Love Affair

When I fall in love I fall in love with a new food, I fall in love hard.

I am so excited by the tastiness of something new that I want to include it in every meal!

As evidenced by my new love for Chavrie goat cheese, which I only discovered yesterday, I simply had to include the creamy goodness in my lunch today since our love affair is in full bloom.

Goat Cheese + Broccoli + Pasta

I need to back off from the cheese a bit because I can already feel myself getting a little too attached, clingy and overly obsessed.

I think the $6 price tag on such a small chunk o’ cheese will help prevent this new relationship from becoming a full-fledged addiction.

I included the goat cheese in a pasta bowl with Carba Nada egg fettuccine noodles and steamed broccoli.

Lunch is Served

Noodle Bowl

On the side I enjoyed a small banana.

Nanner

All Together

Lunch was finger lickin’ good (or fork lickin’ good in this case 😉 ).

Now a question for YOU!

What is your most recent food obsession?

Though this goat cheese is definitely my most recent foodie love, my past obsessions have included Monterey Pasta Company’s ravioli, flourless peanut butter cookies, the Pioneer Woman’s sugar cookies, Carba Nada noodles, pumpkin protein pancakes, Babybel cheese, Mochi frozen yogurt, Jimmy John’s sandwiches, and Lindt truffles… to name a few. 😉

How to Handle Exercise Guilt

Three Ingredients = Fantastic Lunch

Noodle Bowl

  1. Carba Nada egg fettuccine pasta
  2. Ragú marinara meat sauce (My favorite since I was a little girl… Did you know it’s all natural??)
  3. Steamed broccoli

Lunch

As you can see, my favorite noodle bowl has returned in full force.

Pre-Lunch Yoga

Since I awoke at 5:30 this morning and skipped my usual workout, I arrived to work very early. This allowed me to check a bunch of things off my to-do list before lunch, and still have time to skirt out of the office for a quick lunchtime yoga class at my gym.

I knew the instructor teaching today’s class typically teaches beginner and light yoga classes, so I figured attending her class would give me the stretching my body has been craving without putting me through an intense workout.

Since I left the gym because my body felt too tired this morning, I didn’t want to put my body through anything too strenuous today. I want to rock my 8-mile run tomorrow and a day off from strength training and cardio is just what the doctor ordered!

I high-tailed it to the gym and did a quick-change in the dressing room.

Quick-Change

Today’s yoga class was perfect.

Usually I like a more challenging yoga class that makes me sweat, but today’s class was light, easy and sweat-free. The instructor lead us through simple poses that gave my body a much-needed stretch.

I felt ten times better afterward!

How to Handle Exercise Guilt

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who struggles with exercise guilt. It sounds like a lot of you guys also grapple with this emotion and have the desire to overcome it. Our bodies need rest and we should enjoy days away from the gym without feeling like we are slacking off.

After reading through your comments (Seriously, I love you guys), I’ve complied a little list of tips on how to handle the emotions associated with exercise guilt (or basically how to justify why we shouldn’t feel guilty in the first place):

  • Taking a day off often makes your next workout a stronger and more powerful one.
  • Rest days give our muscles time to recover and help prevent injury.
  • Our life should be our priority. Sometimes family members, friends or our job require our time and attention more than the gym.
  • If you struggle with doing no activity at all, do something light such as going for a long walk with your dog, thoroughly cleaning your apartment or taking an easy yoga class.
  • Your body knows when it’s had too much. Listen to it. If the thought of running for five minutes or doing one set of bicep curls exhausts you, that may be your body telling you it’s time for a break.
  • If weight gain is your concern, understand that 3,500 calories equal one pound. Your workout likely burns nowhere near that amount, so taking a day off from the gym doesn’t equate instant weight gain.

So tell me… How many days are you taking OFF from the gym this week?

I Love the ’90s

I always prep my lunch the day before. If I don’t assemble it completely, I at least package up what I need and organize it in the fridge so it’s easily accessible in the morning.

I usually pack my lunch as I make dinner. It’s efficient and also distracts me with an activity while dinner is cooking, which helps me avoid mindless snacking.

Last night, I prepped today’s noodle bowl which contained:

  • Carba Nada pasta
  • Ragu meat marinara sauce
  • Steamed fresh broccoli

Noodles + Sauce

Monday's Lunch

The entire bowl came together in less than 10 minutes. Fast and tasty! Perfect-o.

I Love the ’90s

I am a huge fan of music from the ’90s.

Maybe it’s because ’90s jams take me back to fun memories from childhood and high school or maybe it’s because the music is just so darn catchy. Either way, I can’t help but feel a little excited every time I hear a ’90s classic come on the radio.

This weekend Ryan’s mom brought out a big box of Ryan’s old CDs. I think I fell in love with him all over again when I saw him pull out CDs like LaBouche, Alanis Morissette (he denies ever liking this CD), Will Smith, No Doubt, Sister Hazel, Sisqo (I didn’t think anyone actually bought this CD…), 2Pac, TLC, Blackstreet, and more.

My Girl, Alanis

I immediately took a handful of his old CDs and uploaded a billion songs onto my iPod.

Just in case any of you share my intense love for ’90s music, I thought I’d share my latest playlist, comprised completely of ’90s classics:

Of Possible Interest:

Question of the Afternoon

What were some of your favorite ’90s bands or ’90s songs?

Don’t be ashamed to share your intense love for the Backstreet Boys… This is a judgment-free zone (and I’m looking for more ideas of ’90s songs to download 😉 ).

A Most Fitting Giveaway

As I was roasting eggplant for our dinner last night, I made sure to reserve some of the roasted vegetable for my lunch today.

Eggplant + Marinara

My mid-day meal included the eggplant in a noodle bowl  featuring Carba Nada egg fettuccine with marinara sauce and fresh spinach.

Noodle Bowl

Thursday's Lunch!

I used to eat noodle bowls several times a week… What happened? I love these guys! I think they may be making a comeback soon…

Krema & Crazy Richards Peanut Butter Giveaway

Could there be a more appropriate giveaway for this blog???

As demonstrated by the multiple peanut butter fingers of Krema peanut butter I enjoyed this morning, I am quite a fan of Krema and Crazy Richards peanut butter. Both varieties are all-natural with only one ingredient: peanuts!

Exhibit A

Sch-weet, huh?

Not only are these peanut butters good by the spoonful (or fingerful 😉 ) but I’ve also used them in smoothies, sandwiches, and peanut butter stuffed French toast with tasty results.

Now it’s your turn to enjoy your own peanut butter fingers full of this creamy goodness!

The wonderful people at Krema/Crazy Richards Peanut Butter Company have agreed to send three winners a jar of creamy peanut butter and a jar of crunchy peanut butter. Two jars! Woohoo!

To enter this giveaway, please comment telling me about your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter.

(And yes, in a Reese’s peanut butter cup is an acceptable answer. 😉 )

Using Random.org, I will randomly select three winners tomorrow afternoon.

Life in a Musical

I know musicals aren’t for everybody, but one thing’s for sure: They’re for me!

Sing Me a Song

I love the energy and excitement surrounding a musical. I love how watching a musical makes you want to jump on top of your chair and sing!

I often leave musicals wishing my life was a musical.

How cool would that be?

Let’s just say your boss comes in and dumps a whole lot of work in your lap… on a Friday… at 4 p.m. *Cue angry drums and dark lighting!*

Or, on the flip side, your boyfriend calls and tells you he planned a romantic surprise date for you. *Cue light and peppy music, with a romantic melody provided by violins.*

Fun!

Clearly I am getting quite excited for my plans to see Mary Poppins with my mom and sister this evening.

Mary Poppins

I adore the movie and am sure the musical will be just as fantastic. I’ve only heard wonderful things, so I cannot wait to see it for myself.

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” 😀 (Ain’t that the truth?)

Lunch

Lunch was sung to the tune of Carba Nada pasta with steamed cauliflower and marinara sauce.

Noodle Bowl

Bad news. I forgot to sprinkle my noodle bowl with Parmesan cheese. *Cue dark music.*

Where's the Cheese!?

I included a boat-load of cauliflower in my pasta and I am stuffed!

For dessert I had three strawberries that were the size of a small child.

Big Berry

I hope to high-tail it outta work a little on the early side today since I came in early and want to make it to St. Pete in time to drop Sadie off at my parents’ house and head back out to Tampa for the show.

I plan to make a pit stop at Starbucks for a light Frappuccino (which apparently you can now completely customize) en route to St. Pete.

Questions of the Afternoon

Do you like musicals? What musicals have you seen? What is your favorite musical?

Clearly I am a musical fan. I’ve seen quite a few, including:

  • Wicked
  • Legally Blonde: The Musical
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (My all-time favorite!)
  • Mama Mia!
  • Hairspray
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • The Lion King
  • Guys and Dolls