add this: nuts

(source)

I have to admit something.

I don’t always love nuts.

But then I remember that they are kind of a perfect snack, and can be pretty darn delicious from time to time. Everyone likes peanut butter, right?  I just recently came around to raw almond butter, and now I slather it on toast, celery and apples on a regular basis. I would never turn down pine nuts in pesto either. :)

If you are aren’t yet a fan, try adding some nuts in at snack time or nut butters for breakfast or lunch. Here’s the what, why and how…

What:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • (peanuts are technically a legume but are usually fall into the nut category)

Why:

  • contain fat, protein and fiber
  • full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • can help reduce the risk of diabetes
  • nutrient dense: full of vitamin E, folic acid, niacin, copper, magnesium

How:

  • Raw Nuts are best and then roast at home so they don’t go rancid
  • Add some flavor to roasted nuts (like curried or herbed nuts)
  • As a snack, on salads, or part of trail mix
  • Nut Butter – look for natural varieties – the only ingredients should be nuts and/or salt.
  • Watch portions! Nuts, although good for you, are very calorie-dense. A serving is one ounce.
  • Recipes to Try: Almond-Honey Power Bar, Nut Recipes on Foodily, Nut Recipes on Gojee

Do you have a favorite nut or way to eat them?

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.

warm bacon & mushroom vinaigrette

Yesterday we celebrated our first LA Pride weekend in West Hollywood.

This means a few things:

  1. Don’t expect to drive out of West Hollywood – it isn’t going to happen
  2. It won’t be a quiet weekend
  3. Mimosas alongside a delicious brunch are absolutely necessary pre-parade
This recipe wasn’t even really intended to be a brunch recipe, but the idea of topping the warm bacon and mushroom vinaigrette salad with a fried egg sounded too good to pass up. It was turned into brunch and eaten alongside some sparkling mimosas and a healthy dose of rainbows, pride and fit men in nothing but briefs.

Sometimes, even lettuce gets away with wearing very little. :)

When the vinaigrette includes both bacon and mushrooms, you know it is going to be extra flavorful and you don’t even need  ingredients else where. Spinach is a natural companion to warm dressings as it wilts a bit, and I would highly suggest trying it with a poached or fried egg.

 

Warm Bacon & Mushroom Vinaigrette

by Inspired by Bon Appetit

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 4 oz bacon, sliced (about 2-4 slices)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp oil (grapeseed, canola, etc)
  • pepper
  • 6 oz fresh spinach
  • 2-4 fried or poached eggs if desired

Instructions

Heat pan over medium high heat.

Add bacon to pan and cook until crispy.

Add shallot and mushrooms to pan, stirring until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Add red wine vinegar and water. Simmer until liquid reduces, about 2-4 minutes.

Stir in dijon and oil and serve over spinach or other greens.

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