Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Celiac test

This morning, I tried the new brand of instant oatmeal I purchased at the store on Monday: Better Oats. This was the best instant oatmeal I have had in ages. The cinnamon plum spiced flavor was different and so delicious. The ingredients and nutrition facts are great as well.



Lunch was another smashed white bean sandwich, some carrots and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. The highlight of my lunch break was trying this little So Delicious coconut chocolate milk. Craig had it for lunch too and enjoyed it.


Besides being dairy and soy free, it's also gluten free. When I saw that on the back of the carton, I couldn't help but think of the lab test I was having drawn after work today. I had to get the Celiac panel done. Let's just hope I don't have to go gluten free. I'll let you know when I get the results, of course.


After eating lunch, I ventured outside into the windy, yet warm January temps for a nice walk. I returned this video to the library before I started walking around downtown Milwaukee.

We watched this Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes show last night and it was fun! I liked seeing the scenery and food that is typically found in Stockholm, Sweden. I don't like fish, so I am not sure how I would do traveling there. I am willing to try everything once though. :)


I made myself a homemade pizza for dinner tonight. I was trying to use up some things in the freezer-a whole wheat Boboli crust and some pineapple. So, 1/4 was pineapple and ham, I made some with just cheese and ham for Craig and then veggies on the rest! My favorite flavor of pizza is Hawaiian and I rarely get to have it, so this was the closest I got to it in a while (no Canadian bacon but the ham gave it a nice flavor that was close).



The evening flew by tonight! After I rested on the couch, we got to the gym where I got an intense 5.21 mile bike ride in and some weights lifted.

Good night!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Domestic Goddess

As I cleaned, did laundry, washed the dishes, mopped the floors and meal planned today, I couldn't help but think "you're quite the domestic goddess today, Lisa." :) I sometimes enjoy taking care of our house, but mopping is always my least favorite thing to do, especially on my day off of work.

Last night, I meal planned while I ate quinoa with almomd milk, cinnamon and sugar and blueberries. I think I need to eat that for breakfast more often as it was so good.


I finally tried the Apple Cinnamon flavor of Chobani for breakfast. It was tasty, but not one of my favs. I think that is currently the pomegranate flavor.


This was my view of Karma as he insisted on cuddling up as close to my face as possible this morning. He forced me to relax a little longer than I wanted to. Then he proceeded to follow me everywhere around the house.


I grocery shopped with a list of things that resulted from meal planning. I am horrible at planning what to eat for the week, so I am pretty proud of the fact that I finally accomplished this goal.

Basically, my plan is to make lite mac and cheese for us tonight; pizza for me tomorrow (veggies on one half and pineapple and ham on the other); a burrito bowl on Wednesday; four cheese ravioli with asparagus, walnuts and parmesean on Thursday and maybe avocado pasta on Friday.


Excited to try those Better Oats brand oatmeal packets.


The cereal is more or less for my husband, but I am definitely going to try some of the Dulce de Leche and Peanut Butter flavors!


I got these So Delicious chocolate coconut milks for free using a coupon from the company. They'll be perfect for our work lunches!


All of that for only $57.17. Not too bad, huh? Most of this food will last us more than a week.


I hadn't done a grocery shopping post in a while, so that was kind of fun. Also, after someone commented on how cheap the cheese I bought last week was, I thought it would be cool for others around the country to see how little I spend on food because of where I live and because I use coupons.

As you can see, I even had a coupon for Toblerone. Chocolate is necessary for me the week (if you know what I mean) so I couldn't resist getting a bar.


Time to get to the gym!

Smashed White Bean, Cucumber and Radish Sandwich

My work lunches have been a little boring lately. I really love sandwiches and should experiment with trying new combinations more often. I saw this Smashed White Bean, Cucumber and Radish sandwich in the June 2011 issue of Woman's Day, cut it out of the magazine and forgot about it until I was meal planning yesterday.

I didn't use dill or the alfalfa sprouts, but otherwise, I followed the recipe.

smashed white beans, cucumber and radish sandwich

Woman's Day Smashed White Bean, Cucumber and Radish Sandwich
Serves: 4
Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 10 min


1 can(s) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed
2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil, Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh dill
8 slice(s) whole-grain bread
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup(s) alfalfa or radish sprouts


In a medium bowl, using the back of a fork or a potato masher, gently smash the beans with the lemon juice, oil, and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper; fold in the dill.

Form sandwiches with the bread, smashed bean mixture, cucumber, radishes and sprouts.

smashed white bean sandwich

recipe and sandwich

I enjoyed trying something different for lunch today! I made some to take to work tomorrow as well.

The only thing I found is that maybe the dill adds extra flavor because it's a pretty bland sandwich overall. I didn't really mind, but others might.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fro yo, a nap and a new book

It's been a nice Sunday filled with some of my favorite things...frozen yogurt, a little nap and starting a new story on my kindle.

We didn't go to the gym this morning, so I cleaned a little and finally made some lunch. I just made quinoa with Mmm sauce and chickpeas.


After lunch, I napped as the sun shined in our front window. It was glorious!

We haven't been to Yo Mama frozen yogurt all winter, so we finally went today. I was happy I checked out their website for flavors as I saw these coupons to draw customers in during the winter months.


The best part was that I was able to print it to my wireless HP printer from my iPhone using the HP ePrint app.

We both got $1 off our yogurts! It was packed in Yo Mama. We weren't the only ones commenting on that fact since it seems kind of odd to be eating frozen yogurt on a cold winter day in January.

I had Cake Batter swirled with White Chocolate Macadamia and topped with brownie bites, chocolate chip cookie dough bites and crushed Oreo cookies.



We left downtown Tosa and walked around Mayfair mall a bit, just to walk indoors somewhere.

I looked through the new HGTV magazine at Barnes and Noble. It's filled with some pretty good information.


The magazine reminded me of something I had been meaning to do for a while--cleaning the coffee maker. So, that's what I am doing currently and the house smells of vinegar. I hope the coffee I brew up tomorrow morning tastes fantastic!


I started a new book today. It's one I am borrowing from the digital library and I heard about it through the Boswell Books blog.


It's pretty intriguing so far!

Now it's time to catch up on my Google Reader. I have tomorrow off, so this Sunday night doesn't feel so depressing. Have a great Sunday night!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lunch at Cafe Manna, Brookfield

This afternoon, I met Karis for lunch at Cafe Manna in Brookfield. It was her first time eating there and my fifth or sixth.

It's one of the only 100% vegetarian restaurants in the area and it was the first of its kind in Southeastern Wisconsin. Due to the fact that I can choose anything on the menu and am guaranteed to like the ingredients and flavor, it is one of my favorite restaurants in the Milwaukee area. Karis felt the same way since we both eat a mostly vegetarian diet and don't love meat.


I had the Tu-No melt which according to their website is "a tasty blend of tempeh, celery, cashews, red pepper and dill. Topped with nut cheese and grilled on rye bread. Served with fresh fruit." I loved the flavor of the sandwich and the fruit salad on the side was refreshing.

Karis had the Cafe Manna burger, which I recommended to her and she ended up loving it too. We both had limonades, which is what I always drink when I go there because I love the ingredients in it and the flavor. Their description of that is as follows: "A nutritious lemonade-style drink made with fresh limes, kale, swiss chard, pear, agave nectar and purified water. This refreshing drink contains live enzymes and a healthy supply of vitamins and minerals for natural energy."


I always look forward to returning to Cafe Manna and trying something new or going back to an old favorite, like the Cafe Manna burger. The restaurant never disappoints!

After I left Cafe Manna, I was feeling nostalgic, so I drove through my old hometown of New Berlin and past the house I grew up in for half of my life. I decided since I wasn't too far away from it, I would stop by Target in the area and see if they still had Chobani on sale and the new flavors in stock. My friend Laurie tipped me off because I haven't been able to find the new flavors in any other stores. Turns out they had the new flavors, but only Apple Cinnamon in stock, so I got a couple of those to try. I am really itching to try Blood Orange.


I brought home some new books to read courtesy of Karis. She is always nice enough to pass on ones she has recently read and share them with me. Like she said, she's been in a very French mood lately. I loved Paris and enjoy reminiscing about the trip I took there through books.


I found this free sample in the mail when I got home. I'll try it tomorrow before the gym and let you know what I think.



As for the rest of the weekend, it's all relaxing at home from here on out, which is fine with me. I'll probably start a new book that I just got via the digital library. Craig and I are going to play boggle on the iPad tonight and try to find a movie on Netflix to watch instantly via the Wii.

Hope your weekend has been enjoyable so far!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitness Friday: January 27, 2012

I've been wanting to focus on fitness in my Friday posts for a while now. Lots of bloggers write "Friday Favorites" or "High Five for Friday" posts and I love reading those and may post some of those myself occassionally.

I'll try to find one really interesting fitness related article each week and also talk about how I am doing with my workouts. After all, my blog is called "Fit in the Midwest" and part of the meaning does relate to being fit (the other meaning includes that I feel like I fit in where I live opposed to how I felt when I lived in another state).

This week's article comes from the January 2012 Real Simple magazine. It's called "10 Things Your Trainer Wish You Knew." Check it out here!

I read it on the bus this week and thought it was so interesting. A lot of the information actually reminds me of NROLFW and is very practical. I feel like it should even be posted at the gym! My favorite tips probably include the fact that you need to switch up your workouts and wimpy weights will get you nowhere.



My workouts have been pretty good this week. I rested on Monday and Tuesday, because I was feeling tired and listened to my body.

On Wednesday, I went on the rowing machine, walked on the treadmill and track and lifted weights.

Thursday, I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical, biked for 10, walked on the track a little bit and lifted a few weights.

Today, instead of going to the gym, I took a walk outside in the sun and enjoyed an outdoor workout opposed to being stuck indoors on a treadmill. I can't wait until spring when I can take regular walks outside after dinner.

What I am missing is doing yoga. I need to get back into a regular schedule of going on Tuesdays and maybe Saturday mornings.

Are you guilty of doing any of those things mentioned in the article?

Tonight's going to be a good night

I woke up at 8:22 today, which I saw as a lucky sign because that's our wedding anniversary, 8/22. Then, the song that randomly was on my radio alarm was Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling." I was thinking the chorus "tonight's going to be a good night" meant that my event tonight at work would go well. Crossing my fingers that it does!

My very filling breakfast this morning was coffee with a 2% Fage greek yogurt topped with strawberries and blueberries. I've been craving fruit lately and really missing the summer months when berries are in season and so tasty.


Last night, I started reading A Sense of Place and I am enjoying it so far.


Love that the first story I read is from Tim Cahill, who is a native of Wisconsin and talks about growing up in a little town called Waukesha, which is a big suburb of Milwaukee now.


This morning, I did some research on spaetzle. Turns out the type I had yesterday at Mader's looks like this one from the Taste of Home website. So, I take back what I posted yesterday. Well, it still wasn't very tasty or my favorite part of the meal and I was bummed because I was really looking forward to it.


After playing on the computer and letting my stomach settle, I went for a walk outside around our neighborhood. Craig and I love taking walks and I miss them, so I got some sun and exercise outdoors. It wasn't warm, but it wasn't freezing either.


It's in the 30's today and has been all week, so the snow is slowly melting. Yay!



On a random note, I changed my password for my e-mail account this week because I read this blog post. I suggest you do the same so what happened to Amber doesn't happen to you.

Now it's time to shower and then sign into a webinar for work! I am excited because I am passionate about the topic and hope to learn a few new things to apply to my job.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mader's, So Delicious dessert and Sendik's

After a hectic morning at work that involved my phone ringing and lots of e-mails to attend to, I wasn't so sure I should step away from my desk and go to lunch with my co-worker, but I am glad I did. I needed that walk we took to the restaurant, the fresh air and the feeling of getting away from the office.

Mader's featured a cool interior complete with armor, weapons, art work...


And signed portraits from many famous people who have visited the restaurant, including John Candy. Apparently his ghost blocked out the part I wanted to capture and I didn't realize it until I was back at my desk. He signed it and wrote "your portions are too small."


I didn't want to be weird by taking pictures of my food. To start, we had yummy broccoli and cheese soup paired with pretzel rolls, which were really good. I ordered the stuffed portabella, which according to their menu is sautéed and stuffed with spinach, roasted red peppers, and Provolone. It was served with spätzle and red pepper coulis. The portabella was great and I am glad I ordered it over the Chicken Schnitzel, even if it wasn't a very "German" choice.

My one complaint about my meal is this: I looked down at my plate when it arrived and wondered what the little white things were. It was spaetzle. Totally nothing like any spaetzle I've ever had and not in a good way. I have had it made by a German in her home, at a restaurant in Berlin, Germany and I have made it myself using noodles from Aldi and a recipe found on the package. This was just a weird thing and believe me, there wasn't anything else for that thing on my plate to be. No noodles coated with cheese and flavored with a slight touch of fried onions.

I had to leave work a little early to get to an eye appointment. A couple of weeks ago, I tried out some new contact lenses and this was my recheck. They were working out pretty well until today when one was feeling funky and scratchy. I wish I could just get laser eye surgery and be done dealing with contacts. So, maybe I will sometime in the near future.

I arrived back to the park and ride earlier than I expected, so I headed to Sendik's on my way. Score! I was supposed to stop there after my eye appointment, so I got out my coupons and list and managed to get in and out of there in about 10 minutes.

Using a free coupon provided to me by the company, I got some of this deliciousness.


It was so creamy and tasty! Craig loved it too. Thanks So Delicious! Can't wait to try some other new products from the company. My one beef would be the price. This little container was $5.65.


I picked up my favorite cheese probably ever from Sendik's too. Maybe I was still in the mood for that German food flavor I love so much?


I enjoyed a slice tonight on a Wasa after my meditation session.


Craig and I got to the gym tonight and he discovered the magic of House Hunters on the gym TV (we don't have cable). :) I told him that I have learned a lot from the show and will be well prepared when we go to look for a new house down the road. He also discovered how time flies when you're watching a cool show that you like a lot.

Time to read a book or a magazine before bed. I get to sleep in tomorrow but the trade off is that I have to work until midnight.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A week of new foods

I've been trying some new foods and a tea every day of the week so far. I love trying new food items, don't you?

Pain au chocolat rocked my Monday! Wish I could make this at home. My co-worker's wife made it and the taste of the cinnamon and chocolate had all of us women in the office ooing and aahing. Perfect PMS food if you ask me. Maybe I should try to make it this weekend?


Tuesday included a Peppermint Stick Clif bar that I got on clearance over the weekend for only $1. I was craving something sweet mid morning and half of this satisfied me.


Today, I had this Mighty Leaf Vanilla Bean tea. I'd never had Mighty Leaf tea before and this flavor was so yummy!



Thanks to a recommendation via twitter from Sarah, I tried a Pesto Cavatappi dish at Noodles & Co. tonight. Craig had a new pasta too--the Bacon, Mac and Cheesburger.


We both loved our dishes!


Plus I got to take some pasta home to have for dinner tomorrow night. Aren't their take out packages the cutest?


My husband is pretty cute too. ;)


Anyway...the fun doesn't stop there with new food this week. You see, I love German food, but I haven't been to Mader's Restaurant in Milwaukee. It's the quintessential German restaurant in town, so it's kind of crazy I've never been. My co-worker asked if I want to go there for lunch with him tomorrow and I am so excited to try it! I think I'll have to eat some meat to get a true German food experience, so I'll likely go with Chicken Schnitzel.

I've felt tired all week and failed on going to the gym the last two days. I went right after work tonight and it felt so good to get moving again.

I'll hopefully be back tomorrow night with a recap of Mader's. My co-worker doesn't know I am a food blogger, but I'll try to sneak some pictures of the place and what I have to eat.