enjoying the journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how frightened I was of this morning’s long run.

For starters, I was flying completely solo.  Dad had to go into work (therefore, running his mileage later in the day.)  And as much as I love running by myself, it scared me silly to think that I wouldn’t have our usual conversations to distract me when I needed it the most.  Somehow, talking to myself never feels quite the same. 😉

Secondly, I haven’t run 9.5 miles in over a year.  A year!  And the last time I did, I had some major knee issues.  Speaking of knee issues, my third reason for being scared out of my mind was that my knee has been acting up over this past week.  Needless to say, my inner runner’s confidence was feeling a little shaky.

It was morning.  It was 7:30.  It was now or never.  (Never was never an option.)  I grabbed my water, a clif shot (which I had picked up for free from last week’s 5k,) and began my fearful trot.

Mile one and two were the toughest.  But from that point on, I sort of just melded into this lovely groove.  “Settle down, Sarah.  You’re fine.  Relax.  One step at a time.  Enjoy this run.”

(See?  I do talk to myself. )

Once my mind quieted down, I found myself quite enjoying the sounds of crunchy sand beneath my feet.  I enjoyed the sounds of morning doves cooing to each other.  I enjoyed the smells of muffins and coffee whirling up to my nose as I passed by the local bakery.  I even enjoyed the raspberry clif shot and being scared half to death by one quite large, almost unrealistically over-sized goat.

Running wise, I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.  Probably going back to my pre-injury days!  It was such a delicious feeling. 😀

As always, I immediately refueled (and rehydrated!) myself post-run.

Sweet and Salty Garden Salad
Serve with homemade bread ‘n’ butter, crackers with cheese, or whatever suits your fancy.

  • Mesculin Greens
  • Cucumber and tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Snap peas
  • Green bell pepper
  • Raisins
  • dressing: sprinkle of sea salt, olive oil and a drizzle of honey

There was a little more refueling later on after dad completed his 9.5 miles.  We both found ourselves in the mood for something cold, creamy and delicious.  The choice was Ben & Jerry’s.  Obviously.

Chunky Monkey = my favorite

Time to relax and unwind with a good book.  It’s been forever since I read last, and tonight it just feels like the right thing to do.  Hope you’re all having a happy Saturday! 😀

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY

QUESTION: Favorite ice-cream flavor?

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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.

Lunch

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

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. 😀

Vacation: Day 2

Good Morning!!!

I woke up bright and early this morning after a solid 8 hours of sleep.  Slept so good!

Breakfast

Just some plain ol’ oats (1/2 c.) mixed with about a cup’s worth of plain yogurt, topped with cinnamon & nutmeg, and then finished off with a dollop of peanut butter. 

 

And then we all decided to relax with some reading.  My dad and I have ambitions to start a book club at some point, but we always seem to be reading different books at the same time…haha.  Dad is currently reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo…

 

 And I’m reading my way through The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. 

So far?  Lovin’ it!  More reviews as I get further through the book.

 Deckside Reading.

 Morning Snack: Nectarine and a handful of mixed nuts

 

We took a brisk walk to stretch out the soreness and kinks after yesterday’s hike and then headed out for a drive along the Kangamangus Highway. 

You’re probably thinking…highway?  Boring.  Right? 

This highway, however, isn’t ordinary.  It holds spectacular views of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, and there are a ton of vistas and trails to stop at and enjoy the awesome scenery.  So gorgeous! 

 

My lunch was a hodgepodge of all things delicious.

Basic (but delicious) salad.  Sliced green olives.  Walnuts.  Craisins.  Pesto Baguette from a local cafe.  Jarlsberg cheese.  And some more refried beans for protien and fun. :mrgreen:

 

Dessert!!!!

 

 I heart picnic lunches. :mrgreen:

Time to stretch the legs out again!!

We went for a laid back “nature style” walk at Sabbaday Falls.  It felt delicious to  S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

 

I felt as if I had instantly entered a rainforest at the top.  So pretty!

 

 

 This afternoon demanded coffee.  Mostly for a refreshing, cool treat.  But also for the caffeine boost.

We meandered over to a local cafe, and I ordered a medium iced soy au lait.  It was just okay.  Nothing special or wonderful, and it needed some serious doctoring.  I ended up throwing in some cocoa powder and a few sprigs of mint (offered by the cafe, which I loved.) 

Icy.  Cold.  Sweetness.  Perfect for a sunny afternoon treat.

 

 

Looking like the locals. 😀

 

 New Hampshire is full of rivers and swimming pools…

  

 …and places for soaking your feet.

 

 

 

Afternoon Snack: 1/2 a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Granola Bar

 

 Dinner

I always look forward to dinner on vacation.  It’s relaxed.  It’s laid back.  It’s delicious.

Tonight’s menu was simple but tasty.  Whole wheat pasta with mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce and some extra sauteed peppers & onions thrown in.

 

 Twirl, twirl, twirl.

 Dessert!!!

It didn’t end there.  Nicole and Nate rolled in the driveway to spend two nights in New Hampshire with us, and we’re all digging into some Edy’s Sandwich Icecream.  Life is good.  End of story.

G’night!

Question: What are you currently reading?  OR, what is your favorite book?  Favorite book: To Kill A Mockingbird

Sunny Sunday

I always plan for Sunday mornings to be hectic, crazy, and “oh my goodness, where did I put my other shoe?” kind of busy.  Which is why I usually plan my breakfast ahead of time.  At least one thing has to remain calm.  Cool.  Collected.  It may as well be breakfast. 😉

The Chocolate Lover’s Breakfast Cookie

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 1 T. Teddy Peanut Butter
  • 2 T. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 banana, mashed (saving 1/4 for the top)

Mash, mash, mash everything together.  Don’t hold back.  The more you mash, the better it will taste.  Add in a splash of milk (or soymilk) if it’s too dry and needs the extra liquid.  Then mash some more.  Spread out on a plate and chill in the fridge overnight. 

This is best served with a cold glass of milk.  😀

So yes.  Going back to my busy Sunday morning.  I found my shoe and made it to church in one piece.  Success. 😉

Lunch

Last week, I experienced tofu in a whole new light.  I’ve always enjoyed tempeh (a fermented, cake form of tofu which has a firm, nutty texture.)  But tofu?  After one horrible, tasteless, spongy experience, I quickly turned up my nose and called it quits.  It wasn’t meant to be.  But then I tasted it after my Dad had cooked it on the grill.  *Gasp*  It was head over heels kind of love, my friends. 

I do believe that part of the secret to its firm, chewy bite and crusty exterior is in the freezing method.  I first drain the tofu, press it until most of the liquid is excreted and then pop the block (which is now cut into 4 pieces) into the freezer.  Once it dethaws for use, I press it again which leaves it much drier then before the freezing.  The dryness is what allows it to seep up all that delicious flavor from a marinade (in this case, a peanut sauce.)  Trust me on this one.  It really works.

Needless to say, lunch was Ah-mazing.  Kudos to Dad.  There was sauteed green beans and a slice of wholegrain boule with butter on the side.  Eaten at Peperes, out on the deck, while listening to stories of his childhood in Canada.  Perfect.  Everything was perfect.

Afternoon Snack!

I live the perfect distance from an icecream barn.  Close enough that I can walk there when the mood strikes, but not too close that I take advantage of it too often. 😉

We were all in the mood for an afternoon sweet today and went out for a 4-mile, round-trip stroll.  I was determined to try something new.  Break the mold!  And so I did.  Instead of ordering the usual (i.e., Oatmeal Cookie, which is is as good as it sounds) I opted for the Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Delight.  Which was also as good as it sounds.  There were chunks of peanut butter and swirls of deep, rich caramel.  I’m still more a fan of the Oatmeal Cookie flavor, but this one ranks high on the list too. 😉

Dinner

Sunday nights are “fend for yourself” nights when we all basically scurry through the kitchen and find whatever we’re in the mood for.  But tonight was a bit different.  Our brains were all in sync and we came up with a quick and delicious taco salad creation.  Basic salad mix topped with 1/3 a can of Vegetarian Refried Beans (slightly heated), feta cheese, onions, scoop of spicy salsa, and a dollop of Voskos Organic Greek Yogurt (which, by the way, tastes very similair to sour cream.)

+ kashis for crushing on top (or you could use tortilla chips if you prefer!)

It was a delicious way to end a warm, sunny Sunday. 😀

Question: What was the highlight of your Sunday?  For me, it was simply sitting out on my Pepere’s deck and talking about Canada, moose and gardening. 😀

Nicole’s Birthday Bash

Nicole’s 27th Birthday Bash was an absolute blast.  The entire day was full of shopping, family, friends, food, fun…

…and hot pink sunglasses.

…and skinny jeans.  Nicole was absolutely rocking these white skinnies!! 

I realize that three photos is an awfully brief way to sum up an entire day’s worth of shopping.  But just trust me that we did indeed shop till we almost dropped.  Nothing less would have sufficed.

We left the mall carrying bags full of great deals.  I practically bought a whole new wardrobe at H&M alone, and all the shirts were $20 and under.  Very happy indeed.

This photo, by the way, is an example of the “slightly dropping phase”…in case you were ever wondering. 😉

Following the shopping spree, everyone headed over to Nicole and Nate’s place for dinner.

I’m convinced that Nicole is the up and coming Martha Stewart.

Case in point:

While waiting for the food to cook (Nicole was serving grilled turkey burgers, her famous potato salad, green side salad, onion rings, and more), the men chatted…

…the pretzels sunbathed…

…and I ate my fill of these baked onion rings.  I am forever addicted. 

There were many gifts to be opened, and at the very end, Nate came out carrying a new bike.  Nicole was pretty shocked and excited.  And so was I.  This now means that I have a future biking partner.  :mrgreen:

The night ended on a very sweet note.  Nicole has a yearly tradition of serving “make-your-own icecream sundaes”.  I look forward to this every year. 😀

In keeping with the birthday’s theme, there were many fun, tropical-inspired toppings.  Crushed sugar cones, coconut shavings, coconut M&M’s!!! (even better than it sounds!!!), whipped cream, crushed pineapple, crushed strawberries, and cherries.

I think one of the best parts about making a personal sundae (aside from the fact that it’s way more social this way,) is that you can add on as many cherries as you want.  I always plop on at least two, just because I can. 😉 

The entire day was a blast—Happy 27th Birthday, Nicole! 😀

Happy Weekend!

Question: What is your dessert of choice on your birthday?  Do you usually opt for cake or do you take a different route?

Weekend Highlights

Nicole and I had big plans for today, so I knew I had better start with a filling and satisfying morning meal after my brisk 2-mile walk.

I filled my mostly used peanut butter jar with a mixture of overnight oats.  I have to say, this isn’t quite the same experience as eating hot oats in a jar, but it does have a charm of its own.  I kind of like it.  A lot, actually.

Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty details…

  • 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1-1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • about 1/4 c. of soymilk
  • mix above ingredients and stir in 6 oz. plain yogurt the next morning

I found every little last bit of peanut butter in this jar, and let nothing go to waste.  Not one little lick or spoonful.  Nothing.  Oh the joy of oats in a jar! :mrgreen:

Once I was well fueled and ready for a day of exploring and fun, Nicole (aka, Loving Simple Moments) and I set out on an old, windy dirt road to pick up some farm fresh eggs (which, by the way, happen to come from organic, free range, vegetarian fed walking hens…it feels good to purchase local eggs!) 

Then we were off to Trader Joe’s!!

This was Nicole’s very first time meandering her way around Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  An event that should be remembered and enjoyed to the very fullest.  :mrgreen:

Oh how I love Trader Joe’s and their creative glass displays!

I also love their food samples!  Beef hotdogs anyone?

I’m not even a hotdog person, but these were actually pretty tasty.  I especially liked the trader joe’s ketchup on top—it was similair to heinz. 

With bags full of grocery items (gotta stock up on the wholewheat sourdough bread, folks!), Nicole and I headed off to eat lunch at Panera.

Nicole ordered the You-Pick-Two option with half a turkey asiago sandwich and half a caesar salad.  She let me steal one of her croutons which was amazing.  I can’t wait to try making homemade croutons at some point in the near future…they seem like they’d be simple to make (I think?)  And I’ll bet the TJ’s sourdough bread would be perfect for this. 😀

I ordered the new menu addition, which was the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad.  It was filled—absolutely filled—with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pinepaple, pecans and chicken.  It was light, refreshing and exactly what I was in the mood for.  I also ordered a whole grain baguette slice on the side which was perfect for dipping and dunking.  Loved this lunch! 😀

Then we were off to Whole Foods, where—of course—there were more free samples!

We both loved this zingy lemonade. 😀

I found so many goodies at Whole Foods, including canned pumpkin for under a dollar, cheap cereals, big bags of coffee beans and lots of canned black & garbanzo beans.  It feels good to have a restock of all those oh-so-necessary items. 😉

However, I’ve got to say, the highlight of the entire day was stopping in at one of the nearby icecream spots.  Bart’s Homemade Icecream has some of the most grand flavors imagineable, and this was my first time stopping here.  It most certainly won’t be the last though.  Nicole and I both agreed that it was worth coming out just for this stop.  Oh my word.

We each ordered one scoop of the Snickers on a sugar cone, and then we ordered one more flavor scoop to top it off.  Nicole ordered the “Three Geeks and A Redhead” (yes, I’m being serious) which was a combo of raspberry swirls, chocolate chunks and—get this—coconut icecream!  Yes, my friends, it was as blissful as it sounds.  I went with another scoop of the straight out coconut sorbet which was also as good as it sounds.  Full of creamy coconut flavor and actual coconut chunks.  It was delightful in every sense of the word. 😀

Two thumbs up…we’ll be back, Bart’s!!! :mrgreen:

Question: What was the Highlight of your day so far? 

Sunday Highlights…:)

Recapturing the Sunday Highlights…

Don’t you just love lazy Sundays with no plans to do, or places to go?  I was more then happy to relax before my very busy day tomorrow.  I’ll be up by 6 o’clock sharp, and off to volunteer in the kitchen at the hospital.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be there for, so I plan on packing a lunch to bring, along with eating a nice and hearty breakfast. 😀 

On to the Sunday highlights…

The Hug Mug…

…delicious and cozy as ever! 😀  It was 60 degrees out, and even though I normally go for the iced coffees, this one just seemed so perfect.  It was made with 1 c. hot coffee and 1/2 c. soymilk.  So perfectly creamy. 😀

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Grilled Chicken Sausages…

…with sauteed peppers and onions with lots of ketchup and whole wheat rolls.  Mmm…this is one of my favorite summer-time treats. 😀

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Picking Flowers…

…this picture makes me smile… 😀

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…and this one too…:D

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Being Outside After a Heavy Rainfall…

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Going out with Dad to help pick out his Father’s Day Gift…

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…which is going to get some great use this summer. 😉

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Hodge-Podge Dinners…

…complete with yogurt & flax with a bowl of puffins for crunch, carrots & dill hummus, and pineapple & grapefruit segments.  I love sampling. 😀

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There was also a trip to the icecream barn, complete with sprinkles on grasshopper icecream, two separate 3-mile walks–one in the rain, one in the sun :D, and watching an old movie at night.  Such a nice, relaxin’ day.  I feel refreshed and ready for a busy week ahead of me.  Hope you all had a really enjoyable weekend as well! 😀

Weekend with the Sister…:)

Spending the weekend at my sister’s place is a lot like being on a mini vacation. 🙂 

Last night we went to Olive Garden, where I ordered the chicken parmigiana with whole wheat pasta, along with salad and breadsticks.  That was after spending almost 1/2 an hour in the frozen isle of the grocery store, trying to figure out what we wanted to eat for dinner.  😀  We have this problem where both of us our incredibly indecisive.  Both of us tell the other to decide and that “anything sounds good.”  Somehow we ended up spending all that time discussing dinner and left the store with only a movie and a bunch of bananas. 😀

Considering I had a heavy meal last night, I was expecting to wake up wanting yogurt and fruit or a smoothie…but, nope, oatmeal is what sounded the most appealing.  I was super hungry and us girls had a long day of shopping ahead.  I was happy to find a big container of oats in Nicole’s pantry, and she was nice enough to let me use some other ingredients to make a filling bowl of goodness:

  • 3/4 c. oats
  • 1 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 apple
  • splash of vanilla
  • lots of cinnamon
  • glob of teddy pb on top! 😀

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I made it on top of her adorable stove.  I think it’s the cutest little thing…love it. 😀

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On the way to the mall, Nicole and I sipped on these smoothies.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 T. pb
  • 1 c. milk
  • lots of ice

It’s like a reeses peanut butter cup in smoothie form. 😉

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Nicole and I were in shopping heaven at the mall.  Neither of us bought much (although there were some super good deals that were very tempting.)  And I think it was this chandelier in the bathroom that made me the most awe-struck. haha…this was what we both decided to call the “ritzy side of the mall.”  There was even a sweater in one store for $1,050!!  That was definite fun window shopping only!

I did find a cute pair of shorts for $11 though… I was pretty happy. 😀

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And of course, FREE ICECREAM DAY AT FRIENDLYS did not go by unnoticed.  Nicole and I hit it up at around 12’oclock.  Watermelon Sherbet was exactly what I was in the mood for.  Mmmm…

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Nicole and I arrived back at her place around 2’ish and decided to pick up subways on the way, and ate it at home.  Subways has some healthy options and is a nice choice when you’re out on the road (and it tastes way better then mcdonalds or burger king!…not to mention leaving you more full and content with more nutrition.)

I ordered a grilled chicken breast sandwich on honey oat bread with all the veggie toppings (minus the jalapenos) and mustard. 

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Then I waved goodbye to Nicole, and headed home.  I’m already looking forward to the next time I can sleep over at her apartment.  I had so much fun and it was so nice to have some girly time with my best friend and sis.  Can’t wait to see you again soon, Nicole! 😀

I knew I immediately wanted to go for a short run when I came home.  It was georgeous outside, and dinner was planned to be later tonight.  So I had a small little snack of puffins and soymilk before going.  The perfect amount of energy and crunch!

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The 2-mile run felt sore but in a good way.  I ran further yesterday then I have in a while, so I wanted today to be just enough to stretch out and loosen up.  And that’s exactly what it turned out to be.  Followed by some light stretching, I felt nice and energetic afterwards. 😀

Dinner was delish…

We bought a chicken from a local farm where they’re raised free range (literally ‘free range,’ as in you can see them roaming in a grassy field.)  I followed weber’s beer can chicken recipe to grill it (which was my dad’s job to keep an eye on…I’m not a grill cook, that’s for sure!)  We also grilled the corn. 

And I had a huge salad with just orange juice for a subtle flavoring, along with a few olives, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions.  Everything hit the spot perfectly.  I was craving veggies so it was nice to have a big plate full of ’em. 🙂

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The best parts of the corn are the charcoaled spots. 😀 

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Later tonight I was having a craving for more veggies.  So I made a mini version of the Green Monster. 

  • 2 c. kale
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 c. soymilk

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Tomorrow being Sunday, I usually plan on having a relaxing day off from everything.  But not this time!  I’m afraid my to-do list is getting slightly carried away and I really need to buckle down with it.  Once I’m done, I know I’ll feel sooo much better!

Hope you’re all enjoyin’ the weekend! 😀

Exercise: short little walk with Nicole this morning (+ lots of walking around the mall!), 2-mile run before supper (nice and easy!) and a 4-mile after-dinner walk with mom.

Now it’s time to relax a little before going to bed.  Hopefully I can get an early start tomorrow! 😀

Saturday Favorites

One of my favorite things about summer is taking a long walk to the ice cream barn.  Today was a beautiful blend of 72 degree weather, with the sun shining, and a cool breeze.  Perfect for that 4-mile walk to get some ice cream. 😀

This was a fun treat.  I ordered a small sugar cone with one scoop of cake batter and one scoop of candy bar overload.  Both were delicious.  The cake batter had big hunks of cake batter and was filled with blue frosting swirls.  The candy bar overload was made up of caramel icecream with caramel swirls and big chunks of chocolate covered nuts.  Mmm…

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Another highlight of the weekend was the homemade pizza that was made with this cheese:

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I had originally spotted it on Cristin’s blog (Eat Like Me) and then saw it again at Whole Foods.  I just couldn’t resist. 😀

I used about 3/4 the package to make two of these pizzas…the leftover cheese will be great on top of salads or pasta salads.

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Multipy this plate x 2.  I really loved this mozzarella cheese.  It tasted so fresh and not salty at all like you would expect in the packaged/shredded varieties.  Loved it!!

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And one of my favorite parts about the cheese was the way it sort of just melted into the pizza.  It looked like a giant marshmallow on my slice. 😀 

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And another favorite food enjoyment of the weekend was lots of this stuff…

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Tonight I went with Nicole and Nate to the movies to see UP.  I swear, I almost cried in several spots.  It was cute, but kind of sad too. 😦  Or maybe I was just in an emotional mood, which is totally possible. ha…has anyone else seen it?

Any fun plans for the weekend??? 😀  Hope you’re all enjoying it!

Exercise: 2-mile morning run + 4-mile walk to the icecream barn.  I really enjoyed spending some time outdoors in the sunshine.  Tomorrow is supposed to rain, but I can deal because the following week is supposed to be just as beautiful as today was.  😀

A Day With Dad

Nicole and I were up early after our slumber party last night.  I woke up feeling really groggy, as if I could sleep at least several more hours.  I think I was mildly dehydrated and the first thing I did after getting up (well..besides first playing hide n seek with High St. and Stitch) was guzzle a tall glass of water. 

Then Nicole and I had some Kashi Honey Oat waffles.  This is by far my favorite flavor.  And I was so excited that despite Nate being allergic to nuts, they still have peanut butter in the house!  I’m such an addict, I can’t imagine a day without it. haha…

I topped mine with two big globfuls of the pb and a bunch of strawberries and banana.  Mmm…

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…and I also added some yogurt.  Another necessary food item I can barely go a day without.  Greek or not, I love ’em all. 😉

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I ended up not going to church today and had Nicole drive me home instead.  I felt super tired and just wanted to relax at home for an hour or so.  My parents were at church, Matthew was working; it was just me at home taking in the quietness of the early morning.  Sometimes it’s a much needed experience. 😀

I was happy to see some chilled coffee in the fridge too.  Perfect with 1/2 c. soy as usual, along with what was originally a huge bowl of watermelon.  🙂

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Oatmeal for lunch?  Sure, why not?  I was absolutey craving my regular bowl of oats that I didn’t have this morning.  So I made the usual apple ‘n’ oats that I’ve been making for the past several mornings.  Delicious as always.  And super filling.  I don’t know what it is about this mix, but it keeps me full longer then any other food can.  Maybe it’s that extra bit of oats I’ve been adding? 

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Aside from the taste and ‘filling power’ that oatmeal gives me, I also get a whole lot of energy too.  Which was great for this afternoon. 

Dad and I decided to take a bike ride to an icecream barn that’s 7.8 very hilly miles round trip.  It was absolutely georgeous outside, and the views were beautiful.  There’s this one opening during a flat spot that makes me feel as if I’m biking through Canada.  The first bike-ride of the season, and I’m excited for many more…:D

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The ice cream was great too.  I love “working” for my food in the form of walking or biking to get it.  The icecream here was great too. I  ordered a small on a sugar cone and was happy to find that I could choose two different flavors (it doesn’t take much to excite me…:D )  On top I had grasshopper which was like a mint cookies n’ cream.  I always choose something minty when I go out since we never have it at home.  It’s not  flavor we can all agree upon, but I absolutely love it.  However, that wasn’t the best flavor.  The bottom scoop won the flavor contest because what can beat oatmeal raisin???  It was so good, with big chunks of juicy raisins and oatmeal cookies.  I loved how chewy and sweet ‘n’ cinnamony it was.  Mmm…

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My dad and I took a break at this opening to guzzle a bit of water.

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And then I noticed there was an old wagon in the back and felt as if I had instantly shown up in Virgina.  😀 

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Supper was terrific tonight.  Dad and I hadn’t really planned anything in particular, but kind of just had a conversation like…
“what are you in the mood for?” 
“Hmm..I don’t know.” 
“Well, this corn looks good.” 
“Mmm…yeah, it does.  Ohhh…look they have sirloin steak.”
“Ohh…let’s get some.”

And when we came home we just sort of through spices together and it all came together to give us a meal we’ll be talking about for days. haha…

Backing up, the farm down the street is now selling their own pork, chicken, beef, etc.  Imagine my excitement…I’ve begun reading Omnivore’s Dilemna but even before that, I’ve been super concerned with where I’m getting it from.  Here, the chickens are literally free roaming on the top of a grassy hill overlooking a pond.  The pigs are happily eating in a shaded corner of the farm with a little red barn that they’re free to enter and leave as they please.  This is exactly how God intended animals to live.  And I love that I’m supporting a local farm as well. 

So, anyways, the meal was put together in a flash.  I prepped the potatoes first by first spraying some doubled up foil with nonstick spray.  Then I diced some potatoes, threw them on and topped it with:

  • T. EVOO
  • garlic powder
  • cajun powder
  • salt & pepper

They came out tasting absolutely delicious and crispy from the grill.  We cooked them for about 15 minutes, give or take a few.

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And the corn was pre-soaked, then placed directly on the grill for a nice and smoky flavor.  I loved it this way!

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The Grill Master himself…:D

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Look at those grill marks…mmm…

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All together, along with some sauteed peppers and vidalia onions as well.

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Now I’m relaxing, watching Yes Man, and hoping that you’re enjoying the weekend too! 😀

Have a happy Memorial Day tomorrow!