Tag Archives: #healthy

Butternut Goat Cheese Salads

I actually found this little gem in my drafts from August and although, it’s actually not what I’m having for lunch this week, it is perfect for the season!  (And it was delicious).

butternut goat cheese salad

Butternut Goat Cheese Salads

Ingredients:

If you’re in the market to spice up your lunches and celebrate the season, definitely give it a try.  I would also like to try it with pomegranate seeds instead of the craisins.

pomegranate seeds

I put these on a chicken kale & wild rice salad last night and it was glorious.  I also squeezed in a 6 mile run with the Queen B and made enough salads for lunches the rest of the week. Success!

6 mile run garmin 220

…And then ate two huge bowls of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s before bed because I was starving.

trader joe's pumpkin o's

No regrets.  They kind of remind me of Apple Jacks or something, but pumpkin.  If that makes sense? Definitely worth a try.

Have a great day!

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Getting Over the 4 Mile Hurdle & Eating Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Good morning, I hope your week is off to a good start! The past few days I have been trying to get motivated to get running again and overall things have been going well, but I can’t seem to break that 4 mile hurdle.  Fall is my absolute favorite time for running.  The air is cool and crisp and it’s so much easier to breathe, so I’m hoping to really get back into my groove… but man, it’s painful starting over.

4 miles garmin forerunner

I think I may need to bite the bullet and sign up for another race in my near future.

But on another (more delicious) note, dinner last night was incredibly easy and super yummy.  We had some leftover chicken in the fridge and on my way home from work I had a serious craving for a buffalo chicken sandwich.  There is nothing I love more than a healthy meal that takes minimal time to make. On Saturday night, Kris concocted this buffalo sauce and I totally stole it from him for this sandwich – so a shout out to him for forever changing buffalo chicken in our household!  Also, I have to admit I did not measure anything… but error on the side of caution with the spicy ingredients!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • grilled chicken breast (sliced)
  • Yogurt bleu cheese dressing
  • Frank’s red hot sauce
  • Sriracha sauce
  • swiss cheese
  • whole wheat bun

Toppings:

  • baby arugula
  • sliced red onion
  • tomato

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F

In a mixing bowl, combine leftover chicken, yogurt bleu cheese dressing (I used Wegman’s brand), Frank’s red hot sauce, and sriracha sauce to desired spicy-ness.  Make sure the chicken is evenly coated.

Top your bun with the coated chicken and add a slice of swiss cheese on top.  Put the sandwiches in the oven for 5 minutes (until cheese is melted).

Top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

easy buffalo chicken sandwiches

We had ours with a side of baby cucumbers and carbonated water.

Have a good one!

4 Miles and Eggplant Parmesan

Yesterday was a long day filled with work, running, and cooking.

After work I came home for a 4 mile run.  The little Beester came with me for 2 of them, but it was way too hot and humid, especially for a pup to be logging the miles.

4 miles

(I swear I tried to lighten up this picture, but my efforts were futile.  It took me about 39:20 to run 4 miles.  Not my best time ever, but I’m generally happy if I average under 10 minute miles.)

I hadn’t run in a while and I felt surprisingly good.  There’s nothing better than a run that feels good both mentally and physically.  I wasn’t even counting down the miles, which has felt rare lately.  After my run I chugged some dark chocolate almond milk while I looked up a recipe for dinner.  I think I could easily drink that whole carton in 2 servings.  It is heavenly.

dark chocolate almond milk

I had an eggplant that needed to be cooked but I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making eggplant parmesan, so I did a little research and came up with this Whole Foods Market recipe.  It was still a decent amount of work, but it was easy enough and it turned out delicious!

eggplant parmesan

I actually had some broccoli on hand so I decided to make the broccoli side as well (recipe is also included in the Whole Foods link).

roasted broccoli eggplant parm

Dinner was a success!  And lunch will be leftovers.  Happy hump day!

You Know you Need A Motivation Monday When…

Yesterday morning as I was sitting at my desk, sulking in my Monday blues, I decided it was a good time to do some organizing which happened to include a very large stack of papers that needed stapled back together and filed.

In the midst of my stapling frenzy, I realized that my shoulder was getting tired… From picking up a stapler and putting it back on my desk over and over. While I was feeling a little embarrassed for myself, I realized that it was a clear sign that I needed some motivation. And also that I need to re-evaluate my summer routine.

In an effort to save some money and embrace the summer weather, I quit my gym membership and came up with a handful of circuit workouts that I was going to combine with running. Well let me just be the first to admit that I have officially fallen off the wagon.

out of shape meme

Here are some other signs that you might also need a good, old fashioned, Motivation Monday:

1. Your arms are aching while blow drying your hair (check)

2. You are embarrassingly out of breath at the top of the stairs (yep)

3. Doing one push-up feels like the equivalent of running a marathon (ugh)

4. You post a Motivation Monday post on a Tuesday (whoops)…

On the plus side, I spent all last night grocery shopping and meal planning so at least I have a plan!  Here’s what’s on the agenda today:

Breakfast: English muffin with peanut butter

Snack: Fruit!

fruit bowl

Lunch: One of these awesome salads with baby spinach, arugula, sprouts, cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, edamame, and cottage cheese.

lunch salad

Snack: yogurt and green tea

Dinner: Some sort of eggplant/zucchini parmesan

How do you know when it’s time to re-evaluate your workout regimen?

Why I Quit Counting Calories

It is so easy to get sucked into the mindset that our daily food intake must fall within a certain calorie range.  We should eat 1,200 calories per day, we definitely don’t want to eat too much fruit, and bananas and corn are horrific carbs in disguise.

When I began my health quest, about 5 years ago, I started out counting calories.  I would diligently log my food intake and try to find ways to cut out calories.  Substituting in diet this, and sugar-free that… there were so many different ways to cheat the system and be able to eat “free” foods.  You know the old saying though, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”… well you see where I’m going with this.  There are many people who have been successful on diets like this, but at the end of the day it wasn’t healthy for me.  Even if I miraculously made it through the day feeling full and clear minded, it was only a matter of time until I crashed.

So you might be thinking, “there are ways to track your calories without consuming diet, chemical filled foods”.  And you are absolutely correct.  So that’s where I headed next in my journey.  But yet again, I found myself obsessing over calories and feeling guilty for splurging or beating myself up if I did the unthinkable and went a day without hitting the gym.

It’s a slippery slope when you start going down that path.  You save up your calorie bank for weekend plans, you panic when someone asks you to go out to lunch mid-week, and you become completely consumed.  Somewhere along the way though a lightbulb went off.  I had to break the cycle of extreme diet and exercise followed by a crash and a rut.  I needed balance.  But realizing it and achieving it are totally different things.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to listen to your body and understand what it needs.  Especially if you are an emotional eater or if you are living in a dynamic environment where you can’t always pin down how it is you’re feeling.  I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talk about Intuitive eating, and to be completely honest I didn’t think it was something I could relate to.  But when I just recently read the 10 principles I realized that they nailed it.  The 10 principles of Intuitive Eating express so well exactly what is important to find peace with food and be able to balance eating when you need to eat and doing so consciously.  I know it sounds super cheesy, but lifestyles and diets are not one size fits all.  And the only way for me to really know what my body needed was to quiet all of the outside noise and just listen.  Sure, I splurge on weekends, or feel like I need a detox day or 2 to get things back on track.  But I have yet to hit that rut that results in crashing and obsessing, and that my friends, is why I quit counting calories.

Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water

Happy hump day, my friends! At the beginning of last week I completely forgot my water bottle that I usually bring to work.  I was trying to think of a pop machine that I could get a bottle of water when I realized I had a cup with a straw in my office that I had received on my first week of work.  Little did I know this one little mishap was going to lead to a revelation.

After I washed that baby out and filled it with water, I found I was sucking down water faster than I could keep up with running to the water cooler.  That’s when it dawned on me… the straw.  I know for many people this isn’t knew knowledge, but for me it was one of those ‘ah ha!’ moments when I realized something that should have been clear as day.  The straw was enabling me to drink more water at a quicker pace than I did with any water bottle.

So then I got to thinking… what other tips can you use to trick yourself into drinking more water throughout the day?

1. Use a straw

I now know why all of those water bottles with straws are such a fad.  They actually do work and serve a legitimate purpose besides just looking trendy and cool.  I go through about 5 of these throughout the work day since the transition.

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2. Drink carbonated water in place of other beverages

I have recently come to love carbonated water.  I have tried a few of the La Croix and Wegman’s flavors and I can’t say there has been one that I didn’t love.  Even just plain, it is a great way to spice things up.  And the added carbonation helps you feel a little fuller.

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3. Use frozen fruit as ice cubes

If you’re struggling with getting plain old water down and you need a little natural sweetness, this is a great way to add it without all the extra ingredients that you can’t pronounce.

4. Add a lemon

If you’re wondering about all of the health benefits of lemon, check out this post from January with an abundance of lemon knowledge.  Lemons are great for you in so many different ways, the only thing you may want to consider is using that straw, because it’s rough on the enamel of your teeth.

5. Don’t begin your next meal until you finish your current glass of water

I’m not really sure at what point I started getting myself into the habit of doing this but it seems to be effective.  Whether you have 1 glass of water or 3 glasses of water between meals, do not begin eating that next meal until you have finished the glass of water you are working on.  Not only does this up your water intake, but it also helps to eliminate that feeling of super starvation that leads to overeating.

What tricks do you use to drink more water?

Habanero Ranch Chicken Salads

Good morning, friends!  Today I’d like to share a little recipe that we threw together for dinner last night that turned out delicious!

Kris and I are both lucky if we can be home by 5pm on weeknights, so when it comes to dinners we like quick, healthy, and simple ingredients.  This simple chicken salad turned out great.  The only thing that took a little time was the roasted potatoes (but it’s easy to multitask while they are baking).

Habanaro Ranch Chicken Salad Recipe

Habanero Ranch Chicken Salads

Ingredients:

– 2 chicken breasts

– olive oil

– oven roasted potatoes (I used Montreal steak seasoning in place of garlic salt this time)

– lettuce (we used a spring mix with baby spinach)

– banana peppers

– ranch

– hot sauce

– 2 slices of cheese (Habanero Monterey Jack from Target, mmmmmm)

Instructions: While the potatoes are baking, grill chicken or sear in a pan with olive oil and desired seasoning.  Once chicken is cooked, melt 2 slices of cheese on top.  Top lettuce with chicken, roasted potatoes, banana peppers, and add hot sauce and ranch as desired for dressing.

Oven roasted potatoes

Healthy chicken breast

Target Habanero Monterey Jack Cheese

yogurt ranch dressing hot sauce

Just as a side note – I cannot tell the difference between regular ranch and this Wegman’s Ranch Yogurt Dressing, which is a major win.

Warning – this hot sauce is HOT.  Use sparingly (don’t make the same mistakes I did)!

Sabra Hummus Recall and Thursday Eats

Happy Thursday, my friends!

Yesterday after work I was snacking on some delicious pine nut hummus and tortilla chips with strawberries (and also having an intense game of ball) before Pure Barre…

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Which was all well and good… until I woke up this morning and saw that there is a recall on Sabra hummus for listeria.  Chances are it’s probably fine, and it appears to be affecting the “classic” hummus… but not the best morning news.  Whoops!

On the menu:

Breakfast – whole grain English muffin with Almond butter and strawberries

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Lunch – chicken salad with mustard as dressing, a side of strawberries, a carbonated water, and some dark chocolate

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Snack – green tea with cranberry Chobani & steel cut oats

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Dinner – leftover pork tenderloin with sauerkraut and BBQ sauce:

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(I promise it tastes better than it looks).  I’m planning to do a long run this evening but the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate, so we shall see!  On the bright side, it officially feels like spring in Buffalo!

Pure Barre + Steak Salads

Happy hump day!!  I hope your week is going well, we are inching closer to Friday (thank goodness!).

Monday evening I went to my second Pure Barre class and holy crap, I am still feeling the burn.  I really enjoyed the class, even though I was shaking like a leaf the whole time.  The instructor was super nice and on my first day she told me that if I stick with it for at least 3 days a week over the next month (the length of my Groupon) I will start to see some changes… so stay tuned.

While I was at the barre class, Kris was in charge of dinner… and he nailed it.  He grilled up a steak, roasted some baby red potatoes, and sliced some veggies for a delicious steak salad.

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The dressing was a drizzle of this yogurt blue cheese and balsamic vinegar (such a great combination):

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Yesterday was super busy and I didn’t make my 6 mile run.  I’m struggling with adjusting to my new routine (and the still colder weather) and it’s really hindering my half marathon training.  Since I was feeling disappointed in myself, I made it a point to get all of my other items completed from my to-do list.  So I wouldn’t call it a complete bust.  Just getting random paperwork, bills, and taxes out of the way really relieves the stress that overwhelms me sometimes.

Breakfast this morning was the usual:

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Last night for dinner we roasted another chicken from Wegman’s and some asparagus.  I used the leftovers to construct a chicken salad for lunch today.  In the salad: kale, baby spinach, chicken, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, mustard as dressing:

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With a side of strawberries and a mint-lime carbonated water, and 2 pieces of Bliss dark chocolate.

Afternoon snack is a cup of tea and the usual Chobani yogurt:

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Have a great day!

Easter Sunday Detox Monday

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend filled with fun, family and sweets (maybe even a little sunshine??)!

On Friday afternoon we headed down to Pittsburgh for a weekend of family time and so. much. food.  Friday night we ate at Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza and it was delicious.  I LOVE their pizza covered in arugula mmmmm.

Saturday evening we all got together for a family meal.  Mom made lasagna and everyone seemed to have desserts on the brain because we ate ALL of the desserts.

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My brother brought these ridiculously cute and delicious mini cupcakes:

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My sister and her boyfriend brought an almond torte cake from Prantil’s:

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And my mom got an Angel food cake with sliced strawberries.  So I think it’s safe to say we did Easter right.

Yesterday we went to church with my grandma followed by lunch at her house:

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So I think it’s safe to say that a detox is needed today.

For breakfast I had my usual whole grain English muffin with 2 kiwis and almond butter:

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For lunch I packed a kale and baby spinach salad with dried cherries, walnuts, cheese, and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar:

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For a snack I packed a hard boiled egg and a Chobani yogurt.

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Have a great day!