Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snack time...

Everyday, between breakfast and lunch I have a mid morning snack. My snack of choice is usually a Lara bar. I've been obsessed with Lara bars for a few months now. Most of their flavors taste awesome and are produced with all natural ingredients.

Lately, I've been munching on the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars. The only ingredients in the bar are: Dates, Peanuts, Chocolate Chips. Seriously, so simple and delicious. The dates add a slight sweetness.

Lara bars can be expensive, up to $1.50/bar. however, I am lucky enough to buy them at Shoprite, where they periodically go on sale for .99 cents. This is when I stock up. Seriously, I will by $50.00 worth of bars! My two favorite flavors right now are Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Coconut Chew.
The great thing about these bars are they are so convenient. Throw them in your bag and you have a great emergency snack.

Now, if you'll excuse's snack time :-)


Morning All,

OK, so I did not wake up this morning to do my INSANITY workout, but I have a good reason. I seemed to have woken up with a slight ear ache. I felt it coming on last night, and I'm hoping it will be gone by the end of the day.  I promise you though, I will be doing my INSANITY workout this evening.  Luckily, today's workout is suppose to be Cardio Recovery and not too intense. Like I said, it's SUPPOSED to be less intense,so, we'll see.

I did start off my day with a delish Strawberry Cheese Cake Cream, I basically used my Raspberry Cheese Cake Cream recipe and used strawberries in place of raspberries. This was very filling. I do need to figure out what I will be having for lunch, since I forgot to bring mine :-(

How are you guys doing?

Question of the day:  Do you think you would be able to go vegan for a week?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lunch...Wheat/Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta Dish...

Mmmm..lunch time rolled around and I had a great Brown Rice Pasta dish! Recipe is on The Ajnabee:


Smoothie Time....

come to me
After my INSANE workout this morning, I replenished my body with an extremely bright blackberry smoothie, which I prepped last night. Last night I placed the following in my handy dandy magic bullet:
  • 1 cup of frozen blackberries
  • 1/4c of skim ricotta cheese
  • 2TB of almond butter
This morning I added a splash of almond milk to get things moving along. I blended it all together.  It's a good thing I had this in the morning.  I was able to completely divert what was at work this morning:

stay away!!


Good Morning All,

This morning I woke up at 6:00am, put my Insanity DVD in the DVD player and hit play!!! Oh yes, today Cardio Power and Resistance was completed!! Today's workout was a good 39 minutes of heart pumping, sweat inducing cardio.  As usual, Sean T started off with a fierce "warm up" for 10 minutes and then we moved onto circuits.  Thank goodness the workouts are so fast, it makes time go so much quicker :-)

OK, day 3, done!  57 more to go...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Goodbye Party...

Today was my friends going away party at work and we had many sweet treats in the office! Since my coworker is allergic to wheat and gluten and eggs, I decided to make her cupcakes using Cherrybrook Kitchens gluten and wheat free chocolate cake mix. I decided to throw in some shredded coconut in the mix. The cupcakes were delish! The batter was made of only potato starch, cane juice, cocoa powder,white rice flour,tapioca starch,brown sugar,baking soda, xanthan gum and sea salt. I added water and oil to this mix, as well as shredded coconut.

I made a very simple frosting using only cream cheese and honey. I eye balled how much honey to use :-p. I topped this with sweetened shredded coconut and salty peanuts! The sweet/salty combo was delish!

New favorite blog...


I want to introduce a newly created blog from my friend, Vianny Cruz. If you're ever looking for inspiration and tell-it-like-it-is advice, Vianny will definitely steer you in the right direction!

Vianny's blog is about:

Journey to find self love and a backbone in life.

Please do stop by at: to get to know Vianny!

By the way....

I am very sore today!

Breakfast: Raspberry Cheesecake Cream....

Well, after my totally INSANE workout this morning, I had a delicious protein filled breakfast. With a little prep work the night before, I had a quick, rich and creamy breakfast!  In yesterday's post I mentioned I used vanilla protein powder in my smoothie. Even though I used just half a scoop, I could taste all the artificial ingredients.  Luckily, I'm not use to eating more natural foods, so anything with artificial ingredients really wheys (ha, get it...whey protein :-p) me down. I decided to start using non fat ricotta cheese in my smoothies to replace the protein powder. I like this for many reasons.  First of all, the ricotta cheese will take on the flavor of anything you put in it.  Secondly, there are no artificial's pure protein.  Third, the same amount of calories/fat/protein I get from a protein powder, I can get from the ricotta cheese.  In just 1/4c of non fat ricotta cheese, there is 30 calories, 0g fat, 6g of protein.  I used half a cup of ricotta today for only 60 calories and 12 grams of protein!  Lastly, ricotta cheese, when whipped or blended has an unbelievably smooth, creamy texture...think cheesecake peoples!

Now, going back to my prep work from last night.  In my little blender I put half a cup of non fat ricotta cheese, 1 cup of frozen raspberries, 2TB of almond butter.  This morning I was going to add some water to make it a more smoothie like consistency, but changed my mind when I saw the defrosted raspberries let out some juice.  I whipped this all up in my blender and  had an unbelievably, decadent berry breakfast.  This tasted like I was eating raspberry cheese cake!  So smooth and creamy!  I think this will be my new go to breakfast for mornings!  So yum and delish!  Best of all, no weird metallic after taste from protein powders, but all the protein needed!

How was your breakfast?


Morning Morning,

My day started off bright and early and I completed day 2 of my INSANITY 60 day challenge.  58 more days to go :-)  This morning's workout was the Plyometric Cardio Circuit, an intense 41 minute workout of plyos.  OK, maybe because this is my second time around doing this but I feel this program is all mind over matter.  I've done intense workouts in the past and although this is definitely more fierce, with the right mind set it's not too bad.  Yes, this is a 41 minute workout.  The "warm up" alone is 10 minutes and then you have 25 minutes of circuit training.  Not really bad!  It's also great that you go at your own pace. I do feel I am much slower than the people in the DVD, but Sean T says form is really important.  Even though I am a bit slower, I know I'm getting in good form and making the most of what I do.  The downfall, you are definitely swimming in a pool of your own sweat!  I guess that's good, but  make sure you have a towel with you when working out.  Also, plenty of water!  I downed a whole quart in just 41 minutes.  Trust me, you'll need it.

I'm also really happy that I'm doing the workouts in the morning and getting them out of the way. I can actually use my lunch to eat lunch now :-)  My evening are also less intense now.  I feel if I were to wait for the evening, I would just have too many excuses and not work out.  This way, I know I'm done for the day and finishing the workouts in themselves is a great accomplishment :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tryin to keep it healthy!

Hey Everyone,
So this weekend I managed to indulge A LOT!! I went to a friends baby shower and had a ton of great food and sweet treats. To compensate for all the sweet and delicious food I had, I'm making a conscience effort to not snack a lot and lay off the junk food. My day got off to a good start with an INSANITY workout. I also had a strawberry smoothie with some vanilla protein powder.
Between breakfast and lunch, I did have a Larabar as a snack. Finally lunch time came around and I had two shrimp tacos, with corn tortillas. I prepped the tacos last night. I bought 1/4 pound of medium sized cooked shrimp. I sliced up some green pepper and onions and allowed this to char in my cast iron skillet. I made a simple guacamole with some avocado, lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno. I also used shredded cabbage. I like the crunch of the cabbage, compared to lettuce.
I toasted up two corn tortillas on an open stove. I then added a bit of guac, cabbage, peppers, onions and shrimp. And there you have it...two delicious shrimp tacos!
What did you have for lunch?

Morning Morning...

Good Morning All,

So my day started off at 5:30am.  I've started my Insanity regime and today I completed Day 1:  The Fit Test.  I will post up my fit test results this evening.  Good news...59 more days to go :-p

After a quick shower and getting ready for work, I made myself a protein pack smoothie made of:
  • Strawberries
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1/4c of almond milk
  • Almond butter
  • Vanilla protein powder
The smoothie tasted great and was filling, but I think I will stick to non fat ricotta cheese in my protein shakes instead of the protein powder, that is until I found a more natural protein powder.

How was your morning?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Healthy, homemade berry sorbet!

Hello Everyone! Next week the weather will be warming up so get excited and make my recipe for a healthy berry sorbet, featured on The Ajnabee:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lunch Today: Egg Salad..beefed up!

Hello hello! Hope you guys didn't miss me too much yesterday. A trip to the dentist yesterday left me in an un-eatable state and there really was not much to do but sleep!
Today is a much better day, though. Definitely more productive when it comes to chewing :-)

So, for lunch I had an egg salad which I beefed up with some Pico De Gallo mix made of only tomato, onions, jalapeno and cilantro. I chopped up my egg, added some reduced fat mayo and onion powder. I slapped this onto an Arnold's Thin and had some carrots on the side. Mmmm mmmm good!
How was your lunch?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Egg Salad Sandwich and Salad.....

Hello hello! How is your day going so far? I was able to take my lunch break and make it to the gym for a calorie burning workout on the stair master. According to the machine, I blasted out 300 calories while stepping away at level 12. Not bad for a mid day break.

Lunch was eaten at my desk while working. Last night, I hard boiled an egg and brought that in along with my Arnolds Sandwich Thins. At my little fridge at work I keep reduced fat mayo and some salad dressings, like Newman's Own Light Balsamic. I quickly peeled my egg and chopped it up. Then I mixed a tablespoon of light mayo, pepper and onion powder. Mmm..I slapped this eggalicious mixture on my toasted sandwich thins and had a great lunch. I also made a chopped side salad of cucumber and grape tomatoes, dressed with a little bit of light balsamic.

Yum...a healthy and delish lunch!
What did you guys have?

Snack time...

A delish mango treat from my co worker! So juicy and sweet!

Berry Breakfast Bowl...

Good Morning All,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Monday is here and there's nothing more you can do than dive right in.  Start your day off right by having a hearty breakfast. This morning I had Greek yogurt with frozen blackberries and almond butter mixed in.  I stirred this all up and I had a nice frozen treat for breakfast.

How did you start your day?

Chicken Kebabs: Bihari Style

So, here's what was going down in Kanwal's Kitchen over the weekend. Actually, this happened to go down in Mama Ullah's kitchen :-)

I went home yesterday and since the weather was so great, Mama Ullah decided to make me some chicken kebabs out on the grill. In no time my mom had chicken breasts cut up and marinating in the proper bihari kebab spice marinade of: yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander, chili's, onion and cumin!  A couple of hours later I helped her skewer these babies up and start the grilling!

End result:  Perfectly moist, and flavored chicken kebabs

These kebabs were enjoyed with a sided of sauteed okra and some rice...go Ma!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Simple lunch: Brown Rice Pasta with Broccoli Florets

On a cold and rainy day like today, I crave warm, simple dishes. I also try to keep it healthy when I can :-) Today, I decided to make a simple brown rice pasta and steamed broccoli bowl. I also wanted to keep my sauce simple so I only used extra virgin olive oil and shredded cheese with black pepper and dried basil mixed in. Let's take a look at the ingredients:

Brown rice pasta Steamed broccoli florets EVOO Shredded cheese Black pepper and basil for seasoning Preparation: Cook the pasta as instructed. Place cooked pasta in a bowl with the steamed broccoli florets. Make sauce by mixing a tablespoon of EVOO with a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Add desired amount of black pepper and basil. Toss pasta and broccoli with sauce. Enjoy!

Here's how this meal shapes up: Whole grain: brown rice pasta Produce: broccoli florets Protein: shredded cheese Plant fat: EVOO Sass: black pepper, basil Question of the day: what is your favorite comfort food?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Decadent Breakfast....

So, what did you guys have for breakfast this morning?  I had a deliciously decadent breakfast (please look left) of Greek yogurt, dark chocolate chips and sliced banana.  Not only was this delish breakfast decadent, but it's actually pretty nutritious.  Protein from the Greek yogurt, fiber from the banana, and antioxidants from the dark chocolate chips.  I used 60% cacao chocolate chips.  Delish!  Jealous?  You too can make this great creation with the help of the three ingredients. This makes me think...can I make a healthy cannoli cream filling for breakfast?

Ah, I love experimenting! 

Be happy, it's Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Black Bean Burger Mystery Recipe: Homemade Black Bean Burger

Whew....glad to hear The Black Bean Burger Mystery is solved!  Last thing we want on lunch plates is unhealthy meals going out to the great citizens of lunch times.

Now that this mystery is solved, I think it's a great time to share the nutritiously delicious home made recipe for the black bean burger.

One 15oz. can of reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup of thinly sliced scallions
1/2 bell pepper diced
1tsp. of garlic powder
1/4 cup of cilantro, very finely chopped
1tsp. of onion powder

In a puree the beans in a blender or food processor.  Mix the remainder of the ingredients in the puree. Combine well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before forming patties and serving on a whole wheat bun.

Servings:  3

The Black Bean Burger Mystery: The Suspects...

Now that you all know the background to this mystery, lets have a looksie at our suspects....

Homemade black bean burger.  Suspect has proteins and carbs, yet claims to be filled with fiber.

Accomplice 1:  Side Salad
The side salad, although little effort was put in, the side salad made a big impact to the fulfillment of the meal.  Are cucumbers and tomatoes really to blame for the full flavor of the meal.

Accomplice 2:  Arnolds Sandwich Thin
Claims to fill the place of a regular bun with half the calories and twice the fiber.  It's a thin line to break a bad habit of over indulgence.

Accomplice 3:  Newman's Own Light Balsamic
Is this really Light or do I sense a back stab of full fat flavored dressing?

Could this homemade black bean burger really create a filling lunch?  What exactly is this made of?  How did the suspect taste?  These and many other questions hope to be answered soon....

caugh in the act!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My column on

Hello All,

Please hop on over to  and check out my recipe for NO SUGAR ADDED peanut butter muffins!  This is great for breakfast or a snack!  As usual, healthy, nutritious and delicious!

Strawberry Almond Bowl...texturized

 Hello Hello,

This morning I was craving a nice hearty bowl of delicious and nutritious...texture.  Yes, sometimes you want a little texture to your meal, and not something uniformly creamy.  I was thinking how I could do this with my regular cinnamon yogurt, fruit and almond bowl.

Here's what I came up. Instead of fully slicing my strawberries, I cut them in half and instead of using slivered or sliced almonds, I used whole almonds. I still had my yogurt with my cinnamon, but this tasted all the much better with the big chunks of fruit and whole almonds...mmm..yummy!

What did you guys have for breakfast?

Question of the day:  What is your favorite type of yogurt?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recipe Alert: Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding w/ Chocolate Chips

Good Morning All,

I thought I'd start this morning off on a bit of a sweet note and post my recipe for Peanut Butter and Banana Pudding w/Chocolate Chips.  So, I've been doing a lot of experimenting with agar agar, which is a sea based gelling agent.  Most gelatin found in common foods such as Jello, are animal based.  As I go more and more into the world of a vegetarian, I've started to find replacements for even the little things.

Here is a pic of the agar agar I used:
Per the instructions I used 1TB of agar agar and put this in really hot water.  Then I let it sit for 10-15 minutes, until it was completely dissolved.  While this was dissolving, I gathered the rest of my ingredients:

1 ripe banana
2TB. of peanut butter
1/4 of a block of silken tofu

I then worked on the prep, which could not have been easier:
Place all ingredients in a blender (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend away till creamy.  Place this in a bowl.

Once the agar agar dissolved, I poured this into the bowl as well and stirred it in.  This gradually thickened and I topped with mini chocolate chips!

This pudding was very delicious.  The only thing I would change is maybe try to find another natural thickener.  Agar agar is great but does take a while to dissolve.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dinner Last Night: Steak with Blue Cheese Dressing

Good Morning Everyone,

Last night I made it home just in time to do a Tae Bo Cardio workout and then make myself a quick dinner. Now, I've cut out a lot of red meat and chicken in my diet. I use to have at least one serving of red meat or chicken a day, be it for lunch or dinner. Now, I probably have this once a week. Last night, I was really, really craving a steak salad with blue cheese dressing. I went to the grocery store and bought some lean steak, salad, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese. Now, I bought blue cheese crumbles vs. the actual blue cheese dressing because I noticed most of the blue cheese dressings had 15 grams of fat and over 200 calories...for just TWO tablespoons!! I was like, WHAT THE H?!?! Also, there were a ton of ingredients listed for the dressing! Instead, a quarter cup of blue cheese crumbles has 8 grams of fat and 100 calories! Hello....I would just make my own blue cheese dressings with actual blue the way it's supposed to be!

So, I went home with my ingredients, cooked my perfect portion lean steak and started to assemble my salad. Then I made my delicious, low fat blue cheese dressing.

The deets:
2 TB. of blue cheese crumbles
2 TB. of non fat Greek Yogurt
2 TB. of white vinegar
2tsp. of reduced fat mayo
1tsp. of garlic powder
1tsp. of onion powder

Mix all the ingredients together for a creamy blue cheese dressing for a little less than 100 calories and you know all the ingredients going in!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I have an peanut butter!!!!

to be continued...

Breakfast: Cinnamon Yogurt and Almond Cup

Breakfast today was a bowl full of Greek plain Greek yogurt, a ton of my favorite cinnamon, almonds and sliced banana.  A fresh, delicious, stick to your ribs kind of breakfast, to give me the energy I need to get through the day!

mmm...deliciousness in a mug
Question of the day:  What did you have for breakfast?

Finally Met Jillian Michaels...

Well, hello hello.  So, last night was quite an event.  Totally last minute, I decided to go to Jillian Michael's booking signing for her new book, "Unlimited".  The book signing was in Borders in Columbus Circle. Jillian was there and so were a few members of The Biggest Loser, past and present.  I didn't really recognize any of the present ones since I have not been watching this season.  I waited nearly four hours, standing in line for Jillian to autograph my book!  The reason why it took so long is she gets personal with everyone and with nearly 400 people there, this took a while.  What I should have done was gone to Borders and gotten a bracelet earlier (you can't get in without a bracelet).  The bracelet has your line number on it.  Since I decided to go last minute, my line number was pretty high :-\

Me and Jillian
As expected, when my turn finally came, Jillian was sweet and very tiny!  It was worth waiting in line!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Doing the Tuna and Spinach...

Lunch today was my delish tuna salad but instead of a side of steamed veggies, I had a spinach and cherry tomato salad, lightly dressed with Newman's Own Light Balsamic dressing.

mmmm...looks good!
Lunch is done and I'm already thinking about dinner. Let's see what I can come up with tonight.

Question of the day:  What's for dinner?

I'm Craving....

A SALMON BURGER!!!!! image:


Hey Everyone,

I've conquered the Monday blues and was totally on schedule yesterday! I left work right at 6:30 and was in my PJ's by 8pm, eating my dinner and watching Castle by 10pm. Yes, the downtime was awesome!! This morning I enjoyed my breakfast bowl, however, instead of adding PB to the mixture I added 14 whole almonds.

This was very satisfying in both texture and taste. I can't wait for the weather to get warmer outside, that's when I really crave big smoothie bowls. Alright guys, till lunch...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lunch Today...

Alright Guys,

We are halfway through the day and I've accomplished a lot! First off, I have been very productive at work. Secondly, I used my lunch hour to get my work out in! Oh yes, 30 minutes of pure cardio on the stair master, at level 12. Yup, that was a sweat fest. I ate lunch at my desk. Today's lunch consisted of a tuna salad on a Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats. Tuna salad was simply made by taking a small can of tuna (the individual 3oz can) and mixing in a TB of light mayo, onion powder and a few sliced up cherry tomatoes. On the side I took a small bag of frozen veggies and nuked them for five minutes. I then drizzled on some balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. I also threw in a few cherry tomatoes. Mmm...delish!

Here's how the meal shapes up:
Whole grain: deli flats
Produce: veggies
Lean Protein: tuna
Plant fat: mayo
Sass: balsamic vinegar

My first cooking video...

Guys, Here's the link to my first cooking video.. This a recipe for a healthy banana pudding Comments welcome!

Breakfast time...

Well, now that I let everyone know how much I hate Monday's, let's get onto more interesting things, such as what I ate for breakfast this morning!
This morning I had a wonderful Greek yogurt and ricotta bowl, sprinkled with a bunch of Simply Organic Cinnamon. I mixed in one small banana, chopped and two TB of crunchy PB. These days I'm loving the PB by Peanut Butter &Co.
What did you guys have for breakfast?
Question of the day: What's your favorite type of peanut butter and how do you like it?


Good Morning All,
It's Monday...I HATE Mondays. The only thing worse than Monday's is Sunday night, when you know Monday is on its way. So, here's the plan of action for the day: Go through my work day and get as much done as possible, be productive as possible Use my lunch hour to get my workout in Leave work by 6:30pm Be home by 8:00pm Shower Eat dinner Watch Castle ( I can't help it, I like the show :-p ) And..before you know it, we'll be on our to Tuesday!!! image:

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Cinch!...AGAIN!

Today is the last day on the Cinch! fast forward. As many of you know, this is the second time I'm doing this. The first time around, I lost a considerable 8 pounds, this time, just 1. Now, after the Cinch! fast forward the first time, I have been losing about a pound a week, as I've kept up with the Cinch! puzzle since. I think I did not lose much weight this time because I'm already following these principles, which is good. The only thing that Imissed out on this week was the variety of food I could have eaten. I LOVE the Cinch! and think it's a great plan, but if you continue to follow the Cinch! principles, I don't think you need to do the fast forward again.