What We’re Eating 4/24-5/2

Hey! I know it’s been a hot second since I’ve updated the good ol’ blog, but frankly I’ve been feeling uninspired and I don’t want to post when I have nothing to write about! That being said, I’d like to get back into the habit of sharing our weekly meal plans to help inspire you in the kitchen! I’ll be sharing what we are eating and how I try to make each meal a little healthier. As you hopefully know by now, my husband has a strong love for calzones, so every Friday we will continue to eat them until we are sick of them. I doubt that will happen!

This week we are eating:

  • Burrito bowls  — We don’t add the cheese and skip the corn salsa. What is so great about these tasty bowls is you can customize them however you’d like and they still taste fantastic.
  • Thai Chicken Meatballs — Serve these up on top of brown rice and with roasted broccoli. I try and lighten these up a bit more by using light coconut milk and whole wheat breadcrumbs.
  • Asian Salmon — I know I’ve shared this recipe before but it is worth sharing again! It comes together quickly, which makes this an easy weeknight meal. Serve with quinoa or brown rice on the side for some complex carbs.
  • Calzones — Made with this whole wheat crust. Pick your toppings and stuff them in the crust and bake! Our favorite toppings are mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and turkey sausage. And cheese, of course.
  • BBQ Chicken Salads — Does this salad scream summer, or what?!
  • One Pan Lemon Chicken with Brussels sprouts and butternut squash — The sauce makes this dish!

 

What are you eating this week?

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Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! Does anyone feel like this week flew by? We have a busy weekend planned but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be running outside Saturday morning because it will be a balmy 55 degrees where we live. No matter how long I live in Indiana I will never get used to the crazy weather patterns.

I’m kicking off this Friday with some of my favorite things around the internet and I hope you enjoy!

Favorite Nutrition Post: Should everyone go gluten free? This RD has hit a lot of good points for why some people are hopping on the gluten free bandwagon and why it’s working. I agree with her points whole heatedly; if you switch from eating crappy, highly processed foods to a diet full of healthy foods rich in nutrients, of course you’re going to see change!

Favorite Funny: Pictures you can relate to if you’re a dog owner. Yes to all of them! Specifically the post about referring every dog as a puppy. Jerry will always be our puppy.

That all dogs are puppies:

Favorite Sweet: 46 Cookies of the World! Holy cow, just reading about all of them seeing how beautiful each cookie is makes me want to a whip up a batch of cookies.

Favorite Recipe: Thai Chicken Meatballs. My husband asks for these on a weekly basis. We serve ours with a side of roasted broccoli and a scoop of brown rice. Top with drizzle of Sriracha!
skinny-thai-chicken-meatballs-with-peanut-sauce

Favorite Travel Guide: Nomadic Matt’s Europe guide . I have been Googling what to pack and what the “must-see” sights are for Europe since last summer (no joke, we’ve had this trip planned for years) and I feel slightly overwhelmed… what did you take to Europe? What are your favorite places? Help!

Favorite Cocktail: The Manhattan. Maybe it’s the fact we are headed to NYC in just a few short weeks. Maybe it’s the fact I love a good maraschino cherry. But don’t these looks fantastic? I bet they taste even better.

Manhattan Drink -- all you need are 3 ingredients to make a classic Manhattan cocktail | gimmesomeoven.com

 

Happy weekend!

 

What are your plans this weekend?

 

What’s Cooking: Holiday Edition

Even though Mitchell and I spend our holidays bouncing around from family to family and house to house and never formally host a party  (unless it’s for our friends — I’ll get to that later) we still manage to cook and bake as if we were hosting!

Today I’m sharing with you what we have made thus far this holiday season and what we are planning to make for this week’s festivities!

Sunday we went to our annual family bunch (which I totally look forward to all year because, um, it’s BRUNCH) and we contributed Pumpkin Coffee Cake. It’s become a favorite in our household — I’ve made it no less than 6 times since October. I doubled the recipe to feed the crowd and let’s just say, it could have stayed in the oven a little longer. However, it was still scrumptious!

That night I longed for something not quite as sweet. Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas fell off our menu last week and onto Sunday (which I’m not complaining) due to some unripe avocados *whomp whomp*. Prepped and cooked within 30 minutes, my favorite kind of meal.

Last night we kept things light and dined on one of our favorite big salads (Seinfeld, anyone?): Chinese Chicken Salad. Totally hit the spot and wasn’t too heavy at all.

Chinese Chicken Salad - Restaurant quality that you can easily make right at home, except it's healthier and a million times tastier!

Today I’m headed to my Christmas work party where I’m bringing Peppermint Mocha Cookies.  I sampled one last night after I made them and they have just the perfect amount of peppermint. Since they were so delightful I will also be bringing these to our Christmas dinner celebration with my side of the family. I’m also making Creme Brulee for our fancy Christmas dinner dessert, too! I can’t wait to bust out the torch!

Instagram media molly.packard - peppermint mocha cookies for coworker cookie exchange! 🤗🍪🎄 #tistheseason #sallysbakingaddiction

And what’s Christmas without a small appetizer?  Roasted Garlic and Bacon Dip will also be made! My mom is hosting Christmas dinner so I offered to bring a small dish. I’ve already made it once before and it was a huge hit! You roast a whole head of garlic and mix it with cheese and bacon, how could you go wrong?!

Creamy warm spinach dip made with roasted garlic, crispy bacon, and parmesan cheese. This dip was gone in minutes! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Even though we don’t host a family Christmas, we host a Friendsmas party with our nearest and dearest friends from high school. This year, our Friendsmas celebration falls right when the Hoosiers are playing in the Pinstripe Bowl, so we are keeping things simple and football food friendly. Here’s what we have planned so far:

And after all that eating I think I will be ready for a diet overhaul come next week.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! ♥

Instagram media molly.packard - christmas kisses for my sweet girl. 💚😚 #dogmom #rescuedog

Friday Favorites!

Hi friends! I figure it’s been long enough since I’ve given you a post to read. You know how life goes! I thought I’d share some of my favorite links on the web this week. I’d like to get in more of a regular routine again by sharing our weekly meals again. I know how hard meal planning can be and hopefully I can serve as inspiration to those who need it!

Can we talk about how delicious this gnocchi looks? This meal will  be perfect for cold winter nights! It looks so fancy but easy enough to whip up really quick!

Get your forks ready - you'll be fighting over every last bite of Gnocchi with Spinach, Mushrooms and Crispy Prosciutto. This 30 minute, gluten-free meal is a stunner! | iowagirleats.com

Have you guys seen Instagram Husband? I feel like my husband can relate to all of these scenarios. We always have to wait until I snap a picture of my food, shoes, or something but it has to be the PERFECT shot.  Bless Mitchell’s heart. ♥

The most popular bar in every state. I love reading lists like these – it gives great insight to what each state enjoys. However, I think Indiana’s bar is WAY off! Have you tried Nick’s? Or Upland? Yeah. Try those places then come talk to me.

The coolest products of 2015. I need the fold up Kayak, posture corrector *sits taller in seat*, the Buddy collar, and well, all of those things! Too cool! I wanted a Hoverboard but apparently they explode?!

To go along with the list theme, Food 52 offers up their list of best sellers of 2015. I want ALL of the items but specifically Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup. Can you say YUM?!

I’ve been bit by the travel bug. We are headed to New York, New York next spring with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and I cannot wait! Of course, I could also take a trip to these destinations on the rise, too. With that said: what are your favorite places to eat in NYC?!

Tell me, what are you guys up to over the holidays? I have a big weekend planned that includes going to a holiday party, a holiday play, and baking endless amounts of cookies at my in-laws house! I’ll be sure to share via Instagram so follow along! Let the holiday festivities begin!

Also here is a picture of Jerry in reindeer ears for your enjoyment.

Instagram media molly.packard - remember when i said i couldn't handle the cuteness the other day? well today topped the other day. i. can't. even. 😭😂🎅🏼🎄 #christmascheer #jerthereindeer

My poor dog puts up with my dog mom antics.

TGIF!

 

 

Friday Favorites!

Hello again! I know… long time, no see. This summer has been absolute chaos for our little family and I feel like I’m almost ready for winter so I’m subjected to not ever leaving my home unless I have to. Don’t get me wrong, I love being busy and doing fun things, but wow, I’m ready for a break!

So far we’ve…

Traveled: to northern Indiana, Chicago, and heading to Pittsburgh in the near future.

Improved: Our house. Painted our doors and shutters, cleaned out our living spaces.

Worked: so hard at work, traveling to various towns across the state. School started back up for my husband.

Ran: a 5 mile race and placed!

Ate: Too many good meals to count. Grilled insane amounts of chicken.

Walked: over 10,000 steps per day for 3 months except for 3 days (my work has a step competition going on!)

Cheered on: The Braves at Wrigley field, and the Indians in Indianapolis.

And yet, I’m not ready for this crazy heat to end. Something about the summer sun just makes my heart happy. Okay enough summer recap. I thought I would kick off the long weekend with some of my favorite things I’ve found on the web or things I enjoy. Enjoy and have a wonderful long, labor day weekend and soak up the last bit of summer for me!

What’s Hot Now: 7 New Kitchen Trends I love my kitchen and its bright open space, but when I look at these dreamy kitchens, I want to start breaking down walls.

8 Ways to be Productive When You Feel Like You Have No Time. Yes. I needed to read this. The walking tip is something I need to keep doing in the winter months.

Honey Sriracha Chex Mix. I made this a couple weeks ago and realized I will be making this for all of our future football game day needs. I omitted the pretzels because I didn’t have any on hand and it still turned out fabulous.

Honey-Sriracha Chex™ Mix

Playing Kickball. I signed up for an adult rec league in our local town about a year ago and it was probably the best decision I’ve made in a while. The people are great, I’m active on a weeknight, and I get to kick some balls!

Pasta without Dairy in it. It must be a Christmas miracle! You have NO idea how much dairy is in everything until you are married to a man who can’t eat dairy. It’s shocking. These look delicious and I will definitely try some as the temperature drops.

18 Fitness Myths That Need to be Stopped. Could not agree more with a lot of these statements. Fitness is not one note, neither is nutrition. Most importantly, it matters what is going on on the inside (like cholesterol, glucose, A1c, etc.) The number on the scale doesn’t define you. What defines you is your entire health journey- not one diet – not one exercise.

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

What have you been up to this summer?!

A Running Survey

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve had a crazy couple weeks at work and have been working more than I normally do and at odd hours so blogging took a small backseat just so I don’t get too overwhelmed!

Today I found a survey on one of my favorite running blogs so I thought I would play along. Enjoy!

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?

You know I do love the beach, but we live no where close to mountains so mountain trail it is!

2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

None, I actually hate Gatorade while running. It makes me extremely ill.

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

New shoes. That would cover just a part of the cost. But if we’re excluding shoes I would buy new tank tops.

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I like a training plan when I’m prepping for a race but there is no better feeling than just going out and running however far and fast you want.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?

I would rather end on a downhill, I think.

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of body weight work like burpees, mountain climbers, and push ups so that’s been a fun change.

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?

I hate point to point. I guess I’d say out and back only because loops play mental mind games with me.

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>

Good pair of shoes!

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

Yes, I do! I’ve seen a lot of deer, beavers, and a ton of birds.

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

Not that I recall…

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?

Probably a huge fruit salad. Sounds weird, but it’s so good and refreshing!

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

Shorts. Fun fact: I do not own any running capris.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

As I’ve gotten older it takes me a least a mile to warm up anymore. Used to only take about 1/4 of a mile but my joints aren’t what they used to be!

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

Put it in my shorts pocket!

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

Probably the Bedford Half Marathon. It was so hilly, but for some reason I felt so strong that day and PR’ed on a tough course.

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?

Probably Yasso 800s. They hurt real bad.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?

My health. It’s always been my biggest motivator.

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?

Depends where I want to run that day! Typically my front door though.

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?

A must for super sunny days but I typically don’t wear them.

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

Wow, tough question! Probably inspiration from others. I love heartfelt stories like a 97 year old woman completes a marathon or people who lost over 200 pounds and now run ultras. I think to myself that if they can do it, I can do it, too!

Alright, your turn! Pick a question to answer and share below!

2015 Indiana Spartan Race Recap

Did I happen to mention I participated in a “Spartan Race” in May? I haven’t?! Shame on me.

Well, let me tell you it was WAY out of my comfort zone. I am a creature of habit; I’ve been running on the hard blacktop for years. 9 years as a matter of fact. I’ve completed a couple trail races but not one can even compare to a Spartan Race.

This race was a “sprint” race, it ranged from 3 to 5 miles but our race was closer to 5 miles. I didn’t mind the distance at all because I have ran 5 miles and then some countless times. Have I ever ran 5 miles in pure mud completing over 20 obstacles (and if you fail the obstacles, it’s 30 burpees for you!)? Heck no.

barbwire

Last year, my husband, Mitchell, completed the race with one of his best friends and I looked on as a spectator because I had a half-marathon to compete in a few weeks and didn’t want to get injured. After watching them complete the race in 2014, I knew I had to give this race a shot in 2015.

Between miles 1-2, I thought I fared pretty well. I completed a few tough obstacles, including the Hercules Hoist (basically you lift a giant sandbag weighing 100 pounds up 30 feet and lower back to the ground with a pulley system). I also made it over inverted walls, and cargo nets. I was on a roll until the muddy “climb up a wall with a rope” obstacle. I fell not once, but twice and then did 30 burpees because I failed to complete the obstacle.

Miles 2-4 were also okay, but probably not my favorite. There was SO MUCH mud. We had to climb up some killer hills and there were more upper body obstacles that I just could not handle. So burpees it was! I also barely missed the spear throw and could not for the life of me get a grip on the climbing wall (I think that had to do with all the mud!).

Causally carrying a sandbag through some muddy water.

Causally carrying a sandbag through some muddy water.

At the end of the race there was a gravel bucket carry. It seemed so simple, but hurt so bad. Participants would grab a bucket (about 5 gallons) and fill it to a certain line. Once filled, you took that bucket of gravel and carried it about a third of a mile down a muddy hill, made a sharp turn, and walked back up the hill. Once you were on top of the hill, you had to toss the gravel back into the gravel pit. Oh, one last thing – you CAN’T lose any of the gravel! If you lost any at all you had to do it again! Yikes!!!

All smiles at the finish!

There was no greater feeling than crossing that finish line. I’ve ran a lot of races in my life, and each finish is so unique and representative of any fears I may have had going into a race. This race made me get over my fears in many, many ways. I had to climb up not one, but TWO cargo nets and I absolutely hate heights! One of my other fears is swimming in cloudy water (I like to see where I’m going!) and I had to complete that, too!

I’m really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. Was I sore the next day? Heck yes. Was I so over the race at some point? Oh yes, my ankles had enough! Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone? Completed a Spartan race?

P.S. Read another Indiana race recap by the Spartan staff here. Apparently, it was a very muddy one!