Tag Archives: Yoga

A Good Tuesday

It was one of those days where I was just happy all around, which feels good. I am excited as I heard back from someone at a local gym and we’re going to meet on Friday morning (I am taking off of work, yay) to talk about becoming a personal trainer. I am still in the research phase, but that is one of the things I am considering doing if I change careers.

Color was the theme for yesterday’s photo a day for April. The brightest thing in my office was this picture of the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from a calendar.

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Mail was the photo of today and this is what we received in our mailbox and on our doorstep. I ordered some things from Alice (gotta support Wisconsin businesses) and then we got a magazine from our animal hospital. Love how it says “Top Ten Tips for Karma this spring.” Craig took Karma there when we initially learned about his lung problem.

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So what did I order from Alice? Some rise bars I have never tried before, two Annie’s Naturals salad dressings, eco friendly dish soap, a deodorizer to place by the cats’ litter boxes and coffee. I think the prices were great for these items, especially for the bars. I had digital coupons from their site for each item, so my overall total was pretty low.

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I am very excited to try this coffee because it’s low in acid. With having colitis, I seem to get acid reflux problems and coffee doesn’t always help that, especially any acidic kinds. I need my coffee, so I am not willing to give it up (yet).

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I was in a rush after I got home from work tonight. I had to meditate, then started dinner right away because I knew I had to eat before I got to the 6:30 yoga class.

I made some Gardein fake chicken tenders and cut up a sweet potato for some fries.

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I followed Tina from Carrots ‘N Cake’s instructions for making sweet potato wedges, which made it really easy to throw together in no time.

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Dessert was a plum, which is one fruit I need to buy more often!

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Yoga tonight felt wonderful. My muscles felt huge for some reason and looked that way in the mirror. Definitely have built up some decent arm muscles lately. :)

Time to get some dishes washed before bed! I also want to squeeze in some time to read The Violets of March because I am halfway through it and it’s getting really interesting.

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I have a different work day tomorrow as I am promoting some programs at a local fair from mid afternoon into the evening, so I get the morning off to sleep in and hit the gym. I am just glad to get a change of scenery for a day!

Yoga makes me :)

It’s amazing how one hour of yoga can make me feel. If I am ever having a bad day, yoga is the cure. I didn’t have a bad day, I was just stressed per usual and sick of sitting in front of the computer at work. Yoga stretched all of my body parts out, made me forget about the things that irritate me and made me feel so happy. After yoga, my body wanted to run, so I walked the track and ran a few laps.

I wore a new lululemon tank top for class tonight and because I was cold, I covered it up with a sweatshirt. It was still really comfortable and flattering.

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I ordered it from the we made too much section about a month ago. Free shipping and I could pay with some of the money I earned from my blog with pay pal! Score! I know it’s great to treat yourself to massages or pedicures/manicures for working out all month. I prefer to treat myself to a new workout top once in a while.

Three other things made my evening happy. One was that my new favorite magazine arrived in the mail. Whenever I page through it for a quick glance through, I always feel like Whole Living offers brand new and refreshing material compared to other magazines.

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The second thing is that when I got home from the gym, my handy husband was in the basement and thinks he fixed our furnace! We feared calling someone out or even having to buy a new one. It has worked intermittently over the last month or so. I am so happy my husband is a hands-on learner (unlike me) and is used to fixing things from the career he is in.

Third–let’s just say that Chelsey of Clean Eating Chelsey is the sweetest blogger ever and she knows why. :)

And off to read a few blogs and my newest book. As Gretchen Rubin’s quote of the day for today said:

“If a man wants to read good books, he must make a point of avoiding bad ones; for life is short, and time and energy limited.”— Schopenhauer

I started The Tiger’s Wife on my kindle today. It’s never great to start a new book when you’re tired, but I got through a good portion on the bus this morning and it’s interesting so far.

Does yoga make you feel wonderful? Or do you get that same feeling from running?

Fiber and green tea

I forgot to share the wonderful news I got last week! Now, let me preface this by saying that I never quite understand what the results of medical tests mean.

My final lab tests came in from my colonoscopy and EGD that I had back in November. Everything came back normal and great. No ulcers, polyps, pre-cancer bacteria, no colitis showing up, etc. The doc wants me to get tested for celiac sprue, which I had done in 2004 and that lab came back negative. I am still not sure if that one negative lab test will reassure my doc that I don’t have Celiac Disease and I need to call the doctor’s office and ask. At least I had my old lab results sent over to them and that’s done.

My gastroenterologist also wants me to make sure I am getting enough fiber in my diet, so that is one of the reasons I started tracking my food with MyFitnessPal too. I am happy to say that I am definitely getting enough fiber and enough protein so far (which I was worried about since I eat a mostly vegetarian diet).

I bought some Fiber One honey clusters cereal this week and it’s pretty good. I put a banana in it and that helped with the flavor. I need to eat bananas when they are still a tad green on the end as I like them much better that way!

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Because it’s so good for you, I am trying to drink more green tea. Yesterday, I had a cup mid-morning with a lovely little unexpected snack of a pumpkin spice apple pie that my co-worker’s wife made. It was delicious and such a great combination of flavors.

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Lunch today was half of the pictured leftover butternut squash risotto from Trader Joe’s, carrot sticks and a Stonyfield Oikos blueberry yogurt. I snacked on the clementine later in the afternoon. It was a very orange lunch!

I made the risotto for dinner last night and it was ok. I don’t know if I would buy it again because I am not sure I am that wild about butternut squash.

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After work, I had to go to the store to get some electrolyte drinks for Craig. He has the flu (for the second time this season) and had a very bad day. Poor guy. I feel so bad for him, especially because he can’t seem to sleep and rest when he’s sick.

At the store (Aldi), I picked up a bunch of produce so I could make a yummy salad for dinner. It was just what I wanted to eat before yoga. I also made a smaller salad to bring to work tomorrow.

I put artisan lettuce in it, cucumber, turkey, provolone cheese, roma tomatoes and I topped it with goddess dressing.

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I hadn’t been to yoga for about a month and it felt so good to practice again tonight. Of course, class was sooo crowded with the January joiners, but we all fit and worked around each other.

Have a wonderful night! This week flew by and I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday already.

The last couple of days…

Our weekend has been really good so far…here’s a recap of some Thursday/Friday eats and workouts. This post is kind of random because I’m covering a couple of days. Sorry about that!

I had the Love Grown cocoa goodness granola for breakfast on Friday morning. I didn’t realize it but my sample size package expired in late September. The flavor seemed a bit off to me compared to all of the other Love Grown granolas I have tried. I’ve really loved all of the other flavors and was looking forward to the chocolate based one. Oh well!

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Once I was at work, I walked to Starbucks and treated myself to a Salted Caramel Mocha to celebrate it being the end of the work week.

Salted Caramel Mocha Starbucks

I liked the drink, but it was very sweet. Craig and I were keen on the Salted Caramel hot chocolates last fall and winter and I much prefer sharing one of those with him to save on calories and just get a little taste of the drink. My favorite part is the salty taste with the sweet.

For lunch, I tried a new to me yogurt–the Siggi’s brand of Icelandic style yogurt in strawberry. It wasn’t sweet and reminded me of greek yogurt. I got used to the taste after a while.

siggi's strawberry yogurt

sigg's strawberry yogurt

I’ll deal with the taste for the amount of protein it had in it.

Siggi's strawberry yogurt nutrition stats

I also had a spinach salad with feta, a roma tomato from our garden, and some Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits thrown in. Carrots were on the side.

salad and carrots

On Thursday, I tried this nogii bar by Elizabeth Hasselback. It was just ok.

nogii high protein bar

I brought a Cranberry Lemonade Mamma Chia drink for lunch on Thursday and it was my favorite flavor yet. I’m really loving the taste and texture of Mamma Chia drinks.

Mamma Chia Cranberry Lemonade

Mamma Chia nutriton facts

I have been listening to this podcast all week. It has some really good tips that I think everyone can learn from such as assertiveness, dealing with difficult people, etc.

Life Habits mentoring podcast

Before going to the gym on Friday, I had a pumpkin spice protein shake from a recipe I found on Carrots N’ Cake.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Sprinkled some cinnamon on top.

cinnamon on top of pumpkin spice shake

It was yummy!

At the gym, I completed 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. I normally don’t stay on the elliptical that long, but House Hunters International kept me there when they went to my favorite country, Germany, where a family was purchasing a house. I love learning about buying houses in Europe and dream of doing that someday. I know if we did that, we’d have to buy our own kitchen, the bathrooms wouldn’t be likely to have double sinks and the roofs in Germany are often sloped in a way that makes the bedrooms lose lots of space.

On Thursday night, I did yoga with my fav teacher and it was a super crowded class that was very tough. We all looked exhausted from the session and the teacher said so before we did some mat work. It felt SO good to stretch though. My hips were killing me as we started class but were totally fine by the end. I could feel the subtle soreness the next day as well. Too much sitting at work is starting to take a toll on my hips I think!

I did pretty good overall with getting to the gym this week. I had to make up for the previous week of hardly going at all and doing more outdoor exercises.

Time to enjoy my Saturday night!

BodyFlow class review

Last Tuesday night, I went to a late night BodyFlow class. I had only experienced part of what flow was about in a Pump/Flow class before.

Here is the class description from the Les Mills website:
BODYFLOW™ is the Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centered and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses to music create a holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance. Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYFLOW™ class is released every three months with new music and choreography.

When I walked into class, our mini gym was dark and calming. I rolled out my own yoga mat horizontally because we started out the class with Tai Chi. I had done Tai Chi in other classes before and I like it. This was definitely the longest Tai Chi session I have experienced though and it was a great warm up.

We transitioned to more traditional yoga moves and some new ones too.

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Despite it being the weakest area of my body, I really enjoyed the work we did on our abs. The moves were pilates ones. I don’t necessarily love pilates, but the moves we did were tough, yet enjoyable.

Class ended with a meditation session. I didn’t really need that since I had already meditated for 50 minutes that day, but I guess the more meditation I do, the better and more clear headed I feel.

One of my favorite aspects of the class was the music. We listened to The Script, Sarah McLachlan, Beyonce and more.

Overall, I would give this class an “A!” Here is some more important information from the Les Mills website.

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I can see it being addictive to attend and look forward to every week. I can’t wait to attend it tonight!

Do you have BodyFlow at your gym?

De-stressing, yoga, and a cooking class with mom

I had a good, but busy Saturday.

I got up sort of early and had some coffee, finally made some breakfast of eggs, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and green pepper, and got all cleaned up and pretty before my mom came over.

breakfast eggs, tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, green peppers

Since I ate so late, I was still feeling shaky and hungry, so I had a banana with some peanut butter. I love this Smucker’s Natural PB.

PB and banana

My mom and I went to the YMCA for community day, which was also free to the public but not well attended. Maybe it was the gorgeous fall weather we were having here.

me and mom

I’ll most likely write some other blog posts about it later this week, but we were there for three hours and went to a de-stress class, yoga, and then concluded with a wonderful “Something’s Cooking” class. The cooking class teacher was also named Lisa and had a lot of similarities to me in terms of the foods she likes and other things. She made veggie burgers & banana quinoa pudding, both of which were so delicious. We also tried samples of boca burgers and soy sausages before trying the veggie burgers she made from scratch (recipe to come soon). It felt like we were spent a day at the spa (minus lovely massages), but it was all free! I love all things wellness, so this day was perfect for me. Now to find a job doing what I love that involves nutrition and/or fitness.

When we returned to my house, Craig excitedly presented me with a package and it looked like a book! I won this Joy Bauer book from Lynn at The Actor’s Diet. I am most excited to find that Joy has a chapter on IBS and also talks about a lactose free diet. It looks like it will be such a great book overall with tons of recipes to offer in addition to some very useful nutrition information. I always like Joy when I see her segments on The Today Show or have read her articles on nutrition in magazines, so the right person definitely won Lynn’s giveaway. :)

Joy Bauer's Food Cures

My mom brought over a pumpkin table runner she made me. I spotted a bunch of these while we were at their house last weekend and I picked out some fabric I liked. Isn’t it cute? I am not a big holiday decorations person but I do gravitate towards pumpkin things in fall and pretty, yet simple decorations at Christmas.

table runner pumpkins fall

After the Y, my mom and I went to Penzey’s and the AT&T store to check out the cell phones.

At Penzey’s, I picked up this adorable “teach” box free with a purchase (I selected red and green pepper flakes) and a free jar of the Forward spice (Forward is the Wisconsin state motto). If you aren’t getting the Penzey’s catalogs in the mail, you are missing out on some great free spices or nearly free spices throughout the year!

Maybe Penzey’s is making a statement to support teachers this fall with this box. After all, they’ve been through some tough times in Wisconsin this year and the forward motto is very applicable right now.

Penzey's

There was also a small recipe book included in the box. Their recipes always look so good.

Penzey's

On the cell phone front, I am almost positive I’ll go with a general phone that only calls people instead of a smart phone. My mom will definitely get a general phone. I wish the smartphone Craig thinks I should get wasn’t so expensive at the store vs. what it sells for online.

Trying the vegetarian sausages at the cooking class today prompted me to pick some of these up at the store this afternoon.

smart sausages Italian style

I added them to some shells and I threw in some green pepper, olive oil and sea salt. It was delicious! Craig also tried it and enjoyed the meal.

pasta with smart dogs

Time to curl up with the cute kitty next to me and maybe read a bit before bed. Just another low key Saturday night around here.

Vega Breakfast Challenge, Yoga, and a Relaxing Friday Afternoon

This morning, I got up early, meditated, had a vega packet for breakfast, and then headed out the door for an hour long yoga session at the gym.

I was sent four packets of the Whole Food Health Optimizer to try out from vega as part of their breakfast challenge. This morning, I had Vanilla Chai and I’ll be reviewing the other three flavors over the next week.

vega packet

I really liked how easy it was to mix with 8 oz. of water and then drink for breakfast.

Vega

Vega

In exchange for receiving four packets from vega, I was asked to compare something I would normally eat for breakfast (which I had as a snack today). I compared Kashi cereal to the Whole Food Health Optimizer.

Here are the stats:

Vega compared to Kashi cereal

Since I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, the fact that I was able to get so much protein from this packet was fabulous and so was the amount of iron I received from it! I also don’t eat any fish, so that means the large amount of Omega-3s are a nice addition to my diet too.

According to the information I received from Vega:

What makes Whole Food Health Optimizer so special compared to other breakfasts? It’s 100% plant-based, it’s gluten-free, soy-free and dairy free…and it’s super low in calories. Only one single serving guarantees:

· 100% of your daily vitamins and minerals
· 60% daily intake of fiber
· Healthy weight loss
· Maintaining optimal health

I felt like I did have more energy than normal this morning and also throughout the day.

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Supplement Facts Vega

I caught these two hanging out this morning and got a pretty decent shot of them.

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The one hour yoga session was exactly what I needed after the tough class I took yesterday. It felt good to stretch my hips and glutes, which did hurt a bit this morning. I was so happy to see that my favorite yoga teacher was teaching. He said he normally doesn’t do morning yoga and he recently read somewhere that people are more apt to hurt their backs during a morning workout vs. afternoon one, so he would make sure we warmed up slowly. We definitely had a great warm up and that helped to make the rest of my practice go smoothly.

I was hungry when I got home from the gym, so I had a new cereal flavor from Kashi-Cinnamon Harvest. I really liked the taste of it. I would buy this again over Autumn Harvest.

Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal

Kashi cereal Cinnamon Harvest

Nutrition Facts for the cereal.

Nutrition Facts Kashi Cinnamon Harvest

For lunch, I just had a small lunch of a piece of leftover pizza from dinner last night and a new to me flavor of Pop Chips: Chili Lime Potato. It had a similar taste to other Pop Chips and not as much flavor or spiciness as I expected.

leftover pizza, pop chips chili lime potato

Dessert was a small handful of Raisinets.

Raisinets

After a short nap with Karma, I got up and read some fall magazines.

Karma

Doesn’t Karma look like his paw is flipping me off here?

kitties in bed

I have a huge pile of magazines to get through and needed to start tackling it today! I’ll keep reading them over the weekend too.

fall 2011 magazines

And after a streak of afternoon relaxation, tearing up while reading Farm City (the author was in a situation that was similar to a horrible one I almost found myself in while living in CA and the memories came rushing back to me), I decided to get out of the house. I browsed TJ Maxx, got my free birthday treat at Panera with their Panera Rewards card–a strawberries n’ creme scone, and went to Sendik’s grocery store. I couldn’t resist buying some pumpkin beer while at Sendik’s. You know what I am having with dinner tonight! :)

We don’t have any weekend plans, which is actually kind of nice. I can keep enjoying my relaxing mini vacation! Do you have any big plans for the three day weekend?

Godiva French Vanilla Iced Coffee Smoothie

I tried a new way of consuming my coffee this morning. I usually have a hot cup of coffee at home and maybe an iced coffee at work. Instead, I used the Godiva French Vanilla coffee I received from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program and made a vanilla coffee smoothie. I added skim milk, the Godiva brewed coffee, a few ice cubes, some soy protein powder, and a bit of vanilla stevia to sweeten it up. It tasted pretty good and was a fun new way to drink my morning coffee!

Godiva French Vanilla Iced Coffee smoothie

Godiva french vanilla coffee; smoothie

I had the last of the Yogi Cherry Almond cereal on the side.

smoothie, cereal

Thanks Foodbuzz and Godiva for allowing me to try the coffee! I still have some chocolate flavored beans to try and write about.

Snack at work was these Pop Chips.

salt and pepper potato pop chips

And a cup of hot coffee with some sugar in the raw.

coffee and sugar in the raw

I sported a bright yellow cardigan and it made me feel cheery today.

me with cheery yellow sweater

This is one of many pieces of clothing that were handed down to me from my sister’s friend. Even though she is very petite compared to me, the clothes seem to fit perfectly. Usually I am not one to love used clothing, but because I know this woman took good care of her clothes or in most cases, didn’t even wear some of them because they still have the tags on, I don’t mind as much. I am not a Goodwill/thrift store or rummage sale shopper at all. As Craig says, I didn’t get the rummage sale gene handed down from my parents. :)

Lunch was two quinoa stuffed zucchini boats, a blueberry Chobani, some cherry tomatoes, and a string cheese.

lunch on 8-16-11

My co-worker borrowed me two copies of Nutrition Action magazine and I enjoyed reading through those during lunch. They are jam packed with great information.

Nutrition Action magazines

Dinner was pizza. You know what that looks like. :)

At the gym, I biked for 10 minutes before going to an hour long yoga class. After class, our teacher told us that starting in the fall, there would be a Belly Dancing class after our yoga session. Someone mentioned that the first two sessions may be free, but otherwise there will be an extra fee for it. Ooh, I am tempted to try it out just for fun!

My goal is to read more before bed, so it’s time to read a few blogs and then a book!

A new pink sports bra and black bean burgers

Hello there! It’s been a great week so far for me. I think I am more energetic because of the cooler air.

I whipped up Black Bean burgers for dinner tonight using the Peas and Thank You recipe that was featured in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week.

black bean burger and recipe from Journal Sentinel

black bean burger mix

It was super easy to make and cook up! I didn’t have lemon juice and cumin, but plan to get those two things tomorrow and will add them to the rest of the mixture before making it again later this week. I only made one patty for myself because Craig’s not too keen on black beans. He did try it though and said it was fine. That means he didn’t think it was horrible, score!

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This recipe also filled me up nicely. That means I didn’t need dessert. :)

I was excited to find a package from alo on my back doorstep when I got home tonight! It was the adorable pink high impact sports bra I won from a twitter contest through Shape magazine.

alo sports bra high impact

Audrina Patridge is featured in it here.

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Here it is on me.

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I tried it on immediately and loved the fabric, feel, and fit. Once I actually try it in a high impact sport, I will let y’all know how I like it.

Instead of high impact exercise, I went to yoga tonight because I needed to stretch. My calves were killing me from running on the treadmill last night. Yoga felt great. Once again, Glenn’s class didn’t disappoint. He switched the poses up and we tried new things. Love that it’s never the same class and I know I have said that before, but do you feel the same way about your yoga practice or do you like to do the same moves every week?

Time to go read The Snowman. I probably won’t finish it again before it’s due back, but oh well. I cannot wait until the kindle is linked up with local libraries this September and I can rent books for free to read on it. It doesn’t get nearly enough use because I am too cheap to buy the latest bestsellers.

Tummy trouble blues

I didn’t sleep good last night because my tummy was hurting all night and the temperature just didn’t seem right. It probably didn’t help that I slept in three days in a row during the long weekend! Did you have the same problems getting up today from sleeping in all weekend? It seems like most blogs I was reading all weekend were mentioning that they were also sleeping in every day.

I had raisin bran and coffee for breakfast. Boring, I know. When I am tired, my breakfasts are simple and easy.

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At work, I had a Sprite with some tummy medicine mixed in, which tasted gross. I also noticed the Sprite made me a bit jittery, but I thought it would help my stomach feel better.

I ate lunch early on in the day and I could only get the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and string cheese in my belly. The apple and Chobani will have to wait for another day this week.

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I went to an important meeting mid-morning and then did yoga at work, which felt good but made me mindful of my pain. I left work after yoga because I just couldn’t handle feeling sick at work anymore.

I am sorry if this post is whiny, but sometimes it is good for me to document how I am feeling. This whole thing is my fault for letting a medicine run out and not getting more of it. I went to Walgreens after work and picked up a huge bottle of what I needed, so I won’t run out for a while.

Have you been reading Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake‘s posts on dealing with her recent diagnosis of colitis? Her posts are similar to mine at times when I have bad days like this one. I feel like it is nice to relate to another blogger who struggles with the same issues I do. I am glad she is getting the word out about Irritable Bowel Disease. Her diet is definitely different than the one my doctor recommended to me. I had never heard of going on a gluten free diet while colitis is active, but maybe I should try it sometime.

When I got home, I found some nice things in my mailbox to cheer me up. Something new to review and giveaway soon, some lentils, and a new Glamour magazine. What is your favorite way to cook with lentils? I have never cooked with them before, but I am excited to try making something with them. My favorite veggie burger is the lentil burger from Cafe Manna in Brookfield. I wish I could recreate that!

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The nice folks at the USA Dry Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas Council sent along some recipes with the lentils sample too. A few looked really good, including one for Lentils, Orecchiette, and Feta Cheese.

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I’m going to hit publish and go watch a movie. I need to relax a bit this afternoon. I also may hit up the gym because I think some movement will do me some good, like yoga may have earlier today.

Have a wonderful night!