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time to bake

I found an article this afternoon on CookingLight.com that gives 8 ideas for healthy office snacks!  I wanted to share it with you for more snack ideas since I recently did a tip of the week post on snacking.

From the article:

Working eight or more hours a day can make it difficult to eat healthfully unless you plan ahead. Research shows that eating every four hours helps to keep your metabolism charged and your energy level high. Before you dig in your drawer for spare change and head to the vending machine, plan ahead and stash low-calorie, nutritious snacks in a cabinet, drawer, or your briefcase. Each of these snacks has less than 200 calories and are sure to satisfy when the 3 p.m. cravings hit.

8 Healthy Office Snacks (from Cookinglight.com)

  1. Whole Wheat Crackers and Peanut Butter
  2. Fruit
  3. Popcorn with Parmesean
  4. Nuts (one ounce)
  5. Instant Oatmeal
  6. Mini Pitas with Hummus
  7. Granola Bars (like Larabar’s)
  8. Veggies with Low-Fat Ranch Dressing

I would switch up #8 for veggies and hummus, since packaged salad dressings often contain unhealthy oils.

On to dinner, which was simple tonight, but very delicious!  BLT’s with eggplant, lettuce, tomato, cheese and roasted red pepper spread on whole wheat toast served with sweet potato fries!

I spread one slice of toast with a Laughing Cow Cheese wedge and the other side with Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke spread.

Then, eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato!

With baked sweet potato fries.

I needed dinner to be simple so that I could whip up some baking creations for our little dinner party tomorrow night!  I will be cooking the main course tomorrow, but wanted to get the bread and dessert out of the way tonight.

Last time I was at Trader Joe’s I picked up a box of their Beer Bread Mix.

The mix is only $1.99 and is a combination of the following ingredients: wheat flour, cane sugar, baking powder and salt.  Not bad for a mix!  All you have to do is add a bottle of beer, stir it up and bake.  How easy is that?

You can add different beers in order to alter the taste.  I imagine that adding a light beer would taste much different than a dark beer.  I stuck with something in the middle that we had in our fridge.  I decided to make muffins for our dinner tomorrow instead of a loaf.

While the beer bread was baking, I set out to make a dessert.  I was searching recipes, but decided to keep it simple once again and make blonde brownies with the option of brownie sundaes for anyone who may want one!  I had a coupon for some Nasoya Silken Creations, so I decided to use it in my dessert recipe.  I always love to try new products, and you can’t go wrong with a free coupon. 🙂

I was nervous to try a new product with friends coming over, but if they come out awful, I have my Chocolate Clusters as back up!

Blonde Brownies

from Nasoya’s website


  • 1 cup Silken Style Creations Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour (I used unbleached white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or canola oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
  • 1 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate pieces (I used dark chocolate chunks)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix the oil with the sugar, then add the vanilla silken creation to the mixture.
  • Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cooked.

Of course, we had to try a brownie warm out of the oven.  Yum – they came out great!  Super moist and lots of chocolate chips.


running in the rain

I was starving when I woke up this morning, so I snacked on a Heart Thrive energy bar before my workout.  I ate half before my workout and half after.

Aren’t they cute?!  I love that they are shaped like hearts – makes me more excited to eat an energy bar.  Oh, the things that excite you at 5am. 🙂

Heart Thrive’s are a vegan energy bar made with oats, soy and dried fruit.  The main ingredients in the bars are the following: Oats, dried fruit, brown rice syrup, natural fruit juice, brown rice flour, soy protein concentrate, soy flour, Inulin(chicory root extract), rice bran, dried plums, dried apples, dried pears,  calcium citrate.


I tried the Lemon Poppyseed flavor this morning and was surprised how much I liked it!  The ingredient list is not so bad, although I do try to stay away from soy products because they are normally genetically modified.  It smelled like a lemon poppyseed muffin right out of the package, but the texture was different and it was much heavier and denser.  I was afraid that it was going to sit in my stomach like a rock, but it didn’t.  Each package contains 2 hearts (bars), but only 1 heart is a serving size.  One heart has about 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein (I saved the 2nd heart for another day).  I will definitely eat these again when I’m in a pinch or before or after a workout if needed.  It filled me up just enough for weights and an easy 5 mile run.

After my snack I did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred!  I like weight videos on days that I run outside.  I don’t have many weights at home since I like to lift at the gym, so a quick video is perfect on days I want to stay away from the gym (like a rainy day like today)!

I recently found out by some friends that if you have Comcast Cable (and maybe other cable providers too, but I’m not sure), many of Jillian’s video’s are On Demand for FREE!!!  I was psyched when they told me this because I had been debating if I should buy another video since I was getting sick of No More Trouble Zones.  I had never used the Exercise and Fitness part of On Demand before and I cannot believe that I just discovered it!  There are a lot of options on there, including weight, cardio and yoga videos!  I’m psyched.

If you like workout and weight videos definitely check out Jillian Michaels.  She does mostly circuit training, which means you are lifting weights with your arms while also working your legs.  I prefer this way of weight lifting because you burn more calories and fat while you are lifting.  Plus, it is a good way to get in a total body workout in less time.  It doesn’t get any better than that!  In her 30 Day Shred video, you do 3 circuits of 6 minutes each (plus warmup and cooldown).  Each circuit is split up into 3 minutes of weights, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of abs and repeat.  It was a great quick workout – I felt the burn!

Then I ran.  In the pouring rain and wind.  It was fun!  I was soaked when I got home.  I made Brant snap a photo, but it doesn’t do it justice.  I was dripping!  (yes, my husband thinks I am crazy, but you’d be surprised how many people were out there with me!  ok, I only saw 2 other runners in the rain at 5am…)

Breakfast was oatmeal.  I have missed my morning oats!

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup wheatberries (left over from last week)
  • 1 tbsp of maple almond butter on top

This was too filling, so I didn’t finish it all!  But, by 11am, I was ready for some fruit.

I couldn’t decide what I wanted, but I was craving fruit so I ate both!


After ample digestion time for my fruit, it was time for lunch!  Leftover Wild Rice Salad (the last of it) and a Strawberry Banana Chobani that i loved.  When are these new flavors coming to my grocery store, Chobani??

(that’s my lunch bag in the back – I use the small Lululemon bags!)

Not surprisingly, the Pineapple and Strawberry Banana chobani’s are my favorite.  I honestly think that it is because the are 2% instead of 0% – most of their yogurt is 0%.  I like the creamier texture, better flavor and the fact that it fills me up for longer.  Thanks again, Chobani!

And, some Peppermint Dark Chocolate for a sweet treat. 🙂  (sorry, Jaimee, but I just love chocolate and mint!)

This company makes the best chocolate!