Marvelous in my Monday #2

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Happy Monday!

I spent most of my weekend sleeping…stupid cold! I’ve been taking Emergen-C, trying to drink orange juice (doesn’t really agree with my stomach), and trying to rest up. I have been running myself ragged for the last few weeks with my new job, so I’m not surprised that the icky germs finally took hold and knocked me out!!

I got out for a while on Saturday night to help some dear friends celebrate their new home – it’s such a cute, cozy place and I’m sure they will enjoy many years there! We had a great time – drank some wine, ate some yummy food, and laughed the night away!

With all this, I did manage to get some laundry done, and of course I went grocery shopping! My goal for this week was to make it out of the store spending less than $100. I did it! I spent $90.03 and I got all this stuff…

I think that’s pretty good for a little over $90! I used half of the beef to make stew using my favorite recipe from Mark Bittman last night (yummy!). I just do the “regular” recipe, but last night I used garlic infused grapeseed oil to cook the beef. It smelled soooooooooo good in my kitchen!! Of course I have mushrooms, greens, and mixed veggies to make my favorite funky fried rice! The turkey will most likely become chili later in the week, and the chicken will get grilled for salads. I always buy a few different kinds of salad greens – this week was baby spinach, romaine, and a baby arugula mix. I typically have at least 10 Greek yogurts on hand (one for each of us for each day), and I bought some baby cucumbers for snacking. There’s just something refreshing about cucumbers!! I found a new Thai Tomato Coconut soup that sounded interesting, and given my current situation (sick with a cold!!) soup sounded really good to me yesterday. That will probably wind up being lunch tomorrow.

I had another busy day today, but enjoyed a lunch meeting with some colleagues this afternoon at Le Pain Quotidien. I’m sorry now that I didn’t take pictures, but it would have been pretty awkward! Only one of them knows about this blog, and I didn’t think it was really an appropriate time or place to explain! I had gazpacho – which I usually don’t like. I felt like having soup, but the only other option was lentil and I wasn’t in a lentil kind of mood today. The gazpacho was really fresh – and came topped with a few chunks of avocado and a drizzle of basil olive oil. It was delicious as well as pretty! I also had a warm Moroccan chicken salad that had spiced chicken with harissa (a paste of chilis, garlic, herbs, spices, and olive oil), chickpeas, and arugula. It was different from anything I had ever had before, but it was really good! I washed it all down with some green tea, which felt really good on my sore throat.

Well, that’s about it for my MIMM post for this week! Hope everyone else is having a Marvelous Monday! Thanks again to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting! Have a great week!

What is your comfort food when you’re not feeling well?

Any ideas for how to get rid of this (stupid!!!) cold faster?

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What I Ate Wednesday…

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Okay…so I’m starting to get into these “link-up” things! This is my second one this week. (Want to check out my first “Marvelous In My Monday” post – go here!)

“What I Ate Wednesday” has been around for a while, but I’m just jumping on the bandwagon now! Thanks to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting! And a major thanks to Eva, my most awesome Zumba instructor, for introducing me to all of these link-ups, and for encouraging me to keep blogging! Check her out at Committed2Nutrition!

If you’ve never been part of #WIAW or seen one of these posts before, it’s basically a way to share some ideas for healthy eats, recipes, and it’s also a pretty darned nifty accountability tool! Taking pictures of what you eat all day long is no easy feat! It’s a bit awkward when you’re with people who aren’t used to eating with healthy living/eating bloggers who take pictures of EVERYTHING! Thus, there is no picture of my lunch today! Oh well…can’t be perfect all the time!

Here’s what I remembered to actually take pictures of today…

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts EVER! I shared the recipe a little while ago here. I know that flavored Greek yogurt isn’t the best, but to me it’s a treat! Generally I eat the plain stuff with some fresh fruit, cocoa powder, or PB2 (which ROCKS by the way!) in it. This key lime flavor from Oikos is A-MA-ZING! I love key lime, and this is just the right balance of sweet, tart, and tangy and totally kills the craving for the pie version. Added a few Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips to the top and it was heaven! Dinner was one of my go-to quickie dinner recipes – Tempeh-Veggie Fried Rice. I tell the story of how this one came to be, and also share the recipe here. I’m telling you – you could make this with just about anything you have in the house and it will taste good!

Tonight I’ll probably just have my usual decaf tea – been getting into the fruity/herbal flavors at night. The hubby brought home an apple cinnamon one the other night that tastes just like hot apple cider – without all the sugar and calories! A perfect treat… 🙂

I know this is a pretty crummy WIAW post, but I promise I’ll do better next Wednesday…I’m going to ask for newbie forgiveness on this one!

What’s one of your favorite go-to meals for busy nights?

Any other ideas for sweet but low-cal treats with a fall-ish twist?

A Few of My Favorite Things…

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First, I have to say that I’m really disappointed in myself for not keeping up with this blog like I had originally hoped. Lots of things have managed to get in the way – namely life! I got a new job, and it has been taking up a LOT more time than I thought. It’s okay though, because it’s an awesome challenge and so far, I’m really liking it. Trying to cram in all of my health and fitness stuff around it has been the real challenge, but I’m happy to say I’ve been doing it! I’ve been working with a trainer 3 times a week, and also trying to get in as many Zumba classes as humanly possible…which brings me to this post.

I got the idea for this post from my most awesome Zumba instructor and friend Eva over at Committed2Nutrition. Every once in a while, she posts her new favorite foods. So here goes my list for today…

ImageStarbucks Iced Venti Americano. My post-Zumba drink for this morning. I happened to meet up with Eva at Starbucks after class, so I treated her to an iced coffee as a sort of “thank you” for helping me on my journey! I got an iced Americano with 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. I think I’m going to try something Eva has been talking about – flavored liquid stevia. I’m not a big fan of artificially sweetened stuff, but this is my one weakness. Maybe the stevia will take the place of the SFV… I used to get this with no water and then fill the rest with milk, but lately I’ve just been getting it black.

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Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. Love. This. Stuff. Great in smoothies, on cereal, and even to make chocolate “milk” for a treat every once in a while.

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Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt. I eat this almost every day. You can make this into almost anything… Throw it in a smoothie, use it in place of sour cream or mayo in dips and dressings, top it with fresh fruit… I’ve even mixed it with some PB2 and used it as a dip for apples! This stuff is just awesome…

ImagePB2. This stuff ROCKS! If you simply look at it, you might think that someone ran some peanut butter through the dryer…it’s literally dry, powdered peanut butter. You can mix some water in to make a PB-like paste, or you can do what I do and just add it to protein shakes and smoothies. Just for a quick comparison on 2 TBSP (typical peanut butter serving size) – PB2 has 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein compared to regular peanut butter (I use Kirkland Natural from Costco) which has 200 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein. Granted, the regular peanut butter wins out on protein, but check out the FAT! Ten times less! Trust me. It’s amazing. I buy it here.

Ok… Time to get out there and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day!

My New Favorite Snack

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Around mid-afternoon, I always find I need a little something to get me through until dinner – which in our house can be as late as 9:00 some nights. I know – I’m not a big fan of eating that late, but sometimes schedules just can’t be helped.

My new favorite snack is Greek yogurt with blueberries – but not just any Greek yogurt and not just any blueberries!  Plain yogurt is fine, but what has gotten me hooked is lemon flavored Chobani yogurt.  I know it has more sugar than the plain, but in this case it’s worth it.  It’s not some icky artificial lemon flavor. It has real lemon pulp in it that you can actually see.  It has a fresh taste to it, unlike those chemically engineered “light” yogurt type substances.  The blueberries are ones that we picked at Jones Family Farm last summer.  We picked a TON of them, and boy were they gorgeous!  One of the things we did with them was to freeze a few quarts for the winter.  I have been hesitant to use them, but now that the ones in the grocery store are anemic with an astronomical price tag, I have broken into the stash.  I heat up about a cup of the blueberries in the microwave – just enough to soften them up and thaw them out, but not to make them hot.  Then, I dump the container of yogurt on top and mix them together.  Top with a couple of walnuts and it is literally the perfect snack.  Protein, super fruit, and good fats.  Can’t get much better than that!