Monday, June 15, 2015


Morning, folks!  Well, I think it's about time I put the ole blog on hiatus while we get the last few odds & ends ready for our new arrival.  And by 'odds & ends,' I mean spending all my extra time with Katie, considering I've been acting like we're shipping her off to Europe vs. her becoming a big sisterJ.  Just can't get enough of her at the moment.

So I'll be back once I get everything settled.  Itll probably be a minute, thoughJ.  In the meantime, I'll still post some quick updates from my My Tasty Journey Facebook page.  Since...I still just can't shut up about food & working outJ.  I'll just have to do it QUICKER at the momentJ

Talk to you again soon...hopefully!J

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Wednesday Recap:

So the reason for no Tuesday recap? started strong enough and I was busy all morning, that kept me on the move.  But come 2:30 o'clock, I had completely succumb to the snack bug.  I WAS hungry, but not hungry enough to justify the round of chocolate, cantaloupe & chips (chocolate, sweet & salty, you see) that I managed to chow.  Then dinner ended up being a very uninspired pile of MORE tortilla chips, melted cheese, shredded lettuce (my heart) & avocado....cause I just felt too BLAH to cook anything beyond that 1-minute, "junky" dinner.


So after thinking about the day, I realized the only thing I DIDN'T do on Tuesday morning that might have set up that craziness:  No coconut coffee!  EEEK!  Could that really have been the culprit??  The one thing that took my normally peaceful 'mid-afternoon' brain and turned it on its ear??  Don't know for sure, but best BELIEVE I chugged a cup yesterday morning and focused the rest of the day on "recovery" eating, aka-only eating when I was hungry and trying to make it healthier JUST to MENTALLY feel better after a blah day.  

The SWEETEST cantaloupe in the land and HUGE, in season strawberries...swoon.  I usually try to eat protein with fruit to keep blood sugar stable, but having this alone just felt very 'calming.'

Workout:  2 mile Walk away the pounds with 8 & 4 pound weights
So I mentioned on my FB page yesterday that I think I spent the prior 48-hours making every excuse in the world to NOT workout.  It was amazing how I was finding myself CLEANING over JUST starting a workout.  WTF?  Soooooo unlike me, even if admittedly the FIRST step of JUST STARTING is always the hardest.

Eventually I DID indeed take that first step and....proceeded to curse nearly the entire half hourJ  The culprit was the understandable none too fun 'stomach tightening', but THIS was the only thing that got me through the ridiculously-short-I-shouldn't-complain 30 minutes:
I just knew I'd MENTALLY feel better after getting those 30 minutes in, since 'walking off the pounds' is kinda laughable at this pointJ  It should be called "Walk so you don't feel like an Oaf" at the momentJ  Cursing & hating life aside, I definitely felt better after I was done.

Lunch:  Frozen yogurt
Tried to keep the 'splurge' part of frozen yogurt in check and just enjoyed a bit cause I knew it was THEONLYLUNCHONTHEPLANETIWANTED while running errands during lunch hour yesterday.  

In the mix:
  • Chopped kale 
  • Craisins
  • 4 oz. diced goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 diced avocado
  • Sliced almonds
  • Dressing:  
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • salt & pepper

And after this salad took me about 3-4 minutes more to whip up then those 'junky nachos' I mentioned above, I told Scott I was so mad at myself at that moment cause that salad was SOOOO good that I could have eaten it every night.  It really was soooo darn good with all the cool ingredients and variety of textures.  And enough for lunch leftovers today = even better! 

Well, Katie requested I sit with her and we are squished on the edge of the couch together, rendering me typing this post up while suspending my arms mid-airJ  My cue to skiddadleJ

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Too hot to cook, round 1....

Morning, all!  Well, our house is finally rested and recovered after Katie 'generously' shared her cold with Scott & I.  So there wasn't too much cooking (or much activity, really) this weekend, except for Katie getting into making a crumb cake for Daddy on Sunday morning...
(she was VERY proud of her crumblesJ)

...and downing as much chicken broth & these "Vitamin C" smoothies as we could manage.
The above made with as many healthy ingredients as I could find around the house including fresh squeezed oranges, non-fat yogurt, carrots and....I actually don't even remember what elseJ  It's all a bit foggyJ

Anyways, it was back to normal for all of us come Monday morning and thus ushering us BACK to WEEK 1 of the Bikini Series after completing all 8 weeks!  (OK, OK...week 7 went a bit awry, but the rest were pretty solid!)  And in the 8 weeks, give or take due to the 'current situation', I still weigh less than I did on Easter over 2 months ago, and for THAT, I'll chalk it up as a SUCCESS at the momentJ.  
I decided to go back to the beginning of our list, but subbing in a few of our favs from the last 2 months (THOSEBREAKFASTTACOS!) and trying to work in 'our own' recipes in between a few Tone it Up-specific ones during the week just to keep it fun and seasonal with all the great produce and summer recipes lately.  As usual, it's all about PORTIONS and trying to eat as much healthy stuff over processed stuff as we can.  Anytime those scales tip towards HEALTHY=  Win.  Win, win all around.

Monday Recap:

*Still drinking coconut oil coffee and still finding it to be very 'calming' for the brain.  Almost as much so as yoga & meditation, which is WILD.  Just FYI.  I'll keep ya updated.

Workout:  2 sets arms & squats

Breakfast:  Toasted Oats with Strawberry chia jam, coconut milk + caco nibs 
...cause I am OBSESSED with putting caco nibs on as many things as I can.  Tis' a superfood, afterall!J

Fresh out of the oven, I just HAD to try one of these as snack.  Admittedly, I still have not mastered 'alternate flour baking' at ALL just yet.  The recipe called for brown rice flour, but I subbed in coconut flour cause I just thought WHY NOT?  Well, Why NOT is because I still can't get the ratio of flour to liquid right in coconut flour baking.  The TASTE was just fine, but the texture wasn't quite right.  (forgot I coulda used oat flour or even REGULAR flour if you wanted),  So these, PLUS the frosting (that called for SOY emulsifier which I was, ummmm, plum out ofJ) had to be pieced together a bit, but AGAIN, they were pretty tasty (and they're not being brought to a potluck!J) so who really cares??  I have since put them in the fridge in the hopes of them 'firming up' a bit.  We'll see.  I'm about to go grab one ASAP.

Lunch:  Salted caramel crunch yogurt

Snack:  Outshine Pineapple Yogurt Bar + 6 almonds
Blame this snack choice on the fact that I had just come home with them from the grocery store AND that by the time I got home, it was about 20947203952093 degrees outside (give or takeJ).  We've been LOVING these 90 calorie bars and so has Katie, which I figured was a win in the toddler department.  Between these bars & freezing some of those Stonyfield yogurt squeezers and letting her think they're like an 'ice cream treat', she's gotten plenty of her fill of yogurt lately.  I'll take it.

Dinner:  Polenta Caprese Bites + side salad

Chalk this recipe up as the first "TOO HOT TO COOK" dinner of the season, that thankfully required barely ANY 'hands on' time and came together in under 20 minutes.  Not to mention my first CAPRESE dinner of the season, which I was sooooooooooo excited about!  I had spied a log of fresh mozzarella at Whole Foods the other day and it never left my mind till I got my fill last night in this light, but cheesy dish!  I had made these as a side dish about 500 years ago (aka- 5 years & pre-KatieJ), but last night they starred as the MAIN EVENT and were completely satisfying.

First up, slice up some polenta (got mine at Trader Joe's) and toss em on a medium-heated skillet (or on the grill) for about 5 minutes before giving em a flip...

Once they were flipped, I topped em with some reheated roasted cherry tomatoes (I had roasted these a few days ago and kept em in the fridge for a quick 'reheat & eat.'  They are ALWAYS great to have on-hand.)  and a slice of fresh mozzarella & a sprinkle of sea salt.  I tented them with aluminum foil to melt the cheese and finish crisping up the bottoms. 

And then once they were off the griddle, I topped em with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a TON of diced fresh basil... 

...which I'm OH-SO-EXCITED to say came from my own little 'porch garden!'
It's been WELL documented on this blog that I have ZERO green thumbs, but after finding this nice little sun patch on my front porch (along with the added reminder to water them givin I walk by them daily), they've actually managed to thrive for about a month.  Which is BEYOND a record in my house.  ....even if it took plenty of tips from my gardener friend PLUS a youtube tutorial on how to trim basil before I actually embarked on said 'adventure.'  I mean...THIS is what we're dealin with here people:  YOUTUBE TUTORIALS ON TRIMMING BASIL, it's THAT badJ hahahahahah

ANYWAY, keeping with the theme, I topped my salad with MORE diced basil, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil & sea salt....
This whole dinner was sooooooo nice, fresh and a great way to kick off the fresh-produce/caprese season.  And, oh yeah, let me mention again how it came together in under-20 minutes and had barely any 'hands on' time.  THAT is what is VERYYYYY much needed in these WAYTOOHOT months ahead.

Alright...well, I feel like I've written my word quota for the day PLUS Katie's current activity is painting her nails while I type this blog, so I better get back and see what's goin onJ

Have a great Tuesday!J

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm bulletproof...sorta...

Wednesday Update:

*Coconut oil coffee.... So I started the day with this new fab in coffee of 1 cup brewed coffee BLENDED (this is KEY or you'll end up with a cup of coffee with an oil slick floating on top!) with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  A lot of recipes add in a tablespoon of organic Kerrygold butter to make the (trademarked) Bulletproof coffee...but I was going baby steps here, peeps.  There are plenty of articles online talking about the pros & cons of this latest fad concoction.  My main reasons for wanting to try it were the prompt of steady energy/less blood sugar spikes (= no hunger spikes), a morning boost to the metabolism and the mind clarity that it suggests.  (and who couldn't use more mind clarity, AMIRIGHT??)

What I ended up getting after 1 day:

A.- The 1 tablespoon of coconut oil made a tasty enough cup of coffee that I didn't end up needed to add anything else.  And as a coffee creamer JUNKIE, this made me VERY happy.  The coconut oil had about 50 calories more than the 2 tablespoons of creamer I TRY to use.  And of course,  significantly more fat...BUT, the healthy fats were now replacing all of the chemicals, bad fat & sugar of the creamer.  So does one outweigh the other??  I would think so, right??  I would think any time you're using natural ingredients to replace beloved crap ones is a good health step.  Not to mention, adding coconut oil to your diet is just an all-around good idea since its benefits are known far & wide.

B.- Ummmm...not much appetite suppressant, though.  The fat & calories of the oil & butter coffee is supposed to be a meal replacement, really, but my 1 tablespoon of oil was doing NONE of that for me.  I was pretty hungry shortly after the cup.  I tried to wait it out over an hour to see if it was just a passing thing, but IT WASN'T.  I was DEFINITELY hungry and NEEDED breakfast AND snack.

C.- Through the rest of the day, though, it seemed my hunger spikes were kept at bay....but they've also been that way since following the 5-meals a day of the Bikini Series.  Sooooo, I can't really say which caused it, but I didn't really have any cravings or irrational food choices for the rest of the day. conclusion:  Winning?  I guess?  I tried it again this morning and maybe I'll try it for a bit to see if I see any changes and I'll report back my insights here.  As usualJ  

Anyone else try this??  Pros/Cons??


Sooooo...I really wasn't sure how I was feeling about this weird-ish concoction of frozen blueberries, banana, cocoa powder and spinach...but it was sooooooooooooooo good!  Especially topped with the added chocolate hit of crushed caco nibs, chia seeds, banana & unsweetened coconut.  Swoooooon.

Snack:  1 cup berries + 1/4 cup peanuts 
Had VERY shortly after that smoothie bowl since, as I mentioned above, I was PRETTTTY hungry yesterday morning.  After this double whammy though, I was pretty satisfied for several hours.

Lunch:  Ummmmmm... 
Yep, I liked that smoothie bowl so much that I had it TWICE in one day.  If that's not enough of an advertisement to try this recipe out ASAPJ

I was on a chocolate kick yesterday, huh??  But here's where I definitely think my "rational mind" worked out in my benefit, because I picked up this little bottle while taking a quick spin through Whole Foods (stockin up on my cocoa nibs & chia seeds from their bulk bins) and realized I needed SOMETHING.  And while I passed cases of cupcakes, pastries & gelato, I had no urge for ANY of them and found THIS option to be the most appealing.  Now THAT'S a definitely win.  Not to mention this was really creamy & delicious and SUPER filling from the (plant-based) protein...

 Dinner:  Pizza Kitchen
Now I know this looks like an 'irrational splurge', but I swear this ended up being a dinner more because it was SOOOOOO nice out last night and had more to do with making our annual 'spring' trip to Pizza Kitchen to eat outside under their little patio than it ACTUALLY had to do with the pizza.  Since last week it was already TOO hot and the last couple days were TOO gloomy, it just felt nice to be outside on such a sunny and breezy night.  And of course, the pizza was delicious to bootJ

And I'm glad we enjoyed that pizza since both Scott AND I managed to catch Katie's cold that she developed OUT OF NOWHERE on Monday.  Yippeee.  We both slept terrible last night and woke up feeling SUPER lousy.  Sooooo, you may or may not hear from me tomorrow, depending on how these next 24 hours treat me.  

Until then...have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chili & Chilly...

 Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & squats 

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with strawberry jam + almonds 
Ummmm...technical difficulties that I can't get this picture to flip for the life of me!  Oh well...hopefully one of my 3 leftover bowls of this recipe will photograph uprightJ

Snack:  Apple + 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Snack:  Luna Coconut bar

Dinner:  Tone it Up Pumpkin Turkey Chili 
When I saw this recipe on the Bikini Series menu for week 8, I scoffed.  Chili?  IN JUNE???  Who wants that??  Especially considering last week I waved the white flag on cooking TWICE cause it was JUST TOO DAMN HOT!  But how bout this week in Jersey is a chilly & overcast mid-60's (which now feel like 40's!), making this dinner COMPLETELY appropriate.  And it's a good thing since the recipe above makes EIGHT servings.  Perfect for a couple quick lunches & dinners this week.  Good thing the rest of the week's forecast is just as chilly as it's been so farJ

And because it was so darn chilly out, I was craving something warm & cozy once I hit the couch.  I found this warm milk/banana/cinnamon/vanilla/honey drink on my Pinterest board and quickly whipped it up.  It came a little thicker than a drink, but far be it from me to complain about eating anything with a spoon (smoothie bowls, much??)  Nice & cozy.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I even brought the yogis down...

Morning, everyone!  Sorry for the mini-hiatus!  After my wild weekend last week, I did indeed get that salad for lunch on Tuesday afternoon....but then my week spiraled into the ANTI-Bikini Series.  Think pizza, strawberry milkshakes (although I learned one fast food chain's version tasted like a cup of cleaning products, thankfully ending that phase quickly!) and lots of comfort food.  Basically anything I could think of that sounded even remotely appealing.  It was fun....for about 5 minutes, until I started to feel gross & lazy, but I just COULD NOT get my footing back.  Oh happens, especially at 36 weeks pregnant and after 6 weeks of following a pretty solid routineJ  

On top of that, I was cramming for both my FINAL YOGA TEACH (holy shmoly!) & written exam, which I'm AMAZED to say I passed both with flying colors...CRAZY!  Well, at least I'm pretty sure I passed my final teachJ  I don't get officially certified until the graduation ceremony at the end of June, after everyone else completes their final teach.  (bumped mine up since, ummmm, we don't know what the end of June will bringJ  I'll either have a newborn or be 700 months pregnantJ)

ANNNNNNNYYYYYWAYYYYYYYY, so I TRIED to get myself back on track, thanks to my dear Edofoods friends...but even THAT descended into madnessJ  I'll explain in a secJ

*AND THANKS AGAIN MUST GO TO MY DEAR FRIEND CHRIS FOR ALL OF THE EDOPHOTOS!  I was the epitome of LAZY this weekend, and she thankfully picked up my slack!!  Thanks, Chris<3 b="">

Saturday morning brought this beautiful and sweet fruit salad...filled with dragon fruit, lychee (not sure if I've ever had either of those before), cherries, blackberries, papaya stars and THE sweetest mango I've ever tasted....

Lunch brought us an "Asian Peanut Noodle Salad"...complete with zucchini noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, peanuts.  ...which we all shamelessly drowned in EdoFood's peanut sauce.  We LOVEEEEDDD the mix of flavors and crunchy textures in this fresh salad... 

And our sweet treat to finish off our "Asian-inspired" menu on Saturday was a red bean demonstrated by the hand model:  MEJ hahahahahhaha 

And Sunday started off well enough, with these DIVINE AND SUPREMELY CRUNCHY spice-roasted chickpeas, which we all loveeeeeeeeeeeeddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!

...but once lunch time rolled around, my need for 'non-healthy' food came on SO Strong, that I even managed to convince a few of my beautiful yogis to join me on a burger/bacon/fries spreeJ  It was seriously one of the HAPPIEST lunches I've EVER hadJ  I'm gonna blame YOGA-GLOW, amazing company & the fact that we were all giddy from being a little 'off the yoga path' at that momentJ  It was a blastJ
So, thanks to my burger lunch, I was pretty full for the rest of the day, so most of my Edo eats are still in my fridge waiting to be devoured over the next few daysJ  I'll definitely be sure to share as I go....thanks again, Jen & Ricky!!!!  We LOVE you both!

And Monday FINALLLLLLLLY brought us back to normal, as I FEVERISHLY made our food menu & grocery shopped to get back on track this week = NO EXCUSES.  Even after 24 hours, I feel better than I did about 95% of last week.  Just goes to show.....


Monday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & squats with 8 pounds
Which was, ummmm, like my first exercise all week as well.  I just felt RIDICULOUS going to yoga class last week (since getting dressed felt like a chore) and I had my 'diva-moments' at yoga school this weekend and barely did anything THERE as well.  I just kinda felt like I reached THE END OF THE EXERCISE LINE at the moment...BUTTTTTTTT I think that was just an excuse since I felt JUST fine picking up the weights again yesterdayJ  We'll play this week's schedule by earJ

Breakfast:  Banana Smoothie Bowl

Snack:  1 cup strawberries (fresh picked from Katie:) + 1/4 cup pistachios

Lunch:  Tone it Up Sweet Potato Sliders + 1/4 avocado
Not pictured because they were burned and in piecesJ, but Tone it Up's recipe for roasted sweet potato/black bean/millet/southwestern spiced 'burgers' made 800 patties.  Scott devoured most of them last week (while I was downing...ummmm, mac & cheese and mashed potatoes for lunch:), so I was bummed that when I finally got around to trying them yesterday:  THEY WERE THE LAST OF THE STASH!  I'll definitely try making this recipe again soon...especially since a little effort covered about 10 meals!

Snack:  Coconut Luna Bar

Dinner:  Tone it Up Chicken Stir-fry with chopped peanuts 

So that was a day of FINALLY getting back on track.  And hopefully the motivation from this post will keep me going!  

Thanks for reading all of my rambles and have a great Tuesday!!J

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Recap...

Kicking off the summer with...

Strawberry-basil chicken burgers...

Strawberry pickin'...

Girl's nights/mini-baby showers, which led to Katie's favorite gift:  ALL THE TISSUE PAPER...
(this went on for an hour)

Family weddings...<3 p="">

Parade watching... 

A too-tired to cook Memorial Day trip to The Pour House for good ole short rib cheese fries & pork nachos... 

...and a "Sweet Cheese" burgers (topped with blue cheese, cheddar & maple-mustard) ...

...and of course, ICE CREAM... only the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (now in Philadelphia) can do, with an "American Gangster" (vanilla cone coated in chocolate covered pretzels & a chocolate dip + dulce de leche)... 

In short:  I'm exhausted & ready for a salad.  Hope you guys had a fabulous long weekend and are set for the week ahead.  Have a good Tuesday!
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