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Monday Things + Strawberry Shortcake Recovery Shakes

31 Mar

Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed and on a rollersoaster of emotions. Life is changing fast and in big ways. I need an outlet, so I have decided to tweak this blog back to its original intention: a daily food/fitness/life diary.

Today began conference week at the kids’ school. After realizing they get out early all week, adjusting my appointments and clients to fit everybody’s schedules, and still struggling to figure out how to balance it all over next week (spring break), and all on top of everything else, I found myself close to banging my head against the wall. But I think *knock wood* we have it all figured out. Whew. Times like these GOOD habits become necessary habits. Yoga on Sunday = calm clarity on Monday 😉


Breakfast: egg scramble (1 whole, 3 whites, diced bell peppers, 1 very small link left over chicken+fennel sausage, 1/4 haas avocado), oven roasted red potatoes. Not pictured: coffee with 1 tbs half and half, dash cinnamon.

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with roasted red pepper hummus, lettuce, tomato, schmear avocado because it will go bad….!
On Mack’s Flax Sprouted Bread.

Snack: Mini peppers, more hummus. I could live happily for a while on nothing but peppers + red pepper hummus. And avocados.

After I managed to get the house spotless top to bottom – this gorgeous spring weather is SO energizing! – I took a mocha break. Normally I reserve treat coffees for the weekend, but sometimes you just need a little extra comfort, you know?

Because of the school schedule and in light of the fact the kids already had to spend some time in the gym earlier, I’m opting for home workouts this week. My good ol’ buddy Tony can always be counted on to bring the sweat.

I honestly forgot how hard P90X can be. I mean, I haven’t touched these dvds since ’09. After completing all 90 days thankyouverymuch. But I workout. A lot. Heavy. Still…

After an ungodly amount of push-ups and pull-ups and core work (I found myself thinking is this what my clients feel like?! ARRG) I knew I needed a killer-delicious shake to get me to dinner:

Strawberry Shortcake Recovery Shake

  • 1 scoop AT “Birthday Cake”
  • 4 large frozen strawberries
  • 6-8oz almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbs coconut milk



This shake kept me full for quite a while. Which was good, because we walked the dog and weeded the flower beds all afternoon. In the sun. Am I dreaming?

Dinner: A simple and veggie-heavy taco salad (extra lean local sirloin, kidney beans, taco seasoning, spinach, romaine, organic frozen sweet corn, sautéed peppers and onions, olives, hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt, a literal pinch of extra sharp cheddar). And a small handful of homemade oven baked lime+salt corn chips.


Now I’m finishing up the day – blogging all this – and sipping a big mug of Bigelow Sweet Dreams tea.


And goodbye March.


Weekly Round-Up

8 Mar

The week was jam-packed between work, school, and soccer. I planned and shopped accordingly.


Avocado and basil are my thing right now. Possibly because I am so ready for summer already.


Sandwich bread: Mack’s Flax. Wrap: Ezekiel. Sprouted life!


Since the husband and I have gotten back into lifting pretty seriously, via Staring Strength (my bible from way-back), a lot of our snacks were ON Gild Standard Whey and water in shaker bottles, green smoothies, the occasional latte, and quick veggie-chicken mini meals (Starbucks Chicken and Greens is amazing!)

I will get into this more later: the buddy-system, healthy competition, and fitting in workouts no matter the schedule or circumstance. We had a very successful first week and are looking forward to week 2. I am documenting it all and will post everything here soon 🙂


Not pictured: pepperoni pizza. For kids. And husband. I am not opposed to a whole pizza for myself. I could eat cold pizza everyday and never tire of it. Kind of sad it’s gone, actually. We ate on the pizzas for about 2-3 days. Had turkey burgers twice, once with salad, once with tomato-basil soup, and ended the week with Philly cheese steaks and fries.

Bonus: Girl Scout cookie season!

As the mother of a young girl – who hopes to join a troop this fall – I am so totally supportive. Also because Savannah Smiles make me smile. Little bites of southern sunshine.


Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Coming Soon:

  • Whole Wheat Mushroom Arugula Pizza
  • Planning, Shopping, and Prepping 
  • Starting Strength

Easy, Affordable, Deliciously Addicting, No-Excuses Take to Work Lunches

10 Jan

Hi. My name is Jessica and I kind of suck at constistent blogging. This is a new year – and with SO MUCH going on over the holdiays, I have to admit, sitting down and taking the time to write about all the food I’ve been making and eating and buying was really the last thing I had time for.

Todays post is simple: how to make 5 lunches without a) breaking your bank account and b) using a ton of ingredients that will go to waste.

I like to prep on Sundays. But that’s me. And also because Sunday is usually the only full day I have off.

To start, you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts (if they’re large, you can get 2 meals out of them. A serving is approx 4 oz or the palm of your hand.)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • quinoa or brown rice
  • tatziki sauce (awesome recipe here or buy some. Costco’s is good.)
  • Smoked salmon (I like Nova Scotia style. It’s super thin and milder. I’m not huge on a ton of “smoke” flavor. Again, COSTCO.)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • Ezekiel bread (Or other simple whole-grain bread)

Grill, bake, roast, whatever 4 chicken breasts. Use no oil and season with whatever spices you like. Oh! I learned just last week that using a hammer and some plastic wrap to flatten the breasts REALLY DOES make a difference in tenderness and texture. Crazy, right?

Cook some quinoa and/or brown rice. You’re looking for about 1/4 – 1/2c for each lunch.

Veggies for this week: green leaf lettuce, tomato, shallot, cucumber. Chop them. Container them – separately!

Thats your base for Greek(ish) bowls.

To make the bowl:

4oz cooked chicken, handful lettuce, some tomatoes, cucmbers, pinch shallot, 1/4 avocado, 1/4c quinoa or rice, 1 Tbs Tatziki. I love this bowl. It’s filling and clean and will hold you for hours. Other variations/swaps:

  • 1/2 diced, roast sweet potato instead of rice/quinoa
  • lamb or steak instead of chicken, if you’re bulking, brah.
  • hummus instead of (or totally in addition to) tatziki

Its your bowl – tweak it to your tastes!


Next Up: Smoked Salmon and Grilled Chicken Sandwiches.

Ok, sandwiches are not a revolutionary lunch idea. I get that. But here is what i like about mine:

Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread that is about 60-80 calories per slice and makes the toastiest, crunchiest, best toast you could ever imagine. Low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, and free of all that processed artificial nonsense.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich:

  • 2 oz smoked salmon (I am telling you, you want the thin stuff!)
  • Lettuce, tomato, 1/4 avocado, thin cucumber slices, sprinkling of sea salt & black pepper. A thin smear of tatziki sauce is a fantastic addition, too 😉



Chicken Sandwich:

  • 1 (flattened!) breast
  • Mustard, tomato, lettuce, 1/4 avocado (OR 1/2 oz thinly sliced extra sharp cheddar), shallot, salt & pepper.


There you have it. One quick grocery trip, 5-6 days worth or lunches (or dinners). All nutritional bases are covered, energy is high, moods are good. But now, since I did this last week, I have to come up with something new. Dang.

The children and I are attempting brown rice, smoked salmon (we love it, okay!) sushi tonight. I’m sure it will go flawlessly…

Have a great week!

Hearty Grilled Brie with Pear and Arugula Sandwich

30 Nov

It’s no secret I love grilled cheese sandwiches. Love them! Seriously, is there better comfort food on the entire planet? Don’t think so.

There’s no reason a grilled cheese sandwich can’t be a hearty and good-for-you meal. Like life, it all boils down to choices: use whole grain bread, heart-healthy oil, high quality cheese, and add some fruit/veggies.

Pear, Brie, and Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices Dave’s Killer

2 tsp olive oil (for grilling)

2 oz Brie

1/2 cup arugala

1/2 d’anjou pear (or apple, if you prefer)

Smear of Dijon or honey (or honey mustard!)

Brush bread lightly with oil. Load up fixin’s. Grill over medium heat until the brie is melted and the bread is gold brown (about 3 minutes on each side).

059060062You know what would go great with this? A creamy butternut squash-based soup. For dipping. Oh, man. I guess there’s always tomorrow . . . 🙂


Strawberry Chicken Wrap

28 Aug

Summer is coming to an end. There’s a marked chill in the night air and the leaves are already on the verge of changing. Or that’s what I choose to believe, so I can bust out my fall-scented candles (hello Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin!) and buy boots and scarves, and sweater dresses. Autumn is expensive, is what I’m trying to say.

Okay, back to food.

My garden strawberries are ignoring the changing of seasons and are still growing in abundance. What to do? One can only drink so many of them. Sometimes a girl has to climb out of the liquor cabinet and up to the table.

Strawberry Chicken Wrap

  • 1 tomato-basil or spinach wrap
  • 1/4 avocado, smashed
  • 1-2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 3-4 strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 3oz grilled skinless chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
  • 2-3 thin slices red onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • Drizzle (1-2 tsp max) Ken’s Honey Mustard (OR on the side for light dipping)

Roll it, cut it on the diagonal all fancy like, shove in your face all not fancy like.

*Author’s note: BBQ Kettle Chips are insane with these, but totally optional. I opted no, this being my fit food blog and all. I’m trying to set an example here, people. (I don’t always opt “no.” Moderation.)

Beer goes great with these, too. Oh wait. That’s true about everything. Moderation. Moderation.


Bon appetite!

Weekend Things

23 Jul

Warrior Dash 2012: Completed. Go me! Go us!

Eaten on the way up to the Dash. PB and Dakota = full for hours.

Me. Looking for my people.

The crew, before. “We are Sparta” faces.

The only time I’ve ever been simultaneously filthy AND happy.

Post-Dash pastrami and swiss at Twedes Cafe in North Bend.

Late-night snack. I think I earned it.

This also might have happened.



















This weekend was one of the best of my life so far. Fears were conquered, new friendships were formed, and existing bonds were made stronger. Come participate with us next year, the Warrior Dash is our new tradition.

Oh my goodness, I am still so hungry . And thirsty. And happy.

Serious Eats for Serious Lifters

26 Jun

I’m sore. Like, having a hard time typing this sore. Day 1 of Jess getting re-serious about lifting is in the past. Thank goodness. Can only improve from here. Ouch everywhere. But in a good way.

Thankfully, I remembered to tweak my eating habits accordingly. Protein. Lean. Clean. Enough carbs and fat to carry me through. Okay, I went to Meconi’s and had a turkey sub on whole wheat. I can justify pretty much anything “on whole wheat.” Especially when I spend the morning with a barbell.

Not going to lie: I had trouble digesting so much. So good, though. A 5 mile walk with my neighbor helped. 5 miles goes fast when there’s much talking to be done.

By the time dinner rolled around, I was already feeling the tightness, soreness, and exhaustion setting in, protein was definitely on the menu.

Super Simple Grilled Chicken and Parmesan Roasted Zucchini



•3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
•Ken’s Light Northern Italian Dressing & Marinade, enough to cover chicken
•4 zucchini, sliced
•2 Tbs Parmesan
•1-2 tsp olive oil
•Salt and pepper

Step 1: Marinate chicken at least 2 hours. Grill on medium-high heat until juices run clear.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 375. Slice zucchini, lightly coat with the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Put on baking rack or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.



Step 3: pass out for 12 straight hours, “cause you work hard and it’s time for a break, darn it,” says body.

See? Easy. You should do this today.