learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Monthly Archives: November 2013

When is it too cold to run outside?

Is it when it looks like this?

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Or when snow boots are the only acceptable shoes to wear outside?

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I’m sure everyone has different guidelines they follow for when it’s just too cold for an outdoor run. I actually prefer colder weather anywhere from 30-45 degrees. However, when it drops well below freezing and the wind starts picking up, I get a little hesitant.

I usually use my days off to fit some long runs into my week. Yesterday was actually one of the warmest days we’ve had in a while in Sioux Falls. When I woke up around 7:30, it really didn’t look too daunting out there.

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But when the weather reads 20 degrees and feels like 11, I just can’t. I really want to find a way to run outside during the winter. At this point I just don’t have the right equipment. My shoes are terrible, and I know I’d fall on my face the second I hit ice. I’ve also been meaning to invest in a good winter running jacket. Looks like outdoor runs will be put on hold until then!

Loving “ProYo”

Or as I like to call them, yogurt bowls.

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This is actually a proyo concoction I brought to work for lunch one day. If you search “proyo” on Instgram, you’ll find some of the most delicious looking renditions of this protein-packed sweet treat. Lately, I’ve been making meal-sized versions for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.

Although yesterday’s weather didn’t exactly put me in the mood for a cold meal, I couldn’t get proyo out of my head, and decided to put together a Pumpkin ProYo bowl for lunch

Pumpkin ProYo


  • 8 oz plain, nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • splash of any type of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp splenda or stevia
  • fruit, nuts, cereal or anything for toppings


  • Combine all ingredients except toppings in a medium bowl.
  • Cover with saran wrap or a lid and freeze for 1 hour, stirring half way through so it does not completely freeze.
  • Top with anything you’d like!

I chose to top my proyo with some Special K blondie bites, chocolate fiber one cereal, and frozen blueberries.

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SOOOO delicious. A snack-size version is great for an easy dessert, too. I’m trying to pack as much pumpkin as I can in these last few days before pumpkin season is officially over and it’s all peppermint until Christmas.

I actually had a pumpkin-themed breakfast this morning that I hope to share on here later! Now, it’s off to the gym for a leg workout. Yikes!


My 23rd birthday weekend has officially come to a close! It was by far one of the best I can remember.

Mike was visiting Sioux Falls this weekend, which made it extra celebratory. Saturday was my actual birthday, but the festivities really got going into Sunday. Saturday included a solid day of work, and a fun night of bowling with some of my coworkers! It was a blast, despite the fact that I’m a terrible bowler.

My mom was nice enough to have cupcakes from Oh My Cupcakes delivered to the news room Saturday afternoon.

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After work, I quickly drove home for the nice birthday dinner Mike had prepared of very fresh and delicious chicken tacos.

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The fresh cilantro is what made these tacos. I was thoroughly impressed. The next few hours included several games of bowling, and several rounds of beer before we found ourselves at a bar just next to my apartment building.


On Sunday morning, Mike and I woke up feeling less than 100% due to the previous night’s festivities. It took us a couple hours to gather ourselves and make our way out the door for our drive to Omaha, NE! We’ve been planning a little 24 hours getaway to Omaha for the past couple months. I know Omaha doesn’t necessarily sound like a real hip travel destination, but I must say I was impressed.

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We actually stayed just outside of Omaha in Council Bluffs at Harrahs Casino. We have a weird obsession with casino buffets, and naturally we had to seize the opportunity to try out a new one.

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This was the first plate for both of us. The first of four, that is. This was by far the healthiest one. Some of the highlights for me were the macaroni and cheese, hash brown casserole, and some type of a spicy sausage. We left the buffet feeling absolutely stuffed, and ended up just relaxing in the hotel room for the next couple hours.

By the time night rolled around, we had somehow made room in our bellies for dinner. We had reservations at 801 Chophouse in downtown Omaha, which I had chosen based on some amazing reviews I read.

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We have a really hard time taking good pictures. Anyway, our meals were excellent. As soon as I saw the pork chop on the menu, I was sold. It was really dark in the restaurant and I was a little nervous to use my bright flash, so these photos aren’t the best.

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Mike ordered a delicious chicken dish with a sauce of dried fruits and beans. For sides, we went with somewhat healthy options of asparagus and sweet roasted carrots. And then there was my monster pork chop.

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It came with an apple and cherry jus, just like the one I’m used to ordering at my favorite restaurant in Chicago, Ditka’s. While it wasn’t quite the same as Ditka’s, it was more than satisfactory. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pork chop as thick as this one was.

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Look at that thing! Mike and I tried to guess how many grams of protein were in the entire thing (which I ate all of), and decided it had to be at least 60 grams. Hey, at least pork is lean, right? In our final attempt to get one good picture from the night, we asked our sever to take a couple of us.

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Unfortunately, the combination of living in the sunless midwest and the bright flash turned us into ghosts. Oh well! We were so exhausted from the weekend that we didn’t even make it down to the casino like we had planned. We spent Monday morning exploring a bit of downtown Omaha and the Old Market area. We treated ourselves to one last birthday weekend indulgence at a bakery in Old Market.

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That is supposed to be one slice of apple crisp. Apparently ogres are common diners at this bakery, because I don’t know where they got the idea that this is a normal sized portion.

Overall, this weekend left me full and happy. Let’s hope the rest of the year brings the same feelings.

It was another snowy morning in Sioux Falls.



I have Mondays off and normally I like to take advantage of the extra time by going for a long run. I glanced out my window to check out the weather conditions this morning. The snow didn’t completely cancel my running plans, but the freezing temps did. It was in the high teens this morning with wind chills in the single digits.

Once my running plans were thrown out, I settled on incorporating some extra cardio into my leg workout that I had planned for later in the day. I usually hate doing cardio too close before, or immediately after a leg workout since my legs usually turn into jelly on leg day. I figured tacking on 15 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill as a warm up, and 15 minutes on the elliptical as a cool down would be a safe bet. Worked like a charm!

Last night I had the baking bug. I’m really trying to stay away from too many sweets this week since my birthday is this weekend, and I know I’ll be celebrating with a cake or two. Instead of whipping up some traditional cookies, I opted for a healthier little experiment.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Muffins




  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated splenda or other sweetener
  • 1/2 can canned pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites or egg beaters
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 TBS sugar free chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips
  • 3-4 TBS water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Combine eggs, pumpkin, orange juice, greek yogurt, and splenda. Beat until well combined
  • Add flour, protein powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice. Mix until well combined
  • Add water to create smoother consistency
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour equal amounts into greased muffin pan. If using liners, lightly grease liners as well.
  • Bake 20 minutes
  • Let cool 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan




These little guys are so good! I was expecting them to have a spongier texture, like most things made with protein powder usually have. However, they came out dense like typical muffins. I might try making them with craisins or nuts instead of chocolate chips next time.

Happy Sunday!

Sundays are such a dream. Truly a day of rest.

I got home from work around 6:30 last night with the plan of taking an hour nap before getting ready to go out for a coworker’s birthday. Well, that one hour nap turned into a three and a half hour nap! I was so out of it when I woke up and saw it was almost 10:00 p.m. I must have completely slept through my alarm.

That three plus hour nap really threw me off, especially since I didn’t get home until around 1:30 a.m. I ended up falling asleep around 3:00 in the morning. Needless to say, waking up this morning was equally as confusing. I pulled myself out of bed around 8:30 and laced up for a 4 mile run.

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It was absolutely freezing this morning. I felt the burn in my lungs for the first time all year. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, lounging, lunching with a friend, and fitting in a quick back and ab workout.

Another thing I love about Sundays is obviously football. Unfortunately, watching football equals eating massive amounts of food in my head. But not just any food — football food. I prepared what I like to call “healthy” nachos for Sunday night football tonight.


Healthy Nachos:


  • 1 flatout flatbread, any flavor
  • 2.5 oz ground turkey, cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup fat free or low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2-4 TBS salsa
  • 2 TBS nonfat plain greek yogurt or light sour cream


  • preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  • cut flatout into tortilla chip sized pieces
  • lay out on lightly greased baking sheet


  • bake flatout for 8-10 minutes, or until pieces become crispy


  • Transfer “chips” to plate and top with ground turkey and cheese
  • microwave for 30-40 seconds to melt cheese
  • top with salsa, greek yogurt, and anything else!


I definitely wish I had some jalapenos or other peppers to top my nachos with. Overall, they were delicious and ten times healthier than nachos you’d find at a sports bar.

I also conducted a little baking experiment tonight that I plan on sharing tomorrow! It’s festive, and protein packed. Now I’m off to watch some more Sunday night football and relax.

Good evening!

I want to start this post off by mentioning that Fall came and went rather quickly here in Sioux Falls. Yesterday, we got a grand total of 6 inches of snow!

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Christmas is definitely creeping up. Although the snow is about 50% melted already, I was beyond excited to walk out of work into a winter wonderland yesterday.

Travel Workouts

This past weekend I was visiting home in Minneapolis. Whenever I’m home, I know a lot of eating is going to be involved between my mom’s welcome home treats, and mine and Mike’s binge eating extravaganzas. Luckily, the area of Minneapolis I grew up in is full of beautiful places to run.

If you’re from the Minneapolis area chances are you’re familiar with the chain of lakes. I was fortunate enough to grow up just blocks away from Lake Harriet, and it has become one of my all time favorite places for a run.

I took advantage of the chance to run the lake while I was home. It was a beautiful Fall morning!

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The distance around the lake is just under 3 miles. With the short distance from my house added, the whole route adds up to about 3.5 miles. Nice and easy!

One of the days I was home I was just NOT feeling a run. I blame it on the big breakfast I had that morning. Instead, I opted for a circuit workout and some quick sprints.

I decided to do about a mile sprint or very quick run down to a local park where I completed the following circuit:



The run back to my house was definitely tougher than the run down. In all, the workout lasted no more than 30 minutes.

Working out while traveling can be tough. Whenever there’s a disruption to my normal gym routine I find myself becoming extremely unmotivated. It’s something I definitely need to work on.

I’m off to watch some Law & Order SVU and sip some coconut hot chocolate on this snowy November night!



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