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Rhode Island, United States

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fondue Fun

My apologies for the very late post... yesterday was go-go-go and then I had friends over all night (and into the morning!) so I had no time to post!

The day was so frenzied, I actually forgot to take some photos! I totally forgot to snap a picture of my morning smoothie as I was slurping it down while getting ready. I made another tropical version- 1 cup tropical frozen fruit, 1 cup nonfat soy milk, a banana and a scoop of chocolate designer whey protein.

I went to the gym in the morning, 35 minutes on the elliptical and my usual 35 minutes of arm work. The workout was a great de-stresser, which I totally needed because as soon as I showered and got to school I had my first Sports Nutrition Exam!!
I think I did well =)

I did manage to snap a pic of the food I packed for the day!

A cheese stick, which I ate to hold me through my exam, and leftover beef stroganoff & carrots for lunch.
I spent the afternoon running around... first to the URI sailing center because someone forgot to lock his car for the weekend (I wonder who that would be...), then to Belmont for half my groceries, to work to (try) and pick up my check but it wasn't there, so I headed to Marshalls to pick up some dinnerware for the evening... had a mild panic attack when I returned to work and my check still wasn't there... and then much to my happy surprise as I was sitting in my car I saw the Fed-ex truck pull up (check guy!!), got my check, went to the bank and grabbed groceries. Phew.
I was hungry during my outing (of course, I was out and about for 3 hours!!)... I grabbed a date I had in my bag, and a Kashi Crunchy Chocolate Pretzel bar... which was definitely a theme for the night... but more on that later ;)

After groceries, I headed home to unpack, do some dishes, some kitchen organizing and re-arranging, cleaned my room, and then it was time to make dinner! (See why I didn't have time to blog?!?)
For one of my best friends, Carolyn's birthday, I told her I would make her a big dinner! So her and her boyfriend Max came over and I made them a big Italian feast! She came to Italy with me, so I made a couple of recipes from our trip which she was excited about!
I set the table all nice!

We started with some roasted garlic ciabatta bread, which I forgot to photograph but had two slices of! Sooo good!
Then we had the main course- whole wheat spaghetti topped with meatballs and tomato basil sauce (with a sprinkle of fresh parm!) and warm zucchini onion salad.

Not to toot my own horn, but everything was sooo good!
I went back for two more meatballs... yum!

Carolyn, Max, Tyler and I had a lot of fun hanging around and chatting, then we decided dessert was in order! Carolyn had the awesome idea for fondue so we cooked some up and had a blast!!
This was the real deal- heavy cream, butter, dark chocolate, sugar, the works. Definitely a splurge, but oh so worth it!

Dippers included: pretzel sticks, marshmallows, raspberries, dried apricots, pineapple and crystallized ginger.
Here's a sampling of my plate...

but I definitely ate a LOT more than this!

Mmm, chocolatey goodness!!

A few more friends came over after to watch some movies and hang out, but we basically spent all night chatting around the fondue bowl! There was also some snacking on some easter pb m&ms (the holiday kinds are so better than the regular ;)!)

Speaking of indulgences...
I know I've been going a little overboard lately... and it's not that I've thrown all my nutrition sense out of the window, but I'm giving myself a little indulging freedom for a couple of days, because I made a decision this past week...

I'm going back into running training!

This means as soon as it warms up, I plan on running twice a week, shorter runs, and one long run on the weekends- adding more as the season goes along. My first planned race is April 11.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into it full force, but after my first run last week that felt great I knew I wanted to run again this year. This year will be different though. I started focusing on speed last training season, and it got way too hard on me... clearly, I ended up getting far too obsessive and I don't want to do that again!
So, I've decided this year I'm focusing on distance. As long as my job permits this summer, I'm going to do fewer 5ks, in favor of a few longer races, hopefully leading up to the 10 mile blessing of the fleet in July and a half marathon in the early fall!!

So that's my big annoucement! I'm very excited!!
Diet-wise, going back into training means a few things:
NO real restrictions, just paying more attention to:
-BALANCE of carbs, proteins and fats at each meal
-More whole foods, less processed junk
-cutting back on added sugars
This week I'll be cutting back overall, then the next week will be full on into it... with a little bit of le-way on spring break, and then right back into training after!

Back to the food =)
This morning I woke up, and much to my dismay, my camera would not turn on. There was some coke-spillage on it last night, so I am PRAYING it's just a dead battery, and not a dead camera... luckily I had the adapter so I could get you guys pictures from last night, but I'll post breakfast pics later because I used my roomie's camera for that!!

I was definitely feeling the excess fat and food last night... didn't feel the greatest this morning. I knew I wanted a light but filling breakfast to hold me through the morning and to my easy gym session. I decided on a cereal/yogurt combo. I tried a sample box of Total Cranberry Crunch that says a serving size is 1 1/4 cups, but there was only 1 cup in the mix, so I had it on top of a 0% chobani cup, with a sliced banana and 1/4 cup nature's path granola for a little something extra!

It was a really nice combo, exactly what I wanted- filling, but not too much!!

Whew, lots to do today so I better get going- my next post will be later on tonight!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Almost there

We're almost to Friday!! whoo!
I will be VERY happy to get this week over, that's for sure!

I went to the gym early this morning, because I knew I had a couple errands to run in the afternoon and I wouldn't have much time then. I used the stat bike again, which I really like to mix things up! 30 minutes on the stat bike and 30 minutes of some leg strengthening (exercise description to come this weekend!).

My breakfast consisted of 1/2 a clif bar pre workout (an old pb choc one! i'm not dead yet!!), a chobani, some TJ's trail mix (nuts and dried fruit) and a banana.

I was more than happy to hand in my HUGE lab report in the morning, then I had one more class before lunch.
I spent lunch studying (what's new?) and had my sandwich while memorizing muscle fiber types and energy systems!
A turkey sammie with light laughing cow, spinach and honey mustard on an Arnold's sandwich thin and some carrots.

I did some errands, then I was super hungry mid afternoon when I got back. I had a light but filling snack, a nectarine and a light cheese stick. I knew dinner was going to be a big one!

For dinner, I tried something new and made Beef Stroganoff this was definitely a rich dish- I used fat free sour cream and halved the butter, and used yolk-free egg noodles to lighten it up, but it was worth the indulgence for sure!!

I ate this whole plate, plus a few of Nick's mushrooms =)

I hung out with my parents for a while this evening, and they gave me some treats...

Girl Scout cookies! I was a Girl Scout for my entire childhood (read: over 10 years!) so I have to buy a couple boxes every year. Problem? They're sooo good, it's hard to eat just a couple!

Tonight's dessert was (can you guess?) G.S. Cookies- my two favorites, Thin Mints and Caramel DeLites (definitely not light, but damn are they good!)
I was good with portions tonight- kept it to two =)

Time for some much needed R&R before my exam tomorrow! Night all!

Delayed Blog

Blog up ASAP!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So tonight I wanted ice cream. Specifically, a Friendly's Oreo Friend-Z.
So what did I do?

I had a Friendly's Oreo Friend-z.
Because sometimes, you have to give into your cravings.
And it felt good to be bad.

The boy had a deeeelicious banana split, which I of course had a taste of as well ;)

Check out the huge spoon!

Enough indulging for tonight.

I'll be done indulging in everything soon enough...more on that this weekend!!

Devilish eats

Today was quite the spicy day!

I was planning on a smoothie for breakfast, but when I woke up I really wanted oat bran so that's what I made!
1/2 cup oat bran, 1 cup nonfat soy milk, 1 sliced banana, 1 tsp ghee and some cinnamon.


For lunch I packed this wonderful spicy creation:

With some grapes!

Soo good! Tasted just like it would if I had packed Indian leftovers, TJ's strikes again- another great new find!

I worked for 4 hours straight this afternoon!! Busy, busy let me tell you!
For snacks I packed a light string cheese I had mid-morning, and then a honey chobani I found (awesome!!) with 2 tbsp chopped pecans for an afternoon snack.

Late afternoon as I was waiting for my ride I had half of this baby:

Definitely my new obsession!! So sweet, choc full of all-natural antioxidants! 1 full bottle has 80 calories, so my portion was a mere 40. Not bad for a sweet drink!

My snack and drink held me until dinner, which was fantastic! I made an Italian favorite- Shrimp Fra Diavolo, which means shrimp of the devil because of it's spiciness!!

I made my own version, complete with zucchini and a side of quinoa, which I got Nick to try, and to my pleasure he liked it! Yay!! My shrimp recipe is following =)

Today was a long day, which is why the post is so short!! I still have a bunch of work to do before I get to relax! A longer post is to come tomorrow, I promise!

Have a nice night, all!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with zucchini over quinoa

Serves 2
8 oz frozen tail off shrimp
½ cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini
1/3 cup diced onion
1 tsp butter
¼ cup white wine
oregano,basil, cayenne, red pepper flakes, s&p to taste
parsley and parmesan cheese

Defrost frozen shrimp under running water until cold
Meanwhile, chop onion and halve and slice 1 large zucchini
Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in pan
Add onion and garlic and cook on medium until onion is soft
Add zucchini and shrimp, and butter
Cook until shrimp is hot and zucchini is soft
Add diced tomatoes, white wine, and spices
Let simmer 10 minutes, until most of sauce has cooked off.
Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package
Serve shrimp over/next to quinoa, topped with parmesan and parsley.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gym time=me time

As redundant as I may sound, I'll say it again- today was another busy day!
Tuesdays always get me! Seems like I won't be getting a break this week!

I woke up and had a yummy breakfast to start my day. A 0% chobani topped with a sliced banana, 1/4 cup almond slivers and a dollop of raspberry preserves.

I had two classes in the morning (snacked on a light string cheese in between) before I got my lunch/study break.
Lunch was simple- a ham sammie made the usual way; honey ham, light laughing cow and spinach on a whole wheat sandwich thin with some carrots on the side. Never fails to satisfy!

I also had a mini snickers bar they were handing out at the library- can't pass up free chocolate! (No pic, it was gone in a flash and an "mmm"!)

I ended up taking longer than I thought I would completing the work I had to do, so it was rush, rush rush to get in a workout at the gym before work. Didn't help the bus was late, but I did happen to see an old friend from high school at the bus stop so it was nice to catch up!

When I'm pressed for time I like to do some intense cardio to increase my heart rate and get the most "bang for my buck" so to speak in the time allowed.

But at the same time, my gym time is my "me time"... my only me time on Tuesdays. I use it to relax and let off steam, release all the pressures of the day. After a long day of classes and studying, the last thing I wanted to do was run on the treadmill! (Running outside? Heaven. Running inside? Torture.)
I had used the elliptical yesterday, so for variety's sake I opted for a sweaty 30 minutes on the stat bike instead. Although it was a very quick workout I felt good after!!

Before work I stopped in at Starbucks for a few to grab a grande chai tea and snacked on this Pure Protein bar to hold me until dinner.

Yum, just like Cinabon! (pardon my cheesy rhyming)

Work was boring, as usual. Dinner was easy but tasty- Chicken Dumpling soup by Healthy Choice (lots of veggies, chicken and dumplings- very flavorful as well! Definietly a buy-again!) and some grapes for some fruit.

Dinner was filling at first, but by the time I was done with work I was STARVING!! Like, stomach growling "give me food" starving! So after I got out I stopped next door at Belmont's to pick up the one thing I KNEW I wanted... chocolate pudding!

I had this along with a sliced nectarine, and it was perfect to fill me up and cure my chocolate cravings!

Time for some R&R before i pass out!! Night!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Here there and everywhere

Ah, Mondays. Definitely not a fan, especially if they're long and jam-packed!

I tried to start off my day right with a hearty breakfast- 3/4 cup ezekiel cinnamon raisin cereal cooked with 3/4 cup nonfat soymilk, with a sliced banana mixed in.

Perfect to fuel me through my workout- 35 minutes on the elliptical, and 40 minutes of arm strength- up to 9 reps with the 15 lbs!

My class was interesting, we were talking about Carbohydrates- I like getting into detail about each of the nutrients!!

For lunch I packed more of my favorite Healthy Choice split pea soup with ham and some grapes.

I did some studying, then headed off campus for a quick doctor's appointment before my class.
For snacks I packed a light cheese stick I ate mid-morning and a 0% chobani I mixed with the rest (about 1 tbsp) of honey peanut butter I used the other day. Held me over well!

I was very hungry for dinner though, because I ate my snack early, before my appointment! Dinner was nice and big healthified pub-style meal; italian sausages with mustard & ketchup on sub rolls, Alexia's all-natural waffle fries and a salad with romaine, raddichio, zucchini and carrots, topped with Newman's light Italian dressing.

Filled me right up!
Sorry for the quick post, I still have a bunch of work to do before I can relax tonight- the beginning of my week is always packed, especially when I work Sunday+Tuesday (like this week!)

Hope your week starts off less stressful than mine!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Indian Inspired

For once I think I was happy to be working today rather than out in the awful cold, wet rain!
Aside from the usual complaining customers, the day was a pretty easy one. I woke up i enough time to make myself a nice tropical smoothie-

1 cup nonfat soy, 1 cup frozen tropical fruit (mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi), 1 scoop chocolate designer whey and a banana. I had this along with a big mug of English Breakfast tea to warm me up!

At work mid morning I got hungry, so I snacked on half a chocolate almond fudge clif bar. Still can't decide whether I like these- I think they smell a bit like play-dough, but they don't taste too bad... but not my favorite. It was ok! Held me until lunch at least!

Lunch was much better than my snack!! I packed a flavorful Tasty Bute Indian meal to heat up- my favorite Spinach Dal, along with a pile of grapes on the side!

I made a quick grocery stop after work so I was quite hungry for a snack- I grabbed a medjool date at the store I snacked on during the ride home and then I got home and had a 0% chobani for a snack.

A couple hours later I was hungry again, so I made dinner- I used this curry paste I picked up in Montreal...

with some chicken breast tenders, along with some short grain brown rice and seasoned steamed broccoli/cauliflower. I used a variety of spices to make the veggies a little more Indian- inspired, some garlic, garam masala, mustard seeds, cinnamon, ginger, cumin and tumeric.

The chicken was VERY good, but spicy!!! Nick grabbed a whole wheat bagel, which I had 1/4 of, to contain the fire!! Whew! It was a good one though, the rice was nice and chewy and the veggies were tasty too!

I'm off to watch a bit of the Oscars with the roommate (Nick's not a big fan of it!) I'll be back after a long day tomorrow!!

EDITED TO ADD: Oscar treats and late night snacks= a sliced nectarine and a small handful of TJ's mini peanut butter cups =) Night!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moving day, Taco night

Ciao tutto!
Sorry for the lack of posting today, it was quite the busy day to say the least!
I got up around the usual time and make breakfast. I was craving oats, so I made myself a big creamy bowl of oats using 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup nonfat soy milk, a sliced banana, a tablespoon of honey peanut butter and a few raisins on top.

Hit the spot!
After breakfast I headed to the gym, where I did a quick in-and-out 40 minute workout- 30 minutes running/walking on the treadmill and 10 more minutes on the elliptical. I jumped off and ran out- I knew we had to get going ASAP!! After a quick errrand I came home, showered and snacked on a plum on the way to Newport.

Nick and I stopped at The Picnic Basket for delicious sandwiches- I had my favorite, the Ed-wich- turkey, mozarella, roasted red peppers, spicy honey mustard, lettuce and tomato on basil foccacia. Perfection!!

I also had three of Nick's chips:

After grabbing lunch (I ate it in the car!) we headed over to Nick's new apartment to help him and his roommates move in. I definitely got a workout moving all that furniture! But it was a fun day, his roommates are really cool so it made it a good time!

We stopped at a 7-eleven on the way out, because I had never been to one and Nick insisted I try their famous slurpie.

I had a 12-oz one, and an apple to hold me until dinner.
We did some grocery shopping, and then headed back home for Nick's dinner suggestion- Tacos!! I hadn't had tacos in a while, and they were great! We made our with lean ground beef cooked with onions and taco seasoning, refried beans, reduced fat mexican cheese, salsa and cilantro. I also snacked on some baby carrots while prepping the filling!

I had one more after this- 3 altogether!

It was a good dinner, I'm full but not too full. I decided to stop after three tacos, and then Nick "forced" me to eat a spoonful of refried beans. Just 'cuz I love them so much. I know, I'm weird. ;)

(that's his "EAT IT!" joke-screaming face)

Now we're off to do MORE MOVING- some of my stuff from my parents' place, before finally settling in for the night. Phew, it has been a LONG day!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

On a roll

I am on a roll today! It's 2:15 and I've gotten a whole lot done today, which I am very happy about because I have a pretty busy weekend/beginning of week ahead of me!

So far today I:
-Woke up at 7:15
-Made a delicious smoothie for breakfast
-headed to the gym for a 70 minute workout
-commuted to school, did reading before class
-had nutrition class, took lots of notes!
-lunch, hilighting for exam (chapter 1)
-typed review notes for chapter 1
-more hilighting (chapter 2)
-read a long chapter for writing
-2 page writing assignment
-planned out next week's meals/groceries
-planned out my crazy weekend

I'm posting now (sans pictures) because I have to work 4-9 (I don't usually work on Fridays, but because of my mini-vacay last weekend and a schedule mix-up I agreed to go in for 5 hours tonight!).

Breakfast, as I mentioned, was a smoothie. A new DELISH combo- 1 cup each tropical frozen fruit and soy milk, a scoop of chocolate designer whey, and a banana. Yummy and filling!

Held me through my workout:
Elliptical, 35 minutes level 10 (212 calories blasted!)
35 minutes of arms-
Triceps 3 sets/8 15 lbs
Biceps 3 sets/8 15 lbs
Rows/Presses 2 sets/10 15 lbs
Shrugs 2 sets/10 35 lbs
Assisted pullups/dips 2 sets/10 50-60 lbs

Then I snacked on a cheese stick to hold me through Sports Nutrition.

After Nutrition I headed to the library to study, study, study- then I had some extra time at the end of studying for springpad and blogging before I head to run a few errands before work!
I ate my lunch while hilighting for my NFS exam- a honey hame/laughing cow/spinach sammie on a sandwich thin and some carrots. I was still hungry so I grabbed a golden delicious apple from the coffee cart in the library as well!

I packed another snack for mid afternoon- my favorite Muscle Milk Light 'candy bar'.

For dinner I packed a heaping bowl of leftover burrito filling (lean turkey, black beans, corn, sauteed peppers and onions, spices) and some TJ's tortilla chips to dip/crunch.
Hopefully this will hold me through my (inevitably boring) night at work, and then later tonight I may or may not be heading to a party with the boy. We'll see how tired I am!

I'll post pics later on tonight, or tomorrow a.m. at the latest!
Have a great Friday all!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Missed my love

Today I came to the realization that I really have found my one true love...

(sorry, Nick)

This afternoon I was considering going to the gym, but I was so full after a huge lunch I decided to put it off until later. I was waiting for the bus and thinking how happy I was it was warm out and it dawned on me... I could go for a run!!!
It finally reached 50 here in lil' Rhody today, and I couldn't be happier it did!

After digesting and doing some work I strapped on my HRM and set out for a brisk, 30 minute run, I'm estimating was ~3.5-4 miles. It felt great!

I missed running so very much. For a while there, I got sick of it, because I was pushing myself too hard and forcing myself to run faster, harder... when I really enjoy long, leisurely runs. I've come to the point where I know that I don't need to run intensely every single day to stay fit. There's other ways of staying fit, while still running for a good reason- because I love it!!

So that was my exercise for today. Some hardcore shoe poundin', heart beat raisin', sweat inducin' running. Mmm, mmm felt amazing. I missed you running!!

Anyway, I'm sure you're curious what I ate today!
This morning I made myself a yogurt bowl using some Stonyfield's Low Fat Vanilla yogurt I grabbed on sale at the grocery store the other day (I was at a different store and greek was too expensive!) It was good, but I definitely prefer greek! On top I had a sliced banana, 1/4 cup pumpkin granola and 1/8 cup slivered almonds.

I'm glad I had such a filling breakfast to fuel me through Kin class today- I did my cycle ergometer sub-max fitness test today! We used the YMCA protocol to do a 12-minute test that measured VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake- a measurement of fitness level) with heart rate and blood pressure. The test went well, and when I calculated it out my estimated VO2 max is 48.8 (rounded it to 49!) which puts me on the high end of excellent, borderline superior, cardiorespiratory fitness! Whoo! Must be all that running ;)

So that was fun to do. Afterwards I dug into the first of my packed snacks- a cheese stick which I ate in the morning and an apple which I ate mid afternoon.

I met my Grandpa for lunch at the International Pocket Cafe and unfortunately I left my camera at home!! But, I can assure you I got the usual and it was just as fantastic as always! A big stuffed pita with baked falafel, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cucumber, onions, hot sauce, hummus, yogurt sauce, tahini and feta cheese. Whew, I finished the whole thing, and a baklava bite they gave use as a little dessert! Yum! Kept me full all afternoon!

After a nice lunch with my Grandpa I headed home for some studying, my run, and then some more studying! In between I prepped an early dinner- one of Nick and I's ultimate favorites, Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken with roasted baby red potatoes (roasted at 400 degrees for 40 minutes with evoo, s&p- flipped once) and steamed green beans! I actually wouldn't tell Nick what I was making for dinner- I wanted to surprise him because I know he loves it so much, but he guessed what I was making!!

We both enjoyed this very much!
Now, he's at his soccer game, I finished up the dishes and I'm going to do some school/pleasure reading (I LOVE that reading Pat Conroy is a requirement!!) to rest for the rest of the night.

I forgot to mention my late night snacks last night- I had a sliced nectarine and a small piece of organic dark chocolate.

Gotta have my sweets!!

Are you all excited tomorrow is FRIDAY?!?! I can't believe it's here already!!

Tonight's dessert was 1/2 a juicy pink grapefruit and a small square of Italian hazelnut dark chocolate =)