No, Wednesday Weigh-in did not happen today. Back on track at my usual meeting spot in Portland next week! And thanks to all for the opinions on P90X; so far I think I’m in favor of trying it. The worst that can happen is that I’ll have a collection of workouts for when I get totally sick of Jillian when I’m traveling. A girl’s gotta have more than two workout videos, right?!

So today was amazing!! Kate and I biked for about 15 miles this morning around Lake Mendota, leaving us jazzed on sunshine and endorphines. Prior to our journey, she made a gourmet fritatta with smoked salmon, tomatoes, dill, yams, onions, and gorgonzola cheese. We topped it with tzatziki sauce! Lucky. Me.

Her cherry tree:

For strength today, it was another round with Jillian after I got home. Here’s the salad I made for my ma and I to compliment our dinner of grilled kabobs:


country roads

You know you aren’t in high school anymore when you get lost on country roads on your bicycle. Breezy and I ended up taking a 15+ mile ride this morning partially due to a stalled train blocking our intended road. Exciting times in the middle of nowhere! And before that, I went to the gym super early for a 40 minute spin… 2+ hours on a bike seat today! It’s progress…

Also, I’m flirting with the idea of trying the P90X workout series. Ninety days of pretty serious stuff. Are any of you doing this? Am I crazy to think this is acceptable?

Food today was pretty healthy until I blew it at the end by eating a homemade candy-dipped ice cream cookie sandwich. Doesn’t it just sound irresistible? Wish I had a photo, but this one of my dinner burrito will have to do:

Thanks, Maders!

I’ve been shaking the post-karaoke funk all day today, thus a very late blog post. Paul and Ambar invited me over to their new house last night for some cookout fun… and then the usual suspects joined up for sing-song happiness.

Fresh peas, from their garden!

Grilled steak, mushroom and potatoes with broccoli salad and raspberries:

Niece Mallory 🙂

Today was indulgent, and I’ll be glad to start over tomorrow morning with a long bike ride and trip to the gym.

Here is the track list from the workout mix I made Breezy and I for Jillian’s workout today:

Baby I Love You, Aretha Franklin
No Heaven, DJ Champion
Too Fake, Hockey
Felicia, Constellations
Little Lion Man, Mumford and Sons
Show Me, Mint Royale
Everything is Alright, Stevie Wonder
Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
Maybe, Ingrid Michaelson
Electric Feel, MGMT
Dreams, Passion Pit
Why Did ya Come in Here Lookin Like That: Dolly Parton
Hallelujah, Helio Sequence
Don’t Stop til you get Enough, MJ

3 pints for $5

After Breezy and I finished Jillian’s cardio workout, we walked downtown to pick up lunch for our afternoon of World Cup’ing. Before we got to Fat Bruce’s (one of the best places in town… bakery/deli), we bought the last of the Farmer’s Market berry stash. Two pints of raspberries and a pint of strawberries, all fresh picked, for five bucks.

We ate the strawbs on the walk:

Veggie Chili

I went as Keri’s date to her AA meeting tonight; what a good experience for the soul. They’re all about gratitude – I LOVE it! And I’m so grateful to have a healthy Keri in my life 🙂

Guess who I convinced to engage in some Jillian activity today? Breezy! Here she is right before I got all antsy in her face, begging for her company (Molly napped on as we lunged and crunched):

Recipe of the day (my own creation): Veggie Chili

Secret ingredient, courtesy of the new Mexican market downtown Ripon (!!!):

All the ingredients:

Chop and saute in olive oil for 8 minutes or so: Jalapeno, medium red onion, two ears of uncooked corn off the cob, small chopped sweet potato

Add 4 chopped peppers in adobo sauce; continue sauteing

Add small can of tomato sauce

Add can of fire roasted tomatoes

Add two cans of your favorite beans

Add jar of salsa

Add a cup or two of water

Add a bag of Boca vegetarian crumbles

Cook on low for awhile; Eat it when it tastes ready.

Final product:

It’s chili, there are no rules. It’s great though, because it can be really, really healthy. Enjoy!


I just lost twice to my Pa in Trivial Pursuit. So grateful to have this time at home, regardless of my inadequate regurgitation of useless information.

Today was pretty uneventful on the food scene: Soup/salad at Chili’s for lunch, leftovers for dinner. No pictures of anything. Sorry!

Workout: 12 mile country bike ride, Jillian strength dvd, 2 mile walk

Oh, and I counted WW points today for the first time in forEVs. I was over, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

New recipe tomorrow!

Weigh-in Wednesday

Really happy to have Keri with me today to witness my HALF POUND LOSS!!! We gave me a pep talk on the way there about feeling healthy and not taking the scale too seriously. Even so, I was glad to walk away with a sense of greater strength and accomplishment. I’m within 1/2 pound of my lowest weight ever… life is good.

Exercise today: Lots of walking (to the gym, around the ‘hood with Ker, to WW, out with Molly and Dad) and 50 minutes of sweaty spinning at the gym.

Soundtrack today: The Minneap band, Lookbook, who was recommended by my pal Robyn. If you dig synth pop and strong chick vocals, then get down with their song “The Only Ones” during your next workout. I downloaded the entire album Wild at Heart and am totally hooked. (I definitely recommend this for Missy and Megan 🙂 )

New recipe time! This one came from a really rad fancy Italian cookbook I found in Jesse and Jamie’s collection.

Asparagus and Mushroom Salad (my modification)

2 bunches asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
4 small or 2 large portabello mushrooms (scales removed), cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup canola oil (or whatever you’ve got)
3/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup dijon mustard
small handful of chopped parsley
Shaved fresh parmesan cheese

Blanch asparagus and put in bowl with mushrooms

Whisk remaining ingredients (sans cheese) and toss with veggies.

Garnish with shaved cheese and salt and pepper if necessary.

Easy and healthy, like lunch should be.

And one more of the littlest girl:

Owning it.

I am preparing for a real smack in the face at weigh-in tomorrow; but I will own whatever the scale says and move forward as healthfully as possible. While I’m quite proud of the amount of exercise I busted out in Minne, it surely did not balance out all the [amazing] food.

Today was crazy. I’m back in Ripon now, which means the GYM!! No more Jillian for awhile… not gonna lie, I’m kind of sick of her. Tonight’s workout: 20 min elliptical (intervals), weights (arms, back), 20 min spin (intervals)… and then Keri and I power walked across town. Two miles maybe?

Check out this breakfast Carol and I split at Maria’s Cafe (Columbian food) in Minneap…

Veggie sausage wrap with fresh salsa, refried beans and CORN PANCAKE with cojita cheese:

And now for a special treat! The newest addition to our family…

Molly! Fuzzy little ball of love!


You know when you’re trying to describe a new restaurant, grocery store, or other hip food situation that is natural, organic, local, sustainable, blah blah blah? Well Jesse got to the point and named this fairly recent phenomenon “locatainable” (yes, a relatively obvious word, but effective nonetheless). Portland and Minneapolis bleed this type of food (a new urban trend?), but apparently Duluth only has a few options for shopping and dining with this intent and mindfulness. If, however, you’re visiting D-Town in the near future and want to spend your fortune on locatainable greatness, definitely check out At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe (a wordy title, yes.) Order the tempeh ruben sandwich and spread the word on its fabulousness.

I didn’t photograph my lunch because I knew I’d want to take a million pictures of our little family dinner tonight. Jamie, Jesse and I collectively made fish tacos (with Jesse’s homemade corn tortillas and my red cabbage slaw), roasted corn salsa, green salad and Jamie’s Thai sangria. This was a complete team collaboration, almost satisfying my constant need to cook lavish meals with two of my favorite people. Thank you, friends. (And btw, the trout was so locatainable that is was caught wild right out of Lake Superior!)

I spent the better part of my night trying to determine when we’d get to reunite in the future. I vote for Christmas in Wisco, but this guy probably won’t be there:

Now for a couple of tonight’s recipes… first the sangria and then the roasted corn salsa. The rest was pretty easy and obvious and I suggest throwing your own fish taco party ASAP.

Thai Sangria

1. 1/4 cup sugar
2. 1/4 cup water
3. 8 Thai basil sprigs
4. Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in 3-inch strips
5. Zest of 1 orange, peeled in 3-inch strips
6. 2 bottles chilled Pinot Grigio
7. 3/4 cup brandy
8. 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, strained
9. Ice
10. Chilled club soda
11. 12 thin orange slices, for garnish


1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a
boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the
heat. Add the basil sprigs and lemon and orange zests. Let the syrup
stand, stirring often, until cooled to room temperature, about 20
minutes. Discard the basil sprigs and zest strips.
2. In a large pitcher, combine the basil syrup with the wine,
brandy and orange juice. Pour the sangria into ice-filled glasses, top
with club soda and garnish each drink with an orange slice.

Roasted Corn Salsa

4 ears yellow corn, husked
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large red tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and deveined, (see Note)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons diced red pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

In medium bowl, combine corn and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bring to room temperature before using.

Roasting Corn Oven method:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
2. Brush corn with olive oil.PLACE ears of corn on a baking sheet.
3. Roast 15 to 20 minutes until ears start to turn a light golden brown.

Food post

I just spent the last hour going through about 1000 pictures… And from what I can tell, I’ve been eating really well. The Jillian dvds have completely saved me this trip, since there just hasn’t been a lot of time for finding a gym. With that said, yesterday was the perfect time to take a break from her, and the Duluth kids and I walked about three miles around town instead. Back at it today though 🙂

Here goes the food from the past four days. Let’s begin with best catered meal I’ve ever had. Thank you Common Roots for the healthy and beautiful feast!

Sweet potato salad:

Salad trio (potato, spinach, caprese):

My kabobs, deconstructed (I will find the marinade for the shrimp and share it ASAP. SO. GOOD.):

In that box is a CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE:

Wedding night dinner on the boat (fish, veggies, salad, HEALTHY):

Chocolate cake/raspberry sauce, shared with Carol Ann:

If you’re wondering if cheese curds ever made an appearance, the answer is YES. I ate three and forgot to photograph them. So glad they aren’t a staple in Portland. Eek.

Ok, on to Duluth… First stop on our walk was gelato. Can you say red berry and tiramisu?

Dinner at PIZZA LUCE!!! My fave!!

Spinach salad, Spanish Chicken pizza, Margherita pizza:

Cocktails on the deck for dessert:

Breakfast this morning (pita with egg, feta, basil):

We are cooking tonight!