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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

To my dismay, I woke up this morning to a torrential down pour. My dad and I were going to go on a bike ride but had to cancel our plans due to the massive puddles that had accumulated. Instead, we decided to go to the local high school track and run. Before we left I had a pre-run banana.

When we returned, “Dad’s Breakfast Kitchen” was in full swing for another amazing Sunday brunch! This lovely omelet was made with 3 egg whites and 1/2 a run away yolk, stuffed with spinach and goat cheese, and topped with fresh tomato, basil and more goat cheese. On the side I had a piece of whole wheat toast with fresh strawberries, honey and cinnamon. Needless to say, I was in breakfast heaven.

While waiting for the rain to pass, I took another stab at baking Super Charge Me Cookies in my parent’s functional oven and they came out MUCH better than my little  disaster last time.

What an oven should look like.

Cookies that aren't burnt!

I used peanut butter and loaded them with dark chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, dried cherries and dried cranberries. I had one for a snack before heading out on a stroll with my parents. I think it gave me a fair boost of energy because I found myself dancing to non-existent music as we walked around the neighborhoods. It is a good thing that my parent’s love is unconditional because my dance moves are borderline embarrassing.

I had planned on returning to my apartment later in the afternoon but was running behind schedule so I stayed at home for dinner. Besides, birthday cake was involved and I am not one to turn down good company and dessert. For dinner “Cafe Mom” was open and we had leftover steak with horseradish sauce, oven roasted sweet potatoes, a mixed green and tomato salad and boiled carrots and broccoli.Today was my mom’s actual birthday so we celebrated with a small cake for dessert.I had a slice complete with MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP (!!!!I have been dreaming of mint chocolate chip and my parents bought some on their grocery store trip. I love them.) ice cream.This concludes another segment of “my wonderful weekend at home”. Gotta love family.

Another Week,

Nora

What is your favorite food?

**(I feel like this is the hardest question in the world to answer, but it is something people frequently ask me. I like so many things and have yet to find a food that I truly dislike, therefore; I had a very long internal debate about what was my all-time favorite food. My conclusion: Ice cream. Go figure.)


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Happy Memorial Day!!

I hope everyone is taking advantage of this beautiful weather and enjoying the company of family and friends! I also hope that everyone takes a moment to pause and remember the meaning of this holiday. I want to send a big THANK YOU to our troops and all of those who have devoted their lives to our country. You are constantly in my thoughts, and I am so grateful for your commitment.

Today has been a patriotic day for my food. One of the reasons why I love coming home is to use my mom’s dinnerware. I swear she has plates, cups and place mats themed for every major holiday. The summer months are all about the stars and stripes!I woke up this morning around 7:30am, and geared up to go for on a “Memorial Day Run” with my dad. Before heading out the door I had a light breakfast that consisted of 1/2 of a large banana, strawberries, sunflower seed butter and coffee (in my themed mug!) while reading my horoscope and completing the easy Monday sudoku puzzle in our local paper. Fun fact: I’m obsessed with sudoku. Every time I am home I retrieve the newspaper from our mailbox as soon as I wake up so that I can do the puzzle while watching the news and having breakfast.

My dad and I ran a surprising 5.5 miles (it has been an EXTREMELY long time since I have done this distance, 3 is usually my max.). The sun was hot during our run and we were BEAT by the time we returned home. My dad, aka The Breakfast Man, whipped up some omelets for brunch. My omelet was made with  Swiss cheese, basil, mixed cherry tomato and broccoli with a glass of orange juice and a large carrot on the side (don’t ask, I was craving a crunchy vegetable haha). We had brunch outside on our patio and it was fantastic!  I don’t want to be repetitive, but I LOVE COMING HOME! There is something distinctly  special about family time and good food.The run took a lot out of me, and I decided that I needed a bit more protein. I extended this brunch with a 1/2 cup of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, strawberries, a handful of roasted almonds and cinnamon.The sun was out in full force today, thus the shadows in many of these pictures.

I’m off to do a few tasks before heading back to school my apartment later today. WHOA! I actually typed school and it took me a minute before I realized that I just completed college and now am in the working world. So the song goes, times are a changin’. I think we will have an early Memorial Day barbecue before I head back. I have to take advantage of our charcoal grill while I can because it’s back to a cast iron grill pan when I return to my mini apartment!

Always Remembering,

Nora

What are your plans for Memorial Day?

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The last post was actually written on Friday but I was unable to post it because my internet connection was failing and my battery died. I had work all day at the bakery on Saturday, so I’m trying to play catchup with my post.

Friday Post:

I’m not sure how, but I woke up this morning at 6:30am. I felt completely awake at this ungodly hour, and parted the blinds to reveal the radiant sun. I decided to go for a run. I haven’t exercised in weeks and it was the perfect morning to start-up again. I grabbed half of a petrified Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif Bar and strapped on my running shoes.

It felt so great to run again. I saw many other people out and about running, dog walking and biking, taking advantage of the beautiful morning before it was consumed by the sweltering heat of the afternoon sun. I’m not sure how far I ran, but it was a leisurely 40 minute adventure through my new neighborhood. It made me realize how much I miss running. In the past I have run many races, including a half-marathon in the Fall of 2008. I’m not in any sort of shape to compete, however; it is something I desperately want to get back in to.

When I got back to my quaint apartment, I made the most refreshing green monster smoothie. My smoothie was composed of: 1 large frozen banana, 5 ice cubes, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 scoop GREEN Superfood, cinnamon, 1 TBS crunchy natural peanut butter, 2 handfuls of spinach and 1 cup vanilla soy milk.

For some reason it was thicker than usual, and completely rejuvenated me after my run. Shortly after I enjoyed a crisp Jonagold Apple as I read through old food magazines on my floor while waiting for the delivery truck to arrive with my futon. They told me they would arrive sometime between 10:30am and 1:30pm. Good thing I had a bunch of paper sorting to do and didn’t mind being home-bound for the time.

The delivery men came around 11:30am and finished assembling my futon just in time for lunch. I got a bit creative with the contents of my fridge and made a wrap with lots of Cedar’s Original Hummus, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, spinach, cucumber, carrots, button mushrooms and hot sauce. I also had the other half of my navel orange from the previous night’s dinner. My sweet tooth was calling me and I had a piece of dark chocolate almond bark for dessert.

After lunch I headed to the mall. I had ANOTHER appointment at the Apple store to “Meet My Mac” and learn some of the basics of using my new computer. I went a bit early with hopes of using the mall Wi-Fi to post my blog, but the slow connection failed me. I snacked on a PB&J Larabar and Grande Ice Coffee with Soy Milk while feeling completely defeated.

After my appointment I came home to make a semi-real dinner. Using my resources, I marinated some shrimp in BBQ sauce and grilled them on my panini maker. I also assembled a broccoli slaw using 2 cups of pre-made broccoli slaw blend mixed with a sauce composed of 2 TBS Plain Greek Yogurt, juice of 1/4 a lemon, 1 TBS Dijon mustard, cracked black pepper, a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce and topped with ~1/4 cup garbanzo beans. This was such a refreshing meal for a hot evening and I enjoyed it with a glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve 2008 Chardonnay.

Dessert was exceptional. I have been loving the juicy and sweet strawberries this season and wanted to incorporate them into dessert. I ran out of vanilla ice cream but I found a Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt in my freezer. I let it defrost a bit and topped it with fresh strawberries and MaraNtha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread.

I’m realizing with all of these new changes in my life that there are some great expenses. During college, I never had to worry about paying rent, a gas bill, internet/cable bill and a food bill. I have always paid for grocery store items, however; I did have a meal plan so it wasn’t a burdensome bill. I’ve always had car and cell phone expenses, but after factoring in all of these additional expenses I starred at my bank account and financial spreadsheet dumbfounded by the reality that I am broke. I know everyone struggles at some point to “make ends meet” so to speak, but it has forced me to reconsider my spending. I’m not a big shopper when it comes to clothes, shoes and accessories but when it comes to food and food related products I tend to throw my money at it. Honestly, there is no real reason that I spend $2 on a snack bar or $9 on a nut butter jar other than curiosity and a love of food. I’m not going to stop eating the things I enjoy, I just need to make sure that I am being a bit more economical.

My internship position is full-time, requiring me to be in the office from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.  I want to have time after work to do things I enjoy such as exercising, reading and socializing, therefore; in order to avoid eating dinner at 9pm every night or spending unnecessary money on take out, I need to start meal planning, making things ahead of time and getting creative with leftovers.

My blog writings this summer are going to revolve around the mentality of planning healthy, sensible and easy to prepare meals.

Economically Minded,

Nora

What are ways that you save money at the grocery store? Do you create “make-ahead” meals?

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WHOA, busy day. It is 6pm, and this is the first time today that I have been able to sit and relax! I had a day full of appointments, errands and, the most significant happening, MY LAST COLLEGE CLASS EVER!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHH! Now all I have to do is pass 2 finals, finish 1 paper and get through Senior Week.

Today started at 7:45 am when I woke up to head to the gym. I typically don’t go to the gym in the morning, but since today was rather busy I wanted to wake up early to energize myself. Before going to the gym I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna Protein Bar. Hello lover 🙂 (okay…I’m obsessed with Sex in the City, and my “hello lover” phrase is stolen from the one and only Carrie Bradshaw.). This was my favorite of the three flavors by far! It isn’t overly sweet and has an awesome peanut butter and chocolate flavor. It has 12g of protein and 190 calories, which was perfect pre-gym fuel.

On Wednesdays I have been trying to incorporate some upper body weight training, so I usually start with a light cardio and then lift moderate weights. Since I was crunching time I cut my work out a bit short, but here it is:

20 minute run–2.2 miles

4 minute walk @ 4.0

3 x 10 bicep curls with a bar @ 40 lbs

3x 10 lateral raises @ 7.5 lbs

3×10 hammer curls @  20 lbs

3 x 10 side crunches @ 22.5 lbs
Consuming whey protein within an hour post work out is supposed to be great for rebuilding muscle so I decided to have breakfast number two: Green Monster, Granola and Raw Almonds. This contained: 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Green Amazing Grass Superfood, a generous amount of cinnamon, 1 large frozen banana, 2/3 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/3 cup water, 2 handfuls of spinach and 2 ice cubes. I topped it off with 1/4 cup Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond Flax Granola and raw blanched almonds. When I was consuming this lovely bowl I had two revelations:

1) CINNAMON IS THE BEST SPICE EVER! I would and do put it on everything. It is so key for flavor the warm flavor of this bowl, I love it!

2) Raw blanched almonds really add a lot flavor/texture wise. They are buttery, smooth, and full of flavor. Roasted almonds have a bit more crunch but these little gems are phenomenal!

Workin’ it Out,

Nora

What is your ideal exercise/food to fuel it?

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Could it be nicer outside? It is currently a sunny 74 degrees and I am on top of the world! I was able to go for my favorite river-side run (~4 miles) a few hours after my pancake digested (so filling but delicious!). I went a bit slower today just so I could soak up all of the beauty that surrounded me. After my run I happily skipped to our campus Starbucks and picked up a post run recovery drink: Odwalla Superfood blended with protein. This was a monster drink in a Venti sized cup that took me a while to finish. It was delicious, cool and refreshing; exactly what I needed after my run. I’m really sad that my blender exploded, because this weather has me craving smoothies galore :(.

The nice weather also has me craving fresh produce for lunch so off to the dining hall I went for a big ‘ole salad and an apple. This was fresh and delicious, but I thought I needed some form of carbohydrates and peanut butter so I ran to the campus store to purchase a Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bar.I haven’t had one of the these in a while, and usually prefer other types of fruit/nut bars for snacks, but the crunch and flavor really hit the spot.

I have a bunch of school work to do this afternoon but hopefully the nice weather will be motivation to complete it so I can get outside! Tonight my room mate and I are going to a Japanese Kimono exhibit at a local museum and sushi for dinner. I can not wait, I love when culture meets food!

Living Life,

Nora

What are your favorite “nice weather” meals? Do you change your dining to outside venues and enjoy grilling when the weather calls for it?

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I love coming home to my mom’s pottery. I found this bunny dish (PERFECT for Easter!) and knew I had to have my oats in it this morning. I have a minor obsession with cups, bowls, plates and serving items. It is probably equally as bad as my obsession with nut butter, jams/spreads, granola and bars. I always have to restrain myself when I go shopping because I want to buy MORE and do not have the space. Even when I go clothes shopping I somehow always manage to make my way over to the home goods section and 9 times out of 10 buy a new cooking item rather than the clothes I intended to buy. We eat with our eyes, and having dishes to complement the food really does make for a better dining experience (plus the pictures are always a bit more fun!). My foodie collections are getting a bit out of control though. I recently decided that until I finish my 2 bags of granola, muesli, oatmeal and 2 boxes of cereal I WILL NOT BUY MORE! This also goes for my…lets just call it 7, jars of jam in my refrigerator.

It was a quiet, cold and sunny morning; perfect for a warm cup of copy and hearty bowl of oats. I searched the cabinets and cupboards and decided to make use of some soon-to-be overripe strawberries for my Banana Oats with Peanut Butter, Strawberries and Cream. I used 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1/3 cup of Water, 1/2 sliced Banana, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla Extract, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds, 1 TBS Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt and 4 sliced Strawberries.

When it warms up a bit I plan on going for a run. I live in a pretty rural area and it is so peaceful to do a ~2 mile run down the street and absorb the natural beauty of older “farm” homes, birds, animals and trees. Coming home is like a mini getaway from the busyness of school and work. It reminds me that true happiness is not a result from success, but rather, derived from life’s simple pleasures: family, food and nature.

I’m heading back to school later, and as graduation nears, I am growing more anxious about what I am going to do next year. I know that my passions rest in the realm of food/wine/family/marketing but I have yet to find a job. I know that whatever I do in life, it has to be something that I can truly own, dedicate myself to and be happy with. A perfect career for me would never be about the money (although the way I eat, money is good to have to pay the grocery bills!), it would be about the personal success and satisfaction I get from knowing that I am making a difference.  Enough with that for now, something will come with time.

Enjoy The Little Things,

Nora

Do you have the tendency to over-buy certain items when you shop?

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I started today a little bit off routine. I’m a creature of habit, so when I wake up late I feel rushed and unbalanced. It was almost 9am and I still needed to pack, shower, get ready, and more importantly HAVE BREAKFAST! I wasn’t very hungry this morning or in the mood for anything particular but I really do not like starting my day with out breakfast (if you read my blog you will see that it is my favorite meal of the day). I wanted a loaded green smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, handful of spinach, ice, chia seeds, and Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood) topped with  Galaxy granola but being the good room-mate that I am, realized my room-mate was still sleeping and my noisy blender going off would be a rude awakening. I decided for the next best (and easiest) thing: 3/4 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds, 1/4 Cup Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola (my new OBSESSION!!! LOVE THIS STUFF!), a handful of blueberries and cinnamon.

When I stepped out the door the rain was gone, the clouds had parted and there was nothing but blue skies and sunshine! This changed my mood immediately, and after class I had to go for a leisurely riverside run. It was a little bit cold with mild wind in the 50’s, but there is one thing I do not do when we have a sunny day: waste them. I have to take full advantage of the weather, and it always lifts my mood. I ran for about 40 minutes (plus time for pictures, because it was TOO beautiful).

While I was running I started to think about getting a juicer. (My foodie mind is in perpetual motion)Since it is getting to be farmers market season (BEST TIME OF THE YEAR!!!! IT’S PRODUCE CHRISTMAS EVERY WEEKEND!!!) and the weather is getting nicer, I think that a juicer might be a great addition to my kitchen. I love fresh juice, but it is SO expensive at almost $6 a bottle and how refreshing would it be to wake up in the summer and have a glass of fresh juice with breakfast or in the afternoon? I have looked at a few online, and was wondering if anyone had suggestions? I was thinking about getting a product from Breville, I have read about them and when I inquired about juicer advice, the company quickly responded and made suggestions based on the level of use I was looking for.

Since breakfast was a little lame, I had to make up for it with a good lunch. Warm Lentil Salad with Beets and Hazelnut Coated Goat Cheese and of course an apple. When I make warm lentil salad, I usually serve it with a walnut coated goat cheese. I actually had this in mind last night but then was having a Dijon craving and didn’t want my plate/flavors to be TOO busy. I love the way the goat cheese medallion slightly melts when it is placed on the lentils. The combination of the spices and the texture of the lentils with the creamy goat cheese is phenomenal. It is simple, but so luxurious.

Dinner tonight will have to be something fast; I’m doing my usual shift at the bakery until 9pm. I love it there :)! I might be feeling creative with my “lunch box” dinner so I’ll be sure to post later!

Reinventing Leftovers,

Nora

What are your thoughts about purchasing a juicer?

I received some comments about what I do for work outs/ what snacks etc I eat through out the day. I don’t always post everything, so I was wondering what you would like me to blog about more. I would love to hear some feedback! 🙂

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