WIAW: back on that Portillos grind

If I had a dollar for all the times I turned to nachos for meals in the past five weeks I’d have a down payment on a Prius.

But it’s a new week and with my new goals in mind, I’ve started making meals (and, thankfully, worshiping vegetables again).

So without further ado, a day of my (recent) eats:


I’ve downsized my usual breakfast sandwich into an English muffin – it fills me up just the same as a bagel (thanks, protein!) but makes me feel less guilty about the half and half I need (yes, need) in my coffee.

1 egg, 2 tablespoons egg whites, bell peppers, onions, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and onion powder on an English muffin. It ain’t pretty but it sits in my stomach like a cheesy, delicious rock, so I go with it.


I had a day off yesterday before I started my new job, so lunch was spent at home. My mom and I split a pizza from Trader Joe’s: spinach, feta and mozzarella with greens on the side. Dressing is easy as pie: TJ’s balsamic glaze + olive oil.

IMG_8161In the afternoon I went to my first hot yoga class. Spoiler alert: hot yoga is hard.

IMG_8173Between the heat and my general distaste for water/addiction to coffee, this was no picnic. I had to take a few breaks just to wipe my mat down and guzzle water. Now, let’s call a spade a spade: this was no typical ashtanga session. It was a Sahara bootcamp. 100 degrees of slippery mats and sumo squats. Needless to say I was lightheaded and gasping for air like a fish out of water, but about twenty minutes after I left the building my body was overcome by the inevitable high that can only come from exercise and I basically floated home. Beautiful session, beautiful afternoon.


An unpictured Larabar. Exciting stuff, I know.


Once I was back in the burbs I was about ready to eat my hand. I knew I wanted veggies, as many as I could possibly shovel into my mouth, so I drove straight for the motherland: Portillos.


Good things come to those who wait (and yes, the line is always this long). This is, by far, the biggest thing non-Chicagoans are missing out on. Italian beef, Chicago hot dogs, cheese fries (ooooh the cheese fries), chocolate cake shakes, and the chopped salad. If you locked me in a Portillos for 30 years I wouldn’t even be mad.

IMG_8184Oh my goodness – the closeup is what really does this salad justice. And just so you don’t think I’m too healthy, they serve their salads with a huge chunk of bread which I quickly slathered with butter and demolished. It was all gone in less than 20 minutes and I spent the next thirty lying on the couch in a glorious food coma. Hot yoga makes you hungry, apparently. Or any activity besides Netflix, I guess.



Be still my heart.


  • If you’ve ever visited, did you try Portillos? Have you ever heard of it?
  • What have you been craving this week? Let’s talk food! It’s been too long 🙂

let’s talk about foooood

Remember how we’ve been talking about how spring makes you want to eat lots of veggies and lighter foods? Well, I’m definitely not at the point when I wake up every morning jonesing for a spinach smoothie and a kale salad, but I’ve been loving some greens lately! I deserve some credit considering winter seems to have poked it’s head back after a 75 degree weekend. I have no freaking idea how this keeps happening, but yesterday I left work and had to walk home IN THE SNOW. On April 16th. Granted it’s less than an inch but seriously? Seeing white on the ground after a weekend spent playing outside in shorts and a t-shirt isn’t just depressing, it’s downright mind-boggling. I’m not an environment fanatic but these dramatic changes within days is pretty scary. Hopefully spring gets it’s act together asap.


Moral of the story is, maybe if I keep eating my greens I’ll FORCE spring to come. Yeah, that’ll happen.


Greens with roasted butternut squash, pecans, apples, craisins, blue cheese, and a white wine vinaigrette



Omelet with spinach, red pepper flakes and cheddar cheese


Makeshift salad with black beans, corn, green peppers, tomatoes, avocado and topped with garlic salt and cumin


My new favorite snack: roasted sweet potato and peanut butter


Cheese fries – wait, who put that there? Not green in the least but I can never say no to Portillos


Blueberry banana oatmeal and TJ’s green juice (delicious, by the way)


Cobb salad with salmon and Mediterranean vinaigrette


TJ’s Multigrain “Cheerios” with chopped dates


The best grilled fish tacos I’ve ever had!! Plus tots. The perfect meal

Okay and now I’m HUNGRY. Breakfast time 🙂 Have a great day!


  • What are you eating for breakfast today? Inspire me!


bootcamp is no joke

Man. All my prior beliefs about what “makes” a workout are being shattered.

I woke up this morning and had a quick bowl of breakfast before heading over to bootcamp.


a delicious combination of Kashi go lean and honey nut cheerios. Sliced banana on top and almond milk. Pretty food 🙂

I was planning on running to bootcamp (it’s a little over 2 miles each way) but I ended up deciding to sleep in instead. Thank goodness I did that because I definitely go my running in during the WOD.


Sweeeeet lawd. Doing jump squats directly after running is not a treat.  It ended up being 8 rounds, so a mile total, of 200m sprints. Phew!

Needless to say, my mindset of “a workout has to be an hour in order to count” is quickly being wiped away. This workout was only about 20 minutes, plus a 5 minute warmup, and I was wiped out. These crossfit workouts are mentally and physically challenging in no way I’ve ever experienced (except back in high school when my basketball team did plyometrics with the boys football team during the offseason).

The best part about today’s workout?

ImageI finally got to use kettlebells!  I’ve been hearing about how effective kettlebell workouts are for awhile now but I always just stare at them at the gym, too nervous to do it alone. Being in a group environment where everyone is learning as they go along makes it so much easier to try new things.

I came home and snacked on some super ripe honeydew melon before running out the door to meet up with some friends from college for lunch.


I am lucky in that I made a big group of girlfriends my freshman year of college and we’ve been close ever since. Now that we’re all graduated and moving in a million different directions, it’s nice when some of us can find a random afternoon to grab lunch or coffee, or to even just catch up over the phone.


Love these girls so much!

Four of us met up at Portillo’s for lunch (a Chicago favorite)

Chopped salad FTW!


This salad has everything. Little bits of pasta, blue cheese, chicken, and chopped up lettuce. It normally has bacon on it as well but I always ask to skip that.  It’s a huge portion (which you know I lurv) and a treat every time I get it.

I just picked up Zman from a work retreat and we went to get his oil changed. I grabbed Starbucks while we waited for the car to be ready.


Grande coffee with pumpkin spice and topped with soy milk.  (Did you know they put FOUR pumps of syrup in a grande?! It was delicious but man is that excessive. I’m going to try two next time. I hate drinking my calories and want to make an exception for pumpkin since it’s my favorite, but four pumps of syrup is a recipe for disaster and sugar cravings allll day).

Now Zman and I are packing for a quick trip to Dallas for the weekend.  I told you I have a serious case of wanderlust, didn’t I? 😉

Have a GREAT weekend!