Aug 31, 2010

Official Last Day of Summer

I actually woke up when I planned to this morning! Be proud; I am. After the customary dark chocolate pre-run fuel, I headed over to the fitness center to take a stab at the treadmill again. Once more, I started cramping up, but was able to cope with it better this time and adjusted my running plans accordingly.

Total Distance: 2.97 miles
   - 5 minutes @ 3.5 (17:09/mi)
   - 10 minutes @ 6.2 (9:41/mi)
   - 5 minutes @ 3.9 (15:23/mi)
   - 10 minutes @ 6.2 (9:41/mi)
   - 5 minutes Cool Down

Breakfast was the usual, new-and-improved oats: old-fashioned oats cooked in Raspberry Zinger tea, mixed with cinnamon, flaxseed meal, and chia seeds, and topped with Grape Nuts, PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, raspberry preserves, and almonds.


I guess now that classes start tomorrow I can tell you all about the courses that I will be taking this semester. Before this year, I was a Biochemistry/Biotechnology major. However, after working in a Biochemistry research lab all summer, it made me realize that that is not actually what I want to do with my life after all. So, I re-evaluated my interests and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to major in Dietetics and hopefully work in a hospital one day instead. Since I am technically a junior, even though this is only my second year at university, I had to actually apply and be accepted into the program and at the end of last week I was! I had most of the first-year requirements taken care of already and this is what my new schedule has ended up being for fall semester, all of which are required for either my Dietetics degree or because I’m a member of the Honors College:

Honors Organismal Biology -- Diversity and basic properties of organisms, with emphasis on genetic principles, ecological interactions, and the evolutionary process. Historical approach to knowledge discovery.
Honors Organismal Biology Lab -- Basic procedures used by organismal biologists, including experimental design and statistical methods. Development and implementation of research projects to test hypotheses in genetics, ecology, and evolution.
Introduction to Microeconomics -- Economic institutions, reasoning and analysis. Consumption, production, determination of price and quantity in different markets. Income distribution, market structure and normative analysis.
Food Safety and HACCP -- Sources of microbiological, chemical and physical hazards; minimizing microbial growth and survival; good manufacturing, cleaning and sanitation practices; Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Programs in food processing and food service.
Introduction to Human Nutrition -- Nutrition needs in life stages from a human ecological perspective. Domestic and international factors affecting the availability of a safe, nutritious food supply. Relationships of food choices to health and disease.

This amounts to a 14 credit workload which in and of itself is not all that intimidating (I took 15 credits both semesters last year and three honors credits at once and never really felt burdened or behind), but looking at my assignment calendar certainly is. I received the last of my syllabi last night and was able to finish my planner to hang up for September and I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be kept pleasantly busy for the next few months.

I won’t be posting about the rest of my day because I have a To-Do list what appears to be a mile long, and just don’t think I can deal with having to stop my day to write about my food and goings about. But I’ll leave you with a snapshot of what I hope to accomplish today:
- Shower
- Put together binders
- Pack backpack for classes tomorrow
- Hang up new poster for room
- Read for Nutrition and Biology (yes, already)
- Groceries

Aug 30, 2010

Gym Excursion

The alarm went off this morning at 6:30am, as per usual, but I hit the snooze button and allowed myself another hour of sleep before rising and hitting the fitness center for the first time. At 8am, there was only me and one other girl there, which I’m hoping is the norm since I’m used to running alone and with no one else around. Anyways, after 2 squares of Lindt Intense Orange, copious amounts of water, and with notecard in hand, I was off to the gym to try my first real treadmill workout, adapted from here.

Time Speed Incline
0:00 – 3:00 3.5 0
3:00 – 5:00 6.0 1
5:00 – 6:00 6.5 0
6:00 – 8:00 6.0 2
8:00 – 9:00 7.0 0
9:00 – 11:00 6.0 3
11:00 – 12:00 7.5 0
12:00 – 14:00 6.0 4
14:00 – 15:00 7.0 0
15:00 – 17:00 6.0 3
17:00 – 19:00 3.5 2
19:00 – 22:00 Cool Down 0

It came out to being 1.88 miles, which does not seem like that much, but I was still sweating up a storm. I came back to the apartment to do my core work, and then it was time for oatmeal. Old-fashioned oatmeal made with Raspberry Zinger tea, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, Grape Nuts, PB&Co. CRS, raspberry preserves, and chopped almonds. Today I realized that it takes me about 15-20 minutes to make up just one mug of oats in the morning. Good thing I love it so much or else I might actually be upset that I spend so much time on such a little nugget of oaty goodness.


A little later on, I snacked on a Chocolate Brownie Clif Z-Bar, which I didn’t like as much as the Chocolate Chip flavor, as well as a banana. Lunch was the miso soup that came free with the sushi Alli and I ordered the other day. I adore miso soup. This seemed like a particularly good batch, too; it had huge chunks of seaweed. Afternoon snack was Cascadian Farm Organic Raisin Bran with USVAB and a Pink Lady apple. I miss my Honey Nut O’s, but these are a good enough substitute for now. And I just love this bowl! It’s the perfect size for a single serving of cereal.


Plans for this evening are to check out U-Fest, which is essentially this huge event at the university’s student Union with lots of free goodies. I’m in college; it’s basically the law that I do anything and everything for free stuff, right? Other than that, I’m not sure. I guess I’ll see where the evening takes me. It’s Welcome Week, so there’s always tons of options to pick from. I hope everyone enjoyed their Monday; it was so weird for me to not be at working today that I almost forgot that it’s not the weekend anymore!

Aug 29, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Slept a solid ~ 9 hours last night, even sleeping in an hour from when I usually get up. I actually did not set my alarm for the first time all summer last night! It feels good to take a rest day from running and working out, as long as I still get my oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, Grape Nuts, PB&Co. CRS, raspberry preserves, and almonds. I tried making my oats in a new way this morning. Instead of just boiling water for my oats, I used that hot water to make Celestial Raspberry Zinger Herbal Tea. It added a whole additional layer of flavor that perfectly complemented the raspberry preserves! I think I’ll be using tea from now on to make my oats and choose some flavor that will go with whatever toppings and mix-ins that I have at the time.


All the freshmen are moving in today, with all the other undergrads who are living in the dorms returning tomorrow, so town was kind of crazy. But, I needed to venture to the shops to look for a poster for over my bed. The huge white spot is quite bothersome to me so I wanted to find something that tied in with everything else in the room, but wasn’t tacky like a lot of the posters that are typical of a college room (read: music, movies, alcohol). I didn’t end up getting a poster, but I think what I found is a good substitute:


I bought this from a Fair Trade store near campus: Kirabo. It goes so well; I’m pleased. I was famished and HOT from walking around (it was in the lower 90s today), so I ate the rest of my Spinach Dal from last night and a little more of the rice along with it. Accompanied with a Chocolate Chip Z-Bar. I love this flavor. Lunch was followed by even more episodes of Friends, of course. I’m about halfway through the next season now I think.

Roommate Alli and I hung out for a little bit after she got back from work. Then I showered, did some cleaning, and waited for my sushi to arrive. The California roll is king in my book. A wonderfully light dinner after this very warm and uncomfortable day (I had to do more medical testing today as well, and it was just awkward to me).

Now I’m off to visit some of the people I lived with in the dorms last year. G’Night everyone!

Aug 28, 2010

Feeling It

I was up basically all night; incapable of sleeping for some reason. I really have no idea how to explain it, other than maybe excitement? Although this article says that it may be the fruit that I ate late last night. Regardless, I hardly slept a wink last night and don’t actually have any idea when I dozed off, but before I knew it the alarm was buzzing and it was time to get my sore body out of bed to groove to some pilates. But, at least I’m all moved in and writing from my new amazing desk in my loverly new room that I decorated and designed all by myself! Take a look:


That’s only the view from my doorway, there’s also a dresser and closet behind the bookcase, but I love it so much! My own room, away from home (all 3 miles that I am from my house), and lots of space in which to roam and still do workout DVDs and yoga without my roommates having to stare at my weirdness. I also love that it is on the first floor. We didn’t have to carry any of my super heavy things up flights of stairs and will make everything just ten times easier I’m sure. I also found out that some of my friends live in my complex as well which was really nice, since I didn’t think that I would know anyone here other than the roommate I had last year.

After a very cold pilates sessions (the AC is turned way up in this place and I do not make up the majority since I am cold all the time), it was time to make breakfast for the first time in the new place, but I had to be really quite because some people were sleeping in the living room which is connected to the kitchen. Kind of hard to do when you have to use the microwave and repeatedly open cabinet and refrigerator doors and drawers and use measuring utensils. Luckily this isn’t going to be the regular occurrence, but one of the other girls had friends from home stay over. Old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, Grape Nuts, almonds, PB&Co. CRS, and raspberry preserves.


I completely forgot about these giant mugs that my sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas for the apartment. They’ve been in the basement ever since and I hardly ever go down there except for the occasional load of laundry I can’t wait to have done. These will be perfect for oats with little danger of them spilling over in the microwave! And they come in different colors, so I won’t have to bore you with my same old mug every single day like I’ve been apt to do.

I spent most of the early morning printing things off for my first week of classes, starting in on the stuff I have to do for my online class, and making up a calendar with all known due dates for all of my classes (a habit I picked up last year). I post the calendar on my corkboard and that’s how I prioritize what do to that day, when to study for things, etc. And I’ll see it every day because it’s right over my bed and colorful!

I walked the ~ 2.5 miles that it is to my house from my apartment on the bike path, picked up my bike, and rode it back to the apartment. Following a much needed shower, I was so ready for lunch. High-fiber tortilla with a vegan Boca burger, lettuce, and ketchup and a cute, little dinosaur pluot. I’ve been seeing pluots on a bunch of the blogs that I read lately, so I decided to check it out myself! Not too bad, not too much flavor in my opinion, but it’s not bad at all! I hadn’t had ketchup in such a long time, it seems. I forget how good it tastes and how much I miss it! For sure my favorite condiment. Thank goodness for my appetite coming back to normal today.


Once Alli got back from work, we headed over to the Clubhouse to turn in some forms, pick up our bus passes, and look around a bit at where all the facilities were. The Clubhouse has a resort-style pool, hot tub, tanning, basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts, a sand volleyball court, and a 24-hour fitness center. I think you know which one I’m most excited about!

After that, I sat down to do some more work on my computer and tried out a new product: Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. These sounded so interesting that I just had to try them! They tasted like a very condensed version of Ramen Noodles in nut form. That’s honestly the best way that I can think of to put it. Not exactly something I would want to eat every day, but if I was feeling like getting my taste buds shocked then I would grab for a packet of these babies.


It’s days like today, before classes officially start and you don’t really have anything to do, that I regret not bringing my TV with me to the new place. Just for something to do to eat up the time, or at least to have on in the background. I have my iTunes playing right now, but it just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. I tried playing some computer games and reading as well, but since we had so many doors open yesterday there are flies everywhere and are very distracting and annoying and gross. And of course I’m totally uncoordinated or ninja-like so can’t swat the darn things myself.

Dinner was something I’ve been craving all day: Tasty Bite Spinach Dal and Tasty Bite Brown Rice. Tasty Bite has seriously reignited my love of Indian food and I love their short, readable ingredients lists! The seasonings are only just a little bit spicy for me, which is perfect. And I’m so proud of myself for picking out and making up this vegan, kosher, gluten-free dinner all on my own. True, all I needed was a microwave, but still! It was healthy and satisfying and just what I wanted.


It’s weird how much my tastes have changed over the past year. I hardly ate any pasta dishes over the past few months, and I’m not even upset about it! In my house, pasta was the main component of virtually every dinner that my mother made. Since I’ve started making my own meals and even when I lived in the dorm and had a vast array of options to choose from, I rarely went for the pasta dish. There’s so much more to life than pasta! I probably would not have even had brown rice tonight if it wasn’t just the perfect addition to any Asian-inspired cuisine.

Now I’m just waiting around for Lyle to get back from visiting his hometown so that we can jump in to Friends-watching mode. Almost through season five now! Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day from running and working out, and I think that’s a good thing considering the maybe 3 hours that I slept last night. I felt fine all of today, even with waking up at 6:30am like usual, but I’m not going to let it become a trend to stay up all night like I did last year (bed at 1, wake up at 10). I hope that everyone had an amazing Saturday!

And now to leave you with a funny and (at least for me) partly true article:
Top 10 Signs You're A Running Fanatic

Aug 27, 2010

Movin’ On Out

Yes. Finally. Today is the day. The day that I head out on my own in search of greener pastures and continuing education… two miles away from my mother’s house. But, really, my parents respect my space and don’t just drop in whenever they feel like it. I rarely saw my parents at all last year and both of them work at the university I attend. I probably would have seen them a lot less if I hadn’t been so sick for most of the year. Anyways, I started today out right; with a 4.05 mile run finished in 36:48 (9:04 pace). I really tried not to push myself too fast this morning and just to go the speed that my body left like going, and it turned out to be pretty fast but at the time it sure did feel slow.

Another very cold morning (low 50s, brrr), so I was very looking forward to my mug of oatmeal this morning. Old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, almonds, PB&Co. CRS, raspberry preserves, Grape Nuts, and cinnamon. Sorry that it doesn’t look so pretty this morning, I had to prepare and measure everything out last night so that I could pack everything away for the move today. So, my oats essentially were pre-mixed this morning, but it still tasted good nonetheless.


This morning was filled with music and living minimally. With everything packed away but my computer and a change of clothes for the day, I did not have much to keep me entertained until the big show at 1pm.

Unfortunately, I failed miserably today food-wise. I was just so stressed and busy that before I knew it it was 7pm and I hadn’t eaten a thing. That might explain the light headedness and the shakiness, no? Time flew by and there was absolutely no food in the new place and I didn’t get to go grocery shopping until around 8pm. I’m going to go try and force myself to eat something now that it’s almost 9pm and finish getting the place together. Classes start Wednesday and I already have a To-Do List a mile long it seems. Night everyone!

Aug 26, 2010

Best Day Ever

Woke up a little nauseous still this morning, but I did not let that deter me from stretching and bending like crazy as I popped in my yoga DVD and ate a square of dark chocolate. I'm so glad that I had yoga planned for today because it was a very chilly 47deg this morning. Perfect oatmeal weather. Old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, Grape Nuts, chia seeds, chopped almonds, raspberry preserves, and PB&Co. CRS. A perfect start to the perfect day.

I set out on my bike with my head held high and a big smile spread over my face. I was headed to my last day of my summer job and, by golly, I was going to make it a good one. It doesn't hurt that we all headed over to the campus Dairy Store for lunch to get ice-cream! I rolled with a scoop of peach ice-cream. Might as well get in the summer fruit-based ice-creams while I can. I had finished most of my work before the ice-cream run, so I signed my last hours sheet and was out of that place for good! Some of my research may even be published one day and I'll have my name on the paper!

Once I got home, I caught myself up on my blogroll and cleaned up the dishes from last night/this morning. Then I sent myself off on the task to create these:

Moving Out Cookies
a.k.a. Almond-Chocolate-Chip Cookies
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c sugar
1 Flax Egg (1 T flaxseed meal + 3 T water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/8 c flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c chocolate chips
1 c sliced almonds (I had to chop mine myself)
Preheat oven to 375 deg.
Cream butter and sugars in a mixing bowl. Beat in flax egg and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture little by little. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds. Roll into 1" balls and place onto baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes. Makes 24 cookies. *Note: Cookie dough will be very wet/sticky, so expect messy fingers after the rolling process.*

As much as I love my dark chocolate, you just have to love the taste of an ooey, gooey, milk chocolate chip straight from the oven. After the oven timer dinged, I continued to pack a few more boxes; starting in on some of the kitchen items that I won't be using tomorrow morning and don't have to be refrigerated. I also moved some of the lighter, smaller boxes downstairs to ease and expedite the loading process tomorrow.

Dinner repeat. High-fiber tortilla spread with garlic hommus and topped with spinach, mushrooms, tomato, soy swiss cheese, and salsa. still messy as ever, but too good for the mess to dissuade me from eating it day after day. Sometimes I wish that my mother ate the same foods I do, so that foods wouldn't go bad. Then I probably wouldn't be int he predicament that I'm currently in. Most of the things I leave behind will probably spoil and she won't notice until I visit and tell show her all the expiration dates and mold.

Now on to reading, chatting with a few friends who have already moved back in to town, and trying to calm myself down about tomorrow enough to be able to sleep tonight.

The Best Day Ever would not be complete without it's own theme song. I think that Spongebob says it best:

Just for Fun:
Test Your Cereal IQ. I was quite proud of my 8/11 score. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised about some of these comparisons.

Aug 25, 2010

Run Down

New dark chocolate bar this morning! Ghirardelli Espresso Escape. I love the espresso flavor when you bite into it; it's the perfect complement to the dark chocolate, but I still think that NewTree and Lindt make better chocolate. Another 5K run this morning: 3.17 miles in 28:20 (8:54 pace). I didn't feel the greatest physically, but mentally I was in the zone and loving it. Another month has gone by since I started running again and I've logged another 60+ miles, bringing me to around 123 miles ran in the past two months! The breakfast of champions was a mug filled with: old-fashioned oats, cinnamon, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, Grape Nuts, chopped almonds, PB&Co. CRS, and raspberry preserves. The almonds were a perfect addition to give that crunch I so dearly love.

As the oats were cooking, I scrounged up what some would call a lunch. A banana and an Apple Pie Larabar for lunch and the last of my Annie's Cheddar Bunnies for a snack.

The Apple Pie Larabar flavor was just my style. Subtle seasonings and plenty of whole almonds to crunch into. This will definitely be making its way into my grocery cart again soon. Apple Pie is always a classic, don't you think?

Day before my last day of work. For my remaining time here I won't be conducting any more experiments or collecting more data. Like today, I potted plants and analyzed data, so that's basically what I can look forward to for tomorrow as well. The day seemed to go pretty fast until about noon, but it was all analysis from then on out and that makes the day seem to go by so much slower.

Since there were no experiment to run, work finished pretty early. Good thing too, because I got a pretty good wave of nausea around the time that I was let out for home. I think that the fresh air I got during my bike ride helped a bit, because most of the nausea was gone by the time I arrived home. I chilled out with some sliced peaches, caught myself up on my blogroll, and started looking at the online content available for a few of my classes. Note: I plan on doing a post on the classes that I'm taking as a second-year Dietetics major after classes actually start, so expect to read about that in a week or two.

Dinner was a repeat of yesterday's lunch. Unfortunately, I started feeling sick again not too long after this. I laid down with Under the Dome until my mother came home and we were able to head over to Staples for printer ink and other school supplies. Apparently I was so caught up in getting things for the apartment that I forgot about simple school things like notebooks, folders, and highlighters. Like, important, staple items. I guess I need to work harder on getting into the "class" mindset; or else the assignments that are already popping up are going to be made a lot more difficult than they need to be.

What's important is that I got what I needed, and just in the knick of time, no? I have a system when it comes to note-taking. If the notes are from lectures, they get written into a notebook dedicated to that class. If the notes are from the textbook or supplemental materials, they get typed into a Word document. Since I actually plan on attending my lectures, I guess paper and pen would be required at some point in time.

Once we got back, laden with back-to-school goodies, I went back to packing a bit more (mom brought home more boxes!) and looking up a cookie recipe for move in. I love cooking for my man and am so happy that I have both him and my mother to assist with the move. I may be stronger than I was two months ago, but I am far from winning any Strongman competitions. NCIS is playing in the background and several pieces of cardboard are calling my name. Later, everyone. Hope you endured your Hump Day with grace and style!

Aug 24, 2010

Playing Hooky (But Not Really)

As per the schedule I laid out, I did Level 3 of the 30-Day Shred this morning. Wheew! It's days like these that make me feel like I really need to step it up in my strength training and weights sessions. I read this article this morning before I did my DVD workout and I think it helps to explain why I only use 3-lb. hand weights. Sure, you could do one rep at a high weight. But you could also do many more reps at a lower weight. However, these will give you very different results. Since I'm not looking to build size (read: female bodybuilders kind of freak me out), I use lighter weights with more sets to "tone, lengthen, and get definition". I want to be strong and look athletic, but still look and feel like the woman that I am.

Ok, now that I've rambled it's time to bring it back to the best and most important meal of the day (IMHO): Breakfast! Old-fashioned oats mixed with cinnamon and topped with flaxseed meal, chia seeds, chopped almonds, PB&Co. CRS, and raspberry preserves.

Day home from work today due to my doctor's appointment to go over the CT scan results. Everything came up normal, so the doctor set me up to test for rarer diseases. We're starting with testing for genetic diseases and porphyria, so hopefully these tests turn something up. They're also tweaking my medication a bit to hopefully help manage the pain a little. Now I just have to get through the next two or three weeks until my next appointment when the results from the new tests are in.

Since my appointment lasted almost two hours, I was running on empty once I finally got back home. Since I'm usually pretty lacking in the veggie department, I wanted to be sure to include lots in my lunch since I was at home and had the opportunity. I laid out a high-fiber tortilla, spread it with garlic hommus, and topped with soy swiss cheese, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, and a little GMO-free salsa. Not the daintiest meal to eat, however. My plate looked like my wrap bled to death from all of the fresh juices that seeped out during the devourment process. But, totally worth it since it tasted so delish.

I snacked on a Kashi TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bar in the early afternoon to fuel Part II of my workout today: Level 2 of the 30-Day Shred. This one gave my arms/shoulders a serious beating. I refueled afterwards with a cup of Cascadian Farms Organic Honey Nut O's with USVAB. I love this cereal. It's like Honey Nut Cheerios, but in my opinion is a little bit better. I usually find the Cheerios version to be too rough on the top of my mouth and dry, so the Cascadian Farms version is an excellent replacement. Tasty and organic to boot!

After the workout, I spent most of the evening attempting to pack. I've run out of boxes and suitcases in which to pack things, so I could only get so far. Plus, there are a lot of things that I'll be using in between now and midday Friday. And I think that I'm seriously underestimating how much time it will take to transfer all of my things over to the apartment, even though it's only two or three miles away. Also, unfortunately, I'm thinking it'll take more than one trip. But, no use worrying about it now. I'll do what I can with what I have. It will all get done eventually, even if that means taking an extra day to move in.

Dinner was something quick and easy so that I could continue packing and watching Made on MTV: Dr. McDougall's Right Foods Pad Thai Noodle Soup (gluten free, vegan). A tad on the spicay side for my sensitive tolerance level (my nose was actually running!), but I would eat it again if I were in a pinch and in the mood for a big, hot cup of soup, or at least consider trying some of Right Foods' other soup varieties.

Okay, back to packing and my MTV Made marathon. Running in the morning and back to the lab for most of the rest of the day. See you in the AM!

Quote of the Day: Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams. Robert K. Greenleaf

Aug 23, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons

Back to the old grind. I broke open a new dark chocolate bar, ate a few pieces, and was off on a 3.13 mile run which I completed in 29:03. I have to tell you, it did not feel good. I had a cramp almost the entire time, but I'm stubborn and did not want to give in to a little discomfort. If it had been my foot or knee, well that's a different story, but this was just a stomach thing and I did not want it to stop me from training. I could barely feel the cramp by the end of the run and am glad that I pushed myself and went through with it.

Once I arrived back at home, I was finally in the mood for oats. So, I made up the usual mug: 1/3 c old-fashioned oats, flaxseed meal, Grape Nuts, pomegranate Craisins, cinnamon, raspberry preserves, and PB&Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. So classic; so satisfying. I would have added a few chia seeds into the mix as well, but I forgot about them completely!

As the oats were cooking, I packed food for the day: Annie's Cheddar Bunnies for a snack, with a Lemon Bar Larabar and a fresh Pink Lady apple for lunch. Just look at how massive that apple is! We usually get Gala apples, but Iowa Girl Eats has had me hankering for a nice Pink Lady apple; one type of apple that I had yet to have tried before. IGE seems to have one with her lunch or for a snack on most days, so they must be good, right?

The Lemon Bar Larabar flavor was fair. It's not among the worst I've tried and would actually get again if I was in the mood and my top choices weren't available. Definitely lemony and refreshing. As always, the short and natural ingredients list gets major points. Dates, cashews, almonds, lemon juice concentrate, and natural lemon flavor. I've been keeping a list of all the Larabars I've tried so that I can rank them later on and use that to decide which I will buy on a regular basis when I go to the store.

Other than stopping at the post office on the way in to work this morning, my work day was pretty uneventful. Although, I did witness a woman buy $132 worth of stamps at the post office and I forgot to grab a bottle of water out of the fridge this morning (d'oh!) and so had to buy one at the coffee shop once I got to work. Work actually didn't drag on today, which is awesome. I am so ready to fast-forward to Friday.

I was in a "blender" kind of a mood when I got home and, since I constantly underestimate my appetite while at work, was ready for something green and revamped. I would now like to introduce to you the Epic Green Monster (EGM), Take 2:

Epic Green Monster V.2
3/4 c USVAB
1 c spinach
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 c ice
Blend until smooth. I chose to top this baby off with green grapes, pomegranate Craisins, Fiber One cereal, and a crumbled Enjoy Life Gingerbread Spice Cookie (gluten free). It was so cold and refreshing after my hot bike ride, but I think EGMs are best made without added ice. So, note to self: use unflavored/vanilla yogurt, no chocolate powders, and no ice. But, hey! I'm learning!

Well, now it's getting late, but at least I finished everything on my list for today. Day off from work tomorrow for my doctor's appointment mean experimentation in the kitchen for meals. I'm hoping to actually cook something and put it together for lunch and snacks rather than just grab-and-eat stuff like I usually have to do due to work and/or being away from the house.

For the rest of the night, though, I am content with watching Cake Boss on TLC, mapping out my bus routes for the semester, and playing computer game free trials. I hope everyone else enjoyed their Monday as much as I did!

Aug 22, 2010

Holland and Rest

--- 8/21/10 ---

We headed out for Holland around noon, and arrived at Tunnel Park and the shores of Lake Michigan at about 1:30. After wading into the water for half an hour or so, we laid out, soaked up some sun (only a little red!), ate some of my yummy treats, people watched, and took a few pictures. Once we all felt a bit crispy, we changed back into street clothes (more or less) and headed out to the mall to window shop. No, nobody bought anything, but there were several great finds and lots of laughs along the way. Also, my friend Ashleigh and I would never be able to work in a sweets shop because we would be getting sick too much just from the sickly sweet odor of the place. Honestly. My nausea went away by just stepping away from the chocolate shop and breathing fresh air. I guess my tastes have changed a lot this past year or something.

Despite a few raindrops on the drive over, it was nothing but sun and warmth once we got to the shore. I'm so glad that I was given this opportunity to go someplace nice and just relax and have fun with people who are special to me before school rears its time-eating head in a week or so. Who even knows when I will be able to get away again. It truly was the perfect end to summer.

Really, the only bad part was the Cherry Pie Larabar I tried when we were at the mall because I was hungry and did not want to eat fast food. It was terrible; one bite and I couldn't even bring myself to finish it just so that it did not go to waste. That bad. Never, ever again will I be purchasing this flavor.

--- 08/22/10 ---

Rest day from my amazing long run yesterday. I even allowed myself an extra hour before getting up for the day, though I don't really think it was sleeping in because I tossed and turned all night. No pictures for breakfast or lunch today. I didn't have a camera with me and I was not even home for a good chunk of the day. However, my dad invited my boyfriend Lyle and I out for sushi at Maru and you know I brought my camera for that!

I chowed down on some salted edamame and a good portion of a California roll. Such a loverly evening with my boys. It was slightly dampened when I started getting pain, but luckily the worst of it was over after 1.5 hours. Though, four hours later and I'm still feeling a little bit of pain, but I'm still able to breathe for the most part and am not crying, so it's manageable.

It's been weird being so disconnected from my computer and the internet this weekend. I feel behind already and it's crazy to think that I have work tomorrow morning and that this is my last week of summer. I have so much left to do:

Monday: 3 mile run. Work. Groceries.
Tuesday: 30-Day Shred (Lvl 3). Doctor. 30-Day Shred (Lvl 2). Pack.
Wednesday: Run. Work.
Thursday: Yoga (Biggest Loser). Work.
Friday: Run. Finish packing. Move-In/Out.

I'm sure that a bunch of little things will pop up or I've forgotten something, but these are the things that will definitely happen on those days in roughly that order. This should be a stressful week that will unfortunately fly by far too fast. But I really can't wait to be settled, meet my new roommates in person, and learn how to lead a healthy lifestyle while in college. Hopefully I'll fare better this year than I did the previous year.

Aug 21, 2010


Long run this morning. Since it seems to be making an appearance on most of the running blogs I follow, I decided to try PB&Co. CRS peanut butter and banana on half of a toasted sandwich thin about half an hour before my run. I was a little worried because it was supposed to rain all day, but when I set out it was just barely sprinkling and that continued to be all there was in terms of "scattered thunderstorms" for the entire run. The sandwich thin actually made me feel pretty good, not too many cramps and those that I had were not enough to slow me down. After about 3 miles I walked for 3 minutes so that I could eat a few pomegranate Craisins for fuel to get me home.

All in all, I cranked out an awesome 6.02 miles in 57:03 (9:30 pace), and that includes about 3:30 of walking (eating my Craisins and waiting at stoplights). SIX MILES and a decent pace that factors in over three minutes of walking? Holy milestones, Batman! I was beaming when I walked back through my front door. I made a plan, I set a course, I followed through, and it felt amazing. I could not be happier, except that I am because tomorrow is a well-earned rest day. More beautiful words have never been uttered before.

To continue on the trail of awesomeness, I cracked open a new package of spinach. Why spinach, you ask?

For an Epic Green Monster (EGM) of course! I used Freya's recipe over at Brit Chick Runs as a guide:

Epic Green Monster (EGM)
3/4 c yogurt (I used Chobani Peach)
1/4 c USVAB
1 c spinach
1 T cocoa powder
1/2 frozen banana (left over from this morning)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
All thrown into a blender and blended until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add your toppings of choice.

I topped it off with green grapes, Fiber One, and Kashi GoLean. It tasted okay, but I think next time I'll skip the cocoa powder and sub in some vanilla protein powder. The chocolatey flavor just didn't seem to fit in with the spinach and I think that vanilla would pair much better.

Now I'm off to a lovely car trip to Holland with one of my best girl friends and my boyfriend. I'll be sure to do a full recap (with pictures) when I come home tomorrow. My last weekend before college life kicks back in again. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and, if you're like me and your summer is quickly coming to an end, are living it up and using it to your advantage. It's amazing how quickly the past 3.5 months have gone by and how much has changed and occurred. I can't wait to see what the rest of this year will bring.

Aug 20, 2010

Doubt Your Doubts

I ate the last of my Endangered Species All-Natural Dark Chocolate with Mint (Rainforest) this morning for pre-run fuel. Since I plan on tomorrow being a long run, I only did 2.23 miles in 19:56 (8:54 pace). I was finally in the mood for oats again this morning, so I made up a mug of 1/3 c old-fashioned oats, 1 T PB&Co. CRS, 1 T flaxseed meal, 2 T Grape Nuts, 1 T raspberry preserves, 1/2 tsp chia seeds, and 1 T shredded coconut.

As the oats were cooking, I packed up lunch. Homemade trail mix, made with almonds, pomegranate Craisins, and chocolate chips, and a fresh nectarine made up the bulk of my lunch, and I threw in a Chocolate Chip Clif Z-Bar for a snack to hold me over. I have a pretty large bag of almonds and chia seeds that I'm trying to use up as much as possible before I move in a week. Actually, that's true of basically all of my foods. I know that my mother will want me to keep some things at home, because she thinks I'll be here all the time apparently, and I think that's a good idea to some degree to have a box of cereal or some cans of soup in the pantry that I could eat if I ever have to stop by for extended periods of time, but I will want to bring most of my stuff with me when I go.

TGIF! Today has been such a good day so far! On my way in to work, a guy who was blowing grass trimmings and whatnot even turned his machine off so that I could bike through without getting gunk in my eyes! (I still did, but it's the gesture that counts.) I also love Z-Bars. I don't care if they're marketed to be for kids; I like them and I'm gonna eat them, gosh darn it! Good food is good food and we shouldn't categorize it as "kiddie" or "adult".

After work, I was siked to get home. I had popped some pineapple tidbits into the freezer before I left for work, so that I could make this beauty when I got home:

My very first SIAB (Smoothie In A Bowl)! I'm going to try my first something else tomorrow after my run, but you'll just have to wait and see! I've put it off until now just because I did not have all of the necessary ingredients until we went to the store the other day and I actually remembered to put it down on the shopping list. Anyways, into the blender went: 1/3 c USVAB, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 T PB&Co. CRS, 1/2 banana, 1/2 c frozen pineapple, 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, and ~ 8 ice cubes.

The verdict? YUM! Xanthan gum really is a miracle worker. I usually hate to drink my calories, it's an old ED thing that has stuck around, but by adding XG to thicken the smoothie, and then putting it in a bowl, I feel more comfortable with it, and I'm glad that I tried it out and am excited to try out new combinations of add-ins now! The pineapple flavor was in the forefront, so it was like a mini tropical vacation in my dining room as I was eating it. Oh! And I noticed my cats acting a little funny, and it turns out there was a huge spider on the wall! I ran away, but not before taking a picture first (so very blogger-ish of me), from the other side of the room, of course.

For dinner a few hours later, I finished up the other half of my Macaroni & Cheeze with broccoli, just adding some salt and pepper to season and popped into the microwave for a minute or two. After that was all warmed up, I added some chopped tomato that I bought the other day from the Student Organic Farm booth on campus. I don't know what it is, but the tomato made this already awesome dish even better! Happy tummy, happy URE. My camera seriously does not do this dish justice. I have yet to learn how to really capture the vibrancy of the colors in my dishes. Any advice?

Here are some of the pricier items from my fairly decent-sized Amazon wishlist, reserved for Christmas, my birthday, and when I'm feeling extremely generous towards myself, not counting what I have on my "private" wish list (things I just want to remember, sort of want, or may get one day long from now if I have extra cash and no other way to get the items):
  • Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
  • Apple iPod Classic 160GB in Silver (7th Generation)
  • Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver with Heart Rate Monitor
I can only hope to get one of these for each holiday (Christmas/birthday) from now until Christmas 2011 and I would be totally happy! Oh! And more good news. I'm getting new, actual running shoes in a few weeks (after the start of the month), and I'm so excited! All I've been using are my Reebok EasyTone Rush SF shoes that I received last Christmas. They're fine shoes, but they weren't made for running (and, in fact, aren't even made any more). I'm pretty sure that I'm flat-footed, since my foot cramps up if I point it, so I think that I may need a more specialized kind of shoe for my feet, but if it means that I run better and lose my goofy footing I think that it's worth it.

Well, I am going to go continue packing. I move into my new apartment ONE WEEK from today and have a lot to do before then. Not to mention the fact that my last day of work is on Thursday and I get the results of my CT scan Tuesday. Plus my little vacation to Holland tomorrow, which I need to plan and pack for a bit more. Night everyone!

Aug 19, 2010

E.T. Phone Home

A bit sore this morning. Another reason I don't like working out in the evening; the next morning seems too close to my last workout. This morning I did Power Vinyasa #4 from I really enjoyed this flow, even if it is for more advanced yogis, because it's a bitter faster paced which really made the 20 minutes feel like it was flying by and I got to try some new poses. Breakfast was bfast cookie dough cereal inspired by The Fitnessista.

Night before: 1/3 c old-fashioned oats, 1 T PB&Co. CRS, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/6 c USVAB, and cinnamon. Morning of: Added almonds (for crunch), pomegranate Craisins, and ~ 3/4 c USVAB. I think I'll add fresh fruit or add back in the 1/2 mashed banana the night before, but overall it's a pretty good substitute for when you don't feel like a steamy bowl of oats (which I haven't been in the mood for lately).

Guess who finally remembered to photograph her lunch before she packed it all away? This girl right here! Although I accidentally took the picture on the right (below) on the wrong setting (I would have retaken the picture, but I didn't want to unpack/pack everything again). I brought a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar with a juicy nectarine for lunch and Vanilla Chobani (Larabars, nectarines, and Chobani were all on sale this week!) mixed with a little bit of FiberOne cereal for an afternoon snack to tide me over until dinner and fuel my ride back home.

The Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar was awesome. As soon as I opened it up I thought: "freshly-baked peanut butter cookies". As a kid, my favorite cookie was always those Peanut Butter Blossom ones (peanut butter cookie with a Hershey's KISS on top). This one deserves another appearance and will definitely make its way into my bar stash again. And one of the best parts? The awesomely short and natural ingredients list, of course!: Dates, Peanuts, Salt.

It always throws me off to have a day off from work in the middle of the week. Today is Thursday and it feels like a Monday, which can be both good and bad. Good, because I feel rested from the "weekend" the day before but the weekend comes sooner! Bad, because you get into the "Monday slump" near the end of the week rather than at the beginning and you have two slumps; one on an actual Monday and now one on a Thursday. But, overall, I don't think today dragged on too unnecessarily. I have my book and access to the internet all day, so if worse comes to worse I go searching for new blogs to read and follow if I consider them entertaining enough to actually want to read again.

After I got home, read the mail, and put all of my things away, I set to work on baking cookie for my "mini vacation" this weekend: Extraterrestrial Cookies! I know that I can't be the only one out there who always thinks of the movie E.T. when they see Reese's Pieces. Did you know that the filmmakers had requested that M&M's be used, instead of Reese's Pieces? The Mars company had denied their request and so Reese's Pieces were used instead. As a direct result, Reese's Pieces sales skyrocketed. Because of this, more and more companies began requesting that their products be used in movies. Thus, product placement was born. You learn something new every day!

Extraterrestrial Cookies

1 1/4 c flour (I used whole wheat)
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking soda
3 T cocoa powder
1/8 c (2 T) unsweetened applesauce (gives it a slightly cakey texture)
3/8 c (6 T) butter, softened
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
Flax Egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 c (2 T) chocolate chips
1/2 c Reese's Pieces

Preheat oven to 350deg. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a large bowl; set aside. In another large bowl, mix applesauce, butter, brown sugar, sugar, flax egg, and vanilla extract. Stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, small amounts at a time. Stir in the chocolate chips and Reese's Pieces. Drop 1" spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. I got about 2 dozen out of this recipe.

As the cookies baked, I ran through some core work, and as they cooled I cleaned up the dishes and countertops a bit. I sampled a small one soon after that and it didn't taste too bad, actually, considering that I made up this recipe myself and was trying to make it a tiny bit healthier. But, experimentation is good; it's an effective way to help you learn and to grow. And it doesn't hurt to have willing and able test subjects.

My body was craving veggies, so for dinner I spread a little garlic hommus on a high fiber tortilla and topped it with cucumber, tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, and spinach leaves. Then I made up a side of corn and mixed it with a little salsa as a good compliment to round out the meal and get in even more vegetables! Now I'm going to print out some recipes, fix up my binder, and hopefully squeeze in another round of yoga before I drift off to Dream Land. G'Night y'all!

Aug 18, 2010

URE, Now With More Barium!

CT scan was this morning. It was a disaster from the very start. First off, we were scheduled for a time during which the doctor's office was not even open, so we had to wait for 45 minutes in the car waiting for the building to unlock. Then, once we got in, I still had to drink a bunch of barium for the contrast. However, the barium made me nauseous and very full, so I could not finish the two bottles that they require of patients. Luckily, since I'm tiny, they let me off with only finishing a bottle and some change. During this whole time I was lightheaded, cold, and had low blood pressure (blue fingernails are only okay if they are painted that way). Once they actually got me back and into the machine it wasn't so bad. The IV iodine irritated my veins a bit and was painful for a minute, but other than that the actual scan went well and was uneventful.

Moving on, once I got back home I still didn't feel too well, but I knew that I needed to eat something, so I grabbed half of a Kashi TLC Peanut Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bar. Like most granola bars, I thought it was too dry, but not bad regardless. Also, a Deep Chocolate VitaTop. I've always been a fan of the top part of cupcakes, muffins, etc. so I thoroughly enjoyed this. I just wish that they had some of the other flavors at my grocery store, this was the only flavor offered, but, hey, at least it's chocolate. And has tons of fiber and vitamins! I would definitely consider buying these again, especially since there were only four in the box. Note to self: not good frozen; let thaw first.

Yay for Blogger's updated photo uploader! Anyways, I didn't do much today after the appointment. There was no way that I was going to go in to the lab after the way I felt before and during the procedure. Mostly, I read and worked on making a grocery list, since my mom and I would be going this afternoon (in serious need of fresh fruit, especially bananas!). We scored some sweet deals, and since I did my homework (checked sales and coupons ahead of time and against what we already have on hand), I was able to save us over $20! *Big pat on the back*. Despite that, grocery shopping (really shopping of any type) put me in a bad mood and I was ready to get home where I made this:

Chopped broccoli with Amy's Macaroni & Soy Cheeze (vegetarian, organic, lactose-free, kosher) and a fresh nectarine on the side. I made up a big bag of frozen broccoli and a container of the macaroni and cheeze and then split it all between two containers for a more manageable serving. I love adding broccoli or peas to my pasta dishes, especially alfredos and mac&cheeses. So, if I had made up the entire tray plus ~2 c broccoli, that would have been quite a bit of food on my plate! The macaroni was incredible. I'm so glad that I have another serving of this waiting for me in my fridge! I haven't gotten the chance to try many Amy's products because they are so expensive, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for sales so I can try something else. Any recommendations from the Amy's Kitchen product line?

My run went stunningly this evening! 3.63 miles in 31:30 (8:40 pace!). I can really feel my legs getting stronger, especially in the past few days. They look bigger, but it's like a muscle-y big rather than a fat blob big, which if I have to gain weight and inches, is preferable. I mean, even women want six-pack abs and sculpted buns and thighs. Since I was so proud of my run, and of my progress, here is a never-before-seen look at URE, post-run; sweat and all. Note: Do not expect another one of these until my 5K in late September!:

On another note, I am so jealous of people who have Trader Joe's and/or Whole Foods! The nearest TJ's is 50 miles away; likewise for Whole Foods. I live right next to the capital of the state of Michigan and still I have no access to these amazing stores! Where is the justice?! I am begging to the food and healthy living gods that I will end up in a town with these stores less than 25 minutes away. I feel like that is a reasonable cut-off distance. Not too far, but not so close that I'll go there every day and go broke (I've read quite a bit about "Whole Paycheck" on The Fitnessista's blog). Or I could just beg that my friends at the University of Michigan or fellow bloggers will send me yummy treats!

Quote of the Day: "The freedom of Cross Country is so primitive. It's woman vs. nature." - Lynn Jennings

Aug 17, 2010

Stretch and Extend

Double session of workouts today. Yoga for Runners in the morning, and 30 Day Shred (Level 3) with Jillian in the evening. I'm trying to focus less on pure running and more on overall fitness. My goal is to run every other day, with a long run once a week, and do pilates, or yoga, or something else along those lines on the other days. I'm still a bit sore from Sunday's round of yoga with Bob Harper (from the Biggest Loser). Yoga with weights is no joke, people. Moving on, after I got all stretched out and did some ab work, I moved on to breakfast. I wasn't really in the mood for oats this morning, so I made up some yummy Vans Lite Waffles! Topped with a smidge of butter, maple syrup, and fresh strawberries. For you mathematically minded people out there: Waffles > Pancakes. It's just a fact of life.

Full day of work today, since I have to take tomorrow off for my CT scan (bright and early in the morning, actually the sun won't even be out yet I don't think) and another day off next week for my follow-up exam. Not much money going to be made in my last two weeks of working here, but every little bit that I can squeeze out will help, coupled with extreme frugality and begging. Lunch today was a Vegan Boca Burger on a sandwich thin with a slice of soy swiss chesee (no hiccups this time!) and a banana, with cottage cheese and mandarin orange slices as a snack. Again, my head was in a fog the entire day, which made focusing a bit difficult, but I can't really explain the lightheadedness so, therefore, don't really know what to do to make it go away. Since there was a lot of waiting around involved at work today, I was very thankful for my Stephanie Plum novel to keep me company. I seem to be going through this one more slowly, but that's probably just because I've had so much less energy this week than last.

Once I got home, I was craving chocolate, but I wanted it to be substantial to hold me over until dinner as well. So, I whipped up a bowl of protein brownie batter a la Gabriela from Une Vie Saine. No picture today, because I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but indeed I did! I'll probably post the recipe tomorrow when I'll undoubtedly make it again. But, it definitely hit the spot. I only wish that I had a better protein powder to work with, but I need to use up what I have before I get any new stuff. What protein powder(s) would people recommend?

I seriously have had no appetite today. This was definitely one of those "having to make myself eat something every couple of hours because I know that is what would be best for my body". Dinner was broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a cheddar cheese sauce. I usually don't like cooked carrots, but cover it in cheese and I'll probably eat it. My parents used to use this tactic to get me to eat my vegetables as a little kid (most of the time I still wouldn't eat it). I let the cheese cook a little long so that some of it burnt. I love slightly burnt cheese, and it smells so good! Post-Jillian snack was a mug full of Kashi GoLean, USVAB, and the last of the strawberries. Unfortunately, this triggered some abdominal pain and, even though I was quite short of calories for the day, could not eat any more for the rest of the evening.

I cannot wait for this weekend! I actually get to go somewhere for a change! Too bad it had to wait until the very end of summer to happen, but, hey, at least it's happening, right? Better late than never and all that. Now I just need to get to the grocery store to stock up on snacks and drinks for the ride to and from the lake and for during the day at the beach since I don't really like to eat at restaurants that much, especially since I have such a small stomach with all of the "mini" meals that I eat. Restaurants don't really serve "me" portion sizes, and if they did they would probably overcharge. Heck, I think all restaurant food is overpriced. Pair that with me being a frugalista and you just have a recipe for disaster/recipe for me bringing a cooler or lunchbag everywhere.