Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cheater's reader: Catching Fire & LiveFit Day 47

As I slept last night, Catching Fire downloaded. My library didn't have the book so I was wait-listed for the audio book. Um, totally awesome and totally cheating. I can "read" and multitask like I'm doing now. I'm already on chapter 4. Though, the woman reading it makes Peeta sound sarcastic all the time.

Breakfast: egg whites with jalapeno almond cheese and Wild Squirrel nut butter with half a banana.

New-to-me bars for snacks this week. My manager eats Zone Perfect bars and I trust her advice. I also nabbed a Pure Protein bar - I've had their shakes before.

After work, which I only went to for 2 hours, I went to the gym for a quick workout. Since I wasn't feeling quite well, I did legs and a little warm-up. Plus, I forgot my earphones for Catching Fire & cardio.
I use my legs all the time and once upon a time, they were my strongest point. I still like working them out, but I'm careful about hurting my knees or back now.

Lunch: leftover gluten-free pizza from dinner last night

Dinner: chicken and broccoli

A few thoughts and links:
How do you feel about audiobooks?
What keeps you interested during a run?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Not everyday eating

I could not eat like I did today everyday. Lunch and dinner cost me over $30!

I had breakfast at home: double fiber English muffin with 2 egg whites & goat cheese on one side and PB & banana on the other.

Usually I pack my own meals. I packed a lunch of buffalo chicken mac & cheese quinoa and some rotisserie chicken breast for dinner promising to buy something to supplement it.

Well, the quinoa lacked chicken. I must not have divided the batch right. And the quinoa tasted funky. It had been in the fridge for a few days so I didn't see a problem.

Instead, I ate my chicken.

After work, on the referral of a co-worker, I went to Loving Hut Vegan. I've bookmarked it on yelp for a long time and finally went.

I didn't want rice. They gave me rice though changed it out for salad. She didn't close it properly and my sweet and sour divine spilled in the bag and my car.

Okay, onto the food. For $8, it was terrible. There were maybe 5 or 6 little nuggets of soy protein and not very good at that.

I ended up eating Chobani peach during my break but was still hungry.

I stopped by Mother's even though we got out late and the hot bar was closed. I didn't like the looks of their pizza however, my mouth was watering big time.

I grabbed a bag of Love Crunch's aloha blend granola and took a handful to hold me over. I like this one more than carrot cake and definitely better than red berries and dark chocolate.

Since I knew we didn't have food at home, I called Avanti Cafe and ordered a gluten-free pizza with tomato cumin sauce, mozzarella, avocado, and soy nuggets.

I ended up eating there. Each table had two tea lights so it was impossible to take a picture till I packed it in my to-go box.

Fortunately, the pizza was much better. The crust was crumbly like gluten-free food sometimes is.

And my leftovers will be 2 more meals for me!

They also gave me a free snicker doodle that I'll eat later. :)

I'm on vegan kick. Just today though. And cookies this whole week! I'm normally a cake girl, but I keep dreaming of cookies.

Oh and coffee in the morning. I have extra time in the morning when I workout at night, which didn't happen today - I wasn't well nourished and we got out late.

Today I tried Bagelmania's Hawaiian hazelnut coffee. So delicious! I wanted one of their huge bagels with Hawaiian cream cheese (must be coconut and pineapple right?) but I restrained myself. I did just have breakfast.

Check out their cool cup design!

I'm wiped out so I'm glad it's the weekend and I only have to work tomorrow morning.

What's your back-up lunch? Is there a specific place you go or are you like me with bookmarks on your yelp app? I used to eat Subway and Taco Bell's fresco menu when I student taught. Everyday. I lost 10 pounds, but I definitely wasn't healthy. I was just too preoccupied.
Do you have a limit for the amount you spend on a weekday meal?

The best chocolate chip cookies come from Rhode Island (March Foodie Penpal Reveal)

The Lean Green Bean

In 5th grade, we picked a state and did research on our states. I remember sending out for a visitor's guide to Rhode Island. I marveled at this teeny state's beauty and for years, I considered moving there for college. It didn't quite happen, but I've had a soft spot for a long time.

*In the days of my basketball fanaticism, I loved the Clippers and then-Clipper Lamar Odom was a URI alum.


So I was completely excited to learn that my Foodie Penpal/blog reader Kristin is from Rhode Island.

I asked Kristin for something local. She sent Del's lemonade mix and Gerb's pumpkin seeds. I haven't tried the lemonade mix yet - saving it for hotter days but I keep the pumpkin seeds in my car for a snack. I should try them on salads though.

The rest of the package was awesome. Kristin, you had some total hits!

*I was so excited for my package, I forgot my camera but wanted to eat the cookies so I took a quick picture with my computer before I went to get it.

When my package arrived, I delved into the bag of chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, they all crumbled in the mailing process but that didn't stop me and my cousin from devouring each bite. They were soft and chewy and each piece had tons of chocolate chips.

And I can't stop eating Almond Nut Thins. I went out and bought myself a bag of their sour cream and chive chips, but they just weren't as good as the country ranch crackers.

The Svelte was a delicious breakfast the next day.

The bars were perfect. I ate the thinkThin bar of course and one of my kids ate the Larabar - I always share.

Thank you Kristin and as always, thanks Lindsay for organizing!

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You will also find contact information on that page for the UK branch of Foodie Penpals if you’re a blogger across the pond!
You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Food links, at night, in bed

I have an affinity for beds, and this headboard, which I saw years ago, has always been my favorite.

I'm in bed right now. It's 7:58 P.M. I'm not sleepy though.

I am... not so much a food blog, but i am a food blog is definitely a food blog with gorgeous pictures.

I don't know what a halfway cookie is, but it looks good.

Why eat plain chocolate chip cookies? I love exotic touches to mine like... milk powder. Milk's Christina Tosi does it.

Right up my alley: Thai tea cake. 'Nuff said.

Or no-butter peanut butter cookies. Kind of healthy.

I've failed at making non-soggy granola. Maybe this these tips will help.

I just want dessert ALL. THE. TIME. Healthy? Cheesy? No-Bake? Or just easy enough for a weeknight.

If all else fails, here are some foods to improve my (and your) mood.

Or I can just look at PowerCakes and resist.

Waffles & Iron (LiveFit Day 46)

All these waffle posts from WIAW made me waffle-hungry! I've been eating oats for weeks on end with two egg whites for breakfast. And since none of our bananas were ripe and I can a container of going-bad (or already bad?) yogurt in the fridge, I decided to make something like Kath's breakfast.

Eros Greek yogurt is new to me and I liked it. It had the perfect consistency for my waffles.

I topped one off with Crofter's organic superfruit preserves and the other with Trader Joe's fig butter. I need to use these up - I've had them forever and have just a bit left in each one.

Totally satisfied.

Speaking of WIAW, I love reading the posts for ideas! I want to find a British tea house. We had one in Asheville, but I never went before I left.

Afterwards, I had some time so my computer and I headed to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I definitely like them more than Peet's (gross) and Starbucks. Maybe it's the font they use. Seriously.

I drank an entire small coffee and while at work, I started having hot flashes. Okay, maybe not hot flashes but was I warm and sweaty. Everyone else had coats on. I also found myself jittery as I wrote. That does not happen.

After work, I was set to go to the gym. No stops, just go.

I'm glad I did. Today is shoulder day (LiveFit Day 46) and it was fun... at least until cardio.

Great improvements especially with the Arnold dumbbell press. I even included the forgotten reverse crunch from yesterday... and I added a column with my old weights. 

Ugh, then cardio. I did fine on the elliptical machine. It wasn't one with the adjustable incline that's more up and down. This machine is more of a glider. Then I tried my hand at 10 minutes on the bike - so tiring. I need to challenge myself more with the adjustable incline elliptical.

I bought already-ripe bananas and came home for a mini meal of green beans and chicken and then the other half of my Eros yogurt. More to come as I get hungrier...

P.S. Does anyone else use Blogger? I tried to switch over to WordPress, but I may be the only person who doesn't like it. It's pretty limited in what you can do for free. Anyways, they've installed a new posting format that is so much cleaner.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2 days in 1 and WIAW (LiveFit Days 44 & 45)

Not a lot of pictures of food unfortunately, but I'll give it a shot again next week.

I've been having to double post lately.

I drove behind this Ron Paul supporter. I have no clue who is running for President. I've been keeping up with international news though.

I slept in yesterday and went to the gym after work. I went with my friend Sara for legs (LiveFit Day 44).

Legs have been somewhat of a failure lately. The workouts aren't as crippling as they had been yet I can't increase my weights either. :/
  • Narrow stance squats: 45#s
  • Narrow stance leg press: 195#s
  • Barbell step ups: 35#s
  • Walking double barbell lunge: 45#s then 8#s "serving" xs 2
  • Single leg barbell squat: 35#s
  • Seated calf raise: 190#s, 210#s
  • Standing calf raise: 80#s
No increases. Oh well.

Sara and I headed downtown for Surf City Nights. I've always wanted to go and finally had a Tuesday off to do so. We perused the farmer's market and ended up at Fred's Mexican Cafe for tacos and a skinny 'rita, which we shared. The tacos were delicious! I chose grilled cod and chicken tacos on flour tortillas. Sara and I eat the same too - we ate only about half of each taco's tortilla.
I wanted to sleep in today too, but I promised myself yoga once a week.

The practice was tough. I totally felt the leg workout from yesterday. My balance is terrible now. :(

Oatmeal for breakfast but no banana to taste. :/

After reading PB Fingers' post on pledging to eat more veggies, I realized I've been slacking off! To make up for it, I stopped by Mother's Market for a small 8 ounce green juice.

Lunch has been the same this week: buffalo chicken mac and cheese quinoa. Soooo good and hearty. I used a jalapeno jack almond cheese so it's not so much orange.

I asked my co-worker and yoga instructor friend to help me do chaturangas properly. More sucking in my core. Let's just say that's really hard.

Dinner was a double fiber English muffin with turkey slices and goat cheese and a 2% strawberry-banana Chobani.

After work I headed to the gym for LiveFit Day 45. I have to admit, I love weights but cardio is no fun. Running is okay though. Maybe it's because it's still new to me. I still can't run for 30 minutes without getting bored so I hopped on the elliptical and watched "Modern Family." Love that show - I mean, Al Bundy is on it!

Some successes:
  • Barbell bench press up to 50# from 40#
  • Incline dumbbell press up to 20# from 17.5#
  • Flat bench flyes up to 15# from 12.5#
  • Better at bench dips!
My note at the bottom: don't go to this gym at night! There are lots of people and it gets hot and gross.
Along with a Shakeology, I spooned Wild Squirrel nut butter. Like, I went to TOWN. I find that I eat the honey pretzel most and not because I particularly love it but because there are crunchy pretzel pieces.

I'm totally sleeping in tomorrow... :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trend: Sleeping in (LiveFit Days 41 & 43)

Trend: sleeping in. I worked a full day yesterday but not until noon so I slept in.

I made a bowl of oats on the stove top, mixed in a banana part way through, and added some Wild Squirrel nut butter. Same thing today. With 2 egg whites of course.

I headed to the gym for a quick leg workout (LiveFit Day 41):
  • Seated leg curl: 50#s
  • Leg extension: 90#s
  • Barbell lunge: 55#s
  • Abductor machine: 70#s
  • Lying leg curls: 112.5#s x 20 x 2 then a set at 125#s
  • Abductor machine: 90#s
  • Stiffed-leg deadlift: forgot :(
  • Single leg barbell squat: 35#s
  • Leg press: 170#s to failure then 210#s x 10 x 1
  • Seated calf raise: 210#s
  • Standing calf raise: 70# barbell
I highlighted my increases. The abductor machines were different at 24 Hour Fitness than at Gold's so I decreased my weight significantly. I also had trouble with the leg curl but not the extension.

Afterwards, I ran over to South Coast Plaza and Emmo Home for a new water bottle. I was due for a new one. I'm quite sure you're not supposed to use a Sigg for 3 years...

Kor Vida in white has a wider spout so I can see the water inside.

I stopped by Macy's Signature Kitchen and got a couple of goodies for me and my cousin:

Cat Cora's mini red velvet cupcake was crunchy on top but the rest was dry so I discarded that part.

These cheddar and scallion madeleines were fantastic. They're cornbread in the shape of madeleines.

While prepping some lunch, I ate my dinner of thin-sliced beef steak and must've eaten it too fast and a little raw cause I felt bloated all night. Gah.

I woke up still feeling full but resumed my day. I started my sleep-full morning by making chocolate chip rice crispy treat. Everyone (kids and cousins) enjoyed them.

I prepped this buffalo chicken quinoa mac and cheese last night with jalapeno almond cheese.

When I got home from work, my cousin met me at the door wanting to go to Kabuki for their happy hour. Perfect since I needed some food before my workout later.

My little cousin came along too and we both got the Alaskan roll - salmon on top of a California roll. I chose brown rice at no extra charge.

I had some time to digest before I headed to the gym. First, weights for LiveFit Day 43 (I took an impromptu day off in the middle of last week so just continued working out).
  • Narrow pushups: knees
  • Seated tricep press: 20#s x 8 x 2, 22.5#s x 8 x 2
  • Cable one arm tricep extension: 12.5#s
  • One-arm reverse grip tricep pushdowm: 12.5#s
  • Skullcrushers: 30#s
  • Close-grip barbell bench press: 30#s
  • Incline dumbbell curl: 15#s, 10#s x 8 x 3
  • Dumbbell alternate bicep curls: 15#s
  • Barbell 21's: 30#s
  • Stability ball crunch: bodyweight
  • Jackknife sit-up holding stability ball: bodyweight
  • Stability ball reverse crunches: bodyweight
And for cardio: 10 mins biking while waiting for TurboKick. I was wiped out. I've only been able to make it through 40 minutes of class before I die. I almost died with the 21s too; I barely made it.

I felt everything in the proper place, which is such a big deal because this wasn't always the case.

I switched shifts tomorrow so I get the night off and I'm definitely sleeping in!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nine pretty things on Sunday

Comfortable hair.

I don't grow plants, but this would be perfect if I did.

I have strawberries. I'm making this.

It's a strawberry festival.


And there's leftover quinoa. Perfect.

I wish this was my room instead.


When my bike tire gets fixed...


I think it's funny.


This too. Cute.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting over tired (LiveFit Day 40)

Today was packed! I survived and have a second burst of energy.

Breakfast first: double fiber English muffin with goat cheese & egg whites on one side, PB & banana on the other

I woke up to meet my friend Sara (not "Sarah" oops) to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific. I tagged along with her and her education class and didn't even need to pay. Woohoo! We got a look at one of the galleries and a behind the scenes look as well.

We had to build a mini fish tank's filtration system and we weren't very good at it. It wasn't just me, the non-science major either.

Leafy sea dragons

I learned a lot about the animals I did see. Though I will admit, I didn't love this science (marine biology?). I guess I'm more fascinated with the universe and the solar system. :)

Afterwards, we explored on our own before heading to Congregation Ale House for lunch. I already ate half of my garlicky shrimp and quinoa, which was an interesting choice for the aquarium. I got several funny comments.

I decided not to take pictures at lunch with new friends. I had a turkey sausage with jalapeno and cheddar in a flatbread with sweet potato fries. I ate one bite of the flatbread and some sweet potato fries. I also ordered a AleSmith Horny Devil on tap. I liked that it was $6, 11% alcohol content, and delicious.

I rushed home to change and headed to work. I was a total cranky pants. I got some coffee eventually and ate the rest of my garlicky shrimp and quinoa, but it was much later when the caffeine hit me. Good thing too since I planned on going to the gym.

I headed to another gym that is actually open 24 hours. Only guys really. The weight room is bigger but dirty. Men don't seem to know how to put weights back. :/

LiveFit Day 40: shoulders. I told myself it was easy since shoulders are my weakest. No cardio either since I OD'd yesterday. Pretty easy and quite convincing.

I don't know how I did it. My night workouts have been more successful as of late, or I'm getting stronger. Check it out! I upped my weights in EVERYTHING!

I loved the rear delt flyes and raises. I felt super strong.

Even though I said no cardio, I decided to run. I'm still trying to run more than 10-15 minutes at a time, but I get so bored. I was running next to a girl and decided we were racing, which was inevitable since the treadmills face a mirror. My reflection kept me engaged for 10 minutes until my phone flew off the treadmill. It's okay though!

The other girl was definitely running faster, but I increased my mph to 6.5 mph rather than my measly 6 mph. It wasn't a big difference but put me at 9:25/mile. Next cardio session will be an attempt to run 3 miles at 6.5 mph since ya know, The Color Run is coming up.

Getting over tired is the best thing.

P.S. My thumb feels stiff. I hurt it yesterday in abs class as I was going to sit down... and landed on my thumb. :/