Tag Archives: veggies

How Cheesy Crack Sticks Can Keep You Employed

Sometimes just sometimes, my job can be a little, how shall I say this nicely, “challenging”. Whether it is dealing with a not so happy person over the phone or face to face, there are numerous times during the day when I want to bang my head against my desk to prove that 1.) this is real life 2.) I am actually awake, and 3.) to keep me from doing or saying something that will get me fired. Instead of one masochistic behavior, I choose another, snacking. Yes, snacking can and is good for you, if you choose the right snack. For me, cheesy crack sticks work for me.

Fruit, veggies, and nuts are all healthy and amazing snacks, which you should each by the way, but nothing makes me feel like I am floating in the clouds surrounded by rainbows and unicorns than a couple of soft pretzels, a bag of cheese puffs or a couple of fun sized Snickers bars. There have been days, today included, when I have brought healthy snacks with me to work, but will still go get a bag of cheesy crack sticks (cheese puffs) from the vending machine after a difficult phone call. I know that I should eat the tasty blood oranges from Trader Joe’s, but they don’t soothe the savage beast like the cheesy crack sticks do. Why is that? Seriously, why does crappy food make my feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Cheesy-Crack-Sticks-Employed

The ultimate mood stabilizer

After some extensive research (Googling), I found scientific proof that cheesy crack sticks of goodness were in fact, responsible for my improved mood. According to a study by the University of Leuven in Belgium, people who were given a saline solution while listen to depressing music and viewing pictures of people with sad facial expressions became 4% more depressed, while those given a fatty solution under the same conditions where hardly affected.

Say what?!?! There is scientific proof that those cheesy crack sticks are a mood enhancer? The research shows that the improved mood is not only caused by the taste and feel of crappy food, but also a chemical reaction in our brains and tummies that make us snap back to Happy Land. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus, for proving that I am not completely losing my mind in my assumption of the power of crappy food to mellow out the mind. While I won’t switch to a diet made up of only Butterscotch Krimpets, Soft Pretzels, and cheesy crack sticks, at least my anxiety can be put at ease knowing that these no-so-good for you foods are doing their job of stopping me from putting my head through a wall during normal business hours.

So when you are about to jump off the deep end at work and possible do something that will land you a meeting with the HR Department, back away from the ledge and go get a bag of chips, cookies, or a cupcake. You, your coworkers, and your employment status will be grateful for the decision. Me, I am going to raid the vending machine and stock up on cheesy crack sticks. One must always be prepared.

Later Days,

B

 

Refresh Day 1

Day 1 is in the books and I survived! It was a lot easier than I thought, even though I felt like I was smelling pizza and fries everywhere. Maybe that’s part of the detox process or just my detox process.

I will admit, I did feel a wee bit hungry between lunch and dinner. I already drank my water for the day (1 whole gallon) so I chewed on some gum for a little bit. That did the trick.
Let’s get one thing straight… there is no way to get dehydrated on the cleanse. You are drinking so much fluid. 8 oz of water in the morning, 8 oz of water with the fiber drink, 20 oz water for both meal shakes, on top of your daily water intake. I need to count how many calories I burn walking back and forth from the bathroom. LOL.
Unlike some cleanses, like Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset, which I am dying to try, you can workout. So T25 Cardio went down. Hop squats are not my jam… Cleanse and workout at the same time? Yes, please.
And…  I am eating, just in smaller portions and no meat, carbs, or dairy! No liquid cleanse here. Cucumber Tomato salad is the best thing ever!!!!  Or maybe the best think last night since it was the most solid food I had all day.
So there you have it. My Day 1 3-Day Refresh recap.
Short, sweet, and straight to the point!
Just like me!
Later Days.
B

Brunch Be Damned

Insert Drool Here…
In
a couple of weeks, I will be heading to, what seems like second home of Virginia to
visit my dear friends for the weekend. I am so looking forward to this wonderful
outing, especially the adult beverages and food. The food that I do eat.
Frankie has caused me to become someone who eats only fish, fruits, and
veggies. Still a work in progress, but I have significantly reduced my meat
intake. I’m not vegan, and I’m not vegetarian so I guess I’m FFV… We’ll go with
that. But this makes eating at restaurants a little tricky. Especially brunch.
Breakfast
has always been kind of an issue for me. See, eggs and I don’t get along at all.
I can eat eggs baked in cake, cookies, etc, but boiled, scrambled, fried, and
or in omelets sends my tummy into a tizzy. It’s not fun. Trust me. Before, I
would get pancakes or waffles and sausage for breakfast. Since meat is off my
menu, my breakfast choices have been diminished, which reduces my brunch
options even further. Sometimes a girl wants more that fruit and oatmeal, ok.
But
where there is a will, there is a way! There is nothing wrong with asking the
waiter to take something off of your food! I used to eat around things that I
didn’t like. Now, I ask them to take it off. It is so liberating! You are
eating at a restaurant, order what you want! It took me awhile to grasp this
concept for myself. I didn’t want to be that customer with the crazy order. But
now I am the “no egg, no cheese, dressing on the side” queen. My go-to Greek
salad: lettuce, onions, olives, tomatoes. That’s it. Order what you want so you
can eat with peace of mind.
And
yes, I have already scoped out the menu of our potential brunch spots and it
will be tricky, but I gotta eat something if there are bottomless mimosas!
Eat,
Drink, and order what you want!
Later Days

 

B

I Eat So I Don’t Pass Out

 

My sister cooks. She can spend hours making sauces from scratch,
complex stews, soups and other deliciousness. We won’t even go into the octopus salad
adventure, which included an actual octopus.
Julia Child I am not. Although I could
spend hours, and I have, watching her make aspics and coq au van; the only
reason I cook is to eat. And I only eat so I don’t get hangry or pass out. Pure
and simple.
The simpler the better. If it has more
than 3 ingredients or involves advanced
Culinary terminology, I will not make it. I won’t even read
through a recipe if the ingredients are complicated. Yeah, I have issues. And
just like my simple ingredient list, I have simple cooking techniques. Sautéed,
bake and microwave. Again pure and simple. So when I find a recipe that is easy
to make, tastes good, and I can eat for a week without getting tired of it, I feel like I have won the
lottery.
Case in point…. Bean salad. I had this two weeks ago at a pot luck
dinner and it was amazing. So amazing that I knew that I had to try it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I could not keep this stuff out of my mouth!! I honestly ate it
for 4 days straight and could not get enough off it. Only problem? I ran
out of tortilla chips and had to get more!
This is so easy to make that I even a kid can do it. And total
prep time… 7-8 minutes. Less than that if you are a fast chopper and have an electric
can opener.
 Want to know how to make it? Here ya go!
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of chick peas – rinsed. (need trick – rinse them in the can! Mind blown)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • Oregano, salt, and basil to taste
  • Dump contents of can into a big ass bowl. Add oregano, salt, and
    basil to taste. Mix well and refrigerate.
  • Eat

 

 That’s it.
I made another batch this week and added another can of chick
peas, garlic, and finely chopped (thanks to my Veggie Chop) red onion. My taste
buds are still singing and I have 6 Tupperware containers full. Oh and I
remembered to get another bag of chips!!
This is the perfect appetizer for a summer cookout or gathering.
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Later Days!

 

B

Frankie on Fleek

Frankie (my fibroid) is on fleek. After a few weeks of eating meat
and not necessarily watching my diet, I started to notice that I was getting
fluffy in the mid-section, which tends to happen when one completely falls off
the diet wagon. But something wasn’t right. As soon as I ate something, my
stomach would become extremely bloated and start to hurt. I was waiting for
people to ask me when the baby was due.
No I am not pregnant.. I swear
And then it hit me. Or I hit it. Frankie was growing…
That alien thing on the left…. That’s Frankie!

It got to the point that I was seriously considering talking to my
doctor about surgery. Like cut this out of my now considering it. I reminded
myself that surgery was that absolute and final option for riding my uterus of
its unwanted inhabitant. Although Frankie is not causing any physical
discomfort; no matter how clean I eat, how hard I work out, or how much cardio
I do, my stomach will not get flat thanks to Frankie. Which is extremely
disheartening especially in prime swim suit season.

Therefore, Frankie must die.
I scoured the medical encyclopedia (Google) for natural fibroid remedies
and found a wonderfully helpful blog, shrunkfibroids.blogspot.com (how
appropritate). It is written by a woman who had fibroid surgery twice, only to
have them come back, so she decided to treat them naturally. With success. Her
battle plan, a vegetarian diet and vitamin supplement regime. Sounds simple
enough and since her fibroids shrunk, I figured why not give it a try. I have
nothing to lose. I quickly went to vitacost.com (the mecca of all things
natural) and filled my cart with my arsenal, most of which I had never heard of
before. And by the way, besides being extremely affordable (except for the $30 Whole Food vitamins), Vitacost constantly sends your promo codes for 10-12% off you next purchase or buy one Vitacost brand product, get one free. That’s how I scored a free bottle of DIM. Here’s my new vitamin regime and daily servings:
The Whole Food Vitamin (4 capsules daily)
Mangosteen Juice (1-2 ounces)
Decaf Green Tea Extract (1 daily)
DIM (1 daily)
Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar (1 ounce in 6 ounces of water)
The weapons of Frankie’s destruction

My supplements were waiting for me when I got home, but I bought
the apple cider vinegar this weekend. And since Frankie isn’t getting any small
(yet), there is no time like the present to start my attack. So, as
recommended, I drank 1 ounce of vinegar with 6 ounces of water. A dirty martini
it is not. It is not good at all. Like gag me with a spoon disgusting. And warm water did not help. I’ll try it
tomorrow with some honey any let you know how that turns out. Maybe you get used to the taste…

So here we are. No meat, no dairy, a whole lot of vitamins, and apple cider vinegar.
Frankie is going down!
Later Days

 

B

Trader Joe’s How I Love Thee

So, by now you are all aware of my absolute love, honor, admiration, and obsession with my new happy place, Trader Joe’s.

One of the biggest, in my opinion, excuses for not eating healthy is that it is too expensive. And you know what? It can be!!!! There have been many times that I have fallen victim to the Whole Foods Wallet Grab all in the name of healthy eating. I have driven 30 minutes to shop at Walmart because it was cheaper. But what else does Walmart have beside fresh vegetables and eccentric clientele? Junk food and lots of it. So covering my broccoli, corn, organic spaghetti sauce, and whole wheat pasta in a protective layer of bad food goodness, was always two bags of Utz’s Honey BBQ potato chips. (See previous post about will power). Don’t get me wrong, my shopping habits have improved tremendously. Avoid the end caps, shop the perimeter, etc etc. But the potato chips kept calling my name, so of course I had to bring them home with me.

Fast forward a couple of months, when I decided to go vegetarian (see post about Frankie the Fibroid). I was trolling Pinterest (OMG, so much good stuff!!) for vegetarian recipe ideas and shopping tips and there it was…. the top 20 vegan items to buy at Trader Joe’s. After perusing the list, I knew that I had to see what other goodies where contained within this Trader Joe’s place, and lucky for me, there is one two blocks away from my job. Score! After making my way through the store, I was waiting for the sticker shock to occur when I reached the register…..

And you know what?? I didn’t happen. Say What??? I spent $34.00 to feel myself for an entire week. This was less than I head ever spent in Walmart on one of my “good” shopping trips.

For those who are not familiar with the holy land that is Trader Joe’s, it is a small supermarket that stocks only organic, vegan, gluten-free, clean foods. They even have their on line of products. And the best part…. this stuff is CHEAP!!!  All clean and organic!! HOLY COW. Instead of reaching for the potato chips, I get two bags of vegan pita chips and two bags of air-popped popcorn as my snack!! A pack of Tempeh… $1.99!!! 16 oz of spinach…. $1.99. A bag of  individual serving sizes of almonds. $7 bucks!!! My life and eating habits are changed for the better. Not only is the food good for you, but it tastes so good!

On a whim, after eating some Chicken Marsala (before the change) and Naan for lunch one Friday. I scoped out the Trader Joe’s freeze aisle and stumbled upon frozen Naan. Not only was it healthy, it was flippin delicious. For two days I had sauteed kale and 2 pieces (I know, one piece too many) of Naan for dinner. And was stuffed!!!

Here are the items that are always on my Trader Joe’s Shopping List:

  • Frozen Corn
  • Kaledscope Chard
  • Durot – Frozen crushed garlic (they do have ginger which I am on the look out for)
  • Lentils
  • Air-popped popcorn ($1.50 for a huge bag) – the Devil
  • Sea Salt Pita Chips  – the Devil’s Helper
  • Dried Seaweed – $.99 – unbelievable 
  • Sliced mushrooms

I will add to this list depending on my taste buds. But basically, I eat the same thing for weeks on end until I get sick of it and move onto the next recipe. My current meal of choice is sauteed chard, kale, corn, lentils, and sliced mushrooms.  If I feel like a little splurge, I will get a bag of Southern Blend greens (collard, turnip, and mustard greens. So tasty).

I knew I wanted to treat myself to something sweet for my birthday, so I decided to try their chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk. Baby Jesus must have made this delectable dessert himself because it was so good. Creamy, chocolaty, and it did not taste like coconut. Hands down it was one of the ice creams I have had in a while, and that is saying a lot. I will be trying the strawberry flavor very, very soon.

Overall, Trader Joe’s is an amazing place with great organic, non-GMO, and vegan choices for a very, very reasonable price and some stores even sell wine and beer. If you live near on, go check it out!!!

*** This is not a paid endorsement. I just love their product!!! ***

Later Days!

B

So you want to be a Vegetarian/Pescatarian?

I guess I still have food on the mind. Diet really can effect your body, positively and negatively. I have been trying to get back on the “clean eating” band wagon for a minute and have been making slow, consistent strides to do so, but like I said in my last post, it has been hard. But I did get my Insatcart delivery from Whole Foods!! There will be an entire blog dedicated to my love and admiration for Instacart (you have been warned)

Now, changing my diet (and lifestyle) is not  a “want to” it is a “must do”. I was recently diagnosed with fibroids. I have named mine Francis, Frankie for short. Frankie the Fibroid. It makes the invader seem like a part of the family.While fibroids are common and not cancerous (thank God), when someone tells you that there is something in your body that it not supposed to be there; it freaks you out. A lot.

Knowledge (Google) can be a good and bad thing. No, I have not consulted Web MD for they clearly would have told me that I have only minutes to live.  I researched possible causes of fibroids. Top of the list…excess estrogen. I guess they’re right when they say too much of a good thing can be bad. And since surgery is not an option (no need to go there if it is not necessary), I decided to see if there was anyway that I could shrink the fibroids naturally.

This led to more Google research and you know what I found out…. 1.) There is a crap load of chemicals out there that mimic estrogen (first clean up diet, second clean up make up bag . 2.) While I was eating clean or cleaner than I used to, my healthy eating habits were actually feeding Frankie. Mind blown. There are certain foods (I am not a scientist, nor do I claim to be) that produce estrogen (dairy, non-organic meat) so my daily does of Fage yogurt and chicken thighs was hurting me more than helping me, even though they are considered healthy foods. Mind spinning yet? Mine is.

So what am I supposed to do now?  Be a big girl and step up to the plate (no pun intended) by building a diet based around foods that reduce estrogen naturally. Translation – become a pescatarian (cold water fish only) and without the dairy. Sounds simple right. Absolutely, but changing habits and routines is hard. Especially if you just changed them and now have to start over again. But we are always changing, and that is how we grow. And we need to always be growing to accomplish our goals and my goal is to banish Frankie without going under the knife.

So what can I eat? A lot actually: The goal is to increase my fiber intake which will reduce the levels of estrogen in my body. Some of these yummy foods include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
That’s a pretty decent list if you ask me, and that is only part of it. So I loaded up and meal prepped based on my estrogen fighting food list. Preparation and proper shopping is a must if you want to win the war against bad eating habits.  I am fortunate to work a block away from Trader Joe’s. FABULOUS!! Healthy and affordable. Sign me up. I’ll save the rest of my Trader Joe’s rant for, you guessed it, another blog! And you want to know something weird and awesome…. I don’t miss chicken GASP!!!

These past few days have showed my that as long as I shop right, prep, and bring food with me to work, and avoid trips to the vending machine, I can eat clean with no problem!

And I’ll be honest. I will have days were I will fall off the wagon or eat a Snickers bar instead of an apple. But I won’t cut off my right hand because of it. This past year of being a Beachbody coach and working on my nutrition and fitness has taught me that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to trust the process and reward yourself. The minute you mind goes to what you can’t eat is the minute that you set yourself up for failure.

So I’m thinking off all of the new foods that I can eat, the new foods that I can try and spices that I use in my cooking, what new recipes that I can try!

So here’s to new foods and Frankie’s Defeat!

Later Days

Where’s the Will Power????

I know that I will be dating myself, but does anyone remember the Wendy’s commerical with the old lady and she asks, “Where’s the beef?” Well, I find myself asking, “Where’s the will power?”

I know, and my instagram (@beebeehart) followers know that my workout schedule is on point. That is now an automatic, no-brainer, non-negotiable activity (it didn’t used to be) unless I am really sick or my body is telling me to rest. I drink a gallon of water a day. Eating, that is another story.

I love me some carbs….

I have all the intention in the world of eating right. I drink my Shakeology in the moring, pack my lunch and snacks, drink water, the whole bit. And then someone says, “Chipotle for lunch?” All of a sudden, my spinach and qunioa seems totally unappealing and I am drooling over the thought of guac and chips. My mind is telling me, “so you’re just gonna throw that ridiculously hard Max 30 workout out of the window?” And my stomach replies, in typical fashion, “shut up, I’m eating my burrito bowl.”

Ugh the struggle! WHERE IS MY WILL POWER!!! Doing the 21 Day Fix, I was so good. I would pack my meals and snacks and be set for the day. Someone would ask, what’s for lunch and I would say, “I already ate.” But after a while, I fell off the portion control wagon and my taste buds took over. Granted, it is not as bad as it used to be (I cut out a lot, a lot of processed foods and allow myself “treat meals” on the weekends). I know I need to tackle my nutrition and meal planning harder, but gosh dangit, it is so hard.

Maybe I got bored with eating the same thing every week. Maybe I just like potato chips over apples (but Trader Joe’s dried seaweed is amazeballs). Or, just maybe I lack the will power to put down the damn candy bar and pick up a carrot.

And what they say is true. Healthy living to 80% eating and 20% working out. Nailed the 20%. The 80%….. that’s a work in progress. I am probably beating myself up for a process that takes time. But does it really take more than 21 days to establish healthy eating habits? I guess it does when you have the will power of a gnat.

So, now that we have addressed the problem, how do I fix it? I can’t just put on an electric shock collar that knocks me on my butt with 100 volts when I touch a chocolate chip cookie and I can’t live in a bubble where the only food allowed in isorganic, non-gmo, hasn’t been touch by a chemcial or someone who may have be in contact with chemcials within the past 30 seconds. I guess the only options is to….. get some will power.

No one said that changing lifestyles would be easy, but I didn’t think that my resistance to eating strawberries over french fries would be so low. I mean really low. *face plant on desk*. No one is perfect and neither is the road to a healthy lifestyle.

Time to buck up, get some will power and tackle this clean eating thing head on. Oh look, cake!

Later Days Peeps!