The Sneaker Refrigerator

Last night was day two of this week’s meal plan. It’s going strong! I could have easily been persuaded to eat something quick or order take out, as I worked all day at the BIC, went to the gym to crank out a 4 mi. interval run (I know – I actually ran in the evening!) and then trained a client.

Alas, I prevailed! 😀 On tonight’s menu was a RAN-ified version of a recipe in this month’s Clean Eating magazine. The article said it would take only 25 minutes start to finish. I put my faith in that article, as my stomach was eating my backbone.

At approximately 7 pm, I was whirring the food processor to kick off the preparation, and at approximately 7:27, dinna – was served:


I blame the two minute tardiness on the fact that the husband mistakenly read me “step four” when I told him to read me “step three.” His version is I skipped over three and went straight to four, but that’s neither here nor there. 😉

A basil pineapple-lime soy sauce atop a bed of organic whole wheat cous cous and edamame with a salad on the side. It was one of the better ways I’ve ever spent 27 (my favorite number!!) minutes 😉


Droooolage. Great recipe. If you have this month’s CE, I recommend you try it out! Unfortunately, I cannot post it, as the only changes I made were omissions and tiny tweaks.


Sneaker Fridge

A lot of the Healthy Living Summit was spent talking and listening about fitness, nutrition, body image and healthy living. And obviously a big chunk of it was the experience of eating food both during the conference courtesy of the sponsors and that the city had to offer.

However, after the Healthy Living Summit presentations on Saturday, there was a block of a few hours for free time before dinner. A group of us went sight seeing down Michigan Avenue where we got to have a taste of the beautiful sights Chicago has to offer:


On Michigan Avenue, it seems every where you look there is a piece of art in some shape or form.

We of course visited the famous “Bean:”

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Walked around a water founding resembling that of a big Chicago business building:



Saw beautiful flowers in parks:




but my favorite sight we saw was a refrigerator on the sidewalk. It was a refrigerator covered in sneakers, with plants growing out of them:


A Nike shoe on a 1970’s refrigerator? What?

IMG_8935 A boot with a bloomless flower?


How random. What does it MEAN?!

That’s what I thought at first, but as we were walking I couldn’t get the refrigerator out of my mind. I wonder what it symbolized! The best I could come up with is that is has to do with being environmentally friendly – living a green life with a little carbon footprint. But I’m still perplexed by the refrigerator? Is it irony in that refrigerators use up so much energy?


What do you think the Sneaker Refrigerator symbolizes?


Plan it Out: Sweet and Sour Cashew Tofu

Good morning 😀

Sunday night after I got back from Chicago, I unpacked, cleaned up, and then did something I haven’t done in a while – made a meal plan for this week’s meals! I knew I’d be behind this week, only having yesterday as a catch up day, so I wanted to do as much as I could to save time this week.

Five grocery stores and $100 later, and I was back home with a week’s worth of groceries.


(about a 1/4 of what came home with me.)

Note: I don’t usually go to five grocery stores; two is more my style. But I had to make a couple extra stops since Fresh Market was out of tilapia – how can you be out of tilapia?!

The first meal of the week was Sweet and Sour Cashew Tofu (Chicken for Shane) and brown rice.

This meal tastes gourmet, but doesn’t require much hands-on time. I got a couple steps out of the way, like pressing and marinating the tofu, chopping up the pineapple, and toasting the raw cashews…


And then while the rice was cooking and the protein was baking,


I got some work done while sipping my (HLS swag) Relax Solixir.


Such a light, crisp, subtly sweet flavor. I really love it!


45 minutes later, and all I had to do was make the sweet and sour sauce, steam some asparagus, and assemble a simple salad:


It was SO good!! Definitely a keeper. Definitely.


Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Tofu 



1/4 c. raw cashews

1 t. of coconut oil or coconut oil spray

1 t. sea salt

1 c. dry brown rice

1 block of extra firm tofu

1/4 c. fresh pineapple, finely chopped

1 t. maple syrup

2 T. apple cider vinegar


1 t. sea salt


The sauce is made from this recipe, but I changed out the marmalade for 1/4 c. fresh crushed pineapple.


Press tofu for at least three hours and marinate in a mixture the pineapple, maple syrup, vinegar, EVOO, and sea salt.Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Meanwhile, coat a pan with the coconut oil/spray and turn on heat to medium-low. Add cashews, toss, and sprinkle on the sea salt. Toast the cashews for about 5 minutes while tossing frequently and monitoring closely to be sure not to burn. Let cool. Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way through. Meanwhile, cook the rice. When the tofu has about five minutes left, in a sauce pan, combine the sweet and sour ingredients. Turn up heat until it begins to bubble, and then reduce to low and simmer for five more minutes. Add cashews. Now just assemble! Layer the rice, then the tofu, and finally the sauce. Serves 4.



Mmmm 😀

Well it’s going to be a busy, busy one! Better get to it – starting with a quick and dirty 3 mile interval run. Ciao!

Do you meal plan? What’s the system that works best for you? I typically don’t meal plan. I try every now and then, but typically I just go with a list to the grocery of random – usual eats to the store.

The Indian Food Bar is Set

I’m not sure I’ll ever enjoy Indian food in Bloomington/Normal again.

On Saturday night, I went out to a restaurant called the Chicago Curry House with a bunch of lovely bloggers for a dinner Gina organized:


The peeps:



Amazing company! Still so stoked with all the awesome women (and men) I met this weekend.

Since there were several Indian food virgins, the group decided to dine family-style with several veggie options, starting with a fantastic starter of papadum and dippers:


a yummy, sweet Riesling:


and plates of veggie appetizers:


Now, by this point, I was sold. Sold! Already better than anything I’ve tasted at any other Indian restaurant.

But then the bread came. The naan and roti won over my heart.


Naan…the most soft, pillowy, thick naan I’ve ever set my eyes tongue on 🙂


And this roti changed my opinion on the usually lesser dense, crackly bread. It was just as soft and chewy as the naan! I could have eaten my own basket, honestly 😛

The entree was Chana Masala and Baigan Bharta:


Subtly sweet and amazing.


Spicy and velvety – as Laura (I think it was her..) described it.

Best Indian food experience eva!

So when Shane picked me up from the train station last night after getting home from the Healthy Living Summit, and immediately asked if I wanted to grab Indian food, I surprisingly thought it sounded good too. Indian two nights in a row? Why not?

Welll….maybe I should have waited a few days for my memory to fade of how fantastic the food at the Curry House was…


My Indian food bar is set too high! This Yellow Dal just didn’t cut it 😉




Well I’m taking today as a catch up day. A couple clients, deep cleaning of the house, grocery shopping, and LAUNDRY. Oh, and I have about a billion new blogs to read after this weekend 😀

Running Around Chicago

Heya! I’m on the train home now and am blogging from my iPhone! I’m sure I look as funny as I feel with 1 suit case, 1 book bag, 1 camera bag, 1 bag of TJ’s goodies, and 1 bag of Frito Lay products- bahaha. But I’ll be home in two short hours, back with the husband and the petski’s 🙂
While in Chicago, I managed to get up and go for a run all three mornings! My favorite way to take in a new/different place is too run it; and can you believe out of all the times I’ve been to Chicago I haven’t run the Lake front?!
That changed this weekend:)
Each run was different from the next; the first was in Evanstan. My cousin, Bronwyn lives a half mile from the lake, so I had to wake up and take a super quick run down to experience it. Two mile was all I needed!

The second morning, Saturday morning, I decided last minute to join my awesome roomie, Candice, on a three miler on the Lake front path toward the bridge. It was crisp and cool and a lovely run!
This morning was the healthy living summit unofficial fun run. There was a 5k and 10k group. Despite my headache, I decided to go with the 10k for a little more distance. There were about 12 of us and it made the 6 miles pass in a flash!
we paused a couple times for photo ops, but finished in about 55 minutes.

Well it’s nap time for this blogger. My train is out of power and has broken breaks now apparently. Awesome lol

The Biggest Take Away…


Welcome to the end of Day Two of the Healthy Living Summit!

Day 2 of the Healthy Living Summit is coming to a close. It’s been a whirlwind of food, FUN, presentations





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IMG_8869 Oh, and food!

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but the biggest take away for me has been meeting some brilliant, fun, and awesome bloggers!


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I’ve also taken away the fact that Healthy Living Summits are EXHAUSTING. So you got the Cliff Notes version 😉 Coming up this tomorrow will be more deets on all the fun, food, and new friends 😀

Did You Know? HLS Style

Hey there! What a day! Was this morning still the same day as it is now? I really couldn’t tell you at the moment.

My eyes feel like this:


Hi, random eye in the middle of Chicago 🙂

A LOT happened today. Let me give you the short (ish?) version.

After 6 solid hours of rest at my cousin’s house, I woke up for a quick run. She lives about a half mile from Lake Michigan so I had to take advantage:


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It was a nice way to burn off some extra energy before the day began 😀

Post-run delicious breakfast of Greek yogurt, peaches, and granola made by my cousin


SO good. She made the granola herself, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to get the recipe!

Shortly after eating, I had to catch the purple line to the red line to get to the Healthy Living Summit hotel-


45 sweaty, claustrophobic minutes later, and I had made it!


After meeting quite a few bloggers there for the conference, a lot of us gathered together to get ready to head out for a group tour of the Frito Lay tour in Beloit Wisconsin:


Did you know that there are only three ingredients in Frito Lay’s potato chips?


Did you know that there are 4.5 potatoes in each 10 oz bag of chips?


It’s true! Despite the only competition that Frito Lay has at the moment are at the REGIONAL level, they’re still striving to make a healthier, simpler chip. I really hadn’t thought about how many chips are owned by Frito Lay. Then I tried to think of a chip that wasn’t owned by Frito Lay, that isn’t a regional chip. It’s hard, isn’t?! Even Stacy’s is owned by Frito Lay now.

Did you know keeping a food blogger from lunch until 2:00 p.m. equals one HUNGRY blogger?




Did you know that traffic needs to be factored into the equation when determining how long it takes to get home? In Chicago?

Funny story: the bus was taking such a long time to get back to Chicago, that we requested it drop us off at the nearest El stop so we could book it home an alternate way.

Mission: 20+ bloggers with red Frito Lay bags running down the metra


It was pretty intense. And pretty hysterical 😛

But we had a cocktail party to go to!


But that can wait until tomorrow. Must…get…sleeeep 🙂

Night guys!


Major thanks to the sponsors and Healthy Living Summit organizers today! It’s going fabulously so far!!                  

Peace Out, Normal

We’re taking this party to Chi-town!

I’m on the Amtrak up to Chicago right now where my cousin will be picking me up. unfortunately I can’t participate in the HLS festivities until tomorrow morning since I don’t have a
hotel room until tomorrow 😉
Hey, I just think I’m lucky I found a couple awesome bloggers to share a room with at all!

See you from Chicago!! 🙂