Gourmet Tortilla Pizza!

22 Mar

I’ll start this off by saying I am not a chef.  I don’t do measurements or ever fully follow a recipe.  I’m just not meticulous enough in that regard.  And this is not a cooking/food blog because I will never have that much patience or motivation  🙂

I’m the queen of ‘loaded salads.’  Every week I buy a few different vegetables, a bag of romaine lettuce heads, a can of kidney beans, a can of garbanzo beans and a box of boca burgers….etc. & Voila!  A filling salad.

That’s probably why when I started saying {recently} that I was trying to eat healthier I got a lot of incredulous looks/exclamations/rolled eyes. Honestly though …. I’m a huge cheater.

Yes I make my salad for lunch and sometimes one for dinner.  But then I eat some peanut butter – sometimes with crackers and sometimes just out of the container, to save calories (….no really….that’s my justification).  Then comes dessert. Cookies, chocolate, fruit, chocolate ….. chocolate.

Not sounding all that healthy anymore, I’ll bet.

So yes, I’m trying to jumpstart myself into a more healthy eating STYLE.  Which includes varying my dishes so that I’m not eating my salads (always delicious, don’t get me wrong) day in and day out to stay on track, yet craaaaaaaaaving new flavors so much so that I end up eating peanut butter, sunflower seeds&raisins out of the bag …. etc.

Plus …. I actually enjoy cooking!  It’s just something I always say I don’t have time for (there’s that excuse again), or I’m too tired to do at the end of the day (another one!), orrrrrr that it seems like a lot to do for just one person (ahem, LEFTOVERS!).

I’m starting slowly – noting a few recipes a week that I want to try/experiment with from different sources.  Or I’ll even get inspired while grocery shopping (a favorite pasttime.  excuse me, it’s a store full of FOOD. I don’t understand all the complaints).  They also should be relatively quick to make – at least during the week.  Mon-Friday I finally get home between 6:30 and 8:15, depending on if I take a class at the gym after work or not ooooor if I meet up with someone for a drink (trying to cut out the HH food, but wine is one thing I will not be purging from my life).  As you can imagine – I’m starving by then.  I tend to always have carrots or sugar snap peas (a new obsession!) on hand to snack on while I get everything together & begin cooking.  I forget where I read this but: the most dangerous thing for a person trying to diet / change their eating habits, is to be hungry.  That’s when you grab at the wrong thing out of sheer hunger-induced delirium.  We’ve all been there. Have a healthy snack on hand. Always.

Pizza Lovers, you ready for this?  I ADORE pizza – spent 6months in Italy in college barely eating anything else – and we have the greatest gourmet pizza place right near my apt.  Of course it’s pricey & most certainly caloric-ly (spell check is telling me that’s not a word….. ) dangerous.  Sooooo I decided to make my own!  Totally hit the spot.  Not kidding 🙂

Tonight I actually didn’t have my usual glass of wine while cooking …. I was still hydrating from my body pump work out!

{I adore my pump instructor&class & tonight was particularly brutal.  We did some tracks from old routines and my arms are STILL shaky…. loveitloveitloveit}

Pre-shower I got all my ingredients together, preheated the oven to 425, and played Italian chef:

1-2 whole wheat tortillas

2-Pizza/Pasta sauce (I used a chunky basil pasta sauce …. because that’s what I had in my fridge)

3-Baby spinach

4-Sun-dried tomatoes (!!!!) – treated myself to these on my grocery run this weekend 🙂

5-Chopped mushrooms – I’d say about half a cup

6-Chopped white onion – 1/4 cup

7-Crumbled feta cheese

8-Fresh basil leaves

9-Garlic (I was too lazy to chop garlic tonight so I used the powdered version. I’m positive it would be even better with the real thing)

10-Light pepper

11-Red pepper flakes (easy with this one)

12-Oregano leaves

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes (check near the end to make sure the edges aren’t getting too burnt)

I’m extraordinarily pleased with myself on this one 🙂  The thin crispy tortilla is PERFECT since I like thin crust anyway – and the toppings made me feel like I was really eating a gourmet pizza.  I was even able to cut it into little pizza slices!  And totally customizable for whatever you have on hand – But wow do I recommend both the sun-dried tomatoes & basil leaves!  Really kicks it up a notch in terms of gourmet-ness (hmm, flagged by spellcheck…) and overall presentation.

*ugh so PLEASE excuse the quality of these pictures so far.  All have been taken on my silly little LG Dare phone because that’s what I’ve had on hand for a quick pic in the kitchen.  As a photography enthusiast myself, it’s rather embarrassing.  You’ll get the general idea though — professional looking FOOD, right?!  🙂

Prepped.....

...& read to eat!

Aaaaand of course I finished off my evening with 2 large oranges (which brings me to a total of 3 for the day.  Whoops!  I know oranges are high in sugar but they have been soooooooooo incredibly juicy and scrumptious lately…) – not pictured here because a) you know what oranges look like, and b) they weren’t out long enough && my phone was on the other side of the couch.

*Note: NO random snacking after dinner!  No peanut butter jars, no crackers with hummus.  My meal filled me up so that all I needed was a little sweet fruit to be completely satisfied.

I’d say that’s a check for the day 🙂

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The off-run

22 Mar

Been a while since I’ve had one of them … so I guess I was due?

It’s a beyond discouraging feeling to drag yourself out of bed at 6am after just as much hours of sleep so that you can jump-start your day with an invigorating run …. and then just really never get into it.  I mean really frustrating.

I’d say it usually takes me around 2 miles to loosen up (esp. in the morning) and really dig into a run, getting my split down and ‘groove’ up (sorry, no better way to say it! haha).   But today it was not happening.  For a 6mile run I’d say I didn’t start to get into the swing of it until mile 4 – a little after the fact, no?  My legs felt unusually leaden and tight…

{Differing advice regarding stretching before running: All my life I thought you were supposed to stretch immediately before a work out — but lately, I’ve read some literature saying that stretching ‘cold’ muscles could do more damage than anything and that you should wait until you’ve warmed up a little before stretching … thoughts??}

…and my stomach was bothering me {silver lining: all these excuses, and I still finished the run!}.  Disappointing, to say the least.  I had forgotten my Garmin this morning so I didn’t get to clock my time or split — but I’m going to go ahead and say that it was not my best.  I try to track all my runs: time, split, calories, etc. on a spreadsheet.  I don’t have a time I’m shooting for in my next 10miler – but it’s nice to see the improvement.  Plus, wearing the Garmin does make me push myself …..

I guess I should stop ‘forgetting’ it 😉

On the bright side, I’d gone to bed the night before thinking about the smoothie I was going to make this morning!  I just bought this wonderfully simplistic new smoothie maker and I’m in love.  I also picked up some fresh strawberries at my grocery store this weekend – they were on sale and actually looked decent — I couldn’t resist! 🙂

So with coffee gurgling away (it’s a little italian espresso maker that goes on the stove top… and yes, it does in fact gurgle), I made myself a Strawberry Banana Smoothie:

– 7 fresh strawberries {frozen would work too}

-1 whole banana

-1/2 cup almond milk {Soy milk works – I just prefer almond, esp. with the next ingredient…}

-1 scoop soy protein powder

-1 T whole flaxseeds

So yummy!!! 🙂

It made kind of a lot …. but of course I drank it all.  Maybe next time I’ll try it with just a quarter of a cup of milk ….

If you don’t have one of these single-serving smoothie maker, I’d suggest investing in one immediately

….and THAT’S why you work out in the morning

21 Mar

I’d had a long-standing HH date with a couple of friends tonight after work … and I don’t see them very often …. And we had a lot to talk about….

I bet you can tell where this is going.

No 8pm pilates.

(feel like I totally started my ‘keep on track’ blog on the wrong day)

Reason #25,552 why – even though your energy peaks later in the day – people who commit to morning work outs are more likely to be consistent and make it a routine part of their schedule***

SO after heating up some leftovers …

{Last night I had made the Hot Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus recipe from ‘Eating Bird Food.’  SO DELICIOUS.  I’m a huge fan of asparagus but never buy it/make it – generally thinking it’s too expensive for my budget.  But this less-than-a-pound bunch I bought is going to last me for three meals.  Not too shabby.  Just one warning: the recipe says to use between 1 and 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes.  I’m a fan of spicy so I went for two —– phew, SOOOO very hot!  I added extra lemon juice to try and cut it and my sinuses are still singing….}

… I did a 30-min ab work out video that my roommate just bought.  It definitely got my heart rate up and a little sweat going, but my abs aren’t burning the way I wish they were/generally are after a good ab work out.  I’m wondering if I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough (??)  or if because it was a new routine to me my muscles were ‘tricked’ into submission…. It also could have been the location: a room in my apartment vs. the gym.

{that happens, right?}

You’re supposed to do this work out 5 times a week for 6weeks to get a 6-pack (….right).  I’m thinking I’ll try to commit to 2-3 times a week.

*Again – trying to think of what is truly ‘do-able.’  AKA: not too much all at once! {one step at a time, one step at a time}

The abs video coupled with everything else should add up to a summer-worthy stomach. 🙂

I also decided that (clearly) today would be the perfect day for my ‘EXCUSES’ post.

Part 1: What common excuses do I use to NOT work out?

  • Too early
  • Too late
  • Exhausted
  • Too sore/muscles are tired
  • Worked out hard yesterday
  • I deserve a break
  • I don’t have time
  • I’m hungry
  • I’ll do it later

Happy{Rainy}Monday!

21 Mar

We’ll call this my formal introduction to the blog world:

Welcome to me! 🙂

The primary purpose of this blog is to keep myself accountable and on track with my training schedule for ….. drumroll … my first EVER marathon!  (eek/yikes!)

Granted, it’s the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of 2011, but this isn’t the type of run you can fake …. plus I want to be feeling ‘fit as a fiddle’ and completely on my game when that day finally comes around.  So yes, I may be ahead of myself in preparing 7 months ahead of time …. but it can’t hurt!

Of course, on this rainy morning in the District, I turned off my 6:15am alarm clock (bad habit!) and let myself sleep in until 7:30am.  I’m really working on quitting that …is there such thing as a ‘snooze-free’ alarm clock???!

I decided not to give myself TOO hard of a time though since yesterday was ‘Long Run Day’: 12.19 miles!   AND I’ll be going to Pilates class at my gym tonight at 8pm (something new I’m trying to integrate into my training schedule).

I DID make myself a DELICIOUS smoothie for breakfast when I finally did get out of bed:  the ‘Peanut Butter Energy Booster’ from Lifewithnature.com.  Can’t really go wrong when there’s peanut butter involved 🙂

So all in all it was a pretty solid morning – complete with the musical stylings of Brooke Fraser while I made my lunch (salad with all the fixings + apple, orange) — she’s a new obsession.  I could almost pretend it was a nice day out!

I’ll leave you with this last feel-good tidbit that I received via email from my best friend this morning:

Because who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss 🙂