Tag Archives: vegetables

WIAW – Just a normal day

I’m intrigued by the concept of “What I Ate Wednesday” so I decided to give it a shot. Now I’m wondering though… should I have taken pictures of everything I ate on Tuesday to post on Wednesday? I took pictures of what I ate on Wednesday to post of Thursday. There are so many things in this life that confuse me. But I digress. This has been a crazy week at work so I’ve been chained to my desk all day long. Hence… almost all of these photos were taken at my desk.

I got up 5:30 to hit the 6 am boot camp class at the gym. 45 minutes of sweaty strength and cardio intervals, I finished up with 15 minutes of speed work on the treadmill and called it a day. I drank coffee at home (no picture… it’s not exciting trust me) and brought a smoothie to work for breakfast. I drank it all before I remembered to take a picture so it looks kind of gross but it was delicious. Here what was in the mix: frozen banana, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, chocolate protein powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and fresh spinach.

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I worked through the morning and wasn’t super hungry for a snack so I decided to just wait for lunch. I made salsa chicken in the crockpot for Tuesday night so I brought leftovers (with a little cheese duhh) with green pepper and onions and a whole wheat tortilla. I ended up tearing up the tortilla and making a couple bite sized burritos. It was messy but delicious.

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Mid-afternoon I snacked on an apple with a spoonful of sunflower butter. I am obsessed with sunflower butter but Mike hates its. I secretly love that though because he plows through peanut butter. It’s nice to have it all to myself 🙂

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Before the end of the workday, I snacked again on a mini vanilla yogurt to tide me over. I went with a group of coworkers to play volleyball, so I knew dinner would be late. I love these little yogurts for snacks!

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After a couple hours of volleyball and getting home, I was more than ready for dinner. Mike was out running and I did not want to spend a lot of time cooking so I threw together two big veggie-ful salads (I simultaneously made 2 additional salads for lunch today… multitasking FOR THE WIN!) I have been craving veggies and healthy foods hardcore this week. Happy to oblige my body there 🙂 In the mix is some arugula, tuscan kale, grape tomato, celery, cucumber, red bell pepper, and (of course) shredded cheese.

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On the side was a Vegetable Masala Burger from Trader Joe’s topped with a slice of melted muenster cheese. God I do love cheese.

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After dinner, Mike and I settled in to watch Sunday’s episode of Mad Men (anyone else not loving Joan’s attitude this season? bleh) and I snacked on a bowl of Trader Joe’s kettle corn. I LOVE popcorn. My best friend and I have been known to go to the movies just to eat popcorn… and eat lots of it. I don’t always want kettle corn, but it was a great sweet / salty post-dinner treat. I may have (READ: definitely did) refilled the bowl.

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And finally, I ended the night (before brushing my teeth) with a couple Trader Joe’s dark chocolate Tahitian vanilla caramels. I can never resist these in the check out line because they are SO good.

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So that’s my day! I couldn’t imagine documenting everything I ate every single day (props to your bloggers who do that) but it was fun to do it for just one day. Maybe I’ll do it again on here 🙂 Feel free to let me know what you think about WIAW – love it or hate it?

Questions for you guys:

  • Thoughts on popcorn? Kettle corn?
  • Do you play on any recreational sports teams? This summer I’m playing sand volleyball AND softball… woot woot!
  • Thoughts on sunflower butter?

Turn a Shortcut Into a Meal

Before we get into the meat of today’s post I realized yesterday that I missed my one year blogaversary! For snicks… here’s a link to my first post EVER! A lot has changed in the past year. I ran a marathon. I moved to a new apartment. I got engaged to the most wonderful man on the planet. It’s also not been without its challenges. My knee injury flared up again causing me to not run my second marathon. Or even the half marathon. I’ve also been doing some hard work to improve my relationship with food. All in all… the last year has been nothing like I thought it would be. I am so thankful for the friends I have made through this blog and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for Pennies on the Run!

On a normal week, I cook for two people. But when Mike is traveling for work… it’s just me and the felines. When Mike travels, I not only miss him terribly (we try to face time every night, which is usually me chasing the cats around the apartment trying to get them to “say hi to daddy”. They HATE this game) but I also have a renewed appreciation for how much he does around the apartment! I mean he takes care of the cats, does the laundry, takes out the garbage… and now I have to do all of that myself. Disaster. Sometimes, I like to keep meals really simple by taking an easy shortcut and modifying it to create a great meal. This week I found a box of Annie’s Organic Alfredo Shells & Cheddar in the back of a cabinet (this was in my stocking this Christmas from my future in-laws!) The box says it has 2.5 servings but one serving of this was definitely NOT going to keep me satisfied all night. I decided to amp it up and turn it into a meal.


To me, one of the best ways to bulk up a meal is to add a ton of veggies. I found 1.5 zucchini and a bag of arugula in the refrigerator. I also had a pack of chicken sausage. Veggies? Check. Protein? Check.


I sliced up the zucchinis and 2 chicken sausages to saute in a pan with just a little olive oil.


After they had a few minutes to cook, I added two big handfuls of arugula. When cooking greens with other veggies, always add the greens last. They cook down MUCH faster and you don’t want them to get overcooked.


After the macaroni and cheese was finished I added everything together and mixed it up. Voila!

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Served in a bowl with a little extra parmesan cheese on top for good measure. By adding all these extra ingredients, I was able to turn this into THREE servings of a very hearty and delicious meal. It made for an excellent lunch the next day at work too.


Questions for you guys:

  • When was the last time you ate macaroni and cheese from a box? I hadn’t had it in FOREVER.
  • What “shortcuts” to you use to make delicious meals?

It’s the little things

Sometimes I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit. I certainly do not. This week has been completely and totally work dominated (it isn’t normal that I work until 8 pm two out of three nights … sorry if that is normal for your job but it’s not for mine) and my workouts have really suffered. Yesterday I found myself dwelling in my mind about how bad it was that my workouts were so cut back this week and how bad that was for me. (I may have also found myself wandering back to the “you’re so fat and lazy” place, but I tried to reel that in) But today I’m once again moving my perspective into the positive. Today I’m going to acknowledge all the little things that I do to improve my health and wellness daily. Maybe this list will serve as a reminder to some people to acknowledge their good habits, and maybe it will provide others with some useful tips / suggestions! Please chime in and let me know what your little health habits are!

  1. I walk to and from work. I live just about a mile from my office (I live in a city so I realize this is not applicable to everyone) and by adding about 10 minutes to my commute I can walk it instead of taking the bus. I also save money… hollaaaa! It just adds steps and movement to my day even though I wouldn’t necessarily consider it “exercise”. Even if you can’t walk the whole way, could you walk more than you do?
  2. I include vegetables or fruits with every meal and snack. I’m not saying that I absolutely always always always eat strictly healthy foods, but I make a concerted effort to include at least one serving of vegetables or fruit with every meal and snack. You’ve probably heard the saying “Strive for 5” (meaning 5 servings of vegetables or fruit every day) and this the easiest way to do it. Most days, I make each meal/snack a 50/50 split with veggies and fruit. If I can’t make it exactly 50/50, I at least get something in. Are you striving for 5?
  3. I always have a water bottle with me. Some days I drink way more than others, but no matter where I am I have my water bottle with me. Drinking water and being properly hydrated is so important (refer back to this post) and I notice a real difference in how I feel. Are you properly hydrated every day?
  4. I stand up at work.I work a desk job and some days I’m sitting for 10 hours a day. Extended sitting is a serious health risk. While I can’t change my profession, and I don’t have the dough to buy a treadmill desk, I stand up whenever possible. I walk around the office as much as possible, and I even prop up my computer on a box and work standing up. Could you stand up more at work?
  5. I look inward. I’m far from perfect, which I think is pretty evident at this point on the blog. But what I try to do everyday is be introspective and self-aware. Yes, sometimes my head goes to “the dark place” but at least I am able to recognize it and acknowledge it. I ask myself every day, what can I do to improve my position in this world? What can I do to be the best me possible?

So, I’m curious, what do you do that makes you the best you possible?? Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back every know and again for the little things. And go ahead and forgive yourself for the brownie you ate last night (haha ok that was me)

Also… here’s a picture of me wearing a viking helmet. Just because.