Blue Teeth and Big Salads

By Katie, 10:13 pm

Evening, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Wednesday. We’re over the hump and the weekend is in sight! :-D

Breakfast

My breaking of the fast was actually in two parts, due to the fact that a 9-mile run was on the agenda. Whew! I got up nice and early to run first thing. Before I headed out, I fueled up with half of a naner and some shredded wheat.

My run went really well! The fact that I don’t stress about my time or my pace is what makes these long runs not only possible, but also enjoyable. I just chug along at whatever pace my body feels comfortable, enjoying the sunshine and the scenery and my thoughts. :-)

I came home and did a very good thing – stretched!!! My friend Jory, whom you may remember from her fabulous guest post, sent me some stretches to try, and I gotta say, doing them felt really good. Like, really good. Thanks, Jory! :-) Maybe I’ll finally get over my bad habit of not stretching!

Then I made myself my real breakfast.

French Toast! I took two pieces of homemade bread, dipped them in an egg bath with some cinnamon and nutmeg, then put them in the skillet with some nonstick spray for a minute or so per side. Enjoyed with a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

If you are not yet using pure, real maple syrup, I have to ask…why not??? It tastes so much better than the fake stuff, which is filled with frightening ingredients, and a little goes such a long way; a tablespoon or so was plenty for these two pieces of toast.

I also had the other half of my banana.

And some Greek yogurt for PROTEIN.

Mid-Morning Snack

My eating schedule was all out-of-whack today. My French toast was consumed around 10:00 a.m., so I wasn’t hungry enough for lunch at the usual time. But I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon, so I knew I had to eat something or else I’d be gnawing at my arm later on. I went with a Blueberry Smoothie.

Two heaping cups spinach, one cup almond milk, and a cup or so of frozen blueberries.

Maybe not the wisest choice before going to the dentist…my teeth definitely turned a bluish-purplish tint! :lol:

Attractive, I know! ;-) (Don’t worry, I brushed them back to white immediately after this photo was taken!)

Lunch

Besides having to wait in the waiting room for almost forty minutes, my dentist appointment went very well! You might remember from my Monday Confessions that I do not floss. I also had not been to the dentist in three years. :oops: So I was quite relieved to learn that my gums are actually pretty healthy! I do have one cavity :-( but all things considered I say not bad!

After that adventure, I finally got to eat some lunch – at 4:00!!! 8-O

Yep, another mega salad. It’s quite colorful, no?

This one contained:

  • spring mix lettuce
  • sprouts
  • shredded carrots
  • cucumber
  • a few big tomato wedges
  • hard boiled egg
  • 2 torn slices of deli turkey (Applegate Farms brand – the most “natural” I’ve been able to find)
  • red grapes for some sweetness
  • big dollop of hummus (I put a bit on my fork for each bite)
  • a few shakes of Penzey’s Salad Elegant seasoning

I have two things I’d like to say about salads. First, I hear a lot of people accuse them of being boring. I’m sorry, but this is anything but!

Second, I hear people complain that salads are not filling enough. My response is that you need to make them BIGGER (with voluminous veggies) and you need to add quality sources of PROTEIN and FAT. (Eggs, beans, grilled chicken, tuna, nuts, seeds, etc.) Then your salad will fill you up!

Afternoon Snack

Even though I ate my lunch at 4:00, I still had a snack later on because Dave and I have a tendency to eat dinner quite late.

Another Glo Bakery success! The texture of these bars is just dead on.

Dinner

Pulled out the old George Foreman for dinner tonight.

Had we planned ahead a bit better we could have used the charcoal grill outside, but since it was pretty late, the Georgie worked just fine.

Simple grilled chicken breast topped with Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa and some mango chunks.

Grilled zucchini seasoned with lemon pepper.

Sauteed spinach (from Dave’s container garden out back!) with a bit of garlic.

Simple, quick, balanced, delicious.

Evening Snack

I just finished enjoying this lovely dessert.

Plain frozen yogurt topped with strawberries and Annie’s bunny fruit snacks. :-D

Whew! I am pooped! Time for me to do a little of this:

Except I think I’ll go for the bed instead of the radiator. ;-)

What are your feelings on going to the dentist? Hate it? Don’t mind it? Are you good at keeping up with your regular cleanings and check-ups?

AND

Do you appreciate a good mega salad? What are your favorite ingredients to throw in the bowl?

When You Eat, Get Off Your Feet!

By Katie, 7:53 am

I think of myself as a “grazer” in the sense that I prefer to eat smaller meals and snacks continuously throughout the day. But in the past I was more of a “grazer” in the sense that every time I’d pass through my kitchen I’d snag a bite to eat.

In the house I grew up in, you have to pass through the kitchen to get to any other room in the house, so I literally grabbed a treat or two from the cookie jar every time I came home.

And do you think I put these cookies on a plate, sat down at the table, and gave my full attention to savoring them? Yeah, right! :roll: I ate them on the fly, grab-and-go style. Which means I was constantly eating standing up.

Until I discovered that it is quite difficult – if not impossible – to eat mindfully while on your feet.

While I’ve actually never read this book by Geneen Roth (although I’ve read many others and highly recommend them!), the title really says it all:

(Can you read that? The title is: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair.)

If you’re trying to learn how to eat more mindfully and with greater awareness, a great way to begin is simply by insisting that before you eat anything, you will sit down. It’s a relatively easy rule to follow, since it does not put any restrictions on what you’re eating or on the quantity. But it immediately brings your awareness to the fact that you are indeed eating. Because I don’t know about you, but when I would eat “on the fly,” I often acted as though those nibbles “didn’t count.” :-?

While this whole sitting-down thing may not seem like such a big deal, once I started doing it consistently I actually made an important discovery about myself. I think that I used to eat standing up, passing through the kitchen, because I didn’t feel like I deserved food or the pleasure that comes from eating it. Because I “felt fat,” I thought I was only entitled to bites snuck here and there.

When I made the effort to put my food on a plate – even if it was just a tiny snack – and actually sit down and enjoy it, it felt like I was nourishing myself in a way that went beyond the physical. I was saying to myself, “Katie, there is nothing wrong or bad about eating this food. You deserve not only to eat it, but also to enjoy it to the fullest.”

So the next time you’re passing through the kitchen and want a nibble, I say go for it…after you’ve pulled up a chair. ;-)

Do you ever eat standing up? Do you find it affects your ability to enjoy your food, to give it your full attention? Do you ever find yourself thinking that food eaten while standing up “doesn’t count”?

Honey-Soy Salmon

By Katie, 3:11 pm

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about salmon.

The health benefits of salmon are incredible. It’s low in saturated fat, but an excellent source of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon also contains important vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B12, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Check out WHFoods for a full breakdown of the many, many health benefits of this wonderful fish!

Salmon is also great because it’s really simple to work with, and since it’s not very “fishy” tasting, many people who aren’t usually big fans of fish tend to like it. I personally adore it. :-)

Honey-Soy Salmon is a really simple recipe, one that gives the fish a touch of sweetness without overpowering its naturally pleasing flavor. And the best part is, it only takes a little over 30 minutes, start to finish…including marinating time!

Honey-Soy Salmon
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 salmon fillets (4-6 oz each) (for sustainability purposes, choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon)
1/3 cup honey (I use raw honey, which is great!)
2 tbsp soy sauce (preferably reduced-sodium)
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp sesame oil (you can substitute olive oil, but I think the sesame oil really adds great flavor)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425º.

2. Combine the honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

3. Place the salmon fillets in a plastic bag and pour the honey-soy mixture over them.

4. Allow the salmon to marinate for about 20 minutes.

5. Place salmon on a baking sheet/dish lightly coated with nonstick spray. Roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets.

Do you cook with salmon? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

Why Not?

By Katie, 9:50 pm

Hey, everyone! Can I just tell you how much I loved reading your Monday Confessions? :-D Isn’t there something liberating about acknowledging your own imperfections and realizing that others struggle just as much as you do? You all made me feel better about not flossing since apparently a lot of you don’t either! ;-)

Let’s see some food, shall we?

Breakfast

Strawberry-Banana-Almond Overnight Oats!

Last night I combined:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • handful of sliced strawberries

Popped it in the fridge overnight, then added some sliced almonds in the morning. Yummy!

Mid-Morning Snack

Well, before we get to the snack, let’s talk exercise. I went to the gym and did 3.5 miles of hill intervals, and later I did some upper body strength training and a solid ab workout. Three cheers for getting my strength training in even though I didn’t feel like it!

I also have an exciting announcement to make! As you may already know, I’m training to run the 10-Mile Broad Street Run in Philly on May 2. Well, my training plan has me building up to an 11-mile long run, which got me thinking…if I’m in the kind of shape that I can run 11 miles, what’s 2.1 more? So I’ve decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon on May 23!!! When I asked Dave if he thought I should run it, his response was, “Well, why not?” And I thought, “Exactly! WHY NOT?” I want to have more of a “why not?” attitude toward life! :-D

After the gym I went to campus to get some books for a research paper, and picked up some things at Trader Joe’s as well. Snacked on a Clif Z bar in between stops.

In the name of reducing my added sugar intake, I took a look at the ingredients:

Can you read that? Fourth ingredient: Brown Rice Syrup. Fifth ingredient: Tapioca Syrup. Sixth ingredient: Honey. Seventh ingredient: Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup. I don’t think those types of sweeteners are so bad, but it’s just a lot of them! No wonder my beloved Z bars taste so heavenly! At least the sweeteners are organic. :-?

Lunch

I was feeling a mega-salad today.

That glorious bowl contained:

  • spring mix
  • snow peas
  • grape tomatoes
  • red pepper strips
  • small fillet of Honey-Soy Salmon (leftovers from last night’s dinner – recipe forthcoming! It’s delicious!)
  • Pure2Raw Pumpkin Seed Kale crackers
  • dried cherries
  • drizzle of rice vinegar

I got a little picture-happy with that salad, didn’t I? :oops:

I also had a sliced apple with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge (which apparently browned while I photographed the salad!).

Really fresh and satisfying!

And for a little lunch “dessert,” two medjool dates.

Afternoon Snacks

This first snack is a new favorite! I got the idea from some lovely blogger out there, but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was. If you thought of this combo, I thank you immensely!

Wholegrain wrap smothered with hummus and topped with shredded mozzarella. Microwaved for 30 seconds so the cheese got all melt-y and delicious!

I also had two hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. A classic snack food!

Dinner

Tonight I showed some lovin’ to my slow cooker. Dare I say, the humble slow cooker may be one of my favorite kitchen tools. There’s something so simple and lovely about throwing a bunch of ingredients in, leaving the scene, and returning hours later to the magnificent aroma of a ready-to-eat meal.

Today’s slow cooker recipe: Taco Soup!

I was inspired by this recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I put the following into the slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (next time I’d use 1/2 packet)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth

I cooked it all on Low for 5 hours, then pulled out the chicken and shredded it. Dave and I topped our Taco Soup with fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Besides being a tad too hot for my taste, this was amazing! I made a big batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers. :-)

I also had a side salad with spring mix, sprouts, cucumber, carrots, and zucchini.

Evening Snack

A simple dessert.

Fresh fruit with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

And because today was a bit dreary here on the East Coast, I will leave you with some brightness.

Beautiful flowers from the Hubs. :-)

Have you ever run a half marathon? What was your experience like?

AND/OR

Do you have a slow cooker? Do you use it often? What’s your favorite slow cooker dish?

P.S. Check out this awesome Galaxy Granola giveaway!

Monday Confessions!

By Katie, 7:29 am

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I read health and fitness blogs and am shocked by how insanely healthy the blogger’s habits are. 8-O

But then I remind myself that no one is perfect or perfectly healthy – even those who may appear to be. I also remind myself that healthy living is a journey more so than a destination. You don’t work on it and work on it and then stop once you “get there.” Rather, you keep facing changes and challenges and ups and downs.

Thanks again to Nicole for her inspiring post on Imperfections! Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already!

So in the spirit of recognizing/accepting/being upfront about the fact that we’re not perfect, I thought it might be fun to do some Monday Confessions. These can be either unhealthy habits we have or healthy habits that we lack.

I’ll go first. :-)

Monday Confessions (alternative title: Ways I Am Not Perfect)

1. Dehydration.

(Source)

I do not drink enough water. I really don’t. Especially considering the amount of running I’m currently doing. For some reason I just don’t feel thirsty. (Or perhaps I’m confusing hunger with thirst? Not sure. :-? ) And while I know this is a relatively easy problem to fix (just drink more water, duh!), I still don’t. Grrrrr, I need to JUST DO IT!

2. Sugar

When I take a hard look at my diet, I really do consume a lot of sugar. I generally don’t add sweeteners to things like tea, but too many of the products I buy list some kind of sugar or sweetener pretty close to the top of the ingredient list. I’m talking about things like cereal (even the so-called healthy ones!) and bars (a lot of them are practically candy bars!).

I’d like to work on consuming less processed sweeteners (NO artificial ones), in moderation of course. But honestly, I find all of the information out there on sweeteners a little overwhelming: agave nectar, honey, stevia, brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice…I don’t know what’s (semi) natural and what’s totally processed! (I know that none of it is nutritionally-dense and should all be consumed in moderation, but I also know I can’t cut sweet stuff out entirely, so I want to make the most natural selection possible.)

If anyone has any resources on this topic, I’d love if you shared them! I’m desperate for quality information!

3. Flossing

(Source)

I do not floss. There, I said it. :oops: I’m an excellent brusher and mouthwash-user, but flossing is another story. Again, no idea why I don’t just force myself to do it, but I don’t. I generally have good intentions when I begin a new flossing regimen, and yet the thread or the picks or whatever flossing tool I’m using usually disappears from sight within a week.

This is actually a major issue considering that the only cavities I’ve ever had have been in the spaces between my teeth. Ugh. :-? I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday where I’m sure I’ll get the flossing lecture…maybe this time I’ll actually make a real change? Here’s hoping!

4. Stretching

Do you know anyone who goes for an 8-mile run and barely stretches afterward? I do. Am I setting myself up for an injury? Probably, and that really makes me mad at myself. :-x I think it’s a combination of wanting to be finished working out, not feeling particularly sore or tight, and not having a solid stretching “routine.” Again, if anyone has a good resource for stretches for runners, I’d love if you shared it!

Ok, I think I’m all confessed out for today!!!

What is your Monday Confession? What’s an unhealthy habit you have, or a healthy habit you lack? Any tips for helping me overcome some of my unhealthy habits?

Fishy Fishy in a Brook…

By Katie, 10:17 pm

Hmmmm, can you guess what I consumed a lot of today? ;-)

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Mine has been absolutely lovely so far – running, good food, and quality time with my husband. I’m not sure what else I could really ask for!

Breakfast

Sorry, folks, nothing super unique or creative. Weekends are usually a time for special breakfasts, but Dave and I had a run planned, so breakfast was mostly about FUEL.

Kashi Warm Cinnamon Heart to Heart in almond milk with sliced banana. In a pretty bowl. :-D

(FYI: I realize in the pictures it looks like my bowl is practically empty, but there are actually two servings of cereal in there. I don’t know if I need to get better at representing depth in my photos, or get smaller bowls, or what! )

After breakfast Dave and I headed out for our run. I usually run alone, so having a partner every now and then is a fun way to mix it up! We went to one of my favorite spots.

This beautiful lake is only 5 minutes from my house, and it has a great walking/running/biking path surrounding it.

We did 2 loops around the lake, plus about 2 miles on a trail at a nearby park, for a total of 4.75 miles. Sweaty smiles afterward. 8-)

I planned on doing a little strength training after our run…and then I didn’t. That’s been happening a lot lately.

Mid-Morning Snack

After our run we came home and broke into my Glo Bakery stash.

This flavor was awesome! Chock-full of cranberries and apricots.

Lunch

Dave and I spent our afternoon checking out a new grocery store. You know you’re a foodie when you get incredibly excited about grocery stores, right? ;-)

HMart is a chain of Korean grocery stores offering a wide selection of specialty items and ethnic foods of all types. If you can’t find it anywhere else, you can probably find it at HMart!

It also has a great little spot where you can order practically any kind of Asian meal. We hit that up before beginning our shopping. Enter Fish Meal #1 for the day…

All I can say is that I ♥ sushi…a lot!

I got a Tuna Avocado roll, as you can see. I also had some seaweed salad.

This was seriously the perfect lunch. I want to eat it again…right now. ;-)

Afternoon Snacks

While walking through HMart, we came across free samples of rice cakes that a man was making on the spot. Yes, please!

We walked around the grocery store for a long time. Again, you know you’re a foodie if you can happily spend your entire afternoon in a grocery store! We were there for so long that by the time we were ready to check out I was hungry again! So I picked up a container of fresh melon to snack on during the drive home.

Over the course of the afternoon I ate all of that melon. That’s right, all of it.

And some carrot sticks for some extra veg.

Dipped in some white bean puree left over from my white bean/avocado sandwich. Pureed beans make a great dip, by the way!

Dinner

HMart had the most amazing fresh fish counter I’d ever seen. While I certainly love fish, Dave really loves fish, so I encouraged him to pick anything he wanted for us to cook up for dinner. We ended up with some mackerel fillets. Neither of us had ever cooked or eaten mackerel before, so we were excited to try something new!

We simmered the mackerel in a gingery-soy sauce mixture. I really liked the sauce, but the fish itself was just ok. :-| A tad too “fishy” for me. But at least I know I got plenty of omega-3s today!

On the side I roasted some Brussels sprouts and mushrooms.

And enjoyed a thick slice of our homemade 100% whole wheat bread. (I was too full to finish the bread; I probably had 3/4 of it.)

Evening Snack

Dessert was yet another HMart find: a Japanese Rice Cake.

I gotta tell you, I did not think I was going to like this. I found myself thinking, Why did I buy this? I can’t believe I’m taking the time to photograph something I’m not even going to end up eating!

But to my surprise, it was pretty good! The inside looked like this:

The inside was a red bean paste kind of thing, and the outside tasted like a less-sweet gummy candy. It wasn’t like any “dessert” I’m used to, but I enjoyed it!

Hmmmm, while I’m sitting here typing this I’m feeling like I’m not quite satisfied, so I might have an apple or a small yogurt once I post this. Just so you know. ;-)

I hope the rest of your weekend is spectacular!

Do you usually exercise by yourself or with a partner? Do you exercise with your significant other?

AND/OR

Do you like sushi? If so, what’s your favorite? I’m a tuna roll kinda gal, but I also love all kinds of veggie rolls. California rolls can be good too!

Food Revolution: My Six Cents

By Katie, 8:36 am

Did any of you watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night?

Having missed the original airing of the first episode, I was glad they re-ran it last night before the new one. I was literally glued to the TV for those two hours, and there are very few things on television that truly keep my attention! ;-)

I don’t want to comment too extensively on his basic message: that wholesome, nutritious, fresh food is preferable to processed crap. I obviously believe that wholeheartedly, even on the days I don’t fully practice what I preach. I also really appreciate his message that people deserve to be eating fresh food that actually nourishes their bodies. It’s a basic human right.

Beyond that, here are my 6 off-the-cuff thoughts on the two Food Revolution episodes that aired last night:

1. I really appreciate how seriously he’s taking his mission, and the fact that he’s emphasizing this seriousness to everyone else. Yes, there’s a bit of sensationalism going on, and he’s definitely using scare tactics to get his point across (how many times was the word “death” used? Many!). But I think that’s necessary to help people see that this isn’t a joke or a game; the quality of our food (and consequently, our lives) is not an issue that we can just laugh off.

2. Jamie Oliver’s lunches look delicious! I would eat in his school cafeteria any day!  :-)

3. The notion of a REVOLUTION is not just clever marketing. I was talking to my Mom – who works as an elementary school lunch lady – about this. (For the record, she does not mind being called a lunch lady. ;-) ) She said that unfortunately, making change probably does require more of a top-down than a ground-up approach. She said that she would love to see changes, but her school is so tied down by government restrictions and regulations, and of course there are budget issues (as they pointed out in the show). So for change to happen, it will need to be WIDESPREAD, probably originating with the powers that be.

4. I think the strategy of using visual demonstrations is a really smart one. Again it’s part of the sensationalism, but I feel like you need that to get through to people. So while his truck load of fat certainly made for good television, I think it’s important beyond that. Sometimes you just need that SHOCK FACTOR. 8-O

5. I was flabbergasted when the first graders were completely unable to identify fresh produce – they had no idea what a tomato was! But then I started wondering how much fresh produce I would have been able to identify at that age. I like to think that I could have identified a tomato, but I’m almost certain I would have been clueless about an eggplant. Like a lot of kids, my diet consisted of a lot of chicken nuggets and french fries, and I certainly never questioned the source of my food.

That segment really made me think about how much I want to give my future children the INFORMATION they need to make smart choices, in the hopes that having the resources and tools will make them more likely to appreciate good, fresh food. Knowledge is power!

6. Not surprisingly, people were getting extremely defensive when they were told that they are unhealthy or that their food choices are poor. It’s a very emotionally-charged situation. While in this case it might be in part because Oliver is coming across the Atlantic and trying to shake things up, I’ve noticed the same thing even in my everyday life. When people who are not interested in health and fitness find out that I enjoy running or that I write a health blog, they get defensive about their lifestyles too. (“So I’m guessing you never eat dessert, right?” Or “Of course she’s getting a salad, she’s always so healthy.”)

Such reactions are pretty normal; who doesn’t get a little defensive when they feel they’re being criticized (even if they’re not!)? But it’s important to realize that if change is really going to happen, it needs to be approached with the recognition that as a general rule, people don’t respond well to having their food choices or their lifestyles criticized, even if it’s for their own good.

Did you catch the Food Revolution episode last night? What are your thoughts? If you post about the show on your blog, feel free to share the link in Comments so that we can get as many perspectives as possible!

A Stranger’s Act of Kindness

By Katie, 4:28 pm

**Thank you so much for all of your well wishes for my mom’s surgery; your thoughts, prayers, and sweet comments are greatly appreciated! I’m happy to say it went very well. She’s a little uncomfortable and has to sleep upright for the next week 8-O , but that’s a small price to pay for her vision!**

I wanted to share just a quick little story with you. Recently I was having one of those grumpy days. You know the kind. For whatever reason, I woke up annoyed and it only got worse from there. I was irritated with Dave over nothing at all, and I even snapped at my lovely little kitties!  :-( I was just being a grouch and trying to bring everyone else down with me.

What brought me out of this crabby state-of-being? A stranger’s little act of kindness.

Later in the day I went to the grocery store. When I reached the check-out counter, I was greeted with a genuine smile and a “How are you doing today?” from the cashier. She was bright and bubbly, but not in the so-overly-chipper-it’s-annoying kind of way, you know what I mean? She just seemed happy to be alive! :-D

In response to her question, I replied gloomily, “Oh, you know, it’s just one of those days.” She nodded in understanding.

Once all of my canvas bags were packed, the cashier handed me my receipt. But instead of the customary “Have a good day” that usually seems so forced and unauthentic, she looked me right in the eye, gave me a big grin, and said, “I really hope your day starts getting better soon.” And you know what? In that moment, it did.

No big deal, right? And yet how often do we take that extra second – make that small extra effort – to show some genuine kindness to a complete stranger?

The situation was a good reminder for me that you just never know when a seemingly inconsequential action is going to have a major impact on someone else. Flashing a (genuine) smile, holding the door open, asking someone how they’re doing and actually listening to the response – these little everyday acts might be just what the other person needs.

Have you ever been the recipient of a complete stranger’s small act of kindness?

A Day of Ups and Downs

By Katie, 10:22 pm

Hi, everyone! I hope that you had a calm day…which would be the opposite of mine! I can think of no better way to describe my day than a ROLLER COASTER. One that has a lot of hills. And let’s just say that I’m not the biggest fan of amusement parks. :-?

DOWN: Waking up

I slept horribly last night, and ended up staying in bed an hour later than usual. I felt so off that I decided to put off exercising in the hopes that I’d feel a bit more like myself in the afternoon.

UP: Breakfast!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal!

For some reason I always think of baked oatmeal as a weekend kind of breakfast, but making an individual portion is actually easy and fast enough for a weekday if you play your cards right. If you pop it in the oven before you blow-dry your hair and do your makeup, it will be ready for you at the exact moment you’re ready for it! :-)

My baked oatmeal contained:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup plus a bit more almond milk
  • touch of salt
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • roughly chopped roasted almonds on top

I just mixed everything (except the almonds) together, then baked it at 375º for about 25 minutes. It was lovely!

UP: Shopping and Post-It Notes

I had some random errands to run in the morning, which included purchasing a desperately-needed sports bra. I was literally down to one that fit properly and wasn’t completely stretched out. So now I am at two.

While in the dressing room I posted an Operation Beautiful note. I post them for the benefit of others, but writing the message is a real mood-booster for me too! :-D

DOWN: Lunch

I had big plans to make a really fun lunch today, but I got so hungry while I was out and about that I stopped at Subway. Not that I don’t love Subway! It just wasn’t as exciting as what I thought I’d be eating. Another day, another lunch, I suppose!

That would be a veggie monster: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, banana peppers, sweet peppers, red onion, and honey mustard.

DOWN: Nap and Momma News

I told myself that when I was finished my errands I would immediately come home and do homework. Somehow I ended up on the couch snoring for 45 minutes. :oops:

And then, about 2 minutes after I came to, I got a call that my mom is having emergency laser eye surgery in the morning for a torn retina. :-( We actually don’t know a lot of details because she needs to go to a retina specialist who was out of the office today. But apparently it is crucial that she have the surgery as soon as possible to prevent major damage to her vision. 8-O I immediately rearranged my schedule and will be driving to York to spend the day with her tomorrow. I’d appreciate any prayers and/or positive vibes you could send her way!

UP: Snack

You really can’t go wrong with a LARABAR.

Love this flavor!

DOWN: Run

Ugh, my run was just crappy, one of the worst I’ve had in quite some time. It pretty much stank because:

  • I was overdressed and felt way too hot the entire time.
  • I started out too fast and then had trouble finding my groove.
  • I meant to run 4 miles but miscalculated the route and ended up running a little over 5.
  • I had to deal with numerous catcallers (I’ll save you my full rant, but I will say that the fact that I am running by your construction site is not justification for whistling at me or commenting on my body. :-x )

You win some, you lose some, I guess!

UP: Post-run snack

Apple slices and Pumpkin Seed Kale Crackers that I got at Fitbloggin’ from Pure2Raw!

Fabulous ingredient list.

These were really flavorful! They were so much better than the kinds I sampled at FitBloggin, which I think had onion in them.

I went back for a few more…and by that I mean that half the bag is already gone! ;-)

DOWN: Homework

Enough said.

UP: Receiving word that my friend from college went into labor…can’t wait to get the call that her baby girl has arrived safe and sound! :-)

UP: Dinner!

I love sandwiches, and this one totally rocked. I got the idea from this blog post.

The sandwich was made up of:

  • HOMEMADE (by Dave!) 100% whole wheat bread (we’re seriously considering switching entirely to homemade bread…it tastes so delicious, has no preservatives and only a handful of ingredients, and Dave’s really good at making it!)
  • pureed white beans seasoned with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper
  • avocado slices
  • Bibb lettuce
  • alfalfa sprouts

I already can’t wait to re-create this for lunch tomorrow!

On the side, some sweet potato cheetahs! (Note the spots. 8-) )

Ketchup for dipping.

Such a delicious dinner!

UP: Reading other health and fitness blogs and feeling totally inspired and uplifted! :-D

UP: Dessert

Ending it on a sweet note!

Chocolate Fig VitaTop smothered with peanut butter.

Whew! All that up and down motion kind of made me sea sick! ;-)

How do you handle roller coaster days?

AND/OR

Are you a Subway fan? What’s your go-to sub?

A Spontaneous Picnic!

By Katie, 2:02 pm

If you’re a naturally spontaneous person, I envy you.

I am a hard-wired, hard-core PLANNER, and being spontaneous – even about little things – is really challenging for me. So I was quite surprised at myself last night. It was a gorgeous day outside, and Dave got home from work a little early. He walked in the door and suddenly I heard myself saying, “You want to scratch our dinner plans and go have a picnic?”

So the new pasta recipe I was planning on making (and sharing here on the blog, if it was any good) was postponed and a spontaneous picnic ensued. :-D

The goods:

PB&J for Dave. Turkey, provolone, and plum jam for me. Plus an apple and some peanut butter pretzels. And POM juice to wash it all down.

The handsome hubs.

(Not sure why he looks like he has a bowl cut in this photo…he actually doesn’t, I promise!)

And yours truly.

I suppose there’s really no purpose to this post except to say that sometimes a little spontaneity is fun…even for us mega-planners! ;-)

Are you spontaneous? What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

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