Thursday, October 9, 2014


My exercise routine has started to become, well, less routine, as each day becomes shorter, darker, and colder. Fall has that effect on me. Now begins the time where my oversized Grandpa robe sees a lot more of me than my sneakers.

As a dietitian, I know very well the importance of exercise. In fact I really do love to be active. Put me on a bike ride, in the garden, at the end of my dog's leash or on a hike and I could be active all day. But when I schedule a trip to the gym or sign up for a race, exercise always feels like that terrible nagging errand I have to do. Which makes me absolutely not want to do it. And when temperatures begin to drop and darkness takes over even before I get off work, my inherent laziness takes over. 

Enter in my personal #100miles100days challenge! There is no weight loss or marathon at the end of this challenge. The goal is to simply follow through with a promise to myself; to keep a clear head, to keep my feet moving, to enjoy the outdoors, and most importantly, to follow through. It's a small and seemingly easy goal (at least now while the temperatures are above sixty degrees) but the challenge isn't the physical activity part, a mile is peanuts, but the hard part is sticking with it for more than a week. I'm challenging myself to get moving an extra mile EVERY DAY, for the next ONE HUNDRED days. That's until January 16th, 2015. Even when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, below zero, and even when I'm sick. 

The real accomplishment will be exhibiting self-motivation over consecutive days, a hundred consecutive days. No days off. No skip days. No let-me-lay-in-bed-and-watch-netflix-in-my-pajamas-all-day days. This already sounds terrible.

I'll be posting much of my progress over on Instagram using the hashtag #100miles100days. You'll probably see a lot more image of my feet and of my sweet pup, Winnie. If you want to challenge yourself with me just tag me in your posts (@chardincharge) and use the hashtag. I'd love to have a buddy.

Let it commence! 

xo Dianna

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chocolate Covered Pecan Clusters

Hi. I think I know you, you used to come here often. You've probably been wondering where I've been, huh? I know, I know...these pages have been pretty silent. A lot has happened! September proved to be a tremendous improvement from Awful August for the following reasons...

I'M OFFICIALLY A REGISTERED DIETITIAN!!! Credentialed. Expert status. After 5+ years of schooling, 1300+ hours of unpaid intern status, and practically two weeks of full-time studying, I took the exam and won. SOEXCITEDIDONTKNOWWHATADJECTIVETOTYPE!!!! I'm more than happy to share my experiences with you if you're interested in the nutrition field. Just connect with me via comment below or any form of social media. I also can be reached via carrier pigeons.

I'm an EMPLOYED Registered Dietitian. I have my own office, a salary with benefits, and a name tag that says "Dianna Sinni, RD" on it! If that's not baller status, I don't know what is. You know, because name tags are a big deal and stuff...

We're moving! My love bought a house. It's a 105+ year old house that has been rehabbed beautifully. Tall ceilings, hardwood floors, a proper laundry room and THREE bathrooms. Now I have choices when I need to pee! Just wait until you see the kitchen, I am going to nap on the countertops and pet the subway tiles. It's the little things that get me excited.

Ok, enough of MY life updates. How are YOU? Are you happy? Are you blue? One thing I've learned in the past two months is that life is strange. It gets you down, a lot of the time, but it'll also bring you right back up even higher than you were before. So however you are feeling and whatever life is handing you right now, I think you should take a break and make these [vegan] Chocolate Covered Pecan Clusters. 

Just go with it.

Chocolate Covered Pecan Clusters
Makes 6 clusters

1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt

  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast pecans for 1 minute. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup, cooking until pecans are coated and the syrup is thick and bubbly, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and lay pecans in clusters of 4-6 on parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the coconut oil. Whisk in the cacao powder, vanilla, sea salt, and last tablespoon of maple syrup until well combined. Turn off the heat and pour the cacao mixture into mini muffin tins, filling 6 spaces about 1/4 of the way. Stick in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden slightly, but not totally solid.
  3. Add one pecan cluster, which should have cooled and hardened together, into each muffin tin space and pour the remaining chocolate over the top of each cluster. Chill in the fridge to set and remove when ready to enjoy!
NOTE // Since coconut oil is liquid at room temperature, these clusters will melt if left on the counter. I keep them in the fridge or freezer in a sealed container lined with parchment paper. 

Hope you like these ones! If you aren't a fan of ooey gooey chocolate nutty goodness, we might need to reevaluate our friendship. 

xo Dianna

P.S. Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of melting chocolate?! Sticky fingers, soft chocolate, a sunlit window, and a camera make for a tricky situation. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Everyday Groceries - Printable!

Hey, guys! I've got a little somethin'-somethin' for you today! I created this free printable of my typical pantry staples. Isn't it thrilling?! I knew you were just dyyying to see what I keep in my pantry at all times. What a nerd you are! Welp, dream no further....I've typed it out for you.

But in all seriousness, if you're interested in creating a healthier lifestyle and in need of some tangible products to take home from the store or market, this is a good place to start. I've found that keeping these items on hand makes it really easy to throw together flavorful and satisfying meals throughout the day. Typically, on any given day, you'll find these staples in my fridge or cupboards, but of course it'll fluctuate slightly by seasonality, sales, or my weekly menu. You may also notice that there is limited animal products on this list besides some dairy and eggs. Feel free to add in your preferred protein sources (mine is clearly beans, tofu, and dark leafy greens). I also didn't include amounts because that will really depend on your preferences and meal planning - but I usually stock my freezer with nuts, my pantry with dried grains and beans, and keep the crisper overflowing with produce.

Click here to save, print, and share the free download of my Everyday Groceries PDF, pictured below (opens up in Google Docs). Oh, and thank you in advance for not commenting mean things about my graphic design inabilities.

Before you head back to your hump day, I'd love to hear some of YOUR favorite pantry staples in the comments below!

xo Dianna

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Garden Lesson #2: Totally Tomato

They don't ever seem to stop producing.

We planted our tomato plants waaaay too close together in the community garden. We practically have to crawl into the tomato bed by a tiny little aisle to search for these perfect red babes. My arms itch daily and my garden jeans constantly have that sickeningly sweet smell of tomato plant leaves. I'll shamelessy admit that when there's more than just me at the garden, I swerve into another bed so I can avoid the tomato torture. Ok, that's a little extreme. But if you've ever been an arm (or two!) deep into a six foot tall towering tomato plant, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

And yes, I am that weirdo that has a designated pair of pants (and shoes) just for gardening. The perfect pair for wiping muddy hands. We're a team.

What the heck are we doing with all of these tomatoes? Here's a few ways I've been eating up our abundance of tomatoes and pinning ways to finish the rest:

ROASTED // Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto from Angela at Oh She Glows. She's a vegan cooking genius and her new cookbook is ridiculous.

SOUPED // Sourdough bread and tomato soup? Please and thank you, My Name is Yeh. Sub in three pounds of roasted or blanched and peeled tomatoes instead of the canned ones.

SAUCED // Add in a handful of fresh basil or parsley into Martha's Simple Tomato Sauce.

BAKED // If someone will bake this focaccia for me, I will eat it all.

Of course, salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic is a crowd favorite around here to. What's your favorite way to enjoy end of summer tomatoes?

xo Dianna