No Case of the Mondays

Today was not your typical Monday.  My office had a staff outing to Six Flags!  I’m not a huge fan of big rollercoasters, but it was still a fun day and a great way to help our staff bond.   Plus, there are other rides at the park that aren’t terrifying!

(source)

Included with our tickets was a meal ticket to use for lunch.  I think we can all agree that theme parks aren’t the best place to find healthy meal options, but there are ways to at least do some damage control.

1. Get a workout in before you go. I was tired this morning, but I made myself get out of bed to go for a run.  I ran on the treadmill (which I haven’t done in a while!) and used the outing as an excuse to push myself extra hard.

2. Take advantage of the opportunity to walk. It’s easy to pick up a map of the park grounds and take the most direct route to the rides you want to go on, but since you’re going to be standing in lots of lines anyway, why not meander?  Plus, you might stumble upon a ride or two you didn’t know you wanted to go on!

3. Only eat what you’re really craving, and stop when you’re full. If you’re going to be forced to eat something that’s not so healthy, at least get what you really want! Then, don’t over-do it.  The portions at theme parks are often HUGE, so eat until you’re not hungry anymore and then stop.  Rollercoasters+overeating = pukey.

After my workout this morning, I inhaled this:

I may be obsessed with these Saturn peaches.  They are a little bit more floral than a regular peach, and dare I say- slightly milky?  It sounds kind of weird, but they are really good and so funny to eat! (I must look strange eating them in public- it sort of looks like I’m eating a sandwich because of the way I hold them.)

I also inhaled some trail mix.  It was pretty crucial. (M&M’s before 9 am?  It happens.)

Since my eats this afternoon weren’t exactly the pinnacle of good eats, I’ll leave you with last night’s dinner:

I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for dinner.  I need to marinate more!  This chicken was really, really good.  Not only did it have a lot of flavor, but it stayed really juicy.  Here’s the marinade recipe for a little less than a pound of poultry (I had 2 huge breasts that I butterflied in half).

1/4 cup tequila (I didn’t use a super high quality tequila.  It was Cuervo.  What?  Don’t judge me!)

1 lime, juiced

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 t. chili powder

2 T. chopped jalapeno (I used the jarred, pickled kind.  I think they’re spicier!)

1 T. minced garlic

1 t. ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a dish and add chicken.  Cover and refrigerate as long as you can stand it.

I made a little sauce out of sour cream, salsa and cumin to cool off the chicken.  Simple but good!

Check out my grill marks!  I’m a pretty skilled grillmaster these days.  Come visit me in Chicago and maybe I’ll prove it. 🙂  It must have been good, in all honesty- the boyfriend went back for 2nds!

I made some roasted broccoli and garlic toast on the side (with leftover bread from the farmers market).

D. E. Licious.

Are you a fan of amusement parks?  What do you do about the eating situation while you’re there?

Fly-by Summer

Happy Sunday Funday, everyone!

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this summer is flying by.  It’s August 1st already…WHAT?!?!  Maybe it’s because I’m a Chicagoan and summer (also known as road construction season) lasts only 3 months and then it’s back to cold wind and snow up to your eyeballs, but I am trying to squeeze in as much during the warm months as possible.

Yesterday, that meant All-Star Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

Oh, good gracious.  To be fair, there’s nothing technically “all-star” about this dish, but it played my tastebuds like Michael Jordan played basketball.

Let’s rewind to the beginning of this creation, shall we?

After a morning meeting with Heather at Healthy In Chicago, I visited the Lincoln Park farmers market:


I know what you’re thinking and no, the farmers market isn’t actually on a farm- but the petting zoo is directly across the street.  I decided to get a quick workout in, so I ran (sprinted, actually) all the way there.  Part of why I love where I live in Chicago is that it’s within walking distance of so many things- the zoo and farmers market included.  At the fast pace I was going, it only took me about 5 minutes to get there.  I ran a bit further and then circled back.

As I perused the vendors’ tents, I came upon a boulanger (ie, baker) that had some amazing bread.


I chose a sesame semolina loaf, as per the recommendation by the girl working the tent.

Now, we all know that I can’t control myself and I needed to break into this bread as soon as I got home (let’s be honest, I’m lucky I didn’t break into it on the walk home).

It was so good!  After debating what I should do with it, I settled on French toast.  It sounded like a strange idea at first because of the sesame seeds, but it ended up being some of the best French toast I’ve made.  The doughiness of the bread really soaked up the egg mixture and the seeds added a really nice heartiness.  I didn’t have any maple syrup (I’m not really a huge fan of maple syrup.  Gasp, I know.) so I decided to make a sauce to go on top.

For the egg mixture:

1 egg, beaten

1 T. skim milk

generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon

1/2 t. vanilla extract

Mix all of those in a shallow dish and then soak the bread slices in it while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:

1 1/2 T. strawberry preserves

2 T. cream cheese at room temperature

splash skim milk

1/2 t. vanilla extract

Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Cook the bread in a bit of butter (I used about 1/2 teaspoon) in a skillet, flipping occasionally until golden brown.  Top with the sauce.

This was such a great Saturday morning meal.  The fresh bread worked perfectly as a base for the French toast and the sauce tasted like strawberry cheesecake.

Way to get the day started off on the right foot, Megan. 🙂  After that, my day was filled with friends, good food and street festivals.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer Saturday.

What’s on your list of things to do before summer ends?