Monday, June 30, 2008

Easy Evening

Ahhhh, tonight has been a nice, relaxing evening. My commute home was longer than usual, but for some reason, it didn't put me in a bad mood, which was a pleasant surprise all by itself! And once home, things just fell into place. :)

It was too hot to cook dinner tonight, so I threw together a ham, VT relish, and spinach sandwich on a toasted English muffin. 

On the side, I had some baby carrots. Not a super exciting meal, but all in all, a lovely, easy dinner. 

Mal and I both had some things that we wanted to pick up at CVS tonight, so after dinner, we decided to walk there-- about a mile each way. We had a nice time chatting away, but our conversation kept returning to our impending list of last-minute wedding tasks. (Yowsahs!) 

When we arrived home again, I was craving something sweet, so I made myself half of an English muffin with peanut butter and butterscotch chips. This is suchscrumptious snack

Wedding tasks are calling my name! Mal and I are spending the rest of evening dividing and conquering our wedding To Do list. Wish us luck! 

Late Lunch = Crankypants

I just finished eating my lunch a few minutes ago. I typically eat lunch around 11:30/12:00, so my stomach was not happy about waiting until almost 2:00 to eat (6.5 hours after breakfast). Now that I have eaten, I feel like a million bucks! (I get so cranky when I am hungry! It's not pretty!)

Lunch today was an Amy's Cheddar Cheese Burrito made with beans and rice. Overall, the burrito was tasty and satisfying, and the bean and cheese was a good flavor combination. My only gripe was its lack of spiciness and seasoning.

Amy's frozen burrito took less than 3 minutes to cook in the microwave at work. It was the perfect size for the right amount of calories (300 calories, 11g protein, 6g fiber), and I was happily content after eating the very last bite. The beans and cheese were blended together to create a soft, creamy consistency. The whole wheat tortilla was actually rather thick and wrapped tightly, so all of the ingredients inside stayed nicely in place. (Lunch also included a Ginger Snap Larabar.)

Inside the burrito you could still see whole beans and pieces of rice. Of course, I prefer the "real deal" when it comes to burritos, but as far as frozen burritos go, Amy's Organic burritos are an awesome option for a quick meal. Hands down, these are the best frozen burritos I have tried!

Another New Product

Having just finished lunch, I'm not sure if I will need an afternoon snack, but on the schedule is Barbara's Shredded Oats cereal...

and a black cherry-flavored Stonyfield yogurt. I''ll be sure to report back about the cereal!

I'm only a little bit hungry, but around 4:00, I am planning to eat my afternoon snack. I thought having a little something now would be better than stuffing my face when I get home in 2.5 hours... although that could still happen! :)

Hip Issues. Meh.

My hip is still sore today. As part of my circuit, I did 3 sets of dumbbell squats. Unfortunately, while doing them, my hip had a slight pain to it. Meh. Of course, I decided to skip running today-- instead, I did the elliptical and some light walking as my cardio workout. Perhaps my hip just needs some rest and relaxation? What a bummer. Before my workout, I fueled-up on half an English muffin with peanut butter.

Breakfast was a bowl of banana oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter. I've been craving peanut butter like mad since I finished off the box of PB Puffins. I need a new box ASAP! :)

Here is breakfast from above with a multivitamin and a fish oil supplement. I'm rather inconsistent about taking my multivitamin and fish oil-- I probably take them about 2-3 times a week (when I remember). I try to fill my diet with nutritious foods, but these supplements are a good way to make up for missed vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

As always, iced coffee to go. Today's was made with vanilla hemp milk and Splenda (1/2 packet). Delish! Here's my iced coffee recipe.

Question of the Day

What is your favorite exercise? What is your least favorite exercise?

Me: My fav is walking (or running) outside. I could walk for hours with good tunes on my ipod or while talking to a friend. It's so relaxing. Least favorite is back exercises. I just don't enjoy doing them. I try to do a few back strengthening exercises each week, but I always end up whizzing through them. I know the importance of a strong back, so this is something I need to work on.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wacky Weather

Mother Nature keeps us on our toes here in Boston. Today's weather was "typical" of New England:
  • Morning: Cool, gray, foggy
  • Afternoon: Partly sunny, humid, warm
  • Mid-afternoon: Sunny, less humid, warm 
  • Evening: Dark, stormy, raining
  • Evening (10 minutes later): Partly sunny, breezy, perfect (70 degrees)
Workout and Lunch

Once the morning cleared up, I managed to fit in a 5.2 mile run down near the ocean. My run felt great (I love my Nike+ipod gadget!) until the last 1/2 mile or so when my left hip started to ache. I stretched a ton when I got home, so let's hope it was just a fluke. 

Lunch today included a spinach salad with carrots, red onion, a pickle, a dollop of hummus, and balsamic vinegar... 

and a peanut butter and apricot sandwich on whole wheat...

and a Stonyfield yogurt. I covered all the bases, right? Lunch was very satisfying today-- I didn't need a "real" snack this afternoon.

Around 4:30, I was sort of hungry, but I was planning to cook dinner in about an hour, so I drank a pomegranate-lemonade and ate 2 pickles to hold me over. 


Mal had quite the good time last night at his bachelor party. He and his friends drank vodka tonics and stayed up until 5:30 this morning, so needless to say, he wasn't feeling 100% when he arrived home this afternoon. Being the nice fiance that I am, I offered to cook dinner for him-- his request: Annie's Mac and Cheese (aka one of the best comfort foods ever). 

I mixed the Annie's with ground turkey and steamed spinach. I think it actually made Mal feel a little bit better.

My after dinner sweet snack was half of a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and butterscotch chips. The combo of peanut butter and butterscotch was divine!!!!!!! I really want to have another half! :) 

It's movie time for us! I don't think Mal can handle much more tonight. Poor guy. 

Wide Awake

Good morning! Happy Sunday! I woke up bright and early this morning at 6:05, totally wide awake. I tried to go back to sleep (it being Sunday morning and all), but for some reason, I was wired! (I guess I got a good night's sleep, huh?) Instead of just lying in bed, I decided to get up and get my day started. 

My morning began with a big glass of water and 3 Banana-Butterscotch Muffins. After my snack, I headed downstairs to walk on the treadmill-- I did an easy 30 minutes while watching TV. I really want to go running later today, but it's super foggy and a little chilly outside. I am hoping the weather will clear up soon... otherwise, it's more treadmill for me. Blah. 

After my workout, stretching, and a shower, I made myself an egg white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin with spinach and buffalo sauce. As always, delish! What is it about breakfast sandwiches?! They're always so yummy! 

I also made myself a smoothie-- made with strawberries, a banana, and soy milk. 

Foodbuzz Goodies

Foodbuzz is the best! I'm sure you guys have noticed the Foodbuzz advertisement on the right side of my blog, and I have mentioned them a few times in the blog in the past. Basically, FB is a community of foodies, who share recipes, cooking tips, restaurant reviews, and everything and anything related to food. It's a pretty awesome network, especially for those of us interested in all things food! Anyway, the nice people at Foodbuzz sent me a "Happy Summer" gift: an earth-friendly tote made from 100% organic cotton fabric with the FB logo on it. It'll be perfect for hitting the farmer's markets! The bag also came with a packet of wildflower seeds and a button that says "Carrots and Cake" on it. So fun! Foodbuzz, you rock! Thanks! 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little Miss Productive

I haven't stop moving all day! It was a very productive day, but I am pooped now! After this post, I am planning to snuggle-up in bed, read this week's US Weekly, and drift off to slumber-land. I guarantee that my Saturday night is the complete opposite of Mal's! :)

Dinner tonight was inspired by Mollie Katzen's Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini recipe from her cookbook, The Vegetable Dishes That I Can't Live Without

We had just one zucchini, and I was only cooking for myself, so I deviated from Mollie Katzen's recipe and did my own thing. 

How to: I sliced the zucchini lengthwise, then into smaller 2-inch pieces. Next, I coated the bottom of a baking dish with non-stick spray, and covered it with the zucchini pieces. Then, I drizzled olive oil on the zucchini, and sprinkled 1/4 cup of bread-crumbs and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on top. Finally, I baked the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. It came out great-- very delicious! 

I was so busy today that I didn't even think about an afternoon snack until almost dinnertime... and by then, my hunger hit me hard! I thought about just waiting until dinner to eat, but my body wanted to eat immediately. To hold me over, I ate a bowl of PB Puffins with strawberry slices and soy milk. My snack kept me satisfied for another 2-3 hours. 

I finished off the box of Peanut Butter Puffins today (how tragic!), but I already added another box to our grocery list for the week. :)

Lunch was a random mix of foods today. I finished of the rest of the spaghetti squash, and melted a little Olivio spread on top. Lunch also included 1/2 an English muffin with peanut butter, an orange, and a Ginger Snap Larabar (my favorite flavor!) 

Banana Butterscotch Muffins

My productive day also included some baking. We had 2 very ripe bananas that were dying to be used in a recipe, so they became the basis for tonight's baking experiment: Banana mini muffins with butterscotch chips. 

Makes 12 mini muffins

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 ripe bananas
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butterscotch chips 
1 tbsp liquid egg whites
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine all ingredients. Mix well.
3. Coat mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Divide muffin batter evenly among muffin cups. 
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until center of muffins is fully cooked. 
6. Cool on wire rack.

It is sooooo bedtime! Good night, all! 

A Day All to Myself

Mal's bachelor party is today (and tonight)! He and all of his buddies just left for Foxwoods for a day of golf, followed by drinking, gambling, and likely lots of shenanigans! Mal has the best group of guys friends, so I'm not worried at all about what they have planned for the bachelor party. I'm actually super excited for them-- they are going to have a blast! I hope they take lots of pictures! :)

My morning started with 6 (stinky) boys sleeping in my living room. They were awake, showered, and ready to go around 10:00, so once they left I made myself some breakfast.

Breakfast was a big, creamy, sweet bowl of banana oatmeal topped with almond slices. I used Living Harvest vanilla hemp milk, which plumped-up my oats and made them really smooth.

The guys wanted Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast. I'm not a fan of D&D's breakfast options, so I passed, but asked them to grab me an iced coffee. I'm still savoring this baby!

Friday Happy Hour

Happy Hour after work yesterday was great! I met my friends Beth and Adrienne down in Faneuil Hall at Ames Plow, where we sat outside, caught up, and enjoyed some beers. Beth recently bought a house with her boyfriend, so it was exciting to hear all about it from her! Congrats, Bethy!

My beer was a Sam Summer...

The three of us spent about an hour and a half at Ames Plow before Beth's mom invited us to her company's "team building" event at The Living Room. Her company had ordered a ton of food and had an open tab for the night, so of course, we decided to take advantage of their generosity. :)

The Living Room

I still kind of feel funning whipping out my camera and taking photos of food, especially around people I have never met, so I only took a few shots of the appetizers, which became my dinner for the evening. (Sorry the photos uploaded so weird. Not sure what happened?)

First up, jumbo breaded shrimp... these were amazing! The breading had some sort of seasoning in it, but I couldn't quite place it-- it was sort of garlic-y, sort of smoky/BBQ. The dipping sauce was honey mustard, but I ate my shrimp without it. I ate 4 of these guy! Delish!

Next up: prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Yum! I ate 2, sans dipping sauce... sometimes good food doesn't need the extra flavor (and calories!) I also ate a couple of mini-crab cakes and a sweet goat cheese nut ball. All of the apps were wonderful!

While at the Living Room, we enjoyed a number of free drinks. I drank a glass of pinot grigio, and 2 glasses of champagne. (Love champagne!)


I'm excited to have a day all to myself. My life has been go-go-go lately with work and the wedding, so I am looking forward to getting my life in order. I have quite a few "organization" projects planned for today. I love organization-- I'm such a mega neat-freak! Happy Saturday, all! Be back later this afternoon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Must Love Pugs

Oh, how I love pugs! How cute are these guys?!?!?

I saw this little blurp in Self magazine the other day, and wanted to share...

"Rescue chapped lips and pugs, too. Proceeds from TheBalm to the Rescue lip balms, $19, go to Pug Rescue in Sacramento, California, a nonprofit rescue organization with chapters nationwide. Why pugs? TheBalm founder Melissa Shipman has two."

P.S. TheBalm to the Rescue variety is a vegan lip treatment.

M&Ms to the Rescue!

I'm so glad that the work day is moving right along! Besides Peanut Butter Puffins, I've got Happy Hour on my mind! Can't wait to be outside in the sunshine enjoying a cocktail! :)

Lunch today was spaghetti squash with some Walnut Acres Tomato & Basil Sauce. (Keeping it simple today!)

Also part of lunch: 2 juicy plums! I hadn't eaten a plum since last summer, so honestly, I was kind of excited to eat these today! They were sooooo delicious!

Oh boy. I really don't like to bash products on my blog, but I feel the need to "warn" you guys about these Yotta Bars. I had the Apple Cinnamon flavor with lunch today, and it was not at all tasty. The bar was bland and did not have a strong apple flavor. It actually had a very strange aftertaste... not at all sweet like I was expecting. The bar contains a serving of vegetables, so maybe that's what I was tasting? Or maybe it was the flavor that I chose-- perhaps their other bars are tastier? Sorry, Yotta Bar!

The bar was also visually unappetizing. I had 2 bites and tossed the rest. Sadly, I am not a fan of Yotta Bars. I'll be sticking to Larabars in the future!

Lunch all together...

I was bummed about the Yotta Bar, especially since I like to have something sweet at the end of my meals, and the Yotta Bar did not satisfy that craving one bit. Instead, I decided to dig into the office candy bowl for a handful of plain M&Ms. They hit the spot!

Just Call Me T. Puffins

I can't get enough of these Peanut Butter Puffins!!! No joke, I had dreams about them last night! I woke up this morning and immediately thought: "Puffins!" I actually grabbed a small handful of them before I got in the shower-- I just couldn't wait until breakfast! Ok, I am officially obsessed!

Breakfast this morning was (obviously) a big bowl of PB Puffins with banana slices and soy milk.

Honestly, I almost never eat just one bowl of cereal, so after this bowl, I poured myself another (smaller) portion of PB Puffins with soy milk, no banana slices this time.

Up close... how delicious does this breakfast look?! Usually, cereal doesn't hold me over until lunch, but I just had to have my Puffins this morning! I did eat 2 bowls of cereal, so let's hope they will do the trick.

Also, iced coffee to go... in Mal's Boston University travel mug.

I finished off our batch of iced coffee this morning (sorry, Mal!), so today's iced coffee was more of an iced misto (1/2 coffee, 1/2 soy milk) than regular iced coffee. It was still yummy though!

Question of the Day

Today's "Question of the Day" comes from one of the blog readers. Thanks, Amy! :)

What are your good tips for not eating too much right before bed/after dinner?

Me: I posted these ideas in yesterday's comments...

  • Brush, floss, mouthwash. The whole process slows me down, and I don't want to eat and ruin my clean teeth!
  • Give yourself a manicure. Can't eat with wet nails!
  • Organize something in your house (closet, junk drawer, etc.) Once I get started, I can't stop, plus the activity distracts my eating/food thoughts.
  • "Close" the kitchen. Put a chair in front of the doorway to signal that the kitchen is closed/no more eating.