My first vlog!

So I finally did it, I created a vlog and uploaded it to youtube. Was slightly nervous (read: terrified) to put myself out there like that, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I have to get myself out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone got me where I am today! So without further ado, Thinner By Thirty Vlog #1:

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Something new…

So I am thinking of creating a weekly video update for the blog, something to be posted on youtube and shared. My hope is that it will be inspiring for others on any sort of weight-related journey, and it will give me something to hopefully look back on when I get to my goal. Also I’m looking forward to the filming experience too! So I start tomorrow, we shall see how this turns out! 🙂

My inner foodie

It’s Friday, it’s Friday!! Finally my weekend is here, I woke up at 5:24am this morning and I am loving it. I am usually SO not a morning person, but since I worked a 12 hour shift yesterday I actually fell asleep at a decent time despite the ridiculous heat. Had one of those mornings when your asleep one second, and the next your wide awake. That never happens to me! I made the most of it though and got some planning done for the week. Got my menu planned through Saturday so I’m feeling pretty excited. I am looking forward to being less stressed about what I am going to eat, and eating bad crap because I didn’t have anything planned out. I am also happy to report that my menu I planned for the week falls within the guidelines I set for myself. I am getting in lots of good protein, limiting grains to 2 servings a day, and making better carb choices. NSV for the week, I would say. One thing I discovered while planning my week is I need a trip to the grocery store desperately. I am, however, very excited for the dinner I am making tonight. Grilled BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Roasted Broccoli and Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Sauce for dessert. *insert drool joke here* I will be doing a blog post later this weekend with the recipes if I remember to snap some pics.

I only did so-so this week. I was under my calorie goal all week but I have not exercised once! I also have been HORRID about drinking my water and watching sodium. My mom commented Tuesday night that my ankles looked puffy again, and I woke up Wednesday with swollen eyes. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Too much Subway and Wendy’s salads, not enough potassium and water. I will be fixing that this week. (Already on my 2nd glass of tap water – blech) This is my week I work Mon-Thurs, with Tues/Thurs being 12 hour days. When these weeks come around (every other week), I find it hard to maintain my sanity let alone my fitness. I need to attack that problem and come up with some sort of plan so I can still get in my exercise – and then get off my lazy ass and actually you know, do it. I am still right around 210, I believe it was 210.4 this morning. I am hoping once I get my arse moving more I will see the weight start coming down again.

As far as food goes, I am pretty excited to share some experiences with you from recipes I tried recently. The first one I will talk about is Protein Pancakes. I have seen recipes and mentions for these popping up everywhere lately. I found a pretty easy recipe online and attempted them this morning. The results were good, and I will be making them again – but there is a disclaimer. I refuse to call these pancakes. They are more like protein… uhh pucks. Or, maybe.. protein sponges. Hahaha..

What I will say is that the flavor is great, they tasted good and I finished the batch I made. The texture leaves a bit more to be desired. When I think of pancakes I think of soft, fluffy buttery noms that melt in my mouth.

When you make a protein pancake they are neither soft, nor are they super fluffy, and definitely not buttery (unless you fry them in butter).. they are more chewy. Now I am attributing that to the fact that the recipe I used called for oatmeal. Which gave the pucks a good starchy aspect – but killed the awesome aspect. There are recipes out there that omit oats and simply use protein powder and water, and even some that use cottage cheese which I think is an interesting thing to try. So you have options. You may love this recipe as is, I however will be doing some more research. What I will say in their defense is that these make an awesome breakfast, and they are chock full of protein. If you aren’t particular about the consistency of your pancake then you might love these. I would love these if I weren’t thinking they would be a good substitute for pancakes. If your craving pancakes either make pancakes, or find a protein pancake recipe that gets a little closer than this.

Enough gum flapping though, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Strawberry Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Body Fortress)

1/4 cup quick oats

Instructions:

Preheat a pan over medium-high heat, spray with Pam or any other cooking spray. Whisk everything together and drop by spoonfuls onto the hot pan.

Flip when bubbles form on the top.

Cook an additional 3-5 minutes.

Transfer to plate and top with fresh cut strawberries and syrup of your choice. You can also add a sprinkle of cinnamon.

So there you have it. I will definitely be experimenting more in the coming weeks to see if I can actually make a protein pancake that is light and fluffy like a real pancake. But I think it bears repeating so people don’t think I am bashing these. The flavor is great, I repeat – these taste really good. I just don’t particularly enjoy eating sponges. 🙂

I do particularly enjoy eating greek yogurt though, especially coconut greek yogurt. Yeah, you heard me. Yoplait has a Coconut Greek yogurt out in their 2x protein line.

I am not the biggest fan of yogurt, but I am enjoying certain brands of greek yogurt. Fage 0% Honey has been my go-to yogurt, but I did try one of these Coconut flavored delights and it has serious nom potential. There are even little bits of real coconut in the cup. These things are a sweet, delicious snack all on their own but with the help of my friends, we have thought up some yummy ideas. You could add mini chocolate chips and slivered almonds to one of these and have yourself an Almond Joy-inspired snack that might even control my sweet tooth. I also thought that the Coconut yogurt would pair really well with pineapple, so I am going to make a coconut sauce out of it today and pair it with my grilled pineapple – can you say yummy? For only 110 calories per cup this yogurt packs a good punch of protein (8 grams), and I can say that it shows up in my planned menu more than once!

Another recipe I tried recently turned out better than I could have expected. Yes, I am talking about Kale Chips. Let me just say this, ok? O. M. G.! These things are addictive! Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be saying “Mmmm, kale.” But this is for real, these are delicious. They are crispy, and salty and crunchy and just awesome. You can flavor them any way your heart desires too, which is always a bonus.

They couldn’t be any easier to make too, btw – cut the stem off of a couple bunches of curly leaf kale, rip into bite sized pieces and toss with olive oil, then bake them. I don’t know what magic makes them turn crispy, but they do and it’s a wonderful thing. You can even use other greens besides kale. I got everyone at work excited about these and a couple days later the owner brought in some collard green chips she made – and they rocked! Everyone was in them all morning long. So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients:

Kale

Olive Oil

Salt

Seasonings you love! (Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, red pepper flakes – anything goes!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the stems out of 2-3 large bunches of kale. (I found using kitchen shears worked perfect for this task.)

Rip into bite size pieces and throw them into a large bowl.

Drizzle 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon (depending on how much you like) of olive oil over the kale and toss to coat.

Spray cooking spray onto a large shallow cookie sheet, and spread the kale over the sheet evenly, making sure the kale is in one layer.*this is important, if it is clumped together it won’t get as crispy!*

It is ok if the pieces are touching each other, just as long as they aren’t on top of one another.

Sprinkle with some salt and whatever seasonings you want! I added a ton of dill and garlic powder to this batch and got ranch flavored kale chips. Mmm-hmm.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. (I found 10-12 is perfect, your mileage may vary).

After 10 minutes has passed keep checking your kale every 15-30 seconds or so. All it takes is 30 seconds too long for nasty, burnt kale. It is done when the kale has shrunk considerably, and when you move them around the pan they sound dry and crispy. Doug described them as sounding like fall leaves, haha.

Transfer the chips to a plate with a couple paper towels to absorb any extra oil.

Eat them as fast as possible without burning your tongue.

So from what I have heard these keep pretty well in a plastic container for a couple of days. I wouldn’t know. I always eat them straight off the plate after they come out of the oven. Yeah – all of ’em. I also must say I am definitely NOT a fan of greens. I don’t particularly care for lettuce, spinach, kale etc, and I often find them very bitter. I can handle a salad if it’s covered in meat and dressing however. But seriously people. I adore these. They taste like oil and salt when I make them and that to me is just fine! The majority of the calories come from the oil obviously, so adjust to your needs and taste. I used a whole tablespoon because I had a lot of kale to cover and I liked how they came out. Just do whatever works for you!