Archive | May, 2014

Eggless French Toast

24 May

Remember during my meal prep how I was running low on eggs? Well this morning I was out of eggs (oops) and my normal go to of yogurt and granola just wasn’t going to cut it. As I was running through ideas in my head I remembered that I had seen you can substitute ground flax for egg. Inspired by this Minimalist Baker recipe I was a little skeptical but decided to try it. Oh my word, it completely exceeded my expectations.

First I mixed the flaxseed and almond milk and just let that sit for a couple minutes before mixing in the other ingredients. Once it was all mixed I pour it onto a plate so I can soak the bread. I use Rudi’s Gluten Free multi-grain bread, if you aren’t gluten free any whole wheat bread should work.

ImageOnce the bread is soaked on both sides just throw it in the greased skillet and cook until both sides have browned, turning occasionally.


ImageI served it with fresh strawberries and just a touch of maple syrup. To be honest I think I liked it better than the french toast we normally make (sorry hubby).

You’ll need:

  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp flax meal/ground flax
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon (this one’s an estimate, I didn’t measure)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2-1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 4-5 slices of bread
  1. Combine flax seed and almond milk in a small bowl and let sit approx. 2 min
  2. Mix in cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup and pour combination onto a plate
  3. Dip bread for about 30 seconds on both sides (enough for it to soak in the mixture)
  4. Heat coconut oil on skillet to grease the pan
  5. Place soaked bread in skillet and cook until bottom is golden brown, then flip bread and cook until both sides are browned
  6. Top with fruit and/or syrup of choice and enjoy!

Nutrition estimate (I used My FitnessPal): Serving size 2-2.5 pieces: 305 Cal, 13 g Fat, 50 g carbs, 6 g protein

11 g sugar, 9 g fiber, 465 mg sodium

Meal Prep

22 May

Apparently I’m going back to work tomorrow. I got a phone call this afternoon that they had a light duty position and I should report back in at 0830 tomorrow morning. Needless to say I was a little surprised.

After my initial panic of realizing I have no idea what that means (and I suspect scrubs won’t be appropriate) I realized I should probably get some meal prep ready. I still have some of my Santa Fe Chicken left which meant I only needed to make some snacks and breakfast food. Then I realized I don’t have enough eggs to prep both snacks AND breakfast. I’d already made granola earlier this week so snacks won.


Jamie Eason Turkey Muffins are currently baking in the oven (and smell delicious). These are great for a quick snack or a lunch options with some veggies on the side.

I still need to make some protein bars but that may have to wait until tomorrow when I buy more eggs or this weekend. I think my favorite bars are the cinnamon bread ones but I’ve been seeing some new recipes I want to play with if time allows.

Aside from my frantic meal prep I had a great workout day today. Got up early and a friend came over to walk the pups with me and then I went to the gym with another friend for a full upper body workout.

Do you have a go-to meal prep snack? What’s your weekly prep involve?

P.S. As requested here’s how the turkey muffins turned out… I should also mention I used cayenne pepper instead of Chipotle pepper

turkey muffins


21 May

If you don’t like dogs, you might as well stop reading. This is a shameless plug for the rescue pups out there. It isn’t sponsored in any way, just something that pulls on my heart.

“I just want to drink wine, save animals and work out”

Since I hurt my back I hadn’t been able to walk both the dogs by myself– my weight limit had been 20 lbs… they’re over 200 together. But now I’m supposed to be pushing myself to make sure I’ll be good to go when I do get back to work. Which means… time to walk the pups! So me, myself, and I walked my greater than 200 lbs worth of dog on a hike. I’ll admit, I was nervous. One good pull and I’d be back to the start but, they were so good! If you knew Maia you’d be surprised by this too; I swear she only has one setting on a walk and it’s “go”. It reminded me that dogs are more intuitive than we give them credit for a lot of times. It’s easy to forget when they’re driving us crazy barking at the groundhogs or pulling on their leash but they try to take care of us. At the very least they get you up off the couch and take you on walks (or runs). I’m a firm believer that dogs are a staple in an active life 😉

Nicole photo 1

Nicole Litton Photography

dogs door Max walk

So here’s my request. If you can, get involved. Donate time, donate money, donate supplies. Volunteer, foster, or adopt. However you can, just get involved. “Our” rescue is East Coast Gentle Giants. Of course it would be great if you chose to help them but, really, any rescue needs support.

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

20 May

I don’t know about you but when I’m using my Crockpot I want a recipe that is just throw it in and go. Nothing I have to keep checking on or adding to or… well, you get it. So yesterday when I was doing some meal prep I was trying to find a new recipe but finally just used a few different recipes as a guide to come up with a simple Santa Fe Chicken.

ImageYou’ll need:

  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 6 oz water
  • 1 can black beans- rinsed and drained
  • 4 cloves garlic- sliced
  • 1/2 onion- chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 3-4 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in Crockpot. Place chicken on top and cook on high for 4 hours.


Serving suggestion: add in some quinoa


A couple of firsts for the new week

19 May

Hello Monday!

My day kicked off with a bang. I begrudgingly got up a little earlier than normal after miss Maia would not stop barking for about 30 min. Went down to let the pups out and before I’d even shut the door I heard an awful squeal. The dogs had finally caught a groundhog… Poor little rodent didn’t make it and I was stuck scolding Maia and figuring out what to do with a dead groundhog. I think the dogs have a goal of giving me a heart attack this week between running away and attacking small animals- always while hubby is at work.

Once I got that under control I went to physical therapy and they did a lot of needling to try to get the discs back in place (as opposed to rotated) so that pretty much decided I would be taking today as an off day from workouts. Even still, it was so nice outside I had to find something to do… I decided to mow the lawn. For the first time in my life. I’m just going to admit it, it was harder than I thought! And the lawn is a lot less even than I thought. My day off turned into more of a workout than anticipated 😉

Other than that I went grocery shopping and got some meal prep done (Sante Fe chicken is in the Crockpot now, yum!). All in all a productive Monday.

As another first, one of my best friends decided to start a foodie blog.  She’s lost about 50 lbs and kept it off over the past year and we regularly compare recipes. You can check it out at Bland to Bold .

20140519-214011.jpgWhat “firsts” do you have planned? Are you starting any new projects?

Blogilates DVD Review

17 May

As I’m getting back into working out I’m also trying some new workouts and looking into workout DVDs for those days where I’m tight on time and low on motivation. I think it will be a good solution especially for those nights when I get home from work (well, once I’m allowed to go back) and just don’t have the drive to make my own workout.

Today I tried the Blogilates Pop Pilates DVD. To be honest I found her a little condescending at some points and a bit over the top at others throughout the DVD. In all fairness I feel that way about most at home workout movies. That being said my muscles were burning and I did work up a bit of a glow even with my adjustments for my back 🙂 So, bottom line, Cassey Ho gives a good workout, I would say it is NOT for beginners but she does show modifications to ease some of the moves.


From the Blogilates Website

Do you have any go to workout DVDs or at home programs?

Leg workout, even with back injury

16 May

So along with being able to do cardio again I went through a list of different exercises with my PT and was finally allowed to put together a modified leg workout. The key was no dynamic movements (don’t stop reading) and I had to be able to keep my core supported the whole movement. Now if you have a back injury (or any injury) please work within your own limitations and ask your doctor or physical therapist before getting back to the gym. My workouts are very different than my normal to fit within the limits given to me.

Leg workout:

Warm-up: 2 sets:

  • 20 mini squats
  • 20 calf raises (body weight)
  • 20 walking mountain climbers (these were tricky to keep core neutral but I took it slow)

2 sets of 12, 1 of 20 (decreased weight for the set of 20)

  • Split lunges (12/leg)
  • Straight leg deadlifts

3 of 12:

  • Quad extension (seated machine)
  • Lying hamstring curls (especially with a back injury, important to watch form and push your hips into the pad)

2 of 12:

  • Seated leg press
  • Modified cable wood chops (it’s a PT exercise)

Then I came home and made some scrambled eggs and blackberries for my post workout meal/second breakfast. And right around then my dogs apparently decided I needed a good sprint workout (NOT PT APPROVED) and ran away. If you have dogs, I think this is the most terrifying feeling. I went to let them in from the backyard and they weren’t there. I was so scared they would get hurt (or stolen) I literally just took off running to find them when I realized they were gone… barefoot, in the rain, through my neighborhood. They are home safe and sound but I’ll be spending some time on a heating pad today.

They look so innocent

They look so innocent

Getting back at it

15 May

Well today I finally got to do a cardio workout (yay!). 20 min on the elliptical plus a core workout/PT exercises. It was a reminder how quickly you can lose cardiac endurance but I made it through. It was perfect after a SUPER frustrating morning trying to get my MRI and x-rays done. It’s so nice to have a friend in the area (another Marine spouse) at the same gym; girl time plus a workout– can’t beat it.

MidAtlantic Photogrpahy

TBT photo

After trying brussel sprouts a grand total of twice in my life I’ve decided to try and make some tonight so I will keep you all posted on how it turns out. I’m thinking garlic and honey roasted but haven’t decided yet.

Have you been trying any new foods lately? OR do you have a favorite brussel sprout recipe?

Here, there, everywhere

14 May

The past two weeks have been surprisingly hectic given that I’m still not working. I saw the back specialist and he said I’m still not cleared for work but I’m supposed to increase my physical therapy visits and start getting back (slowly) into workouts. Not the news I was hoping for but, better than nothing. I go for an MRI tomorrow just to make sure it isn’t anything worse than they think.

Then hubby came home one night and told me he was leaving for a 2 day trip in NYC the next day. Hurry, hurry, hurry… I was able to get the dogs taken care of and get packed to join him and visit one of my best friends who lives up there. Definitely wasn’t clean eating while there but oh the gluten free treats! I made it into a foodie trip for half of it while hubby and best friend were working. I had gluten free cupcakes and muffins and doughnuts (oh my!). On the plus side we did walk or metro everywhere we went and I kept up with my PT exercises so I didn’t feel as guilty.

After that we were home for about 2 days and then went to a family graduation in VA for an overnight trip. It was a beautiful drive and so great to see all my family. Again, not the best eating but we went on some walks around the resort and did a short core workout… it’s a little victory.

Are you gluten free? If so, do you have a favorite gluten free bakery (near you or otherwise)? Here were my NYC gluten free eats:

Breakfast at Tu-Lu’s


Almond Raspberry Crumble

Lunch at Bistango


Gluten free penne pasta

Breakfast at BabyCakes (don’t judge, I shared)


Mocha doughnut, Cinnamon Sugar doughnut, Pumpkin Cupcake        (All Vegan too)


Countdown to Summer

2 May

Why hello May, where did you come from? I don’t know where April went but all of a sudden it’s May, which means it’s almost summer! It’s going to be a big summer for us- aside from work, general summer busyness and both our birthdays- we will be going to Italy! I am super excited. I have to admit though, since not being at work because of my back, it’s weird to be thinking about a vacation so soon.

Speaking of my back, I go to my spine doctor Monday so I’m really hoping for some good news. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. In the spirit of optimism I took some progress pictures today hoping that I’ll be able to get back into the gym soon. My legs and back/obliques are where I think I’ve lost the most. Thanks to PT exercises I’ve been able to keep my core strength up but I think it’s also time to tighten up my diet a bit.

ImageImageImageAnd that leads me to May goals…

1. Do at least a 30 min workout 5 days a week (even if it’s PT exercises and flexibility)

2. Get back to baking protein bars and meal prep

What are your May goals? Any big changes you’re trying to make?