Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Happy Monday! Ready to start your week? Who’s starting school back up today? Good luck if you are 🙂

Well – put it in the books – this is the first morning since Spring that I’ve had to wear pants on my morning Mom walk!! It was a nippy 55 degrees this morning…ice cold. We heated up soon enough though and it’s supposed to be in the low 80s today, so all is not lost!

Last night I made an overnight Green Monster with some spinach that I picked up at Costco yesterday (item #1!). This morning I whirred that baby up and devoured!


I literally have 1 scoop of almond butter left! Ben is heading to Chicago this weekend though, so I have a list of things for him to pick up at Trader Joe’s 🙂


Is your Green Monster ever too thick? Add a splash of water. Overnight green monsters get suuuuper thick from the oats absorbing the milk, so I add a splash of water in with the ice and banana, which gives me the perfect consistency!


Today for lunch, I packed a: Spinach Salad, Blueberry Yogurt & an Orange.


In the salad we’ve got:

  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Chopped Celery
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Cherry Tomatoes


Look at these beauts. Fresh from the vine!


Sir, I think you could use a haircut…


Love the salty feta with the tart cranberries.

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While I don’t eat oranges a lot, they are actually a really good snack option. After you peel them, it takes awhile to remove each section and eat!


Finally, one of my faves – Blueberry Buckle Yogurt. Sweet and creamy!



Today’s Running Tips

Monday’s running tips are from the “Advanced Running” section of the 101 Greatest Running Tips list. Don’t let the advanced name scare you – again, these are tips that I pulled out of the list of 101, that I thought were applicable for runners & athletes at all levels!

Tip #37. Go with mind over grind: "Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is doing the training that makes you gradually stronger." –Keith Brantly, U.S. Olympic marathoner

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I think it’s important not to go from 0 to 100 when you first start getting into running, or are getting back into it from a break. If you go too hard too fast, you’ll likely get super sore, which can be discouraging. My advice would be to ease into a running/exercise routine and slowly increase time and miles.

Tip #44. Rest assured: "Back off at the first sign of injury. Three to 5 days off is better than missing a month or two. Take regular rest days." –PattiSue Plumer, two-time U.S. Olympian

We touched on this in Tip #16. It’s really important not to push through an injury – you’ll likely make it worse! Taking rest days is important too – your body needs time to recover from heavy exercise and runs.

Tip #45. Divide and conquer: "Pick one thing each year that you need to improve, and work on that. It might be improving your diet, getting more sleep, or increasing your mileage. You can’t work on everything at once." –Bob Kennedy

– This is my favorite tip of the day. I think getting into a healthy lifestyle is daunting for a lot of people because they think ‘Oh, I have to be perfect. I have to workout, eat right, drink lots of water, sleep 8 hours a day, etc., etc.’ Be easy on yourself – again, you can’t go from 0-100 in one day. Baby steps! It’s ok!


Alrighty friends, off to begin another week! Check back tonight for the start of a week-long, end of summer dinner series. Tonight’s going to be a good one!


What did you have for breakfast today? Do you typically go for a “healthier” breakfast on Monday’s?


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Morning runs are back! Kind of…

I woke up early and ran a 1.5 mile loop before I went on my Mom walk and intended to complete another loop when we were done. Well…the weather had other plans.

While running my first loop, it was kind of misty out and I could see lightening in the far distance…ugh, not good. Thankfully by the time I made it home, the misting had stopped so my Mom and I headed out for our walk.

About 1/4 of the way in it started sprinkling so we turned around, but by the time we got back to my street, the rain had stopped! Gosh! We continued past my street a little while and by the time we turned around and got back home, it had started sprinkling again and there was lightening in all four directions. At that point I just threw in the towel – the second running loop was not going to happen. Oh well, it least I got a little somethin’ somethin’ in there!

Breakfast went better. Guess who was patiently waiting for me? An overnight Green Monster!


That’s 1/4 cup of oatmeal in the bottom, followed by a cup of skim milk, a scoop of almond butter and two big handfuls of spinach. Blend, add a couple handfuls of ice + a frozen banana and enjoy 😀


I added a splash of water to my smoothie today because the oats soaking in the milk overnight made it so deliciously thick, that my little blender blade couldn’t handle it!


I actually looooved what the splash of water did. It came out to the perfect smoothie consistency. I chugged this baby!


Served in my sweet Iowa glass, of course 🙂


Today for lunch, I packed a big salad with spinach, fresh corn on the cob and some leftover tomato, cucumber, basil & red onion salad.


Cutting the corn off the cob makes it so much better, don’t you think? I love eating my corn in “sheets” if you will!


I’m packing some olive oil based Italian dressing + a splash of balsamic vinegar for my salad dressing.


So last week I stumbled upon an amazing, motivating article/tip list on WomensHealthMag.com that I wanted to share with you all. It’s titled: Beginning Runners Guide: 101 Greatest Running Tips. While the article is intended to motivate runners who are just getting into the sport, I thought the tips were applicable for runners at ALL levels!

I went through the list and picked out the tips that really spoke to me and want to share them in increments. Today’s tips come from the “Starting Out” section of the article:

Tip #2. Shoot for this (at least): Running 8 to 15 miles per week significantly increases your aerobic capacity, and positively effects many of the coronary risk factors.” –Dr. Kenneth Cooper, aerobics pioneer

– Running 8-15 miles/week is totally doable. They don’t necessarily have to be “runs” either – go ahead and jog it if you’re new to running. The point is to just get moving!

Tip #3. Be a minuteman: The biggest mistake that new runners make is that they tend to think in mile increments–1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Beginning runners need to think in minutes, not miles.” –Budd Coates, four-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier/coach

– I always think in terms of miles when I’m running, but if makes so much sense to think in terms of minutes if you’re trying to build up your stamina and mileage. Tack on a few minutes each week or every other run, and you’re on your way!

Tip #8. Relax to the max: When running, let your jaw hang loose, don’t bunch up your shoulders close to your ears, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms to stay relaxed.” –Dave Martin, Ph.D., exercise physiologist

– This is really important and something I struggle with. I always seem to tense up the right side of my body when running, which expends so much energy. On Sunday’s run, I really focused on relaxing my body and checking in every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t tensing up.

So those are today’s tips! Hopefully you guys will find these worthwhile, I know I definitely did. Looking forward to sharing more with you!!

Have a great day everyone – oh, stay tuned this afternoon for a fun announcement!


Do you follow any of these three tips? Which one can you identify with?

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Hi guys!

My to-do list is…mmm…about half done.

  • Grocery shopping
  • Folding laundry – doing this in a little while
  • A trip to the crafts store – going tomorrow
  • Working on blog stuff – erg, don’t want to talk about it…too stressful
  • Dinner with my parents

For dinner with my parents, I took a Cucumber, Tomato, Basil & Red Onion Salad to share. Super easy, quick and topped with some Italian salad dressing.


Basil just makes everything taste like summertime in my opinion!


Dinner was freshly steamed green beans, corn on the cob (un-pictured), broccoli rice and T-bone steaks. Yes, just after I got done talking about eating a New York strip the size of my head, I had another one :/ eek. I actually only ate about 1/4 of the whole thing and shared the rest with Ben.


The crowning jewel of the meal was dessert. Isn’t it always? My Mom found Sweet and Salty Cluster ice cream at the store today. Let me repeat: SWEET & SALTY CLUSTER ICE CREAM!

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This was whipped cream flavored ice cream with salty chocolate peanuts, peanut butter cone pieces and a caramel swirl. Basically, the best things ever, in a scoop. Served with my Mom’s homemade apple crisp, well, I could barely contain myself!! Let’s just say I’m glad I got that workout in this morning!IMG_7045   

This was another meal hit out of the ballpark – thanks Mom!

Off to finish part of my to-do list – I hope you had a great weekend 😀 See you on the flip side!


What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

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Hello! Friday dance!

No post last night because I was doing this:


And ended up with these!

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These precious duck and personalized cookies are destined for a baby shower this weekend. I sure hope they like them!



It’s for a little girl – hence the pink. I just love the combination of pink and yellow. It is so sweet 🙂


While I was working on the cookies, Ben went and got us dinner – one of my faves – Chipotle!


I just love the fresh toppings, hormone-free chicken and zesty cilantro-lime rice.

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Hey! Remember my homemade chipotle rice kick!? I need to get back on that train ASAP!


So it has been scorching hot here lately, so I have definitely been craving cooler meals. I stuck with it this morning and made a Blue-Green Monster.


Now, I have been getting harassed – harassed – to include yogurt in my Green Monster by a friend who insists that it’s the best thing that ever happened to the GM. Today I finally caved and added a Blueberry Cheesecake Yogo in place of my usual almond butter!

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Mmmmmmmm – I must give credit where credit is due. My friend is a genius! Every time I have a GM I talk about how smooth and creamy it is…well THIS was soooooth and creeeeamy. Oh my!


Plus the extra flavor of sweet, blueberry cheesecake was just to-die-for. Good call, friend – you rock! 😀


Today for lunch, I re-purposed my Chipotle leftovers from last night. I put them over a bed of spinach and added some perfect, cherry tomatoes.


Not sure what kind of dressing I’m going to pack for this…perhaps a dallop of good old ranch?



Ok, not going to lie – the addition of the yogurt really makes the Green Monster fill-ing. I am STUFFED! Going to roll myself out the door now…

Ugh, I just remembered that I have to go to the DOT over lunch today. My license is expired…eep!

Have an awesome Friday, all!


What’s your favorite Green Monster or other smoothie mix-in? Do you every use protein powders or mix-ins?

Yogurt was definitely bomb – but that mango from the other day was insanely good!

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I’ve adopted a basil plant! This puppy is the one my Mom picked up when we went to the Farmer’s Market way back in May, when it first opened for the season. Well it turns out she doesn’t eat as much basil as she thought (hence the massive quantities of it on this plant,) so she gave it to me. Score!


I put basil in everything – so much so, that I killed the plant that I had bought for myself at said Farmer’s Market 😦 Rats… Oh well, problem solved!

For breakfast today I had an overnight Green Monster. Yep, I put all the ingredients, minus the banana & ice, in my blender last night and stuck it in the fridge so it was all ready for me to blend up this morning.


Oh, I also came up with another time saver for my monsters. Normally I slice my bananas, put them in little plastic baggies and stick them in the freezer. In the mornings I put my frozen, bagged bananas in the blender then get a scoop of ice and put it in there too. Well last night I figured, why not put the ice cubes in the baggie with the bananas? That way I can put all the frozen ingredients in the blender at the same time! How kaizen of me. 😉


Those are some extra mango chunks from dinner last night. Remember my Mango Smoothies and how silky smooth they are? They definitely made this the smoothest, creamiest green monster yet!


Nutritious, delicious and satisfying, with just a touch of Minnesota. Fab!


So yesterday’s Italian Salad was such a hit – I made it for lunch again today.


I subbed the mixed greens for spinach, but the rest is the same. It is the perfect combo of flavors – I’m telling you, the pepperoni stole the show!


I’m also packing some blueberries. They are so incredible…I savored every last berry yesterday. I’m thinking about going back while they’re still on sale so I can freeze a bunch. Blueberry Crisp in December, anyone? 😀


So, fun fact: I love Britney Spears with all my heart and soul. Judge me if you must. Anyways, her Circus tour is coming to Des Moines and I would literally give all the toes on my left foot to go…only problem is the cheapest tickets, in the worst seats are $75. Is it worth it? Has anyone seen her Circus show? I know it’s a 360 show, but is it worth $75 if I’m going to be sitting so high up? Help a sister OUT!


Do you like going to concerts? What’s your favorite one you’ve ever been to?

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Good Eats

Last night was another sushi feast with the girls! We’re thinking about just making the rounds at all the good sushi places in town. 😀 You wouldn’t think Iowa would have the best fresh fish resources, but honestly if you know where to go, it’s no different than anywhere else!

This festive platter came from Wok In Motion (where Ben and I usually get our amazing Kung Pao Chicken from.) Starting from the top and going clockwise, we’ve got: Tuna Roll, Smoked Salmon Roll, Salmon Roll, Alaska Roll (salmon, cucumber, crab, avocado & lettuce) and a Spicy Tuna Roll.


Great portions, great price, super fresh!


I had the Salmon Roll


And the Alaska Roll. Told you I’m all about the salmon! 😀


Giant pieces that I always feel semi-toolish cramming into my mouth, but it’s just so good, and really, there’s no other way to eat them. You’ve just got to go for it!


I did end up running before dinner last night – a 4 miler. Let’s just say this. It was Brutesville, USA, Population 1: ME. The humidity, sun and temps were out of control and I thought I was going to lose it. But, I didn’t and lived to tell the tale! The humidity levels are supposed to drop today, so a workout will be much more enjoyable. Do you say “no” to running outside when it’s extremely hot and humid? Or do you just go for it?

Onto the EATS!

This morning I made one of my absolute favorite breakfasts: Open Faced Egg, Bacon & Cheese Bagel.


I took a half a toasted bagel, topped it with a slice of cheddar cheese, 3 egg whites and 2 slices of low-sodium bacon.


I actually microwaved this bacon last night, let it cool and put it in the fridge. This morning I took it out, microwaved again for about 15 seconds and I had bacon for my bagel, easy!


I don’t know what’s gotten me on this bagel kick lately, but I’m not hating it at all… They really do keep me full for the entire morning and they are soooo chewy and delicious. OOTW, actually! (out of this world 🙂 )


To add some freshness to my breakfast, I had some berries. My grocery store had a huge berry sale this weekend and big containers of all different kinds were only $1.88! I got some sweet strawberries and blueberries.


Gorgeous…I would seriously blow these photos up and hang them on my wall!

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Speaking of, Ben used to have a roommate that took pictures of exotic food dishes he ate on vacations, framed them and then actually hung them on the wall. Would you? I might if it was semi-abstract like this, but I probably wouldn’t hang a straight-up picture of my dinner on the wall!


Lunch today utilized some more garden-fresh vegetables courtesy of my Mom: a big, Italian Salad.


We’ve got:

  • Mixed Greens
  • Cucumber from my Mom’s garden
  • Tomato from my Mom’s garden
  • Feta Cheese
  • Pepperoni

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Just a few slices of the ‘roni will do ya. They are a fun surprise in the salad! Some pepperoncini would be super tasty too…oooo or banana pepper rings! Hmmm, maybe I’ll go snag some from the work cafeteria today…


Wow – looking through this post, I’ve had some good eats in the past 12 hours! Lots of variety which I just love 🙂 OK friends, I’m off to seize the day – have a SUPER TUESDAY!


Get your share on: What are you having for lunch today?


And Check out:

Nature’s Path Cereal Giveaway at Gluten-free is Life

Goat Cheese, Baby Brie Wedge & Bonus Foodie Charm Giveaway at What’s For Dinner

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Gooood morning all!

The Iowa City road trip was great! Ben’s Mom was very surprised to see us and we ate at a stellar pizza joint – Wig and Pen – which makes some inSAne Chicago-style pizza. You know, the kind that’s about 10 inches deep and smothered with a layer of fresh tomato sauce on top? Yeah, that kind. Heaven! On our way home we ran into some MAYjah storms. Check this out!


Have you ever in your life seen a storm cloud like this? (Don’t worry I wasn’t driving and snapping pics – I took this from the passenger seat.) It looked like a UFO! We literally saw where the wall of rain started and drove straight into it. Super crazy, cars pulled off to the side of the road, can’t hear yourself talk kind of rain. Thankfully though, we made it home safely 🙂


I spent the rest of the evening getting ready for the week and went to bed super early. I’ve been a go-to-bed early gal all weekend! Love it.

This morning after my Mom walk, I channeled my inner Bugs Bunny and had a Carrot Cake CLIF Bar and Carrot Chips with Almond Butter for breakfast!


If you ever get a chance to pick up this CLIF Bar – I beg you, do it! Read my full review here. It is so close to the real thing that if I shut my eyes, I’d swear I was in a sweet little cafe sipping cappuccino and eating a big slice of cake…

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Instead, I’m in my kitchen having some Folgers…hey, whatever works 🙂 This bar also has 10g of protein and 5g of fiber. Pretty stellar for something that tastes like dessert!


Here’s my carrot chips with almond butter. Or rather, my almond butter with carrot chips. I tend to lick the AB straight off the carrot and then eat all the chips at the end. I can’t help it…sometimes I just need that AB straight up! 😉

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For lunch today I packed a big salad – I love starting off the week with a big salad full of fresh veggies and goodies. It just makes me feel good and sets the tone for the rest of the week. No matter what kind of crap I’ve eaten over the weekend, a healthy salad always brings me home.


Today we’ve got:

  • Mixed greens
  • Sliced carrots
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sliced radishes
  • Dried cranberries

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I packed light Italian salad dressing with a couple drops of Sesame Oil mixed in to dress the salad. Just these few drops takes both the “light” and “bottled” taste out of the dressing.


Oh, that juicy melon I referenced yesterday is a giNOURmous watermelon, which was so huge that it was difficult to lift onto the cutting board! Thankfully I didn’t have to pay by the pound – the whole thing was only $2.88. Sweeeeet 🙂


I took a giant, four cup tupperware container of it for lunch. Wa-wa-wee-watermelon!



In other news, remember when Ben and I went to Modale, IA back in May? Well, this corn:


has turned into THIS CORN!


It’s the attack of the 10 foot corn! Isn’t that one of the scariest things you’ve ever seen?? Ben and his Dad went to go visit his Grandma, who was Grand Marshall of the Modale Fun Days Parade, this weekend and provided this corn update shot. Here’s the Grand Marshall herself!



Well I took the weekend off from running so I’m hoping to hit the trail after work tonight. Then it’s off to dinner with my dinner-date girls. Have a great day back everyone!

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