Monday in Review

So after a weekend (and then some) of eating out and getting drinks with friends I was ready for some simpler meals cooked at home. And after working three days on top of all that fun I was ready for a rest day and to sleep in. Luckily the birds weren't too loud, probably because the rain drowned them out and I slept until 8am! That's a rarity these days. I wasn't too hungry when I woke up, but once I started making coffee I figured why not make some breakfast. Went with a classic oatmeal with banana and almond cashew butter. I am going to be sad when this nut butter is gone! Enjoyed while reading emails and blogs. I know I should be more mindful while eating breakfast, but this is one of my favorite ways to start my day.

I spent the morning studying for an upcoming final as well as doing laundry. I hate doing laundry. It's the worst. But it's over now! Except for the fancy clothes drying on my drying rack currently.

Lunch was eggs. I love having eggs whenever I am at home for lunch. I had this for breakfast once at Julie's and knew I wanted to recreate it. It was two pieces of bread with some butter and melted cheese, two fried eggs, and siracha. Sandwich style with grapes on the side. Yum!

I studied some more in the afternoon before having a snack to get me through class and the afternoon. I decided on some carrots and chunky peanut butter. I used to eat this all the time in high school. It literally combines my two favorite foods. But I have to say I have qualms (spell check anyone?!) with chunky peanut butter. You end up eating so much more than with creamy peanut butter because it is impossible to spread if you put it on toast and the same amount just doesn't go as far as when you have creamy. But it's okay because my body needs fat to function and my body will let me know when it needs more fuel which might be a little later on. Spoiler alert: I usually eat dinner around 5:30 and that night I didn't even start cooking until 6:30 when my stomach started to make itself known. See how the body is amazing!?

Dinner ended up being a repeat of what I had a few days ago. Salad greens with bell pepper, tomatoes, and tuna mixed with olive oil and pesto. So good! I love tuna and I am definitely feeling the salads lately.

I stretched and foam rolled for a bit and now I'm going to kick back with some ice and maybe some cider or London chocolate 😍

img_6156

I had the double decker bar last night and tonight I went with the Cadbury Caramel...I have so much appreciation for London chocolate. Definitely ate the whole bar and I enjoyed every last bite of it.

Banishing "Perfect Eating"

My friend recently brought to my attention the discussion of food blogging versus orthorexia and asked my thoughts as a future dietitian. It's a sticky situation. On the one hand I want to blog about delicious and nutritious food, but on the other hand I understand that diet culture is out there and disordered eating is prevalent. For that reason, I hope that my posts and my pictures do not make it seem that I am a "perfect" eater. There is no perfect way of eating. And just because I will soon be a dietitian does not mean that I should be held to such a standard or that I should make others feel that they should eat a certain way. Moving on to my eats.

Breakfast this morning was slow and involved a peanut butter banana yogurt (I got very excited when I saw this in the store), corn flakes, a sliced banana, and a big scoop of peanut butter. I LOVE peanut butter and it's full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. I put it on so many things and a breakfast without peanut butter is incomplete in my mind.

Even though I woke up a bit later than normal and had what I thought to be a heavier protein breakfast I was hungry at 10:45. I sliced up a pineapple that I bought the other day and ate a few wedges before ultimately deciding to make lunch. Sometimes your body is hungry for a meal at odd times. Listen to your hunger, not the clock. But if you listen to the clock some days, you do you. Sometimes I eat because it's "lunch time." I made breakfast for lunch because Julie introduced me to the glory of siracha on eggs last week. I made two fried eggs on toast with smoked gouda cheese and siracha. Gouda may be my favorite cheese...so tasty.

Planning on having some extra vegetables at dinner since I haven't had any yet today, but that's okay. I had quite a bit of vegetables yesterday and like I said there is not perfect way of eating. Just because you eat a huge amount of vegetables does not make you a perfect eater. Your body needs a whole mish mash of foods to get the nutrients that it needs.

I finally dragged myself out the door for my run. This week I have six days of running planned instead of five. When I asked my sister why she said that "sometimes you have to do stuff you don't want to do." Thank you. Luckily for me the four miles were not bad. They weren't great either, but definitely better than my runs have been lately.

I came home to do a little bit of strength in the form of planks, bridges, hydrants, and clams. I am actively trying to prevent injury these days. And then I got to the good stuff: refueling. I had a small bag of popcorn with a mishmash of almonds for healthy fats and protein. I had some salted almonds and cocoa roasted almonds. I cannot get enough of these cocoa roasted almonds! Better than chocolate covered in my opinion.

I had class in the afternoon and walking in the sunshine and then going to my favorite class made for a good afternoon. And I did some planning for the week so I was feeling less stressed. Unfortunately I recently got an assignment back with edits from six editors and then immediately felt overwhelmed again. Therefore a glass of wine after dinner was needed (okay, so it wasn't needed but I wasn't handling the stress well and decided one glass of red wouldn't hurt. #antioxidants).

Dinner was pretty bland because I was running 19 miles the following morning and I didn't want to risk stomach issues. Therefore the roasted brussels sprouts stayed in the fridge and I mixed together leftover spaghetti, ground turkey, onion, frozen mixed vegetables, pesto, and of course cheese! I also made a piece of toast with butter and garlic for my homemade version of garlic bread. It was a hefty meal and definitely overshot my hunger, but did not feel too overly stuffed. It will definitely fuel me on my run.

As much as I wanted to watch Gilmore Girls all night long I decided to work on my edits. Three hours later and it's still a work in progress. But there is always tomorrow. Deep breaths, maybe a glass of wine, and a good night's sleep cures all. And a best friend who is there to listen.

WIAW - Brussels Sprouts!

I cannot wait to share the brussels sprouts recipe with you guys! But don't skip ahead or you'll miss some good stuff. The food featured today is everything (or almost everything since I am terrible with remembering to take pictures of my snacks) that I ate on Monday. Before I get into the food I want to mention why I like doing What I Ate Wednesday posts. It's not meant to make anyone feel bad or guilty about what he/she eats on a day to day basis. Everyone is different and every day is different. It's about sharing meal ideas and getting excited about food, all kinds of food! I also want people to see that dietitians (or future dietitians in my case) don't just eat fruit and vegetables. I eat all kinds of foods. I go out to eat. I cook for myself. And sometimes I eat eggs and toast for dinner. Nobody is perfect. And guess what? There is no perfect way of eating.

- - - -

Breakfast: OaTmEaL!!! By far my breakfast staple. Today was a rest day so no toast for me. I was stuck between yogurt and banana bread, but was really feeling the oatmeal. This batch was a classic peanut butter and chia seed oatmeal with frozen blueberries. Nothing beats frozen Wyman's blueberries on oatmeal. These little guys are so full of flavor!

Lunch: Leftover ciabatta baguette with avocado, spinach and two drippy eggs. Carrots on the side. Oh em gee. So good. I haven't cooked eggs on my non-stick skillet for making pancakes before but after throwing out an old pan I decided to give it a whirl and I have never made better drippy eggs! Can't wait to cook some more this week.

Snack(s): A banana because I am trying to eat a banana every day for the potassium. Cocoa roasted and salted almonds which is a perfect combination. And a clementine a bit later during class.

Dinner: The good stuff! I had chicken breasts cooking in Trader Joe's Golden BBQ sauce all day and could not wait to get home. Unfortunately, I left them cooking for too long and then didn't shred the chicken in more sauce so the breasts were so dry! Womp womp. On the plus side, I am loving Trader Joe's mixed quinoa blend because it cooks in ten minutes and is super tasty. I am all out right now and need to get some more this week. I also cooked up some brussels sprouts. I tried to recreate as best I could the brussels sprouts dish that I had at Duckfat. It was just missing the duckfat and the thick cut bacon...definitely adds something to the dish. Scroll down for the recipe!

Snack after dinner: 2 squares of chocolate. I have been keeping my chocolate bars in the pantry instead of the freezer and when I do decide I want some it is so much more satisfying when the chocolate actually melts in my mouth instead of cracking a tooth! I'm a fan :)

Duckfat Imitation Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts (the more the better)
  • 1 medium apple of your choice, diced (I used Golden Delicious)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard

Method:

  1. Cut the ends off of your brussels sprouts and then cut in half. Mix with some olive oil and roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes add the diced apple and onion to the pan and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Apples may still have a little crunch but that's okay.
  3. Once done, dump everything into a bowl and then add a big scoop of Dijon mustard, a few swirls of maple syrup, and a few swirls of apple cider vinegar. Taste. Clearly I didn't measure. If you want more maple, add more maple. If you want more kick, add more vinegar.

WIAW on Monday

I missed WIAW last week simply because I forget to take pictures of my food some days (gasp...I know). Anyways, I am back at it this week with pictures of what I ate on Monday. Breakfast was my usual staple of oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in. BUT this morning I stirred in about 1/2-1 tablespoon of maple syrup because I am overflowing in this stuff (pun 100% intended). I actually used to fear maple syrup because I love this sweet stuff so so so much. I remember dumping maple syrup on my pancakes and waffles when I was a kid. Like if it wasn't drenched then I was not pleased. And we were a pancake and waffle family, none of that egg stuff for breakfast. No sir. Anyways, I always found myself craving sugar for the rest of the day when I had maple syrup for breakfast and would consequently devour all sweets in sight. It wasn't until I realized that I needed some protein for staying power and that by restricting myself of maple syrup (and other sweets) except for weekends made for a heavy pour when I "could" have it. So now, after a maple weekend I am trying to incorporate a little bit of maple syrup here and there to satisfy my cravings in smaller amounts more frequently. I also had some maple candy that Julie's BF made when I visited her and that stuff pretty much melted in my mouth. This is similar to my approach with chocolate these days. By allowing myself some sweets everyday and any time during the day I usually can better control my cravings. Most days I have 1-2 squares of chocolate or incoporate it into my snack (trail mix) or a meal (oatmeal) and other days I have a few handfuls of chocolate chips. It's a learning process and nobody and no body is perfect (Thank you Hannah Montana).

After walking up to campus in the rain I met up with Molly to grab coffee before starting work. We got to the cafe at the hospital and I noticed they had Black Forest Speeder and Earl's coffee. I turn to tell Molly and her response was, "Today is our day, Megan." So true. So so true. This coffee is for real, what dreams are made of. I also bought an apple to have as a mid morning snack. I have been finding with increased mileage (I hit 41.5 miles last week) that I get hungry mid-morning. I have been trying to have some fruit when the hunger kicks in to increase my total carbohydrates as well as antioxidants.

Lunch consisted of kale and shredded brussels sprouts massaged with Trader Joe's Goddess dressing. Go buy this stuff. Seriously. Get up right now and go buy it. It's is so creamy and delicious and has a subtle mustardy, vinegary taste to it. Molly and I love it. She actually introduced it to me. She dressed a salad with it last week and I fell in love and my salads have not lived up to it. Teach me your ways Molly. Today's salad (with not enough dressing) also had two clementines and a handful of peanuts and a handful of almonds for protein. I wasn't in the mood for beans today and am finding myself limited in the protein department (why don't I buy more animal protein...my body needs the iron right now). I had pretzels on the side for my grain.

After working on our project for 5 hours straight (hello productivity!) I headed over to the gym for a quick run. I knew I needed to shake out my legs today after 17 miles yesterday especially since I work quite a bit this week. Unfortunately I did not give myself enough time to get the full 4 miles in before class, but I did manage 3.75. Julie should be happy with that...

I got to class 2 minutes before it began and was nice and sweaty. I have turned into that person. Just don't sit next to me. I proceeded to eat a Siggi's yogurt with corn flakes mixed in (see above picture). This week at the store I bought corn flakes because I was craving them (go me!). I imagine a bowl of yogurt, cornflakes, peanut butter, and banana slices in my near future. YUM!

I walked home from class and tried calling my sister but she didn't pick up (shocker...note the sarcasm). It was a dreary day, but some music helped a little bit. What helped the most was cooking dinner! I forget how much I love putting some effort into a meal. And honestly, not following a recipe is so much more enjoyable to me. I like zoning out and just going with the flow. Although I was disappointed when I forget to saute an onion tonight. I recently bought a bag of onions to increase their usage in my meals. Tonight I made sautéed eggplant and mushrooms and finally figured out the trick to perfectly cooked eggplant! Start with a little extra oil and just keep cooking over low to medium heat. The longer they cook the better. I usually get worried I am going to burn my pan and stop too early while the eggplant is still a little crunchy. No es bueno. I also cooked some whole wheat gnocchi, which literally cooks in under 4 minutes (once the water is boiling). The day I found this box in the pasta aisle really changed my world for the better. While all of that was cooking I microwaved some turkey sausage. When everything was done I portioned out the gnocchi, saving some for leftovers, and mixed with more oil and some parmesan cheese. Then I added the turkey sausage and veggies before topping with some crumbled mozzarella. Seasonings included garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. It wasn't a colorful meal, but it was SUPER tasty. I really wanted a glass of red wine to go with it, but didn't end up having any. I was feeling a bit dehydrated and didn't think that would be the best choice. Instead I ended the meal with two squares of chocolate and zero guilt. As my professor said today, it's okay to have dessert every night. It's okay. Grant yourself permission and see what happens. It's all about curiosity and being open to change.

(Sorry it's not prettier, but the taste it a-okay)

I am spending the night drinking Trader Joe's Organic Ginger Turmeric tea and working on a study guide for a test I have this week. Wish me luck! It's going to be a long week of homework, studying, and working, but next week I have off from work and JULIE COMES TO VISIT!!! I may spend more time working on our bucket list for the weekend. Topping the list is going to see Beauty and the Beast (and eating movie theatre popcorn).

WIAW - Traveling

Today's What I Ate Wednesday takes a look at what I ate on a day of traveling and site seeing. I woke up at 6:30 to my alarm and promptly fell back asleep. I had slept great and wanted a little bit more rest. So I slept until 7am and it felt great. The wind chill still said negative degrees so Julie and I opted to not go for a run. Good choice in my opinion. Breakfast for me was a large cup of coffee, two pieces of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and jam and two clementines. I have really been into the toast lately and this is what I brought with me to Julie's. I worked on some homework and some transportation planning for the next hour before getting ready. I had an informal interview at 2pm so I wanted to have enough time to look the part. Of course I couldn't find a blow dryer. But I had plenty of time to let my hair air dry.

Around 11am I had a yogurt for a snack because I was starting to get hungry and I knew I wouldn't be eating for a while. Julie's boyfriend was driving with me to Portland and we have epic eating plans. I know this wasn't the point of my trip to Portland, but I was so so excited. The night before we had researched Duckfat and Holy Donut. I had a minor heart attack when I thought Duckfat wasn't open on Mondays, but do not fear, it is. Julie and I also stalked Holy Donut's Instagram account and were drooling...

I spent some time researching the commuter rail and subway system for my travels the following day and of course it was supposed to blizzard...

Greg picked my up at 11:50 and we hit the road for Portland. We got to Holy Donut at 12:45 and ran inside expecting them to be sold out of the popular flavors. Lucky for us it was a Monday and we had our pick! Buying ½ dozen turned into buying a whole dozen. We couldn't resist.

  • 2 maple frosted
  • 2 dark chocolate coconut
  • 2 dark chocolate sea salt
  • 1 dark chocolate cinnamon
  • 1 sweet potato ginger glazed
  • 1 vegan vanilla coconut
  • 1 old fashioned
  • 1 berry cannoli
  • 1 vanilla glazed

I've never been a huge donut fan but when they are homemade and local and each one is hand cut I can get on board. Especially when the story behind the store is an owner's desire for a healthy donut. Because yes donuts can be part of a healthy lifestyle. I had a few bites...and then some of most of the flavors and am so happy we tried as many as we could because how often am I in Portland?! Thank you for the suggestion Colleen!! Greg and I sped over to Duckfat to get some food before my appointment at Maine Medical. The service was fantastic. I mentioned I had an appointment and the waiter said he could seat us immediately and likely be in and out in a half hour. I wish I had more time there. Greg and I both ordered snacks. Fried Brussels with apples and maple bacon in a mustard vinegar for me...

And poutine for him...

We both got the duck confit panini which had pickled apple and kohlrabi with an herb mayo.

After my appointment Greg and I explored some more. I was psyched he didn't go to Harbor Fish Market without me. We picked out some oysters and salmon to have later! I was the only one in heels in the Fish Market.

We also stopped at Cabela's to look at the stuffed animals and the fish and why not?!

We came home and I couldn't wait any longer to try the donuts!! We dug in. Julie and I split the dark chocolate coconut and tried almost all the other ones...don't worry there are still a lot left 😉

We finished the night with wine and oyster! Living the coastal life.

Greg also made us delicious salmon, rice pilaf and broccoli. I also had a few more bites of donuts because they were calling to me.

My appointments in Boston fell through tomorrow because of the storm so I am enjoying a snow day with my sister. And hopefully a run.

WIAW - Snacking and Homework

I woke up at 6am to eat some breakfast before running. I just wasn't feeling like running after eating just a banana. I needed more energy (aka I really just wanted to eat breakfast). So I had two pieces of Great Harvest toast (I bought Goldrush this time around, but I usually get Honey Whole Wheat). I had both slices with peanut butter and jelly (and chia seeds!). One I put the jelly on first and one I put the peanut butter on first. My experiment revealed that I like pb&j toast better when the peanut butter goes on first. The ratio of peanut butter to jelly needs to be at least 2:1.

I met Rebecca at 7:15am for a 4 mile run. It was so windy that while I was waiting for her my car was shaking...not feeling the wind these days. At least it wasn't freezing...yet.

I came home and showered, cleaned my bathroom and made another cup of coffee. I drank my coffee while doing some homework and eventually ate a clementine before heading over to Molly's to work on our research project.

Molly and I split a chocolate chip and walnut pancake (homemade by her roommate) while working. I didn't take a picture because I was starving and legitimately wolfed it down. I love pancakes...and these were so fluffy and delicious.

Once Christine arrived and brought the majority of our snacks with her (you're the best, Christine) we made a smorgasbord of foods for lunch. We had cheese and crackers (thankful I can keep cheese in my diet), chips and guacamole, apple slices (literally the best apple), carrots, artichoke dip (leftover from our book club), and scones. Molly bought berry scone mix from Trader Joes that we topped with a wee bit of butter. Yum!

Tea was had shortly after and nearly put us all to sleep! I brought some of my David's Tea purchase to share with the girls because I went a bit overboard yesterday. The sale teas were 50% off and I couldn't resist. I got a small bag of Snow Day and a big bag of Nutty and Spice. I also ate a few more crackers and cheese because I can't resist...

After a very productive and comfortable afternoon with two of my best friends I ran a few errands before going home.

I then spent so much time building my portfolio and printing some things for a scrapbook I'm making. It's officially done!!! I love having scrapbooks to look back on. The last one I made was for my study abroad experience in Spain.

I ate the last of my chili with some avocado slices on top for dinner. It was a later dinner because I was so full from lunch! I also ate it so mindlessly that I forgot to take a picture...I'm terrible at this.

Currently sitting down to do a little more homework while drinking some ginger turmeric tea from Trader Joe's and watching Gilmore Girls.

Look what came this evening...so excited for my tempo run in these babies tomorrow!

They're just so pretty!

WIAW and Numbers

HAPPY MARCH!!! What!!! I was bad at taking pictures again...I'm sorry. Truth be told, nobody wants to see another 6am picture of peanut butter and jelly toast. If there was natural light then yes it would look beautiful, but not before sunrise.

So yes I had peanut butter and jelly toast this morning as fuel for tempo Tuesday! I am actually really enjoying tempo Tuesday (now after conquering a tempo). Last night I was texting Julie explaining how nervous I was about trying a tempo outside by myself. Normally I do tempos on the treadmill because I can set my pace and just try to "hang on". But today while running outside and checking my watch frequently I realized that my pace changes based on wind, hills, scenery, music, etc. The treadmill is not realistic because nothing is ever perfect and nothing is ever that consistent. I loved doing the tempo outside. It helped that there was absolutely no wind and the sun was shining. And Julie was right, one day you will just hit your tempo and from then on you will know you can do it. Well, Julie today I realized I can run a tempo faster than an 8 minute mile and never did I think that would happen.

(How badly does this water make you want to water ski...?)

Something that marathon training has truly given me is increased body appreciation. Every time my legs carry me a mile further than the last training run I am proud (even though it hurts). Every time I run a mile faster I can't believe that I am able to put in the training that is necessary to show these improvements. It's something I never thought I could do. I looked at the training schedule my sister made me and I first thought, Yeah, okay. We will see how that goes...

And here I am. In week 3. Crushing my tempos! 7 mile tempos at that! Today's splits:

Mile 1: 7:56

Mile 2: 7:56 (consistency, baby)

Mile 3 (includes 0.25 mile of recover): 8:13

Mile 4: 7:45

I am on a high from this run and will be for a while!

(So blurry...how do people take these pictures?)

Anyways after that I had a banana and then later on a clementine.

Lunch was Erin's chili which I ate cold (womp womp) because I brought it in a mason jar and knew it would take f-o-r-e-v-e-r (name that movie) to heat up and some crackers. My snack today included a yogurt with some crumbled granola bar and oats and an apple.

(I stayed on campus until 8pm so I brought dinner - and dessert! - with me)

Dinner was eaten while watching a documentary on eating disorders called All of Me. The documentary is extremely powerful and moving and everyone should see it. Dinner was leftover quinoa, pinto beans, roasted broccoli and squash and cheese. I also had two homemade peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies when I got home.

(I can't take credit for these cookies...thank you Monique!)

Looking back on my day it seems that cheese and higher fat dairy products could be one of the reasons that my total cholesterol level has gone up. I had a biometric screening done today where I found out that my total cholesterol has increased a bit. However, so has my HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Now being the perfectionist that I am, I cannot sit here and be okay with the fact that my total cholesterol is high even if my HDL levels are in the protective range. My innate nature is to observe nutrition and how it impacts the body. I don't eat a lot of red meat or processed foods, so I am left thinking that my dairy intake could be a contributing factor. I love cheese and I definitely do not always eat it in moderation. I also have been trying to eat more high calcium foods and in doing so have been buying 2% chocolate milk and 2% yogurt. I find I enjoy 2% yogurt, but really am not a fan of nonfat yogurt. It's still not my favorite food (yogurt, I mean), so maybe I should stop trying to force myself to eat it. Or I'll mindfully eat one to see if the allure is there before I make that call...

The thing to consider here is that a biometric screening is just numbers. The assessment component of the Nutrition Care Process includes lab values as only one piece of the puzzle. It's important to grasp the overall picture and to understand a person's lifestyle as well. I am going to continue to remind myself of this when I feel anxious or worried that my total cholesterol is a bit higher than I expected. If a client came to me and showed me their lipid profile and the cholesterol was high would I jump to these same conclusions right away? No. I would do a full assessment before collaborating to make some small, achievable goals. It's about the big pictures, numbers are objective.

References:

  1. Erin. Slow cooker turkey quinoa chili with sweet potatoes and black beans. Well Plated. http://www.wellplated.com/slow-cooker-turkey-quinoa-chili/. Accessed February 28, 2017.
  2. Monique. Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies {flourless, no butter}. Ambitious Kitchen. http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2013/03/peanut-butter-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies-flourless-no-butter/. Accessed February 28, 2017.

What I Ate Wednesday: Long Run

These are all my eats (and adventures) on the day of a long run. I woke up early to get some coffee and fuel before my run. Typical toast with peanut butter and jelly and a banana with more peanut butter. Double cup of coffee on the side. Enjoyed in my polka dot bathrobe.

My schedule called for an 8 mile easy run today. Rebecca and I met up at 7:30 and spent the next hour and a half chatting about this, that, and everything. I love our runs! Luckily it was slow today because the sidewalks weren't in the best shape. I guess that's winter in Vermont for ya. I'm just not used to it because we haven't had this much snow in a while (aka years).

After my run I came home to have a quick snack. I was hungry! I had an apple and a glass of chocolate milk. Let me tell you chocolate milk after a run tastes A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You get carbs, protein, fluid, and sodium all in one. Talk about a perfect post-run food. Or just a perfect food.

Then I went cross country skiing for the first time in two years (in Vermont)! I went a few weeks back with my sister in New Hampshire, but I struggled with sticky snow then. Today was so perfect. Shining sun, not too cold, and great company. We haven't had much time to catch up so it was great. So glad Colleen had the day off today even if it was a quick trip! We spent an hour on the trails before going to get bagels.

Let's talk bagels. This week I went to the right place to use my coupon and was not disappointed. Colleen told me to try the Vermont Country bagel which is sesame, poppy, flax, salt, and fennel. The fennel added such a delicious, subtle flavor! I got plain cream cheese and some peanut butter on the side (try the combo). Sometimes I worry about the amount of peanut butter that I eat...but then I remember how delicious it is. I also needed some protein and since a bagel with cream cheese was free, just opted for some extra nut buttah. I'll be dreaming about this bagel for a while now...

I came home and showered for the longest time because I was so cold from running and then skiing. But it was all so worth it.

After showering I took up a spot on the futon because I was tiredA Could actually have used a nap, but instead found myself on Instagram (guilty pleasure) and then watching Chicago Med (another guilty pleasure). I snacked on some carrots as my hunger kicked in.

A few hours later I was hungry again (just go with it Megan) so I tried one of my granola bars, which had MORE peanut butter. I was going to have some soup and then thought of a yogurt, but I really wanted to try a granola bar. So I listened to my cravings and had one. I followed the recipe that Erin recently posted for Trail Mix Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I used steel cut oats, rolled oats, and wheat bran for the dry ingredients and maple syrup, mixed nut butter, and peanut butter for the sticky ingredients. Unfortunately I didn't pay close enough attention to realize these were "no bake" and when I didn't have coconut oil I subbed canola oil...which turned out to be too "liquidy" to hold the bars together. So I added a big scoop of peanut butter (probably 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons more)...more staying power! For my mix-ins I used raisins and chopped chocolate from my freezer. They certainly aren't as pretty as the ones Erin made, but it's a work in progress and they taste delicious so that helps. Now I have muffins, energy balls (still loving) and granola bars for snacks this week...Not to mention that I have been trying to have more yogurt for snacks...good thing I am always hungry because I am overflowing in snacks.

And now I am hungry AGAIN and thinking of what to have for my third...or fourth snack of the day. Listening to my hungry and not feeling guilty about it. Having some yogurt and feeling much better!

Originally my plans had been to be a complete bum all day before having to work this weekend. But lucky for me, Christine texted me. I couldn't help but get excited when she asked "What are you doing tonight???" Good thing she knows the way to my heart and was not suggested a wild night, but actually a girls night in. Just. What. I. Needed/Wanted.

I got to her house around 6:30pm. We had been tossing dinner ideas back and forth including whether to order in or cook. We decided it could be fun to cook and found a take out recipe that we could cook ourselves. Last week I saw these egg roll bowls while reading The Real Life RD's blog and I had been waiting for an excuse to try it! Although I hate cutting cabbage...it just multiplies...

Cooking with friends (in a big kitchen!) is one of my favorite things. Especially when you can gossip and drink wine in your sweats while doing it. I brought over a bottle of Apothic Crush that Christine fell in love with. I love all Apothic flavors, but Apothic Red will always have my heart. Christine had some other wine that was quite tasty! Any wine that calls the flavor "jammy" I have to try. I love jam...

Getting back to dinner. I bought some peanuts, scallions, and sesame oil this week at Shaws to inspire more ethnic dishes and let me tell you I am SO glad I did. The peanuts made the dish and I forgot how much I love peanuts, it's no wonder I love nut butter. Also, tip: look for sesame oil in the international section. By the olive oil the price is nearly double! Crazy, I know.

Christine and I were gushing over this dish. So much so that we both wanted more and nearly cried of happiness when we saw that it serves two. Thinking critically, the dish is almost all vegetables except for the meat. So we polished off this wok of egg roll goodness. With wine of course.

I'm being completely honest here with my eats and saying that even though I was stuffed, I did have chocolate. I brought over the Valentine's day heart that I bought myself and we tried a few of the flavors. Roman nougat is so weird...legitimately looks like bubble gum on the inside. And fruit and nut caramel is so dang chewy I nearly choked on it. Christine refused to try the orange cream. Seriously, who likes orange cream? I also had two homemade Reese's because...do I need a reason? So delicious.

We ended up just talking for hours and lounging on her extremely comfy couch. Next time maybe we will watch a movie...if we don't just end up talking again! Love friendships that are this easy :)

On my drive home I was stuffed and found myself craving all the fruit and vegetables on Saturday. Our bodies are amazing aren't they?!

What I Ate Wednesday

I know it's Wednesday, but I remembered to take pictures of what I ate on Monday. It wasn't the prettiest of meals since I didn't really plan my meals well for this week...I am struggling on that lately. Why you may ask? For one, I cook for myself and cooking for one is only exciting for so long. Then you have to eat that meal for like 6 days...

Second, it's been a bit gloomy lately and all I want is comfort food so it's not pretty meals. I also have been failing at my New Year's Resolution to eat meals at my table. I just get home from class and its dark and I want to curl up on my futon (so college, right?).

Flash back to Monday

Anyways, this morning I got to sleep in and woke up at...7:15am...thank you internal alarm clock. I ended up going to bed around 11pm because I was scrapbooking (nerd alert) and, therefore, did not catch up on sleep after working this weekend. Boo. But I did wake up to beautiful snow and icicles!

I feel like I am stuck in a breakfast rut! I eat the same thing all the time, mostly because I love nut butter and can't live a day without it. My oatmeal just wasn't as satisfying as it normally is today...Not sure why.

(This was a picture from another day but it looked exactly the same)

It's my usual 1/2 cup oats with 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds, and 1 tablespoon of nut butter (usually peanut butter). Usually I stir the peanut butter in because it tastes like you are eating nut butter from the jar, but this week I haven't since it is so drippy and delicious! Thank you Trader Joes for this mixed nut butter.

After procrastinating and doing my laundry I made lunch. Now I have been dreaming about my pulled pork for days and so I finished off the last of it...oops! It was just so delicious and you know what, that's okay! So I had pulled pork, avocado, bell pepper tacos with a blood orange on the side. If anyone wants to make pulled pork, I just put two bone-in pork chops in the crock pot, added about an inch of water and some seasoning and cooked on high for about 6 hours. Then I shredded the pork, pulled out the bones,and drained the liquid before mixing with some Trader Joe's BBQ sauce. Anyone else hate that the first ingredient of all BBQ sauces is sugar?! Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

I then managed to get my car out onto the road after digging it out and drove to do some errands. I bought a shovel that I proceeded to use to clear my parking spot in the driveway since there is a parking ban tonight. It felt good to get out of the house. I managed to not buy any Valentine's Day candy but now I am regretting that decision.

A little while later I had a snack of a Siggi's yogurt topped with Uncle Sam's cereal. I only eat 2% or 4% yogurt these days. If I accidentally get a nonfat yogurt I put it back because it's just not creamy enough for me. I wasn't really hungry for this snack, but more so bored. This always happens to me when I do work from home. I know I can't be the only one who experiences this.

I trudged my way up to class and while I was dreading the walk all day because I am tired (hello 8 mile run -> work 8 hour shift on your feet -> not enough sleep) but it was so enjoyable. I listed to music and walked slow to enjoy the scenery. It's been a few years since we have gotten this much snow and I am going to enjoy it while I can. Which means I should cross country ski soon...maybe if I ever get my homework done...right now that would require me to stop scrapbooking every minute of every day.

After a very intriguing class (I wish it was longer than 75 minutes and I have never said that about a class before) I trudged back home while talking to my dad. Of course talk of job applications got me a bit heated (sorry Dad). I got home and didn't feel like cooking anything even though I know from experience that cooking food and putting in effort makes the food taste so much better. I also didn't eat at the table so I ate fast like I normally do. Boo. I can't be too hard on myself. Eating alone is boring. I had leftover butternut squash soup from sometime in the fall and a few pieces of baguette with leftover artichoke antipasto. Again, Trader Joes killing it with the spreads! This was leftover from our book club event! As the host I got the leftover food. Too bad there wasn't leftover wine...

(Terrible lighting...)

Funny story from book club: One of my friends (I won't say who) went to open a bottle of wine and was struggling so hard. She couldn't get the wine opener to screw into the top. Then I proceeded to let her know that the wine was a twist off...I still chuckle over this memory...my friends are the greatest!

Anyways, later tonight I envision myself baking up something tasty. I am not necessarily hungry but just want something comforting and sweet. And Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I forgot to buy myself chocolate...maybe my mom will surprise me with a care package...ahhhh probably not. Wishful thinking, though.

...

In case you were curious I didn't end up baking anything because I got too into scrapbooking, but I did end up feeling a twinge of hunger around 9pm. I thought about it for a bit and also felt like I wanted some more baguette with artichoke spread. Therefore, I had the rest of the baguette even though I had already brushed my teeth. It's all a process. Every day I am learning more about my body and every day I am trying to be more in tune. What's great is that every day I am more appreciative of all that my body does.