Sunday, November 29, 2009


Something wonderful happens when I am not stuck at my computer for five days out of the week- I just enjoy life.  Although my hubby says that I am an Internet addict and didn't stop checking blogs or email on my iPhone, I did not spend any time at all near my computer yesterday and it felt frieken fantabulous.  I let go of my blogging duties and slacked, but I hope you understand.
I do want to rewind back to Friday.  My mom put on a beautiful spread, like always.  We had some black caviar, which is a true delicacy and I never miss, since I only eat it once a decade or so.  I don't know if these were on your Thanksgiving table, but we had some non-traditional dishes that simply rocked my world.
Stuffed tomatoes:

Chicken stuffed puffed pastry:

Georgian wine (not Georgia, where the peaches grow, but the former Soviet Republic):

A spread of dessert including strawberries, raspberries, TJ's chocolates, and opera cake:

There was even an impromptu game of ping pong, minus the rackets:

Don't worry, my nephew didn't get it either.  He did, however give me my workout for the night.

Yesterday we celebrated our grandma's birthday.  I was a goon and forgot to take pictures of our delicious meal at PF Chang's.  We did go back to have some more cake and chat with the family.  I think she had a good time surrounded by family and by the jokes hubby made.  He always makes her laugh.

We all watched a Russian movie and I totally missed the plot. I took self-portraits of us instead:

I've been working on homework and on a photo book of our wedding.  It has taken the better part of my day and my patience, but I'm determined to finish!

I'll be back later with some re-vamped leftovers and my new find!  Later bellas and fellas!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Ride 2009

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday with their families!  We are doing Thanksgiving: The Sequel tonight, so I'm likely going to be wearing elastic waistband pants for the next few weeks.

We had a great day yesterday and while our meal was good, I'd like to share our 2nd Annual Turkey Ride with you instead.  This time last year we had purchased new bikes after moving to our new home.  We wanted to explore the local trails and ended up riding 50 or so miles (it took us 5 hours).  Thanksgiving was not a fun dinner that year because it hurt to sit down or get back up! 
This time we took a more moderate approach and set out for a 3-hour ride.

We rode along some beautiful trails

Stopped to look at some horses

And made it home in time for me to bake the turkey.  Did you know that a 5-pound turkey can take almost 3 hours to bake?  Because it can!  Luckily everything else was ready and like I said, I didn't have a very large audience.

Staying Fit During the Holidays
It's that wonderful time of the year when people ooze sugar, alcohol, and holiday cheer!  I've read lots of great tips of how to stay healthy during the holidays.  Here are some of the best ones:
  • Don't eat the canned, store-bought, bottled junk.  Eat grandma's special pie, but don't eat the sugar cookie from the grocery store brought in by your lazy co-worker
  • Stay active- make fun family outings out of it, try something new, or just follow your own schedule
  • There are only 3 or 4 holidays- Thanksgiving, Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and New Year.  Celebrate on those days, and then move on with the very next meal!
What is your best tip on staying healthy during the holidays?

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It's Thanksgiving morning and I'm getting started on some cooking.  Since it's a small crowd of 3 and not a lot of big eaters, the pressure is off of me!  I just hope I don't mess up the turkey (which is the size of a chicken)!  The first time I made a turkey I was on the phone with my mom the whole time getting schooled in the art of turkey.

A lot of bloggers have done lovely posts about the things they are thankful for this year and here are mine:
  • I'm thankful for having food to eat every day
  • I'm thankful for my family, both my "new" family and the relationships I have been able to strengthen this year within my "old" family
  • I'm thankful for marrying my husband and how he makes me laugh every single day
  • I'm thankful for our beautiful house that is becoming our home
  • I'm thankful for my job
  • I'm thankful for my favorite toys- (espresso maker and  iPhone and flat iron, OH MY!)
  • I'm thankful for my friendships
  • I'm thankful that I am able to blog and find an outlet for my love of all things nutrition and health and that people actually read!
I hope you have a beautiful, warm holiday with your family and friends, lots of good eats, and lots of great memories!

I'll be back with some recaps later tonight!
Love you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Day I Forgot My Pants

Today began with the regular morning ritual of running around, chugging coffee, and getting dressed- all rushed by the fact that I have to be basically dragged out of bed by my patient husband.  I quickly packed the hubby's lunch, forgot about mine, and was off to work!
Once I got to work I enjoyed my Thursday and realized midway through the day that I forgot my pants and started freaking out.  Before you think I'm some kind of a deviant, these were only my gym pants, (actually, my whole gym bag), but I can do wonders with a t-shirt- running in slacks, however, is not an option.  It reminded me of the episode of How I Met Your Mother when Marshall forgot his pants:

Photo Source

This is my favorite show ever.  Sorry if I lost anyone on that one.
I went to the $12 salad bar store and actually got a reasonably priced salad.  I call this Mediterranean/Asian Fusion:

  • Falafel with tahini
  • Olives
  • Ginger
  • Kim-Chee
  • Sprout and mung sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Siracha!
I also topped this off with a work-provided trailmix:

I had to chuck the peanuts because I wasn't feeling them.
I came home, carb loaded, changed into my pants, and now I'm not-so-patiently waiting to digest so that I can go to the gym. 

I'm on post 144, which means that I'm almost at 150!  The hubby will be making his posting debut at post 150, so get your party pants on and get ready!

Mom on the Run is having an awesome giveaway!  Go visit her site!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is That a Pumpkin?

Today when I was stress-eating my persimmon, I remembered people in high school and college always asking me if I was eating a pumpkin, one of the people included my last boss, who nearly drove me to insanity.

I am also proud to say that I have eaten an entire butternut squash today- of course not in one sitting, but at lunch and dinner.  I'm not sure if proud is a good word for it, but it happened.

The blob on the left is wasabi- it tastes good on everything and makes me wish I wasn't born all at the same time!  Mmmmm wasabi!
I also indulged in my new favorite food- Fancy Medjool dates.

Not only were they worth the $4 I paid for them, but also worth the 'date' jokes I got from the burly Trader Joe's cashier who was trying to show me where they were in the store.  I appreciated the effort.
I had them with a smear of this magic:

I'm so glad that Monday/Wednesday is over and it's time to move on to Tuesday/Thursday!  I'm getting really excited for Thanksgiving and we have lots of celebrating to do!  On Thursday we are keeping it low key and celebrating our first Thanksgiving together as a little family, Friday will be spent with my parents, and Saturday will be spent with the hubby's family.  I am only cooking for Thursday, so there is not much pressure on me!

I'm keeping it simple and here is my Thanksgiving Menu (so far):
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Roasted Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts
  • Homemade sourdough stuffing
  • Fall mixed greens salad (with pomegranate arils, persimmons, apples)
  • The smallest turkey ever 
  • Appetizers, cranberry sauce, and dessert- all TBD
Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year?  What's your favorite thing to make/eat?
I heart roasted veggies, and cranberry sauce- lots of cranberry sauce!  I also attack the desserts like crazy too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Favorite Things

What a beautiful weekend it was!  It included my favorite things- food, fitness, great company, and wedding stuff! 

First the food!  
On Saturday morning we watched Food Inc., a movie that I have been waiting to see since it came out, but forgot about until now!  I know that a lot of bloggers have already reviewed this movie, but I think it raises a lot of important issue that we should be aware of as consumers.  I loved that two of my favorite authors, Eric Schlosser and Michal Pollan played important roles in the movie.  I'm kind of a groupie of these two authors and highly recommend you read any of their books!
Food Inc. has a comprehensive website that eloquently explains this, much more so than my goofy ramblings, but here are my takeaways from the movie:
  • We all have the right to know where our food comes from.  If the information is not available, then ask.
  • We have the right to food safety.  Measures need to be taken to make sure that the government is protecting us, not just the interests of the lobbyists and organizations stuffing green in their Gucci wallets.
  • Poor nutrition is causing obesity and many other health conditions like diabetes. The correlation between poor nutrition and socioeconomic status is staggering and it should not cost more to buy a vegetable than a burger!
  • Read labels, ask questions, and vote with your dollars!
OK, enough preaching from me!
I discovered some new food finds this weekend, one of which includes nut butter:

Sunland Inc. sent me this sample of Organic Vanilla Cranberry Peanut Butter.  The color of this peanut butter is more yellow than other kinds and this is my first flavored peanut butter ever!  It was a bit sweet, but I tasted the subtle taste of vanilla and some kind of berry too!  I think that kids would love this and it's a wholesome product with only 4 all natural, organic ingredients.  I will definitely keep this for a special occasion (OK, who in the world keeps nut butter for a special occasion??) and will try to not finish this jar off in a few days!  Thanks again for letting me sample this!  Also, check out the Recipe section of the site.  I have my eyes on the peanut sauces- and apparently you can make doggie treats too.

I also finally got to try and attack my Foodbuzz Festival samples from Frog Hollow Farms!

The dried peaches are delicious and the granola is dangerous!  So, so good and I will definitely be dipping my fingers into these when I need something sweet.  I have been dreaming of the Frog Hollow pears ever since I tried them at the farmer's market and I can't wait to walk down to the market to get one!
After dreaming about the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, I forgot that we had a perfectly good one right in our city!  I met a man who kicks my Marketing degree's butt with his convincing "5 pounds for 5 dollars" sales pitch (in English, Spanish, and Spanglish)!  I went right to him and grabbed my persimmons:

This is not even all of them and we are now in fruit heaven and this is mine, all mine!  The nice man also threw in a couple of tangerines and this ginormous Asian Pear:

It is seriously the size of a small cantelope!  While shopping I also saw some other freakishly large vegetables, that I tried to justify buying, but finally didn't. 
Also in food news, I got 2 B-nut squashes and roasted one up with dill, red pepper, and some sea salt:

And I roasted some chicpeas with more dill and stuff.  These taste like soynuts to me!  Abby is right!

Hubby wanted me to show you what he was excited over- OLIVES!  This may be his favorite food, ever.

My dinner had chicpeas, spinach, tomato, and egg.  It isn't the most intuitive combination, I know, but it tasted so good, especially with all the hot sauce I doused it in.  I'll be having this again soon!

In fitness news, I got in 2 fun workouts this weekend.  Yes, I'm the freak who takes a picture of her workout stats:

This was 30 minutes of walking hills and a few sprints in between.  It has hot and I wasn't feeling it, so I decided it was a perfect time to throw in some weights.  Since I haven't lifted in a while, I did 2 exercises each of chest, tris, and shoulders and stretched really well afterwards.  I did have an incident in which my balance ball rolled right under me, but nobody seemed to notice!

Today I attacked the old  Torture Chamber ('mill) to get my distance up.  I set the time for 45 minutes and busted out 3.8 miles.  If you do the math, it wasn't fast, but at 5'4", I practically sprint at 5.3 MPH!  I am also having some minor hip pain, which proves my hypothesis of being roughly 79 years old.  I cooled down with some stretching and sun salutations and called it a day!

Great Company and Wedding!

We spent Saturday afternoon celebrating Hubby's mom's birthday!  I of course forgot my camera, but it didn't stop anyone from having a great time.  We went to a Persian restaurant and my spinach salad was awesome!  We also came home to have cake:

(Picture taken this morning, as hubby was eating breakfast dessert)
I also discovered the first chocolate item in the world that I didn't like because it was a whipped cream cake.  You may not understand how shocking this is- it may be like foregoing oxygen for a day, or something like that.  I don't think anyone really would have wanted me to eat that cake if they knew the consequences!  We also had a great time watching the video that our new Step-dad, Stan put together for us (STAN- if you are reading, I have now said your name twice, so keep going!) including photos and a video of our wedding!  It was so nice to actually see how things went down since I was in my bridal stupor and could not really remember most of the wedding.  Look how cute the CD covers are:

I'm going to go shower (for my own well-being and that of those around me) and to watch Amazing Race!  Tomorrow is another day at my favorite place, but it's only a 3-day week, so Hump Day, here I come!

Oh- and in other news- hubby got the surround sound working!  I have spent half of the evening wondering why people are yelling at me and also had a living room dance party (just me) testing out the woofer.  We can throw a mad party now!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Friday

I don't think I have ever been happier to celebrate the end of a week, ever!  It was a tough one, but we made it!
My Friday started out in the most delicious way- AB & Banana.  Whenever I eat this, I gross out my husband, which makes is exponentially more delicious!

I used my Alvarado Street Bakery California Complete Protein bread, a gigantic banana and 1 Tbsp raw almond butter.  The hearty bread (which I bought at Costco) and the crunch of the almond butter made this an awesome combo! I also loved the sunshine coming into the kitchen from the window!
While I enjoyed my almond butter goodness, I looked over to see my husband playing with his new toys- our new surround sound system:

I have a feeling that I may be ignored for the next couple of days until this is all set up!  I can't wait to start watching movies with this, because I'm told it will change our lives!
Lunch was my uneaten salad from last plus the addition of b-nut sqash:

It was all kinds of Fall goodness mixed together.  I heated it up and I swear it tasted like stuffing, minus the bread and sausage that tried to poison me the other night!  When I came home, I had this fabulous package waiting for me:

This was the prize I won in Jessica's giveaway!
This is some delicious preserves from American Spoon (with the coolest url ever-!  I'm so excited to try it out.  Thanks again Jessica

I'm blogging so late at night since we just got back from a dinner at our rabbi's house.  It was a really nice dinner, with healthy food, good conversation (even a little bit of food science and nutrition thrown in) and a great way to start the weekend.  I love the concept of slowing things down from madness to relaxation.  Do you do anything to unwind from the week to start your weekend? 
In case you are wondering, the hubby is still on the floor trying to set up our sound system.  New update coming tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It Ain't Easy Being Vegan

I started my day excited that I finally got sleep and made a quick decision this morning that I would do the vegan challenge like the other bloggers, both because it sounded like fun and because I wanted to be sure to get back on track today.
Things that are vegan

Raisins, almonds, and peanuts are vegan!

Granny Smith apples are vegan!  So are the Fuji apple and Chili spiced mango I ate today.

Not Vegan
The soup I kept in my office, which was a vegetable soup was not.  I realize that vegetarian is not vegan, but when something says vegetable soup, it can be quite tricky.  As I was doing my dance waiting for the microwave to do its magic, I found some parm cheese product in there- fail!  I should have done a better job of looking, but I was in a pinch and that was all I had to eat with me.

My plan was to leave work early today, but I got an awesome finance task at exactly 4:00 PM and was not able to leave until 4:45- still earlier than my usual!  I walked home from my train ride while listening to my music and hurried to change into my Zumba outfit.  This week I got there early to avoid any potential casualties like last time and got to act silly and forget the awfulness that the last couple of days brought.  It's my new favorite TGIAF celebration!

I had to run to Trader Joe's after work and my hungry stomach got me into another vegan mess.  I grabbed a food sample without even looking- it ended up being stuffing with some kind of sausage- I didn't get any pieces of it, but I should have totally looked, because I seriously don't eat sausage- ever.  Flustered, but still hungry, I grabbed these for a snack on the way home:

They didn't have any questionable ingredients, but they are processed in a place that uses the same equipment as wheat, nuts, and dairy products.  Did I mess up again?
Once I got home, I cooked a very non-vegan soup for the Huz, who thinks he has been getting sick for the last 3 days or so:

Chicken Noodle Soup is not vegan (but not for me).
I also made this salad:

  • Carrots
  • Apple
  • Celery
  • Pom seeds (to me they will always be seeds)
  • Balsamic, pom juice, honey dressing (honey is not vegan)
I changed my mind and decided I wanted berry apple crisp (minus the crisp) instead:

I feel like I have had a satisfying day overall- I wasn't craving meat or dairy all day and I have been considering cutting some dairy because every time I eat it I get a food baby- and not in any kind of a good way.  I'm not ready to make any huge changes or label myself, but it was a fun challenge and I respect all the folks who do it regularly- it takes a lot of detective work and preparedness or you end up feeling bamboozled in the middle of your favorite grocery store.
I'm cooking up a batch of heaven for tomorrow- and I'm thinking of having some for breakfast. 

Butternut squash and ketchup ARE vegan!

Did you do Vegan Thursday?  What did you think?

Also, since when is Dakota Fanning a teenager?  I'm watching her on Leno and she's wearing a hawt outfit...and talking about driving.  Gawd I'm getting old.

I'm Still Kickin'

Hey Kids!  I've been MIA because my work has been trying to kill me.  After 2 days of at least 12 hours each, a lot of coffee, a lot of crappy food, and thinking that it was dinner time at 3:30 since I had been up since 5, I'm done with my portion of it!  I decided not to blog during that time because my postings would have been toxic and nobody needs that! Happy Dance!

I'll be back with regular posting, but I wanted to give a shout to  She's having her first, awesome giveaway!  Please visit her, but don't enter since I want to win!

Today is also Vegan Thursday being hosted by and !  I'm giving it a shot today since I unintentionally eat veggie most of the time during the week and need to get in some good veggies today after not taking good care of myself for the last 2 days!
I have no food to show you, but I leave you with my recent favorite picture of the Notorious B.E.N. eating the cupcakes he helped bake and I feel the whole world needs to see.

Hope you are having a fabulous Thursday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Soup Review and Staying Full

Hi Kids!  Hope you survived your Monday!  I barely made it, but it's one day down and we are 4 days away from the weekend!
Last week I was lucky enough to receive a sample of the Campbell's V8 Garden Vegetable Soup in a cute shipment, including a notebook, pen, pedometer, and reusable bag.  I am pretty skeptical about packaged soups and I rarely purchase them because they never satisfy me.  They are often not worth the ingredients or calories.  It's not that I am a gourmet chef, but I like to think that I can make something better and I like to know exactly what goes in my food.

I decided that the ultimate test of this soup would be on a day that I needed to stay full and it would be a while until my next meal.  I opened the soup and poured it in a bowl- I used the whole box since it was the main part of my meal and only 240 calories.  I irrationally poured out tons of pepper in it, because that's what my dad does and I picked up that habit somewhere along the way:

The color was a bit like baby food, but the texture was pleasantly thicker than I expected.  The taste was very mild and I enjoyed it.  I think it would be a good base to add your own frozen veggies and extra spices like paprika and cumin for a little kick.  I like my soups full of flavor and spice.  I would love to try some of their other flavors, like Golden Butternut Squash. I hope the folks at Campbell's don't mind that I snagged their nutritional info:

Based on the taste and nutritional profile, I came up with my little pros and cons list:
  • Convenient
  • Low calorie
  • Tastes good
  • 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, not too much added sugar
  • It's packaged and I don't do packaged
  • It could use a little bit of spice, but it's likely my Tabasco-influenced palate
  • There is 20% of your daily value of sodium
Thanks again for letting me sample this soup!
I'm not sure if it was the soup, but I did stay full that day, which is a miracle in itself!  I did have a couple of these high fiber friends to help me:

Beautiful sugar snap peas and a sugary sweet organic Bartlett pear

Feeling Satisfied
I'm always looking for the right combination of foods to fill my stomach and give me enough energy without getting hungry or overstuffed.  I did not do a good job of that today when I had a sandwich the size of my head (I have a big head) and was stuffed for 8 hours!  I felt sluggish and queasy and it was no fun.  I prefer a higher volume of lower calorie foods to fill me up, but not make me want to take a nap right away!  I hate the word diet, and I never say I'm on one, but sometimes I just get it wrong and it's alright sometimes.  There is no perfect combination, but I'm still working on mine!  What combinations of food keep you satisfied?

Since I was more than properly fueled for the gym, I busted out a really fun treadmill run (for me)/jog (for anyone else).  I did 3.5 miles in 40 minutes and felt awesome.  I had the entertainment of my iPhone there to find awesome youtube videos to run to!  Some of the highlight's included Brit's new video, lotsa Shakira, some old school hip hop (Sir Mix-a-Lot) and a little Gipsy Kings.  I followed it up with some stretching so that I don't limp tomorrow.  I stretched to Pachebel Canon in D Major- it's so calming and reminds me of our wedding since that's the song I walked out to...ah memories!

Dinner tonight was really fun!

It's cold for me (I think it's 50 degrees, maybe) and I decided I wanted to make berry apple crisp.  I microwaved berries and half of an apple and then added 1/4 cup of TJ's Blueberry granola.  It was perfectly warm and comforting.
It was enjoyed with my Jasmin Green Tea obsession:

I also had a nice green apple with raw almond butter.  And for fun, here is the husband's dinner:

Yes, that's 3/4 of a blender full of protein powder, frozen fruit, yogurt, and juice.  His secret ingredient today was lemon juice and he shared a sip with me to showcase his mixologist skills. 
I'm now procrastinating my shower and getting ready to go to bed, which I desparately need to do.  I stayed up way too late watching the Kardashian Wedding Special last night since I still love everything wedding-relate- don't judge.  Bed time!

Thanks for reading!