Friday, September 30, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits with vegan chilli

/hihi Our little family of humans and canines worked up a huge appetite at the dog park- Ty and I played Frisbee while also throwing a tennis ball for Ellie. All 12 pounds of her streaked across the park putting the other dogs to shame!

 Tux was more interested in our Frisbee than the ball. He doesn't really play 'fetch' he plays 'I'm going to grab whatever you guys are throwing and then I want ALL of you to chase me in circles' He loves that game!

Tux playing 'Everyone chase me!!"

The air is finally a little cooler here in Florida and a few leaves are changing color. I wanted to make something fall themed for dinner! I guess it comes from reading other peoples blogs and all their fall recipes! I'd come across a recipe for sweet potato biscuits in a book I own called "Cross Creek Kitchens" describes the book like this:

Long for the simple life? Take a trip and stay a spell at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Florida farm with caretaker and' author Sally Morrison. Bake up some 'grapefruit biscuits' and listen to her tales of living the delightful simple life in Cross Creek More than 150 recipes reflects the seasons’ bounties and focus on natural ingredients; the Sweet ’Tater Pie, for example, calls for cane syrup or honey as a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

I modified her recipe a bit - I had to as we only have Almond Milk and Earthbalance in the fridge as we are about 80% vegan for health reasons (after watching Forks over Knives!)

Sweet potato biscuits

1 and a half cups unbleached white flour
half a cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
half a teaspoon baking soda
half a teaspoon salt
one fourth of a cup olive oil (or butter, I used olive oil to be healthier)
1 cup cooked, mashed, peeled sweet potato
1 tablespoon honey (or cane syrup)
Half a cup almond milk (or milk)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sift white flour and whole wheat flour together in a large mixing bowl. Sift again with baking soda, baking powder and salt (or don't- I skipped the second sifting and just stirred!)

Add olive oil to mashed potatoes and mix in the honey and milk, beat it all together until it forms a kinda smooth, awesomely orange mixture!

Add the sweet potato mixture to sifted ingredients. Mix thoroughly and quickly. Turn onto floured board, adding scant amounts of flour if necessary. Don't handle the dough too much. Roll or pat to half inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a floured metal cup, or a biscuit cutter if you are fancy and actually own one :)

Bake on a greased baking sheet (I used olive oil spray) at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. They will turn a lovely golden brown and make your house smell great! 

Makes approximately 15 biscuits (even when using a cup to cut em!)

Slice while hot and place a little earthbalance (or butter) in the middle and let it melt in...mmm.

Ty actually made the chilli for us, gosh I love a man that cooks!!! And that dollop of white on top? Garlic hummus! It was my sour cream replacer, still trying to be at least 80% vegan! Here is a recipe for chill I already posted if you are looking for one:

In other news: I resisted cake today at work and ate fruit instead, go me!  

My office is seriously a battleground of Me VS Sugar!

 I was offered fresh chocolate chip cookies within five minutes of being there on Monday!

I said "No thank you!"

I have only eaten about 5 things in the entire year though (things that were worth the calories like home made triple Dulce deleche cake..I mean OMG..)

 Habits have changed, thankfully- one of the reasons I put on weight was office goodies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A whole pint of ice-cream that is only 150 calories? My review on its taste..

I ate really healthy foods yesterday and worked out hard, so I decided to reward myself by trying out my pint of chocolate peanut butter Artic Zero. I'd read about this amazing ice cream online, and how it is only 150 calories for the PINT! I found it at my local health food store (if you go to their website you can find providers near you)

My opinion? Well, its not EXACTLY ice doesn't QUITE taste like it. I got used the flavor once the ice cream softened a bit and ate half the pint while watching the new episode of American Dad (the weird one with a murderous hot tub and Cielo singing most of the episode...)

Eating this ice cream is kind of like eating a frozen chocolate protein shake- it is made with whey protein. This is the ingredient list:


Monk fruit is apparently a calorie free sweet fruit grown in the mountains

Anyway, I would recommend this product for a BEFORE dinner treat....if you have had one of those stressful days and are reaching for say wine/candy/chips/cheese before you make dinner, reach for this instead. It fills you up quite a bit and will help you to satisfy your sweet tooth and not overindulge at dinner!

I'd prefer a Skinny Cow Dulce De Leche as an after dinner treat over Artic Breeze though.

It has a MUCH better ice cream taste, and is the same amount of calories (just a lot LESS ice cream- but I'm not the kind of girl who eats a whole pint in one go, to me less ice cream but better flavor wins!)

 Artic breeze would be really good if you are going through a break up and just NEED to eat a few pints Bridget Jones style!

And of course fruit would be a much better dessert, but you know, sometimes a girl just needs a little ice cream...

On a final, off topic note: here are some photos I took while messing around with my camera for photography class. We needed to do some 'blur' photos, meaning that you keep your camera lens open for a period of time and record something moving in front of it and it blurs...I did these photos in the dark with my LED keychain light and kept my camera open for 30 seconds, so much fun! :D
The technique is called "Painting with Light" and Picasso did it back in the day, artsy old man that he was..

An Om

Monday, September 26, 2011

The biggest avocado in the world

On Friday night I ate half of the biggest avocado I had ever seen!! This thing Just HALF was more than an average avocado! I made it into gucamole, with fresh cilantro and salsa! I saved the other half for the next day, sprinkling it with lemon juice so it wouldnt brown.

I've been on a bit of a curry kick recently! I love Indian food and its actually a cuisine I'm good at cooking (having grown up in West Bengal). I find its a great way to get my veggies in and have tasty food too- sometimes veggies are so bland (not with curry though!) Actually we didn't call it 'Curry' in Bengal it is called "Subji" just a lil tidbit of info...I will call it curry for all my readers though as it seems to be what is used to describe Indian food in one big lump lol!

This is my lunch for work today, I made it last night: Butternut squash/sweet potato/chickpea/tempeh curry (ahem- subji!) in coconut sauce with spiced yogurt rice (brown)

I love the yogurt rice as it takes away some of that earthy flavor brown rice has and gives it a little more kick!

It is one of my favorite rice dishes- and boy have I had a LOT! Growing up in India I've had sweet coconut rices for breakfasts, savory  lemon rices for lunch, opulent Bengali Pushpanna or "Royal" Rice for dinner feasts (loaded with curd..mmm!!) and rice in condensed milk with mangoes to top a meal off....nobody makes rice like Indians, just saying...

But my favorite go to rice is yogurt rice :) Its really simple to make!

 Basically, I use Uncle Ben's Boil in a bag brown rice (it only takes 10 minutes to cook). In a small saucepan I heat up two teaspoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds, as many chilli flakes as you want (or fresh chilli) depending on how spicy you like it, and three bay leaves. You can also add some garlic/onion powder. When the mustard seeds starts to pop, take the mixture off the flame and mix it in with a cup of unsweet plain yogurt, and mix this all with the rice. Salt and pepper to taste. Let it chill in the fridge and thicken. Serve cold. The mustard seeds are the key ingredient- if you don't have bay leaves its no biggy!

I used the yogurt rice with another dish too- Aloo Mathar Gobi (Potatoes with Cauliflower and Peas). I had a head of cauliflower sitting around and didnt know what to do with it, so I turned to an old Indian favorite :D

I had my last summer berries over the weekend too....I doubt fresh raspberries will be a decent price much longer!

Check out this Stop Action shots I took for photography class of a capoeira demonstration for the Downtown Latino festival I went to on Saturday (had my first tamale- didnt like it- almost plain polenta/grits style with NO seasoning, yuck!)

And one of Tux for good measure, with that perpetually sad face he has

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weight Loss Success!!! I acheived my New Years Resolution!

I have a big announcement.......

Well..... today is the last day of summer...aaand the title of this blog is "Fit for Summer" and guess what? I achieved the goal of 125 pounds I thought of as IIMPOSSIBLE at the beginning of the year when I was 143-147 pounds! I have been at 125 pounds for a week now (I wanted to wait to announce it, as I wanted to make sure I stayed at 125) OMG /XD I am so happy!! It wasn't all easy peasy but I DID it =D>

This is the first time I've ever stuck to a New Years resolution by the way...and I feel pretty darn proud of myself...

When I first set my goals, I just wanted to be 135 pounds....I reached that then set my eye on the seemingly impossible 125...and thats where I am at today! :D

I went from a size 10 to a size 6 (or 4 in some brands)


I went from this....143 pounds

After:  125!!

I think my biggest tip from this journey - work out at least 4 times a week for at least 45 minutes each time. I try to burn 500 calories when I do cardio, and I mix in strength training too! Some days I feel SO tired from work+school but the gym gives me energy, and all my back aches etc. melt away after a gym session!

Eat UNPROCESSED almost cant go wrong if you do this!

 I learnt to veer away from too many processed vegetarian proteins like premade burger patties etc and eat more lentils and quinoa! If you cook most of your meals, and use things that don't come out a box ready made you will see the pounds melt away and your skin clear up and your hair grow longer :D

No rest for the wicked though- I am going to continue going to the gym and eating healthy and see if I can't get to 120 pounds by December! It sounds nuts/impossible but I probably can...I've come to realise with this weight loss that my build is actually petite (fancy that- under all my fat I was hiding small bones! Makes sense- my sisters are all about 115-120, I dont know why I just thought I was the genetic anomaly, the 'curvy one' LOL)....Wish me luck!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spinach Pie

Ty got the job he wanted! He just graduated at as a Paramedic and he actually got the job he was after, I am so proud of him :)

Sadly that means he won't have as much time to cook and make me delightful lunches! I had my usual Bolthouse Farms Mango Protein smoothie for breakfast and was excited to have vegan spinach pie for lunch!

Vegan Spinach Pie
 It is so good! I could probably eat a whole pie by myself (but I didnt thankfully).

Vegan Spinach Pie
(serves 8)
10 ounce box frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1Tbs chilli flakes (if you like spice)
2 Tbs oil
3 cups crumbled tofu (soft or silken tofu is best)
1 Tb lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pre-made pie crusts
3 parboiled potatoes

Cook spinach according to package directions. Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Cube the par  boiled potatoes and add to the pot, cook until a little browned. Add spinach, tofu, lemon juice, and seasoning. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, continue cooking spinach/tofu mixture for 5 minutes. Mix well. Pour into pie crusts. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crust is brown.

Makes two pies

Total calories per serving: 180
Fat: 11 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Iron: 2 mg
Calcium: 87

Dinner was rigatoni and a home made sauce that included tofu+spinach and fresh basil mmm...

I had fresh raspberries for dessert with a skinny cow ice cream (only 150 calories) :)

After dinner we enjoyed a glass of Riesling on the front porch, the weather in Florida is finally cool enough to do that! I'm really excited that our fall is just around the corner! I made a fall wreath for the front door


I did NOT feeling like going to the gym- headache, exhausted etc, but I dragged myself out there and did an hour on the bike while reading my big fat entrepreneurship book for homework- multi tasking as I'm short on time!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One day at a time

/hihi So I did pretty well with my eating yesterday and I hope to stick to that today! Its kind of annoying that one day of perfect eating doesnt get you to your goal weight instantly.

 Sometimes I feel like that I should be rewarded for being so good by dropping at LEAST a pound...unfortunately the reality is that is is days and days of eating well that lead to results! And working out!

My workout plan for today is to do an hour of cardio. I've been doing 45 minute sessions, or 30 minutes + 30 minutes of weights, but I think burning 500 calories every gym session is necessary to shift these last few pounds!

Sadly, I've developed Mouse Elbow over the last few days! Mouse elbow is a term I came across when searching google to find out why my right outer elbow has been hurting! Basically, its a mild form of tennis elbow that comes from using a mouse too much (I work on computers 8 hours a day).

 I'm going to have to change my workout routine to try not to stress it. No dumbbells, just weight machines, and no elliptical, just the treadmill!

Todays Food Journal:


I decided to try a different Bolthouse farms drink for breakfast, the Mocha Cappuccino. Its my first taste of coffee since I quit a few months ago!

It was ok, but not as filling or tasty as my usual Mango Protein drink despite having just as much protein in it. I prefer the mango drink because it contains actually fruit as well!


A tasty home made salad I brought into work :) Kalamatas, spinach, tomatoes, vegetarian 'beef' tips


Raspberry Chobani yogurt swirled with a cup of fresh raspberries...mmmm!! The BEST way to eat your antioxidants!


Spinach/tofu/potato pie!

A handful of kettle chips (my man was eating them in front of me and I find it hard to resist not having any!!)


I hour of cardio DONE- I did the Arc. Its kind of like an elliptical but a different leg motion and without the arms- I did 500 calories in just under an hour actually, I left the gym ten minute earlier than I thought I would :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tracking my eating....

When I began this blog I wrote down all my meals and it helped me to see where I was doing well and where the calories were adding up.

Ive almost reached my goal of 125 pounds (from 143 pounds!) but not tracking my eating daily is leading to too many 'treats!'.
I need to be eating more like this (minus the fish!)

Its time to get back to it! I just had a weekend of awful eating- funnily enough it was mainly from attending our health food stores annual birthday bash! They gave away free samples of wine, cheese, fresh bread and hummus, mozzarella balls with pesto, get the picture!

I also need to shake up my work outs! I started last night, instead of going to the gym Ty and I went on a 45 minute walk and then a 20 minute run with our dogs in the evening. It was fun! I probably need to shift away from the elliptical/strength circuit for a week or two and try different machines! We also went kayaking on the lake and climbing the biggest tree in Florida!

Certainly a big tree..
Trying to hug it lol

Is it a bird, is it a plane?
Like many of you I was also touched by the events of September 11th and my heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy! I was living India at the time, and my dad was flying back from America. He was flying through New York and the first we heard about the tragedy was when an American family friend called us in the middle of the night to tell us the news.

We didn't hear from my dad for a few hours after that,and those hours stretched long into the night!! Our family was relieved to finally hear from him, and that he was ok, but I can only imagine the pain felt by other families as they realized their loved ones where on those planes or in the World Trade Towers.


Half a large Bolthouse Farm Mango Protein Smoothie (16oz)


A whole wheat pita bread stuffed with Mexican grilled fajita mixed veggies, hummus and spinach. Ty made if for me for lunch :D


Chobani Yogurt


I'm planning on a quick Amy's organic soup as I will be rushing from work to class!

Not the most exciting/healthy option but I had a busy weekend and didnt get around to cooking ahead for the week!  I'm hoping to bake a spinach pie later in the evening for tomorrow's lunch, based on this recipe:

Spinach Pie
(serves 8)
10 ounce box frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbs oil
3 cups crumbled tofu (soft or silken tofu is best)
1 Tb lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pre-made pie crust

Cook spinach according to package directions. Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add spinach, tofu, lemon juice, and seasoning. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, continue cooking spinach/tofu mixture for 5 minutes. Mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crust is brown.
Total calories per serving: 180
Fat: 11 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Iron: 2 mg
Calcium: 87


Today is technically a rest day! I can't go to the gym on Mondays and Fridays because I have college classes right after work!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quinoa spaghetti

Can I just say that I love quinoa spaghetti? Its wholewheat PLUS it has quinoa in it adding protien! It also tastes just like normal spaghetti! :D

Update on the second detox: It didn't happen. I mostly did it but not 100% especially with Labor day festivities! I guess I just wasn't feeling hardcore/determined enough! I wish I could have considering the great results I had with the first detox!

Hey, at least I've been getting all my gym sessions in, haven't missed one yet :D I mark them on my calendar on evenings Im not in class and go at least four times a week.

I know I'm going to have to sit down and really think about another detox though, to get off this plateau. Especially before the holiday season creeps up on me! Mental preparation is 50% of the battle really. Weddings seem to be good motivators lol. One of my friends is getting married this October and in the past year she has worked out HARD and looks fantastic!!!

I'm not sure if I will use Dr. Ian Smiths Fat Smash or Four Day Diet Detox. I think it will have to be the Four Day Diet..

hmmmph....I brought Fat Smash because I already did the Four Day Diet and was kind of bored and ready for something new. But honestly it isnt as good for my body- he lets you eat unlimited fruits and vegetables which sounds good in theory but I can eat way too many yummy fruits etc and do better when its limited like in the Four Day Diet  where he spells it out 'eat four pieces of fruit today'.

Have any of you guys done a healthy detox that you really enjoyed and felt invigorated by?