Berry Me, Today & Everyday

Helllllllo friends! I have had a medium Caribou Coffee and am fully charged and I have lots to cover today, so bear with me…

Celebrating Allison and Adam

Last night we celebrated the marriage of one of my friends from high school, Adam, to his new beautiful wife Allison. The ceremony and reception were both held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion which is such a gorgeous venue.

Their ceremony was outside under a tent, overlooking the river. There was a cool breeze off of the water that felt great, and the ceremony itself was beautiful.

After the ceremony, there was the social hour followed by a delicious dinner, speeches, dancing, the whole kit and caboodle.

DSCN5346

Me with my happy husband…

DSCN5347

Me with the happy groom…

DSCN5349

 The lovely table decorations. I can really appreciate all of the decorations at weddings now that I have planned my own. Oh, by the way, today is Dana and my 11 month anniversary! Holy cow, does time fly. 

DSCN5348

Me with the hot ladies: Kristin and Annie.

photo

I seriously struggled with the lighting in the venue last night and capturing quality food photos just wasn’t happening for me, but I still want to share them with you because the food was excellent!

Side note: while attempting to photograph my food at dinner, I kept hearing Gretchen [who gave a presentation on improving photos at HLS] in my head saying “say no to flash.” I had to use the flash a little because it was so dark and my hand doesn’t stay still enough. I did my best.

Light and sweet balsamic salad: with flash

DSCN5356

Honey Dijon chicken (amazing): no flash.

DSCN5359

Lemon-raspberry cake I think? Whatever it was it was delicious. Flash or no flash, I’m not sure. I could have sworn Dana snapped this one with no flash but it looks like there is a flash on the plate. Doesn’t matter. It was nummy.

DSCN5363

We had such a great time celebrating with the newlyweds last night. You know I was on the dance floor last night awkwardly jumping/dancing like no one was watching. Congrats to Allison and Adam!

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

Driscoll’s Berry Me, Today and Every Day

Total change of subject, but you may have noticed that I have been eating berries like CRAZY lately. Besides the fact that they’re still fairly in season and are so easy to find in the stores right now, the generous folks of Driscoll’s Berries gave me a couple of coupons for their berries so that I could go delight my taste buds with nature’s candy, free of cost. Yes, really, it’s amazing.

I’ve been adding Driscoll’s berries to “cereal”….

DSCN5334

To salads…

DSCN5338

Eating them plain Jane, and making new recipes, like this one…

I began by making a SCD friendly, gluten-free tortilla. You can use any tortilla you like though.

Gluten-free Cinnamon Tortilla

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a round pie pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl beat together egg and water.
  4. Add flour to egg mixture; mix well.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes.

DSCN5323

Next, it was to time start assembling. I rinsed my Driscoll’s strawberries…

DSCN5316

DSCN5317

And then onto the tortilla went a big smear of natural Parker’s peanut butter, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, chia seeds, and a drizzle of honey.

DSCN5326

DSCN5324

Now wrap it up! It was the perfect breakfast wrap but could also be eaten for lunch, dinner, or even a snack.

DSCN5333

Can I even call this a recipe? It’s just so easy.

Strawberry Nutty ‘Naner Wrap

Ingredients

  • Tortilla (whole grain, gluten-free, SCD, whatever you like)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 banana, sliced
  • 4-5 Driscoll’s strawberries, sliced (depends on the size of the berry!)
  • drizzle of honey
  • sprinkle of chia seeds for good luck

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients on to tortilla. Wrap it up, eat. Love.

I have always been a berry lover. When I was a babe, my family and I traveled up to Gooseberry Falls, MN and did some blueberry picking. I was eating them faster than any body else and I was only 4 years old. I haven’t changed since. This opportunity to experiment with their berries was right up my alley!

Besides strawberries and raspberries, Driscoll’s also farms blackberries and blueberries. For more information about their products, you can check them out here! Delicious.

I am off to try and make something of myself today. I’m feeling a little tired from the festivities last night, but hope to get my butt moving. There will hopefully be a workout involved, and some weed pulling in the back yard! Talk about a crazy Saturday, right?

Alright, you go have yourselves a marvelous day. Peace, love, and berries until next time.

They Can’t All Be Good

Last night, we made one of Dana’s favorite meals: Fish Tacos. I enjoy them as well, but they don’t rank as high as to me as they do for him.

Dana got to work on cooking the tilapia in a pan on the stove top with lemon juice, salt and pepper, while I got busy chopping the veggies. I chopped up the leftover iceberg lettuce, making some of it into shreds, and some of it into cups to use as my taco shell. I do use regular tortilla shells sometimes too, just didn’t feel like it today.

For our tacos, I chopped lettuce as mentioned, as well as tomato, cilantro, and avocado. I layered all of the veggies into my lettuce cup, placed my perfectly cooked tilapia next, and lastly topped it all with roasted tomatillo medium salsa which really gets my nose running.

Forgive my flash versus non-flash photos. I couldn’t decide which lighting was better as neither was really helping me out much.

With flash:

Without flash:

Dana’s fish tacos were way prettier than mine so I made sure we snapped a photo. See, you can accommodate everyone in your household….carb or no carb.

I tend to feel a lot better when I go lighter on my carb intake, which is why you’ll notice I tend to skimp on them and go bunless with burgers, shell-less with tacos, choose salad versus sandwich, etc.

I have a minor gluten intolerance so it’s not to say I don’t eat breads, tortillas, etc. because I do, I just pick my battles. Some days I can eat a bagel and have no repercussions whatsoever in the stomach ache department, and the next day I will eat a bagel and feel like there is a blown up balloon in my belly. I continue to learn about my body and what makes it happy and unhappy every single day. I do love fresh bread though. Mmm…

The rest of the night was spent doing more laundry, packing, and relaxing with the guys.

***********

My morning today started out with a pre-run breakfast/snack. Half of a banana with peanut butter, and half of a cup of coffee. I would have loved more coffee but know it’s not a good idea considering I will be running outside sans bathrooms.

I suited up in my asics and headed out the door for a 5.21 mile run.

I will start off by saying that the weather was perfect this morning. Blue skies, birds chirping, and a cool breeze, so at least that part of the run was beautiful. There are good workout days and bad workout days, and this morning I definitely had a bad workout day.

During my first mile, it’s standard for me to struggle a bit but I know that my body is warming up and after the first mile I will usually feel better. Today though, I felt that struggle throughout the entire run. I was getting side aches on each side and tried breathing through them to work them out, but didn’t have much luck. My ears felt like I was on an airplane and they were full of pressure and aches. I felt dehydrated and out of breath with no stamina at all. It was a hard run.

I kept comparing this run to my Saturday run and I couldn’t believe how different I felt. I know this is normal but you always hope each run is going to be a good run. You can’t always get what you waaaannnntt.

I ran and walked 5.21 miles in 55 minutes. Not my fastest by any means but hey, I finished it. Hopefully my next run will be more enjoyable.

I am off to drink the second half of my morning coffee and head out for the day. I hope you have an excellent Tuesday.

Question of the Day: How do you fight through a “bad” workout day?

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?

 

Unconventional Dinner

I ended up making yesterday a complete “rest” day (as for workouts that is). No workout yesterday. It felt strange for a work week because I typically don’t take rest days during the week, but I have been so extremely tired lately and have really favored the sleep.

For lunch yesterday I made myself one of my favorites: peanut butter banana wrap. I prepared the PB2 with water as usual but then also added honey and cinnamon before smearing it onto a whole wheat tortilla, and topping it with small banana.

I also had an apple (recycled photo)…

Some sugar snap peas (also a recycled photo)…

And not pictured, a dark chocolate Adora disk dipped in peanut butter. I am a PB maniac. I eat it everyday.

After work, I met up with some great friends of mine for happy hour at one of their homes. She had a wonderful spread laid out of some of my favorite snacks: veggies and hummus, chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, chocolate, and of course, red wine. I didn’t snap any photos because I was caught up in conversation and tasty treats. We were even able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside on her deck. I had an amazing time and hope we can do it more often! Love you ladies. 😉

On the way home, I made an impulse decision to veer my car into the Dairy Queen drive thru. It has been a very long time since I have had a blizzard and ya know what? I wanted an ice cream treat. I picked myself up my favorite kind which is double fudge cookie dough, and got Dana a caramel delight pie blizzard.

As you can see, I am slightly excited for what’s to come.

I LOVE ICE CREAM. This tasted better than ever. Oh, how I’ve missed you soft serve. Welcome back to my life.

Dinner was a little “unconventional” tonight, but it sure was tasty. I enjoyed every second of my evening.

The rest of the night was spent organizing a couple of things in the basement (electric is being installed in the bathroom downstairs today) and relaxing with the boys.

Happy Friday the 13th! Dun dun dun…..

Healthier Reese’s Recipe, Now Hide the Sweets

Yesterday morning I woke up not feeling the slightest bit hungry. It may have been the larger than average meal I ate on Easter Sunday, but I was actually surprised I wasn’t hungry being as we ate lunch/dinner, “linner” at about 2:30, and didn’t eat much the rest of the day.

Nevertheless, I knew I needed to eat something before heading off to work, so I whipped up a classic. A heap of blackberries and raspberries, topped with Fage o% Plain Greek Yogurt, and finished off with a drizzle of honey. It was light, refreshing, and a healthy way to begin my day.

Hunger finally set in at lunch time. I had packed leftover pulled chicken mixed with celery, carrots, pickles, and mustard, a big baggie of carrots and sugar snap peas, an apple, string cheese, and a Lara bar. That held me over well until dinner time.

After work I headed to the gym. I began with 10 minutes on the elliptical, then moved to the stair master for 10 minutes, before hitting the weights. I was not in the most motivated strength training mood but knew I would feel good once I was done. I have been saying that a lot lately, huh? Anyway, I focused on legs today but really didn’t get too crazy: some leg presses, calf raises, leg curls, and that was it.

Dinner last night was not very impressive (can you tell it was a tired Monday around here). I snacked on some more sugar snap peas as I deliberated what to make for dinner, realizing that we are running low on groceries. I decided on a wrap similar to a Greek one I had made not too long ago, but this time with a few less ingredients.

Lawash Brand Whole Wheat Flatbread, hummus, feta cheese, and avocado.

Super simple, lots of great flavors, and enough to keep me satisfied for a while. Now, with such a simple dinner, how is it that I manage to injure myself, whereas I can make elaborate dishes involving copious amounts of chopping and go unscathed? I managed to get in a fight with the pairing knife while trying to twist out the pit of the avocado.

The one ingredient I needed to cut in this whole dish, and I managed to splice my finger open in the process. I got a little woozy but Dana kept me calm as I ran it under water and then put pressure on it. He bandaged me up and of course I am fine, but it did hurt and it’s always scary. Dana to the rescue. I can be a little dramatic.

After dinner I had a few million Easter treats. It was my “Fat Monday.” I decided I had one more day to enjoy a bunch of my Easter treats before I put them away in the freezer for a while. They are now zipped away in a ziploc freezer bag in the freezer, in the garage. That’s what we have to do around here to keep our sticky fingers off the candies.

***********

This may seem a little backwards considering I just told you I hid all of my Easter treats, but I wanted to share a delicious recipe with you all for a treat I made last Saturday.

One of my all-time favorite candies are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, however they aren’t the most figure-friendly candy. I wanted to find a healthier version of these delectable treats without sacrificing the wonderful peanut buttery flavor. I stumbled upon a recipe for healthier Reese’s eggs, I put my own spin on it, and this is what I came up with.


Healthier Reese's Eggs
Print
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup PB2 prepared
  • ¼ cup light maple syrup
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, combine milk and chia seeds and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. After ten minutes, combine chia seed mix with remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips; mix well.
  3. Shape mixture into small eggs, and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Once eggs are chilled, begin melting chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until completely melted.
  5. Roll "eggs" in the chocolate, covering them completely in the melted chocolate.
  6. Place them back onto the parchment paper. Decorate with sprinkles if desired, and return to the refrigerator. Allow chocolate to set before serving. Remove from fridge 15-20 minutes or so before serving.

 

The inside of these eggs are soft yet chewy with the perfect amount of sweetness and peanut butter flavor. The chocolate on the outside of the egg adds a semi-sweet touch that balances the bites perfectly.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Soul mates

They may sound a little off the wall being that they have chia seeds in them, but I’m telling you they are awesome! You don’t need a special occasion to make them either.

Give ’em a whirl!

Now, the candy and treats are all stowed away, and I refuse to fall back onto the sugar train.

Anyone eat any delicious treats this past weekend? I would love to hear from you. Sharing is caring!