Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lovely Yogini Giveaway!

Check out this great giveaway at Making Love in the Kitchen!

Quinoa Cookies

Ohhh my sweet tooth! I am working hard on Insanity, so I don't want to sabotage myself with naughty sweets! My go-to for healthy desserts and treats is I Heart Wellness. 

I used the Quinoa Almond Cookies recipe as a jumping off point. My changes resulted in a kinda wacky but tasty cookie; I'm sure the original recipe makes much more smooth and elegant versions, but I was in a hurry to get some sweets in me!

Quinoa Almond Cookies:
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp almond butter 
1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal and 3 tbsp warm water)
1 mashed banana
1/4 cup agave (or sweetener of choice)
1/4 cup dark chocolate 
I also threw in some unsweetened coconut and raw cacao powder. 
Directions:
Mix flax egg and let sit while making the rest
Add all dry ingredients and mix well
Mash banana and add almond butter, almond milk, agave and vanilla.  Stir well.
Add flax egg to the wet ingredients and mix.
Mix all ingredients together.  If batter is dry add more milk.
Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes


A flaxseed egg in the making: 


The batter...I threw in all sorts of extra ingredients like cacao powder, unsweetened coconut, extra unsweetened almond milk



The finished product with some homemade vegan banana soft serve! So amazingly delicious!



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Giveaway! International Raw Food Restaurant Directory


Want your own copy of the recently released International Raw Food Restaurant Directory?


Enter here!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Insanity Workout 11 & A Day Off!

Workout 11: Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs: This is my first day of 2 workouts! Gahhh! I can say after the fact, I am in some kind of mellow haze. No way to get wound up after a beatdown like that! I did Pure Cardio first, and as usual, sweat my heiny off. Then I turned on Cardio Abs. It's a neat workout, about 16 minutes total. There is some cardio, which was a laugh after doing the whole the first workout, and then some floor work, which was more manageable. I completed the workouts and feel pretty good!

 
I'll be in Dallas this weekend to see my brother conducting Bring It On! Thankfully my workout schedule this weekend is fit test, and a day off. My fit test tomorrow may be a little affected by travelling and eating out this weekend, but I am still excited because I feel like I will beat my first results. Getting stronger every day!







Saturday, February 25, 2012

Insanity Workout & Vegan Eats

These wild Insanity workouts have me HUNGRY! I am craving "bigger" food but trying to stick to healthy options to fill my belly! I rarely make baked goods anymore, but I am breaking my own rule (with adjustments) while I am burning several hundred calories a day working out.

That equals ...YAY!!!

This week I made some delicious Cinnamon Raisin Bread from How It All Vegan.

I actually omitted almost all of the sweetener (Sarah Kramer's recipes just call for sweetener of your choice as opposed to sugar). I went with about a teaspoon on agave nectar, and couple of spoons of raisins and chopped dates. 

So yummy with tea!


Bye bye for now!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Insanity Workouts 6-10

Hi all! I am still loving my Insanity experience so far!




Workout 6 : Cardio Power & Resistance: Tough with a cold, but I got through it. I am noticing changes already in terms of my strenght and flexibility. More push-up success and more stretchiness- yay!

Workout 7: Pure Cardio! I am shaking this cold and powered through Day 9. As I mentioned in my previous Insanity post, Pure Cardio is a tough one- fewer breaks and some serious work. The instructor, Shaun T., actually collapses on the floor at the end and says, "This sh*t is bananas!" Hehehe- no lie. I still enjoy the workouts, but I need few-second breaks at times. All's well with the process so far!

Workout 8: Plyometric Cardio Circuit: Oh my gosh I hit the double digit days! I must say, this Plyometric workout is the most challenging one of the lineup for me. By the time I get to the second circuit (basketball drills) I am gasping for air and taking lots of breaks. Thankfully, so are the people in the video, so I don't feel so bad! Shaun T. throws in a little mini boxing workout at the end to make you feel like you finished doing something besides moaning in a pile on the floor! (I'm sure my particular dinner of wine and veggie pizza last night was not extremely helpful in the energy level this morning- heheh!) Looking forward to Cardio Recovery tomorrow, then finishing the week strong with Cardio Power & Resistance.

Workout 9: Cardio Recovery: Alrighty! This is considered to be the workout that gives your muscles a chance to stretch and recover from all the high intensity cardio. That being said, in any other program, this would be a full on workout! It's slow but intense, with ab exercises and yoga twists. You still get sweaty, but it does feel good to have a day off from the wildness. The strength moves are pretty serious...I noticed my legs shaking when I leaned over to put on eye liner while getting ready after my workout- whew!!

Workout 10: Cardio Power & Resistance: Whew! This was a tough workout day. I was kind of groggy and working out directly after waking up because I had to be at work early. Not such a smooth workout session! I felt all stiff and just didn't really get into it until the workout was almost over. Nonetheless, I worked hard and ended in a puddle of sweat as usual. I am up 2 pounds on the scale, which is the opposite of what I'm trying to do! I'm guessing this is muscle developing, as I can tell my body is changing for the better. We shall see when I repeat my measurements! Tomorrow is my first day of 2 workouts (cardio & abs) and I'm scared! Wish me stamina!!!

:)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hummus & Friends- Again!

I love Appetite For Reduction's section on Hummus & Friends. I have made the pizza hummus, and this is my second round with the Shabby Sheik variety. This time I added a dash of Liquid Smoke since I don't have the smoked paprika the recipe calls for. I also use chickpeas that I cook from dried- economical and less salt!

The setup:

Chickpeas ready for processing!


The finished product (1/4 c is a serving) at my desk for lunch!


Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coffee Lights!

I can say nothing but...WANT!!!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Insanity Workouts 4 & 5

First of all, a lady needs some treats! For completing my first several days of Insanity, I got myself a deeelicious soy latte. Mmmm ♥

(This adorable cozy is from Rachel O's on Etsy!)

Workout 4 : Pure Cardio: OWWWWW! This cardio was a little more strenuous than the previous days, with fewer timed breaks for water  and longer circuits. Of course, the instructor stresses that you should take a break any time you need one, especially if you are so tired that you are compromising form. The exercises are all very high instensity cardio with lots of jumping, moving up and down from the floor, and, wowser, lots of push ups! I am proud to say that I am doing "boy" push-ups after 5 days of this craziness, though I have a ways to go in terms of how low down I am getting. :P Always good to have a goal. I feel like I am getting a cold (I started a new counseling job where I am in *very* close proxemity to all sorts of sweet but grubby little kids...it's time for some Emergen-C and Yogi tea!) so I am stopping by my favorite health food store to stock up on remedies...I am not gonna let sniffles interupt Insanity!


Workout 5 : Plyometric Cardio Circuit: Jeepers! This was the first workout of the week and  the final one as well. It is HARD. I had to take several breaks and then get back on track. I finished despite feeling under the weather. I am super proud to have made it through week 1!!

 Rest Day! Thank goodness! I've am still fighting my first cold in years! Now that I think about it, in the last several weeks of calorie counting, I have really skimped on green drinks and fruit/veg in general. I got all excited about eating whatever I wanted as long as it fit in the calorie count, so I ate lots of cereal, bready stuff, non-dairy pudding and sweets, convenience foods, etc. I am SO miserable! This cold is reminding me of one of the big reasons I chose a veg-based diet in the first place: dependable good health! Gak! Back on track today. For Insanity (as per the accompanying nutrition guide) I need to be eating about 1700-2000 calories a day. I was coming in under 1200 and most of that was made of nutritionally bereft foods. No way, man! I'm headed to the grocery to stock up on my tried and true plant-strong foods and healthy grains. No amount of weight loss is worthy giving up my amazing health, and I have a feeling that my energy, workout results, and general good temperament will return with my first few meals back to normal!

Cheers and more updates to come! My 2nd fit test comes at the end of this week!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Gahhhh...Trying To Fight Off The Sick!


Wowser! I finished up my first week of Insanity (updates to come) despite being stricken with some sort of nasty germ monster!

Above is my arsenal, all from my favorite health food store, Fiesta Nutrition Center. Due to feeling like doody, I've also enjoyed several yummy meals this week from their bistro, Cilantro. Thank goodness for great businesses like this one!!

Send me some health vibes, pretty please! ♥

Lasarrrrrgna!

(Said like that bad guy in the Garfield Halloween special from my childhood!)

I whipped up some lasagna from Appetite For Reduction, but I used another AFR recipe, Broccoli Polenta, in place of the noodles!

Step 1: Polenta!

Step 2: Roasted Cauliflower Filling- this is from the AFR lasagna recipe and involves cauliflower, nooch, tofu, and such. SO good!


And now, a messy bowl of yum!


This was super tasty and gave me that comfort food feeling without being unhealthy. With the broccoli and cauliflower incorporated into it, you get full without taking in a lot of heavy food! Thumbs up!




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Insanity Workouts! Fit Test & Workouts 1-3

Wow! This week I have embarked upon the high intensity workout program known as Insanity!

Fit Test: I did the the fitness test Sunday evening and it had me gasping for air, so this should be quite an interesting journey (My second fit test will be on 2/25). My numbers on each exercise weren't too bad, but I was very winded by the end of the tests. The fitness test also gives you a preview of some of the moves you'll be doing A LOT in the workouts. Wow! I like the setup, the people aren't obnoxious, and the instructor keeps the talk limited to instructions and some motivation, which is nice. One of the things that has gotten in the way of me doing other workout plans in order (like 30 Day Shred) is the insane boredom of doing a few workouts over and over for weeks. Insanity seems to have a little variety and not a ton of lame dialogue.


Workout 1: On Monday I completed the first full workout, the Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I did it, I mopped my sweat off the floor, I felt proud! It was tough and I had to stop or jog in place several times to catch my breath, but I stayed with it enough to feel really accomplished. Monday also included getting my weight and measurements entered so I can track progress

Workout 2 : Tuesday- more insane cardio...but I loved it! My back and shoulders have been super sore!

Workout 3: Wednesday. Today's workout was the Cardio Recovery. Yesterday, I was so sore in my back and shoulders that I was pretty sure I wouldn't survive another workout. Thank goodness today's session included a lot of stretch and high intensity yoga for a recovery! My heart rate still got up some, and I got hot, but it was mainly an intense stretching session to get you ready for the ahem, insanity, of the usual workouts, which start again tomorrow. I'm excited!

I am using the free tracker through Wowy, which includes a free coach I found through the fabulous health group on Facebook, I Heart Wellness Glamistas. I am excited to have some accountability and encouragement. I also am using the calorie counter on MyFitnessPal.com. I have read some confusing info about what/how much to eat while doing a high intensity program. The fact that I don't eat meat sort of makes it more confusing too! Any tips are welcome! I have thus far gained and lost the same 4 pounds repeatedly due eating out a couple of times a week for the last few weeks (family birthday, Valentine's Day), which is way more fattening and salty than what we eat at home. I need to work on that, and I also am interested to see what my measurements do, as that is a better indicator than pounds I think.

I will update here as I go through the program. I've taken before pics and may share them when I start seeing some results. 

Have you had any experiences with Insanity?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Taters!!

Well, my loves, I've been eating a *bleeping* ton of salads, so that does not make for very interesting posting. This particular dish, however, was all sorts of delicious, pretty healthy, and easy to make!

Behold...the vegan cheese & bacon baked potato!!


Simple...but, wow! It felt so indulgent and delicious! The sauce is a healthy nutritional yeast based one from Appetite For Reduction. That cookbook is saving my life in my current beach-trip bootcamp mode! I topped it with Bac'Uns and loved every bite!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Giveaway heads-up!

Mmm you guys! I couldn't resist posting a link to this ShopBop giveaway! I love oogling all the goodies on that site!

A Little Happy!

Happy Treasury on Etsy! Feel the love!

When you need some food love...vegan chili & cornbread!

Raise your hand if you love comfort food?!

Raise your hand if sometimes, it doesn't love you back....



Me, me, me! Miss Isa has solved all that with some great recipes in Appetite For Reduction.

Here's a hearty veggie chili and scallion cornbread- so tasty!! (It also happens to be low calorie and low fat with lots of nutrients, if you are also into loving your butt and your good health! :p )


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

♥Who loves tofu?♥


Me!



Today's post is on delicious eggless egg salad made with tofu. It was a bit of a splurge diet-wise with the vegan mayo, but I had the end of a jar to use up, so I went for it!

In a sprouted grain tortilla with salad...


With some warm homemade flax breadlets...


Yum!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Love Your Heart!

Show your heart some love with a healthy oatmeal breakfast!

My favorite lately has been oats cooked on the stove. I add lots of chopped raw apple, cinnamon, a sprinkle of allspice, and a dash of unsweetened almond milk. That giant mug is full of green tea...I'm off the coffee for now!


So delicious and filling!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

You don't have to give up the foods you love...


to get fit! Welcome to today's Love post!




When we start a new health plan or make changes in our food and fitness, we often view it as giving up things we love in order to see results. In an effort to create true change and love every step of our growth, let's instead think of making healthy substitutions that still let us enjoy our old faves.

Case in point: I absolutely love a bowl of cereal with some non-dairy milk, the sugary the better. Now I know good and well that despite the fact that it may be whole grain or high fiber or whatever, most conventional store-bought cereal is nothing but fitness sabotage.

Loving solution:
Create a satisfying version of an old fave that cuts down on calories, fat, sugar, and so on. Here's how I enjoy cereal now!

*sprouted grain cereal like Ezekiel
*puffed millet
*quinoa flakes
*lots of fresh fruit in the bowl (bananas, berries)
*superfoods like goji berries
*seeds like chia, hemp, or flax
*unsweetened non-dairy milk





What loving substitutions do you make?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February, Darlings!

This month is all about the love, lovelies! We are going to have fun around here minus the stuffed bears and sickeningly sweet candy. Stick around for lots of posts on loving yourself and others through healthy choices and awesome thoughts!






First things first! See that mirror back there reflecting all that green salad goodness?


A big step towards LOVING yourself and your life (fitness, health, and otherwise) is realizing that our choices are a mirror...they reflect respect and growth, or they can reflect stagnation and sadness. Its up to you! To being making huge strides towards your goals, throw out that restriction thinking (i.e. "I can't have so and so) and being viewing your choices as a mirror reflecting your awesome self and the amazing things you can accomplish!