It's a new week, woo hoo! I'm still unemployed and job hunting is still sloooow, but freelancing is picking up. I have no complaints. I am trying to enjoy this time off because I know I'll be a slave to the working grind before I know it. I feel blessed to have this time to focus on healthy eating and exercise. It's been a fun-filled and exciting summer so far. At the start, I had NO idea I'd be thinking about such things, let alone writing about them.
It's week two of deadlines, which is a good thing. My Dad will also be visiting come Thursday, so I have some prep stuff to take care of before he gets here.
Ok, I'm a big fan of the "Real Housewives" series on Bravo. It's just something my sister, Mom, and I share, and we thoroughly enjoy gossiping about each episode. Anyhow, I've been a dedicated follower of the Atlanta show since the start, but came in late to both the New York and New Jersey groups. I love Bethenny Getting Married, too. Ryan makes fun of me for watching this stuff, but it's a guilty pleasure. I can't watch beyond these three shows because it's getting to be waaaay tooooo much, especially with Danielle's crazy antics on this season's New Jersey show.
This is a segue into my food choices for this week, trust me.
For my birthday, my sister got me Bethenny Frankel's The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life book. I'm skeptical of any kind of diet book and most things with the title "skinny" in it, but I love Bethenny and I've been intrigued by her work as a natural foods chef. Well on Sunday, I couldn't put the book down. Bethenny writes like she talks and her sense of humor and straight-forward and somewhat brash approach is really entertaining. I was also pretty surprised with some of her recipes and enjoyed how she offers various options for switching up ingredients from your pantry. So some of this week's breakfasts and dinners will be brought to you by Bethenny.
For breakfast, I tried her Love Your Man Steel-Cut Oatmeal. I actually had all of these ingredients in my lazy susan cupboard, which was nice for saving some grocery money. For oats, I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Steel-Cut Oats. Instead of soy milk, I used 365 Organics Fat-Free Milk.
When talking with the registered dietitian at last weekend's Healthy Living Summit, I asked her for ways I could incorporate more protein into my diet. She mentioned oats. I do have my Overnight Oats in a Jar on occasion, but I am an oatmeal lover. Bethenny's recipe was a nice addition to that. I paired my dish with some fresh blueberries and raspberries. I also had an iced latte and a cheese and tomato sandwich on Arnold sandwich flats (not pictured).
In the late morning, I met up with my friend Linda. I've known Linda since my days working the front desk at the Douglas J Aveda Institute in Ann Arbor. We met at the Chicago favorite, Intelligentsia, for coffee and tea. Sadly, I didn't grab pictures. But if you're ever in Chicago, checking out Intelligentsia is a definite must. AMAZING!
I was absolutely starving come lunch time and didn't have anything prepared, so I grabbed some veggies, some Athenos Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and some Arnold Whole-Wheat Bread for a veggie sandwich. It was exactly what I was looking for. I also had a peach leftover from our Pepper Jack, Chicken, and Peach Quesadillas. Awesome!
For dinner, Ryan and I consulted Bethenny's book again for our first quiche dish. I remember my Mom making quiche ever so often for dinner when I was a kid and thought it was good. I know it's used a lot at breakfast, but we thought we'd go the dinner route this time.
We incorporated spinach and mushrooms. Now, I'm consider myself a mushroom hater. I just assume I'll hate the texture and the taste. But since I've been in an adventurous mood as far as trying new foods go, I thought I'd give this mixture a shot.
I have to say ... it wasn't bad. We served ours cold with some grilled zucchini and summer squash and it was a lite and lovely dinner. The entire thing serves 8, so we have enough to last us through at least Wednesday. Ryan liked it so much, he had seconds. Oh yeah, I have to give props to the Wholly Wholesome whole-wheat pie shell. SO GOOD!
I was quite enamored with the marble-like look, too. Isn't it a beauty? Haha!
Ryan and I took a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, as the Windy City humidity finally took a turn for the cooler side yesterday. We're trying to soak up what's left of summer. Remember when summer seemed to last forever when we were kids?
I capped my evening off with some banana soft serve. High five to Monday! I hope your week got off to a good start!