Tag Archives: Protein

Three’s a Party

Two (Link-Ups) + One (Recipe) = Three.

And three’s a party, right Andy? 😉

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Yep. That’s what I thought.

For the first part of this wonderful Friday equation, I have two link-ups to do today.

First up is Meghan’s Week in Review. I’m going to alter this slightly and make it Birthday Presents in Review.

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  • I’ve already shared part of what my parents got me for my birthday last week:

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  • As per tradition though I also got a little money to spend- half on clothes and half on “other stuff.” Well, I haven’t purchased any “other stuff” yet, but I did go shopping this past weekend with my mom for some things to wear during my summer internship (which is completely casual dress by the way— no ties {or skirts!!!!} required 🙂

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  • Don’t you just love the name brand of those shoes?! X-Appeal. We got some awesome deals on a pair of black flats and silver sandals:

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  • I also got a pair of pink skinny jeans and a white top at DEBS on clearance. Then at an Aerospostale outlet store I found a striped blue and white flowy shirt for only $3.99!

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  • On Easter Sunday when I saw my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, I also received a few cards full of money which I… still need to deposit in the bank. Whoops!

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  • My aunt gave me a big wrapped box too when we were leaving the Chinese restaurant. Of course I immediately pulled it into the backseat where I was sitting and proceeded to open it on the drive home. 

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  • A crock-pot is the perfect present for me as I will most likely be continuing my soupy ways this summer and being far from home in a foreign kitchen I’ll need some appliance to make broth in!

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  • And last, but certainly not least I got a card from one of my close friends in the mail on Monday this week wishing me a Happy Belated Birthday. The present? An awesome drawing that made me smile 🙂

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Now for part two of the link-ups I am going to be joining Jessie in her Together Tuesdays/ having my own little Friday Food Finds party. Here are just a few great food ideas that I’ve seen floating around the blog world and Pinterest lately that I thought were pretty great:

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The first pin that I want to share is this Pineapple Ginger Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven. Someone in the comments called it an “orange julius on steroids” which immediately grabbed my attention. For those with dairy allergies or for those who are vegan, the Greek yogurt could probably be subbed for another frozen banana or some coconut milk/yogurt.

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Next are these delicious-looking Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches from The Lean Green Bean. The “bread” is made from figs and a combination of pistachios/peanut butter. The “ice cream” is made from frozen bananas. Again, for those with allergies, in particular pistachios or peanuts, you could sub them out for equal amounts in seeds and sun butter.

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For a quick and easy meal, I also spotted this recipe for Healthy Wraps from Purely Twins. Unfortunately these contain eggs so they aren’t an option for those with egg allergies or who are vegan, but other than that they would be perfect to make when you need a tasty lunch but are out of store-bought bread.

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It seems that I am just fascinated with Girl Scout cookies these days as I pinned another Girl Scout cookie remake, this time Do-Si-Do Cookies from Sit, Stir & Savour. These are vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free and oil-free, so basically perfect for almost any diet!

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The last recipe that I have to share is probably one that many of you have already seen. It’s the Healthy Homemade Goldfish Crackers from Chocolate-Covered Katie. Vegan of course with a gluten-free option, and nutritional yeast for the “cheesy” flavor.

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With two out of three done, I only have one part left to wrap up this party! A recipe.

Probably much to the annoyance of some, this recipe is not for the pear crisp that I’ve been promising for oh… a couple of weeks. But I’ve already started on the post for that and it will be coming at you all soon.

This recipe is no where near vegan however, so those of you who shed a bashful eye to all things meat, scroll down and answer my question for today! (Although the beef is grass-fed and pasture-raised, so there is that 😉 ).

Mama Mia, It’s a Meatza!

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy/Nut-Free Option, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes 4 servings/squares

Meatza-sliced[1]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 egg (optional for egg-free)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, dash of pepper
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (I made my own with tomato puree + Italian seasoning/salt/onion and garlic powder to taste)
  • chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms (approximately 1/2-1 cup each)
  • Ghee (Or coconut oil for dairy-free)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×9 glass pan with ghee (or coconut oil).

2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the beef, egg and seasonings.

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3. Press the beef mixture into the pan and spread evenly.

4. Bake for 10 minutes.Top with the pizza sauce and the chopped vegetables.

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5. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown and the meat is thoroughly cooked. (Broil if desired to make it extra crispy).

Meatza-done[1]

If you couldn’t tell from its name, a meatza is basically a Paleo/grain-free version of pizza! Some meatzas also have cheese on top, so that would make a great add-on for those of you who can have dairy. I made this on Saturday for my parents and they each had two slices for supper.

Shared at Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Naturally Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday

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And now that you have finished this incredibly long post you are officially free to have a fantastic Friday. Check out some of the recipes above and let me know what you think.

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Question for you all: Other than obviously laughing at the Pin above with Chef Ramsey, how do you feel about the healthy precautions that one needs to take when cooking food? This goes out to both vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. Are you really careful about  washing your hands and utensils before you begin to make a meal? Have you ever gotten food poisoning from food being mishandled at a restaurant? 

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!