Monday, January 31, 2011

Granny Em

I've always gotten "Auntie Em" because of The Wizard of Oz.  Clearly, though, I should really be "Granny Em" because of my bedtime as of late.  Last night I was zonked no later than 8 p.m.  Granted, the Tylenol P.M. probably helped, but I don't think I'm going to beat that time by much tonight!  My body is just telling me that bed is the place to be!  I hope it's not also telling me that I am getting whatever virus half the country has right now!

Check out the resemblance:

Uncanny, I tell ya.

But I digress.

Today started off bright and early (thanks to my early night).  I woke up at 4:40 to head to the gym for what I thought was going to be an invigorating spinning class.  When I arrived at the Y to meet a friend for our workout, however, she informed me that Monday was one of two days that spinning is not offered at 5 a.m.


So, we settled for a treadmill workout.  In 30 minutes, I ran/walked two miles (at a snail's pace, obv) and burned 270 calories.  Apparently I should've done the elliptical because I burn way more calories and "run" a lot farther than on a treadmill.

I have a gym announcement for y'all before I go any further: four of our treadmills and four of our ellipticals (the gazelle-looking ones) got new TVs - like, individual TVs for the individual machines.  So today I was able to watch MY news - Channel 13 - and cross my fingers for a snow day, all while working out!

I then came home to a scrumptious bowl of Apple Pie Oatmeal, again courtesy of Angela.  I swear: I cook something from her at least once a week, if not once a day.  Like last week, I was full from half a bowl of this oatmeal so took the rest of it to work for my morning snack: and proceeded to dump it all over my pants.  I'm not going to lie, though: I scooped it from my lap into the bowl and still ate it.

That's just how I roll.

Especially when I'm hungry.

And more specifically when we're talking about Apple Pie Oatmeal.

For lunch, I whipped up a quick batch of what was supposed to be guacamole but instead turned out to be, um, not:

It was more like chunks of avocado mixed with one Roma tomato, way too much onion, some cayenne, cumin, and salt.  I mean, it was good...oniony but good...and not at all guacamole-ish.  I ate it on top of a toasted 100-calorie thin bun.  I think I'll make it again, but next time I'll skip the onion.

After school we had our second PROUD meeting of the semester.  We called this our "PROUD Planning Party" and invited lots of students and catered in pupusas.  If you've never tried a pupusa, you are totally missing out.  It is an El Salvadoran food: essentially, it's a flat, thick tortilla, stuffed with cheese and meat or beans, usually topped with a slaw and salsa.  OMG.  They're delish.

I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I stole one from here.
I opted for a cheese and bean pupusa and feared for how unhealthy I was being.  Shockingly, it's only around 200 calories.  I should've had ten.

After scraping sleet off my car (UGH!) and navigating the slippery slopes home, I proceeded to cook a horrible dinner: shrimp with Trader Joe's curry simmer sauce over jasmine rice.  I was less-than-impressed and even considered throwing the other half of it away.  I decided against being wasteful, though, and will be suffering through the same meal for lunch tomorrow.  Thankfully I discarded most of the sauce and kept half a bag of sugar snap peas to satiate me.

I made this while on a conference call with the non-profit for which I work.  It is always so great to hear everyone's voices, and I can't wait until a reunion comes to fruition.  I could definitely use some time in Long Beach and some rejuvenation from teachers and other supporters of education who have the same pedagogical ideologies as I do.  Even though this is a great year with phenomenal students, it's also been a bit rough, and being back with those amazing people would be so wonderful.

Anyway, I'm off for the night.  It's nearing 8:00, which is, as we know, my bedtime!  :)  'Til tomorrow, friends!

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,378
Fat: 48 grams (I ate an entire avocado, okay?!)
Carbs: 185 grams
Protein: 62 grams

(I'm loving Fit Day!)

Exercise: 300 calories
Water: not enough!!!

And let's not kid ourselves: dinner was awful, so I'm most likely going to tear into some graham crackers before long!  I'd better just go ahead and add another 120 calories to that total!  Ciao!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

An Early Night...

I haven't posted since Thursday.  Oops.

Friday was kind of a crappy day, but it started off with my normal, everyday meals:

Yummy oatmeal with UVAB, bananas, and almond butter.
Italian-style vegetable soup (100 calories!).
Strawberry-banana yogurt and two string cheeses.
I had already planned on attending the YPC Kick-off party with some friends, and due to the crappiness that ensued throughout the day, I may have been a little over-served.  So, my wonderful day of "being good" ended with a few too many vodka tonics, potato skins, and late-night QT taquitos.  Yep.  I sure made some solid choices.  :)

Needless to say, Saturday was spent in bed.  I finally was productive around 8:00 when I decided to do my taxes.  Other than that, I had lunch with some girlfriends - and slept the day away.

Today was much different.  I woke up at 8:00 this morning, finished Portia de Rossi's memoir, ate some breakfast:

...and went to the gym.  I did 25 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, burning 400 calories, and then did an hour-long yoga class.  I feel really good but know I'm going to be a sore cookie tomorrow!

My friend called while I was at the gym and begged asked me nicely to come to the mall with him and help him pick out new jeans.  After I remedied my hot messiness and chugged a carrot cake smoothie (OMG so good!), I headed out there, and then he took me to Bang Bang for dinner.  I'd never been there, but it was really yummy - very much like Hu Hot, if you haven't been there.  I ate one-and-a-half plates of seafood, veggies, and a rice/noodle mixture.  While I could've eaten less and could've passed on the carbs and the soy sauce, I don't feel like I made horrible decisions.

However, now my "today's grand total" is going to be impossible to calculate.  Oh well.

I've been battling a massive headache all day long for some unknown reason, so I think I'm going to hit the sack early.  :)

Plus, I'm waking up before the crack of dawn, too, for some spinning.

Ciao, bellas!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In for the Long Haul

I'm so sleepy that I don't even know where to start today!  Let's start, I suppose, with a quick photo-recap of yesterday:

Breakfast: 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup UVAB, one banana (half mashed in while cooking, half sliced on top), 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon almond butter.

Morning snack: blueberry Chobani and two string cheeses.

Lunch: L#2 of pasta.  (Still good!)

Now, prior to the next set of pictures, let me explain my evening.  After school I had a lengthy meeting at which dinner was served.  I had a healthy helping of salad (topped only with healthy things), and one slice of olive bread (yum).  There were several decadent-looking desserts, but I used some self-restraint and took one cookie and ate half of it.

Then, BFF invited two of our good friends over for dinner, and the hubs brought homemade dumplings. They were delicious.  I had about two-and-a-half of them - and totally want the recipe!

And BFF cooked the main course: chicken with a brown butter and sage sauce (Cooking Light) and asparagus with a lemon-vinegar sauce.  I also had a chunk of French bread (oops), several Meringue cookies (double oops), and two glasses of wine (triple oops).

So...after that evening of "oops," let's move on to today.

This morning I woke up after a great night of sleep and attempted a delicious smoothie.  And this is, instead, what happened:

Please disregard the wine bottles...this is the (now very messy) "recycling center" part of my kitchen.

Yep.  I totally spilled ALL OVER the kitchen.  Let me tell you something about chia seeds: they pretty much SUCK to clean up because they turn to gel when they hit liquid and stick to absolutely everything.

Finally, though, I made a delicious-as-usual smoothie.

In the mix: one cup UVAB, one tablespoon chia seeds, one cup frozen fruit, one scoop chocolate milk protein powder.  Yum.

School today was pretty darn boring.  I am giving yet another benchmark assessment, but this time it's a writing assessment.  So essentially, I sit and watch kids write silently all day.  I HATE that; I'd much rather be up and interacting with 'em.  Oh well: days like this don't happen too often, so I guess I should appreciate 'em...

For a lunchtime appetizer, I broke into my new favorite snack:

It is so yummy (like a chip dip!) and goes perfectly with my other favorite snack: carrot chips.  Mmm, mmm good!

And then actual lunch was pasta L#3.  Shockingly, I wasn't sick of it yet!

The afternoon was much like the morning: sitting, watching kids write, trying to think of ways to be productive.

And again, since it was a white day, I was famished by 3:00.  Thankfully, I had another favorite: two string cheeses.

Right after school I headed to the Y.  Unfortunately it was a little later than I had anticipated (Hot Mess crisis situation at work), and I didn't get to do as much as I wanted due to an evening obligation.  But, I did arm weights, leg weights, abs, and a measly 10 minutes on the elliptical.  The original plan was to do at least 30 minutes, and then when the whole session was cut short, I still wanted to do 15; however, during the entire workout, I was carrying my cell phone because I was expecting an important phone call, and that finally arrived ten minutes into elliptical.  So, I jetted off - without evening wiping off the machine (ew!) - to answer the phone, and then went home to shower.

Once at home, I ate a couple of things I probably shouldn't have.  First, I scarfed down something healthy: one of the bars I made the other night, and it was delicious.  You HAVE to go to Angela's website and check 'em out.  Every person who has tried them has requested the recipe.  And then I devoured four of these:

Luckily that only amounted to 120 calories, but they were obviously empty calories, so that's not ideal.

The evening obligation was for Planned Parenthood Young Leaders.  A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to serve on the board.  Yep: kind of a big deal.  :)  I'm super excited to get started!  (At the "meeting" I drank a huge glass of water and a vodka-tonic.  BUT, I passed on all of the greasy bar apps!)

Instead of the bar food, I opted for Gateway sushi:

It was super good but, again, probably way more calories than I should've consumed.  Oh well...

I got home earlier than expected this evening and signed up on Fit Day.  My friend told me about it yesterday, and I couldn't wait to get started.  Considering my nutrition record-keeping looks like this... OCD I was pumped to get it a little more organized.  The website is AWESOME, and I can't wait to start using it daily.  I love how it uses a pie chart to break down fat, protein, and carbs, tracks types of fats, etc.  There are countless positives about the website that I will enlighten y'all with as I find more of 'em!

Now, before I leave you for the evening (after the world's longest post), I have to show you my new hair.  First, here's a new product Courtney totally sold me on:

Moroccan oil.  It is awesome.  It makes my already silky-smooth hair even silkier and smoother.  It's like buttah.  :)

And now the moment you've all my mom has been waiting for: the big reveal.

Please disregard my crazily drunk-looking eyes...  It's an awful photo of me, but I think the bangs look cool.
Here the bangs look pretty similar to the last cut,  but they are a lot shorter and a lot choppier.  I love 'em.
The new Em!
I'm headed off to bed now - before Jersey Shore is even over - because I'm waking up early again for another spinning class!  Wish me luck!!!  G'night, y'all!

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,773
Fat: 37.5 grams
Carbs: 247 grams
Protein: 83 grams

Exercise: 405 calories burned
Water: 64 ounces

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Spin Me Right 'Round

Guess who made the 5:00 a.m. spinning class?  This girl!!!  And like last night, it was killer - and yet not as bad as I thought.  I woke up at 4:40 pretty darn tired, even though I was zonked by 10:00 last night.  However, I woke up pretty quickly; going with BFF helped a lot.  And interestingly, during the entire spinning class, I kept thinking, "Wow!  I'm hungry!  I wonder what I should make for breakfast..."  It's hard for me to eat before morning workouts for fear of throwing up, and clearly my body was telling me that that was a bad decision this morning!  I was STARVING.

When I came home, I made Angela's Apple Pie Oatmeal.  She's not kidding when she says it's like dessert for breakfast.  And it made A TON.  I ate half of it at home and then brought the other half to school for my morning snack.

For lunch, I ate pasta dish L#1 (leftover number one) of three, but I forgot to take a picture before I inhaled it.  I also polished off the other half a bag of carrot chips throughout the day.  I'm pretty sure one of these days I'll be turning orange...

After school, I was famished.  On "White" days my lunch is from 10:40-11:20, so by the time 3:00 rolls around, my tummy is a-rumblin'.  So while helping students, I downed a pomegranate Chobani and two string cheeses.

Shortly thereafter, I got my hair did.  I am horrible with hair appointments - like, once-every-six-months horrible.  I was so excited for today!  Courtney - at Blush Salon off of Hickman - is amazing.  She trimmed probably half an inch off the bottom, made the layers a little neater, highlighted my hair with really pretty butterscotch and platinum colors (very close to my natural highlights), and...gave me bangs! I have bangs!  Don't worry: pictures will come soon.

I had to run some quick errands after the hair appointment, and because I thought I was going to be late for trivia, grabbed Jimmy John's.  I was totally not going to eat out at all this week, but I was starving, had absolutely no time for anything, and thought this would be best.  So, I ordered a #12 without mayonnaise.  Basically, it's a turkey sandwich with sprouts, tomatoes, avocados, and lettuce.  It's really, really good, and shockingly not too unhealthy.

Interestingly, I was driving home from the Super T (and Jimmy John's) and passed the exit for the gym.  I thought to myself, I should have worked out after my hair errands could've waited another day.  I completely forgot that I had already worked out today!  How funny is that?!

Turns out, we didn't even go to trivia tonight.  I could've come home and cooked a much better meal than a Jimmy John's sub, but oh well.  Instead of trivia, I came home and whipped up a batch of Angela's healthy tropical breakfast bars.  I followed the recipe to a T, but I don't think mine turned out as amazing as hers did; they seem to be falling apart a little...  I'm hoping they just need to chill overnight or something.

Notice the corner one missing...oops.

My BFF thought the bars sounded disgusting, but they are actually very, very good.  And for under 150 calories each, you can't beat 'em!  The "yummies" are oats, cranberries, pistachios, and coconut.  Yum.

And now, I'm off to bed.  I'm wiped.

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,620
Fat: 41.5 grams
Carbs: 225 grams
Protein: 90 grams

Exercise: 800 calories burned
Water: 60 ounces

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Vengeance?

Is that what I said?  I think I actually meant that I'd be back in two weeks.  Oops.

Today I'll give you a brief run-down of the day and then fill you in on what I've been doing the past couple of weeks!

First, I had a delicious shake this morning for breakfast:

Do you see how thick that is?!  I couldn't even drink it with my usual straw; I had to opt for the spoon today.  In the mix: one cup UVAB, one cup frozen fruit (papaya, mango, banana, pineapple), one tablespoon chia seeds, one scoop protein powder.  It was absolutely decadent - a true dessert!

For a midmorning snack, I scarfed down nearly half a bag of carrot chips and two pieces of string cheese.  I know that carrot chips are the exact same thing as baby carrots, just in a different form, but they taste so much better!  I swear I'm really a five-year-old at heart!  :)

My lunch was one of my new favorites:

These soups are SO GOOD.  Today's was the Mexican-Style Chicken Tortilla soup, gulped down while working.  That is something I really need to remedy: I work too much while I eat.  I know it's much healthier to keep work at the desk and lunch at the table, but sometimes it's really hard!

My afternoon snack was supposed to be an apple or an Odawalla bar, but I just wasn't feelin' that.  So, I hurried home for this:

I lightly toasted a 100-calorie bread, slathered it with two tablespoons of almond butter, and topped it with a sliced banana.  It was so filling and the perfect amount of energy for my evening workout of spinning and abs/back.  Considering I'm still sore from yoga yesterday, it was just about all I could handle!

Dinner was a new creation:

I cooked up some sun-dried tomato chicken sausage in olive oil and garlic, sauteed some spinach and tomatoes (cherry and Roma) in the same pan, threw in some whole-grain Rotini, and topped with some goat cheese.  Because I always feel the need for garlic bread with pasta (how unhealthy, I know!), I lightly toasted another 100-calorie bun, sprayed on some I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and sprinkled on some garlic powder.  It was PERFECT.

And now I'm totally ready for bed - which is good because I'm hopefully going to wake up early for a 5:00 a.m. spinning class - or, depending on how my butt's feeling, just some general cardio.  :)

But on another note, here's what I've been doing for the past week:

Yep.  That pretty much covers it.  I'm obsessed.  I cannot believe it's taken me this long to watch (and love) True Blood.  Wow.  If you haven't watched it yet, start now.

I also watched a few other movies:

I don't have any pictures to prove it, but I went to a friend's dinner party on Friday, and it was so much fun.  She cooked a vegetarian lasagna foccacia na and bread (whole wheat and regular), and served it with a salad.  She also made a tiramisu for dessert that was to die for.  (I'm certainly a bit jealous because my tiramisu was an epic fail!)  It was a great dinner with even better company!

Then on Saturday, my friend and I went to lunch/dinner (linnerdunch?) at Fong's.  While we are sushi buddies, and while he eats everything I put in front of him, we could not for the life of us decide on a pizza.  I wanted crab rangoon pizza or anything Asian-inspired, and he wanted something topped with every kind of meat known to man.  Naturally, I won, and we ordered the Thai Chicken.

And this is where the diet really went downhill this time around.  BFF and I made this cake for one of our good friends - and of course I had to sample it.  And of course it was delicious.

Last night BFF and I and a few girl friends went to a benefit concert for a local musician who was just diagnosed with lymphoma.  It was a great concert for such a wonderful cause.

Oh yeah: and we were VIP because our other friend bought a booth.  That's just how we roll.  :)

I just love this sticker my mama bought me and thought I'd share it with you!  Help me decide where to display it!!!  (Please disregard the cat paw.)

And...that's about it.

Today's grand total:

Calories: 1,412
Fat: 42.5 grams
Carbs: 194 grams
Protein: 79 grams

Exercise: 1,140 calories burned (holy moly!!!)
Water: definitely not enough...only 32 ounces!  I'm in trouble.

See you tomorrow!  Cross your fingers I can wake up at 4:45 a.m.!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Grand Total

Yep!  Skipping right ahead!  For some reason my photos aren't sending from my phone to my computer, so I'll have to check back with you tomorrow.  It's far too late to still be awake - even after trivia - and I need to hit the sack.  Plus, you are going to LOVE some of the pictures, so I don't want to spoil the surprise by telling you all about it.

Here's a hint, though: there may or may not be a decorated cake involved.  Just. You. Wait.

Today's grand total (not including a piece of cake, so you can only imagine):

Calories: 1,722 (yikes!)
Fat: 48 grams
Carbs: 234.5 grams (apparently I was in the mood for some carbs...)
Protein: 81 grams

Exercise: 220 calories
Water: 64 ounces

Despite today's grand total absolutely sucking, I do have to say I did well in one regard: while everyone else at trivia was drinking booze, I guzzled my water and was not even tempted.  I'll take that to be a win.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm Back!

I promise I have a good excuse for last week: it was finals.  I know that finals are supposed to be stressful for the students, but O...M...G: I was beyond stressed.  I cannot even tell you how many essays I graded, how many tests I checked, etc.  It was so bad that I didn't even work out.

I know.


But today I got right back on track!  I started it off right with a Green Monster (or a brown monster, whatev!):

It kind of looks like a chocolate shake, doesn't it?  :)  In the mix today: chia seeds (first time I've ever tried 'em!), a banana, one cup UVAB, 1/4 cup mixed blackberries and raspberries, and one scoop vanilla protein powder.  It was delicious as usual!

Unlike half of the country, I had to go to work today.  We had the morning to work in our classrooms, which was much appreciated: I got tons done - but still wasn't able to leave until 5:00 this evening.  Mid-morning, I had a Mocha-walla bar:

This particular bar is 210 calories, 4 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of protein.  While it could have fewer carbs and more protein, the ingredient list is superb, boasting good amounts of antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron.

Even though I had to go to work today, I did get to play "pretend grown-up" and actually go out to lunch!  A couple of my colleagues and I hit up Palmer's on Ingersoll.  It is one of my favorite places in Des Moines, as everything is delicious.  Today, I opted for one regular and one new:

I ordered a small spinner salad, which is what I order every single time.  In the mix: Romaine lettuce, black olives, mushrooms, red peppers, provolone, turkey, egg, and raspberry vinaigrette.  I ate about three-fourths of it and then focused on the new-to-me item: red pepper bisque.  Suffice it to say that I will be ordering that again!

After lots of work at school, some meetings, and some more work at school, I picked up my BFF, and we hit up the gym.  Yesterday we added her to my membership (saves us both money!), and today was her first visit to the Y.  Luckily, she loved it as much as I do.  We started with a tour of the facility (led by yours truly), knocked off 10 minutes on the stair-stepper, 20 minutes on the crazy-elliptical, and then killed ourselves in the abs/back class.  It was great.

I then sped home (at a grandma pace of approximately 10 miles per hour) in the ice to prep dinner.  A guy friend came over (same one as last time), and I felt the need to impress him yet again.  So what did I prepare?  Same thing as last week:

Crab cakes with a toasted butter sauce and roasted red potatoes and asparagus.  Interestingly, when I was at the gym, my friend who came over last week sent a picture showing that she had made the exact same thing tonight for her boyfriend.  Great minds think alike!  :)

After a couple of episodes of "Pawn Stars" (we are that cool), the boy braved the icy roads home, and I am about ready to crash.  

Before I sign off, though, I have to do a shameless plug: a local store is running a contest in which the winner gets his/her picture on a product.  (Okay, the "winner" is going to be a kitty, and the "product" is organic catnip.)  Because I obviously have the cutest cats in the world, I submitted a photo and am begging you asking you very nicely to "like" it on Facebook.  So, please click this link to go to the Smitten Kitten page on Facebook and "like" this photo:

Chloe's such a pretty girl, huh?  :)

Today's grand total (as usual, this is guess-timated - who knows what Palmer's puts in their salad and soup...):

Calories: 1,463
Fat: 56 grams
Carbs: 167 grams
Protein: 71 grams

Exercise: 560 calories burned
Water: 64 ounces