Tag Archives: daily menu

In a Flash

Hi, kids! Today seems to have flown by! Seriously, where did the day go? I need to make this quick so that I get a good night’s sleep. Here are today’s eats— in a flash!ย 

First, I have to say that you guys had some pretty amazing food over the weekend. I loved hearing all about it in the comments so thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Breakfast:

Today’s bowl was 3/4 oat bran, 1/4 five grain cereal, almonds, molasses, Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder and a ton of berries. I also had some of my Williamsburg coffee with a bit of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. Today’s coffee flavor was English Toffee. Mmmm….

BrekkieLunch:

I had a lettuce, radish, cucumber and tomato salad topped with some Kraft Zesty Light Italian dressing and an Amy’s Texas Veggie Burger with melted cheddar. I love Amy’s Texas burgers, by the way. They are slightly sweet and SO good!

Lunch

I’ve been having balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing for so long that having a prepackaged dressing is really kind of weird. I like! I think I might need to check out salad dressings again. It might be time to invest in a bottle of something good.ย What’s your favorite low calorie dressing? I’d love suggestions!

Since my lunch was a bit smallish, I decided it was a perfect day to have a higher calorie bar on the side. I tasted Mr. T’s carrot cake Clif Bar when we wereย at the zoo, and I thought it was really tasty. Of course, I had to buy one of my own. The carrot cake bar was perfect for me today! It bulked up the protein in my lunch, and made for a tasty dessert. I see more of these in my future! I’ve also concluded that I prefer my bars to be a little melty. This one was perfect after a bit of time in the sun.

Now that the weather is warm, you can expect to see more lunch photos taken on my picnic blanket. I love eating outside with my friends. It’s the perfect midday break for a windowless lawyer!

Afternoon Snacks:

For my first snack of the afternoon, I had a bowl of Blue Ridge Dairy Greek yogurt from the farmer’s market sweetened with berry jam and a ton of strawberries. I also snacked on a bowl of cherries. I’m out of cherries now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I have to get more ASAP!! I love them soooo much!

Yo! Cherries!Later, I munched and crunched on a 1oo calorie bag of microwave kettle corn. Yum!

PoppycornBefore heading home, I wanted one more little nibble. I wanted peanut butter! I’ve recently realized that I sometimes eat extra calories that I don’t want just because it seems like the peanut butter should go ON something. If I really want peanut butter, doesn’t it make more sense to just have it ON a spoon? I would have a piece of cheese without feeling like it had to go on a cracker. I’d eat nuts by themselves. Why should lovely PB be any different?

Unfrozen PBsickleMy musical pepper notepad approved! Wherever there is peanut butter, there’s a party. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The spoon is sporting The Bee’s Knees peanut butter from PB&Co., by the way.

Dinner:

Dinner was tasty, although it looks weird thanks to my see through blue plate. Oh well. Photography lesson learned. I had a turkey bacon BLT on some multi-grain bread from Whole Foods alongside some leftover roasted broccoli topped with melted cheese. Broccoli and cheese are such a classic combo, and the same is true of the BLT. I had a very classic sort of dinner going on, and it really hit the spot.ย 

Din DinFor dessert I had half a serving of Ciao Bella Maple Ginger Snap Gelato and half a serving of Dolci Gelati Pumpkin Pie Gelato. When I can’t decide which flavor to have, I am a firm believer in having a dab of both!

Love from the FreezerAfter Dinner Nibbles:

I just finished a 25 minute run outside followed by 35 minutes of cardio in the gym. I don’t usually run outside during the week, but, since it is staying light much later, I was able to do the first chunk of my workout al fresco. It was nice. I hate being stuck in the gym all the time! After I did a bit of core work and a ton of stretching I came back to the apartment and had a salty snack. I recently found these at Whole Foods, and I’ve really been digging them!

Pizza PuffsThey are nicely seasoned, but not covered in a crazy orange powder. Don’t get me wrong: I like the cheesy poufs with the crazy orange glow, but I hate having orange fingers! These are yummy and much less messy. I can imagine that as a benefit if you have kiddos. If you like salty snacks, you should try these! I had half a serving, and it was still a nice amount. That little bowl is only 55 calories!!

I think there is probably one more snack in my future, perhaps a chocolate covered frozen banana, and there is definitely a cup of tea waiting to be sipped. This may be my quickest post yet, but I loved my food today so I really wanted to share.

I hope you had a great day!! I’m still getting caught up on the blog posts I missed during my vacation, and it is nice catching up with everyone. My google reader is still touting 1000+ posts, but I’m positive that I’m making progress. Everyone has so much to say, and I love hearing about what you are all up to! Now, I’m up to finding that last snack and getting to bed.

Have a great Tuesday! Ciao for now!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Salad, Washington, Weight Loss

Eats and Feats (of the exercise variety)

Bowl o' BrekkieHappy Thursday, friends! I couldn’t be happier that tomorrow is Friday. Sometimes, short weeks seem to last forever. That has been especially true this week because I have been crazy busy at work. I’m looking forward to leaving it all behind for a couple of days! I haven’t had time to do much cooking this week, but I think I’ve still eaten quite well.

My big batch of slow cooker steel cut oats have made my mornings go a bit quicker, and I’ve been enjoying their creamy goodness over the past few days. This morning’s bowl had some raisins and almonds on top– you can’t go wrong with that combo! I also mixed in the very last of the pomegranate honey jelly I bought at the farmer’s market a while back. I was sad to scrape the last bits from the jar. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The UsualI needed a bit of a morning snack, in part, since I didn’t add any protein powder to my oats this morning. It really does make a difference in whether or not I stay full until lunch. I had the usual apple with peanut butter. I always love this combo, although I’m glad that this was the last of the fuji apples in my fruit bowl. I like crispier apples, and these fuji apples just weren’t doing it for me. I bought a few pink ladies at Whole Foods the other day, and I’m really looking forward to them.

You might also notice that the apples are in front of a brightly colored plate. I got the plate last summer in Portugal, and I use it as a perch for a candle. I vowed not to have the bluebird sisters in every photo today. The bluebirds are privileged to sit in my sunniest spot, which is why they seem to sneak into every photo. ๐Ÿ™‚ This spot seemed to work ok!

Smoky Tofu LoveSee the little bit of bluebird sneaking in to the top corner of my lunch? They are so persistent! Ha!

Lunch was an interesting mix. Yesterday, there was an e-mail at work about some items leftover from a luncheon that featured salads from Chop’t. Usually, the e-mails are about leftover cake. I was excited about the prospect of salad items! I had taken a salad to work for lunch yesterday, so I just picked up a few add ins.

I got a little bit carried away, and later realized that I probably didn’t need smoked tofu and chicken to go along with the hardboiled egg, turkey bacon and goat cheese already topping my salad. I decided to bring the smoked tofu home and do something else with it. At the end of the day, I volunteered to rescue the rest of the spinach from a trashy fate because, while it wasn’t the freshest, I knew it would be fine when cooked. I hope thatย Sarah willย be proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, today’s lunch bowl is courtesy of work (spinach and tofu) with some asparagus, broccoli and Country Bob’s sauce from the fridge tossed in. I had only tried smoked tofu once before, and, although I liked it, I kind of forgot about it. It was so good that I made a trip to Whole Foods today in search of more. I’m hooked!

Smoked tofu really reminds me of smoked gouda, which I love, and hey– you can’t really stir fry gouda without making an interesting mess. It might be tasty, but I’d hate to have to clean the pan. I can’t wait to have more of this tofu and spinach combo. I had to get some more spinach today too because I’ve already made it through most of the leftovers I brought home. Just call me Popeye!

Messy Yogurt BowlAfter my tasty bowl of goodness, I had another tasty bowl of goodness. This is a mix of Greek yogurt, strawberries, honey and some of my broken graham cracker pie crust crumbles. Yum! It was sweet, but not too sweet. I’m trying to save any serious sugar eating for later in the day, and that strategy really seems to be helping me to keep the evil sugar monster at bay. Hooray!

Bowl of CherriesMy first afternoon snack was a delightful and luscious bowl of cherries. I should compose an ode to cherries. I love them SO much!

Munchie BowlSome time after that, I had this little bowl of random munchies. I had a lot of food in bowls today! I have a bit of Galaxy Granola Almond Vanilla Munch in here along with some Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran squares, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I loved this little mix. I probably would not have thought to mix it up in the morning and take it to work, but since I was working from home today, I had the luxury of going in the kitchen and coming up with the snack I was truly craving. What a perk!

On a Steeeek!Another great thing about working from home is my proximity to the freezer…. and my frozen bananas! This is one of the ginger chocolate bananas I made the other day. Seriously, if you haven’t made your own, you should find the most amazing looking bar of chocolate on the shelf at the store and wrap it around a few frozen nanners. Oh, and I decided to pose him in front of my very old cake cover too. The blue bird sisters were kind of miffed, but I think they will get over it.

Lovely LeftoversDinner was a leftover salmon cake and some grilled zucchini straight off of the Griddler. The raspberry honey wasabi mustard on the top of the cake really adds a nice sweet flavor and a bit of a bite. I bought that mustard on an impulse when I was in some foodie type store. I really like variety, and I tend to pick up things like that if they speak to me. I’m so glad I opened up the jar the other day when I made my salmon cakes. I doubt I will find this particular mustard again, but I’ll be on the look-out for something similar. Yum!

What a Treat!Ah yes. Dessert! When I was avoiding the neighborhood gelateria the other day by buying gelato (with nutritional information… unlike the gelateria…) at Whole Foods, I got more than one kind. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dolci Gelati is a local company, and this was my first time to try their frozen goodness. Pumpkin pie gelato sounded too good to pass up. I suspect this is a brand that might only be available around here, so I won’t emphasize how good it is. Nope.ย 

My papaw always had such a serious sweet tooth. When I was a kid, I could never resist asking him how he liked his dessert. I knew what the answer would be. In between smiles and bites, he would say something like: “This is awful. You don’t want any of it. It’s no good.” That’s how this gelato tastes. It’s awful! ๐Ÿ˜‰

After my yummy (oops… I mean awful) dessert, I headed off to a session with my trainer. A few people have asked about my workouts, and I haven’t really said much about them lately. My workout schedule has gotten a bit off track, so I haven’t been to kickboxing in ages. I’m hoping to make it next week, and I’m sure it will be HARD! I’m kind of looking forward to the challenge. Is that twisted of me?

The times I can meet with my trainer are a bit limited, and I have to organize other work-outs around my strength training sessions. It’s no big deal, but that’s been the reason (plus vacation) that I haven’t worn my pretty pink boxing gloves in nearly a month.ย 

Tonight I worked out with my trainer, and also did forty minutes of cardio split between the elliptical and the stairmaster. I should have hopped on the treadmill for a bit of a run, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I thought it might be interesting if I told you how a typical class with my trainer might go.

Each exercise lasts for a minute, and there is a cardio interval in between movements. Tonight’s interval was three jumping jacks followed by a squat, three jacks, one squat, three jacks and one more squat. So, just plug that sequence in between each of the following movements and you will see how my work-out went this evening:

Wall Sitting

Walking Plank Hold

Cherry Picker Type Movement with a Medicine Ball

Bicycle Crunches

Total Body Crunches with a Ball

One Legged Hip Thrusts (to work the hamstrings– one leg for a minute and then the other leg)

Push-ups

Lat Pull Down (weight machine)

Overhead Shoulder Press (weight machine)

Plie Squats (while holding a 20 pound weight)

Regular Squats (while holding a 25 pound weight)

Chest Presses (weight machine)

Overhead Shoulder Presses (free weights)

Standing Bicep Curls (free weights)

Bench Dips (to work triceps using body weight)

This thing that involved stepping on and off of a weight bench with one leg, and then doing another set on the other leg

The END… except for the cardio. ๐Ÿ™‚

Classes last about 45 minutes, and I really enjoy them– for the most part. Tonight, I was sick of squats by the end after doing the squats with weights and the jumping jack squat sequence a zillion times! Even though I’m usually pooped, I always feel such a sense of accomplishment at the end. When I first started these classes, gosh, two years ago? Has it been that long? I had such a hard time doing many of the moves. My strength and balance have certainly improved, and I’ve lost a ton of weight since I started. I can do push-ups… on my toes! I would never have thought it possible!! As happy as I am about those improvements, I think the best part is probably the fact that I just feel so much more confident in the gym. That’s one of the awesome benefits of exercise that can’t really be measured on the scale!

So, that’s an example of the workout I do twice a week. It’s a bit different each time, but it is usually something along those lines. If you haven’t incorporated strength training into your workout, I have to recommend it. It even makes carrying groceries easier!

I’m curious to know what other people do, so I’d love to hear about the ways you pump some iron. Do you have a set of five pounders that live in your closet? Do you work out with a trainer? Do you do your own thing in the weight room at the gym? Do you just shop a lot and carry around heavy bags? I really would love to know!

I’ll leave you with those questions now, because I have a few things to do before I mosey off to bed. I hope that you have a great Friday, and, more importantly, an awesome weekend!!! Ciao for now! ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

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Filed under cooking, D.C., diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Salmon, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

I’ve Gone Bananas!

Hello to you, and here’s hoping that your Tuesday was more like a Tuesday than a Monday. Mine? It was Monday all the way. Ugh! I had a busy day, and it spilled over into my evening. I’m going to make this quick so I can get to bed and be ready to tackle tomorrow!

I have one more set of photos from my vacation that I want to share from our zipline adventure in Ketchikan, but I don’t quite have them ready. I have so many photos to sort through, it’s taking awhile! Instead of me in crazy zipping gear, here’s a quick mountain scene of the calming and majestic variety:

Beautiful!My vacation was so relaxing, and that photo is a nice reminder of the calm. That’s just the kind of scene I need after my hectic day!

Blue is known as a calming color, so keeping with that theme, here’s one more glacier photo too from my helicopter glacier adventure:

Calming BlueI was so taken with the blue water that I have a ton of photos just like this one. The glacier really amazed me. I do promise you some zipline photos soon (hopefully tomorrow), and then I think my vacation recap will be done. I missed y’all while I was gone, and I’m glad I’ve been able to show you some of the cool sights I saw while I was away!

Now, on to today’s menu! I put four servings of steel cut oats (1 cup dry) in the slow cooker last night with about 5 cups of water. I set it on medium low and left it all night. When I woke up, I had lovely, creamy oats ready to go into my bowl with some Jay Robb’s, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar. I love this classic combo!

Steel Cut LoveI have oats ready to go for the next three mornings, and they will only need a quick zap in the micro. I love a little morning time saver like that! Speaking of time savers, I realized one of the benefits of keeping my little camera in my purse when I decided to buy some dried cherries out of the bulk bin at Whole Foods on Monday. Instead of searching for a scrap of paper in my purse and then scribbling down the nutrition info, I have this:

Paper SaverI’m glad I remembered the camera, and I’ll be using this trick from now on for sure!! Ok, back to today’s eats…

For lunch, I had a big salad full of crispy veggies (lettuce, celery, cucumbers, scallions and grape tomatoes) topped with a hardboiled egg, two slices of crumbled turkey bacon, an ounce of goat cheese and some Italian dressing.

Lunchie LunchI typically just prefer vinegar on my salad so the dressing is a bit unusual for me. I recently found these little packets on sale and decided they might not be a bad thing to keep in the desk drawer stash. It was nice to have something different, and it was great not to have a vinegar spillage incident in my lunch bag. I’ve had that before, and it was NOT pleasant. This isn’t really my favorite dressing, but, for 25 calories, it was pretty good!ย 

I also had the Wallaby nonfat Pineapple and Coconut yogurt that you see in the photo. This was a new flavor for me, and it was pina colada-esque, as I expected. I could tell that it was nonfat yogurt, unlike my favorite Wallaby– the Dulce de Leche species, and I definitely think I prefer a little fat in my yogurt. Still, I liked the flavor, and I’d buy it again!

My snacks this afternoon were pretty typical. I had some cherries (nom nom nom!!!) Such a treat!!

Sweet Cherries!I decided to follow those up with a salty snack even though I had a hankering for something sweet. This popcorn seemed to do the trick, and the sugar craving went away. Yay!!

PopcornLater on, I wanted some peanut butter. I realized that I often eat extra foods just because I think something needs to go with the peanut butter– vanilla wafers, crackers, celery, whatever. Sometimes, a spoon is the best accessory! I had a few prunes on the side, but I ate this like two separate snacks.

PB and PrunesI have a smarty pants camera, and it made me laugh today. I took the photo of the PB and prunes, and my camera highlighted one of the prunes and said “Did someone blink?” Maybe my camera saw intelligent life in the prunes? Oh well. I ate him so we will never know! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had one last snack this afternoon. Can you find it in this photo? It’s hiding!

Search for the SnackI love recycling these pretty metal tea boxes by using them to hold my writing utensils. You can see one holding plastic eating utensils in the background too. I don’t usually keep string cheese in there, but I needed to have a little goofiness break. ๐Ÿ™‚

When I got home, I grilled up a zucchini on the Griddler, made a quick micro baked sweet potato, and reheated one of yesterday’s salmon cakes. It was a very tasty dinner indeed!

Din DinI followed my dinner up with a bowl of the new gelato living in my freezer and topped it with some rescued broken graham cracker crust. Yum!!

GelatoliciousFinally, I tried one of the ginger chocolate covered bananas I made yesterday. I love the ginger!! I can report that this is a winning combination. The crystallized ginger pieces are nice and a little bit chewy, and they go well with the chocolate and the banana. I’m loving these bananas! I hated bananas as a kid because of the texture, and I wonder if I would have liked them frozen. It seems possible. I certainly like them now. Yummy!!

Ginger Chockie NannerI just finished my workout for the evening, and I’m looking forward to having Wednesday off from the gym. I’ve had some good workouts over the last week, and it has actually been nice to get back into the gym after my week away. Even so, I’ll be happy to relax tomorrow night, and I can tell you that my body will appreciate a break too! Now, it’s time for me to make a cup of tea and head to bed. I have another doozy of a day to look forward to tomorrow, and I definitely need my rest. Ciao for now! I’ll catch you later! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Alaska, Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Snapshots, Salmon Cakes and Sweet Frozen Bananas

Hi friends! Happy Monday! As promised, I have a few pics to share from my trip again today. After that, I have a new recipe for you so stay tuned. First….

Iceberg!!

Iceberg! Dead ahead!! We got to see glaciers “calving” on several occasions. Calving is when big chunks of glacier fall into the water following an amazingly thunderous noise. It was definitely a sight (and sound) to behold! That, my friends, is the recipe for an iceberg. The water was so beautiful, but I was certainly not tempted to go for a swim!

Here’s a silly photo. While in Anchorage, I was petted by a bear!!

DSCN3264_2I can’t resist silly tourist type photo ops. Further evidence from Anchorage:

Cheese!Those pants are a bit big on me even though this was the end of a week of constant eating! Awesome!ย Have you ever given in and done the touristy photo op thing? Come on! Fess up! Sweetie wants to know!ย I hope my friend, Miss M, won’t mind appearing here with her pickaxe. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just couldn’t get that moose to go any faster. I tried! While you might think these little photo shoots were the highlight of our day in Anchorage, I’m sure you will be shocked to hear that there was actually something even better…

KobukThe Kobuk had a sign in the window promoting their old fashioned style donuts, and, after a long bus ride from Whittier to Anchorage, that sounded like just the ticket!

Old Alaska HospitalityI love the teapot mural on the side of the building. So cute! I had an old fashioned donut topped with chocolate and a peanut butter bar:

SweetsThe bar was not what I expected. I had a nice surprise when I realized that it was like the cornflake cluster candies that my grandmother used to make at Christmastime. I’d say it involved cornflakes, peanut butter, corn syrup and butter. That would be my guess. It was soooo yummy, but the donut, well… drool.

So I didn’t have donuts today, but I did start off with a nice breakfast. I’m sorry to say that it isn’t very interesting to look at:

BrekkieI was in the mood for steel cut oats, and, since I had a day off, I had time for the 30 minute stove top method. I liked them so much that I’m going to put a batch in the slow cooker tonight so I can have more tomorrow. I like their chewy texture, and I usually have some in the pantry. I just don’t think to make them very often since they take longer. I can’t wait for breakfast! Today’s bowl was a classic. It had brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins. I also added a little Jay Robb’s for some protein sticking power. Three hours later, I was ready for an apple with some cashew butter. YUM!

Apple Cashew Butter Goodness

The bluebirds kept jumping into every photo today. I don’t know what got into them!

Not long after my apple snack, it was time for lunch. That brings me to the new recipe I promised you. I hope you didn’t think the iceberg recipe was it for the day! ๐Ÿ™‚ As a kid, I did a lot of the cooking. We were on a pretty tight budget so stretching a can of tuna or salmon was definitely a goal. Add that to the fact that I was just learning my way around the kitchen, and the results were often less than stellar. I made countless batches of salmon patties that could probably best be described as gluey, bready, slightly fishy, hockey pucks. Thank goodness for ketchup! I had a can of salmon in the pantry today, and I decided to come up with a healthier and more grown-up version. I was very happy with the end result! Here’s the recipe:

Grown Up Salmon Cake

Sweetie’s” All Grown Up” Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:

cooking spray

1 14.5 ounce can of salmon, drained and flaked (if bones are included, do your best to sort of crunch them up while flaking the salmon… no reason to waste that calcium!)

4 ounces of jarred roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped

5 Reduced Fat Ritz Crackers, finely crushed (any crackers should work just fine)

1/4 cup of chopped scallions

2 tsp old bay seasoning

1/4 cup egg beaters

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients (except cooking spray) in a large bowl. Divide into fourths, and form each fourth into a ball. Press the balls out into patty shapes and place in the fridge to chill for ten minutes. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat the skillet on high heat and gently place the patties in the pan to brown– about 2 minutes on each side. Here’s a warning: These have very little filler, and very little glue. It may take some patience and some care to keep them from falling apart during this part of the process. If it happens, don’t worry. you can reshape it a bit before it goes into the oven, and no one will no the difference. Believe me. I know. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Place the browned cakes on the baking sheet, and then spray the tops with more cooking spray for a bit of extra crispness. Pop them into the oven for 15-20 minutes in order to heat them through.ย 

A little recipe calculator told me that these are 4 points each.

My salmon cake had flavor! It was moist, and did not resemble a hockey puck at all. Success! I’ve had enough good crab cakes since moving to the east coast to know that the less filling there is in a fish type cake the better. That’s why there are only a few crackers and a bit of egg in these. I love the sweetness of the jarred roasted red peppers. If you don’t keep these in your pantry, you might consider giving them a spot on the shelf. I love them in potato salads, pasta salads and all sorts of things– including these cakes. I topped my cake with some raspberry wasabi mustard, and tossed a zucchini on the griddler to have as a side. I loved my lunch!

After lunch, I took one of yesterday’s chocolate covered bananas out of the freezer, and it was even better with the banana actually, um, frozen! It also took a long time to eat, which is a great quality in any dessert.

Chocolate Covered GoodnessI’m so enamored with these that I scoped out the chocolate at Whole Foods today in order to find some to wrap around my two remaining bananas. I found this:

The GoodnessGinger+ Chocolate + Banana? You bet! I made a batch this afternoon, and I can’t wait to try them! I also picked up a new bar that I snacked on after my WF trip:

Raise the BarThis Kashi GoLean Crunchy Chocolate Pretzel bar was ok. I think I like Coffee Cake flavor of this line of bars the best so far out of the ones I’ve tried. Even so, it was pretty good, and I definitely ย liked the pretzel bits. I followed it up with a blueberry Oikos:

Blueberry OikosThe bluebirds approved! These were on sale at WF today, and I picked up several. I love the blueberry Oikos the best of any of the flavored Greek yogurts I’ve tried. I found the Chobani fruit flavored yogurts to be too gloppy and gooey. I think this one is just right. I didn’t even add any crunch!

Close to dinner, I munched on another little treat from my WF trip. I love cherries, and I look forward to their appearance at the farmer’s market and the grocery store each year. They are, hands down, one of my favorite fruits. They are so sweet and juicy, and I also think they are just so darn pretty!

Just a Bowl of CherriesThese are like Sweetie Pie crack. I could eat them all day. So good!!

When it came time for dinner, there was really only one thing I wanted: Breakfast!!

Dinner BrekkieI had two slices of turkey bacon, a fried egg, some berries, and two Van’s 97% fat free waffles topped with a bit of maple syrup. Yum! These waffles are much better than any other frozen waffles I’ve tried. I will be buying them again. This was exactly what I wanted, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Dinner was, of course, followed by dessert. I wanted to swing by the Gelateria up the street today on my way to WF, but since I’m trying to really behave myself post-cruise, I decided to splurge on a container of gelato at WF. That way, I’d know the number of calories and be able to make a wise choice. It wasn’t a sacrifice. Not at all! I picked up a container of Ciao Bella Maple Ginger Snap Gelato. Oh my!! It was delish!ย 

Ciao Bella!I’ve never found a gelato in the U.S. that comes close to the scoops I enjoyed a couple of years ago while in Italy, but maybe it just tastes different when you are in Florence or Rome? ๐Ÿ˜‰ This will definitely do.

There is a bit of a story about the crumbs on top. I bought a ready made reduced fat graham cracker pie crust some time ago, and it fell out of the top of the cabinet and broke into a bunch of pieces. The pieces were nicely protected under the plastic cover, but it was still a broken mess hiding under the lid. I decided to just crunch it all up, put it in a container, and use it to top ice cream, pudding, yogurt and whatever else comes along. I’m sure I could add some butter and make it back into a nice crust shape, but I’m happy with my crumbles. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

That’s it for today’s eats. I’m doing better with my sugar cravings, and I think that’s because I’ve been eating more fruit. Now that there are cherries available, well, that should help matters tremendously!

I had a great workout tonight in the gym, but I’m sorry I didn’t get my bicycle out this afternoon before the rain started. It is collecting dust, and I’m missing feeling the breeze through my bicycle helmet hair. I vow to take advantage of the next nice day that provides the opportunity. Now, I’m off to turn on the slow cooker so my steel cut oats will be nice and creamy in the morning, and then I’m off to bed. Ciao for now, bloggies!

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Filed under Alaska, Bananas, Chocolate, cooking, diet, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Salmon, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Take a Hike!

In Juneau, I hiked on the East Glacier Loop trail in the Tongass National Forest. After trekking up several hundred feet, we were treated to this view of the Mendenhall Glacier:

Mendenhall GlacierWhen I scheduled my hike, I knew it would be good exercise, but I had no idea I was going to enjoy it so much! The day was kind of cloudy, and the air was chilly and moist. It was also so FRESH! There were only six people in our little group plus the guide, and I think we were all struck by the peace and quiet and the smells of the forest. There were lots of lovely views along the way, and there were several little things that really struck my fancy. If you are a foodie, I don’t have to tell you how great these are:

Fiddleheads!Fiddlehead ferns! They were growing everywhere. I wanted to make like a bunny and start nibbling!! While tasty, given my music background, I also love them for the resemblance to stringed instruments. Although, I guess these were around long before violins hit the scene. Hmmm…

There were also some cute little mushrooms, but I, of course, wouldn’t nibble on those without an expert opinion first.ย 

MUSH-roomsIt was a bit early (and cold!) for flowers, but these little guys were doing their best to get the party started:

Party AnimalsWe took a little side jaunt and saw this pretty waterfall near the end of the trail:

WaterfallEverything was just so lush and green! I got some good exercise, learned a lot from our knowledgeable guide, and now I think I might need to find more opportunities for this sort of hiking in my own backyard. Bliss!

After the hike, I went back to town and met up with my friends at the super touristy but super fun Red Dog Saloon.

Red Dog SaloonI clearly needed to refuel with a big juicy burger, potato salad and a Guinness. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Necessity!Excuse the messy hike hair. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d been hoping to see a bear on the hike, but I guess most of them were still napping. I had to settle for this one at the saloon:

TreedFun!! Today, I hiked to work as usual, and I didn’t see any bears on that hike either! Although, work was a bit of a bear. I had a super busy day, and, as convenience would have it, I ate exactly the same things I had yesterday. That’s my way of saying that I didn’t have time to take photos. If you’d like to see today’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, just check out yesterday’s post. ๐Ÿ™‚ There were a few small changes. First, I didn’t have any more dried apples so I had a date and a piece of light string cheese instead. Second… I ate my celery first today and then just ate the peanut butter straight from the spoon. Hee hee. Sometimes I want my PB in a concentrated dose, and the crunch of the celery was sort of addictive on its own.ย 

I did have some different things after dinner. In keeping with my goal of eating less sugar, I made another smoothie. These really are sweet enough, filling and satisfying. I’ve been mixing fat free sugar free butterscotch pudding mix into pumpkin this week, and loving it! I finished off my pumpkin today, but I still had a serving of pudding mix left. I started to wonder…

Butterscotchie Shake SmoothieI used to love milk shakes with caramel ice cream topping blended in. I decided to put the rest of my pudding mix in a cup with 6 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, half a scoop of Jay Robb’s Vanilla Whey Protein and a few ice cubes, and then give it a zip in the magic bullet. I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before! The pudding mix made it extra creamy, and it totally reminded me of one of those milk shakes. This will not be the last Butterscotchie Shake Smoothie I make! Yum! What’s your favorite flavor of milkshake?? I always love smoothie inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

I followed that up with this little plate:

Blue Plate SpecialStrawberries topped with a bit of Galaxy granola and a bit of dark chocolate dreams PB really hit the spot. I think I may have a vitamuffin before I head to bed because I should be able to sleep my way through any sugar hankerings that might result. All in all, it has been a great day! I’m so glad to have three days to get things back in order. I hope you are enjoying the photos from my vacation. I’m having a great time sharing them with you! I have a fun little outing planned for tomorrow, and I’ll tell you all about it later. For now, I’m off to hibernate like a bear until the morning. Ciao for now!

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Filed under Alaska, diet, Fitness, Food, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Back on Track

Here’s today’s Alaska photo taken while trekking on Mead Glacier in Skagway, Alaska:

True Blue

I got a lot of close up photos of the glacier while walking around on its surface, and this is one of my favorites. I never realized that the water was really and truly so very blue!

To get on to the glacier, Iย took a helicopter ride, and I got to wear a groovy orange safety vest!

Safety FirstI also had on some awesome boots that kept me from sliding into a crevasse and a ski pole type thing for a bit of extra stability. Stylish! I learned a lot on this vacation, including the fact that glaciers are pretty dirty, in part thanks to all of the mountains and trees they have chewed up, and also the fact that moss actually grows on glaciers. Amazing! Talk about determination! Check out this little fella:

Awesome Moss-omeSo cute! One of my favorite sights from up in the air was this view of Heart Lake. I’m sure the name is self explanatory!

Heart LakeI loved my helicopter excursion. It was so much fun, and the view from the sky was unlike any other! Needless to say, getting back to the grind has been a challenge over the last few days, and I’m missing the sights and sounds of vacation. I am not, however, missing the overeating! I started today with a bowl of my beloved oat bran:

BrekkieWhile on the cruise, I didn’t have the option of nuking the fruit along with the oat bran, so I just chopped up fresh pear to go on top. I realized how much I like the contrast in texture between the creamy oat bran and the crunchy pear. I may never cook my pears in the bowl again! ย I also topped this bowl with a few chopped pecans and some cinnamon. There is some Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein and a small smackerel of hunny mixed in too. It wasn’t very sweet, but it was, well– just sweet enough. I realized how out of control my sweet tooth has gotten while on the cruise, and I’ve decided to dial it back a bit. Don’t get me wrong– I’m not ditching one of my favorite things. I’m just going to try to have a bit less for a week or two and see what happens. Speaking of things that are sweet, I hope you checked out my new moose mug! ๐Ÿ™‚

When lunch rolled around, I had a nice little array of eats:

Lunchy LunchSince I haven’t been back long enough to really cook anything, I decided to grab a Trader Joe’s Soy Corn Dog out of the freezer. I got a box of veggies yesterday in order to restock the fridge, and I made sure to get plenty of cucumbers and celery. They are perfect low calorie crunchies for a girl who’s trying to get rid of a cruise pooch! I had some hummus with my cucumbers, and then I finished off with a dessert of Wallaby Dulce de Leche yogurt (my fave!!) and some Fiber One cereal for even more crunch.ย 

I came back to lots of things piled up on my desk, and I had a working lunch. I hate not being able to concentrate on my food while I’m eating it, but that kind of lunch happens from time to time whether I like it or not! I had some tasty snacks during my busy day too, and I tried to focus on fruits and veggies rather than sugary bars when I was packing my lunch bag this morning. What did I have? Well, first, I had aย half cup of canned pumpkin mixed with 1/4 package (8 grams) of dry butterscotch fat free sugar free pudding mix. It sweetens up the pumpkin and makes the texture a bit creamy. I also had some Emerald Cocoa Roast almonds on the side. I need a bit of protein in any good snack, and these did the trick!

Sweetie Punkin' and Nutty GoodnessI also had celery with peanut butter…

Perfect Pair… followed by a bowl of afternoon oats.

Good Anytime of DayI really like this flavor. I picked it up at Whole Foods just because it sounded good, and it turned out to be a great choice! It isn’t too sweet and the flaxseeds give it a little bit of extra tastiness.

I was at work a bit late, so I decided to have a little package of dried fuji apples too.ย 

FruityliciousWhen I finally got home, I made a huge salad using items from the veggie box (tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, celery and lettuce), chopped ham, goat cheese and a bit of balsamic vinegar. It was crunchy, fresh and light. What could be more perfect after a week of heavy eating?!

Big ol' SaladFor dessert, I decided to have a sweet treat, so I broke open one of the So Delicious mini neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. I really enjoy these, but they are definitely “mini.” The best way to eat them is one LITTLE bite at a time! After this treat, I headed off to the gym.

So Delicious!After I finished my workout, I wanted something else sweet, and I decided on a smoothie made with unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, vanilla Jay Robb’s and a few strawberries. This was very satisfying even though it wasn’t as sweet as some of the other options I considered. Taming the sugar monster is going ok so far!

SmoothI also had an apple with a bit of peanut butter to finish off my eats for the night.

Can't go wrong with this snack!All in all, I had a day of fresh eats, and I’m starting to feel better. I’m still suffering from tight pants and an inflated scale, but I know these things take time. I really appreciated all of the comments on yesterday’s true confessions post. You guys are awesome! Now, I need to get to bed. One more day and then we have a long weekend!! Thank goodness! I hope to get in the kitchen and make something good to have in my lunches next week. I missed my kitchen! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ciao for now, bloggies and have a great Friday!!!

P.S. I’m still not caught up on blog reading, but that’s on the agenda for the weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!

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Filed under Alaska, diet, Food, Weight Loss, Weight Watchers

Return to Normalcy… and Berries!!

Square MealGood evening, friends! I want to thank you for the comments on yesterday’s post. It’s always nice to be reassured that I’m human, and that everyone has overly eatful days. I’m just trying to find a good balance, and days like yesterday totally throw me for a loop! Hearing the ways that y’all react to bottomless pit days really made me feel better. Hugs to you all!!ย 

Today was back to normal, as I’d hoped. Thank goodness! I started off with a big bowl of five grain cereal, oat bran, smashed banana, vanilla almonds and honey. I’ve been having bananas in my breakfast bowl all week because I’ve been trying to eat things I have on hand rather than restock the fridge in preparation for vacation. As you will see in a second, I caved today. I had bananas in the freezer so it’s been bananas every morning. Tomorrow, I’ll be back to a morning favorite…

I was definitely back in my nut butter groove today after eating less than usual over the last couple of days. I had a little pink lady with some mighty maple as a mid-morning snack:

Snick SnackNut butter is just SO satisfying! There was an interesting bit in the Post about nut butter (and how awesome it is!!) If you are interested, you can check it out here.

For lunch, I had not one– but TWO cabbage nests topped with the rest of the goat cheese from the fridge, some scallions, some chopped up pieces of chicken breast that I tossed on the griddler this morning and a little Country Bob’s sauce. Barbecued chicken cabbage nest pizzas? Cleaning out the fridge is underrated!!

Cabbage Nest LunchingI followed that up with a piece of Chocolate Banana Snack Cake from the bag of baked goods in the freezer. I put a little layer of mighty maple in the middle. PB hit #2 of the day.

Chockie PB LoveRather than just feed on one sweet snack after the other, I decided to try to have a savory snack. I think the sugar monster was a bit out of control yesterday, and I think that might have been part of the issue. I popped a 100 calorie bag of popcorn and topped it with some Kernel Seasons ranch seasoning. I’d seen Kernel Seasons products on-line, and I was shocked when I found some hiding on a bottom shelf at my Safeway. I got several flavors, but I hadn’t actually tried any of them until today. I’m sure that greasier buttery popcorn would do a better job of holding on to the seasoning, but it worked just fine and added a little bit of extra flavah. I approve of Kernel Seasons. Sah-loot! I’m going to have to try this on a baked potato. I have a feeling it’ll be goooood!

The KernelWhile snacking on my popcorn and working on the long draft that occupied much of my day, I heard something. I had to investigate. There’s a fountain down below my balcony, and, as much as I love it, it’s kind of loud– even up here on the 12th floor! Today was the day to turn it on, and the results were interesting. Apparently, it could have used some preliminary cleaning. I’m no fountain expert. I’m just sayin’…

Not So PrettyYuck! I can envision the Addam’s Family with a black fountain, but it isn’t such a great look for my building. I hope it looks better tomorrow. Ewww.

I ย made some iced tea this afternoon that was a much nicer color than the fountain water. This loose melon tea makes great iced tea, and today, in a stroke of sudden inspiration, I figured how to satisfy my love of sweet tea by adding a bit of sugar free French vanilla Torani syrup to this glass. It was so good with the melon flavor. I don’t know why I never thought of it before!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, and speaking of French… in case you haven’t noticed based on various pictures in numerous posts, I’m a sucker for cheesy things with French words on them. What can I say? Ooh la la!

TealiciousIf you love tea as much as I do, you should definitely check out this awesome tea giveaway hosted by the Hungry Yogini! Actually, don’t check it out. I want to win!!!

When it came time for another snack, I decided to have a container of my favorite pre-flavored yogurt, the awesome Wallaby Dulce de Leche. On the side, in keeping with my attempts to impose a bit of restraint on the sugar monster, I picked one of the lesser sweet cereals in the pantry– Quaker Essentials Crunchy Corn Bran. A serving of this cereal is huge, and it kept me crunching for a long time. I also think that, since the yogurt is so sweet, the less sweet cereal makes a great pairing. People get jobs doing wine pairings. Do you think I have a future in yogurt/crunch pairing?ย 

Wonderful WallabyI needed a bit of nut butter, so I followed that a bit later with a few little wafers topped with PB #3 of the day. This was Mighty Maple again. Love it!

PB NibblesAfter I logged out of work for the day, I decided to combine a quick run with a trip to Whole Foods. I couldn’t stand the lack of fresh things anymore, and I wanted to buy a few things that would last in the pantry and be ready for me when I return from vacation. Before I headed out, I had this bowl– one of my faves!! Milk chocolate Ghirardelli chips and Galaxy Granola Vanilla Almond Munch. I lurve it!! I figured a few carbs would make for good fuel. ๐Ÿ˜‰

AwesomenessI was planning to do about 20 minutes of running, but it started raining around minute 10. At minute 15, I decided to go ahead and duck into Whole Foods to do my shopping in hopes the rain would stop for my walk home. I went to the gym tonight to finish up my workout as planned anyway, so I just tacked on five more minutes. No biggie! It was nice to run outside a bit, and it was great to just break up the monotony. I didn’t get to kickbox today because something came up around lunchtime that needed my attention. I’m usually able to go to class on my “work at home” days, so I can’t complain too much about missing on occasion. I think I might try to go to the Saturday class. We’ll see.

I picked up some almond breeze, frozen fruit, a new huge container of Jay Robb goodness, oat bran (I was almost out… eek!), some yogurt and egg beaters with June expiration dates, and a few other things that will last just fine in the fridge and be here for me when I get back. I hate coming home from vacation to an empty fridge! I’m usually ready to eat super healthy, after some vacation eating, and I hate when I don’t have good things at my fingertips! I also got some fresh berries, spinach, cucumbers and hummus because I was going crazy without them. I don’t think it will be hard to eat them all up before I leave on Monday morning. I don’t mind that challenge at all!

After I put the groceries away, I had a lovely plate of cold foods along with more iced tea. It was like a picnic! I had some more of the chicken I grilled this morning, some Springtime Market Potato Salad (loving it, by the way…), some fresh cucumber, and my favorite Whole Foods hummus— caramelized onion. This may sound like a bad thing, depending on your taste, but it reminds me of the Lipton onion soup mix and sour cream dip that we used to have a few times a year. I always loved it, and that’s why I’m such a fan of this hummus. Good memories… and good eats!

Blue Plate SpecialI followed that up with some Vanilla Snowflake LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream and some strawberries. Oh, how I’ve missed my berries this week. Seriously!! I need that hit of red. I tossed in a few little vanilla wafers too. Yum!ย 

LaLoo- hoooooooo!After that lovely bowl, I went to the gym to finish my workout. Then, I decided it was time for more of my berry loves. It was time for more chocolate chips too. This bowl is like deconstructed chocolate covered strawberries. There’s no way to go wrong with that!! It was yummy, and it really hit the spot.ย 
BerryliciousNow, I need to hustle off to bed if I’m going to tuck myself in by 11:30 I have a lot to do this weekend (including packing for my trip!!!), and I’m hoping that tomorrow flies by! I’ve already mixed up a breakfast cookie to have in the morning, and I’m looking forward to that too. I’ll have sweet dreams knowing it’s waiting in the fridge!ย 

Since everybody loves a Friday, I’m wishing you a speedy day and a great weekend too!! Ciao for now, bloggies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Asparagus, Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story