Category Archives: photo challenges

Selfie Sunday

What? A post on a Sunday…who am I? In my defense I wrote this up before the weekend started (love you all but not enough to cut into my BF time). I just couldn’t resist the first week of the awesomely titled link up at Arman’s. I get to talk about myself and I get an excuse to take some selfies? That’s a link up I can get behind! 

The big man's world

What is your cultural background?
I’m a european mix (including polish, dutch, german, and some other small percentages). Basically this means I rock totally awesome pale porcelain skin year round and that my dad’s family likes drinks… and pierogi. 

What was your most memorable birthday and why?
I could be mean and say 13 where my parents said I could get a cat and then backed out AFTER we had gone to play with/pick one out at the shelter (love you mom!). Or that one in college that fell on Friday the 13th and I had to sit through a 2 hour calc exam. Looking back I’ve had some pretty interesting birthday’s. 

(this one wasn’t even mine but how cool is that pinata?) 

What is your #1 thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
I don’t know if I’ve settled on one thing yet… I want to write a book. And raise a family. And have a garden. And love my job (where I hope to make a difference). I guess for now I could say I want to accomplish living my life. I want to be able to look back at the end and say that was awesome. 

(deep stuff, right?) 

What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Besides tequila shots? I kid, I kid 🙂  At this point I’m going to go with trying to convince my parents to take me to audition for a role in Annie when I was little. I loved musicals, I knew all the words, and I thought my acting was fabulous. I know now that this was a very smart move on my parents part because I cannot carry a tune in a bucket. 

Who was your childhood hero?
I guess I would have to say an author, or a hero/heroine from one of my favorite books for this one. I was a pretty nerdy child and I hate to say I didn’t know much about people outside of my family and the books I read. Let’s go J.K. Rowling for real person and Samwise Gamgee for fictional character (yeah I read the LoTr books in 5-6th grade, blame my dad for that one). J.K. Rowling made a pretty nice living for herself doing something she clearly loves which is something I’m aspiring to right now. And Samwise Gamgee is literally the epic best friend, the kind of person I both strive to be and am lucky to have found in my life. 

(You can’t see my face, but I’m the nerd in the chair!)

Wow, was that deep enough for you on a Sunday? Hopefully the shameless selfies helped  to lighten things a bit. 

I told you mine now tell me yours, whats the stupidest thing YOU’VE ever done? I’m dying to know 🙂 

WIAW #6: April eats

Hey guys, welcome (as usual) to What I ate Wednesday! A big thanks goes out to the lovely Jenn for hosting the party!

With the month of April officially over I thought I would use today as a little summary of what I ate this month 🙂 This month has been all over the board in terms of food. From my usual eating habits, to a strict anti-inflammatory diet, to this week of (sort of successfully) starting to reintroduce foods I feel like this place has been all over the board.

There have been lots of smoothies
Lots and lots of greens
( I lost track at 8 bags of spinach)

And a good amount of quinoa
Overall I’ve felt cleaner and lighter and I have certainly reduced my headaches. The verdict is still out on whether or not dairy can come back to stay, but I’ve done okay with corn, peanuts, and eggs so far.
I know none of this is new food for you guys (sorry!) but it’s kind of cool for me personally to be able to look back over the month and really see the difference in the food, that seems to be making such a difference in my body 🙂 
What’s your favorite thing you ate this month? (as if you could pick just one)

Monthly progress: March

Hey Guys! So the month of March is winding down, and my goodness has it been a crazy one around the Pie household. This whole moving thing has turned out to be a little more everything than my mom thought, and we’re all trying to adjust to the idea of leaving our house of 20 years behind (onto the next great adventure, right?)

I’m personally still trying to get over the fact that I don’t get to see the BF for another few months (thank goodness I saw him plenty this month) on top of this crazy class schedule and the migraines that seem to have been nonstop… Is it May yet?

There have been a lot of changes for the good around here though. I finally have gotten into the habit of getting up every (okay 4/5) morning during the week to workout before classes, and I’m finally getting the abs back to prove it! My intake of good food has been on the rise, and the veggies that come with spring will only make that easier. Minus the headaches (and the general stress of living right now) I’m feeling pretty good!

So good in fact that I am finally ready to share all the exciting things I have planned for April. I’ve enjoyed this months challenge so much that I’ve decide to keep it going with a weekly link up to Jenn’s What I ate Wednesdays. I also may share a few more workouts with you as I work towards building customized routines to share.

Easter Preperations

Hey guys, happy Friday (it really is happy because it finally feels like spring around here)! I’ve had the day off (as usual) and I’ve been spending the day catching up on paperwork and running errands. We decided to get together with our family on Easter Saturday this year (don’t ask…) so one of my stops today was at my favorite bakery to get myself a GF treat.

(okay so technically I got a few treats)
My mom is planning on making a carrot cake for all the gluten eaters in our family, and rather than get in her way in the kitchen trying to make my own (uncontaminated) treat I planned to stop by the bakery to get a GF carrot cake cupcake for myself. 
I did get one of those but I was also drawn in by the cupcakes decorated to look like adorable little bunnies. 
(you can’t tell me that’s not adorable)
I also picked up a lemon pound cake and a loaf of Irish soda bread to put in the freezer for later. As much as I like baking and playing around in the kitchen, sometimes it’s just nice to know you have a treat waiting for you. 

Check back tomorrow for this months wrap up, and a sneak peak at the challenge I’m accepting for April. Enjoy the rest of this Friday!

WIAW #2 loaded lunchbox potato

Hey Guys, this is my second week linking up with Jenn’s what I ate Wednesday party (thanks again for hosting!) And this is the last week of her ‘go green’ challenge.

What a perfect day to share this little beauty with you…

(greens and cheese, my two favorites)
I love baked potatoes for their convenience and decent nutritional content (they’re also super cheap!) but a plain baked potato day after day is super boring so I’m always looking for different ways to jazz it up.

I call this a lunchbox potato because it is so perfect for packing on the go. Take a pre-baked (or nuked) potato and split it open. Use a fork to fluff up the inside with a bit of butter, some salt and pepper. Then stuff it full of raw broccoli florets and put the lid of your container on it. 
Trapping the heat starts steaming the broccoli so by lunch time it’s almost perfect. When your ready to eat just top it with a bit of cheese and put the whole thing in the microwave for a minute. The potato is warm, the broccoli is perfect and the cheese is nice and melty (it really is a perfect lunch). 

I also had another bowl of my most recent granola for breakfast. 

(I swear there’s yogurt in there somewhere!)
And I’m super excited excited for my salad (loaded down with leftovers) later. 

That’s the highlights of my day! Be sure to hop on over the Peas and Crayons to check in on what everyone else had to eat 🙂

Eating for the cure

Hey guys, sorry I got out of touch yesterday. I had a terrible migraine Saturday night (the kind the results in hyperventilation) and spent most of Sunday playing catch up on all the work I missed 😦
Saturday was scary enough that I recommitted myself to really tracking what goes on inside and around my body in hopes of never going through that again. 
On a lighter note I spent a bit of time catching up with these guys…
(aren’t they cute?!)
My Aunt and my cousin are out visiting our family in Seattle right now (Hi Guys!) and I would give anything to be there hanging out with them instead of in class this week. 
Wishful thinking on my part, so I’m making the best of things around here. And on Sunday night that meant steak! 

(and crispy roasted potatoes!)
My mom has been talking about making steak and potatoes for weeks now, and on Sunday she finally gave in and did it. It was definitely a special treat of a dinner, and it was nice to enjoy it with my parents in a much more positive state than I had been in the night before. 
Plus we made a lot which meant my favorite, leftovers! I sliced up a bit of that leftover meaty goodness to change up my usual lunch salad. 

(don’t mind if I do)
Call me crazy though, but the best thing I ate today was actually my breakfast 🙂 I made up a batch of granola last night to enjoy with my morning yogurt and I have to say it came out beautifully. 

(I mean look at it)
In fact I liked it so much I decided to share the recipe with all of you!
Gluten Free Millet Granola
serves 6-8
Time 45 minutes
1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
1 1/2 cups millet, cooked according to package directions
1/4 walnuts (or nut of your choice), chopped
1/4 dried cherries (or dried fruit of your choice)
2 TB coconut oil
4 TB honey
1-2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350*. Combine coconut oil and honey in a microwave safe container, heat in 30 second intervals until coconut oil melts and the two combine. Stir in cinnamon and set aside. 
While that is in the microwave, combine first four ingredients on a lined baking sheet. Pour oil and honey mixture over oats, millet, nuts and fruit and mix (your hands work best for this) to coat. Place in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown (checking on it and stirring in 10-15 minutes intervals). 
Allow to cool fully on baking sheet before transferring to a airtight container to store. This will last about 2 weeks (if you can keep it around that long!).
Remember that the great thing about granola is that it is infinitely customizaable. This would be tasty with quinoa in place of the millet (or a mix of the two). You can also add more/less fruit or nuts to make it to your liking. Get creative!

Working weekend

Hey guys, hard to believe the weekend is halfway through already (I know I don’t want to think about it!).

Yesterday was busy for a day off, I started the morning with a smoothie while I studied (my mom had a bunch of strawberries she let go almost bad in the fridge, but I was able to save them!)

(mmm brain food!)
 Then I tried to get some healthiness in me before I met the BF to cheer on the Illini in the B-Ball tourney.

(nothing like loaded down eggs)
Of course we watched the game at a bar… which just happened to have Angry Orchard (my favorite) on tap… so yeah that happened. And you can’t drink without munchies so some potato skins happened too… whoops 🙂
At least today was healthier! When I got home from clinic this afternoon we made up a huge batch of stir-fry for dinner. Loaded down with veggies and chicken, with a big bowl of brown rice… it was fabulous. 
(a little bit of wok action)
This weekend was hard because it’s the first time in a while I’ve had to say goodbye to the BF without any plans to see him any time soon 🙂 (I know, I’m such a girl). Thank goodness things are picking up at school/work so I’ll have that to keep my mind off of things. 
And if all else fails next month’s challenge is an exciting one 🙂 Just about a week before it starts, I’ll be unveiling it during my month’s summary towards the end of next week though (get excited)!

Baking away

I woke up this morning to an email stating my first class of the day had been cancelled. I usually a little annoyed when this sort of thing happens since my commute is almost an hour each way, driving down for an hour of class just doesn’t seem worth it.

But this class was THE class. The one we all love to hate. So I was a little less bothered. And trying to keep things on a positive note I decided to fill my extra time with some baking 🙂

(actually enjoying my breakfast at home)
I mad Sticky Finger’s Scones for the first time a few weeks ago and thought they were delicious. Today I tried the apple oat flavor, and they did not disappoint  As usual I modified the instructions a bit, mixing in a 1/4 of Greek yogurt in place of the oil (which helps give GF products a bit of that fluffy texture they sometimes lack). 
I enjoyed my morning treat so much that I didn’t even mind having to whip up a batch of non-GF brownies for my mom to take to work tomorrow. 
(chocolate at it’s finest)
I don’t always get free time, but when I do I like to bake 🙂 What do you do when you get some unexpected bonus time in your day?

What I ate Wednesday #1

Hey Guys! Today I’m sharing a link-up to one of my favorite blogs Peas and Crayons. Jenn does this really awesome post “What I ate Wednesday” which is basically a weekly version of this month’s photo challenge.

In response to her challenge to green up the month of March, I decided to share this link with you today (when all my meals actually included something healthy!)

Breakfast was a bowl of hot millet breakfast cereal topped with walnuts and dried cherries (I say bowl, but it was more of a Tupperware on the seat of the car next to me as I drove to clinic… which is why I don’t have a picture).

Lunch was one of my favorites 🙂
(mmm greens!)
Followed by an afternoon of healthy snaking in class and at work around the clinic. 

(Fruit and veggies today!)
Dinner was leftovers (my favorite!). This time it was pasta e fagioli soup, which is loaded down with spinach, tomatoes, beans, Italian sausage (and of course some GF pasta).

(In one of my many jars no less)
Who knows, I’ve had so much healthy food today I may very well treat myself to another one of these while I do paperwork tonight 🙂
(We’ll see how late it is)
We’re nearing the end of March, I’d love to know how you’ve been doing with this months goal of healthy eating. As you’ve seen around here some days are better than others for me (but hey that’s normal). I’ve got another exciting challenge for next month that I can’t wait to share. 
For now be sure to hop on over to Peas and Crayons for the WIAW link-up, I promise you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Breakfast on the go

I’ve had a bit of a rough time getting back into the swing of things with class this week. I definitely haven’t woken up to work out before class like I’m supposed to… if I’m being honest I’ve barely made it out of the door on time with all my stuff.

That being said breakfast has been really quick. This smoothie is packed with protein and vitamins (to fight off the rest of this cold!) and the whole thing comes together in 2 minutes or less. I can pour it in a jar, add a straw and hit the road.

(Isn’t that pretty?)
I’m not usually an advocate for rushing through breakfast, but sometime you can’t avoid it. Having something extra nourishing makes me feel a little better about the whole situation. 
Easy Breakfast Smoothie
serves one
2 minutes
1/2 plain, non-fat, Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana
1/4 orange juice
1 packet berry Emergen-C (I’d rather get the nutrients from real fruit, but nothing good is in season around here yet)
Mix Emergen-C and orange juice in a blender until dissolved. Add yogurt and banana and blend until smooth. You can add more banana to thicken the smoothie, or more juice to thin it out (depending how you like it)
What’s your favorite thing to grab when the mornings get hectic?