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Archive for April, 2009

First and foremost, don’t forget to head over to Erin’s blog today for the final hours of her Auction & Bake Sale to benefit cancer research. A little birdie told me that she’s getting extremely close to the milestone mark of $1,000 raised. How exciting would it be to meet and even exceed? Head on over and get your bids e-mailed to her soon. Bidding ends TODAY at 5pm EST.

My next 5k is coming up in about a week and half (yay!) and I’m already thinking about what to wear. The problem is that my growing belly isn’t very compatible with the running gear that I already own. Shirts are fine, but shorts are becoming a struggle. The maternity stores and departments only seem to carry yoga pants which are fine for strength training or (duh) yoga, but they’re less than ideal in this situation. I tried on a pair of running shorts in a larger size at Target yesterday. They fit in the front, but the back was droopy and slid off my waist when I moved around.

So, now I’m on a mission to find some maternity workout gear suitable for running and longer walks outdoors this summer. I’m honestly surprised that this is uncharted territory. My ideal would be shorts or not-too-long capris made of a wicking material. Bonus would be if I could find something with a pocket large enough to hold my camera so I could always be ready for that perfect, bloggable moment. This is when I wish l was one of those creative minds on Project Runway and could just sketch what I want, buy the fabric and sew away while Tim Gunn critiqued over my shoulder and told me to “make it work.”

I didn’t realize how little I ate yesterday until I uploaded the pictures this morning. Trust me, though. The calorie content was plenty sufficient. Not my most outstanding day.

Before leaving the house, I made a yummy egg white & turkey bacon sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin…and then I left it sitting on the kitchen counter! I was so mad. I didn’t have any breakfast goodies in my desk so I was left to hit the deli across the street for coffee and a homemade banana nut muffin.

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I felt slow and weak during my workout at work session on my lunch hour. I’m blaming it on the sugar overload from my impromptu breakfast choice.

I was excited to try my new soup, Amy’s Organics Curried Lentil, for lunch. I really wish I could tell you that I loved this. Truth is, it was pretty disappointing. It was almost flavorless and I didn’t really like the consistency. It didn’t look any more appetizing in person than it does in the picture, either. I ended up only eating about half of the bowl which was probably a good thing because the calories and sodium content weren’t the greatest. I’d try more soups from this brand. Just not this one. The one yummy thing about my lunch was the big glass of cold water with a packet of True Lemon. Love that stuff!

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One thing I will give the soup is that it was filling. I didn’t need an afternoon snack. I made it comfortably through until dinner which was one of our classic favorites, chicken baseballs. Check out the previous post for photos and the recipe. The beauty of these is that they’re a protein and a starch. Our only side dish was salad.

The rest of the evening was spent curled up on the couch with my pooch and my husband while watching The Biggest Loser. We’re exciting, aren’t we? We hit the hay pretty early so that he could make his 3:00 alarm clock and I could get up early to workout.

By the way, HAPPY EARTH DAY!


What are you doing today (or every day) to preserve Mother Earth?

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CHECK IT OUT: Bidding for Erin’s Bake Sale & Auction has begun! All money raised is going to the fight against cancer through our mutual friend Beth’s Jimmy Fund Walk. There are sooo many yummy & fun items on the list so be sure to view the items and place your bids!

Every single time I see the word auction, I can’t help but sing (in my head) the John Michael Montgomery song, Sold! Country fans? Anyone? No?

Yesterday started off pretty sad for me. I got word that the OB I’ve been seeing for all things baby passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. It appears to have been a heart attack. I was so saddened by the news and my glum feelings matched the grey, cloudy, rainy weather outside. Dr. K was truly a remarkable man. Not only was he an MD, but he was also a practicing Catholic priest. As if that wasn’t enough, he did tons of charity work. He touched the lives of many and will be missed greatly.

I was in a hurry to pack lunch and snacks for yesterday which resulted in very unexciting eats. Breakfast (not pictured) was a toasted whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and Amish blueberry jam.

My morning snack was a Chocolate Brownie Clif Z bar. I picked up a few different flavors of these at the grocery last weekend. They’re designed more for kids than adults, but I like that they’re low in calories, still very filling and quite delicious. They taste more like a chewy cookie than a traditional bar and this one was VERY chocolaty.

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Lunch was another English muffin topped with a Boca Chik’n patty, Laughing Cow Light Swiss and yellow mustard. I’ve been through 2 boxes of these Bocas in just a little over 2 weeks. Can we say addicted? On the side I had a 100 calorie bag of Smartfood White Cheddar popcorn. My grandma used to stock this in her house and it was a favorite snack of all us grandkids. Brings back some fun memories.

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My afternoon snack was an entire package of blackberries. I brought it thinking I’d eat half and save the other half for another day. They were perfectly sweet and tasted so good that I just couldn’t stop myself.

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Dinner was hijacked from my parents’ house. Mom made way too much goulash and said there was no way she and my dad could eat it all. She sent a generous container home with me which made dinner quick and easy at our house. Mom’s version is made with macaroni noodles, Classico Four Cheese pasta sauce, sliced mushrooms and grated Vermont cheddar cheese. We topped ours with grated Parmesan cheese from the Amish store and paired it with fresh-from-the-oven French bread

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Salad on the side as the veggie.

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Group photo!

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“Don’t pay the ransom. I’ve escaped!”

That’s what we used to say in my family when someone called home after being away for a while with no contact. Corny, yes. Very fitting to our family. 🙂

I apologize for my extended absence. As any US resident probably knows, it was Income Tax week. This is, to us working in a local Income Tax department, what the week before Christmas is to those working in retail. In one word: CHAOS! I had 0 time to snap photos of my food and my evenings were pretty much just commute, eat dinner and crash.

Now I’m back and excited to start blogging and commenting again. I’ve missed you all bunches and look forward to getting caught up on what’s going on in all of your worlds.

I won’t waste anymore time. Let’s get down to business!

Friday

Breakfast was a quick sammie made with an egg, 2% American cheese slice & a Boca Chik’n Patty all on low-cal bread. No, mom. I didn’t take the picture while I was driving. I snapped it quickly in the driveway before hitting the road.

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The morning snack was a string cheese:

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Lunch was leftover Laughing Cow Alfredo Bake topped with grated Parmesan cheese (from the Amish store) and a little drizzle of EVOO. This was a first go ’round for us and this recipe. We both liked it, but I thought it was a little bland when we originally had it for dinner. We both agree that it’s much better reheated for lunches.

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Workout at work was nice. She had lots of stations set up where we had to lie on our back. That’s the one exercise restriction I have right now so I had to improvise. We did the squat, curl, press move last Friday and I really liked it so I stuck that’s become one of my go-to moves for stations where I need to get creative.

After April, I’ll have to find something new to do fitness-wise on my lunch hours. The weather is getting nice and less people are interested in participating because they want to go walk. The employee fitness room will still be available although the only equipment is a stationary bike, heavy weight bench and an ab recliner. I’m thinking about bringing my own light dumbbells or loading up some mp3 files from yogadownload.com onto my iPod and carrying in my yoga mat. Walks are always an option. I just get bored easily and need to keep it mixed up.

Post-workout snack was a sliced apple. Have I ever told y’all how much I LOVE my Pampered Chef slicer? Cuz I do.

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I had a huge energy dip around 3:00 in the afternoon. I’m not quite sure where it came from, but it was bad. All I wanted to do was put my head down, clothes my eyes and snooze. I’m blaming the tired (and my lack of willpower) for giving in when a coworker said she was going to the soda shop across the street for sundaes. I had a single-dipper with a generous dolop of hot fudge sauce, whipped cream & a cherry. The sugar shocked my system and I was beyond wide awake for the rest of the day.

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Friday night dinner was quick and easy. I had fat free hot dogs, no bun and spicy mustard. To redeem myself nutritionally, I also had a small side salad. No idea why I didn’t snap a photo although it was far from exciting.

Saturday

The morning got off to a quick start when my husband’s coworker called to say his new company truck was ready to be picked up. One catch. It was sitting at a plant about an hour and a half away. He asked (very nicely) if I’d drive him up and I agreed. It was up, showered, dressed and out the door. I did manage to throw together a PB&J sandwich to eat on the road, but no picture.

We were home before noon and both pretty hungry. I had a Boca Chik’n Patty on an Arnold’s Multigrain Sandwich Thin with 2% American cheese & spicy mustard. On the side, I had a handful of Ranch flavored Potato Crisps. These are really good and a nice, more natural alternative to potato chips.

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My husband and I spent a few hours working in the yard. We’re ripping out some shrubs and ornamental grass from a flower bed that were there when we moved in last year, but it’s proved to be a bigger job than we’d anticipated. My husband did the shoveling and I did the pulling which, at one point, resulted in stabbing myself in the lip with something straw-like. We tried until we just couldn’t take it anymore and laughed…a lot.

My husband’s best friend from high school stopped by shortly after we finished and they spent the entire evening (and well into the night) catching up. He’s a great guy and they don’t see each other often enough so I was glad to see them hanging out. I bounced back and forth between their conversation and reading for my Nutrition and Wellness Consultant certification. Around dinner time, I offered to fix something. They said they weren’t hungry enough to eat a full meal, but took me up on my offer of snacks. After serving them, I realized that I was a little hungry and in the mood for something hot.

***PRODUCT REVIEW***

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Pacific Foods Organic Spicy Chicken Fajita

Ingredients: water, organic onion, organic kidney beans, organic white rice, organic chicken meat, organic red bell peppers, organic green bell peppers, organic garlic, organic chicken flavor (organic ground chicken with juices, sea salt, organic chicken flavor, organic onion powder, organic potato flour, organic carrot powder, organic turmeric, flavor, and organic black pepper), organic olive oil, organic jalapeno peppers, sea salt, organic spices

Nutrition Information: (per serving; 2 servings per can)
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 710mg
Total Carbohydrates: 26g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 1g
Protein: 8g

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The pros: Yum! I loved the texture of this soup. The rice, veggies and beans tasted great together. The broth had just the right amount of seasoning without overpowering any of the other flavors. The protein content was higher than most other canned soups and left me feeling very full. I’d absolutely buy this soup again as either a quick dinner or easy to transport lunch.

The cons: The sodium content was the biggest drawback for me. I ate both servings which was almost my entire sodium allowance for the day! I could absolutely feel the effects in my swollen fingers the rest of the evening. The soup didn’t taste salty at all so I was a bit surprised by this. I was also surprised to see chicken listed so high on the ingredients list because I think there were only 5 or 6 small pieces in the entire can. This was fine with me because I usually pick the meat out of canned soups anyway, but I could see a serious carnivore (like my husband) being disillusioned.

AUCTION ALERT – Mark your calendars! Erin over at I Walk in This World is having an online auction and bakesale to benefit our mutual friend Beth’s Jimmy Fund Walk in the Boston Marathon! The auction starts on Tuesday, April 21st and there’s a great list of items up for bid! Check out this page for more information about the cause and the auction logistics.

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Have you ever been so tired that you weren’t even close to hungry when it was your normal time to eat?

That was me yesterday morning. I skipped an AM meal completely because I didn’t sleep well Monday night and was exhausted yesterday morning.

I snapped out of it around 10AM and then became a bottomless pit. First I ate some GenSoy cheddar soy crisps.

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A little later, I had some dry roasted almonds and started chugging water from my new reusable Gaiam water bottle. Notice the lovely flowers brought to me by a coworker from her garden. Totally made my day.

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The lunch I’m about to show you might disgust some and intrigue others. It’s called Corndog Casserole and the recipe came from a friend. It’s basically boxed cornbread mix, sliced-up hot dogs, shredded cheese, milk, plain yogurt and a bit of this and that. It really does taste like a corndog and it’s a bit healthier than its fair-time counterpart. Plenty of mustard on the side for dipping. (Sorry the pic isn’t rotated. Not sure if it’s wordpress or my iPhoto.

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I was a little late to my workout at work because I was, well, actually working. The phone always seems to ring just about the time I’m headed to change clothes. Gotta love tax season! Yesterday’s session focused on back and legs which felt really good.

My afternoon snack was a yummy, under ripened, organic Chiquita. banana!

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Confession: I always try to get the banana with the sticker and it almost always ends up being worn on my forehead. 🙂

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I guess my body was making up for not being hungry in the morning by being extra hungry in the afternoon. My tummy got grumbly right around quittin’ time so I munched on a SoyJoy Pineapple Mango bar-like thing. I discovered these a year or so ago and this one is my favorite flavor. They’re a little higher in sugar than I normally prefer, but very filling.

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It was cold and snowy (in APRIL!!!) and my husband sent me a text message saying it was a perfect night for soup and grilled cheese. He volunteered to do the cooking and I agreed because he’s a much better cheese griller than I am. While he slaved away in the kitchen, I fixed myself a POM+Perrier spritzer (aka “pregnant lady cocktail”) using the POM Wonderful Pomegranate Tangerine juice I picked up at the grocery on sale last weekend.

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It tasted more pomegranatey than tangeriney, but the tangerine part added a yummy kick of extra tartness. It was fizzy, but the glass actually has bubbles molded into the plastic so it looks extra fizzy.

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The chef’s soup of choice was classic Campbell’s Chicken Noodle. I had my grilled cheese on an Arnold’s Multigrain Sandwich Thin. In custard cups, I had small portions of lowfat cottage cheese and baked beans. I ended up not being able to finish my soup. Guess my eyes were bigger than my tummy.

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To make up for my lack of sleep the night before, I headed to bed around 8:30. I was planning to “just relax” there while watching Biggest Loser, but I was out cold just after the reward challenge. I don’t think it was even 9:00! Guess that’s just my body’s way of telling me “YOU NEED SLEEP!”

Are there certain foods you eat or crave more when it’s cold outside? What about when it’s hot?

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Outta Gas

Sorry to be a bad bloggie lately. The weather this weekend was gorgeous and I spent much more time outside with my husband than I did in the kitchen. Here’s a quick recount to catch you up to speed:

Friday: work, home, crash on couch, wake up to watch Friday Night Lights, crash in bed

Saturday: a little shopping (bought nothing), lawn & garden center with my husband to buy landscaping materials, lunch with my husband, grocery, home, work in yard all day, have grill mishap, recover, eat, chat with sister-in-law, sleep

So, about the grill mishap and the post title. My husband loves to play Grill Master and he’s really good at it. He wanted to make pork and veggie kabobs so I bought zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes and pork loin at the grocery. He started the grill while sister-in-law and I did the cutting and skewering in the kitchen. As soon as we got everything on the grill, the burners started going out one by one and wouldn’t relight. Our grill did flip over during a windstorm this winter so we were worried that maybe it had done some damage that we didn’t originally notice. The good thing was that there was no damage to the grill. The bad news was that we were out of propane and the grocery in our town isn’t refilling them yet because it’s “too early in the season.” Pshaw! It was either a 30 minute drive to the nearest city or getting creative and cooking in the kitchen instead.

We chose the latter, broiled our kabobs and cooked the sliced eggplant in a grill pan on the stove. I also made some whole wheat thin spaghetti. My serving was a piece of sliced eggplant, two pieces of pork and lots of veggies.

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Sunday: lots of house cleaning, read a little for Nutrition & Wellness, admired my husband’s finished landscaping projects, laundry, took recycles to bins and prepped for the week

Monday = dead camera battery, but I’m all charged up and back on track today.

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One month until my next race! My sister-in-law, the wife of my husband’s coworker and I are signed up and confirmed for the Commit to be Fit 5k on May 2nd in Columbus, Ohio. I’m going to run when I can, walk when I can’t. This is by far the largest race I’ve ever entered and it should be loads of fun. There are DJs set up throughout the course so you can hear constant music without needing your iPod AND there’s free pizza waiting at the end. Holla!

Yesterday was GORGEOUS! Unfortunately, I was stuck at my desk most of the day. On nice days, I feel lucky that we have floor-to-ceiling windows and my cube is sort of in a corner so I have 2 window walls instead of 1.

Breakfast was 12-grain bread (swiped from my parents) spread with cream cheese. It doesn’t look like much, but it kept me full for a good long while.

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Late morning I had some leftover organic whole wheat rotini sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese & drizzled with EVOO. Yes. I do love me some carbs.

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I had an appointment to drop my car off for an oil change during my lunch hour and pick it up after work since the place is only about 2 blocks from my office. My original idea was to go to the library after I dropped it off, but it was just too nice to be inside. I decided to walk to the nearby park instead for a picnic.

I finished up my homemade egg salad with some water crackers and sipped refreshing, cold water and True Lime from my reusable bottle.

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The sky was the most beautiful shade of blue and the clouds were fluffy like cotton balls. Here’s a pic from my walk back to the office:

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Afternoon snacks were a pear and a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar. I really like this flavor, but I think it tastes more like molasses (yum!) than chocolate.

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As soon as I got home we went to sign our tax documents at the preparers house so he can efile them. We only owe $42 to the state and got lots more than that back from the federal. I’d like to say that we’re spending it on something fun, but most of it is earmarked to replace shingles we lost during the fall & winter wind storms. Just one of the many joys of home ownership. 🙂

For dinner, I threw together some enchiladas made with lean ground beef and whole wheat tortillas. We’re on a big “finish up partial boxes of stuff on the lazy Susan kick” so it was white rice on the side. When you’re used to brown or long grain, white rice just seems so bland.

Making Mexican food always reminds me of my trip to Morelia, Mexico when I was in high school. I studied there for two weeks in an intensive language immersion program and stayed with a family who lived near the school. The mother in my home away from home took me to the market with her every day after my classes let out and then let me help her prepare dinner. The whole trip was incredible and I learned as much about the culture as I did about the language.

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I wanted veggies too so I had some leftovers from my stir fry dinner on Wednesday night.

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Sorry about the lack of quality photos. I was starving.

In giveaway news:

Bobbi is offering up a fabulous Ultra Light Packable Pullover from Danskin.

Sarah will have FIVE winners of her Bob’s Red Mill contest.

Becca is giving away some CIA goodies. 🙂

Do you like to eat outdoors? Do you prefer to dine inside or outside?

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I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesdays aka “Hump Day.” Part of me is really excited because it marks the halfway point of the week. The other part of me is just wishing it were closer to the weekend.

Lately I’ve been hit or miss with my morning exercise. I’m trying hard to get back into that routine. Yesterday I was awake early. Instead of laying there and snoozing I decided to get up, see my husband out the door for work and then do a little yoga.

My selection was the free 20 minute (actually 25 minute) Prenatal Yoga class from YogaDownload.com. It was incredible. This sounds strange, but the best way I can describe the way I felt when I finished is “healthy.”

Another coffee day at work which meant a frozen skim white mocha. Yum! I swore I took a picture. Either I’m crazy or my camera ate it. Oh well.

I was completely unhungry (is that a word?) until lunchtime so no morning snack. My lunch was homemade egg salad on a La Tortilla Factory Tomato & Basil Softwrap with just a little bit of shredded 2% cheese.

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A few coworkers and I pulled a great April Fools joke over on my boss that left me giggling all afternoon. I didn’t expect him fall for it, but he did. Hook, line & sinker! I have to watch my back now because he’s sworn revenge on all of us.

Later in the afternoon I had some more Stoneyfield Farm Oikos yogurt (honey flavor) with Bear Naked Fit granola and unsweetened coconut flakes. This time I knew to stir it up before I added my toppings.

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I couldn’t hit the door fast enough at 5PM. The sun was shining and I couldn’t wait get out for some fresh air. I picked up the pooch, chatted with my mom for a bit and then headed home. My husband was staying out of town so it was just me and the puppers.

For dinner, I decided to make stir fry. My husband doesn’t like Chinese food (or anything ethnic besides Mexican) so I don’t have it very often. Mine last night was pretty quick and easy. I just steamed a bag of frozen veggies, cooked some organic whole wheat pasta and topped the whole shebang with a mixture of Tastefully Simple Sweet Sassy Mustard Sauce and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Yes, I do realize that rotini isn’t exactly Chinese and thin spaghetti or rice noodles would have been more appropriate.. I had a partial box that I wanted to use up before I opened anything new.

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I had good intentions of magazine reading and painting my nails after dinner, but I pooped out early and just wanted rest. I talked on the phone with my husband for a while and then turned on Jon and Kate +8 while I curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket. That’s where I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until this morning when my husband called to say “Good morning.” I got more sleep than usual, but I still feel tired. I also have a nasty crick in my neck. Next time, I’ll make myself go to an actual bed when I get that sleepy. 🙂

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