Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where is the Protein?

I have noticed in the past few days that there is something missing in my diet-
Fruits- check
Veggies- check
Cookies- check

But where is the protein? I'm not big on meat, yet I don't make a conscious effort to replace the lacking protein. I checked several sources (one of which was apparently a GOAT protein requirements calculator) and it says that a woman of my size should be eating between 42 and 64 grams a day, assuming average to intermediate levels of exercise. I am guessing that I come in way below that estimate. Now I'm not an athlete in any way, but I feel like I am replacing my protein sources with other foods instead.

So here is my protein challenge. I will aim for 50 grams of protein. I feel like this will keep me more satisfied and will cause me to examine my intake. For example, I will not go for a cookie if I haven't had my real dinner. I'm going to target getting to a good level, starting today.

So far, breakfast was 24 grams of protein (1 cup of Greek yogurt with a chopped banana, red pear, and 1/4 cup of Cheerios with 1 tbsp of dark chocolate PB...I was starving). I think I'm halfway there, but this is usually where it goes downhill.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Leftover Surprise!

Today was another crazy day and I'm very glad that it's over! The morning started with a coffee since I was up early and needed to buy train tickets. Those sneaky people are putting Starbucks in grocery stores!

Here is my Grande Nonfat Latte:

I realized that I left my breakfast at home and purchased this lovely multigrain bagel and had a couple of dips of this cream cheese. It was just OK...and bagels don't really fill me up, but still worth it for 3 hours of satiety. I must apologize for my beat up nails- and my hands get so cold that my fingers shrink and cause my rings to flip around...not married yet!

Dinner was leftover surprise! I actually hate leftovers, but I had cooked a lot this weekend and placed the extras in a large tupperware container, so I dug in today. It was cheesy and gooey- perfect after a really long day at work. This plate is about 6" in diameter, in case it makes a difference. This is all topped with hot sauce.

This undistinguishable meal includes 2 stuffed shells, turkey meatloaf, and a stuffed zucchini half.

Dinner dessert was not 1, not 2, but 3 cookies! I'm only a little guilty for the chocolate goodness. Of course I ate them all right before watching Biggest inappropriate, right?

I'm going to work on some homework, blog a little bit, and call it a night while I wait for the boy to get home from class.

Have a great night!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Delicious Mix-up

Dinner Mix
I spent much of today mixing it up. Remember when last night I posted about the tofu sandwich I was so excited to eat? Well I also made a sandwich for future hubby and placed them right next to each other. I was positive I grabbed the right one, but to my surprise, I was greeted with a lovely turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch. Of course, I ate it right up and decided to have the tofu sandwich for dinner just now. Here it is with 3 humongous carrots. I also added a little yogurt dressing but it was too shy to take pictures.

Before I could grub, I tested out my new shoes with a workout that I like to call "5 More Minutes." There is no science to this, I just argue with myself the whole time convincing myself that I will be done in 5 more minutes, resulting in more time than I would have normally done.

Tonight's 5 More Minutes Stats:
-5 minutes jog
-10 minutes on bike hills
-10 minutes elliptical intervals
-2 Triceps exercising
-2 abs exercises

I wasn't wearing a HR monitor, but I came out sweaty and tired, so it did the job.

What do you do when you don't want to keep going at the gym?

Future Husband Mixing it Up
Ok, the theme is probably getting out of hand, but I am feeling sassy, so I'm going to keep going! I wanted to share with you how guys re-fuel post workout. This smoothie is not for the weak!

  • Frozen mixed fruit (peaches, blackberries, strawberries)
  • 1/2 banana
  • Yogurt
  • Odwalla green juice
  • Orange juice
  • 1.5 scoops of whey protein (170 cals per scoop!)

Of course you don't measure, because that would be silly

And you would never, ever take the time to find the lid

Finished product:

I didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm wrapping things up with a shower and some TV before I hit the sack. I am on my beloved couch and I ate a Costco cookie. Nothing like a cookie to bring your dinner cals up, right?

Have a great night!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bike rides, food prep, and cookies

These are the phrases that can describe my day. I wasn't able to blog earlier this week because things got just too crazy. I have been really going from one day to next just waiting for the weekend. It's time for a new week and I think good things will come!

Bike Ride
We went on a wonderful, challenging bike ride this afternoon. We left at 1:30 and got home at 4:30. My legs were burning like crazy and this was a really tough ride. By the time we got home, we were starving and broke into the food as fast as we could. I didn't take pictures, but I ate carrots, hummus, Stacy's multigrain chips, cheese, and a pear...I was ravenous. I think our ride burned at least 600 cals and I needed to refuel ASAP!

Food Prep- Eggplant Stacks
I think I have talked to extremes about how busy we are during the week, but since the boy is also in Grad School, we have to be really organized or we just don't eat during the week! I try to make sure that we both have lunches and something to grab for dinner since we are both at school Tuesday (boy only) through Thursday. I spent about 4 hours in the kitchen prepping, cleaning, and cooking for next week. I made turkey loaf, sweet potatoes, tofu, chicken stir-fry, and eggplant stacks.

I thought that I would share the eggplant with you since it turned out really well.

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 package chopped spinach
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
This was really easy. All I did was chopped the eggplant, layered on a cookie sheet, salted, topped with spinach and tomatoes, topped with the second layer, spread with the sundried tomatoes and sprinkled parm, and voila (after baking at 350 degrees for 40 minutes)!

Layer 1:

Top Layer:

Baked and marinated in Trader Joe's sesame ginger chef sauce:

On a sandwich with spinach and Asian pear slice:

The sandwich is for my lunch tomorrow and is in my fridge waiting for me tomorrow. I can't wait to give it a try. I am a tofu novice so I'm not sure how this turned out...hoping it's good!

I'm sitting on the couch now and just finished eating 2 of the best cookies ever made. We have a bit of an obsession with Costco's chocolate chip cookies. They are very calorie dense at 210 cals each but they are amazing. Have a great night!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Crazy Busy- Again!

Bad, Bad Blogger

What is it about long weekends that make the upcoming week so very long? I won’t vent, (it’s too early in my blog career for such nonsense!) but honestly- I can’t wait for 2 more days to pass so that the week is finally over and it’s time for my beloved weekend.

I brought my camera to work but unfortunately had to rely on snacks to keep going today since the day was so busy. I don’t typically eat like this and it doesn’t look like much food, but I am guessing the breakfast, snacks, and dinner added up to at least 1200 cals- so don’t worry. I also have some more chocolate peanut butter waiting for me at home!

Snacks today included:
Single serve trailmix (270 cals but a very generous serving)
Homemade mini muffin
A couple of chocolate straws

I did get to eat dinner right before I left for class and that was my most leisurely meal- even if it was at 5:00 p.m. I had half of a giant spaghetti squash with tomato sauce, fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It was awesome but nobody is fooling me- this is NOT spaghetti! I also enjoyed a beloved Granny Smith apple.

In other news, I still have a dull pain on the outside of my foot. It doesn’t seem to be getting any worse, although it’s not any better. I took some Advil this morning but decided to skip it this afternoon. My foot pain started on Monday after a Sunday night run, so it’s only been 3 days, but I am not feeling much better about it. I hope time will heal it…and if not, then I will schedule an appointment for Friday. I am not worried about skipping the gym as I can’t go even if I wanted to- I have class on Wednesday and Thursday nights and I already wake up early to make my commute, so I am hoping that Friday will be the magical day that I will recover given all my rest.

I do understand that I can do lifting, or yoga, or pilates, but I hate being constrained in what I can do and I just don’t feel like a workout is complete without at least a little cardio. What are your thoughts on resting while injured?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Busy Bee

Today was a crazy busy day. There were definitely moments when I would look up and realize that I had lost a couple of hours in thin air. Meals were not very structured today, so I kept my energy up with large snacks.

Featured here is some vanilla yogurt with 2 tbsp trailmix and 2 lovely clementines:

As it often happens, I stayed late at work and had no energy to make anything fancy so I had a little buffet for myself- chopped granny smith apple, half banana, and 2 light flat out wraps with 1 tbsp chocolate pb in each- I told you I was going to eat this stuff every day until it's gone.

This meal was still around 500 cals. What do you think of unstructured meals? I know it was carb heavy, but since I already ate my veggies as another snack today, I was perfectly comfortable having this.

I have spent this evening doing some research and exploring my future options. I hope to have some news soon!

I don't feel so bad not posting since I often talk to myself, so prove me wrong!

Question: What are your favorite snacks when you just can't eat?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Veggies are Awesome

Hey Kids!

Well, it was a fabulously awesome and amazing day. I didn't do too much today but it was great to have the day off. I went to my parents house to spend some time with my mom, did laundry at home, spent some time with my best friend, cooked, and baked. Here are my meals:

Stuffed Zucchini (from my mom)

Fresh blackberries and strawberries

Frozen yogurt (tart original, tart pomegranate, mini chocolate chips, mini pb chips, 1 tbsp granola)

When I came home I continued to prep for the week. I like to make meals ahead of time for my guy as he is on his own for at least 2 nights a week and I also like to grab and go during the week.

I made lean beef with soba noodles and grilled onions and peppers in a sesame oil (for boy only- I don't eat red meat):

Sweet Potato Au Gratin (my healthy version of it):

Egg Salad:

For my own dinner, the star of the show was this new purchase- Archer Farms Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter spread. I honestly don't know where this has been my whole life, but I am in big, big trouble with this guy. Archer Farms is the Target brand and this stuff was amazing. I made sure to eat my veggies and then moved on to my main course- a granny smith apple and a flat out wrap with 1 tbsp of the spread (x2)!

This stuff has a very short ingredient list of peanuts, cocoa, and 2 or 3 other ingredients. I highly, highly recommend it and fear this may be the end of my blog!

I am ending my evening with some veggies- on my foot. Unfortunately the foot pain I had this morning did not go away. I thought it would be fine to do stationary bike at the gym but the outside of my foot was still in pain so I did 3 strength exercises and called it a day. I have had times in the past when I have not listened to my body and delayed my healing, but today I just let myself rest. I stopped by Fleet Feet on my way home and they told me that this was common and likely a sign of poor padding and overuse- I guess my distance increase was too much for my footsie. So here I am icing it with some veggies. I told you they were awesome!

French cut green beans:

See you tomorrow!

A Free Day and Wedding Details

Good morning! I hope that you have the day off to enjoy but as this is the first company I have worked for that is giving us the day off, I am sure many of you have to work today.

This morning I knew I wanted oatmeal but not the typical hot bowl. I decided to go with an oatmeal pancake- something I haven't had in a long time. Of course I didn't have all the ingredients, but decided to just wing it.

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 egg- I decided to use the whole thing for extra fat and protein
  • 1/3 thinly sliced banana
  • cooking spray
  • Icing= 2 tbsp nonfat yogurt with a sprinkle of cocoa powder and brown sugar

With mocha (hot cocoa mixed with coffee):

Today my plans are not set but I am going to try to accomplish some wedding tasks, get organized, and perhaps some cooking and baking. I am going to hit the gym soon for a light impact workout as my foot is hurting a bit on the outside- this is definitely new for me so I'm not going to push it.

Wedding Details
This weekend was a big one for us since the future hubby got his ring and I went to get my engagement ring checked. It's times like this that makes this whole thing a reality. It makes me really happy and excited to look forward to our future together. Here are our rings (you can guess which one is mine and which is his!):

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Night Workout, Dinner, and First Week of Blogging

Hi Kids!

I just got back from my workout and it was a great one! I have only been back at the gym for one month from a hiatus due to work stress and school. I had previously had knee injuries and wanted to start slow so I was ecstatic after hitting a personal record tonight! I am not a runner and I often take walking breaks but tonight I was able to run all 40 minutes of my treadmill time!

Workout stats:
Cals Burned: 340
Distance: 3.52 miles

I also finished off by lifting tris and doing some pushups with the boy. I felt great!

Dinner/Post Workout Snack
I knew that I wanted breakfast for dinner since that is usually a lighter and easier to digest. First I had 1 cup of cheerios with a vanilla Lite and Fit yogurt. Next was my main course!

This is a Lite Flat Out Wrap, 1 tbsp Better n' Peanut Butter, 1 mini Reese's, and 1/2 of a banana. I microwaved this for 1 minute and it was AMAZING- especially after I smushed the banana.

Now I'm off to order my books for school, take a shower, and get ready for bed.

Reflection on Week 1 of Blogging
So it's been one week. I learned that this takes a lot of work and I am amazed at you girls for keeping it up! I am also aware of what I eat and how boring some of my meals are! I know different things work for different people, so I will try to stay true to me and do this my way. I look forward to setting a better blogging schedule, remembering my camera, and using this as a tool for a better life balance!

Sunny Sunday

I thought I would be back to post yesterday, but the day got away from us. I love the weekends simply because you have the opportunity to wing it and make plans as you go. The good news is I had a great time. The bad new is that I didn't take any pictures of my food.

The meal highlights of the day included sushi. We always have the most amazing sushi at Joy Sushi in San Mateo and this time didn't disappoint at all. I had 3 pieces of spicy tuna, one piece of Mango Roll, one piece of Philadelphia Roll, and some other one that I can't remember.

Text Color
We went to see Defiance. It was a little long but I recommend it if you are into historical films. We had a few crackers and hummus and then went to get some frozen yogurt- my absolute favorite. We went to a self-serve place and it was really, really good.

I can't believe it is already past 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Today we went on a massive grocery shop, I cooked chicken breasts, spaghetti squash, and stuffed shells. It was my first time making the two latter foods and they were both really good. I think you will be seeing them in my meals for the next couple of days.

Stuffed Shells

Spaghetti Squash

Baked Chicken Breasts

Breakfast today was a fruit and yogurt parfait. Sprinkled on top:
  • Dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
  • a tsp or so of pine nuts
  • Cocoa powder for a morning chocolate kick

Meal Prep
We bought all kinds of good foods that should be easy to prepare. Due to our busy schedules, we often rely on leftovers for both lunches and dinners, so I am excited to make some new staples (at least for me) such as lentils and barley. I am really looking forward to my day off tomorrow and to doing some more cooking and organizing.

What do you do to get yourself organized for the work week?

I am off to the gym shortly- still not sure what I will be doing, but looking forward to some good cardio and light lifting after. Be back later!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Walk and Some Coffee

Happy Saturday!

Friday Night Recap
I didn't have much time to post last night and there was nothing exciting to talk about. I had a great workout:

  • 20 minute run
  • 20 minutes elliptical intervals
  • Squats, stretching, and a glute exercise
  • Cals Burned= 350

Dinner was yogurt sprinkled with high fiber cereal and 2 slices of artisan bread with melted mozzarella- it was awesome!

Saturday Morning
This morning we woke up and walk to Peet's for an iced coffee. We always get a large and share it. We are having amazing weather- it's about 70 degrees here and the sunshine was wonderful to walk in. I didn't have much breakfast at home and purchased a Clif Mojo Bar in Peanut Butter Pretzel. I also munched on a leftover oatmeal bar and 4 mini Reese's cups (if you can't tell, we are dangerously low on food). I'm hoping for a more substantial lunch today. Also on the agenda is a workout, some cleaning, and a shopping trip for groceries. See you soon!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Busy and Full or Hungry and Bored?

Have you ever noticed that busy days are often the days you hardly think of food while on boring days, thoughts of food seem to consume you as there is not much else to do? This is a common theme in my life.

Like many others, I have a job with long, stressful hours and we rarely have a slow season. Those days are filled with meetings, deadlines, and constant tasks nipping at the heels. Due to the logistics of those days, I am satiated from the combination of meals I have had to scarf down at my desk and the adrenaline my body produces going from one task to the other. I find that on those days, I will often ‘forget to eat’. Now this is coming from someone who can forget her car keys, her gym shoes, her wallet, her cell phone (and all necessary components), but almost NEVER forgets to eat! Food is often an afterthought and just pops in when I feel the hunger pangs.

The opposite happens on sluggish days when I am in between tasks or just enjoying a leisurely evening at home. My body starts messing with me and sending me boredom signals often in the form of hunger. Now I must explain that when I am in fact hungry, I find myself something to eat and enjoy it. The hunger I am talking about is what forms from a lack of things to do. When we turn on the TV, we get food commercials, magazines are filled with food, and an extra hour of reading blogs results in a plethora of food pictures that help us ‘work up an appetite’. Many of these things are usually hard to avoid, so it's best to arm ourselves with some activities. There are lots of tips that address boredom eating. What works for you?

However, today was definitely a busy day and here is what I had for my snack- a bunch of blurry strawberries (sorry!)
Gotta get ready to call it a day and have a great workout at the gym tonight!

I can almost feel the weekend!

Finally Friday
As I am writing this, I realize that I have my camera cord right in my living room. Convenient, huh? This whole forgetful business is really not conducive to writing my blog!

Last night after I got back from class at 10:00 I had a mini snack attack and ate 3 mini Reese’s cups, a cookie I was baking for the boy, and a handful of dried cranberries. I have a killer sweet tooth and since I had no dessert after dinner, I needed something BAD!

This morning I ate overnight oats that I prepared in my sleepy state last night. It did not taste the greatest as I had the genius idea to add half a scoop of protein powder to bulk it up. This resulted in a fake flavor, so I will omit this next time.

*A little over 1/3 cup oats
*6 oz lemon yogurt
*½ scoop Designer Whey Vanilla protein powder
*1/8 cup TJ’s high fiber cereal for crunch
*A few dried cranberries

On my train ride I realized I wasn’t quite full so I picked at some more trailmix. I’m afraid this might become a liability! I ate maybe 1/3 of the package. As you see it’s still fairly full.

On the agenda today is hopefully a full day of work sans any computer problems, a random lunch, and a workout tonight. I hope to be on later today!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Time goes by so slowly....

Here is a re-cap of another busy, busy day!

Today I tried one of the Chocolate South Beach Diet Bars. With 140 cals and 10 grams of protein, it was not bad nutrition-wise, until I read the list of ingredients. There were many, many things that I will never be able to pronounce despite my linguistic skills! However, it tasted kinda like a chocolate rice krispies treat, so I will finish the box eventually.

I was hungry about 1.5 hours later and had some leftovers. Please disregard the strange angle here- I was walking and taking the picture. I had a piece of grilled chicken, some fresh mushrooms dipped in 1 tbsp of cracked pepper hummus, 1/2 of a tomato, some mixed greens with pine nuts and dried cranberries, and some black beans. The actual plate was HUGE, so it wasn't a great deal of food but did the trick.

For dessert I had a few strawberries- delicious and slightly crunchy without any mush- just how I like them! They were very flavorful for the middle of winter! I had 4 of them. I also had a couple of cashews and a few pieces of chocolate covered cranberries- or at least that's what I think they were.

Food Fairy
My friend sent me a box of single serving trailmix today! It was the perfect snack at 4:00 p.m. Sweet, crunchy, and chewy. Though the mix is dense, it's perfect for a big snack. Thanks Lacey!

Tonight is another school night and I am just finishing up and waiting for my ride! Dinner consisted of a black bean, chicken, and salsa burrito purchased for me by my wonderful guy. Have a great night!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First Day of School


I worked up until dinner and actually got to enjoy it at home! It was really nice and leisurely as compared to any other school night.

On the menu tonight was a salmon burger from Trader Joe's. Here was the full meal:

  • 2 slices of protein bread

  • Heated salmon patty

  • 1 slice low fat low moisture mozzarella

  • fresh basil

After broiling the cheese and basil on one slice, I put it all together and enjoyed it with some baby carrots, tomato basil hummus, and some mustard for dipping.

The protein bread I eat is from Alvarado Street Bakery. It's 80 cals per slice and 5 grams of protein with lots of chew and reminds me of Ezekiel, but it is pretty darn small. I think that the fiber and protein combo are what keep me full. They have a lot of different variations and I recommend it.

I just got back from class and I'm headed to watch some TV with the boy. Have a good night!

Technical Difficulties

I think technical difficulties will be the theme of my day.
I got in my car this morning and realized that I needed to get gas and some tickets for my train at the grocery store- no problem as it was only 6:30 and I was running early. I stopped in to get some things for my two long days with work and school and promptly figured out that I had left my camera at home.

Here is what I picked up at the store to keep myself fueled:

  • Turkey slices
  • Mushrooms (random, but only $1 for the package)
  • Vanilla Chai tea
  • Chocolate Southbeach Diet bars (not my thing, but they had 10 grams of protein for only 140 cals so thought they were a good back-up)
  • A box of beautiful strawberries on sale

I also got a grande nonfat latte for my ride on the train, but of course no picture!

At about 11:00, the lights in our office began to flicker and we lost all power yet again! How frustrating! I worked off my laptop battery for an hour and then had to walk to catch my train home to get internet access. It's crazy how dependent we have become on the Internet- but I seriously could not do a single thing without access!

New Dishes

My brother's friend was kind enough to give me some new dishes. He's one of those random guys who knows a lot of people and gave me some dishes from a sushi restaurant that was closing! I couldn't resist and had to share:

Aren't they cute? I decided that I would use one of the bowls I got for my afternoon snack- Chocolate Cranberry Citrus Yogurt!

This yogurt is nothing special, but tasted really good. Here is how I made my snack:

  • 6 oz fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Nestle hot chocolate mix (the chocolate component)
  • 1 tbsp dried Orange Cranberries
  • ~1/4 cup TJ's high fiber cereal

Here is is pre-mixing:

And a lot less pretty afterwards!

I have my very first class of the quarter tonight from 7-10. I am going to see how long these technical difficulties last as it is very hard to do anything without proper access to our server- an impromptu workout may be in store with my newly acquired free time!
Though it is sunny now, I am off to make some tea or hot chocolate.
Have a great afternoon!