Monthly Archive: August 2009

Mediterranean is my middle name

Sadly Saturday was not a sleep in day.  We had to get things moving bright and early, so clearly a sunrise java run was in the cards. 

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After meeting with our (now confirmed) wedding photographer we hit up the 23rd St/7th Ave Whole Foods.  It was only 11, but Kyle signed us BOTH up for a joint training session with his trainer at 2 pm and I needed to give my tummy digesting time.

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Whole Foods’ Mediterranean hot bar was calling to me in a MAYJ way!  Oh how I love falafel!  I had the entire pita with a couple of fried balls ;)

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Do you SEE the ridic volume of hummus in that bin?  It was the perfect consistency so I went a ‘lil overboard.  Thick like buttah!

I was feeling the Mediterranean chow, as if THAT’S new?  But ended up eating WAY more than I wanted to pre-gym.  This is one of the reasons I can’t commit to a certain time of gym action.  How do I know if my stomach will be cooperating?  How do I know if I will have energy at the scheduled training time?  I was definitely uncomfortable with the change (and probably not the most graceful in coping with it – sorry Kyle!).  But I had limited options. 

Either I had to eat earlier than I wanted, despite my lack of hunger, to digest my lunch in time, or not eat at all before exercising, and risk having zero energy. Well, since improper fueling is NOT my thang, I ended up going with the first option, and was miserable the entire workout. 

It was important to me to NOT look like a pansy in front of Kyle’s trainer, so I wanted to have high energy for his military-meets-Jillian routines…but UNFORTUNATELY that backfired and I felt full and slow.

Don’t worry – I still killed it, and he had NO clue how blah I felt.  I’m no punk!  Even though I was SO scared to go, it was actually REALLY fun!!  Kyle knew how bored I was with my gym routines (and lacking the inspiration to properly prep for my half marathon)…apparently I whined about it long enough to get a reaction…

So last week he told his trainer that he would be bringing me to their next session.  EEK!  Plateau NO MO’.  After 30 minutes with him focusing on abs, arms, and cardio circuit training, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill.

I hope this fire he lit in me results in a permanent change in my usual exercise seshes. 

After the workout I spent 20 minutes trying to open my locker.  I was so high on endorphins, but that all came crashing down when I couldn’t for the LIFE of me remember my locker code.  After a Tyra Banks style deliberation period, I finally resigned to have them cut open my lock.  Doh!  Memory FAIL.

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I finished off my falafel and hummus for dinner, and then made ANOTHER Mediterranean meal of chickpeas, quinoa, and shredded carrots

Then…my sister Laura arrived!!!!  After some time to get her settled in, and get ready, we headed to The Mercury Lounge for the The Upwelling concert.

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It was such a great concert.  I met Katie right before the boys went on to perform.  Nothing like screaming introductions back and forth over the opening band, right?  I can’t wait to hang out more.  Ari and the band were definitely awesome.  Laura and I loved “Losers” the best.  SO FUN!

After the concert we went to Lolita for some more drinks and met up with more friends…(yadda yadda yadda) we didn’t get home until 2:30 AM.  Well done team!

The big five

Finally a day off of work [insert sigh of relief]!  And a Friday to boot (what an odd phrase).  Today was soopah busy and I was playing catch up all day long.  Naturally, I fueled myself with a large dose of caffeine to get my butt moving.

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I got 99 problems errands but a meal ‘aint one.

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After my first round of rain-filled errands my tummy was begging for more fruit.  You ask and you shall receive!

Later, I was craving the most bizarre (read highly processed) things for lunch.

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Bacon and cheese?  Errr…not quite.  LightLife’s Smart Bacon and Vegan Rella’s cheddar “cheese” on Dave’s Killer Bread seemed like an appropriate compromise. 

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This meal probably satisfied my sodium intake for the week, but what the hell, it was good and happened to be what I was in the mood for. 

I went to the gym between more errands, and managed to eke out 9 miles of cardio.  Nice work Elise.  Operation look-hot-in-a-wedding-dress is officially under way!

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After the gym I turned to a new friend named Jay Robb. 

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I know there was a phase when Mr. Robb was HUGE in the blog world (ahem, Ms. LovinMyTummy), so I’m a bit late to jump on the bandwagon, but I’m glad I did.  Don’t be tardy for the party, right?  Well, better late than never.

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Chocolate?  Check

Protein? Check

Tasty?  Check.  Check.

I added frozen banana slices, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, and a few drops of NuNaturals Stevia vanilla extractOhhhh sh!t this was good :)

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Pre-dinner snackage included apple slices and more VeganRella cheddar slices. 

I kept it light, since I didn’t wanna ruin my appetite for the most amazing anniversary dinner in the world (aka Pure Food & Wine).

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We had some Pinot to cheers 5 spectacular years together (and our –1 year wedding anniversary).

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To start, we split the Asparagus Sushi Rolls with Mirin Soaked Forest Mushrooms, avocado, red peppers, and scallions.  YUM!

Then for dinner, Kyle got the Thai Coconut Noodles in Galangal Red Coconut Currym which was made with mung bean shoots, heirloom carrot, saffron oil, and thai basil. 

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He said the sauce was great, but he liked my dish better.  Speaking of…

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I got the White Corn Tamales with Raw Cacao Mole with marinated mushrooms, salsa verde, and avocado.

Kind of an avocado themed night, huh?

These were SO amazing.  I practically scraped the insides clean with my tongue, after my fork had done it’s part.  It’s hard to see on the plate, but the sour cream concoction on the upper right was so freaking awesome.  The mole on the side was a bit too chocolate-y/bitter for my taste, but it was easy to avoid. 

Naturally, we couldn’t leave without dessert (as per VeggieGirl’s rules – or anyone who has ever tried Pure’s dessert).

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Are you kidding me!?!

Allow me to introduce the trio of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats, which included a chocolate cardamom coconut ice cream cone, a pistachio gelato ice cream sandwich, and a chai tea creamsicle.  Holy YUM!  I tried each one, and each was better than the one before!! 

Kyle and I agreed the chai tea creamsicle (far right) was the best.

I have another big weekend ahead of me, including my (middle) sister visiting, The Upwelling concert, and the US Open.  Wahoo!!!

Am I behind?

Yes!  About 4 days behind.  I showed you all my eats throughout the day, but no dinners.  So, I guess I have some blogging to do, huh? 

But before I get to that, thank you all SO much for your kind comments about my past few days at work.  I was a little nervous about writing a more emotional post about my job (and not food), but the comments that flooded after proved I had nothing to worry about.  So thank you thank you thank you :)

Moving on.  Guess what today is!?!  Give up?

In exactly ONE YEAR, I will be off the market for good.  That’s right peeps, next August 28th, I’ll be a married lady.  Sorry gents!  But more on that later. 

Now back to the eats.  Be forewarned, there were a lot of lazy meals requiring minimal cooking/effort in the kitchen.

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Karen & Sisters BBQ Un-chicken (aka TVP)

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I added it into (the below) salad – along with one seriously battered avocado, for a nice sweet and tangy summer BBQ meal.

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Delightful enough to pretend the weather was summer-y.

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Dessert was OMFG-worthy. 

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Chocolate Chip Chewy Organic Orgasm…ok, the last word in the label probably was meant to be organic, but I think my alteration is more accurate.

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Vegan chocolate chip cookie cake with chocolate frosting.

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Is your mouth watering yet?  If not here comes another night’s dinner.

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Gary Null’s veggie burger on Dave’s Killer Bread stuffed with hummus and spinach…plus bell peppers and carrots on the side (for the pretty color factor).

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I may have had a few more slices of DKB dipped in hummus for dessert…and some baby carrots :)

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As much as I hate the phrase “hump day,” the term couldn’t have applied more this week.  So naturally I turned to frozen fare.

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Food for Life is a brand I trust in terms of quality of ingredients, however, I have to say, the “chic-a-roos” fell a bit short in the flavor department. 

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I ran out of BBQ sauce after the first photog, but praise the Lord, we were well stocked, and Jack Daniel’s came to the rescue.  This one had a KICK!  I loved every HFCS loaded bite!

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The problem I had with these was the texture.  They didn’t taste like chick’n nuggets at all (which in and of itself isn’t a BAD thing, per se) but they were missing the crispy outer breading that I am used to (and happen to crave on occasion crappy Wednesdays).  I can think of a few other brands of soy nuggets (such as Boca or Health is Wealth) that replicate the texture better.  I couldn’t even differentiate the inside from the outside!  They kinda tasted like bread balls…I didn’t get meat flavor or texture at ALL!  It’s a good thing I was so down in the dumps I didn’t care one bit. 

Solution = apply BBQ sauce LIBERALLY.

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Clearly I still finished the entire box (which is 3.5 servings in case anyone was wondering).  That and the pound of broccoli left me with an amazing fiber food baby.

And now I’m off to my anniversary dinner at Pure Food & Wine.  5 years!!

1 shift, 2 shift, 3 shift, floor!

I’m exhausted with a capital “E” after the last 3 days of work I’ve had.  I shouldn’t complain since I had 4 days off in a row while my sister was visiting, but man was it difficult to go back to such a chaotic scene.  Tuesday’s shift whizzed by so fast I was playing catch up for 12 hours straight (the unit was good busy, not shoot-myself-in-the-head busy), on Wednesday I cried (more on THAT later…), and Thursday I was called to the ICU to cover a patient who had taken a turn for the worse…I was literally shaking the entire shift long because I was so nervous about the unstable state my patient was in.  Details?  You ask and you shall receive (no HIPAA violations here of course).

3 days of lunches:

Tues

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Wed

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I’ve heard not good things about these PB+J MoJo Dipped bars…but I rather enjoyed it!  Nutritional stats below.

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Thurs

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Best flavor PoP chips yet…

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Add in 6 hundred pounds of Starbucks coffee, and there you have it for the day time eats.  Work is exhausting, so I’m not even going to TRY and justify my caffeine addiction.  It is what it is.

I so wish I could go into a play by play, but I don’t have the time or energy [and I’m not sure anyone cares, either, for that matter]. 

Let’s just say, I have had a certain patient for nearly 2 months now…(FYI, that’s 45 days longer than a typical post-op stay).  This patient has been the most delightful person to care for.  I had him as a pre-op, which is rare, but again, I can’t go into too much more.  His family is also so sweet and kind, they have nearly adopted me.  So, it goes without saying that I’m emotionally attached to this patient, and even though I have other patients, too, he has a major part of my focus heart.  He was briefly well enough to be discharged (to a rehab facility but still…), but that only lasted 10 hours, and he had to be readmitted.  He has gone back and forth between the ICU and the step-down (my normal floor) so many times, I’ve lost track…and on Wednesday I really thought I was losing him.  I brought him back, but barely, and the whole time, I was just trying to stay composed and hold it together for the family members.  But inside, I was on the verge of tears.  Clearly, he had to be transferred back to the ICU.  I am normally pretty good at separating work from my personal life.  When the clock strikes 7 and I give report to the next shift nurse, I’m outta there faster than you can say dinner hummus.  But with this patient it was different.  All Wednesday night (after work) I couldn’t stop thinking about him.  Kyle was also away on business, so I had no distractions either.  Anyways, I am going to stop with Wednesday’s shift there. 

Thursday I went to the ICU and I had another (different) very precarious patient.  He had to go for a procedure that is normally done at the bedside for patients on ventilators and the cardiac drips that he was on…but that’s neither here nor there.  So there I was, in the elevator manually bagging him with oxygen via a trach, listening to the defibrillator ding over and over and over just PRAYING I wouldn’t have to give the emergency IV meds I was storing in my pocket.   Yeah, I was sweating balls. 

At one point during the procedure, I had to burst in, which wasn’t a treat for them, me OR the patient…but all ended well, and he made it back to the ICU in one piece.  I can’t really talk about any more without getting super specific, but his vitals were well outside the normal range at several points of the day, so I was constantly trying to reel him back in.  Lordy!

After 3 days in a row of such intensity, all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and sleep.  Since I was about to pass out, I decided to high tail it home…or so I thought…

Surprise!!

Kyle was at the hospital entrance waiting for me when I got off!  In that moment, our eyes locked, and without a SINGLE word spoken, we both knew EXACTLY what we were doing for the night

At long last!!!  WHOLE FOODS is in my NEIGHBORHOOD!  The Upper West Side finally opened the long awaited, HUGELY anticipated store. 

I may be biased, but I have got to say, this store has a vegan presence like NO OTHER!  It was the only thing (short of a 50 kilo vat of hummus) that could have rescued my mood sanity. 

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I found so many new things!!  Balsamic glazed tofu with spinach and red bell peppers, and a ginger curry carrot salad with black sesame seeds.  Of course, I went with some standards, too. 

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Quinoa, brown rice, edamame, carrots, chickpeas, and dried cranz.  It’s a combo that CANNOT be beat!

The rest of the weeks dinners will follow.  For now, this post will have to do.  Thanks for listening loves!

Salutations to the weekend

Boy oh boy is it exhausting taking NYC by storm in one weekend!  Sunday’s weather was far nicer than Saturday’s (in that there was less rain), but JUST as nasty in terms of humidity…

I still started the day with java and fruit.

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There may have been a bit of a SoapNet marathon throughout the AM.  Is there a better show to get ready to start the day than 90210?  I think not  :)

After digesting and beautifying, we set off for Brooklyn.

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I love the promenade/DUMBO area.  So cute – and such great views of NYC.

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My favorite thing to do with visitors is walk the Brooklyn Bridge, so we walked back to Manhattan for lunch.

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I think Marie was in awe of how much walking we were doing…maybe I’m becoming a true New Yorker, just yet?  For lunch we headed to the South Street Seaport.

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We came to rest at JP Mustard’s, which had a decent menu.  Nothing too revolutionary, but it worked.

I was NOT a fan of this:

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Plastic utensils?  WTF?  Hippie not approved :( 

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I ordered a veggie wrap with avocado in a sun dried tomato tortilla, and a house salad on the side (hold the dressing).

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Not too shabby, but by the time I reached the bottom of the tortilla, it was saturated with oil.  Hmmm.

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Eventually we headed back home.  Weird Brooklyn sign, no?

Dinner was a no brainer.  I just couldn’t let Marie go home without trying the amazing-ness that is Blossom Cafe

I vowed I would try all new things this time, and BOY am I glad I did!!

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Appetizer for MOI: Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls (Raw) with coconut noodles, jicima, carrot, red and yellow pepper, scallion and avocado with an almond ginger dipping sauce.

This was PERFECTLY refreshing for the summer weather.  The veggies were fresh and crispy and the jicima held the rolls together wonderfully.  And the almond ginger dipping sauce was sweet and tangy with a bit of a kick, but didn’t overpower the rolls.  I wanted to swim in it, to be honest…

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Appetizer for Kyle: Cauliflower puree (the daily soup special)

I didn’t try it, but he polished it off, so clearly it was edible.

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Marie’s dinner: Southern Seitan Sandwich with spiced seitan, caramelized onions, avocado and chipotle aioli on foccacia bread.

I’ve tried this one before, so I knew she’d love it, and love it she did.

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Kyle’s dinner: Soy Filet Parmesan with breaded soy filet on foccacia bread with flame roasted tomato sauce and melted v-soy cheese.

No complaints here either. 

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My dinner: Grilled Tofu Salad with sesame soy grilled tofu over mixed greens, arame seaweed and sprouts with a carrot-miso dressing.

I also joined the clean plates club with this one.  I simply ADORED the carrot-miso dressing more than any other dressing I’ve had before (I’m going to try my best to figure out how to make this on my own).  Plus, I’m kinda obsessed with arame right now.  So all in all, the salad was perrrrfect.

**sorry about the photo quality, I can’t seem to figure out how to take good pics in restaurants**

Even though I was pretty full, a few hours later, I was definitely ready for dessert.  Enter carob-filled medjools.

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A few dates were camera shy, but it was all good…

We were in bed by midnight since Marie had to leave for her flight at 4 AM on Monday morning.  I had such a blast with her, it was sad to say goodbye.  Living so far away from family really does bum me out sometimes…but my other sister, Laura, is coming to visit in 4 days, so at least I have something else to look forward to now.  Anyone else live in a different city/state than the rest of their family?