I (re)Discovered Peanut Sauce

One of my favorite places to eat in Lake Mary is Jimmy Hula’s. They honestly have some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever tasted. They are known for their amazing sauces as well. I usually order the Wipeout taco. It has steak, shrimp, fries, jack cheese, salsa, avocado, and baja sauce. That taco is THE BOMB people. It’s the taco on the right in this photo.

14199736I went to lunch at Jimmy Hula’s with my significant other and was honestly pretty stressed about it because I didn’t think there was anything I could eat on the menu. As you know I’m working very hard to limit my sugar intake, eat less fat, etc. I usually order a wipeout taco and a baja bowl (white rice, black beans, salsa, grilled chicken, cotija cheese, and baja sauce).

Needless to say the options above would have caused some serious inflammation, so what was I to do!? I didn’t even want to look at the salad section because, let’s be honest, I’m getting bored with salads. I did anyway and to my surprise I found something I’d NEVER considered before!

It’s called the thai salad. It was simply leafy greens, mango, carrot, avocado, and peanut sauce, and I added grilled fish. This was LITERALLY the second best salad I’ve EVER had!

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to put peanut sauce on salad? I want to thank that person SO MUCH! It was so good I asked the staff to give me two small to-go containers of the stuff.

Now, when I got home of course I had to look up the ingredients, because a sauce this good can’t possibly be good for me. Most of the recipes I found online include:

  • Peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Brown sugar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

My love for peanut butter is real, but I’ve been battling lately because the brand I love adds white sugar. How can I make peanut sauce without the refined sugars? Do you think the recipe would work with agave nectar? Help!

I think I found something here. I’ll let you know what happens when I try it.

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Sugar Withdrawal

I have a horrible headache, and I know why. I remember having this feeling the first few days into the Daniel Fast back in January. I haven’t had processed sugar since Monday, and I’m going through sugar withdrawal. One of the “symptoms” of withdrawal is the dreaded headache. sugar-spoon

I remember one night in graduate school I tried weaning myself from sugar. I had a craving so bad I woke up in the middle of the night, juiced 5 apples, and chugged the juice faster than you can say criss cross apple sauce! My headache/craving went away instantly. Yes, the sugar was natural (from apples), but the fact of the matter is sugar is just as addictive as drugs! Did someone say dopamine?

I’m writing this post because if I don’t I will truly go in the kitchen and make myself a bowl of Coco Puffs to “cure” my headache. If you know me, you know how I feel about Coco Puffs.

Have you successfully given up processed sugar? Leave me some tips!

Doritos.

I had an interesting conversation with a family member last night about Doritos. We are both trying to limit the amount of processed food we intake. Well, one of us is trying harder than the other…but I digress.4f0711bd624601325863357_blog

This family member made the argument that Doritos, specifically Cool Ranch Doritos, are “good for you”, and asked about having some after we had eaten a healthy and satisfying dinner. I begged to differ, so we examined the nutrition label.

I began with the calorie count: 12 chips = 150 calories. “Well, how many calories was our dinner? I can have up to 2,000 calories a day.” My issue is not how many calories, but the type of calories. 150 calories of buttermilk, sugar, and cheddar cheese is not the same as 150 calories of fiber and protein. (Check out this article from Women’s Health on The Difference Between Good and Bad Calories.)

I went on to read the ingredients and had a hard time pronouncing a few of them outside of cheese, milk, and corn. “Those are just preservatives.” Guess what? Preservatives can be harmful for several reasons. They reduce heart health, increase your risk of cancer and may cause breathing difficulty. Don’t believe me? Read this and this.

The moral of the story is that there’s more to food than counting calories, but if you still want to go that route here’s a list of snacks at 150 calories or less that are good for you. You’ll have to do a little work to make these snacks, but it’ll be worth it. Stay away from the Doritos if you can.

  1. Chocolate Almond Smoothie
  2. Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  3. Sliced cucumbers and cream cheese
  4. Cocolate and Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
  5. Avocado with rice & bean chips
  6. 1 banana and a square of dark chocolate
  7. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Protein Balls
  8. Air popped popcorn (2 cups)
  9. Oatmeal with honey and blueberries (follow the serving size!)
  10. Chocolate Almond Coconut Protein Balls

See what I did there?

kēnwä

The first time I tried to pronounce the word I said “qua-no-uh”. It had to be one of the most embarrassing moments I’d had that summer. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I actually gave this grain a chance.

pic1

Quinoa is a pseudocereal that contains essential amino acids and is high in protein. For dinner I placed some in my stuffed pepper along with chickpeas, black beans, onions, yellow, red, and green peppers, and a crap load of tasty herbs. For those who think you can only get protein from meat, eggs, and powder, allow me to introduce you to quinoa. Here’s the recipe!

pic2

The pepper by itself would’ve been enough, but I paired it with a 4oz salmon fillet, and I’ve gotta say I’m STUFFED!

What are you having for dinner?

What the Kale!?

unnamedI have a love-hate relationship with lunch. There’s truly been no consensus on when lunch should be eaten. Is it noon? But, what if my day starts at 5am? If I eat breakfast at 6am do I really have to wait an entire 6 hours for lunch? Like most people I exercise on my lunch break, so should I eat my lunch before or after? How big should my lunch be? It’s all too much!

Don’t fret. There are no right answers to any of my questions despite what you read on the internet. Today for lunch I had a kale salad with olives, strawberries, cucumber, sun dried tomatoes and tuna. Instead of scarfing it down I ate it slowly so as to enjoy the aroma of the food (plus, I ate while I was typing this post so that helped slow me down).

Salads don’t have to be boring people. There’s more to life than iceberg lettuce. Be creative when making your salad. Throw something in there that’s out of the ordinary. I’d love to see what you come up with.

The Most Important Meal

Is breakfast truly the most important meal of the day? Let’s explore what happens when you DON’T eat breakfast. I’ll use myself for example: #truestory

One day (after not getting enough sleep the night before) I woke up (LATE), rushed to freshen up and ran out the door. Since “I didn’t have time” to make breakfast I stopped at Starbucks and ordered a sausage and cheddar breakfast sandwich and a chocolate banana smoothie. Yum, right? NO.

I won’t go into the nutrition facts for the smoothie. I’m too embarrassed. Let’s just talk about the sandwich. Drum roll please!

Calories 500 (YIKES!)

Sodium 920 mg
Total Fat 28 g

Potassium 0 mg
Saturated Fat 9 g

Total Carbs 41 g (and not the good kind)
Polyunsaturated 0 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 0 g

Sugars 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g

Protein 15 g (THANK GOD)
Cholesterol 165 mg
Vitamin A 8%

Calcium 35%
Vitamin C 0%

Iron 20%

Not having enough time to make breakfast, do you think I made lunch? No. I don’t remember what I grabbed that day, but it wasn’t healthy. When you begin your day with bad choices it becomes a domino effect, and I went on like this for an entire week!

Not today. This morning, even though I woke up later than I wanted to, I made myself two scrambled eggs with spinach and ate half a grapefruit. I went to work feeling full, energized, and satisfied!

The moral of the story is simple: make great choices in the morning and your body will thank you for it. Oh, and I need to get more sleep.