Tomato Basil Soup & Breakfast Banana Boats

I have Suzi to thank for the idea of the breakfast banana boats.  She posts all her food and the other day I saw she had this banana that had strawberries, bananas, granola and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top – it looked so cool I told her I was going to steal the idea, and I did.  I made my bosses the same as Suzi’s, but I thought I had a sugar free chocolate syrup in my pantry, but couldn’t find it, so I added a tablespoon of chocolate chips to hers.   My boss loved it!

Mine was just banana, strawberries and blueberries with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream.  On the side an egg/egg beater/spinach omelet.  Can I say that just the 2 tablespoons of whipped cream for 15 calories really made this dish!

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It was kinda crappy outside.  Overcast, rainy, in the mid 60’s – a little too chilly for the pool today, so I decided to switch it up.  I haven’t done any of my spin class apps in a while so I decided to do that.  I had four .99 cent classes I downloaded and when I went to get them, they weren’t there!  I saw that since I hadn’t used them in a while, I had to restore them – took a couple minutes, but this is the one I did:

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A few minutes of endurance hills?  Try a five minute hill climb!  So while this was only 30 minutes, it was intense.  With my cool down:

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Really 12.5 miles in 35 minutes??  Not sure that is accurate, but whateves.  My Mom loves Life is Good t-shirts.  For some reason at her last garage sale, she was selling this shirt and I took it – she’s still kicking herself for doing that!

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And this sign on the wall pushed me:

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I think all of us are our own worst enemy.  Full of doubts – wondering if we can do this or that and we spend so much time just thinking about what we could or should be doing, that we don’t end up well, just doing it! 

Lunch was inspired by my score at the store over the weekend – this whole container of basil for $1.45!  Tony isn’t the biggest fan of basil, so I decided to make tomato basil soup.  This is so easy, you can make it before work like I did.  I followed this recipe, except left out the stinky onions, and instead of heavy cream, I used just 1/2 a cup of buttermilk, so the soup was really tangy.  And I thought 3 tablespoons of olive oil was a bit much, so I reduced it to one tablespoon.

Literally throw the shit in the pot – simmer for 15 minutes, puree until desired consistency and bam – soup is ready.

Mine made four servings: 1.5 cups – 147 calories, 5.6 fat, 19 carbs, 3.9 fiber and 9 protein.

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And what goes with tomato soup?  Grilled cheese!  We found this marbled rye at our store over the weekend – I am okay that the sandwich is nearly 300 calories because I saved calories on the soup!  Perfect lunch for a rainy day.

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As I was driving home I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I had planned for dinner.  I checked my “menu” when I got home and saw that it was turkey cutlets!  I never really think of turkey during the summer, but these were on sale – two cutlets for $2.40 cents – um, okay!

I simply breaded them with a bit of panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper and a little bit of shaved parmesan cheese.  Pan/pat of butter fried them in a pan, with red potatoes and broccoli on the side.

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After Tony and I had a folding clothes party (folding laundry is my least favorite thing to do right after emptying the dish washer!) it was time to get Insane!  I can’t believe I am three days away from Day 60!!

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I could feel though towards the end that my blood sugar was dropping.  I am not sure I’ve mentioned it before, but since I work out after dinner, I haven’t taken any insulin with dinner.  While my blood sugar may be high after dinner, its only temporary – by the time I finish my workouts my blood sugar is usually right around 100.

So I grabbed my Gatorade, and with every water break, I drank that, and I ended up eating half a banana.  At the end, my blood sugar was 73!  I ate the second half of the banana after the workout, a 60 calorie string cheese and a handful of multi-grain wheat thins – I was hangry!

Stats for the Day:

  • 1838 calories (includes the crack granola I ate on the way to work!)
  • 58 fat, 243 carbs, 30.5 fiber and 99 protein
  • 53% of calories from carbs, 29% from fat and 18% from protein
  • 35 minute spin at lunch
  • 45 minute Insanity – Day 57

Of course, I am again being Bizzy in my Kitchen before work – I have some beef and spinach cooking for burritos for me and my boss today – along with black bean “refried” beans and my tomatillos salsa.  And more pancakes for breakfast – I’ll probably have pancakes the rest of the week – not complaining!

Question of the Day:  When is the last time you pushed yourself past what you thought were your limits?

Make it a great day!


Act Like You Want to Play in the Game

Over the weekend I found a new to me low carb wrap.  Each one is only 60 calories and 7 grams of fiber.

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I decided to make an egg beater breakfast wrap:  1/3 cup scrambled egg beaters, half a cup of fresh baby spinacy, 1 slice of buffalo flavored cheese, and strawberries on the side.  Lori, I thought of you when I bought this!’

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I loved this wrap – the texture was nice and it was chewy, which I like.  Nice to get nearly 1/2 of my daily intake of fiber with breakfast – 10 grams with the strawberries!

It’s been really chilly lately so I was on the fence about going to swim outside.  It was sunny though, so I gave it a go.  Holy Shizz – was the pool cold!  But I know after a couple of laps I’ll get used to it, so I sucked it up.

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My swim was going well until a group of 8 12 year olds decided to play chicken with my swimming.  As I got near the shallow end, half would swim right in front of me and half would swim right behind me and try to get across without touching me – like I was a torpedo or something.  I didn’t lose my shit, but I was close to it.  The lifeguards must have whistled at them a dozen times to stay OUT of the lap lane.

But thirteen was an unlucky number for them – the lifeguard actually got out of his chair, came down, blew the whistle and kicked the kids out of the pool for 15 minutes.  So the last half of my swim was uneventful. Open-mouthed smile

I made chicken tikka masala for lunch yesterday.  This looks nothing like the original because my jalapenos were so hot, that I ended up having to add a whole container of Chobani greek yogurt to the dish to tone it down.  Even though our nose were running while eating it, both me and my boss loved it – it does look like dog food, but it was super tasty!   I ended up throwing in two small sliced zucchini to the chicken mixture. Open-mouthed smile

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I got home and Tony was enjoying a cigar in the back.  While I thought this was our squirrel Lyle coming by to say hi, this squirrel was smaller, so Tony and I decided to call this one Kyle.  Except Kyle turned out to be a girl squirrel.  She was not shy at all – probably because Lyle told her that I make the best granola. Open-mouthed smile

She got so close – literally about three feet away from me at one point.

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I filled the small tin with sunflower seeds.  She ate all the seeds around it before she found the “mother lode” in the tin.   Sorry about the noise in this video – our neighbor was cutting down a tree!


I ended up making burgers for dinner – I stopped at a place near my office that has the best mushroom sherry sauce – they let me buy a whole container for $1.50 so I could accessorize Tony’s burger.  This doesn’t look like much, but Tony loves this stuff – liquid gold!

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Me?  I had a buffalo cheese burger with pickled jalapenos – people, I’ve already opened my second jar!   On the side – sweet potato fries.  This was half of a sweet potato!  I dipped the fries in a tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk, just to get them wet, then tossed them in a tablespoon of seasoned corn starch – 8 minutes in the fryer and they were done – super crispy!

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After dinner Tony and I caught up on Ray Donovan from the DVR – we are both really liking that show.  Then it was time for Day 56 of Insanity.  This time I did a new workout that I didn’t even realize I had – it was called Max Interval Sports Training and I could replace that with the Core Cardio and Balance.

It’s the “Max” version and it was 54 minutes long.  After the five minute warm up I was waiting for the typical 4 minute stretch, but that never happened.  We did all sorts of sports drills for football, basketball, gymnastics and track and field – holy shizz this one was no joke!

But I loved it.  And in the beginning of the workout, Shaun T said:

Act Like You Want to Play in the Game

It struck a chord with me, because I feel for the last two months, that’s what I have been doing.  Working out at lunch, doing Insanity at night, ditching the alcohol during the week.  Even though I am in week 3 of the Diet Bet, I am not going to worry about the scale at all – I figured I won the first round so my second round “was on the house” and I still have $45 bucks left in my account. 

I know that consistency is the key – and I can’t get complacent like I normally do.  I start out strong, then get bored, tired or both and give up.  But I don’t want to give up. Open-mouthed smile

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Create The Life of Your Dreams

I bought a bunch of charms at the fest I was at on Sunday.  All the chains they had to go with them were gold, and I hate gold, so I’ll need to find a chain to make a bracelet.   Are you creating the life of your dreams?

Stats for the Day:

  • 1535 calories, 63 fat, 166 carbs, 25 fiber and 85 protein
  • 43% of calories from carbs, 37% from fat and 20% from fiber
  • 30 minute lunch swim
  • 54 minute Max Interval Sports Training

Alright, let’s get this show on the road.  I made another batch of granola this morning, and I have a pot of tomato basil soup on the stove for lunch.  Super simple – and ready in 20 minutes – come back tomorrow for the recipe.

Make it a great day!

The Bracelet

Chicagoland has had record breaking cold this past weekend, setting records that were more than 30 years old.  Right now, at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning – it’s only 57 degrees.

I actually don’t mind the cool weather at all.  The mosquitos are at bay, the humidity is gone.  Of course, I feel bad for anyone who had an outdoor party this weekend – who knew you’d have to wear jackets and have bonfires to keep warm in July!

Saturday was a lazy day.  We ended up sleeping in (awesome sleeping weather!) and then I ended up making us lunch at home.  Hot roast beef and American cheese sammies with some fries on the side – this was breakfast and lunch.

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We watched a funny/stupid movie, and then headed out to the grocery store around 2:30.  When I got back and put everything away, I looked at my Insanity calendar and was happy to see it was a Cardio Recovery day – so it was only 43 minutes long. Open-mouthed smile

Ribs were on sale again – I followed our tried and true method, and again worked out perfect except for one thing.  We are out of Rudy’s bbq Sause!!   We are still kicking ourselves for not buying more when we were in Austin in May.


So while these could have used more sauce, they were super tender.  And I finally brought in dishes I may have left out for a few days!

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Yesterday I was meeting up with Hannah and my Mom downtown.  My SIL only lives 10 minutes from us, so she met at our house and we drove to the train station to go to the Randolph Street Market.  I was nervous because when I woke up it was blue skies, and then it got cloudy and rained.  But the weather turned out to be beautiful.

Here we are waiting for the train:

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My SIL has lived in the NW suburbs of Chicago her whole life, but when I asked her when the last time she was in Chicago, she literally couldn’t remember.  Definitely more than 10 years, but could even be as long as 20 years!

Me and Hannah at the train station:

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And me and my Momma when we started walking to the fest before catching a cab.  I always feel so tall next to my Mom!  (I am only 5.2!)

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When we entered the market there was this German beer lady hawking the beer garden – I couldn’t help but get a picture of Hannah with her!

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We didn’t walk around too long before we were all hungry.  I’d only had a piece of toast for breakfast not knowing what I was going to have for lunch.  We all settled on a Middle Eastern food tent – I got the falafel – so good!  My SIL had this too for the first time and loved it, so I plan on making some next week for our lunches.  I got mine with both a tahini sauce and hot sauce – the price?  $4!!  Totally reasonable.

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So it was an eclectic mix of stalls at this market – some were high end furniture, then the next booth looked like someone cleaned out their basement.  Definitely awesome people watching!

Nicole, this picture is for you – this was such a sweet bull dog.  There were lots of friendly dogs!

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I should have bought that hat!

Creepy stuff:

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Longtime readers have seen this picture of me and my twin sister, circa 1980.  I am on the left.

Beth and Jenn as kids

I sent this picture to Tony to bring back that 80s magic!

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So here’s where the day got a little weird.  Tony always makes fun of me because it doesn’t seem to matter where we go, I always seem to bump into someone I know.  I was in this stall when I hear my name being called.  WTF?

I look up and it is none other than the very first boy I loved.  Bob was my first boyfriend.  Not kidding when I say we “dated” from 4th grade until 8th grade.  I think the only reason we broke up is because he went to a Catholic high school and I went to the public high school.

Anyway, whenever I saw him in grade school my heart would skip a beat.  We had our first kiss at the age of 9 – his Mom actually caught us kissing behind a shed in the far corner of the school grounds!

Bob’s family always went somewhere for spring break.  We never went anywhere for spring break.  In 5th grade, he brought me back a macramé/puca shell bracelet.  It was thick like this bracelet, but white and had a shell in the middle.  I thought it was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen.


I put it on immediately and never took it off.  Until one day, my grandma that lived with us asked me where I got it.  I proudly said “my boyfriend brought it back to me from Florida.”  At which point she totally wigged out, telling me I was too young to have a boyfriend and that I had to give it back.

Why I didn’t just keep it and put it on once I left the house, I’ll never know.  Maybe because I was only 10 and I thought she’d somehow find out that I didn’t give it back. 

So I waited by his locker.  I was thinking up this elaborate story on how I couldn’t keep the bracelet.  I was all calm cool and collected until I saw him walk up the steps and the closer he got to his locker the more I was pissed I couldn’t keep it and by the time he actually reached his locker, I burst into tears, threw it right at him and said “I can’t keep it!”  And left it at that!

We have since reconnected on Facebook.  He and I both laughed because we remembered “the bracelet” story as if it were yesterday.  He’s now happily married with four kids in their teens.  He may read my blog because he’s seen my links on Facebook, so Bob, if you are reading this – it was really great to see you!

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Alright, now I am curious.  Bob said a couple years ago that I was a hot topic in his house because this three boys couldn’t believe that we first kissed at the age of 9.  I have to know, do you remember how old you were when you had your first kiss on the lips?

We walked around for hours – had a great time and then it was time to head back to the train station.  Hannah left on the L, my Mom on the West line and Jody and I on the Northwest line.

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Dinner ended up being super quick.  My thought was to do a quick Parmesan cheese chicken – turns out I used the flour/bread crumbs, but um, forgot the Parmesan cheese!  We had baked potatoes on the side.

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I ended up taking the day off from Insanity with all the walking we did, but plan to hit Day 56 hard tonight!

Alright, I have to get this show on the road – I am making Chicken Tikka Masala for lunch today – it’s one of my bosses favorites (and mine too!).  I am fully prepared for Tony to call me later after I leave and want to know what smells like ass – he no likey the Indian food!

Make it a great day! 

Zucchini Potato Sausage Quiche

First off, thank you for all your wonderful comments about my post yesterday about the scale not moving.  I know full well that the scale is not the only indicator of success, so I am not going to let it stop me get to my goal – you guys are the best cheerleaders!

Something happens nearly every Friday.  I’ve run out of a meal plan.  Seriously – on Saturday’s I menu plan for the week and after figuring out breakfast, lunch and dinner from Saturday through Thursday, when I get to Friday, well, I am just done.  I always figure I can throw shit together with leftovers from the week.

Except yesterday?  No leftovers.  Well, I still had Martha’s pancake batter – holy shizz these pancakes are so good – I had them with blueberries, then apples, and then yesterday?  Bananas!  I actually thought the consistency of the batter got batter as it sat in the fridge – the banana ones were the thickest ones yet and it was the same amount of batter.

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It was a crappy weather day yesterday – cold, damp, rainy – just ick.  The kind of day where you would just love to spend in bed watching movies all day.  My plan was to bring my Insanity dvd with me and borrow my firms laptop and do my workout in the group exercise gym at lunch.  That would have been perfect had I actually remembered to put the damn thing in my bag.

So rain or shine, I got to the gym.  I decided I’d do the Stairmaster – my plan was to do a minimum of 110 flights – which is equivalent to the Sears Tower. Open-mouthed smile

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I ended up doing 114 flights in 37 minutes!  I was a sweaty mess at the end:

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So I was looking through my fridge before work, trying to figure out what to make for me and my boss for lunch.  I had no leftover protein I could morph into tacos, I didn’t have hardly any veggies left to make a salad.  I opened up my meat drawer and I had Jimmy Dean Sausage links.  Huh.  That’s a picture from their website – I had the fully cooked links – 3 of them were 180 calories.


I thought, why can’t I make a quiche for lunch?  This is the benefit of getting up at 6:30 in the morning and I don’t have to leave for work until 8:10 – so much time for activities!  I immediately turned on my stove to 375.

Zucchini Potato Sausage Quiche

  • 4 servings: 198 calories, 10 fat, 7 carbs, 1.1 fiber and 17 protein


  • 4 small new potatoes, nuked in the microwave
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (from one large one), squeezed of any excess liquid
  • 6 sausage links, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper

After the potatoes are done, I usually stick them in the freezer for a few minutes so they are cool enough to slice.  I made this quiche in an 8×8 pan.  Spray the bottom.  Layer the potatoes on the bottom, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a skillet, saute the sausage on high for a couple minutes, just until slightly browned.  Pour the sausage over the potatoes.

Mix the eggs, almond milk, zucchini, crushed red pepper and pour over sausage and potatoes.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the cheese is browned.  I let it cool for about 20 minutes before taking it to work, just wrapped it in some dish towels for the drive to work.

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I had enough greens for us to each have a small Caesar salad on the side with cantaloupe – I LOVED the cantaloupe on this salad – I added a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and that salty sweet combo was delicious.

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You know what else was delicious?  Adding the pickled jalapenos!  I ate a whole jar by myself this week!

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And continuing my lack of planning for Friday, I also had no ideas for dinner.  Obviously, party pizza Friday is always an option in my book, but I knew Tony wasn’t up for it.  I did have a taste for a chicken pita at a beef place by our house – Tony chose the gyros route and dinner was decided.

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I know that it looks kind of boring, but the chicken breast is Greek marinated and it has so much flavor – but, I think it needed a touch more:

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Frank’s buffalo sauce was a nice addition. Open-mouthed smile  Then we caught up on stuff on the DVR – the finale of Hell’s Kitchen – that show was about 4 episodes too long.  I caught up with my Biz T.V. – a sandwich King and Extreme Weight Loss – this woman Trina got down to 145 pounds by phase 3 and was a candidate for skin removal surgery.  (spoiler alert coming if you haven’t seen it yet). .  .

She went home for three weeks and just went into a total binge until her husband called Chris to come back.  This woman gained 34 pounds in three weeks!  And when they weighed her in and and she saw the number on the scale she said “well, I just drank about a liter of water.”  But, she got back on track and ended up losing it by the end of the show.  Tony hates those shows because he says as soon as the cameras go away, they go back to their old ways and end up gaining it all back. 

So I ended up taking the day off from Insanity, and I have to tell you, my body thanks me for it.  I am not sore at all today, or stiff like I normally am.  Today I have Max Interval Sports Training – I didn’t even realize that was an option to switch out from Core Cardio & Balance.  I think its 45 minutes so that’s on tap for today.

So excited about tomorrow though – my Mom, Hannah and my SIL are going to Randolph Street Market tomorrow.  It’s $10 entrance fee, but I got a Living Social deal for only $4 bucks a ticket.  We’ll take the train to Chicago and then probably walk to the event.  I told Tony I didn’t want the summer to go by without going to a fest and he said “that’s why you have a Mom, daughter and my sister to do that shit with.”  Tony isn’t one for fests!

Stats for the Day:

  • 2053 calories (includes Mike’s light hard lemonade and wine)
  • 39 fat, 206 carbs, 12 fiber and 98 protein
  • 40% calories from carbs, 17% from fat and 43% from protein

I was joking with Suzie that she should give me some sort of award for making her lasagna soup so many times.  She said if she knew how, she would.  I told her I would take care of it – I’ll probably keep this on my fridge for a while!

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I hope she doesn’t mind that I had to sign her name on it – ha!

Hope you have a great weekend!  See you Monday. Open-mouthed smile

The Scale Isn’t Moving

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I am exactly the same weight as I was last week. And while I am a tad disappointed, I have to stop and check myself:

  • I’ve eaten under 1600 calories all week
  • I’ve worked out a minimum of 60 minutes every day except for the rest day
  • I’ve had 80-100 ounces of water a day
  • The big one – no alcohol

But, I know I am building muscle, so I have to keep that in mind.  And you know what the difference between a winner and a loser is?  Winners never quit, and neither am I.

Since I still had pancake batter leftover from Martha Stewart’s pancakes, I made apple pancakes yesterday – this time topped with chopped ham and apple.  Believe it or not, this whole plate of food is 352 calories!  It was so filling, I only ate 3/4 of it.  Who am I to stop eating because I am full?! Winking smile

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Yesterday’s weather was gorgeous  – 75 degrees and sunny.  Let’s just say with our cooler temps of late, the pool was a tad chilly!  I swam for 30 minutes and then sunned for 10 minutes before heading back to the office – the perfect lunch break.

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For lunch yesterday – batch number 40 of Suzie’s lasagna soup!  Suzie, I think you should make me an award for the blogger to make a recipe of yours the most times.  Let me know if you need my address. Open-mouthed smile

I did switch it up just a bit.  Normally I add baby spinach to it, but I didn’t have any, so I shredded two zucchini and cup up two carrots and sauteed those with the Italian sausage.  Hands down this is my favorite soup.  And I take Suzie’s advice and only add the noodles when heating up the soup, otherwise the noodles soak up all the liquid if you don’t eat it the same day you make it.

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It was a grill night – grilled chicken thighs, corn on the cob and cole slaw.  Since the chicken thighs take a while to cook, Tony and I sat outside – him with a Rolling Rock Light (I may have one of those tonight!) and me with lemonade.

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I don’t know why I bought this snaggle tooth corn on the cob, but it tasted good!

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We didn’t eat until 7:15, so we started watching the movie Ted.  Still so funny.  We got an hour in and then paused it so I could do Day 54 – (I think I added a day on my Instagram pics!) of insanity.  I am switching up the schedule a bit this week because Friday is usually my rest day.  But Sunday I am going to a street fest in Chicago with my Mom and Hannah – Hannah got the day off!  So Sunday will be my Insanity rest day and I am bringing my DVD to work and doing the 40 minutes of Core Cardio and Balance at the gym at lunch.  I still want to have my Friday night open for Tony. Open-mouthed smile

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I just have to look at that picture above to see that Insanity and my hard work is paying off, even if it hasn’t shown up on the scale yet. 

Quitters Never Win and Winners Never Quit!”

Stats for the Day:

  • 1576 calories, 71 fat, 158 carbs, 17 fiber and 80 protein
  • 40% of calories from carbs, 41% from fat and 19% from protein
  • 30 minute swim
  • 45 minutes Day 54 Insanity

Alright, off to get my sweat on before work – make it a great day!

Check out this post on plateaus:  I just stumbled upon her blog earlier this week – very well written and great advice!