Chia Seeds--like the Chia pets :)

The chia pet!  Cha-cha-cha-cha-cha CHIA!



Oh and yes!  There is now an Obama Chia!  So, after discovering the craz about health blogs, I began running into commonalities...lets make a list:

Health blogs usually post:

-what they eat during the day

-workouts (some are training for something specific)

-recipes

-lots of pictures of food (my favorite)

-Green Monsters

-oatmeal for breakfast!

-Garmin Watches

-hemp seeds

-Superfoods

-raw foods

AND...drumroll please!!!!

CHIA SEEDS!!!  The same chia seeds that grow on the head of a CHIA PET!  So of course I went with the trend and decided to purchase some online.  But, I have good reasons!!!  What are the benefits of this silly seed???  SO SO SOOOO MANY!!!

(All of this information is cited from www.ohsheglows.com, but you can also do a simple google search and find out lots of info.)

Benefits of Chia Seeds:


  • 3x the antioxidant strength of blueberries

  • 5 grams of fibre per serving

  • 15x the magnesium than broccoli

  • 2.5x the protein in beans

  • 6x the calcium in milk!

  • 3x the iron in spinach


WOW!!!!!!!!!

  • 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This provides the nice balance those who take supplemental Essential Fatty Acids are looking for. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.

  • You do not need to grind the Chia Seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds (amazing huh!!)

  • The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia Seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.

  • Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.

  • The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!

  • Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity

  • Chia seeds are detoxifying!

  • Mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add chia seeds into your daily routine!


For a person who doesn't eat meat very much (maybe once every few months, or not even that!) or dairy, this seed is SIMPLY PERFECT!  I can't wait to start using it in everything!  Especially my Green Monsters in the morning, which--try using Hemp Milk when making these.  So much protein :)

I'll let you know how all my recipes go with the chia seeds once I get them in :) 

I'm feeling like french toast for dinner... :)

Tim made me dinner!!



Despite Tim being a little sick, he made me dinner!!!  Last night I was browsing online for some recipes that had eggplant in them so Tim and I could cook it tonight for dinner, and I kept running into these Eggplant Parmesan recipes, and every time I would show Tim a picture of Eggplant Parmesan, he would go, "Oooooooo!"  He loves anything gooey... and yet we really don't eat cheese, go figure!



Anyway...Tim insisted on making me dinner tonight after looking at these pictures, but since we really don't eat cheese, Tim wanted to make up his own recipe--Tim's verson of eggplant parmesan.  The final product...

Tim is peeking through the oven mit :)



Tim would like to call this, "Tim's Parmesana!"  (notice the "a" at the end of parmesan).

Ingredients

eggplant

zuchinni

onion

tomato basil marinara sauce

fresh basil

bread crumbs



Bake slices of eggplant and onion in the oven at 350 degrees until it begins to brown (10-15 minutes).  Then begin to layer!  First, the eggplant, then the whole slices of onion, slices of zuchinni, fresh basil leaves, and tomato basil sauce.  Bake a few more minutes then take out and put the bread crumbs on top.  Broil for 5 minutes, and WA-LA!  Timmy's ParmesanA!



It was so sweet of him!  I usually make us dinner, just because I LOVE to cook, but it was nice sitting back this time and smelling the wonderful aromas of grilled veggies!  Here's my plate :)  That's New Season's bread on the side--Walnut Wheat Break!

I love Timmy :)



Later tonight I ended up baking some cookies!  I tried Susan's Fat Free Vegan blog to find a recipe.  I decided on her "Maple, Banana, Oatmeal Cookies".  But since I didn't have maple syrup, I modified it a bit.



As you can see in the picture above, there's an empty Agave Syrup container--this is what I substituted for the maple syrup.

Banana, Oatmeal, Agave Carob Chip Cookies (what a wonderful mouth-ful!)

Ingredients

2 tsp ground flax seed

1 cup quick oats

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp. cinnimmon

Mix all these dry ingrdients together, then add to the following wet ingredients:

1 mashed banana

1/2 cup Agave syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix :)  Oh, and I added Carob chips (probably 1/2 cup)



These pretty much taste like overnight oats.  Same ingredients even!  There's just flour and baking powder and such in these.  Oh my!  A cookie with no oil or butter--wohoo!!!!

Well, that's another evening of "good eats" in the Dressler home :) 

p.s.  I haven't had a negative thought about my body for a week now!!!  God is amazing :)
























































 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

A Late Valentines--it was perfect :)

Tim and I celebrated a late Valentines this weekend (since he had a track meet last weekend), and it was perfect!  It was relaxing and exactly what I needed--time with Tim :)  We have such busy lives that when we actually get a chance to slow down together--it's perfect.

Our Valentines started on Friday night.  We went to our FAVORITE restaurant for dinner--Laughing Planet.


 



The place has a very casual feel--definitely our type of place :)  I wore Tim's sweat pants and a sweatshirt on our date.  I was super relaxed!  This restaurant is all about FRESH food and...dinnasours!  You'll find these little guys on all the tables :)





What did I order?  I ordered one of their bowls--more specifically, the "Soylent Green".  Includes shiitake barley-quinoa pilaf, steamed chard, broccoli, organic tempeh and a cilantro pesto sauce.  It was amazing!

Sorry my plate is sorta messy.  I had already dug into my plate when I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet :)  Tim had a BIG burrioto :)







Oh, I almost forgot!  We also shared a vegan, black bean quesedilla.  It's vegan, because there was no cheese--just their amazing black bean dip, pico de gallo, and brocolli (Tim ate most of this :) )



So that was Friday night.  Saturday was another day together :)  What did we do?

First, we went for a short run (2 miles) and worked out in the weight room.  Came home to have lunch, watched a move (Paperheart--so cute), then went to our FAVORITE BAKERY EVERY!!!  It's a vegan bakery and they made our wedding cake.  It's called Sweetpea Bakery.  On the weekends they even make vegan donuts :) 



And as you can see--a beautiful, sunny day in Portland!



Tim and I got 2 slices of cake--oatmeal spice and coconut.  And yes, we split them for dessert and I was FULL of cake!  Next time we're only splitting ONE slice :)  Oh my.



After the bakery we went GROCERY SHOPPING!!!!  And guess what store was just down the street???  YUP!



TRADER JOES!!!

With all the wonderful groceries we just got, we came up with Sweet Potato, Spinach Burrittos for dinner :)

Ingredients

Sweet potatos

Black beans

corn

avacado

spinach

cilantro





I could eat sweet potatos every day!



Another angle...because they were that good!



Tim also surprised me with Netflix!!!!!  So we watched a movie with our dinner--we eneded up falling asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until 8pm!!!  It was hard to fall asleep last night because of this little nap.

So that was my wonderful Valentines Day with Tim.  Lets look at my WORKOUTS!!!

After my 2 days off, resting my quad, I jumped right back into everything with a quick paced 30 minute run on Thursday and 48 minute run on Friday.  Saturday was the short run with Tim and the weightroom and this morning...82 minute run!!!!  And IT FELT GREAT!!!  My quad felt good too. 

Post long run breakfast included a banana with almond butter.



And...a GREEN MONSTER!!!  It's a movement :)



Ingredients

1 banana

1 cup Almond Milk

1 Tbl ground flax seet

2 cups spinach

2 cubs of ice

It was yummy and gave me lots of energy for the day!!!



Church this morning was great, and now I'm meeting up with some girls from a Bible Study to go see Valentines Day in the theaters.  I'll check in with you later!

JESUS LOVES YOU!

God's View of the Woman

The Woman


 When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day.

 An angel came by and said: “Why spend so much time on that one?” And the Lord answered: “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her ?" “She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food, she must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart and she must do all this with only two hands”.

 The angel was impressed. “Just two hands....impossible! And this is the standard model?! Too much work for one day....wait until tomorrow and then complete her.

" I will not”, said the Lord. “I am so close to complete this creation, which will be the favorite of my heart. She cures herself when sick and she can work 18 hours a day.”

The angel came nearer and touched the woman. “But you have made her so soft, Lord”

 “She is soft", said the Lord, “But I have also made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome."

 “Can she think?" the angel asked.

 The Lord answered: “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate."

 The angel touched the woman's cheek....“Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her.”

 “She is not leaking....it’s a tear” the Lord corrected the angel “What’s it for?" asked the angel. And the Lord said: “Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”

 This made a big impression on the angel; “Lord, you are genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvelous!"

 Indeed she is! Woman has strengths that amazes man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when feeling like screaming. She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid. She fights for what she believes in. Stand up against injustice. She doesn’t take “no” for an answer, when she can see a better solution. She gives herself so her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctor if she is afraid. Her love is unconditional. She cries when her kids are victorious. She is happy when her friends do well. She is glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life. She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart. There is only one thing wrong with her: she forgets what she is worth...

-Anonymous

p.s. Thank you to the friend who passed this on to me :)

Throw away the NUMBERS!!!

I really don't like numbers, and I'm not just talking about Math (which I don't like too much either!)  I'm talking about numbers on the scale...pant sizes...EEEEK!!!

To go along with my Lent goal--PRAY whenever I think negatively about my body, I thought I would share this blog post from Oh She Glows.  A reader asked the question:  "What pant size are you?"  And her response was, "A healthy size!"  She comments how every store is different in the way they size their clothes, everyone's body types are different, metabolism rates...you get the picture!  WE (I) HAVE TO STOP COMPARING OURSELVES TO OTHERS!!!

So she posted a challenge on her blog--cross out the pant size number on all your jeans with a permanent marker and write:  "A healthy size" instead.

Check out the post here:  Oh She Glows!

I woke up feeling good about myself today :)  Thanks, God!  You make me feel beautiful.

Lent

I've been thinking about Lent...should I give something up?  As I was talking to Tim about this, I'm having a hard time deciding if there's something I need to give up--I don't feel too attached to anything these days, besides my bed at night, but I really need that for the sake of being a good student teacher right now :)  So I said to Tim, "What if we gave up something we think too much about that maybe we shouldn't think..."  He replies, "Do you mean stop thinking?"

A few gigggles.

Then I replied, "Well, no...but what if we stoped and prayed whenever that thought came into our mind?"

Silence.

Still silence.

There was no answer to this--we're just thinking.  Funny how I know what I need to pray about more, but I didn't say it out loud to Tim.  Sometimes I just don't want things to come off as complaining...but maybe I'll share it with you :)

For the Lent season, whenever I think about...BODY IMAGE...I'm going to pray.  "God, this is you're body.  Take away these selfish thoughts and allow me to use my body only for your glory."

Sometimes it's difficult to talk to Tim about body image related stuff...it's just different when you're a girl--ya know?  It's almost as if we think about it unconciously.  And it might not be the though, "I'm fat!"  It could be, "My hair!  My outfit!  My teeth!  My legs!"  Why are we so obsessed with the way we look????!!!!  Am I alone in this?

I don't want you all to think that I'm obsessed with my body and might have an eating disorder--that's not the case!  It would just be nice to accept who GOD CREATED ME TO BE!  He was SO careful in the way He created me.  Sometimes I feel like God wants me to struggle with issues like body image so that I can RELATE to other women and reach out to them.  God didn't want me to be haughty and stuck-up, so he didn't create "Movie-star looks" in me, but he did create an ATHLETE, a MUSICIAN, and person who LOVES!  God put such careful attention into how to create me--He wants me to struggle with this right now in order to figure out WHO I AM!!!

I've never really opened up about my struggle with body image before (only with my sister and Tim), but I really do want let others know that they're not alone in this!  All types of women of all ages struggle with this issue.  Some days are better than others, but lets make a goal to have more good then bad!

As a final note...lets talk food and workouts!

WORKOUTS...just did 400 abs tonight, but that's about it in the past couple days.  Still giving my quad a break.  I'm going to try a light run (30 minutes or so) tomorrow, then a 50-60 minute run on Friday.  Sunday will be my 80 minute run...holly cow!  Maybe I'll get Tim to go to Forrest Park with me ;)

FOOD!!  I actually took some pictures of my breakfast and lunch yesterday and dinner tonight.

I woke up starving yesterday, so I listed to my body and fed it something substantial!  Oatmeal :)  With banana and almond butter on top!  (oh, and that's sprinkled coconut on top!)



Add 1/2 cup boiling water to oats.  Mix in 1/2 cup Almond Milk, 1 Tbl. Agave Syrup, sprinkle of cinnimmon, handful of dried coconut (unsweetened), then top it off with a Tbl. of Raw Almond butter and sliced banana.  Oh so yummy!

I packed my lunch to go.



The nice big salad!  The apple and banana are for an afternoon snack when I'm stuck in traffic on my drive home.

Dinner tonight hit the spot!  I went grocery shopping at the Alberta Co-op and came back with some fresh produce!  So of course a HUGE salad was in order!



Ingredients:

Spring Salad Mix with some Romain Lettuce

tomatos, avacado, raisins, sauteed eggplant, brocolli, and carrots, and black beans.

Brown rice (bottom layer)...this is to make it more substantial and filling to get through a night of homework!



There's rice under there, promise :)  I topped it off with this salad dressing...



Roasted Red Pepper Vinagerette!  I also had a slice of Daves Killer break with honey on the side. 

Later on in the night, Tim and I had some spoonfuls of Coconut Bliss icecream--it's icecream made with Coconut Milk instead of milk for its base!  It was A-MAZING (and on sale!)

Well, Tim and I are going to finish The Pursuit of Happiness now!  We've been watching a little bit every night before we go to bed...just to relax :)

Let me know what you're giving up for Lent!  I would love to know :)

It feels like there's led in my leg!

I decided to go on a short run today (25 minutes) to stretch out my legs from yesterday's long run.  I actually felt great...the first 20 minutes, but then my left quad hated me--again!  I didn't mention this in yesterday's blog, but my left quad has always felt "heavier" than my right one.  Tim and I both agree that it must be from my soccer days and all those injuries.  He's thinking either a build up of scar tissue or a strained muscle right now.



If I could play soccer to work out every day, I would do it in a heart beat!  Just no time or money right now :(

So the conclusion to this "led in my leg"...(per Tim's suggestion), I'm going to give it a rest for a couple of days.  This doesn't mean that I won't work out, but it does mean no running for the next 2 days.  I have been running a lot lately...more than I ever have before.  I'm going to listen to Tim!

Guess what?  Tim found my camera!!!  Which means...I took some pictures of dinner tonight!  It was a classic.  Veggie pasta :)  YUMMY!

Veggies included: eggplant, onion, brocolli, olives, and lots of spinach!



With homemade marinara sauce :)  Just some cans of tomota sauce, chunks of tomatos in a can, italian seasonings (basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic salt), and some sauteed garlic and onions.  Bring it all to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.



Then boil some water for the pasta!  Whole wheat please :)



And when you mix it all together...



It just looks oh so good to the tummy!  Side it with some bakery bread!  (Tim and I love Olive Ciabatta!)  And you've got an amazing, carb-lovin' dinner!



I LOVE FOOD!!!



For dessert I had 2 vegan, pumpkin, oatmeal, raisin cookies!  Tim likes how gooey these cookies are--they remind him of pumpkin pie filling!  I got this recipe from my Vegan with a Vengence book!



By the way!  I found this A-MAZING blog called "Fat Free Vegan"--and I'm totally going to make a goal of cooking at least one item from this blog a week!  Everything looks soooooo good!

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Lost my camera!

I apologize for the lack of pictures--I espcially wanted to show you my A-MAZING salad I made for lunch, but I can't seem to find my camera!  I'm thinking Tim put it somewhere when he picked up the apartment this week.  I'll have to ask him when he gets back from his track meet today!

p.s.  Tim is a STUD!  He ran a 600 meter race (first time ever racing this distance) at a time of 1:26. 

What's my Valentine's Day like?  Well, I SLEPT IN!!!  Oh my it was wonderful, then went for my long run!  I ran for 75 minutes, and probably averaged a 9:30 mile (I really want one of those Garmen watches that tracks your distance).  So I averaged 8 or 8.5 miles today.  An accomplishment!  My goal is to run up to 10 miles, pretty comfortably, before the 1/2 marathon.

If you ever want to try and figure out your distance for running, you can map out your run at Sparkspeople.com--a great resource for health and wellness information.  When you map out your run, it will include your milage as well as your calories burned.  (Only thing I don't like about this site is that it's more about tracking your calories and portions, BUT--the fitness section of it is GREAT!  Lots of cool tips and different workouts.  Plus sample videos of how to do some workouts.)

When I got back from my run, I refueled with a banana and almond butter.  An hour later I was already hungry, so made a HUGE salad!  The water from the veggies is so refreshing after a long run!  I seriously put as many veggies as I could in this salad.  I usually fill up my bowl half with lettuce and the rest with other veggies!

My salad included:  chopped romaine lettuce, canned corn, raisens, cucumbers, red bell pepper, avacado, tomato, and a Trader Joes salad dressing---balsamic italian.

The rest of the day includes reading The Outsiders and doing some lesson plans--for my 7th grade class :)

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  What would we do without love...seriously!

Valentines Weekend...kinda

Happy Saturday!

Wow!  This week has been crazy--it all hit at once since I've been back from California.  I'm trying to adjust to my new schedule--STUDENT TEACHING!!  I'm with 7th graders all day.  Still getting used to a 8-9 hour day.  I guess this is what growing up is like :)

Still trying to keep up with 1/2 marathon training, while listening to my body.  Here's what my week of workouts have been like:

Sunday: 35 minutes quick paced run

Monday: 45 minute run

Tuesday: Weight Room workout (30 minutes on the elypical + lots of weights and abs!)

Wednesday: day off

Thursday: 35 minute, fast run

Friday: another day off

Saturday: 30 minute, fast run + warm up drills WITH TIM!!!  I got to run with Tim this morning!

Either Sunday or Monday I'm going to do a 70 minute run.  Still need to increase my milage every week!

I got to go on a run with Tim this morning because he wanted to warm up his legs a bit for his track meet with weekend.  He left this afternoon for Seattle and will be back tomorrow night.  Hence the title of this blog--"Valentines Weekend--Kinda".  We're not doing anything because of the track meet :(  Oh well!  We had the morning together :)

I haven't been too creative with meals this week, and I apologize for the lack of pictures.  I'm hoping, to balance with my new schedule, to post at least 1 or 2 food posts with the recipe and picture.  This will motivate me to cook something new every week too! 

I was craving a Kambucha today and finally got one!!!

Taking it easy the rest of the day and working on some lesson plans--yay for becoming a teacher...FINALLY!!!

Balancing...

Hey everyone!

Just letting you know that I can't blog much tonight--friends are coming over and Tim and I are making fish, sweet potato fries, and a stir fry of carrots and brocolli!  Yummy.

Adding rosemary to sweet potato fries is perfect!  Bake in the oven with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary @ 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Mix them around 1/2 way through :) 

Also, thank you for your encouraging comments yesterday about my "Fat Blog"...still working through it today.

This post is titled "balancing" because I'm now beginning my student teaching, which is a full time gig, so I'm going to try and BALANCE my life while blogging.  The response that I've gotten from people about this blog has been a message from God that I should continue this.  So I am :)  Keep checking every day.  You never know what you might get!

No work out today, but I did a super hard weight workout in the gym yesterday, so I'm pretty sore :) 

I LOVE YOU ALL!!! 

Never ending struggle...

I need to write!  This has priority over the dishes, because I just can't seem to get this feeling off of me today!  What's that feeling...

I FEEL FAT!

Why, oh why! Is this a constant struggle with women.  I remember the first time I really worried about my body image--in 4th grade!!!!  That is way to early to be thinking about this stuff.  What I really don't like about this constant struggle in my mind, is that it CONTROLS my day, my mood, my productivity, my relationship with Tim--it controls me!

I NEED TO LOVE MYSELF FOR WHO GOD CREATED ME TO BE!

The purpose of this blog is to share the idea that every day is a chance to RENEW ourselves, with a focus on feeling healthy.  Yet, something I will forget, is that my strength and renewal and BEAUTY comes from God.  God gave us the freewill to make our own choices every day...what does this mean for me today?

It means that I can choose to be positive about my body.  Today I will make choices about eating that will make me feel good and not allow me to get lost even further into this "fat mind-set".  And then I'll take it from there...I'll see how I feel tomorrow and look positively into the future--with these choices I will have a healthy, strong body.

Writing all this down still doesn't always make everything feel better.  The fact that my pants aren't all fitting like I would like today still follows me--because I'm WEARING them!  You know what started my "Feeling Fat Syndrom" today??  It was comparing myself to another girl's body.  How often do we all get caught in this? 

Here is my prayer..."God please allow me to feel beautiful today.  Beautiful in a way that I know pleases you.  Help me to stop comparing myself to the past and allow me to look at today.  Thank you for always telling me I'm beautiful.  Amen. "

I'm feeling better.  Thanks for listening.  Lets all pray for one another today, that we all feel beautiful, not because of our bodies, but because God created us!! 

This is why I should always be happy...

This is home!

It is SO good to be back in Portland.  It just feels so right to be here!  And to top it off, what a beautiful, sunny day!



Here's a view of my street right before I left for a run. 

Speaking of running, the air MUST be cleaner here!  Because breathing is so much easier to do here while I run--no joke. 

Today's run was 43 minutes.  I ran a usual route for myself, but get this--I ran further and still made it back earlier than usual.  I must be picking up my pace :)  Tim said, "It must have been the sun!"  I think he's right.

When I got home I refueled with a Larabar (cashew cookie) and a couple of dates.

Earlier on in the day I baked some cookies!!  Surprised?  I love making Tim smile with my cookies :)  I got this recipe off of PostPunkKitchen website--so many good vegan recipes there.  I'll be using this website as a resource quite a bit!

I made Pumpkin Oatmeal cookies!



A super soft cookies--almost gooey inside!  Just how Tim and I like it.  Here's the reciple.  Note: I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins and walnuts.  I also cut the recipe in half, since I probably will want to bake a new kind later on in the week :)

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin, or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

As many chocolate chips as you want!

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Have ready 2 greased baking sheets.

Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a seperate bowl, mix together sugar, oil, molasses, pumpkin and vanilla (and flax seeds if using) until very well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, folding to combine. Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. They don't spread very much so they can be placed only an inch apart. Flatten the tops of the cookies with a fork or with your fingers, to press into cookie shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350

Tim took a couple cookies with him to his class tonight :)

Dinner tonight was not what I had originally planned, but we needed to eat up the leftover Papa Murphies pizza from last night before it gets bad.  Well, at least Tim at it.  I made myself a veggies sandwich with a side salad.



I tried out this flourless bread, and I honestly couldn't tell the difference :)  Oh, and after I finished this plate of yumminess, I treated myself to a Pumpkin Oatmeal cookie--oh my!

Before I go, I wanted to include one last picture.  While I was visiting home, my mom wanted to treat my sister and I to a center piece for our kitchen tables.  Well, my first thought was...my apartment is so random that I don't know if a center piece will fit in.  (I love the randomness of our apartment!)  BUT LOW AND BEHOLD!  There was a center piece that I fell in love with.  And here it is!



Tim and I had daisies at our wedding, and daisies were a part of how Tim proposed to me, so...I LOVE DAISIES!  And the simplicity of this center piece is beautiful.  I think it fits in perfectly :)  Thanks, Mom!

Sister--be sure mom sees this post :)

God bless!

To Do List...

Lots of things to check off my "To Do List" today.  Finished one this morning--grocery shopping!  I love making a grocery list and planning out some dinners for the week.  I always leave a couple days unplanned, because thoughout the week I always end up coming up with a great meal ideal, whether it be from blogs I'm looking at, or it just comes to me!  This usually means another trip to the grocery store, but I never mind! 

I went to Trader Joes and New Seasons Market this morning (and Walgreens for a couple non-food items).  Here's what my grocery list looked like:

Produce

carrots, tomatos, cucumber, avacados, onions, sweet potatos, plantian, red peppers, romain lettuce, sprouts, guacamole kit from T.J.'s, stir fry mix from T.J.'s, cilantro, fruit (usually whatever is cheapest, meaning--whatever is in season!  This time it was apples and oranges)

Other foods

tomato sauce, almond milk, pita bread, sandwich (love Dave's Killer Bread!), hummus (x2), raw almond butter, raisins, granola bars (lara bars + some T.J. ones), black beans, canned olives, canned corn, canned pumpkin, salad dressing, chocolate chips, cane sugar, brown sugar, canola oil (I'm running low on baking goods!)

This was a pretty big list for me.  I'm pretty sure it's because I wasn't here all last week, so I had to stock up again :)  Plus, I was running low on some basic items (sugar, almond butter, black beans, corn, etc.).  Overall, this bill was about $100.  I expect a lot of these things to last past this week though.  I'll let you know in another blog post how much a typical grocery shopping adventure would cost me!

I'll let you know how I end up using all these foods for dinners this week!  Should be yummy :)

Oh my, I see the sun shinning through my window!  That means I'm going to have an excellent run this afternoon!  I can't wait to breath in the Oregon air again :)

I'll probably check in later today to show you some cookies I'm planning on baking and my dinner :)  Just as a sneek peak...I'm using plantains in my dinner...I know!  Exciting stuff :)

Bitter Sweet

It is bitter sweet that my week is coming to a close here in Turlock.  While I'm going to miss my family, I miss Tim sooooo much!  This may sound corney, but he really is my other half, and it feels weird being here without him.  So nevertheless, sad to leave my family, but anxious to be back home!

Since I've been bad at posting every day this week, I thought I would just go over a few meals I ate as well as what working out has looked like for me!

Food (always my favorite!)...

LUNCH

Lunches are usually a salad or sandwich.  I always start craving veggies around lunch time :)  The salad dressings from Trader Joes are super yummy, or I just put a spoonful of hummus on top.  This particular salad I roasted some veggies (bell pepper, brocolli) in the oven.



This veggie sandwich is one of my favorites!!  Sprouts, avacado, hummus, and cucumber on a toasted sprouted wheat bagel--never gets old!  And that's a side salad with a scoop of hummus on top :)



One day I brought Renee out to lunch to Chipotle, for a belated birthday gift!  I LOVE their salads :)  Black beans, rice, grilled veggies (peppers/onions), corn, salsa, and LOTS of guac!!  Top it off with the best chipotle dressing--oh my!



DINNER

A tradition that I started with my dad after I left for college and would come home for visits, was PUMPKIN PANCAKES!!!  Instead of waking up early and making him them for breakfast, we decided to have it for dinner!  I put a little bit of almond butter and slices of banana on top of mine, then drizzeled some agave syrup on top :)  Simply perfect!

I had 2 :)



Last night we had a family game night.  We played Taboo--oh my!  Such a fun game.  Dinner was burgers and home-made sweet potato fries.  I ended up grilling some veggies for myself.



I dipped the veggies in some hummus :)  If you can't tell by now, I love hummus!

WORKING OUT

It has been a more relaxed week with my workouts, but I've tried to do something every day, and I did fit in my long run because I didn't want to loose momentum with my 1/2 marathon training.

Saturday: 40 minute run

Sunday: 30 minutes on the elyptical

Monday: hiking with my dad

Tuesday: 65 minute run

Wednesday: yoga/ running around the park with Ella :)

Thursday: 30 minute run

Friday: 20 minutes on the elyptical + abs

Saturday: day off--spending all my time with family!

Sunday: I plan on going on a run in the morning before I leave for the airport (30-40 minutes)

What else have I been doing this week???

This week I hung out with my two best friends!  Kayla and Renee!



Me and Renee :)  (picture above)



We will always be friends!

I also spent a lot of my week hanging out with Ella!  Oh, Ella--I'm really going to miss her.  On Wednesday I watched her for the afternoon and we had quite a day!

First, we went to the park!





Then we went to Jamba Juice :)





Ella loves to laugh out loude as LOUDE as she can!  There's no such thing as silence when you're with Ella :)

Then we did yoga together--oh yes!  Ella did yoga with me.  I kept telling her it was a movie where you copied what the person was doing.  No whenever she does "Downward Dog" she says, "Lets do doggie!"  It's adorable.



Resting pose...



Ella doing the "Cat pose" on the coffee tabel, facing the tv.  She is so cute!!!

The rest of the week Ella kept doing yoga--my sister wants to get a video now so she can keep doing it with her :)





Even when we were playing twister :)

I love Ella so much!



And lastly, what I've been up to this week--hanging out with my family!  My mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law, Aaron.  Last night's game night was fun!  It was Bobbi and Aaron against my dad and I--we played Taboo!



My dad was very intense--he took this game very seriously :)



We did win...

Overall, an amazing trip home!  I'm glad I took advantage of my week off.  Next week begins the craziness again--this time I'm student teaching though. 

God bless everyone!