Monthly Archives: March 2010

Soup and Bombs


So guess who didn’t get up this morning to run? ME!!! But I’m fine with it. I definitely feel more rested, but still feel run down like I might have a cold. I really can’t wait for warm weather this weekend. I think my body immediately got used to the warm weather we had recently and then this rain and cold came and just knocked me on my butt.

Since I didn’t go to the gym last night I decided to make some soup! Soup and a grilled cheese sounded like the perfect rainy day dinner. I started with Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup mix. In the mix was green split peas, yellow split peas, barley, lentils and vegetable pasta.

I added a handful of short grain brown rice and a can of diced tomatoes. All you have to do is mix that in with water (or in my case, veggie broth), simmer for an hour and you’re done!

My grilled cheese was pretty fantastic as well. I took some crusty bread from the local bakery and assembled my sammy with horseradish cheddar, tomato and mushrooms. That, with my soup and a side of roasted brussels just made everything seem OK in the world. 🙂

That awesome dinner, matched with 8+ hours of sleep put me back on track to feeling like a normal person!

This morning I made my version of a Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake that I read about on Ryan’s blog. In my shake went:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of ground Chia seeds
  • 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs unsweetened dark chocolate powder
  • 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • handful of ice

It was a great shake although I wish mine had a more chocolaty flavor. The cherries were fantastic!

Cherries and berries are probably on the top of my list of favorite fruits. Raspberries are #1 hands down though. When I was little, my grandma used to have raspberry bushes in her yard and we would eat the berries right off the bushes!

In other news, take a look at what I received today! Miss Kelly from My Verbal Vomit has passed along the Sunshine Award. Definitely something nice to have during this gloomy week. Thanks so much!

I am going to pass along this award to someone who could use a little sunshine in her day!

Lauren at Eat, Drink and Be Hopeful

Lauren recently had surgery on her ankle. She sustained an injury from running and hasn’t been able to run for awhile now. She goes back to the doctor today to see how everything went. Everyone should head over to her blog and wish her luck!

On that note I am outta here – I’ve got work all day and night (Melting Pot tonight!) so look out for me again tomorrow!




So last night I didn’t get finished working at the Melting Pot until 12:15AM!!! That meant I wasn’t in bed until 1am. I rarely ever stay up that late even on weekends so I am seriously dragging this morning.

Only getting 6 hours of sleep really threw my day off and I am not really in the best of moods-we’re all allowed that once in awhile right?? So I started the morning with some millet bread. I WAS going to toast two pieces with some agave and cinnamon but in trying to break off two pieces (I keep them in the freezer) I cracked one in half…awesome-so I gave up and had 1.5 pieces this morning. For a mid-morning snack I munched on THESE:

Dried apricots, dates and chili spiced mango. If you guys haven’t tried Trader Joe’s Chili Spiced Dried Mango or Pineapple go out right now and get some. DO IT.

I really am feeling off today and I can’t tell if it is because I am getting a cold or because of allergies. It has been super rainy and this time of year the usually means POLLEN.

For lunch all I was craving was a veggie burger with broccoli slaw – I added some Annie’s Goddess dressing and hot sauce with a kiwi on the side – perfection. I really want to make my own vegetable burgers soon!

I am supposed to get in a 3-4 mile run today and am SO not in the mood; I feel tired, achy and just run-down. If this were 4 months ago and I was tired and not feeling up for a run, I would be riddled with guilt for not going to work out. Now though, my mentality is so different. I know I need to exercise to keep my body healthy and in shape but I also need to listen to it, and if it is telling me I am tired and wiped out, I am going to take it easy and NOT feel guilty! I know I will get my run in tomorrow and that is still just as good.

How do you all deal with missing a work-out and not feeling guilty?



Happy Rainy Monday! Seriously, the weather in Philly needs to make up its mind! It was perfect weather 2 weekends ago and this past weekend was almost like winter again! Today it is pretty chilly and raining, blah. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though-70’s and sunny Friday/Saturday – whoohoo!

Backtracking to Saturday night, I had a fabulous night out with my girls. I met up with my HS friends Lauren and Meghan and we had some snacks and wine and caught up. We also participated in Earth Hour – basically from 8:30-9:30pm Saturday night everyone, all over the world was encouraged to turn off all the lights. I heard about this on Lauren’s blog – great idea!

After our Earth Hour, we went out and met up with Lauren’s husband for drinks and fun in town. It ended up being a really fun night – I haven’t been out like that in awhile!

I was definitely paying for all my fun Saturday night, on Sunday morning. I am not sure about any of you out there, but any time I drink more than a few drinks, I get terrible anxiety the next day. It is so strange and of course not a great feeling : – / .

Do any of you get anxiety the day after drinking?

My friend Meghan commented that she does occasionally and likes to call it the “Sunday Scaries”. That made me chuckle.

So what’s a girl to do the day after having a bit too much to drink?! Get fro-yo of course! Look at this beauty. My sister asked that I go grocery shopping with her and I said sure, as long we stopped at Sprinkles after!

I went with the Triple Berry Sorbet, the original tart and birthday cake topped with pretzels, blueberries and kiwi! So YUM.

Sunday was a lazy day and I hung out with B and we watched the new Discovery Channel series LIFE. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so! It is so interesting and what they capture on camera is incredible!

I sure do hope this afternoon flies by! I’ll be working at the MP tonight so look for more from this gal tomorrow!


Farmer Jane


Not only did my body get a workout today, my green thumb got some exercise too! After my 8 miles on Kelly Drive with my sister (under 1:20:00!!) I headed home to my parents place  in West Chester to do some gardening! About a month ago my dad propositioned me with the idea of doing a “garden share” with him. I don’t have anywhere at my current place for a garden but would love to grow some veggies and fruits so my dad said that if I helped with the planting and upkeep, I could use some of their land to grow my plants! Perfect! I agreed of course and came home today to complete “phase 1” of project: Garden. The seedlings have to start indoors in a warm moist place so they can germinate and then be moved outside.

TA DA! It was not hard to do at all and now we just have to put them in a warm, not-too-sunny place until they sprout. I will be back in a couple weeks to help get the soil ready and plant these babies!

I love coming home to see my parents but I must admit, I have a couple other reasons for coming home… 🙂

Luna and Lucie! Luna is the family German Shepard. She’s my not-so-little buddy and gets so excited to see me when I come home – probably because she knows I will take her outside to throw the ball around. Lucie is my kitty from college. She is a sassy little girl and lives at home with my parents right now because my current living situation isn’t conducive to cats. I love these guys and get so happy when I see them. I can’t wait until I am able to have Lucie living with me again; I want to eventually get a dog! I have always grown up with pets and 100% plan on having a big awesome dog – no little guys for me! I need a buddy to run and play with 🙂

Gotta run for now – heading to my friend Lauren’s place for a girl’s night. Mmmm wine! See ya later!


Silly Me!


Sooo I got home from work last night at around 1am and out of no where it popped into my head that “OMG I wrote a post about reviewing Kombucha tea and didn’t even do the actual review!” I am such a dummy-ha I guess I got so caught up in other things that I forgot to finish the review in my last post. Sorry guys!

So I already told you how the tea made me feel, now how about taste? Well the Mystic Mango is my favorite so far for a  reason – I love mango! The flavor is not too sweet but is plentiful. It is smooth yet fizzy; the perfect combo in my opinion. We will see how all the others fare in coming weeks. I apologize this is in 2 parts – never again! 🙂

Right now I am munching on these bad boys for some pre-run fuel:

An Arnold Sammy Thin with Dark Chocolate Natural PB on the right and Vanilla Cinnamon Sunflower Butter on the left. It is my goal today to conquer 8 miles. Wish me luck! See you kids later!!!

Kombucha Friday


I’m back! Weird to be posting twice in one day (at this point in my bloggie adventure) but I forgot to fill you all in on an obsession and newly formed tradition here at The Bright Side.

First though a quickie picture of my awesome lunch! I had a Black  Bean veggie burger with spicy mustard, Laughing Cow cheese and broccili slaw with a kiwi and veggie chips on the side. YUM!

OK back to the real reason I am here which is that current obsession of mine….

Kombucha Tea! I actually discovered this lovely tea through a friend from The Melting Pot – she is a really healthy eater and I love talking with her about new foods/fitness ideas. So after trying hers one day I immediately went to Whole Foods and purchased a few of my own.

So Kombucha Friday was born. Friday because, well–these babies are too expensive right now to enjoy every day and because I think the first time I had one was on a Friday after a Thursday Happy Hour the night before. Lets just say that this tea drug me from the trenches of a hangover and got me through my day! So the goal is to try as many flavors/brands of Kombucha and let you know what I think!

First up brand wise I am starting with GT’s Synergy. Today I had the Mystic Mango flavor. I have tried about three of  GT’s flavors and I am going to start with my favorite (so far).

Before I tell you what I thought, let me get my good friend Wikipedia up here to explain WHAT Kombucha Tea is:

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is imbibed for medicinal purposes. There is limited scientific information supporting any purported benefits and few studies are being conducted. Kombucha is available commercially, but can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible solid mass of microorganisms called a kombucha culture or mushroom.

So basically this is a fermented tea with little floaty fungi in it. Sounds yummy right? Well it really is! The tea has a natural effervescence to it and has lots of microorganisms floating around to help your body! Now I am no scientist and can’t really say if all the claims they make about it are true, but I can say with confidence this tea has helped me with the following:

  1. Feeling more alert at work – it’s gives you energy like a cup of coffee but without the 3pm slump. 🙂
  2. Recovering from a hangover – yes I have, on occasion, had too much to drink and had to come to work the next day. These guys helped hydrate me and give me a little boost of energy.
  3. Upset tummy- ie: gas/bloating. TMI I know but hey, we all experience it. This stuff actually feels like it is popping all the little air bubbles inside leaving me with a clean feeling. Diet Coke certainly can’t do that!

So there you have it! The First Edition of Kombucha Fridays. I hope you will check back next Friday to see what flavor is next!

I am off to waitress for the night but check back later this weekend to see how my 8 mile training run goes!!




Yup, I’m serious-I couldn’t think of anything better as a title other than Friday. I think it’s good enough! Except for the fact that I am going to be talking about Thursday in this post 🙂 . Oh well.

Yesterday morning I tried out a new breakfast item. I had seen Ryan talk about how much she enjoyed millet bread with some cinnamon on top so I decided to try it. I added a few drops of agave nectar as well and it made for an awesome breakfast! I paired the millet toast with a spinach/fruit smoothie. YUM.

For lunch I was in a bit of a rush. Because I work only a mile from my house, I come home for lunch at least four times a week. Well today I didn’t have a whole lot of time to eat so I literally threw this together in about 5 min – behold the “Mexi Casserole”. Guess I am on a casserole kick since I had one Wednesday for dinner too!

This ended up being a delicious and filling lunch! Into this bowl went:

  • ~1/2 cup of brown rice
  • 1/4 cup of FF Refried Beans
  • 1/4 salsa
  • 1/4 Chobani Plain
  • a handful of broccili slaw (for crunch!)
  • additional salsa to garnish

Like I said-A.mazing. I guess it is kind of like a naked burrito you would find at a Chipotle or Moe’s. Try it out for yourself and let me know how you like it!

The rest of the afternoon kind of went by slowly-like a snail…I did get to snack on this though!

Apple and almonds (TJ’s Honey Sesame to be exact) seem to be a great snack combo for this gal. I wasn’t super hungry in the afternoon, but I had a run planned with my sister so I wanted to make sure I had something inside of me for fuel.

And speaking of a run-my sister and I ran 3 miles. I made it through in 0:29:37. I feel like I run faster on a treadmill than outside and because of that, felt like I was pushing myself on this run.

Does anyone else feel that way??

For me, being able to see exactly what the pace is that I am running on the treadmill makes me go faster. I am really not sure why, and would like to change that immediately so I can run the same pace inside and outside all the time. We shall see 🙂

After our run I made dinner for my sister and I. Dinner consisted of salads and 1/2 sammy thin with nut butter. The carbs/protein were devoured pretty quickly but I did manage to snap a few pics of the salad:

It was a great salad! My sister is in Med School right now and is always studying or in class so I think she appreciated having a simple dinner put together for her. I hope she comes back soon so I can try something else out for her!!


This might be a long post!

So this morning I OVERSLEPT!!! I kind of  go into panic mode when this happens, which isn’t often. For some reason my alarm on my phone did not go off but I did wake up naturally around 7:15…I am usually up between 6:30 and 6:45 so this kind of left me, um, no time to do anything! I had grand plans of making oats and sitting down to write this post but that got thrown out the window and replaced with a super fast shower and a sammy thin with jam and Sunflower Butter. Oh well, such is life sometimes. Good thing the weekend is here and I will have some time to get things done!

I hope everyone has a good Friday-see you back here soon!


Have you seen my dog?


I have not been able to stop thinking about spring since this past weekend-the weather was so awesome out and now all I want is sunny skies and a cool breeze. I am not gonna be picky if the sky is gray and it’s 70 out, but you know what I mean 😉 .

So yesterday was hump day-and it was a pretty good hump day in terms of eats!! For breakfast I decided to try the “famous” OIAJ (oats in a jar).  I mixed 1/3 cup of instant whole grain oats with 1/3+ cup of almond milk and added a pinch of salt and some cinnamon. After it was cooked I added a little scoop of Sunflower Butter because I was really just using the jar for the container – there wasn’t any sunflower butter left! Either way, it was awesome and kept me full until lunch time!

Lunchtime involved another delicious salad with Annie’s Goddess dressing on top!

Before my evening run I snacked on an apple. I decided to do an indoor/outdoor run and ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill and finished up with another mile outside that took me home!

Dinner was kind of random-I definitely knew I was going to roast some brussel sprouts and sautee some mushies but had no plan other than that. B came over and we ended up cooking some short-grain brown rice and chicken for him and salmon for me. I used some plain Chobani and assorted spices to make a salmon “casserole” of sorts. It was really awesome and I think B was jealous of my creation.

** I also enjoy a couple glasses of this Duck Pond Red Blend. I got this as part of my wine of the month club-it was a good wine, pretty dry and “full” in body but it went well with the meal!

Before I skedaddle for the afternoon I want to let you all know that one of my good friends from college, who happens to live nearby (PA/DE) recently had her dog go missing. She is the sweetest little thing and her name is Erma. If you click on her name, you can see the poster my friend Jessica made. If you or anyone you know lives in the Kennett Square/Landenberg, PA area keep an eye out for this pup!

OK-I’m outta here. Gotta get some work done so I can go for a run and play with my new phone tonight!


Natural Energy


I have loved coffee since I was a little girl. Growing up, my Abba (the grandkids’ Spanish nickname for Abuelo) used to let me try his espresso after dinner when my family would visit. I was a goner from there! I absolutely love the rich taste of a dark roasted coffee/espresso. There is nothing better than a latte or a  black coffee on a sunny Saturday morning while running errands. It would be great if that is how I always appreciated coffee but once I graduated college and entered the corporate world, I began to look at coffee not so much as a treat but as an absolute necessity in order to function every morning. I would feel so tired arriving at the office at 8am that nothing but that cup ‘o Joe would get me going.

I decided that it was a bit ridiculous that I was relying so heavily on something to get me going in the morning. I was convinced that underneath my sleepy eyes and coffee filled brain that there was the real me, bright eyed and ready to conquer the day; without caffeine! So I stopped drinking coffee. I switched to decaf tea and upped my water intake. And you know what? It worked! I am alert every morning, don’t have that typical 3pm “slump” and have now started to enjoy coffee again on the weekends as a treat -not because I need it! Although I have to give credit to my willpower for not allowing me to crawl into the break room every morning for coffee, I need to give a little shout-out to this guy who helped me on my way…

The Green Monster!! These guys are everywhere! I discovered them through the blog world but have since noticed lots of non-bloggers who love ’em too! There are so many variations to the recipe but the tried and true (for me at least!) is:

  • 1 nanner
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 2-3 cups of raw spinach
  • on occasion, a scoop of AmazingGrass!

That’s it! Easy peasy. Not only is this a tasty way to start the day, but when I drink GM’s I can literally feel the energy buzzing through my body. So thank you Green Monster for helping me get through another day in Corporate America 😉 .

Now onto eats! Of course I enjoyed that green beauty above for breakfast and had some of TJ’s sesame honey almonds about mid-morning. They are pretty tasty and addicting-good to keep them in portion controlled containers instead of the bag! Lunch was a sunshine burger on a sandwich thin with a laughing cow wedge, spicy mustard and broccoli slaw – SO GOOD. I love sunshine burgers – look at this ingredient list!

Ground raw sun-flower seeds
Brown rice
Sea Salt

Mmmmmmm! I threw in an organic pink lady apple and some veggie chips throughout the afternoon

After work my friend Meghan came over and we got active! Meghan was nice enough to bring over one of her p90x DVD’s – Plyometrics.

I really didn’t know a whole lot about it so if you don’t either, here is the “official” Wikipedia definition:

Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities.

Basically you spend the entire time jumping and holding different positions – it was really hard! Meghan and I completed 30 minutes of the 60 minute workout and rounded it out with a brisk 25 min walk. It was a great way to get in a little cross training and catch up with Meghan!

Meghan also had another reason for coming over – we were going to dinner! This past fall a group of us girls had a “girls night out” at the Melting Pot (yup! same one I work at) and had a GC left over that was going to expire soon. We decided tonite was the perfect opportunity to meet up and enjoy some cheese and chocolate fondue!

It was a lot of fun hanging out – you can’t go wrong with cheese and chocolate can you? I was totally beat after dinner and came home and went right to bed! It was gray and cloudy all day and I feel like when it is gloomy outside I am always more tired! Good thing today the sun is shining! Hope everyone has a great Wednesday! 🙂


Switching things up


I am really struggling to find a time of day (or times of day) that I can write good, meaningful posts that make sense and are appealing to look at. I know it is going to take some time to get in the groove and find what works, but it is just so frustrating for me. I am very good  at being busy and staying organized and on top of things, but I get anxious thinking about trying to fit in time to blog. I am really liking it so far but its tough working two jobs, training for Broad Street and finding time to see my friends, family and B.  And then having time to blog-whew!

Does anyone have advice about how to better manage time and fit blogging into a crazy schedule? I read about people like Tina, Caitlin and Meghann who all have super busy schedules and still manage to have awesome blogs! I would love to channel even a tiny portion of the energy they have so I can make my blog as interesting and fun as I am! And with that, look for another post tomorrow morning-gonna try out the getting up early thing. 😉