Aside

Pumpkin in July

Yes, I’m aware that it is now August, but I had planned to write this post last week.

Obviously I never got that far.

Unfortunately I do not have another fashion post as of yet. ūüė¶ ¬†Like I said, it is my last week of summer vacation, so I’m really living it up in my gym clothes and slacking on the showers until late at night. ¬†Yea, I’m basically a mess. ¬†But only because I can be right now.

It’s ok, I have better things to share anyways. ¬†If you can’t guess already that must mean it’s food related because, honestly, what’s better than food?

Since school is about to be back in session, I’ve been more in the fall mode rather than the summer mode. ¬†This means that I’ve been actively searching for pumpkin coffee and special edition holiday creamers already, even though I know they won’t be out until the end of September. ¬†Wishful thinking. ¬†When I stumbled upon a pumpkin product I had never seen before, I just knew I had to grab it.

Nooooooooosa

Nooooooooosa

Behold: the Noosa yogurt in a flavor that may actually rival their strawberry rhubarb flavor.

When I told my sister that little fact, she freaked out a ¬†little. ¬†I think I may have hurt her feelings because she told me I wasn’t allowed to make those types of comments¬†to her. ¬†The girls in my family are pretty protective over our¬†food. ¬†We all think that stems from the fact that my mother used to steal items off of our plates constantly when we were growing up and we’ve always felt the need to protect the plate…. in full-on arm covering, hunchback stance.

Anyways, if you have never had the pleasure of trying noosa yogurt before, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. ¬†It is the creamiest, most flavorful yogurt base that you could ever dream of. ¬†It almost reminds me of a cream cheese-like consistency. ¬†They use all natural ingredients and their cows are all hormone free (you can also see from the lid that their cows are happy- I think that makes all the difference in the world ūüėČ ) and their products always taste extremely fresh. ¬†As I mentioned before, this pumpkin flavor definitely delivered on all accounts.

When I picked it up, I was a little worried that it was going to be a mixture of canned pumpkin and yogurt¬†which is fine, if not a little boring, but boyyyy was I mistaken. ¬†The pumpkin in that little container is full of pie spiced flavor; think nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. ¬†Mixed with the creamy yogurt, I almost think of this as more of a dessert than a breakfast item but we can’t be too silly here. ¬†Who doesn’t like sweets for breakfast?!

The nutrition facts on this little baby refer to the entire container (which is 8 oz, but I swear it looks like way more… if you need a comparison, a typical container of Greek yogurt is about 6 oz), in which¬†there are 290 calories, 14 g of protein and 30 g of carbs. ¬†The calorie count really isn’t that bad, but I’m not a huge fan of the carb count. ¬†I’d rather get my carbs from eating bread so instead of eating the entire container in one sitting (I really, reallyyyyy wanted to) I took about 1/4 of the container and mixed it with about 4 oz of plain Greek yogurt. ¬†I also added in 1 Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax bar for some crunch and a small drizzle of honey with extra pumpkin pie spice.

Heaven in a bowl

Heaven in a bowl

Overall, this breakfast was very filling, low on calories but high on protein and DELICIOUS.

I definitely see more of these yogurt bowls in my future. ¬†It’s a great breakfast to enjoy after a hot workout that works up your appetite!

**If you’re interested in trying the Noosa yogurt, here is a coupon for 55 cents off. ¬†They are running a special at Target right now (and they do this special quite a bit) for 2 containers for $4. With the coupon, that means that you can get 2 containers of this yogurt for $3.45! ¬†Even though the size of the yogurt doesn’t sound like much, trust me when I say this will last you, unless you’re like me and can’t put the container away after eating 1 serving. ¬†I have tried many of their flavors and haven’t found one that I don’t like yet! ¬†Happy shopping!

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Aside

Addictions

I know I’ve been MIA for a little while but I’ve been going through a little bit of a summer slump…. Over the past week and a half I have come to the realization that I’m¬†addicted to food. ¬†I have noticed that all of my recent pictures in my phone are of food:

 

Exhibit C- chicken, spinach and tomato bagel sandwich

Exhibit A- chicken, spinach and tomato bagel sandwich

Exibit B- egg, tomato and sauteed spinach open faced sandwich

Exhibit B- egg, tomato and sauteed spinach open faced sandwich

 

Exibit A- weekend chicken BBQ and peppers

Exhibit C- weekend chicken BBQ and peppers (baby Rue was waiting for a drop to leak out of the bag!)

Exhibit D- Sunflour cupcakes :)

Exhibit D- Sunflour cupcakes ūüôā

Ok, I know I’ve already shown you that last picture, but yesterday I found myself at Sunflour again (yes, I’m aware it’s been less than a week) and I went in with the idea of getting 1 cupcake and came out with 2 cupcakes, a peanut butter cookie sandwich and an orange hazelnut croissant roll. ¬†Everything I’ve been thinking about lately has been food related and it’s definitely starting to show on my body.

I am usually a person that has serious control over myself. ¬†I get it in my mind that I’m going to do something (or not do something) and I stick with it. ¬†That is why I’m able to make it to the gym twice a day. ¬†I’ve committed myself to it and that’s that.

I don’t know what it is about food but I cannot gain control of myself. ¬†And I’m frustrated. ¬†Extremely frustrated. ¬†I feel as though there’s no point in me going to the gym twice a day if I continue to not see results because I can’t keep my diet under control. ¬†Obviously now is the time I really need to get in there twice a day with all the calories I’ve been consuming (c’mon…. I just ate blueberry cannoli pancakes AND hashbrowns, sausage and 2 eggs for breakfast this morning at Ihop) but I am getting defeated by my own self.

I was in the mindset that this summer would be the time I would take to get myself under control since I have the ability to go to the gym as often as I want, but anytime I’m not there I find myself eating. ¬†Now I’m just counting down the days to get back into work because I’m hoping I won’t have the time to think about food.

Honestly, I think it all began when I started going to personal training sessions back in February. ¬†I was given a meal plan and did the best I could to stick to it. ¬†The meal plan forced me to eat 6 meals a day rather than the 3 I typically ate. ¬†Let me just tell you I’ve never been a snacker. ¬†That was something I had control over for myself and I stuck to it. ¬†This meal plan encouraged me to snack (on healthy foods of course… my morning snack was typically a protein shake or some fruit and yogurt, my afternoon snack was a protein shake or part of a sweet potato and my “dessert” was a casein protein shake) and pretty soon I just got used to the fact that I was always supposed to be eating something (or at least that’s what it felt like coming from a person who only ate every 5 hours or so). ¬†Once personal training ended, I thought that I could incorporate some of my other foods back into my diet and just eat smaller portions. ¬†Once I became fully aware of what I was doing, I realized that I was eating the same foods I would eat before I ever trained with someone else AND I was adding extra snacks in on top of that. ¬†I was probably eating a 2000-3000 calorie diet EVERY DAY.

Yes, it is important to up your calorie intake if you’re going hard at the gym in order to¬†fuel your body appropriately, but I was eating a morning snack and a dessert¬†(not a casein shake dessert either- a real dessert). ¬†So I went to Cincinatti my first week of summer break to do some work related things and was served all of my meals there as a part of the deal. ¬†The meals that were served included a lot of mystery foods (mystery eggs, mystery chicken, mystery wet feeling scones, you get the picture) so I ended up eating a lot of salads. ¬†I came back from the trip with a smaller appetite and felt like I was finally on the right track again. ¬†Well, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, when you get George and I together on our days off we base those days around food. ¬†Now I’m back to ingesting a 2-3000 calorie/day menu again. I can’t get out of this slump and I feel like I’m on a downward spiral towards obesity. ¬†Yes, seriously. ¬†If I can’t get this under control there is no way I will be able to work out enough to counteract my food intake.

So my question to you is…. do you ever get¬†addicted to food? ¬†If so, what do you do to distract yourself from these addictions to get them to stop? ¬†What are some daytime date ideas that you have that may help keep both George and I AWAY from focusing on food constantly? ¬†

Any tips I can get would be greatly appreciated. ¬†I know a food addiction sounds like it’s not that bad but food is my drug. ¬†I am starting to see negative side effects and the fact that my thoughts focus solely on food from the second I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night¬†is worrisome. ¬†I didn’t think I had an addictive personality but maybe I’m wrong. ¬†I just want to get to a point in my life where I can focus more on living my life rather than eating my way through it and I hope someone out there has something valuable to share with me.

Aside

Greek Chicken Recipe

Man, what a busy day!! I started my morning off with a 30 min spin class and some biceps followed by lunch with a friend at Panera (I loveeee their Bgreen smoothie) and some shopping.  I barely had time after shopping to hop in the shower and get ready for dinner at Firebirds with another friend.  Even though my day seemed a little hectic, I would prefer my summer to be filled with things to do.  I hate just sitting around the house!!

Last night was a ton of fun! ¬†George and I went to my mom’s house where we got to enjoy a little afternoon sun before a huge storm came in. Luckily I had time to take my baby on a little kayak ride with me! ¬†We’ve been working really hard on trying to get her used to going in the water with us (she LOVES the beach!!), but she’s still a little scared.

Rue in her little life jacket.  So cute but oh so scared!

Rue in her little life jacket. So cute but oh so scared!

Not a fan of the life jacket....

Not a fan of the life jacket….

I got her this little pink life jacket hoping that would help take some of the stress of paddling away from her, but I was kind of disappointed with the way it functioned. ¬†Her little head barely stayed above water and she panicked a bit, so I don’t think we’ll be forcing her in the lake again any time soon. ¬†She did enjoy the kayak ride though ūüôā she was almost falling asleep in my arms!

She was too busy watching the lake around her to look up at the camera!

She was too busy watching the lake around her to look up at the camera!

Anyways, after doing a little kayaking and swimming (we were hearing some rumbles of thunder in the distance the whole time) a torrential downpour started and we decided to move our little party indoors. ¬†My mom started de-thawing some chicken and it was obvious she wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do with it (not to mention she also wasn’t really expecting 2 more people to show up for dinner!!) so I suggested making Greek chicken. ¬†I’ve never made it before, but I saw a bottle of Greek dressing in the pantry and thought that sounded good. I asked if she had a few extra ingredients, and once I was given a “yes” I went ahead and started preparing.

My mom's kitchen has everything!

My mom’s kitchen has everything! Not pictured: chicken and frozen spinach

I cooked up some spinach and seasoned it with a little garlic, salt, and onion powder and added some feta cheese to the mixture. ¬† Once that was done, I seasoned my chicken and¬†filled it with the spinach and cheese mixture and popped it into the oven to bake for a little! ¬† I served the chicken with some Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese, corn, and homemade pita chips. ¬†When my stepdad told me it was probably one of his top 5 meals that he’d ever eaten, I figured I had to share it with you.

Here’s the recipe:¬†

Ingredients:
-3 chicken breasts
-About 1/2 of a bottle of Greek salad dressing (I used Girard’s Greek feta dressing)
-1 cup frozen spinach (or about 2 cups fresh)
-1 cup feta cheese
-Onion powder
-Garlic powder
-Salt and pepper
-Red pepper

Directions:
1. De-thaw chicken breasts in microwave.  While chicken breasts are de-thawing, go ahead and cook frozen spinach according to packaging directions.  I added about 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan and let the water boil, then added my spinach and waited for it to come to a second boil.  Once that happened, I put a little salt in the water and put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about 7 mins.
2. As spinach is cooking, take your de-thawed chicken breasts and cut them into pieces (or leave whole if you would prefer).  Since we had 5 people and 3 chicken breasts, I cut them in half so that we ended up with about 5 breasts.  I then slit the chicken length-wise to prepare to stuff if with the spinach.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, red pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste.  Transfer chicken into a small casserole dish and let sit until spinach mixture is complete.
3. Once the spinach is fully cooked, drain it (I try to get as much water out as possible so I usually squeeze the spinach with a spoon a couple of times… watery spinach never tastes good!!) and season with salt, garlic and onion powder. ¬†I add a liberal amount because I like a lot of flavor in my food. ¬†Once the seasoning is stirred in, add about 1/3 cup of feta cheese and 1/3 cup Greek dressing to the mixture and put it back on the burner to let the cheese partially melt and the flavors meld, about 3-4 mins.
4. Once spinach mixture is complete, add to the center of the chicken that you slit open. ¬†Try to cover the spinach mixture with as much of the chicken as possible so it doesn’t dry out.
5.  Pour the remaining Greek dressing over the chicken, put the lid on the casserole dish and cook the chicken at 350 degrees F for about 30 mins.

Once the chicken was cooked, I poured some more feta cheese over top (I love cheese) and kept the lid off and returned it to the oven and let the cheese broil on top for about 5 more mins.  You can choose to omit this step if you want, but I love it when the top of the chicken gets a little brown and the cheese gets a little melted.

Into the oven it goes!

Into the oven it goes!

Sorry I don’t have an after picture… once those little babies came out my family grabbed them faster than I expected! ¬†This was a super easy dinner to make and it’s one that I know my family will request again!

Enjoy!! xoxo