A Honeymoon in Maui

You may have thought I was gone for good. Nope! I just had my wedding and honeymoon to attend to, but now I’m back and ready to catch you up on the most amazing past week and a half of my lifeeeee!

I have some pictures from the wedding day that friends and family put on my Facebook and our personalized Wedding Party page (it’s an app where people can join your “party” using a certain code and add pictures from the event – highly recommended for future brides!). But I’m going to wait until I have pictures from our photographer to put any on here. If you follow me on Instagram, you can get a sneak peak, if you haven’t already.

For now we’ll just recap the honeymoon in Maui. We ate a lot of food…a lot of delicious food.

papaya bowl
Papaya Delight from Kihei Caffe.
fruit
So much fresh fruit at all times!

mac nut pancakes
Pancakes with local banana and macadamia nuts (“mac nuts”) from Moana.

taco mountain
Best fish tacos ever. Greg had the tacos while I had the Taco Mountain, which includes all of the same ingredients served over rice instead of tortillas. From Coconuts Fish Cafe.

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We attended the Old Lahaina Luau one night and had the best time. It was all you can eat and drink, with a hula show for entertainment. My plate consisted of grilled veggies, sweet potatoes (purple sweet potatoes!), fish, more fruit and banana bread. Side note – I want to be a hula dancer.

Half Kalua Pork (BBQ pork, onion, pineapple, and a variety of cheeses) and half of the veggie special (asparagus, tomatoes, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction sauce)…AAAAmazing. From Flatbread Co.

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Shave Ice – a traditional Hawaiian dessert. I got a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom of bowl, topped with coconut shave ice and sweetened condensed cream. From Ululani’s Shave Ice.

gelato
“Sandy Beach” gelato (a mix of salted caramel, peanut butter and coconut) from Ono Gelato.

mac nut ice cream
Like I needed more ice cream…Mac Nut Ice Cream from the Halfway to Hana stand. 
Other places I highly recommend if you ever go to Maui: 

As you can tell, we fed ourselves very well on our trip. We didn’t spend a lot of money on anything else besides the basic travel accommodations (flight, hotel/cottage, rental car) so we wanted to eat up (literally and figuratively) as much of the culture as we could. Maybe this was just us trying to make ourselves feel better for all of the eating out, but Greg and I both noticed an overall healthy trend when it came to food. Hawaiians seem to really focus on local, organic, all-natural, vegetarian/vegan options. While we didn’t eat many salads, our meals centered around lots of fresh fruits, veggies and fish…oh yeah, and then there was the shave ice, gelato and ice cream 😉 Have any of you ever been to Hawaii? Tell me about your trip! I’m so in love with Hawaii now, I could talk about it all the time.

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Lightened-Up Tuna Salad Stuffed Pitas

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I love a nice healthy, filling and satisfying lunch. This is one of those. A ‘trifecta’ of lunches if you will. Of course, this overstuffed pita sandwich can be eaten for dinner too, but it sure makes a great lunch. After all, I am more of a ‘hot’ dinner kind of girl. 
I have always enjoyed tuna salad, mostly the Subway variety. Classy, I know. I don’t remember the last time I ordered tuna salad from a restaurant though. I know it’s normally made with fatty mayonnaise and any benefit from eating tuna is instantly negated. So now I make my own healthified version. Nix the mayo, add plenty of colorful veggies, and make it all stick together with mustard (which is naturally super low-cal). Since we’re saving all kinds of calories and fat with this lightened up recipe, don’t forget the mozzarella cheese to top things off. 
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If you don’t like tuna, I’d imagine this would be just as good made with shredded chicken. I haven’t cooked or made anything with chicken in quite some time, but I say give it a go and let me know how it turns out! 

Lightened-Up Tuna Salad Stuffed Pitas

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
5 ounces chunk light tuna
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/4 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup spinach or other mixed greens
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large whole wheat pita pocket, sliced in half

Directions:
1. Combine tuna, mustard, bell pepper, onion, tomato, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir well with spoon or fork until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. Fill each pita half with half of the spinach first. Then stuff half of the tuna mixture inside, followed by about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Use a spoon or fork to press everything tightly inside the pita pocket. Serve immediately. (Optional: Microwave on high for 15-20 seconds to melt the cheese before serving)

A Sugar Addiction

When it comes to us cupcake fanatics (and cake fanatics in general), there are those of us who are Team Cake and those of us who are Team Frosting. I am Team Frosting all. the. way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obviously the combination of the two that makes it so great, but adding a little extra frosting on top only makes things better. Amiright?

minicupcakes
One night last week, the day I started typing this post, I had just finished off the last of a container of Funfetti frosting. No, I didn’t eat the entire thing at once. There was probably about a quarter cup left. I told myself, “Just one spoonful.” I put the container back in the fridge, continued to clean up the kitchen from dinner, and then went back for more. After another bite or two, I realized there wasn’t much left and I was at the point of no return. I had to finish it. There wasn’t enough to justify putting it back in the fridge for later.

The things I tell myself.

cookiesncream cupcake

Fast-forward to another night this past weekend. I finished dinner, which of course meant it was time for dessert. I had a serving of a No-Bake Banana Cream Cheesecake that I had prepared that afternoon. But I couldn’t stop there. Greg was eating some Peanut M&Ms and I couldn’t resist. I told myself I’d just have a couple. Yeahhhh right. About 20 M&Ms later, I became angry at myself for going overboard and took the bag back to the freezer (side note – if you don’t already, I highly recommend storing your M&Ms in the freezer. They even better sucking on them cold!)

Why can’t I just have a single serving of a sweet treat and call it a night? Why do I always have to go back for more when I’ve clearly had my dose of sugar? 

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I think it’s finally time I admit it. I’m saying it out loud (if we can just consider typing this on the internet for the whole world to see being ‘out loud’). I, Brittany, am addicted to sugar. 
This may seem dramatic or like I’m just trying to be cute. But no, in all seriousness, I am addicted. It’s a real thing (look it up if you don’t believe me) and the more I think about it, the more I believe it. 
Like many addictions, I feel like I have to have it. I think it about all the time and revolve other meals around dessert – making sure I don’t eat too much during the day so I will have the calories “left over” for my nightly indulgence. I can tell myself I have it under control, but just a little taste only causes me to want more and more.

It wasn’t always this way either, but over the past several weeks I’ve noticed myself continually going back for more even after I’ve just finished a bowl of fro yo with whipped cream and sprinkles and a piece of chocolate and, and, and…

Call it lack of self-control or an over-active sweet tooth. But I’m diagnosing myself with a sugar addiction. A real, true, serious sugar addiction. 

I’m not a doctor or a nutritional expert, but I do like to think I have a pretty good grasp on what it means to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Recently, this so-called balance is taking an unhealthy turn for the worse. Although my total caloric intake has remained about the same (yes, I count calories, but we can talk about that another day), more of those calories have been the wrong kind.

That is why this week I’m challenging myself. I’m not eliminating sugar completely, but I am drastically cutting back. I bought those Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bliss candies, and counting on those to keep me sane. I am allowing myself two of those each night this week as dessert and that is it! Greg is here to hold me accountable in case my self-control falters. I told him if I try to eat candy or fro yo or any junk food after dinner, besides my allotted two pieces of chocolate, that he needs to yell at me to go get an apple!

I don’t want to say I can’t eat a post-dinner snack if for some reason I feel hungry, because I think it’s important not to let myself feel deprived. Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit or a small bowl of this granola (link to recipe can be found below). Something with substance and nutritional value.

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I’m hoping cutting back this week will remind me what a normal, healthy serving of sweets is and then I can proceed with life as usual, eating controlled portions again.

Okay, so I know I’ve practically written you a novel today, but I needed to get this out. Thanks for reading and pray for me that I stay focused with my goal this week!

The recipe for the granola shown above can be found here. (It’s called Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola. Ummm yeah, you want to make it!!)