What I ate Wednesday

Good morning world!

I start rehearsal for Big Fish in two weeks.. and I CANNOT WAIT! I can’t wait to start working on this amazing project and spend time with all of the wonderful cast members that I call my friends.

I’m also loving My health coaching course (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) it truly has been a life changing experience. All in all, Life is GOOD.

So, I find that I often read blogs to see what other people eat. I’m not sure why it is so fascinating, but for some reason it is ridiculously entertaining. I suppose it is a better way to spend my time than watching crappy reality TV!

So friends…for those of you who may be interested, here is what I ate yesterday:

Sugar Cookie Oatmeal

  •  1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbs coconut flour (You can get this at any health food store, it is a grain free flour)
  • 3 stevia packets
  • 1/2 tsp chia
  • coconut extract
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (that’s from a carton or you can use 2 egg whites)

Combine oats, coconut flour, chia and water. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes (depending on

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microwave). Take out of microwave, and add in extracts, sweeteners and egg whites. I microwaved it for about 3 more minutes. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t spill over! The mixture will start to become more solid because of the egg whites.

Remove from microwave and add any toppings you want (I added Blueberries to create a blueberry sugar cookie 🙂 The coconut flour in it gives it that cookie flavor. YUMM

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For Lunch I ate left over Alfredo sauce (I’m obsessed) on top of steamed Green Beans from my mom’s garden: INCREDIBLE

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I also enjoyed a Hibiscus iced tea made at home as well 🙂

image-31Dinner was an incredible (and giant) salad (mostly from the garden) with a half pice of corn on the cob from my neighbor’s garden. I’m telling you, garden fresh veggies taste ridiculously good.

image-42Doesn’t it look amazing… yup it was 🙂

For dessert I had some Banana Ice cream that was TO DIE for!!!!

 

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Chocolate Covered Cherries Garcia Ice Cream!

  • 1 frozen banana
  • frozen cherries
  • 2 tbs cacao powder (or coco powder)
  • stevia (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • pinch of salt
  • vanilla and coconut extract
  • Chopped fresh cherries
  • 1 tbs cacao nibs (or
    dark chocolate)

Combine all ingredients in a blender (EXCEPT fresh cherries and cacao nibs), blend on low. Mix in cherries and cacao, and ENJOY!

**You may need to add a small amount of liquid to get things moving… depending on the blender.

Well, I am off to tackle the day….ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!

xoxoSYN

Smoothies and Sunshine

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. I am from Long Island, and my parents and I took our truck onto the beach. We got there at 3:00, and the beach was absolutely beautiful. It was barely crowded, and the sounds of waves cashing against the surf was more relaxing than I can describe. Oh, and they allow DOGS on this beach!!!!

A year and a half ago, my parents got a new puppy! Meet “Bear”:

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This is Bear as a baby…. Baby bear

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This is Bear today… he’s grown a bit 🙂

This dog is obsessed with the water… can’t you tell??

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Bear at the beach!!!

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If these pictures don’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will!

Ok, enough gushing about my dog!

Before the beach, I wanted something that would keep me full for a long time, but not give me an uncomfortable “Holy crap I just ate so much” feeling.

Answer to my dilemma: SMOOTHIE

Smoothies are an awesome way to fill your tummy with nutrients, and will keep you satisfied for a long time. I prefer Blended smoothies to Juicing because you keep all of the fiber from the fruit and vegetables in the blending process. When you juice, you are taking all of the fiber out, and you are left with the liquid or “juice” that the fruit/vegetable produces. Juicing is a great way to get an extra dose of veggies and fruits, but it is important to make sure you are getting enough fiber! (and not the kind from a pill people).

I’m sure you will see a number of smoothie recipes posted on my blog.. here is the first!

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PB&Q Smoothie (Peanut butter and quinoa!)

  • 1 frozen banana
  • frozen blueberries (about one cup, but I don’t measure)
  • Spinach (Try adding greens to your smoothies…I PROMISE you can’t taste it and it gives you an added dose of those leafys!!!)
  • 1-2 tbs nut butter (I use Sunbutter, but peanut butter, almond butter etc will work just fine!)
  • 1 tbs coco powder (not optional in my option, but I’m a chocolate fiend)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • sweetener of choice (I use stevia)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (Optional)
  • 1-2 tbs cooked quinoa
  • ice (how much is up to you, but if you add too much the peanut butter flavor will be watered down…you can always add more!)
  • a dash of salt (helps bring out flavor)

Option 1: Blend all ingredients together EXCEPT quinoa. After transferring smoothie to a cup, add the quinoa on top and mix in. Enjoy!

Option 2: Blend all ingredients together. Enjoy!

::Sigh:: I love summer 🙂

image-39Xoxo SYN

 

Pasta Night!

I LOVE pasta. I have ALWAYS loved pasta. I love the rich flavors, the luscious textures, and gorgeous smells.

…I hate that I can’t eat pasta

As a healthy eater, pasta just isn’t an option for me.

  1. I have zero self-control. Even if I buy the “healthy” brands of pasta (Ezekiel brand is really great), one serving just doesn’t cut it for me. I always feel unsatisfied
  2. Restaurant pastas are loaded with fat, refined carbohydrates, and excessive calories…I’m just not into that
  3. I hate that crash I have after eating a huge italian meal. When you eat all of those white carbs, your blood sugar shoots up and then quickly crashes… it makes you feel crappy and tired.
  4. I love creamy sauces… they also happen to be the WORST choice for you… ugh

THIS SUCKS!!!

Tonight…I wanted Pasta….

so I had it…and it was GLORIOUS 🙂

What I did:

I made pasta like spirals using this new awesome gadget:  Paderno spiral vegetable slicer

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If you don’t have one of these guys… NO PROBLEM!!! use: spaghetti squash, your favorite pasta, steamed vegetables, quinoa etc. this sauce is awesome on anything and everything 🙂

I adapted the recipe from Katies. Check out her blog… its ridiculously great.

Guilt Free Alfredo Sauce

  • half a head of cauliflower (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup cheese of choice (I used  Galaxy brand cheddar)
  • 3 tbs parmesan cheese (I used nutritional yeast flakes)
  • salt and pepper to taste ( about 1/2 tsp salt—you can always add more)
  • optional—-fresh rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a pot and boil until califlower is soft. Pour everything into a blender and blend on high.

**BE careful, it is going to be really hot…you don’t want it to explode in your blender!! Perhaps wait a few minutes until you start blending.

Pour sauce over pasta, add any veggies and ENJOY!!!

My toppings: Spinach, mushroom, artichoke, red pepper, 1 cup of shrimp and 1/4 cup quinoa.

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Blended sauce

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zucchini spirals and sauce mixed

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Added toppings
*Spinach, mushroom, red pepper, artichoke, 1 cup of shrimp, 1/4 cup quinoa

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YUMMM… it’s so spirally!!!

This is definitely my new favorite dinner…

It is so important to indulge in foods that you love, but it is so important to find healthy alternatives. Have fun experimenting with substitutions! When you discover a dish that can replace an unhealthy one, you feel like you are cheating the system…and it is AWESOME.

Question: What are your favorite “indulgence” foods?

xoxo SYN

Spice up your life!

I used to hate spicy foods. To me, they were absolutely inedible. Fast forward about five years and I can’t get enough of spicy food! It’s probably due of the influence of my spice loving native Texan boyfriend. Or maybe it is that whole “your taste buds change every 7 years.” Regardless, I love it.

Spicy foods are not only awesome because they give your food a kick, but they rev up your metabolism. The capsaicin in hot peppers (the source from which hot peppers get their heat) is a natural anti-inflammatory.

I was totally in the mood for spicy yesterday  and wanted to come up with some awesome recipes. A couple of weeks ago, Keith (the boyfriend) and I went to a restaurant called Westville. Westville is a fantastic restaurant with TONS of healthy options (If you are in the Manhattan are, totally check it out.) They offered something called “Kimchi Kale Slaw” which instantly peaked my interest. Unfortunately, it was made with Mayo (a no-no for me). I made a note in my mind “I MUST MAKE THIS MYSELF”.

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Kimchi Kale Slaw

**Kimchi is a Korean spicy pickled cabbage.

about 4 servings

  • 1 cup Kimchi chopped (I got mine from Trader Joes, they sell it at whole foods, wegmans, or any Asian market)
  • about 2-3 cups chopped raw kale (start with less and you can always add if needed)
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 pear chopped (leave skin on)
  • 2 spears chopped celery
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 tbs plain greek yogurt (I used So Delicious brand, but any plain yogurt will do!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

Chop and combine all ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate. serve cold.

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Next I attempted to make a spicy salsa, but then blended it too much. I decided to add some pepper, and cucumber and make some GASPACHO!!

(It may look disgusting, but it tastes amazing!)

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Summer Time Gaspacho

  • 8 roma tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 large onion  (1/2 small)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 jalepeno (more if you want more spice 🙂 ))
  • 1/2 cup water (or more depending on how thick you want your soup)
  • salt and pepper to taste

cut vegetables so that you can easily fit them in your blender (I use a vitamix). Put EVERYTHING into the blender and blend until you get a soupy consistency! I really eyeballed all of the ingredients so taste yours and see if you need more of something! (I also added some hot sauce)

Serve COLD

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Again, it’s not the most beautiful soup but it sure tastes amazing.

I hope your weekend is happy and healthy!!!

I just got a new kitchen gadget that I am super excited to share with you guys!!!

Hint: It makes spaghetti 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

xoxo SYN

Chocolate for Breakfast

Well, due to some skin issues I’ve been having, dairy can no longer be a part of my life. It’s pretty sad because I am a greek yogurt fanatic!!! Oh well… I love a challenge and finding substitutions will just fuel my fire 🙂

So I know the real reason you clicked on this post. Chocolate at any time of the day is awesome, but chocolate for breakfast time really takes the “Cake”…(chocolate cake?)

Your mother would have probably forbid this idea. “Breakfast is NOT the time for desert!” Well I say EAT YOUR DESERT WHENEVER YOU WANT!

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Chocolate Oatmeal Heaven

  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp chia seeds**
  • 1 tbs coco powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • FRUIT! (I used a banana, blue berries, black berries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • Optional (add 1 tbs nut butter….Reeces oatmeal perhaps?)

Combine oats, water and chia in a bowl (mix so that the chia seeds are dispersed amongst the oatmeal). Cook for 2 and a half minutes depending on microwave). Add coco powder, stevia and vanilla. Mix completely (you will start to smell an amazing chocolaty aroma…your welcome. Top with fruit, and ENJOY!

**Chia seeds are awesome. They expand when they are introduced to liquids. Cooking them at a high temperature with the oatmeal enhances their expansion and gives a nice bulk to the oatmeal. They also aid in hydration and are a complete protein!

This is a great choice for breakfast. The oats are a complete protein, which will help to keep you full until lunch time. The chia seeds are a complete protein, and help with hydration and fullness. The fiber from the fruit will also keep you full, and give you a nice healthy sugar boost to start your morning..

—and who said that chocolate was unacceptable in the morning?!

xoxo Syn

PORTION CONTROL

Well, I am gearing up to start rehearsals for the brand new production of Big Fish and I couldn’t be more excited! We start mid August, so lately I have been enjoying some much-needed time off.

Anyway. I am big into portion control.

Anyone who has seen me in the kitchen knows that I am constantly using measuring spoons and cups. I measure everything that goes into my body (literally put it in the cup/spoon and level it off with a knife).

For those of us aiming to manage or lose weight, it is crucial to be aware of EVERYTHING that you eat. We often times eat mindlessly. We think that the spoonful of the Ben and Jerry’s that is CALLING FOR US from the freezer doesn’t count because, well, no one saw it.

Ever done that??….yea me too.

Unfortunately it DOES count. Every little bite, lick and taste of food is a source of energy. That energy presents itself to the body as a fat, carb, or protein. Regardless of the portion size, your body is going to do SOMETHING with that unit of energy. If we’re lucky it uses it immediately and keeps us going through out our day. If we’re not so lucky, it goes straight to our thighs as fat…BOOOO

In my opinion, and many people don’t agree, vegetables and fruits (within reason and with the exception of starchy/fatty vegetables like beans,lentils, corn and avocados) can be eaten as much as you want (the body can process these plants  much easier than any other sort of food)

think… has anyone every gotten fat from eating too much spinach or too many carrots??

EVERYTHING else should we measured and portioned (portions are usually on the back of labels)

Lunch yesterday was: a huge salad full of:

“Syn” Salad

(Named by one of my best friends!)

  • Veggies (spinach, kale, romaine, artichoke hearts, beets, tomato, cucumber, carrots, radish–if you make a salad get creative!!)–I bolded these because they are my favorites
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (Super high in protein and a great complex carb)
  • 1/4 cup black beans (Wonderful source of vegetarian protein)
  • 1/4 avocado (portion of HEALTHY fat which is necessary for weight control and weight LOSS)
  • 1 TBS pistachios (another healthy fat PORTIONED)
  • capers
  • balsamic vinegar

*I also love to add 3 cooked egg whites, 2 tbs goat cheese (if you do dairy) etc.

it was incredibly filling because of the fiber from veggies. It was packed with protein because of the quinoa, pistachios, and beans. It had healthy sustainable fats in the avocado and nuts which will keep you full and satisfied  long after you’ve finished eating. The important thing: IT WAS DELICIOUS!

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Dinner was an egg white omelette stuffed with veggies and vegan cheese. (I use this brand because I have an allergy to soy and it’s soy free)

Perfectly Portioned Omelette

  • 4 egg whites (I use free range organic, but any eggs will do)
  • broccoli, spinach, onion, pepper, and some capers for a salty punch)
  • 1/3 cup Rice cheese   (you can also do 1 low fat string cheese, or 1/4 cup low fat shredded cheese… look on the back for the portion size!)
  • I cook my omlettes with cooking spray to avoid adding extra fat
  • Salsa and hot sauce

*When making an omelette, add as many veggies as you want. This will make the omelette more filling, plus you feel like you’re eating a big meal which is awesome. (I LOVE TO EAT)

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Topped with some salsa and hot sauce with SUZIES rice cakes (Which are my favorite) on the side

*they sell these awesome rice cakes at health food stores like whole foods..my fav. are the quinoa sesame

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Eating should NOT be stressful. It should be enjoyable and fun! I know that measuring is a drag, but when you know EXACTLY what you are putting into your body, the pay off is TOTALLY WORTH IT!

xoxo SYN

ps. I wanted to put it out there that if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can… I’m always here for help and support 🙂

Rox

So I’m a Rockette. I have been since 2007 and it’s a super cool job.

(For more info and some cool pics check out my “about me section”.

For those who don’t know, The Rockettes have been performing at Radio City Music hall  since 1933. We are most known for being the stars of “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular”, for being really tall and doing our “famous Eye High Kicks”.

We also, sometimes, get to do really awesome events.

I have had the opportunity to perform in some really incredible events. A few of my favorites were Oprah’s 10 year O-Magazine celebration, Project Runway, The American Theatre Guild Awards and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade among others. Tonight I had the pleasure of walking the red carpet, taking pictures and giving interviews at the Premiere of “America’s Got Talent” Live at Radio City!

Here are some pictures from tonight!

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After the event, a couple of us went to this beautiful Rooftop bar to celebrate a birthday.

This is one of those days where I can definitevly  say that I LOVE NEW YORK.

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xoxo Syn