Monday, September 24, 2012

Balancing the perfect meal

I have said it before and I will say it again.

The best way to eat healthier, lose unwanted weight, and feel to spend more time with your food.

It sounds simple.  However, I know this can be difficult for busy people grown accustomed to frozen dinners and take-out.  It can be overwhelming and frustrating.

I hear you!  But you have to start simple, even if this means you only cook dinner twice a week.  And you don't have to be Martha Stewart!!  Dinner, afterall, should not be a huge meal.  If you eat a decent breakfast and lunch with healthy snacks in-between, you should not be famished come 6:00.

You'll notice my meals aren't restaurant quality, but I don't shoot for that!  That's why we enjoy restaurants!

So don't overcomplicate things.  Just try to get a veggie, fruit, and carb on your plate.  Season it with your favorite seasonings.  Heck, throw in a little salt and pepper if that helps.  And please, finish with a little piece of chocolate.  Everyone will be happier for it.

Steam wax beans, green beans and chopped apples for 10-15 minutes.  Dress with butter and salt as desired.

Acorn squash:
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Drop in about a tbs. butter and 1 tsp brown sugar.  Place on baking sheet with water (so they don't dry out) and bake at 400 for an hour or until soft.

Fingerling potatoes:
Slice in half and boil until tender.  Toss with olive oil and chopped dill and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

Combine with a playground workout.  Head to the jungle gym, wrap some resistance bands around a tree and work all muscle groups.  Finish with 50  walking lunges.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Scrambled deliciousness and Roasted roots

Welcome autumn!

Mr. PT and I joined a friend for a 5 mile trail run this morning, enjoying the crisp fall air and the last of the green leaves.  Autumn is Roanoke is breathtaking!

We worked up quite the appetite, so after picking up some of our favorite bread, we enjoyed some vegetable scrambled eggs.

Have people always told you eggs are too fatty and loaded with cholesterol?  Not if you eat them in moderation (we eat eggs about once a week) and pair them with vitamin-rich vegetables.  For this scrambled mix, I whisked 2 eggs with chopped pepper, onion, tomato, grated cheese, and fresh dill.  YUM.

People might also tell you potatoes are too starchy and loaded with carbs.  Again, eat them in moderation (once a week or so) and be sure to include some other greens with your carbs.  Earlier this week, to empty out the crisper, I sliced my potatoes and tossed them with sliced radishes, sliced green peppers, olive oil, fresh dill, salt/pepper, and lemon juice.  I then roasted this mix on a baking sheet at 400 for about 30 minutes, or until they were cooked and crispy.  

Again, YUM.

Don't be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  If a friend calls you up to climb a mountain, don't automatically assume you can't do it.  Forewarn your friend you might be slow and get out there and try.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A day in Charlottesville

Yesterday was quite the adventure!

Mr. PT and I hopped in the car (once again) and drove north to Charlottesville for the day.  We met my sister at Monticello for their annual Harvest Festival.  We got to sample some pretty amazing pork, goat cheese, and lavender lemonade.  We also got to tour the grounds of Jefferson's amazing estate!  If you are in the area next summer, you should definitely check it out!

After we had our fill of the festival, we headed towards UVA campus and stumbled on a unique place to eat!  Boylan Heights, a college bar/amazing restaurant, is known for it's decadent burgers made from local, organic beef or turkey.  They also have a fantastic beer menu sporting local brews.  I enjoyed an out-of-this-world veggie burger made with quinoa, zucchini, and peppers.  

 I topped it with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and grilled onions.  It was deliciously paired with lightly dressed cole slaw!

My sister enjoyed a chicken sandwich with the always satisfying sweet potato fries!

Fun times in Virginia for us!  Not so much for the football fans!

Combine with a pre-travel workout.  Going somewhere for the day and unable to get a workout in?  Get 20 minutes of cardio in with a run before you hit the road.  You'll have more energy for the day!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Peaches galore!

 Mr. PT and I had big plans this Labor Day weekend!

Make a peach a peach cobbler.

We considered sharing, but we never got around to it.

Okay, okay.  We didn't just sit around and eat, I promise!  Scatter in some bike riding and running up Mill Mountain, a walk on the Greenway, and 4 hours of kayaking on the James River and you'll get a better picture of our 3 day weekend.  We are a household with a personal trainer, after all!

Peaches are peaking!  Now is the time to buy them in crates, barrels, buckets, whatever you can find to haul these golden delights home in.  Pair them with ice cream, cereal yogurt, peanut butter, or munch on them solo.

And if you have an extra hour on your hands, or a few helping hands, make this fantastic peach cobbler.

You will need:
-4 cups sliced peaches (7-8)
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 tbs tapioca
-2 tbs melted butter, plus 1/4 cup chilled
-1 cup flour, sifted
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tbs sugar for batter, plus 1 tsp for top
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 egg, beaten to a froth
-1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 12x8x2 pan.

Combine peaches, lemon juice, sugar, tapioca, and melted butter.

 Sift flour for a second time with baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Work butter into flour mix with pastry cutter to consistently like cornmeal. 

 With a fork, stir in combined egg and milk.  Spread evenly over peaches.

Bake until crust is golden brown and peaches are bubbling (40-45 min).

*for extra flavor, add 1/4 tsp almond extract and a pinch of cinnamon and cloves to the peaches!

Enjoy this heavenly seasonal fruit paired with outdoor exercise while you still can!