Monday, September 12, 2011

I've Moved!!

Hi everyone! I've moved to a new host so that my blog can grow. Visit me at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Happy Humpday! (I realize it's almost Thursday but I began this post this morning).I really wish my posts weren't so random and sporadic. I haven't had the greatest time management lately and I've also been having camera issues. Hopefully soon I can return to posting my daily meals on a regular basis! This morning I met with my trainer at 8 for a leg-focused workout. Monday was arm-focused so today was my lower body's turn to work for an hour. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I'm sure I'll be feeling my legs later! It's been 8 weeks since I started training with him and I have noticed such a huge difference in my strength. Before I left I had a few extra minutes so I sipped on half a cup of coffee and a slice of Veganomicon's Lower-fat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. I made this fantastic loaf yesterday and I couldn't wait to try it. I added way more mini chips than I needed, but it's okay because you can never have too much chocolate!

My post-workout breakfast was a protein packed Blueberry Peach Banana smoothie. I have been addicted to these lately. When I make these as a meal, as opposed to a snack,  I use a cup of 1% milk, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen peaches, and 1 scoop of Kashi Go Lean! vanilla protein powder. Sometimes I'll add ice to give it more volume. The combo of the milk + protein seems to fill me up for hours. Today however, I was hungry within 2 hours. 

For lunch I made one of my favorite fun dishes- Quinoa & Bean Pilaf. I like to mix it up, so each time I make it is new. Last night I used Inca Red Quinoa, which I cooked in vegetable stock. To the cooked quinoa I added a chopped yellow bell pepper, half a zucchini, scallions, tomatoes, cannelli beans, cashews, and feta cheese. I tossed the colorful salad with Seeds of Change Organic Greek Feta dressing. I had this for dinner last night, but it was even better today. 

Work was pretty steady all day so it went by fast. After Friday, I'll only have 1 week left there. It's bittersweet but I can't wait to begin my new job!! I tried a new bar this afternoon, a Fiber One Oats & Apple Streusel

I've had the oats & chocolate flavor before, but I was excited to try this one. This flavor was fine but I like the chocolate better. Overall I still prefer <3>

I have been starving all day for some reason. My meals have not satisfied me today! I got started on dinner pretty early. I chose to make Mango Jalapeno Shrimp from the current issues of Everyday with Rachel Ray. It came out great as a light and refreshing summer night dinner. I had mine taco style with 2 corn tortillas and a little avocado. Yum-o!

Since I had dinner pretty early I'll probably need a snack or dessert later on!


Monday, July 21, 2008

My, my, how can I resist you?

My head has been filled with ABBA lyrics for the last 36 hours. Why? Well, I saw Mamma Mia! (the movie) this weekend with some girlfriends and we loved it. It's a fun, silly movie that had us dancing and singing our way out of the theater. The funny thing is I've never been a huge ABBA fan, but now I am ;) 

Yesterday was a long day. I got up at 5:30 and didn't go to bed until 12:30. We took a road trip to Madison, WI for my cousin's baptism. The drive is about 3.5-4 hours each way so I am sick of sitting! My legs need a big stretch. But it was fun seeing family and celebrating little Daniel Alexander's baptism. And the food was amazing. My aunt is an amazing cook! She made delicious Mexican dishes and I wish I would have taken pictures of the food. I had 3 corn tortillas stuffed with different things. One with shredded chicken in a tomato salsa broth, 1 potato-chorizo, and a rajas one. Rajas is a mixure of poblano peppers, corn, zucchini, mexican sour cream, and cheese. It so delicious and definitely my favorite dish at the table. I also had black beans and rice. 

Daniel Alexander

Cousin Aly, Sister Renata, Cousin Bianca, and Me

I slept in today to recover from the lack of sleep. I panicked a bit this morning when I walked into the kitchen. No oats, no cereal, limited fruit choices...I seriously considered going to the grocery store right away, but then I thought of something I could make...toast with peanut butter and bananas and juicy strawberries!

Despite my lack of breakfast options, I think I did pretty well in coming up with a nutritious, yummy breakfast. I used 2 full tablespoons of pb, usually I only use 1, but I need this breakfast to hold me through a workout and late lunch. The bread is Trader Joe's Sprouted Multigrain, made with organic high protein sprouted wheat berries, rye flakes, and flax seeds. Two slices provide 180 cals, 1 g fat, 4 g fiber, and 10 g protein. 

Pb + Bread = 18 g protein. Usually, I'm not concerned with my protein intake. I, like the majority of Americans, get more than enough protein in my daily meals. That said, I love whole grains, fruit and veggies more than protein. My trainer thinks that I will get better results by increasing my protein intake. He gave me a meal guide that I'm going to try it out for awhile and see how I feel. 

Today is my only day off from work this week. Plans for today include a cardio and strength training workout, planning meals for the week and buying groceries! Hope everyone is having a great start to the week. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Big News!

Good Morning! It's been a relaxing Thursday morning for me. I work at 11 but I decided to take this morning off from exercising. I'm feeling pretty sore from earlier workouts this week. I am hoping to make it to yoga after work and then run, but it all depends on my evening plans. My mom and sister are going to the mall- she's having her high school senior pictures taken tomorrow- and I might tag along. I don't have much desire to go, but it's always nice to shop with moms ;)

For breakfast I had coffee and swiss oats. I made this by soaking the oats overnight with soy milk, cinnamon, dried cherries, and pecans. In the morning I mix it with low fat plain yogurt and banana slices. This is such a great breakfast during the summer. It's filling, yet cool and light.

For lunch I packed leftovers from Monday night's Caramelized Tofu with brown rice, pecans and broccoli. I can't wait to dig-in!

My snacks throughout the day include: baby carrots, plain yogurt, 2 pluots (plum-apricot hybrid), and a banana cookie lara bar. I'm not sure if I'll eat all of the snacks but I want to be prepared if hunger strikes, especially if I go to the mall.


I was offered a full-time job working as a weightloss consultant at a local clinic!!!!! I won't know full details until my training starts August 4th, but after meeting with the director I can say I am excited! This company seems to have a great philosophy on food and weightloss, taking a lifestyle approach to health and wellness as opposed to a quick-fix diet. When I know more, I'll share details with you all! I cannot wait to start!

This has been a very hot and humid week here in Minnesota. Today is no exception. We're expecting storms today and I would guess sooner than later since the sky is already dark. I guess it's a good day to be working inside a coffee shop! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Hi y'all
! I can't believe how fast time flies these days. It's already a new week. Wow. I had a fun-filled, busy weekend spent with friends. We celebrated a birthday of Friday night by having a few cocktails, playing charades, and birthday cake of course! I spent most of Saturday working, and Sunday morning as well. The weekend highlight was yesterday when we went out on my friend's boat. It was a very windy day, but the sun was strong and we had a lot of fun. Chris and one of my friends even convinced me to go tubing. My arms are sore today but it was worth it!

Last night I was in bed by 9! The weekend wore me out so it was great to wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. Lately, I've been liking to bake right away in the morning. So while I sipped on coffee I whipped up a batch of carrot, apple, and pecan multigrain muffins. These fiber rich muffins were on the back of Hodgson Mill's Multigrain Hot Cereal. I made a couple of changes to the recipe so I posted it on my recipe page.

I wasn't feeling a big breakfast so I had one of these and it was great. The muffins are moist, not too dense, and have the perfect amount of sweetness for me. I also had half of a grapefruit. It's been awhile since I've had one but I just love its refreshing quality.

To continue the refreshing trend I went to a yoga class this morning. My body was a craving a deep stretch. I have missed it so much the last couple of weeks. I hope I can continue to practice yoga at least once or twice a week, but sometimes my schedule just doesn't allow it. The instructor for this particular class likes to hand out cards that have sayings on them to focus on during class. I love this. Today mine said "Every thought I think is creating my future." This is so true and made me think about how important positive thinking is. The class definitely refreshed my mind and body.

I miss blogging my meals everyday so I've decided that when I have the time to do it, I'm going to be posting them again. I'm hoping that posting my meals again will motivate me to have more creative meals. The last few weeks have not been the most exciting food-wise. Of course, I've baked lots of goodies, but cooking? Not so much.

For dinner I made the
Caramelized Tofu from 101 Cookbooks. I cannot rave enough about Heidi's recipes. Every single recipe I have tried from this website is amazing. The first time I ever tried cooking tofu at home was with this recipe. It came out great and my whole family enjoyed it. I prefer my tofu with crispy edges. My trick with tofu is pressing it for as long as possible (usually about 1 hr) and then slicing it in half depth-wise. Then I slice each thin block into thin strips. I just find that this method is easiest for crisping the tofu up and flipping it in the pan. 

Tonight we enjoyed it with broccoli and brown rice. I also like to add crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. Yum!

Oh! I made another batch of the Strawberry Pecan Shortbread Crumb bars last week. Only this time I used blackberry jam instead of strawberry. This version was just as deliciously addicting as the first. The bars were a hit and my only caution is that you cannot just eat one. Well, maybe you can if you have a strong willpower against desserts. I certainly don't!! I meant to take a picture of these pretty bars but they didn't last long enough!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two Amazing Recipes

I mentioned before that I have been baking a lot these last few weeks. Lots of events and gatherings mean I have a chance to bake yummy treats! Most of the baking I've done is not low in fat or calories. But if you are going to indulge, these goodies are worth it!

Whenever I get the urge to bake, I look into my recipe binder for inspiration. My recipe binder is nothing more than a plastic 3-ring binder filled with magazine pages, printed out recipes, and scraps of paper with recipes scribbled out. Basically, I find a recipe that looks good and put it into the binder. Lately, I've had the urge to bake every morning so I've been needing to find new recipes to add to my recipe binder. Baking Bites and Cookie Madness are two of my favorite sites to look for yummy treats. A few weeks ago I came across Strawberry Pecan Shortbread Crumble Bars from Baking Bites. I have been dying to try these babies out and I finally got my chance!

I made these bars on Monday morning and by yesterday afternoon they were completely gone. We had family in town- but not that many! We are just a sweet-toothed family ;) These bars are so so so good, they melt in your mouth. They are buttery, yet light. I was a little bit nervous at first because I've never made shortbread. I've never been a fan of the whole cutting the butter into the flour- it takes too long and I don't have the patience. However, the recipe is so simple and comes together pretty quickly. The most time consuming part is finely chopping the pecans. Other than that, the bars take no time at all.

I am already planning on making more for my mom's friends this week. I might experiment with a different flavor of preserves, so I'll let you guys know how they turn out.

Another yummy treat I made this weekend was inspired by July's issue of Cooking Light. My aunt was flipping through the magazine and begged me to make Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Cream Filling. I was slightly disappointed that she picked these out. They looked great, but I wanted to make something else. Well, I am so glad I listened to her request because these sandwich cookies turned out better than expected. I changed the recipe a little. Also, I didn't feel like making the marshmallow filling, I'm not a huge fan of marshmallows, so I made a cream cheese center. The adapted recipe for my sandwich cookies can be found here.

I tried a bite of one sandwich cookie and ended up eating the whole thing. It was too hard to put it down. The good news is that I packed up the cookies and sent them off with my aunt and cousins. I am glad I don't have those temptations around anymore!

Some of the other treats I made this weekend:

Food Network's Smore Brownies

Chewy Blondie Bites

Stay tuned for more recipe reviews!

Side note: The aunt that was visiting us with her family is a huge foodie. I actually think I inherited my love of baking from her. We have a lot in common because we are both the first-born. We both love cooking, baking, and anything food-related. She is a fantastic cook. When she lived in Mexico City, she had a catering business and specialized in cakes. In fact, she made cakes for most of her siblings weddings. I remember going to visit her when I was little and she would give us leftover icing to decorate parchment paper while she decorated the cakes. I'm close with all of my aunts, but I definitely have a special bond with Carmina.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm Back!

Hi everyone!!! I'm back from a little blogging hiatus. It was an unintentional break, I just got too busy to blog! Now that the holiday weekend is over I can focus on blogging again. I've missed blogging, but I have been reading all of your blogs so I haven't been totally absent ;)

Here are a few pictures to paint a picture of what I've been up to the last few weeks.

Abbey & Justin's Wedding- 6.27.08

Twins Game

Dog-sitting little Nemo (Brody's brother) while his parents were on their honeymoon.

Enjoying the great weather by dining al fresco at Salut Bar Americain on Grand Ave.

I've also been job searching, working at the coffee shop, and getting back into running (I took a break after the half marathon). I also did a lot of baking the last few weeks. My sister and her friends went up North for a couple of days to a cabin. I made s'more brownies, chewy chunky blondies, and blondie bites for her to take. For the Fourth I made Paula Deen's blueberry cream cheese tarts. I had a ton of overripe bananas so I made banana-wheat germ muffins AND banana-date-walnut-bran muffins. I will be blogging about these goodies in the next week. And finally, my family is in town so I made Strawberry Pecan Shortbread Crumble bars this morning. I have yet to try them so I will blog more on these yummy looking bars later.

My eating hasn't been very healthy the last few weeks. It's okay to indulge in moderation but I have been indulging too much. I'm not going to do anything extreme about it, but I am going to try and eat clean and exercise daily these next few weeks. My birthday is in 3 weeks and I want to be feeling my best!

I've also decided not to post every single one of my meals. I'll still post every day, but I'm going to post *new* meals, recipe ideas, etc. I think this will keep things fun and interesting! Whew, it feels good to be blogging again :)