Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIAW: The Usual Suspects

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Thanks, Jen, for hosting!

Today was full of my go-to eats.

For my "brunch" I sauteed some spinach and grape tomatoes in olive oil with black pepper and Mrs. Dash. I ate it over three huge pieces of cheese ravioli that I chopped up.

So delicious. I make sure each bite has a little bit or spinach, a little bit of tomato and some ravioli.

Before I headed into work I had some coffee with pumpkin spice creamer.

I'll be sad when this is no longer available. :(

At work I had a Luna Fiber Bar as a snack.

Definitely one of my favorite bars. I haven't tried any of the other flavors because I like this one so much. I've heard that the peanut butter jelly ones are good.

When I got home I made myself a green sandwich.

The greens: baby spinach, cucumbers, half an avocado. I really wanted a Sheetz shmuffin, but the closest Sheetz to me is 30 minutes away... maybe sometime over the next week I'll make the trek. :) The combo of toasted bread and avocado was almost as good though, and almost canceled out my craving. If you have a Sheetz near you, you probably know what I mean about cravings for shmuffins.

I finished off the night with some cookies and tea.

... I had a few more gingerbread men than pictured. So cute! But also so hard to stop at just one serving.

I know the theme of this month's WIAW is supposed to be "Healthy Holiday Recipes." but I haven't been creating/following any recently. I have to bake sometime this week though, because I want to give my co-workers some yummy baked goods before Christmas!

~ Susan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Beginning to *Feel* a Lot Like Christmas

This weekend I went to not one, but two holiday parties. The Christmas season is definitely here, even though it's somehow warmer than it was this fall!

The parties were lots of fun. One was my company's. I won the Gangnam Style dance contest!

Sweet victory helped get me into the seasonal spirit. :p

I've also been picking up a few items that I think have helped get me in the holiday mood.

I got the Gingerbread soap, because it's a holiday scent, and the packaging is super cute. I also grabbed Vanilla Chai, because I love chai tea.

I also love coffee!

I love this Pumpkin Spice creamer. Pumpkin is a Christmas flavor, right?

I picked up some eggnog from Whole Foods. I LOVE eggnog! I drink a cup of it for dessert. I also saw this recipe on Tina's blog yesterday. I think I'll end up liking eggnog best on it's own (I don't even like to add rum to it), but I'll definitely give the recipe a try!

I also recently grabbed some baking supplies for some holiday sweets:

Chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cups are in my future.

Have you picked up any holiday items recently?

~ Susan

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Favorites: Snack Bars

Happy Friday! My favorite snack is fruit - berries, bananas, and apples are are delicious. Sometimes though it's just more convenient to have some bars around my house or work that I don't have to worry about going bad and can just grab whenever hunger hits. My favorite snack bars are:

Cliff Mojo Bars

Sweet and salty is the perfect combination! These make me feel like I'm having a sweet treat, but they're pretty filling, so they keep me going longer than a less-healthy option would.

Dipped Cliff Mojo Bars

An even more decadent version of the Mojo Bars above!

Luna Bars

These taste pretty good, but they're not going to fool your taste buds into thinking that you're having a treat. They have a slight vitamin-y after taste. I eat these when I'm really hungry because I usually take longer to eat these than the other bars.

Luna Fiber Bars

I love these! They're like healthier versions of the NutriGrain bars I used to eat as a kid. They're the lowest in calories out of these bars, but they still tide me over until my next meal, probably because fiber is very filling.

These are my favorite snack bars at the moment. I also really love Larabars, but I haven't been eating them recently because I haven't been able to find them on sale anywhere. Buying bars that cost more than a dollar each is against all that I stand for! Seriously, why are Larabars so expensive??

These are my favorite snack bars, what are yours?

~ Susan

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Origins Eye Creams

I didn't do a lot of shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but what I did order came in over the past few days. I decided to get some eye creams from Origins. I've somehow lost my day cream, and I think/hope my night cream will be empty soon... I've been using it for two years... how is there any left?

I got a gift set that includes a morning eye cream, a night eye cream, and a free sample

I love the bag.

The gift set includes a mascara, VitaZing moisturizer, and GinZing eye cream.

The mascara is new to me, and perhaps a new product in general. I've tried the VitaZing moisturizer before and it made me look orange. Maybe if I wait until the summer to use it, it will look more natural. I love the GinZing eye cream for use in the day time - it noticeably brightens up my under-eye area. I just use this and my regular foundation (with a special brush when applying it to my under-eye area) and then I'm good to go!

This is my favorite night eye cream. It's very moisturizing, but too thick to use during the day. When I tried to use it in the morning, my mascara ran, and I looked like a crazy person. When I apply this at night, I always feel like there's a difference in the morning. The creases that are beginning to appear at the corners of my eyes (I'm 26) seem less noticeable. I first bought this about two years ago when I noticed the lines appearing, and this has helped me feel more at peace about them. =D

Did you snap up any goodies for yourself on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, or were you dutifully only shopping for other people?

~ Susan

WIAW: Random Eats

Hi, all! It's Wednesday, here's What I Ate... Tuesday. :)

I ate Ravioli with Cherry Tomatoes for a very early lunch/very late breakfast.

I added a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. I usually like to add steamed spinach or other greens to up the volume, but I didn't have any around.

I was craving something sweet, so I followed it with a Skinny Cow Peanut Butter Candy Bar:

These things satisfy my sweet tooth. They're not that great, but if you just want something sweet that's low in calories, these do the trick.

I had some Coffee with Pumpkin Spice Creamer as a pick-me-up before work. (I work in the afternoon/evening).

I had some applesauce for work as a snack.

...times two. :)

Later I had a Peanut Butter Pretzel Cliff Mojo Bar.

(This is a picture of my current stash at work.)

... then, I was way too lazy to make anything for dinner, so I ate the rest of my ravioli from lunch. =D

Kinda all over the place, but I've had an all over the place kind of week. I'm still recovering from the holidays party I went to this weekend. I made healthy choices food-wise, but I stayed up a lot later than I do usually, and I think tomorrow I'll finally feel totally rested.

How about you? Have the holiday parties started yet?

~ Susan

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fruit Flush Day 3

Today (Thursday) was the third and final day of the Fruit Flush plan. Here's what I ate:

Breakfast: Banana with Cacao Bliss
  • 1 banana
  • about 1 T. Cacao Bliss

Lunch: ~2 c. pineapple

Snack: 2 granny smith apples

Dinner: Salad

  • lettuce
  • grape tomatoes
  • avocado

Tonight I ate TWO big bowls of salad since yesterday I ended up wishing I had eaten more.

Morning Star Grillers Patties

I ended the day feeling healthy and satisfied. This isn't too different from how I usually eat, except that I would usually have a bar of some sort and bread at some point throughout the day.

So, how do I feel? I feel quite healthy and ready to make healthier choices in these next few weeks of the holiday season. :)

~ Susan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fruit Flush Day 2

Breakfast: Banana with Cacao Bliss
  • 1 banana
  • about 1 T. Cacao Bliss

 After eating this, I went to the gym where I did half an hour on the elliptical and arms and legs. You're not meant to workout on the Fruit Flush, but since I'm switching it up anyways, I wanted to stick to my regular workout routine.

Lunch/After Workout Snack: Pina Colada Shake

  • Pina Colada Whey Protein
  • 6 oz. almond milk
  • 6 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

I really like this shake - I think I'll start having it as a snack after my workouts. :)
Snack: Two Bananas

Dinner: Salad
  • lettuce
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado

Morning Star Grillers Patties

I was on track and ready to end my day... when I came home to a pan of brownies. I had one, which isn't a big deal, but I wish I had reached for more fruit or salad instead! I also have to go get some different fruit from the grocery store! I love bananas, but it's better to eat different fruits in order to get in a variety nutrients.

~ Susan

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WIAW: Fruit Flush Day 1

Hi, all! It's Wednesday, here's What I Ate... Tuesday. :)

I decided yesterday that I would follow Jay Robb's Fruit Flush plan. The plan lasts three days, and the first is basically all protein shakes, all the time. I altered the plan a little, because I've tried drinking protein shakes made with just water, and I think they're disgusting. I made all of my shakes with Almond Breeze unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, and some with juice.

Breakfast: Creamsicle Shake
  • Tropical Dreamsicle Whey Protein Powder
  • 12 oz. almond milk 
  • 1 c. ice

This shake was a lot less smooth than I'm used to, probably because I didn't add xanthan gum. I was trying to stay as close to the Fruit Flush plan as possible.

Lunch: Pina Colada Shake
  • Pina Colada Whey Protein
  • 6 oz. almond milk
  • 6 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

Creamy and delicious - also, this was about twice the volume as my breakfast shake. Xanthan gum is definitely the way to go!



Snack: Creamsicle Shake
  • Tropical Dreamsicle Whey Protein Powder
  • 6 oz. almond milk
  • 6 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum

Dinner: Salad
  • lettuce
  • grape tomatoes
  • avocado

Morning Star Grillers Patties

I definitely altered the plan... a lot. But, I didn't feel starving or weird at all throughout the day which was great. Tomorrow is basically all fruit. I can't wait to see how that goes. :)

~ Susan

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fruit Flush 3 Day Diet

I've been feeling a bit unhealthy recently. I haven't been making as good choices as I should. I often mean to eat fresh fruit and veggies, but often it's just easier to microwave a meal instead. I've decided to follow Jay Robb's Fruit Flush diet for the next three days, starting today

Jay suggests a cleanse to remove the manmade toxins that you come into contact with in your day to day life in order to feel healthier and to prepare yourself for making healthier choices. According to Jay, a lot of the toxins we are exposed do are due to diet choices:

"Your body can become toxic if you are eating foods that are not completely digested and absorbed into the body. You can also become toxic internally if you are constipated. Believe it or not, I estimate that 99% of Americans are constipated, even though they have at least one bowel movement per day. One is not enough! You should have one to three healthy bowel movements each day. A very common form of toxicity is 'fried-fat overload,' which is very common in America due to the fried foods we consume as a nation."

Jay identifies fruits and vegetables as the best foods to consume to assist your body in the cleansing process. Most fresh fruits and vegetables are low in fat and contain unique nutrients and properties that do not interfere with your body's ability to detoxify itself. The Fruit Flush is a short cleanse that can help eliminate toxins while dropping 5 to 10 pounds in as little as 3 days.

While I believe that the human body is well-equipped to "cleanse" or detoxify itself, I do think that a diet of primarily fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to get back on track.

Check out his site to find the down-loadable Fruit Flush plan or to find the free plan that he has available.

~ Susan

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pina Colada Shake

I bought this packet of Jay Robb's protein powder to try it out a while ago, and finally decided to try and make a Pina Colada protein shake.

  • 12 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 serving Pina Colada whey protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  •  1/2 tsp. xanthan gum 

It made a lot more than what I had expected, probably due to the addition of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a thickener and emulsifier. Thickeners make foods more viscous while emulsifiers help ingredients blend more effectively and stay blended. When added to smoothies, xanthan gum makes them thicker and smoother.

So thick! So smooth!

I got about two and a half glasses out of this, or about 40 ounces! Definitely very filling. :)

Does it taste like a pina colada? ...not really. It tastes very banana-y and coconut-y, with just a hint of pineapple. If you want it to taste more pineapple-y, you can replace half the almond milk with pineapple juice, or add in half a cup of frozen pineapple. This is a great way to get in some healthy protein and fat along with a fruit serving.


~ Susan