Lately: Winter Blues

March 25, 2014

This was a few weeks ago. We are supposed to get more today! BLAH.


Soaked in snowy gloom. I haven’t had a winter affect me this badly in a long time – perhaps because this is one historically bad winter! And perhaps because my Little needs to play outside and our house is feeling smaller and smaller. I had more alcohol than I would have liked last week. I try not to drink during week because it’s just not the healthiest habit, but sometimes it’s just fun to make a boring day a little more exciting. Not much more than one glass, but enough to add some zest to the night. At least I’ve nipped the sweet craving in the bud! Thanks again to Cook Smarts for making our dinners (and lunch leftovers) rock.

Karen got some good news this week: She had a scan three months post cancer treatment which shows no cancer present in the body. Her doctors are very pleased. Though she’s not out of the woods yet, this is very positive! Thanks for all of your good vibes <3


Happy pancake day! A great way to start out a snowy morning. Topped with sunflower butter.


Oats in a jar! Hot and creamy plus sunbutter melted on top since my jar was SO empty I needed a bit more to stick with me.


Eggs, toast, banana, mocha nut butter


Note how I’m making a bit of an effort with the natural light now that we’ve had a few warm days! Same breakfast as yesterday : )


Yup it was a popular breakfast last week! And note who slept till 7:30 one day giving us a nice sunny breakfast!



I need to sync my meals and workouts, which are a bit off from an overstock of photos. I’m still trying to figure out how to get my posts written in advance but timely at the same time. But here’s what we did while in Florida:

SUN: Matt and I went for a 4 mile run. He is fast even pushing the stroller! So glad we brought the BOB because it was my lifeline while keeping Mazen happy during the speakers.

M: I took Mazen out for a walk/run. I ran for about half the time and talked to my mom the other half. We covered almost 4 miles in an hour.

T: I came down with a bad cold, so just walking today, but in the 80* sunshine I almost felt coldless : )

W: OFF for travel

TH: OFF for cold malaise

F: Training with Erin – upper body, including pull-ups that left me quite sore! Plus some cardio.


Post soccer game re-fuel – tomato soup, cheese and toast. Plus lots of H2O


Leftover salmon salad with goat cheese and a popeye roll.


A poor excuse for a lunch: pear (that I ate before taking this photo), cheese slices


And some of Mazen’s butternut ravioli


With a leftover meatball. No veggies except what’s inside of this – I could have put more effort into this lunch!


Leftover pizza with salad – now that’s more like it!!


As was this one – egg, spinach, cucumber and apple slices.



Sunday night dinner – Mexican fun! Beans, cheese, peppers, kale, chips and yoga-mole. Pumpkin beer that Matt brought me without asking. Couldn’t say no.


Here’s our Cook Smarts menu this week:

M: SESAME-SOY SALMON with roasted brussels sprouts. Matt worked late this night, so this dinner was all me. Salmon is my favorite fish, so it was a good one!


T: TURKISH MEATBALLS with cucumber & yogurt and pita. Loved these meatballs and the yogurt-cucumber salad was such a fun change from the usual salad option. Pita – yum! Wine – yum yum!


W: TURKISH PIZZA WITH FETA and cucumber and spinach salad


I loved how we turned last night’s meatballs into a pizza. Matt made his whole wheat crust, so that took this dinner to a 10! Kombucha sippin’ for me.


TH: SPINACH, MUSHROOM, AND FETA FRITTATA with avocado citrus salad. We added some homemade croutons to this salad – loved the citrus addition as well!


We thought Mazen was going to love the frittata, but I think he was sketched out by the mushrooms. Sad smile


F: LEFTOVERS. Frittata, frozen veggie blend and some of our new Gluten Xclusion bread on the side. A tiny taste of beer.


Sending you March warmth, April non-showers and May flowers!

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 25, 2014 at 7:36 am

We woke up to a dusting of snow this morning. This winter has been harder on me as well. I was doing really well for awhile as I DO love winter & snow, but this has been an especially hard one in Chicago and I think we’re all ready for spring.


2 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! March 25, 2014 at 7:52 am

Sunflower seed butter and pancakes?! Nothing better! I swear that seed butter goes great with everything! Sweet, savory, any meal, any time! Even straight out of the jar! So yummy.


3 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

Congratulations to Karen!!! That’s such good news! And I feel you on the winter blues; it has just not let up here in Chicago and I am SO OVER IT. Actually I was over it well over a month ago so I have no idea how I’m keeping my sanity…


4 Katie March 25, 2014 at 8:13 am

Very cool you’re doing a GF bread! Is that a recipe exclusive to your Great Harvest, or do other Great Harvests offer it? How has it been received by customers, and how do you like it?


5 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 12:24 pm

It’s a twist on the shared GH recipe. We haven’t made it available to the public yet – still testing – but we hope to have it ready by April 1. The taste-testers have liked it! And it’s not going to be marketed as gluten-free but just a very low gluten bread (for liability purposes and because we mill flour in our store)


6 Jackie March 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

I’m so over winter too! Bring on spring and sunshine!


7 Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

Not more snow?! But delicous and inspiring eats :)


8 Chrystal J March 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

Would love to know what you used to pull together the peppers/beans and yogurt mole sauce if you can share! :)


9 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Cheese :) And some southwest seasoning, salt and pepper.


10 Ali March 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

Kath, don’t ever move north! If your winter is affecting you and you’ve been on a lot of vacations this year, trust me when I say that northern climates will not serve you well!


11 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 11:29 am

I never will for that reason! Otherwise love New England.


12 [email protected] March 25, 2014 at 8:50 am

Frittata is just the best! Even better the next day for sure! Eggs, banana and nut butter…it’s on repeat here too with leftover cinnamon maple carrots and sweet potato on the side and the first of the Irish strawberries!


13 Ali March 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

I hate to admit that I have been drinking more than I would like too. There are just some nights that a glass of wine is needed during the week. I’m glad I’m not the only one.


14 Dee March 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

#1. God bless Karen!
I fell your pain over this forever winter, let’s hope we get a forever summer to make up for it.
Great photo and second go round


15 Lea March 25, 2014 at 9:00 am

Consider this as an alternative to boredom drinking (you can drop the optional ingredients):

It’s zingy and interesting to drink either hot or cold (it’s like a sweet cinnamon iced “tea” when it’s cold–you could dilute it with tea too, I suppose), and you can control the sugar. I make a batch and keep in the fridge.


16 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 11:28 am



17 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

I am right their with you on the snow. I am so over it! At least we have sun today! :) The food looks awesome as always!


18 Kelly D March 25, 2014 at 9:07 am

Gluten Xclusion? Sounds like a gluten free bread to me! Yeah!!! Would love to try it!


19 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 11:28 am

It’s made without gluten but not “gluten-free”


20 Chelsea @ BigBitesLittleBudget March 25, 2014 at 9:13 am

You have had a crazy winter! I hope the sunshine is coming to you soon. Those Cooks Smart meals look fabulous…always something new and fun to try!


21 Jess @ The Baguette Diet March 25, 2014 at 9:21 am

Great news about Karen! Still sending some positivity your way :)

It’s crazy what bad weather can do to our eating habits. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who needs a “treat” on days like that!


22 Christine March 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

Love reading happy news! I will continue to keep Karen in my thoughts!


23 Hannah @ eat, drink and save money March 25, 2014 at 10:25 am

I feel ya on the alcohol! It’s tough. A glass of wine makes dinner prep and baby bedtime much more fun. I’ve started doing one glass while I make dinner and nursing it to make it last through dinner and then I switch to sleepy time tea. Sorry the winter is so rough!


24 Cathy March 25, 2014 at 10:33 am

I’m so happy for Karen!!! Wonderful news.


25 marie March 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

Ooohh, that is FANTABULOUS news about Karen! I’ve been wondering how she was. Please congratulate her for me!


26 Jessica March 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

Does Mazen not like playing in the snow? Is it like sand to him? My son was hesitant at first but he warmed up to it. Hope you get some more sunshine soon in your home state. At least you’ve had some sunny vacations! :)


27 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

Hated it! And wont keep gloves on :(


28 Emily @ Life on Food March 25, 2014 at 11:17 am

Seriously?!? I am done with this winter. I have been eating lots of berries the last few days. It helps.


29 Joy March 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

Thanks for the update on Karen. I was thinking about her health when I saw her in your post yesterday. Great news!


30 Tonya March 25, 2014 at 11:41 am

Karen is SuperWoman! :-) God bless her!

And girl I feel you on those extra glasses of wine! I’ve had to cut it out of my grocery list and force myself to only imbibe when out socially.


31 simple green moms March 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

Totally agree this winter has been the worst weather AND bad mood wise! If it takes an extra adult beverage or so to get through it than so be it =)


32 Heidi March 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

Hooray for Karen!! That’s the bestest news ever????
Question for you Kath- Do you feel like because of Cooks smarts you have enjoyed your meals more and thus not craving sweets as much? I would love to kick my sweets to the curb I don’t jam on sweets I just don’t want to HAVE to have them after every dinner! It’ difficult to be consistent. Maybe I just need to join Cooks smarts 😉 what do you think?


33 Heidi March 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

I have no idea why question marks Showed up after I said yay for Karen! It was a happy face:)


34 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I think that’s a big possibility! There are so many factors going into cravings, but I do think having a really satisfying dinner helps a lot.


35 Jessica March 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Oh, and they have tons of snowsuits on sale right now since its, ya know, SPRING, haha.


36 Tracy March 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

So happy to hear Karen’s news! Continued good vibes sent her way!

This winter sure has been a doozy here in Kansas City as well. I’m so over it!!


37 Tracy March 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Did you intentionally remove the BabyKERF link from the sidebar? I usually check over there to see if there’s a new post. Just curious…


38 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm

It’s on the left side now!


39 Leah @ goodnightcheese March 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Such amazing news for Karen! You all must be so relieved. Did you do anything to celebrate?


40 Brenna Darling March 25, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Hope you’re well! Check out a new kind of news source that compared the benefits of raw and cooked foods!–Is-cooked-food-healthier-than-raw-food


41 Lisa C. March 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I am so happy to hear Karen’s good news! I think of her often.


42 Jeri March 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Tell Karen Whoooo Hooooo!!

It seems as if, I could be wrong, that since you’ve been following the Cook Smarts meal plans, that you are eating less bread/wheat products. Are you guys semi-paleo now? I keep being told that’s the way I need to go with my arthritis. But I always go back to what you say of eliminating a food group. It’s so hard to start eating healthy/clean because I, the overweight (technically still obese), get pulled in so many directions by people who don’t have an RD behind their name. But with all the Nutritionists I follow on twitter as well as the one I see at the VA Hospital, you all never have once told me to eliminate ANYTHING, except unhealthy junk/fast foods.


43 KathEats March 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Semi-Paleo – I’m laughing out loud a little. Definitely not : )

I do think if you have a medical reason to eliminate a food group (like arthritis not weight loss) that it can be a good experiment to see how you feel. No one knows your body and how you feel like you do, so it can’t hurt to experiment. But don’t eliminate one because you think it’s the cool thing to do, a trend or because a food has been villainized.


44 Carly March 25, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Hi Jeri,
Carly at Cook Smarts here. Thanks for your note! Each meal comes with different options: original, vegetarian, Paleo, or Gluten free. You can go to our website and try out three different weeks for free if you would like. Like Kath said below, it’s always good to experiment and find what works best for you!

Happy Cooking!


45 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

It’s snowing here again today, too. Is there an end in site?!


46 Kathy W. March 25, 2014 at 3:43 pm

That is fantastic news!! Go Karen!!

and: Most horrible. winter. ever. It’s snowing here again, so much you can’t see (like a thick fog)–there’s even a special weather statement visibility warning! WTF? We need spring!!!!!


47 Cheri Armour March 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Our weather is kind of gross here too. I am ready for a Carolina spring time!! This is horrid!


48 Hillary March 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

YEAH KAREN! Sending her lots of good vibes. What great news for everyone!


49 emily March 25, 2014 at 6:27 pm

So glad to hear Karen’s good news!


50 Sara March 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for sharing Karen’s good news.
I am also a Grandma, and I think of Karen every time I read your blog.


51 Elisabeth March 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Congratulations to Karen on her good news!!


52 Hannah March 25, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Yay for Karen! That is great news.
This weather is ridiculous. I just got back from a Florida weekend, so I was convinced winter was over. I left my jacket upstairs at work today, but decided I wouldn’t need it to walk to my car. WRONG! I am SO ready for spring this year!


53 Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog March 26, 2014 at 4:09 am

Yay for Karen!

Just my opinion, but there are some rather sad looking lunches there: ” 1 egg, spinach, cucumber and apple slices” you said was a good lunch. What, 80 calories for the egg, 50 calories for the apple and a bit of spinach and cucumber. Not really in line with the latest RD post about metabolism. Like I say, it’s just my opinion, but it doesn’t seem like much for a busy Mum.


54 KathEats March 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

That’s probably because I snacked while making mazen’s lunch. Ive put that disclaimer out before as a reason my photographed lunch might look like 1/3 is missing.


55 Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog March 27, 2014 at 9:07 am

Thank you for your reply, I didn’t want to sound like I was nit-picking. I suffer from disordered eating, and things like that are a trigger for me. It makes me aware and concerned for others who might misunderstand the messages out there.


56 Livi March 26, 2014 at 6:36 am

Good job with the workouts, hope you’re feeling better!


57 Patty March 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

Have you done a post on your pots and pans? I’m in the market for a new set and would love to hear your thoughts on favorites — and least favorites!

Thanks, Patty


58 KathEats March 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I have a really like the Simply Calphlon line that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond 20% off.


59 Sam March 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

Hi Kath! How do you get air in your Bob tires? Any insights are appreciated – our usually agreeable tire pump is no help. Do you need a special piece? Thanks!


60 KathEats March 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

We just use a bike pump. It’s a bit hard to get on but no special part needed


61 Kendall March 26, 2014 at 2:06 pm

That’s wild to me that it’s still snowing where you are! I’m on the West coast in a place where we typically have terrible weather this time of year and it’s been surprisingly warm. Your breakfasts always look fantastic


62 Katie March 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Love the green plate and the little plate with the apple. Where did you get them?


63 KathEats March 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

The green plate is Pottery Barn from a few years ago and the little one came with a gift set I got a while back.


64 the Coconut Girl March 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Can’t sell my gang on frittatas, either. I’ve thought of slipping slices into a handy disguise: a wrap, a taco shell–anything! Maybe a dumpling. They’ll eat anything in a dumpling.


65 Stefanie March 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I am from Chicago and this has been one of the worst winters I can remember! I am so ready for spring.


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