daily eats: 9.26.12

What a wonderful day yesterday was – I had the day off in observance of Yom Kippur. Even though I’m not Jewish, the organization that I work for is and I’m fortunate enough to get a few extra days off this fall. It was so nice to have a slower day to catch up on errands, take a mid-morning yoga class and get a mani/pedi ($28!).

Breakfast: Ok, this is CRAZY but I had seen it a few times online and was so intrigued, I needed to try it. “Bulletproof Coffee” is a blended mix of coffee, butter (grass-fed) and coconut oil. You are supposed to use “mold -free” coffee beans, but I used my regular, old coffee beans from Trader Joe’s. Blended together, it creates a frothy latte-like drink. It was wonderful and I want to drink it every day. :) Obviously it is mainly fat, which my body does very well on but I’m not sure if it would be enough substance for normal days. On the weekends when I tend to eat more of a “brunch” meal than breakfast it just might work…

 

Workout: 75 minute yoga class. I initially wasn’t a huge fan of the yoga classes offered at the spinning/yoga studio that I belong to, but I think it might have been because they push me in ways that I’m not used to. I grew accustomed to the classes I used to take and now I’m forced into practicing headstands/handstands (which I don’t love), but know I should be doing. :) That was a really long way to say, I really enjoyed the class and I’ll be making more of an effort to get there on a regular basis.

Lunch: greens + olive oil + smoked trout salad (3 oz smoked trout + mayo + raw sauerkraut) + carrots. I’ve had two cans of smoked trout in the cupboard for months and finally decided to try it out. I’ve always been a little nervous for some reason, but it was a great change from tuna and I’m sure I’ll use that next can soon!

Evening Snack: olives + salami + raw gouda + red wine with a side of computer work and The Real Housewives (favorite guilty pleasure).

 

Dinner: chicken breast + spaghetti squash + green beans. Earlier today I saw a tweet from my local Whole Foods that they were having a 1-day sale on whole chickens for $.99/pound. Since  I’ve been obsessed with cooking whole chickens lately, I stocked up and bought one to freeze and had the butchers cut up the other one for meals for the next few days. I ate about 2/3 of the chicken breast and saved the rest for lunch.

I finished off the evening with 3 dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I. am. addicted.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

daily eats: 6.13.12

On my last daily eats post, I asked if you would rather see a juice fast/cleanse or a day from Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut plan. Making the Cut was the clear winner and is a “30-day diet and fitness plan for the strongest, sexiest you!” It is a book I’ve had for quite some time and I’ve tried a recipe or two, but that was really the extent of it. I thought it would be fun to revisit the book!

The premise is that you take a quiz (At dinner you prefer to eat: a. chicken, b. no preference – choice varies daily, c. heavier, fatty foods – pastas, steak, potatoes) and then you use the answers to determine your “metabolic type.” I am a balanced oxidizer, and so the suggested macro nutrient ratio is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. I would definitely agree that my body does best on a similar way of eating. I’m not, however, really a fan of the “fake” foods she recommends such as low carb yogurt, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and fat-free dairy products.

It is a pretty strict plan and is for those who are moderately fit and don’t need to lose more than 20 pounds. A few of the rules: no alcohol, stick to your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) caloric amount (mine was at 1400), no skipping meals, no processed foods, write everything down in a food journal, etc.

There are of course, also workouts included – lots of strength training and interval cardio work.

Daily Eats: 6.13.12 – Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels

Coffee: coffee + a mix of 1/2 & 1/2 + coconut creamer

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + 1 serving kashi go lean + almond milk

This was a great breakfast and something I need to have more often – it was filling, full of protein and quick! 

Workout: 45 minutes spin

Lunch: artichoke, fennel & tomato salad + a chicken breast (x2 on the salad – I was still hungry)

This lunch was great and the salad was delicious, I’ll definitely be making it again. It would be perfect to take to work. 

Snack: 1 slice sprouted bread + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

This is a filling and satisfying snack! Must add to the rotation. 

Dinner: brisket + garlic green beans + (more) artichoke salad

 

Brisket was not technically one of the dinners listed for my oxidizer type, but beef is permitted so I figured it was ok. 

And…a few pieces of chocolate for dessert. Definitely not Jillian approved but definitely necessary. :)

Thoughts on the Day: The meals were filling, but it did kind of feel like something was missing. My macro nutrient ratio was a little off – 49% fat, 28% carbohydrate and 23% protein. I certainly wouldn’t be able to last 30 days on a plan this strict, especially because I went way over the calorie limit that she suggested but I think it is definitely the way to look your best quick – lots of lean protein, smart carbs and nothing processed.

chicken field salad {trader joe’s inspired}

I’m pretty sure I’ve tried 98% of the items at Trader Joe’s. I mean, it is just too convenient. It is across from the yoga/spinning studio that I belong to. There are three of them within walking distance of our apartment. And they are absolutely everywhere here in Los Angeles.

So I’ve been doing most of my shopping there and trying everything along the way. I’m working on a Best Of Trader Joe’s post, but I’m struggling with how to organize it – there are so many great things! Anyway, one of our favorite salads is the Chopped Field Salad with Chicken – it has flavorful currants, chewy couscous and the sweet basil dressing – oh, that dressing! I set out to recreate the favorite and while I made a few changes, the flavors are very similar. This chicken field salad has all of the “requirements” for an entree salad, so it’s the perfect salad for lunch or dinner –  full of protein, fiber and flavor!

 

Chopped Field Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients (2 large entree salads)

For the Salad

  • 1 cup cooked israeli couscous
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn, toasted in hot pan
  • 8 oz cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp pecans
  • 2 oz cheese (I used feta but parmesan is used in the TJ version)
  • 8 cups mixed greens

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 small shallot
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

For the Salad

Toss together couscous, pepper, corn, chicken, cheese, currants, green onions and pecans.

Top greens with couscous mixture.

Drizzle with sweet basil dressing.

For the Dressing

Combine all ingredients in blender or small food processor.

Blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust flavors if desired.

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simple & healthy: stir-fry

Stir-frys are always a great choice for simple and healthy meals that come together in minutes.

In fact, usually the rice takes longer to make than the stir-fry itself. If you are short on time, consider trying frozen brown rice or instant brown rice. (You can also make your own brown rice in large batches and then freeze for later use).

Then gather up all of the vegetables you have, along with some protein and have a flavorful dinner on the table in minutes!

(Beef & Basil Stir-Fry from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

Stir-Fry Tips and Steps: 

  1. Prepare rice, grain or pasta if using
  2. Prepare all ingredients (slice, chop, etc) so they are all ready to go
  3. Heat pan and oil in pan (you can flavor oil with garlic and ginger)
  4. Add ingredients by length of cooking time, adding ingredients that take longest first*
  5. Add sauce (can be as simple as a splash of soy, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, etc.)
  6. Serve immediately

*If your stir-fry includes meat or seafood, consider cooking the meat, removing from pan and then cooking the vegetables so you don’t over cook your meat

Stir-Fry Recipes to Try:

Shrimp & Snow Pea Stir-Fry 

Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil & Feta

Chicken & Leek Stir-Fry

Spicy Asparagus-Tempeh Stir-Fry

Brown Rise Stir-Fry with Kimchi, Pork & Tofu

Grace Young’s Best Stir-Fry Tips