Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Salty 'n Sweet Maple Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, cranberry pecan bread with a sweet cinnamon brown sugar topping...Fall tends to not only bring about a change in weather, but it also brings about a plethora of warm, sweet, delicious, not-too-healthy-yet-too-yummy-to-pass-up desserts.  Everyone deserves a little treat once in awhile as to prevent any scary sugar-hunt stampedes.  These treats can still provide you with the comforting essence of Fall without taking a major toll on your figure!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Back in Action + PUMPKIN APPLE WAFFLES (that are AMAZING and HEALTHY)

Hello my friends! Long time no blog!

In the past few weeks, my life has taken a crazy turn of events.  I took some necessary, scary, but much needed measures for myself in order to change my life around as I was so drastically unhappy with the way everything was going.  I was so frustrated and miserable to the point where it was making me physically and mentally sick and exhausted, so I decided I needed to do what was right for me.  Within the last few weeks, I took a detoxifying mini-break to get myself stable again; got a new job...then received an unexpected new job within the new job that is going to be quite the challenge since everything happened so fast and without time to prepare, but I am excited (and anxious) for what will come next; went on a weekend getaway to my favorite place; and have been trying to just enjoy life a little more!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Wrap - Carbs, Fats, and Protein All-in-One!

Since they are quick to put together and easily transportable, wraps are typically thought of as fast, on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods. However, wraps can also be full-on hearty all-in-one meals, too.  For those of you who want a lunch or dinner wrap that leaves you truly filled and provides you with all of your carbs, fats, and protein needed to keep your body going, here is a healthy recipe for a Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach wrap.

Monday Morning Munchies - Lemon and Blueberry Parfait

Time and time again, the mantra "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is repeated, and this little phrase holds so much truth.  Breakfast helps kick-start our metabolism and gives us energy to perform our daily tasks, so think twice before skipping it!

As important as breakfast already is, adding healthy, antioxidant-rich and fueling ingredients makes the meal even more beneficial; they just simply help keep you going. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Healthy Baked Apples

As apples are in season during the Fall and cinnamon is a common Autumn spice, baked apples are a popular treat during the breezy, chilly season.  However, buttery, sugary toppings can quickly turn this apple dessert into a high-calorie treat.  I love sweets and treats as much as the next person, so I created a baked apple dessert that is nutritious and better for you, yet still sweet and satisfying.  There is no need to deny yourself a little sweetness; you just have to be a little more aware of what ingredients you use and how you use them!  This recipe for Healthy Baked Apples not only gives you a scrumptious dessert, but it also provides healthy nutrients for your body!

Bye Bye Summer Scrambled Egg and Smoothie Breakfast

As Summer comes to a close this Sunday, let us cherish the beautiful past few months with a tribute breakfast using Summer flavors and ingredients! Here is the recipe for a healthy Summer Scrambled Egg and Smoothie Breakfast - goodbye, Summer!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Chicken Lentil Skillet

This recipe begins a Fall season full of pumpkin recipes!  The temperature drastically dropped today; thus, the chilly, crisp breeze definitely begged for a warm, hearty, and savory dinner dish inspired by Fall - thus, the need for pumpkin!  By using protein-packed lentils with left-over grilled chicken cutlets, this skillet was definitely filling and belly-warming.  While this skillet may not appear as the most palatable dish, the combination of spices, onion, bell pepper, sweet potato, and pumpkin compliment one another to create a rich, delectable tasting meal!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers

After starting this post, I have become a lot more conscious of all of the good that goes on in this world, and I have been more conscious of my own actions!  Realizing that this world is not just in the midst of crime, lack of respect and morals, and obstacles can really boost your mood, so here is my reflection on the positive actions from the past week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

10 Ways to Beat that Post-Vacation Shlump

Returning from vacation can be downright depressing.  After hours of lazy, uninterrupted relaxation and exciting adventures in exotic locations, starting back on the typical daily grind all over again can prove to be quite difficult.  After returning from my relaxing, long-weekend getaway to my beloved cabin-in-the-woods a couple weeks ago, my family and I had a hard time adjusting back to our daily, boring home lives - heck, we wanted to go back!  BUT, we couldn't right then and there, so we had no choice to pick back up where we left off.  This transition does not have to be painstakingly difficult, nor does it have to leave you feeling sad.  Here are ten ways to beat those post-vacation blues and change your bummy spirits around!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Energy-boosting Coffee and Banana Cream Oatmeal

On those hard-to-roll-out-of-bed mornings, you may need a little boost of energy to help get you kickin'.  The day I created this breakfast was one of those mornings for me, so I made a healthy, energy-boosting and dessert-worthy oatmeal bowl.  Combining eggs, bananas, coffee, and oats, this morning breakfast is filling with all the included fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbs, yet doesn't  drag you down into that post-eating sleepy time coma.  Have you ever heard someone tell you that bananas and coffee taste amazing together? This pairing isn't just heavenly and desserty tasting, but it is also a great morning combination since both provide a little uplift to our energy levels.  So let's wake up together and enjoy this yummy Coffee and Banana Cream Oatmeal!

Nutritious and Filling Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast Skillet

Chillier weather calls for heartier, more filling meals.  As certain fruits and vegetables are associated with particular seasons, late summer and fall ingredients fit with the more wholesome, belly-filling meals.  The sweet potato is one such ingredient that helps to "thicken" meals in a healthy manner.

Containing a low glycemic index and a substantial amount of fiber, potassium, magnesium vitamins A and C, and antioxidants, sweet potatoes are not only filling, but they are also extremely nourishing and nutritious, making them a remarkable addition to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

In order for your body to fully absorb all of the nutrients within the sweet potato, be sure to pair the sweet potato with healthy fats.  By combining eggs with this vibrant, scrumptious root vegetable in my Sweet Potato and Egg Breakfast Skillet, I have created a mouthwatering, healthy breakfast that will keep you nice and warm, in time for the change of seasons!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sweet 'n Savory Pumpkin Egg Whites

At this time of the year, everything seems to become pumpkin flavored.  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin oats, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin stuffed with pumpkin puree...I think you get my drift!  As such, my ideas for food creations seem to be centered around pumpkins, too.  Stay tuned for more and more pumpkin recipes this fall!

Pumpkin-flavoring is often associated with desserts, but with the sudden drop in temperatures this morning, I was looking for something a little "heavier" - after all, it is that time of year to follow the example of all our outdoorsy, furry friends and thicken our coats in preparation of cooler temps!  To put a twist to my new-found pumpkin inspiration, I turned this Fall dessert staple into a sweet and savory breakfast to create Sweet 'n Savory Pumpkin Egg Whites. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cinnamon Fall Harvest Grape and Pear Protein Oatmeal Bowl

Recently salvaged from the remnants of our garden, grapes have been my go-to snack food for the past week or so.  I've always liked grapes, but the ones we have growing just taste so delicious and sweet (they are like little balls of fresh, homemade wine!).  I literally have been giving myself stomachaches because I'll be sitting there, snacking on grapes mindlessly without realizing that I have eaten about half of our supply in one sitting...not to smart, but I can't help it!
(Don't mind my chipped nail polish ;)...)

Acting upon my cravings, I decided to incorporate grapes into my bowl of oats this morning.  Grapes are so refreshing, yet the candy-like sweetness of them makes them great for comforting, thicker Fall dishes.  As cinnamon is a staple in all things Fall-related, I made sure to include the sweet and spicy flavor in this bowl as well!

The tangy sweetness and squishy texture of the grapes blends wonderfully with the hearty crispiness of pears, so I decided to pair the two together in my oatmeal bowl.  Both of these fruits are in season now, so run to your store (or yard!) and grab them while they last!  I also had blueberries laying around, and since I like the combination of pears and blueberries together, I threw them into the mixture as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Protein Breakfast Pizza - Under 300 Calories...For the Whole Pizza!

Who says that pizzas aren't nutritional for breakfast - on top of that, a whole pizza?  Well, today I prove whoever that is WRONG! 

If you haven't discovered Flatout flatbread yet, run to your nearest Walmart or Costco and pick some up immediately - no need to bump fellow customers with shopping carts though; they have plenty!  Flatout's flatbread comes in a Multi-Grain variety that boasts 100% whole wheat ingredients, 9 grams of protein, 8 grams of dietary fiber, only 2.5g of total fat (no saturated fat) - of which are healthy, good-for-you Omega 3's coming from flax, and only 1g of sugar (no high-fructose corn syrup, either!).  Is this real life? You betcha!  These wraps are thicker and puffier than those low-carb wraps you find (those wraps can be paper thin, barely holding your ingredients together without cracking) and are HUGE, making them perfect for healthy wraps, pizzas, or even baked "tortilla" chips. 

Using this protein-laden, surprisingly healthy flatbread, I created a delicious, savory, and immensely filling protein breakfast pizza with little effort on my part - the oven did most of the work.  While you do need to bake this, it is easily tossed together and thrown into the oven, so you have time to get ready in the morning while it bakes!

The ENTIRE...and I mean ENTIRE...pizza contains less than 300 calories for all of you weight-watchers, yet contains around 21 grams of protein, a little under 9 grams of healthy fats, and a ton of fiber!  With all the nutritional ingredients, this is a wonderful breakfast to start your day and to keep your hunger pangs under control until lunch.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake

Ahhhh...Fall is in the air - at least for me it is!

Hearty dishes made with savory, filling ingredients; pumpkin patch visits with the family; festive Halloween decorations; crackling campfires; deep, earthy hues; crisp, chilly nights...my mind is centered around Fall.  Every Good Housekeeping or Family Circle with fall-themed covers that arrive at my doorstep and that line the store shelves excite me, putting me in the Autumn spirit.  The Edy's Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream that I found at the store yesterday and purchased without any hesitation seems to help, too (seriously...go buy it!).  As more Autumn influences found on magazine pages, displayed on store shelves, and hinted on the color-changing trees seem to increase daily, my ideas for meals fitting for that refreshing, cooler weather seem to grow as well. 

Everything about Fall screams coziness; as such, I wanted to incorporate that feeling within my breakfast.  Combining the flavors and ingredients that many seem to associate with Fall, I created a Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake.  This warm, filling oatmeal bake with hints of toasty walnut, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spices will make you crave one of those days where you snuggle up with a comfy blanket and your favorite book underneath an open window while letting the brisk breeze encompass you. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Late-night Snack Stew

Not every stew has to be a heavy, hearty lunch or dinner meal - this one is a complete dessert snack!  Simply whip all the ingredients together with little effort on your part, just like a stew.  Here is a really easy, refreshing, and healthy snack that is filling and not loaded with sugar, perfect as a late-night munchie for those days where going to bed is not an option until you fill your belly...I seem to have those rather frequently!

Fresh-Off-the-Farm Spinach, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Still inspired by my weekend getaway to the beautiful countryside this past weekend, I keep thinking about country-style breakfasts.  Garden-picked fresh fruits and vegetables, farm-raised eggs, and cheese all remind me of my cozy Wisconsin, especially the cheese!  This morning, I combined Amish chicken-raised eggs, tomatoes and cukes from our garden, and grocery-store bought bread and cheese (hey, I don't have time to churn my own cheese just yet...but that sure would be fun to try!) to create a farm country-worthy healthy and filling breakfast - super quick to make, too!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not-Too-Sweet Berry Custard Oatmeal

Are you looking for a quick, thick and fruity breakfast that is filling without being too sweet?  That is what I was craving this morning.  Over the weekend, I had so many (well-worth it) desserts that I was just sick of anything massively sweet...but I saw berries in the fridge the night before and wanted to eat them, so anything completely savory was out of the question :}

To satisfy my craving, I made a thick oatmeal bowl resembling a custard.  Since berries aren't too sweet, they added just the right amount of tangy sweetness, so I wasn't left feeling any more sugar-stuffed than I already was.  I felt like I had breakfast, not dessert, and it was a good change of pace!

If you, too, are in need of a detoxifying breakfast after a weekend of constant sweetness, but can't seem to give up fruit for breakfast, try this Berry Custard Oatmeal recipe out! Of course, if you are in no need of sweetness downgrading, by all means, add in any sweetener of your choice and enjoy a true custard-like oatmeal ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Maple Nut Oatmeal...Just Like the Ice Cream!

Wisconsin is probably my favorite state.  Friendly, warm-hearted, and down-to-earth people; lusciously green forests painting the rolling hills; farmland with natural crisp, fresh produce scattered amongst the trees...for me, everything about this state just makes me enjoy life for all its simplicity.

Of course, having melt-in-your-mouth sharp cheddar cheese and gooey cheese curds, Amish bakeries with freshly baked lard-filled pastries, and fire-grilled meats all help to capture this foodie's heart.  Wisconsin also offers one of my favorite desserts of all time - maple nut ice cream.  Besides the tangy lime flavor of Daiquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins, I don't naturally turn to ice cream to satisfy my sweet cravings...that's the job for brownies.  But. Maple nut ice cream...imagine the famous TV image of Homer Simpson standing with his head slightly titled backwards while a sloppy drip of saliva barely remains dangling from the corner of his opened mouth...yah, that's how you would witness me if you caught me amidst a daydream about maple nut ice cream.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And Here We Jump on the "Zeggs" Bandwagon With Peanut Butter and Blueberry "Zeggs"

Move over Brangelina.  Not so fast, Jayonce.  Step away from the spotlight, ....ummm...KiKanye?  There is a hot new pairing in town!

If you haven't heard of them yet, be prepared for the most fascinating, possibly strangest, yet utterly fantabulous couple yet - Zeggs!  Nope, they aren't eggs from a zebra, nor are they zesty eggs (although you probably could make them that way!); these are zucchini eggs!  I know what you are thinking - "what the heck?"  That was my first reaction. 

Zeggs, or basically oat-less porridge, have been populating the Instagram and Pinterest feeds of foodies across the world, so naturally, I had to give them a shot.  Thank baby Jesus that I did, because they were honestly surprisingly...good, not to mention ridiculously filling for the entire MASSIVE, and I repeat...MASSIVE, portion.  After literally 7 bites (nice big, gloppy spoonfulls), I stopped, stared at my bowl in bewilderment, and pondered over how to finish this entire bowl...but I did because I like to eat and my mouth dangerously leads the way. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers


It's the middle of the week, and I'm already feeling the weekend more than ever.  I'm not sure if something is in the air or what, but everyone around me seems like they need a break.  With all the negative energy and tenseness floating around, sitting down to reflect on feel-good moments full of helpfulness, compassion, friendliness, and joy from the past week sure helps to lighten the mood!

Immunity-Boosting Overnight Matcha Oat Pudding Breakfast Bowl

It's the middle of the week and I don't know whether it's the weather, air quality, or what combined with a few things that haven been going on with me, but I've just been feeling a little draggy and sluggish.  To boost my immune system and keep me going, I made a nutritious, antioxidant and vitamin-rich Overnight Matcha Oat Pudding Bowl for breakfast.  Rich in vitamins A,C, and E, fiber, protein, antioxidants, omega 3's, healthy carbs, and a ton of other health-boosting ingredients, this breakfast bowl is a perfect pick-me-up for the middle of the week, not to mention fast and easy (and a pretty green color)!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Situations That Shouldn't Cause Stress


Unfortunately, stress is a common entity in households all around the world; it seems that almost everyone is stressed out these days.  Uncontrollable situations that cause money problems, health issues, accidents, demanding work schedules, etc., all contribute to our tension.  What we forget to realize is that some uncontrollable situations really aren't that bad; these situations do not warrant  freaking out, yelling, swearing, or crying.  What marks these types of unwanted situations from ones that truly justify some sort of reaction is that they are not going to create much of an impact on our lives.  While we should refrain from stressing out for mental and physical health reasons, we are human, so we most likely will become aggravated, discouraged, and upset at some point.  Lower your stress levels, or at least do not raise it, by making a big deal of the following situations:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Ciao Huevos: The Italian-Mexican Egg Bake

Sometimes...who am I kidding...many times, I scavenge my refrigerator and put together whatever random ingredients I have in there.  Yes, I do love finding new recipes and using unique ingredients that I don't typically have sitting around in my house, especially when I get a random craving for something, but constant grocery purchases can lead to both an expensive grocery bill and an over accumulation of a ton of various foods in the fridge.  This usually makes my refrigerator look like a Polish, Asian, American, Italian, Mexican, Everythingian explosion...emphasis on the explosion.  What better way to clean up the fridge (and to prevent waste!) than by combining flavors and ingredients from different cultures! After all, culture-specific dishes occasionally include ingredients and ideas that were first introduced to the country through the trade routes long ago (did you know Marco Polo brought the idea of "pizza" to Italy from his Chinese journey?).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nutty Peaches 'n Cream Yogurt Bowl

Good Saturday morning and happy weekend!

For everyone who is intimidated by cooking in trepidation of making mistakes or failing at a recipe, you never know when a mistake or failure can turn into something delicious! Yes, today my breakfast "failure" might not be so drastic that it could have possibly turned out inedible (after all, the texture was the only component that strayed from my desired goal), but it still didn't turn out how I had originally planned it to.  Nevertheless, it was delicious!  Numerous times, I've had my own recipes and concoctions turn out differently than I had originally expected or even completely flop to where it was basically inedible (my first time using dried powdered ginger...definitely don't put in 2 full tablespoons in a relatively small dish...), but these little shortcomings haven't stopped me yet!  As the famous saying goes, you learn from your mistakes...oh the truth in that!  I do think some people just have a knack for cooking, baking, and combining ingredients, but with practice, failing, and trying again, anyone can become a better cook!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cold and Creamy Cantaloupe Pumpkin Soup - Perfect For This Late Summer, Early Fall Weather

As I am still on my late summer, early fall kick with an ever-growing obsession with pumpkin...it's getting pretty bad now, hence the pumpkin cup...I made an Autumnish inspired breakfast soup well suited for this very hot late summer day!  The sweet, refreshing summer taste of cantaloupe melon compliments the hearty, subdued nature of the pumpkin, and cinnamon spices things up a bit.  If you don't have the time to eat this dish as a soup, feel free to throw it in a travel cup and drink it up as a smoothie (just eliminate the nutty oats or blend them in...no choking, please!).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

COCSY Parfait - Coconut Oatmeal, Chia Seed Pudding, and Yogurt Parfait...or Maybe CSYCO Has a Better Ring to It...

I had a MASSIVE craving for coconut oatmeal even though I had never had it before...I honestly have the most bizarre cravings - what does that mean about me?  Instead of making a traditional bowl of oats, I was feeling artsy this morning and decided to jazz it up a bit.

Chia seeds are incredibly healthy for you; they are full of antioxidants, protein, fiber, and Omega-3's.  When combined with liquids, chia seeds turn into an interesting-textured pudding that's light and has a slight crunch! Crunchy pudding you say? I swear, it feels so much better on your tongue than it sounds.  To maximize on these healthy ingredients and to satisfy my craving, I made this very refreshing (and pretty if I do say so myself) parfait.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egggggscellent...Healthy Peanut Butter Eggwhite Fluff

For all those egg-haters who want or need to incorporate eggs into their diet, there is hope!

A while back, my doctor instructed me to add eggs into my diet for their healthy fat.  Note: Eggs, the whole yokey egg, is HEALTHY.  I now enjoy my eggs scrambled or as omelettes filled with vegetables (I still can't touch them runny or gooey), but at the time of my instruction, I immediately cringed at the thought.  I had not touched plain eggs (besides those baked in cookies, cakes, brownies, all the good stuff...) since I was around 10.  The taste, smell, texture...they all made me cringe, so I desperately needed to find a creative way to incorporate those lovely little breakfast ovals of protein.  

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oats Bowl

I love oatmeal. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, second breakfast, halfsies...I think you get my drift...at least I know Pippin does if he is reading this.  However, I mainly stick with my oats for breakfast.  While at work, I don't get to eat lunch until quite a bit of hours after I have my breakfast, so naturally (at least for me!) I get a tad bit hungry quite soon...once again, I know Pippin understands how I feel at least.  This is why I need to make my oats nice and filling!

Protein, healthy fats, and good carbs are all needed to keep you nice and full, and this Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oats Bowl is filled with all three!

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers


Wednesdays are bitter-sweet days of the week; half of the work or school week is already over, but there is still another whole half to conquer before the weekend.  Since everyone can use a little pick-me-up to get them armored up for the work-week battle, every Wednesday, I want us to take a little time to reflect on the past week, concentrating on helping.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Ways to Move a Little More

With all the new methods of transportation, technological gadgets, and space-age machinery readily available at our fingertips, our society is becoming more and more accustomed to being lazy and not moving. Especially in America, we tend to drive everywhere and find pure enjoyment from sedentary activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet. It is pretty much common knowledge that exercise and movement keep our bodies healthy, promote weight management, and reduce stress levels. However, coming from a sedentary lifestyle and jumping into a serious, full-on exercise regime can prove to be rather difficult; you may become too tired the next day or unmotivated with the lack of instant results. What many of us don't realize is that you can start out slowly at a pace that is comfortable for you. By slowly turning around your sedentary life into a more active one, you will become aware of how much you move during the day; this awareness will motivate you to make a conscious effort to move more often. Once you start moving just a little, you will eventually build up your stamina, allowing you to exercise with a little more oomph!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal

Nothing starts the week off better than a yummy, satisfying breakfast!  Every Monday, I hope to give you all a delicious yet healthy breakfast recipe to keep you filled and happy.

Monday is my Sunday, so I get the chance to make something that requires a little more effort or time.  For about a week, I've been waiting to try this idea out, and I definitely was not disappointed!  While this breakfast does require a little baking time, it can be made the night before and simply reheated in the morning.

Once again, I was inspired by this late summer, soon-to-be-fall weather (probably because last week felt like fall over here!).  Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal for one is a healthy, nutritious breakfast that warms your soul and simply makes you feel good.  The slightly sweet, spicy smell of apples and cinnamon will also fill your kitchen, comforting and relaxing you when you sip a cup of coffee or tea while waiting for breakfast to be ready! If you want to make this for the whole family, just multiply the ingredients by the number of mouths you will be feeding.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spanish-Inspired Rice

I am always hungry. Even when I'm not actually hungry. DANG MY LOVE FOR FOOD!

While I'm at work, I tend to get the munchies, especially when the day is going by ssssslllllooooowwwwwllllyyyyy, so I made a nice, filling rice dish that will be full of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.  To keep yourself full and to properly obtain all the important nourishment your body needs, you need a combination of all of these meal components.  Paired with grilled chicken breast, this rice dish provides a delicious and satisfying meal that will keep you full, even when the time for you to eat your next meal, aka dinner after work, seems to take forever.

Twist Your Thoughts...Be Conscious of Your Reactions

Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling sad, angry, upset, depressed, frustrated, the list of negative emotions and feelings continues, you start to pay attention to everything negative?  In actuality, the day is probably going by relatively normal; you just have yourself in such a rut that you twist every action and event to fit your mood, crappy.

Sit back and imagine this scenario.  You are having a bad day; perhaps you failed a test, got yelled at by a boss, or broke your favorite heirloom.  During the afternoon, you take your dog for a walk down the sidewalk outside your home when you suddenly trip over a crack in the cement.  "$&*# @!_#%**# $(*&% WHY DOESN'T ANYONE FIX THIS DANG CRACK?!" Every obscenity floods your thoughts; this day just must be the worst day you've ever had.  Why can't your dang dog walk itself? Why do you even have a dog? They are so much extra work. You spend more time on your dog than yourself, which is why your dog has a beautiful flowing tail while your hair hangs bluntly over your eyes, blocking your vision, which is probably why you tripped.  It's all your dog's fault!

Balsamic Pear and Asparagus Salad

Since time seems to escape ever so quickly, I know a lot of people, including those who pre-prep meals for the week, prepare the same foods for multiple days.  This method is especially useful for those who are die-hard healthy eaters or calorie counters, as the same type of food is measured and accounted for.  I don't know about you, but eating the same thing day after day is just too boring for me.  I love food...all different kinds...and I tend to have numerous different cravings, so I need a little variety in my life.  Heck, it makes the week more exciting, too!  I already spend too much of my free time cooking, so finding ways to make a variety of foods as quick as possible is essential for my foodie lifestyle.  Combining vegetables and fruits in various salads and sautes is not only fast and healthy, but it also allows for a little creativity and happiness for the taste buds!