Monday, January 31, 2011

140.8…Wine for a good cause

Happy Monday! I actually like Mondays….kids are back in school, the house gets picked up and I like to get the week started by eating healthfully.

Before last night’s school fundraiser even, I made a turkey & low fat Swiss cheese sandwich so I wouldn’t be starving when I arrived.

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Our school fundraiser was held in downtown San Diego at Vin de Syrah. Did I mention wine? Oh yeah….

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…plus about 3 more. :) It’s all for a good cause right?

The food was delicious. There was a buffet of all sorts of Mediterranean delights!

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I had a second plate after this. Fortunately the plates were small. My snack did hold me over though, I promise. :)

Hubby and I:

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I shared some dessert with the husband:

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I went back for a second black & white cookie.  I had a great time while helping out the school. It’s a win, win!

I did mention healthy eating right? I’ve been a good girl today. Breakfast was Special K Vanilla Almond cereal with almond milk and some cantaloupe:

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Hubby took the kids to school and I went to Cardio Muscle class. It was a fabulous workout. I love my Monday class.

After class I ran to Trader Joe’s to load up on veggies and fruit. I also met with someone from Team in Training who is going to decorate my team shirt for a donation. I am the least creative person ever and can use all the help I can get in that department.

Lunch was a turkey & Swiss wrap. I spread a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on the wheat tortilla and loaded it with cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and coarse grain mustard. I had some veggies and hummus with it:

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I picked up my daughter from school and had some tangerines when I got back:

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After picking up my son (I’ll be glad when they are eventually at the same school), I had a piece of wheat toast with Better N Peanut Butter to fuel up for my little training run.

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According to my training schedule, I was supposed to do “2 easy miles” so that’s what I did.

Mile 1 – 11:20

Mile 2 – 10:41

Ladies and Gentlemen….I am a slow runner. Fortunately Team in Training could care less about my speed….thank goodness for I am a snail. All I need to do is cross the finish line right?

Are you a fan of Mondays or do you dread them?

Online Bake Sale!

Toffee Brownies could be yours!

Head on over to Steph’s Bake Sale and bid on my Toffee Brownies.

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Steph is raising money for her upcoming marathon benefitting Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Bidding has already started and will go on today until 9PM EST. Get your hands on those babies and help a good cause!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

140.8…Pizza Again

Not only did I have pizza for lunch yesterday but I had pizza for dinner too.

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There was some salad too. :) I did have a second piece of pizza after this picture was taken. We had planned on taking the kids out for dinner but we decided to have pizza delivered instead.

This morning I made waffles for everyone. Nothing fancy….just the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. ;)

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I topped my waffle with peanut butter, strawberries and a little drizzle of maple syrup. I used my heart shape waffle maker. :)

The morning was completely lazy. I didn’t do anything. I was going to bake something so that I’d have something yummy to share with you but that never happened.

Lunch was yummy though….

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I decided I needed veggies (after the lack of them yesterday) so I made a huge salad: mixed greens, broccoli slaw, cucumber, tomatoes, red bell pepper and hummus mixed with balsamic vinegar. The dressing of my dreams.

To curb my sweet tooth, I had a couple of dates. Why are these so good??

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I did manage to finally take a shower. Hubby and I are going to my daughter’s school’s fundraiser tonight so I guess I need to be clean. :)

What was the best thing you ate all weekend?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

140.6…Spanish Style Quinoa

First day of half marathon training is now behind me. There’s no turning back now…I am a part of Team and Training and will be running a half marathon in June. After today, I feel more excited than nervous.

Last night while the kiddos were at Kid’s Movie Night (can they do this every Friday night??), I had a glass of wine (just one!):

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I pulled out a bag of Spanish Style Quinoa out of the freezer and added a whole bunch of stuff to it for dinner.

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I added shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and lots of hot sauce. I love this quinoa recipe!

Spanish Style Quinoa

Printable Recipe

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

2 1/2 cups water

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin


Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa, onion, garlic, and green pepper. Cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes until the onion is tender, and the quinoa has lightly toasted. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, then season with the chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Stir the quinoa occasionally as it cooks.


I woke up bright and early to meet my team for our first run. I had a couple of pieces of wheat toast with peanut butter and a little coffee before I left.

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I arrived at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas a little before 8AM. I met my mentor and the coaches. After everyone had arrived (at least 80 people!) and checked in, we listened to the orientation for about an hour. Then it was run time! I choose to be in the “A” group because I don’t run that often. I ran two miles today and was one of the first people back so it was suggested I join the “B” group next time. I’ll give it a shot.

I think this is going to be an amazing experience and one that I’ll never forget.

I drove over to my sister in law’s house afterwards for lunch. I had a few slices of pizza:

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And some chili.  Looks like I need to eat veggies at some point today!

What was your workout today?

Friday, January 28, 2011

140.6…Toffee Brownies

Who doesn’t love brownies?

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Do you know what’s even better than brownies? Brownies with toffee.

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What’s even better than that are brownies for a good cause! My friend Steph over at Steph’s Bite by Bite is hosting an online bake sale to raise money for Team in Training to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is running in the same race that I am: San Diego Rock N Roll, except that she is running the full marathon while I am running the half.

I am donating these brownies to her online bake sale on January 31st. One lucky winner will learn why I call these “crack brownies.” They are that addictive.

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Toffee Brownies

Printable Recipe

1 (17.6 oz) package brownie mix

Vegetable oil cooking spray

3 (6oz) Hershey’s Symphony Bars

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

Line a 13x9 inch cake pan with foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. Then cut into squares.

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All you have to do is visit Steph’s site on January 31st and place your bid. You will find all the rules here.

Last night’s dinner rocked. I pulled some Lightened Bolognese leftover out of the freezer and heated it up. I sautéed a bunch of spinach, topped it with whole wheat penne, then the Bolognese:

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It tasted amazing. I love that recipe!!!

Dessert was a bowl of Special K granola with almond milk:

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Breakfast this morning was an egg beater burrito on a wheat tortilla with some salsa. I had an orange too:

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I took the kids to school and went to Cardio Muscle class.  After class, I munched on an apple.

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My son had half day so I picked him up and took him to Souplantation for lunch while we waiting for my daughter to get out of school.

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We picked her up and went to the post office to get the kid’s passports taken care of for an upcoming cruise that leads out of Vancouver this summer.

Hubby is coming home late and I’m dropping the kids off at our club for “Kid’s Movie Night.” I will have the house all to myself for three hours. This happens so rarely, I think it calls for a glass of wine! But only one…I have my first training run with Team in Training bright and early tomorrow!! Wish me luck!

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

140.2…Sushi Porn

Warning: The following pictures make invoke feelings of extreme cravings.

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Oh My….

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Uh huh….

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If you haven’t gathered by now, I enjoyed my dinner last night immensely. It was Ladies Night and some friends and I tried a new restaurant (to us): Love Boat Sushi. It was some of the best sushi I had had in a long time. The music was upbeat and fun (they played Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”). At one point, the lights when off, a strobe light came on and the sushi chefs put on crazy hats. They sang along to this “Happy Birthday” song to one of the customers in the restaurant who was celebrating their birthday. It was hilarious. It happened twice after that.

I cannot wait to go back to Love Boat Sushi!!!

Breakfast this morning wasn’t as exciting as the sushi, but it did the trick.

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Toasted English muffin with Barney Butter and some strawberries.

I took the kids to school and went to Zumba. Lunchtime rolled around and I made a turkey & swiss cheese sandwich on toasted light wheat bread. On the side was hummus & red bell peppers:

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I got some blog stuff done and grabbed some cherries and dates before I left to go pick up the kids from school.

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As I was typing this post, I enjoyed an orange. :)

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Have a great evening!

If you could only eat one fruit for the rest of your life, what would it be? I would probably choose pineapple….or apples. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

138.8… Stuffed Shells

I made one of my favorite fake out meals last night. Why fake out? Because it looks totally unhealthy and loaded with calories but it’s not.

Stuffed Shells…..the healthier way:

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Stuffed Shells

Printable Recipe

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained

1 container (16 oz) fat free cottage cheese

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 egg white

1 envelope (1.7 oz) Italian Dressing mix

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

20 jumbo macaroni shells (for stuffing), cooked, drained and cooled

1 jar (13 1/2 oz) spaghetti sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella; spoon into shells.

Spread half the sauce onto the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Place shells in dish; top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with foil.

Bake 40 minutes or until heated through, uncovering after 30 minutes.

Calories 340, Fat 7g, Carbs 47g, Protein 23g, Fiber 5g

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I steamed some broccoli and made a big salad to go with the shells.

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This is one of my favorite recipes. I’ve made it so many times I can’t count and I rarely repeat recipes.

Breakfast this morning was Fage yogurt with a little honey, Chocolate Cheerios, strawberries and cinnamon:

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After taking the kids to school, I went on a 3 mile run. Although my official training for the half marathon begins on Saturday, I thought I need to warm up my legs a bit. The first mile was hard but it was smooth sailing after that for the most part.

When I got home, I finished my coffee from breakfast and had a couple of dates:

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I showered and spent a couple of hours catching up on blogs and cleaning up the pile on my desk.

Lunch was some of the Spicy Black Bean and Chicken Tortilla Soup that I made on Monday night. Dare I say it tasted even better today?

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I took an orange and some cherries with me to pick up the kids from school. The school was selling ice cream sandwiches at pick up and I wanted to have something healthy to eat while watching everyone else eat ice cream. :) Way to plan ahead!

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I would really like to eat another snack now but I’m going to refrain. It’s Ladies Night tonight and we are going out for sushi. I cannot control myself around sushi. This might get ugly.

Do you have a favorite “fake out” meal that you make?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

141.0…Spicy Black Bean and Chicken Tortilla Soup

What is better on a cold winter night that a bowl of soup? And not just any soup…one with tons of veggies, shredded chicken and a little spice to warm your soul.

Now granted, it’s been in the 70’s here in San Diego, it’s winter nonetheless. Last night I made another Great News Cooking School recipe: Spicy Black Bean and Chicken Tortilla Soup.

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First thing’s first: get out all your ingredients.

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The recipe called for Trader Joe’s packaged grilled chicken breast strips but I didn’t have time to make it to Trader Joe’s. I simply put some chicken in a casserole dish, put the lid on and microwaved them for about seven minutes.

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Once the chicken had cooled enough to handle it, I shredded it with two forks.

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In a large pot, add some oil and sauté onion, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapenos.

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Time to add the rest of the ingredients: chicken broth, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, tomatillos, black beans, the chicken, corn, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne.

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Simmer the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.

Make a slurry (mixture of cornstarch and water).

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Add that to the pot to thicken the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes.

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Prepare your toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro and/or whatever you like!

Dinner is served!

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Another winner! My husband had already eaten but ate a huge bowl of the soup declaring it “Really Good!”. Thank you Great News for another fabulous dinner! :)

Spicy Black Bean and Chicken Tortilla Soup

Printable Recipe


2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced small

2 jalapeno peppers, cored and diced small

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 (14 oz) can mild enchilada sauce

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

6 tomatillos, husked, washed, cored and diced medium

1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 oz) package grilled chicken breast strips, found at Trader Joe’s, thawed and diced large (I just used one pound of chicken breasts)

1 (16 oz) bag roasted corn, found in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s, thawed (again, I used a bag of regular corn)

1 Tbsp lime juice

salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dry oregano

3 Tbsp corn starch

cool water, as needed

In a large pot, over medium high heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers until tender; about 5 minutes. Add the next 11 ingredients and simmer the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the corn starch with a little cool water to form a slurry.

Add the slurry to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.

Serve garnished with your favorite toppings.


Breakfast this morning was cereal again: Special K Cinnamon Pecan with almond milk. I guess I’m on a cereal kick. I also enjoyed a grapefruit recently picked from my mother in law’s tree.

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I took the kids to school and went to spin class. After class, I had an apple and light Babybel cheese:

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I met several friends at Leucadia Pizza to celebrate Lisa’s birthday (it’s today). Our group of friends really knows how to extend a birthday to more than just one day! 

Our friend who owns Cupcake Love in Solana Beach brought some of these:

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They were covered in glitter. Love that. I did not eat one. A modern miracle.

I did have a delicious salad for lunch:

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Grilled Shrimp Salad loaded with tons of veggies!  I’m not going to lie, I was still hungry after this.

I picked up the kids from school and now I’m eating some tangerines to hold me over until dinner.

What are some good foods to eat before running? I’ve got the peanut butter and wheat toast thing down but not sure what else. I don’t like bananas or oatmeal. *hides*