Slopes and Scones

If I do want to reach my goal weight the same week as Tough Mudder, I gots some work to do this next week!

I’m so close, yet so far.

The iPhone app I use to keep track of my weight is called “Lose It.” When I originally started to lose weight  (see the first negative slope) I did use the app religiously, recording both my calorie intake and exercise. But then you know how it goes next – became obsessive about putting in all of the data into the app, being mad at myself if I had chocolate pudding that put me 120 calories over my daily budget, that sort of thing.

But that sucks. No one wants to do that. (At least I don’t!) So now I just use it to simply record my weight.

The second negative slope started when I began eating clean and running at the end of January 2012. It will be nice to eventually reach that goal line and then plateau out. 🙂

Last night before book club I munched on a healthy dinner that used up the last of the tzatziki sauce. I’m definitely going to buy some more the next time I’m near Trader Joe’s!

I made some vegan chocolate chip oatmeal “scones” to bring a dish to share at book club last night, based off this recipe.

Did you notice I finally got a cooling rack?!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal “Scones”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats, blended into chunky flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 cup almonds coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground flax+ 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of milk chocolate chips

Follow these directions with the subbed ingredients!

We got the final Tough Mudder map – my friend Mal pointed out we won’t get to do the fire-walking! Booo.

TTYL, I need to memorize this shit…

Do you ever get weight loss iPhone app obsessive? Or very into recording the food you eat? I used to, but realized it’s not worth the pressure to stress. Just eating mindfully usually helps!

Advertisements

What I Ate Wednesday: Mediterranean Style

Looking back on this summer (ack, it’s almost over!)  I realized one of my favorite new types of food is Mediterranean food. I.e. typical variations of all things pita, hummus, cucumber-y, and in my opinion, the most exciting – falafel!

Mediterranean food has definitely been one of my summer staples. I’ve eaten at Lebanese Taverna approximately a million ten times this summer, so I decided to commit to the next step in my relationship with Mediterranean food: make it myself.

Well, kind of. Make it from a mix and store bought pre-cooked chicken and sauce. But that’s how I roll, alright?

Plus, it didn’t hurt that falafel mix is $3.49 per box. That means about 12 falafel balls total, resulting in anywhere from 4-6 meals for 1 person or 2-3 meals for 2 people.

It might not be the healthiest of healthy food, being fried in vegetable oil and all, but I think the ingredients of the mix (chickpeas, fava beans, garlic, spice, baking powder, salt) still qualify as semi-clean.

Either my falafel patties were too big or my whole wheat pitas were too small!

Tuna totes gets the credit for Monday night’s meal – it was seriously like eating Lebanese Taverna but at home! Falafel with brown rice and pre-cooked frozen grilled chicken strips, all drizzled with Trader Joe’s Tzatziki sauce aka creamy garlic cucumber dip to non-foodies or to me before Saturday.

Time to infuse one summer staple with another: pasta salad with some Mediterranean flavor. Actually….regular pasta salad with more Tzatziki sauce because I can’t get enough of it.

This is a version of my mom’s pasta salad slash what I had in the freezer or lack thereof.

End of Summer Pasta Salad

5-6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 bag frozen peas
  • 1/2 bag frozen shelled edamame (good source of protein!)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce mixed in
  • tbsp of extra tzatizki sauce on top of each serving

In other news, I am 3 lbs away from my goal weight, and a week and a half away from the Tough Mudder!

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could reach my goal weight and successfully complete the Tough Mudder in the same week? That would be pretty cool.

Does anyone have any recipes of healthier falafel (not fried in a ton of vegetable oil?) My apartment still reeks of fried food.

Do you usually try new types of food at restaurants or at home?

I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl and Exciting News

The past week has been REALLY busy at work, so by the time I got home at night the only thing I felt like doing was sitting my butt on the couch, watching TV, and eating lots of chocolate peanut butter and pretzels.

I usually gain a pound or two over the weekend from eating pizza for dinner and guzzling down wine and then lose it during the week when I cheat less, run more, and eat more spinach.

Last weekend I cheated a bit more than I usually do, so it wasn’t too appalling that I gained 3.5 lbs. Well, kind of appalling, but I figured I could do some damage control during the week to make up for it.

That’s where the chocolate peanut butter came in. And the gummy bears, extra diet cokes, and second portions.

I’ve been a bad, bad girl.

Not only have I been chillin’ on the clean eating front, I’ve also relaxed my workouts a bit. BAD! Especially when the Tough Mudder is in 15 days. And because I need to get in bikini shape for…..

our trip to Brazil!

Tuna’s parents moved to Rio de Janeiro not too long ago and we are lucky enough to get to go visit them over Thanksgiving (with a stop in Miami to visit his sister.)

(source)

I am beyond excited.

And I better fit in to that damn bikini.

Therefore, I swear I will be better about NOT CHEATING (too much) on both clean eating and on my workouts.

Starting with my yummy-ass bagel sandwich for lunch.

Yummy-Ass Bagel Sandwich

Includes:

– toasted pumpernickel bagel with salt and sesame seeds
– spicy hummus
– cream cheese
– sliced cucumber
– fresh spinach

With some Black Forest Berry Honest Tea. I’m going back to my one diet coke a day rule and I want to drink it tonight!

I did 5 miles yesterday (in my barefoot Merrell shoes, I’m loving them) and today calls for strength training – arms and abs.

Cheers to a healthy weekend!

Do you ever fall off the healthy living wagon? 

What was the most recent trip you took?

Running as Transportation

I took my poor car to the mechanic near Tuna’s house on Sunday night for a tune-up. I took it to that specific shop because they said they would look at my check engine light for free (score!)  I dropped it off there, and had Tuna bring me home. I figured I would take a cab the 5.6 miles on Monday night to go pick the car up once the it was fixed.

But then I thought, 5.6 miles? I could RUN that far. Maybe I should RUN to pick up my car.

I was so smart and packed a change of clothes for Tuna to take home on Sunday so I would have some clean clothes to change into after my adventurous run on Monday night.

I hadn’t run outside in forever and am used to my water bottle on the treadmill, so I made a DIY handheld water bottle in anticipation of the long winding roads.

It looked a little cloudy when I was about to leave, but not too bad so I figured I’d venture out anyway. I was running along on the first leg of the run and was about two miles in to it when it started drizzling.

Ok, I can handle a little bit of rain.

A few seconds later it started torrential down-pouring. Like the ridiculous kind of midsummer rain that half seems like a slightly scary hurricane and half looks like a scene out of The Notebook.

However, usually the rain isn’t sopping through your running pouch with very important items in it such as your iPhone and iPod and fancy new headphones.

Not to mention the damn sidewalk stopped right as it started pouring.  It was kind of scary actually – running right on the edge of the road with slippery cars sliding all over the place in terrible weather. Never again!

I hope this isn’t what the Tough Mudder is going to be like: sopping shoes, being frozen and uncomfortable. Hmmm..well, it probably will be.

For about five minutes I toyed with my options. Should I just run for it and pray for my iPhone’s safety, hail down the nearest cab, or should I whip out my phone and call Tuna to come and save me?

I tried the first option for approximately 9.7 seconds.

I stumbled upon a patch of glorious sidewalk and huddled under some trees while proceeding to poke my head out into the heavier rain every 15 seconds and wishing for a cab to come my way.

Of course there wouldn’t be a single cab driving down a busy suburban road of DC the one time I’m stranded on the side of the road shivering.

It was time for Option 3: call Knight Tuna to come save his strong female lead (all the movies Netflix suggests for me are ones in the “strong female lead” category. Thanks, Netflix)

Too bad that plan required me to take out my sensitive-to-water-expensive-electronic-lifeline out of the safe confines of my fanny pack running pouch.  Heck no, I wasn’t going to risk getting my iPhone wet! But the situation was starting to get serious – I almost lost a contact. And I was was not about to lose a monthly.

Then, it appeared.

A faint, glimmering light in the distance.

A city bus! My little patch of sidewalk haven was a bus stop! (Please imagine the hallelujah chorus echoing as the bus approached.)

I didn’t have my metro card on me, but luckily I looked pathetic enough for the bus driver to take pity on my sopping wet self to give me a free bus ride to safety.

So I’m a huge snot actually terrified of city buses and have never been on one in the Washington DC metro area for the 20 years I’ve lived here (minus 4 years for college). My fear stems from getting on a bus and winding up somewhere random. I guess I’m technically scared of the bus routes map and not of the bus itself. Anyway, this bus was not a scary bus. It was a magical bus that saved me!

Thank goodness I was able to grab a map and frantically figure out where I should get off. You know, to make sure I didn’t end up on the Chinatown bus to New York City or something. Because with me, that would happen.

I was able to get off closeish to Tuna’s house and he came to pick me up. Sir Tuna to the rescue!

The moral of the story is though I only got 2 miles in yesterday, I still learned a lot about running:

– you can use running as a mode of transportation

– don’t go running if it’s about to rain/flash flood

– take an alternate route to make sure you have a sidewalk or path to run on a busy road

– always carry your cell phone on you when you’re running outside

– my DIY handheld water bottle is cool

Have you ever been caught in the rain on a run?

Do you use running as a form of transportation?

My Goodies

I won my first giveaway!

It was so fun to come home from work on Friday and have this box of goodies waiting for me. Premier Protein sent me a box a fabulousness that I won by entering in Bess Be Fit‘s giveaway.

It was like Big Sis Week got a protein makeover.

I never had anything from Premier Protein before so I was excited to try it! (I was hoping the protein would magically make my muscles really strong for September.)

I. love. free stuff. (And presents.)

I can’t wait to try all of these flavors!

So far I’ve had the chocolate peanut butter bar and it is not only filling, but absolutely delish. Now I don’t have to worry about having enough protein this week! I’m not a huge huge meat eater, so I like that I can get protein from other sources too.

I went to Crunch twice this weekend and toted my cool new bag around both days! Yeah, I’m cool and a serious athlete….

I’m taking another chocolate peanut butter bar with me to work for my afternoon snack. You know me and sticking to what I like. 🙂  But it will be good fuel for my adventure tomorrow – I’m attempting to run to Tuna’s house (It’s 4.9 mi away I think) because I left my car overnight at a nearby garage for a tune-up.

I haven’t run outside in months because of the swamp heat/humidity of DC in the summer, so I’m just the teeniest bit nervous. It should be nice out though, so hopefully I won’t end up huffing down the nearest taxi.

Do you ever run to family’s or friend’s houses?

Have you ever won a giveaway or contest?  I’m thinking of hosting a giveaway sometime soon!

Cheap-Ass What I Ate Wednesday

Welp, I sure didn’t budget my money that well this month!

No, it didn’t have to do with splurging on my fancy new shoes or the heavy duty overpriced headphones I bought online.

Ok, maybe it did a little bit.

Basically, this past week I needed to make lots of meals on a minimal budget. It was kind of a pain, but it was also nice to use my brain a little bit and be resourceful. Since you know I am slightly OCD like planning ahead, of course.

Without further ado, I present to you: Cheap-Ass What I Ate Wednesday.

I still wanted to make sure my meals this week were healthy and involved getting plenty of protein. Luckily, I called upon my trusty secret form of cheap protein – eggs!

Egg Salad Sammie

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 7 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 tsp mayo
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
  • salt
  • pepper
  • whole wheat bread

Directions

Hard boil 7 eggs. I started out with 9 eggs, but two cracked while coming to a boil. Oh well.

Peel your eggs before you cool them for too long. It’s easier to peel them when they’re still a little warm.

Separate the whites from the yolks.

Cut up the whites and smash up the yolks.

I am weirdly grossed out by mayonnaise, but I had a little bit in my fridge from making deviled eggs awhile ago, so I used a teensy bit for good measure. It probably could have used a bit more, though.

Same thing with mustard. Not a huge mustard fan, mostly likely because I got sent to the principal’s office in second grade for throwing mustard at a boy in the cafeteria for putting a spider on my lunch tray. Brat. (Him, not me…)

Enter weird vegetable substitute secret ingredient. Though many egg salads usually feature celery, I opted for some sliced cucumber because I bought one to have with hummus and salads this week.

Mix everything together in a big bowl.

Add salt and pepper.

Toast some whole wheat bread and you’re good to go!

*****

I also scrounged around the kitchen a bit and decided to make some hazelnut cookie pies since I had a lot of leftover ingredients from baking them a few weeks ago. But this time they got made-over into almond chocolate oatmeal cookies.

I actually used spelt flour this time and it made all the difference! I think it’s finer than oat flour, which worked better with the texture of the cookies.

I added oatmeal in whole, rather than using oat flour. I think I’ll take Michele’s advice and grind it up next time. Will doing that in a blender that work? I don’t have a food processor. Maybe I’ll steal borrow Tuna’s unused brand-new food processor that’s been sitting in the corner of his kitchen since Christmas. Hmm.

Lastly, I added in about 1/4 cup of Truvia as an extra added sweetener.

They were still good (and super filling!) but I think I will keep tweaking them on the next batch. Maybe I’ll add chocolate chips!

*****

Another staple this week (actually, for the past month) has been a huge mexican baked potato for dinner. I love this because it surprisingly fills you up and is super easy to put together.

Ingredients

  • 1 russet potato
  • cheddar cheese
  • salsa (obsessed with the hot Whole Foods brand kind)
  • optional – anything! guacamole is especially delish

Directions

Rinse off your potato and poke a bunch of holes in it with a fork so it won’t explode.

Cook in the microwave for 7-10 minutes.

Cut open the potato vertically and add in cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, and any other toppings of your choice.

I would be a little nervous about not having straight up protein if I’m just having a baked potato for a meal, but Scott Jurek assured me not to worry in Eat & Run.

“Our bodies pool the amino acids from the foods we eat over the course of the day. I didn’t have to sit down and do the math every time I ate. As long as I ate a varied whole-foods diet with adequate caloric intake, I would get enough complete protein” (p 59).

Sweet. Thanks, Scott!

TGIW. Thank Goodness it’s Wednesday payday.

What’s your go-to food/meal when you’re strapped for cash?

Shark Week

Tuna frantically motioned for me to come out on the balcony on Saturday.

Ahhh!

What is it with people around here and fake animals? You never know what you’re going to see from my balcony.

This is actually the side of the Discovery Channel building, and I’m assuming they’re getting pumped up for Shark Week, which started on Sunday.  So it seems like I’m going to have to look at Jaws for the rest of the week.

Maybe I’ll keep the blinds closed.

I slept on my neck funny on Friday night/Saturday morning (maybe it had to do with the fact that I slept until 2:00pm? 🙂 ) and it is still bothering me! You know, that horrible ache you get once in a while where it hurts to turn your neck? Sometimes it goes away in one day just by sleeping normally on it and sometimes it takes a little bit more time to get back to normal.

Anyway, I did not feel up to running with my super sore neck on Sunday, so I skipped my run. I did 5 miles yesterday in my old shoes and my neck didn’t hurt too much, but it’s still bugging me a little now.

I’ll definitely wait a few more days to get my lift on this week, but I can’t wait too long! There’s only T-minus 25 days until the Tough Mudder.

Do you ever get a sore neck from sleeping on it funny? It is so annoying – it happens to me once or twice a year.

Hallelujah

I don’t think I have ever been so excited for a new pair of shoes before.

After reading Born to Run, I was beyond excited about ordering my new “barefoot” style running shoes. When they finally arrived a few weeks later, I was devastated that they felt way too big on my feet! (Such problems, I know.)

I shipped ’em back and requested an exchange for a smaller size. Then I worried while I waited for three weeks for the new pair to come that the new size would be too small.

They finally came! Hallelujah. (Nooo…I didn’t click the FedEx tracking site hundreds of times…)

Aren’t they beautiful?

My first run with them was fun because they felt so light! I felt like I was wearing my sprinting spikes and running like the wind. If the wind ran 11 minute miles.

The arch that usually bothers me still hurts a bit today – so just like I promised, I will ease in to using these shoes regularly. I still may be running wrong too, like thinking too much about what my feet are doing at all times, rather than just running.

It will be nice when I finally am able to just run.

Tunes bought me flowers on Thursday just because!

They might be even prettier than my beloved shoes.

Hope you’re having a fab weekend!

What shoes do you run in?

Crunchtime

Yesterday marked one month until the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder. One month! How did it creep up so quickly?

I did a 4 mile tempo run last night and squeezed in a quick arm workout after staring at the Tough Mudder course all day trying not to cry out in terror.

The course consists of 25 obstacles, each one worse than the last. It’s approximately 12 miles long and takes about 3 hours to complete.

When the event was so far away it didn’t seem that bad. But now that it’s in a month…

EEK!

Please get scared for me:

1. Braveheart Charge

2. Kiss of Mud

3. Arctic Enema

4. Log Jammin’

5. King of the Mountain

6. Jumpin’ Bale

7. Giant A-Frame

8. Fire Walker

9. Berlin Walls #1

10. Mystery Obstacle

11. Everest

12. Funky Monkey

13. Twinkle Toes

14. Walk the Plank

15. Just the Tip

16. Mud Mile

17. Hold your Wood

18. Boa Constrictor

19. Devil’s Beard

20. Spider’s Web

21. High Steppin’

22. Berlin Walls #2

23. Mystery Obstacle

24. Turd’s Nest

25. Electroshock Therapy

What have I done?

Look’s like I’m going to live at Crunch for the next month.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken

Pasta salad is one of my favorite summer foods. It can be just as healthy as downing an actual salad but fills you up a bit more if you’re tired of eating leaves every day for lunch.

Thanks as always to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday.

I’m giving myself an A for effort on the get-out-of-my-food-rut challenge.

It’s funny because I actually get the Real Simple magazine, but I must have missed this recipe – and instead found it while browsing Pinterest.

Another win for Pinterest!

Typ me, I switched around the ingredients a bit in true CNG style.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pasta (it’s how much I had left in my pantry, ha)
  • pre-grilled strips of  frozen chicken breast 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole kalamata olives (didn’t have pitted, my bad)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup pesto

Directions

First, make your pasta. After it’s boiled drain it and pour it back into your pot. Let it cool while you get the rest of your ingredients together.

This is time where you would make your chicken if you weren’t ridiculously lazy like me.

I bought pre-made chicken from Whole Foods – slices of already cooked and frozen grilled chicken breast that I defrosted by heating on a skillet at medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil for five minutes.

I was going to cut up the chicken into little cubes but decided it looked kind of gross that way, so  I threw ’em as is into my big pasta salad bowl.

Cut up anything else you want to add you to your pesto pasta salad. I added the olives but nixed the bocconcini in the recipe because I didn’t feel like going to the store to buy cheese. I added some shredded carrots – but you could probably do anything – tomatoes, croutons, etc.

Toss everything in your big mixing bowl with the salt, pepper, and pesto.

*****

I’ve never been a giant fan of pesto, but I do like the taste a little bit so I thought I’d give it another try with this recipe.

I picked up a little container of pesto at the store and was looking at the ingredients just in case I wanted to make my own pesto in the future.

The third thing on the list of ingredients was parmesan cheese. Ew! I don’t like parmesan! But I like pesto….so maybe I do like parmesan cheese at least a little? Who knew.

The best part of this dish? Leftovers!

What’s one of your favorite summer foods?

Did you try a new recipe this week?