Tag Archives: snacks

Vacation’s Over

Today was my first day back in work in a week. I had a wonderful and relaxing staycation, but I had to get back to reality at some point. The day didn’t start out on the right note however. I didn’t sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and I had weird dreams. Because of my lack of sleep last night, I overslept a little this morning. Not enough to be late work, but enough so that I didn’t have time for a morning workout.

But I made up for the late start by having some leftover pancakes that Corey made me the other day. I had a couple of blueberry pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

Yummy! A delicious way to start the day and it turned my morning away. How could I be in a bad mood after a breakfast like that? :)

I prepped my lunch for work last night so it would save a little time this morning. I expected today to be a bit busy (which it actually wasn’t), so I needed a nutritious lunch and nutritious snacks to keep me full and satisfied. I get so cranky when I get hungry.

For lunch, I made some Egg Salad and had that on multigrain bread. I also cooked some bacon and added it to the Egg Salad.

I don’t know why I didn’t do that before. The addition of bacon makes the Egg Salad so much more delicious! But since when does bacon do anything else?

My snacks included: some green grapes . . .

and some homemade pretzel bites with mustard.

I think I have learned my lesson when it comes to pictures. I used to take all my pictures of foods I took to work at work. However, the lighting is just awful. It’s all fluorescent so the pictures have a greenish tint to them. Now I take most of my pictures at home. The pictures come out so much better.

I will show you an example of what I mean. The above picture of my pretzel bites and mustard were taken at my home.

Here is an example of a picture of them taken at work.

See what I mean? And the picture doesn’t even look that bad on my camera. The camera fools me. Then I upload it and it looks neon.

I’m glad I took a break from work over the last week. I was beginning to feel burnt out. But I went back to work today energized and refreshed. I felt ready to tackle the day.

Luckily, I got off work at a decent hour. Because I missed my morning workout, I found myself craving a good workout after work. I was excited for it. I did Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical. That Jillian Michaels workout is no joke. This is the second time this week I have done it and it was just as intense as the first time. My shoulders are killing me, as are my glutes. My triceps will probably be sore tomorrow.

After my workout, Corey and I had a dinner of whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken and organic pasta sauce. I also had some roasted broccoli on the side.

Now I need to relax a little and try to ease the soreness from my muscles. Poor Callie hasn’t been feeling well all day. She has had a bit of an upset stomach all day and part of the reason I didn’t sleep well is because she was tossing and turning all night. I think she’s feeling a little better now. She seems to be catching up on her sleep and I am looking forward to following suit! Good night everyone.

 

Baking Day!

First of all, I have updated my Recipes page! I organized it by category so the recipes are easier to find. I also added several photos to make you nice and hungry. ;) I encourage you to check it out.

I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

About a week or so ago, I mentioned that I have no self-control when it comes to my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. I ate way too much of it. But I was in the mood to bake today. And I wanted a snack to take to work tomorrow. So I made some more of that delicious bread.

This time I left out the walnuts. Why would I do that? Aside from the fact that I am completely out, I am going to take some of this bread to work tomorrow for my coworkers. One of my coworkers is allergic to nuts so I wanted to make sure she would be able to eat it. I learned my lesson last time: eat some and give some away. I can’t be trusted with the whole loaf.

I also made a bit of a salty snack: homemade pretzel bites! I have been on a pretzel kick lately and we are completely out. Rather than making a special trip to the store to buy them, I decided to make some. I searched around for several recipes online and finally just created my own recipe based on the ingredients that I knew they would need. I am so glad these turned out well.

These pretzel bites are delicious! They are golden brown and a little crispy on the outside and they have a wonderfully chewy center. If left alone with these for too long, there is no telling how many I would eat.

And they are so easy! Much easier than I thought they would be. The hardest part is waiting for an hour so the dough can rise. You can always half the recipe if you don’t want quite so many pretzel bites. But why would you want to?

Homemade Pretzel Bites (makes 100+ little pretzel bites)

1 1/5 c. warm water
2 T. brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 c. flour (I used half white and half wheat)
6 c. water
4 tsp. baking soda
salt to taste

In a mixing bowl, add yeast, water and sugar. Let sit for ten minutes. Mix in flour and knead for 8 minutes. Grease bowl and place dough back in bowl. Let rise for one hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

Separate dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll into long ropes about 1/3 inch thick. Cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place on cookie sheet and let rise for 20 minutes.

the pretzel bites about to go into their "baking soda bath"

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add baking soda and reduce heat to gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, about 20 seconds each, turning once. Sprinkle pretzel bites with a little salt (to taste). Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown.

Fresh out of the oven . . . check out who is lazing about in the background

You can dip them in mustard .  . .

Or pizza sauce .  . .

Or whatever else your little heart desires.

And now that I have officially ruined my appetite for dinner by eating too many pretzel bites, I am watching a little “Survivor” and “Modern Family” before turning in. Today is our last day of this wonderful staycation, so it’s back to work tomorrow! I guess we had to go back to the real world eventually. :)

10K training and snack bars

I decided that today was the day I would start running again.

I haven’t done any form of running, jogging, or walking since September. First, I had trouble with my knees. Then I had trouble with my migraines which prevented me from getting out there. And by the time I got my migraines back under control . . . it was winter. And very, very cold. But I am determined to do the Peachtree Road Race 10K in July, even if I have to walk it. :)

The day started with my husband making me a lovely breakfast. I love that he cooks me breakfast on Sundays! He made me a sandwich made of multigrain bread, an egg, a couple of slices of bacon, some cheese, and a little hot sauce. Yummy!

After breakfast, Corey and I (and Callie) headed out. A couple of days ago, I downloaded the Couch to 10K app on my iPhone. It’s a 13 week program and day 1 was great. The program gently eases you back into running. Today, the program had me run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I was supposed to do this 9 times, or 41 minutes. 30 seconds may not seem like a long time for running, but it is a way to make sure I don’t overdo it on my first time out!

Today’s weather was perfect too. It was in the mid-40’s and the sun was shining. My running coat kept me from getting too chilly. I didn’t focus on distance, or even speed. I just focused on the wonderful weather and spending some time with my husband.

After the run, I had to get ready for an outing with a friend. Nothing fancy. We just met up at Moe’s for lunch and then saw the movie Tangled (which was awesome, by the way). At Moe’s, I got a grilled chicken rice bowl. It had grilled chicken, rice, pinto beans, cheese, peppers, onions, salsa, and guacamole. It was so tasty and filling!

When I got home, my husband had prepared dinner for me. Yay! We had steak, a baked potato, and corn on the cob. Such a tasty treat and so nice to come home to a nice dinner. :)

After dinner, Corey and I made some Gingerbread Spice cookies. We had purchased pre-made dough at Whole Foods last week and I was in the mood for some sugar!

I did manage to have just one cookie. They were so good, very chewy and moist. I considered it a small victory that I only had one cookie. And this was the only sugar I had all day. Yay for me! :)

The baking did not stop there. It occurred to me that the reason I crave sugar so much is because I don’t have proper snacks to take with me to work. And when I get hungry, sugary snacks are the closest (and easiest) thing to grab. But if I had an easy (and nutritious) snack prepared, then maybe I wouldn’t crave sweets so much.

These bars are perfect. They do have  a little sweetness in them, with the honey. And I used white chocolate peanut butter to satisfy my sugar craving a little bit. They also have plenty of fiber and protein, which are guaranteed to fill me up.

I was really nervous about this recipe. I was crossing my fingers for this one because I just took a bunch of ingredients from different recipes and threw them together. I knew that I wanted something with peanut butter and I also wanted some blueberries for added nutrition.

Blueberry Peanut Butter Bars (makes 6 bars)

1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful)
1/4 c. honey
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix honey, peanut butter, and olive oil together in a saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mix oats, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a separate mixing bowl. Once peanut butter mixture has been brought to a boil, mix with the dry ingredients. Press mixture down in a greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees until browned, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or so before cutting into bars. These are very soft so they need some refrigeration time to let them cool off. Enjoy!

A lot of wasted food

By the way, I’m going to apologize in advance for these bad pictures. I took most of them at work and flourescent lighting does not make or good photography.

Today started off well enough.

I started the day with some Pumpkin Pancakes and a little maple syrup.

For lunch, I had some leftover Pizza Pot Pie from last night.

And that’s when things just went downhill. I had some cottage cheese that I mixed with blueberries.

This was actually a brand of cottage cheese that  I had never eaten before. It was all natural with no preservatives. I don’t know if it was just the brand or the fact that it was all natural, but it tasted awful. It actually smelled like glue. That can’t be normal, right? I could not eat more than two bites. Yech.

So I had a handful of these with my lunch instead.

Cookies never fail. :)

A few hours later, I was hungry for a snack (no surprise there).  Now when I am working a full day a work (or any amount of hours at work really), I make sure that I pack plenty of snacks so that I don’t go hungry. Eating on a regular basis is so important. One of the snacks I brought were carrots with hummus.

However, the carrots tasted funny. Maybe that’s because they were a few days past their expiration date? Since the expiration date was only a few days ago, I expected them to be okay. Not so much . . . I could only eat a few carrots before I threw them away.

The next thing that was packed in my lunchbox was a red pear. I had never even seen a red pear until they appeared at the Farmer’s Market. I bought one because I was curious about the taste.

I think the pear was a little too ripe because it was very soft and mushy. I didn’t much like the taste either. Needless to say, the pear got tossed in the trash as well. All of this wasted food was disheartening. I hate wasting food with a passion.

I left work early, partly because it was slow and partly because I was hungry. I wanted to go to Publix and see if they had the honey wheat pretzel sticks that I love so much. Yes, I am picky about my pretzels and this was my fourth store that I went to in order to purchase them.

Luckily, the trip was a success! And as soon as I got in the car, I tore into the bag. I was starving. Apparently, after four hours of not eating anything I was starting to get a headache.

When I got home, I also made a snack of 365 organic Mighty Multigrain bread with some Peanut Butter Co. White Chocolate peanut butter and a little honey.

So after those two snacks, my afternoon turned around.

There was one other bright spot to my day. The second I walked in my door out of the 20 degree weather, the smell of Slow Cooker Beef Stew hit my nose. It was so welcoming and smelled super delicious!

The stew was a nice and hearty meal and really warmed me to the bone. It was also the best thing I ate all day!

Now I am trying to work up the strength to crawl out from under the space heater and work out. I do not have the heat on so it’s almost as cold in my house as it is outside.

In a Rut

I have fallen into a rut with my meals.

Yesterday’s breakfast: the standard eggs with hot sauce and bacon

I am finding it harder and harder to come up with tasty (and nutritious) meals to take to work for lunch.

I am trying to incorporate more veggies into my diet and that is hard too. Couple that with the fact that I need lunches that I can eat very quickly in between patients. (Really, I need to be able to shove it in my mouth in five minutes or less).

Yesterday’s midmorning Snack: honeycrisp apple

I used to take sandwiches a lot, but that was before deli meat became a big no-no in terms of my migraines. I still take sandwiches occasionally (although I am running out of ideas for sandwich fillings), I take salads (which don’t always fill me up very long), and I take leftovers from home (such as pasta or chicken).

Yesterday’s lunch: a tasty dish made of brown rice, kidney beans, corn, and a hamburger patty I made last week. I also put a generous amount of ketchup and mustard on it. Sounds weird, but it’s so delicious . . . and filling!

But now I am getting bored and sometimes I have no idea what to bring for lunch . . . especially when we don’t have leftovers I can bring. So what’s a girl to do?

Also, I am running out of ideas for snacks. Fruit doesn’t fill me up for very long and I just need a little variety in my life.

Yesterday’s snack#1: whole grain rice cake with Trader Joe’s pumpkin cream cheese. I had this times three.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a quick lunch or nutritious snack??

Yesterday’s snack#2: an unpictured cup of Barbara’s Peanut Butter puffins

Yesterday’s dinner: some Hungry Girl chili. We made a big pot of it so there are plenty of leftovers. That’s the best part of chili!

Now I just have to share something humorous. Corey and I have a springer spaniel, Callie (who I have mentioned numerous times). If you know springer spaniels, you probably know that they traditionally have long, floppy ears. Callie is not exception.

Callie . . . check out her long ears!

This weekend, I went out with a friend and Corey decides to give Callie a trim haircut. He said that her ears were “nappy” and he had to “trim” them to get stuff out of her ears that had been tangled up in them. I guess he didn’t know where to stop because before he knew it, he had cut off half her ears!

Callie after her haircut.

It kind of looks like she got a bob or something. But I guess her hair will grow out and she is still cute as a button. :)