running partner

I am not a night runner.

I get up early.  I wake up with the sun.  I run in the crisp morning air.  I indulge in the smells of coffee and bagels and fried eggs. 

At night, I am sleepy.  Ready to relax with a good magazine.  Or maybe fit in a quick yoga session.  Maybe.

I am not a night runner. 

Putting that all aside, tonight I ran my heart out.

Dad and I have made a mutual agreement to set aside both Tuesday and Thursday nights for running, as it fits nicely into both of our schedules.  And, really, I think having a runner partner is going to do me—and my motivation—a world of good.  There are definitely times when I’d rather not run (yes, especially at night!) and having someone who’s up and ready keeps me going.

My dad pushes me harder than I think I’m capable of.  He dashes up hills.  He pushes through moments of feeling tired.  Just after a week or so of running consistently with his pace, I feel like my endurance has already improved dramatically.

A breezy 3 miles felt absolutely invigorating! 😀

And then I came home to eat a gigantic sardine sandwich. :mrgreen:

Forget those thoughts of slimy, canned fish.

When sardines are heated in a pan, mashed together with dijon (or even honey mustard) and mixed with crunchy, diced celery, the results are pretty darn yummy.  Place in between two toasted slices of seedy bread, and serve with a mixture of your favorite veggies. 😀 

I am exhausted tonight.  My second day at the hospital left me with a huge workload, along with a mixture of fear and excitement.  Once I fell into the groove, however, I found myself really enjoying it.  Nutrition assessments.  Education (I love the elderly patients! 😀 ).  Nutrition screening.  I think I’ll learn a lot.  And very quickly. 😉

Tomorrow, I’ll be on my own for a couple of hours in the early morning.  Ready or not, here I come. 😀

Question: Do you have an exercise partner or do you prefer going solo? 

“because you had a bad day…”

You’re taking one down.  You sing a sad song, just to turn it around.

Cheezy song?  You decide.  I actually kind of like it and it really does turn my mood around.  Apparently it doesn’t take a whole lot. 😉

Not that I had a horribly “bad day” per say. 

And it did start out in a wonderfully delicious away.

  • 6-oz. plain yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1.5 c. Kashi heart to heart
  • banana
  • peanut butter
  • raisins

I used to eat this breakfast every single morning.  Much like the breakfast cookie.  Every.  Single.  Morning.  It’s crunchy, creamy, delicious.  And quick. 😀

Part of what I do on a “bad” day is to list the top 3 things that I’m appreciative of in that day.  Instant mood lifter!

  1. The sun.  I love rainy days, I do.  They’re cozy, refreshing, and absolutely wonderful.  But there’s nothing like watching the sun come out after 3 days of rain.  I love feeling the kiss of a warm sun on a nice long walk.  Mmm….
  2. Coffee.  Because nothing slows down the morning like sipping on a hot cup of coffee.
  3. My parents.  Not just because of their financial support in helping me achieve my career dreams, but also because of their emotional support.  Always there for me when I’m excited, when I’m grumpy, when I’m happy and when I need to vent. 😉

What are you some of the things that you appreciate today (or every day)?

I didn’t get around to eating my lunch until after the high school orientation, which was somewhere around 3 o’clock.  That would be exactly 8 hours since breakfast.  Needless to say, I was starving. 

  • white bean and black olive soup
  • kashi crackers
  • almonds
  • an apple

I kid you not, nothing has ever tasted so delicious.  😉

My bad day came to a close when I went out for a walk with dad.  I literally felt my stress drifting away into the wind.  Nothing left but a smile on my face, a cob web cleared brain, and a whole new outlook on my day.  Walking and talking is oftentimes the perfect medicine for a lot of things.

Sardines haven’t made an appearance in my house lately.  I need to change that.

I used to be the sardine queen, eating them at least once or twice a week.  They’re (a) cheap, (b) filled with omega 3 fat—the healthy fats that your body needs! and (c) incredibly versatile—sandwiches, melts, “fried” with a bit of whole wheat flour for coating, baked, topping for crackers, etc.  If the sight or thought of a sardine grosses you out, try mashing them up and treating them like tuna.  Such as I did with dinner tonight.  I topped my basic salad with the following:

mix together

  • 1 can of sardines
  • spicy brown mustard (I use Trader Joes)
  • celery
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • 1/4 avocado

Drizzle salad with a bit of olive oil and voila!  Dinner is on.  And for such a little fish, you’re getting a whole lot of nutrition bang for your buck. 😀

I also had another sharp cheddar cheese quesadilla, because—well—I am truly addicted.

I have today “off” from driving anywhere.  *Sigh*  So happy.  And there are plans for icecream tonight.  It’s going to be a glorious weekend. :mrgreen:

Off for a run! 😀

Question: What are some of the things you appreciate today (or every day)?

schedules and productivity

Rain storms are beautiful.  And so is the sun that comes out the next morning, working hard to help dry things up.  I honestly can’t decide which I like more.

This morning I had plans.  Plans to walk 4-miles with mom.  Plans to cut the entire lawn.  Plans to work on some internship homework.  Plans to be productive!!!

First things first…

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 2 T. wheat bran
  • 1 banana, smashed
  • 6-oz. plain, nonfat dannon yogurt
  • toppings: 1 T. Galaxy Granola Very Vanilla, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 T. Teddy peanut butter 

I’ve been loving this combo lately.  It’s very much like overnight oats, only there’s no soaking period.  This results in chewier oats which I love. 

mid-morning snack: grapefruit and almonds

It was a little strange having a set schedule for myself today.  Not too long ago, I was an undergraduate nutrition major who lived on a very tight schedule.  But this past month has been the most laid-back, free-flowing month since…well…probably since being a high school student! 

But not today.  Today I was organized.  Determined.  Productive. 

Lawn mowed?  Check!  4-mile walk with mom?  Check!  Internship homework?  Check!  Sometimes it feels good to have a planned schedule. 😀 

Time for lunch!

  • mixed greens
  • carrot, diced
  • tomato, diced
  • leftover sauteed summer squash and zucchini
  • can of sardines
  • feta cheese
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • splash of balsamic vinegar and orange juice

+ kashi crackers!

I’ve been attempting to eat sardines at least once a week, but haven’t actually had them in a while now.  I forgot how yummy they can be on top of a salad!   

My internship homework is actually quite enjoyable right now, I’ve got to say.  The material is really interesting, and it’s all the stuff that applies directly to what I’ll be doing as a future RD.  Fun! 😀 

p.s. my afternoon snack was the same granola bar recipe that’s under the recipe page, except I used chopped dates, added in some coconut, and replaced the flax with chia seeds…a very yummy combo!

If you’re currently on the fence about roasting vegetables, I’m begging you to give it a try.  I promise that it will make you rethink many vegetables.  And, aside from helping to retain many of the nutrients, roasting also brings out a whole new flavor dimension.  Brussels sprouts become crispy and buttery with just a touch of salt and oil.  Squash becomes soft, velvety, caramelized.  Kale becomes light and crisp. 

Cauliflower becomes sweet and earthy. 

One cauliflower with one onion and two teaspoons of olive oil on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with salt & paprika, and baked for 25 minutes at 425.  Does it get any simpler?  This poor cauliflower didn’t even have a chance on the dinner table.  It was quickly demolished by three hungry diners. 😉

Also on the menu for tonight was the last of the Runners World lentil taco’s, which I took out from the freezer last night.  It reheats well, and makes for a quick dinner.  I topped mine with lettuce, chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of feta cheese. 

I have been on a role with reading lately, and I’m just starting a new book by the creator of Orangette, entitled “A Homemade Life.”  If the first two pages are any indicator of how the rest of the book will be, I’m in for a real treat. 😀

Question: Do you like to keep a strict schedule, a loose schedule, or do you like to plan as you go?  I like to keep a strict schedule when school is in full swing, but I’m more of a loose schedule kind of person.  I like to think that plans can change at a seconds notice if I need them to.  It keeps life interesting and flexible. 😀

in the works

Creating a “life’s to-do list” has proved to be (a) challenging, (b) inspiring and (c) thought provoking.

As I was pedaling my way through an 11 mile bike ride this morning, I began realizing that it’s so easy for us to limit ourselves when it comes to setting goals.  For example, there were a few times when I came close to adding something to my list before cutting short with the thought, “Oh, Sarah, be real…that couldn’t happen!”  What?  Why not?  The only real limit to life’s possibilites is the limit that we set for ourselves.  Sometimes it’s okay to throw out an idea that seems scary or far out of reach.  Daring to dream BIG.

Prior to biking, I ate breakfast outside on the deck.

  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheatbran
  • 1-1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1 banana (1/4 saved for the top)
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger
  • toppings: scoop of teddy peanut butter and 2 T. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

My morning ride was deliciously invigorating, and I came home to take a quick shower before skipping off to the dentist.  Fun stuff (or not!)  At least it’s the last time I’ll have to go for a while (yay!)

Thankfully my mouth wasn’t as numb as the last time, and I was ready to eat lunch about an hour after the visit to the dentist. 

  • mixed greens
  • carrot
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • topping: couple handfuls of blanched broccoli, 1/2 c. garbanzo beans, 1/2 c. whipped cottage cheese, 1 T. sunflower seeds

+ some kashis on the side.

Fun lunch!

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt, chopped grapes and 2 T. Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola

Sardines for dinner! 

I loved everything about this sandwich.  Trader Joe’s whole wheat sourdough bread.  Crunchy alfalfa sprouts.  Spicy Pepper Jack cheese.  Thick, juicy tomato slices.  Seedy brown mustard.

Yum, yum, y-u-m!

Toasted to perfection!

On the side, I baked some kale chips (5-6 minutes in a 425 degree oven) and dunked them into a bit of ketchup.

Yum!

My meal ended with a square of intensely dark chocolate.  I found this bar on sale for $2 at Target today.  I couldn’t pass that up. 😀

I loved how intense it was, but I’m still not a huge Lindt chocolate fan.  I don’t know, there was something strange about the chocolate.  It was almost chalky instead of being smooth and snappy like you’d expect in a dark chocolate bar.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as some of the most recent dark chocolate bars that I’ve been buying.

Off to make a snack, read and chillax for the night!  My “life’s to-do list” is still in the works, but I’ll be sharing it by tomorrow. 😀

Question: What is your favorite brand or type of chocolate? 

[Yester]Day

Highlight of [Yester]Day #1: Sardines

If you’re still on the fence about trying sardines, give this sandwich a whirl.  I toasted two slices of whole wheat sourdough bread, topped it with a smear of guacamole (mash: 1/4 avocado, tomato chunks, salt & pepper, garlic powder) and topped it off with a can of sardines.  The secret to warming yourself up to these friendly little fish is to start off by taking the bones out.  They’re chock full of calcium *but*—I admit—a little on the squirmy side.  Just cut them in half, take out the bones, heat up for 20 seconds, and plop onto the sandwich. 

The guac gives such a lovely flavor and the bread is super crusty (crusty bread is a must with sardines!) and doughy all at the same time.  This creates a tasty fish sandwich.  Trust me. 😉

Highlight of [Yester]Day #2: Walking away from my last final

It was a bittersweet moment as I walked pass all the familiar settings on campus.  Once I transferred, college life became part of me really quickly.  As a freshman at a different school, I never felt like I really belonged.  It didn’t feel right to me.  But then I came here and found myself deeply absorbed in science.  Health.  Food.  It was my perfect fit—the place where I could truly be myself.  The place where it was okay to be excited about vitamin D and eicosanoids because other people were just as excited about these things too (nerd alert!)

I found myself walking by all of my favorite spots.   

I stopped for a few moments in front of this building, remembering that time when I first walked in to take my very first nutrition class.  It was Basic Nutrition, taken with one of my favorite professors.  I learned so much from her!

Favorite socializing spot! 😀  This is where my friends and I would always gather before or after an exam to unwind and chat. 

That would be the library in the background—too tall to be captured in one picture.  Crazy, crazy, crazy.  I spent countless hours there. 😀

Highlight #3 of [Yester]Day: Iced Coffee

Dad gave me some extra money and told me to pick up a coffee after finishing my exam.  What a special treat!  I hit up my favorite cafe (another place where I spent countless hours throughout college 😉 ) and ordered my favorite: an iced soy au lait.

Thanks Dad!  This was the cherry on the icecream after a day of memories. 😀

Highlight #4 of [Yester]Day: Savory Oats

I owe Holly a shout-out for this bowl of savory oats.  I tried making a bowl of savory oats one time before this and was so-not-impressed.  But after seeing Holly’s bowl of deliciousness, I knew I needed to try it again.  And so I did.

  • 1/2 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • sea salt
  • few sprinkles of wheat bran (at end of cooking time, just to thicken it up a bit)
  • chopped cilantro

As the oatmeal was cooking, I fried up one whole egg + one egg white on the side, and finished it by letting a slice of jarslberg cheese slowly melt in.  Once the oats were completely cooked, I stirred in two scoopfuls of salsa for a kick.

The verdict?  I’m a converted fan of savory oats.  It’s all about the proportions and mix-ins. 😀 

Highlight #5 of [Yester]Day: No Homework

Not quite knowing what to do with myself, I cozied up with a cup of tea and found myself deeply absorbed in the book Lunch in Paris.  How luxurious! 😀

Question: What was your higlight of [Yester]Day?