French Toast Strips

Have you ever tried French toast sticks? The fried French toast-like sticks they offer at Burger King and often serve at breakfast buffets? Well, they’re pretty darn delicious, but also pretty terrible for you from a nutritional standpoint.  

Today I created my own French toast sticks… but they were more like French toast strips. 😉  

They tasted nothing like French toast sticks, but were still tasty in their own right and were made with nutritious ingredients. That’s gotta count for something, right?  

I made my French toast strips by pulling apart lavash bread (you could also do this with a whole wheat tortilla) and dunking it in a mixture of egg beaters and cinnamon before cooking the strips on the griddle.  

Egg Beaters + Cinnamon

 

While the French toast strips were cooking, I combined 1/4 cup of cottage cheese with 1/4 cup of frozen raspberries and a dash of Almond Breeze almond milk. I used my immersion blender to blend everything together to create a creamy, fruity filling.  

Raspberries + Cottage Cheese

 

Pink!

 

Once the French toast strips were done, I spread the filling in between the strips, sprinkled them with nutmeg and smothered the strips in syrup.  

French Toast Strips

 

French Toast Strips with Raspberry Filling

 

The Finishing Touches: Nutmeg + Syrup

 

I love weekday breakfasts that remind me of weekend breakfasts! They make me happy.  

This particular breakfast actually reminded me a lot of my raspberry ricotta stuffed French toast. Deeelish! 

Workout 

Before breakfast, I headed outside with Sadie for a 5.25 mile run.  

On our run we saw lots of baby ducklings and goslings. It’s definitely spring!  

The weather in Central Florida is still great for running and I hope it doesn’t get too hot too fast.  

What is your ideal temperature?  

I think mine is somewhere between 78 and 80 degrees. I like it nice and warm, but not sweltering.

Not So Ugly Duckling

I had company on my walk with Sadie this morning!

Ryan + Sadie + the Sun

Since Ryan has every other Friday off work, he joined me on my morning trek with the pup!

Wake Up, Orlando!

I was nice to have someone to talk to other than Sadie who typically just looks up at me with a look that says, “Could ya walk a little faster? The squirrels are getting away!”

All around the lake we walked Sadie around this morning, there are many different birds, including ducks, anhingas and even swans.

Pretty Biiiird

These birds are brave. As a puppy Sadie learned not to mess with them. They’re very comfortable around people (almost too comfortable) because people come out to the lake daily to feed them.

Even the squirrels are brave little soldiers. They will literally take a peanut right out of your hand… Not that I would ever try that myself.

I love it when baby birds start hatching around the lake and there are little ducklings, cygnets (That’s the name for a baby swan… Yeah, I Googled it) and goslings tottering around. They’re adorable and are definitely not ugly ducklings!

(Just FYI, the name for a male swan is a “cob” and a female swan is a “pen.” Stop by Peanut Butter Fingers… You just might learn something! 😉 )

Breakfast

After our chilly walk, I was ready for breakfast!

Last night after dinner, I made another batch of chocolate protein pancakes so I could reheat them and have breakfast in a flash this morning.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes

I topped the ‘cakes with frozen raspberries that I heated up briefly in the microwave before adding some syrup on top of everything.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes + Raspberries + Syrup

Breakfast

The raspberry/chocolate combination was delish.

I’m excited for lunch today because I have a lunch date planned with Ryan! Yay for day dates! 🙂

Do you eat lunch at work/home or do you go out for lunch most days?

Salmon Burger Bonanza

My lunch today was quite fishy… Fishy Friday! 😀

I had a SeaPak salmon burger on a whole wheat sandwich thin with dill dijonaise and portobello mushrooms.

Fishy Lunch

I made the dijonaise with light Miracle Whip, dijon mustard and dill. It added a nice touch of creaminess to my  sandwich.

Dill Dijonaise

I also enjoyed carrot sticks and pickles on the side.

Yum, Yum

Because my sweet tooth just wouldn’t be satisfied after a savory lunch, I also packed a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt that I topped with thawed frozen raspberries to have for dessert.

Raspberries + Yogurt

Oh-So-Colorful

I love the vibrant color the raspberries add to a simple yogurt cup. Tasty, tasty.

Weekend Plans

This weekend is going to be full o’ fun!

Friday:

  • Going to see Valentine’s Day (movie) with girls from work
  • Dinner (pizza!) with Ryan
  • Sort through clothes to give to Goodwill

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • Church
  • Ryan’s soccer game
  • Mall
  • Drive to Winter Haven to look at scuba gear

Should be a fun and busy weekend!

What are you most looking forward to this weekend?

Weighing What’s Important

Wedding thoughts in un momento

First, breakfast!

Today I had another yogurt and barley breakfast bowl (yes, I’m in love), but instead of using thawed frozen strawberries in the bowl like I did yesterday, I stirred in thawed frozen raspberries. I’m so adventurous, I know.

Raspberries + Yogurt

Raspberry Barley Breakfast Bowl

If you’ve never enjoyed barley in a sweet dish and have only had it in soups or savory meals, please give this a try. It’s chewy, slightly nutty and so delicious!

Workout

My workout today was sweat-tastic! I did 35 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 15 minutes on the elliptical with OK! magazine. I love my celebrity gossip!

My 35 minute treadmill workout looked like this:

  • Min. 1 – 15: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 15: 1.0 incline, 7.5 pace
  • Min. 16: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 17: 1.0 incline, 7.5 pace
  • Min. 18: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 19: 1.0 incline, 8.0 pace
  • Min. 20 – 25: 1.0 incline, 6.5 pace
  • Min. 25 – 35: 7.5 incline, 4.2 pace

I broke it up into three segments: steady state cardio followed by intervals, and back to steady state cardio again. It kept me entertained and made the workout go by quickly.

Wedding Planning: Weighing What’s Important

Throughout the wedding planning process, we’ve been adjusting our budget in certain areas to make room for additions in other areas.

I’ve received many different words of advice ranging from “Don’t waste money on a dress… you wear it once,” to “Definitely budget for your dress… it’s the one thing you’ll remember forever.” Clearly, different aspects of a wedding are important to different people.

Aside from food and drinks, what aspect of a wedding do you think is worthy of the most money?

To me, it is our photographer. It was so important for me to find someone we felt comfortable around and whose style was more candid than “pose-y.” I love pictures that capture moments and emotions and was determined to find a photographer whose photographs weren’t staged and someone who captured and love and emotion felt throughout the wedding day. I think (and hope!) we found a good one.

I think the area in which I’m most willing to cut costs is the flowers. I love flowers and think they’re beautiful, but they can be really expensive and other areas are much more important to me.

In fact, I’ve adjusted our flower budget to make room for something many people probably think is silly: chairs. I am obsessed with chiavari chairs!

Beloved Chairs

To me, they add an element of sophistication and such a nice, clean look to a reception room.

Reception

Pretty, huh?

My dad is so funny about the chairs… naturally he (like many) doesn’t understand why I love these chairs so much. Buuut, last night I got this sweet email from him:

Julie, I am at a black tie affair tonight in DC and the chairs, I think, are the safari (sp) you like. They are nice but I would have never noticed them if it wasn’t for you. Just fyi.  Love you, Daddy

I think he’s coming around. 😀 I love how he called them safari chairs! Truth be told, that’s what I thought they were called for months, too!

Though I do love these chairs, if something else comes up of more importance, I’m more than willing to forgo my beloved chairs. However, if I can cut expenses in other areas and the chairs can fit into our budget, bring ’em in! 😀

Still Obsessed

My obsession lives on! With what, you ask?

Two things:

My awesome FREE coffee cup from my orthodontist…

Me and My Beloved Mug

…and Straight No Chaser‘s Christmas holiday albums.

(Note: In the above picture I was stopped in my car, waiting for a train. I had some time to spare. 😉 )

This morning started out on a great note when I stopped by my orthodontist’s office for an emergency Invisalign appointment (my bottom aligner ripped… oh no!). My orthodontist saw my blog and knew how obnoxiously obsessed I was over the first free (eco-friendly!) coffee cup she gave me that she gave me another one to keep at work. Awesome! (Here’s the post where the love affair began.)

As for my love for Straight No Chaser, I was jammin’ to “Carol of the Bells” on their first Christmas album on my way to work today. (Click here to enjoy this fabulous song.)

Straight No Chaser: Holiday Spirits

I love singing in my car and sometimes I think I sound pretty decent! This encourages me to turn down the music to see if it’s really me that sounds good, or if it’s the help of the professional singers and the band that’s making me sound so fantastic. After about half of a second, I always realize that it is, in fact, Carrie Underwood who sounds good… not me.

What is your favorite holiday song?

I love “O Holy Night.” I think it is so gorgeous and I can’t get enough! I also really enjoy “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Carol of the Bells.”

Workout and Breakfast

This morning I did not want to get out of bed. I attribute this to the sound of rain on my window. How relaxing! I was so comfy under my blankets. Still, I knew I’d feel better after my workout and so I went to the gym and took a BodyPump class, followed by 20 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.

Breakfast was tasty: A warmbowl of Flax Z Snax hot cereal with a scoop of cinnamon All the Whey protein powder and some frozen raspberries.

Flax Hot Cereal and Raspberries

Of course I enjoyed some hot coffee in my free mug (and a Hershey kiss on the side)! 🙂

It’s the little things in life that matter most, right?

Friday's Breakfast

(Gross! You can see my Invisalign aligners in the above picture. Ewwww. I apologize… please don’t leave me!)

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Ryan, I have high hopes for you on this one!