Tag Archives: eating healthy

I ♥ Sweet Potatoes

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bakedsweetpotato

Okay, let me open this with, I don’t cook. Like, seriously? I just don’t do it. I used to cook healthy stuff when I was bodybuilding in my 20s. But now, I want simple, easy and quick. So, this is not really a cooking post and you won’t see me sharing recipes often … unless I come across something involving very few ingredients and very little actual cooking.

That being said, I didn’t really cook today. But, I did bake a few organic sweet potatoes to serve as meal additions and snacks for the week. You see, baby when I used to bodybuild, this was a mainstay of my diet. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, nutrient rich (Vitamin A, C, potassium, beta-carotene, etc.), and a great addition to many meals (a medium-sized one counts as a serving of veggies). The best thing of all? When I’m watching calories and sugar, sweet potatoes, which have a low glycemic index (surprise!!), sooth my sweet tooth and are a satisfying dessert!! Want to learn more about the health benefits of sweet potatoes? Check out this post on LiveStrong.com: The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.

Anywho, prior to going to yoga this morning, I rinsed and scrubbed the organic sweet potatoes (organic is preferred) and left them on a paper towel on the countertop to dry. When I got home, I simply pierced each sweet potato with the fork a few times and baked in a 450 degree oven (on aluminum foil in middle rack) for about an hour while I took a nap (don’t worry, Wei was awake )!! I ate half of one, skin and all, when I awoke! Delicious!!

Since I was thinking about sweet potatoes, I figured I’d share a simple and healthy, sweet potato with kale and ricotta cheese recipe that a friend shared with me a couple of years ago!! The ingredient list is short and sweet, just like I like it!

via WholeLiving.com

Ingredients
4 medium sweet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each), pricked all over with a fork
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch kale (about 1 1/4 pounds), thick stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces and washed with water left clinging
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Add garlic; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Add as much kale as will fit in the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Continue to add kale as the leaves cook down. Cook, tossing frequently until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and red-pepper flakes.
  4. Open each potato; add salt and pepper. Top with ricotta, kale, and garlic.

This is when I made it about 2 years ago!! LOL!! Guess it’s time to try again.

I think I’d like to try this with spinach too! And, I read another recipe that suggested slicing them after baking and sautéing in coconut oil with sea salt!! Mmmmm … simple and easy!!

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Are you a fan of sweet potatoes? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Bunning Challenge Week 4: Going Straight

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braidedpony

Hair

Okay … so, let me put this out there right out front. I cheated. I did NOT wear a bun 5-6 days last week. Yes, I know. Shame on me *sheepish grin*. But, in my defense, because my hair was straight, it didn’t get all matted at the neck and tangled like it does when it’s curly! And, despite the fact that it RAINED off and on ALL week, my straight hair held up amazingly well!! I also didn’t completely abandon the challenge ;).

So, let me figure this out. I pre-pooed and washed my hair on Sunday to set it into two braids. I wore a braided bun on Monday for work.

Monday
photo 3-5

On Monday night, I flat-ironed and placed my hair in a single mid-height bun for bedtime. This resulted in a “beach waves” look that I wore to work the next day.

Tuesday
beachwaves

On Tuesday night, I set my hair in two buns when I got home, a high one and a low one, to provide more waves. So, I wore my hair out again the next day.

Wednesday
beachwaves_day2 

On Wednesday and Thursday night, went back to the single bun after work. I didn’t take a decent pic of my hair Thursday. But Friday morning began with loose beach waves that I promptly placed into a twisted ponytail for the work day.

Friday
straighthair_fri
twistedponycollage

I wore the same twisted ponytail to run errands on Saturday as it was still nasty and wet out. When we got home, I placed the pony into braid that I bunned and wore to bed. On Sunday, needed to head back out to for more errands and decided to re-set the braided ponytail and loop it into a bun. Good thing, because it was REALLY raining Sunday!! Ughhhh!!

Sunday
braidedponycollage

I really liked the braided looped pony, so very well may be wearing that today as I’m not washing my hair again until this weekend. Gotta get two weeks out of the straight hair at least ;).

So … you’re probably wondering what products I used on my hair while it was straight, right? Well, y’all know I have a ton of stuff sitting around. No? You didn’t know that? Well, let me show you.

PJStash1_Dec2012 This isn’t even all of it. Time for a meet-up and product swap! #dontjudgeme

Anywho, so because I have all of this, I’m not really consistent in what I use. The pic in the upper right hand corner is what sits on my sink though, so I tend to grab whatever’s handy and catches my eye from there. My hair started to feel rough on Tuesday night, so I grabbed one of my new faves:

SM_rawshea_reconstructive_elixir

OMGosh!!!  This Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Elixir is like liquid gold for my curly or straight hair!! Maybe it’s the argan oil?!?!

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea butter) oil*, Argan oil, Vegetable Squalene, carrot oil, macadamia nut oil, Isopropyl Myristate, avocado oil, castor oil, Sebacic acid, sea kelp extract, essential oil blend, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) flower extract and Tocopherol (vitamin E). *Denotes certified organic ingredients.

I “discovered” 😉 this the Tuesday following Superstorm Sandy when I hung out at the house of friends who had power!! So, the female friend is natural and a PJ like me and we’re always talking hair and products. She was away, and while the cat’s away, the mouse will play!! When I went into the bathroom for a quick potty break, I saw it sitting on the shelf and remembered her telling me how good it is! Well, I spritzed a little of this on my hair and felt it soften immediately. But, that evening and the next day? It felt even better! So, I knew that I had to find some and picked it up a couple of weeks ago. Well, after I straightened my hair, I decided to use it again when my hair felt hard. Then I read on the bottle, “Recommended for use following heat styling to seal cuticle.” Shoot! Wish I read that Monday night! So, I applied it to my hair before bunning on Tuesday night and woke up to soft, lustrous hair on Wednesday. Yes!! It was as good as I remembered!! (Note: As it could be easy to over-apply, I spritz it into my palm and then smooth it down my hair.)

The other two things that I used pretty consistently were Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter (CD HHB) and Sof n’Free Nothing But Mold and Hold Wax to moisturize, smooth and hold my edges. Although the CD HHB has water as the first ingredient, when I apply it and tie down my edges, it doesn’t make my hair revert. I don’t know if that will be the case for everyone. But, I’ve used this on my straight hair for years and it’s always worked for me. I started using the Mold and Hold Wax on my edges earlier this year and it also works very well for me. It’s very thick and heavy, but not wet, so a little goes a long way. It also doesn’t flake on me or leave my hair hard, caky or sticky if I apply with a light-hand. Since it has dimethicone, it does require a shampoo to remove. But, a sulfate-free shampoo with coco betaine, like DevaCare No Poo, will suffice.

So, that’s about it on the hair front! It’s enough, right???

Operation “Get Right”

In health and fitness news, I’ve lost about 3.5 pounds in 2 weeks. I slacked and only did C25K two days last week, Wednesday and Saturday. On Saturday, I did do Lauren Brook’s 12 minute Full Body Blast Kettlebell workout before hopping on the treadmill. On both days, I placed my straightened hair in a bun and wore a Dri-Sweat Fit Cap.

drifitcap

The wide band worked well to absorb the sweat on my face and keep it from reaching my hairline while the mesh cap allowed my head/scalp to breathe, so that it wasn’t sweaty! I was very pleased that I was able to preserve my straight hair without the need to apply heat again. With the dri-sweat fit cap and my terry-lined shower cap keeping my hair dry, all I had to do was just apply a little product at night and tie my hair down with a satin scarf for bedtime and repeat in the morning and I was good to go.

Although I didn’t exercise as many days as I should have last week, I ate well all work week and made certain that I took my supplements every day. I had more starchy carbs over the weekend than I should have, but they were healthy ones and not really junk, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. I even had Chinese on Saturday night and Sunday for lunch. But, I “healthed” it up by having steamed broccoli and shrimp on brown rice with a drizzle of 1 packet of soy sauce and 2 packets of duck.

broccoliandrice#nomnom

On Saturday, I picked up some healthy snacks at my local health market. Got these Back to Nature Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers that are only 130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat (0 sat.), and 2 grams of fiber for 20 crackers (mmm mmm good!)!! I also picked up some Blue Diamond Wheat & Gluten free Nut-Thins with Flax Seeds with the same amount of calories, fat and fiber for 13 crackers. I LOVE getting a satisfying amount of food for a small amount of calories!!!

In regard to the upcoming week, I need to get back on track with C25K. I have to do day 3 of week 2 and all 3 days of week 3 this week. No biggie except that I have two long days in Trenton. That’s the same thing that happened last week and a 2 hour commute each way always drains me of the energy to workout when I get home. But, I need to push through it as 30 minutes isn’t going to kill me. In fact, what I need to do is get on the treadmill instead of the computer in the morning and #JustDoIt!! I also have a holiday lunch on Friday, so I’m going to try to be strong and order a healthy salad (dressing on the side) and/or a lean cut of meat with veggies!

Alright, this post has been SUPER LONG!! Guess that’s what happens when I’m recapping a whole week … and that’s not even all of it ;)! I’m saving something for another post later today!!

Lata Luvs!!
♥♥♥

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So, let’s try this again! What’s up ladies?!? How’s the bunning challenge going for you guys??
What about Christmas shopping? Started? Finished? I haven’t done ANY! I am not a fan. *lol*