breakfast in a hurry

Sometimes I like to spend hours in the kitchen. 

Throwing together homemade samosas and carrot soup, all on a whim.  Just because I can.

And then there are times when I need short-cuts.

Let’s take steel cut oats as an example.

Steel cut oats take a good 30-40 minutes of your attention.  This is fine for lazy weekends, but not so much for a busy week day.  What’s a busy girl to do?

Well, duh.  There are rolled oats for people like us.

But, really, sometimes you want steel cut oats.  They impart a deliciously nutty bite, and may even keep you full longer since the digestion time is increased.  I like to think of it in this way: steel cut oats > rolled oats > instant oats.  In regards to the fullness factor, anyways.

I’ve discovered that there is indeed a short cut to having steel cut oats during the week.  And that is simply to prepare one heeping batch at the beginning of the week and pop it in the fridge.

Four servings worth of steel cut oats.  Just cut it, pop it in a microwave safe bowl, throw in your favorite fillings and heat to desired temperature.  In 3-4 minutes, you’ll have steel cut oats for a busy, week day breakfast!!

This morning I had to drive in early for a Food Service Director’s meeting, which meant that breakfast needed to be extra, extra quick to throw together.  Cha, cha, chilly oats became my breakfast of choice.

  • 1 serving of steel cut oats (about 1/4 c. uncooked)
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 T. craisins
  • toppings: granola and almond butter

Served with hot tea for a lil’ warmth on a chilly morning. 😀

Another busy day tomorrow.  But hopefully by the end I will be ServSafe certified! :mrgreen:

Question: Do you have any “secret” shortcuts for meals/snacks/breakfasts that would normally take a long time to make?

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?

“because you had a bad day…”

You’re taking one down.  You sing a sad song, just to turn it around.

Cheezy song?  You decide.  I actually kind of like it and it really does turn my mood around.  Apparently it doesn’t take a whole lot. 😉

Not that I had a horribly “bad day” per say. 

And it did start out in a wonderfully delicious away.

  • 6-oz. plain yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1.5 c. Kashi heart to heart
  • banana
  • peanut butter
  • raisins

I used to eat this breakfast every single morning.  Much like the breakfast cookie.  Every.  Single.  Morning.  It’s crunchy, creamy, delicious.  And quick. 😀

Part of what I do on a “bad” day is to list the top 3 things that I’m appreciative of in that day.  Instant mood lifter!

  1. The sun.  I love rainy days, I do.  They’re cozy, refreshing, and absolutely wonderful.  But there’s nothing like watching the sun come out after 3 days of rain.  I love feeling the kiss of a warm sun on a nice long walk.  Mmm….
  2. Coffee.  Because nothing slows down the morning like sipping on a hot cup of coffee.
  3. My parents.  Not just because of their financial support in helping me achieve my career dreams, but also because of their emotional support.  Always there for me when I’m excited, when I’m grumpy, when I’m happy and when I need to vent. 😉

What are you some of the things that you appreciate today (or every day)?

I didn’t get around to eating my lunch until after the high school orientation, which was somewhere around 3 o’clock.  That would be exactly 8 hours since breakfast.  Needless to say, I was starving. 

  • white bean and black olive soup
  • kashi crackers
  • almonds
  • an apple

I kid you not, nothing has ever tasted so delicious.  😉

My bad day came to a close when I went out for a walk with dad.  I literally felt my stress drifting away into the wind.  Nothing left but a smile on my face, a cob web cleared brain, and a whole new outlook on my day.  Walking and talking is oftentimes the perfect medicine for a lot of things.

Sardines haven’t made an appearance in my house lately.  I need to change that.

I used to be the sardine queen, eating them at least once or twice a week.  They’re (a) cheap, (b) filled with omega 3 fat—the healthy fats that your body needs! and (c) incredibly versatile—sandwiches, melts, “fried” with a bit of whole wheat flour for coating, baked, topping for crackers, etc.  If the sight or thought of a sardine grosses you out, try mashing them up and treating them like tuna.  Such as I did with dinner tonight.  I topped my basic salad with the following:

mix together

  • 1 can of sardines
  • spicy brown mustard (I use Trader Joes)
  • celery
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • 1/4 avocado

Drizzle salad with a bit of olive oil and voila!  Dinner is on.  And for such a little fish, you’re getting a whole lot of nutrition bang for your buck. 😀

I also had another sharp cheddar cheese quesadilla, because—well—I am truly addicted.

I have today “off” from driving anywhere.  *Sigh*  So happy.  And there are plans for icecream tonight.  It’s going to be a glorious weekend. :mrgreen:

Off for a run! 😀

Question: What are some of the things you appreciate today (or every day)?

b-b-b-usy morning

Back in the day when life consisted of early morning classes, too little time, lack of sleep, and biochemistry exams, I became good friends with the breakfast cookie.

(check out my ‘breakfasts’ section on the right for the easy peazy recipe!)

Quick.

Easy.

Nutritious and filling.

Perfect.  It’s my breakfast of choice on those mornings when even drying my hair is an unrealistic option.  😉

Someday soon, I will tell you all how tired I am of salads.  How ready I am for warm, winter soups.  How, if I see one—just one!—more cucumber or tomato, I will not be able to withold a scream.

But until then, I’ll keep on munchin’.  My lunch time salads have been continually hitting all those right spots.  Mmm…summer produce makes me wonder how I could ever grow tired of a crisp, tender salad.

  • mixed greens
  • cucumber and tomato from the garden
  • carrot
  • kidney beans
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

+ kashis’.

+ dessert.

I love packed lunches.

Also brought along an apple, some almonds and a homemade granola bar for those hunger attacks in the morning and afternoon.

I never quite know what to call a dinner like this.  Scrambled eggs?  Veggie scramble?  Scrambled eggs with veggies?

  • about 1.5 c. worth of organic frozen spinach, dethawed and drained
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • diced tomato (seeds removed)
  • garlic powder
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, whisked together with salt, pepper and a splash of milk

I sauteed all the veggies together in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray for a good 3-4 minutes before adding the egg mixture.  I love combos like this.  Only mushrooms would have improved it.  And maybe black olives. 😉

I also had a cheese quesadilla on the side because—yes—I am hopelessly addicted.  There’s something about a crispy whole wheat wrap and the melty x-sharp cheddar cheese.  Addicting.

Post dinner, I indulged in 30 minutes of yoga which felt ah-mazing on my tight back and legs.  I also indulged in a couple of medjool dates and a bowl of cereal for a night time snack, which is something I always have.  Eating a little bowl of cereal with milk at night helps me sleep while also giving me some extra pep for a morning run. 😀

Today was my last day of Preclinical Training, but instead of jumping right into the clinical rotation, I’ll be spending 2 months at a high school in food service.  And the orientation for that starts tomorrow!  I’m excited—nervous—and so ready for the ball to get rolling. 😀

Question: What is your favorite “busy morning” breakfast?

lunch on the go

There have been countless occasions when frozen bananas have saved my breakfast.

You all know how my Wednesdays tend to roll.  The kitchen is bare of any and all fresh foods.  Which usually leaves me munching on prunes and frozen peas. 

That’s where the frozen banana comes in.  Whenever  a banana appears to be approaching the last of its days, I simply peel it and pop it into a ziplock bag for the freezer.  I can’t tell you how many times this has literally saved my breakfast.  Saved my life!  I’m not even being over-dramatic (okay, maybe a little.)  They’re great for making a perfectly smooth, sweet smoothie.  They’re great for hot morning oats, when heated directly in the liquid.

And they’re also great sliced in “un”overnight oats.  Like little marshmallows in every bite, I kid you not.

This morning, I decided to sleep in until the ripe old hour of 6:15, rather then wake up for an early morning run.  The plan was to go out for a run once I came home from the internship’s orientation at 5 o’clock.  I’m not much of an evening runner, but I figured it was worth giving it a shot for that extra 30 minutes of sleep this morning. 😉

Morning snacks included some almonds and a juicy peach (not pictured.)

Lunch involved some homemade basil hummus and a chopped tomato from the garden.  These tomatoes are so sweet and juicy, I think I could eat them straight up like an apple. :mrgreen:

There were also raw veggie sticks (peppers, carrots and celery), an orange, some kashis for dunking and a cheesestick.

After packing my lunch, I realized I need help.  Which is why I’m asking you guys this next question:  How do you pack your lunches for work/school?  I felt so environmentally damaging today, with all those bags and wasted plastic.  I think I could use a shopping trip just for containers.  Any recommendations or ideas?

Save a tree.  Help me out.

Today was the second day of orientation.  I’m starting to get a feel for what my schedule will look like, but there’s still a lot happening that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around yet.  So far, it’s looking like the next two weeks will entail preclinical intensive training.  Basically, it’s a major refresher course on past Medical Nutrition Terminology classes.  Revisiting the different diets (renal, diabetic, etc.), looking at medical vocabulary, and jam packing the brain full of everything that I’ve learned in the past 4 years.  It’s going to be intense!

Following the 2 weeks of preclinical training (August 31 to be exact!), I’ll be going to my first of three rotations, the “Food Service Rotation”, which is going to be at a high school.  I’m so excited! 

I decided to treat myself to a Decaf Soy Misto for the ride home. 😀

Once home, I grabbed a medjool date for some pre-run energy before hightailing it out the door to beat the rain.

I fit in a good 3-mile run, but definitely felt sore from…well…sitting down all day!  I had to work out a few kinks for the first 1/4 mile before feeling like I could stretch out my legs a little more.  A sore calf.  A tight shoulder.  All those random things that simply float away after a few minutes of running. 😀 

All in all, it was a pretty good run for being a late evening run.  Hopefully once the Food Service Rotation starts, I can switch back to morning runs, which is when I feel my best and most energetic.  We’ll see. 😀

Dinner was on the table when I came home, thanks to mom’s pizza skills.

I had a side salad for some veggies and c-r-u-n-c-h.  With a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of sea salt.

pizza slice x 2

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! :mrgreen: 

Plans?

Question: What do you pack your lunches/snacks in when you need to eat away from home?  I’m still trying to find ways to be “more green” when packing my snacks and lunches.  I think tomorrow’s lunch will be a vast improvement from today. 😉

hair and here and everywhere

This is going to be a quickie of a post, because I have to get everything ready for tomorrow’s early morning.  I’ll be up at 5:45, potentially running by 6, back by 6:45 and out the door by 7:45. 

The internship starts tomorrow….ahhh!!

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s move on.  This morning was my rest day, which meant I had a little bit of extra time to savor breakfast.  I took advantage of a slow-paced morning and ate my “un”overnight oats outside on the deck. 😀

Sometimes I use “rest days” as a means to have complete, utter rest.  And other times—such as today—I use it as a means to fit in some low-key yoga and a long walk.  I treasure these types of rest days.  I love a morning yoga session, and nothing clears the head like a really long, morning walk. 😀

Post-walk: Snyder’s Organic Whole Wheat & Oats pretzels with a cheesestick

I knew I’d be eating a late lunch since I was heading out for a hair cut, so I snagged an apple to-go.

I’m pretty much in love with my hairdresser.  Just thought I’d throw that out there.

It’s not like I leave looking like Jennifer Aniston, mind you.  But it makes me incredibly happy, that my hairdresser actually listens to what I have to say.  If I tell her that my hair has a tendency to poof on the bottom, she understands.  She thins out my hair so it’s not as thick on the bottom (this is especially important during times of humidity!)  If I tell her that I’m looking for the edgy Katie Holmes look, she pulls out a picture and explains what she’s doing while she’s razoring the ends of my hair.

I’ve overcome my fear of getting my hair cut.  And I always leave happy.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Lunch

There is an overabundance of beet greens available right now, and I’m trying desparately to use them up.  So if you happen to see a boat load of these smoothies within the next week, you’ll know exactly why. 😉

  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3 large handfuls of beet leaves
  • topping: Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola and a scoop of PB&Company’s honey roasted peanut butter

So refreshing!  I love sneaking in so many greens in this way. 😀

Afternoon Snack: Trader Joe’s Raisin Bran Cereal with milk

This afternoon’s weather forecast: 94 degrees.  Hot.  Humid.  Sunny.

If this is not the perfect excuse to cook up a batch of black bean burgers (click for recipe,) I honestly don’t know what is.  I followed the recipe to a T, but added in an extra tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and some diced green bell peppers.

On the side, I roasted some sweet potato fries and sauteed a cabbage head (with lots of mustard…trust me, this flavor combo works!)

I’m loving these Trader Joe’s whole wheat rolls.  They’re the perfect size, made with 100% stoneground whole wheat, and have a nice, fluffy texture.  I like having some in the freezer for when I want a quick, impromptu black bean burger fest. 😀

+ post dinner sweetness in the form of Green and Black’s 85% dark. 

I’m so nervous for tomorrow.  Excited, yes.  But nervous too.   Giving a presentation on my own life shouldn’t be as nerve racking as I’m making it out to be, but it kind of is.  Even more so then any of the other presentation  that I’ve ever given.  Strange! 

Anyways, I’m off to make sure I know what I’m wearing tomorrow, while getting myself somewhat organized too.  Hope you guys had a great day…tomorrow is HUMP DAY!

Question: Do you like having your hair cut, or do you dread it?  Are you constantly trying new styles or do you stick to the tried and true?  I go through spurts.  Sometimes I’ll try something completely new, and other times I’ll go for years before switching things up. 😀

I love…

I love starting my day with a couple of sweet, sticky dates and a sweaty 4 mile run. 

I love it when breakfast turns out oh so right. 

Chia French Toast

  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1 T. raisins
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and chia seeds.  Meanwhile, heat nonstick pan (sprayed with cooking spray) on medium heat.
  2. When pan is hot, dunk bread into egg mixture on both sides.  Place on hot pan.
  3. Flip once one side is golden brown.  Flip and cook the other side until brown and toasty.
  4. Top with favorite toppings—almond butter and raspberry jam are my personal faves. 😀

I love salads that include all of my favorite things.

From cheesesticks to olive oil to garden fresh tomatoes.  Love.

I love it when lunch is made up of a big green salad…

…and fizz…

…and fuzz.

I love a voluminous lunch filled with nothing but summer.

I love PB&Company Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter.

I love yogurt with flax and granola.

I love peanut butter on yogurt with flax and granola.

Love.

I love visiting my Pepere and talking about his 8 ft.+ tall tomato plant.

I love laughing with him, at the way the plant peaks through the window.

I love laughing.

I love it when Pepere serves out appetizers while mom cooks the meal.

I love unsalted pretzels better then salted pretzels (?!?)

I love these little yellow bowls, filled with memories of when Memere used to serve us grandkids icecream in the morning (complete with sprinkles) after a sleep over.

Love.

I love chicken topped with garlic powder, paprika, olive oil and parsley.  Especially when grilled and served with oven roasted potatoes, ketchup and farm fresh green beans.

I love listening to Pepere share stories of his farm in Canada. 

I love eating and chatting with family.  Love.

I love my mom’s homemade blueberry pie.

What am I saying?

Everyone loves my mom’s homemade blueberry pie.

I love a cozy, relaxing, liesurely walk after dinner.

I love the fresh air.  The birds.  The company.  The way the setting sun kisses the trees, and watching them blush into a glorious orange. 

I love finding a random apple tree in the middle of a walk.

I love it when dad takes a bite of a small shiny apple.  I love that we all wait and watch his reaction before following suit.  I love that he exclaims it’s delicious.  Delicious.

I love it when we continue on our walk, leaving this simple pleasure behind for someone else to discover.

I love it when the clouds look as if they’ve been painted into the sky.  God is such an artist.

I love the end of a cool summer day.

I love the simple things of life that make me stop and smile.

Love.

Question: What are some of the things that you loved about today?

HAPPY FRIDAY!! 😀