Well… I finished another week not reaching my Cinch Challenge goal of 30 points. How hard can it be really? It’s not hard – it’s just forgetfulness or laziness on my part. I vow to do better this week. Really, I do
I did manage to Zumba twice, run once, and strength train twice this past week. That’s the only upside. The tip jar is getting full quickly. I think there’s $13 worth of booze money in there!
But you’re not here to hear how I didn’t meet my goal! You’re hear wondering how I made chicken chili with no chicken, right??
I had a hankering for White Chicken Chili this week. You know… the kind with chicken, white beans, green chiles, and whatever else goes in there. I knew what ingredients I wanted it to include and then searched for a recipe. Basically, you throw it all in and let it simmer. Easy enough… Here’s my version of vegetarian White Chicken Chili:
White “Chicken” Chili
- 1 pkg Gardein chick’n breasts
- 3 cans of beans (I used 2 Great Northerns and a black. There goes the “white” in my chili…)
- 2 cans of diced green chiles (I used one regular and one fire roasted)
- 3-1/2 cups of broth (I used Rapunzel vegetable broth with salt)
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup cheese (I used nacho/taco cheese, instead of a solid white Monterrey)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp oregano
- Saute garlic and onions in olive oil (maybe a tsp?) until onions become tender.
- Add cumin, chili powder, and oregano and cook 1 minute.
- Add remaining ingredients, except cheese, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add cheese, stir, and serve warm.
I believe I promised y’all some recipe reviews, so here they are!
This week I made Kelsey’s Enchilada Saucy Soup. This was almost like a pantry meal and definitely one I’ll be making again. Check out the Bites & Bowls blog for the original recipe. I just gathered the ingredients…
You just saute the onion and garlic, toss in the broth and sauce, thicken up a portion of it with cornstarch and then throw the beans, rotel, and corn in. It couldn’t be easier. I served it over rice tonight (my 4th time eating it this week!) and that was pretty tasty.
I also made a great veggie omelette this week. It’s not a fancy recipe, but I love how filling and delicious, while still low calorie and protein-filled, an omelette can be!
This one was filled with peppers from a friend’s garden, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, and swiss cheese. Served with a side of grapes and some hot tea. YUM.
I also whipped up a batch of Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Protein Bars. As usual, I gathered the ingredients…
I left out the sweetener since my protein powder is already sweetened. I think that was a mistake. Next time I’ll throw a little maple syrup in there. I also got to test the automatic overload protection on my Vitamix. I didn’t follow the instructions completely and my Vitamix had to work pretty hard. I was pretty sure these would be inedible based on the look of the batter and, quite frankly, the taste of the batter. Surprisingly, they were very edible when they came out of the oven, but they weren’t very pretty!
And yes, I did cut that edge off before I remembered to take a picture. I mean… uh… I cut into the bars to show you the texture I will definitely make these again, because they have a good nutritional profile (something like 120 calories and 18 grams of protein per bar) and were tasty, not to mention easy to make.
I’ll be on the lookout for a new recipe to try this week. I think I may have one of Ashley’s savory buckwheat bakes in mind…
On to fitness news… did anyone notice that my October Fitness Challenge was not mentioned all month? Well, it was not mentioned because it didn’t get done. Every year October is a poof off month for me, full of fun, but not much else. SOOOO… I’ve got to get back on track this month. I did get a run in last week around the neighborhood and remembered how much I love running. I’ll be bringing the run back! I haven’t eaten too poorly, skipped a bunch of workouts, or become totally lazy, but I really prefer a more structured plan of eating and working out. Enter the Cinch Challenge!
I’m doing a 10lbs in 10 weeks Cinch Challenge starting tomorrow. I’ve rounded up a partner to help me stay accountable and we’ll be keeping track of our points (earned for healthy behaviors). The guidelines are:
1 point daily for each of the following:
-Track your food (I use Sparkpeople.com)
-Drink 8 glasses of water
-Take a multivitamin
-Have a protein shake or bar daily
-Cardio 5x/week and Weights 2x/week
Additionally, there is a $1 fine (I’m calling it the “tip jar”) for every sweet/dessert you eat or alcoholic beverage you consume. My partner and I haven’t decided what to do with the “tip jar” money at the end, but I’m sure we’ll think of something. My goal is to hit 30 (of 35 possible) points each week and not have very much money in the tip jar at the end!!
Feel free to ask me about it and hold me accountable
Yesterday I participated in my 3rd Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Thank you SO much to all of you who donated.
I usually do the Fort Worth walk, but since I’ll be in San Diego next weekend I did the Grapevine walk. It’s a much smaller walk inside Grapevine Mills mall. Their goal for the Grapevine walk this year was to raise $57,250. I just checked the website and we have raised $56,326. They are still taking donations if you want to help them meet their goal! The FW walk is at Trinity Park next weekend if anybody wants to walk… I’m just saying
My stepmom went with me again this year.
The opening ceremony is so sad, as is the t-shirt contest. Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death and the ONLY one of the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed? This year we had flowers to symbolize whether you had lost someone to ALZ, were a caregiver, or had ALZ. This old man in a wheelchair was holding a blue flower (meaning you have ALZ) and crying. It was a pretty emotional morning. As if it wasn’t dreary enough, they had a guy come through playing bagpipes!
Finally the walk got started and the event got a little more upbeat.
After all that sadness, I definitely needed a beer! As part of my birthday gift, my stepmom had gotten us tickets to Beerfeast at the Flying Saucer. My dad dropped us off so we didn’t have to worry about driving.
With our first beer taste in hand (we got 10) I had her take my picture…
She spilled beer on her shirt and cut my head off. As you can imagine, this did not fair well for picture-taking after beer #1…
We split that humongous pretzel. And some potato salad. And the sauerkraut off her bratwurst. Then we went to Reata’s for dessert in between beers.
We came back and had more beer. I kept saying the “beer” sure made me full, but it might have been all that crap we ate Please ignore the fact that it does not fall under ANY “kind of healthy”!
I tried a few new beers (not 10… I gave my card away to some happy guy). There was only one I hated – the Smoked Hemp. Talk about horrible! The chocolate and the pumpkins were pretty good. I was excited to try Dogfish Head Punkin’ as I had heard a lot about it.
It was like pie and beer together. In a good way.
We were all done having fun by about 6:30 and called
our taxi dad. I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 7:45 on a Saturday night. PARTY ANIMAL. Woke up after 11 hours sleep feeling like a million bucks though!
And I’m back on track with healthy eating…
Have a wonderful Sunday! If you’re looking for a healthy new recipe to try, I suggest Emily’s Vegan Vegetable Lasagna. I made it Friday night and it’s DELICIOUS.
How did I make it 34 years without knowing about this??? Have you ever tried steamed eggs? They are just like hard-boiled eggs without all the prep fuss. I know… I cook a lot and you’d think I know how to boil eggs off the top of my head. But I don’t. There. I said it.
Enter my new best friend…
Eggs could be steamed on the stove too, but this electric steamer is even less fuss! Just
throw place some eggs in the basket, set the timer for 15-20 minutes, and voila… hard-boiled eggs!!
Hard-boiled eggs keep nicely in the fridge, just leave them in the shell.
So there’s today’s life-changing tip. You’re welcome.
I ended my workout-less week this morning with my favorite workout ever: ZUMBA!
I do love Zumba. I’m going to have to go more regularly. It’s great to move my body in a non-repetitive way (as opposed to the repetition of running). I put some Shaklee Performance in my water today and I stayed energetic the whole time. Remembering the steps wasn’t nearly as difficult as last week!
But before that, I made dinner! I tried a new recipe today: Mushroom Stroganoff over Fettucine from the Cancer Survivor’s Cookbook.
I gathered all the ingredients…
I find it kind of funny that the only thing I had to go out for was roasted red bell peppers. The rest of this stuff is pantry staples for me?? Anyway… I made the recipe as written…
…and then served it over whole wheat pasta. Had I been thinking I would have plated it up with the sauce over the noodles. As it was, I knew it was going straight into the fridge and wouldn’t be consumed until later this evening. So, you get a picture of how it looks when I ate it… not how pretty it could be
Not gorgeous, but tasty. Even the meat-eating BF liked it! It’s only got 400 calories per (large) serving and about 24 grams of protein.
I have plans to try another recipe or two this week. I also have fun plans for Friday night. Stay tuned to the blog on Saturday to find out what I do with my Friday nights…
My body has been screaming for a rest lately (fatigue, headaches, higher body temp) so I’m going to take a workout break for 5 days… if I can stand it. I was planning to start Sunday, but there was a Monday morning Zumba class so I just had to go. Five minutes in to the class I was remembering why I was going to take a break. So… you won’t see any workouts on here this week, but you will find a recipe today!
I had a hankering for soup and some french lentils calling my name so I made a quick and easy lentil soup.
Quick & Easy Lentil Soup
- 1 cup french lentils (green)
- 1 carrot (2 pictured, but I just used 1)
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/3 medium onion
- 4 cups water
- 2 bouillon cubes (I use Rapunzel brand)
- Chop all the vegetables.
- Saute them in oil until tender.
- Add water, bouillon cubes, and lentils.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-ish minutes (or until tender).
Since I saw you last… I enjoyed a Freebirds groupon, some quality time with Kyra, and the house to myself Saturday night!
My stepmom and I walked the dog, then I ran, then we biked to downtown Mayberry on Sunday. We got in 4 miles before 9a, but I failed to stretch & foam roll. Oops Sunday evening was supposed to be the kickoff for DFW’s Free Day of Yoga, but the wind was gusting at 40 mph and I’m not THAT coordinated so we skipped it.
When I woke up Monday morning it was COOL! Loved it. The BF and I took Kyra to the good park (not in Mayberry) and she didn’t want to leave. She could have spent all day outside yesterday! My stepmom, a girlfriend, and I did manage to hit up a free yoga class on Monday morning (the actual Free Day of Yoga) and had a good time. Last night I had a girlfriend over for “wine night” and I made a Strawberry Spinach Salad I thought I’d share with you….
It was topped with glazed pecans and a balsamic dressing that complements the glaze. This picture was taken during prep and by the time the dressing and pecans were added the wine had been poured and the camera was forgotten
Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- brown sugar
- balsamic vinegar
- Two parts oil to one part vinegar. I did 2 TBS oil, 1.5 TBS vinegar, and 2 tsp of brown sugar.
- The original recipe calls for equal parts oil and vinegar and, if using 3 TBS of each, then 1/4 brown sugar. Just fyi…
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 TBS oil
- 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
- Throw it in a pot, bring to a boil, stir in the pecans, and let them cook 4 minutes (keep stirring).
- Cool them on a baking sheet (or foil, like I did).
Well, I have air conditioning! WOOHOO. But I have foundation troubles. BOOHOO. Let’s see if I can keep my stress level manageable with some exercise
I swam again today and while it was very hard (probably from lack of sleep), it was very enjoyable. I did my 500 meters in 26 minutes today so I must have spent less time catching my breath! I did my stretching too. I’m 8 for 9 days in the August Fitness Challenge.
Now I’m wishing I had some of this pie to enjoy. It’s a pretty healthy pie, as far as pies go, and even my meat-eating friends like it.
Chocolate Tofu Pie
tweaked from the Cancer Survivor’s Cookbook
- 1 package silken tofu
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi sweet if you like that sort of thing)
- 1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (or add a little vanilla extract if you use plain non-dairy milk)
- 1 ready made graham cracker crust
- strawberries and whipped cream, for garnish
Last night I went to a Chamber of Commerce bowling mixer. My dad invited me and the BF (although he had to work late) and told me “bowling attire” was required. Well I don’t bowl often enough to have proper bowling attire so I sent the BF to Goodwill with specific instructions. If he couldn’t find a real bowling shirt with someone else’s name on it (my first choice) then I wanted a button down hawaiian print shirt. I think he did a fine job:
|Deb & Dad – do we look good or what?!|
My dad already had his shirt. Can you see where I get my fashion sense?
While picking out that beauty for me, the BF ran across another fabulous bowling shirt. I brought it for whoever might want it. Our 4th (or “my date” as she called herself) was WAY overdressed and promptly decided that some team spirit was in order.
I think my stepmom was embarrassed that she didn’t have a cool shirt like the rest of us.
Aren’t we a fine looking team.
Good thing we look good because we can’t bowl worth a darn!
Whoa! Is that a 65 for me? I was too busy doing this:
And maybe a little of this…
And I might have joined her in this… Can’t let her drink alone!
Of course that drinking might have contributed to this form…
Although mine was not any better…
I sure didn’t inherit my bowling form…
We didn’t win any door prizes, but a good time was had by all. See… Look how happy I look while disinfecting from said “good time.”
You’re probably wondering where the chickpeas come in, right? Luckily, they have nothing to do with bowling. I made chickpea salad today. It’s like a vegetarian version of tuna salad. It’s quick and yummy. I did my first swimming workout today and boy was it tough! I swam 10 laps which is something pathetic like 0.4 miles, but it felt like longer. I was out of breath almost immediately and my arms were almost too tired to shampoo my hair afterwards. I’ll definitely be doing more swimming though. It was a great workout!
So for lunch I threw together some chickpea salad.
- 1 cup chickpeas (mine were previously cooked and then frozen for convenient use later)
- 1/2 carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1-2 TBS mayo
- 1 TBS spicy mustard
- 1-2 TBS dill relish
I tried a couple of new recipes yesterday. One was pretty good… one was pretty bad
The good one was the High Protein Mashed Potatoes. As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for more ways to sneak protein into my diet without relying too heavily on eggs or yogurt. The mashed potatoes were on Angela’s site and since I had potatoes that had been sitting in the fridge for 3 weeks I figured they needed to be used! [Side note: my potatoes hadn't sprouted anything in 3 weeks. Infertile little suckers. I figured they'd be growing all sorts of things by then!]
The secret to these is you throw white beans (she used navy, I had cannellini) in the mix! You couldn’t taste the beans at all, probably because they are masked by the garlic. I left the skins on and cut back on the garlic, but it was still too garlicky for us. I also thought they were too creamy and next time won’t process them quite so long so they have some texture.
High Protein Mashed Potatoes
from Oh She Glows
- 8-10 red potatoes, steamed
- 1 can of Cannellini beans (or other white bean of choice)
- 3 cloves of garlic (will do only 2 next time)
- 4 TBS Earth Balance butter
- 2 TBS Soymilk
- Paprika, to taste
- Salt & Pepper, to taste