Combatting Monotony For Change 

“The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.”
Stephen Richards,

Have you ever caught yourself about to do something that you knew was wrong?

If you are not careful, monotony can lead you to go astray- completely off course from your goal. After leaving the gym last night; I needed to eat.

This week, my daytime and evening,  Monday to Friday gigs were unusually busy. A series of events,  resulted in a refrigerator full of uncooked food. No matter what I decided to eat, would require some form of cooking. I did not feel like cooking, besides school work awaited me.

While driving home from the gym last night, a mental mêlée of sorts played out.

Just call Frankie’s and order your grilled chicken fajita salad with extra chicken. From my car, I place the call. Hmm…. They are busy tonight. I’m never put on hold like this. I hold. I continue to hold.

Wait!! You’re about to order chicken!!! What are you doing Tanya? Dial tone. I disconnect the call.

Okay, so now what? Well, Friday night can be your cheat day. Order pizza… a pizza with roasted peppers, garlic, and spinach; yeah, that’s what I’ll order.

Awe dang.   Where is the protein? I rationalize that I can have a shake with the pizza. I place the call. Geez!! They are busy too!! Holding…holding… holding music… holding.   I hang up!

I’ve already detoured my route home. I just can’t decide what to eat. Finally the thought occurs to me that I should not eat the pizza or the chicken salad. The delay in trying to place my take out orders is universal energy trying to stop me from getting off my vegetarian path. I got it!

I drive home and cook a spinach, tomato, and garlic omelet. I eat the omelet with two slices of Ezekiel raisin bread covered in peanut butter. I am satisfied.

When setting personal and professional goals, we have to understand that tests and challenges occur along the journey. However, by remaining present, paying attention and listening to our conscious and inner voice when it speaks, we can stay on course.

I almost slipped, but I did not. Hallelujah!

Yesterday’s dilemma rolled over to today, but mentally, I was already planning.

Today’s Meal Plan:

Breakfast: Smoothie (strawberries, spinach, protein, half avocado, blueberries, flax seed coconut milk.

9 O’clock snack: Steel Cut oats (added cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, & coconut milk and a shake

Noon lunch: Mango salad (spring mix, canned tuna (in water), mango salsa (mango, red onions, red pepper, cilantro, and ginger), radish, and half jalapeños pepper.

mango salad

By the way, the mango salad is a first for me. It was delicious- a nice blend of sweet (mango) and spicy (jalapeños). To resist food boredum and to continue to create healthy dishes with new and exciting flavors, I try combining different foods.

3:00 p.m. snack: Gala Apple & protein shake

6:00 p.m. dinner: I’m working on something light because we have dinner reservations later tonight and I don’t want to eat too much.

Stay encouraged and resist the desire to return to your old habits. Have fun on your journey and take each day as it comes. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Smooches! 😉

 

 


Expanding My Palate

Today marks week two of following through on my goal of trying one new vegetarian recipe each week.  I feel like a walking advertisement for Pinterest, but it is so easy to find new recipes there.  

I also enjoy the ease of opening the application at the grocery story to get the recipe ingredients.  Gone are the days of scribbling ingredients on paper and forgetting the list home.  The recipes are always with me, which increases my chances of trying the new dish.

Last week I enjoyed the One Dish Mexican Quinoa so much, that I made it again today. 🙂   This time I substituted chick peas for the corn.  It was equally as delicious and the chick peas added even more protein to the dish.

  
I am trying to ease into the vegetarian recipes, so to chose a new one, I look for new ways to combine familiar ingredients.  Yes, I am open to try new ingredients but will do so slowly.

Kale is one of my favorite vegetables, so when I read the Spicy Kale Quinoa Black Bean Salad, it immediately got my attention.  First, I love spicy foods.  Second, I love kale.  The idea of a spicy salad with green veggies is intriguing.  

Even if you do not consider yourself a cook, you can make this with ease.  I substituted the corn with chick peas, so the dish isn’t as colorful but has even more protein.  If I am going to eat less or no chicken and turkey, I have to find a way to replace the protein.

 

The above bowl was supposed to be a taste test; however, once I took a forkful, I went back and filled my bowl.  Lol!!

To make the dish a complete meal, I cooked (broiled) a large piece of salmon.  Both my family and I enjoy salmon.
To cook the (3.11 lb) salmon I did the following to both sides:

  1. Squeeze juice from 1 large lemon 
  2. Sprinkle generously with granulated garlic
  3. Sprinkle generously with fresh black pepper
  4.  Sprinkle evenly with Lawry’s All Purpose Chicken Seasoning
  5. Add a few piece of butter (I used Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter on the salmon
  6. Lightly drizzle with Italian Dressing

Cover and broil on low for 2o minutes.  Unconver and increase broiler to high.  Cook for approximately 20 minutes.  If you are cooking a smaller piece of salmon, it will cook quicker.  Keep your eyes on the salmon so it does not over cook.

  
The finished product….  A delightful, light, and nutritious meal.

Enjoy!! 🙂 


“You need to start posting ingredients and recipes along with your pics.  I gotta start eating healthy.”

Yesterday I posted a picture on my Facebook page of my lunch and it prompted the above comment.

salad

I cannot take credit for making this salad; however, there is a story behind the salad.

Long story short– Thursday of last week, hubby and I took B’Dazzle (our 13-year-old son) to College Station, Texas to see a big football game Auburn VS Texas A & M.  The spirit of Aggieland is unimaginably amazing.  We had a blast!

We arrived home late Sunday; hence, no time for food prep and Monday I returned to work.

So, since I eat healthy and I eat clean, what’s the plan?

Develop a plan!  Hahahah!

In my neighborhood, I have a go to for healthy food on the go.  Nearly two years ago, my friend, who helps me meet my fitness goals, hipped me to Frankie’s Famous Pizzeria and their grilled chicken fajita salad; I’ve been hooked ever since.

Sunday night, I was tired from the flight.  It was late but I knew that I needed lunch for Monday. Since I did not have any leftover cooked food, on Sunday, I ordered the salad (with extra chicken) and kept in the fridge overnight.  Monday morning, I packed my other foods: oatmeal, eggs, apple, shake, avocado half, and grabbed my salad.  All done.

Okay so what’s for dinner?  I had a plan Plan B… Always have a Plan B. 🙂

On Wednesday, I knew that once we returned from Texas, I would need food for the week.  I scoped out the frozen and pre-cooked seafood at Sam’s Club and BJ’s.  Please know, I am not a fan of pre-cooked and frozen foods. However, with a little patience, if you read the labels carefully, you can find some decent options.

bourbon salmon box

After reading the label, I could not resist the anticipated flavor of Bourbon Salmon and it’s Wild caught, so that is an added bonus.

salmon box label

Okay so while the salmon is boxed, the sodium isn’t too bad. Most frozen meals are nearly 1000 mg of sodium, so 173 is doable.  Total fats are hidden, but saturated and trans fats are low.  The 24g of protein makes this a winner for me.  I was very surprised by the 0g of sugar!  I’m jumping in the air!!!  Whoooooop!! 🙂

pre-cooked salmonThe salmon is individually wrapped so you can cook only what you need.

The instructions are quick and easy.  Remove plastic, place frozen fillet on a greased baking dish skin side down, and place on the center rack of oven.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Other cooking instructions are on the box to grill (cool), pan sauté (cool) or microwave (Eeew).

I baked mine; it came out really pretty.  Hehe!

Cooked salmon

The next question is, What goes with the salmon?

Well, as I said before, have a plan.  I keep fresh organic baby spinach in the fridge.

boxed spinach

Of course, nothing beats freshly picked out-of-the garden spinach, but the reality is, my life is busy and I don’t have time for that.  My solution is to keep this spinach in the fridge.  I buy it from BJ’s and Sam’s.

You can use the spinach in a salad or quickly steam it down via stove top or microwave for no more than a minute and 30 seconds.

The label and nutritional value of spinach is why I eat it regularly.

spinach label

plate of spinach

Uncooked spinach

I grabbed two big handfuls of spinach (approximately two cups) and tossed them onto the prettiest plates I could find.

Steamed spinach in a microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Steamed spinach in a microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Then I added the baked salmon…

finished plate

…finished product..  a healthy, colorful, quick, and nutritious meal.  Anyone and I mean anyone can do this.  I cooked enough salmon for lunch for tomorrow.  It’s all packed up.

Finger lickin good lunch!

Finger lickin good and nutritious lunch!

Although I did not add carbs, you could add spaghetti squash (minimal calories), a baked sweet potato, yams, brown rice, black rice, or quinoa.   All of the carbs are healthy carbohydrate options.

Now, tell me that you can’t this!  I betcha you can… As a matter of fact, I know that you can!  Give it a try and tell me how you like it!

Bona-petite! 🙂


Blessed And Refreshed

Happy Independence Day! I know, today is Monday. During the post, an error occurred and this post didn’t publish correctly. Hubby and I decided to escape for the holiday weekend.

The hotel’s gym has real equipment. Most hotel’s idea of a gym is one treadmill and a few other pieces of equipment, but not this one; it’s the real deal. Yay!!!

I hit some weights this morning and now I am enjoying a delicious quinoa salad on the beach.

For the natural chica’s, to protect my hair from the salt water, I saturated it with my favorite conditioner, VO5 Herbal Escapes.

As I write this post on the beach, I am feeling blessed and refreshed!

Have a fabulous Day!!

🙂

 

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 Above the clouds is so magical.

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 Sitting on the plane before take off in Atlantic City.

 

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Free weights at a hotel gym!  Now that I know it’s possible, I’ll have to add this to my list of necessary hotel amenities.

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I brought this tasty quinoa salad at Starbucks.  This salad was the bomb!  Fresh lettuce,cherry tomatoes, and chicken!  It’s nice to eat healthy on the beach.

 

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What’s better than an ocean front view?  An ocean front view that can be enjoyed from the shower!  Awesome!

 

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I had fun trying to figure out how many different exercises I could do on this baby! Cool!

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After a brief rain, this lovely rainbow brightened the sky.  So pretty. 🙂

 

This little monkey was one of nearly a dozen strolling around the rental agency's parking lot.

This little monkey was one of nearly a dozen strolling around the rental agency’s parking lot.  I’d expect to see monkeys strolling around in another country, but not in Florida.

July 4, 2014 - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Having a blast on the beach.

 

IMG_6832I love palm trees. I want one in our backyard.  Umm… not in Jersey though.  :0(

 

IMG_0356Selfies on the beach.  For once, we’re both relaxing.

 


My version of a spinach salad

I admit; I LOVE spinach! I will eat just about anything with spinach… steamed, fresh spinach, spinach balls, spinach stuffed in turkey, chicken, or anything else. I no longer eat the traditional spinach salad served with delicious fresh crisp bacon bits right off the griddle. But I will always recall the smell and remember the taste. As a little girl, daddy started me on my bacon frenzy by leaving me several crispy and very greasy pieces before he left for work. I looked forward to those bacon slices at least five days a week. Mmm… Wait! I did say that I don’t eat bacon anymore, but I know this isn’t reading that way. Lol! These days, I’m eating a completely different version of a spinach salad that I’ve literally thrown together and it is scrumptious.

Spinach salad

2 (about) cups of fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup of spring salad mix
1 red, yellow, and/or orange bell pepper sliced into small strips
1 fresh finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup (about) dried cranberries
5 or 6 cherry tomatoes or a similar variety halved
1/3 cup of black beans (drained & rinsed)
1 small boneless and skinless grilled chicken or turkey breast
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
drizzle of olive oil (preferably garlic roasted) to taste

Place spinach and spring mix in a bowl, thoroughly wash, dry, and cut peppers and tomatoes and toss in bowl. Drain black beans and rinse in water. Add chicken or turkey, black pepper and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Now enjoy your delightful spinach salad.