Month: March 2010

Hanging in Hampton

Whew! What a day. We left around 1pm to make the should be three-hour drive, but got caught in a TON of traffic. We ended up getting to my boyfriend’s mom house around 4:45, but it felt like so much longer because traffic was so bad and frustrating! Luckily I had a few snacks in the car to ward off the crankiness that otherwise would have definitely hit hard… 😉

A banana

And a 100 calorie pack of Almonds and Walnuts. I also grabbed some dried fruit when we were getting gas with figs, pineapple, mango and papaya and ate about 1/2 the bag. No picture though!

We hung out for a while at the house and then drove around this new section of town and found a cute Italian restaurant called Bensi. It was only 11 days old but seems like a welcome addition to the town (they are really in need of some nice restaurants!). We talked with one of the partners, and they have 20 locations in NJ and this is their first location in VA, but our meal was excellent – especially for an 11 day old restaurant!

They served this to start, which had peppers stuffed with bread crumbs, olive oil, and cheese in the far left, olive oil with salt and pepper in the middle, and sliced cheese to the right. They also served a bread basket, and a bowl of salad family style.

Here was my first plate:

I may have gone back for another serving of salad and bread… or two 😉 But overall this was a great first course. I love it a.) when things are free, b.) things are served family style, and c.) when its delicious! The salad was bottomless so we got another bowl to split between the four of us and it was really fresh and good. For my main course, I went with the grilled salmon.

It came with broccoli and potato of the day (which was smashed potatoes with bacon and cheese and cream) but I asked to sub a baked potato and they did that no problem.  I also asked for extra mango salsa which came with the salmon as it was, and poured one of those two containers over the potato. Mango salsa is one of my favorites, and this one was really fresh and went great with the potato and over the salmon. I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the side from Chile

Overall a really good meal. We usually cook when we visit with his mom, but they like meat and I don’t like to be too high maintenance so with my new fish-only policy, so I was a little nervous. Luckily, my boyfriend suggested we go out to dinner, so it was easy for me to get what I wanted and not have to seem picky. We’re now drinking a few beers at the hotel (Miller Lite for me) and taking it easy. I checked out the hotel gym and it is REALLY nice, so I’m thinking about paying a visit tomorrow. I don’t want to do anything too crazy because of my 10 miler tomorrow, but maybe do the elliptical for a little and some weights… but we shall see.

(PS: notice two darkish spots on my collar-bone?? I got really bad chaffing from the run today and those two spots are RAW. I had a zip up hoodie on during the run that I unzipped a bit once I warmed up, and I think the zipper must have really irritated my skin. It hurts!! But, that’s the worst of my post run injuries, so I can’t really complain…)

Yay for having internet at the hotel.. didn’t think I’d be able to update tonight! Hope you are having a fabulous Saturday, and I’ll check in tomorrow!

Double Digits!!!

It’s official – I ran 10.0 miles for the first this morning!! My first time ever crossing into the double digit run category, and it feels SO good. The first two miles were a little rough – it was super cold out and my Garmin took forever to locate the satellites so I was standing outside chilling to the bone while I waited for it to figure out where I was. 😛 My knee was bothering me a little bit during the first two miles, but after that it was smooth sailing. I ran on the Mount Vernon Trail again, but this time went the opposite way from the way I normally go, and the scenery was beautiful! I’ve stopped listening to my ipod while running (mostly because I can’t find the charger for it) so its kind of nice just to pound the pavement and really clear my head. Here’s the proof:

Run Stats:

Total Distance: 10.00 miles

Duration: 1:39:47.82

Avg. Pace: 9:58 min/mile

Calories: 1184 (!!!)

So this run was a lot slower than the pace I usually keep, but I was going pretty slow for the first few miles because I was so cold (it was 34 degrees when I started, but wind chill was 26!) but after I thawed out a bit and warmed up, I was able to pick up the pace. I’m sooooo happy that I’m in the double digits now!! And, excited because I’m not sweating my 10 mile race thats two weeks from tomorrow. 🙂

Pre-run I fueled up with this:

1 Thomas Bagel Thin toasted with 1 tbsp dark chocolate dreams peanut butter and some sliced strawberries. yum! I brought these along for fuel on the run (190 calories)

I ate all but one of them. I liked these.. they kind of remind me of those little gummy coke bottles I used to get at the penny candy store when I was kid (anyone??) but they are a lot bigger than the jelly beans so a little harder to eat while running. I liked the flavor though and would definitely try them again. Post run, you’ll never guess what my body was craving…

A Green Monster! This one was the usual… light soy milk, 4 frozen strawberries, frozen banana, a few frozen pineapple chunks, and lots of spinach. I needed a bit more liquid once I started blending it because it was too thick so the blender was getting stuck, and I had used the last of the milk and had no juice or anything. The only option was water, so I added a little, and it actually worked and you couldn’t even tell there was any water in it. Good to know!

After my GM, my boyfriend threw together breakfast sandwiches for us.

This breakfast sammie has:

  • A toasted arnold thin
  • 1 over easy egg
  • 1 slice of soy cheese
  • Morningstar Farms sausage style crumbles

So good! I love these sausage style crumbles.. they seriously taste like the real thing.

We are off to visit my boyfriends mom for the night so have a few hour car ride ahead of us and will be staying at a hotel tonight. I packed my gym clothes in case I want to go loosen up the morning, but I’m going to play it by ear. I won’t have any internet access so it’s going to be impossible for me to check in, but I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon/early evening.

Happy Saturday!!!

Taco Night!

Hi! Today was a really fun day. I love Fridays! The day at work seemed to crawl by but then all of a sudden its now midnight, so not sure what happened there. 😛

I made a really random concoction for lunch because I had some Organic Broccoli Slaw from Trader Joe’s that needed to be used, but it ended up working out really well! Last night, I put some of the broccoli slaw in a tupperware and added some rice vinegar, soy sauce, and minced ginger. I shook it up and let it soak like that overnight, and then packed this as well:

I mixed the salmon and the marinated broccoli slaw together and tada…

It actually turned out great! The asian flavors went really well with the slaw and the salmon, and the crunchy slaw was a good contrast in texture. I love it when I throw together really random easy combinations that actually work. I also sliced up a fuji apple that I ate on the side:

Its funny to me how much more substantial fruit seems when I slice or chop it up rather than eat it whole. This apple took so much longer to eat than if I just ate it on the core, so I think I might start trying to slice it up regularly. I love Fujis because they are so crunchy and delicious!

For an afternoon snack, I sliced up 3 plums (last of ’em that needed to be used up!)

And I also had the last bag of cocoa almonds that I scarfed down too fast to take a picture, but I think you have an idea what those look like by now 😉

After work, I got to have my health date with Amber that got cancelled Wednesday. We try to get together about once a week and either go for a run or work out in my gym, and then make a healthy dinner. It’s so fun because I get the best of both worlds – hanging out with one of my best friends AND getting in a workout and healthy meal (and glass of wine!).

Tonight, we ended up going swimming. There is a pool in DC that is free for DC residents ($4 for VA residents like yours truly), but it is SO nice. Here’s a picture I snapped from the top:

The lanes are 50 meters long (Olympic sized), and there are several lanes available to swim in. The lanes are marked with signs that say “Fast” “Medium” and “Slow” and there are tons of kickboards and other swimming equipment available. There are really nice locker rooms/showers and also a hot tub to use! For all you DCers, its in the Tenleytown Area, right near the metro across from the Whole Foods. It’s called the Wilson Aquatic Center.

I ended up swimming laps for about 40 minutes (with a few breaks, no longer than 20 seconds) and did 17 laps in total (34 lengths of the pool), which is just over 1 mile. 16.5 laps (or 33 lengths) is a mile, but I never like to get out from the deep end so I always do the extra half lap. I love swimming because its such a different workout than running, but still such a great cardio and total body workout. I feel like when I’m in the water I’m so focused on just getting to the other end of the pool, not so much on how hard I’m working, but every time I stop my heart is beating so fast and I’m out of breath. It’s also non impact, so it gives my body a nice break from the stress I put on my joints from running.

After we finished swimming, we sat in the hot tub for a little while to chat and relax, and then decided we were super hungry so took quick showers to get the chlorine off and headed to Amber’s! It was deemed Taco Night by her boyfriend, and all the food was already prepared when we got there! Amber is a pescatarian too so its great eating with her because its never a question that healthy, veggie or fish options will be available. Here’s our table all set up

Two glasses of red wine, two plates of tacos, guacamole, salsa.. yum. The chips entered the scene shortly after this picture was snapped. Here’s my plate:

I had two tacos with corn tortillas. Each taco has veggie taco meat, chopped tomatoes, broccoli slaw (it had to be used up so I brought it!), white cheddar cheese, and some guac. I also had rice and black beans on the side. With that plate, the glass of wine, all the chips with salsa and the remaining guacamole, and the four glasses of water I drank during dinner, I was STUFFED! If I did it all over I probably would have had less chips and only one taco because I was feeling way too full at the end, but when its on Mexican food it never seems as bad… hmm.

I am exhausted so am going to hit the hay! Tomorrow I’m waking up early to run, and then we are getting on the road to visit my boyfriends mom in southern VA. I’ll check in after my run and hope your weekend is off to a great start!

And the Giveaway Winner Is…

Good morning and happy Friday!

Last night after work I was wandering towards my friend Steph’s place looking for some quick food to grab, and I saw this placed called the Couscous Cafe on 20th Street NW. The sign outside said Falafel Sandwich and a few other things, and I walked by it, and then turned around and went back to get the falafel that was calling my name. I walked in and told the the guy I’d never been there, and he said I was missing out and made me the best falafel sandwich. It had fresh homemade falafel, hummus, lettuce, and tomatoes in a pita wrap and it came with a salad.. all for $6.99. It was SO good, but then I left my camera at my friend’s house so I can’t show you pictures until later. 🙂

This morning I had a doctors appointment who I hadn’t been to in a year and she didn’t even recognize me! It felt so good to be told by a doctor how much healthier I am and how proud of me she is. When I left the doc’s office, it was POURING. Luckily I had checked the weather this AM and it said chance of rain so I threw my umbrella in my bag, but as I walked to my office, I could feel my shoes getting DRENCHED.

There is literally water pooled in the bottom of these. Thank God for the 5 pairs of shoes that have accumulated under my desk…

On the way to my office, I stopped by Starbucks

A grande extra hot skim latte. I never have lattes (because they are so $$!) but this was a treat (and a reward-to-self for going to the doctor ;)). Once I got to my desk, I threw together a yogurt bowl for breakfast

I found canned organic pumpkin at the grocery store!! i like Libby’s pumpkin the best but cannot find it ANYWHERE so I was so happy when I spotted this in the store on Wednesday. I mixed 1/4 of a cup of pumpkin with 1/2 a cup of nonfat greek yogurt, and threw in some sliced up some strawberries and a Weetabix biscuit. Along with my latte this made for quite a filling breakfast…

And now, onto the good stuff.. the Oikos winner! I used the random number generator at, and pulled #21…

HundredTenPounds: Subscribed! Carmel sounds fantastic!

Congrats Lisa! Please email your mailing address to me at, and I’ll have the Stonyfield people send out your prize stat!

TGIF! Anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend? I’m scheduled to do a 10 miler in the morning (though I don’t know if thats “exciting”) and then going to visit my boyfriends mom near Virginia Beach for the night. Should be fun!

Hectic Day

Ahh how is it already 5pm!?! Today has FLOWN by, one of the pluses of being super busy at work. I just had a big big meeting at work and am happy to report that it went really well. phew!

I am so glad that I worked out this morning because I’ve only had one small cup of coffee my my apartment building and I’m still feeling erally energized. The downside is that I’ve been ravenous all day! Almost immediately after I got to work, I dove into this:

And mixed in ~1/4 cup of fiber one. I love love love this flavor of Oikos. yum. About an hour after that my stomach was still grumbling, so I had a big Fuji apple.

Mmm i love crunchy fuji apples.

And then lunch was something new. I rarely, if ever, have frozen meals, but they are just so easy to grab for lunch when you’re running late or didn’t cook dinner the night before… So today, I remembered I had just found this at the grocery store last week:

MorningStar Farms Lasagna with Sausage-Style Crumbles. The sausage style crumbles are my absolute favorite MorningStar Farms products, so I was really excited when I spotted this in the freezer section. The nutritionals are not too bad either (though it has way more sodium than I like). 270 calories, 6grams of fat (2.5 saturated), 6grams of fiber, and 20grams of protein. It just calls for you to heat it up for 5 minutes in the microwave, but the oen at my office is SO strong I cannot tell you how many things I burned before I finally caught on. I put it in for 4 minutes but stood close in case a fire erupted…

Verdict? So good! It had lasagna noodles, cheese, “sausage” crumbles, and veggies (mostly carrots and tomatoes) and “zesty” marinara sauce (though I’d hardly call it that). There wasn’t THAT much sausage so it wasn’t too too meaty, but it was definitely one of the better frozen meals I’ve had. Won’t be a regular thing in my diet, but in a pinch, I’d have it again for sure.

I got hungry pretty soon after that, so I had some more almonds.

And then I made another snack plate an hour after that:

1 small kiwi and a small plum:

And a banana nut vitatop

I’d never tried the Banana Nut kind before and it was good! It tasted the most like a regular muffin to me of any of them, but I definitely dig the triple chocolate chunk ones the most.  I’m happy to say though that it’s been a few hours since I had the fruit and vitatop and I’m still not hungry yet. I think I calmed the beast I created with this morning’s 5 miler. Hopefully.

Small Changes = Big Results

Gina over at Fitnessista had an interesting post today about how to get started on a healthy lifestyle if you’re a newbie to the whole fitness/nutrition thing. It got me thinking back to my life a year ago (and the 24 years before that…) and how different that is from where I am today.

Right now, I eat a largely whole foods diet, consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and lean protein like fish or tofu. Had you told me that I’d be eating like this a year ago, I would have laughed in your face.

When I randomly decided I wanted to be a runner back in April 2009, I could barely jog for 30 seconds without breaking into a wheeze and wanting to throw my body on the pavement and stop. If you had told me last March I’d be signing up for a 10 mile race in a year, I would have told you there was something wrong with your head. But just last weekend, I ran 9.8 miles straight without stopping. I still had to fact check that as I was typing.

I guess the point is, you can’t expect to overhaul your entire eating and exercise regimen all at once and be successful. You have to start small and incorporate gradual changes, or it won’t work. You’ll get overwhelmed and just throw in the towel, like I had literally done every time I tried to lose weight and get healthy before this past year. The small changes really do add up, and each time you choose an apple over a donut, or to go for a walk instead of checking your fridge again our of boredom, it adds up.  I still struggle most days with eating right and in the face of temptation (hello office kitchen full of delicious treats every damn day), but each time I overcome something, I give myself a small pat on the back, and it gets a little easier. Some days are harder than others, and I still have a lot to work on (I do basically no core or flexibility training) but I’m happy with how far I’ve come. 🙂

OK enough sappiness… for now.

Lunch was leftover Mexican Casserole from last night

Topped with some pico de gallo and a few chunks of avocado. I also had a sliced orange on the side:

Which caused two separate guys in my office (who did not hear the other say it) to tell me how delicious my orange looked. It’s just an orange, people! 🙂

Afternoon Snacks:

2 kiwis and a small plum (which I cut up on a saucer using an enormous knife…)

Cocoa Roasted Almonds… love these things!

And a huge Fuji Apple as big as my head.

I had a ton of fruit this afternoon because I had none this morning and usually have some with breakfast, but the oatmeal with fiber one was super filling.

I also noticed something… I like to snack, a lot. At least its on good stuff, right? 😉

Sunny Again

Happy Hump Day!

Today’s weather prediction for DC is 67º and sunny… woohoo! I am so happy to be over the gloomy days from earlier this week.  I’m gonna give my Garmin another go tonight and I’m sure it’s going to be even more enjoyable in the sun than it was in the cold rain last night!

Breakfast today was not terribly exciting, but it was goooood and packed quite a punch.

A medium DD coffee (with Caramel flavor today) and steel-cut oats from TJ’s.

These are the steel-cut oats that are maple and brown sugar flavor from Trader Joe’s and come cooked and frozen. You just heat it up for 2 minutes in the microwave and tada – you have a fresh bowl of oats! Today I mixed 1/2 cup fiber one right into the oats and it was great. It gave it a nice texture and crunch and I am feeling really full.

I have a busy day at work today because I have a huge meeting tomorrow to get ready for, so hopefully the day will fly by! I’m looking forward to tonight because I have a Health Date with my friend Amber.. more on that later.

Don’t forget to enter the Oikos Giveaway if you haven’t already – it runs until 5pm EST tomorrow!

Hope Wednesday is treating you well so far!

Mexican Casserole Night

This Garmin Forerunner is incredible!! One of the main pros for me on the treadmill over running outside is that I can keep track of my pace, but this Garmin does that for me outside. It definitely made me work a bit harder and it was easy to keep track of how far I went and how fast I was going. I got mine on and it was supposed to be 299.99 but I got it for about half that! It’s also great because you plug it into the computer and it keeps track of your workout history for you. Love it!

Today’s run:

Distance: 5.00 miles

Total Time: 47:26.58

Average Pace: 9:28

Calories Burned: 586

After the run, I rehydrated with this:

I had never tried this flavor before and I liked it. I think I prefer plain or pineapple but this one was good too.

I had been dreaming up a Mexican Casserole all day, and here’s what I came up with.

I used (for 4 servings)

  • 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flower

I mixed all that together and put it into an 8″ pie pan:

In a heated 375 degree oven, I cooked it for 35 minutes, pulled it out and topped it with 1/2 cup RF Mozzerella Cheese:

Then I turned the oven up to 425 and threw it back in for 15 minutes till the cheese was melty and getting brown.

For toppings, I used pico de gallo, avocado, and cilantro leaves.

I also made a salad with mixed organic greens, cucumbers, radishes, and some of the pico de gallo.

Yum! It was really tasty and exactly what I was craving. I love making casseroles but I rarely take the time to make them. I’m so glad I did today because this was ooey gooey and delicious and now I have it for lunch tomorrow too!

I’m off to watch some TV and relax. Have a good night!!

Puffed Corn =/= Croutons

Just a quickie post to share my eats from today..

Lunch was leftover “Cream” of Aspargus Soup from last night. I thought I had some croutons in my pantry, but when I went to pack my lunch I didn’t spot any. I saw some puffed corn cereal instead, and thought that might work to add some crunch to my soup… total fail.

Almost immediately when I put them in the soup they got soggy and it just didn’t work at all. The soup itself was quite good though!

Afternoon snacks included another one of the Pomegranate Raspberry Bars from Target (SO good!) and some unpictured popcorn. (oops!)

I just chugged this Green Monster

Which had 1 cup light soy milk, the rest of the frozen fruit medley, a banana, and a few handfuls of spinach. I am completely out of both bags of spinach that I got at Trader Joe’s! That stuff goes FAST.

I’m gearing up for a 5 mile run, my first one since the 9.8 miler on Saturday. I’m excited because look what came in the mail yesterday…

My first time running with it!! 😀

Be back later and I promise dinner will be slightly more exciting. Hope your Tuesday is treating you well so far!

Stonyfield Oikos Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! I finally got to try the Caramel Oikos for breakfast today and omg it is so good. It is seriously hard to believe this is all natural! The yogurt is so thicky and creamy, and the caramel so gooey, its an awesome balance.

I sliced up a Fuji Apple and dipped it into the yogurt and it was delicious. Want to lick the container clean so I don’t miss any sort of good. I was hungry when I woke up today (again) so I actually ate breakfast at home for a change, but I have a juicy pear to eat when I get hungry again.

And now, for my very first blog giveaway! The people over at Stonyfield have decided to give one my of my readers an Oikos reusable tote bag and 5 coupons for free Oikos yogurt!

Oikos Greek Yogurt is so so good, so this is an awesome prize because it can also be quite expensive. They sent me some coupons to try, two of which were for the 4-packs, which are 4.99+ in the store! (Hello caramel!)

Everyone can enter up to 3 times, and here is how:

1.) Visit the Stonyfield Oikos site and leave a comment on this post saying which flavor you’d like to try or what your favorite kind is if you’re already an Oikos fan. (Honey and Caramel for me!!)

2.) Subscribe to Beth’s Journey on Google Reader or by email (lower right hand corner of the Home Page) and leave another comment on this post letting me know you have.

3.) If you have a blog, write about this giveaway and link back to this post on your blog, and leave another comment on this post saying that you did.

Giveaway starts now and runs through 5pm on Thursday, March 25th. I will pick a random winner and announce it Friday morning.

Good luck!!

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