Tuesday, August 31, 2010

RECIPE FAVE: Shrimp, Eggplant and Zucchini over Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Katheats.com and foodnetwork.com 

45-50 shrimp
1 Tbsp. EVOO
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Chunky Ragu, Mama's Special Garden Sauce)
15-20 olives (black or green)
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 spaghetti squash, medium
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut up and salt eggplant.  Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Rinse off the salt and dice.  Dice zucchini.   Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and put zucchini and eggplant on sheet.   Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and bake for 26 minutes.

Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. 

Heat tomato sauce in a saucepan.  Place chopped olives in sauce. 

Defrosted, peel and sear shrimp in a skillet with EVOO.

Layer spaghetti squash, eggplant and zucchini, shrimp, and tomato sauce in a bowl.  Top with Parmesan and Romano cheese. 

Serves 4.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Damn Tortilla Chips Strike Again!!!!

It's funny how things change.  How I can go from being not active at all...to feeling like a giant, lazy lump for skipping one day of exercise.

It doesn't help that everybody and their brother had or will have a birthday in the past/next two weeks!  Every other day, I have been going out for some kind of celebratory meal/drink.  My birthday happy hour, my birthday dinner, my birthday brunch, my co-worker/friend's birthday happy hour, my other co-worker/friend's birthday happy hour...dinner with former co-workers/friends.  The list goes on and on.  On one hand, I'm so appreciative to have such wonderful people in my life to celebrate with...on the other hand, I'm not good at limiting myself when I go out to eat, and I feel as if I have been seriously overindulging.

The funny thing is, that I'm not overindulging on my usual things...like desserts or breads or drinks...it's those damn tortilla chips again!!  They get me every time!  You can't eat just one...you can't eat just 10...you can't just eat one basket!  It's so horrible!  So many calories!  So much fat!  I can never stop!  And you can't just eat plain tortilla chips.  They must be accompanied by guac...or salsa...or even the dreaded queso!

I need to seriously slow down.  I'm trying to figure out how to have a little clean detox day.  Green Monster for breakfast, ________ for lunch, cottage cheese and fruit for snack, Ezekiel's Cinnamon Raisin bread, PB and banana for pre-workout snack and Eggplant, Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash for dinner.  I kinda wanted another smoothie for lunch...would that be weird!?!?  Maybe one with some oatmeal!?!?...or just veggies.  I may look into it.  I feel stuffed and not very good.  I need to do something.

On a positive note, my fiance started working out today.  Woohoo!!  He's doing INSANITY!  I'm so proud of him!

AND I'm going to be registering for the Vinings Downhill 5K tomorrow!  I'm supposed to be doing it with my MOH (if she doesn't chicken out!)...I was so excited when she agreed to do it.  She's not really a runner...which is perfect cause I'm not really an outside runner and I can go at her pace.  I looked at the results from last year and the last person came in in just under an hour.  She was in her 60's...and I'm sure that we can beat her!  The race is in 2 weeks...I may need to step up my "training" so that I can be ready...and so I can burn off some of these damn tortilla chips!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Gotta Love a High Calorie Snack...

Okay...I tried the following today.  So yummy!  Just trying to justify a 300 calorie snack.  I think that it is super high...even before a run.

Anyway, here it is (nothing special...but I did want to document it).

one slice cinnamon raisin bread (preferably Rudi's...but next time I'll be trying Ezekiel's (only 80-90 calories a slice))
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
1/2 banana
a sprinkle of cinnamon

And that's it!  YUM!  Lots of calories but oh so good!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

RECIPE FAVE: Hot Tofu and Veggie Sandwich

1/2 cup eggplant, diced
6 black olives, sliced
1/2 onion, small
1/2 cup tofu, firm
1/2-1/4 green pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
Dijon mustard
Lettuce & Tomato
Portuguese roll

Put olive oil in pan over medium to high heat.  Saute green peppers, onions, and eggplant.  Add seasoning.  Once slightly brown, add tofu and olives.  Saute until all veggies are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut bread in half and hollow out.  Scoop half of veggie mixture into the top of bun.  Cut provolone in half and place over veggies.  Place both halves of the bun in the toaster oven for three to five minutes.  Put mustard on the half without the veggies.  Place tomato and lettuce on this half.  Put sandwich together and enjoy!

RECIPE FAVE: Texas Caviar

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 pepper, chopped (red, yellow, orange, or green)
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
feta cheese

Mix together all of the ingredients.  Add feta when you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

RECIPE FAVE: Scallop and Shrimp Tacos

1/2 lb. scallops, thawed if frozen, patted dry
1/2 lb shrimp
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
avocados, chopped
corn tortillas
Combine scallops, shrimp, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet and add onion; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Then add scallops and shrimp mixture; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until scallops are opaque and shrimp are pink. Remove scallops and shrimp from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook liquid over high heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour over seafood.
Add avocados and 1/2 cup salsa to scallops and stir to coat. Spoon seafood into tortilla and top with avocado and salsa. 4 servings

RECIPE FAVE: Pizza with Pesto, Eggplant & Tomatoes

Ingredient List

1 lb. whole wheat pizza crust

1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 cup firm tofu

1 Tbs. plus 5 tsp. olive oil

1 eggplants, stemmed and diced

2 medium-size tomato, seeded and diced

1/2-3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400F. Coat 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet with cooking spray, and set crust in pan.

Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium-low heat 3 minutes, or until brown, stirring constantly.

Blend 1/4 cup basil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 2 1/2 Tbs. pine nuts in food processor until finely chopped. Add tofu and 1 Tbs. oil, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of eggplant and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned and tender, turning occasionally. Transfer to plate. Repeat with 1 tsp. oil and remaining eggplant slices.

Toss tomatoes with 1-2 tsp. oil in bowl. Brush crust with 2 tsp. oil. Spread pesto over crust. Scatter eggplant and tomatoes over pesto. Sprinkle with remaining pine nuts.

Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle pizza with remaining basil and mozzarella.  Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Becoming That Girl...check!

Well, I feel like it's been forever since I last posted.  My first week back has been hectic and crazy and tiring...everything that I expected it to be.

It was sooooo good to see my co-workers.  I work with an awesome group of people that make it truly fun to go to work.  Yesterday, I got to meet my class for the year (21 SUPER cute kindergartners!) and celebrated with happy hour with the friends/co-workers and pizza with the fiance.

Yesterday, I discovered sin-less margaritas.  Only 2 (or 5) calories for the mix (I read conflicting reports).  They were actually quite tasty...kinda strong...not that sweet...but pretty good.  I wanna find out how many calories they are total...but for now, I'll be ordering those whenever possible.

This week, I was thinking about my blog title...Becoming That Girl...and I realized that I really feel like I have done it.  Through reading the blogs of all these fascinating, healthy women, I have transformed the way that I eat...think about eating...exercise...and live.  The past two months have taught me so much.  Everything finally clicked...and I can see this as a life long thing.  I feel like I have really become that person that I set out to be...

Whole Foods Shopping...check!

I find myself at Harry's (which is really Whole Foods) at least once or twice a week.  AND I have made TJ's a regular part of my shopping trips as well.  I have actually learned to love going to the grocery store...something that I loathed before.  I like looking at all of the different foods...and making mental notes of what I want to try.  I even like making my grocery list and weekly meal plan!

Conscious eating...check!

I enjoy all the different healthy foods that I am eating...and I really can't imagine eating any other way.  I'm an ingredients checker these days (I used to only be a calorie checker).  I truly try to stay away from products with tons of wierdo ingredients that are unpronounceable and have a lot of x's and y's in them.  I'm eating foods that I never thought I would ever eat (it still baffles me that I eat cottage cheese...and like it!!)  And I'm cooking!!!  I enjoy looking for healthy recipes.  I like knowing the ingredients in my foods and adding extra veggies to recipes that I find!  I can finally eat a plate of cooked vegetables and be satisfied (though salads are still not my #1 favorite...I don't see a raw food diet in my future).

10K running...almost check!

I am in week 10 of Couch to 10K.  I NEVER thought that I would make it this far.  This morning, I got up...did my 5 minute warm up...ran for 20 minutes at 5.6 mph...walked one minute and ran another 20 minutes at the same speed.  I NEVER...and I mean, NEVER thought at the beginning of the summer that I would be doing that.  And doing it without being overly winded...without wanting to quit the whole time.  Doing it and feeling good!!!  I ran a little over 4.25 miles!!

I think that I am dedicated to this running thing.  It's a challenge...something that I feel determined to conquer.  After I finish this program (in another three weeks), my goal is to take it outside.  I think that I still have a little mental block against outdoor running...something that I must overcome.  I can't wait until it cools off a bit...I think that will help.

I'm also working on my speed.  Each time I try to run a little bit faster...and it's working.  I remember the day that I was dying at 5.5 mph. 

Another goal is our little 5K a month goal.  My friend at work and I have pledged to do a 5K a month starting in September.  Oh!  And I will also be doing a 5K with my fiance...it may be in October.  I think that he needs a little more time to get in shape...but he's definitely headed in the right direction (he's been doing the exercise bike and will be starting P90X soon!!!  Very exciting!)

Yoga loving...check, check, check!!!

Yoga is back in my life and I am loving it.  It's so funny, I just started doing yoga again a week or so again and I have done it almost every day.  My goal is to do it at least 3-4 times per week and hit up hot yoga twice a month!  I've been reading my yoga journal and falling back in love with the practice!  Yoga wakes up my body in the morning and I barely care that I have to get up at 4:45 am to do it.  It's truly awesome and I just want my practice to get better and better.

My next step in terms of yoga is meditation.  I need to hone my focus and meditate regularly.  That will be my new goal for the next couple of months.  Regular meditation.


It think this one goes with the conscious eating category.   I love my veggies and grains...and I also love my fish and seafood.  I think that I've been eating fish about one or two times per week.  I don't really think about it.  I'm know that I never think about meat these days.  I don't crave chicken or beef...and I never even think about pork.  A pescatarian lifestyle definitely works for me!

I'm happy that I was able to set my mind to something and attain it.  I don't even have that weird superstitious thing that I usually would have...thinking that I was jinxing myself by acknowledging all of these things.  Things seems to have just clicked. 

With that being said...I don't know how much I'll be blogging these days.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading all about healthy foods and fitness from the "professionals!!!"  I love reading about Kath and Caitlin...and Tina, Faith, Diana, Emily, Elaine, and Lisa.  And I REALLY love that some of them have even reached out to me...especially Maria and Allie!!!  And I love that Roni and Angela (and Allie too) have changed my diet by providing yummy and nutritious things for me to make and eat!!!  I never even knew this world existed...and it has truly changed my life!!!  I think that these women are doing amazing things...and I'm not sure if they truly know how many people they are affecting and how many lives they are touching.  It's almost like having a group of "friends" that you are able to talk to about health and fitness...something that I do not currently have.  I kinda wish that there was some way to thank them all!

The biggest lessons that I've learned from the blog world are:

1)  Don't restrict yourself.  It's okay to have a little pizza here...or a little Chinese food there.  Splurge a little.
2)  Push yourself physically (I have Emily and Caitlin to thank for this one).  It's gonna hurt...it's gonna feel uncomfortable.  That means it's working.
3)  Try new things...foods, workouts, etc.
4)  Uber-healthy food can be good!
5)  I can do it too!  Though these women are super special...there is nothing extraordinary about them.  Most of them have had some kind of struggles with weight and/or body image at some time in their lives.  They are normal people with spouses and jobs and lives that keep them busy.  If they can do it and be happy, so can I!!

So, I say all of that to say that I want to leave the blogging to the professionals.  I may update once or twice a week...more like once...and just for my benefit to put in new recipes and keep track of where my head is at.  But my schedule will not allow me to keep this up.  And if I was to be a blogger...I mean, a real blogger, I would want to do it right.  I would want to have a nice camera...and the pretty pictures and the fun weg layouts and all of that.  I'm just not there yet...and I would rather spend my time reading everyone else's fabulous blogs!:) 

I'm so happy with where I am.  I'm don't have it all together, but I am super happy that I am headed down the right path.  And this blog has been a huge part of my journey!!:)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am sleep typing right now...

Too tired to say anything of any significance, but I did want to type up the recipe that I tried tonight.

Eggplant Parmesan over Spaghetti


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 egg whites
  • EVOO
  • 3/4 cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2-1 green pepper 
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • finely chopped herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, etc)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sauté onions, garlic, green peppers and mushrooms in EVOO.   Drain and set aside. Wash eggplant and dry with clean cloth. Cut off thin slice at both ends and discard. Do not peel. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch slices. Dip in egg and then in breadcrumbs. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.  Set aside.   Combine the cheese and herbs in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Put some of the sauce mixture into a baking pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Alternately layer breaded and browned eggplant, onion/mushroom/green pepper/garlic mixture, cheese/herb mixture, and sauce in pan. Repeat until all ingredients are used up. Cover with heavy- duty foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Let rest 15 minutes and then serve over spaghetti. 

Sorry...no pics.  I got the recipe from www.recipe4living.com...but I changed it quite a bit to make it my own.  

It was really good!  My fiance even liked it...which means that it must have been awesome:)  

I really want to write more about how I went into shock when I calculated how many calories are in a cup of spaghetti, but I am waaayyyyyyy to tired (for the record, I only ate 1/2 cup).  

New schedule is kicking my butt...G'Night!

Monday, August 2, 2010

E is for Endurance; T is for Training

Last night, as I suspected, I did NOT get a very good night's sleep.  Between the laughter of my fiance and his cousins downstairs, his nine month old nephew and my "first day of school" nerves...I probably got about 4 hours of sleep.  Luckily, the first day back is pretty low key...I usually end up doing a lot of talking to my friends that I haven't seen in eight weeks.  I also like to put the furniture in my classroom back in place.  When I walked in this morning, everything was pushed into the middle of the room.  Boo!

Thankfully, as a whole, the day wasn't too bad.

As I was driving home from work, I felt surprisingly excited about doing my Couch to 10K workout.  It's crazy because I NEVER feel like exercising after work.  Matter a fact, I made a conscious effort to leave at a respectable hour so that I could work out at a decent time.

Today, Couch to 10K had me running 10 minutes with one minute walk breaks in between.  The total run was 53 min (which includes a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down at the beginning and end of the workout).  Though I should've been super tired...my pace was faster than I have ever done before on C210K.

Distance:  4.501
Time:  53:24
Pace:  11:51 (this is very good for me!...and includes the warm up and cool down walks)

As I was running, I realized that I was running faster than the day that I decided that I was going to quit C210K.  (I was running 5.6 mph)  I remember feeling like I was gonna die for most of the run...after, I was miserable.  I just knew that I would never be a runner.

Today, I felt good.  I was actually a little excited that I was running that fast.  I was amazed at how you can train your body to do different things.  It's so simple, but it still kinda baffled me.  The fact that something that at once was hard can now be done with ease through training.  The same endurance that had me winded the first time was now allowing me to run for 10 minutes straight.  It really is amazing!  I'm really glad that I did not quit the program when I wanted to originally.

Oh!  One other thing on the running front...I have pledged to do monthly 5K's starting in September with two of my co-workers.  (One of the co-workers is a woman that I did my first 2 5K's with years ago).  It's a pretty big challenge...especially since I don't run outside.  5K t-shirts are my motivation:)

I'm super exhausted and excited about getting in the bed tonight.  I had a quick dinner of Herb crusted cod (it comes already herb crusted)...and some roasted balsamic green beans that I found on Ohsheglows.com.

I was worried because I really only like green beans (wait for it)...when they come in a can. (I know!  Blasphemous!!)  But today, I tried to step out of my box and try some fresh ones!!

Here's the recipe...


  • 2-3 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and trim green beans.  Place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle oil on beans and mix with hands.  Next drizzle the vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and mix well with hands. Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly brown ends appear.

The fish looks kinda fish patty like...but it wasn't.  AND it was super good!  

These were good too!

Sidebar:  My fiance told me that there is a way for my food to look better in pictures.  Something about too much white and changing the setting.  I'm still not sure what I'm suppose to do, but it's comforting to know that it's not just me and it can be fixed.

Okay...sleepiness is setting in super fast.  Gotta go!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Twas the Night Before Work...

Well, it is finally here.  The last official day of my summer break.  I'm feeling a bit...hmmmm, melancholy would be the best word to describe it.  I don't know if it's because I have to go back to work or because of TOM.

Or it could be because we may be having more house guests come in this evening.  The future in-laws left this morning and my fiance's cousins may be coming in this evening.  They will just be passing through on their way to Miami...and any other time this would be okay...but tomorrow is my first day back and I just kinda want to finish my laundry, prepare my meals, pick out my clothes and relax.  Not really in the mood for entertaining.  But, what can you do!?!?

Anyway, other than the gloom of starting work tomorrow (I used to call these the Sunday blues), I've had a pretty good day. 

This morning, my fiance's sister dropped off her 9 month old...and along with the lil cutie, she brought these...

And yes!...they were "hot and now!"

Though Krispy Kremes (especially "hot and now") used to be a yummy treat morning, noon, or night...I resisted the temptation.  And I had this...

Chocolate Green Monsters have been a staple for three days now.  Loving them!!!  I'm already looking forward to making one tomorrow before school. (I hope the blender doesn't wake up the cousins).

After the CGM, I did a lil more yoga...I think I'm addicted!! I was supposed to do P57 AGAIN...but again chose downward dogs over my "thigh party."  Oh well.  I'm really diggin' Steve these days!

This afternoon, I had my first salad in a gazillion years for lunch.

As I was eating my salad, I was thinking that my feelings towards salads are kinda like my feelings towards running.

1)  I know it's healthy.
2)  I envy everybody else that's doin' it.
3)  Definitely haven't found a love for it quite yet.

I see all of these lovely salads on everybody's blogs...with lots of different colors and veggies and all around healthy stuff and I am so impressed.  But when it comes time to plan my meal...salads are never at the top of my list.  Maybe it'll come...maybe not.  We will see.

Well, right now, I'm sitting under the dryer waiting for my hair to dry.  Gotta look purty for tomorrow!

Oh!!  Before I go...I got my toes done for my first day back.

 In this picture, you can really tell that my second toenail on my left foot has a mind of it's own.

I wanted purple...but I ended up with this crazy teal.  So out of character...but I wanted something different.  Did y'all know that you could go to the nail shop and just get a polish change (w/o the pedicure part) for super cheap!?!?  My future sister-in-law gave me the scoop on that.  I may be the last person on Earth to know about this (not true...that would be my mom.  I told her and she didn't know about it either).

Anyway...bout to make more spinach and mushroom calzones for dinner (and for tomorrow's lunch).  AND I'm gonna sit back, relax and enjoy the last 4.5 hours of my summer break!