What I Ate Wednesday #113: Back to Normal

How many times have you heard the word “detox” over the past week? Every time the holidays come around, everyone scrambles to find the best ways to not gain weight and not over-indulge. And when we all give in to the holiday treats, we all want the quick-fix to lose the bloat and get back to where we were pre-holiday, right? Personally, I’m not one to say no to pumpkin roll and peanut butter cups.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I’m also not a fan of detoxing. In theory, the idea of cutting out all of the sugar, alcohol, and excess snacking sounds like a good idea. But when I go from all to nothing, I’m not the most fun person to be around. [Don’t ask Nathan.] I prefer to just go back to my regular way of eating.

[Breakfast]
Protein Egg White Oatmeal Oats Fresh Almond Butter Coffee
How could I possibly give up my most favorite breakfast?

[Lunch]
Whole Foods Salad Bar Garlicky Kale
I’ve been going salad bar crazy! This is an old picture, but just imagine all of the delicious salad bar toppings you could possibly get from Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. It’s the best.

[Dinner]
Lemon Feta Chicken Israeli Couscous Salad

Chicken Shawarma Cabbage Salad Saurkraut Hummus Baba Ghanoush
Nice, light dinners. The other night I made feta chicken, Israeli couscous salad, and a green salad. Last night we went to dinner at a new Mediterranean place that was setup like a Chipotle-style way of ordering. I loaded up on all the veggies and the delicious chicken shawarma, hummus, and baba ghanoush.

[Snacks]
Don’t be fooled by the pictures above. Along with my healthy bars that I’ve been snacking on, I’ve also been popping into the fridge to grab some bites of leftover sausage stuffing, all of the squash and sweet potato, and there have been many spoon dips into the almond butter jar! Obviously, I could be stuffing my face with worse food but there has still been a bit more snacking than a normal day.

So it may not be totally back to normal, but we’re getting there! There’s no quick fix for anything so rather than torturing myself [and everyone around me] with food I don’t want, I’d much rather enjoy what I’m eating and take my good old time.

Food for Thought

Are you a detoxer or do you just got back to your norm?

Thanksgiving + Wedding Weekend

Two of the reasons we came home were Thanksgiving and my cousin’s wedding. These events made for a pretty marvelous weekend and, even though I’ve said it 100 times already, I’m so glad we could come home for it.

Leading up to Thanksgiving was pretty great too; we had dinner with friends last week and went to hang out at their house afterward. You can tell I’m not used to the cold weather anymore because as soon as we walked in, I stole her warmest clothes. And then she handed me a glass of sparkling wine.. that’s a good friend right there!

Sparkling Wine

Yep, that glass says “She Said Yes!” Ha.

I did a pretty poor job of actually getting pictures of Thanksgiving festivities, but I did get a picture of some of my prep and a little post-turkey day lunching.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

My favorite homemade dessert!

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Roasty veggies are the best leftovers!

I got some more quality time with my little girl.. it’s so fun now that she’s really starting to recognize me!

Jilly Bean Brittany

Lap time is pretty much my fave.

Jilly Bean

“Ok, I’ll stand still for about 3 seconds so you can take a picture.”

And of course, there was the wedding which was almost as beautiful as the bride!

Nicole Bride Brittany

Kirk is one lucky guy!

I love this girl; she’s not a cousin that I grew up knowing too well, but when she moved to Baltimore a couple of years ago, we really got to know each other and she’s fantastic. And her shiny new husband, Kirk, is such a perfect match for her. I miss hanging out with them.. it’s always such a treat when we come into town. Kirk, by the way, had the best reaction when she walked down the aisle. Quivering lips and all.. it was so sweet.

Kirk Nicole Wedding

Wish I got a better shot of his expression!

I also wish I got more pictures of the night, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re dancing like crazy! [I totally smacked the photographer.. whoops!]

What a weekend! And now it’s time I get my body used to eating a normal amount of food again. I’m thinking this card describes my thoughts..

Cardio Mice

Our meal plan this week isn’t so exciting in terms of actual cooking, but I’m sure we’ll find some pretty exciting food to eat when we meet up with our friends!

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Carry out Thai
Monday – Grilled feta chicken with Israeli couscous salad
Tuesday – Out with friends
Wednesday – Out with friends
Thursday – Jilly’s first birthday!
Friday – Out with friends
Saturday – Out with friends

Food for Thought

How was your Thanksgiving?
Did you do anything exciting over the weekend?

Where did the weekend go?!

Have you entered my AMRAP giveaway yet?! The prize was just updated!!

I’m pretty sure I missed the weekend.. is it really Monday already? I’ve been on the run since we got back from Baltimore, weekend included, but at the very least I was able to take some time Saturday evening for a little date. Drinks + dinner + ice cream. That’s pretty much our perfect equation these days.

We had to check out a sports bar around the corner for us to see if it would suffice for Ravens games. It’s pretty tough to get the Ravens out here but there are a few bars that will happily put on any game you request. [We didn’t go for the game yesterday, though based on the way they played, neither of us were too disappointed to have stayed in.] For dinner, we tried a new-to-us Thai restaurant, Sukho Thai [<– $2.50 glass of wine for happy hour!]

Thai Fresh Roll

If a Fresh Roll is on the menu, consider it ours!

Thai Chicken Larb Salad

My go-to chicken larb salad.

Thai Coconut Curry Beef Noodle Soup

The winner! Coconut curry beef noodle soup. So much flavor and just so good.

Fun story.. the server brought out the hot sauces and peppers with the fresh roll. Of course Nathan went straight for the peppers and I decided I’d try a small piece of the Thai bird chili. It didn’t start out too terribly spicy, but after a few minutes, both of us were practically sitting in silence trying to figure out how to get rid of the burn. My eyes were tearing, Nathan was starting to break a sweat.. I just kept telling him not to react because the staff would absolutely be laughing at us!

We survived the pepper incident but decided ice cream would be a necessity to really be sure to get rid of the heat. We shared a munchkin-sized creme fraiche ice cream with pear caramel from Smitten. No time for pictures but it was as good as it sounds! We finished the night with a bad movie—Two Guns—at home with some popcorn.

Yesterday was a lot of running around again but we did sneak in a quick lunch date at Gregoire before hitting up the grocery store. The feature item of the lunch? Potato puffs.

Gregoire Potato Puffs

Instead of the plain old mashed potato filling that I almost expected, the filling has a really creamy, almost cream-cheesy flavor. Gregoire is known for their potato puffs so we had to try them!

After all of the craziness of the past few weeks, it was nice to have a few quiet minutes to end the weekend and get our lives back on track.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Lemon herb roast chicken thighs with roasted asparagus
MondayFeta chicken kabobs with roasted brussels, red onion, and bell pepper
TuesdayQuinoa crusted chicken strips with buffalo sauce, grilled asaparagus, & roasted wedge potatoes
Wednesday – Trivia night!
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Cauli rice salad with chipotle orange chicken, cashews, & feta

Food for Thought

What is the most exciting ice cream flavor you’ve tried?
What’s on your menu this week?

What I Ate Wednesday #94: Can’t Stop Me Now

Because if you’re hungry, eat! Ironically enough, I wasn’t all that hungry throughout the day but when the sun set, it was all I could do to keep my hands off of more food!

Breakfast
Protein Oatmeal Peanut Almond Butter Orioles Cold Brewed Coffee
A normal start to the day. The best protein-packed oatmeal and nut butters. Also, homemade cold-brewed coffee is too easy. Do it.

Lunch
Tuna Salad Beets Avocado
Use your imagination.. this was really my salad from yesterday but Monday’s salad was pretty close. Tuna has been my bff lately, it’s just so easy to throw on a salad when I’m running around like a nut. Which is most days right now! I also had a few Rosemary Black Pepper almonds. Because they’re amazing.

Afternoon Snack
Fage Kefir Bobs Red Mill Granola Bluberries Peanut Flour
I’m usually starving by the time I get off of work, but Monday I was just feeling something light. I just bought some kefir to try out and while I’m not a huge fan of it on its own, I do like going half and half with some greek yogurt. Of course I added some peanut flour to make a little PB&J parfait.

Dinner
That Skinny Chick Can Bake Feta Chicken Roasted Brussels Sprouts Red Pepper
Love love love this feta chicken recipe! I’d highly recommend it but definitely go for the fresh rosemary over dried; I’ve done both and fresh really makes it pop.

Evening Snack[s]
Let the games begin! I started with a couple little pieces of pineapple and an apple. And then…..
Cinnamon Toast Rice Cake Peanut Butter

Cinnamon Toast Rice Cake Peanut Butter Bite
..a cinnamon toast rice cake with peanut butter. Eaten just like this.. standing in the kitchen, broken into pieces. Because that’s normal.

And because 2 snacks just didn’t suffice..
Larabar Renola Cocoa Coconut Grain Free Granola
..this stuff is delicious! And it finally filled me up. Success!

I always try to practice what I preach. Even though I wasn’t very hungry throughout the day, my body was clearly telling me I didn’t eat enough and it caught up to me by the end of the night. So just because it was after 10 pm [GASP!], I continued to eat healthy snacks until I was comfortably full. Going to bed hungry is the worst!

Don’t forget to enter my Bob’s Red Mill giveaway?

Food for Thought

Do you have a cut-off time for when you stop eating each night?

Quiet Around These Parts

Have you entered my Bob’s Red Mill giveaway?

It was a pretty quiet one this past weekend although it did kick off with a rather amazing picture message from my brother that made my day.

Jilly Bean Beach

Please, no pictures. I’m sunning.

If only we could all be so fabulous..

With all of the going out we’ve done over the past few, we decided to lay low a bit. Saturday I was working in the morning and when I got home we hit the road to check out Grocery Outlet [think Aldi but with name-brands]. We really had our bargain-hunting pants on this weekend! It ended up being a pretty successful trip knowing that we’d still be going to Berkeley Bowl on Sunday. But all in all, I’d say we got some good deals!

Yesterday I got up early for a quick run before Nathan and I went for a hike. There are still so many place we haven’t seen yet and Joaquin Miller Park is right around the corner from us.

Joaquin Miller Park

Such a pretty view right from the start.

Joaquin Miller Park Eucalyptus Trees

How cool are these trees?

Joaquin Miller Park Nathan

We hike with coffee. And pastries.

Joaquin Miller Park Oakland Eucalyptus Trees

Crazy fog made for some fun pictures.

The fog was pretty heavy when we first got there but it really burned off within about an hour. We tried to stop at a lookout point on our way up the mountain but you couldn’t see 5 feet in front of you! We were able stop on the way back down and could actually see the fog moving out. Pretty cool! It was a really nice area and a great place to check out.

Later in the day we lucked out and got to watch our Orioles since the game was on ESPN.

Baltimore Orioles ESPN

Orioles Magic!

I don’t mind the game being rained out at all.. an O’s win after 5 innings? I’ll take it! We’re in first and it feels so good!

And while the game was going, this baby was roasting for an awesome Sunday dinner.

Southwest Roast Chicken

Nathan roasts a mean chicken!

Southwest Roast Chicken Sweet Potato

Sweet potato for me..

Southwest Roast Chicken Hasselback Potato

..and Nathan’s fancy hasselback potato!

Such a great way to end the weekend.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Roast chicken, sweet/hasselback potatoes, and side salad
MondayFeta chicken kabobs with roasted brussels sprouts [this one didn’t happen last week so I’m making up for it now!]
TuesdayBlack rice salad bowls with chipotle orange chicken, cashews, & feta
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayGreen chile turkey burgers and side salad
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

What fun things did you do over the weekend?

Gimme Some Routine!

First things first, I totally forgot to choose a winner for my Pure Via giveaway on Friday. Congrats to Emily D! Shoot me an email at Brittany@BarrAndTable.com with your shipping in and I’ll make sure it gets sent out right away!

Yesterday the SIL headed back home and Nathan and I relaxed at home by ourselves for the first time in over a week. Heading back to Baltimore and then coming back with a guest was fun but we were really ready for some quiet time. Not to mention we couldn’t wait for some light, healthy, home-cooked meals! That said, we did Saturday right for my SIL’s last day with us.

For lunch we stopped at a little restaurant called Southie where we sat up at the bar watching the cooks and drooling over all the food. They were really friendly and happy to answer all of our questions about what they were making when it looked like something that wasn’t on the menu. It all looked so good but I think next time we’ll have to get a steak sandwich!

Southie Steak Sandwich

Making the Steak Giardiniera sandwich.

Southie Spicy Hog Pulled Pork Sandwich

Making Nathan’s spicy hog pulled pork sandwich.

Southie Ahi Tuna Salad

Ahi tuna sandwich made into a salad!

I need to remember that so many restaurants like this are so accommodating and more than happy to make a sandwich into a salad. The ahi tuna was delicious and this might have been my favorite tapenade ever. I’m not a huge olive fan and these olives had such a light flavor and weren’t salty at all. Fabulous!

Of course we couldn’t go out for a stroll without grabbing a couple of drinks. After some beer, we made our way over to Smitten for a little liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Smitten Ice Cream Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie

Brown Sugar with Cinnamon Shortbread liquid nitrogen ice cream

Everything is made-to-order and you can choose a flavor plus add-ins. I stuck to a regular [homemade] cone with no add-ins and it was great! They have some really interesting flavors and I think we’ll have to head back for Nathan to try the flavor-of-the-month, Nectarine.

We finished off the SIL’s trip with our favorite Indian food.

Viks Chaat Tandoori Chicken Naan

The best tandoori chicken and naan.

I love the tandoori chicken; it’s the first spicy tandoori we’ve ever had! She had the curry chicken and it was equally as delicious and flavorful. With all of the food we had throughout the day, we ended up splitting 2 meals between the 3 of us and it was plenty of food!

So you can imagine I was glad to keep it light yesterday.

Salmon Sushi Safeway

Salmon sushi.

Coconut Basil Grilled Chicken Asparagus Sweet Potato

Coconut basil grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, and roasted sweet potato.

My body will be thrilled after a few more days of being back to normal eating! Looking forward to this week’s plan.

Weekly Meal Plan

SundayCoconut basil grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, and roasted yukon and sweet potatoes
MondayChopped chicken and couscous salad with sweet basil dressing
Tuesday – Chicken and dry-braised green beans and baby bok choy
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayApricot barbecue chicken with roasted brussels sprouts
FridayFeta chicken kabobs with roasted broccoli
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

How was your 4th of July weekend?
What’s on your meal plan this week?

What I Ate Wednesday #91: Berrylicious

I love this time of year. The kitchen is almost always stocked with fresh fruits and veggies but right now everything is at its peak. We’ve been seriously stocking the fridge with lots of fruit; it’s hard not to when everything is so good!

It’s usually not until I sit down and look at my meals for the day as a whole that I see some sort of theme going on. Yesterday’s theme was berries. I wouldn’t mind having that theme happen more often either.

Breakfast
Blueberry Oatmeal Peanut Almond Butter
Quite possibly the ugliest oatmeal ever, right? Blueberries really have a way.. I just swapped my usual 1/2 banana in my oatmeal for 1/2 cup blueberries. It was pretty wonderful if you can get past they bowl of gray.

Lunch
Chipotle Cherry Laughing Cow White Cheddar Turkey Zoodles Avocado
I have a thing for hot lunches these days and zucchini noodles are such a fast fix. I also have a serious cheese craving going on so I got Laughing Cow White Cheddar wedges the other day. I threw one of those into the mix with chipotle cherry sauce, ground turkey, shredded carrots, and zucchini noodles. I topped it off with avocado and BAM! Delicious lunch.

Snack
Balance Caramel Nut Blast
It’s been a while since I’ve had a Balance bar, but honestly, I was running out the door hungry and it was the first one I saw. The caramel nut blast is pretty darn tasty!

Blue Diamond Toast Coconut Blueberry Almonds Dark Chocolate Pretzels Raspberries
And since I felt the need for something sweet and berrylicious when I got home, I grabbed some almonds I just got from Blue Diamond—toasted coconut and blueberry—and threw them in a bowl with some raspberries and dark chocolate pretzels. I swear, Nathan was trying to hide those pretzels from me! Also, the blueberry almonds are not something I would typically buy myself, but they were much better than I expected!

Dinner
That Skinny Chick Can Bake Feta Chicken Kabobs Joy the Baker Toasted Pecan Blueberry Couscous Salad
You guys. This chicken. I’m in love with the marinade! I ended up making extra to go on the side because it’s so good. I used this feta chicken kabob recipe and toasted pecan and blueberry couscous salad on the side. I ended up cutting the amount of couscous in half and adding some leftover quinoa that I had. The whole dinner was so good and I’m glad I made a bunch for leftovers!

Snack
Sourdough Bread Almond Butter

An apple and a little more homemade sourdough. We’re still riding the struggle bus when it comes to making bread but we’re getting closer. Maybe one day soon we’ll be successful.. here’s to hoping!

Food for Thought

What’s the best recipe you’ve tried lately?
What’s your favorite berry?

Food-bombing

Another relaxing weekend in the books which is just what was ordered. It’s going to be a crazy week starting with a 5am – noon shift today. Should be.. interesting. Ha! But fun, right? 🙂 I definitely swapped my rest day for today and got my Monday workout in yesterday. I think there will be a nap happening later!

Friday we stayed close to home and tried a new-to-us Vietnamese restaurant, Monster Pho. It was great; I got their monster salad which came with grilled chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp.

Monster Pho Salad

As we were walking around after dinner, we passed a little plum tree so I got myself a little sweet treat.

Baby Plum

It wasn’t fully ripe yet so it wasn’t that tasty, but I took it so I ate it. To really cure my sweet tooth, we stopped at Fenton’s for some ice cream!

Fentons Creamery Coffee Cookie Crumble

Holy moly. The coffee cookie dream was just thatdreamy. Coffee ice cream with oreo cookie and chocolate chip cookie dough.. exactly what I was looking for! That said, I’d definitely go back to Lush instead of Fenton’s next time. Gelato is the bomb diggity.

Saturday was a pretty lazy day. We hit up the farmers’ market but unfortunately didn’t make out so well this time. The fruit was just not on point like it was last week so we passed. Dinner, however, was on point. Sliver for happy hour has an awesome dealwhen you get a drink, you get a sliver of pizza.

Sliver Pizza Happy Hour

So that’s what we did. And then I did that again. Plus more pizza and salad 😉 I’m not usually a huge pizza girl but I was really feeling it!

Yesterday we did quite a bit of running arounda couple grocery stores, lunch, and of course a little strolling. We went to Pappy’s in Berkeley for lunch. It’s a bar right near the college but the menu looked pretty good and they have a good beer selection. Plus we could go to watch some baseball and World Cup. I heard the salads were good, but I wasn’t expecting this!

Pappys Berkeley Tofu Chef Harvest Salad Cornbread

I really should have put my hand in there for size reference. The bowl had to have been a foot wide and a few inches deep and it was filled to the gills with a few greens, edamame, craisins, wheat berries, corn, tons of tofu and then some, and topped off with a huge piece of homemade cornbread! I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever had such a huge salad and it was delicious. Not to mention it was only $8 which is a steal.

You bet your butt I finished that salad and Nathan helped me polish off a pretty good portion of the cornbread. I’d say we had a little too much though because dinner didn’t roll around till 9. Whoops! It was pretty awesome though and I don’t plan on buying caesar dressing again any time soon.

How Sweet It Is Beer Glazed Citrus Chicken Roasted Corn Caesar Salad

I also made croutons from my dense-as-the-dickens sourdough loaf. At least it works for something!

Weekly Meal Plan

SundayBeer glazed citrus chicken and roasted corn caesar salad
MondaySmoky potatoes with asparagus and chorizo
TuesdayFeta chicken kabobs with toasted pecan and blueberry couscous salad
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayPesto wheat berries with chicken sausage, roasted brussels sprouts, and asparagus
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Out!

Food for Thought

Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
What’s on your menu this week?