Thai’d and True

Breakfast this A.M. was a warm bowl of oatmeal in my fairly new deep, red bowl.  And guess what?  The bowl worked like a charm.  There was no overflowing oats all over my microwave, so the two bowls were definitely a good buy.

Included in the mix was:

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup almond milk

Pinch of salt

Drizzle of honey

1/2 of a Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffin Cookie, crumbled(add after heating)

1 tsp. of peanut butter(add after heating)

Small handful of blueberries(add after heating)

Eat Me Already

All Mixed Up Bite

Warm, comforting, and deliciously sweet. 🙂

Since I still didn’t make it to the grocery last night, I ate leftover BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and a fuji apple for lunch.

The meatloaf was even better today, which I find it always  is better on Day 2 because it has time to marinate in all its seasonings/sauces.

After work I headed to the gym and ate this small snack for some much needed fueling.  The remnants of this trail mix has been sitting in my kitchen cupboard for several months, so I finally finished it up.

My workout included 15 minutes on the true slider elliptical, 35 minutes of strength training (same machines as last Wednesday), and 15 minutes of warm up on the treadmill.

Then, it was on to the grocery store.  Before going inside, I checked my email to see which of the 8 international recipes (received from a wellness site) I wanted to create for supper tonight.  I knew I’d be a while at the grocery and also that I have not had much greens in my life the past few days.  So I definitely wanted a quick and simple salad.  I went with the Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad.  Truthfully, I have never eaten Thai food, so was a bit unsure as to what its distinctive flavors included.  I followed the recipe as seen HERE on Eating Well.

For my salad, I purchased frozen, pre-cooked peeled shrimp to save some cooking time and ran them under cold water to defrost at home.  However, it really takes little time to cook shrimp, so it would have been just as much time as it took to defrost the cooked ones.  I picked up a red bell pepper, a cucumber, fish sauce, 2 limes, fresh cilantro (the basil looked old, so skipped it) and a box of light brown sugar since I was running low.  Once home, I whisked the juice of 2 small lemons, the fish sauce and oil, and spices together; then I added the shrimp, vegetables, and herbs.  (I did add some dry basil in the mix as well.)

I enjoyed a slice of whole grain bread on side smeared with a small bit of Brummel & Brown.

Shrimp Salad

Colorful Veggies Been Thai'd Up

My opinion of the salad is that it is very refreshing over a bed of lettuce. Having said that,  the fish sauce has a pungent smell and taste and may need some getting used to.  I have had fish sauce on my cucumber salads from Japanese restaurants, but didn’t remember it being that aromatic.  While eating I felt compelled to look up the influences of Thai food.  Regardless of what region influenced the cuisine, one ingredient prevalent in most Thai foods is fish sauce.  Much of Thai foods are enhanced with highly odorous/flavorful ingredients some being lime, cilantro, and spicy peppers.

Coincidentally, how ironic is it that my plate purchased for $3 at TJ Maxx before heading to the grocery and deciding on this recipe was “Made in Thailand?”  I didn’t even realize it until I got home and was washing my plate prior to using it.

Question of the Night:  Do you enjoy Thai food?  If yes, what is your favorite dish?  If no, what is your favorite international delight?


X’s and O’s, Anything Goes

I awoke once again to the sounds of the rain.  It seems as though someone up above is trying to remind us of the horrid Hurricane Katrina that devastated many lives five short years ago.  Thankfully, my family and I did not have to undergo any major effects of the torrential flooding.    To start my day on a more refreshing note, I began with a cold bowl of cereal composed of 1 cup shredded oats, 1/4 cup apple cinnamon o’s, a handful of frozen blueberries, and a cup of almond milk.  On side–a hot cup of tea.

Putting my desperation of needing to get to the grocery store aside, lunch was an anything goes kind of a meal.

Almond Butter + Blackberry Spread on Whole Grain Bread

Surprisingly, this was a satisfying lunch enjoyed in the comforts of my classroom.  Though it was not anything special, it conveniently allowed me to take a working lunch as there was no need for a microwave and I highly needed to get some tests graded.  I even saved my apple for an after school snack due to my sammie being so fulfilling.

Apple consumed after work.

Unfortunately, I forgot my workout clothes, so had to go home straight from work. 😦  Fortunately,  I made it home safely! 🙂  The streets were nearly flooded and I could hardly see due to the pelting rain.   In addition to my fuji apple, I had a handful of some mixed nuts when I got home.

That all too elusive question then popped in my head–what’s for dinner?  I knew I wanted to do something with ground turkey breast because earlier in the day I texted my hubby to ask him to take it out of the freezer.  I then remembered Julie of PB Fingers mentioning a BBQ meatloaf in her post last week.  I did not have all of the ingredients necessary to make her Cooking Light version, but knew I wanted to use my ground turkey to make a BBQ Turkey Meatloaf of my own.  So I pulled out all of the ingredients I wanted to incorporate into my loaf.


BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

1-1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey breast

1 medium bell pepper, chopped (from our garden)

1 tbsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. hickory smoked mustard (dijon mustard may work too)

10 splashes of worcestershire sauce (more if desired)

1 whole egg

1/2 c plain bread crumbs

1 tbsp. onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c BBQ sauce

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray.  Mix all ingredients except for BBQ sauce; hands work best.  (You may opt to add some of the BBQ sauce in the meat mixture or just put on as topping before putting in the oven as I did.)  Once mixed, put into loaf pan.  Top the loaf with BBQ sauce.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until thermometer inserted reads 165*.

**Ground turkey has a distinct flavor, so you may want to alter the amounts of seasonings/sauces above to suit your taste.  Or, you may want to substitute lean ground beef which would work just as well, but cooking time may vary.**


The loaf was baking away; meanwhile, I peeled, chopped, and boiled two sweet potatoes to be used for mashed sweet potatoes.

Boil until fork tender and drain.

I then went to the archives and pulled out what was a wedding gift to my mom and dad 30 years ago–a mixer.

30 Years Old and Still Runs Like a Charm

I received one of my own at my wedding, but it just doesn’t work as well as this one.

To the drained, chopped sweet potatoes I added:

1/2 cup of almond milk

2 tbsp. Brummel & Brown Yogurt Spread

1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1 tbsp. of honey

I then whipped the potatoes until a desired consistency was reached.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Final Eats= BBQ Turkey Meatloaf + Mashed Sweet Potatoes +Steamed Brussel Sprouts

X and Os on a Plate 😉

As I was plating this, it reminded me of X O X O X O.  Funny how our minds relate to things–especially now having a blog I seem to find things throughout my day that I can relate to foods or other events in my lifetime.  Starting the blog has not just opened my eyes to healthy eating and living.  It has opened them to the world around me.  It makes me find the joys of my days, albeit small joys, rather than dwell on the negatives.

Question of the Night:  If you have your own blog, how has blogging changed your life?  And for those who simply enjoy reading blogs, how has reading them changed yours?

I look forward to hearing your responses. 🙂



Say Hi to Your Mom an’ Nem

You may have noticed some of the unconventional New Orleans dialect in yesterday’s post regarding the “N’awlins” Saints.  Out-of-towners must get a kick out of the local gibberish heard around the city or perhaps feel a slight state of confusion as to what New Orleanians are trying so say.  Take for example, “How’s your mom an’ nem?”  If I’m speaking candidly, I’m not quite sure how to even spell it, but phonetically speaking, that’s what I hear.  I have also seen it written as “mom and dem, mom and ’em” and I’m sure someone else may have his or her own derivative; however, it is not about writing the phrase or how it is spelled.  It is more about the welcoming and “I’m happy to see you” friendly conversation when out and about the city and you run into friend or family that you may have not seen in a while.  You may be asking yourself, “Ok, what does it mean?”  Though the phrase specifically says “your mom an’ nem,” it is not only referring to your mom, but also the rest of your family too.  So, “say hi to your mom an’ nem” transfers as “say hi to your family.”


The hubby and I didn’t run into any long lost friends or family yesterday, but we did get a little taste of home cooking for breakfast on Saturday.  My hub wanted to venture out for breakfast and chose Dot’s Diner, a local 24 hour breakfast joint.  Breakfast is served all day and night, but they do serve lunch and dinner type meals as well.  I’ve only experienced their breakfast foods, which are cooked to order the way you choose.  Have your eggs over easy, medium or scrambled with your choice of whole eggs, whites only, or Egg Beaters.  I decided on the Western Omelet with two slices of lightly buttered wheat toast and hash browns.  For the omelet, I requested one regular egg and the rest whites rather than the three whole eggs that are normally offered for the omelets.

Western Omelet with Onions, Green Peppers, Ham, and American Cheese

I gave hubby half of my hash browns and ate the rest with ketchup.  I ate a little more than 3/4 of the omelet, and one slice of toast.

Cheesy Omelet

And as the mug says, “I’m not your Mama, but you’re always at home at Dot’s Diner!”

Shortly after breakfast I ran drove to the gym, to get a quick 45 minute workout in before our next stop of the day.  My workout consisted of 10 minutes on the elliptical, 25 minutes of strength training, and 10 minutes on the treadmill.  My strength training looked similar to Wednesday’s with only ten-twenty second rest periods and the addition of 3 sets on leg press with 20 reps @ 60 lbs. (done two different ways with 10 reps each way) and omitting the leg extension.

Next up, a visit to the in-laws to celebrate our nephews 12th birthday with hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and birthday cake of course.  We were stuck inside for the most part due to the pouring rain that has been ongoing and will continue throughout the week.

My Plate

Happy Birthday Cake

Birthday Boy

Take a Bite

Birthday Boy's Twin Sisters Awaiting Some Cake

My Slice of Moist Almond Flavored Cake with Pineapple Filing, Mmmmm

My Handsome Hubby Catching Up on Some Football

As the day rolled on, we decided to head home after a quick stop at Home Depot so the husband could pick up some ‘tools’ for a few of his projects, one being a bucket to start a compost pile for his gardens out back.

Once home I ate a couple of snacks to tide me over ’til dinner.

Small, Overly Ripe Peach

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Muffin Cookie

Dinner was a quick, put together meal of a sweet potato cooked in microwave, boiled frozen mini ears of corn, and Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patty.

Sweet Tater Topped with Cinnamon and Spray Butter

Sweet Corn Topped with Salt and Spray Butter

I forgot how delicious sweet corn is, and had to go back for a second ear.


While this weekend commemorates the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the many lives lost due to levees breaching, I leave you with some spoken words of our culture heard around the city.

Lagniappe (Lanyap) – something extra for free

N’awlins – short for New Orleans

Parish – in Louisiana we do not use county, we call ’em parishes

Metairie (Met- a-ree or Metry) – suburb of New Orleans, I lived most of my life here in Jefferson Parish

Kenner (Kenn-er or Kenna)  – suburb of New Orleans, where I live currently in Jefferson Parish

Beignets (been-yays)- fried square of dough with powdered sugar on top

Cafe’ Au Lait (cafay o lay)- coffee and chickory mixed with steamed milk

Laissez le bon temps rouler (Lay-say lay baw taw ruelay) – french for “let the good times roll”

Poor boy (Po’ boy) – crispy french bread sandwich cut off of yard sized loaf of bread to top with choice of roast beef and gravy, fried seafood, ham ‘n cheese, italian sausage, meatball, etc. The original poor boy sandwich was french fries topped with brown gravy on the bread.

Dressed – topping for po-boy including mayonaisse, lettuce, tomato, pickles

Muffaletta (moof-a-lot-a) – large, round sandwich topped with italian meets, cheeses and olive salad

Makin’ groceries – going grocery shopping; buying groceries ( I personally have never said I am makin’ groceries, but it is more heavily used by the older generations.)

Snowballs- like a snow cone, but much better due to the very fine powder like shaved ice topped with sweet syrups and choices of condensed milk, evaporated milk, soft serve

Where Y’at? – how’s it going, where you at, where you been; also local magazine of arts and entertainment

Mom an’ Nem-mom and family

Ya’ll (yawl)- short for you all; similar to “you guys” in other regions of the country; not pronounced with the thick country accent like Paula Deen

Mardi Gras (Marty Graw)- also known as Carnival season; begins two weeks before Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras Day; celebrated 40 days before Easter to start up the Lenten season; people drink, eat, and go to the parades

Parades – large, themed floats with riders dressed in masked costumes who throw cups, beads, doubloons (coins, not real), trinkets to people/families lining the streets; also have dance teams and local high school bands performing between the mix of floats, dressed up Indians, people on horseback, clown cars throwing candy, and flambeaux (flam-bo) walkers who carry lit torches to lead the way in night parades and collect thrown pennies/coins from the crowds of people lining streets.

Throw Me Somethin’ Mister – parade watchers yell out to the floats to get riders attention and get some goodies

Hurricane– a massive alcoholic beverage served at local bars downtown; originated at Pat O’ Brien’s

Bourbon (Ber-bun)- street lined with bars, restaurants, strip clubs, souvenir shops located in the French Quarter, downtown New Orleans; there’s a party every night on Bourbon

Here is a more complete list regarding foods around the area and here is a more extensive list of terms heard around the area if interested in learning more about the New Orleans (pronounced New Oar-lins, not New Orleeens except when referring to Orleans Parish) native tongue.

Question of the Day: Does your hometown have any cultural terms that are specific to your area and otherwise uncommon across other regions of the United States? Please share, ya’ll! 🙂

Stand Up and Get Crunk

Football season is back.  It’s time to stand up and get crunk with the New Orleans Saints!!  After scoring a touchdown inside the Superdome, the 70,000 + people all stand up and go nuts to the song “Stand Up and Get Crunk” by the Ying Yang Twins.  It gets crazy in that place, so if you are not into loud noise and screaming fans yelling “Who Dat? Who Dat?  Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat Dem Saints?” then stay away, far far away!

You don’t have to be in downtown New Orleans to hear someone shout “Who Dat”  with echoes of other “Who Dats” in the background.  It happens all throughout the surrounding metropolitan area.  If someone is in Saint’s attire (which most locals wear on game day or days before for that matter) you are bound to hear a call of the Who Dat Nation.  I had my Saint’s shirt and silver fleur de lis earrings and necklace on today.

Watching the game!


Breakfast–Egg Over Medium + Whole Wheat Toast with Brummel & Brown

Maybe Medium Well–Don’t Want Salmonella
Chai + Eats

Lunch–Turkey Sammie with Spring Mix and Dijon Mustard + Half Sliced Cucumber + Dark Chocolate Square

Snack While Baking Somethin’ Sweet–Carrot Sticks + Wholly Guacamole

I was in the mood to bake some oatmeal cookies.  Rather than go by a recipe (which I did look at a couple) I decided to wing it and make it up a long the way.  I knew I wanted them to include these ingredients.

Into the Cookie Mixture

Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffin Cookies

I am calling them muffin cookies because they have more of a muffin texture, similar to that of a VitaTop.

1 c flour

1 c rolled oats

1/2 c Brummel & Brown Yogurt Spread (softened)

1/3 c packed light brown sugar (you may want more if you prefer more sweetness)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1/3 c water

2/3 c chopped pitted cherries (used fresh, but may prefer dried)

1/4 c dark chocolate chips (used 3 dark chocolate squares crumbled; you may want more than this if you are a chocoholic)

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Put all ingredients in mixing bowl except cherries and chocolate.  Mix with spoon/spatula.  Fold in cherries then chocolate.  Use ice cream scoop to evenly distribute mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for approx. 15 minutes. (A circuit breaker went out while these were baking so I am not exactly sure of the baking time, but I think it was around 15 minutes give or take a few.)

Oatmeal Cookie Mixture
I made 9, but you can get 10-12 cookies for sure.
Done–My Cookie Gobbled Up While Still Warm

Nutritional Information based on 10 servings using

Calories 160.48

Carbs 24.09 g

Fat 6.24g

Protein 3.02 g

Sodium 434.34 mg

Dinner–Dad’s Red Beans, No Rice

Red Beans with Louisiana Hot Sauce and More Bread/Brummel & Brown

Geez, I ate ALOT of bread today.  Oh well.

Off to finish watching the game!  Have a great weekend! 🙂

Question of the Night:  Are you a football fan?  What is your favorite team?

How Cool Is That?

Before my whole healthy transformation, I NEVER used to eat breakfast all through high school and college.  So not cool!  Now I cannot go without it or I feel sick.  Hence, today started as every other–with breakfast.   I wanted to try the Blackberry Spread purchased yesterday, so I decided on peanut butter toast.  When I opened the jar of jam, I dabbed my finger in for a taste as my bread toasted.  It was overwhelmingly sweet to my palate!  However, I thought the peanut butter may balance the sweetness a bit; and I went with it anyway.

The peanut butter definitely balanced out the sweetness, though I am still not entirely convinced that I like it.

Right before lunch today I had the pleasure of meeting with a chef who wants to come to our school to do parenting classes on cooking healthy, promoting nutrition, and exercise.  How cool is that?  He said the services are 100% free and paid for by the State of Louisiana.  I am so excited that he is going to do this; I just hope we have parents who are interested in attending.  I’d like to attend myself.  I’ll keep you updated if I get any good tips at the classes if everything goes through as planned.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For lunch I enjoyed some leftover pasta from last night, some grape tomatoes, and a dark chocolate square (unpictured).

Pasta + maters

Chickpea, Spinach, Feta Pasta

After work I had a meeting so I packed a snack of Triscuit crackers and a Babybel Light Cheese Round.  Mmmmm, cheese is so yummy!

Yummy in My Tummy

After my meeting I stopped at the gym for 30 minutes elliptical and 10 minutes on the bike.  I also did about 10 minutes of stretching and ab work.

It was near 8 when I got home and I was feeling a bit famished.  I quickly made a “taco” salad using a Morningstar Meatless Grillers Burger.  In my dish, I added two cups of spring mix, 1 sliced small green bell pepper from the garden, a packet of wholly guacamole, 2 tbsp. shredded Sargento Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese, 2 tbsp of salsa, and 1 tbsp of light sour cream.  Oh, I forgot about the handful of crushed blue corn chips.  I ate this salad so fast and it was so tasty.  I’m lovin the 100 calorie packets of guacamole and there is only avocado, jalapeno puree, dehydrated onion, salt, and garlic powder according to the ingredient list.

Not the brightest or best looking salad, but it sure was delicious!


Growing up children are always trying to fit in and wear the “cool”  stuff.  There are so many fads that come and go, yet we have all been a part of one trend or another.  Here is a look at some of the “cool” trends of my childhood.

Slap bracelets: Cool or uncool?

Shirt clip: cool or uncool?

Dr. Martens: Cool or uncool?

Nike Earrings: Cool or uncool?

Collecting and trading fuzzy stickers: Cool or uncool?

These are some of the “cool” trends I participated in growing up; I am sure I could list a ton more, but that’s enough for now.  How cool was I?  😉

Question of the Night:  What are the “cool” trends you participated in when you were a child?

Ah Ha!

A little A-Ha to start!  This band actually started up the year I was born so I was only a baby as they became popular, but I do know and like a few of their songs.


My morning began with some warm rolled oats, again spilling all over the microwave.

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup milk

small sliced peach

handful frozen blueberries

teaspoon of peanut butter

drizzle of honey

This breakfast is so tasty and filling with a bit of sweetness.

Today I ventured away from my own school to grounds of a near-by high school for an all-day math workshop.  I heart days like today.  It just gives me a small break from the hustle and bustle of teaching all day and I get an extended lunch instead of the rushed 30 minutes we, teachers, generally get.  I like days like today even more so because I am enhancing my teaching profession by gaining new pedagogy and instructional techniques.

During our lunch break, a friend/coworker and I dined at Quizno’s and then set out onto a little retail therapy for the remainder of the hour. 😉 I did not get a picture but I ate a Roadhouse Steak Sammie and a Pan Asian Chicken Salad with only about half of the dressing being used.


My workout commenced immediately after the workshop.  I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the true slider elliptical at level 19, 30 minutes of strength training on the machines, and 15 minutes on the treadmill at 4 mph at 12% incline.

If you are curious my strength training includes 3 sets of each of the following:

Bicep curls 12 reps @ 15 lbs.

Triceps 12 reps @ 30 lbs.

Pectoral 15 reps @ 35 lbs.

Adductor (Inner Thighs) 18 reps @ 60 lbs.

Abductor (Outer Thighs) 18 reps @ 60 lbs.

Total Abs 30 reps @ 65 lbs.

Leg Curl (hamstrings) 12 reps @ 45 lbs

Leg Extension (quadriceps) 10 reps @ 30 lbs.


After my workout, I stopped at TJ Maxx because I desperately needed some deeper bowls to eliminate oats spillage in the microwave. Picked up a few other things as well.

Colorful Wheat Pasta, Blackberry Spread, and 2 Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars

When I got home, I indulged in one of my Larabars to hold me over until dinner was ready.

Using the vibrant, tree-shaped pasta I concocted a simple, but satisfying dish.  After boiling the pasta for approx. 8 minutes and reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta water, I sauteed a teaspoon of minced garlic in some olive oil.  Next, I tossed in the pasta, some feta cheese (1/2 cup?), rinsed canned chickpeas, and about 2 cups? baby spinach, oh and salt and pepper.  I tossed that with additional olive oil and the reserved pasta water for some thickening.

Enjoyed with a half sliced cucumber drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.

Funny, a lady in front of me in line asked, “How are you going to cook that?”  I responded, “Something simple.  Maybe garlic and parmesan.  I might throw in some chickpeas.”  She went on to ask if I was a good cook.  “I’d like to think so at least, though not everything works!”  But this did.  🙂


Now back to our regularly scheduled program, Ah Ha!  Today at the workshop we were directed to read an article and then answer three questions relating to it.

Question 1:  What was an “Ah Ha” moment for you within the article?  “It makes sense.”

Question 2:  What was a “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” moment in the article?  “You cannot even believe such a statement exists.”

Question 3:  What are the features  we should see within a classroom that is doing mathematics?

I know you can’t answer these questions as they relate to the article, but I pose them as they relate to health.

Questions of the Night:  1. What is one “Ah Ha” moment you have had as you aspire to be healthified?  2. What is one “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” statements you have either read or heard?  3. What are the features we should see within a healthy lifestyle?

1. When I began working out, I often thought I can’t do this because it hurts so bad and I can’t breathe.  As the days went on, my body became used to it and now craves it when I don’t get to the gym regularly.  My Ah Ha moment was when I finally realized that eating healthy and working out does and can reap benefits–more energy, higher metabolism, better digestion, weight loss, better mood and I am sure there are others.

2. I can’t believe that actual registered dietitians state such mistruth when giving out nutritional information such as the article  here on Men’s Health stating a great post workout hydrator is soda, ice cream, or beer.  Also, I get somewhat of the “You’ve got to be kidding me” when I hear people say they can’t eat rice or pasta because they are trying to lose weight.  I ate all food groups and lost a near 30 pounds.  “It is about moderation, healthy choices, and exercising people;” that is what I want to tell them!

3. Daily physical activity, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, socializing–I recently read that one’s mood can be boosted simply by going to the grocery and socializing with the cashier.  That makes sense.  When I stay home alone all day during my summer days, I often get in a bit of a funk.  But if I leave only for a short time and get out of the house to talk to someone, anyone, I feel much better about my day.

I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂

Cabbage Patch Kids

Breakfast was quick and easy this morning even though I woke up early and could have taken the time to actually cook something.  All I felt like eating was craving was almond butter and banana on a slice of whole grain toast with a cup of hot chai.

There is bread and almond butter under there somewhere.

For lunch today I enjoyed a spring and spinach salad mix with a few grape tomatoes and cucumber slices.  On top, I added some chopped Hormel oven roasted turkey and a sprinkling of Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend.  My dressing of choice today was 2 tbsp. of Light Italian.  For some extra protein (since I was going to the gym straight from work) and a bit of sweetness I had a Fage 2% Greek Strawberry Yogurt.

Lunch Time

Pay attention to details; it's more fun to eat that way!

I decided to try working out straight after work rather than get home and have to force myself to go back out.  I think I prefer that better; it is just a matter of getting my clothes together the night before.  Though when I arrived at the gym every single elliptical was taken!  Grrrrrr!  So I started my cardio session on one of the two treadmills that were not in use.  I did 10 minutes at 12% incline at a 4.0 pace.  Then I noticed someone hop off of the true slider elliptical, so I took advantage of the opportune time to hop on.  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 20 for about 25 minutes and level 18 for the other 5.  Lastly I finished up with 10 minutes on the stationary bike at level 5.

When I got home from work I began on dinner.  This morning I took a package of spit chicken breasts out of the freezer to defrost.  I started by browning the chicken breasts in a tablespoon of canola oil.

While the chicken browned I prepped some bell pepper from the garden, half an onion, some carrot sticks, and 5 red potatoes.  Once the chicken was browned on both sides I removed it from the pan and it went into the pot shown above.  Using the same pan from the chicken, I sauteed the veggies except for the potatoes.

Meanwhile, I got some miniature cabbages AKA brussel sprouts sliced and seasoned for roasting.

I recommend using a smaller knife due to the rolling of the sprouts, but that was the knife used for cutting the other veggies and I was trying to eliminate the massive amount of dishes/utensils I use for cooking.

Once the veggies tender I added them on top of the chicken.  Here is wher it may get a bit unhealthified; however, you can still watch your portions.  Next, I put 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour into the *same* saute pan.  I stirred and stirred and stirred until I had a roux (to make gravy) the color of peanut butter more or less.  I then added one cup of water (***Warning***This will cause sizzle of splatter and smoke, so stand back!), a second cup of water, two and a half cups of water total as I removed the pan from the fire and continued stirring and stirring until I had a brown gravy.  Salt and pepper was also added, but much of the flavor comes from the browned bits from the chicken and veggies that were in the pan previously.

Gravy was poured over chicken and veggies and added potatoes.

I munched on these while the chicken simmered for about an hour.   I was able to get some cleaning done in the meantime.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

My Plate--A scoop of rice from last night topped with pulled chicken and veggie mixture.

Tasty if I do say so myself!


I recently heard that a doll fad of the 80s are making a comeback.  According to Cabbage Patch Kids they never really left the scene despite changing production brands several times throughout the last 30 years.  Funny how things always seem to return into the limelight from such long ago.

Cabbage Patch Kids were one of my favorites (I can’t recall any specifics, but I know Mom fought her way into some stores to get those dolls for my sis and me) growing up along with playing school of course. 😉

Question of the Night:  What was your favorite toy/doll growing up as a kid?