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!

You Choose Ryan’s Outfit (+ Q & A!)

In lieu of a dinner post, I hope you will all enjoy a fashion post!

Please join me as we take a trip back in time to the ’80s! 😀

Ryan is leaving on his bachelor party cruise tomorrow and instead of donning a spiffy suit on the cruise’s formal night, he and his buddies are dressing in formal ’80s attire.

Please help him choose his ensemble:

Option One:

Option One

Option Two:

Option Two

Option Three:

Option Three

To encourage participation in this serious dilemma, Ryan wants to offer one random commenter a prize: A personal thank you email from him. Isn’t he generous? 😉

Q & A: Round 5 Billion

It’s that time again! I’m catching up with questions you guys have submitted through my Q & A page or through the anonymous form. I’m almost all caught up! Woop, woop! 🙂

If I didn’t answer your question below, please check my Q & A page. I also may have answered it in a previous Ask Me Anything post and didn’t want to bore people with the same questions and answers every time.

Aaaand we’re off!!!

Do you ever experience the “afternoon slump” at work? If so, what do you do to get some energy?

Oh lord, yes. One day at work I said I had the “3 o’clock itch” which my coworkers found humorous for some reason. Now we all talk about having “the itch.” 🙂 To combat an afternoon slump, I always pack a snack to enjoy between 3 and 4 p.m. I find that eating something wakes me up a bit! I will also often make a cup of tea (mainly because it’s so darn cold in my office), which also helps me feel rejuvenated.

I have a hard time coming up with healthy snacks. Can you provide some suggestions?

  • String cheese microwaved on a whole wheat tortilla folded (a microwavable quesadilla!)
  • Cinnamon peanut butter chickpeas
  • Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit
  • Yogurt pudding
  • Apple or pear with peanut butter
  • Homemade trail mix (nuts, whole-grain cereal, peanut butter/butterscotch/chocolate chips)
  • Cherry tomatoes with goat cheese
  • Edamame
  • Popcorn sprinkled with protein powder
  • Sandwich thin with peanut butter
  • Healthy homemade chips and dip

Do you color your hair?

Nope. Never have.

Did you ever feel pressure to become engaged with you and Ryan were dating? If so, how did you deal with it?

No, I didn’t. Ryan never pressured me and my parents are all about taking your time and waiting until you’re 100 percent ready.

What is your favorite brand of peanut butter?

Though I love all the delicious gourmet peanut butters out there, I am a little partial to Skippy Natural peanut butter because it tastes exactly like the peanut butter we all grew up loving.

Have you ever modeled?

No. I was in a commercial when I was like 5 years old, but it was for the credit union my dad worked for and was only shown on local stations. I’m famous!!! 😀

Do your parents and Ryan’s parents get along?

Yes! Thankfully everyone gets along really well! My mom and Ryan’s mom actually got together for lunch a month or so ago without us. It makes me happy!

It looks like you’re pretty into reading labels and only eating things you can pronounce (awesome!) but then you use stuff like Splenda and sugar-free syrup which aren’t natural at all. Why not just use real sugar?

I wish I had some fantastic answer to this question, but my answer is simply because I like Splenda and I like sugar-free syrup. I like the fact that I only need a half a packet of Splenda to make my coffee taste as sweet as a lot of sugar since it’s sweeter than regular sugar. I also like that sugar-free syrup is typically runnier than regular syrup, which I find too thick and sticky and I don’t like how it doesn’t disperse over my pancakes as easily. I know Splenda is basically shunned in the healthy-living blogging world, but I like it and stand by my Splenda! I am a cautious eater for the most part, so I think a half of a packet of Splenda or some sugar-free syrup every now and then is a-okay… but that’s just me! You may make the decision that’s right for you. Splenda haters, feel free to ostracize me.

What time do you typically go to bed?

We try to be in bed by 10 p.m. every night.

Have you ever tried spinning?

Yes. I love spinning! I haven’t taken a spinning class recently though because my cardio workouts have been limited to running since I’ve been training for a half marathon. I’m excited to incorporate more spinning into my workout routine now that the half marathon is overrrr.

Does Sadie sleep in a kennel at night or is she free to sleep wherever she pleases?

For the most part, Sadie is free to sleep wherever she pleases, which is usually in bed with us. We’ll kick her out on occasion though and she’ll usually sleep on the couch or in our guest room.

Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian/vegan due to animal rights or any other reason?

Yes, I have. I do, however, believe that we can make educated decisions about our meat and select meat products that come from farms (or the wild!) where animals are treated humanely. I have reduced the amount of meat in my diet significantly in the past year, but don’t want to put a label on myself. Sometimes I’ll go several days without eating meat without even realizing it. If I want to eat meat once a week or once a year, that’s fine with me, but I hesitate to fully declare myself a vegetarian because I believe I can still fuel my body with meat that comes from a good place that treats animals humanely.

What is your advice for someone looking to break into the public relations or writing field?

I get this question a lot! As far as finding a job in the public relations or writing field, I would highly recommend checking out websites for professional organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (Florida folks can check out FPRA, too!) because many companies will post jobs there to avoid receiving applications from all different types of people that they may get by posting on craigslist.com or through CareerBuilder.com.

As far as writing jobs are concerned, when we’re looking to hire new writers at my company, I always look for quality writing samples (examples from class are great, too) because it’s very easy for someone to SAY they can write, but it can be a lot harder to actually find decent writers (it’s actually VERY hard). I strongly encourage anyone interested in writing to have some quality samples handy for this very reason! If you’re a student, try to write for your college newspaper or get something published in a local magazine so you have something tangible to bring to an interview. Also, if you’re familiar with certain writing styles (like AP), list this as a skill on your resume to alert potential employers of your solid base in a certain professional writing style.


I’m off to spend the rest of the night hangin’ with Ryan since I’m gonna miss him when he’s gone!

See ya in the mornin’!