New Diet Book in the Mail!

Hey All! Hope you had a great afternoon. I’m winding down for the evening, as I’m sure many of you are. Tonight, I had planned to read through the new book I received in the mail – The Full Plate Diet (January 2010), but am just too tired to read anything that I need to pay attention to. And, with all new health, fitness, or nutrition books – I want to give this my full attention.

Full Plate Diet

From my very brief look at the book, the diet – which is more of an eating plan rather than a restrictive eating regimen – focuses on adding fiber to your meals throughout the day. The pictures and layout look awesome! But, I’m really interested to see what tips the authors give on how to add daily fiber without feeling too full or bloated (a problem many people have). I’ll keep you posted on that one! Also, be on the lookout for my review in the next week or so.

As for my afternoon, my schedule was packed with more meetings and other desk work. I did manage to snag a few birthday cookies as an afternoon treat….

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Hmm, they were so yummy, it was hard to stop at just two.

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Per usual when I’m eating sweets, I enjoyed the cookies with a spot of hot tea – this time it was Bigelow Chamomile tea.

I didn’t arrive home until after 6:30 PM today. My days just keep getting later and later. Pretty soon, I’ll be driving home in the dark – ugh! Because I arrived home so late, I didn’t feel like making a big dinner, so I warmed up leftovers from Monday night…

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I had my husband’s pasta sauce over Trader Joe’s whole wheat penne with a side of fresh green beans. Honestly, the sauce even tastes better after it’s been sitting around for a few days. So, having leftover pasta and sauce is always a welcome meal for us.

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It’s really easy to overeat when it comes to this sauce, but I tried very hard not to tonight. 

Now, I am headed to bed. Tomorrow is an early run as long as it’s not raining too hard – blah. I shouldn’t complain though because we need the rain.

See you in the AM!

Rainy Day Blues…

Hey everyone! I am so glad that today was not my day to run because it was pouring down rain when I woke up. Or I should say, when I got out of bed. I actually woke up around 3:30 AM and could not go back to sleep because of the noisy rain and my racing thoughts. If anyone has any recommendations on how to fall back to sleep during these situations (other than my husband’s obvious suggestion), I’d love to hear them.

When I finally got out of bed at 6 AM, I made a cheerful and eye-opening breakfast…

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I mixed 1 carton of Trader Joe’s nonfat Greek Yogurt – vanilla flavor – with 2 chopped strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, and 2 tbsp walnuts. After that, I was good to go until lunch! It’s amazing how Greek yogurt can fill you up – and the added MUFA from the walnuts doesn’t hurt either.

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After a series of meetings, I was finally able to get a big chunk of work done – reading, writing, reviewing, etc. I hope I can be as productive this afternoon, although I’m feeling the itch to bolt out of here early.

Lunch was nearly identical to yesterday…

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Low-fat salami and ham with a piece of Swiss cheese on Brownberry Double Fiber bread. Only today, I had it with carrots instead of tomatoes.

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It’s someone’s 30th birthday in the office today and she brought a bunch of bakery treats. I am so wanting a piece of the chocolate coffee cake and the sprinkled butter cookies!

OK, back to work for me!

Running With Cake Welcomes Foodie BlogRoll!

Hey everyone! Hope you’re having a great evening. I want to say a special hello and welcome to all of my new, way cool foodie friends at Foodie BlogRoll! It’s so great to finally be a part of a community dedicated to food blogging. I’ve already had so many of you come to my site and I’m so thankful that you did!

If you’re still curious what Running With Cake is all about, check out my Q&A section, or read a few of my more popular blog posts, including:

Please feel free to leave a comment on my site – I’d love to hear from you!

As for my day, I’ve had this strange anxious feeling all day. We are just 8 weeks away from our huge meeting and I’m feeling so overwhelmed because I still have so much to do. It’s not much fun going to work these days when I’m so stressed. I need to find my calm, happy place – Om, Om….

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For lunch, I had a simple sandwich made with about 1 oz of low-fat salami, sliced ham, and piece of Swiss cheese, all on a slice of Brownberry Double Fiber bread. This bread has 6 g. of fiber in just one slice – that’s more than 20% of the recommended daily fiber for the average adult! I also threw in a few grape tomatoes on the side.

Later in the afternoon, I was getting very tired and had that sinking feeling in my stomach that I get when I’m stressed. I needed to get out of the office for a bit, so I headed to Barnes and Noble for a quick browse of the latest magazines. And, I also picked up one of these babies on my way out the door…

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Ahh, just what I needed to keep me awake all afternoon.

I didn’t get home from work until almost 6:30 PM and really didn’t feel like making a big dinner. My husband was working late, so I just made a simple homemade turkey-veggie burger…

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First, I sauteed a bunch of veggies – like carrots, yellow peppers, onions, and grape tomatoes. Then, I mixed all of the veggies with about a 1/2 pound of lean ground turkey meat and added salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic and onion powder. From this mixture, I was able to make 4 nice size turkey patties and froze 3 of them.

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Here is the finished, and cooked, product – so yummy!

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Because I really wasn’t planning on having a burger tonight, I didn’t have any real burger buns in the house. But, I made due with another slice of the Double Fiber bread.

Now, I am so zonked that I need to call it a night. Tomorrow is my off day for running, so I feel like I should either take advantage of the free morning and sleep in, or get up just as early and get to work before 8 AM. Stay tuned to see how that one turns out!

Night everyone…

Blueberries Fight Belly Fat

Good morning everyone! It’s another great day in Chicago land! I had an awesome 4-mile run in the beautiful sunshine and crisp, cool air. After my run, I drank a ton of water while sporting my new Lucy wristband…

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Because I’m on Lucy’s email list, I received an email with a coupon for a free bright pink wristband. How fun! I know, I know, I wasn’t actually wearing the wristband, but I’m not really in to wearing wristbands while I run or exercise. But it does make for a cute water bottle cover. And, it’s great for soaking up all of the condensation from the bottle. 

After my run, I enjoyed a fantastic breakfast…

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I had a cup of Cheerios Multigrain and topped it with 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (yeah- I’ve replenished my Costco supply!) and 2 tbsp chopped walnuts.

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The blueberries are so plump and juicy and full of antioxidants. Plus they have tons of vitamins, including C, A, and E. A recent study out of the University of Michigan (Go Big 10) has even shown that blueberries can help fight belly fat – so how can  you not love this little blue fruit!

OK, enough blueberry babbling for me, gotta get some work done.

Catch you all later!

The Secret is in the Sauce

Hello All! Hope you had a great day. My whole day flew by today, probably because I was super focused and productive. 

Unfortunately, I was not able to get out for lunch so I just ended up eating at my desk – blah!

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But, at least I had something good to eat – homemade chili with beans, grape tomatoes, and spinach! It was just enough to push me through to the late afternoon. But, around 4 PM, I started to get a little hungry so I grabbed a quick and healthy snack…

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An Oikos Greek yogurt – vanilla flavor with a 1/2 Nature Valley All-Natural Oats and Honey granola bar mixed in. The granola bar was kind of an impromptu snack – there were a bunch of granola bars leftover from a meeting and I was able to snag a couple before they were all gone!

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I didn’t end up leaving work until after 5:30 PM because I really wanted to finish the project I was working on. I never ended up finishing it, but I came pretty close.

By the time I arrived home, it was after 6 PM. To my surprise, my husband had spent most of the day making his famous homemade pasta sauce. I swore that I would not disclose the recipe, but let’s just say it’s made with a whole lot of tomatoes, ground turkey, and a bunch of other fresh ingredients.

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The recipe has been handed down over three generations and really hasn’t changed much in the process. But one thing is for sure, the art of making the sauce takes quite a bit of time so my husband literally quadruples the recipe, which makes 12 quarts. Luckily, we have an extra huge sauce pot to fit it all in!

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The sauce can be used for a number of different dishes, including baked ziti, lasagna, meatball sandwiches, or just plain pasta and sauce. Tonight, we had the sauce over Trader Joe’s whole wheat rotini noodles with a side of steamed carrots. Totally yum!

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We always end up freezing at least 10 containers (thankfully we have two freezers!). It makes for a tasty and quick midweek dinner, and can easily be beefed up with a salad or other veggies on the side. And, if we ration out the sauce just right, all of these leftovers may last us until Christmas! 

After dinner, I had to run a bunch of errands. I was able to get to the library, Costco for gas, and 3 other stores all in 1 hour – and I was even driving the speed limit! My last stop was Barnes and Noble to pick up a cookie at the request of my chef-of-a-husband. I did have a about 1/4 of the giant chocolate chunk cookie with some skim milk (not pictured) and it made for a nice bedtime treat.

Now, it’s off to bed for me. As a reminder, check out RWC on alltop, I am now listed! Yeah!

Night everyone!

Breakfast with Aveda White Tea

Good morning everyone! It was another perfect morning for a 4-mile run! The sun was shining and there was an awesome crispness in the air. And, that was not the only thing that made this morning fantastic – I also received an email telling me that RWC is now on alltop! I guess this means that I’m on my way to becoming official – he he! I have one more special treat to share with you all this morning, but first – breakfast…

I started my day with a protein-packed breakfast…

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I had 1 cup of Cheerios Multigrain topped with about 2 tbsp of walnuts – delicious, crunchy and full of MUFA (monounsaturated fats!)

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In addition to being added to alltop, I had but one more reason to be happy this morning – I’m finally trying out my new hand soap…

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I recently received this sample of Aveda’s White Tea with Aloe guest hand soap. If you know anything about me you know that I LOVE little, guest soaps. And, I’ve always loved Aveda products because they are all made with flower and/or plant-based materials.

Aveda White Tea2

So, even though it’s supposed to be guest soap, I couldn’t resist trying it out and giving you my thoughts. This particular soap – White Tea with Aloe – is part of the Westin hotel chain’s line of bath products, specially made by Aveda. I love the shape of the soap – a dainty little green leaf. And, the scent is amazing. I’ve always been a fan of white tea bath/body products and this is one of the best as far as hand soaps go.

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The luxury bath bar left my hands feeling clean, soft, and with a very fresh scent. Love it! I only wish I could get similar bar in the Aveda stores.

Ok, now I really must get back to my real job…have a great morning everyone!

You Can Mango My Salsa Anytime!

Hello Everyone! I am back from my nephew’s birthday party and am totally exhausted! It’s amazing how little kids can wear you out, especially when they’re all jacked up on sugar!

The guest of honor, my nephew, chose his special birthday dinner. And what else could a 4-year old want for dinner  but PIZZA….

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There were several kinds of pizza to choose from – pepperoni, sausage, and plain cheese. I had 3 small slices of cheese pizza and a scoop of fruit salad to balance the cheesy, greasy pizza. I also munched on quite a bit of homemade mango-pepper salsa, courtesy of my mother-in-law, which was fantastic…

8.23 mango salsa

Hmmm…sooo goood! Whoever thought to replace tomatoes with mangoes in salsa was a genius! The flavors of mango, peppers, onions, and cilantro are amazing and the dish itself is super versatile, going well on a tortilla chip or used as a sauce over fish or chicken. 

We ended our birthday celebration with Spiderman-themed cupcakes. I don’t think I’ve had cupcakes with red and blue frosting in ages…

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It was hysterical to see all of the kids eating these brightly frosted cakes. By the end, they all looked like a cross between a smurf and a clown! Too cute!

Now, I really need to head to bed, considering tomorrow is my early run day and, of course, I’m off to work right after that!

Have a great night everyone!

A Pepper Trifecta and Stevia Review

Hey Everyone! It is an absolutely beautiful day here in Chicago! It’s about 70 degrees and sunny. The exceptionally cool weather really helped my long run this morning. I was able to do 6 miles (that’s long for me!) with no problem. I think I am ready for summer to be over – bring on the Fall!

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For breakfast, I had the new Oikos Greek yogurt I picked up from Whole Foods – it was strawberry flavor. It was a first for me and it was just yummy with a tablespoon or two of walnuts (for extra MUFA) sprinkled on top.

8.20 OIkos-strawberry

I also tried a new product that was sent to me in the mail – Stevia In the Raw 100% natural sweetener.

Stevia

I actually tried it a few weeks ago in homemade lemonade and thought there was a weird after taste to it. My husband just raved about it in his homemade iced tea, so I thought I’d give it another try in my hot tea this morning.

Tea with stevia

I brewed Harney and Sons whole leaf English Breakfast tea and added 1/2 a stevia packet. I’m sorry to report that the sweetener still has a weird taste and after taste that I just can’t get used to. I haven’t given up on it completely though – I may try using stevia as a replacement to sugar during baking. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

After breakfast, I was just lounging around the house, checking emails, etc. I put on my comfy yoga pants from the Gap (my new favorite pants) and my brand new running/yoga shirt from LUCY.

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The shirt really describes how my life goes on most days – I’m up and running with the sun!

Lunch was leftovers – the other 1/2 of the chicken sandwich/burger that I ordered from Red Robin on Friday…

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I paired it with some fresh grilled red, green, and yellow bell peppers and grape tomatoes…

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A perfect pepper trifecta!

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Finally, I had a few Cape Cod low-fat potato chips. My husband and I love Cape Cod chips because they are made from all-natural ingredients and have an awesome flavor.

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As you can see, they are made with potatoes, oil, and salt – can’t get any more natural than that!

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Now, we’re both relaxing on our deck before heading off to our nephew’s birthday party.

See you all tonight everyone.

Knights, Wenches, and the Queen, but no Shakespeare

Hi Friends! So, what did you end up doing today? I mentioned before that my husband and I were going to the local Renaissance Fair for the first time (well, it was my first time anyway). We had left for the fair about 11 AM, after intending to leave at 10 AM. It also took us about 45 minutes to actually get on the road, because we had a variety of errands to run before leaving town.

On the way there, we snacked on one of the new Odwalla bars that I bought from Whole Foods the other day…

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I decided to share my new Odwalla Chewy Nut Bar because it is over 200 calories and had 11 g of fat. A little too much for a snack if you ask me. The bar itself was very tasty – the whole almonds had fantastic flavor and it had just the right amount of sweetness to it. I think it could have used a touch of fruit though.

We finally arrived at the fair around 12:30 PM. It was perfect weather for walking around the spacious grounds – about 65 degrees. It was also not as packed as I thought it would be on a Saturday. We arrived just in time to see the Queen arriving with all of her subjects.

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It was pretty different seeing everyone, from young wenches to knights to strolling minstrels, in costume and in true British character. The buildings and facades also looked relatively authentic, resembling the architecture you might see in Stratford upon Avon in England. I was so surprised not to see a Shakespeare impersonator there.

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By this time, we were starving. We had heard the food was pretty good and were actually quite pleased with the wide selection of themed and regular food – turkey legs, sassafras root beer, bbq chicken, stew, etc. Not surprisingly, the longest lines were for the old world pizza and the curly fries! So American!

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I ended up having the chicken salad on a pita with all of the fixins’….

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The sandwich had a great flavor and the pita was really soft and chewy. That was the only thing I had the entire 3 hours we spent there – I just wasn’t adventurous enough (or willing so spend more money) to try anymore of the food.

On the way back from the fair, we stopped at Toys R Us to finally get the present we needed for my nephew. Then, we headed off to our favorite local Italian eatery for a little dinner…

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I had a cup of minestrone soup and a 1/2 personal pizza topped with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese. Totally yummy!

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After walking around for hours and hours today, I am so ready to go to bed. Plus, tomorrow is my long run and my nephew’s birthday party. 

I’m signing off. Have a great night everyone!

Eggs – They're what's for breakfast

Good morning everyone! I had a great yoga class this morning. I have to admit though, the class was rough because I had missed two weeks in a row. I wasn’t as flexible as I had been in the past and I found myself looking at the clock wanting it to be over. Not a good sign. But, by the end of class I was feeling quite refreshed and was very glad that I decided to go.

When I arrived home, I was so happy to find a beautiful omelette waiting for me…

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My husband made me a 3-egg omelette (1 egg and 2 egg whites) with red peppers, broccoli, and white cheddar cheese – so yum!

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Eggs are a welcome change for breakfast since I don’t eat them very often. However, I am trying to eat them more because they are considered a superfood for runners. Contrary to popular belief, eggs, when  eaten in moderation (1 egg a day) account for less than 1 percent of the risk of heart disease in men and women. They are also loaded with protein and vitamins.

After a protein-packed breakfast, my husband and I are heading out to a local Renaissance Festival. I’m so excited because this is my first ever Renaissance Festival.

See you tonight!