Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easy Almond Oat Chicken

Try it on a bed of spinach with almond slivers and strawberries!
I was feeling creative this morning during my meal prep for the week, so I decided to go out on a limb and try something new....

Almond Oat Chicken

  • 2 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup of quick oats
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, crushed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray. 
  • Put almonds, oats and paprika in food processor or be ghetto like me and put them in a ziplock baggie and beat with a tenderizer:)  
  • Place chicken on cookie sheet, baste with egg whites, sprinkle with almond/oat mixture. 
  • Put in oven at 375 for 25 minutes or until done.  

    Walnut Crusted Salmon

    Another Clean Eating Quick and Easy Meals recipe...  I was surprised by this one because I would have never paired cinnamon with fish, but it was YUMMY.

    Salads with a protein source are quickly becoming my favorite clean meal.  I had one hardboiled egg on top of a mixed greens salad (walnuts, cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette)  with a side of 1/2 baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon for my lunch 4 days last week!  I'm going to add chicken into the mix next week, but I'm no where close to being tired of this combination!

    Walnut Crusted Salmon

    • 4 salmon fillets (4 oz each)
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    • pinch of cinnamon
    • olive oil
    • 8 cups of salad greens

    • The recipe called for coating the salmon and then searing in olive oil, but I decided to bake them. 
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cover a cookie sheet in foil. 
    • Baste the fillets in olive oil and then coat with the walnut/cinnamon mixture.  Place on cookie sheet and then seal in foil so it does not burn. 
    • Bake for 40 minutes or until fish begins to flake. 
    • Place fillet on bed of fresh greens and top with balsamic dressing. 

    Coconut/Macadamia Crusted Chicken

    Two of my favorite things- macadamia nuts and coconut!  They are a perfect pair in this recipe.  Pair the chicken with some steamed broccoli and quinoa/lentil mix and you've got a quick and easy dinner.

    Coconut Macadamia Crusted Chicken

    • nonstick cooking spray
    • 4 oz of macadamia nuts, chopped
    • 1/4 cup of flaked unsweetened coconut
    • 4 chicken breasts
    • 1 egg, beaten

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a cookie sheet lined with foil with cooking spray. 
    • Combine macadamia nuts and coconut in a ziplock baggie. 
    • Lay chicken breasts on cookie sheets and baste with egg.  Then sprinkle with nut and coconut mixture.  
    • Place in oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. If the topping starts to brown too much, cover chicken with foil and continue to cook.  
    *Adapted from Clean Eating Quick and Easy Meals.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    6 more weeks...

    I am now without my boot!  Dr. W is in the process of getting my bone stimulator approved.  As long as that goes well, I'll be using the stim on my foot every night for the next month or so.  I am free to train on the bike, arc trainer, elliptical and in the pool.  THANK GOODNESS.

    It will still be six weeks until I am allowed to run, which stinks, but at least I have some other options at this point.  It is going to throw a wrench into coaching track since I can't do the long distance runs with the team and it is going to stink to go to track and field day and not run the mile with the kids to keep them motivated...and it is going to stink not to play in our student-faculty basketball game this Friday.  But, I know that this is all temporary and I have to just keep setting new goals.

    So for now, I'll be doing some serious interval training on the bike and arc trainer.  I'm already coming up with lots of variations on routines.  I did 10 minutes on the arc trainer Monday, 15 minutes on the bike yesterday, and 20 minutes on the bike this morning.  I think I'll still to easy intervals and work my way up to 30 minutes by the end of the week and then start pushing it next week.  I still need to get a metal turf toe insert from the running shop before I can really push myself.  Hopefully I can pick it up this weekend and be ready for cardio next week!

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    My plan....

    :) hahaha!  one day, right?!

    Roonie is a stud

    Fire up the grill

    Last weekend, we started daylight savings time off right with a healthy grilled dinner.  We put our entire meal on the grill, had a drink, and then enjoyed dinner!  I can't wait until we can spend our summer evenings grilling, fishing, and walking the dogs!

    The grill master, himself. 

    Balsamic marinated chicken, sweet potato chips, and baby zucchinis in olive oil and sea salt.  YUM!

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Brown Bagged Lunches

    This is week two of packing healthy lunches for me and Carrie.  When Carrie told me that she was not disciplined enough to stick to a healthy diet, I offered to pack her lunch.  I really enjoy trying new recipes and coming up with ways to sneak fiber and extra protein into our lunches.  What does this look like? 

    Typical snacks:  (we have an AM and PM snack)
    • Fruit (chopped apples, celery, dates) and Greek yogurt
    • An apple sliced with cinnamon
    • Trail mix (almonds, dates, raisins, craisins, walnuts)
    • Homemade protein bar
    • Homemade energy bar
    • Celery with natural peanut butter
    • Cottage cheese topped with cinnamon and walnuts (Carrie's favorite! ;))
    Examples of lunches:
    • Omelet with spinach and low-fat cheese with side of baked sweet potato
    • Lean ground beef burger on multi-grain english muffin with fruit salad
    • Whole wheat tortilla with bananas, sliced almonds, peanut butter, and honey....with side salad. 
    • Egg white pizza with low-fat cheese, grilled chicken, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and bbq sauce
    • Grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, and sweet potato wedges
    • Whole wheat rotini with ground turkey marinara sauce

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Heavy Lifting

    Now that I've laid the crutches to rest, I'm switching up my lifting routine.  Still no cardio for me, nor legs....I introduced myself to Comcast's OnDemand Fitness routines over the weekend.   I did a 10 min. glute routine on Saturday which obviously involved legs, but with minimal impact and I felt good.  Pretty sad that 10 minutes left my legs sore after being off of them for so long.

    I also gave an advanced ab routine a whirl...16 minutes of intense abs!! I loved every minute of it.  So, my new goal is to do some sort of glute/leg home workout sans the weights twice a week and an at home ab workout three times a week, courtesy of OnDemand.

    The switch up at the gym includes lifting heavy, and by heavy I mean like powerlifting.  I've never tried to lift this heavy, but I think it is just what I need to gain some more muscle mass which will give me more definition and allow me to burn more calories.

    Today's Chest Workout:

    • 5 sets warm-up seated bench press (50lb, 60lb, 70lb, 80lb, 90lb)
    • Flat bench (1 set of 3 @ 95 lbs, 5 sets of 5 @85 lbs)
    • Incline bench (5 sets of 5 with 30 lb dumbbells)
    • Decline with cables (1 set of 12 @35 lb per side, 1 set 10 @ 40 lbs per side, 2 sets 8 @ 45 lbs per side)
    Doesn't look like a lot, but it was tough.  I'm not looking forward to trying to push myself up out of bed in the morning.  I can already feel the tightness and soreness coming on....  Change = Progress!

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    What to have in the pantry...

    and fridge...and on countertop...  This list helps me when I am shopping, so hopefully it will help you all too!


    • Almond milk
    • Skim milk
    • Natural Bliss Vanilla Creamer
    • Low-fat cottage cheese
    • Low-fat shredded cheese
    • Chobani 0% Greek yogurt (plain and flavored)
    • 2 dozen eggs
    • Liquid egg whites

    • Yellow onions
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Mixed peppers
    • Tomatoes
    • Avocado
    • Celery
    • Zucchini
    • Large container washed spinach
    • Other mixed greens - kale, spring mix, etc.
    • Frozen broccoli, green beans, spinach, cauliflower, etc.

    • Bananas
    • Braeburn apples
    • Any other fruits on sale that week --- this week I bought strawberries and kiwis
    • 100% whole wheat bread
    • 100% whole wheat English muffins
    • 100% whole wheat tortillas
    Pantry- Baking

    • Old fashioned oats
    • Quick oats
    • Natural peanut butter
    • Natural almond butter
    • 2 lbs raw almonds
    • Bag of almond slices
    • Bag of chopped walnuts
    • Whole pitted dates
    • Dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries
    • Raisins, I prefer golden
    • Chia seeds
    • Milled flax seeds
    • Unsweetened coconut flakes
    • Whole wheat flour
    • Whole wheat pastry flour
    • Cornmeal
    • Spelt flour
    • Xantham gum
    • Baking powder
    • Baking soda
    Pantry - Snacks and Quick Cooking Items
    • Rice cakes
    • Whole wheat crackers (Triscuits)
    • Unsweetened applesauce 
    • Canned tuna
    • Gluten-free pancake mix
    • High-fiber instant oatmeal
    • Kashi cereal
    • Chex corn cereal
    • Cheerios
    • ---For the kids--
      • whole grain Goldfish
      • Nutrigrain bars
      • 100% fruit/veggie juice
      • Applesauce to-go
      • Boxed raisins
      • Welch's fruit snacks
    Pantry- Cooking
    • Quinoa
    • Brown rice
    • Whole wheat spaghetti, penne, lasagna noodles
    • Marinara sauce
    • Low-sodium chicken broth
    • Black beans
    • Pinto beans
    • Chickpeas
    • Frozen or fresh chicken breasts/tenders
    • Lean ground chicken breast
    • Lean ground turkey
    • Salmon fillets
    • Tilapia fillets


    • Vanilla extract
    • Almond extract
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
    • Paprika
    • Cumin
    • Taco seasoning
    • Sea salt
    • Pepper
    • Agave nectar
    • Stevia
    • Honey
    Healthy Cooking Oils/Fats/Vinegar
    • Extra virgin olive oil (and spray)
    • Extra virgin coconut oil
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • White vinegar
    • Apple cider vinegar
    Drinks (other than milk)
    • Green tea bags
    • Sleepy time tea bags
    • Dark roasted coffee
    • Water with apple cider vinegar
    • Cherry coke zero for mixed drinks
    • Vitol 100% Egg white protein
    • Pre-workout stimulant
    • Multi-vitamin
    • Fish oil
    • Glucosamine/Chondroitin

    Thursday, March 8, 2012


    I did not even waste time trying to take a good picture of this bowl of deliciousness.  I couldn't wait to snap a shot with my phone and dig in.  I read about this concoction over on PB Fingers and knew that I couldn't wait to try it.  The combination of ingredients were so bizarre that I knew it was perfect for me;)

    Here we go:

    Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse

    • 1 ripe avocado
    • 3 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
    • 3 1/2 tbsp honey
    Scoop out the avocado meat and place in food processor with cocoa powder and honey.  Blend for about one minute or until it begins to look like mousse.  Top with whatever you'd like!  I used almond slices and strawberries.  Lick the food processor clean:)

    I'd highly recommend that you make this much for each person who will be eating.  I consumed the entire mixture in 2 minutes or less, and called Jennie during to process to freak out about how fricken awesome this recipe is!  Healthy fats, cocoa, and a natural sweetener....couldn't ask for much more on a Thursday night!

    Egg White Pizza

    You've got to try this!  I made each of us egg white pizzas Wednesday night and I swear I could eat another pizza tonight and tomorrow night and so on.  Easy and good!

    I mixed together 5 egg whites (used the ones from a carton), a tbsp water, and some pepper.  Pour this mixture in a nonstick pan sprayed with Pam.  Let it cook until opaque.  Use a plate to help flip the "crust" and finish cooking on the other side.  Remove from pan and add whatever toppings you would like.

    Evan added hot sauce to his, while Rich used a traditional marinara sauce, and I made a bbq chicken pizza.  Mine had ground chicken, caramelized onions, spinach, cheese, and a little bbq sauce drizzled on top.  DELISH!!  I think I'll be making another this weekend.  Earlier in the week I made several omelets with spinach and a little cheese, but topped with leftover spaghetti sauce with ground chicken.  Again, sooo easy and yummy!

    Rich's pizza


    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Energy Bars and Cocoa Muffins

    I spent my snow day doing some experimental baking.  I tried to recipes from Clean Eating Quick Easy Meals and had to some improvising due to the ingredients that I had on hand.  The energy bars were REALLY good!  The cocoa muffins were okay....they aren't sweet, which I like, but they taste a little too healthy for most people.

    Cocoa Muffins

    Energy Bars
    Cocoa Muffins (makes 40 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins)
    • 1 1/4 cups oats
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk (i used almond milk)
    • 3 tbsp agave syrup
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 cup raisins (i used golden)
    • I also added 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with paper cups
    • In large bowl, combine oats and next five ingredients.
    • In another mixing bowl, whisk together egg, applesauce, almond milk, agave, and oil. 
    • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture.  Stir just until all dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips.
    • Pour batter into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly.  
    Energy Bars (makes 16 bars)
    • 1 cup natural peanut butter
    • 1 cup honey
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1/2 cup chopped dates
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 cup almonds
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • Combine peanut butter and honey in large nonstick pot and heat on low until runny.  
    • Mix in the oatmeal, dates, and nuts.  Stir until all ingredients are well covered.
    • Line a 9x9 inch pan with waxed paper.  Press the mixture into the pan.  Let cool, and then cut into 16 bars.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    March Snow Day!

    FINALLY, we got a snow day!  They were calling for a dusting, then 1-3 inches, and we ended up with about 6 inches.  Crazy.  It was a hard call because it didn't start snowing until after 6:00 am.  It's hard when I wake up some early and have to wait so long to find out what is going on.  I'm glad I got a long workout in this morning though. 

    The dogs had fun playing in the snow.  It is like crack for Jack.  He goes absolutely nuts, out of his mind.  I thought I was going to end up face first in the snow with him running circles around me!  I ended up tying him to a tree for two hours and he ate every minute of it up.  Silly boy.

    Let's go!

    Miss Moosie

    Dixie making a run for it.

    Yummy snow.

    Play with me!

    One happy boy!

    Let's see how many snowballs I can bring into the house

    The Lorax in 3D

    I usually don't get overly excited about animated movies, but the fact that I teach about sustainability and we watch the old version of The Lorax in class, this is one movie that I knew I would see.  I'm even contemplating inviting my students to meet me at the theater in a couple of weeks to watch it again.

    I typically don't try to watch a movie when it first comes out, but I thought we'd be okay with a cartoon.  Wrong.  We got to the theater 40 minutes early, which we never do because the theater is two minutes from our house, but we wanted to make sure that we got good seats on the top row.  However, they were already sold out!  Hailey burst into tears as we sat down to try to figure out what to do next...We found another local theater that was showing the movie in 3D.  I am NOT a big fan of 3D movies because the last experience left me with a migraine and the glasses didn't fit well, but decided to give it another chance.

    I'm so glad that we did!  The movie was cute and I loved the 3D.  They had special kid's 3D glasses which worked great for Hay Hay and she was so focused on the movie that she didn't even bug me about drinks and popcorn and I had to suggest that she eat up towards the end of the movie. 

    How could I tell this face that we couldn't see the movie?!

    Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

    I saw this recipe on a blog (thanks to Eat, Live, Run!) early in the week and decided that I had to try it.  I am a sucker for lemon, love lemon cake!, and corn as a base is about as good as it gets.  I made these gluten-free even though I could have used whole wheat flour for the flour portion.  Instead I used spelt flour.  Since I rise with the roosters, I prepared, cooked, and cleaned the kitchen before 7:30 am.  Whew.  I was glad when it was over because I'm so used to pulling my overnight oats out of the fridge and eating right away.  It's good to slow down and try something new even if it did require making a mess.

    Rich's unhealthy version;)

    Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce (makes 20 pancakes)

    •  6 eggs
    • 2 cups buttermilk (i used almond milk)
    • 2 cups cornmeal
    • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (i used spelt)
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 3 tsp baking powder
    • 4 tbsp sugar
    • 4 tbsp cooking oil
    For strawberry sauce:
    • quart of strawberries 
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • Combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepot over low heat. Cook the mixture for 20 minutes or until it is jam-like.  Remove from heat and set aside. 
    • Beat eggs in large bowl.  Add the almond milk and oil and beat until well blended.  
    • In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk together and then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  
    • Spray hot skillet with cooking spray or use butter and cook pancakes for about 1 minute on each side.  Be careful-they brown quickly! 
    • Top with strawberry sauce and serve!

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Friday Night Game Night

    We resurrected Friday Night Game Night when Hailey came over on Friday.  It was her turn to choose the game, so we played three rounds of Let's Go Fishin' and one round of Candy Land.  Without any help, not that you can really cheat at Candy Land, Hailey won!  I came in dead last, like 30 moves behind everyone else.  Bad luck.  The dogs were all over the board when we first sat down, but thankfully they decided to nap while we played. 

    Healthy Squash and Chicken Casserole

    I'm trying to catch up on some of the recipes that I've tried over the last week and really enjoyed.  Most of them are adapted from Clean Eating Quick and Easy Meals, which came from Oxygen Magazine.  The following was a hit last week for dinner!

    Healthy Squash and Chicken Casserole (serves 8)
    • 10 slices of whole wheat bread (i used 1/2 bag stuffing mix b/c we didn't have bread and added 1/2 cup water to it)
    • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (i used 1 tbsp of roasted garlic)
    • 1/2 lb chicken breast (i used 10 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders)
    • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
    • 2 tsp Italian seasoning (didn't use b/c of the stuffing)
    • sea salt and pepper
    • Cut bread into cubes and let air dry overnight on cookie sheet OR toast it in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  (didn't need to do this)
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Heat a large nonstick skillet on high for one minute.  Reduce heat to medium-low, mist with cooking spray and add onion.  Saute for 8 minutes or until caramelized.   Add squash and garlic. Mist with more cooking spray if needed, and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes.  
    • Remove vegetables from pan and mist with spray again.  Add chicken and cook until golden brown on each side, about two to three minutes total. 
    • In a large bowl, mix together cooked vegetables and chicken and bread cubes.  Mix in mozzarella, seasoning, and salt and pepper.  
    • Pour mixture into a 8 cup casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is lightly browned on top. 

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Perfect PB Protein Bars

    I tried my hand at making protein bars for the first time last night.  I'll post pictures when I get home...  So far my taste testers have reported that they are awesome, other than Evan who doesn't like peanut butter. I think I could eat my weight in these bars AND they were extremely easy to make, no baking.  The downfall benefit of this recipe is that I had to spend 15 minutes licking the yummy mixture off of my fingers after kneading the ingredients.

    Perfect Peanut Butter Protein Bars 
    *Adapted from ....Clean Eating Quick and Easy Meals


    • 2 cups of quick oats
    • 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 4 scoops of protein (I used Vitol Vanilla Ice Cream Egg Protein- MY FAVORITE)
    • 4 tablespoons milled flax
    • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
    • Any additional toppings you'd like!  I can foresee adding chocolate chips. walnuts, cranberries, spreading dark chocolate pb on top, etc....  lots of room for fun here!

    • Put oats, pb, water, protein, flax in large bowl. 
    • Knead the mixture with your hands.
    • Spoon and spread into 8x8 baking dish that is covered in wax paper for easy removal. 
    • Top with any additional ingredients (chia seeds for me)
    • Place in freezer for 30 minutes. 
    • Remove and cut into nine squares. 
    • I'm sure you could leave the squares out, but I kept them refrigerated.