Monday, January 27, 2014

From the STELebrity Fit Club kitchen

It's Monday, and the start of a new week. How'd you do over the weekend?

They say it takes 22 days to form a habit, and since I've been at this thing for REAL since January 3, I'm well past that 22-day mark. It hasn't been all that hard, so far, and I'm especially proud of myself for skinnying up my dad's at-home birthday celebration (for myself) this weekend.

On Saturday, I helped make what my family calls "tapas," which just means we don't have interest in making an actual meal, and instead, feast on little appetizers, like crudités, shrimp, and other such things.

Typically, we always have smoked salmon on pumpernickel bread with a little cream cheese. I had to come up with a way to let myself have some smoked salmon without opening the carb floodgates. What did I do?

Slice cucumber. Slice smoked salmon. Put a little slice of smoked salmon on a slice of cucumber. Repeat.
From Pinterest. Had I been at my own apartment, I would have added capers, too!

It was actually really, really good. And let's face it: that bread just acts as a vehicle for the smoked salmon, so there was no harm in me low-carbing our staple. I made a few the regular way for the parents to enjoy.

For dessert, my mom thawed a few Nothing Bundt Cakes bundtlets that she had bought a month or two ago, and had immediately thrown into the freezer. Abstaining from this took some major, major willpower on my part, but I came prepared.

After teaching RPM Saturday morning, I went home and browsed Pinterest for recipes for a few hours to kill time before my highlight appointment. Enter, the low sugar, dairy-free "Nutella" recipe I found.
Guilt-Free "Nutella" (Low on the glycemic index, no dairy)

All I had at home was the Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (ingredients: COCOA. That's it. 1 tbsp. = 10 calories. GREAT staple), so I made a list of the other ingredients I needed that I'd later buy with mom at Whole Foods: hazelnuts, light (in color) agave nectar, and coconut sugar (it's lower on the glycemic index, but same amount of calories as regular sugar).

Here's how you do it, or how I made it:
1 cup hazelnuts (When I did late-night Sunday grocery shopping at Central Market last night, they had Filberts, which is a cousin of the hazelnut, and will work just fine). Put these in a food processor, or if you don't have one, in the bottom of a blender.
Add 1/2 cup light agave nectar.
Add 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder (unsweetened).
Add 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or granulated, or brown).


Those hazelnuts are tough nuts to crack (pun), and I'd assume that this would have come out a whole lot smoother, had I had a food processor. I'm fine with the end product coming out a little on the chunky side.

It's INCREDIBLE, and best served with strawberries, banana, or other fresh fruit. Or, as a topping for Yonanas.

With the measurements I listed above, I get that 2 tablespoons = 100 calories, and it's low on the glycemic index scale (meaning, it won't spike your blood sugar), and free of bad things.

It reminds me a little bit of eating those Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Still, even though it's not that evil Siren Nutella, be careful with the portion. I wrapped up my ramekin of "Nutella" and when it's been in the fridge, I recommend heating the container for about 30 seconds in the microwave before getting your spoonful.

Life changed.

Also, I finally put my Spiralizer to the test last night with zucchini.

Easiest and best thing EVER. Easy to use. Easy to clean. Makes the best "zoodles" (zucchini "noodles") ever.
c/o Pinterest. IT IS THIS EASY.

Speaking of, I'm about to heat up my Tupperware full of zoodles/spaghetti squash/"ratatouille" for lunch.

It's the second best $40 I've spent (first best was on the Yonanas maker). Thank you, Amazon.

PS: As a companion to the Spiralizer, I also bought the Against All Grain cookbook, and read it yesterday a little bit, before accidentally taking a 3-4 hour nap.

Lastly, last night, I decided to finally use my bag of frozen cauliflower, and concocted what I call a cross between mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. I know that sounds weird, but go with me:
Stelebrity Fit Club-approved Cauliflower SLAM:
-Spray a pan/skillet with Coconut Oil Spray.
-Add frozen cauliflower (my bag has 4 servings of 20 calories each. Do that awesome math.)
-Add a little half and half to coat the bottom of the pan.
-Stir occasionally, over medium heat, making sure you don't scald the pan or burn your cauliflower.

MY. GOD. It was incredible.
Cauliflower SLAM.

Cauliflower in its natural state is pretty boring and unappealing. I'm sorry, but I just changed the game. I haven't personally done the "Cauliflower Mash" thing yet since I don't have a food processor, but that's likely next on my list.

It just takes little tweaks, here and there, to keep the intake (I'm not saying "diet," because most people start thinking of time stamps and numbers, and this is a long-term journey) interesting, and to stay on your newly forged path to health, wellness, and looser pants.

Try it. Love it. Live it.

And if you're getting stuck, please, please, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via any means (in person, email, Facebook, MyFitnessPal messages, etc.)

We're in this together. Turn it up.

XO, Stel

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