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Picture Lunch

I am having tuna with veggies and a side of chips and salsa for lunch.

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This is a new brand of salsa for me, and I hope it is good! I love trying new salsa but have the hardest time choosing one! In Texas, the salsa takes up at least half an aisle!!!

What is your favorite kind of salsa??

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Food Reviews

 

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OCHO + Frappevino = Girl’s Night and Left-overs

Spring break week has begun in Texas, which means my husband-student is traveling to see his brothers. If work, time and money were no object, I would have been sitting next to him on the plane bright and early on Friday morning. But, in light of that, I am trying to make my own spring break fun, which started with girl’s night on Friday. I suggested having girl’s night, and L was great enough to make a real plan. We started off at her house with some appetizers and Frappevino. What is Frappevino you ask? It is basically a frozen wine drink that is very easy to make. 1 bottle of red wine + 1 1/2 bottles of water + Frappevino mix +freezer = Frappevino in about 6 hours.

Frappe Vino

The package said it would only take 3-5 hours, but I left it in the freezer for 12 hours and it was still pretty watery. It is possible that I didn’t stir it enough before freezing, so the contents didn’t mix completely. When a few of us went shopping at the San Antonio Rodeo, we stumbled on the Frappevino vender and upon trying it, we all bought a box of the mix. Getting back to girl’s night, our plan was to walk on the riverwalk to the Cafe de Artistes at the San Antonio Art Museum. Since it was rainy, windy and cold (check out the Alamo Cam below), we decided to go somewhere a little closer, OCHO at the Havana Hotel, also on the riverwalk.


Ben and I had eaten there once last fall. We were trying to walk to another restaurant, but I got too tired and hungry and we stopped at OCHO and were pleasantly surprised.  I ordered the hamburguesa torta with house fries and split an order of churros with J. I haven’t had a churro in FOREVER, and these were amazing. They also came with a mini cup de creme a.k.a. the best espresso you’ll ever have in your life! If only I could learn to make espresso that good.

Girl’s night was a blast, as we did things girls do best: talk, laugh and eat! I got home around 11:45pm and somehow stayed up for another hour reading blogs, checking twitter and being otherwise entertained by social media. This morning I slept in until 11 am and it was amazing. Pumpkin pancakes with almond butter were on my breakfast/lunch menu and then I started our taxes.

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After about four hours of that, I cut some coupons, made a shopping list of very necessary items and headed to the gym for a workout. I had been planning on stopping at Sonic to try their new sweet potato tater tots.  Tots are amazing, so sweet potato tots have to be beyond amazing, right?
Photo courtesy of: http://www.portlandsonic.com/twc/?reload
Photo courtesy of: http://www.portlandsonic.com/twc/?reload

Well, after my workout I was feeling like eating semi-healthy, so I skipped stopping at Sonic and I made some roasted veggies including sweet potatoes, green beans and a few left-over fries from last night. The roasted veggies along with my re-warmed burger made for one of the best meals I have eaten in quite a while. I was in food bliss, and pretty much still am as I write this. I absolutely LOVE left-overs of any kind, but especially really good tasting ones that don’t take too much effort to re-create.

Things I am thankful for today: God providing amazing things for me including: good food, new friends, coupons, and for giving me the strength to workout which makes me want to eat a little healthier.

 

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Paleo Update #2

It has been two weeks and three days since Ben and I started on our Paleo Challenge. You can read about our first week here. I had some great expectations for the Paleo Challenge, first and foremost, that it would calm my ever-present stomach issues. Eating less processed foods, less sugar and probably less food in general would be good for me and Paleo is supposed to be a “reset” diet, to cleanse your digestive system of all the toxins in processed foods. In addition, I would like to get to a weight in which my pants fit comfortably, instead of this in between size I’m at right now. Half my pants are too tight and half are too loose, uhg! Ben had his own reasons for doing this, which I will leave up to him to explain.

On to reality: Paleo is NOT making my stomach feel better (sometimes I think it’s making it worse). Paleo is NOT helping me lose weight (thank you almonds/almond butter and sweet potatoes). Lastly, Paleo is taking all the fun out of eating. Now, according to ALL the websites, blogs and other paleo-relating things I read, by this time my energy should be soaring, my gut should be feeling great, weight should be coming off and I should be in an amazing mood looking forward to all the wonderful paleo dishes I can cook.

I will say that this has caused me to get out of my cooking box and try new and different recipes, like Slow-cooker Apple Stuffed Porkloin chops and Spicy Tomato Basil soup. I also tried So Delicious Cultured Coconut Beverage (watery coconut yogurt) which I liked, but I don’t think it liked me; and I found out that I LOVE coconut milk in a can. A-MAZ-ING! I’ve learned that I can go for two and a half weeks without dark chocolate, tortilla chips, and regular oatmeal. It has not been that hard to say “no” to all the things that are not Paleo, Chick-fil-A catered lunch, BBQ sauce, potato salad, fajitas, tortillas & chips, queso, or beans, and those super delicious muffins I bought for my co-workers. Yep, I easily said not to all of them, but not without a little or sometimes a LOT of desire to quit Paleo and just eat some darn, good food.

All this to say, I am finding NO value in restricting certain foods, and by restricting, I mean cutting them out completely. I also don’t think this is sustainable, especially because it is putting me in such a bad mood. Food is no longer fun. I don’t feel like I can bake fun desserts because I can’t taste my cake/cupcake/cookie/frosting to make sure it is good to share with others. I can’t go to Starbucks and enjoy a Skinny Peppermint Mocha because of all the artificial sugar and milk products. I also get very angry when I have to search out Paleo friendly food for lunch at work because there aren’t a lot of fast food places you can go and find something ok to eat if you don’t want a salad. Now, I know I should be looking at the positives, but right now, I’m not seeing ANY! Mainly because my desired results are not happening. I also know that these things take time, and two and a half weeks is probably not enough time to decide if this really makes me feel better, but it’s almost not worth waiting to see.

What do you think about restrictive diets? Should I stick with it for the full 30 days even if I’m totally unhappy?

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Food Reviews

 

No-oats Oatmeal

 

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I found out about No-oats Oatmeal from Tina but didn’t quite like her recipe, so I went online in search of another Paleo “oatmeal.” This has been my breakfast for the last three mornings, and I have come to think it may replace my oatmeal eating forever. Today I got real crazy and added 1/2 a baked sweet potato to the normal ingredients. It was great and I have stayed full for 4 hours!

Recipe:

1 mashed banana
2 eggs
splash of almond or other non-dairy milk
cinnamon
1-?? TBSP of almond butter or other paleo approved nut butter
1/2 baked sweet potato

Mash your banana first, then add other mash-able things(nut butter, milk etc) and mix well. Lastly add two eggs and whisk/stir until well mixed. Put in microwave for 45 seconds on high, stir gently. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir gently. Repeat this process until it is oatmeal-y in texture(usually no more than 2 1/2 minutes for my microwave), but not too cooked or it will just be like some odd tasting scrambled eggs.

I plan to try this with pumpkin next and maybe I’ll get bold and add other fruits/veggies in the future. It is a fun, new way for me to eat eggs in the morning.

Have you tried no-oats oatmeal? What were you thoughts? What other “substitute” foods have you tried?

 

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Food Reviews

 

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Paleo Challenge Update

It has been just over a week since Ben and I started on our Paleo challenge. It has been much easier on me than on him mainly because I think my tastes have gravitated toward leafy greens and various veggies and lower sugar items, so picking veggies to eat with almost every meal is not too hard. I will say that I went through sugar withdrawals the first few days and I am craving chocolate a lot!

This challenge has caused me to try new recipes because a lot of what I normally cook has some sort of grain or dairy in it. Also, we have had to cook more because eating most types of fast food is completely out of the questions. I made beef stir fry lettuce wraps, which were surprisingly good. I made meatballs for the first time and think with a little fine tuning, they will be a standby recipe for life after paleo. Ben found out he likes sweet potatoes with Tony’s, so at least he will be able to eat a few more carbs. No-oats oatmeal has been my breakfast for the last two mornings, and it might replace regular oatmeal all together.

Aside from the general requirements of eating no grains, no dairy and no legumes, the hardest thing about the Paleo challenge is meal planning. Up until now, if I didn’t plan dinner, we can scrounge around the house or just run somewhere to grab a quick dinner. Now, I need to plan dinner so we can have lunch leftovers, unless we want to be eating eggs for 2 or three meals a day (they are the only quick Paleo food I have found so far). I did some homework tonight and found several recipes that should last a few days and will plan to make them this weekend and for the next week.

Are you trying a new eating plan? What are the challenges? What are you enjoying?

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Food Reviews

 

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Pure Protein REVOLUTION: Food Review

I had the chocolate Peanut Caramel flavor, which is usually pretty good in other brands. The big nutrient breakdown is 180 calories, 20g protein, 17g carbs, 1g sugar, 11g sugar alcohol (what does that mean?), and a good assortment of vitamins and minerals.  Unfortunately, there is not much good that can be said about this bar. The taste was pretty bad, but I ate it because I needed some energy before I ran, but didn’t want to wait for real food to digest. I can generally run on bars or bananas without too much trouble.

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I think the bad taste came from the 11g of sugar alcohols, which are basically no-calorie chemical compounds pretending to be sugar to sweeten things up. That is not a scientific definition, just my understanding of sugar alcohols. If you really want to understand what they are and how they are made, please research them yourself. Right on the package it says ” WARNING: This product contains sugar alcohols, which may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.” Ok, I should have read that before eating because I’m counting on this to get me through at least 5 miles of my 8 mile run this morning.

All in all, this is a 2 because it provides a good amount of protein but that is where the good stops. There are way to many unnatural ingredients in this bar for me to say it would be a good choice to frequently rely on for energy or nutrients. I bought this bar because I had a coupon, and I like to try new things.

Have you tried the Pure Protein REVOLUTION bars? What did you think of them? What is your go-to energy or protein bar and why is it your favorite?

 
 

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LALA Yogurt Smoothie

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This was the other half of my breakfast this morning and I was SO happy. I had a BOGO coupon for LALA Yogurt Smoothies so I bought one Pecan & Cereal (pictured above) and one Strawberry Banana (for Ben). I don’t eat a whole lot of yogurt because it doesn’t really agree with me, but occasionally I will have it with a Lact-aid pill. This was a good deal because they were $0.93 each and the coupon made them $0.465 each, which is less than a normal carton of yogurt ($0.66 for Yoplait!)

I put the smoothie in the freezer for about an hour at work and then shook it up and drank it. AMAZING is all I have to say, great pecan taste and mine had little frozen bits in each swallow. On the downside, it was full of sugar (24g) and not extremely high in protein (6g). For 170 calories and 3.5g of fat, it would be a quick, mostly nutritious (25% DV of Calcium) breakfast or snack that would definitely cure your sugar/sweet cravings. I think this gets a rating of 8 out of 10, mostly healthy but would be better with less sugar.

 
 

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