A Hungry Morning

We are half way through the work week! How about that?! I hope everyone is having a great week.

Yesterday was one of those days where my body just couldn’t get enough to eat. I think I did a pretty good job of listening to what my body was asking for and feeding it lots of healthy foods. The morning was a feeding fiasco. 😉

It started off with a bowl of gluten-free Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp cereal with homemade almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and banana. I had to remind myself to slow down as I ate this but it was SO good I couldn’t help myself! cereal and fruit

I really want to try other Erewhon cereals. They have strawberry crisp, raisin bran, crispy brown rice, and more. They all sound fantastic! I haven’t had cereal in forever.

cereal and fruit

For my workout yesterday I turned on Apple TV and found a ZUMBA workout led by a young male Zumba instructor who was a really good dancer. It was fun but not as fun as actually being in a class with other people dancing with me. After Zumba I completed a 15-minute intense ab workout.

Many snacks proceeded the workouts. I ate walnuts, dates and peanut butter, a banana, celery, and an energy bite. I’m probably missing something else in there.

walnuts

After all of the snacking, it was only about 11:00 am but I figured since I was still hungry I may as well make lunch.

I sautéed onion, green bell pepper, and mushrooms. I then added a splash of bone broth, leftover chicken and black beans. I topped off this concoction with avocado and salsa. NUM!

sauteed vergis

After “lunch” my belly was finally feeling satisfied. The hunger staved off for a while after that!

Later in the afternoon I took the pooch for a 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. It is extremely messy around here these days. The snow is definitely melting and we are left with very muddy grass, wet sidewalks, and a dirty dog, but I’ll take it because that means spring is really here!

Moose

More snacks happened in the afternoon.

Dinner was light because I had done the majority of my eating throughout the day and wasn’t super hungry, but still wanted some nutrition. I threw together a lazy salad with mixed greens, red bell pepper, peas, olives, pickles, avocado, sunflower seeds and a dressing made with Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. It was simple but tasty.

I am pretty much convinced that I could put avocado on anything and it would taste good. The avocado really stole the show last night.

salad

 

The rest of the evening was pretty quiet and relaxing!

Question of the day: What is your favorite cereal?

Have a great day!!

 

February Fitness Challenge Review

Happy Saturday! Today’s my second favorite day of the week after Friday, so I’m a pretty happy camper today.

Considering I don’t have many food photos to share (the SCD is fairly redundant right now), how about we talk about fitness instead?

At the beginning of February I set a goal for myself to complete three strength training workouts each week. They could involve free weights, machines at the gym, workout videos, whatever, as long as they involved improving my strength. I also challenged myself to complete one plank a day for at least one minute.

I am a cardio junkie and love getting my heart rate ramped from the cardio which is also great for overall health, but all-to-often slack on the strength and I wanted to do something about it. I called this challenge, my February Fitness Challenge.

Although I know there are still five days left in February, I have decided to reflect now.

I am happy to say that even though I was struck with a head cold for a solid week this month, and felt very low energy due to the SCD intro, I still managed to stick to my goal each week. I tried to keep it spicy and exciting so that I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Some of My February Strength Workouts:

  • Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred: Level 1 and Level 2
  • This leg workout incorporated with dumbbells
  • This arm workout plus other arm exercises
  • Ab workouts (from the January Abs Challenge)
  • Most of the time I just did my own thing and mixed up different exercises

I have done my plank-a-day every day too!

I have noticed that with the combination of eliminating white sugars from my diet, and increasing my strength activities, that I do feel stronger. I even feel it when I’m doing cardio. When I’m running my core helps carry me and makes me run lighter.

I definitely feel stronger overall, however I have a looooooonngg way to go to get my strength to where I would like it to be. But it takes time. I’m going to continue to work on it.

I already have a March fitness challenge brewin’ in my head! Be on the look out. 😉

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I can’t leave this post complete photo-free because that’s no fun, so I do have a couple to share.

Yesterday I couldn’t eat meat (Lent), which is a main component of the SCD. I was thrilled about it because I am SO TIRED OF IT and completely tired out of eggs too, so it was time to introduce a new food. Peanut butter. I’m not talking boat loads of pb, but enough to satisfy my hunger and give me some protein.

I introduced baked apples into my diet two days ago and my body responded well. My girlie girl Kalkal said one of her favorite breakfast combos lately is cut up apple, with pb and cinnamon. I usually do that combo with banana, but often forget about the lovely apple. I gave it a whirl, but used a slightly cooked apple instead (to aid in digestion for now).

apple with pb

I honestly think I could slather peanut butter on anything and it would taste good. This was a very nice treat! I would prefer it with a raw apple like Kalley had suggested, but for now this will have to do!

The REALLY good news is that peanut butter is sitting very well with my system. Like I said I have no plans of going crazy with it like I tend to do, but one serving a day and I should feel just fine. I am really missing my legumes and lentils however. Soon enough!

The evening was spent:

  • getting some more vacation stuff together
  • doing some food prep for vaca
  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • planking
  • core strength
  • running around the house and up and down the stairs with Moose
  • and cleaning up broken links on the ol’ blog (this is quite the task)

We also picked this guy up from the groomer after getting a nice intense brush-out. He looks so handsome.

moose

I have plans to get a little run in this morning and then we have some more packing to do!

What’s on your Saturday agenda?!

Flashback: Our Proposal Story

How about some lovey dove reminiscent memories to help us get through this freezing cold Wednesday? Sounds good to me!

On Sunday night, Dana and I met up with Betsy and Matt at Stella’s Fish Cafe for dinner. I mentioned in a previous post that we were coincidentally seated in the same booth that we sat in the night Dana proposed to me. I realized I had never shared the story of our engagement proposal, so…..it’s share time!

Flashback to January 29th 2010. 

Dana and I had plans to celebrate our one year anniversary. Dana had made reservations at Stella’s. I remember getting all dolled up in my blue sweater dress, saying bye to mom and dad, and driving over to Dana’s house.

As I waited for him to finish getting ready, I browsed the cupboards for a snack and found some Sweettart Valentine conversation hearts. I snacked on a couple of those while I waited, and then off to dinner we went.

We were seated in a booth upstairs and I was giddy the whole time. I was so happy and felt so lucky to be celebrating an anniversary with this man. We ordered our food and a bottle of wine and thoroughly enjoyed eachother’s company as we always do. Dana was cool as a kitten. I had not the slightest idea he had anything up his sleeve.

After dinner we made our way to the parking lot. Once we were in the car, and waiting for it to warm up, Dana handed me an envelope of photos that he had printed off from Walgreens. I had given him a photo album a year prior to this as a gift with the intention of filling it up with photos of all of the fun things we do together. He told me that he had printed some photos for the album.

I immediately start flipping through about 20 photos, commenting on each memory along the way. As I got to the last photo, I had to do a double take. At first it looked like an advertisement or a coupon from Walgreens, but as I looked at it again I noticed some very special words spelled out for me…

marry me 3 i think this is the one

I was in total and utter shock. I looked over at Dana and there he was with tears filled in his eyes (although he may deny this), and he had a gorgeous engagement ring in his hands. He asked me to marry him and I’m pretty sure he said some other things but my head was in a cloud of love dust (I am such a corny lovey person—I won’t apologize for it) so I don’t remember.

I muttered yes and as I tears began pouring out of my eyes, still in total shock mode. Yes I absolutely want to spend my life with this man. YES YES YES! But omg, I’m engaged!

We called our parents on the way home to tell them the incredible news. This is when I found out that my dad already knew because Dana had gone over there earlier that day and asked for his permission to marry me. My dad knew but he hadn’t told my mom because my mom and I have this weird connection with eachother  and I immediately would have known something was going on if she were to have known.

Our parents were beyond ecstatic. After our parents knew I started calling my brothers and some of my friends (the ones I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell in person). Then it was time to celebrate.

Once we got back to Dana’s place, we celebrated with his roommates and a nice bottle of wine. I told Dana I had snacked on a couple of the Sweettarts while he was finishing getting ready in his room and we both had a good chuckle. Little did I know!

We didn’t snap any photos at Stella’s or in the parking lot, so of course I had to make up for it when we got back home.

engagement night 10 engagement night 18 engagement night 2

It was an unforgettable night and the beginning of forever with the most amazing man.

Fast-forward: Engagement Photos

For our engagement photos, we chose to relive the memories of the day by having our photos taken at Stella’s. I remember being so incredibly nervous before the photo shoot. I really don’t like being the center of attention. Eventually, I warmed up and had a blast! Our photographers from Erin and I photo really helped ease any nervousness.

Here’s our booth (the same one from the other night too!).

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The night before our engagement photos, I want to say it snowed about 9 inches. The snow was so fresh and perfect for photos. It was extremely cold on the day of our photo shoot as well, so we did the outside photos as quickly as possible.

Our outside photos were taken at Lake of the Isles.

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We had to make sure Mooser got in the photo action!

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He was made for the camera.

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I can’t believe our engagement was three years ago already. Time flies. Soak up every moment of life because it does go by so fast!

I hope you enjoyed this flashback as much as I did! Oh, and in case you are wondering what my food intake looked like yesterday, take a look at Tuesday’s post and it was pretty much an exact replica except for I also added lean ground turkey into the mix. I am going to be introducing banana today. How exciting! 😉

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

Strawberry Chicken Salad with the Girls

Happy Sunday!

I have some coupon cutting and horoscopes reading to do, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Saturday Recap

Breakfast: Kefir with chia seeds which I let soak for 10 minutes to soften the chia. I then added agave nectar to sweeten it up (because kefir is pretty tangy) and added a banana on top!

kefir with chia

After breakfast I hit the living room for a leg workout and glute which felt GREAT!

For lunch I had a date with one of my girlie girls, Heidi. She was in town so she stopped by for lunch and to catch up. I made us a strawberry chicken salad with blueberries, almonds, avocado, and feta cheese. It was light an perfect.

strawberry chicken salad

After we ate lunch we called Kate on FaceTime (Kate is living in Georgia–I went and visited her on my birthday last year). It was like the three of us were truly having a girly chat together right in the same room. It made me miss her even more but I feel so lucky to have the option of calling her and talking to her “face to face.”

In the afternoon Dana and I had a couple of errands to run. We stopped at TJMaxx and I found another new swimsuit (the one on the bottom right is the newest addition)! I usually don’t have good luck at TJMaxx with swimsuits because the tops and bottoms are sold together as a set, so you aren’t able to mix and match sizes, but this one actually fit me like a glove! Plus, it was only $12.99. Bargain!

swimsuits

We will be spending the majority of time in our bathing suits, so I need to be sure and bring enough plus I like to have options. 😉

For dinner I whipped up a random mix of black beans, onion, garlic, salsa, and cabbage with cheese on top. I wasn’t sure how it would all come together, but it was surprisingly good! I think what made it good was the Parkers Farm Roasted Garlic Salsa. It was so flavorful.

salsa cabbage black beans

We finished off the night watching Glee from last week. Man oh man it was a juicy one. Lots of unexpected events unfolded!

Moose was unimpressed as usual.

moose

I hope you are all having a relaxing weekend. I have a super fun double date tonight that I am so looking forward to!

Catch up with you all later! xoxo

Cabbage Roll Casserole–Give it a Chance!

Happy Saturday you beautifully nutty readers!

My Saturday is off to a great start because I woke up feeling SO much better. I can actually breathe through my nose today which is a good thing since we have plans to meet my mom, dad, and grandpa for breakfast this morning. I don’t know about you but I do enjoy tasting my food. 😉

I’m going to make this short and sweet for you all and focus right on in to dinner last night. After lying on the couch until 3:30 yesterday afternoon feeling completely groggy, I forced myself into my tennis shoes and hit the treadmill for a nice slow walk. The walk did wonders. I felt slightly less groggy and more energized. I made sure to utilize that slight energy surge by preparing dinner.

Dinner was something out of the box, and out of my comfort zone: Cabbage Roll Casserole

I had planned earlier in the week to make cabbage rolls, but kept putting it off since I wasn’t feeling good and the process seemed a little tedious. Then I got to thinking, there’s nothing saying I have to make the cabbage rolls into actual rolls, I could just chop it up and bake it like a casserole. I went with it…

And here is what I came up with! I know cabbage may not be #1 on many people’s list of favorite foods, but give it a chance. I promise you this turned out to be such a great and SUPER healthy dish!

cabbage roll casserole cabbage roll casserole cabbage roll casserole

It was comforting, savory and satisfying. Both Dana and I really enjoyed it!

Cabbage Roll Casserole
Print
Recipe type: Gluten-Free; SCD
Ingredients
  • ⅓ lb ground lean turkey
  • 1½ cup onion, diced
  • ¾ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • ½ jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
  • ½ head of cabbage, chopped into shreds
  • ¾ cup bone broth (chicken, turkey, or veggie broth would work fine)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a pan on the stove top, brown the meat.
  3. Then add onion and bell pepper and saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, oregano, chili pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper; stir.
  5. Add tomatoes and sauce and stir. Turn off the heat. Add cabbage and stir to combine.
  6. In a 9 x 13 oven-safe baking pan, pour cabbage mixture and spread evenly in pan.
  7. Pour broth over cabbage.
  8. Bake covered for 45 minutes and then remove cover and bake for an additional 35 minutes.
  9. Enjoy this delightfully healthy dish warm!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing on the couch and watching the majority of the movie Valentine’s Day which was on TV. Of course I naturally got into it since it was the definition of chick flick and it has a great cast. We had to DVR the end of it though because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Stay awake until 10:30? Not a chance when I’m sick.

Moose had a relaxing evening as well.

moose

The evening was complete when Dana came home from a run to CVS for cold medicine for me and also brought home one of my favorite dark chocolate bars. I’m only allowing myself one piece a day at max. I can’t believe my will power with sweets these days. It’s incredible how taking yourself off of sweets can change your will power for them so drastically. I like having control. Now I have to work on my peanut butter and date control.

chocolate and cold medicine

Okie, doke friends. I’m off to get ready for our breakfast with the family. I hope you all have a relaxing and fun-filled Saturday. Catch up with you soon.

Question of the day: Do you have any foods that test your will power?

You Can’t Always Win

Yesterday I mentioned I was fighting off some sort of cold bug and I had big plans of squashing it before it made its way any further into my body, but I’m afraid it has won.

I did everything in my power to ward it off. I took all of my vitamins as I always do, I wash my hands, I got plenty of sleep, I made myself a fruit and veggie packed smoothie for breakfast…

smoothie

I sipped on warm water with lemon and honey, tea, and water all day, crammed fruits and veggies like it was my job, and even attempted to get a workout in to get the blood circulating and move this thing out…

  • February Fitness Challenge: I completed this ab workout along with 45 minute run/walk on the treadmill. My strength focus was on the core yesterday.

I was lovingly greeted/interrupted while doing the ab workout by this needy face…

moose moose

Maybe he was trying to tell me about the spider crawling on the floor that I noticed shortly after he left while holding my plank-a-day? If so, that was sweet of him.

In the evening, my mom, dad and brother Kevin came over to join Dana and me for tacos. Abbie and Moose have yet to become buddies, so Abbie made her way over to her little roost where she overlooked the situation.

abbie

I used the chicken I had used for my bone broth for the chicken tacos. I diced the chicken meat, added it into my pan on the stove top, added bone broth, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. I let it all simmer together until the liquid evaporated.

I also made refried beans with black beans which I cooked on the stove, again with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper (no paprika), salsa, cilantro, and some diced tomato. I added a touch of bone broth as well to get it moving along and let it simmer for a short while.

I got all of the fixings together and then dinner was ready. Tacos are so easy to make and always so darn good. I ate my tacos in lettuce cups but we also had corn tortillas for everyone.

chicken tacos

After dinner, we all hung out and I played beauty shoppe with mom. I’ve never been too good with hair but I like to try being creative every once and a while, and mom is the perfect client. Her hair is the perfect texture that holds well to styling, and I’m pretty sure she is okay with the free head massage. Who doesn’t like getting their hair fanangled? I know I do.

mom

I also thought a little TLC from the family may help fight this thing off, but unfortunately this morning I woke up feeling worse than yesterday. The darn cold definitely got me much to my dismay. You can’t always win as hard as you may try. 🙂

Let’s just hope I feel better as the day progresses. Even though it got me, I won’t let it stick around for long. Okay, enough of my belly aching. I hope you all are feeling well, staying active, eating healthy nourishing foods, and getting plenty of sleep. Take care!

5 Slow Sweaty Miles With No Boredom!

Thank you all for the sweet and supportive comments yesterday! It’s definitely an exciting milestone!

It’s time to catch you up on the rest of the weekend.

Saturday

We were out of bananas so I couldn’t have my typical pb and b breakfast, but settled for a piece of almond bread with peanut butter instead.

Eventually I made my way downstairs to the treadmill where I got warped into Dance Moms and ran a slow pace for 5 miles. It felt great to get sweaty and was one of those runs where I felt like I could just keep going, going, going. I didn’t experience the treadmill boredom one bit that day. I can’t believe I just admitted I was watched Dance Moms. 

Lunch was completely random—it started with a fail of a smoothie. I tried adding broccoli and I just couldn’t get past the flavor and texture it added, so I had to dump it. I hate wasting food so you know it had to be pretty bad. Next I made a simple protein drink with almond milk and Jay Robb’s chocolate egg white protein powder. I gave it a mix and drank it up. It was okay but nothing was tasting great.

So I made lunch a snacky deal. It involved an apple, some veggies, almonds, peanut butter, dates…you name it and I probably snacked on it. 😉

Moose got a belated Christmas gift from us (clearance right now at Petco) which he absolutely adores.

moose

For dinner we had plans with Dana’s family. For Christmas we told them we wanted to buy them dinner from one of our favorite restaurants (and also the restaurant we had our groom’s dinner), Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, and bring it over to their house and watch our wedding video with them.

It was a feast and it was so incredibly delicious and veggie-packed. We had tabouli, hummus, baba ghanoush, kabobs, gyros, greek salad, falafel, and more! med cruise cafe

After dinner we cozied up by the fire and watched our wedding video. It is SO fun to relive the wedding.

 

moose and sue

Sunday

Sunday was pretty lazy but we did manage to get to the grocery shopping and totally stock up on produce. It’s hard to see in the photo but we now have: baby cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, mini bell peppers, lettuce, blackberries, apples, avocados, oranges, lemons, limes…

fridge

…mushrooms, black beans, onions, bananas, and that’s not to mention what’s in the freezer! I think we are set for a while.

fridge

 

Dinner was BBQ crock pot chicken. I placed two large chicken breasts into the small crock pot, slathered in BBQ sauce, a sprinkle of garlic powder and ground mustard, set it on low and covered for about 4 hours and voila. Dinner was ready!

This is one of my favorite homemade salads and I am always reminded of Famous Dave’s  pulled pork salad when I try to make this: mixed greens, corn, avocado, pickles, cheddar cheese, and pulled BBQ chicken. Seriously num.

 

salad

 

I’m making this post nice and short and sweet for ya’ll today. I have a few things to do this morning and I gotta get ready. Have a great Monday friends!

A Reminiscent Run

Yesterday was an all-around great day. The day began with a relaxing cup of coffee and banana with peanut butter for breakfast. I suppose I could say I am officially in a “rut” with the pb banana. I haven’t changed up breakfast for a good 1-2 weeks now, but I do still love my pb and b!

Mid-morning I swung by Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of goodies as well as Macy’s in search of a swimsuit for Turks and Caicos. It’s not that I necessarily need another swimsuit it’s just that I would really enjoy another one. I wanted to look at Macy’s because I still have birthday money there and that would have worked out perfectly, but they didn’t have too many options yet. I did find one on Victoria’s Secret website that I like, but I haven’t been able to commit yet. We shall see.

For lunch I met up with my dear friend Kalley at People’s Organic Cafe per Kalley’s recommendation.
kalley and melanie

Just as I had suspected, the menu was stellar, stacked with healthy and veggieful dishes. I was in my element. She knows me well!

I went with the “Really Greek” salad: organic romaine, roasted tomatoes, quinoa tabouli, marinated chickpeas, cucumber, olives, feta and lemon basil dressing.

people's organic

It was a really good decision (ha-ha). I loved every bit of it.

My lunch with Kal flew by all too quickly. I had so much fun catching up on life, reminiscing a bit about the past, and realizing how far I have come with this beautiful lady; about 13 years! I can’t wait to see her again.

I would highly recommend People’s Organic to anybody who enjoys fresh organic, healthy food. It is slightly pricey but that is only because everything is organic. I promise you it is totally worth it. Besides salads they also have sandwiches, wraps, soup, and amazing looking desserts.

I dressed in my running gear at lunch for a reason…after lunch I had plans to run the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up. I was in dire need of a change of scenery and the last time I ran this neighborhood was last late winter perhaps (?), so I thought it would be a welcomed route.

It wasn’t my easiest run but it sure was a fun one. I reminisced the entire time. Every new street I ran by literally brought back so many memories.

I passed by my old house, Betsy’s family’s old house which was just a block away (which explains my closeness to the family as I was there all.the.time.), and about 5 houses of families I babysat for.

I ran on the sidewalk where I would always tell my mom I was thirsty towards the end of our walks. She would tell me to think of biting into a lemon because it makes your mouth salivate and that would be enough to get me home. I remembered our many walks together; reciting state capitals, showing her my new dance steps, singing songs, we have so many wonderful memories.

I passed by “the elephant tree” named because it clearly looks like an elephant. 😉

elephant tree

I passed by the “picnic tree” where Steph, Betsy, our friend Katie, and I would pack lunches and bike to eat lunch under our favorite tree.

picnic tree

I passed the ice rink where I spent many winters learning to ice skate…

ice rinkEvery single step of this run was literally a run down memory lane. Aside from the fact that it wasn’t my “best” run physically, it was sure a great mental run!

Once I got home, we took Moose to the dog park to let him socialize with some buddies. He was in quite the “loving” mood. We had to keep a close eye on him. If you ever are in need of a good chuckle, go to a dog park. Watching the dogs interact is one of the funniest things.

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After the dog park I completed my third session of the Abs Challenge. We are now on to week 2!

Dinner was a favorite of ours: veggie hash with a runny egg on top. I pulled whatever we had in the fridge/freezer which included broccoli, mushrooms, onion, leftover Santa Fe roll filler, bell peppers, and then topped the sautéed veggies with shredded cheese, tomato, cilantro, and an over-easy egg. Perfection.

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We brought out the snorkel gear last night to make sure everything still fit and was ready to go for our vacation. I feel like it is a lot sooner than the end of February based on my excitement level but considering how time flies, it will be here before we know it.

I am in the process of working on a meal plan for the week since we will be doing our own cooking in our kitchen. Once I get that set up I will share with you all!

I hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

Question of the day: Any go-to vacation meal ideas for me that are easy yet healthy and satisfying?

Low-Fat Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker

It’s my favorite day of the week! HAPPY FRIDAY! I have a very low key weekend ahead of me and I am perfectly okay with that.

I have a recipe to share for you that was inspired by Courtney from SweetToothSweetLife. She made a veggie stew which looked spectacular and I wanted to try something similar. I made a few changes and am pretty darn happy with the results!

Into the crockpot on Wednesday morning:

  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • onion
  • garlic
  • green bell pepper
  • celery
  • tomatoes (frozen from garden!)
  • cannelini beans
  • chicken broth
  • italian spices
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

vegetable soup

I set my favorite piece of kitchen equipment, aka the crock pot, on low for 8 hours during the day.

For lunch: Chicken breast with leftover refried beans, melted cheese, salsa, and avocado. This combo was just ‘meh’ to me. I didn’t LOVE it, but I did like that it was protein packed. I’m just more of a bean, Greek yogurt, egg, or peanut butter protein loving kinda gal.

chicken

I also ate a big baggy of carrots and a pear for dessert.

pear

After work I changed into my workout clothes and went to the living room to work my arms and back with the resistance band. My knees were hurting pretty badly after the race so I wanted to keep it low intensity.

Once dinner time rolled around I tested the flavor of the soup, added a touch more salt and pepper, and ladled up two bowls for the hubby and myself.

vegetable soup

I topped the veggie soup with parmesan cheese…

vegetable soup

And thoroughly enjoyed this soup. I went back for a second bowl too. It’s warm, hearty, veggie-filled, low-fat, and DELICIOUS.

Low-Fat Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker
Print
Ingredients
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups white beans
  • 1½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned tomatoes would work fine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into crockpot. Cover and set on low for 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesan cheese. ENJOY!

 

Mooser is just getting over an outer ear infection which included an antibiotic treatment as well as ointment in his ear daily. He quickly learned to hate the ear drops and got all too smart when it came time for them.

I thought this picture was hysterical and really captured his hate love for it!

moose

So resistant!

Thursday

Thursday was a pretty ordinary day around here. I went to work, went to the gym after work (elliptical, push-ups, and core work), came home, made dinner.

I went the easy route again with dinner: Buffalo chicken salad with green onions, celery, feta cheese, and light ranch dressing.

buffalo chicken salad

So spicaaay! I am realizing that the older I get, the more sensitive I become to spicy foods. Is that weird?

I am debating whether or not to get a workout in at some point today. My knees are still very sore. I’ve been icing them daily but they must not have been too happy with my cold run the other day because they are still aching. I’m pretty sure my body is trying to tell me to rest but I’m having a challenging time listening to it because it’s the new year and I really want to get back into a solid workout regime again. I will see how I am feeling this afternoon and then decide.

I am off to take on my day. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and I will catch up with you later gators!

xoxo,

M

A Healthy Start to 2013: Polar Dash 10K

I am very excited to recap on my run from yesterday so I am not wasting any time today.

New Year’s Day (yesterday) I got up bright and early to eat my usual banana and peanut butter pre-run breakfast and sip on a half a cup of coffee. I laid out all of my running gear the night before like I always do, I even pinned my number on my shirt and tied in my time chip to my shoe.

My nerves took over temporarily while thinking about the frigid temperatures, and I started to second guess if I had the right amount of clothes and layers on. On the ride over the thermometer read -7°F. The last long run we did outside it was 9°F outside. That’s a big difference! Dana reassured me that what I had on would be just fine and eventually I came to the realization that yes, I would be fine.
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We picked up my brother Kevin and his friend Jeremy (who ran the half-marathon with us in June) and drove to St. Paul. We parked and took the shuttle over to the starting area.

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We all did the bathroom thing then headed over to the starting line. At this point the temperature had probably crept up to a whopping -4°F. You had to keep moving to keep the circulation flowing so everyone was jumping, running in place, stretching, and trying to stay warm. This was the hardest part of the whole race for me. From the time it took for us to leave our car in the lot and head to the starting line was about 25 minutes, and my toes were just not having it. They were starting to go numb. All I wanted to do was start running! I have never wanted to start running so bad!

Once the race began and our wave took off, the toes were still feeling pretty immobile, but at about mile 2 they were feeling fine. I ran next to Dana, Kevin, and Jeremy the whole race (minus the very end when K and J took off) which made it so much fun. Jeremy wore an afro wig and crazy 80’s shorts with a fanny pack and got all the runners pumped up and was highly entertaining. One girl even came up to him after the race and told him she was keeping an eye on his afro the whole race and PR’ed because of it!

Another form of entertainment was seeing all of the runner’s iced over faces. It was especially hysterical when men had big beards because the ice completely forms around the beard and turns it white. We all looked like we should have been in some sort of Christmas movie.

Here’s my frosty hair:

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Between the entertainment and running with the three boys and keeping each other company, the race flew by. Even though the temperature was sickly cold, there was no wind so the run actually didn’t feel too cold. Dana was right, I had worn the perfect amount of clothes and layers. It’s the same thing I wore on this training run except I wore a wicking  thermal insulated head band instead of a hat.

I felt like it was one of my easiest races actually (albeit not one of my fastest). I finished the run in 1 hour and 37 seconds. I was hoping to get an hour or less, but that’s alright. I’ll blame it on the very slow first mile due to a large mob of runners. 🙂 I am still just very proud I finished a race in sub zero temperatures.

This was definitely one of the most fun races I have done too. I couldn’t believe all of the die hard Minnesotans who were out there running and out there cheering for the runners! I am so proud of my state.

Post-race the wonderful volunteers were handing out waters, goodies bags with bananas, salted nut rolls, and chips, and best of all HOT CHOCOLATE! I don’t mean any ordinary hot chocolate, this was like super chocolatey totally awesome hot chocolate. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. What a fun way to end the race!

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Our amazing team: Team Ice Pack.

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A little different from our group picture post half-marathon in June. Ha ha!

Besides the 10K, there was also a half-marathon and a 5K. The Polar Dash was put on by Team Ortho. I have raved about their races and the organization of the races in the past, and this one gets the same credit. The volunteers are so friendly, there is never a moment when you are unsure of where you need to be, they are right there for you if you need them, and they help you have fun and enjoy your races.

The Polar Dash race on January 1st was the perfect way to kick off a healthy new year! I felt fabulous!

We were all very excited to warm up and “thaw” in the car ride home.

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Immediately after walking in our front door I turned the heat up and hopped in a hot shower. I got into my coziest fleece pants and plopped myself on the couch for the majority of the day. I think the combination of the cold run and my body working hard to regulate my body temperature coupled with the fact that I slept terribly the night before set me up for a super drowsy day.

I did manage to dress the pup up in Polar Dash gear. It’s always good for a laugh or two. What a good sport.

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I was extremely hungry for lunch but had no ambition to make anything, so I snacked on some freeze dried salted edamame for some quick fuel and protein. These babies pack 12 grams of protein in a half a cup. They aren’t out-of-this-world fantastic tasting, but I do enjoy them and they are a healthy snack, and especially a good snack to pack if traveling.

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Eventually I rounded up enough energy to make myself a healthy salad. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but it did taste pretty darn good.

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A kajillion snacks happened in the afternoon. I had a bottomless pit of a stomach yesterday. I snacked on almonds, craisins, carrots, a banana, almond crackers, peanut butter. My appetite was insane.

Once dinner rolled around we were both still feeling pretty unmotivated, so we opted for easy. I found a can of refried beans in the cupboard, heated them up with some Parkers Farm salsa. I topped the beans on corn tortillas with shredded cheese, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and some more salsa.

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So simple and so delicious.

I did manage to prepare a meal for the crock pot that will be cooking all day today. I hope it turns out! I’ll let you know.

Off to work I go…Happy Wednesday (I keep wanting to say today is Thursday)!