Archive for January, 2009

Today was a good day!  It was pretty chilly here all day (which helped to inspire my BSI entry), but the sun was shining and the sky was blue.


After lunch, I ran up to the grocery store to pick up a few more things I couldn’t get earlier, then came home to fold some laundry. We bummed around on the couch for a while before I started on dinner.


I thawed some chicken breast and decided we needed a little Mexican flavor for dinner   🙂


Cumin and Oregano Chicken Breast topped with Avocado (mixed with scallions, cilantro, cayenne, salt, and lime juice)





On the side, we had some brown rice mixed with salsa, cumin, and garlic powder and the leftover green beans from the other night.   ¡Olé!  Right Mara?  🙂




Now…for my first ever Blogger Secret Ingredient entry, I decided to make  the perfect dessert on this chilly winter day.


Barley Date Pudding!  A new spin on a classic rice pudding.

  • 1 cup dry quick cooking barley
  • 12 oz. can fat free evaporated milk
  • 4 oz. skim milk
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 6 dates, chopped
  • pinch salt (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • orange zest (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract


This makes at least 4 servings, maybe 6-8 depending on your serving size.


1. Put barley, evaporated and skim milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dates in pot on stove. Heat to a low simmer, then turn heat down to low. You want it to stay hot, but you don’t want to scorch or curdle the milk.






2. Let it cook until the barley is tender and most of the milk has been absorbed. (I ended up adding about 1/4 cup of water near the end, too).


3. Take off stove, put into large mixing bowl and stir in fresh orange zest, vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. honey.





4. Drizzle a tiny bit more honey on top of each serving. Enjoy!  We tried ours warm right off the stove and it was awesome. I will probably try it cold tomorrow  🙂





Enjoy your evening!  I feel the need for pajamas   🙂

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Home on the Ranch

I have been all about the ranch dressing lately – it’s like I can’t get enough!


Lunch today was a salad with romaine, tomato, the last few mushrooms and a tsp of ranch dressing, plus my 2 leftover pieces of pizza from last night








Just as good as last night!


For some dairy and a sweet little lunch dessert, I had some 0% greek yogurt topped with pomegranate and some turbinado sugar/sea salt chocolate covered almonds. This combination was AWESOME. The almonds are from Trader Joe’s.





I’ve got some laundry to do and a few more groceries to pick up. 


Have a good afternoon! It’s chilly here, but at least the sun is shining!  🙂

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Bob’s Breakfast

Bob – you better be reading this today!  Breakfast was inspired by you  🙂



Breakfast today may  be something you’ve never seen or done before, but once Bob (Nick’s dad) did this and made it for us, it’s become one of my favorites!  It’s also the best thing to eat for breakfast after a race – we had it after our last 5K in October and it. was. so. good.



To start, we had coffee. 🙂  Nick makes the perfect cup of joe.




Isn’t this mug cute? Nick’s mom bought it for me at Kohl’s – it’s made by The Food Network and has their logo in red on the inside  🙂



I mixed up a batch of Ellie Krieger’s whole wheat pancakes with a few modifications.

  • I just used all skim milk, since I didn’t have any buttermilk this time – they are really good with buttermilk, though.
  • I saved the last 2 eggs I had for a different part of breakfast  🙂  So, I used about 4 tsp of canola oil in the batter instead of eggs.



The result?   Bob’s Breakfast   🙂






That’s right.


2 pancakes TOPPED with an over easy egg AND pure maple syrup. I had never thought of putting these together, but it is so, so good.  I always love when maple syrup gets on my eggs, so this is just doing it on purpose!



We had a mix of banana, strawberries, and clementine on the side.


Check out these action shots!!  Nothing like a golden, runny egg yolk  🙂 









What a way to start our day. 



I’m off to get groceries!

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Pumped Up Pizza

Geez a lou!  BodyPump killed me tonight!  It’s been almost two weeks (we went last Monday), but man….I got worked tonight!  It felt great by the end though  🙂  I think I may need to try one of my yoga download classes this weekend to stretch everything out.



Back to my afternoon! 


Nick and I went to Mike’s Grille in Blacksburg today for lunch.




Smoke free – nice, huh?


They are known for their huge burgers and he likes them a lot.  Here we are with our food – look how big that burger is!





We had to try their onion rings….just so we could compare them to New River Grille’s (which are my all time favorite! ). Here’s a picture of New River Grille’s onion rings, just for visual comparison.  Mike’s onion rings were pretty good, but a bit greasier than New River Grille’s. I know they’re fried – but I would rather not have tons of grease left over on my fingers after picking one up. Good enough to get again, but they don’t beat New River Grille’s onion rings  🙂


I got a chef salad, and ate a few of the onion rings.


Work was work – I was glad it was Friday!  We had couple crazy things happen this afternoon, so that made it a bit more exciting. I am so happy it’s the weekend!!!!



For a snack before BodyPump, I had a hard boiled egg and a clementine – I needed a little protein to get through class!








BodyPump was killer, and I felt like I got a really good workout. This is when I really wish I had a heart rate monitor, because I just have no clue what I burn in that class! Someday soon.



I was SO excited about dinner tonight!!!


Over Christmas break, I got to go to the Trader Joe’s near my parents house. We don’t have one close to us, so I’ve only been twice – sad, I know.  🙂  I bought some of TJ’s whole wheat pizza dough and thawed it out today to use for dinner.


We did a half and half pizza. Can you tell whose side is whose?    🙂  By the way – the pizza stone is awesome Mom! I love it!





Nick’s has a bit more cheese than mine.  I didn’t have any mozzarella other than string cheese, so I just cup of a few of those to use on my side.


Nick’s side had sausage, red onion, mushroom, quesadilla cheese, string cheese, and pepperjack cheese.


Mine had string cheese, pineapple, and ham.  Yum  🙂





This and a salad?  Perfect and easy Friday night meal!






I hope everyone has had a great Friday!!! The weekend is here!  


Breakfast tomorrow should be good  🙂 



Do you have a  favorite Friday night meal?

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Dead Batteries

So….I DO have pictures of lunch, but I’ll have to post them later.

1. I don’t have time to do it right now anyways, and

2. My camera batteries are currently dead. No worries – there are some charging at home  🙂

See you for lunch recap and dinner post after BodyPUMP!

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Pineapple Upside Down Oats

I took out a can of pineapple chunks in juice last night to remind myself of what I’m making for dinner tonight  🙂

Of course, once I saw the can this morning, I knew I had to have some in my oats.


Yes, it’s pretty much dessert for breakfast, but this combination was SO good.

This bowl had:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon!
  • about 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 Tbsp total of almonds and walnuts
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • cherry on top!


Look how that brown sugar is melting into the oatmeal!!!

This was SO good!  It will definitely be on rotation now when I have pineapple!

Alright – I’m off to have some coffee and get crackin’ – see you after lunch!

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Italian Feast Continued!

I am so glad the work day is over!! and The Office comes on tonight!! and tomorrow is Friday and I get to wear jeans to work!!   🙂 



Today went by soooooo slow…I was just waiting for the work day to end. 


Nick and I went to the gym after work to go running, and we didn’t have to wait for treadmills today!  I was pretty excited about that. I’m hoping the gym stays this way – it’s been so crowded the past few weeks with all the “new year’s resolutioners” and the students coming back in to town. 

We ran for about 30 minutes and then headed home.



What was for dinner? It DID include more meatballs, but in a different format tonight  🙂   I didn’t want pasta again, and I figured you wouldn’t want to see the same picture again!



I bought these new buns I found at the health food store and decided to try them tonight.





If you can see the label, these are only 76 calories for 1 bun!  and it was a good size, too!  Plus, I can read every ingredient AND don’t have to google anything   🙂  Right, Caitlin?


I really, really liked these. I bought them in the frozen section, so I just put two in the toaster oven for us tonight to thaw/toast them and put the rest back in the freezer for later. They have this great nutty flavor from the flax and a really good texture. They were perfect for the meal tonight, and only took a few minutes to completely thaw AND get toasty!




On the menu for tonight? Meatball Subs!




I had a piece of ff swiss toasted onto my bun, then layered on a few meatballs and some of the sauce. This. was. so. good.


Add on some of those steamer bag green and yellow wax beans, and you’ve got a quick meal!





I’m probably going to have some popcorn with olive oil and salt during The Office, so I’ll go ahead and post an older picture, just for the visual.

Editing to say I passed on the popcorn. I wasn’t that hungry after dinner, so I’m just having a cup of hot chocolate   🙂  





Question for runners: Do you still get cramps (like in your side/rib cage/abdomen area)? I’ve only really been running for about a year, but I honestly get some type of cramp just about every time I run. It’s really frustating! 




Question for everyone! What are you most proud of?

Me:  Right now, I’ve been thinking of how proud I am that I am able to run.  Even when I have bad days, it’s better than before I started running. This time last year, I couldn’t run more than 2 minutes at a time. I know that every time I run, I am getting stronger – and that is an awesome feeling.

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Savory Oats, Bland Lunch

Yay!  I have a few minutes left of my lunch break to blog today!!!

Breakfast today wasn’t what I planned, but it turned out well.  I’ve been seeing people make savory oats for a while, but I hadn’t tried it yet. I wanted eggs and grits –  but somehow I only had about 1 spoonful of dry grits left!

So, instead of making sweet oatmeal as usual, I tried my hand at Savory Oatmeal.

Before breaking my poached eggs (poaching courtesy of Nick this morning – and they were perfect!):


and after breaking.


Mmmm….I love the runny yolks.

For my savory oats, I used:

*1/3 cup multigrain hot cereal

* 2/3 cup water

* pinch salt

* 2 poached eggs

* ff swiss cheese stirred into cereal

Of course, the obligatory fruit


and a cup of milk.


If you’re wondering, yes I usually use the same cups in the morning. Usually always one of our Hokie cups – for some reason, I don’t like using our glasses very often. I don’t know why? I just always use these plastic Hokie cups from the football games.

Plus an unpictured cup of coffee at work – it looked the same as yesterday!  Same mug and everything.

Lunch today wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. I’m trying to use up leftovers – it was just a little bland, but I guess I wasn’t thinking very clearly when I woke up this morning and packed my lunch. I should have added some more seasonings or something.

Some leftover roasted chicken over bulgur:


peas, for a green


And, of course….clementines. Which I won’t put up today since they’re pictured every day!

Gotta get back to work, but I’m planning on this snack this afternoon to fuel me through running after work:

Dried Hawaiian snack mix of raisins, banana chips, papaya, coconut, dates!, and 1 Tbsp raw cashews.


Check out that big hunk o’ coconut!

See you at dinner!  I’m excited for it  🙂

Don’t forget to send in your submissions for the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest this week! Check out Sarah’s blog for more info!

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All Mixed Up

Bah! I’m finally here!!!


It feels so weird to have this post as my only post today!  I usually try to post breakfast and lunch during my lunch hour, but Nick and I went to Books a Million at lunch, so I didn’t have time to blog once I got back to work. 


I will do my best to make it a good one!



Breakfast today was a bowl of Happy McOatmeal




You know it’s going to be an okay day when your breakfast is smiling back at you! 




Just look at that cross section  – yum!  


This was a mix of:

* 1/2 cup old fashioned oats

* 1 cup water

* pinch salt

* cinnamon – a lot!  I love cinnamon

* 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries

* 1/2 sliced banana on top


The combo of tart berries and sweet banana is SO good in oatmeal. This was one of those bowls that I wish never ended  🙂  Like that new IHOP commercial where his pancakes keep “refilling”? I sometimes wish my oatmeal would do that…


I also had a cup of skim milk and a hard boiled egg for some protein!







Plus a cup of coffee with skim milk at work  –  so I could function.





Today was finally a bit slower at work – we have just been slammed lately with submissions, so it was nice to be able to get my work done and not feel rushed all day. I’m glad we’re pretty much a paper-less office, but it really makes me hate my email even more! Everything we do is by email, so my inbox is constantly filling up…all. day. long. Even when I clear it out, it’s filled up again usually in less than 1/2 hour!  Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just didn’t show up for  a week at work…



Lunch was pretty much the same as yesterday – chicken chili with avocado, veggies and clementines. Yum! but sorry for the re-runs  🙂 











One of the clementines had a few bad pieces, so it kinda ruined it. I didn’t eat the other one because I was scared it wouldn’t be good either. Isn’t that a little ridiculous? I did bring it home, though.


I had one snack that I won’t mention now – only because I’ll be doing another review soon and I don’t want to ruin it  🙂


The snack I can report is my pure love creation –   0% greek yogurt, pom, semi sweet chocolate chips. In VeggieGirl’s words – Holy Yum!




This is best snack!  It’s the perfect combination of creamy, crunchy, tart, and sweet. Check out the condensation on the chips from being in the fridge! 




Dinner was another re-run tonight but still so tasty! 


Salad for some greens:




And whole wheat penne, those turkey meatballs, and homemade sauce from last night!





All mixed up!






We took today off from the gym, but we’ll either be going to run at the gym tomorrow or outside, depending on the weather. Then we’ll have BodyPump on Friday!  We’re doing a little experiment and trying every time they offer it to see which day is the least crowded  🙂   So far, Monday and Wednesday have been exactly the same! It’s been pretty packed in there, so we’re hoping the Friday 5:30 pm class will have a few less people since it’s the start of the weekend and everything. I guess we’ll know in 2 days. We’re also hoping some of these students will quit coming to the gym once their school work picks up – then we won’t have to fight for the treadmills, either!



So, for something a bit more interesting than my leftovers…


I found this pretty good article today about Nine Nutrition Essentials for 2009 – I love that it also has links to Cooking Light recipes that deal with the nutrition tips!


This quote from the section on “Save Room for Treats” is a great one: 

Food is meant to be pleasurable, and part of the pleasure is treating yourself


I definitely think we have to find our balance between eating healthy and treating ourselves, and that’s a hard thing to do. It’s so easy for me to convince myself that I deserve a dessert because I ate well that day or because I worked out. And maybe I did.


But I also need to take into consideration whether I’m actually hungry, if it’s something I really, truly want….or if it’s just the  idea of “dessert”  that is tempting me.



If you learn anything about me from this blog it will probably be this: I. love. sweets.




Always have, always will.  If there was a chocoholics/sweets anonymous, I would probably need to join. Most of my baby pictures are of me with some sort of chocolatey mess or cake smeared all over my hands and face. And I love it  🙂


I love good, quality chocolates and probably some of the worst!  Those stupid Cadbury mini eggs at Easter are some of my favorites. And Jelly Bellys.


It is really hard for me to turn down a dessert, but I have been trying to not eat something if it’s really not that great. Sometimes those work cakes or conference sweets are hard to say no to, but honestly, they don’t taste that great in the first place.


If I’m going to have dessert, I want something that I truly enjoy in every sense possible. I want pure decadence  – nothing that’s just “eh”.


I want to boycot eating something that isn’t pleasurable. In honor of Tina’s post earlier today, I want to say YES to treating myself, and treating myself WELL. If that means eating an awesome dessert every day, so be it. If it means I’ll quit eating something if it’s not that good after a bite or two, I want to be able to do that.



Because I’m worth it to eat what I want, what I like, and what makes me feel good. We’re all worth it.

And most of the time…..that involves chocolate  🙂   At least for me!



I hope you’re getting ready for LOST!!!

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Ready for Updates!

Or that’s what my computer is telling me – this post won’t be long since I have to update my laptop and it’ll take at least an hour!  Boo.



I did have an unpictured snack…I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture!  I had my camera with me and everything! I was pretty busy at work while I was eating said cookie, and I didn’t even think about it until after I finished it.


Just imagine the BEST chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had – that’s what I ate around 3:30 today at work.  🙂




The gym tonight was a little weird. All the treadmills were taken when we got there, so we started to just do some weights while waiting until something opened up. I took the first one once it was available, and then Nick took one a few minutes later. Our runs were cut a little short because Nick forgot to pack socks – he stopped running earlier than normal so he wouldn’t get horrible blisters. Anywho – a workout is a workout, but it was just kind of weird tonight.  At least we went, right?  Baby steps!



I was really excited about dinner tonight – I’ve made this recipe a lot, and I still love it every time I have it.


First, we had colorful salads – a mix of romaine, carrots, mushroom, and tomato (just for me). Mine had about a tsp of ranch dressing – sometimes, you just gotta have ranch!







For the main dish, I used this recipe from Heather’s site, which is modified from a Giada recipe on Food Network.


Penne with Turkey Meatballs




My changes:

* I usually bake these at 350 for about 20 minutes instead of cooking them on the stove top. It’s probably not the same texture, but it works fine, they get crunchy on the bottom, and I don’t have to have 3 things on the stove top at one time.

* I only make 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta -and that will be dinner for us tomorrow, too. I usually only have 1 cup of pasta; Nick has a little more.

* I do use the soy parm in these and it’s delicious  🙂


Under the sauce, I drizzled about 2 tsp. of olive oil to the hot pasta. This was just what I needed.


I’m thinking of having some hot chocolate while the computer does its thang – See you tomorrow!


Check out Zesty Cook if you want ANOTHER meatball recipe today – his looks great!

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