I Gave In (to medicine)

Yesterday, I woke up very early, especially since I am on vacation. For breakfast, I made a bowl of oats with soymilk topped with a banana, almond butter and some local blueberry jam. It was really great, like an almond butter and jelly sandwich in a bowl. I used a half cup oats and one cup of soymilk and could only finish about 2/3’s of it. This has happened the last few times I have made oats so I think it is time I cut the portion.

ab & j oatmeal

ab & j oatmeal

After breakfast, I had to nurse a pounding sinus headache. I laid down for most of the morning and finally, just before lunch, it was mild enough that I could get on with our time here. We headed out to Moosie’s for lunch in a charming little shopping center right on the water. The place was packed, we knew this was good sign of a great lunch. We sat down and oooohed and ahhhhed over the food at the tables around us. While looking at the menu, we decided that we had to go back there because there were at least three things each of us wanted to try. I finally settled on my favorite sandwich of all time, the Reuben. The menu said it was the house specialty, how could I choose anything else. I asked for no cheese but I didn’t even think to ask for no butter. It came to the table and right away, I knew it was going to be good. And I was right, it was the best rhueben I have ever eaten in my life, seriously. I ate the ENTIRE sandwich, a few of the chips and the pickle. We would be back to Moosie’s for sure.

Moosie's Lunch

Moosie

After lunch we wondered around the shopping center and looked at all of the gift shops and a couple of the clothing stores. We also eyed the homemade ice cream shop but I resisted. After shopping, we went to a local coffee shop to try out the lattes. I ordered a milky way latte and the dear husband got a brownie latte, both with soymilk. My latte was very sweet and it really hit the spot after that very rich and savory lunch.

milky way latte

milky way latte

 

With our lattes in tow, we headed to CVS. My headache was back full force and this whole time, I have been trying to get better holistically and hadn’t been taking anything. I couldn’t do it anymore, I had to feel better because my vacation was at stake! I talked to the pharmacist and settled on some Advil Allergy and Sinus and felt better within the hour. I was worried it was going to make me feel shakey, jittery or even sleepy but it made me feel really good, better than I had felt in months. I was relieved. Once I was feeling better, we decided to do a little more shopping and then went back to the grocery store. We were planning to make dinner at the condo and needed some ingredients.

Once we finished with all of our shopping, we headed back to the condo. Before dinner, we went out for a walk to explore the resort. We walked all around and saw the lake that we had been admiring from our deck. We also visited both swimming pools and the conference center. Once we were both hot and pretty sweaty we made our way back to make some dinner.

For dinner, the dear husband made a huge salad with mixed greens, tomato, mixed peppers and grapes sea salt, almond oil and rice vinegar and I made mini pizza.  For the pizza, I used 100% whole wheat pitas topped with turkey pepperoni and more of the colorful peppers. I skipped the cheese but I put some mozzarella on the dear husband’s. The pizza was great! I had never made pizza with pit before and I could not believe what a great crust it made. This is a great solution for us since we like different toppings.

cheeseless mini pizza

cheeseless mini pizza

I had been craving chocolate all day so, I had a couple small squares of dark chocolate with mint for an after dinner treat. My new obsession is finding milkless chocolate and this was one of my finds.

minty chocolate

minty chocolate

After dinner and dessert, we settled into our books and relaxed until bed time. We have a big day a planned and we wanted to be well rested.

QOTD: What is your favorite chocolate? I am finding that the dark chocolate really does the trick with much less than my old favorite, milk chocolate. Just a small amount satisfies my chocolate cravings whereas I could polish off a whole bar of milk.

Last Day of Work for a Few

I was in another hurry yesterday morning. I think when I return from vacation, I need to set some goals for myself about getting up in the morning. For breakfast I had another bowl of cinnamon start with high fiber topped with hazelnut milk and blueberries. The blueberries were a bit tart but they were a nice contrast to the sweet cereal.

cereal and blueberries

cereal and blueberries

When I got to work, The Pro had brought in Starbuck’s and even though I had just finished my morning brew, I tried to drink some of it. I made it through about 4 sips before I gave it up. I always feel so bad when he brings us these and I am not in the mood for them!

soy latte

soy latte

Work was crazy, we always joke and say “as the golf ball turns” and yesterday, that couldn’t have been the case more. I was being pulled in every direction on top of my already long to do list. Around 10, I was feeling hungry and had some of my homemade trail mix, it has kashi go lean crunch, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, dairy free chocolate chips along with dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried raspberries and dried blueberries. It is so good and really filling. I had a little more than 1/4 cup and when it was lunch time at 12, I still wasn’t really hungry.

homemade trail mix

homemade trail mix

Since the club is closed, I had to go and pick up lunch for T, The Pro and myself. We decided on Panera which is always a choice I like. I got a pick two with the Mediterranean hummus sandwich with no cheese, the classic salad with balsamic dressing and a fruit cup. The sandwich was so good, after my first bite, I was wishing I had only ordered the sandwich. The hummus features jalapeno and cilantro so it has a great kick. This sandwich really moved to the top of my favorites at panera list.

panera

panera

A couple of hours after lunch, I decided to have another small round of Green and Black’s Organic dark chocolate. I am still getting used to the really dark chocolates but this one is growing on me. I can’t wait to find other dairy free varieties of this brand.

chocolate

chocolate

Around 3:30, The Pro showed up with ice cream. I’m not really sure how he made that happen since I didn’t even know he was off property and a trip to get anything takes at least 45 minutes. Anyway, he brought me girl scout thin mint ice cream. Oh.My.Goodness. It was so hard to not eat it and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I can’t eat dairy. *sniff* 

ice cream that I did not eat

ice cream that I did not eat

In order to finish up my must do list before my aerification vacation, I had to stay a little late. I was getting hungry and knew that dinner would be late because I had an appointment after work. I decided to give the jocolat chocolate coffee lara bar a shot. I liked it but the coffee in it really packs a punch. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed for my drive and my appointment. 

jocolat

jocolat

When I got home from my appointment, I heated up some snobby joes from the freezer and put them on whole wheat wraps with spicy brown mustard. In the past, I had been putting cheese on them and I must say, I did miss it in this dish. Which is ironic, since the dish is vegan to begin with. On the side, I made spinach salad topped with oil and vinegar. Despite the missing cheese, dinner was still good. It was my last batch of snobby joes so when I return from vacation, I will have to make more!

the last snobby joe

the last snobby joe

After dinner, we met with a lady about doing some work around the house and then settled in for the night. Around 9, my stomach was growling again so I had a vita brownie. The vita muffins and brownies are my favorite way to cure a sweet tooth and a growling stomach. Since they are packed with fiber they have real staying power and even though they are loaded with good for you things, they are still really tasty.

After the brownie, I hit the hay. It had been a long day and I was ready for some beauty sleep.

And on a side note, for our vacation, we are headed to the mountains for a few days of hiking and I am not sure about internet access. I hope to be able to still post daily but it may be a bit later (or maybe even earlier) than usual and if you don’t see anything from me at all, that means we don’t have any access. So in case that happens, have an awesome rest of the week and weekend!

QOTD: I am finding that eating six small meals a day really keeps my hunger under control. What is your eating pattern? Do you snack often or stick to three square meals a day?

A Sunday Hike

The day started out pretty early, I was up with the birds again. For breakfast, I had a bowl of live active cereal topped with a plum and hazelnut milk. Oh, wow. I really like the hazelnut milk. My next test will be how it fairs with cooking. I read online that it is good for cooking, so we will see.

quick breakfast

quick breakfast

After breakfast, some laundry and some time in blog land, we headed out for a day of hiking with our friends, Sarah and Francis. We met at Starbucks and ordered a pick me up for the ride. Since I was a little hungry and knew that lunch was a few hours away, I decided to have a smoothie instead of a latte. I got the mango banana vivanno made with soy milk. It was really filling and was a nice change of pace from the norm.

smoothie

smoothie

After picking up the treats, we headed to Twin Lakes State Park which is about an hour and a half from home. Once we arrived, we dug out the map and started walking. After about a mile or so we made it to the trail we wanted to hike. Here is the view:

let the trail begin

let the trail begin

The trail was poorly marked and we could tell that it wasn’t traveled often. At once point we even lost the trail all together. Here is out lost view:

lost

lost

After some hiking, we found the trail again and really headed into some rough terrain.  Many hills, creeks, bridges, natural stair cases and a bunch of butterfly sitings later, we made it to the end.  Our GPS lost it’s signal a number of times but I had my pedometer, according to it’s count, we had logged about 9,000 steps.  So, my rough gestimate is that we went about 4.5 miles. It was a great workout. After the hike, we settled into a picnic table by the water and had some lunch.

a nice spot for lunch

a nice spot for lunch

We had white chocolate dreams peanut butter and strawberry jam on 100% whole wheat bread. On the side, we had edamame boiled with star anise and cantaloupe (Thanks, SED and FJ!).

pb & j

pb & j

edamame with star anise

edamame with star anise

cantaloupe

cantaloupe

For dessert, we had the trail mix I had made earlier in the day. The trail mix has kashi go lean crunch, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, dairy free chocolate chips and a load of different dried fruits. This trail mix was so tasty, much better than anything I’ve ever had store bought.

homemade trail mix

homemade trail mix

After lunch, we headed back home. The dear husband and I had to stop by our favorite store, Target, to pick up some things we had forgotten on Saturday’s trip. Then, we headed home. Once home, we started up the charcoal grill and made dinner. We made fillet mignon, baked sweet potatoes and a salad with spring mix, tomatoes and cukes topped with oil and vinegar. The dinner was really satisfying after a long day in the woods.

steak and potato

steak and potato

After dinner, we did some things around the house and then settled into some Olympic watching. And in my tru from, I was out like a light in no time.

QOTD: What is your favorite form of exercise? Mine is hiking, without a doubt.

A Lovely Day

Yesterday was a lovely day. I had been craving a bagel so I started the day with a 100% whole wheat bagel with a smear of almond butter, some local strawberry jam and a banana. This was the first time I had ever had banana with the almond butter and jam combo and I must say, I really liked it. Why had I never done it before?

a carb kind of day

a carb kind of day

After breakfast, I spent some time on the phone with my mom while dear husband trained. The phone conversation led to a cleaning frenzy and I spent a couple of hours cleaning the downstairs. The truth is, I used to be an avid cleaner when I lived in a tiny little house with just one cat. Now that I live in a larger house with a husband and two cats, it intimidates me. I am a perfectionist and I have the mindset that if I can’t do it all, then why start. I made a good dent in the cleaning yesterday and I am sure the dust I got rid of will really help my sinuses. I was feeling a bit hungry after my cleaning rampage and decided to give my first Larabar a try. I had the pistachio flavor and I must say that I liked it. The texture was a bit unexpected at first but the flavor was really nice. It was sweet in a fruity way and had good little bits of crunchies from the pistachios. My friend Monica and VeggieGirl recommended them and I am glad they did.  I bought lots of flavors and, of course, I will let you know how they are.

pistachio larabar

pistachio larabar

Soon after my snack, we headed our for the day. Our first stop was our mecca, Target. We both got a Starbucks to heighten our shopping pleasure. I got a tall soy vanilla latte and he got one of those new smoothies, the banana chocolate one. We bought a few things and then headed out to meet our friends, Sarah and Francis, for lunch.

latte

latte

We met them in Carytown, which is in Richmond. It is a charming little area of town with little shops and most importantly some of the best food around. We made our way to Ginger Thai, one of three Thai places in Carytown, it was the only one I hadn’t tried. Dear husband and I started with calamari with sweet chili sauce, as always. It was lightly breaded and crisp, just the way I like it.

crispy calamari

crispy calamari

For lunch, I ordered spicy drunken noodles with tofu, another one of my favorites. Even though I ordered it medium, it was very spicy but still absolutely delicious. I think Ginger Thai will be my new favorite Thai establishment.

SPICY drunken noodles

SPICY drunken noodles

And for kicks and giggles, my dear friend Sarah said I should put the pictures of the dear husband’s rice balls on the blog, so here they are.

For Sarah

For Sarah

After lunch, we walked around Carytown and made our first stop at For The Love Of Chocolate, a wonderful little chocolate shop. Since I am still mourning the loss of milk chocolate, I asked at the counter about vegan chocolates. They pointed me in the right direction and there was a nice selection. Though I was saddened that none of the handmade chocolates fit the bill. We bought a few different items and as soon as we walked out of the store, we tried the chocolate chocolate cordial. It was pretty good but not what I was expecting. It was intensely sweet and the center was hard. Is that the way cordials are? I thought they had a liquid center? Oh well, it was still good and really helped wipe out my sweet tooth.

chocolate choclate cordial

chocolate choclate cordial

We walked around a perused a few more shops before making our way to the health food store, Ellwood Thompson’s.  I bought a few dairy free items and then we headed home. Once home, we put away the loot and then headed out to dinner. We were both exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking or cleaning so we went just about a minute down the road to our favorite Italian dive. I started out with a house salad, no cheese, and house dressing.

salad, hold the cheese

salad, hold the cheese

After the salad came the sub I was craving, it is called the super sub. It has turkey, ham and salami and I asked them to hold the cheese. We also ordered so onion rings to share. Both were so good and really hit the spot. I wasn’t able to nearly finish all of it but that leftover sub will make a great lunch.

super sub

super sub

onion rings

onion rings

Once we got back home, I had a chocolate tofutti cutie, did a couple little house things and then fell asleep! I was asleep by 8 but given that I had been up since 5:15, I guess that isn’t so bad.

dairy free doesn't suck after all

tofutti cutie

QOTD: What is your favorite cuisine? Mine is for sure a toss up between Japanese and Thai!

10,000 Hits and a Raise!

I hit 10,000 hits yesterday, so thank you to all of my readers and to my dear husband for being patient as I photograph dinner. I love having this blog and it means so much to me that people actually read it and comment. The blog is really helping me in so many ways, I look forward to another 10k hits!

Yesterday started out in a hurry, of course, I am not sure why I tell you guys that since it is the story of my life. But anyway, I was running late so I had a super quick breakfast. I mixed some clifford crunch with some of my super favorite hazelnut biscotti. I topped it off with soy milk and I was on my way. I was in such a hurry, I even forgot to put any fruit on it!

fast breakfast

fast breakfast

Work was nutso land as soon as I arrived. Starting this coming Monday, the club is closed for 10 days for some course maintenance. I get to have about 7 of those days off so I was really trying to get some stuff done so that next week, I can roll out of there with a clean slate. Around 9:30, I was really hungry so I grabbed a banana from downstairs and had that in anticipation for staff lunch. Around 10, Chef came up and told me that staff lunch was chicken fingers and french fries and he offered to make T and I some a little healthier. So, around 11, we took him up on his offer. He made us some BBQ hoison chicken with roasted veggies. The veggies were a mix of asparagus, green bean, green peppers and onions. I also had a slice of toasted whole wheat on the side. It was a really good lunch and so much better for me than the chicken fingers and french fries.

ladies only staff lunch

ladies only staff lunch

After lunch, I was on a nice roll with my work but had two meetings. The first was pretty boring, I just had to learn how to set up some outlook settings but the second was very exciting. I had been waiting for it all week and I was really nervous. It was my annual review, it turned out to be the best review I have ever gotten at any job in my career. And I got a big fat raise to go along with it. Yay me! After the review I was super excited and just ready to go home. But the dear husband and I were meeting for dinner so I hung around late so that I could meet him.

We met for mexican food, he had been craving taco salad for a couple of days. When I got there, I was so hungry, I really need to come up with a good snack solution for the afternoons when I am so busy. going 7 hours without food just doesn’t work out well but I have been kind of stumped without yogurt as an option. Anyway, I ended up diving into the chips the moment he brought them to the table, I probably ate 2 servings worth with salsa.

I should just tell them not to bring this stuff!

I should just tell them not to bring this stuff!

By the time my dinner arrived, I had eaten so much already that I wasn’t that hungry anymore. I ordered Camerones rellenos, which is bacon wrapped shrimp served with rice, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cukes and flour tortillas. I ended up eating about 1/4 of my plate and I was done.

camarones rellenos

camarones rellenos

After dinner, we stopped by the grocery store for a quick stock up. We had NO PLANS for the entire weekend and the idea of having absolutely nothing to do was really appealing. And a bonus of that is that the stores are normally pretty quiet on Friday nights. After shopping, we went home and decided to rent a movie on demand. We rented Mad Money, I was asleep within 4 minutes otherwise, I would tell you how it was. 🙂

QOTD: What is your go to snack when you have a hectic on the go schedule?

Not my day for snacking

I woke up yesterday really wishing it was Friday, or better yet, Saturday! I started the day with a bowl of rolled oats, I had been craving them for a couple of days. I cooked them in soy milk and stirred in some white chocolate dreams PB while it was cooking. After it cooked, I stirred in some ground flax seed and topped it with a banana. It was really good and was exactly what I was craving.

just what I wanted

just what I wanted

My work day started out hectic, I was busy with lots of IT problems immediately and had a number of unresolved issued still lingering. After lots of emails and contact with the IT dude, I got started on my “normal” work. I’m not sure why I call it that still since this new IT thing is my normal work now but it still feels really new to me. I actually kind of enjoy it, most days, anyway.

Around 11, I headed downstairs and checked out staff lunch. It was pork tenderloin stir fry with rice. I loaded my plate with lots of veggies, some of the pork and a little of the rice. One day, I WILL remember to bring in my brown rice cups. I ate most of the lunch but left some of it behind because it was kind of salty and it really got to me by the end.

staff lunch

staff lunch

A few hours after lunch, I was ready for a snack. I decided to give the soy yogurt a try, I was skeptical as I had heard some pretty bad things about it. After one bite, I knew why. It was awful, I might even venture to say that it was the worst food I had ever tasted. It was grey and tasted like fat free mayonnaise. I didn’t even go for a second bite. I took it downstairs to the trash and the chef wanted to taste it “just to see”. He agreed but even went so far as to spit his bite into the trash. Needless to day, the other two containers I have of this stuff will not be making it into my belly.

yuck

yuck

Of course, I was still hungry so I dug around in my cabinet and purse to see what I had that was dairy free. I came up with a roasted almond crunch kashi bar. I bit into it and knew right away that it was rancid. Yikes, I pulled the wrapper out of the trash only to discover that it had expired more than a year ago. I guess I need to clean out my secret food loot a little more often.

bad bar!

bad bar!

I dug further into the depths of my stash and found a cherry chocolate kashi bar. To my delight, the chocolate was dark and didn’t have any milk in it.Yay! I checked the expiration date and I was golden. Double Yay!

good bar!

good bar!

I ended up staying at work really late and was starving by the time I got into my car. Once again, my dear husband came to the rescue. While I drove the 40 minutes home, he made a green salad with spinach, cukes and green grapes. He also popped in an Amy’s Organic No Cheese Roasted Veggie pizza. By the time I walked in the door, all I had to do was dress the salads with a little oil and vinegar and then sit down to eat. The pizza was out of this world good, it had mushrooms, onions and peppers on it with a sweet balsamic glaze. So tasty, this will definitely make it back into the rotation even if I do eat dairy again.

cheeseless pizza

cheeseless pizza

After dinner, I caught up on blog land and then settled in for more of my book. This week, I am supposed to take 3 walks, at my own pace, stock my pantry with healthy food (check) and practice focusing on my breath for five minutes each day.  Since I am starting this thing mid week, I am going to stretch out my first week by a few days so I can start each week on Mondays. So, check back to see how I am doing!

After some reading and some TV, I was off to bed. Finally Friday!!

QOTD: Do you meditate? Maybe not in the traditional sense but is there something that you do that totally gets your find focused on th present moment each day?

Of course, it was Mac N Cheese

I’m not sure why, but this morning I woke up wiped out and starving. I think the endless headaches, ear and jaw pain are really starting to catch up to me. I started the day with a bowl of hot grains (wheatberries, oats, and bulgur) topped with ground flax seed, a banana and some almond butter. I ate the entire bowl and still felt like I could eat more but in the essence of time, I headed to work instead.

oats, no milk

oats, no milk

Work started out pretty easy and I was working at a pretty comfortable pace. By 9, I felt starved again and knew that the staff lunch was coming soon. I normally try to wait until the end of it to go get my lunch but today, I was first in line at 10:30! It was roasted chicken, bacon green beans and, of course, the best looking mac and cheese I had ever laid my eyes on. I skipped the mac n cheese to stay dairy free but I did have some of the chicken and the beans along with a slice of toasted wheat bread. I ate most of the chicken, the beans minus the bacon and all of the bread.

staff lunch

staff lunch

An hour later, I was hungry again and I knew it would be my last chance to eat anything until dinner so I had the banana that had been sitting on my desk for a couple days. It was perfectly ripe, the kind of ripe that makes you say out loud how good the banana is! After my banana, I had 3 meeting scheduled. The first started at 12 and it ran over causing me to have to cancel the 2:00 meeting. And it ran over still to the point that I had to end it when my 2:45 meeting arrived on site. Needless to say, it was a hectic afternoon. I ended up leaving work about 45 minutes late and by then I was starving again.

I called the dear husband and asked him to help me with the prep which made dinner go by much faster. I made baked salmon with greek seasoning, whole wheat couscous and the dear husband put together a salad. This was one of my go to meals when I was on weightwatchers. And tonight, I remembered why. It is fast, tasty and healthy all rolled up in one meal.

fast, healthy and delicous

fast, healthy and delicous

After dinner, I caught up on blogland via google reader (don’t you just love it?) and then settled in with my new book, Small Changes, Big Results by Ellie Kreiger. The book is a 12 week program to make small changes over time for a healthier lifestyle. It addresses three important factors, food, exercise and emotional well being all of which I could use some help. Unfortunaley, I fell asleep before I could even get through the first week, so more on that tomorrow. When I woke up a couple hours later, I was starving, my stomach was growling so loud I think the dear husband could hear it. I had a small bowl of hazelnut biscotti cereal with soymilk and then headed to bed.

QOTD: Do you have a harder time staying on track with eating right and exercising when you aren’t feeling great?