Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breakfast on my Mind

My top work-week breakfasts…
Not sure about you guys, but I know when I am trying to eat healthy and fore-go my late night snacking and/or bowl of cereal, it makes me SUPER hungry in the morning. I wake up at 5:30am and usually the first thing I do is chug a big glass of water. I used to despise water in the morning, but have grown to NEED it. FIRST thing. But anyway, if I then get to work around 6:30am my next thing is coffee and skim milk. (Sometimes some chocolaty nesquik thrown in there too if I am feeling spunky… like this morning!) A cup of coffee and internet surfing will hold off my growling tummy until about 8:00 am. Then the fun starts…
Monday- Chobani Greek Yogurt (Pineapple) with Kashi GoLean Crunch Cereal (Honey Almond Flax)
This is just classic. Creamy Greek yogurt, any flavor is good, with crunchy Kashi cereal mixed in. Sometimes I get really snazzy and mix berries or peaches in too. This breakfast is good for satisfying a cereal craving. I keep a box of Kashi at my desk, and eat it not only with yogurt, but I have also eaten it with just milk and mixed into my oatmeal for added crunch texture. Beware this cereal does stay super crunchy- don’t wait for it to soften up or else it’ll be lunch time already. Health-wise this is also good. Greek yogurt is known for being high in protein, and the Kashi cereal box boasts “as much protein as an egg.” A serving of the cereal is 1 cup, however I usually use more like a half cup in yogurt. Protein and fiber are good in the morning to keep you feeling full (especially when you have a long stretch until lunch). Note my mug from the Great Smoky Mountains! I wanna go back there...
The nutritional stats:
Chobani (Pineapple, 2%):
Serving: 1 Container
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 2.5g
Sugar: 18g
Fiber: 0g
Protein: 13g
Bonus: 13% DV Calcium

Kashi GoLean Crunch (Honey Almond Flax):
Serving: 1 cup
Calories: 200
Total Fat: 4.5g
Sugar: 12g
Fiber: 8g
Protein: 9g
Bonus: 8% DV Iron

Tuesday- Cream of Wheat (Instant) with Brown Sugar
Hello Gram’s house! This was my favorite breakfast as a little girl, the cream of wheat so thick and creamy with milk and way-too-much sugar mixed in. As I grew and my Gram passed away I learned to make it for myself, but it just wasn’t the same. I hadn’t bothered making it for myself in a long time since oatmeal became the new ‘healthy’ hot breakfast of choice. But as I was looking in the oatmeal isle a couple weeks ago, I noticed they now make instant cream of wheat packets with no added sugar and my heart melted! I also looked at the nutritional stats (which I don’t think I had EVER looked at for cream of wheat) and was amazed. Oh that enriched farina.  I think I made a bowl that night as soon as I got it home from the store. I brought the packets into work along with a small container of brown sugar so now I can spend any morning I want pretending I am at Gram’s table eating her cream of wheat.

Instant Cream of Wheat:
Serving: 1 Packet
Calories: 150
Total Fat: <1g
Sugar: 0g
Fiber: 6g
Protein: 7g
Bonus: 30% DV Vitamin A, 25% DV Vitamin B6, 25% DV Vitamin D, 70% DV Iron, 20% DV Calcium

Adding a splash of skim milk and a couple teaspoons of sugar probably adds 60 or so calories. I ate some kiwi and honeydew melon a bit later in the morning as well.

Wednesday- Microwaved Egg & Spinach with Cheddar Cheese on an English Muffin

Best idea ever award goes to my friend Holly for alerting me to the fact that I can microwave an egg in a bowl and it turns into a perfectly cooked scrambled egg ball. I came to work prepared with a scrambled egg (1 egg + 1 egg white) in a Tupperware container (also mixed in some chopped fresh spinach, salt, & pepper), a slice of cheddar cheese in a baggie, and an English muffin (“Light Multigrain”- 100 calories and best punch of fiber- even better than the “high fiber” labeled ones- this irks my nerves to no end). Pop the english muffin in a toaster, open the egg container and pop that in the microwave for a minute (the egg fluffs up until you are scared it might overflow out of the container), then assemble it all for a perfect warm breakfast Sammie! Oooh it would also be good with a piece of Canadian bacon on top or mixed in with the egg. I won’t list out all the stats, but it has fiber, protein, calcium, and good calories & fats (total sandwich about 300 calories). Plus if there is a way to mix veggies in with my first meal of the day- I’m already ahead of the game.

Thursday- PB & B with Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Toast

Say whaaaat? That would be Peanut Butter & Banana (PB&B) on toast. Ezekiel Sprouted Grains toast. What is the deal with sprouted grains?
“Sprouting is the only way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains. The sprouting process activates beneficial enzymes which cause the grains to sprout and become living and nutrient-rich. Stores of vitamins and minerals dramatically increase over the amount available in flour. Sprouting also converts the carbohydrates in grains into maltose, which is ordinarily done by the body during digestion, thereby predigesting nutrients for you. The enzymatic action enables the body to assimilate the vitamins and minerals more efficiently. Plus, the sprouting process naturally increases the protein content and decreases the calories and carbohydrates found in the original grain.” - http://www.foodforlife.com/faqs
All I knew was that if my nutritionally-conscious blog counterparts are obsessed, then there must be something good.
Inspired by the Holy Scripture verse Ezekiel 4:9., "Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it..."
Ezekiel 4:9® Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Products are: Flourless, Organic, Complete Protein, and Sprouted Whole Grain
We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs. In fact, the protein quality is so high, that it is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. There are 18 amino acids present in this unique bread – from all vegetable sources – naturally balanced in nature.” - http://www.foodforlife.com/our-products/sprouted-grain/ezekiel-49
Holy bread! How does one find this mysterious “Ezekiel Spouted Grain” bread? And then one day there it was. In the ever-expanding  ‘organic/gluten-free/health’ frozen foods isle in Giant! Yay! I bought it and keep it in the freezer, and just pull out slice by slice as needed. The calories per slice are a little more dense (especially if you are used to buying ‘light’ versions of breads) but with this one you are using it as a partial protein source. It is also very textured and nutty tasting, but I like that! I would eat 2 slices in a morning. (2 slices + PB + Banana = Around 450 calories) Here are the stats:

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Toast:
Serving: 1 Slice
Calories: 80
Total Fat: <1g
Sugar: 0g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 4g

Friday- Green Monster!

I know I have explained the Green Monster (GM) smoothie on here before, and it is still good. I usually make one on weekend mornings, or if I know it will be a long stretch until dinnertime in the evening. On CWS Fridays off, I will make one and do my core fusion yoga DVD (I am trying to get back into exercise again after hurting my leg, so far so good).  I basically use the following staples in my GM’s (more or less depending on how hungry I am or if I am sharing). Banana, a couple big handfuls of chopped spinach or kale, ice,  frozen berries (or any fruit), little blob of PB, splash of milk or vanilla soy or almond milk, add water to assist blending as needed.  Angela has a whole website dedicated to recipes, I hear the chocolate cherry bomb is the best!  http://greenmonstermovement.com/

And there you have it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mix

How does time fly by so fast? I find this disturbing.
I’ve been on exercise hiatus due to a hurt leg. I think shin splints, although I am not sure. It happened trying to run on the treadmill the day after a Sweatshop class. I felt my calf/shin being tight but thought I could just run through it. It only got worse, and I ended up limping out of the gym. I have read about listening to your body to avoid injuries a million times and yet I still managed to do it. I was so mad. Fast forward through a few days of icing, and a couple weeks of only walking, and I am stepping back up the exercise this week. It has felt perfectly fine, although I am still a little scared to run.
Florida trip is back on for June again and I am still so excited! The thought of warm weather makes me happy. In fact it is supposed to be 70s today! I am going to make David go for a walk with me this evening.
Also over the last month we have went from getting married in Vegas, to not Vegas, to Vegas again- all with some excitement, laughs, tears, craziness, and finally back to excitement along the way. Mandalay Bay Hotel is the place, but I am still researching to find out what is the best deal for a reception. The musts? Some good food, and open bar, and ideally dancing at some point.
The best  idea so far is THEultra Mix Lounge:
There is a DJ in there, and we would have our own private part of the lounge sectioned off for the reception. We would have open bar, and there are the most amazing views, plus a balcony, and the package also includes some food and a cake. The bad side is that it is only 2 hours and is on the expensive side for only providing hors d’oeuvres, mini sliders, and mac and cheese as far as food.
Second idea I am waiting on a call back for is group dining at the Mix Restaurant:
This is gorgeous!!! I love this space!!! This idea would work for a nicer dinner. Perhaps we can work out an agreed price and smaller selection of dishes for the party, with still an open bar, and the cake. After dinner we could head up to the lounge for dancing and whatnot.
Other reception ideas I have looked into are a full catered dinner in a ball room, renting the penthouse suite for the night, and also just having a plain old big group dinner at some of the other restaurants! Besides planning out the wedding itself, I found some pretty cute favors and Vegas save-the-date magnets that I am excited about!
Mandalay Bay is also having a pretty cool special right now- makes me want to go!!! http://www.mandalaybay.com/offers/2011/04_all_day_buffet/images/6840_01.jpg