Archives for February 2010

A Gooey Breakfast Triad

Morning everyone! I was so excited when the mail arrived with my new SHAPE magazine! I am sooo looking forward to a relaxing read this weekend. We had an awesome dinner last night – mainly because I didn’t have to cook! Not to mention that I was so hungry from running around all day – busy, busy!

Scott cooked up some Italian sausage and yellow and red peppers – a true Chicago dish! He also steamed a bunch of veggies – carrots and broccoli …

Very satisfying and fairly healthy – about 300-400 calories total – not bad. Although dinner was great, we basically have no treats in the house, so it was a no dessert night for me – blah!

This morning, I got up early in order to get a jump start on the day – although I did NOT start with a run. I ran Sunday-Thursday this week so I decided to give myself a break yesterday and this morning – I did a ton of walking though! I also decided to treat myself to a decadent breakfast considering I missed out on dessert last night…

Doesn’t that look awesome! I threw together some slow-cook oats and added all-natural peanut butter and Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. It was my own breakfast triad and it was a completely gooey and yummy mess! It was surprisingly healthy too, considering oatmeal, peanut butter, and dark chocolate are all good for you 🙂 I’ve had a very busy day, so now I’m off to bed.

Catch ya all later!

Things Women Do To Be Pretty

So, what is the craziest thing you’ve ever done to be pretty?

Last night, I met Scott, Miss M, and Mr. C at Panera for dinner before heading to my 6 PM Aveda pedicure and 7:15 PM hair appointment. I love Panera’s potato soup! But I digress…back to the pedicure.

The pedicure was awesome! I sat in the vibrating chair with my feet in the soothing water and just melted. Lena worked on my nails for nearly an hour – which I think is fantastic considering many of those fly-by-night places only give you 30 minutes for a pedicure. After my pedi, I headed out to the front counter to pay and saw that it was snowing outside. Let me add that when I went into the salon, it was not snowing and the sky was pretty clear. Well, I did not have any sandals and was not about to put on my socks and shoes with semi-dry nails. So I had to walk to my car in the those flimsy flip-floppy pedicure things – so cold! I then drove with cold, wet feet all the way to the hair salon in a blizzard – actually a complete white-out. I just kept saying to myself follow the car in front of you, following the car in front of you. I then proceeded to walk from my car to the salon in about 2 inches of snow, pretty much barefoot. Oh the things women do to be pretty!!

A Blueberry Morning

Luckily, this morning was a little better. The snow has since stopped but not after leaving us 4 inches of powder on our driveway. I’m so sick of the cold and snow. I’m so glad I’m headed to Florida soon!

After my awesome 4.5 mile run on the t-mill, followed by stretching and an ab workout, I tried another new yogurt – Dannon’s nonfat Greek blueberry yogurt …

This yogurt was definitely an improvement over the vanilla Oikos I had a few days ago. It was so thick and creamy and had a fantastic blueberry taste. I will definitely get this again! Even Miss M liked it – especially because it was purple 🙂

OK, have to actually get some work done today. Have a wonderful morning!

Olympics Guilt

I have a confession to make. I have not watched any of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I’m talking – NONE! And for some reason, I feel a bit guilty that I’m not watching them.

It’s not that I’m unpatriotic. It’s just that I do not really watch television and, quite honestly, I’m not really into the Olympics. However, I am intrigued by Apolo Ohno – how does he skate so fast? – as well as Shaun White – I’m actually disappointed I missed his gold medal jump/performance. I know I should be watching them, if not for the athletes, but for the amazing coverage of Vancouver. I’m headed there in November for a meeting and can’t wait!

Is there anyone else out there who does not really watch the Olympics?

Anyway, we’ve had a very busy day and night – between work, going to yet another Kindergarten round-up, and then cleaning the house. Dinner needed to be simple for me just for the sake of time…

An easy peasey salami and cheese sandwich on Brownberry Whole Grain bread, with a side of low-fat Cape Cod chips and some of these crunchies..

Yellow bell peppers – so sweet and good, even when they are eaten plain.

Now I must go clean on my bed so that I can actually get a good night’s sleep tonight. See you all tomorrow.

My Peanut Butter Reality

Evening everyone!

I had a great early morning run today – started before 6 AM which I haven’t done for a while. After 4.5 sweaty miles running from 7.0 to 7.6 on a 10% incline, I was sooo ready for breakfast. I couldn’t wait to try my new Oikos nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt…

Hmm…not so good. I really wanted to like this yogurt because it’s a little more accessible than going to Trader Joe’s and it’s a little cheaper too. But there was just something about it I did NOT like. It almost tasted too sour – like it was on the verge of becoming bad, although the expiration date wasn’t until mid-March. I tried adding some peanut butter to it and that didn’t help, which totally goes against my peanut butter reality (that peanut butter makes everything taste better).

I only took a few bites and then gave the rest to Miss M, who didn’t like it either. And that is saying a lot considering this is a girl who loves Trader Joe’s vanilla Greek yogurt. Oh well, I only bought two – I’m hoping the strawberry flavor is better. To compensate for my blah breakfast, I had 1/2  Luna bar on the way to work. Luna – so dependable! Then it was on to Starbucks for a skinny vanilla latte – I needed it after only getting about 6 hours of sleep!

Work ended up going by really fast today, which is always nice 🙂 Lunch was an unpictured can of soup and a banana, and then another Luna bar for a snack.

Dinner was one of my favorites tonight – homemade pasta sauce made with ground turkey…

Plus some homemade garlic bread on the side. Scott made it and it was sooo good – doesn’t this look like Texas toast??? But it wasn’t, it was the leftover three-cheese bread from La Brea.

I had about 1 1/2 cups of pasta plus 3/4 cup sauce. I really wanted MORE, but I refrained knowing that there is a brownie in the house with my name on it.

So let’s see how I did…

Jen’s Calories for Monday, February 22:

  • Few bites of yogurt = 50 calories
  • 1/2 Luna bar = 90 calories
  • Skinny vanilla latte – 90 calories
  • Banana – 90 calories
  • 1 can of chicken soup = 150 calories
  • 1 Luna Bar – 180 calories
  • 2 small pieces of garlic bread = 200 calories
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta (measured) = 300 calories
  • 3/4 cup pasta sauce (measured) – 200 calories
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli = 50 calories
  • 1 brownie = 200 calories
  • Total calories = 1,600

Not too bad as far as calories, but the majority of my calories were consumed after 5 PM (950 calories), when I am at my least active. Not so good for my metabolism. 

Gotta read a few articles before heading to bed. See you all tomorrow!

A Little Soup To Go With Your Bread?

Hi All! 

We all have our food/snack vices. Many of these are outright or blatant vices – things we know we can’t resist when they are offered to us or when they are lurking inside your pantry. Yet other times, these vices sneak up on us when we least expect them too. That is what happened to me tonight.

There is a bread at our local grocery store – La Brea Three Cheese Bread – that is so incredibly good. I can eat it with just about anything – sandwiches, soups, pasta, etc. Not only does it have a mix of cheeses baked on top, but it has cheese baked in the bread as well. We don’t buy it very often because it’s near $5 a loaf. But when we do, it’s like Christmas in a little brown bag.

And now, the rest of the story. While doing a little grocery shopping this evening, I noticed a fresh loaf of three cheese bread sitting on the display. I wasn’t particularly craving bread nor did I really want to spend the money on the loaf, but when I felt it, it was so fresh the bag was hot! I thought it was fate and put it in the basket. It turns out, the bread was just my sneaky vice covertly working its way into my home and then onto my plate.

When I arrived home to Scott’s homemade chicken soup, I temporarily bypassed the soup and dug right into the bag of bread – just for a taste, right? I went on to have about 3 slices of bread – and that was before the chicken soup…

I knew after the 4th slice of bread that I had made a mistake. My overindulgence in cheesy carbs got the best of me, so I barely ate any of the soup – maybe 1 cup total. Hmm..not the best dinner calorie-wise, but it was oh so tasty!

However next time, I’m going to bypass the fresh bread aisle and head straight for the broccoli. 

Time for carb overload triage.

A Full Morning

Morning everyone!

I went to be so full last night and I’m not sure why. I had a great run yesterday morning (4.5 miles on the treadmill) then had the following calories throughout the day…

  • 1 cup Cherrios with blueberries and milk – 150 calories
  • 1 tall skinny vanilla latte – 90 calories
  • 1 1/2 cups minestrone soup with a small breadstick – 300 calories
  • 3 mini snickers – 120
  • 1 Luna Bar – 180
  • 3 small pieces of cheese pizza – 400
  • Total Calories = 1,240 (give or take 100 calories)

That’s more than 300 calories less than what I was aiming for – 1,600 calories per day. The only thing I can think of is that the pizza (albeit small squares) made me super full because of the cheese…

Hmm..still puzzling to me. Anyway, this morning when I woke up, I was STILL full. I usually don’t like like to eat when I’m full. However, we have a very busy morning (and day) planned. I opted for a small breakfast of about 4 oz of nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of peanut butter…

Plus about 1 teaspoon of walnuts on top for added crunch and MUFA…

So total, I probably had about 200 calories for breakfast. Now, I’m incredibly full.

The rest of the day is booked – haircuts (not mine), cleaning, shopping, and other errands. With so much running around, maybe I’ll feel hungry by dinnertime!

Gotta run – have a great day!

Tick Tock

Hey All!

I need to make this a quickie since I spent way too much time on my post for Bistro Chic. Check it out – it’s all about the personalities of the European Runner!

Tonight I had an awesome dish that I adapted from a recipe I found online – Chicken Crescent Bundles

These little pockets were so easy to make. And, once I added a bunch of sauteed veggies – like spinach, peppers, and carrots – they were fairly healthy too. Unfortunately, I was the ONLY one in the family who liked this dish. Why is it that when I cook something new, no one else likes it but me?

We have a really busy weekend planned, between birthday parties (how can everyone be turning 5 at the same time?), haircuts, and running last-minute errands for our trip. I hope we get everything done – tick tock, tick tock!

Have a great night everyone.

Give It Up

Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent in the Christian faith. Lent is also a time of sacrifice. When I was growing up and attending Catholic school, this meant giving up something that you love – usually a food item. Even after leaving Catholic school, I would still continue to give up something during lent – most of the time it was food-related, like chips or cookies. One time I gave up gossiping and that was very hard considering I was in my sorority-girl phase. 

So what do I give up this year?

This year, I toyed with the idea of giving up chips – after all, I do love chips. I also thought about giving up French fries – something I love, but I really don’t eat them very much. So it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. Instead, I decided to give up Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccinos! That’s right, for the next 40 days (or until Easter Sunday) I will not have a single Starbucks blended coffee drink – yikes, I can hardly believe it myself.

After discussing my semi-addiction to frappuccinos with Anne this weekend, I decided that giving them up was not only a great Lenten sacrifice, but also a necessity if I wanted to reduce excess spending. It’s going to be a looong 40 days.

Also in Lenten tradition, Ash Wednesday means a day of fasting and no meat. Seeing as I didn’t eat very much for most of the day (a Luna bar and a 1/2 PBJ sandwich) dinner was my main meal of the day…

Instead of our planned cheese ravioli, Scott and I got take out at Go Roma. I had an awesome veggie panini with red peppers, onions, fresh basil, and goat cheese, plus some fries on the side. Hmm…maybe I should have give up fries for Lent 😉

For all of you Fitbloggin attendees, remember to sign up for the 5K run on Saturday morning. I’ll be there, will you?

Gotta run – Psych just started. I have been sooo Psych-deprived!

Introducing the Newest Personal Trainer!

That’s right, ladies and gents, I passed the American College of Sports Medicine Personal Training Certification Exam! So, you are now looking at the newest member of the personal training community!

After taking an intense course and then studying for three months, I finally felt that I was ready to take the test. Whew – and what a test it was! It took me about 2 1/2 hours to complete, and that was after 15 minutes of instruction/preliminary questions. All those hours of studying after work and on the weekend paid off – thank goodness. Otherwise, I think I would have cried – for not passing the test and for having to retake it and spend more money.

The test itself was pretty challenging, although not outrageous, especially because I studied for it. And you definitely need to study for this test as well as understand the practical application of the principles. I just wish I knew what answers I got wrong so that I could review the right answer.

I am really looking forward to sharing the personal training health and fitness principles with all of you and showing you how I apply the principles to my own life. That’s it for now – I’m heading to bed. I forgot how tiring test-taking can be!

And She's Off…

Hello All and Happy Mardi Gras!
I’m off to take my test in a few hours. After months of studying, I think I’m ready! Please send positive thoughts my way 🙂

I’ll be back later to fill you in on the results.