Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Friday!

I just wanted to recommend two really great blogs to you all. First, they are the blogs (besides my sister-in-laws) that made me really want to start my own. These girls are are sweet and incredibly smart and I have really come to check in on them everyday as role models. I started reading them for nutritional tips and recipes, and motivation for running, but soon found out what ambitious and knowledgeable girls they are (just check out some of their most recent posts). Both Angela and Caitlin are young 20 something’s, college grads, just like me, who are pursuing their dreams. Props!

** Check out their blogs under my favs in the side bar: and **

How inspiring! Caitlin is a freelance writer who just got offered a book deal for the concept of her website – her dream come true! All for following her passions in her everyday life! And Angela is a psychology major with a passion for research and nutrition who quit her job to pursue her dream of operating a vegan bakery- Glo Bakery- which has been so successful! (BTW her bakery is opening up to US shipping next month!

Each of their blogs recently featured a post of ‘default thinking’ or what your thinking tends to focus towards repeatedly when you have downtime. I could relate with what Angela wrote when she talked about how her default thinking used to be negative self talk about eating or weight. I used to experience the same thing, especially in school, both in high school and even more so in college. Weirdly enough through all the calorie counting and checking the scale, I have noticed that the only time I truly lost weight was when I was so busy and preoccupied that I did not think about dieting at all (other than just making 'smart' food choices when I did have time to eat). The first time I truly lost weight- like I had tried for so many years before- was my last year in college when I was so so busy between an internship- staying late at the library to work on senior projects- taking an aerobics class for fun- and loving my night art class. I continued down this path when I went on my road trip the summer after college and was so busy traveling and sightseeing that I guess I was burning more than I was taking in without even thinking about it! This made me realize how much weight loss or maintaining your level of health is a truly lifestyle change and not just one goal. Since I have gotten my permanent job in an office, I find I have a lot more downtime and I find myself starting to default think back to food, counting calories, and tracking exercise all day long, like I am adding it all up towards a goal. This is good in a way, given that i have fallen off track and need to get back on, but I also need to remember to just focus on the simple positive choices in my lifestyle habits- which are what truly help me maintain the weight and fitness level that I desire.

On a silly side note, am I insane for every time I eat a chickpea I think in my head, 'oh I love you little chickpea'. Yea, I thought so.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Food for thought:

It’s mid week and I am feeling pretty good! I have healthy, delicious, and nutritious recipe’s to share as well as some little thing happening this week.

First a wonderful meal I made this week- Vegetarian Chili. Even the boys ate it- although I served it to them more like salsa, with cheddar melted on top and chips to dip in.

(sorry no pic)
Veggie Chili
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 can corn, mostly drained
1 can chickpeas, mostly drained
1 can ‘chili beans’ with sauce
Add water as needed for right consistency
1 to 1.5 tblsp cumin
1 to 1.5 tblsp chili powder
Salt and papper to taste

First sauté the onion, green pepper, jalepeno peppers, and garlic for 5-6 minutes in a tiny bit of olive oil. Next add all the rest of ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer 10 mins or until everything is done and hot. Reduce or increase spices to taste. I started with 1 tblsp (eyeballed) of the cumin and chili powder, then had to add more.

This was so good! I did not miss the meat at all. There is virtually no fat except for the tiny bit of olive oil in the beginning, and is packed full of vitamins, fiber, and flavor. Be careful when you start adding the jalapeños to the pot- the boys were complaining that their eyes burned! Meanwhile I have been crying over the stove the whole time between the onion and jalapeños.

To start eating leaner, I had left over soup for lunch yesterday along with half a wrap and a pickle. Through the day I snacked on fruit, and had a little peanut butter and granola to power me through my afternoon cardio class Wednesday. Last Wednesday I did not eat anything for hours before the class and really felt worn and dizzy during the aerobics, so I was sure to fuel up this time. Even though I skipped my run on Monday and Tuesday, I was glad to go to the class yesterday. Now hopefully I can get in another couple runs before the week is over!

When I got home last night after class, Ben had already made dinner- an asian stir fry with ground turkey, veggies, and noodles. The veggies were lacking and everything looked really shiny (oily!) so even though it tasted good, I only ate one scoop, and then made myself a GREEN MONSTER smoothie after I showered.
**2 cups chopped kale, 1 banana, 1 tbsp PB, ¾ cup milk, ice and water, handful mixed berries, 3 pieces papaya**

Guess who else likes green monsters (as long as I add some Nesquik to them)? =)

This morning, still feeling good, I drank the rest of the smoothie I made last night (the whole blender was full, and made 4 servings). And then had my most favorite breakfast as of lately: vanilla greek yogurt, granola, and blueberries. Mmmm so creamy, so crunchy, so sweet, so juicy!

Another surprise I came home to last night was a huge purple Orchid from David’s mom. It was a housewarming present to me for moving in! How sweet! It is beautiful!

Plans for this afternoon is lunch with my work team at a restaurant on the water (bosses birthday) and then volleyball with friends after work followed by getting a Thirsty Thursday drink to rehydrate!

This weekend is my good friend Ashley’s bachelorette party! I can’t wait to tell all and post some pics! Hopefully the drinking won’t throw me off my lean and fit path too much!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pull over that ass too FAT... too much FONDUE!

Now in the song (which is one of the best dance songs ever), Trina means P-H-A-T, but lately I have been feeling more like F-A-T.
The jeans I wore the night I met David- no longer fit around my ballooning tushy. Now granted they were my revered ‘skinny jeans’, and all my other jeans still fit (although snugly)- but I want to be back in my skinny jeans damn it!
I thought I have been eating moderately, and exercising moderately but overall I have just been making excuses because I have been eating too much ice cream, drinking too much wine and beer, and allowing myself to order fries whenever I crave them… usually with beer. I have been laying in bed or too busy moving and organizing stuff into the condo and skipping my workout times. These splurges I have tried to counter act with salads and soups, but it just isn’t cutting it. On top of that, the overall reduction in exercise since I’ve met David is definitely not helping that matter but it is just so hard to make myself go out for a run or stay late at the gym at work when he is home just waiting for me to hang out with! We started going on some evening walks, and overall I have managed to sneak in maybe 1 run and 1 aerobics class per week, but still. Not. Cutting. It.
I haven’t given in to David’s nightly bowl(s) of cereal with Nesquik, although I sometimes steal a bite (or two) so I guess that is something to be proud of. And David does enjoy my healthy meals when I make them, so maybe there is hope for us.
David agrees that he wants to start hitting the gym too, so this winter we are both going to do that. David’s hours at the store are going to start picking up for the holiday season, so that will give me the motivation to spend an hour at the gym after work while he is still working too. Then, once his holiday season madness is over, and our schedules get close to normal, I am going to join David’s gym (he can get me a super cheap discount rate or else I’d just have stuck with the free drill hall on base) and we are going to go work out TOGETHER a few times a week.

Hopefully by the spring we will have some rockin bodies to show off for summer ;-) Ooooh yea…

Other exciting news:
I got my camera working again so no more camera phone pics!
And I still might get an upgraded camera for Christmas!

Weekend Recap
David and I officially celebrated our 6 month anniversary and officially celebrated being roommates!

Am I sure of what I am getting myself into?

Just kidding, he has been the sweetest, greatest, funniest man I have ever known. I wrote him a little love letter and left it in his car with some candy on Friday and then he took me out to the Melting Pot in Annapolis and gave the SWEETEST toast to us on Saturday.
The food at the Melting Pot was out of this world, I forgot how good it was! I had scallops, salmon and shrimp as my main meat, and David got a surf n Turf with Caribbean jerk seasonings. I managed to save room for the d e c a d e n t dessert tray including fruit, pound cake, rice crispy treats, marshmallows, and brownies dipped in melted milk chocolate. Mmmmmm. To compliment my savory foods, I had 2 glasses of wine and then we had toasted to a shot of whiskey in celebration of us (since whiskey has popped up more than once in some of the most memorable times in our relationship thus far). We thought straight whiskey would be a little too much, so we had ‘Apple Jacks’ which was Apple Pucker with Jack Daniels. It tasted like dessert!

I told myself this extravaganza of fondue would be like my ‘last meal’ until I get back into those skinny jeans!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another fun end of week...

Yay, another week down! We had another birthday here in Federal Prison cube land. Hehehe. This time the target is an older shy gentleman, who happens to have a cube filled with fun and weird knick knacks and characters. The only problem was that he seriously asked up not to do any decorating for his birthday, especially nothing like filling it with balloons. (Like what happened to Katy last week).

So we didn’t want to ignore his birthday entirely, and as we are standing there looking at his cube, wondering if we should at least hang a banner or something, I came up with this idea:

EVERYBODY in party hats! Happy Birthday, Pete! Look at all these weird things in his cube! Beside the characters, he has huge jungle plants all around.

I must say I was tickled with myself over this amount of cuteness. Hopefully Pete will think it is funny when he comes in on Monday.
At lunch yesterday, I met up with David. He had "picture day" for his store's website ( and looked super handsome. I love this man:

Football and Fawns

I forgot to post about this beautiful Sunday I had over at our friends Jeff, Jay, and Steven’s house. We went over to watch the football games, but it was so beautiful outside that I kept making excuses to be outside instead of in the house. I mean, who cares about the redskins game, the Ravens won already!
The 3 boys live in cabin-type rancher surrounded by only a couple other houses and fields and woods. While David and I were out on the big back wrap-around deck, a momma deer and 2 fawns came out of the trees and were grazing in the field right by us. The deck is pretty high off the ground so we were a good distance away, but still close enough to admire them. Momma was cautious at first, but later came so close to the deck (the picture couldn’t capture it right when they got closer). In the picture, the mom and one fawn is off to the right, and a baby is in the trees straight ahead.
The Redskins didn’t win (big surprise). So after the game all the boys went out in one of the fields to play football. One of the other girlfriends and I just watched at first, but then wanted to join in too. It was fun running all around even though I probably didn’t offer any real defense.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Soupy Tuesday

This is one of my favorite soups:

Lentil Kale Chicken Soup

1.5 lbs chicken breast cubed
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic minced
48 oz chicken broth
½ cup dry lentils
6-8 cups chopped kale
1 tblsp fresh chopped basil
1 can diced tomatoes

1. In the bottom of a large stock pot, saute chicken in a little olive oil. Once chicken is near being done, add the carrots, onion, and garlic. Saute until onions turn translucent (About 6-7 mins).

2. Pour in chicken broth, and bring to boil. (Sometimes I use half broth and half water mixed with chicken boullion cubes)
3. Lower heat to simmer and add lentils, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
4. Add kale, basil, and can of tomatoes mostly drained. Cover and simmer about 15-20 minutes or until lentils and carrots are soft.

This recipe is only about 150 calories per cup- and is extremely nutritious and delicious! Let me know if you try it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Breeze and Sawdust

Sleeping has been so good with the fall air moving in, and just keeping the windows open. I love the windows in David's condo. They are huge, from floor to ceiling and crank open sideways instead of sliding up and down like regular windows. They are incased with dark solid wood trim and have a nice big sill. The blinds are also inside of the window panes. Perfecto!

Saturday morning I slept in as David went to work, per our usual Saturday routine :) When I got up, it was such a beautiful crisp morning, I put on my hoodie and went out on the balcony to enjoy the morning afternoon air. Plan for the day? Move some more car loads of stuff from my roommate Jenn's house in Leonardtown to David's condo. The perfect energy breakfast for this task?

Green Monster!!!

Pure heaven! After becoming obsessed with I have made and loved these green smoothies! So yummy, so healthy... My ingredient combination on this day: ice, milk, peanutbutter, berries, papaya, banana, kale, and spinach. They are so filling, and keep me full and energized. And I was in heaven sitting out on the balcony, sipping this liquid green delight, wrapped up in a hoodie, admiring nature... ahhh!

After moving and organizing, I went to david's work to eat lunch. We shared left over salmon, mashed taters, and salad from the night before. After work David stopped home to take the ugly old chandiler we had taken down (to replace with a ceiling fan) over to his Mom's house. Not sure why she wanted it but ok. I went on the drive with him, visited, then we went to BWB (Buffulo Wings & Beer) to chow down on some wings, fries, drink a pitcher of beer, and shoot some pool. What a great Saturday!

Sunday, David's coworker Rock came over to help put up the ceiling fan. What a production! David had to crawl up in the space above his condo (through a layer of insullation) and screw together a brace to hold the ceiling fan. I have to admit, seeing David as a handyman got me a little hot :) haha. I did my share of handing up tools and holding flashlights, but in between I enjoyed the balcony scene again.

The smell of sawdust and a fall breeze...

I love that the view is nothing but trees from his condo. Soon the leaves will be falling...

Not much of a work week

What an easy week of work! Monday- Labor Day=Lazy Day. Tuesday- went to work just to pass time before the Kings of Leon concert at Merriweather that night (awesome!). Wednesday- called out "sick" ;) Thursday- Actually very productive. But then Friday- Also very productive...

Co-worker's cube for her birthday- she'll see it Monday muahahahaha
This was about 150 balloons I think to fill the whole cube. Then we wrapped it up in red plastic tablecloths complete with a bow on top like a giant present! She'll get to unwrap it Monday morning, I can't wait! Her cube is right across from mine so I am excited for all the balloons to fall out into my cube like I just won publishers clearing house or something. Ha.
Ok so Kings of Leon concert- absolutely A.W.S.O.M.E. They were so good! David and I had a great night dancing together in the middle of the big crowd out on the lawn. The rain held back, we had plenty of beer, the night was cool, the band sounded perfect, and all our friends were with us. Couldn't have asked for a better show. At least that is how the night ended. It didn't start so good. First, we hit bad traffic turning onto the roads that lead into Merriweather. In the traffic, the guy in front of David slammed on his brakes at one point, and David slammed his on, stopping just in time. However the guy behind David wasn't so quick on the brakes and ended up rear-ending David. He was so so so pissed. The damage wasn't that bad, but he had just gotten his bumper fixed and painted a couple weeks before, so to have this happen was just another nightmare when he has been trying so hard to get things in order. David held his temper, and later settled with the guy to pay out of paket for the damage ($600 estimate). It was definitely a rough start after already being irritable about the traffic, but luckily a beer or two and some great music and company lifted his spirits again. I am just glad everyone was ok; it could have been a lot worse!
UPDATE: This is what our workspace looked like once the birthday girl came in and unwrapped her present that monday:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is why good office jobs are so bad. They try to balance out the blah cubicle and spreadsheet filled day with none other than YUMMY FOOD! My second piece of a glorious sugar-topped apple cake my boss made:
Mmmmmm. Now I am motivated to work… or sleep ;)