Posts Tagged ‘salad’

I didn’t do it on purpose, but layers were a common theme in yesterday’s eats.

When I was cleaning out pantry the other day, I found an upopened box of oatmeal I forgot I’d purchased. I go in spells with oatmeal. I’ll eat it almost every day for breakfast, get burnt out, take a break from it for a while, then rediscover my love for its wholesome goodness. The last few months have been one of those vacations from oatmeal, but finding it made me go “Mmmmmm.”

I didn’t just want a boring bowl of oats with toppings. My solution? Oatmeal parfait!

It’s really just layers of blackberries, vanilla Oikos, and oatmeal with a peanut butter stir-in. Eating it this way made it feel almost more like dessert than breakfast. Food should be fun, right?

There really is coffee in the mug. It was not layered. It was just coffee. And it was delicious.


Lunch was a little something I like to call a garbage salad. Basically, I just scour my fridge for leftovers and make a salad out of them. It cuts down on the food waste and the creations tend to be pretty delicious. Plus, it’s fun to be creative! I feel like a mad scientist.

This one turned out to be a hybrid of buffalo chicken salad and taco salad.

~2 handfulls mixed greens
~3 oz. Italian dressing marinated chicken breast (leftover from meal swap), tossed in buffalo wing sauce
~chopped tomato & sliced green onions (leftover from Sunday’s supper salad bar)
~shredded mozzarella cheese
~3 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream, mixed with powdered ranch dressing mix

Very, very yum.

Dinner was not made in layers because there was no dinner. Monday nights are fasting nights for my husband and I. This is NOT weight loss related. It’s something we’re doing once a week as part of our Bible study. I’ve started to enjoy the weekly experience and am beginning to truly connect with the meaning behind the practice.

How do you make your food fun?


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Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers! I’m not a die-hard fan of either team, but I am a huge fan of football in general. Besides, it’s the Super Bowl! It was a great game. The National Anthem, however, was not. That part made me sad. 😦 And, I think I was the only person in the entire universe who DIDN’T hate the halftime show. I did have to ask my husband who Slash is which brought much ridicule and jeering from my Facebook friends. I did rock out to Usher and Black Eyed Peas, even busting out some of my Zumba moves.

I was a little disappointed in the commercials. They were chuckle-worthy, but nothing made me really laugh. A kid who went to my high school starred in the Safe Auto commercial where he gets kicked repeatedly. I wouldn’t tell him this, but I didn’t find it all that funny or original. Still, it was cool to see someone I know during the Super Bowl.

My husband earned the title of MVP in our house yesterday. After church, he served up some mazing veggie omelettes for brunch. One egg, two egg whites. The innards were mushrooms with a blend of feta and cheddar cheeses. To top it off, he added fresh tomatoes, green onions and a dollop of Greek yogurt seasoned with ranch dressing mix.

As if that weren’t enough, he made dinner too! This man makes an amazing burger. He never adds the same seasonings twice, but they always turn out super juicy and delicious. I wasn’t feeling a bun so I cut mine up and had a cheeseburger salad.

That would be mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, cheddar cheese, my diced-up burger and plenty of dill pickles! Nom nom nom. For dressing, I mixed up a honey mustard vinaigrette. My aunt recently sent the honey mustard as a gift and it’s heavenly. Whisked with a little red wine vinegar, it was the perfect condiment to go along with my cheeseburger theme.

My only contribution to the festive food was twice-baked redskin potatoes. I stuck them in the oven about an hour before we’d planned to eat dinner. When I went to retrieve them, I realized I hadn’t turned the oven knob all the way to “Bake” so the oven never heated up. I tossed them in the microwave for a few minutes, mixed up the filling and popped them in an oven I made sure was hot that time. We ended up eating them as finger food at halftime so all was not lost. I just felt pretty stupid. 🙂

What’s your favorite Super Bowl food?

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Before there was P90X…there was Power 90! Same Tony. Same cheesy comments. Similar great workout concepts, just not quite as elaborate. Level 1-2 has 3 workouts contained on 1 DVD: Sculpt (strength), Sweat (cardio) and Ab Ripper 100 (10 reps of 10 ab exercises).

I’ve owned this DVD forever. It was the first thing I bought when I decided to get serious about my health. I remembered my college roomie doing the program for a few months when we lived in the dorm and, since I knew a big fat ZERO about exercise, it seemed like as good a place as any to start. I did it 6 days a week for quite some time before expanding my horizons to include the gym and other DVDs. Even though I stopped following the program exclusively, it’s still a DVD I pull into my rotation on a regular basis.

Yesterday I saw a post from MizFitOnline about training biceps, triceps and shoulders. I’ve been so focused on my running lately that I haven’t been as serious as I should about my upper body. Her post inspired me to dedicate some more time to that area. I decided to do the Sculpt circuit of Power 90. While it does have some lower body stuff, it’s much more focused on upper body. It felt really good. By that, I mean I was SORE! It was a good pain, though.

In case you’re wondering you can still purchase the program from BeachBody although it now comes as a package with all levels (1-2 as well as 3-4) and each workout looks like it’s on a separate DVD. I have no idea if the workout is exactly the same, but I’m guessing that it’s at least similar.

Post-workout lunch was a junk salad. I just grabbed a bunch of junk outta the fridge and threw it on a salad.

~organic mixed greens
~leftover Mother’s Day chicken, sliced
~Sabra spinach & artichoke hummus
~handfull of cauliflower

Dinner was a request from my husband, Bacon, Ranch & Chicken Mac & Cheese from Cooking Light. I’ve featured before. This time I substituted 2% shredded Mexican blend cheese in the sauce (instead of the Italian cheese blend) and 2% mild cheddar on top (instead of the colby jack). It tasted a little different, but was equally as yummy.

Do you have a DVD/workout/class that you’ve done for years? What makes you keep it in your rotation?

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I don’t mean this kind of rebound:

While we’re on the subject…congrats to the Duke men for winning the NCAA championship last night! I’m not a big basketball fan, but I do tune in during March Madness.

I’m really talking about rebounding after a disappointing workout.

I had a bad run last Friday. I’m talking HOR-RI-BLE! I set out to run the same route I’ve been doing for a week or so, but just past halfway I was complete toast. My legs felt like Jell-O, my feet felt heavy and I couldn’t slow my breathing no matter how hard I tried. When I looked down, my heart rate monitor was reading a little over 200. Being in the 190s when I run isn’t uncommon for me, but I’ve never seen a number that high. I decided to walk a little to calm my body down. When I tried to pick up a run again, I immediately felt exhausted. I walked the rest of my running route, then doubled back around to cool down. The whole time I was mentally beating myself up and questioning my ability. “Why couldn’t I run that? I did it just fine two days ago.” This one subpar run had me doubting whether I could ever really get back to where I was pre-baby.

One thing that kept me from completely berating myself was knowing that I’m not alone. Just last week, Caitlin posted about the first race in which she bonked. The week before, Allison posted about her less-than-stellar marathon training run. Granted, these ladies are running a LOT further than I am, but I admire both of them (through their blogs) and asked myself WWHLBD (What Would Healthy Living Bloggers Do)? Did they quit running altogether? Nope. Did they use that fluke run to define themselves as runners? Nope. They’re both still running…and kicking booty!

I very easily could have slipped into a funk over my lackluster run. Instead, I started my “rebound” as soon as I got home.

  • Positive Self-Talk: We are our own toughest critics, but we can also be our own biggest cheerleader. When I walked in the front door, I vowed to only say positive things to myself about the workout. I applauded myself for getting out the door and exercising in the first place. I mentally thanked myself for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. I commended myself for how far I’ve come in the 7 weeks I’ve been back to running. “Remember when you couldn’t even run for a minute?”
  • Retrace Your Steps: While I was showering after my workout, I tried to think of anything I’d done differently that day that could have had an impact on my workout. The four things I identified were 1) not drinking enough water throughout the day; 2) eating lunch about 30 minutes before running instead of my usual snack before, lunch after schedule; 3) running in the late afternoon rather than late morning; 4) first day of 80+ degree temperatures rather than the 60ish I’ve been running in lately. I didn’t set out to find excuses for hitting my wall. Identifying these things just gave me an awareness of how my body might react to certain variables.
  • Look forward, not back: A funny thing happened when I started being nicer to myself. I started getting excited about going on my next run. The “bad” run was over. Done with. Finito. Dwelling on it would accomplish nothing. I laid out a complete workout outfit on top of my dresser (including my running shoes) for the next time. Because there would be a next time. I was NOT giving up.

That “next time” came yesterday and guess what happened? I rocked it! Not only did I run the whole route, I actually added an extra .25 miles or so to the end. I took hydration and eating schedule into consideration and ran at my more usual time of day. Those might have helped, but I know that setting out with a positive attitude was the most crucial key to my success.

Post-run lunch was a humdinger of a salad:

~organic greens
~cherry tomatoes
~1/4 cup Sabra Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts
~1oz. President fat free feta cheese

The star of dinner was the spinach & asiago chicken sausage I reviewed yesterday. I cut the three leftover links into rounds, then cut those in half (to form crescents) and reheated them in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil. + a jar of spaghetti sauce + a handful of mushrooms = delicious spaghetti sauce! My husband raved about it’s deliciousness.

(Sorry for the blurry pics. My camera battery is going.)

Have you ever had a disappointing workout or race? What did you do to rebound?

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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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


Salad on the side as the veggie.


Group photo!


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It was a crazy weekend and a dead-camera-battery Monday so I’m just getting back into the swing of things. Here’s a quick recap.

Friday: Husband was in an accident on his way to work. Dark+fog+stopped garbage truck=bad news. Everyone was fine save his sore shoulder/back and bruised ego. His company sent him home early from work to rest so I left at lunchtime to meet him at home.

Saturday: Went to the outlet mall near our house with my husband, cousin-in-law and his wife. They’re expecting in July and found some major baby bargains. Despite all of the adorable baby things, I only bought one pair of maternity jeans. I haven’t purchased even a single baby item yet because I know once I start, I won’t stop.

Sunday: Dinner theater with my mom, my friend and her mom. I had every intention of taking pictures, but everything on the buffet was greasy and gross looking. I did eat my body weight in their signature cheese bread! 🙂

Monday: Drive. Work. Drive. Sleep.

Which brings us to yesterday’s eats:

I was craving something really carby for breakfast so I headed to the cafe across the street from my office. I had a toasted blueberry bagel with a little real butter (Are you proud, Erin?) and cream cheese. That’s Twinings English Breakfast tea on the side. Yes, I realize this is not the healthiest breakfast, but man was it good!


I switched back to healthy mode for my morning snack, a pear. I think it looks a little like a flower when it’s still in the slicer like that. Pretty & delicious!


It was measurement day for our workout at work group. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I though. Since the middle of February, I’ve gained 2″ in my waist, an inch in my thigh and half an inch in my bicep. The place that really shocked me was my hips. I feel like that’s where I’m getting bigger (thanks to baby), but it actually stayed the same. Since I’m in my 2nd trimester now, doctor says I shouldn’t do anything flat on my back, exercise included. There were just 2 ab stations that I had to modify yesterday.



The fabulous Kristin of Stoneyfield Farm was nice enough to send me some Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt samples since I was having trouble finding it in the grocery stores near me. Yesterday I broke out the honey flavor and, lemme tell ya, I was impressed. The texture was really creamy and the flavor was rich. I loved that it was both fat free and organic. The 5.3 oz. containers are the perfect single serving size and contain just 120 calories.

I topped mine with a little Bear Naked Fit granola and a couple dried dates. I didn’t realize that the honey was in the bottom until after the picture so you can’t really tell what it looks like all stirred up.


My verdict: I’ve never tried 0% Fage (can’t find it at my grocery either), but I liked the Oikos a lot better than that brand’s 2%. There was just the right amount of sweetness from the honey without making it overly sweetened like lots of other popular brands. I stayed full the entire afternoon and through my commute (from about 2PM – 7PM) without needing to eat again which is quite impressive. I’m going to speak with the manager at my usual grocery this weekend to ask them if they’ll pretty please start stocking this ASAP.

After work, I headed to my parents’ house to pick up the pooch. The yummy smell hit me as soon as I walked in the door: soup beans with ham. I know a bunch of you just wrinkled your noses and said “ewww” which is how my husband feels about them. These were a staple in my house growing up and we had them at least once every other week because my mom LOVES them. I hated them until a year or so ago and now I miss having them regularly.

My mom hooked me up with a container to take home since she always makes a huge pot. They came in real handy when I got home. My husband wasn’t at all hungry and I didn’t feel like making anything elaborate. My parents eat them with cornbread. I prefer mine served over brown rice:


With a lovely, leafy salad:


Dinner is served!


Our kitchen table is becoming a catch-all because the mail basket is overflowing so, after I ate, it was time for sorting and filing. I’ve come to the conclusion that I HATE JUNK MAIL. It’s wasteful of natural resources and causes annoying clutter. I know about Catalog Choice to opt out of receiving catalogs, but if anyone knows of a good way to make the other stuff stop I’d greatly appreciate your tips.

Are there any foods that you hated/wouldn’t eat as a kid and now love?

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