Cilantro: A Polarizing Herb

I love combining strong, flavorful cheese with tart apple slices.

Apple + Cheese

What a winning combination!

Today’s lunch featured a Granny Smith apple and Muenster cheese sandwich that I enjoyed along with leftover roasted asparagus.

Salty + Sweet + Tart

Asparagus

The leftover asparagus was oh-so-tasty!

I know I’ve touched on the asparagus and stinky pee connection previously, but did you know that cilantro is another one of those funky foods that affects people differently?

According to The New York Times, the herb tastes like soap to some people. These people, according to studies conducted by Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, “may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro.”

Interesting, huh?

Let’s Get To Know Each Other A Little Better…

So tell me…

  • Does asparagus make your pee stink?
  • Do you hate cilantro?

Meatball Madness

Things got a little meaty tonight after our evening walk with Sadie.

meatballs 003

I tackled my first attempt at homemade meatballs!

To make the meatballs, I combined the following:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs

To make the fresh whole wheat bread crumbs, I pulsated 1.5 whole wheat Arnold sandwich thins in the food processor, which yielded one cup of bread crumbs.

I added the crumbs to the bowl with the meat and spices and combined everything using my hands. I then rolled the meaty mixture into little balls.

I dropped the meatballs on a cooking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and placed them in my 400-degree oven for 15 minutes until they were firm and cooked through.

I topped roasted asparagus with several meatballs and a helping of marinara sauce before digging in.

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meatballs 005 

meatballs 010

Pretty darn delicious!

Thank goodness I had a tasty dinner to enjoy this evening because my night also included something not-so-fun.

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Let me just say that washing a big-ass comforter and then hanging it up to dry (wet comforters are heavy!) is a huge pain in the tookus. The front of my t-shirt was soaked by the time I got that big thing over that little bar to dry out.

I think I earned my dessert tonight.

I’m off to eat some chocolate!

Moderation Nation

Wanna know something that will probably make me seem a little looney?

Nearly all of my lunchtime pictures are taken either the night before or right after I eat my morning breakfast. I almost always assemble my lunch and then pack it all up to enjoy at work every day.

Today I forgot to snap photos of my lunch in the morning, so please enjoy these office lunch photos!

The Real Deal

This is the real Peanut Butter Fingers. 😉

(Does anyone else remember the old “Diary” shows that would detail a celebrity’s “real life” on MTV? This is the diary of Peanut Butter Fingers…)

Today’s lunch included a Muenster cheese bagelwich with leftover roasted asparagus and a sliced green pepper (most of which was consumed pre-photos).

Best Part of the Meal

I forgot how tasty Muenster cheese is… I must enjoy this cheese more often!

Roasted Asparagus

Green Pep

And this concludes the desk-side lunch show. 😉

Moderation Nation

If there’s one thing that I hear over and over again in the healthy living blog world, it’s that moderation is the key when it comes to diet, exercise and living a healthy life.

Want a cookie? Eat it… but not the whole batch.

Want to maintain an exercise routine? Work out often, but give yourself at least one day off from the gym a week to avoid burnout and allow your body to recover.

Want to be a healthy eating superstar? Incorporate lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and healthy fats into your diet, but don’t deny yourself indulgent foods every once in a while. One small brownie a day is a-okay.

The whole “everything in moderation” mentality has been touted by nutrition and fitness experts for years.

This morning I read an article on ThatsFit.com that introduced a new resource offered by the American Dietetic Association and the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition.

Moderation Nation

The program, called Moderation Nation, will allow adults aged 18 and older to receive a free visit (via mail-in rebate) with an ADA registered dietitian (up to $250 value).

According to the Moderation Nation website, the initiative will allow people to take advantage of services offered by registered dietitians, including:

  • A personalized approach to dietary advice and weight management, because one size does not fit all
  • Importance of eating a variety of foods from every group – in balance and in moderation
  • Pay attention to calorie consumption
  • Understand how healthy eating and physical activity are both important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Kinda cool, huh?

Tonight I have plans to attend a nutrition seminar after work. I absolutely love learning anything and everything I can about food, fitness and healthy living and think Moderation Nation will be a valuable resource for many.

To me, this initiative is a great way to jump start healthy living for people who may feel overwhelmed or lost when it comes to eating healthy foods or beginning an exercise routine. Hopefully meeting with a professional will allow many to learn more about their bodies and  their needs and get even more people to hop aboard the healthy-living train.

Choo, chooooo! 😀

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Have you ever met with a dietitian, nutritionist or personal trainer? Did you find it helpful?
  • Would you want to meet with a dietitian?

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literally

Today was a day for cheeeeeese!

Lunch included a melted Swiss cheese and roasted red pepper hummus sandwich on my second honey wheat sandwich thin of the day… I love these things!

Cheese + Hummus Sandwich

Tuesday's Lunch

On the side I enjoyed garlic roasted asparagus.

Asparagus

I’m gettin’ ready for some stinky pee!

If you are one of the people who experience stinky pee after eating asparagus, this little tidbit from MSNBC may be of interest to you:

“Asparagus contains a sulfur compound called mercaptan. It is also found in onions, garlic, rotten eggs, and in the secretions of skunks. The signature smell occurs when this substance is broken down in your digestive system. Not all people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan, so some of you can eat all the asparagus you want without stinking up the place.”

So, who else out there has the stinky pee enzyme? 😉

I know it’s not just me and this lil’ guy:

Baby Skunk

(And yes I did just use stinky pee as an excuse for a cute baby animal picture. 🙂 )

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I bet you thought the (wildly inappropriate and wildly awesome) version of Total Eclipse of the Heart from Old School was the most entertaining version of the song out there, didn’t you?

Enter the literal interpretation of the Total Eclipse of the Heart music video:

I think I smiled the entire time I watched this video!

Race Time Predictor

This weekend I discovered something. I do not particularly like regular hummus. Blasphemy, huh?

I think it’s bland and needs a little “oomph” to taste good. What I do love, however, is flavored hummus!

My lunch today featured a combination of roasted red pepper and jalepeño cilantro hummus on a whole wheat sandwich thin with portobello mushrooms.

Lunch Time

Hummus & Mushroom Sandwich + Roasted Asparagus

On the side I enjoyed roasted asparagus, sugar-free strawberry Jello and a handful of Planters honey roasted peanuts.

I ❤ Peanuts!

Lunch was gooooood.

Race Time Predictor

Have you run a 5k or other running race recently or timed yourself on your latest run?

Keep that time in your head, and click here to enter it into a “Race Time Predictor” to check out your predicted time for other races, including a half marathon, marathon and 100 mile race! 😀

Pretty neat, huh?

Do you think the Race Time Predictor is accurate?

I think it’s a pretty decent tool and it seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting my times for various race distances.

For me, my pace is pretty similar whether I run a 5k or 10k race… I don’t run for time and literally tell myself to “slow down and enjoy the experience” when I run in a race. Still, I think the race predictor is pretty neat. Based on my last 5 mile race time, I should finish Saturday’s 10k race in 54:22. We’ll see if it’s accurate!

Veggiefied

My lunch today was totally veggiefied!

Tuesday's Lunch

I topped a whole wheat sandwich thin with roasted red pepper hummus and portobello mushrooms.

On the side I nibbled on cauliflower and asparagus, roasted with garlic salt. It was d-to-the-e-to-the-l-i-c-i-o-u-s (Black Eyed Peas, anyone? 😉 ).

My Plate

Hummus and Mushroom Sandwich with Roasted Veggies

Sadie may be one of the biggest veggie lovers I know. I snapped this picture of her giving me the “feed me” look as I was packing my lunch today.

"Feed Me!"

Here’s a fun little information nugget: Sadie’s favorite vegetable is broccoli.

Morning Snack

My morning snack was a cheese-tastic microwaved quesadilla.

'Dilla

Easy snacks are my favorite and microwaving a Colby jack string cheese stick on a whole wheat tortilla is pretty darn easy. Why is melted cheese so much better than cold cheese?

How Old is Too Old

Question for you meat experts out there… Is it dangerous to eat chicken that’s one day past the “sell by” date? If it’s just gross, I’m okay with that, but I don’t want Ryan and I to keel over after dinner tonight.

I put my 2/21/10 chicken in the crock pot this morning and it smelled okay… but does that make it okay?

Do you always toss food that’s past expiration?

For me, I toss food depending on the type of food and the smell. Old milk – in the garbage! Old cereal – in my bowl! 😉

🙂

Ravioli in a Flash

You guys gave me a ton of amazing ideas for songs to download through your comments about first dance wedding songs! I am going to be working out to a whole bunch o’ love music! 😀

Dinner

Ryan and I took Sadie to the dog park for about an hour after work, so we weren’t in the mood to wait around for dinner to cook by the time we got back home.

Enter: Ravioli!

Lobster Ravioli

Monterey Pasta Company makes a ton of different kinds of ravioli, all of which I love, but I think the lobster ravioli is my favorite, followed closely by the spinach ricotta ravioli. 

As the pasta was boiling, I roasted some asparagus and cauliflower and sautéed portobello mushrooms.

Roasted Asparagus

I topped the ravioli and veggies with Emeril’s roasted garlic pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Ravioli Bowl

Stirred Up

 Mmm, mmm good.

Pre-Workout Snack

My friend Minda recently asked me about pre-workout snacks and what foods to eat before a workout. For me, I cannot eat anything within an hour of working out because my body cramps up so easily.

What do you eat before you workout?

Ideally, I like to munch on something about 90 minutes before a workout. My favorite pre-workout snacks are an apple with peanut butter or string cheese melted on a whole wheat tortilla.

Since I typically wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get to the gym by 5:45 a.m., I don’t eat anything before I work out most weekdays. I’ve tried to eat many different food combinations before my weekday workout, but time and time again I get terrible cramps and my workout suffers… and I’m not about to wake up at 4 a.m. just to eat a snack to fuel my workout!

I’ve read numerous articles saying it’s terrible to workout first thing in the morning without eating… and then I’ve read numerous others saying this is a great thing to do. I honestly do it because it works for me and for my body. Still, if given the option (aka a wake-up time after 7 a.m.), I definitely prefer a light snack about 90 minutes before my workout.

Here’s some advice from FitSugar.com about the subject that I thought was pretty decent:

“Your car won’t run without fuel, so why should you? About 30 to 90 minutes before hitting the gym, make sure to eat an easily digestible snack that’s 40 to 100 grams of carbs with a low amount of fat. It’s a good idea to keep the fiber content to a minimum since high fiber foods can be difficult to digest. Toast with nut butter, a banana, cheese with a couple crackers, or yogurt are great pre-workout choices. Definitely don’t chow down right before your workout as that can result in tummy issues as well.”

$10 Gift Card to Bahama Breeze

You know I love a good coupon!

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Also, clap your hands for this restaurant for actually posting their nutritional information online. Loooove it when restaurants do that!