Monday, March 30, 2009

iPod stands for...

i Probably Ought to have Done This Forever Ago.

Yep, it only took me until 2009 to actually get one of these babies!

While I've owned 2 other MP3 players in the past, for whatever reason I refused to get an iPod. I think it's because they were so popular and I didn't want to be a "sell out." THEN I realized they are so popular because, well, they are awesome. My last MP3 player was SO hard to figure out, not to mention it would completely erase my songs every few months. NICE, huh? In any event, it was so long, Sansa when I ran it though the washing machine last week. Oops. :-)

I have to admit, it's a little more confusing to figure out than I thought! But I LOVE it. What took me so long again?

In other news, I decided to sign up for a 15-K next weekend! This will be my first race since I did a full marathon in 2006 - YOWSA. I'm a little nervous only because I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to maintain a certain speed. Of course I keep reminding myself that I am actually able to run again - I should be (and am!) so happy with that in itself. It's just tough when I know how fast I was able to run a couple of years ago. Hopefully I'll get back there...and if not, that's okay, too - I'm grateful each and every day I can lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Things: I Love Lara

....because of this.

I heart you, Lara. Thank you for coming into my life in the form of the Cashew Cookie bar. This frickin' rocked my socks off! The best part? Only 2 ingredients. Yowsa.

I've been intrigued by the Fitnessista's Indian (just typed Indiana) eats. Now, being that many of my friends are too scared to even try sushi, I knew there was no way any of them would try Indian (I did it AGAIN! Seriously???) food with me. The next best thing I could think of was to try this lil' guy, Amy's Indian (yep, I did it again - from here on out it's "Indiana" food) Mattar Paneer:

I have to say, I got some funky "What the eff are you cooking?!" looks when I heated this in the micro at work. When the buzzer went off I promptly grabbed my dish and hightailed it outta there. :-)

It was pretty good! Interesting flavor...I'm not quite sure how to describe it. To be honest, it didn't smell all that awesome. But I would definitely eat it again (at home, with my windows open).

While at Trader Joe's last week I also snagged this kiddo:

I'm in loooove. :-) A lot of times those healthy chocolate bars taste like anything BUT chocolate. But this is tried and true. And if it's good enough for kids, it's seriously good enough for me. And we all know I'm just a kid at heart.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Planner Planner Eat My Nanner

In an effort to eat less crap, I've decided to stop eating those lovely frozen Lean Cuisines we all love so much (or maybe it's just me). I had gotten into the habit of having them everyday at lunch because it was a. fast, b. cheap (I get the generic ones - hollah), c. low-fat/cal, and d. fast. And it's also pretty fast. Knowing that it's not exactly good for me to be eating all those preservatives, I'm making an effort to bring in wholesome, hearty foods for my lunches during the week.

I lllllove me some leftovers, so my plan is to bring in leftovers as much as possible. My GOAL is to plan out my meals at the beginning of the week (I go to the grocery on Sunday or Monday), and either cook a couple on Sunday or as much at the beginning of the week as possible.

Do you plan meals out at the beginning of the week? Or do you just shop it up and wing it as you go?

Don't forget to check out Oh She Glow's contest for some free POM products!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Polenta Casserole and The Shred

Guess who came in the mail on Saturday!

I have been dying to try this since I've read a LOT of great things about this workout. I normally don't like workout DVD's (Billy Blanks, anyone?) but I do think Jillian is just the drill sergeant I need to get my a*& out of bed and try this one. So on Sunday (usually a strength training day for me) I gave this a whirl.

A great workout in 20 minutes? I'm sold. I must say, though (and I hope this doesn't come off as cocky) that it wasn't quite as hard as I thought. I've heard the Level 2 is MUCH harder, but I'm waiting until I have ze Level 1 fully mastered before I attempt that one. Has anyone else tried this workout? What do you think?

I also tried POLENTA for the first time. I must admit, I was a lil' scurrrred. I found this recipe for Italian Summer Squash Polenta Bake and thought it sounded yummy - veggies and cheese? Um, yes please. I made this for my parents and my dad was a little scared, too.
Dad: "So....what are you making us for dinner?"
Me: "Um....a casserole....with polenta (tries to say quietly)."
Dad: "HUH?!!"
First the polenta.....
Add some pretty! I'm such a sucker for colors. What am I....five?

All baked and ready to go! Sorry for the yellowish pic - it was super sunny that day.

This was very good...I definitely would make it again. It felt good to eat so many veggies, and honestly the polenta wasn't all that scary. I love all things corn so I'm sold. I can't wait to experiment with it again!

And don't forget to check out these awesome contests:

- Chance to win free Granola at Missy Maintains!

- Chance to win a year's subscription to Fitness Magazine at Every Gym's Nightmare!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Virgin Green Monster

I did it! I officially tried a Green Monster. I used the recipe Angela recommended from Oh She Glows - the only difference is that I used vanilla yogurt instead of Almond Breeze (couldn't find it anywhere! Grrr.) :-)

It was so fun to make! This was my first time using my blender. I won't tell you when I got it.

Packed it up and saved it for nighttime....

and hid it in the bottom of my fridge so my roommate wouldn't freak and throw it out! lol. He hates healthy food, but I'm workin' on him. ;-)
The Green Monster verdict? SO GOOD!! I wonder if I didn't add enough kale or spinach, but I literally couldn't taste it. My nanner was realllly ripe, and I added some extra blueberries - maybe that was it? It tasted like a banana smoothie - YUM. In any event, this will for sure be a regular!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crap Free Week Reflections and Turkey Quinoa Stew

I'll give you one guess what I was so happy to have yesterday morning. :-)

Strangely, I felt SO guilty for purchasing this. I wish I could tell you it tasted like dirt and chemicals and blech. It did not. It tasted like heaven. ;-)

What I loved about CFW is that I learned SO much about my eating as far as things that I need to change or improve. Here's what I learned:

I learned that:

  • I don't have to have dessert each and every night. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dessert! When you are hungry, that is. I always just assume I'm going to have something at night (usually a bar or an ice cream bar...or two!), and I need to start asking myself if my hunger really warrants those treats.

  • I need to eat more fruits as snacks! It was amazing how some grapes or an orange could really fulfill my sweet tooth. I am definitely buying grapes in bulk from now on!

  • I need to eat bigger meals. This is so simple, yet I've been so SCARED to eat bigger breakfasts and lunches for so long because of point #1, above. I found that I didn't need a morning snack OR an afternoon snack because my breakfasts and lunches were so hearty! Eating bigger dinners also helped prevent me from wanting to raid the pantry at night.

  • I can go without diet coke and SURVIVE! For maybe a day. lol. I don't want to give up DC for EVER because it makes me happy. :-) I DO want to cut back and not depend on it each and everyday. I'm going to try going 1-2 days a week without diet coke. If I can do that, MAYBE in the future I will cut back now. I'm just not a cold turkey gal.

  • I can go without caffeine and SURVIVE! I slept better (although usually I'm a good/heavy sleeper anyway) and loved having "natural" energy - it felt different to me, if that makes sense. I'm going to go one day a week without any caffeine from now on...I might increase that in the future.

  • Hearty meals = Happy Holly. :-) I was in the habit of bringing a Lean Cuisine everyday for soon as I eat them up, I'm resolving NOT to bring them for lunch anymore! I'm really going to work on cooking on the weekends or Monday nights and taking leftovers. I heart leftovers.

Things I didn't like about CFW:

  • having to go to bed a little hungry sometimes. Especially since I wake up early to workout (before having breakfast), this wasn't so much fun.

  • going low on my calcium intake. I have weak bones, and don't drink milk. I did have yogurt a few times during the week, but normally I have it at least once or twice a day.

All in all, I am very glad I did CFW. I learned so much, and while this is NOT a way I could eat all the time (too restricting for me), I am going to try to do one Crap Free Day a week. I think it'll help open my eyes to heartier, healthier foods...and I also hope it will also help me with intuitive eating.

Psssst....I celebrated Sunday by eating waaaaaay too many Thin Mints.

Last night I was VERY excited to try Erica's Turkey Quinoa Stew! My regular grocery didn't have quinoa (that I could find), so I didn't get around to making it until last night. I was very excited to try this stuff:

I've seen it all over blog world and it looks...interesting.

This stew is SUPER easy and very filling - and YUMMY.

I will definitely be having this for leftovers later this week. So good! I'm such a soup/stew co-workers are going to wonder if I eat solid foods? Ever?

And check out these 3 great contests below!

* Erica's Oikos Coupons Giveaway

* Missy's Erin Baker's Giveaway

* Heather's Coconut Milk Product Giveaway

Happy early Hump Day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Things and a Long Run

Since it's the weekend, I decided to try oats - stove top style.

I also added about 1/2 container of organic blueberry yogurt (3 oz.) to the mix. Yowsa! This was AMAZING. Like, I would have it for dessert. I think it was the yogurt that really added to the creaminess, but I will say cooking it on the stove top wasn't hardly any more work than microwaving! Just wish they'd put in a stove at work, darnit. I do think I'm going to try adding yogurt to my daily mix of'll help me get that much needed calcium, too. :-)

I also got my hands on one of these guys this week...

....and it didn't disappoint! Definitely feelin' this more than Fage, although I can see myself liking Fage more if I'd had a few mix ins. Chobani is definitely a little on the $$ side, but you better believe I'll still get a couple a week as a treat.

Today I also had my longest run since September 2007, when I did a 15 mile run (right when I injured my hip). This was also my first time running outside since then, other than a few 2-3 mile runs in December. I was very nervous because I'd been running somewhat fast (for me) on the treadmill up until now, averaging about an 8:15/8:30 pace. I know running outside can be more challenging, especially since there are winds here between 17-26 mph today! But more importantly, I was worried that my hip/leg would bother me during the run.

I'm happy to report that I had very minimal pain in my leg (just a little burning when I first got started) and I finished the 7 miles in 57 minutes! I was so happy, I've been on a high all day. It just feels SO GOOD to be back out there running. I just knocked on wood, though....I hope I can keep it up!

Hope you're having a great weekend.'s 71 degrees here. Hope it's warm where you are! :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Caffeine Free! For Now.

I've officially gone since Saturday without any caffeine! I've "broken up" with caffeine before, and strangely I notice I almost have more energy. Is this just in my head? I don't know...but there's something empowering about going all day at work without a drop of java or Diet Coke. That being said, I would kill someone for a Diet Coke! lol. It's definitely made me realize, though, that drinking just water isn't as bad as I thought.

I did have to break down and have some herbal tea yesterday afternoon - caffeine free.

My headache was just annoying and I needed something other than water. I made some Tazo Calm tea, hoping what the back of the packet said was true:

Seriously??? Sitting on a mountain meadow??! Hmmmm....okay, Tazo. lol.

Here in the past month or two, I have been getting so hungry in the mornings. I have always been the type of person who has a small breakfast, small lunch, a decent dinner, and grazes at night. Well for CFW I've tried cookin' up a little bloggy favorite for breakfast - oats! I forgot how much I liked them. (Well, the packets aren't quite the same and that is what I used to eat). I have to nuke them at work since I like eating a later breakfast and lunch (I wake up around 6 but eat around 8:30/9:00). Sorry for the crappy picture - I probably should just bring pretty bowls to the office. :-)

Let me just tell you, this keeps me full until lunch! Can you believe it? I just added 1/2 a banana and - of COURSE - a spoonful of Smart Balance Natural PB. And some cinnamon. YUM! It's waaaaay more filling than my normal breakfast - the fruit/yogurt parfait from McDonald's. (McDonald's will seriously think I died this week).

There's a part of me that was a little scared to have such a big breakfast, since I know I'm a late day/night snacker. I'm really trying to get out of the habit of grazing at night - although it's normally healthy stuff I'm eating, I just want to be better about eating intuitively. I have been doing a really good job of that with CFW...I hope it continues. :-)

I really wanted to make Erica's Turkey Quinoa Stew for this week, but I don't have room in my fridge! lol. With all of the produce and my leftovers, I've decided to eat those up first and make the stew on Friday or Saturday. Mmmm, I'm so excited!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Crap Free Week - Day 1

So I've officially been crap free for 24+ hours! That sounds so weird/funny to say.

Let's just say I had too much crap on Saturday, I think partially because I was scared of being away from some of my favorite things for a week. Anyhow, I woke up yesterday morning rarin' to go. I even avoided caffeine all day! It actually felt SO good to just drink water all day. I had a little nagging headache last night and actually was in bed by 10 p.m. - without any melatonin (which is unheard of for me). But I woke up feeling very refreshed this morning!

Yesterday for lunch I made myself a little turkey burger with some crumbled feta cheese and garlic powder. YUM! I will definitely be making this again.

I also made Meghann's Acorn Squash Lasagna - YUM!! This was SO good. I will be having this for leftovers allll week. :-)

And I FINALLY tried these little guys:

.....and they were everything I thought and more! I know it's "spreadable" but I just ate it by itself. Real classy.
I guess I should say that some of the ingredients in my food this week would probably be considered "processed," but I'm trying to go with as many clean, fresh ingredients as possible. For me, it's more about cutting out the frozen Lean Cuisines and veggie burgers and eating more wholesome, home-cooked meals. :-)
Still no caffeine yet today! I might have some herbal (caffeine free) tea this afternoon, but I'm really going to try to stick with just water.
Hope you have a great Monday! At least it's almost halfway over.