Strawberries

CSA Day and Roses!

Good Morning and Happy Thursday! It is sooooo humid outside still, but they are saying rain is on its way which should help some. I cannot wait for this to break so I can go for a run outdoors! I’m happy to report that I am feeling nearly 100% better since I started having those stomach issues/feeling weird on Tuesday night. I think it was largely do the heat and humidity and not drinking enough water, but also maybe partly a minor stomach bug/virus. Whatever the case, I’m feeling better.

Last night I went to the mall after work for a bit to check out the sale at Express. I got a really cute dress and a pair of shoes.. both for $22!! All of their clearance stuff is an additional 30% off.. score! I split a pretzel with Emily from Aunt Anne’s and it was awesome – though 4 points for just half of it! I was glad to have someone to share it with because the whole thing is 8, which is a ton for something that won’t fill you up!

I just made a simple dinner of an egg on toast:

It was one fried egg (2 pts), with 1 oz reduced fat mozzarella (1 pt) and 1 tsp garlic gold (0 pts) on 1 slice of wheat toast (1 pt). I also had a mini bar from Weight Watchers which is actually awesome:

It has pretzels, chocolate, caramel, and peanuts (plus a ton of other ingredients on the not-so-short list) but is also 1 point and a nice little treat.

This morning I got to pick up my CSA and it was full of fruit again! Love love love.

Look how beautiful those apricots are! Plus there were plums, peaches, swiss chard, and green onions. I love it when there’s so much fruit in the box because I feel like I really get my money’s worth… I’m excited to see how the season progresses!

Breakfast was overnight oats and I went back to adding yogurt and soy milk, instead of just soy milk like I have been for a while. It makes a huge difference in the texture – – it gets thicker and creamier with the yogurt in there instead of just the soy milk.

Into the mix:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (1 pt)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (.5 pts)

Having a cold breakfast like this is essential on days like today!

When I walking outside to my balcony to check the weather, I walked by my birthday flowers and they looked so pretty I had to take a pic!

Good job, Wil! 🙂 I also got the Sony E-Reader Touch, which is like a Kindle but it’s touch screen. I bought Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food last night and just started reading it on there this morning.. it is SO cool!

Have you read any good books lately that you’d recommend?

Unchargeable

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Ugh. My laptop died last night while I had it plugged in and only then did I realize my charger was not working. It was sad because I had an awesome meal on the roof at a nice restaurant followed by self serve fro yo and took lots of great pics. I loaded them onto my computer and selected delete from device after uploading just befote it died. So this really puts a wrench in my blogging plans for the weekend but ill try to blog from my phone as much as I can because I want to keep you guys posted on how I’m doing with being on track during my business trip.

After the course yesterday I went to the gym again and did arm weights. They only have free weights so I did biceps triceps pushups and some other random things with a weighted ball. I need to learn to do more stuff without instruction or machines. After that I did 40 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, alternating between incline of 4 with 1 resistance and incline of 10 with 8 resistance every 2 minutes. I did 5 minutes cool down for a total of 4.35 miles and 552 calories according to the machine. (I know the calorie count is off but I still like to look at it).

After the workout And shower I went to Nonna’s, a cute restaurant in Bricktown. I got a salad to start which was awesome! It had fried goat cheese on it along with strawberries and sliced radishes but I’m sure you can guess which the star ingredient was for me. For my main course I ordered an appetizer which was out of this world. It had avocado, mango and crab and was stacked Napoleon style in a cylindrical shape. It Wish topped with microgreens for garnish and was served with crostini. Oh my was it good! Avocado plus mango plus crab!? Match made in heaven. I must recreate this at home. I also had a glass of Viogner (white wine) with my meal which was perfect. I actually got to sit upstairs on the outdoor patio and it was a beautiful night so it was a gray experience. I left with a smile on my face.

After dinner I wandered around Bricktown a bit more and went to a frozen yogurt place that just opened over the weekend. It was super cute inside and had 16 flavors from peanut butter to pomegranate to cheesecake to pineapple. There were also toms of toppings and since it was self serve it was fun to put a little bit of everything I wanted on there (and not pay a dollar for each topping!) I ended up being boring and getting original tart flavor, but I topped it with raspberries, kiwi, mochi, and organic granola. It was awesome! I definitely plan to return again before I leave okc.

I just had an early night reading a book (side note – I have not turned on my TV once since I’ve been here!). This morning I went to the breakasr buffet at the hotel and it was really good! They had an omelet to order station, tons of fruit, hot dishes, oatmeal that looked a little funky, bagels and lox, plus cereal and milk. I ended up going with an eggwhite omelet with all the veggies they had – mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and spinach. I asked them to use as little oil as possible and also found out it was a mix of olive and calls oils, so quite healthy. I also loaded my plate up with fruit – pineapple, strawberries and melon, plus had a small cup of skim milk. It was delicious and I feel a lot less cranky than I did yesterday!

Busy day again today but ill be back.

Make me jealous – what are your plans for the weekend? Ill be having a blast working 14+ hour days…

Leftovers!

Hey! Today is FLYING by. I loved reading all your comments on today’s Yoga Pose May post about your favorite types of yoga/positions. One funny little story is that my friend Kara read it, and she saw the first picture and said “That looks SO easy. I could totally do that!” before scrolling down and realizing giving yourself a yoga hug isn’t the WHOLE posture, just step 1. Ha!

Today’s lunch was leftovers from Wednesday night’s Chinese food plus a little office leftovers mixed in! I had the rest of the Mooshi Veggies with the hoisin sauce on two of the pancakes.

These are so good. I have no idea what the nutritionals are but they can’t be TOO bad since its mostly veggies and a little egg. They are kind of doused in the sauce but I’m going to pretend its really good for me. 🙂 My boyfriend had ordered Schezuan Jumbo Shrimp with Veggies and had some leftover veggies, so I added in 1/2 cup of black beans and threw it over a bed of spinach on the side.

It felt good to use all the leftovers because a lot of times we don’t use them all before they go bad, and I hate wasting food! This was really delicious – the Schezuan sauce was spicy but it was evened out by the beans + spinach.

For dessert I had the rest of the Farmer’s Market strawberries.

But then I was told there were leftovers in the conference room from a work lunch, so I had to check it out! I grabbed all the fruit that was garnishing the cookie and sandwich plates, and added it to my strawberries.

Some starfruit and kiwi, and one strawberry. The strawberry was not good compared to the fresh ones from the farmer’s market! It was firm and not sweet at all. I also had to snag one of the cute little cookies:

How cute is that!? Yum.

Now I’m off to wrap up the day so I can get ready for this long weekend!! Does anyone have any fun plans? I’m just laying low and lounging by the pool if weather permits, but cannot wait to just relax and hopefully get a little less pasty!

Audience

Hey! It is so gorgeous outside today that it feels sinful to be inside all day. I did go outside for a quick trip to Starbucks and got an Unsweetened Venti Iced Green Tea. I always laugh (usually to myself) about how many words there are when you want to order something from starbucks. I always get them in the wrong order even though I normally get the same things.. better luck next time.

Lunch today was an oldie but a goodie, a “baked” sweet potato with black beans and pineapple salsa.

I just nuked the potato on the “Baked Potato” setting (about 3 minutes) and then added 1/2 cup canned black beans. I normally don’t rinse them when using them over a baked potato so they add some moisture. On top was some pineapple salsa from Trader Joe’s. This combo is awesome. If you’ve not yet tried it, you must. It’s so easy to just throw a sweet potato in your bag for lunch and nuke it at the office if you have a microwave.

On the side, I had a monster salad.

This had:

  • Arugula
  • Fresh Basil
  • Babybell Light Cheese
  • Radishes
  • Turnips

I’d never had raw turnips before Sunday night’s dinner when my boyfriend sliced them on a mandolin. These ones are baby turnips so they are quite tender and really taste great on a salad. I also loved having the fresh basil – fresh herbs make such a difference in your salad. I don’t usually have fresh herbs around that much, but we bought a big container of organic basil for pizza night and I’ve been using it wherever I can ever since then.

I ended the meal with some strawberries

These were from the Farmer’s market yesterday and were so little and sweet! What a difference from the huge strawberries I’ve been buying at the grocery store recently. These almost melted in your mouth and had such a good flavor. Yum.

As I was putting my lunch together today, I had an audience. A few of my coworkers came in to the kitchen to watch me assemble it and were asking lots of questions about the ingredients, how often and where I shop, if I come up with ideas on my own or if I get them from my boyfriend (since he’s a chef!). It was kind of funny but also pretty flattering! I love that I’m now known as the healthy one and people come to me for food/nutrition advice and ideas. Makes me smile because this is such a 180 from my life 1.5 years ago.

Have you made any major changes in your lifestyle? Have others noticed? Do you like it when they say things or prefer they’d leave you alone?

Diet v. Exercise

Good morning and Happy Friday! I had the hardest time falling asleep last night even though I was tired – I think that 2 hour nap really threw me off. Though not feeling very well rested, I did wake up feeling good health-wise. My throat doesn’t hut at all and I’m really proud of myself for taking care of myself and fighting this sickness off before it got bad. I was in the mood for pancakes when I woke up, but I was dragging and running behind and didn’t have time to cook them without being ridiculously late for work, so I went another route.

This morning, I mixed together:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2/3 cup almond milk

And then I made a Breakfast Parfait by layering a sliced banana, a few strawberries, and the oats together.

It was delicious and so simple. Making parfaits out of “overnight oats” (can I really call them that when they don’t sit overnight?) makes them a lot more fun and spreads the toppings throughout. Yum!

I got the new issue of Women’s Health Magazine yesterday and I am loving it so far. This is definitely one of my favorite mags, and there was an interesting article in there asking whether diet or exercise is the primary factor affecting certain things. I was surprised by some of the answers, but take a stab at these and I’ll report the correct answers at lunch.

1.) Lose Weight

2.) Boost Energy

3.) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

4.) Prevent Diabetes

5.) Prevent Cancer

6.) Improve Mood

Do you think diet or exercise works best for each of these 6 factors?

Also, I never heard from the winner of the KIND Bar Giveaway, so I’ll post a new winner at lunch today as well.

Chiacake Tacos

Good morning! It’s Fridayyyyy! Woohoo! I looked at Women’s Health Mag’s Day 5 Tips for National Women’s Health Week and loved the tips because they are all about healthy weight loss, something I can totally relate to. The tips are very simple and straightforward, but I think its good to see them put out so simply to get back to the basics.

  1. Eat when you’re hungry! This one is a lot easier said than done, but obviously makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to limit yourself and not eat when you’re physically hungry, but you also don’t want to give into emotional eating out of boredom, sadness, happiness, etc etc. For me, this is a constant struggle. When food is in front of me, my impulse is to eat it whether I’m hungry or not. Recently I’ve been working on listening to my hunger cues, but also controlling my environment. If there are chips and salsa (or guac!) out, I will eat them, hands down. So, I try to either move away from the snacks (after having a few, of course) or just put them away if I’m at my own house. I’d love to have the self control to have them out there and just resist, but I’m not there yet.
  2. Be realistic. This is why I love Weight Watchers so much. I tried Atkins and was quite successful on the program, but gained back nearly all of the weight I lost once I started eating carbs again. Cutting out any food group is just not realistic longterm (for me – especially carbs!), and you need to be able to make lifestyle changes, not just quick fixes. Weight Watchers is great because it helps you learn how to navigate certain social situations, gives you a supportive group of people who struggle with the same things you do so you don’t feel alone, and doesn’t have you cut out any one food group, even cake and sweets. I think being realistic is also super important in terms of time frame. The longer it takes you take off the weight, the longer it’ll stay off. I think having milestones or mini goals can be a good motivator to help you stay on track, but not if you’re going to set unrealistic goals and beat yourself up if you don’t reach them. My weight loss journey started in 2005 and I’ve been working hard and focusing on weight loss for over a year and am not even there yet (but am getting very close).
  3. Get moving. This one goes without saying. You don’t NEED to exercise to lose weight, but you do need to exercise to maintain weight loss, and to be healthy overall! It doesn’t mean you have to compete in triathlons or run for hours on end (see point #2 – be realistic!) but you do need to do something. Walking can be a good starting point for a long of people, but its good to change up your activity, and find something you love! And don’t be afraid to try new things – you might surprise yourself. I never in a million years thought I’d love running – I literally used to do anything in my power to avoid doing the mandatory laps at soccer practice when I was a kid and would call out sick during the day of the mile run in gym class. But for me, I love the challenge of running and even though I’ve had a brief hiatus from it recently, I’m happy to be back to it!

What do you think about these tips? Any other big ones you think are important to be mindful of?

Now, today’s breakfast! This one was pretty amazing. I made Chia Cake Batter with:

I couldn’t decide what I wanted for toppings on the pancakes, so I did something a little different on each one!

One with almond butter & banana, one with greek yogurt & strawberries, and one with coconut flakes & hershey’s syrup. I picked these up and ate them like tacos, as seen on Kath’s blog (except she actually cooked them in taco shapes, I made mine normal and just rolled ’em up!). I’ll use any excuse I can to eat with my hands.

Do you see how thick and fluffy these pancakes are? The chia seeds soak up all the liquid (which is why I used more than normal today) and make for the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes.

Nom, nom, nom.

7 Reasons to Bike

Hiya! I found a really interesting article on Womens Health Magazine’s website about biking and why its good for you. I’m trying to break myself of this mentality because I know it’s good for me, but I find biking to be a lot easier than running. Sometimes I let myself feel guilty when I bike instead of run, which is ridiculous! It’s easier on your joints, its FUN, you can go so much faster and cover more mileage, and its an awesome supplement to my workout routine. Knowing all this though, I sometimes feel like I don’t get the same quality of workout that I do with running. This article was good for me because it solidified a lot of what I already knew but also taught me some new things (#3 and#6).

7 Reasons to Start Bike Riding

  1. Calorie burn – The average woman burns 488 calories biking 12-14mph.
  2. Good for On the Go – If you live within 5 miles of work, biking to work 2x a week burns an extra 3,000 calories a month, which is almost 1 pound of fat you could lose just from using your bike to commute.
  3. Total Body Workout – Obviously your legs, quads, calves and glutes are working to keep the pedals going, but you work your upper body too with controlling the handlebars, so you get toned all over.
  4. Boosts Energy & Fights Fatigue – A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. This is because biking causes your brain to release dopamine which is directly related to energy.
  5. Easy on Joints – It puts a lot less pressure on your knees, ankles, and joints than running or walking.
  6. Every Muscle Feels It – Biking uphill, 1/2 sitting 1/2 standing, engages your core and your triceps in addition to your legs and upper body.
  7. Protects your Heart – It lowers your blood pressure and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases aerobic fitness, all big fighters against heart disease.

I’m going for a bike ride tonight after work so in an effort to pump myself up, thought I’d share this with you all. 🙂

Lunch today turned out to be better than I anticipated. I just wasn’t that excited about it, but it ended up being really delicious and satisfying! I had a bowl of leftover soup from last night

This soup was really chunky and delicious, and held up really well over night. It was perfect to contrast with the crappy weather here in DC. 🙂 Along with the soup, I had an awesome Strawberry Mango Salad.

This salad had:

  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 mango, chopped
  • 5 large strawberries, chopped
  • 1 serving light feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 green onion, chopped

It was SO good! The green onions made such a difference and I almost forgot about them after getting them at the Farmer’s Market last week. I still have a ton left and love using them with eggs, in quesadillas, and on salads. I asked my boyfriend (the chef) if I could eat them just as a veggie, and he said they grill them whole at the restaurant and eat them just like that! I’ve yet to do that, but could be tasty!

Ciao for now!

Old Standby

Hey and happy hump day! We’re officially over halfway through the week, woohoo! Also the weather in DC is holding up really well, so keep you fingers (and toes!) crossed that the thunderstorms don’t come so I can do a run or a bike ride tonight! 🙂

My OIAJ from this morning kept me full until 2pm!! I think it was the combination of 2 tbsp chia seeds and the peanut butter in the jar… whatever it is, I liked it. I wasn’t even starving by the time 2pm rolled around, it was just time to eat! I am loving these chia seeds, and loving making “overnight” oats with milk and vanilla extract instead of yogurt and milk. All good things!

Lunch today was my old standby, a sweet potato with black beans. Whenever I’m in a rush to pack lunch and/or haven’t cooked dinner the night before, I love to have a microwaved baked potato with black beans with a salad on the side. It’s so easy, filling, and delicious! To “bake” the sweet potato, I wash it really well, then poke some holes it in with a fork, and then cover it with a damp paper towel. I throw it in the microwave and hit the “Baked Potato” setting, which is my scary strong microwave at work is only 3 minutes, but will be more like 5-6 in normal microwaves.

On top, I put 1/2 cup of canned black beans. I used to rinse my beans thoroughly, but lately I’ve stopped rinsing them and just pour them over the sweet potato as is. The extra wetness from the bean juice (nasty!) actually gives it a good flavor and helps the beans stick more to the potato.

On the side, I had a spinach salad with strawberries and goat cheese.

Which made for a very colorful and satisfying lunch!

I also had a few extra strawberries on the side that wouldn’t fit on my salad.

Yum! I still have another container of strawberries at home because they were buy one get one free, so I’m trying to think of a fun way to use them up other than just eating them plain/chopped on salads. Any ideas?

What are some of your standbys when you don’t have leftovers?

Also, don’t forget to enter my KIND Bar Giveaway if you haven’t already!