Friday, September 20, 2013

Confession...I failed.

Funny Apology Ecard: Dear Body, I'm sorry I failed you this week by drinking coffee. Better luck next week.

Just as the title and picture suggests...I failed. Three times this week. *sigh*

So many of you already know that I cut caffeine out of my diet back in June due to the issues it was causing my TMJD. I know that there are health benefits associated with drinking coffee in moderation, but the side affects it was having on my jaw outweighed the benefits so it was something that I was forced to give up. It was the coffee or continue to have facial pain and a tense jaw. The decision was pretty easy to make, but not so easy to keep as you can imagine.

I've been getting up an hour earlier to try to get into work at 7 (ask me how that's going) and failing miserably. So needless to say I've been even more tired since I've been getting 7 hours of sleep instead of 8. So coffee happened this week. TWICE. With no regrets. It was sooooo good and my jaw was OK. Not the best but not horrible. I will stop before it becomes a habit again and I'm kicking myself in the ass for being so stupid.

I also failed my September challenge. I weighed myself today. I do have a valid reason for cheating though. I finally ordered a body fat analyzer and you kind of need an accurate weight to get an accurate reading. Soooooo...I weighed myself and I lost 1.2 pounds. Sounds exciting huh? Until I realized that those 1.2 pounds were the ones that I gained last time I weighed myself. *face palm*

So there you have it. My confession. The confessional is now open. Anything you want to 'fess up about? Come on, you know you want to! ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Egg White "Muffins"

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. I could literally eat it for every meal and have no problem with that. So I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to add to the rotation. I saw someone post these guys on Instagram and decided to scour Pinterest for a recipe. 

I found one from Men's Health that hit the spot (here's the original recipe). I was hooked after I read it had bacon in it. I do love me some bacon. So I reviewed the recipe and decided to make some changes of my own. The only "muffin" part of this breakfast is the fact that they're baked in a muffin tin. They are gluten and dairy free, Paleo friendly, and down right delicious. So good that Panda ate one and loved it. As you all know he's picky when it comes to my healthy cooking. Ha. Well it did receive a stamp of approval from Men's Health magazine so it should be good for the dudes.

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups egg whites (I used Trader Joe's cage free egg whites)
12 slices of uncured turkey bacon (or the real deal)
36 cherry tomatoes (3 per muffin)
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 tbsp. of Aw Shit seasoning salt (or whatever you would like to use)
Coconut oil cooking spray



First things first, you will want to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Second, you will need to cook the bacon to your liking. Mine was semi crispy since it's going into the oven anyway. Once the bacon has cooked, place it on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up the excess grease.



Next you will need to get a cheese grater and shred the zucchini. 



Spray the muffin tin with the coconut oil spray. No spray = a sticky mess. Trust me on this one.

Line each muffin tin with a slice of bacon. 


 Next you will put a small amount of the shredded zucchini followed by the tomatoes.


In a mixing bowl, pour the liquid egg whites and the Aw Shit seasoning. Whisk until mixed together. Then pour the egg white mixture into each of the muffin tins. Make sure to leave a little room on the top as they do rise in the oven.


Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until you have a golden crust on the top of the muffins. 


And there you have it - egg white "muffins" that you can refrigerate for the week and reheat for breakfast. They even freeze well if you aren't planning on eating them every day.



***I recently made these again and did the following differently:
  1. I used uncured applewood smoked bacon
  2. I chopped the bacon up and put it in the muffin tin instead of lining it.
I definitely prefer the newer method to the one that I just described. I didn't take pictures of it otherwise I would've switched up the post. So here's the original one since I was too lazy to take new pictures. Ha!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chia Seed Pudding

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with a mild gluten allergy a month ago which has changed up my breakfasts. I no longer eat my Overnight Oats as oats tend to be commonly cross contaminated with wheat. I know they have GF versions and what not, but I’ve been trying to be a purist about this GF lifestyle. As a result of this, I’ve had to venture out and find other ways of getting a similar fix, if you will. I’ve seen people talk about Chia Seed Pudding in addition to seeing pictures on Instagram and Pinterest. Finally I decided to see what all of the hype was about and actually try it out myself.

So what is a chia seed? The first thing I thought of was those plants from back in the early 80s…the Chia plants. Remember those guys? Cha-cha-cha-chia! Well low and behold after some research, chia seeds do actually come from those little chia plants! Whaaaaaaaat?! Well….not really.
Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson Chia Pet
Duck Dynasty chia pets!
According to Wikipedia they actually come from a flowering plant in the mint family and can be used whole or ground up in drinks or foods. The chia plants didn’t actually bloom with the flowers. They are mainly grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Australia. The largest producer of them is the great country of Australia. The seed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a-linolenic acid (ALA) similar to flax or sesame seeds. They are anti-inflammatory and don’t have any disease risk factors. So one could say that chia seeds are in fact another super food that should be consumed on a regular basis for good health. One word of caution – they are full of fiber, so proceed with caution if you know what I mean.

What do they taste like? What’s the texture like? In my opinion, chia seeds don’t really have a flavor. They just take on the flavor of whatever you’re mixing it with which makes them extremely versatile. The texture is similar to tapioca when you let them soak and bloat up for about 20 minutes or more. So if you don’t like tapioca pudding, then you might not want to soak them in anything because the texture will turn you off or give you the jeebs. I personally like the texture of tapioca so it really doesn’t bother me.
The recipe options are endless for these little guys. I’m going to share a couple that I’ve tried and really enjoyed. I will forewarn you though. The chocolate banana chia pudding isn’t pretty but it’s sure mighty tasty!


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon (more or less depending on how much you like it)

1/2 cup almond milk (or any type of “milk” you prefer)
1/2 of a banana
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
Put the dry ingredients into a bowl or Tupperware container first and then pour in the liquids. I usually use a whisk to mix up the ingredients due to the cocoa. Not sure why, but it takes FOREVER to mix and dissolve. Once mixed together, pop the bowl into the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. I will leave mine in the fridge overnight and eat for breakfast.

Strawberry Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
Strawberries cut up
Mix dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients until mixed thoroughly. Pop in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. Easy peasy.


I will admit...I'm not the greatest photographer and I take pictures of my food in tupperware containers while using plastic utensils at my desk at work. I try to keep it real yo!

August Accountability Post


I’ve decided that doing accountability posts every week was a challenging thing for me to do since I’m a recovering procrastinator so I’ve decided that once a month is the way to go. Plus the way things have been going, I’ve been doing that anyways! It’s funny how things work out. 

Fitness Update


Hope you all had a fantastic month. I sure did! I started a new program called Strong Curves by Bret Contreras. He’s known as the “glute master” and Lord knows I need as much help as I can get in that department! I was inspired to look into this plan when I was starting to doubt the NRoL4W plan. Don’t get me wrong, I loved NRoL4W but the workouts were not challenging enough for me so I was combining workouts A & B which wasn’t the point of the workout. So instead of doing each of the workouts every other day, I was doing them every day which is defeating the purpose of giving your muscles a break. So one of the lovely ladies from the Livestrong Community shared her modified workout with me and I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did because I absolutely LOVE it! I can definitely see that my glutes are getting a little perkier in my jeans which makes me and Panda very happy!

I will say this – I’m glad that I did NRoL4W first as it gave me the strength foundation for the Strong Curves workout. I’ve been able to make some serious gains in my deadlifts and squats since I first started lifting back in June. Next accountability post I'll post my results from the first stage of the Strong Curves workout.

Gluten Free Diet Update

Last accountability update I let you all know that I was going GF in efforts to help the fatigue that was I was dealing with. Well I’m happy to say that it’s been working! I have so much more energy it’s crazy! Who knew that eliminating a little ol’ thing like gluten could make such a big difference in how I feel and my energy levels. I will say though, it hasn’t been the easiest thing to follow especially going out. I feel like I’m playing 20 questions when I look at the menu if it doesn’t specifically say GF. Thankfully I live in CA so diets like mine are pretty common and it’s not a big deal. Even at home it has been a struggle. Panda’s family thinks I’m nuts because I’m being a total purist about it. His mum will even question me when I question the ingredients. She will say – “A little bit of gluten isn’t going to hurt you.” Well, you wouldn’t give a kid allergic to peanuts a little peanut now would you? NO! So why would I eat a little bit of gluten even if my allergy isn’t an anaphylactic one. Despite the challenges, I’ve been able to remain a purist and feel better about it. I haven’t felt like a bloatation device since I stopped. No looking back now!

Operation Bikini



About a month ago, Panda and I went to a Giant’s game and the first 20,000 people got BOGO Free Virgin America vouchers. Well Panda made it a point to get there early so we could get these prized vouchers and we did! We got 2 vouchers which equaled 4 plane tickets. Since we love traveling, it was a no brainer to book 2 different vacations. The first stop – Vegas for Halloween! My favorite holiday aside from Christmas and my birthday! The second stop – CABO WABO! This is where Operation Bikini comes in. Panda said that he wants to see me in a bikini when go to the beach. I, too, would like to sport a bikini when the time comes because I’ve always hated one piece bathing suits. I just look so awkward since I’m so short. So I have 4 months to kill it in the gym and get the bikini body I’ve always dreamed of. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it will be totally worth it! I’m sooooo excited! I’m finally going to be able to put my passport to good use!

Sadly, I will have to kick up the cardio a notch in order to melt the fat off quicker. For those of you that know me, I absolutely despise cardio. I’d rather be throwing around the iron in the weight rooms getting ripped. *sigh* A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get bikini ready.

Sorry in advance if this is your child. I just used a picture off of the internet.

Stats

August was an interesting month for the scale and measurements. Starting up Strong Curves changed up my routine so that I am lifting 4 days a week and doing cardio 2 days. While I can see the difference in my body, the scale didn’t really move a whole lot and the measurements have been like a roller coaster – up and down. I’m not frustrated as I’m building muscle and the gains come with just that – gains. So here are the August stats:


September Challenge

Since things have been up and down in the scale/measurement department, I decided to put the scale away for the month of September and not weigh myself. Why? Because that damn scale doesn’t dictate my happiness or my worth. I was starting to get really discouraged when I saw the numbers go up and then realized that I didn’t need a number to tell me how I feel, how I look, or how to act. So I decided to give the scale a big middle finger until 10/1. It’s been liberating and frustrating at the same time. Since I only weigh myself once a week, it’s only 4 weigh in’s that I’m missing anyway. The first Friday I actually had a dream that I got on the scale and weighed myself and then got pissed because I was going to have to confess to everyone what I had done. Can you believe that?! I was having dreams about a scale! SMH! And that my friends is why I decided to do No-Scale September!

Recipes Tried

Since I’m not creative enough to come up with my own recipes, I scour Pinterest and Instagram for my inspiration for my meal preps. I’ve created a nifty little list of the things I’ve tried with the link to the websites where I got them from. That way credit is given where it’s due and I don’t have to type out the whole thing out! HAHA. Maybe I’ll post about it later. I do take a bunch of pics while I’m cooking just in case I decide to write about it later. So feast your eyes on the deliciousness that I’m about to post. ;)


Burger is topped with caramelized onions & a Sriracha aoili


Side of mango & topped with sugar free syrup.