Tag Archives: food

Fun-Sized Candy is No Fun


Just a little picture to make you feel guilty about eating that Halloween candy!

That’s not really my intention, though.  This is more of a reminder to me how damaging sugar and candy can be.  Just one is no big deal, but who actually eats just one fun-sized candy bar?  I don’t know that I ever have.  I’m pretty sure every time fun-sized candy is available to me, I end up eating way more than I should.  I think because they are small then they are okay.  But they do add up.  Almost always I would have been better off just eating a normal-sized bar–or maybe even a king-sized bar.

One fun-sized Kit-Kat is only 70 calories and is a good option if you want something sweet but don’t want to splurge.  If only I stopped at one.  But I don’t.  So I’ll just avoid it all together this Halloween.

How about you?  Do you find these fun-sized treats to be your friend or your foe?

Pumpkin Pie is Delish, even a dairy & gluten free one!

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I’m a fan of food. I love to eat it. I love to look at it. I love to cook it. I love to read cookbooks and could scroll through Pinterest for hours dreaming about what delicious recipes I will try next.

My love for food is obviously probably why I’ve had weight problems my entire life—that and my lack of control. The control part I’m working on and getting better at. But I’m never going to try to not love food. I’m just working on loving the right kinds of food!

I’m always trying to figure out ways to make high fat/high sugar dishes with less fat and less sugar but still taste just as good. Another thing I’m always trying to figure out is how to tweak “normal” foods so they are more allergy-friendly. That’s what I did this weekend!

I’ve developed sensitivities to dairy and wheat unfortunately, and Ben has allergies to those as well as to soy, xanthan gum, and nuts among other things. Having food allergies sucks, but it sucks even more when you love food so much. Ben’s favorite dessert is pumpkin pie, but he hasn’t eaten it with a crust for years now. He would just eat it as a custard—until a few days ago, that is.

I’ve been planning a gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free menu for Thanksgiving and wanted to make sure I could make a delicious pumpkin pie with a crust for him for the holidays, and with my birthday this week, what better time to practice the pie and celebrate at the same time!

This was my first time making a pie of any sort, and I was so pleased how it turned out. Seriously, it was delicious, and you would never guess it was free of gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts.

It was just under 300 calories per slice, so it’s not something to eat every day but certainly worth making and eating on special occasions. I’m thinking about figuring out a way to make it healthier, but Ben specifically told me not to change a thing. Maybe some day.

I’m so excited it worked, and I’m even more excited that he gets to have a crust for his pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! It’s the little things in life!

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust

Ingredients for Pie Filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup canned light coconut milk

Ingredients for Crust:
1 cup Vanilla Chex cereal
1 cup Cinnamon Chex cereal
10 Shaar shortbread cookies
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons coconut butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425° F.

To make the filling: Combine brown and white sugars with the spices and salt in a small bowl. Beat the eggs in a large bowl; beat in sugar and spice mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the coconut milk. (I used light, but you could certainly use the full-fat version.)

To make the crust: In a gallon zip-lock bag, add ¼ cup sugar, 10 Schar Shortbread Cookies and a cup each of Vanilla Chex and Cinnamon Chex Cereals. Crush the mixture, using a rolling pin or like me, a heavy kettle. It’s okay if you there are a few bigger pieces of cereal and cookies. Also, feel free to substitute the cereals for a different kind, or you could even use ginger snap cookies only, for example. You just need 1 ½ cups crushed of whatever you want. Dump mixture into a bowl and add the 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or real butter or another substitute). Mix together with a fork until the cereal mixture is evenly coated. Transfer to a pie dish and mold the crust using your fingers.

Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. (Mine only took 45 minutes.)

Set the pie on a wire rack for 2 hours to cool and firm up. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

*The crust is slightly chewy and sticky, which was my favorite part!
*I topped the pumpkin pie with a dairy-free canned whipped cream. Next time I will make my own using full-fat coconut milk!

Let me know if you try it or if you have any favorite allergy-friendly pie recipe!!

Just a Saturday Evening…

I’m getting semi-excited about September. I’m really confident that I can meet my goals this time!

With that said, I just finished a meal from KFC… don’t ask why, but I did. I don’t really feel bad about it because I had been craving it and used it as my cheat meal, but my stomach… oh my stomach. Fried foods just don’t work for me… at all!

My tastes and preferences are changing, so that’s good. The fried chicken (1 leg, 1 thigh) was super fatty and wasn’t so great, but the biscuits (2) and a small side of mac & cheese and mashed potatoes & gravy were really good! But overall, I probably would have enjoyed a nice piece of pan-fried salmon instead. Lesson learned 🙂

Keeping It Interesting

I’m finding it’s easier to say no to junk food and to not even really crave it when I look forward to making new recipes of really tasty food.  This week I’ve made some great food.  I never really follow recipes, but I’ve been writing them down so I can remember what I did for the next time.  I want to start organizing them on my blog so I can have them in one place and also share them with all of you.  Maybe one day I will get to that!

But a few of the things I made (all dairy, soy, & wheat free, by the way) this week are:

– Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

– Creamy Broccoli Soup with Potatoes, Bacon, & Caramelized Onions

– Turkey & Bean Chili

– Salmon with Ginger-Peach Salsa & Rice

– Pork & Potato Burritos with Homemade Corn Tortillas

Making new things keeps it exciting for me.  That’s one way I can stay on track with my eating!  How do you stay on track?

I heart Saturdays…

Today has been a more quiet, relaxed day than usual.  I did 30 minutes of cardio this morning before breakfast.  

Then we had some delicious cinnamon and raisin French toast with turkey bacon and berries.  I love cooking!

Yesterday Ben finished one of his novels he’s been working on this summer (He’s written TWO so far!!), so I’ve spent the day reading/editing the first draft.  It’s truly a great story!  And I’m not just saying that because I’m biased… it really is!  I have a Master’s in Publishing & Editing – I know these kinds of things!  

😀 but seriously, it’s a good book that I’ve read for about 8 hours today.  He’s so talented!

For lunch we had roasted potatoes, white fish, and homemade pineapple-ginger salsa.  It was pretty darn tasty.  I even used canned diced tomatoes with green chilies because I didn’t have any fresh ones, and it still tasted really fresh.  

Almost dinner time, and i’m not really sure what to make.  I have 1/2 a cabbage and some sweet potatoes that are on the verge of going bad, so it will probably be something with that.  

I’m starting to think maybe I should take pictures and post recipes of the things I make… maybe even include calories and what not.  Would anyone be interested in that?  I do it every once in awhile, but I could make it part of my weekly blogging experience.

bad eating days = bigger numbers on the scale

I didn’t watch what I ate yesterday, which I think is fine to do every once in awhile.  And as long as you don’t freak out by what the scale says the next morning, then all will be well.

I am the queen of holding onto water.  I’m 3 pounds heavier today than I was yesterday, which would usually (and sometimes still does) get me down.  But I know the extra weight is just water and poop.  I didn’t eat enough yesterday to gain a pound of fat, so I’m not worried.


Here’s what I ate yesterday in case you are wondering:

Breakfast – 1 serving corn flakes with 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

Lunch – 1/2 serving of salted french fries, 1/2 plain hot dog, 8 oz apple cider slushie, 1/2 soft pretzel, 1/2 of a delicious S’more cookie, 1/2 of an even more delicious chocolate chip cookie, 1/2 snickerdoodle cookie, 1/2 oreo chunk cookie (Ben and I went to a Peach Festival and had fun sharing food!)

Snack – 1/2 oatmeal raisin cookie, 1/2 snickerdoodle cookie (I went a little overboard with the cookies today, i know!) All in all, I only actually had 3 cookies.

Dinner – 1/2 chicken patty with lettuce & tomato on a kaiser roll, 1 serving barbecue chips, genoa salami/ham on a kaiser roll with pickles, banana peppers, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, & a little mayo, 6oz sparkling apple cinnamon cider


I didn’t drink enough water, and I had way too much sodium (chips, pretzel, salami/ham, sandwich toppings, etc).  Add on the fact that I shouldn’t even eat wheat because I have a sensitivity to it and it bloats me and binds me up (and I had a lot of it!), and it’s no surprise that I’m 3 pounds heavier.

But it’s okay.  Having a day where I can eat what I’m craving keeps me in line for the rest of the days where I’m eating only healthy foods.  This works for me.  I know it doesn’t work for everyone, though.  If I ate like this all the time I would feel guilty but because I incorporate it into my week and plan for it, I don’t feel guilty at all.  In fact, it makes me feel better prepared to keep going with the weight loss.

What works for you?  Have you found “cheat” meals helpful or sabotaging?

When Chocolate Calls Your Name…

I love chocolate, and I’m almost positive it’s something I could probably never give up completely.  Chocolate is scrumptious, and call me crazy, but I feel like chocolate “gets me”.  Chocolate knows my name.  The only problem is that it calls my name way way way too much!  

For about the last 30 minutes of my 2 hour workout this morning, I could not stop thinking about chocolate.  I’m not even going to lie about it… I almost got off the elliptical so I could go to the market and buy chocolate donuts, which I would have of course scarfed down secretly in my car before going back home. 

Sometimes I ignore it or busy my little mind into forgetting about it, and the calling will lessen.  But other times it doesn’t matter what I do.  I can’t ignore it.  I can’t trick myself into forgetting about it. And that’s when it really sucks because I only have three options:

1. I can torment myself all day thinking about it.  Sure the craving goes away, but it always comes back.  I’ve found that if I ignore a craving too long I usually end up over-indulging.  Not good.  Not worth it.

2. I can just give in and go buy a candy bar or chocolate cake or brownies, which will slow down my progress and make me feel icky and disappointed.  Granted, having those things is perfectly fine, but for as often as I have chocolate cravings, I’d be eating them a few times a day!

3. I can incorporate chocolate into my healthy eating plan.  That way I’m still getting the yumminess but doing so in a much smarter way.

I’ve chosen options 1 & 2 several times.  They never end well.  

But option 3… oh how i LOVE option 3.

I didn’t entertain the idea of the chocolate donuts for too long, and thankfully it was pretty easy to tell myself to get serious and stay focused.  But it was mostly easy because I decided I would eat chocolate for breakfast when I was finished with the workout.  Once I decided that, I stopped thinking about it and was able to focus on finishing strong.  

And after the workout?  



Unsweetened cocoa powder is almost always the answer to my chocolate cravings.  Sometimes just a few chocolate chips satisfies my craving, but nothing comes close to fulfilling the craving like the cocoa powder does.  I put it smoothies, sprinkle it over pancakes or apple slices or bananas or oranges or strawberries or…….. 

 But here’s what I did today: (I thought about taking a picture to share, but honestly I couldn’t put it down long enough to do so!)

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Blend together: 1 frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk (or any other), dash of cinnamon, and a few dashes (like 4 or 5) of unsweetened cocoa powder.  

This smoothie ALWAYS hits the spot.  

Today I added 1/4 cup of oats, 1 tsp of chia seeds, and a few splashes of this morning’s coffee. MMMMMM!!!!!  I like adding oats to my smoothies because it makes me feel fuller longer, and it thickens up the smoothie nicely.

Craving chocolate (or anything else!) doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.  Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to indulge and not feel guilty about it.  But for every day eating, finding healthy ways to incorporate what you’re craving into your diet is the way to go.  

How do you incorporate your cravings into your healthy eating plan?  Or maybe you don’t but would like to?  Or maybe you don’t and don’t really care either way?  What works for you?  Any favorite recipes you’d like to share?