Monday, May 23, 2011

Eat. Live. Be. I'm back

Wow, it has been quite awhile since my last post!  Life has been crazy, hectic, and on the verge of out of control for the past month, but things are finally starting to fall back into place...more on that later.

This week's ELB topic is quite appropriate, we are talking about how we have changed this up in the past 5 months.  This is super easy for me because a few weeks ago I made the decision (with your support) to run the Chicago marathon!  That has completely changed how I workout.  I am running more often and longer distances. I have also started the P90X program...sort of.  My husband and his friend are doing it pretty hardcore.  I do what I can (or feel like) after I run each day.  I always do the ab workouts and the upper body workouts, but often substitute the P90X cardio workouts for long runs.  Oh yeah, the Yoga X, although crazy, has added another aspect of exercise to my life that I often skip.  
All of these changes have kept me from getting bored with exercise, kept me motivated, and I am finally starting to feel my body get into better shape. Now if only I can SEE those results as well (I use to have nice muscular calves that I loved to show off with spring dresses, I'm hoping they will emerge again during my training :)

Anyway, those are my changes and what is new in my life. I will definitely be sharing my training with all of you and the ups and downs that come with it.  My husband and I have successfully moved to Illinois (Northern burbs of Chicago) and we just love it here.  There is an awesome park close by that is a gorgeous spot to run.  It is on my list of things most missed when I have to move back to WV for 5 weeks. Hopefully, I can find a good safe place to run while I am there (I won't be anywhere near my hometown, so there is a lot of unknown).

Since it's ELB day, I thought I would share a healthy recipe with you that I fixed last night for dinner.

Sauteed Chicken with Tomato, Feta, and Mint

2 Tbsp of olive oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts slightly flattened with a meat tenderizer. 
flour for dredging
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
Tbsp water
1/2 -3/4 cup feta cheese
5-6 min leaves thinly sliced

1. Add oil to saute pan and heat until smoking.  While oil is heating season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. When skillet is ready, place saute chicken on medium high for 6-8 minutes until nice and golden brown, turn chicken and reduce heat to medium. Cook several more minutes until cooked through. 
2. While chicken is cooking, add garlic tomatoes and water to a small skillet on medium heat. Cook stirring often until tomatoes are soft.  Add mixtures to chicken, once chicken is done cooking.  Sprinkle dish with feta and mint and serve!

This is a super easy recipe, full of flavor and very healthy. 

Nutritional Information (per serving including olives):
calories 340
Fat 13g
Sat Fat 2.5g
Cholesterol 150mg
Carb 11g
Protein 42g
Fiber 1g
Sodium 650mg

Cook's Notes:
* You can also add 1/2 cup of kalamata olives if you'd like. I just don't care for them so I omitted. If you do wish to use olives, add them to the skillet with the tomatoes and follow directions as usual. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Too be continued...

You may be wondering where the heck I have been lately. My apologies. I know I have bee neglecting you.  My husband and I are currently eyeballs deep in boxes because we are moving!  In 18 days we are packing up and heading north to Chicago, the city where we fell in love :)

So, my to do list has been longer than my time to get that to do list done and has left little time for baking. Do not despair!  The first boxes to be unpacked in Chicago will indeed be all my kitchen supplies and we already have a BBQ planned the weekend following the move, so yummy recipes are soon to come!

On another note, I am thinking of running the Chicago marathon. It has always been a goal of mine to run a marathon and I started training way back at the beginning of pharmacy school (which subsequently took over my life) and I never met that goal.  Now that I will be able to maintain better balance in my life, I think it is time to pick up where I left off three years ago.  What's better, is that I can run for a charity team!  I am thinking of running for a group called "Run Chicago."  They are dedicated to fighting childhood obesity among underprivliged children in IL.  Being a healthcare professional who sees the affects of obesity every single day, I think this is an amazing cause.

These are my concerns....holy crap it is 26.2 miles!  I'm not sure I can do that! Also, I have to meet a 1,000 fundraising goal or else I either can't run, or my own personal credit card gets charged 1000 dollars, also equally scary.

So what are your thoughts?  Should I take that leap?  Should I may consider running next year?  Who knows!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eat. Live. Be. Pharmacist talk

This week's ELB topic is "What vitamins/minerals do you take and why?"  Well...ummm....about that.  I strongly believe that everyone can benefit from a multi-vitamin and that EVERY woman of child bearing age should be taking one. I pledge to start taking mine again...tomorrow.  I really don't take any other vitamin/mineral.  Not because I think they are bad or anything, just because I don't feel I need to supplement my diet with anything other than a multivitamin.  However, since this is my area of expertise, I feel a strong sense of duty to educate my readers a bit on multivitamins and how to select the most appropriate vitamin for you.  SO here are 5 things to think about:

1. Vitamins and minerals are dietary supplements, they are not quick fixes, wonder drugs, or a cure all, they simply supplement the diet!

2. If you are currently taking other medications, ask your pharmacist before you start a dietary supplement. Their can be interactions!  Likewise, when giving your physician a list of medications, include any OTC products and dietary supplements in that list (you have no clue how many drug errors this could prevent).

3. When you are picking between brands of supplements always go with one that has a "USP approved" symbol on the label. These are the ONLY vitamins that have been tested for proper use (the FDA does not have an approval process for dietary supplements)

4. Take with food to help prevent upset stomach

5. If you are one who takes calcium, your body can only absorb 500mg at a time, so you may need to take care and split it into a morning and evening dose

I hope this is helpful!

Now, here are a few pictures of the birthday cakes I made for my adorable nephews over spring break :) They had a jungle themed party

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A few weeks ago, my friend Tami and I went to Pittsburgh's strip district to enjoy a morning of culinary flavor.  We visited several stores, of my favorites were the butcher, the italian market, and the greek market.  The Cheeses, the aromas, it was amazing! And, it inspired me to try some greek cuisine of my own.  I opted to go with gyros and spanakopita.
I had never worked with filo dough before and Tami cautioned me to keep the filo covered with a wet towel at ALL times (thanks Tami!). My filo was a little sparse on the spinach (I just used leftover from another recipe) so yours should have more filling than what is shown here.
I looked at several different spanakopita recipes, there are dozens! I finally decided on one from the food network.
If you have made spanakopita before I would love if you shared your experiences, what works for you and what doesn't

1/3 cup olive oil
2 pounds spinach, washed and drained
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 pound filo pastry sheets

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan, add half of the spinach and saute until spinach wilts, tossing with tongs, about 2 minutes. Remove spinach and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Repeat with remaining spinach, using 1 more tablespoon of olive oil.
2. Pour off any liquid from the pan, and add remaining olive oil. Add scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the scallions, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
3. Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter. Unroll the filo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn't dry out and become brittle. Use a pastry brush to brush a sheet of filo with melted butter. Layer several layers of brushed filo (I think I did 8). Then, spread half the spinach mixture onto filo. Add several more brushed layers, remaining spinach mix and then 4-6 more layers of filo. Fold the ends of the filo under
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Cut into squares or triangles and Serve hot. 

Adapted from: Food Network

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eat. Live. Be. Fruits and Veggies

Recipe: Risotto with Fennel and Radicchio

This week, ELB bloggers are sharing tips, tricks, and recipes to help get your daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies. I love fruit..veggies are pretty good too, but I am always trying to find ways to sneak them in because seriously, who has time to prepare all those side dishes, snacks, etc. to get so many servings in every single day. So this is what I do

1. I prep snack bags of fruits/veggies at the beginning of the week that way I just have to throw them in my bag in the morning. This way I don't have to take time out of my mornings to clean and prepare a healthy snack
2. fruit smoothies are the easiest way I can think of to pack in a ton of fruits in little time. Again, I add everything but the milk the night before and throw it in the refrigerator that way it only takes 60 seconds to prepare a morning treat
3. I try to find ways to "sneak" veggies into dishes that aren't traditionally heavy on the veggies. That's what the recipe below does and the result is AMAZING!

1 onion, minced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1-1/2cup farro (I couldn't find farro anywhere in morgantown so I used arborio)
2 c low sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp basalmic vinegar
1/2 head thinly sliced radicchio

1. Combine onion, fennel, oil, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened (10ish minutes)
2. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant (30s)
3. Stir in farro (or arborio) and cook until lightly toasted, about two minutes. Stir in broth and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring often, until farro (or arborio) is tender, 20-25 minutes.
3. Stir in parsley, balsamic vinegar, and radicchio. and serve*

Nutritional Info per 3/4 cup
Calories: 270
Fat: 5g
Saturate fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Carbs: 54g
Protein: 9g
Fiber: 8g
Sodium: 390mg
Cook's Notes:
* Allow the risotto to cool slightly before adding radicchio or else it will wilt and brown. It will still taste fine but it won't be as sharp and it won't have that same crunch.
 I also added some toasted sunflower seeds for an added crunch.

Don't forget to check out my fellow ELB bloggers today

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate O’Malley at Sweet Nicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Jenne at stop drop and blog 
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jennifer at Lick-a-Plate
Jennifer Schulz at Lick-a-plate
Denise & Lenny at Chez Us