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

Monthly Archives: July 2014

I have a peachy recipe to share this morning! Literally.

peach and blueberry

Mike and I visited the first South Dakota Peach Festival this weekend. Apparently these festivals are pretty popular everywhere outside the midwest, but this was our first experience at the event. They featured the world’s largest peach cobbler, and of course lots of peaches! All the peaches are brought in on trucks from Georgia, and are supposed to be some of the best around.

Georgia peaches

Georgia peaches

I ended up buying a bag for $8 that gives you the option of fitting as many peaches in it as possible. Now I have about 20 peaches that need to be eaten one way or another. Mike had a great idea last night – he told me to create different healthy recipes that feature these sweet fruits and share them! So I bring you the first installment of this peach saga, however long it may last.

I have been craving Quaker Peaches & Cream instant oatmeal for weeks. I loved the instant oatmeal packets growing up, and this was always my favorite flavor.

Peaches & Cream

Peaches & Cream

Since I’ve matured slightly since the age of ten, I decided to make a ‘grown-up’ version of my favorite oat flavor.

Peach & Blueberry Protein Oats:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry oats
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 ripe peach, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbs chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Cook the oats according to directions. I typically just eye-ball how much water I’m adding to them.
  • Once they’re cooked, stir in egg white, protein powder and cinnamon. Heat for 30 more seconds.
  • Add peaches, blueberries and almond milk. Stir until nice and creamy.
  • Top with chopped pecans or any other nuts!

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This breakfast hit the spot. I’d like to try an overnight oats version as well. I feel like some greek yogurt would really add some good creaminess.

 

 

 

 

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We may be entering the middle of the week, but I’m still dwelling on last weekend! Particularly the food.

Mike was visiting this past weekend. That always means we pack in lots of delicious food, especially treats! Before Mike even arrived in Sioux Falls Friday night we already had our dinner planned.

Friday dinner:

PIZZA!

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Not just any pizza; Jack’s frozen pizza. We’re big fans of Jack’s supreme. It’s one of the cheapest frozen pizzas, but one of the best tasting in my opinion. I’m a big fan of super thin crispy crust, and Jack’s has got it!

Saturday lunch:

We enjoyed some yummy turkey wraps with a side of baked ruffles for lunch.

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Flatout wraps rule.

Saturday snack:

Oh yeah, and we got these Oreos later.

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I’ve been eyeing the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos since they first started popping up in grocery stores. I asked Mike to go get a treat at Target while I was at work, and this is what he came back with. Good call. Here’s the verdict: I thought they were great but Mike seemed underwhelmed. I promise if you like peanut butter and chocolate, you’ll like these Oreos.

Even though Mike said he wasn’t into the Reese’s Oreos, he did take them home with him on Sunday. I have a feeling they were polished off pretty quick.

Sunday brunch:

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On Sunday we went out to brunch. Mike is not as big of a fan of brunch as I am, but I managed to talk him into it this weekend. I’ve been to the Granite City brunch buffet once before and remembered it being fairly inexpensive. Well, I was bummed when we got our check and realized the the price was $3.00 more per person than I was expecting! Not sure if they bumped it up, or if my memory is fading.

The funniest part of brunch was the fact that we were the only people sitting out on the patio. It was in the upper 60s, which I guess is chilly for a July morning, but this is South Dakota. Come on people.

I did my best to stick with fruit, eggs, meat and veggies. As you can see a waffle somehow made it onto my plate as well.

It was a wonderful weekend full of great food. But, now it’s time to crack down. Mike and I are heading to Chicago in three weeks and I know we’ll be eating all kinds of unhealthy things once we get in vacation mode. From now until we touch down in Chicago we are being ‘good’. For me, that means no cookies, cakes, candy, pastries etc. So far, so good! Even though it’s been a total of two days.


Good morning!

I know Friday is a celebratory day for most people as it marks the start of the weekend. However, my schedule has changed dramatically and Friday is now actually my Monday! I’m currently working a Fri-Tues schedule. Sounds depressing, but I’m still pumped that it’s Friday because that means Mike comes today!

I also will have a chance to enjoy some weekend-like activities over the next couple of days. I’m not complaining!

Friday Favorites:

1. Running Routine

I’m running the Sioux Falls Half Marathon in September and started my training about 2 weeks ago. I haven’t ran more than 2 miles since my last half marathon was cancelled over a month ago. I’m slowly getting back into my running routine and it feels great! Of course, the most important part of the routine is the pre-run snack/meal:

Pre-run meal

Pre-run meal

Bagel thin+PB+Banana+Coffee.

I have the same pre-run meal anytime I’m running more than 5 miles. If it’s less than that I may just have a cup of coffee or handful of cereal before. Well, yesterday I was supposed to complete a 6 mile run that got cut very, very short due to a full on thunderstorm that popped up out of nowhere.

Rain-soaked run

Rain-soaked run

I made the decision to turn around once it started pouring. I even spotted lightning a couple times. Yikes! I finished just over 4 miles, and even with the rain, it was still a good-feeling run!

2. Summer Smoothies

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While I’m no fan of scorching hot weather, I am a fan of smoothies. And hot weather means I consumer more and more smoothies! We have had some very hot days in Sioux Falls lately so I’ve been having smoothies for lunch, breakfast and snacks. The smoothie above consisted of frozen mangoes, strawberries, vanilla whey protein, plain greek yogurt and pineapple juice. Nice and tropical!

3. Dasani Sparkling Water

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I’m a big fan of sparkling water and am always on the lookout for new kinds to try. Dasani sparkling water was on sale at the grocery store last week, so I picked up a 12-pack of the lime flavor. This is naturally flavored, unsweetened sparkling water which is typically my favorite. I love the lime flavor, but would also like to try some berry flavors. If you’re a sparkling water fan, I recommend trying the Dasani brand!

4. Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches

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There are certain foods I can’t control myself around; potato chips. french fries, brownies, etc. Ice cream is not one of those foods. Call my crazy, but ice cream is something I can normally do without. That said, I’m loving these Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. My family bought them while they were here for 4th of July. That shows you how untempted I am by ice cream, I’ve been able to let these sit in my freezer for almost a month! Anyway, these are delicious. Like I said there have been some hot hot days here lately, so ice cream comes in handy when I need a good cool down. Plus, mint is my favorite ice cream flavor!

5. Kitty Cat

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Lyra moved in with me almost two weeks ago when I brought her back to Sioux Falls from my childhood home in Minneapolis. She’s already used to her new home, and I love having a little friend around when I come home from work. Don’t worry, this won’t become a cat picture blog.

I’m off to complete that 6 mile run!

 

 

 

 


Good morning!

It’s Sunday! Normally I love Sundays since they’re my first day off of the week, but things have changed. I’m now working both Saturday and Sunday. I still have Sunday mornings free, which means I can join in the Sunday fun by being extra lazy and lounging around like everyone should do on this day.

This is also my 100th post on Biggest Food Junkie! I would have liked to reach this milestone long ago back when I first started this blog in 2012. However, being a college student kind of takes up a lot of time and distracted me quite a bit. Blogging is not always in the cards. I’m excited to share many delicious treats and eats on the blog today for the 100th post.

I missed my ‘Friday Favorites’ post so let’s talk about some weekend favorites.

1. Oats In A Jar

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IMG_2315I’ve finally hopped on the oats in a jar bandwagon.

This oatmeal eating tactic is something I’ve wanted to try ever since the trend started popping up on Pinterest long ago. All you need is a nearly empty jar of peanut butter or any other nut butter. I happened to have one on hand so I decided to give it a whirl this morning! So good!

I cooked oatmeal in a bowl with 1 egg white and added chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, sliced banana and craisins. I then poured it into the almost empty jar of peanut butter. The warm oatmeal melts the peanut butter that’s scraped on the sides of the jar and it mixes in real nicely. I’ll definitely be saving my almost empty peanut butter jars from now on!

2. Monster Cookies

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Monster cookies! I have these bad boys to thank for my empty peanut butter jar. Yesterday was nuts at work, so I decided to bake some cookies last night to bring in to everyone today as a little pick-me-up/reward for all the hard work. When I asked my coworkers what their favorite cookies were, everyone seemed to say the same thing; chocolate chip, m&m, peanut butter. So, I decided to combine a few of those to make some bomb monster cookies.

This is my favorite monster cookie recipe, and I’ve tried many. They’re soft, chewy, and packed with goodies. I love experimenting with different chocolate chips, chocolate pieces and different nut butters. I just used plain old creamy peanut butter for this batch, which is how I was left with my jar for my oats this morning!

3. Scrambles

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I’ve been really into my egg scrambles lately. The first one was made with egg beaters, spinach, black beans, onion and feta cheese. Topped with Sriracha, of course. The second is egg beaters, black beans, bell peppers, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese. All topped with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and salsa. Sides of fruit are necessary for a little sweetness.

I’ve always been a fan of scrambles, but lately I’ve been eating the exact same thing for breakfast every day; egg whites with spinach, wheat bagel then with peanut butter and banana. It’s starting to get a little old, and I figured it was time to mix things up. Now I need to get some chicken sausage to throw in the next one.

I’m off to the gym to complete a biceps & back workout! Hopefully this Sunday morning will mean an empty gym.


Before we get into the debate over which vegetable cooking method is the best/healthiest, I need to announce that I have a new roommate!

lyra

Everyone meet Lyra. Lyra is actually not a new pet for me. I got her for my 11th birthday in 2001! She’s obviously lived at my childhood home for the past 12 years, but I decided to take her back to Sioux Falls with me during my last trip home. She’s getting old and is tired of being tortured by the two big dogs that seem to rule that house. My mom says moving into my apartment is like moving into a retirement home for Lyra. She’s a happy girl!

How do you like to cook your vegetables?

I know there’s a lot of debate over the healthiest ways to cook vegetables. I found this article on TIME.com that lists the alleged healthiest methods for cooking veggies. Some of the methods seemed pretty obvious; steaming, boiling, grilling. However, one that caught my eye was microwaving. Isn’t that so weird?

Their point is that the shorter cooking time in a microwave actually preserves some of the nutrients in the vegetables. So bizarre. Not that I’ve never microwaved vegetables, but microwaves don’t necessarily scream healthy to me.

I’m a big fan of roasting my vegetables. I typically tend to stick with roasting or steaming, but if I’ve got the time I almost always go with roasting. There’s just something about getting a little crisp on the veggies that’s so good!

Speaking of roasted vegetables, I had my fair share with my dinner this evening.

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Carrots, green beans, corn, and broccoli seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I roasted these vegetables at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. Enjoyed alongside a couple thin, boneless pork chops!

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My food was just not photographing well tonight. I blame the steam rising from the vegetables. It might not look pretty, but it was certainly tasty. Pork is up there on my list of favorite meats.

Back to the veggie debate, I remember during a health class I took in college my professor said if you do cook vegetables in something, like butter, oil, or even water, all the nutrients in the vegetable will end up in that liquid. Meaning if you cook broccoli in butter, you need to consume the butter in order to get the nutrients from the broccoli. Sounds a bit strange.

No matter how they’re cooked, I love pretty much all vegetables and will eat them any way, any day.

 


It feels like Fall outside! A ‘cold’ snap is taking over the midwest right now. We’re sitting in the mid 60s which is my kind of temperature. Pretty sure I’m the only person loving the fall-like weather. What makes it even better is I’m home in Minneapolis today, and autumn weather in Minneapolis is just my perfect kind of atmosphere.

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If only there were some orange and red leaves on those trees. Just a couple more months!

This weekend has gone by way too fast, like every weekend that I’m home. It may be cooler today, but yesterday was a perfect July day, so Mike and I took advantage of the weather and went stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Calhoun. I left my phone in the car in fear of falling off my board and losing my phone forever, so I sadly do not have any pictures from our adventure yesterday.

Half way through our outing the wind started to pick up. It was almost impossible to paddle against the wind and I got a little nervous we were going to be stranded in the middle of the lake.

Eventually we made it back to the shore, and celebrated with some froyo!

froyo

froyo

For flavors, I combined vanilla, pear, and a bit of salted caramel. I topped my froyo with mangoes, raspberries, brownie bites, almonds, and a couple sprinkles because I’m five.

Less than six hours later, it was time for froyo round two. Embarrassing.

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Sorry for the blurriness. After dinner at Mike’s family’s house, everyone was in the mood for a frozen yogurt dessert. We couldn’t say ‘no’ to a second helping. I mixed things up with this one and went with vanilla, forrest berry (intriguing?), and dark chocolate. I topped it all with strawberries, black berries, oreo pieces, and those little jelly balls that seem to be all the rage. Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of frozen yogurt for a while. Not a bad thing.

I have a bad habit of over indulging every time I’m home. It’s like trips home have started feeling like vacations, and I can just let it all hang loose.  It’s time to get serious and start cutting out some of the junk as I’m starting my half marathon training tomorrow!

I used this lazy morning to put my training schedule together. My work schedule is changing and my days off will now be Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’m going to use Thursday as my long-run day. Kind of weird, since my half marathon is still on  Sunday. I only have 8 weeks to train, which will be the shortest training period I’ve ever had for a race this size. Yikes!

Time to go play with the puppies in the backyard for a bit!


Morning!

It has been another crazy week! My family was in town last weekend for the Fourth of July, and I feel like I’ve been trying to catch my breath at work ever since. This is my last week before I start working weekends for good, so I’m planning on going home to Minneapolis on Saturday one last time. The craziness continues.

Let’s jump into Friday Favorites:

1. Fourth Of July Food

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Thanks to my mom I was left with tons of leftovers to polish off this week. Not complaining at all. My mom knows I (try to) eat healthy, so she’s usually pretty good about accommodating me when she’s making meals. For the Fourth of july she whipped up all the staples; brats, burgers, potato salad, fruit salad, etc. However, she went for healthier options in most cases. For example, she bought turkey brats, lean ground beef, potato salad with light mayo, and baked potato chips. I really appreciate the thought, and it means I feel okay eating the leftovers for dinner all week!

2. Extreme Protein Pancakes

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I love protein pancakes, but the best part about making them is getting creative with the toppings. I’m a topping/condiment enthusiast. I don’t like food that isn’t jazzed up. These special little protein pancakes that I made earlier in the week had all the bells and whistles: blueberries, banana, PB2, sugar free preserves, and of course syrup. It might sound like adding so much to these pancakes defeats the purpose of making ‘healthy’ pancakes, but that depends. If you’re topping your food with unhealthy additions like full fat mayo or in this case, full sugar syrup, then you can run into some problems. Adding a couple healthy toppings won’t hurt, and it will make things much more flavorful!

3. Mighty Maple Peanut Butter

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My love for Peanut Butter & Co. continues. This was the only flavor at the grocery store this week that I hadn’t tried, so naturally I had to get it! The texture is unlike any other flavor of theirs. It is so creamy and smooth. I’ve been topping pancakes, toast, and english muffins with this deliciousness all week! I don’t think it’s better than ‘dark chocolate dreams’, but it’s up there.

4. Caramel & Cheddar ‘Boom Chicka Pop’

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I know this stuff has already made in into Friday Favorites, but I just can’t get over it. During the workday, I honestly dream of how delicious this stuff will be for dessert. It may be one of the best sweet/savory combinations ever created. I know caramel & cheddar popcorn existed before this stuff, but this is my first love affair with it. SO, so good. Plus, it’s not that bad for you!

5. This Scholarly Puppy

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Are you guys familiar with dogs of instagram? If not, I highly recommend checking it out. I get my daily dose of dog cuteness from their posts every day. I love photos of dogs acting or looking like humans. Look at this little honey bun looking like a scholar! Love it! Dogs of instagram is also great anytime I’m feeling a little down. As soon as I see a photo of a cute pup it just brightens my day!

That’s it for Friday Favorites. On a different note, I will be starting my training for my next half marathon this weekend! Let’s hope this one doesn’t get cancelled.

 



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