Whether you’re happy or sad about it, summer vacation is just about up! I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve recently been consumed with my LAST week of work, finishing up my summer mileage, saying goodbye to friends and packing up for my new apartment :)
On Friday morning I walked into work for the last time as an employee. As my first summer with a job, I can definitely attest to the fact that working full-time > spending all day on Facebook & Youtube. I was so lucky to have been given the opportunity to “intern” at the corporate office of Windsor Foods and gain some real-world experience. When I emptied out my desk and said my goodbye’s on Friday afternoon, it finally hit me that I will be moving back to school & starting classes/practice again in a matter of days. I cranked Luke Bryan’s new CD Crash My Party (in LOVE with the new song “My Kinda Night”) and cruised home to celebrate a successful summer!
Over the course of 14 weeks at home, I ran almost 800 miles. I worked 380 hours. (Feels like I slept about half of that… ;) ) And while running and working took up the most of my summer, I wouldn’t have it any other way! In February, my parents and I met with surgeons to prepare for the next phase of surgeries. When I learned that the procedures would interfere with cross country training, I decided with my parents to postpone them. I concentrated all of my energy on running so that I could compete and have a shot at making the travel team for my junior year.
After my long run yesterday, I’m positive I made the right decision. Running makes me feel confident, strong. It’s something I’ve decided to work at. I’m not athletic in other areas like throwing/catching/jumping/kicking. Or bowling for that matter….
Chelsea (who you might remember from our Sky Zone trip or Hazelnut Pumpkin cookies) came and visited me last weekend and we had a blast as usual, particularly with our less-than-stellar bowling skills. Actually Chelsea kicked butt in our first round but her lucky streak ran out during the second game. Me on the other hand…my first goal of “breaking 100” was quickly shattered as my ball seemed to be magnetically-attracted to the gutter.
We redeemed ourselves with a super fun (i.e. colorful) dinner on the BBQ & homemade frozen Greek yogurt that was sadly unphotographed but WILL be recreated when we visit again.
We chopped up red, yellow, and orange bell peppers; green and yellow zucchini; purple onion; mushrooms; pineapple; and just for a fun twist, brussel sprouts. (Not a huge hit, sadly.) On separate skewers were the chicken kabobs my dad made with a hawaiian seasoning. We had worked up such an appetite at the bowling alley, we all went back for seconds. But with a dinner as healthy as this one, there’s nothing wrong with double the veggies!
We also broke out my ice cream maker to blend up some Greek yogurt with almonds and pretzels and dark-roasted coffee, which I’ll have to snap a picture of next time.
Summer, you’ve been good to us! But I’m excited to start school next week! The nerd in me is ready to fill in my day-planner and highlight my notes. I can’t wait to settle in and share pictures of my new home sweet home. <3
Do you ever feel like after a vacation or a particularly-indulgent weekend, your body is just begging for some vitamins and minerals?! Even though the past week and a half wasn’t necessarily a “vacation” for my mom and I, we definitely compromised our daily healthy eating habits while in New York and while I recovered from surgery. After over 12 hours of traveling yesterday, my mom and I are home for the holidays. Felt so good to reunite with my dad and polar-bear-puppy-dog Missy last night! But it also felt good to be able to start eating regular foods again, and we wanted to add all the usual veggies back into our diet ASAP!
*I can resume my regular blogging schedule again now that the major hurdles of surgery and travel are over. Yay!
After surgery, I was on a soft-foods diet for ten days. I cheated a little bit with some chicken and carrots, but primarily ate lots of oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice, applesauce, ice cream (shame shame, I know). Meals lacked nutritional balance and included lots of extra carbs over the last week; so today we stocked up on MEGA VEGETABLES! Our Sprout’s grocery cart was overloaded with peppers and greens and broccoli and brussel sprouts. Plus cucumbers, carrots, celery, tomato, yams, cauliflower and avocado. Holy Health! :)
Some slicing and dicing and we made a pretty colorful medley, what I’m calling the “Detox Salad.” This is a low-carb lunch that still has plenty of protein and healthy fats without anything starchy like bread or pasta (exactly what I overdosed on last week, hence the salad).
Guess what you DON‘T see here…..? Oatmeal! I must’ve had almost twenty bowls of oatmeal in the last 10 days and I will happily welcome some variety ;) Instead you see plenty of delicious and healthy toppings that add up to one very happy body.
Avocados for mono-saturated fats (the good stuff!)
Cranberries for antioxidants.
Almonds and Edamame for some protein.
Spinach for Iron!
Lettuce for Fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K.
Bell Peppers have 300% of your Daily Value of Vitamin C (fun fact: that’s 3x more than a medium orange)
Cucumbers because they taste yummy…
Salad Dressings can make or break a salad! I have never understood why someone would kill a perfectly healthy salad with gobs of fatty dressing like ranch; it negates the whole purpose of making a simple and healthy salad when upwards of 250 calories per serving and 30 grams of fat are liberally drenched on the vegetables. Today we used a Fat-Free Raspberry Pecan Vinagrette, 50 calories per serving. Even a simple homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing, while not fat-free, would be preferable as a salad topping than something creamy like bleu cheese (more calories than a slice of pizza!)
It’s the perfect lunch for the holiday season when you need to balance out party food or baking treats that this weekend may bring. Your body will thank you for the extra shot of vitamins and minerals and a break from starch, salt and sugar. Feel free to share any additional favorite salad toppings!
The LAST post in my Summer Seafood series and YES, it is shrimp. I promise more variety in the future, but this summer I have really experimented with all kinds of crazy shrimp recipes from burgers to quesadillas, so I thought I’d round out the season with a more conventional dinner. A Grilled Kabob Salad with BBQ’d veggies and pesto shrimp.
There really is no “recipe” because it’s so simple but that’s why dinners like these are so great! If you’re a mushroom person, add mushrooms. Like tomatoes? Throw them on the grill! It’s a medley of color and flavor ;) We just seasoned some bell peppers, onions, zucchini and peaches (the best part!!) with a garlic-y blend plus some “Slap Yo Mama” spice….I bought it just for the name alone but love the added kick to veggies or chicken!
After coating the shrimp in some basil pesto, we skewered them and sent them onto the grill master (AKA my dad).
I had to get my seafood fill before I left home for school, because while our cafeteria does a pretty good job of supplying healthy options, shrimp is definitely not one of them. (Speaking of which, ‘Cafeteria Cuisine’ coming up tomorrow!)
Then its just a matter of assembling your grilled goodies onto a bed of lettuce with whatever add-ins you want! And arranging them in a beautiful display of course:
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