Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicago Here We Come!

Hey guys! I just wanted to say a quick hello- I was running around nonstop today and now it's almost 10:30 pm and I didn't get to everything on my list. I had a couple of unplanned things to do in the middle of my day, including grocery shopping and picking up a stranded friend at the airport. Unfortunately the gym and studying were at the bottom so I wasn't able to do either. I feel pretty guilty and thought about taking a late night trip to the gym, but I'm tired and I don't want to be too exhausted for my trip. The apartment we are staying at has a gym so I packed my workout gear. Hopefully I get a chance to run along Lake Michigan. Anyway, I'm getting picked up just before 8 tomorrow morning, so it will be an early wake up call. I'll be back Sunday night with a recap of my weekend in Chicago! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Banana & Walnuts

Happy Thursday! Not much to report here except that I had a delicious breakfast this morning. I wanted something different so cottage cheese pancakes it was.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Banana & Walnuts
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2c low fat cottage cheese
1/8 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
1/8 cup egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 small banana
1 tbsp walnuts, ground
1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup

I mixed together the oat bran, cottage cheese, almond milk, egg whites, vanilla, and half of the banana. I didn't use a blender for this. Last time I made my single serving, it was a pain to get the batter out of the blender. We have a huge blender, so the small amount of batter gets lost in the blades. I just made sure to mash everything really well. I had a problem with the pancakes sticking. I don't know why this happened because I used a nonstick pan AND nonstick spray. The pancakes didn't look pretty, but they tasted delicious. Only four are pictured above. One of the completely fell apart so I ate it while the others cooked. I topped the pancakes with the other half of the banana, sliced, ground walnuts, and maple syrup. Not only was the breakfast delicious, but I am stuffed! That's a good thing because I need this breakfast to hold me over for awhile. 

My flight leaves early tomorrow morning so today is the last day I can get everything done. I need to go to Target, Barnes & Nobles, study, workout, pack, hang out with the boy, and lots of other little things. It's going to be a busy day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back on Track

What a gorgeous day we had here in the Twin Cities. 

The morning started out not so nice, hence my morning bowl of hot oatmeal. But by mid-morning the sky opened up and not a cloud was to be seen. Even though I had scheduled a strength training session at my gym, I wanted to go on a short run. My workout was scheduled over the lunch hour so I knew I needed something to hold me over. Before my run I had half of an Apple Pie Lara Bar. I LOVED this flavor. The only other ones I have tried are Cashew Cookie and Cherry Pie. I think Apple Pie might be my favorite so far...

The run was pretty quick, about 20 minutes, as I didn't want to fatigue my muscles. I felt good to be running again. I think it was a good idea for me to take a mini break from running because I was starting to feel burned out with all the training I've been doing. I thought about canceling my weight training session because the day was so beautiful. I'm glad I did go because I got an intense strength workout. My trainer said he was impressed by my ability considering I don't lift often. I can thank running for building my endurance. I had a slight disappointment at the end of the session. I've gained five pounds since the beginning of March. My body fat has decreased so I know it's muscle, but I still don't like seeing that number increase. I decided to sign up for more sessions with him. Not only will it help me build muscle and become more comfortable with weight training, but it will benefit my running as well. After filling out a bunch of paperwork I left and had the other half of the lara bar. The half from before my run fueled me for 2.5 hours. I wasn't even that hungry for lunch. 

I enjoyed a salad and my leftover pizza while sitting outside in the sunshine. My salad consisted of spring mix, broccoli slaw, and tomato. I splashed fig infused white balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, and tiny drizzle of olive oil on the salad. It was light and fresh tasting. 

I reheated the pizza in the oven for a few minutes. It crisped up nicely and was just as delicious as yesterday. The crust is delicious! Chewy and perfect. My only complaint is that I didn't have more slices leftover!

I sat outside with a magazine for about an hour. I was really loving it, when Abbey called me to see if I wanted to go on a run with her. Since my run this morning was only two miles, I agreed. We did a lap around my lake, about 2 miles. Due to our talking it flew by! After the run, I sat outside a little bit longer before taking a much needed shower. Even though I was only outside for 2.5 hours in the late afternoon sun, my skin feels tight and is a little red.  Just goes to show how strong the sun is, even in Minnesota!

I was feeling very hungry after my shower so I had about half a cup of plain, low fat yogurt with fresh pineapple at about 6 pm. I thought this would hold me until dinner but I was wrong! I checked my calorie count and realized I was pretty low, especially considering I worked out for almost 2 hours today. 

Around 7:30, I couldn't wait any longer. I needed something quick. I didn't feel like cooking either so I pulled a frozen meal out of the freezer. Trader Joe's Garden Vegetable Lasagne made with organic vegetables and organic wheat flour. This has been in my freezer for awhile because I prefer to eat fresh food as much as possible. However, I was hungry, needed something fast and this sounded good. It's actually a satisfying portion for 290 calories, but I didn't see too many veggies in it and it was a bit bland. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but it was fine as a frozen meal. I also had a slice of hemp bread with a little bit of Earth balance spread. 

I almost ate another slice of toast with jam for dessert. But then I remembered we had these in the freezer. Skinny Cow's Skinny Pops- vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate. This was pretty good for 80 calories, but it left a weird "diet food" aftertaste. 

I wish I could have waited for my parents to have dinner. My mom made pasta and she knows how to make amazing pasta dishes. My mom's dinner would have been much more flavorful and nutritious. On the other hand, if I would have waited for them, I would have been crabby and most likely overeaten. 

It feels great to be back on track with eating and exercising today. Now, it's time to relax with ginger tea and maybe get some studying done. 

Playing Catch-Up

I was out of the house all day yesterday and by the time I got home, I was too exhausted to post. I haven't exercised since Saturday and I know that is why I have been so tired the last few days. It's so true what they say about exercising giving you energy. Fortunately, I have a long workout planned this afternoon. 

I forgot to take a picture of me and my cousin while she was visiting, so here's an old one. This is one of my favorite pictures of Sofia and I. This was taken last November in Florence, Italy. 


I've been wanting to try swiss oats but I always forget to soak the oats overnight. Well on Monday I finally remembered to soak my oats overnight. I soaked a serving of oats with 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, cinnamon, and raisins. I was looking forward to swiss oats in the morning but when I woke up, it was cold and all I wanted was a warm bowl of oats. I added 1/2 cup of water and half a sliced banana to the soaked oats, microwaved it for two minutes, and stirred in almond butter. I didn't get to enjoy swiss oats, but this was a tasty alternative. The soaked oats made the oatmeal super creamy. 

After breakfast, I drove my cousin to the Mexican Consulate so she could get her passport renewed. (She was born in Mexico City). She is distantly related to the head consul through her dad's side so we were able to visit with him and speed up the process. By the time we got done it was well into lunch time. 

My cousin and I both have a love for Italy since we both studied there during college. I knew the perfect place for lunch was Punch Pizza. This is one of the few pizzerias outside of Naples that is certified authentic neapolitan pizza. I love this place. The pizza is phenomenal. I never know which pizza to get because everything on the menu is great. I finally decided on a pizza bianco (no crushed tomatoes). The Cortina has mushrooms, garlic, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola. The pizza is then drizzled with olive oil. I ate 4 of the 6 slices of pizza. The crust is very thin so it's really not that much ;) I took a picture of my leftovers once I was home. I can't wait to eat the remaining slices for lunch. I really wish I could have taken one at the restaurant but I forgot in my excitement to eat. Also, while we waited for our pizza we split a half order of foccacia. Hot bread sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary, dipped in olive oil. Heaven. 

Needless to say, I was stuffed after our meal but we went to the mall so I was able to walk around a bit. Then it was time to say goodbye to Sofia, so sad. On the way home, my friend called and asked if I wanted to meet at Caribou Coffee. She's the one getting married a month from yesterday, so she's getting stressed with final details and having nightmares about the flowers not showing up. I stopped at home to change into warmer clothes (it was only 50 yesterday and no sun!). I had half an hour before meeting her so I made her a batch of "You Got Peanut butter in my Chocolate Cookies". The cookies are really quick and I knew she would love them. I made them smaller this time and came up with 20 cookies. Of course I had to try a few freshly baked ones. Thank goodness all the cookies are out of the house now. (I gave Sof the chocolate chip and chocolate pb cookies I baked on Monday to bring home to her family.) I planned on getting hot tea at Caribou but the girl at the register talked me into trying one of their new teas blended with real fruit. It sounded refreshing and I knew I was low in my fruit intake so I tried the White Tea & Peach. It was really refreshing and I felt good knowing it was real fruit. Abbey and I had a nice hour long chat. 

For dinner I had the leftover chicken sausage from Monday's lunch on a Rudi's organic roll, and salad with tomatoes and feta. 


It's another chilly morning so breakfast was banana walnut oats, drizzled with a little maple syrup. Along with coffee, breakfast hit the spot. 

I have two days of normalcy before a crazy weekend getaway in Chicago. We leave Friday morning but I have a lot of things to get done before then. Have a great day!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vegan Cookies & Pizza

This afternoon I got a craving to bake. Weird, huh? ;) Our cookie jar was empty, which is somewhat rare in my house. To refill it, I baked two different types of vegan cookies. Both recipes were courtesy Dreena Burton. She is one talented lady. 

"You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate Cookies"

Both cookies are outstanding. The chocolate chip ones are delicious. I had Chris try one without telling him they were vegan. I'm a sneaky girl. But he liked them! And oh the chocolate pb cookies! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I mean, how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? My mom loved them and said she would have never thought they were vegan. I nibbled on a few of these cookies throughout the afternoon. 

Dinner was two small slices of veggie pizza and baby carrots. I had chipotle salsa on the side for dipping. 


I'm sipping on ginger tea which helps digestion and calms my stomach. My cousin and I have to be up pretty early tomorrow. She needs to get her passport renewed and afterwards we are going to lunch and MOA (again!) before I have to say goodbye and drop her off at the airport. Depending on how rushed I am in the morning, I might not have time to post until the evening. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I haven't had any formal exercise since Saturday- my irritableness today is a sign that I need to release my energy. I've also been grazing on food a lot this weekend since I've been home all day long. 

This coming week will be a short one for me. It's already Monday night and I'm flying to Chicago on Friday morning. I have lots to accomplish in 3 days! 

P.S. I'm loving the John & Kate Plus 8 marathon. 

Good Eats

Hello! Sorry I've been MIA the lest few days. I've been enjoying spending time with my family and friends. Saturday night, my mom grilled chicken, steak, and veggies for dinner. Then my cousin and I met my friends for chips, salsa, and margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant. Yesterday, the weather wasn't the greatest so we painted my room a pale blue color. I'm going for a chocolate brown and french blue theme in my room. 

On to the food... today has been a good eats day.

Breakfast today was amazing. I wanted to make something special, and yesterday as I was browsing Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan, the Raspberry Chocolate Scones caught my eye. I've never made scones but I decided to give it a try. Dreena's recipe was the inspiration but I made a few modifications to use ingredients I had. I didn't have any chocolate chips, so I left those out. While Dreena's are vegan, these are not vegan- I had to use regular yogurt because I didn't have soy yogurt. I decided to use coconut creme flavored yogurt. I loved the subtle coconut flavor and creaminess this yogurt added. I also used a mix of frozen blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. My batter was very sticky, so instead of shaping the dough into a circle and cutting wedges, I dropped the batter onto the baking sheet. 

Fresh out of the oven

These are delicious and buttery tasting. I served the scones with Warm Berry Sauce, again a modified version of ED&BV's warm raspberry sauce. I calculated each scone at about 275 calories. 

The recipe made six scones. They are all gone now. They are that good. 

The sky thickened with clouds after breakfast so my cousin and I decided to head Woodbury Lakes, an outdoor mall, that's 5 minutes away from my house. I needed to return a few things and we had fun browsing the stores. I'm pleased to report I didn't purchase anything at the mall. However, we stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home and purchased a few goodies. My cousin had never been to a TJ's so she enjoyed browsing the aisles. We decided to buy something fun to make for lunch.

Our lunch choice was a first for me, chicken sausage. I never eat sausage or hot dogs because I don't like them. I've been wanting to try chicken sausage for awhile now so we bought chicken sausages with spinach, fontina cheese, and roasted garlic. We also bought veggie kabobs. 

On the grill:

My plate: chicken sausage on a whole wheat hot dog bun with mustard and chipotle salsa, grilled veggies, and brown rice. 

Lunch was delicious. I loved the flavor of the chicken sausage and felt very satisfied with this meal. 

I hope everyone experienced better weather than we did today! I'll be back with a dinner and baking adventure post later tonight. 

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Off to a Great Start!

I'm going to apologize if my posts seems a bit sporadic this weekend. I plan on taking full advantage of the nice weather by being outdoors as much as possible. In fact, I'm blogging from my sunny deck right now. Yesterday I wore a sun dress and realized my legs were looking quite pale, so hopefully I get a little color this weekend. Of course, I'll be protected with sunscreen!

Yesterday, I had a lot of fun hanging out with my best friend. Since she is traveling for business this weekend, she had the day off from work yesterday. It was so nice to spend a relaxing day going out to lunch and shopping. Now that we are all graduated and working girls, it's hard to see each other as often as we'd like. (Next weekend will be a blast because we are all going to Chicago for a bachelorette party! ) Anyways, we just picked up sandwiches for lunch, ran a few errands around Woodbury and then headed to the mall. I picked up 2 pairs of sandals that were on sale from Express and a cute dress from Banana Republic that was nowhere near on sale. I had intended on trying it on just for fun. But it was so cute, so I splurged. I'll post a picture of the dress later.

After dropping my friend off at the airport, I had a relaxing evening at home. My dad and sister are in Denver for the weekend, and my mom was picking my brother up from school so Brody and I had the house to ourselves. I caught up on the season finale of Grey's and then made myself a quick dinner. I didn't feel like cooking anything fancy so I made a salad and a quesadilla. For the quesadilla, I just used 2 small corn tortillas, soy cheese, and salsa. After dinner, Chris came over and we watched a movie with my mom and brother once they were home. 

This morning I woke up feeling pretty hungry so I had a light, yet calorie dense breakfast, since I knew I wanted to run before it got too warm. I had a granola-yogurt parfait. I used my last container of honey greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of my homemade granola, 1/4 cup of pb granola, and fresh strawberry slices. 

This is exactly what I was craving and hit the spot. Breakfast was about 320 calories. 

About an hour later, I went for a run. I did a little over 5 miles. About half a mile away from home, I spotted a deer in the woods. She looked at me with big fearful eyes. I slowed down because I didn't want to scare her but she ran into the woods. I looked back and understood. A tiny little baby bambi walked out of the woods. The baby was tiny and so cute. It was a nice reward at the end of my run. 

I'm sorry if there are a lot of typos in this post. The glare of the sun makes it really hard to see my computer screen! I'm about to take a shower and pick my cousin up at the airport. Not sure what the rest of the day's plans are. Have a lovely day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

I was tagged by Kate and Lindsay to post 5 fun facts about myself. How fun! Thanks girls :)

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Here are my 5 fun facts:
1. I am fluent in Spanish. My parents were both born and raised in Mexico City so I grew up speaking both Spanish and English. I am also conversational in French and Italian. 
2. I was born in Houston, Texas on July 27, 1985. I was the first person in my entire extended family to be born in the United States. In fact, around the time I was born, my dad bought a copy of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. 
3. I studied in Rome for a semester during my sophomore year in college and in London during my junior year. I love Europe and want to live there for awhile in the future. 
4. I am obsessed with traveling. I have been to England, Italy, France, Germany, the Bahamas, Mexico, and all over the U.S. (I always buy a shot glass in each city I visit, and my friends and family give them to me as souvenirs when they travel.)
5.  This one is random but when I was in elementary school I wanted to be an actress. In 4th grade I played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I had to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow in front of the whole school. 

Alright so I'm going to tag:
Ashley from Healthy Ashley
Jenn from Eating Bender
Jill from Jumping Jill
Em from Gliding Calm

I tried to choose those who haven't been tagged yet but I'm sorry if you've been tagged before!

Back to Oats

Happy Friday! 

This morning, I woke up wanting a warm bowl of oats. It's actually pretty warm outside, but I've just been craving a regular bowl of oatmeal. I chose to make steel cut oats because I wasn't very hungry yet and it's been awhile since I've had them. In a saucepan, I brought a cup of water to a boil, added 1/4 cup of oats and stirred. After 10 minutes, I added a chopped apple, cinnamon, and a tablespoon of raisins. After 5 more minutes, the liquid was almost gone but I knew my oats weren't quite done so I added 1/4 c water + 1/4 c soy milk. I turned the heat down and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes. I love adding walnuts to the apple-raisin combo, but today I added a twist. I ground a tablespoon of walnuts with a teaspoon of raw sugar to make a walnut meal. I sprinkled this on top of the oatmeal. I missed the crunch the walnut pieces add, but I liked that I could taste the walnuts throughout the entire bowl. By the way, does anyone know if walnut butter is carried in stores?

Breakfast: 320 cals, 10g fat, 8g fiber, 11g protein

I wanted to workout right away this morning, but my whole body is feeling sore from yesterday. I'll have to fit it in later tonight. I'm running a few errands that will include a coffee stop, going out to lunch and to MOA (Mall of America) with my friend before dropping her off at the airport at 4. I really hope I don't get stuck in rush hour on the way back. 

For all of those working, I hope the day goes quickly so you can enjoy the start to the long weekend. For those traveling, be safe. And I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend! 

On a side note, I'm watching Alanis Morissette sing Ironic on the Today Show. I know I'm not that old, but this song brings me back to my younger years. She sounds/looks great thought!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Wrap-Up

Today ended up being a lot busier than expected, hence the late post! As soon as I posted breakfast, my appetite came back. I was pretty hungry so I ate the other half of my banana from breakfast. 

Before heading to yoga, I stopped at the outdoor mall to get a present for an upcoming bachelorette party. Since I was still hungry, I bought an iced, skim latte from Starbucks. 

Yoga was great. I love this particular class at my gym because it's Vinyasa Style Yoga. For those who may not know, vinyasa style yoga is flowing class with breath synchronized movement. It's faster paced than the other fitness yoga class that's offered at my gym. My upper body always gets a fantastic workout during this 75 minute class. After class, I stopped to talk to one of the personal trainers. I didn't leave the gym until 1:45 so I was starving. Luckily, Chris called and hadn't eaten so we went to Chipotle. I had the vegetarian burrito bowl with rice, black beans, corn, medium salsa, guacamole, and lettuce. Usually, I only eat half of my bowl. I ate the whole bowl today since I was starving. We ate outside since it was so beautiful. 

Chris and I came back to my house and hung out for awhile. I gave him the Pistachio & White Chocolate Chunkies I baked for him yesterday. We each had 2. Sigh, my odd appetite has left me irritable, sluggish, and craving junk food. After vegging out for awhile, I wasn't feeling very motivated to run. I've been tired all day but I knew I had to run since I took yesterday off. I "forced" myself to run by dropping a car off for my sister at work. I had no choice but to run home. The distance is a little bit under 5 miles. Once I settled into running I felt good. It's the starting that's the hardest part. 

My appetite was gone after running. I was planning to make a smoothie to refuel, but my mom came home and started making dinner so I felt bad. Dinner was okay. My mom has been very busy with work so she's been coming home late and feeling uninspired to cook. Usually, I make dinner if I know she is running late. However, cooking didn't sound appealing tonight since I had no appetite. My mom threw together a chicken, peapod, and bean sprout stir fry. We also had the usual salad and mashed potatoes. 

I recorded Grey's Anatomy and wanted to watch it but I am pretty tired so I don't think I'm going to make it through the entire 2 hour season finale. Maybe I'll just watch a little bit... Goodnight!

Granola Oatmeal

Good Morning! We are one day closer to the long weekend. Yesterday, I found out my cousin, who I'm very close to, is flying into the cities on Saturday. She is staying until Tuesday night. I am so excited to see her. It's going to be a fun girl's weekend since my dad and sister are flying to Denver for a soccer tourney. It'll be just my mom, cousin, and I.

My appetite isn't quite back this morning. I did wake up hungry due to my small dinner last night, but I didn't feel like eating. This never happens! I obviously needed to eat something so I made a small bowl of oats & granola. I've been craving granola the last few days but we don't have any in the house. I bought thick cut rolled oats at the store so I decided to try homemade granola. My Vanilla Almond Coconut Oatmeal was based on a few recipes I found.

Vanilla Almond Coconut Granola Oats

1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 banana
fresh strawberries
1/4 cup Vanilla Almond Coconut Granola

I cooked the oats with the almond milk, cinnamon, and banana on the stove top. (FYI, thick cut oats take longer to cook so it's best to cook them on the stove. I used the microwave and it exploded so I switched to the stove top method.) Sliced strawberries, granola, and a little extra coconut garnished the top.

I loved the combination of textures: creamy banana oatmeal, cool strawberries, and crunchy yet chewy granola. I think after this my appetite is starting to return!

Have a great morning! I'll be working on my class and then be back for a late lunch post after yoga.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Very Odd

My appetite was off today. Very odd. The salad at lunch left me feeling full until 9 pm. I did have a mid afternoon treat but I wasn't even hungry for dinner. I forced myself to eat something light. 

I had a light salad made of baby spinach, strawberries, shredded parmesan, and fig infused balsamic vinaigrette. I added some brown rice for a little more nutrition. 

This afternoon I worked on a new page for my recipes. It's still a work in progress but hopefully it will be easier to find recipes! I also made one of the most amazing cookie recipes ever. I tried one this afternoon (my mid afternoon treat) and oh my gosh are the outstanding. You can read more about the Pistachio & White Chocolate Chunkies here.  

Sorry for the boring food today, hopefully my appetite returns tomorrow!

Fresh Veggies

Hey guys. This post is going to be quick because I need to get back to studying. I'm on a good track right now and halfway through the lesson. 

I sipped on an iced coffee this morning while studying. Around 12:30 I went to the local grocery store's salad bar for lunch. My salad had spring mix, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, green peppers, chickpea-green pea mix, artichokes and greek vinaigrette. 

I felt really full after only a few bites. Weird. I still finished the salad and the roll, but it took me awhile. It felt good to eat a big fresh salad. I haven't had fresh veggies in a few days!

The sky is a stunning shade of blue. I would love to be studying outside right now, but unfortunately the temperature hasn't reached 68 yet so it's a tad chilly. The weather is supposed to be nearing 80 this weekend so I'm not worried. 

I'm either going to a strength class at the gym or running outside. I'll have to see what I'm in the mood for when 4 o'clock rolls around. 

Have a good afternoon!

Creamy Banana Goodness

Wow, it's another beautiful day out there. I am loving this string of sunshine. 

I wanted something light for breakfast but we're out of granola, and I didn't feel like making a smoothie. I made a variation of yesterday's honey yogurt oats. Today I used multigrain cereal cooked in water with cinnamon, vanilla, and half a banana. Afterwards I stirred in the other half of the greek honey yogurt container. I felt like eating the whole banana today so I sliced the remaining half on top of the hot cereal and drizzled with agave nectar. 

Breakfast: 351 cals, 4g fat, 10g fiber, 16g protein

I've realized my kitchen countertops reflect too much light in the natural sunshine. My breakfast pictures never look as good as the ones at night. 


I love working out earlier in the day because it makes me feel energized and leaves the rest of the day free. However, I do find that when I workout in the morning, I'm hungrier all day! That's how I felt yesterday. My protein & fiber packed lunch should have left me full for a few hours. But while I studied I was starving. I tried to ignore the hunger by drinking coffee but it persisted. I had an apple in my purse but I was trying to avoid it because it didn't look very appetizing. I finally gave in and ate it. It did nothing for my hunger. I got home around 6:30 and decided to have any early dinner. I heated up some of last night's leftover Cocoa-Coconut Chili and served it on top of a baked sweet potato with a little greek yogurt. 

I think I liked the chili served this way even better. 315 cals, 3g fat, 12g fiber, 12g protein

Confession: A few hours after dinner, I ate one too many cookies and dark chocolate m&ms. Had this been a portioned, thought out indulgence, I would have no problem. But it wasn't. I feel disappointed in myself for eating these treats spontaneously and "out of control". I guess it was just one of those days...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Windy City

My run went alright this morning. I did about 4.7 miles in 45 minutes. For the majority of the time I was running, I battled strong winds. I guess I didn't realize how windy it was before I left for my run. Chicago may be the Windy City, but the Twin Cities give it a run for its money. Half of the time I felt like I wasn't moving forward. It was frustrating because the wind raised my heart rate too fast. Oh well, you can't control the weather. 

I wasn't too hungry for lunch when I got home but I opted to eat before I showered. I loved the sandwich I made last Friday so much that I made another one for lunch today. Hummus, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, and chipotle sauce on a toasted hemp bagel. Mmm, I love these bagels. 

I was going to have something else, but I felt satisfied and jumped in the shower instead. 

Lunch: 340 cals, 12g fat, 15g fiber, 45g protein

This morning before my run, I baked a fun treat. When Tina, from Carrots & Cake, posted her Coconut-Date Cookies to Die For, I knew I wanted to try them. Seeing them on Kath's blog yesterday, reminded me about them so this morning I made Coconut-Date Balls. I followed Kath's lead and used raisins because I didn't have any dates. I made them into balls after they baked because I didn't grease the cookie sheet and they stuck pretty badly. I was able to scrape them off, but they looked deformed so I just shaped them into balls. They are more fun to eat this way!

I made 23 balls and figured each ball to be about 30 calories. These are sticky, but good! I'm excited to try them with dates next time. I had 2 of these after my shower! 

Now I'm off to study at the coffee shop. I'm craving an iced coffee so I'm sure I will have 1 (or 2!) of those and a snack while I study. 

Honey Yogurt Oats

My inspitation for breakfast today was a container of Greek Honey Yogurt. I usually don't buy flavored yogurt, but I've been wanting to try this flavor. Initially I thought of a yogurt-granola parfait, but I'm out of granola. Then I thought muesli, but I didn't want to wait for the mixture to soak. Finally, I decided to incorporate it into my oats.

I cooked the oats in water and added banana slices, cinnamon, and vanilla. Once the oats were cooked, I transfered them to a bowl and added half of the container of yogurt, fresh strawberries, and almond slices. The yogurt made the oats super creamy and not as hot. The honey lent a slight sweetness, but not too much. It was a wonderful change for oatmeal, especially in the warmer weather.

Honey Yogurt Oats: 338 cals, 8g fat, 10g fiber, 16g protein

It looks like today will be a nice day. It's only going to get up to the mid 60s, but the sun is shining so that's okay with me. I'm planning on running outside once my breakfast digests. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chilly Day = Comfort Food

I meant to post lunch earlier today but I left my computer at home all afternoon. I knew that if I brought it along to the coffee shop, I'd be tempted to check blogs, facebook, email, etc. instead of studying. My original plan was to pack a lunch and eat it while I studied. However, I lost track of time catching up on blogs this morning and I started to get hungry around noon due to a smaller breakfast than normal. 

Since I was hungry, I ate lunch before leaving. I was in the mood for soup due to the chilly weather so I had a can (1.5 servings) of Trader Joe's Vegan Split Pea soup. The soup's sickly green color does not do it justice. It is quite tasty and very, very filling. On the side I had a serving of Kashi crackers. 

Excuse the ugly plastic container, I had already packed the soup up and didn't want to dirty another dish. Lunch total: 280 cals, 3g fat, 7g fiber, 14g protein

I had a productive afternoon reading about lipids and cardiovascular disease. While studying I had a coffee and a huge apple. I weighed this apple on my food scale and it came in at a whopping 130 cals! Snack: 130 cals, 9g fiber, 1g protein

After studying, I went across the street to the gym. I ran for about 5 minutes and realized I should do more cross-training so I hopped on a stationary bike. I was reminded again how much I dislike stationary bikes. The reason I don't cross-train more often is that I just don't like the other machines. I get bored too easily and nothing gives me as great a workout as running. At least, I was able to watch a rather entertaining Dr. Phil. I did 25 minutes of biking and then I went to a strength training class. It's been awhile since I've done any strength training so I'm sure I will be sore tomorrow. My post workout snack was a Clif Nectar bar, 160 cals, 6g fat, 6g fiber, 3g protein. 

It was a chilly, rainy afternoon/evening so I decided to make something warm and comforting, ED&BV's Cocoa-Coconut Chili. Another delicious, winning recipe. I'm so excited for the leftovers!

Chili + French roll totals: 490 cals, 7g fat, 13g fiber, 21g protein

Daily total: 1388 cals, 27g fat, 46g fiber, 50g protein

Strawberry-Banana Multigrain Cereal

I've missed my usual hot breakfast the last few days, so this morning I made a warm bowl of multigrain cereal. I cooked the cereal on the stove with almond milk and cinnamon. Instead of mixing the banana in as usual, I added the slices on top along with fresh strawberries and almonds. This was a great breakfast, but I should have added a little maple syrup or brown sugar to sweeten it up a tad. 

Breakfast totals: 319 cals, 11g fat, 12g fiber, 12g protein

My plan for today is to work on my nutrition class at a coffee shop. I need to get out of the house to study, otherwise I get distracted very easily. I'm planning an afternoon workout. The weather isn't as nice as I had hoped so instead of an outside run, I might do a little cardio at the gym and a strength class. I also need to figure out what I am making for dinner tonight and get groceries for that. Better get moving!

Duluth Recap

Duluth was a fun, relaxing weekend. It's always nice to spend quality alone time with Chris since we don't get to see each other very often during the school year. Chris is home for the summer now, but I'll be returning to Duluth in a little over a month to run the half marathon!

Unfortunately, I didn't take any more food pictures for the rest of the weekend. I forgot my camera at Chris' house on Saturday and my food wasn't that interesting on Sunday. I was bummed I forgot my camera on Saturday because we went to brunch at this cool, hip place called Burrito Union. Think Chipotle, but a cooler atmosphere. I never crave eggs, but for some reason I was having a craving so I ordered off their breakfast menu. The Union Bowl had eggs, cheese, black beans, potatoes, grilled veggies, roasted salsa, and tortilla chips. It was fantastic and I ate the entire thing. It wasn't a huge portion, but I definitely ate more than I needed to. The day was very windy and rained off and on so we stayed indoors for the majority of the afternoon and watched movies/napped. Around 5, I had a splitting headache and got crabby...and so realized I needed coffee. (Yes, I know it's bad but I get caffeine headaches if I've gone the whole day without coffee). So I went to a nearby grocery store that has a coffee shop to get coffee and instantly felt better. While there, I picked up a few apples because I hadn't had any fruit all day. 

Dinner was at Fitger's Brewery and Grille, another great place to eat. The owners of Fitger's are the same as Burrito Union so it had the same fun atmosphere. Chris and I decided to share their beer sampler. The sampler included 7 different types of beer. I don't know much about beer, but I now know that I hate IPA. It is so bitter and just plain yuck. I also didn't care for their Oatmeal Stout or the english style bitter. Basically, I only drank the Lighthouse Golden and Apricot Wheat. The Apricot Wheat was a delicious, fruity beer. I like those. Foodwise, it was hard to decide what to order because everything sounded delicious. I finally ordered the Meatless Harvest Moon Wild Rice Burger with mushrooms, swiss cheese, and chipotle pepper sauce. It was bigger than Chris' bacon cheeseburger! I only ate half but finished off the serving of fries. The fries were so good. I didn't feel as guilty eating them because the menu states that Fitger's uses only trans fat free oils. I really wanted dessert but I was stuffed so I decided to hold off. 

After dinner, we went to see What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. It's hilarious and a lot of fun. When the movie was over, I wasn't so stuffed anymore, so we went to Coldstone. I had my favorite ice cream combination in the world: Oatmeal Cookie Batter with graham cracker crumbs and mini chocolate chips. YUM! I was in heaven. By the time we got back to Chris' we were both overstuffed and in a food coma so I went to bed pretty early. 

Lake Superior

Sunday morning, I helped Chris pack up his car and we were on the road by noon. I got home around 2:30ish, unpacked, baked cookies, went to church with my family, and had a long workout with my best friend. Overall, it was a nice getaway weekend. I overindulged more than I would have liked, but I could have done a lot worse. I'm looking forward to getting back on track with fresh, clean eating. 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Greetings from Duluth!

Hi all! I have been having a great weekend so far and even got to sleep in this morning.

Here's a recap of yesterday:

I did a short 2.25 mile run yesterday. I had been planning on running double that, but after my long run on Thursday night my legs were tired. I decided not to fight it and cleaned the inside of my car instead. By the time I was finished cleaning, packing and showered it was after 12. At this point I was really hungry since my breakfast was so small this morning.

Lunch was really really good. The other day at Whole Foods, I picked up a bag of healthy hemp sprouted bagels. Seeing as how much I like the bread, I've been dying to try the bagels. I toasted the bagel and spread it with hummus, chipotle sauce, spinach, and alfalfa sprouts. I also had baby carrots on the side. I LOVED this sandwich. The nuttiness and chew of the bagel combined with the creamy hummus and crunchy veggies paired very nicely.

Lunch total: 375 cals, 12g fat, 16g fiber, 46g protein

On my way out of town, I stopped at Sati Coffee for driving fuel. A large iced cold pressed coffee latte.I love cold pressed coffee, it's so good! I actually had 1.5x this because while I was talking to my friend who works there, I drank half. He refilled my cup for the drive.

Iced skim latte (1.5x): 220 cals, 1g fat, 20g protein

I got into Duluth at about 4pm. The 2 and a 1/2 hour drive was smooth and quick. The weather was nice enough for me to have the sunroof open the whole time. To me, one of the most stunning visuals is driving into Duluth. Driving up from the South, you come to the top of the hill, and see the huge harbor down below. Lake Superior is huge. It looks like the sea at some points because you can't see land on the other side.

For dinner, I had another sandwich, this time from Erberts & Gerberts. Turkey, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, and lettuce on a wheat sub. I was really hungry so on the car ride back to Chris' house I ate half the big of chips. For this reason I only ate half of my sub and saved the rest for later. I was proud of myself because the old me would have eaten it anyway, but the new me is more in tune with hunger and satiety cues.

Dinner totals (whole sandwich & chips): 613 cals, 15.5g fat, 8g fiber, 24 g protein

We met up with Chris' roommates and friends down by the waterfront at Old Chicago. I was in the mood for a Margarita but instead I chose the only beer I like: Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss. This beer isn't a light beer so it's really filling. But over the course of 5 hours I had two. They ordered a third one for me but I couldn't drink it so I told Chris to finish it off for me. When we got back to his house, I ate the other half of my sandwich.

Friday total (minus beer): 1468 cals, 37g fat, 31g fiber, 102 g protein

It was a very fun night but this morning I feel dehydrated and my head hurts. I'm already on my second big glass of ice cold water. Chris is still sleeping so we'll see what he wants to do today. I would love to walk around the waterfront and check out the race course for the half marathon I'll be running next month. Unfortunately the forecast calls for scattered clouds and a chance of rain with a high of 65.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Strawberry Granola Soup

It felt so nice to get up this morning and not have to rush to get ready and eat breakfast. I'm planing on working out soon, but this morning when I woke up I was really hungry for some reason. So I made a light but filling breakfast.

Fresh strawberries, pb granola, plain yogurt, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

It tasted pretty good, but maybe next time I won't add the milk. It made the breakfast soupy and I think I prefer it to be thicker. The strawberries were deliciously ripe and sweet. I ate a couple of slices as I was making breakfast.

Breakfast Totals: 260 cals, 9g fat, 6g fiber, 12g protein

After my workout, I have a few errands to run before driving up to Duluth. I'm hoping to leave right after lunch. I don't know what my eating will be like these next few days but hopefully I can stay on track. I'll be posting this weekend but it might be at random times!

Today's weather: Twin Cities = 78, Duluth= 65 :(

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Relaxing End to a Busy Day

My quick run before yoga turned into a long 7.75 mile run. The weather was gorgeous and my legs kept going. Needless to say, I didn't make it to yoga. My legs are tired and I am exhausted so tonight's post is going to be quick. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Morning snack after the car dealership was an iced nonfat latte. 110 cals, 1g fat, 10g protein

Lunch: Just as I was taking the first bite of the salad I brought from home, two of the guys at the office asked if they could take me out to lunch on my last day. I couldn't resist their sweet offer so I went with them to a nearby deli. I has a really really good, fresh sandwich. The sandwich consisted of a soft wheat sub, lots of turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapenos, green peppers, onions, banana peppers, and mustard. It reminded me of a Subway sandwich but a million times better. Estimate 450 cals, 14g fat, 4g fiber, 39g protein

Afternoon Snack:  Honey Wheat Braided Pretzel Twists, 220 cals, 2g fat, 2g fiber, 4g protein

Dinner: I decided not to wait for my parents to have dinner. I was too hungry after showering so I went ahead and had the salad I had originally packed for lunch. Canned tuna mixed with spring mix, broccoli slaw, tomatoes, and italian dressing. I also had a piece of french bread (not pictured, and half a glass of red wine.  546 calories, 12g fat, 7g fiber, 53 g protein

Daily Totals: 1719 cals, 38g fat, 22g fiber, 115g protein
 (Way too much protein thanks to turkey at lunch, and tuna at dinner)

I'm finishing off my wine as I watch Grey's Anatomy. I'm thinking it's going to be an early to bed night. My eyes are already closing!

Feels like Friday

I’m writing this draft in Word because I am sitting at the car dealership waiting for my car to get an oil change and brake inspection. I thought they would have wireless internet, but they don’t! Ah it least it’s quick.

Since I had extra time to get ready this morning I made oats on the stove. Seeing apples in Lindsey’s oatmeal the other day made me crave apple oatmeal. I started by chopping up an apple and simmering it in water with cinnamon and a tsp of maple syrup. Once the apples were soft, I added another cup of water and brought it up to a boil. I then added the oats, raisins, and more cinnamon. I finished up the oats with a splash of soy milk and crushed walnuts.

Breakfast Totals: 393 cals, 10g fat, 9g fiber, 9g protein

Yesterday’s Recap

Last night was another busy weeknight. Thanks goodness to day is like Friday for me. On my way home from work I stopped at Target to pick up some things I needed. I need to be banned from that store. I always end up getting things I don’t need and end up spending way too much. I bought a cute summer dress, 2 pairs of workout capris, adorable ice cream bowls, a new dog collar for Brody, and a razor. The only thing I actually needed was the razor.

I didn’t want to be starving for dinner so I ate an orange and a couple of baby carrots when I got home. I don’t know about y’all but baby carrots make me hungrier. We went out to dinner at Bonfire to celebrate a family friend’s birthday. Bonfire is one of my favorite restaurants because it is one of the few non-chain restaurants in Woodbury. There food is always delicious, and while a few of the salads are big, their portions are appropriately sized.

I started off with a cup of their famous (Best in the Twin Cities) Tortilla soup. I don’t know why I get this soup. I’ve had it before I really don’t like it. It has too much meat in it. I had a few bites and gave the rest to my mom. We ordered 2 pizzas- Apple & Brie and Margherita. I had two slices of each pizza. The crust is really thin so the slices aren’t very big. It was a perfect portion. The birthday boy got a free mini cake so I had a little piece of that as well.

I’m not going to post the pictures because they didn’t turn out very well.

It’s my last day of working with my parents so I’ll be training the new receptionist all day. I might not be able to post again until tonight. This afternoon I am doing a double workout. I have an outdoor run planned in this beautiful weather, and a warm yoga class at 7:15. I should be able to fit it all in because I think I’ll be able to leave work early.

Tomorrow I’m driving up to Duluth to visit Chris. He has his last final tomorrow morning so we’ll be celebrating the end of the school year. I hope the weather is nice up in Duluth, it’s supposed to be warm and sunny down here.

Hope everyone is having as beautiful weather as we are! :o)