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a simple weeknight meal

After a 45 minute walk around the neighborhood after work tonight, I was more than ready for dinner.  The walk was very chilly, but I bundled up and headed out to walk in the snow flurries!  It was a brisk walk to get my blood flowing and legs moving.

I haven’t talked about my exercising too much on the blog lately, but I have been trying to get some type of physical activity in on most days of the week.  That includes walking, running, swimming, ellipticalling and lifting some light weights.  Running is definitely getting harder, so swimming and walking are my new two favorite activities!

I think that it is important for a pregnant woman to get some type of exercise everyday, even if it is a 20 minute walk.  It is good for both you and the baby, and definitely helps with sleeping at night along with many other things.  Plus, it’s nice to have that time to devote to each day to clear your head before the baby comes!

On to dinner!

I wanted to eat my hand off when I got home, so I needed to make a super quick dinner.  I picked up some Annie’s Mac & Cheese at the store today made of a variety of grains: amaranth, quinoa, kamut, spelt and whole wheat.

For a quick and healthy dinner, I like Annie’s products because they are organic and made up of minimal ingredients.  Definitely still processed, but minimally processed compared to other ‘boxed’ dinners. 🙂

It was cheesy and delicious!

Served along with a simple salad to get some vegetables.

This has been my favorite salad recently – filled with lettuce, dried fruit, nuts, cheese and a honey herb dressing.

In this mix:

  • spring mix
  • pecans
  • dried fruit mix – peaches, papayas, pears, apples and cranberries
  • feta cheese

A delicious dinner – quick & healthy!

After dinner, I whipped up Emily’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

I followed the recipe exactly, only making one substitution – dark chocolate chips, instead of vegan chips.  Everything else was the same…and it came out perfect!

The outside seemed a little dry, but on the inside it was just as moist as Emily says – delicious!

I enjoyed a few slices hot out of the oven with a glass of milk.

Who doesn’t love chocolate, bananas and peanut butter?!

Mmmm…

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i ate chicken today

That’s right…after about 5 months of not having any meat, I gave in.  I ate chicken at lunch today.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with eating meat.  Personally, I have never loved meat, and even poultry made me a little quesy.  It makes me feel sluggish after eating it.  So a few months ago, I decided to cut it out of my diet to see how my body responded.

I responded well.  I added in more beans and other forms of protein and fueled my body in a way that worked for me.  I felt great!  I feel great!  For the past few years, I really think that the only reason I ate chicken was because it was what we made for dinner every night.  Once I started to really get into cooking, I realized that I can make so many fabulous vegetarian dishes, that I was never missing the meat.

I never wanted meat after that.  I craved fresh vegetables and beans.  I loved eating big salads with veggies, nuts and cheeses.  I still love that.

Recently, however, I have been wanting chicken.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe because my eating has been a little sub-par due to not making grocery shopping a priority or maybe because I haven’t been eating as much protein.  Whatever it was, I wanted to see how my body responded to the chicken after so long without it.

So, today I took a leap and ordered chicken on my salad!

I only ate a small amount to make sure everything sat well in my tummy – so far so good.

But, let me tell you what I discovered – I did not love it, by any means!  I want to continue to be open with myself and eat what my body wants.  I would choose a vegetarian dish over meat any day, no doubt.  But if my body thinks that I want chicken, then I might give it a little chicken every now and then.

I have never considered myself to be a vegetarian, but I do eat a mainly vegetarian diet.

I eat fish every so often, especially in the summer and sometimes want tuna fish, like last night.  I want to eat what my body craves, so even though I don’t see myself making a chicken dinner any time soon, I am happy with my decision today! 🙂

The best part about having a blog, is that I can look back and actually see when the last time I had chicken was!  Check it out:

So cool!

Anyways, enough rambling about my meat eating…on to my eats for the day.

Breakfast was fun.

2 scrambled eggs with a cinnamon raisin bagel

It felt like the weekend with this meal!  I loved it.

For lunch, I headed to Panera Bread and ordered the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with no cheese and the dressing on the side.

Served with a baguette, this salad was delicious and very summery.

I love cheese, but sometimes I order salad’s without it.  If the salad already has a lot going on, which this one did, then I don’t need the cheese and extra calories.

This salad and baguette really filled me up, so my afternoon snack was light – yogurt and cherries.

After work, I headed out for a run.  Just a quick run tonight (30 min ~ 3.5 miles) + a 10 minute cool-down walk because I was hungry for dinner!

I heated up some Trader Joe’s Tomato Soup & a Grilled Cheese and had dinner within minutes!

Mmmmm…simple dinners are perfect for the summer!

open-faced tuna melt

It was hot and humid in Boston again this morning, but tonight it was perfect!!

Sorry that I have been a little MIA lately.  I needed a little break, but am hoping to get back into it soon.

This morning, I munched on a small bowl of Puffins, then whipped up a smoothie to bring with me to work.  I kept it simple today and it tasted delicious.

In the mix:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp pepitas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

It was cool and creamy.  Perfect for a toasty morning!

We have not been doing the best with grocery shopping the past few weeks due to being away a lot, so my meals have been very sub-par, hence the lack of blogging.  Today, I seemed to make due for lunch, though.

Peanut Butter on a Whole Wheat Wrap

Cherries

Yogurt with Granola

It seemed to fill me up and was just as satisfying.

After work, I snacked on a small portion of oatmeal, then hit the road for a run.  It felt so good to run, even though it was HOT!  I filled a water bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 pineapple coconut water to drink on my run.

I ran for about an hour, did 25 minutes of arm weights, then made a super quick dinner because I was famished.

Tuna Melt on Quinoa Bread

I mixed up my tuna fish with a little greek yogurt, mustard, celery seed and sliced pickles.  Scooped some on to my bread, sprinkled it with cheddar cheese and toasted my open-faced sandwich until the cheese was melted.

Served with a little salad of watercress and honey balsamic dressing.

Time to finish my book!

summer = grilled vegetables

Well, I haven’t had the best of days today, but a couple good things did happen:

1. Brant and I started our day with a bike ride around Southie.

2. I ordered a Vita-Mix!!!  Yahoo for me. 🙂

I didn’t realize that it was misting a bit when I woke up this morning, so we got ready and headed out on our bikes.  The mist didn’t bother us too much, but it was annoying at points.  I remembered why I dislike riding my bike around the city – there are a lot of stop lights and a lot of cars (and we all remember my run in with the car, right?!).  But, we survived and completed about 10 miles in 45 minutes.

Once I was ready for work, I made up a smoothie.  This smoothie was the reason I ordered a Vita-Mix right away!  I was already having a not-so-great morning, and my blender would not chop up my frozen fruit!

I ended up with frozen pineapple and cherry chunks throughout.  Oh well, there could be worse things!!

It was still very tasty!

  • 2 tbsp chocolate hemp protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk

YUM!

Once lunch rolled around, I realized that I didn’t pack lunch?!  Where was my head this morning?!

Luckily, a Panera Bread just opened right up the street from work today.

This was a lifesaver!

I ordered my most favorite sandwich – the Meditteranean Veggie sans onions with an apple.

Mmmm…just as delicious as I remember.

No lunch, meant no snacks.  But, I found a container of dried kiwi in my desk.  Score!

Once dinner time came around, I wanted something very simple, so we grilled veggies on the grill.

We grilled up some eggplant, pepper, zucchini and onion.

While the veggies were grilling, I sauteed up some beet greens and sprinkled them with sesame seeds.  Then, heated up some leftover lentils.

This was a great summer dinner!  Simple and tasty!  And, nothing tastes more like summer than grilled veggies!

So, even though my dad started out not-so-great, it ended a-ok. 🙂

Thank goodness for Friday!

yogurt bowls & colored veggies

This morning I was feeling pretty tired, so I took it as a rest day for working out.  It is so important to listen to your body and it’s wants and needs.  Sometimes it feels great to get up and have a good workout even though I feel tired, but other times sleep and a lazy morning is in order!  Today was one of those days.

I wanted something refreshing for breakfast with a lot of fruit.

So, I made up a yogurt bowl.

Banana Mango yogurt, Kaia Raisin Cinnamon granola, a champagne mango and fresh raspberries from the farm.

It was delicious and not too filling.  Just what I wanted.

Once lunchtime rolled around, I pulled our my packed lunch and assembled it in our kitchen at work.

A whole wheat wrap filled with lettuce, leftover veggie sloppy joes and a few slices of cheese.

Layer on the ingredients…

…then wrap it up!

With some fruit on the side.

The makings of a delicious lunch. 🙂

Tonight, I had two of my favorite girls over for dinner for girls night!  We had a lot of veggies to eat from our CSA, so we whipped up a quick dinner of Honey Balsamic Bean Salad to which I added extra almonds and raisins and Roasted Broccoli and Yellow Cauliflower.  I tossed the veggies in a little olive oil, salt and pepper then roasted them at 300°F for 25 minutes.  I like to keep the temperature on the lower side and bake for longer because it keeps more of the nutrients in tact!

And, I was having such a great time, that I forgot to take photos!

Why is the cauliflower yellow?


Apparently, the yellow (orange) tint is caused by the seed that is planted.  The seed is a hybrid which was originally produced in Canada for fun!  There are purple varieties as well!  Yellow cauliflower is loaded with beta carotene and has 25% more vitamin A than the white variety.  The colored cauliflower was good!  It didn’t seem to crumble as much as normal cauliflower does and it seemed to have a bit of a milder, sweeter flavor.  Overall, I liked it!

sloppy joes, veggie-style

How is everyone doing today?

The week seems to be flying by so far…maybe because I am excited for the holiday weekend!

I started my morning with a juice to-go.  I needed to use up some fruits and veggies from our CSA last week, so a juice was definitely in order.

  • Kale + extra kale ribs
  • 2 carrots
  • celery
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • lime
  • knob of ginger

This wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked.  Probably because the apple was tart, but it did the trick and energized me for the day.

I also snacked on 2 pieces of Manna Bread with peanut butter!

For lunch, I mixed up the Honey Balsamic Bean Salad from 101cookbooks (my favorite recipe website!!).

It has a hint of sweetness from the honey, but is balanced out nicely from the balsamic.  I really enjoyed it and would absolutely make this again!

I ate a portion with some cherries.

And, a yogurt for a snack.

Dinner was delicious!  (But, a little spicy!)

I made up some Vegetarian Sloppy Joes (Snobby Joes from Veganomicon).

I replaced the onion with turnips from our CSA and doubled the amount of tomato sauce.  Other than that, I kept everything the same!  I did add a little extra chile powder by mistake which made them super spicy!!  But, if you got past that, they were great. 🙂

Served open faced on a whole wheat hamburger bun.

Topped with feta cheese and served with freshly picked sugar snap peas sauteed in a little butter.

They stayed crunchy and were very sweet.  Delicious dinner!

Off to relax…

pb & j smoothie

It sure was a hot day in Beantown today!  But, the mid-afternoon thunderstorms really cooled things down.

Anyways, I started my day with another Magic Bullet Masterpiece – a Vivacious Princess Smoothie from Kristen!

It was cool and refreshing, just what I needed on a hot day.

Lunch was not as refreshing, but still just as good – a Bean Burger Wrap!

Spread a whole wheat wrap with roasted red pepper hummus, CSA lettuce, a crumbled black bean burger and goat cheese.

Then wrap…

And eat with a big bowl of refreshing cherries!

(Source)

After work, I hit up the gym for a little workout.  This was not much better than working out outside in the heat, however, because the gym’s AC is not working properly!  Oh well…it felt good to sweat!

I started off with 25 minutes of stabilization and weights circuit style:

  • squat with overhead press
  • 21’s on 1 leg, then alternate
  • lunge and lift
  • deadlift with upright row
  • tricep extension in static squat
  • back extension
  • then repeat 3 times…

After, I jumped on the elliptical for 30 minutes and did intervals!

It was a great workout – glad I went.

After my workout, I was more than ready for dinner.  Luckily, Brant had roasted some extra broccoli for me last night.  I popped an Amy’s Non-Dairy Burrito into the microwave and put some broccoli on my plate.  It was not a gourmet meal by any means, but boy did it hit the spot!

Topped with tomato paste and homemade pesto (recipe to come).

I was still craving something cold and sweet, though, so I whipped up something delicious – a Chocolate PB & J Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cherry jam
  • 5 ice cubes

It actually really tasted like PB&J!!

Whoa!  Deliciousness!!!