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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!

egg sandwiches & bamboo utensils

Hello!  TGIF!

I have a lot to show you today, so let’s get started.

I finally woke up to my workout alarm today and hit up the gym for a swim.  I like swimming on Friday’s.  The pool is quiet and it is a way for me to just zone out and gear up for the weekend.  I still try very hard while swimming, but Friday’s are always a bit more lowkey in the workout department for me.

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I swam for 40 minutes and completed 50 laps (100 lengths or 2000 yds).  It felt great!

Before my swim, I needed a pick me up, so I ate 2 of these cold medjool dates (I love them straight from the fridge).

Dates are great workout fuel.  I often eat them before a run/workout and while training for my marathons, I ate them (or raisins) during my long runs.  Dates and raisins both provide easily-digested simple carbs.

Along with my dates, I also tried out this new energy drink from Amazing Grass.

It is a new Lemon Lime energy drink powder that they sell.  I have read a few things about it, so I wanted to give it a try.  All you do is mix 1 scoop with water and shake, then chug!  I say chug because it still has a grassy taste, but the lemon lime flavor comes through nicely.  I actually liked it, but it is definitely an acquired taste.

The powder contains matcha green tea and yerba mate to give you that kick of energy you sometimes need at 5am!  Plus, 1 scoop contains 7 servings of fruits and veggies!  As I always say, I believe that it is important to get your fruits and veggies from actual whole food, but when in a pinch (such as travelling), this could work.

Do I think it worked?

Actually, yes I do!  Between the energy drink and the 2 dates I felt awake and very strong in the water.

After my swim, I wanted carbs, carbs, carbs!

I got the sprouted wheat bagels out of the freezer and begged my husband to make me an egg before he left for work.  (I can do it myself, but don’t they always taste better when someone else makes them?!)  He agreed…and made himself one in the process.

Egg Sandwich on a Sprouted Wheat Bagel with Cheese

On the side, fresh blueberries!

Mmmm…this breakfast made it feel like the weekend…

…but, soon I was off to work.

Good thing I packed lunch!!

Salad with green leaf lettuce, beat greens, a whole small avocado, dried edamame, raisins, raw tomato basil crackers and goddess dressing.

Delicious!

Do you like my fork?

I have been trying to remember to bring my own silverware everyday to work so that I can reduce the amount of plastic that I use.  But, sometimes I forget.  So, I had been looking to purchase a random set of silverware to have at work, and to bring with me on road trips, etc when I find myself using plastic a lot.

Enter, the To-Go Ware bamboo utensil set!

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I found it yesterday at Whole Foods and I jumped for joy…literally!  People were staring. 🙂

The bamboo is very sturdy and the case is made from recyled plastic bottles.  How cool is that?!  I mean, we know how much I like buying products that are made from yogurt containers.  Plastic bottles are just as good!

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I have to admit, I was a little nervous as to how the fork would work.  Well, it worked just like a normal fork!  It worked so well, that I went out at my lunch break and bought another set for my husband.  Are you excited, Brant?!

Moving on…

Along with my salad, I had a yogurt (eaten with a bamboo spoon).

And, my mid-afternoon snack consisted of hummus and rice crackers.

I am planning on making something fun, delicious (I hope!) and healthy for dinner, so be sure to check back for the recipe tomorrow morning!

Enjoy your Friday!

certified personal trainer

**I tried to post this last night, but WordPress was not cooperating**

Sometime in January, I decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer, so I sought out a great program and signed up.  I did not tell many people about this, but I have spent the past 4 months learning, taking workshops, and studying all about the body and its components.  It is a lot of information, but it is all stuff that a trainer need’s to know!  I really enjoyed everything that I learned in the class and the workshop, especially the information on weight lifting and nutrition.

This morning, after a crazy 2 weeks of studying non-stop, I passed my exam!  So, I am officially a Certified Personal Trainer!  Yahoo!

I hope to give you guys some workout tips every now and then from here on out!

Before my exam, my wonderful husband made me some delicious brain food for breakfast – 2 eggs on toast.

They were delicious!  A meal always tastes better when someone else makes it for you. 🙂

Right before the test, I snacked on a banana.  Then took a 2 hour exam (that I passed!!!) and came home to lunch.

A salad with CSA greens, black beans, salsa and sweet potato gnocchi dressed with a little olive oil, pear infused vinegar, salt and pepper.

It was really good!  Maybe because I was starving…

I also had some farmers market yogurt with strawberries and dark chocolate mixed in.

I was in need of a good post-exam treat…and this is the best I could come up with at home!

I snacked on some dried strawberries and raspberries mid afternoon.

When I got home from work, I didn’t know what to do with myself – I didn’t have to study!  Instead, I got to work in the kitchen and made some quinoa for dinner.

I cooked the quinoa in 1/2 water, 1/2 veggie broth to give it some flavor, then stirred in some dried thyme, basil, salt and pepper.  While that was cooking, I chopped and rinsed our CSA spinach and added it to a saute pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, balsamic and honey to wilt just a tad.

The spinach was so fresh, that I didn’t want to lose it’s flavor by wilting it too much!  I served the quinoa on top of the bed of spinach with local tomatoes, feta and oregano.  Along with a slice of seeded bread from Saratoga.

Just what I wanted for dinner on a rainy night.

What a day!!! 🙂

hump day

Happy Hump Day!  Don’t you love 4 day work weeks?!  It makes the week so much faster…and I have a 3 day work week this week!  Only one more day until vacation. 🙂

It was an oatmeal day today!

Steel-cut oats cooked with 1/2 banana and lots of cinnamon.  Steel-cut oats take awhile to cook, but it is so worth it.  The texture is so much better than rolled oats…they never really get mushy.  The oats are cooked, but still have a bite to them.

Topped with a heaping tablespoon of Vanilla Almond Butter and Kaia Chocolate Buckwheat Granola.

Unfortunately, this did not hold me over for long today.  Mid-morning, I snacked on a homemade granola bar.

Then, lunch time came around and I ate my last bowl Bean Chili!  That chili was awesome and it lasted for so long.  I froze 3/4 of the amount and ate it for lunches and dinners when I was in a hurry (which has been a lot lately!).  It held up well in the freezer and defrosted really easily.  (I recycled this photo – today I ate it plain without the cheese and crackers).

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on some Watermelon and  Greek Yogurt.  They were supposed to be part of my lunch, but I guess the chili seemed to fill be up today.

Once home, I was starving!  Waiting for Brant to make dinner had me snacking a bit…on two cottage cheese muffins (thank goodness that are fairly healthy!).

Then, we served Breakfast for Dinner because our fridge is empty!

I added a salad with romaine (which surprisingly has held up in the fridge for 2 weeks…can’t be many nutrients left in that!), raisins, pecans and a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  I needed some greens with my eggs!

And, 2 scrambled eggs with cheese, toast with a little earth balance and ketchup (natural ketchup).

I definitely like eggs for dinner more than I like them for breakfast…

Now, I am craving something sweet…I’m thinking dried strawberries and some chocolate!

Have a great night! 🙂

fig jam on toast

I felt like a different breakfast this morning – something that I don’t normally have.  So, I had my husband make me 2 fried eggs with toast!  He had them for breakfast yesterday and I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so why not?!  It was a perfect way to get in my protein after my workout, and try out my freshly made fig jam.

Back up to my workout.  I went for a quick run outside when I got up this morning – 4.15 miles in 33 minutes.  Then, I did a quick weight session.

Quick Upper Body Weights

(3 sets of 12 each, 10 lb weights)

  • Overhead press
  • Chest press on stability ball
  • Triceps dips
  • Triceps extension
  • 21’s
  • Hammer curl
  • Fly’s on bench
  • Front raises

Got to fit in those weights somehow!  They make you strong and lean!

Once home, it was time for breakfast.  My eggs were delicious.  I haven’t had fried eggs in awhile, so this was a nice change of pace.  They tasted so much better than the greasy fried eggs you would get out!

On my two slices of whole grain toast, I spread my fresh fig jam.

I was inspired by Gena for this sweet spread, and just happened to have the ingredients that she called for in her recipe on hand.  Turkish Figs.  Yup, that’s right – just 1 lonely ingredient!

She soaked the figs for a few hours before blending them, so I did the same.  I just used the half bag of Turkish figs that I had left, which was about 14-15 figs.  Make sure to cover the figs with water.

After a few hours, I took out the figs, cut their little stems off, and placed them in my food processor.  Make sure to reserve some of the soaking water – I added 1/4 cup per 14-15 figs for easier blending.  Gena does the same.

Then blend!  This happened very quickly – not even a minute of blending and I had fresh fig jam!

I love figs – the seeds are so sweet.  I made extra so that I could keep this around, but this spread is definitely easy enough to make every time you want fig jam.

This was delicious spread on my toast this morning.  I added a thin smear of cherry jam along with the fig jam.  A winning combination!

Mmmm…good breakfast after a workout!  Eggs & Toast, served with tea and a side of champagne mango – I can’t get enough of these things.

Have a great Sunday!