Monthly Archives: March 2009

Pretty healthy baked spaghetti

Here is the recipe for the Baked Spaghetti I made last night. I looked over tons of recipes on the web before finally deciding to just experiment and see how it came out.

What you will need:

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 servings of whole wheat spaghetti (8 oz) – I used Barilla whole grain thin spaghetti

2 cups of spaghetti sauce – I used Ragu chunky garden combination

1 cup of chopped frozen spinach

2 cups frozen tri-pepper onion mix

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 serving of Morningstar Farms Chik’n strips (you could use more, that was all I had left)

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Start heating large pot of water on stove, add 1 tsp olive oil to the water (keeps it from sticking). Cook the pasta until almost done (al dente) or about 5-6 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, heat the sauce with the spinach, pepper mix, chik’n, and garlic until all the frozen ingredients have softened and the sauce well mixed with everything.

Here’s what the sauce looks like cooking:

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Drain the spaghetti. Place in an 8×8 baking dish, spreading evenly. Pour the sauce on top and push down a little bit with a spoon to see that it soaks into the spaghetti. Then add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese to the top. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Before:

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Tried a new cheese! I think it made the dish :)

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And after:

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It was really good! Also pretty healthy. This recipe serves four and using the ingredients I did, I believe it was somewhere between 350-400 calories per serving.

My only complaint is that it could’ve used some more kick or flavor. I think next time I will experiment with some spices. But overall, this hit the spot. That cheese was amazing! And I was proud of myself for making something on my own not following someone else’s recipe :) Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Happy Thursday!

Heaven, I’m in Heaven…

My, my, my dinner was goooood last night!

So were my veggies at lunch yesterday though, I love this mix. I think its the Green Giant digestive health box:

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Mid-afternoon yesterday, before my yogurt (haha), I was just feeling kind of lethargic and it was 85 degrees in our office, so I felt the need to get out for a while. While I was away, I found this drink that I decided to try:

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SoBe LifeWater Agave Lemonade – Electrify

“Plug into the tail-swingin’ energy of Agave Lemonade. It’s electrified with taurine and yerba mate and has a tart and sweet flavor you’ll love.”

I’m  a little hesitant when it comes to spending calories on beverages (unless we’re talking Starbucks, haha) but this was intriguing to me. Per serving it is 40 calories, 100 for the entire bottle. It contains no HFCS, asparatame or sucralose and contains lots of vitamins. Plus it has taurine and Yerba mate which I was pretty sure would give me the pick-me-up I needed (since it was way too hot to drink the green tea I brought)!

Ingredients
FILTERED WATER, SUGAR, ERYTHRITOL, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOR, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), CALCIUM LACTATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, TAURINE, GUM ARABIC, VITAMIN E ACETATE, YERBA MATE EXTRACT, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), CYANOCOBALAMIN (VITAMIN B12)

Nutrition Info
Serving size 8 fl oz (240 mL)

  PER SERVING
8 fl oz % DV*
Calories 40
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Total Fat (g) 0 0
Sodium (mg) 20 1
Total Carbs (g) 16 5
Sugars (g) 10
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Protein (g) 0
-
Vitamin A
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0
Vitamin C
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100
Calcium
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0
Iron
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0
Vitamin E
-
20
Niacin
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10
Vitamin B6
-
10
Vitamin B12
-
10
Pantothenic Acid
-
10

This was a very good drink and definitely the only lemonade I would probably consider drinking again. It left a little bit of a sweet aftertaste in my mouth since I”m not used to drinking sweet beverages anymore. But it did the job, I was energized and cooled off before leaving work for the gym!

I did 1 mile on the treadmill and cooled down for a couple…

Time: 15:00

Distance: 1.20

Calories: 120

After that, I was really in the mood to do some weight training, in fact I had been thinking about it all day, so that’s exactly what I did. I also used an idea I saw on Tina‘s blog, about not assigning a certain number of reps, but instead using the muscle to fatigue. So here’s what I did:

Chest presses (10 lb weights): 1×30, 1×20

Bicep curl + Shoulder press (10 lbs): 1×20, 1×15

Tricep extensions (1-10lb weight): 1×20, 1×15

Hip adductor/abductor machine (80 lbs): 1×25, 1×20 (for one), 1×20, 1×15 (the other)

Clam shell crunches (double crunch): 1×40

Squats: 1×20

It was a quick workout but I did way more reps of exercises than I normally would and I’m definitely comfortably sore today! I think my goal for April is going to be getting back into weight training again. I really do love it.

Here’s a preview of dinner, I will post my recipe in a later post today:

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Baked spaghetti, asian salad, and bread, that was seasoned with Rosemary and something else I can’t remember right now! Oh my gosh, was it good. I made the spaghetti dish!

Dessert:

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Plus some peppermint tea :)

Be back soon!

Early April showers

It’s raining really hard out there this morning; the type of rain where an umbrella really doesn’t make all that much of a difference, haha ;-) I don’t like it much but I definitely prefer it over extreme cold and snow anyday!

Breakfast this morning was a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter & banana:

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Lunch & Snacks Preview

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Tuna (half) sandwich, green giant veggies, mini oranges (lunch); yogurt + peanuts for snacks :)

Happy Wednesday!

Earth Hour

Whew, it’s raining cats & dogs here this morning!

On Saturday, March 28th, people all across the globe will be participating in Earth Hour 2009; they will voluntarily turn off all their lights, appliances, etc. for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. their local time. This is in hopes of sending a powerful message about Climate Change. Check out the website, it’s really neat.

Even though I will probably still be in the car on my way to New York City, I plan on doing my part for Earth Hour by turning off and unplugging everything in our home before we leave (except the DVR, sorry, I know that’s lame). Our dog is staying with her grandparents while we’re gone so there will be no one or nothing there to need anything turned on or plugged in. And that will be for 5 whole days!

Call me a nerd, but is anyone else excited that Lance Armstrong is still going to race in the Tour de France this year?! He broke his collarbone this week, but apparently that is not going to derail him. He is such an inspiration to many, especially cancer survivors like himself. :)

Anyway, what did I come here for? Oh yeah…

Mid-afternoon, I tried the Brown Cow maple flavored lowfat yogurt and it was just meh. I think with my non-Greek style yogurts, I need to have them as a part of a bigger thing like a parfait or with cereal because just by themselves they are runny and not very filling.

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I also took a nice 15-minute walk on my break at work today, it was nice to get some sunshine :)

I was hungry when I got home before going out for the concert, so I had a small bowl of BN Cheerios with 1% milk (all outta soy):

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For dinner, we went to Jimmy John’s and I got an “unwich” (no bread, wrapped in lettuce) because I felt like I’d already met the carb requirement for the day, haha. I got the beach club (turkey, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts & avocado spread). It was pretty awesome!

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Since Starbucks is right next door, I decided to have a nice summery beverage in the orange-mango-banana Vivanno, almost like a taste of summer (it was 75 degrees today)!

Unfortunately the Vivanno was sucked down before a picture could be taken ;-)

The concert was AMAZING! There’s a lot to be said for small, intimate shows. Especially in this economy, you gotta love a $13 concert ticket! We were a little afraid at first that no one was going to show up but once Rocco DeLuca & the Burden came on stage, the crowd had finally filled out.

Here’s one of the good pictures I was able to get!

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When I got home, I felt hungry again, so I had a small cup of cereal (I can’t buy this again when its gone, haha) and drank some water before going to bed :)

Back to mornings

I’ve so gotta get back to morning workouts. They just feel so much better, I do them so much better…in the afternoons, I am usually so tired and worn out that a work out is really strenuous when it normally wouldn’t be. So there you have it!

This morning, I was running a little behind, as usual, so I just did a quickie run on the treadmill with a few minutes to cool down at the end.

Time: 32:00

Distance: 2.66 miles

Calories: 266 (I’m using 100 cal/mile now after doing lots of research)

I have an anatomy test in an hour that I can’t wait to get out of the way. I don’t know how well I’ll do on the details but I feel like I have the basic concepts down. So we’ll see. Around 10:30 though, I should be breathing a sigh of relief, at least it will be out of the way and I can focus on packing for New York!

When you were in school or if you are now, do/did you devote a certain amount of time per day to study or do/did you procrastinate and try to review it all at the last minute?

I’m definitely a combination of both; it really depends on the circumstances that particular week, haha…

p.s. More Giveaways!

- Danica at Danica’s Daily is giving away some Annie’s care packages that you must see and enter to win! I love Annie’s, they are fun products that you can enjoy knowing that they are all-natural and not made with any weird chemicals. I highly recommend the Bunny Grahams and Cheddar Bunnies ;-)

- The Hungry Yogini is giving away the blog-famous Barney Butter!

- Kath is giving away Nature’s Path products :)

- Julie from Julie Go Lean is giving away a few of her favorite things, such a neat idea! ;-)

- Brilynn from Jumbo Empanadas is giving away a…VITA-MIX 5200! WOW! If I don’t win I may have to start a small savings account for one of these.

I’m sure there will be more, keep checking back!

Another concert?!

Last Monday, I went to the Ryan Adams show with the girls and tonight, I am heading to a Rocco Deluca & the Burden show with Courtney! We are just party people ;-)

I’m up and at ‘em early this morning to get in a workout before work since I have quite a full schedule today!

Breakfast this morning was a (gasp) microwaved bowl of pumpkin oat bran ;-)

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Lunch Preview

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Peanut butter & jelly sandwich on whole wheat, snap peas, small oranges (lunch); almonds & yogurt snacks.

Happy Tuesday! Off to the gym…

Last long Monday before NY

Whew today was a long day. But it’s finally winding down. Unfortunately I have to study for an anatomy test in the morning so I’m going to have to make this quick.

I had to cut my lunch hour short today so I just went outside and took a 35 minute brisk walk with some co-workers. It was really nice though and good to feel the breeze and sunshine on my face :)

I ended up eating the peanuts during class and they were really good at keeping my hunger at bay until I got home to eat dinner. The So Delicious vanilla yogurt was just as good as I remembered it too :)

For dinner, I made a veggie burger, some Green Giant veggies (broccoli + potatoes + cheese), and a slice of bread with some red, red wine (remember that song? haha)…

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These veggies were really good; easy to portion out and the broccoli seemed to be of way better quality than the generic kind we usually buy :)

Right now I’m feeling hungry, my stomach is actually growling, so I’m going to have this small snack:

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Signing off for now, see you guys in the morning!

Wild Eggs!

We woke up early on Sunday (whoa, even less sleep for me, not good) to meet my parents for breakfast at Wild Eggs. I was still feeling kind of crappy from the night before but I woke up starving, so I had a mini Larabar to tide me over.

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I am officially done with these until I take some with me to New York!

At Wild Eggs, I ordered what sounded the best to me at the moment…coffee and oatmeal!

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The oatmeal was really thick and chewy and I loved how all the topping came on the side so you could pick and choose. I chose NOT to use the butter or cream and used all the raisins, blueberries, about half the pecans and just a couple pinches of brown sugar. I’d never put brown sugar in my oats before but man I’m going to have to try it at home now!

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In our Sunday School class that morning there was some fruit & OJ that just looked too good to pass up. I have been craving real OJ for a while, so I had half a glass and some really juicy and sweet cantaloupe:

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I was so tired all during church and after. I really have to get more sleep! I think maybe I need to get back to my yoga + tea nighttime routine to wind down some more and to let go of thoughts swimming through my head that are inhibiting sleep perhaps.

For lunch, I had PB&J on my last two pieces of Nature Valley double fiber whole wheat bread (which was very good) and the last of the chickpeas! I also had one (tiny) of my husband’s buffalo chicken tenders, it was like a popcorn one (not pictured):

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After lunch I still felt hungry (waited too long) and was diving into homework (stress) so I had a small cup of Banana Nut Cheerios:

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I cranked out some work and when I started to feel my eyes droop and lose focus, I stopped what I was doing, went upstairs and took a 2 hour nap!

That worked wonders for me. I was able to get back up, walk the dog for 1.5 hours (wore her out!), and then do some housework and the rest of my homework too. It was like the best nap ever. Plus my new sleep mask really helped too.

For dinner, I made a salmon burger on the George Foreman, topped with 1/2 tbsp light mayo, with a whole sweet potato with 1 tsp Smart Balance and cinnamon, plus one slice of my new bread with some spray butter. The bread is so thick and grainy, I absolutely am in love with it. Uh oh ;-)

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Dessert was another serving of tofu chocolate pudding + banana nut cheerios. The pudding is now all gone and my goal tonight is to NOT eat the Cheerios, haha. Hope you all had a great weekend and I’ll see you back here later!

Don’t Eat Like Me

…at least not like I did on Saturday, haha.

Lots of lessons to be learned here. For one, don’t let yourself get to the point of real painful hunger before you eat. I know this and yet I’ve been guilty of doing it lately. Also, be very careful when you are sleep deprived! Sleep helps to regulate those hormones that make you feel full or hungry and when they get thrown off, so does your appetite and thinking you need to eat more.

But I have to say, I had fun. :)

As my pre-race breakfast, I had two slices of whole wheat toast with PB and a banana:

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I had a mini Larabar after the race (cinnamon roll) and ended up having another mini Larabar (pecan pie) before I met my friend for the awesome Indian food from Shalimar, which was a lunch buffet!

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On my first trip I tried the tandoori chicken (toward the front with onion on top), some chicken tikka on top of rice, mixed veggies cooked in Indian spices (the best!), and definitely some Naan was had. Underneath the Naan is some lentil dal. I’ve been craving Indian food forever and this totally hit the spot.

On my second trip, I got another piece of tandoori chicken (so juicy, tender and generally healthy because of how it is cooked), basmati rice, paneer of some sort (sorry, next time I will write it down!), and more of those mixed veggies! Oh and two more pieces of naan, haha.

I also tried this dish with chick peas in it but didn’t like it too much, probably because it was cold. I ate about two bites of this.

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We were pretty full but not uncomfortably stuffed when we left. We skipped the buffet dessert and hit up Starbucks. It ended up being so warm on Saturday (even though it was 35 at race time) so we opted for the cold drinks:

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Tall mocha lite frappuccino…I was thinking of you Erica :)

After a trip to the library and Target, Courtney and I parted ways and I got ready for a social function with our Sunday School group from church. That’s pretty much where the crap hit the fan, haha.

I was sooo tired by the time we got there and my muscles and bones were aching from the 10k that morning. I should never plan social events for nights after a race, note to self!

Luckily we didn’t eat right away and I was able to work up a decent appetite.

My husband made his awesome chicken tortilla soup and everyone raved about it! He was hoping for some leftovers but they cleaned it out. I think that’s a good sign myself ;-)

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I also had a sloppy joe sandwich, pasta salad, green beans, baked beans, and some seven layer dip, which I only took one bite of because I did not like it at all.

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I was full after eating all of this but I absolutely COULD NOT resist dessert. I had a lack of willpower, 4.5 hours of sleep, a 10K ran, all things going against me. I also couldn’t choose, so I had a little of all three (banana pudding, some chocolate pie thing and chocolate chip cookie cake). After I finished these and half a cup of coffee, I felt like I was going to explode. I was in PHYSICAL PAIN in my stomach. I had to lean back on the couch because it hurt so bad. That’s just not good.

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I felt so awful after that I can pretty much guarantee you I won’t eat to that point again. At least not for a very, very long time after I have forgotten all about this experience, haha. Everything tasted very good though.

Honestly, I could’ve done worse, I just shouldn’t have caused myself pain over it, haha.

I think I remember Friday

Sheesh, it’s amazing how quickly the weekend can get away from you. Especially me because I always have so much to do that the time flies by!

Friday was a pretty good day. We ended up going to Best Buy that night and buying  a new laptop! I’m so excited :) Now you guys won’t have to miss me too much when I head to NYC this weekend. Plus it really helps having two computers in the home now, no more waiting for the other person to be done. Good times.

After lunch on Friday, I tried that Cascade Fresh yogurt and it was blah. Super runny and not very filling at all. I ended up having to break into my emergency stash of almonds to hold me over.

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After work, I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical and lots of stretching. I was really tired toward the end of the week but knew I had to do something so that I wouldn’t be completely out of shape for the 10k Saturday morning.

I had dinner at Panera, which is one of my (and K’s!) favorite places. I just love their choices and everything is so fresh and tasty. I had You Pick Two: garden veggie soup and half a tuna salad sandwich (no mayo); plus a whole grain baguette because those things rock my world, especially dipped in soup :)

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We also did our grocery shopping that night and I tried the new Banana Nut Cheerios. They are pretty good but I still prefer my Honey Nut the best. Who knew I was a Cheerio connoisseur?!

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Here’s the rest of my loot from the grocery trip! It’s quite small because we are leaving for New York on Saturday so we want to use most of things up before we leave :)

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* Kashi Go Lean waffles, organic peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, mini oranges, bananas, banana nut cheerios, applesauce, Green Giant veggies, tuna packs, sweet potato (left out).

I also had some more tofu chocolate pudding that I made the night before.

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I had a really hard time sleeping on Friday, I think it was nerves, plus my husband was on the phone with tech support after midnight (grr..) but he got the wireless internet working. Then the dog came to sleep with me and I got a “charlie horse” in my left calf! I was so anxious going into the race on Saturday but thankfully everything worked out and I was pleased with my time and how I was feeling.

And thankfully that charlie horse didn’t flare up the next day or leave me too sore. :)

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