Crazy for Quinoa

Made it to Wednesday, which means we made it to the end of our short week! Yah! It always easier to get through weeks that are short. I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family and celebrating my 27th birthday on Friday. Hubby and I are participating in our local turkey trot tomorrow. It will be a great way to start our day!

I’m linking up today with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday today. This week I “mixed it up” and tried some new recipes.

greekyogurtBanana Oat Greek Yogurt

  • Dannon Light & Fit Banana Greek Yogurt Blends
  • 1/2 TB chia seeds
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter of choice (I heat it in the microwave to make it a little melty)
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • Sprinkle KIND Cinnamon Oat Clusters granola and cinnamon on top
  • You could also add cooked (and cooled) quinoa to the yogurt!

2013-11-25 18.12.19I made these Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas Monday night for the Elf for Health challenge #1 (Meatless Monday). They turned out really well! I enjoy trying new recipes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it’s always good to mix things up! Next time I might add some toppings to it (i.e., more veggies!).

2013-11-24 13.51.33One of my favorite dinners lately has been a Quinoa Veggie Salad. I’m just crazy for quinoa! Even though it tastes like a dirty old tree branch. Such a great commercial haha. It’s filling, full of good for you veggies, and protein! I’m discovering more and more how important it is to have protein at every meal to feel full and satisfied.

Quinoa Veggie  Salad

  • Make a bed of greens of your choice (I use spinach and kale)
  • Cook your quinoa (I usually cook 1/2 cup uncooked at a time, yields about a cup when done).
  • While quinoa is cooking, saute desired veggies in a pan with small amount of EVOO or cooking spray. I used what I had on hand including broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, mini sweet peppers, and broccoli. 
  • Once quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes), combine 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa with one wedge of laughing cow cheese (any variety). Then mix in cooked veggies.
  • Top your greens with quinoa/veggie mixture.
  • Top with sliced avocado, sunflower seeds, and feta.
  • ENJOY!

This happened last Friday- Papa Murphy’s hawaiian pizza with bacon. I don’t eat a lot of pizza because I limit the amount of wheat in my diet, but sometimes you just gotta have a slice of pizza. And that’s OK! Besides preferring thin crust, it definitely hit the spot last week.

2013-11-22 17-1.47.19I feel proud of myself that I have completed 30.5  miles out of the 40 I set at the beginning of the month for the Pile on the Miles Challenge via Run Eat Repeat. I’ve been chipping away at my goal slowly, but surely. Yesterday I got up early to complete a 2 mile walk/run on the treadmill. Then after work I headed to spin class. I haven’t taken spin in a while and I really missed it! I think it will definitely help my legs muscles and IT band in the strength department.

2013-11-26 18.40.39Last night I enjoyed some peppermint tea and a cherry chip cookie from my favorite local bakery, Manderfields. I buy the pre-made dough and pop it in the oven here (cheaper that way!). My mom used to send me care packages at college and she’d always include my favorite cookies. It’s the little things sometimes. 🙂

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s what you make of it that matters most!

Any other Turkey Trotters? Favorite meatless Monday meal? Favorite “speciality” cookie?

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Five Things I’m Loving This Friday

I’ve contracted a sinus infection and thereby, lost my voice. As a speech language pathologist, it’s kinda a necessary component to have my voice. It was only slightly pathetic to “yell” to my speech kids yesterday and have it come out sounding like a whisper. I’m trying to rest my voice and crossing my fingers it gets better soon! Today I’m linking up for Fitness Friday with JillFive Things Friday with Clare, and Five on Friday with Darci! Go check out all the link up parties!

1) With the holidays coming up {quicker than I expect, as always}, I’m looking to maintain my level of fitness and nutrition. In the past, the holidays have been an excuse to make and eat all kinds of ridiculous sweets and treats and not think about my health. I would gain some weight around the holidays and it never really affected me. The past couple years my outlook on health and fitness has changed immensely. I know I could get through the holidays no problem, but it’s always nice to have a little support. This year, I will be joining the Elf for Health 2013 challenge put on by Lindsey at The Lean Green Bean .

The challenge runs November 25th-December 22nd. Challenge categories include Food, Fitness, For You, and For Others. Each participant will be paired with another “elf” and send twice weekly emails to support each other and share recipes/workouts. You can win some awesome prizes from Mizuno, Nature Box, Bondi Band, and Nuttzo among others. Sign up by today at noon if you want to join! Do it (it’s free)!

Nutritionella

2) I am in love with my new workout pants from American Eagle. These are the AEO performance striped crop legging in size S. I saw these posted on Instagram and had to check them out. I love workout capris/pants that have patterns or color to them. Black is so, well, boring. I heard through the grapevine that AE uses the same manufacturer as Lululemon for their workout gear. Not sure if it’s true, but they do feel really nice! They’re on a great sale right now, too!

2013-11-17 07.31.06

3)  I’ve never been a tea drinker and believe me I’ve tried to like it. I took a gamble and ordered some Peppermint Tea from Twinings on Amazon. I’ve read reviews that peppermint tea may help in calming the stomach during an IBS attack (not evidence based), however, that wasn’t my sole reason for purchasing it. I was also looking for a hot, caffeine-free drink for before bedtime. I’ve drank it every night so far this week and am really loving the taste!

pepperminttea

4) My dream has come true…I’m becoming a BTS Centergy instructor! I’ve posted about my love for Centergy many times. It’s no doubt something that I am extremely passionate about, so I am very excited for the opportunity to become a practicing instructor! The training is in the middle of January and spans over 3 days..so pretty much like a dream for me! The owner of my gym inquired about my interest a while back, so it will be nice to instruct at a gym I’m already familiar with. Centergy for three whole days! Woohoo! 

5) I was happy to see my prizes I won recently came in the mail yesterday! You wouldn’t know it by my voice (since it was nonexistent), but trust me, I was excited. I picked out the argyle marathon sock from Pro Compression in XS and won a sample pack of Larabars from a #vegrunchat twitter chat (Sundays @ 8pm central if you wanna join!). I usually don’t win much so I’m hoping this streak keeps going! And if not, well, I’m still going to participate because I love chatting about all things running!

2013-11-21 15.51.18Have a great weekend everyone! Take time to enjoy yourself and those around you. I’ll be testing out my knee again, seeing as I’m running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping for the best!

Do you “go all out” during the holidays or keep yourself in check? Black or colorful/patterned workout pants? Anyone else a fitness instructor? Any advice for a soon-to-be?

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Mini Crock Pots & Popcorn

2013-11-17 19.38.10Murphy and I would like to wish you a happy Wednesday! My week has been going well so far, except for a cold I’ve developed. I’ve had less meetings after work this week and with Thanksgiving coming up, a short break is on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! My eats this week have been a little more diverse than usual. I’ve been getting fuller a lot quicker for some reason, so I’m not sure what that’s about. Could be some of the new food I’m eating.

Friday night I didn’t feel like cooking (let’s face it- do I ever?), so hubby and I grabbed some food from Q’doba. I don’t go there a whole lot, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to order. Although I studied abroad in Mexico, I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food in general- too many beans and tortillas does not make my stomach happy. I ended up going with the naked pork burrito bowl with lettuce, grilled veggies, salsa verde, and cheese. It was really good except that the grilled veggies made the lettuce kind of watery. The leftovers weren’t so great.

2013-11-15 17.33.54I am in love with my mini lunch crock pot. I received it last Christmas and forgot about it until recently. It’s perfect for taking soup or chili to work. You simply plug it in and your food will be nice and hot whenever you eat! It’s main use it just heating because the food needs to already be cooked. It’s really convenient for taking leftovers to work. I took my leftover baked potato soup (a la Skinnytaste) last week.

crockpotI’ve been on a popcorn kick lately. Not just plain old popcorn though, Pop Crunch Cheddar & Caramel Mix from Orville Redenbacher’s (such a good combo!) and Popcorn Indiana’s Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn. YUM.

popcornI picked up some cinnamon chips at my last grocery store run. I never bake with cinnamon chips, so I wasn’t completely sure what to use them in. After perusing Pinterest, I decided on Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Spice cookies from I Heart Nap Time. They are really similar to the carrot cake pumpkin muffins I make often (just substituting cinnamon chips for mini chocolate chips and adding pudding mix). Make sure to bake the cookies the full 10 minutes. I under baked some of batches of mine and they’re a little soft (more “muffin” than “cookie” like).

2013-11-17 17.38.27Last night I enjoyed a little Centergy. I’m continuing to rehab my IT band with active exercise (thank you for all the advice!!) and am working on getting new running shoes. I think there may be a benefit to getting my feet refitted for running shoes. I’m curious what the other running store in my area will recommend for shoes. I’m definitely not hating the opportunity to look at new running shoes lately!

2013-11-17 07.59.54Keep calm and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Plain or flavored popcorn? Like or dislike Mexican food? Favorite fitness class this week?

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Food to Eat, Food for Thought

sport-keep-fit-inspiration-good-quotes-sayings-picsWhile I’m out of commission from running for a bit, I’ve been enjoying other forms of exercise. Namely, Group Centergy and Group Core, but I’ve been dabbling with starting up Group Power (similar to Body Pump) as well. I’m not ready for the soreness I know will come. At the same time, I kinda like to be sore because it means I worked my butt off! I haven’t weight lifted (besides body weight exercises) because I didn’t want to be too sore to run and throw off my training schedule. Now that there’s no race in my near future, stay tuned- weight lifting may be my next endeavour. 🙂

On the food front, it’s WIAW hosted by Peas and Crayons! The hubs and I ate out a couple times last week.

2013-11-08 17.47.33Friday night we went to Gingerootz, an asian restaurant that I highly recommend. I had spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce and part of an Appleton Roll while hubby had the sesame chicken.

Saturday night before the hockey game we went to Grazis in Green Bay.

2013-11-09 17.46.19I had the jerk chicken salad which was really tasty in the moment. However, it left me feeling not so great so I’m adding it to my “not FODMAP friendly” list {along with apples, watermelon, and onions}.

2013-11-06 18.09.49I’ve been doing my best to include veggies with most meals, especially dinner. One of my favorite dinners is a quinoa bowl made with (you guessed it) quinoa, sauteed veggies, a wedge of laughing cow and topped with feta and sunflower seeds. Sometimes I’ll add spicy chicken sausage which is really good too.

2013-11-12 17.39.44Last night I made Skinnytaste’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I don’t have an immersion blender so I wasn’t able to get it as soupy as I would’ve liked. It came out more chunky, but still tasted really good! I added broccoli slaw to it and topped it off with shredded cheese, bacon, and green onion.

pumpkinpancakesI’ve been making strides in eating different breakfasts. My favorite this past week was my banana protein pancakes with pumpkin mixed in. A little extra fiber does the tummy good!

Thanks to Danielle at It’s A Harleyyy Life for tweeting this Low Fat Banana Nut Bread recipe from Skinnytaste! Banana bread sounded so good on Sunday and I just happened to have had ripe bananas on my counter. It’s not a traditional banana bread recipe (some healthier substitutions), but still soooo good.

2013-11-10 14.00.06My food for thought today: I think about what I put in my mouth about 95% of the time. I try to eat my veggies and stay FODMAP free, but life gets in the way sometimes and it’s not always possible. I find it especially difficult when I have to rely on others when eating; for example, if someone else picks a restaurant or during the holidays. My family has been mostly accommodating to my food needs, but I realize it puts a burden on them as well. I struggle with maintaining a balance of not being too rigid and taking risks with some foods to wanting to just eat “safe” foods.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Do you like being sore after a workout? Who loves sushi? Best kind of baked bread or muffin?

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Thankful Thursday

thankfulthurs

I think it’s important to take reflection time each day; each week to remember what we’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is approaching which usually spurs these thoughts, but taking small moments throughout the year has value as well.

Relaxation- 

I’ve noticed lately how much my mind races throughout the day. I’m constantly thinking about something that already happened or something that’s going to happen. It’s not too often I take time to live “in the moment” and relax. The last 5 minutes of Centergy class is one of the few moments throughout my week that I just sit and breathe. It is namely referred to as the “restore” track. I never knew how hard it is to not think. I have to picture my mind as a chalkboard and any thought that comes into my head, I simply erase. I am thankful for those 5 minutes to just be.

4Sweat-

I am thankful to be able to sweat. The actual being sweaty part I could do without {obviously}, but I kinda love it when sweat pours down my face. It’s a reminder how much my body is capable of and how much injustice I do my body by sitting during my day. My body was made to MOVE, to WORK, and to SWEAT. I am thankful to finally understand this.

2013-09-28 08.34.49Language-

I found this quote at the beginning of the school year and it sums up how I important I feel my job is.

quote-the-limits-of-my-language-are-the-limits-of-my-mind-all-i-know-is-what-i-have-words-for-ludwig-wittgenstein-355418Who would we be without words to express ourselves? I think about this every day as I treat kiddos with severe cognitive disabilities. I am thankful to have found a job {speech language pathology} I am passionate about. I am thankful for my education, my upbringing, and that I have the opportunity to make a difference; to help kids with such a basic need- to communicate. It kind of gives me chills. 🙂

Produce-

farmersmarketThis summer I frequented the farmer’s market practically every Saturday morning. I am thankful to be able to buy fresh, local produce. It’s not really surprising how much better fresh food tastes and how much better I feel when eating clean. I used to eat a lot of processed foods, not really thinking about what I was putting in my body (i.e., chips, crackers, pretzels). At that time, I didn’t care. I’m much more conscious of what I put in my body now. I want and need to supply my body with nourishing foods to sustain energy for my day and exercise.

30 Days of Thanks Challenge on Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

Think about it-

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

pile-on-the-miles-2013

Pile on the Miles update: 12.5/40 miles

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I Scratched the Itch + WIAW

2013-11-04 19.50.51On Monday I spoke of my race envy. As you get to know me better, you’ll find out I don’t sit on something like that for too long. Hubby and I tend to make decisions really quickly, which in the case of races is probably a good thing. No chance to second guess ourselves!

As I was searching through spring races, the St. Pat’s 17K caught my eye. It is 10.5 miles and a dress up race! At least I have plenty of time to plan a fun St. Pat’s running costume. So, I sent off my form today! I also decided I’m all in for the Cellcom half marathon in Green Bay. It’s May 18th and I’ve heard a lot of positive aspects of the race (running through Lambeau, great crowd support)! So, even though I’m jealous of all those who are racing now, I’m super excited for upcoming races. It will really help to motivate me through this winter!

On the food front- today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! I had an especially good food week. I’m trying to mix up my meals more (yah alliteration :)). So far, so good. Here are my favorites from my week!

Favorite Baked Good:

cookiesI made an extremely good batch of chocolate chips cookies. Of course I don’t do “normal” cookies, so I tried Zucchini Applesauce Oatmeal cookies  from Two Peas and Their Pod. I love how the zucchini keeps the cookies moist. They’re very tasty even 5 days after I made them.

Favorite Breakfasts:

2013-10-31 06.23.09Gluten free toast topped with Laughing Cow wedge, sliced avocado, and 2 egg whites with a side of kiwi and coffee.

pboatmealPeanut butter and jelly oatmeal. It’s made just like it sounds- mixed in pb and jelly (and chia seeds) into my oatmeal. How have I never thought of this before?! Sooo good.

proteinpancakesMy Banana Cinnamon Protein pancakes topped with Peanut Butter Co Bees Knees and lots o’ cinnamon.

Favorite Lunch:

2013-10-30 11.44.32Salad with hard boiled egg, spinach, kale, cucumber, shredded carrot, feta, sunflower seeds, and yogurt dressing. I never get sick of salads because it’s so easy to change them up!

Favorite Dinners:

quinoabowlI spread one tortilla with laughing cow and filled it with cooked quinoa, veggies, and chicken sausage. I also added some shredded cheddar cheese and topped it with avocado.

2013-11-01 18.20.44Quinoa with avocado, a wedge of laughing cow, sunflower seeds and the veggie/chicken sausage mixture from the previous meal.

It will be hard to top these eats from this week. So many good things! Enjoy your Wednesday, friends!

Are you planning on running any spring races? Which ones? What are you favorite salad additions?

pile-on-the-miles-2013

Pile on the Miles update: 9.5/40 miles

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October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Happy HalloweenThis month I participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program hosted by Lindsey at the Lean Green Bean. Thank you so much Lindsey for putting this together! It’s a great opportunity to share the local eats of my city and receive new-to-me eats from another part of the country!

2013-10-24 19.37.16Wanna hear about something not so scary? I received some great treats this month from Becca in Pennsylvania! I’ve never been to PA , nor do I know much about the food out there, so I was up for anything!

box1What was in the box:

  • Southeastern Mills Cheddar Garlic biscuit mix
  • Beaver brand Hot Cream Horseradish
  • Wos-Wit Pumpkin Butter

box2

  • Little Debbie Pumpking delights cookies
  • TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
  • Organic Mint Chocolate bar

I opened the Kandy Kakes right away. OMG they’re so delicious. They’re a small cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. It’s so simple, yet I don’t think we have anything like it that’s similar around here. I want more! I was very happy to see pumpkin butter in the box, as I recently ran out of the pumpkin butter I picked up in Door County. Becca included all things I am looking forward to trying. I am especially glad I participated, as {most of} these are local foods to PA. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to try these foods without the Foodie Pen Pal program!

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Try not to pass out from a candy coma. 🙂 I’m hoping we have lots of trick or treaters because I do not want all that chocolate and candy just laying around the house!

The Lean Green Bean

I Heart Squash Season

Happy middle of the week my fellow health & fitness nuts. While most bloggers hold up their kids for photos, I like to hold up my dog. Don’t judge. 🙂

2013-10-27 16.26.20I’m linking up today to What I Ate Wednesday via Jenn at Peas and Crayons. I take back what I said last week, WIAW is my favorite link up!

2013-10-29 06.19.51I’m trying to mix up my breakfasts more, however, I’m pretty stuck on oatmeal. I love how warm it is for these chilly mornings and it never fails to fill me up. I’ve “tried” to mix up my oats by adding Skippy Dark Chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter (I know, huge change). I definitely have some searching to do for good oatmeal add-ins! Some fruits I can’t add because they’re not low-FODMAP (like apples/pears). I’m thinking of joining in A Dash of Meg’s November breakfast challenge (i.e., different breakfast every morning). I could really use it!

2013-10-27 16.32.37My snacks lately have been fruit filled. I love greek yogurt topped with frozen berries.

spaghettisquashAfter putting off this dinner a couple times last week, I finally made Skinnytaste’s Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese. At the last farmer’s market, I picked up two huge spaghetti squash. The bake turned out really well, but I thought it could’ve used more “crunch.” With some of the leftovers I added cut up peppers, more spinach, and sunflower seeds. I love being able to buy local squash and make a great dinner from it. It just makes me feel good to support our local farmers.

2013-10-29 18.25.56Are you sick of seeing my feet yet? I hope not! Better than my sweaty face. I got in a couple miles on the treadmill last night before Group Centergy. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve obsessed with Centergy. I will never, ever, ever give it up. Never. You can’t make me. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful day and do something that your future self will thank you for!

What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins? Have you been cooking with any seasonal veggies? Favorite workout this week?

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Pumpkin Bagels & Pudding Cakes

Well hi there.

2013-10-20 14.47.06Murphy & I wish you a happy middle of the week! The weather here has gotten noticeably cooler so I subjected Murphy to wearing his cute jacket. He actually doesn’t mind wearing it. I may or may not put it on him just so I can laugh at how cute he looks.

Today is my second favorite link up day, What I Ate Wednesday! (hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons). Below are my favorite eats from this week!

Last Saturday, hubby and I went out for dinner at a local eatery, The Kangaroost. The Kangaroost originally started as a food truck and now is a brick and mortar restaurant. They serve “gourmet comfort food with local flair.” You can taste such a difference with local, fresh ingredients. I seriously love this place. I had the Maple Glazed Salmon Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette. Their breakfast is amazing too (try the Happy Bellies oatmeal pancakes)!

2013-10-19 18.13.18Hubby picked up some bagels at Panera to bring to work for his birthday. I managed to sneak in a request for a pumpkin pie bagel for moi. It was really good, which means a lot coming from someone like me who doesn’t eat much bread. I topped it with Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream cheese wedge and a sprinkle of cinnamon. So good!

2013-10-20 07.18.41A more typical breakfast for me in the morning continues to be oatmeal. I stir in 1 TB of chia seeds, sliced banana, and a scoop of peanut butter. It’s filling and satisfying, especially for these cold mornings lately!

2013-10-22 06.16.14I recently tried the Light & Fit blended greek yogurt. I really like that the flavor is already mixed in. I love the banana cream and orange cream varieties. I usually top the yogurt with sliced almonds.

2013-10-19 15.39.36We’ll end with a dessert because all dinners should be finished with some kind of dessert! Gotta treat ourselves a little too! Last week was our second anniversary and hubby’s birthday. Since it’s just the two of us, I picked up a small cake from a local bakery. I took a chance and selected the Snickers Treat pudding cake. I thought it looked really hard, but it was soft once I cut into it. A small slice was all that was needed though because it’s a pretty rich cake. Hubby liked it and that’s all that mattered!

cakeI’m going to a free running clinic tonight, hoping to get some tips on transitioning to winter running and staying injury free! I’m planning on running outside as long as I can this winter!!!

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? Do you have a little dessert every night or a lot of dessert one night? Will you be running outside this winter?

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Cool Runnings

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and took some “me” time. I know I did!

The weather here in WI has gotten noticeably cooler in the last week. Temps have hovered around 40-50 degrees with upper 30s in the mornings.

2013-10-19 10.13.22

Let me in Mom, it’s cold out here!

It’s been cool runnings around here…and I’m not talking about the movie circa ’93, but fall running!

2013-10-19 09.11.03I’m so glad I’ve invested in some quality cooler weather running gear because it makes my runs much more enjoyable. My favorite new piece of running gear is my Nike Epic Run Tight. They are amazingly comfortable and warmer than my New Balance running tights. I know they’ll keep me warm this winter too. I’m also loving my new Asics headwarmer (similar one here). Headbands are great for letting heat escape through the top of your head, while still keeping your ears warm.

Saturday morning I set out for a 6 mile run. It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning. I haven’t run more than 3 miles since the Brewers 10k at the end of September, so I was really looking forward to it. The fall colors here are mostly passed their peak, but the scenery is still beautiful. I can’t complain at least. 🙂

Oct19After my run we went to our local farmer’s market. I’m really sad that was the last one of the year. We ended up getting a lot of produce for cheap and I’m happy to support local vendors. I bought spaghetti squash (planning on making Skinnytaste’s  Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese), green/red peppers, zucchini, and honey crisp apples (for the husband, as I have discovered apples don’t agree with my stomach).

2013-10-19 11.04.03Sunday morning I headed to Centergy (yoga+pilates class I rave about). My gym released the new routine last weekend so I’ve only done it two times so far. It’s very different than the last one and a really good challenge; especially on the “challenge” track where we’re in a squat the entire time- my legs were burning by the end! And I finally got into bird pose!

243_817_376I’m looking forward to the week ahead! I’m hoping to get out for more runs! I signed hubby and myself up for a free clinic on Wednesday to learn about transitioning to winter running and keeping ourselves injury free. Make it a great week! 

How was your run this weekend? Anyone else go to a farmer’s market? What’d you get?