Pasta Bolognese Per Request

Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a good Monday so far…

It’s time to recap a super awesome Sunday that was spent with my husband and the dog. It started with BOGO coffees at Caribou. I stuck with a decaf coffee with sugar-free hazelnut (num) and Dana went for the Milk Chocolate Mocha with a shot or two of espresso.

Let the Father’s Day fun begin! Today was all about the hubby. Moose even made sure to get his dad a sweet card for Father’s Day. How thoughtful, right?

For breakfast I made myself a pb banana sandwich (I ate half of it before remembering to snap a photo). I ate my banana ‘wich and sipped on my coffee while we cut coupons.

Once again, the coupons were completely lame this week. We cut two measly coupons. TWO. And they were for household type things so they weren’t even exciting.

Next, we hit the Sunday usuals: Target and Costco. We stocked up on some good eats and even bought Mooser a new chicken. His last one had to be tossed due to a terrible stench that really raunched up his breath each time he played with it. Gross.

We got a few things done around the house, I completed a relaxing yoga session, and then I made Dana a special Father’s Day sandwich.

This beautiful creation is made up of:

  • Two pieces of whole wheat bread
  • 1 slice of lower-sodium turkey breast
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • Sliced tomato sprinkled with onion powder and pepper
  • Mustard
  • 1 drippy egg.

All grilled to perfection with love.

I LOVE making special meals for the ones I love.

In the afternoon, we had to run a few more errands which included plans to take the pooch out for a walk around the lake. Our plans were hindered when the clouds opened up and mother nature watered our grass from 1:00-5:00 pm. I wasn’t sure if it was going to let up, so I decided to head down to our treadmill to get a little walk in just in case. I walked for 35 minutes while watching The Blind Side. Such a great movie.

Towards the end of my workout, the skies had cleared up and Moose really wanted to take his dad out for a Father’s Day walk :wink:, so we headed out. It had cooled off quite a bit after the rain and the sun was even peeking through. It was a perfect evening walk with my guys.

Since today was all about the dads, I told Dana he could have whatever he wanted for dinner. His decision: Pasta Bolognese. My version of course.

I started by sautéing 1 cup diced yellow onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 cup of chopped mushrooms in a light amount of garlic infused olive oil. After about 3 minutes, I added a jar of No-Added Sugar Ragu, added a shake of garlic powder, basil, and oregano. I gave this a stir, covered, and let simmer while I prepared the rest of the meal.

In a separate pan, I started browning up a package of lean ground chicken and began boiling my water for the pasta. Once the meat was browned, I sprinkled it with oregano and garlic powder. I like to flavor each part of the dish when I can. I added the meat to the sauce, then finished the sauce by adding about 3/4 cup of chopped green olives.

Once the pasta was finished cooking to al dente, I drained it and served up two heaping plates full of pasta and Bolognese sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.

Great decision, honey.

After dinner, we just had to have dessert because it was Father’s Day after all. So what did we decide to do? Head to the Frozen Yogurt shop down the road of course. Jeez louise this is the third Sunday in a row now that we have done this. We are getting a lot better at controlling our frozen yogurt pour and limiting the toppings at least. Last night we spent $7.00 between the two of us which was our cheapest fro-yo purchase yet.

Last night I chose non-dairy, non-fat Valencia Orange Sorbet mixed with the tiniest bit of sugar-free vanilla fro-yo (to get the orange creamsicle effect). I topped it with gummies and was extremely happy with this combo. You are probably aware by now that I usually opt for the chocolately, rich toppings when it comes to my fro-yo and ice cream, but I am trying to cool it on the dairy, and since the only sorbet flavor option they had last night was orange, I didn’t think topping it with cookie dough and brownie pieces sounded very appetizing. The gummies were just perfect.

Any time I eat gummies I am reminded of my childhood, and my college years. Growing up we had gummies as a special treat, and through my college years, my girlies and I would buy a huge bag of mixed gummies from the grocery store when we were having a girl’s night in. Sweet memories.

What a great Father’s Day weekend with my papa on Saturday, and Dana on Sunday. We will be celebrating Father’s Day with Dana’s parents next weekend. Let the fun continue.


I keep forgetting to tell you all, that last week I DID reach my June Yoga Challenge weekly goal. When I posted on Friday I had only completed two yoga sessions and my goal is three per week. Well, you better believe that after I posted on Friday I hit up the yoga. I am really loving it and am feeling pretty sore from it as well. Work it baby!

I still need to share that awesome Lemon Blueberry Bar recipe with you all that I made on Saturday. I didn’t forget! It’s still comin. Have a great Monday.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Haaapppy Hump Day! I AM so happy because I just found out last night that will be attending my first ever healthy living conference this August! I will have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful healthy living bloggers who I have been following forever, meet fellow blogging friends, learn about how to improve my blog, talk about healthy living and food, and soak up every other bit in between! I am on cloud 9 seriously. I cannot wait. WOOOO!


Yesterday I briefly mentioned how I will be gearing my workouts towards lower impact activities, at least for a couple of weeks until I get my colitis under control. I notice that my body doesn’t respond well recently to running and jumping which makes sense as I am putting a lot of impact on my body (organs included I guess). This might explain my not so beautiful half-marathon experience.

I absolutely will continue to be active through this all. My activities can include: walking, biking, yoga, elliptical, swimming, strength training and more. I will just be limiting my running and jumping exercises for a short time.

Let’s talk about yoga for a second shall we? I haven’t always been a huge fan of it, and I think the one of the reasons why is because I’m not good at it. I am embarrassed to say as a former dancer that I can no longer touch my toes without bending my knees and have lost all flexibility whatsoever. Well, what’s the best way to get better at something? Practice.

Yesterday, I flipped to OnDemand yoga on the TV and found a workout called “Gentle Yoga.” That sounded nice, and guess what? It was nice. It was a little slow moving at first which is something one has to get used to when you’re used to doing majority cardio type exercises. I focused on my breathing like the woman was telling me to do, and took the 36 minutes to really relax and stretch and listen to my body.

Wow. If I can actually let myself be patient enough to ease into yoga, I think I could really benefit from it and even enjoy it! I would love to regain flexibility and I KNOW yoga would help me with this. Also, I believe that if I can learn to manage my stress more effectively, including yoga and breathing exercises, I can heal faster. I am really hoping to try and add yoga into my weekly routine. Maybe start off with a goal of one time per week, see how I am liking it, then increase to two times per week. Huh, I like this idea! A fellow blogger Courtney at Sweettoothsweetlife, started a June Yoga Challenge and although I’m a little late on the ball, I just may join in. I never thought I would say it.

After my relaxing yoga, I headed out for an easy 30-minute walk, and then it was time for breakfast. Do I even need to tell you what I had? You could look at my last whole entire month of breakfasts practically and learn real quickly that breakfast was indeed a bowl of Cream of Wheat cereal mixed with cinnamon, stevia and just a touch of brown sugar. This is my ‘makes my tummy feel fine’ breakfast and it’s a must on days I have to work; for now at least.

We had a potluck meeting at work over the lunch hour and I didn’t snap any photos mostly because my plate wasn’t very colorful or pretty. Continuing to stick with the low-fiber meals, I managed to find a few options that I was able to enjoy: tuna noodle salad, turkey wrapped mozzarella (courtesy of moi), and a piece of the most fabulous homemade lemon blueberry bread.

I had an evening shift at work and managed to munch on five handfuls of peanut butter M & M’s (my absolute favorite alongside Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups OMG) throughout the course of the afternoon. I ate a banana around 5:30 which held me over until I got home at 7:30. I’ve mentioned this before but whenever I work later, I can never figure out what sounds good to me for dinner when I am home. I am in deed hungry, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is I’m hungry for. So I usually end up having a few small snacks.

I began with a piece of toasted Spelt Bread from Trader Joe’s with peanut butter and jelly.

After that I moved on to a small serving of Fage Non-fat Greek Yogurt with maple syrup, a half of a pair, and one more spoonful of peanut butter. That would have to do. I crawled into bed and read my book but the strangest thing happened to me last night…I could not get tired for the life of me. I read and read and read and instead of getting my normal droopy eyelids after about five pages, I just got more energy as I went along. At about 11:00 (already one hour past my bedtime), I decided I should shut off the lights and try and sleep. I laid in bed for almost 3 hours before finally falling asleep. Then, every time I woke up in the middle of the night I felt like I was ready for the day and full of energy. Is this what insomnia feels like? I didn’t like it. I hope I survive my day today, keeping in mind I am off the caffeine. Yikes.

Recipe Time!

Moving on….I mentioned this past weekend that I was busy in the kitchen whipping up a batch of pureed butternut squash soup. Well, here it is ladies and gentleman. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups butternut squash, skinned, seeds removed and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 48 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have an option for convection roast, use that, if not standard 350 roast or bake is perfect too.
  2. Lightly grease large baking pan with olive oil; place squash, carrots, celery, onion and garlic on pan; use hands to stir and coat veggies with olive oil.
  3. Roast or bake in oven for 25-45 minutes. Baking times vary greatly depending on cooking method (convection roast, roast, bake, etc.). You should be able to pierce the carrots easily with a fork when roasting time is complete, and onions start to take on a sweet scent.
  4. On the stove top, in a large soup pan, add vegetables and broth; cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add thyme and sage; stir.
  6. Using an immersion blender or standard blender, puree soup until smooth.
  7. Return to pot; add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon into bowls,  garnish with fresh herbs and serve with whole grain bread or croutons.

After the soup was cooled, I ladled the soup into 6 Ziploc baggies and froze them for an easy and healthy meal in minutes.

Have a great day!

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FroYo Sunday and Frittata Recipe

It’s Monday, my most favorite day of the week. You all know I’m kidding, but I will do my best to stay positive if you promise to try and do the same. I am meeting my mom and possibly dad for lunch during my break from work, so that is something fun I get to look forward to!


Dana and I carried out our normal Sunday morning routine which consisted of coupon cutting while eating breakfast, and then going grocery shopping. We already had quite a few groceries but still needed a few things like PEANUT BUTTER!

We then got busy on tackling two of the worst house cleaning jobs: bathroom and kitchen. We decided we’d spruce up and de-clutter both of these rooms. And much to my relief, I came across unclutterer, and got some ideas on how to begin. We divided and conquered with Dana taking the bathroom (bless is heart) and I took the kitchen. We have stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and although they are beautiful to look at, they are a pain in the neck to keep clean. But nevertheless, they are clean right now, so we will enjoy it for a short while. It feels real good to have both of those rooms cleaned.

Mid-morning, I snacked on a bunch of Special K Sea Salt Cracker Chips and then I made myself a PB2 and jelly open face sandwich on spelt bread.

Then we were out the door to visit with mom and dad. I also snacked on some chips there, but that time it was Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips. After mom and dad’s we headed to Dana’s parent’s place to visit over there for a while, and then we made our way home.

I was starving when we got home so I made myself a light (early) dinner at 4:50. Lower sodium turkey deli meat wrapped around mozzarella string cheese.

Plus some more Special K chips (I am LOVING chips today apparently) and hummus.

I ended with a bowl of cooked carrots with a little sugar.

At least I thought that was the end, but no. Dana and I made our way to a local frozen yogurt shop for a special Sunday treat. Come to think of it, we had frozen yogurt last Sunday too. This could be a nice little tradition we have started. 🙂 FroYo Sunday.

I chose cookie monster frozen yogurt with brownie pieces, cookie dough, snickers, sprinkles, and whipped cream. What a great way to end the weekend.


I had a few requests for the frittata recipe that I had made the other day with my first frittata ever. I thought I would share it with everybody in case anyone else was interested. I used this recipe as a guide since it was my first time. I wanted to make sure I got the proportions and baking time right and such. I did make some adjustments to the recipe and put my own spin on it. I can now consider it my frittata recipe.

Melanie’s First Frittata: Serves 2-4 people


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cilantro or other fresh herbs (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In an oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat on the stove top
  3. Add onion; allow to cook down for 2 minutes
  4. Add mushrooms; allow to cook for 1 minute; lastly add spinach
  5. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, egg whites, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper; mix well
  6. Remove skillet from heat and add spinach mixture into egg bowl
  7. Pour entire mixture back into skillet, sprinkle with cheese, and place in oven; bake for 25 minutes*
  8. Remove frittata from pan carefully and cut into 4 triangles. Garnish with fresh herbs and salsa or your favorite egg accompaniment (I love ketchup) and enjoy

*Baking time may vary. Keep an eye on the skillet and watch for melty cheese and a firm egg bake.

Dana and I finished this off ourselves for dinner, but it could be split between four people and served with a big fruit salad and some fresh-baked whole grain rolls for a more well-rounded meal. I enjoyed making my first ever frittata. It was actually extremely easy and turned out great.

Have a happy day! I am getting back on the workout wagon this week….I have fallen off slightly. Yikes!

P.S. Are you following me on twitter yet? NuttyMelanie could use some friends.

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A Quiet Date Night

Happy weekend!

Recap from yesterday…

My day started off with a follow up appointment with the gastroenterologist regarding my current colitis flare. To give you a quick update, I’m still not feeling very well. The doc is going to amp up the dosage of my medication and has recommended I stick to a low-fiber diet as best as I can, reminding me that some small salads here and there will probably be fine, just don’t go crazy. I told her I had tried to stick to a very low-fiber, low-residue diet, but couldn’t stick with it very long because my body was craving greens so bad, and I wasn’t feeling well because of it. I am going to continue to experiment with my diet, but have decided to only allow myself to experiment at night or dinner time, so that if I do have a negative reaction, I won’t be stuck at work with it.

Anyway, I am continuing my research on different allowable foods and plan to get creative. I got busy in the kitchen later and whipped up (literally) a batch of roasted butternut squash soup for my lunches or dinners next week. People with U.C. can often tolerate cooked veggies; squash, carrots, sweet potato, but are continued to be advised to stay away from cruciferous types of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, because they often cause GI distress. I will be posting this recipe soon! It turned out fantastic.

We made a stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things since we were in the area. I L.O.V.E. LOVE Trader Joe’s. We especially love their Three Buck Chuck.

For lunch…I had some snacks and then made myself one of my most favorite lunches of all time. Spelt bread in this case, with peanut butter, honey and bananas. In my younger years, whenever I got sick with flare-ups, my mom would buy me spelt bread and I seemed to tolerate it well. I thought I would give it a go again.

So beautiful. I actually used PB2 on this one today because I am needing to watch my fat intake right now. Since PB2 only has 1.5 grams of fat per serving, it was a good decision today. I could probably eat this lunch every day and never ever get sick of it. Num.

I made my way to the gym but really wasn’t feeling the best so just hit the elliptical for an easy pace and easy resistance for a half hour.

Dinner and quiet date night….

For dinner I pureed a can of rinsed and drained pinto beans with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a touch of chicken broth. This was an experimental dinner btw to see if I can handle brown beans in the pureed form. We cooked up some white rice, and chopped up tomato, cilantro, and avocado, and piled it on a plate. We melted cheddar cheese on the deal and called it one quick and easy dinner.

Whoops, forgot the cheese.

There it is. How could I forget the cheese?!

I was hoping that we had mild salsa on hand to top off the dish but we didn’t, so I ended up seasoning my dish with a little dash of salt and a splash of lemon juice. I didn’t miss the salsa at all. I actually think I prefer the lemon taste (would have used lime if we had it and that would have been great too!).

Dana and I had a quiet date night planned for last night. We waited to finalize any date plans until I knew how I was feeling and since I wasn’t feeling great, we decided to make ourselves a healthy dinner, rent a movie, and stay home.

A while back I read ‘The Help’ and have wanted to see the movie ever since. Well, it just so happened redbox had it for us.

We spent the evening cuddled on the couch in our cozies watching ‘The Help.’ That is my idea of a perfect date night.

Now I am off running here and there today. Have a great Saturday everyone!

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Chocolate Banana PB2 Cookies

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night….depending on what time you read this post and what time zone you’re in. 🙂

Yesterday was another good restful day for me. I was feeling extremely sore, particularly in my back, but still managed to get some things done around the house and ran a couple of errands.

For lunch, I continued with my experimental diet, and made a big salad full of mixed greens, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, almonds, and strawberry basil balsamic vinegar with a spot of olive oil.

The salad was pretty darn good, but how about my stomach? Not too bad, but not too peachy either. I am getting to the point where I don’t even know what I “should or should not eat” anymore with this current flare. When I was following the low-fiber diet, I felt okay, but felt nutritionally deprived. My body craved my usual salads, fresh fruits, beans, etc. So, I slowly began incorporating some salads back into my diet to experiment with and to note how my body reacted.  As of now I am concluding that I can have salads in the evening, but am not ready for them during the day based on how I felt yesterday after eating a salad at lunch time.

Later in the afternoon my beautiful cousin/bestie/maid of honor, Betsy, stopped by to visit. I do not see that girl nearly as much as I wish I could and cherish every second I get with her.

Prior to Betsy coming over, I had begun a cookie experiment. I had a large urge to bake, but really struggled with deciding what to make. I know it’s weird that I hard time making a decision (sense the sarcasm). That never happens. I knew that whatever I was going to make was going to have to come from ingredients we had already on hand, because I wasn’t going to go make a special trip just for this particular urge.

So, I began the cupboard raid. I found PB2, cocoa powder, oatmeal, and other baking necessities. I pulled out my bowls and my hand mixer and started mixing and measuring. I still wasn’t 100% sure what I was making as I was starting the process, but I knew I would pull something together. Here is what I came up with folks.

Chocolate Banana PB2 Cookies

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup PB2
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate (I used Dove Dark Chocolate)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugars, egg whites, vanilla, honey, water, PB2, and cocoa powder.
  2. Add banana.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix into wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in chocolate pieces.
  5. Place dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so that dough is easier to work with.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1 inch balls (or larger if you wish). Place on baking pan sprayed with cooking spray and press down on cookie to flatten slightly keeping about an inch in between each.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes.

And there you have it. A healthy version of such an amazingly awesome cookie!

These cookies are so gooey, chocolatey and nummy, and they’re low-fat too! You wouldn’t even know it because there is no sacrifice in flavor. That equals a success. I LOVE creating healthier version of sweet treats. It’s such a passion of mine. Someday, this may be my job. A girl can dream, right?

However, I would need to learn to have better constraint when it comes to the “taste-testing” part of recipe creation. I ate a few too many bites of dough, and a one too many of the cookies, and managed to completely ruin my appetite for dinner. Whoops. I should say I know this skill, I just chose not to use this skill yesterday. I truly enjoyed every bite of these chocolate goodies.

I had planned on making a spinach and mushroom fritatta for dinner last night, but it was going to have to wait for another night. Maybe tonight? I ended up having some snacks a couple of hours later: sugar snap peas and carrots with hummus, a small salad (really craving the greens today), and a rice cake with a light swiss Laughing Cow wedge.

I hope you all have a happy Tuesday. Catch you later!

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Veggies with a Runny Egg Are Back

Hello there! Everyone excited it’s Thursday? It’s almost Friday!

Yesterday morning started off with the usual Cream of Wheat, but this time I sweetened it with stevia, added banana slices, and Pb2 with cinnamon. Since I’ve been eating Cream of Wheat pretty much every morning, I’m trying to keep it jazzy and switch it up a bit.

I have been noticing that I have been eating a whole lot of extra sugar (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, fruit, etc.) lately, and I really am working on trying to cut back on it again. But I LOVE the taste of brown sugar on my Cream of Wheat, so I will be putting a little bit on there every once and a while.

For lunch I ate a half of a grilled chicken breast with BBQ sauce and a bunch of green beans. I also ate a half of a banana with peanut butter and a no sugar added pomegranate apple sauce. Sorry for this totally unappetizing photo.

After work I headed to the gym, and on the way there I snacked on fresh honeydew melon. On the workout agenda was a 20 minute warm-up on the elliptical while drooling over delicious food photos in Rachael Ray’s magazine, followed by weights where I focused on triceps and chest.

On the drive home I contemplated dinner options, and decided that eggs were sounding pretty good. Should I make a frittata? I’ve never made a frittata but would really like to sometime. Should I make an omelette? Egg-white omelette? Scrambled eggs? A runny egg? Runny egg on top of a small salad?

YES please to the last option.

I plated up a small green leafy salad with cilantro, bacon bits, and Western Dressing. For the egg, I cooked it over-easy and sprinkled one side of the egg with nutritional yeast and freshly cracked black pepper. I gave the egg a gentle flip towards the end of the cooking process and left it on side two for just a short time before plating it up on top of my salad. I don’t want the inside to cook through because I want runny egg.

Oh, how I’ve missed you salads with a runny egg on top. So easy, and so delicious. I’ve still got to cool it on the green stuff but I am still slowly working it back in to my diet. Not yet onto the cabbage and broccoli point though. I am feeling a lot better these days and trying my best to stay positive.

Other variations of my favorite  veggie/egg combo from the past:

Leafy greens, broccoli, banana pepper, tomato, quinoa, and a runny egg.

Southwestern style salad including sautéed onions, black beans, tomato, corn, avocado, cheese, salsa and a runny egg. This one was killer.

Sautéed vegetables including broccoli, kale, mushrooms, onions, black beans, tomato, cheese, and a runny egg. There are so many great ways to eat your veggies with a runny egg (or 2). I am crazy about this combo obviously.

To top off dinner I ate a small bowl of non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with a little maple syrup for sweetness.

After dinner, Mom and Abbie came over last night to hang out with me while Dana was out golfing. We relaxed, chatted for a while, and hung out with the pups. Always love her company.

I made sure to get to bed early last night, because I was really hoping and also planning to get myself out of bed early this morning and get a run in before work. Well guess what? I actually did it! I got up before work and got a run in. Sometimes I think all it takes is me telling myself before I go to bed that I WILL be running in the morning versus saying I might run in the morning. I made sure to have all of my stuff laid out last night so that it would be as easy possible for me in the morning.

I wanted to get this last run in before the race mostly to test out my outfit for the race. I know this may sound silly, but it’s so important. I may have bought a new bright pink shirt to wear for the run and wanted to make sure it wouldn’t rub me the wrong way anywhere. 🙂 Good news, no chafing. It’s a great shirt and it makes me feel good. You will get to see it in a few days.

I completed 3-easy paced miles this morning and obviously feel fantastic for running in the morning before work. I feel energized. This was my last run before the half-marathon on Sunday. It’s time to rest.

I have to get going and charge through my day. I hope you all have a good one!

Continue Reading Veggies with a Runny Egg Are Back

Beautiful Surprises

Hola! No messing around today. Let’s get down to business.

My day of eats yesterday….

Breakfast: Cream of Wheat with stevia, cinnamon, banana, and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Cinnamon apple tea on the side. This has become my usual breakfast lately. It sits very well in my tummy and it tastes good too!

Part of my lunch: Slightly burnt sweet potato fries with cinnamon maple Pb2.

Dinner: Tilapia seasoned simply with salt and pepper, leftover potato salad, and a plain salad with honey mustard. Call me crazy but my favorite thing on this plate was the GREENS. I have missed my green salads so much and although I’m still not going to go all out into the roughage types of foods, I am enjoying my small salads whenever I let myself have one.

After work yesterday I geared up to head out for a 3-mile run around the neighborhood. I ran an easy, relaxing pace, and it felt great to stretch my legs out. Just 4 days until the half marathon!

When I got back from my run, I found the sweetest surprise waiting for me in the dining area.

You always know how to brighten my day. Thanks, honey! They are gorgeous and make me smile every time I look at them.

Happy Wednesday to you all.

Question of the day: What is your favorite way to prepare tilapia or any other white fish?

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A Perfect Mother’s Day Weekend

Another beautiful day to add to the books. This weekend was perfect. Both Saturday and Sunday were sunny with a little breeze and about mid 70’s. I love it.

This morning I woke up bright and early because I had a date with my mom. But first, a little breakfast. A piece of whole grain toast with PB2, honey, and cinnamon.

Then I was off to meet my mom to take part in the Race for the Cure 5k walk. This was our 5th year doing the walk/run and it is a tradition we hope will continue for a long time.

We got there nice and early so that we could enjoy the excitement and make our way to the front of the crowd at the starting line.

We ended up walking about 2.5 miles just to get to the starting line because of where we parked, so we had a nice little warm up. It gave us plenty of time to chit-chat which we always appreciate.

A couple of local news anchors (Kare11’s Erik Perkins and Julie Nelson for all of you local readers) kicked off the race by leading the group in a pep talk and a countdown. I snapped a photo as we were walking under their platform. I love local celebrities.

Mom and I really booked it through the 5k while thoroughly enjoying each other’s company, and taking in the wonderful moments of the walk. It is such an inspiring walk and it is heart warming to be surrounded by so many breast cancer survivors, those who have supported the survivors through the fight, those people walking to remember love one’s they had lost to breast cancer, and those just walking to support the cause in general. This race has an incredible amount of registrants. This year there were more than 50,000 registrants. We all gathered to show love and support for those we know who have been affected by this disease, and to help fund research to ultimately find a cure. Hence, Race for the Cure. It was a perfect way to spend the morning with my mom on Mother’s Day.

Mom wore a pedometer throughout our morning and we rocked approximately 16,000 steps which works out to about 8 miles. Our legs were starting to feel a little jello-ey towards the end of the walk. Seventeen miles in 2 days is pretty darn good for me.

After we gathered all of our goodies from the post-race kiosks, We made a pit-stop at Caribou Coffee for Mother’s Day BOGO coffee. I got a caramel iced coffee and mom got a Mango Key Lime smoothie. Thanks for a great morning mama!

I headed home to eat some lunch and run some errands with the hubs.

This afternoon we headed to Dana’s parents to celebrate Mother’s Day with them. They made us wonderful surf and turf kabobs on the grill as well as a sweet and crunchy salad inspired by Paula Deen: mixed greens, bell peppers, Craisins, bananas, water chestnuts, shredded cheese, mayo, and I’m not sure what else. All I know is I had three helpings of it because I love it so much. Sue said she cut out half of the mayo from the recipe and you never would have known. Delicious.

After dinner was dessert. We are celebrating after all. We had strawberry pie which was loaded with strawberries, so it was “healthier” pie. He he. It was so good.

The rest of the night was spent relaxing and sleeping. Talk about an amazing weekend. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!


Continue Reading A Perfect Mother’s Day Weekend

Thai Inspired Lettuce Cups with Basil

Dinner last night came from all things leftover. Ingredients on hand: carrots, tomato, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, basil, and shredded chicken. Once my brain started rolling, I came up with idea of Thai inspired lettuce cups.

Place the lettuce cups on your plate, next pile on all of the ingredients listed above in the center of the cup, top it with Kraft’s Asian Sesame Dressing (or some sort of peanut sauce would be good), and give it a go.

These came together in about 5 minutes which was even better. The fresh basil really made this dish. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

I am trying to think of other ways to cook with basil this week. It is too good to let go to waste.

Any healthy recipes ideas out there that include basil?

In the five minutes of prep work involved in this dinner, I managed to eat at least two large handfuls of those Tostitos Artisan chips we had bought for Saturday night’s shin-dig. They taste like an improved version of Doritos Cooler Ranch chips. They are so addicting. At least this kind is whole grain!

The rest of the day yesterday was spent doing laundry and packing for our upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic. We are so close it hurts.


Breakfast this morning was sweet and comforting in the form of a bowl full of banana slices, topped with PB2, chia seeds, cinnamon, and honey.

That will be my Positive Monday Talk. It was just what I needed this morning.

After work I will heading to the gym and will probably hit the elliptical, stair stepper, and arm weights. We’ll see though. Have a happy Monday friends.

Continue Reading Thai Inspired Lettuce Cups with Basil

Food Photo Show

Hi there! I hope everyone is having a wonderful and productive Sunday. I have lots of food photos to catch you up on starting from lunch yesterday, so no need to get wordy on you today. Here it goes.

Saturday Lunch

Strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple with Fage Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and honey.

Saturday Dinner

We had both my parents and Dana’s parents over for dinner last night. Everyone brought a dish to contribute and we ended up with an amazing meal.

Appetizer: Tostito’s Artisan Roasted Garlic & Black Bean chips with roasted tomatillo salsa served in our fancy pants serving bowl set that we got as a wedding gift.

Salad: Mom’s quinoa salad which has pretty much all of my favorite veggies thrown into one salad. It is quinoa, tomatoes, mukimame,   red onion, black beans, avocado, fresh basil, cilantro, celery, coconut juice, spices, and I may have missed a couple ingredients. It was GOOD!

Veggie Tray: Dana’s mom brought a delicious and colorful veggie tray with her very own special dip that has a creamy cottage cheese base. Nummm.

And the main entrée: homemade grilled turkey burgers with Worcestershire, onion powder, salt, and pepper. I ate mine on a 100-calorie sandwich thin bun and topped it with cheddar cheese, pickles, tomato, onion, mustard, and ketchup. DELICIOUS.

For dessert, I made homemade strawberry sorbet which is the absolute easiest thing to make. No need to spend $6 on a small carton of organic sorbet.

Strawberry Sorbet


  • 4-5 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/4 cup water
Puree all ingredients in food processor. Transfer to ice cream maker, and let churn for 40 minutes. If you do not have an ice cream maker, transfer to container then place in the freezer until solid. Serve with whip cream if desired.

We had a great time with the fam last night and ate a very healthy meal. Thanks everyone!


Sunday Breakfast

Yogurt bowl with a splash of almond milk, cinnamon PB2, banana, honey, and chia seeds.

Sunday Lunch

 The last of the fresh pineapple, sugar snap peas, and leftover quinoa salad.

And LOTS of these cheesy salty chips. Bring on the orange fingers.

Hope you enjoyed my food photo show. Catch up with you all soon.

Continue Reading Food Photo Show