Even though the no sandwich challenge doesn’t officially begin until Monday, I am happy to say that I did not have a sandwich for lunch today!

After I declared that I wouldn’t eat sandwiches for 7 days next week, my sister-in-law e-mailed me with several ideas of what I could make for lunch.  Thanks Lauren!

I received fresh basil on our produce delivery this week, and had sun gold tomatoes from the previous week, so I made a tomato, avocado, and mozzarella salad with fresh basil.  I had to make quick trip to the store for the avacdo and mozarella, but it’s literally across the street.

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For the dressing, I mixed together

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of S & P

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The avocado was my favorite part!

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The best way to eat it was to get one of each component in every bite :)

I didn’t think the salad would fill me up, so I had a side of Kashi crackers.

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With some spicy fire roasted five peppers hummus!

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One of my favorite kinds.

And for an afternoon snack I had a large banana with ground almonds.

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I added the almonds for some protein!

Did you know that 7 small changes to your diet can have aa big impact on your health?  Shape Magazine lists the best cancer fighting foods that will have an impact on your health.

cancer fighting foods

1. Get your greens.
According to the American Cancer Society, Asian women have a
breast cancerrate one-fifth that of U.S. women. While soy often gets the credit, cruciferous vegetables are also proving to be preventative. One study showed that Chinese women with the highest levels of isothiocyanate- a compound found in broccoli, kale, brussels sprout, and other cruciferous vegetables-cut their rate of breast cancer by 50 percent.

2. Make every day D-day.
Low
vitamin D levels have recently been linked to an increased risk of everything from heart disease to depression. Now researchers have made a connection between the nutrientand breast cancer: A study in the Annals of Epidemiology found that pre-menopausal women with higher intakes of vitamin D had a roughly 30 percent lower breast cancer risk. Fish is your best dietary D source- try salmon, trout, and sardines.

 3. Get on the “A” list.
Carrots may not only help protect against eye disease, they also may slow the growth of
cancer cells. Women who ate at least five servings a day of foods rich invitamin A and carotenoids, such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and apricots, reduced their risk of breast cancerby more than 20 percent. The effect was seen especially in pre-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer.

4. Go herbal.
Compared with certain fruits and veggies, some herbs have more than 10 times the amount of cancer- and
heart-disease-fighting antioxidants. So reach for that rosemary, oregano or thyme next time you cook.

5. Take a tea break.
Instead of grabbing a latte as an afternoon pick-me-up, go
green-tea, that is. A recent study from Japan found that women with cancer who drank at least three cups of green tea a day reduced their risk of recurrence by more than 30 percent. Some scientists believe the reason is that green tea is high in the antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which may halt cancer cell growth.

 6. Load up on lignans.
Some breast tumors are triggered by the hormone estrogen. But as it turns out lignans, or plant estrogens, may block the effect of estrogen produced by the body. (Lignans can also help lower your bad cholesterol, or LDL.) Flax and sesame seeds have the highest amounts, but whole grains and whole-grain bread, cereal, and pasta, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, broccoli, and tea are also good sources.

7. Marinate, marinate, marinate.
Using high-temperature techniques, like grilling, to cook meat can create potentially cancer-causing compounds to develop. But you don’t have to give up barbecues altogether. Sticking with lean red meat, chicken, and fish and marinating them for just a few minutes before grilling helps avoid charring, adds flavor, and keeps these foods moist.

One thing I know I don’t do enough is drink tea.  I should really alternate some of my coffee days with tea.  I need to work on that…

After work today I have plans to jog, swim, and go to a BBQ.  Let’s hope the weather holds up!

 

 

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Good morning!

Last night I learned that riding a road bike is 100x easier than riding a mountain bike.  Why do I even own one?  I’ve only gone mountain biking once!  I think I’m going to sell it and then buy a road bike (or look for one on Craigslist).

Chris and  hit the American Tobacco Trail yesterday and road a smooth 10 miles.  It was SO much more enjoyable than our bike ride on Tuesday.  After our ride I ran two miles and Chris went off to play soccer. 

Oh, and Chris ended up doing a great job of picking out a bathing suit and bike shorts for me.  I was very impressed. Thanks Chris!  Can’t wait to test everything out!

As for dinenr last night, I am not quite sure where my pictures went,  but I guess you could say it looked something like this:

omelete

I had a 1 egg, 2 egg whites omelete with:

  • Green peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Sun gold tomatoes

And a side of Kashi Crackers and Laughing Cow cheese.

Once Chris got home from soccer we went to the local pub, Dains, for trivia night!  We both swore we were going to abstain from alcohol all week because of the triathlon, but both of us couldn’t help getting one beer to sip on :)

beer

I got a Triangle Brewery Blegian White Ale.

Trivia night didn’t go exactly as planned.  We couldn’t even hear any of the questions!  So we just ended up chatting with friends.

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And now onto this morning!

I mixed things up slightly this morning.  I wasn’t in the mood for cereal & milk, or granola & yogurt, so I had cereal & yogurt!

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What is that??

It’s a mix of Kashi Autumn Wheat & Island Vanilla crushed by a meat pounder.  I decided I want to add crushed cereal to my yogurt :)

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I used Stonyfield raspberry yogurt, and added sliced peaches to incorporate a serving of fruit.

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I really enjoyed the mix of crunchy and creamy!

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Good stuff.  I can’t wait to make it again.

Since I wasn’t able to share snack suggestion # 8 with you last night, you’ll find it below!

snack

Melba Toast with cream cheese and cranberries.

Enjoy your day!

I had another sandwich again for lunch today!  I just can’t seem to break my need-to-have-a-sandwich-for-lunch habit!  I’m pretty sure it’s because I grew up eating sandwiches every day of my life for lunch (not that that’s a bad thing mom!)

Starting next Monday I am going to go 7 dayswithout having a sandwich for lunch.  Think I can do it? :)

If I had any spinach or lettuce, I would have been inclined to make myself a salad, but all I had was bread and turkey.

But at least I try to spice up my sandwiches, right?  Maybe?

So to create my lovely sandwich, I toasted Omega-3 seed bread and added some wasabi horseradish!

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Remember I used this stuff in my chicken salad a few weeks ago?  If you are sensitive to spicy, I would not recommend this.  It cleared my nostrils out in a matter of seconds!  Note to self – use less next time.

Here’s the makings of my sandwich:

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  • 3 slices of turkey breast
  • Green pepper
  • Banana peppers
  • Tomato
  • FETA!

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Sandwiched together!

And a side of Food Should Taste Good olive chips!

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I ran out of hummus or else I would have had that as well.

After we had lunch Chris ran out to REI as I headed back to work.  He’s going to pick up some triathlon gear for us!  Since I couldn’t be there, I told him to just ask a woman sales rep what he should get :)  All I know is I need a full piece bating suit (I’ve been swimming laps in my bikini!) and padded shorts.  Can’t wait to see what he comes up with :)

Last night, Chris and I officially signed up for the Hillsborough, NC sprint triathlon this weekend! If you remember, for the past two weeks we’ve been mulling over whether or not we should do it because of how little we would have to train and I’ve had It band problems.  But since my IT band/hip has been feeling better, and we’re not planning on setting any records or anything, we decided to go for it!  I’m excited!

Here’s the breakdown of the legs:

  • 400 meter swim
  • 12 mile bike ride
  • 5k run

I even borrowed a road bike from a friend last night so I am good to go!  I haven’t ridden a road bike since…hmmm…I have no idea when!  Better practice tonight!

Spontaneity is FUN.

Granola and yogurt for breakfast is fun too!

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Stonyfield french vanilla yogurt with vanilla granola and cherries on top.

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Everything is better with a cherry on top :)

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I am beginning to really like granola for breakfast.  Watch out cereal!

If anyone has any suggestions as to what I should wear for the Tri, I am all ears!

I rushed home from work to get a quick 15 minute swim in.  I had to be quick because we had plans to climb to the top of the Duke Chapel! All 239 steps of it! 

This opportunity is only offered a couple times a year, and the Fuqua Partners were fortunate enough to have a special climb :)

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The view was beautiful.  Of course I had to steady myself for a few minutes before I took any pictures because we climbed up tiny spiral staircase and I got a bit dizzy :)

Here’s the crew that braved the climb.

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I actually found the way down to be more difficult!

Inside the Chapel was just as stunning as the views.

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Because the climb overlapped somewhat with dinner, Chris and I decided to pick up some take out from Thai Cafe on the way home.  My favorite is the Drunken Noodles with chicken!

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Chris always gets the pad thai.  I helped myself to a spoonful of his.

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We haven’t had Thai food in ages so it was a nice treat!

A handful of Reeces Pieces for dessert was a nice treat too :)

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And now I leave you with snack suggestion #7!

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Three-quarters cup of shelled edamame.

Edamame is a great high fiber, high protein, and low fat snack!

Also, implementing changes to my blog has proven to be a lot more of a headache than I thought, so it may take a while! 

Hang tight! Good night! :)

Hi all,

I’m Jeremy – Meg’s brother – guest blogging for the moment. Meg often writes about local food, mentioning things she’s used from her weekly CSA basket, or desserts from the nearby loco-pops shop in Durham. For me, few things are more satisfying, or local, than pulling some veggies out of your own garden and using them in a meal that day. 

 I’m no gardening expert, but my wife (who is the better of the cooks in the house) and I have been fortunate to have some nice bounties from our backyard gardens over the years.  We’ve had gardens in Davis, CA., Chicago, IL., and currently in Athens, GA. and each one has presented its own challenges and rewards.

 I think that people often feel they don’t have the time, space, or know-how to have a productive garden, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. I’ve just been experimenting through the years, and one thing I always keep in mind is something written by a farmer in a NY Times piece I read last year about the Obama’s plans for a White House veggie garden: plants like to grow, they want to grow, and that’s what they do best. Don’t be intimidated by gardening. All you are doing is trying to help plants do what they do best. Even if you think you don’t know “how”, just try it out…dig a hole, buy a plant from the local gardening store or farmer’s market, give it plenty of water and sun and see how it goes – checking with your local gardening “expert” or internet source as you go.

Baby bell pepper

Baby bell pepper

In terms of space, well, that can be tricky depending on where you live, but we’ve been able to fit our gardens into some pretty small plots, including a 4ft. X 12 ft. slice of our tiny yard in Chicago – and that produced the best sun gold tomatoes we’ve ever had! If you don’t have a yard, try some potted tomato plants or baby bell peppers on your deck, and if you don’t have a deck, you can try some potted herbs on a south-facing windowsill.

Jalapeno

Jalapeno

In terms of time, no worries there either (depending on your goals). I try to limit watering my in-ground plants to once a week, watering long and deep to make the roots grow down. With deep roots, the plants can access the water deeper in the soil and you can reduce the amount of water you use (and the amount of time you’re out there watering)…a drip irrigation system is even better in terms of water savings and time. I water my potted veggie plants a bit more frequently depending on the rain. Other than the initial investment in planting the plants, I rarely need to spend more than fifteen minutes a day making sure the plants aren’t being hammered by pests, are well-watered, are staked to something or in some way supported and generally seem to be happy. This year, we have another small garden where we’re growing bell peppers, Cherokee purple tomatoes, sun gold tomatoes, bell peppers, baby-bell peppers, jalapenos, Serrano peppers, Japanese eggplant, basil, and parsley.

Eggplant

Eggplant

Some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying that I’m making this sound waaaay easier than it is. I’ve been volunteering at an organic farm just outside of Athens  (http://fullmooncoop.org/farm.html) and I’ve seen first hand how much time and effort goes into a full-scale operation. But it doesn’t have to be too complicated when it comes to backyard, front yard, back deck or windowsill gardening. I’ve had my share of frustrations and learning experiences and being hammered by pests (squash vine borers, flea beetles, stink bugs, tomato worms, even squirrels – notice the black mesh netting in some of the pictures), and dealing with plants that just don’t seem to want to produce. Each time, I learn a little bit more through experience or by consulting a book or looking online – there are lots of backyard gardeners who know way more than I do and who are brimming with advice. For instance, I learned that planting cilantro and parsley in full sun in late spring in Georgia isn’t such a good idea – they haven’t done too well in the heat.

Cherokee purple tomato

Cherokee purple tomato

The point is – don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid to give it a try. There’s no more basic need than food and, like I said, there’s nothing more satisfying than popping a sun gold tomato straight from the vine into your mouth and knowing that you helped that plant make that food…

Serrano pepper

Serrano pepper

Until next time….

Morning!  This is gonna be a quickie!

I am desperately trying to finish the Kashi cereals in our pantry, so I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast this morning.

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A mix of Kashi Autumn Wheat & Island Vanilla.

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With a sliced peach.

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And a spoonful of organic peanut butter for protein!

Hmmm… peanut butter is SO good!

For all you flip flop lovers out there, did anyone see this segment on the today’s show this morning about all the germs flip flops carry?  I wish I hadn’t seen it.  I only have about 25 pairs of flip flops!