A few of my favorite snack combos!

 Basics, Blue Diamond, Fitbloggin, Food, foodie, guilty, Lenny and Larrys, lifestyle, recipes  Comments Off on A few of my favorite snack combos!
Oct 182013
 

I’ve learned from my dietitian and from personal trainers that the best snacks are ones that have a combo of macro nutrients, or at least one!!

What’s a macro nutrient?  Carb, Protein and Fat are!

One of my morning go-to snacks that is easy to pack  is 1 serving of crackers (either measured out, or usually a snack bag size) and 1 string cheese!! (Carb and Protein!)

Another is homemade trail mix: (this is 10 3/4 cup  servings)

  • 5 cups of Cheerios (or any other healthy, not sugar cereal you like)
  • 2/3 cups of Almonds (or a lower fat kind of nut) – I use Blue Diamond almonds, most recently I’ve been using their Dark Chocolate flavor!!!!
  • 1/2 cup of cashews (or a higher fat kind of nut)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 single serving size bags of M&Ms (or any other brand or generic version, I usually use the Unreal, Unjunked brand)

(The trail mix has Fat, Carb and Protein in it!)

I also like to have a single serving size yogurt (any kind…regular, low fat, greek  (BUT NOT FAT FREE) and a 100 calorie bag/3 cups  of regular microwave popcorn (Fat, Carb, and Protein!)

Sometimes though, I’m in a big hurry….I can only throw a few things in my purse before I head out the door, whether or not I know if I’ll have to be eating or have a challenging food choice later in the day, I always put almonds in my purse!!  You get fat AND protein…plus, umm, there are some really yummy ones out there.

Today at my desk I had these that I mentioned above:

 

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds - 100 calorie pack

Blue Diamond DARK CHOCOLATE almonds! 100 calorie pack

Yeah, these are chocolate!! Not coated in candy chocolate, but a light dark chocolate powder. Omigosh soo good!

As many of my readers know, Blue Diamond almonds was kind enough to give out lots of samples at Fitbloggin ‘13 and they *did* send me a box of dark chocolate samples because I was so sad that they ran out at the conference! How sweet are they?  However, they did not request in any way that I talk about or review them. I just like them so much and feel that they are so kind, that I wanted to share how much I really do love almonds.

Have you guys had their toasted coconut ones? Wow, if you want a healthy tropical getaway in your mouth, go get a sleeve of them and enjoy guilt free!!

I also have been known to pick up a sleeve or two of their Mocha Cappuccino at the gas station when I want a pick me ‘up, they actually work, plus they fill my tummy 🙂

Other items that I substitute in for snacks are:

2 Babybel cheese rounds instead of the 1 string cheese.

3-4 Graham cracker squares and a single serving of regular chocolate pudding

Goldfish crackers and Cheez It snack bags as my cracker choices

Oooh and …. 2 Oreo Cookies and a single serving yogurt

Yes, yes…things that are sweet are okay and if you know that you can always have them and that nothing is bad….its easy to build up automatic moderation.

I actually haven’t had Oreos for a few months now, not because they are “bad” but I know I can have them anytime and I’ve developed more of a taste for cheese, crackers, yogurt and nuts!!

There is also another cookie that I love to have, its super filling, mouth-wateringly tasty and I also was introduced to it at Fitbloggin!!

Have you tried Lenny & Larry’s complete cookies?

There are lots of flavors, my absolute favorite is Pumpkin!!! But double chocolate is fantastic as well 🙂

They are not “diet” cookies but much healthier and filling than a store bought cookie!!  Scrumptious!!

Lovely Alyssa was representing Lenny & Larry’s at Fitbloggin’ 13 and sent me cookies to sample. She did not request or require any reviews or postings from me, I just love them that much!

dtl_coo_pumpkin3 lennylarry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you guys get some ideas about yummy and easy snacking! Its important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep our blood sugar stable.  Going too long between meals and snacks drops your blood sugar and then you just want to maw down anything you can get your hands on…which is not good!  Keep ahead of blood sugar spikes and valleys by keeping your eating regular and healthy!!

<3 Merbear

Jan 232013
 

As you all know I’m a WW member now and wow, the program has gotten so full of helpful habits, tips & routines.

This month the routine is adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal.  I had to remind myself at first, but now I do it automatically. It might seem like a chore at first…but adding a banana, strawberries or a melon to breakfast; cherry tomatoes, an apple or oranges with lunch; or,some salad and cooked veggies with dinner has really made me feel fuller and more satisfied with my meals and snacks. I am actually now starting to crave certain veggies..like roasted brussels sprouts!

One habit I am SUPER proud of though is planning out my meals and points before I eat them.  This is a slow habit to build because I’m not a very good meal planner. But, knowing what I’m going to have for dinner…really helps me to stay on track all day. I’m looking forward to my yummy planned ahead dinner and I know what snacks/meals I can have during my work day and not feel guilty or worried about “fitting in” dinner.

Last night I made Steelhead trout. This fish tastes and looks exactly like salmon except it is more tender and has less fat/calories/points and the same amount of protein 🙂  By the way it was really easy, I just cooked it in a packet of foil in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. It was PERFECT. (Oh, I put lemon juice, a couple sprays of olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and dill) It was a household favorite!

As part of my counting up points before I eat them, I had a Vietnamese take-out victory today. We went to a local, only open for lunch during the week, Vietnamese restaurant to pick up lunch for work today.  I ordered the chicken & vegetable stir fry with fried rice.   I already had my breakfast points in my tracker, I also have my homemade baked chicken fingers for dinner in there too, and then I put in the chicken & vegetable stir fry (2 cups).  After that…I saw how many points I had left for the day. Determined I wanted a snack with points this afternoon combined with my apple, so I took that out. Then, I saw how many points I had left and I MEASURED out 1/2 a cup of fried rice (I keep measuring cups at work!) and threw the rest away!!

Measured my fried rice!

Measured my fried rice!

Threw the rest away!

Threw the rest away!

 

Tracker

 

How about that?  Rockin’ the healthy habits!!!

<3 Merbear

 

P.S.

I’m all set for Fitbloggin’ 13 in Portland! I hope to see you there!

Jan 032013
 

No! Seriously! They’re good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I got home from work, hubby wanted to make tacos…but he had to do some work first..and I was pretty hungry.

Did I eat chips? No

Did I eat crackers and cheese? No

I said, hmm….I feel like having brussels sprouts…seriously! You can go from raw brussels sprouts to a yummy roasted snack in 20 minutes!! NSV!!! Vegetable snacking!

I grabbed my bag of sprouts, chopped off the bottoms, split them in half, tossed them in olive oil and baked them at 425 for 20 minutes! Voila! YUMMMY!

While I was waiting for them to bake I had a banana, a quick, sweet, tasty healthy treat.

But then, while I was waiting for tacos to be ready…I snacked on roasted salty brussels sprouts and watched TV…ate it just like popcorn or chips…mmmm mmm!!!

Another yummy vegetable appetizer that I’ve had  was at the Cheesecake Factory of all places…..on the Skinnylicious menu they have roasted artichokes…sooo yummy, too!

Keep those eyes open for new tastes!

McCormick Recipe Refresh – Crockpot Slimgenics Pot Roast

 Food, foodie, recipes, slimgenics  Comments Off on McCormick Recipe Refresh – Crockpot Slimgenics Pot Roast
Oct 302012
 

Priorfatgirl Dawn is having a McCormick Recipe Refresh Contest through November 2nd! This is my blog post for the recipe I refreshed with McCormick spices!

As most of you know I’m using the Slimgenics program to lose weight and so far I’ve kept 38 lbs off, but I have more to go!

There are some limitations on Slimgenics, so I can’t have what you’d call a more traditional pot roast recipe…carrots and white or yellow onions are a no-no to those of us in the weight loss plan.

I *love* the new McCormick Perfect Pinch salt-free seasonings that have been showing up recently, I got to try quite a few at Fitbloggin ’12 as well.

I refreshed a salty, old-fashioned pot roast recipe to make it McCormick & Slimgenics worthy!

picture of pot roast in the crockpot

Yummy Pot Roast and Broth

Crockpot Pot Roast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours OR 8 hours

Ingredients:

  • Small Roast (3-5 lbs)
  • McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Salt Free Seasoning
  • Morton’s Light Salt (OR regular salt)*
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-5 green onions
  • 4-5 stalks of celery
  • 4-5 red potatoes
  • Slimgenics Chicken Bullion Soup Mix Prepared  (OR 18 1/2 ounces of chicken broth)*

*using regular salt/standard chicken broth is also VERY TASTY, but is not Slimgenics approved

Directions:

  1. Rub Olive oil all over the roast, enough for a light coating
  2. Sprinkle a generous amount of McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Salt Free Seasoning on all sides of the roast
  3. Sprinkle salt on all sides as well
  4. Place roast in your crock pot
  5. Chop up green onions, celery and potatoes, then place around the roast
  6. Add in chicken broth

Cooking:

Two options:

  • Set on high for 4 hours, check after 3 if you want medium rare, otherwise after 4 hours you should get medium well
  • Set on low for 8 hours, if you can check after 6 hours you could stop for medium rare, othewise after 8 hours it’ll be medium to medium well.

Temp guide:

( These are NOT USDA recommendation numbers, these are the chef recommended temps for doneness)

  • 130 degrees – medium rare to medium
  • 145 degrees – medium
  • 160 degrees – medium well
  • 170+ degrees – well done

 

ENJOY!!

Pot Roast Dinner!

Oct 032012
 

Okay this is kinda of a mish mash post of updates and this ‘n that.

Don’t forget, through Thursday, WIN A CASE OF POPCHIPS!

Since I came home from Fitbloggin I came down with a bit of a cough/cold, so while I have been doing my strength training 2x a week, the cardio has been a no…even a brisk walk was kinda making me hack up a lung. I plan to get back into running today…woo! I think I’ll be able to walk/run…my nose is still a bit stuffy, but its basically nothing.

I’m excited to run in the Moster Dash 5K here in Minneapolis at the end of the month, I’m going to run as super girl! Even with missing a week of running due to being sick…I hope to PR in this one! I’ve heard this is a pretty crowded run, and I definitely want to have fun, so if “PR”ing isn’t in the works due to the fun factor, I won’t be disappointed. I’m excited to do a halloween run!

Anyone else doing a Halloween theme costume run? What are you dressing as?

I’ve also been re-focusing as I posted earlier this week!  While in one week a person may not lose a lot of weight, (I have lost, just check out my widget on the left), I feel so much better. I love this kinda “de-tox” feeling….cravings go away or are easy to push aside, my tummy feels happy, I feel more ready to go.  Eating healthy is just so good for us all around, right?

Speaking of food….I have something to share AND a question:

This is my favorite fall salad to have, yup pretty basic because of Slimgenics, but tasty and easy!

Chicken, Apple, & Celery Salad

Umm…YUM!!  Chop up celery, cooked chicken, your favorite apple…mix it up with some heart healthy olive oil mayo…..I like to make some toast to scoop some of it up with.  My FAVORITE apple in the fall is honeycrisp!!!

Now for the question….arugula.  My grocery store was out of plain old bags of spinach….so I got a bag of spinach & arugula mixed together.  Normally I use bagged spinach to make green monster shakes. Well, sadly….arugula is way too bitter to go in shakes…I ruined a shake with it…boo.

What should I use this with?

 

What do I do with arugula or more specifically a spinach & arugula mix? (I know I could just have salad, so not that please)

That’s about it for me today! Thanks for reading, I love your comments, too!

<3 Merbear

Sep 272012
 

Yum yum yum yum people!!

I know you love popchips! I know you love tortilla chips! Guess, what?? Now popchips makes tortilla chips!!! Woohoo!!

I got to taste these babies at Fitbloggin this year and they are just as a-maz-ing as the original ones…but, yeah, they have tortilla chip flavors now, too!!

 

Chili Limon, Nacho, Ranch & Salsa!

 

You can definitely snack on these by themselves…..OR…

popchips has teamed up with award-winning Chef Aaron Sanchez of Food Network’s Heat Seekers and Chopped to bring you four exclusive recipes to pair with your favorite tortilla popchips and beer:

 

  • Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips and Goose Island 312
  • Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips and Bud Light
  • Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips and Stella
  • All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips and Shocktop
Want to win a case of tortilla popchips?  Enter my drawing on rafflecopter!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love with salsa tortilla popchips Goose Island 312

These hulking sandwiches are like Mexican subs—overstuffed with all sorts of goodness, bursting with flavor, and topped with a mind-blowingly delicious sauce of roasted garlic pureed with smoky chipotles. Have a lot of napkins on hand! salsa tortilla popchips bring a crispy counterpoint to all the juicy sandwich fillings and a bright flavor that can withstand everything going on inside that bun.

 

Makes 4 servings

For the Chipotle Love Sauce:

1 cup of canola oil

12 garlic cloves

3 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

zest of one lime

2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Cemitas:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ripe Haas avocado

Juice of 1 lime

4 cemita rolls or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds

Olive oil

1 cup refried beans, warmed (from 1 15-ounce can)

8 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated

Sliced ripe tomato

Thinly sliced lettuce

Fresh cilantro leaves

1. Make the Chipotle Love: In a dry medium heavy nonreactive sauce pot place oil and garlic cloves and cover with foil and place in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes till garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place remaining ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree till a smooth paste.

2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high.

3. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it’s one-quarter inch thick (if you don’t have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.

4. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt, and warm the refried beans on the stovetop or in the microwave.

5. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown, about a minute.

6. To assemble each sandwich, spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on a quarter of the refried beans. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, and top with tomato, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on a generous amount of Chipotle Love and top with the remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.

 

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips

Crab Dip with ranch tortilla popchips Stella

Sweet and delicate crabmeat in a creamy sauce with a dash of lime highlights the tanginess of ranch tortilla popchips. The buttermilk in the dip echoes the buttermilk flavor of classic ranch, and the jalapeno offers color and bite. While fresh crabmeat is always delicious, this recipe works equally well with frozen.

Makes 6 servings

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jalapeno, finely minced

1 pound lump crab meat, picked over, any shells discarded

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 1-quart baking dish.

2. In a mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise with an electric mixer on medium speed. Blend in the buttermilk, lime juice and salt until the mixture is smooth.

3. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the crabmeat. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until the mixture is golden and bubbling.

4. Sprinkle with the cilantro and scallion and serve warm with ranch tortilla popchips to scoop up the dip. 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips

 

All-Beef Chile Colorado with nacho cheese tortilla popchips & Shocktop

A Tex-Mex style chili is all about the meat—and the chilies. Layering the different types of chilies adds depth and a rich heartiness, a perfect foil for nacho cheese tortilla popchips, which become a crunchy base for each bowlful. Throw a handful in each bowl and ladle on a generous scoop of the meaty chili. A sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese echoes the flavor of each chip and makes this a real meal.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

6 guajillo chilies, stems and seeds removed

1 1/2 cups boiling water

6 fresh tomatillos, papery skins peeled off

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 chipotle chiles in adobo

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped

2 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck)

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Grated sharp cheddar

1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the guajillo chilies on each side for 30 seconds, until just softened. Put them immediately in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Soak for 15 minutes.

2. In the same dry skillet, toast the tomatillos and garlic, turning several times until the vegetables have softened slightly and the exteriors have brown marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the paper skins on the garlic.

3. Put the guajillo chilies in a blender with the soaking water, the tomatillos, the peeled garlic, and the chipotle chilies in adobo. Pulse to make a smooth puree.

4. In a large stewpot over medium heat, cook the onions until softened and just turning golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook through, breaking it up with a spoon as you cook, about 10 minutes.

5. Add the pureed chiles and tomatillos, the tomatoes, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, loosely covered, until the deep orange-red sauce is thick. You may need to add a little more water, but take it easy. The finished chili should not be too wet.

6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. For each serving, put a handful of nacho cheese tortilla popchips in the bottom of a bowl and ladle a serving of chili on top. Scatter with a handful of cheese and eat at once.

 

Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips

 

Ceviche with chili limón tortilla popchips and Bud Light

Usually the fish in a ceviche is trimmed into large chunks, but for scooping up this tangy-sweet version with brightly flavored and spicy chili limón tortilla popchips, I’ve trimmed the fish into small cubes, 1/4- to 1/2-inch in size. The result not only makes a ceviche that’s perfect for scooping, but also a speedy version that “cooks” in the fresh lime juice in less than an hour.

 

Makes 6 servings

 

1 pound fresh halibut filets (or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as haddock, red snapper or sea bass), diced into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup fresh lime juice (from approximately 8 to 10 limes)

1 fresh red Serrano chili, seeds discarded, chili thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 small mango, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish with the lime juice, Serrano and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. The fish cubes will “cook” in the lime juice until they are opaque.

2. Half an hour before serving, stir the mango, scallion, cilantro and olive oil into the ceviche. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chili limón tortilla popchips for scooping up the ceviche.