Mini Spinach/Rice Frittatas + Theo Orange Dark Chocolate

I LOVED hearing about all you intuitive eaters out there! From the experts to those just starting out – you’re amazing! Keep up the good work!

Here are a couple of my fave comments:

  • Faith – “once I get to a certain point of hungriness, I start eating to stop the hunger but generally don’t stop once I’m adequately full – it’s like I’m overcompensating. Because of that I try not to let myself get past say, a 3 on a 1-10 hunger scale.”
  • Jessica – “I always eat when I’m hungry and usually try to pack a snack with me everywhere I go, just in case. You don’t want to see me when I get too hungry cause that turns to hangry really quick! If I want to feel good and have energy all day I need to eat!
  • Joy – “I just started, but I must say it is very liberating! I haven’t been overeating because I know that if am hungry again, I will eat. Nice work on listening to your body! It knows you better than anyone else.”

Thank you everyone who commented – you guys made me smile!

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This morning, I whipped up some mini frittatas to use up that leftover pilaf from the other night. I don’t know if they sound difficult, but they are SOO easy!

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So easy and satisfying – these had protein, grains, and even a lil bit of a veggie – baby spinach!

Mini Spinach, Cheese, and Rice Frittatas

NOTE: These are a good way to use up some leftover rice or other grain pilaf. Inspired by this recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cooked grain – rice or blend (mine was rice, barley, and spelt)
  • about a dozen baby spinach leaves rinsed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and prep a mini tart/frittata pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl. Stir in cheese, spinach, salt, and pepper.
  3. Use a mini ice cream scoop (or melon baller) to fill tart/frittata cups about 3/4 full.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes until the eggs are cooked through (I usually wait till the tops are just starting to brown lightly).

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Bailey practiced some tricks this morning. He used to HATE when we made him sit up, but now he LOVES it! :)

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Teavana Mate Vana + Rooibos Macadamia + honey = wonderful.

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For lunch, I started with a GIANT salad: baby spinach, romaine, farmers market tomatoes, cucumbers, pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, blueberries (yes! try them – they rock in salads), and TJ’s poppyseed dressing. Great combo!

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I also had some TJ’s breaded halibut with tartar sauce and a micro-roasted sweet potato with butter and brown sugar.

Theo Orange Dark Chocolate Review

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I had a hankering for something sweet after lunch today, so I broke into the sample I requested from Theo – Orange Dark Chocolate.

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This bar is Organic and Fair Trade – both wonderful features I look for in my products – food and otherwise. And did you know Theo was the first North American organic and fair trade bean-to-bar chocolate maker? Yea…says so on the bar. ;)

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Check out that ingredient list! It’s wonderful – short, readable and with good ingredients.

Nutrition info, too.

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The verdict: the dark chocolate was lovely and smooth. I thought it had a good balance of dark chocolate and orange flavors. The orange was noticeable but not overwhelming. Also, I didn’t think I liked the combo of chocolate and citrus, but this bar was very enjoyable. Overall, I would love to buy more Theo bars to support the company for 2 reasons: 1. the chocolate is tasty and 2. the company is amazing and does great stuff for our planet! Go Theo!

What’s your favorite chocolate flavor pairing? (It’s ok if you like your chocolate plain)

Take Out Oops + Organic Gardening Q+A

*Before I forget yet again, thanks to Bonnie, Taylor, and Ashley for your fun zumba notes. I loved reading them!*

More Tuesday Eats

After my fabulous quinoa breakfast, I brewed up some Teavana tea.

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Mate Vana + Rooibos Macadamia = delicious tea

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Sweetened with local honey.

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I was extra glad to be at home so I could get comfortable and prop my foot up. RICE, right? Ok, so my “injury” isn’t that serious, but I’ll do anything to make it get better faster! So far no swelling, so I expect to be 100% sooner than later. *crossing fingers*

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I got stuck on phone conferences and couldn’t get to lunch so I snacked on some Stacy’s Pita chips. Darn you Stacy and your irresistible pita chips!! It’s too easy to eat these.

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I had a nice, healthy lunch today.

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A GIANT salad or organic veggies: baby spinach, romaine, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, pepitas and Drew’s Rosemary Balsamic.

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Plus a piece of spelt toast with some Homestead Creamery butter (from my weekend grocery trip)…so so good!

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I was mostly excited about digging into my creation from last night – Southwestern Quinoa Salad (click for recipe).

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For nutrition, I had a mini Vega Health Optimizer shake made with a little more than 1/2 a scoop of mix plus plain ole water.

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Then I had a not-so-healthy snack – a mini Texas donut…

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…plus some Tulsi tea in India Breakfast.

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I got a candle going to combat the rainy day and make the room smell yummy.

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For dinner, I got take out from The Flying Biscuit. I asked the guy on the phone to help me choose from 3 options (turkey meatloaf, turkey pot roast, and herb-crusted chicken). He recommended the chicken (served with mac and cheese and collards) so I took his suggestion.

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The dinner came with a salad with a vinaigrette dressing.

Dinner was also supposed to come with a biscuit (hello, the restaurant is called The Flying BISCUIT!) :lol: but I didn’t get it. I called to ask if the dinner was supposed to come with a biscuit (in case I misunderstood) and they said it was supposed to. The person I spoke with was very friendly and apologetic and when I said I wanted to come back for the biscuit (yes, I really wanted it!), they offered to throw in dessert. They started to go down the dessert list, but I had another idea – breakfast! I am still thinking about the fabulous breakfast hubby and I had at TFB last Saturday. So, I got a single oatmeal pancake with peach topping to go. I’m already looking forward to breakfast now!

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I was really excited about my biscuit, but you know what…the restaurant forgot the apple butter. :oops:

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Luckily, I had some Kime’s at home, which I heated up to get the full Flying Biscuit experience.

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I got to enjoy my biscuit whilst catching the latest Glee – the Madonna episode! I love this show…so glad I remembered to watch it this week. I’m pretty bad at watching TV shows because I don’t pay much attention to the schedules and forget when they’re on.

Anywho, The Flying Biscuit made some mistakes tonight, but who doesn’t!? No one’s perfect. The important thing to me was that they were concerned about my satisfaction and they went out of their way to make me happy. Thanks TFB…I’ll definitely be back.

Theo Chocolates

After contacting Theo Chocolate, I was thrilled they were interested in sending me some samples to review. :mrgreen:

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The chocolate came extra-nicely packaged with cornstarch packing peanuts! Neat! I usually try to keep my peanuts to re-use them when I ship stuff, but it’s nice to see how eco-friendly these are – they dissolve in water!

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Theo Chocolate sent me some awesome stuff – some Pink Salted Vanilla Caramels in Dark Chocolate

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…plus an Orange Dark Chocolate bar.

I love how Theo supports both Organic and Fair Trade. I can’t wait to sample these and write up my reviews!

Organic Gardening Q+A with Don

You guys had some fabulous questions for Don, founder of Instant Organic Garden. In fact, we already have answers for those questions:

Michelle –

Question for Don: I’m wanting to start a garden, but I’ll be living in a rental property and can’t plant like I’d like to. Do you have any tips on container gardening?

Yes, use as big a container as possible, especially for summer plants like tomatoes. A whiskey-barrel sized container is sufficient for a single tomato plant. Use good-quality potting mix, but no synthetic fertilizers. Natural fertilizers like Plant-Tone or worm castings are best.

Jessica –

Question for Don: What are some examples of vegetables in North Carolina that are cheaper to purchase as well as examples of those you would grow.

Avoid crops that are inexpensive in the stores, take a lot of room (watermelon, corn, okra), don’t taste better fresh (potatoes, onions) and don’t offer a long term harvest (iceberg lettuce, bush beans.)

Julie -

Question for Don: I only have a very small gardening plot available at my apartment (but I am lucky to have one I can use considering I am only renting my apartment!) What is the best way to maximize your space when trying to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Any suggested additional resources?

Good soil with organic fertilizer means you can plant three times closer together. Set up a trellis for climbing plants like beans and cucumbers. My book shows you how to get started. “No Green Thumb Required! Organic Family Gardening Made Easy.

Thanks for your answers Don!
If you’d like to ask Don a question about organic gardening, he’s kindly offered to answer some more! Leave a comment on this post starting with “Question for Don: ” and I’ll do my best to get your question to him.
If you’re in the Charlotte area, you can go to one of Don’s many local events to ask questions in person. :) Click here for his event page.

Randomness

Giveaway Alert! I have a super-cool giveaway planned for Thursday…stay tuned for details.

Page Updates – I’ve updated several of my pages:

  • Recipes – wow, I thought I only had to add one or two from the last week…turns out I was missing a TON!
  • Reviews – added links for some recent reviews
  • Blogroll – new bloggie friends

One great way, as suggested in my post the other day, to go Green this week for Earth Day is to get a re-usable water bottle. I just added the Klean Kanteen water bottle to my OpenSky shop if you need one. I’m also working to get some other sizes/colors added, so I hope to have some new options soon.

Did I mention I have a wedding to go to this weekend?! It’s my oldest best friend’s wedding! I can’t wait!

Have you ever picked up a take-out order only to realize after you get home that something is wrong/missing? What did you do? What did the restaurant do when you told them?

Hungry Wanderers Onward

We had plans to work on our garden today, but other things kept coming up!

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I woke up a little late and made a rushed breakfast of Power Toast and hot tea.

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LOVE the amber color! In the mix: mate vana and rooibos macadamia – from Teavana.

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Spelt Power Toast with Barney Butter, chia seeds and sesame seeds.

Then, I went to church solo. Hubby was out fishing with a friend.

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Post church snack – Galaxy Granola (*) with vanilla almond milk.

Then, I went on a massive grocery re-stocking trip to Earthfare.

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But first I hit up the cafe area for lunch. I got a nice sized salad with baby spinach, romaine, cucumber, grape tomatoes, sprouts, celery, purple cabbage, carrots, and some macaroni salad on the side. I topped the salad with a raspberry chipotle dressing. I thought I read the bottle wrong but it definitely tasted like smoky, spicy raspberries. Very interesting.

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I also got some vegan veggie soup.

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Plus a yerba mate lemon tea to drink.

I ate my lunch in full sun on the patio and it was wonderous!

As for the groceries, I didn’t feel like taking pictures of everything, but here are some notable purchases:

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Old-fashioned butter from Homestead Creamery.

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Organic minneolas. I was going to pick up some conventional clementines but these were cheaper, organic, and (per the produce guy) more in season. Score!

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A trial size box of Green Genius biodegradable plastic kitchen bags.

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Earth Friendly Products Wave Auto Dishwasher Gel.

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Citradish Mango Tangerine Natural Dish Soap.

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Clearbrook Farms bitter-sweet orange marmalade.

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Amaranth (ok, I bought this from the bulk bins a week or so ago but I forgot to show you!)

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Hempmilk in Vanilla. I’m working my way through all the non-dairy milks and I’ve been wanting to try hemp milk for awhile. Today it was on sale, so I decided to give it a go. Can’t wait to try it!

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Coconut water – only $0.98 each. I swear these are more like $2 at other stores. I’ve been working on getting “things” from more natural sources, whether the “things” I’m looking for are vitamins, protein, etc. I bought the coconut water for the natural electrolytes.

While I was grocery shopping, hubby was furniture shopping. We found some stuff to buy on Craigslist and had it delivered today!

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We got this vintage buffet – built in the 1940s.

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A leather sectional for the basement.

And, my favorite purchase….

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…a PATIO TABLE! I think we will be using this piece of furniture veeery soon.

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While hubby was moving stuff, I also worked on a dessert for later.

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Mini fruit tarts! These are vegan and gluten free and perfect for spring/summer! Recipe to be posted later. Recipe up – click to view!

I made the tarts for a little get together for our friends Justin + Amanda, aka the Hungry Wanderers, who are moving to Las Vegas.

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There were tons of great eats.

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Veggie and bean salad and quinoa.

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Roasted broccoli and green beans.

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Salad.

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Beef brisket.

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I got a little bit of everything. Literally!

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Plus water to drink. Love these cups!

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There were plenty of sweets, too!

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Two layer chocolate-chocolate birthday cake.

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Oatmeal raisin cookies.

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My mini fruit tarts.

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Serving the cake.

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Just like dinner…I had a little bit of everything.

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Justin and Amanda recently went to Australia and they brought back a little taste of their adventure – the infamous Vegemite. My sister, who did an exchange to Australia, said she didn’t care for the vegemite and I’ve heard from most Americans that it’s not very good.

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I was a little nervous to try it, but too curious to say no.

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I picked a little corner, plus another fruit tart to chase the vegemite. :lol:

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was pretty good and good for you with lots of B vitamins (which can be difficult for most vegetarians and vegans to get). The flavor had a lot more bite than I expected, but it was tolerable. I can see why people really like it.

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Next, we got to try something else really cool.

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Homemade root beer! I’m a big root beer fan, so I was really excited about this.

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It was really awesome. Maybe the best root beer I’ve ever had – nice and not too sweet. It would make the perfect root beer float.

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A wise friend once told me “Later” means I’ll see you again, but “Goodbye” is forever.

See you later Amanda + Justin! We’re going to miss you guys! Best of luck in Vegas. We’ll have to visit sometime soon! :)

Organic Gardening for Beginners

I really wanted more of that yummy Galaxy Granola (*), but I also really wanted oatmeal.

The solution?

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Have your cake and eat it, too – oatmeal + granola – all in one bowl.

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Almond milk oatmeal, chia seeds, dates, pepitas, Galaxy Granola vanilla almond.

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Plus Fresh Market Spring Blend to drink.

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Mate Yerba hot tea with sugar.

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For lunch I had the lunch I was supposed to eat yesterday. I picked up a grilled chicken breast and some Live Green Salad from Earthfare when I was out shopping with Megan for her healthy pantry.

As I’ve said before, after recently suffering from a food-poisoning like situation, I’ve become extremely skittish about my food. How long had the chicken been sitting there? Did I wait too long between when I bought it and when I put it in the fridge? Yes, random thoughts pop into your mouth and I had something important to do Monday night and could NOT afford to get food poisoning again. Tonight, I’m not so worried, so I saved the food for today.

All the food seemed fine. I microwaved my chicken and also used the toaster oven to heat it up a bit. I got this cooked with the herbs at Earthfare and it was like around $2.50, which is about what it would have cost to buy the thing raw, so I think that was a pretty good deal. I also had a small romaine salad with hemp seeds and sunflower seeds plus rosemary balsamic dressing.

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I had even more fabulous Galaxy Granola later in the day, plus one of the Chocolate Oikos samples Stonyfield sent me for free awhile back.

I’ve tried the Chocolate Oikos before and I liked it ok, but today I liked it more. Overall, I think I still prefer starting with plain or vanilla and adding my own flavors, but I think the pre-flavored ones are really good options for us working people who don’t have a lot of ingredients at the office.

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Tulsi tea – Chai Masala tea with sugar.

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At the end of the day I had a healthful snack – half an orange bell pepper and four organic strawberries.

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After work I had something very exciting planned – an Organic Gardening for Beginners workshop, which my sorority alumnae association organized.

The presenter was Don Rosenberg of Instant Organic Garden. Don sets organic gardens up at peoples’ homes. If only hubby and I didn’t spend all our money on the renos, or if we won the lottery….or if we were independently wealthy…we would totally hire Don. But since we have none of those things, we will be trying the garden on our own…WITH some tips that Don provided tonight.

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My favorite Organic Gardening for Beginners tips:

  • Weeds grow in bare soil so traditional tilling/gardening is more weed-prone. Boxes placed on top of your yard work better and will result in less maintenance work (because less weeding)
  • Miracle Grow type boosters are electric shocks of growth causing spindly growth that is more susceptible to disease, thus requiring pesticides – see the vicious cycle?
  • A garden needs 6 hours of sun
  • Eating fresh can be more valuable than eating organic since many vegetables lose nutrients quickly after being harvested
  • Don’t grow something you can get cheaply and easily at the grocery store, grow something unique instead
  • There are some really interesting heirloom vegetables that would be fun to grow (not just tomatoes)
  • The difference between organic seeds and traditional is $2 – don’t waste your money buying the organic ones – how you grow your plant is more important
  • When growing tomatoes – keep the leaves dry and ensure the plant gets good circulation
  • There are many good organic solutions for gardens and common garden problems
  • Imustgarden.com has some good, natural solutions to deter deer, moles, etc.

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We had snacks donated by Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, since the event was also a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House (ADPi’s charity).

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I had a chicken finger (with some honey mustard), some tortilla chips and some spinach dip.

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Drink of choice – lemonade and Firefly sweet tea vodka. I need more of these drinks to enjoy on my fabulous patio! Ahh, yes, I can see it now, sweet tea vodka, burgers cooking on the grill, friends playing in the yard. Yes!

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Anywho, I had a great time at the organic gardening session with Don and I learned a ton. Most importantly, I’m newly inspired to get our garden going! I think hubby and I have a weekend project now! ;)

Check out the book Don is holding – it’s his and it’s called No Green Thumb Required.

Additionally, Don has offered to do a Q&A with The Chic Life readers! If you have a question for Don, please leave a comment on this post and start it with “Question for Don:” and then add your comment, like “Question for Don: What’s your favorite vegetable?” That way it’s easy for me to see your questions. Please try to ask your question by Thursday night, as I’ll probably send them pretty quickly to Don.

Thanks to Don for the workshop – I’m so glad I went, hubby and I had a great time!

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After the event, I ended up getting a cup of French Onion soup from Jason’s Deli. And I may or may not have eaten another Earthfare vegan WW chocolate chip cookie. Yummers!

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I need to work on a Project Hydrate Lessons Learned post. The last week-ish sort of fizzled out when I got sick, so sorry about that. :(

Almost exactly a year ago today, I went geo-caching with my sister and we had a fabulous picnic and some beautiful strawberry shortcakes.

Remember to leave your questions on organic gardening for Don on this post by Thursday night. Be sure to put “Question for Don: ” before your question.

Have a great week everyone! :) Ima finish watching Millionaire Matchmaker!

Return of the Crazy Bag Lady

Still feeling the glow from yesterday’s amazing Easter dinner! :mrgreen:

Someone asked recently (and I apologize for not answering in the comments – I forgot!) – I think it was Learn 2 Play – if I was still crazy bag lady (click). Actually, lately I’ve been able to downsize my stuff a bit,

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but today…it was the return of the crazy bag lady!!!

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Probably because I had ALL THIS in one of the bags! :lol:

Seriously, my shoulders were not happy, though.

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For Starbucks Monday I got a tall vanilla soy latte. So yum!

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The funny thing about all the things I brought to work today is that I didn’t eat much of the food I packed. Having recently suffered from a food-poisoning-like experience…one gets skittish when food is a wee bit old. So, I opted to get some vegan/GF chili out. I also grabbed a gatorade because I’m wondering if my electrolytes are low from last week’s lack of food/drink intake. I was feeling a little dizzy today.

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Kashi crackers with a bit of hummus leftover from hubby’s beer-brewing party.

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I attempted to microwave-steam some broccoli with a ceramic bowl and a paper towel. It didn’t work. Next time I will use a plate to top my bowl. The broccoli got a little nuked. :lol:

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I also had a Blueberry Almond bar and some Ginger tea.

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Yogi tea quote of the day: “Every heartbeat creates a miracle.”

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I tried to eat the biggest orange ever! I couldn’t quite finish the last 2 slices.

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Zumba fuel was an Odwalla Superfood bar.

Then, I had about 1 1/2 fabulous hours of ZUMBA!!! I was feeling a bit off but pushed through and had an awesome work out! :)

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Then, we had a birthday dinner for Kat at a local Mexican restaurant, complete with sangrias and margaritas. Kicking myself right now for not getting any PEOPLE photos! Doh!

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Table-side-made guac.

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Check out Megan’s amazing dinner. I want to get this next time!!!

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I split some chicken enchiladas with Alex. Thank goodness, too…this was HALF! I couldn’t even finish half of this!

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I did, however, save room for cupcakes. You guys know me! ;)

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Megan and I selected similarly decorated cupcakes. She said they were “boy and girl” cupcakes. heehee

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Mmmm…cuuuuppppcaaaaakkkeeee.

Happy Birthday Kat!!!!!!!!!!!!

I came home just in time to practice some zumba songs (I know…probably not the best idea after Mexican) and watch the end of the Duke Butler game. While I’m normally a big fan of the “underdog” and I think the Butler team played great, I have to cheer for hubby’s fave team – DUKE!

Congrats to Duke on winning the National Championship tonight!

Who’s your favorite (or your SO’s favorite) basketball team (can be a college/pro/any type)?

The Truth About Food

Happy Saturday! I’m sooo glad the weekend is here!

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My appetite is coming back bit by bit. This morning, I decided to continue my avoidance of dairy (afraid it will upset my sicky-stomach) in favor of rice-milk-stove-top oats with bananas, chia seeds, flaxseed meal and mate yerba to drink.

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RICE MILK OATS…where have you been all my life?! You are deeeelicious! :)

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The Truth About Food

Has any one else been watching the show The Truth About Food ? It’s A-mazing! I’ve been trying to DVR this for forever but my darn DVR box is full! (Hmmm ….TV show marathon tonight? eh eh?). Anywho, I’ve caught this show a couple times on Fit TV and it’s too cool! They show all these experiments, discoveries, theories, and studies about food. Dr. Oz is a featured speaker.

I wanted to share some of the stories I saw last night, so I took some notes for you. Each show, they cover a different topic. Last night’s was about being skinny. They featured different areas related to the main topic with experiments and case studies.

Metabolism

I caught this part of the show late, but they had given two different ladies (one overweight and one underweight) some special liquid to drink that tracked their consumption and movement. They found that one lady was 10 kilos overweight and the other was 10 kilos underweight. Was a difference in metabolism to blame? No. It turns out – they have the same metabolism. They also had the same amount of movement – not much exercise. So what was the cause of their difference in weight? One was consuming about 50% more food than the other. One was eating too much and one was eating too little.

Satiety

They did an experiment on the show to see which food type would make you feel fullest – carbs, protein, or fats.

They had 3 self-proclaimed snackers fast for 12 hours. The snackers thought they were going to the Ritz Carlton for dinner, but instead they were subjected to a test.

Each was given a different meal for each food type:

  • Carbs – pasta with tomatoes
  • Protein – pasta with chicken
  • Fats – pasta with a rich, cream sauce

2 hours after they ate, they did a check in to see how their hunger level was.

4 hours later, they gave each of the subjects a pizza to snack on. The one who consumed the protein meal ate the least amount of pizza.

The show went on to explain that it’s important for your satiety to include a lean protein in each meal: chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy were suggested options.

Additionally, the show pointed out that people who ate protein ate less the next meal!

I always try to include some protein in each meal just so that I don’t get hungry too fast, but I still thought this study was great to back up my habit.

Portion-Size

They did another study on 150 movie goers. 1/2 of the movie goers were given a medium 4 oz tub of popcorn. The other half were given a large 8 1/2 oz tub. 1/2 of each group was given stale/2-week-old popcorn.

The group with the large tubs ate 45% MORE! Even the ones who had stale popcorn.

Conclusion = people overeat foods in large containers. Try using smaller plates, bowls, etc.

They also pointed out that eating a large lunch doesn’t mean you’ll eat lighter the next meal.

Visual Cues

Two groups of evenly distributed people in height, weight, sex, etc. were given chicken wings.

Half the group had their bowls for their finished bones left in front of them. The other half had the bones removed immediately.

The group who had their bowls removed ate 10% more meat!

Conclusion = visual clues are very important. Try keeping a food diary to note what you’re consuming.

Calcium = Less Fat?

A Denmark study determined that dairy can help you absorb less fat. Their theory – Calcium binds to fat, reaches intestine, forms a soap-like substance, which is hard to absorb.

They did a study on a participant who for two weeks consumed a high calcium diet, then for 2 weeks consumed a low calcium diet.

The result – during the high calcium diet, the participant excreted 100% more fat!

Random Point

Dr. Oz said if you want to look thin, then diet. If you want to be healthy, then exercise.

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If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend it! It’s awesome!! :) There are some videos available online here (click). Check em out!

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