Nut Butters, Fun Workout, Blogger Meetup, And Easy Weeknight Dinners

Today’s Happy Note: The flowering trees (cherry, magnolia, etc.) are all perfect and so beautiful in the city right now.  I feel like the lend a gracefulness to such a big, crowded space.  I kept seeing people sniffing at them all day long.  Made me ecstatic.

This post shall have four parts.  Because I say so.  And because there are four parts to its title.

Part I: Nut Butter!

I have had several different jars of nut butters open recently and they all ended within a few days of each other.  This meant lots of OIAJ’s, but it also means that I am now nut-butterless.

Look how cute they all are sitting there in the sun together!  These three jars tasted especially fabulous and I would highly recommend any and all of them: Trader Joe’s almond butter with flax, Justin’s maple almond butter, and Naturally Nutty honey roasted cinnamon peanut butter.

RIP Nut butters.  I got all these jars at the same time, roughly 3.5 weeks ago.  If 3.5 weeks is 24 days, then that means I went through each jar in 8 days.  If I went through each jar in 8 days and each jar has 12 servings, that must mean I eat an average of 1.5 servings of nut butter a day.  Interesting!  I actually suspect it’s a bit closer to 2 because I got two of the above jars a few days after the first.  In case you can’t tell, I like math.  And numbers.

What’s you favorite nut butter (type of nut, brand, flavor)?  What is your average nut butter consumption rate?

Part II: Fun Workout

I got out of my last class at six and was planning on going to the gym but was really dreading it.  I told myself that I could skip the gym, but only if I went for a run outside.  It was a lovely, clear evening and this sounded nicer.  Lesson #1: If something sounds unappealing, don’t do it!  Find an alternative.  So I headed out the door and into Riverside Park.  I made a deal with myself that if I really wasn’t feeling it, I could turn around after a mile and just do 2 for the day.  That was it.  Surprise surprise, I finished a mile and felt great.  I ended up doing six!  Lesson #2: Just get started.  If you don’t love it, again, try something else.

I did three miles out along the river, then stopped and did 20 minutes of balancing yoga poses and core work.  It was really run to do it in the middle of the run and totally kept me entertained and kept my body guessing!  I then ran the three miles back home with a smile on my face.

What do you do when you reaaallllly don’t want to go to the gym?  How do you make working out “fun”?

Part III: Blogger Meetup

Sunday afternoon I had a blogger lunch at Wild Ginger with Gabriela, Marina, and Missy!  It was great fun.  I have only ever met Kath in real life before so I didn’t know what to expect, but I suspected I might have some things in common with them.  And I was right!  Gabriela and I are in the same year of college (only she’s at my rival school!), Missy and I both have a cereal problem, and Marina and I both love exploring all the unique neighborhoods downtown!  Who knew!  We had lots to talk about, and lots of yummy things to eat, of course.  My dish was based around a stir-fry with random veggies, soy protein, and a pumpkin sauce.  I would have preferred tempeh or tofu to the soy protein (basically fake meat with an off-putting texture) but it still tasted good because of the sauce!  The rice was supposed to be coconutty, but it just tasted like wild rice to me.  Now that I have tried Souen (recap here — I’ll have to go with Maggie next time!) and Wild Ginger, I really want to explore more fun restaurants in the city!

Any suggestions where I should start?  Favorite restaurants in the city?  Favorite blogs about restaurants in the city?

Part IV: Easy Weeknight Dinners

I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while now (time and money constraints  — I probably won’t get to go until Friday) and wanted something easy but also tasty and filling tonight.  All of this came together in under ten minutes!

First, I washed and chopped the last of my veggies (tear!) — three large carrots and two broccoli stalks — and put them in a pan with a little EVOO on medium high heat.  I let them cook for a while, then added a can of pinto beans.  Meanwhile I cooked a 2-egg puff in the microwave.  I ate the eggs,  about half of the bean/veggie mixture, and a side of two small corn tortillas.  I ended up adding a little salt to the bean mix.  So incredibly easy.  Seriously, I don’t understand why people say they don’t have time to cook; you can do it!  Even college students can.  I ran into a boy on my floor as I was making this who had just gotten takeout from a place about a five minute walk away (it was a burrito).  Assuming it took him ten minutes to walk there and back and five minutes to order, my dinner was actually faster!  And healthier.  And most likely cheaper, per serving.  Score.

My go-to week night dinners are almost always stir-fries; it’s so easy to throw a bunch of veggies, seasonings, and protein into a pan.  I also like egg scrambles/omelets, fish (a one inch thick piece can usually bake in just 10-12 minutes!), salads with lots of toppings, or simple sandwiches (i.e., hummus, cheese, and spinach or almond butter and jam).

What are your favorite easy weeknight dinners?

Goodnight friends.  Happy Wednesday, you’re halfway there!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 23:57:43

    Blogger lunch 🙂 wahay that’s great that you all met up, I do so love meeting fellow bloggers! Alas I am deprived and have never tried a nut butter…must sample this delight one day…the only exercise I do now is walking, but there are some fun hills where I live, which sure makes this interesting 😉

    Happy Wednesday to you too.

    Sarah x


  2. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 01:38:24

    I am soooo envious in a good way 🙂 of your blogger meetup!!!! Wow, amazing!

    GReat post Caronae, I love this one and all the great pics!



  3. Erin
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 06:52:31

    So much delicious nut butter!! This is a fab post. 😀


  4. sonia @ master of her romaine
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 10:03:04

    I really like this post!!
    I don’t have a favorite nut butter- YET! I haven’t tried many, so I don’t think it would be fair for me to choose 🙂
    I don’t really have a choice when I don’t want to go to the gym- I always go with a friend, so I can never back out!
    Finally, my favorite easy dinners are big snack plates of chopped veggies, blobs of hummus and salsa, and maybe some millet bread or other carby thing!


  5. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 14:20:12

    I’m so glad we got to meet! Wild Ginger was delicious, I agree…after checking out Peacefood with Ada yesterday, I definitely recommend it!

    Favorite nut butter- YIKES, tough call!! I have to say that Smucker’s Creamy Natural is probably the winner though- no frills, just plain, awesome, peanut butter.

    Hope you’re having a great hump day!!


  6. Marina
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 16:46:28

    It was so great to meet you! I’m glad you could come! Here are my list of favorite restaurants (aside from Wild Ginger):

    Sacred Chow (Sullivan St. in the Village)
    Qi Asian Eatery (on 14th St. b/w 5th & 6th Ave.)
    Spice restaurants (many locations all over, check their website– or check out mine, because I have lots of links on there!)
    Sea Thai Bistro (same as above)
    Quantum Leap (also in the Village, but on Thompson St. which is next to Sullivan St.)
    Blossom (in Chelsea)

    That’s all I can think of at the moment, but check my blog because I have a TON of restaurants on there! 🙂


  7. Kate
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 19:55:38

    i love blogger meet ups! again, gotta love the community in blog land.

    my fav easy dinner is eggs. you can do so much with them plus you get in a lot of protein which is good.


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