Tag Archives: food

Something Sweet- Cheesecake Chocolate Cupcakes

1 Sep

After being at Crumbs earlier this week, I’ve been craving something delicious and sweet. (Or let’s be real. When am I not craving something like that?) So, today I made one of the HungryGirl recipes for “Double-Decker Fudgy Cheescake Cupcakes.”

Yum. These bad boys have chocolate devil’s food cake on the bottom, cheese cake on top of that, and are sprinkled with semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. So good. And, slightly lightened up which makes them even better. Mine might not have looked as pretty as the original recipes pictures, but boy did they taste good…

Are you eating anything extra yummy on this Labor Day weekend? 

My HungryGirl Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake Cupcakes. Delicious!

Crumbs: 99 Cent Iced Coffee but No Cupcakes For Me!

29 Aug

Some of you might be familiar with Crumbs, a delicious bake shop chain. And, I’m sure by now you’re familiar with my love of iced coffee. This summer, Crumbs has been doing 1 dollar iced coffees, any size. They’re delicious.

Today, I’m quite proud because I successfully drank my iced coffee, sitting dangerously close to the Cupcake display case. The options are overwhelming. Every flavor combination you can possibly imagine and then some. People came and went, choosing all sorts of amazing-looking cupcakes. But not me. I stayed strong. Don’t get me wrong, I was somewhat tempted to get a bite of chocolate goodness.

But then I thought about the sugar-crash later. And, I resisted. I was strong.

I’m proud of myself for that.

Cupcake Counter at Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC

Tell me about a time you were tempted but resisted… inspire me! 

Sushi: A Healthy Option?

25 Aug

This afternoon, I enjoyed some delicious sushi from a local Japanese restaurant. Sushi is one of those things that can be healthy, or it can be loaded with unexpected calories you might not have expected. I read that one shrimp tempura roll can have over 500 calories! Here’s a few tips to help you pick healthy and importantly, delicious sushi.

Tuna Roll and Alaska Roll from Matsu Sushi in Astoria

-Ask for Brown Rice: It has more nutrients than the usual white rice found in sushi rolls. Whether you’re getting brown or white rice make sure you’re conscious of how much rice there is total. A roll can add up to quite a bit—it can be deceptive!

-Sashimi’s a good option: You won’t have to worry about the rice at all, and it’s still completely, utterly delicious, I promise.

-Avoid tempura and anything with cream (Spicy Rolls!): Rolls drizzled with mayo or containing cream cheese significantly increase the fat level. And, that tempura might be delicious but it’s still deep-fried, even if we call it by a fancier sounding name.

-Careful with that soy sauce: It is absolutely loaded with sodium. You can ask for lower-sodium soy sauce, but it still has a ton. Use sparingly. Miso is also pretty high in sodium.

-Order a side of steamed veggies or start your meal with edamame: If those rolls aren’t going to fill you up, munch on a side order of steamed broccoli rather than some of the other greasy options that might be on the menu (fried dumplings, I’m looking at you)!

-Don’t be afraid to ask: If you’re not sure if soy sauce or tempura flakes, for example, were used in the preparation of your roll, ask your restaurant.  Also, watch out for sugar based sauces—if you don’t ask, you often wouldn’t have known it was there.

-Split it with a friend: If there’s a roll that you’re absolutely craving and you know it isn’t the best option, try to split it with a friend and order a healthier option to enjoy along with it.

Do you like sushi? What’s your favorite kind?

Sunday Cooking & Looking For A Lunch Tote

19 Aug

Sunday’s my cooking day. I try to make something extra yummy for dinner (aka something that takes a little longer to cook) as well as get my meals planned for the week ahead. This includes a lot of the prep work and as much cooking for that as possible!

But one thing I’ve been struggling with is selecting transportable options. I take the subway to work so it has to be portable and able to survive 45 minutes of possibly being squished between many human beings rushing to work. (They aren’t joking when they call it the rush hour!) And, I’m ashamed to say, I mostly take what I can fit in my purse.

It’s about time I invest in a lunch bag. They always made me think of elementary school but it’s about time that I suck it up for practicality’s sake. The one’s I’ve liked so far cost more than I’d like to spend and ideally, I want one with a long enough strap to throw over my shoulder. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker though.

Does anyone have one that they like and that they’d recommend?

Thermos Raya Lunch Tote: Picture from Amazon.com

And what am I cooking today? Currently, I’ve got a healthier version of Buffalo Chicken Dip in the Crock Pot (from SkinnyTaste, I’ve made it before and it’s a total winner!).  I’m also planning on doing some baking and maybe a couscous dish. The extra Buffalo Chicken Dip will make some great lettuce (or regular) wraps this week!

The Ice-cream Truck is After Me.

8 Aug

I think the ice-cream truck is taunting me. Seriously, last night when I was in the middle of my TurboFire HIIT 20 workout, it parked outside of my apartment for at least ten minutes. At first I was mad, but after it didn’t move for a while, it was all I could do to keep from laughing. Really? The ice-cream truck just happens to be outside during my workout (at 9:30 at night, none the less?).

mm choco taco for breakfast

(Photo credit: roboppy)

I do really love those choco-taco’s…. But, don’t worry. I’m not tempted. I might have been if they came before I was busting my butt. Now? No way am I going to give up all this hard work for a few delicious (and seriously unhealthy) bites. Nuh uh!  And yes, I do think someone who lives in my building (it’s a three family house) works on the ice-cream truck. Now that’s a job I’d never be able to have!

What’s your favorite ice-cream truck treat?

That’s it! Thursday: 8/2 Healthy Eating Can Cost A Little More

2 Aug

I am cheap. As a general rule, I am always looking for the best deal, the lowest price, and to save a few bucks. But, I’ve realized that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, I have to be okay with spending a little more for a healthier option.

So, for this weeks “That’s it! Thursday” I vow to give up my cheap ways. I’m not saying I won’t stay thrifty, because you definitely can still eat healthy on a pretty low-budget (I’ll give you some tips for that below). Instead, I’m going to work on spending the extra $1 for the egg white omelette or the $2 for salad instead of fries. I will buy the healthier bread option from the grocery store instead of the one that’s on sale (can anyone say bleached white bread?). To me this comes down to priorities. Is my health worth that extra couple of dollars? Yes. Yes. Yes. Health > Money. Plus, let’s not even go into the actual monetary cost of living unhealthy– prescriptions, complications, more doctors visits, the list goes on and on. All this to say, I think I can spare the extra bit of cash– so now I will!

Titus and Livia, my kitties, searching for their food among my groceries.

Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget:

  • Plan out your Meals (and snacks!): One of my recent That’s it! Thursday features was about my transition to meal planning. Since then, I’ve noticed a notable drop in my grocery bill. If I know in advance what I’m looking for at the store I don’t end up with frivolous items that catch my eye. I also don’t end up throwing out a bunch of groceries that I never got around to using before they went bad.
  • But, be flexible in your meal planning: I plan my meals after reviewing the weekly circular for my grocery store and plan my meals for the week around what is on sale. Sales can be your friend! Just make sure they’re items you can actually use in your dishes.

More tips below the cut. Continue reading

I’m in Trouble: The Melt Shop Grilled Cheese in NYC

1 Aug

Uh oh. Yesterday, I noticed a new place is opening up across the street from my work. Eagerly, I walked over to check it out. It’s going to be a Grilled Cheese store called “The Melt Shop”. What! I love grilled cheese! Who told them I was trying to be healthy and then placed a delicious, gooey, cheese and carb filled goodness so close?

Their website claims it serves “hand crafted, extra cheesy, super delicious comfort food” and the “best grilled cheese on the planet.” Looking at their menu it certainly looks that way. They have everything from a truffle melt, buttermilk fried chicken grilled cheese, to classic grilled cheese with tomato soup and an arnold palmer. The Melt Shop will also be serving breakfast… yum.

Grilled Cheese with hoisin

Grilled Cheese with hoisin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then, I thought, at least they don’t have milkshakes. Nope. Wrong again. My other arch-nemesis appears on the menu. Flavors include: cookies and cream, coffee crunch, peanut butter & jelly, vanilla maple, orange creamsicle, and my absolute favorite chocolate peanut butter.

Now, my only hope is that this Melt Shop is really bad. Or, somehow doesn’t open. Maybe I can convince myself that it doesn’t exist.

Do you like grilled cheese? What’s your favorite kind? With tomato? ham? classic?

A Healthy Trip to the Movie Theater

23 Jul

Growing up, I knew movie theaters meant big red slushies, popcorn, and maybe some Reeses Pieces. Now, I know better. I still enjoy going to the movies and have picked up some tips over the years that make going to the movies a much healthier experience.

popcorn

popcorn (Photo credit: danmachold)

Before You Go:

  • Walk: I know walking to the theater isn’t an option for everyone. But, here in NYC it’s about a 25 minute walk each way from my apartment. So, by walking to and from the theater there’s already some built-in fitness in the activity. If you’re driving to the theater, many movie theaters are in malls. So, set aside 20-30 minutes before and after your film to walk the mall at a brisk pace.
  • Eat a Meal:  I make sure that I always go to a showing that is after a mealtime. This way, I can make sure I eat a healthy meal before going and then won’t be stuck with just the food court/concession stand options for fuel.
  • Pack a Snack: Depending on your theater, it might be against the rules to bring in your own food and beverages. With that caveat out there, I like to pack a bag of nuts or a homemade trail mix and a bottle of water to combat that “mindless munching” craving I always get.

At the Theater: 

  • Avoid the Mindless Munchies:  Be informed. If you’re going to eat some of that popcorn, make sure you work it into the rest of your plan. As this article on Sparkpeople explains, the average large movie-theater popcorn has 100g of fat and about 1,300 calories. Even if your splitting, a couple handfuls of stuff has to be accounted for. Not to mention all that salt!
  • Bring a pack of gum: If you’re already busy chewing away,  you might not be as tempted to reach for your friends nachos. Preferably, make it something with a strong flavor (very minty, very cinnamon, etc.) so you know whatever you much on after that just won’t taste as good.
  • Keep Hydrated: Sometimes our bodies misinterpret thirst for hunger. Sip a bottle of water throughout the movie. Salty snacks like that homemade trail mix you brought along can make you thirsty.
  • Enjoy the show! Now you know a trip to the movies doesn’t have to throw you off track.

Restaurant Week NYC Riverpark: A Tom Colicchio Restaurant

21 Jul

One of my most intense memories from after my diagnosis was in a grocery store. I remember vividly wandering up and down the aisles mentally clinging to each item that I was convinced I’d never taste again. Brownies. Pretzels. Pancakes. the list went on and on. While I was right in thinking that my eating habits had to change, I was wrong by thinking that all these things had to be eliminated from my life all together. And, I do occasionally indulge. The thing is, instead of having a half dozen bagels or a whole box of cookies, I can have half a whole wheat bagel with natural peanut butter or an agave sweetened cookie.

Last night was one of those nights that I let myself “enjoy” a little more than usual. It’s Restaurant Week in NYC and my boyfriend and I took the opportunity to try out Tom Colicchio‘s restaurant Riverpark.

(Source)

It’s right on the East River with stunning views and usually would have been out of our price range. Instead, for $35 per person we each got an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. All generous portions and absolutely delicious. I started with a grilled calamari salad (baby greens, grapefruit and a vinaigrette), enjoyed a Berkshire pork chop (with grilled peaches, collards, and cippolini onions, pictured above) as my main, and finished with the most delicious caramel ice cream and peanut caramel chocolate tart. I also had a glass of wine and ended with a great cup of coffee to go with dessert. It was an all round amazing meal and overall experience.

And, I don’t regret it at all. I enjoy food. I especially enjoy good food. (Who doesn’t?) I know this was a special occasion and today I’m right back to eating healthy and working out. I’ve learned that I need to treat myself occasionally or else I end up burning myself out and binge eating. I’d rather eat one amazing, high quality meal then a box of oreos. I think the difference is that one is a conscious decision, and the other is mindless eating– which I’m trying to eliminate completely.

How about you– do you ever let yourself indulge? If so, what’s your favorite way?

That’s It! Thursday: 7/19 Meal Planning

19 Jul

That’s it! Thursday is going to be a regular feature here where I highlight and commit to one change I need to make in my life. It’ll  be something I finally say “That’s it!” to and will regularly report back on how I’m doing with my former That’s it! Thursday Features. I think this will push me out of my comfort zone and help me to stay accountable to myself and my goals.

So this week it’s bye bye to take out and hellloooo meal planning!

Greek Salad

Don’t get me wrong, living in NYC the take out options are unbelievable. Nutritious and relatively inexpensive take out and delivery options are totally available. I’m not going to cut them out completely. But! I am going to sit down each weekend and plan out my meals for the week to come. If I want to order a Greek salad with grilled chicken from the great restaurant down the corner on a Tuesday night, that’s totally fine. But, there’s not going to be any spur of the moment ordering here.

Here begins my meal planning journey. Delicious. Cheaper. Slightly more effort, for sure, but absolutely worth it.

Do you plan your meals? Any tips or tricks?