Home Stretch Strides

     With 5 days left on the 30 day wellness challenge, here’s the results. Drum roll please: Boom, Bang, Boom! 

      Chef has lost 9, unwanted pounds and I have lost 6.  How did this happen, you ask, in a few weeks? Simply by making lifestyle changes replacing foods we love with healthier ones.

     For example, instead of snacking on high calorie, low nutritional value potato chips, chef tweaked a recipe for Zucchini Chips

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     This satisfies the desire to crunch and the craving for salt without breaking the health bank.

     He also made Zucchini Parmesan Sticks as opposed to Cheesy Breads sticks. 

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      And, the coolest thing by far about the wellnesss challenge, it’s  PERMANENT. Diets, on the other hand, are TEMPORARY.

     Not that we’ve arrived! We’ve been unable to fully rise to challenge as we haven’t been able to eliminate soda from our day to day diet. BOOOOOOO!   Yet, the hunt is on for a homemade healthy alternative I hope to love and share with you!

     Meanwhile, here’s the Zucchini Chips recipe for your palettes pleasure while we hunt for homemade soda:

Zucchini Chips Recipe

Ingredients

1 large Zucchini
1/3 C Panko
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Sea Salt
1/8 t Old Bay
3 t Skim Milk

Procedure

Preheat oven 425
Cut zucchini in 1/8 inch slices
Mix panko, cheese, pepper, salt, old bay
Dip zucchini in milk, the dip in mix
Place on sheet tray in single layer
Bake on 425 for 15 minutes
Turn over, bake til golden brown
Remove to cool
Chips crisp as they cool

Enjoy and wish us luck on our hunt!

Ok All, 8 Days Remain

So, week 3 of the 30 day wellness challenge ends today! That means a weigh in tomorrow, and, YIKES, because, this week, Chef and I took advantage of the allowed 1 cheat meal….
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Yesterday, we had sushi and beer at Joss’s in Annapolis. We had a great view!
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That’s chef on the left! Why is sushi a cheat you ask?

Because remember nothing white is allowed, only whole wheat or grain.
So, what did we do?

We decided to stroll afterwards to walk off the cheat!
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So, how did we do, you ask? The scales won’t lie tommorrow, my friends! Until then.

So, how did we do. The scale will tell tomorrow!

Until then, my friends!

Smoothie Patrol

     So, if eating raw fruit has you bored to tears, try shaking it up, literally, by creating a creamy smoothie shake  with these ingredients.

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2 cups Pineapple
2 cups Honey dew
2 cups Kale
1 cup Walnuts
1/2 small container Greek Yogurt
Blend all ingredients
Enjoy

PS. If you like your smoothie creamy, freeze fresh fruit prior to blending

PSS. No worries kale haters, you won’t taste it!

Makes 40 ounces!

Why We Eat What We Do

So, with ten days left to go on the wellness challenge, chef and I have brainstormed to create different infused waters and healthy snacks to munch on.

Today’s creations are this yummy watermelon water!

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Recipe

Ingredients

4 cups diced watermelon
6 sliced lemon wedges
4 cups cold water

Procedure
Puree, chill and serve

AND

These delicious Zucchini Cakes

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RECIPE

Ingredients
1 shredded zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup panko
1/4 t nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Procedure
Beat one egg
Mix in salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Pour over zucchini
Add panko
Mix thoroughly
Sautee on each side 3 to 5 minutes

Enjoy guilt free as they are both so healthy and so darn good

12 Days to Go on the Wellness Challenge

   

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Only 12 more days until the 30 day wellness challenge ends and chef and I have had fantastic results.  We have eliminated ALL fast, fried and processed foods from our diet as well as white flour easily as we have been doing that for a while. However, despite our rising to the challenge, we haven’t risen fully, LOL, as we have consistently had a few items containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, i.e, diet coke and a couple of items with alcohol, i.e., mixed drinks or beer.
     So, it appears, chef and I have the healthy food thing down but not the healthy drink thing. That being said, we have begun our quest for healthy, yet tasty, drinks and it hasn’t been easy so far. We have created, and haven’t liked, a number of drinks to date.  So far, however, the two most enjoyable drinks have been our homemade gingerale and infused pear water.  For those of you who want to replace soda, chemically flavored waters (read the labels), and sugar laden or calorie laden drinks with healthier options, yet, are bored with plain water, here’s an alternative we recommend.

Pears
Ginger
Cinnamin
Vanilla Bean
Ice
Water

Place all ingredients in your pitcher of choice.
Fill with ice
Fill will fresh water
Stir and refrigerate for an hour
Enjoy!

It can’t be much simpler than this and the water will last for up to three days. Additionally, the fruit is edible!

PS. There is no specific amount of each item so play with the ingredients until it’s the way you enjoy! Bottoms up.
    

Day 16 Delicacies

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     So, despite a cheat meal being allowed once a week, chef and I haven’t splurged on that opportunity much until today when we allowed ourselves the enjoyment of ice cream on chocolate and nut covered waffle cones at the beach of Ocean City, Maryland where we snuck away for a few days retreat to re-group and plan for the busy week to come.

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     We knew with the 6 week kids cooking camp starting next week as well as a photo and video shoot occurring, not to mention cooking classes, counseling and massage sessions scheduled at our center, we needed some time to plan and unwind.

     We awoke to a heavy rain storm and decided to take the weather as a sign for the opportunity to chill, do some menu planning and remote marketing. Then, when hunger struck, we ate tomato and cucumber sandwiches on oat bread, hold the mayo please, with one percent milk.
I never thought I’d see the day we ate tomato sandwiches without mayo, yet we sure did!

    Afterwards, chef and I went to the library to do some research and the grocery store for some goodies, then we returned home to relax for a while and have linner (lunch and dinner combined )

Subsequently, chef made a good old fashioned home cooked meal of cod, mussels, corn, salad, and whole wheat rigatoni with veggies. 

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     Then, when the storm ended, we headed to Fenwick to grab our cheat, a chocolate and nut dipped waffle cone full of icecream. Chef chose sea salt caramel and I chose expresso chip and we enjoyed every last bite before hitting the movies and you guessed it, soda and popcorn!

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     Speaking of the movies, we had a pleasant surprise at the movie theatre, electronic reclining leather seats! They were so comfortable, I caught chef snoring briefly, LOL.
Of course, I had to elbow him as other patrons were around. Perhaps he was snoring as this was the movie?

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Oh, before you wonder how I got so lucky to have chef see this movie with me, I have the answer; I watch a lot of guy movies and occasionally in return get to see a chick flick.  Today was my occasionally. 

Half way 15 days

Yesterday marked the midpoint to our couples wellness challenge so Chef and I snuck away for a few hours at lunchtime to downtown Annapolis to enjoy some time alone in this wonderful capitol of Maryland together.

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With it’s cobblestone streets,  darling shops, and peaceful waterfront cafés, charm surely awaits anytime Annapolis is the destination and yesterday was no exception.  The weather was in the mid 70’s with a slight breeze and we parked near a small roadside cafe we had wandered upon. Of course, being foodies and it being lunch, we HAD to try this quaint, roadside cafe, “Cafe and Groceries”, and, oh, we’re so glad we did. 

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(Of course, we had to mind our wellness restrictions and I’m happy to say we easily did).

We shared a Greek Salad & Spicy Peruvian chicken sandwich topped with spinach, onion, tomato, and spicy mustard plus unsweetened iced tea and ice water. (Did I mention, the total bill was only
$20 bucks).

The food was fresh and delicious, the portions were fantastic, the owner Michelle was friendly, and the little table outside the cafe on the Annapolis side street we lingered at gave us plenty to observe and enjoy on these stolen moments together.

It was an altogether lovely afternoon that led to an altogether wonderful evening celebrating our baby daughters 22nd bday. For this event, chef made a whole wheat vegetable pizza for us and cheese and pepperoni pizzas for those who don’t object to white flour.  Here’s the whole wheat dough recipe for other health fans who happen to love pizza, as much as we do, yet, desire to limit white flour from their diet

4 cups of whole wheat flour
2 packets of yeast
2 T honey
1 T salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T Olive oil

Mix all ingredients
Knead for 10 minutes
Allow to rise for one hour in cool location covered

Top as desired, cook and serve
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PS. Chef made homemade pizza sauce as well and topped with many veggies, basil, and oregeno.

Day 14 Menu Items

Here are to die for Parmesan Zucchini sticks for when the snack attack comes!

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One zucchini cut in quarters
1/2 cup panko
1/4 t  thyme
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t basil
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 T Olive oil

Mix all ingredients except oil/zucchini
Drizzle oil over zucchini
Sprinkle mixture into zucchini
Bake in oven for 10 minutes on 400

Eat alone as above or as a side for your meal. Pictured below are zucchini sticks paired with marinara and enjoyed with top round we made sandwiches with using romaine lettuce   Delish!

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Ps. I didn’t forget about the scoop on healthy drinks. That post will be coming