Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eating out (when you're eating right)

I ALWAYS struggle with eating out when I'm trying to be healthy.  
I go in with the best intentions - psyching myself up mentally to make a good decision.  Just ask for no cheese.  Get the sauce on the side.  Don't be afraid of the 'to-go' box.  Get a water instead of a beer.  You can do it! 

Then the minute I sit down, it usually goes out the window! 

Luckily I've been able to stick to it a lot more lately since I've been doing my TBT.  But for lunch it's easier - for dinner, I want to indulge!  So I've kind of been avoiding going out to dinner the last few weeks. 

Beth's Tips on how to eat out (When you're eating right!) 

1.)  Start at the beginning of the menu - and stop there! 
What I mean is, order an appetizer instead of a full meal - or a soup / salad combo.  This is a great thing to do for dinners because the portion size will be much smaller, and it'll be cheaper cost-wise.  Bonus! 

 Green Chili from Illegal Pete's - with a side of pesto sauce & whole wheat tortilla

2.)  Get a water with lemon OR soda water with lemon instead of a soda. 
Diet soda is just as bad for you as regular soda - just in a different way.  Adding lemon to your drink will make you forget that it's not some other tasty beverage!  So many people forget that their drinks contain calories and sugar too - why add that on?  You won't even miss it.  And lemon in your drink is a bonus too, because it aids digestion.  

3.)  Remember: You don't have to eat salad just because you're eating out! 
Personally, I love salads.  But I don't love them ALL the time.  When I eat out, I want to enjoy different things!  Want a burger (or a veggie burger)?  Get one!  Just ask for it without the bun, no cheese, and extra lettuce leaves.  It's just as delicious, and more flavorful without the high-calorie (most likely white flour) bun getting in the way.  And that little ol' cheese slice?  That's about 100-150 calories right there!  Is it worth it?  Meh, you won't even miss it.  Get a side of roasted veggies instead of fries - your tummy (and tastebuds) will thank you.  

4.)  Skip dessert, and go for a yummy-flavored gum instead.  
I have a sweet tooth, for sure.  I love finishing my meal with something sweet.  Amazingly, chewing gum has actually helped me to curb this habit a bit, because it gives me the satisfaction I'm looking for without any additional fat / calories / sugar.  Also, chewing gum helps saliva production which is great post-meal to prevent cavities.  Extra makes a delicious line of "Dessert Delights" - all flavored as your favorite desserts.  My favorite is Key Lime Pie (SO good), and the Mint Chocolate Chip.  They're amazing - trust me.  And no, I'm not getting free gum for life for this (darn it)! 

5.)  Get your sauce / dressing on the side.  
This goes for salads, stir-frys (if possible), and anything else that comes doused in sauce.  Dunk your fork first, then take a bite of food.  You'll still get the yummy flavor of the sauce or dressing, but you'll use about a 1/2 of what you'd use if you dumped it all on top.  Trust me!  

Build-your-own-Bowl from Tokyo Joes - with sugar-free Teriyaki sauce on the side.

6.)  Tell a funny story (a long one). 
Is your friend doing all of the talking while you're shoveling food mindlessly into your face?  Well, take a break.  Set down your fork, and speak up.  This will give your food time to settle in your tummy.  When you're ready to pick up your fork again, think: "Am I still hungry enough to finish this?" - and see what your tummy tells you.  

7.)  Get a to-go box as soon as you realize you're full. 
I've never been the type of person that's been able to ask for a to-go box the moment I order, then put half of it away before starting to eat.  I love food presentation, and it just ruins it when you've scraped 1/2 of your plate away already.  But once you're full, get that to-go box ASAP - chase the server down if you have to.  I will pick at my food until I've finished all of it, but if I put it away quickly, I'm good to go! 

8.)  Go somewhere you KNOW has a lot of healthy options, and plan accordingly. 
It's always good to be prepared before you go out to eat.  When you've decided on a restaurant, go online and view their menu so that you have a plan before you get there.  It's so much easier to sit down and have an idea about what you want, rather than just winging it and being tempted with everything else.  Always have a back-up plan food-item too, just in case they don't serve your first option anymore (since menus do change frequently). 

Well, that's pretty much all I have for now!  I know a lot of it sounds like common sense, but it's always nice to have a reminder, right?  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Club & Whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge Egg Casserole!

This weekend we had our Book Club meeting at my mom's house.  I can't even explain how much I love our Book Club.  My mom and I started it 3 years ago - which is absolutely nuts to me that it's been going on this long, so effortlessly.  

This month we read "Grass" by Sheri Tepper.  I use the term "we" very loosely, as my mom was the only one who finished it! ;)  Haha!  It was a long one that a lot of us had difficulty finding in stores / at the library - so we're going to discuss it again at the next meeting so that everyone has a chance to finish it.  It's a sci-fi book (our first one), and my mom loved it (it's apparently garnered a lot of praise - compared to the likes of "Dune"), so I really want to finish it. 
Our next book is "Bossypants" by Tina Fey.  I can't wait to read this one!  The cover photo alone cracks me up.  I was hoping to get this reserved as an audio book, because she reads it!  But unfortunately the wait list is ridiculously long at the library, so I'll have to read it the old-fashioned way.  I'm sure it will still be really funny though. 

At our meeting we indulged in some AWESOME food too!  Katy & my mom made the same thing (baked french toast), but they were both very different and equally delicious.  Jane brought danishes & other treats from Panera, and Nikki brought blueberry muffins - deeeeeelicious.  Luckily I decided to make something salty to even out all of the sweets, and even though I literally made it up that morning - the recipe ended up turning out great!  I promised Nikki I would post it here so that she could make it, so here it is.  

Whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge Egg Casserole
Serves - about 6
Time - about 30-45 mins
What's great about this recipe is that you really only need 3 basic ingredients - 1 big potato, eggs, and some kind of vegetable.  Don't have cheese?  Eh, you don't really need it. ;)  

6-7 eggs
sour cream (I used Tofutti brand, vegan) optional
1 large potato (or about 3 small ones)
A vegetable (I used 1 large zucchini, chopped in quarters - but you could use broccoli, asparagus - anything you like!)
1/2 an onion (diced)
Shredded cheese (about 2 cups) optional
Seasonings / spray oil

Spray oil inside a casserole dish, or 9x13" baking pan, and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the potato into chip-sized pieces (not too thin - about 1/4 an inch or a little less).  Place a layer of the slices into the bottom of the casserole dish, overlapping them slightly.  Season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder (and whatever other spice you like).  After seasoning, do another layer & season.  If you can make a 3rd layer, great (I had enough potato to do this), if not, don't worry about it!

Place the casserole dish w/ potatoes in the oven for about 15-25 minutes (or until the potatoes are just slightly tender).  Mine were a little undercooked (I did 15 mins), but everyone said they kind of liked the little bit of crunch they had! 

In a large pan, saute the zucchini and onions in a small amount of olive oil, and season.  Cook until the onions are translucent, then turn off the heat.

Crack the eggs in a medium sized bowl, and beat together with a few dollops of sour cream.  You can easily substitute a little bit of milk for the sour cream, or even use cream cheese instead.  Whatever you'd like!  Season the eggs with a little salt & pepper.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven, and sprinkle with a handful of cheese.  Dump the vegetable & onion mixture on top of that, and cover with another handful of cheese.  Then dump the egg mixture over top of everything, and place the casserole back in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese & serve! 

I didn't get a picture of the casserole by itself, but here's my plate from book club - a slice of it is on my fork ready to be shoveled into my mouth! ;)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Apartment rearranging & Food Yummies

I had a pretty frustrating and "feeling out of control" day this week, so instead of getting all of my hair chopped off and/or dyeing it a crazy color, or buying a bottle of wine and drinking it by myself while eating a huge pizza in front of the TV,  I decided to rearrange my apartment a bit. 

And crazy thing, it made me feel TONS better! 
I got rid of a bunch of stuff, scrubbed my floors, dusted (you wouldn't believe the cobwebs!!  They were everywhere!  So gross), and shuffled things around a bit.  When I was finished I felt like I could breathe again, and every morning since I look at my new arrangement and remember that every day is a fresh start.  It's awesome. 

Just click on the images to see a bigger picture! :)

It might seem silly, but it worked!  It's funny how something so seemingly trivial is all you need to get positive again.  I'm sure having my endorphins flowing from all of the work it took helped too.  

It wasn't a huge change (as you can tell from the photos), but you can't do a TON of moving stuff around in my apartment - everything is in a certain place for a reason (due to space). ;)  

I've also been having fun with foodstuff on my TBT plan.  Here are some pictures of my meals where I got creative! :)

Leftover quinoa (w/ asparagus, mushrooms sauteed with onions & spices, tofu chunks, a little bit of goat cheese, last of the leftover black eyed pea croquette crumbles).

Quinoa "Chicken" (Quorn "Chicken", oven baked, and served over quinoa with steamed asparagus, mushrooms sauteed with onions & garlic, seasonings and marinara sauce)
Salad (romaine lettuce, walnuts, raisins, apple slices - w/ olive oil & balsamic vinegar)

Whole wheat Matzo "Pizza" (1 matzo square with marinara sauce, tofu "ricotta", mushrooms & onions sauteed w/ spices & pinch of salt, fresh tomato slices) - the tofu "ricotta" is just tofu mashed up with some nutritional yeast, seasonings, and lemon juice.  
Kale Chips (Kale baked in the oven until crispy with spray oil, seasonings, pinch of salt)

Naked Breakfast Burrito (brown rice, salsa, mushrooms & red onions sauteed with spices & pinch of salt in vegan butter, unsalted black beans, 2 eggs scrambled, hot sauce, 1/2 chopped avocado & 1/2 chopped tomato - with a dollop of vegan sour cream)

Enjoy the weekend everybody!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baseball & Powerballs!

Over the weekend we went to one of the Rockies VS Cubs games.  Although the Rockies lost, we still had a lot of fun (especially John, who spent most of the time gloating because the Cubs played so well). ;)

 Walking into the stadium - it was a gorgeous day for baseball! 

Me and Stacey - the 2 Rockies buddies.  :)  Stacey is working hard at quitting smoking and getting into shape, which is awesome because I'm on a similar quest!  Well, I don't smoke anymore, but I am trying to get into shape & all of that.  We've been workout buddies and support buddies, and it's been great having her along for the ride.  You can check out her super honest & inspiring blog here! 

Me and my crazy fella.  He has sunglasses of every color to match every outfit.  I'm not even exaggerating.  He really does! 

I love this photo!  I didn't even realize it was a full moon that night, so it was really super cool to have seats where we could see the moon AND the game! 

Mmmmmm - PEANUTS!! :D
The day after the game my cold decided to relapse, and I'm just now starting to feel better.  Last night to stay on my health kick, I made myself some 5-minute no bake vegan almond butter chews (a recipe I found on the wonderful blog Oh She Glows).  I decided that title was WAY too long, and since they're great little buggers for a post-workout snack, I'm calling 'em POWERBALLS!  :)  

Here's my version of the recipe since A) I'm trying to stay away from chocolate, and B) Organic Almond butter is WAY too pricey for a cheap-o like me.  I also added ground flaxseed for another boost of healthy goodness.  So here's my version of her recipe! 

Adapted from the recipe on Oh She Glows 
Makes about 7 golf-ball sized chews

- 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp pure almond extract (I just used this because I had it - you can just do 1 full tsp of vanilla if you don't!) 
- 1 cup rice crisp cereal (I found a great one at Whole Foods - very little sugar, and made with brown rice!) 
- 3 tbsp organic brown rice syrup (this was hard to find, but it was in the honey / syrup section of Whole Foods.  This is a great alternative to other sweeteners too - I guarantee you'll use it again!)
- 2-3 tbsp dried currants (or any other dried fruit, as long as it's chopped small)
- 1-2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Line a plate with parchment (or wax) paper.  In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, stir together the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and vanilla (and/or almond) extract.  Microwave on high for 35-45 seconds.  Stir well, and immediately add in the rice crisp cereal, dried fruit, and ground flaxseed.  Stir very well until evenly mixed. 

Wet hands thoroughly and shape into golf-ball sized rounds.  Press the mixture together firmly so it will hold.  You may need to wet your hands repeatedly throughout this process so that they don't stick to your hands.  Place balls on parchment paper, and freeze for 5 minutes.  Keep balls in the freezer in a sealed container - they stay chewy and delicious - I promise! :) 

Each ball is only about 100 calories a pop, and about 5 grams of fat.  Not too shabby!  

I had one with a banana for breakfast with a cup of black coffee this morning after a very heavy-duty workout.  It's already 11am, and I still feel satisfied!  Yeah!! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Comfort Curry

I've been posting a lot of recipes lately, I know!  CRAZY!  It's really just because I've been documenting my meals so well while doing my Total Body Transformation.  

Yesterday I was home sick, so I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some supplies for some kind of soup.  I can't have a lot of sodium on the TBT, nor sugar - so I had to be careful while picking my ingredients.  Normally when I'm sick I grab a few packs of Ramen, and 10 bottles of Vitamin Water & call it a day, but that just wouldn't cut it this time around!  So I had to get creative and be healthy.  Here's what I came up with!

Comfort Curry
Makes about 4 servings

I got fresh pre-cooked shrimp at the seafood department at Whole Foods, because I just didn't feel like messing with it.  You can use fresh by all means, just add it earlier when cooking!  I also bought pre-made curry simmer sauce (being lazy, again), but making your own sauce is super easy as well.  The other thing I love about this recipe is that you can use any veggies you have in your fridge that are on their way out!  Zucchini, tomatoes, you name it!

- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 3 handfuls of fresh spinach (big handfuls - it will wilt down)
- Baked potato, diced (optional - I just had this leftover)
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 5 or 6 large shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 a pineapple, sliced (you can use canned or frozen if you'd like - no sugar added though!)
- about 1 cup low-sodium veggie broth
- 1 package 100% buckwheat soba noodles OR brown rice
- Thai yellow curry simmer sauce
- Agave nectar (optional)


Chop all of your veggies, and begin cooking the noodles (or rice) according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, and add the onion.  Cook for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms.  When they are slightly browned on all sides, add the potato, spinach, and pineapple - gently fold to combine.

Next, add the curry simmer sauce, and the veggie broth.  Make sure everything is well mixed, then bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. (In this photo the shrimp has been added, but wait 'till the last minute to add it if it's already cooked - otherwise it will be terribly chewy!) 

After simmering, drop in the shrimp, squirt with some agave nectar (I didn't think the curry was sweet enough, so I added my own sweetness) and cover with a large lid. 

Simmer for about 4 more minutes, then serve over the buckwheat soba noodles or rice. 

I found this REALLY yummy over the soba noodles.  Really hearty, and just what I wanted / needed!  Nom nom nom nom! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baked Avocado & Grapefruit

I know - weird combo, right?
One of my friends blogged about trying out this combination (although her avocado was "grilled" - but I don't have a grill!), and although it sounded a little strange, it sounded really yummy too!
And guess what - it WAS!

Baked Avocado & Grapefruit Yumminess
(makes 2 servings)

- 1 avocado (slightly hard) 
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 red or yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- soft goat cheese 
- brown rice (cooked - great use for leftovers)
- balsamic vinegar
- Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (or soy sauce)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the avocado into 8 even strips lengthwise, and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (I just sprayed mine down with PAM).  Place in the oven and cook for about 5-10 minutes (flipping once). 

Meanwhile, cut the grapefruit into bite-sized pieces, and remove the separations (between the pieces).  If you don't have the patience for this, that's okay! ;)  

Put about 1/2 to 1 cup of brown rice on each plate, then sprinkle with a small amount of Braggs or soy sauce.  Top with the thinly sliced onions, then the grapefruit.  After removing the avocado from the oven (it should be slightly browned on each side), cut them into bite-sized chunks and top over the grapefruit.  Sprinkle everything with the Balsamic vinegar, then top with a small amount of goat cheese. 

The combination of sweet / savory / salty was utterly divine!  I can't believe I just said that, but it really REALLY was!! :)  Yummy + healthy = happy Beth.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The time has come...

...for me to jump-start my life! 

I just started a new blog HERE to track my progress while taking on a Total Body Transformation.  A bunch of the girls that I play derby with have already started the program, and it's about time that I got started as well.  Here are the basics of what I will be taking on in order to change my body (inside & out) and my life! 

Vigorous exercise 5x a week!  This does not just mean derby practice.... this means working out regularly (and vigorously) at least 5x / week.  This will be a heckuva challenge or me, as right now I work out about 3-4x a week tops.  

As far as healthy eating goes....


WHOLE GRAINS (limit breads, pastas, and tortillas)
PROTIENS (egg whites, tofu, beans, natural peanut butter, nuts, lentils, tempeh, seitan, quinoa)

The good part about this is that I will get 1 cheat day a week where I can have some indulgences.  I will probably try not to go TOO overboard on this, because I know what it's like to get over a sugar withdrawal, and boy - it's rough!  

I will be tracking my progress on my new blog (I already posted on there with my goals & such), so feel free to follow me there, and keep me in check!  I will be posting my daily food diary and workouts so that I can be held accountable. 

So wish me luck!!  If anybody wants to join me on my journey, please let me know!  It's always nice to have a buddy. :)


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tacos! Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!

If you can't tell by the title of this post, I've been watching a lot of Reno 911 episodes lately.... :)

Anyway, I got me some supplies to make Tacos the other night - and they were WAY yummy! I started with some Chipotle Sausage (vegetarian) by Field Roast that I got at Whole Foods. I think next time I'll just get the actual fake Chorizo, or fake hamburger crumbles with a spicy sauce, as this wasn't my favorite thing. It was much better on top of a Mexican-style salad!

Anyhew, while I was browning that up in a pan, I chopped up some cabbage and an avocado. Yum yum yum!

Whole Foods sells ginormous stacks of corn tortillas (made right there in the store), so I bought 1 package for only $2.50! That's a deal right there, folks. I put some Tofutti cream cheese on each tortilla, then topped with the fake meat, avocado, and cabbage. I dumped some locally made green chili on top, and devoured them.


Monday, April 4, 2011

My FIRST real bout at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver!

This past Saturday was my FIRST ever bout at the Fillmore with the Red Riding Hoods (yep, that means I got drafted to a home team with the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls) - SO RAD!!!

It was an absolute blast, and although I didn't get to skate quite as much as I would have liked to, I felt like I did well when I was out there! Dave Wood, Jay Vollmar, and Wicked Shamrock Photography all captured some amazing shots during the bout, and here are some of my favorites...

This was one of my most solid hits of the night - I'm so glad that Jay caught it! :D

Pre-bout time, my derby wife (Quentin Tarintoya) and I decided to fake some domestic abuse. Love that girl!!

Me and Juno It'll Hurt taking on Frida Beater. We tried to hold her back, but she's a fast one! Probably a big reason why she's on Fight Club...

Me and Shelby Churass during the national anthem. I'm not bored, that's my nervous face!

I'm so glad that Dave Wood captured this photo. That's my daddy wearing the shirt I made for him last Christmas - it says "Papa Sweet Dee". He was right in the line of sight for all of us, and Psycho Babble leaned over at one point and said "I like your dad already". Yeah, me too! :)

We were trying to hold Queen Elizabitch back, but we could not succeed. Again, another Fight Clubber! ;) I just love Maggie Kill n' Maul's face in this one. "OOOOHHH!" LOL!

A big HUGE thank you to everyone who came out that night to cheer for me and my team. It was a truly amazing night that I will never forget!! <3 Derby LOVE!!!