WIAW: Sweet Potato Nachos & Five a Day

Tomorrow is THANKSGIVING (to those of you who are unaware) and I am just a tad excited!!!!! Tomorrow I will be walking and possibly jogging in the best ever 5K and then I will be going to mom and dad’s for family time and crazy good food!

I am bringing two pies: one homemade pumpkin and one homemade caramel apple. I’m also bringing green bean casserole. I happen to be a huge green bean casserole fan. I know it can be pretty hit or miss for most. I’m trying a new recipe too.

Enough about tomorrow, let’s talk about yesterday. I actually took off my lazy pants and made myself some pretty awesome meals. I’m going to join in on the What I Ate Wednesday fun!

To start the day, a cup of decaf vanilla bean creme brulee coffee with coconut creamer and stevia in my adorable owl cup that makes me very happy. coffee mug

For breakfast, a fruit and yogurt bowl: FAGE Greek yogurt, agave, raspberries, blueberries, banana, raisins, cacao nibs, and pecan pieces.

yogurt bowl

A walk/jog on the treadmill happened mid-morning while watching Gossip Girl! I am getting back into running and I’m hoping to write about this soon. 🙂 Lunch: one of my favorite ol’ salads. In the mix is romaine lettuce (we ran out of dark greens), peas, avocado, red bell pepper, olives, broccoli, sunflower seeds, cottage cheese, and honey mustard dressing.

salad

Dessert: dates with peanut butter!

peanut butter and dates

Afternoon snack: crunchy juicy grapes, a handful of Crunchmaster’s Multi-Seed gluten-free crackers and a cup of tea.

Dinner: sweet potato nachos. Crispy sweet potato “chips” with cheddar cheese, black beans, corn, tomato, avocado, and salsa. So satisfying!

sweet potato nachos

I rounded out the day with some Fiber One 80 calorie chocolate squares. Those babies are dangerous! They taste like candy but they are loaded with fiber so you need to be careful with your intake or you could face some major bloating and other issues.

The remainder of the night was spent on the couch hanging with my boys in my warm home and of course, in my sweatpants.

moose

I’d say it was a pretty healthy day! I’m working towards redeeming my 5-9 daily servings of fruits and veggies. I used to be so good about it but lately have been sliding. I feel so much better when I reach the 5-9 mark and it’s something I am continuing to be mindful of and you should too!

As always, thank you Jenn for hosting the WIAW!

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Are you celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow? Are you cooking up anything tasty? How do you make sure to get your five servings of fruits and veggies daily?

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Happy Hump Day!

I worked late last night and so often when I work late, I get home and don’t have much of an appetite. Last night was one of those nights. I decided just to pour myself a small bowl of Fiber One Original with some raisins on top.

Then I had some of these (love these things).

And made my way into some almonds, a few more raisins, and a bite of peanut butter. Not super exciting but it was good enough. I called it an early night and woke up feeling semi-well rested.

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I went for a 30 minute walk on the treadmill this morning with a slight incline. It was a nice soothing way to start the morning, along with this yogurt bowl. I made it this morning and let it do it’s “overnight” thing for just 30 minutes before digging in. It turned out just as great!

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Anyway, moving on to the good stuff. I have one final recipe from last weekend that I still wanted to share with you. You may recall seeing photos of these…

Those are Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars and they are divine. I did make a few fat-saving adjustments here and there but really, this pan of amazingness is truly decadent, and should try to be enjoyed in portion controlled servings. Good luck with that though.

I have to share.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars (recipe adapted from www.eatrunread.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup and 2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup and 1 Tablespoon non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 11 ounces caramels*
  • 4 Tablespoons fat-free half and half
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt

*(I used an 11 ounce bag of small pearls of caramel that don’t have any wrapping and are great for baking)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Coat a 9 inch square pan with cooking spray (or line with aluminum foil then coat with cooking spray); set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together yogurt, butter, and sugars.
  4. Add the egg, egg white, and vanilla; mix until smooth.
  5. Slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Hand mix in chocolate chips; cover dough and place in refrigerator.
  7. In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels with half and half. Microwave on high stirring every 20 seconds until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.
  8. Press half of cookie dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  9. Pour caramel on top, and spread to cover in even layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  10. Dollop the remaining half of dough on top, and carefully spread to even layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  11. Place bars in oven and bake for about 60 minutes (cooking time will vary so keep an eye on them) until top of bars have set and have a light golden color, and the edges begin to pull away from the pan.
  12. Cool bars on wire rack at room temperature. Serve warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream if you wish!

Total decadence.

An Overdue Appointment

I had one of those mornings where it seemed like everything I was trying to do was taking me double the amount of time. Seriously everything from doing my hair to deciding what to wear… I was just a mess! I even had to pack my breakfast “to-go” because I didn’t have enough time to eat at home. I did however have time for this…

Which is a good thing. My coffee is very important to me in the morning. It is such a comfort to me to sip on a hot cup of coffee with fat- free hazelnut creamer and stevia first thing in the morning.

My to-go breakfast was one you have seen before. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, banana with Greek yogurt sweetened with honey. Creamy and fruity deliciousness as always.

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Fast forward to dinner because lunch was boring.

For dinner I had some veggies on the mind (what’s new, right?). Just like breakfast, and lunch actually too, dinner needed to be fast. I threw together a salad with mixed greens, shredded chicken, black beans, cheddar cheese,  and topped it with a little barbecue sauce and lite honey mustard. Oh, and corn. Can’t forget the corn! I also snacked on some sugar snap peas.

The reason I had to hurry through dinner was because I had an appointment to get to. An appointment at the Hair Salon!  Wahoo! It has been five months since my hair has been touched which is a little too long for my liking. Here are the before and after photos.

Before

After!

It is very blond and will take me a little time to get used to, but I like it! I kept it long but cleaned up the ends and added some layers and bangs. Now I am off to hang with Dana for a bit before bed. I am extremely tired. Good night!

Four Months Ago

It’s February?! Ohemgeee! Holy cow time flies! Did you know that four months ago from today I married the love of my life? Well believe it!

Melanie + Dana = Love Forever

October 1st, 2011.

According to Dana it’s been the best four months of his life. I believe him and I agree. It has been an amazing first four months. Married life was kick-started with a wonderful, beautiful honeymoon to Italy where we visited Rome, Montalcino (and surrounding areas in Tuscany), Florence, and Cinque Terre. It seems like a dream.

Florence: view from the top

Cinque Terre: Photo in front of the Ligurian Sea

Once we returned home we started tackling thank you cards, writing reviews for our awesome wedding vendors, and unpacking/reorganizing our home with all of our wedding gifts! It took a little while to get back into the swing of normal life and felt very strange to not have a wedding to plan for anymore. It is crazy how much it really consumes your life when planning a big wedding, but in a good way!

Next events to follow were Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, friends and family’s birthdays, New Year’s, work…..life. It’s been busy but such is life. I am the luckiest girl to get to spend the rest of my life with  my best friend!

Okay, I’ll stop. I know it’s only a four month anniversary but I am a sappy kind of a person. What kind of shenanigans will I post on our one year anniversary? Oh boy, you’ll be in for a treat I’m sure. But really, I am so happy. I love you, Dana. 🙂

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Breakfast

Breakfast tasted better than normal today. It may have been because I woke up really hungry. In the bowl was blueberries, blackberries, plain non-fat greek yogurt, honey to sweeten it up, and chia seeds. A good breakfast is a sign of a good day ahead. Hope everyone has a happy Wednesday!

What did YOU eat for breakfast this morning?