quick and easy

Short and (“Sickly”) Sweet

I had a whole bunch of thoughts and even a weekly meal plan I wanted to share this week, but I have a head cold so bad that I can’t really think straight. I actually drove myself to Walgreens to get Gatorade today and forgot what I was there for when I got there. I spent a few minutes wandering the store and eventually got my Gatorade. And two bags of Jellybeans… So please forgive me for the lack of content this week.

I don’t have much energy to type out our meal plan this week (it’s a lot of linking and picture loading), but I’ve made a couple meals that were so good I have to share. For breakfast, I made this AMAZING baked oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Backed Oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking

The oatmeal is actually peanut butter flavored and it’s the best baked oatmeal I’ve ever made. No joke. I will note that I used only 2 cups of almond milk. I also omitted the Uncle Sam cereal but used 4 cups of oatmeal. I used honey instead of Stevia too. Even the whipped cream I was totally skeptical about was incredible. I’m going to make this quite often and try it with some different toppings. I’m thinking a s’mores version, apple cinnamon, banana walnut… What really doesn’t go well with peanut butter!?

Another recipe that turned out really well was a baked potato soup from Skinnytaste. When I made this last night, I thought its seemed a little bland. I threw in some garlic salt and it tasted great when I had it for lunch today with some Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar and crumbled bacon. It was cheap and easy to make so I’m sure I’ll be making this again soon!

Baked Potato Soup from Skinnytaste

Another thing I didn’t have energy for today was exercise. The weather is finally warming up so I wanted to go for a longer run today, but there was just no way that was going to happen. The ability to breathe is pretty essential to being able to run. Luckily, I was able to get in a short-ish run on Tuesday. It was 25 and sunny so it felt a little like 30. Which still isn’t warm, but it’s warmer than the typical 5-10 degree highs we’ve been living with since Thanksgiving. Since the sun was higher and everything was melting, it really felt like spring. I got in 3.5 miles in my neighborhood, dodging cars and puddles since the sidewalks were still covered in a foot or more of snow in some areas. My pace was 9 minutes, 40 seconds per mile. Not bad for my first “home” run in months.

After I got done running, I made myself a little salad using a couple chicken wings that were leftover from dinner Sunday night, spring mix greens, matchstick carrots, a chopped cipollini onion, some diced avocado, sliced almonds, and a little bit of ranch. I know ranch and wings weren’t my very best options, but if I’m going to have something not so great for me, at least it was in a salad!

Post Winter Run Salad

Post Winter Run Salad

That’s about all the updating I’ve got in me tonight. It’s time for a little more Airborne and Gatorade. Anyone else getting anxious for Spring!?


Creamy Avocado Black Olive Quesadilla

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. So much has happened since the last time I posted.  All good things, promise. I owe you a vacation update, but there are a few, more important, matters to mention first. Namely, interviews and quesadillas. While I was packing last Friday for vacation, I received a phone call from a potential employer about setting up an interview. Great timing right? So I gave them my first available time after we got home which was 9am today. No way better to dive back into the real world (and frigid temperatures) than to go on a job interview (in 2 degree weather) 18 hours post-vacation! I think the interview went well, not my dream job but I think it’s something I’d enjoy. So we’ll see what happens.

On to quesadillas. After watching my cutie patootie niece all afternoon, I was a little to tired to get groceries. I’m still running on a lack of sleep from our trip (more on that later) and there is hardly any food in the house. So quesadillas it was! Disclaimer – these are absolutely not healthy. They just taste really good. Calorie -wise you’re looking at about 735 calories for the whole thing including plain Greek yogurt for dipping. Yikes! Should I also mention that I used lots of cheese and generic flour tortillas. All kinds of “poison” here folks. Ocassionally and indulgent meal isn’t a diet breaker. With all that said, if you’d like to make this on your own…


Yes, I did eat most of this before I thought to take a picture…


2 10″ burrito sized tortillas

Neufchatel cheese (if anyone knows how to pronounce this, do share.)

1/4 cup shredded Queso Quesadilla cheese (I used Kraft brand but any shredded Mexican cheese would work)

1/2 Avocado, cubed

2 TBSP sliced black olives

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

olive oil spray

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp hot taco sauce

Putting It Together:

  • Spread Neufachatel cheese on one tortilla. Top with shredded quesadilla cheese.
  • Add cubed avocado and black olives.
  • Sprinkle cumin, oregano, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper over entire tortilla.
  • Heat a medium or large skillet over medium low heat and spray with olive oil spray.
  • When olive oil begins to sizzle, add tortilla with cheese, avocado, black olive, and seasonings on it to the skillet filling side up.
  • Place the second tortillas on top and lightly press down.
  • Cook for a few minutes, pressing top tortilla shell down until cheese begins to melt.
  • In the meantime mix Greek yogurt and taco sauce together in a small bowl.
  • Flip the quesadilla (I used tongs and a spatula for support) and let the other side cook for another minute or two.
  • Transfer to a plate and cut into triangles with a sharp knife.
  • Top with Greek yogurt taco sauce and serve warm.

Pretty simple, and really yummy. How do you fill your quesadillas?

In Limbo

Normally this time of day I’d be getting off work and heading to the gym. This is now the third day I haven’t done that and it’s starting to make me feel really unsettled. I’ve done dishes, laundry, run errands, and tried to read a book, but I can’t shake this aching need to be productive. I literally can’t concentrate on anything so there’s no reading, writing (beside this blog), movie watching, or working out that can tame me. I’d cook but we’re leaving to go on vacation tomorrow and already have tons of leftovers that need to be consumed before then. (They’ll probably end up in the freezer).


On the bright side, I brushed my teeth and fixed my hair today. I even put on jeans and went to the bank, the library, and Target. I applied for 8 or 9 jobs online and I’m leaving soon to babysit for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) at my church. It’s just $20 every other Thursday but it’s something! Also, my eating was a little more on track today. The oatmeal I made last week was looking gross so I had wheat toast with almond butter and strawberries (YUM!) and a hardboiled egg. The eggs turned out PERFECT this time thanks to Ken. Whoever he may be. I am forever indebted! Lunch was some Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken with streamed broccoli and I had Kashi crackers for a snack. It’s an improvement!

What do you do when you’re in between?


It’s been a couple busy days. Sorry for the lack of posting!

First, the diet. My less sugary eating plan has been going well and I can see a huge difference. The first day was really rough, I was so tired. My body wasn’t used to being on that little sugar after a few days of overindulging. But now I’m feeling great and I look a lot less bloated. The best part I’ve come to realize is that my desserts get to be especially large because they’re mostly fruit. Yesterday, I had a lot of calories left at the end of the day so I had a 230 calorie dessert.

All that for 230 calories! It was delicious.

Workouts. I am so sick of the treadmill. I’ve been trying to switch things up this week to avoid it. Workout 21 on Monday was 3.5 miles on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical, and then 10 minutes of abs. Tuesdays workout was 30 minutes of weights and abs, and a treadmill workout that I thought would be easy, but then I went and ran it a little faster than I would have before I started my 35 workout commitment. I ran 4 minutes at 6mph, 3 at 6.5mph, 2 at 7mph and 1 at 7.5mph. And then I repeated that 4 times! I stopped twice for a minute each time, but my normal “comfortable” running pace is around 6.3mph. Still a great workout!

I don’t know how anyone can run this fast!!

Tonight, the plan was to go to cycling. But then Polar Vortex 11 hit (I may be exaggerating slightly, but it snowed AGAIN!), and I didn’t want to drive out to the LA Fitness that has the class at a convenient time. and I didn’t want to go home and have to go back out in this weather to go to a later class at my local LA. And then I saw a picture of Rachel, who won this season’s Biggest Loser last night. I’m sure a lot of you have seen this, but I need to speak to it a minute.

From NBC News

4.5 months ago Rachel was 260 lbs. Yesterday she weighed in at 105. She lost almost 60% of her body weight in 4.5 months. Her height of 5’5″ puts her BMI at 17.5; the lowest end of a “normal” BMI for women is 18.5. I’m not here to judge, just to give my thoughts. I wonder if the same mentality that led her to gain weight, was the same that caused her to lose too much. I’m guilty of this thinking for sure. When I was gaining weight, I overate because I had obsessive compulsive thoughts about food. I had no control over anything in my life, and food made me (temporarily) feel less out of control. Drinking in excess caused me not to care about having control in the midst of my chaos. I have to remember that although I’ve come a long way from that, and I look like it, I’m still the kid of person that has the potential to take things too far. I can take self comfort too far, and I can also take calorie counting and exercising too far. It’s the same thing.

So tonight, being a little burned out on the gym and weather and remembering my potential to obsess, I decided not to go to the gym tonight. It doesn’t mean I’m giving up, it just means I know exercising isn’t my everything. This magic number I’m trying to hit isn’t as important as my mental health. So with that, I’m going to make some popcorn (a little butter, a little salt) snuggle under a blanket and read for a while.

Anyone catch The Biggest Loser last night? What did you think? Do any of you struggle with weight obsessive thoughts? I know I can’t be the only one.