I Wanna Goooo

Do you ever have those days that go by so slowly that you cannot fathom how only 10 minutes have passed since you last checked the clock?

Today is one of those days for me! I think it’s because I’m so anxious to get off work and head south to my parents’ house for the weekend. Ryan and Sadie are coming with me, and my sister is in town, and I want the fun to begin! C’mon, Time… getta move on!

Snack + Lunch

I thought my sweet potato hash wrap from this morning would have kept me fuller for longer, but I was really hungry within and hour and a half of breakfast. (The lack of protein, maybe?)

I dug into my mid-morning snack a bit early and enjoyed a turkey roll up (turkey + Laughing Cow Swiss cheese + tortilla).

Turkey Roll Up

Yum!

When I was filling up my mug with a second up of tea this morning, I noticed something that called to me from the vending machines.

I’m normally not tempted by vending machine treats (perhaps because I never carry cash and rely solely on my credit card?). Today, however, a marketing strategy worked on this Peanut Butter Fingers-loving girl.

I was suckered in by the old “Limited Edition” trick. I rummaged around my purse and found the $.85 needed to purchase a Limited Edition triple chocolate Twix bar. Hey, it could be gone tomorrow, I had to seize the day!

Triple Chocolate Twix

I split the bar with a coworker. We both agreed that it was tasty, but we like original Twix bars better.

Lots o' Chocolate

After snacking my way through the morning, it was time for lunch!

Hooray!

I had a big ol’ bowl of pasta with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

Pasta!

Noodle Bowl with Veggies

I topped the noodle bowl with Classico four cheese pasta sauce (aka my new favorite!) before sprinkling everything with Parmesan cheese.

Deeelicious!

Weekend Plans and Goals

Immediately after work I am heading to St. Pete for the weekend. Ryan and I are meeting with the catering manager of the Vinoy (where we’re getting married) to begin wedding planning discussions tomorrow morning.

Saturday afternoon we’re meeting with a woman at a nearby restaurant we’re considering for the rehearsal dinner. It’s a wedding-filled weekend!

The GOAL for this weekend is to finalize the guest list so we can send out save the dates! We have 160 people on our list at the moment and are hoping to condense it to around 120… This could get tricky! ūüėČ

If you are married, how did finalizing the guest list go for you?

OMG! Is that a vegetable!?

Ahhh yes, the return of the vegetable!

Does anyone else feel like during the holidays vegetables and fruits somehow fall to the wayside?

I know my daily veggie servings were replaced by casseroles or decadent holiday dishes. I’m not complaining because all the food I ate was beyond delicious, but it’s time to give the ol’ bod some much-needed nutrients.

Along with a simple cheese sandwich (Colby jack cheese on a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin), I enjoyed steamed broccoli and baby carrots.

Monday's Lunch

Love That Cheese

Tasty!

Dinner Plans

I am hoping to sneak some veggies into my dinner tonight, too. Ryan and I have plans for a double date with our friends Ryan and Jenessa who are in town from North Carolina.

Ryan was a groomsman in their wedding back in May of this year and our friend Ryan will be one of my Ryan’s groomsmen!

I took the picture below of the happy couple on their big day.

Ryan and Jenessa

How cute is this picture!?

Here’s a flashback picture of me and Ryan at their wedding at the Duke Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Me and a Foxy Groomsman

We’re meeting Ryan and Jenessa at my favorite restaurant, Season’s 52.

The restaurant serves healthy dishes, with nothing on the menu above 475 calories. The best part? It all tastes amazing!!!

According to the Season’s 52 Web site:

“We promise our guests the freedom to indulge while simultaneously eating well and feeling good about themselves by featuring foods that are thoughtfully prepared and in appropriate portion sizes, with no item on the menu above 475 calories. This enables our guests to indulge in a complete dining experience, including our custom flatbreads and signature mini-indulgence desserts, while still feeling good about themselves and their dining choices. We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through. We do not use any fryers or heavy cream sauces, which hide the authentic flavors of food. And we execute precision seasoning flavoring, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles. The result‚Ķ great tasting food that just so happens to be good for you!”

Sounds pretty wonderful, huh?

I’ve never left this restaurant disappointed and I’m hoping to have another fantastic experience there this evening.

Sausage Veggie Scramble

I think having fresh veggies on hand makes planning healthy meals so much easier. Plus, I want to use the veggies before they go bad, so I’m much more likely to enjoy a meal featuring the nutrient-rich goodies so I do not have to throw away food.

For today’s lunch I prepared portobello mushrooms, yellow squash and Aidells organic chicken sausage on the griddle to create a sausage veggie scramble.

Sausage and Veggies

A bed of steamed broccoli served as the base for my lunch, which I shook up to evenly distribute all the different yummy flavors.

Lunch Scramble

I loved the slight (and I mean slight) spiciness from the sausage. It took this plain and simple lunch to another level.

Do you eat more fresh or frozen produce?

I definitely eat more fresh produce. I was actually shocked to find that fresh veggies and fruit go on sale all the time. I generally buy whatever food is on sale at the moment to save money. Certain fruits like raspberries and blueberries I typically buy frozen though since they seem to cost and arm and a leg year round.

Tonight

Tonight is my company’s holiday party. I am picking Ryan up before heading out for cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres at a local trendy wine bar.

Should be fun!

Does your company have a holiday party?

I actually planned the holiday party at my first job right out of college. I loved every minute of it! I had everyone submit an unknown fact about themselves and then we read them aloud and people shouted out who they thought the fact was about.

It was really interesting and made you realize just how little you know about some of the people you work with every day. We learned one girl was in a movie with Burt Reynolds when she was younger. Neat, huh?

What’s a fun fact about you?

Dinner and Celebratory Champagne

About half way through the work day, Ryan and I started talking about shuffling our schedule to pack up and travel to my parent’s house in St. Pete tonight, rather than tomorrow after work.

We figured we could make it work and were on the road by 6:15 p.m. I really wanted to be home to congratulate my mom on her last chemo treatment and my stomach hurt a bit so I wanted to take it easy at home.

We walked in the door and exchanged big hugs before sitting down to a celebratory dinner of pad thai and sauteed squash, zucchini, mushrooms and steamed broccoli.  

Veggies

Pad Thai

Yummy, yummy, yummy I’ve got love in my tummy!

My dad provided a wonderful dessert in honor of my mom. He arrived home with a red rose, two bottles of champagne and a strawberry pie.

Strawberry Pie

Everyone loved the pie, but I think I enjoyed the champagne¬†more. I thought the glaze on the strawberries tasted like medicine, so¬†I just ate lots of pie¬†crust,¬†filling and whipped cream!¬†I have a bit of a sugar headache (along with a bit of¬†a lingering tummy ache)¬†now, but I’m happy to be curled up on the¬†couch surrounded¬†by my family.¬†¬†

Tomorrow I am taking the day off work and starting my Thanksgiving holiday early! Gobble, gobble. ūüôā

Beating the Post-Pasta Belly Bloat

I think my life is officially pasta-fied. Noodles are one of my favorite foods. I like them in all shapes, sizes and colors. I don’t discriminate, I’m a noodle-lova!

Along with my tremendous love for all things carbohydrate comes a pretty hefty appetite and eyes that are much bigger than my stomach when a bowl of pasta is placed in front of me. I will eat and eat and eat when served a plate of spaghetti. I eat until the food cramps set in! Not good.

I recently implemented two actions when it comes to eating pasta to help me avoid the post-pasta belly bloat.

1. Eat the proper serving of pasta and add volume with vegetables

2. Use whole wheat pasta or Carba Nada pasta for added fiber and protein to fill up on less food

That’s it! Just two easy-peasy changes I’ve applied that have allowed me to enjoy my pasta dinners without requiring a post-dinner hour on the couch to digest.

Dinner

You’ll never guess what I had for dinner tonight. C’mon… use your noodle. ūüėČ

noodles

Noodles!

Yep, pasta! While I boiled Carba Nada egg fettuccine pasta, I sauteed yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, and onion in a skillet with a dash of olive oil and steamed broccoli in the microwave.

broccoli

Steamed Broccoli

veggies

Lots of Veggies

I added the veggies to marinara sauce and topped the noodles with the nutritious goodness.

Of course I cannot enjoy pasta without cheese, so I added goat cheese to the mix. It created a pinkish sauce, which I thought was awfully pretty.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Veggies

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Veggies

Ryan and I worked up quite the appetite at the dog park with Miss Sadie tonight and wolfed down our pasta bowls.

pasta

Messy Bowl of Pasta

What is your favorite pasta dish?