Grilling in the Rain and Protein Fudge

Yesterday, it rained all day. Slightly tragic for a Memorial Day BBQ, but we were very resourceful:

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The grill was set up on the porch with an umbrella overhead…fool proof. In addition to veggie burgers and brats, we had caramelized onions, cucumber yogurt salad, carrots and hummus, corn salsa, and blue tortilla chips:

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Last but not least, an apple crumble and a birthday cake:

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Everything was delicious.

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And now…time for a protein fudge recipe I made a while ago. I was inspired by a thin mint protein fudge recipe by the Fitnessista. My version nixed the thin mint concept and made a few substitutions.

I combined 2 scoops of chocolate Tera’s Whey protein powder with one scoop of oat bran (I just used the protein powder scooper to measure the oat bran):

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Then, I added two tablespoons of honey peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a pinch of truvia, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract:

 

 

 

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Mix it all together:

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And flatten it out in a small tupperware:

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Meanwhile….it’s time to make the frosting! Melt 2 tablespoons chocolate chips with one tablespoon of milk:

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Spread on top of protein mix and allow to harden in the fridge:

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By the time I took these pictures, the fudge was half eaten…sorry. Also, if you are judging my fudge consumption, at least a week had passed since the making of the fudge and the pictures above. So there. 🙂

 

Ricotta Vegetable Bake

Today was a wonderful morning. In recognition of the anniversary of my birth, my roommate left a fabulous surprise for me on the kitchen table:

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Not one, not two, but three herb plants! I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately, and now I will have fresh basil, parsley, and rosemary to use. This was such a great gift – thanks, roomie!

Unfortunately I didn’t have these spices last night when I made an Italian style ricotta-vegetable bake. It goes like this…

Saute one onion in a skillet:

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Add two yellow summer squash and one large zucchini:

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Add 1/3 cup tomato sauce and liberal shakings of basil and oregano:

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In a 2 quart casserole pan, add a thick layer of reduced-fat ricotta cheese:

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and then layer with mixed greens and slightly more than half of the squash/zucchini/tomato mixture:

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Add a layer of cooked barley and the rest of the ricotta cheese (I used a 15oz container):

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Bake at 350° for 35 minutes:

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This should make about 4 servings – basically it’s lasagna without the noodles!

Space…and Vegetable Curry (not)

Two things of note in my day:

1. I fought an epic three-day battle with the internet and finally won. I have a new router.

2. Forever Young Prom happened. First Ave dance floor, will I see you again?

Besides that, I have decided I need some space and will be taking a break from blogging about anything but recipes and other impersonal items. Hopefully a vegetable curry recipe will be coming in the near future…

 

 

Look Up and Laugh

[source]

Tough times will happen to everyone. Unless you’re…..no wait, couldn’t even think of any example to put there.

I have had a tough week, but I am a strong believer in taking perspective and looking at the positive. I may not have realized too much perfection, as Buddha says, but I’ve still managed to have some laughing at the sky. Reasons to look up and laugh:

1. Impulsive 15-mile bike ride on my way home from work

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Maybe I just wasn’t ready to go home, I needed to clear my head, and the weather was gorgeous. This did me good.

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2. T-Swift is my girl

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Taylor is my iPod’s best friend. Now. Always. Still. Did I mention one time I saw her in concert?! And by one time, I mean TWICE. She is a lyrical genius. (yes, Papa Bear, I know you’re smirking).

harry styles and taylor swift, harry styles, harry styles taylor swift breakup song, tim urban, tim urban haylor song[source]

3. Fresh laundry smells so good

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Sometimes a roll on the bed with a fresh load of laundry will do wonders for your health.

4. I feel recovered – no quotes

Something very interesting happened this week, and I feel like I passed a major milestone. I have been under a fair amount of stress, but – for weird reasons I am not quite sure about – I also feel like I am more powerful, thoughtful, balanced, and stronger than I have been at any other time. Like I said…weird.

It’s not a secret that even though I would say I’ve been ‘recovered’ from my eating disorder (quotes intentional) for several months, I will have serious struggles occasionally. See here for the most recent example. But, right now, for the first time, I really feel confident to say I feel RECOVERED. No quotes. 🙂

I feel as though I have managed a tough situation without any input, tips, or shoulder-whispering from ED. And the best part is – and the part that makes me feel so strong about all of this – I didn’t even fight it. It just wasn’t there. It’s like ED knew not to even bother since I was taking care of things myself.

I know this doesn’t necessarily mean that I will never have another struggle of this variety, but this felt like a major turning point for me. I have learned that I can really support myself after all, and having that realization allowed what was left of my self-doubts to fall away.

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So, I guess there was some perfection after all.

NROLFW: Stage 6

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/molliefeldman/Desktop/nr6.doc

As described in the NROLFW Overview (suggested prior reading), The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women is a 6-month strengthening plan. The plan includes 7 Stages, with two Workouts (A and B) for each Stage.

Summaries of Past Stages
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5

The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Stage 6 was all about variety. Each exercise within each workout had different set/rep instructions, so I’ll indicate that with my weights below.

Stage 6, Workout A (repeated 4 times)

Negative Chin Ups (3 sets of 1 for each workout)
Workout 1: completed all sets
Workout 4: completed all sets

Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown (10 sets of 2 for each workout)
Workout 1: 95 lbs
Workout 4: 105 lbs

Barbell Split Squat (workouts were sets x reps as follows: 2 x 10, 2 x 8, 3 x 6, 3 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: 20 pounds plus bar
Workout 4: 30 pounds plus bar

Push Up (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 2 x 8, 3 x 6, 3 x 4, as many reps as possible)
Workout 1: 10
Workout 4: 19

Stage 6, Workout B (repeated 4 times)

Reverse Lunge, One Dumbbell on Shoulder (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 3 x 8, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: 15 lbs
Workout 4: 20 lbs

Dumbbell 2-point Row (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 3 x 8, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: 15 lbs
Workout 4: 20 lbs

Dumbbell Push Press (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 3 x 8, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: 20 pounds
Workout 4: 20 pounds

Back Extension (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 3 x 8, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: with 25 pounds
Workout 4: with 25 pounds

Incline Reverse Crunch (workouts as follows: 2 x 10, 3 x 8, 3 x 6, 4 x 4, 2 x 10)
Workout 1: 10 reps
Workout 2: 10 reps

Overall, Stage 6 was a nice shake up with more variety. I don’t think I changed my weight enough throughout the different workouts to really get the full benefit of doing different set/rep combinations. Still, it’s nice to know I’m done with the second to last stage, and it will definitely be an accomplishment when I finish the whole program!

More NROLFW
Overview
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5

Ready for PROM

Hi folks. This morning I was working on a NROLFW Stage 6 post (something I’ve been procrastinating for weeks) when my internet went out. What is the cause of this?! Still unknown. Strangely, this happens at my apartment occasionally. Generally my solution (after all of the obvious thing don’t work), is to go away and come back later. Then, it’s working! Magic? Perhaps. One of my roommates fixes it? Perhaps.

Anyway, I don’t have a NROLFW Stage 6 post due to this incident. Probably just the world trying to tell me that:

[source]

But, really, we all know that’s not true. How did the caveman live without Google?! Speaking of, I was just listening to one of my favorite NPR shows, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and their celebrity guest was Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt. He definitely made working at google sound really fun! At the Googleplex – as they call it – there are events and activities and fitness classes offered all day long, and the only three rules are that 1) you have to wear clothes, 2) you have to have fun, and 3) you can’t bring your boa constrictor to work.

The final rule was implemented after someone interpreted the ‘pets allowed’ policy to mean they could bring their boa constrictor. Naturally, the snake got loose and caused a little bit of a stir.

Still, I can’t complain…my job is amazing. Just last night in fact my job was to go to Sebastian Joe’s.

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I got a scoop of “the flavor formerly known as Nicollet Pot Hole.” (Why it is only formerly known…I’m not sure) Let me tell you – this is the flavor for chocolate lovers! It is chocolate with sea salt and caramel and truffles. So good. It was super rich though – I could hardly finish one small scoop!

I am so fortunate to have a job where my main responsible is to do fun things with high quality people and give them love. ❤

In other news, I am SO excited for the weekend. Why? BECAUSE I’M GOING TO PROM!

FOREVER YOUNG[source]

No, I am not having an underage rendezvous this weekend. Rather, I will attending the most rockin late 90s/early 00s dance party at First Avenue presented by Radio K.

In the immortal words of Dane Cook, “screw guys, I just wanna dance.”

Beef and Mushroom Taco Salad

I have two food goals currently.

1. Cook smaller recipe sizes. Even though I’m only cooking for myself, I’ve been making full recipes. The result is I will end up eating the same thing all week. I want to get more variety, so I’m trying to make less food at one time. This will force me to cook more during the week. While time consuming, I really enjoy cooking and think that will be a positive thing.

2. Have more variety in the foods I buy. Although I make a variety of recipes, I typically stick with the same set of staple foods and just make them in different ways. Yogurt, apples, bananas, chicken, spinach. Eating a wider array of foods will – I’m hoping – be both fun and nutritious since I will getting a greater range of vitamins and nutrients.

As a result of these goals, my grocery shopping trip to the farmer’s market and co-op included these food I don’t normally buy: ground beef, chicken sausage, cantaloupe, peaches, rainbow chard. I also tried to round out purchases with foods that I get sometimes but aren’t regulars. For this, I got: mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, and turkey sandwich meat.

From this spread, a taco salad was born. *full recipe below

First, cook 1 onion in some coconut oil spray:

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Add 1/2 pound ground beef:

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As the meat starts to cook, add a heaping 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, paprika, and stir to combine:

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Add mushrooms:

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Once cooked through, serve atop greens:

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And add the fixings:

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I added cheese, avocado, salsa, and black bean chips.

This dinner was delicious! Since the recipe I made was for two portions, I get to look forward to the next serving tomorrow. Some chocolate and coconut milk finished off the meal perfectly. 🙂

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serves 2
Ingredients
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- generous 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- generous 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
Method
Heat a skillet with non-stick coconut oil spray. Add onions and saute.
As the onions starts to become translucent, add beef.
As beef begins to brown, add crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, and paprika.
Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until meat is done and veggies are tender.
Serve as a salad or tacos!