Planning Ahead


I’ve been thinking a lot about my future this past week. Who am I kidding, I’m ALWAYS thinking about the future. Luke always tells me to live in the now, which is something I’m trying to work on. It’s just so hard to not be a planner! I’ve always been one to have a plan and even a back-up one in case the first run around fails. This time, I have zero clue about anything. I don’t even know what I’m doing next week, yet alone in a year.

But that’s the beauty of life, right? To always be unexpected. I think it would be pretty boring if I pictured something going a certain route and things always turned out that way. Just looking back on the past year I would have never predicted ANY of the things that have happened. If you told me five years ago I should date Luke, I would have laughed in your face (don’t worry, we discussed this the other day). I also would have probably chuckled if you told me I’d be eating vegetables other than broccoli too. Sometimes things just happen and they end up being really great things.

While I am trying to focus on the now and be where I am and enjoy that (which I can honestly say I’m doing a much better job at thanks to this blog), I do believe there are a few things that should always be planned ahead. Meals, for example, are easier to make when you already have what you need and know what you’re making before hand. I have tried dieting and cooking healthier before and failed miserably every time because I wasn’t meal planning. It can be a total pain in the butt and can take some time, but I promise it’s worth it when you come home from a long day at work and can just whip together a delicious meal you’ve had all day to mouth-water over. That’s my favorite part of planning–I can think about whatever it is I’m going to make ALL DAY LONG and be excited to cook it when I get home.

Besides meal planning, I’ve also been trying to make meals that will last me throughout the week. Mainly, I’m referring to breakfast and lunch ideas, but you could make plenty of dinners for the entire week too. A friend of mine just told me she made the angel hair and zucchini pasta I blogged about a few weeks ago to have for dinner a few nights this week! It’s a simple and genius idea if you think about it, not to mention it saves you a ton of time and money.

Yesterday I made oatmeal breakfast cookies and chicken salad for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. I usually end up having leftovers with the dinners I’ve been making, but sometimes we run out (or Luke and the man on the couch eat them all!) and I’m forced to take a turkey sandwich instead. I love turkey, but sometimes I just get sick of eating it. I thought this chicken salad recipe would be the prefect cure for my Monday blues and boy was I right! It’s a sweeter salad but was so delicious between two pieces of honey wheat bread today (and was also tested with some crackers last night). Either way, this is a must make for any chicken salad lovers out there!


Photo by Allyson Grillo

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies with Chocolate Chips

slightly adapted from Watching What I Eat


  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth & creamy
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix mashed banana & peanut butter until completely combined then add in the applesauce and vanilla. Mix again until all are completely combined.

Add in the oatmeal and chocolate chips to banana mixture until combined. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet & flatten cookies into circles. Bake cookies approx. 20-30 minutes (some like their cookies less cooked, some cooked more – try it both ways to find which works best for your tastes) or until golden brown & done.  Remove from oven & let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container.


Photo by Allyson Grillo

Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad

by Ari’s Menu


  • 2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • pinch freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 tbs finely minced rosemary
  • meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large gala apple, chopped
  • 1 tbs slivered almonds


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mustard, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and lightly toss. Stir in dressing until well combined.
  3. Eat immediately, or store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

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