Trimming the Tree

Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a lovely Sunday! Today was a day of all things holiday for us, including trimming the Christmas tree.

My day started with a 5 mile run on the treadmill. I was actually all dressed and ready to go outside when it started to downpour. I was really disappointed because today was supposed to be the warmest day of the week at 50 degrees. The rest of the week, the Chicago Tribune is reporting SNOW!! I shouldn’t be so surprised, after all, Tuesday is December 1!

Breakfast was a warm and sweet bowl of homemade oats – plain oatmeal topped with brown sugar and crunchy walnuts…

11.29 Oatmeal 1

11.29 Oatmeal 2

As you can see, I was playing with the macro setting and focus on my camera. Both of these photos turned out well, each with a slightly different look.

Seeing as today was the first day of Advent, Scott and I headed to 9:30 mass after breakfast. The service was very nice although the church wasn’t as decorated as I thought it would. I’m sure they’ll add more decorations later.

For lunch, we made our typical Sunday fare of sandwiches, but this time we made them with Boar’s Head salami, turkey, and ham – this was one classy and expensive sandwich!

11.29 Boarshead sandwich 2

11.29 Boarshead sandwich 1

Although we put up our tree last weekend, the rest of the day was spent decorating the outside of the house as well as decorating the tree. Last night, we bought a bunch of plain green wreaths from Hobby Lobby and some wide red ribbon. I stayed up until around midnight making bows and then attaching them to the wreaths…

11.29 Christmas Wreath

Not too bad for a first time! Next year, I think I’ll buy wider ribbon to make it stand out a little more when you’re looking at the house from the street.

Dinner was Scott’s homemade chicken soup with dumplings…

11.29 Chicken dumpling soup 2

Although he and I have made this soup MANY times, the dumplings are very tricky. You have to cook them just right or else they turn out very firm instead of soft and fluffy like they did today – nice job Scott!

11.29 Chicken dumpling soup

After dinner, we pulled out the rest of the Christmas decorations and tree ornaments and went to town! Since Scott and I have been married, we have been doing a sort of Victorian theme for our Christmas tree with lots of burgundy, gold, and pink ornaments. I have this dream that I will one day have a truly authentic Victorian (or Dickens-style) Christmas – complete with roast pig by the fireplace, cranberries strung on the tree, and hot mulled wassail brewing on the stove, all while listening to carolers at my door. I know, it’s a little over the top, but that’s why it’s a dream.

I must admit, I am partial to plain jane ornaments, like snowflakes and bulbs, yet two of my favorite ornaments are anything but plain…

11.29 Ornaments

Because I absolutely LOVE hot tea – and actually collect tea cups and teapots – ¬†I couldn’t pass up these two little cuties! I bought them a few years back on a quick trip to Bronner’s Christmas store in Frankenmuth, MI. Seriously, if you think you can go into Bronner’s and NOT come out with something, you’re crazy! They have sooo much to choose from and you can find just about any themed ornaments or decorations there – although I would have loved to find a little Harney and Sons tea tin ornament to put on my tree ūüėČ

OK bloggies – I’m off to study. I finally received my personal training prep books and I need to do some major reading in advance before my class starts in two weeks!

Catch ya all tomorrow!

A Few of My Favorite Things…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I recently came across this survey from Jolene at Everyday Foodie.¬†So, instead of a typical post about health, food, and fitness, I thought I’d give you a little insight into a few Running With Cake favorites.

Running With Cake Favorites

Favorite food to crunch –¬†Kashi Go Lean Cereal and granola

Favorite comfort food –¬†Macaroni and cheese

Favorite picnic lunch –¬†Mediterranean pasta salad

Best summer snack –¬†Fresh fruit with yogurt dip

Favorite winter snack – Hot chocolate

Food that reminds me of the ocean –¬†Goldfish crackers

Most likely to eat for lunch –¬†Minestrone Soup

Least likely to eat for lunch –¬†Tuna fish

Food that makes me gag –¬†Calamari – and pretty much any seafood

Food tradition I love –¬†My father-in-law’s chocolate log cookies at Christmas

Soup or salad  Baked potato soup and a Mediterranean salad

Favorite breakfast food –¬†Oatmeal with peanut butter and walnuts

Favorite ethnic cuisine – Italian and Greek

Favorite vegan ice cream flavor –¬†There’s vegan ice cream?

Favorite type of chocolate – See’s chocolate

Favorite beverage –¬†Diet coke, water, white wine

Smooth or crunchy peanut butter –¬†Smooth

Enjoy!

Bacon Makes Everything Taste Better

Hi Everyone! 

Last night, I watched Rachel Ray’s Vacation on the Food Network. She was reviewing some of the hot spots in Philadelphia. I was sooo excited to see that she actually visited two of the VERY places I went to last year at my company’s annual meeting! She reviewed Amada tapas restaurant and Naked Chocolate Cafe, both of which were awesome! I am very proud to say that I found these two places on my own before even seeing the show – so I guess great minds think alike. Maybe it’s a sign that I should subscribe to her magazine ūüėČ

This morning, Scott and I had to rush out the door to run errands, so there was no time for a sit-down breakfast. And so it was LUNA to the rescue…

11.21 LUNA bar

Lunch was at our fave Italian cafe where I promptly ordered my signature veggie pizza…

11.21 Veggie Pizza 2

It was loaded with mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, pesto, and topped with goat cheese, all on a wheat crust – fantastic!

11.21 Veggie pizza 1

Next up, was a little Christmas shopping. In just two hours, I managed to get to:

  • Crate and Barrel – Looking for cool wine glasses on sale for $2.95 – but they were all out ūüôĀ
  • Bath and Body Works – I don’t shop here much because I prefer L’Occitane or Crabtree and Evelyn but BBW was having some great sales.
  • Harry and David – Looking for a foodie gift for my big sis.
  • Barnes and Noble – Hmm, no real reason to go here other than to pick up a mocha frap!
  • Fresh Market – Ahh, rotisserie chicken for dinner!

For dinner, I decided to try my hand at making brussel sprouts. Shauna’h suggested a great recipe from a friend, although I did not have all of the ingredients to make it. So, it was my own creation tonight – which usually makes Scott a little leery.

11.21 Brussel Sprouts

But for these, I fried some all-natural hickory smoked bacon in a pan until crisp. Then I removed the bacon and added steamed brussel sprouts (about 25 sprouts cut in 1/2). Then I sauteed the sprouts in a little more oil and the bacon drippings until they were slightly brown. Of course, I thought they were awesome. On the other hand, Scott remarked that he would probably not eat these again without the bacon. I guess bacon really does make every taste better.

One word of caution, if you do make this recipe, be very careful when pouring the sprouts in the bacon grease or you will wind up with grease burns…

11.21 arm burn

Not fun, especially since now they have progressed to tiny blisters – ouch! It was my own dumb fault though!

Aside from sprouts, I also tried my hand at making mashed sweet potatoes for the first time. I know, I know…how could I have gotten this far in life without making mashed sweet potatoes? Well, let’s just say we did not eat them very often growing up and when I did, we usually had the canned version.

11.21 sweet potatoes 1

For this bright orange and very festive dish, I followed the very easy recipe on Martha Stewart’s site. Seriously, this was SO easy. The hardest part was chopping the sweet potatoes -they are definitely not as easy to chop as white potatoes. Again, this dish was mighty tasty – I’m going to pat myself on the back for this one for sure!

11.21 Roast chicken and sweet potatoes

The side dishes all came together quite nicely with the white wine rotisserie chicken I bought from Fresh Market. Although, I swear these chickens are getting smaller and smaller. They’re almost like a cornish hen now. Scott and I used to be able to split one with leftovers for another full dinner. Now, we’re lucky if we have leftovers. And it’s NOT that we are eating more either!

11.21 roast chicken and brussel sprouts

11.21 roast chickena nd sweet potatoes 2

I paired this all with a nice Robert Mondavi Chardonnay I purchased at Costco last week. Fancy, fancy.

I think this made up for last night’s sandwich dinner, don’t you think?

OK, gotta run. I have a ton of pre-Thanksgiving cleaning to get to tonight! See you all on Sunday!

How Do You Make Brussel Sprouts Taste Good?

Hey there! So what happens when you work 10 hour days Monday-Thursday?  You spend your Fridays running all of the errands that you would have during the week. Yes, that is exactly what I did today, I ran errands for practically the entire day.

After an awesome outdoor 4-mile run, I chomped on a hearty bowl of Honeynut Cheerios…

11.20 Cheerios

I really want to get some new dishes to jazz up my food pictures. But quite honestly, I have so much dishware that it’s hard to justify spending money to buy more. And I really don’t have much more space to put it.

Post-breakfast, it was off to:

  • Post Office – To Mail out Christy’s giveaway – yeah! I just hope the chocolate withstands the warmer Florida temps!
  • Target – LUNA bars and a birthday present
  • Grocery Store – Bread and milk

I went to my usual grocery store to pick up our favorite La Brea three-cheese bread, but realized that all they had was the pre-sliced kind. I prefer to slice my own as needed – I think it stays fresher that way. Well, one of the workers offered to bake me a fresh loaf right then and there! Woo hoo – jackpot!

But of course, since I had to wait an extra 20 minutes for the bread to bake, I spent more time at the store than I intended. As a result, I ended up buying more groceries than I had planned. Case in point – I bought brussel sprouts.

11.20 brussel sprouts

Now, I know many of you buy and cook brussel sprouts on a regular basis. Well, I have never bought or cooked brussel sprouts EVER and have only eaten them once in my entire life! However, after seeing a bunch of your posts featuring these little green cabbages, I decided to give them a try. I actually recall seeing a Tyler Florence show where he roasted brussel spouts and they looked fantastic. I’m not quite sure if that’s because Tyler made them or if it was because bacon was involved. Maybe it’s a little of both.

So, how do you make brussel sprouts taste good? If you have the answer to that question (such as in the form of a great recipe), please let me know! 

For lunch, Scott and I had minestrone soup with some of that fresh three-cheese bakery bread I mentioned before…

11.20 Minestrone

The soup was good, but the bread was outstanding! I admit that I had more than one piece ūüėČ On a side note – Bread is one of my vices, along with peanut M&M’s.

Later in the day, it was more errands for me, including a fruitless stop at Old Navy. Whenever I go into Old Navy, I have these high hopes of finding some great shirt or sweater – but that just never happens. Oh well, I guess it’s back to the Gap and JCrew for me.

Tonight was my turn to cook again, but you all have figured out by now that when it’s my turn to cook I make every effort to NOT cook. So tonight was sandwich night at the Running With Cake household…

11.20 Salami and Ham sandwich 1

The salami and ham sandwiches were a little fancier because of the freshly-made cheese bread. Who am I kidding – it’s still just a sandwich. But I did have a few mini bell peppers for some added vitamin C…

11.20 Salami and ham sandwich 2

And now, on to the best part of my day… dessert!

11.20 chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Scott made a run up to our local Oberweis dairy to pick up two quarts of ice cream – mint chocolate chip for him and chocolate peanut butter for me. Yum!

I have another busy day planned for tomorrow, between Christmas shopping and wrapping, so I’m going to sign off for the night.¬†

Every your Friday evening!

A Theme For Holiday Decorating

Hey out there in Bloggerland! Hope all is well. I just came back from a whirlwind shopping excursion. In just 1 1/2 hours, I went to 4 stores, including Target. But, before I get to the shopping details, I want to tell you about the awesome dinner I had…

11.18 Spinach Risotto 1

Scott made mesquite-rubbed chicken with crisp green beans. But, the real star of the show was the spinach risotto! He browned the rice just right which gave the whole dish a ton of flavor, plus adding spinach was a great way to get more veggies into the meal, and add a little color to the risotto. As far as the recipe, we just follow the recipe on the box – but when sauteing the rice, we add some onion; then we add spinach at the very end. Perfect!

11.18 spinach risotto 2

Now, back to shopping! Around this time of year, I start thinking about Christmas presents -who to buy for, what to buy, and what paper to wrap the gifts in. You may think it’s a little early to buy wrapping paper. However, in the past, when I’ve waited until after Thanksgiving to buy my paper, I’m left with a bunch of crap not-so-nice paper that just screams Black Friday leftovers.

Each year, I try to go with a different theme for wrapping paper, such s Toile, whimsical, Victorian, etc. Some years, I even try to match my decorations (tree, table, etc.) with my wrapping paper – that’s when we’re not in a recession of course! But, for my wrapping paper this year, I chose….woodsy!

Christmas wrapping 1

I almost always buy my Christmas wrapping from Hobby Lobby, but tonight I arrived at the store later than expected (20 minutes before they closed), so I started grabbing every roll that I liked, with no theming strategy al all. But then, I finally listened to my inner voice telling me to put everything back and just come another day when I had more time to really think about my theme.

Then, it was on to Target to pick up a few essentials – LUNA bars etc. Since I was already there, I just so happened to mosey over to the wrapping paper section. That’s when I saw all of the outdoor/tree/pine cone themed paper. I knew instantly, that was the theme for me!

Christmas wrapping 2

It’s kind of odd that I should choose to go with a woodsy/outdoor theme. I don’t like camping, hunting, or fishing, but I do love me a good pine cone! Now, all I need is some matching ribbon or twine and I’ll be all set!

So, I just have to ask – Do any of you go with a theme for your holiday wrapping? And/Or, Do you go with a particular theme for your decor or tree ornaments? If so, what themes have you done in the past and what are you going with this year?

I’m starting to fall asleep as I type, which is a very good sign I need to get to bed, don’t ya think?

Have a great night everyone!

The Thanksgiving Spirit

Hi There!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the Winner of the Running With Cake Explorer’s Bounty Giveaway is: #5 Christy from SweetiePotato.

Christy wrote:

my favorite type of organic chocolate is newman’s own… i’ve had the espresso dark chocolate and it was amazing! anything with a little bit of coffee flavor (especially chocolate) is fantastic, in my opinion ;)

Thank you to Christy and all of those who entered my first giveaway. And a special thank you to all of those who gave me great ideas for organic chocolate! I’m hoping to do a few more giveaways before the holidays so check back!

Speaking of the holidays, there are so many things that I love about this time of year. So, instead of giving you a recap of my day (sometimes, I just don’t feel like writing about running/eating), I wanted to share with you a few things that help me get into the Thanksgiving spirit:

11.17 Thanksgiving decorating

1. Decorating for Thanksgiving! If you can believe it, this turkey actually has a twin; because, you can never have enough turkey.

2. Watching Thanksgiving specials, like the Thanksgiving Day Parade and Charlie Brown! Yo, Chuck..

Charline Brown 2

3. Perusing the Holiday catalogs that come in the mail…

11.17 Holiday Sale magazines

Does Crate and Barrel have the best Christmas stuff or what? I feel like circling all of the things I want, just like I used to do in the toy catalogs as kid. Or maybe I could just draw one giant circle around the whole magazine! You think my husband would get the hint? ūüėČ

4. Sipping a hot skinny mocha, peppermint mocha,¬†vanilla latte, ok ANYTHING¬†from a Starbucks Holiday cup…

11.17 Starbucks Skinny Mocha

I enjoyed this skinny cup of chocolate Joe today as my “Happy Tuesday” surprise.

And…

5. Reading all of the Holiday issues of my favorite magazines…

11.17 Real Simple Magazine

With a huge chocolate brownie of course!

But, the two things I love most about Thanksgiving are being with my family in Michigan and going for a long run on Thanksgiving morning (it’s my preemptive Turkey Day strategy!)

So, the question of the day is…How do you get into the Thanksgiving spirit?

A Chicago Tourist For A Day

Hey All – Remember to enter the first ever Running With Cake giveaway!

Scott and I made an impromptu trip to downtown Chicago today, and what a day it was!

 

Jen Chicago2

That’s me in Millennium Park overlooking the newly frozen outdoor skating rink! I wonder how they keep it frozen during 60 degree weather?

Before heading out on the train, I fueled up on a big bowl of Cheerios..

11.14 Cheerios

Good thing I did because we ended up not eating lunch for at least another 3 hours after that! Needless to say, I was starving by the time we arrived at the downtown Nordstrom Cafe for lunch. I seriously wanted to order one of everything. I started with some carbs to take the edge off…

11.14 Cheese Scone

This was an awesome cheddar and chive scone – absolutely delish! It would have gone GREAT with a bowl of soup, but I decided to order the Cranberry Turkey sandwich instead…

11.14 Nordstrom sandwich 2

Yes, Thanksgiving came a little early this year in the form of a sandwich and it was good! Too bad after I ate most of it I turned the sandwich over and noticed some questionable green “element” on the bread. Could it have been mold? The server insisted the bread was baked fresh that day and said it might have been guacamole – although guac was not part of the sandwich. I guess we’ll never know..

11.14 Nordstrom sandwich

After lunch, we headed to “The BEAN” or as one little boy called it “The Giant PILL”.

Chicago Bean

The “BEAN” has actually been around for a few years but it’s still way cool to view, even when you live in Chicago. Because it was such a nice day there were TONS of people outside, which made the reflections that much cooler.

Jen Bean 3

I also tried taking a picture of myself in the BEAN…

Jen Bean2

It came out all warped and crazy!

Next up, we did a little walking through the gardens of Millennium Park. Too bad all of the flowers were already gone for the season. It was still a lovely fall setting with all of the gold and amber hues in the gardens…

Jen Chicago 6

I was even able to catch a certain handsome guy contemplating the meaning of life at one point…

Scott Chicago

He was actually checking out the Bean’s backside!

After our Millennium Park jaunt, we decided to make our way to Macy’s for some window shopping. Chicago doesn’t officially turn on its huge holiday lights display until next weekend. However, Macy’s had already starting displaying all of its holiday decorations, including its famous holiday window scenes…

Chicago Macy's xmas window

This year’s theme is “Believe”, based on (I think) the story “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”. It was 60 degrees outside but seeing these displays made me feel like it was Christmas Eve and snowing outside!

Chicago Macy's Clock

Aside from its window displays, Chicago Macy’s on State Street also showcased a little indoor holiday magic – ok, it was a LOT of holiday magic…

Chicago Macy's xmas display

Can Macy’s ever do anything small?? Upstairs in the famous Walnut Room, the huge Christmas tree was also displayed in all of its twinkling glory…

Chicago Walnut room Christmas Tree

A thousand points of light indeed! I left Macy’s feeling very much in the holiday spirit as you can imagine. As we were headed out the door to catch the train, I also grabbed a froyo to go…

11.14 Frozen Yogurt

Not the greatest, but then again, we were practically running to the train while I was eating it! I think we walked a total of 2 hours today (no cabs for us!) so we were exhausted and a bit sweaty by the time we plopped ourselves on the train.

We ended our fabulous day with an equally fabulous dinner prepared by Scott, but I’m saving that for tomorrow! ¬†

Have a great night all!

A Veterans Day Tribute: Helene's Story

Today is Veteran’s Day in the US. Each year around this time and around other patriotic holidays I think of the following story about a man’s determination to serve his country and a woman’s determination to keep her husband and family together. I hope you enjoy…

11.11 flag

A Veterans Day Tribute: Helene’s Story

Helene was a young wife and mother living in the Pennsylvania army barracks with her husband Worthy and their daughter and son, both under the age of 5. It was the early 1940s and the US had just been thrown into WWII. Helene was familiar with the sad but dutiful routine of comforting other young wives and mothers who had soldiers heading off to war, or worse, those who had soldier husbands who had died in the war. She prayed constantly that Worthy would not have to join them. 

Yet, that fateful day came. Worthy announced to Helene that it was his duty to serve his country overseas and promptly filled out the paperwork to do so. Knowing that his eyesight was extremely poor -he was legally blind in one eye – he had to figure out a way to pass the mandatory eye examination. He memorized the eye chart which helped him pass this final test with flying colors. Worthy was given his assignment and he was to leave in just a few short weeks with rest of the boys to go “over there”.

Helene cried for hours, maybe days. ¬†She was also hurt and confused. How could he have passed the test when he was legally blind in one eye? She knew that Worthy could never pass the eye exam for overseas combat so how could he survive “over there”? She didn’t want to be one of those young wives comforted for the loss of her soldier husband. She didn’t want to be left alone with her two children. She had to do something.

And that she did. Helene wrote a letter to the army officials on base explaining of her husband’s condition. She even produced doctors’ notes and medical files that said her husband was not fit for combat due to his blindness. A few days later, Worthy was called in to see his commanding officer. He explained to Worthy that he would not be joining his group overseas because he had neglected to report his medical condition. They would eventually find out that, of all of the soldiers in Worthy’s would-be platoon, only a handful survived the war.¬†

Worthy never found out that Helene had written the letter. Helene and Worthy went on to have two more daughters and, eventually, 13 grandchildren.

I am one of those grandchildren.

To all those active and inactive in the armed services, thank you for keeping our country, and my family, safe.

Peace to all –¬†

Jennifer

Home Sweet Home Chicago

Wow – it’s GREAT to be home in sunny Chicago! Sorry my posts have been so short and sparse. However, now that my big meeting is over, I’m hoping to go back to my regular twice daily postings.

Well, after being away from home for a full week, I’ve come home to a fully-cleaned house, lots of paperwork, and leftover Halloween candy. After walking in the door and unwinding for an hour or so, I realize that there several things that I’m going to miss about being away on business.

10.30 lunch-Seaport

Things I love about Business Travel:

  1. Running in new places – Exploring news cities on my daily runs is probably one of the very best things about business travel – at least for me. Can’t wait for Vancouver next year!
  2. Not having to clean up after myself – I am by no means a slob, but it’s definitely nice to not have to worry about making the bed or cleaning the bathroom.
  3. Not having to deal with the mail and other paperwork – I dread sorting and filing paperwork at home. So, if nothing else, business travel is a vacation from the giant paper mound at my house.
  4. Spending other people’s money – Want a magazine? No problem? Need a Starbucks? Go for it. As long as it’s not my money, I don’t think twice about these little luxuries – although I don’t take advantage of it either.
  5. Having “people” – Aside from the great hotel staff who are always willing to help with a reservation, etc., we regularly hire vendors to help us with our meetings. This allows us to spread the craziness across many more people and take some of the pressure off of us.
  6. Taking the elevator downstairs to work – With a 45-minute commute, each way, from my regular office, going 8 floors down to work is a bonus I will greatly miss!

On the other hand, there also many things I miss about home when I’m away on business:

Things I love about coming home after Business Travel:

  • Eating home-cooked meals – I love going out to eat but eating at restaurants twice daily for a straight week is a bit overkill. I’m really looking forward to some of Scott’s great cooking!
  • Having a normal sleeping schedule – Ok, I admit it, I just can’t hang with the college crowd anymore. Getting up at 5 AM and not getting to sleep until 11 PM or later is tough, especially when you do it for 7 days in a row. I’m sure I have a bunch of new wrinkles to show for this crazy sleeping schedule.
  • Not having junk food around every corner – As I have explained in the past, my organization never does anything small, especially when it comes to food. This year at our meeting the food was fairly good, and somewhat healthy, although there were still plenty of unhealthy items to balance it out!
  • Sleeping in my own bed – We generally stay in very nice hotels with equally nice beds, but no matter how nice the hotel bed is, I never sleep as well in a hotel bed than I do my own.
  • Seeing my husband – Although we talk on the phone and video chat, I’d much rather prefer relaxing on the couch, chit-chatting with Scott after a long day.
  • Now I am back to reality and looking forward to a clear sense of normalcy – for my life at home, work, and as a blogger.¬†

    Thanks for hanging with me this past week, I hope to catch up with you all soon!

    Top 5 Reasons Healthy Eatings Habits Fail While Traveling

    When I’m traveling, in most instances, I will choose healthy over nonhealthy foods. However, during our big meeting ever year, I find this extremely challenging. Everywhere – and I do me everywhere – I go there is food. Not just a little food, but a LOT of food. And, unfortunately, much of this food is the unhealthy version that on any given day would remain right where it was and never reach my lips.

    In regard to healthy food choices, today was not a good day for me. Although I started with a great 3-mile run (I could have run way more but I didn’t have time), I proceeded to eat probably twice the amount of food I would normally eat on a regular day. OK, maybe not twice the amount, but quite a bit more food than I’m used to, especially in the “junk” food category. Take a look at what I had:

    • Breakfast: 2/3 of an egg white omelette with ham, veggies, and cheese; one slice of bacon, a muffin top, and fresh fruit
    • Snack: a small bag of potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie
    • Lunch: a small salad with lettuce/veggies and a scoop of chicken salad; 2 slices of salami; 1 piece of chocolate cake (as if the cookie wasn’t enough)
    • Snack: a small bag of potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie
    • Dinner: 2/3 Mediterranean salad with chicken; 1 potato skin; a few fries
    • Dessert: Fried pound cake (I’m not kidding – it really was fried!) topped with caramel sauce, butterfinger candy, and whipped cream

    11.2 dinner2

    I know, I know, I can hardly believe it either. How in the world can I eat this much junk food in one day? Well, that is a very good question. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there really are definite triggers for making me eat this way…

    1. Convenience – when I’m crazy busy at work and especially during the annual meeting, I sometimes grab whatever is closest, whether it’s chips, candy, or cookies.
    2. Variety – When I’m at home, I eat, for the most part, many of the same foods each week. My food is sort of reliable that way. But at our annual meeting there is such a wide variety of food to choose from that, unconsciously feel like I have to sample everything.
    3. Abundance – Again, the annual meeting is never at a loss for food. There is always food and plenty of it. And, when you’re faced with food around every turn, it’s hard to always say no.
    4. Stress – When I’m tired or stressed – and I am currently both – I find that I have poorer judgement when it comes to food choices.
    5. Reward – So, after working through the stress and the craziness all day, my subconscious tells me that I need to treat myself. But seriously subconscious – did you really need to have 3 desserts today?

    So as you can see, despite all of my efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I am very human, just like everyone else. No matter how hard we try to live out our ideas – be it healthy living or anything else – our plans and ideals are not foolproof. But the key is to recognize that we’ve strayed from our plan and try to get back on the path to being healthy.¬†Sounds perfect – But I may need to postpone that thought until after the annual meeting ūüėČ

    Night everyone!