Month: March 2010

Tis the Season…

…for frozen yogurt! Today was my very first frozen yogurt of 2010!! It feels so good to have broken the seal on this… You know its spring when you crave a frozen yogurt in the afternoon… There is a super cute shop right by my office called Yogen Fruz:

This frozen yogurt place is awesome because they have tons of different flavors and different toppings. I’ve never seen a frozen yogurt place before that will blend flavors into your yogurt for you, but this place will blend any of their frozen fruit or a few other flavors that they have on hand into your fro yo.

Here is their frozen fruit (a little blurry!)

My favorite thing to get their is the green tea fro yo because i love love LOVE green tea ice cream, but can never find a low cal version of it anywhere. They take green tea extract (all natural) and blend it in to the yogurt! Yum.

The fresh fruit toppings:

The dry toppings:

I was so upset they didn’t have any mochi! That is my favorite topping for fro yo, and my plan had been to do green tea fro yo with mochi and chocolate chips. They said they may get it in the future, but are out of it now, so I just went with the plain green tea.

This was delicious! So good that I got over the fact that they were out of the mochi! 🙂 I’m so happy the weather is now condusive to fro yo. You will be seeing this a lot!

We had happy hour plans after work, and I wasn’t sure what the food selection would be like, so I had a quick snack towards 5pm to tide me over just in case.

Love these things!

After 5:30pm rolled around, we headed over to this place called Recessions. We get a monthly allowance for “social activities” and go figure its 3-31-10 and we hadn’t yet used March’s funds, so today was the day! If you don’t use the money, it goes away so better to do something last minute than nothing at all.

I had a Vodka Soda with lime:

I may or may not have had 2 more of these before calling it a night.

I was surprised to see quite a few veggie options on the menu, so I went with the veggie sandwich on pita:

It had lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green bell pepper, and avocado! It came with a pickle and chips, but after I finished the pita and pickle, I put the plate with chips in the middle of the table and it went fast. I was glad I did that because I’m sure I would have munched on the chips if they were in front of me even though I didn’t really want them. This sandwich was actually really good! I was surprised that a little hole in the wall place like this had such fresh veggies.

Now I’m back home and feeling good that I cut myself off after 3 drinks and am back on my couch relaxing.

Have a good night!

Smells like Shamu!

Today is a gorgeous day outside, so Emily and I decided to go for a walk before lunch to soak it in. I work right near the White House so we have this loop we like to do and there are always so many tourists. For some reason, it always cracks me up when I see people on Segways:

Though I guess its a good way to explore a new city (but walking would be better!). And it’s really spring time in DC.. flowers are starting to bloom! So exciting.

And here Emily and I are enjoying our quick walk outside:

Do you notice how my collar bone wounds look even worse!? It seriously looks like I got attacked by a vampire or something of that nature. Last night when my boyfriend got home, he goes “Wow! Those look so bad!” before “Hi” or anything… thanks chef! 😉

Now onto my eats, but a little story first. Several months ago, I brought leftover shrimp in for lunch and heated it up in the office kitchen. I was really self-conscious about it smelling like fish, so I asked a few people if it smelled while still in the kitchen. They said no (probably just to be nice), so I came back to my cube and before I could even sit down, not one, but TWO people said, “OMG! What is that smell!?” And someone else, “EW! It smells like Shamu!” (I, too, laughed a little at the second comment). So, embarrassed, I darted back to the conference room and ate my lunch in there with my head hung low (not really). That was the first and last time I’ve ever brought fish in for lunch.

So, sad part here is, when I make fish for dinner, I can’t bring leftovers in for lunch the next day so it messes me up (aka the mussels from last night). I pulled out some of the leeks before adding the mussels last night and set them aside for lunch today, but then had to figure something else out for the main event. I went with another one of those Turk’y California Grillers by Morningstar Farms.

I toasted an arnold thin, spread on a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese (1/2 on each side), and put it on top of a huge bed of sprouts. I also cut up an orange on the side.

And had some leftover leeks from last night:

‘Twas a very satisfying lunch, and much more balanced colors than yesterday, no?

The laughing cow cheese worked really well on this sandwich, definitely better than the soy cheese earlier in the week. The flavor just made the griller pop. And these oranges I got at Whole Foods and so juicy and delicious. Yum!

Do you have things you will eat at home but not at the office? For me, its fish that needs to be heated, but I’ve had canned salmon or tuna before no problem. I also won’t make butter popcorn in the office because I think it smells so much (in an amazing way) and every time someone else makes it, I want it, so I figure it’s not really fair for me to do it. But I looove fish and popcorn at home (though not usually together)!

Check ya later!

Overnight Oats: Take Two

Good morning! Today is supposed to be 70 and it’s already sunny and clear and this makes me veryyyyy happy. I wore a skirt without stockings for the first time all year, that’s how excited I am. 😉 I am still super sore today in my legs from Monday night’s Shred workout. As I’ve said before, even though its only 20 minutes, it is intense. There are three 6 minute circuits, which consist of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs each. Its go-go-go the whole time, but what else would you expect from a 20 minute workout? At one point, you do weighted static lunges for 1 minute straight, and then switch to the other leg and do it again for 1 whole minute. That is a lot of lunges for a girl who doesn’t do them very often. I think I’m going to start trying to do it 1-2 times a week so I don’t feel this way after one go at it.

This morning I had overnight oats again! I am seriously loving them. I used a little more oats, a little less liquid, and no banana this time (mostly because I forgot about the banana :P).

My oats contained:

  • 2/3 cup oats (I was going to use 1/2 cup but there was only a little left in the container, so I used it all)
  • 1/3 cup light soy milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • Toppings: 1 crushed Weetabix biscuit, a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin butter, and 1 packet Truvia

I promise there are oats under there! These are my new fav, and I actually have to run to the store to get more oats because I’m out! I only have steel cuts oats left, which I love, but those ones you have to cook.

I’ve had a few people ask me about the texture of these. This bowl was thicker than yesterday because I used less liquid. I wanted it to be a bit thicker than it was yesterday, but I think I “under-did” the liquid this time. I think going forward I’m going to keep the ratio close to 1:1:1, but just a little bit less yogurt and milk than the oats. The best way I can describe it is if you mix granola into your yogurt and let it sit for a while so the granola gets soft, but in a good way. You’re not expecting the oatmeal to be crunchy, and it’s just so thick and satisfying. Plus, I love that you can add whatever toppings you want to change it up. I’m going to try to run to the store soon to find some different toppings to experiment with.

Happy Hump Day!!

Wind Drag and Mussels (Not Together!)

How is it already after 9pm!? Today flew by because I was swamped at work. I made some popcorn brown paper bag style but inhaled it too quickly as I was working, so no picture. This time I just put a little cinnamon in the bag, shook it up, and it was really tasty! Sometime after lunch, I started to feel SO sore from doing The Shred last night. It’s kind of funny how I ran 10 miles and wasn’t sore, but did 20 minutes of circuit training and I feel like an old lady! Guess I have to start doing it more often.

I got home from work and some Amazing Grass samples had arrived. I was really looking forward to trying them, but they sent me packets of a bunch of different kinds so I didn’t know which one to dive into first.

I decided to go with this one:

Green SuperFood (just the basic one). I made my regular Green Monster with:

  • 1 cup light soy milk
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 5 chunks of frozen pineapple
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Green SuperFood Amazing Grass

It was so good! I honestly didn’t notice the Amazing Grass in there too much besides it being extra green, but the package said its great to use for an energy jolt in the morning, so I think I’ll try it with a morning workout and see if I feel a difference. Also I’m looking forward to trying the different flavors – chocolate and berry – now that I’ve given the plain one a go.

After my GM, I decided it’d be good to go out for a walk/run to loosen up. I started by walking .75 miles, then ran for 4 miles, then walked for another .75. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such bad wind drag! My splits for the running miles were: 10:07, 9:55, 8:55, 9:05. For the first half of the run, I felt like I was moving my legs and they weren’t going anywhere! It was such a strange feeling, but I was hoping on my way back the wind would blow in the opposite direction and help me go faster, and that it did! For the two miles back, there were a few gusts that really pushed me along! Crazy that there was a 1 minute 12 second difference between my fastest and slowest mile on that run. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much of a pace difference during the same run before. I stretched a bunch after I finished and am feeling a lot looser and better now than I was before the run.

After my run, I was HUNGRY. I had gotten some mussels and leeks at Whole Foods last night, so I looked up a few recipes today to get some ideas, and ended up deciding to make them together. I rinsed off the mussels first and threw out the few that were open, and then sliced up the two leeks. I heated up some chopped garlic, dried thyme, and white wine in a wok, and then tossed in the sliced leeks.

I let those go for about 10 minutes, and then put in the mussels and mixed them into the leeks.

I covered the wok and let it continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so. It smelled SO good I was looking forward to it being done! While the mussels were finishing up, I toasted a Thomas Bagel Thin to soak up the extra broth with.

Here’s my serving:

And the toasted Thomas Bagel Thin:

After I ate all the mussels, the bagel thin worked perfectly to soak up the extra broth in the bottom of the bowl:

Yum! This was a really tasty and easy dish. It only took about 25 minutes from start to finish, including chopping everything up and cleaning the mussels.

Question.. Do you like to follow recipes or just wing it in the kitchen? For me, its kind of a mix. I am not very good at following recipes to a T because I like to just do my own thing in the kitchen, but I do like to look up different recipes when I’m figuring out what to cook to get some ideas. I especially like to do that if the ingredients I’m using aren’t that familiar to me (ie mussels and leeks together). But in general, I don’t really follow recipes.

I’m off to pack lunch for tomorrow and then do some reading and relaxing… have a good night!

I May Turn Orange

They say that one great rule of thumb for healthy eating is to make sure your meals are colorful. The different colors in your foods represent different nutrients, so the more colorful your meals are, the more varied the nutrients you’re eating are. I like to go by this rule because it’s obviously important to make sure you’re varying your food/nutrients, but it’s also very aesthetically pleasing to have all the colors and you “eat” with your eyes first.

That said, today’s lunch was a big fail in the colorful department. I had leftover Carrot Sesame Salad from last night, but knew that wouldn’t be enough, so I grabbed the old standby, a sweet potato with pico de gallo.

Carrot Sesame Salad:

Microwaved sweet potato with pico de gallo on top:

Lunch all together:

Funny because I brought an orange with me too and was craving some fruit, but I held off on having it because of the orange overload (not to mention the pumpkin in my oats this morning…) I was still a little hungry after eating this lunch though, so I took the plunge.

So now you see why I may actually turn orange. It hasn’t started yet but stay tuned. 😉

Luckily I have nothing orange on the agenda for the remainder of the day and though color-wise this lunch wasn’t a success, it TASTED delicious. The carrot salad was even better today because the flavor from the dressing really go into the carrots overnight.  And sweet potatoes are always amazing (though I really could have used the black beans today!). The oranges I found on sale for $1 at Whole Foods last night, so you’ll be seeing them a lot this week.

Back to work I go!

Overnight Pumpkin Oats

Morning!

I always get really jealous when I’m looking at other people’s blogs and see their delicious bowls of oats that look so good you wish you could have theirs instead of what you’re eating. So, last night I decided to make Overnight Oats by the books. I’ve made them before, but I usually use steel cut oats, and with those you have to cook them about half way (15 mins and they normally take 30), and then put them in the fridge overnight.

With true overnight oats, it requires no cooking. I used the Pumpkin Oats recipe from Kath Eats located on this page and they turned out SO good. This is definitely going to be my new go-to breakfast most days of the week because its so easy to throw together the night before and again, requires NO cooking. You use a ratio 1:1:1 of rolled oats, milk, and yogurt (any kind you like). Most recipes I’ve seen use 1/3 or 1/2 cup of each.

Here’s the bowl that I just devoured:

My bowl contained:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Oikos
  • 1/2 cup light soy milk
  • 1/3 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 medium banana, mashed
  • Toppings: 1 crumbled Weetabix biscuit and pumpkin butter

I love this pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s. It’s not too sweet and adds great flavor to anything you put it on. Plus, heres the ingredient list: Pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice concentrate, spices. It’s always a good sign when you can count all the ingredients on one hand.

And omg, this bowl of oats was sooooooo good. I am so excited I finally tried doing these the right way and know this will be a new staple in my diet. It’s also awesome because you can do so many different flavor combinations with the toppings (see the link above to Kath’s page for more ideas). The other best part is that I am so full, this will definitely tide me over until lunch.

Happy Tuesday!

Snacky and The Shred

I’ve kind of been looking forward to putting up a new post tonight since I put up the last one so that my gross chaffing marks aren’t at the top of the page anymore… 😉 Today has seriously flown by, kind of like the weekend. I was definitely in a snacky mood today (again) and gave in (again). But you’re supposed to listen to your body, right!?

Afternoon snacks after lunch:

Triple Chocolate Chunk Vitatop (toasted) and a sliced up Gala Apple. My favorite flavor of the vitatops but I like Fujis better than Galas. It was still good though!

I got home and made some popcorn before heading to Whole Foods. Lately, I’ve been doing a few tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag and microwaving it and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the pre-bagged stuff! I love making the popcorn straight from the kernels because you can measure it out and top it however you like. Plus, there’s no extra chemicals in there since you know exactly what you’re putting on it!

I used a little olive oil and some black pepper on this. yum. I use the regular setting on the microwave for popcorn and it works fine but sometimes I have to add an extra 30 seconds on to the time. It’s also way cheaper to do popcorn this way.. the entire bag of kernels (which has 40 servings!) was only $1.37!

Whole Foods was really good, too. I hadn’t been there in a looong time, and I just love their produce and their fish section (and pretty much everything else).  I got some leeks, oranges, blackberries, sweet potatoes, bananas, and baby spinach from the produce section, mussels from the fish section, and then Light Silk Soy Milk, Oikos nonfat greek yogurt (big container and the mini ones that have just 70 calories each!), and a bottle of Verdejo. I’m sure I’m missing something but those were the highlights.

I had wanted to get a workout in but time was slipping away, so I decided to do Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. If you haven’t tried this workout, you must. They are quick 20 minute workouts but they are HARD. There are three levels that supposedly get progressively harder, but I think they’re all pretty hard but different. I was surprised when I tried Level 2 and thought it was easier than Level 1! I like doing them for a quick quick-your-butt workout when you don’t have much time, but you’re supposed to do it every day for 30 days and you should get drastic results if you go by the books. I’ve never done that before, nor do I plan to, but I like to throw these in to mix up my work out routine. I hadn’t done it in a LONG time, and it felt really good (and just as hard as I remember!)

I found this recipe for Carrot Sesame Salad a few weeks ago that I’ve been wanting to try and I finally got it together tonight to try it. I took 4 large carrots and used a veggie peeler to peel them, and then ribboned them with the peeler. It was kind of hard to get the hang of, but once I figured it out it was smooth sailing. I modified the recipe slightly, and used 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil (the recipe calls for 2 tbsp), 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp each white and black sesame seeds (the recipe calls for all white, but I wanted to add a little more color).

I thought it turned out really good! There was a LOT of dressing for the amount of carrots, and I used more carrots than the recipe called for, so next time I’d either half the dressing recipe, or double the carrots. Not for the nutritional value (the dressing was light, especially after I cut down the oil), but because there was literally dressing pooled at the bottom of the bowl. The flavor was really good though, and I never thought to ribbon carrots before and use them for a salad so was excited to try something new!

I had about 1/3 of the carrot salad (1 1/3 large carrots worth) and then the leftover Moo Shi Vegetable from last night.

There was only one pancake left, so I just used that and then ate the rest with a fork. See how there’s sauce spreading out from under the Moo Shi thats out of the pancake? It was SO saucy. That was after I heated it up and poured (what I thought was) all the extra liquid out of the bowl. Really good flavor but too much sauce… a trend tonight I guess!

I’m gonna go relax and watch Nurse Jackie in a little while! I am loving this season so far (though its only been one episode before tonight!) Do any of you guys watch it? What do you think?

Be back tomorrow!

Battle Wounds

Just a quick post to check in and show you my battle wounds and my lunch. My collar bone is hurting SO bad. I think I really made it worse when I absentmindedly toweled it off today. Take a look:

I feel like I should wear a turtleneck, but there are two issues with that. One – I don’t own a turtleneck and two, it hurts to have anything over it. Funny how the rest of my body is OK with the long distance run but my collar bone is rebelling. I’ll keep applying neosporin and hope for the best.

Lunch today was something new. I found these at the store last week:

California Turk’y Grillers by Morningstar Farms.  It has avocados and tomatoes blended into it, and these things are so easy to heat up. I don’t eat them a lot but its nice when you’re scrambling to pack something quick in the morning (and haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while…). I toasted an arnold thin with a slice of soy cheese on top, and then nuked this griller for 1 minute. I put it on top of some sprouts on the bun:

I also had the leftover veggies from last night’s shrimp and veggie dish. I added some soy sauce, ginger, and rice vinegar to them and let it soak overnight.

All togethe

The lunch was really good. I am definitely a fan of these California Turk’y burgers… they are tasty, juicy, and so easy. Winning combo in my book. I prefer homemade stuff of course but in a pinch these work and I have 3 left so you’ll be seeing them again! I also love rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger together, and use that combo a lot for flavor on anything.. it works well!

I’ll check in later… hope Monday is treating you well!

Monday Morning Blahs

How is it already Monday morning!? I love going to visit family, but the weekends just fly by when you travel. Blah. It’s raining and gross outside and is supposed to be like this tomorrow too. Double blah. Buttt… later in the week it says its going to be sunny and in the 80’s… so that is definitely something to look forward to.

Last night we ordered Chinese food, and I got egg drop soup (hot and sour for him) and then we split the steamed jumbo shrimp and veggie moo shi.

I had my soup and some of each of the entrees… love that moo shi veggie! It has cabbage, mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, water chestnuts, and egg, and its in a sweet-ish sauce (but not too sweet). It comes with pancakes and hoisin sauce… yum. The shrimp and veggies at our chinese restaurant are SO good, too. They shrimp are jumbo instead of those little ones you get from a lot of Chinese restaurants, and the veggies are so fresh and crunchy. After devouring my plate, I went back for a second Moo Shi Veggie pancake… delish.

I am in major need of a grocery for fresh fruit, veggies, yogurt, milk, and a bunch of other things. I wanted to make overnight oats but I had no milk or yogurt, so I whipped up some pumpkin oats this morning instead. I found this at Trader Joe’s:

It has Rye, Barley, Oats, and Wheat and I tried it this morning for the first time. I added ~1/2 a cup of pumpkin when it was done cooking, and then sprinkled some pumpkin pie spice on top.

Though it doesn’t look super appetizing, it really was! These multigrain oats have a really good texture, and I am so happy to have canned pumpkin back in my life. I’m going to try them in overnight oats form if I can convince myself to go out in the rain tonight…

Good news is I am not feeling sore AT ALL from Saturday’s 10 mile run. I didn’t need to take advil yesterday or today and haven’t had any pain, besides the chaffing on my collar bone. When I showered this morning I forgot about it, and I rubbed the towel really hard on my chest while drying off and now its re-opened. 🙁 Ouch. Nothing  a little neosporin can’t fix, I hope…

Off to work I go!

Back in the District

Hi! I just got back to DC and am happy to be home and relaxing for a few hours before going to sleep! I ended up sleeping in really late today (~10:30am) so had no time for the gym because we had to run to the grocery store and then over to my boyfriends mom house to whip up brunch. We ended up staying up later than planned last night, so I didn’t blame myself for sleeping in.. plus, its Sunday and I ran 10 miles yesterday sooo…

For brunch, we decided to make blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, grits, bacon & sausage (not for me), and some fruit. We picked up this awesome pancake and waffle mix

It made really fluffy pancakes, and all we had to do was add water or milk (we used 1/2 and 1/2 and it worked great). I want to try to find this mix at a grocery store around here. I hadn’t had pancakes in so long!

We also got Hodson Mill’s corn grits

Which was also super easy to put together. Just add water, a little butter, and some salt and they are ready in 5 minutes. Here was our spread:

Pancakes (some with fresh blueberries, some plain), cantaloupe and strawberries, bacon/sausage, scrambled eggs, and in the pot you can barely see:

The grits! Here was my plate:

One big blueberry pancake, some fruit, a little scrambled eggs, and a little grits. I also picked up a Chobani strawberry at the grocery store and put it on the pancake and ate the rest out of the cup… my first time trying the Strawberry and I really liked it. I went back for some more fruit an hour or two after but that plate really filled me up! We ended up staying for a few hours just chatting and laying low, and then before we knew it it was 5pm and time to get on the road. Visiting family for a weekend always goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

I had the rest of the dried fruit from yesterday, and some crunchy rice snacks we picked up from the grocery store in the car. We also got some drinks for the road (Sugar-Free Rockstar energy drink and a bottle of water for me) and made awesome time on the way home, even though we hit some traffic. The Droid has an awesome navigation feature where it tracks traffic and tells you how long it will take you to get to your destination factoring in traffic. It shows you where the traffic is and when it’ll be over, so being aware of the traffic pattern made it much more tolerable.

Now we’re home and just ordered some Chinese food… gonna lay low and watch some TV. I’ll check in later. Hope you had an awesome weekend and are recharged and ready for tomorrow!

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