Tag Archives: lunch

Final Day of the Challenge!

Yes, yes . . . the final 30-Day Challenge post has come. But don’t fret, I will still be blogging about food choices and recipes, reviewing new food items, and, of course, filling you in on my exercise progress. But before I give you a run-down of what I have learned, let’s go over yesterday’s meals.

Breakfast was two slices of whole grain bread with about 1 Tbsp. of almond butter and 1/2 Tbsp. of jam on each. I also had some more green grapes and blueberries. Can you tell what fruit was on sale this week? (;

I had a ton of work to do in the morning and time just flew! So, when 2 p.m. rolled around and I realized I had not yet eaten lunch, I decided to roast a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables in the oven. Everything you see is frozen except for the portobello mushrooms; those were left over from when Dan marinated them the other day. I threw a bit of olive oil on top, put the oven on 425 degrees and roasted them for about 12 minutes. I sliced some Trader Joe’s teriyaki-flavored baked tofu and put it on the side.

After lunch, I did some more work, and then went for a walk with my sister around 4 p.m. We walked (and talked) through some serious hills — yep, the one-miler! — for a little more than an hour. It was good to get out and sweat and, of course, spend some time with my sister. I will miss those impromptu walks when I move. ):

Dinner was a Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella veggie patty on two slices of whole grain bread. I added about 1 Tbsp. each of ketchup and Lemonaise Light, along with a few leaves of Boston bibb lettuce. This was the first time I tried this kind of Boca patty, and I really enjoyed it. I was hoping for some bigger chunks of mushrooms in the patty — I love them! — but there was a really great mushroom taste to make up for it.

So, that’s it! My last day of the Challenge. But don’t think that the everyday “challenge” stops here. I will continue to work toward living a healthy life, and I will be sure to share it here with you. But, in the mean time, a few things I have learned along the way:

1.) Portions, portions, portions! I was much more conscious of portion sizes when I knew I was going to be sharing my dietary habits with the World Wide Web. Even when I splurged, I tried to watch what I was eating for the rest of the day and/or limit my intake of whatever it was I was enjoying — except for those dang s’mores! It’s a factor I am still working on, but this experience helped me to pay more attention before digging in.

2.) Fitness is key. At least, for me it is. On the days that I got up and got moving, I ate better, was more focused at work, felt better and slept sounder. I already knew all of these things, but the Challenge helped me to reaffirm the importance of physical activity in my daily life. Even if I take a break from computer work and only go for a 10-minute walk, it helps me. I do wish, however, that I would have shared more of it with you. I feel like I was so focused on food, food, food, that I missed the emphasis on exercise in the process. Perhaps, I will to share more of that with you over the next few weeks . . .

3.) More fruit and vegetables. Seeing all of my meals on display throughout the last 30+ days has really allowed me to see food aspects that I still need to improve. For example, when I see a day with little or no color, I know that I really skimped on fruits and vegetables. I may not have eaten unhealthy per say, but I did lack produce. This is one thing I am still working on which, technically, should not be too hard because I love fruits and veggies. I will keep you posted on that progress!

So, I am curious: What is one of the best changes you have ever made? Let me know, and we can chat about it in the “Comments” section of this post.

Ready to take on a new change? Check out First30Days and make the change of your choice, including “Go Green,” “Dealing with Depression” and “Living Healthier.” Want to read about it? I am loving Ariane De Bonvoisin’s The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More).

Well, I am saying so long to the Challenge, but hello to a healthier life! I look forward to continue sharing with you all of my efforts toward a better, well, . . . me! So, stay tuned. (:



Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Weekend Goodies and a Breakfast to Die For!

Wasn’t the video this morning just fabulous? I loved watching Matt Harding takes his dance moves across the world . . . just totally inspiring.

OK, folks! So, it’s time for the weekend 30-Day Challenge wrap-up. Here goes…

Friday: Lunch was one of the yummiest sandwiches I have ever had — seriously! Dan had marinated a few huge portobello mushroom caps the night before, so I roasted one and put it between two toasted slices of whole grain bread. I also added lettuce and about 1 tbsp. of Lemonaise Light. Notice the cranberry-splashed water in the background. A little bit after lunch I was craving something sweet, so I had a bowl of green grapes and perfectly-ripe blueberries. What a perfect foodie afternoon!

My brothers were visiting on Friday night because we were going to work on our bikes Saturday afternoon, so we splurged on some pizza and ice cream treats. I had two medium-sized pieces of pizza and, later, a Snickers Ice Cream Bar. We watched movies and had a blast!

On Saturday morning, I got up early and went for a 4-mile run. I forgot my watch, so I am not sure what my time was, but I think I was cookin’ it along pretty well! It felt good to be done with exercise early. After that, I was back to my usual self at breakfast— munching on one of my favorite cereals! I had a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares with about 1 cup of soy milk.

Before we trekked it over to FreeRide, I had a small bowl of whole wheat shells with about 1 tbsp. of Smart Balance Omega Olive Oil “butter” spread and a few dashes of onion salt. My stomach was kind of bothering me, so I decided to keep it a little on the bland side. We worked on our bikes for four hours (more on that later!) and then headed home for some dinner.

Whew, we were tired! But we did manage to whip up some food before relaxing for the night.

The boys had chicken and tortellinis and, since my stomach was still bothering me, I kept it simple with some toast with peanut butter and hot green tea. I was feeling much better by the time I hit the sack. Must have just been a little bug.

Sunday morning’s breakfast was a huge treat: My sister, her boyfriend and I took the boys to the infamous Pamela’s! Poor Dan had to head off to work, but we thought of him with every bite! (:

Now, if you are not from Pittsburgh, you will not understand the glory that is Pamela’s, but let me try to explain. They have these amazing thin — and kind of crispy — pancakes that are as big as your plate. And strawberries and cream-stuffed crepes. And California French toast. And home fries with big chunks of potatoes. And …. oh, I could just go on and on.

I am so, so bummed, but I forgot to take a picture! Ahhh! I was so focused on eating my California French Toast (whole wheat raisin bread, dipped in egg and cooked up for your eating pleasure) that I completely forgot to snap a photo! But check out the picture (at left) of the strawberry crepes — that is what my sister ate and, boy, are they delish, too. My sister and I also shared a side of the oh-so-good home fries.

After that feast, I was so completely stuffed that lunch was definitely out of the question; especially, since we ate a later breakfast.

But, don’t worry, my eating adventures were not over just yet! After running a few errands around home — and packing some boxes (yep, it’s already moving time) — my brothers, Dan and I went to my parents’ house for our usual Sunday night dinner.

We had some great food, and I loaded my plate with corn on the cob, salad, grilled green beans and potatoes, and about a 2.5-oz. serving of ahi tuna. Again, a fabulous meal!

And, now, here I am, back to Monday, and starting the week anew. This weekend was fun, albeit a little bit indulgent, but it’s always nice to splurge!

Tomorrow is the last day of the Challenge! Meet back here to talk about some of the things I have learned, and for run-through of today and tomorrow’s meals.

Enjoy the evening! (:

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Recycle, Reuse and Drink Cranberry Juice!

So, Wednesday night did end up coming to a close with two of the chewy-licious brownie cookies from Whole Foods. (; I also had a glass of water with about 1/4 inch of 100% cranberry juice at the bottom.

Just a note: The cranberry water is just my way of jazzing up my water a bit. The pure juice is sooo thick that it only requires a tiny bit at the bottom to give the water some extra punch! Something about the cranberry juice is so refreshing and I really enjoy it added to my water once or twice a day. In addition, it’s super high in vitamin C, and research shows that it helps to prevent urinary tract infections. Not that I am particularly concerned about that, but, hey, it’s good to know!

Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a bowl of my favorite . . . Quaker Oatmeal Squares! I love this stuff — just in case you didn’t know that already! I had it with about 1 cup unsweetened soy milk. (P.S. You might notice the Coke bottle way back in the left corner there. Don’t worry — that’s from my younger brother who was visiting on Wednesday. Coke is not a part of the 30-Day Challenge! Plus, I hate most soda. Every now an then, I will have a Diet Coke, but that’s about it.)

Lunch was a small bowl of leftover mac & cheese. This was a really yummy, creamy batch if I do say so myself! But I didn’t have too much of an appetite, so I did not go overboard.

Of course, I did save room for one more cookie after lunch! I have a love/hate relationship with these treats. They are so delish, but I hate having them in the house because they are hard to resist!

After lunch, I continued working until Dan got home. We had a date to go to FreeRide, and left around 5:45. Now, let me explain to you a bit about FreeRide: I had heard about the bike co-op program from a conversation I had struck up with a girl at a coffee shop one day. I told her I loved her bike and wanted one, too, and she told me about FreeRide, a Pittsburgh co-op program where people can go and use old bikes and bike parts to build a new bike. Cha-ching! “That sounds awesome!” I told her. And it was totally up my alley — I love the idea of reusing otherwise discarded bikes and bike parts to make something new.

So, Dan and I — two people who desperately want to start using bikes instead of cars to get from A to B — made it a goal to build bikes before we more to Ohio. Well, once my brothers, sister and her boyfriend, Anthony, heard of the idea, they just had to do it, too! So, now we are all putting together and fixing up bikes, and we are so excited. They went and picked out their bikes on Tuesday evening, so Dan and I high-tailed it to FreeRide last night, so we could get the process started, too.

But don’t go thinking it’s all for free! The program works like this: There is a $15 entry fee, or you can volunteer for three hours before you walk through the shop and pick out your bike/bike parts. Then, once you pick a bike, you take it to one of the volunteers and he or she appraises it for what they think it is worth. Now, you can either pay the price, and then take your bike into the shop and fix it up, or you can “earn a bike.” This means that for every $8 your bike is worth you must volunteer for one hour in the shop.

Pretty cool, huh?

Dan and I paid the $15 entry fee because we wanted to pick our bikes out ASAP! After much looking and deciding, I found the bike of my bicycling dreams. Look how cute she is! I love that there is a rack already attached, so that I can add a basket for transporting groceries and things of the sort. She is definitely going to require some work — I need a higher seat, the wheels need a tune up, etc. — but I am psyched!

Goldie Jr. (I used to have a car named Goldie … Ha, ha!) was appraised at $30, so that means I can pay the fee or volunteer for about four hours. Dan and I decided that we are going to volunteer to pay for our bikes, and that means we may be recruited to do a number of things, including help other people fix their bikes (I better brush up on my bike knowledge!), make phone calls or sort bike parts.

Dan’s “bike,” on the other hand, will require a lot more work than mine, seeing as how it is only this as of right now . . .

See the orange and blue parts of the frame? Yeah, that’s his. Of course, he had to pick the most challenging project — Hee, hee! (:

After spending a bit more time checking out the shop, we decided to head home. FreeRide gets rather crowded after about a 1/2 hour of being open (they were open 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. last night), so if you don’t start working right away, then most of the bike stands are filled pretty quickly. So, since we took time to pick out our bikes, we decided to go back tomorrow afternoon and start working. All you have to do it tag your bike with a number given to you and leave it in to shop for next time.

I am so excited to be able to take Goldie Jr. home!

I am not sure if there are bike co-op programs in your area, but it is definitely worth looking into. What a great way to recycle and reuse, cut back on gas emissions, get a good workout, and have fun!

We didn’t get home until about 8 p.m., so that meant a late dinner. I hate eating that late, but I was happy with our night at FreeRide, so I dealt with it. I did some more work while Dan cooked up something delicious. We had mahi mahi with some sort of wonderful marinade, sautéed veggies and sliced baked potato “chips.” This was a superb dinner and a great way to end a fun night.

After dinner, I could not wait to get to bed — whew, I was tired! It was one of those nights where the distance from the couch to the bedroom seemed like a marathon. But I made it there and totally crashed! I slept for about 6 1/2 hours — still working on doing better with sleep.

And now, here I am typing away to you. That’s the update for now — I gotta go get some breakfast! Until later, have a great day . . . wherever you are!

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Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Breakfast On-the-Go and a Run-In with Top Chef!

Ah, finally! Here we are, ready to blog and a computer to do it. Even Emerson, one of my kitties, is ready. Well, kind of. . .

It has been a crazy few days with my computer on the fritz. And as a consolation prize to you having missed my Challenge posts so darn much, I will be making up for the last three days with a few extra posts.

So, get ready! Here we go:

Breakfast this morning was on the run. Dan and I had a meeting to attend and before I knew it, it was time to leave. I grabbed a chocolate peanut butter Special K Protein bar and a glass of water with a dash of 100% pure cranberry juice. This was the first time I tried these bars and they are quite tasty! They did not taste like some of the other bars I have sampled — chalky, cardboard-like, you know the drill — and it actually did hold me over until I arrived home for a small snack (1 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt). These Special K babies clock in at 180 calories, 6 g fat, 5 g fiber and 15 g sugar. Now, I don’t usually supplement meals with a bar, but they are a good emergency plan when your schedule just doesn’t allow for a sit-down breakfast. Plus, I would rather eat a bar than nothing at all!

I completely forgot to photograph lunch before I chowed down, but I had about 3.5 oz. canned tuna mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. Lemonaise Light and 1/8 cup dried cranberries. I put it between some lettuce leaves and two slices whole grain bread. Mmmm!

When I had finished lunch, Dan stopped home to say hello and brought some flowers he had picked on his way inside. I thought I would share … pretty, huh? What a sweetie.

After I said goodbye to Dan, I had to make a quick trip to Whole Foods. When I arrived, there was a huge Top Chef truck in the parking lot. Apparently, members from the show travel to different areas across the country, cook up some good food and put on a show for a few visitors. I didn’t have time to wait around for a show, but I did snag some yummy tuna with olive tapenade on a little slice of bread.

After the grocery store, I went home and did some more work. A few hours later, it was time for dinner! My brother, Isaac, is visiting tonight, so I made him one of his favorites — homemade Mac & Cheese! I based my recipe loosely on the one I have tried before from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.

I changed it up substituting whole wheat noodles for 1/2 of the plain pasta the recipe calls for; so, that means I had 8 oz. whole wheat and 8 oz. plain pasta. I also added a bit more cheese to make it creamier which, obviously, changed the calorie content of the dish. But that’s the way Isaac likes it and I wanted him to be happy! (: I had a bowl, and I was totally stuffed . . . macaroni is filling!

Well, that’s it for the night. Although, I did pick up some of those fabulous Whole Foods Chewy Brownie Cookies, so I may just have to have one of those!

We’ll just have to see . . . (;


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Getting Reacquainted!

I am back in Pittsburgh! What a great week on my own; I learned some fabulous things about writing and myself. And it is amazing how much more quickly you can get work done when you have zero distractions! I am looking forward to applying some of these lessons in everyday life.

A recap of the last few days:

I went for an early-morning run on Thursday, clocking four miles in a little under 32 minutes. That means I was running a consistent 8-minute per mile pace, except for the last mile where I picked it up a bit. It felt good to get out and get my body moving pre-breakfast.

One tip I want to share with you: I had a little bit of side cramping, and a long time ago my mom taught me a method for easing the pain. Next time you have a cramp, try blowing against your lips as if you were blowing a gust of wind. You will feel totally goofy, but the pressure against your lips has a massaging affect on your ribs and sides. I did it for a bit on Thursday, and after a few minutes, the pain eased up.

Thursday breakfast was a morning staple: You guessed it, Quaker Oatmeal Squares! I had about 1 1/2 cups with 1 cup skim milk. I followed breakfast up with black coffee and a banana about an hour later.

Shortly there after, Dan and Luke arrived (they were my escorts home), and we made a group decision to hit up Cavallario’s one last time for the year. We decided to call it a lunch/dinner, or as my sister likes to say “linner.” But because I was extremely hungry I ate a snack of wheat crackers and my favorite hummus: Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus. I had about 12 crackers with a bit of hummus on each.

“Linner” was two pieces of pizza, one mushroom and onion, and one plain piece. I could not get my favorite pesto pizza because the boys just weren’t feeling it. So, I compromised and it was still very yummy!

We did a little bit of running around after dinner, and then headed home for a movie and ice cream. I hadn’t been eating sweets while I was on my own, so I probably overdid it with the ice cream. But, oh well — It was tasty and worth it!

I did some packing after the movie, and then headed to bed. I only got about 5 1/2 hours of sleep, so I was a bit tired for traveling in the morning, but I mustered some energy and we got out of there at a decent time.

Friday breakfast: We were rushing so much that I had to eat a bowl of cereal on the road. I had my helping of the usual, as I am sure you already assumed. (: I also had some coffee about two hours after breakfast. It was sorely needed after skimping on sleep last night.

I kepy it healthy while driving despite the typical temptations of M&M’s and Twizzlers — I nixed them completely. I was also keeping in mind that I was heading to a 4th of July party later that night, and that always involves lots of temptations. Lunch was a packed PB and banana sandwich on whole grain bread.

When we got home, — it’s a 7 1/2 hour drive — I was rushing to get reacquainted with everything (I had been away for nearly three weeks) and before I knew it I had to start getting ready to head back out the door. It felt kind of weird to put a little makeup on and proper clothes after three weeks of a hassle-free bathroom routine, swimsuits and sweats!

My sister and her boyfriend, Anthony, were the hosts of the party. Check out some of the yummy food I munched on for dinner! There was pasta salad, fruit, chicken, burgers, buffalo chicken dip with bread, and a salmon spread, which looks unappetizing, but it is so, so good! That’s a recipe my sister stole from my mom and it totally rocks with some bagel chips or crackers.

Dinner was followed by chocolate chip cookies and a Fourth of July cake my sister made from white cake and icing, strawberries for the stripes and blueberries for the stars. I totally forgot to snag a picture, but it was beautiful! I hated to see her cut into it, but I was glad she did — it was delish! I had two small cookies and a small slice of cake.

We watched the city fireworks from the deck, and it was a fun night had by all. I love good food, company and a reason to celebrate!

Today has been a busy day — work and cleaning up around the apartment. Breakfast was about 1 cup of shredded wheat with skim milk while working, and I had an iced coffee and oatmeal cookie a bit later. I am way behind on eating today, so I need to go get on track; skipping meals always makes me so headache-y. Time just really slipped away from me today!

I hope you enjoy the three-day weekend that so many people are celebrating!


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Breakfast on an Island and the Best Gosh, Darn Pizza Ever!

Hello, lovely people!

Vacation is winding down quickly, but I wanted to write and fill you in from where I left you last . . .

Rewinding a bit to Monday:

Breakfast was a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter and Thousand Islands Winery’s Blackberry Merlot jam. Both of these were from the wine festival we attended on Sunday, and, after tasting them, I would say they are tummy-approved buys! The jam, as you probably already assumed, has merlot in it and you can taste a faint hint of the wine with each bite. A perfect combo with the blackberries. I think I said, “Mmm…” with every bite. I had the toast with a cup of black coffee — go figure, right?

I am going to be honest with you about lunch — I have no clue what I ate, there are no photos to help me recollect and I am going to just have to assume that I flat-out forget what filled my tummy that afternoon.

But one thing is for sure: Dinner was anything but unforgettable because we went to Cavallario’s Pizza! YAY!! I had a slice of my favorite, Pesto, Feta Cheese and Artichoke, and one slice of cheese and mushroom. It was all so delightful!

After dinner, we walked around Alexandria Bay for a while, and then topped off the night with some ice cream. I got a regular-sized cone with twist soft serve ice cream and rainbow sprinkles. I felt slightly childish, but I enjoyed every bite of it!

Later that night, we went to a local natural water spring and filled up some jugs. It is so amazing to see fresh water come out of the ground like that, and it feels good to know you are putting something so pure into your body.

I got mosquito bites that swelled up my whole foot, but — despite the itchies — it was worth it!

On Tuesday, we started off the day early by taking a trip to Mary Island — a beautifully wooded campground and trails, and the infamous home to my uncle’s proposal to my aunt that I talked about earlier.

My mom packed a bunch of food for us to cook breakfast on the island, using the charcoal grills that are located at various sites throughout the park.

Some of the work was done at home; the potatoes were boiled and chopped before we left, and Dan made the pancakes, so they only had to be reheated once we arrived.

When we first set out on the boat, the weather was not looking too promising, so we had to bundle up a bit and bear the semi-chilly weather.

Once we arrived, we set up camp and then everyone got started cooking.

We made started two charcoal fires — my mom sauteéd the crazy-good potatoes that I have talked way too much about, and made toast and eggs on one, and the boys had some eggs and bacon going on the other. We also warmed up the aforementioned pancakes. Mmm … everything looked so good. Nice pj’s mom!

I munched on some grapes — hey, Luke, get your hand out of there! — and four Pringles from my brother’s personal stash while I waited.

Here is what my plate looked like:

Tasty, huh?

After eating, we hung out on the island for a while, and the weather just kept getting better and better. Look at the sunshine difference in these two pictures! The first is from when we arrived and the second about an hour after we had been on the island.

What a great morning!

After that, I was pretty stuffed, and lunch was pretty much out of the question. I did, however, snack on a cookie.

Dinner was early, but I kept it pretty light. I had a medium-sized salad with 2 slices of whole grain bread that I dipped in an herb olive oil. It was so good!

And for a snack … drumroll please! … we had s’mores. I sandwiched mine in dark chocolate again, and it was oh-so-good. Ignore the goofy face — I was lost in s’more heaven. I had three — I know you’re thinking, “Control yourself, girl!” But they were just the best. (:

By the end of the day I felt pretty filled to the brim with food. But it really was a fabulous 1000 Islands day — food and all.

More on the fabulous life and food times at The 1000 Islands later … for now, I gotta go eat dinner! I think we are hitting up Cavallario’s, again, for one last hoorah! (;

I will fill you in on all of the yummy details later …


Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Fancy Cheese, Wine Festival and Potatoes, Potatoes, Potatoes!


It’s been a little while since I last posted and, boy, do I have some good vacation times — food, too! — to share with you.

But first: In case you are just tuning in, I want all of my readers to understand the method behind my slightly increased madness. Starting on June 9th, I kicked off a personal 30-day health challenge based on the influence of my writing work with First30Days, a Web site devoted to helping individuals change their life for the better. I have also been reading the book, First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (And Loving Your Life More) and it has bee an amazing resource for helping me along in my journey.

However, let me tell you one thing — it probably was not the best idea to kick off this change before I went on vacation, one of the most self-indulgent times of my year. It’s been a bit tough to moderate. But we learn, right?

And I have been thinking that it may have not been so bad of a thought after all because vacation is a time for self-renewal anyway, at least, that is how I look at it. So, perhaps, it was a good time — especially, a good time to learn how to better control portion sizes of foods that are not so high on the healthy list. (; I have also been working on pushing the exercise factor despite the fact that I would sometimes rather just sit and read a fabulous book.

Now, when I left you last, I was heading off to dinner. Thursday night’s meal ended up being mahi mahi, chicken, a spicy black bean rice dish and grilled veggies. I had about 2 oz. each of the chicken and fish, and 1/2 cup of rice with the vegetables on the side.

I also had a small glass of wine. Mmm … this dinner was so good.

After we finished cleaning up, we took a night ride on our boat and my mom, dad and Dan jumped in. I had a slight earache, so the water just was not happening for me that night. But I did get some funny pictures of everyone jumping in — it was chilly!

Friday was kicked off with a bowl of the usual — Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats with about 1 cup of 1 % milk. But I jazzed it up by adding a side of some homemade potatoes. In case you have not noticed, these potatoes are a vacation breakfast staple. They have become particularly special to the 1000 Islands because these salt potatoes — potatoes boiled in salt — are a breakfast food my mom often ate with her family when they vacationed here. And so, the tradition of yummy potatoes was passed on. Most likely, however, they are not part of a healthy diet. (: But for vacation, I believe in some exceptions, especially, family food traditions!

After breakfast, my sister’s boyfriend, Anthony, surprised her by arriving a day early. Her face was priceless!

Lunch was a bit of a repeat of dinner the night before; I had about 3/4 cup of black beans and rice with a dried blueberry-topped salad. I was trying to keep it a bit on the light side because I knew we were having “fancy” grilled cheese for dinner.

I followed up lunch with a small bit of M&Ms.

Before dinner, my mom, sister and I went for a 4-mile walk. It felt good to get out and get my muscles moving!

Now, before I move on to dinner, I think this meal requires some explanation. I call this “fancy” grilled cheese because when Dan first came to the 1000 Islands we visited this store called River Rat Cheese, — I know, what a name, right? — and he came up with the idea to buy a bunch of gourmet cheeses and great bread to make some extra-special grilled sandwiches. Not much genius thought required behind that culinary creation, but oh-my-gosh these things are fabulous! Now, they are a once a year vacation dinner requirement, and I am so thankful my fiancé established that tradition — thanks, honey! I tried to keep it as healthy as humanely possible by putting it on whole grain bread. My sandwich was a mix of garlic and chive, tomato basil, and a dash of jalepeno cheese. On the side was some split pea soup from the The Wellesley Hotel. I know it kind of looks like baby food in the photo, but the fresh peas tasted so, so good. It was topped off with sliced sugar snap peas and I ate every bit of it! I was a bit full after this one . . . to say the least.

Breakfast on Saturday morning was the last bit of my Barbara’s with about 1 cup 1 % milk. Luke tried to steal it from me, but then her realized how serious I was about this cereal, and he gave it right back! (:

My last bunch of Barbara’s was followed by a trip to a book sale in Alexandria Bay. Yay, BOOK SALE!!!!! I know, books are pretty much the last thing I need, but I figure there are worse addictions out there, right? I bought about 20 used books for $13.00! Now, that’s a bargain you just cannot pass up!

I must not have been feeling lunch much that day because I only munched on a graham cracker and bananas with peanut butter. We had an XMen trilogy fest — yes, we are nerds like that! — and maybe the intensity just got to me . . . who knows! Looking back, I went a little overboard on my peanut butter dosage for the day!

Dinner was a chicken chili that my mom concocted, and it was mighty tasty! It was chock-full of chickpeas, black beans and veggies; I also had a piece of whole grain bread dipped in olive oil. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture — I must have been so hungry from skipping lunch that is slipped my mind. Sorry!

I had to buy a new cereal for Sunday’s breakfast, and it had to be very similar to my Barbara’s. So, I purchased Quaker Shredded Oats “with a touch of brown sugar.” They are tasty, too, and I wouldn’t mind using them every now and then to change it up a bit!

Around noon, we all headed to a food and wine festival in Clayton. It was so much fun to try bits of different wines, cheese and crackers, homemade dips, bread and herbed olive oils . . . yummy!

After the festival, we walked around town for a little while, where I had a piece of shortbread from a small cafe. We then went back to the cottage for some time in the sun! Before I went outside, I had a piece of a Pop Tart. OK — pause for a second. I never eat Pop Tarts, I mean — never. And as I was eating this piece of pastry, I was thinking, “Why am I eating this?” And then, I realized: Because I can! The truth is, if I did not have these kiddie foods around me, like when I am at home, I would not be eating them. Well, lesson learned!

For dinner that night, Dan was at it again with an amazing red pepper and sliced almond turkey burger concoction. I had mine with ketchup and light mayo on two slices of whole grain bread. I also had a salad and 12 oz. beer on the side. I am usually not a big beer fan, but sometimes it sounds good to me when I am eating something like a burger. Plus, I had to try one of these because they came straight from the festival! It was good, but I did not finish the whole bottle; sometimes the fizzy nature of beer gets to my tummy! I gave about 1/4 of it to Dan, and he finished it for me.

That night, I had a bit of work to do on the computer, and while I was working I had about 1/2 cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. So good!

Well, I don’t want to inundate you with too much food and vacation food — this is an extra long blog post!! — so I am going to leave you with a TO BE CONTINUED . . . sound good?

But before I do, a few points I want to end with —

All in all, I am not unhappy with health decisions that I have been making on this vacation. A few things I would still like to work on:

  • Eating more fruits and veggies.
  • Exercising more, and adding much more strength to my routine — Don’t forget: I want those girly musk-les!
  • Eating less sweets!!
  • I need to stop skipping meals. Even if it is only every once and awhile, it makes me feel crappy!
  • Not eating potatoes for, like, an entire year! Ha, ha, ha, ha! (:

More 30-Day Challenge fun tomorrow, but for now I am hitting the sack!

Zzzz . . .

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Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run