Monday, May 31, 2010

Rounding Out the Weekend

I'm not sure that there is 1 thing about this weekend that I would change. It was full of friends, sun, food, and fun. What more could I ask for?!

I made sure to hydrate after laying out for about an hour and a half this morning and taking care of a few things. I knew I wanted to get in a workout of some sort so I did most of the Intro to Iron Pumping Day 1 routing plus 2 sets of 4 exercises from Self Magazine exercise cards. It was a quick 20 minutes that left my arms and abs burning!

I made lunch around 1 which ended up being a huge Kitchen Sink salad:

  • 1/4c homemade corn and black bean dip
  • 1/4c white beans
  • roasted beets
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 olives
  • pinch of parm
  • Italian veggie vinaigrette

    Plus last of a bag of chips, less than half a serving. With peach salsa. Yum!

    Mid-afternoon it was time to head over to my friends' apartment for a Memorial Day fiesta BBQ. The afternoon and evening was delightful. Good friends, good food, and great weather. There was even a toucan pinata that dispensed margaritas!

    I had about 3oz of margarita in my sippy cup I brought (I drank water on my walk over) and munched on a few chips with homemade salsa.

    A while later fajita chicken came off the grill and it was time to eat. This was my plate:

    I only ate half the tortilla bc it ripped and no black beans. However, I had 2 more servings of the El Salvadorian cole slaw and authentic Mexican pinto beans. These seriously were the best thing I ate all day long and I'd eat more now if I could!

    I had to make a quick pit stop at Whole Foods and then headed home. I munched on this snack and am watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey O:-)

    How was your weekend? Did you go away? Have a staycation?


    Happy Memorial Day! It's important that we take time on this day to remember those who have served our country and who have fought to protect our freedom and rights throughout our history. I know that I tend to get wrapped up in the joys of a long weekend, BBQs, and summer, but honoring those who protect our country is important.  I am always struck at how differently the US celebrates this holiday as compared to Memorial Day in Israel, for example, where the whole country is in a solemn mood and there are moments of silence and ceremonies to honor the fallen.

    Yesterday I woke up after another glorious night's sleep and made some breakfast. Despite the heat, I was in the mood for hot cereal, which I made with blueberries. It was delicious per usual but I know when it's time to move onto a new breakfast when I want to eat again as soon as I've finished the meal.

    I distracted myself with Google Reader and then got dressed and headed down to the National Mall for an afternoon picnic. A friend of mine from the sorority was in town so I met up with her and her friends. The Rolling Thunder are in town this weekend and I watched some of the parade as I walked to meet up with the group.

    There are over 250,000 bikers (most of whom are veterans) in town for this gathering! The parade of motorcyclists lasted over 3.5 hours from what we saw.

    We spread out our blankets near the Declaration of Independence monument which always reminds me of the lagoon in the Little Mermaid

    In addition to a few strawberries I grazed on throughout the afternoon, I had about a serving of baked chips and a turkey wrap on a GF brown rice tortilla with BBQ sauce, mustard, lettuce, and ~1 oz of turkey. Plus LOTS of water! 

    Believe it or not, I have never picnicked on the Mall in my time in DC. Why? No clue - it was so much fun! We enjoyed a beautifully sunny afternoon with old and new friends, bocce ball and frisbee, sunning, and lazing around. Needless to say, I was extremely happy. AND, I had another 5 Before 25 experience!

    I departed in the evening to clean up and head out to meet Bethany for dinner and a movie in honor of one of her last nights in DC.  I inhaled a pear to tide me over until dinner.

    We met at a favorite, Vapiano, where we toasted her [hopefully] quick return to DC with some wine (I drank half) and salads chock full of veggies. It was exactly what I was craving.

    We made our way to the theater to see SATC2, which I had only heard less-than-stellar reviews about but was still excited for.  As much as I love the series, there were a lot of things in the movie that irked me and left me with a semi-negative taste in my mouth (TWSS). I wasn't expecting much and I do love the series and the first movie. However, there really wasn't a plot and those small irks still bother me somewhat. Maybe it's time to dust off the series DVDs to cope...

    Bethany and I said "see you soon" and it was time for bed.

    This morning I kicked off my holiday a bit earlier than the rest of the weekend (9am as opposed to 10:30... I <3 sleep) and decided on a cool breakfast.  I mixed 2 chopped strawberries and 1 small pear, chopped with cinnamon, 1/4c Greek yogurt, 1/4T chia seeds, and a light PB drizzle. Plus a slice of toast with Earth Balance.

    Cool, refreshing, and filling!  I also made a cup of NesCafe instant coffee from a stash of samples I was sent to try. As a coffee novice, I've really enjoyed the various flavors. They are simple to make (empty packet into mug, add boiling water, and stir) and do the trick. This morning's cup became ice coffee which I brought up to my roof for some quality time catching up on reading in the sunshine :-D

    The rest of the day will include lots of hydrating, weights of some sort, and a big BBQ with friends. I can't wait!

    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    A Summer Girl, Always

    I truly believe that no matter where else I live, I will always compare the weather (and warmth) to that of Texas. What can I say, long summers warm me up and I yearn for beautiful summer days!  What about you? What's your favorite season?

    Yesterday the office closed early and I headed off to PT session #2, which involved heat, ultrasound, some stretches and massage, and an ice cool down. From there, since I was dressed for it, I walked to the gym and did Day 3 of the Intro to Iron Pumping plan. My abs have been loving all of the attention this week and are quite sore, which is a good thing!

    I took advantage of the free time to clean my apartment and do laundry (hey, it has to get done sometime) and then spent the night at 2 friends' housewarming party. It was great!

    Today's been another enjoyable one as well. I think having Monday off is making this feel like a little summer vacation and my schedule is packed. I had a light breakfast this morning because I slept til 10am and had lunch plans at 1. It was easily 10:30 before I got up and got my act together.

    This bowl is a chopped pair with 1/4c Greek yogurt, ~1tsp TJs AB sauce with almond milk and a pinch of chia seeds.

    I had lunch with my former boss in Georgetown and then decided to walk back the long way, through the main drag to continue enjoying the day.  After a few errands, I went back to Georgetown to see the movie Letters to Juliet.

    Snack in between errands and the movie was an egg white and piece of toast.

    The movie was a sweet romantic comedy and was everything you would expect it to be. I did enjoy getting to stare at the Tuscan countryside for 2 hours as well!

    On my walk home, I got a really strong craving for Thai and I knew I didn't want to get take out. Instead I concocted a play on Pad See Eiw, one of my favorites.

    I boiled some rice sticks while I made my sauce. It included GF soy and teriyaki sauces, a pinch of sugar, and garlic powder mixed together.

    In a non-stick sprayed pan, I cooked up some broccoli and bell pepper strips. Once soften, I added some leftover cooked beet greens mixture, fresh basil from my plant, and 2oz of tofu plus half a serving of the rice noodles. I stirred to mix everything evenly and then added my sauce and cooked til it had all been absorbed. It was quick and easy and tasted great as well!

    I had this alongside a small side of kim chi.

    And then ate a peach with a bit of ice cream from the carton while talking to a close friend on the phone. It was good to catch up!

    Tonight I'm off to see friends and then tomorrow the fun-filled weekend continues! The fact that summer's here makes me so happy, in such an inexplicable way.

    Do you find yourself affected by the weather? By the seasons?

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Almost there!

    I don't know about you but I am definitely ready for the weekend. I have a lot going on that I'm excited about and can't wait to get the good times started!

    The past couple of days have been pretty normal. There were 2 delicious bowls of hot cereal - one with mixed berries and one with blueberries. Despite the warm temperatures, I still find this breakfast to be satisfying and delicious and will enjoy it for as long as I can. It always fuels my mornings!

    Lunches were actually almost identical. A huge salad with local beets, carrot, 1/4c white beans, a few olives, dressed with dill, oregano, and Annie's lite honey mustard dressing. I had a few Mary's Gone Crackers (black pepper flavored) on the side  and beet greens yesterday and a cup of asparagus today.

    Afternoon snack yesterday before pilates was 1/4c plain non-fat yogurt with a few frozen berries on top and today I had an orange and a slice of toast with ~1/3 of a slice of provolone.

    Dinner last night was kind of blah except for the pear and English muffin I had. I ate half with cheese and hot sauce and half with Earth Balance. I then proceeded to eat some brown rice mixed with almond milk, raisins, and cinnamon (rice pudding style) simply because I wasn't satisfied. Mindless munching at its best :-)

    Dinner tonight, on the other hand, was delicious and made use of the other bunch of beet greens I had in my fridge. I cleaned and cut them up and sauteed them in a non-stick sprayed pan with 1/4c chopped onion, 1 diced carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic.  I set aside the sauteed greens and then cooked up about 1 cup of broccoli and bell pepper strips. Once they were heated through, I added in about half of the beet green mixture and some GF soy sauce. Stir fried it for a bit and addd 1/4c cooked brown rice and a serving of tofu that I roasted up. It was so good and I like the pictures of it as well!

    I'm thinking dessert will be some chocolate soy ice cream with strawberries but we shall see.

    What's a favorite meal of yours that turned out surprisingly well? Something that you imagined working out that fell short?

    Getting There

    Each week since I stopped wearing my walking cast, I've been noticing a lot of improvements in my foot, posture, and strength on the left side of my body. My physical therapy session on Monday was a great impetus to start readjusting back to my old routine, just without a lot of impact on my legs.

    According to my physical therapist, I also have weak hips which he wants me to work on strengthening through pilates and some other exercises. Here are just a couple of the moves I'm doing every day - some focus on hips and some (like wall sits and wimpy calf raises) are just to help me get comfortable putting my full weight on my left foot again:

    I've dusted off my gym membership card and have been going there to do my exercises and squeeze in some other exercise as well. I want to focus on regaining my strength overall and have started following the Fitnessista's Intro to Weight Lifting plan (with modifications) in addition to my regular pilates class. My upper body and abs are already feeling stronger!

    The biggest chance I'm noticing is the speed with which I'm able to walk these days. I use the ball of my foot and am frequently passing people on my walks around the city and able to walk for longer!  I still haven't run a step because I don't feel like I'm fully healed or able to wear anything but my cushy sneakers.

    Every day I'm getting better and hopefully I'll be able to wear real shoes in a few weeks for a friend's wedding!

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Farm Fresh

    On Sunday, I took a trip to my local farmer's market with the goal of picking up the 1 item I needed. In addition to that, I stumbled upon some amazing looking golden and red beets and decided that I would treat myself to one of my favorite vegetables.

    In total, there were about 10 beets between the 2 bunches and the bunches together probably weighed a few pounds. That's a lot of greens!

    I spent some time prepping the greens, cutting the beets off and soaking the greens 2x to loosen and rinse away the dirt. I scrubbed and then wrapped each beet individually and placed them in a preheated oven (400 degrees) and roasted them until tender, about 1 hour.

    When the beets were done, I unwrapped them and let them sit until cool enough to handle. The bottoms were cut off and the skins peeled off with ease. These beauties are the fruits of my labor:

    I made a twist of this dish using the large bunch of golden beet greens. The greens had water left in them so I didn't add any extra broth or water which yielded a hearty batch of greens with some veggie broth as well. Sooo good!

    For lunch today, all I could think of was the beets sitting in my fridge and I knew it was time to put them to good use. With some cheese toast on the side, behold a beast of a salad:

    • ~3-4c spinach and mixed greens
    • 1c sliced golden and red beets
    • dill and oregano
    • 1/4c white beans
    • 1 diced carrot
    • ~1tsp crushed almond slices
    • balsamic vinegar
    This was a solid combination which I am excited to have again soon! And it was fresh, mostly local, and naturally gluten free!

    Pre-gym snack was an apple with cinnamon and PB. Once at the gym, I completed all of my physical therapy exercises plus Day 1 of this weight-lifting plan. All the lifting I've done since my injury is paying off - I had to move up 2.5lbs for all of the exercises! At least some things have gotten stronger since my injury :) 

    I wasn't too hungry after I got home but ate this small dinner as I watched the Biggest Loser finale: 1 serving TJs cuban black beans with a small sweet potato and beet greens.