Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Pantry Challenge

After a three year hiatus from my blog (I was travelling, and in school and just generally busy) I've decided to get back on the blogging bandwagon. Yay for New Years resolutions!

Part of my resolutions for the year are eating healthier and eating out less often, going to the gym, blogging more, being better with money and getting enough sleep - I have more tangible specific goals but that's the basic gist of it.

Doing this pantry challenge will help me with at least the blogging more, eating out less and saving money. I'm also trying to low-carb or at least only eat whole grain. Without further ado - Day One:

2 pieces of whole-grain toast
1 scrambled egg

Leftovers (rice and chicken)


Since last week was Christmas, I had some friends stay with me for a few days so I have a bunch of leftovers to get through - I also made and froze some soup so I'll be eating that in the next few days. I'm hoping to only buy eggs, dairy and fresh veggies.

For more info on the Pantry Challenge check out good (cheap) eats and try it for yourself!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Faux Noodles and Rice

Sometimes low-carbing is hard. When I was working in an office it was much easier to organize myself - make lunch the night before, have dinner thought out in advance and make a nice quick fried egg for breakfast.

Now that I'm back working in a restaurant, it's hard to keep myself on track. I still have to remember to eat healthy and have at least 3 meals a day. My biggest issue is that I forget to eat breakfast and then don't eat anything until about 2:30, and have dinner at 5:30. Which makes my body starve all day and then in 3 hour span get all the nutrients for the whole day.

So for breakfast I bought some sugar-free yogurt, and make sure to keep eggs stocked up.

As for dinner, we all miss rice and pasta sometimes so here are two super easy recipes that help take the cravings away:

Faux Rice

1/2 head cauliflower
Soy sauce

You can use a food processor if you'd like, but I normally just use a cheese grater

-Grate (or process) the cauliflower so that it is very small - the size of rice
-Microwave it in a covered dish with NO water (cauliflower retains enough water that it will steam itself) for 3-5 minutes or until it's fluffy and tender.

You can use it at this point as a substitute for rice (it's great with butter chicken or any rich sauce)

I like to fry it up with a bit of soy sauce to add flavor and eat it with steamed green beans and Korean beef (I'll post that recipe one day too)

Zucchini Noodles

2-3 medium zucchinis
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

1. Cut off the two ends
2. Using a sharp vegetable peeler (or if you have it, a mandolin) peel the zucchini lengthwise to form long ribbons, continue turning and peeling until you get to the seedy inside. I normally chop up this part and use it in the sauce
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. Saute until fragrant (2 minutes)
4. Add the zucchini noodles and gently toss with salt and pepper. Heat for about 3-5 minutes, until the noodles are tender.
5. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce! I love Alfredo with chicken, red onion and mushrooms or a nice red sauce with meatballs.

These two items have become low-carb staples for me!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yummy, Healthy "Pizza"

Hey neglected weight-loss blog!

I'm still doing the Suzanne Somers plan - although I'm not super strict, I like to keep it up more as maintenance, I tend to gain about 10 pounds every winter and using this diet, lose the same every spring. I'm not sure if that's completely healthy but I don't think it's too bad.

My younger sister is getting married this summer so my mom has decided to join me. So far she has lost about 30 pounds (in the last 3 1/2 months) and I think wants to lose about 20-30 more.

I've lost about 12 and am aiming for probably 5-10 more pounds. Like I said, I'm not super strict like my mom is so this suits me perfectly.

On to the recipes:

Low-Carb Pizza


6 oz Cream Cheese (room temperature) or creamy Goat Cheese
4-6 Eggs (4 = thinner crust, 6 = deeper dish crust)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or oregano, basil and rosemary)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 cup Mozzarella, Parmesan (or your favorite blend of cheeses, 1/2 hard)
Black Pepper, to taste

Toppings (use your favorite pizza toppings, mine are below):

Tomato Sauce (Classico has the least sugar of commercial brands)

1. Using a food processor (or blender) mix together the cream cheese and eggs until smooth

2. Add the spices and blend again

3. Spread the remaining cheeses (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago or those Italian 4-cheese blends work well) on the bottom of a well greased 9X13 pan. Pour the egg mixture over top

4. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the top is nicely browned. You may need to adjust the timing depending on how crisp you like your crust and whether you used 4 or 6 eggs. Just keep an eye on it when you hit the 20 minute mark.

5. While the pizza "dough" is baking, saute the other ingredients until crisp-tender

6. Take the crust out of the oven. Spread a generous amount of pizza sauce and all your favorite toppings.

7. Bake for another 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

This makes a doughy, cheesy crust so I never add cheese on the top of the pizza.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On The Road Again

So it's been over a month and I've lost a total of 20 pounds! I haven't exactly been Somersizing lately but that's mostly because I started a Boot Camp and therefore need more carbs. My friend is a trainer so he gave me and 3 girlfriends a pretty good deal.

We've been working out 4 times a week and have plans to do so for 2 months. Yesterday we went and did the stairs by a park downtown here. The stairs are ridiculous (it took us 2 minutes and 17 seconds to get up them running!) but you can tell by how your legs feel afterward that it works!

I'm heading off houseboating in a few days and I'm happy to have lost some of my extra jiggle. I really just need to tone everything and shed maybe 5 more pounds.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vegetarian Somersizing

Anyone who does the same plan I'm doing (Suzanne Somers) and is a vegetarian will have a few more things to think about. You would have to eat a lot of veggies (obviously) maybe with some tofu or whole grain pasta. Vegetarians need to have more carb meals then non-vegetarians because they still need to get lots of protein and of course, fiber.

You can also cook with rice and beans - good protein sources. Use textured vegetable protein to make burgers; add it to chilis, soys and sauces. Vegans can have rice milk (not soy milk) on their carb breakfast meal.

Because I had someone ask about Vegetarian Somersizing, these recipes are for you Soni!

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms

12 whole medium mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 tsp seasoning salt

  1. In a skillet melt margarine. Saute chopped mushroom stems and other veggies
  2. Season with salt
  3. Stuff mushroom caps with filling on baking sheet
  4. Broil until bubbly

Easy Mexican Rice

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
3 cups water
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can black (or kidney) beans, drained
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  1. In a saucepan bring 3 cups water to a boil
  2. Add Taco seasoning and rice and stir
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes
  5. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and lettuce
Hope this helps answer some questions?!

Thanks very much to Megan, I borrowed these two recipes from her site Somersize Recipes and Gluten Free - she has SO many great recipes and ideas!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All I Needed Was a Reason

I figured out what I needed to kick start my diet into fast-track action; I scheduled a vacation and had to get my butt in gear to look beach-worthy!

Of course, our vacay to Puerta Vallarta got canceled when all this swine flu hit fever pitch (no pun intended). I fell off the wagon for a few days with depression and eating not-so-healthy food but I'm happy to say it didn't last long as we rescheduled for Vegas!

We leave in exactly 2 weeks and I'm thrilled. I haven't been there since I was about 8 years old - definitely doesn't count.

So, I started my healthy eating April 20th and am delighted to report that even with my almost week-long unhealthy binge I have lost a total of 11 pounds!! My goal was to lose 20 by vacation and another 5-7 after I got back.

I have two more weeks to be uber good and I really think I can do it!

The plan I'm doing for those who are interested is Suzanne Somers plan. It's basically a low-carb diet but you are still allowed (and encouraged) to eat whole wheat bread, fiber filled cereal and healthy whole wheat pasta. The only catch is that you have to eat any of the carbs only with vegetables.

Other then that it's all the veggies you want (other then corn and potatoes - so starchy!!) and meats, and sauces galor. I love having zucchini noodles with a yummy meatball sauce - so delicious. Or Eggplant Parmesan and a big salad. I still eat pretty much everything I want and am losing weight (do I sound like an infomercial?? Sorry I can't help it!)

A sample menu for me goes something like this:

Nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup fruit (although Suzanne says to try and eat fruit alone I don't seem to have a problem eating it with other foods)
A sprinkle of Fibre1 cereal

1 chicken breast smothered with goat cheese
Wilted spinach with cherry tomatoes

Roasted Pork Loin with Creamy Mushroom Gravy
Cheesy Cauliflower (recipe to follow)
Tossed Salad with balsamic vinaigrette

How can you go wrong?!

I'm going to try to be better about posting a daily food menu and a few recipes for the next couple weeks until I'm away. I'll also track my progress to follow how I'm doing!

Easy Cheesy Cauliflower:

1 med. head of cauliflower - stem removed, broken into florets
1 c mayonnaise
1 c sharp cheddar, grated
2 tbsp mustard powder (in a pinch prepared mustard is fine)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Steam the cauliflower until slightly tender
  3. In a separate bowl stir together the cheese, mayonnaise and mustard powder
  4. Place the cauliflower in a casserole dish, cover with cheese sauce
  5. Bake covered for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is creamy and bubbly and the cauliflower tender
It's super easy and really delicious. I like my extra creamy but if you don't, use less mayonnaise and cheese. You can add any veggies you want to this as well - it's great with brocolli!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Slacker McSlacksOffALot

So this whole diet thing obviously deserves a giant FAIL. Although I have lost a few pounds lately, it's mostly because I've been working two jobs and eating very sporadically (which is so bad for you!)

Yesterday for example, I had a Slim Fast shake at 10 am, then I started work and didn't eat again until 5 pm when I had some popcorn shrimp.

Get out the weight loss experts: what's that? I'm going to crash and burn and gain 40 pounds if I keep eating like crap? I'm aware.

I have been slowly reducing my carb intake though and eating more salads. It's really hard to eat properly when your schedule is so messed up. Last time I did low-carb I worked a normal 9-5 job and it was SO much easier.

Any tips from anyone on how to get back into the swing of it when I have NO time to prepare good meals ahead of time?

Meanwhile, here's a great wintertime low-carb recipe that I HOPE to make this weekend:

Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 pound ground chicken, beef or turkey
1/4 cup butter, softened
pinch each (1/4 tsp) of pepper, cumin & cayenne
1/2 tsp each of salt & oregano
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed
Large handful of mushrooms, sliced (can also be sauteed with onions)
1 can of diced green chilies
4 bell peppers (your choice of color), tops sliced off & seeds removed
1 cup of shredded cheese (mozza, cheddar or jack are all good)

Mix together meat, butter, spices, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and chilies
Stuff the bell peppers with the meat mixture
Place upright in a slow-cooker on high for 3 1/2 hours or low for 7 hours
30 minutes before they are finished cooking, sprinkle with cheese
You can also bake these in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees


And here is the easiest, quickest, yummiest homemade tomato soup recipe:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Sour cream (garnish, optional)

Melt butter in large saucepan; add onions and saute.
Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and cream
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes
Pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
Pour into soup bowls and garnish with sour cream