Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Panini Love

If I knew how much I would enjoy owning a panini-maker, I would have bought one years ago! Once again, we relied on our wonderful and talented panini-maker for dinner. Panini-makers are especially amazing when you don't feel like cooking or it's way too hot to cook or you have some bread that is about to go stale or you are seriously craving carbs or... well, you get the point. :) 

Tonight's panini was made with ham, swiss cheese, and maple mustard. On the side, I threw together a salad with grape tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, feta, and cabernet vinegar. It was a simple side, but vibrant and nutritious. 

The Maple Mustard is from the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, Vermont. The mustard is made from all-natural ingredients, including Cold Hollow's very own cider syrup as well as coarse mustard, brown sugar, and lemon juice. The Maple Mustard was a great addition to my ham and cheese panini! 

Slim-pickings for dessert tonight! I managed to come up with a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and fluff... and almond slices for a little crunch. It satisfied my sweet tooth, no problem. 

I decided to join the gym!!! Really, it was an easy decision! I'm heading to bed early again tonight, so that I can get up bright and early for Bosu Challenge! Good night! Almost the weekend!

Having Your Cake...

Here's the little blurb about Carrots & Cake from today's Metro!!! I hope the article quality is readable. If not, go to you can download the whole newspaper as a pdf.

Leisurely Work Lunch

Lunch was such a treat today! One of my coworkers invited our department (10 people) to her apartment for a home-cooked meal. The food was absolutely wonderful! The best part though was the 2 hours away from the office! I felt incredibly refreshed when I sat down at my desk after such a relaxing and enjoyable meal. We should always have 2 hours lunches, right?

On today's lunch menu: baked ziti, marinated cucumber and squash, and a salad of cherry tomatoes, green beans, and feta. A store-bought potato salad was also served, but I decided to pass on it. I'd much rather eat dishes made from the heart! :)

Before the meal, we had brie, crackers, and green grapes as an appetizer. I was waiting for the "main course," so I only munched on 1 cracker with a tiny smear of brie and a couple of grapes.

As a beverage, I enjoyed an "iced tea spritzer" made with 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 Pellegrino.

My plate...

My coworker had the most spectacular roof deck off her apartment. It was truly amazing! Here's a shot of her roof deck garden... I'm very jealous! My patio only gets direct sunlight for a few hours in the afternoon, so we are limited with our growing choices. My coworker's veggies and herb are thriving!

The roof deck had gorgeous views of Boston!

I didn't think I'd need a snack after my leisurely work lunch, but now, I don't think I can make it until dinnertime without eating a little something. I think my body is used to a pattern of eating-- I always seem to get hungry around 4:00 everyday... but am I hungry or "hungry"? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Anyway, I just broke out a Banana Cookie Larabar as a snack. I've heard great things about this flavor-- can't wait to try it!


Good news! My gym trial went very well this morning-- it worked great with my commute and there is a Starbucks right next door! :) I'm 90% sure that I am going to join... I just want to think it over a little more and crunch the numbers.

Before heading to the gym this morning, I snacked on a cherry-flavored Yotta Bar. (Ewww, sorry for the fuzzy photo-- it was 5 am.)

The Yotta Bar held me over through my workout, a shower, and a 10-minute wait in the line at Starbucks for an iced coffee. By the time I arrived at work at 8:45 though, my stomach was seriously grumbling! Here's a shot of my iced coffee mid-commute...

I made my breakfast in the office this morning. Before: a packet of Kashi Heart-to-Heart Golden Brown Maple Oatmeal, Teddie PB, and a banana.

After: To the instant oatmeal, I added banana slices and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter. This is such a great breakfast for people on the go-- fast and easy to prepare, filling, and delicious.

Question of the Day

What food(s) do you never, ever get sick of no matter how often you eat it?

Me: Oatmeal, peanut butter, buffalo sauce, eggs, and dates. They're long-time favorites! :)

Rumor Alert!

Rumor has it that my blog was mentioned in the Boston Metro today! I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP! So cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Fours

Well, today was all about junky food... specifically, melty cheese. Mal was craving buffalo chicken nachos in a bad way from The Fours this evening. To be honest, I was in the mood for something healthy and colorful, but I could tell that Mal really wanted buffalo chicken nachos. Mal had to twist my arm, but I agreed to go to The Fours for dinner with him. 

Mmmmmmmmmm... buffalo chicken nachos...

The Four's buffalo chicken nachos are made with tri-colored, crispy tortilla chips, topped with chunks of breaded chicken, tomatoes, scallions, mozzarella, and buffalo sauce. They are so amazing! Best nachos in Boston! :) Together, Mal and I probably ate 3/4 of the portion. 

Lunch included more melty cheese. I made an open-face ham and swiss cheese sandwich on an English muffin in our office toaster oven. I also ate a banana for lunch. Nothing exciting to report about lunch, but it did the trick.  

The leftover office cookies tempted me again today. After my ham and swiss sandwich, I ate a half of a chocolate chunk cookie. It was scrumptious, but I think I am finally worn out on these cookies. Thank God! 

About an hour after lunch, my coworker and I grabbed a couple of Dunkin Donut iced coffees, which we enjoyed while relaxing in the courtyard.

My afternoon snack doesn't look pretty, but trust me, it was! My snack was plain yogurt mixed with fresh blackberries and raspberries. I love fresh berries in the summertime! They're the best!

New Gym

So, I'm trying out a new gym (well, I was a member in the past) bright and early tomorrow morning. I'm on the "guest list," so I get to use the gym for free tomorrow. I'm excited! However, there is a small gym in my apartment building that is free... but after a year of working out there, it has lost its excitement... and I really miss group exercise classes. I love the choreography of step aerobics and dance classes as well as the variety of yoga, pilates, spinning, and strength training, which (obviously) my building gym does not offer. It's also tough for me to challenge myself with what my apartment gym has to offer, and I don't want my fitness level to suffer. I hope that my commute works out. Sadly, I don't live or work near this gym, but I would love to join again-- I just need to figure out if it is worth the money (it's a VERY expensive gym). I'll be sure to let you know how things go tomorrow morning!

If There's A Will, There's A Way

Hello, my lovely blog readers! I am having some unfortunate blogging problems today. My work computer has a big, bad virus on it that prevents me from using the internet, which while it is being fixed, means no blogging! How very sad! However, if there is a will, there is a way! Being the devoted food blogger than I am, I found a way to publish my breakfast post. My coworker (and good friend) agreed to upload my photos for me, and I am using a public computer at the school to blog away! :) I hope you guys appreciate my efforts! Just kidding! I'm happy to blog for y'all!

Here's breakfast...

Breakfast this morning was a breakfast sandwich made with ham, swiss cheese, and egg whites. My egg sandwich held me over so well yesterday, I decided to have the same thing again today. With my sandwich, I also had 1/2 of a mango, which was very ripe and super sweet!

As always, iced coffee ready to join me on my commute to work...

My breakfast sandwich up close... how delicious does that look?!? To make the egg white patty, I coated a small bowl with cooking spray, poured 1/3 cup of liquid egg whites into it, then popped it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Viola! The end result was a perfect egg patty, ready for a breakfast sandwich.

Question of the Day

What is your favorite quote?

Me: My favorite quote isn't food/nutrition-related, but it describes me fairly well...

"And if life's just a living room
Then I'm in the hall and I'm glad
Oh, I'm glad, I'm glad, I'm glad..."

-- David Gray

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spanakopita Burgers

Rachel Ray's Spanakopita Burgers are one of my go-to recipes-- I can't believe I haven't posted them on my blog yet! Maybe I have, but I couldn't find an old post.

Here's Mal grilling our Spanakopita Burgers on our patio...

Our DC friends (their grand introduction tomorrow!) came over for dinner tonight, so we broke out a bottle of special Strawberry Rhubarb wine from the Grand View Winery in East Calais, Vermont. We visited the vineyard the last time we were in VT, and after sampling this variety, we just had to buy a bottle to bring home with us. You would expect the Strawberry Rhubarb wine to be sickly sweet, but it's not at all. It has a strong, bold flavor with just subtle hints of strawberry. Delish! We finished the bottle with no trouble tonight! 

Grilled burgers and buns... 

Dinner on the table, ready to eat...

We use ground turkey for our Spanakopita Burger recipe. The ground turkey gives the burgers a wonderful, not-too-greasy texture and flavor to it. Combined with the spinach, garlic, and feta, it's a healthy burger! 

My burger up close... check out the big chunks of feta and spinach. Yum! The buns are Calise Bakery 100% Whole Wheat Kaiser Rolls, which are fairly high in calories (200), but also high in fiber (4 grams) and protein (9 grams). The rolls are huge, so you're getting a lot of bun for 200 calories. 

And... lucky us... our friends brought dessert! Their homemade treats were similar to seven-layer bars-- one of my favorite desserts ever! :)

Up close... gooey, chunky, chocolatel-y, coconut-y, graham cracker-y goodness! Heaven in a bar!

It's very much bedtime for me! I think I am sleeping in and skipping the gym tomorrow morning. I'm pooped! GOOD NIGHT! 

Whole Foods Love

What a day! My doctor's appointment went fine-- the lump on my elbow is nothing to be worried about. My doc said it's a fat deposit (sounds lovely, right?), but she is not concerned. Of course, if it changes size, becomes painful or turns a different color, she told me to make an appointment to see her again. Let's hope it just stays the same! 

My doctor's office is located above the most amazing Whole Foods in all of Boston, so I just had to stop in to browse. I love, love, love Whole Foods! In side, everything is nice, neat, fresh, and colorful. It makes me so happy to just wander around, checking out stuff and searching for new products. Ahhhhhh, the pleasures of a foodie! :) Anyway, I grabbed an iced coffee from the WF cafe, which was delicious! I had never tried their iced coffee before, and it was honestly wonderful-- so much flavor... and, the best part, I didn't use any Splenda in it! I decided to forego the chemically sweetener, and instead added 2 packets of Sugar in the Raw, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me. My iced coffee tasted much more "natural" than usual. The taste of just 2 packets of sugar, not Splenda, gave my coffee plenty of sweetness for minimal calories (and chemicals). My iced coffee experience today may have changed me for the better! Let's hope today will motivate me to continue to cut back on Splenda!

I also purchased 2 flavors of Larabars that I haven't tried: Pistachio and Banana Cookie. Here they are inside my bag... notice the cover of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that I've been reading for weeks now! I'm almost finished! I didn't try either flavor of the Larabars today, but I will be sure to provide a review as soon as I do. Any initial reactions to these new-ish flavors?

Lunch today was leftover pizza from last night and a banana. The pizza was GREAT as leftovers-- the onion and garlic flavors really soaked into the dough. Yum! 

The temptation of office cookies never ends! Today, I opted for half of an oatmeal raisin cookie. Man, do I love cookies! 

My afternoon snack was a repeat of last week's cottage cheese-blueberry spread. This is SUCH a filling snack. Even when I was leaving work about 2 hours after eating it, my stomach was still super full. Love long-lasting snacks like this! 

Off to cook dinner with our "DC friends" -- lots more about them later tonight! :)

A Great Way to Start the Day

I have a doctor's appointment later this morning to get a lump checked-out on my elbow (ewww!), so I have an extra hour to spare at home. Mr. Mal offered to wake up early and cook me breakfast. What an amazing guy! Here he is cooking us some eggs...

While Mal was making breakfast, I caught up on my blog reading while sipping some iced coffee. (In the background is Lindsay's blog, For the Love of Oats-- one of my favs!)

Here's Mal's final product... a scrambled egg and cheddar English muffin breakfast sandwich with prosciutto. It was amazing-- probably his best breakfast sandwich yet! Of course, I devoured it! While typing up this post, I munched on an Adora calcium disk. (For an explanation of Adora and where to buy them, check out my FAQs page.)


I slept in a little this morning, and hit the gym around 6:30. I did one of my favorite walking workouts: 45-Minute Treadmill Workout. I've mentioned it on my blog in the past-- both the running and walking workouts keep you interested and exercising hard for a solid 45 minutes. It's great, especially when you want a good workout, but aren't super motivated or don't have a lot of time. Before my workout, I ate 3 Oatmeal-Apricot-Almond cookies, which quieted my stomach until breakfast.

Question of the Day

What is your favorite part of your morning routine?

Me: Hands down, eating breakfast while reading my favorite blogs. I love catching up with everyone's day-- their meals, lives, etc. It starts my day off on the right foot and motivates me to eat healthy and live well. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Prosciutto Red Onion Pizza

Sorry for the late post-- I decided to go shopping after dinner. After only 2 weeks of marriage, I have already "let myself go." I'm kidding! :) However, my work attire has definitely become much more relaxed... even sort of sloppy. After an especially horrendous outfit today, I've decided to "step-it-up" and update my work wardrobe. I managed to find a few new, cute things at Target and Old Navy for relatively cheap, and I am looking forward to incorporating them into my work wear. I'll try to take some photos of my new and improved outfits in the coming days! :)

Dinner tonight was a yummy homemade pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, caramelized red onion, black olives, and garlic. I loved the combo of ingredients! I was totally in the mood for the garlic and onion flavors. My piece doesn't look that large in my photo, but trust me, it was sizable! 

The pizza before going into the oven... it took just 20 minutes to cook. We used store-bought pizza dough for the crust. 

Afternoon Snack

The cookie temptations in my office have been out of control lately! Again, today, a massive number of leftover cookies appeared in my office. I wasn't even sure if I needed a snack this afternoon, and then I ate a huge carmel chip cookie. At the time, I throughly enjoyed every single bite, but about an hour later, I was really disappointed in myself. Not that I shouldn't treat myself to an occasional goodie, but I've been overdoing it in the sweets department lately... plus I wasn't even hungry! Time to get back on track! 

Good night, all! I need my rest for a serious cookie-burning workout in the morning! :) 

Lunch Combo

Today's lunch was a salad-half sandwich combo. My salad was made from lettuce, carrots, and cherry tomatoes from home, then topped with more veggies and "fun" stuff from the cafe's salad bar. Salad highlights: marinated sweet potatoes, a rosemary red potato, and a spoonful of spicy black bean salad.

My half sandwich was made with the "end piece," which I actually don't mind at all. Mal, on the other hand, avoids the "heel" of the loaf like his life depended on it! :) In my sandwich was cracked-pepper turkey and balsamic sweet onion jam from Stop & Shop's "Simply Enjoy" line. For you Stop & Shoppers, I found the balsamic sweet onion jam in the isle with the other jams and jellies-- they had quite a few interesting varieties! The balsamic sweet onion spread is soo yummy-- sweet, thick, and chunky, almost like a chutney. It definitely jazzes-up a regular, old sandwich. I highly recommend it!

No lunch is complete without something sweet! I followed-up my salad and sandwich with 3 Oatmeal-Apricot-Almond cookies and a dark chocolate Adora.

I'm not sure about my afternoon snack today. I'm not hungry at all, but I brought a peach and some yogurt with honey, so we'll see how the rest of the afternoon goes and whether my hunger starts to creep up on me.

Happy Monday!

Banana-Granola Mash

Despite my best efforts to get to bed early last night, I had soooo much trouble sleeping! My mind kept wandering, and I woke up a few times during the night. Meh. So frustrating! However, because my body didn't want to sleep, I was able to wake up bright and early at 5 am to hit the gym. I had a decent workout, finished earlier than usual, and had some extra time to relax at home this morning, which, I am happy to say, got my day started off on the right foot.

My morning meal was something new and different: Banana-Granola Mash.

Here's how I made it: I mashed-up a very ripe banana, mixed it with 3 broken-up Oatmeal-Apricot-Almond cookies (granola would work just as well), and added a squirt of sugar-free maple syrup. I love the crunch in the sweet banana mash!

Approximate measurements for Banana-Granola Mash:

1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup granola (or 3 Oatmeal-Apricot-Almond cookies)
1/2 tbsp of sugar-free maple syrup

After mushing-up the banana, cookies/granola, and sf maple syrup in a bowl, I divided the mixture and spread it evenly on top of 2 toasted Van's Organic waffles. So delish! So filling!

As always, I made iced coffee to go-- today with Silk Soy Creamer and 1/2 packet of Splenda. I finished my travel mug of iced coffee before I arrived at work, but somehow I am still dragging. I feel like I need more caffeine to get me through the day! Ugh. Hate that!

Question of the Day

In the last year, what is one health-minded change that has bettered your life?

Me: I've increased the amount of fresh produce in my diet. Before last summer, there would often be days where I'd only eat one serving of fruit and no veggies at all! I still want to incorporate even more fruits and veggies into my diet, but I think that I've made some great progress overall.