My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Saturday Good Eats!

As usual, my day started with a run. 3 miles in 30 minutes and 33 seconds.  I’m getting faster!  I had some additional motivation to move it this morning.  I was going to a scrapbook crop with my sister and told her I would pick her up at 9:15am.  At 8:48, I still had a little left to run, so kicked it up to 7mph and booted it for my last half mile.  I’m not gonna lie and say it was easy…it wasn’t…but it felt good to push myself.  Hopefully I still have some of that drive tomorrow when I have to do 6 miles.

I had a nice day scrapping, but really didn’t get too much done.  I had a hard time getting started and the page layouts just weren’t flowing. I also had to leave for a bit in the middle of the crop to go watch my son’s hockey game (more on that later).  One nice part of the crop was lunch!  It was a potluck, so everyone brought a dish. I took my Eat Clean Party Quinoa Salad, which everyone seemed to enjoy.  There was also a yummy spinach salad, veggies and dip, crackers and cheese, deli meat, nice fresh bread, and I think there were chicken wings, but they were all gone when I got back from the hockey game.  I tried to stick to my Eat Clean routine, so I had some of my salad, a bit of spinach salad, a slice of turkey, and a slice of havarti.  There were also a few dessert items: Skinny Coconut Cupcakes, carrot cake, and fruit with chocolate dip.  The cupcakes were made by my sister, who is also Eating Clean, so they fit into the diet!  The chocolate mini eggs that decorated the top of each cupcake were not part of Eat Clean, but I ate them anyways! The carrot cake was not clean, but I allowed myself the smallest sliver since I love carrot cake. I finished off my meal with a few blackberries and strawberries. All total, according to My Fitness Pal, lunch was 784 calories!  Oh well, I enjoyed every bite!

As I mentioned, I had to leave the crop to go watch my son play hockey. It was his final game of the season, as part of Championship Weekend for the local hockey association.  He was playing in the Consolation Championship, so I couldn’t miss it!  It was a great game.  The team played well, and kept digging through to the final buzzer. Nick got an assist on the second goal and they won 4-1!  It’s a bit of a fuzzy picture, but here he is with the trophy.  Congrats kiddo!  Well done.

Image

Normally, after a day of scrapping, we go out for dinner. But since I’m trying to watch what I eat, and since Thursday’s Benihana meal was so expensive, we stayed in and I cooked another yummy Clean Eating recipe.  Tonight’s recipe of choice was Moroccan-Style Stuffed Squash from the March 2012 issue.  This was a very simple recipe:

  • bake the squash
  • saute some onion, celery and carrots
  • add 1 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup couscous,1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/2 cup chick peas
  • season with cumin, Za’atar (I used corriander), S&P
  • Cover and cook for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed by the couscous
  • when ready, fluff with a fork and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley
  • Scoop into the baked squash and enjoy!

The recipe also called for 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins, but I absolutely HATE raisins, so I left them out.

Image

This was another hit recipe…even with the kids.  I am actually a bit surprised that every recipe I have tried has been so good.  I was worried that things would lack flavour since they were so “healthy”, but this has not been the case at all.  Everything is so tasty, with lots of great flavours, textures, and interesting new ingredients.  Tomorrow I will have to go through my magazines and cookbooks and find our menu for next week. Can’t wait!

Have you got any great Clean recipes you can share?  I’d love to try them out.

Leave a comment »

It’s Finally Friday!

Wow!  What a week.  It seems that this is the norm these days.  Each week seems to be crazier than the last.  At some point it has to slow down, right?

Once again, the best part of today is that it is a REST DAY!!!  Yes, I am enjoying the running, and it’s getting easier, but I so love my rest days.  I love going to bed the night before a rest day and knowing I don’t have to get up early…it’s the best!  I know, it’s sad really that an extra 45 minutes of sleep means that much to me, but it does!  I don’t want to rush through the weekend, but I’m already looking forward to my next rest day on Monday 🙂

This weekend’s run schedule calls for 3 miles plus cross training on Saturday and a 6 mile Easy/Long Run on Sunday.  I’m not too worried about the 3 miles run, but the 6 miles will likely test me.  6 miles is just about half of the distance of the half marathon, so I’m curious to see how long it takes me.  It’s early in my training still (week 4 of 12), but I know in my mind I will be taking this time, doubling it and thinking that’s roughly how long it will take me to run the half.  Hopefully I continue to improve over the next 8 weeks, build more stamina, and hopefully lose a few more pounds so there is less of me to carry when I’m running.

I’m quite pleased with my training so far.  Of the 20 runs that I will be scheduled to have run by the end of Sunday, I will have run 19 of them!  The only run I’ve missed is one while on my ski vacation when I gave myself a midweek day off since my legs were doing double duty with skiing/snowboarding all day.  The one part of the training that I have not been doing as well on are the cross training days.  I’ve been playing hockey once a week so far and sort of counting that as my cross training, but hockey is now over for the season and there are a few weeks left before ball hockey starts and I can count that as my cross training.  I’m not too sure what to do in the meantime.  It is supposed to be some other form of low impact cardio…maybe I will try to get to hot yoga once a week.  I know the stretching and the heat would be great for my legs…I am the worst post-run stretcher EVER.  I basically don’t do any.  I know how bad it is for me, and my massage therapists asks every visit if I’m stretching properly, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the time doing it.  When I am done my run all I want to do – and have time to do – is hit the showers, get dressed, and get out the door for work. I will try to work on it, but I’m not making any promises!

Tomorrow I am going to spend the day scrapbooking.  I am going with my sister to our Creative Memories consultant’s house for a full day crop.  I am really looking forward to it.  One of my goals is to scrapbook more.  I am so far behind that I’m afraid I will never get caught up.  Full day events are a great opportunity to get a lot accomplished.  I’m away from all the distractions of home, with nothing to focus on by my pictures and completing lots of pages.  Of course, with 12 other women, there will be lots of talk and laughter to help the day fly by.  It’s a Pot Luck crop, so everyone is bringing a dish to share with the group.  I’m looking forward to the variety and trying new dishes, but I”m also worried about sticking to my eating routine and not eating anything too bad for me.  To be sure that I’ve got at least one Eat Clean option, I have made a “Quinoa Party Salad” to take.  As the name suggests, it obviously has quinoa in it.  This is the first time that I have used quinoa.  It was actually quite easy to make.  Measure, rinse, boil, simmer until water is absorbed, allow to cool.  Easy!  The rest of the recipe called for black beans, red pepper, orange pepper, fresh cilantro, corn kernels, and S&P.  All of these get mixed together (use a big bowl…quinoa really expands when it cooks!), and tossed with a simple dressing of 1/4 cup olive oil,  the juice of 1 lime, cumin and red pepper flakes.  For the huge amount of  salad that results from all of these ingredients, these is very little dressing for it.  It makes the salad very fresh and light.  To be sure it was Pot Luck worthy, and because Friday is Pizza night and I’m not doing pizza these days (although I did steal a bite…it was so good), I had a bowl for dinner tonight.  It was quite good.  Hopefully everyone at the pot luck will like it too.

Quinoa Party Salad. Recipe from Clean Eating Magazine, November/December 2011

Tomorrow there is one little hiccup in my plan for a full day of uninterrupted scrap time.  It is Championship Weekend for the local hockey league, and my older son’s team has qualified.  He plays his final game of the season for the Consolation Championship tomorrow at 12:20pm.  Which means I’m going to leave my crop, head to the rink, watch him win (fingers crossed), and then head back and scrap for the rest of the afternoon.  Despite probably having a 2 hour break in the middle of my day, I’m hoping I still get lots done.  Regardless, I know I will have a great time hanging out with my sister for the day.

I hope you all have a great weekend and get to sneak a little “me time” in there somewhere.

3 Comments »

Another Late Thursday

Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind for me and I didn’t get to write a proper post, so I’ll devote some time  to that here, and then hopefully write another one about today.

My Thursday started early, with a 3 mile run.  I hate to say it, for fear of jinxing myself, but I think I am starting to get better at running. I am able to go the whole 3 miles without really stopping – the odd hop onto the sides to get a drink and then right back on, and although I am starting fairly slow, I’m gradually working up to 6.5 mph at the end of the run.  That is super fast for me and my very short legs!

My kids are HUGE MythBusters fans. I’m sure they have seen every episode at least 3 times.  My PVR was always full of MythBusters shows.  We finally made a rule that if they wanted to record shows, they had to do it on their computer since they were filling our PVR leaving us no room to record shows we wanted to watch.  The MythBusters were in Toronto last night, doing a “Behind the Scenes” Tour.  Knowing how much the kids like them, we got tickets to the show and headed into the big city for a fun family night.

The show was at 8pm, but we went down early so we could go for dinner beforehand.  For a treat for the kids, we went to Benihana. For those of you who don’t know, Benihana is a Japanese teppanyaki-style restaurant, located in the Royal York Hotel, in downtown Toronto.  Food is cooked on a Hibachi table, and you sit around the grill and the chef cooks your meal right in front of you.  Our chef for the night was Mark:

Image

Mark was great. He was very friendly and chatty and could juggle salt and pepper shakers like nobody’s business!  The chefs always put on a bit of a show, demonstrating their amazing knife skills and like to do tricks with the food.  Mark made an onion volcano for us:

Image

There was more food than we probably needed, but it was so good.  The meal started off with a broth based onion soup, then fried rice (which we upgraded to, more on that in a minute!), onion and zucchini, mushrooms and then our choice of meat (2 of us had chicken, 2 of us had steak):

Image

It was all so tasty and we had a great time.

Image

But it wasn’t cheap…that upgrade from white rice to fried rice was $36!  Holy cow!  It was just 4 eggs, a few veggies and some soy sauce!  At least the kid’s meals were relatively cheap.  Oh well, we don’t go that often…good thing!

Image

After dinner we took some time to walk through the lobby of the Royal York.  It is a pretty impressive hotel and it was the first time the kids had been there, so they found lots of interesting things to check out. Then we were off to MythBusters.

It was a short walk to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. It was a packed house and we were in the last row of the balcony….way up there!  Those in the lower level had waivers on their seats that made them eligible to go up on stage and help with some of the experiments.  Despite being pretty far away, we still were able to see everything pretty well.  Jamie and Adam were quite funny, did some neat tricks, answered audience questions, showed some cool videos, and put on a pretty good show. The kids really enjoyed the show.

Image

The theatre was down on Front Street and when we walked back to the garage where the car was parked, we had a great view of the CN Tower.  Although it’s not the tallest building in the world anymore, it is still a pretty impressive piece of architecture, and it looks great all lit up at night.

Image

All in all, our Thursday was a huge success.

Leave a comment »

What a day!

This post is going to be short and sweet. It is 11:40pm and I am heading to bed in a few minutes.

Today was a very busy day:
– 3 mile run before work
– crazy, but productive day at the office
– Benihana dinner with the family
– MythBusters Behind The Scenes show

Just got home a few minutes ago and I am beat. I will fill you in in the details in tomorrow’s post.

All in all a very busy, but pretty fun day.

So excited tomorrow is a Rest Day!! Just another reason to love Fridays!

Night, night!

Leave a comment »

I’m Starving!

Today got off to an early start when my alarm went off at 6am.  I set it to buzzer mode this time, and I definitely heard it.  It woke me out of a deep, sound sleep.  I was not impressed when I realized I could have slept in a bit since I was going to work from home today, which meant I didn’t need to be out the door by 7:20.  I stayed in bed for a bit, not sleeping, but enjoying some rest time.  Once everyone was out the door, off to school and work, I headed downstairs to get my 3 miles in before starting the rest of my day.

I watched the rest of Water for Elephants and the run flew by quickly.  Before I knew it my 3 miles was done and all I had left to do was my core session. Today’s core workout included 45 second plank hold, 25 double crunches, and another 30 second plank hold, completing the circuit twice.  My god!  This killed my abs.  What a workout!  

My run made me super hungry, but I was a bit behind schedule, so took the easy way out and had a whole wheat bagel with almond butter instead of my usual oatmeal.  It had been quite a while since I’ve had a bagel.  It was good!  When I entered breakfast into My Fitness Pal I was happy to see that the calorie count actually wasn’t too bad – 380 calories total. What surprised me was how many calories and fat the almond butter was.  It was equal to the calories of the bagel and much higher in fat!  Oh well, I figured I burned enough calories running to not do too much damage.

By lunch time I was starved again, but didn’t get to eat right away.  My housekeeper was here today and I didn’t want to go into the kitchen and get in her way, so I waited for lunch until she left, which was at 2:30 or so. I was starved again!  I didn’t have any leftovers to eat, but I did have some baby bok choy in the fridge, so sauteed that up in some olive oil with some garlic and then added some Spicy Thai Chili sauce at the end.  This was delicious and a mere 138 calories!

Image

It seems all I do now is think of food. Less than an hour after my bok choy I was already thinking about dinner!  I was planning to make another Eat Clean meal, I just had to decide which one….Moroccan Stuffed Squash or Broccoli and White Bean Mac n Cheese.  In the end the Mac n Cheese won out as it seemed like it would be the quicker of the two to make.  There were quite a few ingredients to the dish, but I’ve found that if I get everything chopped, measured out, and organized into bowls, it really helps make the actual cooking go quite smoothly.  Ingredients for the Mac N Cheese included:  skim milk, fat free evaporated milk, sharp cheddar cheese, grated Romano cheese (I just used grated parmesan), broccoli, red pepper, garlic, nutmeg, paprika, white beans, whole wheat flour, and whole wheat elbow macaroni.  I feel so “food networky” when I do this!  

Image

Prep was simple, with 2 basic parts.  First, the cheese sauce:  mix the flour and part of the milk together, add the rest of the milk, the evaporated milk, garlic and nutmeg into a sauce pan.  Once it boils, add the milk/flour mixture to it stir to get rid of any lumps.  Then add in the cheddar and some of the Romano until melted. Cover and keep just warm until the pasta part is ready. Part 2:  the pasta.  Cook pasta and broccoli for 6 minute, add in the chopped pepper and cook a couple minutes more.  Drain and add back to the pot. Stir in the beans and the cheese mixture, and heat through.  A serving is 1.5 cups and has 379 calories.

Image

This was another hit with the family and there are leftovers to boot!  There’s lunch at work for tomorrow and Friday!  

And now, despite just eating a yummy bowl of pasta, I feel hungry again!  What is with that? I think my mind is playing tricks on me. I can’t possibly be hungry.  Has this ever happened to you?  It makes no sense to me!

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, everyone.  See you tomorrow!

1 Comment »

Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning

So, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I played the final game of my hockey league last night.  It was a fierce battle for last place.  It turns out it was quite a fun game, we played well, and in the end we won 5-0.  As a teammate’s son so eloquently put it…we are the Toilet Bowl Champs!  The one downside of the game was the fact that towards the end of the third period I got rocked when an opposing player and I crashed head on.  We collided pretty hard and then I went down flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me.  Turns out I was fine, but I was a bit worried about how I was going to feel this morning and whether I would be able to run before work.

I set my alarm and slept like a rock, waking up a little before my alarm was to go off.  I didn’t feel too bad, so figured I would get a couple more minutes of sleep and then when my alarm went off, get up and go downstairs to run.  Turns out my alarm didn’t go off, or if it did, the music was too low and I didn’t hear it.  Next thing I know it’s 6:45 and I have missed my chance to run before work…bummer!

Hubby is at the Leafs game tonight, which means it’s just me and the boys for dinner.  They wanted grilled cheese – totally not clean eating – but it was quick and easy and they’ve been eating clean along with me, so it was a bit of a treat for them.  I would have something else after my run.

I hit the treadmill, ready to watch some more of Water for Elephants (it’s a long movie…I’m hoping to finish it this week!) and actually had a pretty good run.  2.5 miles went by quickly and rather painlessly. Maybe I’m actually getting better!  I don’t want to jinx anything by saying that, but hopefully it’s true.  While I was running, I had a little friend to keep me company:

My run cheering section: Ovie! He sits on the weight machine every time I run!

Today was not a very exciting food day.  Oatmeal with flax seed and honey for breakfast, leftover Mango Mojito Chicken for lunch (just as good the second day), and after I got the kids to bed, dinner was popcorn.  Not the greatest dinner, I know, but I did pop it in coconut oil.  I’ve never done that before, but it turned out just fine.  I put a couple of very small spoonfuls of coconut oil into the popper, waited for it to melt, and then added the popcorn.  It smelled quite nice while it was popping and the popcorn has a hint of coconut flavour to it.  It’s really good!  Still probably not the healthiest meal ever,  but so good!

Tomorrow’s schedule calls for 3 miles plus core.  I took a peek at the core workout and there is a lot of plank hold in there…ugh…it’s gonna be great!

By the way…I think popcorn popped in coconut oil might be my new favourite snack…this stuff is AWESOME!

See you tomorrow!

1 Comment »

Just Another Manic Monday!

I wish it was Sunday, but today is my “I don’t have to run day!”  I have a love/hate relationship with Monday.  It is the end of the weekend and back to work and the usual chaos of my life (the hate part), but it is also a rest day in my training, so I get to sleep in a bit and don’t have to run (the love part).

Overall today was a good day.  Work was good and I got quite a few things crossed off my “To Do” list.  I went out for lunch with a friend from work and we had a  yummy Chinese lunch of soup balls, dumplings, and green beans, which actually didn’t kill me on the calorie count.  According to my “My Fitness Pal” app, which had everything we ate in its database, lunch added up to just under 500 calories.  Not bad for a restaurant lunch all things considered.

For dinner, it was my son’s request to have Clean Eating Magazine’s Mango Mojito Chicken for dinner.  It was very easy to make and was full of tasty ingredients:  chicken breast, mango, green pepper, scallions, chicken broth, mint, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, S&P, and brown rice. Image

The recipe was basically to brown the chicken breast, then add everything except the rice in and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.  After the chicken is fully cooked, add in 2 cups of cooked rice, stir, and let it simmer for a couple more minutes.

Image

A serving is 1 cup of the rice/mango mixture and 1 chicken breast, for a total of 340 calories worth of deliciousness! This was another hit recipe and will definitely go into the Clean Eating rotation.  My oldest even asked for seconds, so you know it’s good when that happens.

Image

Tonight I am playing my last hockey game of the season.  Our team was not very good this year, so we are in a battle with the other not very good team in the league for last place!  It should be a fun game, with everyone coming out since it is our last game, but the bad part is game time…10pm. This means tonight will be a late night, which is going to make getting up to run tomorrow morning a bit tough. Good thing tomorrow’s run is only a short 2.5 miles.  Hopefully my run mojo will be with me and I will be able to run the whole thing without stopping.  That’s my goal at least.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

As I’m writing this, my husband just got a call to go watch another team battle for last place tomorrow…the Leafs.  Here is another funny Leafs joke going around.

Image

Some days it’s hard to be a Leafs fan.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, everyone. I’m off to the rink!

Leave a comment »

It’s Time for Pie!

It’s Sunday and supposed to be a day or rest, yet that never seems to be the case for me!  Today’s training called for 5 miles. I was debating whether to run outside or do another treadmill run in the basement.  I thought about heading outside, but in the end, the treadmill won.  It just seemed easier to go downstairs rather than dress for running outside, find my Garmin, and deal with the hills.  So, I grabbed my iPad and headed downstairs.  I figured 5 miles was going to take me around an hour, so had to decide what to watch.  In the end I chose the movie Water for Elephants, with Reese Witherspoon and my vampire hottie, Robert Pattinson.  I hadn’t seen the movie before, so I was looking forward to watching as I ran.

The first couple of miles were great.  I was in a groove, running steady and not feeling too bad, and enjoying the movie.  I hadn’t decided what kind of run I was going to do…run straight and then take breaks when needed, or go with a 10/1 run/rest program.  If I were outside, I likely would have done the 10 & 1’s, but since I was on the treadmill and things seemed to be going well, I just kept running until I felt I needed a rest.  It turned out, I ran the first 2.25 miles straight and then walked for a couple of minutes.  After that I wasn’t able to get back into my groove and had to walk a few more times than I would have liked, and once again I didn’t break any land speed records, but I finished..and burned about 575 calories along the way…which is definitely enough to cover a piece of Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie!

So, if you’ve been following along, you know I have jumped on the Eat Clean bandwagon and so far I am really liking it.  I didn’t do any clean cooking today, but I’ve got recipes lined up for the rest of the week and I’m looking forward to trying them out.  I think tomorrow will be the Mango Mojito Chicken…my oldest has requested it!

While I didn’t cook clean today, I did do a bit of clean eating.  We finally at the pie!  It had been in the freezer overnight and we were going to my sister’s around the corner for dinner so I brought it over for everyone to try.  That sucker was frozen solid!  I would recommend taking it out a few hours before you plan to eat it.  Mine was out for a little over an hour and it was still mighty tough to slice… but it looked pretty darn good!

Image

Overall, I’d say the pie was pretty good.  The clean crust was a bit different than a usual light flaky pie crust, being a bit more dense than I was expecting, but I got used to it.  The filling was very banana-y (if that’s a word!) and really good.  I think if the pie had been a bit more thawed it would have been better and maybe the chocolate flavour could have come out a bit more.  Next time I will definitely try to have it finished earlier in the day so it doesn’t have to be in the freezer the whole night.

Today marks the end of week 3 of my 12 week Couch to Half Marathon training program.  I made all 5 runs this week, ate healthy, and feel that when the next 9 weeks are over, I will be ready to run 13.1 miles.  I’ve trained for big runs in the past and have always seemed to peak before the race actually gets here.  Part of the reason the Couch to Half program appeals to me so much is because it is a relatively short program that I think will have me peaking at race day and not before.  My goal for the race is to finish in under 2:30.  My fastest half to date is 2:36, so I think it’s doable.

I figure there are basically 3 parts to my overall race prep:

  1. Training:  The Couch to Half app will ensure I’m reading with the training, so assuming I continue to do all the runs as programmed, I will be ready.
  2. Fuel:  Eating Clean will ensure my body is well nourished and not full of crap, and hopefully a few pounds lighter by the time race day gets here.  I’m down 6.6 pounds so far, so that’s a start!
  3. Mindset:  This is the final piece that I need to start working on.  In a way, I’m still not convinced that I am a runner.  I need to change this, as lately I’m hearing a lot about how the mental attitude plays a big part in our successes.  The Couch to Half app deals with this a bit.  Each week there are inspirational quotes to help put you in the right mindset and there is also an additional list of “Positive Thoughts” to give an additional mental boost when you need it.

I think I’m moving in the right direction with parts 1 and 2.  Point 3 will now become part of the overall training program. By the end of the training program, I’m hoping that my mind will believe that I am indeed a runner and on May 27th I will finished 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes!

One of the inspirational quotes from week 1 of the program kind of sums it all up:
“If you run, you are a runner.  It doesn’t matter how fast or how far.  It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you have been running for twenty years.  There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get.  You just run”  – John Bingham.

So, according to that…I AM a runner!

Leave a comment »

Running, Hockey and Pie!

Today started with a 3 mile run. I was a bit disappointed…my run mojo was not with me this morning as it had been earlier in the week.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as my Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday runs.  Hopefully it is just a blip in the road and tomorrow’s 5 miles will go smoothly.  I’m wondering if I should run outside tomorrow. So far, all of my runs except two while on vacation, have been on the treadmill.  I’ve got a route that I could do that gets me the 5 miles, but it’s not all that flat, which makes it less than appealing.  I think it will be a run time decision.  I will see what the weather is and what time I actually get to run.  Since both kids won their games today, they are both in championship weekend for their hockey and now have practices tomorrow, so we’ll see how all that plays out and impacts the time I get to run.

After hockey today, it was once again time to pick out a few recipes and then hit the grocery store to stock up for the week.  This week was a little cheaper than last, but still walked out with $250 less in my bank account!  So, while eating clean may be very good for you and sure tastes good, it is not cheap!

This weeks menu includes:  Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Mango Mojito Chicken, Moroccan Stuffed Squash, and Broccoli & White Bean Mac ‘n’ Cheese.  All of these recipes come from Clean Eating magazine.  Now that I’ve actually taken the step towards eating clean, these magazines are proving to be very valuable.  Before I would just flip through and basically look at the pictures.  Now I am scouring every recipe looking for new and interesting ingredients and trying to find recipes that just sound too delicious not to try.

Today’s big recipe was the Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie (see yesterday’s blog for the picture that inspired me to try it ).  First thing that needed to be done for the pie was to make an Eat Clean pie crust.  I am not a baker – at all!  This might be the first pie crust that I have ever made from scratch.  It was actually rather easy.  The recipe is (from Clean Eating magazine):

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp Sucanat
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Preheat over to 375 F
  • need a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie dish

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together in a spouted measuring cup. Then pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and with a wooden spoon gently toss all ingredients together to combine thoroughly.  Squeeze dough together into a mound and then pat down to a 1/2 inch thick disk.  Put disk onto a well floured surface and roll out until dough in about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer to pie plate, press dough into edges of the dish and up the sides.  Fold excess over and pinch sides.  Poke with a fork to create steam holes and then bake for 20 minutes until edges and bottom are golden.  Allow to cool completely before using.

The filling was also easy.  Throw all of the following into a blender and blend until smooth, with the consistency of cake batter.

  • 5 small, ripe bananas, peeled and broken into chunks
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Once the pie crust has cooled, pour the filling into it and top with 1 oz grated dark chocolate and 2 tbsp chopped dry roasted peanuts.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Finished pie...can't wait to try it!

After 4 hours my pie was still not set enough to eat.  We will have to wait until tomorrow to try it.  I will let you know how it tastes!

Dinner tonight was a clean Buffalo Chicken Salad. This was very easy to make.  Spray 1 lb of chicken breasts with cooking spray and season with salt, paprika and chili powder.  Grill until fully cooked and then remove from heat and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes, and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Meanwhile, prepare dressing:  into a blender add:  1/2 sweet onion chopped, 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 5 tbsp low-fat buttermilk, and 1- 1 1/2 tbsp hot sauce.  Puree.  The veggie portion of the salad included:  1 head romaine, 1 head red leaf lettuce, 1 yellow pepper (thinly sliced), 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 cup peeled and shredded carrots.  Divide lettuce among 4 plates (this actually fed 4 adults and 2 kids tonight), top with pepper, carrot, tomatoes and chicken.  Serve yogurt dressing on the side, or drizzle evenly over each plate.  Sprinkle with blue cheese if desired (I tried it to stick to the recipe, but I think next time I would skip it.  I really don’t like blue cheese!).

Clean Eating compared this Clean version to a Chili’s Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad.  The clean version was over 900 calories lighter than the Chili’s salad:  258 calories for the Clean salad vs 1,170 for the Chili’s salad.  There was a huge reduction in the amount of fat as well:  72g for Chili’s and only 6g of fat for this clean salad.  This made me realize that choosing a salad at a restaurant may not always be the best thing to do.  I would have never guessed that a salad would be nearly 1200 calories.

Overall, the salad was really good and the dressing was quite tasty.  Definitely another recipe to repeat.

So, it is now 11:40 pm…late.  Since I started writing this post, we’ve gotten calls and emails and now know the kids’ hockey is at 10:15 and 10:30 tomorrow morning. Not sure if I will get up early enough to get my 5 mile run in before we have to head to the arena.  The thought of getting up at 7:30 to run for an hour does not sound too good to me right now…I need more sleep than that!  I think I will aim to run after hockey practices are done.  Still need to figure out if I’m going to hit the treadmill or venture outside.  I think I will sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow!

I’ll let you know what I decide and how it goes tomorrow.  Good night everyone!

 

 

 

1 Comment »

Hello Weekend!

It’s Friday!  My absolute most favourite day of the week.  Not only is the work week done, and 2 days off are on the way, it is a rest day in my training program!  I still think that is some of the best scheduling ever!

I spent a good part of this afternoon going through all my back issues of Clean Eating magazine, looking for recipes to continue building my Eat Clean recipe library.  I found 35 recipes that I would like to try!  I want to try quinoa and I found 2 recipes that look so good:  Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers and Quinoa Party Salad. I think I’m going to try to make the salad for a Pot Luck I’m going to next weekend.

Some of the other fantastic recipes included:

  • a few different types of Quesadillas – one with kimchi in them if you can believe that!
  • Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells – surprised that type of dish can be made Clean
  • Samosas
  • Kung Pao Chicken
  • Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
  • Oven-Fried Squash Spears
  • Chocolate Banana Freezer Pie – seriously..how can something that looks this good be Clean?

Image

I think I’m going to have to try this one this weekend!

I don’t have too much planned for the weekend. Final hockey games with the kids to see if they make it to Championship Weekend in their respective divisions. My youngest is in for sure, the oldest needs to win his game tomorrow to ensure his team is in…if they lose they still have a chance, but it will depend on what other teams do, which is never a good spot to be in.

Speaking of hockey playoffs, my Toronto Maple Leafs have once again failed to make the playoffs.  Here’s the latest Leafs joke going around: “Leafs Playoff Strategy”

Image

This weekend’s training is 3 miles + Cross Training on Saturday and a 5 mile “long run” on Sunday. I’m hoping that my string of good runs continues, especially for the Sunday longer run.  I will let you know how it goes.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday!

3 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: