Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It must be the strangest looking thing I have ever tried, but it is surprisingly tasty! And it is my goal for at least the next week to have one green monster a day.
Now once I list the ingredients for a green monster, your first thought will be “WHAT??? That is disgusting!” Or maybe that was just my initial reaction. =) But even my husband liked it!
So what is a green monster? Well first you have to check out this website:
greenmonstermovement.com/ You can learn all about it and then click on the link there to find NUMEROUS recipes and versions to try.
I started out using the basic recipe of: two cups of spinach or kale, half a banana, and a cup of milk.
NOW…before you think EWWW, try it! Seriously. The first time I made it I was really nervous about the day and wondered what Aubrey’s reaction would be, but not only was I pleasantly surprised, Aubrey liked it! The banana completely covers the taste of the greens.
The first time I made it for us I threw four cups of spinach, 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and 1 frozen banana in our food processor.
I didn’t really like how it chopped it up; the spinach was still in way too big of pieces. It definitely works better in a blender! I took my portion and added two frozen strawberries and a packet of Stevia for a bit more sweetness and blended it up more with our magic bullet.
A beautiful color, right? =P
The next time I made one I used a couple of slices of frozen peaches instead of strawberries and I added 8 grams of pea protein powder and a packet of Stevia.
I love how the protein powder made it thicker and creamier, but I definitely preferred the taste of the strawberries instead of the peaches.
I was actually a little nervous about the pea protein powder. I very much love the taste and texture of whey protein powder in smoothies, but my body can not digest whey. After many bouts of extreme gastrointestinal distress, I cut back on all the products I was eating with whey as an ingredient and things have improved drastically.
I love that it’s only ingredient is 100% non-GMO pea protein. It can definitely help me get more protein in my day! It does not taste nearly as good as whey protein, but at least my stomach isn’t killing me!
So far I have had three green monsters. Will I fit one in every day this week? That is certainly my plan!
For the combination of 2 cups spinach, half a frozen banana (50 grams), 1/2 cup milk (almond breeze), 1/2 cup water, 8 grams pea protein, and 2 frozen strawberries (about 30 grams) my calories are 125. I’m thinking about adding some ground flaxseed to it as well for the omega 3’s and some healthy fat, which on some days I’m super low on. Half a tablespoon would add another 20 calories. Oh and some time I’m going to have to try adding some unsweetened cocoa powder. I’d love to try a healthy chocolate version.
What is the weirdest food that you have tried that you liked? Are you going to try a green monster?
Sunday, March 28, 2010
(See I told you it would have been a crazy long blog if I hadn't split it into two!)
Waking up at the coast is amazing. The waves are crashing and everything is just beautiful.
I had a VitaMuffin to have a little something in my system and then my husband and I took off running down the boardwalk. Running alongside the ocean is very inspiring. When we reached the end we walked onto the beach and when we reached the firmer sand ran back towards our hotel. This, to me, was less fun than on the boardwalk. I do not enjoy sand in my shoes! I didn’t even realize how much was in there until we were done.
When we got back I was feeling very down because I really thought after a good night’s sleep my appetite would have quieted down. But I found that not to be the case! So I split my Snickers fudge in half and shared it with Aubrey. I slowly savored each and every bite and it was just as fantastic as it was the last time.
Then we turned on the TV to find they had free Exercise TV videos we could watch. So we did twenty minutes of something called “rock hard abs.” I also did some stretching.
For lunch we decided to eat the pizza we ended up not eating the night before. My favorite thing about the hotel (besides the amazing ocean view) is that it has a full kitchen!
It lets us bring our own food for meals and snacks, so we can lessen how much we eat out so that we can save money. While Aubrey heated up the oven and took a shower, I ran down to the hotel’s gym and hopped on an elliptical. It sort of felt like I was punishing myself for eating so much the day before with extra exercise, but at the same time the elliptical was actually fun. Being able to stare at the ocean and people watch while working out felt very peaceful.
After working out I just stared out at the ocean for awhile. I don’t know what it is with me and the ocean, but it is just awesome. I didn't even realize Aubrey had taken a few pictures of my zoning.
While the pizzas were cooking I took my own shower, although I was less than impressed with the toiletries. The last time we came they had this lotion that smelled AMAZING! But this time, it was a different kind that had the weirdest consistency. Oh well, I don’t come to the beach for lotion!
The oven cooked my pizza very strangely; it burned the outside while never quite getting cooked in the middle.
I piled up my favorite veggies for a salad.
And grabbed the ranch dressing I portioned out.
The best part of the entire meal? Duh, the view! I wish I could have this view all the time. It made my usual lunch feel fancy.
If only it had filled me up like it usually does. My stomach continued to react as though I wasn’t eating at all.
We went downstairs and walked to the arcade. So much fun. When we win a bunch of tickets we always give the receipt to a mom with kids. We know that we don’t need any of the random trinkets you can get and the kids usually appreciate it.
We walked throughout the various shops, but we never buy anything. My favorite things to do at the beach are mostly staring at the ocean, reading, and people watching.
I was tired of ignoring my growling stomach and wanted to save my other Kashi bar for the ride home. All I knew about were ice cream shops, candy stores, and places that sell salt water taffy. I knew none of that would help me. But sandwiched between a Greek restaurant and a place serving elephant ears was a cupcake/fro-yo shop. They had low-fat frozen yogurt and a wide variety of fresh toppings.
I decided to get strawberries (yum!) and almonds (healthy fat plus filling protein and fiber).
Aubrey got one with mandarin oranges.
It quenched my sweet cravings although my stomach still felt empty. We decided to go ahead and head home since we wanted to beat traffic. I ate my Kashi bar on the ride and continued to ignore my stomach’s lies of feeling empty.
I then started craving watermelon for some reason. I have no idea what even made me think of it, but it sounded so good. So we stopped by the store and I picked up some watermelon while Aubrey got some pineapple.
We still ended up having a good time, but my stomach has still been very testy these last couple of days. My usual meals and snacks are not keeping me satisfied as they used to, which is quite annoying. I have been eating more nuts and veggies to try and satiate myself.
I wish I knew why it’s acting this way, but at least I have been really good about exercising! I have even burned more calories this week than I have in a LONG time.
This morning I woke up feeling awful though. We babysat our niece and nephew who are sick and they apparently decided to share their sickness. Although mine has come with a HORRIBLE headache as well.
Does your hunger switch ever get turned on and you can't seem to shut it off? What do you do when your stomach just won’t stop with the hunger?
Saturday, March 27, 2010
(When I first started typing up this blog I had NO CLUE how long it was going to get! So I split it into two. Trust me, it would be crazy otherwise!)
I got the week off from work for spring break and I desperately wanted to get far away! So my husband and I decided to take off to the coast. We were gone for barely 24 hours, but in that time I definitely managed to go overboard. So many foods that I only get to eat every great once in awhile, you know, like when we head to the coast!
My main problem was that the day we left I had woken up at 4 am. I could not for the life of me get any sleep! I don’t know if was in anticipation of our trip or what, but when I don’t get enough sleep it is like a dragon is awakened within me. Or shall I say, my stomach. As in, nothing will stop the hunger pangs after a night of no sleep.
Since I woke up extra early, I started out eating a VitaMuffin, hoping the fiber-packed snack would keep me satisfied like it usually does. I then had a hummus wrap with extra veggies and a side of FSTG chips three hours later, but both meals left me feeling as though I hadn’t eaten a single thing.
On the way to the coast I had a bag of Bare Fruit apple chips
and a Kashi bar.
And yet, my stomach still grumbled as though I was starving.
We usually stop by the Tillamook Cheese Factory on the way home from the coast, but instead we decided to go on the way there.
Before we got there I found a couple of packages of peanuts from McDonald’s in the car and devoured them. We took the tour as usual and were excited to finally be there on a weekday to see what else goes on there.
Then we went through the tasting station and I tried about an ounce of cheese total. Including a garlic herb cheese that gave me garlic breath for awhile. Then we got in the longest line known to man (well outside of theme parks) in order to get some Tillamook ice cream.
I got cookies & cream while Aubrey got strawberry cheesecake, although technically I picked both flavors. I love that my husband is willing to eat basically anything, so I can always get a flavor I know I love and one I want to try and he’ll eat whichever one I don’t want. The strawberry cheesecake wasn’t bad necessarily, but it just didn’t taste like much of anything!
When we finally got to the beach it was BEAUTIFUL. The weather was great and it was surprisingly not busy.
We were especially surprised considering it was spring break! There were some teenagers that were making more noise than is necessary after dark, but it wasn’t too bad.
Originally I was really excited to check out the room service menu as I knew I wanted to get the Spanish omelet that I had the last time we were there for breakfast. However, I then discovered they no longer have it! Which made me completely bummed out. We had brought pizzas and salad from home to eat for dinner, but I decided I would rather eat dinner there and just have the pizzas after working out the following morning.
That turned out to be a bad plan when the only dinner option for a vegetarian like me was either onion rings or the spinach artichoke dip appetizer. I chose the dip, because it is FANTASTIC and comes with this yummy salsa and I really thought if I ate it I would finally feel full. We decided to get out of the room and actually go down to the restaurant to eat and of course I completely forgot my camera. But I think you can picture a giant platter of tortilla chips with a bowl of spinach artichoke chip and another bowl of salsa. YUM and so not healthy.
I did start with a garden salad that was so beautiful it really made me bummed I forgot the camera. It had various lettuces (most of which looked like weeds!) tomatoes, and onions. And a slice of sourdough bread, that they gave us butter for that was completely unusable. It was like they had just taken it out of a freezer and there was no way it was going to spread, but hey with what I was about to eat I definitely did not need butter.
Imagine my surprise when I ate the entire salad, bread, and appetizers only to not feel as though I had eaten a thing. Seriously, what is WRONG with my stomach? It totally had me down so we went to the candy shop. Aubrey chose his favorite lemon-covered Twinkie (so gross, don’t listen to him!) and he tried chocolate-covered bacon which he said was completely disgusting.
I got a piece of Snickers fudge after spending entirely too long staring at the vast array of choices. They had at least 15-20 different kinds of amazing looking fudge. But I had decided not to eat it just yet.
Not my best day when it comes to healthy eating! Stay tuned for day two of our trip.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I was reading through the blogs I check in with every morning when I came across this post by Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point www.healthytippingpoint.com/2010/03/
guilt-is-a-drug.html and it really resonated with me.
I definitely have problems with perfectionism. I have a hard time remembering the baby steps and small success. My brain tends to focus on the flaws. I desperately wish this weren’t true and that I could change the way I look at things.
And some things can be changed. As I was talking with my best friend recently, she told me that while things I have learned to be can be changed, the core basis of who I am can not. I can not change the very structure of my being. Some things are just the way they are. Especially people. I can not change anyone else. I can only change myself.
“Guilt” is a drug I use too often. I sometimes feel like if I don’t indulge in it, then I am doing something wrong. If I overeat something and don’t feel guilty about it, then what? Will I just fall completely off the deep end and not care about absolutely anything anymore? Why must I think in such terms of black and white? There is so much gray area and yet my brain can’t seem to comprehend that.
I am still sort of processing this all out, so bear with me as I don’t have the answers. I have plenty of questions and I will be diving more into it when I do my Bible study later. God has a way of opening up my mind.
On a less “heavy thinking” note, I tried these awesome freeze dried snacks Aubrey and I found at Wal-Mart. Freeze dried strawberries, bananas, and apples. Pretty yummy! The packs were only about 45 calories each and the only ingredients are the fruits. Sucking on them turned them back into what tasted like fresh fruit, and just chewing them up gave this awesome sweet flavor. I don’t really get what Goofy or Mickey Mouse have to do with it, but they were good!
Definitely less calories and chemicals than a lovely Kashi bar, but not nearly as filling. So I guess you win some, you lose some.
We found this deal for a night at the beach that we might be doing this week. And one night we’re going to do something fun with our niece and nephew. But otherwise, no big plans for Spring Break. The break from work will be nice to relax and revitalize.
Do you get a “spring break”? Plan to do anything fun?
Update: After I wrote this I read this blog, www.diet-blog.com/archives/2010/03/1
My favorite comment on the blog is “My one piece of advice would be to look in the mirror and say ‘I am not my body.’ The body is like an overcoat that will one day wear out. Look after it so it stays functional for a long time... but in the end gravity will win!” God is certainly trying to tell me something today!
Friday, March 19, 2010
The weather has started to be a bit nicer where I’m at, and I have noticed that a lot of the bloggers I read have been eating some summery meals. One of these is overnight oatmeal. I thought it sounded interesting and wanted to give it a try.
First of all, I don’t like milk, of any kind (cow’s milk, almond, rice, soy, etc.) although I can handle a little bit on my cereal to soften it a bit (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my choice for that) as long as it is mixed with cinnamon. But it gives my oatmeal a funky taste, so I don’t make my oatmeal with milk. And I didn’t want to use yogurt because that is what I eat on the side of my oatmeal. I am pretty much stuck with using water sweetened with cinnamon, stevia, and my fruit of choice.
I kept reading that you shouldn’t add fruit until you are ready to eat it, so I left that out to be added the next day. I wasn’t sure how much water to put because I usually use half as much liquid as oats (because I like them thick and chewy) but I wasn’t sure if that would work for this. To experiment, I did one bowl of 1/2 cup (40 grams) of oats and 1/2 cup of water and then I did another bowl with 1/2 cup (40 grams) of oats with 1/4 cup of water. I added a packet of stevia and half a teaspoon of cinnamon to both bowls.
I made them up right before bed and planned to eat them for lunch the next day after work. When I got home from work I found them looking like this:
The bowl with a 1/2 cup of water was all mushy and a ton of liquid was left over. The bowl with a 1/4 cup of water had shrunk down to about half of its size or about…maybe a few bites of oatmeal? I was super bummed! But then maybe it looked so tiny because I usually have a bunch of fruit in there.
My husband combined both bowls and instead of eating it cold, heated them up in the microwave until they reached a consistency he liked.
I decided to grab another 1/2 cup of oats, stevia, cinnamon, and half a banana. Cooked it all up the microwave and topped it with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
On the side I decided on 3.5 ounces of strawberries and some Chobani greek yogurt.
Speaking of strawberries, you know what is awesome in the summer? Chocolate covered strawberries of course. We have been searching grocery stores for some pea protein (which I am excited to try and will talk about when we actually find it), and we saw some chocolate-covered strawberries at Fred Meyer. I didn’t realize until we got home that the four we bought were HUGE.
They had varying sizes on the plate, but the bakery clerk must have picked the biggest ones for us. Which I guess is nice, but I certainly wasn’t planning on eating THAT much chocolate. Ahh if only it had been white chocolate. My true weakness.
I’m trying to not eat as much ice cream as I used to, which will definitely be hard once summer hits. So tell me, what is your favorite summer treat?
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