Archives for April 2013

Spinach & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Noodles. Mozzarella. Ricotta. Tomato Sauce.

If those ingredients don’t sound like a kid-approved meal, I don’t know what does!

Lasagna 5

Remember when I enlisted your help last week to find a healthy recipe that a super picky 16-year old would not only eat but also enjoy?

Thank you for all of your great recipe ideas! I can’t wait to get them on my meal plans over the next few weeks!

After much debate and stress, I decided to make a recipe that both Kyle and I love and hope for the best. If she wouldn’t eat it then at least I’d have leftovers that I loved ;)

Lasagna 7

To my surprise and delight, my sister-in-law LOVED this cheese-filled concoction! She even asked for seconds.

If that isn’t a recipe success, I don’t know what is!

Lasagna 2

Oh, and I forgot to mention there was spinach involved too. Yep, you heard me, SPINACH.

A leafy green.

Something that picky kids won’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

So, today, I have a healthy recipe for you. A recipe that involves whole grain pasta, low-fat dairy, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and bright green spinach.

AND, this is a healthy recipe that is picky kid approved!

Lasagna 1

Spinach & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups!

Calcium- and protein-filled cheese, perfect hints of garlic and spinach and tangy-herbed tomato sauce will make everyone in your family happy – your favorite health nut, your spinach-hating kid (or husband!), your vegetarian and your carb-lovin’ pasta addict!

In addition to being healthy and filled with a gooey, rich cheese mixture these roll-ups are easy. Like less than 20 minutes of prep easy. Who doesn’t love that?

Lasagna 4

Spinach & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Makes 12 Roll-Ups/6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz non-fat ricotta
  • 8 oz 2% shredded mozzarella
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz pasta sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place a large pot of water on stove and bring to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, mix together cheeses, spinach, onion and garlic. Remove cooked pasta from stove top and drain. Lay lasagna noodles out on a non-stick surface (I used parchment paper) and spread even amount of cheese filling onto each. See photo above for visual. Roll lasagna noodles up and pour half of pasta sauce onto bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Place roll-ups into pan and cover with remaining pasta sauce. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until roll-ups are heated through. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

Lasagna 6

So, if you have a picky kid and are short on dinner-prep time, make my Spinach & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups! Your family will thank you and you will be glad you tricked your kids into eating spinach :)

And, in case you’re wondering, my lasagna roll-ups pair perfectly with a glass of Cabernet and a loaf of French bread.

Is pasta your go-to meal for a quick weeknight option? Any great recipes you’d like to share? If so, please link-up below!

Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan – May Week 1

Hello, hello from lovely Chicago!

How is your weekend going so far?

Since Kyle and I have a busy day ahead of us, this post is going to be a short and sweet recap of my weekend so far. I hope you’re okay with that!

1. Friday night drive to Chicago = LONGEST drive ever. I am the worst road trip partner in the world. If you ever recommend that we go on a road trip that is over 3 hours, I will most likely meet you there at the airport ;)

2. Saturday fitness = 75-minute yoga sculpt class followed by a 3.5 mile run and a 60-minute walk in the afternoon – MUCH needed after a 6.5 hour car drive!

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I found this piece of art while shopping on Saturday. It looks just like Mitchell and has a quote around the edges: “No one appreciates your very special genius… like your dog.” WANT! Too bad it is probably $600+…

3. Mitchell’s doggy daycare evaluation was a success! The facility was super clean and only a few blocks from my in-laws, plus they are even willing to monitor his suture while he stays there next Thursday-Sunday.

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A new scarf is in this bag :) It’s springy and I love it! Photos to come soon!

4. BEST Saturday ever included being treated to a shopping trip and a mani-pedi by my MIL and enjoying a glass of wine on the patio with Kyle, all in sunny, 65 degree weather. Perfect!

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Dutch Tulips by OPI on my toes.

5. Kyle made a HUGE mistake on Saturday… He forgot to pick up a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for our sushi dinner! #notacceptable It did give me a good excuse,however, to make a quick trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up a bottle and save the day ;)

photo (28)

Got my Kim Crawford, life is complete now :)

5. Saturday night = All-you-can-eat sushi :) $18.99 per person is a steal for great sushi! If you’re ever in Chicago, I highly recommend checking out one of the Sushi Para locations.

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Before dinner on Saturday night!

6. On the menu for today, a 5-mile(ish) run with Kyle, a walk around Lake Michigan, brunch with friends and then a family gathering tonight. It is supposed to be another gorgeous day. Spring makes me happy :)

Since we are going to be away from home this week, I don’t have a real meal plan but I do have a fitness plan. I’m going to stay active and eat as healthy as possible, while still enjoying myself in both Chicago and Louisville!

Also, my weekly meal prep is being featured by Lindsay today. Head on over to her blog to see what I prep on Sundays for a healthy week!

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Sunday: Chicago-Style Pizzas and Salad
  • Monday: Dinner with my friend, Nicole
  • Tuesday: Cubs game!! (Let’s be honest, it’ll probably be a hog dog…)
  • Wednesday: Dinner at home
  • Thursday: Out to eat, Louisville
  • Friday: Out to eat, Louisville
  • Saturday: Out to eat, Louisville

Weekly Fitness Plan

  • Sunday: 5-mile run + Lake Michigan walk
  • Monday: Hot Yoga + Run
  • Tuesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Wednesday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Thursday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Friday: Run
  • Saturday: Run

What’s on your menu this week? Has spring finally hit your state??

A Quick Saturday Update

It’s the weekend!! {Cue weekend happy dance}

This post is going to be lacking photos but I wanted to give you a quick update on Mitchell.

I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday and had quite a few of you reach out to see what happened and to make sure the little big guy was okay!

mitchell

First of all, thank you SO SO much for all of your kind and sweet comments. Mitchell is doing so much better today than he has been the past few days :)

So what happened?

Mitchell has had a few “calluses” on his chest for the past 4-5 years. The vet told me that dogs get them from lying on concrete floors. Mitchell has never, ever been on a concrete floor so I’m not sure how he got the calluses but regardless, he had about 6 of them on his chest. On Wednesday morning, I noticed that one of them had swollen to the size of a clementine (gross, sorry for that image!), was very red and infected looking and was oozing (again, sorry – it was really gross so be glad you didn’t have to see it!).

Since I tend to freak out about all things medical-related, I immediately called his vet. Unfortunately, the vet was out on Wednesday so we couldn’t get Mitchell in until Thursday morning. After a quick look at his chest, the vet took him in for surgery right away to remove the infected skin as well as the other calluses to prevent them from causing issues in the future.

Thankfully, the surgery went well. We just need to monitor Mitchell’s 6-inch incision and stitches as well as give him antibiotics and pain medicine for the next 10 days. He also needs to wear his inflatable cone until the stitches come out on May 9th – It must be super embarrassing for him ;)

When I picked Mitchell up Thursday afternoon, he was still under the effects of the anesthesia and wouldn’t let anyone besides me get close to him. The vet actually had to have me go back to his room and let him out myself!

Mitchell’s a mama’s boy, what can I say? ;)

Thursday night, Mitchell was still having issues coming off of his anesthesia and seriously cried non-stop until 1am. It was heartbreaking but there was nothing we could do to make him stop. He also wouldn’t eat his food so I fed him a little bit of bread and peanut butter so that he could take his meds.

I don’t know how parents of newborn babies handle the crying and sleep-deprivation, I could barely stand one night of it!

I’m a little nervous about boarding him for 4 days while we’re at the Kentucky Derby but I think the boarding facility I found in Chicago will take good care of him. Plus, there are many veterinarians nearby in case anything were to happen to him.

On a happy note, I finally ordered business cards for the blog! I’m now an “official” blogger ;)

business cards

What are your plans for the weekend? Do you have business cards for your blog or business?

Coconut-Mango Smoothie

Surprising at it may be, I actually have a {healthy} recipe for you today!

(Image Source)

After an fitness-related SweatPink Twitter chat a few weeks ago, the fantastic team at Zola sent me a case of their 100% Natural Coconut Water.

Remember this photo?

coconut

To be honest, after enjoying fresh-from-the-actual-coconut water a month ago, I wasn’t sure what I would think of Zola’s coconut water.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find out that Zola’s coconut water tastes exactly like the fresh coconut I enjoyed while in Puerto Rico!

In addition to taking me back to my vacation in paradise, Zola’s coconut water offers the following benefits:

  • Supports natural hydration
  • Contains essential electrolytes: potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
  • 100% Natural & Delicious
  • Gluten and GMO Free, 100% Vegan
  • BPA Free Can

Plus, it’s tastes amazing and, if you close your eyes and imagine that there is a sea breeze blowing through your hair, it will make you think you’re in Puerto Rico ;)

So, what does one do with coconut water? Well, besides drink it from a coconut or a can?

One creates healthy, nutrient-packed recipes with it!

With spring quickly approaching, I have been craving fresh, tropical fruits. Fruits like bananas and coconuts and grapes and mangoes!

Smoothie 4

And since I had an entire case of Zola’s Coconut Water sitting in my fridge, I took the opportunity to create a thick and creamy smoothie to share with you!

Smoothie 3

My Coconut-Mango Smoothie!

Ripe chunks of mango, electrolyte-rich coconut water and protein-packed Greek yogurt make this smoothie irresistible.

It’s like a tropical beach party in your mouth… minus the sand ;)

Smoothie 2

Coconut-Mango Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups chopped mango (I used frozen mango)
  • 12 oz Zola 100% Natural Coconut Water
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, for topping

Directions

Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth! Pour into two glasses and top with shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Smoothie 1

This smoothie is an easy and delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of Zola’s Coconut Water.

So, if you’re like me and don’t have a tropical island in your near future, pick up a can (or a case!) of Zola’s Coconut Water and some mangoes and make your taste buds – and your body! – happy with this smoothie :)

Have you ever had fresh coconut water? Do you have any great coconut water recipes you’d like to share?

**Disclaimer: Zola sent me case of their 100% Natural Coconut Water for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

No-Spend April Update!

I have a confession. I have been bad since my last No-Spend April update.

As in MINO (money is no object), I can buy what I please kind of bad.

Maybe Kyle and I can go back to Vegas and win $500M so my spending won’t be a problem. That’s realistic, right??

BK Vegas

*Sigh*

Okay, so since I won’t be winning $500M anytime soon, I am going to be accountable and share with you what I’ve purchased since my last update…

I’m also going to work on getting those arms back. Hello, toned beauties!

1. A dress (or 7…) for the Kentucky Derby. Leave it to me to wait until the last possible second to decide that I hate the dress that I picked out for Friday at the Derby. As a side note, I LOOOVE the dress I have for Saturday and can’t wait to show you photos! So, what is the rational thing to do? Order a bajillion dresses from Zappos and Macy’s and Shop Bop and see which ones I like. Totally makes sense, right? Thank goodness I didn’t love all of them and stuck with the one from Macy’s. Total spend: $225 after I get all of the others returned.

2. A hat for the Kentucky Derby. A girl can’t be seen at the Derby without a hat! Pretend I just said that with a Southern drawl, okay? ;) Kyle’s anniversary gift to me (which is also the reason we are going to the Derby – anniversary trip!) was a hat and a dress for the Derby… but only for Saturday. Well, leave it to him to JUST let me know that you also have to wear a hat on Friday. Thankfully, I have a wonderful hat designer in Louisville who was able to change up my Friday hat as soon as I decided to wear a different dress that day. She’s a saint. When I pick up my hat’s next Thursday, I am going to give her the biggest hug and a bunch of Monster Cookie Cupcakes. She deserves them after dealing with me! Total spend: $150 + stress.

My hat doesn’t have quite as many feathers, I promise ;)

(Image Source)

3. You probably guessed it. New dress = new shoes for the Kentucky Derby! Are you noticing a trend here yet? Yep, I got me some hot pink peep toe stilettos for Friday’s Pink Out day to support breast cancer at Churchill Downs. Apparently hot pink shoes are NOT the trend this year. It took me a frantic afternoon of perusing DSW.com and Zappos.com and then finally walking to Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis to find a pair! Total spend: $40 – Good for shoes, right?

4. Here we go again… A new purse for the Kentucky Derby. I know, I KNOW… But I seriously don’t have any white/spring clutch bags and this one from Tory Burch was calling my name. It is just so pretty :) And I’ll use it again, I promise! Total Spend: $365… There was free shipping though. That counts for something right?

TB Purse

(Image Source)

5. Earrings. Yep, I’m not even going to explain what these are for because you already know. Luckily, they were from Target and my total spend was only $12. I can live with that!

6. A top from Stitch Fix. This one has NOTHING to do with the Derby. Apparently I am just really bad at cancelling my monthly memberships. I thought I had pushed this one out to May or June but apparently not. Does anyone else get Stitch Fix? I’ve been kind of disappointed with my last few fixes. Yes, it’s nice to get things I normally wouldn’t purchase but I don’t want to receive things that I’d never, ever wear in a million years! Total Spend: $50

Okay, that is “all” I’ve purchased since my last update. I did have an exception for anything having to do with the Kentucky Derby but I don’t think I realized I would spend this much on it! I might have to continue my no spending challenge into May… after I go shopping ;)

What have you purchased this month? Anything fun?

Suja Juice Cleanse – Juice Review!

Longest. Week. Ever.

Am I the only one that feels this way? The past two weeks have been cray-cray at work. Meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting. And people asking me the SAME EXACT questions that I have answered for them every 5 minutes for the past 7 days. Seriously??! 

I just need a minute to breath here.

Inhale… Exhale… Phew!

Okay, sorry ’bout that.

Now, onto the actual point of this post – a review of the juices in my Suja Juice Cleanse!

Suja Juice

**All images in this post were sourced from Suja Juice’s website.**

Below you’ll find a short description of the flavor and ingredients for each of the six juices followed by my overall ranking.

My rankings are based on the following – very scientific – metrics:

  • LOVE! – Would drink it even if I weren’t on a cleanse!
  • Like – It’s okay, not my favorite juice but definitely one of the better juices in the cleanse.
  • Meh – Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Would not buy just to drink.
  • Blech – Not my cup of tea juice. Probably didn’t finish this entire bottle while on the cleanse and would never, ever buy it again.
  • Gag – Hated it. Couldn’t get more than a few gulps past my lips.

Juice #1: GLOW – Apple Cucumber Mint

  • Ingredients: Green Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Collard, Spinach, Kale and Spearmint
  • At first, I didn’t know what to think of GLOW. I think it was the mint flavor that threw me off. After my first few sips, however, I really started to enjoy the refreshing flavors and hints of apple, cucumber and mint and it became one of my favorite Suja Juices!
  • Overall Review: Like

Juice #2: FUEL – Carrot Orange

  • Ingredients: Carrot, Apple, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon and Tumeric
  • Holy yum. You guys! If you see this juice at Whole Foods, buy it – actually buy 10 bottles of it! FUEL seriously tastes like candy and the orange and pineapple flavors had me wishing that this was the juice I was drinking all day long. The only problem with this juice was that I loved it so much that I didn’t savor it and make it last 30-45 minutes like I should have. Oops ;)
  • Overall Review: LOVE!

Juice #3: PURIFY – Carrot Apple

  • Ingredients: Carrot, Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon and Beet
  • Upon reading the ingredients in this juice (besides the celery…), I thought I would totally love this one! Unfortunately, that was not the case. Two words: Beet. Juice. I love roasted beets and beet-goat cheese salads, don’t get me wrong, but beets in juice form are wrong. Just wrong. Some people love beet juice, so if you fall into that crowd I’m sure this juice would be perfect for you! Sadly, I am not one of the crowd and could not finish this juice on either Day 2 or Day 3.
  • Overall Review: Blech

Juice #4: FIJI – Fuji Apple Cucumber

  • Ingredients: Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Lemon and Ginger
  • Mmm… the image of Fiji brings to mind delicious, fresh, tropical juices. Am I right? Sadly, Suja’s FIJI is not the tropical juice I was expecting. It was salty and tasted like mashed celery and rotton kale. Sorry Suja but this juice needs some serious work. Salty juices are not my style, especially with a name like Fiji!
  • Overall Review: Gag

Juice #5: GREEN SUPREME – An Apple a Day

  • Ingredients: Kale, Green Apple, Lemon
  • Dear Gods of the Juices… Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for creating this lovely, thirst quenching juice! GREEN SUPREME was my dinner juice and man was it tasty. The best taste comparison that I have for this juice is a caramel-apple sucker. Do you remember those from childhood? Yes? Okay, good. If you want a healthier version, go pick up this juice stat! It’s like candy, but healthy.
  • Overall Review: LOVE!

Juice #6: VANILLA CLOUD – Coconut Almond

  • Ingredients: Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Vanilla Bean, Honey, Filtered Water
  • Okay, so I don’t really consider this one to be a juice. I mean, c’mon, it consists of nut milks, honey and vanilla! Regardless, this is one deliciously rich “juice!” Although I really enjoyed the creamy, thick texture and the decadent flavors of almond and coconut, I could not get myself to finish an entire bottle of this juice in a day. It was so filling that I had a difficult time drinking it after my dinner juice. It was a really nice treat at the end of a juicing day but I would recommend buying only 1 bottle for a 3-day cleanse and splitting it between the 3 days.
  • Overall Review: Like

Overall, the two juices I didn’t like were the two I was supposed to consume in the middle of the day – PURIFY and FIJI. If I would have had the opportunity to taste these juices before my cleanse, I would have totally skipped out on these and replaced them with some of my favorites :)

There are two Suja Juices on my “need-to-buy” list if I see them at Whole Foods on my next trip – CHOC-FULL, a chocolate-coconut juice, and SPARK, a strawberry-lemon-raspberry juice – they both sound ridiculously delicious!

So, what do you think – are you going to do a juice cleanse? Do you like beet juice? What about celery juice?

Monster Cookie {Cupcakes}

Mini Chocolate Chips. Peanut Butter. M&Ms. Vanilla Cake Batter. Boy, oh boy, do I ever have a tempting treat for you today!

Cupcake 4

As some of you might remember, I enjoyed a very delicious monster cookie cupcake on Easter courtesy of my sister and Scratch Cupcakery. I have not been able to get that amazing morsel of a cupcake off of my mind since!

A chocolate chip-filled cake topped with peanut butter frosting and tiny M&Ms to signify the monster cookie part of the cupcake. Yum.

Cupcake 2

Thinking about the situation and my need for another monster cookie cupcake, I decided that I had two options. I could drive to Des Moines every week to pay a visit to Scratch Cupcakery or I could create my own monster cookie cupcake here in my kitchen Minneapolis. Since I don’t own a car and flying to Des Moines weekly would make for one expensive cupcake, option number two sounded like the best choice ;)

Cupcake 3

So a few weekends ago I went to work in my kitchen in an attempt to recreate that little piece of heaven some refer to as a cupcake.

Out came one the most delicious, drool-worthy cupcakes that I have ever baked.

My Monster Cookie {Cupcakes}!

Cupcakes 5

Mini M&Ms atop soft vanilla cupcakes speckled with mini chocolate chips and topped with a cream cheese, peanut butter frosting.

It’s like a monster cookie party in your mouth!

Cupcakes 6

Monster Cookie {Cupcakes} (Adapted from Food.com)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Mini M&Ms, for topping
  • Oatmeal, for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners in muffin pan. Beat butter and sugars together with electric mixer until well blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, along with vanilla. Mix in salt and baking powder. Add flour into mixture in 3 parts and almond milk in 2 parts, alternating and starting and ending with the flour. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack. For frosting, blend cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Add in vanilla, milk and powder sugar, one cup at a time. Once cupcakes are cool, top with frosting and topping of choice. Enjoy!

Cupcake 1

So, the next time you’re craving both a cookie and a cupcake (please tell me I am not the only one who craves multiple desserts at the same time!), you can now have both!

What are you waiting for? Get into your kitchen and make my Monster Cookie {Cupcakes}! Then sit back and enjoy your beautiful cupcake… and a cookie too ;)

What is your favorite kind of cupcake? Have you ever had a monster cookie cupcake?

Weekly Meal & Fitness Plan, April Week 4

Hi friends! Happy Sunday!

How have your weekends been so far?

Friday night, I tried out a new-to-me Vietnamese restaurant in Minneapolis, Quang Restaurant and then Kyle and I went out with some of my friends for a much-too-late night out.

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I slept the most I’ve slept in years yesterday! I didn’t wake up until 10am… and then I got up, drank some water and talked with one of my friends that we went out with on Friday night and went back to bed until 1pm. After inhaling a huge plate of enchiladas and a basket (or three…) of chips, I went back to bed until 6pm. Obviously, I had a super productive Saturday.

photo (13)

This, my friends, is why I can’t go out anymore and why my nights typically consist of a glass or two of wine and then bed by 9pm!

I did successfully watch Knocked Up, ordered business cards for ONW (super excited about this!!) and consumed over 2 weeks of my daily recommended salt intake via an order of Chinese delivery for dinner last night – so, let’s just call it a semi-productive day and go with it, mmmkay?

On another note, what are your thoughts on leggings as pants? I sent this photo (please disregard my unmade bed and lack of accessories in the photo…) to my friend prior to going out to see if this outfit was appropriate – she’s my personal fashion consultant ;) We both think that leggings are okay as pants if the top you’re wearing covers your booty. Plus, I hate wearing jeans with every essence of my being so anyway I can avoid wearing them is okay by me.

What do you think?

And, in case you’re curious, I ended up wearing knee-high black boots and gold accessories with my outfit :)

photo (15)

There’s not much on the agenda for today. I have to run a few errands and do a little baking then I plan on hitting up yoga this afternoon – I need to sweat out ALL of the salt I consumed yesterday! Speaking of baking, who wants to come over and by my taste-testers this afternoon?? I am doing my Suja Juice cleanse – Day 3 today so I won’t be able to taste my creation :(

Kyle and I will be out-of-town beginning on Friday for about 10 days! We’re spending some time in Chicago with Kyle’s dad and Joy before heading to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby in two weekends, so this week’s meal plan is all about cleaning out the fridge. Kyle’s really excited ;)

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Sunday: Suja Juice Cleanse – Day 3
  • Monday: Super-Food Antioxidant Salad
  • Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas
  • Wednesday: BBQ Chicken – ON the grill, OUTSIDE!! It is supposed to be above 50 :)
  • Thursday: TBD – Kyle’s mom and sister will be in Minneapolis for a volleyball tournament. Any thoughts on a cheesy, vegetarian meal option for 4 that won’t have leftovers? I’m thinking lasagna or black bean tacos…
  • Friday: PB&J on the drive to Chicago
  • Saturday: Out to Dinner

Weekly Fitness Plan

  • Sunday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Monday: Yoga Sculpt
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Run
  • Thursday: Run
  • Friday: Yoga/Run
  • Saturday: Yoga/Run – Thankfully there is a CorePower Yoga a few blocks from my in-law’s house in Chicago so I’ll be able to use my membership while we’re there next week!

Have a wonderful Sunday! I’ll be back tomorrow with a drool-worthy treat :)

What is your opinion, can leggings work as pants? And please link up in your comment below or Tweet me (@olivesanwine) any vegetarian recipes that you recommend for Thursday night! I’d like them to be healthy but they have to to appeal to a VERY picky 16-year old girl who prefers to consume only chicken fingers, fries, Kraft macaroni and cheese and Coke.

Super-Food Antioxidant Salad

While on my Suja Juice cleanse, I craved fresh, nutrient-dense foods.

Salad 2

I wanted strawberries and mangoes and apples and blueberries. Things like asparagus and mixed greens and carrots and roasted sweet potatoes sounded like candy to me.

I guess that is what a cleanse will do to ya. It will reset your palate and get you back to craving whole, healthy, nutritious foods!

Salad 3

The last night of my cleanse, I cooked up red quinoa and black beans. I roasted asparagus and I boiled eggs.

I chopped up onions and sliced strawberries.

There was a lot of healthy ingredient food prep going on in my kitchen that night!

Salad 1

The result of all of this food prep was my Super-Food Antioxidant Salad!

Crisp greens, chewy quinoa, red strawberries and juicy oranges make this salad one that you won’t want to miss!

Seriously, as far as salads go, this one hits all of the marks. Vitamin C from the strawberries and oranges, a natural source of fiber from the beans and quinoa, folate from the asparagus and protein from the hard-boiled egg.

If you’re feeling in need of a healthy and satisfying meal, try my Super-Food Antioxidant Salad – your taste buds will delight in the variety of flavors it has to offer!

Great for lunch, great for dinner, great as a side to broiled salmon or grilled chicken – your options are not limited when it comes to this salad.

Super-Food Antioxidant Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed greens, rinsed
  • 14 stems of asparagus, roasted
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans (rinsed, if canned)
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 orange, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

This one is going to be pretty easy, guys. Split all ingredients – except for the balsamic vinegar – between two plates. Before enjoying, squeeze lemon quarters over salads and drizzle with balsamic! Enjoy!

Other topping ideas for this salad include sliced avocados, chopped onion, pecan pieces, goat cheese and carrots.

Salad 4

Healthy, yet still filling and satisfying, try this for your next meal. It’s full of nutrients, sweet and salty and it’s gorgeous. Who doesn’t love a pretty salad? ;)

What is your favorite thing to put on top of a salad?

Suja Juice Cleanse – Day 2

Day 2 of my Suja Juice cleanse was hard. For more reasons than my cleanse itself, we all know that Monday was a difficult day for many.

On that note, thank you all so much for your heartfelt and sincere comments you left on my post yesterday. I apologize that I didn’t reply to any of them. It is difficult for me to know what to say in situations like this but know that I read each of them and they made me smile :)

Okay, now onto the cleanse!

Suja Juice

I haven’t received any cleanse specific questions since my last post so I’m just going to jump right into my Day 2 recap.

Energy Level: I woke up feeling great! I had a ton of energy and felt ready to take on Monday. I didn’t wake up early enough to work out – this is always a struggle for me on Mondays! – but I would have had more than enough energy to fit in a run or yoga class if I had forced myself out of bed :) My energy didn’t subside throughout the day either. I was in an awful training for work – the trainer was speaking in monotone and was standing IN FRONT OF his presentation so it was impossible to follow along – but I didn’t once yawn or feel the need to reach for something to keep me awake. After work, I fit in an easy, 30 minute elliptical workout while watching CNN and ESPN to stay up-to-date on the happenings in Boston.

Hunger Level: I didn’t wake up hungry. I was shocked because I normally wake up ravenous. I felt like I could eat something in the morning but I definitely didn’t feel the need to grab a banana or yogurt for fuel. My stomach growled a little before noon but I didn’t have any of the other side effects of hunger such as being lightheaded or moody.

Although I wasn’t hungry, my body was craving food. I missed eating. I wanted nothing more than to enjoy an apple or a spoonful of nut butter or a salad. My craving was strong. There is something to be said about sitting down and enjoying a meal – Being able to savor its flavor, its texture, its color and its smell. I missed that and I missed it hard.

I thought it was interesting that the only things that I wanted to eat – because I missed eating – were healthy things. I didn’t miss pizza or greasy hamburgers or even nachos. My body wanted to nourish itself with nutrient-dense foods. This was part of my reason for doing the cleanse. I wanted to reset my palate. I wanted to again crave healthy foods, foods that were beneficial for my body. I wanted to stop “needing” French fries and frozen pizza and cheese-laden pastas and ice cream.

Overall Feeling: Like I said above, Monday was a difficult day. In the morning I felt like I could take on the world but by the time afternoon came, I felt defeated and sad. It was at this time that I decided I was going to stop my cleanse at Day 2. No, I didn’t feel hungry. And no, I didn’t feel like I needed to eat. However, I missed eating. It’s what Kyle and I do together in the evenings. It is part of how we bond – we cook and we enjoy our meals together while talking about our days. I needed that comfort and bonding after Monday’s events.

I hate quitting things, it makes me feel like I’ve failed at something but I’m not considering this quitting. I’m going to call this listening to my body and doing what I felt was right at the time. I will still be doing Day 3 – I am planning on consuming the rest of my juices on Tuesday next week but I could not handle Day 3 this week.

Another “feeling” I had was that I didn’t love two of the juices. (As an FYI – I am planning on recapping each of the juices in a post next week for those interested in doing this cleanse.) The two I enjoyed in the morning were wonderful. They were both refreshing and filling. The two I had at night were also amazing but the two I was supposed to “enjoy” during the day were not my favorite. I didn’t have a huge issue with them on Day 1 but by the time Day 2 came around, I could not finish them. They both had celery as a main ingredient and although I like celery covered in peanut butter on its own, in juice form it kind of makes me gag.

Salty juice – disgusting. Let’s save the celery and tomato juice for Bloody Mary’s, okay?

The good thing about the Suja Juice cleanse, however, is that you can customize the juices to your own liking! If I had sampled the juices prior to purchasing, I definitely would have picked some of their other options (they have many more than the 6 for this cleanse) for my midday juices!

Weight Change: I am weighing myself each morning to monitor this part of my cleanse. From the morning of Day 1 to the morning of Day 2, I was down 3.6 pounds. From the morning of Day 2 to the morning of what was supposed to be Day 3, I was down another 1.4 pounds – making that 5 pounds total. I am guessing that if I would have continued this cleanse for 3 consecutive days, I would have “lost” a total of 6 pounds, but, like I said last time – I guarantee this loss is mostly water weight from my indulgent weekend.

If you’re the kinda gal (or guy!) that needs a good number on the scale to help you kick of a diet or a healthy eating lifestyle, I highly recommend this cleanse!

Side Effects: Overall, I had no major side effects on Day 1 or Day 2. Besides seriously missing the action and enjoyment of eating, this cleanse was side effect-free for me!

Juice Review: Coming next week!

So, what are your thoughts? Would you do this cleanse? Do you like celery in juices? Am I a quitter?

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