Changing habits.

Lately I have been thinking about changing up my environment every once in a while.  Working from home, I find myself feeling stifled often and while I do have an office I have the option to go into, it is 50 minutes away and full of transient consultants.  My HR colleagues are never in the office, so that defeats the purpose of going in to socialize.  I need to start going to coffee shops, and since a CERTAIN MONOPOLISTIC BRAND has taken over every small coffee shop in this area, I have one choice and one choice only.

image from starbucks.com

We do have a really nice Starbucks just 5 minutes away from me so I wonder why I am not taking advantage of that- probably because I am the cheapest person on the planet and can’t bear to pay for a coffee drink when I can make a perfectly good one at home.  A Vanilla Rooibos tea would be delightful though.  I need to start a new routine where I pack up and get out once a week because while I’m not going stir crazy (take note I am essentially a recluse so I love being home for work), my weekday routine is precisely this: work at home all day, take  run outside, make dinner, sit on the couch all night either watching the DVR or reading blogs.  I don’t even want to know what I will turn into once I have babies.

I found that I was dreading my scheduled interval run yesterday afternoon so I thought that instead of doing my usual route that I am quickly becoming tired of, I would run on the treadmill.  It helped that it was 86 degrees outside so 78 in the gym was sounding mighty cool.  I came to the conclusion that I certainly need to find a new running route because I usually avoid the treadmill at absolutely all costs.

It was actually a great run, usually I am much slower on the treadmill, but I think that I kept the same interval paces as I would have run if I were outside in perfect weather, though I was embarrassingly DRIPPING in sweat while I was leaving.  It was disgusting, and I swear people were staring.

I also created a new recipe last night out of necessity and it came out really delicious and was the perfect balance I needed after my workout.  I was planning to make THIS chicken dish, but realized I had bought tenderloins instead of breast, so I re-worked it into something new.  I of all people know how hard it is to have cheap nutritious meals but depending on the price of feta and tomatoes in your area, I think this could be a great option to fit in your healthy food budget!

I know you can’t tell, but I feel obligated to bring to your attention that I am not a professional photographer

Balsamic Glazed Chicken with Tomato Feta Salad

Serves 4                                 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz whole wheat linguine or angel hair
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 – 1.5lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup chicken broth or stock
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cup of reduced fat feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Bake seasoned chicken breasts  at 350 covered with broth/stock in a baking dish for 20 minutes, turning halfway through
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce to a boil and simmer until thick and syrupy, a little less than 20 minutes
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions
  4. While chicken, glaze and pasta are cooking, chop tomatoes and mix with feta cheese and olive oil, add salt and pepper
  5. Drain pasta, top with chicken, tomato salad, and drizzle with balsamic glaze

 Damage: 486 Calories/42g carbs/17g* fat/60g protein/6g fiber

*Note: you can reduce the fat by 5-7 grams by not using olive oil or using significantly less.  The flavor won’t be compromised too much, the purpose is to mix the feta/tomato “salad” into the pasta with the chicken.

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