A Walk Down Memory Lane

Hey Ladies!

It was a very windy morning today – gusts up to 40-50 mph, so I decided to run on the treadmill. I ran a very fast 4 miles – 32 minutes flat!! Yippee! I just wish I could keep up that speed for 10 miles – he he!

Breakfast was a quick bowl of Kashi Go Lean cereal mixed with Cascadian Farm dark chocolate almond granola…

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Then, on the way to work, I stopped at a drive thru Starbucks to pick up a warm, but skinny vanilla latte..hmm..

OK, now onto the good stuff!!

Happy Anniversary – I love you Scott!

Eight years ago today Scott and I were married on the North side of Chicago in an old Catholic church. It was a small wedding/reception, attended by less than 90 people, but it was beautiful!


Two days after the wedding, we jetted off to Maui for our 10-day honeymoon in Wailea at the Four Seasons – the best hotel/resort I have ever stayed at!


In 8 years, we’ve traveled all around the US, have cruised to the Caribbean, and have spent time in Europe. So, where are we headed next?


We’re going to Disney World! That’s right, in the Spring, we’re going back to the place where it all started. We met in Disney World in college so the Mouse is quite magical and nostalgic for us. I get sappy just thinking about it!


So, here’s to 8 years of adventures and many more adventures to come!

Enter At Your Own Health Risk

Morning All! So I came into work this morning and stopped by the staff lounge to put my lunch in the fridge, and I was faced with the following scene…

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Box after box…

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After box…

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And more boxes…9.22 treats4

of PASTRIES!! Don’t supposed there’s any MUFA in those?

Note to self: Do not go into the staff lounge unless 1) it’s absolutely necessary to get my lunch or 2) I suddenly become hypoglycemic. Seriously, there should be a sign on the door that says Enter At Your Own Health Risk.

Apparently, a vendor that we use for printing brought all of these lovelies in as a thank you for providing him with business. It was a very sweet gesture (literally) but hasn’t anyone ever heard of healthy food? I think I’m going into sugar shock just looking at these pictures.

I want to add that this is just the start of “food season” at our office. From now until the end of the year, there is literally nonstop food at our office. Thank goodness I have self control, unlike some of the other girls here. Does anyone else have a “food season” at their work? How do you handle it? 

Thankfully, none of today’s tantalizing pastries tempted me – at least for now – because I ate breakfast before coming to work.

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I received another Kashi sample – this time it was their Honey Sunshine cereal – little pillows of whole grain goodness.

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I had very high hopes for this cereal because it looked like Captain Crunch (one of my faves as a kid), smelled like Captain Crunch, and even got soggy like Captain Crunch. Well, this was no Captain Crunch!  But, with 6 g of fiber and only 100 calories per 3/4 cup, it’s a pretty tasty, and much healthier alternative to Captain Crunch. Maybe it could be marketed as the new Captain Crunch for adults??

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Now, I must really get some work done before I blog the day away! You all know how that goes!

Damn it – someone just walked by with a chocolate eclair – Look away, Jennifer, look away!!

Misty Morning Run

Morning Friends! I went to bed last night thinking that I may have to run indoors this morning. Most of the weather reports called for rain in the early morning. But, I was very happy to wake up to find that it was only a light mist.

I woke up very early this morning – around 4 AM and just couldn’t fall back to sleep. Maybe it’s the Autumnal Equinox causing an imbalance in my life and sleep patterns – he he! I stayed in bed trying to go back to sleep but that did not work of course. So, around 5:45, I got out of bed and on the computer. It was still dark outside, otherwise I would have hit the road right away. It did not get light enough for me to run until around 6:15.

After my misty 4-miler, I enjoyed a familiar breakfast…

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Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt! After nearly a week of  not having any yogurt, this was definitely a welcome change from cereal. A girl can only go so many days without her Greek yogurt (a week max) before she starts to go through yogurt withdrawal.

I topped my yogurt with about 1/4 cup of Cascadian Farm organic dark chocolate almond granola. If you haven’t had this granola, it really is worth a try. It has a great flavor and has chocolate in it!

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I also added a giant strawberry to my granola bowl for added vitamin C and other healthy antioxidants. I have been eating a ton of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries this summer – all of which are great for the immune system and your skin!

I topped off my breakfast with a shot of daily wellness from Zola. This was day 21 in my RWC Daily Wellness shot challenge. I must say, it has become kind of a habit to drink this juice shot every day. I wonder if I’ll miss it when I run out at the end of the month?

Have to get to work. See you all after dinner!

A Tale of Two Kashi's

Morning everyone! Just when I thought I was over my cold, I went to bed stuffy and woke up stuffy once more. I guess it really is cold and flu season. I didn’t let a stuffy head keep me from running though. Although, I was out the door later than I had planned – 6:30 AM. Yikes! That’s late for me for a weekday run. I could only do a fast 4-miler because I was pressed for time.

For breakfast, I decided to NOT eat a full bowl of the really high fiber Kashi (10 g). It was probably a little too much on my system yesterday. So, I opted for a cereal mixture – two Kashi cereals – Go Lean and Original – both high in protein and fiber. After all, what’s better than a bowl of Kashi cereal? A bowl of two Kashi’s mixed together!

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Although I’m sure Scott would disagree. My husband has “issues” with mixing things. He can’t mix noodles (Rotini with elbow? God forbid!), cereal, or other foodstuffs. But, I have no problem mixing and matching, especially with cereal. And, that goes double for two awesome Kashi cereals! In addition to cereal, I had a shot of wellness from Zola and a small bowl of watermelon juicy and sweet watermelon chunks…

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Ohh..so good! 

I didn’t get to work until nearly 9:30!! Oh my, that is so late for me – I wonder if anyone noticed me slinking in so late?? But, when I arrived at my desk, I was delighted to find a bunch of little surprises all over my desk. A girlfriend of mine from work has been in Europe for two weeks and brought back a ton of little mementos for me (not tchotchkes Holly – this stuff I can actually use!). If you want to see all of my great Euro loot, check out my alter-ego post Bistro Chic on Thursday. I’m going to give a full report there.

Have to get some work done. See you all tonight!

Running with the Foxes

Well ladies, I don’t know about you, but I am really dragging this morning. I didn’t get to bed until after midnight (racing thoughts about the work week) and then managed to wake up at 5 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep! Don’t you hate when that happens? Especially at the start of the work week.

Oh well, the world keeps spinning, and somehow I keep running. I finally got out of bed around 5:45 after spending 45 minutes of wishing myself back to sleep to no avail. Many experts will say that it is better to sacrifice a workout for more sleep and I am all for that! But, what happens when you can’t sleep? Well, those who can’t sleep go for a run! 

I was out the door a little after 6 AM. It was barely light outside and it was very quiet. It’s that time of year when it’s getting darker earlier at night and staying dark later in the morning. This makes running in the wee hours a little challenging. I don’t like running in the dark by myself. Aside from crazy human predators that plague our society, I also have to worry about coyotes, large fox, and skunks. I don’t live in the sticks by any means, but my area is a very wooded area. I’m also adjacent to a golf course so we get all sorts of critters scurrying around. Even this morning, I caught a glimpse of something low to the ground, moving in the shadows. Could have been a fox or a squirrel, but I did not stick around the find out.

After my fast 4-miler, I headed inside to get ready for work. I decided to throw caution to the wind (and my digestive track) and load up on fiber today. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the Full Plate Diet, a book scheduled to come out in early 2010 that focuses on filling up with fiber as a way to maintain or lose weight. One of the cereals the book recommends is Kashi high fiber cereal. 

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I always thought high fiber cereal would taste like sticks, but this Kashi cereal is excellent! So for today, I had a full cup of Kashi’s high fiber high protein cereal (10 g. of fiber!!) and a nectarine (2 g of fiber) for a whopping total of 12 g of fiber for breakfast. The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine recommends that women under 50 get at least 25 g of daily fiber and I’ve already consumer 1/2 of that!

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Along with cereal and fruit, I had a shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness juice – I’m on Day 14 now of my RWC Daily Wellness Challenge!

Now it’s time to actually get some work done. Hope y’all have a great day!


Time For A New Pair of Running Shoes…

Morning everyone! I had intended to run 8 miles this morning, but only ended up running 6 miles in a little over 50 minutes. I woke up later than I had planned and sometimes, the only way to get back on schedule is to shorten your workout a little. 

Prior to my run, I thought I’d break out my first ever CLIF bar. I’ve heard they are more for “guys” but because they were on sale for $1, I thought I’d give them a try.

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The chocolate chip peanut crunch bar has 260 calories. To me, that is quite a few calories for a power bar. I decided to only eat 1/3 of the bar, so about 85 calories, before my run. The CLIF bar was pretty tasty, although I’ve tasted better. I’m sure, because it’s more gear toward highly active men, that taste wasn’t their #1 priority. Overall, I’d say the bar is a little too much for me in calories, plus it’s huge compared to other bars. I would probably get sick mid-run if I ate the whole thing. 

My run went very smoothly for the most part. At the beginning, I felt a little sluggish, but once I got over that Sunday morning slump, I really felt great. Although, my calves and hips are a little sore. I’m thinking it’s time for a new pair of shoes! I can always tell when it’s about that time because parts of me that normally don’t ache, like my back and glutes, start to get sore. 

For breakfast, I thought I’d try the new Kashi cereal I bought yesterday. At just $2 a box on sale, I thought I’d try the Go Lean High Protein & High Fiber Cereal with 10 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. I think that’s the most fiber I’ve ever seen in a cereal!


Instead of eating a full cup/serving of this cereal (I didn’t want to shock my digestive track), I decided to go half and half with the high fiber version and the the Go Lean Crunch…

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The cereal mixture was lightly sweetened and packed a great crunch. I also added handful of fresh raspberries – ‘cuz berries are so good for you! Along with the cereal, I also chugged my Daily Wellness shot from Zola.

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We’re headed out to do a little shopping, then work around the house. I also think there is a homemade apple pie in store for tonight, so stay tuned for the yummy photos!

Odwalla Choco-walla Disappoints a Hungry Runner

Happy Labor Day!

A few days ago, I made a quick run to Dominick’s, a grocery store that I had not been to in at least 6 months. Dominick’s is a typical grocery store, although it generally has higher prices than Jewell, the store that I frequent most often. Well, when I walked into Dominick’s I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had completely remodeled the store – it was now a cross between an upper-scale grocery store and Whole Foods. Perfect timing too, considering the backlash that Whole Foods is receiving. They had a ton of great deals too on specialty and health food items. In fact, I was able to buy 5 power bars, each for $1. I don’t normally buy powerbars but have recently been eating them to see if they help with my running performance.

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Of the 5 bars, I bought a CLIF bar, a LUNA bar, and 3 different Odwalla bars – one of which I had today. About 30 minutes before my run I tore open my new original flavor Odwalla bar…

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The original version, called the Choco-walla, is made with fruit, whole grains, and chocolate – all the things I love. Plus, it had a good amount of both protein and fiber. Well, it’s too bad I didn’t love this bar. Ok, I didn’t even like this bar. One taste and I knew this bar was not for me – the chocolate tasted chalky and it had another strange taste/flavor that didn’t sit well with me. I made myself eat 1/2 of it then I thew the rest in the trash. Well, that was only $.50 and 110 calories down the drain. But, I still have 2 more Odwalla bars to try, so we’ll see how that goes.

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After a few sips of water, to hydrate and to wash the weird taste out of my mouth, I headed out the door. On Mondays, I usually only do 4 mile runs because I’m pressed for time to get to work. Today, I ran a little over 40 minutes or 5 miles and felt GREAT! I think I might try doing a 7 or 8 miler next weekend.

I was really hungry again today after my run I did a shot of Zola’s Daily Wellness drink and then chowed on a big yogurt bowl…

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I started with a carton of Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt and topped that with chopped watermelon, finely chopped Gala apples (fresh picked on Saturday!) and a few walnuts. So filling and yummy!

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I absolutely love watermelon in yogurt and on vanilla ice cream. It’s a great mix of flavors and it gives you added vitamin C and antioxidants in every bite!

We’re headed out to the store now and then onto to the in-laws for a Labor Day dinner. Hope you all have a beautiful, fun, and relaxing Labor Day wherever you are!

September is Apple-picking Season

Morning everyone! This is just a quick post before I jet off to go apple picking. I had to miss yoga class today because of our big morning event. I’m going to try to fit in a mid-week yoga session on my Tuesday vacation day.

For breakfast, I made a little yogurt parfait…

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I took one carton of Trader Joe’s nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt and added blueberries and walnuts to it. I absolutely love TJ’s vanilla Greek yogurt. Even the girl at the checkout commented on how much she liked that type of yogurt. Too bad I can’t get my husband or sister to try it, I think they’d both like it.

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In addition to my yogurt parfait, I had my daily wellness shot and a slice of Hormel all-natural, nitrate-free, uncured bacon. There have been numerous studies that show nitrates may be linked to cancer so my husband and I try to buy most things without nitrates, like hot dogs, lunch meat, and bacon. You’d be surprised at how many brands actually sell nitrate -free products now. 9.5 breakfast2

Now, I’m off to go apple picking! I’m so excited because apple picking means apple pies, applesauce, apple crisp, and, of course, fresh apples!

Talk to you this afternoon!

The Last Days of Summer…

Morning everyone! Can you believe it’s Labor Day weekend already! I’m a little sad that the summer is over, but I have a great weekend ahead. Here’s what’s on my agenda for the last days of summer…

  • Friday – haircut (which is an event for me)
  • Saturday – Apple picking with the fam
  • Sunday – Outdoor music concert (my “Labor Day weekend show”)
  • Monday – Golf (not me, but the guys) and a BBQ
  • Tuesday – A vacation day for me and hopefully the day I finally see the latest Harry Potter

I want to fit in some magazine reading and a new recipe or two. So much to do, so little time! 

But, before I get into the weekend, let’s talk about today! The weather is just amazing this morning – slightly cool and sunny. It was just perfect for a run.

For breakfast, I was inspired by Tina’s oatmeal this morning and decided to make my own oatmeal creation…


I started with about 1/4 whole oats and added 1/2 cup skim milk. After I microwaved it for 2 minutes, I added a spoonful of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter, a few walnuts (I’m on a walnut kick if you can’t tell!) and a handful of blueberries. Oh my, this is such a filling combination and full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. 

I also had a little chopped fruit that I brought home from our staff luncheon yesterday…


Doesn’t that fruit look yummy! Finally, to top off my breakfast, I had a shot of wellness from 

 I have a ton of grocery shopping to do today so I need to hurry up and get ready then head out the door. I also have a haircut appointment at 1:45 – yeah!! I’m dying to try a new style, but I’m such a nervous nellie about my hair. Whatever I decide, I’ll post some pics later – if it turns out well. Otherwise, I’ll be in hiding for a few weeks -ha!

By the way, what’s everyone doing for the long Labor Day weekend? Even though I have a full weekend planned, I really wish I could pull a Jimmy B. and say I was heading up to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show… I can never get enough Jimmy!

Ok, now I really have to get going. Have a great morning everyone!

Almost like "Hot" Yoga

Good morning friends! It’s another unseasonably cool and crisp day outside. I actually had to wear a jacket to yoga this morning. Yoga was fantastic today! The yogini really took her time with the class. She was also very patient when 24 people showed up to a class that is supposed to be maxed at 20. But, in true yoga fashion, we all just picked up our mats and moved as close as we could to one another without getting into each other’s personal space. With the extra bodies in the room, it was VERY hot – almost like bikram yoga, which I am not used to. People were actually sweating, which I almost never see. But we managed.

After yoga, I tried out a new organic health drink that was sent to me in the mail….

Zola Energy Smoothie

The makers of Zola drinks sent me a big box of juices, smoothies, and a juice-shot drink.  The juices and smoothies are made from a Brazilian recipe and contain superfruits like Acai berry. 

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I had an Tropical Blend Energy Smoothie made with Caja Fruit, Acai, and a bunch of different kinds of fruit purees and juices, like pear, apple, and pineapple. It even has green tea in it.

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I usually shy away from fruit smoothies and juices because they can be loaded with calories and even fat. This smoothie is 125 calories a serving and has 2 g Fiber – not bad for a smoothie drink. The drink itself has a great flavor, although is not as thick as a typical smoothie.

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Would I buy this smoothie at the store? Yes, I would definitely buy the juice, particularly for the great flavor and the fact that it is loaded with healthy ingredients. But, because I’m not really a juice drinker, I think I would save this drink for times when I needed an extra boost of energy or vitamins, like when I feel a cold coming on.

Aside from the juice, I also made a small bowl of Strawberry-peanut butter oatmeal…

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I started with 1/4 cup whole oats mixed with 1/2 cup skim milk. After I microwaved that for 2 minutes, I added 2 strawberries, 2 tbsp of walnuts, and dollop of MaraNatha all-natural creamy peanut butter. Hmm…so good..

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I think we’re now headed out to do a little site-seeing downtown or maybe just do a little shopping. 

Have a great afternoon everyone!