Month: March 2013

Risotto recipe without pictures

It’s probably a good thing that readership is low (non existent?) because even though I have two wonderfully successful recipes to share, I have zero photos. I’m sorry! Blame Apple, my devices ate the evidence.

Dinner on Sunday was Mushroom + Rainbow Chard risotto. I used to find risotto to be intimidating- you have to stand there and stir it and keep adding stuff and what if you mess up? And then I realized that it is definitely not. To be honest, these measurements are total estimates because we just kind of eye balled it along the way.

1 c. arborio rice
dry white wine
2-3 c. vegetable broth, warming on the stove
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. assorted mushrooms, chopped (we used a 1 to 1 mix of shitake and portabella)
2/3 bunch of rainbow chard, roughly chopped
olive oil for pans
dried thyme
salt + pepper

Heat the vegetable broth in a pan and leave it warming on the stove. Coat a large, deep saute pan with olive oil and add the diced onion. Once the onion is translucent add in the arborio and allow it to toast for 1-2 minutes, by this point the onions should be slightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the white wine (~1/2c. maybe?) and continue stirring. Start to add in the vegetable broth in 1/2 cup increments while stirring pretty much constantly, continue this process until rice is cooked to your liking.

In a separate saute pan, add a splash of olive oil and the minced garlic. Toss in the rainbow chard and allow it to cook down. Once there is room in the pan, add the mushrooms. Season with dried thyme, salt and pepper. As soon as the mushrooms are cooked add this mixture into the rice. Stir to combine and serve. We garnished with a dollop of herbed goat cheese. 

Stay tuned for my spin on homemade Larabars (which will at least contain a finished product photo) !


Just another Monday

After the beautiful weather yesterday it was a little hard to deal with waking up to a rainy gray Monday. At least it was 60 degrees on a day I didn’t have to be at work.

My sister and I had a great time yesterday. We hit up Whole Foods again and experimented in the kitchen- lots of great recipes coming your way soon!

This morning her too short trip had to come to an end, so I whipped us up some of the blog famous Greek yogurt pancakes and they did not disappoint! We used a lemon Greek yogurt and it was fantastic. Those will be a regular breakfast treat for me.

Unfortunately my phone ate most of the food pictures I took yesterday and this morning so for now I’ll just leave you with this

A blurry Charlotte! Look at that tail. 

Check back later for Mushroom & Rainbow Chard Risotto (so heavenly!) and my first attempt at energy bars!

The perfect Sunday

Today has been a fantastic day and it’s only 1p! 

Despite losing an hour of sleep last night I was up by 730 feeling well rested. I spent some time straightening up around the house before just relaxing on the couch and creating an outline for a grocery list (it’s a process). I made my way to free yoga at Lululemon for a great Baptiste style practice. I am a total yoga newbie and the free classes are perfect for me. Once I feel more comfortable and have more time I definitely want to join a studio but for now it’s the perfect once a week deeeeeeep stretch that I need.

And then I came home and created the most amazing breakfast ever. As I’ve shared, I’m a total eggs-for-breakfast kind of gal, but since this was really more brunch like I was craving something different. 

I haven’t given much thought to how many people are reading this blog yet- I haven’t shared the link with friends or family and I know I’m just getting started. But today I wish the whole world was reading so that they could experience this deliciousness.

Coconut-Almond crusted PB French Toast (makes 2 pieces)

– two slices bread of choice (I used 100% whole wheat)
– 1 egg
– 2T PB2 (made super runny) or any natural nut butter warmed up to be thin
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1T coconut
– 1T raw almond slivers 
– coconut oil or butter for the pan

Mix the PB2 with an extra amount of water so it is on the runnier side, add one whole egg and the cinnamon and mix. Combine the coconut and almond slivers on a plate.

Heat up the pan and add the coconut oil or butter to it.  Dip your bread in the PB/egg mix, covering both sides well but letting any excess drip off, and then dip each side in the coconut/almond mix. Put dipped bread into the hot pan, cook on each side until browned.

I served mine with cottage cheese (protein boost!), agave nectar and a sprinkle of coconut and almonds.

So quick, so easy, and so so good!

Gotta run- it’s 60 degrees (!!!! it was just snowing days ago, this is March in Ohio!) and my sister is on her way down to visit for the day. Our to-do list includes- a game of tennis, antiquing, another stop at the new Whole Foods, cooking and board games. 

I hope everyone is enjoying Sunday as much as I am 🙂

Retail Therapy Rest Day

After checking out Runner’s World What to Wear guide and planning out my outfit I finally talked myself out of running. I knew that today’s 9 miler would do nothing but further aggravate the injury. So what’s an injured runner to do on an unexpected rest day?

Retail therapy!

First stop, my guilty pleasure

I am literally not even supposed to go without the supervision of K. (the boyfriend) but I needed a pick me up and I had an ACTUAL list of things to get. Even though I spent a bit too much time perusing the clothes, shoes and candles I did well and stuck to my list

Socks, toothpaste, dental floss, vitamin D gummies (which I have to hide from K. because he is a child and wants to eat them all), loose mineral powder and a neutral shimmery eye shadow.
Old Navy is next to Target so I popped in to see if I could find anything for St. Patrick’s day. I found a maybe shirt (it’s not super green but it does have some. and it’s cute) and another long sleeve tee that was on sale for $6!

And then I did what any good Healthy Living Blogger would have and checked out the newly remodeled Whole Foods. It. was. PACKED. I was totally intimidated so I only snapped a few pics. This place is unbelievable, they have a bulk section that is bigger than I have ever seen (two whole rows!). The bulk Olive Oil + honey wall and popcorn table were my favorites

Amazing. I can’t wait to go back and do a real shopping trip. For today I just grabbed the first things that caught my eye and every sample I could (I was famished)

Tortilla chips, salsa, hummus, bulk quinoa and green lentils, a new-to-me flavored coconut water (lychee!) and chia seeds. I snagged a salad from the cold bar for a late lunch and forgot to photograph, sorry. It was delicious though! Now I’m RICE-ing like it’s my job and letting the kitties nurse me back to health

Fingers crossed I’m back to 100% tomorrow!


I’m currently faced with a dilemma that I’m sure all my fellow runners have stared down before:

To run or to rest.

I’m notoriously bad at cutting back when needed. Once I’m committed to something, I’m in 100%. Perhaps to a fault. 

I’ve always had issues with my feet/ankles, my 18+ years of doing gymnastics did plenty of damage along the way. It’s normal for me to have to ice/elevate after most runs and walk a little funny in the mornings but my feet rarely hurt while I’m actually running. A mystery injury to my right foot sidelined me for three weeks before my last half and then I ran it pain free!

I’d been feeling strong recently and I started rotating a more minimalist shoe into my runs (Brooks PureCadence2, still a stability shoe but MUCH less marshmallowy and heavy than my Adrenalines). I’ve been taking it slow, 3 or so miles every week or two, easy runs only. Yesterday I wore them for my easy 4 and I knew something felt wrong around mile 1.5 and stupid stupid me ran through it. I know better but I’m stubborn. I had 4 miles on my plan and that was nothing so I’d just tough it out. The pain came and went and I felt okay when I finished so I convinced myself all was well. By 9p last night I was essentially couch ridden and was icing my foot every hour 😦

After sleeping with an ice pack strapped to my foot I woke up this morning feeling a little sore but I walked it out and I feel okay now. I’m staring at the 9 miles on my training plan and thinking “I could just do them slowly” or “I could make it a 6 miler”. Boyfriend reminded me that one run isn’t worth it, that if I want to run my 10K race in 2 weeks I shouldn’t run today but I want to. I feel lazy, I feel like a quitter, I feel like I’m failing myself. I know this is negative self talk and I know it’s not rational but I can’t quite shake it. I just got called off from my second job so I literally have nothing else to do today so I could run and then rest, right?

Someone talk some sense into me! Remind me I shouldn’t run (or support me and tell me to go for it 😉 )

Good mood Friday!

I’ll admit it’s hard to be in a bad mood on Fridays, but today just feels extra good. 

Last night’s dinner was this delicious Carrot Butternut Ginger Soup from Peanut Butter Runner with a huge side of broccoli.

I was craving vegetables and although I’m glad to see the cold weather going away it was nice to get in one more soup night. But come on spring time! For dessert I tried the coffee with dark chocolate Chobani Bite

And oh em gee, so delicious! I wish it came in larger containers (does it?) but the 3.5oz was a perfect pre-bedtime treat.

This morning was the same as every other morning minus the fact that I actually woke up easily and felt well rested. I set a strict bedtime for myself all this week and I think it definitely paid off. Work out was running 4 easy miles and breakfast was pretty much just like yesterday

Egg whites, cottage cheese, mini bagel w/ veggie cream cheese (only 3 mini bagels left, I know I’ll miss them when they are gone).

Thirsty Thursday was a raging success and I finished the day with about 120 oz of H2O. I’m going to strive to make 100oz my daily goal, I’m starting today off my with new favorite coconut water and a giant cup of coffee. Despite finally feeling well rested I can’t seem to cut the coffee habit, it’s just so yummy. Maybe I should start switching to half decaf? We’ll see.

Happy Friday!

Thirsty Thursday

It’s almost Friday, it’s almost Friday! I would like to officially rename Thursday “almost Friday”. It just has a better ring to it.

Last night a friend and I had a different version of girl’s night- an evening in with the one and only Jillian Michaels!

We started with level 1 and decided to do level 2 as well. Considering that I had a solid speed work session yesterday morning I was completely spent by the end! I used to do 30DS religiously and I had all the levels memorized but this was my first time doing level 2 in SO long. It felt extra hard last night but that might have been because we did it immediately after level one. Either way, it was a great strength workout and I felt really pleased with myself. I made myself a simple and quick dinner, as it was much later than I usually like to eat, of a kale + egg white scramble, mini bagel with veggie cream cheese and cottage cheese with half of a banana. Lots of food groups were covered.

This morning I got to wake up to mostly melted snow but I knew it should be a cross training day. I hit the gym for an easy hour (7 miles) on the elliptical that was only made bearable by reruns of Bones on Netflix. 

We are so low on groceries that breakfast looked a lot like dinner:

Egg white scramble, cottage cheese, mini bagel (I need these out of my house ASAP!) w/ cream cheese and jam.

I’ve deemed today Thirsty Thursday which has a much different meaning to me now than it would have 5 years ago. My goal is to drink 100 oz. of water today (and every day, really) and I am on track to achieve it. I’ve put rubber bands on my cup that I remove each time I finish it. 

This cup holds 16 oz. so I have to drink about 6.25- 4 left and it’s only 11a. Should be easy enough, right?

Wet Wednesday

The weather here is so weird today. We were pummeled with wet, heavy snow throughout the night but the temperatures are warming up so now it’s melting into even heavier slush. Not ideal running weather, unfortunately, so it was back to the treadmill today.

Jenny Hadfield’s (slightly modified) Tempo A
5 min walking warm up
5 min jogging warm (6mph)
5 min moderate effort pace (7.5 mph) 2 min recovery (4.5-5.5mph) repeat 4X
5 min easy run (6.7 mph)
5 min progression (6.8-7.5)
5 min cool down

Total time: 48 mins
Total distance: 5.05 miles

It felt good! I was definitely pushing myself a bit harder while sticking to an 8 minute pace for the 5 minutes but not unbearably so. It amazes me how much harder running feels on a treadmill, I know that sounds crazy but my typical pace outdoors varies from 8:15-9:30 and sometimes 10 min miles feel hard on the treadmill. Outdoor running is just so much better, I need spring to be here NOW!

I was surprisingly in the mood for a different breakfast

My new love, Chobani peach (so far I’ve tried the 2% mango and the 0% black cherry, but peach is still my favorite) and a mini whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and raspberry jam on half.  I used to be obsessed with bagels + cream cheese and normally can’t keep them in house because I have no restraint but we had bought them for our visitors and it was a nice treat this morning.

I’ve got a busy day at work and then a night time Jillian session planned, yay for two-a-days! I’m on track to have a very solid week training wise and I feel great about that.

Time to chug some coffee and dive into paper work, happy hump day!

Mental Rest Day

This weekend was crazy busy and jam packed with fun! From a concert to late night darts, wall climbing, house cleaning, three trips to art museums, dinner + brunch out, board games, thrifting and picture framing + hanging I was sound asleep (on the couch, during a movie) by 9p last night. When my alarm went off at 5:42a this morning I knew that today just wasn’t going to go as planned. Shhhh.. don’t tell but I’m taking a “sick” day from work to recover mentally.

After crawling back under the covers for another 3 hours (it. was. glorious. and so necessary!) I was almost ready to start my Monday. I fed the kitties (much later than usual- they were famished) and relocated to the couch to catch up on emails and watch reruns of Bones on Netflix. I knew that I wanted to use my “sick day” to get in a nice run outside since I missed my normal weekend run. It was sunny but still quite chilly so I planned on putting the run off a bit and ate a snack to hold me over.

Whole wheat toast + PB2 + tiny smear of raspberry jam + 1/2 banana + shredded coconut

I was out the door around noon and it was only about 30 degrees but so sunny! I had 50 minutes on my training plan but knew that I’d prefer to get in 6 miles (but no more, my calf/achilles has still been tight and annoying, but luckily it felt great while I was running). I don’t know what it was- the weather, waiting for a later time of day, a solid snack, 2 days off running- but my run was awesome and so speedy (for me 😉 ). I finished up feeling on top of the world.

mile 1  8:33
mile 2  9:04
mile 3  8:36
mile 4  8:37
mile 5  8:28
mile 6  8:15
total:  51:34, average pace 8:36 (!!!)

I am so pleased with these times! As I’ve mentioned (only a dozen times or so) my goal for this upcoming half is sub 2, which means a 9:09 average pace. I admittedly pushed it a bit at the end because I knew that I had been maintaining a sub 9 pace, but overall this run came pretty easily to me and I am really starting to see my speed work pay off. I have a 10K coming up at the end of this month and I’m almost tempted to aim for a sub 50, but I think that might be pushing it. It’ll be my first 10K so it’ll automatically be my personal best, I think I’ll just take what I can get and focus on a speedier one after the half + the duathlon. We’ll see.

Now I’m stretching, refueling with eggs + cottage cheese + mini bagels and planning something super stellar for dinner.  Hopefully I’ll be back later with a recipe to share!

Not too shabby for a Monday (or a “second Sunday” 🙂 )

Finally Friday!

First off, I am so thankful that it is Friday! This weekend could not get here soon enough.

Today has been an interesting one thus far. I have been such a klutz (two lumps on my head to back up that statement) and I can’t seem to focus on anything. Despite my injuries and daydreamer status, the routine has been the same as always.

Woke up almost on time (woo-hoo!) and laced up my shoes for an easy 4 miles @ 9:17 avg pace, but it was more like 2 slooooow miles and 2 speedy ones. My legs were taking their good old time warming up.

A nice spin on my standard breakfast:

Whole wheat toast covered with a mashed 1/4 of an avocado topped with an egg + lots of egg whites scramble with a hint of dill. Washed down with 1.5 cups of coffee.

Work day eats:

PB2&J sandwich (though most of the J magically slid off, so it was more like “soggy PB2 sandwich with a puddle of J on the side”), Fage 0% with Blueberry Acai, Naked Coconut Water + Mango Peach Puree (I’m addicted to these) and lots of water.

We’ve got visitors coming into town tomorrow so tonight will probably be all about preparing for that- grocery shopping, house cleaning, and checking out what local events are happening this weekend. I really love playing hostess, giving the spare room some hotel touches (chocolates on the pillow are always appreciate), having food + drink I know my friends enjoy, buying new candles, etc. so I’ll have plenty of fun tonight.

Hope everyone else has a lovely Friday as well!