On Air with Fox 9: Blueberries!

Back in January, I had the opportunity to go back to Fox 9 for another on-air show featuring Driscoll’s blueberries. I have put off this post for a while because I was hoping that Fox 9 would post the recipes on their site and maybe even the clip from my segment, but neither was ever posted. After that never happened, it all kind of fell to the wayside and I just forgot to share it. Until today.

To read about my last visit to Fox 9 and see my video from my last show, head on over here: On Air with Fox 9: National Oatmeal Day

I arrived nice and early to the set and felt like an old pro.

on air fox 9

It didn’t take me long to set up which gave me time to relax, look over my notes, and chat with the Fox 9 crew.

on air fox 9

on air fox 9

The news anchor I worked with this time was Tom Butler. He was so kind and made me feel incredibly comfortable. I was a bit nervous, but did my best to hide it and he definitely helped put me at ease.

Once the cameras were rolling, we were live.

The segment was really great. It was all about healthy snacking and how blueberries can be a super healthy and delicious snack to add to your day.

The best part though was at the end of the segment I got to take part in the Friday Dance-Off. They put on a fun song, the whole crew dances and it is shown live just as the rest of the show is. I don’t know if all of you know this, but this is right up my alley. I love to dance! I killed it with some super corny moves and I’m pretty sure I won the dance-off. 😉

I shared three Driscoll’s recipes with the viewers. On the segment, I put together the spicy trail mix. Feel free to check out the recipes.

 

Blueberry Cocoa Bites: think Larabar with a sweet blueberry filling.

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10152/Blueberry-Cocoa-Bites

driscolls blueberries cocoa bites

photo source

 

Spicy Blueberry Trail Mix: I devoured this mix. The sweet and spicy combo really got me!

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10113/Gluten-Free-Spicy-Blueberry-Trail-Mix

driscolls blueberries

photo source

 

Gluten-Free Blueberry Macaroons: not my fav for some reason but that’s not to say you won’t like them! You could use any flour you have on hand I am sure.

Recipe: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/10099/Gluten-Free-Blueberry-Macaroons

driscolls blueberries macaroons

photo source

For the most part, the whole segment went very smoothly. I had a lot of fun once again!

I was incredibly honored to have had the chance to work with Driscoll’s and Fox 9 again. These are memories that I won’t soon forget! I hope they are more of these opportunities in the future!

Now, go make yourself some spicy trail mix!

Disclaimer: Driscoll’s compensated me for the segment as well as the products needed for the show however all opinions expressed are my own. 

Favorites from the Week: Spin, Florida, Food

Happy Friday! I’m linkin’ up with Katie’s Friday Favorites today. Thanks, Katie!

Many of my Friday favorites involve events that you have already heard about this week. Although, there is one amazing day that I still have to share about (I won’t forget I promise!).

Some of my Friday Favorites…

1. Spin class with Dana and Dara Torres. A great workout instructed by an olympian with my honey by my side. Sounds nice, right? dara

2. Snacking on Driscoll’s blueberries! So crunchy and sweet and fiberlicious. blueberries

3. Homemade California Rolls with quinoa instead of white rice. This was my first ever attempt at using quinoa instead of white rice in these rolls. I let the quinoa cook for an extended period of time before stirring in a vinegar, honey, salt, and water mixture. The combination of overcooking the quinoa and adding the vinegar mixture made the quinoa perfectly sticky and so easy to use in the rolls. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to white rice! sushi 4. Mini getaway to Orlando with Dana. Sunshine, relaxation, and Disney. 🙂 orlando 5. Salt ‘n Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds. I mentioned these a couple of days ago I realize, but they make an appearance again because they are SO good. blue diamond almonds

6. The kettle chips from M. Tavern in Orlando. The chips were super crunchy just how I like them. kettle chips 7. Egg salad with avocado. One hard-boiled egg, 1/4 of an avocado, mustard, green onions, and pepper. A perfect snack or addition to your lunch! egg avocado salad 8. Wild Harvest’s Organic Green Chai Tea. (I originally typed green thai chee. A little dyslexic today I guess). 🙂 I’ve been limiting my coffee intake and replacing with tea instead and this has been a morning staple for me. I add a splash of coconut milk creamer too. green chai tea   Friday Favorites

There you have it!

What are some of your Friday favs?

Current breakfast beverage?

Current favorite snack?

What I’ve Been Eating Lately: Random and Tasty

It’s been a while since I’ve caught you all up on what I have been eating lately. I will warn you that my eats have been completely random. I have been veering away from the cold salads more often in place of something warm like soup or quesadillas.

Thank you to Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting the What I Ate Wednesdays!

WIAWbutton

Here it goes!

Gluten-free pasta with mom’s spaghetti sauce. NUM!

gluten free spaghetti

Cheese quesadillas with salsa.

gluten free quesadilla

Organic tomato soup with extra cracked black pepper.

tomato soup

Homemade veggie dip made from cottage cheese, ranch seasoning, and Italian seasoning packets–the Ninja Ultima was perfect for this job!

homemade cottage cheese veggie dip

Veggie plate with veggie dip.

veggie plate

Grass-fed beef burger with Monterey jack cheese.

burger

Acorn squash with turkey bacon.

squash

Oatmeal for National Oatmeal Day!

oatmeal

More quesadillas, this time with black beans and avocados too!

quesadillas

Loads of berries (recycled photo)!!

driscolls berries

Baked strawberry oatmeal bars.

IMG_4310

I told you…completely random, but TASTY!

What have you been eating lately?! 

My First On Air Experience: Fox 9

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

Make yourself a bowl of oatmeal, or make some oatmeal cookies (monster cookies are my favorite!), or maybe even some oatmeal bars. It is such a versatile food; everyone can find a way to enjoy oats! Whatever you do, be sure to celebrate this heart healthy day!

Oatmeal is such a well-rounded food: it contains fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrate. It’s truly perfect. It has soluble fiber which can help to lower cholesterol, which can in turn help to lower your risk of developing heart disease which is the number one cause of death in the United States. Learn more about the benefits of oats by watching my video below!

I was invited to promote National Oatmeal Day on Fox 9 morning news. I also found out it was going to be LIVE (yikes!). But this was obviously an opportunity that I could not pass up so I happily but nervously accepted. I did my homework and my prep work for the show, and then it was finally the big day: show day!

I woke up bright and early and put on a professional, tv-friendly outfit. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous.

fox 9 outfit melanie

I began my drive over to their Eden Prairie office. I was calm as I recited a couple of the key points I wanted to be sure and make throughout the show.

When I got to the studio, I was greeted by the sweetest and friendliest security guard. I got all checked in, grabbed a large cart so that I could roll in my three boxes of stuff, and was greeted by more staff who showed me back to the kitchen.

I felt so comforted by the staff. They all made me feel very welcome and made me feel right at home. They informed me that my first teaser shot would be at 8:10. I had no idea what this meant so I admitted that I was a rookie and asked to explain what that meant. A teaser shot is a quick five second or so clip of me in the kitchen that the viewers who are watching Fox 9 will see before my segment. It shows them what is coming up next on the news.

So, as I was setting up the kitchen with all of my nummies, I was also being videotaped and it was playing live!

There were three teasers throughout the set-up time. In between I would touched up my makeup, continue setting up the set, chat with the crew, and try and stay relaxed.

Here is what the stage looked like when it was all set up by yours truly!

fox 9 set setup

 

Right before my segment was about to air, anchor woman Dawn Stevens came in to meet me. She is a very sweet and beautiful woman! We quickly went over a couple of things and then all of a sudden the videographer or producer or someone was counting down 5–4—3–2–1. I looked over at Dawn when they were at three and I asked if we were really starting right now? She smiled and said “yup!”

And then the show began. I had a few nerves at the very beginning, but then I got into it and really enjoyed myself! The segment was only about four minutes but it seemed like I had about one minute to go through everything!

I am unable to embed the video into this post (it’s more than likely the user than it is the program :smile:), but if you haven’t checked out the video yet, you can see it here…

Video:

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/23805766/baked-strawberry-oatmeal-triple-berry-oatmeal-scones

What an incredible experience this was! I had such a mix of emotions once it was over. I think I was having a hard time believing that I had just shot a live TV segment and that people had already seen my face on TV. I was overwhelmed and so happy and so proud.

I can’t wait to do more! I hope this is just the beginning of my on-screen career! 😉

I want to thank the staff at Fox 9 for making me feel so welcome, so comfortable, and for having me on the show.

I also want to thank Driscoll’s and Sneaky Pete’s for partnering with me. You are so incredible and I am extremely grateful for you.

So how about I share that delicious recipe with you all for Baked Strawberry Oatmeal bars?!

oatmeal day

 

Photo courtesy of Fox 9

This recipe is from Driscoll’s Berries and you can find it on their website: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/7548/Baked-Strawberry-Oatmeal

These bars are so insanely easy and they are so delicious! I was excited to have leftovers from the show. I left some for the staff but the remaining bars I took home and wrapped individually so that I can have the for breakfast or a snack whenever I want!

So go enjoy some oats on this National Oatmeal Day and let me know how you enjoyed oats today in my comments section!

Disclaimer: I was compensated for the show as well as the products needed for the show however all opinions expressed are my own. 

WIAW: What I Have Been Eating Lately

Today I’m joining in on the fun with a round of Peas and Crayon’s, “What I Ate Wednesday,” but instead of what I ate Wednesday, I am renaming mine to what I have been eating lately.

WIAWbutton

Loads of fresh and sweet berries thanks to Driscoll’s berries!!

berries

Spinach salads with strawberries, black beans, avocado, chicken, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard dressing.

spinach salad

Fruit and Nut “Cereal”–blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, sliced almonds, cashew pieces, dried currants, cacao nibs, and almond milk! And I just decided that is what’s for breakfast today! Num!

paleo cereal

Leftover Four Bean Quinoa Chili from the freezer!

leftover chili

Two over-easy eggs with sautéed onions, fresh garden tomatoes, avocado, and salsa!

eggs

Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins. These things are crazy good! The box is empty.

blue diamond crackers

 

Dates for a little bit of a sweet treat.

dates and pb

And last but not least, homemade almond butter!

 

 

almond butter

 

I’d say I’ve been eating pretty darn well!

 

What have YOU been eating lately?

Mom’s Ham and White Bean Soup

Hello hello and happy Wednesday!

I’ve been dealing with some type of allergic reaction the past few days, so I am keeping a close eye on my food intake to see if it is a certain food that is triggering an allergic response or perhaps it’s from a medication. I’m in touch with my docs too so I am in good hands; no worries! It’s just really weird. I am feeling more and more inclined to have a food intolerance test done to see which foods I should really be staying away from.

I switched up my breakfast a bit from the usual and went with a bowl of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) with FAGE Greek yogurt, a touch of honey, and chia seeds. I gave it a good stir and thoroughly enjoyed this sweet breakfast.

fruit and yogurt

I snacked on a huge baggy of carrots to tide me over between breakfast and lunch, and there was a huge bowl of shelled peanuts at work so I snagged a handful of those too.

For lunch, I used celery stalks to scoop up freshly made egg salad. I was so inspired by the deviled eggs from Sunday that I went ahead and made this similar tasting, protein-packed meal right away on Monday.

egg salad

I attempted a run in the early afternoon but was hindered by some new pain, so I kept it short and made my way home.

I had a few snacks in the afternoon before heading over to mom and dad’s for dinner.

yogurt

Mom had made ham and white bean soup from the leftover Easter ham, per my request. She’s the best!

mom's ham and bean soup

I love this soup! It’s so simple yet so flavorful, comforting and belly-warming. It’s such a good way to use up the remainder of the Easter ham too. I would love the recipe for this one but I’m almost positive mom just does her own thing when she makes this soup and goes by taste, adding a pinch of this and that here and there. She adds her motherly TLC in there too so that’s probably why her food always tastes good. 🙂

It was the perfect meal for a very cool evening. It is supposed to be in the 50’s again today so I am super excited about that!

I officially saw my first robin yesterday which means that spring is definitely here. My mom and grandma always used to say that to me when I was younger and I would always look forward to it every spring, and I still do!

Happy Hump Day! I hope it’s a good one!

Question of the day: What are your favorite ways to use holiday feast leftovers?

My Sweetened Taste Buds: Regaining Control

Where or where do I begin? I feel like I have so much to share with you. I may end up all over the place so just bear with me please.

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETSY!! Love you peanut!

betsy and melanie

Second of all, it is -11°F outside right now but feels like -34°F. Is that not insane? I wish I didn’t have to go anywhere today but unfortunately that isn’t so. It’s a good thing I have all of the appropriate winter weather gear–thermal insulated coat, insulated boots, hat, gloves, scarves. I’ll be needing it today.

This weekend we didn’t have too many plans except for Friday night’s birthday celebration, so I took the liberty of getting creative in the kitchen.

A quick snap shot of breakfast yesterday: FAGE Greek yogurt honey with blackberries, strawberries, and homemade granola (recipe below).

greek yogurt with fruit and granola

I am on a mission-get-rid-of-sugars around my house, but wanted to have something sweet and fun in the cupboards, so I got bakin’. The product: Sweet and Nutty Bites.

sweet and nutty bites

In a bowl I mixed together chopped pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, dried cranberries, and chopped dates. In a small saucepan I melted together 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/4 cup (or so) of honey. Once melted, I mixed the honey mix into the nuts and then pressed it into a 9 x 9 baking dish. I baked these gems for about 20 minutes. I let them cool on the counter for a good hour or two, and then attempted to cut them into bite size pieces but they were too sticky so they just turned into misshapen bites.

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These are not low-calorie or low-fat by any means, but they do provide healthy fats from the nuts and the only sugar in the recipe is natural sugar from the honey, so I do feel better feeding my body this dessert than I do say two handfuls of chocolate (that’s okay some days too though!). Just a bite does a great job of satisfying my sweet cravings.

I wasn’t going to go in this direction today, but since I am already on track for it, I’m going to go for it. It’s time to talk about my “sweetened taste buds” and my mission to eliminate added sugars to my diet.

I can comfortably admit that I have a large sweet tooth.

Everyone has their “thing” and that is mine. I love sweets. I always have and I always will. Growing up I would ask my mom if we could make cookies together only to wind up leaving her in the dust after the dough was made (sorry mom!). I didn’t do it on purpose, but I loved the dough and then got tired when it came to rolling the dough balls. To this day, I enjoy licking the mixers when making brownies, and helping myself to a few bites of cookie dough in the cookie baking process.

I am okay with having a sweet tooth, but ever since the holidays rolled around, my sweet tooth has spiraled out of control after one-too-many cookies. It’s time to regain control. I noticed that my gut didn’t appreciate the added sweets either, and this is something that I was fully aware of. Every day I would say I’m going to cut out the chocolate and the sweets, but sure enough another piece would present itself in front of me and I would cave. Okay, tomorrow I’ll start that shenanigans.

After reminding myself of my education, motivating myself by reading up on holistic living, and whole-heartedly knowing exactly what I needed to do if I wanted to feel well, I cleared all of the chocolates and candies out of the house. I wanted and needed to curb this sweet tooth. I got my husband on board too which helps immensely.

The hardest part of “cleaning up my act” wasn’t the chocolate, but my coffee creamer. I adore a cup of coffee in the morning with hazelnut creamer and stevia. Sweet on sweet. It had to go. I don’t like the ingredients on the label, and never have, but talked myself into using it just for a short while longer. No more my friends, no more. It’s gone.

If I do want to use a little sweetener it is going to be stevia which is a natural sweetener from the stevia plant. However, I am hoping to wean myself off of sweeteners all together.

Some may ask why I don’t just switch to regular sugar because that’s natural too, and they’re right it is, but the thing about sugars (carbohydrates included) is they are not digested well by the body. A lot of the starch from the sugar gets trapped inside of the intestines causing gas, bloating and irritability, and for someone who deals with irritable bowel, this isn’t a good option.

So how is the sugar wean going? 

To be perfectly honest, NOT BAD at all. The first couple of days I could have gone for a piece of chocolate, but I had other options in the house like dates, berries, and the sweet and nutty bites mentioned above, and they have really helped the process and satisfied my cravings. Another thing that helps is having a cup of tea with a touch of honey. I am now on day 4 of “no sugars added” lifestyle, and I have no sweet cravings. This may sound like a small fete but it is something I am very proud of.

My morning coffee…

At first I had told myself that I was just going to give up coffee because I really don’t enjoy coffee without cream, but I have gone back on that statement. I bought a product called Sweet Drops by Sweet Leaf. It is a natural sweetener made from the stevia plant that adds a subtle sweetness to your coffee, tea, or other beverages. This is what I am using in my coffee now along with a tablespoon of coconut milk.

sweet leaf drops

Do I really think I can keep up with this lifestyle? Am I cutting out sugars forever?

Yes and no. I am learning more and more about my body, the science of food and digestion, and know ways I can help to keep myself in tip-top shape. Cutting down on sugars will help me in so many ways and it is a lifestyle that I want to adapt for the health of myself.

I am NOT saying that I am cutting out sugars forever, but for now, I HAVE GOT to get this colitis under control. This has been going on for way too long. Needless to say there are other things going on with my health that may be contributing to this current “flare” but knowing that I can possibly help the situation through diet encourages me to maintain this lifestyle forever. I WILL be eating chocolate again once I get my health under control, but I will be moderate in my intake; one small piece of dark chocolate a day, a piece of birthday cake on special occasions, etc.

Some other natural remedies I am trying…

I am also taking a multivitamin in the morning along with probiotics. In the evening I am taking calcium plus vitamin D. I am incorporating coconut oil into my daily routine because studies have shown it can help heal the gut and sooth IBD symptoms.

Wow, I really opened up a can of worms with this one, huh?

As a Registered Dietitian it is sometimes hard to admit that I have “sweetened taste buds” and that I need to regain control of the issue. Shouldn’t a dietitian know what to do? It’s hard because I know exactly what I need to do in order to control it, but my stubborn self fought back for so long along with every excuse in the book. None of us are perfect, so why is it so hard for us to share our weaknesses?

Even though it has only been four days without “sweets” I already feel better. I have control already. I just feel better all around.

This turned from me sharing a recipe into divulging a weakness. The important thing to remember: we are given one body, and we have control over what goes into it, the activity it gets, and the decisions we make for it. Take care of your body and remember, no two people are the same, so do what’s best for YOU.

I have much more to share but it’s going to have to wait! Have a GREAT day my friends. xoxoxo

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Hello there my friends!

A brief food overview from yesterday. Breakfast was a green smoothie with kale, almond milk, protein powder, banana, and peanut butter.

Part of lunch: fage yogurt yogurt bowl

And part of dinner: almond bread with pb.

almond bread

******************

With all of the stressors in our lives, bad news on the television, and illness going around right now, I think we could ALL use a pick-me-up. If I could magically deliver dark chocolate and Starbuck’s to each and every one of you, I would, but since I can’t, how bout settling for some of my favorite pins on Pinterest?! I’m hoping there is at least one in here that will make you smile.

I immediately think of Moose when I see this dog in the cone but man throw a baby into the mix and the cuteness factor escalates times a thousand!

pick me up dog cone

Considering my love/obsession for Food Network Television, this one really got me…

pick me up ladies

My relationship with math…

pick me up math shirt

Nothing needs to be said…

pick me up labradoodle

Truth…

pick me up pay bill

pick me up sneeze

Adorable…

pick me up kiddo

Can anyone relate to this grocery one? I know I can!

pick me up groceries

Cute little diva…

pick me up too cute

And this one explains my morning…

pick me up lava floor

Remember the lava game where you can’t touch the floor because it’s made of lava? I’m sure our parents LOVED us running around on all of the furniture. 😉

There you have it, some of my favorite pick-me-ups from the wonderful world of Pinterest. BTW you can follow me—my username is NuttyMelanie.

Besides Pinterest giving this girl a good old-fashioned chuckle and lifting my spirits, I also turn to friends and family, physical activity, a piece of dark chocolate, Mooser, or Modern Family. They all do a pretty good job of turning my mood around. 🙂

Do something that makes you laugh today. Stay healthy. Laughter is the best medicine.

How do YOU “lift your spirits”? What are your favorite pick-me-ups?

Baked Santa Fe Spring Rolls

Hi there my loves! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I have some catching up to do so here we go….

Saturday

I cracked open the Parkers Farm Crunchy Honey peanut butter and let me tell you, I was in heaven. The slight sweetness of the honey mixed with the crunchy and smoothness of the peanuts paired with a good ol’ banana made me one happy little girl.

parkers farm crunchy honey parkers farm pb

After breakfast I hopped on the treadmill and did one sweaty and very nonboring routine:

  • 10 minute walk to warm up
  • 1 mile run at 6.0 mph
  • 2 minute walk at 4.0
  • 1 mile run at 6.5
  • 2 minute walk at 4.0
  • 1 mile run at 7.0
  • 10 minute recovery walk

I was really sweating after this one and the best part was it went by very fast.

After the run I completed my second session of the Ab Challenge circuit. I’ll be completing my third session today so that I reach the weekly goal of 3-4x a week. Tomorrow begins the second week with a new ab workout. I’m loving it.

I wasn’t very hungry for lunch but knew I needed to eat, so I whipped together a smoothie with Jay Robb’s chocolate egg white protein, almond milk, kale, strawberries, half a banana, and blueberries. Very satisfying.

smoothie with jay robb

Then I got to work on what I love doing oh so much…experimenting in the kitchen. Later in the afternoon I had plans to go to my mom and dad’s for dinner. They were going to be making chicken and I told them I would bring a salad.

My wonderful aunt introduced me to a deli-bought salad couple of weeks ago that I absolutely adored, and I had decided I needed to try to recreate it. The salad she had was made with chickpeas, but I wanted to use black beans instead. You could definitely substitute with chickpeas if you would like.

Here is what I came up with!

IMG_1313

black bean citrus salad

5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Ingredients
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • Sauce:
  • juice of ½ of a lime
  • juice from ½ of an orange
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl combine beans, peppers, onions and cilantro.
  2. In a separate small bowl mix the sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce over the bean mixture and stir gently to combine.
  4. Serve cold as a salad or with corn tortilla chips.

I snacked on a small handful of Driscoll’s blackberries in the afternoon. I realize now how much fruit I ate that day!

driscolls blackberriesThen off to mom and dad’s for the evening for church, dinner and the Viking vs. Packer football game.
chicken black beans brussels sprouts

Abbie chose the right move by sleeping instead of watching the Vikes lose so terribly.

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Sunday

I was a cleaning machine in the morning not to mention we hit the coupon jackpot. I swear the coupon books (all four of them) were made specifically for me. There were coupons for so many things I actually use. I was psyched.

I headed to the treadmill again on Sunday this time for a long walk (4.0 pace). I walked for about 50 minutes while watching who knows what t.v. shows. Okay, I watched the Kardashians. Guilty pleasure. I also completed my 1-minute plank from the challenge.

Dinner:

I used the leftover bean salad to make Santa Fe Spring Rolls! I added about 3/4 cup of corn and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese into the black bean salad recipe.

The spring rolls I used are made from rice flour, water, and salt. They come in a round package and are very hard. To soften them you simply take one and turn it in a bowl of warm water. It softens right up and is pliable to work with.

Santa Fe Spring Rolls:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare a baking pan with parchment paper. Once rice paper is pliable, place on flat surface and spoon in bean mixture just off-center.

santa fe spring roll step 1

Step 2: Fold up bottom end of paper to cover mixture.

santa fe spring roll step 2

Step 3: Fold in both right and left sides of paper.

IMG_1332

Step 4: Gently roll up the paper into a roll and place on prepared baking pan and spray the tops with olive oil.

santa fe spring roll step 4

Here’s the kicker…since this was my first time ever working with rice paper, I had no idea how long to bake these. We baked the rolls for about 20 minutes and then switched the oven to low broil where they sat for another 10 minutes. Since the inside did not need to be cooked for any reason, our biggest intention was to crisp up the rice paper.

If I were to do it again I would still probably bake it for 20 minutes, and broil for 10, but I would flip the rolls half way through the broiling process to crisp up both sides.

But anyway, the result was a very tasty sinless meal. I served the rolls with a side of Parkers Farm mild salsa.

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They were definitely very crunchy too! This was a fun change of pace meal for us. BTW before I prepared these rolls I devoured a load of broccoli and hummus, so that was part of my dinner too.

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The rest of the evening was spent being pretty lazy on the couch. I made myself a bowl of FAGE 0% fat Greek Yogurt with fresh Driscoll’s strawberries and blackberries.

It was a nummy day!

Fage with driscolls berries

I have some fun plans on the agenda today including a hot date with a girlfriend of mine!  I am super duper excited. I hope you all have a fabulous day and I will check back in with you very soon.

A Great Day on So Many Levels

Yesterday was a GREAT day on so many levels.

For one, I received wonderful news regarding some of my friends and family. I am so blessed and thankful for my family and friends and my heart is so full of love for all of them.

Also, this box of goodies from Parkers Farm landed on my doorstep.

They sent me:

  • Mild Salsa
  • Roasted Garlic Salsa
  • All Natural Honey Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Gourmet Cheese Balls (smokey bacon and cheddar ranch)
  • 2 Cheese Spreads (port wine and sharp cheddar)

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I am so excited to try out each and every one of these products and share them with family and friends! I’m especially pumped about the honey crunchy peanut butter because I’m pb obsessed obviously. There will be some recipes coming your way involving these products–you can bet your bottom dollar.

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Parkers Farm, I Love You. Thank you for this very generous gift.

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And as if it couldn’t get any better, I also had this wonderful package delivered to my house from Driscoll’s Berry. They kindly sent me six cans of their Perrier Sparkling Water in original flavor, lime, and grapefruit. I really enjoy a sparkling water beverage on occasion. I feel like it’s a special treat when I drink one. I was very happy when they asked me if I would be interested in giving them a whirl.

Along with the Perrier, they also send me $20 coupons towards a Driscoll’s berry purchase. Are you kidding me? I hit the jackpot! I am in berry heaven.

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I will be tossing a review your way as soon as I crack into these cool crisp beverages, and you will be seeing some fresh berries in my posts over the next couple of months. Wooop woopp! How fun, right?!

I realize this post is quickly turning very random but, I have to share a newly discovery snack that I have fallen in love with. It is Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop lightly sweetened popcorn. At just 37 calories a cup, an ingredient list that gets my stamp of approval (popcorn, cane juice, sunflower oil, and sea salt), and an absolutely delicious taste, this little snacky snack gets an A+ in my book. ANNNNnnndd…it’s made in Mankato, MN which is my alma mater! I love when I find local products!

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I snacked on a few handfuls of the golden kernels after work before heading over to Dana’s parent’s house for dinner. They invited Dana, me, and my parents over for a nice casual dinner.

Dinner was incredible! Green beans with lemon and roasted nuts…

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A chicken dish that I went nuts over full of flavor and olives and cooked prunes. There is a fancy name for this dish but I can’t recall it.

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And wild rice with mushrooms and celery…

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Seriously, everything was AMAZING. I cleaned my plate in no time. For dessert we had some Christmas cookies and chocolates. It was so great having our families together post-Christmas. It was very low key, casual, and a great way to finish off this beautiful day.

I have to be perfectly honest with you all, I have let my healthy living habits fall slightly to the wayside. The Christmas cookies tend to take control over me and I can hardly resist, the workouts have been few and far between this last week, and I feel completely sluggish. I am ready to turn this truck around and get back to the cleaner eating and increase my physical activity again. Bring on the New Year baby! It’s time to work off those extra cookies I enjoyed (and don’t regret eating) so thoroughly over the holidays.

Who’s with me?!

Thanks for bearing with me and my randomness today. HAPPY FRIDAY!

(Disclaimer: I received free products from Parkers Farm and Driscoll’s Berries. All opinions expressed regarding their products are solely my own with no outside influence).