Vacation Recap.

Well.  I’ll tell ya.

Vacation certainly felt like a whirlwind.

Speaking of which.

Is it just me, or has summer been feeling like a whirlwind lately too?  I was making a list the other day, of all the summery things I need (absolutely MUST!) accomplish before autumn rolls around.  And there is so much still left to do.  Things like blueberry picking and swimming in a lake and making s’mores by the campfire.  I’ll share my complete summery list with you all as soon as it’s complete, and I’d love to hear what’s on your summery agenda too!

One of my “must-do’s” was to head to the White Mountains.  There is no other place on earth that makes me feel quite as happy as NH.  On top of a mountain, I instantly forget about all the worries and stresses of life.  It’s that feeling of absolute peace.

Here is the official photo recap!

HIKING

My goal is to hike all 48 of the 4000 foot mountains in NH.  I got 3 down on this one vacation trip.

First up was Mt. Osceola, which was a relatively steady climb with lots of switchbacks.  It’s one of the “easier” hikes, as far as 4000 footers go. 😉

My Dad taught me a lot about the mountains.  What to bring.  How to prepare.  And most of all, how to respect nature.  He’s hiked with me through all the mountains that I’ve climbed so far, until that day.

I shot off and did East Osceola on my own, which was a pretty exhilarating experience.  This part of the trail was called the “chimney” for good reason.  It was so steep and was WAY easier to climb up versus down.

The one other hike that was done was Mt. Eisenhower, which is one of my absolute favorites!  The view was spectacular.

FOOD

Icecream.  Every day.  What can I say?  I hold nothing back on vacation.  I will say, however, that it feels amazing to be back on track now that vacation has come to a close!

(My sistah is a fellow ice cream lover like myself!  So her little baby is almost guaranteed to love ice cream too…I foresee future icecream dates with my future nephew…yippee!) 

I do, however, still balance things out with healthier things.  Lots of fresh salads and fruits and lean meats.  One of my favorite salad toppings?

Grilled Cajun Chicken + Peach + Walnuts + EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar.  Yum!

JUST FUN

North Conway is one of my family’s favorite places to visit.  There’s all kinds of sightseeing, shopping, and people watching opportunities.

It’s a fun (slightly quirky!) little NH town.

We also went to visit some of the waterfall spots.

This is Sabaday Falls, one of my favorites…

And my sis and I (right) at the basin…

There was also this really cool trail that led through an array of birch trees.

Gorgeous.

And pretty rivers to wade through….

My mom’s favorite activity?

Miniature golf.

My dad always wins.  I almost always lose.  But I laugh the whole way through, so it’s totally more than okay. 😉

Me (left) and my sis!

My beautiful sis (and bestie!)

I need one of these chairs for my backyard.

Just sayin’. 😉

Yep.

Vacation went by way too fast.

But I already have plans to head back to NH later this month for another hike (woohoo!)

Off to relax before the work week begins tomorrow!

QUESTION: Do you take a summer vacation?  If so, what do you like to do?  

Advertisements

5 Things To Stop Throwing Out.

1. Egg Yolks.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, up to one egg yolk per day has shown no increased effects on heart disease (or 2 egg yolks, 3 days a week.)  And egg yolks are rich in choline, which promotes those “happy hormones” such as serotonin.  They’re also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two important nutrients that promote eye health.

Common sense says not to go hog wild on eating egg yolks but certainly don’t toss them either!

2. Vegetable Scraps.

If you find yourself frequently tossing veggie scraps like carrot peels or celery heads into the trash, toss them in the freezer instead!  Simply fill up a large zip-lock bag with the scraps and when the bag is full, boil the scraps with just enough water to cover.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(You can add a can of unsalted tomato juice for extra flavor too!)

3. Vegetable Peels.

Veggie peels can add a lot of fiber to an otherwise low-fiber diet.

Roast the potatoes with the peel still on.  Purchase thin-skinned baby cucumbers and dice into your salad.  Buy organic carrots and shred (peel and all!) into your stir fry.

Fiber up!

4. Peanut Butter Jars.

Reuse these fun little jars for all sorts of things, like storing buttons, loose change, chia seeds, pet treats, rice, etc.

(Same goes for jam jars!)

5. Egg Whites.

Speaking of eggs…

Have you ever had a recipe call for egg yolk only and ended up tossing the egg white?  Instead, you could…

Throw it into your oatmeal during the last 2 minutes of cooking time for a protein boost.  Or make an egg white scramble with veggies and cheese.  Or microwave the egg white with a little salt and pepper, and then eat it on the side of your morning toast.

Oh the possibilities.

(When covered tightly in the fridge with plastic wrap, egg whites will last up to 4 days.)

Simply Breakfast

Good morning!

My weekend thus far has been completely and utterly relaxing.  The honest to goodness extent of my activity has been a 4-mile run yesterday morning and a jaunt around the bookstore yesterday afternoon.

In other words.

This weekend was delicious.  Really.  I think my body needed the rest.

One of my current favorite things to include at breakfast are muffins.

Bran.  Blueberry.  Cinnamon.  Peanut Butter.  Etc, etc, etc.  Or, my personal favorite, pumpkin!  Check out my favorite (healthy!) recipe here  >>>   Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

When muffins combine with a little bit of yogurt, the most wonderful thing happens.  The muffins absorb a little liquid, a little moisture, and suddenly it feels as if I’m eating cake batter for breakfast.

It’s wonderful.

What’s In My Breakfast

almost (not quite) empty peanut butter jar

…filled with layers of…

whole wheat pumpkin muffin, crumbled

…and the following mixture…

1 cup low fat greek yogurt + 1 Tbsp. flax seed + 1 sliced banana 

…yum…

Why This Breakfast Works

  • Fiber (keeps you full:) Muffin (made with whole wheat flour) + banana
  • Fat (keeps you full:) Peanut Butter + flax seed
  • Protein (keeps you full:) Low Fat Yogurt

QUESTION: What did YOU have for breakfast?