Slow Down!

I was pretty excited when I was setting my alarm last night and realized I got to sleep in/didn’t have to be into work until 10:30am today! I had requested to use the last 1.5 hours of comp time from my conference last month (because you have to use it within 30 days) and it slipped my mind. That allowed for a leisurely morning, so I woke up at 8:30am and watched the Today Show while I sipped my coffee.. one thing I majorly miss out on from working in an office. As soon as I got up though, I felt like a 90 year old woman. My quads were SO SORE, literally it hurt to get out of bed, stand up, sit down, etc. Bad news.

I snacked on 1/4 of a large cantaloupe:

while I started making steel cut oats. I made two servings so I can bring one in for breakfast tomorrow, and mixed in vanilla extract and some agave syrup. I topped it off with 1/2 cup of fiber one, but the camera ate the picture. Watched a bit more of the Today Show and then headed to the metro and into work!

The day goes by so fast when there’s 1.5 hours less of it, really. For lunch I had leftovers from last night’s feast, reworked a bit:

I used 3 leftover falafel patties and one pita, and had it over romaine with sprouts. I also used a bunch of unpictured leftover tzatziki. Yum.

After lunch, my friend from work, Emily, asked me to go on a walk with her and I welcomed the opportunity to get out of the office. Sometimes I get really jealous of people who live in the country and have amazing trails to run on and scenic views out their door, but today, I was pretty appreciative of what’s right outside of my office:

Oh you know, just the White House! 🙂 We stopped and got some green tea at Starbucks before looping back to the office and the rest of the day went by like that.

When I got home I decided to do some low key working out to loosen up my legs and then do some stretching. I walked for 15 minutes, jogged slowly for 26 minutes, and then did 15 minutes on the elliptical. Afterwards I stretched for a long time, and I’m definitely feeling a lot better, though still pretty sore.

For dinner, I had been dying to use these Soba Noodles I bought:

I also had some pre-cubed tofu and some frozen Chinese Stir-Fry Veggies (Broccoli, Carrots, Mushrooms, Onions, Red Pepper, Water Chestnuts, and Sugar Snap Peas – awesome!), so I decided to make a meal of it!

I boiled some water for the soba noodles, and while that was coming to a boil, I sauteed garlic and ginger in some nonstick olive oil spray:

Once that got going a bit and started smelling fragrant, I added the tofu, along with a little veggie broth, fish sauce, and red chili paste:

I cooked that and stirred it all together for about 10 minutes until it starting getting brown and looked like this:

While that was cooking, I boiled the soba noodles and rinsed them with cold water. I set aside about half the tofu for lunch tomorrow, and then put half the soba noodles into the pan with the tofu:

In another pan, I heated a little of the veggie broth and then added the frozen vegetables. Once those were defrosted, I added them to the pan with the noodles and tofu, and added a little bit more fish sauce and red chili paste and mixed it all together. The result turned out great and was really flavorful, filling, and healthy!

Definitely something I will make again (and have tomorrow for lunch!).

I think all of have a few things we need to work on health wise, and one of the main things that I struggle with is how fast I eat. I tend to polish down food before I even realize I’m eating it, and it has been proven that there’s a delay between when you put food into your stomach and when your brain realized you’re full. I have always been a fast eater, and I’m sure this has contributed to my struggles with weight. Tonight, I tried a new tactic that I’ve heard can help – I used chopsticks to eat my dinner. It even went with the Asian theme…

Results? It definitely worked at slowing me down a bit, but I am pretty good with chopsticks because I’ve been using them since I was a kid, so I was still eating pretty fast. 😉 While I think I might try to use them more often because it did help some, I don’t think using chopsticks is a really feasible everyday thing for me, but we’ll see!

Only 4 more days of work for me until Puerto Rico!!! I cannot wait! 🙂

Mezze!

I had in mind that I wanted to make falafel for dinner because I had purchased this mix at the store:

The mix just called to add water and was all natural so I was excited about it. But then my boyfriend suggested we add a few other dishes to the mix to make a mezze feast, which is basically the same thing as tapas but with a Mediterranean twist instead of Spanish, so small plates. We ran out to the grocery store and ended up making a spread that you would think we had invited a few other people over to enjoy with us, but that wasn’t the case… ha

He took over the falafel and ended up adding diced up zucchini and red onions to the mix in addition to the water, and made them into patties:

We then pan fried those with a little olive oil and nonstick spray

My boyfriend made a shrimp and chickpea dish and we picked up some dips and pita to go with the theme. I also made a tzatziki sauce similar to the one from last night, but with nonfat yogurt as a base instead of the sour cream. The sauce had the yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and went perfectly with the falafel. Here’s a picture of the spread:

I told you we should have invited some more people over! 🙂 That is forty spice hummus, toasted pita, fruit salad, tzatziki sauce, the chickpea and shrimp dish, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, olives with feta, and babaganoush (eggplant dip). It was incredible ,but obviously way too much food. At least I have lunch for a few days!

Here’s a picture of my plate:

I ate most of this and may or may not have gone back for another pieces of falafel. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the olives and feta mix that we got at the olive bar at the grocery store. It was just way too salty for me so I turned those all over to my boyfriend, but everything else was awesome.

My official chip time for the 5k came in after dinner… 28:50 which is a 9min17sec mile which I am pretty happy about. It’s my fastest 5k time to date so that is exciting but I definitely felt like I could have gone faster if I felt better during the run. Next race is April 11th, 6 weeks from today! It’s a 10 mile race, which will be my farthest race to date. I have done 2 10ks before but never further than that in an official setting, so this should be a challenge, but I’m actually looking forward to it.

Time to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend… Big Love tonight and this is the last episode before the finale!! Hope you all had a great weekend. 🙂

Love the Run You’re With 5k Race Recap

I’m done with my first race of 2010! And to be honest, it didn’t go as well as I was hoping. Next time I think it’s a good idea to try a newish activity the day before a race, remind me it’s not ;). I woke up this morning and my quads were so sore and after a few minutes I realized it’s probably because I decided to run on an incline yesterday on the treadmill. Because I didn’t want to go fast to loosen up, I was going at 5.6mph, which is a lot slower than I’m used to. It didn’t feel challenging enough, so I opted for the incline, but in retrospect, it probably would have been better just to go with the elliptical.

I woke up at 7:15am and made some coffee in the french press and frothed some skim milk. I gotta say that frothing the milk for my coffee makes such a huge difference in how much I enjoy it.. I really feel like I’m at a coffee shop but then I look around and realize I’m just in my apartment… sad story.

I even put a little pumpkin pie spice on top! For pre-race fuel, along with the coffee, I had:

1 Whole Wheat Thomas Bagel Thin with 1 tbsp almond butter and a sliced up banana. I ate it like a sandwich:

After having breakfast and coffee, I got into my gear and headed out the door!

It turned out to be way colder than I was expecting and even started flurrying. My friend was supposed to run it with me but bailed last minute, so I was there by myself which is always a little awkward when you have no one to talk to before or after the race! Then the race started and I just was not feeling that great during the run for some reason. Just one of those days, I guess, and my quads were really sore. I think I had put a lot of pressure on myself to go really fast so all the build up just didn’t pan out well. I just wanted the run to be over for most of the race. I much prefer enjoying the run while its going on.. maybe next time.

My official time was 28:50 which is a 9m17s pace, which is still pretty good for me, but not 27m48s like my treadmill 5k from Wednesday! They were giving away Coconut Waters after the race, so I grabbed… 4 🙂 I love free stuff, don’t hate.

I drank this and then had 3 clementines post race.

I tried unsuccessfully to get the skins off in one piece but failed 3x in a row. I still have a lot left in the bag so hopefully I’ll be able to prove my clementine peeling skills before the end of the bag.

I took a bubble bath and am now just having a relaxing Sunday. My quads are still really sore so I think I’m just going to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Post Workout Glow

Jen over at Prior Fat Girl routinely puts up pictures of weight loss bloggers of their post-workout sweaty selves, so I just submitted that picture to her. 🙂

This sweat was a result of:

  • 12 minutes on the stationary bike at level 10 (3.25 miles)
  • Upper body weights: Bicep Curls, Tricep Dips, Rows, Chest Press
  • Running 5.6 mph at 2.5-3.5 incline for 42 minutes (~ 4 miles)

It was a great workout and I did the run really slow just to loosen up because I am hoping to be a speedster tomorrow at my 5k! Adding the incline makes it so much harder, and I rarely run on an incline so I always forget how much of a difference it makes.

I had half of this PURE bar before my workout, and half after. It was GOOD. It’s all organic and raw (nothing is cooked!) and the list of ingredients was so simple it made me smile.

After showering away my post workout glow ( 😉 ) I made dinner for my boyfriend and I and I did good! I made a salad with spinach, roasted peppers, and cucumbers, and then did baked potatoes with broiled salmon. I made a cucumber dill sauce that went with both the salmon and the potato and even the chef was impressed! =)

That is light sour cream, dill, shallots, cucumber, salt and pepper before I mixed it all together. And then:

This sauce was SO good. I will definitely be making it again!

This blurry picture does not do the meal justice, I swear. We devoured the plates within a few minutes (and used all of the cucumber dill sauce!). Nothing terribly exciting going on tonight because I have to get up early for the 5k tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Surprise Trader Joe’s Shopping Spree

I always love to see what other people buy in a trip at the grocery store (almost as much as getting a glimpse inside their fridge!) so I figured I would return the favor 😉

I ended up dropping my boyfriend off at work and there is a Trader Joe’s on the way home, so I decided to stop by. I didn’t want to go too crazy because I leave one week from today for Puerto Rico (!!!) but needed to grab a few things. I definitely ended up getting more things than I planned on, but that always happens so what can ya do.

Twas quite a successful shopping trip and here’s a picture of the goods!

  • Organic Fuji Apples
  • Organic Bananas
  • Idaho Potatoes
  • Clementines
  • Seedless Cucumber
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Fresh mint
  • Frozen whole kernel corn
  • Frozen edamame (shelled and in the pods)
  • Frozen maple and brown sugar steel cut oats
  • 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Soy cheese slices
  • Weetabix Cereal
  • Whole wheat pitas
  • 2 Luna Bars
  • 2 PURE bars
  • Miso Udon Noodle bowl
  • Fire roasted tomatoes
  • Roasted red and yellow peppers
  • 100 Calorie dark chocolate bars

All of this deliciousness came for just over $40! I’m not sure which I love more; Trader Joe’s or grocery shopping in general. I don’t know why but I love love love grocery shopping. I usually go 2-3 times a week and make the rounds to different grocery stores. I am a big bargain shopper so I like to get whats on sale and go to several stores for the specific products they carry cheaper than other places. I also love to look for new healthy things that I haven’t tried before (this time – the udon noodle bowl, soy cheese slices, and the Weetabix cereal) and look as it as more fun than a chore! I know there’s gotta be other people out there who enjoy it as much as I do……

After the shopping extravaganza, I was hungry again so I decided to make a smashed black bean pita. I first saw this idea on Healthy Tipping Point with kidney beans. You basically smash the beans with a fork or a spoon and they stick together a little bit more than just whole beans.

I used:

  • 1 whole wheat pita
  • 1/2 cup seasoned black beans, smashed
  • romaine lettuce
  • sprouts
  • roasted red and yellow peppers

I also had a small salad with the romaine, sprouts, and roasted peppers. Plus, a cup of seedless red grapes on the side:

And mandarin sparkling water:

I’ve been reading Skinny Bitch for the past few days and while the language is a bit over the top (and I consider myself pretty hard to offend!) a lot of the information is quite eye opening, especially about the USDA, EPA, and FDA. I’ll do a full review on the book once I’m finished with it, but once you get past the offensive language, there is a lot of disturbing information in there about the government and its regulation (or lack thereof) of what we put into our bodies, and their ties with the meat and dairy industry. It’s all pretty twisted!

Favorite Weekend Breakfast

Ahh, Saturday. Definitely my favorite day of the week because tomorrow is the weekend, too! Besides not having to work, one of my favorite things about the weekends is having more time to make breakfast and not having to eat it at my desk. I’m not usually that hungry when I first wake up, so I have a cup of coffee while I think about what to make.

Today, I was craving an egg white scramble so I looked in the fridge to see what I had to throw in there. I found some onions, spinach, and fresh pico de gallo. I sauteed the onion first in a little olive oil nonstick spray and then added the spinach. I don’t think it’ll ever cease to amaze me how much spinach cooks down. It went from this:

To this:

in no time! I added in the egg whites after and then topped it with the pico de gallo on the plate:

Toasted a whole wheat Thomas Bagel Thin on the side:

Overall, a delicious, easy and satisfying breakfast!

On the agenda for the rest of the day:

  • Pick up my race packet for the Love the Run You’re With 5k tomorrow!
  • Work out
  • RELAX
  • Laundry, cleaning, and other exciting household chores

My favorite kind of Saturday! Hope you are all enjoying yours, too! 🙂

Summer Rolls

Ever since reading on Ash is Fit about her Summer Rolls, I have been CRAVING them. So, today, I decided to run out and get all the ingredients to make them for dinner!  After the trip to the grocery store, I did a quick workout. I have a 5k coming up on Sunday called “Love the Run You’re With.” It was supposed to be on Valentine’s Day, but got postponed because of the snow. I wanted to do a test run to see how fast I could comfortably go on the treadmill and 5k loop is one of the options on the machine in my gym. I started out at 6.4mph for the first .5 miles or so, then upped it to 6.7mph for the next 2 miles, then upped it to between 7.0 and 7.5 for the last mile, finishing the 5k in 27min48seconds. I was really happy to see that time because my fastest 5k to date has been 28min 35seconds, so that is almost a minute faster! I will be so excited to finish the 5k in under 28 minutes on Sunday, so wish me luck! I also did 15 minutes on the elliptical after running on the treadmill for good measure.

Making summer rolls is really fun and hands-on! It’s helpful to get all your ingredients ready to go before you start doing the rolls because the rice paper is kind of difficult to work with. Here is my spread:

Cilantro, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, shrimp, and cucumbers. These are the wrappers I used:

The rice wrappers are crispy and almost plastic-like straight out of the package. You have to soak them in hot water for 20-30 seconds, then carefully take them out of the water, lay them flat, put your ingredients in the center and try to wrap it up. Even though I’ve made these before, it took a few tries to get it right because the paper can be tricky!

Ta-da! All together now…

When you get these in Vietnamese restaurants, they are usually made with rice noodles, not bean sprouts, but I decided to lighten them up and not use the noodles. They are very low calorie made like this and still delicious and pretty to look at! Definitely something I’ll be making again. I have three to bring for lunch tomorrow, and I put together a little dipping sauce for them with soy sauce, agave nectar, and fish sauce (kind of like dumpling sauce). Yum!

Couscous Salad

Happy Hump Day everyone! 🙂

Yesterday turned out to be a good, productive day. I had a baked sweet potato with black beans and pineapple salsa (from Trader Joe’s) for lunch with a salad on the side. The sweet potato black bean combo is delicious; you have to try it if you haven’t before. I had a sliced red bell pepper on the side.

After work, I did a workout of 2.75 miles on the treadmill (26 minutes), 26 minutes on the elliptical, and upper body weights (back, chest, biceps, triceps).

For dinner, I made a couscous salad. I love making couscous salad because it’s light, delicious, and you can make it with pretty much anything you have around the house. Last night, I used a cucumber (seeds removed and chopped), a chopped red bell pepper, a can of chickpeas, couscous, the juice of one lemon, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Here’s a picture of all the ingredients, minus the couscous. I ended up adding some shrimp on top for protein and had roasted cauliflower on the side, and put 1 tsp olive oil on each the couscous and the cauliflower. Other variations I have made with the couscous salad have included using kidney beans or another type of beans in place of the chickpeas, and using spinach, tomatoes, and a variety of other veggies. I also have tossed olive oil through the salad, and pretty much any way you do it it turns out great!

And now for a slight update on the Beck Diet Solution book. I have started going through it, and honestly it is really speaking to me. It talks all about the differences in the way a lot of people who struggle with their weight v. naturally thin people think, and literally everything they say about people who struggle with their weight is something I experience. It says naturally thin people don’t panic when they’re hungry, they say “It’s OK. Lunch will be in a few hours.” and then do something else. To me, that is crazy! When I think I might get hungry, I start to freak out. It also says it’s going to help me to learn to differentiate between physical hunger and the desire to eat, which before starting this book, I hadn’t given too much thought to.

The basic idea of the book is that there are six weeks of exercises, and you do a new one each day. Day One included making an Advantages Response Card where you list all the reasons why you want to lose weight.

That’s a picture of mine. You have to commit to reading it at least twice a day, and set a reminder system somehow so you don’t forget. I put a task in my outlook daily in the morning for me to read it, and then am just leaving it up to myself to remember to read it again later in the day. The next day involved choosing two diets, Plan A and Plan B. I am obviously going with Weight Watchers, and Plan B for me will be the Simply Filling Technique (which I have been toying with the idea of switching over to lately anyways). Day three involves committing to only eating while sitting down.

So, I’m obviously still in the beginning stages of this book, but I think it’s going to be pretty eye opening. Even if I don’t fully follow through with everything in it, I can already tell that it’s making a difference in the way that I’m thinking, and I’m looking forward to getting deeper into the book and trying out some more of the exercises.

For those of you who have gone through this book before, have you stuck to it to a T and followed each of the tasks day by day, or have you just read it and allowed it to open your eyes a bit and been more flexible with the tasks than Dr. Beck suggests?

Hope you are all having a great Wednesday so far!

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