the art of pancakes

My go to pancake recipe is healthy and packed with protein and goodness, but it’s not your standard pancake. For whatever reason, this past weekend, I decided I needed a standard pancake recipe, so I got mixing.

I wanted to do it from scratch, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the store at the moment and buy a mix, and also, making pancakes is a serious life skill.

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I chose the recipe from Google and it had a 5 star rating with lots of reviews, so I expected I was in good hands. These, the ones on the right, were okay. I made enough for two servings and refrigerated half for another day’s breakfast. The first batch came out looking kind of funky, but the ones I ate immediately looked and tasted better.

The second batch, on the left, looked and tasted a lot better. The trick, I think, is in allowing the batter to rest for about 15 minutes after mixing. I could not tell you the science of why, but it was on the instructions and I listened.

Still, these are not my momma’s pancakes, which, upon reflection, I believe came from Bisquick, but if that is not the case, I’m sure she’ll be ‘quick’ to tell me. And for the record, when I asked her and my sister if they had a go to recipe, she said “no” and my sister didn’t answer at all.

Back to the drawing board this weekend! If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment or send me a recipe!

pancakes and beach days

Once again, I am not sure how we’re already on Monday. The weekend was a good one but flew by!

I started off Friday night with a workout that I intended to be straight-up strength training and ended up being a run. The treadmill is not the most fun ever and I get bored easily, so I mixed it up a bit and did 6-6-5-5-4-4-3-3-2-2-1-1 alternating between walking and running by minutes, increasing speed as I decreased minutes and ended for a complete 45 minutes with some Tabata Intervals- 20 second sprints, 10 second rest. I was sweaty and tired by the end and ready for a relaxing evening.

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I pretty much watched Sex and the City, read a bit, and fell into a deep sleep!

Saturday morning, I woke up for a hankering for pancakes and tried out a new recipe that I’ll get to later in the week…After breakfast, I went grocery shopping before hitting up the gym for a killer strength training workout, the effects of which I am still feeling as I type this Monday morning.

I fit in a quick shower and lunch before it was time to meet my friend for a movie night. He hadn’t seen Wonder Woman yet and since I enjoyed it so much-and the tickets at this theater were cheap- I tagged along. We ended up going to the Vista, which is where they shot that terrifying movie scene in Scream 2. It was kinda a big deal.

After the movie, we got dinner at Shake Shack and a classy dessert at McDonalds for a McFlurry and called it a night!

Sunday morning called for more pancakes, this time a different recipe.

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Since Sunday was my rest day, I threw in a load of laundry and relaxed before it was time to meet my cousins at the beach. The wind prevented me from actually diving into the water, but it was nice and relaxing just sitting and chatting the afternoon away.

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If you look closely enough, you’ll notice a line of seagulls just sitting there watching the ocean. I can respect that as I too have been enjoying my tour of SoCal beaches, but I was also suspicious.

That afternoon, it was time for beers, chips and salsa, burgers, and desserts.

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I got home in time to fold laundry and enjoy another episode of Sex and the City before pulling the curtains on the weekend.

Caitlin in the Kitchen

I thought I was doing well by writing up a consistent “lately” post for the blog, but actually, no one reads it that day. I suppose I’m not overwhelmingly interesting and anything interesting that does happen to me is summed up in my weekend recap posts or whatever, so yeah, I’ll stop those.

People do like food posts. So here you are. Monday-Thursday breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

Breakfast

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Lunch

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Dinner

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gallons of water

It’s been two weeks and a day since I’ve started drinking a gallon of water everyday and the changes are subtle, but powerful. I took on this challenge because I realized I wasn’t drinking enough during the day and would hop into bed thirsty. If I drank water then, I’d wake up to pee and if I didn’t, I’d have trouble falling asleep. I also felt like my skin was breaking out more frequently than it used to and I wondered if a lack of water was the cause. Here’s what’s happened so far, both positive and negative side effects:

  1. I feel stronger during my workouts- PRO. I don’t know the scientific reasoning behind this, but my estimated guess is that the body needs a lot of water to function (okay, duh) and the more you put into it, the better results that you get. I will couple this along with working out in the morning and having more energy, also eating better, but I’ve seen improvements in just a few days of work.
  2. My appetite has lessened-PRO. Water cannot sustain me energy-wise like nutrient-filled food, but it does prevent me from over-eating and forces me to listen to my body’s signals.
  3. I always have to pee-CON. Sometimes having to pee can be pretty darn inconvenient, especially when it’s all the time, but everything has its sacrifices.
  4. Detoxing the body naturally-PRO. I spoke on this earlier in the week on the topic of detoxing the body, but it’s worth mentioning. When you drink only water, tea, coffee, and an occasional alcoholic beverage and soda, you take in fewer calories and you help guide out the toxins that make their way in.
  5. Always thirsty-CON. Again, I’m not a scientist and I don’t know why this is the case, but I find myself to feel thirstier than normal when I haven’t had water in awhile. For instance, I went to the beach in the morning and didn’t have anywhere to replenish my water bottle and boy did I feel it!

I don’t have a scale, so I tend to measure my weight by how I feel and how my clothes fit, and it’s only been over two weeks, so I’m not sure if drinking more water will help me lose weight, but not everything health-wise has to have that as the conclusion. At this point, I’ve realized I feel better when I drink enough water and that’s what matters.

 

detox

We’ve all had those weekends- we eat too much, feel bloated, tired, gross (for lack of a better word and yet, that word fits perfectly). I’ve heard and read a lot about detoxing- pills, juices, shakes, etc. I promise, nothing beats good old-fashioned moderate eating and exercise.

Here are some of my tips to not let the negative sway you in the direction of unhealthy choices.

  1. Stay positive. Always. Health is a progression. I have the body type that will always require me paying attention to what I’m eating, but I’m determined to not hate myself regardless of what shape my body is.
  2. Rephrase the word “diet.” Especially after heavy eating weekends or vacations, my body craves healthy foods and my mind sets itself on about eating healthier in general. Great, don’t see it as a diet, but a way of life. Mostly, I eat healthy, sometimes I indulge more days than others. Diet is not cutting food groups or counting calories, it’s the way that you eat and it’s not temporary.
  3. Drink water. Drink it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Drink it before and after that third cup of coffee. I’ve challenged myself to drink a gallon of water every day for a month-I’m on my second week- and I feel great. I’m less tired, I’m never thirsty, but I always have to pee. Always. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and maintains health inside and out unlike any other exterior substance.
  4. Drink tea. I drink at least one cup of tea every day. Green tea in particular has huge benefits. I sip on mine, sometimes with honey, lemon, and cinnamon, sometimes plain, every morning after my standard cup of coffee. For an extra spark, add a dash of cayenne pepper as it may help rev the metabolism. To ease digestion and stomach aches, drink peppermint tea. Just trust me on this one. And it’s naturally decaffeinated, so drink it whenever!
  5. Exercise. Morning, afternoon, or night. Move. Lift weights too, it’s the best.
  6. Don’t overthink it. In many cultures, food is energy, but it’s also celebration. Indulging is a part of life, it should be a part of your diet. Follow the moderation rule as much as possible, but know that there are days when that isn’t going to happen and it isn’t going to matter. It shouldn’t the next day either.
  7. Meal prep. Figure out your favorite, veggie-heavy recipe, and have that be your go-to meal for post-weekend (or whenever-day) indulgences. Mornings always call for a hearty bowl of oatmeal with berries, lunches will be a salad or stir fry, and dinners a piece of fish with rice or quinoa and lots of veggies. Basically, eat a lot of veggies, but again, that should be a constant.
  8. Avoid sugar. I have a dangerous sweet tooth, particularly for chocolate, ice cream, and cookies. I don’t cut them out of my diet, but I try to pay attention to the quality of the treat, as well as the timing. Despite my best efforts, I’ll sometimes feel guilty about eating something, particularly if I feel like I’ve already been bad. Guilt lends to negative connotations surrounding food and eating. Also, the more sugar you eat, the more you want it. Take a break for a day or two to refresh and ensure that whatever sugary (or savory) indulgence you crave is actually enjoyed.
  9. Eat normally. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, you need energy. Just because you ate too much one day, doesn’t mean you don’t need food the next. Pay attention to what and how much you’re eating, but eat.
  10. Occupy your mind. Nothing leads to negativity faster than overthinking it. Too often, I get trapped worrying about my eating habits and berating myself for not knowing or doing better. Sometimes, this could lead to “well, I’ll start over tomorrow” or a sense of hopelessness. The more you think about eating and food from that negative lens, the worse you’ll feel. Do something else you love: read, go for a walk, do a crossword, play a game, watch a movie or TV, text someone, browse the internet, write, find a new hobby.

baked eggs

I don’t have cute ramekins I can throw in the oven, but I do have a loaf pan that will do the same trick. Btw, loaf pan just sounds funny.

Anyway, I was looking to switch up my dinners and an old brunch recipe struck my fancy. Baked eggs!

I got out my loaf pan and got to chopping some red pepper, along with spinach.

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Next, I slathered on a layer of tomato sauce.

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Then came my favorite ingredient: fresh mozzarella cheese!

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Cracked two eggs, along with some salt and pepper.

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Threw this in the oven at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes and served with toast.

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Yum!