Clean Eating + Elli Quark Cheese + a Cute Visor + Running is Hard

February 24, 2015 in 3 Months No Crap, Family Life, Meal Ideas, Product Review

Happy Monday y’all!

I’m about a week into my “3 Months, No Crap” plan and it’s going great!  For the most part it hasn’t been too hard.

It kind of reminds me of going on a “long run” instead of a sprint.  I like to think of it as a “slow and steady” way to lose weight, get in shape and improve my overall health.  I’m also hoping to form some long-term lifestyle habits.

Sooo, because it’s a long-term plan and not a “get fit quick” kind of thing, I’m trying to celebrate the little triumphs.  For example…

  • Kev and I went out to Texas Roadhouse on Friday night.  I got my typical 6 oz. sirloin with a plain sweet potato and a side salad.  We skipped the rolls and I always order water with lemon as a drink.  I love Texas Roadhouse because I can eat well and I don’t feel deprived!  I didn’t take a pic, but here’s a picture I took a while ago of the exact same meal (salad not pictured)…

Steak and Sweet Potato from Texas Roadhouse

  • On Saturday, we took the kiddos to see the movie Big Hero 6 at the dollar theater.  It was a dang cute little show!  I really enjoyed it, my kids loved it AND I loved paying only $2.00 a ticket!  Score.  Anyway, we bought some popcorn and treats and I didn’t have any.  Yay me.

Big Hero 6

  • On Sunday, we had dinner at Kev’s aunt and uncle’s house.  I skipped the homemade rolls and dessert.  It was tough, but I stuck to my guns.  :-)

So, there are just a few examples of some of my triumphs.  It’s nothing major, but I know those small choices can add up to big results over time.

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I also received a very fun package in the mail the other day that I want to share with you guys!

Package of Elli Quark cheese

It’s a box full of Elli Quark cheese (more like a “new and improved” Greek yogurt) and I love it so much!

Elli Quark is actually CHEESE, but the flavor is less sour than yogurt and it doesn’t have that “yogurty” taste.  It has less calories and more protein than typical Greek yogurt and it’s sweetened with natural sweeteners, erythritol and stevia.  Awesome.

Elli Quark infoElli Quark information

I’m a big fan of Greek yogurt and I am so excited about Elli Quark!  I LOVE the taste and LOVE all of the yummy flavors…

Elli Quark Cheese flavors

So far I’ve tried the Cherry, Blueberry, Peach and Mint Chocolate flavors.  I’m kind of hoarding all of the “dessert flavors” and saving them for last.  Hee hee.

However, I did eat the Mint Chocolate one very first because I just couldn’t resist.  I love MINT and CHOCOLATE so much!  It was the perfect post workout recovery snack after I got home from the gym the other night…

Me with Chocolate Mint Elli Quark Cheese

You can locate a store near you that carries Elli Quark by clicking here (in Utah, you can find it at Whole Foods stores.)  You can also purchase it on the Elli Quark website and it can be delivered fresh to your door!

You can find more information on their website, www.elliquark.com.

YUM!

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I also wanted to share some of the other yummy things I’ve been eating lately.  This has been my breakfast obsession this week…

My latest favorite breakfast eggs and protein pancakes

It’s one whole egg + 2 egg whites scrambled with onions, peppers, mushrooms and spinach and topped with salsa.  I also had 2 Chocolate Protein Pancakes on the side topped with natural peanut butter and berries!

SOOOO yummy!

I calculated this entire meal to be just over 400 calories.  Woo hoo.  It fills me up forever too!  One of the wonderful things about eating clean, is that I really don’t even pay attention to the calories.  Clean food is naturally lower in calories, yet full of so much nutrition.

When you eat clean, the body functions so much better!  Cravings subside, the blood sugar stabilizes and it’s easier to differentiate between actual hunger and things like stress, fatigue and emotional eating.

I love it.

I also threw some chicken in the Crock Pot the other day that turned out good!

Chicken in the Crock Pot

I followed my basic Crock Pot Chicken recipe, but I added some more spices, garlic and lemon juice to it.  I don’t know if I loved the lemon juice in there or not.  I’ll keep experimenting and if I come up with something super awesome, I will share it with y’all.

I ended up making some gravy out of the juices though and I loved it!  When the chicken was done, I just strained the juices out of the Crock Pot, heated it on top of the stove and thickened it with a little cornstarch mixed with hot water.

It turned out great!  I also made some brown rice and broccoli to go on the side.

My Chicken, Brown Rice and Broccoli

It was a simple, satisfying, yummy meal.  I enjoyed the leftovers for days afterward…

My leftover brown rice broccoli and chicken

Can you believe how GREEN that broccoli is????  I’d run out of leftover broccoli, so I just grabbed some raw broccoli that I had in the fridge and steamed it in the microwave for a few minutes and mixed it with my leftover rice and chicken.

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I have a few other random things to share…

After we took the kids to the movie on Saturday, we ran over to Scheels, a GIGANTIC sporting goods store that I LOVE SO MUCH!

It’s a little bit frightening how much $$$ I could spend in that store.  They have EVERYTHING and everything is so dang cute!  They also have a fun giant Ferris Wheel that the kiddos love riding on.

On the Ferris Wheel at Scheels

On the Ferris Wheel at Scheels with my kiddos

And there’s Kev and the baby CLEAR down on the ground below…

Kev and the baby at Scheels

He’s a sweetie.

It’s such a fun store.  Amazingly, we left the store without too much damage done…I just bought myself a fun Under Armour visor

Me in my new Under Armour hat from Scheels

It’s called the Under Armour Gotta Have It Visor and I think it’s aptly named…I just had to have it, lol!

You can’t really see the cute band too well, but it IS very cute.  I’m starting to ramp my running up to prepare for my half marathon, so I decided I needed a cute running incentive.

Oh, and Kev and I went to the gym together on Saturday morning.  We went to my old very favorite KILLER class that I used to go to all the time!  I hadn’t been to that class since I had the baby, so I was very excited to go.

We got there 10 minutes early and it was a madhouse!  It was so crowded that Kev and I couldn’t even be together (sniff, sniff.)

I snapped this stealthy picture so you could all feel my pain.  I’m the dork in the corner taking the picture and Kev is the cute man that I circled with my mad Photoshop skills…

Kev and I at our Saturday morning class at the gym

Ya know, after looking at that picture and the Ferris Wheel pic, I’ve decided I should call this post “Hangin’ out with my husband, but not really.”  Ha ha.

Oh, and would you believe that our instructor wasn’t even there!!!!???!??!  Ya, we had a sub.  It was still a good class, but I was disappointed.

When I got home, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and it just about killed me.

Yes, I’m scared that I’m supposed to be running 13.1 miles in 87 days and I can’t even hack 3!!!  Eeee.  I’m worried.

I think my run felt extra hard because I went to that muscle class a couple hours before and my muscles were fatigued.

And because I’m out of shape.
And because I still want to lose about 20 pounds.
And because I just had a baby……6 months ago (I guess I can’t use that excuse any more, dang it.)
And because I’m sleep deprived.
And because I just turned 39.
And because I’m just kind of a wuss.  Hee hee.

And, I need to go to bed!  So that’s all I have to say tonight.  Have a great night.  Yay, Monday is OVA (a.k.a over.)

**I received the complimentary Elli Quark Cheese, but the text and opinions are, as always, my own!”#EatClean #GetYourQuarkOn

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South Beach Good to Go Bars, Homemade Larabars and other Healthy Stuff

February 20, 2015 in 3 Months No Crap, Baby, Goals, Meal Ideas, Product Review, Uncategorized

Happy Friday!  I love FRIDAYS so much!  Who doesn’t?

I have a bunch of random things to share with y’all today.

First off, I got some fun things in the mail from South Beach Diet the other day that I want to share.  They recently came out with a new line of “Good to Go Bars” and they are fabulous!

South Beach Good to Go Bars

They come in varieties such as Soft Baked, Extra Protein, Extra Fiber and Gluten Free.  They range from 120-150 calories, are high in protein (6-10 grams), high in fiber (5-9 grams) and don’t have any artificial sweeteners or flavors.  Yay!

They also taste great!  I LOVE all of the yummy flavors like Chocolate Chip (Extra Protein), Dark Chocolate (Extra Fiber), Chocolate Brownie (Soft Baked) and Dark Chocolate Raspberry (Gluten Free.)   Hmmmm, can you tell I love chocolate!??!  They also have a lot of other non-chocolate flavors as well, just so ya know!

They are the perfect snack to stash in the purse for “emergencies.”

South Beach Good to Go Bars in my purse

I love South Beach Diet and I love companies that make good products that help us all stay on track. ;-)

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I’m also really loving my “3 Months, No Crap” plan so far.  Yes, I’m only 4 days into it, but I can already tell a huge difference!

Here’s the deal….I lost about 10 pounds with Whole 30 and I definitely felt thinner and leaner.  It was awesome.  But, the two weeks following Whole 30, I ate whatever the heck I wanted.  It was seriously so much fun, but I felt giant!

It was kind of crazy how quickly my body blew up!  I know most of it was water weight and a result of my body adjusting to all of the sugar and carbs I was feeding it, but it was freaky nonetheless.  I could seriously feel the jiggle when I walked.

BUT, after about 36 hours of following my “3 Months, No Crap” plan, I felt my body adjusting back to “normal.”  I started peeing A TON (TMI, I know), but that is the quickest indicator to me that my body likes what I’m doing; it doesn’t cling on to water!  My clothes also started to fit better again and I didn’t jiggle when I walked anymore!

Huge plus!

I’m still up about 2 pounds since I ended Whole 30, but I have a feeling those 2 pounds (and hopefully many more!) will be gone very soon.

I also LOVE the food I’m eating!  It’s a very reasonable lifestyle plan, which I love.  I’m missing chocolate for sure, but I’m grateful I can eat some of my other favorite “healthy chocolate” foods.  I’ve been loving my Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal the past few mornings…

My Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I know that picture doesn’t look particularly appetizing, but it’s so good and satisfying.  It also fills me up for HOURS!

I also happened to notice that my Hershey’s Cocoa now says “100% Cacao” on it.  Hmmmm.

Hershey's Cocoa

Maybe that’s always been there, but I’ve never noticed it before.  It cracks me up because “cacao” is definitely a health food buzz word, much like chia, flax, kale, quinoa, Greek yogurt and all of the other trendy health food stuff out there

I just thought it was interesting….and probably smart on Hershey’s behalf.  I definitely felt healthier knowing my cocoa was “100% cacao.”  Ha ha.

I’ve also been LOVING my favorite Chocolate Protein Pancakes again!!!!!  So much!!!!

My Chocolate Protein Pancakes with berries and PB

I had them topped with peanut butter and berries and loved them so much!  I have a bunch of them in my freezer and I love to pull one out, put it in the toaster and top it with peanut butter.  It tastes just like a peanut butter cup to me!

One of the many things I learned on Whole 30 was to not add sweeteners (natural or artificial) to anything!  It really seemed to train my taste buds to not need as much sweetness.  So I’ve stopped adding additional sweeteners to my protein pancakes, protein shakes, oatmeal and anything else I used to add additional sweetness too!

I’m sure there will still be things I’ll add sweeteners to, but I’m trying to be more aware and get used to things not being as sweet.

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My sister introduced me to a wonderful recipe for German Chocolate Fudge Bites that I love so much!

Homemade Larabars

Yes, I know they look just like deer poo, but I love them!  They’re from Chocolate Covered Katie and they are seriously so good.  I also love that the only sweetness/sugar comes from dates.  That’s it!

When I was doing Whole 30, one of the few processed things I could eat was Larabars.  They were not supposed to be eaten on a regular basis, but rather used as something you could stash in your purse for emergencies.

Lara Bars

I have to say I wasn’t a fan.  I thought they were gross.  Ewww.  It was nice to have something quick and convenient I could eat though.

Anyway, when my sister introduced me to the German Chocolate Fudge Bites I noticed that the recipe said it was inspired by Hot Fudge Larabars.  All of the ingredients were “Whole 30 legal” except for the Vanilla Extract.

AND, the only reason Vanilla Extract isn’t allowed is because of the alcohol content.  Seriously??!??!

Here’s exactly what it says about extracts on the Whole 30 website…

Honestly, we think this ruling is kind of silly (nobody uses vanilla extract for the buzz), but we must be consistent with the guidelines to avoid confusion. The vast majority of vanilla extracts you can purchase for home use (in-store and online) contain alcohol, and the rest contain sugar alcohols. And, since we ask you to exclude alcohol and all forms of sugar from your Whole30, vanilla extracts are non-compliant. (If you see vanilla extract listed as an ingredient, you can count that product out for your Whole30, too.)

Here’s the deal; I don’t drink alcohol at all…ever.  Never have, never will.  And, since I NEVER drink alcohol and I’ve never craved extracts (ha, ha), I decided extracts were just fine for me on my Whole 30.  My vanilla extract didn’t have any sugar in it either, FYI.

Maybe that means I failed at Whole 30, but I felt okay about it. ;-)

I also decided I would much rather eat these homemade “Fudge Bites” instead of Larabars any day.  The Larabars were overly sweet, IMO.  So with that being said, I love this recipe (FYI, I added 1-2 Tablespoons of water to the recipe.)

You basically just mix all of the ingredients in a food processor, roll them into balls and that’s it.  They take less than 5 minutes to make.  Oh, and I like to keep them in the freezer.  It makes them taste extra good!

I also want to say that I’m not a huge fan of dates, at least not by themselves.  I don’t love the texture and I just can’t get over how much they look like the cockroaches from Fear Factor.  Ya.

Dates and cockroach

BUT, when you mix them up with a little vanilla extract, salt, cocoa, unsweetened coconut, nuts and water, they turn into a heavenly treat.

Fudge Bites

A treat that look just like deer poo.  From cockroach to deer poo, LOL!  Yum?

Well, I’m getting ready to head out to a movie with my cute husband.  I will leave y’all with some cute pics of my favorite baby.  I also posted these pics on Instagram yesterday, so if you follow me, you probably already saw them!

Cute Baby C

I love you all!  Have a wonderful Friday night!

South Beach Diet sent me the complimentary Bars and goodies, but the opinions expressed and text are entirely my own! #SouthBeachDiet #SnackHappy
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Thoughts about Healthy Eating + My Egg Creation Recipe

January 30, 2015 in Deep Thoughts, Uncategorized, Whole 30

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend.  I love weekends and am so grateful they come once a week. ;-)

I’m hoping for a little R&R this weekend because life has been insane lately!  We’ve had so much going on and I can’t keep up!  It’s seriously been borderline “pull my hair out, put me in the funny farm and lock me up in an institution” kind of crazy.

Ya.

In fact, I kind of resemble Jack Nicholson a bit these days…

kinopoisk.ru

Pretty much sums it up!  Except his hair is better than mine, lol.

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I’m happy to say that I’m still going strong on Whole 30!  Woo hoo!  I have just over 4 days left.  I seriously cannot believe it!

It’s been tough, but I’ve kind of gotten used to it.  It’s just become a part of my life.  My last day is next Tuesday, February 3rd.  My birthday happens to be the following Monday, February 9th.  Perfect timing, right?

So, here’s the “deal.”  I am going to continue with the Whole 30 diet Wednesday-Friday, but I’m just going to add dairy back in.  I’m curious to see if I’ll have any adverse effects.

There are a lot of “anti-dairy” people out in the health food world and I want to find out for myself if my body has any “dairy issues.”  I’ve gone off of dairy for long periods of time in the past and I’ve never noticed any problems when I put it back into my diet.  However, Whole 30 has been the most strict and “clean” diet I’ve ever done, so I figure if I’m ever going to notice a reaction to dairy, now’s the time!

IMO, dairy does have a place in a healthy diet, as long as your body tolerates it well.  I think it’s an individual thing.  Oh, and I’m not a big milk drinker, I mainly just consume cottage cheese, plain and/or healthy versions of yogurt and a little cheese here and there.  Sooo, I’m curious to see if I notice any differences when I add them back in.

I also want to say that from Saturday, February 7th-Monday, February 9th, I’m going to eat whatever the heck I want!  And I’m very, very excited ’bout it!  I’m sure the weekend will consist of a burger and fries and some chocolate chip cookies at some point.

I LOVE healthy eating, but I will always make room for my very favorite “crappy” food indulgences on occasion.  Food brings me a lot of joy and it’s fun to “let loose” once in a while.  I actually think it’s good for my mental health and sanity too.

Over the years, I’ve tried to identify the unhealthy foods that I really love, so that when I do indulge, I can make sure it’s worth it!  There are a lot of unhealthy foods that I’ve cut out of my diet entirely because I’ve decided they’re just not worth it to me.  I really don’t eat a lot of candy, chips, non-chocolatey desserts, ice cream, store-bought treats and fried foods (except for fries!) because I’ve decided I don’t really love them.

However, here’s a list of the unhealthy foods that I do love and do think are worth it on occasion….

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies (homemade, fresh from the oven)
  2. Cupcakes in all their varieties!
  3. Scotcheroos
  4. Donuts (yes, I’m aware that they are one of the worst foods you can ever eat, but I still secretly love them!)
  5. A good ‘ol hamburger and fries
  6. Pizza!

That pretty much sums it up!

So, whenever I’m tempted to eat something that’s not healthy, I think of my very favorite unhealthy things and ask myself, “Do I really want to eat this or would I rather eat (insert something on my favorite list.)”  It kind of helps to keep things in perspective and keeps me from mindlessly eating.

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Okay, I didn’t intend to go on and on and on.

I want to share a recipe with you guys!  A few of you have asked me to share my “egg creation” recipe that I’ve been making a lot lately.  Since starting Whole 30, I’ve had some sort of egg/veggie combo pretty much every. single. day, so today I’m going to share the “recipe” for my very favorite “egg creation!”

My Favorite Egg Creation

It’s not really an omelet and it’s not really a frittata, so that’s why I’m just calling it a “creation.”  Hee hee.  It’s kind of like an open-faced omelet, except there’s no cheese!  Which is actually a shame because cheese and eggs were meant to go together. ;-)

Oh, and by the way, when I make eggs I usually have one whole egg + 2-3 egg whites, but since I’ve been on Whole 30, I’ve been doing 2 whole eggs + 1-2 egg whites.  I’ve also been LOADING it up with veggies!  I’ve been putting as many veggies as I can fit into my egg creations.

The menu is very limited on Whole 30 and cooking becomes a royal pain, so when I DO eat, I try to make sure to fill myself up so I don’t have to eat again in an hour….make sense?

Anyway, it’s hard to call this an actual “recipe” because I kind of just throw it together and it’s different every time, BUT here’s the gist of it….

My Favorite Egg Creation

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 whole egg + 2-3 egg whites OR 2 whole eggs + 1-2 egg whites
  • Garlic salt and Mrs. Dash (yes, I know that’s ironic)  You could also season it with whatever seasonings you prefer.
  • Veggies of your choice; onions, green onions, bell peppers, hot peppers, spinach, broccoli and olives are my favorites!
  • Turkey, ham, chicken…whatever meat you want to add
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • Cheese (Optional)
  • Toppings: tomatoes, salsa, guacamole or whatever you prefer!

Directions:

Chop up the veggies and meat into small pieces.  I like to use my hand chopper.

**This time I used spinach, red bell peppers, broccoli, olives, green onion and turkey.  Yum!

Ingredients for Egg Creation

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan (I just use my Misto Oil Sprayer.)  After the oil is heated, add the harder veggies (broccoli, peppers, onions) to the pan.  Mix the veggies around with a spatula a bit.

Sauteing veggies in olive oil for egg creation

Add the water to the pan, then cover the pan with a lid.

Steaming veggies for egg creation

Let the pan and veggies sit and steam for 3-4 minutes (I usually leave it on medium heat.)

While the veggies are steaming, prepare the eggs

Add the eggs/egg whites to a bowlAdd the seasonings and beat the eggs very well with a fork or whisk.

Eggs and egg whites for egg creation

Remove the lid from the pan and add the softer veggies (in this case, spinach and olives) and meat to the pan

Adding turkey and olives to veggies for egg creation

Mix and saute everything for a minute or so.

Add the mixed eggs and seasoning to the veggies

Adding eggs to veggies for egg creation

Pick the pan up and tilt it around so the eggs cover the entire pan.

Let the eggs cook for a bit.  The edges cook faster than the middle, so I like to pick up the edge of “the creation” a little bit with a spatula and then tilt the pan to allow the runny eggs to spread out to the edges and cook quicker.  I hope that makes sense.

After the eggs are mostly cooked, flip the “creation” over and allow the eggs to finish cooking on the other side.  This is also the point where I would add cheese to the top (optional.)  Cheddar and feta are my favorite cheeses to use on eggs!

Once the eggs are completely cooked (and cheese is melted), transfer the creation to a plate.

My finished egg creation

Top with desired toppings.  I used tomatoes, salsa and guacamole.

My finished egg creation topped with salsa, tomatoes and guacamole

Enjoy!

This is seriously SO good, SO filling, SO easy and a great way to load up on a bunch of veggies.  Love it!

Well, I’m getting ready to head out on a date with the Hubs, so I need to end this!  I hope you all enjoy your Friday night!

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