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)


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.


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


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.


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!


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…


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.


And wild rice with mushrooms and celery…


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).

Continue Reading A Great Day on So Many Levels

Motivate Me

Hi there to my wonderful readers!

I’ve had a few set-backs on the workout front lately. This is mainly attributed to the U.C. and associated appointments, but it also the summer coming to an end which has played a roll in my lack of exercise lately. Social gatherings have taken precedence over the gym, and for the time being, considering my health situation, I was okay with that.

Now that I am starting to feel better, and major doc appointments are out of the way, it’s time to get back on track. I know I feel better when I am active, not only physically, but mentally as well.

I have been feeling weak, and I am ready to rebuild my strength.

I thought I would look into Pinterest to get a motivational post up for myself, and maybe for some of you who may be in the same “rut.”

Pinterest, motivate me.








I could have gone on for pages but I’ll stop at that. Every day is a new day and a new start to something good. We’ve got this.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday.



Question: What motivates you?

Continue Reading Motivate Me

Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

I won’t waste any time. Jumping into day 2 of the Healthy Living Summit.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling ready to take on the day. I was happy I had called it an early night on Friday. The morning began with a delicious breakfast full of fresh fruit, an egg scramble creation created by a fellow blogger, and other tasty Wild Harvest recipes.


I dished up loads of fruit, egg scramble, maple turkey patties (my favorite), veggie potato hash, fruit and yogurt parfait, and a super strong cup of coffee.


The coffee actually tasted too strong to drink probably because I am used to weaker brews these days. They seem to sit better in my belly.


I mingled with the ladies at my table and had a chance to chit-chat for a minute with Courtney. I love her blog, and was thrilled I was able to meet her! She is even prettier in person if you can believe it.



(Photo courtesy of Courtney)

After breakfast we were coached through a mini CrossFit session presented by Reebok. They provided us with these snazzy headbands and challenged us to a introductory intense workout: complete as many sets of 7 squats and 15 jumps as you can in 5 minutes. Although it was only a short workout, I was really feeling the burn afterwards and continue to feel it a couple of days later!


The rest of the day was spent sitting in on the sessions. I attended:

(The ladies of Wild Harvest which is based out of Eden Prairie, MN btw…woop woop!)



I wish I had a clone so I could have been in two places at once because I wanted to go to ALL of the sessions. I learned so much valuable information on ways to improve my blog, and continued to meet many wonderful people throughout the day.

My brain was officially mush at the end of the day. Information overload. I knew it would take me a few days to digest it all and actually put it to use in improving my own blog. I can’t believe how fast the day went.

Next on the agenda was dinner at Russell House in Harvard Square with the beautiful Shannon, Jamie, and Caroline.


We cheers’ed to new friends (make fun of the cheesiness I don’t care!). Open-mouthed smile


(Image courtesy of Jamie at studioeats.com) 

We had amazing conversations, ate delicious food, sipped our wine, and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

Dinner: A bed of mixed greens with figs, walnuts, grilled chicken, and honey dijon dressing. YUM.


We hit up J.P. Licks for dessert which deserved all of the hype it had been getting. So stinkin’ good. I ordered chocolate and vanilla fro yo with Oreo topping.


We hailed a cab home around 10:30 and called it a night.

I was on cloud 9 at the end of this jam-packed day. It is so unbelievable to meet such genuine people who have common interests and who you get along with so well. Although these girls on live on the east coast, I still plan to keep in touch and visit them again in the future. I fell in love with each and every one of them and am so grateful to have met them. They took me under their wing and made me feel comfortable throughout the weekend. I miss them already.

I just have one more day to Healthy Living Summit recap for you and then I will be back to normal posts again full or recipes and tangents. I just don’t want to short-change you on any of the details of my fantastic weekend. I hope you are all having a great week so far. Catch up with you soon!

Continue Reading Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

Dinner Date with My Girls

This is going to be a short but very sweet post. Last night I met up with two of my great girlie friends, Kate and Heidi (also two of my bridesmaids) for dinner at Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine.

Emma Krumbees is an old bakery and restaurant that offers everything from burgers, to salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and has an extensive breakfast menu too.

I decided on the Citrus Chicken Salad and I ordered the half portion because whole salads at restaurants tend to be absolutely ridiculous. In the salad was iceberg lettuce, red onion, avocado, tomato, grilled chicken, and a lemon citrus vinaigrette on the side. It was a very simple salad, and it was pretty tasty. The amount of food was perfect.

After dinner we walked on over to the gift shop and chit chatted along the way. Emma Krumbees also has an apple orchard and in the fall you can come and pick your own apples. I did that a long time ago with my mom and dad, and would love to do it again this fall!

After a couple of hours we were forced to say our good-bye’s and go our separate ways. It has been so bittersweet getting together with Kate lately because she is moving away to Georgia in less than a week. I am attempting to soak up every last bit of her before she leaves. I definitely will be making plans to go visit her out there.

As always, it was so good to be with my girls, and although Kate will be in Georgia soon, we are still going to Skype, and have a glass of wine together that way, and before we know it I will be heading out there to visit, or she will be coming home to visit.

I stopped by my mom and dad’s on the way home and hung out with them for about an hour before heading “home, home”. Mom and dad’s is my second home, and my house is my first home. I love the comfort of each place.

The rest of the night was spent hanging out with my men.

Today has been an absolutely AMAZING Saturday. I have lots to share with you tomorrow, but it’s going to have to wait. I hope you are all having a great day as well. 🙂

Continue Reading Dinner Date with My Girls

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Well, hello there. I have a lot to share with you so I am going to get right to it. Today’s post is somewhat of a short novel. I apologize.

For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you know that I am combatting some health issues. Anyone just reading for the first time, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 12 and since then have lived with flare-up, remission, flare-up, remission, etc. etc.

I was healthy for over two years without any bouts until about 2 months ago when I started having symptoms again. Now, as a Registered Dietitian my first thought was to try to help the healing process through diet. The diet is something you can control. I began a low-residue, low-fiber diet to try and give my intestines a little time to rest. Think chicken, potatoes with out skin, apples without skin, Cream of Wheat, bananas, etc.

Along with the low-fiber diet, I also consulted my gastroenterologist who started me on medications right away. As time progressed, my symptoms only got worse. I went back to the doc who then switched my meds again. At this point, I was so frustrated with the low-fiber diet and not being able to eat the foods I love (especially raw veggies) that I kind of let loose on the whole diet thing. For breakfast and lunch I would eat low-fiber but then at dinner I was oftentimes making myself a small salad just to fulfill my cravings. Nothing was working, and I was tired of it.

Long story shorter, I was ready to try something different. Dana bought this book for me, and ironically my mom has the same one from when I was younger.

My mom tried EVERYTHING with me when I was sick as a child, but so many of these diets are incredibly hard to follow because you do have to be strict. As a teen, you weren’t going to stop me from going out with my friends and having pizza or other fun snacks. I would eat the pizza and then feel completely miserable afterwards. I wasn’t able to make smart decisions because I didn’t want to risk missing out on social moments. I will never be able to thank my mom enough for all of the time, research, money, love, and support she gave me and still does. Now that I am older though, I have a better understanding of my priorities. 🙂 Also, I know that I can still be social and have fun, I just need to be careful what goes into this delicate body of mine.

So, Dana brings me this book and starts telling me about the concepts involved. I was definitely skeptical at first, but continued on to read the whole book. Here is what I learned…

I pulled this information right from their site which you can link to by clicking on the title below.

“The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ has helped many thousands of people with various forms of bowel disease and other ailments vastly improve their quality of life. In many cases, people consider themselves cured. It is a diet intended mainly for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea. However it is a very healthy, balanced and safe diet that has health benefits for everyone. 
The foods that are allowed on the SCD are based on the chemical structure of these foods. Carbohydrates are classified by their molecular structure. The allowed carbohydrates are monosaccharides and have a single molecule structure that allow them to be easily absorbed by the intestinal wall. Complex carbohydrates which are disaccharides and polysaccharides are not allowed. They are not easily digested and feed harmful bacteria in our intestines causing them to overgrow. This produces by products and inflames the intestinal wall. The diet works by starving out these bacteria and restoring the balance of bacteria in our gut. The SCD is biologically correct because it is species appropriate. The allowed foods are mainly those that early man ate before agriculture began. The diet we evolved to eat over millions of years was predominately one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and low-sugar fruits.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ was clinically tested for over 50 years by Dr Haas and biochemist Elaine Gottschall with convincing results. From feedback from the various lists and other information at least 75% of those who adhere rigidly to the diet gain significant improvement.”
View SCD official site here

I have forever had issues digesting complex carbohydrates. I always joke about how I love bagels but bagels don’t love me. Sometimes I can eat them and feel fine, but oftentimes I eat them and regret it a few hours later when my stomach begins to bloat like a balloon. In my teen years, mom brought me to a holistic doctor. I remember him waving a bunch of scents under my nose while testing my body’s resistance at the same time—pressing on my arm and asking me to push against it, etc. I remember I was slightly intolerant to lactose and gluten. To this day I am still the same way. I am a true believer in holistic health and healing. I also know, that western medicine is a necessity in a lot of cases.

As a dietitian, this diet does make sense to me and it does sound completely legitimate. The book explains the science behind our bodies digestion process and goes on to explain that our bodies have a difficult time digesting these complex carbohydrates and we are not able to get rid of all of the sugars involved. These sugars therefore sit in our intestine and begin to ferment, which can cause a lot of gas and can cause inflammation as well. As a gal with ulcerative colitis, the last thing I need is EXTRA uncomfortable symptoms. After reading this book and talking it over with the hubs and madre, I have decided I am going to give it a whirl.

The diet begins with a 2-5 day introduction diet. You can eat as much as you want of the following foods (directly from their site and the book):

Dry curd cottage cheese (moisten with homemade yogurt)
Eggs (boiled, poached, or scrambled)
Pressed apple cider or grape juice mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water. See, SCD™ Legal / Illegal List for more information about allowable juices.
Homemade gelatin made with juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine)

Homemade chicken soup
Broiled beef patty or broiled fish
Homemade gelatin made with juice, unflavored gelatin, and sweetener (honey or saccharine)

Dinner: Variations of above

I started this intro diet yesterday and bless Dana’s heart, he is doing it with me. Because my symptoms are no longer severe, we will only be doing the introductory diet for two days before moving into the next stage (which looks and sounds WAY better). To prepare for these two days we made a big batch of hard-boiled eggs, lean beef patties, 100% grape juice gelatin, homemade yogurt, “legal” cheesecake made from homemade yogurt and dry curd cheese, and allowed chicken soup from scratch. We also stocked up on Dole 100% pineapple juice. The prep is pretty tedious but if this diet works like it says, then it’s worth it.

This was my first time ever making homemade yogurt. Getting the temperatures just right was the hardest part, but I think we got it down now, and next time we make it will be a lot easier.

Homemade Yogurt: following the directions to a T is very important as you are making sure to rid the product of all lactose remains.


  1. Bring 1/2 gallon of 1% milk to simmer; stirring often. Remove from heat.
  2. Cover and cool until milk has reached room temperature (64-77°F).
  3.  Remove 1 cup cooled milk and make a paste with 1/2 cup good quality commercial yogurt*.
  4. Mix the paste with the remainder of the cooled milk and stir thoroughly.
  5. Cover pot and place on a hot plate heated to 100-110°F; let stand on hot plate for at least 24 hours.
  6. Remove from heat and place in fridge to cool.
*The yogurt should be unflavored and unsweetened. Buy one containing only milk or milk solids and bacterial culture. Recommended cultures are Lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus.
I will not lie to you, I am hating these first two days. No fruits or veggies besides those from fruit juice? I am not a meat or fish lover, and I can only take eggs in small amounts. The Farmer’s Cheese, aka Dry Curd Cheese gives me the worst after taste in my mouth. Blech. The chicken carrot soup is OK, but very bland. I tried making the cheesecake this morning hoping that would be something that I would enjoy but no, because of the cheesy aftertaste I’m not a fan. I am loving the 100% grape juice gelatin however, so I have been eating an insane amount of that. The homemade yogurt I believe needs to wait until tomorrow before I can really incorporate more of it. It felt good to complain for that brief moment. I am trying to remain positive. Tomorrow, we move on to the next phase which is slowly introducing fruits, veggies, nuts, and proteins. Considering I am not a huge complex carb eater in general, the next phase will be very similar to my pre-flare diet with tons of fruits and veggies and beans too!!
My symptoms are already improving drastically and it’s only been a couple of days. On Friday I ate low-carb all day, the only thing I ate that “wasn’t allowed” on the SCD was corn. Then yesterday of course I followed to the very strict intro diet, along with today. I have had zero bloating. You read that right. ZERO. I am utterly amazed at the progress already. I am continuing to take my medications as prescribed by my doctor as well as implementing this diet. Also, the book emphasizes the importance of supplementing with vitamins during this time. If you are thinking about starting this diet, please consult with your physician first. They will make sure this diet is okay for you and help you determine what supplements you  may need to take.
I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you all. Besides from these first two days, this will not be a major lifestyle change for me. Sure, there will be some changes: a lot of food preparation to ensure that there are no complex carbs, a lot of dishes, making smart choices when out with friends, etc. I will do my best to adapt to these modifications. The book recommends you stay on this diet for a year to increase your chances of curing the disease completely. They don’t recommend that you “give it a try” for a month and then quit even if your conditions improve. But, I am only human and although I will continue a very low-carb diet in the future, this is a diet that I will not stay on forever.
As I progress through the stages of this diet, I will continue to keep you posted and update you on the changes. There will be some seriously awesome veggie-packed recipes coming your way soon, that anyone will enjoy, even if you’re not following the SCD.
And that is the nutshell version of what is going on in our household. I am off to get a few things done around here. Catch up with you later!
Continue Reading Specific Carbohydrate Diet

Favorite Posts

Hello friends! I thought it would be fun to pull together a round up of a few of my favorite posts from when I first began the blog in January 2012 through today….


Sweatin’ Out Onions

Ugly Pacman


Sweet Day & Fun Plans

Jam-Packed Fun

You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere

When in Rome


Bright Lights, Lots of Sights, Tasty Delights

7 Healthy Eating Tips When You Are Away

Asparagus Appetizer and Asics

Mindful Eating

Make This: Vegetable Lasagna


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

A Lucky Friday the 13th

Homemade Grilled Pizza

Healthier Reese’s Recipe, Now Hide the Sweets

I can’t believe I have had this blog up and running for four months now. I still have so much work to do! Thank you all for being so loyal and supporting my love for food and fitness. I hope to inspire you with new ideas and recipes, and help encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Continue Reading Favorite Posts

That’s Strike Two

On my way home from work I snacked on one of my free LARABAR’s. I chose the Blueberry Muffin flavor this time and decided it wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it was alright. I wish it had more of a blueberry taste. Don’t get me wrong I really haven’t met a LARABAR I didn’t like, it just wasn’t my favorite.

It did a good job of stamping out my hunger and giving me energy for….Zumba! I had plans to meet my friend Amanda at a workout studio after work. This was a class we had taken before and with an instructor we knew we enjoyed, so I knew this would be a good Zumba experience unlike the last time Betsy and I tried a class out at our gym. It still makes me giggle thinking about the moves the instructor had us doing.

Before Zumba last night.

After Zumba. Glistening with sweat, and notice my huge smile. I had FUN.

It was definitely a good one! I shook it with every last ounce of my booty. At least Zumba was a success, because dinner was a total fail.

A couple of months ago, I bought Shirataki Tofu noodles which can be used as a substitute for pasta. I bought a different variety before and made them into a Thai peanut sauce type dish. They had turned out just alright, but I said I may have to try them again in a different way.

Well, here we are. This time around I bought spinach tofu noodles. I rinsed them very well (to get the stinky smell off of them), drained them, patted them dry on a towel, and placed into a bowl. I added steamed broccoli to the noodles along with two Laughing Cow Light Swiss wedges, a dollop of non-fat Greek yogurt, a dash of onion powder and garlic powder, and salt and pepper. I microwaved for 2-3 minutes, removed and gave it a stir.

It smelled good….

But I couldn’t get past the texture of the noodles. It’s hard for me to describe the texture but they were sort of gummy like to me. I took two bites of it and decided I couldn’t do it. I sat on the couch for an hour watching an episode of Modern Family before getting up to make something else for dinner.

At this point it was about 8:30 so I wasn’t going to go hogwild and bake a lasagna or anything. I decided on a PB2 wrap with Craisins (later I added some Welch’s Grape Natural Jelly).

Good old faithful PB wraps. They never fail me. I also had two large handfuls of sugar snap peas. So, that’s a strike two on the Tofu Noodles. I don’t think I’m going to give them another shot. Can’t say I didn’t try.

I am off for the day. I am so incredibly happy it’s Friday. Happy Friday to you all!

Question: Have you ever tried tofu noodles? What did YOU think?


Continue Reading That’s Strike Two

A Lucky Friday the 13th

I had a really great Friday the 13th. It all started off with an out of the ordinary breakfast for me which was scrambled egg whites with a little salt and pepper, topped with mild salsa. I found it impossible to take a good photo of this breakfast so don’t judge what you see below.

Work was work, but lunch break was great. I headed to Patrick’s Bakery and Cafe (I had eaten there once before) for lunch with my coworkers. I ordered the same thing as last time….french onion soup served with a piece of a baguette. I neglected to take a photo of my soup because it would have looked exactly the same as the last time , same tablecloth and all, therefore I just decided to use the old photo.

It was a very dreary day here in MN, and a bowl of soup was just what I needed, and I LOVE french onion soup. It warmed my soul.

After work, I had plans to go for a run, but since it was really nasty cold, misty, and windy outside, I decided to take it downstairs to our treadmill to run in the comfort and warmth of my own home. BTW our electrical was installed downstairs today and it looks great! We had temporary lights up down there before but now we have actually have light switches with dimmers to go along with the lights. Woo! It’s still coming a long!

Anyway, I hit the treadmill for 45 minutes doing a bit of a run/walk combo. I flipped channels between Ellen and Paula Deen and was thoroughly entertained.

Part of the reason my Friday the 13th turned out to be so great is because of this….

It’s kind of hard to read but it says:

“Happy News! You were selected as a winner in the LARABAR Very Large Sweepstakes. Your prize includes a tote bag filled with a water bottle, a 16-ct of Larabars, and 5 full-sized mixed flavors. From everyone at LARABAR, I’d like to extend a great big THANK YOU for your support and participation in our sweepstakes. Kindly, The LARABAR Team.”

I WON! I don’t win anything. Ever. I entered into the sweepstakes a while back thinking I had about a 0.05% chance of actually winning. Holy cow. I feel like the dad in a Christmas Story when he won the Leg Lamp. I was jumping up and down after I read the letter like I just found out I got into college or won a ton of money. I really truly love and enjoy LARABARs so this was a big one for me.

Maybe my luck is changing. One can only hope. I want to win more stuff, this is fun!

I can’t wait to try some of these flavors I have never tried before such as Blueberry Muffin and Chocolate Coconut Chew. Um, yum. Thank YOU LARABAR!

To make my day even brighter, this came in the mail today.

My beautifully bright swimsuit from Victoria’s Secret I ordered. Even better news is it fits. It is countdown time until our vacation now…TWO WEEKS from yesterday!

After all the excitement in the house, Dana and I ran a couple of errands including Home Depot and Target because I needed to get a couple of ingredients for our dinner.


I sautéed 1 cup of diced onion on the stove top, then added in 1/4 cup of pre-cooked ground beef (I had cooked it a while back and froze it), 3/4 of a can of black beans, 1/2 cup corn, 1/4 cup water, and 1 Tablespoon of low sodium taco seasoning. I mixed all of the ingredients and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, I prepared lettuce cups using a head of boston lettuce. I rinsed the head of lettuce then carefully peeled off layers into cups. I also chopped a Roma tomato, and a half of an avocado (no cuts this time).

Once the filling was done simmering, I spooned 1/4 cup of it into the lettuce cups, topped them with tomato and avocado, and enjoyed a very healthy, easy and flavor-filled dinner.

Looking back on yesterday, I had a day of multiple “wins”:

  • An awesome breakfast that held me over until lunch
  • Electric work done in the basement
  • Great soup with friends for lunch
  • A run while watching fun shows
  • A giant WIN in the LARABAR sweepstakes
  • Swimsuit in the mail, AND it fits
  • Great dinner
  • And lastly, a night to relax with my boys (awwwwwww)

It was a very lucky Friday the 13th for me!

How was yours? Anything lucky or unlucky happen to you?

Continue Reading A Lucky Friday the 13th

Green Lunch, Cute Pup, and a Coupon

Moose says, happy Wednesday friends.  This is his model pose. He is giving you the puppy eyes. He’s really good at the puppy eyes. He also says not to make fun of his mom for the terrible title of this post today. She couldn’t quite get the creative juices flowing this morning.

Yesterday morning I ran three miles before heading off to work. I was excited for lunch because we had work meeting which involved a lot of food. If you remember back on Valentine’s Day we had a red food themed lunch meeting when I brought the apple nachos. This time we had a St. Patrick’s Day theme and everyone was supposed to bring in a green food. Our work group tends to get pretty creative when it comes to our food. I sneaked a photo (don’t mind the terrible lighting) of the hodge-podge of goodness.

Mixed green salad, broccoli salad, tortellini salad, tuna salad, asparagus wrapped in ham and cream cheese, sugar snap peas, green grapes, and not pictured was split pea soup, green bread, and pistachios. What a healthy lunch right? I am always impressed by our group and our potlucks. I brought sugar snap peas with a peanut soy dipping sauce. I simply mixed peanut butter, hot water, and soy sauce. This sauce is really good for a topping on chicken lettuce wraps too.

When I got home after work, this box was waiting for me on the kitchen table. I ordered Dark Chocolate Adora disks from iHerb a couple of weeks ago and they have arrived. Adora disks are a delicious way to eat your calcium. I love the dark chocolate flavor but they also have milk chocolate. I NEVER forget to eat these babies. 🙂 I also ordered Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Tea because I thought it sounded good. It was an impulse buy. Why not?


Now, guess what? Because ordered products from iHerb.com, they want you to give them a try too. They offered a coupon code for me to share with friends and family. Enter the coupon code CIJ134 at check out when you order products at iHerb.com and you will receive $5 off your first iHerb purchase. Also, any U.S. orders over $20 receive free shipping! They offer a large variety of products on their site.  I have been happy with them so far, so feel free to browse their site and see what you think for yourself.


This morning began with a trip to the gym where I ellipticaled for 35 minutes while catching up on Runner’s World magazine. I have a stack of magazines piled to the ceiling so I took this opportunity to start cracking down on the pile. I really love reading magazines, it’s just finding the time that is sometimes the tricky part!

Once I got home, showered up, I poured myself a tall mug of coffee and made a bowl of oatmeal.

On the stove top I cooked 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup almond milk, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon. I cooked this mixture until it began to thicken then added in about 1-2 Tablespoons of egg whites, gave it a stir, cooked for another 30 seconds and removed from heat. I poured the oats into my bowl and topped with PB2, bananas, and a tiny bit of maple syrup!

Oh yea, that’s the stuff.

I am off to finish getting ready for work, and pack my lunch. Have a great day! It is going to be beautiful outside. Wish I could be out there all day!

I’ll leave you with a funny shot from last night. Moose was so exhausted he couldn’t even keep his tongue in his mouth while he slept.

Awww…..it is a rough life, right Moose? You hang in there, buddy.


Continue Reading Green Lunch, Cute Pup, and a Coupon

7 Healthy Eating Tips When You Are Away

Mark this on your calendar because this rarely happens…I ate a SAVORY breakfast this morning. Nine times out of ten I will gravitate towards a sweet breakfast but I figured I would go out of my usual this morning, and cook up an egg white omelet. I only set off the smoke alarm three times! 🙂 It’s very sensitive. I sautéed some onion and mushroom and then added them to my omelet along with fresh tomato. On the top, I sprinkled on nutritional yeast and then of course a drizzle of ketchup.

It turned out really well, and I even got some veggies in already! I didn’t get up for my morning workout this morning but plan to go after work. It is supposed to be gorgeous here today so I am hoping to run outside!


While amidst our vacation in California, I started thinking about how difficult it can be to eat healthy while away. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I still end up feeling a little bit “off” and not feeling so hot. It’s easy to get a little off track when you’re not in the comfort of your own home with your usual foods and usual routine.

Here are some ideas I came up with to help you stay on track when are away from home.

1. Pack a piece of fruit (or two) in your carry-on. If you need a snack, you have a healthy one right on hand. Plus, fruit is full of water which is important while traveling as it is extremely easy to become dehydrated. Veggies are great too, but not always as portable as fruit.

2. Try to eat vegetables with at least one of your meals throughout the day.

3. Pack some healthy energy bars like my favorite, Lara Bars. During vacations, we often go a long time in between meals without anything to eat. These bars pack well and carry well and are perfect for a burst of energy. Throw a couple in your purse or carry on.

4. When possible, eat breakfast at your hotel. Now, be careful with this one as many continental breakfasts can be full of low-energy carb traps (muffins, bagels, sugar-packed cereals). Try and find some instant oatmeal and get creative with mix-in’s: milk, banana, apple, peanut butter. Oatmeal has soluble fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full, longer. Better yet, throw a couple of instant oatmeal packs (from home) in your bag in case your hotel doesn’t offer it. If hard-boiled eggs are an option at breakfast, snag one of those as well. The protein in eggs will help tide you over for a while and give you a lot of needed energy for the day. Plus, free continental breakfasts are very nice on the wallet!

5. Try to eat protein at each meal: eggs, greek yogurt, fish, tofu, chicken, nuts, whatever it may be.

Fish Tacos

6. Carry a refillable water bottle with you at all times, and drink plenty of water throughout the day, at least 8 cups. Also, keep a glass of water by your bedside at night to encourage yourself to get a few sips of water in at night too.

Can you spot the water bottle?

7. Be cautious of portions while out to eat. Remember that most restaurants serve you twice as much food as you really need. Be mindful while out to eat and stop eating when you feel full. This one is hard for me sometimes because some foods are just SO good. I always regret it later though. I’m still learning too!

So there you have it, a few tips to help you to stay healthy while away from home, whether on vacation, for work, a child’s sporting event, etc. Also, don’t forget about the exercise part. Just because you are away doesn’t mean you can’t find time to squeeze in a few hotel push ups or a quick run.

Give these tips a shot next time you are away from home. Come to think of it, these are good tips for when you are home as well!


Last night we headed to mom and dad’s for a birthday dinner for Dana. His birthday is tomorrow but we have been celebrating since Saturday. Lucky boy! That is how I like to celebrate my birthday too, with a birthday week!

I give mom an A+ on dinner last night. Turkey lettuce wraps with peanut sauce, brown rice, and mandarin oranges.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It was so nice to have dinner made for us too! Muchos gracias mom and dad!

I’m off to work. Have a great Tuesday!

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