Thursday, May 21, 2009


I'm trying out wordpress to see how I like come visit me there, where I'll be relearning a new way to blog. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Introducing Steve...more commonly known as Stevia.

Whew...what a day. It was so wonderful to wake up according to my internal body clock--which still had me up by 6:30, by the way--rather then my alarm. Lovin' it! But it still hasn't hit me that I'm actually done this insanely busy semester. I still have some homework left on the compute, but once that's accomplished, it's official. And maybe then it will finally sink in that I don't need to sit down and do homework and can actually read what I really want to! :)

Breakfast was really delicious too. Maybe because I could take my time and be creative? :) This mix was made with 1/2 c. oats, 1 c. milk, 1/2 an apple (I ate the other half while prepping!), a handful of raisins, 8 dashes of cinnamon, 3 dashes of clove, and 2 dashes of nutmeg. Then I topped it all off with 2 T. walnuts, 2 T. of the best granola ever, a few more raisins, and a good sprinkling of coconut. I absolutely loved this satisfied the aesthetic appeal, chew appeal, and taste appeal.

I also ate this with my breakfast. I don't know, my appetite is definitely higher in the morning lately. I'm thinking maybe I should just increase my bowl of oats to 3/4 cup instead of the regular 1/2. Maybe then I wouldn't have to have two breakfasts in one sitting. ;)

My goal today was to finish up on my chemistry homework that's due in two days via internet. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it! I ended up instead spending an hour on the computer this morning in my pj's, enjoying no homework. Then I ended up shrugging off the whole thing and went shopping with mom and memere instead. Don't worry, I have a major to-do list all prepared for tomorrow! :) Check it out at the bottom of this post...

Anyways, the shopping and no homework day was much needed. So was this iced coffee with 1/2 c. milk and 1 tsp sugar. :) I ate the pear after shopping around for a while.

Lunch was up in the air at around 12:30. Usually I'm eating lunch by 11:30, so my stomach was getting rather cranky. I was glad we ended up stopping at subways instead of the hotdog stand. Not that it's not okay to indulge in the occasional hotdog (I stop at top dog at least once a year!) but when I'm starving, give me some food that will satisfy and make me feel good!

Subways was the next best option. At least it's filling, and I had it along with a handful of baked lays chips and a tall glass of ice cold milk at memere's house. I got the turkey sub with the works (minus the hots) and mustard. And mom and I split a heavenly piece of lemon lush at memere's. I took a couple of bites but wasn't really in the mood for anything sweet so left it at that. When it's really hot out like today, I either want fruit or a chilled dessert--ice cream comes to mind. :)

Me and mom decided to go for a walk upon returning home. Not before having a snack of THIS though!! I've been seeing fage 2% on other foodie blogs, and decided I needed to give it a try. I love fage think it could be improved was beyond imagining...ha.

The verdict? OH MY GOODNESS! It was light, fluffy, whippy, and CREAMY beyond belief. Seriously, this tasted very similar to cream cheese, it was just that creamy. Next time I'll split the container into two servings, because 1/2 of it would be rich enough to satisfy me.

I look annoyed here, but really I'm actually pretty excited. This is a stevia plant, which I'm sure a lot of you have heard of. Supposedly it's extracts are 300 times sweeter then sugar. I tried chewing on a leaf and was really surprised by how it really is that sweet! I felt like I was chewing on sugar in the form of a plant. Weird...and fascinating. That's why I bought it. :)

However, I'm notoriously a plant killer. Will Steve--as I've named him--survive? Dun, dun, dunnn...stay tuned! :-o!

I was busy painting a bucket for steve outside, and found myself really hungry by the time supper rolled around. I had about 1.5 c. ww pasta, a side of stir fried zucchini and squash and lots of homemade spaghetti sauce to drown everything in. I love tomato sauces. I could eat them just like that. But even better with veggies and pasta...:)

Mom and I had gone for a walk earlier in the day but decided to go for another short one after dinner. It was an absolutely perfect night. The sky was pink, there was a soft breeze...ah...delicious. It was the perfect first day of my vacation, and a breath of fresh air.
I was hungry around 9:00'ish. I had just gotten back from driving some stuff over for Matthew, and decided that a bowl of cereal would hit the spot. I finished off the honey nut cheerios and was excited to mix it up with some of the new raisin bran cereal I had bought from whole foods. To be honest, it was pretty disappointing. I liked it all mixed in with the sweet honey nut cheerios, but on its own it was kind of...gasp...cardboardy tasting. The nutrition panel was great, but that doesn't really work out so well unless it please the tastebuds too!! ;)

Without further ado, here's my to-do list for tomorrow. Maybe having it in writing will mean I'll actually get stuff done and be productive!! :)

  • Clean bedroom (and I mean major cleaning!)
  • Figure out what to do with last semester's school books!
  • Renew ADA membership
  • Complete chemistry assignments
  • Run 3 miles
  • Yoga or pilates...or any general strength training/stretching routine depending on what I'm in the mood for. :)
  • Grocery shop

It's not a huge to do list---totally doable with no excuse not to check everything off. :)


Exercise: 4-mile walk in the afternoon and a 2-mile walk after dinner. Both were relaxing and enjoyable. My legs felt a little tired from yesterday's 4-mile run with dad. My legs are so not used to the longer runs any more! But I felt really happy to be running, which is really what it's all about. Find the exercise you love and stick with it! :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Finished Finals!


I thought I'd announce it with a really corny photo...;)

I celebrated by going out for sushi with a friend (to die for delicious...especially the sweet potato roll!) and now I'm home, snacking on an orange before I plan on heading out for a run. I haven't decided if it will be short or long...but who cares? Either way, I don't have to rush back to do homework for once. I'm no longer a hermit, and it feels great. :-)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Highlights of the Day

I sat down...a lot today. This whole weekend has been a marathon of studying, which I swear is more difficult for me then if I were to actually train for the real thing. I'm mostly looking forward to not having to sit down for prolonged periods of time once this semester is done. :)

My Food Microbiology final was excruciatingly difficult. I somehow managed to spend my entire weekend studying the wrong stuff, or at least everything that she decided not to put on the exam. That put me in a sour mood, so I headed to barnes and noble for some therapy in the form of a grande soy latte and a couple new books to read once school lets out. :)

I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan, and can't wait to read this one. And the Omnivore's Dilemna has been on my to read list ever since I read In Defense of Food. Loved it! I can't wait to read this one as well. :)

My two foodie highlights of the day were another caffeine drink. My first goal after staying up late studying isn't a priority is to wean myself off the stuff. I like to enjoy it on the weekends or special occasions...not as a "I need this daily" thing which I've been doing lately. Twas really, really good though. :)

And my other foodie fave of the day was this grilled turkey and avocado sandwich with mustard, lettuce and tomato. I'm in love with whole foods whole wheat sourdough bread. It's the best when lightly toasted and crispy. Mmm...

I'm ending here to go chill a bit. I know I should study more for tomorrow's chemistry final but I just don't have it in me at this point. I'm completely drained, and all I can think about is reading in my pjs. Or running. But since it's dark out by this point, it's just not an option. Pretty soon I can go for a long morning run again. I've realized that not being able to run makes me crave it even more. I go through periods where I consider giving it up. Those moments are short lived of course, because after a couple of days of not running, I go practically insane. My running sneakers are a part of me now, and I can't imagine life without them. Running truly does become part of your identity.
Exercise: 6-mile walk, spread out into two walks. My only break from sitting, and it was much, much, much needed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend With the Couch

What I'm most looking forward to once I finally finish up finals is having my weekends free. I spent most of my weekend here:

The only list of reasons I had for not studying was to exercise and to pick up eggs from the farm. How's that for a highly eventive weekend? Ha...only two more days of this and then I'm done though. I think I can handle it. ;)

There were some good eats along the way too. On Saturday, I first did a 2-miler in was perfect outside. I had on my running skort and tank top and felt like I could run forever. But I had to stick to my own rules of not doing too much, and I knew my mom and I had planned a 4-mile walk for later so I should stick to the 2-mile run. So I did...and enjoyed it immensely. :)

The good food came in at lunch where I gobbled up more then another serving of this shrimp pasta salad with carrot sticks and cauliflower. It was the perfect summery lunch.

And today for lunch we made steak on the grill. I've been more and more concerned about where we get our meat choices from. I guess you could say it's one of those things I'm more then happy to spend a little more money on. I picked this beef sirloin steak up at whole foods. No antiobiotics...vegetarian hormones...local. I was happy with the purchase. And maybe it's all in my head, but does it maybe even taste better?

Thumbs up from the parents! :)

I also had three super-size me salads spread throughout the weekend. I couldn't get enough veggies, and this one was extra special with avocado, orange bell peppers, garbanzo's, honey kashis, orange segments, green bell peppers, etc. It had the works and hit the spot when I needed my veggie fix. :)

There was also some chocolove along the way. This was the last of the bar (insert sad face here,) which just warrants another trip to whole foods very soon (insert happy face here.)

I definitely can't say it was the most eventful weekend ever. I was glued to the couch for most of it! But I'm glad that I was at least able to run, walk and eat some good food too. Next weekend I have shopping plans and some good ol' relaxin' and recoopin' from homework for sure.

Tomorrow I have my Food Microbiology final at 8 in the morning. My breakfast is sitting in the fridge (can you guess what it is?) and before I know it I'll be driving home reminiscing on a really good class. After that I'll be back home, cramming for my Organic Chemistry II final on Tuesday. And then it will be over!!!

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Up and Adam?

I just realized that whenever I say "up and at 'em!" it sounds like I'm saying "Up and Adam." I'd like to think its a new englandy thing to say, but I think it may just be another sarah'ism.

I'm wondering how late I'll sleep, when I actually don't have any plans, homework, or lectures to go to! My internal body clock is really always on time, even on the weekend. Sometimes thats a good thing, but not so much when I want to sleep in!

This morning I was happy to have it fully functioning though, because I wanted an early start to my day. For the next 4 days, I'll be glued to my chair studying. Well, not entirely glued. I think working out is always essential, even if it's just a brief walk or two throughout the day. Even a 5-10 minute stretching break is a much needed rest!

Back to breakfast. I haven't been feeling oatmeal lately, which is really strange for me. Maybe it has something to do with the nice, sunny weather? 70 degrees is perfect for lighter fare...I think I should plan a smoothie soon! :)

This morning I had 2 honey oat kashi waffles, my fave flavor. I love, love these for a nice change from oats or regular ol' toast! Although I seem to remember the brand LifeStream having a whole wheat flavor that used to be my ultimate favorite, but I can't find them anymore? *sad* These kashi ones are almost as good though, and I topped mine with a T. of peanut butter and the other with a slice of 2% american cheese. The orange on the side was delish!

Fast forward an hour. My breakfast had no staying power!!! Strange, huh? You'd think with the fat and protein I'd have been good to go. But my appetite this morning was a crazy one. So I added in some scrambled eggs to my morning mix, along with a handful of cherry tomatoes.

An iced coffee with 1/2 c. soy came not too long after because this week of studying for finals calls for desperate measure! ;)

My mom teases me that I have my one'sies, two'sies, and three'sies in the morning. It's true, I'm a very big morning eater. :) This morning especially. I had this about an hour before going for a very fast 2-mile run. I wanted a short run that wouldn't make me too tired to go for a walk later with mom and one that would be just enough to get me good and sweaty. Worked like a charm! :)

This was a tasty bowl of yogurt topped with 2 T. of the best granola ever and a small handful of raisins.

I can't believe how warm the sun is getting! When did summer roll around? The temperature still says its spring, but the sun is screaming that its summer. Love it! All I wanted was a nice big salad, so I did a repeat of last night's supper. How original! :) This time I toasted the bread, which was a special touch, and instead of topping it with butter, I just sort of tore pieces off and used it as a base for my chicken and salsa. Yum, yum, yum...

Pear in a blanket...not to be confused with piggie in a blanket. ;)

Immediately after lunch, mom and I went for a 3-mile walk that turned into a 5-mile walk around the block! It was too nice out to turn around. Next time we do the long walk, we're bringing some money to stop at the ice cream shop down the street. :)

Matthew bought this sunflower seed butter from TJ's, and I've been eyeing it for the past several days now. He's never touched my beloved almond butter, so I knew I should respect his sunflower butter too. But I was so week! Just one tablespoon maybe?

The ingredients were pretty simple...sugar was added in the form of evaporated cane juice which is what gives it that characteristic sweetness (yes, I did try a lick by this point!)

And finally I gave in and had a tablespoon of it on a banana. So sweet and delicious. It was almost desserty but salty at the same time. I think I might already be addicted? I do, admittedly, have a problem when it comes to nut butters.

And, another iced coffee. I never drink two caffeine drinks in a day, and I was going more for taste then any "pep me up" effects. I think I'm going to need to start buying decaf maybe? This one was made with my favorite mix of 1 c. coffee, 1/2 c. milk, and a tsp of sugar. Perfect every time. Especially when made with whole foods beans. :)

This bowl of whiteness was as boring as it looks. I kind of felt like munching on something because studying does that to a person! And I used to love munchin' on raw cauliflower, but for some reason I'm just not that into it anymore. I should have steamed it just slightly so it was still a lil' crunchy and added in some other veggies for color.

Holy Potato! For supper I had a nice big potato topped with about 1/2 c. black beans, salsa, cheese and 1/4 of a very overripe avocado! And then continued to grind some black pepper on top. Potatoes are one of those poor vegetables that gets such a bad rap! Don't judge a veggie by its color, even when they're pure white! This bad boy is still loaded with fiber (if you eat the peel!), vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, etc. And when you top it with the right stuff, you get a wholesome, quick and easy, nutritious meal that will keep you feeling full! :)

I broke into the freezer and had a frozen chocolate chip cookie with a pat of peanut butter for dessert. I love frozen cookies! :)

This was Matthew's dessert. Unfortanetly I didn't snap the picture until after he had already eaten most of it, but just picture this bowl heaping with almonds and walnuts, all doused over in molasses! Is that a guy thing? Or just a "molasses is good on everything" thing?

I'd like to say I didn't procastinate at all today, but that just didn't happen. I did study for about 3-1/2 hrs. on food microbiology though, and chemistry got about 1 hr. or so of my undivided attention. It being Friday night and all, the last thing I want to do is zone in on carboxylic acids and aromatic compounds! But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. And next weekend I'll have no plans but a shopping trip with Nicole.

Back to focusing! :) Happy weekend, I'll see you Monday! :)

Edited to Add My Bedtime Snack...kashi heart to heart with soy. Delish!
Exercise: 5-mile leisure walk and a very brisk 2-mile run. This is so not me, but for some reason, I've been enjoying these speed runs lately. I try not to do them more then once a week, but this was my second time this week. Usually I enjoy the longer, slower paced runs, where I kind of zone out. But I'm glad to see myself enjoying the speed a little. I've been feeling super strong and really energetic...lovin' it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One final down, two to go!

I had two options this morning. Either I could wake up at 5 and study for another hour before leaving for my meal management final or I could get up at 5:30, get an extra half hour of sleep, and not study. I chose the latter. :)

I decided to sleep a little more and have a good healthy breakfast. Sometimes those help out moreso then cramming in a little more study time!! Besides, my entire day yesterday consisted of studying and reviewing and I felt as if not much more would sink in at that point.

Breakfast was two slices of whole wheat bread from Trader Joes with 1/2 an avocado and some fresh pepper ground on top. And a glass of milk on the side. YUM...this breakfast held me over for a good 3-1/2 hrs, which is a lot to say for me. :)

I decided I could use a little bit of a caffeine boost for my 8'am final. This is made the regular way: 1 c. coffee, 1/2 c. milk, and 1 tsp. sugar. So good. :) I also brought along a handful of almonds to have for a snack before going to whole foods for some supplies.

Lunch was a hodge-podge. My typical Thursday lunch is meant to clean out the leftovers from the fridge, and I love it. of my favorite ways to eat is to sample a bit of everything. I finished up the salmon from yesterday, had about 1/4 c. each of cottage cheese and ricotta cheese, the rest of the kashis (which equaled a serving,) a carrot and the last of the cherry tomatoes, the last of yesterday's quinoa, the rest of the beans (about 1/4 c.,) and a really juicy, delicious peach that I picked up at whole foods for dessert. This lunch kept me full and happy to go grocery shopping with mom. :)

...I also brought along a cup of hot soymilk to-go. Perfect for the rainy weather.

I was so excited to try out the new hand-held scanners that stop&shop have now! I wanted to scan everything in sight just for fun. ha...but I restrained myself. ;) And mom was happy because it kept me entertained...ha...I felt like a little kid again. I'm just wondering how they know people are being honest with these things? Either people are incredibly honest or the stores are being very, very trusting. I don't know. Either way, I liked the idea of seeing what my bill was coming up to, and I think it prevents a lot of mindless shopping.

I had a snack when I came home, even though I really wasn't all too hungry. A banana with a T. of almond butter was just perfect.

I was thinking of not going exercising today since shopping and walking around campus had kept me busy. BUT, the clouds cleared up long enough to get me out the door for a brief 3-4 mile walk with mom. It felt good to move and chat and laugh. It's funny how even a quick burst of energy can really wake a person up. :)

I had a nice big salad for supper with some yummy yellow bell peppers on top, along with the regular additions. I also added about 1/2-chicken breast and 1/2-c. black beans, with some fresh Trader Joe's salsa and a tsp of olive oil. Yum...

And on the side I had a slice of whole wheat sourdough bread from whole foods. Gooey and doughy and delicious. I think it might work it's way into tomorrow's breakfast. :)

I split this grapefruit for dessert with dad...

...and this is not you dreaming. This picture was stolen from yesterday's dessert, because I ate my peice too fast before snapping a photo! :)

I decided that tonight I'll just be refreshing and not studying. My brain needs a rest in order to make a full day of hard-core studying tomorrow, so I'll take advantage of a night off. Maybe journaling? And lounging in my pj's for sure. :)

Exercise: Just a 3-4 mile walk

~Edited to Add:

My night snack of yogurt topped with 2 T. of the best granola ever and a handful of raisins. Mmm..

~~**Cutting Calorie Counting**~~

I've noticed a lot of people have a hard time with this. There are a ton of personal opinions and stories based on the pros and cons of it all. Personally, I think it has its time and place but isn't meant for long term usage.

When I needed to lose my freshman-15, it came in handy to figure out what a day typically would look like and kept me accountable for keeping my portion sizes reasonable.

It also came in handy when I needed to gain weight. There were times when I just wasn't hungry but knew that I needed to force myself. It helped me find the foods that would pack in the calories without filling me up too much.

But with maintenance? Where do people draw the line? I think once you figure out proper portion sizes, and start to get a hang of intuitive eating (learning what it feels like when you're hungry or full) you'll be better off without it. It can be compulsively obsessive, or make you eat more when you don't really need it (aren't hungry) or eat less when you could use it (some days you just need more food then others!)

Try giving up calorie counting for a while and see how you feel. If it's too scary to go cold turkey, write down everything you ate throughout the day and tally it up at the end. Are you hungry? Did you eat when you were full and hungry and did it pan out pretty well? Did you choose healthy options most of the time? How does your calorie count look in comparison to where you were aiming for?

Do this for a while until you can go a couple days before tallying it up. Try a week next. And if you're feeling really good about this new idea, try giving up the tallying journal for a couple days at a time. You'll be surprised over how liberating this new way of eating can be. :)