Wanna Hear Something Crazy?

This post is a little all over the place, as you’ll see below, so bear with me!

A little dark chocolate for dessert after lunch today? Don’t mind if I dooooo.

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Last week, I received a lovely little package from Hershey’s, complete with their unsweetened cocoa powder, dark chocolate Bliss candies,

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and even a couple delicious sounding recipes. YUM.

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Hershey’s had reached out to share some fun info, so I thought I’d pass it along to all of you guys! We all hear about the benefits of dark chocolate, right? Well, here’s a little infographic which outlines just why it’s so nutritionally beneficial.

Potential Nutritional Benefits of Natural Cocoa & Dark Chocolate - Infographic
Potential Nutritional Benefits of Natural Cocoa & Dark Chocolate – Infographic

Disclaimer: I received product and information about the nutritional benefits of natural cocoa and dark chocolate from The Hershey Company.

As if I didn’t already need an excuse to eat chocolate. Winking smile

Don’t worry though…I did manage to have a little more than chocolate at lunch today.

Shortly before lunch though, around 11:00am, I started getting hungry so I headed to the kitchen for a snack. The first thing I happened to see when I opened the fridge was the mango peach salsa we have, so I grabbed that and some veggies. I know, it’s a weird combo – veggies with salsa – but it totally worked.

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The only thing that was difficult was the dippage situation. Winking smile

Around 1:00pm, I heated up a bowl of butternut squash soup, and added in a few cooked rotini spirals and two pieces of crumbled turkey bacon.

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I cannot recommend the addition of the turkey bacon enough. Holy moly was that good!

*****

Soooo, you guys wanna hear something crazy? These past couple of weeks I’ve actually had quite a bit going on behind the scenes…

I’M GOING TO BE STARTING A NEW JOB!

You may remember that, a while back, I mentioned that I was looking for something – at least part time – to get me out of the house. I’ve been missing the human interaction and was just sort of feeling like I needed something else in my life. I’d searched casually around on the internet, but never really came across anything that sparked my interest.

Well about two weeks ago, on a Monday afternoon, Jay happened to come across a job posting online that he thought I might be interested in. I checked it over, thought it sounded pretty great, and decided to submit my resume, not really anticipating too much of anything.

Well, by that evening, I received a phone call…the next day I had a phone interview…two days later I had an in-person interview…and by late Friday afternoon, I received a phone call and was offered the job. To say it was unexpected would be an understatement!

I took that weekend to really sort through everything and make the right decision. I discussed a lot of things with Jay, and the two of us determined that it really is a phenomenal opportunity for me, so on that following Monday I called back and accepted the job.

In terms of the job itself, I probably won’t get into too many details; although I will say that it’s not health, fitness, or education related. From what I can tell, it sounds like it’s going to incorporate a lot of my strong skills, including somewhat of a planning aspect, which I’m super psyched about (planning my parents’ surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for 50 people? Looooved it.)

As excited as I am about starting this new job (which will involve some training days over the next two weeks and then starting fully after the first of the year) I’m also a bit nervous. For one, this new job is not part time, by any means; it’s a full time, 8-5 deal.

It’s going to be a big adjustment for me, and I’m going to really have to work on managing my time between the job, family, the blog, and my personal training clients. For the time being, I’m holding off on accepting any new training clients, since I don’t want to take on more than I can handle (don’t worry, those of you who are already in a plan are totally fine!). Once I’m a few months in, I’ll re-evaluate and see where everything stands.

Sooooo, needless to say, I’ve had a whole bunch of emotions happening these past couple of weeks, and I’ve been trying to get prepared (tomorrow will include a shopping day with mom, since NONE of my dress clothes/pants fit me anymore) but I really am excited to start training next week!

I still fully intend to blog, as I could never give this up, so hopefully you guys will all stick with me along the way to see how things go. Smile

Super Soup

Last night, Jay and I had a hot dinner date…

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At Panera. Winking smile

I was recently selected by the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker’s to have the opportunity to sample one of the soups at Panera Bread and share it all with you. I was immediately on board because a) I love sharing my food with you anyways, and b) I’m already a majorly huge fan of Panera’s soups. Win win!

I was literally going back and forth all day long about what kind of soup I wanted to get. I made sure to check their menu online (because their soups change daily, with some of them available every day) to try to get an idea, but it didn’t really help. So indecisive!

By this point in my life, I feel like I’ve tried a pretty big majority of them:

  • Low-Fat All-Natural Chicken Noodle – love the big noodles
  • Broccoli Cheddar – amazing; especially in a bread bowl
  • Baked Potato – also amazing in a bread bowl, and was Jay’s soup of choice last night
  • Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable with Pesto – I actually liked their original garden vegetable soup a little better than the current, but it’s still good
  • Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean – good, but a little spicy(!) for this mild gal

So when it came down to it last night, I wound up making a last minute decision at the counter and went with one I haven’t had in a looooong time…

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French Onion, baby. And you guys…I can’t believe I haven’t been getting this more often. The soup literally blew me away – between the asiago croutons, the thick broth with tons of onions, and the gooey cheese on top, it was just amazing.

As usual, when it comes to me and ordering at Panera, I got the soup as part of one of their “You Pick Two” meal choices and paired it with their Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT.

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I’ve been craving a fresh, ripe avocado all week, so when I tell you that I ordered this sandwich solely for the avocado, I’m not even kidding. It was fantastic.

But overall, I’d definitely have to say that the French Onion was my favorite.

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That was one super bowl of soup.

I was so hungry by the time we got our food that I pretty much inhaled that meal like a true champ. Granted, I’m still full this morning from it and was uncomfortably stuffed all last night, buuuuuut whatever. It was gooooood.

And I think I’m just now starting to get hungry for breakfast, so it’s time to head to the kitchen and see what I can scrounge up!

Question for the Morning:

Have you ever dined at Panera? What’s your favorite item of theirs?

Disclaimer: As part of the DailyBuzz Healthy Living Program, I received a free gift card and stipend from Panera Bread. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.