Pampering and comfort food

First things first, I’ve been meaning to put this on a post for weeks!  My Fitness Pal users: please find me and add me to your friends! My username is laurenbeach1.

I have a real love/hate relationship with Tuesdays. Well, I really only hate them for 2 reasons, which are over by the time I get to work at 7:00. I hate waking up at 4:30 am, but I love teaching my early morning Spin class (and usually lifting for about 25 minutes beforehand). I hate rushing to get ready in the locker room afterwards, but I love the fact that I have a kick-ass workout done and over with by 6:15 am. I usually arrive to work energized and “crash” around 9 am. I spend the rest of the day trying to get that second wind. Every other Tuesday I get a deep tissue massage, and was supposed to have one yesterday. My massage therapist was out of town, so I had the whole afternoon free. I decided to finally do something that I hadn’t made time for all month- I got my hands and feet did. 🙂

Don’t you love my big, bony feet? 🙂 I chose a lovely shade of purple to get in the spring-time mood. I also got a manicure.

My nails actually grew pretty long this month, and when they do finally grow, I usually get this special 2-week polish put on them that strengthens them and keeps them from breaking. Sadly, I didn’t do this until yesterday, when a lot of my nails have already broken. I don’t want my nails much longer than they are now- just a little bit would be nice.

While I was outside trying to photograph my hands and feet, the two dogs were begging that I take their photo (they are always hamming it up).

Oops! He blinked.

That’s better.

I’ve had many of my friends comment on the fact that my dogs like to smile. Jackson is usually the one that I see doing it more often, but looking at these photos, I think I see a little smile on Lance’s lips…

(Don’t you wish you knew he was thinking about?…)

That is indeed Lance’s dopey smile. 🙂

That smile seemed to change into a frown when it was time to come back inside.

He eventually came back in. It doesn’t take much – just mentioning the word “cookie” usually does the trick!


I’ve been really, really good about pre-planning all of my meals (including snacks!) for the last two weeks. Let me tell you, this had made life so much easier. My original plan was to have roasted chicken breast, broccoli and some kind of grain. When I came across this recipe on Oh She Glows the other day, I knew that I had to try out that mushroom gravy right away! And the thought of combining everything and serving it up in a bowl seemed much more comforting and appealing than as separate components on a plate. The bowl was made up of four different parts:

I mixed the freekeh, broccoli + onions together, then placed cut up pieces of chicken on top of that, and covered it all with some mushroom gravy.

It was so so so good! And filling in a way that didn’t leave me “stuffed,” but feeling very satisfied.

I enjoyed every single bite (and so did Greg).

Every component of this dish was great- but the mushroom gravy really set it over the edge. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am on a mission to introduce freekeh to the masses. If you don’t have any freekeh, you could use any grain for this recipe. I like freekeh because it’s nutritional stats are amazing (100 calories and lots of fiber per 1/4 cup) and it pairs really well with poultry.

Freekeh comfort bowl – serves 2

(adapted from Oh She Glows)

6-8 oz. Chicken breast, roasted and diced

1/2 c Dry freekeh (or other grain)

1.5 c Water

1/2 T Coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)

1/2 c Chopped yellow onion

1 Clove garlic (minced)

3/4 c Chopped mushrooms (I used a mixture of crimini and white)

2 T Nutritional yeast

1.5 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1/2 c Vegetable broth

1 T corn starch

1 T dried rosemary

salt + pepper to taste

2 c Roasted broccoli and onions (or other vegetable combination)

Combine freekeh + water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until water is absorbed. Place a skillet over medium heat with coconut oil. Add chopped onion and garlic and stir well. After 3 minutes, add in mushrooms and a little bit of the vegetable broth and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast, Bragg’s, corn starch, rosemary, salt and pepper and remaining vegetable broth. Cook over medium for a few more minutes and reduce to low. Sauce should thicken-if it becomes too thick, add additional vegetable broth. Divide the freekeh, roasted vegetables and chicken into 2 bowls and mix together. Top each bowl with half of the mushroom gravy.


Hope everyone is having a happy leap day!

Are you on My Fitness Pal (and if so- find me!). Do you get a mani/pedi on a regular basis?


13 Comments on “Pampering and comfort food”

  1. Sara R. says:

    I will definitely be making this soon! Will was sad that I didn’t save him any plain freekeh to try before I put it into the loaf the last time I served it so he’ll be pleased to try it like this (and the mushroom gravy looks delicious)!

  2. i haven’t had a pedicure since your wedding!!!

  3. That looks so good and I’m obsessed with mushrooms!
    I’ve seen and heard about these braggs liquid aminos, what are they?

  4. YAHHH for getting nails done–feels OH so good and relaxing. You totally deserve it, you busy, busy lady!

  5. nails look cute!! You totally deserve it!

    I love My Fitness Pal — We’re already besties on it but for others my name is CoffeeCakeCardio

  6. Funny, the promise of a cookie usually gets my 4 year old to come inside too 😉

  7. I love that you already tried it! I was drooling from the moment I saw her recipe. Have you tried her Endurance crackers? Made those last night and they are fabulous!

  8. I love the color of your toe nails! I’m really trying to get out of my boring grain rut. I always end up eating brown rice or whole wheat pasta. I picked up some red quinoa and couscous this week but I will have to give freekeh a try.

  9. I wish i got manicures on a regular basis. I just always chip them right away that I feel like I waste my money. Maybe I should stop doing dishes so my manicures last longer 🙂

  10. Lee says:

    I usually shout “breakfast” or “dinner” and Murphy will come running in. He smiles a lot but he hates the camera. I have to hold a piece of food or something for him to not try to charge at it.

    I need to find this freekah.

  11. Corrie Anne says:

    I looooove to get my nails done. I went every Saturday when I lived in the DR because it only cost about $15. Now I only go occasionally. I really want to go soon though. My feet need it!!!! I love that your dogs smile. Another thing to teach Boyd… haha.

  12. Gil says:

    I left my co-op purchases sitting in a bag on the floor, and while I was out a certain naughty dog decided to explore. He bypassed the farro, freekeh and groats in favor of spreading the quinoa all over the floor. Guess I know which grain is HIS favorite.
    (And I guess that’ll teach me to test the limits of his curiosity by leaving anything remotely interesting on the floor…but really, raw grains??)

  13. shelly says:

    This looks amazing…..I am going to have to try this recipe soon!!
    I am on MyFitness Pal ……love it!!!! I am smilebhappy …. =)

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