Miss M.I.A.

Sorry guys, I have been M.I.A. pretty much the entire month of November.  The truth is, I got lazy.  That’s right I said it lazy.  The problem is, the longer I go without posting something, the less likely it is that I’ll start it up again, much like my Instagram account (I was once obsessed, but I barely ever even check out others photos on the site anymore let alone post any myself).  And, the thing is – I started this blog for a reason.  I needed an outlet and I still do, and I was seriously enjoying this, so why stop now?

I promise to nip this laziness in the bud and push past my procrastinating ways and insecurities.  I made a promise to myself that I would keep this up and now I am making this promise to you the reader (if you’re out there….reading this…).  So, now that I got that out of the way, lets talk about what has been going on this month.

1. I started my mini bathroom remodel (it’s a mini remodel for a mini bathroom)

…and by started I mean, I purchased spackle, a spackling knife and a block sander .  I had my Tom rip the towel hanger, toilet paper holder and paper towel dispenser out of the wall and I havent really done anything since…so basically my once barely functional ugly bathroom is now even less functional and even more ugly.  Tom is ready to kill me haha!

Notice the towel with no home and the “lightly used” spackle equipment….annnd the horrible pink tile YUCK!

2.I got my hair done (for the first time in 7 months!!)

since I already had a whole lot of grow out I opted for an ombre look, now that I can keep up!! It looks great and I happened to use someone new this time.  She is much closer to my house so I foresee a long happy relationship there.  I know some of you will probably be thinking ‘Ew, ombre just looks like you have terrible roots’, but in my opinion it reminds me of childhood hair (if done right) almost like a kid who played in the sun all summer long and now the sun-lightened locks are growing out and fading to your darker winter tones.  Plus, it’s super easy upkeep and I am all about that!

This is the only picture I could find that you can see my new do… but you get the idea, lighter on the bottom darker on the top

3.I started a new diet!

I have been doing a sort of Paleo type diet (AKA: the Caveman diet), meaning no grains, breads, pastas, dairy, alcohol, added sugar or artificial sugar, no fried foods and no processed foods.  I know, sounds awful – but really it’s been great, and no I havent been turned into a pod person, I am being serious!  One of the many plus sides to this diet is I have been cooking a lot more so that means a lot more delicious recipes are headed your way and all of them healthy.  And  a real plus side to this is that Tom has been eating better and of course he’s already lost 10 pounds! (…jerk)  I have lost 4 pounds so far too and it’s keeping me motivated to keep on this diet.

4. THANKSGIVING!!!

Since I have been on this diet, I promised myself that on Turkey Day, so long as I was diligent, I would eat what I wanted.  It was glorious!! And, this is probably the first Thanksgiving since I was a kid that I ate without guilt.  I didn’t feel like I was being bad or wrong and that was nice.  As you have, or will come to realize my relationship with food is a complicated one so being able to chow down without putting myself down felt really, really good. Plus, I got to see Toms’ side of the family this year (though I did miss my side) it was nice changing it up and seeing a different dynamic.  We also got to go to a friends holiday celebration…so really I got 2 Thanksgiving dinners (MmmmHmmm!!!). And my friend had two cats so you know I was happy stuffing my face and petting kitties 🙂

I don’t think the turkey realizes how this works….

 

So now that we are all caught up, I can’t wait to share all of my recipes and home projects with you!  And if you have any tips on how to push past laziness with writing a blog (or re-doing a room in your house) I’m all ears.  I could use all of the motivation I could get 🙂 And I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving diners as well…I dont like turkey but my favorite thing has got to be the stuffed mushrooms  – what is your favorite dish?

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Tomato Bacon & Bean Soup

Now that the weather is cooling down (and acting like it needs psychotropic drugs…) I decided to make myself a nice hearty soup to fill my belly and warm me up.  I found a delicious looking, recipe on curbly.com that I used as my inspiration (you can find the original version here) and decided to add my own twist on things.  I don’t know about you guys, but add bacon to just about anything and I’m sold.

So, if you’re like me and you want to try a new way to make bacon…erm, I mean soup…check out my recipe below!

–       28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in thick puree

–       32 oz. low sodium chicken broth

–       2 cloves garlic

–       1 large shallot (you can use an onion, but I’m allergic)

–       1 large zucchini

–       1 can white beans

–       1 can kidney beans

–       6 strips bacon

–       S&P to taste

To prep everything, before you start you should drain and rinse both cans of beans, cut up the shallots and zucchini into uniform pieces and mince the garlic.

I decided I wanted a one-pot meal, as to keep me from having to clean anything extra so I decided to cook the bacon right in my pot before adding anything else.  Brown it until it’s nice and crispy.

I like my soup chunky so I cut my shallots and zucchini pieces pretty big, add them and the minced garlic to the bacon in the pot.  Sweat the shallots (that means cook them till they are clear) and add in the can of crushed tomatoes.  Now turn up the heat!

At this point things should be smelling pretty good in your kitchen…

Cook this down for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds or so.  Now add your rinsed beans and chicken broth to the mix, lower the heat to a slow simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pop a top on the pot (say that 5 times fast!!) and let it do it’s thing for 30 to 45 mins and it should be ready to devour. OM NOM NOM!!!!!!!!

Let me know if you try this out! Enjoy!

Julia 🙂

Starting My Day (and month) Off Right.

Yesterday was finally the day I decided to stop moping around and jump back on the workout wagon.  I woke up and realized that it was not only a Monday, but the first of the month – what better time to start achieving some goals?

I restarted Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution, and boy, am I sore today!  I guess that’s what I get for taking an entire month off.  Fortunately, with this program she does different muscle groups each day, so my sore muscles shouldn’t be an issue.  Since my body is hurting I decided to give myself a real power breakfast, and since I’m getting tired of eggs, this is what I came up with.

Image

Om nom nom…..

Greek Yogurt Parfait

– 1/2 cup 0% Greek Yogurt

-1/4 cup Blueberries

-1/4 cup Blackberries

-100 calorie pack of Raw Almonds and Walnuts

-1 Tbsp Natural Honey

This was filling and absolutely delicious, and thanks to myfitnesspal.com (my username is julial84 – let’s encourage each other if your a member!), I know that this meal is only 213 calories!

Now, time for my workout 🙂

Yummy Turkey Meatloaf

Hello there!

Turkey Meatloaf is one of my go-to dinners.  It’s quick easy and delish and most importantly – my boyfriend LOVES it.  Any time I can get him to eat somthing that’s not deep fried, covered in cheese or is an artery clogging mess, I do.  Below is my recipe, but feel free to make adjustments for you and/or your family’s pallette.  This is great with a veggie side or you can make it into a sandwich (mmm sandwiches…)

Also, just as a side note – this is the basic recipe I use, but I tend to mix it up now and then by adding a few new flavors to this base recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground turkey meat (93% fat free preferred)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 4 mushroom caps finely chopped (I like baby bellas)
  • toasted onion seasoning (you can find the one I use here)
  • 3 tbsp Ketchup (I like to use Simply Heinz due to the small amount of ingedients they use)
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees

Take the ground turkey out of the fridge and let sit in a large bowl for about 10 mins (or less depending on the heat of your apartment) to warm up.  This makes it easier to mix with the other ingredents, especially if you are using your hands – take it from me, mixing cold raw turkey with your hands is quite painful actually…it’s kind of like when you pick up snow with your bare hands, ouch! 

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and start mixing – like I said I use the old fashioned way (my bare hands) just like my mom because i find that it gives me more mixing presision, but many of you (my sister included) cannot deal with the ick factor of touching raw meat so feel free to use a wooden spoon, food processor or even slap on some latex gloves if you wish.

Once your meat is mixed to your prefference, place it into an oven safe baking dish, cover with tin foil and stick it in your oven for about 30 mins.

Pull the meatloaf out and add ketchup or your desired sauce/condiment (tomato paste, bbq sauce, or whatever you can think of) to the top and spread it out.  Then pop that sucker back into the over for another 15 mins.

If your like me and love a crispy top stick in the broiler for another 5 mins to brown and bam! You’re done! Allow the meatloaf to sit for about 5 mins and then serve and enjoy!