of the bread crumbs with almond flour.  I tried doing all almond flour, but it wasn’t as crispy, more like a mushy mess.  Not cute.  Then, instead of greasy french fries, I made homemade sweet potato “fries”.  I knew this meal was a keeper when Matt wanted seconds. Sometimes he doesn’t love my “replacement” meals.  You know, when you try to make something unhealthy, healthy?  And usually that “something” is delicious because it’s unhealthy?  Some things are better left to a cheat meal, but this time, I think I brought home a winner! 🙂

Skinny Fish and Chips

Baked Cod

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 egg

(may need more/less of each of these ingredients depending on the amount of fish)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pour bread crumbs and almond flour into a ziploc bag and shake until mixed.  Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then dip the fish in the egg until it is covered.  Place the fish in the ziplock bag and shake until covered.

Bake for 20-30 min.  Time may vary, bake until bread crumbs are golden brown and fish is flaky.

Sweet Potato Fries

(original recipe found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ground cuming
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive or coconut)
  • 2-4 medium size sweet potatoes (depending on how much spice you want on each)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 5oo degrees. (If you are doing the cod at the same time, you can decrease the temperature, just bake the fries longer)

Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil.  In a small bowl, mix the spices together with a fork. Cut the sweet potatoes into about 1/2″ x 1/2″ fries. I leave the skin on.  In a large bowl, combine the oil with the fries, tossing with one hand.  With the other hand, simultaneously sprinkle the spice mixture and continue mixing until the potatoes are evenly coated.  Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 20-25 min, turning the fries halfway.  Time may vary, bake until edges are crispy.

 

I hope you enjoy! 🙂