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Baked oatmeal

Wow, I am absolutely amazed at the response of my last post. Thank you guys so much for your honest and insightful comments.

I really enjoyed reading all of them, I think that is the most I’ve ever had on one post 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I had some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana slices. What? I didn’t have oats? You’ll see why soon enough.

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I felt like a “special” coffee today and so I did my part to support local business. Just a black coffee but so much better than Folgers today.

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Oh yeah, and some almonds.

Like the past two days, my appetite for lunch came way early again today. Guess I’ve moved to the 11:00 club now? Even people at work are like “wow, you are early.” Ha ha.

Leftover curry rules!

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A little while later, I had some peppermint tea and the other half of my chocolate from yesterday.

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I ate a Clif Mojo bar before I went to go work out, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Hmm…my favorite.

The weather was insane today and like I posted on Twitter, I wasn’t sure I could handle the major winds that made it feel like it was 22 outside.

So we decided to stay in and ending up doing a really great hill workout on the treadmill, walking at various inclines for 2.20 miles. Afterwards we did some stretching which will hopefully get out legs ready for a run outside tomorrow!

So back to why I ate toast for breakfast…I made oatmeal for dinner!

Baked oatmeal that is. It was my turn to have main course for Girl’s Night Potluck this week, so I decided on a breakfast theme, since it’s my favorite.

This was the first time I had ever made it even though I’ve ordered it at restaurants before. I used this recipe but made a few modifications of my own.

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It sure did look good. But then I got to thinking, there are five of us girls and we all eat pretty good, so I felt like I needed to make more to take with me.

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Banana oatmeal saves the day! I cooked up two servings of oats with water and a banana (cooked with it to make it marshmallow-like) and sprinkled some brown sugar on top.

It’s funny, I think everyone might’ve liked this one better 😉

Here was my “breakfast for dinner” spread:

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Baked oatmeal, banana oatmeal (with PB, I just can’t do it without!), potatoes with ketchup…

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Peaches and Cascadian Farms granola (which was really good, my first time having it). And some OJ to wash it all down.

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I went back for more potatoes and baked oatmeal. The recipe was perfect. I would definitely make it again and I can’t wait to try other variations.

We watched “Glee” and made homemade ornaments (well, the girls did, I supervised) and then called it a night. I really enjoyed all the food tonight as I am such a big fan of oats and breakfast in general.

Ah, it’s late (for me) so I’d better get to bed. Hope you had a good Wednesday.

Have you ever made or tried baked oatmeal? What did you think of it?

I really liked it but it was more like a dessert to me than a breakfast dish. I had leftovers though, so you will likely see it again 🙂

Say chreese!

It has been raining ALL DAY here. But even though the weather is nasty, I’m feeling rather inspired tonight. I’m telling you, I’m generally a happy person but I think this vegan diet has made even more cheerful.

For breakfast this morning, I made a nice pot of stovetop pumpkin oat bran!

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Mid-morning, I snacked on a new product that Bianca sent me in a very awesome and thoughtful care package. I was so excited to try it!

I left my camera at home so I couldn’t take my own picture, but the strip pretty much resembled beef jerky, only a slightly different texture and tasted a lot better (to me).

I usually don’t bother with a lot of “fake” meat stuff but the taste and 10 grams of protein was totally worth it! I loved the barbecue flavor too.

Here’s the rest of my stash:

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Don’t worry, I’m sending her some good stuff too 🙂 I’m so excited to try everything!

My stomach started growling for lunch at 10:45, which surprised me – that’s two days in a row now! But I listened to myself (and Carrie) and ate anyway. My body is more important than waiting for an “appropriate” lunch time.

For lunch, I had leftover black bean burger on a slice of Ezekiel toast with broccoli and lots of hummus on both. Sorry for the lack of picture, it was delicious.

After lunch, I got a massive chocolate craving and somehow managed to find Green & Black’s at the bookstore, who knew?

 

This was my first time ever trying this and I was impressed. I ate half and saved the rest for another rainy day 😉

My pre-post workout snack was another Clif bar…chocolate chip peanut crunch. It was just okay, I won’t get it again though. The regular chocolate chip is so much better!

Since it was raining, I ran/walked 1 mile on the treadmill and not any more because I just wasn’t feeling it. But it was a good warm up before I went and did some weight training.

  • Lateral pulldown machine (50-60 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Chest press machine (30 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Bicep curls (15 lb bar) – 3 sets x 20
  • Tricep presses (12 lb bar laying on balance ball) – 3 sets x 15
  • Calf raises (holding 15 lb bar) – 2 sets x 25
  • Lunges (with bar) – 2 sets x 15 each leg
  • Crunches on balance ball – 2 sets x 25

It felt like I really didn’t do much at the time but when I wrote it all out just now, I can see how much I did do 🙂

I was so excited to make dinner when I got home! It featured another new product (thanks again Bianca).

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I showed this to Josh last night and he said he wanted to try it! I was floored so I knew I just had to make it ASAP.

I followed the recipe, using water and then I added a spoon of Smart Balance Light when it was done cooking.

The rest of my dinner included Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas (I’m stalking her this week!) and some cauliflower.

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The Mac & Chreese (I laugh every time) was pretty good! Josh even said “it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but it’s not the worst either.” I expected him to make a face and spit it out but he didn’t, he ate his entire serving!

It gives me hope that he might try some more vegan stuff in the future 🙂

I think I would like to try another flavor next time to see what it tastes like. The texture was a little different and it had a slight aftertaste but other than that, it was good. Much better for my tummy than real mac & cheese!

Dessert was the other half of my banana soft serve with the usual toppings.

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With the colder weather, lots of yummy treats in my pantry and the urge to hibernate, I have decided I need to re-implement a “cut off” time for eating at night.

Unless it does appear that I am truly hungry, I won’t eat anything after 9:00 p.m.

It’s 9:35 right now and I’m totally fine. Going to have some tea before bed. Good night 🙂

Snow, rain, wind

Brrr…I really struggle this time of year because I am NOT a cold weather person at all. But so far, I’ve been able to survive and I even ran in the cold temperatures yesterday!

Yesterday we had snow and everyone freaked out but it melted quickly. Today we have rain and then the temperatures are going to shoot up and cause some major wind before dropping down to the 20’s. Gotta love Kentucky.

A hot breakfast helps on days like this…banana PB oats 🙂

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Mid-morning, I snacked on some almonds and enjoyed my coffee in a holiday mug. I felt festive!

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I ate lunch early but it was delicious. Creepy Wolfgang came through 🙂

For my snack, I ate half of this bar before class and then the other half before I went for a run.

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It was pretty good. I still think the Mountain Mix is my fave.

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After work, I layered up with two shirts, a jacket, hat and gloves and ran 3.2 miles. On Mondays, when I get that first run of the week in, it makes me realize that taking Sundays off (and sometimes Saturdays too) is such a good idea. I felt fresh and the run was really easy today.

I didn’t follow my usual plan of eating the other half of my snack after my workout, but I felt okay and ate as soon as I got home, which was earlier than I’m used to. I think my internal clock was off today!

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Leftover vegetarian curry, even more delicious than the first time. I took Mama Pea’s advice and added sriracha to spice it up. Perfect!

Around 7:30, I had my evening snack.

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Even though I stayed up until 10:30, I just had some tea and didn’t eat anything else after this.

I always laugh at myself for not doing this all the time but today I really listened to my hunger and just ate when I was hungry and not on my “schedule.”

And I felt good all day long!

How was your Monday?

Fireproof

Our Wednesday night potluck went off without a hitch. Or a fire, thank goodness. But let’s back up.

Since I had oatmeal for dinner on Tuesday night, I went with a different breakfast.

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I stole one of Josh’s Lenders bagels and topped it with peanut butter and a sliced banana. The bagel was really plain and left me wanting more. I need to get some of my own – any good recommendations for vegan-friendly bagels?

Snacked on some almonds a few hours later…

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For lunch I tried another Dr. McDougall’s selections. No broken bowl this time!

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The lentil soup was really good! I’d put it in my Top 3 of this brand. Only one more to go (will be lunch on Friday).

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Before my workout, I munched on half a Clif bar and had the other half afterward.

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Unfortunately, it was raining like a mug, so we were forced to take our workout to the dread-mill. But we did a good 3 miles and then some abs afterwards.

When I got home, I was a little hungry and knew dinner would be an hour later than normal, so I had a spoon of PB.

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Like the Christmas tree background?

Suzie models it better.

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Our potluck this week was Mexican themed. We had some bean dip (with lime tortilla chips not pictured, but eaten heavily).

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Before it came out of the microwave, Court said it looked like dog food, so we kept talking all night about “how good the dog food tasted” ha ha.

For our entree, Beth made delicious black bean tacos, which I think turned out great.

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She went the extra mile and purchased the taco shells that stand up on their own. These are so much easier to eat and don’t fall apart nearly as much, I highly recommend them!

Mexican style veggies on the side. I topped my tacos with lettuce, tomato and taco sauce (not pictured).

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In lieu of dessert, we enjoyed this (not Mexican) bottle of wine 🙂

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I hadn’t had Riesling in a while…it was yummy! Tastes more like champagne than wine to me. Not as strong as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. I’m still a red girl, but this was pretty good.

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While sipping wine, we watched “Trekkies” which I had never seen. Made me feel sort of okay about being a fan of the things I am because I am not that bad. Right?

What are you an obsessively, totally geeked out fan of? Confess!

Need a yoga mat? Check out the Aurorae giveaway over at Hangry Pants 🙂

Why I love bars

Bars that you eat, I mean, ha ha.

Bars are great for me because…

  • They make a great snack or part of a meal
  • They are convenient, don’t require assembly
  • They can fit into your purse or pocket
  • Easy to sneak into the movie theatre
  • Quiet enough to eat during church (assuming you don’t get a crunchy one)
  • There are so many different brands and flavors, the possibilities are endless
  • If you find a good brand, you can get some great vitamins and nutrients
  • Well balanced bars (good combo of carbs + protein) make great pre or post exercise fuel
  • They are fun to write reviews for!

What about you…what do you like (or not like) about bars?

I recently tried a couple more. It seems like new ones are coming out all the time, not to mention the ones I still haven’t gotten to yet.

First up, Odwalla Mochawalla (that’s a mouth full)!

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When I first bit into this bar, the coffee flavor was a little overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going. But I took a second bite and suddenly, the mocha flavor really shined through and I loved it! I would definitely only recommend this to people who like the taste of coffee/espresso because it is rather strong. But when I finished the bar, I felt good and it really gave me a boost after a draining workout and held me over nicely until I was able to get home to dinner.

Next, Amazing Grass Chocolate Whole Food energy bar!

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The kind folks over at Amazing Grass sent me some samples of their products, including this bar. I have to say, after trying the Odwalla Superfood bar, I was not at all optimistic that I would like this one, even if it was coated in chocolate!

But, I was pleasantly surprised. This bar did not at all taste like the other and the chocolate coating was the perfect touch. It did not taste like greens at all! The bar was chewy and took a while to eat, which is good for my satiety. My only complaint is that as I was eating it, some chocolate pieces kept falling off, so I made a little mess 😉

I’m really excited to try the drink powders next!

Happy Thursday.

Hitting my stride

Yesterday was a really good day, all around. I love days like that and I try to remember them, especially when the not-so-good days come around. But luckily there haven’t been too many of those lately 🙂

I decided to be a food blogger again yesterday, so here is how the day started out for me:

Pumpkin Oats!

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This contained 1/2 cup oats heated in the microwave (gasp!) with 1/2 cup rice milk, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin. I mixed in some flax and pumpkin pie spice and then topped it with a sprinkle of brown sugar (a little goes a long way!), 2 tsbp raisins, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, and a spoonful of Naturally More peanut butter.

I hadn’t had oatmeal in ages because Summer pretty much came to Kentucky early! But we’ve had a couple of “freak” days this week where its only been in the 50’s waking up. Once I take the dog outside for a walk, I’m definitely chilled enough for some warm, oaty goodness 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be back to smoothies before long though!

On the way to work, Mom treated me to a tall soy latte from Starbucks. I’m trying not to do soy too much but for some reason this latte just reminds me of a toasted marshmallow and it was just what I needed to get myself motivated to work. This had major caffeine-age though, so I made sure to watch it the rest of the day.

I also had a banana mid-morning to hold me over until lunch, which worked beautifully. Its amazing how eating what you want works better than eating what you think you should be having (most of the time). I’m loving it! Ugh, McDonald’s…haha.

For lunch, I had one of my new favorite vegetarian lunches…

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A sweet potato topped with black beans! Unfortunately, I was all out of sour cream at home, but soon learned I didn’t need it anyway. Some things are just better plain jane. I also had some unpictured blackberries. Ah, I almost forgot to mention…I ate lunch away from my desk!!

Yes, I am now eating a mostly vegetarian diet. This is by choice and by personal preference, there’s just something about the Spring and Summer that makes me want to eat meat less and eat fruits and veggies more. I can’t explain it really, so I’m just going with the flow. I also feel so much more in control of my eating, feeling more intuitive and balanced. Could that be related to going quasi-veggie? Maybe. I’m also getting to bed earlier and sleeping better too, hmm…

I still eat seafood as I need those good Omega-3’s and a girl can only eat so many nuts, ya know, haha. (I feel that someone out there might’ve just said “That’s what she said.” )

I think I surprise myself because I thought if I allowed myself to eat what I want, that I would choose junk or too many desserts. But that hasn’t been the case at all. I’ve been choosing some really great, fresh whole foods. I’ve been giving my body what it really wants.

Anyway, mid-afternoon, I tried this new Clif bar:

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I had really high hopes for this one but it was just okay. Actually, it left a really annoying taste in my mouth that I could hardly get rid of. So sadly, I don’t think I will get this one again. But the three that I had last week were great so I may just stick to those 🙂

Even before I ate this bar, I had been so thirsty all day. I must’ve drank my weight in water, which scares me a bit because I don’t want to overdo it. So at one point, I attempted a non-water beverage to see if that would help and it did.

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I sipped about a third of this bottle before I was satisfied. I had tried carrot juice once in the past from the Wild Oats smoothie bar (which I miss terribly, our Whole Foods doesn’t have one!) and it was kinda yuck. Of course that was ages ago before I was the self-declared health-conscious foodie I am today. This Odwalla Carrot Juice was AMAZING. It was sweeter than I expected even though all it contains is carrots. I would totally buy this again and most likely will — it was on sale! 

After work, I ran 3 miles on the treadmill because it was raining outside (boo). But it was still a good workout and I rehydrated (not that I really needed to, haha) with another Sobe Lifewater – Yumberry Pomegranate. I don’t have a pic but it was just okay too, probably won’t get it again. I like some of the other flavors much better!

I was “starving” when I got home but I managed to have enough patience to make what I really wanted instead of eating something that was quick and convenient. It contained lots of this:

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Purple Cauliflower – I immediately thought of K when I found this 🙂

I decided to make soup with it and based it off a recipe I used a while back for Cauliflower Soup. I made some substitutions from the original recipe, so I will go ahead and post this new one for the heck of it.

Purple Cauliflower Soup

1 head purple cauliflower (chopped into small pieces)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 stalks of celery (chopped)

4 cups of water

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat oil in medium-large pot over medium heat. Add celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower pieces along with 1/4 tsp salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat back to medium and cover, cooking for 15 minutes. Dump contents into food processor or blender and puree until smooth and creamy consistency. Dump back into pot to keep warm. Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper. Done!

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I had mine in a cereal-size bowl with some shredded cheese and some pita with butter. Perfect dinner if you ask me!

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So pretty, so tasty and so healthy!

Using bowls this size, I ended up with two very generous servings. If I were going to eat it more as a side to a sandwich, it would’ve made 4.

After dinner, I worked on some chores and projects around the house before dessert started calling my name. I have been eating some form of ice cream a few days a week, I think that is another summer thing. I had a coupon for this brand though so I thought I would give it a shot.

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Yum-a-licious 😉 The vanilla “rice”-cream with chocolate swirl and hazelnuts makes this stuff taste like a sundae in a cup. I would definitely purchase this again and maybe even some other flavors from Rice Dream. At my store, these are usually really expensive (like $6!) but they were on sale for $3.99 and I had a $1 off coupon so it was worth it. Hopefully they stay on sale for a while, I have another coupon!

I was left perfectly satisfied with my small dessert cup and didn’t go back for anymore desserts or snacks after this. I drank some water, went upstairs to brush my teeth, talked to a good friend and got in bed with a good book before conking out a little after 10:00. Yesterday was the model day for me!

Happy Friday, hope you have a fun weekend planned. 

Three Clif bars are better than one

Before I start I just want to say GOOD LUCK to Meghann who is running a marathon this morning and also to Heather who is running her first half-marathon today! Great job ladies 🙂

I recently received a coupon for $1.0o off when you buy three Clif bars, which for me, pretty much means get one free since my store usually has them on sale for $1 each!

I used them this week as recovery snacks, which I have found to be quite effective. Its important after exercise to get a good combo of carbs:protein and I believe the Clif bars, while a bit on the heavy side (calories-most are around 250), are perfect for consuming after my mid-morning workouts and to hold me over until lunch.

First up, Clif Oatmeal Raisin Walnut!

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Yes, this tasted like an oatmeal raisin walnut cookie in bar form! But at the same time it wasn’t too sweet or aftertaste-y like some Clif bars can be (banana nut bread, carrot cake, etc). After running 4 miles on Wednesday, this bar really hit the spot and held me over until I was ready for my next big meal.

That brings me to an important point…I have realized after running my last couple of races, that I do not like to eat a big meal after a run (it makes me not feel very good). In fact, my last couple of races, I haven’t been able to eat directly afterwards because I just don’t feel hungry (but I’m doing great at rehydrating). But, I know its important to replenish my energy, so I don’t wait long and I try to have a snack with some serious nutrition and staying power.

Next, Clif Black Cherry Almond!

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This one was probably my favorite of the three, though it is hard to choose because I picked three really good ones. Do you know why? I stayed away from chocolate! I get burnt out really easily on chocolate-type bars and after a while they all start to taste the same.

There were real cherry pieces that you could see and taste! I love cherries but don’t get to eat them too often because they are almost always really expensive (though I’m waiting for a sale since they should be coming in season soon). I also liked the almond chunks spread throughout this bar. It also wasn’t too sweet and held me over nicely after a sweaty strength training session on Thursday! 

Last and most definitely not least…Clif Peanut Toffee Buzz!

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Okay, I lied, THIS one was my favorite 🙂 I never realized how much I like toffee until I ate this bar. While a little sweeter than the other two bars, the flavor was still not so overwhelming. This bar was chewy and crispy and took me a while to chew which means it lasted me even longer! Which, after another 4 mile run on Friday, was a very good thing. Another thing I have noticed about Clif bars, especially these three, is that they taste exactly like what they say they are.

This is the only one I took an actual picture of the bar (after a bite, haha):

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I’m really pleased with these three bars and I would definitely buy them again in the future. Each one contains so many vitamins and minerals, not to mention at least 10g of protein (one had 11) and 5g fiber. There are a few more flavors out there (Apricot!) that I have not yet tried, plus the few that I mentioned above might get another go round for the heck of it and to provide an official review.

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend so far!

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

Okay, that was lame.

But Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m only 1/4 Irish, but I still feel the need to celebrate my heritage 🙂

What better way to do so than with a green monster for breakfast?!

With PB toast and a few strawberries

I really think I have found the perfect green monster combination now. The key for me is very ripe bananas, which I had frozen, and that has made all the difference. Today’s blend included 1 cup of plain light soy milk, 1/2 frozen ripe banana, handful of spinach, and I also included 2 tsp of flax instead of a tablespoon which was just enough less that it didn’t overpower the smoothie. Yay!

Here’s a preview of lunch and snacks for the day…

We’re also having a party at work this morning and if there is some fruit or veggies, I’m in!

Have a great day and Happy St. Paddy’s Day to my fellow Irish folks 😉

Good times

This is going to sound funny, but I really had a good time staying out too late on a week night, haha. Usually I am in bed before 10:00 on Mondays, so to get home after midnight made me feel like a rebel. I’m a little tired right now but not as bad as I thought I would be. And it was totally worth it. The Ryan Adams concert was great and it was fun catching up with friends over dinner, which was at my favorite place!

Dinner @ Mimi’s Cafe

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Samples of the carrot raisin bread and another kind that was something with banana & chocolate chips. As much as I like banana + chocolate, the carrot-raisin is still the best! I ended up having the rest of the slice this came off of.

Heaven on Ciabatta — aka Turkey Pesto Ciabatta. All three of us who went out to dinner together ordered this! This sandwich was in no way low-cal, but it was so good! I was going to torture myself and look up the info this morning, but it seems to have disappeared from the site. Oh well, I probably didn’t want to know, haha.

Update: I was right, I didn’t want to know. If you get this sandwich, I advise you to eat half. It has 1248 calories!!! That’s more than I had eaten the whole day leading up to dinner. Wow. The soup was 195 and carrot-raisin bread 150.

It had nice big chunks of turkey that weren’t too dry yet weren’t drenched in anything, avocado, bacon, mozzarella cheese, pesto mayo, lettuce and tomato. I probably could’ve just eaten half but I didn’t want to take it home so I slowly picked away at it until it disappeared 😉

Instead of fries, I ordered the soup of the day which was split pea w/ ham…it was so good, I had to restrain myself from licking the cup when I was done!

Before we went out to dinner, I was a bit hungry, so I had half of a Clif White Chocolate Macadamia bar…this one is for you K!

Then when I got home from the show, I had a spoonful of this…I can’t believe it was even possible for me to be hungry again after that massive sandwich!

I seriously heart PB&Co, perhaps that’s what I can ask for as a birthday gift? I really want some Mighty Maple and Dark Chocolate Dreams again; plus I do want to try the White Chocolate and Bee’s Knees that I haven’t had yet. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

And here are some fun ones from last night. We couldn’t really take pics inside the venue and they wouldn’t have turned out anyway because it was so dark in there, but we did take some outside 🙂

That’s me on the far left, incase you didn’t know 😉

Hope everyone had a great night, I have to say; I’ve set the bar quite high for the rest of the week now.

Question of the post: What concert(s) have you been to recently?