Dangerous Discovery – Microwave Chocolate Cake!

6 Mar

I try to stick with healthy recipes on my blog, so I almost feel a little bad about posting this. It’s been such a dangerous discovery for me! … you can make chocolate-cake-for-one in the microwave?!?!? Yes, you most definitely can and it’s way too easy, and way too addicting! Scary.

I haven’t been keeping sweets in the house lately because I have no will-power around the almighty chocolate. For example, I bought a box of Thin Mints from the adorable little girl scouts on my way out of the grocery a few days ago that wound up lasting about two hours between my husband and I munching on them like popcorn. But, I mean, I had cash on me, which I never have, so it seemed like buying that box of Thin Mints was meant to be. Plus, the girl scouts were practically begging me, “please miss, we only have these few boxes left – we have to sit out here in the cold until we sell these boxes! You’re our last hope!”

Sad Girl Scout

Alright, alright… that’s not really how it went down. More like, “Hi Miss, would you like to buy some girl scout cookies? … We’re down to our last few boxes!?

I saw ONE box of Thin Mints left, and my brain said…

mine, mine, mine

… and that’s how that happened. But anyway, back to the chocolate cake. Like I said, I haven’t been keeping desserts in the house lately, but I was having a terrible chocolate craving. I Googled, “chocolate cake in a mug” because I’d remembered seeing it on Pinterest awhile back. Sure enough, this lovely recipe came up!

Since I have a bad habit of enjoying the batter much more than the finished product, I made my recipe vegan-style to avoid eating the raw egg. Plus, it’s easily converted into a vegan recipe without much adjusting, and in those cases, I go ahead and make the recipe vegan.

Here’s the original recipe with my changes:

Ingredients:

Servings: 1

4 TB — flour
4 TB — sugar
2 tsp — cocoa powder
1/8 tsp — (a “pinch) of baking powder
1/8 tsp —  (a “pinch”) of salt
1 egg, beaten (I used Ener-G egg replacer **see note below)
3 TB — milk (I used vanilla Almond Milk)
3 TB — vegetable oil
2 -3 drops vanilla (optional) (I skipped this step)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:
    • Flour
    • Sugar
    • Cocoa
    • Pinch of baking soda & salt
  2. Add egg and mix into dry mixture
  3. Add oil and milk and mix well
  4. Grease a mug or bowl and add in cake mixture
  5. Place in microwave on High for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes (I like mine slightly undercooked & moist, rather than dryer and more “air-y”, so I cooked mine for about 1 min and 45 seconds using a shallow bowl to cook in)

** Side note: Can make this vegan by using non-dairy milk (same measurements) as well as a replacement for the egg. I used Ener-G egg replacer, this can be bought at any grocery store. I bought mine at Kroger in the Nature’s Market section. Other common egg replacements I use in baking are: applesauce, bananas, ground flax + water mix. When cooking, I often replace eggs with tofu. Check out this blog for other good egg replacement options!

Microwave Chocolate Cake in a Mug. From Zuri at Food.com

Microwave Chocolate Cake in a Mug. From Zuri at Food.com

Nutritional Information (for my Vegan Version) –> Calories: 716, Fat: 45g, Carbs: 85g, Protein: 5g

Now don’t say I didn’t warn you! This is definitely not healthy! But it is 100% delicious!

Follow up blog, maybe? With instructions on how to make a healthier version of this? … Challenge Accepted! Stay tuned. Or if you have any suggestions on ingredient swaps to make this healthier, stick ‘em in the comment section! I’d love to hear some ideas!

I love Productive Saturdays!!

24 Feb

LiveFit Day 17 & 18

First thing this morning, I went to Zumba class with my mom! I stayed at the gym after class and finished Day 17 and Day 18 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program.

day 17 18

I don’t stick 100% with Jamie’s program. I follow the schedule exact, but sometimes for the sake of getting out of the gym quicker or if someones using a machine I need, I’ll just switch up the exercises a bit, while still working the muscle group she suggests. Today I combined Day 17 & 18 so I could stay on track to start Week 4 of Phase 1 on Monday. I haven’t weighed myself for about three weeks now and I can definitely see a difference in my body, especially my upper body, but I’m not sure I’ve lost any weight. Guess we’ll see on March 4th when I weigh-in!

Food!

I had a productive day in the kitchen today! I made a few things that’ll last me at least a few days, or even through the week. I hard-boiled some eggs to snack on the whites between meals and also I eat them in the mornings alongside my smoothies.

I baked/roasted sweet potato with cinnamon and sugar on top! Yum!

sweet potato

I made some homemade salsa (Tomato, Red Onion, Cilantro, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Lime Juice, Onion salt) that turned out DEE-lish!

salsa

 

I also made this recipe (below) for the second time because I can’t get enough of this Mushroom Soup! It turned out great the first time, and even better this second time now that I added some spinach and tweaked the texture slightly!

 

Vegan Spinach Mushroom Soup

Here’s the recipe, with my changes/comments in red:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use 1lb mushrooms)
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (I use 1/2 c. pre-chopped frozen onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup vegan non-dairy sour cream substitute (Tofutti brand)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ~2c. of chopped, fresh Spinach
  • 1/8c. dried Thyme

mushroom ingredients

Preparation:

In a large soup or stock pot, sautee the mushrooms, onion and garlic in vegan margarine and for 5 minutes, until onions are soft.
Reduce heat to medium low and add the vegetable broth. Cover and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
mushroom saute
I prefer smaller chunks of mushroom vs. the whole pieces as the recipe suggests. It makes the texture a lot thicker and covers up the “soy” taste of the vegan sour cream and soy milk a bit better. So, after the mushrooms and onions have simmered for 30 minutes, I scooped out the chunks of mushroom and ran it through my food processor
blended mushrooms

Once blended, add the flour, non-dairy sour cream and soy milk; then stir.

Allow mixture to simmer another 15 minutes, or until soup has thickened. Add in the chopped spinach and stir.

Season generously with salt and pepper before serving (I ended up using roughly 1/8 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt).

Final mushroom soup

 

 

 

 

 

LiveFit Update & Vegan Cheese Cookbook

14 Feb

LiveFit Update – Day 8!

Still sticking with the Jamie Eason’s 12-Week LiveFit program. So far so good. One thing I’ve noticed is how much better of a workout I’m getting by doing 4 days of muscle groups broken up, as opposed to separate sessions of full-body strength training! Before, when strength training, I  just wanted to get it out of the way. I’d find a few moves that could incorporate a couple muscle groups at a time, do a few sets, be done with it, and on to cardio. Now that I’m focusing on two muscle groups a day and working them out until fatigue I can already tell how much it’s improving my strength!

Yesterday was Day 8 – Tricep and Chest – I was still a little sore in my chest from LAST WEEK’s workout! Crazy! I did get through most of the workout but had to skip the last set of chest fly and last exercise, Tricep kickbacks because my form was so bad at that point from my arms being tired.

Vegan Cheese Cookbook

I bought the book, The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook for my hubby as a surprise Valentine’s Day gift.

We don’t normally exchange V-Day presents, but I saw this and thought he’d really like it. Before he turned Vegan about 2 months ago, his number #1 love of his life was …. CHEESE!!!!!!!! This kid had cheese in the morning with his eggs, cheese at lunch with his Chipotle, cheese at Dinner on his pizza, then a little cheese in between by sticking his hands in the bag of shredded cheese and shoveling piles in his mouth. So, when I say he loved cheese, it is NO JOKE!

This book has tons of recipes that use variations of different things (ie., tofu, cashews, almonds, nutritional yeast, etc., or combination of ingredients) to make a “cheesy” taste in various popular dishes. Perfect for an ex-cheese lover!

Uncheese Cookbook

Uncheese Contents

These are a few we want to try first!

Cheese Spread / Dip

crock cheese

Faux Feta Cheese

feta uncheese

I’m hoping they turn out well! Anyone tried anything from this book before they’d recommend? I read the online reviews and people seemed to like the ones I posted above, plus the “Nacho Cheese”. I’m excited to try it out!

WoW You Guys . . .

9 Feb

Wow …. it has been almost a week since I blogged last!

School is really picking up and between the group projects, homework, me attempting to understand Physics, quizzes, tests, and papers I have definitely been busy AND slacking on this blogging stuff!

However, I did want to make sure to write really quickly today because I did DAY ONE of my Jamie Eason’s 12-week LiveFit plan! I got a big slap-in-the-face of reality when attempting to do the tricep exercises. I really have almost NO arm strength, it’s pretty pathetic.

Day One – Chest & Triceps

The plan in Phase 1 (week 1 – week 4) is to lift 65% of your max and do 3 sets of 12 reps of each exercise. Each total workout, like the one from today, does roughly three exercises per muscle group. So, today was 3 chest targeting exercises plus 3 tricep targeting exercises. I got through almost everything, but it was ROUGH (couldn’t get all the way to 12 reps on the pushups and dips).

I did an hour of Zumba afterwards as well.

Between the strength training and Zumba, my back, shoulders, tri’s and chest are SHOT! I am so sore today, but hopefully that just means I worked hard!

I’m going to eventually think of a better way to keep track of this stuff so I can visually chart and see my progress, but just for yesterday I kept everything in notepad on my iPhone:

10 lbs. on dumbbell chest exercises: chest fly and bench press

10 lbs. on dumbbell chest exercises: chest fly and bench press

Off to the Gym to work on DAY 2 – Biceps & Back (awwwwlawdy, this is gonna hurt!).

GymPact & DIY Workout Armband for CellPhone

2 Feb

GymPact, New Feature!

I signed up for the phone app, GymPact, a few weeks ago. For those of you unfamiliar, check it out, it’s a really neat tool that helps keep you motivated to workout!

My pact is that I must get to the gym at least 3x/week or else I pay $5.00 to GymPact for each gym session I miss. Since getting the app three weeks ago, I’ve made my pact and then some – Until this week . . . I got pretty sick, so I skipped working out Monday through Wednesday.

Once Thursday evening came around, I started feeling better and realized I still needed to get in my three workouts before the week was over! It was so late that I didn’t feel like going to the gym, so I thought I’d try GymPact’s new workout-at-home feature.

This new feature uses the accelerometer in your phone to track movement. As long as you move around for at least 30 minutes your workout counts toward your pact for the week.

Now, I just needed to strap on my phone, and get moving! Only problem was, I had no armband to keep my phone on me while I worked out . . .

DIY Armband for Cell Phone

I ended up searching online and found a REALLY easy solution. So easy that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself!

DIY Armband Out Of an Old Sock!

I watched this video and got started!

(Credit: Photo by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)

(Credit: Photo by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)

Step 1: Get A Sock & Pair Of Scissors

Sock must be big enough to fit around your upper arm

I used an old soccer sock.

Sock must be big enough to fit on your arm

Step 2: Cut Sock Above the “foot” Part

Cut Sock

Full Sock minus “foot” Sock = Tube Sock!

Tube Sock

Step 4: Pull Tube Sock Up Your Arm and Fold Cell Phone Inside!

Sock Arm Band

The arm band worked really well! My phone stayed in place the entire time while I jumped rope, did lunges, some sit-ups and a few other miscellaneous things to keep myself moving around!

The at-home GymPact feature worked great as well! I’ll do a follow-up blog with a little more detail and how to make sure you get credit for your full 30 minutes of working out, but for now I’ll just say –> I definitely recommend it if you need a little “push” of motivation to workout at home or get to the gym!

Workout Cal

Are you Living Healthy? (Survey!)

24 Jan

Totally stealing this post idea from KRISTY’S HEALTH REVOLUTION since I don’t have too many exciting things to talk about today.
I realize these survey posts are way more fun for me to fill out than for you to read, so I’ll keep them short to minimize your torture.

 

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Starbucks Soy Latte and a pathetic little clementine.

I need to get up earlier and pack on school days! Starving until lunch is not fun.
Pathetic Clementine

2. How much water do you drink each day?

8 glasses?

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Spinning AND my newest discovery Trampoline Workouts!

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I usually come up around 1300-1600 a day and that seems to work well for me. I can stick between that range and never feel hungry or deprived and still get in plenty of good carbs, proteins, and fats. I keep track of my weekly calorie average on my Google Workout Calendar.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Avocados, Baby Carrots & Hummus, Apple & Peanut Butter, Handful of Pistachios, Clementines

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

I feel more satisfied throughout the day when lunch is my biggest meal. So, I usually go for leftovers from dinner the night before, or anything that gives me lots of protein to stay full for a bit. Today, I had a big Seitan Veggie Stir Fry (seitan, carrots, peas, corn, broccoli, brown rice, Stir Fry Sauce. YUM!).

450 calories, 5g fat, 58 carbohydrate, 39g protein

450 calories, 5g fat, 58 carbohydrate, 39g protein

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

Abs! I immediately feel thinner and “tighter” around my mid-section right after an ab workout, love that feeling!

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

LEGS! The worst! I want to avoid it at all costs!

This guy knows what I mean . . .

Every Day is Upper Body

and … just to show I’m not alone, here a few good leg day memes for your enjoyment…

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 10.09.23 PM

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 10.07.13 PM

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 5.42.43 PM

image

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Hi, My name is Casey and I’m addicted to sugar and white bread! Period.

10. Do you take vitamins/supplements?

B-12 sublingual, Vit-D pill, Biotin pill occasionally and Omega-3 occasionally + Plant-based protein powder

11. How often do you eat out?

Not much anymore! I’ve cut out about 95% of my dairy consumption since the hubby turned 100% vegan last month. On the positive side, I’ve been making WAY more food from scratch since eating less dairy.

12. Do you eat fast food?

To add to the previous question –> there aren’t too many vegan-friendly fast food options. While I don’t call myself a “vegan” because I do have dairy here and there, I do steer clear of it when I can because I noticed I feel better when eating this way! As far as “fast food”, maybe the occasional run to Chipotle or Noodles ‘n Company. It’s so expensive though! So, I usually talk myself out of it and eat at home :)

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

Biggest one is my amazing husband, Matt! He’s been so supportive about me going back to school and on my weight loss journey!

Matt & Casey
One of my other big supporters is my mom – she always has great advice and is a great healthy role model for me

(and she supports and reads my blog. HI MOM!).

Mom

14. Do you have a gym membership?

yerp.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

Plenty!

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

No cheat days really. I’m at the point where I’m trying to make the best choices I can every single day, and if I have a “slip up” moment, then I just enjoy whatever unhealthy thing I ate and get right back to it the next meal with something good for me!

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Wine …

18. Do you have a workout buddy.

Yes, my sister-in-law! We hit the gym together so we can girl chat while we’re doing torturous things like the Stair Stepper and Arc Trainer.

My other work out buds are my sister and my Dad! We play racquetball together when our schedules work out.

And last but not least, my workout buddy and friend, Sara, who I met while volunteering as a coach for the Girls On The Run program. She is the one that braved the enormous trampolines with me!

19. What is the best thing about your life that has changed since you began a healthy lifestyle?

More energy! No groggy, mid-day tiredness!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

Went to a 50 minute Spinning class tonight!

 

How about you? …. Want to share your cravings? Healthy Snacks? Have a great workout buddy or prefer to workout alone? Have you done something healthy today that put you one step closer to your weight loss goal? Comment, I’d love to hear! Or copy & paste the questions for your own blog and link to me so I can check them out!

Super Short Post…

22 Jan

This Will Be Short Because I’ve Got Some Really Important Things To Do…

… like watching the Bachelor episode I missed earlier. Of course, it’s extremely important that I watch it tonight before bed as to not catch any spoilers on my Facebook Newsfeed tomorrow that might ruin it! … What a stressful life ;)

The last few days I’ve had a terrible sweet tooth and have been wanting nothing but carbs and sugar, sugar, SUGAR! Trying to keep that in check has been hard.

I made some chocolate chip and also peanut butter vegan cookies for my husband and I think I’ve had at least one cookie every day since Thursday! I’m not knocking myself too much for one cookie a day. In the big picture, that really isn’t all that bad. At the same time, I’m trying to meet a weight-loss goal and cookies aren’t a great choice to get me there! But, anyhow, here’s my summary for today:

  • Breakfast: Apple, mixed nuts, 1/2 Avocado
  • Light Lunch: Carrots & Hummus
  • Post-Workout Drink: Plant Protein Powder + Almond Milk & PB2
  • Dinner: Soy Ginger Marinated Tofu + broiled Japanese Yams (& cookie)
Tofu + Japanese Yam

Marinated Tofu + Japanese Yams (Spiral Cut & broiled)

Don’t Forget to Check Out My Progress on my Workout Cal!

Bachelor Time! Have a good night everyone!

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