Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Catching Up

Well, I have tons to catch up on.
Sleep.  Eats.  Work.  Social life... okay scratch the last one, we all know it doesn't exist.

Thanks to my brilliant idea to join a team that wakes up at 4:30 every morning and practices twice a day.... I've had zero energy to do anything other than the bare minimum.

I've had to take naps, each random snacks, fit in quick cardio sets, and rush to study groups just to keep up with my course work.  Needless to say, I'm rethinking my decision.

To Crew or Not To Crew?

First of all, how could you not want to be on the water, gliding across, as the sun rises?  It's one of the most beautiful experiences - once your team starts rowing in rhythm, it's really magical. 
However, my whole life has been changed since joining.  I wake up at 4:30, scarf down a granola bar, freeze my ass off and enjoy some time on the lake, then come back, eat, do my work, nap, nap, go to class, work out, nap... are you dizzy yet?  It's ridiculous.

Therefore, I'm rethinking the crew team.  I'm still up in the air at this point, but I'm leaning more towards "school and sleep are more important that sunrises" -- unfortunately.

I've been working with this weird early-morning wake up, so I've been eating a luna bar or a VitaTop Muffin with PB before practice and then coming back to a nice, warm bowl of oats.
Back to Basics Oats: plain oatmeal topped with a sprinkle of stevia and cinnamon, with bananas and blueberries (and almond milk after the picture!)

I've been rowing from 5:30-7 every morning, but since we're still in the recruiting process, we're mostly doing sets that focus on technique and not so much on pure cardio and strength.  That being said, our coach has "encouraged us" to get in two workouts a day :( so, I've been running the hills a bit.  Weirdest realization - I like running without music.

I was on a rather boring 10 miler on Sunday and I just couldn't get myself to enjoy it.  I found myself zoning out and distracting myself with music until I finally turned off my IPod and just focused on how my body felt.  It was amazing.  My pace picked up, I tackled hills with no complaints -- I think I like being in tune with my movements instead of turning on music to distract myself.
Saturday - Crew & 10.5 miles 
Sunday - 10 miles
Monday - Crew & 10 min of running, 20 minutes of Rowing, and 10 minutes on the elliptical.

Yesterday, I had class until 7:15 -- which, if you know me at all, is way past my dinner time.  I've adapted and started sneaking in nuts and granola into my seminar... however, my loud crunching is starting to distract people from their "deep philosophical thoughts"... yeah, my stomach growling is distracting me too.  suck it up. 

BUT I made plans with my two best lady friends for some delicious Middle Eastern food after class!  They were kind enough to wait for me so we could feast --
Chicken Schwarma plate with Double Salad, fresh pita, and hummus.

Tip? Annie actually taught me this one - whenever there is a meal that offers salad and a choice of ohhhh say rice or fries, ask the waiter if you can order a double salad.  They're always happy to accommodate AND you get a full plate of greens!  Perfect. 

Dessert, of course, was decided as soon as we called our favorite FroYo shop (I have them on speed dial... and no, I'm not kidding)
Their flavors of the day?  Classic Vanilla, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Toffee Mocha, Bananas Foster, and Cranberry Pomegranate

I went with Half Vanilla Half Bananas Foster topped/filled with graham crackers, oreo bits, almonds, and crushed waffle cone

Can you believe that's a mini??
When I first moved to the bay, I made the mistake of ordering a small... I don't think I've ever shaken the memories of failing to finish a frozen yogurt cup :( the horror.

ANYWAYS, with my debate on crew still going on, I'm hoping that I'll be able to post more frequently and NOT wake up at the buttcrack of dawn. 

Have a HAPPY TUESDAY! It's fat tuesday for me - I'm taking a much-needed rest day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cookies and Crew

Hello, hello!
I'm still trying to figure out my new semester's schedule - which will explain my random and sporadic posting.  I really want to get back to 1-2 posts a day :( I miss it.  Don't worry, I'll work it out soon!

There has been tons going on around here!
New workouts, new recipes - my life has turned upside down!

My favorite breakfast recently has been some form of cereal, peanut butter, bananas, and blueberries.  It's especially delicious when you get to the bottom of a pb jar and you get to fill it up with goodies and top it off with almond milk! Um, yum.

Each bite had the perfect peanutbutter - banana - cereal ratio and I was in heaven...
for about 3 minutes until I finished it :(

Carrot Walnut Cookies
Somehow, among all the chaos of the week, I found the time to do a little baking.
I stumbled across this recipe on the Whole Foods recipe page and it seemed like a winner - carrot cake is kind of my kryptonite, so I figured a healthier, cookie-version might be a good idea.
it was.
Adapted from Whole Foods Recipes

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 carrots, grated
1 apple, grated
1 very ripe banana, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup apple juice
** I subbed in pumpkin pie spice in place of ginger, 1/3 cup of egg substitute in place of the banana, and 1/4 cup of cranberry juice in place of apple juice. I also added a tsp of salt and 3 packets of sweetener - just because of the ingredients I had on hand.

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine walnuts, oats and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add carrots, apple, banana and apple juice and stir until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoons an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, making about 24 cookies. Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten slightly. Bake until tops and bottoms are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutrition: about 60-80 calories per cookie (depending on which ingredients you use)

I enjoyed 4 of these cookies right out of the oven.... and kept enjoying them until they ran out!

I've been running again, thank goodness. 
I did a nice 8 miles on Wednesday and an easy 10.8 yesterday (Friday).

However, there may be a new workout in my future: crew team.
The lightweight crew coach has been trying to get me to join the team, so this past week I went to an "erg" workout - stationary rowing machine - and an on-water workout!!  It was sooooo cool!
I expressed my concerns about being able to maintain my running schedule while rowing, and the coach said he would work with me so I'd be able to do both.  I'm not 100 percent sure I'm ready for this commitment - and the 5 am practices, 4 times a week - but right now, it's something I'm up to exploring!!  It's certainly a good workout, and it's absolutely beautiful when you all row in sync.

Has anyone ever rowed before?  Crew team??

I'm off to nap! And head out for a run with Lisa before heading to work!
Who said Saturdays were rest days....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'M FINALLY BACK! and I don't know where to start....

I mentioned (last WEDNESDAY) that I was starting to get a little sick. Well, long story short, this last week has been spent in bed with a fever/coughing up a lung.  It's been bad.

BUT I still would have blogged.  rain or shine... in sickness and in health.
In my state of near-death, I made a cup of tea.  Which then spilled in my bag on my way to work... all over my new MacBook Pro.  I cried.  I died a little inside.... you know how it goes.

It's broken.  It's being repaired.

I think dad's are the world's greatest invention because my dad has been on the phone with me either giving me advice about motrin vs. advil, mucinex vs. sudaphed or trying to fix my old laptop so he can ship it out to me while my new/broken one gets repaired.  I'm so blessed.  I think secretly the man upstairs knew I wouldn't survive without an extra-strength, 24-hr DAD by my side to bail me out.

Anyways.  I've been living off of carbs - when you're sick you don't want salads.  We're talking bread and butter, oatmeal, leftover pizza, sandwiches... but here are some of my comfort food eats:

Aloo Gobi - a vegan curried cauliflower and potato dish - extra spicy & Roti - a whole-wheat baked bread (similar to naan)

Middle Eastern Plate - pomegranate chicken, levantine wrap, cinnamon chicken filo dough wrap, cheese and spinach filo dough wrap, double salad, fruit and cheese, and hummus.
No, I haven't been eating out every meal...
But these are the highlights from the last week! and I wanted to share them with you!


Normal blogging returns: 
Tuesday eats and activities!

I woke up super early because I needed to run - but I always need to eat - so I had a really basic bowl of oats.  1/2 cup of rolled oats topped with 1/2 a banana, some chopped pecans, and some blueberries.

Back-to-the-Basics Oatmeal

While I've been sick, I've taken it really light on the workouts (although probably not as light as I should have... my parents are probably reading this and pulling out their hair).  However, I'm on the mend.  And yesterday, for some unknown reason, my body woke up at 6 am and wanted to run!  It was strange.  

I did a super relaxed 8 miles, not worrying about time or pacing, and listened when my body decided it was tired and headed back home.  I'm not pushing my luck!

Important updates from the first two weeks of the second semester - there are cute guys in every single one of my lectures.  I "broke the chair I was sitting in" and had to move to the chair next to a fine gentleman in my Public Opinion lecture.  Lovely. 

Arabic is ridiculous, nothing new there.  It's crazy how much you can forget when you take a month off of all brain activities.... winter break, you kill me. 

Keeping with my weird I'm-sick-so-I-eat-what-I-want cravings, I had....
Open-faced egg over easy with a chicken dog sandwich.
 Also, I'm not sure if this is an amazing or a horrible thing... but I recently discovered the beauty of buying a bag of "day-old donuts" at our local donut hole-in-the-wall and I've been buying buttermilk donuts and saving them in a container to nibble on every day....

I was craving quinoa.  I'm not sure why...
I was also craving something creamy.

So I made a Creamy Vegetable Quinoa Bowl

it was delicious.
I'm going to work out the kinks in the recipe and share it with you -- just imagine a risotto-esque flavor and texture?  It was good!

Anyways, I'm glad to be back and blogging.
Mostly, I'm glad that I'm not dead.
MORE mostly, I'm so glad I have an amazing dad.  


Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'm sick.
Second Semester Sniffles have finally struck me down... minus the sniffles and add a sore throat and some chest congestion, just for kicks.

Weirdest thing is it hit me during my run yesterday and then got exponentially worse within an hour.
Don't worry, today is officially a rest day - much needed.

Well, I kept things simple with a packet of low-sugar Cinnamon Oats topped with Blueberries, Multigrain O's, Fiber One Honey Grahams, and Almond Milk

I have a weird obsession with adding almond milk to basically anything that comes in a bowl.  Cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, bananas with pb, pumpkin mousse, ice cream... I can't be stopped.

Songs that I'm loving right now - for walking, running, or jamming in the morning --
1. Drive By, by Train
2. Taboo, by Don Omar
3. Good Feeling, by Flo Rida
4. Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson
5. T.H.E (The Hardest Ever), by Will.I.Am

I decided to go for a leisurely long run along one of my favorite hilly routes because I don't have class until noon!  I love not having time pressure...

Before heading out, I remembered to stock my fuel belt.  This time I filled up all the bottles instead of just one.  I'm telling you, once you go hydrated you never go back.

Of course, I kindly asked my roommate, Matt, if I looked okay....
He told me to pick a running route where I would have no chance of seeing anybody.
Apparently I did NOT look as cool as I felt... damn.

ran a little over 10 miles, but I was really starting to feel that chest pressure. Sickness strikes.

I'll save you from a really boring and un-photogenic picture of my lunch, which consisted of a Dr. Praegger's Veggie Burger on top of Full Fiber and Multigrain Bread with a side of some Cinnamon Rice Cakes with PB, Tjoe's Cinnamon Schoolhouse cookies, and a piece of dark chocolate !

I went to class, went to my friends meditation class (aka, eat and nap in a lecture hall under the guise of meditating...), stopped at a cafe to do some work and drink tea, and then I immediately proceeded home to lie in bed while watching 90210 and Modern Family until I got hungry again.

I debated on going out to grab soup or simply eating bread and butter with some more pb and rice cake action... sick = lazy as all get out... but then I remembered that I love food.  And I love pizza.  In sickness or in health I will always eat a delicious meal :)

Tomato, Spinach, Mushroom, and Mozzarella Pizza on a Whole Wheat Thin Crust.
Layer a Bobolli's pre-made crust (cheap, easy, and about 120 calories per 1/6th of a pizza), about 3/4 cup of pizza sauce (or pasta sauce, in my case), a handful of spinach, chopped tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of skim mozzarella.

OH!  Best tip: add garlic salt on top! yum
Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes and....

Tips for feeling better:
Eat a simple but delicious salad of Chopped Romaine, Fat-Free Feta, Mushrooms, Tomato, and Kraft Italian Parmesan Light Dressing with a heft dose of pizza slices... hot out of the oven.

Screw the soup and bread...
pizza is my new sick food!

Okay, I'm off to class until 7 PM!!!!! WHAT?!
Guess who is packing her refrigerator/pantry so she doesn't rip th jugular vein out of the poor person next to her...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Win...

The award for creepiest person everrrrr
Thank you, it really is an honor.  I've worked hard to get to where I am today... It takes years to reach this level of creepiness and I'm proud to represent you and all my fellow creepers out there. 

Just wait... It'll all make sense soon. 

I've become completely addicted to Trader Joe's Multigrain O's - basically cheerios - with a scoop of fat-free greek yogurt, some jam, berries, and almond milk.  Yogurt and almond milk?  weird.
I couldn't sleep at all last night because I kept getting up to pee & take random trips to the peanut butter jar for some banana and cinnamon rice cake dippage... 

I'm actually not kidding.  I'm that person who sleep walks to the kitchen for late night snacks and it's getting kind of ridiculous. Peanut butter just haunts my dreams. 

I headed to class - my first of the semester - and then rushed home for some food. 
My hunger was out of control yesterday!

This is one of those meals that looks totally weird but tastes delicious.
My full-fiber flax bread made an appearance!  Topped with guacamoles, tomato slices, feta cheese, and spicy brown mustard. Open-Face Guacamole Sandwiches are my thing.
Alright, back to my award for creepiest person...
Check out my Arabic teacher's butt.

I'm not even sure this is legal... but I had to snap a picture because it's amazing.
Like world's 9th wonder status.

He's actually not a good teacher - but I might stay in the class just to stare at that for an hour every day.

As previously mention, my hunger was OUT OF CONTROL yesterday!
Like I was legitimately hungry the entire day - even after handfuls of nuts, protein bars, apples, sandwiches... you name it, I ate it.

Lisa was feeling the same way, so maybe it was the run that revved our metabolisms?
Anyways, come 5 o'clock, I decided to eat dinner before heading to the gym because I seriously couldn't wait until after my workout.

Dinner was courtesy of Trader Joe's - Shepherd's Pie
It was a quick 9 minutes in the microwave and it was fantastic!

Of course, I have this weird thing for shepherd's pie.  My stepmom used to make it for us for special occasions and it always reminds me of home and comfort food! YUM.
I paired 1/2 of the pie with some salad and then proceeded to snack on some dark chocolate and more peanut butter before heading to the gym for a little weight training

I decided to, once again, listen to my coach and incorporate some weight training into my workout plans.  I took at Pure Strength class, which is a full-body weight lifting class.  Eh.. it's not body pump.
We barely did any leg work, and we focused on random abs and arm sets.

BUT, a workout is a workout.  And I'm sore today... go figure.

Anyways, I'm off for a run before class!
I'll catch ya later!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fueling My Body

Well, I feel like a total dork.

I've been dreading... like absolutely dreading... coming back to school and now that I'm here, I'm loving it.  It actually feels like coming home.  My first full day back was filled all the things I love: friends, getting brunch, going grocery shopping, running my favorite routes, and cooking dinner!

My morning started with a classic bowl of oats - apple cinnamon oats, nuts, and berries! I was running low on food and I found a random packet of quaker oats... I rolled with it.

Intuitive Eating and Fueling My Body:
So, this is something that I've been working through recently: making peace with food and learning to fuel my body based on what it needs, not based on calories or silly food rules that we often get wrapped up in.  I never deny myself, but I always experience food guilt and after calorie counting last year, it was hard for me to turn that part of my brain off.

However, I've been making stellar progress!  Especially after talking to my coach about what my body needs with the amount of miles I'm putting in.  It also helps being surrounded by supportive friends who have a great approach to healthy eating.

I've heard this philosophy called Intuitive Eating, RunEatRepeat talks about this at length, and it's all about:
an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body--where you ultimately become the expert of your own body. 

from their website, where you can find more information. 

I'm going to continue eating what I crave (no, not carrot cake for every meal... I do need some nutrients) and I'll keep you updates with what I learn!  WOOHOO. 

As soon as I met up with my ladies - Lisa and Annie - and headed out to Tjoes to do some grocery shopping... they got hungry.  Silly girls didn't eat before we left.  Who was I to turn down a request to stop at a favorite diner of ours for brunch? 

I wasn't feeling the lunch food yet, but I was mad craving a scone - filled with berries and BUTTER. 
Currant Scone with a side of fresh fruit and lemon curd. 
It was absolutely glorious.
The waitress was like "we put tons and tons of butter in it"... I guess that explains it.

Confession - my running shoes make me want to run all the time.  Like every time I pass them, I slip my foot into one and then have to talk myself out of running at odd hours of the day.  Hot pink shoes that make you feel super cool is probably the best running motivation out there.

I did a fast 5 miles at an 8 min/mile pace before pounding on Lisa's door.  We planned to do our favorite run to Indian Rock Park which is about a 5.5-6 mile loop.  Kick ass.

We always seem to get to the rock just in time to watch the sunset.
How romantic... barf. It's a perfect date spot (let's get real, I'll probably only go there to run...)

I found some goodies at ol' TJOES!!  I couldn't wait to randomly mix them into what looks questionable but tastes delicious.

Tri-Color Quinoa with Leeks and Chicken Hot Dogs. And a monster salad.
How have I never had leeks before?!?
The flavor is INSANE.  I'm hooked.  I cooked up a serving of quinoa and then added in some chopped frozen leeks I got at tjoes.  While this was going on, I browned some onion and my chicken dogs in a pan and added the quinoa/leek mix in after about 2-3 minutes to blend it all together.

Holy crap the flavors of this dish...

Quinoa packs a mean protein punch too.
Dessert involved another Trader Joe's find...
Best decision of my life.

shit... gotta run to class. First day of the semester. 
I'll let you know how that goes!

Monday, January 16, 2012

SUPERB SEAFOOD & Some Enchiladas

I HAD THE TRAVELING DAY FROM HELL.  I started writing this post whilst sitting in the airport (all dandy) then my flight kept getting delayed... and 6 hours later, we finally took off.

My apologies for venting/writing about "old news!" BUT I have some good food to discuss :)


Sadly, yesterday was my last full day in sunny San Diego.

I'm currently blogging from the airport... waiting to head back to school for my Spring semester.  I honestly don't think I remember what it's like to write a paper or study for an exam.  Yeah, things should be interesting.  can't wait.

In honor of my last day, I ate.  Tons of great food.  And ran.  What else would I do?

Before heading out for my run, I fueled up with some Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes!  MY FAVORITE!  They stick with me and keep me fuel for hours.  They're also my go-to breakfast on exam days... screw lucky socks, I have lucky carbs

My new best friend/running coach has been on my case about fueling properly for runs - which means hydration and about 100-200 calls every 5 miles - SO, for probably the second time in my life, I decided to take someone's advice and fuel up.

I got a spiffy new fuel belt.  Mine's black and red (for aesthetic, looking-intense purposes).  But it's a 3 bottle belt with a pouch for small food.  The plastic makes it SO easy to slip the bottles in and out while running.  I was worried it would be too hard.
I did a glorious 10 miles and, for the first time, I drank water and ATE (almond joys pieces) while I ran.  Oh my goodness, it makes such a difference.  WOW. My legs felt great and my body was strong the entire run... I'm never going back to "running on empty" again.

I casually mentioned this great seafood restaurant to my grandma over breakfast... and I snagged a great lunch date :)  I have to give a shout-out to my cousin for the BEST Christmas/birthday gifts.  Essentially she dressed me, head to toe, in J.Crew and Madewell.

Let's talk about this amazing seafood..
We went to El Pescadoro's Fish Market in La Jolla. 

It was super fresh, like just been caught... and let me just say, the guys that worked there were all heavenly to look at.  Is that a new rule that I missed?  Must be hot to work with raw fish?

Anyways, instead of going with a seafood salad, Gram and I split the Fish Tacos - grilled, fresh white fish on corn tortillas with all the fixings.

and a Combination Sandwich - dungeness crab and shrimp sandwich on sourdough. 

We divided and conquered.
We both loved that the seafood was 1. fresh and 2. NOT deep-fried.  We were expecting the tacos to be beer battered and the sandwich to be lathered in mayo.  What a pleasant surprise!

I've now fully accepted that I'm a seafood fanatic and I hope to incorporate more into my meals.

After relaxing, watching hours of mindless tv, and munching on some Quinoa Cookies that my gram whipped up - btw amazing - I decided to experiment in the kitchen.

The result?  Vegetarian Enchiladas! 

- Tortillas of your choice (I used whole wheat 50 calorie tortillas)
- Frozen mixed veggie assortment
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 cup of "meat" (optional)
- Cheese of your choice (I used fat-free mozzarella)
- Sauce:
      - 1 can of stewed tomatoes (or tomato sauce, if you want to make it easier)
      - 1/2 a chopped onion
      - 2 tbsp of cumin
      - 1 tbsp of minced garlic
      - 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
      - 1 small can of green chiles
      - 2/3 cup of veggie broth
      - salt and pepper

To make: 
- preheat oven to 400
- In a pan, pour in your ingredients for the sauce.  Let simmer for about 5-8 minutes, then divide the mixture in half, placing one part aside for the top of the enchiladas.
- With the remaining mixture still in the pan, add in your frozen veggies and your beans (and any "meat" if you're using it).  Put the lid on it until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes)
- After they're finished, spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Assemble your enchiladas by layering spinach and the filling (plus cheese if you'd like!)
- Place each wrapped enchilada face-down in the pan and then pour the remaining sauce that you set aside on top of the tortillas.  Top with cheese, cover with foil, and bake for about 20 minutes! Uncover and bake for the last 5, if you wish!

Be ready to enjoy a delicious and cheesy mexican feast!
Top with spring onions if you wish!

My plate:
On top of leftover salad. I went back for seconds... duh.

Alright.... Well, I'm finally back in the Bay.
I got to catch up with my friends and I'm slowly starting to adjust to college life again... what do you mean people stay out past 10 pm?

hello, reality.