Scenes from the weekend + a fun snack idea

Hi! How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

I didn’t do anything super exciting and was rather low key, but it was exactly what I needed. I basically just ran errands and got some work done, but I really enjoyed myself. Sometimes its nice to just recharge. Some  of my more notable moments of the weekend….

I ate a delicious lunch at Whole Foods

I had to work Saturday morning so I rewarded myself when I was finished with with a delicious Whole Foods lunch…. I especially enjoyed the vegetarian Waldorf salad made with kale on the bottom right corner…. (I am pretty mad at myself for not looking how they made it…). Anyone know whats in it?

I ran 5 miles at the gym on Saturday!

Even though I have been running for over 2 years now, and have completed multiple races, I still get excited every time I run more than 2 miles…. maybe its my former nonathletic/uncoordinated adolescent self congratulating me? I was pretty pleased with myself for 1. getting to the gym on a Saturday afternoon and 2. running more than 3 miles (my original plan)

I tried a new-to-me beer

I went to Jon‘s friends house last night and enjoyed a couple of beers (including the Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale that I previously wrote about!).  The Old Brown Dog Ale tasted exactly how Runner’s World described it and was deliciously malty/caramel-y. I also had a Flying Dog  In Heat Wheat Hefeweizen that was pretty good.

I saw the biggest yam I have ever seen….

This is random, but I saw this at the store today and felt the need to share. It was HUGE!

I ate a delicious snack

I just ate this, and since it was pretty good, I felt the need to share. I always love having something sweet at night, and I like to try to think of healthier alternatives to enjoy when I am not in the mood to eat something super indulgent.

I was in the mood for something warm/comforting, but I also wanted an apple. To satisfy both moods I made some cinnamon pumpkin peanut butter dip that I could dip some apple slices into. To make the dip I combined:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin (approx)
  • 1 tsp  peanut butter (approx)

I heated the mixture in the microwave for 15 seconds than stirred in some cinnamon.

This was such a fun snack, and I loved dipping the cold/crisp apples slices into the warm  peanut butter and pumpkin combo. YUM!

What the highlight/best part of your weekend?

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Easy (and healthy!) ways to get your V-day chocolate fix

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you celebrating today?

While I know many people are hater’s of this particular holiday,  I am on the more neutral end of the spectrum. I, more times than not, have not had a “valentine” on Valentine’s day, but I  feel like the day should focus less on whether or not you are in a relationship and should be more about celebrating those that you love in general. I know when I was growing up my dad would always buy my sister’s and I mini Russel Stover chocolate boxes, and when I went to college,  my mom started a tradition of sending me an edible arrangement every year.  I never felt like I needed a valentine to take part in the day.

 The holiday doesn’t have to be bitter, it should be about celebrating love…. and having an excuse to eat chocolate all day, anyone with me?

Speaking of chocolate, does Valentine’s day make anyone else crave it like crazy (the big chocolate hearts in every supermarket and drugstore probably don’t help)? I feel like it is mandatory to eat something chocolately and delicious today. While I like to eat big pieces of chocolate cake, chocolate bars and heart-shaped boxes of candy as much as the next girl, I believe there are healthier ways to enjoy it as well. If done the right way, it is possible to enjoy “indulgent” treats all day and not end up feeling lethargic with a sugar coma.

To celebrate, I thought I’d suggest some healthy ways to incorporate some chocolately goodness into your life today.

Breakfast ideas:

  • Chocolate breakfast cookie – This was my breakfast of choice this morning…

I made mine with:

-1/2 c oats
-1 tbsp pb
-1 tbsp Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
-1/2 banana
-splash soy milk
-topped with: 2 chopped strawberries + strawberry jelly

1/2 c oatmeal with added cocoa powder (doesn't look appetizing but is SO good

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal – Mama Pea has a delicious recipe for this that I recommend (which my sister made this morning….)

Snack Ideas:

  • Chocolate-inspired trail mix (mix chocolate chips with some almonds, dried cranberries, and cereal….)
  • Warm a Chocolate Brownie Clif Z bar or any type of chocolate/oat based granola bar in the microwave for 3o seconds for an instant cake-like snack

  • 1 tbsp of Nutella or Justin’s chocolate Hazelnut butter/Chocolate Almond Butter with a chopped apple

Dessert Ideas:

  • “Apple sundae” – chop an apple into bite size chunks and place into a mug or small bowl. Top with a a few tsp chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of granola/sprinkles/raisins/small spoonful pb (the options are endless)…. my sister and I used to do this all the time. It’s rather tasty.
  • Healthified “chocolate mousse” – Mix  plain greek yogurt or cottage cheese with a few tsp of cocoa powder and honey or some chocolate pudding mix (a trick I learned from Julie!). Add some mini chocolate chips and chopped strawberries on top to make it extra delicious.
  • “Chocolate-covered” strawberries – chop some strawberries and top with  a few tablespoons of chocolate sauce –  my friend Mary is a big fan of this one… so simple but so good

(source: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/06/one-minute-chocolate-cake)

Annd if all else fails and you really want something decadent, make this chocolate mousse. I made some last night to have as a Valentine’s day dessert  for later and it is SO GOOD. It’s not exactly healthy, but there is always room for a little treat here and there, right? I won’t lie, I licked the mixing bowl clean… I can’t wait to have some later.

I hope you have a great day!

What are your favorite ways to incorporate chocolate into your life? Any healthy breakfast/snack ideas??

Built-in Self-Control

Hi there! Happy Monday… who’s ready for a new week?

I was a little tired when I woke up this morning (probably stayed up a bit too late watching the Grammys…), but I had a delicious oatmeal combo in my head that helped to peel me away from my warm bed… Pb&J oatmeal! (I am pretty sure breakfast might be the only effective way to get me up on chilly mornings….).

I had this idea after my sister Sami and I bought both strawberries and strawberry jelly at the store yesterday. Given that I just read that  it supposedly was also National PB&J day yesterday, I deemed it necessary that I should celebrate. Not that I don’t eat peanut butter every other day of my life…. (Did you know that the average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year?)

My oatmeal contained:

  • 1/2 c oats
  • 1/2 c soy milk, 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 scoop peanut butter + 1 tsp(?) strawberry jelly
  • sprinkle of ground flax

This was so good. Jelly + oatmeal is a combo I don’t eat enough of…

Self-Control and Dessert

One more thing I wanted to discuss this morning is dessert eating/self-control/your preferred way of eating the sweeter stuff. You see, while I tend to believe I exert self-control on most occasions when it comes to food, when it comes to certain things (like desserts), the control can be a bit more challenging (carrot cake – I am talking about you…). I bring this topic up because last night Sami and I ate some delicious mini cupcakes from the Pink Champagne Cupcakery.

Sami’s boyfriend brought a dozen mini cupcakes over for her this weekend and last night, we decided to try some out. There were a lot of delicious sounding flavors to try including caramel macchiato, hot chocolate, blueberry strudel, blue velvet and vanilla. They all sounded so delicious and all looked so delicious, we couldn’t choose which to eat. Given that Sami and I are both quite indecisive when it comes to making certain decisions about food (especially desserts), we put our sharing powers to work and tried all of them (1/2 of each type):

We added in the blue velvet about 5 mintues later when we decided it was necessary to try them all

This ended up being a great way to try all the delicious flavors, (my favorite was the blueberry strudel…. it had blueberry filling!, while Sami preferred the caramel macchiato) without going into a sugar coma or feeling sick (something that tends to happen when I have a box of delicious cupcakes or desserts staring me in the face). I love having variety and picking and choosing what to taste (which probably explains my love of salads and multiple oatmeal toppings quite well…), so this was the perfect way to try everything at once.

I think I am a new fan of mini desserts… You have an excuse to eat more than one flavor/type of something yet don’t have to commit to a whole piece. That’s a win-win in my book.

How do you exert self-control when it comes to desserts? Are there certain types of dessert that are more difficult for you to say no to? I have a definite weakness for carrot cake and cream cheese frosted anything, but I can usually cut myself a (big) slice and be content.

Did you celebrate National PB&J day?

Thursday Waffles

Good morning! How are you doing today? (good news… my Biology test is finished, and I think I did well!)

I am so glad that it’s Thursday. I have Chemistry lecture and lab from 5-10 on Fridays (I am so exciting, I know), so Thursdays kind of feel like my Fridays sometimes. I love just going to work in the morning and knowing I will be home at a reasonable hour to work out, eat dinner (off of a plate), hang out with my boyfriend/friends…, etc.

So while I do love being busy and being challenged, I definitely need the balance of these “lazier” (since I’m still at work by 7/7:30 am), more relaxed days as well. It’s all about the balance, right?

Anyway, to “celebrate” the completion of my Bio test,  I had a delicious breakfast this morning that I must share:

I made myself 2 Kashi Multigrain toaster waffles with 2 different types of toppings (something I seem to be a fan of these days…. I love having variety!):

  • Waffle 1: peanut butter, defrosted peaches (I have a HUGE frozen fruit mixture from Costcos), a sprinkle of ground flax
  • Waffle 2: goat cheese, defrosted strawberries (from same bag), and honey….I am really loving the goat cheese + strawberry combo lately

This was so easy to pull together, and I felt like I was eating such a “special” breakfast for a random Thursday morning. All I did was:

  • put waffles in toaster oven
  • microwave fruit for 1 minute, 30 seconds
  • get out peanut butter, goat cheese, flax and honey
  • spread peanut butter on 1/2, sprinkle goat cheese on other 1/2….. top each with fruit and “toppings”

Total time: 5-6 minutes (I know this because I am super aware of my time in the morning…. I have quite the streamlined schedule).

While I am usually a peanut butter and banana fan in the morning and put the two on EVERYTHING including, oatmeal (regular and overnight), yogurt, toast/waffles, cereal…. it was fun to switch things up and have a different fruit and topping combo. If you haven’t tried goat cheese and strawberries yet… DO IT (it’s so good).

I hope you have a great day!

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?