Monthly Archives: June 2010

One of THOSE Days

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It is AMAZING outside today. I cringe everytime I think about how much longer I am stuck inside until I can go out and play! And on top of that I am just having a womp womp of a day at work. Just gotta keep that chin up!

So I am seriously in need of a trip to the food store but am refusing to go until after the holiday since I’ll be down the shore for 3.5 days. That means that my meals this week have been random but hey, I’m working with what I got! For example, breakfast this morning was a PB and banana sandwich because I have no spinach or milk for my normal morning smoothie.

For lunch I had a wrap that had about 1/4 of it torn of for so odd reason. I put some hummus and zucchini in it with some water melon on the side.

I’ve got some Chobani with berries and B Thinks This Would Be Better Without Pistachios then dinner is a complete mystery. I’m heading to WC to ride with Meghan and we’ll go from there :).

In happier news…guess what I did today?!

Registered for the Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon!! Super excited/terrified. Training will start in August but I’ll be busy with bike training until then!

Gotta run-pray this day goes quickly so I can enjoy an awesome ride outside!

Ta-Ta!

Taking Inspiration From Others

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As I was getting out of my car after work this evening a thought suddenly crossed my mind. Do my legs remember how to run!? This thought was brought on by the fact that I was planning on running tonight. Well I proved to myself the yes indeed, my legs DO remember how to run…just not very well :). I only ran two miles but felt like I had run 10 times that! I want to chalk it up to the heat but in reality, I have lost my running fitness.

I will admit that I have had a few mini freak outs over this; especially considering that the most I have run since Broad Street is 3 miles! But ya’ know what? It’s OK.  No really, I am fine with it. I know that my body can work itself up to ten miles, or 13 or 75 on a bike, it will just take time and hard work. Either way, those two miles were still hard! I came back looking like a hot mess.

Attractive I know. Just trying to keep things real ;). I was able to shower and get dinner started just as B got here from work. Tonight’s dinner was inspired in part by Travel Eat Love’s salmon recipe  Eat Live Run’s use of swiss chard as a side, and my own pineapple rice!

The salmon recipe I followed was very simple. Instead of using a Zinfandel to create  cherry sauce for the salmon I used Shiraz. I let the cherries and wine simmer for about 30 minutes while I threw together my Pineapple Rice. While that all cooked I prepared these pretty ladies.

I am in love with the vibrant colors of this Swiss Chard! When I saw it during my trip to Headhouse Farmer’s Market I just knew I had to get it. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it once I actually had it but I got it anyways. In reality it wasn’t so scary. I just chopped the stalks into small pieces and tore the leaves up. I sautéed them with some olive oil, garlic and salt along with some asparagus and red pepper. It made for a VERY colorful and flavorful dinner.

I love pineapples and the cherry sauce went so well with it. I would definitely make this again but probably use a different starch or roast some more veggies. Overall a great dinner! I’m headed to the couch to watch some TV with B before bed. Have a good night everyone!

Ta-Ta!

Headhouse and Italian Markets

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I had such good Sunday and can’t wait to tell you all about it 🙂

Picking up from Saturday….B and I went out for a light dinner and drinks after the World Cup game. We tried a new (to us) place called CORK in Collingswood, NJ. The lighting in the restaurant was terrible so you will not be seeing any pictures, sorry! I can tell you that I had a glass of red sangria and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that were delicious along with my food. Oh and I dragged B to get fro-yo because apparently the place near my parent’s house were I always go is a chain and there was one located right near his house. Perfect!

Sunday morning I slept in until about 10 which is a rarity but was definitely great. I had a big bowl of fruit for breakfast since there was uh, just a bit left over from yesterday. After breakfast B and I headed into Philly. Our first stop?

I have been wanting to go to Headhouse for some time now. I love farmer’s markets (West Chester has a great one!) but sadly the only one close to where I live leaves something to be desired. So into the city we went in search of produce! There was certainly plenty of it here!

I ended up getting some swiss chard and local peaches. I am excited to cook with the swiss chard this week.

After walking up and down the farmer’s market and South Street for a bit, we decided to hop in the car and check out the Italian Market. I know this may be shocking, since I have lived in this area for over a decade, but I had never been to the Italian Market!! I’ve driven past it plenty of times but never walked through all the stalls and stores. B and I perused for a while, taking in the sights and picking up some goods for dinner.

It was HOT yesterday so we only lasted about an hour in the market, but I loved every minute of it. OK maybe the gross smell walking by the fish stalls wasn’t so great but everything else was! By the way, the Italian Market is a people watchers paradise! There are so many different sounds, smells and sights, you could stay entertained for hours.

B and I did pretty well at the markets!

We came home with lots of peaches and nectarines, bananas, asparagus, red peppers, swiss chard, homemade gnocchi and spicy pasta sauce, and fresh ricotta cheese. Before getting to work prepping dinner we sat outside and enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine.

See how versatile an excess of fruit salad can be?! It was really good added to the wine. We sat outside and chatted for a bit, admiring B’s garden 🙂 . Then we got cookin’.

The gnocchi was so good- it was a ricotta based pasta, instead of the traditional potato. I have had both before and like the ricotta gnocchi better. It seems less dense to me, and a bit creamier in texture. The sauce was SO GOOD. It was a basic tomato sauce with garlic, spices and olive oil but what made it stand out was the red pepper flakes. It gave the sauce a tangy/spicy flavor that totally hit the spot.

I really love dating someone who loves to cook. It is definitely something we both enjoyed doing before we met so being able to do it together makes it that much better.

Does your significant other like to cook? What are some of your favorite things to cook together?

B and I love creating flatbreads at home!

Time to get back to work. I am hoping this week passes quickly, the Fourth of July holiday is coming up and I betchya can’t guess where I’ll be!!

Ta-Ta!

A Rainbow of Colors

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One of my favorite things about summer is fresh produce. There is nothing that makes me smile more than coming home and seeing a rainbow of colors in the fridge.

Yesterday I was at B’s for the afternoon watching the World Cup game. We had an impromptu cook out and I immediately said I would make fruit salad! I love a good fruit salad; so crisp and refreshing!

I started with a giant watermelon – the perfect base to any fruit salad.

From there I chopped up/added grapes, peaches, pears, blueberries and mango. I didn’t have any on hand, but would have loved strawberries as well.

The key to making a good fruit salad, especially a big one, is to layer all of the different fruits so that you don’t have to struggle stirring a big bowl of fruit and everyone gets to try some of everything.

The fruit salad was a hit along with THIS:

B’s first “Harvest” of the summer! That GIANT squash was grown about 20 feet from where I am sitting. It doesn’t get more local than that! We grilled that zucchini squash on the grill and I had a tasty veggie sandwich for lunch!

It was a great day for eating fresh and local :).

I am super excited because in just a little bit B and I are heading to Philly to the Farmer’s Market!! I’ll be back with a recap!

My Bicycle

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This is my bicycle.
She is a hand-me-down from my sister. She passed it onto me years ago after she went out and got a real road bike and real cycling gear.
My bike isn’t a road bike. It’s not a mountain bike either.
I’m not sure it really knows what it is.
That is kind of like me, riding this bike in preparation for City to Shore.
This is a totally new experience.
I’m nervous I won’t be good at it, but I’m excited to try.
I don’t feel like I belong on this bike but love the feeling of the wind on my face as I whoosh down the trail.
Eight miles today in 00:38:30.
Getting a little faster!

Where are you Kombucha?!

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I am really looking forward to the weekend. I have a few fun things going on but overall, just a weekend of relaxing 🙂 Last night I was a laaazy girl and made dinner (sweet potato with zucchini and mushrooms sautéed in tomato sauce) and watched some DVR’d shows. For dessert I made banana soft serve with peanut butter and it seriously hit the spot! Sorry I didn’t snap any pictures; when you live in a four story house, it gets old going up and down 3 flights of stairs all the time!

This morning I had the usual Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake.

(old picture because I made mine today as I was running out the door!)

So how many of you have heard of/drink Kombucha tea? (If you don’t know what it is, click here to read more about it!)

If you’ve been reading “The Bright Side” for awhile you know that I used to do “Kombucha Friday” where I would try and review a new flavor of the fermented tea. I stopped the normal Friday reviews because I had tried most of the flavors found at my local Whole Foods and have been drinking the flavors I like best as much as my wallet will allow me ($$$).

So it was a complete surprise when this article came out last week about Whole Foods voluntarily pulling Kombucha Tea from all of their stores! The reason was due to concerns over slightly elevated alcohol levels.  I was very disappointed and sad, I love Kombucha! Being that this tea is fermented, there is a very small amount of naturally occurring alcohol in each tea.

I want you all to weigh in – do you drink Kombucha? If so what do you like/dislike about it? How do you feel about WF’s pulling them from their shelves?


I had a hard time deciding what to make for lunch today because I am on the tail end of my food shopping trip, and that was almost two weeks ago. I go every two weeks with a small trip here and there if I need produce or something for a recipe. Overall this system works GREAT for me, except for this coming week. Fourth of July weekend is next weekend and because of that I don’t want to do my normal food shop this Sunday because I will be gone for 3.5 days next weekend. So basically what I need to do is sit down and plan out my meals for the next week and take a smaller trip to get stuff I need. I know this isn’t THAT hard of a thing to do, but I am usually on autopilot every time I go to the store because I’ve fallen into a groove (a GOOD one) of getting lots of healthy produce, grains, dairy and some treats here and there.

Anyways, here is what I came up with for lunch:

PB&J and steamed broccoli! This is obviously a random pairing but I’m goin’ with what I got!

I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE jam on my PB&J. I would rather have a little nut butter and a LOT of jam. Jam that oozes out of the bread, as you can see above!  Especially Whole Foods Mixed Berry Jam. It might be one of my favorite things. Ever. I had a glass of organic strawberry lemonade on  the side. All together:

Time to head back into work! See ya this weekend!

Ta-Ta!

Put a Smile on Your Face

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I’ve had a big smile on my face ever since yesterday! Before I get to WHY, I wanted to show you the delicious and EASY wrap I made for lunch! This honestly took about 3 minutes to put together.

Into one whole wheat wrap, place:

  • smear of hummus
  • sliced zucchini and tomato
  • 1 sunshine burger (or any vegetable based patty of your choice)
  • sprinkle of feta
  • hot sauce!

Perfection! All the different textures work so well together and it definitely hit the spot.

Now back to the cheesy smile that’s been on my face 🙂 .

A couple weeks ago I received an email saying that I was invited to audition to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune!!! Now I don’t know about you guys, but that was THE SHOW my mom and I watched when I lived at home! I had filled out an application online to be a contestant almost a year ago and haven’t thought about it since! That is until I was invited to NYC for the day to audition.

We drove up to the city yesterday afternoon which was pretty painless in terms of traffic.

Once we arrived I was ushered into a room where I spent 2.5 hours playing WoF games, being tested and speaking with the producers about myself. They had first round “cuts” and I made it through to the second round!

It actually was actually really fun and I wasn’t nervous at all. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that they choose me! I will know within 1-4 weeks if I’ve been chosen. Hopefully I’ll be up there spinning that wheel soon!

I also got an exciting email yesterday that was the perfect ending to the day. Foodbuzz contacted me saying I had been chosen to be a Featured Publisher on their site. This is exciting news and I am looking forward to working with them!

Some nasty storms just rolled through and I am hoping they clear up so I can get a bike ride in tonight. If not I may HAVE to join my roommate for a Happy Hour drink 😉 . See you kids tomorrow TGIF!

Ta-Ta!

Have you ever been on a game show?? If so what one?!

Good Day Sunshine!

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I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day

-The Beatles

Hey there!

I am loving all this sun. Even though it’s in the 90’s and super humid, I’ll take it over a cold rainy day anytime! I got to try a new bar recently tried that I want to tell you about; but first, some eats.

This morning I woke up SO tired. I am not sure if it is allergies, lack of an exercise schedule or I am getting sick but I can’t shake off the sleepiness and fog that usually goes away as soon as I wake up. I’m hoping some healthy eats and exercise this week will kick whatever this is out the  door.

I was craving a Cereal Bowl all morning so I decided to skip the normal morning smoothie. This Cereal Bowl hit the spot!

In the mix was:

  • 1 cup of Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup of Joe’s O’s (Trader Joe’s Cheerios!)
  • 1 nanner
  • ground flax
  • WF Berry Perserves
  • WF Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup of frozen mixed berries

This Cereal Bowl kind of tasted like a deconstructed PB&J with a nanner and glass of milk! 🙂

Since I had a very filling breakfast and a late snack I wasn’t super hungry for lunch and didn’t have any idea what to make  – but then just as I was leaving the office I got some lunchtime inspiration via email from Snack Girl!

Avocado on Toast! (with tomato and goat cheese)

Super easy, satisfying and tasty! I think that lunch will keep me going way into the afternoon. I’ve got a Pineapple Chobani with me for a snack though.

So several weeks ago the folks over at Kardea Nutrition contacted me asking if I would like to try their nutrition bars. I did a little looking around on their website before agreeing. I was intrigued by the flavors offered and I love bars so I wanted to give them a try!

Kardea

Here are a few stats from their site: (contained in one nutrition bar)

  • Plant Sterols-1 gram
  • Total Fiber-7 grams with 5 grams Soluble Fiber
  • Heart Healthy Soluble Fiber-3grams
  • Protein-7 grams with 3.5 grams Soy Protein
  • Vegetarian-Friendly (Chai Spice & Banana Walnut Are Vegan)
  • Kosher Certified
  • Only 150 Calories/Bar
  • No Trans Fats
  • Lower Glycemic Formulation

Kardea offers four flavors which include Chai Spice, Banana Walnut, Cranberry Almond and Lemon Ginger. Here is what I thought:

Chai Spice – This tasted just like Chai! It had great flavors too it and didn’t taste artificial at all. I really liked this one.

Banana Nut – YUM. I love banana nut anything and this bar was pretty spot on with it’s flavors. I really liked the little “crunchies” throughout the bar too.

Cherry Almond – do you ever have a moment when you are eating something that tastes like the smell of something else? Maybe I am alone on this one, but it has happened before and this particular bar brought that saying right back into my mind. This bar tasted like the smell of the cherry almond hand lotion you find in bathrooms. Weird I know. This bar didnt taste BAD, I was just weirded out because all I could picture was myself licking a palm full of hand lotion. Ew.

Lemon Ginger- This was a light a refreshing flavor. The lemon flavor wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked it but it was still good. I probably wouldn’t buy this flavor over Chai Spice and Banana Nut if they were offered in stores.

Overall I really enjoyed trying these bars. I like how each one was only 150 calories, making them less calorie dense than other bars I like. Although they were small in size, they were chewy which is something I really like as well.

I wasn’t a huge fan of how many ingredients there were in each tiny bar. That is one thing I love about LaraBars. Their ingredient list is very simple and straight forward. Although I probably would consider purchasing these in the future, it would be in a situation where LaraBars weren’t available. 🙂

Tonight I have a fun trip to Whole Foods planned! I’m grabbing dinner with a couple friends then going food shopping with one of them to help them pick out fun, healthy foods she can use to whip up meals for her and her fiancé! I’m so pumped to do this!

Ta-Ta!

Sweet Summertime

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Happy First Day of Summer!

It feels strange saying that since the past several weeks sure have felt like summer! This weekend was no exception! After my bike ride Saturday I got ready and went home to see my dad. I wasn’t going to be with him ON Father’s Day so I wanted to give him his gift and visit before I left. My dad should win an award for raising THREE daughters who all turned out pretty great! We always used to joke around because my Dad was the ONLY guy in a house full of women. Even the pets were always girls. I think he still managed to be a pretty awesome Dad regardless! Love you Dad!

After a short visit I went to my friend Lauren’s for a small party celebrating her anniversary with her husband. She had a very small ceremony last year so the party Saturday was for family/friends who couldn’t be there last year. It was really fun and I had a good time chatting with her family and enjoying the weather.

Lauren and I have known each other for almost a DECADE now! We met in high school and have been friends ever since. This picture was taken on her wedding day last year. I love this photo and actually have it framed in my room!

After saying my goodbyes at the party I hopped in the car for the drive down the shore. It did not take very long and I was there by dinner time. I love the part of the drive where you go over the bridge to whatever shore point you’re headed to. To me that is the official WELCOME TO THE BEACH!

Saturday night B and I went to a friend’s house in Stone Harbor and hung out before meeting his brother and sister at the WhiteBriar for a couple drinks. Of all the shore bars, my favorites are the ones where you can be outside. B made a good point Saturday night when he said, “why would I want to be at the shore and stuck inside someplace with no windows?” I agree! We didn’t stay too long though; we wanted to be up Sunday to fully enjoy the shore. And we did! It was a beautiful day.

After spending a couple hours at the beach we came back and had dinner before driving home. It was another fun (although short!) weekend at the shore. I love the shore — being there really helps me relax and “re-center”.

This week coming up is going to be pretty busy! I have something exciting going on so check back later this week. Enjoy all the extra sunshine we get today for Summer Solstice!

Ta-Ta!