Tag Archives: pomegranate

POMx Iced Tea

A few months ago, the kind folks over at POM Wonderful sent me samples of their new line of POMx Antioxidant Super Tea.  Here’s what they say about the product: “POMx Tea is a refreshing hand-picked, whole leaf tea, made with POMx.  Extracted from California-grown Wonderful-variety pomegranates, POMx has more antioxidant potency than red wine, green tea, grape and açai extracts.  In fact, 15 published scientific studies on POMx have documented its antioxidant superiority as well as its promising health benefits. Remember: Only one tea contains POMx.”

POMx Iced Tea

Here’s breakdown of the teas, in order of my preference.

POMx Light Pomegranate Hibiscus Green Tea

POMx Pomegranate Hibiscus Green Tea

POMx Light Hibiscus Pomegranate Tea, Nutrition

We drank this in the car on the way to Woodstock.

Ari’s review: Spiffily designed package.  I wouldn’t purchase this product, only because I’m usually a water drinker. I might pick it up if I saw it in a deli, or if I had one of Katie’s coupons.  It tasted like a Pomegranate gatorade/iced tea mixture, with maybe a hint of oak.

My review: I wouldn’t have thought this was “light” tea if I hadn’t read the package.  It’s sweet but not overpoweringly so, and very thirst-quenching.  The flavor was very interesting and slightly tropical.  I felt festive drinking it!

POMx Pomegranate Lychee Green Tea

POMx Lychee

POMx Lychee Nutrition

My review: Lychees are one of my favorite fruits, and I can clearly identify it in this drink.  It’s almost a little tangy, and sweet but not syrupy.   I drank this when I was sick with a stomach bug; I usually drink ginger ale when I’m under the weather, but I didn’t want to pump my body with chemicals.

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea

POMx Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea Nutrition

My review: This tastes a bit like guava.  It’s tropical and sweet, much better than some other popular bottled peach drinks I’ve encountered.  It has a deep “perfume-y” flavor, and smells delicious.

POMx Light Pomegranate Wildberry White Tea

POMx Wildberry Iced Tea

POMx Wildberry Nutrition

My review: This has a subtle berry flavor, plus something not quite identifiable.  I drank this after a long run and felt good about using it to refuel; it’s chock full of antioxidants and doesn’t have too many calories per serving.  It was a little too sweet for me; I’m not a big fan of sugary drinks, natural or not.  It had a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Bottom line: Would I buy these? Maybe.  I don’t love drinking my calories, but I enjoyed these teas in small doses.  I imagine they’re on the pricey side so I’d probably save them for a special occasion.

POMx Iced Teas are slated to hit stores soon, so keep on the lookout! Thanks, POM, for giving me the opportunity to try these out!

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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!

Curly Girls

Good afternoon, ladies and gents! How is your Thursday treating you? Mine has been just fine, although my body clock is a little out of whack.  I had a bone density test at 8:30 this morning (won’t find out the results until late today or tomorrow), and although I’d brought my gym bag with me, was so exhausted that I ended up just going home to sleep until 12:30!  If I had a dollar for every time I’ve done this….

Yesterday I woke up and stumbled to the kitchen to make breakfast, only to discover that I’d completely decimated my supply of rolled oats! Good gracious, what’s a girl to do?  Make a big batch of steel-cut oatmeal instead!

Steel Cut Oats

I used four cups of water, 1 cup of steel cut oats, 1 sliced banana and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. While the oats cooked, I drank some coffee and mailed my Netflix to distract my grumbling tum.  When the oats were ready, I portioned out a serving for myself and put the remaining three servings in the fridge.  Three breakfasts I won’t have to worry about later!

Oats for the Week

In college, usually on a Sunday, I’d make big batches of things like oatmeal and rice to enjoy later in the week. Sure, it takes a little longer than microwaving your breakfast one morning, but saves time in the long run and tastes a lot better.

For my bowl, I diced up a not-quite-ripe pear and microwaved it for 90 seconds.  This softened the pear right up, and released some of its natural fruit syrups.  Sometimes fruit is enough of a sweetener on its own, but yesterday I needed a bit more.  I added a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts to make my breakfast a little more interesting.

Pear Walnut Oatmeal

The rest of the morning was spent applying for jobs.  Unfortunately the entire city seems desperate for an “assistant” position, but I must press on! I think I need a really tall, straight-back chair.  It’s so easy to just hunch over the desk, and sometimes I catch myself and notice my posture and I am literally almost lying on the table. Terrible! Erin helped me with this about six months ago, but I really need to be better about it.

Finally I broke for lunch to bring the feeling back to my legs and back.  I’d read Diana’s (then) most recent post, which looked fabulous, and decided to give Gena’s Maple Cinnamon Vinaigrette a try.

Agave Cinnamon Vinaigrette

I quartered the recipe to make just enough for my lunch.  I didn’t have any maple syrup, so I substituted raw agave nectar instead.  I added a little fresh lemon juice as well.

Agave Cinnamon Vinaigrette 2

Each recipe of Gena‘s that I’ve tried has been mighty fine, and this was no different.  It was really good, and turned what would have been an ordinary salad into something unique and special.  The salad itself was almost worthy of Raw Wednesday… while tempeh was traditionally prepared raw, I’m not sure that’s still the case in all commercially prepared varieties.

Salad Ingredients

In the mix:

  • collard greens (local)
  • red chard (local)
  • 1/3 block TJ’s 3 Grain Tempeh
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 kiwi— a reader asked if I eat the skin of kiwis.  I do! I didn’t used to, but tried on a whim this summer.  The skin is thin, and really doesn’t change the taste of the fruit.  However, when possible I buy organic kiwis. I try to go organic whenever I’m going to eat the outside of a fruit or vegetable.  Obviously, this isn’t always possible for financial reasons.
  • 2 carrots
  • Agave Cinnamon Dressing

I decided to make my carrots a little less “rebellious”, and peeled them with the asparagus (or spargel) peeler I received free in Berlin at the Spargelfest Spargelfest!

Spargel Carrot

This salad was perfect.  Good ingredients and quality dressing really do make all the difference.

Agave Cinnamon Salad

I had a glass of red with lunch.

POM Pomegranate Kiwi

Juuuuust kidding… although I wouldn’t be opposed! No, this was POM‘s new Pomegranate Kiwi juice, that the company sent me a few weeks ago to try out.

POM Pomegranate Kiwi 2

This was a lot sweeter than the straight pomegranate variety.  It tastes a bit like fruit cocktail, but I really liked it! This is also 100% juice, which I like.  Don’t you hate when you buy “juice” only to get home and see that there’s actually very little fruit in there at all?

After finishing up my job search for the day, I laced up my sneaks and headed to the gym.  These are the new shoes I got… they’re the same model as my old pair (Asics Gel Kayanos), but I asked for pink instead of read this time. I’m not really a “pink” girl, but I don’t even remember the last time I wore pink sneakers!  Probably my pair of butterfly light-up L.A. Gears. Remember those?

Asics Gel Kayanos

I biked for 30 minutes at the gym while reading my book.  The stationary bike is not the most exciting thing, but I just need to get myself through 30 minutes.  I didn’t like the treadmill, either! There’s nothing wrong with making the most of things, from time to time.

After showering, I headed over to Curly’s Vegetarian to meet Lauryn for an early dinner.   I can’t believe I’d never been here before! It’s right near where I used to work, and has so many options.  Lauryn and I sat and stared at the menu for a good long while before finally deciding on what we wanted… everything looked delicious, from their Mexican fare to their “Public School Lunch” (mac & cheese with panko).  We both ordered the Dragon Bowl Q, a special salad with mixed greens, quinoa, fake chicken, black beans, mango, tomatoes, avocado, jalepeño, corn chips, vegan parmesan… with each dive of our forks, we discovered a new ingredient.  I asked for the carrot ginger and mango poppy dressings on the side, but it was such a loaded salad that I really didn’t need any extra.

Curly's Dragon Q

It was massive.  I didn’t really eat the corn chips because I got so full!   While we ate, we made art.  Lauryn’s clearly the more talented one (on the left)… see how coy her chick looks?

Chicken Art

All of their drinks and desserts sounded amazing (Mexican hot chocolate, peanut butter bomb), but we decided to save our money and have a treat at home.  We did, however, go to Trader Joe’s to get some essentials.  I left the store having spent the lowest amount I’ve ever spent there ($19.79!), and won’t be needing any yogurt or pumpkin anytime soon!  I need to go shopping with this girl all the time.

TJ's haul

When I got home, I caught up on Gossip Girl while munching on a slice of banana-pumpkin-date tea loaf with almond butter and dark chocolate.

Pumpkin/Banana/Date Loaf w/ almond butter & chocolate

Well, back to the grind.  I’ve got to send a few more applications out, then clean up a little because Ari is coming home tonight!

See ya later, alligators.

A Chocolove Letter

In my rush to get home and relieve Charley’s straining bladder last night, I left my camera in Brooklyn at my little red-headed friend’s apartment! Horrible, I know.  It will be returned tomorrow, so to mix things up a little bit I’ll be posting about today instead of yesterday.  We don’t have to live in the past tonight! Crazy.

The alarm went off at the usual time this morning.  I’d smartly left my alarm clock (i.e. cell phone) across the room so I’d have to get up and turn it off.  Genius, no?  Not if it means I’m just going to get back into bed again.  Two hours later I woke up, completely disoriented, and with only forty minutes until a coffee date.  Oops.  Luckily, my date was understanding and we pushed the time back a bit, but I hate rearranging plans at the last minute! It’s my own fault.  I’ll just have to find a better system for waking up… or go to bed before 2 AM.

Breakfast was quick and easy: whole wheat toast with peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and 1/2 banana and a strawberry Chobani (eaten using the “plunge” method) with the rest of the banana.   I used my laptop to take the next few photos… the quality is pretty good for what it is, I think, with the exception of the mirror effect.

Breakfast

Took the pooch out for a quick (yet efficient) romp, then headed out to coffee and got my standard skim au lait with a shot of espresso.  Boy, did I need that!  My parents are running very low on coffee, and the problem needs to be remedied as soon as possible.  When I got home, I made a huge salad and thought about how much I need to trim my bangs.

Lunch

This was another salad winner.  I think I burned out on the beet/sprouts/hummus mixture (never thought that would happen!) and this was a welcome change.  I tossed in:

  • spinach
  • red chard
  • 6 oz (dolphin safe) canned tuna in water
  • 1 heirloom tomato (last one 😦 )
  • pomegranate seeds
  • baby carrots
  • 1 kiwi
  • dressing: olive oil, vinegar, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Horseradish mustard

The rest of the afternoon was spent scouring job boards and sending out cover letters and resumés.  It’s exhausting, let me tell you!  I broke for my second Chobani of the day… the pineapple is definitely my favorite, although after learning the right way to eat the fruit-flavored ones (from the bottom, up) I really love them all.  Too bad this was my last one 😦   See that little wrinkle under my left eye? It keeps getting bigger and bigger! I don’t really care that much, but if anyone has a tip to slow it on down, I’d appreciate it!

Snack

My parents got home from the airport (they’ve been in France since Tuesday) around 6 and were starving for dinner.  We went to our regular Japanese spot.  The place was packed and they were understaffed, so the meal was a little slow coming out.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted sashimi or a bento box, and ended up going with the bento.  It came with green salad, mixed tempura (I peeled off a lot of the batter), salmon teriyaki, one California roll, and rice.  They forgot our miso soups, so we got them to go instead.  I didn’t eat any of the rice, so I packed that up too.  (My mom has the same camera, so I borrowed hers for the evening.)

Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box

When we got home from the restaurant, we had a chocolate tasting.

Chocolate Tasting

Chocolove– one of my favorite chocolate companies- was kind enough to send two bars of chocolate to review for the blog.   I’d tried their 77%, 70%, and 55% dark chocolate varieties before, and their Crystallized Ginger in 65% dark chocolate is one of my favorite chocolate bars ever. (Really. Try it.)  I first stumbled upon Chocolove at Whole Foods when I was in college; I’m a sucker for packaging and loved their wrappers.  They make really interesting flavors such as Chilies & Cherries, Cherries & Almonds, etc., that come in dark varieties.  I love flavored chocolates, but I’m not a huge fan of milk chocolate and that’s often the only option for exotic flavors. And best of all? Each bar comes complete with a love poem! It’s the perfect special date/baby-I-done-you-wrong/you’re-my-best-friend chocolate.

Here’s a little page the Chocolove story from their website:

Timothy Moley is the founder, owner and chocolatier at Chocolove. A tall and slightly eccentric man, he reminds you a little of Willy Wonka. His laid-back attitude, wry grin, and lanky physique would never lead you to believe he is a man who lives and breathes chocolate, and has been consuming two chocolate bars, every day, for the past ten years. Seriously.

It all began in a cocoa field in Indonesia… Timothy was chewing on some cocoa beans doing volunteer work for USAID, a government program that promotes agricultural and technical education in developing countries. He had been living abroad on and off for two years, visiting over 28 countries, developing his palate with spices, teas and wines. And, like most of us, he had always dreamed of being his own boss, dedicated to something he loved. The idea of a career in chocolate inspired him and an idea began to form –  to create a premium chocolate bar, paired with the romance of love.

When he returned to the States, he began his chocolate education and quickly discovered a few key facts about the U.S. chocolate market: the average consumer could tell the difference between cheap chocolate and premium chocolate and they preferred premium chocolate; the available premium chocolate bar choices were limited, expensive and intimidating; no U.S. company was indicating the cocoa content on their wrappers; and flavors were boring.

I was excited to try two new flavors: Peppermint in 55% Dark Chocolate and  Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate.

Peppermint:

Chocolove Peppermint

Peppermint Chocolove Ingredients

Peppermint Chocolove 2

This bar came with a poem by Robert Browning called “Meeting At Night.”

Peppermint Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: There’s something odd about the mint flavor. The chocolate has a good texture, but I would like it more without the mint.  I don’t like the aftertaste.

Papa LVP: I don’t think the mint is odd! Just “minty.”  It’s refreshing, even though I don’t normally eat peppermint-flavored things.

LVP: Tastes like a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie! I love Thin Mints. The mint flavor is pretty strong, but it’s blended nicely and, as Papa LVP noted, very refreshing.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? If the mood for mint struck me, most definitely.  I don’t often find myself hankering for mint, but the next time it happens, this is my fix!

Coffee Crunch in 55% Dark Chocolate

Coffee Crunch Chocolove

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Ingredients

Coffee Crunch Chocolove 2

This bar came with an excerpt from “The Dream” by Theodore Roethke.

Coffee Crunch Chocolove Poem

The Panel

Mama LVP: I like the texture. It has a nice crunch to it.

Papa LVP: The chocolate has a smooth, deep, and dark flavor. I like the crunchiness of the grains.  I’m not normally a fan of filled chocolates, but I like this.

LVP: It tastes the way a good coffee shop smells: a rich aroma you can get lost in.  It’s crunchy, but the coffee grounds don’t distract from the good quality of the chocolate itself.

Bottom line: Would I buy this? Yes!  This is like a better version of a chocolate-covered espresso bean: it satisfies both my desire for chocolate and my need for coffee.  What’s better than a treat with a buzz?

Thanks again, Chocolove! And don’t forget to check out that Crystallized Ginger in 65% Dark Chocolate Bar.  If I had any money to bet, I’d reimburse each person who claims dissatisfaction with that flavor.  It’s that good.

Our tasting also included Côte d’Or with dark chocolate and hazelnuts that my parents brought back from France (and apparently can be bought at Dean & Deluca!) and dark chocolate “twigs” infused with orange.  So pretty! Wouldn’t it be fun to make a chocolate forest out of these?

dark chocolate twigs

I’m in a bit of a chocolate coma, so I’m going straight to bed.  I need to get up early (for real, this time!)  and do some work for my internship.  How was your weekend? What was the best part?

Bonne nuit 🙂

Making Moves

Shari wanted me to let you know about the correct way to eat what I’ve referred to as “fruit-on-the-bottom” Chobani:

[D]on’t stir…take your spoon straight down through the yogurt and pull some fruit up with the yogurt.  I at first was reluctant…but then I said “oh what the heck…”  I won’t stir my yogurt ever again….  It completely changes the dynamics of the yogurt.

I tried it out, plunging my spoon directly into a Blueberry Chobani.

Plunging Spoon in Chobani

Very smooth and very creamy!

Creamy Chobani

What do you do when you can’t decide what to have for breakfast? Have it all! I threw quite a few ingredients into my bowl.

Breakfast Mess

I warmed some frozen strawberries, sliced up half a banana, grabbed a handful (or two!) of Puffins, and scooped a generous spoonful of almond butter.

Breakfast Mess 2

It mixed wonderfully with the yogurt.

Breakfast Mess 3

The rest of the morning was spent reading in bed in total coziness, taken in the aroma of scented candles.  In the past few days I’ve taken quite a few baths and burned through a lot of candles.  It’s not so great for the environment, but I figure I’m just making up for the baths I didn’t take in the dorm bathrooms in college.  Mid-morning, I snacked on a crisp Macoun apple.

Momofuku Apple .

Caitlin came over for lunch, and I heated up some leftover Smoky Greens & Beans.  This time, I added in pieces of seitan.  The physical therapist told me that since I’m going to be trying to build up muscle and heal myself, I’m going to need eat a LOT of protein. Each serving of seitan packs a whopping 18g! This was Caitlin’s first time eating it, and I think it was a hit! We ate the stew with warmed up pieces of lavash.

Smoky Greens & beans

After lunch, we headed to Starbucks to get coffee and read. I couldn’t remember exactly what went into a dirty hippie… where was Luke when I needed him?!  I ended up just getting a Double Grande Skim Chai.  There’s always next time!

Double Grande Skim Chai

We ended up doing more talking than studying, but it was needed! I hadn’t seen this girl in three weeks.  When I got home, I started dinner by peeling and cubing a sweet potato.  I covered the cubes in a little olive oil, salt & pepper, an baked it at 400.  About 20 minutes into the baking time, I added pressed and cubed tofu to the mix, making sure to coat the pieces in the extra oil mixture that covered the bottom of the baking dish.  10 minutes later I removed the sweet potato, and baked the tofu for 15 minutes longer.

Baked Tofu & Sweet Potato

I added the sweet potato and tofu to a bed of spinach with a white heirloom tomato, pomegranate seeds, and a little gorgonzola cheese.  Aren’t the colors lovely?

Fall Salad

Using pear-infused vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, sea salt & pepper, I whipped up a light dressing.

Fall Salad Dressing

This was one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time, and felt perfect for a chilly Fall night.

Fall Salad 2

Fall Salad 3 Fall Salad 4

After dinner, I went downtown to meet Lauryn for frozen yogurt at Red Mango.   She moved to Manhattan over a month ago, but we seem to be operating under completely opposite schedules and this is the first day it worked out.   I’m so glad it did!

Lauryn

We both ended up ordering the pumpkin frozen yogurt (tart and creamy, and perfect for Fall!) even though it was fuh-REEZING out and were were sitting right in front of the door.  It came with free graham cracker topping, too! I’ve never been one to turn down a freebie…

Red Mango Pumpkin

We ended up talking non-stop for three hours, and literally closed the Red Mango down.  Couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday night!  I ended up getting home after 1, by which point I was already hungry again and ate a giant apple.  I didn’t go to bed until after 2… I need to find a job ASAP because this rando schedule just ain’t doing it for me.

Well, I’m off to go meet my little red-headed friend for dinner.  Hope you’re having a great night!

Perspective

Hi guys. I think you all officially earn the “most supportive” blog readers award. I was feeling a little down in the dumps when I last posted, but each and every comment really cheered me up. Of course I don’t want you all to break your hips and sprain your toes, but knowing that there are other people who have been injured and bounced back helps me feel a lot less alone about it. I’m in a much better place than I was the last time I hurt myself, mainly because I still have the use of my legs. As Ilana pointed out, at least I have legs. How’s that for perspective? Thou shalt not take thy body for granted.

Yesterday, knowing that I was probably going to get some not-so-good news from the physical therapist, I made myself a nice breakfast. I had two Kashi waffles; one with Barney Butter and French raspberry jam:

Kashi Waffle 1

The second had plain nonfat Wallaby yogurt (Daddy-o bought this; even though I’ve been spoiled by the Greeks, this was nice and creamy) and fresh pomegranate seeds:

Kashi Waffle 2

Like my DIY mug? I had some artistic talent as a kid.

Kashi Waffle 3

I did not dress appropriately for the weather, and was both freezing and wet when it started raining. It rained for the next 16 hours. Are we in London? I snacked on a Banana Bread Larabar on my way to the gym do to some strength training.

Banana Bread Larabar

At the gym, I did 10 minutes of stretching before starting my workout. I did all the leg machines that I saw, but wasn’t always sure that I was using them properly. There was a back extension machine that I thought would be helpful, but it was right in front of the personal trainers’ room and they were having some kind of meeting, so I didn’t want to look like an idiot trying to figure it out. Stupid, I know. I think I get three free PT sessions, so it would be nice to have someone show me what to do. I also did some arm and ab work. It was pretty boring, but I know I have to do it every other day no matter what. Blegh.

Total time: 1:02:04

Maximum heart rate: 122 (62%)

Average hear rate: 86 (43%)

Calories burned:: 136

These kinds of stats are clearly going to take some getting used to… I’m accustomed to having my heart rate consistently up in the 170-190 bracket and expending at least 300 calories per workout. Such is life.

I finally got around to getting groceries at Whole Foods. I shopped the sales and ended up getting quite a bit of stuff for under $60. The cashier (who just tore her ACL… small world) even commented on how well I did!

Whole Foods Groceries 1

Not pictured: dog treats for Charley. And don’t you worry, that lone beer will be consumed by the time this post is through!

Whole Foods Groceries 2

It was already close to three by the time I got around to eating, but I had a pretty good lunch! The star was inspired by one of my favorite ladies. Mama Lovin may have moved on to a smaller- more secure– domain, but the crack wrap lives on! This was made with a piece of Lavash and stuffed with hummus, white cheddar, gorgonzola and spinach.

Crack Wrap

I also had some baby carrots

Carrots

… and salmon spring rolls. I’d thought they were shrimp when I bought them, but these were still good!

Salmon Spring Roll

It was nice to be warm and cozy inside.

Lunch

The mail came pretty soon, and cheered me right up. I got my giveaway prize from Erin

Erin's package 1

How cool is this necklace?! I love funky jewelry. And can you believe she made this herself? I’d probably sew my finger to the fabric if I tried to use a sewing machine. She is also running a marathon this weekend, so please wish her luck! I’m so freaking proud of her.

Erin's package 2

The mailman also brought me a card from my favorite neo-Russian. Look at those stamps!

Russian Mail 1

That says all kinds of nice things in Russian. I miss this girl so much it’s not even funny.

Russian Mail 1

Since I was dining solo for the umpteenth time this week, I wanted to make myself a nice (and easy) dinner. I flipped through the November issue of Bon Appétit, and settled on Smoky Greens and Beans.

Smoky Greens & Beans 1

I made my own vegetable stock using Better Than Bouillan‘s Chili and Vegetable Bases. My dad started using these when I became a vegetarian 8 years ago, and I really like the flavor.

Better Than Bouillon

For the “greens” part of the recipe, I used green chard, red chard, and collard greens. Aren’t the colors gorgeous?

Mixed Greens

I couldn’t decide what I wanted to serve the stew with, and settled on oatmeal. It has been quite some time since I made savory oats!

Savory Oats

I seasoned the finished product with sea salt, black pepper, and parmesan.

Mixed Greens & Collards 2

This dish is a keeper.

Mixed Greens & Beans 2

Good thing I have leftovers!

Mixed Greens & Beans 3

I thought I deserved a drink after a trying day, so I sipped on this Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale over the course of two hours. I know I’m not alone when I say that I look forward to pumpkin beer all year! It wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst that I’ve had, but it did make me miss my friends.

Pumpkin Beer

There’s been ice cream around pretty much every single night, and I still haven’t gotten it out of my system! I made myself a fabulous chocolate peanut butter sauce using Chocolate PB2 and Hot Damn Cocoa (from Hell’s Kitchen). Just add water!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce

I drizzled it on mission fig ice cream and topped it all with half a banana, enjoyed while watching Tokyo!.

Sundae

Sweet way to end a bitter day.

Now I’m off to go walk the pooch and meet a lovely for a treat. What are your weekend plans? Enjoy them!

The Big 6

I’ve always thought that the day I ran 6 miles would be the day I finally became a “real” runner.

When my alarm went off at 8, my mind was filled with that excited dread that often comes with the first day of school and first dates.  Since my day is already jam-packed today, I’d written out a list of everything I would do, from waking up to going to work, with corresponding times.  This type of thing doesn’t usually work for me, but I really wasn’t even able to include a margin of error.

Still, I puttered around, wasting time… I checked on the laundry (three times), I did the dishes, I checked the weather (chance of rain)… I was nervous, and I wanted to prolong the run for as long as possible.  But, I was also excited, and had a good feeling.  I knew I could do it!

I quickly put together a no-fail playlist.  These are all songs I’ve run to over and over again, and I know they keep my legs running.

6 Mile Playlist

Before I left, I had half a cup of coffee, half a Luna Bar, and a lot of water.

Pre-run fuel

I debated whether or not to run with a water bottle, but I didn’t want the extra awkward weight to sabotage my run. Instead I kept running back to the kitchen for more water, just to be safe.  I should probably invest in a CamelBak sometime soon…

This was my first time running with snacks.I stuffed my baggie of gummies (who needs Shot Bloks?) into the waistband of my running pants.  I’m sure there was a better option… I tried to put it in the side of my sports bra, as I’ve heard other runners do, but it was really uncomfortable.    Where do you stash your mid-exercise snacks?

Mid-run snack baggie

Finally I set off, with a not-so-brave face.

Not so brave face

I’d promised myself I was going to run at a slow, easy pace… it was more important for me to log miles than go for speed. I’m not racing against anyone! To achieve the 6 mile run, I’d planned on fusing together my go to 4.5 mile and 2.0 mile runs.  It started to rain as I passed the 2-mile point, but I powered through it.  At almost the same time as the first raindrop hit my face, I got a stitch in my right side… the same spot I’ve been getting them for the past week or so. I tried some breathing techniques, but mostly just told myself to ignore it… and it worked!

After I finished my 4.5 mile loop, I stopped and ate half of my gummies.  Then I picked the pace right back up again.  I felt as though my legs were carrying me through, and the only thing I had to do was stay awake for it.  I expected to be sore, but I didn’t think that I’d be so mentally tired! But I powered on.  I stopped and ate the last of the gummies during the final mile.

I got home, stretched and calculated my total distance: 6.4 miles!!!

6.4 miles of victory!

Total distance: 6.4 miles

Total time: 1:10:27

Maximum heart rate: 177 (89%)

Average heart rate: 166 (83%)

Calories burned: 739

For a few minutes, I felt a little nauseous and not very hungry.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, and puttered around for a little.  Then all of a sudden… WHAMO! I made the quickest bowl of oatmeal you’ve ever seen, just so I wouldn’t eat my own arm.

Post-Run Oatmeal

This was made with:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • splash of skim milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • brown sugar
  • scoop of peanut butter

After showering, I slathered on a generous helping of Bengay and promptly burned the bejeezus out of my glutes.  I also got so cold that I had to pile on Ari’s sweats (shh!) and climb under the covers.  I guess “everything in moderation” doesn’t only apply to food…

I took a bottle of POMx Pomegrante Wildberry Light White Tea to keep me hydrated on my subway ride across the boroughs.

POMx Wildberry Iced Tea

FYI: I will be posting a POMx review once I’ve tasted all of the flavors.

POMx Wildberry Nutrition

I needed to pick some things up chez maman et papa, so I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up lunch to eat at home.  It was, sadly, my quickest in-and-out trip to the store.

When I got home, there were two exciting packages waiting for me! First… my RoadID came! I wish I could show it to you, but my Photoshop program isn’t working and I can’t edit out my personal information.  It’s very cool, though!

I also received the Kay’s Naturals package I won from Jenny‘s giveaway.

Kay's Naturals

With lunch, I snacked on some Crispy Parmesan Protein Chips.

Kay's Naturals Parmesan Protein Chips

They look like baby Sun Chips!

Kay's Natural Parmesan #2

And, unlike other brands, this one was filled with chips! Don’t you hate when you buy something and realize you’ve paid for mostly air? They were pretty good… they had the consistency of Soy Crisps.

Kay's Natural Parmesan #3

My Whole Foods lunch was filled with greens, Israeli salad, grape leaves, vegan chicken salad (LOVE THIS), lemon tempeh, glazed tofu, crunch sprout salad, and a farro/wheatberry pilaf.

Whole Foods Salad Bar

While I was home, Charley and I played dress-up…

Charley's tongue

He’s joined the ranks and is now an Upwelling Dog.

Upwelling Dog

I was still snacky, so I ate a raisin walnut roll on the subway on the way to work.

Raisin Pecan Roll

Business at the restaurant was non-existent, so I went home at 7. Wahoo!  I took a salad to go, but decided to save that for lunch the next day and stopped instead at the Japanese mart on my walk to the subway.  I’ve always been curious about these seasoned “wildweeds”:

Hmm..

Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for them at all.  Something about the taste, and the brown weeds (which reminded me of Distric 9… sorry for that gross tidbit!) really turned my stomach and I only ate half.  This looks deceptively small… but as the above photo shows, it weighed 18 ounces!

Japanese vegetable sampler

The brown rice tuna and avocado sushi, however, was just right.  I should have just gotten more sushi!

Tuna avocado roll

The weeds left a taste in my mouth that wouldn’t go away, so I had a glass of Pinot Grigio to usher it out.

Pinot Grigio

I hadn’t had a dessert plate in a while, so I helped myself to dried fruit, Israeli pop-rocks chocolate, and almond butter.  MMM!

Dessert plate