Happy Anniversary! Reflections on a year of clean and healthy eating

August marks a year of clean and healthy eating for Kurt and me.  Happy One Year Anniversary to us!  When I asked him why he thinks we have been so successful, he said that we have each other to motivate us and keep us on track.  So true.  His words remind me of the biblical verse Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  
If you were to ask me what tips I could share with others on getting started with a healthier lifestyle, I’d say a few things.  And here they are in no particular order.
oMake up your mind that this is a lifestyle and not a quick fix. oMake a commitment to clean eating by cleaning out your cupboard of junk and processed foods. oMake time to educate yourself on health and nutrition.  Ultimately the best diet is going to be one you will enjoy and maintain.  And that means making informed decisions about healthy food to incorporate into your breakfast, lunch, din…

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

After a few months of making whole grain and oatmeal pancakes, I've come up with a recipe that both Kurt and I really like.  It uses Quaker Weight Control oatmeal packets, eggs, cashew milk, and Cellucor Protein Powder.  Let us know if you try it out.  Cheers!

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
4 packets Quaker Weight Control oatmeal packets (your favorite variety)
2 scoops Cellucor Protein Powder (Cinnamon Swirl or Whipped Vanilla are both good)
2 Tbsp. To Your Health Sprouted White Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
3 whole eggs
1 cup Silk unsweetened cashew milk

Use food processor or blender to grind oatmeal to a flour like texture (about 30 seconds on high). In a medium size bowl, corporate dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients and mix till well combined.  Use coconut oil spray and pan fry batter in a large non-stick skillet.  Use about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.  Recipe yields about 18 pancakes.  Each pancake has 65 calories, 2 grams of fat, 7 carbs…

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes and Coconut Protein Pancakes

A recipe I tried this month that's worth mentioning is sweet potato salmon cakes.  I don't remember where I saw this or if it's something that came across my mind as I was looking at our meal prepping leftovers.  Either way, it's a great combination.
Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes
6-10 oz. salmon (grilled, baked, canned)
8 oz. roasted sweet potato, peel removed and mashed 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg white for binding 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped and sauteed 2 Tbsp. almond flour or 2 Tbsp. oat flour salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and make 4 oz. patties.  Pan fry in coconut oil until nice and golden on each side.  Makes 6 patties.  Serve on top of spring mix salad with some balsamic vinaigrette.  Keep it simple with a few grape tomatoes and some sunflower seeds.

I also experimented with coconut pancakes and boosted their protein content by adding some vanilla protein powder.  They were delicious.  I have made them 2-3 times now as a meal prepping item for q…

The Domino Effect of Healthy Living

There's a domino effect that is taking place in my clean and healthy lifestyle that I did not anticipate.  I've slowly begun the process of sorting through my clothes.  I'm pulling clothes that are too big, or perhaps that don't fit my fashion style any longer, or that are no longer age appropriate.  The up side of losing weight is having an excuse to buy new clothes.  The down side is that you're spending lots of money for clothes that you won't be using for very long if you're on a weight loss journey that gradually moves from size to size, so hopefully you won't become too attached to any of those new clothes.  But I digress.
Back to the domino effect.  This closet cleaning has rippled to organizing other areas of my life now.  I'm sorting through my books, my photos, cleaning and organizing our house more so than usual.  It feels really good and I can't help but wonder if this happens to others who have slowly undergone physical transformatio…

Macadamia and Coconut Tilapia

Last week we were at Costco buying some of our usual staples - Kirkland Brand House Blend coffee beans, Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip, and Kirkland Marcona Almonds.  Except that they ran out of Marcona almonds.  They did however have Mac Farms Macadamia Nuts, so we grabbed a bag of those instead.  Since last week's tortilla crusted tilapia fillets using this You Tube video worked out so well, we decided to try macadamia and coconut encrusted tilapia using the same technique.  Genius.  Take a look.
From the photo above, it looks like I used about 25 macadamia nuts and about 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes to coat six tilapia fillets.  Add salt & pepper or your seasoning of choice.  Place fillets on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

 Next time, I will slightly toast the coconut flakes before coating the fish.  The toasty coconut flakes really add wonderful texture and light flavor.  The only thing we added to …

Dinner of the Week - Pork Loin and Roasted Vegetables

The last time Kurt grilled some meat was a couple of weeks ago, and we had it with grilled zucchini and mushrooms.  This week we planned to grill some pork loin.  He grills the meat and I prepare the vegetables - this is a good weeknight dinner strategy.
But this week I was craving something with a few more carbs.  Not sure why but I decided to be both creative and still healthful in dealing with my carb cravings.  So I bought three chayote squash and four small sweet potatoes (Note:  smaller = more skin and more fiber per serving and less net carbs; smaller is good).
I cut them into long strips like french fries and coated them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then I roasted them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.  The result was exactly what I hoped: sweet roasted vegetables on the inside and toasty skin and coating on the outside.
I hope you try chayote squash if you want to satisfy that french fry craving without sacrificing nutrients.  They are pretty and colorf…

Avocado Salsa - Recipe for Week 39 and 40

As promised, here is the avocado salsa that I frequently use for my Southwest Chicken Salad.  My good friend Gina gave me this recipe years ago, and it's usually used for garnishing carne asada tacos along with salsa and pico de gallo.  But I also like how it tastes as a salad dressing.

Avocado Salsa 5-7 tomatillos – hulled, washed and cut into quarters 7 jalapeños – deseeded and cut in halves ½ small onion – roughly chopped ¼ c. chopped cilantro 1/2 to 3/4 cup water 2 avocados 1 tsp. salt (or salt to taste)
Place all raw ingredients except for avocado into blender and blend on high setting until smooth.  Stop to add avocado in spooned chunks.  Continue blending until avocado is completely smooth.  Pour into large bowl and add salt to taste.  This yields about 8 cups of salsa and refrigerates well for up to a week without going brown.

Salsa de Aguacate 5-7 tomatillos – lavados y cortados en cuartos 7 jalapeños – sin semilla y cortados a la mitad ½ cebolla pequeña ¼ taza de cilantro 1/2 to 3/4 t…