the smile list, part II

5 Things That Made Me Smile Today

1. Coming home to a completely empty house after a super busy day.

For an internship requirement, we (my fellow interns and I) volunteered at some local elderly feeding sites.  Our main job was to do some light education on sodium and fiber.  It was a little challenging, since there was a definite language barrier.  Just one more reason why I need to learn Spanish!  But the people were adorable and very willing to listen.  One woman was shocked to learn that potatoes and beans were good sources of fiber.  I had so much FUN talking with the people!

By the end, however, I was pretty much zonked out.  So I made a super simple salad complete with avocado, beans (FIBER! 😀 ) and sunflower seeds, with a whole wheat onion bagel on the side.  I finished it all off with a bubble bath and some yoga.

D-e-l-i-g-h-t-f-u-l.

2. Buying tickets for an upcoming Josh Groban concert.  The price was a little ridiculous, but for Josh Groban, I will gladly tighten the wallet in other areas.  Yes.  I will even give up my bi-weekly almond butters…ha!

3. Starting my day with a brisk morning walk.

Waking up with the sun.  A fresh new morning.  Feeling 100% energized.

4. Dessert.

There are times when I want fancy creme brulee and creamy cheesecakes.  And then there are times when I want a tried and true, nothing fancy, regular ol’ piece of candy.  Reeses are my favorite!

5. Realizing that it is Friday and I have a busy weekend filled to the brim with fun things.

  • 8-mile run tomorrow morning.
  • Ice skating and a church buffet tomorrow afternoon.
  • Volunteering at a 5k, Sunday morning.
  • Hanging with my bestie—aka, Nicole—Sunday afternoon.

What is your favorite candy/dessert?

AND

What made YOU smile today?

The Smile List, Part I.

a typical day.

If you have the chance, check out my guest post at Ashlei’s blog (aka, the Vegster.)  Ashlei was nice enough to ask me to write a guest post on anything that I wanted, so I decided to put up together little ‘photography post.’ 😀

Good Morning! 😀

Tea and oats were eaten in standard form this morning, while sitting in front of  the Christmas tree.  I had exactly 15 minutes to eat, but it still felt incredibly enjoyable with the dazzling drama and glitz of a few colorful lightbulbs. 😀

But I still think it would have been useful to have just a bit more than 15 minutes to clear away any early morning brain-fog.

Look how I almost walked out the door!!

Not that I didn’t mind spending more time in a warm pair of Uggs and striped fleece pants, but…

…phew.  That was a close one. 😉

I managed to get myself out the door in one piece—and wearing a work-appropriate outfit—with a fun, smart lunch packed away in my backpack.

Homemade Baked Beans!

And a raw kale salad!

  • a couple handfuls of raw kale, shredded with hands
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a few splashes of fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Snacks included a red orange…

…honey roasted peanuts…

…and an apple, crackers and a cheesestick.

Plenty of snacks.  I’m finding this works best with my internship schedule, since I never quite know when I’ll have the chance for a “quick” bite.  Normally, I can’t go longer than 3 hrs without feeling tired and/or hungry, so having a little something to eat on hand is an absolute must.

Packed last night. 

Ready to-go this morning. 

Munched on throughout the day.

The 9 hrs. at work f-l-e-w by today!

This week’s internship rotation is going to be at a Long Term Care facility.  Today I visited a local nursing home, and I really, really liked it.  I grew up volunteering in nursing homes and working as a food service worker in an assisted living facility as a high school student, so I tend to feel at home in places like this.  And I love talking with the patients.  Their life stories are so fascinating!  Where else would you hear about living in Holland?  Or being born on a ship while having a father in the navy? 

I love it.

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Dinner; kept simple!

I’m on such a scrambled egg kick lately.  Usually I’ll opt for a veggie-styled omelet, but tonight I wanted straight up—pure and simple—fluffy eggs.  Nothing but a touch of salt and a splash of soymilk.

Crisp veggies were saved for the side, with a dollop of artichoke hummus.

And then I blasted the radio, flicked on the Christmas lights and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d my way through tree poses, downward dogs and plenty of planks.  A delicious end to a typical day. 😀

Time to catch the final show of the Biggest Loser!!

Question:  What is the most enjoyable way that you stay active?  I change my opinion all the time.  Obviously, my true love is running.  But I also love a good long walk or a deep, energizing yoga session.  These days, I’m even enjoying strength training, which is competely new for me! 😀

roasting: making life easy

In case you didn’t know, it is perfectly okay to have breakfast for dinner.

In fact, it is more than okay.  I highly recommend it.  Especially when we’re talking fried eggs.  Whole wheat english muffins.  And loads of roasted broccoli (because this is way more appealing after 5pm than it is before 5am.)

I have been roasting so many veggies around here.  You’d think I was feeding a family of 5.  Which I’m not.  But I am feeding a family of 3 (that eats like a family of 5 when it comes to produce.)  And so, I’ve been mass-roasting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, etc., and throwing them into big containers.  They’re quickly used up on everything from salads, to omelets, to an everyday wrapped sandwiches.

Honestly, I sometimes have a hard time convincing myself to take the time to cut up and roast a vegetable, especially during a busy week.  Laziness is what it is.  Sometimes I just have to give myself that push and make it happen.  Because it’s awesome to have a fridge filled to the brim with pre-cooked veggies at my convenience.  Well worth the effort.

Roasted Broccoli

  • 1-2 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine broccoli, olive oil and garlic powder in a large bowl.  Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook in oven for 10 minutes.  Stir and place back in oven for another 10 minutes or until browned.  Serve immediately or place in a bowl to be used for the upcoming, busy week.  ENJOY! 😀

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On Sunday, I went to the American Dietetic Association’s Food Conference in Boston.  It was, in one word, awesome.  And not just because of all the free food that I ended up with…

Yes, I am a food hoarder.  😉

There were hundreds of food distributors talking about their products, as they handed out sample after sample.  Awesome.

But anyways, I didn’t exactly go there for the food (although this was a definite perk! :mrgreen: )  I went there to learn.  To meet practicing RD’s.  To hear some of the most recent research that dietitians are involved with.  I felt slightly overwhelmed with excitement, and found myself wishing that I had gone for the full, 3-day weekend.

I’ll be doing that next year.  In California.  I’m already dancing in excitement. 😀

Question: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate veggies into your daily diet? 

how convenient

Sometimes I exhibit split personalities.  Especially in the kitchen.

For example, sometimes I really love cooking over a hot stove for several hours.  Wearing my apron as if it’s an accessory item.  Waving my spoon around while chanting “Bon Appetit” in my best Julia Childs imitation. 

And then there’s the other side of me that wants convenience.  This mostly takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, when I’m doing my internship in the school system.  I don’t want to spend longer than 15 minutes preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Quick!  Snap, Snap.  No time to be wasted. 

Breakfast: 1 serving of creamy banana oatmeal + 1 almost but not quite empty peanut jar + 15 minutes of preparation = perfect.

Lunch could not have been easier in the convenience department either.

As soon as I finished making the lentil tacos last night, I popped some directly into the freezer and dished the rest into a tupperware container for today.  Eazy Peazy.

When served along with a whole wheat wrap, an apple, and some carrot sticks, this meal was complete. 

Convenience.  Nutrition.  Taste.  It’s nice when they decide to get along.

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin + Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

I’ll bet when you think “fish,” convenience doesn’t always come to mind.  And I’ll bet that some of you won’t believe me when I tell you that my dinner was served in under 15 minutes.

But it’s true.  From grill to salad, salmon makes a quick and easy dinner for a busy weeknight meal.  Sometimes I’ll go all crazy with the marinades, but honestly, I like to keep things as simple as possible with the wild caught salmon.  The flavor is so sweet and fresh; salt and pepper is all it really needs.

I threw some black beans, tomatoes, and good olive oil on top, along with some kashis on the side for crunch.

Moral of the story: convenience isn’t always such a bad thing for your tastebuds or for your health. 😉

Question: What are some lunch items that you’ve found to be most convenient, still nutritious, and TASTY?