WIAW #7: Healthy Homemade Snacks

Last week, I promised you all a few snack recipes I prepared during my weekly meal prep so I thought I would include them in my usual What I Ate Wednesday post. I’m sure you have been waiting with bated breath (ha), so here ya go. 😉

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I realized recently that, in order to keep myself from turning to packaged chips (even if they are “healthy”), I need to have alternatives on hand that I can snack on when I’m making dinner or just in the mood for a salty, crunchy snack.  It’s all too easy to grab “just a few” chips and hummus…next thing you know I’m elbow deep in the bag and no idea how I got there.  Even though it takes a little extra time on a Sunday afternoon to prep for the week, it really is worth it in the end.  Especially when I don’t have to worry about it during the week when I get home from work. Preparation is key, people!

Crispy Parmesan Edamame(original recipe found here)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz frozen shelled edamame (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4c parmesan cheese (I didn’t actually measure mine, just sprinkled until it was covered)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Thaw the edamame by running under cold water.  Drain and pat dry then toss in olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Pour onto a baking sheet with foil or sprayed with olive oil spray and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy.

Kale ChipsIngredients:

  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

It really couldn’t be easier….tear off the kale leaves, place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil spray or covered in foil.  Drizzle the kale with olive oil and toss to evenly distribute the oil then sprinkle with salt and/or pepper (if you so desire).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.  These go from semi-crispy to burnt pretty quickly, so keep your eye on them!

Spicy Roasted ChickpeasIngredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas (15oz ea)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

**Feel free to add more spice if you want, I found my first batch need a little extra “something”….and that something = more salt. 🙂

Directions:

Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander.  Toss the chickpeas in the colander to get rid of any excess water.  Pour chickpeas onto a paper towel and pat dry.  I also let them sit out for a bit, to make sure they are dry because otherwise you will get soggy chickpeas. 🙂  Toss the chickpeas  in a bowl with the olive oil and spices then spread onto a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil spray or covered in foil.  Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes, or until crispy.

 

Happy HUMP DAY!

WIAW #6: Designer Whey & Spicy Pretzel Recipe

I think it’s about time that I had another What I Ate Wednesday post, so let’s get to it!  Here’s what my day looked like on Tuesday…

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Breakfast:

As you might already know, I’m pretty pumped about my recent giveaway winnings so of course I had to try out one of the new products asap.  I was in a hurry, so I grabbed a Designer Whey Triple Chocolate Crunch protein bar, but of course I also had juuust enough time to stop for a sugar-free caramel almond milk latte.  Yumm. 🙂  The protein bar was really good!  It wasn’t chalky like some protein bars can be and lots of chocolate, just the way I like it.

IMAG0173Snack:

With 160 calories and 10g of protein, the protein bar was enough to hold me over until it was time for a snack.  Tuesday it was nothing out of the ordinary.  An apple with unsalted peanut butter, shocker.  I did mix the peanut butter with a little dark chocolate almond butter though.  Look out, things are gettin crazy!

Lunch:

I did change it up a bit for lunch, with some Trader Joe’s lentil soup and an open-face sandwich with low-sodium ham and reduced fat cheese on sprouted wheat bread.  As you know, I’ve taken bread (almost) out of my diet but when I do have it, I try to only buy sprouted wheat.  Trader Joe’s has a good brand and Ezekiel is also really good!  With fall here in full force, I’ve been making this lentil soup a lot more.  Mainly because it’s almost too easy just to open the can and heat it over the stove, but lentils also provide extra protein that you don’t always find in soup.

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Snack:

I tried out yet another new protein product a few hours after lunch- Protein 2Go.  Just mix it with a bottle of water and you get 10g of protein with only 50 calories.

IMAG0182When I got home, I snacked on a few homemade spicy pretzels and Trader Joe’s Cilantro & Jalapeno hummus while I made dinner.  I made the pretzels for a get together with friends this weekend and everyone seemed to like them.  They are dangerously good and just as easy to make!

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I found the original recipe for the spicy pretzels here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet dry ranch mix
  • 1/2-1 bag pretzels
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, depending on how much of a kick you want)

Mix olive oil, ranch mix and spices in a mixing bowl, then add pretzels and toss until coated.  Bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees, tossing every 20 minutes.

Dinner:

Since I try to not have pasta on a regular basis, I’ve found that spaghetti squash can sometimes be a good substitute.  This time I prepared it just like spaghetti, with ground turkey and organic marinara sauce.  It’s not the real deal, but it’ll do. 🙂

To cook my spaghetti squash, I usually cut it longways and place the inside side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes (give or take) at 450 degrees.  Once it is cooked, you can scrape out the seeds with a spoon and then the “noodles” with a fork.

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Happy HUMP DAY!

 

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Happy Monday!

Matt and I spent the weekend in Columbia, MO for Mizzou’s Homecoming.  I always love going back to visit our alma mater and this time was no exception!  We spent Friday night visiting some of our favorite restaurants and bars and then Saturday was game day.  It was a tough loss against South Carolina but the highlight for me was dancing with the alumni Golden Girls.  Every year, the alumni dancers have the opportunity to come back and perform during pre-game.  It is so much fun to catch up with our coach and old teammates and even those who were there before and after me.  It’s an unspeakable bond we all have.  GG’s 4 Life. 😉

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When we got home there was a long list of things to do around the house, including a little meal prep for me.  I’ve started prepping most of our weekly meals on Sunday.  It makes the week go much more smoothly for me.  One of the snacks on today’s list was a new spin on my homemade protein bars.  You are going to be really surprised when I tell you the new ingredient….PUMPKIN!  Shocker.

Pumpkin Protein Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 scoops vanilla whey protein powder**
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and add water until you get a good consistency.  Spread evenly in a 9×11 pan and bake for 8-10 min at 350.  Baking times may vary, depending on your oven.

**Feel free to adjust the amount of protein powder you use.  I take the nutritional content of mine and divide it by 10, because that’s how many bars I usually cut.

 

I made a couple other new snacks during my meal prep today too, so I’ll be sure to share those recipes soon!

Have a great week!

Sunshine Kind of Day

I’m switching things up a bit today and participating in one of those blogger award surveys.  First of all, it’s funny that I was tagged for this because my entire life my dad has called me “Sunshine”, so it’s very fitting. 😉 Although I haven’t had (or made) the time for one of these before, I decided to see it through this time! I think it’s fun when other bloggers participate because I love learning more about them, so I decided it’s my turn to tell you all my random fun facts.

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Thank you so much Katie, over at She Rocks Fitness, for “nominating” me!  I’m a big fan of her blog, so if you haven’t visited hers yet, please do!  She is constantly posting delicious recipes and workouts that are right up my alley.  And just look at her…I mean, who wouldn’t want that bod?!  I’ll take her advice any day!

Here are “the rules”…

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award and ask them 10 questions.

1. Do you own any pets? If so, what kind? Breed? Name?

Matt and I don’t have any pets yet.  I do beg for a Golden Retriever constantly, although we both are fully aware that we cannot take care of a pet right now because frankly, we can barely take care of ourselves.  It’s the truth, people.  We do have a family pet though, Ringo, the best Golden Retriever you will ever meet.  EVER.  He’s my dad’s best bud and the sweetest, most well behaved dog in the world.  Yes, I am biased, but he really is that great.  Ringo was recently diagnosed with bone cancer and lost one of his hind legs. 🙁  It was a very difficult time for our family but he is taking the treatments better than we expected.  Even though he’s our little tripod dog now, he doesn’t let that get him down!  He’s still the fun-loving pet we all know and love and was back on his feet in no time.  (See, the BEST) 😉

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2. What is the last book that you read?

I recently read Ellen Degeneres’ book “Seriously….I’m Kidding” during our trip to New Orleans last weekend.  I needed a book on the fly and borrowed this from a friend because I absolutely love Ellen.  I think she is hysterical!  I thought it would be more of an autobiography but it was more like a little about her life, coupled with a lot of random thoughts.  Parts of the book were funny but overall, it was just a quick, light read.  Nothing to write home about. 🙂

3. Favorite way to sweat?

I love a good HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that leaves me drenched.  A quick workout that incorporates lots of moves like burpees and a combination of dumbbell and bodyweight exercises always has me hating it while it’s happening, but loving it when it’s over.

4. What is your favorite piece of workout apparel?

I love a good pair of Nike running shorts.  The ones that are not to short, not too long, juuust right.  I can always count on them not to ride up when I’m running and they give me enough room to do squats and other movements.

These Nike shorts are especially my favorite, because of the super cute monogram.  Thanks again, Kelly!

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5. Salty or sweet?

Can I say both??  A big cheat meal for me almost always consists of pizza or French fries…or both, but if I have to choose, I would most definitely go with sweet on this one.  I am a certifiable choco-holic and proud of it.  If you put dessert or anything that incorporates chocolate in any way, shape, or form in front of me, you better watch out because I’m going for it.  Every. Single. Time.

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6.  Favorite fashion trend right now?

Well, I don’t consider myself an especially “fashion forward” kind of gal so assuming this is still on trend, I love statement necklaces! My husband and friends like to call me out on the number of necklaces in my possession.  What can I say, it’s an addiction?  It’s actually a big day for me when I purchase an outfit that doesn’t incorporate a plain article of clothing and a statement necklace.

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7. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

Hawaii!!!  I’ve been to Maui with my extended family, Honolulu for the Pro Bowl and Kauai for my honeymoon and every island is as perfect as the next.  It’s on our bucket list to go back and visit the other islands.  In fact, we are planning a trip for next October!

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8. What is your astrological sign?

Taurus.  Stubborn, like a bull.  Sounds about right…

9. How many states have you lived in? Where?

Only two!  I say I’m born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri but I did spend four years in Charlotte, North Carolina as a child when my dad was transferred for his job.  I don’t remember too much about it, just that I missed the snow.  Now that I’m old enough to realize that you don’t just get to sled in the snow, you have to drive in it, shovel it, and scrape it, it’s lost a little bit of it’s luster. 😉

10. What is your favorite recipe you have made recently?  Link it up so we can all check it out!

Keeping with the salty/sweet dilemma from question #5….

Sweet- Like everyone else, I’m really into pumpkin lately so I’d have to say these Skinny Pumpkin Cookies.  They satisfy my sweet tooth, without all of the guilt.  Oh, and did I mention the recipe only calls for 3 ingredients??

Skinny Pumpkin Cookies

Salty- This Sweet Potato Hash has been perfect healthy comfort food, now that fall is here!

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So, there you have it!  Now you know 10 things about me that you probably didn’t before.  Thanks again, Katie!!!

My 10 Bloggers:

  1. Heather- Mrs. Murphy’s Law of Fitness
  2. Heather- Housewife Glamour
  3. Julie- Health Nut Julie
  4. Caren- Peace, Love & Sweat Pants
  5. Kate- Kate Marrin life + style
  6. Amy- Long Drive Journey
  7. Davida- The Healthy Maven
  8. Jessie- Jessie Loves to Run
  9. Louise- Fit Radiance
  10. Charlotte- Commitness to Fitness

 

My 10 Questions:

(I’m stealing some from Katie because I thought they were good ones) 🙂

  1. What is your favorite way to sweat?
  2. What celebrity would play you in a movie and why?
  3. What is your favorite recipe you have made lately?  Link it up so we can all check it out!
  4. What is your favorite cheat meal?
  5. What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
  6. Why did you start blogging?
  7. What is your favorite place to go in your city?
  8. It’s the weekend and you don’t have any plans.  What would you do?
  9. What is your ideal date night/day?
  10. What keeps you motivated to continue blogging and living a healthy lifestyle?

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??