August – 2011 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

August 2011

Friendly Friday August 26

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday begins at 8pm Central Thursday nights each week. We hope you’ll come back and join us again next week – and remember, the earlier you link up, the higher up on the list you are!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Momfever is “just trying to keep cool” with five children, a husband, and housework to take care of.  Her oldest is 16, a girl, plus she has three boys and another girl.  Blogging is one way she retains her sanity as she shares tales of marriage, cartoons she’s written herself, and gives a look into her life as a mother of five.  Check out her Wordless Wednesday category for some pictures to make you laugh.  And by the way, she  does product reviews too.

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can get the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



Wacky Wednesday

Can it be Friday yet? I have been SO tired all this week and am really looking forward to getting a nap. The boys seriously don’t know how lucky they are to have nap time built in each day! I’m going to do this post and then get to bed because I’m getting up early in the morning to go walking again!

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Berry Compote, Fresh Fruit and Mango-Filled Chicken Sausage (370 calories)

This morning was really busy and I got so caught up in things that I completely forgot to eat breakfast! I ended up just tasting it later so that I could review it. By the time I realized I hadn’t eaten it, it was time for lunch and I had promised to meet up with my friend. We went to Jason’s Deli, and I ate a cup of tomato basil soup for 171 calories; that way I could tide myself over until I got to eat my actual lunch for the day, which ended up being way later in the afternoon. I don’t know if that was the best solution, but it worked out ok. I think it was a good experience, though – I mean, there are always going to be crazy days and I better be prepared to deal with them and not eat bad food out of convenience. That’s another reason I think Freshology is so great. It IS convenient while also being healthy, and it takes the work out of it for us.

Like I mentioned, I did taste everything so I could let you all know about it… the pancakes were really good with the berry compote – so good that I didn’t even need the syrup. The sausage was pretty good but a little too sweet for me. My favorite part of this whole meal was the berry compote. I could practically drink that stuff!

Lunch: Five-Bean Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Sprinkle and a Side Salad (400 calories)

The chili was AMAZING. So, so, so good. I noticed a spiciness to it right off the bat, and then had a little bit of a slow heat that followed. This is a soup I want the recipe for! I let Brian taste it too, and he agreed that we needed to try and make our own version of this sometime. It was great today and would be even better once it gets cold outside. Yum!

Dinner: Roasted Chicken Breast with Ratatouille (330 calories)

I’d never had ratatouille before – my only experience with it was watching the Pixar movie!  It was a nice blend of veggies with a blend of spices, which was also used on the chicken. Everything was cooked perfectly, the textures were spot-on, and it was a good introduction to the dish! I let Brian taste this one too and he loved the ratatouille.

Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake (150 calories)

I decided to take a photo of this dessert that would give you an idea of the size a little better. They’re small, but still a decent size – and they pack a rich, chocolaty punch. Who wouldn’t want to end their day with chocolate? It’ll be sweet dreams for me, I guess. :)

Get FREE tickets to the Lion King 3D Advance Screening in Dallas!

I LOVE freebies, and this one is pretty cool! Use the code below and you can get up to four free tickets to an advance screening of Lion King 3D for this Saturday. If you do plan to attend, make sure to arrive early because seating is first come, first serve. I hope you’re able to take advantage of this great offer and enjoy a fun movie outing with your family!

A New Commitment

I am doing really well sticking to Freshology, but haven’t been as great with exercising. Until now. I, the queen of sleeping as late as possible (even if it means only 10 minutes to get ready including a shower), have committed to walking at 6:30 twice a week. A friend from work and I are going to meet at the park and walk a mile and a half. We started today, and it went really well! I admit I was a little thrown off that it was still pitch black when I left the house, but once we started walking it went by quickly, and it was SO nice having my exercise over with before my day really even began.

Breakfast: Cheddar and Broccoli Omelet with Turkey Sausage & Fresh Fruit (270 calories)

This is probably my favorite omelet I’ve had so far – the broccoli and cheese was a really nice flavor combination! I also like this sausage the best – the maple sausage and the apple chicken sausage are a little too sweet for me.

Lunch: Teriyaki Beef & Vegetable Bowl (310 calories)

Great Asian option! I avoided the cabbage/salad mixture you see on the right, but everything on the left was SO good. The teriyaki sauce they included tasted just like something I’d get from a restaurant. The broccoli and beef were both tender. The rice initially seemed a little dry to me, but once I mixed in the teriyaki sauce it was perfect.

Dinner: Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast with Roasted Potatoes and Wax Beans (435 calories)

I didn’t really get the “herb-crusted” feel from the turkey, although a herbed flavor did come through nicely. My favorite part of the whole meal was the potatoes. SO good! The green beans were great too – I enjoyed this whole meal.

Dessert: Apple and Cranberry Cobbler (140 calories)

I heated this up before eating it – it was a down home, comfort-food kind of dessert. The tartness of the apples and cranberries was really good!

Please excuse me now while I go crash! ‘Night everyone!

Busy Busy

Our week got off to a busy start by having to take our van in to get fixed – finally! In the meantime we’re driving a larger van – a Chrysler Town & Country. It’s not my style, but I have to admit I’m totally in love with the automated doors and hatch. The boys are too… when I picked them up they kept talking about “how cool” every aspect of it was.

J had another gymnastics class tonight and it’s been SO great to watch his progress! When he first started he was a little unsure about everything but now he’s confident and proud of what he’s accomplished. Tonight he came running up to brag about having done some flips in the suspended harness. I’m really glad he’s loving it so much! Tomorrow it’s C’s turn as he and I head to Mom & Tot class, where I get just as much exercise as he does!

I really liked all three of my meals from Freshology today, but I did have some hunger pangs and some serious chocolate cravings… those should go away in a few days, though. I know you ladies out there know what I’m talking about! I was able to resist and ended up with a pretty successful day.

Breakfast: Dark Chocolate Muffin with Turkey Maple Sausage and Fresh Fruit (400 calories)

I thought this muffin would be my favorite, but that spot is reserved for the lemon poppyseed one I had a while back. This was good, but a little drier than the other muffins I’d had. I spread the vanilla ricotta on it and then it was perfect! I just ate a little of the sausage – but I can definitely tell that having protein in the morning helps curb my hunger throughout the morning.

Lunch: Creamy Italian Chicken Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumber (310 calories)

This chicken salad tasted like one I’d order at my favorite little tea shop here in town – creamy and full of texture. I missed having grapes, which is my favorite chicken salad addition, but the dried fruit provided a nice pop of tart sweetness. This felt like a light lunch, but was pretty filling.

Dinner: Blackened Flat Iron Steak with Dirty Rice, Creole Alioli and Jambalaya Vegetables (380 calories)

The steak was SO SO SO good! The beef entrees have pretty consistently been my favorite. It had a slight cajun flavor to it and was incredibly tender. The rice was flavorful albeit slightly dry. I just picked at the veggies because, well, I’m picky like that! Brian said he thought they were good.

Dessert: Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (150 calories)

So, I was a little eager to get to dessert. Obvs. This is such a nice, bright dessert with a great tartness to it countered by the sweet glaze. SO good!

And now, my friends, I’m going to CRASH. I’m getting up to go walking early in the morning so I’d better get some sleep while I have the chance. Hope you all have had a great start to your week!

Menu Plan Monday – Aug.22-26

Menu Plan Monday

I always hear about how kids need routine… well apparently I do too. Today our church switched to two services, and we got up to go to the early service. This means we had to get out of the house TWO HOURS early than most Sundays, which also meant I got a nap in later today. On the plus side, it meant we ate lunch earlier, got home earlier, and the boys napped earlier. I’m still tired, and am about to go crash after finishing this post!

Monday: Lime chicken with black beans & rice, with German chocolate cake for dessert – for everyone but me, that is! My brother’s 20th birthday was Saturday, so we’re having him over for a little celebration with his dinner & dessert of choice.

Tuesday: Chick-Fil-A – C has gymnastics class, so we’ll go early and all eat together as a family beforehand.

Wednesday: Date night!!!

Thursday: Chicken, veggies & brown rice. Something plain and simple! I got broccoli, which is now one of C’s favorites.

Friday: We’re having friends over and will be sampling some Schwan’s food for an upcoming review – they’ve got a lot of good meal options perfect for how busy things can get at the start of the school year.

I noticed a difference in the way a pair of my pants fit today – wahoo! I think one of the hardest things for me in regard to losing weight is impatience. I want to see a difference – a payoff – for all my hard work. It’s been nice actually seeing a little bit of a change, because that provides me with motivation to continue onward. I also had a realization – if someone dangled a candy bar or a healthier lifestyle in front of me, I would choose the instant gratification of the candy bar. I’m realizing that there’s some maturing that had to take place. I had to have the willpower to hold out for the long-term goal.

Breakfast: Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Basil & Mozzarella with Turkey Bacon and Fresh Fruit (290 calories)

I’ll be honest – I didn’t get to eat very much of this meal. We were rushing around trying to get out the door on time, so I was just able to take a taste of everything for review purposes. I’d love it if Freshology offered a couple of “on the go” breakfast options because so many people do have to rush in the mornings. I was SO hungry all through church, but I was really proud of the fact that I resisted the donuts in our class! We met some friends for lunch at their choice of location – a Mexican restaurant. I had hoped to hit up Jason’s Deli where I could get a side of fruit, but since that wasn’t an option at this place, I googled the amount of calories in tortilla chips and portioned out the number I could afford to eat calorie-wise, along with salsa. I won’t lie, this was a difficult lunch, but being able to munch a little and gulp down three glasses of water really helped. I was a little jealous of everyone’s sour cream chicken enchiladas, but I couldn’t even imagine how many calories would be involved!

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad Nicoise with Sherry Vinaigrette (410 calories)

I’d never had this kind of salad before, although I had heard of it. It had grilled chicken, green beans, various colors of potatoes, half of a boiled egg, red peppers, and spinach leaves. I know this is a classic salad preparation, but it was a different combination than anything I’m used to! The flavors were great, though. I don’t think I’ve ever had a blue/purple potato before. :)

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with Baby Carrots, Dried Fruit & Nut Stuffing, & Applesauce (380 calories)

I’d always heard of the combination of pork chops and applesauce, but had never tried it before today. The sweet/tart flavor of the applesauce was SO good with the pork! The stuffing was slightly sweet and had a mixture of textures thanks to dried fruit and sliced almonds. And the carrots were awesome! See that skinny one second to the right? C totally stole it – and wanted more. Oh well, he’s cute. :) He passed up french fries for it, so that’s saying something! This was a nice, filling dinner. It felt a little like an autumn dish, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it!

Dessert: Sweet Potato Chip Cookies (160 calories)

You can find out my thoughts on these cookies here.

Hope you all have a great week!

Weekend Update

It’s almost 11pm here and I am feeling it. I really hope I’m just tired and not coming down with anything! We stayed up too late last night, but it was worth it for a fun evening at our friends’ house. This morning we thought it’d be fun to take another family trip to the park – at 8:15 it was only in the 80’s, so it was actually pleasant to be outside. J and Brian rode bikes, while C, me, and the dogs were going to walk around the park’s trail. Notice I said, “were going to”? That plan got dashed immediately. Josie wanted to run and was tugging incessantly at her leash. Sally had never been on a leash before, so she was completely confused. We ended up going over to the playground where both dogs were insanely restless as I let C play – kind of a stressful “Saturday morning at the park” experience. So much for good exercise! Why can’t stress burn calories?

My meals this weekend have been pretty good. I’ve run through the circuit of desserts, because I’m starting to get repeats with those. That’s fine with me, though – I like pretty much all of them!

Friday Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese, Chicken Apple Sausage & Fresh Fruit (280 calories)

Scrambled eggs have always been a favorite of mine, so having them for breakfast was nice. I have, of course, noticed that there’s a rotation of side proteins – Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, maple sausage, or chicken apple sausage. I like the bacon options a lot more, because even though the sausage is flavorful I’ve  just never been a huge fan of sausage links. Overall, nice breakfast – the cheddar in the eggs made them seem a little rich, which was a treat.

Lunch: Southwest Steak Lettuce Cups with Corn & Black Bean Salsa (450 calories)

I felt like the name of this was a little misleading – it was more of a steak taco. That being said, it was a good steak taco, and I even got some sour cream (light, I’m sure) to go with it! I tried to pick around the corn a little but didn’t really notice it with it mixed in with all of the other parts of the meal – peppers, onions, black beans and the meat.

Dinner: Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Peppers and Onions, Spanish Rice & Beans (380 calories)

Wahooooo – Mexican food! This was a great meal. The rice didn’t taste like Spanish rice to me, but it was good anyway and this is right up there with one of my favorite meals I’ve had on Freshology. It’s totally something I’d order out, and it was SO flavorful that I didn’t feel like I was missing out. The chicken was super tender, too. Loved it!

Dessert: Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake (190 calories)

I’ve written about this before, so I won’t rehash it over again for you – I’ll just say it was as good as I remembered it from last time!

Saturday Breakfast: Mixed Berry Scone with Canadian Bacon & Fresh Berries (280 calories)

The scone was great! It reminded me a little of the blueberry muffin, but with a more dense consistency. The sweetness of that, the saltiness of the Canadian bacon, and the tart sweetness of the fruit was a great combination. I had a busy morning with an event for work to attend, and this meal kept me full throughout all of that.

Lunch: Wild Mushroom & Pork Tamale with Southwest Salsa (240 calories)

If this hadn’t had mushrooms in it, I would have given it 5 stars – with the mushrooms, I’ll say 4.5, because I could pretty easily pick them out and still enjoy the meal. The pork and masa was slightly spicy and SOOOO good! I also liked the added touch of the crumbled cheese, and the salsa added more great heat to the meal.

Dinner: Marinated Flat Iron Steak with Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables (460 calories)

Yet again, the steak was absolutely delicious. The marinade really added great flavor to the meet and kept it tender even when I browned it a little on the stovetop. The veggies were tender and flavorful (C kept coming up to snag some!) and quinoa is… well, it’s growing on me. I may just learn to love it!

Dessert: Dairy-Free Raspberry Cheesecake (180 calories)

I’ve also had this dessert before, and in case you don’t remember, I wasn’t a fan. In fact, I think this is the only dessert from Freshology that I didn’t just love. Well, I tried it again and it is a lot better this time around, although it’ll never be a favorite.

When we were at our friends’ house Friday night, we were playing a board game and one of our friends got out some chips for us all to snack on while we played. I reallllllly wanted some tortilla chips, but instead of eating a whole bowl like I would’ve before, I got one single chip and just nibbled on it every once in a while to get the flavor of chips. It worked really well and I didn’t feel tempted at all!

Hope you all have a great rest of the weekend!

Recipe Round-Up

I got the opportunity to shoot a short cooking segment for our local news that will air today, so I decided it’s only appropriate for me to put up a food-related post to commemorate the occasion. :)

I chose something really simple and family-friendly to share for the segment – I think it’s especially appropriate since school is starting and easy breakfast options will become even more valuable! We call them breakfast cupcakes, and the boys really like them. We actually had them for dinner last night and J said, “Are these dinner or dessert?” Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try making them too.

Breakfast “Cupcakes”

Ingredients:

  • 12 biscuit dough rounds
  • 6 eggs, scrambled & slightly runny
  • Bacon or sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: Parsley & Salsa

Directions:

  1. Press each biscuit dough round into a cup of a muffin tin, spreading the dough up around the sides of each cup.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of bacon or sausage into each biscuit (you could substitute with other proteins, or even use bell peppers, etc.)
  3. Top each biscuit with scrambled eggs, filling until the top is level.
  4. Bake according to directions on the biscuit dough container; 5 minutes prior to removing the muffin tin from the oven, sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top of each one.
  5. Optional: Put parsley “sprinkles” or salsa “icing” on top according to people’s preferences.

And in the spirit of all things food, here are links to a few of my favorite recipes I’ve shared. I hope you’ll give one or  two a try and let me know what you think!

Have a great day – and eat well!

It’s Video Time Again!

It’s been another week – I can hardly believe it! My second week on Freshology has absolutely flown by, and I’m still loving it! I have to admit that I had a little nervousness about making a two-month commitment. I mean, I didn’t know how difficult it might be to stick to it! Little did I know, this is the easiest diet I’ve ever tried.

Before I get to my video, let’s take a look at my food for today. Be sure and check out the video too so you can find out how much I’ve lost this week!

Breakfast: Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal with Fresh Berries & Canadian Bacon (220 calories)

 

I actually liked this oatmeal a LOT! I haven’t had it in a long time, and let’s be honest, oatmeal isn’t very appealing to look at… so I was hesitant to try it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was full of flavor and a great texture. It seriously made me want to add oatmeal to my breakfast routine once I’m done with Freshology.

Lunch: Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta Cheese (310 calories)

This was my favorite salad I’ve had so far. The vinaigrette dressing was just tangy enough to balance the saltiness of the feta, and the marinade on the chicken was very slightly sweet. So good, and actually filling too!

Dinner: Roasted Turkey Breast with Sauteed Spinach, Roasted Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes & Citrus Aioli (465 calories)

After a breakfast and lunch I loved this was kind of average to me. The turkey was good and well-flavored, and the sweet potatoes were really good. I don’t like mushrooms or tomatoes that much, so I just picked at those, and I discussed my ambiguity toward cooked greens in last night’s post.

Dessert: Marshmallow Cloud (160 calories)

I thought this photo might give you a better idea of the size of this dessert. I was SOOO happy to have this one again. It is delicious and I’d have it every day if I could!

Now let’s take a look at my weekly video:

And here are a few of those tips I promised to share with you from the Freshology Newsletter.

  • Be attentive to your breathing. Mindful breathing slows down the heart rate, reducing stress, and allows us to take more oxygen to the brain, raising the capacity to think more clearly.
  • Be honest about your eating. If you’re in denial about your habits, you can’t change them.
  • Try new, flavorful recipes so you still get variety in your diet while keeping it healthy. Check out this recipe for roasted squash wheels stuffed with Goat Cheese. Yum!

Friendly Friday 8/19

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday begins at 8pm Central Thursday nights each week. We hope you’ll come back and join us again next week – and remember, the earlier you link up, the higher up on the list you are!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Amy at We’re In For It is a Virginian living outside of DC with her husband Luke and her almost-two son Gage. She’s a teacher for her “day job” and is very passionate about what she does. Her blog began when she was pregnant to keep people updated, and has expanded now to chronicle Gage’s life. If you like seeing photos of an adorable little boy then you’ll love Amy’s blog! She also shares some product reviews and giveaways, like one for a Carmex prize pack right now! Stop by and visit Amy and get to know her family a little better – you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend!

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can get the InLinkz codeget the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Wordy Wednesday: Freshology Edition

Today I had a few cravings pop up, which was a little unexpected because I’d been doing so well at curbing hunger. I learned another lesson, though – I can now satisfy a craving with a tiny amount of something, which is new for me. Before, if I wanted ice cream, I’d get a big bowl of it. I guess it felt like a way to treat myself. Today after lunch I was craving something sweet. I had a couple of pieces of the boys’ Reese’s peanut butter cereal, and that was enough to give me the taste of sweetness and hold me over until dinner. I was really excited about that, because it again shows me that this is more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle and mindset change.

Breakfast: Blueberry Pancakes with Turkey Bacon, Fresh Fruit and Blueberry Ricotta Spread (360 calories)

I haven’t had pancakes in a while, so this was a nice treat. I didn’t even use the syrup. I mainly ate the pancake plain because it was pretty flavorful on its own, although I did spread a little of the blueberry ricotta mixture on some bites – it was a nice complement to the pancake! I seriously want to buy Freshology’s turkey bacon forever because it is SO much better than any of the kinds we’ve tried from the store! Theirs is much more similar to regular bacon, whereas the other kinds we’ve tried have been like cardboard or something – crisp, with no chewiness to it at all. Anyway, I rounded out the meal with peaches and kiwi. Good stuff!

Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup with Side Caesar Salad (230 calories)

This felt like a lot of food for 230 calories! I loved that they gave me little tortilla strips – they provided a nice texture to the soup and made it feel a little like I was getting soup out at a restaurant. It was slightly spicy and I *think* I could taste some cumin and paprika in it. It was right up my alley, and I’d eat it any day! The Caesar salad was good too, and had cheese shavings with it. I love me some cheese!

Dinner: Apple Sweet Soy Sauce Glazed Pork Loin with Butternut Squash and Sauteed Swiss Chard (370 calories)

I had mixed feelings about this meal. The pork was well flavored and tender – I have never been a big pork fan, but I’m learning to actually like it while on Freshology! The squash was slightly sweet and had a slow heat/spiciness to it. It was really good paired with the pork, and I think I liked it better with bites of the meat than on its own. The flavors of the two together just really worked. I wasn’t a big fan of the swiss chard, but that’s just me not really liking cooked greens as much. The flavor of it was really nice, but the texture threw me off.

Dessert: Chocolate Caramel Cookies (200 calories)

These cookies were SO soft! It almost seemed like cake, which was perfectly fine with me! There wasn’t much caramel in either of my cookies, but the chocolate alone was really satisfying. It had a very slight saltiness to it which offset the sweetness perfectly. Can’t really go wrong with chocolate!

Don’t forget, I’ll be back tomorrow with my second video update!

 

Monday, Monday

I know, I know – it’s Tuesday. But Monday was so busy that by the time I was able to work on my Freshology post, I was exhausted and crashed in bed. It was a good day, but really busy from start to finish. We took Sally to PetSmart and picked up a few essentials, including a collar that she apparently finds quite itchy. Speaking of Sally, here’s a gratuitous cute puppy pic:

This post will be longer anyway since I’m grouping two days worth of food into it, so let’s get on to talking about meals:

Monday Breakfast: Blueberry Muffin with Canadian Bacon & Fresh Fruit Salad (350 calories)

Great meal! This is seriously going to become my staple breakfast post-Freshology: muffin, Canadian or turkey bacon and fresh fruit. It’s the perfect balance of flavors and it truly left me feeling full all the way until lunch.

Lunch: Roast Beef Wrap with Watermelon Radish and Garlic Aioli (390 calories)

This was pretty good, although (well-done beef orderer that I am) the meat was a little pink for my liking. It was tender and flavorful, though and I ended up really liking it. The tortilla (hidden under the meat in a plastic bag to keep it fresh) was whole wheat and a little dry compared to the flour tortillas I’m used to, but all in all it was a great combination. I’m seriously in love with squeezing a lemon on meals prior to eating them. It brings out such great flavor and really gives everything a fresh feel!

Dinner: Orange Glazed Grilled Turkey with Cranberry Quinoa and Brussel Sprouts (370 calories)

This was my favorite version of the turkey so far, although I didn’t get any orange flavor coming through. It was perfectly cooked! The quinoa was pretty good – the cranberry really made it with bright bursts of flavor, but I’m still getting used to the texture of this grain. I was most surprised by brussel sprouts… I actually kind of like them! I had never had them before, so I was a little uncertain, but these are good!

Dessert: Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (150 calories)

GOOD stuff! This reminded me a lot of the Zucchini Bundt Cake with Mascarpone Cream, but I’m not complaining because I really liked that one too! This is a small dessert that feels like a big one, and I thought the cream cheese filling was spot on.

*****

Tuesday Breakfast: Goat Cheese & Oven-Dried Tomato Frittata with Chicken Apple Sausage and Fresh Fruit (350 calories)

I had goat cheese for the first time a couple of months ago and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. The saltiness of it really made this frittata a stand-out to me, and the sweet sausage was a great combination.

Lunch: Pulled BBQ Pork and Pineapple Pizza with a Side Salad (440 calories)

 

I’m so excited to have a new pizza combination that I love! The BBQ pork and pineapple played off of each other perfectly, and the crust was amazingly soft, especially after being microwaved. The salad was a nice finish to the meal, and I totally felt just as satisfied as if I’d had a couple of full-sized slices of pepperoni.

Dinner: Chicken Cacciatore & Roasted Vegetables (300 calories)

The chicken was amazing. I could totally taste the pepper flavors coming through in the marinade and of course as one of the sides of the dish. I even tried cauliflower and liked it! It helps that it was cooked until tender and had tons of flavor, I’m sure.

Dessert: Peach Cobbler (140 calories)

I loved that this had so much breading and felt like a traditional cobbler, but the bread was a little softer than I would have expected. The flavors were great but I wished the bread was a little crisper to provide some crunch. Great meal!

So, there you have it – two days of meals in one. I’ll be back again tomorrow to tell you what I think about Chicken Tortilla Soup (and chocolate caramel cookies – yum)!