Is it Friday yet????

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We all know the answer to that is no. Technically it is Friday in some part of the world, but not in my world! Just so you know where I’m coming from, this is what my desk looked like when I left work today…

 

Part of my new job is coordinating the Title I and Title II grants for my school district. This is the first time I’m filing the application, and things got a little out of hand this afternoon… There’s way too much paper involved in this process! Anyone who knows me knows that I would be MUCH happier if the whole thing was done electronically. I hate to leave my desk in such a state of disarray at the end of the day, but today I just had to walk out. It will still be there in the morning… UGH!

To cheer myself up, I made a stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home. I did all of my grocery shopping there for a while, but realized I was spending too much on cool stuff ! Plus not taking advantage of the whole gas discount rewards program at Stop & Shop was just silly with the amount of driving I do. I had a feeling they would have some cool pumpkin-y things for me to try, and I was right! They had an entire section dedicated to pumpkin goodies…everything from pumpkin butter to pumpkin soup to pumpkin flavored dog treats! Here’s what I walked away with tonight.

 

Okay, so the ice cream probably wasn’t the best choice, but the good news is that I can only handle it a couple of spoonfuls at a time. And yes – that little container in the front there is 0% pumpkin flavored Greek yogurt, complete with cinnamon and nutmeg! I can’t wait to try that tomorrow! I’m hoping the ravioli taste as good as they sound – I’ll be eating those solo since the hubs is not a pumpkin fan. The chai I just had to try, and I got the coffee because I have a serious problem with the pumpkin coffee concoctions that are out there. They are LOADED with sugar! Most of them depend on some kind of syrup. I like the flavor without the sweetness, so I’m really hoping this does the trick!

My other find at TJs was this lovely little package!

Warning: If you are expecting to close your eyes and think you’re eating Doritos, do not buy these. If you want a tasty, crunchy snack without too much guilt, go ahead and give them a shot. They are pretty good. Just definitely not a sub for those fake orange triangles of yumminess that those of us trying to eat healthy avoid like the plague!

One last plug for a new favorite product – Chobani Flips! I fell in love with the vanilla chocolate chunk flavor of Chobani a few weeks ago. I like to add a few chopped walnuts to it and call it dessert! This little beauty made my taste buds sing!

This nifty little container has my favorite vanilla chocolate chunk on one side, and delicious raspberry on the other! A little scoop of the raspberry, a little scoop of the yogurt and voila! Heaven!! Whoever at Chobani thought this one up was a GENIUS!

Just had to share those few things with you today – plus blogging for a bit gave me a chance to unwind before ordering dinner. The hubby is coming home on the late side tonight, but we will be enjoying some sushi and a glass of wine when he does manage to get home. Hope you had a better Thursday than I did – and hope you have a Fabulous Friday!! 🙂

Questions for today:

Do you have crazy days at work? How do you deal?

What is your favorite pumpkin flavored food item?

Are you a Trader Joe’s shopper? Any favorites?

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!