Food Rut

Meal planning is hard. Packing lunch five days a week and cooking for a husband who likes a lot of variety and does not like healthy food while maintaining a budget, is like balancing on a tightrope. This week I decided to use a new source for dinner recipe ideas and found each one on Pinterest. My qualifications for a recipe are:

Minimally processed, whole ingredients

Can be cooked in 45 minutes or less (for a weekday meal)

Mostly meat-free

Every meal has some kind of vegetables

For really busy days, I always have a salad made up for the entire week. I do that on Sunday when I have time to wash and chop all of the vegetables. I make large batches, even though I cook for two, so we always have leftovers on hand.


Cereal with banana and kefir

Shredded Wheat

Uncle Sam’s Cereal

1 Banana

Strawberry Kefir


Coffee black x 2

Morning Snack

Banana Fresh

String Cheese



Quinoa With Roasted Butternut Squash

This came out amazing. The smell of the roasting squash was delicious and the pecans on top added just the right crunch.

Organic Apple

Afternoon Snack

More string cheese.


Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

This soup was very tasty and really quick to make. The only change I would make is to lighten up on the salt. I was able to find a whole wheat cheese tortellini which was quite good. J usually complains about whole wheat pasta and he was not able to tell.

Tuna Sandwich

Tuna Sandwich with mixed greens on Ezekial Bread

What are your tips for getting out of a food rut?

What I Ate Wednesday Birthday Edition

Today is my 30th birthday. I feel happy but kind of sad at the same time. (Mostly sad that I have to work and this is the busiest time of the year. Not sure I ever want to work another job where the fiscal year-end is the same week as my birthday.)

Regular readers will know about my 30 Before 30 list. I will be writing an update about that later in the week.

Now onto the food.




Plus black coffee.

Lunch was a salad beast.

Lunch Salad



Grape Tomatoes


Chick Peas

Feta Cheese

Olive Oil

Also a peach, not pictured.

Snacks were string cheese times two and two bananas.

String Cheese


Dinner was leftover salad. Pretty much the same as lunch, minus the tuna.

Dinner Salad

Pasta recipe from this months Runner’s World. It was OK but the meatballs were really good.

Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Feta

Smart Taste Pasta

Turkey Meatballs (with more feta)

Feta Cheese

Do you do anything special for your Birthday?

Is 30 the new 25?

What I Ate Wednesday

Yesterday’s run was kind of crappy. During it, I started to realize that doing a hard 60 minute workout the day after running seven miles might not have been the best idea. - If I ever had to run for my life, I would probably die.


Live and learn. Moving forward, I will probably have Sunday be an easy or rest day.

Now for the money shots, a day in the life of Dina’s food.


Cereal Kefir Shredded Wheat Uncle Sams

Shredded Wheat

Uncle Sam’s

Sliced Almonds


Strawberry Kefir




Salad with Goat Cheese

Super Greens

Grape Tomatoes



Goat Cheese


Olive Oil

String Cheese

String Cheese


Chobani Lemon Yogurt


Pre-Run Snack

Wasa Cracker

Whole Grain Wasa Cracker



Six-Inch Veggie on Honey Oat Bread (From Subway)



Green Peppers


Swiss Cheese

One Pickle


One bag of Baked Lay’s

This post linked up with peas & crayons for What I Ate Wednesday.

Were you able to buy the livingsocial deal for Whole Foods? It is crazy to me how much buzz the deal got and how many were sold. Should be interesting to see if more grocery stores jump on the bandwagon.



Cheese, Candy, And Beer

I had the most amazing Saturday. It started with a glorious run (many fun pictures taken with picplz which I am now obsessed with) and ended with pumpkin beer.

First,  we headed to The Cheese Shop on Park in Winter Park. We had a gift card from Christmas to spend.

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If you love cheese and wine, I highly recommend The Cheese Shop. Not only are they the nicest people, they are super knowledgeable and the cheese is out of this world. Plus, they carry lots of great local products (jams, salad dressing, and hot sauces) plus gourmet honey and crackers.

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We bought many different types of cheese but the one I am most excited about is Pecorino with truffles. I have an idea for a pasta dish that this cheese will taste amazing grated over.

We walked around the lovely Park Avenue for awhile. Admiring the sites and the cute storefronts.

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Topiary dog!

Loved this display in the park for breast cancer awareness.

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We finally made it to Sassafras Sweet Shoppe. J is literally a candy nut (for example, he might be the sole person in Polk County who buys out the Darrell Lea Licorice every week at Target.)

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Such a cute store! Great mix of vintage candy and local products. We had a lot of fun looking around. Also, buying one item just for laughs. (J may have actually tried this but I will not be.)

Roast Beef Gum

Dinner time and I finally got to eat at Shipyard Emporium.


Pumpkin beer!

Pumpkin Beer


J Shipyard

We started with the trio of dips They were Buffalo Chicken, Roasted Pablano Artichoke Dip, and White Bean Hummus. Each one was delicious but the Buffalo Chicken was the most unique (hello real pieces of chicken.)

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I had the BLT Flatbread. The sundried tomato combined with the bacon was smoky awesomeness.

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J had the Lobster Flat Bread which he did not like as much. He felt the tarragon was overwhelming.

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The beer menu was really cool and the desserts looked delicious. We will definitely be coming back to eat here again.

Are you doing anything fun for the holiday weekend?

Agree or disagree, pumpkin beer is the best beer ever?

Black & Brew

This week has been insane! Back to work from vacation on Tuesday. Tuesday night I had a meeting after work until 9:30 and today another meeting right after work. This one was at the really cool Black & Brew in Lakeland.

There are few things I love more than coffee and these days it is so difficult to find independent coffee places. Black & Brew did not disappoint.

For dinner I had the Veggie Medley Panini. (I may have eaten half before I could get myself to take the picture. Was really hungry)


Gorgonzola cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, red onions, and basil pesto sauce on ciabatta. It was really good!

I also had a latte which was excellent. Definitely recommend Black & Brew if you are in Lakeland.



Hotter than Hades Virtual Half Marathon

I need some running inspiration lately. My goal race (first half) is not until the end of November and the only other race on my calendar is a 15K (four days before my 30th birthday) in September.

With the Hotter than Hades Virtual Half, time does not matter and you do not have to run all 13.1 at once. What you can win, besides the feeling awesome for going the distance, are some great prizes.


My first entry into this race is my run from Monday. Here is the proof in case you were worried I was cheating.


Only 8.68 miles to go.

Do you need some motivation? Is it so hot where you are that your friends and family think you are nuts for running outside?

This post is part of the Fitness Friday Blog Hop.

Fitness Friday Blog Hop