Sunday, November 20, 2011

Almond flour recipes

Okay, so this is more of a post for me. These are a few almond flour recipes from Mom, and I didn't want to lose them. :)

Almond Pancakes
Serves 2

1 cup almond flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup sparkling water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all the ingredients and cook as you would other pancakes. Since there's no wheat flour, and thus no baking powder to leaven the wheat, they won't bubble on top the way regular pancakes do. Watch them closely and flip when the underside is lightly golden.


Almond Quick Bread
Makes 1 loaf

3 1/2 cups almond flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hel. lo.


Hormones and Cravings.

How do hormone changes affect food cravings? For women, these cravings can be more intense than for men. Hormonal changes tied to the menstrual cycle are often a cause of cravings. Immediately prior to the menstrual period, the body's estrogen level drops, as does the serotonin level in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter , or brain chemical, that plays a role in maintaining a relaxed feeling. When the level decreases, irritability and mood swings increase as does the craving for carbohydrate- and fat-rich foods such as chocolate, cookies, cake, potato chips, and roasted nuts. There is nothing wrong with eating a piece of chocolate, of course, but when chocolate and other craved foods become the mainstay of the diet and healthier choices get overlooked, then the cravings have gotten out of control and health may be compromised.

Yeah. I'm feeling it. For the past few days... why else would a sane person eat straight up salsa with a spoon?? Argh!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Today has been an interesting day...

Yesterday left me feeling discouraged in myself from a variety of different things. My negative conversation, my eating for the day (Red Lobster and Olive Garden in the same day plus a Starbucks and maybe even a teaspoon of ice cream with chocolate sauce.. insanity!), my emotions. Ugh. I was already thinking about being alone for the remainder of the week, with just my dog for company.

I woke up this morning, excited to see the sun shining. It quickly disappeared, though, and negative thoughts filled my brain. About yesterday, mostly.

But, we've heard a lot recently about our "daily task," and that thought crossed my mind as I got ready for the gym. I felt really strongly that my daily task for today was to feel thankful. Thankful.

So in the car, I began to make a mental list of all the things that I am thankful for. Yes. This sounds trite and overused. Especially in this month that's supposed to revolve around thankfulness.. or is it revolving around holiday preparation, retail sales, and crazy mall drivers?! Heh. Goodness.

After just 10 minutes of thinking about all that I was thankful for, my mood had changed. My complete mental status had changed. I became thankful for the fact that I was even privileged enough to get to spend time with my family/friends and being able to dine out at restaurants. I was grateful that my incredibly loving husband has a job that supports our little family well, and allows me to work from home. I was thankful for fellowship with such a wonderful group of people.

The list went on... the love and support from my family and my second family (otherwise known as in-laws :D), my health and strength, my business, my clients that have been soo supportive, and even things like the house we own and the cars we drive. Random little things that make me feel like I live a luxurious life (like my iPhone, my training sessions, the coffee I drink in the mornings).

I even was thankful for my dog, even though I found another intentional "accident" on the floor this morning. I suppose that's what I get for being home for a total of 10 minutes in 12 hours. :)

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a positive person. Determined, yes. Optimistic, no. However, I still can't get over how my entire day changed after adopting this attitude! My stop at Verizon (which by the way, the best time to visit is right after they open on a Monday morning), workout at the gym, short grocery stop, and everything after that has been... improved, I guess is a good word.

So, I've had a very productive day... mostly mentally. :)


On a side note, I made up my lunches for the next... 2 weeks? I don't know if I've ever shared this on here, but this trick has been instrumental in keeping my food log decent.

I make my own "taco salad" every day. I make up turkey burger and brown rice ahead of time, and then warm up a bit of each every day. I add spinach, cottage cheese, and salsa, mix, and devour. ;)

Well, today I took some pics for ya'll.. I know. I'm sweet like that.

I like to make my own seasoning rather than use taco seasoning.. have you seen the salt and msg in those?! These are the ingredients I use... I like it super spicy, and I'm actually going to be phasing the salsa mix out, but using up a few packets that I have left. Ahh, cumin. I could live on it. You might remember my little love affair with "Mexican" style foods from this post about my amazing enchiladas.

I always start the brown rice first since it takes so long to cook. I use a mixture of long grain and short grain because I like the different textures. Honestly, I like the short grain better, but figure the long grain might have some better health benefits..? I don't really know.

A little trick I learned online... somewhat saute the spices, rice, and oil before adding water. Apparently this seals in some of the flavor. I typically use safflower or grapeseed oil. Just have your water ready to pour in, as it doesn't take long for the spices to burn.

When you pour in the water, you'll think that you've wrecked your pan forever. I haven't yet.

I always stir it after it gets to a boil again.. and then cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes. Apparently you're not supposed to stir it at all in between that time. I guess I over-anal, though, so I always give it a good stir at least once towards the middle of the time.

Meanwhile, I start the turkey burger (I buy the ground turkey breast vs. the regular ground turkey. I don't know why.) and get that cooked. Then I pretty much add the same spices to the turkey.

I usually add a little water to help the spices get evenly spread out, and then just cook the water off. That doesn't take long.

Then I separate that into a few dishes (one to freeze, one to refrigerate), wash dishes, drink my coffee, check my facebook, and then my rice is done!

A non-flash image of the rice.

Mm. I'm getting hungry again just looking at this. Then I separate that into freeze and refrigerate dishes, wash my pan (and my stove top... I don't profess to have tidy cooking skills!), and I'm good to go for about 2 weeks!

This has really helped me keep my lunches the same (which by the way, you have to really enjoy what you eat when you're not eating as much) and regulate my intake throughout the day.

These are a few random things that get me through the day, too... I just find I have to count out my serving before I start eating. ;)


Anyway, this has been a long post. But one more random photo:

I'm starting to get some "guns" and muscle tone in my shoulders.. But I got a nasty bruise this morning from these hanging straps when I do a "toes-to-bar." You're supposed to hold onto the pullup bar and swing your legs up, while keeping them straight, to get your toes to the bar.

I've been doing these with straps, though, because my grip lasts about 8.7 seconds. So your elbows go in the straps, and you do it that way.

Guess I'll have to do them the real way from now on!! :P

This is what a toes-to-bar is supposed to look like:
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I do not have any type of medical training, and my workouts and training are only intended for my personal recollection and your curiosity. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience. All images are subject to a personal copyright unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without permission. If you read to the end of this, congratulations.