July 2009


Halfway through the morning I dug into some cherries I  brought with me as a snack.

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A serving of Cherries is excellent low fat snack that is high in antioxidants.

Did you know that cherries are related to plums?  I didn’t think so ;)

 As I was driving home for lunch, I was trying to figure out what to have for lunch.  I remembered that we had a piece of chicken leftover last night, so I could have made a salad, but I wasn’t in the mood for a salad.  But then I remembered we still had cheese, and tomatoes, so I made a grilled chicken, cheese, and tomato sandwich.

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 What’s on there?

  • 2 slices of whole grain bread
  • 1/2 chicken breast sliced
  • 3 thin slices of American cheese (1.5 on top & botton)
  • Three slices of tomato
  • A dash of pepper

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I like my grilled sandwiches extra crispy.

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And those darn chips keep taunting me every time I open the pantry!  I just need to finish them already!

I would grill my sandwiches every day if:

a) I always had a supply of cheese

b) I didn’t mind cleaning a frying pan everday after lunch

Perhaps I should invest in a panini press?

I brought Cherrie’s cousin for a snack later.

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Do you use a panini press to grill your sandwiches?  Should I get one?

I am looking forward to listening to some live bluegrass with friends this evening!

Hope y’all are having a good day :)

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a running injury.  Oh, right, you guys can’t see me.  My hand is raised!

I suffered from an IT band injury a little over two years ago that prevented me from running for months, and required several trips to a physical therapist.  I have been running with caution since, and aside from one half marathon this past March, my weekly mileage has decreased significantly since before my injury.

Aside from a little tightness here and there, I have been pain free for two years.  Until today.

According to Gmaps Pedometer, I ran 4.3 miles this morning.  About halfway through my run, I started to feel a twinge of pain on the outside of my knee, which slowly rose to the outside of my hip.  I slowed down my pace, which didn’t help, and then remembered a book called Chi Running that I read a few years ago at the onset of my injury.

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The Chi Running technique focuses on how to improve your running form by using your core muscles and integrating mind and body to prevent injury.  It combines relaxation with biomechanically correct running form.

I tried hard to recall all of the good tips in the book, and tried relaxing my shoulers, tucking my tail bone in, and focusing  on my core.  After a few strides, the pain had subsided, but was not gone completely.

Since it’s been over two years since I read the book, I think it’s time for me to reread it, and refresh my memory of how to incorporate the Chi Running technique during my runs.

I highly recommend this book if you suffer from nagging running injuries!

While I was not a happy camper that my IT band was acting up, I perked up when I got home and remembered I was having granola again for breakfast!

Only this time I used milk instead of yogurt.

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And I added blueberries & cherries instead of strawberries.

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Today I could definitely taste the hazelnuts.  The flavor was really powerful and I’m not sure I liked it as much?  Or maybe I just liked it better with yogurt?

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I will try it with yogurt again next time and report back :)

I’m happy that Friday is here!  This weekend is new student orientation for Fuqua, which means it’s also orientation for the new Fuqua Partners (aka the wives/significant others of the students) .  So I will be busy answering a ton of questions about what it was like with Chris being so busy with school work last year and how I managed to keep myself busy.  Wow, it seems like just yesterday that I was in their shoes :)

I’m looking forward to meeting them all.  It should be fun!

The thunderstorms held off this evening, so I was able to get a few laps in at the pool.  While swimming is an excellent workout, I feel most productive when I sweat, and know I’m sweating, so I did 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical before I hopped in the pool for 20 minutes. 

An hour before my workout, I snacked on a handful (~12) of unsalted almonds.

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 And a clementine.

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When I got home from work today, I was pleasantly surprised by a new kitchen toy sitting on the counter!  Chris and I have been pondering over whether or not to get a mandoline slicer because we are constantly slicing potatoes and vegetables (not very evenly).  Needless to say, I’m surprised neither of us have sliced off  a finger.

I guess Chris finally had enough and stopped at Target on the way home to pick one up!  I had some patty pan squash that I wanted to grill, so I was excited to test it out right away.

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While I was getting everything ready, I snacked on a handful of pretzels & hummus.

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This hummus has a pretty good kick, and the pretzles are our favorite kind from Trader Joe’s.

I have to say that the mandoline slicer worked very well.  It was easy to assemble, and the squash came out evenly slice so I didn’t have to worry about different cooking times for each slice of squash. 

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I brushed some olive oil on these, and added some garlic & herb seasoning from Mrs. Dash.

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In addition to the squash, we BBQ’d some chicken with Stubbs Bar-B-Q sauce.

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Spicy of course :)

We slathered it on the chicken.

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Those were some humongous pieces of chicken!

I would like to mention that in addition to milk, chicken is one food that I almost always buy organic.  Not only does it taste significantly better to me, but I thought it was more nutritious as well.  However, my brother shared an article with me today by BBC News that says otherwise.  The article found that organic foods aren’t really more nutritious than conventional foods.  

To be honest, I don’t necessarily choose organic foods because they are known to be more nutritious, I choose them because they are less processed, have fewer contaminants, and taste better to me.  I will continue to buy organic chicken because I feel better knowing that the chickens are only fed natural food and I like the taste more (hence, the title of my blog).  And I will continue my organic produce delivery because I am an advocate for supporting our local farmers who are working to help us live healthier, more sustainable lives.

I think it would be interesting to read the criticisms of this study.

Does anyone else eat organic foods?  

Did you know that there really isn’t conclusive evidence that organic food is better for you?

Ok then, let’s get back to dinner :)

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BBQ chicken on a bed of patty pan squash.  Tasty.

The white specks on the squash are chunks of jalapeno goat cheese  – it was a good decision to add them.

And even though I am not a huge dessert person because I prefer salty over sweet, I had a craving for some fruity pebbles and ice cream.

 

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I reluctantly used the fat free ice cream.  I refuse to let it go to waste, and next time and I am going to pay more attention to the label!

Yay that tomorrow is Friday!

Where has the day gone?  I didn’t even get a chance to snack on my grapes before lunch!  I love when the work days fly by and you don’t have to watch the clock. 

Lunch today was a combination of leftovers and new items.   I knew there were two Flat Out wraps left, and once I realized we had leftover sausage, I knew exactly what to make.

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Flat Out pizza pies!  A while ago I had read that Kristin created a pizza with her wrap and it looked so delicious!  And I had just the right ingredients for it.

For two wraps, I chopped up two tomatoes – one small one from my vine and one medium sized one from the grocery store, and some spinach. 

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Before I assembled the pies I drizzled some evoo on top and added some fresh garlic.

I then added:

  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sausage
  • Freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • Dash of S & P
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

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After I added the mozzarella, I broiled them for about 2-3 minutes.

 So easy to make!  I am a big fan of quick, simple meals.

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I didn’t think the red pepper flakes made it spicy enough, so I added a few shakes of Tabasco as well.  Chris ate his like a burrito, but I cut mine up into squares – it was more pizza like that way.

And since I didn’t have my grapes earlier, I added them to my lunch!

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How on earth did this one teeny green grape get on the purple grape vine?

While I’m aware that I am not supposed to feed my dog grapes, Nylah really enjoys playing with them for some reason!  Although she has never ingested one.

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Checking it out a bit…

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Giving it the sniff test…

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Trying to figure out where the heck it went…

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Devastated that we finally took it away from her.

Ok, no more pictures of Nylah for a while, I promise :)  It was just too funny and too cute to watch her play with the grape!

Does anyone know exactly why dogs shouldn’t eat grapes?

I am hopefully going to head up to the pool for some laps later this evening.  Although the forecast is for thunderstorms so we’ll see!

Happy Thursday everyone!

I had planned to go for a swim this morning, but after a rough night’s sleep due to some crazy puppy dreams, I decided my body would be happier if I slept in the extra hour.  I was right, my body is thanking me :)

I was so excited for breakfast this morning!  I received a bag of organic hazleNUT granola in our produce delivery and couldn’t wait to try it out.  The only other all-natural granola I’ve tried is Bear Naked, which is delicious, but pricey of course. 

I make a quick stop at the store yesterday to pick up some yogurt to mix in with the granola.  As usual, none of the Greek yogurts were on sale :(  But Dannon Light & Fit was so I got that!

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How healthy does this granola sound?

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Some granolas are better than others though, and you should pay close attention to the nurtition labels when purchasing granola, as some are loaded with sugar and very high in fat.  Organic is the best way to go because there is no added sugar and it’s high in fiber.

It tasted just as good as it sounded!

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I am guessing there is 1/4 cup of granola on there and I sliced 2 strawberries to add some color.

I am pretty sure I am going to get hooked on this kind of granola.  It was so good

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I’m not quite sure I tasted the hazlenuts though?

For a mid-morning snack, I brought some grapes – also from our produce order.

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Does anyone else notice the difference in size of organic fruit vs. regular fruit? 

When I purchase grapes for the grocery store they are twice this size!  Which is very worrisome…

Enjoy your day!

I love summer!  I love that the days are long and it doesn’t get dark until almost 9 o’clock.  I love that I can sit at the pool for hours with a good book.  I love the smell of the ocean (if only I could make it to the beach).  And I love grilling! 

Okaaay, I’ll admit that we have a covered porch that allows us to grill year-round, but it’s just not the same as a hot, sticky, summer evening, ya know?

So what did we grill tonight?

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Some chicken sausage and asparagus.

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Before the asparagus went on the grill, I brushed on 1/2 tbsp of evoo and added a dash of S & P.

I also love that we have a great view of the sunset from our porch. :)

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For  sausage toppings, I sauteed one green pepper and one small onion.

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Just as the sausage was about ready, I remembered we had some leftover couscous from the other night.  So I added that to some of the peppers & onions.

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And squeezed the juice from 1/2 a lemon on there for some added flavor.

For condiments, I used Dijon mustard and Frank’s hot sauce.

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Lastly, before I put the sausage on, I added a slice of tomato for some additional color.  Colorful foods are the healthiest foods (leafy greens, tomatoes, blueberries, carrots, etc.) so I do my best to include foods that represent all colors of the rainbow.

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Clearly you don’t see Roy G. Biv here, but like I said, I try to do my best. 

I did include orange in my dessert though!

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I had two scoops of mango sorbet with a scoop of coconut in between.

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Ciao Bella has the best sorbet!  The pints tend to be a little pricey for my liking, but I stock up on them when they go on sale. :)

See y’all in the morning!

Preparing lunch took a total of 3 minutes today.  Really.  I timed it.

That’s the beauty of leftovers!  I had enough chickpea salad leftover from Monday to use for both Chris and myself.  And I couldn’t wait to try this cheese that we got yesterday!

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Doesn’t that just sound delicious? Last week I mentioned that the feta cheese from Hillsborough Cheese Co. was amazing, and after tasting the jalapeno goat cheese, the feta may have play second fiddle.  I guess it all depends on what mood I’m in though.  Salty or spicy?

I created a bed of spinach, scooped the chickpeas on top, and scattered some of the Hoppin’ Jalapeno Chevre on (which definitely had a kick!).

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Spinach is packed with tons of nutrients and is an excellent source of fiber, iron, calcium and vitamins. I typically use spinach as my salad base because of its health benefits, but some times I prefer romaine because of its crunch.

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Although you can’t really tell, there was plenty of dressing from the chickpea salad, so there was no need to add anymore.

In addition to the chickpeas, I had one half of a whole wheat roll for some carbs.

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With some blackberry jam spread on top.

Then I remembered that I didn’t have any fruit with breakfast, so I added some watermelon!

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That’s exactly what I needed to complete my meal.

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Tonight will be low key, and I have not yet begun to formulate our dinner menu yet.

I hope to take some time to read and catch up with friends on Skype!

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