It’s all about the balance

When it comes to health, I am all about balance. While it is important to eat your greens and fruit and whole grains on a daily basis, it is also important to eat ice cream and chocolate and enjoy some beer and wine from time to time. While it is important to incorporate exercise/daily movement into your life, it is OK to sometimes qualify bar hopping towards your quota or take the day off when you’re just not feeling it.

As long as you are fueling with the good stuff for the majority of the time and treating your body well on a daily basis, there is no reason not to throw caution to the wind and enjoy the HUGE margarita and/or ice cream when you want to. It’s all about having equal love for both the spinach and the mint chocolate chip….

I bring this up because this weekend definitely qualified as a more indulgent weekend for me. I participated in some fun St Patty’s activities on East Carson street ( a street in Pittsburgh that is lined with way too many bars to count), and I thought it could be fun to highlight how I balanced my day/weekend with both healthy eats and some more indulgent treats as well…..anyone else take part in some fun St Patrick’s day festivities?

My weekend included:


my fair share of  green drinks

some on the “healthier” end of the spectrum…..

and some with the addition of some tequila… 

Big Azz kiwi margarita at Mad Mex

Green margaritas at Margaritaville!


I balanced out some delicious eats

Lunch at Whole Foods on Saturday before the festivities began....

Breakfast on Sunday was a group effort: fruit bought and chopped by Jon and arranged by yours truly

with some delicious treats….

First Rita's of the season! Gelati with iced coffee cream ice and vanilla custard

There was also some unpictured  pizza, buffalo potato chips and caramel popcorn consumed throughout the weekend as  well…..


  • BodyAttack on Saturday morning
  • Bar hopping/walking on Saturday afternoon
  • Plenty of laziness of Sunday….

So it basically was a great weekend, and I wish I could rewind and do it again…. Why must it be Monday morning right now?

He loves me, I swear

How was your weekend/St Patrick’s day?

How do you incorporate balance in your life?



From beer to collard greens

Hi there, happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! And if you are like most of my friends… I hope you are having a lovely spring break so far (I am jealous…).

Soo lets chat about the weekend, shall we? Mine was pretty good, since my stepbrother, Timmy, came out to visit! We had a fun and delicious food/alcohol filled weekend, and I may or may not have pretended that I was my undergrad self again…. even though I cannot drink like I used to (which is probably a good thing…..) and have the worst hangovers these days. How did I used to go out so often? I don’t know how it was physically possible…. I feel like such a grandma these days when I am feel good at 2 drinks….

Some scenes from the weekend….

While I love weekends like these that include late nights, pizza (pizza at 2 am is ALWAYS delicious…), fun cocktails and pancakes (I had some banana oatmeal pancakes from the Dorstop yesterday morning…. SO GOOD), I usually end up feeling a little lethargic and let’s just say…. not my best by the end of it all. While I usually like to practice self-control and moderation on a daily basis, sometimes it’s just fun to throw caution to the wind and have sangria and pizza and beer and pancakes all in a short 24 hour period…..

While this is a delicious and fun thing to do, it doesn’t always leave me feeling energetic and ready to tackle the upcoming week. I love having these indulgent weekends and enjoying every moment of it all, but I also love using the upcoming work week to practice some healthier habits and get some clean food back in my life. I like to go to the grocery store and load up on delicious foods to get excited about. Besides buying a  huge bag of kale the size of my head (I am obsessed these days) at the store yesterday, a few other things I am excited to eat/use/experiment with include:

1. Collard greens (I am imagining using these as some sort of wrap possibly?)… I’ve never tried collard greens before so I am excited to experiment


2. Grapes… they were on sale!


3. A new salad dressing….

4. Some new Chobani flavors (raspberry and strawberry banana) I LOVE the strawberry banana flavor (its so creamy!), but have never tried raspberry! I’ve been on a flavored greek yogurt kick for the last few weeks if you can’t tell….

I hope you are having a great Monday so far.

How was your weekend?

What are you excited to eat this week?

Any new healthy purchases you’re excited about?

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?

Things I’ve learned this weekend…

1. Three  years can go by really fast….

My boyfriend, Jon, and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary yesterday. I honestly can’t  believe it has been that long…. I feel like we just met next to the keg in the basement of that lovely college apartment where neither of us knew anyone…

While our relationship has evolved quite a bit over the years, he still makes me laugh everyday, is always my #1 fan, and I love him now more than ever. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

I love you Jon! Happy 3 years!

2. I want to be Ina Garten

Yesterday afternoon, Sami (my sister) and I made and brought lunch over to our friend Erin’s house to have a lunch/homework “party” (Hi Erin and Erin!). From reading my blog(!) and seeing Sami’s lunches during breaks from class (Erin is in Sami’s grad program), she was interested in having a Dana/Sami-inspired salad. I, of course, was happy to bring over some healthy and delicious food for us to enjoy (since I do want to start a lunch-packing service), and packed us some Asian-themed salads.

Asian-themed salads with edamame, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, teriakyi tofu, brown rice, sesame seeds....

I felt a lot like Ina Garten, since she always seems to be whipping up and packing food to-go for special occasions. I won’t lie, I am a big fan of hers, and I kind of liked channeling my inner Barefoot Contessa yesterday. I love packing lunches for myself and for others, and if it were possible for me to make a living traveling around and making people healthy/colorful/delicious lunches and snacks, I totally would do it.

I need Ina to come give me some tips….

3. Bulgur wheat is a delicious oatmeal alternative

1/4 c bulgur, 1/4 c oats, 1 c almond milk, 1/2 banana, big scoop pb

Yesterday morning, I tweaked my normal oatmeal/banana/peanut butter breakfast by replacing a 1/4 cup of my normal oatmeal serving with a 1/4 cup of some bulgur wheat (that I got in the bulk bins at Whole Foods).  I first read about this grain over at Carrots ‘n Cake, and it is a great grain to enjoy for breakfast (here is some info about it if you’re interested). It is a bit chewier than rolled oats, but I find that combining it with oats creates a great combination of texture. It is a great way to switch up breakfast and  incorporate fun, new, and healthy grains into your diet! I really enjoyed this breakfast yesterday. (Note to self: eat more bulgur for breakfast!)

I  hope you are having a great weekend!

Anything you have “learned this weekend?”

Any types of grains you like to enjoy for breakfast other than oatmeal? I have tried using barley and quinoa as alternative breakfast grains before, and I know Bethenny has a brown rice breakfast that I tried a few years ago…

Sunday thoughts

  • As much as I love creating healthy meals and working out on a daily basis, I love sitting on my butt, watching girly movies (anyone else watch Bring It On today?), eating leftovers and consuming way too much chocolate just as much sometimes….

notice the unopened books and notebooks...

  • The second half of the last statement might be due to the fact that I drank one too many beers last night (and maybe that kamikaze shot poured into my mouth wasn’t the best idea on second thought?). Lets just say I am not feeling my best at the moment…
  • I am amazed that I was physically able to go out every weekend in college (which was only one year ago, mind you) and still be productive on Sundays. How did I do it?? I NEED to study for my Bio test today… but my pounding headache and craving for carbs keeps getting in my way. I feel old.
  • I made Anne’s Sweet Potato and Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas last night with Jon (my boyfriend), and they were SO delicious.  We were both very big fans, and I highly suggest you make them (FYI they also taste delicious reheated and serve as a great healthy alternative to the  more heavy/calorie laden Mexican foods out there).  They taste super indulgent but they are filled with spinach, sweet potato and veggies… you can’t go wrong with them.
  • Speaking of Mexican food, I also made a Mexican inspired salad for lunch yesterday that was pretty delicious:

It contained:

    • spinach/romaine (would have been better with all romaine… I like the crunchiness of it in taco salads)
    • red pepper
    • corn
    • avocado
    • carrot
    • salsa
    • plain greek yogurt
    • chili spiced beans (from a can)
    • cilantro
    • tortilla “chips” (I toasted a whole wheat tortilla in the toaster oven until it became crispy… they are fun to scoop up the salad with
  • Is it wrong that I get more excited looking up super bowl snacks and eating super bowl snack than watching the game? I want to like football but I just…. don’t. No matter how hard I try, I always end up zoning out and staring blankly at the screen. I do love party snacks though and if I were going to a party I would want to make:

Angela’s Black Bean Chili DipJessica’s Creamy Feta Dip with Jalapenos

Or….Jessica’s Toasted Almond Parmesan Dip (YUM) Anyone doing anything fun for the game (or making anything delicious)?

On that note, I think I need to start studying and stop thinking about food (why do I always have this problem?). I hope you are having a great weekend!

Recipe for a good weekend

1.Delicious food… check

Breakfast on Saturday: yogurt with oatmeal, banana, strawberries and peanut butter

2. A fun outing… check

Jared's lovely work

My sister and I went to an ice festival on Saturday (my sister’s boyfriend, Jared,  is an ice sculptor and does a lot of festivals on the weekends). We showed our support by taking random pictures and trying not to complain about our frozen fingers and toes (which I am pretty sure we failed at… sorry Jared).

Note to self: when you KNOW you will be standing outside in 30 degree weather for 2 hours, wear warm socks.

3. A good workout(s)…check

I took a BodyAttack class this morning. A new release comes out next week… so excited!

4.Eating at a new/fun/delicious restaurant…. check

I went out to dinner at Church Brew Works with this guy last night….

Jon making his debut on the blog...

Drank some of this…
 and ate some delicious food…

Crispy polenta with zucchini, mushrooms, and roasted tomatoes in a goat cheese truffle sauce

So it was a fun and delicious dining experience.
5. A fun outing/night with friends with fun drinks…. check

Mad Mex margarita... always delicious

I went to Mad Mex (one of my favorite Mexican restaurants) last night with Jon, my sister, Sami, and her boyfriend, Jared. We met up with a few friends later in the night,(Hi Erin, Erin, and Allison!) so it was a successful/fun night. Plus, you can never go wrong with margaritas…

6.Productivity… (in progress)

I love when I am productive over the weekend (usually on Sundays) and feel ready to tackle the upcoming week.

So far I have gone grocery shopping,  but I plan to finish a lab report, read in my Bio book, organize my room and do my laundry today as well …. so I will be productive, later.

On that note, I better go work on #6…

I hope you are having a great Sunday/weekend!

What is your “recipe” for a good weekend?