Day With Mom

I woke up early this morning, but stayed in bed listening to the rain for a while.  During the semester, I just didn’t have the luxury to spend spare moments doing nothing.  Which is why I’m enjoying it so much while I still can. 😀

I always wake up hungry in the morning.  Always.  I’m definitely a “roll right out of bed” person when it comes to eating.  And what a perfect bowl of oatmeal I had…

Unfortunately I deleted the picture.

Blame it on my flipping through the pics too quickly while I was freeing up some space on my card.  Ugh…

Since we were all out of apples, I made it with 1/2 a pear (and noshed on the other half), and topped it with pb, coconut, and my homemade granola!  I’ll wait to give it a full review until tomorrow when I actually get a picture on here. 😀

Lunch was a dipping plate.  I mixed up some canned salmon with a bit of mayo and dill, and used carrot sticks and kashis for my dippers.  I ate with my mom in the parking lot of Trader Joes.  Haha…we were planning on saving it for later, but there’s something about shopping that makes a person hungry. 😀

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And I had a very juicy orange for dessert…

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Today was raw and cold and wet.  I forgot to make myself an iced coffee this morning, but that just didn’t sound all that appealing anyways.  Seriously.  I was wearing a down vest and gloves to keep myself warm.  What happened to my 72 degree and sunny weather?  I had a full weekend of it and now I’m acting like a spoiled girl now that it’s gone.  *shaking head*…

This cheared me right up though.  A tall soy latte from starbucks.  My complaining completely disappeared.  Amazing what a hot cup of foamy milk will do for me. 😀

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Mom and I are shopaholics.  We even have what we call our “angel pins”…little pins shaped like shopping angels.  Crazy, I know.  But it’s true.  We could shop all day.  Until we get cranky or tired enough.  But give us a little something to eat and we’re good to go for another full day. ha…

Today was an especially fun shopping day because I found some great deals at the clothing stores and spent some great time browsing through whole foods.  I could go insane there.  And I’ve realized something about myself too.  I love free food.  If you give me free samples to try or coupons for free food, I’ll try anything and everything.  Today I tried some delicious lemonade and a few different cheeses.  I love tasting things.  I think I missed my calling as a food critic.  😀

Mom snagged a cookie from the bakery section.  A vegan-cranberry-almond-coconut, very chewy cookie.  I took a bite. 😉  The verdict?

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Surprisingly enough, it was just okay.  Mom said she preferred the homemade cookies we make on occasion and I couldn’t have agreed more.  I loved the texture, all chewy and all.  But the appearance made me expect something sweeter and more delicious.  Especially from whole foods where their bakery just draws you in with all the delicious smells.  Next time I’m trying a muffin because the cinnamon chip one is calling my name. 😀

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I realized another something today.  How much our attitudes can affect other peoples’ days (and our own too.)  Two examples:

  • One lady at whole foods snuffed and snared when I mumbled “excuse me” to get by.  This didn’t ruin my day…I sort of just laughed it off.  But, what if someone was having a bad day and I acted the same way as the lady did and gave attitude?  Surprising how much our own moods influence other people.
  • A guy at the counter gave me a quick smile and a “nice day!” and totally brightened me up and put a smile on my face.  Positive attitudes and even a simple smile do wonders.  Words of wisdom for the day…smile at someone. 😀

After coming home from our shopping trip, I immediately broke open this new flavored bar from odwalla…mocha-walla!!  I saw it on another blog and was so excited to give it a try for myself.  I love coffee and chocolate…even better combined, right?

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RIGHT!  😀  I love this flavor.  I think it’s my new fave.  Not too overly sweet but sweet enough to hit the sweet tooth.  No fake tasting coffee flavors.  And the chocolate chips were not skimpily added at all.  Mmm…I’m saving half the bar for tomorrow’s breakfast or snack.  It was the perfect pre-walking snack.  Mom loved it too and wished she had gotten it instead of her cookie. 😦  Oh well…a future shopping trip to whole foods isn’t too far away, I’m sure. 😉

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I’ve been trying to include more vegetarian meals in my diet lately, for taste and health benefits.  And in case you’ve yet to try this recipe from RunnersWorld, you need to try it! 😀

These are lentil tacos, and I absolutely adore this recipe.  I’ve made it countless times, but never for the entire family.  I was a little freaked out, because I wasn’t sure how well they would be received.  Lentils tend to scare some people. 😉  But it got rave reviews, and I was super surprised but happy.  To think my family would be chowing down on lentil tacos…it was a proud moment for me as a nutrition major. 😀

I had two tacos…both with the same toppings, except no cheese on the second because I couldn’t taste it on the first.  Thank goodness this weight watchers cheese is finished now!  Oh, and a side salad with hummus on the side of course.

Taco Toppings:

  • Trader Joes’ cherry tomatoes (soooo sweet and fresh!)
  • Whole Foods’ boxed spring lettuce mix
  • Weight Watchers cheese (ick…don’t recommend)
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Taco #1 + side salad

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    Taco #2

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    Phew…I’m one full but happy girl.  After my food digested I did a little light stretching to loosen my hamstrings up.  They’ve felt really tight these last couple days.  I don’t know if it’s from biking and my legs just not being used to it?  I also did a bit of strength training and beginner’s yoga.  I’m so inflexible, but I can at least touch my toes now.  That took me a couple months just to reach that point.  Embarrassing, but true.  Gotta keep stretchin’… 😀

    Now I’m sitting, blogging, and watching 27 Dresses…can you tell it’s just a couple girls picking the movie at my house? 😉

    Exercise: 4-mile walk, a little bit of strength training, and some beginner’s yoga.

    Rest Days: activities and eating

    For many people, taking days off from running are the hardest.  We get into this routine that when we don’t run, we feel guilty about it.  However, it’s important to think of the rest days as part of your training.  There’s nothing to feel guilty about, because they’re about as necessary as those tempo runs and long runs.  Really.

    Think about it.  Would you not eat between meals and only eat when you were absolutely ready to shrivel because you’re sooo starving?  Would you not take a break from running until you reach the point where you’re so burnt out that you no longer want to run at all?  Runner burnout is common…been there, done that!

    Okay, maybe that’s not the best example.  But you get the point.  Rest days are necessary.

    Personally, I have a hard time taking rest days because I oftentimes just don’t know what to do with myself.  I feel as if I want to do something…anything!  Sitting still just isn’t an option for me. 

    What’s a girl to do?  Here’s a list of some possibilities:

    1. Take a walk!  Walking is soft on your joints, allow your muscles to recover from running, and keeps your heart rate lower then running would.  It will help you feel as if you’re doing something while still allowing you to wake up refreshed and ready to work out hard the next day!

    2. Practice some yoga…or pilates…or weight bearing exercises are great too!  Try something new and different!

    3. Find a new hobby to keep things interesting!  Today I made some homemade granola with the time I would normally use to go running. 

    4. Update your running blog, or flip through your old one.  Reading up on some of your old runs (both goods and bads) will motivate you for the rest of the week’s running…just don’t let it convince you to go out for a long run at that very moment! 😀

    EATING ON REST DAYS

    Another common problem is that a lot of people underfuel themselves on rest days, thinking they don’t need as much calories since they aren’t burning as much.

    However, part of taking a rest day is to refresh your muscles and refuel!!!  Don’t restrict your intake now.  Undereating will only do more harm then good. 

    I’m not saying go out and order a Big Mac because you can.  What I am saying is that…basically…don’t obsess over it.  Eating by your hunger cues is just as important on days when you’re running as on days when you’re not.  Fuel up with good-for-you foods that will give you energy for the next day’s workout.

    Remember…rest days are important.  I had an awesome one, filled with baking, walking, and reading some good books. 

    What do you do on your rest days?

    A Perfect Day

    You know those days you wish would last forever?  That was today. 

    First of all, you can’t beat 72 degrees, sun shining, not a cloud in the sky, and a Canadian breeze blowing through.  It could only improve with a hammock and a lemonade.  A girl can dream. 😀

    This breakfast is keeping up with the popularity contest in my book.  I feel like I should probably mix things up to prevent getting sick of it, but…I just can’t.  Maybe we’ll run out of apples at some point and I’ll change things up. 😀 

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    Usually I save the iced coffee for later in the morning or afternoon, but I decided to have it earlier since dad and I were planning a run.  I saved half for when we came back.

    The run was perfect.  Really.  I haven’t felt this strong in a long time.  And running with my dad was really great too.  I finally came to the conclusion that it’s okay that I run slower.  I used to try and force myself to run fast, only to burn out too quickly.  Now I spread my energy out throughout the run, after finally learning how to be more conservative with it.  It felt good to go at a nice even, consistent pace.

    We were hoping to catch the Memorial Day Parade, but apparently it wasn’t going through that area.  It was fine though…we just bought a bottled water and walked around the common area to stretch out a bit.  It turned out to be 4+ miles of running after we decided to take a couple of side streets.  It’s funny how long I’ve been running this route but never really took the time to explore!  It was fun. 😀

    After coming home and showering, I got my arm workout in by washing the car.  Then we got to work on the grill again…I’m loving this summer fare. 😀

    Today we had chicken sausages (I added a ton of ketchup to mine…mmm..), some sauteed peppers and onions, the last of the corn on the cob, and a side salad. 

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    Dessert…:D

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    I had to take a quick run to the store to get some raisins for the bread I was planning on baking later on.  Walking past the dairy section, I had an argument with myself…
    “Keep walking…you have yogurt at home.”
    “Yeah, but it’s not fage!”
    “Well…maybe I’ll just take a look.”
    Do it!”
    “It’s $1.70!  You could buy 4 yogurts for that price!”
    “Yeah…but it’s not fage.”

    Needless to say, I gave in and bought a container of Fage 2%.  😀  It’s a special and rare treat that I enjoy on occasion.  Yes, it’s way expensive, but totally worth the extra cost from time to time.  Sooo rich and creamy!

    I added a T. of flax and 1/2 a banana to make the perfect afternoon snack.

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    Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but there was a whole lot of tweaking going on with this pizza.  My mom has been making this quick ‘n’ easy version for years (no waiting for the dough to rise, which is nice when you’re in a hurry!)  Nobody seemed to notice, since there were rave reviews and both pizzas got gobbled up in seconds, so I’m trying not to let anyone know. haha…

    First off, I made the dough only to realize we didn’t have any tomato sauce!  So I used ragu. 😮  But I did Italianize it a little more by adding some fresh garlic, fresh oregano and basil leaves with a bit of pepper.  I then added the spinach, onions and portabello mushrooms and used the weight watchers (??) cheese mix on top.  I wasn’t a fan of this stuff.  There’s nothing unique or dietish about it.  It’s just reduced fat cheese varieties.  However, one of the types of cheese didn’t seem to melt very well and left a powdery surface instead.  Nobody seemed to notice but me though!  So I wasn’t about to say anything…:D

    I also had some carrots and cukes (mostly eaten before the pic was taken 😉 ) on the side.

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    Pizza slice #2

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    The whole wheat walnut-raisin bread from Moosewood Cookbook came out divine!  I froze one loaf and can’t wait to try an actual, larger slice tomorrow with lunch.  I love this stuff…:D

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    And last, but not least, my night-time snack of raisin bran, banana, and soy milk.  This raisin bran that I originally hated has now grown on me to the point of my actually enjoying it.  A lot.  It doesn’t get soggy so I can take my time eating it, and I think it just needs a little sweetening, which the banana and soy milk lend it.  Mmm…

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    Exercise: 4-mile run with dad and 3-mile after dinner walk…enjoying the 72 degree weather! 😀

    A Day With Dad

    Nicole and I were up early after our slumber party last night.  I woke up feeling really groggy, as if I could sleep at least several more hours.  I think I was mildly dehydrated and the first thing I did after getting up (well..besides first playing hide n seek with High St. and Stitch) was guzzle a tall glass of water. 

    Then Nicole and I had some Kashi Honey Oat waffles.  This is by far my favorite flavor.  And I was so excited that despite Nate being allergic to nuts, they still have peanut butter in the house!  I’m such an addict, I can’t imagine a day without it. haha…

    I topped mine with two big globfuls of the pb and a bunch of strawberries and banana.  Mmm…

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    …and I also added some yogurt.  Another necessary food item I can barely go a day without.  Greek or not, I love ’em all. 😉

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    I ended up not going to church today and had Nicole drive me home instead.  I felt super tired and just wanted to relax at home for an hour or so.  My parents were at church, Matthew was working; it was just me at home taking in the quietness of the early morning.  Sometimes it’s a much needed experience. 😀

    I was happy to see some chilled coffee in the fridge too.  Perfect with 1/2 c. soy as usual, along with what was originally a huge bowl of watermelon.  🙂

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    Oatmeal for lunch?  Sure, why not?  I was absolutey craving my regular bowl of oats that I didn’t have this morning.  So I made the usual apple ‘n’ oats that I’ve been making for the past several mornings.  Delicious as always.  And super filling.  I don’t know what it is about this mix, but it keeps me full longer then any other food can.  Maybe it’s that extra bit of oats I’ve been adding? 

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    Aside from the taste and ‘filling power’ that oatmeal gives me, I also get a whole lot of energy too.  Which was great for this afternoon. 

    Dad and I decided to take a bike ride to an icecream barn that’s 7.8 very hilly miles round trip.  It was absolutely georgeous outside, and the views were beautiful.  There’s this one opening during a flat spot that makes me feel as if I’m biking through Canada.  The first bike-ride of the season, and I’m excited for many more…:D

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    The ice cream was great too.  I love “working” for my food in the form of walking or biking to get it.  The icecream here was great too. I  ordered a small on a sugar cone and was happy to find that I could choose two different flavors (it doesn’t take much to excite me…:D )  On top I had grasshopper which was like a mint cookies n’ cream.  I always choose something minty when I go out since we never have it at home.  It’s not  flavor we can all agree upon, but I absolutely love it.  However, that wasn’t the best flavor.  The bottom scoop won the flavor contest because what can beat oatmeal raisin???  It was so good, with big chunks of juicy raisins and oatmeal cookies.  I loved how chewy and sweet ‘n’ cinnamony it was.  Mmm…

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    My dad and I took a break at this opening to guzzle a bit of water.

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    And then I noticed there was an old wagon in the back and felt as if I had instantly shown up in Virgina.  😀 

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    Supper was terrific tonight.  Dad and I hadn’t really planned anything in particular, but kind of just had a conversation like…
    “what are you in the mood for?” 
    “Hmm..I don’t know.” 
    “Well, this corn looks good.” 
    “Mmm…yeah, it does.  Ohhh…look they have sirloin steak.”
    “Ohh…let’s get some.”

    And when we came home we just sort of through spices together and it all came together to give us a meal we’ll be talking about for days. haha…

    Backing up, the farm down the street is now selling their own pork, chicken, beef, etc.  Imagine my excitement…I’ve begun reading Omnivore’s Dilemna but even before that, I’ve been super concerned with where I’m getting it from.  Here, the chickens are literally free roaming on the top of a grassy hill overlooking a pond.  The pigs are happily eating in a shaded corner of the farm with a little red barn that they’re free to enter and leave as they please.  This is exactly how God intended animals to live.  And I love that I’m supporting a local farm as well. 

    So, anyways, the meal was put together in a flash.  I prepped the potatoes first by first spraying some doubled up foil with nonstick spray.  Then I diced some potatoes, threw them on and topped it with:

    • T. EVOO
    • garlic powder
    • cajun powder
    • salt & pepper

    They came out tasting absolutely delicious and crispy from the grill.  We cooked them for about 15 minutes, give or take a few.

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    And the corn was pre-soaked, then placed directly on the grill for a nice and smoky flavor.  I loved it this way!

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    The Grill Master himself…:D

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    Look at those grill marks…mmm…

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    All together, along with some sauteed peppers and vidalia onions as well.

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    Now I’m relaxing, watching Yes Man, and hoping that you’re enjoying the weekend too! 😀

    Have a happy Memorial Day tomorrow!

    Saturday Recap

    What a great Saturday…Nicole was hanging out with Nate in the morning which meant our shopping trip was planned for later in the afternoon.  I was able to have a relaxing morning, included a 2-mile run (no leg cramping! yay!) and have time to also be productive in getting some chores done as well.  Love mornings like that…:D

    Of course, no good day starts without an equally good breakfast!  I’m still on a roll with this apple ‘n’ oats thing.  I can’t get enough of it.  And it keeps me full for hours which most breakfasts never do.  The same old, well-loved mix includes:

    • 3/4 c. oats
    • 1 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
    • tons of cinnamon, a little bit of cloves, and a dash of nutmeg
    • 1/2 an apple (saving the other half to munch on while prepping 😀 )

    All cooked together, then topped with:

    • 2 T. walnuts
    • 2 T. granola of choice (my fave is almost finished…sad!)
    • and a couple spoonfuls of coconut on top for extra chew and eye appeal

    I think I’ll be eating this until either I get incredibly tired of it or something new and exciting comes along that keeps me just as full. 😀

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    I sipped this iced coffee with soy while chatting with the parents.  I love weekends with no chemistry.  I think I could seriously get really used to it. 😀

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    So, like I already mentioned, I really enjoyed today’s run.  I wanted to go further…much further…but knew that I shouldn’t be increasing my weekly mileage more then 10%, and I already was just by doing the 2 miles.  This week I covered 11 miles compared to last week’s 8.  But that was a low week…still…no injuries is my ultimate goal!! 😀

    After my run I wanted water…and watermelon!  So I had a nice big bowl full of the sweet and juicy fruit, which completely hit the spot.

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    Lunch had to be equally refreshing because it was just that sort of weather!!!  I made myself a nice big salad with the works.  On top of all the green leef lettuce and spinach I had…

    • 1/4 avocado
    • handful of raisins
    • garbanzo beans
    • couple slices of turkey deli meat
    • carrots, tomatoes, cukes
    • tsp each of balsamic, EVOO, and orange juice

    And on the side were the beloved kashis. 😀

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    Dessert!

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    I was kind of planning on washing the cars after that, but…it didn’t really happen.  I decided instead to focus on finishing up the ironing, watered the garden, and made dad and Matthew supper for tonight.  I just couldn’t let myself go out for a fun weekend and leave them behind with nothing. 

    I used to buy an all-natural taco seasoning mix at the grocery store but haven’t been able to find it.  I was super disappointed, because I refuse to buy Old El Paso.  Some of the ingredients are less then stellar, and I didn’t know what alternative I had to making a quick ‘n’ easy taco meal.  Does anyone know of any homemade recipes for taco seasoning that taste really good?

    Instead I bought McCormick’s taco brand which taste extremely similair without all the hydrogenated oils and mispronounced chemicals and additives! 😀  It is still a little high in salt, but just watch the salt intake for the rest of the day. 

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    Not too shabby!

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    Considering Matthew is a vegetarian, I used kidney beans in place of the beef/turkey and first sauteed some peppers and vidalia onions in about a T. of EVOO.  It made a nice big batch…great inside a burrito.  I hope they liked it!

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    Nicole came over around 3’ish to pick me up.  I was all packed and ready to go.  I absolutely love spending the weekend out with her.  I was looking forward to it all week.  Shopping + girl time + chick flick movies (aka “Bolt” in this case…haha…not exactly a chick flick, but it was so cute) + good food + 2 adorable cats = guarenteed fun!

    We shopped a lil’ before heading to Panera for lunch.  I’m kind of boring when I go out to eat here because I always love the same sandwich.  I tell myself to try something new, but the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich will always call my name.  There’s just no preventing it. 😀

    So that’s what I got.  I substituted whole grain bread and had black bean soup, an apple, and an iced latte on the side.  Yumm…

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    After shopping some more and picking up some stuff for tomorrow morning’s breakfast, we headed back to the apartment to watch a movie and just relax.

    This totally hit the spot…Edy’s X-treme PB icecream with some banana slices.  Mmm…

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    Thanks for having me over Nicole!  I had sooo much fun. 😀

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    Have I ever said how much I love these two furbabies?!?  They never fail to make me laugh and smile.  Nicole adopted both of them from a shelter when they were still little, and they’re almost a year old already. 

    This is High St.  Such a prince…haha.  He insisted on cuddling this morning and with a face like that, how could anyone say no??? 😀

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    And this guy is hysterical and such a cuddle bug too.  I’m such a proud “aunt.” 😀

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    Hope you’re all enjoyin’ the weekend! 😀

    Unplanned

    Things didn’t go according to plans today, but sometimes that’s okay.  I find that if I can convince myself to just go with the flow rather then getting uptight about the changes, sometimes the day turns out even better then planned. 🙂

    First things first…I did manage to go for a 2-mile run at least.  That wasn’t planned but felt great.  Again, my legs felt a little tired at first.  My first 1/4 a mile, I probably resembled what I looked like when I rode a horse for the very first time.  Sore and wobbly.  But it’s always the first few minutes that are the worst in any run.  That’s just the way it goes for me!  After that, I sort of just melded in and my legs really loosened up.  It was only 2 miles, but it was just enough to get me all nice and sweaty and happy. 😀

    I ran in my favorite running garb too.  An old periwinkle tank and my running skort. 😀

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    The other not so planned events was that mom was sick.  All day.  😦  She at least got some food in her scattered throughout the day, but not much, and she’s still in bed trying to sleep it off.  I decided to make the most of the fact that our long walk to the icecream barn was out of the question for today, by checking some more items off my to do list.  I was super productive actually.  Mostly all of my chemistry assignments are complete (which is good, considering they’re all due by midnight tonight!), the bedroom is 100% (ur…80%) clean, and the family was fed a nutritious asparagus lemon pasta dish.  I absolutely loved having the entire kitchen to myself.  It was just me, a few simple ingredients, and my favorite moosewood cookbook. 

    Then dad, Matthew, and I went for an unplanned 3-mile walk after dinner.  and I very unplanningly watered all the flowers outside.  I’m so excited to plant everything tomorrow, now that all chances for frost are most likely gone.

    There was also the monumental occasion of cutting open the very first watermeon of the season.  It didn’t disappoint.  I now have a very full belly of summer’s fruit.  I ended up having two bowl-fulls of this sweet, watery goodness.  It’s so perfect for the hot weather, and oh so refreshing.

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    So I’ve decided that having things go against the plan isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Today turned out very different then I was expecting, but I think it was just what I needed.  😀

    Exercise: 2-mile morning run, 2-mile afternoon walk, 3-mile after dinner walk…out enjoying the beautiful weather was completely enjoyable today!

    *As a side note:* I won’t be able to blog till Sunday because I’ll be having a sleepover with my bff and sis this weekend.  Hope you all enjoy a lovely memorial day weekend and feel free to leave comments or questions and I’ll get to them when I get back! 😀

    Life in the Slow Lane

    I woke up at 6:30’ish again this morning.  One of these mornings I’ll sleep in so late and make up for all of those early, 5:30 am mornings I’ve had during the past semester.  But for now, my body wants to be up early, and there’s just no use fighting it sometimes. 😉

    Breakfast was worth being up for though.  I had the same concoction as yesterday, except I made it using 3/4 c. oats instead of the regular 1/2 (totally worth it because I finally wasn’t starving in an hour for once! :D.)  I’m usually a banana ‘n’ oats girl.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m always a banana ‘n’ oats girl!  Not having them for this past week practically killed me (we’re still, literally, waiting for this one bunch to turn yellow…it’s been green for 3 weeks now! :-o!)  But now I’m falling in love with apples ‘n’ oats.  It’s so perfect and not-too-sweet, and goes so wonderfully with the walnuts and coconut. 

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    I then proceded to spend about 1-2 hrs. on the computer, just doing nothing.  Part of me felt guilty.  I should be doing homework (actually I probably should have been…that chemistry homework still needs to be completed by tomorrow and I’ve only conquered 1/2 so far!)  I kept frantically looking at the clock, feeling as if I was wasting time and probably should be studying.  I had major procastination anxiety.  I’m not planning on spending every morning in front of my laptop, just browsing leisurely, but it did feel rather nice. 😀

    My legs were feeling still sore from that 4-mile run that dad and I had done, so I decided to take it easy on myself and do either an easy breezy 2 or 3 miler…depending on how my legs felt.  They were feeling super tired for the first mile or so in, but after that I kind of just found a rythm.  I still felt a lil’ tired, but good enough to keep trucking out 3 slow miles.  The weather sure helped.  Despite the heat, there was a wonderfully cool breeze that was just absolutely perfect. 🙂

    I came home from my run, guzzled some ice cold water, and snooped into the fridge for a snack to find (horror)…THIS!

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    It’s a sad, sad thing to find an empty pb jar in this house…we all practically live off of it. ha…there was enough to scrape some out onto 1/2 a banana for a post-run snack though.

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    After taking a shower, I scraped some more out and ate it directly…and put the rest on the other 1/2 a banana.  I think there was a lot more in there then I had originally thought, because I found myself scraping out spoonfuls. 🙂  And I also had a regular iced coffee. 

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    Despite my laid back morning, I was at least a little productive with my chemistry homework.  I worked straight until 12’ish before my hunger pangs finally got the better of me and I headed outside on the porch to eat.  How could I not?  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky!

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    Except for this jet plane smog which could perhaps pass for a cloud…but other then that, it was just blue skies overhead.  I *love* summer.

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    And lunch was delicious…it started with just a basic green salad topped with olive oil, balsamic, and orange juice, but I kind of stole one of Matthew’s black bean chipotle burgers to put on top.  😀

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    And the kashis we all know and love…

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    Combined…:D

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    I ended up going out for an iced coffee with Matthew to a local coffee joint, which was nice.  Sorry to keep repeating myself but it feels so good to not be a hermit anymore! 😀

    I was starving when I came home and dug right into what is known (to me anyways) as the best granola ever…

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    …and made a snack.  Nice and simple, just a T. of crushed flax in about a cup of plain yogurt and topped with a little granola.

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    I tried calling the hospital volunteer line to see if I can perhaps work with an RD over the summer months.  I’d love to have that opportunity, so I’m really hoping it can work out.  She’s away until Tuesday, and by then I’ll hopefully get in touch with her.  *crossing fingers*

    I got myself busy after going out for coffee and having my snack.  My room, I’m now happy to announce, is completely unfamiliar. 😀  I kind of forgot what the floor looked like for a while. 😉  That’s what finals always do to me.  I become frazzled…a lot like these guys on a really hot day:

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    I sort of stuck to my “eat the leftovers” ritual that I always have on Thursdays.  I finished off the rice (about a cup), the veggie stir fry from yesterday and some bean soup we had in the freezer.  I topped everything off with salt, pepper and basil…

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    The best part of the meal was finishing it with a maple cookie…all the way from Canada.  Savored…very…slowly.  These are amazing. 

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    My to-do list looks like it will be carrying on to tomorrow after all…Eeks.  But I’m not too worried, and considering it’s my first day back into life after finals, I think it’s looking pretty good. 😀

    Edited to Add Night-time snack, post-grocery shop!

    You know, this cereal is actually starting to grow on me.  I think it just doesn’t taste good on its own.  Add in some strawberries to the mix, and I found myself enjoying it.  It’s crispy and chewy, and stands up well to the milk.  I found myself taking my time to eat it rather then rushing to avoid soggy cereal flakes.  And, as is much needed for my appetite, it fills me up quite nicely too! 😀  I think I’ll try messing around with it tomorrow for breakfast and see what concoction I can come up with and how long it holds me over.  That’s if oatmeal doesn’t win the battle of breakfasts, though.  We shall see…:D

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    Exercise: Today I ran a tough but doable 3 miles.  My legs felt a little tired, but I still felt pretty strong overall.  Walk later?  TBD…;)

    the walk was a must.  It was about 70 degrees out when the sun started to set, with a perfectly light and cool breeze.  Have I mentioned how much I *LOVE* summer? 😀

    Introducing Steve…more commonly known as Stevia.

    Whew…what a day. It was so wonderful to wake up according to my internal body clock–which still had me up by 6:30, by the way–rather then my alarm. Lovin’ it! But it still hasn’t hit me that I’m actually done this insanely busy semester. I still have some homework left on the compute, but once that’s accomplished, it’s official. And maybe then it will finally sink in that I don’t need to sit down and do homework and can actually read what I really want to! 🙂

    Breakfast was really delicious too. Maybe because I could take my time and be creative? 🙂 This mix was made with 1/2 c. oats, 1 c. milk, 1/2 an apple (I ate the other half while prepping!), a handful of raisins, 8 dashes of cinnamon, 3 dashes of clove, and 2 dashes of nutmeg. Then I topped it all off with 2 T. walnuts, 2 T. of the best granola ever, a few more raisins, and a good sprinkling of coconut. I absolutely loved this bowl…it satisfied the aesthetic appeal, chew appeal, and taste appeal.

    I also ate this with my breakfast. I don’t know, my appetite is definitely higher in the morning lately. I’m thinking maybe I should just increase my bowl of oats to 3/4 cup instead of the regular 1/2. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to have two breakfasts in one sitting. 😉

    My goal today was to finish up on my chemistry homework that’s due in two days via internet. But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! I ended up instead spending an hour on the computer this morning in my pj’s, enjoying no homework. Then I ended up shrugging off the whole thing and went shopping with mom and memere instead. Don’t worry, I have a major to-do list all prepared for tomorrow! 🙂 Check it out at the bottom of this post…

    Anyways, the shopping and no homework day was much needed. So was this iced coffee with 1/2 c. milk and 1 tsp sugar. 🙂 I ate the pear after shopping around for a while.

    Lunch was up in the air at around 12:30. Usually I’m eating lunch by 11:30, so my stomach was getting rather cranky. I was glad we ended up stopping at subways instead of the hotdog stand. Not that it’s not okay to indulge in the occasional hotdog (I stop at top dog at least once a year!) but when I’m starving, give me some food that will satisfy and make me feel good!

    Subways was the next best option. At least it’s filling, and I had it along with a handful of baked lays chips and a tall glass of ice cold milk at memere’s house. I got the turkey sub with the works (minus the hots) and mustard. And mom and I split a heavenly piece of lemon lush at memere’s. I took a couple of bites but wasn’t really in the mood for anything sweet so left it at that. When it’s really hot out like today, I either want fruit or a chilled dessert–ice cream comes to mind. 🙂

    Me and mom decided to go for a walk upon returning home. Not before having a snack of THIS though!! I’ve been seeing fage 2% on other foodie blogs, and decided I needed to give it a try. I love fage 0%…to think it could be improved was beyond imagining…ha.

    The verdict? OH MY GOODNESS! It was light, fluffy, whippy, and CREAMY beyond belief. Seriously, this tasted very similar to cream cheese, it was just that creamy. Next time I’ll split the container into two servings, because 1/2 of it would be rich enough to satisfy me.

    I look annoyed here, but really I’m actually pretty excited. This is a stevia plant, which I’m sure a lot of you have heard of. Supposedly it’s extracts are 300 times sweeter then sugar. I tried chewing on a leaf and was really surprised by how it really is that sweet! I felt like I was chewing on sugar in the form of a plant. Weird…and fascinating. That’s why I bought it. 🙂


    However, I’m notoriously a plant killer. Will Steve–as I’ve named him–survive? Dun, dun, dunnn…stay tuned! :-o!

    I was busy painting a bucket for steve outside, and found myself really hungry by the time supper rolled around. I had about 1.5 c. ww pasta, a side of stir fried zucchini and squash and lots of homemade spaghetti sauce to drown everything in. I love tomato sauces. I could eat them just like that. But even better with veggies and pasta…:)

    Mom and I had gone for a walk earlier in the day but decided to go for another short one after dinner. It was an absolutely perfect night. The sky was pink, there was a soft breeze…ah…delicious. It was the perfect first day of my vacation, and a breath of fresh air.
    I was hungry around 9:00’ish. I had just gotten back from driving some stuff over for Matthew, and decided that a bowl of cereal would hit the spot. I finished off the honey nut cheerios and was excited to mix it up with some of the new raisin bran cereal I had bought from whole foods. To be honest, it was pretty disappointing. I liked it all mixed in with the sweet honey nut cheerios, but on its own it was kind of…gasp…cardboardy tasting. The nutrition panel was great, but that doesn’t really work out so well unless it please the tastebuds too!! 😉


    Without further ado, here’s my to-do list for tomorrow. Maybe having it in writing will mean I’ll actually get stuff done and be productive!! 🙂

    • Clean bedroom (and I mean major cleaning!)
    • Figure out what to do with last semester’s school books!
    • Renew ADA membership
    • Complete chemistry assignments
    • Run 3 miles
    • Yoga or pilates…or any general strength training/stretching routine depending on what I’m in the mood for. 🙂
    • Grocery shop

    It’s not a huge to do list—totally doable with no excuse not to check everything off. 🙂

    Happy HUMP DAY!

    Exercise: 4-mile walk in the afternoon and a 2-mile walk after dinner. Both were relaxing and enjoyable. My legs felt a little tired from yesterday’s 4-mile run with dad. My legs are so not used to the longer runs any more! But I felt really happy to be running, which is really what it’s all about. Find the exercise you love and stick with it! 🙂

    Finished Finals!

    FINALS ARE DONE!!! WOOOHOOOO!!! 🙂

    I thought I’d announce it with a really corny photo…;)

    I celebrated by going out for sushi with a friend (to die for delicious…especially the sweet potato roll!) and now I’m home, snacking on an orange before I plan on heading out for a run. I haven’t decided if it will be short or long…but who cares? Either way, I don’t have to rush back to do homework for once. I’m no longer a hermit, and it feels great. 🙂

    Highlights of the Day

    I sat down…a lot today. This whole weekend has been a marathon of studying, which I swear is more difficult for me then if I were to actually train for the real thing. I’m mostly looking forward to not having to sit down for prolonged periods of time once this semester is done. 🙂

    My Food Microbiology final was excruciatingly difficult. I somehow managed to spend my entire weekend studying the wrong stuff, or at least everything that she decided not to put on the exam. That put me in a sour mood, so I headed to barnes and noble for some therapy in the form of a grande soy latte and a couple new books to read once school lets out. 🙂


    I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan, and can’t wait to read this one. And the Omnivore’s Dilemna has been on my to read list ever since I read In Defense of Food. Loved it! I can’t wait to read this one as well. 🙂

    My two foodie highlights of the day were another caffeine drink. My first goal after staying up late studying isn’t a priority is to wean myself off the stuff. I like to enjoy it on the weekends or special occasions…not as a “I need this daily” thing which I’ve been doing lately. Twas really, really good though. 🙂

    And my other foodie fave of the day was this grilled turkey and avocado sandwich with mustard, lettuce and tomato. I’m in love with whole foods whole wheat sourdough bread. It’s the best when lightly toasted and crispy. Mmm…

    I’m ending here to go chill a bit. I know I should study more for tomorrow’s chemistry final but I just don’t have it in me at this point. I’m completely drained, and all I can think about is reading in my pjs. Or running. But since it’s dark out by this point, it’s just not an option. Pretty soon I can go for a long morning run again. I’ve realized that not being able to run makes me crave it even more. I go through periods where I consider giving it up. Those moments are short lived of course, because after a couple of days of not running, I go practically insane. My running sneakers are a part of me now, and I can’t imagine life without them. Running truly does become part of your identity.
    Exercise: 6-mile walk, spread out into two walks. My only break from sitting, and it was much, much, much needed.