Monthly Archives: November 2009

Bounce Back Sunday

For all the water I drank last night I still woke up feeling sluggish. Ugh.. it just reminded me of why I don’t drink. But there’s no use dwelling on it. I did it. It’s over. Now chug some water and get on with the day! Nothing helps me bounce back like a big bowl of oatmeal. I know it looks watery.. it is. ūüôā I got carried away. But basically 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, 1T¬†SF vanilla creamer, scoop vanilla yogurt, and mixed berries. Yum. I brewed french press too. I just love spoiling myself¬†on a Sunday morning!

So I poked around the house this morning, got a lot studying done. I’m also working on putting my portfolio together for¬†when I start applying to¬†dietetic internship. Fun, fun, fun!! I finally talked myself into going out for a run around 1:00. It was hard. I really didn’t feel like running today. I kept playing in my mind which route I wanted to take. Should I run by the waterfront, the ship canal, a trail run, through the neighborhood. None of them sounded appealing. The weather was even perfect. I took yesterday off from running so I should have had plenty of energy. It didn’t matter though. I was just in a funk today. So I did a 5 mile loop through the neighborhood. I overdressed with the under armour. It was 50 degrees. I took my gloves and hat off half way down the block. My body was really fatigued. Maybe the¬†fatigue was¬†partly from the squats and lunges I did on Friday, but I’m pretty sure most of it had a lot to do with yesterday’s craziness. So I got through it. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow¬†is going to be awesome! I am going to eat clean,¬†no junk, and when class gets out at 12:20 I’m going to run like the wind.

I mostly nibbled throughout the day; two hard boiled¬†eggwhites, a¬†Honeycrisp apple with almond butter, cheese stick, a piece of plain whole-wheat toast. I roasted some acorn squash for an afternoon snack/meal. Then I got into the pantry and had a handful of almonds and¬†dark chocolate chips. Dinner was a bowl of yogurt and berries (kinda like breakfast!) Aah.. again, tomorrow there will be a little more normalcy to my day. Now I’m heading downstairs to join the girls. Sara bought enough movies to keep us home for a while:¬†He’s Just Not That Into You, P.S. I Love You, and The Holiday. All three are great movies. He’s Just Not That Into You is one of my top 5 though. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

 
Things to ponder:
How do you bounce back from an off day?
What motivates you when you just don’t want to run?

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Applecup Delight

Today I punished my liver. It was my first year at Applecup. I’ve watched many years of Applecup¬†on T.V. but today was the real deal. My girlfriend Andi is home for the holiday weekend and had tickets to the game, so if I was going to see her I was going to be tagging along. It’s kind of a¬†funny story of how we met. I was traveling solo in Spain last spring and went on a walking tour in Barcelona.¬†The tour guide had everyone link arms with a stranger and get to know them so we could introduce eachother. Well I linked arms with Andi and come to find out we were both traveling solo, and both from Seattle!! So bizarre. I flew half way around the world and made a new friend who practically lives in my backyard! She’s since become a dear friend to me. Over the summer we went camping, deep-sea¬†fishing, wine tasting; and then she moved to the eastcoast. So I’m planning on making a trip out there in the spring.
Anywho, the Applecup extravaganza started early. I set my alarm for 7:30am (on a Saturday!). The crew picked me up at 9am, and by 9:30 we were parking.

I had a wheat tortilla rolled up with low-fat ricotta cheese and honey before heading out..

So unfortunately this game is such a big deal that the prime parking lot was full by 8:00! We ended up in the exile lot across the golf course. Oh well. After setting up camp we walked over to the U Village for breakfast. Andi and I shared a smoked salmon scramble, sourdough toast, and hashbrowns. It was pretty tasty. My coffee was topped off with Bailey’s. Some of the others were drinking blood mary’s, vodka tonics, and porter beer, but I was trying to take things slow.

After fueling up we headed back to the lot to carry on with Applecup festivities. Basically there were rows of trucks, grills, and long tables crowded with people playing drinking games.

It was freezing cold. I don’t think anybody noticed thought. We were all having a good time; ran into people we knew, made new friends with people we didn’t know, and all bonded over our mutual love for college football.

It was a fun day. The Huskies smoked the Cougs. I ran into a Coug¬†friend who frowned upon my UW attire. Rivalry is such a funny thing. It would seem as though I don’t have a side since I didn’t go to either state school, but¬†neutral is not an option.¬†Living in Seattle, the majority are husky fans (whether you went to UW or not). It¬†just comes with being a “west sider”. I grew up in eastern Washington, aka Coug¬†Country. So where I’m from you’re¬†a cougar fan whether you went to WSU or not. Now living in Seattle for almost four years I’ve crossed over. So when old friends see me sporting huskies gear (which I only do at sporting events) news get around. Small towns are like that. ūüôā Here’s to you Washington..

 

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A Day of Thanks

Thanksgiving was really different this year. After deciding that I couldn’t go home to see the fam, my plans changed daily. FIrst I was going to spend the day with co-worker friends, then I was going out to Thanksgiving dinner with my cousin who was coming to town. Then my roommate was staying home and we were going to cook a feast¬†together.¬†When she cancelled on me I thought about serving dinner at a shelter. Then my brother called and said he had no plans either.. so at the end of the day it tuned out to be me and my younger brother Robby. And we had a really nice time. Both of us really wanted to be with the rest of the family but it was still nice that we had eachother¬†to celebrate. So with dinner for two¬†I felt¬†like a turkey might have been overkill.¬†I even contemplated just making a¬†tuna casserole (his favorite) and calling it good. But that just wouldn’t be my style. Even if I was¬†only cooking for two I love to cook.¬†It¬†absolutely made my day to be able to cook for someone other than myself. So I made the¬†rib roast that I’d been¬†drooling over ever since the Cooking Light holiday magazine came out. It was every bit of delicious that I hoped it would be.


I’ve also really been looking forward to making these herb and Asagio¬†rolls. I think this was my first experience with yeast. They tasted good but really didn’t rise as much as I had expected. They also seemed a little tough on the outside (but soft inside). So I was disappointed, but I do want to bake bread again soon. I won’t give up so easy. ūüėČ



I had to throw in some roasted brussels¬†sprouts because I absolutely love them even if nobody else does! I’m convinced that anyone who doesn’t like their greens just hasn’t had them prepared the right way. (I didn’t change Rob’s mind, but then again he didn’t even try them!! Oh well, I’m sister, not mother). Lets face it, a lot of people just cook the heck out of veggies until their soggy, limp, and bland tasting. Yuck! I like my greens with a little crunch and a lot of flavor. Brussel sprouts cooked under the broiler is one of my favorites because they’re so naturally nutty tasting. For dinner I just quartered them, tossed in olive oil, sprayed with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with salt and pepper. They were awesome!



The only other thing we really needed was a good salad. I tossed some mixed greens with olive oil, salt and pepper, and added cherry tomatoes. Oh, but I can’t forget… Robby’s favorite dish is tuna casserole. I know what you’re thinking, “Really? Tuna?” I know. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s one of those comfort foods that reminds us kids of growing up. Tuna casserole¬†was a staple in our house. Although my favorite food as a kid was lasagna. Mmmmm…

So here’s the spread. Tuna casserole and all.

Dinner¬† really was just a spread of some good old down-home cookin’. ūüôā We didn’t over stuff ourselves¬†either so there was plenty of room for dessert. Now that I had some extra hands in the kitchen I put Rob to work peeling and coring¬†apples. Dessert was supposed to be a pear crisp but the pears at the market were hard as rocks. So I improvised. We had an apple crisp. I do believe that was a good call.


Do you love the pink apron?¬†I sometimes wear it when all of us girls are cooking together. I wasn’t going to yesterday but I thought Rob would get a kick out of it. He did, and then he took pictures of me being Martha Stewart.


Apple crisp with a¬†scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Mmm!! Sweet, yet light. I had to improvise¬†with the crisp portion of the recipe as well. It called for 6 amaretti¬†cookies. Well I didn’t know what that was, and neither did the gal at the bakery. So I looked around and decided macaroons would make a good substitute. The macaroons were pretty cakey¬†though. I’m not sure if amarettis¬†are cakey or hard cookies, but it worked. I added a tad extra flour to the crumble to soak up the moisture.

I have to tell you what happened before my brother got to the house. I still can’t believe I did this. Okay, so his special request was for english toffee. Well, I’m all about making that happen so while in the middle of cooking everything else I throw a pot on the burner: butter, sugar, we’re on our way..


I’m chopping the brussels¬†sprouts, tossing a salad, mixing the toffee. It’s finally ready and I go to pour the 310 degree candy onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle chocolate chips¬†on top. The kitchen timer is going off. Hot pot in the sink and I put the 310 degree candy coated spatula in my mouth!!!! Aaahahhhhhh is right! OMG it hurt so bad. The toffee stuck to the roof of my mouth and sizzled. I tried to spit it out which is how I burnt my tongue and lower lip too. Worse burn ever. I couldn’t feel my lip all night. Today it’s blistered and my tongue and palate¬†are missing a layer of skin. I’m on a mush, room temperature food, diet. Lesson learned the hard way: when you’re making candy, just. make. candy. Too many things going on at once and it was just too natural to lick the spatula before throwing it in the sink.
Fortunately the batch turned out nicely..

After we ate as much as we could eat we vegged¬†out in pj’s¬†to Christmas movies. An all time favorite: Elf, and a newbie favorite: Four Christmases. Are Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon just the cutest movie couple?! I think so. And the part where they’re at his mom’s house playing Taboo.. it makes me laugh out loud. The way the couples who really know eachother¬†can practically read eachother’s mind to win the game. I’ve played with friends who are siblings before, and one time¬†the word was meatloaf. The hint given was “that thing mom always made growing up that we all hated”. In unicem¬†they all said “meatloaf”! Haha.. its things like that that bring you closer as you get older. ūüôā

Betcha thought I missed going on a run with all this kitchen chaos. Well guess again. I got 6 miles in before the real nitty-gritty came. I planned to do 8, but apparently the parks and recreations bathrooms are closed on THanksgiving. Good to know. There was no way I was going any further without a pit stop. Had I been home in eastern Washington I could have run with Sara Palin. My brother ran the Turkey Trot 5k that we all do every year together, and apparently Sara Palin has family in my hometown and my brother passed her in the race. How random is that? I did have a leisurely run though (until I realized I was without a BR), packed my camera, counted 19 other runners on the trail. Everyone was extra friendly today it seemed. Maybe because we were all excited to get home and carb load afterwards!

SAM Sculpture Park. Is this art?
This “&”¬†is in the Seattle Sculpture Park. Is this art?


This is where my running long jump skills come in handy. I’m telling you.. this rain is nothing to mess with.


Me and Robby here cheesin’ in front of the fireplace. We tried to take a self-portrait for mom. I don’t know about this. Might have to wait until next year for descent pics. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

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Entering the Christmas Zone

Christmas has finally exploded in my house!! I’ve been looking forward to this night for soo¬†long. Me and the girls set up our¬†ultra girly tree. Thank you Target for oodles of sparkly pink ornaments. Pink is Christmasy right? It’s like the sister color¬†to red. Well either way I love it. The jingle bell tunes have been spinning all evening.. wine was most definitely had by all.

First a recap on my oh-so-exciting Tuesday ūüėČ

Breakfast:


1/2 cup old fashion oats
3/4 cup water
1 T SF Vanilla creamer
Quartered strawberries
Drizzled honey


None other than Starbucks brew.. Espresso Roast.

Then off to work.. I packed a tasty wrap: whole-wheat with pesto chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and Asagio cheese. That with 2 sliced and steamed zucchini was all I needed to get through the afternoon. That was, until the chocolate arrived!! I think 10 women in one office is trouble when it comes to chocolate. If someone gets a craving we’re all going down together!! Nobody buys just¬†one¬†chocolate. More than likely a whole party bag of chocolates arrives on the breakroom table. And then when 5 o’clock comes were all racing to the gym ūüôā That’s what all things in moderation is really about right? Have a chocolate. Do your cardio. Be happy.


So like I said 5 o’clock came and I was dashing off to the gym. Usually I have class (community nutrition) in the evenings but thanks to the holiday week I’m free to get my cardio on during prime gym time. This means I couldn’t find a spot in the parking garage, had to hover over a locker until one freed up, and don’t even get me started on elbow space in the weight room. HA! I I was focused though. Get in, get out, and get home to¬†start Project¬†Christmas “Mag-Style”. I did squeeze a 4 mile run in first. Nothing too intense. I was shooting for 5 but my Women’s Health magazine was finished and I got bored. Ironically the last article I read was on ADHD and how Gen X is more like the Gen Rx¬†because we’re¬†quick to medicate¬†any little old thing and the pharmaceutical industry is booming as a result. Very interesting article. I actually plan to look into that more. I’ll be sure to follow up with you..

So here’s what went down in our house tonight:¬†Warning, you are now¬†entering the Christmas Zone!!







I hope I’m the first to say Merry Christmas!! My favorite thing about December is baking. I love the cookie exchanges. Decorating sugar cookies that are shaped like snowflakes. Building gingerbread houses. I started my own Christmas tradition 3 years ago with homemade chocolate and cranberry biscotti. Yum. What’s your favorite thing about Christmas time? Favorite holiday treat?

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Michael Bubl√© You Make My Day

I’m going through a Michael Bubl√©¬†phase. I call it, every day with Michael Bubl√©. He makes for good cooking music, study music, commuting tunes, house cleaning tunes.. The only time I stray from my¬†Bubl√©¬†is with my running music. Sorry, but you just can’t mess with¬†this girl’s¬†rhythm. I need a beat that can carry me, push me, and keep up with me on a hard run. Today I really wasn’t feeling a long, or even average run. After yesterday’s 12-miler¬†I really just wanted to keep the muscles from stiffening up. Plus its been said that you recover faster if you don’t take the day after a long run off. So I went to the gym for a light jog. It was nice. I brought my Runner’s World magazine along, but really I was just absorbed in my music. How did we¬†ever get along before ipods? I remember taking my CD discman¬†to the gym. It would skip every time my foot struck the belt. How annoying. Or how about the good old tape deck? Aaah, technology is spoiling me.¬†However, the downer¬†hit me when¬†only 20 minutes into my exercise-coma my ipod froze.. again!! I want to¬†be upset, but all I can think is “serves me right for buying a refurbished ipod¬†off Amazon”. But seriously. Shouldn’t I get more than 4 months out of an ipod¬†I spent $100(ish) on? I now own three and the one that almost works perfectly is my first generation ipod. Ggrr…


I’m debating whether I should get a new one or switch to something cheaper like a Shuffle. First I think I’ll take it to an Apple store and see if they can do anything for me. It’s beginning to look like an Apple graveyard in my glovebox.

I know how excited I get to run with a new playlist so I thought I’d share some of my top faves right now. Hopefully if they’re new to you they’ll¬† help you get excited about¬†your next run.

Meet Me Halfway– Black Eyed Peas
Empire State of Mind– JayZ and Alicia Keys
Got Whatever It Is– Zac Brown Band
Happy– Natasha Bedingfield
Don’t Take It Personal– Monica
Enough Crying– Mary J. Blige
If I Never See Your Face Again– Maroon 5
Summer Love– Justin Timberlake

To name just a few.. What I’m about to say is almost too nerdy¬†to admit, but I have playlists named: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday… all through the week. Isn’t that lame! lol. I have other playlists tooo..I just seem to forget which one I already played recently and then I get bored with the same mixes. SO, I also have running playlists titled: Rainy Day Jams, Beezy’s¬†Old School (from burning my roommates CDs), Girly Hits. You get the idea ūüėČ

So in other news.. lunch was so good today! Mostly because I had a whole hour to eat after my quickie run. I came home from the gym (and yes I totally pampered myself my taking 10 minutes to unwind in the sauna). I assembled a sandwich on toasted whole-wheat bread. fixins included last nights salmon, spinach, tomato, onion and alvocado. Then I cut a sweet potato into strips, drizzled EVOO over them and broiled for 9 minutes. Tadaa: fries! All that with a side of crisp green beans and I was good to go.


Bread really isn’t a staple in my diet. I probably buy a loaf once every couple months. This week I really am craving sandwiches though so be prepared. I plan on jazzing up a few classics.. a twist on turkey¬†perhaps. Only 4 days until its time to get creative with leftovers!

And a meal just isn’t complete without a little sweet so I grabbed a Honeycrisp apple to go.

(Sorry for the bright photo. My camera and I have been fighting today.)

After a full and satisfying meal, with plenty of time to relax at home for a bit, I headed off to my afternoon cooking lab. We made gluten balls, which I saw no need to photograph since they aren’t exactly edible. The idea was to mix flour and water into a dough, soak in cold water and watch it shrink as the gluten is lost in water. It was kinda cool to see the different flours and their varying gluten content, but you want to see the good stuff. That’s why I have pics from the popovers I made! I’ ve never even heard of popovers. They’re this nifty pastry that puffs up as it bakes. When they came out of the oven they were huge, and full of air. Perfect for honey, jam, fruit.



I know food isn’t “cute” but I just can’t help it, these are “cute” little puffs!!

All in all it was a really nice Monday. I was proud to check everything off on my study/school agenda, I got a workout in (which always makes me feel good), and I even had time left over¬†to relax. That’s right, I’m currently blogging with a glass of cab¬†while watching¬†Anthony Bordain’s¬†No Reservations. Don’t you love that show!? He is so…raw. Not to mention he gets to sample the best¬† of all food¬†from around the world.¬†It’s a¬†tough job. What I wouldn’t do to trade him places. Alright, that’s enough already, goooooodnight!

Do you prefer to listen to music when you run?
What’s on your favorite playlist?
What do you do with turkey leftovers?

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Half Marathon: To Run or Not To Run

Well the weekend has been mostly school work. I’ve been putting¬†a lot of time into our lesson plan for teaching a nutrition¬†class at the local community center. It really has been fun though. In order to prepare a fun and engaging lesson I am trying really hard to think like a¬†third grader. How do you keep their attention? I want to include verbage¬†that will¬†encouraging them to try new foods, so maybe we’ll call them ¬†“adventure bites” and playing with different ideas for hand washing songs so that it’s not just a task.. but another fun part of our activity. I might be home humming “wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them everyday. Top, and bottom, and in between to keep the germs away!” lol. We’re going to have fun.

Breakfast as usual..


1/2 cup old fashion oats
1 cup water
1 T SF Vanilla creamer
1 T almond butter
drizzle honey

I went for a run today after the rain stopped. I know it rains every winter but this has been a wet month! I just checked precipitation records and it has already rained 6.5″ this month!! Yikes. So I left the house with the intention of running 8 miles. I did that, but on my way back to the house I started thinking about the Seattle Half Marathon next Sunday. I didn’t have any¬†plans to run it. But part of that was because I thought I would be with my family for the holiday weekend. Now I’m going to be staying in Seattle. I just might run that Seattle Half Marathon. We’ll see. I’m not too enthusiastic about running it if its going to be pouring rain. Either way I want to be prepared though. So on my way home I got to thinking that if I’m running a race in 7 days that I haven’t¬†¬†training for, it might be a good idea to make this a long run and then lay low the rest of the week. I ran right past my house and added a 4 mile loop. Voila! Now I have ‘trained’. I did a 12 mile run, I can spend the week cross-training¬†and do a couple easy runs while I figure out whether or not I’m up for next Sunday’s challenge. The beauty of this training program, or lack there of, is that I didn’t give myself any time to get injured in training. Fortunately with my typical 30-40 mile a week running schedule¬†I’m already pretty¬†well tuned for a long run. I just won’t be prepared to set any new PR’s. It will be a few months before I have the opportunity to sign up for a half marathon again. I might as well make the most of my situation. Besides, I’m still a newbie. It feels good to say I’ve run three half marathons, but how cool will it be to¬†say I’ve run four!?!

When I got home I was kinda sore. I took a long, hot shower. I still may soak in a epsom salt bath later just to minimize any inflammation.. and enjoy a little pampering too. I can sip wine and read a book. What could be sweeter than that on a Sunday night?

Along with a salt bath to recover I thought seafood may make for a good dinner since its rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and those have phenomenal antinflammatory benefits. It just so happens that I found a recipe for salmon AND shrimp in my new beloved Cooking Light holiday magazine.. and I have both on hand! So dinner was a salmon fillet with Sweet Chile Sauce, Coney Island Skewered Shrimp, 1/2 a baked sweet potato, and spinach salad. Favoloso!

Coney Island Skewered Shrimp
1 lb shrimp
1T EVOO
1 T chopped fresh parsley
Half a lemon squeezed
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves minced

Mix all of the above ingredients and toss to coat shrimp. Thread shrimp onto skewers and put under the broiler for 2 minutes on each side. Easy!

Salmon with Sweet Chile Sauce
2 Salmon fillets
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1 T honey
1/2 squeezed lime
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot chile sauce

Cook salmon on the stove top with salt and coriander for about 4 minutes on each side. Mix remaining ingredients and drizzle over fish once its done cooking.

Question for you. Does your gym¬†post flyers everywhere that says something to the effect of “Have a Healthy Thanksgiving”? I think that’s such garbage. First of all, Thanksgiving is one of the only days all year that you should not feel guilty¬†about enjoying good food in good company of the people you love. Secondly, I feel like everyone¬†in a gym¬†is probably already health conscious, hence their commitment to¬†fitness! So why can’t they post flyers saying “Have a Happy Thanksgiving”?¬†¬†

What do you think about Thanksgiving? Is it okay to enjoy good food in moderation, or more important to have a “healthy” holiday?

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Date Night

Friday was a good day. Other than finding myself at the office an hour later than expected, which meant I wasn’t going to get my 4 mile run in before my date. Oh well, worse things have happened. And fortunately, since I ran out the door in a mad dash yesterday, I still had some groceries at the office. So I didn’t go hungry! ūüėȬ†Last month I¬†cooked up some¬† turkey and black-eyed¬†pea stew. Delish! So I froze it in single serving Tupperware and have one for lunch about once a week. I may have to make a new pot of stew this weekend. Any suggestions?


Turkey and Black Eyed Pea Cassoulet
6 slices applewood smoke bacon, chopped
10 oz turkey (shredded)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
6 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
6 cups black eyed peas
2 T chopped fresh thyme
2 T chopped fresh parsley

The recipe actually calls for duck, but I found turkey to be a good alternative. Love that white meat. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet and crumble. Season turkey with salt and pepper and brown in same skillet. Sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, mushrooms, celery, carrots. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add broth, peas, thyme, parsley, turkey. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 80 minutes. Remove turkey, shred, and return to pan to cook for another 20 minutes, or until meat is tender and juice thickened. Top with bacon.

Nutrition: 307 cal per serving (1 1/4 cup). Carb: 27g Protein: 24g Fat: 10g

This is a perfect fall/winter stew. I got the recipe out of the Cooking Light magazine December ’08. Never throw out old cooking magazines! They are full of jewels. I go back over and over, always finding something new. My greatest accomplishment from this magazine (so far) was shrimp and cilantro pesto tamales. Mmmm… but tamales from scratch turned out to be a big job for one person!!¬†Easily two¬†days of hard work. But they freeze well. I overnighted Christmas packages last year stuffed full of tamales, and uuhem, No-Bake cookies. A family fave. What are your family faves around Christmas? Or your most cherished magazine recipes?

So, on to my Friday night date.¬†We had no plans set for the evening, and¬†I’m a planner. There must be a plan.¬†So when there wasn’t one I took things into my own hands. We saw Twilight. ūüôā¬† I was¬†sworn to secrecy, so no name dropping. Apparently 26-year-old guys don’t watch Twilight. Hehe… well this one did. It must have been the way I batted my eyes!¬†I met the¬†‘unmentionable’¬†back when my roommate dated his roommate and we all played on a put-put league. (P.S. if you haven’t played on a put-put league you don’t know what you’re missing). We dated briefly back then but it seemed we were in different places and decided to keep things friendly. So since then we Facebook, bump into each other¬†at the gym, and very occasionally end up at the same get togethers. I have to share a couple photos from back in my¬†put-put days. I laughed out loud when I just pulled these up to reminisce..

Sports Fan theme

Nerd Night

Now doesn’t that look like fun?!¬†I love how the guys wore shorts with elastic waistbands.. and tape around their glasses. We definitely had spirit!

I keep getting sidetracked. Back to our date. So the movie was good but not great. I never read the Twilight books but I did see the first movie. I had friends lining up to see the midnight viewing on Thursday and so I thought it must be worth seeing on opening weekend. Turns out I could have waited. We had a fun night though. After buying tickets for the 11pm show we went down the street to the¬†Tap House. They have oodles of beer on tap. Everything from local microbrews¬†to Belgian, German, and Japanese beers. I can’t even remember what I had. It was a shot in the dark. I really am a wine girl. I know how much the ‘unmentionable’ is a beer guy though so it was a thoughtful suggestion on my part. While he was away I whipped out my camera for a couple photos. I felt so sneaky. Maybe I should have made a scene like “It’s okay, I’m a blogger!” Mmm.. or not!! ūüôā

As for today I’ve been quite busy. I walked to QFC¬†in my sweats this morning to buy a bag of apples, vanilla yogurt, and the new holiday Cooking Light magazine. Then I thumbed through each page while sipping my Starbucks espresso roast coffee and nibbling a juicy Gala apple. MMmhhmm… what a weekend! Let me tell you just a few highlights that I intend on cooking pronto. Dijon and Herb Crusted Standing Beef Rib Roast, Pear Cr√®me Br√Ľl√©e¬†Tart, and Herb Asagio¬†Rolls; not necessarily in that order. As of yesterday I decided that I will be staying home (at my home) for Thanksgiving, so these dishes may very well be included on my holiday menu.

So after talking with my youngest brother who lives an hour away (by ferry boat), and my cousin who also lives on the coast, I learned that neither of them were going to be able to join our family for Thanksgiving this year. Weather, work obligations, and so on.. so I invited them to Seattle. Then I found out that my roommate has no plans for leaving either. So that settled it. We will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Cooking up a non-traditional feast and all friends are welcome. The more the merrier!

Tonight I kept dinner simple since it was so late by the time I got around to cooking. Studying, running, relaxing.. where did my day go? Not to get off subject again but I did get another glorious run in outdoors this morning! Yayy me. Okay, so dinner was an open-faced pesto chicken on toasted wheat. I sprinkled a little Asagio cheese over the bread, layered it with spinach, roma tomatoes, and topped with pesto chicken. I love my Foreman Grill. It makes grilling so quick and easy.

Now I’m off to a girlfriend’s place to watch Christmas movies! One of my favorite movies is While You Were Sleeping. Sadra¬†Bullock, do you know it? I saw Four Christmases last year in theaters. That was a really cute movie too. I’m glad I’m not the only one getting in the spirit early this year. Only three days until my tree goes up! Yahoooo….

My questions to you are:
1) What are your favorite Christmas dishes? Sweet or savory.
2) Favorite holiday movies?
3) Is it okay to play Christmas music and put up a tree before Thanksgiving?

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Home Alone With My French Press and Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Good morning! TGIF. So I’m finding that Tuesdays and Thursdays blogging just isn’t gonna happen. As it is I work 7:30-5pm, go to community nutrition from 6-8:30pm, then get a quick workout in at the gym and crash in bed the minute I’m home around 10pm. SO.. sorry for that. But as busy as it sounds I do enjoy those days.
 
While I’m in school for dietetics I’ve continued to work for a dental office. I’ve been a dental assistant for 8 years, and working in this current practice for almost 4. I really love it. If I weren’t so passionate about pursuing a career in nutrition I probably would have gone to dental school. Actually I know I would have. I happen to work with a fabulous team who has been nothing but over-the-top supportive ever since I made the decision to go back to school. The doctor tells me he’ll keep me for however long I want to be there, and I can work whatever hours fit into my school schedule. How many bosses are that flexible? I’m¬† really lucky. My co-workers are family to me. In fact, because the weather is so nasty I won’t be driving home to eastern Washington for Thanksgiving,¬†instead I’ll be spending part of the day celebrating with one of my awesome co-workers and her friends. I’m so thankful for them and love each one.

So today the things I am thankful for..
1) Wonderful friends and family.
2) Being surrounded by people who love and support me.
3) Having a job while being a full-time student (shopping or eating out every now and then makes life sweeter)
4) I’m thankful that it’s Friday.
5) And I’m thankful that it’s the holiday season so I get to lavish on everyone by baking up a storm in my cozy kitchen!

What are you thankful for today?

So breakfast as usual before I head to class this morning..


1/2 cup old fashion oatmeal
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy milk
2 packs Splenda
chopped walnuts

And if you noticed I’m now switching over to my holiday mug. Snowflakes!! My¬†idea to put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving was vetoed by the roommates so this is all the holiday cheer I have until next Sunday. Only 10 days until this place just explodes with Merry Christmas!! Tis the Season ūüėČ

I also treated myself to french pressed coffee this morning. That’s right. I woke up early enough to leisurely boil a pot of water, blog, and peacefully ease into the day.


And I couldn’t think of anything better to go with rich coffee than chocolate covered espresso beans!! I know dessert for breakfast is a no-no, but I don’t believe is deprivation. If I have a sweet tooth I honor it, and today I’m craving chocolate. Hopefully any caffeine jitters will be out of my system before I get to work! ūüôā


Time to dash! Class in 30 minutes and I have to throw together my lunch still. Hhmm.. what to have. I thawed a chicken breast on Monday planning to cook up some ginger chicken this week but I haven’t had time to cook. So sad. So it’s been convenient whole foods all week. You know, zucchini (just microwaved plain), scallops or tuna that are quick and easy to grill, whole wheat couscous that cooks in like 5 minutes on the stove top, and prepackaged foods like string cheese and whole grain tortillas. Aahh I can’t wait for the weekend. Time to cook!

P.S. I have a date tonight. Blogging will resume tomorrow morning ūüôā What are your weekend plans?

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Back On Track. THE Track.

Finally there was a break in the clouds. Somebody does¬†love me! So as I sit here at Caf√® Fiore sipping my foamy Americano at the bar I was thinking about the things I’m thankful for today.
Lets see…
1) I’m thankful that it didn’t rain today and that I didn’t have to run indoors again.
2) I’m thankful that I didn’t have to run indoors again.
3) I’m thankful that the freezing cold wind reminded me how¬†much I love the fresh air,¬†and how¬†lucky I am that I didn’t
     have to run indoors again.
4) I’m thankful for all the exuberant runners who shared my enthusiasm about not running indoors again.
5) And lastly I’m thankful that I get to share my exhilarating outdoor run with you!

I realize I’m being a bit dramatic, but any¬†relief from a¬†three day¬†stretch of running 18 miles on a belt calls for celebration.¬†I would also like to note that it did not stop raining all day.. oh no.. the rain started pouring down again about a¬†hour after¬†I got home. I barely made it! As the dark clouds rolled in I was the only runner stopping for¬†the occasional¬†photo op.. What can I say, I¬†have a¬†vision for¬†Kodak moments. I love how the same old run never gets old through the seasons. Although this really is the roughest time of year. The leaves are mostly gone, the gray waters crash against the rocks in a fury, and the sky is dark. Very¬†drab. BUT, none the less I got to run outside! Let me tell you, I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning waking up to clear skies. I could hardly wait to break out of class and¬†lace up. So here are a few photos¬†from my 8 miles of¬†bliss.¬†





I used my entire¬†break between classes to run today.¬†It’s usually no big deal if I don’t get¬†lunch because afternoon¬†class is¬†my cooking lab. ūüôā¬†Today we cooked a variety of fish and beef dishes. We experimented with ground beef with different degrees of leanness, cooked¬†roasts by dry heat versus moist heat, and applied different tenderizing¬†techniques to steak. In the end I had a nibble of¬†maybe half our¬†‘expiraments’. I like beef, but I like fish more. For anyone curious, the steak that was hand tenderized¬†(pounded out with a mallet) was the best in every way. Great flavor, super tender and moist. YUM!
Here were my favorite dishes. I won’t include recipes but if you’re interested just buzz me and I’ll be glad to post.

Red Snapper w/Orange Ginger Sauce

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers

Broiled Salmon w/Fruit Salsa

Oven Fried Chicken

So back to the present moment. I’m blogging here at my favorite neighborhood cafe. I have been given the task of collecting 30 of my favorite motivational mantras. So I was wondering, what’s your favorite mantra? What inspires you? What gets you into running mode?¬†One that gets me going is¬†“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare”. It is so true. Sometimes I wake up and make excuses for why I can’t run today (like cardio kickboxing left me feeling¬†as if¬†I strained my groin and I’d rather recovery over a quart of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream).¬†That phrase reminds me¬†that there’s no way I’m going to set a new PR this year if I don’t get my butt up and run! Practice may not make perfect, but it makes for¬†improvements.

So with that I’m signing out. Goodnight y’all.


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Cardio Kickboxing.. For Beginners

The rain hasn’t stopped since Saturday. I could have run outside but with my crazy schedule today, meetings with advisors, program directors, etc. I packed my gym¬†bag¬†before giving it any thought. A little breakfast, packed my lunch¬†and out the door. It’s funny how I live 1 mile from campus (and half a mile from the gym) yet I was away from home for 10 hours!! I ate lunch between classes and showered at the gym to save time.

Here’s the jist¬†of my day. Breakfast: oatmeal with 1T¬†almond butter, sliced Granny Smith apple,¬†1 Splenda¬†and a splash¬†of creamer,¬†plus¬†my infamous Starbucks coffee.

I finally arrived at the gym after meeting my advisor. I was recently accepted into my major. (Yayy) Coming into senior status next quarter and now discussing where I will do my dietetics internship after graduation. Decision, decisions. School never seems to get easier.

Once I got to the gym I nearly died I was so bored running on a treadmill again. Fortunately¬†I kept my sanity by flipping through my Runner’s World magazine.¬† Reading about others’¬†stories inspires me to pick up the pace. It was especially difficult today when my iPod froze!!¬†Why do they do that? I let it die, recharged it and now it’s recharged¬†and still frozen. Gggrrrr… I hope this little issue works itself out. I really can’t be buying my third iPod this year. My last one died 10 miles into the Scotiabank Half Marathon last summer in Vancouver B.C. That was the first time I’d ever run without music. Surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I was able to take in the experience. Seeing and hearing people cheer for you on the sidelines is so motivating. Thank you to everyone who shows support at races. It means a lot.

After 5 miles I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to treat myself to some me time in the sauna before showering and heading back to class. Every time I’m in a sauna it reminds me of Sex and The City. You know the episode where Charlotte says to Carrie “I did not grow up in a naked house!”. I love that. I started to giggle thinking of Charlotte while I sprawled out under to towel. Some of the women I was in company with did grow up in “naked houses”.

Lunch was a whole wheat wrap with arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and roasted red bell pepper, a bag of sugar snap peas and a Fuji apple.

Then it was time to head back to class. Afternoon class is not as grueling as it sounds. It was my food science lab… a.k.a sophisticated home-ec. We have 6 kitchen set ups and¬† cook a variety of dishes for the first hour. Then we sit down and share all our dishes. My group cooked a veggie frittata today.


Since I technically had dinner in class I skipped home and went straight back to the gym to meet a couple girlfriends for cardio kickboxing. I don’t usually work out twice in one day, or do kickboxing, but since my runs have been cut short the last couple days I thought I’d give it a go.
Things I learned about kickboxing:
a) Do not stand in the front of the class. It seems like a good idea because you can see the instructor, but then everyone in class can see you too.
b) When the instructor says go left she means your left, you don’t have to go her left.
c) If you’re not coordinated cardio kickboxing is not for you.

That’s right it takes a little coordination.¬†Cardio kickboxing¬†might as well be the tango because¬†I was sooo¬†lost the entire time!! Talk about looking ridiculous. My arms were swinging, legs pumping, and I felt like I was doing something between the Macarena and the funky chicken.¬†Also, when she says “all you who are comfortable with this move continue. Those of you who want a¬†greater challenge, do as I do”. What the heck!? Now I’m uncoordinated and being called out as a beginner. Even beginners get competitive. I was humbled though, because there was no way I was doing a round out side¬†kick while jumping off the ground. Call it an excuse but if I land wrong trying to impress girls in leotards¬†I might as well just eat pizza and Cheetos for the next 2 weeks cause I won’t be getting off the couch, let alone running!

So now that I’m home I couldn’t think of anything sweeter than a nice glass of wine. Hello Bordeaux. I’ve got some reading to do before bed. I’d love to hear about someone else’ s Monday!!

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