Earth Day Love and “Egg”cellent Sweet Potato

22 04 2010

Happy Earth Day, My Beautiful People!!

How was everyone’s day?  It’s Earth Day and I want to know what YOU did to make the Earth a cleaner, happier place!

Truthfully, I didn’t do much out-of-the-ordinary for the earth today.  I recycled my seltzer water can at lunch, but that’s about it.  I’d love to write a post about treating the earth well, but I’d be a hypocrite.  I don’t go out of my way to be GREENTerrible, I know. 

I’m not sure why I don’t do more for this gorgeous planet.  Sure, I recycle at home, but I could recycle a lot more if I really focused on it.  I also don’t use re-useable bags at the grocery store, which I am embarrassed to admit.  I’ve been too cheap to purchase any, considering my grocery runs are so large.  I would literally need 20 of them and that adds up.  Still, I need to suck it up and drop the money.  Or, I can just start buying one at a time.  I also need to look around and focus on the everyday things I can do reduce energy and waste.

In order to remind myself, and you, to make these little changes, I thought I’d compile a list of the top ten things I love about Mother Nature and all of her lovely glory

Sidenote: At the end of this post, you will see a recipe I used for dinner from The Daily Balance.  When I checked out the recipe, I saw that Shannon had written a post very similar to this one where she made list of all things she was thankful to Mother Earth for (Mother Nature’s sister perhaps?).  I promise I had been planning this since yesterday and I’m not plagiarizing!  If you know me, you will believe me since I’m SUCH a planner.  I never go into a day without an idea of what I’m going to post :smile:

So, here goes:

  1. I love the smell of the ocean – although sometimes putrid – which reminds me that something beautiful, massive and natural is around me.
  2.  I love cutting into a lemon, lime or kiwi and admiring all of its colorful wonder.  All fruits are impressive, but these three are especially gorgeous to me.  To realize that the earth harvests and grows these is very impressive. 
  3. I love apple trees and apple picking.  It amazes me that we are able to walk up to a tree and pluck off a perfectly ripe fruit and eat it instantly.  Think about that for a minute.  It’s pretty wild. 
  4. I love the breeze on a warm day. 
  5. I LOVE the smell of fresh lilacs.  It’s the one scent that mankind can’t quite get right, which is why I refuse to buy anything lavender-scented. 
  6. I love how a gerbera daisy can make me smile, no matter how crummy my day has been. 
  7. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass.  I realize man actually cuts the grass, but that smell is all MN, so props to her for that. 
  8. I love the first blanket of snow that remains untouched and clean.  It can make the most ordinary setting look picturesque.  (Please note I said first.  After awhile, it gets really old, but I know I’d miss it if I moved elsewhere) 
  9. I love the warm sun against my skin (with sunblock, of course!) on a summer day.
  10. Most importantly, I LOVE clean air.  Sounds trivial, but without it, we could not survive.

Wow – that list just tumbled out!  I’ve actually thought of a few more, but I think we can all see the point.  We have a tendency to take things around us for granted and we should all stop to reflect what we can give back now and then. One of the most important things we can give back to is the planet!  So, do your part, to keep our air clean and landfills less full.

I guess I need to get my behind in shape and buy the re-useable grocery bags, huh?

Moving on with the daily business! 

Yoga was hard this morning, you guys.  Really, really hard.  It was so difficult, in fact, that I didn’t enjoy it all that much.  I generally enjoy a challenge, but this is just such a different kind of “hard”.  This is a pretty big disappointment because last week, I thought I was going to start really liking it.  Perhaps I just had an off week.  I hope so because it’s on the schedule TWICE for next week.  TWICE!  That’s two days away from my beloved cardio for twisting my body in ways that just hurt. 

On a funny, related note, I wish you guys could see Mr. KD and I during said yoga.  We don’t have yoga blocks (for no other reason than we were too cheap), so we use large containers of protein powder.  For all of you non-yogis out there, yoga blocks help you with your stretching by either decreasing/increasing our stretch.  Obviously, we need them to decrease our “Half Moons” and it’s pretty difficult to take yoga seriously when you look over and see your partner balancing on chocolate whey protein.  This morning, we discussed breaking down and buy yoga blocks very soon :wink:

And, for the record, I don’t think “The Crane” is for humans.  It’s for robots that look like Tony Horton.  I cannot fathom ever performing this move.

After my yoga defeat, I slurped down a protein shake before hitting the shower.

Breakfast was quite different today!

Last night as I was begrudgingly making my lunch, I decided I wanted to get creative with my oats.  As you know, I’ve been obsessed with anything apple/cinnamon lately, so I wanted to create an apple pie version of oats.  I wasn’t exactly sure where to start (other than the apple) since I knew my normal ½ of banana in the mix would throw the taste off.  I simply went on a whim and starting mixing.

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • ¼ water
  • ¼ almond milk
  • 1/3 cottage cheese
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • One cinnamon apple (cooked in the microwave according to my apple topping recipe for pancakes)

Toppings:

  • ½ tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp Naturally Nutty Chocolate Toffee Peanut Butter

The result?  Delicious, but not apple pie.  It was cheesy and slightly sweet from the cinnamon apples.  I actually really enjoyed it because apples and cheese go really well together.  This is the first time I’ve used cottage cheese in the oats and actually tasted cheese.  I know it sounds gross, but it really wasn’t.  I promise.  The sweetness of the apple cut down the savory cheese and made a nice pair.  When the peanut butter got introduced into the mix – LIGHTS OUT. 

I’ll definitely have to keep playing with this until I get it right!!

Lunch was a reheated burger, ½ baked potato and roasted broccoli.  I love fancy food pairings as much as the next, but there is something SO comforting about meat and potatoes! 

You can barely see the potato and burger under all that broccoli!  This makes me happy :grin:

Lunch kept me completely satisfied until well after snack time.  When I glanced at the clock at 4:30, I was shocked to discover my tummy hadn’t started rumbling.  Even though I wasn’t really hungry for a snack, I could tell I was going to get there shortly.  Since I had some things I wanted to do before dinner when I got home, I thought I should eat a little something.  It’s a good thing I did because I didn’t end up eating dinner until almost 8:00!

Enter: Strawberries and Apple Pie Larabar.

Now THIS, my friends, tasted like apple pie!  Love these bars :smile:   Why do they have to be so expensive?!?

As mentioned earlier, dinner was a recipe from Shannon at The Daily Balance!

When I first saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it on a night when our fridge was getting low.  Well, tonight’s the night, folks!!  Thank goodness our “Grocery Store Abandon” ends tomorrow.  I’m proud of us though!  We haven’t shopped for anything but produce and dairy since April 9th!

Egg-cellent Baked Sweet Potato by Shannon

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • Two eggs (I ended up only using 1)
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Cook your baked potato until soft inside.  You can either microwave or bake or a combo of the two!  Once done, open the potato and scrape out some of the insides until you create a little bowl.  Don’t throw that flesh away!  Save it for a side dish!

Spread a little butter in your “bowl” and top with one cracked egg (one egg for each side of the potato).  Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until your egg is set.

Enjoy!

And, guess what?  I was typing this post while my “egg”cellent sweet potato was cooking.  I lost track of time and COMPLETELY overcooked it.  I’m talking scraping-of-the-plate overcooked.  SO SAD.  My heart literally felt sad.  I was looking forward to this dinner all day long :sad:

Shannon, I WILL make this again!

Luckily, I had a black bean morningstar burger in the freezer, which I served with the other half of my sweet potato, carrot fries (tossed in olive oil, Emeril’s Bayou Blast seasoning and pepper), and more roasted broccoli.  I topped the burger off with caramelized onions, mustard and goat cheese.  YOU KNOW KETCHUP WAS GETTING SMEARED ALL OVER THIS PLATE!

Somehow, my heart feels happy again :smile:

Before I leave, I want to give a huge shout out to the Bruins who won a pivotal game last night!!  So pumped to watch them AND the Celtics tomorrow!!  :smile:

Have a fantastic evening, my loves, and we shall talk on FRIDAY!

Question of the day:  What is your favorite thing about Mother Nature?





KD & KK = BFF

15 03 2010

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Wait – let me repeat that!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Do you guys SEE how close we got to KK?!?

And would you like to know the best part about this encounter? This was in the LADIES’ ROOM! Haha. Oh yes, it’s true. Sarah and I WOULD catch our break in the toilet.

We almost had the fail of a lifetime as we were deciding if we should just suck it up and dance or continue hanging out in a corner like we were. I’ll tell ya – it’s not easy going to a “club-ish” type place with only one friend! It forces you to make life-altering decisions, such as to dance or not to dance. Life is tough in the KD world, folks :wink:

Turns out, as we were contemplating, KK entered the place and walked right by. We were so shocked that our reactions were stalled and by the time we locked eyes and figured we had to hustle, she was surrounded by 478,847,111 super-stalker, stiletto & mini dress wearing, too-much-bronzer-for-only-March-12th fans.

Look at that:


As you can imagine, Sarah and I completely stood out in this type of crowd due to our classiness. We wore medium heels appropriate for work (or chasing down celebrities), fake eyelashes AND had the decency to wear nylons under said mini dresses. I even had a flower in my hair. We exuded class. Clearly.

We even practiced our surprised face for if/when we met her:


We tried to play nicely in the elbowing, toe-stepping crowd, but it was NOT easy. It was every stiletto for herself and we tried hard to push to the front, but we just couldn’t. The small victory here is that Sarah didn’t bite the ponytail off of the girl in front of her who kept whacking her in the face with her hair. You mean you didn’t pay $20 for a ponytail sandwich?

I’m digressing. KK was finally escorted into the DJ booth where she talked to us, took a twitpic and did a lil’ dancing.

She then disappeared from the booth and Sarah and I determined this would be a good time to hit the ladies’ room. Turns out, it wasn’t busy in there and as I was doing “my business”, I thought I heard male voices. Upon emerging from my stall, I saw KK washing her hands, surrounded by her male bodyguards!!!!!!!!!!!!

I played it totally cool by running to Sarah’s stall, threatening her life if she didn’t break out her camera in 2.3 seconds, while practicing a version of Lamaze reserved for crazy women in a bathroom that run into a celebrity. Exuding classiness. Told ya’ so.

The bodyguards were mean. Granted, I’m sure they have to be, as they probably run into a lot of crazies out there, but they scared me (and perhaps my Lamaze threw them off?). I am 100% positive she would have taken a picture with us if we had asked, but her bodyguards gave us the look of death, so all I could muster was, “I love you, Kim.” Sarah offered the very articulate, “Hey, Kim.” And then snapped her photo.

One more time:

Ahhhh! :shock:

I still can’t believe I was that close to her. And for the record, if I am ever that close to Beyoncé, someone might want to ensure there’s an EMT on hand because my heart WILL stop.

Oh, and for all of you wondering if Kim’s bum deserves the attention is gets in the paparazzi, all I have to say is :shock: It’s the eighth wonder of the world! I’ve never seen anything like it! I actually woke Mr. KD up when I got home just to talk about her bum. He was not impressed and actually coined the term “super-stalker” as used in this entry. Pffffffft. He’s totally just jealous. I can tell.

One last thing on this: she’s just as gorgeous in real life as on camera and was completely gracious to anyone that actually mustered the courage to talk to her. And so I ask, didn’t they have a VIP toilet she could use?!? If I was that pretty and making god-knows-how-much per appearance, I would demand parking my bum on nothing less than platinum, people! Maybe I would consider 14K gold, but nothing less! TOTALLY KIDDING.

Maybe. :wink:

Now that we’ve relived one of the top nights of my life, let’s get into today’s eats!

But first, exercise!

I hit the gym nice and early and hit the treadmill.  I told you guys last week that I wanted to lessen the time at 6.0 and increase my times at 6.2 and 6.4 so I did it today.  I was able to hold it for 20 minutes, but then had to come back down.  I sprinted/walked for an additional 10.  My cold is about to come out full-blown, so even though my legs felt great (hello, 2 days rest!), I could barely breathe, which was VERY annoying.

  • Warmup 5 min – 4.0 – 4.7
  • Jog 1 min – 6.0, 1 %
  • Jog 2 min – 6.2, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.4, 1%
  • Jog 1 min – 6.0, 1 %
  • Jog 2 min – 6.2, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.4, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.0, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.2, 1%
  • Jog 1 min – 6.4, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.0, 1%
  • Jog 2 min – 6.2, 1%
  • Jog 1 min – 6.4, 1%
  • Sprint 1 min, 8.5, 0%
  • Walk 1 min, 4.5, 0%
  • Sprint 30 sec, 9.0 – 0%
  • Walk 1.5 min, 4.5, 0%
  • Sprint 30 sec, 9.0 – 0%
  • Walk 1.5 min, 4.5, 0%
  • Sprint 30 sec, 9.0 – 0%
  • Walk 1.5 min, 4.5, 0%
  • Sprint 30 sec, 9.0 – 0%
  • Walk 1.5 min, 4.5, 0%
  • Cool down 5 min, 4.7 – 3.3, 0%
Total Time: 50 Min
Total Mileage: 4.82 (I feel like it’s always 4.82, don’t you?)
 

After the run, I hit some back and bicep exercises.  It was a good workout and I was happy to be back in the gym.  I will say, however, that those two days of rest felt spectacular.  My legs felt SO good this morning.  Sometimes, I think 5 days is the perfect amount of exercise for me, while other weeks I think 6 is the perfect number.  I guess I should just listen to my body and rest when needed!

Breakfast consisted of a whole wheat English muffin and some egg beaters. I keep a carton of egg beaters at work and heat them up in the microwave. I used about ½ cup and seasoned them with hot sauce and ketchup :smile: The English was adorned with ICBINBL and Polaner 100% strawberry fruit spread. No added sugars. Love that stuff!


Lunch provided lots of nutrients with leftover eggplant parmigiana and a salad. I didn’t have many veggies to put on top of the salad today, so I opted for a fruit-inspired one instead! Mr. KD peeled and cored an apple for me last night (so nice of him, huh?), which I placed on some romaine with walnuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese. Drizzled with light raspberry vinaigrette.


I am trying to keep my protein up during the day, so I added the walnuts to the salad and ensured my snack also included protein and healthy fats to keep me satisfied.

Enter a juicy orange and string cheese:


I also had half of a trail mix bag from the vending machine. I knew my snack wouldn’t hold me over until dinner, but I couldn’t think of anything else to pack last night. Whenever this happens, I rely on this healthy trail mix to pull me through. I ALWAYS only eat half and save the other half for the next day. It consists of almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds and raisins. All unsalted, of course.

This was my portion:


I defrosted chicken breasts last night and marinated them in Newman’s Teriyaki sauce all day long! When marinating, always be sure to puncture the meat slightly to allow the flavors to really seep in.  Mr. KD cooked them up on the George Foreman grill. Sooooo juicy and tender.
I wanted to bake some french fries tonight, but I had to run an errand after work and didn’t get home until 6:45.  So instead, we cut the potatoes with our fancy wavy cutter and roasted them.  I sprinkled them with salt, pepper and Emeril’s Bayou Blast.  This might be the best spice I own.  If you like things with a kick, seek this stuff out NOW!

The meal was rounded out with some roasted broccoli that was seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. LOVE ME SOME BROCCOLI!!

Because of my insatiable hunger by the time we sat down to eat, I woofed this down and am now sick to my belly :sad:   I’m generally a very slow eater.  My body doesn’t know what to do when I shovel food into it :oops:

Hoping to get another good night’s rest and feel better tomorrow.

Until we eat again…

Question of the Day: Who is your favorite celebrity? I know some of you out there aren’t “into” celebrities, but just play along. Anyone you think is cool enough to chat over coffee?

I think I’ve made it quite clear that mine would be Beyoncé. She’s classy, fabulous, generous, talented and private. I think more celebrities should take a clue from the B handbook.