Healthy Pasta with Homemade Red Sauce

Healthy Pasta and Homemade Sauce

Easy Low Calorie Homemade Red Sauce

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (1 drained)
  • 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
  • 5 leaves fresh basil (chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 packet Italian Dressing Mix
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

It’s Cookin Time:

  1. Put olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Once pot heats up sauté onion and garlic. This will take only a couple moments, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Now pulse both cans of diced tomatoes in a blender. We want to chop them up, not make them soup. Once pulsed a few time, pour contents into pot with the garlic and onions.
  3. Add in the rest of your ingredients string until throughly combined.
  4. Now turn down the heat and let it all simmer and yummy up together.

This sauce is super easy and super delicious. Of course I would love to pour it over a huge bowl of carb infested pasta, but thanks to Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth I learned a healthy alternative to pasta. Broccoli slaw, now before you wrinkle up your nose, it’s seriously good. I am such a baby about giving up my junk food for healthy food but broccoli slaw made it super easy to give up pasta. Learn how to prepare the broccoli slaw in place of pasta here. Still hesitant to try it? Think about it like this. One serving of pasta has well over 200 calories, while a serving of broccoli slaw only has 50 calories. You do the math.

Happy nom noming.

Brooke

 

 

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Fitness Friday: Goals and Accountability

Running Gear

We aren’t what we eat, but we are the choices we make. What are your choices saying about you?

Personally my choices don’t always reflect the type of person I want to be, or know that I can be. If I eat Taco Bell every meal for a month, I won’t turn into a tap dancing Dorito’s Taco. However the choice to eat Taco Bell with that kind of frequency will surly not result in the toned body I’m looking for. My choice to skip running because it’s a little to humid outside isn’t a huge deal, or is it? My choice to make an excuse about something I’m scared to fail at, only makes my failure a reality. See I can’t run, no… I’m not running there for I’m not getting any better. It’s really REALLY hard to run a mile when my butt is stuck on the sofa watching ABC Family, don’t judge me.

The beautiful and always stylish Ivete from Girl in a Hot City asked me two days in a row this week how exactly my running was coming along. I explained that it was going slow, very slow actually, like snail going in reverse slow. It’s time for a little blogger accountability here people, I hadn’t started. Yup, I had successfully freaked myself out of doing it for nearly a week. I’m not proud of that choice, but a good thing about choices, is we can always change them, and that’s exactly what I did.

The running training schedule I posted last week sort of overwhelmed me, how do I know when I’ve gone 1/16 of a mile. I don’t run on a track, I make it easy and use my good ole neighborhood sidewalks. That’s when my big brain started thinking, how can I make this super scary goal more achievable? How can I make it just a wee bit easier? That’s when I turned to my iTunes to create a playlist, one long 23 min MP3 that I created to make it easier for me to know when to run and walk. I was feeling all girl powered up when I created this track, so all the artists featured on this Training Track are powerful ladies.

Here’s how it works. I will include a link below where you can download the track I created. It’s a single long track where you change your pace each time the song changes. Since I’m probably explaining this wonky, let me get into a little more detail.

Week 1: Ladies Week Running Training Music (download)

Song 1: Warm up, just to get your muscles and blood flowing.

Song 2: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 3: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 4: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 5: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 6: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 7: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 8: Running/jogging interval (About 1 min)

Song 9: Walking Interval (About 3 min)

Song 10: Cool Down

I’ve tried this out and it works great. I don’t have to worry about checking a timer to see how long I’ve been running. I don’t have a robotic woman shouting in my ears how far I’ve gone. I just listen to the music and go. The music is fun and it really helps the time to fly by. I still used my Endomondo App to track my time, distance, etc.. but I wasn’t focused on the app itself while running. I simply put my phone in my pocket and went with it.

Interested in how I’ve been doing since my choice change, you can check it out here.

Remember you are the choices you make. Each time you do something it sets you on a path. If you are on a path towards an end results that doesn’t work for you, change it. It’s never to late to change your mind and change your life. A setback is a setback is a setback, they happen. We can’t avoid them, but we aren’t perfect, so we have to learn from them. One questionable decision does not a failed goal make. So shake off the negative setback juju and get excited to start working towards your goals. For me the proverbial mountain I’m trying to climb is being able to run a mile without stopping.

What is a goal you’ve set where you’ve encountered setbacks?

Brooke

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Crepes

Good hello lovelies, I don’t know about you, but I am not a morning person. In fact I am as far from a morning person as humanly possible. My idea of cooking anytime before noon is hitting the start button on our Keurig. It’s because of this that I almost always skip breakfast, which isn’t exactly good for the ole metabolism. Fear not my fellow health bunnies, I’ve come up with an awesome home cooked breakfast meal that is both healthy and filling. Oh and easy, did I mention that part, super easy. So easy a Brooke can do it.

 

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Crepes….

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Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Whipping Them Up:

  1. Whisk together eggs and milk.
  2. Whisking constantly add the protein powder a little at a time, whisking until smooth.
  3. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add just a dab of oil to your skillet, I mean less than a thimble full, just a drop.
  5. Pour badder into center of the skillet to desired size, I made mine about the size of a saucer.
  6. Heat until there are bubbles forming on the top of the crepe and then flip, cooking the other side for about 60 seconds or so.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Take peanut butter (I used Omega-3 peanut butter) and smear across the crepe, roll crepe up, eat.

It’s that easy. This badder made about 6 saucer size crepes, I ate 3 and was stuffed. The leftover crepes can be put in the fridge for an easy breakfast later in the week. You can reheat the crepes in the microwave by heating maybe 30 seconds. After reheating, then add the peanut butter.

Have you use protein powder for baking: brownies, crepes, pancakes? Tell me about it in the comments.

Brooke

 

Fitness Work In Progress Photos (1)

Anything you want to do today kiddo, you name it!

I want to go to the pool!!

Do you want to go get ice cream…… NO

Do you want to go to the park… NO

Do you want to ride bikes….. NO

The pool…… YES

Gulp….pool. The most dreaded combination of 7 (or 6 depending on how your brain works) words ever constructed. Pool means hot PTA moms, with hot gym bunny bodies, and epically beach wavy hair. What do I bring to the lounge chair? 15+ extra pounds of fluff squeezed into a purple sausage casing (er bikini) and hair the doesn’t hold a curl in this darn Midwest humidity. Sigh. Why oh why did the word pool have to be brought up? Oh that’s right it’s June, 90+ degrees, and it’s the last place I want to be.

So that leads me here doing something I never in a million years thought I would do. Posting “work in progress” pictures. Not my before pictures, because there isn’t a set destination. I’m not going to magically be done and be able to take after pictures. I will always be a work in progress, always working towards a healthier life, because even a Doritos binge is a stepping stone. Every second is a choice: do I go the sassy healthy path or the easy comfortable path? The comfortable path is going to push me out of a jean size and into further bikini phobias; while the sassy path will help take me where I long to be. Seems like an easy enough decision right? Sure if I didn’t love Taco Tuesday with the intensity of a thousand ghost chilies.

So here they are… The cold hard facts in black and white. Proof of what a long period of excuses will get you. A whole lot of sucking in.

06062014 back 06062014 Front

Date: 6/6/2014

Height: 5’4″

Weight: 135.8

BMI: 23.3 ( I used this basic BMI calculator)

I believe out of habit I sucked in my stomach, but hey long time habits are hard to break. I look forward to the day I don’t have to suck it in.

 

Brooke

Awe Shorts… So This Happened Today

Awe Shorts

Summer has torn into my part of the world like crazed tweens at a One Direction concert; hormonal, rabid and a little bit unstable. Summer storms yesterday gave way to heat paired with dreaded midwest humidity. Humidity so strong that this inhaler loving asthmatic got winded simply by walking across a parking lot. It’s pretty embarrassing when I’m out of breath and the little old lady next to me is trucking along like a marathon runner. Asthma, successfully lowering self-esteem one humidity infested heatwave at a time.

The jeans I wore didn’t help matters much, jeans + midwest summers =  really really bad idea. So why did I buck all logic and pull on my trusty pair of “go to” jeans… well there is a simple answer to that. Prison break. My thighs were trying rather victoriously to break through the fabric prison of my shorts. The shorts held their own though, keeping the angry thighs of doom confined with painful red lines and accented cellulite dimples. The look was fabulous really (not really, not really at all) but I figured as fun as it would be splitting my pants like Bruce Banner, I’d pass. Hulk mad smash. Frustrated I tossed the shorts behind a pile of sweaters, no point in letting them see the light of day anytime soon.

That single event led me to near hyperventilation, dehydration and heat stroke in about half an hour flat. Since Pinteresting “DIY vacuum lip0suction” was probably out of the question, I opted to do what every woman (no matter your age) hates doing. Now keep in mind I’m not a fan of the word hate, it’s a rather strong word that should be used as sparingly as possible, but in this instance it fits. I absolutely hate with the fiery rage of a thousand suns having to buy a larger size in anything. Except maybe bras, but lets me honest I have yet to have that problem. Begrudgingly I tried on my current size shorts, then huffed and puffed around the small fitting room trying to get the things to button. No dice, couldn’t make that happen, even if I could ignore the fact the shorts were cutting off circulation to my ankles. Sigh next size up, winner… well crap.

The truth was in the fabric. I couldn’t deny it anymore. I can’t deny it now as I type this confession… I have eaten my way up a pant size. Poor decisions written all over the shorts, the receipt, the shopping bag.. all of it. Grumble, grumble, but I really love cheesecake, grumble. This will be the only, repeat ONLY summer in this size of shorts. By the end of this summer, those shorts will be donated to the local Goodwill. This isn’t a buzz kill or setback, nope my shorts misadventure is just another stepping stone towards where I want to be. Motivation in denim. But still.

Awe Shorts.

Brooke

The Final Straw

I’ve done this a million times, okay maybe not a million, but I’ve done it A LOT. Started a blog… quit. Set out to lose weight… quit. Said I wanted to make changes…. quit. Swore off Diet Coke…quit. I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line I became a big ole quitter. When times get tough, I revert back to what’s easy peasy. This time… this time things have to be different.

I escaped from the city over the weekend and enjoyed 4 days tucked away by the lake. It was relaxing, it was allergy filled, it was… a large cosmic slap upside the head of reality. At the end of the day when I look in the mirror I’m just not happy with me. Inside and out I’m not the person I want to be.

Let’s start with the outside, since my little hambone was born I’ve carried around an extra 15 pounds. Truth is it’s not baby weight, my baby just turned 7. He didn’t force me to eat my weight in tacos. He didn’t drag me from the dinner table to partake in seconds. Oh no it’s not baby weight, it’s bad decisions weight. That weight hides not so well EVERYWHERE. My thighs are showing dimples, my arm keeps waving when I stop, and my once flat stomach has taken on a mind of it’s own.”Ruuuuuuunnnnn, the blob…. it’s coming.” The icing on the cake (mmmm cake) came this weekend while standing on the dock in a bikini waiting for Hambone to get in the chilly lake water. In short… he took FOREVER, leaving me exposed for the world to see in a bikini that wasn’t flattering since I bought it a long time ago. As I urged him to please hurry up and get in, it actually crossed my mind to toss his slow moving behind into the water. He was wearing a lifejacket so it would have been totally fine, right? With the logic being, the faster he gets in the faster I get in. That was it, the final straw… I can’t go another weekend feeling like that. I don’t want to crawl in my own skin anymore and I don’t want a ticked of 7 year old.

As for the inside, that’s a bit more complicated, but I’m sure it is for everyone. Bluntly put, I am a worry wart wrapped up in chicken little syndrome. I stress out A LOT, because that’s how I’ve always done it. Honestly, that’s the only explanation I have, I’ve always been a stressed. Stressed myself out so much in fact that I worried myself right into 5 years of panic attacks, but that’s another post all together. The point is I worry myself sick and that easily brings down those around me. When I worry and stress I pick at those closest me. I’m afraid to say that when I don’t know what to do, I bark out orders. I uh don’t know how to handle this so uh go clean your room. Not exactly the best way to enjoy life or to help others enjoy life. That’s what this is about, enjoying life and pushing away all the minor stressing and worrying. Contrary to popular belief the sky isn’t actually falling and even if it were that’s what we have Bruce Willis for.

So that brings me here, airing my dirty laundry for the world to see… making myself accountable. Today June 3, 2014 is day one of 365 days of changing who I am. Setting goals and achieving them, while enjoying the challenge. No  more quitting, no more wanting to shove a 7 year old in a lake and no more rough around the edges. It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but I want to do this for me. I want to feel good with who I am and how I make those around me feel.

Welcome to me…

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Brooke