Healthy and Sane

Picking up steam

March 5th, 2010 · 32 Comments · breakfast, dessert, Ellie Krieger, pork, snacks

This week has been wonderful. Something in me just clicked! After what seems like months of trying hard to eat healthy but nearly every night succumbing to a bag of nuts, cookies, etc., this week it all finally made sense again. I’ve been eating delicious eats, stopping at just one serving, and got rid of those snacking demons at night. This sudden change in attitude has been puzzling me – how can my mindset change so drastically for no apparent reason? I think I figured it out! It’s this…


No, not spices. It’s my new kitchen (with this awesome built-in spice drawer) that makes me smile every time I walk into the house and I cannot wait to get in there and cook something healthy and delicious! Why waste calories on stupid stuff when you can have a satisfying meal? There are so many recipes I’ve marked over the past month and a half of construction, I don’t have enough meals in a day to execute all of them. But I’m up for the challenge! πŸ˜€ Now, should we take a look at that spice drawer again? πŸ˜‰ [And yes, I alphabetized them!]


Yesterday the black peppercorns were the star of dinner.


I haven’t participated in CEiMB in almost 2 months now. This was a great recipe to dive back into it! I used to hate pork but pork tenderloin turned that around – it’s lean and tender and I’m pretty sure it’s one of my husband’s favorite meats (we discovered it together). For this reason, when I saw that Rachel of Rachel Hearts Food chose Ellie’s pork au poivre as this week’s featured recipe, I was more than happy to jump back on the CEiMB wagon. :mrgreen:


This recipe was easy and had a very short ingredients list – perfect for a weeknight meal!


Gena’s carrot fries (found through Thinspired) made for a perfect side dish! Adam was making fun of me when I started making these but I knew they’d be amazing. I cut up a bunch of carrots (maybe 3/4 lb?) and used 1T of coconut oil. I think I’ll cut down on the oil even further next time, there seemed to be more than ample amount of it, but let me tell you… there will be a next time. Soon! Adam quickly stopped making fun of me after tasting these babies. They reminded us both of sweet potato fries due to a subtle sweetness from the coconut oil (I think that’s an important ingredient!). SO so good!! Adam said to add this recipe to our short list of “favorites.” Yup, carrot fries need to be on our favorites list. I’ll leave it at that. :)


Veggies take over the world! Or at least this plate… (carrot fries were accompanied by garlicky string beans which I just stir-fried while the wine sauce was reducing)


Did I mention this pork au poivre was great? It was! Tender, juicy, flavorful – we both loved it!


Oops, don’t forget the wine sauce!! I’d double the sauce amount next time… it was quite nice.


So yeah, dinner was amazing. Let’s fly through the rest of the eats.


Bacon, egg and cheese on a FFL english muffin + coffee


Breakfast of champions! Or something like that πŸ˜†



1/2 blueberry muffin with 1T Barney Butter + tea


Oh yeah…


WORKOUT – 75 minute vinyasa class. It was great today. I was almost able to do the crow pose. Yay for progress! πŸ˜€


1/2 cup reduced fat cottage cheese + 2 clementines


The clementines deserve a spot at the front and center too πŸ˜‰



I finally got my last package of the bake sale for Haiti winnings. This one included some peanut butter/choc chip “granola bars” and banana bread.


These granola bars are basically bar cookies… and they are amazing!!!!!


It took a lot of will power to only eat 1. They are full of oats, seeds, choc chips and peanut butter – so dense and buttery. Oh yeah, there IS butter in them. Like I said, not exactly granola bars but damn, worth every calorie for sure! (I can provide you guys with the recipe if you’re interested).


The banana bread was nice too :)


I had 1/2 of this slice.


And that’s how you do it!

Do you ever lose motivation to keep eating healthy or exercising? What pushes you to keep at it? I have a feeling not everyone can just redo their kitchen πŸ˜†

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    Haha I was just thinking last night, I am sick of drinking so much water, working out, and eating healthy! Though it makes me feel great most of the time, sometimes I just don’t want to think about it. I am in a little rut but home to get some steam back with the warm weather coming this wknd!

  • #2 - sister inna

    haha. not everyone can redo their kitchen to get some motivation — true that.
    hopefully our new apartment will have a large kitchen ( actually i’m sure it will — that’s kind of a deal breaker).

    one thing to get me out of a rut — trying new classes at my gym. i took a parkour evolution class last night and i barely made it down my stairs this morning πŸ˜‰ my legs are on FIRE. i’m going back for more this sunday! can’t wait :)

  • #3 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    I think the fact that you’ve been extra motivated by your new kitchen makes total sense. Environment definitely plays a role in my healthy habits – I am way less likely to overeat when I take the time to make the table look nice, light a candle, etc. than when I just eat at my desk or something like that.

    I actually recently posted about finding the motivation to exercise, if you want to check it out!

  • #4 - Sophie @ yumventures

    I am officially in love with your spice drawer! OMG…amazing! Its going on my “must have” list whenever we get our first real place!

    I lose motivation all the time! Not so much for eating healthy, but definitely for working out! I often will read through blogs with peoples before and after stories, or race recaps. Seeing other people succeed helps me give myself the push to say “I want to be able to do that one day”.

  • #5 - Lauren @ Eater not a runner

    Your spice drawer is amazing!

    For me training for a race definitely helps, gives me some motivation to do better :-)

  • #6 - KellyB

    Your sprice drawer is really cool. Do you date your spices, so you know when you buy them?

    I must try the carrot fries. after I try roasted green beans.

  • #7 - Melissa

    I want a spice drawer! It looks awesome. I’m glad you are enjoying your new kitchen!

  • #8 - Beth @ DiningAndDishing

    “Why waste calories on stupid stuff when you can have a satisfying meal?”

    I totally agree!! I am not much of a snacker for that reason. I would so much prefer to enjoy a great meal than pick pick pick at snack foods all day. So much more satisfying!!

  • #9 - Amanda @ LessonsInModeration

    What an amazing kitchen! I regulary lose my motivation to eat healthy and exercise! :) I think when I am able to do it consistently for a few days I get addicted to how good I feel and that keeps me going.

  • #10 - Jen

    Great job finding a balance! I completely agree – i’d much rather spend my calories on delicious, healthy, satisfying meals and snacks! Most people who I work with make fun of my lunch bag full of containers for my day’s eats, but I just laugh at them when they bring in their lean cuisine!

  • #11 - Morgan

    I keep staring at the pics of your spice drawer in envy. it’s so beautiful!

  • #12 - Erica

    I am so jealous of your amazing new kitchen and spice drawer!

  • #13 - MelissaNibbles

    I think I have about 5 spices in my pantry. haha!
    I love carrot fries!!

  • #14 - Miriam

    Ahhh I am so jealous of your spices drawer!! I don’t know what to do with my spices… they are all over the place as I do not have enough room for them all in the cabinet… My boyfriend thinks I am a freak everytime I buy one new spice as I have so many already, but i love spices, all kind and I love trying things I don’t know… my latest aquisition : purΓ©e de piments d’espelette (sorry no idea what it could be in english : crushed espelette peppers perhaps?) this thing is awesome on everything, especially in sandwiches & eggs, though a bit pricey.

  • #15 - Christel

    Oh WOW! I love the spice drawer. Mine are in the cupboard- always digging to find what I need. Next home will have a spice drawer though :)

  • #16 - Laurel

    Great blog Elina! I found you through a search for One Lucky Duck’s chocolate macaroons. I had a meeting there yesterday with one of my buddies and we went crazy for them. So divine. Raw chocolate is one of my favorite healthy treats and something I love to recommend to my clients.

    Wishing you well!

  • #17 - Kerstin

    I LOVE your spice drawer and am SO jealous! My spices are up in a high cabinet that is overflowing and it’s always hard to find what I need. Happy weekend!

  • #18 - Cara

    What an amazing spice drawer!

    I think we all go through periods of losing motivation. Personally, I focus on what finally helped me lose weight and get healthy in the first place: trying to do everything I can NOW to increase my chances of living a long life with my husband and our future children. And that is, not only to be alive, but to be well and active. Everything I have read says that your chances are increased the sooner you adopt a healthy lifestyle, so I’m on it now!

  • #19 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    I’m so glad things are working out well! Things are really all in the mind like they say eh? hehe

    Have a great weekend!

  • #20 - Ally

    Definitely want the granola cookies/bar recipe! And how did you cook your carrot chips – in the oven or pan?

    I find that I have to see and feel results before I get really motivated. This can be sucky, as I can get quite impatient…but if I hang in there long enough, I feel good, like what I see, and know I’m improving with weights/pace/whatever, then I have huge amounts of motivation to keep going!

  • #21 - Jess

    Yay for mindful eating success AND for booking a tropical retreat. Way cool. I agree, sometimes all you need is something “new” in your routine for it to click and for mindful eating to just work. For you, its the fab new kitchen which is awesome. For me? Well this time, I was thrown from my usual eating/workout routine for a work biz trip and am totally refreshed and ready to get back to “normal” so I am excited for that. PS. Have you ever tried Penzey’s spices? seriously best ever!!

  • #22 - Gabriela (froyolover)

    Wow – amazing eats!
    And IΒ΄m happy youΒ΄re beggining to feel more satisfied and happy about what you eat. Living and learning, right?
    Oh, and by the way – that blueberry muffin+ barney butter definetely caught my eye! IΒ΄m DYING to try it someday πŸ˜‰
    Have a great weekend, Elina!
    Brazilian XOXOΒ΄s,

  • #23 - Lele

    I alphabetize my spices too πŸ˜€

  • #24 - Carrie @ I See Monsters

    OMG, I covet your spice drawer. It is SO wonderful!!! Congrats on your new kitchen.

  • #25 - Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    I am so incredibly jealous of your spice drawer!

  • #26 - Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo)

    Hi Elina! Thanks for stopping by my blog- now I’m here at yours!- Wow your eats look good and so balanced between nummy and healthy.

    Yay for the crow- I can ALMOST do it too- I teeter and wobble before falling into a heap!

    I have also been a bit better – less snacky demons and I redid my kitchen several months ago so I’ll give the stars and the moon credit- there is no other explanation!

    I have a friend who alphabetizes her spice drawer too! :-)

  • #27 - Shannon

    I can definitely see how a new kitchen can inspire healthy eating. I’ve noticed that each time I move somewhere, the new environment spurs me into healthier eating.

    Good for you! Feeling in control is a great feeling.

    Thank you so much for the comment on my blog and for your congratulations. It means a lot :)

  • #28 - Kayte

    We loved this pork recipe and it was so easy, so it will be a repeat. The carrot fries are something that I haven’t tried but am certain the guys would like, so I am putting that on my short list to try very soon, thank you! Amazing spice drawer…Kudos to you for getting all that together!

  • #29 - coco

    hi, first time commenteR! I must say I’m impressed by your spice collection! It’d definitely inspire me do some cooking πŸ˜‰

  • #30 - Elina

    Meghan – hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weather. It’s making me so happy!!

    Katie – I loved your post! Thanks for sharing it here :)

    Sophie – what a great idea. I used to do that too and somehow forgot this little trick. “Seeing” other people being so motivating and succeeding at their goals due to their hard work, is definitely motivating.

    MelissaNibbles – haha. I guess that’s a good way to save a whole drawer πŸ˜‰

    Miriam – I used to keep mine in shoe boxes. It worked really well actually. Maybe I’ll mention it in my next post πŸ˜€

    Laurel – thanks! I loved those guys. Still miss them. I may have to pick some up on my next trip to NY.

    Ally – I’ll post the recipe in my next blog post for you. They really are incredible. πŸ˜€

    Jess – I am always super motivated to get back to my healthy habits after traveling (especially for work). I’ve never heard of Penzey’s spices. Is that a brand name?

    Lele – I’m glad to “hear” I’m not the only one. πŸ˜†

    Coco – welcome to Healthy and Sane. I hope you still around! 😎

  • #31 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Ahhh I love your spice drawer! Can’t believe you alphabetize your spices, too…we are spice sistah’s πŸ˜‰

    I can definitely see how the new kitchen can make healthy eating easier. It’s just lovely. Just showed Matthew the photos from your latest post. We are jealous :)

    Agreed that the coconut oil is crucial for the carrot fries! Did you notice that they REALLY shrunk?! For the two of us I have to use about 5 big carrots to get anything substantial!

  • #32 - Elina

    Lara – yeah, the carrots really shrink. I think I’m going to use a pound next time :)