Saturday, March 24, 2012

I need food NOW

You know the feeling.  You get home from work and realize you've been ignoring your stomach for the past three hours and you're famished.  Or you wake up after a long, restful sleep and the first thing you hear is your stomach growling.  You need food and you need it NOW.

When you are in such a state of hunger, you may not think as much about healthy choices.  However, this is where your brain has to come forward and say...

Stop! You are not going to starve! 

Take an extra 5-10 minutes and make yourself a healthy snack instead of chowing down on pretzels.  I'm not saying you have to eat celery and drink V8 (although if you want to, go for it!).  Is it pizza you want?  Here is a healthier, homemade combination that may make everything better.

corn tortilla with basil-feta cheese, spinach leaves and low-fat pepperoni

Throw this pie in the toaster oven, microwave, or hot pan and you've got those hunger pains covered.

Okay, so you made it through the afternoon and you filled your stomach at dinner...before you know it you've gone to bed and woken up with another demanding tummy.  What is it you want to eat...waffles? Home fries?  Before you give in to your morning cravings, try to eat some fruit, whole grains, and low fat dairy.  Top it off with a big glass of water and you'll have completed your own mini-detox for the day.

low-fat vanilla yogurt with grape nuts, whole grain bread with honey, fresh pineapple and orange

Is it worth the extra 5-10 minutes?  In a word, YES.

Combine with that playground workout routine you have missed so much!  Run or walk to a jungle gym and make your own circuit with push ups, pull ups, sit ups, tricep lifts, lunges, and squats.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's getting hot!

When Mr. PT and I started dating, I was introduced to the wonderful world of canned beans.  Before we met, I bought canned beans at the store...basically never!  But then I realized how wonderfully inexpensive and amazingly versatile this grocery item is.

Did I mention they are low in fat and full of protein?

Recently, I have really been digging the black beans.  Here are a few recipes you should try if you are lacking legumes in your life.

Black Bean Dip

Thank you Gracious Pantry for this great idea!

You will need:
-1 1/2 cans black beans
-1 jar of your favorite salsa
-2 tbs garlic powder
-2 tbs chili powder
-2 tbs cumin
-2 tbs onion powder, or finely chopped onion
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro
-1 can corn

Blend all ingredients except corn in a food processor until smooth.  Add salt/spice to taste.  Stir in corn.  Serve warm with Mexican style cheese on top, or stir in melted cheese for black bean queso dip!

 Black bean and sweet potato tacos

This dish was actually made from leftover stir fry Mr. PT concocted the night before.  The recipe he followed called for quinoa but he used groats by accident (we are still working on his grain ID skills!).  But I must say, the groats were a nice touch!

You will need:
-1 can black beans
-1-2 sweet potatoes, sliced and baked until soft (oven at 400 for about 40 minutes)
-1 cup cooked groats
-1/2 can corn
-goat cheese
-fresh avocado

Cook the groats. Mix them with the sweet potatoes, corn, beans and spices.  Serve on a tortilla.  If you want it crunchy, bake the tortilla with the bean mix on top at 350 for about 25 minutes.  If you want the tortilla soft, bake the mix separately and then fill the tortilla.  Garnish with goat cheese and avocado.

If you haven't before, check out the bean aisle at your local grocery!

Combine with a long strength workout...feel the burn!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I see the light!

Oh daylight savings...I detest you when I am driving to work in the dark again, but I love you when I can ride my bike until 7:00!

What better way to celebrate the daylight than with some pesto?  You have seen it with basil and arugula, but spinach? 

These measurements are a little shaky because I kind of threw it together, so make sure you taste for perfection!

You will need:
-2-3 handfulls of fresh spinach leaves
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1 large clove garlic, minced
-1/3 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
-pinch of rosemary

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.  Serve with crusty bread and anything else you have in the fridge!

Use the light! Get outside and walk, ride, run!  You will be surprised how quickly 45 minutes will pass when you are outside moving and grooving.

A different breakfast

If you have some extra time in the morning, cream of wheat is an excellent way to start the day.  It's not hard to make...just buy a box of the breakfast grain and follow the directions on the box.  I always use skim milk instead of water.  I think it adds to the creaminess of the wheat!

The last time I made it, I threw in some dried cranberries and walnuts with the wheat and let it all thicken together.  It was a nice touch!

Top with brown sugar or honey!

Combine with splurging on some new exercise equipment.  Even new socks can motivate you to get out and move!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Soupy Sunday

Ready for another soup idea??

Potato soup can sometimes be a creamy, cheesy, salty, bacon-filled meal.  Does it taste good? Yes!  Is it usually too rich...for me, yes.  So when I found this recipe for bean-potato chowder with a short list of ingredients, I was intrigued!  It turned out to be easy to make and pretty delicious!  In fact, if you wanted to add some bacon, you could!

I found this recipe on

You will need:
-2-3 large potatoes
-1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
-1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
-3 cups skim milk
-1 tsp Italian spices (I threw in a healthy dose of parley, thyme, basil, and powdered garlic)
-1 15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained

-roasted red pepper

In Dutch oven combine potatoes and broth. Cover; bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 4 minutes. In bowl toss together flour and cheese. Gradually stir in milk. Add milk mixture and spices to potatoes. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in beans; cook and stir 1 minute more. Top with roasted pepper and parsley. 
Besides heating up this yummy soup for lunches all last week, Mr. PT and I enjoyed this the first night with our favorite grilled veggie panini.  So if potato soup is usually too rich for you, try this version!
Combine with this idea...exercise matters more than weight when it comes to good health.  So try not to focus too much on the number on the scale, just move your body!!