Weekend Warrior


The Brie cheese we bought yesterday at Whole Foods may be the stinkiest cheese I’ve even encountered.

Stinky Brie

The rank stench isn’t enough to put me off though, and the pungent cheese was the highlight of my lunch today.

For your viewing pleasure…

Brie + Apple Sandwich

I made myself a Brie and apple sandwich on honey wheat Pepperidge Farm deli flat bread.

On the side, I enjoyed a pop of color in the form of grape tomatoes and a sliced carrot from the farmer’s market.

Pop 'o' Color

Fruit (apple, tomato) + Veggies (carrot) + Protein (cheese) + Fat (cheese) + Whole Grains (bread) = Well rounded meal

Monday's Lunch

Weekend Warrior

As you may have noticed from my posts this weekend (namely the three-dessert extravaganza on Saturday night), I tend to indulge more than usual on the weekends.

By indulge I don’t mean I have an extra cookie or two… I really indulge, and sometimes eat so many sweets that I feel ill from all the sugar.

This doesn’t make me feel guilty, because it isn’t something I do daily, but it is something I’m becoming increasingly aware of.

Since I don’t deprive myself during the week, I know my weekend indulgences are not brought on by depravation or cravings, but rather by opportunity.

On the weekend, I find myself eating out more often, attending a BBQ at a friend’s house, or engaging in other activities where unhealthy food is available and often the center of the activity.

This realization prompted me to brainstorm some tips to help myself maintain my healthy eating on the weekends, which I thought I would share with you below:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast: Start your day on the right foot by eating a breakfast that includes healthy carbs, fat and protein.
  • Take time for snacks: I am often busier on the weekends and won’t eat my mid-morning or afternoon snacks like I normally do during the weekdays. Make it a point to eat your snack to avoid extreme hunger (and possible overindulgence) come mealtime.
  • Assess your surroundings: If you’re truly at a special event (like a wedding), indulge (but don’t overindulge) in something special (like wedding cake). If the event is a routine BBQ or a simple get-together with friends, don’t use it as an excuse to down copious amounts of chips and dip.
  • Fit in fitness: My days off from the gym put me in lazy-Julie mode. Even on rest days, get out of the house and go for a walk to remind yourself that healthy-living occurs on days away from the gym as well.
  • Keep your hands busy: I tend to head into the kitchen when I’m hanging out around the house simply because I like to be doing something. Watching TV or a movie can make me antsy. Keep your hands busy with something else (file your nails, pet your dog, exchange hand massages with your boyfriend, flip through a magazine) while watching TV to avoid the urge to wander into the kitchen.

Do you struggle with healthy eating on the weekends? What are your tips for maintaining healthy eating habits over the weekend?


I’ve been rethinking some things today…

First, before lunch I met up with my friends Merri and Laurel at the pool by Laurel’s apartment to soak up some sun and catch up.

My Friend Merri, the Bathing Beauty

Both Merri and Laurel are running in the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon with me on August 1 and started their training last week. Initially, I figured I would follow Hal Higdon’s training plan, which requires two decent runs a week, along with one long run.

Then, I began considering shortening my running days to one run on Tuesdays, followed by a long run over the weekend so I could continue to take BodyPump Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and also take a yoga class on Thursdays and fit a rest day in on Saturday or Sunday.

Though I am excited to run in the half, I just want to finish the race and I am not worried about my time in the least.  I want to finish strong though and feel adequately prepared, so after rethinking my plan, I am going to try to make running part of my workout three times a week, but I won’t beat myself up if I feel like missing a day for yoga or cross training instead.

Hal Higdon’s plan worked for me back in 2007 when I ran my first half, so I suppose sticking to his plan again is a pretty safe bet! 🙂

Snack + Lunch

Post pool time, I came home and enjoyed a snack of Brie cheese and whole wheat crackers with Ryan.

Brie + Crackers

We bought the cheese at Whole Foods after church this morning, and booooy is it a stinky wedge!

I really filled up on the cheese and crackers combo (I think I easily ate three-plus servings), so I wasn’t very hungry when lunchtime rolled around.

I wanted to try the Wanchai Ferry Beef & Broccoli frozen entrée I received to sample from Wanchai Ferry through MyBlogSpark, so I cooked it up to share with Ryan.



After looking at the slew of ingredients and nutritional information, I must admit this is not a product I would purchase on my own. Flavor-wise it was very tasty, but the long list of ingredients, white rice (I prefer brown) and less-than-stellar nutritional stats would deter me from buying it for myself.

Ryan, on the other hand, really loved it! 😀

Beef, Broccoli, Rice

Snack #2

Though my cheese and cracker snack sustained me through lunchtime, around 2:30 p.m., I started to get a little hungry again.

I made myself a protein frosty, following Janetha’s recipe.

Protein Frosty

It was really delicious but took a while to make because my blender struggled to chop down all the ice!

Rethinking Bridesmaid Dress Color

On to the second thing I am rethinking today…

This afternoon, Ryan came with me to the bridal boutique where I found the bridesmaid dress I like.

Bridesmaid Dreess Number One Contender

(You may see a picture of my sister in the dress here.)

I wanted to check out the color swatches for the dress one last time before fully committing to the cashmere/champagne color I love.

Though Ryan liked the dress itself, he seemed a little unsure about the color. When I described the color as “champagne” he thought that color was a light pink. Ehhh, not really. 😉

Ryan said he “trusts my vision,” but his reaction to the color is making me rethink my choice at the moment. I think the cashmere color is classy and timeless, but I want my groom to like it too! I picture the color with our flowers and color scheme (yellow, gold, ivory, white, wheat) and think it could look gorgeous. (Here’s an example.)

Ryan and I looked over some swatches and both liked the maize color, which was basically a muted yellow, so I am considering changing the dress color to that. We’ll see! I’ve got some thinkin’ to do!


Post-bridesmaid dress dilemma, we headed next door to The Fresh Market to pick up a couple of whole wheat baguettes to use for our meatball subs for dinner.

The Fresh Market

While there, we also picked up a kitchen sink cookie to share on the way home, but that was gobbled up so fast that it eluded any photographs.

Once home, we straightened up the apartment for a bit before getting to work in the kitchen.

I used Quorn meatless meatballs as the base for our meatball subs, and smothered them in marinara sauce before topping the subs with lots of mozzarella cheese and placing them in the oven to get all ooey-gooey.

Quorn Meatballs

Balls 'n' Bread

Meatball Subs


Dinner is Served

Dinner was delish and suuuuper easy. Ryan and I both agreed this lil’ combo will be recreated again soon. 😀


I’m in a baking mood. I see some homemade treats in my future… Off to browse some recipes!

I hope you’re all enjoying the last little bit of the weekend. 😀

A Not-So-Intense Workout

This morning I woke up in the mood to stay in bed and read the first Percy Jackson book.

Percy Jackson

I knew I’d be kicking myself later if I didn’t get at least a semi-decent workout in, so I picked up my book and headed to the gym.

I told myself I could just take it easy on the stationary bike and read my book the whole time if I wanted to.

Of course, once I made it to the gym, I wanted to make my workout worthwhile, so I hopped from machine to machine and completed this cardio routine:

Magically I was able to read my book almost the entire time and nearly made it through 100 pages! (This should tell you something about the intensity of my workout though… 😉 )

Sometimes you need an easy-peasy workout!


When I was done with my workout, I came home and took Sadie on a short walk before fixin’ breakfast.

I really enjoyed the taste of Brie in my lunch yesterday and incorporated the yummy cheese into my morning meal to start the day off on a yummy note.

Melted Brie

I made a Brie and apple sandwich on a lightly toasted Nature’s Own whole wheat sandwich round using a perfectly ripe apple that I bought at The Fresh Market on Tuesday.

Brie + Apple

Ooey Gooey

Fruit and cheese are a match made in heaven.

Question of the Day

How do you get yourself to the gym on days when you’re just not feelin’ it?

First Time on Your Own: Healthy Food Ideas

Sadie called me at work after seeing my post this morning and was highly embarrassed that my blog not only featured a picture of her poppin’ a squat, but also showcased her doggie booty for the world to see.

She requested that I post a more flattering picture of her, and since I fear the wrath of Sadie, I had to oblige.

Much Better

Now that that’s out of the way and I don’t have to worry about our apartment being covered in drool and feces, let’s move on to lunch, shall we?


After my appointment at the bridal boutique last night, I headed next door to browse around at The Fresh Market.

I stumbled upon Brie cheese for the reasonable price of $4 and picked some up to enjoy throughout the week.

Oh Brie, how I love thee.

I incorporated approximately 1.5 ounces of the cheese in a broccoli barley bowl for lunch today.

Barley + Broccoli + Brie

Three “B” Bowl!

Eat Up, Buttercup


For dessert I had a small brownie.

Frosted Brownies

I made a small pan of brownies for the guy at work who helped me format our save the dates and had to sample one before they were devoured by the office freegans.

Healthy Food Ideas for Your First Time on Your Own

Last night my sister, Leslie, called me because she recently moved into an apartment for the summer and is now faced with the task of preparing her own meals for the first time in her life.


Leslie lives in her sorority house during the school year where the girls have all of their meals prepared for them, so though my sister will be a senior in college next year, this is the first time she’s been responsible for preparing her own breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. (Hello longest sentence ever!)

Leslie said she felt completely clueless as to what to make and since she wants to make healthy choices, she found herself eating plain, boring “rabbit” food because she didn’t know how to prepare simple, healthy dinners for herself.

I know exactly how she feels because when I graduated college and was faced with making my own meals for the first time, my entrées of choice were often Lean Cuisines, oatmeal or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I didn’t know where to begin!

We started brainstorming on the phone last night and I came up with the following ideas for simple, yet healthy meals she can prepare on a tight budget:


  • Oatmeal with various add-ins (nuts, fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips)
  • Whole wheat waffles topped with bananas or sweetened ricotta cheese
  • Whole wheat or protein pancakes
  • Greek yogurt with granola, berries or nuts
  • Eggs or an omelet with veggies and cheese and with whole wheat toast
  • Egg sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and fruit
  • Smoothies with yogurt (or protein powder), frozen fruit, milk and ice cubes

Lunch and Dinner

  • Whole wheat pasta or ravioli beefed up with lots of steamed veggies
  • Tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwiches with sliced green pepper or cucumber on the side
  • Sloppy joes with lean ground beef
  • Baked potato or sweet potato with cheese and veggies
  • Tacos or taco salad
  • Grilled cheese and vegetable soup
  • BBQ meatloaf
  • English muffin pizzas
  • Flatbread pizza topped with lots of veggies
  • Breakfast for dinner (see above options)
  • Lean chicken sausage with peppers

Some of the ideas listed above may yield portions that are much too large for one person, so I suggested that my sister freeze the remainders of dishes such as sloppy joes or BBQ meatloaf to thaw and enjoy another time.

What were your eating habits like when you were first responsible for making your own meals? If you’re still in school, what are you eating habits like right now?

Noodle Bowl + Top Baby Names

Only one noodle bowl for lunch this week? What is up with me!?

At least I got it it in before the week was over!

Veggies + Cheese + Noodles

Today’s pasta surprise contained:

  • Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles
  • Roased eggplant
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Steamed cauliflower
  • 1 oz. Brie cheese
  • One Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese wedge

Noodle Bowl

Close Up

It was a cheesy veggie delight!

I have never tried Brie cheese in a pasta dish and it really stood out against the veggies and the noodles. Brie is the BEST!

Also, thank you to those of your who let me know that the “coating” (as I called it) on the outside of Brie cheese is known as the rind when I mentioned it the other day. Apparently I’m quite French since I like it eat the rind like they do. ; )

Oui, oui!

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Top Baby Names

According to a new article released by the Associated Press, Isabella and Jacob are the top baby names of 2009. (Twilight, anyone!?)

Here are the top 10 boy and girl names of 2009:

(Courtesy of the Dept. of Social Security)

What are your favorite boy and girl names from the top 10?

From the top 10, I’d have to say my favorites are Jacob and Emma. So original! 😉