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operation beautiful

Reminder #65464 about the chia seed giveaway!  Don’t wait another second to enter.  Do it! Do it! Do it!

Hey everyone!

All day I have been thinking that today is Wednesday.  I’m not sure why…maybe it’s just wishful thinking:)

Have you heard of Operation Beautiful?  I just recently started reading Caitlin’s blog, and I think what she is doing is amazing!  So, today I decided to take part!

As you guys know, I’m a high school teacher.  So, I snuck in the bathroom this morning before school and left these.  I tried to stick them on the inside of the stall door, but they wouldn’t stick! ha!  So, the bottom one ended up on the toilet paper dispenser.  oops.  I’m hoping that won’t taint the message:)

This totally made my day, and I think I just might start making a habit of it!

And speaking of beautiful;)

Sorry for the short post tonight – I had to work on school projects for several hours, and the night has flown by.  I so missed surfin’ the blog world and visiting everyone, but there’s always tomorrow I guess!

See you guys!

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countin’ the cals..what are your thoughts?

Don’t forget the chia seed giveaway – only a few more days!

Hey all!  How has everyone’s Monday been?  Mine’s been just fine, but I’m glad it’s over and we’re on to Tuesday!  Jon and I are going to my hometown for Easter this weekend, and I am stoked!  My aunt and uncle just had a baby last fall, but they live out of town so this Saturday will be my first time to meet her.   I can’t wait!

I started off this morning with my usual green monster (not pictured, I figure you guys know what my gm looks like.  You don’t need to see it everyday:) – 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 handfuls of spinach and a half a banana.  Okay, are you ready for my shameless plug for my chia seed giveaway? Chia seeds really make all the difference in my morning green monster.  On days that I include them (which is most) I stay don’t get hungry near as quickly as I do on days that I don’t have them.  Plus, I have had a problem with anemia in the past, but between the iron in my spinach and the iron in the chias, I know I’m getting a healthy dose!

Here are my snacks – all packed up and ready to go for the day!  I ended up not eating the carrots and cucumbers and only eating half the larabar because I was just too busy!

Lunch was spaghetti squash with steamed brussels and humnut sauce (1tbsp hummus+1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast+water).

Love this little meal!  This combo was originally posted by Heather, and I have been addicted to it ever since.  It really tastes like a vegan form of mac and cheese – the texture is a little different, but the health value is phenomenal!

Due to a lack of sleep last night, I have been super exhausted all day.  So exhausted, in fact, that Jon and I totally copped out on dinner and went with cereal and peanut butter toast.  So exhausted, also, that I failed to snap a shot of it.  Oops!  We are both huge cereal mixers, and we’ll mix just about anything.  My mixture included Kashi U Black Currant and Walnut + Post Shredded Wheat ‘n’ Bran + Puffins with almond milk.  Not the most fancy dinner I’ve ever had, but it worked!

One thing I wanted to mention tonight is that I’ve started “sort of” counting calories again.  I’ve basically started keeping a rough estimate using Spark People.  I usually just calculate how many I eat up until dinner, and then I have an idea of the range I should stick to from them on.

It seems that it isn’t very “popular” in the world of health food blogs to count calories, and I understand why.  One of my biggest goals with my health is to learn to eat intuitively and not count calories.  However, I am still in the weight loss phase, and I know that lately my portions have maybe become a bit distorted, which is affecting my progress.  So, while I think it is a great ultimate goal to not count calories, it works for me to check in occassionally and just give myself a bit of a reality check.  Just keepin’ it real;)

One other thing I wanted to add is about my recipe for Mexican Fiesta Pasta.  My sister made a batch last night, and one thing she mentioned (besides that she loved it:) was that she used less ground red pepper than I advised, and it was still super hot!  So, I just wanted to mention that if you’re planning on trying it out, you may want to use ground red pepper “to taste” rather than the full 2 tbsp that I recommended.  I’m a GRP addict!

Question for today: What do you think about counting calories?  Do you think there is a negative vibe in the blog world about counting calories?

Have a great night everyone!

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sunday eats

Don’t forget to enter my chia seed giveaway!  There aren’t many entries so far, so you have a great chance of winning!

Today has been a great day!  We got up and went for another 3 mile run this morning, which felt great.  I think I finally got my mojo back.  I like it:)  Plus, I randomly decided to read our marathon race recap (we’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary!), which of course made me want to go out and run one tomorrow.  haha.

Breakfast this morning was 1/3 cup of oats cooked in 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup soy yogurt, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and some strawberries.  Yum!

Unfortunately our run went a little long this morning (and we got a late start…oops!), so by the time we got ready for church we were about 20 minutes late.  We just decided to download one of our pastor’s sermons and listen to it at home instead – dress and all!

I started getting hungry for lunch a few hours later, and I just couldn’t decide on anything.  This happens to me quite often – I just can’t decide on a meal so I end up just eating something random.  It hit the spot though, and held me over for a couple of hours.

I went with baked sweet potato rounds, seasoned with ground red pepper (of course!), garlic powder and Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning.  I also mixed up some humnut sauce (1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast + 1 tbsp hummus + water) for dipping and a some protein.

Later I snacked on an ezekiel english muffin with a slather of natural peanut butter to get me through until dinner.

I can never resist hot carbs with nut butter!

Today was a little low on veggies, but a Chipolte salad came through and saved the day for dinner.  I forgot to grab the camera on the way out the door, sorry!  My salad was stock full of romaine, fajita veggies, black beans, pico, salsa verde and guacamole!  If you have a Chipolte near you, you must try this salad.  The veggie tacos are awesome as well!

I’m off to finish watching Amazing Race and then hit the sack!  Have a great Monday!

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basic pasta sauce

Don’t forget to enter my chia seed giveaway that is going on – only 6 more days!

Happy weekend everyone!  How has your Saturday gone?  I love Satudays, and this one has not disappointed.

Jon and I slept in this morning, and then got up and headed out to our favorite running spot.  We have a small “lake” out north of town that has a 3.1 mile asphalt path all the way around it.  We actually did most of our marathon training out there last year.  Anytime we mention to someone that we once ran around it over 6 times they think we’re crazy.  And we probably are.

Anyways, we only made it around once today.  The wind was blowing about 30 miles per hour, and coming off the lake it was chilly!  But I have to say it felt great.  I have been having a hard time getting motivated for running lately, and I think I needed a good, solid, happy run to cure me!

We didn’t get going until about 11am, so I decided I need a little carb boost for energy.  I popped about 5 of these little guys

High in carbs and all the sugars are natural.  No added sugar for this girl!

A couple hours later we decided to hit up Panera for lunch.  Since it was about 1′clock and I’d had almost nothing to eat all day (so abnormal for me!), I upped the ante a bit and went for a pick two: half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich (hold the feta please!) and a cup of black bean soup.  Against my initial better judgment I also had a whole grain baguette.  I guess my body needed the carbs!

After lunch I spent a little extra time at Panera getting some grading done while Jon went home to work on some design projects.  I have to say that grading is by far my least favorite part of teaching.  Getting through those essays was brutal today, and I still have half of them left!  Guess I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow afternoon:(

One afternoon of grading, a Starbucks soy latte, and some Lost watching later, we decided to cook up some dinner.  Tonight was another “eatin’ cheap” creation.  Very simple – “Basic Pasta Sauce.”

Ingredients:

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
3-5 button mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
minced garlic
italian seasoning
oregano

Add chopped onion and garlic to skillet and cook until onion starts to get soft.  Next, add diced tomatoes, both cans of tomato sauce, chopped mushrooms, 1 tbsp italian seasoning and 1 tbsp oregano.  Mix together, then cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

While this is not a ground-breaking recipe, I love it because it is so fast, easy, cheap and it pleases the palate.  Leaving the meat out of the sauce reduces cost, and bulking it up with veggies is great for taste and satiety! If cooking only for myself, I would have added some chopped squash and zucchini, but Jon isn’t a fan so we stuck with mushrooms and onions.

Jon poured his sauce over whole wheat spaghetti, and I went with bulgur as my base.  Often times I’ll sub in bulgur for spaghetti because it has fewer calories and has 8 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.

I also had a side salad of mixed greens, chopped carrots, cucumber, onions and chia seeds with balsamic poured over the top along with garlic bread – aka ezekiel toast with Earth Balance vegan butter, garlic powder and nutritional yeast.

This piece of toast x 3.

This meal really filled me up with all the volume foods and veggies!

We are off to rent a movie we’ve been wanting to see called Brothers.  Has anyone seen it?  What movies have you guys seen lately that you loved?  I’m always up for suggestions!

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chia seed giveaway!!

I told you I had an exciting announcement!  Want to win some Chia Seeds from ChiaSeedsDirect.com?!

The wonderful folks at ChiaSeedsDirect have been kind enough to offer CSM readers a chance to win a free 2lb bag of chia seeds!

Here’s how you can score up to ten entries:

  • for one entry leave a comment on this post
  • for two entries tweet about the contest with a link to this post and let me know in the comments
  • for three entries link back to the contest on your blog and let me know in the comments
  • for four entries add ChiaSeedMe to your blogroll and let me know in the comments

Contest is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

For anyone out there who isn’t yet familiar with these little “seeds of wonder,” they are nutritional powerhouses that are high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, Chia Seeds can soak up water many times their weight. So once you’ve digested Chia Seeds, you’ll have a feeling of fullness that’s usually associated with eating a full meal. This will help eliminate food cravings.  Chia Seeds also work to slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates. This helps maintain for longer the feeling of fullness and minimize blood sugar spikes (from ChiaSeedsDirect.com).

These are just a few of the many benefits.  I love to add chia seeds to my smoothies, stir-frys, salads, baked goods, bars…well, actually to just about anything!

Here is some info about ChiaSeedsDirect:

  • they offer the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders.  You can check out their website here.
  • They have also been kind enough to offer the opportunity to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seed benefits and chia seed recipes (score!).  The link to this free booklet is http://www.chiaseedsdirect.com/frreonchsehe.html

Good luck everyone!  Contest ends on Friday, April 2nd.

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