1 2 3 24

That Time I Quit My Job

Today, August 26th 2016 was my last day at Old Navy where I spent nearly the last two years, first on the international team and then on the social media team.

I’ve learned that the hardest thing sometime can be knowing when to throw in the towel when something isn’t working. This can apply to relationships, your job, your workout routine — having room to fail is what helps you to grow.

Failure has such a negative connotation in our society. Webster’s Dictionary describes it as “omission of occurrence or performance”, but really, it should be known as what happens in order to force change to create success. Despite knowing failure is natural and brings you to a place of growth, I still have a hard time giving up on anything. I once ran 20 miles on a stress fracture because I refused to accept that I was injured.

Staying at my job wasn’t working for me. I’m such a success-oriented person who needs to constantly achieve and when I wasn’t achieving at work, my whole life started crumbling around me. I felt like a failure because I wasn’t invested in my career anymore. My lack of interest in what I was doing made me feel like I wasn’t ambitious, I wasn’t driven, and that I literally had no business being in San Francisco anymore since this wasn’t working out.

I had a moment of clarity when I was home in Pittsburgh in July. It all came to me as I drove to my grandparents house one morning and it felt like a sign that I suddenly had all of the plans in my head — I was going to quit my job, move back to Pittsburgh for a few months, try to freelance full time and then come back to SF to work on a really exciting project with a friend. I told everyone my plan, they were all on board — even my dad. I wrote my resignation letter on the plane back to SF.

Yet I stayed. I started second-guessing myself because I didn’t want to lose the cushy paycheck. “Oh but I’ll miss being able to travel.” “I’ll miss getting my nails done.” “I won’t be able to afford SoulCycle.” Really shitty excuses when it comes down to my overall happiness. And really, they were excuses because I was afraid of taking a really scary leap into the unknown.

I just kept waiting around for everyone else to make a decision for me because I didn’t trust myself. Then one day my hand was forced and I realized — it’s not fair to anyone that I’m staying in this job. All my friends and family hear about is how miserable I am yet I wasn’t making a change. It wasn’t fair to future Cassie who deserves to be happy and do something with all of this talent. It wasn’t fair to my employer or my team, either. They deserved someone in that role who wanted to be there, not someone who was there out of self-induced obligation.

I was so jealous of everyone I saw who was writing, freelancing full-time, working on cool projects and desperately wanted that kind of flexibility in a career. It’s not that I don’t want to work hard and do awesome things, it’s just that I want to be able to do so on my own time and at the place of my choosing. I realized I’m the only person who’s capable of achieving living the life I want. If I want to somehow make six-figures doing work I actually give a shit about, that’s on me. But first, I had to get out of the situation that completely destroyed my self-confidence, my drive, my relationship and my motivation. So I decided to throw in the towel on my job.

That morning, I lined up the first bit of freelance work just to have some money coming in so I felt a lot more secure in my decision. I thought about taking a sabbatical from work but since I do have that desire to have a purpose and achieve, I knew that wasn’t the right answer (and truthfully, it was a relief when I realized I actually wanted to work, just not where I was currently working). I had told my therapist the Friday before I was finally going to quit. I told all my friends and family (for like the fifth time, I’m sure). But this time, I actually did it. And exactly zero part of it was scary. It was 110% a sense of relief.

I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. It’s okay to have that existential crisis in your mid (okay, late) 20s. It’s okay to have it at any point of your life. I don’t know how this is all going to pan out in the end but if it wasn’t meant to be, it wouldn’t have happened this way. Life has a funny way of being cyclical and dropping you off right where you need to be and bringing and taking people to and from your life at the pivotal moments.

Quit your job. Buy that plane ticket. Write that e-mail. Submit your essay. Whatever you’re putting off because of fear of failure or fear of being hurt — just do it. If you’re feeling something in your gut — and you keep feeling it for weeks and weeks — your intuition is probably right. The worst that happens is you have a learning experience, maybe you have to lick your wounds for a little bit but life goes on. The best that happens is everything works out perfectly but let’s be real — being vulnerable and admitting what we failed at or what we’re not great at is what makes us relatable and human.

None of us are going to knock it out of the park in every aspect of our life all of the time but if we keep going, something we do is going to work out and get us up on the scoreboard.

Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk [Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo]

homemade strawberry almond milk with purely elizabeth muesli

I am 100% predictable. I try to not be predictable (as seen by my ‘go to Mexico and tell my family and like three people’ stunt) but I have a lot of personality traits that as much as I try to change, I just can’t improve on them.

Examples include:

  • Breaking 3 Pyrex bowls while cooking dinner with my friend Sam because I don’t have my shelves properly organized and then breaking a jar two weeks later because I still don’t have things organized (Side note: I am f****d if there is an earthquake, excuse my French).
  • Constantly forgetting my wallet.
  • I’m always late, typically by 15 minutes.
  • Buying a nut milk bag to make nut milk but forgetting to use it.

The last one is what happened with the first time I made this recipe. Luckily the second time I wasn’t so irresponsible.

homemade strawberry almond milk with purely elizabeth muesli

Homemade almond milk – not as scary to make as it sounds!

I recommend you half the recipe if you live alone and aren’t going to go through 10 cups of almond milk in a week. I was literally just trying to make every recipe that included almond milk ever – a lot of Vegan Banana and Blueberry Breakfast Parfaits and chia puddings and an entire box of Purely Elizabeth Muesli. Which I highly suggest making with this Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk.

homemade strawberry almond milk with purely elizabeth muesli

The best breakfast for hot summer days.

This is the first time I ever had muesli to my knowledge and where the hell have I been my whole life? It’s basically kind of like overnight oats but minus chia seeds and with less liquid? Anyway, I threw mine on top of some Greek Yogurt because I’m basically all about adding protein to every meal possible and topped with some more Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk and some unsweetened carob chips because strawberries + chocolate = love.

homemade strawberry almond milk with purely elizabeth muesli

Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk with Purely Elizabeth Muesli

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk [Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo]
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan
Serves: 10 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a high power blender and blend on the highest setting until no particles remain.
  2. Place nut milk bag over a large bowl or contained and strain mixture.
  3. Store homemade strawberry almond milk in refrigerator for up to one week.

If you’re looking for more Meatless Monday recipes, check out the Meatless Monday round-up from Tina Muir and Confessions of a Mother Runner.

My friends at Purely Elizabeth sent me some of their new muesli to try but all opinions are my own.

Chat with me:
What personality traits of yours do you wish you could change? How do you top your muesli? Have you ever made homemade nut milk?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 7.7

now-trending-20150708

Thanks for all your kind words last week on my near-nervous breakdown. If anyone could give me just one more hour in the day, that would be great. I’m going to have to write a post on how to deal with a mega-packed schedule soon.

Once again, this week was a whirlwind. I accidentally wasted an hour or two falling down the Internet rabbit hole one evening so I was able to find the best links this week to bring you.

Travel
Molly Yeh makes me want to go to LA, mainly to go to Eggslut.

I’m obsessed with Canada… so since I’m crossing British Columbia and Vancouver off my list next month, I guess Banff is next. I am basically going to do Davida’s trip over again.

Dad, if you’re reading this, we need to go to Cuba before Americans ruin it.

One place I’m sad I didn’t make it to when I was living in Hong Kong is Bali.

Lifestyle
Work can totally affect your whole life. Luckily, despite my job being stressful, I work with a lot of really kind and talented people whom I like. Nevertheless, Rashida Jone’s Essential Guide to Happiness at Work is really helpful to keep in mind.

I have this strange feeling being a good hostess is in my blood. My family is pretty fantastic at making sure everyone is happy and feels welcome – and is well fed. Maybe it’s also my inability to not keep everyone around me happy.

Cupcakes and Cashmere has a clothing line! And I want everything of course.

After working for a denim company and hearing feedback from customers that $30 jeans are too expensive, this is a great breakdown on what costs are incurred in $200 jeans to $20 jeans.

Food
I’ve been loving How Sweet Eats salads lately – I’ve made two in the past month. This Arugala Kale Reggiano Salad looks like everything.

I want to health-ify this Blueberry & Ricotta Skillet Cake.

Being in Big Sur last weekend made me want to go camping. I think I’m just intrigued by camping because of camping foods.

Confession: Part of the reason I’ve been so stressed and busy is because I’m now a contributor to Brit + Co! Check out my first post – 10 Crazy Colorful Spiralized Salads for Summer.

Chat with me:
What place do you want to visit for one specific restaurant? What would you do with an extra hour in the day? How do you stay happy at work?

How to Run Farther: Tackling a New Distance

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

A couple weekends ago I had the brilliant idea to go look at my high school cross-country times which were embarrassing to say the least. I told Emily about it the other day and she reminded me that we really peek as runners in our early 30s. I’m glad I didn’t peek at 16 but if I could go back 10 years, I would be placing in the top 10 of races instead of last (true story). Sigh.

I bring this up because I never fathomed running more than a few miles. 3.1 miles sounded ridiculous to me 12 years ago… and now I typically don’t leave my house for less than six. How did I learn to run further?

How to Run Farther: Tackling a New Distance

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

A very scary sign to see the day before your first marathon.

  • Start with Small Steps
    Not literally, but figuratively. Never increase your milage more than 10% in a week, so if you’re currently running 10 miles a week, add a mile your first week and so on.
  • Cross-Train
    I know there is a serious correlation in my improvement as a runner and the integration of cross-training in my workouts. I used to run 5-6 days a week and never really do much of anything else. Now I run 4 days a week, go to yoga 1-2 times a week, go to SoulCycle once a week and usually hike once a week. Yoga keeps my muscles happy and limber and SoulCycle and hiking moves my body in ways running doesn’t.
  • Be Ready to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
    Running any distance doesn’t necessarily always feel good. Some numbers are very scary when proceeded with “miles” – 3.1, 6.2, 13.1, or 26.2 to name a few. It’s going to hurt but it’s going to be worth it. Running is 80% mental and anyone who tells you differently is lying.

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

  • Strength Train
    If you expect your body to be able to perform longer and harder than it is used to, you need to incorporate strength training. Runners really need to focus on core and back strength because that’s what holds you up when you’re on your feet for hours at a time – and your form is the first thing to go when you’re fatigued.
  • Get the Right Nutrition
    I’m going to let you in on a little secret – running further distances makes you really ravenous, all the time. Basically the only time I’m not hungry is when I’m sad. (I’m always one break-up or stomach flu from my goal weight.)
  • Do Your Research
    There are lots of training plans, nutrition plans, blogs, books, etc. focused on running further distances. I don’t think there is any right one, but set aside some time to do some research and be open to testing out something new.
  • Listen to Your Body
    I know that running any more than four days a week burns me out. If you’re feeling sore, tired and starting to hate running – back off for a few days and take these steps to get out of a running rut.
  • Focus on Recovery
    Recovery is so, so, so important. There’s no point in increasing your distance and pushing yourself if you undo all your hard work by getting injured because you aren’t recovering properly. Foam roll, go to yoga, eat anti-inflammatory foods and follow my other Long Run Recovery Tips.
How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

Invest in a foam roller if you’re going to start increasing your distance. I love the Rumble Roller.

Resources

Chat with me:
Do you have a new distance you want to run? What tips do you have for runners wanting to increase their distance?

Baked Pesto Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]

Bumblebee Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]

Last week was a week. I don’t know why I was on the verge of a nervous break down basically all week. I had a lot on my plate and felt pressed for time which always revs up my anxiety.

On Thursday I was supposed to go to the last session of this photography course I have been taking through San Francisco Parks and Recreation. A friend at work told me about “Getting to Know Your DSLR” and I thought I would really learn a lot but the teacher was, to be blunt, pretty awful. I did learn a few good things but the thought of sitting in a room for three hours when I had so much more I could accomplish just stressed me out. There are a lot of good photography resources on the Internet (e-courses, websites, Youtube videos and more) that I need to dedicate the time to learning – but at least I’ll be on my own schedule.

Maybe classes just aren’t for me, which is something I often think about when thinking about getting my MBA. I was terrible at going to class in college. Classes with mandatory attendance policies (most of them) were the bane of my existence. Our time is really precious and sometimes when you’re feeling stressed and have other things you should – or want – to do, you should cut out what isn’t serving you (I tried to tell my father that and he segued into “so I shouldn’t have to give you money for things”… like where does that fit into anywhere?).

Bumblebee Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]

Save a little time this week by making these tuna burgers in advance!

SO ABOUT THESE TUNA BURGERS. These were a “use up the fridge” recipe before I left for Big Sur/San Luis Obispo last week. I came home to a really good mail day a couple weeks ago which included a box of tuna from Bumble Bee.

I couldn’t decide what to do with the tuna – healthy tuna salad with mustard? Baked tuna and rice cups? The possibilities with a can of tuna are kind of endless. It’s a really great pantry staple people – myself included – forget about. Americans don’t eat enough seafood (with the exception of me, who comes home drunk and eats cold mahi mahi out of the fridge) and it’s so healthy, especially tuna. It’s low fat compared to some of it’s delicious, Mercury-prone friends and basically just a lot of protein (yay!). I try to keep a couple cans on hand at all times.

I made these over the weekend and had them plain, in salads and of course, slathered in mustard with some tomatoes and cheese for dinner of the course of the week. You can sub out the sorghum for any other cooked grain you have on hand – quinoa or rice would work great, too.

Bumblebee Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]

Baked Pesto Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]


5.0 from 2 reviews
Baked Pesto Tuna Burgers [Gluten Free]
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Entree Cuisine: Gluten Free Author: Cassie Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4 tuna burgers
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 4 burgers
Ingredients
  • 2 cans Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cooked sorghum
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I used my arugula pesto)
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp lemon pepper
  • ¼ tsp pink himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat, parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined.
  4. With wet hands (to prevent sticking), pat together four patties from the tuna mixture.
  5. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top, flipping half way.
  6. Enjoy on a bun, salad or plain with mustard.

I received free samples from Bumble Bee Seafoods that are mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Bumble Bee Seafoods and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Check out more tuna recipes from Recipe Redux members!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Chat with me:
How do you deal with too much on your plate? Do you like going to class or do you do better learning on your own? What is your favorite way to eat tuna?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.29

now-trending-20150629

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3

This morning I made a firm decision – I’m not into smoothie bowls. I LOVE acai bowls – when I don’t make them myself. I’m also a failure at making them. You can strip me of my healthy lifestyle blogger status right now.

I really have been craving an acai bowl but haven’t had a chance to grab one the past few days so I tried making my own for about the 100th time. It was AWFUL. It was weird acai soup even though I only added 1/4 cup of almond milk. Maybe I need to stop adding greens (today it was chard). I don’t know, I was just bummed out eating it and not satisfied and jealous of everyone who had a better breakfast than me. That is every “smoothie bowl” breakfast I eat. I’m officially done.

Anyway, no one cares about how I have a slight vendetta against homemade acai bowls or smoothie bowls because it’s America’s birthday so we have hot dogs to eat and founding fathers to celebrate. Here are the best links I found this week – I think there are some real gems this week.

Travel
I think my number one deal-breaker in a guy would be a picky eater. I love to eat and he should have a similar palette as me – it’s okay if it’s not quite so kale heavy. Anyway, these ideas of honeymoons (or trips) for food lovers is genius.

Oakland is the new Brooklyn or something like that. People, go visit Oakland and make SF less congested, please!

Looking for a good fitness vacation this year but afraid of the price tag? Greatist has your budget-friendly fitness vacations covered.

Lifestyle
Does how you take your coffee dictate your decorating personality? I like my coffee black – or iced – but my place seems like a mash of all of these…

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I’m up and ready for the day by 6 a.m., even on the weekends. Also, I’m terrible at sleeping so that is part of it.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt like there was an insane pressure to be happy all the time. I’m generally a happy person but sometimes when I’m not I feel guilty about it. This article is a good reminder all emotions are okay.

Life isn’t black and white – there are a lot of grey areas. Just because you don’t have time for a six mile run doesn’t mean you can’t get in a few miles (a good reminder for me). This post by Sarah of Picky Runner is amazing – life isn’t all or nothing.

Food
Eight easy ways to upgrade your steamed veggies – maybe I should start steaming my veggies more?

I want to make these muesli cookies ASAP – and less than 100 calories a cookie, too!

I’m very anti-preservative… this is what food additives look like before they go into your food.

Need these Spicy Brazilian Burrito Bowls in my life.

Chat with me:
Smoothie bowls – love them or leave them? What do you love that other people don’t? What is the best thing you read all week?

Yoga for Runners – Christine Bullock’s Fave Five Poses for Runners

christine-bullock-womens-health-next-fitness-star

I’m so excited to have another “Cool People Doing Cool Things” feature with a an amazing woman who is originally from Pittsburgh as well, Christine Bullock! Christine is currently living and working in Redondo Beach, California and is competing to be Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star.

Practicing what she preaches, Christine Bullock has turned her expertise and passion for fitness, nutrition, and beauty into a dynamic lifestyle business. As an accomplished ballerina who started dancing at age three, Bullock has a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and insight into the importance of a consistent athletic routine and ongoing healthy eating habits. Passionate about helping others attain health and happiness, she has spent over 17 years working with health and beauty industry leaders all over the globe and has counseled and trained thousands of people to improve their health and well-being both inside and out. Bullock has certifications in Pilates, Barre, Yoga and Pre & Post-Natal, and is also certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Counselor.

Focusing on functional anatomy and movement science using dynamic movement to rebuild a balanced high performance physique, Christine integrates the most progressive exercise techniques used by world-class athletes into one powerful program designed to help increase strength, torch calories, boost metabolism, increase energy, all while balancing mind and body. Her workouts include functional training, high intensity drills, stability, plyometrics, flexibility, Pilates, yoga and core. Christine also teaches the importance of food quality, quantity, and preparation. She says, “20 minutes a day, no props needed, so no excuses!” The key is no boredom and no burnout. Her workouts are fast, functional and effective.

I asked Christine to create a series of yoga poses that are great recovery stretches for runners – I thought she would be the perfect person since she combines cardio and yoga into many of her workouts! Read on for a note from Christine and

Thank you Cassie for featuring me on Almost Getting it Together and giving me an opportunity to reach out to my hometown crowd while I take on Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star competition. I am so excited to be one of the five finalists in this national competition! Not only do I get to grace the July/August flip cover of Women’s Health with the other ladies, but most importantly I get to share workouts, my fitness philosophy and more with you all! Please visit http://thenextfitnessstar.com/christine-bullock to join me on this journey, get fit, learn and vote!

I had to go with Steelers colors for my Pittsburgh fam — if you love the look, head to Carbon38.com — use code Christinebul50 for $50 Off First Purchase of $200.

Running is an awesome practice — with nothing more than your body and a pair of sneakers you can build mental and physical endurance, a sleek physique and a strong, healthy heart. I created this short yoga series to help ward off overuse injuries that can often plague runners. These moves will also provide increased flexibility for better form while running and feel-good stretches for relief post-workout.

Cow Face Pose

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Cow Face Pose

This is a deep stretch that releases built up tension in the outer hips. Runners will also love the gentle ankle stretch that comes with this pose.

Start in a seated position and begin to cross your legs deeply so that your bent right knee is stacked on top of the bent left knee. Both knees should be in line with your chin. Make sure your heels are equidistant from each hip. Scoot your heels forward to deepen the stretch while keeping both sit bones connected to the ground.  Sit up tall, engage your core and breathe into the stretch. Switch the crossing of your legs and repeat.

Wide Legged Forward Fold

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Wide Legged Forward Fold

This is a vital stretch for runners to release tension in the hamstrings. The mild inversion is also a great pre-run energy booster.

Begin in a wide legged stance with feet twice as wide as hip width distance apart and parallel. Engage your abs and extend your arms out to a T.With a flat back, hinge at the hips and fold forward. Allow your head to hang heavy to decompress your spine. Grab onto your calves and gently deepen the fold. Shift your weight forward into the balls of your feet to increase the stretch in your hamstrings.

Downward Dog Calf Stretch

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Downward Dog Calf Stretch

This pose is a wonderful mild calf warm up for runners. It gently loosens tension in the calves and wakes up the whole body.

Begin in plank position; arms shoulder distance, feet hip distance and core braced. Keeping the spine and legs long, pike your hips to the sky. This is your downward facing dog. Evenly distribute your weight in your hands and feet and scan your body to ensure that you are engaging throughout. Now cha-cha your knees — bend one knee and push into the ball of that foot while extending the other leg straight and pushing through the heel.

Runner’s Lunge

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Runner’s Lunge

The name says it all — this yoga pose allows runners to open up, stretch and relax the quads and hip flexors. Allow your body weight and breath to deepen you into the pose slowly for great results.

Begin in a low lunge with your left leg forward and right leg back. Start with your left knee stacked directly over your left ankle and your right leg extended straight back. Push through the right heel, while pulling the right hip forward and the left hip back. From this position walk your left foot six inches left and six inches forward. Bring your left arm to the inside of your left thigh. Breathe. Alternate sides.

Half Bow Press

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Half Bow Press

This deep stretching pose opens up the front line of the body. It is a wonderful stretch for the hipflexors. The pose also gives runners a much needed opportunity to counteract the closed-in chest position that is common while running.

Begin face down on the floor with arms extended to a T, legs hip distance apart and tops of feet resting on the ground. On an inhalation, use your back muscles to lift your chest and prop yourself onto your forearms. Keep the neck relaxed and draw your shoulder blades and elbows back. Then bend your right knee and draw your right arm back to capture your left foot in your hand. Breathe into the pose and use your palm to push your foot close to your glute. Alternate sides.

Head over to the Women’s Health Next Fitness Star page to vote for Christine every day now until August 3rd! 

Chat with me:
Have you voted for Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star yet? What are your favorite fitness poses? Do you have any questions for Christine?

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken from Almost Getting it Together

Titles are hard. Like what am I supposed to call this salad? If you read my blog on Bloglovin’, the title is what is going to make you click through… or click “mark blog as read” without reading whatever valuable things it is I think I have to say (re: none). So I kind of shoved everything that is in this salad in the title.

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken from Almost Getting it Together

Too many ingredients for one title.

I apologize for yet another dish with sorghum… and there is another one coming next week. I still have another bag and a half to incorporate into things. If you don’t have sorghum you can leave it out or sub quinoa or rice, but the carb is a nice touch to keep you full… sometimes salads lack that. Speaking of, I have been on the “have friends over for dinner and make killer salads” train the past few days and it has been lovely. It’s kind of nice to just follow another person’s recipe instead of trying to make something on your own.

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken from Almost Getting it Together

Has my photography class been paying off or what?

I promise this recipe isn’t really as labor-intensive as it seems. Also, baking chicken in parchment is seriously like the secret key to making bomb-ass baked chicken. I really haven’t been loving chicken lately (I feel so burned out on like every protein source ever) but this kind of rekindled the flame.

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken

Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken

4.5 from 2 reviews
Zucchini and Asparagus Salad with Parchment Baked Herb Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 5 salads
Ingredients
Salad
  • 10 cups arugula
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup uncooked sorghum
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp za'atar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp pink himalayan sea salt
  • ¼ tsp lemon pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
Dressing
  • ½ cup tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup spicy brown dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp pink himalayan sea salt
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a glass container or ziplock bag, mix 2 tbsp olive oil, za'atar, turmeric, garlic powder, turmeric, salt and pepper together.
  2. Place chicken in herb and olive oil mixture and coat evenly. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. While oven is preheating, cook sorghum according to package instructions.
  5. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and place chicken on parchment paper. Fold over to make a pocket for the chicken. (I placed mine seam-down while cooking so it wouldn't pop open.)
  6. Place chicken in oven and cook 30-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted reads 165 F.
  7. While chicken is cooking, place 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic and shallots in a large pan and sauté for one minute, or until fragrant.
  8. Add chopped zucchini and asparagus to pan and saute 5-6 minutes, until cooked. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and place to side.
  9. Place cooked chicken on cutting board and allow to cool. Once chicken has cooled, chop into bite sized pieces.
  10. In a small dish, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  11. In a large salad bowl, add arugula and toss with sea salt and pepper.
  12. Add cooked sorghum, zucchini and asparagus mixture and chicken to arugula and coat with dressing.
  13. Note: You could also prepare individually each day for lunches!

Chat with me:
What do you use to read blogs (Bloglovin, RSS, etc.)? Do you hit “mark as read” or read posts? What bloggers do you love (besides me, of course)? Have you made any food blogger recipes lately?

Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.22

now-trending-20150625

Photo credit 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Happy Friday! Isn’t it weird how Friday changes from when you were a kid (or in college) to when you were an adult? Except I kind of felt the same on Fridays in college as I do now because I was typically hungover from Thursday… why did I not heed the re-hydrating properties of coconut water as a senior when I had heard rumors of this magic potion? My Fridays wouldn’t have been so wrecked.

Speaking of being an adult, I have spent the past few weekends working on my gallery wall and now all that’s left is the actual hanging, which is stressing me out. It’s also stressing me out that I’m like a real adult and worrying about shit like decorating on my Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Times like these (and basically every day at most times) I wish my dad were a short drive away so he could come hang my pictures in places they won’t hit me on the head if there’s an earthquake.

Enough with my big exciting life that is home decor and on with the best links from the week.

Travel
Doesn’t Alaska feel like the great unknown? I would have no clue where to start planning for a trip there if it weren’t for Gal Meets Glam’s Alaska Itinerary.

Can we all agree that airport/airplane food is typically the worst? Here are some of Food52 editors’ favorite foods that fly well.

This list of awesome Chicago summer spots makes me want to escape Karl the Fog and head east.

Nashville has been on my must-visit list for a while.

Lifestyle
Totally loving all these looks from the CFDA X Neiman Marcus party. Now I need a reason to dress up in SF…

I relate to this post on dealing with anxiety and heartbreak on so many levels. True story – dealing with your problems and trying to heal is a lot harder than staying depressed and anxious.

These pro tips to get your shit together will help with your summer cleaning. Is that a thing? I am wondering how I have accumulated so much stuff in 8 months…

Blogging
I need to invest in some food props… this list of Seven Photography Resources that Changed My Blog from In It 4 the Long Run is awesome.

Running and Fitness
This post on the Top Five Confessions of a Fitness Professional made me feel so much better about every group fitness class I have ever taken – including the one time I took both Ashley’s BodyAttack and BodyPump classes back to back!

Ever wonder why your fitness class is so expensive? I am going to let you in on a little secret – paying almost $30 for a 45 minute spin class will ensure you get your ass there… early.

As I contemplate a fall marathon (Portland) here’s a nice reminder on how running 26.2 miles wrecks your body.

Food
I’m having my friend Sam over for dinner Saturday night… and I’m totally suggesting we make Erin’s Plantain Sweet Potato Tacos with Guacamole.

I think we can all agree… gelato > ice cream (but ice cream still rules).

Definitely having this Grain-free Breakfast Cobbler from immaEATthat next week for breakfast.

Chat with me:
What confession would surprise people about your job? How do you handle anxiety and heartbreak? And most importantly… gelato or ice cream?

The Best Free Workout Resources

best-free-workout-resources

In spite of having no real idea what a budget is let alone adhering to one, I do try to not throw money completely out the window. One of the ways I do this is by not paying for a gym membership because I would never use it.

I was in yoga earlier this week thinking about how even with my “buy-in bulk” class rate (I think drop-in is $20?), this class was costing me $13.50. I multiplied it by two in my head, added the $28 I pay a week for SoulCycle (also my “buy-in bulk” rate – drop in is $30) and realized I wasn’t really saving any money not having a gym membership if you took into account all my other fitness classes. So, I really can’t validate the cost of a gym membership.

If you’re on a budget – or looking to save money – use these free workout resources to have a little money to put towards your next trip or pair of jeans.

The Best Free Workout Resources

free-workout-resources

With my babes Erin & Angela hiking last summer. Miss these girls so much.

  • Fitness Bloggers
    This is my favorite way to find new workout resources. Tone It Up has great weekly schedules that take the planning out of everything. Pumps & Iron‘s workouts KILL me (this is a distance runner saying something is tough). Not only is Erin one of my friends and a barre instructor, but she makes gorgeous, step-by-step pinable workouts.
  • Apps
    I have talked about my love for Nike Training Club before. If you’re still in the dark, it’s free, there are over 100 workouts and you can customize most of them.
  • Complimentary Classes
    Lululemon is amazing because they are all about bringing fitness to the community and giving back in return. Their stores all have run clubs and free yoga classes throughout the week. If you’re traveling or a yoga class isn’t in the budget, I recommend finding a local store and taking advantage of their free classes (and using that money for new Wunder Unders, duh).

    Athleta
    has similar programs (and I’m not just pushing them because they are a sister brand!) to Lululemon. They often have complimentary barre and pilates classes as well!
free-workout-resources

Yoga in the park (except I paid for this yoga in the park, whoops).

  • Take it Outside
    It’s summer in half the world (and the part of the country that isn’t San Francisco) so get outside and take advantage of it. Google hikes in your area, run the stairs at your local track or football stadium (or neighborhood, if you live in a hilly area) or go for a bike ride. A lot of places do free outdoor workouts this time of year, too.Other outdoor exercises include running (duh, have you ever read a post here before?) and swimming as well. Only one of these leaves you with funny tan lines.
  • Youtube or OnDemand
    There are hundreds of free workout videos on Youtube. Yoga by Adriene is a great resource and I actually started my foray into strength training many, many moons ago by doing Jillian Michaels workouts that were free OnDemand. Just go to the “Fitness” section and you’re bound to find some great ones.

Chat with me:
Do you stick to a budget? Do you pay/use your gym membership? Are there any free workout resources I missed?

1 2 3 24