Thursday, April 30, 2015

Perfect breakast/Subpar dinner...

Wednesday Recap:

Breakfast:  Tone it Up "Perfect Morning Quinoa"  
So let me tell ya:  This recipe is aptly named, because IT IS PERFECT.  I never, ever, EVER thought I'd say such things about a quinoa breakfast, but it was so sweet & yummy with NONE of that 'discernable quinoa taste' (infinitely better than the first one I ever made back in 2010!....WAY before I knew about the importance of RINSING dried quinoa!)  The only adjustment to the above recipe was that the normal TIU Nutrition Program was made with 1/4 cup COOKED quinoa vs. the 2 1/2 cup the above recipe mentions.  Not sure which one is accurate, but I found this (+ the protein from the almonds) very filling.  Nice surprise and def throwing this one into the morning rotation to make it often and a lot!  

Already wrapped up in a napkin as my on-the-go snack for....

Workout:  Power Yoga Class
And one that ended in the LEAST amount of aches & pains in the last few weeks.  Hallelujah!J

Lunch:  Turkey Sandwich + 1 cup carrots + 1 orange 
There goes that HUGE lunch again...weeeeeeeeeeeeee!  One that kept me COMPLETELY fueled for the afternoon, thankfully, since it involved a FAB time at the park with Katie and one of her little buddies...J

Snack:  Chocolate Chip Coconut Larabar
I wasn't really even THAT hungry by the time 'snack time' rolled around...but more about wanting to get my fix from another one of these FAB barsJ  My poor pre-prepped snacks I had made for the week have taken a backseat next to theseJ

Dinner:  Chicken & Mango salsa lettuce wraps + broccoli 
OK, I gotta admit, these were a little 'uninspired' last night.  In TIU's defense, their original recipe called for marinated tempeh, which may have been a bit different from the 'boring-ness' that turned out to be our chicken (in an attempt not to torment Scott TOO much, I held off from feeding him tempehJ)  I think maybe with some lime-coated GRILLED chicken this woulda been delish, but honestly I didn't even finish it all since it was kinda boring.  Can't complain for only 2 'sorta dud' recipes in 3 weeks.  Thankfully I wasn't too hungry anyway, after a full day of good/filling eats.

Dessert- Mini Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard
Not to mention I had our "Wednesday night Survivor treat" to look forward toJ  Had to go with an ole reliable classic fav last nightJ  

Man, I feel like we've been spoiled this week since it's been a week of BEAUTIFUL weather.  Today's supposed to be another beautiful day and the weekend just looks RIDICULOUS.  I can already hear the sound of jacked-up parking prices coming from the Jersey Shore.J  A sure-fire sign that sunny days are straight aheadJ

Have a great Thursday!J

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Plans for the unplanned...

Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & legs with 8 pounds

Breakfast:  2 blueberry bars  (recipe from TIU Bikini Series)
I'm so bummed the pretty purple/blue hue from these bars isn't evident in this picture!  These were such a bright and yummy mix of fresh blueberries, oats, almonds, dates, maple syrup...and MORE oats.  Sooooooo delicious.

Snack:  1/2 turkey sandwich + 2 slices avocado (and mustard) on sprouted grain wheat brain 
How's that for a SNACK??  Pretty sweet right?  And totally Bikini Series approved!

 Lunch:  Asian Fish Taco (TIU Bikini series recipe)
Soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil marinated tilapia, topped with cucumbers and cole slaw mix tossed with mayo, rice vinegar & fresh garlic and piled onto a crisped corn tortilla, these were soooooooooo cool and refreshing.  And much like I said yesterday about how you need to make things manageable for you:  The recipe for these tacos were A LOT more involved (including a jicama & cucumber salsa), but this was my scaled down/easy variation that I knew I would be just fine with.  So instead of driving yourself crazy tracking down jicama & vegenaise, just use what you have and make it EASY on yourself.  

And I SWEAR, there WAS tilapia piled under there!  These are on the menu again for lunch later this week and I think I might split it up between 2 corn tortillas next time since all the toppings were tough to keep together in one 'tila.  I think the 60 extra calories will be worth itJ 

Snack:  Chocolate Chip Coconut Larabar
This wasn't the 'originally planned snack,' but I bought them as 'snack back-ups' yesterday and was just DYING to try this flavor.  And trust:  it was sooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!!!

Dinner:  Jo-Jo's Pizza
And speaking of 'not originally planned,' this dinner was FAR from the TIU meal we were planning, but after my Great Aunt called asking for an impromptu pizza party (and don't impromptu plans work out about 85% better than scheduled ones sometimes??), I just could NOT turn her down and instead, just kept myself under control with the 'just full' lessons I've been learning OVERTIME lately.

I started by filling up on balsamic salad filled with roasted red peppers, tomatoes & fresh mozzarella...

And then I stuck to one piece of tomato-garlic...

...and one of the white-broccoli...
Jo-Jo's is yet ANOTHER place in Hamilton, NJ that serves EXCELLENT pizza and it was TOUGH to put the breaks on.  The only thing that kept me from reaching for another slice was knowing I was going to go from "just full" to "OVERLY FULL" from one more slice and knew it wasn't worth it.  It's easy to reel it in when you can think of it that way...but admittedly, HARD to conjure up that thought when you have that pizza staring you in the faceJ  
So, yep, another example this week how ya still gotta live and be normal while keeping it togetherJ  It was a little tough, but better than waking up feeling gross & stuffed this morning.  It's ALSO better than being the person who orders 'just the salad', cause they're trying to be healthy when they really want pizza, but instead just stares longingly at it and spears their salad while hating life.  Don't hate life, don't be that personJ Eat and enjoy in moderation and you'll be much happierJ  

(again-I write all of this just as much as a reminder to myself as it is to share these reminders with all of you!)

Now:  To get right back at it and have my planned quinoa breakfastJ  

Have a great Wednesday!   

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Make it easy...

Monday Recap:

Breakfast:  Cracker Barrel
Yeah, this isn't exactly on the Bikini Series plan...but yesterday morning called for breakfast out & about and you know how I feel about 'ya gotta still live', right??J  So I did my best, having most of one of those what I REALLY wanted blueberry pancakes (shared the rest with Katie and packed up the leftovers for her for another day), 2 turkey sausage patties for protien and ALL THE BERRIES.  Those strawberries were soooooooooooooo good.  The sweetness from the berries & slight spiciness from the sausage helped me put the breaks on and realize I had more than enough to hold me over for a morning full of errands.

Snack:  Blueberry Oat Bar  (not pictured)
Even after having the pancake/sausage/fruit breakfast, I was still happy I had packed up this snack to have on the go.  (more on these bars tomorrow)

Lunch:  Turkey sandwich + 1/4 avocado + 1 cup carrots + an orange 
I could not BELIEVE how LARGE this lunch was. (and I skipped the top slice of toast only because I had the pancake with breakfast)  I actually even texted a picture of it to a friend just to show her how 'liberating' it was to have such a huge lunch on this Bikini Series.  Beats trying to eat a smaller lunch and tempting fate to see if I can survive the rest of the afternoon without going crazy (as I've done about 6 zillion times in the past).  Very satisfying.

Snack:  Edamame Dill Salad 
Shelled edamame (bought at Trader Joes), diced dill, red pepper, yellow onion and a drizzle of olive oil, this almost reminded me of a fresh pasta salad.  The fresh dill just MAKES it.

Dinner:  Pesto quinoa bowls + 4 oz. diced chicken
Funny that this week they added protein (suggested tilapia, but I subbed chicken) to these bowls, but it just made them even MORE delicious, I must say.

Workout:  2 rounds of arms + legs with 8 pounds
UGH...and after planning for it ALLLLLL DAY LONG, a rouge & random bout of (all too familiar) queasiness hit right before dinner and left me feeling a bit under the weather for the rest of the night and forcing me to skip my Monday yoga class AGAIN:(  UGH!!!!!!!  I, at least, felt well enough to get up and get in this little workout while being distracted by "Dancing with the Stars" to get SOMETHING in.  

And in just random Bikini Series news, I have to share that we've been doing quite a bit of our food prep on Sunday afternoons, making the week INFINITELY easier to handle.  The first couple weeks seemed like a LOT of prep, but this week I managed to bang it out in under an hour & a half and that covered all of our week's worth of breakfasts, lunches, snacks and enough dinner prep to keep most nights of cooking to under 20 minutes.  I mean...can't beat that too much.  Not to mention it's MUCH easier to stick to your healthy plans when you make it EASY for yourself.  My best advice is:  if any of it (food/fitness) seems overwhelming, tweak it and make it easy and accessible to YOUR life.  Don't make it an extra chore, make it EASY and to benefit YOU and it will seem much less overwhelming.

OK...enough advice from meJ  Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015

How to avoid 'diet deprivation'...

Morning, all!  Hope you guys had a great weekend.  And much like most Mondays:  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S MONDAY ALREADY!  This was definitely a 'get whipped up in a tornado and crash back into Monday kinda weekend'J  aka.- we were busy, but THANKFULLY, still got to relax a bit.  We got it kicked off proper with a trip Saturday morning to our fav 'brunch' place:  Tortilla 
Press...and um, a lesson in how much can change in under 2 years....

I had been thinking about it since I heard Katie's dance class was going to be cancelled for the weekend a couple weeks agoJ  So, yeah, I was excitedJ

We had all our favs, including the TODIEFOR cinnamon coated tortilla chips...

"Brunch nachos": aka- hash brown potatoes topped with peppers & onions, BACON, cheese, salsa, guacamole & sour cream....

And my 'savory' pick of the day:  Chilaquiles with a side of chorizo coins...because I seriously CAN NOT get enough of ALL THE CHORIZO
I enjoyed all of that while STILL managing to not go overboard and left 'just full' rather than "OHMYGODSTUFFED," which felt like a victory unto itselfJ  Scott was even surprised just HOW full he felt, even though he ate quite a bit less than usual.  He was full right until dinner, but I needed myself a mid-day pick-me-up in the form of this Blueberry Muffin smoothie.  This pic doesn't even do the beautiful purple hue justice...
Kristin had posted a recipe for a Strawberry Shortcake smoothie on Friday and I was SOEXCITED to try it that I made it post-yoga for lunch on Friday afternooooonJ  The 'secret ingredient' to both the strawberry & blueberry smoothie is a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, which really makes it magically taste like a baked product.  SOOOOOOOO GOOD!  Give both of em whirl!

We kept the rest of the weekend a balance of 'splurges & saves.'  The splurges being some brown butter coated popcorn on Saturday night, while we lounged around and played Mario PartyJ 
My Mom offered to take Katie for the night and in lieu of a wild night on the town (which, in our world, would really just be dinner & a movieJ), THIS was as far as we got to any partyinJ  hahahahahaha

We also savored up an Orange Saffron Cake for Sunday morning breakfast that Katie was VERY PROUD & excited to eat since she helped me make it...
A flourless orange-saffron cake topped with an orange, honey, saffron syrup, it was soooooo sweet, Springy and delicious!  We enjoyed every bite with NO LEFTOVERS since we made a 'quarter cake' recipeJ

And in the 'save' category, our dinners for Saturday & Sunday night were not one....

...but TWO rounds of lettuce-wrapped tacos! 
I was VERYCLOSE to having a 'moment of weakness' on Sunday night and asked Scott if he just wanted to order pizza.  Not because I REALLY wanted it, but because I just felt so BONE-TIRED after a day of cleaning out a room to make into Katie's new 'big girl' room that I just couldn't even fathom getting up to cook...even though I knew dinner was going to take less than 15 minutes to make!  (and if I only told you how much of that actual 'cleaning' involved me pointing and TELLING Scott where to move stuff/clean, you would wonder how I was so tired tooJ)  But Scott SAVED the BIKINI SERIES DAY and whipped up these tacos in no time...Hallelujah!    

Our two-big 'extra wins' with this recipe:  
  1. We made each night's worth of them with less than 1/2 pound of ground turkey per recipe (vs. the usual pound we would normally use)
  2. We swapped the sour cream for "Skinnygirl Sour Cream" which was just non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Now I'm not really a big fan of the sour cream/Greek yogurt swap ALL the time, but on these tacos, you HONESTLY could NOT tell the difference.  The lemon must cut the yogurt tang quite a bit, making it much more smooth & sour cream- like. 
The rest of the tacos were piled with avocado, a sprinkle (vs. a TORNADOJ) of reduced fat (I NEVER do non-fat!) shredded cheese, peppers, onions and black beans.  And when wrapped in a lettuce wrap (which I REALLY enjoy, actually), they make for a REALLY healthy/fun meal.  Again-there is TOTALLY a time & place for REGULAR sour cream, taco shells and all that fun stuff, but if you're not gonna REALLY miss them, why not just try a few of these swaps to just make em that much more healthy?  You can always have the FULL BLOWN tacos next time!J
Telling myself that I can ALWAYS have the 'full blown' stuff (and having it when I REALLY WANT IT!) at another meal keeps me from feeling deprived and wanting to try out the 'healthier variations' more often.  It totally makes the splurges & saves more easy to balance without any feelings of deprivation.  That, plus eating 5-times a day (on this series) keeps you full and your blood sugar balanced so you never really crash/feel super hungry leading you to be REALLYSTARVING by the time you pick what you're going to have when you sit down to eat.  And if you can stay out of 'that zone,' it's MUCH easier to make healthier/rational choices 98% of the time.  Definitely something I've noticed in the last 2 weeks of this Bikini Series.  ONTO Week 3! ...

Well, and after THAT ramble....

Have a good Monday, everyone! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lots of rambles...

Thursday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & legs with 8 pounds
I know you're probably sick of seeing me say this one over & over everyday, but it's the easiest exercise I can bang out first thing in the morning and then feel like I at least got SOMETHING in for the dayJ  Most days lately I just don't feel overly motivated to do too much else...esp. after chasing Katie around all dayJ  Power yoga on Wednesday & Friday mornings at least throw a little extra into the mix.  I'm hopin to get back to my Monday night class next week too since I MISS IT!

Breakfast:  3 Berry Bliss Bars
The final three of these citrus & vanilla infused bars...I already can't wait to make em again.  JUST SO GOOD!

Snack:  6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt + vanilla protein powder + cinnamon + 1/3 cup diced dried pineapple + 1 tablespoon chia seeds 

Lunch:  Grilled chicken quesadilla from Zona Fresca at the mall
And after a couple errands and a visit to Daddy at work during lunch hour yesterday, by the time we were headed home, the ONLY thing I wanted was these cheesy quesadillas.  And since the mall was on our way home (and knew Katie would enjoy a trip to the mall playground on a chilly, overcast day), I took it as a sign and totally 'splurged' on my cravings. 
But by splurge, I meant I still was able to keep it together!  Another bonus of the Bikini Series is that its given us subconsious, 5x's-a-day reminders of feeling "just barely full," (something both of us struggle with FOR SURE!), knowing full well a filling snack is never far away so you DON'T have to stuff yourself.  So paying attention to those cues, I ate exactly half of that plate and then packed up the rest to save for lunch for Katie.  It was so nice to have something I REALLLLLLLLY wanted, but managed to enjoy it without feeling stuffed and gross.  Total win, for sure!  
...that, plus I held off from eating even one of the chips that were served alongside, since I KNEW one would lead to all of them, so I just reeled it in and enjoyed the metly, yummy cheese that I really, really, REALLY wanted for the dayJ

Good thing we REALLY loved these things, since they popped up twice on this week's menu and I think a few times next weekJ  Again, can't beat the less-than 5 minute cooking time (made with pre-cooked quinoa), even if you're exhausted from a day of errandsJ.

And in 'bragging news,' I gotta share that Scott's lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks!  I was so proudJ  (I've natraully lost weight also, but sorta feel awkward talking too much about it since just feeling HEALTHY is the main goal for me at the moment)   He actually texted me this morning to say he wants to change the 8-week series into a 52 week oneJ  Like I said, it's not much off from our 'normal' life, its just made us more conscious of making healthier choices.  Not to mention we both just FEEL good.  As much 'work' as it is to really pay attention to what/how much you're eating, the pay-off it tenfold.  It beats feeling gross, sluggish, lazy and all-around lousy...even if sometimes it's REALLLLLLLLLY hard to stop at half of that burger or order the mini Blizzard when your head is telling you you want MORE.  Trust, I know.  So pardon my ramble, but I write it all here as just as much as a reminder to myself as it is to share with all of youJ

Anyway...that's enough from me for the week.  Hope you guys have a GREAT WEEKEND!  I'm sooooooooooo excited it's here!J

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gotta still live & love...

Wednesday Recap:

Breakfast:  Flax/Almond Meal pancake with peanut butter & syrup + 1 cup of strawberries

Snack:  1 Berry Bliss Bar

Workout:  Power Yoga Class
Felt wonderful after my 2-day yoga hiatus.  It's funny what I still can & can not do in yoga at this point.  I can't lift my leg straight back for a one-leg downward dog, but can still bang out a side plank with no problems.  Cracks me up when the 'simple things' are tough, but the harder muscles moves for the arms and legs are fine and I have no excuses for skipping themJ  As I tell all my yoga classmates: "I'll keep doin what I can till I can't"J

Lunch:  Chicken Stir-Fry + 1 orange 
Scott & I both agreed that the leftover stir-fry was even BETTER than the first time 'round.  We have one more serving saved in the fridge for dinner Friday night and by then, it should be epically delicious.  Not to mention I think that orange was the best one I ever had in my whole life.  Sooooooo sweet & juicy.

Snack:  Hummus + carrots

Dinner:  Bean Salad + 1/2 avocado 
I had made this quick 3 bean + tomato + red onion + white balsamic salad for dinner on Saturday night and just doubled up the recipe so we could reap the NO COOK benefits mid-week.  Again:  if it's THAT quick & easy mid-week, I think me & Scott will eat anythingJ  Not to mention, a 1/2 an avocado is nothing to sneeze about in the filling/satisfying department and really helped make BEAN SALAD feel like a complete meal.

And I think I made an executive decision in our house last night:  Since Wednesday is our most-looked-forward-to TV night, with our "Survivor" countdown starting as soon as Scott walks in the door on Wednesdays, so I think a mid-week sweet treat in it's honor is a good idea.  We've been trying to hold off desserts during the rest of the week (with maybe a treat or 2 over the weekend...I DO NOT denying myself the great joy of going out for ice cream in the summer!), but I think one reasonable mid-week treat is a good idea to get through the week AND hold off any cravings so you don't binge and go crazy once you finally 'allow yourself' sugar over the weekends.  I might try out some TIU recipes (like these fudge pops) or 'healthier' sweet treat recipes for the night, but last night's kick-off definitely demanded one of these little guys...esp. since I had been thinking about it since Friday nightJ  Salted caramel truffles + health bar pieces = probably my FAVORITE Blizzard of all time...and I'd say that's a pretty heavy statementJ  You MUST try it before it disappears off the month-long menu!  I seriously savored & loved every bite.  And even though the mini stats are STILL pretty scary, one in the smallest serving size in the middle of an otherwise healthy week is more than fine.  Gotta still live & love, ya know what I mean??

Anyone else REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLY looking forward to the weekend?  My brain is like a pinball machine of all the things I want to do with Scott & Katie, probably emphasized since I felt like I barely saw them while I was with my yogis last weekendJ  My heart really wants to go down the shore for a beach night, but those April-low 60's temps don't seem to be weighing in my favorJ  We'll see what happens.  All I know is:  I'm GIDDY FOR FRIDAY AT 3:30 (when Scott gets homeJ)

Have a good Thursday!  (ALMOST THERE!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Know thyself...

Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets arms & legs with 8 pound weights

Breakfast:  1 cup cooked Steel cut oats + flax + 1/4 walnuts + 2 tablespoons craisins + cinnamon, vanilla and a little maple syrup
OK, this bowl of oatmeal was seriously HUGE.  So huge that I couldn't even finish it.  The only problem with that was I spent the rest of the day a litttttttle hungry, but never really feeling the desire to go back and finish the oatmeal for some reason.  
I'm realizing more and more that a big breakfast is key for me.  If I have one, I don't really feel too hungry at any point for the rest of the day.  But if I don't have enough?  The rest of the day tends to be a bit cravey and 'looking for the next thing.'  Recognizing and acknowledging your 'food triggers' is SUCH an important part of the weight loss/getting healthy process, and I'm definitly noticing a pattern with this one.  (the exception here is when you are TRULY NOT hungry for breakfast for some if you overindulged the night before.  Then I don't believe in shoving food down your throat 'just because.'  There is definitly a difference!  Know thyselfJ)

Snack:  1 Berry Bliss Bar
Adding to the 'not enough food in the morning' was, coupled with the smaller oatmeal serving, this snack was the paltriest one of the bunch so far on the Bikini Series.  Again, had I finished the oatmeal (or went back and finished it later) it would have been enough...but the 2 being sorta unsatisfying made for a bit of a 'looking for the next thing' kinda day.

I DID manage to keep it together, however....

Lunch:  Salmon with scallions & dill over spinach + 1 cup of watermelon 

Snack:  1 cup of watermelon + 1/4 cup of cashews 
I also had a couple carrots dipped in hummus in the afternoon.  This was the toughest part of the day to get through, without reaching for more & more snacks to help satisfy me.  I held off, but it was definitely a struggle yesterday.

Dinner:  Tone it Up Chicken Stir-Fry
Thankfully, dinner was super satisfying.  I keep waiting for teeny-tiny dinner servings on this Bikini Series/TIU Nutrition program, but there really haven't been any as of yet.  Most meals aren't really far off from how we normally cook, but following the plan, we've just been more conscious of oils/fats, no heavy carbs with dinner and an over abundance of vegetables to fill in all the gaps (ps-we were making enough for 6 servings, that you'll see later throughout this week, hence the MOUNDS of chicken & veggies!). 

Along with a 'cleaner' stir-fry sauce made with garlic, tamari, ginger. sesame oil & rice vinegar.  Don't get me wrong, Scott & I still love our Garlic/Green Onion stir-fry sauce varieties, but switching it up and making it this way (with LESS sugar/processing/ingredients) isn't a bad way to alternate your meals to being a littttttle bit healthier than normal.
And on the no carbs (past 3pm) thing, not that 1/2 cup of rice (white or brown) with dinner is going to be the difference between healthy and unhealthy, but I honestly didn't even miss it here AT ALL.  So why not give it a try skipping it one time?  You can always have it the next time, but ya might just realize you don't really NEED it, ya know?

And in 'funny Katie food pictures' of the week:  not only did she take it upon herself to take out an entire 1/4 watermelon, unwrap it and have it as breakfast yesterday morning...

...but I used my 'trick' of letting her sneak veggies off the cutting board, where she proceeded to carry around and knawl on this broccoli stem like an ice cream cone for at least a half hour.  Hey, whatever it takes! J

Alright...and after all that:  I'm off to start today with a FILLING breakfastJ  No messin around with 1/2 portions todayJ

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I know you may not believe me...

Monday Recap:

Workout:  2 sets of arms & legs with 8 pound weights

Breakfast:  3 Berry Bliss Bars
Much like the Mango Coconut & Key Lime Pie Bites, these little numbers are a mix of ground almonds, protein powder & dried fruit.  What made them EXTRA delicious was the addition of orange zest, fresh orange juice and vanilla....swoooooooooon!  FABULOUS!

Snack:  2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt + cinnamon + chia seeds + dried pineapple + protein powder 
OK, so Scott & I both agreed the first bite of this was ROUGH.  I'm still TRYING to get used to that SUPER TANGY plain Greek yogurt flavor that everyone tells you to add your own fruit/flavoring to make it healthier, but I must admit it's still a tough sell...and that was even after I added a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder in here just to give it a flavor boost.  BUT, once you swirled in all of the pineapple and got a little bit with each bite, I must admit that it was 100000% better.  Getting there...J

Lunch:  Pasta Salad 
The healthy swap here was the pasta was actually quinoa & brown rice pasta (from Trader Joe's), which you honestly couldn't tell the difference (well, maybe a little, but nothing earth shattering)  The rest of the salad was a mix of veggies & balsamic, olive oil and lemon juice for dressing.  Scott & I both decided the diced artichoke hearts were our favs, since they added a bit of a briny KICK to the whole thing.

Snack:  Slice of dried mango + 1/4 cup cashews + 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes 
I REALLY thought that pasta salad was going to hold me over till dinner, but I knew my sweet tooth was pingin at 3:30 and I was ready for a snack.  TIU recommended 1 tablespoon of dried mango, but how the hell are ya supposed to do that??  The Trader Joe's dried mango contained no extra sugar, so I just stuck to a slice.  I wasn't about to obsess over the serving size of a single piece of dried fruitJ

 Dinner:  Pesto Quinoa Bowls
OK...I know you may not believe me from the picture, but I seriously think this is my VERYFAVORITE way I've eaten quinoa EVER!  It was that or the fact that I had already prepped a whole bunch of quinoa in my fridge for the week, so when I went to make this meal:  it took under 5 minutes & made in ONE POT!  Scott & I both agreed we think we'd eat anything if it was THAT simple (and delicious) on a busy weeknightJ

All I had to do was add 1 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa (2/3 cups for each) to the pot, add in pesto (about 2 tablespoons for each of us) and then about 6 handfuls of torn spinach and toss it around until the spinach wilted a bit... 
I think pesto may be quinoa's BFF because the 2 just pair SO WELL.  We REALLLLLLLLLLLY liked this dinner and could easily see us making it often, especially with fresh basil this summer.  Again...can't beat that cooking & clean up time, plus it felt FABULOUS for the ole bod.  Just trust me hereJ

I WILL admit it was a bit tough to stick to no dessert last night, but I hung in.  But if desperate times called for desperate measure, I think 1/2 of a KIND bar would have done the trick.  Not to mention, after a FULL weekend, I just could NOT get off the couch for more yoga last night.  My head & heart were in it, but my body just wasn't feelin it.  Hopin to head back to a gentle class tonight just to ease myself back into the week. anyone else sweating??  It's super humid in the house this morning, but I hear it's gonna be a gorgeous one, so we'll have to get out and about today.  Not that I'll have much of a choice since Katie had not one, but THREE meltdowns yesterday over the fact that it was raining and she couldn't go out in her backyard.  Thankfully she did get in some puddle splashing once the rain passed in the late afternoon, thanks to NonaJ  She already asked me before 7:03am this morning if she could go outside.  None too subtle hint takenJ

Have a great Tuesday!
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