a bowl of soup

I love cheesecake.

I love rich, creamy, lemon infused frostings.

I love butter.

I love all of these things and more.  Which surprises some people.  You have to admit, it is just a little ironic for a dietetics student to be totally into these sorts of things.  You know?

I guess you could say that I’ve found the common ground between my deep desire to be healthy, strong, and confident, while also indulging in all of the things I love.  Intuitive eating.  It’s a process.  A life long journey.  And, speaking from one friend to the next, let me tell you: it’s completely worth the effort. 

Speaking of indulging in all of the things I love, nothing is more suiting for a post-holiday lunch than a hot vegetable soup. 

I consider most of my vegetable soup recipes to be the beginning step.

A red bell pepper is added here.  A zucchini is added there.  Some extra seasoning, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper.  Most of the time, no two soups are exactly alike.  This is true.  Most of the time.  And yet, whenever I make this particular soup, I pause for a second, carefully considering what I want to add. 

And then it hits me.  Nothing.  I don’t want to add a thing.  It’s perfect, just the way it is.  To think I found this simple recipe in a grocery store handout. 😉

On the side, I broke up the last of my quinoa burger, added some freshly chopped spinach and tomatoes, added some hot sauce, and dunked my tortilla chips.  I loved the soft, nutty nexture of the quinoa burgers against the salty crunch of the tortillas.  Yum!

Minestrone Soup

This soup gets better and better with age.  Flavors meld.  The cabbage sweetens.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

In other words—for best results—make this soup at least one day ahead and enjoy it to the fullest on the following day.  This is a lovely soup filled with nutrients and flavor.  Perfect for a cold autumn afternoon. 😀

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 quart low- or reduced sodium broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 2 cups white beans, cooked
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onions, celery, and garlic.  Saute until tender but not browned. 
  2. Add basil and oregano.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped zucchini and carrots; cook for another few minutes.  Pour in chicken or vegetable broth, cooked beans and tomatoes. 
  4. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.  Alow soup to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add water as needed.
  5. Add chopped cabbage and parsley and cook for about 10 minutes more.  Add pepper to taste.
  6. ENJOY!



Have I ever mentioned how much I love Black Friday??? :mrgreen:

Nicole and I were up at 4 this morning.  Ready by 5.  Shopping by 6. 

Breakfast was taken to go.  Hair was thrown up in a ponytail.  Shopping adrenaline gave us energy.

I.  Love.  Black.  Friday. :mrgreen:

I especially love it when we both walk home having found great deals and wonderful memories. 

Stores were filled, filled, filled with awesome 50% discounts, so of course we went a little crazy on clothes we needed (and loved!)  I even had a little bit of left-over money for some fun accessories! 😀 

And new clothes for presentations and other prefessional things.  😀

The day was long, but we never actually grew tired.  Shopping adrenaline carries far.  And—at the risk of sounding like crazy, hardcore Black Friday shoppers—we’re already planning our trip for next year. 😉

Question: Do your workouts change as the cold weather comes along, or do you stay pretty constant throughout the year?


in the groove

I never set the alarm last night, as I was hoping to either (a) wake up naturally or (b) sleep in, thereby skipping my anticipated morning workout.  I had a doctors appointment at 8, so either way would have worked out just fine and dandy. 

I wasn’t expecting to wake up at 6 though.  But I did.  And I took advantage of this fact by pulling myself out of bed and staying true to my workout plans. 

Starting with a whole wheat bagel.  And topped with PB&Company Bees Knees peanut butter and almond butter.

And dipped and dunked into a mashed, warmed banana with cinnamon for a sweet bite.

I can’t think of anything that works better in my body for prerun fuel than a bagel with nut butter and a banana.  I cranked out 4 miles without the slightest hint of a cramp or side stitch.  And my legs felt fresh and rested from not running yesterday. 

Felt.  So.  Delicious!

Post-run snack: 6-oz plain yogurt with crushed flax and granola

The leftovers were pulled out of the fridge for a delightful, deckside lunch. 

Minestrone soup. 

Whole wheat bread, toasted, with a pat of butter.

A side salad, drizzled with olive oil.


Afternoon Snack: kashi crackers and almond butter

Sometimes I want to spend hours in the kitchen.  Simmering, sauteeing, blending, and whipping.

Other times (ahem…today), I simply want something…well…simple.

I literally spent all morning, afternoon and evening doing homework.  It was fun and interesting, but by 5:30, I was so ready to step away and get my mind back to normal.  Most of the homework right now has to do with carbohydrate exchange counting, for patients with diabetes.  I realized that I had been focusing on this for too long, when I started to count the carbohydrates of my own meal in my head.  Time for a break? 😉

Dinner came together in a breeze, thanks to leftover pasta salad, a lonely veggie burger, and some raw veggies (most of which are fresh from the garden!)  Simple.  Delicious.  Exactly what I wanted. 😀

Upcoming Weekend Plans:

  • Homework! Homework! Homework!
  • Yoga on Saturday, Run on Sunday
  • Finish a presentation that’s due for Monday
  • Cookout at Nicole’s house
  • Local craft fair!

 Let’s do the FRIDAY DANCE! :mrgreen:

Question: You have one word to describe your personality.  What is it? 

cheese snob

Sometimes, it’s okay to have chocolate for breakfast.

This is one of my favorite recipes, but I haven’t made it in ages.  I’m a huge fan of unsweetened cocoa powder, especially when it’s naturally sweetened through fruit.  For a meer 10 calories per tablespoon, cocoa powder provides you with 2 g. fiber, 1 g. protein, and 4% iron.  And you get your chocolate fix.  What’s not to love?

Chocolate Coconut Cookie Drops

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 T. almond butter
  • 1/2 banana (super ripe), mashed
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 T. wheat bran (optional)
  • 1-2 T. soymilk
  • 1-2 T. sweetened coconut
  • 5 almonds
  1. Combine all ingredients together (except for coconut and almonds,) and mash with fork. 
  2. Separating the “dough” into roughly 5 cookies, roll gently with hands and form into small drops.  Roll through coconut and top each cookie with an almond.
  3. Refrigerate overnight. 

Enjoy with a fork and a glass of milk.  And coffee for us coffee drinkers. 😉

Morning Snack: cored red delicious apple, sandwiched with a smear of chunky peanut butter

I was pretty excited for lunch today.  Fresh greens.  Buttery white beans.  Garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.  EVOO and sea salt.  Chopped carrots.

Extra sharp cheddar cheese.

I love cheese.  I do.  In fact, I think I might even show a little too much excitement when the employees of Whole Foods talk to me about all their different kinds of cheese, while I sample my way through cheese after cheese after cheese.  They’re overjoyed that I’m so excited and interested in the variety of cheeses that they have on display (we have some serious foodies at my whole foods, I’m telling you!)  And I’m overjoyed that they know so much about cheese.  Oh, and eating my way through brie, goat, and blue cheese isn’t such a bad thing either. 😉

Unfortunately, these pleasurable experiences have also turned me into a bit of a cheese snob.  I can’t help myself.  I loved this salad, I really did.  But having shredded cheddar cheese just didn’t cut it for me, and I felt as if I needed to take a ride to whole foods to redeem my lunch.  I’ve tried to revert myself, but to no avail. 

That being said, however, I still love cheesesticks and an American styled grill cheese now and again, so I’m not a complete cheese snob quite yet. 😉

My lucnh has consisted of kashi crackers for carbs and crunch…

…plus a sweet, juicy orange for dessert.

Minestrone soups are great for this time of the year, when zucchini and squash are making their last triumphant appearance, while bell peppers are saying their last goodbyes.  It’s the soup filled with promise of autumn (because I’m totally into that sort of thing lately), while reminding you that summer is still holding on.  Fresh.  Brimming with tomatoes.  Comforting.

I highly recommend this soup.  It’s easy to throw together and it’s easy to ‘tweak,’ based on what you might have on hand.  Since it’s still summer and all, I like to serve this soup lukewarm with fresh black pepper and a squirt of fresh lemon juice.  😀

Recipe available online: Minestrone Soup (it’s from my most treasured cookbooks: Moosewood Cookbook)

Mom is the bread master in the family.  This whole wheat bread is my absolute favorite of the breads that she makes.  Especially when toasted and spread with a smidgen of butter. 😀


Today is basically my Friday, but I plan on using tomorrow as a “homework day.”  I have a lot to finish before Monday’s presentation and preclinical training. 😀 

Question: Are you a cheese snob?  What are some of your favorites?

Soup(or) Salad

Quick mornings demand quick breakfasts! 

  • 1.5 c. kashi cinnamon heart to heart
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1/2 banana
  • handful of almonds

My snuffly nose was still here this morning, but that didn’t prevent me from wanting to work out.  I’m taking this as a good sign that my energy levels are coming back to some degree of normalcy. 😀  These last couple of days have left me feeling wiped out! 

I took advantage of a) my unexpected energy levels and b) no foot pain (!!!) to go out for a run.  I’ve always followed the guidelines of listening to my body.  If the pain came back or persisted to be worse, then I’d stop…immediatey.  Speaking of which, I always thought that the whole bit of advice on stopping a run when limping begins to occur is a bit extreme.  I think by the point limping starts, there’s a serious problem, and the run probably could have been cut short sooner.  That’s just my personal opinion.  I much prefer to air on the side of caution. 😀

The run went really well.  I walked down one long hill to avoid pounding on my foot, and really concentrated on short steps with a quick turnover rate.  It’s hard trying to get 3 steps per second, but that’s my goal. 😀  It does wonders for taking the extra impact off the feet and legs!

After my run, I made a quick smoothie-to-go:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 c. milk
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 T. crushed flax

I *heart* my amazing grass travel cup! :mrgreen:

My packed lunch for today included more sweet potatoes!  One large–very large!!!–sweet potato provided three meals.  Not bad for $1. :mrgreen:

  • 1/4 sweet potato, cooked and diced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • salsa (about 1/4 c.)

This mix was just okay.  Nothing special, but it wasn’t bad either. 

Also in my packed lunch were orange slices and a Doctor Kracker Sunflower Cheddar flatbread with a laughing cow wedge.  Totally love these Doctor Kracker flatbreads!  I think they’re even tastier then the mini “crisps”.  They’re super crunchy but not as hard as the little ones. 

Last week, I had the funnest package arrive on my doorstep. :mrgreen:

Elli at KIND Snacks offered to send me some samples of their products!  I’ve sampled the KIND fruit and nut bar before (and loved it!) and can’t wait to dig into the rest of their flavors! 😀 

I snagged the Passion Fruit Macadamia bar for an afternoon snack while in Community Nutrition.  Honestly, I did not love this bar.  I *did* love the coconut bits and the crispy puffed rice peices, but there was something about the tropical flavor that I wasn’t a fan of.  I’m thinking that’s personal preference though.  If you normally go for the fruity bars, you might enjoy this particular bar. 😉

I didn’t get to eat until 7 tonight, but it was totally worth it for this Moosewood Cookbook Minestrone Soup. 😀  It was chock full of zucchini, garbanzo beans, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and barley.  I love tomato based soups.  They make such an awesome salad replacement in the cold winter months. 😀

Annies whole wheat bunnies kept things simple.

I’m taking the night off from homework since today is technically my Friday.  I feel as if I got a lot done this afternoon in the library, working on a paper with one of my friends.  We’re focusing on the dietary habits of Haiti and it’s so fascinating!  It totally has me captivated. 😀

If you had to pick one of these three ways to eat your vegetables, would it be in smoothie, soup or salad form?  Honesly, I love all of them, but if I absolutely had to choose, I’d pick soup (although I can guarentee you that this will change when summer rolls around. 😀 )