dining al fresco

My family’s form of proof that we are experiencing an exceptionally warm day:

Hot, hot, H-O-T!!

All I wanted was a chilly breakfast.

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • toppings after mixing above together: 2 T. walnuts, 1 tsp chia seeds, 2 T. blueberry granola

This hit the spot!  I always forget to use blueberries in my breakfast, but I’m always happy for the tasty (and super healthy!) addition. 😀

Along with breakfast, I even had the time for a morning 2-mile walk.  I need to make this happen more often.  It was such a lovely way to start the day, leaving me focused and energized.  I almost—almost—even forgot to grab my coffee before heading to work.  😉

Last packed lunch for the week!

I made things easy on myself by throwing together this salad while making last night’s dinner.  They were one and the same, except for the addition of garbanzos and feta cheese which made the salad.  I love a little bit of salt on my salads, and usually that means adding a dash of sea salt.  The feta cheese is super salty though, and a little bit goes a long way.  Love it. 😀

Along for the ride, there was a pink lady apple, some almonds, and a slightly overripe (but still delicious) pear.

Once again, lunch was eaten at a normal time.  Right after reading about the National School Lunch program, looking over the schools’ budget, and working some more on job descriptions, I took my cooler out and noshed away.   

And then I was off with my preceptor to meet up with a catholic school that’s trying to join in on the National School Lunch program.  It was interesting to hear all their questions, what was being offered to them, and how the lunch delivery would be arranged, etc.  The government is very, very specific about what kids can eat and what constitutes a ‘complete meal’ (not that I always agree with what they consider a “complete meal,” but that’s a different discussion for a different time 😉 ) and any school that wants to be reimbursed for the meals must follow these guidelines.  It’s really interesting.

The meeting lasted until about 3’ish, my preceptor chatted with me for 15-30 minutes, and then I was on my way home for a nice, long weekend!!!!

Afternoon Snack: cottage cheese, TJ’s high fiber cereal, peanut butter

Dining al fresco tonight!

I appreciate eating at home so much more, now that many of my meals are eaten away.  There’s something so relaxing about kicking off my flip-flops, walking through the warm summer grass, sitting at the picnic table and just—mmmmm—relaxing, chatting, dining.   

I made an “everything but the____” salad for tonight’s dinner. 

Large green salad, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes—the basics.  Topped with mashed turnips, grilled chicken seasoned with cajun and garlic, and some grilled, roasted potatoes seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, and parsley.

Twas’ delicious. 😀 

With a glass of pinot grigio.  Light, fruity, summery.

I am so looking forward to having a day to just catch up on everything!  I’ve let all my emails and paperwork pile up over these past three days.  It’s going to feel so good to be organized once again. :mrgreen:

Question: Favorite salad combination?


summed up in five words

A big thanks for all the comments regarding my newly organized recipe section.  It feels good to have everything all laid out, both for my own easy access and hopefully for yours too. 😀 

I spent the last several hours at a Verizon store, trying to find the most affordable phone possible.  I’ll be honest.  There were some fancy schmancy ones that immediately caught my attention.  I kind of liked the idea of being able to blog anywhere, anytime, anyplace.  My head began to swoon just a little, until the sales clerk came over and snarkly commented that there were 4 phones to choose from that did not require the $30 internet payment.  I looked at one poor little phone all by itself and fell in love.  Just like that.  I hope it’s okay to get all sentimental and attached over such a thing as a phone.  Please tell me this is normal. 

Anyways, without further ado, let’s get to the nitty gritty of food.  All summed up in five words because I’m completely out of words after talking phones, service, and monthly payments. 😉 

Summed Up In Five Words.

“Un”overnight Oats In A Jar.

Globs Of Peanut Butter = Amazing.

Cheddar Cheese Meets An Apple.

You Will Love This Recipe

Recommendations: Delicious With Sweet Potatoes. 😀

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Meets Cauliflower.

Nothing To Say But ‘YUM.’

Juicy, Cold, Fresh, Sweet, Dessert!

Yogurt, Flax, Granola, Almond Butter.

Star Of Dinner = Fresh Corn.

Sweet Summer Corn On Cob.

Star Of Dinner #2 = Basil Hummus.

Y.  U.  M.  M.  Y.

Filled With Greens And Happiness. 😀

Gone To The Dark Side.

Tomorrow —> Food Service Rotation Begins!

Time To Read And Relax. 😀

injuries and moving on

Five.  Count ’em, f-i-v-e!!  I cranked out five delicious miles this morning.  Running over hills, hopping and skipping past puddles, smiling ear to ear.  F-i-v-e.

I can’t remember the last time I ran 5 miles.  I think it was way back in February sometime, before knee injuries and plantar problems became part of my life. 😉

Injuries are a pain, yes they are.  But they also teach us important things.  Like, for example, when our bodies say, “hey you, wake up! I’m tired, give me a break!”  Well, it’s *kind* of important that we listen up.  Here are some other “injury-related lessons” that I’ve learned through the months and over the years:

  • An injury is not forever.  Take it in stride and take it as a change in pace.  Find something new to exert your energy on!
  • Remind yourself that doing some other exercise—biking, yoga, swimming, hiking—is just a means to help you return to doing the activity that you love the most.  I biked for 4 months because I am a runner!
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  When reintroducing yourself to your favorite activity, start slow.  Just because you ran 11 miles a couple months ago doesn’t mean you’re now a wimp for doing 1.  Build up gradually to avoid reinjuring yourself and stop immediately if you feel the old pain coming back.  It’s so, so, so important to heal before returning to a regular routine.

Today’s “un” overnight oat mixture:

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • toppings: dollop of almond butter and coconut flakes

So delicious.  We’ve had some really chilly mornings lately—perfect for hot oats.  But I still find myself craving the warmer weather fare. 😀

Morning Snack: Almonds and Watermelon

Return. Of. The. Chopsticks.

Eating rice with chopsticks can be a bit on the tricky side.  Especially dry brown rice, since it’s much less sticky than—say—sushi rice.  But it’s still fun and totally doable. :mrgreen:

Simply mixed together brown rice, black beans, frozen corn, a few spices (as in cumin, cajun, etc.) and some salsa.  Heated it all up, tossed with some lettuce greens—I love when it gets all wilty!—and called it a meal.  There were some raw veggies on the side for some x-tra veggies too. 😀

Peachy keen. 😀

It was pouring cats and dogs all afternoon, which was absolutely fine by me.  It kept me glued to my chair with nothing but the sounds of raindrops for company.  Gotta keep memorizing my Medical Terminology.  I have such a tough time remembering certain prefixes, abbreviations and terms.

ABG’s.  Stands for Arterial Blood Gases.  I can not for the life remember this one, but maybe typing it out will help. 😉

Study Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax + Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola + chunky peanut butter

With the risk of being called repetitive, I indulged in white bean and black olive soup once again for dinner.  It was even better then yesterday. 😀

And an ooey gooey cheesy quesadilla is really too delicious to have only once.  Crispy.  Stretchy.  Cheese.


I need to get back to studying for some more brain cramming time. :mrgreen:

Tomorrow’s To-Do’s:

  • Last day of preclinical training!
  • Stop at whole foods/trader joes for some necessities.
  • Study.
  • Take post-clinical exam.

Question: Have you ever had a sports-related injury? 

summer meets autumn

Fun thought for the day: If your body’s temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and you walk outside into 98 degree weather, why wouldn’t this feel like the “perfect” temperature?—courtesy of dad 😉

“Un” overnight Oats in a Jar!

In an almond butter jar.  Full of creamy, ooey-gooey, swirls and globs.  Stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth delicious. 😀 

Trader Joe’s knows how to make a mean almond butter.

I’ve noticed that along with being able to handle a slow increase in running mileage, my stomach is slowly being able to handle heavier meals before a run.  I love when this happens.  It means that I don’t cramp up after eating breakfast, which leaves me feeling more energized and fresh.  No heavy, lead-filled legs or side stitches either.  Just perfect.  It also means that I don’t have to rely on a simple orange or a date before a run, which means more fuel for those (eventual) longer runs.

Needless to say, today’s 3-miler was fun and energetic. 😀

Morning Snack: kashi crackers and Justin’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


I’ve been craving roasted chicken lately.

Something to do with the cooler summer weather.  Something about early autumn making its first appearance in a brilliant yellow leaf.  I’ve been craving roasted chicken.

It has something to do with something, but when all was said and done, it didn’t really matter what the temperature was.  The oven was turned on to 350, the chicken was cooked for 2.5 hrs with an onion, and voila.  My roasted chicken cravings were fulfilled.

I wanted salad too, so I decided to combine the two into one meal.  Roasting a chicken and making a summery salad might seem a little odd at first.  But it was a little like setting up a blind date for summer and autumn to meet each other (because you just know they’ll get along once they start mingling) and watching them fall in love.  The salad was crunchy and full of fresh, the chicken was tender and filled with flavor.  The cranberry sauce added the “pow” factor and tied it all together.  Love.

Leftover pasta salad on the side!

+ a heep of watermelon!

Afternoon Snack: Homemade Granola Bar

I used my original recipe, but subbed in almond butter for the pb.  I also added some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Definitely one of my favorite batches yet! 😀

Did you know that the recommended amount of egg yolks to eat in one week is 3?

You’ll find a lot of controversy over that statement, as some people feel this amount should be expanded and others think it should be reduced.  I personally feel that eggs do a whole lot more good for our body then bad, but I don’t recommend loading up on them either. 😉  But don’t be afraid to include that yolk now and then, for its high content of healthy vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, selenium and riboflavin!

For some reason, yesterday’s egg over salad left me wanting eggs again.  I went with a “sweet” version this time in the form of cinnamon raisin French toast.  Topped with a creamy, super ripe banana. 

Can’t forget the veggies!  Roasted cauliflower and onions (425 degree oven for 25 minutes, 2 tsp olive oil + paprika) because I was still craving autumn. 😀

Time to finish up on some homework before tomorrow’s Preclinical Training.  I need to look over a case study on Muscle Wasting in Heart Failure.  It seems interesting but tricky!

Happy Hump Day! 😀

Question: Can you eat right before a workout?  Do you stick to something light or can you handle something larger?

a taste of france

Mold scares me.

I was a little more then concerned when I looked into my water bottle, only to see mold growing all over the sides and bottom.  It was a jungle.  An intensely dark, mold-infested jungle.  Thankfully, I’m still alive to tell the tale. 😉  But still.  Mold is scary and shouldn’t be fooled aorund with.  So, in celebration of the fact that I’m still alive (kidding…kind of), I’m sharing with you this warning to please check your water bottle.

Moving on…

Thankfully, there was nothing scary about breakfast.  Just the standard ol’ bowl of “un”overnight oats.  With coconut and a spoonful of almond butter.

These days, I’m enjoying my morning coffee with only a minimal amount of soy for color and froth.  Sweet breakfasts and bitter coffee go so well together.

AM snack: orange and almonds

If you’ve meandered your way around blog land, you have probably seen people eating salads topped with fried eggs.  At first I thought this was a completely odd idea.  I thought to myself, “fried eggs and greens do not belong together.”  And then I read a book on France, and discovered that eating a bed of greens with an egg on top is a pretty common dish after all.  One of France’s traditional dishes, the Salad Lyonnaise, is simply a bed of frisee lettuce, bacon, croutons and a poached egg on top.  I can’t decide if it was the fact that I was absolutely craving eggs today or if it was due to the fact that I have a not-so-secret obsession with France, but suddenly I wanted an egg on my salad.

I did, however, end up straying from tradition, and opted for a fried egg instead of poached. 

Greens, bell peppers, avocado, bottled beets, tomato, garbanzos, and the fried egg (1 whole egg + 1 egg white).  With a final drizzle of EVOO. 

Amazing.  I’ve officially been converted.


Afternoon Snack: yogurt with flax and granola


I literally spent the better part of my day doing homework.  I was researching various therapeutic diets for patients in the hospital setting, only to discover that I was starving by the time that dinner rolled around.  It was super nice having pasta salad in the fridge (made earlier in the morning), just waiting to be served with the roasted broccoli (2 tsp EVOO + sea salt…425 degree oven, 20 minutes, flip half way through).  So, so nice.  It was also nice being able to eat outdoors in 72 degree weather. 

Mmm…life is good.

This is one of my favorite pasta salad recipes because it’s brimming with crunchy veggies, tangy-sweet dressing, and protein-packed beans.  The flavor is right on the mark, it’s quick to throw together, and it makes enough to serve at least 8 people (probably more.)  Great for packed lunches too.

Pasta Salad Plus–Taste of Home’s Light and Tasty

  • 12 oz. whole wheat spiral pasta: cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 can (16oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 can (6oz) pitted ripe olives, drained and sliced


  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  1. Mix pasta with next eight ingredients up to olives. 
  2. In a bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together.  Pour over salad and toss to coat.
  3. ENJOY!!!! 😀


Question: Are you a routine coffee drinker?

going green

Eating outdoors pretty much rocked my morning.  I love summer. 😀


 Into this bowl, went:

  • 1/2 c. raw, uncooked oats
  • 6-oz. yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • small handful of raisins
  • cinnamon & nutmeg

I never would have thought of adding oranges and raisins to my “un”overnight oats.  But since it was the very last fruit in the fruit bowl, I decided to throw it in. 

It was good!!


 Morning Snack: Slice of homemade whole wheat banana bread and a cup of milk


 I pumped out 4 miles of running today.  I felt really good, and that’s partially due to the fact that I took yesterday as an “off” day.  Yes, I still did some yoga.  But I left my running sneakers (and bike) alone.  Rest days are a big part of staying healthy, injury free, and strong, despite being one of the more overlooked components to training!!


There was a packet of this sitting in the back of my pantry…




 I’ve had mixed emotions about Amazing Grass.  Some of their products have left me wanting more, while others have made my mouth feel like a big peice of chalk.  But this one in particular, I kind of liked (although not as much as the original blend, surprisingly.)  If you really want to try them out, I’d recommend you pick up a couple of different flavors and see which one you like.  That being said, I still feel that eating the real food is always your best bet, for both nutrition and flavor.  😉

Into the blender:

  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 2 c. beet greens (from the garden!!)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 packet of Amazing Grass
  • 2 prunes
  • toppings: 1/2 c. raw oatmeal, dollop of almond butter (kind of similair to breakfast, no?)

The prune didn’t blend in with everything else, and I was surprised with two chewy prunes at the bottom. :mrgreen: 

I’d say, if you’re used to eating green smoothies, try beet greens!!  But if you’re a newbie, just wanting to test the waters, spinach is probably still your best bet.  You can taste the beets in this. 😉


 Afternoon Snack: kashi heart to heart, raisins, coconut, milk



I don’t know what came over me.  What is it that possessed me to turn on the oven in the summer?  I’ll tell you what.  It was the thought of a roasted, caramelized tomato soaked in balsamic vinegar.  Brussels sprouts, roasted until golden and crisp.  Mushrooms, all wrinkled, shriveled, and puckered up.

It’s enough to make a girl swoon.

If you think I’m getting a little carried away, you’re probably right.  But I’ve been deprived from roasted vegetables for a while now, and this is the result.  I needed to have my fill.  And that is why I turned the oven on.  In the middle of summer. 

Totally necessary!


 Into a 425 degree oven (this was all split between two people) for 10 minutes:

  • 1 package of brussels sprouts, halved and tough stem removed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Once the 10 minutes was up, I added the following to the same cookie sheet and cooked for 10 more minutes:

  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 c. kidney beans
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

And topped with feta.  Voila.  Dinner was on!

The lettuce got all wilty from the hot vegetables which I loved!!  But if you’re not really into that kind of thing, the roasted veggies taste amazing chilled as well.  Heat up some extra and you’ll have lunch for the next day as well (this is great on top of rice, quinoa, flat wraps, etc.)

Dessert: cherries and strawberries

Off to chillax with a new book: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle last week.  Even though I loved the journey through the book, I was so, so, so disappointed by the ending.  Seriously.  I almost threw the book across the room in frustration.  If you read it, you probably know what I’m talking about. 😉  I’m hoping Vanishing Acts has a slightly better ending to it, but Jodi Picoult definitely knows how to spring surprises on her readers as well.

Question: Have you ever tried adding greens to your smoothie?  What kind?  Did you like it? 

I scream, you scream

There was nothing out of the ordinary about today.  I woke up at 7.  Turned on the coffee maker.  Ate oats in a jar.

Morning Oats in a Jar

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 1 large banana, sliced

Stir, stir, stir.  Pour, pour, pour.  Eat, eat, eat.  YUM!


Get ready for church.  Drive to church.  Come home.

Sunday’s ordinary routine. 

And yet, I felt this surge of excitement as I looked at the calendar and noted that I have two weeks—*two!!!*—until the internship starts.  I felt the need to grab my organizer and plan everything out.  It feels as if a whole new semester of college is starting, only this is even better.  It’s the second to last step of becoming a Registered Dietitian (the other step being the RD exam!)  So.  Incredibly.  Excited. :mrgreen:

Ordinary morning or not, I felt nothing but pure excitement all day long.


There are four cups of basil sitting patiently in my fridge, after I trimmed down my plants the other day.  With plans of making a pesto sauce, I also wanted to make another batch of basil hummus.  And this became the basis of my lunch.

Basil Hummus.  Thick, juicy tomato slices.  Organic greens.  Sweet vidalia onions.

Plus some raw veggie sticks and olives on the side.  Each bite of this sandwich screamed summer(!!)  Oh, basil, how I love thee.


 dessert: plain yogurt with chopped grapes


There are a few events that must take place before summer is truly official.  Visiting Kimball’s Farm Icecream in Jaffrey, NH, is one of them. 

I always order the same thing whenever I go.  Always.  Mint Oreo Cookie

But, today, Nicole was with me.  And Nicole took a leap out of the box and ordered something she rarely ever has.  Pistachio Nut Icecream. 

I followed her lead, said goodbye to the same ol’, same ol’ mint oreo cookie, and ordered the Coconut Almond Chip.

This was good, but the coconut flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I was kind of hoping for.  Bart’s Icecream in Amherst, MA, makes a coconut icecream that makes you feel as if you’re eating the creamy version of straight up coconut meat, so now I find myself comparing all coconut icecream to that particular one. 

I don’t want to sound nit-picky though.  This was still amazingly creamy, smooth—silky!!!—and full of almond chunks.  But next time I’m ordering their banana icecream and bringing along some peanut butter.  Now, wouldn’t that be amazing. :mrgreen:



Dinner was simple and repetitive.  Any lingering creativeness was snatched away, as I spent most of my late afternoon looking over my homework assignments and a power point project that is due by August.  Ah well.  This salad was still delicious, and hit all the right spots. 😉

  • mixed greens
  • carrot
  • black olives
  • salsa
  • cottage cheese
  • last of the basil hummus

+ kashis.  And yes, it is totally okay to have basil hummus twice in one day. 

Question: Do you stick to the same flavor when ordering icecream, or do you like to try something new each time?  Sometimes I find a flavor I like and stick with it because it’s just oh-so-amazing.  But I definitely like to try new flavors, especially when they sound interesting and fun. 😀