Jenna: Group Text Dinner

I am blessed with lots of awesome friends, near and far. Two of my close friends are participating in the clean eating challenge. Kelly lives in South Florida and Martha lives in Nashville.

We decided we would all “get together” for dinner and make a clean recipe. That’s a little tough with so many miles between us, so we came up with the idea of all making the same recipe at the same time. That way we could chat, share pictures, and enjoy it together: virtually!

We decided on black bean rice bowls with yummy clean toppings. It was easy, quick, and allowed us to share ideas on what to add during the day leading up to it. I had made a big batch of sprouted brown rice earlier in the week, so I was already one step ahead.

When I heated up my black beans, I added some garlic:

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Next, I piled a ton of black beans on and added greek yogurt, tomatillo sauce, avocado and hot sauce.

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Right before I was ready to dig in, Kelly shared a picture of hers and there was spinach. What a great idea! I piled some on a plate and dumped my bowl on top.

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Someone was not far from the action…

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This was so fun! We will do it again some time soon 🙂

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Rose: Garden Update, Week 1

You may remember that I planted my potted garden last week. I’ve been nervous to see whether the plants would grow. I’ve never tried this method before, and I feared the balcony wasn’t bright or spacious enough. Well, good things come to those who wait patiently. I arrived home last evening after a wonderful weekend spent in North Carolina to this beautiful site:

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Check out those beans in the upper left! They came up quickly. The upper right are tomatoes; I see four nice stalks growing. Beneath that are the chives, which will be wonderful for cooking. And in the bottom left, there are a few sprigs of spinach and romaine coming through.

There are few things more beautiful in life than watching a garden grow. Amazing what a little bit of hard work can accomplish. And to think — I didn’t even have to water them this week (that was all thanks to my cat watcher/neighbor!).

I can’t wait to see what week two brings.

Do you have a summer garden? How’s it going?

 

Jenna: Chicken & Greek Yogurt Sauce Pizza

Hello! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

I made this pizza last week and it was so simple and delicious I just had to share. I had no idea that greek yogurt would work as a sauce, and was so intrigued by the recipe on Clean Eating Magazine’s website that I had to give it a try. You can consult that for measurements, but I eye balled most of it.  I made some tweaks, and below was the end result.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Arrange oven rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
  2. Mist a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add broccoli and onion, stirring frequently, until cooked through and soft. Season with salt and pepper ( I used Mrs. Dash instead of salt to cut that out). Remove from heat and let it sit.
  3. I did use the recipes suggested 3/4 cup of yogurt but I eye balled the other ingredints. I’d guess it was 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme and a table spoon of garlic. The yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, dill, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread yogurt sauce evenly over crust. I used a Udi’s Gluten Free thin crust.  Top with broccoli mixture, chicken, mozzarella and feta. I did NOT use the phyllo.  Bake for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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Delicious 🙂 I would highly recommend this. It was great left over the next day at work. The feta gives it enough saltiness and the thyme with the yogurt is a great combination.

 

Rose: My Standing Desk

I have big news in the world of work-life balance. My office bought me a standing desk! A couple of my coworkers recently added this adjustable Varidesk to their offices. This black box moves up and down, depending on whether you want to sit or stand. I’m pretty much addicted.

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I’ve wanted a desk like this for a long time. I have chronic lower-spine issues as well as occasional back problems (mostly from running). When I learned this was an option at work, I quickly went to my physician to get a doctor’s note.

I’m not ready to post a review … yet. I need to break this in! But my initial reactions: I am way more focused when I stand and reach deeper levels of concentration. However, my feet really hurt by the end of the day (I need a mat — these carpeted concrete floors are hard on the feet!)

Stay tuned for an official review in the next week. And happy standing! 🙂

Jenna: Megan

Almost two years ago, I was catching up with a friend via text. We hadn’t really caught up since I moved to Philadelphia, and she mentioned that she was having a hard time health wise. Some blood work had come back funny, and it was cancer. She asked me not to share this with anyone, because she hadn’t had a chance to tell all of her close friends.  After that we swapped texts now and then. Me teasing her that I’d mail her some cheesesteaks and her saying how she’d visit me when this nonsense was over.

I remember being really angry. Why does stuff like this happen to good people? Megan was one of the most bubbly and outgoing people I had ever met. We were each dating a member of a band at the time. She waltzed in with her fiery red hair and we instantly got along. She was a few years younger than me, and full of energy. We partied together. We shared  some really fun beach trips. I remember meeting her family when she graduated undergrad. Some really great times.

Megan ended up at University of Miami for treatment early on, and I have a friend that works there. I called her, and she went to meet Megan and her family when they got there. I remember feeling really happy about this. The texts I got from her were great. She enjoyed meeting someone and seeing a “familiar” face. She was always so positive and loving throughout the entire process.

Megan died two weeks ago. Her funeral is tomorrow.

I was always so amazed at her strength. She would share updates on her blog, and would have a sense of humor and grace that I am not sure most people are capable of on a daily basis, and she was fighting a horrible disease.

I’ve been really angry these last few weeks. The day I found out, I felt like someone  punched me in the stomach. I would wake up thinking “megan megan megan megan where are you megan?” She was here, commenting funny things on my Instagram photos and now she is … gone. There are so many bad people in this world, why did she have to be one to leave it so young?

But I know Megan, and she wouldn’t want me to sit around angry. She would want me to listen to music really loudly and dance around my apartment. She would want me to go to yoga class, because she always asked me to “teach her the moves”. She would want me to eat lots of green veggies and drink lots of juice because we would swap recipes. She would want me to drink too much tequila one night at the beach and make some silly memories.

I thought about Megan a lot while I ran the Broad Street Run, which was before she passed. I ran for her, and for other people who couldn’t. She was always so supportive of me. Even a month ago, she was writing “you look AMAZING” on photos. I would respond, “you ARE amazing”. Because she is.

megan

You can read more about Megan here: http://www.southernatheartblog.com/ and http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tallahassee/obituary.aspx?n=megan-whitney-blakey&pid=171024594&