Category Archives: Lunch

Shopping for Furniture

Good afternoon! How are you all doing with the time change? It always takes me a while to get used to it, but I’m happy that it will stay light out longer.


Yesterday afternoon, my mom watched the kids for a while so Danny and I could go out and look for bedroom furniture. We’re trying to find a whole new bedroom set, and so far I haven’t found anything that I loved.

We looked at a lot of complete bedroom sets, but I don’t know if I like all the matchy matchy sets. I love this bedroom that I found on Pinterest:


So far, I can’t find exactly what I want so, the search continues! If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them.

While we were out, we stopped at Whole Foods for lunch and some more carrot cake Clif bars.


The plank-a-day challenge is going great. Danny and I are improving each day. Yesterday was day #10. Danny’s plank was 1 minute and 55 seconds.

My plank was 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

I used Marlene’s trick and listened to music while doing my plank. I think it really worked because I lasted 5 seconds longer than the day before!

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Plank Day #11 – 2 minutes 51 seconds
  • 2.1 miles treadmill, walked/jogged

I did the plank after BodyPump today so it was really hard. I made it one second longer than yesterday and that was a struggle. My whole body was shaking after a minute, but the music really helps.


I had a small protein fruit smoothie this morning.

In my smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop white chocolate Designer Whey protein powder
  • 3 ounces Trop50 orange juice

Total Calories: 130     Total Protein: 9.4 grams

Have a great afternoon!

  • Know any good places for bedroom furniture?
  • What does your bedroom look like? Favorite thing in your bedroom?
  • Any workout today? Plank time?




Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

This is what our backyard looks like today:

This is what I woke up to find Danny wearing this morning:

Shorts and a t-shirt! I asked why the heck he was wearing shorts and he said with 100% seriousness, It’s going to be 40 degrees today!

I guess after a 10 inch snow storm, 40 degrees is kind of like a heat wave in Chicago. But you won’t find me wearing shorts until it’s at least 80 degrees.


Breakfast sure was delicious this morning thanks to the peanut butter oatmeal cookie dough overnight oats recipe that Julie posted yesterday.

I mixed up my own version before I went to bed last night.

In my peanut butter overnight oats:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp PB2
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (acts as a thickener)
  • 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips (I added these on top in the morning)

I mixed everything up and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This morning, I added a small splash of almond milk and the chocolate chips. The perfect breakfast!

Approx. 248 calories     Approx. 8 grams protein

Today’s Workout:

  • Plank Day #8: 2 minutes 43 seconds <— Getting better!
  • 1.5 miles treadmill, ran
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Zumba – 60 minutes

Good thing I got a good workout in this morning because I think it’s family Mexican food night! And I love me some Mexican food – it’s definitely my favorite!

After the gym I had some errands to run – Ulta, Old Navy, Target. I have to start getting everything ready for Easter – it’s so early this year! I’m getting the kid’s Easter baskets ready and we’re having brunch by us on Easter, so I am trying to plan the menu. And we always get together with my family to dye Easter eggs.

Last year:

It was after 2pm when I left Target, and I was starving, so I stopped at Panera for a salad and sandwich.

FitFluential DietBet

There’s still time to sign up for the FitFluential DietBet! If you want to lose a few pounds and win money, join me!

I have to admit that I’ve been slacking a bit with my eating, nothing too bad. But once the DietBet starts, I am really going to buckle down. I am very excited about this DietBet because it will be my last one and complete my one-year weight loss journey.

Danny is also doing this DietBet with me again. He has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year but still has a little more that he wants to lose.

I am currently working on a weight loss story page to share with you guys. Here’s an old picture that I found and a picture that I took yesterday:

The first picture was taken about two years ago. I haven’t worn that red flower shirt in a long time, and I pulled it out of my closet to wear yesterday and then I found the first picture of me wearing it about two years ago!

Have a wonderful Friday evening!

  • What’s your favorite kind of food?
  • Any plans for the weekend?
  • How do you celebrate Easter?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out


Good afternoon!


Last night, Danny, the kids, and I went to Buffalo Wild Wings with my dad and stepbrother to eat and watch the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game. Apparently, the Blackhawks are a big thing here in Chicago – something about a winning streak?!

My dad gets sad if I don’t show his picture when we go out together, so here it is:

Are you happy, Dad? We also went out for Mexican food last Friday, and I didn’t take any pictures so I didn’t even mention it. But for the record, we I went out with my dad last Friday for Mexican food.

Now that all the important stuff has been mentioned, let’s move on to today’s workout:

  • Plank Day #7: 2 minutes 39 seconds
  • Elliptical – 15 minutes
  • Step and Tone Class – 60 minutes
  • 1 mile walk, treadmill

Post workout, I had a Designer Whey chocolate caramel crunch protein bar.

It was good, but the peanut butter crunch is still my fav.

I have mentioned before that I usually eat something small at about 7:30 am, start my workout at about 8:45 am, and then eat something else (usually a protein bar) after my workout between 10:30 and 11:00 am.

I usually eat something with carbs before my workout to fuel my workout, and something with protein to help my muscles after a workout.

In the morning I usually have something like:

  • Kashi Go Lean cereal with almond milk
  • Kashi oatmeal
  • Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt

I also have a small piece of fruit in the mornings – usually a clementine or blueberries.

I used to have a hard time knowing what to eat and when to eat when working out, but now I much have a set routine. I try not to overthink it.


For lunch today, I had a whole wheat English muffin topped with egg whites and provolone cheese with apple slices.

I also used the PB2 as regular peanut butter for the first time today instead of adding it to my smoothie or yogurt.

I mixed up two tablespoons of PB2 with one tablespoon of water and stirred until it was a thick consistency. I used it to dip my apple slice in.

I am a huge peanut butter lover and the PB2 was amazing. I thought that it wouldn’t taste as good as regular peanut butter or it would leave my craving regular peanut butter but it didn’t. It was delicious, and I will be stocking up on this stuff next time I go to Whole Foods.

And for the record, I’ve tried other “alternative” peanut butters, like Better “N Peanut Butter, which I thought was so gross. In fact, the full jar with only one scoop missing still sits in my fridge because I won’t touch it.

So for me to like the PB2 was surprising. And it’s only 45 calories for two tablespoons compared to 190 calories in my normal Jif Natural peanut butter.

Okay, enough talk about peanut butter.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Favorite way to eat peanut butter?
  • Any plans tonight? I have a parent/teacher conference to go to.
  • Do you usually eat before or after you workout? Or both?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Snacks On The Go

Good afternoon. Today has been busy, busy, busy!

Last night, Jaden woke up at about 10 pm screaming about ear pain. He was up a lot during the night, which meant Danny and I were up a lot last night also. Needless to say, Jaden didn’t go to school this morning.

My morning started with two cups of coffee, and I stopped at McDonald’s later in the morning for another cup. So tired.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Plank Day #4 – 2 minutes and 36 seconds

Jaden was able to get an 11:15 am doctor appointment to get his ear checked, so I did my plank-a-day at home, then headed to BodyPump. Right after the gym, I took Jaden to the doctor. Turns out that he has a double ear infection. Poor baby.

Right from the doctor, we went to the pharmacy to fill his antibiotic. Then, we went straight from the pharmacy to pick up my niece.

When we left the pharmacy, it was about 12:30, and I was starting to get hungry (I had a Builder Bar after BodyPump at about 10:20 am). Luckily, I also packed a yogurt tube to bring with, so I ate that.

Whenever I leave the house, I always pack snacks or have a protein bar that I keep in my purse or car. Apparently, I am afraid of starving if I’m out of the house too long. Plus, whenever we get the car the kids are always suddenly hungry, so I am packing snacks for them anyway.

The nutritionist that we meet with during the Biggest Loser program at my gym said that it’s actually good to have healthy snacks that you keep in your car. Not only are they good for post workout snacks, but if you’re out on the road, having a healthy snack is better than stopping at a fast food drive thru. And they’ll help curb your hunger so that you don’t overeat when it is time to eat.

I know that car isn’t the best place to eat, but sometimes you have to. It’s important to have a post workout snack, and I always go pick my niece up directly after the gym, so I always eat my snack in the car.

Great choices for snacks to keep in the car include:

  • fruit
  • nuts
  • protein bars
  • small bags of popcorn or pretzels
  • self stable chocolate milk

I have a little cooler that I bring with me, so my choices include more things:

  • Greek yogurt
  • string cheese
  • veggies and hummus

I take my food very seriously :)

For me, I need to eat small meals throughout the day. If I go too long without eating, I know that I will end up overeating. So, I try to prevent that before it even happens.

Since, I didn’t get home until late in the afternoon, lunch was a lot later than normal (luckily, I had the yogurt tube earlier). I made a green pepper stuffed with brown rice, sautéed spinach, and feta cheese.

I also had one frozen Thin Mint cookie. I’m proud of my portion control on that one :)

We’re supposed to get tons of snow tonight and tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be able to make it to the gym in the morning. I am ready for spring weather!!

  • Do you carry snacks with you or in the car?
  • What kind of snacks do you eat on the go?
  • Any workout today? Plank time?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out



I did not eat good last night…at all. Sometimes, I have setbacks and overeat. Yesterday was one of those days. I ate good during the day, but I had a stressful afternoon at the allergy doctor with Jaden, and I am an emotional eater – I eat when I’m stressed, sad, happy, bored…so pretty much all the time.

And once I start eating unhealthy, sometimes I go overboard. I think I need an off switch.

We went to Whole Foods for dinner. I know what you’re thinking – how bad can Whole Food be? But when you eat some of a lemon poppy-seed muffin, a cookie, half a peanut butter chocolate bar…and jelly beans, it’s pretty bad. (I ate some of those things at home though, not all at once).

Over course, I feel like crap afterwards, so I always make sure to start fresh. I don’t like one day of bad eating to turn into two bad days of eating.

My whole point here is that I mess up. I overeat, I overindulge, and it’s something that I’m working out. Sure, I could have had one cookie, stopped and been fine. But I didn’t. I don’t plan to dwell on it, and I will try to remember how I feel when I overeat so that I can help prevent it in the future.

I don’t mean to go on and on, but I just want to let you know that I don’t always eat healthy. I mess up, I overeat, I move on.

One good thing that came out of going to Whole Foods is that I finally picked up some PB2 to try out!

I have been meaning to try this out for a long time but kept forgetting. PB2 is powdered peanut that you can add water to, and it’s a lot fewer calories that regular peanut butter. I have a peanut butter addiction and tend to eat a lot of it, so I am excited to try out the PB2. My Whole Foods only had the kind with chocolate.

Two tablespoons of PB2 has 45 calories and 4 grams of protein. Two tablespoons of regular peanut butter has 190 calories and 3.5 grams of protein.

Since, I always add peanut butter to my smoothies, it really ups the calorie count a lot. Now, I am excited to try out the PB2 in my smoothies!

I used it today in my smoothie for lunch. In my smoothie:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. PB2
  • crushed ice

225 calories    23.8 grams protein

I topped my smoothie with a some Special K protein cereal and blueberries. The PB2 was delicious in the smoothie and it gave it a peanut butter taste without adding too many calories. Yes!

Today’s Workout

  • 2.39 miles treadmill, walked
  • Step & Tone Class – 60 minutes
  • Elliptical – 15 minutes

The kids don’t have school tomorrow, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay for Zumba class or not. We shall see. Usually if bribe them with video games, they’ll behave in the kid’s room at the gym :)

  • If there a food you tend to overeat?
  • Ever tried PB2? Thoughts?
  • What food do you wish was calorie-free?
  • Any workout today?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Sweet Treat

Good afternoon!

Yesterday, I was feeling really snack-y in the afternoon and was craving something sweet. I didn’t want to break the calorie bank (because I like to save some calories for an after dinner treat), so I compromised. I had fat-free hot cocoa with two tablespoons of whipped cream.

It helped me satisfy my sweet craving without going overboard. The best part? It was only 35 calories!

I believe in having treats and everything in moderation, and that’s why I always like to have a treat after dinner which is when I’m really craving something sweet. But I also make sure that I have enough calories left at the end of the day for a treat – I usually have a sweet treat around 150 calories – an Atkins caramel nut bar (trust me, these are delicious!), a Weight Watchers ice cream bar, Greek yogurt, etc. I’ve been trying to stay away from candy and baked goods during the week, so those treats satisfy me.

I don’t plan on counting calories forever, but for now, it helps me so that I don’t overeat.

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 15 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • 2.5 miles treadmill, walked

I haven’t run in a while because my legs are so darn sore, especially from the new BodyPump. I am going to start my 15k training plan soon, but I think I’ll have to cut down BodyPump to twice a week, because it just makes my legs so sore.


This afternoon, I had hummus melts for lunch.

 (Instagram: RunEatPlay)

Isn’t it funny that this much spinach…

…cooks down to only this much spinach?! Where did you go, spinach?


I also had a peach Greek yogurt on the side for some more protein. I notice that if I don’t eat a good-sized lunch with a good amount of protein then I tend to get really snacky in the afternoons. So, I’ve been trying to eat a bit more substantial lunch.

In total randomness…

I have to share my new Tervis tumbler with you guys.

My normal water cup broke (because I dropped it), and I’ve always wanted a Tervis tumbler but didn’t want to spend $20 on one. Well, yesterday I found one at the store for 50% off. Yes! And the lid has room for a straw which I like.

Have a great afternoon and evening!

  • Do you like spinach? I love spinach and strawberry salads in the summer!
  • What kind of foods do you crave? Sweet? Salty? I could care less about salt. I’m all about the sweets. Although, I do love popcorn a lot.
  • Do you have a special water cup? I have mine with me all day.


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Peanut Butter French Toast with Cinnamon Apples

Good afternoon! I am pretty much stuck inside because there is a giant snowstorm taking place here in Illinois this afternoon. I usually don’t mind the snow if I don’t have to go anywhere, but now I worry about Danny and the kids getting home safely.

Today’s Workout

  • 1.1 miles treadmill, walked
  • Butts and Guts class – 60 minutes

My legs and knee are so sore from yesterday’s BodyPump class. We did the new release and that lunge track is killer! Luckily, I made it in and out of the gym this morning before the snow started.


Yesterday’s lunch was full of veggies and today’s lunch was full of fruit and sweetness. This was probably one of the best lunches that I’ve had in a long time.

Peanut Butter French Toast with Cinnamon Apples

I eat peanut butter french toast a lot, but today, I decided to top it with cinnamon apples! It came out so delicious!

Cinnamon Apples


  • Apple, peeled and cut into chunks or slice (my apple was 4.5 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. margarine
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Approx. 1-2 tbsp.


  1. Melt margarine in a small saucepan and stir in apple chunks.
  2. Cook for about 6-7 minutes or until apples are tender.
  3. Stir in water, brown sugar, and cinnamon until all apples are coated. Continue cooking for a minute or two.
  4. Enjoy!

Calories: 100

The cinnamon apples I made only had 100 calories. Top the french toast with the apples and the whole meal is approx. 303 calories! I made this peanut butter french toast recipe (I added a bit more PB in today’s recipe).

I also added some blueberries on the side.

Things to check out:

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s the weather like where you live? Do you have a long commute to work?
  • What did you have for lunch today?
  • Have you ever done an online virtual run?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Recipes, Working Out

A Veggie Filled Lunch

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a nice weekend! We spent pretty much the whole day just relaxing yesterday – it was nice. :)

Today’s Workout

  • 1.06 miles treadmill, walked
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • 2.1 miles treadmill, walked

I have three pairs of shoes that I workout in on a regular basis. I wear a pair of Asics for everyday fitness classes (BodyPump, Butts and Guts, Zumba, etc).

For running, I usually wear my Asics GT 2160s or my Mizuno Inspire 9s. I wear the Asics most of the time, but I do like to switch them up a bit. Well, I noticed over the weekend, that there are chunks of shoe missing from the inside of my Asics.

And these shoes aren’t even that worn! How does that even happen?! This is the only pair of shoes that I own that have ever done that before.

Since I pretty much can’t run in them now, I will be buying a new pair soon. I love running in Asics, but have also heard lots of good things about Brooks running shoes. Hopefully, this weekend sometime, I’ll be able to pick up a new pair.

Before leaving to go to the gym, I mixed up a protein shake for a post workout snack. I always bring a snack with me to the gym because I usually pick up my niece directly from the gym.

I used the EAS Lean 15 protein powder…and honestly, I didn’t really enjoy it just mixed with water. I usually use a scoop in my smoothies, and I prefer that over drinking it straight. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t delicious.


Today’s lunch was packed full of veggies (which was much-needed after a weekend of pizza, cake, and french toast).

I sautéed lots of veggies – red onion, zucchini, green pepper, broccoli, spinach, and garlic with a little bit of olive oil, then I served them over scrambled egg whites.

I also had a clementine and a Greek yogurt on the side.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the afternoon!

A big happy birthday to my stepmom, Sue!

  • What brand of shoes do you run in?
  • What was the last vegetable  you ate?
  • Protein powder: yes or no? Favorite kind?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Upcoming Races

Good afternoon! I hope you’re all having a nice Saturday! It’s cold and snowy here in Illinois.

Today’s Workout

  • 4.59 miles treadmill
  • 10 minutes stretching

I woke up at about 7:15 am this morning (because Jaden was calling me over and over from his bedroom until I finally woke up). Since I was up, I decided to head to the gym. I like going to the gym right away on the weekends, otherwise the later it gets in the day, the less unlikely I am to go to the gym.

On the treadmill, I did an interval workout. I walked at 4.0 mph for two minutes then I ran at 6.5 mph for two minutes, repeating a total of seven times. Then I walked/jogged another two and a half miles or so. I finished up my workout with ten minutes of stretching.


During the week, I usually eat breakfast before I go to the gym, but on the weekends, I eat breakfast after I go to the gym. During the week, I have to get the kids ready for school and on the bus, so I can’t go to the gym right when I wake up like I do on the weekends.

Today, I had egg whites and a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. And coffee, of course.


Earlier in the week, I signed up for a couple of 5ks. One is in the beginning of April (the weekend after the Egg Shell Shuffle) and is local. It is literally about 5 minutes from my house. I like running smaller local races because I don’t really enjoy crowds. I know that larger races can be fun and exciting, but I still prefer the smaller ones.

I also signed up for the Run Like A Mother 5k, which is a womens only race and takes place on Mother’s Day. This will be my third year running it. The first year, Marlene and I ran it. (Not together though because she’s super speedy).

Last year, Marlene, my stepmom, and I all ran it.

This year the three of us are running it again, and I am hoping that both my sister in-laws will join us!


Jaden and I were out running errands, so I stopped at Subway to get some sandwiches. I also had some yogurt covered pretzels…and some Hershey kisses.

Well, I’m off to get ready to celebrate some birthdays tonight! Have a great Saturday!

  • Do you eat before you workout?
  • What was for breakfast or lunch today?
  • Any races coming up? Do you prefer smaller races or larger races?
  • Did you workout today?


Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout

  • 4.03 miles, treadmill

I started out my morning with a workout on the treadmill. I ran for three miles and walked for one mile.  Nothing too exciting.

After my workout, I went to pick up my niece, and we stopped at Target. I tend to eat the same stuff a lot, so I have browsing around on Pinterest and other blogs for some different meals to make.

I came across zucchini pizza bites on the blog Skinnytaste, and decided to try them out. At Target, I picked up a zucchini and some pizza sauce.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

These zucchini pizza bites are low in carbs and calories but really help satisfy the craving for pizza. I honestly didn’t even miss the pizza crust!


For my pizza bites, I used:

  • 1/2 zucchini (4.2 oz)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (this ended up being a bit too much, and I’ll probably use a little less next time)
  • 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. pizza sauce
  • pepper to taste

I found Classico fire roasted pizza sauce at Target that only has 25 calories for 1/4 cup. I used 2 tbsp. of sauce which is only about 13 calories.

First, I cut half of a zucchini into rounds. Mine zucchini made seven rounds. I saved the rest of the zucchini to make them tomorrow too :)

Then, I sprinkled them with a bit of pepper and broiled them for about three minutes in the oven. When they came out of the oven, I topped them with the pizza sauce and cheese. I had a lot of cheese, but I just piled it on. Cheese is good.

Then, I broiled them for about another three minutes, and they were done! They came out perfect and we’re delicious. For all seven zucchini pizza bites, it was only 133 calories and 10.9 grams of protein.

These would make a great snack, but I ate them for lunch with some Greek yogurt for extra protein.

Apple cinnamon Chobani Greek yogurt topped with cinnamon Cheerios is the best yogurt/cereal combination ever.

I’m kind of proud of myself for trying some new foods lately – zucchini bites, hummus melts, broiled grapefruit. I consider myself kind of a picky eater, so it’s nice to be able to branch out a bit.

I also look for recipes that are quick, easy, and don’t require too many ingredients. With two kids and my niece here in the afternoons, I need lunches and dinners that are fast and easy.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you like zucchini? Ever try them as pizza bites?
  • Do you cook? Easy recipes or more elaborate recipes?
  • Do you consider yourself a picky eater?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out