Tag Archives: corn

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?

The Mysterious Squash

Good morning and happy Thursday! It’s going to be a good day, I can just tell 😀  How has your week been going? What was the most surprising or thing that brought you the most happiness?

The rolled oats stash still hasn’t been replenished, and I haven’t gotten a new batch of steel-cut whipped up yet, so I had to think a little about what I wanted for breakfast yesterday.  I opened the fridge, pulled out the almond butter, and…

Empty Almond Butter Jar

Oh no! Take me to a Trader Joe’s and make no stops on the way!  Well, I don’t know when I’m actually going to get to TJ’s, so I tried to leave a little nut butter on the sides to make oats-in-a-jar when the time is right.  That wasn’t enough for breakfast, though, so I pulled out a sample of Sunbutter that I’ve had lying around for a few months.

Sunbutter 1

Sunbutter 2

When squeezed out, it looks likes this:

Sunbutter 3

One Ezekiel English muffin half had almond butter and TJ’s pumpkin butter, the other Sunbutter and raspberry jam.

Ezekiel breakfast

The Sunbutter definitely tastes like sunflower seeds.  I think I still prefer almond and peanut butters, but this was a nice change.  I don’t know if I would buy a whole jar of this, but if I had more travel packets I would use them for on-the-go snacking.

I took all of my new vitamins with breakfast (except the melatonin, which is only for when I really can’t sleep at night).

Vitamins

Unfortunately I didn’t read the label carefully when I was at the store and bought the powdered Ester-C (which aids iron absorption) instead of the capsule, which means I have to drink it.  And let me tell you, this is one of the worst tastes I’ve ever known.

I worked and researched most of the morning, and broke for lunch around noon before I had to leave for physical therapy.  I made a big salad through my session:

Lunch Salad

In the mix:

It was a big salad! I almost couldn’t finish it, but I’m not usually one to leave greens on my plate.  I went into the city to get my H1N1 flu shot (seasonal flu shot has already sold out almost everywhere), then went across town to my physical therapy appointment.  I was early, so I popped into Tasti to get a treat and read a little.  I got a small cup of chocolate raspberry mousse:

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Tasti

My appointment went really well.  I really like my therapist; she’s a former marathoner and current Half-Iron Man-er, and just seems to know what she’s doing (a welcome change).  She  worked with me for over an hour, and came to the same conclusion as the first PTmy muscles aren’t strong enough to support the kind of running I’m doing. If I want to be an endurance athlete and compete in races, my quads, glutes, calves, etc. have to be really strong.  I need to work on strength moves, increasing my flexibility (stretching, rolling out with the foam roller) and core moves every day. My knees do point in (the first PT diagnosed me with “squinting patellae”) but strengthening my quadraceps will force them back into place.  And the even better news? I can start back up again (slowly) in the next few days, and can run the 15K in December!!!

She asked if I’d be okay with running on the treadmill for a few minutes to analyze my gait, and you should have seen the way my eyes lit up.  Running? Now? Even though I hate the treadmill, I felt like I was flying.  I do pronate, and my hips do come out and come forward when they shouldn’t (which has caused tightness in my IT band that I didn’t even know about until she worked it through with her fingers), but it can all be corrected.  Woohoo!!!! I’m going back today; she wants to see me twice a week for a month or so.  Thank the lordy. If I had a job right now, I wouldn’t have this kind of flexibility!

On the ride home, I was hungry again so I snacked on a Trek Mix bar.

Trek Mix Bar

When I got home, I did some more searching and researching, and started to think about dinner.  It was going to take a couple hours to make, so when Ari ordered sushi for himself and Josh I politely requested my very own sweet potato roll.

Sweet Potato Roll

Seriously, I don’t know how I didn’t know about these until now.  What would I do without Ilana and Ari? Amazing!

My own dinner was based on this recipe.   When I went to the produce store, I found a squash I’d never seen before.  It started with a G… Galaban? Galabaga? When I looked it up on this handy squash glossary, however, I discovered that it was one of the most popular squashes with bloggers: the kobucha!

Kobucha Squash

These were sold already halved; each half was about 70 cents.

I changed the recipe a little bit; I halved the “pudding” recipe, only used egg whites (I don’t have whole eggs), didn’t use anise, and used red onions instead of scallions.

Roasted Corn Pudding in Kobucha Squash

It took a long time to cook (about an hour and a half), but the results were worth it.

Roasted Corn Pudding in Kobucha Squash 2

I ate one half of the squash and saved the rest for another day.  It was really satisfying, and so good that I ended up eating the skin, too! Oops.

Roasted Corn Pudding in Kobucha Squash 3

For dessert, I smeared a pumpkin bar with peanut butter.  It wasn’t worth it: still tasted bad.  Into the trash they go!

Pumpkin Blondie

Ari and I took Carlye‘s suggestion and watched the pilot of Psych.  We thought there would be a few more episodes on the first disc, but it was just the one! So off I go to the mailbox… must make sure there’s a Halloween movie here for Saturday!

Have a great day 🙂

P.S. Averie is giving away ProBar Fruitition bars!

His Girl Friday

Hello there boys and girls, and happy Friday!  How are you today?  I’m just fine, although I knocked myself a little out of whack when I overslept, and my schedule is a little funky! Oh well, no matter.

Yesterday I woke up at a normal time, and made a normal bowl of fruity oatmeal.

Fruity Oatmeal

I used:

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • TJ’s Mangolicious blend
  • 1 peach
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter

After a little computer work, I accompanied the boy to the diner where he enjoyed a nice egg sandwich.  Then I hopped on the train and went to visit my poodle.  When I got there, I was greeted by many goodies!  I found the Zevia sodas (and cute T-shirt) I won from a contest Missy hosted…

Zevia

A NuNaturals stevia sampler I won from Averie‘s contest…

NuNaturals Stevia

POM Wonderful‘s new Kiwi and Nectarine flavored pomegranate juice

POM Wonderful Kiwi & Nectarine

A variety of Greek yogurts from Chobani

Chobani Sampler

And, best of all, gourmet Brownie Points brownies from Liz!

Brownie Points Edgies

Pretty good mail day, dontcha think?! 😉

I incorporated both new items and tasty leftovers into a fabulous lunch, starting with Daddy-o’s spicy corn chowder

Spicy Corn Chowder

Gliding Calm tofu with brown rice, mango chutney & peanut sauce

GC Tofu & Brown Rice

Low-Fat Pineapple Chobani, which I LOVED (review to follow)…

Pineapple Chobani

…. And Ginger Ale Zevia. Full review to come as well, but I did not like this at all.

Ginger Ale Zevia

While I ate, I read some more sad news about the demise of Gourmet magazine.

Sad Gourmet News

A little later, snacked on an apple to hold me over on a mid-distance run.

Pre-run Apple

I tried to warm up slowly, run 3 fast miles, and cool down with one more mile.  It was hard to pace myself without knowing for sure how fast I was going.  When I got home, I was pretty pleased with my statistics; seems like I did pace myself pretty well.

Total distance: 4.54 miles

Total time: 43:41

Maximum heart rate: 181 (91%)

Average heart rate: 166 (84%)

Calories burned: 455

I finished up a baggie of baby carrots while packing up and getting ready… these are the perfect quick snack, except when you have bad allergies.  Sneezing while chomping on carrots makes for a HUGE mess.

Carrots & Gourmet

I hurried back home just in time to have dinner with Ilana. We heated up leftover cassoulet and steamed some broccoli.  Ilana was finally introduced to the hippie juice, and I think she liked it!

Cassoulet & Broccoli

After dinner, we dug into Liz‘s brownies while we watched Grey’s Anatomy and Project Runway.

Brownie Points Edgies

There were a lot of flavors, and I wanted to taste them all…

Brownie Points Edgies pieces

These were so freaking good.  The hit of the night seemed to be Cookies & Cream… it tasted just like the middle of an Oreo!  I can’t wait to dig into the rest of them.  Holy yum, Liz!

I stayed up kind of late, and ended up eating another giant apple before bed.

Apple

Off to go meet some lovelies for dinner! What are you up to this weekend? I have my 10K on Sunday, but that’s about it! Have a great night 🙂

NaCl + YOU: Salt & the Athlete’s Body

Over the past few weeks, I have been craving salt.   I’m careful about the amount of sodium I take in from packaged foods, but I’ve never been too concerned with table salt, one way or the other.  (In fact, only 10% of sodium found in packaged food occurs naturally; it’s okay to use real salt!)  Recently, however, it’s been going on everything from my salad bar meals at Whole Foods to a scoop of peanut butter on my oatmeal.  Sunday night, I caught myself doing the unthinkable:  salting the butter on my bread! My dad and I have poked endless fun at my mother for requesting salt for her butter when we are out to eat.  Well, looks like they’ll have to bring some for me, too.   I brought this up to my dad, who immediately thought it was because I’ve been running almost every day, and for longer distances that I’ve been used to in the past.

I’ve been investigating salt intake and the athlete’s body, and found a very helpful response to a runner’s concern about sodium on the Runner’s World website.

The National Academy of Sciences, the government organization responsible for setting nutrient-intake guidelines, recently lowered the daily recommended intake of sodium from 2,400 milligrams (mg) to 1,500 mg-or about 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt per day. The reason: Diets high in sodium have been linked to high blood pressure.

But the Academy’s new recommendation was designed with sedentary folks in mind and may not be sufficient to replace the sodium losses of many runners. During an hour of running, most of us lose about 1,200 mg of sodium. Combine this with the rest of your daily sodium losses (through sweat and urine) and the new recommendation could fall short. Low sodium levels can cause dizziness, low blood pressure, and an abnormal heartbeat.

How much salt is safe for runners? Up to 3,000 mg of sodium per day should adequately replace the sodium lost through an active lifestyle. Keep in mind that most of us easily take in this amount simply by eating processed foods (salt is almost always added during processing), drinking sports drinks, and salting foods while cooking. So there’s no need to go out of your way to add salt to your diet. And if you have high blood pressure or other health concerns, your doctor may still advise you to limit your salt intake even if you are a runner.

I’ve often found myself feeling faint after long runs, even after I’ve more than adequately re-hydrated with water.  Could a little salt be the solution? In their July 2009 issue, Runner’s World has a list of various pre- and post-run beverage options.  They list vegetable juice as an option for runners who crave salt after runs… remember when I was on my carrot juice kick and deemed it my recovery drink of choice?  I guess my body enjoyed its benefits as much as my taste buds!

I did not have a hydration or sodium problem yesterday, as I was more or less sedentary for the entire day.  At 10 in the morning, I walked to the mailbox, and at 10 at night, I took out the trash and went across the street to the diner.  With half a heart, I did 8-minute abs, but even my tummy seemed a little zoznked.  Oh, to be unemployed!

When I woke up, I quickly came to the sad realization that all of my homemade almond milk had gone bad.  I’m out of almonds at the moment, so it’ll be a while before I make a fresh batch.  I rooted around my stash(es) of goodies. (Yes, I admit it: I hoard food in the closet.  I’ve already taken over more than an entire shelf in the pantry and the refrigerator is filled with my things, so rather than be that obnoxious roommate, the closet it is!)  Out came a sample of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal, which I’ve had back there for several months.

Kashi Honey Sunshine

I ended up pulling together a pretty random breakfast… Greek yogurt, (salted) peanut butter, Honey Sunshine, a peach, and cinnamon.

Yogurt Cereal Fruit mess

I wasn’t a huge fan of this cereal. It was very sweet, and reminded me a lot of Cap’n Crunch.  Not that there’s anything wrong with sugary cereal, but I prefer to eat those as snacks or dessert and enjoy something a little heartier in the morning.

In between housework, chores, and applying for jobs, I grabbed some chunks of energy to keep me awake.

Chunks of Energy

Lunch was an “everything but the kitchen sink” type of salad so I could use up some ingredients that are on the cusp of going bad.

Kitchen Sink Salad #1

I topped the last of the sprout salad with an egg over medium (microwaved for 30 seconds), corn, edamame, feta, hummus, and beets.

Kitchen Sink Salad #2

I think I must have overdone it on beets; I’ve eaten them so often since summer started that the last few times I’ve had them they’ve made me gag.  Mr. Beet, we need to spend some time apart.  It’s you.

My Edible Arrangement provided a festive lunch dessert; we’ve eaten everything except some chocolate-covered strawberries, which will probably make an appearance at breakfast soon.

Edible Arrangements

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to stay awake finishing my book, during which I snacked on an apple with cinnamon.

Apple w/ Cinnamon

I got dinner almost entirely ready, but at the last minute Josh and I decided to go to the diner.  I knew Tuesday was going to be a late-ish night, so at least dinner would be all prepped and I’d be able to eat as soon as I got home.  Josh and I both ordered the Seared Ahi Tuna Wrap w/ Whole Wheat Chips, wasabi aioli on the side. The chips were deep-fried and a little greasy, so I only ate a couple.

Ahi Tuna Wrap

The sandwich came with a mixed-green salad, which I enjoyed…  I haven’t been very good about eating dark green veggies lately.

Side Salad

When we got home, I tore into the last cupcake.

Billy's Bakery Pumpkin Cupcake #1

Do you even have to guess the flavor? My oh my, do I love pumpkin.

Billy's Bakery Pumpkin Cupcake #2

Well kiddos, Ari is almost home and I have to get Green Lantern all queued up for his arrival.  Yep, we’re big dorks 🙂  Before I say goodnight, I have an important question for you: what do you think about the F.T.C.’s ruling that blog writers must disclose their connection with companies whose products they review? I’m still mulling that one over, but it was a hot topic in the office at my internship today.

Bonne nuit!

Un dimanche en ville*

Bonjournée et bon lundi, mes amis! How is your day going so far? I still can’t believe that it’s a) not summer, b) fall, c) October, and d) a month and a half away from THANKSGIVING?! WHAT? Ari and I made the happy mistake of watching Reality Bites on Saturday night (which, embarrassingly, I used to watch about 5 times a month during my Junior year of high school); I also read a letter my mom wrote to a friend on her 22nd birthday.  Well?  Everyone seems to feel a little “lost”, a little broke, a little… malformed… after graduation and before they find a career.  My experience is not unique or exceptional and, well, it kind of helps to know that.   Moving right along….

I got up bright and early on Sunday morning to go on a long run.  I ate half a Chocolate Chip Clif bar, drank some water, and bagged up my gummies.

Running snacks

I ran at a snail’s pace.  Shouldn’t I be getting faster, and not slower, as I keep doing this?  I think it was my worst time ever.  I’d planned on running 6.5 miles, but ended up stopping after 4.5 and didn’t end up needing my gummies.  However, this didn’t bother me at all! It was not even 9 in the morning on a Sunday, and I’d already knocked out a decent run before breakfast.  Not bad.

Total distance: 4.5 miles

Total time: 48:59

Maximum heart rate: 201 (102%)

Average heart rate: 164 (83%)

I had brunch plans with Kalle, Lisa, and Lizzie, so I grabbed an apple on the way out to keep the hunger beasts at bay.

Apple Snack

We ate at City Bakery, and by the time we got there I was so thirsty and so hungry that I wanted to eat everything and it ended up taking me so long to actually pick out my food.  Don’t you hate that?

I ended up loading my plate with smoked salmon, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash with Asian pears and hazelnuts (must make this):

City Bakery 1

I also got a bowl of fruit.

City Bakery 2

Black coffee and water was a must…

City Bakery 3

I also grabbed a bite of Lizzie’s cornbread/jalepeño/white cheddar sandwich.  Great in theory, but strangely sweet in execution.

City Bakery Cornbread Sandwich

It was very nice to catch up with my ladyfriends… I do not do this nearly enough.  On the way home, I stumbled upon a street fair and picked up cups of lemonade for me and my mom.

Street Fair Lemonade

I was still parched… I’m usually very good about rehydrating after a run, but I was in such a rush to get out the door that I didn’t think about it.  This will be a lot easier soon (hint, hint)! I was also, somehow, still hungry, so I made an open-faced sandwich with peanut butter, banana, honey & cinnamon when I got home.

PB, Honey, Cinnamon & Banana Bread

A little later, George and Judy came over.  My mom set out tomatoes with sea-salt and Maker’s Mark… that’s how we do it chez LVP.

Dinner Party

I wasn’t feeling the whiskey, so I went for a nice glass of Riesling.

Riesling

Ari came over, and we got the party started.  My dad made us a feast! We had spicy ginger potatoes… who doesn’t like fancy home fries?

Spicy Ginger Potatoes

We also had spicy corn chowder (see a theme?), which I’ve been begging for for years.

Spicy Corn Chowder

Fresh-baked bread to sop it all up…

Fresh bread

Sweet and spicy scallops

Sweet and Spicy Scallops

It was a delicious meal, rounded out with wasabi-spiced cucumber salad.

Dinner plate

My aunt, uncle and cousins sent a very special Edible Arrangements presentation:

Edible Arrangements

My dad also made one of my favorite cakes…

Daddy-O Prepping the Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake #1

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, from this cookbook.  It’s made without butter or egg yolks, but is so rich and flavorful.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake #2

Blowing Out the Candles

I enjoyed my slice with quite a bit of fruit.

Cake & Fruit

It was a fabulous birthday weekend, and I’m pretty sure I sailed through it on a constant sugar high.  But wait! The treats will continue indefinitely; there are still a couple cupcakes left, and George and Judy gave me some fancy dark chocolate as well.

Pure Dark Goodies

I also enjoyed some snail mail from my long-lost lovelies, Carlye and Luke, great new running gear, fashion items… very spoiled, I am.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!  I’m off to do more reading and job searching.  Have a fabbity fab day!

*Sunday in the city

Ari is awesome.

I asked Ari what this post should be titled, and this is what he deemed to be appropriate.

Good afternoon!  I hope your day is off to a great start… I woke up thinking it was Saturday!  I slept in this morning, which was glorious.  Not too much on the agenda for today, which is A-OK with me 😉

Yesterday was slated to be a long run day, so I woke up, guzzled some coffee, and fueled up with half a Dulce de Leche Luna Bar.

Pre-Run Luna

I stuffed some gummies into the little pocket of my shorts (which left me a tad sticky)…

Mid-run gummies

I finally made a new playlist… the No Doubt song has been in my head for the better part of this week.

6.4 playlist

The run was fine… again, I just felt sleepy.  I think, for me, running distances is going to end up being more of a psychological challenge.  Obviously the physical aspects are also great, and every time I go out for a run I hope so hard that it won’t be the day that something goes wrong again.   The only thing that went “wrong” today was that my heart rate monitor didn’t register my actual heart rate

Total distance: 6.4 miles

Total time: 1:07:55

I’m not sure if I should be concerned that I haven’t been increasing my speed for these long runs… and it’ll probably be time for me to increase my distance again soon, too.   I just signed up for my first 10K a couple minutes ago- it’s next WEEK- so I’m going to have to start working on this!

My “training schedule” is a little weak, since I only have 8 days, but here’s what it looks like, which I made on the Runner’s World website:

training schedule

When I got back from my run, I made another excellent fall smoothie: Cherry Pumpkin Pie.

Fall Smoothie #2

I made this using frozen cherries, canned pumpkin pie mix, homemade almond milk, cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped it with a little GoLean & granola.  After breakfast and a bunch of puttering around, I packed up my portable lunch.  I wanted to use up all the leftovers, which, combined, made for an… interesting salad:

Leftovers Salad

The bottom layer was covered with sprouts, topped with corn & edamame salad and beets; the small compartment had leftover fish and a few noodles.  Some things, shall we say, do not taste great the morning after.

Leftovers Salad 2

On the subway, I snacked on some TJ’s dried fruit. Balls to the wall, as my lady would say.

Michelle & Dried Passion Fruit

My dad had told me about a DMV that expedites all of their services, so luckily I was in and out (with a new picture!) in 20 minutes.  Must be some kind of record.  It was starting to rain, so I went into Starbucks and bought a Tall Skim Chai so that I could eat my lunch without getting drenched.

Lunch @ Starbucks

After taking a few minutes to read and decompress, I skedaddled along to an informational interview, then picked up a few books.  The first was a beautiful collection of poems by my friend and former professor, Kristin Naca.

Bird Eating Bird

The second was A Race Like No Other, to motivate and inspire.

A Race Like No Other

Then, in the spirit of racing, I rushed home to see my traveling musician, who has spent the last three weeks on his own kind of race, driving back and forth across the country with Blink 182 and the All American Rejects.

We grabbed some friends and went for dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant.  I was still pretty full from lunch, so I only ate a little of my Massaman Curry with shrimp (with unpictured rice) and took the rest home.

Massaman Curry

A little while after we got home, however, I was hungry again, and dug right back into the take-out container 😀  Ari and I went separate ways for dessert; I had a Double Chocolate Dream Vitamuffin with frozen cherries, Greek yogurt, and homemade almond milk.

Vita/Yog/Cherry/Almond Milk

Ari had Saltines with Nutella & peanut butter.

Ari w/ nutella & PB

Nutella is made with skim milk, hazelnuts (healthy fat), and chocolate (antioxidants), so it’s practically a health food!

Saltines w/ Nutella & Peanut Butter

We had a little Domaine Lalande Pinot Noir (a gift from Howard on my last day of work), and watched Grey Gardens, which Caitlin had recommended.

Pinot Noir

It was a great night… I’m so happy he’s back!

I’m off to go cross-train, as my training schedule recommends.  What are your plans for the weekend? Enjoy it!