I love Asheville

April 29, 2009 at 1:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

This past weekend I went home and surprised my mom back in Asheville. Gotta love surprises! My step-dad was in on it  so I when I got there around 7:30 pm, I snuck back to my room and Roger (my step dad) called my mom to dinner. My mom came up talking about what she was watching on TV and how Roger had then called her to dinner.

I walked and said “Yea. What is for dinner?”

Of course my mom started yelling and hugging me and talking about how shocked she was that I was home! It was so fun to do! And I had such a wonderful time visiting with my mom and step dad!! (and dinner was some yummy salmon with a mushroom pate stuffed inside some filo dough…oh it was good to be home!!)

Here we are at my half marathon back in November:

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(Excuse the terrible posture. I was absolutely exhausted!)

I did come home to something sad though…our poor cat had broken his leg!!

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Apparently this stone bird feeder fell over on him! So now he has to hobble around on 3 legs hopped up on Vicadin for a month.

 

My first morning there, I had my very first Ezekiel muffin! (Gotta love how parents have good food on hand at all times 😉 )

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I gotta say, this was good but I missed the doughy inside that Thomas English Muffins have.  But it still had those oh so important nooks and cranies!

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With natural peanut butter, strawberries and ground flax on top. Mmm omega 3’s…..

Another reason I love Asheville and my folks house is because this is what I get to look at while I eat breakfast:

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As my mom says pretty much every morning “Look at those mountains!!”

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When you’re from Florida, mountains are a big deal 🙂

I gotta say, my mom is all up on the latest health food stuff! When I got home I found coconut water in the fridge, and oat bran and whey protein powder in the cupboard! Way to go, Mom!

Plus she’s been drinking a cap full of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water every day. This stuff is supposed to be able to do some amazing stuff!

I found this info about it on EarthClinic.com:

“They include cures for allergies (including pet, food and environmental), sinus infections, acne, high cholesterol, flu, chronic fatigue, candida, acid reflux, sore throats, contact dermatitis, arthritis, and gout. 

If you can get over the taste of apple cider vinegar, you will find it one of the most important natural remedies in healing the body. As a wonderful side effect of drinking apple cider vinegar every day, we’ve discovered that it brings a healthy, rosy glow to one’s complexion! .”

I love Caitlin’s challenge to get some glowing skin and I want to join up with her!!  I think in addition to all the awesome tips that Angela gave her, I’m going to do my own Apple Cider Vinegar challenge!! I’ve always had problematic skin and I’ve been told before to try ACV, so now is as good a time as any! I probably won’t start until next week because I’m not sure if I’ll have time to go out and get my supplies until then. But I’m pumped!

Okay I feel like this is long enough… I’ll post about some other parts of my trip, my latest exercise and tonight’s dinner tomorrow morning! Goodnight!

Head over to the Fitnessista’s blog for a GREAT giveaway!!

I’m in love…

April 24, 2009 at 2:04 am | Posted in recipes | 4 Comments
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With a green monster….

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Ah the color green has never looked so refreshing!! I had this after my workout today and it was amazing.

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This was my third Green Monster and I am now at the point where I am CRAVING them. I love it! I even made a special trip to the grocery store to get kale for this bad boy. It had:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 4 pieces of kale
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • handful of ice

The handful of ice really makes it smoothie-licious.

But don’t worry. This wasn’t the only green I had today. Lunch was a big ol spainch salad and dinner was a frittata and a bunch of oven roasted asparagus.

Well as much asparagus as I could get my hands on before James devoured the rest of it in about 2 minutes straight from the baking pan! Boys!

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This had one egg + one egg white, fresh spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar on top. These are so insanely easy to make. And it’s a great go to meal on a busy night when you have a lot of veggies you want to use up. Just put some scrambled eggs in a warm pan with cooking spray on it, let it set for a minute or two and then add your veggies. When the eggs are done, dinner is served!

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The asparagus was drizzled with EVOO and baked at 450 degrees for maybe 20 minutes.

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One of the reasons that I have been trying to up my greens and started drinking green monsters is because I’ve always had a problem of being exhausted no matter how much sleep I get! Jenna has talked about what great energy she has gotten from drinking Amazing Grass that I might just have to go out and pick some up! Anyone else have any tips on gaining energy??

I have a surprise happening this weekend that I am very excited for! And I’m sure it will involve some good food😉

Anyone else pumped that tomorrow is Friday? No? Yea me neither. HA!

What are you looking forward to this weekend??

Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

 



Today is such a great day to start to reasses our impact on the world around us. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the hectic parts of life and forget about how what we’re doing effects our planet and everything living on it.


I found a great article on Earth911  by Kasen Seaver  with tips on how to continue being friendly and mindful of our earth even after the official Earth Day is over. I changed around some of the tips but the main message and most of the info is from this awesome article.

 

1. Unplug and Save

When something’s plugged in, even if it isn’t turned on, it’s still using energy.

 

 “In households across the U.S., phantom energy (energy used when items are plugged in but not in use) not only adds an additional 87 billion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, but also costs homeowners $5.8 billion per year. Unplugging chargers and other electronics when the charge is complete, or when you’re simply done using them, can create up to 10 percent in energy savings. If devices are plugged into a power strip, just flip the switch and you’re done!”(Earth911.com)

 

 

2. Conserve Water


“Global climate change affects our water supply, and right now billions of people don’t have access to clean water. To conserve water here in the U.S., there are some easy steps you can take to reduce your consumption:



  • Using one drinking glass or reusable bottle per day, rather than disposable plastic bottles
  • Dumping ice or leftover water on plants instead of down the drain
  • Turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth, shaving and soaping dishes
  • Changing a washer’s settings to reflect the appropriate size load” (Earth911.com)

3. Reduce Waste


All of the packaging, starbucks cups and take out containers add up. Using a reusable water bottle and travel coffee mug can cut down your daily waste significantly. Plus there are tons of really cute and stylish reusable containers out there (like the ones from Kleen Kanteen


 

 and  “I am not a paper cup” that looks like a take away coffee container but is actually a reusable cup! So cool!)

 


I Am Not A Paper Cup -...

4. Eat Green!


“Going to the store involves responsible choices:  How food is grown, processed and transported is as equally important as picking the foods you eat.



  • With organically grown food, herbicides and pesticides don’t enter the body or the soil
  • Try not to eat red meat for a few days each week. Cows are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. emissions of methane, which traps 20 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide
  • Purchasing locally grown goods cuts down on environmental costs of transportation and helps your local economy
  • If you have leftover produce, compost it to ensure that nothing goes to waste” (Earth911.com)


6. It’s in the Bag


“The average American uses an estimated 1,200 plastic bags per year. Bid single-use bags adieu and their negative environmental consequences. You may run into the “whoops, I left my bag in the car” a few times until you get into the habit of using them. In the meantime, we stumbled across Flip and Tumble bags that fit easily into your purse to help you remember. They roll up in seconds, and their bright colors make it hard to get lost at the bottom of your bag.’ (Earth911.com)


7. Go Paperless


There are a lot of ways to reduce the amount of paper you use, and a big one is inside your mail box. How many times do we get catalogs we don’t want or bank statements we won’t read? Go paperless with your bank and have them email you your statements and go to catalogchoice.com  to request the catalogs no longer be sent to your house.  And to stop coupons and credit card offers go to proquo.com to even further reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.


 

I love the saying to make Earth Day Every Day. This list is just the beginning of the small changes you can begin to make that truly add up. Make them a part of your life style. Turn them into a habit. You can make a difference in the quality of our planet.

 

Now Earth Day isn’t just about the negatives of what we need to do to make our planet better, but it’s also about enjoying all the beauty that can be found right in our own back yards!! We’re so lucky to have access to the wonderful National Parks  that our country has to offer. Find a park near you and enjoy the outdoors!

 

Other links:

 

43 Tips For Earth Day 

 

Reynolds 100 Reynolds100 – Get a rebate for a FREE roll of 100% recycled aluminum foil from reynolds wrap – well kind of free. you still have to pay tax and the postage to send mail in the rebate 

 

Poisoned Waters  – a Frontline documentary on the state of our nation’s water — very scary. I will be posting a review of this documentary soon!

 

 

Homemade Pizza

April 22, 2009 at 1:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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I started off today trying on the green smoothies  that everyone in the blogworld seems to be going crazy over:

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  • 2 pieces of kale
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

So you know how everyone says you can’t taste the kale? You really can’t! This was so good and such a nice way to start my day. Definitely not a replacement of oats but there will be more of these in my future! Especially during the hot summer months.

PIZZA

One of the most fun meals for James and I to make together is pizza! Its fun to split it in half and let each of us go crazy on our side. No boundaries!

Tonight was the first night that we made our pizza dough from scratch. I’ve seen other recipes for pizza dough but they all required some advance planning and preparation. Luckily, Angela had posted about this recipe for Whole Wheat and Honey pizza dough that was right up my alley! The prep time is a little more than 10 minutes! Perfect for a week night.

Look at James’ mad pizza dough rolling skills:

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For my toppings, I used roasted veggies I took out of half of my leftover wrap from a dinner the other night and sautéed them with some onions and mushrooms.

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We made half of our pizza with BBQ sauce and half with tomato sauce just to switch things up a little.

I have the top half of the pizza which has most of the sauteed veggies, some chopped up kalamata olives on the marinara side of the pizza and a sprinkling of cheese.

James’ bottom half had some of the veggies, lots of cheese, red pepper flakes and some deli ham.

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After being baked in the oven and cut into slices:

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I can’t even tell you how good this smelled! Especially the kalamata olives. It was so easy and fun to put together. Plus it let me put however many veggies on it that I wanted! Which, of course, was a lot.

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I really liked using BBQ sauce on part of my pizza. In Memphis, we would always go to Memphis City Pizza and get BBQ chicken pizza. It was so. good. This kind of reminded me of that. Minus the chicken…and with a lot of veggies…but you get the idea!

Toby and I went on another nice walk today while I read my book and then I went to the gym and did 30 minute intervals on the elliptical. Intervals make every cardio machine go by faster. I will definitely be doing it more often. I didn’t really have anything set as to what I was going to do on the elliptical, but next time I will try to keep track to share it with you! It was a good, quick, sweaty workout.

Toby wants me to stop blogging and pay attention to him.

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You can see bunny’s head sticking out from under his head. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing when he does this cute little “head on your leg” move. I have a manipulative dog.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?? Mine are definitely artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes yummm! I love anything with Mediterranean flavors!

Smattering

April 21, 2009 at 1:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Is it really Monday again? I wasn’t ready for this! Come back weekend!

But I must say, for a Monday, it’s been a good day! Work went by relatively quickly and the second I got home, I changed into my shorts and sneakers and Toby and I went for a 50 minute walk. I walked and read my book a la Kath. I got some weird looks but it’s too enjoyable to care. Going on the elliptical just was not appealing and this really did the trick!

When I got home I did Yoga for Runners from yogadownload.com which felt amazing! It really stretched my legs and  at the beginning, it says it can help you heal from injuries from running! I will be doing this more often for sure!

Tonight’s dinner was a smattering of different things…just what I was craving!

 

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Oven roasted sweet potato discs….

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TJ’s Organic Baked Beans. These were delicious. They tasted like classic baked beans and, as with all of TJ’s food, it had no preservatives or funny sounding ingredients. So good. These would be great at any BBQ!

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Oven roasted Brussel Sprouts…

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Roasting things in the oven is just so easy and they always come out delicious. Plus it takes minimal prep and clean up. What’s not to love?

Yes, this dinner was VERY random but I like to just go with my tastes (and what needs to be used up in the fridge) and let convention take a back seat. Isn’t it more fun that way?

What’s a random meal you’ve had lately?

Productive Sunday

April 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Well today has been so productive already and it’s only the early afternoon! I love that. James didn’t have to go into work until noon today so we took the opportunity to go to Trader Joes to get our weekly grocery shopping out of the way!

Then, once James was off to work, Toby and I ventured over to get my oil changed (which came with a free tire rotation!). While I waited the 30 minutes to get my oil changed, Toby and I went for a walk and I read more of my book, The Glass Castle. I like using little opportunities like a 30 minute wait to get some more movement into my day. Plus Toby appreciated the exercise. We’re not the only ones that need daily exercise!

Then I came home and made some Kalamata Garlic Hummus! So simple. Just a can of chick peas, a clove of garlic and 5-6 kalamata olives in oil.

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And I put my yummy mixture into a re-purposed container from some store bought hummus. Aren’t you proud Pretty Green Girl?

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Don’t be confused. It’s not Moroccan Hummus. Although that Moroccan hummus was delicious…

And next on my agenda was to make a little treat for my padre since his birthday is coming up! (Don’t worry..he doesn’t read the blog! Still isn’t a big fan of computers 😉 )

Poor padre is allergic to chocolate! So I decided to look toward the baking guru, Veggie Girl, to make him some of her infamous blondies!

What’s so great about these blondies, is they are basically a blank slate waiting for you to make them your own. To mine, I added some cinnamon and almonds.

And some chocolate chips in one corner for James since I knew I wouldn’t be able to send all of these to my dad.

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YUM!

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And putting it on wax paper to bake made it SO much easier to take out. James loved these. Hopefully my dad does too 🙂

 

Okay now a little cuteness factor:

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He was laying in bed when James was trying to make the bed so he was just made up in it. We thought this would make him want to get out. But nope. He was quite comfy.

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James and I have a “date” later to do a deep clean on the apartment. Actually cleaning sucks but afterward it feels SO nice to be in a clean apartment! So that’s something to look forward to 🙂

My goal this week is to make some kale smoothies!! My energy level has been lagging and I’m hoping that those will give me an extra punch that other bloggers have experienced.

What’s your goal this week?

Say Hello to Spring

April 16, 2009 at 1:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I’m not going to lie, I was tired coming home from work today. I did manage to get my work out in, though. I busted out a short (painful- hip +knee…frustration!) run and then came home and did Level 2 of the Shred. P.S. Jillian Michaels is crazy. But that’s beside the point.

Anyway, when I was done with my workout I wanted something pretty low key and easy but also light and refreshing. It’s been such a pretty day here in the 60’s day and the sun was still shining when I sat down for dinner at close to 7 o’clock! I love it!

Here’s what came together:

Sauteed Kale and sweet potato with some black beans topped with tomato and avocado.

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So simple but still full of lots of different flavors, colors and textures. I love avocados! I wish they weren’t so dang expensive. I’ve been enjoying the ones we got on sale this past week tremendously.

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And in true Bites + Bowls fashion, check out my new nail polish I got to celebrate the start of Spring!

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Scandal! Of course I was a frugal shopper and got this shade at Walgreens for $1.99! It still did the trick perfectly. There really is nothing like some fresh nail polish to put a little bounce in my step. Especially since I spend the majority of my day typing, it’s nice to look down to a bright and cheery color! It’s the little things 😉

GIVEAWAYS

Rev up your engines, people!! There are a TON of giveaways going on right now!! So get commenting!

Gina and Caitlin are both giving away Stoneyfield Farms Products

Jenna is giving away some make your own granola

Meghann is having an Honest Foods giveaway

Smoked Salmon Crustless Quiche

April 14, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Ahh the crustless quiche! Such an easy and quick meal! Summer always makes me crave more of these since they’re are so light and can be filled with any pick of vegetables that your tastebuds desire! Plus it takes about 10 minutes to throw together so you can get back to frolicking in the summer sun (since I know everyone does that oh so often).

The star of tonight’s quiche was the leftover smoked salmon from Passover. It also included: 5 eggs beaten, a bunch of fresh spinach, chopped, a cut up plum tomato, about 5 chopped mushrooms, and some sharp cheddar cheese on James’ half.

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Don’t forget to spray the pan!! Then put it in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are completely set.

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The smoked salmon was so good in this. It really went well with the eggs and definitely put a nice and different twist to a traditional quiche. Love finding new combinations! The next morning, James said all he wanted was more of this quiche! Too bad it was so good we ate it all the night before….

Tonight was supposed to be all rainy with scary thunder but right now I’m looking at a gorgeous sunset over a clear sky! What a nice surprise 🙂

So instead of my knee hurting me, now my hip is sore. Is this common with IT band syndrome?? I was thinking maybe because of all my foam rolling it shifted where the soreness was. Who knows! What I do know is I miss running and I’m ready to be done with this injury.

But I did have a great workout the past two days! The secret: listening to pump me up music! For some reason I had stopped listening to music while at the gym and instead tried to read/watch TV. But nothing makes me want to really push myself like some fast paced music that is really hard not to sing along to!

What’s motivates you to really push yourself during your workout?

Peaceful Day at the Lake…Kind Of…

April 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Ahh…what a tranquil, peaceful setting…. 

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings: Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into flowers, the winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms, their energy and cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  ~e.e. cummings

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I was looking a day filled with this ^  and this:

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But then….we looked away for just a second..

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and the plotting beast took off!!!

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Lurking near the banks…

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And coming back with his kill:

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Guess who’s about to get a bath?

The swamp monster himself! Gotta go!

Adventures with Oat Bran 2: The Savory Side

April 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Well my love affair of Oat Bran has continued onto the savory side. I’ve seen a lot of people try savory oats but it never really appealed to me. Since oat bran has a similar texture to grits,  I decided making a savory twist on them could be delicious..and man was I right!

I started off with 1/3 c. of oat bran  and made it on the stove top. I put 1/2 T. of nutritional yeast in it as well as some salt and pepper. This was my first time trying nutritional yeast too! I always see Gina using it on popcorn and such and wanted to try out this alternative to cheese!

It was pretty tasty, I have to say. It wasn’t overwhelming or anything. It reminded of the powdered white cheese you find on rice cakes or something.

 

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I topped my oats with 1 egg + 1 egg white, Texas Pete and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese.

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This was so. good.

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If you have never tried savory oats before, I HIGHLY recommend it.  With every bite of this I was mmming and saying how delicious it was (to Toby since James was at work!). I will be making this again…and again!!

Yesterday I went back to  Hemlock Bluffs to run with a friend on the trails and it was so much fun! Having a running buddy is fantastic! I’ve definitely missed having one. It makes the time go by so quickly and one more lap means more time to chat. Plus Toby had a great time running around and sniffing everything. One drawback of trail running: we saw a snake!! A big long black one! It was freaky. I just thanked God Toby didn’t see it!

Do you like running alone or with others? I really like running with people, as long as we are at pretty much the same running level and like eachother!

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