Mind Body and Cake

Keeping fit in a college lifestyle

Spinach & Feta Pasta

Last night I got crazy in the kitchen and cooked a pasta dish I found from Sparkrecipes.com

I was craving pasta but wanted a healthier option compared to most high calorie pasta dishes.

After running to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients I stated cooking…and so did my roommate…

So here I am doing work on the stove.

And then my roommate in the process of making the most amazing “brownie cookies” or is it “cookie brownies”? We still don’t know. But what we do know is that they are amazing!

I am very happy to tell you that the pasta tasted great! Next time I may make a little more of the sauce though.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces uncooked whole-wheat pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes drained
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package, no salt
  • Warm the olive oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes until tomatoes soften and some liquid evaporates. Slowly stir in spinach or arugula: cook until all leaves wilt.
  • Drain pasta and toss pasta with warm tomato-spinach sauce. Garnish with cheese.

I added mushrooms to my sauce! I also think this would taste great with grilled chicken on top.

Enjoy ūüôā

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Farmers Market On Campus

Yesterday walking through campus I noticed several tents and tables set up on the road. As I got closer I realized it was the farmers market!

How cool is that! Local produce brought to campus for students is so convenient!

I was so excited and went around to each tent to see what was offered.

This tent had fresh tomatoes that looked incredible. I love making tomato sandwiches.

But when I found this tent I knew I hit the jack pot.

I am a huge seafood person and love shrimp! Salmon is my favorite fish to get when out to dinner, and shrimp is such an easy snack to grab out of the fridge with very few calories.

Unfortunately I had to rush to my next class and didn’t get the chance to buy anything to take home. ūüė¶ I plan on being more prepared for the next time the farmers market comes to campus.

Seeing all the yummy food made me hungry, so to hold me over until classes were over I ate my favorite Luna bar.

Nuts Over Chocolate! With 9g of protein and 4g of fiber It was a yummy snack to keep me satisfied until I got home.

By the way, the dog we found on the side of the road is back with his owner! He was such a good dog, but my roommates and I are happy he is back home. He was a fun guest to have for a few days ūüôā

  • Does your school or town provide a local farmers market?
  • What’s your favorite produce to buy there?

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A New Guest

This weekend went by so fast…where did the time go!¬†

A lot of that time was spent cheering on the football team yesterday!

Because it was a noon game my friends and I made sure to eat a good breakfast before heading out to the tailgate with everyone.

The food offered at tailgates usually doesn’t have the healthiest options so I always try and eat beforehand.

  

Jess, in the middle, is a fabulous cook and made turkey bacon, eggs, and potatoes. She also informed me that Old Bay seasoning is amazing and goes on everything. She says it’s a Maryland thing….learn somethin’ new everyday.

The weather yesterday was extreme to say the least. It was feverishly hot in the beginning and then poured down rain after the game. However the crazy weather did not stop many people from hanging out and celebrating the teams win!

Today has been more of a lazy day compared to yesterday. 

And did I mention there’s a guest staying in our house?

One of my roommates found him on the side of the road. We are going to call around in hopes to find his owner.

We are trying not to get attached to him because we know we can’t keep him and one of our roommates is allergic to dogs.¬†If you live around the Columbia area and know who’s dog this is let me know!

Now I am eating some leftover corn with vegetables from the other night.

What’s your favorite food to take/eat at tailgates?

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Banana Flax seed Crackers

What do you do with a ton of flaxseeds and a banana your about to toss out….

You make Banana Flax seed Crackers of course!

I found this idea on Taralynn Mcnitts blog.

I was very Leery about this recipe, but they turned out so good!

Mash up 1 banana and add 1/2 cup of flax seeds. Mix well together and drop about a spoon full for each cracker on a baking sheet.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes…your kitchen will smell like banana bread ūüôā

And I’m serious when I say they really do taste like banana bread.

These crackers are so healthy and full of fiber to fill you up. I think I’m going to keep some in my purse to take tailgating at the football game tomorrow!

If you try making these tell me what you think!

Mexican Night!

Fiesta! Yep that’s right…last night my roommate and I cooked a Mexican style dinner for a few friends!¬†

It was no ordinary Wednesday night, and we had fun doing something different.

This is what we had to work with:

And here we are being super professional

  

Our friends dog didn’t find us very amusing….

Our Mexican dinner turned out great! I mean who doesn’t love homemade guacamole?

Fresh salad. Baked barbecue chicken and black bean rice.

I left off the Queso cheese that went on top of the chicken. It tasted just as good without it.

I wonder what our next themed dinner night will be! 

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“I Don’t Cook” Tuesday

Tuesdays seem to always be the busiest day of the week for me. Knowing I am going to having a long day ahead of me, I make sure and get a good nights sleep.

One thing I have had to learn while being in college is I have to manage my time and get my ZZZZ’s in! (Getting enough sleep helps keep your metabolism stable, making it easier to maintain or lose weight.)

Last night my roommates and I all had the same thing in mind and stayed in. We got our “ZEN” on with a ton of candles in the living room. We created some what of a fire place since ours is fake… nifty.

And I had a cup of Green tea.

Waking up at 8:15 for my morning classes was much easier than normal. I am NOT a morning person FYI.

Breakfast is my favorite meal, and I am a sucker for cereal, but Cheerios with a sliced banana on top actually keeps me feeling full longer than other cereals.

By the way, I tried the Carrot Cake yogurt from when I went grocery shopping the other day. I also tried the Black Forest Cake too.

  

They are DELICIOUS. I have to say I prefer the Carrot Cake more but both are yummy and only 100 calories.

After a long day of classes and teaching a Body Pump class at the gym, I am worn out. 

Not being much of a cook..yet..I opted for something easy to throw together. 

Corn and Veggie Burger dinner!

Always have to be careful when buying frozen food. I always check to find low sodium options. This meal was so good and literally took 5 minutes to put together! This dinner is perfect for all the “I don’t cook!” people out there, or students with a busy schedule who need something easy!

What’s your favorite easy “throw together” meal to make?

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Finally Went Grocery Shopping

Before I talk about anything, I felt I must share my roommates cupcakes she made last night. They had caramel melted on top and in the middle. Yum. I had a piece of one….delicious. I could have easily eaten 3…. or 10.¬†

I stayed strong and walked away from the cupcakes and beat the temptation.

Now On To Todays Grocery Shopping.¬†It was either I go to the store or eat oatmeal…again… for dinner because that’s all I had in the pantry.

I literally had NO food in the house and so I set out to the good old Publix to get the essentials.

This Weeks Food Essentials:

  • Quaker Oatmeal (low sugar)
  • Baby spinach + 2 different kinds of dressing (So I don’t get tired of the same old salad)
  • Bananas
  • Apple Slices ¬†(easy to grab for a snack)
  • Carrots and Hummus
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Low Sodium Turkey and low-fat swiss cheese
  • Fat Free Light¬†CAROTT CAKE¬†Yogurt!!!!!!!!! (I can’t wait to try this!)
  • Asparagus and Frozen Corn
  • Milk

Grocery shopping can be easy or stressful. I stay away from the Snackity aisles and the “always tempting” ice-cream section. I have found it extremely helpful to go in knowing exactly what I’m getting, so I don’t have a reason to go down the junk food aisle. Don’t be embarrassed to make a list!

Now that I actually have food, I was able to make a healthy and lite lunch.

Half sandwich with Turkey, tomato, lettuce and low fat swiss cheese. Vegetable Terra Chips on the side!

What essential foods do you keep in your house at all times?

TGIF

Thank Goodness It’s Friday!¬†

Before class today I didn’t have many options for breakfast. I need to go grocery shopping, but at least there were some eggs in the fridge.

I just put together some scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese and pepper, and ran out the door. Eggs have a good amount of protein to start the day off right.

While walking through campus I usually stop by Starbucks to get an ice coffee, but feeling dehydrated this morning I opted for something different. Coconut Water!

I was pretty excited about trying it out….to bad it tasted terrible. I couldn’t drink it. It left a horrible taste in my mouth…yuck. Maybe should have picked a coconut water with a flavor.

Arriving home after class I got pretty productive. I cooked the rest of my frozen chicken, so I will have dinner for the next few days, and got ahead by researching articles for my dreaded research class.

I am very excited about tonights plans though! MK who was an instructor last year is visiting from grad school, and Michelle, another instructor, just got home from Europe! A big group of us are going to Tsunami (also known as the best SUSHI place ever) to celebrate all of us finally being together again. I am very blessed to have these friends who share the same passion as me to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Surrounding yourself with people who support you and your goals is encouraging and keeps you feeling and thinking positively!

What’s your favorite Naked Juice/ smoothie?

“Dread”Mill

Oh how I love the Treadmill!…Said NO ONE EVER.

Today I made a commitment to myself to run on the treadmill without stopping to walk. I used to be a pretty good runner, but once I took a break from running regularly I kind of lost my stride.

So today I was “dreading” the treadmill. AKA. DreadMill. Ok anyways….

Everything’s going strong, i’m watching tons of students running around the track…scoping out the cute guys…thinking to myself¬†I may never stop I am so good…

Not so good. half way through I started thinking…ok maybe I need to stop and walk. I considered it until¬†kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger¬†song came on my iPod. So I thought to myself…Self are you going to die if you keep going? No I am not….

I also love these new snazzy screens on the treadmills….I always try and get the little man on the screen around one more time!

I stayed strong and finished the full workout. I was also happy because I feel more prepared for the 2 Color Runs coming up!

I didn’t feel like cooking anything after my “this won’t kill me” experience at the gym so I stopped by Subway for a healthy sandwich.¬†(Ever sense last year, the guys at Subway know my name and my sandwich…I went way to much)

(Clearly I was really hungry and couldn’t help but take a bite before snapping a picture)

I got my sub with : Whole wheat bread, Chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, onions, black olives and mustard as my dressing. Cheese and a lot of the sauces have a lot of extra calories. I used the panini press at home to heat it….yummy!

I had cherries for dessert. Bring on the benefits!!!

  • They help with arthritis
  • Improves heart health
  • Boosts memory¬†(MUST REMEMBER WHEN STUDYING!)
  • Aids in sleep (Once again, GREAT snack before bed)
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

How do you fight through a tough run or exercise when you feel like stopping?

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated and focused on eating right and staying active can be difficult. I have heard so many people say they can’t find ways to stay on track, so I thought I would share a few ways I am staying motivated right now.

To stay focused this Fall semester I have decided to sign up for 2 5K runs…..but not just any run. I signed up for the craziest run on Earth!

I checked online about..well everyday…for when registrations opened.

The Color Run visits all different cities in America and you have to sign up quick before it gets booked up.

I jumped up and down and did a little happy dance when I found out I got in and get to be part of the run!

-The first Color Run is in October, I am doing that run with my friends here at the University! We are in the process of coming up with a team name.

-The 2nd Color Run is in November which I will be doing with my dad in Charlotte. How great is my dad for doing this with me!

Try and find something that will keep you excited and focused so you can reach your goal!

After walking past the rock wall in my gym so many times I have decided I have to attempt to climb it before I graduate.

This wall is HUGE…and right smack dab in the middle of the gym (Aka. where everyone in the entire gym can stare at you attempting to get up this thing)

Obviously I am scared to try this…ahhh.

Climbing this wall would be a whole different way to challenge my body and muscles.

I am focused to stay on track so that I can reach my goal and climb this INTIMIDATING rock wall!

What ways do you stay motivated and focused to keep eating right and exercising? 

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