building menus

I slept in this morning!  And I loved every delicious minute. :mrgreen:

There are some times when it’s necessary to kick yourself out the door and into your regular workout routine.  And then there are other times—such as today—when the healthiest option is to just rest.

I’ve been playing limbo with a lingering cold this past week.  It’s like my immune system is playing tug-of-war with a stuffy head.  My bets are on my immune system.  It’s just taking a little longer than I would like. 😉  Needless to say, the extra sleep felt good.  Amazing, actually.  Sometimes you just have to listen to your body. 

My bowl of oat bran was exceptionally creamy this morning.  I think it’s due to the ripe banana and chia seeds.  So yummy!

  • 1 c. lowfat milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 T. dried cranberries
  1. Bring milk, banana, and spices to a boil.
  2. Add in oat bran, chia seeds and cranberries.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 6 minutes, whipping every so often.

Creamy.  Creamy.  Oh so creamy!

Today, my internship involved grocery shopping.  And I loved it. :mrgreen:

Yesterday involved a meeting with a mom whose son has celiac disease.  She’s concerned about what he can eat, his own personal self esteem issues related to this new diet, being able to still “fit in” with the other kids, etc.  It was awesome being there to listen in on the conversation between her and the food service director.  I can’t wait until it’s my turn to educate someday. 

At least I had the opportunity to create a brochure and a 2-week cycle menu for the boy with celiac.  I had to keep the school’s budget in mind, as well as making it as easy as possible on the food service workers.  Thankfully, there was a little wiggle room to be able to purchase special gluten-free products, which instantly helped with helping him still “fit in” with the other kids.  This is where the grocery shopping came in. 

I found a gluten-free pizza crust, along with some tortilla wraps for deli sandwiches.  Pastas, gluten free cereals, rice cakes, cheesesticks, sun-butter, and other such foods found their way into the menu too.  Fun!

On my own lunch menu for today: 2 slices Arnold German Dark Wheat Bread, 1/4 c. roasted red pepper hummus, grated carrot and thinly sliced green bell peppers

I always forget about bringing yogurt for snacks! 

Today I packed up some plain yogurt with a chopped orange and a sprinkle of pumpkin flax granola.  This kept me full between an early breakfast and a later lunch. 😀

I also snagged an apple and some chopped carrots, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes for an afternoon snack.

My Food Service Preceptor told me that the Au Bon Pain chicken noodle soup from the school was delicious, and it sounded so perfect for my sore throat.  I grabbed a small dish to accompany my sandwich and it was absolutely perfect.  Not too salty tasting, like some other chicken noodle soups out there, and the carrots still had a nice firm bite to them.

Fun.  Lunch.

The rest of the afternoon zipped by in a flash. 

Menu planning, union meetings, and making brochures left me (a) ready for a walk and (b) ready for dinner.  I ate dinner first and went for a 3-mile walk afterwards.  Both were amazing. 😀

Veggie Pizza Slice #1 (see recipe page)

Veggie Pizza Slice #2

Plus greenage! 

Mesculin greens, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, olives.  Drizzled with EVOO.  I like my salads kept plain and simple these days. 😀

I am now off to unwind a bit before another busy day begins tomorrow.  I have a seminar class with my fellow interns, and I’m excited to see what everyone’s been up to.  😀

Question: How do you treat a sore throat?  Ideas?  My mom is convinced that gargling with salt water is key, but I just can’t do it.  Usually I stick to teas and hot bowls of oats.  It’s a temporary fix, but it still makes me feel better. 😉

cha-cha-chillin’ out

How pretty are these roses from our flower garden??

The kitchen was intoxicated with the sweet, lingering smell of fresh roses this morning.  Mmm…

This morning, I decided to squeak in an early morning run since I had that extra hour before heading to work.

First I had a nice hot bowl of oatbran.  Same ol’, same ol’ as yesterday’s bowl.  The cranberries in the warm, creamy liquid are the star of the show.  They really plump up and add such a nice touch of sweet and tart. 😀

I like to follow these guidelines with cold morning runs:

<30 degrees: Under Armour Tights with shorts + t-shirt + Under Armour long sleeved shirt
<50 degrees: Under Armour Tights with shorts + t-shirt
>50 degrees: Shorts + t-shirt or tank top

For the most part, these simple guidelines work like a charm.  The temperature is already dropping to 42 degrees in the early morning, which means I’ve been running in warmer running tights.  It’s not quite cold enough to switch to wearing long sleeves yet, but we’ll be there before you know it.  I even saw my breath this morning! 

New seasons make me so excited! 😀 

My legs felt really fresh for my morning run.  I took the past few days off from running, sticking only with my regular walking routine.  The rest was was *so* worth it.  Three miles of running felt easy! 😀

Lunch was kept fresh and simple today!

  • mixed greens
  • cucumbers
  • yellow and red garden tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • cheese stick
  • carrot
  • mushrooms
  • olive oil and sea salt

With some kashis, an apple, and a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar for snacks.

I’m sticking to my original thoughts on these “new” larabar flavors.  Fun, yummy, but a little too pricey for my liking.  Although this one might be worth buying now and again.  Soooo sweet and chocolatey. 😀

Afternoon Snack: yogurt + natures path pumpkin flax granola + teddy peanut butter

My throat was feeling a little funky tonight.  Not really sore, not really scratchy, but kind of just…you know…funky.

A hot bowl of split pea soup felt oh so right. 😀

(see recipe page for recipe!)

On the side, I had a melted sharp cheddar cheese quesadilla. 

Simply heat up a frying pan, spray with cooking spray, and toss on a whole wheat tortilla wrap.  Sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/4 c. per person) and fold in half.  Flip and toast to perfection!

+ steamed broccoli and mixed veggies for that little somethin’ extra

I finished the night off with a hunk of 88% dark chocolate. 😀

I. Am. So. Tired. Tonight.

I think I’m running on chronic sleep deprivation, due to early mornings and late nights.  There’s no excuse for going to bed late last night.  Just that I stayed up a little too late watching the end of LOST.  I waited to see the end of the series until I caught up with all the reruns.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but…the ending?!?  Not a fan.

Off to relax for the night and hopefully go to bed early.  Happy Hump Day! 😀

Question: Does your workout routine change at all once the cooler weather rolls around? 

workin’ hard in the kitchen

I woke up at 5:15 this morning. 

No alarms were needed to wake me up.  Just the warm and comforting thought of a hot shower and a hot bowl of oat bran.  Mmm…

Using my basic oatbran method in the recipe page, I also added in some dried cranberries and topped it all off with some lightly salted mixed nuts (ah-mazing!!)

Trail mix meets oat bran.  In one yummy, delicious bowl.  Worth.  Waking.  Up.  For. :mrgreen:

The kitchen of the High School was b-b-b-busy this morning!  I immediately threw on some gloves and got to work.  After pouring out 1/2 c. portions of peaches, I helped make pizza.

It was so much fun stretching out the dough and swirling on the red pizza sauce.  The olive oil and herb mixture that was placed around the crust smelled absolutely heavenly!  I also made some calzones, which was the “special” of the day.  Fun! 

All of this working in the kitchen immediately brought me back to my days of working at an assisted living facility.  It was hard work, and at the end of the day I would always be physically and mentally exhausted.  Completely.  But there is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing people enjoy the food that you worked hard to put together.  Especially when they actually enjoyed it…haha. 😉 

Four hours into working at the high school, and I was oh-so-ready to dig into my lunch bag!

First, a morning snack: an apple and a cheesestick

I like to use up leftovers.  This explains my lunch. :mrgreen:

  • 1 c. cooked brown rice (leftover!)
  • about 1 c. of sauteed summer squash & zucchini (leftover!)
  • about 1/2 c. roasted turnips (leftover!)
  • 1/2 c. kidney beans
  • salsa and parsley

Brown rice is so versatile and makes for an awesome lunch when mixed with veggies and a protein source.  I devoured every last, delicious bite.

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. yogurt + 2 T. Pumpkin Flax Granola + Almond Butter

 Return Of The Tofu Press!!!

Wait.  That’s not tofu.  Oh, you’re right.

That would be frozen, dethawed spinach.  I’ve heard that the tofu press works well with those kinds of things, but I’ve never actually tried it.  Until tonight, that is, while making a spaghetti pie. 

This baby worked like a charm. 😀

Mom and I both had the late afternoon off today, so we both got our hands dirty in the kitchen.  It was fun having a cooking companion. 😀

On the menu: Vegetarian Spaghetti Pie (hint: call it Spaghetti Pie if you have family members who are still wary of eating vegetarian dishes 😉 )

Vegetarian Spaghetti Piecourtesy of Eat Well, Live Well Cookbook…with some tweaking

  • 8-oz. whole wheat spaghetti noodles, uncooked
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and separated
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1-10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook spaghetti in boiling water according to package directions; drain.  Add oil, eggs and 1/4 c. of mozzarella cheese.
  3. Press mixture onto the bottom of a 14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick spray.  Build the edges high to form a crust.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. In a nonstick skillet cook the onion, green pepper and garlic until tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, basil oregano, and salt.  Set aside.
  5. Spread ricotta cheese over top of spaghetti crust.  Layer mozzarella cheese on top.  Layer the spinach on top of this and then the tomato mixture.
  6. Cover the pie with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 2-3 minutes.

Makes about 6 servings.

Meanwhile, while the spaghetti pie was baking, I threw together a larger than life salad.

Complete with yellow & red tomatoes, EVOO, sea salt, black olives, ‘shrooms, carrots, cucumbers and celery.  Fresh, fresh, F-R-E-S-H!!!

About 20 minutes of baking time later, and this came out.

Melty.  Ooey-gooey.  Saucy.  Rich.  Fresh.

Not even being a pasta fan, I am in love with this recipe.  It very closely resembles a vegetarian lasagna, with the red sauce tasting much like a marinara.  So yummy.  I think the overall recipe could use some extra vegetables (mushrooms, summer squash, etc.) to reach perfection, but it’s well on its way.  Feel free to mess with this recipe and make it your own. 😀

I get to go in an hour later tomorrow (8’oclock vs. 7’oclock!), so I have high hopes for a morning run.  I’m not at all looking forward to running in the winter, but I’m absolutely loving my chilly autumn runs. 😀

Question: What was your favorite job that you have ever had?  For me, it was definitely working at a service dog training facility.  Playing with & training golden retriever puppies all day and getting paid for it?  Um…yeah.  It doesn’t get better.

(not) meant to be

Eight hours of sleep and feelin’ good! :mrgreen:

I forgot how deliciously creamy oat bran is, when cooked with chia seeds!!!

  • 1 c. lowfat milk
  • 3/4 c. water
  • seasonings: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla
  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • toppings: FEED apple granola, walnuts, maple syrup
  1. Bring milk, water and seasonings to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in oatbran, apple, and chia seeds.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Once beginning to thicken, add wheat bran and cook for one more minute.
  4. TOP as desired! 😀

Morning Snack: Orange and mixed nuts

A morning headache converted my original plans of a 5-mile run into a 4-mile walk.  I welcomed the change in pace.  Despite taking yesterday off from running, I just wasn’t feeling it today.  A walk felt 10 times more refreshing for this morning’s workout.

That being said, I’m going to need to really do some schedule tweaking for this upcoming week’s workout routine.  I think I foresee many “night runs” in my not-so-distant future. 😉

My morning walk left me hungry, and I was completely ready to eat by noon.

Brown rice.

Roasted Turnips.

Leftover Bruschetta Chicken (from yesterday.)

The Bruschetta Chicken is my new favorite recipe.  I first tried it about a month ago, when Nicole had us over for dinner.  She served it alongside her homemade foccaccia bread, caesar salad and a zucchini stir fry.  Home cooking at its finest.  My Memere would have been proud. 😀

This chicken dish is worthy of being served for company but quick enough to get on the table for any day of the week.  Best of all, it’s kept healthy with a few simple ingredients, including lycopene rich tomatoes.  Lycopene is an antioxidant known mostly for its effect in reducing cancer risks.

I followed the recipe—almost completely—but modified it just a bit by using real egg whites, whole wheat flour/breadcrumbs in place of white, and cutting back just a bit on the salt.  This meal turned out delicious and reheated well for the use of leftovers.  It makes for the perfect autumn meal. 😀

Bruschetta Chickencourtesy of Taste of Home

  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. egg whites
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4-oz. each)
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. dry breadcrumbs (I made my own, toasting whole wheat bread in the oven until dried out and processing with basil & oregano for spices)
  • 1 T. butter, melted
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 T. fresh minced basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in eggs, then in flour; place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.
  2. Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160-165.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Can I just say how excited I am to see turnips in my kitchen again? :mrgreen:

Autumn, how I love you.

Post-lunch sweetness!

Afternoon Snack: cheesestick and whole grain pretzels

I’m telling you, it was not meant for me to go running today.

First, there was this morning’s headache that turned my intentional run into a walk.

And then there was tonight—before dinner—when I decided that a 3-mile run sounded like a good idea.  I was one mile in, feeling strong, and suddenly—out of nowhere—it began to rain.  You guys know me by now.  I love running in the rain.  It was completely lovely.  But then I saw a lightning flash and heard its companion (aka thunder) bark with an incredible fierceness that made my heart skip a beat, my hair stand on end, and my feet feel as numb as an icecube.  I sprinted through puddles and dirt, bolting towards home.  It was probably the quickest 2-miles I’ve done in a long time. :mrgreen:

I love rain.  I’m scared of thunder.  And that’s the truth. 😉

Time for dinner!

  • mixed greens
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/2 c. kidney beans
  • black olives
  • 1/2 c. whipped, 1% cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil

+ kashi crackers.

I love a fresh, crunchy salad for dinner! 

I also love dark chocolate for dessert.

I just bought a new binder and planner today!  I tried getting myself used to the Google Organizer features, but—honestly—I have to write it down with a pen to make it work.  There’s something about holding an actual notebook and crossing my To-Do list out with ink.  It feels so rewarding. 

Tomorrow is going to be an early morning!  My preceptor for Food Service wants me in at 7 o’clock.  Setting the alarm for 5:30 sharp!

Question: How do you keep yourself organized?

I need…

I like to think I’m a low maintenance kind of gal.  You know, someone who appreciates the simple things of life, without too many wants.  Too many needs.

But I still do need a few things.

For example, I need nature.  A peaceful getaway, complete with a lake, lots of woods for trekking, and plenty of spots for sitting.  Thinking.  Breathing.  Living. 

I need family.  I’m blessed enough to have two of the most amazing parents who enjoy many of the same things that I do.  Dad is a regular runner.  An avid hiker.  He loves reading and being out in nature as much as I do.

My mom is my go-to walkin’ partna’. 😉  She’s also my shopping partner and I go to her with all my recent vents, questions, concerns, excitement, and/or cooking questions.

Yes.  I need my family.

(Dad just bought a new pair of Nikon binoculars, and they were put to good use on today’s nature walk 😀 )

I need a good morning yoga session.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Stretch.  The basic routines that keep me feeling flexible.  Strong.  Relaxed.

I need a few good, close friends.  Not a lot.  Not too many.  Just a few. 

I need this.

I need a creative outlet.  Blogging.  Photography.  Writing.  Piano.  Cooking.  I don’t need to be an expert at these things. I simply need to love them. 

I need to hear the water hit the pebbles gently.  Softly.  I need to close my eyes and savor the delicious sounds of nature..  The intoxicating smells and sights.

I need to be with people who constantly encourage me.  People who constantly lift me up and say “yes you can.”  There’s enough negativity in this world to hang around with people who don’t believe in you.  Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I need to experience all four seasons.  Katie asked her readers today, if you could live anywhere, where would you live and why.  My first thought?  California.  Or France.  And then I realized that I love New England for more reasons then one.  But the greatest of reasons is the four brilliant seasons.  What would a warm summer day be without a preceding chilly winter?  And how could I ever enjoy fall the same way, without the beautiful foliage. 

Nature’s Fruit Loops. 😀

I need to constantly remind myself to stop.  Slow down.  Enjoy the day.  It’s way too easy to rush through life.  It’s the journey, not the destination.

I need to exercise.  Get the heart pumping.  Wave at the regular walkers, the regular runners.  Scratch a few dogs behind the ears.  Leap across a field just for the pure joy of it.  Do a few pushups just because I can. 

I need to feel the wind on my face on a cold fall day, bunching my thick warm hoodie closer to my face.  Warmth.

I need to feel loved.  Wanted.  Needed.  Even if that means feeding a stray cat or giving a little boy some extra change because he doesn’t have enough money to buy a bunch of flowers for his mom.  I need those kinds of things.

 I need healthy foods.  They make me feel energetic, focused, and good about myself.  From greens to grains to garbanzos. 

I also need to never feel deprived.  😉

I need my sleep.

I need to always listen to my heart and some good common sense. 

And most of all, I need to just relax.  Life isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.  Seriously!! 😀

Question: What do you need in your every day life?

chilly days

Brrr…take out your boots, hats, gloves.  I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but it was well under 60 degrees when I went out for my morning walk.

(FYI, I refuse to wear winter boots before November…call it my feeble attempt to hold on to that last bit of summer :mrgreen: )

Despite the chilly, breezy, thick-sock-only kind of weather, I bowled up some cold “un”overnight oats (see breakfast page for recipe.)  A frozen banana and some almond butter made this extra creamy.  Extra delicious. 😀

I was pretty excited going into the highschool today (just finished my second week there! time flies!)  The regional registered dietitian was coming in to do an audit on the menus’, making sure that they were all up to the government’s expectations, ensuring that all the meals being served were of good quality, and seeing if my preceptor (the food service director) had any issues, questions, concerns.

The RD was super nice, and I like the way she managed to stick to her nutrition roots and beliefs, while still listening to the food service director.  She understood the business side of things and was open for conversation.  And she was very much for promoting whole, natural foods rather then focusing solely on the nutrition label (i.e., just because something is high in fat, doesn’t necessarily make it a bad choice.)  I really enjoyed talking with her and seeing what her job was all about. 

Twas a good day. 😀

Last night, I doubled up on my salad that I had for dinner, and used it as today’s lunch.  Easy peazy. 

  • mixed red and green leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small tomato
  • black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 avocado
  • olive oil + sea salt

And some kashi crackers + an apple.  I’m working at finishing up these pink ladies before diving into the new bag of local macs.

I also packed…

…drum roll please…

The new Larabar flavor for a morning snack!!  Okay, okay.  Maybe this isn’t *new* new, but it certainly is to me. 😀

The price was a bit steep and the calorie count was a bit high for such a small snack.  I could have easily eaten two of these things and still been hungry. 😉  But the flavor was delicious, and it was studded with rich, chocolate chips.  I’m totally glad I tried it this once, but I don’t know that I would actually buy it again.  Well.  Maybe for a special treat now and then when my wallet allows it. 😉

All together now!

Afternoon Snack: whipped 1% cottage cheese and Natures Path Heritage Flakes

I really like this cereal.  The first ingredient is Kamut Wheat Flour, and there’s organic wheat bran, barley, millet and quinoa following not far after.  It’s nice and crunchy too. 😀

Beans are fabulous in so many dishes.

From salads, to hummus or bean dips, to chilis, to taco fillings.  Anywhere meat belongs, beans can usually follow suit.  And they don’t necessarily need to be a replacement, but they can definitely enhance your meal with flavor and nutrients and fiber. 

One of my favorite ways to use up some nutrient rich beans: Homemade Black Bean Burgers!  Served on a whole wheat bun with some tomato, lettuce and ketchup.

By the way, I love that one can of black beans makes four burgers.  There were three people eating tonight which—of course—means (did you guess??) my lunch is made for tomorrow.  Gotta love it. 😀

A side salad with Newmans Own Balsamic Viniagrette Dressing.

And chilled grapes for an antioxidant rich dessert. 😀

Normally I have Fridays off, but tomorrow I have a seminar to meet up with my fellow dietetic interns and dietetic director.  I have to give a short blurp on whether non-food related rewards work well for long term weight loss.  According to studies and research done, they don’t.  But honestly, I think it depends on the person.  I know for me, personally, a little reward like taking a bubble bath or splurging on a good magazine/book would be a fun reward.  It wouldn’t necessarily aid in the weight loss per say, but it could definitely add to the motivation in keeping me going.  Especially if there are other motivational factors besides.

I don’t know.  What do you think?

focused

Perfect.  There’s really no other way to explain my morning.

I had time for a morning bowl of hot oats (such a luxury these days!)

I had time for a morning 3-mile run.  Which, by the way was probably my favorite run of the past couple months.  I headed out into some hardcore rain, with the sound of distant thunder cracks in the background.  I didn’t surrender. :mrgreen: On the way home, however, the sun peaked out through the clouds, and the sky turned into this gorgeous array of colors.  Orange intermingled with blues and white puffy clouds off to the side.  It was gorgeous.  Stunning! 

Somehow I managed to sneak hot oats and a morning run into my routine, while still waking up at the same time.  I really don’t know if I could do this again if I tried. :mrgreen:

Lunch was quick ‘n’ easy to pack today!

On Monday, I baked an extra sweet potato and threw it in the fridge to be used as a lunch for sometime this week.  Last night, I wanted something easy to throw together, so I slathered on some peanut butter between the potato.  Voila!  Lunch was on! 

Along for the ride: kashi crackers and cheese, pineapple and watermelon fruit cup, and diced red & green bell peppers for some extra veggies and crunch.

Afternoon Snack: plain yogurt with Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and raisins with a drizzle of maple syrup

My focused morning kept me going today.  For real.

Little things that normally would have really got to me, just didn’t phase me in the slightest.  Not even a coffee stain on my shirt or a wet car seat (due to leaving the windows open last night…haha) could bog my good mood.  I felt completely energized and ready.

These morning runs during my “work week” really need to happen more often. 😉

I kept dinner simple, since I was dining solo.  A nice big garden salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, black olives, kidney beans, and olive oil & sea salt.  Twas delicious as ever. 😀

+ an orange spiced bran muffin on the side (LOVE these!)  They’re soft, moist, and filled with a rich citrus zing.  Super easy to bake too.

I am so ready to unwind and relax.  I spent most of my day sitting in front of my computer screen, working hard at finishing the Job Tasks Lists that my Food Service Preceptor would like to have done.  Phew.  It’s time consuming!  But the end is in sight. 😀

Happy HUMPDAY!

Question: Favorite type of muffin?

in the groove

And so it’s back to work I go.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my morning groove. 

30 minutes for breakfast
30 minutes for working out/yoga
15 minutes for showering
15 minutes for getting dressed, throwing on a bit of makeup, and grabbing my coffee to go

Breakfast and working out are not to be messed with.  They do wonders for tuning my day to the right note. 😀   

“Un”overnight oats became my quickie breakfast of choice this morning.  With the nice addition of chia seeds and a scoop of almond butter.  Delicious.

Last night I threw together a random rice, veggie and tempeh concoction for today’s lunch.  It turned out quite yummy, although garlic would have made this stuff shine.  Unfortunetly, chewing gum is not allowed in the food service.  So, well, garlic was thrown out of the picture.  😉

  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1/2 block of tempeh mixed with 2 tsp. lite soy sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • pepper, cumin and cayenne to taste (ADD garlic if you can!! :mrgreen: )

Snacks: apple, orange slices and almonds

I’m close to finishing up the job descriptions.  I never realized how much work goes into doing these things until now.  Especially when the Union is involved.  Everything needs to be clearly marked and job oriented.  Otherwise, people get in trouble and things can get pretty ugly.  😉

On the non-business-related front, I’ve also been taking a peak at the monthly menus for the school.  They stay pretty similair month by month, with the occasional change in fruit options, lunch options, etc.  Apparently, chicken is the big selling point for the school.  Whether found as a breaded chicken patty or chicken nuggets, these things s-e-l-l.  I wonder what it would be like to introduce a completely new meal.  Healthified.  Delicious.  Kid-approved.  What would that take?  I would love to find out. 😀

Afternoon Snack: yogurt with flax, bananas and granola

Have you ever roasted a chickpea?

For dinner, I roasted 1/2 a cauliflower with some diced, fresh beets together at 425 degreesF, for 10 minutes.  I then added some salt, pepper and 1/2 c. chickpeas.  Ten more minutes and voila!  Bursting chickpeas that popped when you bit into them.  They grew tougher.  Meatier.  And I liked them.  A lot.  😀

The rest of my salad was kept pretty standard.  Olive oil with sea salt.  Bell peppers.  Avocado.  And a slice of deliciously chewy, whole grain bread.

Time. To. Relax.

First with a 4-mile walk.  And finished with some journaling and chocolate mint tea.  Mmmm….

Question: What was your favorite (healthy) meal to eat as a kid?  I’m looking for ideas. 😉

Hello, Fall.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, cozy mornings, hot cups of coffee, and warm fuzzy socks.

Hello, hot bowls of oatbran, sprinkled with granola, and topped with melty pb&jam. 

Hello, Fall.

Hello to those long morning walks, in my jeans and a warm, fuzzy hoodie.

Hello, big black lab with your thick winter coat.  Hello, big black lab with your endless energy and enthusiasm—your happiness with life itself.  Hello.

Hello, warm morning sun, with your lingering reminder of a summer past.  Hello, warm morning sun, with your gentle, glowing kiss.  Hello.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, fresh local vegetables.  Hello to your crops of squash, cabbages, pumpkins.  Hello to your deliciously abundant, end-of-the-season zucchini.

Hello, roasted brussels sprouts.  I’ve missed you.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, apple farms.  Hello, homemade cider donuts, “pick your own” apples, and freshly made apple cider.

Hello, hayrides.  Hello to the intoxicating smells of fresh hay, sweet apples and fallen leaves.  Hello.

Hello, Fall.

Hello to walking through petting zoo’s while at the apple farm.  Hello to my not-so-mild obsession with little black goats…

…warm fuzzy noses…

…and squiqqly little tails. 

Hello, Fall.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, afternoon snack, picked right from the tree.  Crisp.  Cold.  Fresh.

Hello, afternoon snacks of the week.  Week(s)??

Hello, Fall.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, Starbucks.  Hello to your warm pumpkin spice lattes.  Hello to your promise of upcoming gingerbread lattes too.

Hello to driving home with the windows down, a chilly breeze against my face, a fuzzy hoodie, and a cup of warmth in my hands.  Hello.

Hello, Fall.

Hello, visions of apple crisps, applesauce, apple pan dowdy, and apple spice muffins. 

Hello to actually wanting to heat up the kitchen again. 😉

Apple Sauce

cored apples (about 10)

sliced apple wedges + a bit of water (less than a cup)

brought to a boil and simmered (for about 10-15 minutes)

brought to a soft, mooshy state

blended and mixed with 2-3 T. brown sugar + cinnamon and nutmeg as desired (blending not necessary if you peel the apples, but I like to leave the fiber and nutrients completely intact 😀 )

and stored (in the fridge, up to one week)

for the full experience, be sure and serve this stuff h-o-t!  And preferrably with homemade bran muffins. 😀

Question: What is one thing that you look forward to in the fall?

So. Not. Normal.

Today wasn’t very normal.

I randomly decided to run 5 miles, even though it wasn’t “in the plan.” 

I woke up at 6, went back to bed for an hour, and leisurely woke myself up with a hot cup of coffee in bed. 

I stayed in my pj’s for most of the morning. 

So.  Not.  Normal.

And then I went for a walk in the rain.  Okay, okay…this is completely normal for me.   And yes!  I wore shoes. 

I felt a little nauseous this afternoon.  No appetite.  No desire for food of any sorts. 

I could only stomach a garbanzo bean + avocado + lettuce wrap for dinner.  And felt stuffed to the brim.

So.  Not.  Normal. 

The rest of the day wasn’t very normal either.  Still not feeling 100% in good health, I drove to the grocery store with ginger ale on my mind and on my list. 

I ended up driving home with a bottle of Mandarin Orange Sparkling water… 

And a dark chocolate bar.  Don’t ask my why dark chocolate sounded so good when I wasn’t feeling well, but I guess this is a good sign that I’m not that sick. 😉

Some normal things about today:

  • I went for a 2-mile, post dinner walk in the rain.
  • I chatted with my sister about our plans for tomorrow.
  • I journaled.
  • I pat a goofy black lab named Molly.
  • I laughed.  A lot.

Now I’m going to relax with a good movie, my sparkling water and a cup of tea. 

So.  Very.  Normal.