It’s National Peanut Butter Day!

It might as well be my birthday. Or my anniversary. Or Mother’s Day  But it’s not. January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day and given the amount of Peanut Butter I consume, it might as well be my very own holiday!

In honor of National Peanut Butter Day (well not really in honor of but it sounded good), I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and did some strength training at Lifetime (my fancy schmancy gym). Considering it is about 15 degrees outside, my love hate relationship with the treadmill must be put aside until it is safe to step outdoors without risking frostbite to the nose.

I decided not long ago that the one food I could not live without was Peanut Butter.  I do not go a day without it and when I travel, I take it with me. Laugh if you want (and airport security certainly laughed), but at least I am always prepared for a good meal or snack. And you don’t want to be around me if I am getting hungry with no food in reach.

I am able to incorporate peanut butter into every meal.  Now how talented am I? There are plenty of days that I do eat peanut butter at every meal. So what? What’s wrong with that?

Peanut Butter is a healthy option when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Depending upon the brand, two tablespoons of peanut butter provides you with around 190 calories, around 16 grams of fat and about 7 grams of protein. While the calorie count and fat grams may seem high, peanut butter is truly satisfying and worth it to me. As long as you make sure to eat the natural peanut butters with no partially hydrogenated oils, salts, sugars and preservatives, peanut butter can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet  and daily meal plan.

As a runner, there are days that  I am a bottomless pit and ravenous all of the time. I need to eat and need to eat often. I also need to eat before I run and whatever it is that I eat, I need it to cooperate nicely with my stomach. Peanut butter sits so well in my stomach, gives me a satiated feeling and the energy to get through my run. And, most importantly, it is delicious.

Creamy, Crunchy, Salted, Unsalted, Crunchy with Flaxseed, Maple, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Honey, Cinnamon Raisin – so many varieties and brands to choose from.

My absolute favorite brand of peanut butter is Peanut Butter and Co. I will devote a separate post to a full product line review.

cinn raisin pb crunch time might maple pb

Now, how do I eat my peanut butter you ask? You mean besides directly out of the jar?

Peanut butter works wonders at breakfast. It will provide your breakfast with staying power to get you through the morning (or at least a few hours until you have a snack).

I love peanut butter mixed into a bowl of steel cut oats, on top of oatmeal pancakes, spread on a whole grain english muffin or Ezekial bread (Cinnamon Raisin – yum!).

Or, you can simply cut up a banana or an apple and spread away!

For lunch, nothing beats a classic peanut butter sandwich. I happen to love replacing the jelly with fresh fruit such as blueberries, apples, banana or strawberries. Perfect way to get your 5 a day.

Peanut Butter also makes a great compliment to a Greek Yogurt Parfait. Simply mix some peanut butter into the yogurt and layer with fruit and some granola.

For dinner, I have also been known to add a spoonful of peanut butter to a vegetable and brown rice stir fry with alittle soy sauce. So delicious!

How about roasted carrots or sweet potato wedges with alittle peanut butter? And throw in some cinnamon roasted chickpeas in peanut butter? OMG, amazing.

Now, my absolute favorite way to eat peanut butter – and I eat this every single night as a dessert:

A giant green apple sliced up with Peanut Butter and Company’s crunchy peanut butter and some dark chocolate chips on top. There is nothing better or more satisfying at the end of the day. And, you get the antioxidant benefits from the apple and the dark chocolate.

Talk about healthy eating multitasking!

And baking with peanut butter? Classic peanut butter cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, peanut butter brownies, peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter granola cookies, peanut butter banana bread …should I continue?

My son always asks if there is anything I wouldn’t put peanut butter on and I really haven’t come up with anything that peanut butter wouldn’t go with, including cardboard.

Except maybe the traditional slice of pizza. That’s about it.

Question of the day: Is there anything you wouldn’t combine with peanut butter?

The Princess and The Sneaker…

I am very easy going. For the most part. When it comes to my running shoes however, I am a princess. Or even a queen. They must be perfect. I must not feel the ground when I am running. I must feel complete cushion and support and the laces have to be tied just right. What does just right mean? I haven’t a clue. But I know when it is right. My shoes seem to last me three months. Two months and 30 days into the shoe, we are still the best of friends. And then, like magic, you hit day 31 or even month three day one, and bam. My best friends let me down. My knee hurts. The cushion feels gone. They seem stretched out. No support. Finished. Next. So I take out the next pair. I have already purchased the shoe I love in multiples. The first run in my new shoe should feel like magic. I mean, I already know I like the model (and oh I can devote a whole other post regarding choosing a new shoe when your brand decides to restructure your current model!). But the other morning, my new shoes were not right. Just not right. Was it the lacing? It could not be the model, I already had success in it. Or could it? Was it some kind of quality control mishap? And as I was running, I was thinking, is it me? Am I some kind of running princess? Or is it the shoe?

Feeding the Little Man

Happy Wednesday! Although I can’t say I am happy to wake up to rain. While I have been known to run outdoors in a little bit of drizzle, running in actual pouring rain on a random Wednesday is not going to do it for me today. Unfortunately. Elliptical it is (blah).

So many of the blogs that I follow participate in WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday). I love this concept and it is so fun and educational (at least it is to me!) to see what others around the blog world are eating. It is a great way to learn about new recipes and meal ideas and also helps stimulate your own ideas to flow based on what you like. I thought it would be fun to list my own recent meals, as well as the meals that my son has been eating lately.

It is so important for parents to instill healthy eating habits in their children at a young age. It is up to us. They aren’t old enough to drive to the supermarket, do the grocery shopping and prepare their meals. We need to do it for them. It is part of raising our children. And if we don’t buy a healthy variety of food, how will our children eat it? How will they know that they may actually like broccoli, sweet potatoes, avocado and blueberries if it isn’t in the house available to them on a daily basis?

Research has shown that it takes repeat exposure of a new food for kids to decide that they may actually like something. Remember when they were babies and you sat with the jar of carrots and peas? More of it ended up on the high chair (or in my case on the walls, in his hair and across the room). But you stuck with those jars every day, trying all of the varieties and eventually it ended up in the their little mouths and they liked it. We need to do the same with real food that doesn’t come in jars.

My son is a good eater. I am raising a man and men like to eat and can eat a lot! I now understand the saying, “He will eat me out of house and home.” It is so important for me to make sure I am giving my son filling foods that satisfy his appetite and are healthy and enjoyable at the same time. I always have available the following foods and meals in any given week:


Steel Cut or Old Fashioned Oatmeal,Whole Grain Waffles from Trader Joes or Whole Grain English Muffins with Natural Peanut Butter or a Scrambled Egg

Lunches (sent to school):

He loves sandwiches so I always have on hand Applegate Farms Turkey Breast which I put on Ezekial Bread with some lettuce, hummus from Trader Joes and some pickles (he loves pickles!).

His lunch period is late (1:00 pm) and they have snack time in the class room first. To combat the massive hunger, I typically divide the sandwich in half and give him part at snack and the rest at lunch. I put a snack and bottle of water with each half sandwich.

Some snacks always on hand are natural applesauce, light popcorn from Trader Joes, Organic Valley 100 calorie cookie or a nonfat yogurt, string cheese, fruit and various chips from Trader Joes.


I always have the following foods available to make dinner for my son:

Trader Joes now sells frozen individual boneless chicken tenders (hormone/antibiotic free!) that are always ready to be cooked any way you want. I use these tenders a number of ways and will provide recipes in a separate post!

In the pantry:

Whole Wheat Pasta, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Organic Beans – Kidney Beans, Black Beans and Chick Peas are delicious and healthy and my son will eat them! I always have them on hand and use them in a variety of recipes.

Organic Soups, Amy’s Oragnic products, Bell and Evans Chicken Nuggets, Gardein and Dr. Praeger products are terrific to have on hand for quick easy meals in between sports practice and other obligations.

I know it can be hard and time consuming to cook a fresh and healthy meal every night, especially with hectic schedules.

In addition to providing some easy recipes, I will do a separate post on easy meal preps for the week so nutritious and delicious meals are available quickly to you throughout the week.

What foods can always be found in your kitchen?

Three Tip Tuesday

Ah Tuesday..not quite the start of the week, not yet the middle and certainly not the end…To brighten up this dreary looking Tuesday morning, I decided it would be fun to start offering some tips every Tuesday so here goes:

Cookie ChRUNicles Tips for Tuesday:

1. Crosstrain! – I am so that girl to run day after day inserting an elliptical workout once in a while (in the event of a large rain, snow, ice storm that prevents me from running my usual path). Well do I have news for you – crosstraining can be fun and extremely kind on your muscles! I recently joined a fancy schmancy gym (any donations to help pay for this schmancy place appreciated) and I have been determined to test out all of the various cardio machines and classes. After much trial and error, I have found a second love (first being running) in the spin class. I used to spin years ago and to be honest, I had recalled my tush hurting from the seat and had no intentions of going back. I finally caved in a few weeks ago and gee, what a great idea! It is an incredible workout, especially with the right instructor! I even break a sweat (which is not an easy thing for me to do) and I don’t even mind that my hair gets all sweaty and messy – worth it! Besides enjoying this hard, sweaty workout on a bike, I have found that it makes my running pace faster and my muscles seem stronger. I guess there is something to this crosstraining concept.

2. Buy extra produce – Some people claim that they can’t even eat all of the fresh fruits and veggies that they buy and end up throwing it out. Not me! I swear I underbuy and end up having to go back to the store a few times during the week. For example, I bought a huge container of blueberries (yay for berries being back in the stores at decent prices!) thinking they would last me several days to a week, easily. Um, nope. I see this morning I must start rationing myself in order to preserve the berry. And possibly hide them from anyone else that might open the fridge and think about having a handful. My advice, buy more and eat them! The high levels of antioxidants found in blueberries make the purchase so worth it for your body. Blueberries have anti-imflammatory properties which aid in healing muscles and preventing soreness. Not to mention, they are delicious!  Blueberries can easily be added to the following meals:’







or just stand by the fridge and pop them into your mouth

Super amazing blueberry tip – add them to a peanut butter sandwich instead of jelly. You will save on sugar, get all of the health benefits of the berries not to mention absolutely delicious combo!

3. Make an amazing healthy cookie on Monday nights – Monday is even more blah than Tuesday since it is the start of the week and the dreaded routine. School, homework battles, bed time battles, extra circular activities, work etc. blah. I made a super easy super healthy minimal ingredient cookie last night and my son loved them. And when he went to sneak another cookie, it really didn’t matter (although he thought he was so slick). It is always good to have healthy fresh cookies on hand and will certainly beat the Monday blues.

You can customize these cookies to your families’ personal tastes by adding cranberries, walnuts, pecans, different chocolate chips, coconut etc. As a baker I tend to throw things in and experiment so feel free to adjust the amount/type of peanut butter and mix ins.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup oat bran

large spoonful of natural peanut butter

1/2 cup natural applesauce

shake of cinnamon

spoonful of honey

pinch of baking powder


dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and there you have it! Delicious and healthy. These cookies can be eaten for breakfast, packed in a lunch box or for a delicious healthy dessert.

This recipe made 12 cookies. You can make them smaller or larger depending on how you like them.

Happy Tuesday!

Rise and Shine

Good thing I am a morning person. It certainly helps when it is barely 5:00 am and you can’t sleep. Lately this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Except for my stomach grumbling and not wanting to eat before the crack of dawn, I just love being up before the sun and most especially before  a certain 8 year old boy. It is like found time in the day where no one can bother you, the phone isn’t ringing and no one is nagging you. I can catch up on blog reading, facebook and gee, whatever I want in silence. They say, “Silence is golden.” And I must agree.

Except for my stomach. My stomach is never silent in the morning. I wake up starving. But to eat before the sun is up makes for a very long day. But hey, when you are hungry you are hungry. And as I always say, eat when you are hungry. I am such a creature of habit that breakfast is typically oatmeal. Oatmeal in many forms. Steel cut oats are the best yet sometimes I feel like being daring. So I make old fashioned roll oats, oat bran or when I am feeling especially wild, I mix two of the three or all three! How wild am I? Lately however I like a good oatmeal pancake. After reading so many versions on other blogs, I started making my own oatmeal pancake and it is delish! In the mix lately:

1/4 cup old fashioned oats or oat bran

Scoop of organic canned pumpkin puree

Blueberries (or any fruit cup up that you have on hand like banana, apple , strawberries, blackberries etc.)

Dash of cinnamon

2 large egg whites

As a baker, I tend to not measure things exactly. Which is hard for others when I share a recipe! I have a knack for throwing things in a bowl and cooking it up into deliciousness. I recommend that you let loose and play around with mixing measurements and ingredients and seeing what you get. You may surprise yourself!

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spray nonstick skillet and pour batter into pan. Let cook a few minutes and flip when formed. I usually top mine with peanut butter, more berries, and plain nonfat greek yogurt.

Oatmeal and oatmeal pancakes are a great little breakfast to get the day started as well as a pre-run or workout meal to fuel your body.

Do you make oatmeal pancakes? If so, what is your method?

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