I am going to go ahead and assume everyone likes pizza.  What is there not to like about it?  The only thing that holds me back from having a diet of pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner is the high amount of carbs.  It was last summer, when I jumped on the low carb bandwagon and HAD to come up with a way to have pizza low carb style.  We are talking life or death situation here if I could not create a low carb pizza.  Luckily, I found these low carb tortillas at my favorite place....Costco.
I used these tortillas as a substitute for the typical bready crust.  Because it was summer time, I made a fresh pesto sauce in place of  a pizza sauce.  Be careful when you buy pizza sauces at the store because some can have extra added sugar.  I coated the tortilla with the freshly made pesto sauce, then added some grated mozarella.  The amount of cheese is really up to you.  I prefer mine with cheese and the hubby orders his with extra cheese.  Then I sliced up some local tomatoes and sprinkled the pizzas with some garlic powder and italian herbs.  To make it a meal, I cooked up some chicken cut into small pieces and added it to the top.  I tossed it in the oven at 425 degrees until the cheese was melted and golden brown.
For those interested in the pesto recipe:
Summertime Pesto

1 1/2 Cups of Basil leaves
3 garlic gloves
1/3 cup of toasted pine nuts
5 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of salt
1/3 cup of olive oil

Toss the first five ingredients into a food processor and slowly add the oil to the mixture.  Once the mixture turns to a paste its ready to be used. 

**Pine nuts can be pricey, but I have found that Trader Joes has the best price.
 
 
This morning on the Today Show I watched an extremely disturbing segment about brides wanting to shed those last minute unwanted pounds by using a feeding tube.  And get this....they are paying $1,500 for the process.  Basically a tube is shoved up the bridezilla's nose, rammed down her esophagus and into her stomach.  If that doesn't sound like fun, I don't know what does.  The tube stays there for 10 days.   In those 10 days, the bridezilla goes about life with a tube coming from her nose connected to her handy little bag containing a mixture of water, protein and fat.  No carbohydrates.  Now that is taking fun to another level.  Who wants to sign up?  This could be you.......

Before my wedding, I gained a few pounds and was told by the seamstress I either need to lose a few pounds or have the dress taken out.  Having the dress taken out was not an option, so dropping the pounds was the plan.  First, I stopped eating a loaf of bread for lunch and cut out my 3:00 pm sugar high.  Second, I got my butt to the gym and ran a few miles.  Success without a feeding tube and a $1,500 bill.  I make my low carb, high protein "diet" and daily working out a lifestyle.  It's a matter of finding a lifestyle that works for you because fad diets are going to fail every time.
 
 
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Last nights dinner was Jalapeno Poppers and Thai Chicken.  I had some jalapenos that needed to be used, so poppers it was.  After a prior pepper incident, I recommend using  gloves when handling these hot little suckers.  I made some homemade hot sauce last summer for the first time.  I cut up about 12 habeneros (not using gloves) and within an hour my precious hands felt like they were up in flames.  I knew to be extra careful and not touch my eyes afterward, but where was the warning about not touching them with your bare hands?!?  For the next 24 hours my hands went through an inferno. NOTHING makes the pain go away. NOTHING.  Lesson learned.  So with this handy little advice here's the recipe:

Jalapeno Poppers

10 Jalapeno peppers
4 ounces Cream Cheese (softened)
3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Cut jalapenos lengthwise and deseed
2. In a bowl, mix the Cream cheese and Cheddar cheese then add in the garlic powder and salt
3.  Stuff the peppers and place in a baking dish (I sprinkle a little extra cheddar on top)
4. Cook for about 15-20 mins at 450 degress (until golden brown)


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Let me start off by saying that the picture does not even do this meal any justice.  I made a Thai Chicken in the slow cooker.  The hubby put all of his fixings (sour cream, cheese, salsa, jalapenos)  and chicken in a wrap and I dumped it all on a bed of lettuce.  It is some of the best tasting chicken I can make.  Well I don't do much.  The slow cooker does all the legwork.  I cook the chicken tenders for 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high.  Or you can cook it for 6 hours on low.  Try this recipe ASAP.

Thai Chicken

1 pound chicken tenders
1 cup chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp red curry paste
3 drops of stevia
1 1/2 tbsp coconut flour

1. Place chicken in slow cooker. 
2. In a blender, combine broth, garlic, lime juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, curry paste and stevia and blend until smooth.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook for the 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
3.  Remove chicken with slotted spoon and place on cutting board.  Set aside. Leave slow cooker on.
4.  Remove 1/2 cup broth and add coconut flour to broth to make a smooth paste.  Return the mixture to slow cooker and wisk until smooth.
5.  Shred the chicken and return to slow cooker and stir to coat it.

Use the chicken to make a taco, salad, sandwich, etc.
 
 
Who would like a midday pina colada?  Me, me, me!!  I am constantly on the go so I like to pack snacks or bring a  protein shake with me.  Then I won't be tempted to hit up the pizza shop.  I normally use chocolate or vanilla whey.  I prefer Jay Robb whey protein and I have only seen Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry flavors at the store.  Out of the blue, I ventured onto the Jay Robb website.  Boy did I hit the jackpot.  The two other magical flavors I stumbled upon were Pina Colada and Tropical Dreamsicle.  I placed my order immediately and couldn't wait for the goods to arrive.  I was more exicited than these girls with Bieber Fever to try out the new flavors.
Once I received the precious cargo, I mixed a scoop of Pina Colada Whey Protein with six ounces of sugar free Vanilla Coconut Milk and there you have it...a Pina Colada.
Since I had some very important business to take care of today, and I was going to be out and about I made a Pina Colada shake and had it on the go.  Perfecto!!  Important business, you ask.  I had to get the rats nest on top of my head fixed.  My hairdresser Sharon is a miracle worker.  She can turn this........
Into this....
Workout: 45 min Spin class
 
 
Has anyone ever tried spaghetti squash?  If you have, why have you been holding back on how amazing this little gourd is?  Not only was this foreign object easy to make, it was tasty too!  I made Spaghetti Squash Alfredo and topped it off with cooked extra firm tofu and steamed broccoli for dinner tonight.  If you want something quicker toss some cooked pasta sauce from a jar on the squash and dinner is served. 
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Spaghetti Squash w/ Alfredo Sauce, Brocolli and Tofu

1 Spaghetti Squash
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. heavy cream
1 garlic glove, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. basil

1. Rinse the squash off  then cut in half (lengthwise).  Be prepared to use some muscle to cut through it.
2. Scoop and discard the seeds inside
3. Place the halves in a microwave safe dish with 1/4-1/2 cup of water
4.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and cook on high for 12-15 minutes
5. Let the dish stand for 5 minutes before using a fork to scrape the "meat" out into a bowl
5. Stir in the remaining ingredients until the butter is melted

I topped mine off with a protein and veggie to make it a meal or you can use it as a side dish.  It's a great low carb alternative to pasta.
 
 
So here they are.......pictures of me before I started long distance running and eating healthy. 
It's obvious from the pictures that I did not take care of myself during my college years.  In high school I was always active by playing on the tennis team and running on the track team (both indoor and outdoor).  But once I left for college, I stopped running, began to eat unhealthy food and thats when I gained an extra 15-20 pounds.  I remember eating greasy, carb filled foods.  No salads and lean protein for this girl. 

I'm not sure exactly when it hit me, but I knew sometime shortly after college that eating this way and not being active was making me miserable and chubby.  That's when I took up running again.  I started out slow by running at a local track near the apartment I was living in.  I enjoyed this time to myself and it felt good taking care of my body.  I remember the first time I ran four miles.  I was so proud that I did it because back in high school that would have never happened. 
My running initially began in high school.   I remember hating to run the 1/2 mile warmup at track practice.  It was soooooo long.  I ran the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and 400m.  That was the farthest I was willing to go.  I liked the shorter distances even though I was never a fast sprinter.  I believe one time I was asked "How about the 1600m?"  My answer "Ha...how about NO."  Looking back, I wish I would have tried.  I prefer to run long distance now.  I feel like shorter races are fast paced and  I never get a chance to feel relaxed.  
Ok...so back to the four mile accomplishment.  Once I completed that I decided to sign up for my first race.  A ten miler with no training. BAD IDEA.  I finished, felt on top of the world and then the pain settled in.  Lesson learned...always train for you races or you may need to borrow Grandma's motorized scooter for a good 3-5 days afterwards.  With my lesson being learned, I went on to complete a  few half marathons, then of course the marathon (three so far).
Along with the new running schedule, I changed my eating habits.  I was eating more veggies, lean proteins and whole grains.   I was training for races, eating healthy but still a little chubby.  What was up with that?  How is it possible that I can train for a marathon and weigh the same or even gain weight?  That's when I reduced my carb and sugar intake.  Finally, success!  I was following a higher protien diet with lots of greens.  My mistake was carbo loading as if it were my job.  I would eat healthy grains, but I was eating way too many of them.  Just because it was whole wheat did not mean I could eat the entire loaf in three days.  It was such a relief to find what works for me.  I feel like I have more energy, I am not constantly hungry and I don't look so swollen all the time. Sweet!!  Here are couple of my recent pics below sans double chin.