Lately.

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Someone give me a bad blogger award, because that’s exactly what I’ve been the past two weeks — a “bad” blogger.

I do have somewhat of an excuse — I was on one epic road trip with 14 other church friends and leaders last week to Birmingham, Alabama! We went to Church of the Highlands for their annual GROW leader conference. It was an awesome learning experience, and although I could have done without the 15-hour car ride (twice in four days!), it was fun hanging out with friends and growing together!

The highlight of the trip was definitely this video…

GROWOur church was one of the fastest growing GROW-network churches in America, and a film crew came a few months ago to capture a few services and talk with our staff. It was so awesome (and humbling!) to have our video shown at the conference last week…I love my church!

After getting back from Alabama, it was time to restock our cabinets and get back on track. (Even though I packed healthy snacks, there was a lot of not-so-healthy eats as well!) I decided to try out a local farmer’s market for the first time, and wow, was it awesome!

Farmer's market

I scored…

  • 2 lbs. bananas
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Four Braeburn apples
  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
  • White onion
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 lbs. strawberries
  • 1 lb. blueberries
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 2 avocados
  • Cherry tomatoes

…all for $19.50!

I did have to pick through the produce to find what was fresh, but overall I did pretty well! Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the strawberries (they were fine to eat, but a little flavorless) or the cucumbers (they were both mushy when I went to cut them), but overall, I’ve been pretty happy! I think I’ll be making this a weekly occurrence.

Although I haven’t done much blogging about my workouts lately, my half marathon training for Rock N Roll Philly is in full swing!

8 milesYesterday, I got out for an early morning run, and it was amazing! Finally, the weather was cool (only 62 degrees when I started running at 5:45 am!), and it definitely worked in my favor. I mastered the art of the progression run — my first mile was 8:59 and my last mile was 7:59. Perfection! I am finally learning to pace myself and start off slow (it’s never been my strong suit).

That’s what’s been happening here lately! Catch ya’ll later!

 

 

 

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Random Thoughts Friday

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I was going to go with “Five Thoughts Friday” because really, who doesn’t love alliteration? However, I think I might have more than five thoughts, so “Random Thoughts Friday” it is. Ready? Okay, go!

  1. It’s hot. Like wake-up-at-5:30-am-to-run-and-its-already-unbearably-hot kind of hot. I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little bit next week!
  2. I’m obsessed with this song. Anyone else?
  3. I love my co-workers! I’m helping my church with our Feed the First State initiative; our goal is to collect 5,000 cans this month to help hungry Delawareans! At work today, I hosted a mini “Feed the First State Friday” and asked everyone to donate canned goods, and they came through in a big way. Yay!
    FTFS Friday
  4. I feel like Pinterest has lost its game. Anyone else with me? I know, it’s a little blasphemous but I’ve witnessed myself (and others) cutting down on the amount of time I waste on this little social network gem.
  5. If I was still pinning like crazy, I’d be pinning this, this, and this. Drool, drool, and yes, please. Anything frozen sounds fantastic right now!
  6. I just made a variation of my chocolate almond nut mini-balls, but used 3/4 c. pitted dates, 3/4 c. walnuts, 1/2 c. almonds, 2 tsp. cocoa powder, and 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut. I may have eaten more than actually made it to the freezer… #noshame
  7. I made a half marathon training plan this week since Rock N Roll Philly is only a few weeks away! “Training plan” is a very loose term; I basically just wrote out which weeks I need to do which long runs…I started with a six miler this week and am adding a mile every week up to 12 miles. I think I gave myself like a week and a half (maybe two?) of taper? It’s just really awesome to me that my “long” runs can be eight miles, considering I was doing two “short” runs a week of eight miles during marathon training. Crazy how perspectives change, right?!
  8. I haven’t talked about running/workouts much around here lately, but I promise they’re still happening! Nothing too exciting, but I’m consistently doing 5 to 6 days a week (3 days of running, 3 days of cross training; strength 4-5 x per week).
  9. I think I’m running this inaugural 10 miler in Pittsburgh with my sister this fall! It’s only $40 if you register before August 1st, and the website promises it’s a “mostly flat” course. I don’t believe it (I still remember the pain of those marathon hills), but I’m a forgiving person, so I’m gonna go for it and see just what the course is like!
  10. I’m off to dinner with my hubs, so I’ll catch you kids later!

WIAW: Zucchini edition

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Ever since my dad gave me a ton of zucchini, I’ve been eating it like crazy!

You’ll see what I mean soon enough…because it’s What I Ate Wednesday time! Here are my zucchini-filled eats from last Wednesday…

I started off my day with two chocolate almond nut mini-balls before my workout followed by my “green oatmeal“…

Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

I took a break from work around 11 a.m. and enjoyed a sliced peach.

WIAW7.17_peach

For lunch, it was time for more zucchini! I made a great roasted vegetable quinoa (with lots o’ zucchini) + a side salad with romaine lettuce, red cabbage, onion, and carrots topped with TJ’s fat-free balsamic vinagrette.

WIAW7.17_lunch

When the afternoon rolled around, I was more than ready for my snack — a healthy PB & (strawberry) bowl!

WIAW7.17_snack

I ended up working a really late day at work, so by the time I got home around 8 p.m., I was starving! To the hunger rescue: two egg whites + mozz cheese on a whole wheat english muffin, roasted red potatoes, and sauteed asparagus. Everything came together really quickly which is exactly what I was going for!

WIAW7.17_dinner

So, there you go — a full day of eats! What’s the best thing you ate this week?

Green oatmeal

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I know what you’re thinking — green oatmeal? Yuck! 

Last weekend when I was home visiting my family for the Fourth, my dad was quite generous with sharing the vegetables from his garden. It just so happened that he gave me zucchini. Like, a lot of it. And by a lot I mean approximately five huge, green zucchini. 

I had to get pretty creative since I’m the only one who eats zucchini in my family of two! After shredding and freezing some of it, I whipped up a roasted vegetable zucchini quinoa and almond flour banana zucchini bread…and still had some zucchini left. What to do, what to do? 

Throw it in some oatmeal! 

Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

 

I’m serious when I say this stuff tastes like zucchini bread, fresh out of the oven, and it is delicious. I made mine in a round Corningware dish and had enough for six whole servings! 

Baked Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Serves
6

  • 3 c. oats 
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. agave (or honey) 
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 c. milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk) 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. zucchini 
  • 1 small apple, chopped 
  1. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon). 
  2. Next, add 1/3 c. agave, 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce, 1 c. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, and egg. Stir until well blended.
  3. Mix in zucchini and chopped apple. 
  4. Pour into a greased baking dish. (I used a 9-inch round Corningware dish but 8 x 8 dish would work as well.) 
  5. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out smooth. 
  6. After it’s finished, top with desired toppings! (I used flaxseed, hemp seed, and peanut butter. Walnuts or raisins would be great also!) 

How to level up this recipe:

  • Use 1/2 c. ground flaxseed to the dry ingredients to pump up the fiber and protein count.

How to level down this recipe:

  • For added sweetness, use 1/3 c. brown sugar instead of agave. 

How do you use all that extra zucchini in your garden? 

Sunday Funday!

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This weekend literally flew by — don’t they all? Can’t believe that I’m heading back to work in a few short hours!

I ended up playing a lot of catch up this weekend, doing things like cleaning, grocery shopping, and tackling my inbox. It was much needed!

After church today, I headed to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods with a friend and stocked up on some favorites. (See my TJ’s staples here!)

trader joes

When I got home, I had one thing in mind: food prep!

Here’s what’s on my meal plan for the week:

Therefore, I made…

  • Avocado Black Bean Burgers (portioned them out over a bed of spinach with homemade chipotle dressing)
  • Roasted brussell sprouts (for sides)
  • Roasted sweet potatoes (for sides)
  • Pepper quinoa (1/2 c. cooked quinoa + red onion + orange and red peppers)
  • Quinoa (for my chicken & chickpea dish)
  • Healthy chocolate chip cookies for the hubby (can’t wait to share this recipe!)
  • Healthy whole wheat pizza for the hubby

I also put together some puffed wheat + raw oats in bags to top greek yogurt this week. My house is now about 1,000 degrees from running my oven, but two hours of prep saves me a ton of time throughout the week, so it’s all worth it!

Do you do Sunday food prep? 

Spicy turkey vegetable quinoa

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Turkey veggie quinoa

 

That’s right.

This looks so good that I figured it was more beneficial to start this post with a picture rather than words.

If I had to use words to describe this, I think I’d go with “filling but light.” Or “absolutely delicious.” Wouldn’t you agree?

Turkey Veggie Quinoa 2013-06-19 18.26.05

 

This is a super easy meal that comes together in a flash and combines a healthy amount of veggies and protein. Enjoy!

Spicy turkey vegetable quinoa
Serves 4

  • 1 lb. ground turkey, cooked
  • 3/4 c. quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups peppers (color of choice)
  • 1/2 c. corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  1. Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray. Crumble in your ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, boil 1 1/2 c. water with 3/4 c. quinoa, stirring frequently until all water is absorbed.
  3. Once turkey is almost cooked, add in peppers and corns. Cook for about five minutes until vegetables begin to brown.
  4. Add in can of fire-roasted tomatoes and cooked quinoa. Stir in spices.
  5. Simmer for about five minutes, until all vegetables are heated through.
  6. Enjoy!

How to level up this recipe:

  • To make this vegetarian, add 1 can of black beans instead of ground turkey.
  • Top with some avocado for a bit of healthy fats.

 

How to level down this recipe:

  • Use brown rice instead of quinoa.
  • For added flavor, top with salsa and/or a dollop of plain greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream!