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Health + Fitness recipes

Meal Planning: Portion Control

The first day back after a holiday is never easy, but the first Monday of a new year? Rough! For those of you with resolutions to be healthier in 2016, meal planning is key, and Sunday afternoons are just perfect for getting a weeks worth of snacks together!

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recipes

Nom Nom Nom: M&M Bars

For someone with 647 food-related Pinterest pins, you would think I cook more often. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or resources to become a master chef/baker just yet, but I’m still going to try. I made these M&M bars last weekend for my boyfriend’s family Thanksgiving/game night, and let’s just say they we’re half way gone before the rest of the family arrived.

M&M Bars (adapted from Fantastic Family Favorites)

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white (the original said one egg yolk – i can’t read, and it tasted great)
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 12oz bag M&M’s, divided in half

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the bars from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. FYI – foil lining is gods gift to baking, because clean up was a BREEZE!

2. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg white and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until you can’t find any more dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup of M&M’s and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Sprinkle remaining M&M’s on top and press in slightly.

3. Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, (mine took 26 minutes, but check after 24). Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang, cut into squares and serve.

And magic – super soft, chewy M&M bars! They reminded me of Schnucks’ sugar M&M cookies (which are delicious!)

You could definitely use Reese’s Pieces instead of M&Ms. I would even be interested to try it with the Pretzel M&Ms!

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Health + Fitness

No-Drink November Update!

Drumroll please…

-4.5lb! 

Needless to say, I’m incredibly pleased with my results from No-Drink November so far!

To be fair, along with cutting the liquid calories, I have been keeping a food diary and watching what I eat, but I’ll admit to a Steak N’ Shake date (equip with cheese fries) and killer grilled cheese sandwich from Sarah’s Meltdown.

Workout Schedule (Week 1):

Thursday, 11/1: 1.25 mile walk with Yadi

Saturday, 11/3: .5 mile walk with Yadi

Tuesday, 11/6: 1 hour Yoga class

Wednesday, 11/7: 2 mile Treadmill walk.

 

Categories
Health + Fitness recipes

Operation Skinny: Day 1

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m getting back into shape. Or at least trying. I hit Supplement Superstore last night and caved into the DB Goddess Prime Fast Pack. Luckily with my purchase came a buttload of knowledge. I’ll upload the forms later, but their certified sports nutritionist (ahem – all of them are.) helped figure out a plan for 6 small meals a day including a mixture of protein, carbs and veggies. As you can guess, 6 meals is a LOT. My biggest fear was how it would affect my Weight Watchers points, but I think I’m doing OK.

Seriously, I love taco night.DAY 1:

6:15am: Strawberry Milkshake Protien Shake, blended with frozen Strawberries – 3 points, Protein & Carbs. I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand the taste of protein shakes! Blending in the strawberries definitely helped. Andy picked out the flavor a few months back, but I cannot fathom spending $57 on powder, so it will have to do. If you have any suggestions to make it better, PLEASE let me know!

9:05am: Weight Watchers Egg Salad, 1 slice Whole Wheat Toast, Tomatoes – 5 points, Protein, Carbs & Veggies. This egg salad is bomb dot com. You mix 4 hard boiled eggs with 2 hard boiled egg whites (just cut them in half and remove the yolk). Add 2 tbsp of low-fat mayo (Hellman’s!), a tbsp of mustard (they suggested dijon, but I only had yellow), salt and pepper. It makes four servings, which is perfect for the week!

12:00pm: Ground Turkey, low-fat Mexican Cheese, Lettuce & Tomato on a Whole Wheat Wrap – 8 points, Protein, Carbs & Veggies. I’m obsessed with taco night. I always make extra meat for left overs!

2:50pm: Yoplait Low Fat Orange Sunrise Yogurt, Carrots, 2 slices of Lean Ham – 5 points, Protein, Carbs & Veggies

As far as dinner goes, we’re going to Blarney Stone with my parents, so we’ll see if I can (healthily!) get in my Protein, Carbs & Veggies. One of the most important things he said was to NOT have carbs in your final meal of the day. With all this food, I’m not sure I’ll want a 6th meal! As with most plans, you have to adapt them for yourself.

I had the great plan to workout this morning, however I got all the way to the office (we have a gym) just to realize my dress and blazer were sitting on the bar stool at home. BUMMER. I took my lunch hour to jump on the crossramp machine for 20 minutes, which might be my new favorite invention for the pure fact that you can control which muscles your working. I’ll keep you posted on how I do, as well as great work outs and recipes!

Wish me luck – I just signed up for the Glow Run 5K in October. 🙂

Categories
recipes

Nom Nom Nom: Avocado & Queso Tuna Salad

Let’s be honest – I’m definitely the type who would rather eat nachos and cheese for lunch then something healthy, but since I’m doomed to be in a bikini in two weeks (hello Florida!), I’m trying to keep it together.

I borrowed “The Flat Belly Diet” from the library this weekend, and while I’m not following the plan exactly, I definitely learned some tips! Most importantly, to include a MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) in every meal. These include avocado, nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and dark chocolate. So I picked up avocados (easily my favorite on the list!), sunflower seeds (if you have a trick to eating these, PLEASE comment. I look like an idiot!) and peanuts to snack on.

Looking through some of the recipes, I noticed tuna stood out a LOT. Mind you, I like fish, but mostly the cooked kind. But I gave it a try. And guess what? I liked it!

Ashley’s Tuna Salad (what, you think I have a special name for it or something?

  • 1 pack Starkist tuna in sunflower oil
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 wedge, Laughing Cow Queso Fresco cheese
  • Two small tomatoes
  • 1 sandwich pita

Pour your tuna into a bowl (or tupperware container). Mix in avocado with a fork. Add cheese and mix in. (You’ll really have to mix it!) Spread on pita. Serve with tomatoes.

See? That’s easy!

Another recipe I’m loving (which is SO easy) is Sassy Water.

  • 2 liters of Water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated
  • 12 mint leaves

Put everything in a pitcher, refrigerate overnight. It’s SO refreshing!

What are your favorite “flat-belly” recipes? I’m totally making my Funfetti Cookies for a sweet!