Day Sixteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 16
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Black Bean Veggie Burger with rice 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie or an apple with 2 Tbsp of nut butter 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Spinach salad with cucumbers; tomatoes; yellow squash; and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had toast again. Then for lunch I crumbled a veggie burger over rice.

For dinner I went with a simple spinach salad with lots of fresh veggies.

Then I followed Day Three of the Five Day Workout Plan. Up the weights if you need to! Then followed Jillian Michael’s yoga video below. It’s a great stretch while working the muscles.

day 3 of five day workout plan

Day Eleven ~ Vegan Challenge

I’m getting behind again! Here is day 11.

Day 11
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Spinach Salad with strawberries blueberries sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have an apple or celery with 2 Tbsp of nut butter (I like almond or peanut butter) 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner White Bean Salad from My Whole Food Life with a side of rice 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

Daniel made me a beautiful salad for lunch. Can’t go wrong with some strawberries and blueberries!

fruit and spinach salad

For dinner I followed yet another recipe from Melissa at My Whole Food Life. Easy White Bean Salad. It’s so refreshing! I liked it but I added some balsamic vinaigrette to the final product for some more tangy flavor.

white bean salad

Now, get ready for this amazing dessert I had! I kind of stole the idea from Pinterest. Unfortunately, I closed out of the link so I’m not sure where it originated from but I’ve adapted it a bit for the vegan diet. It was also originally a cookie dough mix but mine became more of a brownie batter.

healthy brownie batter

Excuse my photography skills, it was late and I was ready to dig in!

What’s in it:

2 Tbsp almond butter
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
2-3 Tbsp Almond milk

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! You can eat as is or put it in the fridge for 20 minutes for a firmer, cooler treat.

Serving suggestion: add chocolate chips or cocoa powder to make it even more choco-licious! If I had either on hand I totally would have done that–but alas, I didn’t. And I’m also not sure if chocolate chips are vegan. Maybe the semi-sweet are but obviously themilk chocolate chips are not. *sigh*

Workout Time! The 4th day of the Five Day Workout Plan. Shazam!

Day Four Five Day Workout Plan

I had to skip the pushups because of my shoulder but was able to do everything else. Then I did a little yoga core exercise.

Day Five ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 5
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with an avocado or ketchup and a side of fresh veggies with 2 TBsp hummus 8 oz of water
Afternoon For a snack make a fruit smoothie 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Spinach Salad with slices of cucumber; yellow squash; diced Roma tomatoes; black olives and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

I chose oatmeal for my breakfast and topped it with cinnamon, strawberries, and pecans. Oatmeal never gets old for me. And it’s so filling!

I had another sweet potato veggie burger for lunch today. This time with 1/2 Tbsp ketchup. I actually liked that more than the avocado. Must be the corn syrup 😛

For dinner I went with a simple classic: salad. Admittedly, having no feta just seemed wrong, but it was still full of flavor. Plus, I needed an easy way to use up more of my tomatoes.

I continued my workout trend with the next segment of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day Four Five Day Workout Plan

I used those 10 lb weights again except for the Reverse Fly. The link above has descriptions for some of the exercises. I didn’t do the reverse pushup because I was too lazy to get under the table to do it, which is really the only place in my apartment that it will work. If you’re at the gym, the bar that goes over benches is the easiest for reverse pushups, or just simply do pull-ups (if you can!).

After my workout, I indulged in a smoothie for my snack. I blended up a banana, 5 strawberries, a handful of fresh spinach, half a cup of almond milk and half a cup of orange juice.

fruit smoothie

Kale Chip Bandwagon

As I mentioned yesterday, I jumped on that kale chip bandwagon, but first, my meals from wednesday:

Meal Food Calories
Breakfast Corn Flakes 100
Almond Milk 40
Snack Banana 100
Fiber One Chocolate Chewy Bar 150
Vienna Bread 120
Chips with Peach & Mango Jalapeno Salsa 100
Lunch Left over salmon and rice 320
Dinner Spinach and fruit salad 250
Kale chips 58
Total 1238

I’m doing better in the food department. Look at all that healthy-ish-ness!

I had the left over bread/crusted salmon from the day before. Still just as tasty! And I made more of those spinach and fruit salads for dinner. I had two bowls!

crusted salmon

As for my exercise yesterday, I ran 4.5 miles! Ok, one of those miles I actually walked. My foot was starting to hurt so I took the third mile to rest it and then ran the last mile. I think I’m getting faster in my miles! Most of them are around 9 min/mile when it used to be 10 min/mile. Progress!

And now for what you’ve all been waiting for… KALE CHIPS! Anybody ever make these before? There are TONS of recipes out there so I just “averaged” them so to speak.

I bought a bag of kale from Wal-Mart. I didn’t realize it but it was already pre-chopped. Sweet!  I probably used half of the bag and placed it in a bowl, added about 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil and tossed them around.

I spread them out on a baking sheet and sprinkled paprika and salt lightly over them. I’ve heard a lot of people over doing it on the salt so I just added it sparingly. Then I baked the kale for 16-18 minutes at 300 degrees F. I attempted to flip them over halfway through but I’m not sure if that’s really necessary. The smaller pieces had shrunk considerably so it was hard to flip them.

kale chips in the oven

They turned out nice and crispy!

Kale Chips

I will definitely be making these again sometime! I actually liked the smaller crunchy pieces over the bigger pieces. The bigger pieces weren’t as crunchy. If you can, try to make yours all uniform in size. And remove big stems, they will become chewy and not crispy. Enjoy!

Has anybody gotten creative with their kale chips and add crazy flavors?

First Day

Yesterday was my first day of work as you know. It went well! I did a lot of reading to get acquainted with the projects I’ll be working on. To keep my body and brain fueled during work, I made a fruit smoothie to take with. It was not very pretty and I was a little embarrassed to have people see inside my cup.

fruit smoothie

This is obviously an old photo (blond wood table) but it gives you an idea. It was maybe not even that pink since I didn’t have any fresh strawberries so it was almost kind of pale. Anyway, not the prettiest but oh so good!

So what I ate Tuesday:

Meal Food Calories
Breakfast Corn Flakes 100
Almond Milk 40
Snack Fruit Smoothie 220
Lunch Almond Butter & Strawberry Preserves sandwich 230
Snack Chips and Peach & Mango Jalapeno Jam 120
Dinner Crusted Salmon and Rice 340
Fruit and Spinach Salad 150
Dessert Toblerone (2 pieces) 80
Total 1280

I had my favorite salad of course! A bed of spinach with some fruit (this time blueberries), feta, sliced almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette. Never disappoints!

fruit and spinach salad

To accompany it for dinner, Daniel made a crusted Salmon, but with a twist! Instead of using eggs to hold the toppings to the fish, he used mustard!

crusted salmon

It wasn’t even that strong of a mustard flavor. He just brushed it on the fillets, then pressed them into the bread crumb mixture. The mixture consisted of Panko bread crumbs, Corn Flake crumbs, one slice of bread crumbled in a food processor first, lemon zest, Creole seasoning, and Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, and oregano).

It was really good! Daniel had added some soy sauce to his rice and I was going to but once I started eating the fish with the rice I completely forgot! It was so good, it didn’t need more flavor. Seriously people, mustard is the way to go.

Workout recap time!

I did not workout.

Moving on!

I did something crazy tonight.  I jumped on the bandwagon. The kale chip bandwagon, that is. Verdict: Not bad! Definitely not as good as real chips, but I can dig it. I’ll share my version of it tomorrow!

Enjoy your Wednesday evening!

Curry Pumpkin Soup, Almond Crusted Tilapia, & Blackberry Cobbler

I had an amazing anniversary yesterday with Daniel.  We spent a good portion of the day still unpacking but dinner was delicious. We picked up a few more things from my parent’s house and my dad happened to be making Curry Pumpkin soup, a recipe he got from his friend Monica in Germany. She actually made it for all of us while I was there. It’s spicy and sweet! My dad did a fairly good job but added a bit too much of the spice. He gave us extra so we’re going to buy some more canned pumpkin to add to tone it down.

Curry Pumpkin soup

I don’t know the exact ingredients but it contains canned pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, red curry paste, and a spice mixture that Monica had given him (perhaps cumin, ground red pepper, and coriander?).  I might add a little coconut milk or sweetened condensed milk to it as well.

For our anniversary dinner we made the infamous Almond Crusted Swai, but with tilapia this time! Instead of adding a lot of parmesan we mixed the almonds with Panko bread crumbs and a little wheat germ and only sprinkled a little parmesan on top. Healthy and tasty!

Almond Crusted Tilapia

For dessert I decided to make a recipe I found off of abeautifulmess.com. Blackberry Cobbler! I bought some ramekins because I thought they’d be perfect for portion control when eating desserts. They work great for this recipe which makes 3-4 ramekins. Mine are smaller so it makes 4.

Blackberries

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler

They turned out great! I added some vanilla bean ice cream on top. Definitely keeping this recipe around. It’s only 235 calories per serving. Not bad for a little dessert!

All you need is:

16 oz blackberries
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp skim milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp melted, then cooled butter

Here’s the directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl mix together the blackberries and brown sugar. Distribute evenly among your baking dishes.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Last, stir in the melted butter.
Spoon the batter over the berries. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Serve warm.

Super easy and delicious!

Here is the rest of yesterday’s meals:

Meal Food Calories
Breakfast Cereal 100
Almond milk 30
Lunch Spinach & Fruit Salad 207
Dinner Curry Pumpkin Soup 121
Rice and Veggie stir fry 150
Almond Crusted Tilapia 404
Dessert Blackberry Cobbler 235
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 60
Drinks Sangria 150
Total 1457

I went over but it was a celebration!