Category Archives: Fitness

Girl Meets Food (WIAW # 16)

Happy Wednesday fellow WIAW-ers! I hope you are having an awesome week so far.

Thanks so much for all of your comments on my Friday Food Finds and Marvelous in my Monday. I really appreciated each and every one. Oh, and thanks for all of your concern with my allergy shot! My arm is back to normal now.

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If you may remember, last week I had five days of Paleo eating as an experiment of sorts.

The

Well, today’s the day that I do my recap! Here goes nothing…

I ate a lot of vegetables.

A lot of fruit.

And TONS of meat.

Okay, so the first two parts were okay. I really liked how I was eating so many whole foods. The third part though? Not so much.

I learned through this Paleo experiment that while my body thrives on protein, my stomach does not like meat. Not one bit.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop eating meat entirely. On the contrary, I will still consume it everyday. I will however, try to limit it to only once a day.

On Monday of Paleo eating I was very gun-ho to start this new lifestyle protein-strong. I ended up eating meat for all three of my main meals that day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which ended up creating one very bubbly stomach!

The remaining days of the week I only had meat once or twice a day and made sure to load up on tons of vegetables and fruits for my other meals and snacks.

Overall I was very pleased with myself! I managed to live without grains for an entire school week and I ate a good balance of both fruits and vegetables.

My main goal in going Paleo though, was not to see if I could do it, but to see how I would feel:

acid reflux- this actually got worse as I increased my meat consumption.

acne-I noticed that the more meat I ate, the more oily my face got.

allergies (food and seasonal)- This is too hard to measure in the short run. Overall I felt fine though.

circulation- Again, too hard to determine whether eating Paleo helped my circulation problems.

cravings- My cravings for grains and sweets went down significantly. Instead I craved protein and fresh produce.

calorie counting-While eating Paleo surprisingly I didn’t think that much about counting calories. I ate when I was hungry, and because lean protein and produce are so low in calories, I rarely overate. The funny thing was though, I actually was hungrier… Almost constantly my stomach was growling. Now, this could point to one of two things: First, this could indicate that grains fill me up better, because they are higher in fiber. Second, this could actually show me that when I eat grains, they don’t react well with my stomach, which messes up all of my hunger signals. Either way, I know that when I eat a lot of grains I feel fuller faster, sometimes too fast actually, sometimes when I haven’t eaten enough calories yet.

reactive hypoglycemia- Sometimes when I get too many carbohydrates and sugars, I get light headed and my blood sugar drops. With Paleo though, I ate so much protein that it actually helped counteract this.

weight loss- I don’t think I can measure the effectiveness of Paleo in regards to weight loss because it only lasted five days. However, I did feel much less bloated while on Paleo. For once I didn’t go to bed with my stomach bloated, hoping that it would be back to normal the next morning. That was a nice feeling. Also, when I went home this past weekend, it was the lowest number that I had seen on the scale since March. I gained some weight because of my food allergies, and I think that this shows that while I may not be allergic to grains, my body is probably better off without them.

So, what’s my conclusion?

Well, for now, I’ve decided to stay away from quinoa flakes. I don’t need to have them in my life. Don’t get be wrong, I LOVE them, but for now I want to see how I do without them for a longer period of time.

What I have decided is that I am going to start using protein powder again. Yes, my protein powder does come from rice, a grain, but I feel that the benefits of its protein and amjno acid content outweigh the harm here. I have also decided to bring back stevia for now. It has been cited recently that using stevia may help lower blood sugar and in the past, Native Americans used it to reduce inflammation (perfect for healing my stomach!). Whether or not these claims are accurate, I like using it, and I will continue to use it until I have a reason to stop.

And that wraps up my little Paleo adventure for now. My goal is to keep on doing a modified Paleo of sorts to complete a full 30 days, which at the end of I will test out how I feel with adding back in quinoa flakes. I also want to try and have a few days a week protein powder-free, but so far I have not accomplished this… Which leads us right into this week’s WIAW flashback theme: Falling into Good Habits.

My goal that I want to “fall” into is to eat two completely Paleo days before next Wednesday. I have also been slacking on my Thanksgiving workout and Plank Challenge, so I need to get motivated to do those more too. Wish me luck!

And now, onto some of my meals from my 5 days of Paleo, and some of the recipes from my food over the weekend:

Breakfast

One of the breakfasts that I had this weekend was a spin on my banana protein bread… Apple protein bread! It’s very crumbly and not at all like my banana protein bread, but I like it! To make it I just combined some apple butter that I made (recipe later in post), which brown rice protein powder, water, baking powder, and apple chunks (stevia optional for sweetener, but I did not use). I mixed all of the ingredients together in a small jar and microwaved it for about 3 minutes.

Lunch

I sure ate a ton of salads last week! Here is one with my favorite combo- chicken, grapes and cucumbers:

Another lunch that I had recently involved a new squash recipe that I am going to share with you all… It’s spaghetti squash!

And of course, I made it in the microwave (as if you would ever expect anything different. Pssh!)

How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe spaghetti squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place one half on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 10-15 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

4. Use a spoon or fork to remove the “spaghetti” flesh from the skin. If it seems a little dry, put all of the “spaghetti” in a bowl, add a little water, and microwave for a few more minutes. The added water will absorb and make the squash much more moist.

5. Repeat for second half.

There are so many creative uses for spaghetti squash like as a substitute for pasta, used in casseroles, and even for breakfast!

I personally enjoy eating it plain though.

Or mixing in a little protein like I did with this lunch using tuna:

It’s never to early for a Christmas bowl!

Snack

Here comes another recipe! One of the recipes that I was dying to make was Oh She Glow’s apple butter. It took some time, but it was so good! I ended up making a smaller batch than what the original recipe called for, so it took about half the time. I’m going to share with you my modified recipe, but here’s the original just in case.

One-Ingredient Crock Pot Apple Butter

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredient: 1 pound of apples (sweet apple preferably, like golden delicious)

Directions:

1. Use an apple slicer to remove the cores from your apples (A knife would also work, but an apple slicer makes it much faster).

2. Place the apple slices (with peels on) in a small crock pot set to high. Let cook for 45 minutes.

3. Add some water (1/2 cup approximately) and let cook for another 15 minutes.

4. Check the apple slices. If they are starting to get soft, using a fork or pastry cutter to mash the apples.

5. Cook for another 15 minutes. Mash again. If soft enough, put all of the “applesauce” into a high speed food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

The “applesauce” should look like this:

6. Put the applesauce back into the crock pot and cook for another 15-30 minutes until thick. Blend again.

7. Let cool and store in a jar or sealed container.

Dinner

Dinner last week was the usual: Grilled Chicken and Steamed Vegetables!

Snack

This past summer I made a lot of banana ice cream.

It’s a great replacement for the high-fat, milk-containing store varieties that I can no longer have. Sure, it’s Edy’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but it fills the void.

This weekend I took my old recipe for a spin and made a holiday version! With pumpkin!

Pumpkin Protein Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • water if needed
  • 2-4 tbsp brown rice protein powder
  • stevia if desired (I didn’t use any)

Directions:

1. Blend the banana chunks in a food processor until smooth. Add a little water if needed.

2. Add the pumpkin puree and blend.

3. Remove all but a few tablespoons of the mixture and put into a small bowl.

4. Add the remaining mixture your protein powder and blend just until combined. It should be thick and have a doughy consistency. Adjust measurements as necessary.

5. Then, add the dough to banana pumpkin ice cream. Freeze to make a more ice-cream texture, or eat as is!

And that concludes this week’s What I Ate Wednesday! Also, I (sort of) made three recipes on my last Friday Food Finds, so I’d call that…

In other news… Obama won the presidency.

Wait, that’s not what I was going to tell you (although on second thought maybe the presidential election is more important…).

Okay, guess which show may be coming back for a spin-off? I’ll give you one hint:

That’s right! Boy Meets World. Hence my the title of my post… A little play on words.

I guess that means I have you two hints.

Disney just announced that they may be creating a spin-off Boy Meets World tv show featuring Corey and Topanga’s daughter. And… the actors who played Corey and Topanga may just return to play their characters again!

LOVE.

That is all.

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What is your favorite way to get in a lot of vegetables?

Do you ever have any side effects when you eat a lot of meat?

Have you busted out any Holiday houseware yet?

Did you stay up late to watch the Presidential elections last night? I stayed on the phone for almost two hours last night talking to my dad about the elections. He had on Fox and the local news station. I had Yahoo! up that I refreshed constantly to see which candidate was in the lead, and who was winning each state. I didn’t end up going to bed until almost one, but it was totally worth it! I still have yet to watch Romney’s concession, but as my dad said, I should because it is “part of history.” My first election that I ever got to vote! Exciting.

Wasn’t Boy Meets World just the best? I hope they bring back some other actors too, like the guys who played Shawn and Eric!

WIAW- Randomness, Workouts and Recipes

Hello everyone! It’s Wednesday so you know what that means…
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

If you missed any of my last few posts, check them out here: Weekend WIAW (3 Recipes), Sunshine in My Fridays, and Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

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As always, thanks to the lovely Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting this awesome party. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this to look forward to every week!

Today’s WIAW will again feature some of things that I made over the weekend, as well as my some thoughts.

To start off… A new recipe!

As a food allergy gal, I seriously miss my daily serving of bread. I used to eat this one kind of lite whole wheat bread multiple times a day. Toast with peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches… heck I even topped my bread with Greek yogurt on occasion! Mostly though, I miss the convenience of bread, and the delicious sandwiches that it made.

So, when I saw this recipe over at The Brain and Body for a microwave English muffin, I knew that I had to give making sandwich bread a try. Now, my recipe looks absolutely nothing like Sarah’s, but it was the inspiration that I give her credit for. Okay, are you ready?

Microwave Sandwich Bread

High fiber, Gluten-free, vegan, high protein, sugar free, low sodium, corn-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder (16 grams)*
  • 1 tbsp brown rice flour (8 grams)*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (sodium and corn-free)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 grams)*
  • 2 tbsp water (more or less if needed)
  • add salt or seasonings if desired

Directions:

1. Mix together all of the ingredients and spread the mixture out in a cereal bowl. Cook for 2 minutes. If moist on bottom flip over and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Let cool slightly then slice carefully with a thin, sharp knife.

3. Fill with meat, veggies, tofu, nut butters, jams, etc. and enjoy!

*Substitution notes: The protein powder and rice could be replaced with any flours desired  and should yield good results (just make sure to use equivalent amount in weight). I cannot make any guarantees though because I haven’t tried any variations. The pumpkin puree could also probably be subbed with another squash puree, banana puree (for a sweet bread), or an equivalent amount in egg.

I filled my sandwich with chicken and lettuce. It was so good! I hadn’t realized how much I had missed my sandwiches…

Oh, and what’s that in the picture?

No, not the sandwich!

Why, it’s butternut squash!

But it’s not just any butter nut squash. It’s…

Microwave Butternut Squash!

That’s right, I have now done it again. First I made acorn squash in the microwave, and now butternut. My life is almost complete.

How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Microwave

Inspired by my microwave Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe butternut squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place both halves on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 10-15 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

After seeing Jenn’s butternut squash fry recipe on her last WIAW, I decided that it was a must-have for my Friday Food Finds. However, time was not on my side, so instead I decided that microwaving it would just have to do for now.

I also attempted to make some mini cookie dough cakes featuring rice flour, applesauce, and apple chunks. Basically I just mixed together those ingredients with some stevia and baking powder, and Wah-La!

They turned out alright, but not exactly what I wanted. Before I post a recipe I am going to keep on experimenting!

So, that’s 3 out of 4 recipes complete for my FFF. I’d call that a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Now for some randomness from my weekend:

My mom and I made some Candy Corn Popcorn from a recipe on Fitnessista.

Basically you just melt some butter, candy corn, sugar, salt and vanilla together all in a pot on the stove. Then pour it over some freshly popped (plain) popcorn.

Let cool. Then EAT UP!

My mom said it was delicious. I mean, how could it NOT taste good?!

For those of you with allergies, this is not an allergy-free recipe, which is why I did not post it with the others. I’m sure that there are some ways to modify this if you are allergic to a few of the ingredients. Either way, it’s a really cute concept!

Random side bar:

I actually put away all of my things when I cam back to my dorm this weekend!

Last week I left a lot of my stuff still packed and lying around. Not this week though- I was proactive!

Look! I even got serious:

HAIR-IN-BUN = GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Let’s see. What other randomness do I have to share with you all today?

How about the back of a Cheez-It box?

If that’s not random, I don’t know what is!

Alright. Not so random is the workout that I posted yesterday on Eating 4 Balance. It’s called Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s super easy to adapt to whatever fitness requirements you may have. I did 30 second intervals yesterday, and today I increased them up to 40 seconds. To keep time I used this handy little Tabata tool I found through a Yahoo! search.

And yes, I prefer Yahoo! over Google. Don’t judge.

Anyways, this workout is great at increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat in a small amount of time. And as a bonus it includes a plank, perfect for Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge.

http://carrotsncake.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012-10-23_0833.png

Here are the details copied straight from her site:

The Plank Challenge is actually really simple. It will take place for a total of 4 weeks (October 22 – November 16) and will only require 10 minutes or less of your time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. Monday and Friday will be time trial days when you hold a plank, time yourself, and record it. On Wednesdays, I’ll (Carrots N’ Cake ) post a plank/core workout (10 minutes or less) on CNC to help you build up your strength and stamina. Basically, the weeks will look like this:

  • Monday: Time trial
  • Wednesday: Plank/core workout
  • Friday: Time trial – try to beat Monday’s plank time!

Who’s with me? I did a 30 second plank yesterday, and a 40 second plank today as part of my Holiday Hustle. I’m sure that I could go longer, but for now I’m happy with small doses.

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Boy do I have a lot of questions for you all today!

What is your favorite thing to make in the microwave? Ever tried cooking squash?

What is your favorite type of Cheez-Its? Mine used to be Sour Cream and Onion, Mozzarella, or the Four Cheese.

Have you tried out my Holiday Hustle workout yet? It’s a perfect way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit!

Are you going to join me in Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge?