Monthly Archive: April 2009

Travel Thursday and Treats

Wahoooo!  Going home today :)

That’s right, I’m headed back to Nor Cal for another wedding.  I’m so excited to see my friends and my family, but MOST of all, to go look at wedding sites

The last few weeks Kyle and I have been doing research AROUND THE CLOCK.  I think we have seen every single wedding site in Northern California…and still haven’t found THE ONE, although we have narrowed it down to about 10 or so.  Wine country, Lake Tahoe, East Bay, San Francisco…(??) God only knows at this point.

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I did the morning crossword, had some coffee, and then got my ass to the gym before I could talk myself out of it.

I got home and there was a wonderful PACKAGE waiting for me :)

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Ocean Spring’s Harvest of Heaven!!!!  Mixed Fruits and Mixed Veggies.  How exciting AND perfect timing.  PERFECT for me to take on the flight, healthy AND portable.  Thanks SO much Ocean Spring.

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Check out the great stats.  If you can’t make out those labels with your superman x-ray vision, check out their website here.

By the time I was out of the shower I was starving.

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Big ‘ol bowl of Cheerios and (the last of the) almond milk.

Will I buy the almond milk again?  Meh.  TBD.  I think I still want to try out rice milk and hemp milk and the others you all recommended.  We will see…

I also had the rest of my watermelon and an apple.

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I LOVE this season’s fruit.  Mmmm.

After packing and doing a mill last minute things, I “made” some lunch for myself.

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Sliced cukes and a new container of chunky Sabra (I’m on, like, #4 for the week).

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Heavenly.  But, then, does Sabra ever disappoint?

Below is just some of the food I packed for the LONG flight.  Thank goodness we are traveling jetting with JetBlue, the time will fly by (pun!) with shows like The Office and 30 Rock on tonight.

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Sammie on Alvarado street bread with Smart Deliturkey,” spinach, sprouts, hummus, and mustard.

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Plus, a dangerously large bag of carob raisins AND carob almonds…yes, I’m branching out!  Nutty, I know.

I also got my Barney Butter samples in the mail – score!  I took an apple and a packet along for the plane ride…looks like I’m going to have quite a few reviews later, so stay tuned.

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On a side note:  I’m a little freaked about flying today.  Normally I kinda dismiss things like the Swine flu, but since I will be in a confined place with a bunch of randoms for HOURS (subway and plane), I’m actually pretty nervous.  Should I pull a Michael Jackson and rock a face mask? 

Kelly Bensimon is effing crazy

I don’t think I need to explain the above title if you wasted your morning the same way I did tuned into the Real Housewives of NY

I was up at the crack of dawn thanks to a text message from Jess at 6 am.  Awesome.  Payback’s a bitch Jess, so prepare yourself for a 2 am drunk dial from the west coast this weekend…

Needless to say I was jonesing for some caffeine shortly after.

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I messed the froth up on this one, but that’s what happens when you are brewing in the dark (just kidding it wasn’t THAT early, I’m just being a drama queen).

Lately I have been having such restless nights of sleep though…again it took me a while to fall asleep last night and I woke up 3-4 times during the night for no reason.  What’s wrong with me?  The thing is, I still feel refreshed when I get up, so no harm no foul I guess?

More coffee + More trashy tv = Happy E.  I love my lazy mornings.

So eventually I re-focused my efforts on more stimulating things and did some crosswording (it’s a word) while snacking.

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The peanuts shared some of their salt with the carob covered raisins.  Perrrfect.  I had SO much more than shown…

The nuts only whet my appetite for more nuts (TWSS!!), so it wasn’t long until I made myself this little baby!

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I am certainly in a nutty mood today.  As massive as this scoop was, it was hardly enough to quiet the inner voices demanding MORE MORE MORE.

But after snacking the morning away, I decided it would be prudent to make a more nutritious and substantial lunch (while still incorporating peanut butter of course).

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Luuurve me some PB + J!

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Now THERE’S the $ shot :)  Hello oh-so-sweet-oozing peanut butter…

After lunch I set off to conquer some pre-vacay errands.  I brought an odwalla bar on the road, and I didn’t get back home until dinner time.  Looks like my gym sesh got the boot today.  Oops!

I did manage to squeeze a pedicure in.  Check it out.

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Supah cute right?  I love the bright color, now I just gotta get a rockin’ tan to match.   Clearly, I’m channeling my inner Bella Swan here.  Did I just make a Twilight joke?  Yes Jen and Caitlin, I did.  Lord help me.  This porcelain princess has got to get a life!

For dinner I had NO clue what I was in the mood for…and since the rest of the day was on the less healthy side, I decided to go with a pretty basic (clean) dinner.

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First I roasted some brussels.  I swear – these truly are one of my favorite foods.  We foodies are a rare breed.

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I’ll let the photo do the talking…

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This monster included brussels, spinach, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, brocc slaw, and shredded carrots (plus a blob of sabra hummus and a dash of Country Bob’s on the side).

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I’m an equal opportunity salad maker: no veggie left behind.  Who knew vegetables could be so political?

All that was missing was a vehicle for hummus to get to my mouth quicker…

[insert aha moment here]

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Mmmm…carbs loaded with hummus.

After Kyle got home we did laundry.  No really, I swear, we actually did laundry.

I was in the mood for summery fruit later so I opted for a rather healthy dessert.

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H2O-melon (nerd alert), apples, and a bowl of berries.  NOM NOM.

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Pomegranate green tea (decaf)…and I’m off to bed.

PS Gina is doing a giveaway, and I reallllly want to win this vegan cookbook! 

I’ve got B.O. (beets and okra)

Don’t worry I’m a clean hippie.  Showers are me time.  But wait ‘til you see my lovely dinner…it’s packed with salad newbies. 

But first things first. 

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I have no idea why, but I woke up WAY freakin’ early.  On a non-work day, WTF!?  Anyways, I had a frothy mug of joe to get things rolling…followed by a strawberry chobz with diced strawberries on top.

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Mmmm…look at all that greek yogurt goodness.  I also had an apple while reading blogs and watching last night’s Gossip Girl and The Hills killing some brain cells.

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After I felt significantly dumber, I had some dried pineapple rings and then hit the road to tackle my laundry list of errands. 

Whew.  I didn’t get home until pretty late in the day and I was starving and dripping with sweat.  New York has no in-between, it goes from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.

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I managed to slice apples and bread before going to town on the hummus.  This held me over enough so I could make myself a real lunch. 

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Spinach, hummus, and seitan on a toasted english muffin.

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WOW.  Be jeal, it was as good as it looks   :)

Even though I had already walked miles and miles doing all my errands, I still decided to gym it up.  I was actually even more sore today than yesterday, so I did the elliptical for an hour, progressively increasing the resistance from 7 to 12, then stretched and peaced out (no mat work).

Post gym I had this little baby, which I got in my half marathon goody bag.  I like free things, especially when they are chocolate and soy.

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I heart Silk – and I heart chocolate…pretty sure this is old news to you all though.

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While making this (see above) for Kyle, I snacked on this (see below).

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As promised, here’s some info about key nutrients and their vegetable sources (starting with the most per serving):

Minerals: elements that originate in the soil and can’t be created by living things (ie plants and animals). Plants absorb minerals from the soil and animals get their minerals from eating plants/other animals. Most minerals in the human diet come directly from plants

Calcium – artichoke, peas, squash, broccoli, kale, lima beans, spinach

Iron – lima beans, peas, avocado, kale, spinach, broccoli, squash, potatoes

Magnesium – avocado, artichoke, peas, squash, potatoes, corn, spinach, kale

Phosphorous – lima beans, peas, artichokes, avocado, corn, potatoes, asparagus

Potassium – avocado, lima beans, potatoes, peas, artichoke, squash, kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, corn, carrots, spinach, asparagus, green peppers

Vitamins: organic food substances found only in living things (ie plants and animals). They are essential for our bodies to function properly and (with few exceptions) the human body can’t manufacture or synthesize vitamins, so they must be supplied in our diet or in man-made dietary supplements. Vitamins can’t be assimilated without also ingesting food, which is why it’s best to take supplements with a meal (caution with synthetic vitamin supplements because they can be of varying quality).

Vitamin A – sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, spinach, avocado, broccoli, peas

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – peas, avocado

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – avocado

Vitamin B3 (niacin) – avocado, peas, potatoes, mushrooms, squash, corn

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – avocado, sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, lima beans, squash

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – avocado, peas, potatoes, carrots

Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid) – lima beans, asparagus, avocado, peas, artichoke, spinach, squash, broccoli, corn, sweet potatoes

Vitamin B12 – none

Vitamin C – sweet potatoes, green peppers, kale, artichoke, peas, onions, potatoes, asparagus, avocado, broccoli

Vitamin D – mushrooms

Vitamin E – none

Vitamin K – kale, spinach, broccoli, and most other dark green leafy vegetables

*This info and more here, including daily requirements and amounts per veggie serving.

Who knew avocados were such power houses!?  Looks like my half a day habit is pretty healthy.

The major red flag for vegans/vegetarians to note is Vitamin B12, which is only found in animal products (meat, eggs, dairy)…and even though many sources claim it can be found in fermented soy products (tempeh) it is often not.

All my research really got me in the mood for a mega salad with TONS of new veggies.  So, in honor of Miss GlidingCalm and Melissa, I tried 2 new ingredients (beets and okra), along with several other colorful veggies.

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Look!  It’s okra!  How cute! (and tasty too I might add)

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On a bed of spinach was sliced okra, cherry tomatoes, broccoli slaw, baby beets, shredded carrots, and smart deliturkey.”

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Sometimes I can’t reign in the creative forces…and instead of being selective, I go overboard and add every single thing I can get my hands on into my salads…

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…case in point, the above confetti in a bowl.  This was way too big.  I had a food baby after.

So full.

I think I may be in love with these two new veggies.  Okra has a wonderful crunch factor that really lends itself to salads.  The only thing that was a little weird was it seemed to sweat a kind of gooey sap when cut, but I can get over that because it’s texture and flavor were superb.  I can already tell okra and hummus are going to be a dynamic duo, and that’s really the only test a food needs to pass in my book.  As for the beets, they are so flavorful, I can see why Melissa loves them (and Dwight grows them, hehe).  I want to find out other ways to use them besides in a salad, because they are really tasty.  The only downside is their potential to stain my clothes if I’m not careful.

After dinner, Kyle was still at work, so I decided to go for a PM stroll and do a few more errands.  The weather was still perfect outside!  I ended up getting a manicure, which is very necessary since I am going home on Thursday for my friend’s wedding – and I can’t show off my bling bling with unpolished nails!!!

Obviously by the time I got back home I was ready for dessert.

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Dates stuffed with carob raisins and an apple.  Game. Set. Match.

For the vegetarians or vegans out there, is there ever a time you crave meat, or miss any dairy or other animal products?  Just wondering.  When I was out and about today I smelled bacon, and it smelled delish.  The funny part is, I’ve NEVER had bacon beforeEver.  My Mom is a vegetarian, so growing up, there were several foods I never tried.  Bacon is one of the foods, and although it smells divine, it still grosses me out. 

salad challenge end

Rise and shine!  It’s coffee time. 

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I wasn’t as sore today as I thought I’d be…in fact, aside from my hammies and glutes I was feeling pretty great.  I still decided to milk it (why not), so I scheduled a post-race massage for this evening. 

I broke the fast with a peach chobz, an apple, and dried pineapple rings while watching last night’s Brothers & Sisters and reading blogs.

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I loved reading all your supportive comments regarding my race (and my struggle to push through the pain).  It meant a lot to me – and just knowing that I had such a support system (virtual or otherwise) was actually one of the major reasons I was able to motivate myself enough to get to the finish line!!  How weird is it that a community of people I don’t even really know have such a huge effect on me?

Whether it is finishing a half marathon, eating (mostly) wholesome balanced meals, or just rambling about my daily shenanigans, I love sharing with you all not only because it keeps me accountable, but because this blogger community is so caring and supportive.  It floors me on a daily basis. 

Ok, too much sappy crap.  Back to the eats.

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How’s THAT for sammie!  Spinach, smart deli “turkey” and hummus on Alvarado Street bread.

Still, it didn’t really fill me up, so I had a veggie burger with hummus piled high on top.

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That did the trick. 

Next up on the days to-do list: gym.  Hmm.  I figured I should give my legs a day off after yesterday’s half marathon, so since cardio was a no-go, I opted for some abs and arms and LOTS of stretching. 

Somehow I ended up on the elliptical?  I don’t know how, but it felt good to move my heavy legs, so I went with it (at a reallllllly low setting).

Back home I showered and made myself a snack before going to my massage.

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Chunky sabra hummus and an apple.  I basically licked the container clean :)

By the time I got home from my rub down, my tummy was growling, so I made a repeat salad from Leng’s challenge.  Even though the challenge ended this weekend, I have enjoyed eating 1+ salads/day, and I have no desire to stop!   Brainstorming new and interesting ways to eat different vegetables?  F.U.N.  Does that make me a freak?  Maybe.  But it’s healthy, so why deny myself the pleasure.  I have always been a vegetable lover, so I never felt like my diet was deficient in the greens department, but it’s the diversity that is the best part.  My body loved it too!  So many different vitamins and minerals…I think I’m going to make a chart for a later post.

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This salad is SO big, you can’t even see the mountain of spinach AND romaine underneath all the ingreds, including chopped Boca soy nuggets, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, brocc slaw, sprouts, and a POUND of avocado

DAYAM.

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It took me a nice long half hour to chomp this baby down.  I love meals that take forever to eat!

After dinner the weather was so nice we decided to go for a little stroll…

On our walk, we passed lots of trailers for this movie.  So if you wanna see Jennifer Aniston (yawn) or Jason Bateman (love) come to Broadway and the 80s.

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We had to make a pit stop…how cute is Kyle (mid-bite) with his Tasti-D or The Lite Choice or whatever the hell the fake yogurt crap place is called nowadays. 

I waited ‘til we got back home to put together a nice bowl of goodies for myself.

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This mix of carob raisins and salty peanuts is rapidly climbing the ranks in fave desserts!

But I still needed some fruit craved sugar, so I had my third apple for the day!

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Crunch.

race recap (and some food)

Sunday may as well have been re-named half marathon day.  It’s all I’ve been thinking about for the past month.  I could hardly sleep last night my nerves were going berserk.  Even though I consider myself a runner, and I exercise regularly, training for a concrete event (13+ miles no less) is very different than simply running to get your endorphins flowing.  The longest organized race I’ve ever participated in was a 10K, which I really really enjoyed.  So I figured it was time to step up to the plate.  Half marathon, here I come.

And now that I have lost my half marathon v card, here are a few things I learned today:

1.  It is NOT wise to cram your feet into pointy 3 inch stilettos (and then walk 20 blocks in said heels) the night before – unlike the rest of the normal running population, I had to apply band-aids to multiple blisters before the race this morning (so painful).

2.  13 miles is INSANELY long – WHAT was I thinking?

3.  If you are going to run for longer than a soccer match, you may as well be playing IN a soccer match – can you tell I miss soccer?

4.  If they cancel the full marathon because the temperatures are too high, it means you shouldn’t be wearing pants – strike 4?

Needless to say, I was kicking myself for signing up for the friggin’ race by mile 1, trying to figure out a legit excuse to call it quits by mile 2, and seriously considering if finishing was that important to me by mile 2 1/2…the thought that kept crossing my mind was HOW could I face the blogging community if I were to give up?  I’m NOT a quitter, and under normal circumstances, I’m highly competitive.  So I sucked it up, and ran ran ran.

The race started at 8, so I woke up nice and early to get ready, had a teeny cup shot of coffee with almond milk, a couple calcium chews chocolate treats, and hit the road.

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At the starting line, my stomach was butterfly-tastic.  There were approx 10,000 people participating so it was crowwwwded.  I inched my way to the front(ish) area, since I signed up for a pace group WAY too slow.  Then the race started and I was on my way.

Central Park is hilly.

I realized very quickly that I had no idea what I had gotten myself into and that I was a fool – and my thoughts didn’t deviate much for the next 11 miles.

Miles 1/2 – Uphill, grrr.  Mile 3 – Downhill, sigh.  Mile 4 – Uphill, grrr.

Around miles 5/6 I hit a wall.  I wasn’t yet half way and I was dying – it was ugly.  My playlist (which normally gets me moving) just wasn’t pumping me up, and I couldn’t even fathom getting through the first loop of the park, not to mention finishing an entire second lap.

Suddenly, I realized I was drenched with sweat and hadn’t had a drop of water to rehydrate myself.  Hellooooo?  Sometimes I can be quite dense (it’s not like I’m a nurse or anything, oh wait…).  At the next water station I got a cool cup of H20 and felt light years better.  Duh.

I crossed the half way point and looked at my watch, 45 minutesWhat!?!

I freaked!!!  If I didn’t slow my roll I was going to poop out by mile 8.

At mile 9, I did.

New tactic: walk through the fluid stations and adequately rehydrate (clearly chucking a cup of water near my face while running wasn’t doing the job).  So, the rest of the race continued with a similar pattern: fluid station, Gatorade, water, run…

Finally, I saw the end of the race and all was right in the world again.  I crossed the finish line and checked my iPod stopwatch: 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Sweet!!!

I definitely agree with Melissa that training in the opposite direction (harder direction) than the race helped a ton, as did knowing the Central Park loop like the back of my hand.  Otherwise, I may have died.

At the end of the race Kyle was there waiting for me with a clean t-shirt and a water bottle and he asked me “which part was the worst?”

Ummm, miles 1 through 13?!?  Seriously.  The whole thing.   It sucked.  I think it’s safe to say I have completely lost the will to run a full marathon.  No thanks.  I love running, and I love competing, but on my own agenda (crowd free for one).

So post-race what’s a girl to do? Get some grub!!!

(I actually waited a while before eating since my stomach is uber sensitive), but eventually I had a nice brekkie of toasted Alvarado street bread with EB and a bowl of strawberries and mangoes.

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Followed by some frothy caffeine love.

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I spent the rest of the day refueling, hungryhungryhippie style (lots of hummus and dried fruit).  And since this post is already insanely long, I’ll stick to mostly pictures only from here on out.

Lunch at French Roast.

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Mountain of hummus.  Warm fresh gooey pitas.  Enough said.

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Avocado and tomato salad.  Perfect.

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Iced coffee.  Apple slices with chunky sabra hummus.

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Dried pineapple rings.  Hummus and spinach sammie.

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HUGH JASS salad (spinach, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, brocc slaw, and chickpeas galore) which I mixed all up and then dumped hummus on…

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Too much hummus?  No such thing.

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Dessert cup of carob raisins and super salty peanuts.

I’m already aching…tomorrow may be a yoga and massage kind of day.

To avoid those pre and post-race blisters, my one tip is make sure you invest in some good training shoes or orthotic insoles – it will make the run a whole lot easier!