Yesterday morning Matt & I woke up and debated about breakfast. Ultimately we decided on toast. I had 1 slice with some PB & the other with my new Strawberry Preserves from Trader Joe’s. It’s not quite as good as my beloved Harry & David Strawberry Preserves but it is cheaper!

Served on our new Crate & Barrel plates.



Mini Meal

After breakfast Matt’s sister, husband, niece and nephew came over for a little while. After our little play date I did a few of Polly’s yoga videos and grabbed a to-go mini meal for the grocery store.


Have you guys tried this flavor of Luna Protein bars? So tasty! I like it better than the Cookie Dough & I am cookie dough loving kinda girl! I am a huge fan of the Luna Protein bars and they have literally been sprouting up everywhere in Iowa – thank god!

While I was at the grocery store Matt worked on assembling more of our furniture and the dogs worked on their tans.


When I got home I toasted a piece of wheat bread and topped it with some cottage cheese and cracked pepper. For some reason I can’t find the photo – I love cottage cheese!


After my second mini meal I got to baking. While I was over at Polly’s website I stumbled upon a delicious recipe of hers: Homemade Grape Nuts!

Can you think of a better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than to make some Homemade Grape Nuts? It was so simple that I was able to double duty it and make dinner at the same time!

Polly’s Homemade Grape Nuts

  • 2 c Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 c Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 c Milk [I used soy]
  • 2 tbsp Salted Butter
  • tsp Baking Soda [I used 3 tsp Baking Powder because it’s what I had]
  • tsp Vanilla [I added a pinch more]
  • How to:  I added all of the ingredients and mixed them in a bowl. Once they were mixed together I laid the mixture on a cookie sheet and baked it for 20 minutes at 350*. I broke up the pieces and pulsed them in my blender [you can use a food processor, mines a pain to clean] and then laid the crumbs on the same cookie sheet for 15 minutes more.
  • Note: My cooking times varied a lot from Polly’s which is probably due to the weirdness of my oven. I would follow her timeline more closely than mine – but most importantly watch the Grape Nuts!

While my Grape Nuts were cooking away I started on our dinner

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1-1 1/2 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast or Thighs [diced]
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion [chopped]
  • 5 Large Carrots [chopped]
  • 1 tbsp Garlic [minced]
  • 8 oz Pasta of choice [~4 servings]
  • ~6 c Chicken Broth [I used Chicken Base to make my broth]
  • Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Thyme
  • How to: Add butter to a pot and cook chicken. As chicken cooks dice and chop carrots, onion, & garlic and add to the pot. Allow veggies and chicken to cook thoroughly. Add broth, seasonings, and pasta. Allow pasta to cook and then simmer soup as long as you desire or serve immediately.





Dinner & Dessert



I stole a piece of Matt’s roll – for dipping of course.



For dessert I had 1/2 a c of Stonyfield French Vanilla Yogurt with some homemade grape nuts, & some strawberries.

P1040471 P1040472

Thanks to everyone for their comments of support on my post yesterday announcing that I am going to start counting calories. Last night was a perfect example of how difficult it can be to count calories when you are eating whole foods.

I honestly think so many ‘dieters’ and people looking to lose weight rely on packaged foods because they are straight forward and pre-labeled. Of course its more healthy to eat whole foods that don’t have the nutritional info labeled on them (because they don’t need to claim anything!) than to grab a frozen meal that lists every fact for you – but it’s more tricky to calculate the info on your own.

I feel pretty confident that I can loosely count calories without spending a half an hour crunching numbers after I make some soup – and still lose weight. Plus, it will prevent me from becoming obsessed!

Have you counted calories to lose weight? How do you know that you are eating your recommended calorie intake? What are your thoughts on calorie counting?



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21 responses to “Homemade

  1. Elizabeth

    I’m a big fan of counting and analyzing to make sure I’m eating the right amount and getting the right nutrients. I’ll usually use nutritiondata.com to analyze my planned menu for the week and then eat sensibly on the weekends (or analyze my eats if I think I’ve been overindulging). It’s easy to save recipes (green monsters, salads, etc.) so that the number crunching part of things is quick and easy. I know so many bloggers feel like calorie counting is dangerous/crazy/obsessive/ED behavior, but I think it’s a tool that, like most tools, is helpful when used well and harmful when it’s abused.

    I also love that NutritionData shows the glycemic index and inflammation factor for my foods. Seeing how healthy my choices are is really motivating! (I totally sound like I’m shilling for NutritionData but I promise I work in a totally unrelated field for an unrelated company…no affiliation whatsoever, I just love that freakin site.)

    • I agree with you about the tool – honestly calorie counting taught me portion size & nutritional info when I was first starting to eat healthy & lose weight. Now I feel like I just need some more structure to get the stubborn last few pounds off!
      Im going to check out the Nutritiondata.com – thanks for the suggestion Elizabeth!

  2. Ever since you posted the Luna Protein bars i’ve been looking for them but can’t find them anywhere! Where do you usually get them? I’m going to continue to scour the mid-atlantic!

    I love me some counting. I use The Daily Plate on Livestrong.com. I’d be lost without it. I’ve been doing it for well over a year now and it’s really just habit, i don’t feel like it’s a chore at all. It will never be 100% accurate especially with whole foods but you can get pretty close.

    • I know that Julie at http://www.CookieCheese.com has had the Luna Protein bars & she lives in Boston. Id swing by her blog & ask her where she got them. I found mine at a Whole Foods & at Hyvee (which is a Midwest grocery store). If you still cant find them let me know and Ill mail you one!
      Im going to check out Livestong.com! Do you calculate out your meals/recipes too?

      • I’m going to run to whole foods this weekend and see if I can find them. They look so tasty.

        Yea i try to calculate out meals/recipes as best I can without getting too crazy OCD about it. The food database on livestrong is crazy – they have EVERYTHING

  3. I have counted calories to lose weight before and think that it is a useful thing to do. The key is letting it not become obsessive and still trying to listen to your body in the process and finding that balance.

  4. Homemade chicken soup is the BEST thing ever!!!

  5. that soup looks so good! yummmm if only my fiance liked soup, I’d make it all the time 🙂

  6. I’ve never counted calories to lose weight, but I sometimes do to determine how much I normally eat and to figure out how I’m doing with my fat/ carb/protein balance and vitamins/minerals.

    I use fitday.com. It’s really helpful when packing my lunch for the day because otherwise I might pack too little and end up starving. Now that I’ve done it for awhile, I can do it really quickly in my head and be sure I’m getting an appropriate amount for the day.

    I think it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable because you’ll look at something and say “do I really want to have to put that in my log for the day?”
    I think loosely counting is OK (and like you mentioned, loosely counting is necessary when eating whole/unlabeled foods). You’re smart enough to know if it’s becoming obsessive/unhealthy. Good luck!

  7. GIMME THOSE DOGGIES! so cute, basking in the sun. i LOVE that bare chicken, buy it all the time! i think calorie counting is a bore. i do post calories of my meals because readers like to know and i am calculating my meals in thedailyplate.com to get the macros (i like to make sure my carbs/protein are equal) but honestly if i had to count every calorie that passed my lips i would go insane. with that said, i DO think it works for a lot of people when they are trying to lose or gain weight! your soup looks super delicious and i agree~ homemade is best! love the name of your blog, i sure wish some catchy phrase rhymed with my name.. unfortunately not a lot rhymes with “janetha”.. except a creepy guy i used to work with used to say “hey janetha, i wanna be beneath ya” um, ew.


  8. I did a review of those luna bars, here’s a link to it..if you like choc chip cookie dough, there’s an idea for you in the link 🙂

  9. Hey chica! the PB&J toast is always a delicious classic…good choice it looks YUMMY, and your puppies are SOOOO cute lounging in the SUN! awww! I completely listen to my body and eat when it’s hungry. I have found that the less I stress, the better I listen…sometimes I eat more than I need and sometimes I eat less…so it all balances out! I hope you have a great night and a lovely tuesday! xoxo!

    • Love your insight on eating when youre hungry I try & do the same! Its so weird because that idea used to be so alien to me – now its like duh!
      Random question: Do you stretch before or after your swim workouts?
      Have a great Tuesday!

  10. I did count calories to help get to my goal weight. It takes a lot of research, measuring and time, but it was worth it for me. However, it’s hard to NOT count calories after you’ve been doing it for so long.

  11. What cute pups! Those strawberries look divine – YUM.

  12. I think calorie counting can be beneficial to show people what they are actually eating. I find with most of my clients that they always overestimate how many calories they actually burn from exercse and then underestimate the amount of calories they consume. So I think calorie counting can really be eye opening. With that said, I feel like it an become addicting and when you start to feel like it runs your life and food is no longer thought of as food but rather as a calorie you should STOP immediately…that is what leads to disordered eating in my opinion.

  13. Pingback: WhatKateAte: Random Edition « What Kate Ate

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