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 random.org, and pulled #21…

HundredTenPounds: Subscribed! Carmel sounds fantastic!

Congrats Lisa! Please email your mailing address to me at bethklein@gmail.com, 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 67Âș 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 Amazon.com 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!!

“Cream” of Asparagus Soup Recipe

Today has been a great day, especially for a Monday. I came home after lunch and knew exactly what I wanted…

This Green Monster had 1 cup Light Silk Soy Milk, 1 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, lots of spinach, and some of the frozen fruit medley from yesterday (pineapples, peaches, kiwi, mango, and cantaloupe). Delish. Then I ran out to the store to get the Oikos Caramel (I found it!!) and the rest of the things I needed for…

“Cream” of Asparagus Soup

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Onion
  • Head of garlic
  • 1 Turnip
  • Bunch of Asparagus
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cups Veggie Stock
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You start by roasting the garlic. You want to slice off the top of the head so it looks like this:

And twist it up into the foil

And then throw it in the preheated oven (400) for 40 minutes. It will look like this when done:

While that is going, you wash, peel, and chop up the celery, onion, and turnip:

Then, add 2 TBSP Olive oil to a soup pan and sauté the vegetables for 20 minutes with the dried thyme and rosemary so they get soft and slightly caramelized. Once it’s gone for 20 minutes, add the vegetable broth and the roasted garlic (it will slip right out of the peel) to the pan:

Let that go for another 20 minutes and then remove it from the heat and let it cool.

While that is cooling, chop off the ends of the asparagus, and then cut them into thirds:

You want to boil another pot of boil so you can blanch the asparagus. We did it in two batches, doing the heads separately so we could use it as a garnish. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus and let the water come back to a boil, and then let them go for two minutes.

You want to have an ice bath ready, which is basically iced water so it will stop the cooking process of the asparagus. Here’s our ice bath:

Once the asparagus has been in there for 2 minutes, you transfer it to the icebath

The reason for the ice bath is that it stops the cooking process, and helps the asparagus stay really green. Here they are blanched and chilled, and ready for the blender:

Now it’s time to put everything together for the soup. You take what was in the soup pot first (after letting it cool), and put it in the blender. Use a low speed (the lowest your blender goes) and make sure you don’t seal the blender air tight (leave the lid a little loose) or else the steam will make the top come off when you turn it on.

Now you add in the asparagus, blend it until its all broken up, and you’re done!

I also toasted a demi baguette to have with the soup

And a glass of Vouvray

All together now…

We did the spears separate from the bottoms of the asparagus to we could use it as a garnish, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want (you can do the asparagus all together and blend the spears into the soup as well). Croutons or greek yogurt would make an awesome garnish for this soup, too. The soup was soo good, and it has a thick and creamy texture, even though there is no cream!

And here’s whats for dessert:

Sharon’s lemon sorbet with chopped strawberries. Yum!

Now I’m off to watch the Nurse Jackie Season Premier (!!!).

Have a good night!!

Leftovers.. Mmm

The day is still gloomy, but I’m having quite a productive day at work. I had lunch in the conference room with a few coworkers and it was nice to eat away from my desk for once.

Leftover Mahi and Shrimp Stew from last night.. yum! I put ~ 2/3 cup brown rice in the bottom of the bowl, the heated up the leftover stew and poured it over. It was delicious, and to be honest I was a little worried about it stinking up the office kitchen since its got fish in there, but it didn’t smell at all! I just feel bad if I heat something up and it makes the whole office reek… how considerate I am 😉

Afternoon snacks included a 100 calorie pack of Cocoa Roasted Almonds

A sliced up Fuji Apple

And a Golden Corn Vitatop Muffin

This is the first time I tried the Golden Corn kind, and I really liked it. It tasted just like cornbread to me and had a good texture (not too dry). I got the idea to toast one of these and eat it with Veggie Chili… yum!

I’ve been in a really snacky mood today, so I’ve given in. 🙂 Gotta get through til 5 and then I’m gonna get in a nice workout and maybe run to the grocery store to find the 4-packs of Oikos Caramel or Chocolate… I tried to find them yesterday but my store was out. I’ve heard really good things about these flavors so I want to try them!

Gloomy Monday Morning

Today is a rainy, gloomy day here in DC, which I guess is making me feel a little bit better about being stuck in an office. This morning I woke up feeling really good and well rested… I think sleeping in both mornings this weekend really left me refreshed! I had such a nice weekend enjoying the gorgeous weather outside so it’s always a little depressing when it comes to an end..

I started off today with a MEDIUM coffee, first try at this size so we’ll see how it goes.

On the metro ride in, I was reading Women’s Health Magazine (one of the few magazines I have subscriptions to… if you haven’t read this one, you should. It’s really informative and has a ton of great food and workout ideas, but its also filled with tons of other interested info, weight loss success stories, cool articles, etc.) There was a Q&A in the “The Doctor is In” section that grabbed my attention.

Q: If I don’t have my morning coffee before 9am, I get a pounding headache. Why?

A: You’re most likely hooked on the caffeine and experience withdrawal. Typically, the throbbing kicks in about 12 to 14 hours after you’ve had your last cup, so if you guzzle after-dinner java, you’ll be feeling the pain the next morning. This also explains why some people get early-evening headaches. Recent studies suggest that a moderate amount of daily caffeine (up to three small coffees, or 400 milligrams a day) can have a positive effect on your overall health – for example, reducing the risks for diabetes, Parkinson’s, and liver disease. But too much of the stimulant can bring on nasty headaches, as well as long-term insomnia and increased heart rate.

I thought that was really interesting, and made me feel a bit less bad about my caffeine addiction. I am happy to report that I haven’t had a headache since last weekend even though I have ranged from having one mug of coffee at home up to a venti Americano from Starbucks throughout the week. I think the headaches were a combination of getting over a headcold plus the caffeine withdrawal, but I’m just feeling less bad about my habit.

For breakfast, I had some cut up strawberries

and an Oikos Honey Greek Yogurt.

Oikos is definitely one of my favorite Greek yogurts. This is made by Stonyfield Organic, which has a reputation for making delicious organic There is honey on the bottom of this kind and it’s so thicky and creamy. The ingredient list is organic milk, organic honey, organic sugar, pectin, and organic carbob bean gum. I love short ingredient lists, especially when flavor isn’t sacrificed, and this stuff is SO good.

Tomorrow I will be running my very first blog giveaway from Oikos, so stay tuned!

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