Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weeks 34 and 35 - Gearing Up & Staying Healthy

We are all getting ready for a new school year, and while it makes me sad how fast time is moving, I am looking forward to more structure during the day.  Last week was freshman orientation at the University where we work (and live next to).  I taught a few group exercise classes for a pre-orientation group, and my husband was working 14 hour days going from one welcome event to another and speaking at Matriculation ceremonies.  It was a very busy and hectic week.

This week marks another first - the first week of classes at the University.  I taught my first undergraduate PE class, a bootcamp class, yesterday.  It was so much fun!  Things are a little crazy right now as we get adjusted to our new schedule, but we aren't done yet - kindergarten starts next week for my oldest.  I can't even believe he's almost five!!!

Anyway, I haven't been planning the meals as much as usual.  I am, however, still eating very clean and sticking with the 21 day fix style of eating.  I have been maintaining my weight now for quite sometime, but I am still working on toning up and building muscle, so lean meats, and whole, fresh, foods are key to my lifestyle.  I've packed my refrigerator with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit from the farm stand along with the ingredients I need to throw together my favorite lunches and snacks, and a few easy dinner stand-bys.  So instead of a list of meals for these weeks, you are getting some of my favorite quick & easy clean meals and snacks. 

Wishing you all a great week! 

Happy Cooking!

Weeks 34 & 35 - August 24 and August 31, 2014

I realized that I don't have any pictures of my typical breakfasts, but here are some of my favorite go-to's:
 - whole wheat english muffin or ezekiel bread toasted with almond butter
 - steal cut oatmeal with a side of scrambled eggs and some fresh fruit
- whole grain, high fiber, high protein cereal with almond milk

Snack attack: Greek Yogurt with Fruit & Yogurt
Okay, I know its so convenient to grab one of those flavored Greek yogurts for snack time.  But they are full of added sugars that you really don't need.   Just have some plain non-fat Greek yogurt, top it with your favorite fruit, or whatever is deliciously in season, and drizzle it with a little bit of honey for some added sweetness.  So good and great for you...high in protein and the perfect snack to tie you over until your next meal. 
Grilled Vegetable Quinoa - a delicious side with some grilled chicken or fish.  Just grill your favorite veggies and toss it with some cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil and vinegar.  So simple, so yummy!

Huevos Rancheros with Tomato & Cucumber Salad
There is nothing more delicious than tomatoes and cucumbers when they are in season.   Sometimes I like to cut them up and serve them with my favorite vinaigrette (or just a little olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper) - so yummy.  Today, I had my veggies with my favorite quick lunch dish- my version of huevos rancheros.  I just take some leftover rice and beans topped with 2 fried eggs.  I top it off with some salsa and guacamole...I cannot describe how delicious this is guys...and so easy!!!  I like my yolks a little runny so it oozes all over the rice and beans.  It tastes so decadent, but virtually no fat (I only used a little cooking spray when cooking my eggs over-easy).   I would eat it again right now if I still had some leftover rice and beans. 
Whole Wheat Pasta Toss
This was inspired by a bunch of leftovers I had in the fridge.  Whenever I create a new recipe, I just think about the balance of ingredients:  I want it to be about 1/2 vegetables, then the other half has to be mostly protein with some whole grain, high fiber carbs too.   I had some leftover chicken sausage from our Labor day cookout and some veggies that needed to be used up.  So I ended up combining sauteed mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and spinach with the sausage, whole wheat pasta, and no-sugar added tomato sauce.  So good!  I made it all in less than 15 minutes, including prep. 

Grilled Salmon with Steamed Green Beans and Arugula, Mushroom Salad
I love salmon and I try to eat seafood at least once a week, sometimes twice if I don't go meatless one night.  You can marinade it or just salt and pepper it.  During the winter when I can't grill, I usual broil or pan fry it.  (You can easily find all of these cooking methods by Googling - I often use the Food Network and their celebrity chefs as my go-to place for tips and recipes).   This simple grilled salmon was served with some fresh green beans I got at the farm stand, along with some arugula and mushrooms tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Delish!

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