Giving Thanks + WIAW 3: Saturday Picnic

First things first- please take a moment to click on the link below. This is a campaign put together by Blogher (my publishing network) to send THANKS to those that deserve it! As a former teacher, I can not tell you how much the simple words “Thank You” mean and how powerful they are. It’s something that I definitely did not hear enough- and needed to! It only takes a second to brighten someones’ day! :)

THANKS! Alright now…

I thought I’d go outside of the box a little bit with today’s installment of WIAW and choose a weekend day instead of a typical Monday or Tuesday. Of course, this required me to actually put effort and thought into taking photos of my eats on Saturday- but I did it!

In our house, Saturday is designated as a rest day. This means no alarm clock, no gym, no early morning plans in general. There is typically some type of active rest like a light hike or long dog walk, or something leisurely and enjoyable like that. We decided to break the rules a bit this past weekend and ended up doing a pretty intense workout in the great outdoors, as I mentioned in my post on Monday. Part of our plans included packing a picnic lunch- which I was super excited about!

You would think that with all of the hiking that Greg and I do, we probably pack a lunch to enjoy once in a while. Wrong. In fact, that only times that we have ever packed an actual meal (and not just a snack like an apple or bar) have been on longer hikes in Colorado and Washington state. Our local hikes are usually a lot shorter (no more than two hours) so we generally head out after breakfast and have lunch when we get back home. We planned our 3 hour bike and hike trip to start around 11:30, so that we would eat lunch right in the middle of it. And it was perfect!

Here’s how the day started:

Breakfast- sometime around 9:00?

I mixed 1/4 c. oatmeal with 1/4 c. oat bran, chia, egg whites, banana, strawberries and about 10 other things and topped it with peanuts AND a little peanut butter and almond butter. Whew! While I was eating this I thought: making oatmeal has gotten way too complicated, and it doesn’t taste that good like this! From now on, I’m going back to basics- oats, banana, walnuts, cinnamon and maybe a little egg whites (I like that custard-y taste). I’m actually going to elaborate more on this revelation tomorrow…

Greg and I ended up leaving the house around 11 or so and biked along the C&O canal towpath to Harper’s Ferry to hike the MD Heights trail. After about an hour of hiking, we picked a spot to sit down and enjoy our little picnic.

I made a sandwich for Greg and had a toasted P28 bagel for me. We shared some veggies, tiny little Asian pears and didn’t really end up eating the Popchips. I had brought a Laughing Cow wedge and spread it onto my bagel, which was topped off with a few tomatoes.

The bagel was toasted in the morning, but still tasted really good! I love the chewy texture.

We got hiked back down, biked back down the trail to the car (about 3-4 miles) and headed home. It was around 3:00 at this point, and I needed to head out to do some grocery shopping. I made a little snack to tide me over:

Rice cake with peanut flour “butter” and strawberries. Yum.

At the store, I couldn’t resist buying this:

and chugged half of it on the way home… resulting in a little head rush. Does anyone else get a little light-headed from Kombucha? Anyone? Bueller?

Since I was already Kombucha drunk by the time I got home, I shared a bit of Greg’s delicious Deviant Ale.

Ahhhh… to be back in Colorado at Oskar Blues.

I also experimented a bit with the P28 flatbread that I got last week, and made some ridiculously, amazing, delicious, awesome crackers.

I cut half a flat bread up into little triangles, coated them with a little nonstick spray, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder and stevia and baked in the oven (I don’t remember the temp. or how long… maybe 5 minutes at 350?) I will definitely be making several other versions of these crackers- both sweet and savory. SO many possibilities!

Later on that evening, we eventually made dinner, which was grass-fed sirloin marinated in red wine, Braggs, balsamic vinegar and pepper. I had mine on top of a salad:

I love a good steak salad- and it’s not something I have too often! (Don’t ask me why!)

I also had a side of toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread. I’ve been obsessed with it since Ashley posted a photo of her egg sandwich (made with the same bread) on Instagram last week. I don’t know why I hadn’t bought any in so long!

And it’s best just toasted with a little butter. :)

We also had some of the same wine that was used for the steak marinade….

After dinner, we watched I Love You, Man and shared a bowl of goodness.

Greg and I are both addicted to popcorn. I generally make it in the air-popper and add a little melted butter and really good quality sea salt (or truffle salt… whoa). The dogs are always RIGHT THERE when we have popcorn, just in case any kernels go astray….

I’m pretty sure that we fought to stay awake until about 10 pm to finish the movie. I know what you’re thinking- I live on the edge. I’m telling you though- the older I get, the more I enjoy just being at my house, cooking a fantastic meal and watching a movie with the dogs and Greg on a Saturday night. Pure happiness!

Do you typically eat differently on the weekend as opposed to weekdays? What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night?



  1. Salad looks delicious and I like the idea of the bagel that you then jazzed up when ready to eat!
    Favorite thing to do on a Friday is take the dogs for a long walk by the lake as a good way to ease into the weekend!

  2. Been loving your blog lately, Lauren! I’m totally a classic oatmeal person. I don’t even care much for toppings. I must always add eggs to it though. So much creamier that way!

  3. mmmm, popcorn! try it with a bit of coconut oil on top. it’s soooo good!

    • I think I may have tried that before… I’m not sure! If I haven’t, I’m shocked! Obviously I need to try it again!

  4. You’re making me crave popcorn! I can’t even remember the last time I made some.
    I’m with you on the Friday/Saturday night plans. More and more, I just really enjoy doing something low-key at home. And I often feel like I can cook something that’s just as good as going out to dinner – for way less money!

    • I feel the exact same way about cooking. I’m rarely ever disappointed with something I cook at home, because I have control over it! There’s nothing worse that going out to a restaurant and having a bad meal. It just really bums me out! This is why we only go out to eat 1-2 times a month and go somewhere NICER where we know that the food is always good!

  5. i want to eat every single thing in this post!!

  6. I LOVE that Ezekial bread! So funny you should mention about keeping oats simple.. I feel the same! I am even getting grossed out by having protein powder in it every morning, or at least the flavor I am using. And now I have a huge craving for popcorn! :-)

    • Leave out the protein powder! We are a nation that is protein OBSESSED and really don’t need THAT much. As a runner, you need about .6 grams per lb (so if you are 100 lbs, you’d need 60 grams). I’d rather have tasty oatmeal!

  7. Mmm, popcorn. Okay, so all your eats look amazing, but that one caught my eye! And the flatbread crackers. And I’m all about simple breakfasts! I want to wake up, throw MAYBE three ingredients together, and be ready to go.

  8. Mmm those crackers DO sound delicious!

  9. i’m spending next weekend with you. Looks like my kind of eats!

  10. I had a similar revelation last night with my salad. usually my combinations are great and figure the more the merrier. But things just got weird and non cohesive and I ended up just ruining the awesome veggie burger I put on top.

    My favorite thing to do on Friday night is watch fashion police and eat ice cream in my pjs. I stray away from making friday night plans so I can just relax.

  11. I make more elaborate breakfasts on the weekends – pancakes and stuff.

    I am still eating my P28 winnings! And the good thing is, they don’t seem to mold.

  12. I used to be such a popcorn junkie. I have my mother’s old air popper from the early 80s when she was in college-it’s the best thing ever!

  13. I tried the sweet potato pop chips this week!! So good!! I had never thought of toasting a bagel ahead of time!! Interesting!!!!! I make better breakfasts on the weekends too. And I tend not to eat lunch on Saturdays (just snacks)… but maybe that will change now that Kevin graduated! Yeah!!

  14. Your food looks so good!! I love me some popcorn. I eat a boat load of food on the weekends b/c I’m usually at home and so I sit around and eat!

  15. That sounds like a great Saturday to me. Your salad looks great and a nice outdoor workout sounds fabulous. I need to get my act together and do something like that before the weather turns.

  16. Fridays are fun food night in our house, movie and usually a big bowl (or two) of popcorn. My kids and I are fiends about popcorn! Fun food is kids pick dinner night or theme night – like for the olympic opening ceremonies we did High Tea!

    I love that ezekiel bread – I don’t get it more because I could inhale the loaf myself in a week! Oh, with varying PB’s of course! Mmmm!

    • I could inhale the loaf myself too- but since I keep it in the freezer, I kind of forget that it’s there. :)
      That’s cute that your kids pick the dinner theme! Love it!

  17. I’ve been making my meals really simple lately. For to long I thought if I was a blogger, every meal had to be elaborate and full of a million ingredients. I like my cheerios plain with a sliced banana and 1/2% milk WAY better than cheerios, chia seeds, nut butter, 2 different fruits and some fancy ass milk.

    • I am SO WITH YOU. Really, there are fewer things better in this world than a bowl of cheerios, sliced banana and 1% milk. The only problem is, that only keeps me full for like an hour. And I can easily eat 2-3 “servings” of cereal!
      It’s funny- I read your comment right before running to the store to buy milk this morning, and ALMOST bought a box of cheerios!

  18. i want to try those protein bagels sooooo bad!! they sound pretty much amazing.

    lately ive been good about eating “normally” on the weekends..but its definitely a challenge sometimes!!

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!