Tag Archives: coconut

A “Quick Meal”- Themed Day

Good evening, Upper East Siders!  How are you? I’m taking a little work break to blog and catch up on my Gossip.

Last night, after we got back from the wedding, I hunkered down to do some reading and prepare for my interviews.  All of that brain stimulation must have shot my metabolism into overdrive, because only a couples hours after dinner,  my tum was a-grumblin’ something fierce! I thought I might just be thirsty, but that didn’t seem to be it.  Finally, I put down my book and headed into the kitchen to make a bowl of Kashi GoLean and Smart Start. Problem solved!

This morning, I woke up bright and early to see Ari off.  As I mentioned, he’s going Vigilante through December, and had to leave at 7:30 this morning.  I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind was already up and ready to go.  I had to be at physical therapy at 10 anyway, so I just got up and made breakfast.

Taking Jess‘s advice, I heated up half of a Trader Joe’s Berry Mango Bran Muffin, crumbled it up, and tossed in on top of 0% Fage with some warmed frozen berries and a scoop of flaxy PB.  I really like this peanut butter, by the way.   It’s both crackly and crunchy and adds great texture!

Quite the mess!

My therapy session went well… I still have a lot of tightness in pretty much each muscle in my legs, so I have to keep working on that.  Repeat after me: yoga, rolling and stretching, okay!  When I got back, I briefly chatted with the guest who is staying with us, made myself an apple-cinnamon snack, and retreated to my room to be interviewed (via phone) with the HR department for the company I’m interviewing with.

It shaped up to be one of those days where I was constantly hungry, so I made something as soon as the clock showed that it was even remotely close to lunchtime.  Ellie reminded me yesterday about the beauty of the crack wrap, so I made one with a whole wheat wrap, three-layer hummus, and a slice of Jarlsberg cheese.

I ate it with half a can of Progresso’s Fat Free Lentil soup.   This isn’t the tastiest of the canned variety, but I had a hankering for soup.  I’ll definitely be making my own in the near future!

Finished up the meal with a piece of salt water taffy for a sweet end.

I’ve been searching in vain for the seasonal Celestial Seasonings teas (like Sugar Cookie and Gingerbread)… any New Yorkers know where I can track it down?  I settled on a cup of Sweet Coconut Thai Chai, which was a good substitute…

…but it knocked me right out!  Ari caught me snoozing at 5PM when he woke me up with a phone call.  Whoops! I snacked on some carrots to perk me back up…

… then did Yoga Download‘s Hip Opening Flow #2.  I have trouble practicing yoga for more than 20 minutes when I’m not in class… does anyone have tips for staying in the moment? Turning off my phone would probably be a good start!

I heated up some leftover Coconut Barley Pilaf and made a quick salad with kale, broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Honestly, as much as I love my fancy salad dressings, I could probably make a sesame vinaigrette every night and be happy.  It’s simple, but so delicious.  I don’t even use measurements or mix anything together… the vinegar and oil just get drizzled on.

I made another quick dessert, starting with a tri-flavored chocolate sauce using Pure Dark cardamom chocolate, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips.

I added a few drops of water, microwaved the bowl for 35 seconds, then mixed in some Brown Sugar ice cream.

And thus concludes another day’s passing without having spent a single extra dollar on food.  I’m going to have to buy some fresh produce soon, as we’re running low on fruit and vegetables, but otherwise the kitchen is pretty stocked.  It’s a satisfying feeling.

Back to work… it’s going to be a late night.  Bonne nuit 🙂

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Sweet Coconut Nights

So sorry to have disappeared last night! I was so enraptured with Betty White in The Proposal that before I knew it, it was time for bed.   I don’t usually like doing massive, two-day catch-up posts, but if I don’t, I’ll be living in the past for a while and we can’t have that.

 

My new peanut butter was calling my name from the pantry.

Peanut Butter w/ Flax

How could I incorporate it into my breakfast?

PB w/ Flax

I decided to make eggs-in-a-basket (or “toad-in-the-hole”, as my grandmother calls it) which I’ve seen all over the blogs recently.  I used Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread and cut a hole in the middle with my water bottle.  The “hole” was the perfect size to to test the peanut butter out on.

PB w/ Flax on bread

I melted a slice of Jarlsberg cheese on another piece of bread, and put a little pumpkin butter on top of the flax hole.

Toad In The Hole

I love getting as many tastes as possible out of a meal!

After waiting a couple hours to digest, I laced up my sneakers, stretched, loaded my ipod with a new playlist (thanks to Maya for turning me on to this site) and hit the pavement.  This was my third run in a month, and I wanted to make it count.  I ran slowly but easily, and before I knew it I was bake at home with 4.5 miles under my belt.  I wasn’t even out of breath!  To be honest, I was worried I would have lost my stamina and wouldn’t even be able to make it half that far.  This is a good sign 🙂

I went into the city to meet my mom at Macy’s to go coat shopping.  It was exhausting.  Although I’d brought kale chips and an apple, we didn’t end up eating until 3:30.

Kale Chips

Apple

If there’s one thing I know about my mother’s side of the family, it’s that we get c-r-a-n-k-y when we get hungry.  Au Bon Pain was the only option for us at Macy’s (the rest of the fast food joints didn’t have any vegetarian options), and I quickly made a salad with spinach, artichoke hearts, green beans, roasted red peppers, tuna and Thai peanut dressing.

Au Bon Pain salad

The only memorable aspect of this salad was how quickly I ate it.  My mom got us a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies, and I had one somewhere in the lingerie department while searching for Hollywood Tape.

Au Bon Pain cookies

Three stores and one successful purchase later, we fond ourselves sitting at the old wood bar in DiFiore Marquet.  This was only my second time coming here, but it’s one of my favorite spots in the city.  It’s charming and quirky, quiet, inexpensive, and the staff is so knowledgeable about their wine list.

DiFiore Marquet wine list

Last time we went, I tried my first glass of Vouvray.  This time, I went for the Alsatian Pinot Gris (I get this whenever I see it on a menu), and my mom got the Torrontes, which is a fruity white similar to a Pinot Grigio.

The Pinot Gris is on the left, the Torrontes on the right.

DiFiore Marquet wine

On our way home, we made a pit stop at The Donut Pub.

The Donut Pub

My mom and George both think these are the best donuts in the city.

The Donut Pub

My mom and I did a taste-test with a glazed and a sugar ring (I had tiny bites of each); glazed won.  I got a marble cake donut hole for myself.

Donut Hole

I don’t even remember the last time I had a donut!  Oh wait… it was almost exactly a year ago!

We finally did get home, where we met my dad for a takeout pasta dinner from La Parmigiana in Southampton.  We started with salad… I thought all “Italian” dressings would taste like this when I was younger, and was sadly disappointed when I learned this was not the case.

Parmigiana Salad

Their pasta is hard to beat.  I had a plate with half linguine with clams, half linguine with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes.   I gobbled up all of the former, but had had my fill and didn’t quite finish the broccoli rabe pasta.

Parmigiana pasta

My mom and I split a Criterion apple that my parents picked last weekend…

Criterion Apple

… and, later, I had three chocolate snowballs.  They were even better the second day!

Chocolate Snowballs

I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping recently… rather I normally have a hard time falling asleep, but have been enjoying a nice respite from that and have been nodding off quite easily.  No sleep aids required!  The last few nights, however, it’s been hard for me to fall and stay asleep, so that by the time morning comes around it just seems like a mean joke.  Needless to say, my breakfasts have had to be pretty darn good to make up for it.

These Berry Mango bran muffins from Trader Joe’s came recommended by both Lauryn and Caroline, and I knew I had to try them.  I’m not a huge muffin lover, but bran is a whole ‘nother story.  Love it!

TJ's Berry Bran Muffins

I popped half a muffin in the oven to warm it up, and while it was toasting got out the container of almond butter my parents had picked up for me at the Co-Op.

Co-Op Almond Butter

Beat that, Maranatha!

Co-Op Almond Butter 2

I slathered some on my muffin, and used the nut-buttery-spoon to scoop my banana/cinnamon/honey-filled Oikos.  How’s that for a complete breakfast?

Muffin & Yogurt breakfast

My physical therapy appointment was scheduled for 11, and although I left with plenty of time to spare, my subway line is all messed up and is skipping my stop due to track work.  So I had to ride all the way to the end of the line and back down again, and by the time I got off at the appropriate stop only had five minutes to spare.  I ran all the way there with a shoddy umbrella, dodging raindrops and praying my waterlogged Chucks wouldn’t trip me up.  I didn’t fall, but was still five minutes late.  Not a problem… I still got quite the workout in.

My left thigh was been really sore for the past few days… I don’t know if it’s because of the exercises I’ve been doing or just freak tightness, but my therapist worked it out for a good ten minutes.  I also did some calf, core and quad work on the Proform (which I am really feeling today!), then got iced down and strapped with electrodes.  Who knew therapy could be so fun?

I packed my lunch to take with me to eat in transit:

Lunch Salad

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • frozen pineapple
  • broccoli slaw
  • Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger (like other Dr. P. burgers, this is very mushy and doesn’t have a real “burger” texture. I really like the taste and chunks of veggies, though)
  • kale chip “dressing”/hummus

Because it was cold and rainy out, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and enjoy a leisurely lunch.  So I ate LVP-style: standing up and shoveling food into my mouth in the middle of the sidewalk.

Eating On The Go

Also had a Pink Lady apple… wonder if there is a T-Bird variety apple as well?

Pink Lady

After I finished my dignified lunch, I walked across town and went up to meet Greg at Starbucks.  I got the coupon in the mail for my free birthday drink (if you have a Starbucks card, register it!), which I used for a Grande Skim Dirty Hippie (Chai with two shots of espresso).

Dirty Hippie

Two sample trays came by while we were chatting: Peppermint Mocha and Crème Brulée.

Peppermint Mocha Crème Brulée

I remember when I used to get so excited for Peppermint Mocha-season… now I found this – and the crème brulée- way too sweet.  The only sweet coffee drinks I like are Chai lattes and the occasional Mocha or Frappuccino; I tend to stick to lightly sweetened cappuccinos and black coffee.

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands (found the perfect pair of jeans on sale).  I was in four different areas of the city in under four hours, and let me tell you: it gives you an appetite! It was the kind of day where I felt hungry all the time.   I dug into my bag and found this Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola bar that Bear Naked sent me as a sample and ate it on the subway.

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Nutrition

Bear Naked Tropical Fruit Grain-Ola Bar Ingredients

Review: This was way too sweet for me, and the ingredients list (and 18g of sugars) explains it.  Why does the fruit need to be dried with sugar on top of the additional tapioca syrup, honey and maple syrup that gets thrown into the mix? It was also very, very greasy.

Would I buy this? Thanks, but no thanks.

When I got home, I started making this recipe for Coconut Barley Pilaf.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn

My dad had made it a few weeks ago and recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a go.  I substituted shrimp for chicken, light coconut milk for regular, and chili flakes for jalepeño.

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 2

I didn’t know how many people would be around for dinner so I made the full recipe… we’ll just have a lot of leftovers!

Coconut Barley Pilaf with Shrimp & Corn 3

I really liked this. The sweet barley, salty cashews, chewy shrimp and fresh mint were in such harmony!  I would definitely make this again (although I think I can get another 3 meals out of this batch).  Ari didn’t like it as much… he prefers chickpeas and mushrooms.

We also had some Sauvignon Blanc…

Sauvignon Blanc

… and I finished off the snowballs.  Nom.

snowballs

We’re off to Connecticut for a wedding this weekend.  What are your plans?

Lenny-the-Cuisinart Makes His Kitchen Debut

Good evening, folks!  Better get cracking on this post or it’ll be morning before I’m done!  As the title suggests, I finally took my food processor out of the box.  It’s so sleek and shiny… I kind of just want to snuggle with it in bed.  But… that’s a story for a different blog 😉

Yesterday I got up very early to finish some work before going into my internship.   I drank a pot of coffee, opened my eyes a little wider, and finally started feeling my appetite.  I made a yogurt bowl with vanilla Oikos, a Gala apple and granola.  Hit the spot!

Granola, Apple & Greek Yogurt

There wasn’t a whole lot for me to do at work… I mailed some things, ordered some more things, and read some other things.   As vague as that sounds, I actually really like working there and am learning a lot about the industry!  No experience is bad experience in my book (with a few exceptions).

I got off a couple hours earlier than usual and had some time to kill, so I decided to go next door and get a workout in before meeting my mom for lunch.  I fueled up with half of a (very stale) Chocolate Chip Clif Bar.

Chocolate Chip Clif Bar

Has anyone ever used the Expresso bike at the gym? It looks like a regular stationary bike, but the handlebars move so you can navigate the path that is shown onscreen.  It’s pretty neat, and kept me from getting too bored! I did about 5 miles, then worked on arms and my PT exercises.   I left just in time to meet my mom for lunch.

We went to Café Angelique, a cute café in the West Village.

Café Angelique

I got the Mango & Goat Cheese Salad… it was really good, but there was about a pound of cheese on top!  My mom and I thought about saving the excess and bringing it home in a doggie bag… but I’m not that desperate (yet).

Mango & Goat Cheese Salad

I spread some of the cheese on whole grain toast.

Toast

Lunch left me surprisingly full, and while I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted any frozen yogurt, as soon as I saw the flavors The Lite Choice was serving, I knew they had “LVP” written all over them.   Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Truffle… I was powerless!

The Lite Choice

We finished our treat; my mom went back to work and I walked across town to Trader Joe’s and did a massive grocery shop. I thought my little arms were going to fall off on my walk home!

Trader Joe's Haul

Proteins

TJ's Protein

Fruit & Veggies

TJ's Fruit & Veggies

Dairy, Grains & Miscellaneous

TJ's Dairy, Grains & Miscellaneous

With this haul, I was ready to get in the kitchen! There was a Lovely spirit in the kitchen there with me.  First on the agenda was homemade kale chips!

Kale Chip Ingredients

Except… my farm stand was out of kale.  So I improvised with escarole… a lettuce variety with much thinner leaves than kale. Oh well.

I loaded up the food processor with the dressing’s ingredients.  Look how nice and clean he is!  I think I’ll call him Lenny 🙂

Loaded Food Processor

Blended until almost smooth…

Kale Chips Dressing

I should have halved the recipe, because this made quite a bit of topping.  But I really could have eaten it straight, so I saved half for salads and dipping…

Leftover Kale Chips Dressing

… and put the rest on half a head of escarole before massaging it all in.

Kale Chips

I don’t have a dehydrator, so I followed Mama Pea‘s lead and baked them in the oven at 300 for 40 minutes.  Foil may not have been the best choice, as it was kind of a hassle peeling them off.

Kale Chips & Foil

They were really yummy, though! I think next time I’ll use a bit more lemon juice… I squirted a little on the chips while I snacked.

Kale Chip

Next on the list:  Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Snowballs!  Again, it wasn’t quite true to Averie’s recipe because this cocoa wasn’t so dark, but no matter.

Chocolate Snowballs Ingredients

This was one of the easiest things I’ve ever made.  My salads take longer to prepare!

Chocolate Snowballs Ingredients 2

I was a little worried that the “batter” was too dry, but stuck it in the freezer as it was.

Chocolate Snowballs Dry

A few hours later, they were ready to be “balled”…

Chocolate Snowballs Frozen

I was so proud of myself! They really look like macaroons!

Chocolate Snowballs

There may have been some nibbling along the way, and some of the mixture left over that will make a fabulous breakfast addition.  Try saying “Chocolate Snowball Oats for me!” ten times.

Dinner was pretty low-maintenance (unlike Blair and Serena, who kept me company)… I had leftover Japanese Cucumber Salad and Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas.  I added dulse flakes to the cukes this time, which worked a lot better than the nori.

Leftovers

For dessert, I had a strawberry-flavored Oikos and a chocolate snowball.

Greek Chocolate

I love Greek yogurt as you’ve probably noticed… the only problem is that when I stock up, I eat it all so fast that it’s all gone in only a few days!

What recipe have you loved recently? What should I make next with my food processor?

Short Fuse

For some reason, this post didn’t go up this morning when I pressed “Publish”! Sorry about that, folks 🙂

Just now, as I made my breakfast, I’d almost convinced myself I was in a Parisian flat getting ready for the day with the rest of the rest of the workforce. It’s a crisp day out, but the windows are open, letting the fresh air (and an upstairs neighbor’s cigarette smoke) waft in. It’s about 2 there right now… my parents are probably having a simple lunch somewhere, and Ari is getting ready for his show tonight in Manchester. I haven’t really heard from my parents (except a frantic back-and-forth with my dad about physical therapy), but it seems like the Upwelling‘s tour is off to a great start!

Yesterday morning I played a fierce game of “snooze” with the alarm clock. You might be wondering why I even bother setting alarm given that I don’t have a job, but I find that I really need to keep myself on a remotely “normal” schedule so that things get done and I don’t lose my mind.

Breakfast was a little different yesterday.

Apple Nut Oats

I cooked 1/3 cup of 5-Grain Cereal in 2/3 cup of water, then microwaved a diced apple with cinnamon and a little brown sugar. (Blew the fuse with this one… the dishwasher and dryer was already running in the kitchen, and the vacuum was in use in another room. Whoops! But a girl’s gotta have her breakfast 🙂 ) I topped everything with 1/4 banana and a big scoop of peanut butter.

Apple Nut Oats 2

I haven’t had any hot cereal other than oats since I graduated, but I’m going to keep this up. It’s a nice change!

My knee was feeling a little better when I woke up, so I decided to go to the gym and see how using the bike felt. Well… not so great. It hurt to go faster than a snail, but the slow pace was really frustrating. I ended up getting off after 20 minutes, hobbling over to the machines to try arms, getting even more frustrated, and leaving. The combination of an over- crowded locker room and no hot water in the showers led to a minor meltdown… there were a few tears as I stood under the shower head, freezing and wondering if this was the end of my running career. Then I moved on with my life.

My friend Hannah and I met at Whole Foods for lunch, and I loaded my box with some of my favorite comfort foods.

Whole Foods

Including but not restricted to:

  • Mixed greens
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Baked Tofu
  • 1 Plantain
  • Vegan Chicken Salad
  • “Detox Salad” made w/ ground cauliflower
  • Whole Grain Taboule
  • Kale & Cantaloupe salad

I also sneaked in some coconut water 😉

Goya Coconut Water

After lunch I went home and made some calls to physical therapists, trying to get an appointment.  No luck!  So, I decided to relax a little and settled into bed with a book, a cup of chai, and an apple with cinnamon.  Very cozy!

Tea Time

This quote would be more appropriate if it ended with “honor your body“, but I can do both.

Tea Quote

For some reason I was hungry for dinner a lot earlier than usual, so I ended up getting dinner ready around 6:30.  I diced up an heirloom tomato

Heirloom Tomato

… and mixed it in with the leftover Lemony  Rigatoni w/ Chickpeas & Broccoli, which I topped with parmesan.

Lemony Chickpea & Broccoli Rigatoni

I had a few leaves of romaine on the side, as well as a big rebel carrot.

Rebel Carrot

Ilana came over a little later, and after I made her a quick dinner, we had an ice cream party!  Good sleepovers are not complete without them.

Ice Cream Party

I had a bowl with half Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup and half Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean. with a hearty drizzle of hot fudge.

Ice Cram Party 2

Speaking of ice cream, remember the almond-less Vanilla Swiss Almond? Well, I finally got around to calling Haagen-Dazs, and they were very nice about the mix-up and should have a coupon in the mail.  All’s well that ends well!

I’ll be back a little later with the physical therapist’s diagnosis.  Hope you’re having a great day!

On Bended Knee

Well, looks like the alarm clock got the better of me this morning.  I had a terrible time falling asleep, and had an air filter going in hopes that the white noise would lull me to dreamland.  It did… but it also meant I didn’t hear my phone go off to wake me up!  Anyway, nothing catastrophic happened and it seems that the world still makes sense.

Yesterday was a busy day at the house, as the boys were packing up and getting ready to go to Europe.  I dreamed a little about Parisian breakfasts as I based my own around Chobani‘s Vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt.

Vanilla Chobani

I also mixed in a crumbled Chocolate Fig Vitamuffin, a small peach, and half a banana. Looks like my camera got a little brekkie on the lens… sorry about the dirty looking photo!

Breakfast mess

It seemed about time to try out my NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

Coffee with NuNaturals Stevia

Although the label recommends using 5-10 drops, I started out with a conservative 2.  Couldn’t taste anything! Then I overdid it a little by squirting in the whole amount in the dropper.  Not good at all.  There must be a perfect balance… I don’t like my coffee too sweet, but a subtle hint of flavor would be lovely.

NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia

I spent the morning getting some reading done, and reading requires brain fuel! I snacked on a Coco Chew from Bonobo‘s… these are delicious.

Bonobo's Coconut Chew

Ari declined his Chunk of Energy, so I ate his for him.  Don’t you love his shirt? It encourages people to wear seat belts.  Safety is sexy! He owns two of these, purhcased on separate occasions.

Chunk of Energy

A little later, my dad picked me up so I could spend the rest of the day with my parents before they went to Europe.  Do you see a trend here?! Am I the only one I know who will not be feasting on crêpes, moules, and patîsseries? I’m sure I’ll make do.  You know what they say about what happens when the cat’s away…

I made myself a big salad for lunch, and incorporated in these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes Ilana got me at a farmers market in Westchester.

Heirloom Tomatoes

I started with a few leaves of romaine and tossed in leftover swordfish, 1/2 apple, dried cranberries, and that cute little orange tomato in the back.  I made a dressing using Emeril‘s Kicked Up Horseradish mustard that Foodbuzz sent me a while back, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey.  Parfait!

Big Salad

Couldn’t resist a few bites of my dad’s cold sesame noodles… this has always been one of my favorite dishes at Chinese restaurants.

cold sesame noodles

I washed it all down with Black Cherry Zevia.  I really liked this flavor! Missy also told me it was her favorite.

Black Cherry Zevia

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and writing.  Two books in one day? You know it! I read almost all of one novel while soaking in the tub with scented candles. Now, if I could only just get paid to do this…  We ate dinner on the later side, so I snacked on an apple with cinnamon to hold me over.  I’ve been eating so many apples recently!  When they come fresh from the farm, they’re hard to resist 🙂

apple w/ cinnamon'

My dad made a dish for dinner that has already become a favorite in the LVP household: Lemony Rigatoni w/ Chickpeas & Broccoli.  Two years ago, Ari and I made this recipe (from the 2007 Food & Wine Cookbook) the first time he visited me in Minnesota.  A few months later my dad, not knowing that Ari and I already loved this pasta, made it for a family dinner.  It’s a hit, and so easy to make.  Sea salt, pepper & parmesan raise it to the level of simple perfection.

Lemony Rigatoni w/ Chickpeas & Broccoli

I drank a cup of milk with my meal… growing up, I always drank a huge glass of milk (twice this size) with dinner.  One must build strong bones!  (I bought this cup in Berlin… I love mugs without handles, for some reason.)

German Milk

For dessert, we had Bartlett pears

Bartlett pear

… and a square of dark chocolate.

Côte d'Or dark chocolate

Since yesterday morning, I’ve had some pain on the inside of my right knee.  I don’t know if it’s post-race stress or wearing the wrong casual shoes, but I heeded my dad’s advice yesterday by icing the knee and not doing a lick of exercise.  The next time I run a distance longer than 2 miles, I’m going to do it on the treadmill to give my bones a break.  I don’t usually get knee pain from running, but I don’t want to take any chances.  I am, however, planning on doing the Pete McArdle Cross Country Classic 15K on December 13, and came up with this training plan with Runner’s World’s SmartCoach. This is a great resource if you want a little help organizing your own training plan.

15K training plan

Check out Gina‘s giveaway that will help you with your own training.

What are your short-term or long-term fitness goals?

Life Is For Living

Is Life Worth Living?

Source

Good morning! How are you today? It’s a blustery day so far here in the city, and I’m happy to say that the air conditioner is no longer running on its automatic circuit.  It seems like most of us have mixed feelings about birthdays, but… I think I’ve decided to be less of a grinch and just enjoy seeing my friends and family, as usual.  Why not celebrate when you can?

Yesterday was another Fall-inspired breakfast: oats cooked with water and almond milk, topped with a small apple, pumpkin pie mix, and a scoop of peanut butter.

Apple Pumpkin PB Oatmeal

At work, fearing a grumbly tummy (I work in the same room as my boss) I took a water break and ate a Trek Mix bar in the reception area.

Trek Mix Bar

My mom and I were able to meet for lunch today, and dined at Baoguette, a chain of Vietnamese sandwich and noodle shops.

Baogette Menu

I ordered the Bu’n Fish, which was baked in spices and plopped on top a HUGE portion of noodles and pickled vegetables.  I ate so much, but still had at least a pound of leftovers to take home!

Baoguette Bu'n Fish

I went home, made some tea (which I promptly spilled all over myself and the floor), snacked on some chunks, and fell asleep.

Fashionable snacks

I woke up just in time to shower before having to leave to meet my parents.  We were going to a play with at 7:00 curtain and weren’t going to eat dinner until it was over, so I made myself a Greek yogurt/ warmed Mangolicious blend/applesauce snack.

Greek yogurt/berries/applesauce

The play, called Is Life Worth Living?, was a revival of an Irish play from the 1930s.  We all really enjoyed it! The perfect way to kick of birthday season.  Ahem.

Is Life Worth Living?

After the play, we went to John’s Pizzeria for a late dinner.  This was a hotspot when I was in elementary and middle school… almost everyone had birthday parties here.  I don’t think I’d been for 10 years!

We ordered a spinach salad with apples, blue cheese, walnuts, onions and olives to share:

Spinach salad

We also split a large Margherita pizza with basil and onion.

John's Pizza

I had two slices.

John's Pizza slice

I haven’t ordered pizza in so long, and it felt so good. It was a really, really nice evening.  When I got home, I finished off the last of the coconut milk ice cream and topped it with frozen cherries and homemade almond milk. I love eating straight from the carton… it feels so naughty!

Dessert

I also dug into some snail mail from a certain buddy who must know I’m obsessed with pugs…

Pugs!

… a special note from Miss Gliding Calm!

happy card

This girl sure knows how to brighten a day 🙂

Well, I’m off to go get my license renewed.  Don’t you just love the DMV?  A certain someone might be coming home today, too… I’ll give you one good guess.

Have a great day!

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

This morning I woke up with the line “Couscous is a traditional North African dish…” running through my head.  I guess I’ll be making some of that soon!  I don’t always remember my dreams, but when I do, they’re usually pretty vivid.  What dreams have you had recently?

Yesterday I dug into my stash of Vitamuffins and pulled out a new flavor: Double Chocolate Dream.

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious Package

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious Nutrition

Look at those bubbling chocolate chips!

Double Chocolate Dream Vitalicious

I crumbled the muffin and topped it with Greek yogurt, 1/2 banana, and a fresh batch of almond milk.  It hit the spot.

Vitamuffin, Banana, Yogurt, Almond Milk

A little later, I snacked on an apple:

Morning Apple

Yesterday was one of those days when I really needed that extra push to get me moving. I had some reading to do but was starting to get a little stir-crazy and needed to get out of the house.  There was a 1:30 yoga class I was thinking of going to, but I made every excuse not to go:  I’d have to take a 30-minute subway ride each way, which takes away from my reading time.  I’d have to pack my lunch, but would it be too cold to eat it outside? And once I was in the city, I might as well stay there for a little and get some work done, but where would I go? Every excuse in the book.  Lucky for me, Sarah and Will were on gChat, and kicked my booty into shape.

yoga motivation

Sometimes a little nudge is all it takes.  I loaded up on 1/2 banana with almond butter before I left:

Banana w/ Almond Butter

The Vinyasa was good; I’m glad I went, but there was a moment when I looked around and all of the other students were getting into a certain pose, and I had no idea how to do it.  I could have just asked the instructor for some help, but I was too frustrated with myself and just sat on my mat instead.  I’ll work on getting my pride in check for next week’s class.

After class, I brought my lunch and ate it in the park (it was not too cold).  My dad had found this amazing sprout salad (which I snatched up as soon as he showed me):

Sprout Salad

This whole box- almost 1 lb of pure sprout- was less than $3!

Crunchy Sprout Salad

I piled sprouts, carrots, corn, beets, tomatoes, dulse and nooch into one side of my container; 3-layer hummus went into the other.

Health Salad

It was a salad of girth!

Salad of Girth!

I also brought a package of Kay’s Naturals Golden Butter Twists Gluten-free/High Protein Pretzels.

Kay's Naturals Protein Pretzels

Kay's Naturals Golden Butter Pretzels

I loved these pretzels! They’re crunchy, perfectly salted, and were perfect dipped in hummus.

Protein Pretzels

After finishing up, I headed over to Everyman Espressso, ordered a skim cappuccino, and worked diligently for three hours.

Everyman Cappuccino

After I read 100 pages, I enjoyed a Godiva Pumpkin Truffle that my mom got me.  These seasonal truffles hold a special place in our family tradition; we get them every year, and after the first bite, you know Fall really has begun.  How do you reward yourself to stay motivated and power through work?

Godiva Pumpkin Truffle

When I got home, I wanted something quick and easy for dinner.  I toasted up an Ezekiel English muffin with asiago cheese, and had a bowl of lentil soup.  (I’m not going to lie, I am so tired of this soup! I’m sure you are, too. Only one serving left, I promise!)

Toasted Cheese & Lentil Soup

Dessert was mighty fine, and complemented Gossip Girl quite nicely: Vanilla Coconut ice cream with frozen berries, cherries and almond milk.

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream with Frozen Fruit & Almond Milk

Around the blogs: Remember this beautiful little princess? Well, she started her very own blog! Check it OUT.

Katie & Lyle in Giverny!

This photo was taken in Giverny, France in Spring 2008.

Enter Erin‘s puffy necklace giveaway!

I’m off to read.  Bonne journée!