happy halloween

POINT OF BALANCE for today: I heart glamour.com. Check out “10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Body” by Mehmet Oz, M.D.  Lots of good tidbits to remember!

This Saturday, I remembered I had a cinnamon raisin bagel in the freezer from my last visit to the West Side Market. This bagel was GINORMOUS, so once I nuked it a bit, I attempted to cut in half. Instead, I cut it in two not so equal parts. I took the piece that was about 65% of the original bagel and cut it in half, then toasted it.  I nuked some frozen raspberries to make a nice spread to go on top of the cream cheese, which I topped with cinnamon. Accompanying is the usual large mug of coffee with 1% milk and splenda:

the usual pre-workout saturday breakfast

You should know Grady talked me into a special breakfast of his own:

a healthy balance for the pup!

Right before leaving for Bally this AM, I ate a banana (one of those previously pictured on Thursday) with a few smears of TJ’s crunchy organic peanut butter.  Today’s workout was a Saturday classic:

  • 5 minutes on the elliptical for warm up
  • 70  minutes of cardio kickboxing
  • 5 minutes on the elliptical to cool down
  • 3 sets of 15 on the captain’s chair for abs
  • 5 minutes of stretching

For the post-workout lunch, I was craving a turkey burger, but wanted a flat-out wrap – so I made it work!

a spin on the usual

I grilled the turkey burger, then once done, cut it up into bite size pieces.  Inside the wrap: turkey burger, sprouts (why the wrap became so HUGE), hummus, one Babybel wheel and wilted spinach.  A measuring cup filled with TJ’s butternut squash low-sodium soup rounded out the meal. 

Since Hans carved is pumpkin this afternoon, we had seeds to roast!

two versions: one savory and one sweet

The pan on the left was sprinkled with salt & garlic powder. The pan on the right had sugar and cinnamon. Both were delicious. Thanks allrecipes.com!  Hans and I enjoyed taste testing to decide which type we liked better. He liked the savory and I liked the sweet.  Before heading out for some quick errands, we shared a gala apple (the picture came out gross).

While Hans got ready for the trick or treaters to arrive, I made our Halloween inspired dinner: pumpkin gnocchi with pumpkin brown butter sauce, served with veggies!

On the Hans meal scale: a 9 out of 10!

The gnocchi was purchased on my last visit to the Ohio City Pasta stand at the West Side Market. I was saving it for a special occasion such as this pumpkin filled holiday!  However, I needed a sauce that wouldn’t overwhelm the pasta’s flavor. After some research on Food Network’s website, I decided to make my own version of a brown butter sauce with some left over pumpkin puree! The sauce was made with

  • approx. 5 Tbs. of butter or margarine
  • approx. 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • a sprinkle of nutmeg

I ate all the veggies (broccoli, carrots and corn) and about 2/3 of my gnocchi – which I had a small serving of in the first place! It was incredibly filling without being too heavy.

Tonight: we’re going to the annual Halloween party we always attend… although we’re both slowly falling into a gnocchi coma! I better get up and moving. Pics tomorrow of our costumes and their CRAZY backstories! Happy Halloween!

addicted to chicken sausage

Last night before bed, I needed a sweet snack. I saw about a cup of my Whole Foods 365 “Honey Bunches of Oats” left in its box. Something then told me to mix in some raspberries and nuke the entire thing:

again ate it out of the measuring cup

I’m calling this raspberry mush crunch.  Gotta love the randomness, right?!

This morning, I was needing some oats in my life. With it being Halloween weekend, I decided to go with pumpkin oatmeal:

pumpkin, oats, granola, cinnamon & nutmeg

Lunch was leftover from dinner last night (TJ’s chicken sausage, sweet potato, assorted veggies) plus some extra spinach, broccoli and 1/2 a cup of beans:

one hot mess in a bowl

I followed it up with 1/2 a Hershey’s Fun Size chocolate bar – thank God I stashed a few in my desk!

After the usual Friday night indecisiveness, Hans and I ended up at my folks house. While the guys (my dad, Hans and my bro) had some Pizza Hut pizza, I made my favorite in my parents’ kitchen: PASTA TOSS! This one was made with the following:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat egg noodles
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 2 TJ’s chicken sausages – these were sun-dried tomato!
  • 1/2 of a large white onion (my dad even commented on its size!)
  • 3/4 of a beefsteak tomato
  • about 2 cups of spinach
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • romano cheese

I need to go back to Trader Joe's STAT

I have to say I impressed myself with this one. I’m so glad that I didn’t stop somewhere on the way home or give in to that pizza.

Following dinner, my dad and I discovered what I believe to be this in their fridge: 

i saw the word "ghirardelli" & it was shortly being eaten

I treated myself to one square. And an extra little bit. I’m on a chocolate kick the last few days – must be Halloween inspired!

We then headed to my grandpa’s house for the usual Friday night hang out. I meant to take a picture of the spread of bakery my grandfather provides. It takes a lot of will power to sit at his kitchen table every week. This week, his trip to the bakery meant purchasing:

  • 6 jumbo muffins (2 chocolate, 2 banana nut, 2 blueberry)
  • 6 danishes (apricot, cheese, cherry)
  • one apricot crumb cake
  • four doughnuts
  • two slices of cheesecake (we’re talking Cheesecake Factory size!)

I’ll remember the photo next week, but I’m happy to report I stuck with a mini bite of Hans’ chocolate muffin and my HUGE mug of tea.

We headed out to The Tradesman Tavern to watch the Cavs game, but the horrific band they had playing gave us both a headache, so we headed home at the end of the game.

Once home, I treated myself to this bowl of goodness:

ice cream & mini pretzels crumbled in the bottom

This weekend: looking forward to kickboxing in the AM, a Halloween get together tomorrow night and a TON of cleaning and organizing around the house. Happy weekend everyone!

open your face!

TODAY’S POINT OF BALANCE: Check out this prevention.com post about The Big Easies: “25 diet-bolstering tricks that take zero effort but bring you better health even on your busiest days”. You’ll see that I practically live by tips #21 and #22!

finishing up Wednesday: I snacked on a piece of “PB& J”: unfortunately my camera was nowhere to be found and it was gone before I knew it! 🙂

  • one piece of bread (normally i’d sick to whole wheat, but all we had was good ol’ fashion white bread)
  • a thin layer of nut butter of your choice: I just got a jar of chunky organic peanut butter from Trader Joe’s that I had to dig into!
  • I few heaping tablespoon scoops of frozen raspberries (no sugar added preferred)

I toasted the bread while microwaving the raspberries to get them good and paste-like. Once the bread was toasted, I spread the thin layer of PB on, followed by the heated up berries. It’s like an open face PB&J sandwich!

I have to admit: I gave into some anxiety eating last night and had a handful of mini pretzels… and dunked each in a thin layer of that TJ’s peanut butter. Unfortunately, I gave in, but maybe those few extra bites allowed me to sleep thru the night.  I’m still looking for a better way to calm down and easy my mind. I see another topic for a future “point of balance”!

On to this terrific Thursday: I knew I had a long morning in front of me, so I went for a breakfast with the right balance of carbs, protein and fat:

kept me full until 12:15PM

Remember than home made “egg mcmuffin” from Monday? I made the eggs the exact same way (in egg rings with a little bit of spinach) and topped the two halves of the whole wheat english muffin with one piece of low-fat cheddar that I split between the two halves. Another open face sandwich creation! The coffee was the usual with some 1% milk and a splenda.

I was in a rush to get out of the house, so instead of packing a normal lunch, I grabbed a bag of frozen microwaveable broccoli and planned to combine it with a Lean Cuisine that I was keeping in my office’s freezer for a morning like this:

an old standby

one bag of frozen broccoli (around four cups!) plus one Lean Cuisine = one big bowl of quick lunch goodness:

left camera in car = picture from phone

I really like Lean Cuisines for convenience, but I try not to have them every day since they are high in sodium.  I also like to pair my Lean Cuisines with extra veggies, pasta or rice to bulk up the meal.  Usually, I use an assortment of veggies. Today, I was content with my broccoli intake ALL taking place in one meal!

Since it is the week before Halloween, the candy has been around in full force this past week. I noticed some Hershey’s Fun Size Chocolate Bars in our office’s jack-o-latern. I have to admit that I smuggled out three of them for my desk stash! I needed a bite of something sweet to round out my uber-green meal, so I enjoyed half of the fun size chocolate bar.  I saved the rest for later…

What is it about Thursday afternoons that makes me want to skip my 6:30PM kickboxing class?  By 2PM, I was sleepy at my desk, but managed to get a great deal of work accomplished. Unsure of my post work activities, I ate my pre-workout banana as a 4:30PM snack along with the rest of my Hershey’s treat:

you know what a banana looks like. moving on.

Unfortunately, when Bally moved our regular 6PM class to 6:30PM, my attendance has fallen off drastically. Maybe because I just have too much time to kill, also the fact that I can’t do a 30 minute session AND a 60 minute kickboxing class in the same night anymore. And knowing what I ate that day, I felt okay about my decision to head home.

For dinner, we enjoyed some more Trader Joe’s chicken sausages. Hans had the sun-dried tomato sausages with some pasta & marinara sauce. They were fantastic and I practically stole his dinner plate. For my dinner, I nuked a sweet potato while sauteing some veggies (corn, green pepper, white onions, carrots, spinach) and two smoked apple chicken sausages. All combined in one bowl made for one LARGE dinner:

there is a TON of food in that bowl

I didn’t realize just how much food I made for myself. My eyes were bigger than my stomach!  I ate about 2/3 of the bowl before I put down my fork and patted my full belly. At least I have lunch leftovers for tomorrow!

Tonight, we’re enjoying some baseball, BBC and Project Runway. I’ve had a great day and am glad to relax with a mug of tea, a potential snack in an hour, and most importantly, my hubby!

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