Thanksgiving and catching up

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the 4 day hiatus. On Thursday I tried to make a post and liked to the Rivalus website which is the company that makes the thermogenics I was using (and am happier now not using). WordPress apparently does not like this and immediately and without warning deactivates any blog that links to this site…. who knew?! It’s kind of ironic given that the post was about having a bad day and the universe not liking the plan I had for the day. I guess that the blog was part of all that.Then Friday the blog was still down so I didn’t write a post and I drove up to Ottawa that evening to visit my boyfriend and his family for thanksgiving. So no posting happened then, but what did happen was a delicious taco frittata and a gluten free, healthy-ish pumpkin pie. Oh yes these were awesome. My boyfriend is even tempted to cook the frittata for himself… something that is unheard of!

Before I get to the recipe’s I’ll give you a rundown of the weekend.

Friday – Driving (literally nothing else to report)

Messing around and caught on camera

Saturday – ate sparingly throughout the day, did a quick circuit style leg work-out on the porch with my boyfriend before heading over to his sister’s for thanksgiving dinner. At the dinner I had the following:

–          Cheese and gluten free crackers plus some of those raincoast crisps because they are delectable

–          A few tiny pieces of fudge (which is a huge weakness of mine)

–          Honeyed ham

–          Pecan, goat cheese, pear and cranberry salad with lemon vinaigrette

–          Butternut squash

–          Turkey (obviously) and lots of it

–          Gluten free pumpkin pie

–          A small slice of pumpkin cheese cake topped with maple candied pecans

I figure all that added up to around 1500 calories plus about 800 for the food I ate throughout the rest of the day, so not terrible overall. Plus it was a good shock to my system and a good carb up. I didn’t have too much of anything that was terrible for me, just a lot of food. No alcohol either, which really helps keep things in check.

Feeding the Chickadees

Sunday – Slept in 🙂 Had a lovely cup of coffee with a splash of milk, splenda and vanilla. Fasted until about 4 pm to try to clear my system of any junk I ate the day before. I then went for a VERY leisurely hike with Andre and his sister, her boyfriend and a friend. We fed the birds and had a lovely time. I broke my fast with an awesome bowl of homemade turkey soup with bone broth which is one of the healthiest things you can have, followed by a largish dinner of steak, butternut squash, more of that salad, red peppers and mushrooms. I also had a half slice of pie for desert, because I love pumpkin pie and it was pretty low calorie. I also napped somewhere in there. Apparently I was sleep deprived. Sleep is so important for your health and especially important for weight loss.

Monday – Slept in again, which was so needed and wonderful. Then I did a crazy rowing interval session followed by chest and shoulders with my boyfriend. Then drove back to Toronto in crazy traffic which took 6 hours instead of 4! When I finally got there I met my family at Miller Tavern for a delicious dinner of sautéed vegetables (light on the butter) and seared Ahi Tuna served blue rare with some hoi sin sauce. It was delicious. 

Grabbing weights for the last set

I got home ready to crash but knew that I had to cook up so protein for today so I quickly thawed and cooked some grass-fed striploin steaks, prepared my meals for the following day, and had a slice of pumpkin pie 🙂 (noticing a theme?) and went to bed.

This morning I woke up at 5 AM and went to the gym. I did a crossfit workout called EVA which equated to 75 push-presses, 75 burpees and a mile and a quarter run in just under 26 minutes (over 5 rounds at 15, 15 and a ¼ mile each time). I was exhausted but I still did 30 minutes on the elliptical and got in a great stretch. It will be a long day since I’ve already been awake for 7 hours and it’s only noon!

But on to the recipes!

You may have gathered that I don’t believe diet food should taste bland. I LOVE food, so I’ll be damned if the small amount of food that I get to eat is going to taste bad. Each mouthful should be a celebration IMHO. Whatever diet you are on, I guarantee that you can eat delicious foods that will satisfy you and not ruin your diet. One of the recipes that I made for low carbs days is a new one that I will definitely be making again, thought it’s a tad high in sodium.

Taco Frittata

Taco Frittata in my cast iron skillet, just out of the oven

Ingredients:

–          Half a medium yellow onion, diced

–          1 bell pepper (I used orange), diced

–          1 lb extra lean ground beef (preferably grass-fed)

–          2 eggs

–          1 cup egg white (or 8 egg whites)

–          1 tbsp oil of choice

–          ½ pkg taco spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat an ovenproof (i.e. cast iron) skillet to medium-high heat and add the oil while dicing the onions and peppers.
  3. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent
  4. Add the peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes until softening
  5. Add the ground beef and break into small pieces, cook until brown all the way through and continually stir to let some of the liquid evaporate.
  6. Add the 1.2 pkg of taco seasoning (or whatever seasoning you like) and mix thoroughly. Drain any excess liquid at this point.
  7. Beat the eggs and egg whites together in a bowl and pour over all the ingredients in the skillet. Move everything around to allow the eggs to disperse evenly. You don’t want it all sitting at the top because the egg holds everything together. Cooke for 3-5 minutes on medium heat on the stove top.
  8. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for approx 15 minutes until the egg is completely set but not browning too much on top, just keep checking it until it’s done.
  9. Let it cool then slice into 6 slices and serve topped with some grated cheese and salsa for an added taco-ish flair.

Nutritional info (without toppings) : Cals – 205 cals     Carbs – 5 g    Fats – 9 g     Protein – 27 g

This reheated really well and the boyfriend enjoyed it on some toast with salsa, I usually had some snap peas on the side, maybe some cheese and a few tbsp of salsa. What a great savoury low carb breakfast.

There were 2 other dishes I made this weekend, Butternut Squash, and pumpkin pie. Unfortunately no pictures of the squash, but it was super simple to make.

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

–          1 butternut squash

–          1 tbsp unsalted butter

–          1 – 2 tbsp of maple syrup, maple sugar or brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Clean the outside of the squash and pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a large knife,
  3. Remove the guts of the squash (I don’t know the technical name, but that’s what it looks like to me)
  4. Poke some holes in the squash and place cut side down on a buttered cookie sheet
  5. Cook for approx 30 minutes or until almost done (i.e. a fork will insert easily into the flesh) and flip over. Score the top of the squash deeply with a sharp knife and spread the tbsp of butter over the flesh of the squash and put a blob in the hollowed out part.
  6. Drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle sugar over the squash and add a little extra to the bowl
  7. Put it back in the over for 15 minutes or until caramelized and squash is fully cooked.

Healthier gluten-free pumpkin pie

Crust (makes 2 crusts)

Ingredients:

–          2 c. Almond meal

–          4 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 475F
  2. Melt butter and mix with almond meal
  3. Distribute half of mixture into eat non-stick pie dish and cook for 7-10 minutes until turning brown but be careful not to burn it.
  4. Take out and let cool while you make the filling.

Filling (makes 2 pies)

Ingredients:

–          1 15 oz can pure pumpkin (E. D. Smith is what I use, but don’t get the pie filling, just the pure pumpkin!)

–          1 ½ c. Fat free evaporated milk

–          1 c. Splenda brown sugar blend (this is half brown sugar and equivalent spend, so it is half the calories for the same level of sweetness)

–          4 eggs

–          1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Increase oven to 475 F
  2. Whisk eggs together and mix all ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  3. Distribute filling between the 2 pie crusts evenly.
  4. Cook at 475 for 15-20 minutes and decrease oven temp to 350 F.
  5. Cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour (the splenda increases the cooking time) or until a toothpick comes out clean and it’s not super wobbly anymore. This is a bit of knowing what it looks like when it done.
  6. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve because it tastes better cold 🙂

Nutritional Info (for 1/8 of a pie): Cals – 195 cals    Carbs – 20 g    Fats – 8 g    Protein – 7 g

And for an update, this is me as of this morning, 2 weeks and 4 days to go 🙂

Side view

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