Veggie High

My goodness today is flyin’ by.

I think whenever my to-do list is a mile long, the hours tick by like minutes… not that I’m complaining!

When I finally looked up from my desk this morning, it was 1 p.m.

Time for lunch!

Big Ol' Salad

My lunchtime salad was veggie-packed:

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Edamame
  • Sweet corn
  • Zucchini
  • Eat Smart broccoli slaw
  • Shoestring carrots
  • Kraft light Asian toasted sesame dressing

Holy Veggies!

Edamame (Or edanane as my dad says...)

Note to lettuce haters: Try making your salad on a bed of broccoli slaw. It’s crunchier, heartier and more flavorful than typical iceberg or romaine lettuce.

I definitely felt the “veggie high” after eating this salad.

Does anyone else get a “veggie high” after eating inordinate amounts of vegetables?

I feel more awake, alive and even rejuvenated after downing a massive salad or a plate full of roasted vegetables. It’s probably all in my head, but it sure beats the “ice cream low” that I seem to experience about 30 minutes after eating a huge bowl of ice cream… not that the “low” ever prevents me from eating it. 😉

Question of the Afternoon

Does eating certain foods make you feel different?

What I eat definitely affects how I feel. I am all to familiar with the sugar coma.

Bachelorette Party Reflections

Sometimes the fresh ingredients make the salad.

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

Sometimes it’s the dressing that makes all the difference in the world.

Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame

Today’s salad was fresh and tasty, and while the veggies were perfectly crisp, the dressing stole the show.

Ryan and I both adore Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing and have to turn a blind eye to the inclusion of high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list because it really is that good.

My salad today included:

The Goods

All Together

I often find that when I eat salads, I enjoy certain bites more than others. Typically the bites with the good stuff like feta cheese or somethin’ with a little extra flavor reign supreme.

Well, the good thing about using this salad dressing on my salad today is that I enjoyed every bite equally because this dressing is so dang good. My friend Caitlin brought this dressing to a girls’ night potluck dinner a couple of years ago and I’ve been a sucker for it ever since.

Bachelorette Party Reflections

Now that both of my amazing bachelorette parties are behind me, I wanted to type up a little post about my post-party thoughts.

I felt so, so loved and blessed during both wonderful parties and have received some emails from readers asking me to detail what I loved the most, as it seems many of you guys are planning parties of your own!

While I absolutely loved everything my friends did for me, here are some of the stand-outs that I think would make nearly any bride-to-be happy:

  • Planning: I was absolutely floored by all the planning and preparation my friends put into both of my bachelorette parties. They all took the time to plan out the weekends’ activities so we were never left awkwardly wondering, “Okay, what now?”

Ready to Hit the Town!

  • Decorations: I didn’t anticipate any decorations, but arriving at a party completely decorated in bachelorette party-wear made me feel special and like my friends were genuinely excited to celebrate my upcoming wedding. I also appreciated how my friends stuck to a pink theme rather than a phallic theme. 🙂

Pretty Glasses

Gorgeous Table Spread

Decorations!

  • Homemade Touch: Both groups of friends put a lot of time into creating crafty goodies for the festivities. I received homemade itineraries, a scrapbook, cards, decorated drink glasses, pins, customized tank tops and more. The time and effort my friends put into making these things themselves meant the world.

Homemade Scrapbook

  • Get Into It: I felt like every single one of my friends really wanted to party it up and have a great time. Everyone was all about sportin’ fun accessories like jumbo-sized rings, pins declaring that they were bridesmaids, etc. Their energy was contagious and we had a great time wherever we went.

Woop, Woop!

My Girl Likes to Party All the Time!

Dance Party

Let's Get Crazy!!!

  • Thoughtfulness: The thoughtfulness of my friends was truly astounding. They planned activities, meals and nights out that they knew I would enjoy. We went to bars rather than clubs, ate sushi and homemade meals prepared by their families and played games to get the party started… all things I absolutely love.

Sushi Night

  • Unique Games: Though games might not be fore everyone, I had the best time playing bachelorette-themed games. The Q&A/Jello shot game was so entertaining and the paper ring dare game was a riot!

Of course none of these things are necessary for a wonderful bachelorette party, but I must say that I felt like I had two of the best bachelorette parties in the entire world thanks to the time, effort and love of my friends.

They made me feel so special and I cannot thank them enough for two of the best weekends of my life!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What is one thing you think is an important component of a good bachelorette party?

Well I’m Cold Blooded, Check It and See

“Well, I’m hot blooded, check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three
Come on baby, do you do more than dance?
I’m hot blooded, I’m hot blooded”

Though I love that song, I am most definitely not hot blooded. In fact, I’m just the opposite.

“Well I’m cold blooded, check it and see
I got the chills and the goose bumpies
My arm hairs stick up, no they won’t go down,
I’m cold blooded, I’m cold blooded!”

I blame my dad for passing his “I’m always cold” gene onto me.

The Cold Ones (Twilight? What?)

The two of us may be found snuggled under a blanket in 80 degree weather (with a huge bowl of chocolate marshmallow ice cream in our laps, might I add 😉 ).

My cold bloodedness was absolutely thriving at work today. Why must office buildings be so darn cold?

By the time lunch rolled around, my arm hairs had not stopped standing on end since I sat down at my desk a little before 9 a.m.

Since the lunch I packed to enjoy today was a cold one, I knew I had to get something h-o-t to warm my insides.

Enter, Starbucks!

After walking two blocks to Starbucks and nabbing a hot Tazo passion tea, I felt nice and cozy.

Starbucks Tazo Passion Tea

A warm belly made me much more excited about eating my cold lunch.

On the menu for today was a big salad that included:

  • Mixed baby greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Shredded carrots
  • Red and orange peppers
  • Radishes (which, come to find, I don’t really like)
  • Edamame

Big Ol' Salad

Holy Veggie Overload!

I used salsa as my salad dressing of choice.

Super Silly Salsa

I also enjoyed a juicy peach on the side.

Fuzzy Peach

The Goods

Ooooh yum. I enjoyed this ten times more after downing my tea than I would have if I were cold. Eating a cold salad when you’re freezing is not appealing!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What places do you think are often unreasonably hot or unreasonably cold?

PBF: What’s in a Name?

Let’s breeze through lunch today because I wasn’t really feelin’ it.

Don’t get me wrong, it was totally tasty, but I just wasn’t in the mood to eat what I packed for lunch this afternoon. It was a bit of a bummer, but I inhaled the whole thing and powered through because I’m tough. 😀

Salad Time!

Today’s lunch was a big ol’ salad that included:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Italian dressing

My favorite part of this salad was the beets. I love ’em!

We've Got the Beet, We've Got the Beet, We've Got the Beeeeeet, Yeah!

Veggies + Pork

So fresh!

PBF: What’s In a Name?

I remember when I began tossing around the idea of starting a blog. I had all sorts of crazy ideas when it came to the name of my blog.

I wanted my blog name to convey a love of food without seeming too overly healthy because, let’s face it, I’m not about to live my life without indulging in mini Oreo cheesecakes, red velvet cake brownies or whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookie stacks.

Plus, would any of you really want to visit http://www.AsparagusIsDelicious.com? I didn’t think so.

The blog name I initially settled on was “Soft Serve and Cheez-its.” I even created a blog with this name through Blogger, but didn’t post more than once. It just didn’t feel right.

What Could Have Been...

Ryan was actually the one who came up with the name of my blog. He was always catching me in the kitchen with my finger in the peanut butter jar and said I was the queen of peanut butter fingers. When he suggested “Peanut Butter Fingers” as the name of my blog, I was instantly smitten.

Doing What I Do Best

Not only did the name “Peanut Butter Fingers” highlight one of my all-time favorite snacks, but I felt like it also conveyed my laid-back approach to eating. Someone who thinks it’s okay to eat peanut butter straight from the jar using their finger can’t be someone who is rigid about healthy eating or a stickler for diets, right?

And there you have it! The history behind the name of my blog! 😀

Question of the Afternoon

For non-bloggers:

  • If you started a blog, what would you name it?

For bloggers:

  • How did you select the name of your blog?

Lettuceless Salad

One of my favorite healthy lunchtime meals is a lettuceless salad… also known as a salad sans lettuce.

Lettuceless Salad

I love omitting leafy greens in favor of crunchy, colorful produce to make a non-traditional salad. Who says something must be served on a bed of romaine to be considered a salad anyway?

Today’s no-lettuce salad contained:

Annie's Naturals

I gave my salad a shake, shake, shake to evenly distribute the sweet dressing.

So Check Me Out, Hey!

What a winning combination!

On the side, I also enjoyed a Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar that I received from AmericasNutrition.com, a website that features products to “help build a better you.”

Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar

Bite Me!

The bar was chewy, moist, chocolatey and had a slightly crunchy texture that I really enjoyed. Plus, it contained five grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein to keep me full until it is time for my afternoon snack.

Can I just take a minute to be a totally dorky writer and say how much I enjoy the little anecdotes on the back of Clif Bars? I love reading about the founder of the company’s adventures and endeavors.

I think my interest in the content on product packaging stems from my childhood when I would always read the back of cereal boxes. To me, working as the person who creates the content on food packaging would be an awesome job!  (Annnd, if it meant that I had to eat new products all the time  to really understand what I was writing about, well, that’s just icing on the cake. 😉 )

Upcoming Posts

Thank you for your post requests! Stay tuned for upcoming posts about:

  • A sample total-body strength training routine
  • Ab workouts
  • Grocery shopping on a budget
  • How to start working out in the morning
  • Change your mindset so food doesn’t take over your thoughts
  • My healthy food staples
  • Staying positive through an exercise setback

I already have a billion ideas running through my head of what I want to say in these posts. So much to write, so little time. I feel like a nerdy version of Buddy the Elf… “I love to smile write! Smiling Writing’s my favorite!”

Of Possible Interest

Question of the Afternoon

What is your favorite food to include in a salad?

I love including beans, edamame or sweet corn in my salad. I also love fresh fruit in a salad during the summer!

Once Sad, Now Glad

Arugula is one heck of a flavorful salad green. It makes iceberg lettuce seem like crunchy water.

I love the peppery taste of the leaves and find that it adds a lot of flavor to an otherwise simple salad.

When I saw a 50/50 combination of organicgirl baby spinach and arugula on sale at the grocery store on Monday night, I scooped it up and planned to use the leafy greens as the base for a yummy salad.

organicgirl Arugula + Spinach

This afternoon that’s just what I did! 😀

Colorful Salad

My salad contained:

The Goods

On the side I enjoyed a fresh peach and a blue raspberry Ring Pop, leftover from the bachelorette party fun!

Plump Peach

Fun fact about Ring Pops: In my advertising campaigns class in college we had to re-market a product currently on the market to a new niche. I re-marketed Ring Pops as wedding favors to young adult women.

Ring Popper

Everythaaaang

Once Sad, Now Glad

Enjoying the Ring Pop after lunch today made me think about childhood candy and the things I was and wasn’t allowed to eat growing up.

My parents never let me and my sister drink soda, unless we were at a special event (then we’d always order a kiddie cocktail)! At the time I was sad that I couldn’t offer my friends a can of soda when they’d come over to my house to hang out, and I was sad I couldn’t sip on a cold can of Dr. Pepper whenever I wanted.

Now I’m honestly glad I wasn’t allowed to drink soda. I never crave it and don’t think to order it in restaurants. I guess my parents were on to something…

What is something you weren’t allowed to eat or drink growing up? Do you still avoid it today?

Blog Milestone

News about a my exciting blog milestone in a second, but first let’s get to the f-o-o-d.

Slammin' Salad

Hooray for starting the workweek on a healthy note!

Today’s lunch was a big ol’ salad.

On top of a bed of spinach, I enjoyed:

  • Carrots
  • Yellow squash
  • Refried beans
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet corn
  • Black bean, roasted corn & 5 pepper salsa

Along with my salad, I also included a Sargento reduced fat Colby Jack cheese stick for some added protein (five grams in one of these bad boys!).

Monday's Lunch

Refried Beans

The salsa I used on this salad was delicious!

Kerry & Loni's Bean-Tastico Salsa

A Peek Inside

I bought a jar of Kerry & Loni’s Bean-Tastico salsa at le gourmet chef after my sister and I tried a sample of the salsa in the store. It was slightly spicy and chock-full of black beans and roasted corn. Gotta love hearty salsa!

All Together

Produce packed lunch = Lots o’ nutrients!

One Million

Over the weekend I had a pretty big blog milestone. Early Sunday morning my blog reached one million page views!!!

I am honestly floored by this, because I remember for the first several months of blogging I had like eight (totally fantastic!) readers.

Here’s a link to my first post (kind of embarrassing)! I would also like to send a special shout out to Tina and Lisa, the first two amazing people to comment on my blog.

This milestone made me think a lot about my blog and why I blog every day.

I blog because I honestly love it. I love having an outlet to share my thoughts, ideas, random recipes and personal experiences. Blogging and being part of such a wonderfully supportive, intelligent, kind and thought-provoking group of people brings me so much joy every day.

I blog because I love to write. I blog because I love health and fitness. And I blog because I love each and every one of you.

Thank you for reading and commenting and supporting this lil’ blog of mine that means so much to me. I get excited anytime any one of you leaves me a comment or sends me an email sharing a story, experience, idea or request for advice. For you silent readers out there, I adore you, too! 😀

Thank you for visiting my blog, from the very bottom of my heart. 😀