Posted by: jjiral | September 7, 2014

Baked Egg in Avocado

oh my – this sounds so good!

VegN' Out

Hi Guys!

This week I am in a 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge and I have been having so much fun researching and trying new clean recipes. Luckily this is the week before classes start and I have time to cook breakfast and dinner, which has been helpful. However, I realize in order to maintain clean eating after this challenge and during the school year, I need to do better meal planning and prepping ahead of time. But for now, I am embracing the last bit of free time and fun before my schedule gets too busy!

I have the most trouble preparing a healthy and clean breakfast when my mornings are crunched for time. But this week I discovered a new clean and delicious breakfast that was pretty easy and quick to prepare. 


  • Avocado
  • 2 Eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F
  2. Half…

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Posted by: jjiral | September 7, 2014

Eggplant pizza recipe – so good!

Here’s a way to enjoy that totally amazing food – the pizza – without all the starch. It’s cheesy, tasty and indulgent – yet fits with a low carb diet perfectly. Enjoy your weight management journey with taste.

Eat Run Snooze Repeat

Hey ya’ll!

This week has been one of adjustment. Last week I had started to get pain under my right kneecap, turns out, I have runner’s knee (boo). Although it wasn’t completely inevitable, it’s upwards of 70% of runners that actually experience this at some point in their running careers, and all that I can do for myself right now is to take the time needed to fully recover and get back at it.
Similar to when tapering before a marathon or long race, lessening mileage can actually be psychologically very difficult to delve through. This is what’s kind of been happening with me. It is seriously tough to transition from running EVERYDAY for a few miles and at least one very long distance run a week to what seems like barely any running at all. I’ve taken this time to definitely up my cross-training however. I’ve been using the…

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Posted by: jjiral | September 7, 2014

Orange dressing on Italian greens salad

a wonderfully tasty salad to pair with lemon, dill chicken or perhaps a halibut fillet.

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Italian Salad


Fresh leafy greens, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions tossed with homemade orange dressing. I used Italian greens here if any of these are not available handy feel free to use any greens of your choice and dressing can also be personalised but orange dressing added the orange flavour to the salad so if you are a orange lover this salad will be a great serving.

Serves: 2-3
Preparation time: 15 minutes

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Posted by: jjiral | September 2, 2014

Low Carb Diet the Winner!

Yes that’s right.  New study results released showing that a low carb diet (nly 30% carbs) resulted in a greater fat loss and lower bad cholesterol readings that those participants eating a low fat diet.  And that’s what I’ve been telling you – and what I’ve learned about my own  personal weight loss journey.  (nice to know I’m normal)  And nice to know that food with lots of flavor (avocados, olives, eggs, bacon and even cheese) really can be part of a healthy diet.  You still have to eat lots of vegetables (you need that fiber) and heart healthy fish (lean proteins) and watch the sugar intake.  But limiting the carbs results in quick and steady weight loss, a flatter tummy, reduced fluid retention (so it’s great for your heart) and lower bad cholesterol. 

So, get started revamping your diet today!

Posted by: jjiral | September 2, 2014

High Essential Fat Salad Recipe

New study results released – if you want to loose weight and get healthy eat a low carb diet! So you can eat tasty diet enjoying avocados, olives, bacon and eggs and still lose weight. You just have to limit carbs and consequently sugars. It’s not necessarily easy but it’s totally worth it.

Defense Nutrition Blog

High Essential Fat Salad

Organic mixed herbs or greens
1/4 organic avocado, sliced
1 artichoke heart (cut up)
5 pitted kalamata olives
5 organic grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon organic flax or hemp seeds, ground
1 tablespoon olive or flax seed oil
1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

1. Using above ingredients, prepare each salad serving on its own plate.
2. Place mixed herbs or greens on plate. Next, place artichoke and avocado on top of greens.
3. Place 5 kalamata olives and 5 tomatoes on top for presentation.
4. Sprinkle a teaspoon of flax or hemp seed on top and then add oil and vinegar.
5. Keep in mind that since this salad is high in good fat, it is quite filling. You may want make two portions of it.

Recipe Source:

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Posted by: jjiral | July 31, 2014

Leftovers – The Mother of Recipe Invention

Last Friday night, we had a party at our house to reduce our ever increasing wine supply (my husband knows I love good wine, so he loves to buy wine for me).  When we have these parties (which I call Wine Reduction Parties), I ask our ‘wine drinking volunteers’ to bring snacks.  The end result of these parties is usually lots of leftovers.

My husband loves this because he gets all those snacks (chips and nuts, etc) that I usually don’t buy.  I unfortunately experience lots of temptation while diligently trying to follow my weight loss goals.  (I only had 1 glass of wine at the party….woohoo)

So, how to sidestep all that temptation?  First, get all those chips and that chocolate out of sight!  That helps.  Next, determine if you can send some food to your husband’s office – or if you’re lucky (and some friends are celebrating an anniversary) create a lovely snack tray for their hotel room – which also gets more of those temptations out of the house.  Hopefully, you are left with the more healthy options by this point.

Now, I have to come up with some creative ways to use the leftovers.  And my favorite is to use the salsa (picante sauce) as a sauce for chicken.  I tossed the leftover veggies (from the antipasto tray) into my crock pot, then added some chicken breasts, topping with a can of condensed tomato soup.  No added seasoning was needed.  And the result was a quick and easy – delicious one pot chicken dinner.  And even better, Brad has 2 healthy lunches as well.

So, If you want to try something like this yourself, slice an onion, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, olives, broccoli, cauliflower – and toss into crock pot.  (you can add some pepperoni or sliced sausage for extra flavor, but not necessary).  Then add about 1-2 cups of salsa (or picante sauce) and top with 3-4 chicken breasts.  If desired, pour 1 can of condensed tomato soup for a creamier sauce.  Turn the crock pot to high for 1 – 2 hours, then lower temp until done – about 2-3 more hours depending on the amount of veggies and the size of the chicken breasts.

You can speed up this dish by cooking on top of stove in a dutch oven or even slightly cook the chicken breasts in the microwave before adding to the dutch oven – or crock pot.

I really love using salsa or even canned tomatoes as a sauce (think spaghetti sauce too).  It’s so tasty and so healthy.  Enjoy!

Posted by: jjiral | July 31, 2014

Recipe of the Day – Grilled Tuna with Olive Relish

I am craving fish today. This sounds amazing.

A very tasty and creative recipe for salmon – one of our favorite meals…always a treat.

Posted by: jjiral | July 23, 2014

Life was in control of my time

I know I’ve been out of touch with all of you for a few days.  I apologize for my absence but I was too tired to write.  (sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it)  You see, last week’s cooler weather here in Dallas gave me the incentive to do some work on our roof deck – which was in desperate need of attention.

I started by washing and scrubbing the deck (about 1200 square feet) and washing all the cushions.  Then I repaired the deck boards.  Then I applied deck wash to part of the deck and the hot tub cabinet and scrubbed them both down again.

While that dried, I painted the freestanding bar which was also in bad shape – so bad that I am repurposing it into a planting station.  Then I applied a coat of deck resurfacing product (the 10x thickness) to a sample section of the deck.  And I also painted the hot tub cabinet with a deck resurfacing product ( the 4x thickness). I am very happy with the color of the deck product chosen, but the color I chose for the hot tub is too light – but that’s okay I’ll use it for the base coat for the cabinets I buy for the outdoor kitchen.   (this will be a long term project)

While that dried, I planted some flowers and bamboo and painted a wooden flower box that I plan to plant with some flowers as well as vines.  (Did I forget to tell you that Dallas’ cooler weather only lasted 1 or 2 days after the rain stopped?  Temps for the last 2 days have been 98 degrees and remember I am working on a roof deck with only a small patch of shade)

My arms are sore from hours of painting – actually my right arm is sore because I can’t paint very much (or very well) with my left hand.  My gluteus maximus is sore and bruised because I’ve seen sitting and balancing on boards while painting.  (remember I am trying to loose weight so it has to support quite a bit)  But, the sun worshipper in me is happy because I am getting a nice tan!  (having to make sure I don’t end up with a farmer’s tan though)

The heat is draining me of energy, but I’m drinking gallons of water.  The problem is that when I take a break and drag myself down 2 flights of stairs I have no energy to make a salad – even though I have veggies chopped.  I’ve been throwing an Atkins frozen meal into the microwave and downing a bottle of Cold Water while I wait for it.  My husband even ate frozen dinners with me Saturday evening.  And I gave into our cravings for pizza on Sunday (that wasn’t on my eating plan, obviously.)

Other than the one day of pizza I’ve actually stayed very close to my new eating / weight loss plan.  But the large amount of water and the exertion has left me hungrier than usual.  So, it’s been more difficult not to stray by grabbing something easy (like a sandwich).  And when I quit for the day (after working at least 7 hours in the heat) I jump in the shower, throw on a Mexican house dress and crash into the recliner (with another jug of Cold Water).   The roof deck is starting to look so much better – and I’ve finally come up with the perfect design to incorporate more shade, a TV, a kitchen complete with grill, sink, fridge and icemaker, and some privacy – all on a shoestring budget.  I’m so excited!  But it will take some time to get this project done…one step at a time.

My husband has been a trouper – not complaining about whatever he gets served for supper – after working a long day at the office.  And I’ve managed to complete some consulting research and presentations in between all the roof work.  So, that’s my excuse for not writing in the blog.  But I am feeling guilty – so this morning I’m taking time to let you know where I am on my journey.

I haven’t weighed in a couple days – but I can tell that I’m loosing inches.  And I am much more flexible after stretching and straining, lifting plants and deck furniture, scrubbing floors and cushions and climbing up and down all those flights of stairs.  So, I guess I can honestly say that the exercise of the week is stair climbing….literally.  So overall I am doing well but not perfect.  But the big plus is that I am getting right back on plan despite a slipup – and not just quitting my journey.  And I’m sure that part of that success (and willpower) is because of you!  So, Thank you!

Here’s praying for some clouds!


Posted by: jjiral | July 17, 2014

Sabotage is a Bummer

Has this ever happened to you?  Deliberately reading the menu to locate an entrée that will fit your weight loss plan only to realize when it arrives they forget to mention one tiny detail – the eggplant is battered and fried!  This is a huge pet peeve of mine and it happened to me last night.

Any time you diet, you are faced with temptations throughout the day.  And the busy days, when restaurant meals are the only option are obviously more difficult than self planned menus.  But when you  consciously plan your day, bringing appropriate snacks, pre-chopping and cooking your salad ingredients for lunch, maintaining your food diary to aid weight management, drinking club soda instead of mixed drinks or wine while watching everyone suck down those tasty drinks and patting yourself on the back for ignoring all those temptations, only to  be backhanded by an incomplete menu description actually makes me mad!

I selected a nice green salad with tomatoes and a sprinkling of goat cheese with the dressing on the side (a vinaigrette which I was sure was laden with honey or sugar – an obvious sabotage to my low sugar, low carb diet).  For my entrée I selected an eggplant and portabella mushroom dish, that mentioned a tomato puree and mozzarella cheese which fit my eating plan really closely (at least it wasn’t paired with rice or potatoes).  So, I felt pretty good about my choice.  I was so hungry – waiting till 8:30 pm for dinner is tough when you’re dieting but sometimes it can’t be avoided in a busy lifestyle.

When the entrée arrived it looked and smelled wonderful!  I cut into it and plopped a forkful into my mouth savoring the beautiful mixture of flavors….then I felt the ‘crunch’ in my mouth.  What?  Eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes aren’t crunchy!

After more scrutiny I saw the thin layer of batter on the eggplant and realized it had been fried in batter no less!

Those of you familiar with Atkins eating plans know that starches (flour, cornstarch, etc) sabotage weight loss by changing your fat burning metabolism to a carbohydrate burning metabolism.  Atkins (like many accelerated weight management plans) focuses on low glycemic index food items.  By consuming limited amounts of sugars, carbs or starches, your body chooses to burn your fat stores for its primary fuel source vs the default fuel (carbs, sugar, starch and even your own muscles).  And it takes 2 days to clear those higher glycemic foods from your body to restart that fat burning machine again.  Diet sabotage in its cruelest form!

Can you guess what my brain did then  Yeah, that’s right.  The first thought in my head was – well, if I just blew my diet I might as well go all the way – have a glass of wine, steal a bite of my husband’s flatbread, maybe even have dessert.   Thankfully, that thought got shot down quickly!

I learned that menu descriptions aren’t always ‘full disclosure’ and I’ll have to be more careful in the future.  I should stick with a simply prepared chicken breast, grilled fish or rare steak – omit all those sides of rice or potatoes – and add a side of veggies.  It may be a little bit more boring than that eggplant, portabella mushroom dish but at least I won’t be busting my eating plan!

Good luck to all my friends and followers on your weight loss or healthy eating journeys!

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