Warm Kale Salad + Tabata Time

We will talk salads in a minute, but first a picture from the Lady Antebellum concert I attended last night with Becca.

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Since Becca is a working mommy, it’s rare that we have a night to ourselves to have enjoy some drinks and good food and take in some quality country music. We’re both huge country fans, so you can rest assured we were rockin’ out the entire night in our cowboy boots, just like back in the glory days of high school.

Lady A. was amazing, and the opening act, Kip Moore, well, he is part of the reason country music has started to appeal to the masses…masses of young women that is.

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(Here he is belting out Landslide with Lady Antebellum and Kacey Musgraves. He is the one in the plaid cut-off…it takes a real country man to pull that off!

A nice ol’ country boy from Georgia with that slow Southern drawl, grit in his voice and a twinkle in his eye. The modern day cowboy crooning about “young love” and a pretty girl that he wants to take home ’cause his “momma’s gonna love” her. As the Dixie Chicks say “cowboy take me away!” Ah, yes, a girl can dream.

(For the record, he was kind enough to sign autographs after the show – the line was long. I snapped a pic from afar while we were walking out. I’m not invested enough to wait two hours for an autograph. I’ll stick with that whole clichéd “riding off into the sunset” cowboy fantasy instead.)

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(Intensely staring into a pretty blonde’s eyes. Why do I feel like he has done this before?)

But, enough about cowboys. Let’s get down to the salads.

For someone who claims to love salads so much (every WIAW features a gigantic salad), it is shocking that I have never actually posted a salad recipe to this blog. Well, other than my kitchen sink salad from back in the NYC days. And those were the days when cooking to me meant throwing a bunch of processed stuff in a bowl and calling it dinner.

I’ve come a long way, my friends.

Anyway, recently, I’ve been on a warm salad kick. It’s still cold and gray here in the midwest, and I’m not ready to transition to summery fruit salads just yet. For those of you that find the idea of a warm salad puzzling, let me explain. Technically, a warm salad is a salad with any warm component, such as warm chicken, bacon, salad dressing etc.

For this particular salad, I sautéed the kale with a lemon shallot vinaigrette until the leaves were slightly wilted and then topped with some candied walnuts, cranberries and fresh parmesan cheese. Rule #1 of Sometimes Healthy Cooking: Everything is better with cheese (and chocolate).

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WIAW: The Time I Carried a Squash from NYC

Okay, okay, the title of this post is fairly inaccurate. No one would actually go to NYC for the night and come back the next day with nothing more than a squash, right?

Well, actually, the title of this post should have been, “WIAW: The Time I Carried 2 Squash, 6 Cupcakes, 8 Cookies, 2 Chobani Bowls, 1 Whole Foods Salad, Make-your-Own Trail Mix, a Pumpkin Muffin AND Banana Pudding from NYC.” 

(My NYC "contraband")

(My NYC “contraband”)

Every time I visit one of the biggest shopping capitals of the world, instead of returning home with trendy purses and shoes, I come back with “fashionable” food, like kabocha squash.

Somewhere, back in Omaha, my clothes-loving mom is thinking, “How is this child my daughter?” 

In all fairness, kabocha squash is all anyone in the healthy living world can talk about these days…and I can’t find it anywhere in the HV. So, why not capitalize on a trip to NYC?

You may be wondering if I moved back to NYC, considering I have been there almost once a week for the past couple of months. Nope, in fact, I was back in NYC for a very special sleepover. My oldest friend in the world, Emily was in town for work. She asked me to spend the night at her super-trendy Soho hotel on Monday night for a marathon catch-up session and an early morning Tuesday workout.

Catching up with Emily was like a breath of fresh air, as usual. She lives in Omaha, and as the mother of a very cute one-year-old, she rarely has the time to chat on the phone. You know how everyone has their “person?” (It’s the whole Meredith Grey/Christina Yang Grey’s Anatomy friendship thing). Well, Emily’s my person. I could wake up tomorrow morning, dye my hair black, cover my body in tattoos and run away to join the circus. And, Emily would still see ME. No matter what happens or where life takes us, Emily will always be that person that just “gets me”…often more than I understand myself. 

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Monday night, we enjoyed a friend-mantic dinner in Little Italy and fro-yo from 16 Handles and kicked our butts in the gym on Tuesday morning with my tabata workout.

(You MUST try their pumpkin yogurt)

(You MUST try their pumpkin yogurt)

Before I knew it, Emily had to leave for a meeting, and I was left to wander the streets of NYC before hopping on a train back upstate.

I probably would have chased after her cab and begged her to stay if she hadn’t been with her coworkers. The older I get, the harder it becomes to say goodbye to my best friends. You would think it gets easier…after all, Emily and I haven’t been in the same town for 12 years. But, as all of these special people move through the big stages in their lives (babies, marriage, etc.), I find myself really wishing I could be closer to them. Ah, the realities of growing older.

Hopefully, all of this touchy-feely blabbering hasn’t distracted you all from the task at hand: What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW), where I journal all of my weird and wacky eats from the previous day. Well, you’re in for a treat, because my eats on Tuesday started with a creamy fall treat in NYC and worked their way back to the Hudson Valley for a triumphant squash-filled dinner.

As soon as Emily left me, I knew just where to drown my sorrows: Chobani’s Soho Yogurt Bar. As you may remember, I visited the store for the first time a couple weeks ago. I’ve been dreaming about going back ever since.

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I chose the seasonal option: Pumpkin + Cranberry, a yogurt bowl that included a sweet pumpkin butter, topped with cranberries, gingersnaps and other fall goodies. In case you are wondering about the glare on the left-hand corner of the picture, it’s not my poor photography, it’s actually heaven shining down this yogurt bowl to me. Once again, the chefs at Chobani Soho hit all the right notes with this creamy bowl of fall flavors. Continue Reading →

Sometimes Healthy NYC Adventures and a Lunch Break Workout

Hello and welcome to a Sometimes Healthy Friday!

I just got back from a jam-packed 24 hours in NYC, which involved many Sometimes Healthy adventures.

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Had to include the standard NYC coffee picture, since I know you all have come to expect it. 

The reason that I went to the city was to attend a culinary panel on health trends in the foodie world hosted by Celebrity Cruises. The breakfast panel took place at Rouge Tomate, a contemporary restaurant on the upper east side that is pioneering a sustainable, well-balanced and even nutritional approach to high-end cuisine. If the four star food wasn’t enough to drool over (and I did), the panel was moderated by the editor-in-chief of Food and Wine magazine, Dana Cowin and included Marc Murphy, Chef and Owner of the trendy NYC restaurants, Landmarc and Ditch Plain AND a judge on the popular Food Network show, Chopped.

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The Food Geek in me literally giggled with glee when I first saw the two of them sitting next to my table (but, don’t worry, I held it together ya’ll -gotta fake it ’til you make it right?). Though the panel only lasted about 30 minutes, it was extremely entertaining and chock full of information I had never heard before. I was writing furiously in my notebook the entire time and cannot wait to share the interesting tidbits that I learned from these culinary leaders in Monday’s post. Stay tuned!

Until then, let’s break down my 24 hour trip to the Big Apple into “Healthy” and “Sometimes Healthy” categories.

Healthy: Breakfast at Rouge Tomate

Not suprisingly, since the panel was about health trends, the breakfast was fresh and healthy too. From “Local Stone Ground Buttermilk Polenta” to Pumpkin Maple Scones with Lemon-Scented Ricotta, the was probably the most healthy, balanced and tasty breakfast that I’ve had in a long time.

The gourmet  meal kicked off with a Fingerlakes Honey-Scented Yogurt Parfait with Concord Grape Jam that bursted with different flavors in every bite. Here’s a preview:

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I’ll share more on the food Monday, but to suffice it to say, even though I always joke about my “unsophisticated palate” when you put high quality food in your mouth, you can taste the difference, no matter how refined that palate is. 

I also enjoyed the conversations before and after the panel. It was just plain refreshing to be in a room full of people that were just as passionate about healthy living as me.

Sometimes Healthy: Walking Straight to Dylan’s Candy Bar after Healthy Panel Continue Reading →

5 Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

As I type this post to you my arms/abs are still a bit sore from a new workout I tried at my gym on Saturday! I don’t know about you, but I love this feeling! It’s a surefire indicator to me that the new workout challenged my body, and I know that it means I am building muscle. More on this new class later in the post.

Workin it at AGX!

Workin it at AGX!

The workout inspired me to share my 5 go-to workouts that you can do anywhere (well, almost anywhere). Most of my friends have children, so whenever I create a workout, I’m constantly thinking about whether or not one of them would be able to do the workout while their child is at school or napping. I know that  the busier life gets, the easier it is to let go of our workouts. But the bottom line is, all of us most likely have 20 to 30 minutes to spare a day. It’s just a question of motivating ourselves to get off the couch and do it.

Yesterday, at our Girls on the Run event (where we raised tons of money for the organization!), I was talking to one of the mothers who actually competes in Ironmans on a regular basis. She said that she has gotten herself into the habit of doing workouts while her 3-year-old watches tv. It was hard at first, but once that became her routine, she didn’t even think twice. 

Guest Bartending for Girls on the Run...we raised a whole lotta money for a good cause!

Guest Bartending for Girls on the Run…we raised a whole lotta money for a good cause!

With a little bit of planning, you should be able to fit any of these workouts into your schedule.

RUNNING

Calories Burned: Approx. 590 per hour*

Equipment Required: Treadmill, track or simply you neighborhood sidewalk Continue Reading →

Rough Life in NYC

Hello from the top of NYC!

We are on top of the world!

We are on top of the world!

My parents came to NYC for the weekend, and luckily decided to make a pit stop upstate to visit their favorite daughter. We had something VERY important to celebrate:

It's a VERY special day!

It’s a VERY special day!

Yesterday was my mother’s birthday, so we spent the day together celebrating the greatest woman alive :-)

I now figured out why I have barely any pictures with my mother. I had to beg her just to squeeze this one out of her yesterday…and she sort of made me promise not to post on the blog. Ooops. Sorry mom, you look great, as usual! Not a day over 35 ;-).

We spent the day eating great food, and doing my mother’s favorite thing in the world: shopping. I also made my mom some special fat free Sometimes Healthy Apple Cinnamon muffins.

Special Muffins for Mom!

Special Muffins for Mom!

These babies included fresh chopped apples, apple cider, apple butter AND Apple Chobani. They were definitely a hit, and I hope to share the recipe Wednesday. Whenever my mother comes to NYC, one of her favorite things to eat are the fat free muffins at the bakeries, so I figured she’d enjoy some of her very own special healthified muffins.

We also went to dinner on the river and ate some birthday cake with extra frosting.

Celebrating one special Mommy!

Celebrating one special Mommy!

My mother loves buttercream frosting, and in her younger years, she used to be able to eat the frosting off of half a big cake! She’s decided to eat frosting in moderation in her older, wiser years.

After dinner, we headed back to the city, where I am going to stay a couple of days for some QT time with the parents. I’ve written about this hotel before, and whenever my parents stay here, I feel like I’m living in another world.

Sadly, I found out this morning that the gym in the building was being renovated, which meant I might not be able to do my tabata workout for the day.

Then, they told me the hotel guests could use the Ritz Carlton’s gym.

I guess this will do...

I guess this will do…

Rough life I am living here in NYC, that’s for sure. I banged out 8 miles on the treadmill (to humid to run outside) and a quick tabata workout. I was definitely the sweatiest person in the entire gym.

Hot, sweaty, selfie.

Hot, sweaty, selfie.

But hey, the more sweat, the better the workout! The Ritz gym was not too shabby and had more than enough to keep this Sometimes Healthy Girl occupied.

Now, we’re off for dinner with my brother and his wife. Hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend!

When Dogs Fly and Oreos Fry

This weekend I had an opportunity to experience a cultural phenomenon that I had never seen before: the county fair.

I had always wanted to attend a county fair, and visions of endless amounts of fried food, farm animals and fun carnival rides flooded my mind. Luckily, the Dutchess County Fair did not disappoint.

Fried dough? Sometimes Healthy? You bet ya!

Fried dough? Sometimes Healthy? You bet ya!

Before we ate our weight in fried food, Cole got to participate in his favorite activity: dock jumping. Sometimes, the BF jumps Cole in what are called “dock diving competitions.” I had never seen this “sport” before meeting the BF, but after seeing it for the first time, I must say, it’s a whole lotta fun!

Jump, Cole Jump!

Jump, Cole Jump!

This was Cole’s “practice jump,” but for the real competition, the stands were actually packed full! There were a lot of small children in the crowd, who obviously enjoyed watching the dogs “fly.”

And, even though Cole was out of practice, he still walked away with a 3rd place medal. What a dog!

Proud puppy!

Proud puppy!

I had bought some fried pickles before the show, so the BF said we could reward him with a couple of bits of delicious fried pickles.

Fried pickles, topped with nacho cheese. #bam!

Fried pickles, topped with nacho cheese. #bam!

This was my second time eating fried pickles (the first time was in Nashville), and it seems like they taste better every time!

If you think the adventures in fried food ended there…you’re wrong

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