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Hi Friends, Happy (belated) Presidents Day!

I hope you all enjoyed the last day of your three day weekend, or if you were at work, I hope you had a wonderful Monday. Lansing was beautiful and sunny yesterday! It made for a nice day off. Unfortunately I don’t get to say that very often because Lansing is one of the cloudiest cities in the US (55th according to this site but I’ve heard many say it’s much higher on the list than that.)

This weekend was very full, but it was exactly what I needed. I went for a quick 3 mile run after work on Friday. Well, actually it wasn’t that quick as I’m still running pretty slow (about a 10 minute mile, eek) but all the strength training and stairs I’ve been doing seem to be paying off as although I ran slow, it felt great… My legs are getting so much stronger! Friday night my sister Meg came to Lansing to hang out so we all got together at my other sister Colleen’s (or CJ as we call her) house to hang out. Nothing crazy just some TV, pizza and sister time. Much needed. CJ and I are planning to visit our other sister, Gracie, in Chicago next weekend to celebrate her 19th birthday (poor Meg will be in Prague, I feel so bad for her)! We spent the evening coming up with some fun surprises for Gracie. It should be a great weekend! I can’t wait to see the little one, we miss having her in Michigan but it’s not terrible having to visit her in Chicago. I hope to do a lot of shopping on Saturday as Lansing (in my opinion) has no good shopping.

Saturday morning I got up, downloaded some new songs from iTunes and went for another run, this time I ran 6 miles! YAY! I am very proud. That’s the greatest distance I’ve run in A LONG TIME. Let’s just say I can’t remember the last time I ran that far but it was probably when I was playing soccer in high school. And I’m not going to admit how long ago that was. 😉 I’m going to try to start doing longer runs on the weekend because I am considering running in this with some friends from work. Am I insane? Probably, but it just looks like so much fun to me! And pretty bad ass too. (Sorry but it does.) I have about another month before the sign up deadline so I’m going to start training and see how it goes. If it ends up working out, great, and if not my friend Linds and I will probably sign up for a different race in April or early May before B and I move! 😦 I think it will be a fun thing to look forward to before moving and it’ll also hopefully keep me on a good track with my workouts!

I’m also signed up for the Cork Town 5K the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day! My Mom is signed up for it and I am excited to run my first race with her! I’m sure I won’t actually get to run with her as she’s been running for years and is a little speedster. But at least we can celebrate together at the finish line! I’ve mentioned my Mom’s running before but I didn’t mention how good she is at it. She’s won quite a few races for her age group especially in the last few years. I’m so proud of her, she is one of my biggest fitness role models. She looks at least 15 years younger than she is, and if I can look that great and be in the shape she’s in when I’m her age, I’ll be more than happy! So thanks Mom, for setting such a good example for your girls. With four daughters, having a strong Mama for a role model is so important!

Where was I? Oh right…So Saturday after my run I came home and made this lovely (gigantic) salad…

Organic arugula salad with balsamic roasted broccoli, cauliflower, onion and portabella mushrooms. Topped with organic grape tomatoes and cottage cheese.


YUM.

After eating my salad I was still a little hungry so I decided to make good use of my new pink himalayan sea salt (Thanks Jen!) and bake some kale chips. Have you ever had kale chips before? If not, I suggest you make some NOW. Aside from using kale in green smoothies and massaged kale salads (more later), kale chips are my favorite way to prepare my favorite cruciferous vegetable.

Don’t know how? No problem, let me show you 🙂

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and de-stemming and washing your kale. I used two large bunches of organic green kale torn into just larger than bite-sized pieces. Give it a whirl in your salad spinner if you have one, or wash and pat dry.

Side note: My salad spinner is probably one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It was a gift from B and we use it all the time now. Waiting for lettuce to dry to make a salad is such a pain! I’m thinking about doing a post in the near future about my favorite kitchen gadgets. I have a lot of them and I thought it might be useful to some of you who are considering investing in something a little pricey like a dehydrator, Vitamix or some good knives (we use Kyocera ceramic knives–LOVE THEM.) Thoughts?

Moving along! Good thing this is a short recipe huh? Might never get through it with my digressions 😉 Ok, so now you need these two fabulous ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil and this gorgeous pink himalayan sea salt. DIE for this stuff. Isn’t it pretty? Pink and green, together in a simple yet delicious and healthy recipe, doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve been so excited to try it out in a recipe that really allows this bold salt to be highlighted. It was a birthday gift from my friend and fellow foodie/blog/follower, Jen. Thanks Jen! You’ll want to lightly coat the kale with olive oil. Honestly you don’t need much. I’m a huge olive oil fan but this recipe is more about the kale and salt for me (they’re chips after all) so just lightly coat and toss in a large bowl, using just enough to add a pretty gloss to the kale. Next, grab your PINK sea salt ( though any color would probably do).


Sprinkle just enough salt to get a bit on each piece of kale. As I mentioned before, this salt is bold so you really don’t need much of this either. Spread the dressed kale onto a baking sheet (I needed two) and pop in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

While you wait take pictures of other pretty pink things, like Valentine’s Day roses ❤

Or your adorable puppy napping in her pink bed! I always have to set her bed up by the heater… If the heat or air is on in our house, you will always find Stella by a vent. She loves it! Too funny.

After about 20 minutes (mine were still a little chewy after 15) pull your delicious kale chips out of the oven!

I like things simple but if you’re feeling saucy you could also add other spices or flavors to the chips such as:

– cayenne pepper and lime juice
– lemon juice
– parmasan or other finely grated cheese
– nutritional yeast
– chipotle seasoning
– salt and vinegar
– ranch seasoning
– balsamic vinegar
– garlic
– tahini (tahinis!)
– nama shoyu or liquid aminos

Hope you love this healthy snack as much as we and please let me know if you give these a try! Disclaimer: I don’t be any means claim to have invented the wheel here with regard to kale chips. I’ve seen many similar recipes on many blogs but this recipe is my own take on what has become a classic dish in the blog world. 🙂 Enjoy.

Lastly I’ll leave you with a few pictures from our Saturday night. So much fun! We haven’t been out with a big group of friends in a while so this was a treat. My friend Cherise moved to New York City last year and she was back in town visiting, so we met with a group of friends for dinner at the Country Club to catch up with her and went out for a bit in Lansing after that. I was definitely tired the next day from being out so late but you have to live it up every once in a while, right? I think so.

Steph and Kate

Such a fun time with you girls!

Me and B ❤

Food for thought…  
Have you ever tried kale chips?
What’s your favorite way to prepare kale?
What’s your favorite kitchen tool?
Anyone giving up anything for Lent?
What are your fitness goals?

Back hopefully tomorrow with some big-ish blog news! Have a great night!

-S

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