May 20, 2013
I hope you had a good weekend and that the beginning of the new week is treating you well. Today is my last day in Orlando, and after seventeen days of bouncing around Central, North, AND South Florida, I am pretty pooped.
Before I gather my things and say my final farewells to my family, I wanted to pop in and share a recipe with you.
I have not always been the biggest coleslaw fan, and in fact, I consider myself pretty picky about kinds I like. I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, and instead enjoy the lighter versions made with vinegar.
I grew up with my grandmother always creating something good (and fresh!) from her garden. Using the purple cabbage and red peppers right out of my parents’ backyard, this recipe is as organic as I can get out. Now 95-years-old, my grandmother still gets in the kitchen and comes up with delicious and unique salads, soups, and recipes that I am trying to do a better job of documenting.
Before this slaw, I had never tried purple cabbage, so don’t let the dark color veer you away. As a bit of a slaw snob myself, I can attest that this one is one of the tastiest I have tried!
• 1 large head purple (or red) cabbage, shredded
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup green olives (pimiento-stuffed), sliced
• 1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
• 1 tsp. celery seed
• 1 tsp. mustard seed
prep time: 15 minutes
1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, peppers and olives.
2. In a large saucepan, combine all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Cook and stir for 1 minute, then pour over vegetables. Stir gently.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Mix well before serving.
So easy, and great to eat at home or take to a party!
Although I did not personally make this recipe, I thoroughly enjoyed it on its own and even added it to a green salad the next day.
Of course, you can substitute red or green cabbage, but we just so happened to have purple growing in the backyard. I plan to try this recipe out later this week to see if I can even come close to Grandma’s. Even if it is only half as good as hers, I will still be a happy camper.
See ya in Detroit!
Questions of the Day
• What is your favorite type of cabbage? (Green, Red, Purple)
• Are you Team Mayo or Team Vinegar for slaw?
May 16, 2013
When I get to try something new that I really like, I become excited to share it. By now, I am thinking my friends and family are bored of hearing what products are circulating the health and fitness world, which makes me so glad to know the group of you clicking to read this actually want to hear me talk shop. (Hugs to you!)
Today, I am here with my second edition of Protein Time!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with these products by Quest Nutrition, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. I was not compensated in any way for this review, and simply exchanged my time for product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
I have been all jacked up on
Mountain Dew protein lately. When I opened the box full of Quest Bars, I could not wait to dig into them and have had a bar a day ever since. Okay… fine, some days I had two. Have you noticed the flavors yet?
Quest Nutrition Bars were designed to provide an easy way to enjoy the foods we love in a high protein, low carb way. Their quest is to help YOU on whatever your journey may be – whether it is losing weight, gaining muscle, or staying healthy.
Lets talk flavors.
I received their entire variety pack including:
• Cinnamon Roll: YUM.
• Apple Pie: Excuse me… delicious.
• Chocolate Peanut Butter: Expected flavor, but equally deserving to hang with the rest.
• Banana Nut Muffin: Tasted like a warmed up loaf to me!
• Strawberry Cheesecake: Dreamy.
• Mixed Berry Bliss: Hello, fruit parfait.
• Coconut Cashew: Most interesting combo award!
• Vanilla Almond Crunch: Good, but probably the least memorable.
• Chocolate Brownie: Stop it right now. SO good!
• Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Don’t even get me started.
• Peanut Butter Supreme: Dessert for breakfast.
And last, but certainly not least, the most unique flavor (a stand out):
• Peanut Butter & Jelly: Tastes just like Mom’s, without the crusts.
They threw in extra Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars, since they seem to be a customer favorite. I am not going to complain!
I have seen these bars pop up on various social media sites, but had yet to try one for myself. Taking a hint from other bloggers, I listened to the suggested instructions of popping them in the microwave to enjoy warm.
A quick 20-25 seconds made a world of difference. I only tried two flavors at room temperature, which was when I was on the way out the door. Of course you can eat them this way, but why would you when a quick press of a few buttons makes them taste even more like the real food we crave? Genius!
As I was putting my bars away, I discovered something else pretty wonderful in the box: Protein Peanut Butter Cups! (You read it right… Protein. Peanut. Butter. Cups.) *Swoon*
As soon as I saw them, I put all six packages in the refrigerator. Nowhere on the package does it say to do so, but I just treated them like any other peanut butter cup I enjoy as an occasional treat. (Maybe that is the Florida girl in me? I like them cold!)
Day one, I opened a serving of two for dessert and my chocolate cravings were instantly satisfied.
Being a decent source of protein, I did not expect them to taste exactly like regular peanut butter cup patties. Instead, I went into trying it just like any new product I get: with an open mind. With everything I review, I do my best not to compare anything to anything else.
How can you? One serving of two cups racks in 20 grams of protein, with only 4 grams of active carbs and no added sugar (i.e. no “added junk”.)
I will admit that they tasted a tad dry and chalky, which seems to be a common response. That did not seem to bother me, and I just used it as an excuse to wash them down with a tall glass of skim or soy milk.
My husband, on the other hand, expects protein products to magically taste exactly the same as the original (not very good for you) version, and was disappointed with these. No harm no foul though, that just means there was more left for me! I loved them.
It is so cool to see more and more brands create products made for anyone to indulge in. Whether you are dieting, bulking up, or just trying to keep your plate clean, it is products like this that help us stay on track.
I cannot find anything negative to say about these products. Really. I enjoyed every single bar and ran out of the peanut butter cups within the first two weeks of trying them! I would recommend them to anyone, and will without a doubt be purchasing some in the future.
If you are looking to try Quest Nutrition products for yourself, you can find them at GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, online, and at other local retailers in your area. Keep a lookout for the latest news and flavors by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, and Google +.
You can also see pictures and posts floating about by using the hashtag #onaquest.
As a dancer who strives to maintain a long and lean body, I see products like these as tools to help me through times where I do not have time to stop and eat a real meal. I enjoyed the bars for breakfast, before and after workouts, and on-the-go during long days away from home. Thank you, Quest Nutrition!
So tell me, what’s your quest?
May 15, 2013
Happy Hump Day!
This week’s What I Ate Wednesday is coming to you from Orlando because, yes… I am still here. Today is very a very exciting one because I am going to pick Scott up from the airport later this evening. He is quite the jet setter this month, flying in from Spain and out of Detroit to be with me in Orlando this weekend. (Twenty extra bonus brownie points for you, Mr. Hesington!)
Last week, I shared what I eat on vacation. Of course, this trip is a little different than a “normal” vacation, because I have the convenience of staying with my family to sneak in some home cooked meals.
Regardless, my main point of sharing with you is to offer tips and advice on how to keep an every day healthy eating lifestyle part of whatever you do and wherever you go!
In my last WIAW post, I talked about how important it is to keep up your regular eating habits if you are gone from home for an extended period of time. Of course, we ALL have our cheat meals and days, and it IS vacation… so know that an indulgence every once in a while is not going to kill you. I am not afraid to participate in in pizza nights or happy hour two-for-ones, but at the same time, I always eat with moderation and an overall plan of attack in mind.
• Dessert at dinner? Sure! Maybe I will skip a midnight snack if I am still out and about.
• Heavy breakfast? Maybe I will have a light lunch.
• Heavy dinner and/or drinks? Maybe I will have a lighter breakfast the next morning.
See how easy?
All of this planning has the end goal of maintaining your healthy lifestyle you work hard to keep at home alive!
Today’s post highlights everything I ate last Saturday: before and after a five mile run, an afternoon at home, and a dinner out with friends before my 10 Year High School Reunion.
After eating a light dinner Friday night, I knew I needed something to fuel my morning run with my mom around the neighborhood. I don’t like to eat too much before running, and found this Quest Protein Bar to be the perfect amount of protein and carbs to get me energized.
Pictured is the Cinnamon Roll flavor (so dreamy) I previously tried at my home, but they have all been equally amazing so far. (Stay tuned for a full review of these coming tomorrow!)
After our run, we cooled off with a lot of water and worked up an appetite for breakfast/brunch. My mother might be an even bigger health nut than I am, and suggested we cook some egg whites using my grandmother’s fresh kale from the garden. Umm… okay!
In just a few minutes, we shared a egg white, kale, and feta cheese omelet with a small side of sliced tomatoes (also from her garden) and strawberries.
Lunch came quickly after a few hours of house cleaning, and after perusing the refrigerator I made us what turned out to be a pretty darn good veggie sandwich.
We had just enough salad leftovers from the night before (too small to make a salad, but too yummy to throw away!) to have some serious greens, so I decided to roll with it and make something veggie.
I grabbed a whole wheat deli then, then layered a slice of Swiss cheese and heated it up in the microwave for fifteen seconds. Next came the leftover salad that included romaine, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and yellow peppers.
Wanting some light protein, I sliced up a hard boiled egg and placed it atop a kalamata olive spread on the top.
Smushed together, it was a little bit of a mess, but nothing less than the bomb.
Still hungry, I finished it off with a cup of Stonyfield Organic Super Fruits Greek yogurt.
After lunch, I hopped in the shower and started getting ready for what turned out to be a great night. I went to the reunion with a few of my girlfriends, and we planned to grab dinner on the way.
Dinner – Infusion Tea, College Park
I have never claimed to by any kind of vegetarian or vegan, but that does not mean that I cannot eat full vegan meals every now and then. I actually LOVE the taste of everything vegan I have tried, and if there is ever a choice to substitute gluten-free or non-dairy ingredients to my meals, I go for it.
My friend Katie started listing off a few places we could go to and as soon as she said Infusion Tea the decision had been made. I adore that place!
I have only been a few times, and it is usually with girlfriends. I still haven’t sold Scott on the occasional vegan eating concept, but I really feel like he might have enjoyed this round.
Per usual, I asked about their specialty teas of the day but ended up going with my favorite Chai blend. They bring it to your table and let you decide how long the bag seeps to control it’s strength. Pretty neat!
For dinner, I ordered the Tempeh Taco Salad.
I had never tried tempeh before this place, and I am giving you my honest word when I say it is AMAZING! Similar to the consistency of a veggie burger, I would describe it somewhere in the middle between a patty and a tofu square. Just like tofu, it is made with soy and provides protein.
This gluten-free salad was delicious and featured seasoned tempeh, black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes on organic field greens with mild salsa and crispy organic corn tortilla chips, and a house-made chipotle ranch.
The three of us then went on to split a vegan red velvet cake.
It was pretty dreamy!
Of course, I ordered a few drinks at the reunion that are not pictured.
Biggest tip on adult beverages I can ever share with you! Vodka/soda water with a twist of lemon or lime. If you need something sweeter, introduce yourself to flavored vodka. Simple drinks like this usually range under 100 calories, and the water or soda water keeps you hydrated.
Off to meet a few friends for lunch then head to the airport!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.
May 14, 2013
Being away from home is not always easy. After being in Florida for a week and a half, I am starting to miss the little things from ours.
The biggest of course, is Scott! The last time I saw him was when he dropped me off at the airport, but he gets back from Spain and into Orlando tomorrow afternoon. (Happy dance!!)
Right after him is our army of fur babies. They are in good hands, and we have gotten plenty of photos, but nothing beats being able to cuddle and hold them in person.
(Some take us being away from home better than others…)
That face!! ;(
After people (and furballs), I am starting to miss my routine. At home, I get up and enjoy coffee time, make breakfast, get dressed in gym clothes (which will ultimately motivate me to go at some point during the day), clean up a little, pack lunches and start my day of work on the computer.
At first it was a huge transition for me to work at home and actually utilize my time the way I should. Now that I am finally getting the hang of it, I see it as a personal challenge of how much can I get done today?
Obviously, when you travel or leave home for an extended period of time your daily routines and habits can get a little shuffled. This trip has really taught me to let go of all of my expectations and to-do lists, and just do what I can do. I’m rolling with it.
Today, I am really excited to take a barre class and meet a few girls I used to teach and dance with for lunch! Ever since I landed in town, I feel like I have been from lunch to dinner to lunch to dinner, and it hasn’t seemed to slow down.
Tonight, I am looking forward to staying in with my family and eating some homemade chicken and dumpling soup! Nothing beats my grandmother’s homemade soups, and she makes it look so easy. When I get back home, I am anxious to try the recipe out myself and will be sure to share it with you all.
As much as I planned to post something informative today, I just had enough time to check in with a quick hello. I am off to barre class and promise to come with something interesting for the remainder of the week.
Have a wonderful rest of your day!