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Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Thursday Top Ten - Tofu Recipes


As a Vegetarian I have to be really creative with my meals to get enough protein and nutrients in. One of my favorite sources for protein is Tofu. Tofu is also low in fat and gluten free. I like my Tofu extra firm, but you can always try the regular firm, lite firm, tofu plus, cubed, or silken. For the most part in the past I mainly used my Tofu in stir fry, but lately I'm finding all kinds of new tofu recipes to switch things up. Here are 10 of my favorite tofu recipes that are out there.




10. Crunchy and Spicy Baked Tofu Nuggets - These are a great alternative to Chicken Nuggets for the vegetarian or vegan food lover or even a low carb version of tater tots. I'm used to eating my tofu lightly toasted in stir-fries so I love the extra crunch you get with these nuggets. The spices you add in also give you that little kick to make it interesting without needing to guzzle a whole glass of milk to cool off. 




9. Loaded Crispy Tofu Tacos - I love mexican food any night of the week, so when I found this tofu taco recipe I instantly jumped on it. Add to the fact that it's a tofu recipe with Sriracha and I was in total heaven. If you have not tried a recipe with honey, tofu, and Sriracha yet you should probably stop what you are doing and go make something now. It's literally that good. These tacos are so good that even meat eaters who are scared of tofu or think it's "gross" will love them and be asking for seconds.


8. BBQ Tofu - This super easy BBQ Tofu recipe is a great solution when you are craving that sweet BBQ flavor, but don't feel like having to tear up some pork or chicken to make your own BBQ sandwich. I've eaten these as a main dish with broccoli and baked beans or on a whole wheat bun with slaw. They are amazing either way. 



7. General Tso's Tofu - This recipe is a great option when you're craving chinese, but don't want the yucky feeling you get after leaving most chinese restaurants. This recipe turned out mildly spicy so it's another one that won't have sensitive eaters running for the milk jug. Plus this recipe is super easy to make and super cheap. Most of the ingredients are items you probably already have around the house. I only had to buy 3 things which cost me around $5 and left me with enough to make this recipe many, many, many times.



6. Nemo's No Fish Tofu Tacos - I added this recipe for all the families out there that go vegetarian or just want to try out something new. Maybe your kids are super picky about the smell of fish or just like their food with cool shapes, yet you don't want to buy the pre-shaped frozen food full of all kinds of unhealthy crap. This is the perfect solution. They are so cute and easy to make. If you don't already have a fish cookie cutter you can buy one for pretty cheap on Amazon



5. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls - This is a great healthier alternative to your usual lasagna or lasagna rolls. Here you use tofu instead of ricotta for that smooth creamy center. Once you try it I promise you will never go back. I was shocked at how good it actually tasted and it had way less calories than my normal lasagna. 



4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse - Who knew you could make a dessert as tasty as mousse out of tofu? Not this lady, until recently. I'm here to say that this recipe does not disappoint. It's delicious and only 4 ingredients (1 extra ingredient if you want a peanut garnish). Hello, that's like the easiest dessert ever. I'm thinking the next time I make it I'll also try subbing in PB2 for the creamy peanut butter to make it even more healthy. 



3. Southwestern Tofu Scramble  - This is a great alternative to regular scrambled eggs for any vegans out there or those that just don't like eggs. This is a hearty breakfast that definitely does not leave you wanting. Also with the tofu and black bean mixture you get a major protein boost to start your day off right. 



2. Low Carb Tofu Fries - I just recently found this recipe for Tofu Fries and I almost died from excitement. I love finding new low carb recipes to switch out items that I was previously eating. Who knew you could make french fries out of tofu and it would actually taste good, let alone taste like fries. These are amazing. The Asian Ketchup recipe was a little too spicy for my taste so I ended up using regular ketchup to dip these yummy treats in. I will definitely be making these next summer during our many pool parties. 



1. Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry - Last but not least is my all time favorite Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry recipe. This is a definite regular in my house for dinners. We love switching it up to try different veggies with it and even going super low carb and nixing the rice. Whatever way you make it this recipe will never disappoint. It's spicy, sweet, and perfect for a quick and easy dinner recipe. 



Monday, January 26, 2015

Body Beast - Measurements and Pictures

Before starting Body Beast we took our before pictures and measurements. This is smart to do so you know how you've changed and when you finish the workout you can send your pictures in for free gear (Body Beast T-Shirt). You want to take a picture of yourself from the Front, Back, and Side. You can have your arms at your sides or flexing in the position I'm showing above. After taking pictures we did the typical measurements of shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. However with Body Beast it also requests you to measure your right/left biceps, right/left quads, glutes, and right/left calves. My main areas I want to work on with Body Beast are my butt, thighs, calves, biceps, and my abdominal area. If you need help with how to measure your body for you bust, waist, shoulders, and hips here is a guide. 


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Now that we had our measurements, weights, and pictures {and a basic idea of our meal plans for the weeks, which will change in the upcoming weeks as my dietary needs change} it was time to start our workouts.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Cheese Avocado Quesadilla



Are you looking for a healthier version of your favorite mexican dish of quesadillas? Or maybe you're lactose intolerant and can't eat the cheesy quesadillas that so many others love? Well, I have found the perfect solution. These No Cheese Avocado Quesadillas are my new favorite go to for lunch and dinner when I'm craving mexican. I like to pair it with some mexican yellow rice, cauliflower rice, or even a super tasty spinach salad. This recipe is Vegan and gluten-free (with gluten free tortillas). Plus you can add all kinds of different extras with the avocado to make it even tastier. 


No Cheese Avocado Quesadilla
Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Avocado (more if you prefer)
  • 1 large tortilla or 2 small tortillas
  • 1 small roma tomato, diced
  • Seasonings of choice: Paprika, Cumin, Garlic Powder, etc.
  • Optional Toppings: Spinach, Black Beans, Chicken, Green Chiles, etc.

Instructions

  1. Smash avocado and spread out on one half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with any seasonings. {I like a pinch of garlic powder and cumin in mine.} 
  2. Add diced tomato and any other desired toppings.
  3. Fold over the top half of the tortilla and place on a non-stick skillet over medium heat. 
  4. Heat for 1-2 minutes per side until warmed through.
  5. Enjoy! I like to dip mine in Salsa.


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Healthier Chunky Monkey

Lately I have been craving the Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. Even when it's cold and dreary out I seem to still crave ice cream. I am literally obsessed with my ice cream. Sadly though Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey is in no way really "good" for you or "healthy". Therefore, I had to figure out a way I could fulfill my cravings while still living a healthier lifestyle. That is where my new recipe for my morning shake came in. I decided I had to try to recreate Chunky Monkey with Chocolate Shakeology. I was very pleased. It was delicious!! I literally felt like I could freeze it a little, throw on a few walnut chunks, and then scoop it out with a spoon for dessert. I love it when healthy food actually taste good. Now I can get my ice cream fix while still getting all my superfoods and nutrients for the day.


Chunky Monkey Shakeology

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop/packet of Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of ice
  • optional: 1 scoop of Protein Powder (Vanilla or Chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Throw ALL ingredients into the blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Smile with extreme pride and enjoy your healthy copycat chunky monkey protein and superfood filled shake. 



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Body Beast for Women - Schedule and Equipment


The hubby and I are finishing up P90X3 this weekend and will be starting a new program Monday. We have decided to complete Body Beast next. After much discussing we've decided it's best to build muscle now while it's cold then switch and blast away fat once it's getting closer to summer with a high intensity cardio program like Insanity Max: 30. P90X3 was a great starter program for us to begin the whole process of losing weight and gaining muscle. I feel like I've built some muscle in my legs and maybe a little in my arms. I want to define my arms more and tighten/tone up my stomach even more. I also want to do this program to help show other women that they too can complete Body Beast. As you look through the catalog or research Body Beast it may intimidate you, so I'm here to help break it down and help make it female friendly. 


Since I mainly want to define my body just a little bit more I'm choosing to do the Lean Beast program within Body Beast. This program is great for building muscle while also losing the extra fat coating my muscles. Block 1 starting out is the Build Phase. This phase focuses on synergistic muscle groups, allowing you to get strong and build a foundation to work on.  This phase continues for 6 weeks long. you workout 6 Days and have 1 day off. The workouts are different for each of the 3 weeks. 

I have different equipment and supplements I'll be using to gain the optimum results. Based on the cost I am going to try going through the 90 Days without getting the extra supplements for Body Beast that are suggested (Hardcore Base Shake, Fuel Shot, M.A.X. Creatine, and Super Suma). 

  • On the top left is P90X Results and Recovery. This is an orange creamsicle after workout drink that helps ease soreness and optimize your results. It taste amazing and really helps me not be in agony after waking up the day after a workout. Plus it's all natural with no artificial flavors or sweeteners.
  • On the top middle is the Beachbody Jump Mat. I use this since I workout sometimes on hardwood floors. This super shock resistant mat protects your knees, back, and ankles from injury. I also just like the cushy feel of it beneath my feet while working out. 
  • On the top right are Resistance Bands. They can provide up to 100 pounds of resistance, and work amazingly well as an inexpensive substitute for dumbbells. I use them with a door attachment to provide a great alternative to regular pull-ups. 
  • On the bottom left are Dumbbells. I will be using the massive set that my hubby and I have for the majority of the weight lifting workouts. We got most of our dumbbells through Amazon or from Target. 
  • On the bottom right are Stability Balls. We have a weight bench that my husband will be using, but since we can't easily fit 2 into our workout room currently, I'll be using a Stability Ball. I like the fact that while I'm using a stability ball I can also work on training my core and stabilizer muscles. 

  • We can't forget my Shakeology that I'll still be using while completing Body Beast. As with P90X3 this will continue to be my breakfast and will therefore be calculated in my calorie count for the day. I love the ease drinking Shakeology gives me since I never have to plan a Breakfast. I just wake up, mix it with whatever I feel like, and I'm ready to go in less than 5 minutes. 
Now it's time to meal plan. As soon as I fully figure out my meal plan for Body Beast I will post that on my blog. 






How to Cold Brew Coffee

Like many others out there I am a coffee addict. I feel like I drink coffee every single day, sometimes even twice a day. I like hot coffee, cold coffee, espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. My only problems with coffee drinks are sometimes how unhealthy they can be and also how acidic they are. There are many times I end up getting heartburn due to drinking coffee, yet I still continue to drink it. It really doesn't make sense when you think about it. 



Well, I recently received a Toddy T2N Cold Brew System for Christmas from my Sister-in-Law. The Toddy system is used to cold-brew your coffee. Cold-brewing ground coffee beans produces a coffee that is naturally low in acid, approximately 67% less acidic than coffee brewed by conventional hot-brew methods. Well, you may say hey I don't like iced coffee. That's totally okay. Cold-brewed coffee can be made one cup at a time, at the strength you prefer, and the temperature you prefer. You simply add steaming hot or iced water or milk to determine the temperature. You can also microwave it without ruining the taste. Now that I have my Toddy I wanted to test it out.



I made a Caramel Iced Coffee. It was super delicious. It wasn't watered down tasting like the iced coffee I normally have from brewing with my Keurig. Here's how to brew your own...


For the best flavor you want to use freshly ground coffee beans and filtered water. I currently don't have a Coffee Grinder so I bought previously ground beans. First, insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container. Then you want to dampen the included filter and insert it into the bottom of the brewing container. Next, add 1 cup of filtered water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. 


Slowly pour 3 more cups of filtered water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Then, add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee.


Now you want to wait 5 minutes before slowly adding the last 3 cups of filtered water. At this point DO NOT STIR! If you stir the grounds it can result in a clogged filter.


Once all the water has been added you want to lightly press down on the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet.


Then, steep your coffee grounds for 12-18 hours to create a smooth, rich flavor. My house smelled amazing while the coffee was steeping. Everyone kept asking if I had recently brewed coffee in the coffee pot, but it was just the grounds soaking in my Toddy. 


After 12-18 hours you want to remove the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter. 


Once the concentrate has fully drained into the Glass Decanter place your cold brewed coffee into the fridge to cool. It will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator.


I mixed my cold brewed coffee with Silk Almond Milk Light and 2 pumps of Caramel Syrup to make a Caramel Iced Coffee. After my first attempt at using my Toddy I am highly impressed and would definitely recommend buying one if you like iced coffee.


If you don't want to spend the money on a Toddy system right now you can also try out this method of cold brewing your coffee from All Sorts of Pretty


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Greek Spinach Veggie Burgers

One of my favorite meals as a vegetarian are veggie burgers. I'm a huge fan of finding new recipes for them or finding them out at restaurants. One of my new favorite burgers is a Greek Spinach Veggie Burger. It's an amazing recipe because it has very few ingredients and it's pretty healthy. 


After gathering all my ingredients I measured out the necessary amounts of each. For the spinach I first opened the package and pressed it between paper towels. The last time I made this recipe I forgot that step and the burgers were really watery and didn't make easy patties. If you take the time to pat dry the thawed spinach it mixes much better. 


Start out by mixing together Olive Oil, Dillweed, Garlic, and Oregano in a medium bowl. 


Next stir in the stuffing mix to coat thoroughly. As I was stirring I also used my spoon to mash up the stuffing even more. This again is another step that helps to make it much easier to create patties. 


Now add 2 eggs and stir to combine. The eggs are an essential part because they help to make the recipe more sticky. In recipes like veggie burgers or desserts eggs are pretty essential. 


Now add in the thawed spinach and mix together. As you can see since I took the time to pat dry and drain the spinach of some of it's water this mixture doesn't look soaking wet. 


Finally, add in the crumbled Feta Cheese and combine everything together. I love the smell of Feta Cheese. I'm contemplating next time trying out Blue Cheese to see how those flavors meld rather than the Feta Cheese. 


Once everything was combined I molded them into round patties on a pan that had been sprayed with Pam. I cooked them at 375 degree for 10 minutes per side. This helped my patties to be nice and slightly crunchy to make the perfect veggie burger.



What's your favorite non-meat recipe? Do you have a creative veggie burger recipe that others always ask you to make?




Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beachbody Coaching Q & A



I have a few questions for you:

  1. Do you need that extra motivation to help you get in the best shape of your life?
  2. Do you want to be able to work from home on your own time?
  3. Do you want to make a little extra money?
  4. Do you want to start a new career of helping others out to become healthier versions of themselves?
  5. Do you want a discount on AMAZING Beachbody products, like workout programs and Shakeology?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you are who I'm looking for! Join me in an online sneak peek into what Beachbody Coaching is all about. This group is totally FREE. This group is here to give you the information you need to help make the decision of whether or not you are ready to make a change for the better in your life. The group opens January 12th. Comment below if you are interested!



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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mocha Chiller Shakeology


I recently got a Toddy for Christmas from my Sister-In Law. It is the best way out there to cold-brew your coffee. It's amazing because it is designed to brew coffee with 67% less acid than coffee made with hot brew methods. I was excited for the Toddy because now I could use it to cold brew coffee for Iced Coffees in Summer or for my breakfast Shake-O drinks. There are just some mornings where all I want is to guzzle coffee all day in hopes that I can feel less exhausted at work all day. That is why I decided to try out a Mocha Chiller Shake. It's the perfect dose of coffee and the healthiest meal of the day....aka the best way to start out my morning. 


Shakeology is an amazing way to make sure you are eating at least one healthy meal of the day. I love my Shakeology. It's even more amazing that it ends up being about $4 a day for breakfast. That's cheaper than a Grande Starbucks drink. Contact me if you're interested in trying out Shakeology


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Here is a comparison of Shakeology versus other popular protein shakes. My only question is are they really as good for you as Shakeology? Do they give you 70 healthy ingredients in one glass? Do the other cheaper shakes have prebiotics, digestive enzymes, protein and amino acids, 23 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients?

Are you interested in trying Shakeology or getting more information?
Here are some ways you can go about doing that... 
  1. Message or email me at futuremrs007@gmail.com
  2. Check out my Shakeology site: http://www.shakeology.com/kellybond007 (this is where it can be purchased as well)
  3. Order either a 30 day supply bag (1 flavor of your choice), or a box of 24 individual packets in a variety of flavors. By choosing Home Direct (HD) option, you will not only receive discounted shipping, but it will automatically arrive at your doorstep each month! 


Are you looking for a discount on your purchase of Shakeology? Think about becoming a coach! Then you can help others with their health and fitness journeys as well. 





Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolutions, Meal Planning, & Free Printables

This year I didn't exactly make a New Years Resolution since my Resolution started in October when I started P90X3 and a healthier lifestyle. One thing I am working to get better about this year compared to last year however is meal planning. I tend to be a little lazy about my meal planning, which leads to my husband and I going out for Subway or Chipotle runs for dinner. But one great way to keep me on track with my healthy choices is to meal plan for the week and get my groceries early. This week I'm ahead of schedule and have already started the process of meal planning for the upcoming week. As soon as I finished my meal planning I got all the groceries I needed as well. 



I like to use handy meal planning documents on my computer because they allow me to add links to the recipes I'm making along with the ingredients I'll input on the Shopping List side before I print it. This week I'll be making Chipotle Burrito Bowls (Vegetarian and Chicken versions), Balsamic Tofu & Avocado Tacos, Zucchini Pizzas, Sweet & Sour Spicy Tofu Stir Fry, Spinach Burgers, Avocado Quesadillas, and Crockpot Minestrone Soup. The great thing about the Soup I make on Sunday is that I'll have enough leftovers after that to last 1-2 extra days of the next week. As the week goes on I'll post my recipes for any I don't already have on the blog.


I'm pretty happy with the ingredients I bought. For the recipes I've picked I have the majority of the ingredients around my house normally. For the ingredients that I had to pick up it was mostly fresh ingredients or reduced sodium/organic ingredients. Plus for what I had to buy for recipes this week I spent less than $40 total. That makes my Shakeology breakfast shake I budget of $4.00 per day even more reasonable this week. 

Here's the free printable I've made to use. Feel free to download or print for your use as well. 



What are your favorite go to meals while meal planning? Do you use a printable document or an app on your phone to meal plan?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

Now that it's so cold out here in Georgia all I want to do is sit in front of the fireplace with my hubby and eat soup. I really think the only thing I like about cold weather is snuggling, hot cocoa, holidays, and soup. Other than that I truly dislike being in the cold. One of my favorite warm soups is Italian Orzo Spinach Soup. I found the recipe originally on Pinterest. It's a vegetarian soup, but obviously you can add chicken or sausage if you'd like. I especially like this soup because it's healthy with all the veggies and whole wheat pasta. It's delicious. The smell alone had my stomach growling as it was cooking. 




INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) DeLallo whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach (thawed)


DIRECTIONS:


  • Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. 
  • Add carrots and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. 
  • Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, orzo, thyme, oregano, rosemary and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted. Serve warm & ENJOY!

I think next time I make this soup I'll try adding other veggies like peas, corn, and broccoli. I'm a huge fan of my vegetables, so the more the better to me.




My Thursday Top 10 - Cauliflower Recipes


I love finding new healthy recipes to make for my husband and I. My favorite new ones to try out are Cauliflower recipes. There are so many ways you can switch up Cauliflowers to use as your sides, entrees, and even as dessert. I wanted to share a few of my favorite ones I've found as I do my meal planning each week. 

10. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites - Who doesn't love buffalo chicken? It's amazing while you're watching the game or celebrating with your friends. What I don't love about Buffalo Chicken however is how unhealthy it usually is. That is why I was so happy when I found this recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. It's AMAZING and it's only 2 grams of fat for 6 Cauliflower Bites.


9. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese - This awesome recipe is low on carbs and so deliciously cheesy. It would be great for a holiday side since it serves 8-10. Plus it would be a very sneaky way to help your kids get their veggies in without them ever suspecting it.


8. Skinny Mashed Cauliflower - Here's another amazing side recipe for those watching their carbs. I love any recipe that is healthier for me and delicious, and this one here definitely fills both needs. Now it's okay to give into your all American craving and eat some mashed cauliflower.


7. Cauliflower Tots - Here's another great recipe that will give you a great way to sneak in healthy vegetables for your kids. These Cauliflower Tots aren't only healthy, they are also super easy to make. Many, if not all of the ingredients are items that we all normally have in our kitchen. 



6. Crispy Orange Cauliflower - This recipe is a new favorite of mine because it allows me to finally be able to give in to my Chinese cravings without feeling super guilty afterwards. Now I can drive by Panda Express without feeling the urge to pull-in. This Crispy Orange Cauliflower recipe is definitely one you will want to add to your list of favorite recipes.



5. Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice - Here is another amazing treat to allow you to have your favorite side while still staying low in carbs. These are also Gluten Free and Vegan friendly. Now you have the perfect side for your next Mexican meal. These will definitely be made the next time I make burrito bowls or tacos for dinner.



4. Cauliflower Brownies - Because who doesn't love chocolate and brownies? I know the idea of chocolate and cauliflower together sounds terrifying, but they are amazing. They turn out so rich and chocolatey and delicious. Next, I'll have to try avocado brownies and black bean brownies. 



3. Spicy Cauliflower Stir Fry - This stir fry is amazing! It's low carb, delicious, and superbly easy to make. The whole thing took a whopping 15 minutes to throw together. This works great on a busy night where you want something healthy and quick. Plus it has a nice spicy twist with the addition of Sriracha.



2. Healthy Fettuccine Cauliflower Alfredo - Fettuccine Alfredo is one of those recipes that are comforting and delicious all at the same time. The warm cheesy ness of the sauce with the noodles is always perfection. However, typical Fettuccine Alfredo is not always a friend to your thighs. Therefore, when I found this recipe for Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce I jumped for joy. This is definitely a must try for all the Alfredo lovers out there. 



1. Cauliflower Pizza Crust - And last but not least there's pizza made with Cauliflower Crust. As seen here I've made my own Cauliflower Pizza with Pepperonis and Banana Peppers. This one is a definite favorite in my household.



I hope you enjoy these recipes. Let me know what's your favorite or if you have a different cauliflower recipe you love.