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Clean Eats – The Greek Yogurt Edition

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Who else is glad that it’s almost the weekend???

My work laptop decided to roll over and DIE ON ME last weekend. Since I’m a remote employee, I had to wait for our guys to ship me a replacement. Well, I also have shit to get done so… I took a deep breath, opened my office closet door, and pulled out this baby.

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Needless to say, my productivity this week has been in the shitter. That’s what happens when you go from modern technology to a 2002 caveman OS, not even 1GB of memory and a turtle-speed processor. Luckily the replacement arrived in record time and I’m now back up and zipping along! It’s not a Mac, but it’ll do, pig. Wait… I just discovered that MS office isn’t installed. What the f***.

Come on, weekend.

Today’s Clean Eats post is all about my love for Greek Yogurt. First up is my Creamy Curry Dipping Sauce.

photo 1

  • 2TBSP Plain 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 4-5 shakes of curry powder
  • 1TBSP Dijon Mustard

This made an excellent topper and healthier alternative to tartar sauce for my Salmon Cakes. The Salmon Cakes can be found here and they are gluten-free and dairy-free!

photo 3

what? I was hangry.

Next up, I love to snack on red bell pepper, so I decided to whip up something southwestern as a dip for them.

photo 2

Southwestern Dipping Sauce

  • 2TBSP Plain 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 4-5 good shakes of Mrs Dash No-Salt Chipotle Seasoning
  • let these sit and get to know each other for a bit to open up the flavors
  • It’s super cute if you serve them in mini-Mason jars.

People, I understand this snack is not quite the Guacamole and Scoops mind asploshun I caused my friend Eric…. guac3 …but it’s still tasty and much less guilt-inducing.

Next up are two of my favorites when the sugarmonster is getting the best of me. Rather than killing an entire bag of Oreos, I’ll grumble but eat this instead.

Coconut Cinnamon Apples with Fruit Dip

  • One small to medium apple of your choice, cut into slices or chunks.
  • 1TBSP of coconut oilz

Saute the apples in the oil until they’re softened but not mushy. Mushy is no bueno. Unless you want chunky applesauce. Then go for it.  When they’re done, sprinkle them with cinnamon.

Now for the dip!

  • 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • Splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 TBSP plain or chocolate PB2
  • shake of cinnamon

Mix all this up together in a large bowl, then dump those cinnamon apples over it. Proceed to die and go to heaven.  PS – thanks to CarrotsNCake for the apple genius! appleWM I originally posted the next recipe back in September, and it’s worth mentioning again.

PEACH’S BANANA CAKE BATTER

  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed till it’s nice and mooshy. Isn’t that a fancy description?
  • 1/4 to 1/3Cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, Plain
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • splash Coconut/Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • Organic unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Mix it all up and eat as-is. Or serve it over waffles. Or as a fruit dip. Or use it as a hair mask. Not really. That would be weird. But you’d smell delish.

If you’re bored of your usuals right now, you can also find these recipes/links in my previous Clean Eats post:

  • French Toast Scramble
  • Mini Crustless Quiches
  • Peach’s Veggie Saute
  • Peach’s Spaghetti Squash Bake
  • Salmon Cakes
  • Italian Meatloaf
  • Peach’s CrockPot Curry Chicken
Mason jars > tupperware.

Mason jars > tupperware.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Sharp Edges

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unfinished

Leaning against the hotel sink to touch up her makeup, she remembered her own sharp inhalation at the sound of his voice when he’d answered her call.  Thank god he couldn’t hear her inwardly curse at her heart for daring to do a slow flip flop after all this time.  After all the work she’d put into getting over him. And now just a few hours after making contact again she had a belly of butterflies wondering how this dinner with him would go.

He picked her up from the hotel, surprising her with his new car but not with his choice of cologne. He wordlessly strode around the car’s rear and grabbed her into a bone-crushing hug. As his scent invaded her thoughts, her legs went a little wobbly. The flood of olfactory memories bowled her over for a brief moment.

Steady…steady, now. God, he smells good. But still. Just keep your shit together, girl.

She recovered from the sensory jolt on the ride to dinner and was relaxed again by the time they’d settled into their wine. It was easy, actually. They’d always been friends as equally as lovers. She told him all that she’d overcome since leaving the North a year and a half ago. All that she’d achieved and accomplished – physically, mentally and emotionally. Sincere pride shone in his eyes as he congratulated her. She returned the same pride as he shared his own growth and experiences.

Wow, I’m impressed. He’s changed so much. 

They caught up on each others’ families and the gossip in their old circle of friends as babies, weddings and all the expected drama were laughed over.

“Love the hair, by the way.”

She looked down at the bold strands draping over her shoulder and smiled. “Really, you do?”

“Yes, I really do. For years you’ve said you wanted to go red. I’m glad you finally did it. It suits you and GOD that dimple still kills me when you smile… but I didn’t just say that… Um. What else? Tell me more.”

She delighted in the flattery, but decided to address the first of the elephants in the room.

“So, were you surprised to hear from me?”

“Stunned, actually. Why now? It’s been over a year.”

“I honestly don’t know. I’d told myself all week leading up to this trip that I wouldn’t reach out to you. But the moment the plane touched down, something told me that I had to. It was such a strong feeling… I can’t really explain it.”

Looking at her intently he said, “Well, I’m glad you listened to that feeling. I’ve missed you.”

Their server arrived to refill their wine glasses then, which gave her a moment to ponder over that single statement.

He had missed her.

Once the Pinot was poured she held her glass up to his and toasted. “To reunions.” They clinked and sipped, gazes locked on one another.

Lowering the glass she asked directly, “If you missed me, then why didn’t you reach out to me at all since our last text? Not a single word. Nothing.”

He cast his eyes downward and said softly, “I thought I’d scared you off. I thought I’d hurt you, so I decided to give you space. To be. To let you heal.” Looking up, he locked eyes with her. “I figured when you were ready, you’d let me know.”

The old her would’ve accepted that without pause. The new her could not.

Screw diplomacy.

She leaned forward and blurted the raw feelings. “Didn’t you stop to think that maybe your silence would have made me feel like you didn’t care? That you were done with me, got what you wanted from me, and tossed me aside?”

His voice heated with passion as he fired back,  “I would never. You know how I feel about you. How I’ve always felt about you. That never changed. It still hasn’t.”

Shocked into silence, she sat there feeling the sharp-edged emotions crackling in the space between them.

So many fucking feelings. Shit.

She didn’t have a choice. She needed to tell him the truth.

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends.  Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends. ;)

The Unfinished

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back

Sitting in the lush back seat of the chauffeured car, she stared down at the iPhone in her lap. His name and number stared back at her.

She was there on business for only a few short days and could have easily slid in and out of town without him knowing the difference. After all, it had been over a year since she’d pulled him up on her screen. Over a year since they’d exchanged a final painful goodbye. Yet something indescribable was screaming at her to make contact. It was a pull like the love she’d always had for him – undeniable and annoyingly persistent.

They were together for nearly three years. Everything fell apart. She moved away. And she moved on.

Except she didn’t.

Since the two of them had shattered she had dealt with blind dates, suffered the torment of speed dating, endured the crazies of online dating and had an embarrassingly horrific one night stand. She’d made poor decisions while drinking and tried to force feelings when there were none. She smirked, remembering the tribal-tattooed musclehead. That one had almost resulted in an intervention by her friends. She remembered the men who claimed to love her but left coldly and without explanation. Men that weren’t looking for the same things.  Men who were devilishly handsome but devoid of emotional connection.  Men who amused her but never managed to make her belly-laugh.  Men who could certainly turn her on, but never gave her butterflies. Shorter men, taller men, military men, musicians, men far away and men right around the corner… hell, her friends teased that they needed to create a flowchart to keep her love disasters straight.

All she knew was that she had things to say to this man. There was risk, for sure. Reaching out to him meant facing the possibility that he may be seeing someone else, or be married with kids. She didn’t think he would be, but he could also be completely cold or cruel towards her. Yet even though she was opening myself up to a world of potential hurt, she didn’t care. There was no way she could ever completely be whole again if she didn’t take the opportunity to voice her side.

She wouldn’t live her life as a fraud, having never faced the full extent of love and pain and letting go. She knew it was the unfinished holding her back, preventing her from fully opening her heart to anyone else. Yes. She needed to charge headfirst into this, acknowledging fully the element of danger.

The deep inhale and long exhale had a finality in its weight.

Still glaring at her phone, she thought to herself, “He needs to know how much he hurt me. He needs to know what I’ve gone through since the day I packed my car and drove away in tears. How I’ve changed. How the person he dated for three years was a broken, unhappy version of myself. And he needs to see the strong, vivacious woman that I’ve become since him.” Her heart didn’t leave her any choice.  It was time.

Her finger hovered over his number on the screen. And then it made contact.

The screen filled with his name.

rrriiiiiiingggggg….

rrriiiiiinggggggg…

*click*

“Ohmygod. …….  Hi.”

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends.  Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends. 😉

I don’t trip up the stairs while collecting an Oscar, but I do drop shit.

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Has anyone ever fallen so elegantly? EVER? I think not. Stop saying shit about my GirlCrush.

jennifer-lawrence-falls

Moving on. But I’ve still got my eye on you.

A few posts ago I wrote about my fat ass FoodWars and my evolved attitude towards Paleo vs. Clean Eating. Fortunately I can report that clean eating is working WAY better for me. I’m happy. And when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.

I still cook all of my staples and I’m forever on the lookout for new recipes to try. For instance, Peach’s Vegetable Saute is always awesome.

saute

But it’s fun to experiment with new mini-quiche flavor combos.

quicheWM

Bacon and Veggie Mini-Quiches

  • 2 whole cage-free, organic eggs*
  • 3/4C egg whites (approx 4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • heaping handful of baby spinach
  • 6-8 slices of COOKED bacon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Reserve a little of the grease for greasing the muffin pan. Whisk all your eggs in a big bowl. In a food processor throw in the onion, pepper, squash, zucchini and process until finely chopped but not liquified.  Add this mixture to your eggs.  Put spinach into the processor and finely chop and also add to your eggs. Mix the egg mixture well and using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the greased muffin pan. This recipe makes one 12-muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle.  *You can use 6 whole eggs, or all egg whites, or any combo of whole/whites you wish.

Oh, and here’s what happens when I have a klutz moment – I bring salad fixings to a gathering and when I try to leave with the uneaten, wind up with 3 pounds of spring mix lettuce in my tote bag. Transportation FAIL. I swear I only had 2 glasses of wine. Sheesh. At least my aim is awesome. JLaw, I am not.

have roughage, will travel.

have roughage, will travel.

My workout routine hasn’t changed: 1 or 2 short runs, 1 day of yoga and CrossFit 3-4 times a week. I take my rest days when my body tells me to, and even when it doesn’t.

p.s. – Lululemon is the devil. I have NO willpower.

luluWM

in my defense, I’ve lusted after this jacket since December. And it was on sale. And I LOVE IT.

I’ve resisted the invasion of the tiny humans bearing crack-in-a-box-Thin-Mints.

girlscoutsWM

avoid all eye contact. keep walking.

But instead, I made (and sampled) my own cookies. Sorry, no recipe for these… the owner would hunt me down and noogie me to death.

cookiesWM

All these sweets, just in time for my CrossFit gym to do a 30-day Ladies-Only Challenge! All of us participating were weighed and had our body fat measured with calipers on day 1. Then we all had to do the baseline WOD, which we will do again in 30 days to see our progress.  Some of the ladies are doing strict 100% Paleo. I would not be one of those ladies, but I am going to make an effort to continue clean eating and sweets/booze only in moderation. Peach is going to be lean and mean, dammit!

wodWM

I was shocked to hit a personal best with my deadlift that day! Yay, me! But I’m not going to lie, this WOD had me wheezing, gasping, cramping and wishing burpees would go straight to fucking hell. It sucked, but I got three rounds plus 10 cleans. And then I played “dead starfish”and made a “sweat angel”. Gross. But cool.  But gross. Kinda.

angelWM

So tell me:

What diets/eating styles work best for you/your body? What’s your “food philosophy”?

Feelin’ the love!

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I was thoroughly surprised this week to be awarded not one, but TWO bloggy awards!

leibster

One Lovely Blog

First, Kathleen at Michigan Left surprised me with a Liebster award, and then Kristin over at Kristin Has Two Eyes has bestowed upon me the One Lovely Blogger honor!

I have lovingly placed these badges in my sidebar and send mucho love and sloppy kisses to Kathleen and Kristin. Next up, as part of these awards, y’all get to learn some fun facts about Peach. Lucky you. 😉

Kathleen’s questions to her Liebster recipients:

  1. Where would you live if you could pick any place in the world? I want to say Italy, but I haven’t been there yet!
  2. What is your favorite CD and why? I can listen to Mumford & Sons all day, every day. Their words hit me smack in the heart.
  3. Why and when did you start blogging? 2005, for no reason other than I love to write.
  4. Were you a jock or a nerd in high school? Both. Band nerd, academic nerd and soccer player. Overachiever, much?
  5. Who, besides your significant other, knows you better than anyone else? My undergrad college roommate. She and I were born 22 hours apart. We speak without speaking and know each others’ moods/quirks like our own…because they’re the same.
  6. What book most influenced your life? The Agony and the Ecstasy – Michelangelo’s story by Irving Stone.
  7. What is your biggest fear? Failure.
  8. What is your dream profession? Earning a living as a writer. Somehow. Some way.
  9. What attracts you most to someone?  Humor! Make me laugh and you’ll have my heart.
  10. Beatles or Stones? Oh, Beatles.

And 15 random factoids about Peach, for Kristin:

  1. I hate vinegar. Anything vinegar-based, pickled or fermented, no thank you! Ick.
  2. When I was much younger I wanted to be a veterinarian. Even though I am happy today, I still wonder “what if” sometimes. Oh, to give my 18yo self the confidence I have now…
  3. In dating, I’ve found that my height is an effective method of weeding out insecure men.
  4. I have a dimple. Just one.
  5. I have never broken a bone, needed surgery or stayed overnight in the hospital. Knock on ALL OF THE WOODS.
  6. To fall asleep I need total darkness. And I cannot nap during the day, no matter how tired I may be.
  7. I am a classically trained musician, but that is not what I “do” anymore.
  8. A challenge is my biggest motivator. Tell me I can’t do something, so I can prove you wrong.
  9. There lies a mean temper under this sassy and fun demeanor.
  10. My college debt is still bigger than yours. I guarantee it.
  11. My first car was a big ole honkin’ truck.
  12. Sheets with thread counts under 600 need not apply. 1000 is preferable.
  13. I talk in my sleep.
  14. I despise being told that I’m ‘too sensitive’. No, you’re just being an asshole. Don’t invalidate my feelings. (also see #9)
  15. I am hyper-observant. I notice even the smallest of the most inconsequential details. It freaks some people out. 🙂

Thank you again, Kristin and Kathleen! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Flexible only applies to me in yoga.

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At Camp Mighty, Maggie told the story of her Life List item to see the sun rise over the Aegean. Once there in Greece, fearlessly about to reach success, she realized that the sun only SET over the Aegean. Her attitude could have been Shitty McGrumpypants, but she chose instead to go with it. It may not have been *exactly* what she wanted, but a slight discrepancy in semantics wasn’t going to derail her enthusiasm. To her, this choice of perspective stood out in her mind as a huge life lesson.

Be rigid only if you want to break.

I am a planner by nature. I have lists for my lists. So when we were told to narrow down our Life List to just five items for 2013, I was all over that shit. I carry them with me everywhere.

house1WM

Yet only a mere 49 days into 2013, and I’m already finding that my top five goals for 2013 may need some tweaking. Not for any huge, earth-shattering reasons… simply for the reason that situations change. Circumstances shift.

One of the main goals I’m speaking of is the purchase of my first house. Some outside influences have swept into my life and are postponing the house hunt until my footing is steady again. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen for me this year. It just means my projected timeline of early Spring is pretty much out the window unless some miracles of miracles happen.

I can choose to kick and scream about it or I can go with it.

Duh. I know what I have to do, because you know what? The curveballs? They’re good for me. They’re making me grow.

The same way all the curveballs of 2011 brought me to Atlanta and into beginning this journey in the first place, these new plot twists are getting me out of my own comfort zone and testing the mindset of the “new me”.

A shift of plans does not equal failure. It doesn’t mean that I won’t reach my goals. It only means that I’ll get them completed a little differently than anticipated.  I know everything will work out for the best, however curvy my path may become.  And I also feel in my heart that these changes are what is best for me in the long run.

Good things are ahead. 🙂

Enough.

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These words hover on my office wall at eye level.   Individually, the words are simple and stark.  Together, the three entities become strength.

EnoughWM

You are enough, all on your own. The emotional abuse toward you is not your fault, nor is it your undoing. You are stronger than this and you are not alone.

You are enough, in your career.  The backhanded, no-grounds firing you endured will not derail your ethics or your integrity. Good things and calmer waters lie ahead.

You are enough, in your skin. We all feel ugly and heavy and unwanted at times. But you are beautiful to so many more than you know.

You are enough, despite your mistakes. We all make them. We should forgive, but also remember to forgive ourselves.

You are enough, as a parent. Though it may feel as if the inane and the routine have beaten you down, your Self is still in there. Let it shine.

You are enough, in every way. Your flaws are not flaws. The person you will find one day will not see them as imperfections, but as what makes you… You.

You are enough, even in your darkest moments. It is not a sickness. The Truth is that without this part of you, you would not be the friend that I adore.

You are enough, in your own choices. Not everyone will agree with the decisions you make. But the decisions are yours to own. Not theirs.

Though a few of these statements are written selfishly, most I wish I could verbalize to people in my life. Some of those people are reading at this very moment. I hope you hear me. If you can’t, may you find at least one way in which you are enough and that you are able to take from these words a little bit of my strength. I am right here with you, feeling ‘less than’ at times, but stubbornly refusing to succumb.

We are enough.
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Linking up with Yeah Write and the lovely community over there. These people are amazing. I am humbled to be a part of such awesomeness.