4/25/2011

Peaceful Monday.

Resemblance.

Have you ever had a situation when you're looking at a picture with someone and it looks like you but it's not you?! I have had that few times. I must say, it is weird. It's like seeing your twin sister whom you don't even know... Weird.

Celebrating Easter and few recipes.

First of all, Happy Easter everyone!
Hope everyone had a good time with your family's and/or friends. As long as you weren't alone today and had good time. Today I celebrated Easter with family's family. They aren't my relatives, they're my employee. They invited me and I decided to join them for celebration, especially, since I don't like spending holidays alone.
Maybe it was a mistake. I didn't enjoyed myself as much as I was hoping and I felt like.. like out of place. Anyways, I can't say, I had a blast or that I had a wonderful time (no complaining though) but at least I had a chance to enjoy wonderful weather (sun and 78F/25C) and my own made Easter food.
I guess the weird part about this whole situation was that I'm a vegan and everyone else, at the party today, are true meat lovers. So, every time, when they offered me something to eat (I guess they felt bad that the only thing I could eat was what I made yesterday), I asked certain questions, such as, does it has cheese in it (yeah, Italians LOVE cheese, lol) and has it been made using butter or milk. Most cases, actually, everything, even "just steamed" vegetables were covered with dairy products. Off-topic for me. And, they gave me these weird looks, like, you know, when you decide to go on a diet and everyone is starting at you because only thing you're allowed to eat is salad or something like that. Honestly, I don't car what those people think, because I probably won't see them again. Ever. So, who cares, right? But, the feeling was weird. I felt judged only because of my belief in being a vegan. Well, at least, no one was asking me those annoying questions, like, why are you vegan? How can you possibly say no to meat, cheese, milk, etc. It's funny though. But annoying at the same time.
Anyways, my Sunday was alright. Hopefully, next weekend will be much much better. I mean, it HAS to be much better. I have huge plans regarding next weekend, so... will see how that is going to turn out.

So, one of foods I made was Mexican Lasagna which I found on this blog.
Honestly, I loved it, even though, after I put it in the oven, I realized that I have forgot to add all of the spices. Funny, huh? But it was good, really!

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients:
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
12 corn tortillas
3 cups fat-free refried beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups black beans
1 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce
sliced black olives
2 cups yellow corn (optional)

Process:
Heat the oven at 375F. In a large skilled sauté peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion for about 3 min until soft and set aside. In a 9x13 inch baking pan (sprayed with cooking spray) line the first layer of tortillas. Then put beans, the mix (pepper), corn, salsa, then again, tortillas, beans, the mix, corn and at the end pour enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle it with sliced olives. Cook for about 30 min and let it cool for at least 10 min (for easier cutting).


Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional info: 397.3 calories, 10.6 g fat, 63.5 g carbohydrates, 14.8 g protein.
Hope you'll like it as much as I did!

Next recipe is apple tart/pie.

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup cane sugar (I made it without sugar and it tasted too plain but it depends on your taste buds)
Filling:
6 granny smith apples, sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Process:
First, make the crust, adding all the ingredients together and then make a dough by batter it. Heat the oven at 375F. Spray the pie pan with cooking spray and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Mix all ingredients together for the filling and arrange apples in the pan. Place pie pan in the oven for about 50 min or until the crust is slightly brown.
After taking the pie out of the oven, sprinkle it with 1/2 cinnamon mixed with 2 tsp sugar.


Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional info: 392 calories, 19.1 g fat, 54.2 g carbohydrate, 3.4 g protein.
Enjoy!

Love,
Heidi

4/22/2011

Earth Day's green smoothie.


This is my second try for green smoothies. This time, I made up recipe myself. If you decide to try it, hope you'll like it as much as I did!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of cold water
2 handfuls of spinach
10 baby carrots
1/4 of granny smith apple
1 celery stalk
10 mint leaves
1/2 banana

Process:
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend it for about a minute. And vola, it's ready! It makes about 12 oz of smoothie, so it's your call how many servings you want to make out of it.

Here is nutritional info for 1 serving: 127.8 calories, 0.9 g fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g protein.

Cheers,
Heidi

Happy Earth day!

Friday! Finally!
When I woke up this morning, I felt like "I want to do something good today". So, I decided to go to Elmsford animal shelter and make at least one dog happier :)
So, I did and me and Charlotte has very good time.


Isn't she adorable? She was like a perfect dog, really!
It's funny, when I was younger, I always thought that I'm more of a cat person (probably because when I was 5 or 6, dog bit me, so I somewhat had a trauma) but since Hunter, I started to realize that I'm more of a dog person. Of course, I love all animals equally (probably, except snakes and other reptiles, sorry guys), but at least I'm not afraid of dogs anymore.

Have a wonderful day,
Heidi

4/19/2011

Recipe of the week: Spinach-barely salad

Hello everybody,

today, for dinner, I decided to explore and use leftovers from last week. So, I went through my section in the refrigerator and found few ingredients and decided to put all of them together and see what will come out of it! I truly enjoyed it - roasted cashews and barely together made very soft taste - perfect for dinner.
Hope you'll like it as much as I did! Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach
20 cashews
3 radishes
1/4 cup barely
2 tbsp lemon juice
garlic salt (optional)
black pepper (optional)

Process:
Boil barely, about 30 min. Roast cashews on a skillet, about 2 min until golden brown. Cut radishes into thick slices. Put spinach, radishes, barely and cashews in a big bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over salad. Add salt and pepper (optional) to taste.

Vola! Easiest spinach salad in the world is ready and taste so good!

Love,
Heidi

4/16/2011

Really...

At some point you get so tired of.. of everything that you just want to be alone and give up. DON'T!! That's going to be the biggest mistake.

4/11/2011

It's GREEEEEN!!

I finally had my first green smoothie. I was very skeptical about those smoothies, even though I know they're very healthy.. But honestly, it was good, really good! :)


Love,
Heidi

Giving back.

Next Saturday I'm starting to volunteer at the animal shelter. I didn't know that it is possible to walk dogs and just make them happy. So, I decided, since the weather is getting better and better and in Cleveland I enjoyed my puppy, I could walk dogs just for fun. This animal shelter has a trail too, so I'll be able to run with the dog and give them some exercises as well.
I'm truly excited about that!

miss my puppy very much!!!

Have a great week everyone,
Heidi

4/10/2011

Sunday walk.

Since the weather is nice today, I decided to drive to Rockefeller State Park Preserve, take my camera and just be with my thoughts. I walked almost 7 miles and feel great!








Happy Sunday everyone,
Heidi

Kitchen obsession.

It's so funny how caught up you can actually be when you start to make food. I was planning to make just my dinner (which was 4 hours ago) and I ended up making extra 2 jars with peanut butter and protein bars for next week!
Good feeling, especially when you can taste the results :)

Happy weekend everyone,
Heidi

4/07/2011

Women vs. men sites online.

As you have noticed lately, I have been very into searching articles about health, nutrition and fitness online. And, as much as I was surprised, most of very good information I found on sites that are made for men. Women's magazines and pages are full of crap about beauty and shopping. Really?! Are those two things are the only two important things in the world for us, women??

4/06/2011

Healthy snack.

Craving for something sweet and healthy?
Here is one of my most favorite snacks -



Ingredients:
1 small banana
1 tbsp natural peanut butter (I used homemade)
1 whole grain tortilla

Directions:
Spread peanut butter on the one side of tortilla and then place sliced banana pieces on the peanut butter. Roll the tortilla and place it in the microwave for about 40 sec. Here you go, it's ready, it's healthy and it's delicious!


Nutritional info: 351 calories, 15.13 g fat, 48.57 g carbohydrates, 9.05 g protein.


Heidi

Healthy habits?

We all live in a time where no one has time and we all want to see fast results. Right? So, even though, I don't like the idea of losing weight fast and getting in shape fast (because when you'll return to your old habits, your weight will fall back, adding few more pounds), I found a homepage with "7 habits that make you fat". Maybe one or few of these habits are actually making you not to lose weight!

Hope that this will help someone,
Heidi

Foods that should be avoided.

I'm always trying to encourage people around me to eat healthy and limit "bad for you" food intake. After a research on how to convince them, using "medical terms", I found a list of 11 worst foods you should avoid (or limit).
Some of them are:
Soda
French fries (and all fried food)
Chips
Hot dogs,
etc.

If you want to see the whole list yourself, here is the link to it.

Lets live healthy,
Heidi

Inspirational quote.

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses, only results.”
- Ken Blanchard

Concerns about soy products.

When people find out that I'm a vegan, they seem to be concerned. Why? Because they assume that my protein intake is very low. Well, it's not. I eat a lot of soy products. After this announcement, people get even more concerned. Because once upon a time they have heard that consuming too much soy (usually they don't know "dangerous" amount), can actually do harm. Especially to women. And then they start to tell me these "juicy steak and delicious burger" stories. I bet, if you're a vegan and none of your friends are, you have heard these stories million of times.
So, these concerned people started to bug me a little bit, so I started small research and look what I found - an article about soy. And in this article, scientists have proven that soy can actually help prevent breast cancer. Here you go, no harm!

So, cheers to soy and health,
Heidi

4/05/2011

Adopt. Never buy.

So cute PETA's commercial.

Homemade protein bar recipe (vegan)

Lately I have been on a mission to find ways how to increase my protein intake. As a vegan it is not easy because of limited options. And especially, it is hard to consume protein during snack time. So, I decided to find a recipe for making my own protein bars. Usually those bars that you can buy at the store, as all packed food, has unbelievably high sugar intake and all kinds of ingredients that aren't too good for your health.

Hope you'll like them as much as I did.

Ingredients:
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
8 scoops rice protein powder (chocolate)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used homemade)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
3 tbsp agave syrup (I used pine tree "honey")

Process:
Mix all ingredients together and set the dough on the wax paper. Shape them in bars. Wrap each bar in a plastic wrap and put all of them in a zip lock bag. Then put the bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to cool down.

This make about 11 bars, everything depends on what size you want.
Nutritional info: 168 calories, 7.4 g total fat, 11.5 g carbohydrate, 12.7 g protein.

I think, this is very easy recipe to make and they taste good. Not as good as already packed ones but as for natural and healthy protein bar, it tastes good.

Enjoy,
Heidi

Recipe of the week: Homemade Peanut Butter

I truly love peanut butter but the one you can buy at the store has corn syrup in it, which isn't healthy. So, I decided to make it myself.
It has only 3 ingredients and making is very easy.

Ingredients:
2 cups roasted shelled peanuts
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Process:
Set all the ingredients into food processor. Process them for 2-3 minutes until desired.
It will make 1 cup smooth and 1 1/2 cup crunchy.

Nutritional info: 261.3 calories, 22.7 g total fat, 9.0 g carbohydrates, 9.9 g protein.

Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
Cheers,
Heidi

4/04/2011

Goal setting.

Everyone of us wants to be successful, right? To have a wonderful family, loving spouse, smart kids, huge house, satisfying job and absolute happiness, right? Well, it doesn't happen without action. Unfortunately. There are no magic fairies who will all the work for us overnight. This is life where you have to take action, commit and achieve your goals.

I have come up to with 5 very simple ways how to set goals and do it successfully.
Here they are:
1. "If you don't plan, plan to fail." All those people who are successful and they have achieved everything they have desired, didn't got it just thinking or dreaming about it. They took real action. They spent hours and hours thinking all possible ways how to achieve what they want. And after thinking about what to do, they put it on the piece of paper and then used these written-down goals as their guidelines EVERY SINGLE DAY!
2. Set only measurable goals - be specific. If you will set a goal on your mind that even doesn't sound realistic, guess what, you will never achieve it. When you set the goal, think through, can you really achieve it? And if so, do you believe you can do it! Everything starts within you and if you don't believe you can achieve something, you won't.
3. Create small goals that are easy attainable. Take every goal day by day, step by step. Start with small short-term goals, then have bigger middle-term goals and then big goals that are long-term goals. And the big ones should consist of small ones that will help you to achieve the big/main one.
4. Set deadline. People are very lazy creatures. Admit that. But all of our bills have time limit, it's one of goals you're achieving every month - pay your bills. And isn't that's much easier to pay them on time because of the time limit? Yes! Exactly! Do with your goals EXACTLY the same!
5. Goals must be reviewed daily. Life happens and if we don't have our goals in front of us at least once a day, we get caught up in life and we suddenly forget about all of goals because in order to achieve them, you have to step out of your comfort zone. And as I said, people are lazy, so read them over and over again every day.

I think these 5 simple rules are very good guidelines for achieving every single goal we want to achieve and be that person we have always dreamed about!

Good luck,
Heidi

4/01/2011

Car crash.

Have you ever seen a car crash in front of you?
Well, I did, yesterday. And it happened so slow.
And now I'll have to go to the court and witness what I saw.
Weird...

Ugh!

So far I have never had bad experience eating vegan food.
Well, today was my first time.
So, I bought these protein bars and one of them (not going to name it, don't want to make an anti-advertisement) was so disgusting and not tasty whatsoever.
That was my first experience with bad-tasting vegan food.

Because of this experience, maybe I should make my own protein bars?! :)

Cheers,
Heidi