Friday Five – Brands I LOVE!

Happy Friday!  Work has been insane this week!  I’ve also been planning an event for my local HR organization which is tomorrow (Friday), so the last two weeks of planning have been crazy…it was seriously more stressful than my wedding.

Anyways…it will all be over after tomorrow.  Although I’m not to happy about being on my feet all day the day before a race.  Sole of the City is on Saturday!!

After missing a week or two, I found the time to put together my Friday Five – Brands I LOVE!!!  These things are all over the map because I love and use lots of things…

1. Target Brand ANYTHING! – Merona?  Yes please.  Up & Up?  Yes please.  Market Pantry?  Archer Farms?  Delicious!  Most of my running and gym clothes are from the C9 by Champion line and Charlotte is typically clothed in some manner of Circo or Cherokee from Target.  Their stuff is cute and inexpensive.  And for those of you interested, the Lilly Pulitzer collection for Target hits stores on Sunday.  Charlotte & I might be spotted wearing matching rompers this summer…just sayin’

Target

2. Crocs Flip Flops – I’m not a fan of the huge Crocs clogs, but their flip flops are nice.  I live in flip flops in the summer and they are supportive and comfy.  I cannot wear the $1 Old Navy flip flops anymore (and definitely wouldn’t now that I try to take extra good care of my feet).  I don’t wear any other flip flops now.

CrocFlops3. Asics Running Shoes – I haven’t used many brands of shoes since I started running, but I know that I like these and they are good for my form.  I started out in Brooks – the Adrenaline and then the Ghost.  I had bought a pair of Asics Cumulus online because the color was cute (Turquoise & Electric Melon).  Later last summer when I had my bad knee problem the PT told me to never run in the Ghosts.  So I stuck with the Cumulus.  I bought a pair of Saucony Triumphs on clearance last fall that have been okay – I’m afraid to run too much in them because I’m so nervous about messing up my knee again, so I only use them for short runs.  In researching other Asics shoes, I came across the Nimbus, basically the Cumulus with more cushion.  So I added the Nimbus to my shoe wardrobe a few months ago when I was ready to retire my Cumulus’s.

4. Dunkin Donuts Coffee – If I’m going to get coffee in the morning, it’s from Dunkin Donuts.  Nothing wrong with Starbucks, but it is so darn expensive!!!  I’m not a coffee connoisseur, so if there is something extra special about the Starbucks beans, I don’t know what it is.  Dunkin always has the best flavors too.  They have their ice cream flavors out now, Cookie Dough, Butter Pecan, and Rocky Road.  Yum – can’t wait to stop in on my way to my event tomorrow morning (at 5AM).

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5.  Benefit Better than BB Cream – I like the idea of BB creams because it’s a light product that has SPF, it’s moisturizing, and it’s just one product.  I’ve tried a few different BB creams and finally found Benefit’s.  It’s a liquid to powder so my face doesn’t feel greasy after I put it on.  It’s got SPF 35 and good coverage so I feel “made up” without a ton of makeup on.  A little goes a long way so it lasts for a while.

Benefit

Thanks again to the DC Trifecta for once again hosting a fun link up!

 Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia

Friday Five

Starbucks or Dunkin?  What is your favorite thing to buy at Target?  Any other supportive flip flops out there I could try out?

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Quinoa!

 WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSToday I’m linking up with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!

I usually don’t do a WIAW, but this week I’ve been obsessed with quinoa.  I’ve been trying to branch out and get creative with some healthier foods.  So this week I went on a quinoa kick.

Quinoa is suprisingly related to beet root and spinach families.    It has more fiber and nearly twice as much protein as brown rice and it is one of the only plant foods that’s a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Not only is the protein complete, but quinoa grains have an usually high ratio of protein to carbohydrate, since the germ makes up about 60% of the grain. Quinoa is also highest of all the whole grains in potassium, which helps control blood pressure.  Source – Whole Grains Council

So what does this mean for runners like me?  I need both carbs and protein in my diet to fuel my runs as well as build and repair muscle afterwards.  When I get back from a long run, I’m usually pretty rungry, the fiber content will also help me feel fuller longer.  So it seems that quinoa has everything I need in one tiny little package.

This is a salad I made over the weekend that I got from Mark Bittman’s website.  You can find the recipe here.

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It has quinoa, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, parsley, shallots, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & salt & pepper – could it be any easier?  The quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook, so in that time I was able to chop the parsley, pepper, and shallots.  I cheated with the sweet potato and used a bag of microwavable, pre-diced potatoes.  It’s a beautiful dish and tastes great warm or cold.

I used this as a side dish with meatloaf and salmon this week and I added diced chicken to have it for lunch today.

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And Target for the win (as always).  I found these little babies in the frozen food section.

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I’m a working mom and some weeknights if it can’t go in the microwave, it ain’t gettin’ cooked.  Once the salad from above is used up, I’ll break these out for side dishes.

So there you have it, my current food obsession.  I’ve also been obsessed with Sweet Potatoes too.  I’ve always liked them, but ever since I found the microwavable bag of pre-diced potatoes, I’ve been enjoying them more often.  (Those also came from Target. I love that place!)

How do you like your quinoa?  Are you obsessing over a food right now?  Even if it’s not healthy, I want to hear all about it.