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Mar 182015
 

Hi friends! Happy hump day to you all. Today we’re talking about food with another edition of What I Ate Wednesday! I’m trying really hard to stick with WIAW each week because even though I know it’s silly, I’m just dying to get to #100! Haha, it’s the little things. 😉

Today we’re linking up with Meg from Clean Eats, Fast Feets. Thanks for hosting, Meg!

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Here’s a look at what I ate on Monday. 🙂

Breakfast #1

After finishing up another round of this low impact cardio workout, I drank a glass of green juice made from apples, cucumber, greens (spinach/kale mix), celery, ginger, and lemon.

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This drink is also known pretty commonly around the Internet as the “green monster” juice, and it is de-licious. Definitely my favorite juice combination to date!

Breakfast #2

After showering and getting ready for the day, it was time for my second breakfast: a bowl of Special K cereal mixed with Quaker Oatmeal squares and a banana.

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I recently picked up this Special K variety pack at Costco, and so far I am loving it! I’ve tried all the flavors except the chocolate, and I am considering having a small bowl of that one after dinner tonight. We shall see!

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Lunch

Like clockwork, my stomach started rumbling at 12:15 so I dug into my lunch (I usually eat breakfast at around 7:30, so by noon I’m usually ready for more food!). On Monday I brought a delicious salad made with mixed greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc.), chicken, sliced carrots, apples, walnuts and feta. I tossed it all together with a bit of honey mustard dressing and it was fantastic.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had the apples/walnuts combination in a homemade salad, and this reminded me just how tasty it is! Yum!

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Dinner

Before I had left for work in the morning, I threw two chicken breasts into the slow cooker along with some BBQ sauce, chicken broth, and tomato paste (the tomato paste was leftover from some other recipe, so I figured I’d throw it into the pot with the chicken). By the time I got home, I shredded the chicken with two forks and BOOM, dinner = done.

I wound up putting the pulled BBQ chicken on a potato roll topped with melted mozzarella cheese and a pickle slice, and served it up with my all-time favorite broccoli fritters on the side with some buffalo sauce.

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If you’ve never tried making broccoli fritters I can’t recommend them enough – they taste a lot like potato pancakes! So good.

Dessert

Fabio and I picked up a pineapple and some mango slices from Costco on a whim, and we’ve been enjoying them both for snacks and desserts all week.

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The pineapple is especially fresh, and I’m looking forward to adding some to our next batch of juice too. Yum!

Before I wrap up for today, I wanted to quickly tell you about what I did for St. Patrick’s Day! After work yesterday, I met up with Fabio and our friends Megan and JR at Ri Ra, a fun Irish pub in Clarendon that somehow none of us had been to despite living in the area for almost 4 years.

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The place was absolutely PACKED for St. Patty’s Day, but luckily Megan, JR, and Fabio were able to snag us a table upstairs since they arrived a bit before me.

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We started our evening off with a round of green beers! These were actually called “half and half” beers (half Guinness, half something with blue dye to turn it green?) and although it’s definitely not a beer I would normally order, it was pretty fun because it was green. 😉

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Cheers to green beers!

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For my entree I wound up getting the chicken boxty, which is chicken and leeks wrapped in a thin potato pancake topped with a cream sauce, plus mashed potatoes and carrots on the side. It was delicious, but super filling! I wound up giving half to Fabio to eat once he cleared his plate of corned beef and cabbage.

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We had so much fun chatting with Megan and JR, and couldn’t believe it when they said their wedding was less than four months away. I can’t wait!! It’s going to be so fun. 🙂

We also decided to start a St. Patty’s Day tradition where we take turns hosting each other at our apartments and cooking traditional Irish fare. It should be a fun new tradition!

Question of the day: How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

When I was little I remember my dad would secretly go out to the store and buy green bagels, muffins, etc. and then use green food coloring to dye our milk green. Then when I woke up he would tell me Leprechauns came and turned everything green in the night! That was a fun tradition. 🙂

 Posted by on March 18, 2015
Mar 112015
 

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! I for one am in a fantastic mood today – the birds are chirping, the temperatures are (sort of) rising, and most of that awful black snow is finally gone. Phew. Spring is almost here!

Today I thought we’d jump back on to the What I Ate Wednesday train, which I always think is a fun way to take a look at my recent eats. They’re not always exciting, but that’s just how real life is!

Today we’re linking up with Arman over at The Big Man’s World, since he’s hosting today. Thanks, Arman!

WIAWbuttonNow let’s take a look at yesterday’s eats.

Breakfast #1

When the alarm went off at 5:30 (which still feels like 4:30 – ugh daylight savings) I reluctantly crawled out of bed and took Jack for a walk. Then I completed this low intensity cardio bootcamp workout, which was really fantastic. Considering I’m still limited with the type of workouts I can do, I’ll take anything that leaves me sweaty!

After my workout I downed a glass of green juice made from apples, kale, parsley, cucumber, ginger, lemon, and celery.

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So far this blend continues to be my favorite. Please excuse the sweaty, messy workout hair!

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Breakfast #2

After that I showered and got myself ready for the day, which meant it was time for breakfast #2 – a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Our Costco recently stopped selling this cereal, so it was quite the treat when Fabio picked some up for me at the grocery store this week (even if he forgot bananas…how do you forget bananas, the one thing we ALWAYS have?).

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Yum!

Lunch

Due to a combination of a late night watching the Bachelor finale and running late for work in the morning, I wound up not packing a lunch yesterday. Boo.

Luckily there are a ton of great options near my office, so at lunchtime I headed out in the rain for some SweetGreen.

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I wound up getting their winter salad with kale, sauteed onions, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and beets, since I loved it so much last time I had it. Plus a piece of bread on the side. Delicious!

Dinner

Once I got home I started on dinner which was a throw-together version of Thai curry with brown rice since we had some coconut milk in the fridge that I wanted to use up. We didn’t have any Thai curry paste so I sort of made one up with a bunch of spices.

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In the end it came out really tasty, although it was still missing that distinct Thai flavor. I’m definitely going to stock up on that curry paste the next time I see some!

Dessert

Sometime after dinner I wound up grabbing a quick snack – a spoonful of peanut butter topped with some chocolate chips. So good!
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I’ve been trying to cut down on my sweets lately and although I’m doing a pretty good job, I still wind up having something sweet after dinner about two times a week. But hey, that’s still progress right??

Question of the day: Do you eat something sweet after dinner? If so, what’s your favorite thing to have?

If I never had to worry about my health/weight, I would totally eat brownies or ice cream (or both?) every night after dinner. Since I do though, I’m a fan of pre-portioned desserts like Jello pudding or Laughing Cow candies since they don’t tempt me to eat too much!

 Posted by on March 11, 2015
Mar 042015
 

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to ‘ya. How’s everyone’s week going? Slow? Fast? Cold? Snowy? Yeah, I’ve about had it with this cold, icy and wet weather. Yesterday we were treated to some glorious freezing rain that caused me to slip and slide all over the sidewalk on my commute home, and tomorrow we are supposed to get 4 – 6 inches of fresh snow. MAKE. IT. STOP. Thankfully I saw a robin yesterday, which I’ve heard means spring is on its way. Here’s hoping March is almost done being a lion and is ready to turn into a lamb anyyy day now. Come on March.

Anyway, today’s Wednesday which means just one thing – it’s What I Ate Wednesday time! I always like to read about what other people are eating on a normal weekday, and hopefully you guys do too. As always, I have to thank Jenn for hosting the linkup!

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Let’s take a look at Monday’s eats, shall we?

Breakfast #1

As soon as I woke up, I sipped a glass of green juice made with cucumber, celery, lemon, ginger, kale, spinach, and pears. It was deeeelicious, and gave me a nice boost of energy to start my day.

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Now that I’m back to commuting into the office in the morning, I don’t have enough time (or energy) to make fresh juice in the morning. Instead I make a batch at night that will last us two weekdays (so Sunday night’s juice lasted until Tuesday morning). This has been working really well, and I’m so happy Fabio and I have been keeping up with this habit. I just know we wouldn’t come close to getting in all those extra nutrients without juicing! If you want to learn more about our juicing process, you can read about it here.

Breakfast #2

After walking Jack, and showering/getting ready for the day, I whipped up a two-ingredient pancake for myself for breakfast #2. If you’ve never made one of these before, it’s basically a “pancake” made with one egg and one banana. You can also throw some vanilla or salt in there for a little extra oomph.

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It came out a little lopsided, but once I topped it with a smear of peanut butter I didn’t mind a bit. It’s been forever since I’ve had this breakfast, and I was reminded just how tasty it is. Yum.

Lunch

On Monday I had a lunch date with my friend Cullen to chat about an upcoming project we are working on together. We decided to meet at Panera since it’s close to my office, has healthy options, and he had (somehow) never been there before. Crazy!

We both wound up ordering the Thai chicken salad, which was quite tasty. I also got an apple on the side, which I took back to work and saved for another day.

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I always have the hardest time deciding what to get at Panera since everything is so delicious. Bacon turkey bravo sandwich? Broccoli cheddar soup? Chicken fontina sandwich? Their new broth bowls? (These are next on my must-try list.) It’s so hard to choose! Overall I was really happy with this salad, and will be adding it to my list of favorites. 🙂

I later looked up the nutritional information and was quite happy to see that the whole salad came in at 490 calories with 41 grams of protein. Nice! It was a little high in fat from the peanuts and peanut sauce (19 grams) but at least it was a healthy fat. I’ll take it!

Snack 

Cullen, being the nice guy that he is, baked some cookies over the weekend and brought a few for me. What a sweetheart! I obviously have no willpower when it comes to chocolate chip cookies because soon after lunch I wound up eating one of them….and then a big piece of another one. Gahh!

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They’re too good to resist.

Dinner

I had plans after work on Monday (details to come!) which unfortunately meant I didn’t get home until after 8:30 pm. By that time I was too tired to cook anything, so Fabio and I picked up a quick dinner at Chipotle. I got my usual order which includes brown rice, black beans, chicken, tomato salsa, extra corn, cheese, and lettuce. Always a hit!

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And while we’re on the subject of dinners, I wanted to tell you about another awesome dinner we’ve had this week: cheesy chicken with kale pasta.

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This was another recipe that I found in the Food Network magazine I got a couple months ago, and it was a big hit. I wound up adding a few mushrooms to the kale mix and a wedge of laughing cow cheese, which made the side dish extra tasty. I definitely recommend this recipe!

Alright folks, that’s all I have for you today. Happy hump day!

Question of the day: What’s the best dinner you’ve cooked lately?

 Posted by on March 4, 2015
Feb 252015
 

Hi friends! Guess what? I’m back to commuting to work! Woohoo! I know that might not sound so great to all of you (working in yoga pants and a sweatshirt every day was pretty nice…) but after being alone in my apartment for so long it’s nice to be around people during the day again! My first day back was actually on Thursday, and I’ve been going in to the office every other day since (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week). I’m really lucky that my job is so flexible – they’re actually the ones who encouraged me to take things slow by only going in every other day to start. Am I lucky or what?

On Monday I also had my first real physical therapy appointment (last week I just had my initial assessment) and we had a friend over for dinner, so it wound up being quite a busy day for me! Given that I had so much going on, I thought it would be fun to recap What I Ate Wednesday style. As always, I have to thank Jenn for hosting the WIAW link up!

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Ready? Let’s get started!

Breakfast #1

Man, it was tough getting out of bed at 5:30. How do I usually do this? It had been more than a month since I’d woken up that early, and I was definitely feeling it.

Luckily I had some fresh juice in the fridge from the day before to boost up my energy, so I drank a glass of that before getting ready for the day. In this batch was cucumber, celery, pineapple, kale, spinach, lemon, and ginger. Yum!

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After my juice I started getting ready, and then after my shower it was time for breakfast #2!

Breakfast #2

My second breakfast included a bowl of Kashi cinnamon harvest cereal with skim milk and a banana. Clearly Jack was very interested in what I was eating, probably because I always let him drink the milk when I’m done. #Ispoilhim

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It did the trick!

Physical Therapy

After breakfast I continued getting ready, and then I said goodbye to Jack and Fabio and headed out to physical therapy! I chose a physical therapy location that was near my work, since there isn’t a place near me in Arlington that I can easily walk to in my boot (there is a place about a mile away but I thought that was probably farther than I’d want to hobble in the snow, and I still can’t really drive since I’m in the boot). So far I think this has been a great decision!

After a long and slow metro ride (geez everything has been delayed lately!) I arrived at physical therapy for my appointment at 8:00 am. From there I hopped on the stationary bike, and spent five minutes pedaling in my boot. Note to self: Wear different clothes to PT! I went to physical therapy in my work clothes, and felt pretty silly biking in nice pants. Even though I didn’t work up much of a sweat, I think next time I’ll bring a spare set of clothes. Lesson learned!

From there I did a number of foot stretches and exercises, including picking up marbles one by one with my toes, and dropping them in a bowl. UGH. It was really hard, and I sort of felt like a monkey, but I got it done. Overall I thought all of the exercises were really helpful, and I can tell that by the end of my PT sessions I should have a lot more mobility in my foot. Woohoo!

Beverage

After PT I headed into work, and even though it took me a while to hobble over there, I arrived right on time. As soon as I arrived, I made myself a mug of green tea to warm me up from the inside out. Ahh…much better.

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Haha!

Lunch

Soon lunchtime rolled around, and I pulled out a salad I had brought from home. I wound up packing one container of spinach, kale, sliced carrots, goat cheese, craisins, sunflower seeds, and brussels sprouts slaw; one container of orzo and black beans leftover from some random meals; and one container of salad dressing made from oil, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of hummus. I warmed up the beans and the orzo in the microwave, and then mixed everything together.

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Although this salad was pretty random, it wound up tasting great! Plus it used up a lot of leftovers from our fridge, which always makes me happy. 🙂

Snack

At around 3:30 I broke into a snack, which included a pear and some trail mix, plus another mug of tea on the side.

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For whatever reason I was freezing at work on Monday, so I couldn’t get enough of the hot beverages. Let’s hope they turn up the heat today!

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It’s so funny how every day at 3:30 I crave tea and/or a snack. A lot of times I’m not even looking at the clock but will get the craving for tea, and then when I sit down with it I can’t help but shake my head when I see what time it is. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit.

Dinner

Our family friend Dan came over for dinner on Monday, so I wanted to make something healthy and delicious for him. After my friend Catrina recommended these Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles, I decided to try them out for our dinner.

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They wound up tasting delicious, and I especially loved the sweet yet spicy sauce and the crunch from the peanuts on top. I absolutely recommend this dish!

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While we ate dinner we had a fun time watching the Bachelor and trying to figure out who was going to go home. For those of you who watch, what did you think? I truly was a fan of Kaitlyn, but I’m not really sure she’s right for Chris (I think maybe she would get too bored in Iowa?). Personally, I’m hoping they’ll pick her for the next Bachelorette!

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For some reason Whitney gets on my nerves a little bit – I think it’s a combination of her voice and her way-over-the-top enthusiasm – and I also can’t see her leaving her job and moving to Iowa. My bet is on Becca!

Question of the day: If you watch the Bachelor, share your thoughts! If not, tell me what the best thing you’ve eaten lately is. Ready, go!

 Posted by on February 25, 2015
Feb 112015
 

Hello friends! How’s everyone’s week going? Mine is moving right along, but I’m pretty much just counting down the hours until Friday. I have a three-day weekend ahead of me (my office is closed for President’s Day) and I’m pretty darn excited for Valentine’s Day and the extra day off. Can’t wait!

But first we have to get through this hump day. Let’s make this day a little more exciting with a What I Ate Wednesday post, shall we? Thanks to Jenn for hosting this fun linkup, as always. 🙂

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Let’s take a look at what I ate yesterday!

Breakfast #1

My first breakfast of the day was a glass of fresh juice! Fabio and I skipped our usual Sunday grocery run this week since we still had a lot of food leftover from our last Costco trip, so I got a little creative with my juice. On Monday I whipped up a batch of juice made with spinach, zucchini, celery, apples, lemon, ginger, and carrots.

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I was a little worried that without a cucumber there wouldn’t be enough liquid to make juice for two days, but it actually wound up being fine. We might not have had as much juice as we would have had with a cucumber, and it was a little thicker than our past juices have been, but there was plenty.

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This juice was nice and sweet from the addition of the carrots too. Yum!

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Breakfast #2

About 30 minutes later, I dug into breakfast number two which featured a bowl of  Kashi cinnamon harvest whole wheat biscuits with skim milk. I picked up this cereal on a whim at Costco, and was excited to try it out.

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The cereal tasted great, and I was pretty happy with its nutritional information as well:

  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of sugar (not too terrible)
  • Sodium-free
  • Non-GMO project verified
  • USDA organic

It was a win in my book!

Lunch

Lunch was nothing too exciting – I reheated leftovers of my tomato sweet potato noodles with chicken and artichokes and mixed it with some slightly wilted spinach (I first heated the sweet potato mixture for one minute, then topped the whole thing with spinach leaves and heated for one more minute. Then I tossed it all together).

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It was definitely a random lunch, but it was delicious nonetheless. Plus I got a bunch of veggies in!

Dinner

Fabio came home with some exciting news yesterday – he has a new job! This is something that has been in the works for a while now (all those nights of him “working late” when we’re at home have really been him updating his resume and cover letter) and he was so excited to finally get a signed offer letter from the company. He’s been wanting to work with this company for more than a year now, so he was really happy!

We decided to go out to a fun date night dinner to celebrate, and took a quick cab over to Liberty Tavern in Clarendon for dinner. I’d never been to Liberty Tavern before, but I had heard their food was amazing.

I knew our meal was going to be a good one when our waiter brought out a basket of hot rolls and salted butter. Wow – this bread was incredibly delicious.

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Fabio and I decided to order a bottle of wine (hey, we were celebrating!) and our waiter did a great job recommending some cheese that would go with it. 🙂 We wound up getting ricotta  with truffled honey butter (top), soft goat cheese (middle), and a more firm sheep cheese that tasted similar to cheddar (bottom).

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Our cheese plate also had swirls of strawberry and cantaloupe jam, and we received a basket of firm bread on the side for serving. Yum! The cheese may have wound up being my favorite part of the meal. 😀 I couldn’t even pick a favorite – they were all incredible.

For my entree I chose pasta with a kale/walnut pesto, served with roasted winter squash. There was a big dollop of ricotta cheese on top, which was melty and delicious! Fabio got gnocchi with pork belly which was also amazing.

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I wound up having a ton of leftovers (clearly I filled up on bread and cheese!) and I can’t wait to enjoy them later this week. Yum!

Fabio and I debated getting dessert (they had a salted caramel chocolate cake which sounded delicious) but we still had some wine and cheese left so we decided to finish that up instead.

Overall it was a lovely date night, and I was so happy to be celebrating with Fabio. I am so proud of him for working so hard to get what he wanted, and I can’t wait to see where this new job takes him!

Questions of the day: What are some things you’ve celebrated recently? Do you order a whole bottle of wine when you go out to dinner?

(We usually just get wine by the glass, but since we didn’t drive we decided to get a whole bottle! Great decision.)

 Posted by on February 11, 2015
Feb 042015
 

Hello, and welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday! I really missed writing these posts, so I’m going to try to get back in the habit of doing them weekly. We will see how it goes!

If you’re new around here, What I Ate Wednesday is a weekly linkup hosted by the lovely Jenn of Peas and Crayons where bloggers post about the foods they’ve been eating. I always like seeing what other people eat, and hopefully you do too!

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Here’s a look at what I ate yesterday.

Breakfast #1

First up was a glass of green juice made with cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, apple, and strawberries. The strawberries were leftover from the super bowl (we had them with chocolate fondue) and I threw them into the juicer stem and all. This juice was extra tasty, and I’m pretty sure it was from the extra sweetness of the berries. Yum!

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Breakfast #2

About 45 minutes later, it was time for breakfast number two which featured a bowl of peanut butter apple baked oatmeal (psst…it’s this recipe).

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I’m so glad I made a big batch of this baked oatmeal over the weekend because it’s been so easy to reheat in the morning. All I do is scoop it into a bowl, add a splash of skim milk, and heat it in the microwave for about one minute. Boom! Breakfast is done. (And delicious, I might add.)

Lunch

When lunchtime rolled around, I made myself a salad with leftover chicken from the Asian chicken wings I made for the super bowl. The wings had been cooked in the slow cooker then broiled, so the meat was literally falling off the bone, making it really easy to add into the salad!

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As far as dressing goes, I used some sriracha cream sauce leftover from this fantastic teriyaki salmon recipe that Fabio and I had for dinner on Monday (seriously, it was SO good). The combination of sweet Asian chicken plus sriracha cream sauce was divine! Also included in my salad was a bit of quinoa, Craisins, and a kale/brussels sprouts slaw mix, all topped on a bed of greens. Yum!

Snack #1

Around 3:30 my tummy started grumbling, so I ate a banana with some of the chocolate fondue leftover from the super bowl. This snack was so good, and even though I felt a bit guilty eating chocolate in the middle of the day, I decided it was worth it.

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First of all, I only used about a tablespoon of chocolate, and second of all, YOLO! 🙂

Snack #2

When Fabio got home from work, he poured us each a glass of wine and brought out some brie and crackers that were also leftover from the super bowl. This is why we don’t usually keep such decadent food in our kitchen – we have basically no control, haha.

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I tried to limit myself to just a few cheese and crackers, which actually worked since Fabio housed the rest. Haha!

Dinner

Last night it was Fabio’s turn to make dinner, and for the first time in a while he did it 100% by himself (usually he winds up getting overwhelmed and asks me to come in to help with something). 😉

On the menu were steaks, spinach, and potatoes.

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He did a great job, and we both gobbled up every bite!

Workout

Yesterday’s workout involved three YouTube videos from Blogilates: Pilates for beginners, 6 minutes to a sexy booty, and 6 minutes to sexy arms. (Thank you to Stephanie for recommending these to me!)

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I loved that I could do all of these videos without having to stand on my feet, but they definitely still gave me a good burn! The arm video was especially good, and I can see myself doing it again even when I’m not injured. I loved these!

One other last note – I haven’t been weighing myself too much because a) my clothes fit fine b) I don’t feel like I’ve gained any weight and c) I hate how the scale can make you feel bad about yourself. However, since I haven’t been doing any cardio for a month I wanted to see where I stand. Well I weighed myself yesterday and it looks like I’ve lost a bit of weight! Now I’m thinking this is probably a muscle loss (you should see how small my right calf muscle is) but there’s also a chance it’s from drinking the green juice? Either way I’ll take it. I was pretty worried about not being able to workout after my foot surgery and wasn’t sure what was going to happen with my weight, but it looks like my body has adapted. Thank goodness!

Question of the day: How do you feel about the scale?

 Posted by on February 4, 2015
Jan 282015
 

Hello and happy hump day! Today we’re bringing back an old favorite – What I Ate Wednesday! Can you believe I haven’t written a What I Ate Wednesday post since back in December?? I guess I’ve been busy! I always love seeing what other people are eating on a daily basis (I guess I’m nosy like that) so it’s only fair for me to show what I’m eating too!

As always, I have to thank Jenn for hosting the linkup.

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Now let’s take a look what what I ate on Monday, shall we?

Breakfast

We were out of bananas on Monday morning, so my favorite bowl of oatmeal squares with skim milk was a looking a little sad.

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I know I really should switch my breakfast up, but I am still loving this cereal so much! I have been eating oatmeal now and then, but I’m actually a little tired of it. My friend Vic just reminded me this morning about two ingredient pancakes, so I’ll probably try to bring those back into the rotation. Anyone else have ideas for mixing up my breakfast? I’m not a huge fan of eggs (unless they are on a delicious breakfast sandwich or mixed into a pancake) but I’m willing to give anything a try once. All suggestions are welcome!

Lunch

I’m still going strong on salads for lunch! Last weekend in addition to making a big batch of rice and roasted sweet potatoes for my salads, I also made a whole bunch of chicken to make it easy to add some protein to my bowl.

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This salad included mixed greens (spinach, kale, arugula), chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, carrots, Craisins, goat cheese, and a homemade hummus dressing (a tiny bit of hummus + olive oil + balsamic vinegar + salt & pepper). Yum!

This salad was huge and although I almost couldn’t finish it, in the end I made more room in my stomach and cleared my plate. I’m always kind of torn about this – is it ok to eat a salad this big? My salads are always gigantic, and I’m always really full after I eat them. I’ve tried making smaller salads but it just doesn’t work! My guess is it’s probably ok to eat this whole thing since all the ingredients are wholesome and good for you, right? Right?! Someone please send help!

Dinner

For dinner, I busted out the spiralizer I got for Christmas!

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In the last year or so, I saw spiralizers pop up all over the internet, so this Christmas I added one to my wish list and hoped that “Santa” would deliver. Well, lucky for me, he did!

If you’ve never heard of spiralizer, it’s a kitchen gadget that allows you to take veggies and turn them into thin or thick spirals. These can then be used for things like vegetable “noodles,” curly fries, thinly sliced veggies, vegetable ribbons, and more. I mostly wanted to get one of these so I could create pasta dishes using veggies instead of regular starchy carb-loaded pasta. The one I got cost about $35 on Amazon, and so far it seems well worth the investment!

When I took it out of the box, I’ll admit it was a little intimidating and I had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully I found this video on YouTube which gave a great demonstration! Here’s how it works.

The spiralizer has two main parts that you’ll need to pay attention to: the blade (which I’m holding) and the crank (the scary-looking circular disk attached to a handle).

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The spiralizer comes with a couple of different blades including a straight one for slicing veggies thinly, a small pyramid-shaped blade for making thin veggie noodles, and a bigger pyramid-shaped blade for bigger noodles. I used the small pyramid blade this time.

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To use the spiralizer, you’ll want to start by washing your produce, and cutting off one end. Then you will need to push the cut end of your vegetable onto that round circle in the top middle of the blade, and affix the other end to the pointy spikes on the crank.

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Then you turn the crank’s handle until the spiralized veggies come out on the other side of the blade.

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As you turn the crank, the core of the veggie will come out through the metal hole. Once your veggie is almost to the blade, you can take it out (the core too!) and either discard these pieces or save them for soups/fresh juices. (Guess which one I did?!)

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The whole process was actually very easy, and it only took about 5 minutes to spiralize 3 zucchinis.

Voila! Healthy veggie “noodles!”

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To go with the zucchini noodles, I made this recipe for turkey bolognese. I loved that the sauce incorporated even more veggies (in addition to all the tomatoes, there are minced carrots and celery in there) and had a very delicious taste.

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Here’s my plate once Fabio was done topping it with cheese. 😉

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The result? I loved these zucchini noodles! Of course they’re not exactly the same as pasta, but honestly they didn’t taste different at all. I will say that the texture was a little crunchier (sort of like very al dente noodles) but I was surprised that they didn’t taste like a vegetable.

One thing to point out is that the noodles will be cold (at least if you keep your zucchini in the fridge like I do) so you may want to nuke them in the microwave for a bit before topping them with sauce to make sure the temperature is right.

All in all, I would say the spiralizer works really well, and Fabio and I both were very impressed with the results. I can’t wait to see what we make next!

Questions of the day: How should I switch up my breakfasts? Have you ever used a spiralizer? If so, what dishes do you like to make?

 Posted by on January 28, 2015
Dec 102014
 

Hi there! Happy Wednesday! 🙂 Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post. I know these next few months are going to be quite challenging for me, and knowing that you all are behind me really does help. Thank you!!

For today’s post, I thought we should talk about food! It’s been a while since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday post, so I decided to bring it back today. However since it’s been so long, I have a lot of pictures to share! Instead of documenting just one day of meals, I thought it would be fun to do an “iPhone photo dump” type of post instead. That way you can see all the tasty meals I’ve been digging lately. Sound good? Great. Let’s get started!

As always, I have to thank Jenn for hosting the fun What I Ate Wednesday linkup!

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Breakfasts

For a while Costco stopped selling my beloved Oatmeal Squares cereal, so when I spotted them on the shelves again a few weeks ago I was practically jumping for joy. (Literally, I think I embarrassed Fabio a bit). Because of this, my breakfasts lately have been all Oatmeal Squares, all the time. They’re just so darn delicious!

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When I’m not eating this cereal I’m usually having a bowl of hot banana oatmeal (1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup skim milk, 1 ripe mushed up banana – try it!) with some pb on top. This breakfast is so good, and is perfect for when my bananas start getting too ripe for cereal.

I’ve also needed to pack a few grab-n-go meals for mornings when I’ve taken the morning class at Urban Athletic Club and had to go into work right after. On these days, I usually throw a chocolate almond & sea salt Kashi bar in my bag, along with a banana.

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Why is it that when I put my banana in my bag it’s perfectly yellow, and when I take it out barely two hours later, it’s all bruised? What the heck happens to it when it’s inside my bag??

Anyway, these breakfasts do a pretty good job of holding me over until lunchtime, and if I’m feeling extra hungry I will sometimes buy a hard-boiled egg from a little deli by my office for some added protein. It gets the job done!

Lunches

My lunches lately have featured lots and lots of hot soups! It’s been so cold and gross out lately that soup is about the only thing I want come lunch time.

A couple weeks ago I made a big batch of my favorite skinny homestyle chicken noodle soup, which is awesome for bringing for lunch. I love that soup!!

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I also recently discovered a really tasty Pho place near my office called Pho Tan Vinh, which is really more of a sit-down restaurant but also (thankfully) has carry out.

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Last week I got a huge cup (this was the small!!) of chicken pho, and once I added the lime, basil, green onions, and jalapenos, it was just heavenly! (P.S. I don’t actually eat the raw jalapenos…I just leave them in the hot broth to flavor it a bit, and then when I get toward the bottom I take them out!)

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So good!

Other recent lunches have included a bowl of leftover chili from this past weekend with two spinach quinoa cakes with hot sauce….

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…and a delicious curried cauliflower chicken salad from SweetGreen. That salad was SO good. I’m going to need to get that again soon!

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So overall, my lunches lately have been great!

Snacks

Same old, same old sliced honey-crisp apple with a mug of hot green tea. I know, I’m so boring. Sometimes I’ll add some peanuts for healthy fats (we have a huge container of peanuts in my office) but not always. I’m still loving this afternoon snack!

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Dinners

Well let’s see, I already told you guys about dinner with my dad at Uncle Julio’s last week. My dad, Fabio and I wound up splitting an order of steak fajitas and man, were they good.

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Yummmmmm!

I also recently tried out this recipe for crockpot lasagna soup, which turned out really well! I added a few spices at the end to give it more flavor, and I was so pleased with the end result. I will definitely be making this again!

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And other than that Fabio and I have just been sticking with our weekly meal planning, and trying out new recipes as we go! I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted of other recipes that we like!

Question of the day: What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?

 Posted by on December 10, 2014
Nov 192014
 

Hello, hello! I hope your week is going well! Mine is off to a great start, and knowing that next week is a short one filled with lots of fun family time (and food!) doesn’t hurt either. 😉

I realized it’s been forever since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday post around here, so let’s get back to that today, shall we? Thanks to Jenn for hosting the linkup, as always.

WIAWbuttonHere’s a look at what I ate yesterday!

Breakfast

Every morning lately I have been alternating between oatmeal and cereal, depending on how ripe my bananas are. This might sound crazy, but a banana that’s not too ripe for eating on its own is a rare thing! I hate eating bananas if they are too mushy. Yuck. That’s when they are perfect for oatmeal! 🙂

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Since it’s the beginning of the week and my bananas are still relatively firm, I’ve been enjoying them in big bowls of cereal. Yesterday’s bowl included oatmeal squares, multigrain cheerios, and skim milk. Yum!

I usually wait to have a big mug of green tea until my mid-afternoon snack, but with yesterday’s freezing temps I decided I needed it as soon as I got into work.

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Feels like 13 degrees?! What is this, January?

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Once I settled in with my mug of hot tea I felt much better. 🙂

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Lunch

A few hours later, I was ready for lunch! Yesterday’s lunch was sort of a mixture of things – I had spinach quinoa cakes with hot sauce (from Costco and very tasty!!) some sliced turkey breast (also from Costco) and some baby carrots and hummus.

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Although this lunch was pretty random, I was pretty happy that it included some carbs (quinoa), protein (turkey), veggies (spinach and carrots), and healthy fats (hummus) so I was ok with it. It was tasty too!

After lunch I ate one of these.

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Our kitchen at work currently has tons of snacks left over from our big meeting in Boston, and I’m trying to stop myself from eating all-the-things. What is it about free candy that is so tempting?!

Snack

For my afternoon snack I enjoyed a cut up apple (keeping my apple slicer in my desk drawer is probably the best thing I’ve ever done) along with some salted peanuts.

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Those peanuts are like crack!! So delicious.

Dinner

For dinner we cooked another meal from Blue Apron! Apparently the company really liked the review I did of them last time, so they asked if I would be interested in trying out their services again so I could try their new goat cheese from Vermont Creamery.

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You can learn more about the Vermont Creamery (and see some happy goats!) in this video. We haven’t actually used the goat cheese yet, but we’re planning to use it tonight in the Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza recipe. I looove goat cheese (and butternut squash pizza) so I can’t wait to try it out!

Anyway, back to yesterday’s dinner. We made Thai chicken meatballs which were out of this world amazing.

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I love Thai food but Fabio claims he doesn’t like it, however after this meal I got him to admit that he is actually a fan. 😉 Success! We will definitely be recreating this meal again once I buy some of the ingredients for it. It was so good!

Another meal we really liked this week was flank steak with creamed kale and sunchokes, a new-to-me root vegetable.

photo (5)Have you ever tried a sunchoke? It’s kind of like a potato, but has a bit of a peppery taste. Not sure if I’ll be buying them regularly, but I liked it enough.

Fabio cooked this dinner and it came it out delicious. The creamed kale was especially tasty, probably since it was made with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. 😉 I am determined to recreate the kale and lighten it up a bit. I’ll keep ya’ posted if I am successful!

Anyway, I have been loving these Blue Apron meals once again, and can’t wait for the pizza tonight! Nom!

Workouts

Yesterday was a rest day on the workout front. On Monday I did another Kayla Itsines workout (legs & cardio) and it was such a killer! I hadn’t done one of those workouts in more than a month since I was taking advantage of ClassPass last month, and let’s just say they aren’t as easy as I remembered. I’m still sore! Ouch!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today! Have a great Wednesday!

Question of the day: Do you like Thai food?

 Posted by on November 19, 2014
Nov 052014
 

Hi friends! As I mentioned, I’m in Boston today for work, probably running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Since I don’t have too much time to chat today, I’m leaving you in the hilarious hands of one of my best friends Megan, who will tell you all about how she makes healthy choices while working at her dream job. Seriously, her job is so cool. Read on for more!

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Hi Everyone! SO excited to be here.  As an avid reader of CET, I’m so pumped to be writing a guest post on the blog. My name is Megan, and I have been friends with our girl Chelsea since freshman year of college and am also a proud member of Sloppytown. 😉

I live in NYC, home of extremely miniature, overpriced apartments and dollar slices. While I do not yet have a blog of my own, I enjoy a lot of healthy living blogs and endeavor to maintain a balanced lifestyle myself. However, between the city and my job this can be very difficult.

I work for a website called BuzzFeed. Have you heard of it? If not click that link, you won’t regret it. If you have heard of it, awesome. At my job I get to see cool things like this


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(Sorry for the Snapchat screenshot but that’s Amy Poehler and she was perfect.)

Which, is pretty cool and exciting. But, besides for the occasional celebrity, a lot of office excitement revolves around, what else, food. We have a lot of food in my office
all the time. It’s definitely not all healthy – but it’s all free.

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See where I’m headed here? When you’re busy and short on time and around amazing, free food, healthy choices become more and more difficult.

I have experimented with eating food that is unhealthy during the workday and it has never ended well. I mean never. I typically start to feel slugglish, unmotivated and weirdly even more hungry. And hungry for candy or chips, which, of course, I have easy access to and it’s all downhill from there. So I thought I’d share what I go for when faced with the decision of how to make food choices. Below is a sample of an average workday’s eats


Breakfast

Luckily we have a healthy breakfast option: Chobani! I typically have one everyday and if I get sick of it I bring oatmeal.

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I usually choose the plain flavor and add honey, it’s much better for you without the sugary ‘fruit’ they add in. Sometimes I add granola and fruit, or have a bar on the side. If it’s a bar kind of day I go for this:

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Over This:

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The best way I can describe Fig Bars is that they are essentially ‘healthy’ Fig Newtons. The ingredients are simple, they’re 100% whole grain and they’re delicious. Nature Valley bars have more ingredients and less nutritional value, also, the original Oats ‘n Honey is the cleanest among their products; it’s a slippery slope as you get into different flavors.

Lunch

We often have catered lunches at work. It’s a nice perk, but it makes eating healthy very, very hard. This week we got Mexicue delivered, which is Mexican BBQ. It’s ahhmazing, but also full of fat and salt and things that are bad. ::Sigh:: But, I’m not one for deprivation so I here’s how I tried to keep it healthy-er.

What was on the Menu: Smoked Chicken, Pulled Pork, Rice and Black Beans, Iceberg Lettuce, Cojita Cheese, White Cheddar Cheese, Tortilla Strips, Pico De Gallo, Creamy Chipotle Sauce, Fire Roasted Corn Salsa, Spicy Lime Dressing, Chili Citrus Vinaigrette, White Flour Tortillas

What I skipped: Rice, Tortilla, Tortilla Strips, Pork, Cheese

Why I skipped: The carbs, for me, were unnecessary and I don’t need them with so much else to work with in the mix. I chose the chicken over the pork because typically this chicken has less calorie and fat content than pulled pork and while smoked meat = tons of sodium, the chicken was overall less greasy. I skipped the cheese simply because I wanted the sauces, which is a trade that makes sense to me. I know Creamy Chipotle Sauce is fattening, it is most likely made with mayonnaise, but I also know that I love it. The trade-off seemed fair, choosing one of the two potential added fats.

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Protein + vegetables + fats = kept me full but not too full.

Snacks

On a day like today (when I’m not bringing a healthy lunch from home) I keep the afternoon light. We do have some fruit, so an apple is great.

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And if I really want something else, maybe chips, I’ll go for this:

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Over this:

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PopCorners are delicious and have only 3 ingredients and 3g of fat in the Sea Salt flavor. They’re made from corn and taste like a popcorn/chip combo – yum. The thing about Veggie Straws is that they have nothing to do with veggies; it’s a little misleading. Veggie straws also have more than double the ingredients (the first three being Potato Flour, Potato Starch, Corn Starch) and each bag contains 7g of fat. With the empty calories/fat that chips provide, I like to choose the one that has less.

With limited time on my hands, I need snacks that are readily available to me. And working with what we have at the office can be a slippery slope but it’s just about making the best choices (to avoid gaining the ‘BuzzFeed 15′). 😉

Thanks for listening to be blab on and thanks to Chels for letting me! It’s been a dream contributing to CET.

Thanks, Megan! I can’t imagine having access to all those delicious free snacks all the time. Gahh!! I think Megan does a good job at picking smart options though. 🙂

Question of the day: How do you handle free food (snacks, catered lunches, etc) when they’re available at your job?

 Posted by on November 5, 2014