Just Two Years Ago

Oh, what a relief yesterday was. I woke up feeling much better than I had in days and I was determined to keep it that way. I started out with some wheatberries, oats and bulgur mixed with flax seed and then topped with a banana and some PB & Co. white chocolate dreams PB. The PB was good but it didn’t really taste like white chocolate, it kinda tasted like Jiff. It has been years since I had eaten PB that wasn’t all natural so maybe that influenced what I thought. It was really really sweet but it went nicely with my hot cereal and banana. I also had a glass of milk to wash it all down.

kinda like jiff

kinda like jiff

When I got to work, things were in full swing. I had a huge day ahead of me, I had been feeling very behind as a number of special projects were bogging down my daily work. I knew that I could get myself caught up if I really stayed off of the internetfocused. While being knee deep in work, I received a lovely bouquet of flowers for the dear husband. We had met each other just two years ago, the happiest years of my life.

happy anniversary

happy anniversary

Shortly after I got the flowers, it was lunch time. I ordered the lunch special. It was a lovely seared pepper ahi tuna salad with ponzu dressing. I also had a slice of whole wheat bread on the side. The combo was very filling, I was actually only able to finish about half of the salad. It was a shame to see that second piece tuna go to waste but better for it to go to waste than to my waist.

peppered ahi tuna salad

peppered ahi tuna salad

good carbs

good carbs

 

Shortly after lunch, I had one of my homemade cinnamon lattes, it really it the spot and got me through a long afternoon. I ended up staying late again but the result of all my hard work was being able to leave without a long to do list on my brain. To celebrate our “dating two years married 4 months” anniversary, we met for sushi. We started with edamame and then some calamari.

edamame

edamame

calamari

calamari

 

After the appetizers, we ordered three rolls for the two of us. We got a volcano roll, a lobster roll and a calamari with spicy tuna roll. All of it was awesome. We haven’t really had the time lately to get out to sushi as much as we like, the chef even asked where we had been. So, this was nice treat and a great way to celebrate.

volcano roll

volcano roll

calamari with spicy tuna roll

calamari with spicy tuna roll

lobster roll

lobster roll

spicy mayo for the side

spicy mayo for the side

 

Once we were home from dinner, I had a madjool date to cure my sweet tooth. I had never had a date before so this was a new experience. I’m not sure if I liked it or not, on some bites I thought I did and others I wasn’t sure. I need to figure out a good use for them other than eating them straight. Ideas are welcome, of course.

a date, the food kind

a date, the food kind

Around 9ish, I felt was seemed like stomach growling. I didn’t think it could be hunger but it was persistent. Finally, I decided that it must be hunger so I made dear husband and I a treat. A grilled chocolate dreams PB and cherry jam sandwich of 100% whole wheat bread. I had my half along with a glass of milk. It was fantastic!! The PB was warm and melty and the jam was still jam like but started to blend with the PB. Oh, it was a good little bedtime treat.

how good does that look?

how good does that look?

Shortly after our snack, we headed off to bed. I went to sleep very thankful for a peaceful, productive and happy day.

A Chocolate Bar Will Not Fix It

Boy, what a hard few days. Yesterday, I woke up with puffy swollen eyes from all the tears, a massive headache and the general desire to sleep all day. But, I knew that wouldn’t really help anything so I got up and proceeded with my day. For breakfast I had wheatberries, oat and bulgur mixed with flax seed and topped with a banana and some PB & Co chocolate dreams. That stuff should be illegal, really. I also had a glass of milk to wash it all down.

should be illegal oatmeal

should be illegal oatmeal

Once I got to work, I got the advice from the blogospehere and a message board that I frequent to contact the animal control about Callie. I called and left a message and as of yet, I still have not heard back. Once I had the Callie news off my chest, I got to work on a busy busy day. Golf World is a madhouse these days and my desk is loaded with work. That is good though, plenty to keep my mind off of all the negative things going on.

Around 11, I had to run out and do some errands for work and I planned to pick up lunch. My stomach had been growling for a while, I decided to go ahead and have a snack. I had a Kashi Crunch bar, the chocolate and caramel one. While I was eating it, I was thinking that it was actually a form of emotional eating. Sure I was hungry, but hunger is tolerable and lunch was right around the corner. And with all the bad stuff going on, the hunger just didn’t feel tolerable. I was tired of being uncomfortable. I did enjoy the Kashi bar, in fact, I bought more while I was out. This makes up for the Kashi roll experience, for sure.

now that is good

now that is good

While out, I picked up lunch for T and I. I got brown rice tuna dynamite roll and a fresh veggie spring roll. Because I had eaten the Kashi bar, I wasn’t really that hungry and for the first time in history, I didn’t finish it all. I gave the rest the the chef intern in the kitchen, he seemed very happy to receive my gift of sushi.

brown rice tuna dynomite roll

brown rice tuna dynomite roll

fresh veggie spring roll

fresh veggie spring roll

 

After lunch, the afternoon sped by, so much so that I knew I would have to stay late. I started to get hungry again and knew that I wouldn’t be home until really late so I decided to have some greek yogurt with blackberries. I had really intended to have that as my morning snack but that never really happened. I was pretty tasty though I thought the berries could have been a smidge sweeter.

greek yogurt and blackberries

greek yogurt and blackberries

Once I finally left work, I arranged for dear husband to prepare dinner. I had planned to make stuffed shells but my hunger wasn’t waiting that long. So, we had an archers farms BBQ chicken extra thin crust pizza. It has chicken, BBQ sauce, onions and cheese, a really tasty combo. Along side we had spinach and baby romaine salads with rice vinegar. It all really did the trick, it was indulgent but not too over the top.

BBQ chicken pizza

BBQ chicken pizza

After dinner, I was exhausted, I had been running on four hours of sleep and it was really catching up to me. And along with that, I am getting over a sinus infections so my body really just wanted to rest. We watched a little tv and I think I was out by 8. A long hard day had finally come to an end.

Goodbye Callie

I tell you, sometimes I wonder why life throws so many curve balls all at one time. Yesterday was a really hard day emotionally. I started out with a heavy heart about how work would feel. I didn’t want to get out of bed and I wondered how many days in row I could call in sick without being fired. I did finally get up and get ready to go. For breakfast I had my typical, hot grain cereal with wheatberries, oats and bulgur topped with almond butter and a banana. One the side I had a glass of milk.

breakfast

breakfast

Once at work, the emotions really started flying. The Pro and I had a really long talk about Paul’s death and the unfortunate circumstances behind it. Though the club was closed, a few employees rambled in throughout the day to find out any updates about the arrangements for him. Once T got to work, the mood lightenend a bit as she is a laugher and her laugh is infectous. It was a nice change from the somber mood of the early morning.

Around 10:30, The Pro said he would go out to Firebird’s and pick up some lunch. Since I knew that meant it would be late before lunch arrived, I had a stoneyfield farms low fat strawberry yogurt. It really hit the spot and held me over until the lunch came.

this should hold me over

this should hold me over

I ordered the same thing I always order from Firebird’s, a grilled salmon salad. The salad has roasted pecans, tomatoes and jicama and it comes with a cilantro lime vinaigrette. It is so tasty and even without any whole grains, it is really filling. The Pro also “surprised” us with lattes so right after lunch I had most of a grande soy latte from Starbucks. I had a raging headache and that really helped ease it up some.

lunch

lunch

latte

latte

 

The afternoon flew by and before I knew it, it was time to go. By the time I left, I had an outrageous headache again and was really ready to be home. When I got home, I made spinach salads and whole wheat mini shells with turkey tomato sauce. I had the sauce in the freezer so this meal went together in less than 15 minutes.

quick dinner

quick dinner

After dinner, we went out to run some errands and came home to some disappointing news. There were signs all over the neighborhood indicating someone had lost a pregnant calico cat with a distinctive stripe down her nose. We knew right away that the missing cat was our Callie. We had adopted her just a week prior and at the time felt sure she was a stray. She did not have a collar and she hung around for months. Once we decided that she was a stray, we started feeding her and she, of course, started to hang around more. She was in our yard constantly and we didn’t want her to be homeless anymore. So, we took her to the vet and brought her in to join our other two precious kitties.

We called the number on the flyer and got a voicemail and left a message letting them know we had her. The whole evening was so sad. I made some popcorn hoping to find some comfort, I know food wasn’t the answer but I was so tired of crying.

comfort food?

comfort food?

Around 9:30, we went to bed only to be woken at 10:30 by the ringing phone. Dear husband answered, it was Callie’s “owner”. Within a few minutes, the doorbell rang. I answered the door because I wanted answers. I wanted to know why she was always so hungry and if they intended to give her an actual home. Sadly, the man was very confrontational and he had two dirty crying children with him. He approached me as if he wanted to fight a couple of times, I threatened to call the police but he wasn’t backing down. He and I clearly have different positions on proper animal care. He was aware that she was pregnant and that she didn’t have a collar. He also admitted that “everyone” in the neighborhood feeds her. They had gone on vacation and when they returned she was missing. In the end, I gave him the cat as he was threatening me and I was very scared, he was only feet from my face and I didn’t know what else to do.

Once Callie left, I was angry and sad. I am so worried about the fate of her and her little babies. I don’t know if I have any rights at all. Though I did tell him if she comes back, I do plan to take her in again. I cried alot and finally fell asleep around 2 am. I didn’t see her this morning, I hope she is OK.

In Memory of Paul

Yesterday started out pretty good. I slept in a little, I woke up around 7. It took me forever to decide what I wanted for breakfast and I finally settle on pancakes. I did a little twist of my oat and flax pancakes and made nutty oatmeal pancakes. I  topped them with a fruit puree I made out of Sarah’s homemade cherry jam, a ripe banana and a very ripe nectarine and then I had a little pure maple syrup on the side. I served them with scrambled eggs made from 1 egg and 2 egg whites. This was a hearty and satisfying meal.

nutty oatmeal pancakes

nutty oatmeal pancakes

Shortly after breakfast, I received some tragic news. The Pro informed me that Paul, our golf staff intern, lost his life in a car accident on Saturday. Paul was 22 years old. I only knew him for a short time but his death struck me so deeply. I lost my brother at the age of 25 to a terrible car accident and this really hit home for me. I feel such deep sympathy for his family and hope that they can come to a place of peace with their tragic loss. It has been almost four years since I lost my brother and losing Paul brought all of those feelings to the surface. All day long I thought of Paul on a golf cart meanwhile thinking of my own brother and his goofy faces. I guess it hit home for me yesterday that the grief doesn’t end, it just changes. I know what Paul’s family is going through and I hope they will find some comfort.

After the news of Paul’s death, I needed something to take my mind away from all of it. Dear husband and I decided to go for a really long walk. We walked just over six miles between our neighborhood and the one across the street. The walk felt long and somber. When we got home, I made lunch. Dear husband wanted pigs in a blanket so I made them with reduced fat crescent rolls and low fat turkey kielbasa. I ended up eating way more than I should have. I ate four of them along with a small salad with seasoned rice vinegar.

salad

salad

pigs in a blanket

pigs in a blanket

 

Lunch was followed my housework and cooking. While preparing some meals to pack into the freezer, I gave one of them a taste. It is called beef and bulgur casserole and it is really really good. It kind of took me back to childhood as it tastes like a cross between rice a roni and chili mac. But in a healthy way.

make ahead meals

make ahead meals

For dinner, I made a lentil loaf from vegetarian times. It took almost 2 hours to prepare from start to finish so this was definitely a Sunday dinner kind of thing.

Veg Times lentil loaf

Veg Times lentil loaf

According to the recipe, you should serve it with garlic and herb mayo but I couldn’t get to my basil plants because it was pouring rain and hailing outside.

holy storm

holy storm

So, I made a pesto mayo instead. I just mixed some already prepared pesto with some olive oil mayo. I served the lentil loaf with the mayo, garlic mashed potatoes and peas. It was all pretty good though, I don’t know that the taste value was worth the effort value. I actually think the pesto mayo is what made it.

Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner

Shortly after dinner, we decided to have some ice cream. I had a small bowl of lemon pie ice cream from the local ice cream shop. They make all of the ice cream on site, it is the richest most divine ice cream I have ever had.

lemon pie ice cream

lemon pie ice cream

A couple tv shows later and I was off to bed. I was really not looking forward to going back to Golf World, I knew it would be a sad place to be. Rest in Peace, Paul.

No Clever Title Here

I woke up feeling much better yesterday, only a slight headache but overall I felt refreshed. I ate breakfast almost as soon as i woke up because I had a 9am bikram yoga class. They say not to eat at least 4 hours before but I woke up around 6 so that was the best I could do. I had a toasted 100% whole wheat bagel by Thomas’. I put a little almond butter on one half and cherry jam on the other. The cherry jam was made by my friend Sarah, she even picked the cherries herself. Now that is what I call local food! Along side the bagel, I had about a half a glass of milk.
bagel

bagel

Around 8 I headed out to hot yoga, it is a half hour drive and I like to sit in the room about 10 or 15 minutes before hand to get used to the heat. This was my third class and I was expecting it to go great. When I walked in the room, the first thing I noticed was that it was loaded up with really thin young girls wearing next to nothing. I felt very intimidated though this was also the first time that I wasn’t the heaviest girl in the class.  As the class started, I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to go as well as I had hoped. Immediately the sweat was pouring down my face and into my eyes and the room seemed even hotter than before. Upon glancing up, I realized that I had placed myself right under the heat vent. Good job! Soon, I became really nauseas and had to sit out for a bit and this kept happening throughout the standing poses. Once we made it to the floor poses, I seemed to be much better. Though, I still wasn’t able to do fixed firm or camel pose. Fixed firm makes my knees scream in pain and Camel makes me want to hurl. A few people in the class sit out fixed firm everytime so my guess is that I am not the only one that feels pain in it.  Once class was over, I was revved up and ready to go.

I got home and realized that I was starving and dear husband wasn’t hungry so I decided to try one of the Kashi Roll bars I bought just a few days ago. I guess when I bought it the “protein” bar portion of the label didn’t click with me. I was expecting a fun granola bar and that, my friends, it was not. At first bite, I thought it was OK but by the middle I was taken back to my atkins days eating those grainy nasty protein marketed as low carb on the go meals. I guess for someone who likes protein bars, it is probably really good but for me, it wasn’t.  Which is disappointing, I had great expectations and I had already envisioned myself buying them in bulk on Amazon. But instead, I’ll probably pass along the other one I have to someone I know will appreciate it.  I really don’t know who that is but I will find someone. I could always put it in the caddie lounge at work, food doesn’t last long in there at all.

anyone want the other one?

anyone want the other one?

Anyway, after a shower, we headed out for the day. I had planned on staying home all day and cooking but I was full of energy and wanted to go do stuff. Since we hadn’t planned anything, we just kind of winged it. First we went to Ukrop’s for the salad bar. For my readers that aren’t from VA, Ukrop’s is a local grocer that falls into the more upscale catergory. They have an amazing salad bar, local produce and a rockin health/natural foods section.  Everytime I get the salad bar there, my eyes are WAY bigger than my stomach. On my salad, I had spinach, toamtoes, edamame, green peppers, red peppers, fresh salsa, chopped egg, this yummy seed mix and some garlic expressions dressing. The dressing is cider vinegar, chunks of garlic, olive oil and other spices. One the side I had some three bean salad, seafood salad and tuscan salad. And for dessert, we got some waldorf salad, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. I only ate about half the salad, all of the seafood salad, most of the three bean salad and one bite of the tuscan salad. Then I had a bite or two of the waldorf salad and berries. It was a wonderful lunch.

yummy salad bar

yummy salad bar

dessert

dessert

After lunch we headed to Costco. In light of my recent banning of Walmart and Sam’s Club, we needed a membership to a bulk place and we chose Costco. We signed up for a membership and then kinda tooled around and looked at stuff. Mainly the food 🙂 We didn’t buy anything because the lines were long and since we didn’t really need anything it wasn’t worth the lines. After Costco, we headed to Barnes and Noble and got a Starbuck’s. I again got a tall vanilla latte. We roamed around Barnes and Noble until it was time to meet dear husband’s family for dinner to celebrate his brother’s birthday.

another vanilla latte

another vanilla latte

We met at Red Lobster, not my first choice but it wasn’t my birthday. I get so annoyed at places like this because the wait is so long and it just seems silly when there are plenty of great local places to get better quality food. But I digress. I still didn’t get up the nerv to bust out my camera with his family so there are no pictures. I ordered a combination plate with coconut shrimp, stuffed flounder and crab legs. It came with a side salad and a baked potato. I ate the side salad with blue cheese dressing and the shrimp, flounder and crab legs. I gave the baked potato to dear husband,  I just wasn’t in the mood for it.  I do have to toot my own horn a bit and say that I did not eat any of the cheese biscuits or the butter for the crab. The problem with buscuits for me is the ability to stop at one. I could probably eat about nineteen of them before my brain says enough. So, I decided to just stay away and to my surprise, dear husband said they weren’t that great anyway.

After dinner, we went over to Kroger to look for this bread that I keep seeing on blogs and I can’t seem to find it. It is made by Arnold’s and it is called flax and fiber. They didn’t have it either so we went home empty handed. Once home, I was feeling very dry mouthed and dehydrated. This is a side effect of one of the medicines I take but I thought that maybe it was from hot yoga. I had read about drinking coconut water to rebalance electrolytes so we headed back out to Kroger. We bought a One 100% coconut water and I gave it a try. Oh, it was not good. Not good at all, it kind of reeked of a litter box and didn’t taste much better. Needless to say, I only had a few sips.

To get that nastiness out of my mouth, I decided that I needed some chocolate. I popped a vita-muffin in the microwave and topped it with a little light whipped cream and a few chocolate chips. The muffin was warm and the cream slid off before I could get a nice picture so you guys get to see one of my food photography bloopers 🙂

whipped cream overboard

whipped cream overboard

After the muffin we headed off to bed. It had been a nice long day and I was ready for a nice long sleep.

A Mental Health Day

Yesterday, I woke up with a blaring headache, the kind that sits behind your eyes and makes everything else hurt. I decided to text in sick to work and use my headache as reason to chill out for the day. I wanted something fast for breakfast because I needed advil right away. I made a bowl of dear husbands live active harvest nut and grain (or something like that) cereal. I had it with a banana and some milk. It was pretty tasty but I don’t think my stomach likes the probiotics in that stuff. I got down a couple advil and some coffee and the headache was well on it’s way by mid morning.

quick breakfast

quick breakfast

For most of the morning, I hung out online reading blogs and articles about bikram. Just before noon, I had a snack of greek yogurt and a nectarine. My snack was followed by a little more web surfing and just hanging out. It was nice to be home with nothing to do, those days are so rare I was savoring every minute of it.

there really is yogurt under those nectarines slices

there really is yogurt under those nectarines slices

Around 1, I was ready for lunch and I decided to make a grilled tomato and cheese sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread along with a bowl of Amy’s Organic Low Sodium Low Fat Butternut Squash soup. While the grilled cheese was cooking, I ate the other half of the lovely tomato with some salt and pepper. I will be so sad when the hanover tomatoes are gone. The lunch was right on and seemed to be just what I needed.

tomatoes just don't get better than this

tomatoes just don't get better than this

soup and sandwich

soup and sandwich

After lunch, dear husband came home and we went out to run some errands. And of course, we stopped by Target for a Starbucks. They were tasting the strawberries and cream frappucino so I had a sip of that and a tall vanilla latte. Of all the crazy concoctions that starbukcs has, I really think that is my favorite. It is nice and creamy and the sweetness isn’t too much. I rarely get the ones with the syrups but when I do, I really enjoy it.

a tiny treat

a tiny treat

vanilla latte

vanilla latte

 

After our errands, we came home and got the grill going. I had really been craving steaks so I pulled some fillet mignon out of the freezer and steaks it was. We had them with some baked sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar and a salad with cukes, tomatoes, goat cheese and oil and vinegar. I only ate abotu half of what you see pictured, when we packaged up the steaks for the freezer, it didn’t really dawn on me how big those steaks actually were!

goat cheese on salad

goat cheese on salad

iron and vitamin c

iron and vitamin c

This meal hit the spot like I can’t even begin to describe. I talked to Monica about my beef cravings and how beef always makes me feel so much better, less tired and more alert. I have tried to avoid red meat but she assured me that a little is OK every now and then, especially for people with problem with iron.  She also suggested that eating foods rich in iron along with foods rich in vitamin C is best because it helps with the absorption of iron. Today, I plan to do a little more research on foods that are rich in iron and ones that are rich in vitamin C.  Which I actually chose the steak and sweet potato before I knew this information which assures me that my body really does know what it needs! I feel best when my iron isn’t low and it seems to sneak up on me when I need it most.

After dinner, I made some “healthy” “cookies”. I saw them on this blog yesterday and I thought I would try them. I tweaked the recipe a bit and used dried cherries and chocolate chips; they turned out great. They were like warm granola bars, not really cookie like but they were still so good. So good in fact, I need to be sure I have company around next time I make them. Dear husband and I ate 5 of these little delights! Now granted, they are pretty small but five was still too many.

coooookie

coooookie

Once we devoured the cookies, we played SIMS on the Wii for a bit and then headed to bed. It was a great mental health day.

I love PB & CO

Yeseterday, I got through the morning without rushing…again! I might be setting some sort of record with this. For breakfast, I had a bowl of rolled oats made with milk and while it was cooking, I stirred in some of the PB & CO chocolate dreams peanut butter. I topped it with a banana and it was so good, it made me think of Elvis. It was really filling as well, I was only able to eat about 2/3s of it before calling it quits.

elvis oatmeal

elvis oatmeal

Once I made it to work, I knew I was in for a stressfull day. My desk looked like a tornado hit it but at least the internet was working! The morning went by so fast that before I knew it my stomach was growling and it was lunch time. I went downstairs to find out what the staff lunch was and I was once again delighted. And serioulsy, that never happens twice in one week. It was salad bar! I loaded my plate with lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, carrots, a little egg salad, a little tuna salad and some grilled chicken. I asked the chef for a slice of that yummy bread and back upstairs I went. I put some oil and vinegar from my secret stash on it and it was really good and really filling as well. I think it must have been a nice combo of fat, protein and carbs.

another healthy staff lunch

another healthy staff lunch

After lunch, I had another meeting about the website. Once that was over, I had to ride out to the Training Center and the Maintenance department to work on some email issues. It was a lovely day outside, 85* and no humidity. Not your typical July day in Virginia, that is for sure. After all that, it was time to head home. Once home, I made tacos and refried beans. For the tacos, I used morning star farms soy crumbles, salt free taco seasoning and corn shells. I topped them with goat’s milk gouda, salsa and fat free sour cream. The refried beans were so easy, just a can of fat free refried beans topped with more of the gouda and some salsa. It was such a good dinner. I wasn’t able to finish all of it, those beans are filling.

tacos and refried beans

tacos and refried beans

I was so tired after dinner that all I did was watch a little tv and then hit the hay. I wonder if my balance of rest, work and exercise is out of whack.

And beacuse I found this little shot to be irresistable, here is a nice shot of Callie.

callie

callie