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Monday At A Relaxed Pace

You know how sometimes you have random food cravings? Recently, I have been craving ranch dressing. So weird, right?

I picked up a bottle of natural (MSG/HFCS free!) ranch at the grocery last night and then made a big salad. It was everything I wanted it to be and more…arugula mix, green leaf lettuce, feta, olives, mushrooms, leftover roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, croutons, golden raisins and toasted walnuts.  I generally prefer to make my own dressings so tackling homemade ranch is on the “to do” list.

I can’t even tell you how excited I was about this bowl of oatmeal. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy 7 days of green smoothies but I seriously missed oatmeal and overnight oats. I got a little crazy with this mornings oatmeal and added about 1/4 cup of cottage cheese at the end. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and it never really looked appetizing but I’ve been on a bit of a cottage cheese kick lately so I decided to try it. The verdict is that it was a nice addition for some extra protein but not something I’ll do all the time.

Speaking of the 7-Day Green Smoothie Challenge I would LOVE to do a final round up post. Please let me know if you have an especially delicious/creative recipe that you discovered and would like to share. Pictures are encouraged! Post recipes in the comments section or email me at peanutbutterrunner (at) gmail (dot) com.

Lunch brought the return of open-faced sandwiches. I think I went a whole week without eating them! Continuing with the ranch craving…I mashed together ranch and avocado and then topped it with spinach, tempeh, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. It was a great combination. And then I ate two chocolate chip cookies. Oops. I have since given away a huge plate of the cookies and am left with only a few to tempt me! 😉

I took a break from work this afternoon and wandered across the street to Reid’s to grab a tea. Reid’s is a cute specialty market that has a lot of local foods, wine, fresh meat, cheese, seafood, prepared salads, etc. While I was there I ended up picking up one of their house-marinated chicken breasts.

I had the evening off from teaching my normal Monday hot yoga class (ahh…it felt like vacation!) so I took Sullie for a leisurely walk before throwing the chicken and some zucchini on the grill for dinner.

The chicken was so good and a great value. I will definitely be trying Reid’s other pre-marinated chicken options out soon. I had Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend and some french bread on the side and enjoyed my meal on the patio. This is such a perfect time of the year for outdoor dining – perfect temps, no humidity and no skeeters.

Off to relax and say “Go Big Blue!” and cheer for Kentucky to win the NCAA tournament. I always have to root for the SEC and it used to be a life dream of mine to be a Kentucky cheerleader when I was in high school. Yes, I’m a nerd.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Alyssa @ fit and fun in third April 2, 2012, 8:16 pm

    I know what you mean about the weird cravings! I normally don’t like really salty things but recently all I want to eat is green olives! I found an amazing green olive hummus and I cant get enough!!

  • 2
    Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 2, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Ranch is actually one of the foods that I can’t stand (along with mayo and mustard). Yeah, I’m weird.

    • 3
      Hilary April 3, 2012, 1:28 am

      I completely agree with you – I cannot stand Ranch, mayo or mustard! Not sure why but I have never liked any of the three.

      • 4
        Jen April 3, 2012, 9:54 am

        y’all are crazy! 😛

  • 5
    jen April 2, 2012, 8:54 pm

    born and raised in KY, GO CATS…..and yes it was a big deal to be a UK Cheerleader, some girls dream of being princesses in KY, it was KY cheerleaders. 🙂

  • 6
    Elaina April 2, 2012, 9:12 pm

    My favorite combo for my green monster was pineapple, banana & vanilla protein powder. I like peanut butter & banana at night!

  • 7
    Carrie April 2, 2012, 9:23 pm

    I’ve been craving a giant salad lately. My fave homemade ranch dressing uses cashews and it’s actually dairy-free…it’s so creamy though!

    • 8
      Jen April 3, 2012, 10:07 am

      that sounds interesting and delicious!

  • 9
    Lauren April 2, 2012, 9:24 pm

    I would have to be my favorite green smoothie hands-down was banana, apple, spinach, dried coconut, chia seeds, and water. 🙂 so yummy! picture URL:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FCBe-UVWr_U/T3cRqHbr2pI/AAAAAAAAAKE/JQSjJ3QiIaM/s640/DSC_0330.jpg

    • 10
      Jen April 3, 2012, 10:06 am

      sounds great! thanks for sharing!

  • 11
    Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 2, 2012, 10:17 pm

    I hear you on strange cravings! The only time I have ever enjoyed ranch though was when I dipped pizza into it in college. Although mixed with avacado it sounds delicious.

    I used to be repulsed by cottage cheese but lately all I want is grapes and cottage cheese!

    • 12
      Jen April 3, 2012, 10:05 am

      i definitely go through phases with cottage cheese. i remember how much i love it for a while and then i just totally forget about it for months.

  • 13
    Lisa April 2, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Oh man I get the strangest cravings ever, my family always looks at me like I’m nutty with some of the combos I can up with 😉

  • 14
    Fabiola April 3, 2012, 1:23 am

    I had so much fun with the 7 Day Green Smoothie challenge that I decided to keep going and turned it into a 30 Day Challenge! I think the best outcome from the 7 Day Challenge was that I tried broccoli in my smoothies for the first time. I didn’t think I would like it very much but to my surprise it wasn’t that bad. This is the recipe for my Apple & Broccoli Green Smoothie:
    http://focusonthebreath.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/7-day-green-smoothie-challenge-day-5/

    • 15
      Cath April 3, 2012, 4:49 am

      Awesome smoothie idea! Love getting more veggies in this way, think I’m going to have to try this. 🙂

      Unfortunately none of mine were particularly amazing in any way, but I will be incorporating more in to my daily food, so the 7 day challenge was definitely worth it!

      • 16
        Jen April 3, 2012, 10:03 am

        fabiola – so cool that you’re turning it into a 30-day challenge. love that! how creative that you included broccoli. i’ll definitely include that in the round-up!

        cath – thanks for participating. i’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • 17
    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More April 3, 2012, 2:14 am

    Your sandwich looks yummy!

    My favorite green smoothie I made was my almond butter, chocolate almond milk and banana smoothie. I even made it again this morning, but added 1/2 cup of oats to the recipe. Really filled me up! http://whinelessbreathemore.com/2012/03/26/feels-good-to-be-green/

    • 18
      Jen April 3, 2012, 10:01 am

      mmm…thanks for sharing!

  • 19
    Becca April 3, 2012, 7:06 am

    I know ranch is something that a majority of people enjoy but I just don’t like the taste. Your open faced sandwiches always look fantastic!! YUM 🙂

  • 20
    Bess @ Bess Be Fit April 3, 2012, 8:30 am

    I love ranch. Especially with pizza. I wish I didn’t because it’s totally not good for you at all but oh my gosh it’s soooo goood. Also love that you say skeeters…makes me feel at home! Haha 🙂 I didn’t really have a green smoothie recipe that was very original but in case you want to link me up here is a post with my favorite recipe:

    http://bessbefit.com/2012/03/29/the-500-challenge/

    • 21
      Jen April 3, 2012, 9:59 am

      gah, i love pizza and ranch too. i need to try to make my own “lighter” ranch so that it’s not SO sinful!

  • 22
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad April 3, 2012, 9:01 am

    you are not a nerd at all! i wanted to cheer for louisville or some other southern school that always got 1st place at nationals! when i applied to colleges i would only apply to division I schools since they had the best cheerleading teams – i was obsessed!!!!

    • 23
      Jen April 3, 2012, 9:58 am

      i loved when they had the reality TV show about kentucky cheerleading a few years ago. did you watch that? i think one of the reasons i like yoga so much is because it reminds me of cheerleading. putting together sequences and making it kind of a routine. and i LOVE the back bending and tick tocks! 🙂

  • 24
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) April 3, 2012, 9:18 am

    That pic of you and Sullie is adorable! And I’m with you- I don’t think I could do cottage cheese in oats all the time.

  • 25
    duffy April 3, 2012, 9:29 am

    I use this recipe when I want to make ranch dressing.

    http://www.marthastewart.com/334188/lighter-ranch-dressing

    You can make it as low fat as you like because the sour cream only really works as a base. And I think I usually put a good handful of chopped chives in there, too, but I generally nix the olive oil. Just whisk it together and serve. It’s really good.

    • 26
      Jen April 3, 2012, 9:55 am

      oh thanks! i will try it!

  • 27
    Miriam@Bellaspire April 3, 2012, 12:13 pm

    I was really happy to not have a green smoothie yesterday!! I pretty much stuck with my tride and true recipe the whole week http://www.bellaspire.com/recipes/?recipe_id=6018119. I’m a creature of habit :). Jen, I think it’s impossible to use the word nerd and cheerleader in the same sentence. I’m glad they won!

  • 28
    Julia April 3, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Hi Jen! I got way too excited that you mentioned Kentucky in your post. I’m a student at UK, and am just about the happiest girl in the world today, as I’m sure you can imagine! The town is going CRAZY. On another note, I ran my first half marathon on Saturday, thanks to you being so inspiring. The race went through the beautiful horse farms in Lexington. My roommate and I finished in exactly 2:00, and our goals was 2:30. we were so proud of ourselves 🙂 thanks again for being a constant reminder that you can do anything you set your mind too. Enjoy your week, and GO CATS!!

  • 29
    Kerry @ Totes My Oats April 3, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Same here for pulling for Kentucky, and the SEC in general! (I’m an Auburn girl) I had some green smothies myself this past week… http://totesmyoats.com/2012/03/21/fruit-and-veggie-galore-and-new-recipe/

  • 31
    Rachel April 3, 2012, 12:53 pm

    You just earned MAJOR bonus points with me for the Kentucky shoutout!

    GO CATS! YOU CAN’T DENY OUR GR8NESS!

  • 32
    Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit April 3, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Loved the 7 day challenge. Just posted a recap (with pics) of all 7 days. http://whitlikesfit.com/2012/04/03/green-smoothie-challenge-recap/

  • 33
    tara April 3, 2012, 2:53 pm

    green smoothies are awesome, but oats will always have my heart! do you grill yourself or does your husband do it? I need to learn how to do it myself!

  • 34
    kerr April 3, 2012, 3:02 pm

    So glad to hear you were cheering for us last night! Those cheerleaders are amazing!

  • 35
    Mattie @ Comfy and Confident April 3, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I love a nice big salad with a creamy dressing! Ranch is by-far the best. Your pic makes it look delicious.

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