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Cleaning to Deal with Chaos + Recent Eats + The Rising Popularity of Brussels Sprouts

My mom called last night to check on me. She said I hadn’t updated my blog in several days so she was worried. Ha!

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No reason to worry…I usually carve out time to blog no matter what but I just couldn’t make it happen. My week passed in a haze of coffee, spreadsheets, muddy golden retrievers and teaching.

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It was gray and damp here Monday-Thursday. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent cleaning behind the girls after they track in dirt and mud. The house is a mess!

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Lucky for them they are so cute that I don’t mind it! 🙂

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I mean, seriously. Look at that fluff!

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The puppy craziness wasn’t the real issue this week…it was administrative stuff that was due for my book. I spent 12 hours on Wednesday working on a spreadsheet and renaming images. And then I found out on Thursday morning that I have to do it all over again. So in the short window of time I had open to blog, I organized my closet instead. It was a productive and therapeutic way for me to channel my despair over the redo. Totally reasonable, right?

Let’s catch up. Here’s what the week looked like in food.

1.15oatmeal

Hot oatmeal for 20 degree mornings! Apple cinnamon oatmeal with egg whites stirred in at the end. Topped with Wild Friends Sesame Cranberry Peanut Butter and Trader Joe’s Fig Butter.

1.16smoothieandtea

My go-to smoothie combo this week has been a little different. Spinach, cherries, bananas, blueberries, plain greek yogurt, a date, almond butter, cinnamon and almond coconut milk blend.

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I made a big pot of Carrot and Butternut Squash Ginger Soup to eat all week for lunches. You simmer all the veggies with broth and ginger before pureeing it in the blender. I had this weird virus thing on Monday that came on really suddenly. I was terrified it was going to turn into the flu but after four hours on the couch with chills, body aches and fever followed by 10 hours of sleep, I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like a new person. This soup, crackers and toast was the only thing I really felt like eating on Tuesday.

1.15salad

Homemade soup and salad. Salad combo was spinach, avocado, strawberries, feta, dried cranberries, almonds and Simply Dressed Ginger Sesame dressing. (Love this stuff.)

1.15bestsalad

The BEST salad! Baby romain, sauteed butternut squash, walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, pears, chick peas and a maple dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

croissant

It took cheese and carbs to get me through my 12-hour Wednesday. I spent five hours with my butt planted in a chair at Sunflour. I ordered this egg and cheese croissant for lunch. The croissant was so buttery and flaky.

1.15enchiladapan

I made enchiladas with the leftover pot roast. I reheated the pot roast and added a little cheese and cilantro. I rolled it up in corn tortillas and then topped it with red enchilada sauce and a little more cheese.

1.15enchiladas

They were totally delicious. I topped them with a green tomatillo avocado salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

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I had plans with girlfriends this week…which is always such a nice and refreshing break. I met one friend at The Summit Room. We shared a few things including these maple bacon brussels sprouts and a barbecue chicken flatbread. I feel like every restaurant in Charlotte has some sort of brussels sprouts on the menu (not to mention the cult love for them in the blog world). They have definitely skyrocketed in popularity over the last couple of years. They kind of went from being one of the most hated to most loved foods.

Back to the restaurant…this was my second time at The Summit Room. The first was back in June shortly after they opened so I was excited to give it another shot. The verdict? The food was great but the portions are pretty small for the price. The wine is reasonably priced and the atmosphere is cool so I would go back.

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I met other friends at Foxcroft Wine Co. for wine and dinner. It’s our go-to meeting spot. I absolutely love that you can pick a bottle from the retail section and drink it with your dinner and their food is unexpectedly creative and awesome. I ordered the warm winter panzanella with salmon. The panzanella featured homemade croutons, roasted potatoes, mushrooms, peppers and more. It was fabulous.

So now we’re all caught up! My Friday is looking pretty nice. I didn’t have any early clients (for the first time in MONTHS!) so I slept until 7:45 a.m. I have a couple training clients later, one class to teach and a couple of brainstorming/networking meetings. The best news is that the sun is finally shining for the first time all week!

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

What was the best thing you ate all week? 

Do you also agree that there has been a brussels sprouts phenomenon over the last couple of years? 

Does anyone else clean to deal with stress? It’s one of my default ways to feel like things are calm, collected and under control when life gets a little crazy. I actually have a hard time sitting down to work every day (when I work from home) without straightening up the house first. It helps me feel focused.


{ 26 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Michelle January 16, 2015, 10:26 am

    Jen, I was worried about you too. Glad you’re doing well and able to post. I know life can get hectic.

    • 2
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:16 pm

      thanks michelle! yes, life does get hectic and it’s nice to be at a place with the blog where i feel like i can take a few days off when i need to!

  • 3
    Carrie (This Fit Chick) January 16, 2015, 10:33 am

    YES with the brussel sprouts! I see them on almost every menu now! haha, not complaining though, I love them!

    • 4
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:16 pm

      ditto! the more the merrier! 🙂

  • 5
    Pam January 16, 2015, 10:52 am

    #1 Moms are the best!
    #2 Redos can be frustrating…
    #3 Love to clean & organize<)
    #4 Brussels sprouts are delicious:-)
    #5 Muddy puppies melt my heart

    • 6
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:16 pm

      moms and muddy puppies! <3

  • 7
    Sarah @ KS Runner January 16, 2015, 11:23 am

    I also clean do deal with stress. I feel much more at peace if things are put in their place and my house is organized. Disorder drives me crazy!

    Brussels sprouts are the best. I hated them as a kid, but love them as an adult! I feel the same way about asparagus. Have a great weekend!

    • 8
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:17 pm

      sarah – i so agree about feeling more at peace. and the only way i ever had brussels sprouts as a kid was the frozen kind at a friend’s house and i hated them! definitely better these days with all the roasting and shredding and yummy prep we have for them!

  • 9
    She Rocks Fitness January 16, 2015, 11:25 am

    Muddy puppies all week here too…The ground is kind of drying up, but what a mess…a good one though, cause Lucy was happy! I need to make that pot roast. It seems like the leftovers will be awesome and versatile! XOXO

    • 10
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:18 pm

      you would love it and yes the leftovers are so great to have on hand during a busy week!

  • 11
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles January 16, 2015, 11:31 am

    I totally clean to get a good sense of relief, hoping it plays out in the rest of my life. I just cleaned out a closet and some drawers a few minutes ago instead of writing lol…I am totally obsessed with roasted Brussels sprouts and wish more restaurants here would get on board. There’s a great spot in Manhattan though, Alta, which serves the best I have ever had. I need to get back there soon!

    • 12
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:19 pm

      oh good point…i bet they aren’t quite as popular in NY. they seem like a southern-ish food although i know they’re probably not.

      and YES on hoping it translates to the rest of your life. great way to put it!

  • 13
    Dana January 16, 2015, 11:42 am

    One time, I left work because I thought I was getting sick. I think I was feeling emotionally stressed- because what did make me feel better was cleaning! I had 10 trash bags filled with clutter- I felt soOooo much better after!
    And- I saw brussels sprouts on the menu at Carolina Cinema Movie Theater- Say What!?

    • 14
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:20 pm

      purging is SOOOO therapeutic! and how random about brussels sprouts at the movie theater. weird!

  • 15
    tracy January 16, 2015, 11:42 am

    I am totally going to clean my closet out now:) It is very therapeutic to get things organized.

    • 16
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:20 pm

      glad to provide some motivation! 🙂

  • 17
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen January 16, 2015, 11:58 am

    I’m right there with ya on the cleaning…super therapeutic!

  • 18
    Mattie @ Comfy & Confident January 16, 2015, 10:36 pm

    I can to deal with stress too! It makes me feel like I can fix something and be in control.

    • 19
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:21 pm

      yes! that’s exactly it! instant gratification.

  • 20
    Kiki January 17, 2015, 10:44 am

    I feel like I can deal so much better with the craziness of life/my day when my house is clean and clutter is picked up…. with three boys this is a major accomplishment for me 🙂

    • 21
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:21 pm

      oh god, i can’t even imagine the struggle! i thought it was bad with two dogs. you win!

  • 22
    casey January 17, 2015, 3:19 pm

    When do your books publish? Can’t wait to buy me some inversions and planks!

    • 23
      Jen January 17, 2015, 6:22 pm

      hi casey! thanks for asking! the plank book comes out in march and the yoga book will be december-ish…later in the year.

  • 24
    Shana January 18, 2015, 9:12 pm

    Love how you turned the pot roast into enchiladas! Did you use canned red enchilada sauce for this, or your homemade one?

    • 25
      Jen January 19, 2015, 7:50 am

      thanks! i used canned stuff i got from whole foods for this! i needed super simple!

  • 26
    erin January 20, 2015, 6:34 am

    so glad that you’re feeling better!! your recent eats look amazing – especially your salads. the best thing that i ate this week was your salted fudge brownies – this has turned into my new favorite brownie recipe. i brought them over a friend’s house and they were a hit! my family was in town, so we took them to sunflour bakery – they loved the cinnamon buns and lattes. have you ever had the cupcakes there? they always look so pretty! look at me…i’ve obviously had a bit of a sweet tooth.

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