Well to start off with an update on my “wedding makeover”…. weight is stable, last week I only lifted twice (goal 3-4x/week) and did one regular run and one day of intervals on the treadmill (goal 2-4 days of cardio/week). I also have made it to yoga for the past 3 weeks! I’ve been doing better about keeping track of my food, and do pretty well during the day, but afternoon/evening snacking is definitely my downfall. That’s what I’ll focus on this week. I’ve been eating 300-350 calorie snacks between meals to see if it helps my hunger attacks later in the day. I’ll also be taking my measurements again this week; sometime the scale doesn’t budge but the inches are melting away (even though that’s not likely the case this week).
We had some friends over for the Super Bowl last night, not that I actually watched more than a few minutes of the game! But we had (if I do say so myself) a pretty fabulous spread; everyone left feeling just a bit too full!
One piece of advice I always give around the holidays, make sure to eat a good, healthy breakfast and lunch before parties. Many people “save” their calories for the party by skipping meals before – I PROMISE you that this doesn’t work out in your favor.
I started out with my usual oat bran and had a yummy salad for lunch. To make sure it would fill me up, I loaded it up with:
- 1/8 block extra-firm lite tofu
- 1/2 cup chopped raw butternut squash
- 1/3 cup kidney beans
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red peppers
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 T. tahini paste, 1/2 T. tamari sauce, 1/2 T. minced garlic
And here are is the Super Bowl Spread:
Hummus :: (minus the roasted red peppers)
(we were hungry while cooking and broke into it before I could snap a photo!)
Sweet Potato Chips ::
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Wash and slice up some sweet potatoes. The thinner you slice them the more like chips they will be, the thicker they are the more like potato skims (yum) they are.
Lightly spray each side with olive oil cooking spray (or brush with olive oil). Line baking sheet with “chips”. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until brown (or crispy if desired).
Snapped the photo a little late I guess 🙂
Get creative with the spices on these! My other favorite combo is a little salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme!
I also made regular potato skins (Russet potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic pepper) and homemade corn and whole wheat tortilla chips. For the tortilla chips, cut the tortillas into eighths and prepare the same as the potato chips. I just added salt and pepper and they made for perfect, crunchy vehicles for my friend’s homemade queso dip and salsa!
We also grilled some turkey burgers topped with reduced fat Sargento provolone cheese and plenty of veggies.
And my favorite part of the day…. dessert!
No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls ::
Makes 22 cookies
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
18 whole, pitted dates
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
4 T dark chocolate chips
In a food processor, blend cashews and almonds until nuts are pulverized. Remove nuts and blend dates, vanilla extract and salt until smooth. Place nuts back into processor and blend together. It will looks like loose crumbs when it’s ready. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a heaping tablespoon to begin to form balls and shape in your hands. Refrigerate to help keep form. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for these no-bake balls lately, feel free to experiment with ingredients! I wanted to keep it simple this time, but I sure will be experimenting also!
Nutrition Stats (per ball) :: 100 calories, 10gm carbs, 7gm fat (almost all poly and monounsaturated), 3gm protein
Gluten-free Brownies ::
Makes 15 squares
- 3 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 7 T. Smart Balance butter
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 2 T. + 1 1/2 t. oat flour (add 2T additional for high altitude)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 8×11 baking pan with cooking spray. Melt choc chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat (or double boiler, if you have one). Once melted, add all the other ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan and cook for about 30 minutes, until springy in the center. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cut into 15 squares.
Nutrition Stats :: 122 calories, 11gm fat, 3gm saturated, 3gm poly, 3gm mono, 50mg sodium, 28mg cholesterol, 49mg potassium, 6gm carbs, 2gm fiber, 3gm sugar, 3gm protein
“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
Question // What are your favorite, healthy treats for entertaining?