Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.

Semi-Homemade with… skinnyshae…

I’m not Sandra… and these are not her recipes.

Well, I suppose these are not my recipes either.

(By the way, I am aware that I have not blogged in… forever… and loyal readership is dooooown. However, I’ve been super busy with school and have just discovered that I have nothing important to do this summer so I’ll be blogging all the time. Yeah, blogging all the time. Put the right tune to that, and it sounds awesome.)

Since my husband ran off to Nevada for a week to learn how to shoot stuff, he was stuck in a hotel eating crappy hotel buffet food. Poor guy.

If he wasn’t being REALLY annoying right now, I’d feel more sorry for him.

However, I feel sorry enough for him to make him so semi-real food. And, by semi-real, I mean “better than a buffet.”

It is not everyday I want to try a new recipe or attempt some sort of kitchen miracle. Sometimes I just want to throw something together in somewhat of a structured manner.

And that’s Dinner Tonight!

I baked Hormel Mesquite BBQ Pork Loin (cooked as directed), added some Busch’s Baked Beans – Original… or Homestyle… I don’t remember, as well as mashed potatoes with chive and onion sour cream (I suppose these were homemade), and spinach salad with slaw and Italian dressing, which was mostly homemade.

Semi-homemade = easy, awesome dinner. I love being lazy.

(Good news: I am ALMOST done with this semester. Almost. So close. :)

Dinner Tonight! Roasted chicken thighs

I made good food!

If you weren’t aware… Everything I have created lately has tasted pretty, well, terrible. I’m talking NO flavor or all the wrong flavors or just generally disgusting.

Luckily, last weekend, my I-suck-at-cooking streak ran dry, and I roasted some delicious chicken thighs!

Roasted Chicken Thighs, Baby Potatoes & Tomatoes with Olives & Mint
Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6   bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon  fresh thyme leaves (Thyme leaves are almost IMPOSSIBLE to remove from the little twigs. It took forever.)
  • clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon  kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 8   8 chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat and skin (When the recipe says “trimmed of excess fat and skin,” take it with a grain of salt. Chicken thighs are covered in excess fat.)
  • 12   baby white or yellow potatoes (1 pound), halved
  • 1 pint  grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4   slender scallions, white and green parts cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup  olives, preferably Nicoise or Picholine, pitted and chopped (Gross. No.)
  • 1/4 cup  slivered fresh mint leaves (Gross. No. I like mint in my tea.)
  • teaspoons  capers, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped (Absolutely NO. I hate capers.)
  • I added steamed peas at the end, too. I love peas.

(But would I really be me if I didn’t change a few things?)

Directions
Stir together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the bay leaves, thyme, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. (I marinated for two hours, and it worked fine.)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the chicken skin side up at one end of a large rimmed baking sheet. (Discard the bay leaves, garlic, and any marinade. I totally left all of that on there. I must have not read this part, but that little mistake made for some good chicken!) Sprinkle lightly with salt. At the other end of the baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and spread in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juices using a brush, turn the potatoes, and roast for another 10 minutes. Baste the chicken and turn the potatoes again and roast for 5 minutes.

Stir the tomatoes and scallions into the potatoes and roast, basting and turning once or twice, until the chicken and potatoes are golden and crisp looking, and the tomatoes and scallions are soft, about 15 minutes more.

Stir the vegetables, transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl, and stir in the olives, 2 tablespoons of the mint, and the capers. Season to taste with more salt. Baste the chicken and transfer with tongs to a serving platter, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons mint, and serve hot.

Make Ahead Tips: For this recipe, you can marinate the chicken as soon as you get home from work and cook it in an hour or two. Or you can toss all the ingredients together quickly in the moring and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator all day.

Finally, something came out of my oven and tasted fabulous! I recommended this recipe (of course, with my alterations) to everyone who loves a good chicken thigh. And who doesn’t?

Crazy people, that’s who.

As for my workouts, well, it’s been getting harder and harder to complete more than 10 minutes of stair-climbing at work. I try to take walks, but I’m pretty focused on my papers and presentations right now.

Luckily, I’ll be finished with two papers and two presentations by the last week of April. Of course, during the first few days of May, I’ll be busting out the other two papers, one of which I’ll get done in a few hours because it’s mostly finished. The other… whew… I don’t want to think about it yet.

High five to skinnyshae though! I went to yoga on Saturday with Ashley R. and have a renewed desire to get fit and healthy and toned so I can wear shorts to yoga practice! That’s a good motivator. I never wear shorts.

Bye Friends (Make the chicken!O

Dinner Tonight FAIL

Oh, you guys, it was so bad…

One bite and I wanted to throw up. I don’t think I actually chewed it up and swallowed it; I think it went in, and then straight back out my mouth.

Oh my goodness, you guys… It was SO bad.

I tried to make crab cakes -specifically, Muffin Tin Crab Cakes.

When I found the recipe, I was really excited because I have a muffin tin that I’ve never used and my last attempt at crab cakes (QUITE a while ago) was also a failure. I wanted to redeem my good cook name -even if I’m really not that great of a cook.

Muffin Tin Crab Cakes
Ingredients

  • 1 lb. crab meat (I got lump… I think…)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cups low-fat mayo
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg-white
  • 10 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients, separate evenly in cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Seemed simple enough… Actually, it was quite simple… Too simple… I should have known.

Tasted absolutely terrible. Gross me out.

In other news, I skipped the gym today. I did not want to skip the gym today; I had to.

“Really, Shae, did you have to?”

She never goes away… And YES I had to. I apparently have a research proposal due next Friday that I have not even begun to think about. I’m STRESSED out.

Boo. I’m always stressed out.

I do, however, have awesome news. I slept for 10 straight hours last night. I crashed around 8 or 8:30 p.m. -just fell asleep on the couch (well, on Husband on the couch -he’s a good pillow!) and didn’t wake up until 6:30 this morning. I felt so rested! :)

It was amazing. I recommend any chance you get to feel tired early and fall asleep on your husband (unless your husband happens to be a terrible pillow).

Husband then did the sweetest thing ever: He woke me up to get me to bed and totally volunteered cuddling before I passed out again. I’m sure I was out minutes after hitting the pillow (the actual pillow), but the volunteered-cuddling was awesome.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt BBQ beef in the slow cooker. Hopefully, it goes better than… the gross that was my food today. Yeck!

Treadmill torture and something that made me happy

Randomness that happened to me…

One of my family members was over at my mother’s when I went to do laundry on Sunday. She said: “Shae, you look like you’re shrinking!”

And since I’m an idiot. I said: “I didn’t get shorter.”

I look thinner! To other people! Awesome!

Now, if I could only get Husband to stop squeezing my stomach fat and making me jiggle… (Right now I am rolling my eyes.)

Awesomeness that happened to me…

LARABARS ARE ON SALE AT DILLON’S! Finally!

Larabars are awesome.

They are super delicious… No! They are the most delicious of all meal bars.

Unfortunately, they cost $1.49 per bar, and I’m not in the business of spending that much money on a snack. One dollar? Yes. Forty-nine more cents? No.

Lucky me that Dillon’s has their Larabars for $1 per bar. Yay! I can buy them again! At least until they go up again…

What will I do if they go up again? (Because they will.) Might I… make… my own?

Oh yeah.

Lemon Coconut Larabars
Ingredients

  • 170 grams (1 cup) cashews
  • 227 grams (1 1/2 cups) pitted semi-soft dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon or lime
  • 15 grams (1 tablespoons) lemon or lime juice
  • 76 grams (1 cup) dried shredded coconut

Directions
Chop nuts into small pieces. Use some of this nut powder to “flour” the bottom of a 9×9″ baking pan. It’ll prevent sticking.

Add remaining ingredients and process until well mixed.

Press into baking pan.

Chill for at least a couple of hours until firm, then cut into squares or bars.

PB&J Larabar
Ingredients

  • 5 Dates
  • 10 peanuts
  • 7 cashews
  • 1 tbs of raisins
  • 1 tbs of dried cherries
  • 1/2 tbs of all natural creamy PB (*The secret ingredient* and we used Krema brand)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions
Put all ingredients into a food processor, and blend to a well-mixed paste about 3-4 minutes. Roll out flat in bar shape. Freeze for about 3o min, then wrap up for later, or enjoy now.

YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Thank you!

Check out more recipes for Larabars here.

Treadmill torture, I said? Well, I’m sore, and I really hate –hate –the incline when I’m sore. My hamstrings are tight again; I can’t seem to keep them loose. It has to be the fact that I wear heels all the time.

Boo.

Well, I did it anyway. I walked the incline at 7 percent at speed 3.3 for ten minutes. (I tried to do 3.5, but I thought I might die so that didn’t last long.) For five minutes, I jogged/ran at 0 percent incline at 4.5 speed. Then, I did ten more minutes of incline. Finally, I ran at 5 speed with a one-minute 5.5 sprint (it was a sprint for me, okay?) at the end. In total, I supposedly burned 251 calories (breakfast) and went 1.98 miles for 30 minutes.

According to the monitor, my heart rate did not go above 155 (it needs to be 168 at least) until the end of my sprint. What does that mean?

I suppose if you have increased your cardiovascular exercise, your heart rate will slow and be more difficult and require more work to increase. But… seriously? I felt like I was going to die! I didn’t feel healthy! Well… I do now…

Maybe I’m getting healthier?

Goodness I hope so. It’s about time!

Perfect day for Power Yoga (and I’m a busy kid)

I had a good workout this morning. Finally!

When I reluctantly woke up this morning and rolled out of bed. My first thought was that I did not want to go to yoga.

Well… my first thought was coffee, but my second thought was very much that I did not want to go to yoga -especially since it was Power Yoga.

However, I have skipped far too many workouts to be lazy about the one I actually have time to do; so I went, and it was great!

My hips, hams and quads were very tight, but after a hip-focused yoga practice, my hips are open and my hamstrings and quads are feeling much looser.

I feel very good about today, but I’m afraid this feeling won’t last…

Yesterday, Friday, is usually my favorite workout day because it is the last day of the week that I have to be on a treadmill. However, my days have been so jam-packed full of stuff that I really do not have time to workout.

“Shae… You have to make time.”

That’s so annoying to hear.

“Shae… Your workout is important, too.”

I really hate to hear that, too.

Here’s the thing: I’m busy. I have so many things to do throughout the day, and none of them are very fun, and most of them are LESS fun that getting on the treadmill (which, if you know me, you know how much I hate cardio).

This was my Friday…

  • Wake up at 6:30 a.m., get ready for work, go to work.
  • Office hours from 7:30 a.m.-8:20 a.m.
  • Teach early morning class (8:30 a.m.-9:20 a.m.)
  • More office hours until 11:30 a.m. (Eat something)
  • Teach late morning class (11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.)
  • Another hour of office hours (and then I’m usually off to the gym at 2 p.m., but not this day…)
  • Meet classmate to work on incredibly confusing statistical research assignment (Do you like SPSS? I don’t.)
  • Figure out statistical assignment? (No clue if we did it right…) Then, back down to the office to write a summary of the results from the assignment. I think it took about an hour. (While eating something.)
  • Skip studying, working on one of three papers for the semester and homework, also do no reading or grading of papers; instead, go home and get bad news from insurance company
  • Cry and be mad
  • Get over it
  • It’s about 5 p.m. now. Do you believe it?
  • Clip coupons, hunt for recipes, make grocery list, go grocery shopping (finally) at 7 pm. (I had a lot of coupons…)
  • Spend 1.5 hours grocery shopping because I have to hunt for deals, find those specials, do math in my head and weigh my fresh fruit and veg to make sure I have enough. (In school, you think you’ll never use math. Well, you won’t most of the time… but the grocery store is nothing but math.)
  • Get home, unload, refill and clean up
  • Eat something at 9:30
  • Spend some quality time with Husband before he leaves for work

I went to bed at midnight last night and did not stop moving or doing something until that moment. And then I couldn’t stay asleep so I woke up millions of times for no reason. Who was a groggy girl this morning? This chick.

See how busy I was?

“Shae… did you need to cry and be mad about stuff?”

Yes.

“Fair enough.”

Finally, got her to shut up! She’ll be back, though. Sigh…

So that was my day… That’s what I do almost every day. I sit in front of a computer screen in an office more than half of my day AND evening working on school and work and more school and then some more work. :(

However, because Ashley R. and I are sick to death of stressing out because of grad school, we’ve decided to go walking and stair-climbing around campus on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I’m there all the time any way -might as well make it a gym.

I have every intention of getting back into the “swing” of my week day workouts, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at least… (My day is usually longer on Monday and Wednesday because I have night classes.)

Boo. Hiss. I hate being busy. I cannot wait until Spring Break. I plan on cleaning out my yard. That’s exercise…

(OH! I also went to the bank yesterday. Gotta pay that rent!)

Luna Bars are Complete Nutrition for Women… and they’re delicious

After discovering that my beloved Lara Bars (the most delicious things ever) were no longer on special at Dillon’s, I knew I had to change my favorite nutrition bar. Luckily, Dillion’s seems to order things alphabetically, and right next to the Lara Bars were Luna Bars.

OMG… they’re amazing. Last night, for the first time ever, I tried a Blueberry Bliss bar. I had a moment. No one in class wanted to hear about it. I told them anyway.

Complete Nutrition for Women
Omnomnomnomnom...

Luna bars…

  • are 70 percent organic
  • contain calcium (35 percent), folic acid (100 percent), vitamin D (15 percent) and iron (30 percent)
  • also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, B, C, E and K
  • count around 180 calories (sometime less or sometimes more)
  • usually have no more than 5 grams of fat and no less than 8 grams of protein
  • also a significant source of FIBER

While my current favorite Luna Bar is Blueberry Bliss, other favorites include: Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Zest, Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry and S’mores. Yummy!

Of course I haven’t deserted Lara Bars. Lara Bars are all natural, have less than five ingredients at most and taste amazing. I love Lara Bars, but until they cheapen up or I learn how to make them, I’ll continue to buy Luna. Plus, Luna Bars have who-inspires-you quotes on them.

For example, today I am going to eat Berry Almond, which is “loaded with red berries and antioxidants,” and says, “To my grandmommy, who taught me that no mountain is ever too high! You are my inspiration and my hero! I love you!” -Brooke

How sweet!

Okay, I’m going to nom.