Shout Out, Shout Out, Shout Out

Before I get into the fab food I had yesterday, I want to give a couple of shouts outs! First, to my dear friend, Mara, over at What’s For Dinner for giving props to my new bead page, thanks Mara!  Next up on the shout out list is the lovely Heather at Hangry Pants, they are doing an almond butter giveaway so get on over there and get dibs!! And last, but certainly not least, is Brandi, she just posted the BSI ingredient for this week  and there are prizes involved so get on over there and submit your recipes!!

Ok, now that we have taken care of the general blog administration, we can talk about the food. I had a fantastic day of food! I started out with another bowl of All Bran Strawberry fields, but this time, in addition to the ground flax seed, I added a few dried blueberries! Now THAT is what I am talking about, so good!

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For lunch, I had The Chef make me a small salad to fill my veggie slots for the day

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along with a bowl of black bean soup topped with cheese and sour cream. I pulled the soup out of the freezer which is always good for a quick lunch.

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I had a really busy afternoon, so busy, I forgot to eat my snack. I was heading down the highway to meet the dear husband for an errand when my stomach was rebelling against my bad memory. I searched my bags only to find that my bar stash was wiped clean. I called the dear husband to see what he had in his stash and he didn’t have anything either. Luckily, one of the errands was right next to Panera so I stopped in and got a mango smoothie. It is normally just the fruity mix and ice so I had them add in a little vanilla yogurt for some staying power. The smoothie was good but it would be better in the summertime!

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After our errands, I was really cold and craving a warm sandwich so we stopped into one our favorite local spots to pick up grilled subs. We got them to go so that we could get home at a decent time. Mine was a vegetarian with lots of toppings. They put these really delicious sweet peppers on it with a really zesty Italian dressing. These things are killer!

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On the side, we shared an order of sweet potato fries. They were a little soggy from being in the to go bag but they were tasty none the less.

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We spent the evening watching a little tv and reading. I am a little behind on my group therapy book so I needed to catch up before tonight’s session!!

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A Monday Off Work

We had to get up super early yesterday because we had to take my car in to the dealership for some work. Once the car was where it needed to be, we went out for breakfast, something we rarely do. We ended up at IHOP for pancakes. I ordered a spinach, mushroom and ham omelet

with harvest nut and grain pancakes. I put a little dab of syrup on the pancakes but discovered that I actually like them better without!

It was awesome breakfast! Of course, it was enough food to feed an army so I barely even finished a quarter of it. After breakfast, we ran some errands and then headed back home. We spent most of the day doing house and yard work. It was early afternoon before I was even remotely hungry, probably due to my well balanced breakfast 😉 For lunch, I made a repeat of Saturdays lunch. A hummus, havarty cheese, ham, lettuce and tomato sandwich of local 9 grain bread. It was just as good as the first time.

Just before it was time to pick up my car, I had a small bowl of greek yogurt with walnuts and agave. It was pretty good and held me over until dinner time.

For dinner, I made baked tofu. First, I drained it all day in the fridge and then cut it into large cubes. I tossed it with olive oil, agave and Penzy’s BBQ 3000 seasoning. Then,  I baked it at 400* for 40 minutes until nice and brown. Along side, we had a baked sweet potato with smart balance and sauteed kale. The kale was sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, crushed red pepper and a dash of nutmeg. This was a delicious dinner!

After dinner, we both read a little and watched some tv. For dessert, I had a vitamuffin.

This was a great birthday weekend, too bad it isn’t just a few days longer!

QOTD: What sort of meals seem to hold you over for hours at a time?

My Favorite Things

Yesterday, I woke up at the ripe old age of 32, a birthday that I had not been looking forward to. I started out the day with french toast with agave and goat cheese scrambled eggs. For the toast, I used a couple slices of 9 grain local bread, half and half, eggs, vanilla bean paste and, of course, a pinch of salt. It was a delightful birthday breakfast.

Just before heading out for the day, my blood sugar felt low so I had a couple slices of roast beef and a piece of havarty cheese.

That really stabilized my blood sugar and kept me tied over for a couple of hours. We walked around Carytown for a bit and once we were hungry, we ate lunch at Ginger Thai, one of my favorite Thai places. Since I knew that I was going to be eating all day, we skipped appetizers and soup and went right for the main dish. I got what I always gets, spicy noodles of the drunk with tofu. Yum!

After lunch, we walked around a little more and then stopped into The Baker’s Crust for a chocolate filled croissant. It ended up being very dry an not what my heart desired so after a couple of bites, I threw it out. When we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii, I had the best chocolate filled croissant in the world and have been in search of that perfection ever since.

By mid afternoon, we were pretty wiped out and still had evening plans so we stopped by starbucks for a pic me up, I got a grande vanilla latte. It was just what I needed to get me through the day. Shortly after, we met up with our friends, Sarah and FJ, and the in laws. We met at a local sushi and hibachi place that I can not remember the name of! The dear husband and I shared four rolls, I probably ate one roll worth as they were huge! Here is an action shot from the hibachi that the dear husbands family ordered.

A birthday would not be complete without cake and ice cream so we headed over to Cold Stone. I got birthday cake batter ice cream with vanilla cake chunks and fudge. It was the perfect way to end my Birthday.

QOTD: Do you have any birhday traditions? What do you like to do on your Birthday?

Food, Food Everywhere

I slept in until almost 7 yesterday and when I woke up my stomach was roaring for food. I take this as a sign that I have not been eating too much the past couple of days. My thoughts have really been going there since I started the mini meals thing; I have even thought of counting calories. I have been mentally calculating calories for each mini meal and it is starting to get to me. I started mini meals to get my blood sugar back under control and already I can tell a huge difference. I never guessed that it would make me fear the foods I was eating or want to diet. The fear is that by eating so often, I could really easily eat too much and gain weight.

When I think about it logically, I know a few things to be true. If my mini meals had too much food in them, I wouldn’t be getting hungry every 2 to 4 hours. I would not be feeling the lightness I have felt the past few days and what happened at “lunch” yesterday would be constant, but more on that later. I have mainly been eating foods with low energy density so naturally, I would feel fuller on less calories rather than the other way around.  I have had enough experience with yo yo dieting to know that my brain is just going into overdrive with my new patter of eating. I know that I don’t have it all figured out yet and that I still need to learn the right balance of food for my body. I do feel sure if I can keep the logical side of my brain going, that I can stick with this and be a much happier, healthier person as a result.

Ok, now lets go back to my roaring stomach yesterday. It was growling so loud that I knew it wanted food and it wanted it then. There was no time to leisurely enjoy my coffee or to check my email and write my blog. I made myself a bowl of shredded wheat and bran with a banana, walnuts and plain hemp milk. I think I could probably eat this combo very day, it sounds plain and simple but it really is delicious.

The rest of the morning was spent blogging, doing laundry and grocery list writing. About 9:30, I started roasting Brussels sprouts in anticipation for my next meal. By 10:30, they were done and I was hungry. I had a leftover chicken, gouda and apple sausage from Whole Foods and Brussels sprouts. I actually started out with more sprouts on my plate and decided I was done after about 6 of them.

Once I was finished eating, we headed to the farm stand and then to the grocery store. We had really stocked up last weekend so we really only needed fresh veggies. From the farm stand we bought local kale, potatoes, apples, tomatoes and jam. From the grocery store, we bough banana, acorn squash and romaine lettuce. After shopping, we came home and did more laundry, does the laundry ever end?

When it was time for my next meal, I made made salmon salad from a Paula Deen recipe. I made it with canned wild Alaskan salmon, I used half greek yogurt and half olive oil mayo instead of all mayo and I added a little chopped cherry tomatoes. I served mine open faced on a slice of toasted whole grain local bread with a couple of pieces of crisp romaine. It was delicious and super filling, I know I ate way too much because I felt heavy afterwards. I have gotten used to the feeling of being light and not feeling the food so it felt rather unpleasant. The really strange part is that it wasn’t really alot of food.

A little more laundry later, the dear husband and I headed out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful fall day. We did one loop around our neighborhood plus we did a couple of the cul-de-sacs twice; it took us close to an hour. It was a lovely day and I really need to take advantage of the lovely weather while I have it so I will probably be doing walks more outside instead of on my treadmill. After our walk, we watched Without a Trace on the DVR. I made us both a cafe au lait and had an honest foods farmers trail mix square. It was just the thing to tide me over until we went to Sarah and FJ’s little get together.

We got to the party around 7 and I dove into this right away…

Baked Brie with apricot jam that Sarah made herself! She served the brie with crusty white bread and I had my fair share without a doubt. I also had a couple of triscuts with a cheese dip. Once dinner was served, I wasn’t very hungry any more so I took tiny portions of what I really wanted. I started with a little mac n cheese, the best roasted potatoes I have ever eaten along with a small piece of a lovely roasted savory acorn squash.

I ended up going back for seconds of the mac n cheese, it was pretty slammin. After dinner settled, it was time for dessert. Sarah made pumpkin muffins with white chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting. These were so good, I had one plus a tiny piece of the one she made for her sister, Mady, with nuts. Though I like nuts, I really enjoyed the one without the most.

Lots of laughs later, we hit the road. It was getting late and the dear husband had a really long run looming. Once we were home, I hit the hay right away. I’m getting to old for this party stuff!

QOTD: Do you eat breakfast as soon as you wake up or do you wait a little while? I try to eat within an hour of waking but lately, my stomach has been demanding food right away.

The Best Day of the Week

Yesterday, I slept in until almost 7! I spent the first part of the morning in blogland and finally made breakfast around 8. I made whole wheat pancakes from a mix that we bought on our trip to Smith Mountain Lake back in August. I normally make pancakes from scratch but I really wanted to try out that mix since it was local, at least to where we were on vacation. Along with the pancakes, I made scrambled eggs with mostly egg whites. On the side, I had a little dish of real maple syrup. I like the syrup on the side because I don’t like it when the pancakes soak up the syrup. The pancakes were good but an addition of nuts and some vanilla extract would have made them better.

We relaxed for a bit after breakfast; once my breakfast was settled, I did another practice from the Power Yoga for Everybody Dvd. This was a 65 minute flow for balancing energies. I really enjoyed the first 45 minutes of the practice but the last 20 was a little too low key for my taste. I am not into forward bends that last for more than a few breaths and these were right on the verge of being like a yin pratice. I still have one more practice to try on this particular dvd and if I don’t like it, I think I am going to get rid of it.

Once my yoga practice was done, I did a little housework and then settled onto the sofa with my book. I read for a couple of hours before making lunch. I had been really cold most of the morning so I knew that soup would be just the thing. I took some of the soup I made last weekend out of the freezer, heated it up and topped it with parmesan cheese.

On the side, I made a whole wheat yeast roll to round out a delightful lunch.

For my after lunch treat, I took a nap! i guess my body needed the rest because I fell right asleep while watching tv. I slept for about an hour and then did some laundry. I also helped the dear husband through a yoga practice for runners. He is starting to have problems with really tight muscles and yoga is just the thing for that. Once he was all loose and limber, I put the chicken in the oven for dinner and then hopped on the treadmill for about 30 minutes.

Once the chicken was done, I served over barley with sauteed kale on the side. For the kale, I used onion, garlic, salt, lemon pepper, crushed red pepper and a dash of nutmeg. It was a great Sunday dinner.

After dinner, we relaxed a bit and then had dessert; I had a fage with honey and walnuts. I finally made my way to bed when I was falling asleep watching the Emmy’s. My long weekend was great and I think I am energized and ready for another week at work.

QOTD: If you practice yoga, is there a particular style you prefer? Mine is vinyasa and I think I would love ashtanga if I tried it. I like my practice to be active and to get the warm from the inside out feeling.

Spontanious Friend Time

Yesterday, I was a little more sensible about the timing of my breakfast and ate breakfast shortly after waking up. It was a lovely spring morning so I decided to make a bowl of pumpkin oats. I used oats, oat milk, water, salt, the ripest banana I have ever been brave enough to use, cinnamon, nutmeg, a dash of ginger and pumpkin, of course. I cooked it on the stove and once it was ready, I topped it with walnuts and granola. It was warm, filling and delicious.

After breakfast and some time in blogland, I did a 50 minute flow from my Power Yoga for Everybody dvd. It wasn’t my style at all, the name of the practice was invigorating so I was expecting something totally different. It was very slow and rather than flowing through the poses it was very slow. Some parts reminded me of a beginners hatha class and some of the poses were much more advanced like crane pose. All in all, it just didn’t seem to flow together and I ended up stopping it about 10 minutes before it was over. I was aggravated and just ready to stop. I have enjoyed a couple of the other practices on this dvd so all is not lost.

By the time I was showered and ready for our day, the dear husband was back from his long run. We headed out to lunch at Ukrop’s salad bar. I loaded my plate with lots of veggies, cheese, a little ham and the seafood salad that I love so much. On the side I had cottage cheese topped with glazed strawberries, a smidge of pasta salad and my beloved three bean salad. To round it out, I had half a pita. My eyes were bigger than my stomach as it is most of the time we eat there so I was only able to finish about 2/3 of it.

After lunch, we met up with our friends Sarah and Francis to go to a local craft fair. Once we walked around the craft fair we didn’t really know what we were doing but decided we would figure it out along the way. We got into their car and Sarah gave me a tiny bag of chocolate from bars she had tried. I tried the chocolate with bread and sea salt right away. It was interesting to say the least, I called it an upscale crunch bar because it had the same texture.

We made a quick stop at their house to drop off a car and then made our way to Starbucks. I got an americano with a sugar in the raw packet and extra room. Once made, I topped it with a combo of milk and half and half. This seems to be my drink of choice these days.

We ended up shopping for most of the afternoon and I got hungry for a snack late in the day. I had a smore’s Z bar which I enjoyed but I think the dear husband liked better.

Around 6 we made our way to Downtown Richmond to Panda Veg. It is an all vegan buffet that serves a combo of asian style dishes. The dear husband and I had never been but since Sarah and Francis are vegetarians we were surely game for a new eating adventure. On my first plate, I had a little hot and sour soup, double cooked “chicken”, “beef”and broccoli, salt and pepper potatoes and an egg roll. I had a bite of the soup only to realize that it was way too spicy for my taste. Then surprisingly, the “chicken” and “beef” were bland in comparison. I really loved the potatoes, though.

I tried a little of the dear husbands blanched bean curd and knew I had to go back for more. This time, I filled my plate with the blanched bean curd and the lo mein noodles. I really enjoyed the tofu and wish I knew how to make the sauce that it was prepared in!

Finally, we tried the warm donuts. O.M.G. were they ever good, I must admit for going back for a second one. I loved how they were not sweet except the outside sugar coating. The center was warm and fluffy, I think I could have packed away at least a dozen of those things.

Then, Sarah said that she couldn’t leave without having a mochi so we gave that a try too. And as good as I thought the donuts were, I thought this was exactly the opposite. I even spit my bite out, gross I know. Sarah dared me to post the picture that I took of the spit out wad of goo but I can’t bring myself to do it. 🙂

After dinner, we wanted to have some dessert and we ended up at the Positive Vibe Cafe. It is a local place that trains handicapped people how to work in the restaurant industry. We had never been there before but local with a cause is my kind of place! I ordered the brownie with vanilla ice cream and the dear husband ordered the Italian Wedding Cake. They were both delicious though the wedding cake was very rich.

We lingered around for a long time chatting it up and having a good time only to realize that it was getting really late. So we made our way back to their house to pick up my car and then headed home. Sarah gave me a lucky bamboo that I placed on my mantel. Thank You, Sarah!

QOTD: What is your favorite way to spend time with friends?

Retail Therapy

I took the day off from work yesterday, so I let myself wake up naturally which was around 6:30. I spent some time blogging and chatting with a couple of friends before making breakfast. My the time I realized I needed to eat, I was already in low blood sugar mode so something quick was on the menu. I made a large bowl of greek yogurt with granola and honey.

On the side, I had a bowl of scuppernong grapes. They were actually already gone bad so I only had a couple.

After breakfast, I caught up on more blogs and then did the 60 minute Jennifer Tipton vinyasa flow yoga dvd. I really enjoyed this one and I can see putting into regular rotation. The menu has a matrix on it that for some reason my dvd player wouldn’t work with so I just hit play and did whatever that was. My guess is that it was the practice with minimal instruction because I was thinking the whole time there was no way it could be for a beginner. It is sold as beginner/intermediate but what I was doing had no instruction just basically either the sanskrit or the american name for the pose. Even in the vinyasas, the only instruction was to flow through a vinyasa rather than the actual poses in a vinyasa (sun salutation). All of this was fine with me of course since I am pretty familiar at this point. I rarely had to look at the screen which was refreshing for me. Some DVDs have tons of poses I have never heard of so I have to look too much and that really takes away from the focus of the practice.

During the practice, I only faltered in Half Moon which I think it pretty good. In my days of taking 3 classes a week and practicing at home, I could easily do it. For now, I have lots of strength and balance to gain before being about to fully get it again.  The good news is that during half moon, I didn’t beat myself up about not being about to get it. I stayed focused on the moment and just kept trying. I guess this is why I like practicing at home, my ego, that I wrote about in this post, doesn’t get in the way. I hope to one day be able to practice at home without the use of a DVD or book.

After yoga, I got ready and met the dear husband for lunch. We met at the Central Park Deli which is one of our favorite local places. I ordered a cup of broccoli and cheese soup to start. It was warm and comforting.

Then I ordered a turkey Reuben. It was seriously not even close to being a real Reuben. But the real truth is that I really wanted the chef salad because I was really craving veggies. The turkey Reuben caught my eye and I decided to go for it. Next time, I will do one of two things. One, if I am in the mood for salad, I will order salad and two, if I am in the mood for Reuben, I will order the real thing.

After lunch, I headed out for some retail therapy. With Fall coming, I needed some new things to get me through the season. I have never been what anyone would call a fashionista but lately, I have really taken a liking to making sure that I dress well. I have been working on my own Fat Acceptance and have come to find that a cute outfit and shoes sure do go a long way in the self esteem department. So, I bought a few things that I loved and had a wonderful day shopping.

By the time I got home and put my fashionable loot away, it was time to make dinner. I had planned a dinner that required more time but I was running short on that so a quick dinner it was. First, I discovered that our salad mix had gone bad so I made a salad of all the other stuff. Orange and red cherry tomatoes, cukes and grapes dressed with salt, pepper, basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Very tasty!

I also made spaghetti and meatballs. I used whole wheat pasta and topped it with frozen turkey meatballs from Whole Foods and marinara sauce. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese and I called it dinner. It was very good and I could not tell that the meatballs or the sauce was of the pre-made variety. Yum!

For dessert, we shared a little reese’s extravaganza ice cream from the local ice cream shop. Yes, right out of the carton but this time, I was emotionally stable and only had about a serving worth.

To relax, we watched the movie Coco Chanel on the DVR. It was three hours long so I, as per usual, fell asleep and missed the last hour or so. I plan to watch it later today. My day was splendid, filled with the things I love in life, yoga, shopping, good food and a little extra time with my dear husband.

QOTD: How do you spend the day when you are able to do whatever YOU want to do?