Category Archives: Running

Bertha

Yesterday was not one of my finer moments. It started off great with my new HUGE coffee mug from Bed Bath & Beyond that got me more excited for my morning fix than I’d like to admit.

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But the day quickly deteriorated as work threw a few punches and I let them get the best of me. It was a long, stressful day with lunch eaten at my desk during a 2 hour conference call from hell.

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I’m not going to get into details because in the words of the almighty Dooce, “be ye not so stupid” to write about work on the internet. Winking smile

Let’s just say 5pm was more than needed and it’s days like these that I’m so incredibly thankful and happy I’ve found an outlet in running. I went out for a music-less 3 mile run and got all my frustration out on the pavement. Does any one else have mock conversations in their head while running? Totally did that. If I can’t express my feelings in real life, I’ll just play the scene out in my head. I’m probably sounding like a head case right about now!

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It wasn’t my best or my fastest run (I’ll blame my screaming sore glutes<—hello 40lb dumbbell lunges!) but it did the trick.

And then Bertha came out.

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Yes, I’ve named my dutch oven Bertha. She’s big and ugly and it seemed like the only fitting name.

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After our wedding, I had a few hundred dollars in gift cards and returns from duplicate items on our registry to a store called Fortunoff. It’s out of business now, but it was local to NY,NJ,CT and was basically a department store on steroids/bridal registry palace. You could waste hours of your life in there from bedding to china to furniture and more. I could’ve gotten a lot more with the money, but I spent it on Bertha. I had wanted a Le Creuset dutch oven forever and it’s a lot easier to convince yourself when it’s not your own $275 you’re throwing around. Her color looked so nice and rustic online but when she came in the mail it was all I could do to not puke at the sight of her. In real life it’s the color of poop. Ass grass, and now poop. What has come of this blog? It’s unfortunate really to have to cook delicious meals in something so offensive looking, but we make do and she hasn’t let me down yet.

On the menu was Anne’s turkey barley vegetable chili. Is there a food more comforting than chili? I don’t think so. I’ve made this before and followed her recipe almost exactly but I did take out the mushrooms (didn’t have any) and threw in some carrots & fresh tomatoes.

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I’m pretty sure ground turkey meat is one of the least appetizing looking things ever.

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Garnished with some sharp cheddar and avocado.

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Perfect.

Other good things about chili? 

It’s a one pot meal = less dishes

There are tons of leftovers = don’t have to cook dinner for the next 2 days = more time to bake cookies.

So for the math nerds out there, if bad days = chili and chili = cookies then bad days = cookies, right? I could handle a few more bad days in that case. Winking smile

 

What was your major in college? I was an overachiever and double majored in International Business and Spanish. I loved math in hs and never took an ounce of it in college, go figure.

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27 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Running, Work

A run for sanity

Summer wrote back:

“Step off woman. I have 6 days before I need to get my act together. Between now and then I can mess with you as much as I like. Hope you enjoyed yesterday.”

I was like, “You’re a sarcastic one huh? Fair enough. I’m eventually moving back to Florida anyway, where your customer service is much better.”

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Ever have those days where it’s just one thing after another at work? You get something done only to have 3 more things get added to the list and they get increasingly harder? Yeah, that was yesterday for me. And if you’re sitting there thinking “I have no idea what she’s talking about” please leave a comment letting me know who to send my resume to. Ok? Thanks.

I used to just get wrapped up in it all and sit at my desk plowing through the work until it was all done. No breaks for lunch, bathrooms only if absolutely necessary. And then I realized that’s probably not the healthiest/sanest way of dealing with the stress. So, yesterday I pulled myself from the desk at noon and decided to go for a lunch time run. Since summer was all MIA again yesterday it was actually perfect running weather, low 60’s and cloudy.

Quick fuel:

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I honestly never thought we’d finish this ridiculously huge bag of dates from Sam’s Club but somehow we’re down to the last few. It only took 5 months. I can’t wait for that bag to be out of my fridge!

Signs you’re on a “frustration run”:

1. Your playlist consists of Linkin Park and Florence and the Machine on repeat. Bieber just isn’t cutting it this time.

2. You look down at your pace about 3/4 of a mile in and realize you’re running a 7:54. Effortlessly.

3. Simultaneously, the skies open up with a downpour & a gust of wind so strong it could keep you running in place kicks up and your reaction is to look up at the sky and say “Bring it bitches!” –> Seriously, I did this. After I looked around to see if anyone was nearby.

4 miles and 34 minutes on the dot later I was a soaked, sweaty mess. And it felt oh so good.

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Hi, awkward self portrait!

Quick shower and back to work. Smile

It doesn’t make the to-do list any shorter but it sure helps my mental state for the rest of the afternoon.

Jillian and I had a date after work to just chill out some.

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I probably should’ve done a yoga download instead because that lady’s voice is much more soothing than Jillian’s annoying voice screaming “I want heart rate up people! And, that’s why we rep it out!”

And then, I did what every person with a bad day should do.

Baked cookies.

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Emily’s recipe for coconut oil almond butter chocolate chip cookies immediately caught my eye when she posted it yesterday. Coconut and almond butter in chocolate chip cookies? What’s not to love about that? I followed the recipe exactly except I used a real egg instead of a flax egg. I still licked the batter, oops!

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I think most people have a go-to chocolate chip recipe. I, however, like to try a new one each time. There are thousands of variations out there, why not try a few new ones? I don’t mind healthy substitutions for most things, but when it comes to chocolate chip cookies I want it to still taste like a chocolate chip cookie. No oats, no applesauce. Butter, sugar and chocolate chips please. Subbing the butter for almond butter and coconut oil worked though in this case.

3 of these with some vanilla ice cream. Now that’s how you end a bad day. Smile

Today should be better though because even if work still bites, I’m meeting a friend in NYC for dinner at Tao!

How do you relieve work stress? Do you have a go-to chocolate chip recipe? Link up if you want to share it!

17 Comments

Filed under Baking, Running, Work

Going going back back to Cali Cali

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source

So as you might’ve guessed, I’m currently in-flight to California for work. Or, actually Minneapolis for a lovely 3 hour layover and then to California. At least there will be good people watching potential. It’s going to be an almost 24 hour day once I get to sleep again but, let’s not dwell on that part.

I’m sorry to say there was no blog worthy food consumed or prepared yesterday as I was running around frantically trying to get ready for this trip at work and then at home. When you don’t eat lunch until 4pm you know it’s kind of a ridiculous day. I never understood people when they would say “I’m too busy to eat” or, “I just forget to eat”. Yeah, uh how? I would love someone to teach my stomach how to forget being hungry. I didn’t forget yesterday, in fact, I was very much aware from about 1:30-4pm as my stomach threatening to revolt if it didn’t get fed soon. I did find out though what it’s like to be too busy to eat. I love that my region for work is the west coast. I mean trips to Alaska, Cali, Oregon, Washington, what’s not to love? But, when the first 3 hours of your workday are spent sitting there waiting for the other side of the country to get to work because you can’t do anything until they’re in and you rush to try and fit 8 hours worth of work into 5 because you still want to leave at 5pm, it gets old pretty fast. Or, just makes for a really hectic day and no food until 4.

Then, of course there were other non-work related things that needed to get done.

allergy shots

pedicure

pedicure

What? You can’t go to Cali without a pedicure!

laundry (I actually had to wear a sports bra I’m pretty sure is from high school yesterday for my workout. That’s how desperate the laundry situation was)

water my poor plants who are not liking this 90 degree weather. Just look at the cilantro.

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This is the second year I seem to have killed the cilantro. Not sure what’s going on with that. I have a pretty “green” thumb but, this herb just doesn’t seem to like me. Any ideas?

And speaking of plants, my first post was actually about planting all my pots. Exactly 1 month ago. (Happy 1 month blogging anniversary to me!) Look at how nicely they’ve filled in these past 4 weeks.

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                             May 6th                                                                June 6th

pack

This I’ve gotten pretty darn good at. I’ve been to Europe for 12 days packed entirely in a carry-on. A 4 day work trip is a cake walk. Smile

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First, you have to pick. Brown or black. This simple decision eliminates the need for multiple shoes. Shoes take up a lot of room. And since my sneakers are a must for workouts on the road, I have to pare down in other areas. Meet my latest DSW purchase. These Nine West shoes were 40% off. I bought them in black too. They are soooo much better than a heel. Have you ever tried standing for 10 hours at a tradeshow booth in heels? M.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e In fact, probably the kind of torture I’d imagine hell to be. Wedges make it so much more bearable.

So brown/beige/camel it is!

Next up, pack only as many outfits as days you are there. I understand as women we like choices but, there’s no room for choices in a carry-on. Unless you want to be that person that can’t lift their luggage into the overhead because it’s too heavy. <—Huge pet peeve! Unless you’re like 90, if you can’t lift it, check it.

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2 days of client meetings, 2 outfits. No if’s, ands, or buts. Make sure you like them before you pack them!

And, 1 cardigan that works with both outfits.

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Can you tell what store I frequent?

Where you do get some leniency is in accessories Smile

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They don’t take up much room but can change up the outfit dramatically just by a simple belt or different jewelry.

Same rules apply for workout gear (minus the accessories) and you’re all set!

Workout

I’ll be honest, I totally wanted to skip this because at this point it was 8:30pm and it was the last thing I wanted to do. I made a deal with myself to at least do a 20 min HIIT session on the treadmill and that’s exactly what I did. You never regret a workout!

At 9pm, the best I could do for dinner was some left-over gazpacho, snap peas, crackers and goat cheese. Random much?

Hoping for some in-flight wi-fi (which I now know means wireless fidelity) and some good people watching. See you from Cali!

 

What are your packing tips? Do you usually carry-on or check your luggage? Any good airplane stories? I have a ton! From seatmates refusing to discuss anything but religion, to freak-outs on the plane resulting in police boarding and then questioning me about the situation, to having dip spilled all over me from the 350+ lb man using it next to me. I could seriously write a book!

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Filed under Around the house, Running, Travel, Work

Not your ordinary pesto

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Looks good right? Recipe to come, but first you’ll have to read about my day. Smile

First of all, thanks for all the nice comments on the dresses! The majority of you picked dress #1 and that’s exactly what I went with. Wasn’t a huge fan of the fabric that trailed off the back on the 1 strap dress. Felt a little too Greek Goddess for me. Works out well too because there are 7 of us as bridesmaids. 5 of the girls had already ordered their dress and 4 of them picked the 1 strap option, so I’ll even things out a bit more with my choice.

After Friday’s sore, slow run I was itching to get out today to redeem myself. The weather was overcast and barely 70, perfect for a run. I filled up the camelbak and hit the bike trail for 5 miles. Awesome run. Even if my face doesn’t exactly scream “yay!”. It was good to know that I just needed some rest and fresh legs.

run

5 Mile Stats: (8:34 average pace)

Mile 1: 8:42

Mile 2: 8:36

Mile 3: 8:26

Mile 4: 8:47

Mile 5: 8:20

 

Came home to do workout 1A of NWOLFW which I was technically supposed to do yesterday but I was still so sore that I ended up taking a complete rest day instead. <—worth it! I still got my 3 workouts in for the week. Hopefully next week the lunges won’t be as bad!

After the workout, I attacked my car which badly needed a cleaning. Inside and out.

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Dad would be proud, I even did the tires. I don’t think the outside of my car had been washed since before winter. It’s just not worth washing in the spring here though because there is a constant film of green pollen on everything until about now.

Up next was dinner. My basil had already almost gotten to the point where it was bolting so I decided a pesto was in order. I didn’t have enough basil for a true pesto so it quickly became an “anything you need to use up that’s green pesto”.  I ended up using basil, parsley, arugula and baby spinach as the greens. I knew I didn’t have any parmesan at home either so instead of the creamy, hearty route, I added lemon to give it a nice citrus kick.

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As well as some garlic and pine nuts like a normal pesto.

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I love how green it stayed without the parmesan mixed in. Seriously, isn’t that the greenest pesto you’ve ever seen? Pesto > marinara sauce any day in my book. This one was a winner. Even better when served with whole wheat linguine with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini.

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The pasta was simple. I sautéed some shallots and garlic then added sliced baby portobellos and the zucchini which I peeled into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Once the pasta was cooked I added it and the vegetable mixture to a bowl and tossed with the pesto. If anything, it needed more salt but all in all a great, fresh tasting dish. The citrus was mellow enough but you could still taste it in the background.

Next time you have a random assortment of greens laying around try making it into a pesto. It’s an easy, tasty way to use up your leafy greens and there are so many variations to play with.

 

Everything Green Citrus Pesto

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup packed baby arugula
  • 2 cloves of garlic (if you’re not a huge garlic fan, 1 clove will do)
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Place everything except evoo into food  processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Scrape down sides. Process again while adding evoo through top. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

 

Do you make your own pesto? What’s the best thing you ate all weekend?

16 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Recipes, Running, Side Dishes, Strength training

A fabulous Friday

It started with an amazing bowl of oatmeal on a sunny deck.

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An impromptu lunch time tanning session. These pale legs need some sun!

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A kicking lunch. First time I put avocado in a tuna salad. Best idea ever! The avocado makes it creamy. No need for mayo here. Pepper, tomatoes, avocado & a peach #projectvegup!!

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An after work 4 mile run. This was a tough run! I got to the parking lot of the trail, turned on my Garmin and it said “batteries low”. I took that as a sign to just ditch it and go with the flow. Definitely glad I did because this was a slow run with a couple of untimed walking breaks. I am so sore right now from the lunges in workout 1B of NWOLFW that my legs just did not want to go fast. The type A in me would’ve been staring at the Garmin the entire time getting pissed at myself for my average pace. Without it though, I was able to think about why it was such a hard run and realize it’s probably all my body can handle right now. I still ran 4 miles. 1.5 years ago I would’ve laughed at the thought of that. Smile

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An absolute gorgeous day.

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The new trail even has signs about the area. This makes me feel better about my taxes, at least I know all about the creek I’m running over for our $8K a year. photo 4

We actually had intentions to go hiking early in the evening but I got hit like a freight train with a wave of exhaustion around 6:30 and it just wasn’t happening. Almost gave up on dinner, but then got my second wind.<—No idea what was going on!

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Beer helps.

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Last 2 chicken sausages!

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Then things got wild.

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Sweats and flip flops. Living the dream.

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And even wilder.

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Since our Friday night was so riveting, I’ll leave you with a video of Ginger trying to channel her inner Mishka.

She needs some work.

Can your dog/cat/furball of any sort do any cool tricks?

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Filed under Around the house, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Running, Videos

Home sweet home

We got home Friday night just as the sun was setting only to see the jungle that our entire yard had become. It was raining the 5 days prior to us leaving for Ireland so we never got to mow the lawn or do anything outside. Fast forward 8 more days and the place looked like it had been abandoned!

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I wish I had a ruler to illustrate how high the weeds grass actually was. Ginger has this thing with long grass and for some strange reason feels compelled to eat it. It happens on walks all the time but then she’s on a leash and I can pull her away. I didn’t really think of it when we let her out yesterday morning and she spent the next 20 minutes chomping her way around the yard. When she finally came in she wouldn’t eat her food and as I sat on the couch next to her I could hear her stomach making obscenely loud noises for a dog. 10 minutes later she was running to the door to be let out to then have a 15 minute puke fest from the ingested grass. Lovely. Thankfully, Ulysses mowed it before going to work so we didn’t have to deal with that the rest of the day.

After breakfast I spent the entire morning yesterday cleaning up these…

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Those damn seed pods are everywhere! I definitely don’t remember this happening last year. The worst part is we just mulched around the entire yard and now all my pretty black mulch is covered with these things. It’s impossible to blow them off the mulch without blowing the mulch away too so I just gave up and instead cleaned the deck, porch, walkway and driveway.

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Despite the “fun” morning, I’m definitely happy to be home for a few reasons…

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1. A workout!

Yes, I ran inside yesterday even though it was gorgeous out. Since I wasn’t done with operation seed pod clean up until almost noon it was pretty hot out by then and I really wasn’t in the mood to fill up the camelbak. #lazy. The run wasn’t nearly as hard as I was expecting after 10 days off. I ended up doing 4 miles with some intervals.

  • Mile 1: warm up 6.2mph
  • Miles 2&3: alternating 1/4 miles of 7.2 & 6.2
  • Mile 4: cool down 6.2mph

Some abs and pushups later I felt much better about those 8 scones over the past week. Smile

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2. Water

Oh how I missed my beloved Under Armour water bottle. This thing comes everywhere with me. I love the ounce markings on it so I can keep track of how much I’m drinking in a day. I usually drink somewhere between 70-100 ounces/day. That’s 3.5-5 of these. It’s not that water wasn’t available in Ireland, it was just inconvenient to drink that much when you’re constantly on the go because of the obvious side effects…needing to pee every 45 minutes or so. When you have to pay or buy something from a store to use a bathroom in most places in Europe it would have been annoying to drink my usual amount so I drastically cut back. I felt gross because of it too. I woke up parched every morning and I’m pretty sure it was a contributing factor to how blah I felt by the end of the trip body/health wise.

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3. A packed fridge (and fruit bowl)

We actually went to one grocery store on our way home on Friday because I couldn’t bear the thought of having no produce upon waking up yesterday morning. Then yesterday I hit up the other grocery store for a few remaining essentials. Having so much produce that it doesn’t all fit in the drawer makes me happy. I think I went a little overboard though. Eating 85% carbs for 8 days will do that to you.

In produce alone I bought:

-arugula

-spinach

-salad greens

-broccoli

-cucumbers

-zucchini

-tomatoes

-avocados

-kale

-Swiss chard

-sugar peas

-peaches

-nectarines

-bananas

-blueberries

-strawberries

-raspberries

-blackberries

-apples

-cantaloupe

We have a lot of eating to do!

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4. Healthy food

Besides a yogurt bowl that escaped photography this morning, these were my eats for the day. A strawberry banana protein smoothie, a big salad with a bit of everything, and coconut crusted baked tofu with overcooked steamed broccoli and Trader Joe’s harvest grain blend. The tofu was a wing-it kind of thing and it came out amazing! Just mixed shredded unsweetened coconut with some bread crumbs, salt & pepper for the crust. Dipped the tofu slices in an egg + coconut oil + milk mixture and then rolled them in the crust mix. Baked for 20 minutes at 425. Really good! Might be my new fav tofu recipe.

And lastly,

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5. Shorts & flip flops.

Ireland was cold. It made me happy to be able to wear these today. Smile

And to end with a little fun, while I was traipsing through the rain and wind in Ireland Tina @ Love, Sweat, and Beers nominated me for the “7 things about me” award. I actually found it pretty hard to come up with 7 things because most people reading this right now probably already know these about me so just as a disclaimer to friends and family you’re probably not going to find out anything earth shattering here, sorry.

7 things award

1. I have never wanted to have children and after almost 5 years of marriage we’re both still “eh” about it.  As everyone around us starts having a family though I wonder how our friendships might change if we are the only ones without kids.

2. I have a secret desire to go to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in France. When we lived in Florida I actually applied at their Miami location, paid the application fee, got accepted and then never followed through. I wish I had realized this desire before starting a career, getting married, buying a house, etc.

3. I’m severely allergic to any animal with hair/fur and get allergy shots and take zyrtec & nasonex daily just to have Ginger.

4. I despised oatmeal as a kid. Now, I’d consider it one of my favorite foods.

5. I’ve worked at the same job since graduating college for the past 7 years and have changed positions 6 times. Some promotions, some lateral, and some backwards just for a change.

6. I bought a stick shift car without knowing how to drive it because I wanted to learn. It worked. It sometimes feels bad-ass to be able to drive stick. Especially, on the other side of the road, shifting with your left hand.

7. I have only thrown up once since I was 5. It was my 21st birthday and that’s a story for another day. I hate throwing up and will avoid it at all costs.

And now I’m passing this on to these ladies:

Hayley @ Oat Couture

Kim @ Book Worm Runs

Kate @ What Kate is Cooking

What’s something random about you?

10 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Running

Cleaning out the fridge

I have 3 goals before we leave on Thursday.

  1. Clean out the fridge
  2. Fit in as much exercise as possible
  3. Pack

As of yesterday morning this is what we needed to eat our way through:

-5 leaves of kale

-3/4 block of tempeh

-1 block of tofu

-1/3 cup of cottage cheese

-1/2 of a big container of plain yogurt

-1/2 gallon of milk

-3 muffins

-2 lbs of strawberries

-1.5 pints of blueberries

-2 kiwis

-3.5 bananas

all that coleslaw

-1 pint of grape tomatoes

-4 green onions

-handful of arugula

-handful of grapes

All of that in 2.5 days. Think we can do it?

Here’s a look a day 1. It’s random but, I’m determined to not throw anything out!

Breakfast

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Don’t be fooled, these are no ordinary pancakes. I wanted to use up the cottage cheese but wasn’t really in the mood for it straight up. So, I improvised. Usually on weekends I’ll make pancakes from scratch. The weekdays just don’t afford that much free time though. Enter Trader Joe’s multigrain pancake mix.

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I’ve tried a ton of mixes and this is by far my favorite. It’s not perfect but at least seems a little better than Bisquick. I just halved the recipe on the box, added the cottage cheese, and cut back on the milk just a little since the cottage cheese gives it some moisture. I also always add a splash of vanilla and cinnamon to pretty much any baked good so that went in too. They quickly became blueberry pancakes once I realized how much fruit we have to get through. Half a pint of blueberries down, 1 pint to go! Smile

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Topped 1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, chia seeds, pepitas, and of course maple syrup.

Lunch

Tempeh, goat cheese, bacon and arugula sandwich with grapes and coleslaw on the side.

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This was good! I’m not gonna lie, frying up the bacon and then heating up the tempeh in the bacon grease kind of just felt inherently wrong. I got over it after the first bite. Try it!

Dinner

Green onion, tomato and goat cheese frittata with kale chips on the side.

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I love frittata’s. They’re simple, tasty and anything that involves goat cheese is a winner in my book.

So after Day 1 the list looks like this:

-5 leaves of kale

-3/4 block of tempeh 1/2 block left

-1 block of tofu

1/3 cup of cottage cheese

-1/2 of a big container of plain yogurt

-1/2 gallon of milk

-3 muffins 2 muffins (1 was an afternoon snack Smile)

-2 lbs of strawberries

-1.5 pints of blueberries  1 pint left

-2 kiwis

-3.5 bananas 3 left

all that coleslaw

-1 pint of grape tomatoes 1/2 pint left

-4 green onions

-handful of arugula

-handful of grapes

Not bad right?

As for #2 on the to do list, I fit in a 20 minute yoga for runners session, an easy 3 miles on the treadmill and 15 minutes of abs/core work. Good enough for me!

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Ginger supervised.

Packing didn’t even get touched. I always end up procrastinating with that one. Eye rolling smile

2 days!

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Filed under Around the house, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Running