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?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Green Monsters and Veggies Galore

Hope everyone is having a good week! This little guy got a haircut this week! He always looks like a brand new pup when I pick him up from the groomer’s. His hair grows so fast!

murphyIt’s been a colorful, fall week of food in my house. I follow mostly a low fodmap diet and try make my breakfast and lunches primarily fruits and veggies. Here are the food highlights from my week!

foodcollageI always underestimate a good green monster smoothie. I love to have one for breakfast or after a great workout. I’ve saved produce like spinach and kale by freezing it and using it in my smoothies. I hate to think of the produce I used to throw away!

I was excited to use up a jar of peanut butter to make hot oats in a jar! I threw in chia seeds, bananas, cinnamon, and there was obviously peanut butter left in the jar!

My snack between lunch and dinner is usually greek yogurt. I topped Chobani Apple Cinnamon greek yogurt with dehydrated apples and cinnamon. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be eating this again because apples have been giving me stomaches…and they are a no-no on a low fodmap diet due to fructose. Livin’ and learnin’ over here. 

I picked up some vine sweet mini peppers on sale at the grocery store. I’ve never had them before and I’ve been missing out! I love them! They are small, cute, and taste really good by themselves or on a salad.

2013-10-06 13.34.32Every lunch for the last couple weeks has been some form of a spinach salad and a kiwi. I’m obsessed, but I don’t care! Keeps me full and energized throughout my afternoon!

2013-10-03 18.48.41My favorite dinner last week was a saute of mini bell peppers, broccoli slaw, portabella mushrooms, a wedge of laughing cow cheese, and sprinkle of cajun seasonings. It was colorful and delicious.

2013-10-05 19.36.45-1I picked up some pumpkin spice M&Ms to bake with. I was feeling some oatmeal cookies and decided to give a Martha Stewart Living recipe a try. They turned out really good! Not too hard and I like the subtle taste of the pumpkin spice M&Ms.

I have a couple late nights at work ahead of me tonight and tomorrow night for parent/teacher conferences. I’m a busy speech bee that’s for sure! On the plus side though, I’m able to leave at 9:30am on Friday and my hubby and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary this weekend! Have a great Wednesday, friends!

I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday! Make sure to check out what everyone is eating lately!

What was your favorite dessert this week?

Are you using any seasonal produce in your recipes?

The Spice of Life

Yah for Thursday! One day closer to that elusive weekend. 🙂 The weather here has been gorgeous lately! It’s been so nice to take some long walks with the pup after work. I’m really going to miss the daylight after work once daylight savings hits. Oh well, I’ll have to learn to run in the dark I guess.

We are all creatures of habit, but also love a little variety (“the spice of life”) once and a while. I have “stand-bys” for many of the categories listed below, but also like to change things up every now and again. These are my current favorites!

Current food love…

2013-09-28 11.38.19I’m loving all things Panera lately. After our Brewers 10k in Milwaukee on Saturday, we stopped at Panera for lunch. I love the “Pick 2” combo to try different menu options. I picked the 1/2 Thai Chicken salad and the 1/2 turkey club panini. I love the spice from the dressing and the roasted red peppers and edamame. I highly recommend it!

Current running love(s)…

2013-10-02 16.56.03Does a website count? I did a happy dance day when this was sitting at my door! I recently discovered the awesomeness of Running Warehouse. RW offers free shipping (no minimum), free returns, two day shipping, AND we belong to a local running club that offers an additional %15 off on purchases!

I’m starting to get prepared for running in cooler weather. I ended up purchasing these Nike running tights.


And this cold weather headband.


I received these items yesterday! I’m actually looking forward to some colder weather so I can wear them! I heart new running gear.

Current music love…

I LOVE this song. It makes me want to sprint.

Current love love (is that a thing?)…

2013-10-02 19.29.36It’s the small things in relationships that make the biggest difference at times. Last night my hubby brought home flowers, just because. He knew I was having a rough, stressful week at work. He always surprises me. We are coming up on our 2 year wedding anniversary already! We decided we’re going to get each other little “gag” gifts this year ($10 limit). I honestly don’t care about big, expensive gifts for an anniversary. I’d rather just enjoy some QT together. Plus, both of our birthdays are around our anniversary and with Christmas coming gifts get harder and harder to think of.

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2013-08-30 13.03.15I’ve been thinking about marking our second anniversary by adding a lock to this pier in De Pere. We went here in August and I think it would be a special symbol to re-solidify our relationship. The idea is that you write your wedding date and initials on the lock, lock it to the pier, and throw the key in the water. That lock’s not breaking and neither are we! 🙂

How do you mark commitment in your relationship? Do you have a yearly ritual? Pick a category, what’s your current fave?

Last Long Run & Fall Fest {MIMM}

What a beautiful Saturday! The weather here was finally more bearable for running. This weekend was my last “long” run in preparation for the half marathon on September 22nd. I decided not to run with the group since it was only 6 miles. I slept in an extra half hour and then hit the pavement.

sep14I felt great during the run. It was nice to break out my running tights for once. It was in the low 40s when I left, but in sun it definitely felt warmer. I took the run at an easy pace, trying to practice my goal pace of 9:30 min/mile for the half and not start too fast. At the end of the run I felt I could’ve gone farther. High five because I’m feeling mentally and physically prepped for next weekend! Bring it on half marathon!

2013-09-14 09.30.54After my run, I headed to the gym for group core. After I learned of my weak glutes, I am making more of an effort to attend core regularly like I used to. I love that the class is only 30 minutes and it’s always a great workout!

fallfestThe rest of Saturday was spent at Fall Fest, which is an amped up version of the usual Saturday farmer’s market. The market had lots of handmade crafts, music, veggies, and some delicious Caramel Apple kettle corn (pictured above). Where did half the bag disappear to already? No idea 🙂 . I first thought it was “Packer” popcorn because of the colors, but happy to discover it’s a new kind of kettle corn!

2013-09-14 12.24.27I picked up this cute, crocheted hat from Fall Fest for $5! Not quite cold enough to wear it yet, but I know that weather will be here before we know it.

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Hubby ordered this pizza from a local vendor, Firefly Woodfired Pizza, at the farmer’s market.

Firefly Woodfired Pizza is a mobile wood-fired brick oven that serves fresh, made-to-order pizzas at private catering events, festivals and farmers’ markets. Ingredients are from local sources.

He chose the breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs, bacon, green pepper, and cheese. Within 5 minutes of waiting the pizza was ready. I stole a piece and it was so good! Loved the eggs and cheese on a crispy crust.

For lunch we headed out by the mall and stopped at Panera. It’s one of our favorite lunch places, but unfortunately there’s not one too close to our house (about 20 minutes). I’m still on my salad kick and decided on the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. I’ve previously tried the Thai Chicken Salad, which I love. I still on a mostly low-FODMAP diet (read more about the diet here), so I try to limit the amount of apple I consume in a sitting (apples are high in fructose). This salad went over fine, but I have felt stomachaches after eating too many dehydrated apple chips at one time.

2013-09-14 13.27.45The salad was lightly dressed with apple vinaigrette, which I appreciate. There’s nothing I hate more than when a restaurant douses a salad with too much dressing. I prefer my veggies with dressing, not my dressing with veggies swimming in it. After trying both salads now, I prefer the Thai Chicken Salad because it’s something so different that I wouldn’t make at home. I might throw something together at home that is similar to the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. It was still really tasty though!

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After lunch we stopped at TJ Maxx and JanSport Factory Store. I love the JanSport Factory Store because they have super cheap tshirts and sweatshirts. The clothes are technically “misprint” items, but usually you can never tell!2013-09-15 09.37.26

I bought this off-the-shoulder sweatshirt from JanSport for $10 (anyone know where the U of Richmond is? Love that their mascot is the spiders!) and I picked up these comfy, cotton lounge leggings from TJ Maxx for $13. I just had to get the leggings because of this sign in the dressing room…

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Talk about suggestive retail.


Sunday was mostly a rainy, dreary day. I started the day with Centergy (yoga+pilates class) with my favorite instructor. I’ve been doing this release since July so I’ve memorized pretty much the whole thing. I loved that the instructor gave us new suggestions to make it more difficult. This class feels so wonderful after running! I hope to get certified soon, just waiting on the gym to host another training weekend. 🙂 Rest of the day we watched the pack take home a win!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! I’m looking ahead to a marvelous week (check out other lovely ladies marvelous Mondays here) and trying not to fret about the half marathon this coming Sunday too much. I put in the work over the last 5 months, now it’s time to just get out there and enjoy it!

What’s your favorite food/drink to order at Panera? How was your run this weekend? Anyone racing soon? What’s your favorite local festival?


Another edition of What I Ate Wednesday via Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so. much. more. – Jenn

Last Friday I had off of work so I met my husband for lunch at Mel’s Coffee House & Cafe. It’s a cute little place with nostalgic decor. The owner was super accommodating and much of the menu was customizable. Salads, sandwiches, and wraps made up most of the menu. I had the creamy chicken with grapes & almonds wrap and hubby had the seafood wrap. They were HUGE! I ate about half the actual wrap and then ate the filling on its own. We both ordered iced coffee. His was peanut butter chocolate and mine was raspberry chocolate. Loved my iced coffee, didn’t even need any creamer/sugar (and I always put creamer in my morning cup of joe).

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Creamy chicken with grapes & almonds wrap

2013-08-30 12.19.58

Mr. GYK’s seafood wrap

Other eats this week included peanut butter popcorn via Julie at Pbfingers (view recipe here). Heat up 1/4 cup of peanut butter and mix with a little honey and cinnamon. Very good and filling.

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I’ve been loving Blue Bunny White Chocolate Raspberry froyo for dessert lately. I add 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries to the top for some added fiber. Yum!

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I’ve also gotten on a dehydrating kick. This week I dehydrated zucchini with parmesan cheese and sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon. I left them both in the dehydrator over night (~12 hrs) and the sweet potatoes were way over cooked. It was only one potato, so not a big deal. I’ll be trying those buggers again soon. The zucchini turned out perfectly though! They are crispy and flavorful.

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This week is different meal wise with school starting. I had to pack my lunch again, ahhh! It was really nice in summer to eat a little something when I woke up, run, and then have a green monster smoothie to celebrate post run success. Now I have to get back to planning ahead and packing my lunch the night before.

Last year I packed and ate the same thing for lunch every day. My goal this year is to mix it up and pack more veggies. There will be days ahead where I will need to pack snacks, lunch, and more snacks for late meetings after school (i.e., IEP season). Sometimes it’s hard to anticipate how much and what food I will want and need. I am still tracking my fiber and testing myself, but my usual go-to lunch was a whole wheat wrap with laughing cow cheese wedge, hard boiled egg, avocado, and sunflower seeds, and greek yogurt. There are days I know I don’t eat enough at work because I’ll come home starving and eat whatever I can throw together. This is another reason I need to get better with dinner planning. It makes things so much easier when you plan ahead and have all the ingredients on hand.

Food Goals for This School Year

  • Diverse lunches with veggies/fruit
  • Healthy snacks (i.e., banana w/ PB, veggies, Kashi chewy bars, almonds)
  • Snack between breakfast/lunch and snack after school day is done to prevent feeling starved upon coming home
  • Plan MEALS, real MEALS (i.e., not oatmeal or toast)
  • Use intuitive eating within reason (plan ahead, but be flexible)

I will update on how I’m doing with these goals as my year gets going.

Do you eat the same thing for lunch everyday? Where do you get inspiration from for different dinners?