Category Archives: Dinner

Healthy eats on the cheap…

It’s easy to eat healthy when you have all the money  in the world at your disposal. I would eat organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed and -finished beef, free-range chicken and eggs and all KINDS of new and funky products.

Well…there’s a wrench in our plan 🙂 Due to some issues up in la-la land, our pay has been seriously messed up. And will remain so until October 15th. Our budget is tight tight tight until then, so you’re going to see a lot of budget-friendly tips over the next month.

My first step was to take inventory. I pulled everything out of the cabinets, searched the fridge and freezer and made a list of what I had:

 

Then, I pulled out my laptop and cookbooks to find simple recipes using what I have. I also searched through my Cooking Light and Clean Eating magazines to get some inspiration. I really focused on vegetarian meals, since they’re usually cheaper.  I wrote my recipes onto individual post-its with a list of ingredients that I’d need and then arranged them from the least needed to the most:

Then, I hit the store! I picked up what I needed for the rest of this week and checked to see if there were any deals to be had. I scored!

This meat will create 4 meals for us, with some frozen veggies that I have in the freezer and some quinoa (I’ve accumulated 3 boxes!). I got over three pounds of seasoned meat for $12.00! Score. All I have to do is toss those babies in a saute pan and dinner will be on in 10 minutes.

Tonight, we dug into the Fiery Thai Noodle Bowl with Crispy Chicken Thighs from last month’s Cooking Light:

Cheap. Delicious. Perfect 🙂 My next budget move is *collective gasp* ditching my gym membership!!! I’ll share my keep-in-shape tips with you soon.

How do you eat healthy on a budget? My biggest tips are:

  1. Use what you have. I dug through EVERYTHING and came up with a lot of food!
  2. Give up your brand loyalty. I find a lot of store brands are equal in quality to name brands, especially when you eat clean and you use rice, dried beans and pulses and whole wheat pastas.
  3. Go veg! Vegetarian items tend to be cheaper. Use frozen veggies, beans, tofu and tempeh. One of my favorite and most simple meals in cooked beans, cooked rice, salsa and sautéed zucchini all tossed together.
  4. I may ruffle some feathers with this one (even my little heart is breaking), but give up your need to have organic everything. I often find cheap organic milk (which I only use in my coffee), but all of those veggies? And meat? As long as I scrub those veggies and keep the meat down to a few times a week, I’m sure this short-term penny-pincher won’t kill me.

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Last day of last year…

Hey guys! I was gonna grace you with a nifty post about my goals and aspirations for this upcoming year…and then saved that draft and decided to go with my last day of last year and a little of this year 🙂 I’ll regale you with my big ideas for 2011 tomorrow.

I knew yesterday was going to be good when I said “Breakfast?” and Ben said “Original Pancake House?”. I don’t know if it’s the sixties decor or just the bangin’ macadamia nut pancakes smothered in real(!) butter and coconut syrup, but I love that place. Like, really love it. I love being healthy and eating food that’s good fuel for my body, but I also sometimes like to eat things that just really make my mouth happy. Those mac nut pancakes make my taste buds do happy dances. I did have to temper all that carby goodness with a cruise around Diamondhead. The love of my life suggested a little walk and I had to take him up on it.

All along the sidewalk are trees and bushes with ornaments and lights. How cute is that Christmas hibiscus (rhymey…kinda).

We started up there, saw this thing:

Passed this awesome surfer dude:

Made it all the way down to here:

And walked all the way down, barefoot and hand-in-hand. I love my life 🙂 Not all the time, I assure you. But, days like yesterday? So great. We drove over and grabbed a fresh juice and drove up to the top of a nearby mountain to take in the sights:

And then hurried home to get changed and go to my favorite place to eat in the world ever of all time! I go to Haleiwa Joe’s mainly for babycakes, but the food there is great too 🙂 We started with cocktails (I’ve noticed the blog is sorely lacking in the “martini” portion of it’s name but I sorely lack “good judgement” when it comes to how many cocktails is too many, so take it where you can get it 😀 ):

That baby’s a Flat Island Iced Tea – coconut vodka, pineapple rum and island-y juices. Perfect, only complemented with some kimchi edamame:

It was not real kimchi edamame. It was more like “chili sauce edamame”. I know because I’m a kimchi aficionado. I love it regardless of the fact that it does not love me back. I rolled with a new (to me) entrée:

Furikake-crusted baked opa in a…???…delicious sauce (beurre blanc?) with kimchi-style veggies on top (spot on here) over a bed of rice. I wept with joy. Not really, but I almost did. It was that good. But not as good as:

This. Oh, baby. The waiter suggested we cover our babycake in hot fudge instead of raspberry sauce. Garcon? This was so good. Babycakes can help obtain world peace, I’m sure. It’s that good. It made me forget for one moment that I was going home to the land of illegal aerials:

Why must you shoot off aerials over our neighborhood? And make my dog crazy? And ruin my ability to watch a Criminal Minds marathon without subtitles? Yes, my dear sweet kind angelic husband took me home and let me watch hours of Criminal Minds. We smooched at midnight and called it a night. Ben-Shayna-Roberta Jean snugglefest ensued (in the editing read-through, I decided I should mention to those new to this blog that Roberta is my dog. Carry on.).

Today, we just took it easy -eating all the leftovers, running 2.5 miles, eating Puka Dog, watching Easy A (cute, better than I thought it was going to be, but maybe a little insulting? Christian does not = crazy 🙂 I promise), eating this:

which isn’t too bad, if you don’t mind nori and MSG. Now, if you’ll excuse moi, I’m off to continue reading The Great Fitness experiment (love this so far) and sleep off my run.

Two things of note: I’ve had the great pleasure of following a new (to me) healthy Hawaii blogger – go check out Candace’s blog! She makes me appreciate where I live thanks to fresh eyes and the ability to make cheap almond butter in a food processor (why oh why did I never think of this? I thought I was doomed due to the fact that I do not own a Vita-mix (sacrilege, I know!).

Also, has anyone seen the hot-mess-of-a-show Bridalplasty??? Which is exactly what the title expresses? This show pits a bunch of brides-to-be against each other, reality show-style, in order to earn plastic surgery procedures from their “wish lists”…?!? When a girls gets kicked off the show, the host says, “You’ll still have a wedding…it just won’t be perfect.” I have no words for how deeply deeply sorry I am for these girls. Or how deeply deeply sorry I am that I watch two straight hours of it. I’m feeling a little veklempt, discuss amongst yourselves.

Good night!

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Filed under Dinner, Hawaii Food Alert, TV shows

Back to basics…

Hey guys! Wow, it’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote a little somethin’ somethin’. To be honest, I really just enjoyed my vacation with no obligations, even to my hobby that I enjoy so much (that would be this blog 🙂 ). Monday was spent alone; the husband couldn’t get the day off. I went to the beach early in the morning and did a 2-mile run and then came home and did laundry and watched Gossip Girl all day. I topped it off with nighttime yoga at the new studio I’ve been going to. I learned that I’m a lot better than I thought I was. I mastered the Wild Thing pose right outta the gate 😀

Tuesday, the husband got me up early to watch Regis and Kelly (Did I ever mention that I freakin’ love Kelly Ripa? She’s so funny and I love that she’s been married to the same guy since the beginning of time) and then we vegged out and watched Gossip Girl all day. Seeing a trend? I also ate this:

I affectionately refer to these as Mexican Monsters. They’re so simple and I love how I can just make them up really quick. It’s brown rice, half a can of beans (I use pinto or black; tonight I used kidney), half a can of diced tomatoes, a little chopped cilantro and half an avocado. I also mix in cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt – I eyeball all of it, as I know what I like.

Wednesday, we actually did things. We may have blown half the morning watching Gossip Girl, but then we headed out to the beach (coated in SPF 80. I don’t just burn,  I sizzle) for an hour to take in some beautiful Hawaiian sun. I have an internal clock that immediately informs me of right when I’m about to burn despite repeatedly coating myself in sunscreen. We left to go to Whole Foods to pick up hot bar (2.00 off on Wednesdays, woo hoo!):

Delicious! Same thing as always – salad with everything on top, grains and roasted veggies. Then, we changed into our running gear and put in 2 miles on the track. We came home and ate this dinner:

Again, quickness is key because we were hurrying out the door for church. This was a bunch of kale that I sautéed in olive oil with a minced garlic clove, brown rice and (surprise) beans that I seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika with a smashed garlic clove mixed in. You’d think that I’d have an issue with…um…the toots, but I really don’t. I drink copious amounts of water and eat so much fiber, I must have adapted. Sorry for saying the toots. I just thought I’d share.

Church was awesome! Last week, we skipped because the sermon was on politics. One of our pastors used to be a judge and the church is pretty into taking charge and voting. I, however, don’t vote. Really, I just don’t. I don’t have any deeply rooted issues on why I don’t and I know that many women have burned bras and not shaved their hairy legs for my right to turn in a ballot, but I don’t. So, we skipped that informational gem. This Wednesday, however, was really good. I got my midweek recharge.

Today was the usual, right down to oaties for breakfast. Never fear, friends, I got a little something new for you guys tomorrow. I did get in a nice sweaty workout today.

  • Lunge & Lifts with dumbbells
  • Donkey Kick Machine (I don’t know what this one is called. It’s like doing donkey kicks.)
  • Adductor and Abductor machine
  • 1.8 mile run
  • little break because my love monkey picked me up to take me home
  • Stability ball hamstring curls
  • Stability ball calf raises
  • Stability ball crunches

I am now sitting in my disgusting clothes talking to you guys, but I’m about to shower my stinky self, do my devotions, read a little of my new book I got at the library (I’m thinking it sucks, but I have to finish it before I pass my final verdict) and then off to dreamland for me. I’ve got to kick Friday’s butt and stay up late to Skype my mama. Hope you guys have had an awesome week! Have a great night!

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Filed under Books, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, TV shows, Uncategorized, Workouts

Staycation…

Hey friends! What a relaxing day. I didn’t do a dang thing and I’m so happy about it 🙂 I’m more of a gotta-clean-gotta-run-gotta-grocery-shop kind of person, so putting my craziness to the side and really enjoying today felt good.

Breakfast was a new concoction, inspired by the blogosphere’s pumpkin explosion:

Pumpkin pie oaties! Simple, too. I made 2 servings of oaties, put protein powder in my husband’s, put 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin into each one, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, a scoop of peanut butter and a sprinkle of pecans. It was good. It needs something sweet (we’re thinking sucanat) but I can’t have that right now, so just keep it like it is.

I then proceeded to scan some blogs and then laid in bed for maybe 2 hours finishing the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but I didn’t write it so who am I to judge 😉 Then, I had to fuel up, I was starving. The husband and I hit the road in the pursuit of hot bar food, new bras (for me, not him) and a birthday present for our friend’s kid. This was demolished at the hot bar:

Curried cauliflower, curried cabbage with potatoes and peas, garlic broccoli with scallion hummus, artichoke hearts, some dolmas and Moroccan couscous. It was phenomenal. I love the hot bar, though, so I didn’t expect less than perfection. After that, we cruised around Diamondhead and took in my favorite lookout point (I always think of them as miradors, because that’s what we call them in Portugal).

It was kind of cloudy, hence the gray gloominess, but still beautiful. We headed over to Nordstrom, where a very sweet girl made bra fitting as comfortable as can be expected. I scored two Calvin Klein bras that were 25% off and also found that despite losing 20 lbs, my boobs stayed the same size! SCORE!

We then hit up Barnes and Noble for gifts; I do not give money. I just don’t, that’s not a personal gift. I give books 🙂 I love them and so should everyone else. Speaking of loving books, I may have gotten In Defense of Food…my love was feeling generous today. We spent so much time at the mall, we had to zoom over to the party. It was pretty standard – LOTS of food (Filipino food that I wanted to eat, but couldn’t. Remember my love for pancit? Yep, there was mountains of it.), karaoke and tons of kids. Get togethers here revolve around food. That’s the first time where I felt almost guilty about my food choices. When you say no, no matter how friendly, it seems to hurt your host. We had to escape the (delicious looking) food and get some healthy fare.

This salad will be in my dreams tonight – mixed greens, tomatoes, beets, carrots, mushrooms, black olives, red cabbage, kidney beans, red onions and artichoke hearts. I even grabbed some grilled squash and some cold grains. My husband mentioned that while the food at the party would have knocked him on his butt, this meal made him feel better and I have to agree.

Since I’ve eliminated meat, dairy, added sugar, leavening agents and caffeine, I’ve been performing better, I don’t get afternoon slumps, my skin is beautiful and I feel like I may even be sleeping better. Once I’m back to my normal eating, I’m not sure what to keep and what to change 😦 I’m knocking out caffeine in the mornings anymore. I’ll treat myself here and there, but no more dependency. I’d like to cut down my meat consumption and find plant-based alternatives more. I didn’t even REALIZE how much SUGAR is EVERYWHERE. Yes, I’m shouting. It’s in canned foods, sauces, dressings, everywhere. I’d like to continue to avoid it. And, although I love cheese and ice cream, I’m going to continue to avoid a lot of dairy. These are just things that I think are not worth the effect on my body. We’ll see, but even my husband agrees that the healthier food makes him more energetic (which I’m not complaining about 😉 ).

Now? Snack time and then we’re hitting the movies. I’ve been really wanting to see Life As We Know It. Hope you guys are having a great weekend! See you tomorrow, as the vacation continues. Good night!

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Dinner, Hawaii, Lunch

Back in action…sort of…

Hey friends, I’m back! Wow, this weekend has been pretty awesome, minus the fact that I felt crappy, all the way up until this morning. But, let’s not dwell on the negative, shall we? There was a new yoga outfit purchased for me and loads of veggies were eaten. This does not sound thrilling to a normal person. I am not a normal person.

Today, I woke up sick, so I stayed home in my jammers and caught Regis and Kelly while eating this:

This is the Incan Porridge from Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet. It is so good, it’s got quinoa, oats, dates and some spices; I recommend the cookbook, but I will say, it’s really hit or really miss. Use Caution!!

Then, I proceeded to hole up in bed and finish Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series. READ IT! It’s so good. If you’re okay with…post-apocolyptic-gladiator-arena-type things, which I totally wasn’t until I read these books and now I am (wait, that’s a lie too, I loved the movie The Book of Eli, rent it immediately). I did break for lunch. The husband brought me this:

Tofu, sprout, tomato and green onion salad. I tossed it with some spinach and drizzled it with balsamic and olive oil with a dash of garlic powder. It was incredible. I am embracing my veganism during this period and it’s been pretty tasty. I will say that I can’t wait to indulge in cheese, gelato, cheesecake, chocolates etc. once this time period is up, but until then, I’m enjoying the simplicity of it. We split this guy for dessert:

This may be my new favorite flavor. It’s a toss-up with the coconut bar. So good. I then cracked into Season 3 of Gossip Girl (Lord help me, I’m addicted. I love how evil Chuck Bass is. I wish there was an appropriate venue for me to wear an ascot and suspenders and speak all breathy and evil. There isn’t.). After thoroughly trashing my brain, I made us snacks:

Simple and delicious – brown rice cake with pb and 1/2 a naner with some cinnamon on top. It held me over while we picked up our CSA. No pics today. The usual haul of tangerines, salad mix, arugula, kale, radishes and taro. I’m not loving the taro. In fact, I threw away last week’s. I know! I probably should have attempted to eat it, but I just can’t. Poi has really broken my will to cook with it.

Dinner was spent eating this:

and watching Letters to Juliet. It was cute, if you like that sort of thing. I do 😉 That’s Puy lentils with rainbow chard (again, Tosca cookbook. GET IT!!) with brown rice. I also munched a date. After going five days with no added sweeteners at all, dates taste like candy! It was so sugary and delicious.

Agenda now? Finish reading my Cooking Light (which has a tasty prosciutto, pear, blue cheese sammy that will need to be recreated 🙂 ), catch Hawaii Five-0 (my husband the fact checker pointed out this mistake. It’s not 5-0, it’s actually spelled out. Good lookin’ out, beautiful man.), and then snuggle up to my family and try to keep from jumping in the car and driving to Target to get the 3rd book in the series :D. Tomorrow, we have (meaning, I will attempt) an at-home workout during Biggest Loser that I will post. And Wednesday will be the 2nd weigh-in for our Fat Loss Challenge! See you tomorrow; have a great night!

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, TV shows

Welcome to the mundane…

Hi friends! Wow, today has been pretty mundane. I woke up a little more refreshed after getting some sleep but I really need some restorative R&R. Rumor has it that the husband will be picking up some extra work on Saturday so one member of this family *might* get a pedicure…and it ain’t Roberta 😀

Breakfast was some much needed oaties (just like usual – protein powder, sliced banana, carob chips and cinnamon). We did honor our anniversaries today when I got to work. At my company, once a month they put on a little party for everyone hired in that month. This month’s snack was yogurt, granola, blueberries and croissants (my mind tricks are working on others now, apparently, cuz this was right up my alley):

Blueberry yogurt with blueberries and flax granola. Yoplait = sadness in my heart. But, I was hungry.

And my co-worker at lunch told me not to take pictures for the blog because it was the same as yesterday and I’d bore my readers. Ha! I love it. Yes, I had bacon covered green beans with quinoa dumped all over it.

Dinner was more epic Subway:

…. On church Wednesdays, we always grab sandwiches. It’s easier, I don’t have to cook and we don’t run late. Problem solved, tradition incurred 🙂 This was a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, nix the SO sauce, add in Chipotle sauce and lots of veggies. Also? We split this footlong. I can just imagine your faces (this healthy blogger is going to chow down this whole ginormous sammy? No, no I am not.)

So, the Fat Loss Challenge began today. My goal is 7%, which I figure is manageable. There’s no timeframe in which to do it, just get there and maintain for 3 weeks. I was listening to everyone’s strategy and some people are hardcore. One person is counting all the carbs they eat…well, I hope that works for them. I don’t avoid any food groups 🙂 The only issue that’s coming up is a big dietary change for me for a short period of time. As I shared, I have some personal things going on and my diet will drastically change starting Friday. Think vegan, but with no sweeteners or leavening agents.

Due to this, I’m laying off the weights for the duration of the change. I know 😦 Tears fell from my eyes too. But, I want to be able to relax and not have to worry about correctly fueling my body when I’m going to be managing my diet so tightly. So, expect lots of yoga, running and couples boot camp (this is not corporate. Me and the lover go to the park and I wear a stopwatch and yell like drill sergeant and we workout together). I don’t want it to affect my challenge at all, but I’m much more focused on my physical and spiritual well-being than a silly challenge. Strategy?

  • Eat whole foods – you’d think this is, ya know, duh. But I’ve heard of people drinking water with citrus fruits to up their metabolism. I like vegetables and fruit. I love fresh local food, I love it. It tastes different than crappy out of season food.
  • Exercise moderately – I’m not going balls to the wall crazy. Why? Because I like to workout. I like running, the elliptical, Turbo Jam, weights, yoga. I enjoy it. I’m not going to force myself to repetitively do something I enjoy to the point of torture.
  • Relax – If I don’t relax, I want to lay around and eat crap. It’s what I was born to do. It’s a conscious decision to fuel myself.

So…that’s it 🙂

Now? Cooking up lunch for tomorrow, some more meal planning for the next three weeks and some more of my book. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to squueeeeeze in some cardio and do some grocery shopping. I’ll share my bounty with you 😀

Good night!

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Filed under Dinner, Fat Loss Challenge

Early to bed, early to rise…

Good evening, friends! What a long day it was after getting to bed at almost midnight last night! Yikes! I used to be a party animal and now midnight puts me out for the day 😦 We started it off with a beetle-free mango smoothie:

Yes, I did pack us matching smoothies with color-coordinated straws. That’s how we roll. And I got to munch a CSA tangerine for my snack. What a produce-filled day I had 🙂 Insert lots of “job-related activity” with a small break to enjoy this little beauty:

Now, I know this looks immensely disgusting. It wasn’t. It was tasty, succulent and filled me up just enough without making me regret my birth. Insert more “job-related activity” and we came home to the BIGGEST sink of dishes ever. Couple that with a lack of clean underoos (I was down to bikini bottoms and granny panties) and I was not cooking. It wasn’t happening. Save for some quinoa to go with lunch tomorrow, I was done. We picked up this puppy:

for dinner. I love Subway. I love that it’s convenient and there’s lots of veggies. I don’t count calories, but I’m sure that a sandwich loaded with veggies isn’t going to shoot me into “fat jeans” territory. Hell, if I’m not afraid of bacon, there’s not much that puts fear into me. Except, in a moment of poignant honesty, diabetes. I watch my sugar like a madwoman. My mom has type II diabetes and the husband’s uncle has it too. If there’s one thing that truly scares me, it’s testing my blood sugar, blindness, poor circulation (bye bye, pedicures!), strokes…ok, that’s more than one thing, but you get the gist….uncomfortable overshare 😀

We caught The Biggest Loser, which I tried not to cry through, and that puts me at bedtime. I’m about to crawl into bed early and read some more Hunger Games. The comfy fresh sheets are callin’ my name. I’ll last, oh, maybe 10 minutes, I’m thinking 🙂

Tomorrow, the body fat challenge begins! I love when little things “jumpstart” my routine. Yeah, I watch what I eat and I run and yoga and lift weights, but that gets stagnant. My co-workers don’t play. This challenge starts and every Magic Bullet comes out, people are running during lunch, swearing off carbs or fat; you name it, they do it. While I don’t get nuts about it, I’m more mindful of my workouts and what’s going into my system. I won’t share specific numbers, but I will share what I have to lose to win and my strategy tomorrow.

Good night, everyone!

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fat Loss Challenge, Lunch, TV shows