Clean Eating Challenge Day 2 & 3!

It’s been a doozy!

The hard parts? NOT going to Starbucks for my second wind after my 3 hour lunch break, not being able to indulge in bakery fresh cookies (I snuck one yesterday, and told myself the calories don’t count if no one sees me. I am terrible, and my detoxing tummy made me feel it!), and well…. that’s about it. Not really bad at all!

The good things? My water intake is way up, I feel more energized in the morning, and I know where each and every ingredient in my meals comes from… plus, I am cooking more! Cooking is one of my passions, and it’s really therapeutic after a day of insanity! I’m glad this motivates (and um, REQUIRES) me to do so!

Day 2 was awesome. I finally had overnight oats. And I LOVE them! So much so, that I substituted the day 3 yogurt parfait for another batch of overnight oats…. because otherwise, plain Greek yogurt and I are NOT friends.

Day 2 Recipes are here.  Day two was a little bland after breakfast, mainly because I was all excited for the cabbage wraps… but I am allergic to mango and avocado. So…I didn’t take the time to think of worthy substitutes. I bought an avocado anyways, but chickened out when I realized I was out of Benadryl and too lazy to go to the store. 🙂

Blueberry Overnight Oats with chia seeds

Blueberry Overnight Oats with chia seeds

Day 3 Recipes are here. Day 3 was awesome! The Asian chicken salad with leftover cabbage and almonds and chicken was great… and I really enjoyed the vinaigrette too! I forgot to add the tomatoes to the salad… so when I make it again after the challenge, I’ll remember that part! I skipped the yogurt parfait today in favor of making another batch of overnight oats… because. I love them! My new favorite healthy breakfast… and it would make a great snack, too! It’s really filling (thanks to those oats and chia seeds), full of protein (as a WLS post-op I need 60-80 grams per day), and I eat it slowly to savor it. It took me so long to eat it at work this morning, I skipped the avocado snack.

Softening the shallots and garlic for the lentils...

Softening the shallots and garlic for the lentils…

Bubbling away!

Bubbling away!

Cauliflower "Steaks" that sound weird, but are SO addictive!

Cauliflower “Steaks” that sound weird, but are SO addictive!

 

A quick tip? Lentils are a lengthy process! Prep them ahead of time… or cheat a little bit! I have always bought the Trader Joe’s steamed lentils in the refrigerated section with the other prepped veggies. For the sake of showing you all how easy the challenge can be, I followed the Buzz Feed recipe, but you could easily doctor up the already prepped lentils.

Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils

Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils

Same goes for the quinoa…TJ’s has it in the freezer section, and it’s ready after 2 minutes in the microwave!

Overall, the Buzz Feed Clean Eating Challenge has really been…..FUN! I love that the menu is so structured, without being daunting and skimpy. As a matter of fact, I am eating about 1/2 of the meal serving, which means I am eating about half of the nutritional value… so I am keeping an eye on that in the case I need to double up other supplements.

Have you tried the Clean Eating Challenge? If so, what are your favorite meals so far?! Which ones are you looking forward to? That’s all for now, but I’ll do my best to keep you posted as I go!

SeeSondraSignaturePRINT

 

Simple Broiled Salmon and a Side Dish to Die For!

Tonight was good eats, for sure!

Simple Broiled Salmon

What You Need:

Salmon fillet(s) (I bought one that was just short of 1 lb. and ended up getting 3 portions from it. You could do it individually, if you prefer)

Fresh chives (chopped)

Cilantro (chopped or dried. I used dried because I had it on hand)

Garlic Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 lemon (juice of half, and slice the rest)

What You Do:

Season salmon fillet(s) with garlic salt, pepper, chives and cilantro. Squeeze your 1/2 lemon over it, and put in heated skillet (I had mine on medium high for about 3 minutes before hand to get it really hot). You want to get a pretty crust on both sides of the fillet… for the size of mine, it was about two minutes per side, put lemon slices on top of fillet, and then transfer skillet to oven. I preheated the oven to a broil on 375 degrees.

Broil fillet for about 5-7 minutes (time may vary depending on size of fillet. Keep and eye on it to make sure!). Fish is ready when flaky and has a soft pink color (not as bright and salmon-y colored, in other words).

Hungry?!

Hungry?!

This salmon is great with salad, or on it’s own.

If you’re feeling adventurous and looking for delectable side dishes, look no further.

I am trying to get into this quinoa craze. It seems like a no-brainer for people like me, because it’s a protein packed seed, versus a whole grain. It is actually ridiculously versatile, as well, which helps make it not be a boring complement to your favorite dishes!

Tonight, I used some pantry staples and a little produce I picked up to doctor some quinoa into a delectable side dish to make my salmon, and my tummy, happy!

Sondra’s Super Quinoa Salad

What You Need:

8 oz quinoa, cooked (I use the pre-cooked organic kind from Trader Joe’s in the freezer section It’s 3.99 for (2) 8 oz packages and just needs 4 minutes in the microwave. Presto! You’re a magician)!

1/3 cucumber, peeled and diced

2 tbsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped coarsely

2 oz roasted bell pepper (I used some from a jar of red/yellow mix I got at TJ’s packed in water for $1.99), chopped

Garlic Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. Lime juice

1 tbsp. Mixed garlic

What You Do:

Basically, all you need to do is mix this all up in a bowl.

Boom. You’re done. Thank me later.

Super Simple. Super delish!

Super Simple. Super delish!

Super tasty, really good for you, and this made about two servings for me. I put some in my container for lunch with the salmon, and some in a container in the fridge for dinner later. It’s great warm or cold, and you could easily multiply the recipe for a crowd… it’d be awesome for a get-together, a vegetarian option, or a snack! I am actually in love with it… and I’m not big on quinoa to begin with!

What else did I pack with it? A couple of Cutie mandarin oranges. I am slightly addicted lately, and I don’t mind, because they’re a great alternative to the other sweets I could be inhaling. Besides, all the Vitamin C should keep me from getting sick anytime soon!

That’s all for now, but I have more yummy recipes, fun news, and more coming your way!

If you try these recipes, or even put your own spin on them, share with me!

You can post your photos to the wall on the SeeSondraSlim page on Facebook, or use #SeeSondraSlim on Instagram and Twitter to catch my attention! I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Recipes on the Run!

Disclaimer: I am ridiculously proud of this post. I feel like a legit “health and wellness” blogger when I read it, and I know that these recipes are not only diverse and delicious, but totally realistic when it comes to people who want low-cal meals full of flavor and convenience(without feeling like diet food). I appreciate you reading, and I’d REALLY appreciate your feedback via comments/shares/links/reposts/emails to SeeSondraSlim@gmail.com!

If you’re anything like me, you want to eat healthier.

Really, I do. Truly. I have goals to meet in the weight/healthiness department! And when I work a 12 hour day, it’s not always easy to come home and whip up a quick, healthy, and delicious dinner. These are the three pre-requisites for any item I will consume, after all! With that in mind, I have come up with a few “Quick and Easy” dinner (or lunch) recipes for those of you who find yourself in the same predicament! I have calculated the calories, fat, carbs, fiber, sodium, and protein for each recipe.

Each recipe makes one (1) serving(2 for my small stomach…leftovers!), unless otherwise noted. These would be awesome recipes for vacation too, for those of you who stay somewhere with a kitchen/kitchenette!

Quick and Easy Thai Peanut Chicken

What you need:

1 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

3 “dashes” of low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 tsp minced garlic (I have a giant Costco jar for these situations)

1 1/2 cups frozen tri-color bell pepper and onion mix (Trader Joe’s! Or Fresh and Easy! A must have for any freezer!)

1/4 cup pre cooked chicken breast strips (make your own, or get from the cold cut section in the grocery store)

1/3 package rice noodles

What you do:

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, then heat skillet to medium-low. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic to skillet, stirring frequently until peanut butter softens.

Meanwhile, microwave pepper mix according to package directions, then stir into peanut butter mixture. Add chicken. Toss peanut-chicken mixture with boiled, drained noodles.

From start to finish, it should take 5 mins to prep, and 10 mins to cook. BOOM! Double the recipe, and you have lunch for the next day!

Per serving: 328 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 226 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 27 g protein

Pasta Florentine with Shrimp

What you need:

1 package fettuccine alfredo frozen entrĂ©e (this is the simple version. I HATE alfredo, so I just make noodles ahead of time. But for the sake of the masses, I calculated this adaptation. You can use Lean Cuisine, Michellina’s or Healthy Choice…etc)

1 1/2 cups tightly packed spinach leaves

1/4 tsp minced garlic

6 medium-sized frozen shrimp

What you do:

Microwave pasta entrée according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, lightly coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat skillet to medium heat. Toss spinach, garlic, and thawed shrimp into heated skillet, turning frequently (preferably with kitchen tongs) until leaves are wilted (2 mins or so). Stir shrimp and spinach mixture into pasta.

Prep is about 5 mins and cook time is about 11 mins

Per serving: 351 cals, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 801 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 32 g fiber, 20 g protein 

Stovetop Mexi-Casserole

What you need:

1 cup lean ground beef (or turkey), lightly packed

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels

1 roma tomato, chopped

1tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 package Santa-Fe style rice and bean frozen or packaged dinner (Check out the rice aisle. I buy the Uncle Ben’s version in a similar flavor for less than 2 dollars…it’s stored in pantry and cooks in microwave in a minute!)

What you do:

In a skillet, brown lean meat over medium heat. Drain fat and, return to pan. Add corn and tomato.

Microwave rice side dish according to package instructions, then stir into beef mixture. Simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cilantro just before serving. (If you’re not too worried about adding a few cals, add a sprinkle of crumbly queso fresco, or grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese!)

Prep time is about 5 mins (see a pattern here?), and cook time is 15 minutes

Per serving: 399 cals, 8 g fat (3 g saturated), 606 mg sodium, 65 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein

I have more recipes in the works!

I am kicking myself for not taking photos when I made these originally, but I guess I never really thought about sharing them until earlier today when I was thinking about the Pesto and Sundried Tomato Green Beans recipe I had originally planned on sharing. My bad. I will eventually post that one as well, but I came across my notebook with these and got more excited at the idea for this post!

I really hope these recipes spark your curiosity, and get you excited to hit the kitchen and try them!

Any thoughts or suggestions…send them my way!

So many exciting plans are in the works for SeeSondraSlim….I am getting more and more excited for post-op recovery, because I’ll be able to devote more time to some of the SeeSondraSlim YouTube review videos I plan to do with my BuluBox and other products I’ll use in upcoming recipes and such! I am also hoping to do a post-op mini photo-shoot featuring my new swimsuit collection.

Excited is an understatement!!!

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back before you know it. Can’t wait to share more!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

One Reason to Love the Stomach Flu…

…is the fact that it assists you in losing four pounds.

“Four pounds, you say? Why, Sondra, doesn’t that sorta pale in comparison to all the weight you’ve already lost?”, some might ask.

Well sure. But the thing is, I have a GOAL to reach. I want to weigh 175. And it’s been torture to see the scale taunt me everytime I realize I still can’t get under 197. But this lady hopped on the scale on Friday, and weighed a grand total of 193 lbs…with clothes on!! So, I will take whatever victory I can get, thank you very much!

Sean and I are venturing into the world of Paleo Diet, thanks to an amazing nifty book I stumbled across in Barnes and Noble, called “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo. You can check out recipes and more resources at the website, BalancedBites.com.

The book itself has awesome tear-out guides in the back that I carried with me to Sprouts on my last few shopping trips to make sure that I got all the essentials for my Paleo meal plans…and there are also more than 120 recipes in the book, as well! We are really excited to try the Turkey 5-Spice Lettuce wraps, and I’m going to make my own bone broth, too!

I am hoping that between Paleo, and getting back in the gym hardcore, I can shake these last 20 pounds and hit that 175 dream weight goal! It would truly make my journey all the more gratifying, and be the first giant goal I have ever achieved. I look forward to that moment!

As a means of helping others, and continuing my motivation, I just spent the last 90 minutes researching ideas for Workplace Weight-Loss Program ideas. I am going to put together a comprehensive, incentive-based, interactive program for people in my office who want to participate in a challenge to lose weight and promote wellness. I am thinking about having people in grouops of 2-5 participants, and a 12-week program to start. The team and individual with the highest percentage of weight lost will be the winners. I am also considering weekly weigh-in’s to establish accountability.

If I can get my boss and the owners of the practice on board to sponsor the essentials I need, and the incentives? I think I’ll have a HUGELY successful and fun program on my hands!

In other news? While suffering from the stomach flu, I was sure to get my Christmas shopping done with all the online Black Friday deals. My boyfriend will be absolutely spoiled, and probably really mad about it. Everyone else is cleaning up, too!

I am currently planning the last minute details for our Big Bear weekend trip coming up in a couple weeks. I am putting together a Hot Chocolate bar, and can’t wait for it all to come together! Heck, I can’t wait for a mini-getaway period! Especially one with snow involved! Wheeeee!

Ashley and I are back in the gym at lunch tomorrow starting our more hardcore training for the San Diego Half Marathon. While on Pinterest (aka, my crack), I came across this pretty awesome (read: TERRIFYING) Half Marathon training plan.

I know we can do it. Our main objective is to run the first 8 miles steadily…after which there is a giant hill that might pose a problem. And from there we will do what we can, and get to the finish line. That is in March, and we also have The Electric Run 5K in February. So it’s time to get our butts (and legs, and thighs, and everything else) in gear. I am weirdly excited. And I made my hearty yet healthy Italian Veggie and Chicken Meatball soup tonight, so I have that ready for lunch after workout tomorrow, as well as some chicken and veggies marinating in the fridge to be roasted for dinner after yoga tomorrow night! CHEEEEOOOWWWW!

I think that is all for now. I am seriously slipping on 30-Day Challenge photos. But I will get on that soon. I just hate taking mirror photos! 🙂

I shall leave you with this:

 

Make these a part of your week, and I’ll have more for you all soon!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO