fab food find: it’s quark, not twerk

Have you guys ever heard of Quark? It’s a cheese-based, yogurt-like product popular in Germany. Since I follow many fit/healthy living Instagram accounts, I found out about Quark from international posts.

quark

Source: http://www.elliquark.com/

Quark in a nutshell
-Low calorie (80 per container)
-Fat free
-High protein (14g)

When I found out about this stuff, I just had to get my hands on it! A high, protein, no fat, low calorie yogurt/cottage cheese food? It sounds great.

But, alas, after some research I found Quark is just now making its way to the states. I reached out to the popular Quark startup, Elli Quark, and inquired about their expansion to the states. Read how Elli Quark originated.

A representative said they’ve already started to sell products on the West Coast in Whole Foods, and are spreading toward the east coast over the next few months.

I CAN’T WAIT!

They have flavors like red velvet, pineapple and strawberry.

Once they’re here, you better believe I’ll be writing a review.

Until then, twerk –er I mean Quark–on!

Please note: I am in no way affiliated with Elli Quark. All opinions in this post are my own.

chia seed breakfast pudding

Chia seeds have been dubbed the ‘It’ food of 2013, according to this article from ABC News. They’ve been in stores for a while but just started gaining popularity the past few years and you can now find them in many forms, including chia seed butters/spreads and chia bars.

So what are the benefits of chia seeds, and why should we incorporate them into our diet?

High in fiber. The seeds actually expand in your stomach, making you feel more full. In 1oz (2.75tbs) of chia seeds, you’ll get a serving of 10g dietary fiber. If you’re new to try the seed, take it slow as the high fiber may upset your stomach.
Protein. A 1oz. serving offers almost 5g of protein.
One of the highest sources of omega 3 fats. These fats are found in other foods like salmon, flax seeds and walnuts. Omega 3 acids maintain fluidity in cell membranes, reduce inflammation, improve the body’s ability to insulin properly and keeps blood from clotting.

Overnight Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding
-1/2 cup almond milk (or any time of milk)
-2 tbs chia seeds
-1/2tsp. vanilla extract
-1 packet sweetener (Stevia, Truvia, etc.)

Place in a container with a lid in your fridge overnight. What comes out the next morning is a bit of an odd, jelly pudding. But I promise it’s good! Mess around with different flavoring to see how you can tweak it. Taralynn from Undressed Skeleton made an eggnog flavored chia pudding!

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creamy florida avocado mango smoothie

As a follow up to my post on the Florida avocado, I still had a second half of the large avocado to eat.

Since I wasn’t a huge fan of the taste in my salad the first time, I decided to mask it a little bit in a smoothie. It was the perfect ingredient. The avocado replaced any yogurt I would have normally used and gave my smoothie a delicious, smooth, thick and creamy texture. It reminded me of the smoothies at the mall! You know what I’m talking about … the claimed ‘healthy’ fruit smoothies that sometimes are everything but healthy.

Creamy Florida Avocado Mango Smoothie
-Half a Florida avocado
-1 cup of frozen mango
-1 cup of Skim milk
-1 ice cube
-1 tbs Agave syrup
-3/4 Stevia packet

Blend it all together! You should get a heaping serving of a creamy, green smoothie. Enjoy!

avocado mango smoothie

This smoothie is great for breakfast. It packs about 16 grams of protein and fills you up.

Have you ever tried to make a smoothie with avocado? How did it turn out?

let’s get our quinoa on

I really love quinoa. I think it has a better texture and flavor than bland rice, and it’s definitely more filling. I eat it a lot, usually in stuffed peppers, but I also like it as a cold salad.

The other day I made this flavorful, and colorful, quinoa salad. I ate it a few times for lunch this week.
-1 cup quinoa
-chopped pepper
-chopped green onion
-drizzle with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper

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All mashed up and some kind of wondeful.

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I had a very hectic work week, so here’s a couple of other random dinner meals throughout the week.
-1/2 cup egg whites
-sweet potato, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper. Baked in oven at 400˚for about 30 minutes

I can never get sweet potatoes crispy. Do you have a recipe that works?

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My go-to, salmon and sauteed peppers and onion.
-1 frozen salmon fillet. Thaw in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes. Pan sear in olive oil on stove top for about 5 minutes.
-1 chopped pepper, chopped onion sauteed in oil in skillet

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mondays, oh mondays

Mondays aren’t exactly the best day of the week. On top of it being a Monday, I went into work super early to get a good head start on the day and week. I was beat mid-day and I was happy I packed my leftover Starbucks Iced Skinny Peppermint Mocha (don’t worry, I kept it in the fridge so it was still good).

What are some things you do to make your Monday better?

Cucumber, fresh mozzarella and Italian Dressing (light) salad

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Stuffed pepper with quinoa, black beans and some shredded Taco cheese

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It is also really windy today (like 50 mph), and if you know me, which you don’t YET, you’ll know that I absolutely hate wind. Instead of doing my normal routine of work, gym, home, I skipped the gym and rented The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

I’ve been craving pizza all weekend but didn’t end up getting any. Tonight, my craving still persists, so I decided to put together a pizza on one of my protein P28 flatbreads.

Preheat oven to 425

I started with an oil and garlic base for the pizza. I really like white pizza so this was perfect.

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Chopped a pepper then sauteed with some Kale in olive oil.

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Spread the sauteed Kale and peppers on flatbread with olive oil/garlic base.

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Fresh Mozzarella!

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Baked for about 8 minutes. It was pretty crispy, just the way I like my pizza.

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The pizza was good and satisfied my craving. It was definitely different and I attribute that to the P28 flatbread. As I mentioned in a previous post , the flatbread is a little sweet due to raisin juice and cinnamon. It tasted Okay with the pizza I made, but definitely quite the taste bud combination. You could use any type of flatbread or possibly a tortilla for the pizza.

humpday

I ran some ‘errands’ during lunch today. My boyfriend quickly discovered that errands is code for shopping.

I mentioned in my previous post I’m trying to up my protein. It’s harder for me to get a high amount of protein because I’m Pescaterian, meaning I don’t eat meat, but do eat fish and eggs. I’m not an expert or highly educated in nutrition, health or fitness, but the general recommendation for protein intake per day is approximately 1g per lb. of weight. I’ve been finding unique ways to UP my protein and one product I discovered is high protein bread from P28.

So far I’ve only tried their Flatbreads, but I absolutely love them.
P28 High Protein Flat Bread  P28  Original High Protein Foods - Google Chrome_2013-11-14_08-05-43
I was happy to find out they’re located in Syracuse, NY, not too far from me and the product ingredients are natural and generally pretty basic with natural sweeteners like sugar and Stevia extract. The Flatbread has a tinge of sweetness to it which I attribute to the raisin juice and cinnamon in the ingredients.

Ingredient list from Netrition.
Water, whole wheat flour, P28 blend (whey protein isolate, wheat protein isolate, wheat gluten, soybean oil), sugar, contains 2% or less of:corn starch, wheat starch, molasses, yeast, oat groats, raisin juice concentrate, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, millet, cracked wheat, sea salt, cultured wheat starch, cultured sugar, vinegar, lactic acid, cinnamon, enzymes, guar gum, rebiana(stevia extract).

Anyway, it’s got 28g protein and I usually put a can of tuna salad in the wrap with chopped kale. Delicious and very filling.
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I get my wraps from Wegmans but should probably consider buying them through the P28 site or Netrition.

let’s give this thing a try, shall we?

This post’s title alludes to the fact that it’s my first one.

The first snowfall of the season drifted into today too. I think it’s going to warm up this weekend, but I was kind of excited to see the snow and get into the holiday spirit.
11/12/13 snowfall

Breakfast this AM consisted of my regular protein smoothie. I use MyoFusion Elite in Chocolate — it is so good. It has 25g protein per scoop. I recently started taking protein (maybe 2 weeks ago) because I am trying to up my protein intake and add some muscle mass. I’ve also been doing a lot of weight lifting, so this is an easy way for me to supplement and recover from workouts. I want to try their vanilla and peanut butter flavors too.

Breakfast Chocolate Mocha Shake

4-5 ice cubes
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1 scoop MyoFusion Chocolate protein powder
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1/4 cup AlmondBreeze chocolate almond milk
8 oz. of double-brewed Cinnamon Swirl coffee from Brew La La
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The perfect combination of a Starbucks frappuccino and chocolate milkshake
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It’s usually much more of a chocolate milk consistency by the time I get to work and drink it. I also had a bowl of plain Chobani Greek Yogurt with about 1 tsp. of honey and some sweetener, and a banana with 1 tsp. Wegmans Natural Peanut Butter.