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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Find A Reason To Smile.

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Verse of the Day:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

– Romans 12:1

I’ve realized at this point in life that some days are just BOUND to be better than others.  Not everyday I’m going to wake up and have a stellar day.  The way I react to the bad things that happen, however is a CHOICE.  I can choose to have a positive attitude, or I can choose to be miserable. 

So here we go, five things that made me smile.

1. Bowman’s Care Page.  This handy tool that the hospital provides allows me to check in on the little guy even when I’m not able to be with him.  It’s upkept by my cousin & her husband, so they can relay the message on the latest findings to all of us family and friends who are out there praying for the little man.  I’m SO thankful for this!

2. This delicious lunch that I packed for myself.  It’s true.  I find joy in good, healthy food. 

The more I thought about this one, I should be thankful for food at all.  In this day and age, I find that more and more families are having trouble putting food on the table at all. 

I feel almost guilty that I’m such a snob about what goes into my mouth.  Lots of people would be thankful for a chunk of bread, and here I am criticizing all the nutritional information

Thank you God for giving me the resources to support my habits 🙂

3. The ability to see and enjoy the splendor of God’s creation on my commute home from work.  Sure, traffic can be annoying going over the mountain in the morning and afternoon, but how can you complain about a view like this?

It is breath-taking.  I feel so blessed to live in such a safe area with the gorgeous country side surrounding me.

I’ve never had to worry about walking out my front door and witnessing an assault, or where my next meal will come from.  God has provided a safe and sound environment for my family and I to live in. 

4.  The ZING bar company, which sent me these candy-like bars which are absolutely fabulous.

This Orange Cranberry, almond butter-based bar was the perfect addition to my dinner last night.  Of COURSE, it figures, a night that I actually had the time to cook, it was the LAST thing I felt like doing 🙂

5.  It’s FRIDAY!!!

Need I say more?

What made YOU smile today? Could it be Anne’s tea giveaway?  Cause that’s my #6! 😉





What Love Really Means.

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I didn’t have the time yesterday to share with you the entire story behind my history mid-term the other day…You see, as I said, I went into the test feeling super prepared…but I came out of the room almost in tears.  You know that feeling you get when you can almost PICTURE your study guide in front of you, but you can’t seem to remember EXACTLY what was on it.  Then you get yourself frazzled and freak out, causing you to lose focus and REALLY get yourself confused.  It’s hard to put things in perspective when you feel like an ultimate failure.  I don’t know about you, but I have this SERIOUS need to “measure up”…I have this unreasonable expectation to be the best at everything, and maintaining less than a 4.0 would be unexceptable.  What happened the FIRST time I went to school was my worst fear…FAILURE. 

As I left, the only thing I was thinking was how the test grade would kill my average in the class (currently a 90%).  I know I didn’t FAIL the mid-term, but I certainly didn’t do as well as I should’ve.  Anyway, I got into my car and drove home, allowing time for the tears to really well up in my eyes.  Not two seconds into my commute home,  I hear JJ Heller come on the radio.  She’s one of my favorite Christian artists, and I knew that God was sending me a message through her.  More like hitting me in the head with it, actually 🙂  I LOVE it when He does that, because sometimes, I’m too dense and caught up in my own problems to see Him at work.  Her song, “What Love Really Means” is the most AMAZING reminder that no matter where you find yourself, God loves you for YOU.  This would be a wonderful contribution to the Operation Beautiful page!!!  Listen to the song here.

Anywho, my breakfast was courtesy of Udi’s Gluten-free Granola.

Gluten Free Original Granola


No good shots, because I was grabbing handfuls on my way out the door, buttt I can tell you this stuff is AWESOME.  Not missing the gluten at ALL.

What all is in the original? Good stuff.

Ingredients: Certified Gluten Free Oats, Wildflower Honey, Canola Oil, Raisins, Banana Chips, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds and Pistachios

This combination is stellarrr.  And for protein to accompany my carbs this morning, I chose a Chocolate Mint Protein Shakee from Optimum Nutrition.

1 scoop protein powder, 4 ice cubes, sugar-free chocolate syrup

I knew I’d need these 24g of protein & yummy fatty carbs to hold me over throughout the morning, since I was volunteering at the flu shot clinic at work until 12PM, so there would be no time for snacks.

After a few hours of needles, paperwork, and band aids, I was craving what I had packed for lunch.  I’m really digging the fact that I’m not JUST packing the same old sandwiches everyday

2 slices of The Baker Honey Wheat bread, but can you guess what’s inside?

How about now?

Okay, okay, I’ll tell you.  First off, if you’ve never had sweet peas mashed into a sandwich (canned is my preference!), TRY it now.  That is an order 🙂  That’s what’s on the left slice.  On the right, we have a wedge of Sonoma Jack’s Pepperjack cheese topped with 1 egg + 1 white microwaved (using the pour & poke method).

With my sandwich, I had a gorgeous medley of fresh cut veggies including baby carrots, yellow pepper, red pepper, cherry tomato, cucumber, and green pepper all dressed up in Annie’s Fat Free Mango dressing.

Andddd later in the afternoon, I dug into this glorious piece of tupperware

1/2 red delicious apple & 1/4 butternut squash microwaved in some sugar free almond syrup + cinnamon

Other snacks included a lil bitta chocolate

in almond form 🙂

After work and before the workOUT, also hadda Chiquitaaa.

with a sketchy sticker…I like the ones with little messages better….like “I’m good for you!”

I went into the fitness room and read some “People” magazine while I jammed to my ipod and used the Cross Ramp.  After the fitness center, I had basketball practice from 5 until 6:30 when I had to leave to shower before class.

983 calories; 180 max hr; 2 hours 20 min.

Oh yeah, then I demolished my packed dinner from my car before class.

Black bean & Forty Spices hummus sammich on honey wheat

Grrrrr.  It gets dark at like 6Pm anymore, so these photos were only visible by the grace of my “map lights” in the car.  Not to mention, they were hustled because I had to be in class by 7 which gives me a 1/2 hour to shower, dress, look presentable, eat, and walk to class.  Fun times.

Roasted green beans & brococli in nooch

And with that, I hobbled to class.  I may not understand the vertical/horizontal shifts/stretches, but I do understand the algebraic things we’re doing with the functions now.  Praise God.  🙂

After class, dessert was obvious.  I had a waning container of NSA fat-free vanilla ice cream that was calling out to me from the freezer.

Topped with caramel sugar-free Log Cabin

And a vita brownie for good measure  😉 

I may or may not have also consumed a handful or two of granola before bed…GAH this stuff is DANGEROUS in my house!!

BEFORE I GO!  Here’s the winner of the Kroeger Herb giveaway I had awhile back!!

CONGRATS, Kelsey! Please send me your mailing address and phone number @ so I can get your prize shipped to you!

What are your exciting Halloween plans?  Are you dressing up?!


Christmas in October.

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Verse of the day:

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

– Hebrews 4:12

I woke up feeling exceptionally good yesterday.   I don’t know if it was the good night’s rest that I had gotten or what, but something put a spring in my step and I was truly thankful. 

Ugly picture, delicious breakfast-on-the-go!

1C. unsweet almond breeze + 1 scoop Amazing Meal Vanilla Chai + 3 TBSP. canned pumpkin

Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip Vitatop

I feel like I don’t have time to breathe these days, so if my photos are less than stellar, which I know they sometimes are (especially this morning’s breakfast), please excuse me 🙂  Lunch, however will NOT let you down.

mashed avocado, black beans, and Forty Spices Tribe hummus sandwiched between 2 slices of The Baker’s Honey Wheat bread

YOU WILL SEE THIS AGAIN.  It was creamy and delicious.  The salty black beans and hummus were a dream with the creamy, smooth avocado.  I think subconsciously, the Hungry Hippie was the inspiration for my lunch today.

With some sliced yellow pepper, cucumbers, carrots, and green peppers on the side!

You know the routine by now, so I’ll spare you details of after work.

RIP Mr. Banana. You served me well and fueled a wonderful workout. 

590 calories, 133 avg. HR

Even if it only lasted an hour & 1/2.

In my car, I had a feast prepared and packed in my lunchdinnerbox.

Cooked butternut squash with sugar-free syrup & cinnamon.

Course #2 aka “Christmas”

Roasted okra & broccoli with Light Ragu for dippage.

Course #3- Protein & fat

Zing Chocolate Coconut Bar

1st ingredient = almond butter

That’s a winner in my book!

Don’t worry, I also had dessert when I got home from class.  I definitely needed it for comfort after my grueling final.  I thought I was pretty prepared and went into the big test with a 90 average…When I left I was just about in tears.   I HATE test taking

Nothin’ like a brownie vitatop sundae (no sugar added, fat free vanilla + sugar free syrup) to down my sorrows.

unpictured today:

  • sliced deli turkey + forty spices hummus & baby carrots
  • 1/2 c. canned peas
  • a few extra spoonfuls of NSA FF vanilla ice cream from the container
  • 1 pineapple chobani

 The possibility of winning this WHOLLY GUAC prize cheered me up, too 😉



I should’ve…

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…been using this blog to reach people for Christ and share God’s word all along, since that’s what my ENTIRE being is SUPPOSED to be about…

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

– 2 Timothy 3:16-17

…saved my last frozen set of Van’s Lite Waffles for Waffle Wednesday,

but I couldn’t resist….especially when dunked in vanilla Chobani with cinnamon & sugar-free syrup.

…known it was going to be a good day when I got to work and had the privilege of parking behind this guyy.

aka bigg sexyyy.

…gotten a little more creative with lunch today, but I’m in love with this combination…even if my YOGA bread is alllll gone *tear*.

2 slices The Baker Wheat & Flax Bread, sliced Oscar Meyer smoked turkey, sugar-free apricot Polaner, and 1 Sonoma Jack’s pepperjack cheese wedge.

Iceberg lettuce with cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced red pepper, cauliflower, and fat-free Maple Grove Farms Popppyseed Dressing

added more veggies to this salad so it would’ve held me over for longer.

…not been so darn nervous about my interview for promotion.

…waited until I got to the gym after work to try and peel/eat this nanner, but I just couldn’t.

…stopped myself from eating this piece of heaven before my workout with the banana when I got to the gym.

1 microwaved sweet potato with a packet of Justin’s maple almond buttah

not second guessed my belly for craving this snack, because it fueled me through an AWESOME Cross Ramp workout PLUS basketball practice right after.

1040 calories burned in 2:22:26 (thought of you, Kath!)

…not been surprised when I got outside after my shower & headed to the car at 6:45PM while it was ALREADY dark outside.

 1 bag broccoli slaw, light Ragu, grilled chicken, and Tribe Forty Spices Hummus

…taken a photo when I PACKED my dinner, knowing that the shotty lighting and crappy amount of daylight time would never do it justice while I was in my car after practice, devouring it before class.

…put more hummus in the dish 🙂

…realized that after class, dessert was a MUST, especially when it means a warm, triple chocolate chunk (yes, I went there) vitatop with some classic sugar-free vanilla bean ice cream & sugar-free caramely syrup.

…taken another picture of the cup of Fiber Select cereal that I ate after this, with unsweet almond breeze stirred with sugar-free coconut Artista Gourmet syrup, because it was DYNOmite.

What SHOULD’VE you done today?  🙂



Wordless Weekend Recap.

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Zone Perfect Cookie Dough Nutrition Bars!

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Everyone knows, the best way to eat a cookie is before it’s baked, in all its doughy glory.   In fact, as a kid, when my Mom bought the frozen cookie dough from our school fundraisers, the mixes rarely made it to the oven.  My sisters and I could demolish a frozen pack of cookie dough in about a week 🙂

These days, cookie dough would probably send my body into a sugar coma and my blood sugar would spike so high I wouldn’t know what hit me.  Thankfully, Megan and Zone Perfect gave me a NEW way to experience the pleasure of eating cookie dough in a healthy way!  I give you, Zone Perfect All-Natural Cookie Dough Nutrition Bars. 

Honestly, when I first heard about these bars, I was very skeptical.  After all, in my mind, nothing could come close to the real deal (butter, sugar, heavy cream in the cookie dough department)  especially with nutritional stats like these:

But to be honest, given a blindfolded taste-test, I never would have known the difference!  The flavors:  Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin, are each phenomonally tasty.  Instead of a nutrition bar, they could be labeled dessert.  Boasting 10g of protein, and ALLL kinds (17 to be exact!) of vitamins & minerals, you’ll get a heck of a nutritional punch for your calorie buck.  As if that’s not convincing enough, they’re also loaded with antioxidants!

Not only is the flavoring spot on, but the texture is wonderful too!  Just like when you blend the PERFECT batch of homemade cookies.  The batter bar is not too runny, not too sticky, thick, creamy, and fluffy.  In the Oatmeal Raisin, there are even whole, plump, sweet raisins throughout the bar…white “icing” ontop to boot!


 I’ve got to admit, though, the classic Chocolate Chip was probably my favorite.  It was just like those Toll House Cookies my Momma bakes at Christmas time!  ❤  I love that they’re in individual wrappers because it makes keeping portion control easier.  With cookies they’re allll laid out in front of you…and seriously, who eats just ONE cookie?  The size of these bars is pretty generous, too.  I mean they aren’t HUGE, but they’re certainly more “dough” than you’d get with the average cookie!

Thanks so much Megan!  She even sent me these bars in a cute little jar (like this one)

Zone Perfect Cookie Jar.JPG


But much to my dismay, it ended up in tiny little shards on my dining room floor.  My klutzy self knocked it right off of the table 😦  I was SO disappointed.  It would’ve made SUCH a great storage place for all my bars! 

I adore you, Zone Perfect!  Try them out and order online, or find them in a store near you that carries them!

The Birth of a Monster Burger.

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Verse of the Day:

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

– Psalm 40:8

Breakfast was eaten on the run in the morning, and I was frustrated to say the least. 


I had a Vitabrownie before I left for work and then ate this dish at my desk. 

In fact, my anger and frustration was taken out on my harmless tupperware container, and Daddy came to my rescue, scooping up all the fat-free riccotta cheese, pumpkin, and banana slices that had been mixed together with some sugar-free syrup & cinnamon in an effort to help me tote it to work unspilled.  What a great Daddy I have 🙂

Some days, I just think to myself, can’t ANYTHING just be EASY for once?!

Is it sad that somedays at work, the only things I look forward to are lunchtime and quitting time?

Basic iceberg chopped salad with cucumber and tomato with greek yogurt topping and a side of brown rice with black beans and salsa (later to be topped with a Cabot habanero “serious snackers” cheese.

Who can blame me when I’ve got a mexican fiesta hidden away in the depths of my purple boxy lunch tote?

Once assembled, I was pretty proud of my desk lunch.  In fact, I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the afternoon, but I knew if I didn’t eat some workout fuel, half-way through basketball practice, I’d be wanting to eat my arm off.

This monster of an apple did the trick! I ellipticalled as a warm up for about 35 minutes total and did some ab work & pushups on the floor mats.  At 5PM I ran into the gym ready to go for practice. 

After an hour & 1/2 of drills, running, and playing, I had to leave at 6:30PM to shower and get ready for my 7PM math class.  LIFE is insane right now.  Literally, I feel like I’m living out of my car most days.

I ALWAYS make it a priority to fuel properly though, for these chaotic times.  I mean, if I’m going to be forced into eating dinner in my car, it better darn well taste good 🙂

I packed myself a veggie burger on my last two slices of Rudi’s Organic 100% WW bread, toasted with a Sonoma Jack’s cheese wedge spread, some sweet peas mashed ontop, piled high with mushrooms and a few slices of onion, and topped with some iceberg lettuce and obligatory reduced sugar ketchup.   Just call it the MONSTER burger.  It really hit the spot after my workout.

On the side I packed some green beans & carrots to round out my meal.  Also, I had two kiwi and a fuji apple before heading into class, which I picked up yesterday at the farmer’s market. 

Right now, we’re learning functions…of which, I’m finally starting to understand…Up until now, we’ve been learning about things I’ve seen before, but until this point, I had never known how to do a vertical shift, stretch and compression from just one function.

It’s real fun.

*note the sarcasm*

To be honest, it wouldn’t be so bad if I had a better professor.  Everyday we do the same thing.  Go over the homework and do example problems.  I tried asking a question yesterday, and he totally cut me off in the middle.  Anyway…I’m lucky just to be back in school again, so I should probably stop complaining about the crazy schedule and the not-so-great professor.

When I got home at about 9:30PM, I had a package waiting for me from  With glee, I opened it to discover my 12 boxes of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze ❤  I celebrated with a cup of it mixed with sugar free coconut syrup…Mmmmm.

After the celebration *teehee*, I unloaded, repacked, and watched the rest of the Phillies’ game.  In the words of Nick Staskin, “Devastating. Excruciating. Mind-blowing. Baffling.”

Hang in there, Phils 😉

Before bed, I had a big bowl of Fiber Select + fat-free ricotta cheese + sugar free raspberry syrup + unsweet almond breeze as a dessert.  Whatever, I deserved it after a 1,000 + calorie burn.  Oh yeah, and I entered this awesome giveaway to win some VEGA protein powder, which I’ve been dying to try.