5 Slow Sweaty Miles With No Boredom!

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

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

Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

moose

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

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

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

 

moose and sue

Sunday

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

fridge

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

fridge

 

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

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

 

salad

 

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

Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition

The relationship between sleep, exercise and nutrition

Sleep

600px-Green_equilateral_triangle_point_up.svgExercise                                                             Nutrition

These three words are very much connected to one another speaking in terms of how the body functions. When one of the three components is lacking, the other two often times follow. For example: You were out all night with friends and got little to no sleep. The next day being sleep deprived, chances are good you are going to be more likely to call for pizza delivery and plant yourself on your favorite spot on the couch, versus cooking up a grilled salmon with veggies and hitting the gym.

On the contrary, when one is well-rested, chances are better that they will make healthier decisions (if that is their lifestyle) and they will be more inclined to get active.

The reason I bring this up is because this past week I have not been sleeping well. I can hardly go even one day with little sleep much less almost a whole week of very little and poor sleep. I’ve mentioned before I am one of those people who need a good 8 plus hours of sleep to function at my best. Yesterday the lack of sleep finally caught up with me. I felt nauseous and completely exhausted. My body is fighting so hard to stay healthy with all of the flu and illness going around, and it wasn’t responding well to the whole lack of sleep bit.

I spent the day resting.

What did I want to eat yesterday? Well, I wanted everything. First of all I had a crazy appetite, but second I craved low-nutrient dense foods like ice cream, chocolate, and candy. My sleep pattern was off, therefore the two other components of my health were off as well. However badly I wanted those foods, I KNEW my body needed good nutrient packed foods if I were going to stay healthy. I did what I know best, I packed in the fruits and veggies.

Breakfast: banana with peanut butter.

Mid-morning snack: apple

Lunch was a bunch of small snacks: Broccoli salad

broccoli Snacks: Quinoa, dates with peanut butter, mukimame (edamame)

mukimame

Dinner: Hawaiian chicken with pineapple and pan-seared brussels sprouts with parmesan

chicken and brussels sprouts

Dessert: I resisted my urge to go buy ice cream and saved mucho calories and fat by making my own banana soft serve with one banana a dash of almond milk and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

chocolate softserve

I even “forced” myself to take a very slow walk on the treadmill to increase circulation and to help ward off any illness making its way into my system.

I fought through the cravings throughout the day and did my best to level out each corner of the health triangle, and the good news is I slept SO much better last night. I feel like a new woman today. I’m not saying that the reason I slept better was solely because of eating well, because there are other underlying factors going on, but I do know that keeping a balance of the three components: sleep, nutrition, and exercise, can greatly improve our overall being and health and they have such a huge influence on eachother.

Do your best to keep these three components at their peak. We will get through this flu season once and for all.

Stay healthy my friends and take good care of your body. It’s the only one you have!

Question: What are your thoughts on this “health triangle?”

 

5-9 Servings of Fruits and Veggies

As I had mentioned before I am doing my darndest to continue to reach my fruit and veggie 5-9 servings a day goal throughout the holiday season (and always), and yesterday was no question a good day in that department.

I’ve definitely reused this photo more than once but here was my not so exciting to anyone anymore YET delicious breakfast yesterday!

parkers farm pb and banana

I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER and BANANAs! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! That is serving #1 on the F/V  tally.

One could say I am in a “rut” with breakfast but rut can sometimes sound like a bad thing, and I will never consider PB and banana a bad thing.  :smile

An unphotographed Skinny Ho Ho Mint Mocha from Starbucks was thoroughly enjoyed mid-morning; quite possibly the last one of the year for me, but we’ll see.

Lunch was very random. I wasn’t super hungry (probably due to the mocha) so I had a snacky day.

Fruit and Veggie #2: broccoli and hummus

broccoli and hummus

#3 (maybe a little shy of a serving): a handful of carrots

#4: Trader Joe’s dried pears from my stocking…..

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#5: An apple

Dinner

Serving #6 and 7 (and maybe even 8):  A seriously outstanding veggie hash. In the mix: kale, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, leftover scalloped potatoes, black beans, an egg to hold it together a little bit, and cheddar cheese. Seasoned with salt and pepper and garlic powder and OhEmGeee soooo GOOD!

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There’s my 5-9 servings for the day! Booya!

It’s a good thing I had a healthy day o’ eats because I have nothing to brag about in the physical activity department. I was completely wiped out and the most activity from my day involved a couple of errands and 5 loads of laundry. That’s okay though, I know I’ll get right back on that activity wagon. Plus, we have our 10K coming up in 5 days! Yaya I’m excited for it!

I hope you all have a fabulous day my friends. Happy Thursday! xoxo

Question of the day: What is your all-time favorite breakfast?

Fitness Shoes and News

What a FANTASTIC weekend!

A quick summary of the weekend: I PR’ed in Hale to the Bird 5k, successfully hosted my first Thanksgiving, cleaned the house, took down the  fall decorations, put up the Christmas ones, got our Christmas tree, decorated our tree, put lights up outside, hung our wreath…I’d say it was a productive weekend. Now it’s over…waah waah. 🙂

So to catch you up…

Moose started his Saturday morning off with a very special treat: the few remains of a Parkers peanut butter container.

He licked that thing clean! Happy holidays to Mooser! Lucky duck.

The holiday decorations are up in full force in our house. I am realizing that I don’t have as many decorations as I would like. This may be my year to get out to the stores after the holidays and stock up on some clearance items!

Our decorated Christmas tree…

I mentioned that this year we went with a white pine whereas in years past we have gone with the Frasier fir. The needles are a lot different (longer) but I love how full the tree looks compared to the Frasier’s.

Here are a couple of photos from a few years ago…

2009 at Dana’s old house–before we were engaged

Our first Christmas in our house together–2010. This photo was taken right after our professional engagement photos, so I thought I would flash a couple of those for you too for the sake of good memories!

Awwww! 🙂 Our engagement photos were taken a day after a huge snow storm and it was absolutely freezing the day of our session. The snow made for some pretty great photos though!

Back to reality…

After Thanksgiving I have been on mission veggie load to get back on track. I’ve been getting in a whole lotta greens the past few days…

Saturday night dinner: mixed greens with tomato, black beans, feta cheese, broccoli, and hummus

Sunday morning: omelet with fontina cheese (we discovered this awesome cheese in Italy), spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomato

Sunday dinner: mixed greens with tomato, broccoli, black beans, corn, cheese, green olives, and light ranch dressing

I think it’s safe to say I’m back on track in the veggie department. I’m feeling better already.

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Fitness News

First, remember those snazzy Asics I bought a couple of weeks ago? Well, they weren’t fitting my foot quite right, so I exchanged them for another pair thinking that it was maybe just a faulty pair. After trial two with the same model of shoe, it turns out that whatever changes they made to the Asics Kayano 19 compared to the past couple of models don’t agree with the shape of my foot. So yesterday, we made a trip back to Marathon Sports yet again to find me some shoes.

I tried on a different style of Asics, but they weren’t right. Next, they tried me in a pair of Brooks. I took them for a test jog outside of the store. I really like how light they are, they seem to have enough cushioning, and are very comfortable and fit well to my foot. I decided to go with Brooks Ravenna 3; my first pair of Brooks. We’ll see how my first run with them goes tomorrow.

Speaking of running, on to the second part of my fitness news. In order to keep myself in check and keep me running over the holiday season, I have registered for a 10k on January 1st. That means not only will I need to continue to run, I will need to train outside in the Minnesota cold. It’s time to toughen myself up. I will be learning about safety precautions when running in the cold, experimenting with layers and warm gear, and amping up my mileage weekly. I will be keeping you posted on my progress as I go along.

The race is being put on by Team Ortho which is the same organization that puts on the half marathon and Get Lucky (to name a few), both of which I completed this past year. I really like their races. They are always very well organized and participants and spectators really seem to enjoy themselves at their events.

Team Ortho’s Get Lucky 7k: Race Recap

Team Ortho’s Minneapolis Half Marathon:

I am excited to start training! Dana and Kevin will be running it as well.

I am off to get loads accomplished today (hopefully). Have a great day my friends.

Veggie On and Sweat Pink

Hi friends!

I have just one little bit to catch you up on from the weekend then I think I will officially be caught up. On Sunday evening, I attempted a cauliflower pizza crust for the second time. I steamed the cauliflower, sent it through the grater on the food processor to give it the “riced” texture, drained it of liquid, mixed it with an egg, some cheese and seasonings, and baked it in a hot oven for goodness knows how long. The guidance/recipe I found had said 12-13 minutes but there was no way the crust was done so ours was going for at least 20 some minutes.

The crust still came out very flimsy and not very crusty. HOWEVER, it was extremely delicious. I mean super tasty.

I just don’t have a recipe for you yet because I have yet to get the cooking times and temps right. Maybe someday.

Monday

We have officially caught up from the weekend! Now, on to Monday. Breakfast was a banana with natural peanut butter. This is a reused photo from a short while back. Yesterday’s pb banana didn’t have quite the hefty amount of pb. Oh, and no honey yesterday either.

Lunch: mixed greens with peas, tomatoes, avocado, green olives, sunflower seeds and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

Dessert: homemade dried apples and chocolate chips.

In the afternoon I made my way to the gym and rattled off a sweaty elliptical session. When I got home look what was waiting for me in the mailbox! How fitting, right?! I just got my sweat on…

Now SWEAT PINK! It’s official. My Fit Approach Sweat Pink Ambassador gear has arrived. I continue to live a healthy lifestyle and hope to encourage others to do so as well, one step at a time, one bite at a time. To learn more about what it means to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador, click here.

Later in the afternoon Dana and I headed to pick out our perfect pumpkins. Surprisingly I ended up buying the first one I laid eyes on. It’s short and plump and has a nice round front. Oh the simple joys.

For dinner, kitchen sink hash was on the menu. I always use whatever veggies we have on hand at the moment and through them all into one large saute pan. Last night it was a combo of black beans, kale, green pepper, broccoli, brussels sprouts, onion, and tomato lightly sautéed in coconut oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, a dash of cumin, and a dash of garlic powder. Finish it off with a sprinkle of cheese and an over-easy egg.

Perfecto. The flavor and texture combo is right on. It was a veggie kind of day for me once again.

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing with the boys, and stealing precious moments with the dog.

He actually laid like this for a solid 3 minutes and just kept looking into my eyes. This is a good 2 1/2 minutes longer than he usually puts up with it so I was pretty impressed. It was pretty sweet. I was trying not to laugh the entire time because I didn’t want to ruin the moment.

Have a tasteful Tuesday and we’ll catch you on the flip side!

Pumpkin Bread to Warm the Soul

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty darn nice and I have to admit, I didn’t take too many photos. Here’ the weekend recap!

Saturday

Dana, Moose, and I hit up the neighborhood for a 3 mile run. The temperature was low to mid 50’s so I dressed in capris and a long sleeve wicking top. It was a bit cool run at first, but I warmed up quickly and it eventually felt perfect. The run felt great too and I can confidently say I can comfortably run 3 miles again. Now, it’s time to progress on the mileage!

After our run we made our way to the local farmer’s market to pick up some veggies I needed for an appetizer I was making for a get-together that evening.

I made a white bean dip served with crudités (fancy word for an appetizer with veggie sticks right?). I cannot believe I did not take one photo of this dish, but at the same time I’m not surprised since I was kind of running around like a crazy person trying to get ready.

To make the bean dip I added all ingredients into the food processor (unsure of exact amounts):

  • 1 minced shallot and 1 minced garlic clove sautéed in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups white beans (I used northern)
  • lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic and onion powder

I whirled this up and it turned out to be a nummy and creamy white bean dip. I served it with a tray of veggie sticks: carrots, zucchini, celery, and red bell peppers.

Here is a small plate of it:

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The big dish of it was WAY prettier.

We met up with three of my college friends (one being my bridesmaid Haley), their husbands and two babies. We had a blast hanging out, eating amazing food, playing with the babes, going nuts with Catch Phrase, and seeing Grace’s beautiful home.

I loved every second of it. She lives about an hour and a half from us so we called it a night at around 8:30 so we could make it home in good time. You all know I need my sleep, plus the pup still needed to eat dinner.

Sunday

We ran our standard Sunday morning errands after eating breakfast, reading the paper, and drinking our coffees.

I was thrilled to have had very few plans for Sunday. I need these days to just “be.” I’m struggling with this whole relaxation business however. I find that when I do have time to just relax that I can’t because I feel too guilty about relaxing. It’s a vicious cycle.

I feel like I should be folding the laundry or doing food prep or cleaning or running errands. I am working on getting this idea out of my head because relaxation and doing nothing is important for all of us.

You know what I like to do to relax? Bake.

I actually made this loaf up on Friday when I had about an hour time frame to bake the bread, shower and get ready to go meet up with my mom so that experience wasn’t as much for relaxation as it was I felt I needed to make the bread RIGHT THEN AND THERE! I get so stubborn sometimes. Where are your time management skills, Melanie?! But really, I do enjoy baking.

Either way, I whirled up a batch of grain-free SCD-friendly pumpkin bread. It turned out magnificent if I do say so myself. Once again I forgot to snap a photo of the entire loaf, but here is a shot of about half the loaf. I’ve been eating it for breakfast everyday. I told you I love this stuff….

**Recipe at bottom of post and is now in a printable version!**

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Slather the bread with apple butter, nut butter, honey, a light coat of butter, or eat plain. Any way you have it you’re sure to enjoy! Remember that most SCD breads do not rise well due to some limiting factors in ingredients, so you usually render a more flat, dense loaf. Yes you can be on the SCD and still eat bread! Wooo!

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Let’s see, the rest of the day was spent with some odds and ends around the house and then a bomb dinner. I won’t be sharing it with you until tomorrow but let me tell you it is one you won’t want to miss. My hint is that it involves acorn squash.

Also, I forgot to mention that one of my wonderful readers commented on my post about the cinnamon apple sauce I made the other day and said that she makes apple butter in the crock pot! I just had to try this so on Friday afternoon I started up a batch in the crockpot.

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Come this afternoon, it should be done! I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thank you, Amanda! I even bought the cans to store the apple butter and everything!

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I am off to get a workout in, and then I’ll be out on the prowl in search of a dress for that wedding I mentioned. Thank you for your comments about that orange dress I found but unfortunately they don’t have the dress in my size which of course means I won’t be ordering it. It wasn’t meant to be apparently. Cross your fingers for me that I find one today. I absolutely despise trying clothes on in the fitting rooms. I get so hot and worked up.

One more thing…I bought this amazing coffee yesterday at my favorite store in the whole world, Target.

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I make it last a long time but only adding in one scoop of it to regular coffee. It is so smooth and buttery and I LOVE it. It was a good buy.

Again, this post became rather tangenty. I apologize for that and for the lack of photos. I promise there will be more tomorrow. Have a magical Monday. Catch up with you soon.

Pumpkin Bread to Warm the Soul
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Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
(Grain-free, Gluten-free, SCD-friendly) Makes 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 3 c. almond flour
  • 1½ Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. all spice
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ c. egg white (or 2-3 large egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ c. honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2 standard size bread loaf pans; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl combine dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl blend together wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pans.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Kitchen Sink Hash & Exciting News

I have some very colorful food photos to share with you from yesterday, but before I do that I have some exciting news.

I have been selected to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador for the Fit Approach Healthy Community!

Sweat-Pink-ambassador-badge

Fit Approach Mission (taken directly from their website):

Mission

“We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick.

How do we get there?
We climb.
We journey.
We balance.
We reward.”

I believe and live by this mission, which is why I wanted to be a part of this great community. As an ambassador, my goal will be to continue to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle and motivate others (and myself) to be their best self.

Again, so excited to be a part of this team! SWEAT PINK! For more information about the community, click on the Sweat Pink badge.

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On to those pretty food photos…yesterday was a day of real good eats, full of LOTS of veggies.

The morning started off with the 3 mile run mentioned yesterday, before I hunkered down to work on a few things before work and eat my comfort breakfast.

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You’ve seen it a million times and I apologize for the monotony, but this is one of my all-time favorite meals/snacks. Homemade almond bread with natural Parker’s peanut butter and honey.

Then off to work I went…

Lunch

A bed of mixed greens topped with tomatoes, zucchini, peas, avocado, feta cheese crumbles, and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard. I absolutely love putting the feta cheese on this otherwise semi-sweet salad. It adds a nice touch of saltiness and balances it all perfectly.

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Back to work….

Dinner

Before I go into dinner, I have to note that immediately after work, I head to my closet and change into sweatpants. I mean IMMEDIATELY. I adore my sweats and love being in “comfies.” The sweatshirt I am wearing in this photo is from 8th grade. That is the truth. I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter how many new sweatshirts I buy. It’s so versatile. Open-mouthed smile

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Back to the food. This is a dish I have shared before, probably one of my favorite at home dishes to make. It’s basically a kitchen sink hash. Dana and I made this a lot last summer when we were getting ready for the wedding. It is veggie-packed, protein packed, and so unbelievably tasty.

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Keep in mind this can be changed 5 million ways. Just use whatever you have on hand whether it be fresh, canned, frozen, it doesn’t matter. I used a little bit of all of those veggie versions in this dish. Here is what I had going on last night…

Kitchen Sink Hash

Ingredients

  • Kale, chopped
  • Broccoli, chopped
  • Mushroom, diced
  • Onion, diced
  • Bell peppers, diced
  • Corn (I used frozen)
  • Black beans (I used canned that I rinsed and drained)
  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh tomato, diced
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado, chopped
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Lightly coat a large pan with cooking spray or a touch of olive oil. Place pan on stovetop and turn to medium heat.
  2. To the pan add, kale, broccoli, mushroom, onion, peppers, corn, black beans. Heat through for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Next, add zucchini.
  4. In the meantime, prepare an over-easy egg in a separate pan.
  5. Once veggies have cooked for about 10 minutes, plate them, add cheese, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and a runny egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Crack that yolk open and let it drizzle over your veggies. DEVOUR.

I can’t tell you how much I love this dish. Every time we eat it I inevitably say, “we need to make this more often.” Give it a shot! It’s a great way to use up some veggies and to increase your intake. Double win!

Have a GREAT Thursday and make it veggie-filled.

Xoxo

Give Her Healthy Nachos, Make Her Happy

It’s my favorite day of the week! Have I mentioned that before? Winking smile

Yesterday after work, I took Moose on a 4 mile walk around the neighborhood. The weather was cool and it was sprinkling which  made me want to keep walking on and on forever. Moose hung in there pretty well, too. We are working on building up his stamina after he had a couple of set backs this summer (a bacterial infection of some sort as well as tearing off a dew claw).

When we got home I started getting creative with dinner. For the longest time I have wanted to try to make black bean chips. I honestly couldn’t find any recipes out there that I liked, so I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl myself.

Black Bean Chips

I began by lightly pulsing a can of black beans until they reached a somewhat smooth, yet slightly chunky consistency. I added them to a medium bowl.

To the bowl I then added corn meal, garlic powder, cumin, nutritional yeast, egg, and salt and pepper, and mixed well.

I placed the bean mixture onto a non-slip baking mat (below) and placed a piece of parchment paper on top. I used a rolling-pin to flatten the bean dough into a thin layer. Then, I removed the parchment paper, used a pizza cutter to cut square chips, and baked in a 350° oven for about 25-28 minutes. I ended the baking process by switching the oven to broil to crisp up the top of the chips for a couple of minutes.

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The thinner you roll the chips, the more “chip-like” they will be. Since some of mine were kind of thick, mine were like a crunchy cracker. Pretty tasty, though and gluten-free too!

While the chips were baking, I prepared some salsa. I chopped 4 Roma tomatoes from our garden(!), 3 mini bell peppers, 1 small onion. I added in about a cup of prepared salsa, added a touch of garlic powder, salt and pepper, and it was ready to go. I was really wishing we had fresh cilantro on hand, but no such luck.

Next, I melted cheddar cheese on the chips in the microwave, topped them with some fresh avocado and semi-homemade salsa, and called it a meal!

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Black Bean Corn Chips

Ingredients

  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In food processor, or with fork, mash beans leaving them slightly chunky.
  3. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
  4. On a non-slip baking mat or parchment paper, place bean mixture. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture. Use rolling-pin to roll mixture into a thin layer. Remove top parchment paper.
  5. Use pizza cutter to cut chips into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 25-28 minutes then broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Anytime I can eat nachos I am a happy girl, and healthy nachos make me even happier.

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Full of Tomatoes

I am so happy to say that our garden is flourishing with red tomatoes. We are eating them as fast as possible, giving them away to family and friends, but we still have an abundance. I am by no means complaining about this, I LOVE IT! I’ve simply been freezing the tomatoes so that I can use them at a later time. Here is how I do it…

1. Place tomatoes in a pot of water and bring to a low boil (this takes about 8 minutes). You will see the skins start to crack on the tomatoes.

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2. Remove tomatoes from water.

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3. The skin peels right off.

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4. Place into a freezer bag, seal closed, and pop them in your freezer for later. I like to smash mine in the bag but you don’t need to. It’s kind of a stress reliever to me.

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This is my second bag of tomatoes I have frozen. I can’t wait for the cooler weather to roll around so I can make up a batch of chili or tomato basil soup. Yup, I’d say I’m ready for fall.

I’m off to take on the day. Have a Fabulous Friday!

Question: What are your favorite tomato recipes?

Steak Face

After work yesterday, I headed to mom and dad’s and was greeted by this white little furball named Abbie.

The greeting begins with running over to me with a major tail wag. Then she gets down on her belly so that you can give her a back rub.

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And a head rub…pure bliss on her face.

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Puppy love.

 

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And then she ends the greeting with asking for a belly rub.

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Oh Abbie May. Talk about making a gal feel welcome. I love how dogs are SO excited to see you whether you’ve been gone for days, or a couple of hours. They are so full of love. Or maybe she just loves a good belly rub?

Speaking of full of love…

I had so much fun hanging out with mom and dad last night. I felt very relaxed as I sat back and watched as they prepared dinner. As much as I enjoy cooking, it’s nice to have someone else cook for you every once and a while.

Of course, when I asked for a photo of them preparing dinner, this is what I got: Steak face. And then there’s mom by his side holding up her cute little portobello mushroom.

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That photo makes me chuckle every time. You  may remember the last time I had steaks over there, I got this photo…

What can I say, he always makes me laugh.

Then I got a sweet one. Are they not the cutest? Seriously.

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We snacked on juicy watermelon as our appetizer.

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Once the steaks were done, we made our way to the deck for dinner.

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know by now that I’m not a huge red meat eater, however I do enjoy it every once and a while. Last night, my steak (it was either Porterhouse or T-Bone not sure) was fabulous. It was tender and so flavorful. Mom made sauteed mushrooms and onions to go on top. On the side I ate a simple green salad and green beans.

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I cleaned my plate.

After dinner, mom and I took Abbie out for a walk around the neighborhood. The nights have been cooling off so beautifully around here lately and the temperature was mid-70’s on our walk. It felt great. What a perfect way to spend the evening.

Tonight is a normal evening on the home front, and I just may be cooking something for the first time all week. I would like to get creative. We’ll see what my brain comes up with throughout the day. I do have A LOT of tomatoes and zucchini…

What are YOU making for dinner tonight?

Peanut Sauce Spice Baby

I have to give credit where credit is due. The Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, MA, where I stayed for the Healthy Living Summit last weekend, really had it goin’ on. Right off the bat their customer service was fabulous and the front desk staff was so kind and accommodating.

We stepped into our very spacious room and I was blown away at how modern and clean the rooms were; clean-looking and literally clean which I automatically assume when I get into a hotel room but it’s not always the case unfortunately.

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There was a walkway behind the bed that led to the vanity on the left and the bathroom on the right.

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I really appreciated this vanity area. This is where I got ready for the day and evening.

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And I always love a nice bathroom. Open-mouthed smile

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To top it all off, we had an incredible view from our room.

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I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a great place to stay when visiting the Boston area. Thank you to the Hyatt staff for such a comfortable stay and for accommodating our large healthy living group so well.

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Got wrinkles? I do.

They’re happy wrinkles because I smile all of the time.

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In our swag bags from HLS we were given Hydroxatone Instant Lift pads that supposedly help ward off wrinkles. The directions are to place these pads on your wrinkles for 20 minutes every other morning. They are very soothing which I like, and the directions suggest keeping them in the fridge for an even cooler soothing effect. But about those wrinkles, we shall see.

I thought if nothing else I might give someone a giggle from this self-portrait…

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It’s good to embarrass yourself sometimes right? Done and done. Keeping it classy.

I enjoyed a cup of coffee yesterday morning in my love mug that I got as a wedding shower gift from my mom and dad. I feel like it’s too cute to use, but I really needed the warm fuzzy feeling yesterday, so I broke it out. Mom would want me to use it anyway. Right, mom?

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Breakfast was the exact same as yesterday and lunch was eaten at my desk; both very lame. Therefore no photos.

After work I met up with my girlfriend Courtney who I went to school with and who is also a dietitian. We met at Centennial Lakes and walked around the Farmer’s Market and made a loop through Whole Foods. It’s a lot of fun walking through both of those places with another dietitian. We have lots to criticize and discuss. Smile

We spent the majority of our Whole Foods trip in the nut butter aisle as I contemplated buying some more sunflower seed butter. We also spent quality time in front of the chocolate. If you can believe it, I walked away empty-handed. I know, I’m impressed too.

Dinner came together in a pinch.

I threw together mixed greens, mushrooms, red bell pepper, cilantro, grape tomatoes, black beans, a small amount of feta (because I wasn’t sure if feta worked on this salad), and topped it all with Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

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Dana made us strawberry banana soft serve for dessert. I watched last week’s episode of SYTYCD. It was a quiet night which was just what I needed.

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Zucchini AGAIN

This is turning into a very random post, but now I have to share a recipe with you that I made back on Tuesday evening. Thai Peanut salad complete with zucchini pasta making it 100% grain free. It was AWESOME.

 

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Such a beautiful complex dish but it’s really not. Wait no, it is beautiful, but it’s NOT complex. But man, be careful with the peanut sauce. It tends to run on the spicy side. I forgot about that and am such a spice baby. My nose was running as I ate this dish but I still really enjoyed it.

Thai Peanut Salad
Print
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • medium zucchini
  • medium carrot, shredded using knife, food processor, or vegetable peeler
  • ¾ cup cooked mukimame
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. peanuts, chopped
  • a drizzle of peanut sauce (I actually used store-bought this time)
Instructions
  1. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut zucchini into thin linguini-like “pasta”
  2. Place zucchini in colander over sink, sprinkle with salt, let sit for 10-15 minutes. Pat dry.
  3. Plate zucchini on two plates. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Top with remaining ingredients.

So there you have it. The 10 millionth way I have shown you to use zucchini. The possibilities are endless!

I am off to conquer my Friday, my favorite day of the week. Make it a happy day!