treating ourselves

Hey loves!

This post is coming to you much later than anticipated.

1. I am working on getting more sleep after discussing and realizing how important it is, so I not only went to bed earlier than normal, but since today is my day off, I also took advantage of sleeping in! However sleeping in to me is 7:30am, but compared to 5:00am that’s wonderful for me!

I had all the intentions of writing my What I Ate Wednesday post last night, but before passing out early, I was too busy shoving my face with this wonderfulness.

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I briefly touch on my recovery here and there and let’s just assume I am always in the need to gain.  Matt has been super supportive and really helping me push lately that he demanded we go to Dairy Queen last night since he knows I have been having stressful days at work. It seems to correlate when I am stressed at work, I am stressed with my eating and health goals, so I really appreciated him stepping up and making me keep pushing. And really. Who can say no to Dairy Queen? Not this girl.

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On top of that Matt also treated me to a fancy date night out.

Yes I eat a lot of sushi. That’s a fact.

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But to stay in our budget we usually go to a smaller sushi joint that is less expensive. The best sushi out there? No. Good for the money? Absolutely.  But when we decided we wanted sushi one night, Matt suggested we actually treat ourselves to a nicer restaurant that is in our neighborhood.

Let me tell you, I forgot what high quality sushi tasted like. It was amazing.

I started with a seaweed salad, and in first bite I noticed the difference between a freshly made seaweed salad and probably packaged seaweed salad I have been eating at the other sushi spot.

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We also got yellow tail sashimi to share and again, the difference in the quality of fish was instantly noticed. It tasted amazing. I love good fresh high quality sashimi.

We ordered four rolls to share for our main meal.

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Salmon wrapped in cucumber, fire dragon roll, special spicy roll and spicy tuna roll.

Yes. We like it spicy. And like the rest of our meal, all was fresh and delicious.

Now, our bill was probably 3x as much as what we spend at the other place, but totally worth it.

It was also great to have a nice date night out with Matt. Much needed.

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Home meals however have not been as fancy.  I have been having really long days at work and have been getting out late that by time I get home Matt has already eaten and I have no desire to cook anything fancy in my own kitchen.

Some of my quick meals.

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Avocado mash on toast. It has become a life savor for me. I am obsessed with it right now.

EPIC 100% grass fed animal based protein bars.

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It’s a quick way for me to get high quality protein in and I actually broke one up and added it on top of my avocado toast.

#strangebutgood?

Oh and since Monday was National Beer Day. I did that too.

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Beer and beards. All I need.

Well loves I hope you are all having a great week, until next time.

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What are some of your favorite quick meals?

How often do you treat yourself to nice dinners out?

a second chance

Hi, my name is Debbie and I have no idea what day it is.

I seriously thought Tuesday was Sunday and really confused myself. I think I need a vacation.

But today is in fact Wednesday, but since I can’t seem to keep my days straight I totally spaced What I Ate Wednesday, so I just have a few foodie highlights to share with you guys on some of the stuff I have been snacking on lately.

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The biggest highlight was a dinner out Matt and I recently had at Blanco Tacos and Tequila.

This was a very special meal…why you ask?

It was free.

We had recently dined there and had a horrible experience and all I did was really mention to the manager how disappointed we were as we typically have very pleasant experiences there and to my surprise he offered us a free meal next time we came in.

So with drinks, appetizers, entrees and dessert all included, well Matt and I went all out.

We of course started with drinks.

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I don’t typically order sweet drinks, I really am a beer girl, but there is something about having a fresh margarita with mexican food. It’s just a must. And it really hit the spot.

Another must?

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dinner

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Guacamole.

And lots of it. I’m pretty sure I ate about half this bowl on my own. No shame. The stuff is just so good.

For our entrees I decided to branch out and try something different rather than my traditional chicken burrito. I decided to try the chicken fajitas and was blown away by the huge portion. The chicken was good, but the show stealer were the grilled onions and peppers (which I wish there had been more of).  Overall a very delicious meal. And I had tons of left overs so that was a plus as well!

Matt decided to try something new also and ordered their BBQ pulled pork tacos.  I of course had to try a bite and they were very good. Their taco’s never seem to disappoint.

After our meals we were already so full, but with dessert being on the house, well we couldn’t pass that up. We sat and talked for a bit to let some of our food digest and after being described the dessert options we decided on the mexican hot fudge sundae.

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I guess mexican hot fudge sundaes are more caramel than hot fudge, but regardless this thing was amazing.  It came with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and caramel drizzle and then topped with whipped cream and honey roasted peanuts.

As full as we were, we somehow managed to demolish this entire thing.

Whoops.

I’m pretty sure Matt and I both waddled our way out of the restaurant, but with very full and happy bellies.

Definitely a better experience than the previous one.

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So what have I been munching on at home?

Sadly nothing too exciting.

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Still obsessed with my hemp protein microwave english muffins.

Topped with butter = delish.

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And another night I topped one with Growing  Naturals protein frosting and had a side of BBQ plantain chips.

Clearly a Purely Twins inspired meal. I always made my plantain chips sweet, but when I saw their BBQ version I had to try it. Yea, don’t know if I will ever go back, because I absolutely love these!

Another thing I’m loving?

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My home made peanut butter protein banana bites. (recipe to come) I’ve been snacking on these pretty much non-stop.

Well loves, since I finally figured out what day it is, it’s back to the grind. Have a great week!

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What meals are you loving lately?

What’s your favorite dessert? As good as that sundae was I really wish there was more hot fudge. This girl loves her chocolate!

slow down, relax and enjoy life

Hello friends, happy Wednesday!

I hope the week has been treating you all well!

Things are just as crazy as usual over here, but I am starting to accept that that is just my normal.

But once in a while we all need to just slow down, relax, take a deep breathe and take in all that is beautiful around us. Because there is too much beauty in the world to be constantly go go go.

With that being said, for What I Ate Wednesday I wanted to spot light some of the moments that I was able to just relax, have fun, and enjoy life.

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With work being so busy, sometimes I just want to go home, change into sweat pants and not leave the couch.  And lucky for me I have a agreeable fiance who gives in to my wishes. Matt get’s off work before me and after a particularly rough day at work I requested if we could have a movie date night in.  For some reason I had been really wanting to watch Despicable Me 2 and he was such a sweet heart and went to a Red Box and got it for me for that night.  My other request during the movie?

Frozen Yogurt.

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We are so lucky to live within a block from Yogurt Land, so we ran down real quick, got our frozen yogurt and settled in to watch the movie.

It was a perfect relaxing night on the couch, in my sweat pants, with my love and frozen yogurt…

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And a kitty photo bomb.

Even though I worked Saturday Matt and I made the most of our weekend by staying pretty active.  We had the intentions of going to a spring training game since the season was ending, but the ticket prices + food + drinks, well it just wasn’t in our budget.  So instead we decided to do lunch out and a little day drinking (to be honest we probably ended up spending just as much as we would have had we gone to the game, but owell.  We still had a good day together)

One of Matt’s co-workers had suggest a burger joint called Rehab Burger in our neighborhood that we had never been to, so we decided to start there for lunch.

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We stayed classy and had PBR’s with lunch. Be jealous.

For lunch I ordered the chicken sandwich which came with lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, Havarti cheese, avocado and I added a pineapple BBQ sauce.

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Holy mountain of goodness. This thing was huge. And delicious.

After lunch we walked around a bit to help our food babies digest and in wandering around town we found a new bar that we didn’t even know existed.  All I have to say is it had skeeball games in it. I was sold.

They also had this amazing grapefruit Hefeweizen beer that I just fell in love with.

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And I probably had a few too many of them.

Let’s just say this day ended with Matt and I passed out, and dinner was a pb&j, because that’s about all I had the energy or coherency to put together.

No shame. We had a great day together.

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So loves, I hope you are able to take some time to slow down, relax, and enjoy life. Because even though 99% of the time my life is high stress and go go go, I really embrace that 1% and enjoy every moment I can. Life is too short and sometimes I need to remind myself to enjoy all the small moments. Because they matter the most.

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How do you slow down and enjoy life?

making your own sauerkraut

Hello friends!

Long time no talk.  I know I use the same excuse that life is just crazy, but it’s the truth and I seriously sit down to write a post and end up with half written posts that just never get finished.  That seems to be my life lately, just a big blur. With that being said I can’t believe that we are already half way through March. Is time flying for anyone else?  I could not believe that it was already St. Patrick’s Day.  Matt and I typically go out to celebrate, but the lack of planning, not realizing it was even coming up and me being completely exhausted from work, this St. Patrick’s Day was very low key with a few traditional beers had at home.

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I can tell I’m getting old because I honestly had no problem not going out.  I am totally turning into an old lady home body who would rather sit at home and be comfortable than go out and party. Now when I start knitting blankets, then we might have a problem.

However, staying in more often has given me time to get a little creative and I actually surprised myself recently with some experimenting I did in the kitchen recently!

I have been loving brewing my own kombucha and I guess it kind of sparked me to make more things at home rather than buying them.
Next on the list…

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Sauerkraut.

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Yes loves, I made my own sauerkraut and live to tell about it.

Do you know how easy it is to make your own sauerkraut?

Because it’s pretty easy.

I found this step by step guide and after seeing how seemingly easy it was I was determined to make my own. And seriously guys, when I say it was easy to make, it was easy to make. Two ingredients, a few tools, and the patience to let the bacteria do it’s magic. That’s it.

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Homemade Raw Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

- 1 head green or purple cabbage
- 2 Tablespoons sea salt
- Spring or distilled water, as needed

Tools:

- Cutting Board and Sharp Cutting Knife
- Large Bowl
- Glass Jar
- Weight if needed (shot glass, plastic baggie filled with water…)

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Directions:

- Sanitize your tools. You only want healthy bacteria growing!
- Rinse cabbage and remove outer leaves. Save these you will use them later.
- Thinly slice your cabbage and place in a large bowl.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of salt and massage cabbage. The salt will start to break down the cabbage and moisture will be released.

- Transfer cabbage to glass jar and pack cabbage tightly.  It is important to try and remove as much air from around the cabbage.
- If there is not enough liquid to cover cabbage, add distilled water until all of the cabbage is covered. Place outer leaves on top and press down.  Make sure all of your shredded cabbage is covered with liquid.  If needed you can also add a weight inside the jar to make sure the cabbage stays submerged.

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Let your cabbage ferment for about 3-7 days.

I taste tested mine at 4 and thought it was good, but let it go one more day just for kicks.  Once the taste is to your liking remove the outer leaves and weight and store in the refrigerator.

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I have never been a huge sauerkraut fan, but there are just so many health benefits to fermented vegetables that I thought maybe my own creation would change my mind. I will say I don’t hate it.  And with having success with this, I can now move on to other vegetables!

So needless to say I’ve been having sauerkraut with just about every meal, enjoying one forkful at a time!

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Have you ever thought of fermenting your own vegetables?

Make sure to head over to Jenn’s to see what others have been creating this week!


how i’ve been spoiled

Wednesday.

Welcome.

My work schedule has been all over the place lately, but this week I have Thursday off, so Wednesday is kind of like my little Friday. And it is more than welcome because even though short, my work week has been insane lately.

I suppose that is the life I chose in becoming a vet tech and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes it just makes for very long days.

But let me drown you in more adorable pictures, because honestly. Puppies make everything better.

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(excuse my face and focus on the puppy!)

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But I would be lying if I said that things have been all stress and hard work. Matt has been great with spoiling me lately and maybe we’ve been going out a bit too much and might be spending a bit too much money, but I’m not complaining right now.

(I’ll save the complaining for when the bills are due)

So for this What I Ate Wednesday I give you, what I eat when being spoiled.

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Tuesday, Matt got a “Taco Tuesday” bug and for some reason felt that we needed to celebrate it.

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I tried to be the reasonable one and suggest just making tacos at home, but he wasn’t having it and really wanted to go out.

Well. Who am I to say no to that?

We decided to go Blanco Tacos and Tequila, which is a favorite Mexican restaurant of ours.

We started with the must haves of any Taco Tuesday celebration.

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Margaritas. Chips and salsa. Guacamole.

Not optional.

For dinner I chose the Oven Roasted Chicken Burrito.

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It’s just delicious. I’ll leave it at that.

This was quickly smothered in guacamole post picture.

Matt got the Braised Short Rib Tacos.

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I may or may not have eaten one of his tacos.

I mean… it was Taco Tuesday.

The spoiling didn’t stop there. I alluded in my last post about having ups and downs, but I am pushing through the downs.

Matt of course has been extra supportive and spoiled me again with another dinner out!

After our marvelous day out, we got a little dressed up and went out for dinner.

We went OHSO Nano Brewery which we of course love because they have a great selection of beer.

My beautiful date.

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And if you thought I was joking about being obsessed with anything avocado…

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Oh look, more guacamole.
Surprise Surprise.

The guacamole was served with veggie chips which was a nice switch up from your typical chip.

For my main dish I ordered the Seared Ahi Salad.

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The salad was a mix of arugula, dried cherries, and roasted red peppers served with a sweet asian dressing.

Words can not express how amazing this was. The tuna was spiced to perfection and the sweet asian dressing was the perfect addition to the tuna.

Ahi tuna has to be one of my favorite things to eat. Shocker since we know how obsessed I am with sushi.

Matt ordered the Spicy Green Chili Pulled Pork Sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries.

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The sandwich was topped with a honey jalapeno coleslaw and a green chili cheese sauce and seriously…this sandwich was so good.

Matt ended up not even eating the bun because the meat and coleslaw was so good on it’s own.

After my first bite, I gave him the sad eyes for another.

I traded him for a piece of tuna, so I think it was fair.

In the end our wallets may be empty, but our tummy’s were full.

Until next paycheck…

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How often do you go on date nights?

Do you celebrate Taco Tuesday?

mini eggplant pizza’s

Is it Friday yet?

No?

Dang it.

I use to like that I had Tuesday’s off, but I really feel like it makes my work week seem longer. I have Sunday off, go back to work on Monday, then have Tuesday off, but then I work the rest of the week. Well that just makes it seem kind of longer than it is.  But really, I can’t complain much when my long days are filled with faces like these.

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Oh my goodness wittle great dane puppy. How you make my day so much brighter! Seriously, puppies make everything better.

But you’re not here for puppies are you? (although if you don’t like puppies, I don’t know that we can be friends) So let’s get on to what you really want to see. Some tasty eats.And since it is Wednesday, you know what that means. The wonderful link up of What I Ate Wednesday hosted by the lovely Jenn.

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I actually have been quite creative lately.It started with my english muffin creation, that I seriously have eaten every day since.

Dark chocolate hemp protein may be my new favorite thing.

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I am seriously in love with this little snack.

I also have been enjoying the last of my quinoa cookies. I am still amazed at how well they turned out considering I just basically threw a bunch of random ingredients into a bowl and hoped for the best.

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Seriously these were some of the best cookies I have ever made. The quinoa made them so chewy and in addition to using the coconut oil, I added some shredded coconut and a bit of peanut butter. The combination was just spot on. I don’t know that I will ever be able to duplicate this recipe considering nothing was measured or written down, so I have been savoring the ones I have.

I guess these few successes made me a little more creative in the kitchen all around.I know I get in a lot of food ruts, but I do always end up getting sick of eating the same thing and crave something new.
Well that was happening with my dinners lately, so as a result, this tasty little creation was made.

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Mini Eggplant Pizzas

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Ingredients:

(Serves 1)

- 1/2 eggplant cut into 1/2″ slices

- 1/2 cup tomato paste (seasoned with your favorite italian spices – I used oregano, chili flakes and garlic powder)

- 1 laughing cow original swiss cheese wedge (broken into small pieces)

- 1 piece of Lightlife bacon strips (or regular bacon – I just happened to have this)

- Nutritional yeast for sprinkling

- Additional spices (I added more chili flakes)

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Directions:
- Coat eggplant slices lightly with olive oil and roast in pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, flipping over halfway through.

- Take out of oven and spread tomato paste mixture on eggplant slices and top with desired toppings.

- Place back in oven for 5-10 more minutes or until cheese melts and toppings are warm. (you could also put oven on broil just make sure to watch closely as the eggplant may burn)

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These were so simple to make and so delicious and they really can be topped with everything and anything.

It’s been fun actually switching things up in the kitchen. I think sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that new meals have to be labor intensive when in fact they’re not. So friends, be on the look for more new things coming out of my kitchen…

But one thing that I don’t see changing…

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My obsession with fro-yo. Oh no. That one is still going strong.

Have a great rest of your week loves, let’s pray Friday gets here before we know it.

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Do you get in food ruts?

What’s a new dish you’ve created lately?

Do you love puppies? The answer better yes.

what i ate for gains

Weeeee Wednesday.

This is a long work week for me, so I honestly am so excited it’s Wednesday, because Thursday is technically my Friday this week.

Wednesday’s are also fun because the lovely Jenn gives us the chance to share our eats with each other for What I Ate Wednesday.

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These past few weeks have been bitter sweet for me.

I’m going to get a bit serious for a few seconds so bear with me. You all know I like to keep it light and fun around here, but I also like to be honest. I never pretend to have a perfect life and I think it’s helpful to share my struggles, because we all have them.

I’m pretty open about being in a weight gain stage however I never really talk about my progress.

Well for the past few months, I had been doing great. But the last couple of weeks, well not so great. I lost some weight, probably just from being extremely busy at work, but lost none the less. Let’s just say my nutritionist was not so happy with me.

I know she’s right. I know I need to gain, but seriously sometimes there is only so much food one person can eat. Matt and I had a heart to heart and we became very committed to getting me back on track and gaining again.

Which is why if you follow me on Instagram you saw a lot of this.

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Fro-yo, but with intense toppings.

Things also got more serious with this.

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Real dessert. Good ole Dairy Queen. My nutritionist literally told me I needed to eat a blizzard a day to add the amount of extra fat and calories I needed in order to gain. I wasn’t really complaining about that. However even for this ice cream loving girl, a blizzard everyday is a bit much.

So there were other ways I pushed.

Thankfully we had a few invitations with friends for meeting up for dinner so that helped with my needs for new, higher fat foods.

Matt had a friend who was visiting from out of town and they wanted to meet up for dinner, so we met at one of our favorite restaurants True Food.

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True Foods

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It was a gorgeous night out and there was a bit of a wait, so we hung out on their patio and since it just happened to be National Margarita Day, we all got a margarita to celebrate.

By time we got a table we were all starving and ordered the hummus as an appetizer. I wish I had a picture to share, but it was pretty much demolished after being set in front of us.

For dinner I chose my standard go to dish there. I really wanted to branch out and try something new, but since we hadn’t been there is a while I was really craving it.

I ordered the Brown Rice Teriyaki Bowl with Tofu.

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It was amazing as usual.

Matt decided to try something new and ordered the Panang Curry.

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I’m not a huge curry person, but I tried a piece of the chicken and it was pretty delicious.

After dinner, Matt insisted we get dessert.

There was a frozen yogurt place right by the restaurant so we went there. A picture was not taken because I was very full. Physically and emotionally. I know doing things like this is what I have and need to do, but it doesn’t mean it still doesn’t affect me mentally.

The next morning all I wanted to do was have a normal meal. A home made breakfast.

Matt…oh how I love and hate him sometimes.

He suggested we go out for breakfast.

After how I felt the night before, going out for my next meal was not what I wanted to do in the slightest.

But whenever I try and make excuses on why I shouldn’t or don’t want too, I always challenge it and just do it.

So out to breakfast we went.

We went to a local breakfast spot that we love. The Breakfast Club. It’s such a cute/hip little place that is only open for breakfast and lunch and is always busy. We love it because the restaurant has such an open/airy layout and the food is very fresh.

I ordered an omelet with broccoli, green peppers and onion. It came with fresh sliced tomatoes and a side of fruit and cottage cheese.

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Matt ordered a breakfast burrito topped with chorizo queso. It also came with a side of home style potatoes and fruit.

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And the kicker. I don’t know why, but I have been craving bacon lately.

So you know what I ordered?

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BACON.

And it was de-lish.

So I may be having my ups and downs with this whole weight gain thing, but I know it is what I need to do to get healthy.

And if that means more blizzards and bacon, well let’s be honest. It could be worse.

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Do you crave random foods?

coconut snow

Well loves if you read my last post, you know how I feel about today.

Is it Friday yet?

But you also know there is a part of Wednesday that is a bit exciting.

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You guessed it.

I actually have eaten some amazing food, no thanks to my cooking skills, but Matt and I had been invited to one of his co-workers for dinner. Since he is still new at the job and this was the first time I met them, I decided to not take any pictures.

But let me tell you. The meal was amazing.

Cowboy caviar (which is seriously crack in a bowl – heeellllooo avocados), grilled zucchini, grilled portabella mushroom topped with garlic spinach and cheese, artichokes, oven roasted potatoes, and bbq chicken. Seriously all cooked to perfection. I ate so much food, but I seriously could not stop, it was so good. It was a fun night overall and we had a great time.

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But since I can’t show you any of that deliciousness, I have a few things that I can show with you.

Oatmeal has came back into my life. It tends to happen when I have these laying around.

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I actually stole this jar from work.

I made a base of vanilla cinnamon overnight prOATs and topped it off with some frozen banana, local granola, shredded coconut and Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Because we all need a little chocolate in the morning.

This got me on an oatmeal kick, so I had them again the next day.

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Since I was still kind of on a coconut kick I added coconut butter and shreds not only while cooking, but also another huge spoonful of Sweet Spreads cinnamon roll butter and more shredded coconut.

(side note: this was transferred into a jar for travel convenience shortly after)

And to keep trucking with coconut…

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It kept coming with my waffles. Since we’re not actually getting any snow in Arizona, I like the effect shredded coconut gives my food. Kinda like snow right?

Ok, maybe not at all, but we can pretend. It still tasted pretty dang delicious.

Then I started getting lazy with my breakfasts, but sometimes simple is the tastiest.

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Because sometimes a bagel with cream cheese and jam is all you want. And sometimes you don’t even make it pretty.

It’s not all breakfast around here though.

I did manage to whip up a simple tuna veggie nori roll that was pretty tasty.

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This was later doused in tahini. I’ve been obsessed with the stuff lately!

And for dessert?

Well even though my poppy seed cake wasn’t a total success.

It also wasn’t a total failure.

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I mean someone had to eat it. Might as well be me!

Speaking of dessert.

This happened tonight.

And it was pretty wonderful

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Proof I do eat things other than frozen yogurt.

Well loves, I hope you all have a great week.

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What are some eats you’re enjoying lately?