Juice Bar!

Ok, I’m very behind on sharing my first juice bar experience, but that’s alright. Last week, I had a bit of an episode with Karen and had to rush her to the vet on Tuesday afternoon for an emergency enema. Well, maybe it wasn’t an emergency, but it definitely needed to be done within a few days. I already feel like I’m losing a lot of you…Anyway, I dropped her off and headed to the Monongalia County courthouse downtown. I had some car registration stuff I needed to take care of and it was the only afternoon I knew I’d be in Morgantown.

I got everything taken care of and then decided to treat myself. If you haven’t dealt with courthouse stuff before, let me tell you it’s a pain. You can’t just go to one office to get something done. You’ve got to take this form to that woman and that form this woman. Oh and did I mention CASH ONLY when paying your registration? Don’t worry…if you don’t have cash, you can just take your sorry butt down to the DMV and wait for a million hours to pay it there. Luckily, I hit the ATM beforehand and had mucho cashola. (Not really.)

Back to the treat. So, I finished up and headed over to the new juice bar, Real Juice Bar & Cafe. The place was very charming and around six or seven customers currently seated at tables. Some were eating the avocado mash bagel and others were having smoothies and juice. I opted for a juice, since I was new to the experience. I got the Sweet Green, which had kale, apple, pineapple and lemon. It was delicious! I thought the kale would be really strong, but the apple and pineapple really mellowed it out.

IMG_5214

 

It wasn’t a lot of “bang for your buck,” but then again, I don’t think you’d want much more than that. I was full for a few hours after having this yummy drunk. I will definitely go back and try their other juices, but I’m most excited to try the bagel. It just sounds amazing. Check out their Facebook page from the link above and stop by for something new to try!

In sugar-free news, I’ve fallen hard. I’ve eaten sugar at least four times this week and can already tell what havoc it’s imposing on my body. My skin has broken out, my appetite is through the roof (mindless eating!) and I just don’t feel as good. It’s really amazing what a difference lower to no sugar can do to the body. Anyway, I hope to get back on track today and through the weekend. One thing I know will help is my new meal planning initiative. I created a meal planning template and have a binder ready for creation. My hope is that this will get me on a more consistent schedule with my trips to the store.

Ok, I’ll leave you with some pictures of my besties.

IMG_5121 IMG_5198 IMG_5235 IMG_5262

 

Total cuties.

A Few Days In

Well, I’ve survived the first few days of this sugar-free thing. Honestly, it’s not that bad. The key is moderation and being realistic. Realistically, I’m not going to give up pineapple or bananas — fruits that have higher sugar content — but I always try to fit healthy greens into my meals. I feel like that’s a good compromise. Another thing I’ve realized is that without some meats, I’d probably starve. As a former vegetarian, I can tell you that this is kind of difficult to do if you don’t eat meat. Without meat, you definitely need to stock up on beans and a ton of quinoa so you don’t pass out. That being said, vegetarians can definitely handle this; just use caution. Just replace the meat in the salad below with beans, beans, beans!

IMG_0012

Moving on to some exciting news. Morgantown is getting (or has?) a juice bar! I read about it online a few days ago and just drove by today to confirm it’s existence! If you live in the area, it’s actually right across from Black Bear Burritos. Seems like the perfect spot! If you aren’t familiar with Black Bear, they are famous for using locally grown produce and resources. Plus, their food rocks. A juice bar is the perfect neighbor for Black Bear! I haven’t been to this new juice bar yet, but my lady Candace Lately is already on it! Anyway, I’ll update when I’ve stopped in for a taste. (Check them out on Facebook.)

Tonight’s dinner: Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake!

IMG_0011

 

Sugar-Free Fresh Start

Today, I started my sugar-free adventure. In honor of Lent, I decided that I would give up more than just candy and ice cream this time. I am walking away from all things “added sugar.” My particular list includes:

  • White bread (includes any bread with white flour in it)
  • Pasta, unless whole grain
  • White rice
  • White flour, and products made with it such as cake, cookies, crackers, pretzels, doughnuts, bagels, and muffins
  • Corn and corn chips
  • Sugar and products with added sugar, e.g. canned fruits in syrup
  • Jams and jellies containing added sugars
  • Salad dressings and sauces with added sugar, such as Teriyaki sauce
  • Fruit drinks containing added sugar
  • Sugar-sweetened soft drinks
  • Sugar-cured meats (e.g. ham is often cured with salt and sugar)

I’ve seen a lot of different lists, so far, and I have to say, I do have a few things I’m NOT cutting out.

  • Chewing gum
  • Honey
  • Wine
  • Bananas, pineapple, beets, corn, etc. (This is beyond silly to me.)

Basically, I’m just trying to eliminate sugar that doesn’t occur naturally. This weekend, I’m hoping to get some serious baking done so that I have a variety to live on for the next 40 days. (I actually started this a day after Ash Wednesday.) So here are a few examples of what I will be eating.

IMG_5094

Oatmeal: 1/2 old fashioned oats, 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tbs of unsweetened applesauce, handful of raisins, a handful of almonds and a splash of honey. Perfect flavor combination! I think I’ll throw apples in tomorrow.

IMG_5096

Caprese Spinach Salad: bed of spinach with freshly chopped basil, sliced cherry tomatoes, a little fresh mozzarella and a homemade dressing with olive oil, white vinegar and stone ground mustard.

My goal is to keep the ingredients as basic as possible. So here’s to going sugar-free!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Read your food labels! It’s truly amazing how much junk gets put into our processed foods. For instance, did you know that the following are all fancy terms for sugar?

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane crystals
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

Shocking! So just be aware and try to look for things with less than 3 grams of sugar. Your waistline will thank you later!

Snow Day Number…I’ve Lost Count

Fancy meeting you here. I know I certainly haven’t been around in a while! Well, as you’ve probably already guessed, I’m snowed in for the millionth time this winter. Hey, I’m not complaining, because it saves me a drive, but I am a little tired of the bitter cold. Snow is very pretty, though. 

Snow_3-3-14

Honestly though, I don’t mind another day at the house, as my weekend was pretty jam packed with fun outings. On Saturday, I drove to Fairmont to my co-worker’s baby “sprinkle.” In case you’ve never heard of this, I’ll explain. A “baby sprinkle” is a smaller party to celebrate second, third or fourth pregnancies and is usually more common when the mother is having a child of the opposite sex of the first. In my co-worker’s case, she didn’t want her little girl to be stuck with a bunch of blue hand-me-downs! The whole thing was filled with great company, delicious snacks and of course, the entertainment of her first born running around with an adorable “I heart my sister” tee shirt. So cute.

After the sprinkle, I hurried back to Morgantown to meet Alex, my friend Mandy and her mom for the WVU United Way benefit dinner at the Alumni Center. The whole evening was a blast and the food was very good. We honestly couldn’t even touch our dessert! After we finished up the dinner, we headed over to Mario’s Fishbowl for a nightcap. 

IMG_5073
Oh, before I forget, let me share a photo of my happy veggie omelet!

IMG_5062
Yum! 

Ok, I’m off to entertain Grace and make my usual attempts to log into my work computer remotely. 

IMG_5080

Fresh Salmon on a Cold Night

As part of an unofficial 2014 resolution, I am trying to squeeze in at least one new recipe per month this year. So far, I’ve already gotten way ahead of this! Last week, for instance, I made stuffed peppers and I cooked a steak for the first time ever! Alex helped with the steak, but it was still great conquering that fear I’ve always had of preparing red meat. Anyway, the stuffed peppers were amazing. I attempted to follow a recipe via The Food Network, but as always, delineated from it about four ingredients in. You can find that recipe here. 

So after two successful new-to-me meals, I decided to tackle another meat that I’ve had trouble with: salmon. A few years ago, I purchased frozen salmon and cooked it in the oven. To say it was disgusting would be an understatement. It was fishy, soggy and just plain gross. So, while browsing this week’s Kroger specials on my phone, I came across a deal on fresh center-cut salmon. For $3.99 a piece, I just couldn’t resist giving salmon another try. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this fish. I order it in restaurants quite frequently, but again, preparing it myself has been a challenge. I hopped online to find a recipe to follow and found this gem

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 pounds center-cut salmon fillets, cut into 4 portions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges

IMG_4666

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil, then coat it with cooking spray.
  2. Place salmon pieces, skin-side down, on the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper. Combine sour cream, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the salmon.
  3. Broil the salmon 5 inches from the heat source until it is opaque in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

IMG_4670

NUTRITION

Per serving: 198 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 6 g mono ); 72 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 0 g fiber; 375 mg sodium; 560 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (74% daily value), Potassium (26% dv), omega-3s.

Exchanges: 4 lean protein, 1 fat

I paired the salmon with a mix of quinoa, orzo pasta, diced red pepper and garbanzo beans, along with some brussels sprouts and roasted broccoli. Yum! Alex said it was a success, so I’m definitely adding this to the rotation. Tonight’s menu: Crockpot salsa chicken tacos with sweet potato fries. Hooray for a cold day and a slow cooker! 

2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for Cat Hair in my Coffee! I thought it was pretty cool, so I thought I’d share. Enjoy and see you in 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Guest Post: Eating Out the Healthy Way

Big thanks to Elizabeth for reaching out to me! This post is great for anyone who is looking for a few easy ways to get their diet back on track for the new year. Enjoy!

I don’t know about you, but I eat out a lot. It is not because I am lazy or don’t know how to cook. I am just tired. Worn out. Down to the dregs. By the time I finish my everyday activities cooking dinner sounds like the last thing I want to do. Although I have gotten better at cooking for myself, by planning meals ahead of time, cooking a bunch and freezing it, or using the crock pot, I still end up eating out far more than is really healthy. Not to mention those unpalatable microwave lunch meals. No thank you.

Why is eating out often so bad for you? Well, unlike in your own kitchen you can’t control what goes into your dishes. Many restaurants and, even worse, fast food joints add in tons of unnecessary fats, calories and other unhealthy ingredients to your food. From butter and margarine to heavy oils, tons of salt, MSG, and meat byproducts you never know what you are putting in your mouth. Plus you tend to eat more because of the huge servings on large plates that you get. Not to mention that vegetables are not high on the list of tasty restaurant meals. However there are a few ways that you can eat healthy even when you do eat out. Here are some helpful tips:

Skip the Fast Food – Whoa, I just came back from lunch and do I regret it. Greasy fast food pizza is not a healthy meal! Actually, fast food of any kind is a good thing to avoid. Although some fast food places are catching on to healthier options, the actual fast food lifestyle is one that is worse for you. Munching down in your car encourages overeating for one. For another, even healthy options can be secretly loaded with unhealthy things. That fake fruit flavoring in your parfait, the high fat dressings and fake cheeses on your salad, and the calorie laden dip for your apple slices all add up fast. You are better off picking a nice sit down restaurant for your meal and being in better control over what you choose to eat. I love that vegetarian and locally grown restaurants are catching on big in some parts. That is a great way to get a healthier meal without having to pack your own lunch.

Ask For Info – Another good tip is to ask for information about the menu. Many restaurants, especially chain ones, have a handy calorie and ingredient guide on call. Not only does that help people who have allergies, but it also helps you to see what options are actually healthy and what ones are not. You can also ask the waiter about healthier options like lighter sauces, steamed vegetables and smaller portions. Many restaurants are willing to work with people to help them to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Half to Go – Speaking of portions an easy trick I picked up to limit my portion sizes is to ask if half my meal can be boxed up before it is served to me. That way I never even see the whole thing and can’t be tempted to overindulge. At most places you eat even half a plate can be more than enough. This way you also have another meal later which drastically reduces your costs! If that is not your cup of tea then before you take your first bite separate your food. Draw a little line cutting it in half and do not go over it. It takes some training, but eventually it will come as second nature.

Pay Attention –One big obstacle to controlling how much you eat is how much attention you are paying to what you eat. The television is a terrible disadvantage to healthy eating. You are distracted and tend to eat far more because you are not paying attention. Remember that satisfied is full, not stuffed. When you slow down, chew well and pay attention you will find that you eat less and enjoy it more. Even eating with friends helps your diet. Because you are talking instead of stuffing your face it takes you longer and therefore your body has time to understand that it is full and let you know.

Vegetables First – I know the bread and chips that come before the meal can be tempting, especially when you are super hungry, but try to not indulge too much in those. They tend to be full of junk carbs and fat. Instead, eat your veggies first. As the salad course is usually the first to arrive anyway this is usually easy to do. However it goes beyond salads (watch out for dressings and toppings) when your entrée comes you should try to eat the lowest calorie things first. Items like sides are usually the best as you can pick things like steamed broccoli and carrots, grilled vegetables, or cut fresh fruit. That way you fill up on those instead of packing in the meat and potatoes andthen being too full to eat anything with actual nutrients.

No Starvation – Speaking of packing it in, try not to be starving to death when you go out to eat. I know you have to wait in line and so on, but if you can try to eat a small snack earlier on so you will be less tempted to chow down on the rolls before your meal even arrives. You make better food decisions when you are not so hungry too. Just think about what you really want to eat when you are not hungry and then it is easier to make wise choices when you are. A good tip to maintain your weight overall is to eat small meals throughout the day. That keeps you from getting too hungry and indulging all at once and also helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your brain focused.

Skip Dessert – My family loves dessert. They feel that no meal is complete without it. However that is certainly not true. Skipping the sweets can save you a lot of unnecessary calories. If you just feel like you have to have something sweet, then go for fresh fruit. It has sugar, yes, but it also has vitamins and nutritional value. If that is not available then offer to split something with another person in your group. Even just a bite can satisfy your sweet tooth and not add too many calories.

Drink Water – Last but not least watch what you drink. Many of us have great eating habits but our drinking is what packs on the pounds. Wine and beer are full of empty carbs and loaded with toxins your body has to process out. Not to mention the sugar loaded sodas and juices we imbibe in too. Skip all that and go for just plain water. Not only is it calorie free but it makes your body and brain feel and work better. You are probably not drinking enough water as it is. Choose water with your meals and you will see the difference. In fact if you guzzle a cup of water before you eat you can eat less and feel fuller faster.

As you can see it is not impossible to eat out in a healthy way. Choose your food carefully and you will be able to manage your weight and get the nutrition you need to thrive. Happy and healthy eating!

Author Bio:

Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.

 

FitSugar Squat Challenge

Hey stranger!

Hope the holidays haven’t driven you away from fitness like they have for me. Every year I swear I’ll stick to my workout routine and every year, I don’t. At. All. I know I should let certain things slide around the holiday season and chalk it up to a Cat Hair Coffee moment, but this season I’ve noticed a major side effect: SAD. OK, so maybe not to the extreme that some people are effected, but I definitely have found myself lacking in the energy department. Enter: The 30-Day Squat Challenge by PopSugar Fitness.

I found this challenge on PopSugar’s Facebook page and thought it seemed really reasonable. The whole “Squat Circuit Challenge: 4 Weeks to 200 Squats” sounded so cool to me! Well, maybe “cool” is the wrong word, but it definitely seemed like an attainable goal. Anyway, if you would like to join me, tweet about your experience by mentioning me @baileemorris OR @cathaircoffee and @POPSUGARFitness with the hashtag #200squatchallenge. Here’s the routine:

DAY OF MONTH EXERCISE NUMBER OF SQUATS
Day 1 6 reps of each 30
Day 2 10 reps of each 50
Day 3 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 4 Rest 0
Day 5 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 6 10 reps of each 50
Day 7 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 8 Rest 0
Day 9 9 reps of each, repeat 2x 90
Day 10 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 11 5 reps of each, repeat 4x 100
Day 12 Rest 0
Day 13 7 reps of each, repeat 3x 105
Day 14 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 15 5 reps of each, repeat 5x 125
Day 16 Rest 0
Day 17 9 reps of each, repeat 3x 135
Day 18 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 19 7 reps of each, repeat 4x 140
Day 20 Rest 0
Day 21 10 reps of each, repeat 3x 150
Day 22 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 23 8 reps of each, repeat 4x 160
Day 24 Rest 0
Day 25 7 reps of each, repeat 5x 175
Day 26 6 reps of each, repeat 3x 90
Day 27 9 reps of each, repeat 4x 180
Day 28 Rest 0
Day 29 12 reps of each, repeat 3x 180
Day 30 10 reps of each, repeat 4x 200

So start squatting! (That was supposed to sound better than it did.)

Soup, Salad and The Walking Dead

Last night I had home dinner date with my friend Brianna. We decided soup and salad would be the way to go, so I  got to work on a variation of my mom’s crockpot vegetable soup.

Bailee’s Vegetable Soup (I’ve never claimed a recipe before, so what the hey.)

  • 1 box of beef stock
  • 3 cups of water
  • I packet of Lipton’s onion soup mix
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 4 red potatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onion tops, chopped
  • ¼ cup of garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat the bottom of your soup pot with the olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the minced garlic.
  2. Let that sit for 2 minutes and then add the garlic scapes and green onion tops; let sit for 1 minute. Add your frozen mixed vegetables and let them cook in the pot for about 2 minutes before adding the beef stock.
  3. Add the beef stock, water, Lipton’s onion soup mix, red potatoes, tomato, quinoa, salt and pepper. Cover pot and let cook on low for about 1 ½ hours, or until red potatoes are tender.

IMG_4341

**Note: The quinoa makes the soup a little thicker, so omit or add less if you like a brothy soup.

I have to say, I’m becoming more and more of a fan of soup over the years. I think it’s realizing how easy it is to make a good meal that is making it a staple dinner in my house. Anyway, after Brianna arrived, we sat down to enjoy the meal. Man was it good! She brought over an edamame caviar salad, which was probably the tastiest thing I’ve had in a long time. She picked it up at Kroger’s in the deli section. I Googled what was in it and found this:

  • 1 lb. bag frozen edamame beans (use shelled edamame – sometimes labeled as mukamame), thawed.
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped yellow red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red or yellow onion (depending on how much you like onions)
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) Simple Truth black beans, rinsed and drained (rinsing canned vegetables removes the majority of the sodium that they are generally packed in)
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) Simple Truth garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon miso (a fermented soybean sauce) may be mixed into the vinegar to add a delicious earthy flavor.

Mix all ingredients together and toss in vinegar.

I think this would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving!

After we ate, we settled in to watch The Walking Dead. It’s fun watching it with someone else, because it gives me the excuse to scream and be all “OH NO HE DIDN’T!” (Which is exactly what we did.) Now if I could only find someone to watch American Horror Story: Coven with me…

 

Busy Week!

Hola.

This week has flown by! It’s funny how the holiday season makes everything seem to zoom by so much faster than usual. The beginning of the week was business as usual, minus yoga (poo!), but livened up last night when my parents came up to see Hello Dolly! the musical with me. Well, actually I tagged along with them. Anyway, we braved the cold by parking at the Coliseum, which didn’t seem that bad when we started over to the show. Unfortunately, afterwards it felt like it was around –20 degrees. Brr.

The show itself was great! I’d never really known what it was about, but really loved all of the old-timey comedy. This would probably explain why 90% of the audience was 60+. Anyway, Sally Struthers (Babette!!!!!) played the lead character, Dolly, and really did a marvelous job. In fact, the entire cast did a fantastic job. The gentleman playing Cornelius, Matt Wolfe, reminded me of Andy Bernard from The Office, so I was cracking up every time he appeared on stage. The lead girl, Lauren Blackman, who played Irene, instantly reminded me of what I would imagine Mary from Downton Abbey would look like in a Broadway play. She was waifish and beautiful. (Not that the two are mutually exclusive.)

Anyway, the whole thing was great and a fun way to spend a Wednesday. Now that I’m in the theater spirit, I’m hoping to see The Nutcracker at the WVU Creative Arts Center for the first time in a few weeks.

Have you seen any productions lately?