WIAW: Crock Pot Challenge Meal #5

I’m happy to report the Crock Pot Challenge is going very well so far. I’ve knocked out five recipes, so far, and plan to finish out the remaining five before the deadline. This week’s recipe was a PBFingers original. Looking for a simple menu item, I went with her Crock Pot Chicken Taco recipe. I must say, it was incredibly easy and extremely successful. I did, however, make one modification to this recipe. Instead of ground chicken, I used a large chicken breast. I did this mainly because I couldn’t find ground chicken at my store and partially because I thought shredded chicken seemed more appetizing. Now I know what you are thinking: “Isn’t she a vegetarian?” Yes, I do abstain from meat 90% of the time; however, on occasion I have been known to stray. I always make sure that if I do, I eat organic, local or at least GMO free meat. Thus was the case with the chicken.

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You had better believe that if I’m putting that crap into my body it is at least chemical and hormone free. I placed the breast in the slow cooker with 1/2 a packet of chicken taco seasoning and let it cook overnight on low for around 8.5 hours. When I woke up the next day, the breast was fully cooked and very tender. 

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I must say, I’m not a fan of actually cooking and handling meat. I also found it nerve wracking to deal with the stress of not getting raw meat on any of my household surfaces. Regardless, the chicken turned out perfectly and Alex was thrilled with the little taco bar I set up for us that night. 

Ok, now on to WIAW.

 

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After I pulled this together, I realized how unappetizing it all looked together, but keep in mind that these are things I’ve eaten over several days. The Coke Zero was definitely a craving impulse, but I literally NEVER drink soda, so I figured it wouldn’t kill me. The vitamins are my daily regimen. I have to say, the biotin is definitely working. My hair is growing fast! The Chobani was definitely the winner on this list. I took one cup of vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt and put in around 1 tsp of PB2 and 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder for a yummy, protein packed combo. 

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you aren’t that into vitamins, switch to gummies to make the process fun again! Kroger makes a great Sourpatch Kids-esque version call Everyday. Highly recommend. 

WIAW: Anything with a Spoon

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As you can see from the collage above (and from numerous mentions in the past), I love foods that require spoons. If I eat something that doesn’t, I’ll try to find a way to incorporate one into the mix. I sincerely have no idea why I love them so much. Anyway, I started off the week with, you guessed it, leftover Lentils and Wild Rice Stew. I still have a quart in the freezer to get through! With that, I snacked on a snack pack of carrots with ranch dip. So inspired by this delicious dip, I decided to make my own using Greek yogurt. I paired this with broccoli and carrots, as well. For a snack, I wanted yogurt, so I made a pretty little parfait using vanilla Greek yogurt, thawed frozen berries and some Multigrain Cheerios. I thought it turned out rather well. (Tasty to boot!) A simple veggie sandwich was thrown into the mix and was severely coveted by my lovely grey kitty, Grace. A delicious smoothie bowl was devoured for breakfast and finally, some very sinful Edy’s cookie dough ice cream. I didn’t feel terribly guilty about this one, because I had been to the gym earlier that day. So there it is!

Before I wrap things up, I wanted to take a moment to point out a pet peeve of mine. (Shocking, I know.) While at my apartment complex’s gym a few days ago, I encountered one of my biggest pet peeves: gym texters. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I text while on the elliptical, but I’m actually moving. What I can’t stand is when someone (sorry, but usually a guy) stands around the weight section either texting or actually having a phone conversation. In a span of 15 minutes (yes, I tracked it, but only because it was half my workout), this guy did two sets of about 10 reps of, we’ll say, bicep curls, and spent the remainder of that time chatting. Meanwhile, he practically set up his own lounge area. I seriously expected him to bust out a beer and start scratching himself.

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Yes I snapped a photo of him actually taking a break to lie down and enjoy his phone call. To be fair he did push out five chest press moves with free weights after the call ended. Anyway, the moral of the story is this: talk on the phone at the gym, text, whatever, but don’t do it in front of an area that is commonly used. Kindly move to a corner or take it outside. Oh and for the record, I don’t take phone calls when other people are in our gym.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are going to put all the effort into getting dressed and heading to the gym, why not try to, oh I don’t know, work up a sweat.

WIAW: Gross Vitamins

So, some of you may know that I’m quite frugal. With a frugal lifestyle comes a constant need to save big, beat the man, bargain hunt, whatever you want to call it. While at the grocery store yesterday reaping the benefits of my senior discount, I decided to wander over to the vitamin aisle. I’m trying to grow my hair out for my best friend’s wedding and have been trying to find a decent deal on fish oil and biotin supplements. After finally deciding to wait until after I finish my Christmas shopping, I continued on through the store. As I’m at the check out line, I run my eyes across the weird products they always put beside the conveyor belt and see a giant bottle of fish oil supplements in gummy form. Uhhh how awesome can this be?! PLUS they were around $4.50 cheaper than the pill form I saw back in the vitamin aisle. I took about 30 seconds to decide whether to buy them and finally tossed the bottle on the counter.

I get home, start carrying in the stuff and decide I can’t wait any long to try my new gummies. I pop open the top, only to be greeted with the strong stench of fish. “Oh god this can’t be happening,” I think to myself. “Did I really just spend $6.45 on a bottle of fish flavored gummies?” Yes, Bailee. You did. I swallow my pride and pop one of the mango flavors. While the fish flavor isn’t as strong as I anticipate, it certainly is underlying. I chew on. After I choke down the first, I realize the serving calls for two. So, I pick a pineapple flavor, because it just has to be better, right? Wrong. At this point, I’m so grossed out, I’m ready to cry. (Which is about the only time I actually shed a tear.) I’m worried I’ll puke, which will definitely lead to crying, and possibly spoil the dinner I was about to make for Alex. Luckily, none of the above happened and I was left with only a slight fishy after taste.

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If you want to see the lovely face that goes with this picture, head over to my Twitter page @baileemorris.

Anyway, on to WIAW.

Stir Fry Spaghetti Squash 12-17-12

I sauteed some mushrooms, (cat hair, of course) chopped onion, red pepper and zucchini in sesame oil and added in some delicious Hoisin sauce. The finished product when added to my spaghetti squash looked pretty gross, but tasted amazing. Did I mention I added some jalapeno for kick?

One day for lunch, I decided to kick it old school and have a peanut butter sandwich. It was classic, but definitely left me feeling hungry.

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For dessert, I had a fudge bar, with a little help from my grey friend, Grace.

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She’s definitely a cat after my own heart.

My Healthy Choice of the Day: Thanks to MyPlate Report on my LoseIt app, I saw that I was lacking in protein for the day. I skipped my string cheese and cracker snack and opted for a cup of yogurt with a handful of almonds instead. Now I know I’ll stay full until dinner!

WIAW: The Pure Joy I Get From Discounts

I’m going to make this brief, because I’ve still got to squeeze in a workout for the day.

I. Love. Discounts. So today when I got online to order my personalized holiday cards, I was bummed to realize they were going to be quite expensive. I decided I would swallow my pride and cough up the cash. Just as I was finishing up the design, I decided to do a quick shop-around for a better deal. My dear friends, the Queens, sent me a lovely postcard style holiday card that I found to be quite adorable. I grabbed it from the fridge and checked where she made it. Cardstore.com. Hmm, never heard of it? Me neither!

I quickly hopped on over to the site and nearly died when I saw their fabulous 12/12/12 discount: All Holiday Cards 29 cents. WHAT?!?! I quickly picked a new design, loaded my contacts and had another bought of excitement when I realized stamps and direct mailing were included in this cost. I knew I needed a few extra to hand out to some work folks, so I added another order to be shipped directly to me. Before the discount: $45. After the discount: $7. With all the money I saved, I was able to do a rush delivery so I would get my cards by the beginning of next week. OMG. I literally can’t contain my joy.

Ok, on to WIAW.

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To start I had an egg sandwich with a half slice of muenster cheese. Lunch was a delicious cheese ravioli and house salad combo from a local favorite, Muriales, in Fairmont, W.Va. I had to get my cheese on for my snack, so I chose this horrendous pose with my beloved Chobani yogurt. Finally, to fuel me through the holidays, my yummy Holiday/Christmas blend Starbucks coffee.

Well I’m off to squeak out a workout. Wish me luck!

My Healthy Choice of the Day: After weighing myself today and realizing I had gained the two pounds back that I had lost, I calmly walked back to my desk, logged the weigh in and said, “Just keep trying.” Normally I would have beaten myself up and been really down, but not this time. (And this was BEFORE the big discount celebration!)

WIAW: Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar

Around this time of year, I’m on the hunt for a few key food items: Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee, green and red Christmas themed M&Ms, Christmas tree shaped Reese Cups and this.

Yum! This may be the best flavor yet. It’s pretty seasonal, of course, but definitely worth the arsenic.

Now, on to WIAW.

 

I wanted some whole wheat pasta, but I didn’t have any marinara. Luckily, I always keep canned tomatoes in my pantry, so I topped my pasta with that and 1 cup of steamed spinach. So filling and much better than marinara sauce. For a snack, I had a VitaTop with a cup of coffee and a big ol’ banana. This is a flippin’ power snack, my friends. Finally, for breakfast, I had one of my happy omelets, completed with a whole wheat English muffin. Yum!

Well, that’s all the food ogling I can stand for one day.

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by lifehack.org: When you’ve got time – at your desk, driving the car, cooking food – do some deep breathing. Inhale and count up to 5 seconds, hold it for a few seconds, and release slowly. Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is one of the best things we can do for our blood and cells.

WIAW: Back to a Meal Plan

This week I’ve been back to my portion controlling and exercise regimen. So far, so good. I’m using my Lose It app on my phone and also following a relatively easy meal plan that I’ve modified to fit my tastes. Anyway, here is a taste of what I’ve had this week.

WIAW November 14

Starting from the top left: shirataki tofu noodle dish with kale and fall veggies from Morgantown’s very own Richwood Grill, Progresso Macaroni and Bean Pasta E Fagioli with Flat Out Flatbread and a slice of Swiss cheese and finally some flatbread crackers with Sargento light string cheese. Oh and I couldn’t resist a nice, cold iced coffee while I was at the mall a few days ago.

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I’m not sure why, but I love iced drinks in the winter. Go figure.

WIAW: The Best Tabbouleh of My Life

Quite possibly the favorite combo of foods yet!

Of course I had to start the month off with some Campbell’s Tomato soup. I tossed some chia seeds in for good measure and let the heartburn ensue. Below that, I had sauteed spinach with some corn, an apple and rosemary roasted potatoes with rosemary from my “garden”. I’m a proud gardener! To the right, you’ll see my wonderful hummus and tabbouleh combo from Mediterranean Market in Morgantown, which I devoured in two days. Finally, I enjoyed my delicious homemade Curried Chickpea Dip.

All in all, a pretty good assortment of foods. Next week, I’m hoping to make some “healthified” pumpkin bread based on my mom’s recipe. We’ll see how it goes!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Eating well is contagious. Today I was feeling hungry and overheard my coworker crunches on carrots. My decision to hit the vending machine quickly turned to a full-on carrot craving. Luckily I had some in my lunchbag to snack on. Navigate towards healthy eaters or try looking at some “food porn” on the internet featuring healthy items. I swear it works!

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!

WIAW: Vacation Pie


Ok, so I didn’t have pie, but I am getting ready for my trip to Cincinnati soon! In prep for that, I’m starting to eat everything in the house that could go back (and stuff that probably won’t.)

The pizza was by far the best item. I took a large tortilla and covered it with cheese, mushrooms and sauce. So yummy!

Sorry this is a short one, but I’ve got a lot to do before my trip!