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

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A recent tragedy in my life has me thinking about comfort food.

On Sunday, my family and I had to put Figaro, our 17-year-old kitty down :(. It was absolutely awful, but he was old and had been on a slow decline for a while. The poor guy had about every medical problem possible, so we knew it was time.

Sweet Figaro

Sweet Figaro

That photo was taken of Figgy a couple years ago, when he was still a little plump and had some pep in his step. He had lost more than half his body weight when we took him to the vet last week.

Anyway! On to a more positive note.

When dealing with hardships like this, I either have absolutely no appetite, or turn to food to make myself feel better. I guess you could say I’m an emotional eater.

Most people have their favorite comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese and pizza are probably my go-tos. I’d also guess that most people associate comfort foods with not so healthy foods. Well, I made a discovery this week: comfort food can be healthy!

So what’s my healthy comfort food? Greek salad.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

I’ve realized I always turn to a Greek salad when I’m dealing with some type of a crisis. It sounds so random, but it’s true. When my mom had a major terrifying surgery, the only thing I could even think of eating was a big Greek salad topped with gyro meat from  ‘It’s Greek to Me‘ in Minneapolis:

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When Mike’s dog Bella died, we went out to our favorite Greek restaurant ‘Athenian Room’ to celebrate her life.

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I’ve had a hard time thinking about Mr. Fig over the past few days, and have just been craving Greek salads. I’ve made my own version for dinner the past couple of nights.

I’ve been using chopped romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and roasted lemon chicken to make the perfect comforting Greek salad. I even made my own dressing using olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, garlic and chopped olives.

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So if you’re ever going through a hard time, or just having a rough day and want to turn to pizza and nachos, try to think of a healthier dish that is equally as delicious. Even if it’s a big less convenient, it’ll be worth it. I don’t know about you, but I never feel better after over-indulging in greasy food. A healthy comfort food can make you feel better about the difficult situation, and about yourself!


Yo!

There are currently tornadoes on the ground here in South Dakota. The weather is absolutely psycho, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Let me just say that I love summer salads.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad

For dinner this evening, I fixed myself a simple summer salad with romaine lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, grilled chicken, chopped pecans, feta cheese and acai raspberry vinaigrette. YUM! I know a lot of people are anti fruit in salads, but I am not one of them. Bring on the berries.

In other news, I met Tom Brokaw last week!

With Tom Brokaw

With Tom Brokaw

This was such a great experience. I had the chance to interview him one-on-one for about 15 minutes. He was a great speaker and truly loves his home state of South Dakota!

Moving on.

This past weekend was nuts. I drove home through pouring rain and tornado warnings on Saturday night. Luckily, Mike was kind enough to take me to Applebee’s for nachos and beer when I arrived in Minneapolis around 10:00. Nachos make everything better.

Sunday morning I was off to one of my favorite places in the world to celebrate Father’s Day.

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Lake Vermilion

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I’ve been going to Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota since I can remember. My dad’s side of my family has had a cabin on the lake since the 1960s. I rarely get up there anymore since I live so far away. Every time I get the chance to go there even just for a day I love it. Too bad the weather was absolute crap this time.

I also got to see this little baby while I was there.

Marshy

Marshy

I love my dad’s cat, Marshy. What a beauty. And she likes to sit in the sink?

Anyway, my trip north was short. I was back in Minneapolis Monday morning, and had planned to drive back to Sioux Falls that evening until all hell broke loose. Like I said, the weather here is psycho. A majority of the towns around Sioux Falls are under water thanks to extreme rain, and tornadoes have been sweeping across the area all week.

South Dakota Flooding

South Dakota Flooding

What’s scary is this isn’t even the worst of it. South Dakota and the neighboring states have been getting hit by strong storms since the weekend. The weather is all we have been covering at work, and I am totally enthralled.

One of the downsides of losing myself in my job a little too much is I lose sight of other things that are important to me, like working out! I hate to say that I haven’t hit the gym once since Saturday. I know four days isn’t the end of the world, but I just feel off when I go too long without a workout. I’m really hoping this lack of motivation to get to the gym will end once the weather starts to settle down.

I’m telling myself I am going to workout tomorrow morning, but tornadoes are expected to hit Sioux Falls late, late tonight, and I want to stay up and watch like a 5-year-old.

 


Running into 35 mph wind is awful.

I wasn’t planning on running today, but it hit 60 degrees in Sioux Falls and the next few days won’t be half as warm. The mid-week warm up prompted me to complete one of my short runs of 3 miles that I had scheduled for tomorrow.

The funny thing about Sioux Falls is whenever it warms up, the wind picks up. The first mile of my run was straight into the wind. I struggled to stay under 9 minute miles since I kept getting forced back.

Here were the stats:

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Not awful, but not good.

After stretching in front of the TV for a while it was dinner time. Woo! I’ve been dreaming about my dinner all day. I decided to try to recreate my salad from Mason’s that I had on Sunday.

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Mine definitely didn’t turn out as pretty, but it was almost equally delicious.

Beet & Feta Salad with Chicken

I used mixed greens, sliced beets, grilled chicken breast, toasted walnuts, strawberries instead of craisins, and feta cheese instead of goat cheese.

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Topped off with Kraft lite balsamic vinaigrette. Totally forgot about the red onions which I’m a little bummed about. Oh well! It’s sitting nicely in my belly right now. I’m off to make a duplicate salad for my lunch tomorrow!



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