Weekend Happenings: Soups, Weddings, Family Time

Hello, hello! How was your weekend? Mine was FANTASTIC!

It started on Friday. I made myself a super nummy smoothie in my new Ninja Ultima.

In the smoothie (all frozen fruits and veggies):

  • Kale
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • almond milk
  • peanut butter
  • flax-seed
  • cocoa powder

ninja smoothie

 

I gave it a whirl in the Ninja…

ninja

 

So far I have used the Ninja for smoothies and I also used it last night when I made a batch of soup! I love it. It is so efficient! I can’t wait to make nut butters in it. I am hoping the clean up is a lot easier than when I make nut butter in the food processor!

Friday morning I met up with my mom or our annual girl’s day. This year we decided to go to Whole Foods to do some shopping, have lunch at Panera, go for a walk with Abbie around the neighborhood, and just veg out together. It was so nice and so relaxing! I can’t wait for our next one!

Oh, and don’t act surprised when you hear I got the French Onion Soup once again at Panera. It is just my fav! Next time though I might have to try that squash soup, right Katie?

IMG_4199

On Saturday we attended my cousin’s wedding. It was fun getting all dolled up and hanging out with my family for the day.

carolyns wedding collage

On Sunday…more family time! We met up with Dana’s parents in the morning for a while and then went to my parent’s house to hang out with Scott and Nicole before they headed back home. No wonder my weekend was so fabulous, it was full of family time!

In the afternoon I whipped up a batch of veggie soup to eat throughout the week. It’s packed with bone broth, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, onion, carrots, celery and more. I am hoping it turned out well! If so, I will share the recipe!

soup

While the soup cooked, I heated up myself a bowl of four bean quinoa chili from the freezer and added some cheddar cheese to the top. Mmmmm mmmmm! The perfect meal on a cozy Sunday evening.

chili

I have been all about the soups lately. The fall weather has finally nestled in and the forecast is looking like 50’s this week! Bring out the sweaters, slippers, soup, pumpkin scented candles, and let’s get a fire going in the fireplace! Cozy city! LOVE.

What did you do this weekend? Have you been enjoying any soups yet this fall?

Veggie-Packed Green & Clean Soup

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I made an awesome green, veggie-packed soup that was part of my clean eating program. I was bummed I didn’t write down the recipe because it turned out so great. Well, I went back and looked at the recipe that had originally inspired me, and I was able to pull the recipe together out of memory!

Inspiration from this recipe

So without further ado, I am going to keep this one short and sweet for you. Here is my recipe for Green & Clean Soup!

green and clean soup

Green & Clean Soup
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups green beans, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 1 cup water
  • dash of Thyme
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • *I ran out of chicken broth so had to use 1 cup of water. You can use 4 cups of chicken broth, or if you want to keep this meal vegan, use vegetable stock.
Instructions
  1. In a medium soup pot, saute the onion. celery, and garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes.
  2. Next add in the zucchini, green beans, and broccoli and let saute together for 3-5 more minutes.
  3. Add in almonds, broth, thyme, and salt and pepper, and bring soup to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, cover pot, and reduce to simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Use a blender to puree batches of the soup until all of the soup is blended.
  6. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Do Something for You.

Happy Thursday! It’s time to for some normal posts again.

Yesterday morning I had tentative plans to get a run in on the treadmill, but when I started my walk warmup, my hip was hurting and I decided not to press my luck with the race coming up on Saturday. So, I hopped off the treadmill and headed upstairs to my yoga mat. I haven’t done yoga in a very long time and I know I say this every time but whenever I get a yoga session in again, I always remember how much I love it.

I chose a yoga/pilates OnDemand. It was about a half hour and was pretty fast-moving. Afterwards I felt so refreshed, energized, and stretched out. My body must have been telling me I needed that yoga. Now, don’t forget that feeeling! 🙂

For breakfast I pulled out a gluten-free pumpkin waffle from the freezer. I made a big batch of these last month and froze a few of them for a later time and I’m so glad I did!

I microwaved the waffle to thaw it, and then topped it with some peanut butter and a teeny drizzle of honey. I could swear it tasted better this time around! Probably because I didn’t have to do any cooking this time? FYI I took a couple of bites before I took the photo…I just couldn’t wait!

gf pumpkin waffle

For lunch I had an apple and leftover salad which was made of mixed greens, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, zucchini, parmesan cheese, and olive oil dressing.

salad

The second part of lunch was a banana with peanut butter. Go figure.

Before I went back to work I snapped this photo of Moose because he looked so darn precious. This is his favorite spot to sit and look out the window and snarl at anything that walks by or anything he thinks he sees go by. He’s my watch dog.

moose

I have gotten myself back on this no extra sugars bit now that I am back home and back to reality.

I resisted the Easter jelly beans at work yesterday which was a proud moment for me. There’s something about jelly beans that I really enjoy. It’s not the taste because they don’t taste ALL that great to me, unless they are jolly rancher or starburst jelly beans, but I think it’s the texture. The hard candy coating and the chewy sugary center. It really does something for me. Anyway, I resisted this time.

On vacation I packed one dark chocolate candy bar for Dana and I. Each night we would each have one square for our dessert. Well then things escalated from there. We went to dinner at the Silver Palms and had the most delicious and decadent chocolate cake with coconut ice cream. Then on the plane we got cookies. Then in Colorado we celebrated Dana’s uncles birthday so we had ice cream cake. Not to mention I also nibbled on girl scout cookies, jelly beans, and chocolate.

No one was forcing me to eat any of these things, but I had decided that since it was vacation that I was going to go all out. Well, my gut reminded me why I had decided to get rid of the sugars in the first place. I set myself back a couple of days, but it didn’t take long for me to get back on track and I am feeling much better now. Although, I must confess that I had a few chocolate chips last night out of a trail mix bag last night. But all in all, I am doing a VERY good job of staying away from the sweets for now, until I get back on track with all of my health shenanigans.

For dinner I had a bowl of the veggie soup I made on Monday. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top just to give it that somethin’ somethin’.

veggie soup

For dessert I had a few too many dates with peanut butter, and then those chocolate chips. I watched Glee and opened the insane amount of mail we had accumulated from being away; 90% of it was junk of course. No, I do not want another credit card. Thanks.

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Have you ever read a book that inspired you to be a better person? While I was on vacation I read the book, The Happiness Project, By Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen writes about finding true happiness in everyday life. She admits that she is indeed a happy person and happy with her life, but she wonders if she could be “happier.” She spends a year working through happiness resolutions, each month focusing on a new project. Some projects bring her happiness, others leave her feeling the same, but all of them make her think about her life and simple changes that can be made to make her be a better person and make her happier.

She realizes that making herself happy will in turn help to make others happier.

This book struck me big time. All I wanted to do was get home and start making my own resolutions chart and happiness project. So, that’s what I’m going to do. Gretchen provides a free template on her website to help start your own project. I don’t know if I will go as extensively as she did, but I do want to make changes in my everyday life and think that focusing on projects on a month-to-month basis is a good way to stay in check.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but once I do decide on my happiness project, I will probably keep it to myself, at least until after it is complete. There will more than likely be more on this in future posts.

I bring this book to your attention because I feel that all of us deserve to be happy. So often we forget about ourselves and get so wrapped up in our busy lives, that we forget to stop and smell the roses and forget to do something for ourselves purely because we want to. And to do something special for ourselves and NOT feel guilty about it.

This is just something to think about. If you haven’t read her book I highly recommend you do. Who wouldn’t want to be happier?!

Question of the day: When is the last time you did something for YOU?