Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Jessie!

What a weekend.  Somehow I survived, but I'll probably be a tad tired tomorrow.

Saturday morning Cheri and I started out bright and early at 6:45 AM on our bikes to ride to Delhi.  Think we went about 9 or 10 miles, and had about 10 minutes before the 5K started.  It was a nice course, had some hills mixed in, which I like.  It got pretty toasty out though, and I was dragging.  My goal was to get under 30 minutes, but I didn't make it.  : (   I ran it in 30 min 10 sec.  Not bad I guess, since we put in the bike ride beforehand.

By the way, my breakfast that morning was a black cherry almond Clif bar.  I chugged tons of water then headed to the farmer's market to get some farm fresh eggs.... but they were out!!  So sad.  I did pick up a couple peppers- green, banana and jalapeno.

After showering we took off for Chi-town.  Lunch was Quiznos, which we both love.  I especially loved my meal, had a spicy chipotle turkey Sammie, and a harvest chicken salad.  The chicken salad was amazing.  I could have just had a huge one of those.  Lettuce, honey mustard chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, apples, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, topped off with a little acai vinaigrette.  I can't tell you how much I loved this salad, but I don't know if I was just starving or if it was that good.

We made it Jessie and John's house, and it was all decked out for the big party.  It was such a perfect night, not too hot and not too buggy.  They had quite the spread, forgot to take a picture of everything.  I did take a picture of my plate, a piece of fried chicken that I peeled the skin off, chinese ramen salad and a chopped salad from Portillo's. I could have had a whole plate of each of those salads. I accompanied my meal with a Sol (Mexican beer) and lime.

I may or may not have had a couple of those Mexican beers, and a big piece of the birthday cake.  Happy 30th birthday to my BFF!

The party went late into the night, and I have no idea how I stayed up so late.  I did have a s'more and some pasta at about 1 in the morning.  It was just calling to me.

Finally made it to bed and got a solid 4 hours of sleep before Tyler decided to get up.  Today was not a stellar day for meals.  I called it a "vacation" day.  Breakfast was a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, which was the healthiest of John's cereals!  : )

For lunch we went to Five Guy's for a burger.  It's supposedly pretty popular.  I did not know how huge the burgers were... should have gotten a little one.  You get to choose what you want for toppings- I had pretty much everything but mushrooms.  Hubby and I shared some fries.  I wasn't really impressed, didn't think the burger was that good and the fries weren't great.  Jessie and John had cajun fries which were better, but this meal just didn't sit right.  I felt like crap the whole way home.

We did stop at Hy-Vee in Dubuque again and picked up some goodies.  You'll see what we purchased as the week goes on.

You'd think once I got home I'd grab something super healthy.  Nope.  We had reheated pizza.  Oh well.  Back on track tomorrow!!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicken nacho night

Well we somehow made it through the day without our front desk gal Kelly.  I know some people say they could never work with their spouse, but we actually work well together (or so I think).  Doesn't hurt that we both stay busy and hardly see each other during the day.

So let's see... breakfast was some left-over plain Chobani that I used in the banana bread.  Oh yeah, I did have a piece of that for breakfast.  So I had the plain yogurt, added a little vanilla and honey, blueberries, chia seeds, and slivered almonds.  

For lunch I had a spinach salad- chicken, blueberries and toasted walnuts.  With the dressing. 

I've been saying all this time that I'm adding toasted walnuts, guess I can clarify on that.  I take a few walnuts and throw them in a non-stick pan on the stove and heat them up for 2-3 minutes.  It just warms them up and they get a nice flavor.  Just don't leave them in too long, like I did today.  Didn't quite burn but they were definitely some toasty nuts.

Since it's Friday and we never feel like preparing much after a long week, we went with an old favorite.  Chicken nachos!!  Since it's kind of an unhealthy option, we try to make it as healthy as we can but still make it sinfully delicious.  So we use organic blue corn chips, chopped up smart chicken, black beans (drained and rinsed), cut-up spinach and.... the cheese.  Most of the time we use some wholesome Velveeta.  Tonight we classed it up and used a new kind: queso blanco.  We melt about half a container with a can of hot Rotel.  Soooooooo good.  

Here's a pic of the ingredients, I didn't bother taking a picture of the final product because it's covered in spinach and you can't see the individual ingredients.  Plus if you wait too long the chips get soggy and that's no fun!!

Tomorrow morning should be interesting.... riding my bike to Delhi then running a 5K race there.  I hope I don't pass out.  I'll have to wait to recap everything for you, I'll be heading to Chicago for my best friend's 30th birthday party this weekend.  Chi-town!!  Be back Sunday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rum for breakfast?

Thank you hubby, for letting me sleep in today!  I was so energized I decided to finally use those brown bananas.  So I made coconut banana bread with a lime glaze.  And yes the recipe calls for rum, so I broke out the Captain.  While I was making it, I had a piece of toast (with Ezekial bread) and some crunchy peanut butter and a drizzle of honey.

I found this recipe on a blog I read, Our Best Bites.  It was taken from a recipe that was originally found in Cooking Light.  The original didn't have the glaze, and it had rum instead of apple juice or milk.  I thought it'd be fun to use rum.  Here's the recipe:

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C (4 Tbs) real butter, softened
2 large eggs

1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt (I used plain Chobani)
3 Tbs dark rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut
Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice (I used concentrate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and beat to combine. Add banana, sour cream or yogurt, rum, and vanilla. Beat until blended.
Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 C coconut.

Pour batter into a 9×5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Note:Check bread after about 40 minutes. If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil. Continue baking until done.

When done, remove pan from oven. Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan. Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top. Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.

Here's a before pic:

The batter tasted pretty good, and I didn't get a buzz in case you were wondering

And here's an after pic:

Forgot the whole part about checking at 40 minutes and covering with foil

And here's a close-up of the awesomeness:

This is a little different than my normal "healthy" banana bread that uses whole wheat flour and flax seed meal. I'll post that one someday.  This recipe is definitely chock full of sugar.  Think each slice is maybe around 200 calories.  It's pretty worth it though.  One tip: when measuring out the sugar, I almost always use just a little less than what the recipe calls for.  Chances are, you don't really need all of that sugar.  It's not one of the chemical necessities in a recipe like baking soda or eggs or oil.  Try it and see what you think.

Moving on, I did not get a picture of lunch because I ate it so fast.  Just another spinach salad with chicken, toasted walnuts and blueberries.  And my fav dressing.

Checked a bunch of stuff of the to-do list today, which felt good.  Supper was a grilled chicken breast (marinated in Italian dressing I think- hubby prepared din din) and some pasta.  Chicken was soooo good, since we stocked up on smart chicken when we were at the big city grocery store.

Definitely lacking some greenage... need to stock up on broccoli!

Had our second to last softball game tonight and sweated buckets. We won. We're doing much better than we thought we would!  We did stick around for one beer since we had a babysitter tonight.

That's all for tonight... get pumped, tomorrow's Friday!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Choice of beverage

Happy hump day.  Since I was up at 4 am, I just stayed awake and went for a little swim this morning. It was much harder than I anticipated, so I think I'll be bumping up my swim workouts since the countdown to the tri is on.  When I got home and showered up, I had a bowl of mango Chobani, blueberries, coconut and chia seeds.  I looove mangos- fresh, salsa, margaritas- but for some reason this one wasn't my favorite.  It was good, don't get me wrong, but it was a little more sugary than what I'd like.  It did taste great with the coconut.

I did have a quick piece of peanut butter toast after that because I was still hungy.  That was the theme of the day- I was always super hungry!  I'm pretty sure I was actually just dehydrated though.  More on that later.

Lunch was another spinach/salmon salad.  Just put blueberries and a little mozzarella cheese on with my sesame ginger dressing.

Also had some of the jalapeno chips that I had yesterday.  And I finished the rest of the bag.  

Those bags are pretty tiny, trust me. 

We had to pack up Tyler at lunch and take him to our friends Doug and Erica's house so she could watch him since the babysitter got sick.  Had a crazy afternoon in the clinic and finally made it over there to pick him up.  My friend Heidi and her two boys were visiting- so good to see them, even if it was for only a short time. Doug fired up the grill and we had some delicious jalapeno cheddar brats, as well as a pasta salad and corn on the cob!!  I only had one little cob but I expect to have many more this summer!

I have just been hungry all day, but I know it's because I didn't drink enough water.  I try to drink at least 64 oz. as a minimum every day.  I probably needed more yesterday because I had a massage and went on a long, humid run.  I get kind of sick to my stomach when I get dehydrated.  

I pretty much only drink water.  I will have an occasional glass of juice, most likely orange or V8-based.  Pop very very rarely, and hardly any milk.  I have all kinds of reasons for staying away from milk, that's another post (and for those of you worrying, I get plenty of calcium).  

Believe it or not, I have quite a few patients that say they don't like water.  If that's the case, there are other options.  They do make a Crystal Light now that is flavored with Stevia, instead of aspartame.  I've tried the lemonade flavor and it is excellent!! Highly recommend it if you're bored with water.  There are some calories in it, but they're minimal.  Look for Crystal Light Pure.  If you want more flavor, but no calories and no added sweeteners of any kind, just throw some cut-up lemons or limes, or even cucumbers in a glass of water if you want a little flavor.  No matter how you get it, just make sure you get enough water throughout the day.  The body thrives when it is well-hydrated!

And I haven't really looked at a pop label lately to look at the ingredients, but NO. Water in pop does not count.  Ice cubes in pop do not count.

That's my soapbox for the day... leave me a comment if you have any questions!! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another hot and humid day

Good day to stay completely indoors today, as the humidity was crazy.  However we did not.  Got another complete night of sleep (yay!) and had a bowl of raspberry Chobani with 2 small cut-up peaches, and a sprinkle of coconut and chia seeds.

De-lish.  After that I packed up Tyler and headed to the massage therapist. I've been having some elbow problems that come about once a year (during slow pitch season) that needed to get worked out. Her girls watched Tyler while I was getting worked on, and I'm pretty sure they put a tutu on him. And took pictures. Can't wait to get ahold of those for future blackmailing!

After that we headed in for his 4 month check-up, even though he's 4 1/2 thank you very much.  :)  He's a growing boy! 16 pounds and 27 1/2 inches. Guess all that pumping is worth it. The ARNP said he's pretty advanced and it's time to baby-proof the house since he'll be crawling soon. If you saw our place, you'd know it was pretty far from baby-proofed, unless that means having plenty of cords around for him to chew on and plenty of exposed outlets that don't even have the plate on. Maybe we'll just build a big cage for him to play in.  

Lunch was a salad, surprise surprise. We had a little left-over salmon so I thought I'd throw that on for protein.  I wasn't sure how it would taste but it was pretty darn good. Didn't hurt that I added blueberries, feta, and toasted walnuts.  And of course sesame ginger dressing.

I worked in the clinic this afternoon, and after finishing up I headed out for a run with Cheri.  It was so humid out it was hard to breathe.  Very thick air.  We did about 3.3 miles though, and 0.5 miles of that were intervals.  Good idea for those of you stuck in a rut: instead of doing just the same ol' cardio every day or every other day, change it up and add some sprints in.  Or not necessarily sprints, just pick up the pace for awhile then recover.  I like doing these workouts at the track but the track was busy tonight.  I'll run a 1 or 1 1/2 mile warmup, then run 1 mile of sprinting the straight-aways and jogging (or walking depending on the day) the curves.  Then always add a little cool-down.  Great challenge for the body, and you'll see results faster!

Here's me after the run- very disgusting. 

Supper was 2 huge glasses of water, an open-faced sandwich of turkey, roast beef, sharp cheddar and spinach on Ezekial bread and some yummy jalapeno chips on the side.  They have these in the gluten-free section at Fareway and they are soooooo good.  I'm pretty sure I could eat the whole bag in one sitting, but I might end up burning a hole through my mouth because they are a little spicy.  

That's all for today... swimming at 6 tomorrow morning.... what are you doing for exercise tomorrow???

Monday, July 25, 2011

I love my little baby.

So many reasons why I love my little guy, but I especially love the way he slept through the night last night. He finally got rid of his head cold/allergies. We all really needed that extra sleep- great way to start off the week!

Breakfast was vanilla Chobani with blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds and a little All-Bran cereal. Stay tuned for some bran-banana muffins this week.

Can't even see the yogurt!

Lunch was a grilled roast beef and sharp cheddar sandwich. We got some awesome roast beef from Hy-Vee yesterday, so I made a sandwich with Ezekial bread, sharp cheddar and the roast beef, smeared some yogurt spread on the outside and grilled it up. Then you add spinach and some mustard.  Yummy!  For a side I had the leftover grilled veggies from the other night.  

Tonight we had a softball game, so didn't eat until late but did have another awesome salad- sorry no pic, you can only see so many salads. Salad was spinach, strawberries, chicken, feta, walnuts and some of my fav Newman's sesame ginger. Also had a couple bites of hubby's steak.  

So being a new mom, can I just say it's the coolest thing in the world?? I think this every day, but for some reason today, it just melted my heart to see his little smile. You could be having the crappiest day ever, but then you come home and his face just breaks out into this enormous smile just because you're there. That unconditional love is just like nothing else. I always figured I'd have kids, I had no idea how much it would change my life.  Now this little guy is the center of my universe and I'd do anything for him.  So much fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Craigslist bargain hunter

This morning I made a list that had 4 things on it to get done.  I only got one done, but it was a still a somewhat productive day.  

I was up from 12 to 3:45 with Tyler but hubby took the rest of the night so I actually got a little sleep!  It felt great.  Woke up and got to eat my first attempt at making overnight oats.  This recipe is all over a couple blogs I read, and it always looked delicious.  So I tried it.  Here is the recipe I used from My Journey to a Healthy Berg, except I used a small scoop of real peanut butter.  I added dried cherries and slivered almonds on mine this morning.  You put together oats, protein powder, milk, and cocoa powder in a bowl, cover it up and eat it the next morning.  It's supposed to taste like a no-bake cookie, but I had to use hubby's gross protein powder.  It wasn't bad.

Didn't really feel too hungry for lunch, so I just had the left-over quinoa and black beans as well as one of these:

I did make it out today for a long bike ride followed by a run (that was the one thing on my list I accomplished).  It was really hard to run because it got pretty hot out, but I powered through and it felt awesome.  

Self portrait before the killer workout

Sweaty aftershot- doesn't accurately show off how gross I was

My workout partner Cheri- she generously allowed me to post a sweaty pic

After showering up, I found out that a desk I had found on craigslist was available, but whoever could pick it up first got it.  So we headed down to Center Point to get a sweet desk for only $45! Pics will come later.  

We also stopped at Hy-Vee in Hiawatha to get some groceries (organic spinach! Larabars! smart chicken! and much more-sorry no pic).  We ate some Chinese while we were there, I had the beef with broccoli, steamed rice, chicken egg roll and crab rangoon.  It was ok, didn't eat all my rice or egg roll.  Hubby did not like his.  Should've gone to Quiznos.

I was going to write more today, but I'm pretty beat, so it will have to wait.  Look for a WOTW tomorrow- workout of the week!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Up for 18 hours now

Yup, I've been awake since 4:00am. Guess who woke me up. I was ok with it, because I figured I would go for a run, but even after waiting 2 hours, this is what it looked like outside:

If you look at the bottom of the window you'll see a lake forming in our backyard. No run for this girl.  

So instead I whipped up a breakfast to get rid of the store-bought eggs we still have. I used some wheat berry Earth Grains bread and made some french toast.  

Mix up some eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla, dunk the toast and cook it up. I topped mine with fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I only had two pieces but I could have had twenty.

After working this morning, we came home and had some lunch before running errands. Had ONE piece of the taco pizza from last night, and this salad which was actually 100 times better than the pizza.

It included spinach, chicken, toasted walnuts, strawberries and blueberries, and some dressing left over from the babysitter's leftover salad from Betty's Bread Basket. I'm not sure what kind of dressing it is, but it has poppy seeds in it and it's delicious.  

Tyler and I were pretty tired and crabby all day, so we just hung out together. Didn't get much accomplished except for preparing the awesomest (yes I know that's not a word) supper. Hubby grilled up some cajun salmon on a cedar plank and I made a quinoa and black beans side dish. This is one of my favorite meals we've done lately, and it's pretty darn healthy. Lots of protein!

Hubby and his cedar plank cajun salmon

Me and my tired self showing off a delicious side dish!

Here's the recipe, which I swiped from

Submitted By: 3LIONCUBS
Photo By: Dianne
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 50 Minutes
Servings: 10
"Whether you're trying quinoa for the first time or just trying a new recipe for quinoa, this mixture of quinoa, black beans, corn, and spices will make this dish a new favorite."
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2.Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,

Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

I followed it pretty much to a T, and it was ah-mazing. I guess I did ease up on the cilantro since hubby doesn't really care for it.  I love it so I put a little in. It has a little kick to it though, just warning you. Here's the complete meal:

Not the best pic, trust me it tasted great

That is all, I plan on getting some major rest tonight, so I can get geared up for a bike/run day.  Hoping to put in a long post tomorrow... have a couple thoughts I'd like to share with you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stormy night

Looks like it's going to storm most of the night- good to have the rain I guess, but not good when I need to run outside and don't have a treadmill!  Didn't make it out this morning because of the rain, plus I was exhausted from getting up with Tyler, again.  We'll see what happens tomorrow morning.

Breakfast: Vanilla Chobani with blueberries, coconut and chia seeds

Lunch was the exact same salad as Wednesday so I didn't feel like taking another picture. Chipotle chicken on spinach with black beans, salsa, and sharp cheddar.

Usually on Fridays we crash and don't feel like preparing anything, and tonight was no exception. Casey's taco pizza. So good yet so bad. 

It has lettuce and tomatoes on it, does that count??

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3 AM

Oh Tyler. Definitely hitting a growth spurt. Today he woke up at 3:30 in the morning, crying because he was hungry. Usually he'll go back to sleep if I just lay by him or console him, but this time he wanted milk. Lots of it.  

Not a great way to start my day. Managed to get a little sleep before I had to go into the office to see a patient, but not much. That kind of set the tone for a somewhat lazy day. Don't think I had breakfast until 9 or so. 

Ezekial bread with PB, pomegranate Chobani

I had a serious carb craving around 11, so I threw the leftover whole-wheat spaghetti noodles in a small frying pan with some minced garlic and olive oil and sprinkled shredded parm cheese over it. 

I guess that was my "lunch". Snacked on some fruit the rest of the afternoon.

Since we don't have access to organic produce here in town, the next best thing is to use a produce cleanser to get rid of as much yucky chemical residue and other junk. Here's what I use:

It's different than just rinsing your produce. The next couple pictures show before and after, check out the scummy water from the blueberries and the strawberries.

Blueberries soaking in Biokleen

So fresh and so clean

Dirrrty strawberry water

Oh my gosh I love watermelon. When I was pregnant last year I think I ate a whole watermelon every 3 days by myself. So good.

On to supper. Marinated some chicken in two different sauces, seen here.  Tastes good, but unfortunately they both have a lot of sugar in them.  

While we were grilling, I mashed up an avocado, in the hopes that Tyler would miraculously decide he wants to eat big kid food.  

I was originally adamant that he have only breastmilk the first six months, to avoid any food allergies and to give him the best nutrition possible. Since he's a little milk monster and he seems very interested in what we eat, I thought I'd just try it and see what happens.  

Avocados are easy to digest and they contain many of the essential fats and nutrients that we need. Well, Tyler wasn't having it.  He tried and tried, but just kept lapping at it, like a cat. Guess the tongue-thrust reflex is still there... we'll try again soon.  

So of course I wouldn't let that delicious avocado go to waste. Added a touch of cilantro, garlic powder and parsley flakes and dipped a couple tortilla chips in it.  

Here's a pic of the veggies that went on the grill- got to use my new Pampered Chef grilling basket!

And the completed meal:

After supper I headed to a Wildtree party that one of my patients had.  I haven't ever heard of the company but I guess they sell natural spices and sauces and stuff.  I sampled a couple things, and ordered a couple items, I'll let you know how it goes.

Did you notice there's no mention of exercise today?  Ugh. I had so many hopes of doing a double workout- swimming/bike or swimming/run and then going to yoga... but of course none of that happened.  This triathlon is coming up awfully soon.  

Must get going!!