Friday, May 16, 2014

Advocare Challenge Day 3 Update Plus Turkey Sausage Foil Packets, Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, and Peach Cobbler

Day 3 in the books!

Bam!  I'm kicking ass and taking names. I'm developing routines.  And when someone walked by my desk with a bag full of greasy french fries did I cave?

Hell no.

I stayed strong.

I have willpower! Hear me roar!

So this morning as I was gulping down my daily dose of liquid-fiber (that just sounds wrong), I realized that after today, I get a break for 3 days.  That was the motivation I needed to finish chugging.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. I sound like a sissy.

So today was a half-day at work. We have half-day Fridays and the office closes at 1.  My plans to take Roux out for a run were thwarted by rain and cold temps, so I decided to break out my yoga mat and namaste my happy ass at home.

The thing about trying to practice yoga with a dog?  She automatically assumes that because you're on the floor that means it is time to play.  And if you're in Cobra-pose, that's an opportune time for face kisses.

As for today's menu?   Here we go...

Breakfast: Waffles loaded with syrup, bacon, biscuits and gravy.    Haha. Just kidding.  A chocolate MRS on my way to work.

Mid-Morning Snack: Small apple with all natural peanut butter.

Lunch: Left-over Spice-Rubbed Fish with Orange Avocado Salsa and Carrot and Cucumber Salad from last night.

Afternoon Snack: A handful of mixed nuts

Dinner:  Turkey sausage packets (Recipe follows)  These are great because it's literally chopping up some veggies, meat, herbs and spices and tossing it all into a foil packet to bake.  I threw in a leafy green salad on the side with homemade cilantro vinaigrette (recipe also follows...because I love you).

Evening Snack: Peach "cobbler".  Seriously!  Bonus recipe below because not only do I love you, but you're my favorite.

How I'm Feeling: Not too bad.  Really nothing out of the ordinary to report.  I was skeptical with this whole process about how much energy I'd have without my obligatory 3 daily cups of coffee, but not only have I had plenty of energy, I haven't had any caffeine headaches.  That's something, right?

Nothing else new to report, so onto the recipes!

Turkey Sausage and Veggie Packets of Glory and Awesomeness
What makes these packets so awesome and full of glory?  Besides the fact that they're healthy (duh), they are also so simple that in order for it to be any easier, someone would have to come into your kitchen and cook it for you, and it involves zero dishes. Seriously.  Ok, maybe a cutting board and a knife.  But other than that?  No pans. Bonus? Too hot out? Don't feel like heating up your oven? Don't know where your oven is?  Or does your oven just work as another cabinet and not as an actual method to cook food?  Grill these bad boys!   Versatility, guys.  versatility.

PLUS, you're not limited to Turkey or Chicken Sausage for protein.  Try other meats to put in your foil packets.  Fish, lean beef, seafood, chopped pork. You're also not limited in your veggies.  Throw in carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, green beans, or tomatoes.  You can really mold this meal into whatever you are craving or whatever type of cuisine you'd like to eat.

Ingredients (makes 4-6 packets)
1 Yellow, Red or Green Bell Pepper, cubed
1-2 medium zucchinis
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium potato (a bit of complex carbs are ok - we're not going crazy here)
1 lb. turkey sausage links, cut into thirds
3/4 c. matchstick carrots
Mrs. Dash "table" seasoning to taste (also feel free to add any other herbs or spices you think would be good here.  I used onion powder, garlic powder, and Red Pepper Flake as well - experiment!)

1. Get your grill going, or preheat your oven to 350° F.

2. Precut all of your veggies, get your meat ready, and have your herbs on hand and ready to be added to your foil.

3. Lay out 4-6 squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about 1 foot square.  Lightly spray with non-stick spray.  In the center of each foil, place your ingredients, being sure to divide your ingredients evenly.

4. Bring opposite corners of foil together and seal.  Fold over the seam and seal tightly to make a secure package.

5. If you're using an oven, place your packets on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven.  If you're grilling your foil packets, place them on indirect heat on a well-oiled grill.

6. Let your packets cook (steam) for about 30 minutes depending on the ingredients you're using.  You might need a bit more or less time depending on what you're cooking.   Let the packets cool slightly before serving.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Know what's super fun?  Buying a lime and then somehow having that lime disappear from your grocery bags by the time you get home.  It's like my lime went all Free Willy, jumped out of the cart (or the trunk of my car) and rolled off into the sunset.   What a dick.   In the event your fruit goes AWOL, feel free to use a lemon, another citrus fruit with a decent level of acidity or a vinegar of your choice.

1 c. cilantro (leaves only, stems removed)
1/2 c. olive oil (or select another oil you prefer - grapeseed would be great for this recipe)
1/4 c. lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
1 sm. clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Puree the cilantro, lime juice, and garlic in a blender.

2. Slowly drizzle in your olive oil while blending, adding enough oil to achieve the desired consistency.

Peach Cobbler
Whaaaaaaat? You can't have cobbler while you're on a diet or a cleanse.

Nonsense, sassypants!  You can, too!

2 ripe peaches (you can also use pears or apples)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. old fasioned oats
1 egg white

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray 3 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Dice your fruit (feel free to leave the skin on) and divide amongst the ramekins.

3. Mix cinnamon, vanilla, oats and egg white in a bowl.

4. Spoon mixture over the fruit and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Also... I've given Chris the challenge to give me some ideas of his favorite comfort foods so I can try to take a healthy spin on them.   If there are any comfort foods ya'll are interested in, let me know and I'll see what I can do to make your dreams come true.  Or at least cook the food without causing you immense amounts of guilt afterwards.

That's it for Day 3.  There is a possibility that a trip to the movies to watch Godzilla with Chris is in my near future.  If so, wish me luck on withstanding buttery popcorn.  That and fountain soda are my two favorite things in the entire world.

So to combat? I'm going to toast up some nuts and make some dried apple chips.  Plus my purse is big enough that it could easily fit my water bottle (and a small farm) so smuggling food into the movies should be no problem at all.

Depending on the weekend I may just do one big recap of both Saturday and Sunday.  There is a chance I will be going out on Saturday with some friends to eat and for drinks. Well... we'll see if my motivation can stick with me enough to hold off on the drinks and to try to find something reasonable from the menu.  Fingers crossed.

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