Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's all about the mouth

Hey there. I hope you've had a great Saturday. I know I have! 

It started this morning with sleeping in (even if I stayed up a bit too late doing who knows what) and whipping up a quick breakfast before heading out the door. I had some strawberries plus an egg white on a piece of toast with spinach and red pepper spread. PS - have you noticed my addiction to it? There might need to be an intervention - I bought a new jar yesterday for when the current one runs out!

I then met one of my friends Toby on campus to drive out to the suburbs. On the agenda - berry picking!! Yes, I did just go at the beginning of June. Yes, the beets I cooked yesterday were the last of the ones I picked on that June trip. Clearly, I can't get enough of delicious summer goodies!

We met at our other friend Michelle's house and then headed for lunch. We went to Cheeburger where they have these amazing "Build Your Own Salad" options on the menu. I didn't snag a picture but imagine a salad with mushrooms, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, baby corn, and salsa. I enjoyed it!

Then it was off to the farm. We headed for the plum trees first. Funny story - we did a full walk of the area where the plum trees were and found nothing. Then we were told that we walked the wrong row. It turns out we went to the correct place and most of the fruit had been picked they were getting ready to open a second plum area of the farm. The only good plums we saw were off-limits for picking :( They were changing the sign as we left later on. I guess that speaks to how fresh things are! Here were my few little plums I picked:

Then it was off to tomatoes and raspberries. Since I'm leaving town later this week I didn't want to load up on too many things but also wanted to be able to freeze some of this summer tastiness to enjoy when I'm sad about winter. I found one plump, juicy, warm-from-the-sun tomato and have big plans for it this week.

Plus some red and yellow raspberries which I'm very excited about.

Blackberries were the most in-season fruit we picked today and there are not enough words to describe how delicious they are! At one point, I shared with my friends that "It is such a shame. Some of these ripe, amazing blackberries are falling off the bush and straight into my mouth."  Enter Toby with the line of the month "Sometimes your mouth just gets in the way." Well-played Toby, well-played. If she only knew :)  8 hours later and I'm still amused by the comment...

Regardless, I was super happy to bring back a couple of pounds of blackberries and I'll be darned if they go to waste! I sported purple fingers with pride.

On our drive back to the District, we stopped for Slurpees which were just what the doctor ordered. I got a small blue raspberry one and instantly felt better with a little sugar and having something cold. My mouth was happy.

I needed a small snack before dinner and craved salty. Enter a few brown rice chips plus a cracker with hummus. Again - happy mouth.

Then it was off to celebrate my friend Shelby's 25th birthday. I was excited for dinner at Casa Oaxaca (wha-ha-ca) as the last time it was amazing. Things started off with a passion fruit margarita.

I ordered the vegetable tacos that had a mix of zucchini, onion, corn, and mushrooms served on freshly made corn tortillas. There was also black beans and rice and a little corn salsa. I got the cheese on the side.

These were amazing! So flavorful and fresh. There really is nothing as delicious as handmade tortillas. Nothing. I savored each and every bite and didn't leave too stuffed. I even brought home 1 of my tacos and rice and beans.

Enjoying an amazing meal with friends is such a great experience. What a perfect Saturday. And, I know that if nothing else, my mouth agrees!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Flow of the Week

Happy weekend everyone! Are you ready to relax? I know I am! 

As much as I love to do something on a whim every now and then, I have to admit that I'm a creature of habit. It's not too terribly OCD, but I find myself maintaining a routine that works for me and my schedule and crave that order. In the last few weeks though, I have noticed that my routine is a bit off. Why? I don't know for sure but there's a few things I can pinpoint:
  • My exercise routine changed and became more sporadic
  • Work has picked up leaving me with busy days full of meetings and things to do
  • I'm studying for the GMAT
  • I'm working on some major improvements to the Gluten Free Grazer :-)
  • I'm snacking at night even when I know I shouldn't. Especially carbs like cereal or toast
  • There's just lots of things going on!
None of them are excuses and I am definitely not complaining. I'm definitely challenging myself to manage my time wisely and have packed evenings many nights on top of full days. It all makes me wonder what'll happen once I toss some business school classes into the mix in a month. Oy. I want to find a healthy balance!!!

Nonetheless I promise that my mind is always thinking about ways to keep things interesting here on the blog and Once I've tweaked my routine, blogging should follow suite as well.

Are you a person who craves routine or loves to fly by the seat of your pants?

One thing that has been great and consistent has been the food.  Yesterday's breakfast was a delicious bowl of overnight cereal in the crack crunchy almond butter with flax jar. There were cherries and blueberries added to the standard mix with a few crushed almond slices on top.

I clearly hated it ;)

Lunch was a salad topped with veggies and a small grilled chicken breast. Plus half a serving on Food Should Taste Goods. I'm addicted to them!

Then temptation struck. These surfaced in our office and while I intended to have just a few, I had the bag and enjoyed every drop. Sometimes you just have to have regular ole Lays!

Before I left work I snacked on a serving of watermelon that I cut up on Sunday. It helped hydrate me for a nice, albeit humid, walk across town for a friend's birthday happy hour. I didnt drink anything but nibbled on a few chips before heading back home (walked again.) It was a great way to get in ~3.75 miles of exercise after work.

I had the last half of this black bean soup I brought home from Whole Foods, plus a small salad topped with hummus and a pear. The rest of the night was low key.

This morning I was craving carbs and something savory - enter my favorite Friday breakfast: egg white sandwich on an English muffin. I had it open face with spinach, red pepper spread, and hot sauce with a couple of strawberries on the side. This Friday "treat" breakfast is definitely becoming part of my routine!

Mid-morning I had to go get a DTap (tetanus) booster shot so that I can take class. It was quick and painless and I got a cool multi-colored Garfield band-aid. That appealed to my inner 5-year old.

Lunch was a big salad with romaine, spinach, cannelini beans, carrot, asparagus, broccoli, with hummus and red pepper on the side. Plus some more chips.

Afternoon snack was even more watermelon and then I made my way to a treat to kick off my weekend. I stopped into a nearby salon after work to kick off my weekend with a 15 minute chair massage. It felt sooooooooo good, loosened up my shoulders and upper back, and quickly snapped me into weekend-mode. I <3 making that switch!

Dinner was 2 part. The first was kale chips and some carrot fries while I waited for tofu to bake.

The second was a half cup of brown rice with spinach and tofu on top. I bought Nasoya Lite tofu this week at the store as compared to my usual extra firm 365 brand. I really liked the texture of the Nasoya tofu and the fact that the whole block is only 200 calories! Don't worry, I didn't eat it all...but I could...

Then I roasted and cut up beets that have been in my fridge since mid-June when I went berry picking. They are just as delicious and fresh tasting as the day I bought them! I felt like a purple smurf though :)

It's been a perfectly relaxing evening and I'm at least grateful that my favorite part of the week has finally arrived! Of course I unwound with some warm, carb-y goodness O:-)


How to Cut a Watermelon

At the farmers market on Sunday, I picked up this beautiful watermelon! I have been seriously craving this delicious summer fruit but had yet to buy a melon this summer. Why? I didn't want to buy one that was too big for me to eat before it spoiled AND, when you have to carry a heavy fruit on top of other groceries .85 miles back from the store, you think twice before you make the purchase.

At the market though, the stars aligned and I snagged up a watermelon without a second thought. They were priced at $1.25 a pound, and no melon over $5. For local, fresh melon, done. Plus, I only had to carry the ~7lb beauty 2 blocks. It was a deal all around :)

I cut up my watermelon so that I could enjoy it all week long. This process only took me 15 minutes and there wasn't too much clean up!

First cut the watermelon in half.

Then slice each half. I got 3 or 4 slices out of each half.

For each piece, slice the melon all the way down to the white part of the rind. Then run your knife along the rind freeing up the pieces you just cut.

Depending on your preference, you can cut the pieces of melon into smaller chunks or keep them bigger.

Repeat until your whole melon is cut, put in sealable containers, and enjoy!

My one melon yielded these 2 huge containers. I have been enjoying every bite thus far B-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mid-Week Musing

Hi folks! We're over the hump, now it's on to Friday :)  I'm pretty sure I say that every week yet every week it seems so fitting.

Since Wednesday's eats were a bunch of repeats (I'm not in a rut, I'm just enjoying things like overnight GF hot cereal, hummus and veg wraps, etc.) I thought I'd share a few things that have popped into my head over the past couple of days.
  • Last night I felt like the pilates gods had listened to my frustrations from last week. I was the only person in class at 3 minutes past the start time and was told I was going to get a private lesson and we began. Another person walked in the door right after but having a 2:1 ratio was great. We really got challenged to perfect our form, do some customized moves, and challenge ourselves in new ways. I really feel like my abs (and back, legs, arms, etc.) are getting stronger and I'm ready to bring on more advanced poses! It's a great feeling to be getting back strength and flexibility after losing much of it while I was in my walking cast this winter.
  • My neighborhood Whole Foods often puts items on clearance that have been discontinued or they've just decided to stop carrying them. Last night I discovered these two nut butters on the table, for just $1.00 each! I got really excited. Well, at least until I checked the ingredients list. I discovered added oils, milk, and lots of soy. Despite the incredible bargain, I realized I wasn't willing to buy a nut butter with dairy and processed add-ins. Looks like for now I'll be sticking with this for my chocolate nut butter fix!
  • Aching for vacation - so next week I am taking a long weekend to vacation down in Miami, FL with my family. I couldn't be more excited for some traveling and adventure, a change of scenery, family time, and of course, fun in the sun. I started looking forward to the trip last week and now am just ready to get this show on the road. Do you anxiously anticipate vacations? Or would you rather staycation near the comforts of home?
This post was kind of random but hopefully you found something to think about for a moment on this lovely Thursday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Know You're Nerdy When...

You spend 2.5 hours studying for the GMAT and quit the verbal section because you're craving the challenge of some math. Yup, I went there. And I already told you what I've been up to for the past few hours this evening. I actually think the studying was the perfect end-cap to a focused, busy day. Is it just me or do you find yourself being more productive when you have more to do??

This morning kicked off with a yummy pink bowl of overnight hot cereal. It started off with the usual mix (1/4c BRM hot cereal and buckwheat, 1/4c unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, 1/2c water, 1/2T chia, cinnamon) with 6 pitted cherries and a few blueberries mixed in. I was feeling adventurous this morning and stirred in a spoonful of pomegranite Chobani before topping the bowl with almond pieces and 1/2T of almond butter.

It's probably all in my head but adding that yogurt to my cereal and egg white held me over longer than yesterday's bowl without it! Gotta love that :)  I had meetings all morning and then spent a bit of time catching up on email before my stomach decided it was lunch time.

I made the walk home and whipped up a salad: romaine and spinach, a carrot, 1/4 of a green bell pepper, 1/2c white beans, dill and 21 Seasoning Salute, with Annie's Lite Honey Mustard. Plus half a serving of Food Should Taste Goods with hummus and red pepper spread on top. I'm hooked.

The afternoon flew by and I had this watermelon before a meeting which took me right up to the end of the day.

After a quick stop at Trader Joe's, my stomach was more than ready for an early dinner. I got some veggies roasting in the oven while I prepped the rest of dinner. I had roasted broccoli, peas, and green beans with a BBQ chopped chicken sandwich, which I ate open-faced. I souped-up BBQ sauce by adding dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and a drop of maple syrup.

I rounded out dinner with a peach with a bit of almond butter (I'm working hard towards an overnight hot cereal breakfast!) and a bit of Gorilla Munch.

Enter in nerdy GMAT studying which I did on my roof where I could enjoy a gorgeous DC sunset. If I have to study, I might as well enjoy a cool, breezy, clear summer night :)

Time for a little relaxation.  What are your favorite nerdy attributes??