Tag Archives: exercise

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!

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?

My Knight In Blue Adidas

Good evening and happy Tuesday! I hope you’ve had a fabulous, fabulous day.  Mine’s been alright… no complaints here!

Yesterday I had an early-morning appointment with a new physical therapist (mine is in Orlando competing in a Half Ironman!), so, after flirting with snooze for as long as possible, I dragged myself out of bed.  This was a little harder than usual, as I got less than five hours of sleep the night before.  Ari was at the All-American Rejects show in Atlantic City the night before, and while I knew he’d be home late, was startled when I woke up at 3:30 and he wasn’t there.  I couldn’t get him on the phone, and because I was still half-asleep, got myself so worked up thinking that something really awful had happened.  He came home at 4 and all was fine, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been so worried.  I can be a little silly sometimes 🙂

Anyway, breakfast was quick but delicious: Sarah‘s microwave pumpkin cake topped with raspberry yogurt and walnuts.

Pumpkin Cake w/ Yogurt

Speaking of pumpkins, our little fella has aged quite a bit since Halloween!

Grandpa Jack

My PT session went well.  My temporary therapist told me my muscles are still really tight… I need to be more aggressive with my foam roller and concentrate on the IT band.  It hurts, but it’ll ease up as the muscle loosens.   He also put me on a pilates machine for some quad work.  I’ve only done mat pilates before, but this was fun! I definitely feel its work today.

I raced home to watch Heroes and get lunch with Ari.  I suggested we go to a bagel place that also makes salads, but when we got there and I saw that their ingredients were no better than the ones I had at home (my rule when eating out is only to get something I can’t make at home) I changed my mind and ordered a toasted low-carb bagel with light cream cheese smoked salmon and tomato.

Bagel Lunch

This was good, but so filling.  I’ve never had a meal hold me over for 7+ hours before… note even Thanksgiving!

The rest of the afternoon was meant to be spent reading, but our room was so hot that I fell right asleep!  It’s been unseasonably warm here for the past few days, and it was the same in Minnesota.  Hmm…

While I was snoozing, Ari was out running errands, one of which was a trip to the bookstore.  He got us both copies of The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for us to do on our own and talk about while he’s on tourHow do you keep up with friends and loved ones when you’re separated geographically?

Drawing On The Right Side of the Brain

He also got me a surprise…

French Wine for Dummies

French Wine for Dummies (FWfD)!  Just what I need to kick-start my wine education.  What a nice boyfriend! 

We decided to go on a quick run together before dinner; I didn’t want to run at night by myself, and to be honest I’ve been a bit apprehensive about running outside again.  I haven’t had any pain at all in either of my legs for at least three weeks and have run on the treadmill twice since I was given the OK, but I just wanted some company!  While we ran, Ari taught me the rules of blackjack.  I was so engrossed in his casino tales that before I knew it, I was falling… and falling… and falling… it seemed to take a really long time for me to hit the ground, and Ari acted so quickly and caught me so that I only scraped my palms.  I have never fallen while running before, and I shudder to think of what could have happened if he hadn’t been there… I don’t think I’d be able to handle another injury!

We both had more work to do before we were ready to relax, so I made us a quick and easy dinner: Tomatoey Spiced Chickpeas (which I’ve made before), brown rice and Japanese Cucumber Salad with Vinegar.

Sweet & Spicy Dinner

This chickpea recipe stood the test of time… Ari really liked it, and he’s a pretty tough judge.  We both agreed the seaweed wasn’t quite right on the cukes; next time I think I’ll cut the pieces a bit smaller.  A miso would probably taste good as well.

We had some De Loach Merlot, a 2006 Californian from the Russian River Valley that my friend Howard gave to me.

De Loach Merlot

Although this isn’t a French wine, I consulted FWfD to learn a little about Merlot. I scanned the table of contents… nothing.  I flipped to the back to search through the index… nothing again!  No Merlot?! It’s a French word!…. Isn’t it?  I flipped to the “Cheat Sheet” at the front of the book to see if anything even starting with “M” made an appearance, and lo and behold! Next to Bordeaux (red) (Wine Type) was an a list: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc (Principle Grape(s)).  Merlot is a type of grape, and just one of several that falls under the category “Bordeaux.” It grows in the Haut-Médoc in Gironde, a region in the southwest of France that is located in the city of Bordeaux.   The Merlot grape is the most commonly planted variety in Bordeaux (FWfD p. 36-38).

So what does this mean for California Merlots? According to the Wine Institute, Merlot grapes were brought to the United States in the mid-19th century, and are mainly used to blend and “soften” a more robust wine.

I’m typically more of a white wine drinker, but I want to broaden my horizons.  This didn’t taste too strong to me, and it did feel sort of “soft” in my mouth, if that makes sense.

Ari’s take: Deliciousness in a sleek and spunky package.  I was impressed by  both the amount of flavornoids and antioxidants.   And I was ready to party.

I was also ready to party… with the freezer.  Häagen-Dazs sent me a coupon for a free pint to make up for their almond-less ice cream, so I picked up a container of their five-ingredient Brown Sugar ice cream.

Häagen-Dazs Five Brown Sugar

It tasted so much like brown sugar!  Which, I guess, is an acquired taste… straight sugar isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Ari wasn’t a fan, but I filled a bowl and topped it with Pure Dark chipotle chocolate.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream w/ Chipotle Chocolate

We did a little more work, and spent the rest of the evening watching Heartburn.  Has anyone seen this?  It was made the year before I was born, and there were so many things I recognized (specific toys, accessories, my mother’s perm…).  The film itself made me a little sad (Mike Nichols directed it), but I liked it a lot.  What movie should I order from Netflix?

P.S.  Holly’s giving away some supa-fancy protein powda!

Wynken, Blynken & Nod return

Honesty is the best policy, and I’ve got to admit that there’s about a 70% chance that my eyes will close and this post will go up tomorrow morning instead.  Daylight Savings + changing time zones must be catching up with me!

Today was an absolutely lovely day.  I woke up earlyish and met my grandparents downstairs in the breakfast nook.

Breakfast Nook

I had an English muffin with peanut butter, cinnamon and 1/2 banana and a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh raspberries and blueberriesBreakfast

As I was assembling my breakfast, my grandfather remarked that there were no redeeming qualities to peanut butter.  Of course, I loved having the opportunity to launch into my spiel about protein, healthy fats, folic, and plain ole great taste!

After breakfast, I gave myself a little time to digest before hopping on the treadmill and pounding out 2 miles.  Luckily, Saved By The Bell was on and I didn’t get bored…

zack_morris4 Source

Nothing like a little Zach Morris to keep your heart rate up!  (Although, he’s clearly underage in this photo, and that makes me feel a little weird.  A little.)

On our way out the door to run some errands, my Granny fed me a carrot and told me about her new method for fast-cooking veggies: steam them in the microwave! Make a pouch out of waxed paper, moisten with a few drops of water, fill with veggies, and nuke for 3 minutes or until cooked.

Microwaved Carrots

Is this the end of rebel carrots?  Maybe, as long as the wax doesn’t break down and seep into the vegetables.

Everyone seemed to still be full from last night’s dinner,  so lunch was kind of informal.  I grabbed a Pink Lady apple on the way out the door…

Pink lady

… and got a Grande Skim Mocha at Starbucks.  Mocha?! Who am I and what have I done with LVP?

Mocha

I must have been really thrown off my my choice, because I immediately spilled it all over my purse.  I’m a bit of a klutz!

Spilled Mocha

An hour or so later, I had my first Nature’s Path product.  I’ve seen these Optimum bars all over the blogs, so I grabbed this when I spotted it on sale.

Optimum Rebound Energy Bar

It was good… the taste and texture reminded me a little of a Luna Cookie.

Optimum Rebound Energy Bar

This is my second lunch in a row that’s been supplemented by energy bars.  I’m not proud of this, but it happens when you travel.

Granny and I took a special trip to the grocery store to look for Celestial Seasonings’ Sugar Cookie Sleighride tea that y’all seem to love… we searched in vein, but I did find this Sweet Coconut Thai Chai tea that will hopefully taste like the coconut chai tea I love.

Tea & Clementine

I also convinced my grandmother that she needs some POM in her life.

I Heart POM

We had an early dinner at Spoonriver, one of my favorite restaurants in Minneapolis.  I was really happy when our waitress asked for my ID when I ordered a Moroccan Mojito (mint, lime, rum, cardamom and rose water).  I haven’t been carded in a few months, but this must mean my wrinkle is getting smaller!  It’s funny… two years ago I would not have enjoyed being IDed at all.

Moroccan Mojito

I had a slice of whole wheat potato bread

Spoonriver Bread

… and my grandmother and I both ordered the Broiled Salmon Okisuki in a savory Japanese Ginger Broth with Fresh Udon Noodles. I think Grandpa was jealous… I am definitely going to recreate this at home.

Spoonriver Salmon

For dessert, we all split a slice of butternut squash-carrot cake with pumpkin-cream cheese frosting.  Oh, mama!

Butternut squash-Carrot cake

After dinner, we went next door to the Guthrie theater to see an evening showing of Faith Healer.  It was a really, really powerful play told entirely in monologues.  I loved it.

When we got home, I took a deep breath of fresh air for Averie on the way up to bed.

Minnesota Air

If it weren’t so late, I’d ask Granny to tuck me into bed.  I used to visit them every summer when I was younger, and until I was 11 or 12 or so, my grandmother would put me to bed with this nursery rhyme.  I have such nice memories of sleeping in this room (when I first started visiting on my own, the floor was covered in a thick pink shag carpet) and being here.  Although I went to college in Minnesota as well and visited a lot, my memories from that time are sort of separated from the time I spent here as a kid.  Do you have any memories of nighttime rituals? If you‘re a parent, how do you put your kids to bed?

Around the blogs: Starting Monday, I am going to do my best to follow Angharad and Holly‘s lead and practice yoga thrice a week.  I am also going to take meal-prepping more seriously, so I don’t stand in front of the fridge with the door open for minutes on end, willing the empty produce drawer to magically refill itself.

Wish Jungwha a happy blogiversary and win big!

Have a great night!