The Menu Tonight: Fish & Veggies!

As a joint effort with my husband, tonight we’re whipping up pan-fried tilapia, mashed cauliflower (using fat free, plain Greek yogurt, garlic, chives, and 2% cheese), and garlicky Brussels sprouts for dinner.

I got my Monday off to a bad start, snacking on three Hershey’s dark chocolate miniatures (135 calories) after lunch and three more (another 135, gah!) during a LOOOOONG meeting.

Fortunately, the rest of my day was very healthy (salad for lunch, non-fat yogurt for breakfast, and lots of fruit/veggies for snacks), so my hope is that tonight’s hardcore cardio workout will cancel out my little indulgences and let me go to bed feeling good about my day.

Also, a schedule change at my second job means I get to sleep an extra 90 mins every night — meaning I get closer to 4-4.5 hours versus my normal 2.5-3 — so that means my appetite should be better controlled as I catch up on my ZZZs.

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

Bon appetit,
~ Tori

Healthy Baking

After a discouraging weigh-in this morning, I decided I needed to wage war against my constant, nagging, inescapable desire for sweets …by baking my own healthy alternative!

I use a Paleo Recipe app called FAST PALEO, which has an amazing collection of dairy and non-dairy Paleo recipes that are quick and easy to make. The best part? You can actually search for recipes based on what you have at home to work with for ingredients!

After an exhaustive 13 hour day between two jobs (mind you, that was with leaving the second job three hours early), I didn’t feel like stopping at the grocery store. I knew I had eggs, coconut flour, cocoa powder, and avocado at home – and I’ve heard avocado is GREAT in Paleo baking – so I tested my luck and did an ingredients search.

Voila: 23 different dessert recipes popped up, most using just those ingredients or one or two more. I settled for this one:

DARK FUDGEY PALEO BROWNIES

IMG_4545.PNG

I’m normally bad about adhering to recipes, but I stuck to this one pretty closely: only difference was that I had cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate.

I doubled the ingredients list because I wanted to make sure I had extras to freeze:

IMG_4546.PNG

IMG_4547.PNG

I used two 12-count cupcake pans, which needed only 16-18 minutes to cook at 350 degrees.

Because I used cocoa powder and not baker’s chocolate, I’ll admit that my finished product was more cake-like than FUDGEY, but it was overall delicious and the perfect portion size. If I were to make this exact same recipe again, I would ADD A CUP OF UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE (or mashed ripe banana) to make it a tiny bit sweeter and more moist.

Here’s my finished product:

IMG_4531.JPG

IMG_4544.JPG

I plan to eat them slightly warmed with a little spoonful of coconut ice cream or some mashed raspberries. To the tune of 150 calories, they pack more then I wanted for a snack, but they’re so full of protein (eggs and sunbutter) plus healthy fats (coconut oil and avocado) that the pros outweigh the cons.

The app is totally free, so if you’re a Paleo dieter like me or just looking for some grain-free/gluten-free alternatives, I definitely suggest checking it out!

Bon appetit, my friends!!

– Tori

Tuesday Accountability Report

Whew. I am POOPED.

After a long day at work, I killed it at the gym today: two hours on the elliptical!

It was actually unintentional: a movie came on and sucked me in. I almost stayed for the whole movie (3 hours!), but I had homework to finish for the Leadership Academy in my office.

Too tired to write more; I have to be up on six hours!

20140617-234912-85752478.jpg

20140617-234912-85752286.jpg

20140617-234912-85752076.jpg

Have a great night, and bon appetit!

Tori

Cadbury Creme Eggs

While I recognize that most people consider YESTERDAY to be the holiday, today is a near-religious experience for me.

Why?

Because Easter candy goes on sale today.

For those who don’t know, I’m ADDICTED to Cadbury Creme Eggs. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve been obsessed with their gooey, sugary filling and milk chocolate shell. Most adults grow out of their obsession – they are ungodly sweet, after all – but my obsession has actually grown with age.

For the last three weeks, I’ve eaten at LEAST one Cadbury Creme Egg per day. Today, I plan to visit every CVS, Walgreens, Target, and grocery store in a five mile radius to stock up on all the Cadbury eggs they have left. While my preference is for the original (the fondant-filled “yolk” egg), I’m also a huge fan of the chocolate cream and caramel-filled versions, as well.

photo

My goal today: to acquire 100+ eggs.

Don’t worry – I’m not planning to binge on them. I’ve attempted to eat a dozen in one sitting before and I did NOT fair well.

In this case, my goal is to stockpile as many eggs as possible so that I can freeze them for the egg-drought that is the summer and early fall. It’s not until Halloween comes around and the “Scream Eggs” appear that I can get my fix again, so I’m going to take a chapter from the tale of The Ant and the Grasshopper and prepare now so I don’t suffer later. 🙂

On that note, bon appetit, my friends! Enjoy this beautiful Monday!

~ Tori

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Icing

Last night, I decided to conduct an experiment in baking.

After a great workout at the gym, I was in the mood to indulge my pumpkin craving without blowing my diet. I started to look up Paleo recipes involving pumpkin and came across DOZENS that sounded amazing and easy to make.

The catch?

I didn’t have all of the ingredients.

Rather than trying to find a 24 hour Whole Foods (do those exist?) to stock up on Paleo staples, I decided to modify a recipe I found using what I had on hand. With this recipe as my inspiration, I came up with the following recipe:

Paleo Muffin Recipe

Ingredients –

  • 1 can (29 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup Truvia granules (technically, this isn’t Paleo, but I didn’t have any more raw honey in the house and wanted to shave off a few calories.)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Creamer
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp baking powder

Cooking Instructions –

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • While the oven warms up, combine ALL ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I’m not good at the precision and artistry of baking, so I rarely “combine dry then wet ingredients” nor do I sift my flours. Somehow, it always comes out fine, even when I just mash it all together willy-nilly. Either I’ve just gotten lucky or all of those extra steps are a load of bullocky.
  • In a lined cupcake pan, spoon batter until each is about three-quarters full. I had enough batter to make exactly 24 cupcakes (regular size, not minis) without issue.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until desired doneness. I’m bad and prefer the center of my cupcakes a little gooey, so I pulled mine out at 22 minutes and they were perfect for my taste. If you like yours fully cooked, definitely err closer to 30 minutes.

After devouring a cupcake with my husband, we both agreed that they were delicious, but that they “tasted too healthy.” He was right – they were only about 80 calories each, which didn’t seem like much of a splurge.

Running on the adrenaline of one successful experiment, I decided to invent my own simple Paleo chocolate icing.

Paleo Chocolate Icing

Ingredients –

  • 6 tbsp Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tbsp So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Creamer
  • 1.5 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Cooking Instructions –

  • Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 10-15 seconds, then stir again. Microwave about 10 more seconds, then remove from the microwave and stir slowly until all chocolate chips have melted and the icing thickens.

This icing was DELICIOUS and so simple to make. I just threw it together and drizzled about 1 tbsp on each cupcake, adding just 25-30 calories each, and it added a richness that completely gave our sugar-cravings a one-two punch!

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. YUM!

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. YUM!

So, if you’re in a pinch and want to whip up a recipe that uses less hard-to-find Paleo ingredients, try out these cupcakes! Most avid primal dieters always have coconut milk and almond flour on hand, so as long as you’ve got those two, chances are you can whip together just about any baked treat you’re craving with a little experimentation!

Let me know if you try this recipe at home and how it comes out!

Bon appetit,

~ Tori

 

Image

Baaaaad Girl!

20131015-231922.jpg

Warning: non-healthy food idea!

This is officially the least healthy item to come out of my kitchen in over two years.

Homemade fudge cake with an ENTIRE JAR of Nutella blended into the batter. A full bag of Brookside dark chocolate pomegranate bites mixed in, as well, for good luck.

Topped with homemade fudge icing, sprinkles, caramel corn, melted milk chocolate, and caramel.

This is diabetes waiting to happen, people.

And the best part? It’s a gift for someone else! Muahahahahahhahahahahahahaha.

My new strategy: fatten everyone up so I look skinnier by comparison.

Yesssssss. It’s diabolical, but it just may work.

On that note… bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Paleo Dessert Option (and it’s portable!)

Since I do NOT want to talk about my eating habits this weekend [not good, people, not good], I thought I’d use this morning’s post to talk about a DELICIOUS new treat I discovered for those on Paleo diets like myself:

Happy Squeeze – Organic Superfoods – TREAT: Chocolate Pear.

Simple package, decadent contents.

Simple package, decadent contents.

These little 90 calorie treats are just short of spectacular. A blend of organic pear, organic white grape juice, organic vanilla extract, and organic cocoa, these pouches taste like sweet chocolate ice cream that has been blended by the gods themselves into a perfect, portable package – no refrigeration necessary! They taste great at any temperature, in fact, and they feature a resealable cap, which is a unique option for this type of snack option. Probably because this particular brand caters to a younger audience [I admit it: I’m eating baby food, people] that likely won’t finish an entire pouch in one sitting.

Oh, I don’t have that problem. I have to force myself to slow down and savor these little babies because they taste THAT GOOD.

I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing them and enjoying them as an alternative to coconut ice cream for when I need a sweet snack before bed. In addition, when they are frozen they serve a dual purpose if you pack lunch: an ice pack AND dessert! BAM! That’s a win:win in my book.

This “TREAT” [that’s it’s actual name!] is the perfect serving size, a petite 3.5 oz, which is just enough to satisfy a craving, even on a full stomach.

In researching them on Amazon.com, I discovered that they come in a variety of flavors [OMG, they have Caramel Apple!] and they average about $1-$1.75 per pouch.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

You have to promise not to tell anyone, OK?

……

…..

Alright… here’s the scoop:

I found these at Big Lots for just 50 cents per package.

I KNOW. Just 50 cents!

So, before you order these delectable delicacies online, check your local Big Lots to see if they have them in stock. The store near my house carries a surprising variety of organic and Paleo-friendly snack foods [organic beef jerky, even!], so I always stock up when I see a new item there that I can eat. For just 50 cents a package, I bought DOZENS of these TREATS for later consumption.

Yum, yum!

Bon appetit, my friends – and happy bargain hunting along the way!

~ Tori

Kryptonite

Everyone has one. Or two. Or a dozen.

Everyone has that food – or that collection of different foods – that melts their resolve.

That food that breaks through all of the walls of determination, shreds will power into millions of shiny little pieces of confetti.

For me, that’s chocolate in almost all of it’s forms.

  • Chocolate Bars
  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate-Covered Donuts
  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries [That’s healthy, right? It’s a fruit.]
  • Chocolate-Infused Beer. [Yes, they make that.]
  • Fudge
  • Chocolate Muffins
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate-Anything Cookies

Yeah, I could go on for hours here.

I’m salivating at the thought of these delectable goodies. Why does this one food destroy every shred of self-control I can muster?

I WANT CHOCOLATE NOW.

Since I cannot control myself around these items, I tend to keep them out of my house. I buy fruit sorbets to satiate my sweet tooth and avoid picking up any chocolate-based candies unless I know the person I give them to will keep it away from me.

Is avoidance the only way to avoid over-indulgence? Must I be like Superman and dodge my kryptonite at all costs? Or is there a happy medium to this craving?

I’m still working on an answer to that.

Fighting a craving,

~ Tori