Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thirsty Thursday: The Essential Morning Cocktail

Did the word “cocktail” get your attention?  You DRUNK!  Let’s be friends.

But seriously, this is something I drink nearly every single morning without fail.  Chug it on an empty stomach as soon as you wake up.  Many of us underestimate how dehydrated we are in the morning, so this will help get your juices flowing.  The lemon juice and the apple cider vinegar will help alkalize your body, and in turn, regulate digestion, metabolism, and appetite.  Raw apple cider vinegar helps your body maintain its balance of good bacteria.  The cayenne, if you’re brave enough to try it, will boost your body’s calorie-burning abilities.  And as mentioned previously here, fresh squeezed lemon helps your morning face look a little less like THIS:

WILL SMITH ALLERGIES

So let’s get this mixer a-mixin’!

The Essential Morning Cocktail

Serves One

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. clean room temperature water
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • EXTRA CREDIT: 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • OPTIONAL: a smidge of natural sweetener like 100% pure maple syrup or stevia

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients into a large glass
  2. Drink on an empty stomach upon waking

Now, don’t go expecting this cocktail to taste awesome, because it doesn’t.  That’s not the point.  However, I have experienced that over time, the taste does become more tolerable.  Only add the sweetener if you feel like you need to.  Eventually, you’ll be able to live without it.

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Recipe: One Minute Cake in a Mug

How many times have you been sitting at home and been like… “Man.  How long is it going to take for someone to come up with a cake delivery service?”.  For me, it’s at least once every week.  Sometimes I’ll sub “cake” for “ice cream”… or maybe I’ll want both… but you get the idea.  Every now and then, you just want a little dessert without the hassle of putting on pants and leaving the house.  And I’m sure as shit not going to make an entire cake to keep at home, because I WILL eat the whole thing.  I just know myself, and that kind irresponsibility will only end in an elastic waistband.  Not worth it.

Anyhow, this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate Covered Katie, solves BOTH problems.  You get a quick dessert AND a single serving!  No anxiety about over-eating.  And, don’t get me wrong, you’re still eating cake… but, the ingredients in this recipe are healthier than your typical bakery treat.  Plus, it’s vegan (without the chocolate chips).  Enjoy it without guilt.  I suggest washing it down with an ice cold glass of cold almond milk.  Mmmmmm.

One Minute Cake in a Mug

Serves One

Calories: 285

CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cocoa/cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat, but white works as does spelt of gluten-free)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute (xylitol, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 1 stevia packet (equal to 2-4 drops of liquid stevia, or 1 extra tbsp. of sugar choice above)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients first.  Mix very well.
  2. Add wet ingredients, then transfer to a small greased container, i.e. ramekin or coffee mug.
  3. Nuke on high for 45-60 seconds.
  4. Let cool for a minute or two.  Enjoy straight out of the mug, or in a bowl with your choice of toppings.  Best when warm!

If you’re looking for a healthier frosting recipe to go with this cake, try Katie’s Reese’s Pieces Fudge Frosting.  It’s includes healthier ingredients, too… and it looks ahhhhmazing!

Music Monday: Give It 2 Me, Mr. Thicke

I knew Robin Thicke existed before Blurred Lines.  I just never paid attention.  Shame on me!

ROBIN THICKE

His new-ish song “Give It 2 U” is great, but the music video makes it even better.  Seriously, it’s hilarious.

Highlights:

  • The model gyrating in a cotton candy costume @ :18
  • That dancing Julian kid @ 2:07
  • ASS FLOAT
  • Shameless product placement for the Beats Pill, Remi Martin, and Mini Cooper
  • The end credits

And shhhh.  We won’t even talk about what happened on last night’s VMAs.  Lord jesus, Hannah Montana!

Recipe: Vegan Whole Wheat Zucchini Pancakes

What do you do what your mom gives you a zucchini as big as your arm?  You start a-dreamin’, and you start a-droolin’.ZUCCHINI PANCAKES 2

I’m a big fan of zucchini anything.  It’s such a versatile veggie.  It can be used in savory dishes, in dessert recipes and it’s equally as good on its own with a little salt.  Zucchini bread is one of my favorites, then I thought… why couldn’t you put zucchini in pancakes?  Turns out, you can!  And this recipe is one you can truly feel good about eating.  I left out all the added sugars and fats, it’s whole grain, AND… it’s vegan!  The zucchini helps keep each pancake super moist… so moist, in fact, that I recommend cooking each one just a tad longer than you would a regular pancake.  Make a big batch on the weekend and freeze for later!

Vegan Whole Wheat Zucchini Pancakes

Makes 10 Pancakes

About 70 Calories EachZUCCHINI PANCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. fresh zucchini, grated with peel
  • 1 and 1/4 c. of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed meal + 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 and 1/4 c. of non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. stevia (1.5 packets)

Directions:

  1. Start by mixing the flax meal and water together in a bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  This will serve as your plant-based egg substitute.  If you don’t have flax meal, you can use one egg instead.
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Spray skillet or griddle with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high.
  4. Spoon batter into skillet, about 1/4 c. at a time.  When pancakes start bubbling, flip!  Cook entire batch to desired done-ness.  I tend to like my pancakes a little “wetter” in the middle.  You may find that, because of the moisture in the zucchini, these pancakes need several extra minutes a piece to cook all the way through.
  5. Serve pancakes stacked high and a little bit of grated zucchini on top.  If you’re not so worried about added sugar, top your plate with a drizzle of 100% maple syrup.  And (vegans, earmuffs!), cream cheese is REALLY good on these.  Spread a little in between each layer just like you would butter.

What’s your favorite way to use your summer zucchini?  Let me know by commenting in the section below or e-mailing me at thehungrytortoise@gmail.com.

8 Secrets To Surviving Your Vacation

Oh, hey there, readers!  I’m baaaack!  Extra points for you if you noticed my absence.  And if you didn’t, I still love you because guess what.  You’ve made the time to read this post.

I hope you’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a little time away.  I just got back from a raucous trip to Vegas with about 15 of my best friends, and I have to admit… although I was really, really excited for the vacation, it also made me a little nervous, because I was in a situation I assume is not too rare:  I needed to go to Vegas.  I needed to go HAM.  But I also needed to look hot for a wedding and reunion of sorts just 2 weeks later.  My vegetarian ass ended up eating at least 4 different animals over the course of the trip.  I drank like Lindsay Lohan for 4 straight days and 4 straight nights.  I gambled with chain smokers.  But with a little forethought and some careful packing, I managed to come out looking and feeling great.  Not a single hangover.  Not a single regret.  Not a single pound gained.  In fact, one of my co-workers looked at me on my first day back and said, “You look like you never left!”.  Here’s how I pulled it off.

8 Secrets To Surviving Your Vacation

  1. Pack Healthy TSA-Approved Snacks:  Sbarro.  Cinnabon.  Burger King.  These usually represent your meal choices at the airport.  And even if you manage to find something healthy, the prices are ridiculous.  Make yourself some raw trail mix for the flight, and carry along a few pieces of fruit.  This way, the only thing you’ll need to purchase at the gate is water, and you’ll always have something nutritious on hand.
  2. Walk When You Can.  Work Out If You Want:  Vacation is a time to relax, so you shouldn’t feel guilty about letting your regular workout routine slide, at least for a few days.  But consider walking to dinner instead of taking a cab.  Or maybe do a quick tabata circuit in your hotel room with a friend.  Snorkel.  Cycle.  Take a jog to explore your new surroundings.  Any movement counts and will help chip away at the extra calories you may be taking in.
  3. Take Your Vitamins:  Dry air and close quarters increase the likelihood of you getting sick.  I recommend taking a multivitamin and an extra vitamin C supplement just in case.  A probiotic could help with digestion, especially if you plan on eating things you normally wouldn’t.
  4. Get Your Greens:  If you’re doing your vacationing right, you’re allowing yourself to eat whatever the eff you want.  You’ve earned it, right?  But if you’re used to eating clean, the sudden change in diet could shock your system.  We’re talking headaches, bloating, constipation.  Yuck!  Avoid the nasty side-effects of decadent foods by keeping your body as alkaline as possible.  Greens will help.  And if you don’t have access to fresh produce, use my little shortcut – green food suppliments like chorella or spirulina.  They’re available in powders and easy-to-swallow tablets.VEGAS SPIRULINA
  5. Lemon Water:  I was the girl who packed an entire bag of fresh lemons in my suitcase.  Why?  Because fresh lemon juice fixes EVERYTHING.  One glass of lemon water first thing in the morning de-puffs a tired face, helps with digestion, and helps alkalize the body.  Extra points for adding a splash of raw apple cider vinegar.VEGAS LEMONS
  6. Cha-cha-cha-CHIA:  I also packed a mason jar full of chia seeds in my carry-on.  The chia seed is a unique superfood that keeps the body in balance.  Each little seed carries water along with it to keep you hydrated.  The little sponges also pull toxins from the digestive tract so they’re eliminated when you… you know… “go”.  And you’ll be “going” regularly.  Chia seeds contain substantial amounts of necessary fiber.  Mix one tablespoon in with your lemon water in the morning.VEGAS CHIA SEEDS
  7. Stay Hydrated With Coconut Water:  Excessive alcohol consumption will dry you out faster than anything.  The easiest way to not feel like a 10 pound turd after a night of partying is to drink as much non-alcoholic liquid as you can before going to bed and the morning after.  My #1 recommendation is coconut water.  It has more electrolytes than plain water, and most brands are better for you than sports drinks because they’re all-natural.VITA COCO
  8. Choose Your Booze Wisely:  Sometimes we binge drink.  We’re adults.  As long as you’re not driving, it’s okay.  But when you’re planning on going hard, consider the consequences.  Having one or two?  Go ahead and indulge in your favorite margarita or mudslide.  Having 15?  Stick to drinks lower in calories, because the extras add up FAST.  Take my favorite for example, the vodka soda with fresh-squeezed lemon.  One of those will run you only about 70 calories.  If you have 7, that’s 490 calories.  But if you decide to have 7 light beers instead, your calorie consumption jumps to 700.  Big difference, right?

Do you have any secrets for surviving a particularly decadent event?  Let me know by commenting in the section below or emailing me at thehungrytortoise@gmail.com.  Together, we will conquer the dreaded hangover!

Happy trails, and I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

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