Archive | July, 2011

Contest Winner and Meal Planning

31 Jul

And the first blog giveaway goes to……Gregg!!! Congrats! I will get that in the mail to you this week. 🙂

This morning I woke up extremely crabby for no apparent reason. Maybe it was after effects from my hunger last night. I was determined to stay a grump for the whole day but my planned was foiled by several things.

1) A walk/hike with Elisa, Benny and Edie resulted in laughs and got the endorphins going.

2) I discovered the most delicious Larabar flavor yet. It honestly tasted like a cookie. I couldn’t tell the difference.

So freaking good! Nom nom nom.

3) This wonderful tool that helps me get dandelions, those spiky things, and pretty much any type of weed out of the yard. I used it after grocery shopping and I seriously went around the whole yard looking for weeds because it was so fun. Yes, I lead an exciting life.

Got this puppy at a garage sale for about $.50

4) When I got home, the Hub defrosted the whole freezer from the problem we had earlier this week. It looked absolutely gorgeous in there. It was even organized. Saturday he mowed the lawn, cleaned the garage and swept it, and unloaded the dishwasher before I got home from work. LOVE THIS MAN!

After our hike I went grocery shopping. The Hub has me on a less than $100 per week for groceries. Totally doable but I tend to go a little crazy with fancy things. I was under budget today by at least about $20-$25. The meals for this week include–

Breakfast

Berry Chocolate Smoothie

Mango Coconut Smoothie

Banana Bread

Lunch

Shrimp and Pea Salad with Basil

Dinner

Pistachio Chicken

Chicken Parmesan

Turkey Burgers with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

Thai Lime Chicken

Since the Hub was so domestic this weekend I made him waffles for breakfast (at 1pm!). Benefit–I get waffles too. 🙂 I used the Bob’s Red Mill mix which I really like. It’s multigrain but not so much that the Hub says, “What is this?”

A big cup of Apple Cinnamon Tea on the side please!

Tonight I made pistachio chicken, a recipe from the Abs Diet Cookbook, which I’ve been meaning to make all week. The Hub was trying to predict the odds of me actually making it this afternoon. It turned out really good but the frozen snap peas I bought (which you steam in a bag) did not look very appetizing. I did eat them and about half tasted good and the other half tasted limp and dead.

Before I made dinner I banged out my lunches for the week. The recipe is one I adapted from a Clean Eating Magazine Recipe.

Shrimp and Pea Salad with Basil

(Makes 5 servings; 1 heaping cup)

  • 1 lb cooked shrimp
  • 4 cups cooked basmati brown rice (recipe called for brown but I improvised)
  • 4 cups cooked peas
  • 1 cup roughly chopped basil
  • 4 tsp lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  1. Combine cooked shrimp, peas, and rice in large bowl.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in pan on medium heat. Mince garlic and brown in pan, about 2 minutes.
  3. Put garlic in large bowl with shrimp mixture.
  4. Add other 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Slice onion and put into pan on medium high heat. Brown, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and caramelize onions, stirring often. Cook for about 40 minutes.
  5. Add onion mixture to bowl and basil.
  6. Add lemon zest to bowl along with lemon juice.
  7. Toss and serve!

It’s so delish! I added the garlic to the recipe and caramelized the onions to impart more flavor. I also doubled up on some of the ingredients to make it last the whole week.

I also tossed a banana bread in the oven to eat with my smoothies this week. I adapted this recipe from the Clean Eating Club.

Clean Eating Banana Bread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 slightly beaten egg whites
  • 1 c. mashed ripe bananas (3 medium or 2 large)
  • 1/2 c. agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • A pinch of sea salt (1/16 tsp.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Coat an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Mash bananas and set aside. In a medium bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine egg whites, banana, agave nectar, vanilla extract, chia seeds, and oil. Once mixed well, add flour mixture all at one time to banana mixture. Stir until moistened. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon mixture into pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 50 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out clean.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for approximately 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.

I was so pleased with the result. The whole wheat pastry flour makes the bread very light and not so heavy as some baked goods can be with regular whole wheat flour. The chia seeds add a little crunch (and keep you fuller longer!) with the added benefit of those Omegas 3s. The original plan was to add walnuts but I think the chia seeds were a great substitute.

The Hub and I topped off dinner with a new ice cream. I’ve seen this for months and always wanted to buy it. It was finally on sale and I didn’t eat as much as I normally do today, so I figured a treat was in order. 🙂 Next week I have to tone down my treats, but with the hormones back to even levels, this shouldn’t be a problem! I lost one pound this week which is great considering how many “treats” I had.

Off to bed! We have four miles on the agenda in the a.m.

 

Ode to the library

30 Jul

I’ve found (well, I should say re-found) a new love. Can I just tell you how much I heart libraries? They have brand new books that are out in the stores, they have workout DVDs, they have a little section of books called “Must Reads” where they have a bunch of books you might not normally pick out that are great, and you can find this all online. If a book isn’t available you can you request it and when it becomes available you get an e-mail saying  your book has arrived. Isn’t that cool? It’s like shopping but it’s free!

My Current Selections; Firefly Lane is a book club pick

I said to the hub, “Aren’t you proud of me? I’m shopping at the library so I’m not buying books anymore.”

And since I know him so well I said for him, “It doesn’t really matter to me since you would have to buy them with your fun money anyways.” He agreed. I love that we know each other so well that I can have a conversation with him by saying everything myself.

Fun money- noun \ˈfən\\ˈmə-nē\- Once a month the hub and I are each allotted a certain amount of money to do whatever the heck we want with it, no questions asked.

Friday night was a sad night in our household. It was the first Friday night we’ve been at home that we haven’t played Dance Central. I was just too exhausted from working all week and knowing I had to get up at 6am the next day did not help. Someone else was sad too.

She licked her poor dew claw until it bled. We had to get her to stop licking it somehow. Problem solved. Edie’s done this before by playing too hard and licking her poor paws raw. Let’s just say this isn’t the first (or second) time she’s worn those socks.

Edie and I squeezed out five miles before work this morning. We found a new park with frisbee golf that has a little trail around it. I like running around my new town and increasing the mileage because I find out so many new things about it.

I had another Banana Berry Omega (next week I’ll début a new smoothie!) with toast and PB. At work I had another Planters Energy Mix at work for a snack, and lunch was steamed spinach with a Clif Body Builder bar. I knew we were going to the Old Settlers Picnic after work so I wanted to save my appetite.

Unfortunately when we went there it was most of the typical “fair” food.

Hmmm, maybe if my run was longer...

Enjoying the weather at the picnic

Great idea for an elementary school playground; map of the U.S.!

We toured all the old homes in Pioneer Park and watched the Gothard Sisters rock out. These gals were so talented! They sang, they danced, they tapped, they played violin…If I could even do one of those it would be a great accomplishment. Since we didn’t find any food we wanted to eat (and the ice cream line was WAY too long) we headed to 7-11 so hub could have a Slurpee. I got a Drumstick. 🙂

We waited until about 7:30 tonight to decide what we were going to do for dinner. I took a nap earlier which went a little too long. Between the sun, sugar, and nap I developed a huge headache. I did not feel like making the pistachio chicken I had planned on. We hemmed and hawed about going out to dinner (we are planning on going to brunch tomorrow) but finally decided to stay home. Then we considered cereal which is always a good dinner option. The ultimate decision was to go to Haggen’s to find something to eat.

Well, I’m not sure if any of you ladies are like this but when I’m hungry, I’M HUNGRY NOW. There is the initial hunger which slowly develops into give-me-something-to-eat-before-you-die hunger. I was at that point by the time we got to the grocery store so I was a bit snippy with the hub and snapped at him that I hated the white sauce on Papa Murphy’s pizza. Yeah, I said it. White sauce is the Hub’s favorite thing on Papa Murphy’s pizza but I hate it. It’s pretty much alfredo which I can just feel clogging my arteries as soon as it hits my tongue. Plus, I love tomato sauce. I know this sounds all pretty petty but it was actually quite a big deal, and I kept putting my head in my hand and shaking it.

This is what we came home with–

And don’t you sass me because I was hungry and I-will-drop-kick-you-in-the-head if you give me shit. 🙂

Good night!

YAH! It’s Friday But…

29 Jul

Yes, it’s Friday! However I have to work tomorrow. I am so exhausted, and I still have to get up at the crack of dawn to run before work. So I will be retiring early this evening and leaving you with this lovely picture I took this morning that perfectly describes how I’m feeling. Until tomorrow!

My First Blog Giveaway!

28 Jul

Welcome to my first blog giveaway! How excited are you?! Each month I plan on giving away a local product to one lucky reader. Did you read the last blog? If so, you may have guessed the product!

Erin has been making nutritious and delicious products for the last seventeen years. Her products are definitely a favorite out here, and if you mention a Baker Breakfast Cookie, everyone knows what you are talking about.

I am giving one person three of my favorite flavors.We have Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate Chunk and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk (the PB Chocolate Chunk is vegan).

All you have to do is make a comment and tell me about your favorite breakfast. I will pick a random winner on Sunday, July 31st. Please have your comment submitted by 7:30pm PST. Good luck!

 

 

The Little Things

28 Jul

Today is much better. 🙂 Today is one of those days where the little things make me happy. Like when Edie gets done with our four mile speed work run and starts running around the yard like a maniac when we get home. It’s like she didn’t expend all her energy so she has to get it out real quick before we go inside for the day. Or when the big washer in the Laundromat next to the bank starts going and my chair starts vibrating. It makes me giggle. The first time I felt it I thought it was an earthquake. But the thing that got me smiling the most today was hearing the WTF news on the radio this morning. Apparently there is a couple in Las Vegas who have to change their personalized license plate because it’s too offensive….and it says “LMAO AT U”….The policeman said it was vulgar and derogatory because they are “laughing at you”. Really? Really? Don’t you think there are bigger problems in Las Vegas? I just thought that was hilarious.

After running this morning, I had another Banana Berry Omega with some toast and PB. I have been craving nuts and nut butters ever since yesterday. I don’t know what it is. Maybe my body is telling me I need more healthy fats. For a snack at work an employee made banana bread, because apparently she has ESP and knew I’ve been craving banana bread for a week. I had one piece which was perfect. I still might try to make some this weekend. Since my nut craving has been so strong I went to the market and bought these since I forgot my Trader Joe’s mix at home.

 

They are actually pretty good and it’s nice to have that little bit of dark chocolate in there. There are pretzels in the mix which were nice and salty but I felt if there were more nuts rather than the pretzels it would keep me fuller longer. Lunch was short, with a Turkey Stuffed Pepper, since I left early to go to our HR Manager’s retirement party.

It was warm today and I was exhausted (could’ve been the glass of wine I had at the party) so I ran to the grocery store and got some Jennie-O Italian Turkey Sausages for dinner. Then I made a BAS (Big Ass Salad).

Mmm, spinach. Topped that baby off with candied pecans, cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette.

Oh and remember that Trader Joe’s European Yogurt? Turns out European means the consistency is much thinner. I would say it’s in between kefir and yogurt. It tasted darn good but it needed something else besides blueberries. I bought some peanut butter granola made by a local company to mix in.

I love Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookies (more about this tonight) so I knew the granola would be delish! Let’s just say it did not disappoint, and I might have the Hub hide it so I don’t eat it all.

I FINALLY got my BHG in the mail from my mum. She gave me a gift subscription for moving into our new home. I am so excited! My grandma gave one to my mom every year, and we are carrying on the tradition. Well I am off to peruse through this gem.

Everyday I’m Hustlin’

27 Jul

For those of you who don’t recognize the title it’s a Rick Ross song, and yes I do listen to rap. I should post my half marathon play list the hub made me.

Back to the subject at hand; this title applies to my days, especially today, because I felt like I had to hustle to keep up ALL day. Have you ever had one of those? It was just so hard to get out of bed so I hit snooze twice. Of course, this made me about 15 minutes behind. I sped walked Edie and hopped on the spin bike. Of course, right before I started to spin I got water out of the fridge for hydration and conveniently left the fridge open. This wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have an alarm on it, which caused the dog to bark, which caused the hub to get up to close it, which caused me to be in trouble. 😦

I had a Banana Berry Omega for breakfast and instead of the usual hardboiled egg, I had whole wheat toast with PB. I feel like if I have a craving I just need to go with it, of course, unless it’s a three layer chocolate cake. I got distracted by Design Star on TV so I was late jumping in the shower. My hair suffered a little bit from that. I went to put on my favorite pink shirt from the Gap and there is a pen mark right on the tummy!!! That is the second favorite shirt this week that is ruined (I’m going to try hairspray on the ink stain tonight) from work activities. Grrr…Luckily my blazer hid the mark. I went to give Edie her Kong and she was busy tearing out the innards of another stuffed animal.

 

On the way to work I got behind a HUGE tractor. Yes, a tractor. I work in a very small town that is surrounded by farms. The first week I worked in this particular office I saw a horse and a buggy pull through the drive-up at the bank next door. I wanted to take a picture really bad.

On lunch today I decided to work on some jewelry I was commissioned to make for a friend for her wedding. I have a site on Etsy where I used to sell jewelry and knits. The jewelry was a huge seller, knits not so much. I stopped making the jewelry because it was sooooo time consuming and it took the fun out of it. Now I just make things for friends or family. I was actually surprised when my friend asked me to make the jewelry because I haven’t done anything of that magnitude before but it’s been a lot of fun. The only problem has been getting the right supplies I need. After I finished all the earrings I realized the jump rings to attach the clasps were WAY too big for the delicate chain.

Stuffed Pepper for lunch

So then I had to go to the bead store after work for different jump rings and to find some pretty boxes to put the jewelry in. Next, I went to the library to pick up some books I have on hold at the library. I was supposed to water the plants today too but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Instead of being a good wife and good eater, I caved and went to the drive-thru. 😦 I’m sorry loyal readers but I was starving , cranky and tired. No excuse, but it’s right back on the horse tomorrow.

So sorry body!

On a positive note, I did finish the jewelry!!! I even arranged it nicely in the cute little boxes I bought. I can’t wait until she sees them on Sunday.

 

Third Times a Charm!

26 Jul

One last post! I made a fun dinner so I had to share. It’s a super easy quick meal to whip together if you’ve had a long day at work (hello!).

Breakfast Tacos

One egg and two egg whites

1/3 cup rinsed and drained black beans

sprinkle of cumin and garlic powder

salt and  pepper to taste

2 corn tortillas

Avocado Salsa (see this blog for recipe, in the comments)

Scramble eggs and toss in black beans just at the end so they warm; sprinkle with seasoning. Put the egg and bean mixture on two warm corn tortillas and top with as much salsa as you can handle. Mmm….