Tag Archives: dried fruit

Belly Full ‘O Pasta

Evening! How was your day?  Mine was just fine, but I’m ready to crawl into bed and call it a night!

This morning when I woke up at 8:30, I panicked for a few minutes before remembering that my boss (at my internship) had canceled work for the day. I was up and ready to go, though, which things to do and people to see!

I was excited to try these goji berries with my breakfast.  I’ve only ever tasted these chopped up and mixed into other things, but when I snatched them right up when I spotted this bag on sale for $2.19 at the food co-op this weekend (they’re usually almost triple that price).  Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, and among their many benefits they are touted to improve eyesight (they’re rich in beta carotene), boost immunity, and spice up your sex life 😉

I tossed them in with Greek yogurt, 1/2 toasted Trader Joe’s Berry Mango muffin, warmed frozen berries and flaxy peanut butter. The goji berries are firm but chewy; the texture really complemented the rest of the mess.

This held me over for a really long time.  The rest of the morning was spent reading, researching, and waiting until I was digested enough to go for a run.  I warmed up with a 20 minute hip opening flow, then set out for an easy 2 mile run.

Total distance: 2 miles

Total time: 20:09

Most of my runs are going to have to be in the morning now that it’s getting dark earlier; I’ll have to crank out some long runs on the treadmill when I’m in Russia, however.  I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able (psychologically) to run 7 miles on a treadmill…. What are you tips for making it through a long treadmill session?

Lunch was pretty basic (and very green): the last of the spinach and rice soup and a crunchy salad (spinach, broccoli slaw, celery, roasted almonds; sesame oil/rice vinegar/sesame seed dressing).

My interview was at 3:30; when it was over I hopped right back onto the subway and headed home.  I had 1/3 of a Key Lime Pie Larabar on the ride back:

I found myself in one of the rare instances when I didn’t have anything to read on the subway… it was completely disorienting.  I always have a book with me (sometimes two!); I would have brought one to prom if it had fit in my clutch!  Ari calls me his word nerd.

When I got home, I went straight to the kitchen to unwind and get dinner started.  I’ve had my eye on Martha Stewart‘s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest (in the November 2009 issue) for quite some time… a little too much time, because the head of cauliflower I’d bought in anticipation a couple weeks ago had started to mold.  But have no fear! I just sliced off the offending areas. I’m frugal, what can I say?

While slicing onion, I remembered what one of my cooking teachers always said: always cut out the middle greenish part of an onion.  I can’t quite remember why that is; I think it has something to do with it not being fully developed yet and causing stomachaches.

I was eager to try out this pasta… Nature’s Place is Hannaford grocery store’s natural, minimally processed brand.  Fresh (not dried) pasta always tastes so much better to me.

Plus, they look like little nests! Two “nests” make one serving.

When the veggies finished roasting (perfectly crispy!), it was all I could do to keep myself from eating them all right off the baking sheet.  I’d already made quite a dent in the cauliflower while I was chopping it… if I wasn’t careful, I wouldn’t have any ingredients left for dinner!

I tossed the roasted cauliflower with the pasta and added lemon zest, fresh parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil.

When it comes to parsley and other fresh herbs, I’m of the “more is more” mindset.

Lest you think this was a dainty, “ladylike” portion…

I had enough fuel to run a marathon with this baby.  Come November 6, you just might find me eating it!

There wasn’t too much room in my tum for dessert, but in the words of Tim Gunn, I made it work.  Dried figs and prunes stuffed with dark chocolate chips are so good… and they just keep me going back for more.  They kind of look like frogs, right?  I seem to have successfully eaten nuts in some form or other for every meal and snack today.

I’m off to seal my day with a lunar flow practice and hope to be in bed by 10.  I’ll make it work.

Bonne nuit 🙂

Edited to add: Kristina from Stonyfield Farm wants me to let you all know about a fun “Greek” opportunity!

“When consumers buy our quarts instead of single-serving cups, they pay less for their yogurt, but we know that a quart is not as convenient as single-serving cups for on the go consumption,” says our President and CE-Yo Gary HIrshberg. “The reusable yogurt cup gives our quart buyers the convenience of the Stonyfield 6 oz cups by providing a way to create easily transportable single servings for anywhere, anytime.”

Yogurt lovers just have to buy four Stonyfield yogurt quarts through December, and mail in the foil lids (describing this offer), and they’ll receive the reusable, eight-ounce yogurt cup made by Preserve®. Made from 100% recycled plastic, the cup is perfect for yogurt-lovers on the go, the ideal size for breakfast or a snack, with room to stir in fruit or granola. It’s dishwasher safe, BPA-free with a screw-on lid – and it’s made in the US.

Consumers will also get  $4.50 worth of Stonyfield and Preserve coupons along with the cup.

Our recycling partner since 2000, Preserve uses innovative methods to turn used materials (including used Stonyfield yogurt cups) into stylish, useful household products like toothbrushes, colanders, cutting boards and tableware. Preserve products are 100% recycled and recyclable too.

Consumers can mail clean foil lids, with name, address and phone number on an index card or 4” x 6” sheet of paper by February 28, 2010 to:

Stonyfield Farm
Reusable Cup Offer
PO Box 4840
Manchester, NH 03108-4840

Cups will be shipped starting in January, 2010 with delivery in 10 to 12 weeks. This offer is good only in the US, while cup supplies last, and is limited to one cup per household (to better spread the love around).

So save those lids!

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Dos and Don’ts

Hey there, strangers! How was your weekend? Mine was lovely… I spent the last few days relaxing in upstate New York with my parents.  Time seems to move slower there; I never felt like I was rushing to catch my breath or finish five things at once.  It was a nice change.  What did you do?

Here’s a quick re-cap of the weekend chez with Mom & Pop LVP, Do/Don’t style!

DO make Eggs In A Basket out of an open-face grilled cheese sandwich.  Thanks for the idea, Kaytee!

DO enjoy pumpkin whole wheat pancakes on a frosty fall morning.  The secret to their fluffiness? A little bit of vinegar.

DO support your local farmers and buy apples at the orchard…

…and while there, DO pick up an apple cider donut for your mama.

It will make her happy.

DO top your salads with Red Ants On A Log (celery with Sunbutter and dried cherries).

DON’T feel silly when you squeal with delight after finding holiday teas at your local food co-op, after searching every chain grocery store with no luck.

DON’T gloat about winning some fancy protein powder from your neighborhood Everythingtarian.

DO share Holly‘s pumpkin molasses cookies with those who gave you life… albeit grudgingly.

DO cozy up to a mug of Spiced POM Cider

DO have a nice dinner at Church and Main, a sustainable restaurant that supports local farmers and uses only the freshest ingredients (and DO go home and watch Food, Inc. afterward).

DO drink local Riesling

…eat wedges of bread

DO share two appetizers with Daddy-O to maximize tastings, like these bay scallops with parsley pesto over cappelllini...

… and this spinach and arugula salad with candied almonds, parmesan and goat cheese.

DO have the pan-roasted Atlantic monk fish with creamy white beans, celery root, warm baby winter greens & roasted beets for yourslef.

DO share three desserts (warm chocolate cake with caramel sauce, gingerbread crème brulée, semolina cake with roasted apples).

And, in case you were wondering, this is a salsify root:

…this is a celery root:

… and this is a turnipDON’T worry, these aren’t sea creatures!

Do warm up for your first 6 mile run since your injury with Yoga For Runners.

DO give your knees a break and run on a track.

DO utilize the Lap function on your heart rate monitor; DON’T feel bad for taking a year to notice it.

Total distance: 6 miles
Total time: 59:54

Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:57
Mile 3: 10:07
Mile 4: 10:14
Mile 5: 10:03
Mile 6: 9:41

Average Pace: 9:58

DO refuel with a bowl of apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal.  Microwave a diced apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, for 90 seconds. Insta-baked apple.

DO enjoy an end-of weekend bowl of Marcella Hazan’s Spinach and Rice Soup.

DO buy packaged falafel based on the brand name alone.

And most importantly, DO take advantage of your boyfriend’s absence to load up on things like Garlic Lovers Hummus and raw onion.

For an added bonus for body and soul, DO a free Lunar Flow practice before bed, with your eyes closed and the lights off.  You’ll thank yourself.

What are your most recent DOs and DON’Ts?

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Leek Soup

First things first (and I might get in trouble for this later)… HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARI! Feel free to send him a little hello 🙂 He’s not a big “birthday person,” but I still wish we were together.  When he gets back from tour, though, I’m going to make him a mighty fine cake!  The first Upwelling fan’s tattoo has surfaced… what’s the farthest you have  gone (or would go)  for a band, artist, writer, _____ you love?

Last night, once again, hunger pangs dragged me from bed.  I grabbed an apple and snuggled back under the covers.

I think it’s because I’ve been eating dinner earlier than I’m used to… growing up, we ate dinner between 8 and 9, but now when I cook for myself, I eat around 7. Interesting!

This morning I got up early to finish some work for my internship, and by the time I was ready for breakfast I’d worked up quite the appetite.  I made my first batch of oatmeal in a couple weeks, and it did not disappoint.

I microwaved 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup oats, pumpkin and frozen berries all together at the same time. Saves time, and I didn’t have to wash an extra dish.  I topped the dish with brown sugar and a scoop of flaxy peanut butter.

Things were a little busier at the office today, and before I knew it it was time to meet my mom for lunch.  We went to AOC, a cute French bistro in the West Village.

We had some buttered bread while we waited for our orders to arrive.

I ordered the Salade Nordique, which was not only beautifully presented…

…but it was fully loaded with delicious ingredients!  Poached salmon, smoked salmon, jumbo lump crab meat, a poached egg with grainy mustard, grapefruit, mixed greens, and tomatoes.

It was delicious.  My favorite bites were forkfuls of smoked salmon-wrapped grapefruit… I really have to try this at home.   I didn’t come close to finishing the salad, and took a lot of the salmon home.  It’ll make a delicious lunch tomorrow!

We each drank a cup of coffee, then went to The Lite Choice for dessert.   I got a small cup of frozen yogurt with half Fluffernutter, half Dark Chocolate Truffle.

My mom went back to work, and I went home to get some things done.  I went for a 2 miles run as my training schedule directed, then did some ab work and played around on the foam roller.  Sweet pain.

I wanted to make something fast, easy, delicious, and comforting for dinner, and came up with a new twist on an old favorite.  It’s low in fat, high in flavor and smells like heaven.

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Leek Soup

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled & chopped
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (I made my own using Better Than Bouillon)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • parsley (optional)

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are near-transparent,  about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and cook 1 minute more, being careful not to let the ingredients burn.

Add leeks, potato, stock & bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse until soup reaches desired texture.  I prefer mine smooth, but you can easily leave a few chunks of potato.

Add spices and pulse until cloves are ground and incorporated.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with parsley and additional spices, if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

I enjoyed a bowl of soup with a toasted Ezekiel English muffin.  One half had almond butter and raspberry jam, the other had melted cheddar and Bragg’s.

It was a perfect dinner for one, followed by the perfect dessert: dried fruit stuffed with roasted almonds and dark chocolate chips. Natural candy, if you will.   I have a little trouble with portion control when I eat these… they’re so good that I can’t help going back into the kitchen to make more!

I’m hoping to get to bed early so I’m nice and fresh for tomorrow.  What was the best part of your day?

A Wedding In Connecticut

Good evening and happy Sunday!  How was your weekend?  I just got back from Westbrook, Connecticut, where The Upwelling’s former tour manager got married.  The boys were part of the wedding party so they came back from tour and we all went together.

While this is going to be more of a “greatest hits” post, I want to share a new dressing with you: coconut mint.

Coconut Mint Dressing

Coconut Mint Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 small handful fresh mint, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

“Muddle” the mint, coconut and lemon together before adding the rest of the juices.  This releases the flavors and lets them really pop!  I drizzled the dressing over a tempeh/sweet potato/apple/feta salad

Coconut Mint Salad

… but it would make a great marinade for fish, shrimp, or tofu as well.   I’m getting so much mileage out of this bunch of mint!

In the car, I had the healthiest and most delicious “candy bar” imaginable: dried fruit stuffed with roasted almonds and bittersweet chocolate chips. These are so good.

Healthy Candy Bar

Ari bought me a slightly more processed version, but still a favorite nonetheless.  There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.

Reese's 1 Reese's 2

When we got to the hotel, I took advantage of the time the groomsmen spent rehearsing to go to the gym.  I ran 3.1 miles (5K), walked another .4, and stretched.  As the Gina always says, no one wants to miss out on the fun, so I try to plan timely activities (like workouts and… ahem… the time I spend getting ready to go out) while everyone else is either sleeping or doing something else.

The bride and groom are both Jewish, and because the rehearsal dinner fell on Friday, we had a traditional Shabbat dinner.  The challah abounded!  Somehow I ended up with three pieces of bread on my plate, but Josh and Ari picked at most of it.

Bread Plate

The entrée choices were Vegetable Risotto with Arugula Pesto or Cappelini Rustica; I wasn’t sure which (if any) option was vegetarian, but figured the risotto was a safer bet.  They both turned out to be meat free, and I loved the risotto! It was very rich, though, so I only ate about half of it.  And the flower.  Which I’m pretty sure wasn’t of the edible variety.  Whoops!

Vegetable Risotto with Arugula Pesto

Strawberry sorbet for dessert…

Strawberry Sorbet

… and a fun-size Cookies ‘n Cream Hershey’s bar.   This is one of those weird LVP-isms; I really don’t like white chocolate, but a couple times a year I get cravings that can only be quenched by this particular bar.  The bride and groom must have known this when they stuffed it in our goodie bag!

White Chocolate

Also in the bag were these personalized M&Ms; they had the wedding date, photo, names and words printed on them.  Very creative!

Wedding M&Ms

We may or may not have gone to a casino late that night (this girl’s first time) to further my blackjack education and lose $5 on the slots.  It was a strange, strange place, I tell ya!  It was HUGE, and the lights are pretty dim and there aren’t any windows so there’s really no way to tell if it’s 4PM or 4AM.  Drinks are free, and you can walk everywhere with them!  People also smoked inside; it’s strange that a few years ago that was the norm everywhere.  The stores were opened past midnight, so Ari and I split a Godiva pumpkin truffle.

Godiva Royale

We got to the hotel really late, and with the exception of Stew, all slept in past noon.  We woke up famished, so we set out in search of brunch.  Where did our journey take us, you ask?  To the Grand Slam at Denny’s. Yes, you read that correctly.

Denny's Grand Slam

The Grand Slam is a magical deal that lets you pick four breakfast items for only $5.99.  For an extra $.49 per item, you can choose from three “premium selections” like yogurt, granola or fruit.   We were all very excited.

Denny's Grand Slam 2

We placed our orders, then  set to work.  When was the last time you colored at an eatery?

Grand Slam Coloring

Ari ordered a festive pot of peppermint tea (which came with an unsolicited squirt of peppermint syrup):

Denny's Peppermint Tea

I drank my coffee black.

Grand Slam Coffee

The food arrived: I ordered (dry) whole wheat pancakes, egg whites, oatmeal and a cup of fruit.

Grand Slam Breakfast: Before

I ate all the fruit and eggs (which were buttery but delicious), half of the pancakes and left all of the oatmeal.  Even had I not been an oatmeal snob, I don’t think anything else would have fit in my stomach.

Grand Slam Breakfast: After

Brunch understandably held me right up through the wedding, and left me with more than enough time to shower, dress (Hollywood Tape did not come through for me as I’d hoped)…

pre-wedding

… and watch three hours worth of Married With Children episodes.

pre-wedding

The ceremony was beautiful, and while it was traditional in some respects, there were some nice personal touches: the groomsmen walked down the aisle to Semi-Charmed Life, the bridesmaids to Bittersweet Symphony, the bride to Do You Realize?, all performed by a string quartet. There may have been some tears in my corner.

At the dinner reception, the guest seated to my right taught me a helpful trick to remembering where your bread and drinks go in relation to your place setting.

Table Setting Trick

Make the “OK” signal with both of your hands.  Your left forms a lower-case “B” (for bread), and the right forms a “D” (for drink).  How handy!

Speaking of bread, this roll was particularly tasty…

Bread

… and where drinks are concerned, I stuck to vodka- sodas.

Vodka Soda

While we were eating our smoked mozzarella and pesto ravioli appetizer, Josh and Ari played an acoustic version of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” for the bride and groom’s first dance. This was really good, but I let it get cold and only had a few bites.

Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli

I didn’t leave a scrap of arugula salad with toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan, and mandarin oranges, however.  The couple next to me thought it was too big, but I would have gladly alleviated them of their portion!  This was my favorite part of the meal.

Arugula Salad

The entree was grilled salmon with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. It was good, but I was pretty full by the time this came around and only ate about half of the fish (but all of the veggies!) and gave my taters to Ari.

Wedding Salmon

We danced around on the floor for a bit, but really just enjoyed being with friends and each other.  The band is booked through February with a short break in December, so it was nice to be able to spend the weekend together.

The cake was sliced and brought around: chocolate with strawberry and vanilla buttercream.  I ate about half, then went back out to tear up the rug.

Wedding Cake

Our eyelids started drooping around midnight, and we were asleep by 1.  We had to hustle in the morning to get back to the city, but we had enough time to have a nice brunch with the wedding party.  I had half of a sesame bagel with cream cheese, eggs, fruit (plus some unpictured grapes), and half a slice of French toast. Coffee abounded, as usual.

Wedding Brunch

It was such a nice weekend.  I really cannot express how grateful I am to have been able to spend a weekend- more like a mini-vacation, actually- with people I love.  The next few days will be pretty busy… The Upwelling goes back on tour tomorrow, and I have a couple interviews for potential jobs.   My healthy habits have been slacking a bit, but one month from this morning (Sunday, December 13) is my 15K race.  I’ve updated my training plan, and will stick to it… I went on a 4.5 mile run late this afternoon.

15K training

Regular posting will resume tomorrow.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend, and congratulations to the newlyweds!

Fifteen Minutes

Hey there! How was your Tuesday? Mine began in a hurry and ended with ice cream, and now I’m in bed watching Michael Clayton.   Ari’s leaving tomorrow to go Vigilante and we’ve all got things to do, so this is going to be a quickie!

Yesterday started off on a good note with a generous portion of Oats In A Jar.

Oats in A Jar

In the mix:

  • PB jar w/ about 1 T PB
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 dried apricots
  • 1 dried fig
  • dried cherries

Mighty fine, I tell ya.  I should finish jars of nut butter every day!

Oats in A Jar 2

After breakfast, I hustled over to Starbucsk to get some work done.  I sipped on a Grande Skim Misto with a shot of espresso for a few hours…

Skim Misto w/ Espresso

… and spaced my lunch out over about four hours to maximize my efficiency.  Every 100 pages, for example, I could eat another part of my meal.  It’s a pretty good trick! I had honeydew

Honeydew

… samples of marble cake and hazelnut-espresso truffle drink (too sweet for me)…

Starbucks Samples

mixed greens with fake chicken nuggets

Fake Chicken Salad

TJ’s plain nonfat Greek yogurt with YouBarsChocolate Peanut trail mix

YouBar Chocolate Peanut Trail Mix in Greek Yogurt

rebel carrots

Carrots

… and a grapefruit.   When I was really young I used to snack throughout the day rather than have square meals, and there’s something to be said for this! It works nicely when I’m trying to be productive, but I think I prefer eating three times a day, plus snacks.  Do you eat three meals or snack throughout the day?

Grapefruit

Dinner was a really, really big salad.  I love these! I eat almost an entire head of romaine or bag of spinach at a time.

Dinner Salad

In the mix:

  • 1 handful spinach
  • 4 romaine leaves
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 Gala apple
  • 1 TJ’s frozen salmon patty
  • dulse flakes
  • cilantro-chili vinaigrette

I overdid it on dessert a little bit… I just kept going back for more Edgies!  My tum was a little unhappy with me when I went to bed, but I’m pretty sure the brownies were worth it 😉

Edgie Brownies Edgie Brownie

I thought I was going to wait until tomorrow to share this with you, but today my physical therapist gave me the okay to run.  With the exception of the two minutes I ran on the treadmill during my first therapy session, I haven’t really run since I hurt my knee during my 10K race.  My therapist only let me run for 15 minutes, but it felt great! I didn’t feel any pain in my knee, and felt proud that I had followed the doctor’s and therapist’s orders to stay off my legs until the time was right.  But baby, I’m back!

What made you proud today?

Gym Class Heroes

Good evening and happy Monday! I hope the start to your week- and your November- is going swimmingly.   It’s strange to think that another year is almost over already, and I feel like I only just graduated!  I have two bits of news… one I’ll share now, and one that’s going to wait until the end of the post.

As you know, I’ve been devoting most of my time recently to researching and applying for jobs.  I recently applied to an entry level job at Wine Spectator, and the editor who looked over my application noted, after browsing through the blog and reading my cover letter, noted that while I have a clear and definite passion for food, my interest has not been directed towards wine.  While I may not get this particular job, I’ve decided that I do want to take a more active pursuit towards learning about wine.  Wine has always been important to my family, but with the exception of knowing that Malbec is from Argentina, Vouvray is from the Loire Valley and 2007 was a good year for white, I know next to nothing.  So I’ve decided to take a proactive approach! I’m going to take advantage of the free tastings that go on every day around the city, and  I’ll do my best to have some inkling about the wine I pluck off the $10-and-under shelf at the liquor store.  In the next few days, I’ll add a special tab on the blog devoted purely to vino in order to chronicle my progress.  I don’t know where this will take me, but since I have a little more time on my hands due to unemployment, I’m excited to learn a useful skill and pursue a new hobby!

Anyway… let’s jump back a bit.

Yesterday I was awakened quite early as Ari left for a morning meeting.  Musicians keep very strange hours, I tell ya!  Since I was already up, I decided to make a breakfast cookie to plop in the fridge while I went back to sleep for a few hours.

YouShake Vanilla Dream Protein Powder Breakfast Cookie

Jim was made of:

I also broke into my new McNulty’s Sumatra coffee to get my buzz on. And on and on.

McNulty's Sumatra

Finally found a real solution to the Ester-C problem… POM Wonderful‘s Pomegranate Nectarine juice (which the company sent to me a few weeks ago) is sweet enough to completely mask the taste! I simply dissolved 1/3 teaspoon of Ester-C into 1/4 cup of juice and gulped it down as fast as possible. All I was left with was a pleasant fruity taste!

Ester-C & POM

After I finished up breakfast, I looked at the time, packed my gym bag and hustled out the door to make a 12:15 60 minute Pilates class in the city.  I got there five minutes early and went into the studio with my jacket, bag and shoes still on so that I could reserve a spot on the floor.  Class had already started!  I was a little annoyed- I didn’t want to disrupt the class, but it was early!  It was also pretty warm and really stuffy, and I thought about asking the instructor to turn off the heat.  After ten minutes, we still hadn’t moved to the mat to work on our cores and instead seemed to be moving through a Vinyasa flow.  I turned to the girl next to me and whispered, “This isn’t Pilates, is it?” She shook her head and whispered, “Nope, it’s hot yoga!”  Oops.  I really love Bikram, but had I known I would be taking the class I would have hydrated, brought water with me, and not just had half a pot of coffee!  Still, I’m glad I stayed for the full 90 minutes, and even more glad that I didn’t pass out from dehydration!

When class was over, I went home to have lunch and get some work done.  I was surprised with festive snail mail from my girlies, which brightened up my day.

Halloween Snail Mail

I hadn’t brought any food with me, so I rooted around in the freezer to check out the pickings.  Not bad!  I found bulgur pilaf with mixed vegetables, to which I added raisins and  cilantro:

Quinoa Pilaf

I also found sweet potato soup with navy beans from the Moosewood Cookbook, which I also added cilantro, peanuts and raisins to.

Sweet Potato Soup w/ Navy Beans

I washed it all down with Natural-flavored Zevia:

Natural Zevia

Not bad for an improvised lunch!

Improvised Lunch

A little later, I snacked on a Jonagold apple while I did some work.

Apple

I’m pretty sure Ari had dinner while it was still light out, so I made a big orange salad with cilantro-chili vinaigrette for myself.

Orange Salad

In the mix:

  • two handfuls of spinach
  • 1 sweet potato, microwaved and diced
  • 1 orange
  • 1 Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger
  • shredded carrots

Salad Dressing

I made the cilantro-chili vinaigrette with:

  • 1/2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 Trice vinegar
  • 1/2 t Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 T raw blue agave nectar
  • 1 slice red onion
  • handful cilantro
  • 1/2 t chili flakes

It was enjoyed with a bowl of leftover miso soup and Christina Yang.

TV Dinner

For dessert, I had 1/2 each of a brownie and blondie Edgie.

Edgies

We watched half of Good Bye Lenin! before tuckering out for the night.  It’s been on my Netflix queue for years, but I’m really glad we finally saw it! Or, half of it at least 😉

Onto the second bit of news! My dad called today with a proposition.  He’ll be traveling to Russia in December for work and offered to take me with him.  Let me think… yes!!! We’ll be in Moscow for four days, then we go to St. Petersburg for two. Not only do I get to spend some much-needed quality time with Daddy-O, but I’ll also get to see my Sarah!!!   I can’t wait.  Life is good!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Proctologist

Happy Halloween!  I hope you are all having a wonderful night, whether you’re at a party, parade, or staying at home watching movies.  Ari and I decided to do the latter, although we’ve been sitting in our costumes all day waiting for Trick-or-Treaters!

Yesterday I started the day with my first (ever!) batch of Oats in a Jar.

Oats in a Jar 1

I added 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of water to the almond butter jar and microwaved it for one minute.

Oats in a Jar 2

I topped it with 1/2 banana, 2 chopped prunes, 3 walnuts, a little skim milk and brown sugar. It was delicious! I may or may not have rescued an empty jar of peanut butter from the trash so I can make this again…

My mom gave me an idea about how to solve the Ester-C powder problem… try mixing it in something else! I put a scoop into a little bit of plain yogurt.

Ester C in Yogurt

It’s still really disgusting, and I had to down a cup of coffee right away after I ate it.  But… it did the trick, and it went down a lot faster than if I’d had to drink it.  I’m out of yogurt, though, so I’ll have to find some more creative ways to eat this.

I wanted to get an early start to my day, so I said goodbye to the hair this guy and headed to the gym.

Ari's hair

Time was limited, so I just did some arms, abs, PT stretches (which I will post at the end for Melissa) and 18 minutes on the elliptical.  Short and sweet.   Afterward, I met George for lunch at Pizza Gruppo.  Always one for deals, I ordered the salad + 1/2 sandwich special.  The salad was bigger than I’d expected, and came with mushrooms!

Side Salad

My panini came with goat cheese, pesto, and roasted vegetables. It was really good! I haven’t had a sandwich I didn’t make myself in a looong time.

Gruppo Panini

After lunch I stopped by Paragon to pick up a foam roller.  There was so much pre-marathon mania going on… very exciting to be around!  When I got home, I sprinkled 1/4 packet of YouBar‘s YouShake Blended Bliss into the last of my yogurt.

Yogurt w/ YouShake

I also split an apple with cinnamon with Ari (who proudly told me he had green juice for lunch!) while we ran some Halloweenie-errands.

Apple w/ Cinnamon

For some reason I was snackier than usual, so I had some chunks of energy while getting ready to meet my little redheaded friend for dinner.

Chunks of Energy

Kalle and I found a Japanese restaurant with a great dinner special.  It’s so easy to spend a lot of money when ordering sushi, so the specials are imperative.  I ordered the Sashimi+Roll combination, which came with miso soup and salad.

Miso & Salad

The sweet potato roll was delicious… and my second in one week!

Sweet Potato Roll

The sashimi was beautifully presented.

Sashimi

It came with two pieces of cucumber-wrapped fish… what a great alternative to rice!

Cucumber-wrapped sushi

The special also came with shrimp shumai and edamame.

Shumai & Edamame

Kalle’s rolls were also creatively presented and looked delicious.

Roll Presentation

After dinner, we went back to her apartment to talk and drink Malbec out of black goblets.  I broke the cork in half, but managed to get it out of the bottle! Looks like my waitressing skills are falling by the wayside…

Malbec in Black Goblets

I got home pretty late and didn’t end up going to bed until almost 3… the night was definitely worth it, though.

And now, onto the physical therapy!

One exercise that I’ve been working on with my PT is called the clamshell, which strengthens quads.  Lying on my side in bed or on the floor, I stack my knees at a 90 degree angle.  Clenching my glutes and quads, I slowly raise one knee while keeping my feet together.  I repeat this twenty times, then switch to my other side.  Repeat series.

Another exercise that strengthens quads and calves is done by sitting on a chair or on the edge of the bed.  Extend one leg straight out and flex glutes, quads, calves and toes.  Twist leg to the side, then back to center.  Repeat until leg is fatigued, and switch legs.

Around the blogs: Jungwha is giving away a Sodastream!

Happy Halloween from the Upwelling and LVP… have a great night!