Big Day Off & Paying Rent

Well what do you know, looks like it’s Monday again! I hope you all had a quiet, relaxing weekend. Or maybe it was wild and crazy.. whichever you prefer! I [and Nathan] made every attempt to make our weekend as relaxing as possible. Work has been running me ragged lately so when I have a full day off, I take full advantage.

Saturday, I slept in till about 7:30 [hey, no alarm is a wonderful thing, even at that hour!], had a leisurely breakfast on the couch in my jammies, and got myself together to go to the farmers’ market. We’ve been loving all of the fruit from the market; the strawberries and oranges, in particular, have been outrageous! We loaded up on produce and a special porcini salami from Boccalone, and headed home to pack up a picnic.

The weather has been perfect lately; practically 70 and sunny everyday. A couple miles of sunshine later, we reached the top of the hill and unpacked the goodies.

Mountain View Cemetary

Boccalone Salami Cabot Cheddar Cheese Strawberries La Farine Medjool Dates Charles Shaw Chardonnay Blue Diamond Almonds

There’s nothing a jar full of chardonnay can’t fix, am I right? 😉 That and a post-hike nap and Chinese food for dinner. It was the perfect Saturday.

Yesterday was back to work opening the gym. As I said, working 3 jobs has been running me into the ground. Multiple 10-12 hour days, sometimes between all 3 places, has been tough. I’ve been working on balancing the jobs with the rest of my life; figuring out how to find time to eat, cook, spend time with Nathan, and get in my own workouts has been a bit of a struggle at times. Sometimes I have the opportunity to cook dinner in the middle of the day to take to work with me in the evening. And sometimes by the time I get home to see Nathan, all I can do is brush my teeth and pass out.

As I attempt to figure out my workouts, I find that letting somethings go by the wayside are coming back to bite me in the butt. I totally burned myself out on cardio and almost stopped running all together. I’ve been trying to slowly get back into it, even just once a week. Rather than saying my run yesterday was frustrating, I’d like to call it humbling. After expressing my feelings to Nathan, he shared this quote with me.

Success isnt owned, its leased and rent is due everyday. JJ Watt

Of course, I would be naive to think I can stop running and pick right back up where I left off. But just as I’m learning to find balance in my life, I’m learning to re-balance my workouts and sometimes that just means taking more days like Saturday when I can. And sometimes weekends like this have to end in brinner because that’s just the darn best.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Brinner! Roasted sweet potatoes and brussels topped with an egg.
Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Eggs Heinz Ketchup
MondayLemon Moroccan chicken with za’atar roasted cauliflower
TuesdayCashew chicken
WednesdayThai basil turkey rice bowls
Thursday – Saturday – Friends in town!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
What kind of “paying rent” lessons have you learned lately?

Link Love #8

I’m always so impressed with the quality of the posts that I see every week and this past week was no different. I never have any trouble picking out posts to share!

Health

Food Is Joyous — Treat It As So - Wild Things RUN Free

Food Is Joyous — Treat It As So – Wild Things RUN Free

Food Is Joyous — Treat It As So – Wild Things RUN Free
The 5 Reasons You Are Not Seeing Results – HuffPost Healthy Living
What my daughter taught me about body image – Daily Life
41 Awesome Non-Food Rewards for Weight Loss – Anytime Health
Wicked Winter Squash with IBS and IBD – Sarah Kay Hoffman

Fitness

20-Minute Hotel Room Workout - Peanut Butter Fingers

20-Minute Hotel Room Workout – Peanut Butter Fingers

20-Minute Hotel Room Workout – Peanut Butter Fingers
20-Minute Treadmill HIIT Workout – Blonde Ponytail
POP Pilates: Hot Abs – Blogilates
Frisky Fall Routine – Tone It Up
Muscle Ropes Review & Workout – Bess Be Fit
Some of My Favorite Back Exercises – Powercakes

Food

Greek Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce - Brown Eyed Baker

Greek Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce – Brown Eyed Baker

Greek Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce – Brown Eyed Baker
Pumpkin Spice Whole Wheat English Muffins – A Kitchen Addiction
Warm Farro and Barley Cereal – Knead for Food
Cheesy Maple Roast Brussels Sprouts – Healthy Aperture
Chocolate Turtle Energy Bites – Lifting Revolution
Make Your Own Pumpkin Spiced Latte {gluten, grain, dairy, soy free} – Sarah Kay Hoffman

Food for Thought

What was your favorite post from last week?

Foodie Friday: Tropical Mango Salsa & Cinco de Mayo Recipe Roundup

Cinco de Mayo is this Sunday! And in the interest of continuing on the fun pinning spree from yesterday, I thought I’d share some of my top Cinco pins along with a new recipe.

Tropical Mango Salsa

Serves 4-6

Tropical Mango Salsa Barr & Table

Ingredients
– 4 champagne mangoes
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1/2 red onion
– 1 jalapeno pepper; with or without ribs depending on how spicy you like it!
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
– Salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Dice the mangoes, bell pepper, and onion into 1/2″ pieces and finely mince the jalapeno and garlic. Add the white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and stir gently.

You can eat this right away or let it sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors combine. I love easy recipes 🙂

More Recipes for Your Pinning Pleasure!

Sprint

Food for Thought

What are your Cinco de Mayo plans?

Foodie Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Round Up

What would a fun holiday be without a fun holiday recipe round up? I’m pretty sure you said “not fun” and I agree! And while I’ve never been big in partaking in the celebrations, I can certainly hop on board with the food- and drink-based excitement of it all.

Skinnytaste Eating Bird Food Brown Eyed Baker Gimme Some Oven Two Peas & Their Pod Coconut & Lime Closet Cooking St Patricks Day Recipe Round Up Barr & Table

[Breakfast]
Breakfast Reuben SandwichCloset Cooking
Corned Beef Hash with Carrots & ThymeCoconut & Lime
Green Monster Spinach SmoothieIowa Girl Eats

Alright, so the smoothie might not be a traditional St. Patty’s Day treat, but with all of the treats around, you might want to have this recipe on hand for the next day 😉

[Snacks & Meals]
Honey Beer BreadGimme Some Oven
Reuben Rolls with Thousand Island Dip
Avocado Feta DipTwo Peas & Their Pod
Corned Beef & Cabbage SoupSkinnytaste

I love the twists on traditional fare, especially turning a heavier dish, like Corned Beef & Cabbage, into something lighter.

[Sweet Treats]
Minty Irish PowerballsBarr & Table
Creamy Lime & Avocado Tart (Vegan + Gluten Free)Eating Bird Food
Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice CreamBrown Eyed Baker
Irish Car Bomb CupcakesBrown Eyed Baker
Skinny(er) Shamrock ShakeSkinnytaste

A few indulgent options and a few healthier options as well. Take your pick! 🙂

Food for Thought

How will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?

White Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies

The holidays are a time for baking and I’m always looking for new cookie recipes to try. I’ve recently seen tons of cookies with dried cranberries but in my house, we’re big dried cherry fans. They’re bigger, juicier, and more flavorful than cranberries so wherever I can substitute, I do!

White Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies

Makes 20-24 Cookies
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Barr & Table Christmas Holiday Cookies Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chunk Dried Cherry Macadamia Nut

Ingredients
1/2 cup unbleached cake flour [I use King Arthur]
1/8 cup vanilla protein powder [I use PlantFusion]
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup Brummel & Brown
1/4 cup xylitol* [You can sub regular white sugar or other sugar substitute]
1/4 cup demarara sugar* [You can sub regular dark brown sugar]
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup white chocolate chunks [I use Ghirardelli White Chocolate]
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries

*These ingredients can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Barr & Table Christmas Holiday Cookies Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chunk Dried Cherry Macadamia Nut

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream Brummel & Brown, xylitol, and demarara sugar until light. Add egg white and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Finally, gently fold in oats, white chocolate chunks, macadamia nuts, and dried cherries.

Roll dough into 1″ balls, place on baking sheets, and flatten tops just a little. Bake about 12-14 minutes until slightly browned, turning halfway through. Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Nutritional Stats
Per cookie

75 Calories  /  3g Fat  /  9g Carbs  /  1g Fiber  /  4g Sugar  /  2g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

National Cookie Day!

Have you entered my giveaway for Hail Merry Macaroons yet? You don’t want to miss it!

Today is a wonderful day; it’s National Cookie Day! I’ve been planning on testing a holiday cookie recipe and had I realized sooner, I would have had it ready for today. But since I don’t, I wanted to share a list of some of my favorite cookie recipes. And maybe a few that I’ve been eyeing but haven’t gotten around to testing yet 😉 Those are noted with a *

National Cookie Day Chocolate Chip White Macadamia Ginger Coconut Pumpkin Oatmeal

Healthy Treats

Indulgences

I think I gave you enough to work with for a little while. Now get to baking! 🙂

Food for Thought

What are some of your favorite cookie recipes? Do you make holiday cookies every year?

Sundays in the Kitchen

Somehow, even after a 4-day weekend, Monday still seems to come too soon. So to drown my pre-work week sorrows, I decided to spend the day in the kitchen cooking and baking up a storm!

I had a special request (weeks ago.. oops!) for chocolate chip cookies, so I started there. Last month, Brown Eyed Baker had a chocolate chip cookie throwdown featuring 4 recipes, one of which was our favorite from Alton Brown. Showing Nathan was a mistake.. he immediately wanted to have a throwdown of our own. Rather than having our throwdown, we decided to try the winning recipe; The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

How can you resist chocolate chip cookies like that?! We certainly couldn’t and the verdict is in; we may just have a new favorite chocolate chip cookie!

To combat the indulgent cookies, I got my healthy cook on and prepped some delicious meals for the week. A new recipe from the Tone It Up girls, Carrot & Pumpkin Soup, will be making many appearances this week during lunch along with Jamie Eason’s Turkey Meatloaf Muffins via Sarah Fit. We also have some honey wheat rolls, bulgogi beef prepped for tonight’s dinner, and my latest creation;  Blueberry Ricotta Muffins. I was so happy with the way they came out. They’re super moist and are perfect to have with a little jam.. or in my case, peanut butter. Because everything is better with peanut butter!

Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

Serves 12
Adapted from The Lean Green Bean

Barr & Table Blueberry Ricotta Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins Lean Green Bean

Ingredients
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk [I use Almond Breeze]
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree [Not pumpkin pie mix! I use Libby’s]
1 egg
1/4 cup demerara or brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Optional Toppings
Jelly or jam
Any nut butter
Earth Balance Coconut Butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients from coconut oil through vanilla extract. Slowly mix in your flour and baking powder until that is just mixed through. Don’t over mix! Gently fold in the blueberries so they are equally distributed.

Grease a muffin tin and scoop into tins in 12 equal parts. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Let cool, top with your favorite topping *cough peanut butter cough* and enjoy!

Barr & Table Blueberry Ricotta Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Nutritional Stats
Per muffin

124 Calories  /  4g Fat  /  20g Carbs  /  3g Fiber  /  10g Sugar  /  4g Protein

Food for Thought

Do you prep your meals for the week on Sunday?