Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've said it before, I'll say it again...

This is TOUGH. Somewhere along the line I lost my mojo and I cannot have yet to get it back. The last year and a half has been tough. There's been chronic shouulder pain with an undiagnosable cause, the death of my grandmother who I loved SO much, and various other work and home stresses. Instead of using taking care of myself as a de-stressor, I've let healthy living and eating become a source of stress. WHY? Do I do this? I FEEl better when I exercise. I'm happier when I exercise. I can handle things better when I exercise. Eating right does the same thing, yet I have been consistently choosing crap. Using food as a band-aid to cover up the hurt, stress, and fatigue is no longer an option. The good news? Today and yesterday I've been eating on plan and come in under my calorie "budget." I've also been walking in the mornings before work with a friend. On one hand, it's moving, on another, I know we're not working hard enough to make any real fitness advancements. We've decided to start the couch to 5k program together. Maybe that will help. So, i've said it before, I'll say it again. It's time to fake it until I make it! Baby steps!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Filipo Berio Olive Oil-Bzz Campaign and a Yummy Recipe

Hi all!  I have lots to say in another post about the way things are going, so look for that soon, but for THIS post, I wanted to tell you about Filipo Berio Olive Oil.  I'm a Bzz Agent through www.bzzagent.com, where I'm provided free samples of different things in exchange for sharing my feedback on the items.  I'm participating in the olive oil campaign, and I love it.  The oil is rich and yummy and is proving to be a great substitute for butter.  In my efforts to eat healthier, I'm trying to sub it in for butter in most recipes.  I'm also trying to move toward a more heart healthy "Mediterranean diet" with fruits, leafy greens, legumes, fish, and olive oil!  If any of you are looking for a good olive oil, give Filipo Berio a try :)

Now, here is one of my FAVORITE olive oil recipes.  This stuff is super yummy, my husband requests it for dinner weekly and it's hearty enough to be a light entree.  Here's one of my favorite recipes lately, Ina Garten's Green Panzanella.  It's awesome stuff, I promise!  I do not use all of the dressing on mine, but you certainly could.  I also use a sourdough loaf of bread, or whole grain if i'm being super good, but I do find that the whole grain is a little too sweet for this recipe.  This is a super recipe to take to potlucks, I just take the bread and dressing separately and mix before serving.  If only I remembered to take a picture of the final product!


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
  • 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.