Monday, June 28, 2010

Make Monday a Comeback Day!

Happy Monday! I had the LEAST healthy weekend ever. Seriously.  A very fun weekend, but about ZERO healthy choices. Team USA obviously needed me to drink about a beer and indulge in all American bar food to support them (wait... they still didn't win!). I was catching on blogs last night and on A Prior Fat Girl (click here for link) Jennifer mentions an inspirational bracelet she purchased- livestrong style, that had the words on it : "One Bite, One Decision".  I love that saying and I like the idea of having a constant reminder of it on my wrist to help prevent me from bad decision making. I should probably get it tattooed on my forehead... :)
Making a comeback from a rough weekend of eating/drinking can be REALLY hard to do. I think one of the key ways to "save yourself" and not let a weekend of bad eating turn into a week long binge on junk food and 5 lb weight gain- is to always jump back on the wagon first thing Monday morning. Don't let your bad weekend carry into the week.
For me, this means two things.  One- having a plan, and Two- sticking to it.
My plan for the week is cutting out my favorite "extras".  These are foods that I should be eating as splurges,  but when I'm not paying attention I find myself eating them more and more regularly and appreciating them less.  For this week (Mon-Thur) wine & frozen yogurt are OUT.  I'm also food journaling... and trying to stay in my calorie range of >1400.
In terms of sticking to it, I honestly think Monday is the HARDEST day to get through and if you can be successful on Monday, it leads to a much better week. So far today I'm on track.  I made a 200 cal egg white McMuffin for breakfast, packed a homemade turkey sandwich for lunch and am thinking salad for dinner...  If I can go to bed a little hungry tonight, it will make healthy eating so much easier tomorrow.  And then the next day, and then next.
One bite, one decision at a time....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Camping- Foodie Style :)

Even when camping- I want to dine in style.  Or at least in deliciousness.
When Chris and I started planning our trip to Dinkey Creek a great camping spot in the Sierras, my responsibility was food planning. (Chris was busy purchasing tents, fishing rods, and pretty much anything Amazon had to offer in their "outdoor" section).
Keep in mind, camping = limited cooking options. Camping food typically includes hot dogs on sticks, smores and cereal for breakfast. Not bad- but not very fun either. So I took on this camp eating as a challenge, a` la Top Chef style. 
By no means were our meals "fancy" but they were SO good.  Below are my recipes for my favorite camping Dinner, Side & Dessert, enjoy!
Sausage Potato Hot Pockets
-1 cup chopped potatoes
-1 tbs butter
-1 tbs minced garlic
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
-Handful sliced mushrooms
-Seasonings to taste (I used Bacon salt.  No joke. Talk about best invention ever)
Basically you combine all these ingredients and then double wrap them in Heavy Duty tinfoil and place them on the fire pit.  Cook for about 30-45 min depending on the heat and then open them up for steamy deliciousness that hits the spot on a cold mountain night.
Top them with a slice of cheese (we did pepper jack) and chopped slices of grilled kielbasa sausages and enjoy! Side note- we actually made two versions of this dish which you'll see on the right- both were good but the sausage one was the winner, which is why I shared that recipe.

Corn & Black Bean Salad
This is an ideal camping recipe because I actually prepared it before the trip and packed it in Tupperware in a cooler. The great thing about this salad is the longer it marinates in the dressing, the better it tastes. 

-1 Can black beans
-1 Can Corn
-1/2 Cup finely chopped red onion
-3/4 Cup chopped red bell pepper
-1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
-1/2 Cup Balsamic Dressing
-2tbs Lime juice
-2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional- for added kick)
Just mix it all together, making sure that the dressing is stirred in and then refrigerate and marinate.  A great summer BBQ salad.  I've seen other versions that add avocado, which might be fun to try.
Roasted Banana Heaven
My best desert of the trip was totally a random creation, but I think I will probably attempt to replicate it in our fireplace at home one night when I'm craving dessert and our shelves are bare...  1 banana
1/2 tbs butter
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
Mix the butter, sugar and Cinnamon together.  Mixture should be crumbly. Take the banana and split it down the middle without cutting it in half. Put the sugar mixture in the slit in the banana.  Sprinkle any extra sugar on the top and sides of the banana. Wrap in Heavy Duty tinfoil and put on the fire for about 15 min.
Unwrap for a cinnamony, gooey goodness. It'd be AMAZING on ice cream.  (I mean frozen yogurt. What is happening to me- didn't this used to be a healthy eating blog?!!) Unfortunately I didn't capture any photos- we ate them too fast!  
So- use these recipes and you can impress people while camping.  Chris and I pretty much just impressed ourselves (also fun to do).
Such a great trip! We river rafted, hiked, attempted fishing, played countless card games and just relaxed.  I'd love to come up with a recipe to cook fish over the open flame- but I guess that means we'd have to catch some first... I guess we'll have to go back!
PS. I made my first ever Indian Curry last night, and it came out REALLY good and was easy to make! I'm working on figuring a way to modify it to make it a little healthier and then I'll share the recipe soon!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Week Off The Wagon in South Carolina!

And it was worth every minute! I don't know where to start except to tell you that I came back from an AMAZING relaxing, wonderful week at the beach to a dreary June gloom that has been oh so un-motivating to eat right and get outside...but I'm trying.  But first- the trip! And the FOOD....
Here's where it all started, Hominy Grill in Charleston.  After a red eye flight arriving in the beautiful Southern city at 8am... drinks were definitely in order! Check out the Bloody Mary complete with Pickled Okra. At this breakfast we sampled my first of many fried items of the week- Fried Green Tomatoes! First, let me start by saying, I don't like tomatoes.  At all. In salads, on sandwiches, no thanks.  But once you fry it up and serve it with ranch= Chel's new favorite food.
I loved how Southern and cute this place was, with the chalkboard menu, outdoor eating with picnic style table and checkered tablecloths.  A great first Charleston meal! From there- we moved on and actually took a historical carriage tour of the city, which was fun.  Compared to California the South has such a rich history (when they say a house was built in the 80's they sure aren't talking about 1980) 
After our educational and delicious morning in Charleston we headed out to the Isle of Palm, a resort community Island about 30 minutes off the coast where Chris's family had a beach house for the week.
Meeting us at the house were Chris's parents as well as his sister, her husband and their two adorable girls Molly & Ellie.  This was our second annual trip and in order to be prepared Chris's mom Deb organized a meal schedule where each couple was responsible for cooking dinner one night. OBVIOUSLY Chris and I put a lot of thought into what our meal would be. We went with a Farm Fresh Tri Tip Roast that we flew across the country in a cooler. Not kidding here- it was Chris's carry on luggage.  We found a great local butcher at a farmers market a few weeks ago, so we brought it specially for our meal. That is what true foodies do, right? :) I made a non-modified mac and cheese (it was vacation...) and a great corn and green salads as sides. I will share the recipe for the corn salad next week- it was healthy, delicious and perfect for a summer BBQ.
Next up for dinner was Chris's sister Beth & her husband John who is Italian.  He made the most delicious red sauce and meatballs I have every had in my entire life. The sauce literally cooked all day. They served it over pasta & cheese ravioli. No exaggeration- I may have had thirds that night!

Chris's parents did a traditional Southern Shrimp Boil, which is something I was introduced to last year and quickly found its way to my heart.... Basically it's a seasoned boil with potatoes, fresh shrimp, kielbasa polish sausage & corn on the cob. Then you drain it and serve each separately. Another near comatose food night, I could have used a wheelchair to get me to bed!
The entire week was filled with nothing but fun, sun, reading, playing with the girls, relaxing, game playing and good company.  It was a much needed break and I enjoyed every minute of it! (even charade night was fun- usually my worst nightmare)
On our final day in town, Chris and I along with his parents enjoyed our final Southern meal- and we did it right! We headed to Jestines's a place we had tried the previous year after seeing it on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.  Again- Jestine did not disappoint.  Continuing with my love affair of Fried Green Tomatoes- I had a BLFGT sandwich. I'll let you figure that out, or you can just drool over the picture...
The four of us shared three desserts - a Coca Cola Cake which Jestine's is famous for, a coconut cream pie and a lemon custard deliciousness. As you can see by the plates at the end and the smiles on the faces... we obviously hated them :)
I am pretty sure that my undying devotion to all things fried, BBQ and Coca Cola cake are strong signs that I should have been born a Southerner. That and my weakness for hoop skirts and large brim hats...  Luckily for my waist size, I was not. I returned sadly to the tofu eating, organic grown state of my birth, California.  Till next year South Carolina!