Two Lives, One Lifestyle

The Key to a Salad You Actually Want to Eat by Katie
July 23, 2010, 10:12 am
Filed under: Katie, Lunch, Nutrition, Salad

The key?  Use just as many toppings as lettuce.  This salad base had spinach and romaine.  Toppings included: tomatoes, cucumber, sundried tomatoes, celery, roasted red pepper, chopped hard-boiled egg, and a bit of crumbly blue cheese (between the red pepper and blue cheese my mom is probably shocked and proud). Oh and a little bit of dressing.

If there isn’t enough toppings, it gets boring. If there isn’t enough protein or fat, it isn’t filling.   Poor salad and it’s bad rap.

The other night, I ordered a salad at a restaurant that had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goat cheese, toasted slivered almonds, and grilled shrimp.  Berries and goat cheese cannot ever be wrong.

[After I ordered this salad I told John that I’m like a bear. He gave a blank stare. I explained: I eat hearty foods in the winter and gain a little weight and then in the summer I eat lighter and shed a little weight.  That’s like a bear, no?]

What’s your ideal salad?  What animal are you like?

So Fresh and So Green by Katie
July 2, 2010, 11:52 am
Filed under: Katie, Salad

I love the simplicity of summer meals- they don’t need much work because the ingredients are fresh and flavorful.  Take caprese for example, especially since any semblance of a veg garden usually has the basics of tomato and basil.

Slice a tomato, add salt and pepper.  Top the tomato with thin slices of mozzarella. Tear up fresh basil and throw it on top (then smell the delicious basil fragrance on your hands). Drizzle with oil and balsamic.

Done and done.

It’s The Thesis’ Fault! by Katie
June 17, 2010, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Katie, Lunch, Motivation, Nutrition, Salad, Wine

Well, well, well look what the cat dragged in.  I’m here! Promise!  So Kelli and I are both having a big, milestone-y month leaving our poor blog in the dust.  Both of us ran our first marathon, Kelli bought her first house and I’m defending my first master’s thesis next week (hope it’s my only one).  Aw, look at us getting all growed up.

My computer has become a thesis addict, forgoing any normal blog/twitter/facebook activity.  It took John’s much nicer, newer, faster computer down with it.

This evening at 6 PM I handed over my first draft!  Thesis 1.0 is in the house!  I’m giving myself a break for the evening but I’ll be back at it tomorrow: editing, improving, and doing some last minute statistics (which is the best part of science….no).   I promptly sighed a sigh, drove the hour back to Denver, ate Chipotle, and poured a glass of wine.

It’s not a sparkling variety per se but has a bit of fizzy to it.  I like it for a schweaty summer night.

In terms of the thesis-ing, it’s the best I’ve ever planned for and handled anything close to this magnitude.  There have been no nights later than midnight (though I have been up at 5 or 6), no tears, no breakdowns, and no panic modes.  When I started regretting the extra day in San Diego and playing shoulda woulda coulda, I stopped myself and thought some positive thoughts about how it was in the past and anxiety over it now would not help the past. This is big for me… ask any of my closest friends or mom.   Let’s see how the next week goes before I toot my horn too much.

Last Saturday, I prepared for the week, went to the farmer’s market, and got good-for-me snacky food ready.

In.Love. All Coloradans, try it now!

I’ve been sticking with lots of vegetables and light meals/lots of snacks to keep myself from getting post-lunch sleepiness.  Plus, I just like to graze all day when I’m working at “home” (John and I are house- and dog-sitting for some friends this week).

Local greens, local tomato, local goat cheese!  Plus some Italian dressing and turkey.

Hm, maybe sticking to all these nice, healthy eats has something to do with my focus and low stress levels?  Maybe!

I think these two and their relaxed attitudes have helped me out too.

Now I’m going to go relax on the couch like this and go to bed EARLY!

Literally, Everything in Moderation by Katie
May 25, 2010, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Katie, Nutrition, Salad

Even vegetables.  A women in NYC was eating pounds of bok choy daily believing it would help alleviate her diabetes.  Well, apparently one of the compounds in raw bok choy can lower thyroid function to a deadly point if you eat truckloads of it.


Now, when we see hysterical overreacting articles emerge about this anecdotal case, let’s consider the amount she was eating (pounds daily,  for months) and the amount the average person eats (when you get Chinese takeout? Maybe more for a foodie).   If someone tells you they read about the “horrors” of bok choy, you can bite the craziness in the bud.

Party Platter by Katie
May 3, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Katie, Salad, Snacks

Last night, I went to a BBQ with a bunch of the grad students in my office.  Between all the guys (it is engineering grad school, I’m very outnumbered), I knew there would be meat, cheesy potatoes, meat, potato salad, pasta salad, and a ton of dessert.  So I added a little green to our lives. PS- The brisket and flan were indreddddible!


A huge salad with Romaine, spinach, red pepper, celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, and cukes.  Look at all those gorgeous colors!  Let’s just say I’ll be eating this all week.  A few people were really happy to see a big salad but not everyone ;).  I made a vinaigrette to go with it too.

  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp agave
  • Italian seasoning- oregano, garlic, rosemary
  • S+P


Since I knew my salad might be looked at with some trepidation, I brought a sausage dip too.  I made this at grad student Thanksgiving and it was devoured.  I warn you, it’s not the prettiest picture.


But I promise it will be a party hit (unless it is a party of vegetarians).  It’s a really simple recipe too, with credit to do my friend Emily:

  • 16 oz. breakfast sausage: browned, drained, crumbled
  • 1 10 oz. can of Rotelle (or chopped tomatoes w/ chilies)
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened

It’s good to let it sit for a little bit prior to serving so all the zippy flavors mingle.  I served it with some tortilla chips and celery sticks but any dip scooper works just fine.

What’s your signature party dish?

What Do You Crave? by Katie
April 29, 2010, 12:18 am
Filed under: Cravings, Dessert, Dinner, Katie, Salad, Speed Work

Tuesday Night

If you worked at a grocery store and I made the following purchases (and only these), what would you guess I had for dinner last night?


With a pack of corn tortillas, deli counter chicken labeled “fajita seasoned,” and pico, I headed to the register and the check-out guy was really talkative.  He brought up how he hadn’t had dinner yet (it was 8 PM) and I said something like “Well you can probably guess what I’m eating!”  No; no he could not.

So what’ll it be?


Tacos of course.  Or maybe they’re fajitas?

I guess I could have been making a mini quesadilla.  In any case, maybe I just scared the guy by being so friendly.


Chicken with peppers and onions, cooked frozen corn, pico, and Greek yogurt on top of warmed corn tortillas.  It took about 10 minutes to put it all together, which was great for 8:30 PM.  Easy but messy.

Running- Speed Work

Last night, I went to a Team in Training track practice and we ran 8 x 800 repetitions.  They aren’t a full out sprint but definitely not at a marathon pace, or a pace where conversation is possible.  I’m not familiar with track terms too but that’s about a half a mile, or two laps.  I did mine in around 3:55 each, almost all in negative splits (faster each of the 8 times).  I’m not sure what my time “means” or if it’s “good” so if any of your speedster trackstars out there have input, I’d be happy to hear it.

Wednesday & Cravings

Today equaled 14 hours at my school computer running simulations over and over and over.  You should see how much food I pack in the AM!  I’m on a really good kick right now so I’m going to go do more work (big time presentation tomorrow and Friday… as in I will either be told I need to make a LOT of changes or that I can go ahead and finish writing my thesis) while I wait for my sweet potato to bake.

When I finally left at 9:15, I debated rewarding my hard work with some ice cream… or maybe carrot cake…ooh!  As I drove from school to home (Whole Foods is one itty bitty turn into a parking lot along my drive), I tried to figure out what sounded most delicious.


Suddenly I thought of spinach… what?


After I thought about it more, at that moment, a big, fresh salad sounded AMAZING.  It sounded more appealing than ice cream.  Maybe I’ve been working too long!

I ended up not getting anything because I have enough food at home but I started to think of all sorts of vegetables and how good it all sounded.  Instead of shrugging it off due to exhaustion and crazy grad student mindset, I pondered cravings.  In this case, I wanted something rewarding to eat so my mind immediately went to sweets.  But then a quick flash of spinach and I realized that I couldn’t decide because it wasn’t what I was craving.

I think I assume that after a long day or a bad day or a tough workout I will crave ice cream or cake or cheese because I LOVE those foods. I make an impulse purchase and reward myself without considering what I really even want.  Those foods always still taste fantastic but maybe I’m not always listening to my body.  Does this make sense? Basically, we have certain indulgences we love so we assume we crave them all the time but maybe we don’t, maybe it’s just our conscious mind rather than a subconscious craving.  Like I said, it’s been a long day of repeating “FOCUS! FOCUS! FOCUS!” out loud to myself…


Warm Salads and Frozen Pizza by Katie
April 15, 2010, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Frozen Meals, Katie, Run, Salad

Tonight I came home, went for a run (more on that later), and opened Google Reader… uh oh!  The internet was out.  Figuring it was my 6 year old laptop I went about showering and cleaning my room.  When I started making dinner I realized the cable was out too!  My roommate called the company (it’s in his name) and they turned it back on but what an eye-opener of how dependent I am on internet/ cable!!  And reading all your blogs!

Last night I made a quick and easy dinner- sauteed a portobello mushroom and 3 canned artichokes, added garlic, then added a can of chopped tomatoes with Italian spices.  I let it simmer while boiling pasta and then mixed it all together (saved 1/2 for lunch) and topped it with cheese.


Tonight, dinner was 1/2 good, 1/2 bad.

First I pulled out an Amy’s frozen pizza that’s been in the freezer and undetermined length of time.  It definitely had a bad influence on the flavor..


Those brownish pieces are semi-burned cheese.  The cheese didn’t really melt well.  Also, the pizza was pretty small.  I only had about 1/2 because it wasn’t that great.

The better part of dinner was another warm salad.  Warm toppings make spinach go from this:


To this!


While the pizza baked, I sauteed about 1 Tbsp of onion in 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and then added a cup or so of frozen butternut squash.  What made this dish was a sprinkle of sea salt. SO GOOD.  If you’ve never added a pinch of sea salt to your salad, please try it.

As for running, I had a fantastic run on Tuesday after a 10 day hiatus, which made for some fresh and speedy legs.  On Wednesday the surgerized side of my body was really cramped and tender so I think running might have bothered it :-/. I went for a run today and stopped a few times to walk and make sure everything was okay.  Man, what a terrible run today.  I broke out in hives on my stomach, my whole body was itchy, and it was hard to breath.  I’m wondering if I had an allergic reaction to something now that I add all that up.  Anyway, I’m going to rest tomorrow and attempt a long run on Saturday!

Do you like warm salad toppings? What else should I try?