Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Fun

It was finally in the 70s here in MN, which is like the best thing to happen since sliced bread, or something...
I didn't do a lot of "fun" things but we did get a lot of work done around the house.
Here are the marvelous things from my weekend.

Friday after work we took the brown dogs out to the bf's parents house, they live in the country and have a really huge yard for them to run around in, they LOVED it, we played ball and frisbee until they were tired little boys and girls. I snapped this shot on the way home, it looks like they are laughing together about something.

After that, the bf surprised me with tickets to the Twins game! It was so nice out I didn't even need a coat! So much better than the home opener which required long underwear, mittens and blankets :)

Saturday I stained our deck. We had stained it last year but we didn't love the color, it was too orangey, is that a word? And it started to weather and peel so we decided to go darker and less translucent. 



I like it much better now!

Also, I got my first watermelon of the season!!! I could eat this stuff by the bucket I love watermelon

And, I saw a double rainbow after a quick rainstorm on Sunday. Although the second one is hard to see.

Did you have a marvelous weekend?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Charlottesville, VA

Well I will tell you what I learned...traveling for work is not all that it is cracked up to be. Especially when 3 out of your 4 flights are delayed, you miss connections because of delays, you then end up missing the cool social team building event and really only thing you were looking forward to about the trip. You end up spending only ten minutes outdoors in the glorious sunshine and 70 degree weather because the rest of the time is spent in meetings or sitting at the airport waiting. You get hardly any sleep or down time and are pretty much working from 4am Tuesday to 11pm Wednesday. 
So now I shall show you a bit of what that amazing trip I just described was like :)

While I had 4 hours to kill at the Atlanta airport, I started by grabbing a quick breakfast since I had been up since 4am and hadn't had anything but coffee and a banana. I got this fruit and yogurt parfait with granola. Low fat vanilla yogurt, it was pretty good actually.

The two people I was traveling with wanted to get lunch a while later since we had plenty of time. We went to a new restaurant at the ATL airport called the Atlanta Braves bar & grill...I knew there wouldn't be much for me,  but I got a grilled chicken and lettuce wrap and fresh fruit. AND I tried honey dew melon for the first time, while the airport might not be the best place to try a new food, it was actually pretty good, I would eat it again. 

 When we finally got to Charlottesville, which is gorgeous by the way, and the weather is so nice right now, we went to the University campus which is where we were staying and having our meeting. That building right there is where the Inn at Darden is, my room is one of those windows on the second floor.

Here is my room. Small, a little old seeming, but the bed was comfy, and since I spent only about 7 hours total in this room it was good enough.

OH look what I found! Why yes I will make a wish :) 

Can you see the little things floating away? I won't tell you what I wished for but I will tell you if it comes true.

While walking around campus I realized this was the first time in like 7 months my bare feet had been outside, heeey pale skin!

 Flowering tree, smelled heavenly

 Flowers were blooming everywhere here, it really puts perspective on WHY in the HECK people stay in MN when you could live somewhere like this.

Here is the main building and the big green patch of grass.

 Front of our guest house building

Lewis and Clark statue 

My fancy dinner at a fancy restaurant called C&O, I got steak chinoise, I know it was not the healthiest of choices but of the things I was comfortable eating off the menu...there wasn't much left. By the time we ate dinner that night it was like 8:30, I was so hungry, I didn't eat any of the appetizers (because they were all so weird) I didn't get anything to drink besides water and I didn't order dessert like everyone else did, so I'd say I made some good choices here...but really I just wanted to go to sleep.

I got the bf some sea salt caramels, a favorite of his.

We were stuck sitting at the Charlottesville airport for 3.5 hours, the smallest airport I have ever seen, but how adorable they had rocking chairs in the lounge areas, so cute and southern. 

I finally got back home after 11pm on Wednesday, the bf stayed up to greet me, had some food warmed in the oven and was simply amazing because he personally knows how hard traveling is, I don't know how he could do this on a regular basis, I am too much of a home body to like that very often. I like my house, my dogs, my routine and then once in a while seeing different parts of the world.
I have so many blogs I want to catch up on, I feel like I have been gone forever and really it has been a few days, ah well it's time for the weekend.
 Hope everyone had a great week and is planning fun for the weekend!

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Like Beverages and Sandwiches

Monday is here! YAY!!!

just kidding.

I'm tired and part of it is anticipation of BEING tired because tomorrow morning I have to wake up at 4am! I'm going on a business trip :) which is fun except for the whole working from 4am to 9pm thing. Hopefully I can tough it out and make good food choices and enjoy my trip. I will be sure to share highlights from my East Coast adventure this week 

This weekend was good for me, except we did get a whole bunch of snow Thursday into Friday so our deck looked like this. 


On Saturday the bf and I had Potbelly sandwiches for lunch, I got grilled chicken with extra lettuce on wheat.

I also got to drink a new beverage, I love these sparkling waters from Target and they now have some new flavors, this was strawberry lemonade and it was really refreshing!

Saturday night the bf and I went out to Bostons and I got cocktails! I haven't had a mixed drink in years, I honestly don't even remember the last time we went out and I drank something other than beer or wine, lol I'm such a lightweight. But I wanted something with soda so I had vanilla vodka/diet was good :)

On Sunday I decided to try the "Fruit Floes" I got at Trader Joes

I thought they would be like popsicles, but I had no idea they would have chunks of shredded fruit in them...I did NOT like this. The flavor was really good but I like to lick popsicles and not bite them, I have sensitive teeth and can't bite them. Therefore random chunks of shredded fruit were all sticking out and getting in my mouth and it was just gross. I had a little then gave the rest to my brown dogs, they liked it haha

And the sun FINALLY came out in MN, got up to 40 something degrees...although I've heard rumors of another 6-9 inch snow storm coming tonight...OY 
(don't look at my double chin, that was a bad angle to take a photo at, I should know better)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Don't Skip Breakfast!

Who is glad it's Friday?!! I sure am!

Except for the 6+ inches of snow here in MN...  I am working from home today to avoid hours of time spent in traffic to try to get to work. I am sitting in my "home office" at my dining room table getting ready to start my work day with CNN's pretty intense.

Yesterday was a weird day, I skipped breakfast...BAD IDEA, I was in a hurry, I drank my coffee and wasn't entirely hungry. My "normal" breakfast didn't sound good so I just didn't eat anything. Before lunch time I had to go stop at my moms house to pick something up and the bonus is that she babysits my 3 year old nephew so I was going to play with him a bit too. Well my mom, love her, had all sorts of candy and snacks at her house, and by 11am I was SO HUNGRY that I ate a couple handfuls of gummy lifesavers, some mini three musketeers bars and some squares of cold leftover thin crust pizza....yeah, not really the best choices right? I already know that. After eating those things and playing with my nephew I headed home. I did not eat lunch and I did not eat anything else until dinner time. Oh man, I bet if I had eaten breakfast I might have been able to control myself a bit better, not that I went super crazy and binged or anything, but just eating candy and cold pizza isn't usually a great option for breakfast.

For dinner since it was blizzarding here in MN I knew I wanted something warm and comforting I decided to bulk up a box of Annie's white cheddar shells.

But I wanted to make it a bit more nutritious and filling so I added a bunch of veggies, some chicken and instead of milk to make the sauce I just used water. I can't really tell the difference so I make it that way.

 I cooked up the pasta, sauteed the chicken and veggies in another pan 

Took a quick microwave selfie :)

Annnd stirred it all together for a yummy dinner for 10 Points Plus and lunch for tomorrow. I put it on a plate because it all spreads out and makes me feel like I get a lot more than in a bowl lol

Oh and I am the best dog mommy and I took the brown dogs outside to play in the blizzard.

Do you like to bulk up foods with veggies and protein? 
Are you watching the live news right now?
Is there snow where you are? If not, can I come over??

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Uneventful Day

Yesterday was pretty uneventful for me, life is usually a bit on the quieter side when the bf travels, I tend to use that time to veg a little bit more, watch some tv shows that only I enjoy and make easy meals for just one girl. I also got in a little C25K week six action, which is the last day of the whole plan that includes any walking breaks in between running periods...starting with my next run I am running minimum 25 minutes straight every time..I am TERRIFIED. But, as I look back along this C25K journey I notice that every time I thought something would be too hard and I wouldn't be able to do it...I did it! I haven't had to do any days/weeks more than once I have just pushed through. Granted I'm not running 10 minute miles, maybe eventually, but not yet. I just run at a comfortable pace that keeps me in the 150-170 bpm heart zone I like to do cardio in.

I had a fruity/greek yogurt/fiber cereal breakfast...I thought I would never get sick of this, but I sort of am. I think I need to switch up my breakfasts a little more because I get bored and I think it makes me crave more snacky variety later in the day.

For dinner I tossed a salad together with some chicken, I recently bought this pre-cooked stuff, I'm usually not a huge fan of pre-cooked meat but this stuff intrigued me so I gave it a shot. A lot of times pre-cooked chicken like this smells like tuna to me and I DO NOT like tuna.
This stuff gets my thumbs up.

I was so hungry after my workout I ate half my salad before I remembered to snap a picture! 

Then my puppy climbed up on my chair and tried to snuggle and beg at the same time..but I'm greedy and didn't share. 

Later in the evening I needed a snack so I cracked open a can of Zevia and some Popcorn! 

Did you have an exciting or uneventful day yesterday?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trying New Foods

Yesterday I tried two new food products! I am always interested in trying new food products, especially if they are unique or are somehow healthier or more nutritious than their counterpart. 

My best friend told me about this site Bzz Agent, and how you sign up to be an agent and take surveys and they will invite you to be a part of campaigns for new products. I think it sounds really cool so I went and signed up. I filled out some short and easy surveys, linked up some of my social media accounts and within a couple days I was invited to be a part of a campaign...where they send you FREE THINGS. Then you try the things and give honest feedback about them. I haven't received my free things yet but I will let you know when I do and give some sort of review on here.

My friend however received a free thing and came over to my house to share it with me.  She got samples of Green Giant's new veggie chips, two large bags and then some smaller snack size bags for sharing with she gave to me. I was really excited to try these because I LOVE salty crunchy snacks and let's be honest, regular chips aren't really great for you.

Obviously these are still chips, so it's not like eating vegetables, but it is somewhat better for you than your average chip and I loved the way they tasted. The ones she had in small bags were Sea Salt Sweet Potato chips. She also had a big bag of their Veggie Tortilla chips which were like a healthy version of Doritos!

My friend said these weren't her favorite chips because she felt they were sort of plain, but they were right up my alley!

Here is the nutrition, (it is 110 calories in case you can't see), and the whole bag is 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus, which is my general limit for a snack type food so that is good.

I busted these open in the afternoon when I usually crave a salty snack at work, just to get my through the last couple hours. They smelled good AND they tasted good. They had  a solid crunch, not the flakey weird texture of a lot of "healthy" chips like Baked Lays- I'm not a fan of those. These however reminded me of thinner, lighter Frito chips! With less corn flavor and more sweet/salty sweet potato flavor. I enjoyed that they were more on the salty side, but my tastes might be more sensitive now because I don't add a lot of salt to my food anymore. I also liked that the chips were small pieces...maybe they were just all broken lol but I liked that, I'd rather feel like I'm getting a lot of small chips and not 5 large chips in my serving. 
Overall, I would definitely buy these on my own, not sure if they sell these snack size bags or if they were just the sample but I like individually wrapped things so I hope they sell them or will sell them. 

The other new food I tried was with dinner, it was something I bought during my Trader Joe's Extravaganza and have been looking forward to trying. 
Beef-less strips!

I paired them with some sauteed bell peppers and mashed sweet potatoes and had a yummy, garlicy dinner!

The texture was nice, obviously not just like steak strips would be, but pretty similar and not weird at all. They just heat up quick in a pan sprayed with cooking spray or a little olive oil and voila! Dinner for one friend plus leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)

Do you like to try new products? 

Did you have a nice Tuesday?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sometimes You Need a Grilled Cheese

I am fully aware the a grilled cheese is not the picture of nutrition. But I also know that sometimes, you just need one. Like when It is mid-April and snowy and windy outside, when your puppy is sick and keeps waking you up in the night coughing and throwing up, when you just feel like it.
So that's what I did.
But first, I worked out :)
I did Week 6 Day 1 of my C25K, which after running 20 minutes straight on Saturday seemed like a breeze. It was run 5 minutes, walk 3, run 8 minutes, walk 3, run 5 minutes. Boom! Done
Well not done, I continued to walk until I hit 45 minutes because that is my time goal.
So workout=done.

Then for lunch I just felt like a grilled cheese. We had some leftover sandwich bread from the weekend, I took some reduced fat colby jack cheese and some spinach and made that grilled cheese in my panini press...and it was delicious.

For dinner, I knew the bf was going to be gone so I planned to finish off the rest of my baked Tofu from Trader Joe's and make another stir fry. I took cooked up some egg whites in a pan, then I added broccoli slaw.

I heated up some mixed frozen veggies and a cup of that whole grain medley from Minute Rice.

I tossed in some lower sodium soy sauce. 

 Mixed the veggies, rice, and cut up tofu into the broccoli slaw and egg whites and tossed it all together.

Then I divided it in half and for 7 Points Plus had this for dinner and another servicing leftover for lunch at work tomorrow. WIN