Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken-Artichoke Salad

This is what you do when you have leftover roasted chicken and excessive amounts of mayo!

*Makes 1 giant portion

2 cups torn lettuce
2 cups baby spinach leaves
A few slices of tomato
1 roasted chicken leg quarter, shredded
1/3 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mayo (make it yourself, it's worth it!)
A few sprinkles of italian seasoning and garlic powder

Here's the hard part:
-Fold together chicken, mayo, artichoke hearts, and seasonings
-Put chicken mixture and tomatoes atop greens

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today in: What Grinds my Gears- Barbell Edition!

I used to really enjoy ladies' health & fitness magazines, and CW-oriented fitness websites; consequently, I "liked" many of their pages on Facebook so their updates would show up on my feed.  My beliefs on health have really evolved a lot over the past year, so I generally don't find these updates useful any more, but it's become a bit of a guilty pleasure to engage in some light trolling (or "playing devil's advocate?") in the comments on their posts.  Really silly, I know.  I'm not snarky or rude, but I like to throw in my .02 when I see meat being demonized, oatmeal being lauded, chronic cardio encouraged, stuff like that. 

WELL, one popular fitness website posted a link on their Facebook page last week that pissed me off a little.  The idea of the article is that women should take up barbell training, which is great!  I've fallen in love with the barbell over the recent months, and I'd love to see more women do the same.  I, like so many others, felt limited to machines, little stretchy tubes with handles, and dainty pastel dumbbells for many years, and we can do better.  Here's the thing; the title of the article is "5 Exercises That Aren't Just for Men."  Okay...  They go on to describe some barbell exercises that I recognize, but they have been re-labeled with cutesy names such as the "Booty Toner" and "Sexy Back."  I have a couple problems with this:
  1. If these exercises "aren't just for men," how about we refer to them by their proper names?  It ain't a Booty Toner, it's a back squat.
  2. The descriptions of the lifts... how do I put this delicately?  Frankly my dear, they suck.  There are no pictures and the instructions are really vague.  If I were reading this article as someone who had very limited or no experience with barbells, these instructions would not give me warm fuzzies.  Cautious folks like myself probably wouldn't want to get out there and make an attempt, and more adeventurous types will probably give it a try and end up injuring themselves.
It's usually not easy to offend me, and I cringe at overly-politically-correctness, really I do; I pondered the possibility that maybe I was being a little oversensitive, but after seeing the all the other comments on the Facebook link, it became apparent that I was not alone!  On the plus side, the article will probably get a few more ladies curious about weightlifting, so maybe it isn't a total fail; I just hope those ladies find a better source of information to get started.

Maybe we should just stick with Body Fuzion...
Image courtesy of http://www.emagascene.com/

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Onward and Upward

I've been back to work on eating clean and re-deprogramming the sweet tooth; things are going well.  Monday and yesterday were really tough in the sweet tooth department- Monday I had two Larabars (usually I just have those once or twice a week), Tuesday I really wanted one, but I resisted temptation.  Yes, they are made of permitted ingredients, but are not to be used in the event of sugar tantrums, and that's what was going on for me!

In happier news, I have been pumping out some goodies in the kitchen!  The Clothes Make the Girl has been a great resource for me lately; doing the Whole30 is a lot easier when you have plenty of fun new recipes to try, and this site is chock-full of em.  I've finally achieved mayo success, which is awesome (and can serve as a base for all kinds of dressings and sauces), we've had some awesome "fried rice" made from cauliflower, and I used Melissa's pad thai recipe as inspiration for a really delish analogue for peanut noodles (I used a mixture of almond butter and tahini in the sauce).  I've also found a new fave side dish in these cucumber sesame noodles; they are really tasty and refreshing!  Everything's been really flavorful, and all great ways to get your veggies in when you can't rely on smothering them in butter :)

Cauli-fried rice with cucumber noodles- lunch of champs!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pardon the interruption...

What is it about being in a different area code that makes people feel like they can do bad things and it doesn't count?

I went to Ocean City this past weekend.  I intended to stick to the Whole30 and came super prepared- I brought some canned goods, cooking oils, grassfed meat (our lovely friends lent us their condo which has a fully equipped kitchen!), even made and brought coffee creamer.  I also looked up a nearby health food store and was looking forward to checking it out.  Well, as we crossed the Bay Bridge to the Eastern shore of MD, I decided I could live with breaking my Whole30 by having a couple drinks with dinner the next night.  Well, the next morning, I decided to get an iced latte from McDonalds (I thought "hell, I'm already going to have drinks with dinner, meh!")  It was sooo sweet, I drank about 1/4 of it and tossed the rest- definitely a sign that ol' tastebuds were re-calibrating, woohoo!

Well, a couple drinks at dinner gave way to quite a few crappy choices.  The only really special thing I had was a sfogliatelle- the elusive lobster-tail pastry typically found in Italian bakeries in New York and New Jersey.  I had never had one (and didn't know when the opportunity would present itself again) so when I saw a tray full of these beauties at the cafĂ© near our condo, I got one.  I am glad I got to try one, but honestly, I didn't find it all that great!

SO now it's back to square one.  I tried to convince myself I was ok with all these crappy choices, but I wish I'd just stuck with the program.  Things had been going so well, and with all the tools I had at my disposal, it would not have been so hard to stick it out.  I'm paying the price though (my stomach is still feeling pretty off) and am definitely looking forward to feeling awesome again!

Sfogliatelle and digestive enzymes

The bucket of booze from my descent into madness

Friday, July 8, 2011

One week down!

I now have one week of the Whole30 behind me, woohoo!  I've pretty much given up on coffee, and I feel fine with it.  Adding coconut cream (the stuff from the top of the can) was ok, but I still found myself forcing the coffee down, and wishing it had truvia in it; don't want to keep playing with fire like that.  The boyfriend offered me some of his limited-time-only peach milkshake last night, and I easily turned it down (I don't think he totally gets that I can't even have a little bit of the forbidden stuff).  Normally I would've taken a big gulp of the thing and gone back for more (he loves his milkshakes, and I love stealing them from him; it doesn't count if I don't order my own, right?)

Occurences like that tell me I am improving my relationship with food and taking back control, and I like control! :)  For the 4th of July, I stayed in control by making and sharing side dishes that are Whole30 friendly, just saying "no thanks" to drinks and other things I'm not having right now, and asking for no BBQ sauce on my chicken.  Easy! 

Sweet potato salad, broccoli salad, free-range
chicken, and a piece of giant grassfed/local chuck steak!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fancy Omelette for Two

Whenever I go to the grocery store, I pick up a pack of smoked salmon.  I hold it for awhile, put it back, look at it, put it in my cart, and put it back again.  It's really pricey!!  Weekend before last, I was at Trader Joe's and it was one of those rare occurences I actually went through with the purchase, and I made an omelette.

-5 eggs
-4 oz smoked wild salmon, roughly chopped
-2 tsp capers, rinsed
-2 TBS chopped tomato
-A few thin slices of red onion
-Cooking fat of choice: avocado oil would be great, I used some bacon grease

Beat the eggs.  For a long time, until nice & fluffy.  Heat your cooking fat over medium heat in a large pan, add the eggs.  Once they are almost set, add the salmon, capers, tomato and onion, then fold the omelette.  I cook it another minute on each side before serving.

Not the most photogenic breakfast...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whole30- Just Checkin' In

It's day 6 of my Whole30 Program, and it's going so great.  I'm not feeling any differently yet, but it's going great because I'm actually sticking with it.  I made it through 4th of July weekend pretty easily- there were 2 cookouts and even a night of sober karaoke, and I didn't really feel tempted at all, which was pretty cool. 

Yesterday, however, that was kinda tough!  It was my sister's birthday and the family got together for some Thai carryout.  I called the restaurant to make sure their curries were coconut-based as opposed to dairy (they were) and suggested some "meat-on-a-stick appetizers" to my dad, who was doing the ordering.  Despite all my planning ahead, I was severely wanting the spring rolls, the little wonton things, and the ice cream cake (it was Turkey Hill- I didn't know they even made ice cream cake!)  A couple times I almost made a grab for the naughty appetizers, but I resisted.  I knew it wasn't worth it to risk undoing all the progress I've made, and if the damn wontons are that great, there will be more of them next month.  I just kept telling myself that, and made it through the evening!

A lot of drama and self-congratulating over a little food, I know.  We get so used to treating ourselves and giving in to our desires all the time, and, well, we get spoiled.  I think of challenges like this as not only healing to the body, but a great exercise in restraint.  It's nice being a grownup and getting to do whatever you want, but eventually you've gotta learn to tell yourself "no."  And when you do, give yourself a little pat on the back! :)