Making the most of the morning

by Kim on April 28, 2014

Disclaimer: I have partnered with belVita and Dannon to help promote the belVita and Dannon partnership. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

My birthday week is officially over. (Am I too old for the whole week thing? Probably.)

date night

The grand finale was our dinner date at Fresco Saturday night, where I had one of the best meals—no lie—of my entire life. Sorry for the horrible photography, but it was too gorgeous to not document it (plus, Brent loves it when I take pics at restaurants and then demand couple selfies afterwards).

dinner

My choices: scallops with bacon as an appetizer, perfectly-cooked salmon with perfectly-cooked asparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, and an amazing horseradish sauce for my entrée (Brent got the steak, which was also insanely good), and a chocolate peanut butter ice cream sandwich for dessert. (Apparently, all you have to do to turn a basic ice cream sandwich into a fancy dessert is cut it in half and prop it up on itself! No complaints here.)

Throughout dinner, we literally talked about nothing but the food. It was THAT. Unbelievably. GOOD.

I really have to learn how to cook asparagus like that. Crisp and snappy, but somehow also tender?

So I have a new go-to birthday dinner spot. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a rooftop restaurant, with a stunning view of the capitol.

After dinner, we headed to a show at the comedy club, where I sat with a bunch of drunk people and drank raspberry lemonade. Haha—but even sober, it was a really good time.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. Mason scored big on this jackpot garage sale down the street:

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Cars and trains and fire trucks OH. MY.

There was no way we were getting out of there empty-handed. Even double-fisting new trucks, he cried when we left.

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One of my favorite parts of every weekend is the lazy mornings. I try to stay in my PJ’s as long as humanly possible, just to stick it to working life.

Yesterday morning, I treated myself to a cup of half coffee, half chocolate almond milk—yeah, best idea ever. And it went perfectly with my breakfast of choice lately, belVita Breakfast Biscuits.

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I’m a sucker for a sweet breakfast, and I’ve been loving how convenient these are, since I usually eat breakfast at my desk at work.

I got the chocolate and cinnamon brown sugar flavors and swooned over both of them (they also have blueberry, golden oat, and apple cinnamon). I was surprised to see that 4 biscuits were only 250 calories total. I mean, look at the size of these things!

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In addition to super chocolately coffee, they also go great with Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt.

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I’m really big into texture, so yogurt doesn’t always feel that satisfying to me by itself, but I like the thickness of greek yogurt. And I have to say that it’s amaaazing with belVita cookies crumbled into it. I also appreciate Oikos’s rich, not-too-sweet flavor—and, of course, the hit of protein (12 g!) and calcium.

Another great combo: belVita breakfast biscuits + TJ’s cookie butter. Just saying.

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As if it’s possible for something to not taste amazing when smothered in cookie butter. (It’s not.) But in this case, it’s dang good.

I almost felt bad eating it in front of this guy, but the kid is hopelessly devoted to his AM oatmeal. (Grease flashback, anyone??)

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Bonus: I love it when food that tastes like cookies also comes with health benefits.

BelVita’s breakfast biscuits are loaded with whole grains for sustained energy throughout the morning, along with fiber and B-vitamins. They also have zero artificial flavors or sweeteners, which I think is so important. If you’re going to go sweet, you better go real sweet.

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Plus, like I said, they’re easy to toss into a purse for an on-the-go breakfast or emergency snack. Win win.

BelVita and Dannon have partnered up with the specific goal of helping Americans get more out of their mornings. As someone who’s basically a partially-conscious tornado on weekday mornings, I’m all ears.

To get the ball rolling, they called in Productivity Pro (how does one get that job??) Laura Stack, who came up with these tips for awesomizing your morning:

–The secret to a smooth, sane morning is doing as much as you can the night before. Leave as little preparation as possible until the last minute – you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Could not agree more. I actually sometimes pour a little almond milk into a thermos and put it in the fridge the night before, so I don’t have to spend those 20 SECONDS the next morning. Ha! Worth it.

–Spend twenty minutes at the end of each day planning your to-do list. When you download the next day’s activities beforehand, you can devote your morning to enjoyment rather than stress.

Twenty minutes seems like kind of a lot, but I definitely agree with the idea of unloading your brain before bed. I’ve written plenty of random lists at night, just to get things off my mind.

–Be sure to start your morning with a delicious, balanced breakfast. Together, the nutritious steady energy of belVita and 12 grams of protein in Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt along with a piece of fruit will help you get more out of your morning.

Eggs and bacon just plain don’t travel as well. And I almost always show up for work with a beat-up banana swimming around in my purse. (Poor thing—it’s not beat-up when it goes in there…)

If you haven’t tried belVita’s crunchy breakfast biscuits or Oikos greek yogurt yet, I highly recommend both of them. But whatever you do, just make sure you’re not blowing off breakfast!

What’s your go-to special dinner spot and why?

Have you ever tried belVita Breakfast Biscuits and/or Oikos Greek Yogurt?

Seriously, how do you make asparagus like that…?

xoxo

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries April 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Glad to hear you and the hubby got a birthday date out!

I’m with you on the belVita biscuits and Oikos – loved ’em, especially together. I definitely need to try some TJ’s cookie butter on them. Genius idea.
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char eats greens April 28, 2014 at 10:28 am

NEVER too old for a birthday week! I totally need to scout out the garage sales this year; especially when you find a jackpot like you did!! I’m actually on the market for a wagon, so I have another way to get Nia out cruising around the neighborhood. If the Universe can make that happen, that would be great, haha!
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Kelly April 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

Sad we didn’t run into you guys at Fresco, but glad you enjoyed! It is seriously some of my favorite food ever. The gnocchi rocks my world, and everything else I’ve had there is always great too.
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Kim April 28, 2014 at 8:42 am

You must have gone at a more normal-person time. :) We almost got the gnocchi!

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Kelly April 28, 2014 at 8:44 am

:) Yeah we were gone by around 7. I have gnocchi leftovers in my fridge and I cannot wait to eat them for dinner tonight. The gnocchi also has some of that perfectly cooked asparagus in it too. Delicious!
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Kim April 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

I’m going to make it my new mission to learn how to cook asparagus like that. Incredible.

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Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate April 28, 2014 at 7:31 am

I have never been to Fresco but have been wanting to for awhile– I think you just convinced me to go asap though– I love salmon! Was it cold on the rooftop?
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Kim April 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

You have to go! :) We were inside (um I would have died, haha), but there is beautiful outdoor seating and a rooftop garden in the summer.

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