Curried Chickpea Dip

This recipe is part of a 10 day cleanse that one of my coworkers is doing. It’s called the Hormone Diet and it’s purpose is to help explain all the lifestyle habits required to restore complete hormonal balance in men and women through proper sleep, diet and exercise habits. Cool, huh? So here is just one of the many recipes available in this cool book. I omitted the garam masala spice and cilantro, but feel free to make the recipe with these ingredients. 

Curried Chickpea Dip

Serves 4 or 5
  • 1 can (15 oz) organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala spice
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro2012-09-29 15.09.33
  1. Puree the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, garam masala, garlic, salt,  pepper and cayenne pepper in food processor until smooth.
  2. Add the cilantro and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Transfer the dip to a bowl. Eat 1/2 cup as a veggie dip or spread. Store dip in the fridge in a sealed container.

 2012-09-29 15.19.11

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories 245 | Carbohydrates 25.2 g | Protein 24.0 g | Fat 5.4 g | Fiber 4.1 g

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Kashi Crazy

While I was at the store this week, I was determined to stock up on some new items. I finally got around to buying curry powder and bit the bullet on my cheap-o tendencies by purchasing West Virginia grown apples. Shockingly, the import curry was cheaper than the Kroger brand, negating the higher cost of the apples.

Anyway, I popped over to the organic section to pick up my **Almond Breeze almond milk when I spotted the strategically placed Kashi crackers that I hadn’t tasted in years. Kashi’s Sesame Honey TLC crackers used to be a favorite of my friend in high school. She was the one who actually started introducing me to the healthier options in life, like skim milk. Who knew?! So, after I picked up the crackers and milk, I turned around to look through the flavors of my old, faithful snack, the Kashi snack bars. Although I didn’t see any new flavors that looked appealing to me, I did discover a flavor that I had managed to miss throughout the years: Roasted Almond Crunch. YUM! They’re must more firm and crunchy than my usual Nature Valley bars and much healthier. Finally, while rounding the corner to breeze through the soups, I spotted quite possibly the most delicious cookie I’ve purchased in a long time: the Chocolate Almond Butter cookie. Good lord. They should not put these things in a sleeve.

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Of course after I got home I was dying to try EVERYTHING, but I refrained. I saved the bar for my afternoon snack the following day and enjoyed the cookie for an after dinner treat. The crackers? Well, they were my pre-workout snack (paired with Sargento cheese cubes) before hitting the gym yesterday.

Oh and on the subject of the gym, I went back for my old workout routine yesterday after work. I only did 25 minutes on the elliptical, but it was still better than nothing. Today, I’m hoping to run back over for another quick cardio session before Stefano’s tonight, where I will be enjoying my absolute favorite Cucumber Martini! Yummmm.

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Well, I don’t have much else to report, but hopefully I’ll be sharing a recipe that my coworker gave me for a Curry Chickpea Dip. Soooo good!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Torn between the elliptical and the stairclimber? According to Fitness Magazine, go for the elliptical. “The cyclical movement is easier on your legs than stepping, so you won’t tire as quickly.

**Not sure about making the switch from cow’s milk to almond milk? Check out this FitDay article for more information on the benefits of almond milk.

What’s Your Energy Type?

Recently, while having dinner with Alex’s family, his mom brought up something she had heard about on Dr. Oz. She was talking about energy levels and how it can be effected by a variety of things, like where you carry your weight and hormones. She named off a few of the types, making me curious of how where I fit in. After reading an article on his site, I found my energy type or “E-Type“.

E-Type 1: Reactive

If you find yourself overly responsive to stress, constantly on edge, and with a tendency to carry extra weight on your upper back, chest, and arms, you are the “reactive” energy-type. The Reactive E-type is primarily the result of an imbalance in the stress hormone cortisol, which is made worse with a high-glycemic (high sugar) diet. The combination of blood sugar surges from your diet and too much cortisol inflame your body at a cellular level, leaving you feeling emotionally and physically drained.

To supercharge your energy, you need to curb your cortisol levels so you’re not being drained by so much stress. Start by replacing sugary foods with high-fiber foods like beans, greens and whole grains. You’ll prevent blood sugar spikes and the accompanying energy crash. Follow that up by being sure to black out your bedroom at night. Light at night can contribute to poor sleep, increasing your cortisol levels. Simply closing the curtains isn’t enough – be sure to turn off  the lights on alarm clocks, DVD players, cell phones, and anything else that might interrupt the darkness we need for that deep, cortisol-curbing sleep. Lastly, try adding an adaptogen to your routine. Adaptogens are compounds extracted from herbs that allow your body to resist stress and regulate cortisol. Try taking 1000 mg a day of astragalus, an adaptogen derived from an Asian root, available in health stores.

E-Type 2: Fluctuating

If your period seems unpredictable, you feel tired at random times, and you carry your weight from the waist down, you are the “fluctuating” energy-type. In both men and women, the body maintains a balance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; a variety of causes, however, can cause an excess of estrogen over progesterone, leading to the fluctuating E-type and its energy drain.

he key to boosting your energy is to reduce excess estrogen. The first step is to add some healthy and tasty foods that contain flavones – compounds that, among other properties, can inhibit estrogen activity. Roots, nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy all contain high flavones, which can help restore the estrogen-progesterone balance. Next, while soy can be a great part of your diet, it raises estrogen levels, which can be problematic for Fluctuating E-types. If you fall into this category, take care to limit soy in your diet, especially from hidden soy derivatives found in processed foods like sauces, burger patties, ice creams, canned tunas, and artificial flavoring. Check your food labels for the following terms: mono-diglyceride, soya, soja, soybean, soyabeans, soy protein (isolate/concentrate), vegetable protein, textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP), textured vegetable protein (TVP). You should also avoid parabens, or preservative chemicals found in many lotions and cosmetics. They can seep through your skin, and may mimic estrogen activity. Be on the lookout for ingredients containing parabens, such as methyl paraben or propyl paraben, and seek out beauty products labeled paraben free.

While the aforementioned tips are tailored to reduce estrogen levels, you can also boost your progesterone levels by patting on a progesterone cream. Available over-the-counter, progesterone cream is easily absorbed through the skin. Apply 1/4 tsp to a thin part of your skin, such as the inner arm, for 14 days before your expected period to dampen the energy-draining effects of estrogen.

E-Type 3: Sluggish

If you feel exhausted throughout the day, sensitive to changes in temperature, and tend to gain weight throughout your whole body, you are the “sluggish” energy type. In this case, your lack of energy is due to your thyroid not producing enough of the hormone thyroxine, which occurs when your body doesn’t get enough iodine. This can be attributed to consuming too many goitrogens, components of foods that suppress thyroid function.

To supercharge your energy, allow your body to get the thyroid hormone it needs by avoiding goitrogens. Surprisingly, they’re found in many healthy foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, peaches, and strawberries. Fortunately, you can deactivate goitrogens in your raw veggies simply by steaming them for as little as 10 minutes. That way you’ll reap the benefits of their many nutrients, and give yourself a thyroid thrust. You can ramp up your thyroid function even further by taking a daily dose of vitamin D. It’s a crucial component in thyroid function, especially in winter months when we don’t get enough natural vitamin D through sun exposure. Take 1000 IUs daily for maximum effect.

This final suggestion may be a bit surprising, but naturopaths have been recommending for years that you can hum your thyroid to health! They argue that the inner vibration stimulates the release of thyroid hormone. Try tapping the sides of your neck at the base 10 times while deeply humming. If the vibrations alone aren’t enough to boost your energy, humming one of your favorite tunes surely will help.

Although I don’t carry weight in my upper body, I am definitely an E-Type 1. When I’m put in stressful situations, I usually get very exhausted, very quickly. I often ride that initial stress high, but crash hard when it’s over. I usually eat more (and crave) more sugar than the average person, which makes this much, much worse. Also, when I’m hungry, look out. As pathetic as this is going to sound, I’m much more likely to emotional when my blood sugar is low.

Funny Apology Ecard: I'm sorry for the unkind words I spoke out of hunger.

So, what energy type are you??

Finally Back to Normal

For the past few weeks, I’ve been b-u-s-y. I’d say I can’t complain, because I love to stay moving, but unfortunately my workout routine has been severely effected. Between work and my series of dental procedures, I’ve had virtually no time to run, elliptical or any other type of physical activity. I know, I know; boo-hoo. So now that everything has calmed down, here is what I hope to accomplish over the next few weeks.

  1. Run 1-3 times per week.
  2. Complete the **30-day challenge.
  3. Clean up my diet by cutting back on starches and ramping up the veggies.

So far, I’ve managed to squeeze in two 3 mile runs last week, but filled my diet with sugary granola bars and way too much ice cream. The cure for this? Sunday Funday must be eliminated. Instead, I will now allow myself 3 ‘bad’ meals a week, so I can better control them. This may seem crazy, but I’ve found that if I allow myself to splurge a few times a week versus all at once, I’ll find more excuses to skip that piece of cake. When I first tried this, I would save all of my fun meals for the weekend and would usually push them back to Sunday. Thus, Sunday Funday was born. However, now, I’m realizing that the best course of action is to limit myself to only one of these fun meals per day. We’ll see how it goes!

Tonight, I decided to celebrate the end of Sunday Funday with Alexia Saute Sweets. This yummy side of sweet potatoes, sweet corn, black beans, red bell pepper, and onions is ‘blended in chipotle-infused oil and finished with chipotle infused 100% olive oil.’ I also sauteed some spinach with onions, garlic and topped it with a pinch of mozzarella cheese. So good. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

 

Want to try out the 30-Day Challenge with me? Well here is the great little workout I discovered on, none other than, Pinterest!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Challenge yourself and try this workout with me. If  you feel sore, do it every other day, but just keep track so you can make sure to do it 30 times.

WIAW: Soft Food Only, AGAIN


The last few weeks have been packed full. Oh and you know what else is packed full? My mouth…full of medical glue and paste. Yes, that’s right: I had another gum surgery. Last Thursday was the final (HOORAY) installment of the Bailee-Gum series. One week from Thursday, I’ll have the medical pack removed and I can finally be done with these inconvenient procedures. Enough of the gross-out. Let’s move on to food.

Just like last time, Easy Mac continually feeds my soul. Probably not the healthiest option, but I feel I can let a lot slide when I am limited to what I can and cannot eat. Another perk? Ice cream. I no longer feel guilty having ice cream for dinner when that’s pretty much all I can comfortably eat. (Hey, at least I paired it with some spinach!)

Finally, the best soft food item a girl can ask for: a homemade crab cake from Stefano’s in Morgantown. This is my all-time favorite crab cake. It’s baked, not fried, has huge chunks of crab in it and is serve with the best sauce I’ve ever had. Definitely made the gum stuff worth it!