Month: September 2011

Five for Friday: Good and Less So

Five random things to share for today, some good, some less so.

1.) GOOD

Tina reached out to me to let me know she was going to be in DC this week for a foodie tour and to see when we could squeeze some time in. The schedule for the tour is PACKED, so we ended up meeting up for a run yesterday morning before I had to go to work slash the tour started with Leslie, who is also visiting DC for the tour.

Leslie, Tina, Me

We had a really great 5 mile run around the monuments. A lot of times I have trouble running with other people, but yesterday went really smooth and the miles actually flew by as we caught up.

2.) LESS SO

I failed to mention this, but I majorly failed on the exercise front with all my business travels. I did manage to get the sixteen miler in toward the beginning of my trip to Charlotte, which was a big success, but after that, I didn’t run, or do any form of exercise for that matter, for EIGHT full days. Day 9 was my last day in New Orleans, and I started it off with 6 miles on the treadmill, so that’s good at least. But eight days off at peak marathon training is not recommended nor ideal.

3.) GOOD

I got to dine at Floriana last night and it was AMAZING. Full review to come, but they have introduced a new menu and a new chef, and I got to have dinner on the house to check out the changes and it was pretty incredible. Plus, I got to catch up with my friend Amber who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks! Win win!

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4.) LESS SO

Healthy eating was heavily on the back burner during my work travels to Charlotte and New Orleans over the last two weeks. Even though I know all the tricks to eating healthy on business trips, come conference time when things are hectic and it’s always go-go-go, I stray so far from my normal habits and I really really struggle with staying on track. Couple this with #2, and you’ll understand why I’m having trouble with my weight being up a few pounds, yet again. I have to weigh in for Weight Watchers by today since it’s the end of the month, and I know I’m over goal by a bit, so I’m not even sure what the repercussions are since I’m an employee. Sigh.

5.) GOOD

Always good to end on a positive note, eh? This is my first weekend home in three weekends, and I have NO PLANS. Well you know, besides trying to run 18 miles. I just mean I don’t have to go anywhere and can actually take some time to decorate and enjoy the new place. I’m so excited to stay put and RELAX and not travel. Yay!

Let’s stick with all GOODS for you guys. Share with me something good going on this week/weekend!

Tofu Ricotta Lasagna

Let’s start by saying that never in a MILLION years did I think I would make a vegan version of lasagna. I just love cheese far too much to consider it, but I’ve been toying with the idea of making tofu ricotta for quite some time, and last night was finally the night.

The concept is pretty simple – you press the tofu, crumble it with a fork, add in some seasonings of your choice (I used garlic, chives, and salt) and then use it in place of ricotta in lasagna, stuffed shells, or calzones. The execution was also super simple, but what I wasn’t sure about was the taste.

And let me tell you – it is DELICIOUS. If you didn’t tell someone it was tofu, they would never know. The texture and flavor are spot on, and the amount of “ricotta” you get compared to what you would get with regular or part-skim will blow your mind. Since I used light tofu, the whole block, which crumbled into about 2 cups, was only 6pts+!

Tofu Ricotta Lasagna

    • Prep time: 15 minutes
    • Cook time: 45 minutes
    • Entire recipe yields 28 pts+, or four 7pt+ servings
    • Printable recipe here.

Ingredients:

    • 1 jar marinara sauce
    • 4 oz. no boil lasagna noodles (2 servings)
    • 1 package spinach
    • ~ 1/4 cup chopped chives
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 block firm lite tofu, pressed
    • 2 oz. light mozzarella cheese

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, take your pressed tofu and get ready to crumble it with a fork.

It is easier than I expected it to be – the tofu crumbles very easily and basically falls apart.

After the tofu is crumbled, add in the garlic, chives and salt.

And then mix it until it’s combined.

And your tofu ricotta is done. Set it aside.

The last step before layering the lasagna is to cook the spinach. I don’t have a microwave yet, otherwise I would have done it in there, so I used a pan instead.

It never ceases to amaze me how a whole bag of spinach cooks down to this:

Crazy. Now you’re ready for the fun part – assembling the lasagna.

I always put sauce at the bottom.

Then noodles and spinach.

Then ricotta.

Then repeat until it’s all done. Top with 2 oz of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. I picked up this vegan ALMOND cheese the other day at Whole Foods, because it was on sale for $1.99 and the regular cheese was way more expensive.

It’s not bad and melts really well considering. Vegan cheese does kind of skeeve me out though, not going to lie. Smile

Cover the lasagna with tin foil.

And bake it at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn the heat up to 425 and bake for another 10-15 until the top is golden brown.. or as brown as vegan cheese will get.

If you can bare it, let it sit for 5-10 minutes so it sets before digging in. 1/4 of it is a LARGE serving, so you can definitely break it into more if you you feel it.

Honestly, I was shocked with how good it is. If you served it to someone without telling them it had tofu in it, they would have no idea. OR, if you have someone who swears they hate tofu, make this, and don’t tell them until they’re asking for seconds.

Have you ever tried vegan cheese before? Love it, hate it, can’t get enough? Which kind did you try?

I’ve heard Daiya is the best, but it’s always way too expensive for me at the store. If I were sensitive to dairy I’m sure I could make due, especially now that I discovered tofu ricotta!

Top Four New Orleans Foodie Hot Spots

According to me, that is. Smile

Though I’ve only been to New Orleans twice, I did quite a bit of research and got several recommendations from friends and family before going and did (what I think is) a pretty great job checking out several highlights of the city. I thought now would be the perfect time to share them since I just got back and want to relive every meal I had while I was there!

1.) Café Du Monde

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It’s a must for beignets and coffee. It’s located right near the French Quarter, and was just about a 10 minute walk from the hotel I stayed in this last time. I went there both times I’ve visited, and at $2.41 for three fresh, hot beignets drowning in powdered sugar, it’s worth making the trip each time.

This past weekend, I also got a FROZEN Café Au Lait, which was out of this world.

Sort of like a classier frapuccino, but not quite as sweet, and twice as delicious. Yum.


2.) Jacques-Imos

 

This funky, local restaurant is located uptown, so you have to take a cab there if you’re staying down near Bourbon/Canal Street. That said, it is SO worth it. Unfortunately I managed to forget my camera when we went there this past Saturday night, but it was one of the places on the top of my list to go since I didn’t make it there the first time I visited New Orleans.

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Source.

I may or may not have shared the Crab and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, which sounds kind of gross but is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It’s one of their most famous dishes, and while I’m pretty sure alligator doesn’t qualify as a fish and thus I broke my normally pescatarian diet by eating some, dare I say it was worth it??

The other extreme highlight were the Watermelon Mojitos. Filled with chunks of fresh watermelon and plenty of mint,

3.) Commander’s Palace

This place I’ve been to both times I’ve visited NoLA, and when I found out I was going back for the second time, I called immediately to make a reservation for lunch! It’s hard to get a reservation so make sure you book in advance, and be aware that it’s kind of fancy so men have to wear jackets!

That aside, Monday through Friday, this place has 25 CENT martinis during lunch. A quarter!

It’s a super famous restaurant where Emeril Lagasse and several other famous chefs got their start, but if you go for lunch, it can be quite reasonable! At the top section of the menu, they have two and three course lunches to choose from. I went with the Blackened Drum.

Which, for $20, came with soup or salad of my choice. This is what screamed out to me:

And it did NOT disappoint!

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Light and refreshing but slightly spicy, it was the perfect start to lunch. Unless you consider the martinis the start…

Or the complimentary garlic toast.

Yum. But the main course was also so so good, that I can’t pick a highlight.

I guess I’ll just go with the company!

Kobi, myself, and Becca – coworkers but friends too. Smile with tongue out

The other cool part is that you can take the street car to get there and back, which is kind of fun.

4.) Acme Oyster House

And last, but certainly not least, is Acme Oyster House.

It’s located right in the French Quarter near Bourbon Street, and has some of the best raw oysters I’ve ever had in my life.

This is another spot I hit up both times I visited, and the last time I was there we sat right at the bar. The guy shucking the oysters told us that they do not clean the outside of the oysters there, because apparently when you do, the warmish water heats the oysters up ever so slightly so that they actually open their shells a little bit. This causes the INSIDE of the oyster to get dirt/grit in it, so at Acme they just keep them dirty on the outside so the inside stays clean. That said, you can’t slurp these ones out of the shell quite as freely as you can elsewhere since the shells are covered in dirt!

Acme also has relatively cheap local cuisine, including po boys, etouffee, rice and beans, and some other cajun favorites. I highly highly recommend you check it out!

Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so, what’s your favorite foodie spot that you went to? If not, what’s your favorite foodie town to visit?

When One Changes: Can It Still Work?

When I wrote the post where I revealed the end of my four year relationship with Wil, I tried to remain pretty vague because while this is my place to share whatever I want about myself, I feel like its important for me to remain respectful of other people in my life who might not want to share so much.

That said, I got a LOT of questions about my thoughts on whether it can still work if you’re in a relationship with someone and one of you changes drastically over the course of it. I am clearly no expert here, but I thought I would shed some light on my thoughts on the topic since you asked.

When One Changes

In short, yes, I think it’s possible for a relationship to work. I think as long as you have a strong foundation with open communication and mutual support, then it really is possible for your relationship to stay intact. It could probably even cause a relationship to flourish if the changes are positive since generally the person who changes will be in a better place.

While I do strongly believe that the changes I made were very positive overall, I just changed so much that I found myself on a completely different page from Wil. I wanted him to embrace the changes I had made and make many of them for himself, but he didn’t want that for himself, and you know – that’s ok. You can’t change anyone but yourself, so if you’re unhappy with the person you’re with, unfortunately there’s not much you can do to control it.

Besides the obvious physical changes I went through, I made some strong internal changes that contributed to the breakdown of the relationship and I think are what ultimately caused it to end. I was a little too easy to settle and think that I should just take what I could get. I set expectations too low for what I needed out of a partner, and however sad and depressing it is that I felt like I had to settle before I made so many changes, it’s the truth. I guess I just didn’t feel like I deserved any better and didn’t have the confidence to trust that I would find someone who wasn’t just good enough, but was great.

Once the good things in my life started happening, it was really difficult when I felt like I couldn’t be happy when I was at home because my partner was not in a good place, nor willing to do what it would take to get himself there. It got to a point where home became more of a source of stress and unhappiness for me, rather than happiness and the icing on the cake like it should have been.

The easy thing would have been to stay.

We had been together for four years and were very intertwined in each others lives. Even though I was no longer feeling fulfilled in the relationship, staying it in would have been easy. I did do the easy thing for a while, even when I suspected it might not have been the right thing to do anymore, but getting myself to a place where I was ready to make such a drastic change took some time. I remember thinking a few times over the last year or so that I would want to take a break if we didn’t live together, but logistically it would be too hard without actually breaking up.

I can’t say exactly what happened to end everything, but the final straw came and it just got to a point where I knew the easy thing was no longer good enough for me. I knew I deserved more and needed more out of relationship. It was the internal changes that I went through that changed me into a stronger person and one who knew it was time to make a change. I found myself in a place where I knew I could do anything I set my mind to, and I knew it was time to set my mind to getting out of the relationship. And so I did.

Have you ever had a hard time doing something you knew was right, even if it wasn’t the easy thing to do?

As Seen In…

Happy Monday! I am currently enjoying my last day in New Orleans and let me tell you, it’s been fun! I got to check out a few places I didn’t get to visit the last slash only other time I have visited NoLA, and even though I’m technically here for work, I’ve gotten to enjoy the city quite a bit.

Here’s a picture of Emily (the one who brought you microwave risotto) and I on our first night, sharing a noodle from our soba noodle with scallops and soft shell crab.

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I go back to work tomorrow, which is a happy/sad time. Traveling can be fun, but it’s honestly been a little overwhelming and intense lately, so I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine and actually cooking dinner for the first time in weeks!

As Seen In…

Several of you have mentioned it, but I’ve been so caught up with traveling and being away that I haven’t officially shared it on the blog yet, but the October issue of Fitness Magazine came out last week!

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If you flip to page 26, you’ll see the full page spread with my weight loss story in there… so surreal.

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I’m really happy with the large photo with my bike, but find the smaller one of me grilling to be slightly awkward. Then again, I can be slightly awkward so maybe it’s fitting. =) The article itself is good, but there’s one thing that makes me a little crazy.

When I was doing the phone interview for the article, I was asked what it was like being overweight as a kid. I told the interviewer that it was tough because kids are mean, and when she asked for examples, I was having trouble thinking of anything. I mentioned how one time in middle/high school, this kid called me a Twinkie Queen and how that hurt because that’s all I could come up with for a specific example.

Then, when the article came out, all of a sudden that small anecdote got twisted into Twinkie Queen being my nickname in high school and also the opening line of the story. It’s honestly a little embarrassing/annoying especially since it’s not accurate, but I feel like things like that happen all the time with print stories.

Besides that little thing, I am really happy with the article and beside myself with how unreal it is to see my picture and story in a national magazine. It’s SO WEIRD (yet awesome).

Besides the magazine coming out, I have two other links to share from this past week featuring me/my blog:

    • Washingtonian Makeover Magic – the online footage finally went up, including a video of my wardrobe edit with my stylist Kaarin. They also put some other pictures up from the shoot – so cool! (You can read about the Washingtonian Style Makeover here, here, here and here in case you missed it!)
    • Fit Blogger We Love: Beth’s Journey – this short article went up on the Fitness Magazine website in conjunction with the magazine coming out this month where I answer a few quick questions.

So cool!!!

If you could only subscribe to one magazine, what would it be?

I’d pick Clean Eating Mag!! It has awesome budget friendly recipes/meal ideas and I just love it!

The Run of Truth

One thing that I always try to do on business trips is make a little trip to the grocery store. It helps so much to have a few things in your room that you can use for backup, and if you’re in a major/minor city, there’s usually one that’s fairly easy to get to. I didn’t have a fridge this time, but managed to pick up some good, nonperishable loot:

    • Sunbutter (first time ever trying it – LOVE!)
    • Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (make with water from the coffee maker)
    • Asian Pears
    • Bananas
    • Mini Sandwich thins (!!!)
    • Snackwells PB bars

I’d never seen the mini sandwich thins – how cute are they!?

(1 pt+ for one and 3 pts+ for 2 if you’re curious!)

These goods especially came in handy because Saturday morning I had a 16 miler on my schedule. I shared that I’d been swaying on my mental stamina for the marathon lately, so this run was extremely crucial.

I laid out all my gear on Friday night:

And woke up Saturday with weather in the mid 40s (at 5am, but still!) with a misty rain. As tempting as it sounded to run outside in that (with only the warmer weather gear I brought with me), I realized there was only one thing that was going to help me get my long run in:

Yes, the treadmill.

I’ve done one other long run on the treadmill – ten miles – and while not ideal, it gets the job done. I started with some pre-run fuel:

2 mini sandwich thins with sunflower seed butter and a banana – yum. Plus, a side of coffee.

It was 5:00am after all.

I decided that the only way I was going to be able to tackle the run was by dividing it up into segments, which actually was pretty easy since the treadmill only goes up to 60 minutes. I knocked out 6 miles for the first segment in just under an hour:

And felt pretty good. I got off, used the bathroom, had a GU, and then hopped back on for the next segment. I wanted to try to do another 6 miles, so the last one would only be 4, but I was struggling a little bit mentally so I stopped at 5.25 miles for part two.

I hopped off, had another GU, got some water, and then hopped right back on, which took some convincing. The last part was HARD. It was much more mentally challenging than anything, but I ended up slowing down a bit and telling myself I just had to finish it. I kept repeating “You can do this” “You got this” to myself in my head over and over, and you know what? I did!

6 + 5.25 + 4.75 = 16 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!

I could barely believe it, after the previous weekend’s long run. I was SOOOOOOO sweaty – check it out:

That is salty sweat on my knee (slash all down my leg) – nasty!! None the less, I was thrilled.

A personal distance record by 2 miles. I couldn’t believe it.

I also had another first that day…

An ice bath! I ended up using the trash can in the room and filled it three times with ice from the hotel, and then sat it in for about 10 minutes (with my workout pants still on!). It actually wasn’t THAT bad, and I’ll be honest – it made a huuuuuuuge difference! Even though I had to be on my feet for the rest of the day that day and the next, I was barely sore. I think another ice bath is in order for the rest of my long runs – only TWO left before the marathon!!!!

What’s your biggest pet peeve when you’re staying in a hotel or the thing you miss the most?

For me, it’s definitely not having cold water! I rely heavily on my Brita when I’m at home or at work, and I hate that I have to buy bottled if I want it cold/don’t want to drink tap water. Argh!

I’m Baaaack [For Now]

To say that the last 8 days have been a whirlwind would be a serious understatement! Even though I am delirious right now from the incredibly long hours and lack of sleep, it was actually quite fun and a great conference. I apologize for the lack of posts this week, but I hope you can forgive me because I literally didn’t have a second to even sit down, much less blog. I’m also crazy behind on emails but am hoping to catch up on responding by next weekend, so stay tuned if you haven’t heard back from me. =)

The Conference

I don’t like to talk about my day job too much on here so I won’t go into a lot of detail, but my organization holds four conferences each year for our members. This one I just got back from is our biggest event of the year, so there are not only lots of attendees there, but we have events and sessions going on all day long and into the night for the entire conference.

My piece of the puzzle is that I am in charge of selling all the exhibit space and sponsorships to offset the costs of putting on the event. As part of my recent promotion, I also took on securing cities for future conferences, which is an addition I really like!

I remember my first annual conference and how on edge I felt the whole time, freaking out over small blips that are inevitable with conferences of that size. Each year gets better and a little easier because I know what to expect and have learned to just roll with the punches. I also know a lot more people now, so there are so many familiar faces, which definitely helps. It’s hard to believe it was my third annual conference!

The City

Charlotte is SO cute and it was my first time there! I got to have dinner with Caitlin last Wednesday and Katie last Thursday, and those were definitely two big highlights of my trip. I’ve met and hung out with Caitlin a few times before, but this was the first time we got one on one time and she is seriously awesome. We had such a good convo over dinner so the meal was over before I knew it, and you can read Caitlin’s recap here.

It was my very first time meeting Katie in person, but we’ve talked a lot through our blogs, over email, and even on gchat. She is so sweet and easy to relate to. It was a blast!

And with all that said, I cannot BELIEVE that today is  my only day in the office this week and then I leave for New Orleans tomorrow!! This work trip is just a three night trip so I’ll be back to DC Monday night, still for work, but should be fun because I do love nola and have only been there once before. If only my body could function on no sleep…

Tell me… how much sleep do you get a night on average? How few hours can you get and still be able to function?

I really like to sleep and try to get at least 8 hours a night. If I have more than 7, I’m usually OK, but adrenaline definitely got me through the conference. I was working on 3-4 hours a night for a few of them!

SodaStream Home Soda Maker

I get offered a lot of different products to review on here, but I only like to use my blog for things I really love (like my Tofu Xpress) and that I would buy whether it was sent to me for free or not. Sometimes that is hard for me because as you probably know, I LOVE free stuff, but my new tiny apartment can only hold so much!

Today, I have an amazing product to share with you that it was VERY easy to make room for: The SodaStream Home Soda Maker.

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It’s actually something I’ve had on my list to get for a while because my parents and sisters all have one and it’s pretty awesome. It basically makes soda water out of tap water and is very compact, easy to use, and economical over the long-term if you drink a lot of seltzer!

So when I was offered a free one in exchange for a review on my blog, I happily obliged. They retail around $99.95, which is kind of a lot for a kitchen tool, but I LOVE bubbly water, and with this I’ll never buy a bottle of seltzer again. So I feel like, over time, it’ll pay for itself.

I had no idea they would send me so many flavors of the soda…

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Definitely more than I need!

The set-up could NOT be any simpler.

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Step One: Take Everything out of the Box.

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Step Two: Remove the cap from the carbonating bottle.

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Step Three: Place the capless carbonating bottle into the top part of the SodaStream.

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Step Four: Place the top part of the soda stream back into the bottom, with the carbonator attached.

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That’s it!

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Making the bubbly water is even easier. They give you two reusable bottles with the SodaStream, so you fill it up just to the “fill line” with tap water (or Brita). Place it in the fridge until chilled (if desired).

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To fizzify the water, just remove the cap and screw it into the soda stream.

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Once it’s attached, you’re literally 5 seconds away from soda water.

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Press the button on top of the SodaStream.

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And that’s it! You can press it twice for standard bubbly water, more if you want it more bubbly, or just once if you want a slight fizz.

To make flavored soda, you just take whatever flavor you want.

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Take one capful of the soda mix.

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And then pour it into the filled, fizzed, bottle of water and you’re finished!

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I seriously LOVE the SodaStream and have already used it several times since moving in less than two weeks ago! I usually keep both bottles filled in the fridge, one with regular seltzer and one with flavored soda (this one is diet grapefruit). Once I run out of the soda mixes they sent me, I’ll probably just stick with the regular seltzer and add lemon, lime, or citrus to it if I’m craving some flavor. Soda water feels so fancy to me to have at home and to be able to offer to guests – love, love love!

So tell me – which do you prefer – fizzy or flat water?

Part Three: That Time I Had Emergency Back Surgery

The last installment of the story! I thought it would be perfect to share while I’m busy busy in Charlotte, NC. I’ve gotten to see a few awesome bloggers for dinner the past few nights to keep me entertained on this work trip, and promise to update you guys on everything next week! But for now, check out:

I was equally shocked and scared at the news. How could I, at age 22, be needing back surgery.. today? I held back tears and tried to put a brave face on, but deep down I was terrified. Luckily my father was there by my side, and everything happened so quickly from that point on that it’s all a blur.

I was prepped for surgery and believe the whole procedure took about 4 hours. They went in through a small incision on my lower back, removed the inflamed part of the sciatic nerve and also part of the bone cutting into the nerve, and then sealed me back up with dissolving stitches. I was obviously completely knocked out during the surgery so don’t remember anything until I started to come out of the anesthesia.

What I do remember is screaming obscenities while I was coming back to the real world and my dad embarrassingly telling me to quit swearing while in recovery. I obviously didn’t have control of it, but I think it’s slightly amusing that my first words post surgery were profanity.

I was completely loopy on pain meds and drifted off for several hours, but then when I woke up, the pain was no longer debilitating. The site of the incision was quite sore, but it was no longer radiating down my leg and making me unable to move. It was a miracle.

The Aftermath

Once I was awake and a bit more aware from the anesthesia wearing off, a nurse came in and led me to walk down the hall of the hospital, up and down a small flight of stairs, and then back to my room. It was the first time I was able to walk without excruciating pain in almost 2 weeks.

I was put on some physical restraints for six weeks including no twisting, no bending at the waist, and no lifting anything over 15 lbs. I also had a bandage over the site of the surgery for several days, and was on pain killers to help with the pain, but less than pre-surgery, and I quickly weaned myself off of them because at that point I was just sick of taking them!

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. Within a few days, I was feeling a million times better than I was just a few short weeks before. The surgery worked wonders, and I’ve only had two flair ups of the pain since the surgery five years ago, and both were during times of extreme stress. The first was a few months later when my grandfather passed away, and I went back to a chiropractor to have the electric stimulation on my lower back and that helped a lot. The second flair up, ironically, was last week as soon as I was done moving. I think it was a combination of the heavy lifting during the move and the stress concerning my changing living situation. I just took it easy for several days after the movie and the pain subsided on its own.

Today, the only traces of that time in my life, besides the memories, are a faint scar about 1 inch tall and only a few millimeters thick on my lower back, plus the occasional flair up of back pain, but its been no where near what it was in September 2006. I try to avoid heavy lifting and also shy away from wearing heels, because both put a lot of strain on my back. For those very few limitations, I consider myself extremely lucky and am grateful that the surgery was such a success.

Have you ever been under anesthesia? What were the circumstances?

Mexican Egg Muffins

Eggs are one of my very favorite things to have for breakfast, and something I have almost every weekend when I’m eating breakfast at home. The trouble is, I’ve never figured out a good way to have them for weekday breakfasts, until now. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys!

These Mexican Egg Muffins are SO delicious and full of flavor. It doesn’t hurt that they are also so easy (and cheap) to make, good for you, and portable!

I present to you:

Mexican Egg Muffins

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Recipe yields 12 egg muffins, at 2pts+ each.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

    • 1 bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1.5 cups black beans (one 15 ounce can), drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 cup salsa
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 1 cup liquid egg whites
    • 2 oz shredded pepper jack cheese (or cheddar)

Directions:

To start, preheat your oven to 350º and put a small pan on the stove over medium heat.

Once the pan is heated, spray it with nonstick spray and add in your chopped onion.

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Once that is starting to get soft, about 3-4 minutes, add in the red bell pepper.

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Cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the veggies are soft and cooked through.

Meanwhile, add the eggs and egg whites to a bowl.

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And beat with a fork to combine.

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Once the veggies are done, add them to a separate bowl with the black beans and the salsa.

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Stir to combine the mixture.

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Now, spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray.

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Side note, my mom got me this silicone one for my birthday, and this is the first time I’ve used it. Love!

Spoon the bean/veggie mixture evenly between the 12 cups.

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And then pour the egg mixture into the muffin cups, spreading evenly between the 12.

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Last step, sprinkle the 2 oz of shredded cheese evenly between the twelve.

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And that’s it! They are ready to bake.

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Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, until the eggs and cooked through.

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The cheese will be all melted on the top and the eggs will be set with all the mix-ins.

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Let cool for a few minutes before diving in, if you can.

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They came out super easily from the silicone muffin tin, but use a butter knife to loosen from the sides if you’re having any trouble.

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These are seriously amazing.

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Each bite is packed with so many flavors, so these are both satisfying and delicious. The possibilities are endless in terms of what you can use for add ins, but this Mexican version is seriously an awesome choice. I love that the salsa is spread throughout them because it really boosts the flavor.

The second best part after the taste? They’re portable! I’ve had three for breakfast (6 pts+ total) for the last few days and have just reheated them into the microwave for 1 minute and they’re perfect. They keep me full for the whole morning since they’re so packed with protein, and they’re so tasty too!

Do you eat breakfast at home or at work? What’s your favorite portable breakfast?

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