I am Not the King of the Mountains

I was so inspired by the first half of the Tour de France Stage II this morning, that I had to get out on my bike!  After our Saturday night festivities, nobody was jumping out of bed this morning.  Slowly but surely, my brother and his fiancé emerged and joined me watching the start of stage II.  My brother is just as into it as I am and his fiancé thinks he’s just as crazy as the BOY thinks I am!


As everyone made their way out the door, it was just me and Cooper watching the TV.  Feeling encouraged by the extreme athletic accomplishments of this hilly course, I pulled myself together with thoughts of a longish bike ride.  I paused the tour about half way through and decided to drive out to the Fox River Trail.




I think it’s been about 2 years since I’ve been riding or running out in this area.  I kind of remembered how to get there and find the trail.  What surprised me was how close the trail actually is to my house (only about a 12 minute drive).




I began riding north planning to go about an hour and then turn around and head back.  My bike computer is still out of commission, so I wasn’t sure how fast (or slow) I was going or what my exact distance would be.  As I rode into McHenry county, it appeared that they’ve redone their trail.




The pavement was smooth and the views beautiful as I weaved away from the river and up north towards the big open fields.  The clouds were dark and thick, threatening rain, so I was tempted to turn around at about 30 minutes when I saw a trail detour.  Instead, I pressed on knowing that there were big hills ahead.  I have vivid memories of walking my bike up these hills as they may be the biggest I’ve seen in this area.




Before I got to the big hills where I was planning to ride for the polka dot jersey, the skies got darker and the wind stronger.  At about 50 minutes, I decided it was smarter to turn around leaving the hills for another day.  With the wind at my back, I sailed back south towards my car.




I cruised back appreciating the views on this rustic trail.


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When I arrived back at my car after about 95 minutes of biking, the sun was shining and I forgot that I was ever worried about the weather.  Despite having 3 strength training days prior to today’s ride, my legs felt surprisingly strong.  My next stop was the bike shop.  I have an appointment this week for typical maintenance.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had my hybrid fixed up and after much thought, I decided that I would take it in this summer instead of my road bike.  Mostly because I am not doing a triathlon this summer and also because the people I have been and will be riding with don’t have road bikes, it makes the most sense to spend this season on my hybrid.




Then, it was back to the grocery store before returning home for lunch, a shower, and of course the second half of this morning’s Tour de France.  I can’t wait to see who really is the king of the mountains!



Is anyone else watching the Tour de France?

What did you see on your bike/run today?

Summer Saturdays

Ahh…one week into summer and I am loving me some Saturdays!

This morning, I woke up, got in a good cuddle with Cooper, and then made breakfast.




Instead of my usual eggs, I went with a Quinoa Cake.  Yum!  Although I didn’t have any bananas, so I smothered it with almond butter, agave, and coconut.  It was fantastic!




And gave me more than enough energy to power through an awesome and inspiring hot yoga class.  Let me tell you…my dancer pose has never looked felt so good!  After yoga, I spent some down time on the couch watching trashy TV.  Then, packed up my car to meet a friend for a bike ride and a run.




She is training for her first triathlon, so I offered to tag along to keep her company and live vicariously through her since this is the first year in a few that I am not training for a triathlon.  This is the same friend that I ran the 10 Mile Coffee Date with, so there is always plenty to talk about.




We rode along the Des Plaines River Trail, which was beautiful.  It was really fun to ride a different trail and get a new perspective and of course, workout with a friend.  There was a little flooding, so we got slightly sidetracked on our way north, but easily made our way back.  We were talking so much and enjoying the sights (we saw a deer) that I barely took any pictures.  After our 130 minute bike ride (a little over 20 miles), we locked up our bikes and set out on the next portion of our workout, a 20 minute run.  This was my first BRICK since last summer and my legs felt heavy and slow, just like they were supposed to.  And I felt happy and strong, just like I expected!


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After our 2 plus hour workout, we knew we deserved smoothies and fro yo samples, and there was a place just across the street to serve up both.  Then we said our goodbyes and I drove back home.  The BOY and I brought in dinner from one of our favorite restaurants and the rest of my evening is looking like this…




Now that’s one happy day!



How do you like to spend your summer Saturdays?

Wow! I’ve Been Productive this Weekend…

Goals for the Weekend…


Make large deposit into sleep bank-CHECK

Get house organized-CHECK

Run and Bike-CHECK and CHECK

Go to farmer’s market-CHECK

Catch up on emails, DVR, bills, and work-CHECK



Are you exhausted already? I also had time for a dentist appointment, yoga workshop, lunch with my parents, shopping with my mom (I bought 3 new dresses which will be perfect for wine tasting in California), and laundry.  There is still plenty to do tomorrow, starting with getting my bridesmaid dress fit for my brother’s wedding which is 3 weeks away, but after working through my to do list, I feel better already!




I slept until 9am this morning, which felt incredible!  I ate breakfast and headed out into the humidity for a bike ride.  I haven’t ridden in a few weeks, so I was excited to take my bike out.  My legs, however, were not so excited! 




After Thursday’s leg workout complete with lots of lunges and squats and yesterday’s run, my legs were done.  I felt like I was pedaling against the wind 100% of the time, which considering I was biking in a loop couldn’t really be possible, right?!


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My bike is also making some strange noises, so when I got back home, I tried to schedule an appointment at the bike shop.  Not surprisingly, they are booking about 2 weeks out, so I will have to wait.


After a shower, the BOY and I ate lunch together before he went off to the library, and I hung out with my parents.  I was really eager to go to the farmer’s market since it just opened and they had limes for 7 cents each!  The market is dangerously located in the middle of a mall, so my mom and I also found ourselves at Sur La Table, The Loft, and a few other stores.  My parents went on about their way and I hit up my last stop, the grocery store before making my way home for the day.  Since we had a quiet night in last night, I used that time to plan out this week’s meals.




The BOY was home from the library when I walked in, and I found him napping upstairs.  I have been pretty spoiled with the BOY grilling dinners and making many of our meals, but as each week goes by, he is studying longer and getting home later.  So, I went back to some of our favorites (with the help of my crockpot) for this week’s meal plan.




To go along with tonight’s meatloaf, I picked up some beautiful looking potatoes at the market.  Rosemary potatoes is one of our favorite sides, especially during grill season.  They are so easy to make in the oven and are usually a crowd favorite.  I love to make extra too to enjoy with my eggs as leftovers the next morning.  Yummy!



Meal Planning 6/22/14

Sunday: Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf with Rosemary Potatoes


Monday: Girls Dinner


Tuesday: Kung Pao Chicken


Wednesday: Seafood and Veggies


Thursday: Pork Tenderloin


Lunch: Crockpot Green Chicken Curry



Roasted Rosemary Potatoes



About 6 small yellow or red potatoes, sliced (per one large baking sheet)

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt




Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place foil over a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Place a single layer of potatoes, overlapping a little as needed, across the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and use a brush to spread evenly over the potatoes.

Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.  Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Then remove potatoes and flip them over adding more sea salt and rosemary.  Return to oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crispy along the edges.  I like mine well done!


Were you productive this weekend?

Riding Free

Soldier Field 10 Miler + Bike the Drive

I wouldn’t have Memorial Day Weekend any other way!!!


This year, I’m going backwards with my recaps.  And since this is my 5th year in a row doing Bike the Drive, I attempted to get some different views from the drive.




My alarm went off at 6am this morning.  I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t at all sore from yesterday’s 10 mile run.  I dressed in my festive (and very appropriate) Bike the Drive socks and was fueled, covered in sunscreen, and on my bike heading east towards the drive at 6:30am.




This was only my second ride of the year, and I was psyched for the perfect biking weather.  During my first ride, my bike computer battery appeared low and this morning, it was downright dead.  I was annoyed for a second and then decided that it would be fun to just ride free.  No knowledge of speed, no knowledge of distance!


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I entered the drive at Addison heading south.  There were already tons of riders out enjoying the beautiful morning.  I think this event may have gotten more popular over the past few years.




I got a chill as I pedaled quickly down towards Michigan Avenue.  I really was riding FREE!  Free to ride my bike through one of the busiest streets in Chicago, free of stress, free of expectations, free to go as fast or slow as I wanted, and free to make the day my own!




I rode south towards the Museum of Science and Industry observing the famous Chicago landmarks and new parks and buildings on the way.  I saw this sign yesterday during my run but didn’t have my camera.  I was happy to be able to snap a photo of it today.  It just makes me smile!




The museum was crowded as expected as everyone stopped to refuel and take photos in front of the museum.








Including ME!  I didn’t stop long before starting my 15 mile trek north to Bryn Mar.




One of my favorite things about Bike the Drive is watching every age, size, and ability come together on their bikes that also come in tons of different shapes and sizes.  This year had its fair share of dogs in costumes on bikes and people in costumes on bikes.


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I rode all the way back north to the next rest area where I took a little snack break.




Then rode back to my starting point where I exited the drive and rode west to where we were staying.  After 3 hours on my bike, I felt awesome and super strong, but didn’t want to push past ~32 miles for just my second ride.  Yesterday, I refueled with beer carbs and today I went with the Starbucks run on our way back to the suburbs.




I still feel surprisingly good for such an active weekend, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay awake much longer : )



Did you ride or race this weekend?

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions?



4 Years on the Drive

Bike the Drive 2013

Bike the Drive 2012

Bike the Drive 2011

Double the Workouts…Double the Fun!

Winding down a 4 day weekend is never easy!  Who wants to go back to work?!

And after the weekend we had, I would have preferred to keep the celebrations coming!




We got home late Sunday night and both crashed into bed.  Monday morning, the BOY was awake and wired with lots to say and discuss at 5:30am.  Which then led to him inviting Cooper (also wide awake) into our room where he immediately decided he wanted to make up for a weekend’s worth of cuddling.  Then there was apparently more to discuss….Ughh! 




At 7am, the BOY mentioned breakfast, so we made our way to the grocery store.  Do you know how empty the store is Monday morning before 8am?  We stocked up for the week and the BOY found a HUGE cinnamon roll for breakfast.




My goal for the morning was to get my bike up and rolling.  So after unpacking groceries, I cleaned organized the garage and pumped my bike tires full of air.




I was beyond thrilled to be reunited with my bike after the long and grueling winter.  I immediately found my way back to the path.




I rode along enjoying the perfectly spring like weather, complete with a cool breeze.  The wind was tough to pedal against, but in the end, I rode a lovely 9.5 miles.  A wonderful first ride of the year.




I had just enough time to freshen up and grab a bite of leftover pizza before heading back out the door for an eye doctor appointment.


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A years worth of contacts and (finally) a new pair of glasses later, I was back on the move.  I dropped the BOY back off at home and then went over to the yoga studio.  I was meeting my mom for a session with my trainer.  We talked a bunch about health and wellness before diving into some challenging strength moves.  We were both sweating by the end and decided to hit Starbucks for a post workout beverage.  I had a bunch of errands to run and coupons to spend and my mom decided to tag along.  We went to the huge mall by our house which was nice and empty on a Monday.


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I had an awesome Kiehl’s coupon and as I was walking out of the store, I spotted a huge area of red.  I knew exactly what it was and after years of complaining that this huge, popular mall didn’t have a Lulu, finally here it is!  Well, almost!  The door is still locked : )  I walked in the door to my house at 7pm with an enthusiastic welcome from the guys (BOY + Cooper = Guys).  The BOY made the most delicious dinner and I settled in for the night.  I had planned on making a cookbook crockpot recipe for lunch this week, but it was too late in the evening.  I guess I will have to get to it later in the week (hopefully recipe to come).


This morning, I was back on the path (with tired legs) for a 6 mile run.  I think this will be my last run before this upcoming weekend’s 10 miler, so I was happy to get in a middle distance before work.  Officially, I have now run, lifted, yoged 8 days in a row.  I am looking forward to a well deserved rest day tomorrow!


As for meals this the week, the BOY has started his Bar Review class so we are as usual adjusting to a new schedule.  We thought we’d keep meals easy, except for the curry.  We’ll have to see how that turns out : )



Do you ever exercise twice in one day?



Meal Planning 5/20/14

Monday: Mediterranean on the Grill


Tuesday: Asian Salmon Salad (and steak and potato for the BOY)


Wednesday: Tilapia Curry


Thursday: Potato Bar with Chicken

In Need of a Break

After working a few late nights in a row, I was in need of a break last night.  A break from the come home, eat dinner, make tomorrow’s lunch, plan for a run, answer emails, go to bed early kind of night.  Instead, I was in need of some quality time with my boyfriend, an evening out back with a glass (or a few) of wine, a non pre run specific dinner, and little less stress.  So that is what I did.  I even set my alarm for 9am this morning!




And then took a running break to head out into the beautiful morning for a short 30 minute bike ride!




I could have biked all day, but had to go to work instead.  Have no fear, I only took the night off after rescheduling my training runs, so I will be back at it tomorrow with an 8 miler.  Which means it is an early bed time kind of night!


Do you ever need to just take a break?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Before the wishes begin, I should tell you that it’s not actually my birthday.  That’s a few weeks away.

But my birthday present arrived yesterday…so Happy Birthday to Me!!!




I postponed yesteday’s 11 mile run until today so that I could test out my new gadget.  But instead of setting it up last night and this morning, I spent that time playing with Cooper.  Yesterday, I subbed in a cross training bike ride.  Since I haven’t rode too many miles this summer, I was looking for a long ride.




I rode for almost 2 hours and logged 22 miles, quite possibly my longest ride of the summer.




This morning, I finally left Cooper to open my box.  We’ve got Cooper all set up in our second bedroom as he gets used to us before we give him free rein of the house…which never seemed big until I thought about it from his point of view.  We are trying to spend as much time in there with him, which makes other things, like laundry and opening self ordered birthday presents tough.




Right before my run I tried on my watch and got set up with the basic settings.




It took sooo long to locate satellites that I had almost given up when it finally started working.  With my new watch, compression socks, and water pack, I looked official even if my legs felt tired after yesterday’s long ride.  My new watch was amazing!  At mile one, I knew my pace and it beeped and vibrated to cheer me on.  Note: for time’s sake, I have not set up the heart rate monitor part yet.  Just after mile 3, my watch beeped again.  Confused, I looked down to read a ‘low battery’ warning.  I guess I was supposed to charge the watch first.  I wasn’t sure how much time I had left…was it like the idiot light on my car that would still last the rest of my journey?  Nope…I had about 3 more minutes and my watch was dead.  Luckily, it was an easy route and I wasn’t counting on the watch for distance (1 mile to path + 9 mile path + 1 mile home = 11 miles).  It was also a hot route, but I hit my stride and walked in the door to Cooper meowing from  upstairs.




I meant to stretch, but instead spent most of my afternoon snuggling with kitten (and taking tons of pictures) before running out to do some errands.




Right now…I am feeling as exhausted as our sleeping kitten, so I am off to bed!

See you tomorrow!


Weekly Mileage

Running: 23 miles

Biking: 47 miles

Door County Part 1: How I Cheated on Running

I really wanted to name this post ‘How I Cheated on Running and Sucked as a Marathoner’, but that seemed like a lot to fit into one post.  So I broke it into a two part series.

Let’s rewind to last Friday…




I had big plans to do my 15 mile run accompanied by my Mom on her bike.  However, I awoke to grey skies and rain drops, so instead of running, I went back to bed!  Two hours later, I woke again and the BOY suggested that we pack up quickly and hit the road for Door County Wisconsin.  Full of excitement, we were in the car before noon.



The view from our hotel balcony


We arrived at our hotel in Fish Creek where we stayed last year too!




First thing Saturday morning, I was on my bike and heading towards Peninsula State Park.  One of the best things about staying in Fish Creek is easy access to the park.  I biked here a few times last summer, and shared an entire post of pictures.




But I took a few more this year as well!


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Including a selfie with the sailboat.




I stopped throughout the 12 miles at a few of my favorite views and tried to catch a picture of a beautiful deer on the edge of the park.  I missed her!








We had a great first day in Door County, and I was excited to be back on my bike for another ride day two.


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I rode 13.5 miles back through the park on another gorgeous morning!  Then picked up the BOY and returned to Peninsula State Park for a hike through the woods and along the bay.




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I heart hiking!!!




Especially when it ends with some beer and pizza : )




On day three, I finally laced up my shoes for a run!  I jogged 5 miles along the park path at race pace (9 minute miles), where I saw a deer and met a nice man to talk about it with.




This morning, day four, I was back on my bike for another 11 miles!  It was an overcast morning with some stunning skies.  And a great way to end my relaxing, yet active vacation.








I definitely cheated on running this trip, but was happy to be reunited with my bike and hiking boots!  Now that I am home, it is back to marathon training.  I am debating if I will skip the 15 mile run all together and continue with my training plan or sub in the 15 miles for this week’s 11 mile run.  Decisions to be made another day!


Up Next…more Door County fun with Part 2: How I Sucked as a Marathoner!


Why Tri Iron Girl and Race Recap



Sunday June, 16, 2013

PRE RACE: So I probably stayed up 1 hour too late and had about 1/2 glass of wine too many, but here I am, it’s 5am and I need to be awake.  I lost the BOY to last night’s festivities with my brother and dismissed him from early morning triathlon duty knowing that my parents would meet me at the course.  The race location is about 20 minutes north, and I was impressed with how smoothly transition set up went.




On the way to the race sight, I realized that I forgot my bike gloves.  I was able to catch my parents before they left, and my Mom was happy to lend me a pair.  She arrived just as transition was closing, but they let me run in to add my gloves.




To wet suit or not to wet suit?!  That was the pre race question.  I had multiple opinions from my family, and others were discussing it in transition.  In the end, I decided not to go with the wet suit.  I began to doubt my decision (along with all of my ability to swim) as I walked down towards the beach where participants were ‘warming up’ in the water and starting to line up by waves.




I kept myself busy chatting with my parents and some other racers, and then strolled over to the beach for the race start.  Man, that looks like a LONG 1/3 mile swim, I thought as adrenaline started pumping through my veins.  I think this photo sums it up perfectly!

Here goes nothing…




SWIM (1/3 mile 12:59):  The wave before us takes off and into the water we go.  With nervous energy and 3 minutes to sit and wait, I strike up a convo with the girls around me.  Then remembering a tip from a fellow blogger, I splash some water on my face and dunk my body.  It’s actually much warmer than I expected.  The countdown begins…10…9…8…


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Go!  I start swimming and immediately forget all of my pool practice.  Not being able to see through the murky water, I find myself picking up my head often and using the breast stroke right away.  Wait a minute…I can do this!  I can swim!  I start to find my rhythm and then pop my head back up.  Stay calm, I tell myself.  The goal is to swim this efficiently and not waste precious energy by panicking.  1/3 of the way down and I’m rounding the corner hoping not to get run over by the younger girls trailing at my feet.  Rounding the next Buoy and the end is in sight.  With less swimmers near by, I find my swim stroke groove (better late than never) and head towards the beach.  Shoot, I realize, I forgot to start my watch.  OMG!  I didn’t wish my dad a happy father’s day!




TRANSITION 1 (4:02): I emerge from the water and start my watch.  I see my Mom waiting for me and cheering me up the hill.  I continue my run remembering to wish my dad a happy father’s day before entering transition.  Transition???  It’s been a year since I’ve done this…where to start…swim cap and goggles off, feet dry, socks clean, bike shoes on, fix hair, helmet on, sunglasses, check, gloves, thanks mom!  A sip of water and my bike and I are on our way.


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BIKE (14 miles 47:47): Oh no…did I just miss the timing pad?!  Who knows, but not much I can do now that I am on my bike and speeding away.  What a gorgeous day for a bike ride!  I hope this isn’t a hilly ride!  I quickly settled into my bike and started shifting gears from muscle memory.  I felt light on my bike and started passing other racers.  I felt energetic throughout the entire bike ride, moving quickly down the little hills and using momentum to power up the inclines.  I chatted and cheered on bikers that I passed, and only got passed by 2-3 other racers.  About 45 minutes into the race, I ate 1/2 a Larabar while reminding myself to drink water throughout the bike (even though I kind of needed to pee).  Swift and steady, I continued riding my ‘biking high’ deciding instead of riding today, I was going to race.  The bike has never been a strength of mine, but I knew that this would be one of my fastest races. I ended up with a 17.6 mph average.  If I bonked on the run, then I bonked on the run, but I was interested to see how far I could push myself.




TRANSITON 2 (1:46): To pee or not to pee?  This was the new question.  Biking gear off and running shoes on.  Plus a tshirt and a race belt.  Then, I was running out the other end of transition past the potties and around the lake.


RUN (3.1 miles 23:45):  Today’s goal…8 minute miles for a 24 minute run.  My legs felt heavy, but I was happy to have completed a handful of BRICK workouts during my training.  The run started off sunny, but I found some shade as I rounded the far side of the lake.  Mile 1…under 8 minutes.  Sweet!  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Mile 2…7:51.  Almost done!  I focused on keeping my pace reminding myself that I didn’t need to go any faster or any slower.  I past a few other racers and one shouted out to me ‘When you finish, come back and pick me up,’ which made me smile.  I spotted my mom with a little over a 1/4 mile to go.  She started shouting and cheering me on as I kicked it into a sprint.




I later saw video of this self-described sprint and it really was more like a run : )  My parents said that my bright orange tshirt was easy to spot and they were able to find the best locations on the course to encourage me and document the day with photos and video.  I rounded the last corner and pushed towards the finish line.  My run ended up being the 9th fastest out 39 in my age group.  Woo Hoo!




FINISH 1:30:19




POST RACE: I immediately received my medal, a freezing cold sponge, and took 2 bottles of water.  My parents were waiting to congratulate me on my race!


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While I’d been working hard, my Mom had made friends with multiple people including the Athleta sales girl who she was eager to introduce me to.  I was feeling great, not sore at all, and proud of my strong race.  I was happy to walk around the post race expo before finally making it to the bathroom.  I couldn’t stop raving about how well organized this race was and had the opportunity to tell one of the Iron Girl employees how much fun I had (and beg her to come back to Lake Zurich again next year).  Because of the location and awesome venue, this is a race I would do again next year for sure! 

We happened to be standing next to the billboards when they posted the results.  Since I didn’t start my watch on time, I wasn’t sure what my final time was and couldn’t find my name.  I gave up, grabbed some breakfast and more SWAG (including another 2 jars of Biscoff…ha ha!) while chatting with my parents.  The post race expo was so much fun that when we looked at our watches, it was already 10am.  We were able to find my name on the way back to transition.  I was pleased to find out that I finished 64/322 and 13/39 in my age division.  Already, I am contemplating what my next race should be…


I was a huge fan of the Iron Girl race series!  If you are looking for your next race, I would definitely check out their website!



Why Iron Girl?


Everything from packet pick up to transition was organized perfectly!

There is a table of hand sanitizer, sunscreen, chapstick, and other necessary beauty products by the port-a-potties.

This is your post race breakfast…




It never felt crowded (even in transition!)

The staff was really friendly.

The race course was filled with inspirational messages.




The next day they mailed me a colorful certificate

A really cute, actually gonna wear, race tshirt + more SWAG




Who doesn’t love an event dedicated to girl power?




Have you ever done an Iron Girl event?

What was the best race you’ve ever done?

New Schedule, New Meal Plan?!

The last month or so has been a mix of long work days, weekend travel, and non existent meal plans.

As I sit at the start of this new work schedule, the opportunity to return to cooking dinners and meal planning excites me.  Yet, where do I begin? I spent the weekend camping in Wisconsin, and the BOY and I decided NOT to go grocery shopping Sunday night.  There might be time to go Monday evening, but the BOY is working Mondays now too.  That leaves Tuesday morning (since I’m just working Tuesday afternoon).  Is there enough time to get in a workout, do a load of laundry, go to the store, and make something for dinner?  Well, I don’t know, but I was willing to find out.


Pre Shopping List Questions

What days can I cook dinner?  How much time do I have?  Are we eating too much chicken?  Do I need to set an alarm?  Not as shopping related, but tell me…when was the last time your work day started at 2?  Did you set an alarm?




What Really Ended Up Happening…

I worked all day Monday, but forgot my shopping list at home.  Instead of going home to get it, the BOY took me out for dinner at our favorite sandwich place.  We were both so surprised to have me home by 7pm that it was such a treat to eat dinner together as the sun was setting.


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Turns out Tuesday morning, I did not need an alarm.  The BOY and I have opposite schedules which is good in that it gives me two mornings alone in a quiet house, but bad when his alarm goes off and he starts opening and closing drawers looking for clothes.  I started my day at 7:30am and since no grocery store run had been done, I was inspired by our camping trip to make ‘kitchen sink’ style eggs.




I found spinach, an apple, and feta and mixed those in with the last of the eggs (note…add eggs to grocery list).  After breakfast, I went out for a bike ride.  My triathlon is THIS WEEKEND!  Although my training has gone well thus far, I’ve been slacking a bit here at the end.  During this taper week, I really wanted to get in one last bike ride on my road bike (today) and one last swim (Thursday).  Today’s ride was a HOT 11 miles.  The majority of my training has been in unseasonably cold weather, so I have NO idea what to expect for this weekend.




Before going to the store, I flipped through some cookbooks and searched some blogs for some healthy dinner options.  I realized that being gone from ~1-6pm on the same days as the BOY meant that I could put the crockpot in charge of dinner.  I have a few crockpot specific cookbooks, and when I found these lettuce wraps, I was sold.  I had most of the ingredients in the house, and knew that I could use lettuce and pick up some pita for the BOY. I stirred up the marinade, drenched the chicken, and hit start hoping that this simple recipe would be good enough to be a favorite.  Then I was out of the door.




I chatted with the BOY briefly after his morning class to fill him in on the dinner situation, and when I walked in the door after work, I found dinner ready!




I set up my lettuce cups and filled them with chicken.






Then topped my lettuce wraps with creamy avocado, which paired perfectly with the soy ginger flavor of the chicken!






The BOY and I ate dinner seated at the table, a special treat (again), and celebrated his successful last semester of law school.  He got his best grades EVER!




As I prepped this meal, I was hoping it would become a household favorite (mostly because of how easy it was), and was pleasantly surprised to discover how unique and tasty this dinner turned out.  I definitely recommend adding some avocado and packed up my leftovers for lunch with avocado, of course.


Lessons Learned (week one of my new schedule)…

It is awesome to grocery shop on Tuesday mornings.  The crockpot is perfect for healthy summer meals.  You can never eat too much chicken.  And I LOVE my new schedule!



Meal Planning


Tuesday: Quick Sesame Teriyaki Lettuce (pita for the BOY) Wraps


Wednesday: Salmon (for me) and Steak (for him) on the grill (courtesy of the BOY)


Thursday: Greek Turkey Meatballs


Lunch will be leftovers!



Quick Sesame Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

From The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth

Serves 6



3/4 cup high quality, low-sugar prepared teriyaki sauce

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)

1 package slaw mix (broccoli, carrots and cabbage)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

1 small head red-leaf or Bibb lettuce




In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, water and ginger.  Lay the chicken thighs (or breasts) in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the sauce evenly over the top.  Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Shred the chicken with two forks and add the slaw mix.  Stir and combine, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in the sesame seeds and serve over individual lettuce leaves. 


Note: I forgot to buy sesame seeds, so just didn’t use them.  The dinner turned out fantastic, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have the seeds hiding in your pantry!


*And…buy avocado!!!