What I’ve been Loving…Clean Snack Treat

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Inner Food Junkie meets Christmas Morning.

The last few weeks have been like Christmas morning. I wake up and rush out to the kitchen to step on the scale to see how much weight I lost during the night. This morning was no different. Well…at least in the weight loss aspect – I lost another 2 pounds.

Poof!!

Vaporized by the magic of metabolism.

So as is my normal routine, I update MyFitnessPal. I get a message back, something along the lines of “Congratulations!!! You’ve lost so much weight (over 10 lbs.) that we need to recalculate your dietary goals.” Accept or decline buttons appear below the message.

I mentally respond “Yay! “ and press accept. Flip through to my food diary section. 1200 Calories…What!? Oh, no, no, no. Where’s my protein…45 (g)…How am I going to do that?!

The Inner Food Junkie starts to emerge and panic overcomes rational thought.

I Google “How many grams in an ounce”. Google generates several possible websites. I flip through a few to get a consensus that 1.5 oz. is equivalent to 45 (g). More panic sets in. “What am I supposed to eat.?” I scan back at the 1200 calories. “1200 calories, that the bare minimum recommended Daily Values” I tell myself, wow but yay I lost another 2 lbs.

What I’m Loving…Grab the Gold Post-Workout Bars – Homemade

Apparently these post workout nutrition bars are all the rage and available at Smoothie King. I don’t have a  Smoothie King near me and don’t patronize the local Jamba Juice simply because of the high fructose content that would blow my daily caloric intake in one drink. So SuperGlueMom’s and her fellow blogger were the first I had heard of Grab the Gold bars.

I made a batch of these homemade Grab the Gold bars after seeing a follow blogger of Superglue Mom post and variation on this work out bar. I’ll provide SuperGlueMom’s link below:

http://www.supergluemom.com/homemade-post-workout-bar-recipe/
Naturally, I tweaked the recipe by only including 1 tablespoon of Cocoa and 1 tablespoon of Cinnamon. Got kick up that metabolism.  The bar really are good and are a good “Quick Grab” if you heading out the door and need a breakfast in a pinch.

CSA Sunday, Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Sorry that this is posted later than I had planned…

Yesterday was CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Sunday, and I picked up my box from my local farmer’s market. I have always wanted to try a CSA and was glad an opportunity to subscribe to one. Earlier in the week, I got an email that what this week’s box would contain: lettuce, carrots, string beans, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard, slicing tomatoes, sweet onions, basil, strawberries, and watermelon.
Swiss Chard?…What? I quickly Google recipes for Swiss chard and finally settle on Swiss chard and Herb Tart, I’ll post the recipe below.
While I was that the farmer’s market I stopped at a few other stands to pick up some zucchini, grapefruit, and some eggs. On the way to the car I stop to pick up my box and added an additional basket of strawberries to the box per my son’s request. This being my first time subscribing to a CSA I don’t know that rules of the game. (Yes, that’s some foreshadowing).

I get the box home and prepare to store the produce. I get the Swiss chard and start to prep it for the tart and realize while I’m washing it that half the bunch is bug eaten. I understand that it come from a certified organic farm. I start to question if I have enough for my recipe and improvise by throwing is a sweet onion in to the mix. In the spirit of Julia Child, I muster up my “What-the-Hell” attitude and go to town on making the tart. I throw in some Herbs de Provence for good measure and “Voila!” Pop the tart in the oven for 45 minutes to bake. In the meantime…
My brain starts to question my choice of CSA. Well at least I can email them about my complaint. This is just the first box (Yes, it is a rocky start… but hey, I’ve only subscribed for 6 boxes) the rest could be better. I do just that. I emailed them and so far, the customer service is fair.

This recipe is a variation on Epicuriuous’ Swiss chard and herb tart.

Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Serves 8

Ingredients

• 1 pound Swiss chard, stems and ribs removed
• 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (You can use grapeseed, also)
• 1 garlic clove, minced (I added a sweet onion)

• 1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese (I used skim milk)
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 large eggs

• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
• 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (I substituted ground oregano)
• 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of Herb de Provence

• 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Preparation

Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Squeeze out liquid. Chop chard.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saut
e 1 minute. Add chard; sauté until excess liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard mixture to large bowl. Cool slightly. Mix in ricotta and next 7 ingredients.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Roll out 1 pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 14-inch square. Transfer pastry to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fill pastry with chard mixture. Lightly brush pastry overhang with pastry brush dipped into water. Roll out second pastry sheet to 13-inch square. Using tart pan as guide, trim pastry square to 10-inch round. Drape over filling. Seal edges and fold in.
I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a Pyrex pie plate instead.
Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Remove pan sides from tart. Transfer to platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Swiss-Chard-and-Herb-Tart-103433#i

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I plugged the ingredients for the recipe into MyFitnessPal to get the nutritional info.

Calories: 375 per serving, Total fat (g) 22.3

This turned out pretty good given all the improvisations. I like the flavor that thyme adds to it.

In regarding the CSA, if you have any suggestions on tip on what to look for I would love to hear from you.

Adventures in Dining: the 360 calorie challenge

Most mornings I’m chasing my kids to the car and often forget to grab what food I pack for a meal, thus I find myself foraging for food at some eatery. Today, it was Daphne’s- California Greek.  Why they changed the name to California Greek, I haven’t a clue. All the same, it’s food and it doesn’t come deep fried, fried, or have the potential of carrying E. coli. I walking and peruse the menu quickly consult MyFitnessPal: 638 calories. Ok so that means minus 100 for afternoon snack, carry the two…ok…approximately 360ish calories. (In my last few outings, I’ve discovered that on average my caloric intake per meal is about 360 on a sedentary day.) I scan the menu board again, squint to read the calories per item and start to piece together a meal of Lemon Chicken Soup, Fire-Roasted Vegetables (carrots and green beans mostly) and H2O with Lemon. Perfect and it’s only 280 calories. The best part yet was that my bill only came to $3.64 with tax!!!

Tweaks and Adjustments

I was reviewing my nutrient intake for this week thus far; I’m doing relatively ok, with one exception. My sodium and potassium ratio is off. Naturally!!! As I look at my swollen feet and ankles and wonder what the…? A number of factors come to mind, the weather, PMS, and then it dawns on me – that concept of the “Circle of Life” from my physiology class. “For every sodium flowing in the cell requires three potassium going out”. Yay, I have hypotonic ECF (extracellular fluid)!!! Something short of cramming my feet into my pair of  Asics, lacing them up, and forcing the fluid to my ankles, I need to find some super foods of potassium to balance these two ions out. Researching…the natural answer would be bananas, they have 400 mg of K, but 14.4g of sugar. Not a solution. A quick Google search yielded sweet potatoes, orange juice, beet greens, potatoes, white beans, dates, yogurt, tomatoes, raisins and clams. Hmmm… Most of these have high sugar content. From this list, it looks like my only sources are sweet potatoes, potatoes, beet greens, white beans, and tomatoes.

Internal and Eternal Struggles of a Food Junkie

According to MyFitnessPal, my caloric intake for a sedentary day is 1280. How this all breaks down in to meals and snacks doesn’t really matter to me. What does matter is the fact that by 3PM today, I was left with 307 calories and maxed out my daily protein intake!!!! Stomach rumbles. Panic ensues. What AM I going to eat? Like a junkie, I take inventory of possibilities. The weight must come off. Muttering to myself, “this is what I get for not working out today”. I did do some strength training, entered it in my MyFitnessPal, but didn’t get caloric credit. Muscle recovery (calories used to repair muscle tissue) spans over days and is imprecise.  307, for dinner, that’s it! Doesn’t leave much options; vegetables – a salad, that will work. Now here I sit, three hours until a possible bedtime, knowing that I could be wake until midnight trying to relax my mind. Yep…Food Junkie.