End of Summer Blues

It’s sad to think that we just breezed through another summer already!  Why is it that the best months of the year (in my opinion…SUMMER) always seem to fly by.  I definitely made the most of it this Labor Day Weekend and hit up the beach as much as possible….and I’m already eyeing next weekend’s forecast which for us New Englanders looks to be another 10!  So while this past weekend may not have been the last official beach weekend, it was my last weekend of gluttony and laziness.  Most of my August was not filled with trips to the gym and smoothie bar…HA….but drinks after work, random Wednesday dinners out, and eating whatever my little heart desired.  But now since I’m under the 1-year mark for our big day, I think it’s time I start taking this whole “getting in shape” a little more seriously.

That being sad, I wanted to share with you a “cleanse” I am eager to try.  And let me start out by saying it’s not so much a cleanse to lose weight quick but more of a simple meal plan that will hit the reset button and give you a good start to a healthy lifestyle.  I am not someone that likes to try all these “diets” nor can my body handle it usually but its more eating healthier, more lean protein, lots of veggies and fruits and easy on the carbs.  Anyways….I plan on trying the Look Better Naked or LBN Cleanse from Women’s Health in the next week or so.  While I am on the 2-day cleanse, I do not plan on working out because I think I would be way to weak and just pass out!  I will be sure to provide you with a recap or update once if I complete it!

Breakfast

Light shake:

• Blend 1 cup skim (or soy, almond, rice, or hemp) milk
• 1 cup berries
• 1 tsp peanut butter (or flaxseed oil)
• 1 cup of ice until frothy
Bonus: Add a dash of cocoa powder!

Snack
• 1 cup sliced cucumbers
• 1 cup green tea
Bonus: Add a little vinegar and fresh dill to your cucumbers, or make a cucumber salad by slicing a couple of unpeeled cucumbers into rounds, dousing them with flavored vinegar and letting them marinate for an hour. Drain off the vinegar and keep them in the fridge.
Bonus: Drink your green tea straight up andhot—or brew a whole pot, toss in some fresh mint leaves or slices of peeled fresh ginger, and let steep for a few hours. Store in the fridge and pour it over ice when you’re thirsty.

Lunch
• Steamed or raw greens (romaine, spinach, mesclun mix, bok choy, arugula, watercress, frisee, endive, etc.)
• 4 oz lean protein (white meat chicken, firm tofu, lean beef, fish)
• 2 tsp oil (olive, sunflower, walnut)
Bonus: Mix-and-match your greens! You can get a lot of no-cal flavor simply by adding arugula or watercress, both of which have a peppery kick. Or you can toss a handful of fresh basil, cilantro, or flat-leaf parsley in with salad greens for an extra jolt of flavor.

Snack
• 10 asparagus spears, blanched
• 1 cup green tea
Bonus: Dip the asparagus into nonfat yogurt swirled with Dijon mustard to taste.

Dinner
• Steamed or raw greens
• 4 oz lean protein
• 2 tsp oil
Bonus: Be creative with your 2 teaspoons of oil, at both lunch and dinner. Whisk it with a teaspoon of vinegar and some herbs for vinaigrette; use it to sauté bite-size pieces of white-meat chicken, lean beef, tofu, or fish; or mix it with a flavor-booster spice mix to rub on chicken, beef, or fish before broiling or grilling.

Stay Tuned…

 

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Happy 2012

Happy 2012!  Hope you all had a very happy and safe New Years!!!!

We had such a great New Year’s weekend celebration.  Starting with a fabulous party thrown by my bestie Kate!  There was lots of laughing, dancing, drinking and eating.  And since once isn’t enough, we did it all over again on New Year’s Day at our good friends Gail & Robert’s !  They have the most amazing games…Name that Tune with 100 theme songs and legit buzzers, not to mention full-fledged Jeopardy on the big screen with daily doubles (or Minute to Win-Its!).  Needless to say, the Silver BLANG BLANGS didn’t beat the competition but had a blast trying so! 

Now with every New Year comes new resolutions.  The usual suspects will be showing up on my list yet again…from eating healthy to flossing my pearly whites to a daily visit to the gym (at least 4-5 days a week).  We’ll see how long these all last but looking forward to getting back into a semi-healthy lifestyle again. 

Since clean eating is one of my many resolutions, I thought I would share some ideas for skinny lunches to get you motivated courtesy of Eating Well Magazine….

Southwestern Salad with Black Beans

Ingredients
• 1/2 ripe avocado
• 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
• 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, quartered
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 cup black beans, canned (rinsed) or cooked
• 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
• 1/2 cup grape tomatoes

Preparation
1. Place avocado, cilantro, yogurt, scallions, garlic, lime juice, sugar and salt in a blender; blend until smooth.
2. Place greens in an individual salad bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. (Refrigerate the remaining dressing.) Top the greens with black beans, corn and tomatoes.

Per serving: 235 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 13 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 1325 mg potassium.

Stuffed Avocados

Ingredients
• 2 medium avocados, halved and pits removed
• 1 cup prepared seafood, tuna or chicken salad

Preparation
1. Top each avocado half with 1/4 cup of the salad.

Per serving: 175 calories; 14 g fat ( 2 g sat , 9 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 6 g fiber; 117 mg sodium; 604 mg potassium.

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

Ingredients
• 1 15- to 19-ounce can beans, such as chickpeas, black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
• 2 5- to 6-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked (see Note)
• 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
• 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
• 1/2 cup lemon juice, divided
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 8 cups mixed salad greens

Preparation
1. Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, rosemary, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Divide the greens among 4 plates. Top each with the tuna salad.

Per serving: 290 calories; 16 g fat ( 2 g sat , 11 g mono ); 12 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 9 g fiber; 505 mg sodium; 638 mg potassium.

Turkey & Tomato Panini

Ingredients
• 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
• 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 8 slices whole-wheat bread
• 8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
• 8 tomato slices
• 2 teaspoons canola oil

Preparation
1. Have four 15-ounce cans and a medium skillet (not nonstick) ready by the stove.
2. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread. Divide turkey and tomato slices among 4 slices of bread; top with the remaining bread.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 panini in the pan. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weight it down with the cans. Cook the panini until golden on one side, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet and cans, and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.

Per serving: 286 calories; 6 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 27 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 5 g fiber; 681 mg sodium; 136 mg potassium.

Spicy Bean & Gaucomole Burritos

In my quest to look like this…. (yea right, but hey…she’s healthy and curvy!!!)

I have been searching for some healthy and easy lunch recipes.  This week I’ve had these Spicy Bean & Guacomole Burritos that I found in Fitness Magazine and I have to say…DELISH!  I am not the biggest fan of beans but this was a pleasant surprise.  And I even had the grapes as the recipe calls for (boring but healthy). 

Ingredients
1/2 cup  canned fat-free refried beans
1/4 cup  salsa
3 tablespoons  prepared guacamole
1 cup  shredded romaine lettuce
2 small (6-inch)  whole-grain tortillas
1 cup  red grapes

Directions
Stir together beans and salsa.
Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
Place warm bean mixture, guacamole and lettuce on tortillas and roll up.
Serve with grapes on the side

Nutrition Facts – Calories 398, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Carbohydrate 82 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 15 g.

The original recipe calls for low-fat refried beans but my grocery store didn’t carry so I just bought fat free.  Also, instead of buying prepared guac, I just bought an avocado (my cheaper) and mashed a little into the salsa and added cumin, chili powder and garlic powder and used that as my gauc. 

It satisfies that Mexican craving but it’s much healthier (I’ll miss you Chipotle, but don’t worry, we’ll reunite sooner than you think!).  Anyways, I would definitely recommend trying these.

Let’s Get Physical, Physical

Yes, I am posting about fitness today.  While I am by no means a gym junkie, healthy eater, fitness guru….I have been attempting to get back into the swing of things at the gym.  My biggest challenge is actually sticking with a routine for more than 2 weeks.  I did join a new gym near my office since my old gym closed and I have to say, I am so glad that old gym tanked….I am loving the classes the new gym offers.  Some are a super challenging, ie 22 flights of stairs (both up and down) after an hour of nonstop cardio (I almost cried, puked and passed out within this hour, no joke). But in the end, I always feel good when I leave and I actually am starting to enjoy it.

Anyways….I found this post today and thought it was a good, quick workout …and if you think about it, not too too hard.  Not sure my 2nd floor neighbors would appreciate jumping jacks and burbees at 6 in the morning, but something to consider?

Repeat this cycle 2x right when you wake up in the morning before you even realize what you are doing…..

50 jumping jacks
5 pushups
20 sit ups
20 mountain climbers
30 second plank
7 burbees

Need some motivation….

Back to the gym today for me.  After a week hiatus from being sick, I will start the week off right with bootcamp.  Happy Workouts!!!