Stir It Up…

Howdy there everyone and Happy Last Day of Summer!

I just rocked at work today! Because it’s crunch time, I have put myself on a strict schedule at work so that I can get all of my projects done on time, or even ahead of time.

But, of course, even with my long to-do list, there’s always time for a little lunch…

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Today, lunch was left over vegetable risotto from Friday night. It was still just as yummy as the day I made it!

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on a new Cascadian Farm high fiber organic granola bar -this time it was blueberry and pomegranate.

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The bar was not as chewy as I thought it would be but it was still very good. I really like the blueberry/pom combination.

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I arrived home relatively early compared to the last few weeks. It was nice not to fight traffic and to be able to enjoy some of the nice weather before heading in for dinner. 

Speaking of dinner, Scott had dinner almost ready when I came home. Tonight, it was chicken-vegetable stir-fry…

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I have to admit, I have been avoiding this dish for the last two weeks. Stir-fry just hasn’t been sounding good to me. But tonight, it tasted fantastic and I think I had at least 2 servings of veggies on one plate alone!

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We paired the chicken and mixed veggies with a side of brown rice. I nearly always choose brown rice over white rice because brown rice has more nutrients.

After clean up, I talked to my parents for a few minutes on the phone. They live out of state so I try to talk to them at least once a week. But I realized tonight that I haven’t talked to them in 8-9 days, so I was not surprised to hear the phone ring at 8 PM and have it be my mom on the other end. 

With our stomachs settled, Scott and I broke out the Breyer’s ice cream for a little dessert. I’ve been into mixing things lately – cereal, noodles, and now ice cream. I had one small scoop of vanilla bean and one small scoop of caramel praline crunch, topped with about 1 tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips.


I originally bought the chips to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but the chips are going fast! They might not last long enough for me to put them in the cookie!

Well ladies, I’m off to bed. See you all in the AM for the Autumnal Equinox!

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!

Lazy Friday

Running With Cake Fact: I’ve run in 23 of the 50 United States, as well as Washington, DC.

Hello All! I’ve had such a full day already and it’s not even 2 PM. Friday is my typical day off so I slept in just a tad (6:45 AM but I usually get up before 6!) and was out the door running shortly thereafter. I love my Friday runs. It’s so nice running at whatever pace I want, knowing that I don’t have to rush to get to work. I decided to do an easy 4 miles, and save my longer run for Sunday. 

I forgot to eat my 1/2 powerbar before running so by the time I came back, I was crazy hungry. That’s what I get for eating cereal for dinner the night before a run! So, what did this famished girl have for breakfast….

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You guessed it! More cereal…well it was actually a mixture of 2 cereals and 1 granola. I mixed 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with 1/2 Kashi Go Lean (both are super high in fiber) and then added 1/2 cup of Cascadian Farm dark chocolate almond granola – a perfect cereal trifecta if you will. But, I seriously think my eyes were bigger than my stomach because the bowl of cereal ended up being HUGE! And, I ate it all! But, I am happy to say that this big bowl of cereal kept me satisfied all the way to lunch.

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After a little breakie, I packed up my things and headed to Target. It was just a regular Target – not a superstore or anything. But, I was amazed and happy to find that LUNA bars were on sale for $1.00! I promptly snagged three…

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Out of all of the powerbars I’ve been eating lately, so far LUNA is the best. And, I love that they have extra vitamins/nutrients specifically for women. 

After my Target run, I scooted over to the local Italian cafe to pick up a carry-out lunch…

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..a cup of minestrone soup and a 1/2 veggie panini. I usually get the veggie pizza when I go to this cafe, but I was in the mood for a sandwich. This was my first time eating the veggie panini and it was fantastic! It had spinach, red peppers, tomato, onion, provolone, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomato pesto. I’m glad that it was only a 1/2 because I don’t think I could have eaten a whole.

Now, I think it’s time for a little break. The book I started reading last night – Improper English – is ok so far. The heroine is actually a tad too crass for me. I can’t believe that a girl would actually be saying some of these things, but it’s fiction, right? Anyway, I’m off to read a little more.

Have a great afternoon!

There is such a thing as bad pizza..

Hello All,

My training course today went ok. It was delivered very nicely by my team. Now, how it was received is another story. It’s very disheartening when you put so much effort into a presentation or program and then someone in the front row is texting the whole time. Not cool in my book. You could at least fake that you are somewhat interested. 

Anyway, for breakfast, I tried my new Cascadian Farm organic dark chocolate almond granola…

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Oh my, this was GOOD! I think I could actually get my husband to eat it. He even commented when he saw the box, “hmm, dark chocolate almond granola… I could go for some of that!” He doesn’t usually eat granola, so, that’s really telling you something.

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I really like this granola – reminded me a lot of my own homemade granola, although I don’t include chocolate in mine. I added it to a bowl of Trader Joe’s vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt and it stayed crunchy the whole time. And, it was yummy!

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I only added 1/4 cup of the granola to the yogurt (only about 70 calories) but I wish I would have added more! The only negative is that I wish there were more chocolate pieces in my box. I shook it around a bit and really didn’t see much chocolate in it.

Between preparing for and actually delivering today’s training session, I was busy from about 9 AM – 1:30 PM, then I had a meeting from 1:30-2:30 PM. Thankfully, the training included a pizza lunch. However, by the time I actually got around to eating the pizza, it was soggy. Oh my, two soggy pizzas in one week = a really bad week!!!

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The photo of the pizza actually looked BETTER than it tasted, if you can believe that. This was really proof that you can have bad pizza, no matter what people tell me.

Alright, I’m wrapping up and hoping to get out of here soon. See you all tonight!

A Bit of A Power Bar Snob

So much for leaving at 4:30 PM like I had planned. I didn’t leave work until 5:45 PM and didn’t get home until nearly 6:30 PM. But, on the bright side, I did get a LOT done. It is really crunch time for me now (and for the next 5 weeks) so every hour of every day counts.

When I finally arrived home from work, I was just aching for something tasty. Well, I got my wish! My husband and made one of my favorite meals – linguini with homemade meat sauce!

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I was so hungry that I actually had two servings (although they were small!).

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Italian dinners like these always seem so comforting and just make your day seem so much better. 

Aside from my fabulously yummy dinner, I had another surprise waiting for me at home – a full box of goodies from Cascadian Farm, makers of over 75 organic food products. This company has actually been around longer than I’ve been alive! I only just recently noticed their cereal products in the store, but never bought them because I hadn’t heard anything about them.

Well, the very nice folks at CF sent me several of their products to try, including their version raisin bran cereal, two kinds of granola, and two types of high fiber granola bars. That was great news to me because I have really been into fiber these days after reading the Full Plate Diet.

So after dinner, I tried one of the granola bars – the fiber right dark chocolate almond bar to be exact.

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Doesn’t that description and flavor combination sound yummy? Well, when I tore open the bar I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bar was drizzled with dark chocolate which, by the way, had a very good taste – not too “organic”. The granola part of the bar was good, but nothing extraordinary. But, I’m very hard to please when it comes to granola/power bars. I’m a bit of a power bar snob I guess, and I haven’t had much luck with them lately.

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As a whole, I thought this bar was definitely better than all three Odwalla bars I tried last week, but not as tasty as the LUNA bar. I would absolutely have this bar again, if not for the yummy chocolate drizzle, then for the 5 g of fiber (and only 130 calories) that this bar has!

Can’t wait to try the Dark Chocolate Almond Granola for breakfast! 

I’m off to bed. I have the first of three staff training sessions tomorrow and I’m leading all of them! So, wish me luck!

Hands Out of the Bread Basket, Please…

Wow, what a day! We went nonstop from about 1-9 PM and had so much fun! Right after lunch, we headed to Brookfield Zoo just north of Chicago. The zoo itself is amazing but it’s also featuring a traveling exhibit, Dinosaurs Alive!, until the end of September. A friend of mine had given us free tickets to the exhibit so we decided to go today.

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The exhibit had about 10 life-size, animatronic dinosaurs, that moved and roared when you pushed a button. It was pretty neat – kind of like being on the Dinosaur ride at Disney World. The rest of our zoo time was spent viewing the animals – bears, gorillas, penguins, etc. While walking around, I got a little hungry so I tore open my third and final Odwalla bar…

9.12 Odwalla

Once again, I really did not care for this power bar so I only ate 1/2 of it. It was overly chewy and really did not have much of a flavor and what flavor it did have was not very good. I don’t plan on buying these bars again – unless I have no other options – give me a LUNA or LARA bar any day!

After the zoo, we headed to dinner at Antico Posto, an Italian restaurant, for dinner. We started with the typical Italian restaurant starter – bread and oil. But I do have to admit, this bread and oil combination was exceptionally good.

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That is my excuse for eating way too much of it! The bread basket is my #1 downfall at restaurants. I still haven’t figured out a way to control my bread habit. I always tell myself to only eat 1 or 2 pieces then push the rest away, but somehow I don’t hear that little voice when I’m actually munching on the bread.

For my entree, I ordered the cavatappi pasta with roasted chicken, fall veggies, and parmesan cheese all in a chicken-based broth.

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The dish was very good, although it seemed like it was missing something. I think a few red peppers or spinach would have made the dish even better. I ate about 2/3 of it then gave the rest to Scott.

After dinner, we did a little shopping. We hit Anthropologie, Lucy, and Nordstrom but didn’t manage to find anything within our budget to buy. For all you Foodie bloggers out there, Anthropologie had a ton of new dishes (plates, bowls, etc.) in all different designs and colors. They’re a bit expensive but worth a look if you’re wanting to spruce up your food shots.

On the way home, we stopped at Red Mango! I have been wanting to go to this place for months now. I’ve heard so many great things about it (as well as pinkberry) and really wanted to try it. I decided to get a regular size original yogurt with watermelon chunks and bits of Ghirardelli chocolate.

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Oh my gosh – this tasted like pure Greek yogurt – and you all know how much I LOVE Greek yogurt! I loved this new treat and could easily see how a person could become addicted to the creamy, sweet taste. On the other hand, my husband did NOT care for the froyo at ALL. But then again, he does not like yogurt – Greek or any other kind. Thankfully, he tried a sample before buying a full cup. He opted for one of their flavored iced teas instead.

I am so tired now from walking around for hours and hours today – but it was great exercise! Tomorrow, I’m planning an 8-miler which should take me just over an hour to complete (hoping for no more than 65 minutes). So I’m off to bed.

Night All!

Sweet Smell of Apple Cake Success

Evening everyone! Well, I am very happy to report that my first-ever homemade apple cake turned out great! Other than slightly over baking it, it was very moist on the inside and has a super yummy apple cinnamon and sugar flavor!

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After an hour of baking, I let it cool for about 10 minutes and cut into it just to see what the inside look like. I was skeptical at first because the crust looked so thick and bland. But after cutting into it, I could see the very cake-like texture and was quite pleased with myself. 

Then, we were off to see Harry Potter in IMAX. I love this movie! It was incredible how much they were able to include from the book (although they did leave quite a bit of the unnecessary story lines out). I even became teary-eyed in a few parts. That was the first time I’d every gotten choked up at a Harry Potter movie – ha!

After the movie, I went shopping for a few hours as part of my last hurrah for vacation. I went to Lucy to see if the store had any good sales. The sales girl convinced me to try on one of their petite size new Hatha yoga pants. They looked fantastic! But, then I looked at the price tag – $88! I love yoga and Lucy, but $88 on yoga pants? I think I’ll pass.

Scott was teaching again tonight so I made a few leftovers for dinner…

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I had homemade fried chicken, veggies that I picked from the pasta salad, and some freshly-made Trader Joe’s white cheddar shells and cheese. I really love mac and cheese, and Trader Joe’s has one of the best all-natural, organic boxed mac and cheese that I’ve tried.

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Then, for the BIG finnish… Apple Cake!

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Ahhh, so yummy! Not exactly like my mom’s famous recipe (in our family it’s famous!), but it was truly very good. I took one small piece, dusted it with powdered sugar and added one small scoop of Breyer’s natural vanilla ice cream. A practically perfect September dessert!

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As for this recipe, I can’t take all of the credit. The Betters Homes and Gardens cookbook did help me quite a bit. I took the BH&G recipe and modified it slightly to make my own version of the cake, ie. used walnuts instead of pecans, used nutmeg instead of allspice, etc. Not bad for my first time!

Now, I’m off to bed. It’s going to be hard going to work tomorrow after being gone for 5 days!

Have a great night all!

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!

Now Playing…Chocolate-Covered Mulberries

Today went by really fast because of all of my morning meetings and the great staff appreciation luncheon. I have to say that I looked a little funny taking pictures of the food – kind of like the wedding photographer who wants to take pictures of every little detail. I’m just glad no one asked me why I was taking the pictures.

The veggie burger I had for lunch kept me extremely full the rest of the afternoon. I wasn’t hungry at all when I arrived home from work at 6:30 PM. But around 7:30 PM I decided to make a little somethin’ somethin’…


I made a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Funny, I used to hate these when I was a kid, but now I can eat them for a quick meal or snack. I made my sandwich with a dollop of MaraNatha all-natural cream peanut butter…


And then topped that with some Knott’s strawberry preserves. I also had a few (ok, more than a few!) Cape Cod low-fat potato chips on the side.


The sandwich was just enough to make it so I would not go to bed hungry. It’s weird saying that knowing that there are people who go to bed hungry every night. I thought I was done eating for the night, but then I realized there was a surprise package at my door!!! Yeah! The folks at Kopali Organics sent me a sample of one of their superfoods…


Organic, dark chocolate covered – not cherries, not raisins, not cranberries….MULBERRIES! Can you believe it? Who would have ever thought to cover a mulberry with dark chocolate or any chocolate for that matter. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a mulberry before. It actually looks like a blackberry but it’s a little sweeter. Mulberries also are packed with all sorts of good nutrients – antioxidants, etc – and have been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for blood clots and strokes. 

I wasn’t very hungry but I decided to tear open these little babies.


I really loved the taste of the mulberries. It was a nice change from the typical chocolate covered raisin or peanut. I am rather neutral on the taste of the chocolate. Normally, I really like dark chocolate, but this kind just tasted a little different than what I’m used to – not bad, just different. Maybe it’s because it is organic chocolate, which, to my knowledge, I’ve never had. 

Despite it’s health properties, I don’t think this snack is ready to replace raisinets at the theatre anytime soon, but they would make a nice alternative (you’d have to sneak them though – he he!), especially if you’re looking for a snack that’s on the healthier side. In addition to chocolate covered berries, Kopali Organics also has dried fruit and other organic mixes.

Ok, I need to head to bed. I’m finally getting my hair cut tomorrow and I’m so excited!

Think Green, Live Pink: Free PINK Body Lotion

Ok ladies – it’s time to Think Green and Live PINK!

PINK, the bath and body store from Victoria’s Secret, is giving away 1 oz containers of PINK Energizing body lotion. Click here for the coupon, then just print it and take it to a PINK store by September 7. Hurry, the offer is only good while supplies last. I was able to pick mine up on Monday this week…

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The lotion has a fantastic citrus orange-mint scent and is just the right size for your car, your purse, or as a travel-size cream. Plus, it’s made with 100% organic and vegan ingredients, so it’s good for you and the environment.

Hope you’re able to take advantage of this GREEN opportunity!