Category Archives: Food

Make this dressing! & weekly workouts

Matt and I had a home date night of sorts last night.  We did lots of cooking after the kids were in bed for the night.  A little bit more elaborate meals, chopping lots of veggies, checking out new recipes – it felt like old times.  We made this dressing last night and I tried in on a salad today.  Wow!  It is wonderful and so fresh.  It is very reminiscent of the tangy ginger dressing at Japanese steakhouses.  So even if long, fancy dinners out are few and far between we can still enjoy some great food.

Zingy Ginger Dressing (barely adapted from this recipe at The Clothes Make the Girl)photo (16)

  • 1/2 cup  olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, to reach your desired consistency. (I only needed to add 1)

Melissa (of The Clothes Make the Girl) recommends you let the dressing sit for at least 10 minutes before eating.  I plan on eating this on salads all week. Let me know if you try it!

It was a strong week of fitness.  My squats are getting deeper and I feel more “me” again.

Monday: Bodypump (woohoo! 5:15am)

Tuesday: am Ran 1 mile and Barre, pm Taught cycle

Wednesday:  Bodypump

Thursday:  Taught a chipper style TRX class.  This was a great one!  I saw one my regulars today and she said she was happily sore.  (I skipped out on the rowing to coach but the ladies seemed to appreciate the extra cardio).  If you don’t have a TRX you could adapt most of these exercises to just use body weight.

100 jump ropes
90 TRX squats
100m row
70 TRX sit-ups
60 TRX mid rows
50 walking lunges
400m row
30 TRX chest presses
20 TRX pull-ups
10 burpess

Friday:  taught cycle

Saturday:  off

Have a great week!

Mexican salad jars and this week’s workouts

It is a beautiful sunny day out…and much too cold for me to brave it outside for a run.  Instead, I have spent lots of time today doing food and meal prep (with my helper, Jack).  The best part of food for the week?  Salad jars, of course!  This one has a bottom layer of roasted red onions, red peppers, and cherry tomatoes.  Second layer is browned beef – top layer is tons of spinach.  After pouring it in a bowl I topped mine with diced avocado, green onion, and cilantro.  Delicious!!

Mexican Salad JarMonday:  “Chipper”
70 sit-ups
60 kettlebell swings
50 box jumps
400 m run
30 ball slams
20 thrusters
10 handstand push-ups (and they were not pretty)

Tuesday:  Taught cycle

Wednesday:  “Tabata This.”  A nice tabata workout that I didn’t have to think about past setting my tabata timer on my phone.  Tabata row, Tabata squat, Tabata (assisted) pull-ups, Tabata push-ups, Tabata sit-ups.  (plus a bonus of Tabata kettlebell swings and Tabata rows)

Thursday:  Row 2 miles and taught TRX

Friday:  Taught cycle

Saturday:  Corecamp with Donnie

 Have a great week!

What I Ate Wednesday (Roasted Veggie Salad Jar)

I like food. I like food a lot. And I like seeing what other people eat.  Here’s a peek into my Wednesday eats courtesy of my phone photos.

Breakfastphoto (13)
Steel cut oats (made in my handy rice cooker) with some blueberries and walnuts
Coffee.  I make my own half-caf mix from The Roasterie’s Betty’s Recipe.  The use Swiss Water Process to make their deccaf which makes me feel better about drinking decaf without lots of chemicals.


Lunchphoto (12)
Fabulous Jar Salad! The bottom is about 2 tablespoons of a homemade balsamic vinaigrette, followed by a layer of roasted brussels sprouts and roasted cauliflower.  Next layer is diced, roasted chicken.  Topped off with lots of yummy spinach and a sprinkling of grated sharp cheddar cheese.

I made a bunch of these up on Sunday and they are seriously great throughout the week.  To roast the veggies – preheat your oven to 400 and toss the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes – 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  And shredding your own cheese results in stickier cheese but is SO delicious!

Latte (honey and cinnamon at the bottom of the cup – my favorite!) in a research group meeting
A handful of trail mix at another meeting

Leftover Italian beef sandwiches on an onion roll, carrots and red pepper slices with hummus.
Followed by some herbal tea — Candycane Lane — my favorite!

Earlier in the week, Jack and I made some muffins.  He calls all muffins, “muffin man.” Kills me every time.  Although I didn’t have any today, I thought about this funny little boy and laughed to myself at my computer.  Jack Muffin Man

Delicious food today!  What was the best thing you ate today?

Yoga and the Zoo

I’m celebrating the end of my first year as a PhD student!  My last paper is done, and I am taking a quick breather before a big week of research.  We’ve had a lot of fun around here lately, with wonderful weather and a really happy toddler.  Our weekends have included strength and yoga at home…with my favorite little person who likes to be involved in everything Matt and I babyAnd a really fun trip to the zoo and park on Saturday.  zooJack hasn’t been to the zoo since he was a “baby.”  Remember this tiny little guy?  IMG_1898Our outings just keep getting more and more fun.  He loved the monkeys and the petting zoo.  We didn’t get a chance to ride the train through the park but he loved yelling “choo choo” when it was finishing for the night.  We followed our zoo time with lots of playing in the park – plenty of time sliding and swinging.  He was such a happy little boy!  We rounded out our easy Saturday with take-out bbq on our way home.  Just smelling bbq again made me feel like I was in Kansas City.

IMG_3599On the food front, not everything was as indulgent as bbq over the last couple of weeks.  Salad jars are still a favorite.  This one featured quinoa, chickpeas, fresh basil, diced cherry tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese all mixed together.  I threw some spinach on top after taking the picture.  It tasted like summer – fresh and delicious!

I hope you’re enjoying beautiful weather and are surrounded by happy people.  Have a great rest of the week!

Two Things Tuesday

This week is all about fall.  We got a light dusting of snow last night, and it was great reminder that winter really is coming and to enjoy all of the beautiful fall days left in the month.  So my “Two Things” this Tuesday are very fall-ish.

1.  OMGoat cheese salad

photo (2)The salad of the week at our house is a combo of red peppers, caramelized onion, black beans, romaine lettuce and a side container of crumbled goat cheese, craisins, and sunflower seeds.  Ah-maaazing!  Roasting the onions and adding dried cranberries really made this salad fall for me.  And the great flavor of goat cheese made salad dressing unnecessary.  I liked it so much I think I am going to repeat next week.

2.  Saturday was warm and sunny, but I was inside for an instructor training for a new ballet barre class at my gym.  My mom came over to play with Jack while I was in training, and as soon as I got out of class we hit the park as a family.  IMG_3021IMG_305120131109_171845Matt and I have a saying we use when Jack gets grumpy.  ”When in doubt, take him out!”  Sometimes he just needs some fresh air and sunshine.  Really – don’t we all need a little more fresh air and sunshine in our lives?  Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Greek Mason Jar Salad

Life has gotten very busy around here.  Having our house on the market has meant less time in the kitchen and more time ensuring the house is in showing shape every time we leave the door.  Spending less time at home hasn’t been all bad though.  Last weekend we were away from the house most of Saturday and Sunday.  We filled those days with 6 month pictures, lots of time at the park, and visiting with friends.  After feeling like Matt and I needed to be very productive during every second at home it was so nice to have an excuse to have to be out of the house and to have lots of family time together.

I skipped making salad jars last week.  I didn’t know that I would miss them as much as I did!  So this weekend I grabbed all of the supplies to re-do my favorite salad in a jar – Greek Salad!  If you’re looking for a salad with more of a cohesive feel this is a great one to try.

I’ve made these with chicken or vegetarian with chickpeas.  Both are excellent!

Greek Mason Jar Salad

IMG_1940It is really important to make sure your jar and all ingredients are dry before layering so you don’t end up with a soggy salad.  I used the wide mouth quart-sized jars.


IMG_1937Marinated, cooked and chopped chicken breast
Pitted green olives
Cucumber, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Pepperoncini peppers
Grape tomatoes
Greek salad dressing
Feta cheese


  1.  Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and cover with Greek Salad dressing.  Bake in an oven at 350 for 30 minutes or until cooked through.  Let cool before dicing into bite-sized pieces.
  2. After all vegetable are washed, cut, chopped and dried layer your salad in this order:
    1. Bottom layer – dressing (seriously – put it on in the jar)
    2. Second layer – all hearty veggies (olives, cucumber, red onion, peppers and tomatoes)
    3. Third layer – chicken (or chickpeas if you are omitting meat)
    4. Last layer – greens.  I typically use a combination of spinach and romaine.
    5. If not eating the salad that day, bring your feta in a separate contatiner to add to the salad before eating.  The first time I made these salads, I put the cheese at the top.  It was acceptable but the cheese had taken on too much moisture by the end of the week salads.

Jack was my helper this weekend.  He kept me company and practiced his percussion skills while I chopped and layered.IMG_2122

If you are meal planning for the upcoming week, make sure to add this to your menu.  What a perfect salad for summer!

Weekend Recap

Is Tuesday night too late for a weekend recap?  Hopefully you won’t find the pictures too out of date.  Our weekend started out great went downhill in a hurry and I am finally feeling like things are returning back to normal.

Jack and I started our 4 day weekend together with a trip to the zoo with our friends, Nina and Meyer. IMG_1892(Isn’t Jack’s little safari hat adorable??)IMG_1897

And Meyer is such a happy guy!  I almost don’t believe his mommy when she says nights are a little rough.  IMG_1898IMG_1903

And we met up (unpictured) with friends Emily and David for happy hour.  Although Jack was a good sport I know our days of having (relatively) easy dinners out are numbered.  Once he gets more mobile we will have to have some sitters for sure.

We had family workout time on Saturday and did lots of little home projects.  And we played lots of games with Jack like how fast can Jack kick, peek-a-boo, and “this little piggy.”  He was also much more interested in books this weekend and likes to help turn the pages, and likes trying to put the book in his mouth.

Sunday morning was a little rough with more wake-ups than usual, but seemed promising when Jack decided to sleep until 8am.  He wasn’t super smiley but sometimes he is a little more reserved in the morning (like Matt).  Thank goodness not everyone is smiling and talkative at 5am!  Jack and I went to the grocery store and when he didn’t get even the littlest bit excited about our pineapple purchase I knew he was really off.   Pineapples are really his thing, you see.  He can turn his head exorcist-style to check ours out at home (slight exaggeration but you get the point).  He had a slight fever and some coughing so we took him into the pediatrician.  (How wonderful is it that we can get a last minute appointment on a Sunday afternoon?!)  And she diagnosed him with his first ear infection.  Matt and I felt so bad for the little guy.  He never got to the point of screaming or lots of crying so I’m glad we didn’t wait out the weekend to go see his doctor.  So the rest of Sunday and Monday involved lots and lots of cuddling.  He didn’t want put down, and his doctor said to make sure to give lots of liquids, which is breastmilk at this stage of his life so he and I spent lots and lots of time together.  I think we were both exhausted!

Monday afternoon Jack and I went for a run together and he seemed to really turn around.  He gave his big smiles again and was excited to play with his toys in the afternoon.  I think that run saved my sanity and got us both in better moods.

This weekend was not like Matt and my Memorial Day weekends of the past.  No drinks at the pool, no long run at the park, but there was some good food.

Nutella Banana Bread – Gone at the end of the weekend.  Very good!  I’ll share the recipe soon.


Matt used my rice cooker to make wonderful cinnamon apple steel cut oats.  Seriously one of the best breakfasts ever.  He put everything in the rice cooker the night before and set the timer to be ready at 7am and we woke up to a wonderful smelling breakfast. IMG_1909

I also used my crockpot to roast a small half turkey breast for turkey quesadillas and turkey sandwiches this week.  Very easy – put the turkey breast (bone in) half in the crockpot and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot.  I seasoned the bird with lots of red pepper, black pepper, and some sea salt.  Turn the crockpot on high for one hour and then on low for an additional 3 hours.  Juicy, perfect turkey breast done!  (adjust cooking times if you roast the whole breast)

And, of course, the salad jars for the week:IMG_1917

Layered, in this order starting from the bottom of the jar:
2 Tbsp Italian dressing
A handful of chopped bell peppers
*A new addition* chopped and roasted sweet potatoes (a great addition)
Spinach and romaine
Grated Swiss cheese

I taught a great spin class tonight and need to get myself to bed to get up for another great spin class early tomorrow morning.  Hope your week is off to a great start!  Any suggestions of something to use my crockpot for next week?  I think crockpots are even better in the summer because you don’t have to heat up your whole kitchen to do some cooking.

Why I Love the Rain and Other Weekend Info

I hope your week is off to a great start and that you feel refreshed after the weekend.  Last week was a little draining and made me enjoy my weekend even more than usual.  Jack and I spent a lot of time outside on Friday.  It was his first time to play on a blanket in the yard and the first time to feel grass on his little tootsies.  He was one happy baby!IMG_1829

Saturday started with morning cuddles before heading off to teach spin class.  I had a woman stay after class to say she came to my last class before Jack was born and that the class changed her perspective on fitness.  She was viewing exercise as just another thing to check off the list, but got a kick out of seeing how much fun I seemed to be having even with a belly full of baby.  What a great feeling to be able to have a positive influence on someone!  It is easy to take our bodies and our abilities for granted.  There are plenty of people side-lined out there who would love to be able to have your capabilities.  Being able to move your body is a gift.  Get a smile on your face and get going!

The rest of our Saturday involved grocery shopping with my sidekick, HopFest with friends, plenty of laundry and a graduation party.  Sunday started with jogging with(out) Jack before Jack’s BFF, Meyer’s, baptism party.  What cute boys!IMG_1860

Sunday continued with more picture taking and lots of family time.IMG_1850




During his last nap of the day, Matt and I chatted, chopped and put together these salad jars for the week:

IMG_1883Quinoa/Lentil/Chickpeas Mason Jar Salads

Bottom layer: Italian dressing
Next layer:  chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped bell peppers
Next layer:  lentils and quinoa mix
Next layer:  chickpeas
Next layer:  spinach and romaine lettuce
Final layer:  sharp cheddar cheese

This has been my favorite salad so far!  I love, love, love cold quinoa and lentils on my salad.  It is always my go-to at the salad bar at Whole Foods.  I cooked the lentils and quinoa together in my new rice cooker.  I think I’m in love with this appliance…after I experiment more I will give some details.

I saved the best for last (at least by my new standards).  I am making an effort to live in the moment and slow down to enjoy the little things.  Time is going by so quickly, and I am reminded of this fact every time I look at Jack.  Sunday was his first big rainstorm.  Matt, Jack and I stood in the door and let the wind hit us as we watched the rain together.   He kept turning around to look at us with his eyes and his mouth open as if to say, “Do you guys see this?!”  I think I was as thrilled to watch Jack’s reaction as he was to see the rain falling.

I hope your week brings many happy small moments and the ability to slow down and enjoy them!

Hi, Again!

Another week gone incredibly fast.  I am sitting on the couch drinking decaf cinnamon vanilla coffee right now.  We have no sweets in the house (on purpose, I suppose) and I am trying to satisfy my sweet tooth with some good spices in the coffee.  Its good, but a cookie would be even better!

Here’s what’s been going on with me this week:

We celebrated our first Mother’s Day together.  I was spoiled by my boys all weekend with love and gifts.  Jack did his best to wake us up super early on Sunday to make sure we were the at the door when our favorite breakfast spot, Succotash, opened.  IMG_1794IMG_1792

I am pretty big into liquids apparently and had water, coffee and my favorite juice, the Lawnmower (cucumber, celery, green apple, spinach and lime) all at the table.  I was so inspired that I bought all of the ingredients to make my juice at home this week…still hasn’t happened but hopefully I’ll make the time for juicing tomorrow.

Sunday also included a nice family walk.  How cute are Jack’s baby sunglasses?!  He tolerates them really well and loves walks.  Matt asked me if I think walks are like TV for him.  He zones out a little and is very entertained.  What do you think?stroller

This week included some good (unpictured) workouts.  I subbed a spin class at City Gym tonight and am teaching again Saturday morning.  Workouts were a little cardio heavy this week, so my 545am TRX class with Jenny tomorrow will be a needed change for my body.

Eats were a little repetitive but good this week. IMG_1804 Jar salads from the week were layers of: raspberry vinaigrette dressing, cucumbers, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, black beans, romaine lettuce, spinach, and sharp cheddar cheese.  Two of the jars have a boiled egg in addition to all of the other good stuff.   Matt took two days of salads this week too.  I made some mini turkey spinach meatloaves and had lots of leftovers for dinners.  Good enough dinner but not really recipe worthy.  Tomorrow morning I hope to do some menu planning so that I can go grocery shopping early in the weekend.  Any suggestions of something that you made recently that was especially good?  I need some inspiration!

Kale Chips

Jack apparently had a very hungry day.  His teacher called to ask if it would be ok to thaw some milk to give him in addition to his usual servings.  We all have hungry days, and I figure if Jack is having hungrier than normal day there is nothing better for him than an extra feed of the most complete food he can eat.  (And some fresh air on a walk)2013-05-07 18.27.01

Similarly, on my hungry days when I need quantity I try to go for a nutrient dense food like greens.  Greens that stand in for chips? Even better.  We are pretty big on kale chips around my house.  Preparing them is really easy and this is barely a recipe but is definitely worth sharing.

Kale Chips


  • A big bunch of kale.  Fresh kale really cooks up when baked so make sure you are generous and fill the baking sheet.
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash kale and remove any of the tougher stalks.
  3. Dry kale thoroughly.
  4. Place kale on baking sheet with an edge.  Drizzle kale with olive oil.  Matt is more generous with his pours but make sure you aren’t too generous so that the kale gets soggy.
  5. Sprinkle kale with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  6. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until lightly crisped.  Keep an eye on them the first time you bake to get a gauge on your oven.  These chips can burn easily!