Built-In Walking Buddy

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There are many reasons that I love being a dog owner.  One (slightly selfish) reason is that a dog is a built-in walking buddy. 


James gets me out of the house and on my feet.  A few months ago, I made a commitment to James that I would walk him for at least 15 minutes every morning.  We used to just let them out in the morning, but now James and I both get to burn off some energy while the sun rises.  And, actually, I think it’s helping me quit the java.  Walking wakes me up!  It also puts me in a good mood right away in the morning – a small feat because I am not a morning person.


On our walk this morning, I realized that our little effort every day was really starting to add up.


Small efforts really do make a difference.


While we were walking, breakfast was a-bakin’.


These Mini Fillo Shells were stuffed in the Healthy Living Summit swag bag.  I was pumped because this is the type of thing that I’d never just pick up at the store but would love to try.


I beat two eggs and mixed in some thinly chopped arugula.  I poured the  mixture into eight little cups and baked them for 20 minutes at 350.


Hello, gorgeous.


Breakfast felt like happy hour with teeny tiny passed appetizers!  I loved these Fillo Shells. They would be perfect for a real party.  And you could stuff them with so many things… Holy Deliciousness Hummus would be perfect.


With banana and sunflower butter on the side.




So – it’s COOL outside.  A breeze is in the air!  I’m sure I’ll be complaining about the rain and snow of fall and winter in just a few weeks’ times, but for now, it sure feels like a welcomed change.  The in-between time between sun and snow is perfect for running (or walking), after all!



  • Meaghan (My Spoonful Of Inspiration) August 23, 2011, 9:13 am

    I LOVE the cool weather. I am so ready for fall 🙂 Very creative breakfast- I would have never thought to use the mini shells for a early day meal!

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife August 23, 2011, 9:21 am

    I like to put a little bit of brie and brown sugar in the phyllo dough cups. Bake at like 350 for 10 minutes (just to melt it all) and you’ve got delicious and super-duper easy appetizers for your next party!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti August 23, 2011, 9:23 am

    I love fillo cups! My mom makes Indian inspired appetizers with them…kind of like samosas…yum!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 23, 2011, 9:24 am

    I made your holy deliciousness hummus this weekend- amazing! And yup, this cool morning feels sooooooo refreshing 🙂

  • Chloe (In Fine Feather) August 23, 2011, 9:29 am

    Dogs are definitely great walking buddies, I loved having my pup around even to go on a quick neighborhood stroll.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 23, 2011, 9:29 am

    I have to say, one reason I wish I had a dog is that it would force me to go outside on walks more, and I’d have a running buddy! Good thing my older brother and his wife life 4 blocks from me and just got a golden retriever puppy! Can’t wait until Molly is old enough for walks and runs! (right now she gets a little distracted…).

  • Lisa August 23, 2011, 9:29 am

    *And* dogs are built-in cuddlers and unconditional lovers. Good stuff.

    Ps. Your ramekin is the perfect shade of blue-love it!

  • kalli August 23, 2011, 9:30 am

    i agree about the dog walking! the very first thing i do in the morning is stumble out of bed and walk our lab pepsi. it is a great way to wake up and she loves it. i also do a nightly walk with my husband and Pepsi. great way to start and end the day. i love dogs 🙂 what a fun breakfast!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 23, 2011, 9:32 am

    Autumn is my favourite time of year 🙂

    Such a cute brekkie! I’m in the mood for filo pastry now.

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch August 23, 2011, 9:32 am

    I’m trying to train our border collie puppy to run with me. They’re herding dogs, which makes the process interesting, to say the least. I usually end up hurdling her a couple of times! One of these days she’ll fully trip me and then you all can point and laugh. Feel free.

  • Liz August 23, 2011, 9:32 am

    One of my favorite parts of dog ownership is the walks. Before getting a dog, I thought I would hate it, but now I really cherish the time. We do a 35 minute walk in the morning and it is a great way to wake me up. I also do some of the evening walks with my husband and I feel like it is quality “family” time for the three of us 🙂

  • Kath August 23, 2011, 9:33 am

    Holy new lens improvement!!!

    • Lindsay August 23, 2011, 10:42 am

      Was just thinking the same thing!! Caitlin – these pics are gorgeous!! Love everything about this post and would love to know which lens you ended up with…guess the local camera shop came through for you 🙂

      • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:51 pm

        Thank you both! It’s the Tamron AF 17-50 mm.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 23, 2011, 9:34 am

    You just gave me a great idea on how to use up the extra phyllo dough sheets I have in my fridge. A little more work than the premade cups but should be easy enough!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 23, 2011, 9:36 am

    I want a dog specifically for the reason that I want a workout buddy! (And because they’re super cute of course!) Nice choice on the camera lens – the phyllo shots are gorgeous!

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) August 23, 2011, 9:38 am

    I absolutely love arugula (such a weird word when repeated!)… it is the Samantha (from Sex and the City) of greens.

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas August 23, 2011, 9:39 am

    I WISH I had a walking buddy! I grew up with dogs – and the boyfriend grew up AFRAID of dogs. Trying to win the battle of getting a dog. I am making progress – but in all honesty – the time probably isn’t right at the moment.

  • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine August 23, 2011, 9:40 am

    The cooler weather is making me so happy. I love it! I’m thinking about putting on a pair of sweatpants–yay! They go so much better with a cup of coffee than shorts and a tank top. 🙂

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me August 23, 2011, 9:51 am

    I can’t wait to have a puppy to walk! I am loving the cooler weather. At night it gets so cool. I love it!

  • Khushboo August 23, 2011, 9:52 am

    Now that’s s gourmet (and yummy) breakfast!

  • Mel August 23, 2011, 10:04 am

    Totally agree with you about the little efforts adding up. I dog sat two weeks ago for the first time (never owned a dog before either!) and really enjoyed walking the dog, the plus of course being that I was getting exercise and moving around outside! Sidenote: I just bought the Operation Beautiful book for my little sister for her birthday! I can’t wait for her (slash myself) to read it!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:49 pm

      Thank you so much Mel 🙂 I appreciate the support.

  • Whitney August 23, 2011, 10:07 am

    It definitely felt like fall this morning and I had the best run because of it!! I cannot wait for pumpkins, cinnamon candles, and football!! Bring it 🙂

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life August 23, 2011, 10:07 am

    Oh those little pastry cups looks delicious! They scream baby quiche and tea time to me!

    The hubby and I are looking at getting a dog and one my number one (selfish) motivations it to have a walking buddy too!

  • CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ August 23, 2011, 10:11 am

    ohhh what a good idea for those little phylo cups! I was wondering what the heck to do with those but breakfast is a perfect idea!!! thank you 🙂

    PS I have 3 dogs and the poor things cant walk on leashes. They basically choke themselves so usually i take them on a bike ride in a basket haha we look like the wizard of oz!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:45 pm

      Have you tried the gentle leader?

  • Stephanie August 23, 2011, 10:42 am

    They say that dog owners live longer…I wouldn’t be surprised if that has something to do with all of the extra exercise! On top of any exercise I do for me, I walk for an hour every day. There’s no way that I’d do that just for fun if I didn’t have a furbaby counting on me!

  • sara @ the foodie diaries August 23, 2011, 10:48 am

    I usually walk my dogs at night, but walking them in the morning for at least 15 minutes seems like a great way to start my day off right. I think I’ll start doing that too 🙂

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit August 23, 2011, 10:51 am

    So cute! I can’t wait to try out my phyllo shells. I didn’t get to meet you at HLS 🙁

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife August 23, 2011, 10:51 am

    I love walking outside, it clears my head and makes me SO happy 🙂

  • KatieTX August 23, 2011, 10:54 am

    I am super jealous of your cool morning temps. Also of your *possibly* impending hurricane this weekend!!

  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs August 23, 2011, 10:56 am

    I love the weather in the mornings now too! It’s just warm enough to not need extra clothes, but cool enough to get your sweat on and not want to pass out. I am definetly going to take advantage of it while I can.

    I want a puppy to walk!! We are going to get a Boston Terrier this year 🙂

  • Moni'sMeals August 23, 2011, 11:04 am

    how pretty are yout pyhllo cups! Mine are usually not that neat. 🙂

    Yes dogs are truly amazing. I have 2 English Bulldogs and my only issue, is they aren’t much of excerise dogs, haha, to say the least, they like are done at the end of the block, haha! 🙂 They are my everything though and make up for it all with kisses, snuggles, and personality!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:45 pm

      haha that’s how maggie is 🙂

  • Shannon @ Mon Amour August 23, 2011, 11:05 am

    I have been walking my dog for 30-45 minutes a few times a week to help her rehab from surgery and I love it. I usually walk her at night but I love just getting outside and enjoying nature

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) August 23, 2011, 11:08 am

    I love your idea for the Fillo shells. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with mine!

    Have a great day Caitlin!

  • Tracy @ Tracy's Treats August 23, 2011, 11:18 am

    I’ve been walking my friend’s dog that I’m dog-sitting and you’re right – it really does wake you up! It also makes me happy to see how excited she is to simply go outside.

    I can not wait until fall gets here. It’s been over 105 every day in August. I’m so excited to have running weather again!

  • Hillary August 23, 2011, 11:23 am

    It is PERFECT running/walking weather here in MD right now. I wish it could stay this way year round!

  • Laura August 23, 2011, 11:26 am

    Seriously, dogs are the best. I don’t know what I would do without my Leland.

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed August 23, 2011, 11:35 am

    It’s the BEST time to run. I also kinda love the sound of the “crunch” of the snow underfoot.

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) August 23, 2011, 11:35 am

    I think a walk with dogs is the perfect way to start thing morning, I always love mine! Crazy how 15 minutes a day really does add up, I’ve never thought about it that way.

  • mi-an d. August 23, 2011, 11:37 am

    love those little eggy cups you made!! it’s like little souffles.

  • Chelsea August 23, 2011, 11:56 am

    Oh those look really yummy! I’m not a morning person either. I have my grumpy face on for a good hour until I see Josh then it goes away hahah 🙂

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) August 23, 2011, 11:58 am

    Those pastry cups are awesome! I made mini baklava in them once. They were amazing 🙂

  • allpointswhole August 23, 2011, 11:58 am

    thats awesome

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) August 23, 2011, 12:16 pm

    That is why I need a dog- I need to do more walking 🙂

  • Marissa C August 23, 2011, 12:19 pm

    Are you ready for a possible hurricane? I know Charlotte is pretty inland though!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:44 pm

      Wah I don’t want it. I’ll be flying back to CLT on Sunday, travel is going to be a nightmare.

  • Marissa C August 23, 2011, 12:19 pm

    Are you ready for a possible hurricane? I know Charlotte is pretty inland though!

  • Amber K August 23, 2011, 12:27 pm

    I love it when it is cool out. I am NOT ready for the extreme cold or snow, but the cool breezy days are my favorite.

    I love the idea of those shells, but I’m bummed that I could never get something like this. Finding gluten-free things that also don’t include other things that upset my tummy just doesn’t happen. I never thought I would really miss the convenience of certain foods!

    I guess at least before when I was making the conscience choice to not eat processed foods, I had the option to eat them IF I wanted to. But having that option taken away makes me cranky. But the apple I’m currently eating is free of everything that ails me and I’m going to concentrate on that!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:43 pm

      I agree with everything you said. The cups made my stomach hurt. I don’t wanna admit I need to give up gluten.

      • Amber K August 24, 2011, 12:23 am

        I still get whiny about it and I have known for almost a year! I don’t know if that is supposed to make you feel better because other people know how hard it is, or if it makes it worse because it won’t necessarily go away with time… 😉

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled August 23, 2011, 12:29 pm

    I always want to buy those little cups and make fancy things with them, but am a little intimidated. They’re just so cute and I love anything in miniature.

    Is it sick that I salivate when I see nut butter in pics?

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count August 23, 2011, 12:34 pm

    Breakfast looks yummy!! If I had a dog, I would love to walk him or her while I walked. But I just don’t like to walk with anyone. I like the quiet private time to think. Selfish?? Maybe. Snooty, possibly. I just like it better that way.

  • Ashley August 23, 2011, 12:35 pm

    I wish I loved walking my dogs. We have two terriers and needless to say, they aren’t the best walkers. They have bad ‘leash aggression’, and growl at other dogs and stop to pee every two seconds. It’s so embarrassing! I need the dog whisperer, stat!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 23, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Your breakfast looks so gourmet! I always want to make creative breakfast recipes but when it comes time to make breakfast, it’s just so much easier to throw on a pot of oatmeal. 😛

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair August 23, 2011, 12:46 pm

    We just got a puppy 1.5 weeks ago. Oh my she is a lot of work but we LOVE her so much already. She’s too little to really walk right now, and I can’t run with her until she’s over 12 months, but I can’t wait until she’s bigger and I can do both those things with her 🙂

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:42 pm

      Aw I love puppies 🙂 Congrats!

  • Sara @my less serious life August 23, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I love how much dogs help you add in daily exercise. I think you would enjoy a recent post I made, about fitting in small amounts of walking each day. Enjoy!


    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:42 pm

      What a great post!

  • Sara P August 23, 2011, 2:50 pm

    Ugh…I’m jealous!! I live in Austin, TX and the temps are still above 100 DEGREES! Can’t wait for an actual breeze!

  • Tricia August 23, 2011, 2:53 pm

    This post inspired me to take my puppy for a 15ish minute midday walk. Eddie says thank you!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:41 pm

      You’re welcome, Eddie 🙂

  • Alaina August 23, 2011, 6:21 pm

    It was so nice in Boston today. I heard that the temps are supposed to go up though over the week. I can’t wait for the fall! It’s the best time of year. 🙂

  • Christine @ BookishlyB August 23, 2011, 7:11 pm

    I got a lab puppy a few months ago and walk him for about 40 minutes a day. I recently did the math too, with time and mileage- definitely another reason why owning a dog is great.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In August 23, 2011, 8:42 pm

    I’d been trying to think of a good way to use those phyllo shells! Thanks for the idea – and great to meet you at HLS!

    • Caitlin August 23, 2011, 10:40 pm

      It was truly wonderful to meet you too!

  • The Fillo Factory September 1, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    Awesome use of the Mini Fillo Shells! So glad we were able to introduce you to something new and different from your norm and that you enjoyed them. But, hey, that’s what swag is for, right? 🙂

    We were thrilled to be a part of this year’s HLS and will be sure to round up everyone’s fillo creations and link to them on our Twitter, FB, + new site coming out this month. Keep up the great work here on your blog.

    All the best,
    The Fillo Factory

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