Lunch Lately

September 29th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (0 Comments)

A collection of lunch pictures, only because this is what I found on my camera: a bunch of pictures of lunch.

Sardine salad (1/2 c of sardines, 1/2 avocado, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, S&P) on top of lettuce and a tomato and what must have been a gigantic carrot.

Salad Bowl

Put the lid on top.  (Optional really, but highly recommended if you plan to shake your salad like a mad (wo)man.)

Salad Topper for Shaking

Toss in a handful of tortilla chips (also optional) and eat.  (Not optional.)

Sardine Salad with a few Tortilla Chips

A recent favorite: kielbasa!  Polish sausage with a side of Bubbies sauerkraut and more Dijon mustard.

Kielbasa and Saurkraut

And a can of grapefruit perrier, my once-in-a-while treat.

with Grapefruit Perrier

Once-in-a-while bacause a.) they are expensive and b.) the kids drink them faster than I do.

Lunch #3, leftover red lentil chili and a turkey sandwich.

Lentils and a Sandwich for Lunch

This is normally “Spicy Red Lentil Chili”, but I’ve been leaving out the heat because the boy likes lentils too.

The Boy Eats Lentils Too

Sandwich profile:

Turkey Sandwich Profile

Sesame Ezekiel bread, a slice of muenster, spinach, turkey and pickles.  And oh yeah, more Dijon mustard.  I’m starting to see lunch time dijon theme emerge here.

Another once-in-a-while treat that made it into the shopping cart this week – Newman O’s!

Two Newman Os

Another item that with the help of the kids, these disappear quickly.  (And this time that’s a good thing.)  No dijon mustard required.

You’re My Favorite

August 28th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (0 Comments)

My favorite thing about an early walk, run or bike ride on Sunday morning:

No Traffic Sunday

No traffic!  Also?



(painted on the old railroad tressel that this new-ish bridge was built on.)

New Route

Other favorites this week include stirring raspberries right into my oatmeal and letting them soak overnight alongside the oats and yogurt.  This doesn’t taste any different than it does when I just put some raspberries on top and stir them in later, but they are very pretty.  And I like pretty oatmeal.  (I mean who doesn’t?)

Raspberry Overnight Oats

Also worth mentioning is my new favorite salad dressing!  I stopped buying Annie’s Goddess Dressing (and all bottled salad dressing, really) last year and have stuck with a trusty olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard combo for salads since then.  I just recently started to venture outside those three ingredients and have started swapping tahini for dijon mustard.

New Favorite Salad Dressing

This combo was a tablespoon of Woodstock Farms tahini, a tablespoon of olive oil, juice from one lime (lemon works too, or vinegar) + salt, pepper and garlic powder.  It is very similar in flavor to the Goddess dressing that I use to love – I know it’s the tahini that gives it its distinct flavor.  This has been my go-to dressing for a week or so now and I’m digging it.

After I mix my dressing in my giant mixing bowl, I load in my salad ingredients and then toss it all around to coat everything.  After I put my salad together on I schlepped it outside to eat while chasing around the boy who loves to splash in shallow driveway puddles.

Salad Chaser

Mixed greens, shredded carrots, jicama, cucumber and two hard boiled eggs.

Speaking of cucumber, I’ve been using cucumber as my vehicle for my first attempt at Chicken Liver Pate.

Chicken Liver Pate

You know what pate is, right?  Liver.  This is not AWFUL, but it’s not the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, either.  Organ meats are really good for us though, so I’ll eat this, but I don’t think I’ll be able to bring myself to make this again anytime soon.  I’m sort of thinking about this as a vitamin instead of a yummy snack.  (Because it’s not a yummy snack.  It’s tolerable and that’s about it.)

Fortunately though I get to chase grey chicken liver mush with chocolate coconut oil bites!  I haven’t made these in ages, I forgot how good they are, especially straight from the freezer!

Chocolate Coconut Cups

I stirred in shredded coconut and sliced almonds this time.  My Wilton silicon square mold makes these very easy and saves me from needing to use paper cupcake wrappers every time I want make them.  The cupcake wrappers had a tendency to tip over while filling, so the silicon mold also saves me some mess.  The squares are the perfect size and they pop right out of the molds when they’ve hardened up.  I bought cupcake silicon molds when I bought the square mold, they are sturdier than paper molds and work well for these too.  (I’ve been using them for baking too and really like them.)

We wrapped up Tuesday with a group walk down to the farmer’s market in the late afternoon.  Here, Maxine inspects the glittery tassels of her scooter while we patiently wait for Ava to join us out at the sidewalk.


As I was trying to take a picture of the market on our way out (with raspberries, tomatoes and two big pieces of cake from a local bakery!) she jumped in the picture to show off the travel toothbrush she scored for free from some organization.

Market Max

(And oh yes, we totally needed to brush our teeth after chocolate cake and carrot cake split 5 ways!)

Dinner last night was homemade chicken soup that I’ve been making almost weekly.

Homemade Chicken Soup Bone Broth

When I pick up CSA vegetables at a different market on Thursdays, I always stop and buy meat from a local farmer.  I’ve been buying whole chickens now that I’ve figured out it’s a lot easier to cut up a chicken as opposed to cooking it whole.  It gives us a good amount of meat and when I make soup, we can get a bunch of meals from one bird.  (I’m working on a post for the main blog on my chicken soup habits, I’m getting this meat cooking thing figured out!)

Oats of Yesteryear

August 25th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (0 Comments)

My first bowl of overnight oats since 2012.  (I only know that because I stopped eating oats after reading Deep Nutrition.)  After saying I didn’t miss them, I started to miss them.  There’s nothing like contradicting yourself to work up an appetite.

Overnight Oats

1/2 c rolled oats, 1/3 c yogurt + about a 1/2 c of water and a dash of cinnamon.  Soaked in the fridge overnight, topped in the morning with CSA raspberries, 1/2 a banana and a scoop of almond butter.

Lots of walks this week.

Under the Bridge

Watching the ducks in his jammies.

Watching the Ducks

I even busted out the Vibrams for a couple walks this week.

Walking in Vibrams

I ran in them earlier this year and they made my pinkie toes really sore!  But I haven’t had an issues walking in them, so I’ll probably continue until it’s too cold to go for a walk without socks on.

A little walkie talkie action with Ava at home while we walked Maxine to a friend’s house down the street.

Walkie Talkie

I de-veganized this vegan Potato Leek Soup by sauteeing the leeks in butter and adding ham.

Potato Leek Soup with Ham

The good news is it’s totally delicious whether you make it with animal products or not.

Another noteworthy meal this week was this taco salad.  I always think I will need dressing for taco salad, but you really don’t.

Taco Salad

I cooked ground pork with a diced onion, added cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and salt to make a taco seasoning.  Serving on a big bed of lettuce with half an avocado, a little shredded cheese and salsa.  Taco salad and enough “wet”-ish ingredients that no additional dressing is needed.

Forget Christmas

August 20th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (0 Comments)

Mid summer is the best time of the year!

Bee Bomb

(that bee is totally real, and she totally photo bombed my sunflower picture.)


Those ducks are real too.

Gazpacho for one.

Gazpacho for One

A fast summer dinner before an evening meeting.  Sauteed yellow squash and zucchini and ham and cheese omelet.

Fast Summer Dinner

(That I had to share,

Dinner Peeker

with the boy who can now climb up here.)

Baby Climber

An afternoon walk,


with a spatula.


Cooking with ghee is new to me.


(For the eggs, not the bacon. Bacon comes with it’s own cooking fat built right in!)

Kale Bacon Eggs

Blueberry picking.

Blueberry Picking

The bucket threaded with ribbon to tie around your waist so you can “pick two handed” –

Blueberry Bucket

unless you’re wearing your toddler.  Then it’s back to one-handed picking.

Blueberry Boys

Fresh picked blueberries on top of homemade coconut milk ice cream.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Blueberries

Enjoying all the wonderful, local produce that summer has to offer.

In recent weeks, exercise has included lots of walks (nearly every day, some longer than others) with the boy in the stroller.  Still riding my bike to and from yoga for a 75 minute vinyasa class (1 – 2x a week), easy yoga practice at home (aiming to do at least a little yoga every day), a small 5K race last week (26:42), and usually one run a week too, trying to keep the focus on play!  It starts with walking, then moves to easy jogging, then sprinting a short distance, to walking again for recovery, repeat.  Maybe a little skipping (if no one is around to see me) or stopping to do some push-ups or dips along the way if I feel like it.  I take my standard 3 mile route, I’m gone for about 30 – 35 minutes and return home sweaty, happy and not too tired.  Good stuff.

Summary Sunday

July 21st, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (0 Comments)

The first half of July has flown by and I’ve got no blog posts to show for it.  I hate to say “I’ve been busy”, but… I’ve been busy!  We just got back from visiting a dear friend of mine in Florida, with lots of play time on the beach.

Venice Beach

(and at a splash pad in Venice too.  Please note that Maxine is wearing a swim mask and is letting the water blast her straight in the face.)

Maxine Mask

Before Florida we were at the family cottage for some 4th of July fun.


And before the cottage I was engrossed in birthday party planning and prep for this guy, who turned one at the end of last month!

Hummus on a Spoon

He is officially a toddler. And he eats hummus off a spoon. (Don’t tell me you’ve never wanted to do the same.)

I used this recipe to make shredded pork for his party for FORTY PEOPLE. This is why I used the word “engrossed” to describe my position while getting ready to celebrate: I made shredded pork.  For forty people.

His party was on a Saturday and I started thawing 5 pork roasts on Tuesday and spent Thursday and Friday cooking.  I had multiple roasts going at one time using the crock pot, oven and counter top roaster (that the previous owners of this house had left behind – it worked great!)  I have never, ever made so much food for so many people in my entire life, but it all worked out and I was very happy with the way the pork turned out.  And thanks to a handful of friends and family who very generously offered to bring a dish to pass, we had real summer BBQ style birthday meal with coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, corn bread to go with pork sandwiches, plus snacks and a big ol’ ice cream cake too.

So that explains where I’ve been.  What I have for you now is a sampling of the random collection of food photos on my camera from the past few weeks.

Black raspberries came into season around here at the beginning of July – and we have a HUGE black raspberry patch in our small city backyard. It was black raspberries and plain yogurt for breakfast every day between trips, even at the cottage too with its own black raspberry plants.

Black raspberries and Greek Yogurt

The CSA cherries weren’t safe from taking a swim in yogurt either.

Cherries and Plain Yogurt

We stayed at my girlfriends house while in Florida, so were able to eat well and save money by cooking most of our meals in her kitchen, but there was the occasional meal out as well.

Strawberry cheesecake ice cream for lunch? Don’t mind if I do!

Sharing Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

(but I was forced to share.)

I’ve been drinking green juice nearly every day since we’ve been home –

Foamy Green Juice

a lot of foamy green juice because the foam guard went missing for a while.

Roasted chicken that I swiped from a party that had tons of leftovers,

Chicken with Coleslaw and Tomatoes

with more Asian coleslaw.

And for a fast dinner last night after an entire day at the Sterling Renaissance Festival (Giant turkey legs? Mile High cake? Yes, please!)

sauteed rosemary shrimp and veggies

I quickly threw together a meal of sauteed shrimp (frozen and thawed) in butter and rosemary with two helpings of sauteed CSA zucchini – very fast and simple and so good!

The only exercise I did while were away was walking and self guided yoga.  I did manage to squeeze in one studio yoga class between trips to the cottage and Florida, plus a bike ride too.  I’ve been listening to the Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness podcasts for a month or so now and Sarah and Jason have me totally convinced that you don’t need to do a ton of cardio to be fit and healthy.  With their advice in mind, I’ve spent the last few weeks enjoying a very low key, laid back approach to fitness.  More on this to come.

Tuesday Wednesday Repeats

June 27th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Daily - (0 Comments)

Let’s work backwards from Wednesday night through Tuesday morning, shall we?

I’ve got pulled pork on the menu for Kaz’s birthday party this weekend and I wanted to give my recipe a trial run before I make enough pulled pork to feed a small army. It turned out pretty well and it’s what we’ve eaten for dinner the past two nights.

Pulled Pork and Coleslaw

Served along side my Asian coleslaw addiction – this is a winning combo, even if I have eaten coleslaw nearly every day for the past two weeks.

I made a pot of beef chili on Tuesday too while the pork did it’s thing in the crock pot – this has been lunch for the past two days and probably for the next two days as well.

Beef Chili with Avocado

There was some coconut curried sauteed kale (from the garden!) on Tuesday’s lunch as well.  Kale that I shared with Kaz.  Kale the I shared with Kaz that he threw on the floor right after I took this picture.

Baby Kale

Good thing we follow the 5 second rule in our house.

(Well, maybe not with saucy kale…)

Inspired by my new favorite snack, I put together a little fruit and kefir cereal yesterday after a long morning walk on Wednesday morning with Kaz.

Fruit Cereal Kefir

It started with strawberries, chia seeds and shredded coconut, followed by a pour of whole milk plain kefir and some shredded almonds for crunch.

Strawberries Chia Seeds Shredded Coconut

Our walk on this day was unexpectedly long.  The pedestrian bridge I’d planned to use to get back across the river to home was closed – which meant we had to go a mile and a half out of the way to get home.  And the cup of coffee I had before we left meant I really, really had to go pee by the time we finally made it back.

Don’t forget we’re working backwards today – this is why there is a seemingly oddly placed picture of saucy pulled pork porn following breakfast.

Pulled Pork Porn

Tuesday night after a 2.75 lb pork shoulder spent 10 hours on low in the crock pot, with two forks to do the pulling!  And that array of condiments in the background to make my own sauce.

Two Forks to Shred Pork Roast

The sauce was good, but a little mustard-y.  I used this recipe as a guide for the rub.  I let it marinate for about 12 hours before putting in the crock pot Tuesday morning to cook for 10 hours on low.

Pork Shoulder Roast in Crock Pot

Tuesday’s bout of exercise was short and to the point – an at home cross-fit style WOD:

200 m easy jog (from the house to the stop sign down the street, 0.125 miles measured with my Garmin 405)

200 m sprint (back home again)

10 push ups

10 sit ups

10 jumping lunges

(repeat 2 more times)

400 m easy cool down jog, sweaty and done in 19 minutes!

I’ve been aiming to do this work out once a week – it’s nice because I’m never more than .25 miles from home, which means Zak doesn’t have to get up to tend to Kaz if he wakes up during my work out.  And there’s no getting stranded on the other side of the river if I decide to have a cup of coffee before I start.  Bonus!



Bacon Wrapped Monday

June 25th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Daily - (0 Comments)

7:30 AM, Monday morning.

Exercise with Kids

You got me out of bed for this?

Well no, I didn’t wake him up to take him for a walk, I waited for him to wake up.  I’m not that crazy.  We set off for a stroll through our neighborhood streets and a local park before Zak had to leave for work.  He’s quiet as a mouse in the stroller these days (Kaz, not Zak) and is quite content to simply watch the world go by.   We went 3 miles in about 50 minutes – I walked the majority of the time but did some intermittent light jogging too.  (“Light” and “Intermittent” was mandatory as I was only wearing a nursing bra.)

It was coffee after our walk (for me, not the baby) and then a little later I made the exact same green juice I made on Saturday.  I had an early lunch of my new favorite thing – turkey (or ham) coleslaw and avocado wraps with a little Dijon mustard smeared in too.

Turkey Avocado Coleslaw Wraps

I made three or four of these guys probably, eaten standing up at the cutting board.  Half an avocado in total and a bunch mismatched sizes of sliced organic deli turkey.

Today’s snack was another new favorite, a fresh berry and kefir not-smoothie.

Kefir Strawberry Snack

I first tried plain kefir when I was pregnant with Kaz and it was WAY too tart for me – but my taste buds were totally thrown off during that time so I should have known… sorry Plain Kefir, it wasn’t you.  It was me.

I really like plain kefir now and have been buying the whole milk variety and pouring it over fresh fruit.  It really is good plain – but it’s even better with some  little fresh fruit and is a great way to eat the strawberries we’ve been inundated with lately.

This snack easily held me over until dinner – bacon wrapped shrimp, roasted green beans and roasted sweet potato.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Green Beans and Sweet Potato

I got the vegetables roasting and then wrapped cooked shrimp (frozen, thawed all day in the fridge) in bacon and secured the bacon with toothpicks.  Just as the potatoes and beans were finishing up I turned on the broiler and cooked the shrimp for 6 minutes at 550 degrees – turning every two minutes.

I’ve never made bacon wrapped anything before, these were really, really good.  Now I understand why people wrap things in bacon.  What else can we wrap in bacon?  Green beans?  Sweet potatoes?  Kefir?

Saturday Sun Salutations

June 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Daily - (0 Comments)

Today’s workout was a mid-morning heated yoga class, but before there was yoga, there was berry breakfast bowl:

Yogurt Berry Bowl

Full fat Fage with CSA strawberries and store bought blueberries.

After sweating more than I’ve ever sweated in a yoga class before, it was a green juice to re-hydrate.

Kale Celery Lime Ginger Apple Juice

CSA kale, two small limes, one apple, three stalks of celery.  I expect to sweat green next time around.

I spent a little time yesterday prepping and roasting vegetables for easy lunch and dinner sides for the weekend.  Dear Roasted Cauliflower, where have you been all my life?

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is so good and so easy!  This is an entire head cut into florets, roasted in a little coconut oil at 350 for about 40 minutes – seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Roasted Brussels sprouts  and cauliflower to last us a couple of meals?  Done and done.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

I am on coleslaw kick right now and made more Asian coleslaw – “Asian” because of the sesame oil and rice vinegar – made with bagged Nappa cabbage, celery, carrots and green onions.  Seasoned with salt, garlic powder, ginger, curry powder and just the tiniest pinch of crushed red pepper for a little kick.

Asian Coleslaw

I had a little of all three of those for lunch today – but I used the coleslaw to make ham, avocado and coleslaw roll ups.

Ham Coleslaw and Avocado Rollups

Each ham slice was coated with a little Dijon mustard before it was stuffed with coleslaw and avocado and then rolled up.   Who needs a tortilla when you have ham?

Ham and Coleslaw Roll Ups

(Plus two more unpictured small ones that I ate while I was plating these for a picture… it’s all about quality control.)  I went back for my other veggie sides after eating these guys at my desk to get caught up on my virtual life while Kaz napped and the girls were otherwise occupied.

We’ve got a dinner party with friends on the agenda for this evening, and a summer solstice picnic planned for tomorrow… Paleo (and non-paleo) strawberry shortcake to come!


The Whole Week

June 14th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Weekly - (1 Comments)

We spent last weekend out of town which means I spent the entire week working on laundry, running errands and cooking – it’s taken all week to feel like I’m finally caught up around here.

With the exception of a little yoga over the weekend, I didn’t work out at all while we were gone, and so I was up and out the door first thing Monday morning for a bike ride.

Morning Bike Ride Rochester

My current favorite workout is riding my bike to my yoga studio (10 minutes, a nice warm up), 75 minute Vinyasa flow and then the 10 minute ride home (a perfect cool down).  Ride/Yoga/Ride was my Tuesday workout, and I got caught in the rain on the way home.  When Ava saw me and my wet butt she said “did you pee your pants?”

No, but thanks for noticing.

A post yoga breakfast Part I of coffee and fresh berries that I’d stocked up on the night before.

Coffee and Berries

Another breakfast I saw multiple times this week was a couple Applegate farm breakfast sausages, over eggs (only one in this picture because it was the last one!) and sides of steamed veggies – usually whatever was left over from dinner the night before.

One Egg Breakfast

Some food prep from the week – Asian coleslaw for dinner a couple nights in a row (with regular cabbage instead of Napa cabbage) and some sliced jicama and red pepper for snacking.

Asian Coleslaw Jicama and Red Pepper Snacks

Red pepper and jicama were a part of a number afternoon snacks – one day it was with some deli ham, baby carrots and some green olives.

Snack Plate

For dinner this week we had chicken legs coated in a little djion mustard and garlic powder, coleslaw on the side and a tossed salad.

Chicken Coleslaw Salad Dinner

Would you like some vegetables with your vegetables?  Yes, please!

My plate looks a little sad with only one chicken leg on it.  Good thing two more legs managed to make it onto my plate before dinner was over.

Another dinner was baked salmon (dusted with garlic powder and S&P), oven roasted green beans tossed in thyme and olive oil (at 350 for about 45 minutes)

Salmon Roasted Green Beans for Dinner

and an awesome side salad made with arugula, spinach, purslane, minced fresh basil (the most important ingredient!) and strawberries in a simple dressing olive oil and balsamic.

Arugula Salad

Dinner number #3 this week was so good I had it again for lunch the next day.  A red pepper chicken sausage (cut up like I’m 3 years old) with a heaping side of sauerkraut and some dijon mustard.

Sausage and Sauerkraut Lunch

We’ve been loving the Bubbies sauerkraut that I can only find at our local hippie grocery store.  Sauerkraut was one of those things I never would have eaten as a kid.

Bubbies Sauerkraut

Kids are so stupid.

Workouts from the week:

Monday – 40 minute bike ride

Tuesday – yoga + bike ride to and from class

Wednesday – spent the entire day walking around an amusement park (rollercoasters must be good for your core, right?)

Thursday – a very rainy rest day

Friday – easy morning run, 45 minutes

That’s a wrap!

Take it to the Track Tuesday

June 5th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Daily - (0 Comments)

My fitness plan for the summer includes more walking, more super easy, slow runs, less overall mileage, a lot more yoga and some bike riding too.  I will also be doing short, high intensity work outs – more specifically, speed work on the track once every  7- 10 days.

And on Tuesday morning, it was time for a (short but intense) track workout.

Tuesday Track Time

.8 mile walk/easy jog to the track (11 minutes) + 5 sets of 200 m sprint, 200 m recovery jog (12 minutes total) + .8 mile walk/easy jog home (13 minutes) = 3.25 miles and 37 minutes.

I came home to find both my guys playing outside.  Doesn’t the little one look happy to see me?

The Boy

Nice try, mom.  I’m actually most happy to see your camera.

(Notice him throwing the lids down as he makes a bee line to get his little mitts on the fun, shiny, clicky toy?  And notice the cat high-tailing it out there?)

(Notice the strings of saliva like a real monster?)



Let’s just say I put the camera inside the house for a while at that point.

I did some post-run stretching and yoga in the sunshine, and then Zak, Kaz and I weeded the vegetable gardens, filled the bird bath and stepped on the strawberry plants while we waited for Ava and Maxine to wake up and join us.


Today’s breakfast was very pink!  Strawberries, raspberries and left over salmon from dinner on Monday night.

Pink Breakfast

I shared my raspberries and salmon with KazMan.

Breakfast Sharing

And a post breakfast mug of green tea.


Today’s Yogi Green Tea words of wisdom?


True dat.

I made Lunch Part I while I was packing Lunch Part II for a picnic with lots of fellow homeschooling friends.

Sardine Salad.  Half a tin of sardines packed in olive oil, mixed greens, shredded carrot, sliced almonds with olive oil, lime and S&P for dressing.

Sardine Salad Snack

A packed lunch for one mom, two girls and one boy:

Lunch Contents

From left to right: two sunbutter and jelly sandwiches on Ezekiel bread, two peeled, S&P’d hard boiled eggs, a container of macadamia nuts, sliced jicama and red pepper, the last of the raisins, sliced, roasted sweet potatoes, colby jack cheese and a bottle of water. (+ two more little water bottles packed later)

Time to roll, gang.

Packed Lunch

For an afternoon of sunshine at the park.

Max Kaz Bubbles

Bubbles, running, jumping, climbing, flailing, digging through the diaper bag for toys.

Kaz Keys

A quick and easy dinner when we got home – homemade guac (mashed avocado with a little diced onion, lemon and salt) –

Turkey Burger Guacamole Broccoli Dinner

on top of a turkey burger and a big side of steamed broccoli (that I promptly added a big patter of butter to after I took this picture!)

Pink breakfast, green dinner.  My name is Alison and I like to color coordinate my meals.