07. 07. 12. 01:29 pm

My Life

My life is very hectic. I live with my amazing boyfriend in New York State. It’s not only expensive to live here but its also very fast-paced. It’s almost like someone hit fast forward x16 and it only effected this state. I’m finding that I spend my days rushing to work, rushing through work, and rushing back home. There is little time for sleep and little time for healthy food decisions. I work at a hotel full time + overtime from 3pm-11pm, anywhere from 5-7 days a week. And 9 times out of ten I’m working 7 days a week. These next two weeks, in fact, I will be working 14 days in a row. Getting off at 11pm, means I won’t be pulling into my driveway until midnight. By the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is cook a full meal, especially something healthy. Basically, I have become lazy. I’m awake from 11am-4am every day, and I usual survive on anywhere between 3 to 7 hours a day if I am able to fall asleep at all.

To make matters worse, I am an insomniac and an anxiety ridden person. I suffer from Generalized Anxiety disorder and Panic Attacks. Recently, I went through 5 months of debilitating attacks that left me severely depressed. I started reading articles on how I could better my life and every single article recommended I start eating better, organizing my life, changing my attitude, and thinking positively. So here I am, ready to be in charge of my life, finally.

I work at a Historic Inn located in a state park. I spend my days getting yelled at by people for things I can’t control. I’ve had people throw things at me, curse me out, violently touch me, and scream at me for the most ridiculous things. I am somehow able to remain calm while I am being yelled at for things like: the bed is too firm, no one told me the hotel was in the woods (it’s a state park…), the pizza delivery guy took 2 hours to get here, the park isn’t well-lit, the rooms are too expensive, and the fact that I am too nice. That last one is a real kicker, isn’t it?! I’ve gone through gas leaks, fires, fist fights, obnoxiously drunk guests, and so much more. Yet, somehow, despite the fact that bend over backwards for my company, they have not once thanked me. There was no thank you when I came in over 40 times on my days off because someone called in sick. There was no thank you when I spent 16 hours cleaning every office in the building. No thank you when I bought paper and pens with my own money because the company refused to. And no thank you for all the times I came in early, stayed late, worked 14 days in a row, took care of my manager’s to-do list because ‘she just didn’t want to do it’. Needless to say, I hate the company I work for, I hate half of the guests that stay at the hotel…BUT, I love my job. I love the people who thank me for making their vacation amazing, I love the guests that buy me flowers for going above and beyond for them, I love the guests that only book rooms while I am working because they hate the rest of the staff, and I love the vast variety of people that I come across while working.

Things are stressful, to say the least. So it is time to put things back together, be happier, and live simply.

07. 08. 12. 01:14 pm

Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings

Healthy Crunchy Onion Rings adapted from How Sweet It Is and Pink Parsley, as seen in Cook’s Illustrated

2 large onions
4 cups (4 oz) reduced fat kettle chips
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 eggs
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings. Season the onion rings with salt and pepper.

In a food processor, pulse together the panko and kettle chips and transfer to a shallow dish. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Place the flour in a second shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, whisk together the egg and buttermilk.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with non-stick spray.

Dip each onion ring in flour, then the egg/buttermilk mixture, and lastly in the chips/panko to coat. Continue this process with each of the rings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Yield: 8 servings (about 12 rings each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 178 calories; 4.1 g. fat; 28 mg. cholesterol; 245 mg. sodium; 31 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 5.9 g. protein

Result: Crunchy is right! I won’t pretend these are the quickest things to make – be sure to commit to these when you’re not strapped for time. Nothing difficult, it just takes some patience :) These are absolutely wonderful – onion ring lovers rejoice! Oil-free faux fried food! Enjoy!

07. 08. 12. 01:17 pm
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07. 08. 12. 01:48 pm

Beef with Snow Peas

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
  • 5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
  • Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
  • Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

Preparation Instructions

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

07. 08. 12. 01:51 pm ♥ 1

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in shredded chicken and green onions.

2. Combine beans and salsa. Spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 burritos. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of burritos, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and repeat procedure with the remaining 2 burritos.

07. 08. 12. 07:29 pm ♥ 813

(Source: beautifulbubblyfit)

via fitfreeandhappyme-deactivated20
07. 09. 12. 12:25 pm ♥ 4

Lime Chipotle Tacos

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INGREDIENTS:

For the Tacos

1 chipotle chili in adobo; chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 lime (juice and zest)
2 tablespoons cilantro; chopped
1 pound shrimp; peeled and deveined

For the Corn & Black Bean Salsa

3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Za’atar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can sweet corn, drained
1 red pepper; diced
1 jalapeno; seeded and diced
2 green onion sliced

DIRECTIONS:

For the Tacos

1. Mix the chipotle, olive oil, cumin, brown sugar, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl and and let marinate for 20 minutes.

2. Skewer the shrimp.

3. Oil up the grill and grill the shrimp until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.

For the Corn & Black Bean Salsa

1. In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin, and Za’atar.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together black beans, red pepper, jalapeno, green onions and corn. Toss with vinegar and oil dressing, and garnish with cilantro. Cover, and refrigerate.

07. 08. 12. 11:27 am ♥ 8414
i-fitspire:

healthylittlething:

strongerfitness:

If this doesn’t convince you to eat healthy nothing will. 

WOW..

and and and you can drink all the water you want without it costing you a calorie.
High-res

i-fitspire:

healthylittlething:

strongerfitness:

If this doesn’t convince you to eat healthy nothing will. 

WOW..

and and and you can drink all the water you want without it costing you a calorie.

via strongfitforever
07. 08. 12. 01:16 pm

Skinny Pork Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 12 oz. jar of salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon jalepeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in a crock pot.
  2. Mix together all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over pork tenderloin.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours.
  4. Remove pork tenderloin from crock pot and shred using a fork, pull against the grain of the meat.  Return shredded pork tenderloin to crock pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with whole wheat tortillas, reduced fat cheese, reduced fat sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
07. 08. 12. 01:47 pm ♥ 1

Skinny Texas Cheese Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium potatoes (2/3 lb total), yukon gold or russet, washed and dried (skin on)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 slice center cut bacon, cooked & finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp diced scallions
  • 1 tbsp sliced pickled Jalapeno (jarred on canned)


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Lightly coatwith cooking spray.

Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thin slices; then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries.
In a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and oil; toss well. Add seasoning (paprika to salt and pepper). Toss to coat.


Place
 potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased large baking sheet. Bakeuncovered for about 25 minutes or until tender crisp, turning once half way through (depending on thickness this may require more or less time). 


Remove from oven, place fries into two small oven safe dishes (or one large dish for sharing), top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos, scallions and bacon bits and return to oven for  about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Serve with low fat buttermilk ranch dressing and serve.



07. 08. 12. 01:49 pm ♥ 2

Lasagna Soup


INGREDIENTS

for the soup:

2 tsp. olive oil

1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage

3 c. chopped onions

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 T. tomato paste

1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

6 c. chicken stock

8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta

1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:

8 oz. ricotta

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

PREPARATION

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings:  8

07. 08. 12. 01:52 pm

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
The chicken coating:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
The sweet and sour sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
       Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.  
07. 09. 12. 12:23 pm

Skinny Slow Cooker Recipes 2

Pesto Chicken
Makes 4 servings

· 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
· ½ cup prepared pesto sauce
· ¼ teaspoon black pepper
· ½ teaspoon garlic powder
· 1 tablespoon tapioca
· Hot, cooked fettuccine
1. Cut each thigh into 4 pieces. Place chicken in bottom of slow-cooker.
2. In a small bowl, combine pesto, pepper, garlic powder, and tapioca; pour over the chicken.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3–5 hours.
4. Serve chicken and sauce over fettuccine.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Makes 8 servings

· 3 lbs. russet potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled and cubed
· 1½ cups water
· 2 garlic cloves, peeled
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 3 tablespoons butter
· ½ cup warmed buttermilk
· 2 tablespoons fresh or freeze-dried chives
· Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place potatoes, water, garlic, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt in slow-cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 4–6 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Drain potatoes and discard the bay leaf and garlic cloves.
4. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes. Stir in the butter and buttermilk.
5. Stir in the chives and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Baked Potatoes

· Desired number of potatoes
1. Prick potatoes with fork and wrap in foil.
2. Place in slow-cooker. Do not add water.
3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3–4 hours or on LOW for 6–8 hours.
Zuppa Toscana
Makes 8 servings

· 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, browned and drained
· 2 cans chicken broth
· 1 cup water
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· 3 large russet potatoes, cubed
· ¼ cup onion, finely diced
· Bacon bits to taste
· 1 cup heavy cream
· 1 bunch fresh kale, coarsely chopped
· Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Place Italian sausage, chicken broth, water, garlic, potatoes, and onion in slow-cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6–8 hours or on HIGH for 3–4 hours, until potatoes are cooked and soft.
3. Add bacon bits, cream, and kale right before serving.
4. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve with fresh bread.
Cranberry Orange Cake
Makes 10 servings

· 1 cup butter
· 2 cups sugar
· 4 eggs, room temperature
· 1½ teaspoons vanilla
· Zest from 1 orange
· 3 cups flour, divided
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 12-oz. pkg. fresh cranberries
· Glaze: 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1 cup powdered sugar
1. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, vanilla, and orange zest.
2. In a separate bowl, sift 2¾ cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend with creamed mixture.
3. Fold in remaining ¼ cup flour and the cranberries.
4. Cut waxed or parchment paper in an oval shape to fit 6-quart oval slow-cooker; put in bottom of slow-cooker. Pour batter into slow-cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, until toothpick inserted
in the middle comes out clean. 
5. When cool, place large oval plate on top of slow-cooker insert. Flip over slow-cooker so that the cake comes out onto the plate. Remove waxed paper.
6. Make glaze by whisking the orange juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cake.
07. 09. 12. 12:27 pm ♥ 2

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes 
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 5.5 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 329.7 • Fat: 6.8 g  Carb: 48.3 g  Fiber: 7.2 g  Protein: 25.0 g


Ingredients: 
  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti (high fiber or low carb) I used Ronzoni Smart Taste
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions: 
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Addfresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.