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Being able to maintain an inner balance is an important part of being a successful and happy person. My family and friends have always help me stay centered. They can tell when I am happy, sad, excited, and nervous. They know when to applaud me when I reach a personal goal, tell me a joke to make me smile, guide me with supportive advice, or just be person to talk to when I am feeling down and defeated. I don’t know what I would do without my family and friends. They have helped me get through some tough times and been the ones I have always wanted to celebrate my accomplishments with. The past week and this next week couldn’t be better time to spend quality time with friends and family, as I am feeling a bit off balance and need advice and support to get through the next few months.

There are past friends that come and go in your life and then there are true friends that happen to stay apart of your life for years, if not forever. Past friends are people who happened to share and bond over an experience and/or moment, but never develop that connection that true friends have and continue to strengthen as they grow older together. I am fortunate to have multiple true friends, who I am pretty certain will be a part of my life for a long time. I have true friendships of all ages (a few months old that are just developing, a few years old, and many years old), as I have pursued my career and personal passion for nutrition and exercise and traveled in multiple parts of the world over the past decade.

This past weekend, one of my true friends of almost 3 years, Candice, came back to Saint Louis to visit for the first time after leaving Saint Louis 2 years ago. I have been lucky to see her on my family vacations in Phoenix once a year where she just happens to live. Last year, I only saw her for an hour on my way to the airport, but those short and sweet times are just enough to help strengthen a connection, which is similar to the many phone calls or skype dates that has kept my other true friendships strong.

Candice showed me Saint Louis from her point of view and helped me make Saint Louis feel like home. Now it is time for my current friends and I to show her how we see Saint Louis today!

A few months before Candice left she introduced me to Hillary, who is now a true friend of 2 years. The three of us had some crazy adventures before Candice left so we couldn’t wait for this weekend to arrive!

Pre-Cardinals Game April 2010

I won’t make you wait any longer.

The Adventures of the Three Generation Dietitians

I say “three generation dietitians” because Candice became a RD in 2009, Hillary became a RD in 2011, and I became a RD in 2012. We all went through the same Dietetic Internship at Saint Louis University and passed the RD exam using the same set of RD in a Flash. Those flashcards have to be good luck. Who shall I pass them onto next?. ….Also, as dietitians, our adventures revolve around food and exercise, which of course couldn’t be a better combination in my mind 🙂

And our weekend adventures as three generation dietitians begin. Welcome.

FRIDAY

Food Truck Friday in Tower Grove Park (the second Friday of every month)

Cupcake War Winners: The Sweet Divine

Our picks were the Caramel Apple cupcake (our favorite), Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcake, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pie…….we saved them for later 🙂

I made sure we got to the trucks early because there is always a wait for Holy Crepes and I was craving one!

My choice was Crepes of Wrath…yum!

The Summer Truck

We shared the Fall Slaw and Chicken Skewers….to die for! Candice made a slaw inspired by this treasure.

Our taste buds and bellies are happy!

Then we went off to pick up our Swag bags for the Lemon Drop 5K on Sunday and made a quick stop at one of Candice’s favorite local breweries…..

Nothing like a pumpkin ale at Schlafly Bottleworks

and can’t forget the best pretzels in Saint Louis dipped in beer cheese…they are dangerous. Thank god we shared them!

We waddled our way back to my apartment where we could see the Forest Park Balloon Glow and fireworks from my roof and enjoyed another pumpkin beer with more girlfriends. Sorry I don’t have pictures from the rest of the night. I must have been having fun and chatting too much! Although, I do know we got into those Sweet Divine treats……..

SATURDAY

Saturday morning we went to STL Spinning with my favorite motivational instructor, Michael! It was Candice’s first spinning class…she did fabulous and even got motivated to start spinning in Phoenix. After coffee and breakfast at Kaldis Coffee, we went to a Movement and Mobility Seminar at Crossfit presented by Dr. Jared Van Anne. It was a great seminar focusing on the importance of having proper body alignment during exercise to avoid injury and get the most power out of each movement to reach your best performance (the squat, push up, and deadlift were examples he discussed). Since the seminar, I have taken the time to think how I can improve my posture….this week I have reached personal records in all the 1-Rep Max lifts and WODs by paying closure attention to each movement and being as efficient as possible.

Our Fall-like afternoon continues…………

You can’t visit Saint Louis and not have BBQ…come on now! So we got take-out from Bogarts Smokehouse and walked down the street to International Tap House (BYOF…Bring Your Own Food) where we enjoyed our tasty BBQ and beer…heaven!

Ribs and Weach Beer

Another full belly! Time to get some fresh air and pick apples at Eckert’s Country Farm in Millstadt, IL. I have gone apple picking every year since I have lived in Saint Louis, which is by far my favorite part of Fall!

Apple Orchard and Arch in the background

Home away from home

The tractor ride to pick the ready to harvest Johnathan, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious apples.

I already was planning on it

Apple Tree Fun Facts

In the moment

Advertisement for a Dietitian?

The cutest baby apple ever

Oh shorty

Success….I took home 10 lbs of apples!

It was finally time to slow down the pace of the day.

On the drive back home, we saw the hot air balloons in forest park chasing the energizer bunny. We made it to my roof just in time to take some pretty photos.

Can you see the bunny ears that all the other balloons are chasing…..

I know she misses the Forest Park….how couldn’t you!

Now it was time for a lovely nap with the fresh smell of a burning Farmstand Apple Yankee Candle in the air.

Waking up to the Saint Louis sunset

I didn’t think I would ever get hungry after we devoured our BBQ earlier, but 6 hours later our stomach’s wanted some attention. I think we ate our protein for the day at lunch, so roasting fall vegetables for dinner was the group decision.

Roasted Vegetables

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop your selection of veggies. Place your veggies in a mixing bowl and toss around 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a couple cranks of cracked black pepper amongst the veggies. Place the veggies on a cookie sheet and your veggies are ready to roast in the oven for about 1 hour. Every 20 minutes or so, move the veggies arounds.

Brussel sprouts, broccoli, sweet potato, onion, and I even threw the last of my figs

And of course we had to make something with our apples!

Apple Crisp (our healthier version)

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium apples, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of Apple Cider
  • 1 cup of traditional rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of cinnamon (1 tsp for sliced apples, 1 tsp for mixture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons of Smart Balance Margarine

Ingredients plus apples and apple cider

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Slice the apples and lay out in a pan. Mix in the cinnamon and apple cider
  3. In a bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, wheat flour, cinnamon, and vanilla extract
  4. Fold the margarine in your mixture until the contents gets crumbly
  5. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the apples
  6. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the apples have softened to your liking.
  7. Now enjoy! Eat the apple crisp plain or with a dollop of vanilla yogurt/ice cream.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT APPLE CRISP RECIPE

Bon appetite!

My new center piece

SUNDAY

Sunday morning was an early one, as many of my friends took part in the Lemon Drop 5k hosted by Lululemon

Pre-Race

I had the pleasure of walking/running the race with Eileen, her daughter, and her granddaughter to complete her first 5K. Eileen and I have been working really hard the past month together to get prepared for this race. Eileen went from being considered sedentary (just walking her dog for 20 minutes here and there at a slow pace) to increasing her physical activity to about 40-45 minutes of walking 4 times per week either at the gym, track, and/or park incorporating increasing bouts of running. About 6 weeks ago, she started only being able to run 15-20 seconds every few minutes. The week before the race she was able to run 1.5 minutes every 2 minutes of walking. She probably ran at least one mile of the hilly 5K and ran bouts longer than 2 minutes!

Off she goes!

Team Grammy

I am so proud of Eileen, who is 62 years old and finished her first 5K with a big smile on her face! Way to go!

It was an amazing feeling to be a part of Eileen’s bucket list 5K! Her next goal is to run more of a 5K and/or walk a 10K….we might accomplish these goals in a few weeks! It makes me feel good that I can make a difference in someone’s life. These moments are why I am pursuing my passion for nutrition and exercise. I always knew my calling was to be a dietitian that specializes in physical performance 🙂

Post Race 🙂 Congrats Liz (on the right) on being the first woman to finish the race…speedster!

What’s a girlie weekend without a manicure and shopping………….

Unfortunately, Starbucks and I had to go on a date to get some work done while Candice and Katie went to the Basilica for Sunday Mass.

Then we went home and with two creative and foodie minds, Candice and I used our magic to make a scrumptious dinner with random ingredients that I wanted use up.
It is always fun to gather a variety of ingredients (ingredients that want to get out your pantry or produce that is going bad) and use your creativity to change your meals up make something different than usual.

Basil wheat linguine with homemade pesto, fresh mozzarella, and heirloom tomato. Spinach salad with orange flavored craisins, leftover roasted sweet potato and onion from yesterday, and fig cream chili balsamic vinaigrette.

To sum up the weekend, Candice, Katie, Hillary, and I enjoyed a glass of wine at Sasha’s Wine Bar. A perfect place with girlfriends to catch up and have a moment to reflect on the weekend.

MONDAY

After the marathon, I want to trial the Paleo Diet for a few weeks to experience what everyone is talking about these days at Crossfit. I want be able to educate future clients on the advantages/disadvantages of the diet and also be able to show them on how you can do the dietin a healthier way through experiencing the diet myself (not eating large amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol!).

The hardest part will be my breakfast because I love greek yogurt, oatmeal, or granola in the morning. Monday morning I started experimenting with my version of a paleo smoothie and egg bake.

Chocolate Covered Berry Smoothie: 1 cup frozen berries, half a banana (frozen or fresh), handful of spinach,2 teaspoons of stevia and 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa to taste, 1-2 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk with 5g of protein.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT SMOOTHIE RECIPE

Extra Protein

Easy Paleo Egg Bake: pour a mixture of 8 eggs, 2 egg whites, 1 cup original unsweetened almond milk, and homemade pesto over fresh spinach, chopped tomatoes (squeeze out the juice before putting in the pan), and chopped and sautéed broccoli, eggplant, and onion. Bake for about 1 hour on 375 degrees F. Let it cool slowly on the stove top or refrigerator until you are to eat 🙂

sautéed veggies and spinach

Pour egg mixture over veggies

Egg Bake for the week!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT PALEO EGG BAKE

Candice’s Fall Slaw inspired by The Summer Truck

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 10 brussels sprouts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • Dressing: pepper to taste
    • 1/3 cup Golden Balsamic Vinegar
    • 2 pinches of sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
    • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tablespoon of Milk (we used almond milk)

Directions:

  1. Sliver brussels sprouts and chop red cabbage and walnuts in a medium size bowl.
  2. Add and whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add and mix dressing into the medium bowl with the chopped ingredients.
  4. Cover the mixture and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator 30-60 minutes to allow the strong vinegar taste to settle and create a perfect blend of flavors

CLICK HERE TO PRINT FALL SLAW RECIPE

After having fun in the kitchen, we took a quick trip to Penzeys Spices and Vom Fuss

New magnet on my refrigerator…so true in my kitchen!

Candice wanted to say goodbye to Saint Louis by visiting the arch grounds for our last pit stop…her first memory of Saint Louis.

Sadly, the fun times had to end! I went to class and Hillary drove Candice to the airport. What a weekend! I told you we would keep busy 🙂

The adventures of the Three Generation Dietitians to be continued……..Hillary and I are talking about a visit Phoenix in February/March!

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This weekend I am off to my hometown, Chadds Ford, PA! I haven’t been home since Thanksgiving so I can’t wait to see my family and best best friends (true friends of many years)…it has been way too long!

Kelsi (friend from 1st Grade) and Annie (friend since Freshman year of High School)

Grandpa Art Thanksgiving 2011

My family in AZ Spring 2012

Next week, I hopefully I will feel more balanced and centered ready to dominate my last graduate class and thesis!