life and soup.

by Janetha on March 2, 2012

in dogs,meals,moves,random rambles

things have been a little bit too serious around these parts lately with all this GI talk. how about a little random bits about life lately and a really delicious recipe? yeah, that sounds good to me!

did you know les schwab fixes flat tires for free?

i didn’t.. until yesterday. i had a bunch of people at work tell me that my rear passenger tire was looking awfully low.. and when i went outside to leave for the day, it was pretty much flat. i did have enough air to make it to the nearest tire store, les schwab. i handed over my keys and sat in the waiting room (playing my latest obsession, draw something) and about 20 minutes later they called my name. they handed me a receipt and said i was good to go. i was caught off guard, because they didn’t ask for any money. apparently repairing a flat tire is a courtesy service they do for anyone who comes in! so, next time you have a flat, go there.

life in the gym…or not.

i haven’t talked much about my “moves” lately because, well, i haven’t been moving a lot. i will be honest, i have been skipping the gym way more than i should lately. i could pile on excuses like i was sick, it was snowing, my belly hurt, or it was a tuesday.. but the truth is, i’ve just been lazy.


haha yep. that’s me! i have made it to the gym 3 or 4 times a week lately. when i HAVE been at the gym, i’ve been loosely following the phase 1 livefit workouts with a few other moves thrown in for fun.

here’s yesterday’s lower body workout that has me walking funny today:



this took about 50 minutes total.. it was fun, i kind of miss making up my own routines and really need to jump back into that again. i got so used to following a workout routine when i did livefit. my creative juices aren’t flowing as well as they used to!

doggy daycare is amazing.

penny and randy went to daycare on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday. it is wearing them OUT! they come home and only get off the couch to pee. it’s very strange (in a good way!) to not have them begging while i cook dinner or going stir crazy because it’s too cold out for a walk.


i am pumped, because yesterday when i picked them up from daycare (after getting my flat fixed) the owner told me they have a deal for two-dog-families that they don’t advertise. i quickly took him up on the offer and now instead of daycare being $23.50 a day, it is only $18.50 a day.. for BOTH dogs. talk about a steal! i am so happy they make it so affordable, because i could really get used to this new behavior…


a first for me.

last night, at 10:13 PM, i decided to make rice pudding. i had all the ingredients and had promised marshall i would make it weeks ago, but never got around to it. 10:13 PM on a thursday is the perfect time to make rice pudding!

it wasn’t done cooking until a bit past 11, but the end result was definitely worth the wait.

IMG 2223

i followed this recipe except i tripled it and added about 1 1/2 T of ground cinnamon. it’s not health food, but boy, is it delicious.

i’m nominated.

i was surprised to see that meals & moves has been nominated for “best healthy eating blog” in fitness mag’s blog awards.


not sure who nominated me, but thanks to whoever did! i am in good company with lots of fellow blogging friends, and you can vote for as many people as you want. if you want to vote, head on over.

time for soup!

i have had nicole’s italian wedding soup recipe on my menu agenda for a few weeks, and i finally decided to make it last night. the only problem was that her blog was down, so i couldn’t access the recipe!  this set me into a momentary panic.. i mean, i’d never made italian wedding soup myself! i’d also never been to an italian wedding! (still haven’t, for the record.) but, we needed dinner. it was already 8:07 PM! i figured i could wing it and it would probably turn out pretty alright.

it did.

actually, it turned out way better than pretty alright! marshall liked it so much that he said “put it on the menu”—yes, the menu of our imaginary restaurant that we WILL have one day.

even better? we were filling our faces with soup at 8:42. yes, this soup is that quick.


total time: 30 minutes, makes four entree-sized servings or six side dish-sized servings
inspired by nicole’s recipe



for the soup:

  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 15-20 baby carrots
  • 10 celery stalks
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 4 oz pasta of choice (i used whole wheat elbow macaroni)
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped fine
  • salt & pepper, to taste

for the meatballs:

  • 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (could sub turkey, beef, or pork)
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 2 t jarred garlic)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (i toasted a whole wheat hamburger bun and tossed it in the food processor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T seasoning blend of choice (i like kirkland’s no salt organic seasoning blend from costco or trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper


  • grated parmesan
  • toasted bread


*if you don’t have a food processor, you can simply chop everything by hand and mix in a bowl!

  1. pour chicken broth into a large pot and heat over high heat.
  2. place celery and carrots in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped. if you don’t have a processor, you can do this by hand.
  3. add carrots, celery, basil, oregano, and parsley to the broth. bring to a boil.
  4. meanwhile, place chicken breasts in a food processor and process until chicken is ground. you can opt to purchase pre-ground chicken, if you want.
  5. remove chicken from food processor and set aside. place red onion, garlic, and bread crumbs (or toasted bread, in my case) in the food processor and process until everything is chopped up fine and mixed well.
  6. place chicken back in processor, add eggs, seasoning, salt, and pepper. process until everything is combined.
  7. using a 1” scoop (or your hands) form meatballs and place on a sheet of foil or baking sheet. you should get about 36 meatballs from the mixture.
  8. once your broth has started boiling, add the meatballs and pasta to the broth. bring back to a boil and cook until noodles are tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. remove from heat. stir in spinach and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  10. serve immediately with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a couple slices of toasted & buttered sourdough bread. entirely optional, but encouraged!


this soup was really fast, really easy, and REALLY GOOD.


here are the stats per serving, based on the recipe making 4 entree-sized servings.. these are pretty generous servings, each serving has 9 meatballs!



and here are the stats based on six side dish-sized servings, 6 meatballs each serving:


not bad.. not bad at all. and i can’t believe how quick this soup came together!


and there are leftovers for lunch! soup is always better the next day, if you ask me. (pretend that you did, kay?)

that’s all for now! enjoy your weekend. any fun plans?

xo. janetha g.

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Sable@SquatLikeALady March 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

That is a GREAT deal for doggy daycare!!

I *kind of* miss writing my own workouts, but then again I know with a very experienced coach writing all of my programming, I’m greatly decreasing the risk of injury (knock on wood)/overdoing it (which I am kinda sorta very prone to doing). Maybe someday I’ll be able to trust myself with writing my own program again! haha. I think if I ever step away from powerlifting I’ll be more apt to do so, but working at such a high %age of my one rep max….welll….I really don’t want anything to go wrong. :-X

Jessiker March 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

That soup looks num. maybe I should enroll my hyper shits into daycare! Did you get my text last night of dogs under water? I’ve looked at it a few times.
Weekend plans?
I voted for you. Duh.

Lauren March 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Congrats on the nomination lady! I know I’m always searching out health eating recipes from you. <3 you and hope you have a painfree and wonderful weekend!

cassondra March 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Been dying for a healthy yummy Italian Wedding Soup. I will definitely try it.. BTW been to many (in fact I think I’ve only been to) Italian weddings and have NEVER had Italian Wedding Soup. Hmmmm. I think I’m off to Wikipedia to find out where it comes from. (I am from NJ – please no Jersey Shore jokes we are NOT what they are about lol)

Janetha @ meals & moves March 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I’ve never seen jersey shore!

cassondra March 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I KNEW I liked you!!! lol

Meg March 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I love italian wedding soup girl :D Thank you so much for coming up with the recipe :D how perfect!

Michelle March 2, 2012 at 7:25 pm

That’s awesome about the doggy day care…..and what a deal! Congrats on the nomination! I’m headed over to vote now.

Betty March 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I love doggy daycare and I love italian wedding soup! I’m gonna try yours and Jessica’s because they both look amazing!

Janetha @ meals & moves March 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Ooo Jessica has a version?! I got heck it.

Janetha @ meals & moves March 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm


Katie March 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I love that font on the wedding soup picture! I also love those tired pups…I want to snuggle them! Preferably while I eat a huge vat of rice pudding.

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) March 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

OK HUGE squeal at Fitness mag’s nod to you!?!!!! holy shit that’s huge.

Dude I’m in awe that you still maintain your fitness while maybe or maybe not hitting the gym and eating yummy food. The MINUTE, no, the SECOND I take my eye off the ball I’m a ball of mush. Oh well, I haven’t decided if I’m pushing my Phase 2 til monday from Saturday (kinda weird STARTING a program on a saturday). I might use those two extra days to catch up for all the days I never took as rest.

Otherwise, seeing family, friends, Eden & her Dad, busy, then I’m back in PS. Love you.

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile March 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Wooo congrats on being nominated!!! You deserve it! :D

Sarah @ The Healthy Diva March 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Yay for nomination…already cast my vote! The soup looks splendid. It’s meant to be summer here but it’s been raining cats and dogs. Definitely soup weather! Apparently 75% of the state will be under water by the end of this weekend. No big plans but maybe a movie tonight….what about you?

Janetha March 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Well, it’s 11 PM and we just finished eating dinner & cleaning up the kitchen (I know, so bad!) so I guess tonight is a bust! But tomorrow we are going to try to refinance our auto loans. EXCITING! haha.. have fun, sarah! xo

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Congrats on your nomination!

And being lazy is okay re skipping the gym. It happens.

And cooking after 10 or 11pm is when I do my best work :)

Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 3, 2012 at 5:09 am

thanks for linking to me anyway even though my blog was down! Yours looks just as good! :)

Anna March 3, 2012 at 5:32 am

Hey 3-4 times in the gym in a week is still a pretty good tally (and more then most people get!) Your body probably needs the break with all the GI issues you’ve been having!? … Congrats on your fitness award…you rock and tots deserve it!

btw, totally want rice pudding now!

Janetha @ meals & moves March 3, 2012 at 7:47 am

Oh girl, these issues have been going on for over a decade. If I let them keep me from the gym if never go! But thanks for the encouragement :)

Tess March 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

Congrats on the nomination! I voted for you. Hope you get to feeling better soon =) That soup looks awesome. Italian wedding soup is one of my favorites.

Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy March 3, 2012 at 7:36 am

Dude. I had a flat tire yesterday too. What is with this week?!
This soup looks fab tho. Love wedding soup.

denise March 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

I saw that in Fitness Magazine and thought about nominating you – too late someone else already did:)

Angie @ Pint of Goals March 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I agree about doggy daycare – we bring our two Goldens about once a week. Isn’t it great having them exhausted at the end of the day? $18.50 for both is so cheap! Our’s is $35 for both. So worth it though :)

Angie @ Pint of Goals March 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm

And congrats about your nomination!

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

That soup does look awesome!

YAH for your nomination! SO exciting! I was nominated too-and so that was cool ;)

Sara @ Nourish and Flourish March 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

The photos of the worn out pups made my morning. :) Pretty darn adorable!

Mmm…I’m loving meal-worthy soups right now. I’ve never tried Italian Wedding Soup, but I’ll take nine meatballs/serving any day. :)

Congrats on the Fitness nomination! I’m jumping over there right now to vote for you. xoxo

glidingcalm March 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I’ve been meaning to make Italian wedding soup for the Boy, since he is Italian………and because it looks BOMB. heyo!

OMG your pups are passeeeeeeed out ! that is adorable! yay for a cheaper deal, and YAY FOR LES SCHWAB.

hope your weekend has been fabulous!

Paige @ Running Around Normal March 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

single leg deadlifts are one of my all time favorites. Get my glutes and hammies every time!
I need to check out this doggie day care business. Niko’s only alone about 4 or 5 hours during the day, but her daily walks are not enough to tire her out!!

Kellie March 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I’ve never taken Chloe to doggie daycare, but it might be worth a try! She gets a little ornery from cabin fever in the winter ;)

Kait March 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Vote # 100! I feel special.

I might have to go make veg italian wedding soup…that sounds delish and looks so warming and wonderful.

Glad the kids are enjoying daycare so much.

Also…I’m happy I’m not the only one who starts cooking at god-awful times of night. Just sayin… :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) March 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm

So excited that you are nominated, I voted! :)

Destini March 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

How do you like doing kettlebell deadlifts? I find them easier to keep proper form. For the longest time I have had really horrible posture. But with more exercise I have been able to correct the problem quite a bit. But I still have issues with some exercises, those being deadlifts. I recently introduced kettlebell deadlift’s instead of the barbell and am finding it easier.

That soup looks sooo yummy

Janetha March 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I love using the KB for stiff legged single deadlifts! The grip is so much easier to handle!

elise March 7, 2012 at 7:02 am

holy crap they looked pooped! thats the best day care deal ive ever heard of btw. now you can take a road trip to santa monica!!!

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