Get the munchies while you’re watching a show?

If you are anything like me… you probably grab a bag of chips or something else really unhealthy and sit down in front of the TV and munch away mindlessly. This can be a very difficult habit to break so we’re not going to try to break it right away. Instead we are going to replace that unhealthy snack with a healthy one, like the snack pictured below. Throw together a few veggies and hummus or fresh air popped popcorn. You are guaranteed to eat less calories this way then eating chips directly from the bag.

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veggies and humus to snack on during my show

The snacks don’t have to take a lot of time to put together either. These snacks are organic store bought baby carrots, some peas, and cherry tomatoes. Along with store-bought hummus this becomes a very healthy and filling snack. Maybe someday you will feel so good from eating so healthy that you will want to try making homemade hummus like I did. I don’t always have time to make homemade hummus though so I like the option of buying it at the store (try to find a version of hummus with no added oil).

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Hummus and veggease

 

 

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Couscous salad Mexican style

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes chopped or grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 cucumber chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring the veggie broth to a boil.  Add the couscous and stir.  Then turn off the heat, remove from the heat and cover the pot.  Let it stand while chopping the produce.
  • Add all chopped produce to a large bowl.
  • Let the couscous cool and fluff with a fork.
  • add cooled couscous to the large bowl of chopped produce, then squeeze the lime juice over the top, stirring often.  Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip

  • best when served chilled.

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Produce is less expensive than I thought

We all know we should be eating more fruits and veggies, especially if we call ourselves Plant-Based, Vegan, or Vegetarian.  Is produce really as expensive as some people make it seem?  I just found out produce is pretty dang cheap.  Even though I buy some produce with my groceries every time I go to the store, I never really knew how much I was spending on produce alone.  Today I decided to go to the store for produce only to see what I could get for $15.

Less than $15 of produce
Less than $15 of produce

Here is what I got:

  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 lbs of broccoli
  • 3 lbs of zucchini squash
  • 4 avocados
  • 1 watermelon
  • 1.4 lbs of tomatoes on the vine
  • 1.18 lbs of gala apples (3)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 cobs of corn

Total:  $14.54

I have included a copy of the receipt and a picture of the produce.

Produce receipt
Produce receipt

We can all find high quality produce for a decent price, especially if we buy what is in season.  Here are a few ways to get produce for a great price:

  • If you live in AZ check out:  POWWOW. You can get 60 lbs of produce for $10
  • find your local farmers market at http://www.localharvest.org
  • shop the produce section at the grocery store and avoid the center isles of the store (shop the perimeter).
  • Buy produce that is in season.  Avoid buying the produce that is more expensive because it is not its season.  If you are not sure what is in season you could google it and find out.
  • create a grocery budget for yourself and stick to it.  If you want to spend less on food, you can!  Eat from your pantry and just buy a few produce items to “spice it up”.
  • Buy in bulk.  I like to buy huge bags of the grains and beans that my family eats the most:  Black beans, jasmine brown rice, oatmeal, and kidney beans.  I then put them in a bucket to keep the pests out and add oxygen absorber packets.  Now I can have rice and beans as taco “meat” and the produce will make a nice mexican dish like a taco salad or tacos, or nachos.

 

I can eat all week on just $15 because I already have bulk beans and rice, and other pantry items to make meals with.  Here are a few meals I could make this week with the produce I just bought:

  • rice & broccoli stir fry
  • taco salad
  • pasta primavera  (with zucchini)
  • couscous salad (couscous, cucumber, tomato, onion, lime juice)
  • salad
  • Corn on the cob with a veggie burger

The best blender

If you have watched any of the  cooking videos from my last post “More plant-based cooking shows and tips for your new Instant Pot“, then I am sure you have seen that the cooks like to use high speed blenders.  I love my Mix n Blend II by Blendtec.  As you can see from the picture of mine, it is way more than a blender.  I love to mix up plant-based cookies, breads and batters in the mixing bowl too.

Mix n Blend II

Weight Plateau Breached

On May 26th I created a post titled Burn more fat.  Today is exactly one month and I am ready to report my results so far.  I am ecstatic to report that I lost 5.2 lbs using the “slow down” method of running with MAF heart rate training.  One of the reasons I am so ecstatic is that I had hit a plateau in my weight loss until changing to this MAF training with my Polar heart rate monitor.  I started noticing a difference in my face first, a coworker asked me one day if I had lost more weight, that my face looked thinner, and I was excited to say yes and tell her my MAF experience.  Then I went on vacation for two weeks and didn’t exercise as much and didn’t eat as well as usual, and I still lost weight.  I was very active on vacation though, my sister likes to be active too, which helps.  I drove to her house in UT ( an 11 hour drive) and stayed for a couple of weeks.  During my stay we ran a few times, hiked once, camped 4 nights, and went paddle boarding 2 days.  I usually run 3 to 4 days a week.

With all of this in mind I should see better results in another month.  It is really hot here in AZ though, so my training is suffering (especially since I am not a morning person).  The coolest it has been lately is 85 degrees and that is at 6am, by 8am it is 91 degrees.  Today I started my run at 9:45am and it was 94 degrees and overcast.  I ran for an hour.  By 10:45am it was 96 degrees.

As far as eating, I have been trying to avoid processed sugar and junk food.  I have been eating more higher fat plant foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados.  After reading Finding Ultra I decided my body would be ok with the higher fat foods since it is switching to burning more fat.  Rich Roll talked about eating avocado sandwiches, and I have been enjoying a few since then.  I eat more fruits and VeggEase and less pastas, grains and beans.