Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Home

I've decided to move to Wordpress.

Please visit me there!




So this morning was the first test of my healthy eating ability. I came home this morning, ready to make a great bowl of creamy banana oats, and there was absolutely no fruit in the house! I kept scavenging though until I found this:

an apple that has been in the refrigerator since I was home for Spring Break in early March! Determined to get some nutrients into my oats, I got out the knife and started slicing. Luckily I was able to save over half the apple. Crisis Averted! Looks like I'm definitely going to have to start doing my own grocery shopping.

I cooked my oats in a half cup of apple juice and a half cup of water to make them even more apply and added in:
  • diced apples
  • craisins
  • flax
  • pecans
  • cinnamon

This was my first time having normal Quaker Oats after having McCann's Steel Cut Oats for so long. I have to say that I miss steel cut :( It's just so much heartier. I think I'll cave in and buy soon.

With a black Starbucks dark roast coffee and a multivitamin. It was actually really really bad coffee. I hate starbucks coffee but always attempt to convince myself otherwise. It's always ridiculously strong, no matter how many scoops I add! My roommate left a bag when she moved out though so I thought i'd give it another chance. Note to self: Give up on Starbucks! I'm definitely a Dunkin Donuts kinda girl.

On the side in my oats I had a tbsp of Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee PB. Yes, I finally let my self open up a new jar from my stash last night! After taking about an hour to decide, Butter Toffee won out and did not disappoint!

While you can taste the butter toffee flavor, it doesn't overpower the peanut butter taste. I was completely surprised of the creamy texture. Perfect peanut butter consistency! I couldn't really taste the hemp or flax seeds but they are noticeable in the spread. Those little seeds add in 670mg of Omega-3's per serving!

I have two more Naturally Nutty peanut butters to try - White Chocolate Coconut and Honey Roasted Cinnamon. I'm a big fan of PB & Co's cinnamon raisin so I'm excited to compare. It doesn't look like it will take me too long to finish this jar - I'm wishing I got the larger jar right about now.

After breakfast I hopped on the treadmill with a goal of 15 minutes and then I was gunna switch over the the bike for 15. Instead I ended up staying on for 40 minutes while watching Regis and Kelly. Jack from Lost was guest starring! Anyone else love that show?!

Here are my stats:

Duration: 40 minutes
Calories: 278
Avg HR: 150

I couldn't find my Nike Plus sensor that plugs into my ipod so unfortunately I don't have any distance stats today! I hate working out without it now. Hopefully it's not lost!

Then I went upstairs and did my full abs workout and burned an additional 85 calories. It included:
  • 4 minutes of planks
  • 4 minutes of side planks
  • front leg kicks
  • 4 minutes of the one where you lay on the floor with your legs up and a weight in your hand and move it side to side. Sorry, I can't find the name for it! ( I call it the bus driver but I have a feeling that's not the real name)
I still have to do 2 minutes of the abdominal hold to complete my workout but I need a chair for that so I'll do it whenever.

I'm going to head out to enjoy this sunny day. It's supposed to be back in the 60s tomorrow! I'm a little relieved, I'm not ready for this 90 degree weather yet!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden Fever

One of my goals this summer is to help my Mom get healthier and lose some weight. Her problem is too little exercise and too much eating out. I'm super excited that this morning I got her to exercise with me! My Dad set up the treadmill and our two stationary bikes in a row downstairs in front of the tv and we exercised side by side. Hopefully I can make this an often occurrence! I biked and she walked while we watched Regis & Kelly.

Here are my stats:

45 minutes

145 avg heart rate

278 calories

My Mom only did 25 minutes but it's a start. Then she helped me unpack three of my bags of random stuff. If I do two or three a day I should be unpacked in a week! It's pretty important because I have absolutely nothing to wear. I'm stuck with only plain tank tops and running shorts for now.

Healthifying my Home Life Part 1: Start a Garden

Gardening is a great way to stay healthy while living at home! Other than getting me to be active outside, I will have fresh vegetables all the time once everything's ready for harvest.

I didn't get around to starting my own garden today but I went over to boyfriend's and worked in his garden. Gardening is hard work!!! I wore my hrm because I was curious how many calories I was burning. In an hour and 45 minutes I burned around 140 calories. Not bad!

We had to finish expanding his garden to get it to the right size so the majority of the time was spent ripping up grass with a pitchfork, throwing it in a wheel barrow, and then wheel barrowing it over to the woods and dumping it once it was full. I was supposed to do my arm workout today but I think the gardening arm workout will suffice!

After doing this we had to remove all the rocks in the dirt and wheelbarrow them away before we were finally able to plant.

Then we planted a few tomato plants and a few eggplants.





He already has a lot of stuff planted from before: asparagus, radishes, strawberries, onions, carrots, lettuce, peppers, and spinach.


After all that hard work, I went inside and made lunch. I was in the mood for a salad after working with the vegetables.

Here's my toppings:

  • strawberries
  • apple
  • peanuts
  • craisins
  • wheat germ
  • pear
  • cottage cheese
I ate it outside on the deck and soaked up some more rays. It's supposed to be 95 degrees tomorrow - what kind of Spring weather is this?!

I'm off to head home, shower, and eat dinner. Have a good night!

"We took a trip to Shady Grove..."

Happy Monday!

It's summertime for me! I still can't believe I graduated. It hasn't really hit me yet! I feel like I'm on Spring Break or something and will be going back to school soon.

I gave myself a few weeks off before I start working so today my short hiatus from real life begins! Here's what I hope to accomplish today:

1) Plant tomato plants with the boyfriend
2) Start unpacking, going through, and organizing my stuff
3) Work out
4) Start my garden

It doesn't look like much but I have a feeling I'm not going to get to everything. Number 2 can take all day!

This weekend I took my parents and the boyfriend to lunch at a place called Shady Grove in Pittsburgh. It's located in the Shadyside neighborhood, which is one of my favorites. It has tons of cute shops and boutiques like Williams Sonoma, The Chocolate Moose (candy store), Victoria's Secret, Apple, and Prantl's Bakery. It was one of my number one running destinations while at school.

Shady Grove is a restaurant and bar. The day we went it was 84 degrees and sunny and Shadyside was packed with people walking around on such a beautiful day. Shady Grove has outdoor and indoor seating but since it was a 15 minute wait to get a table, we didn't request to be outside. We always go with whatever's quickest!

The inside was casual yet sophisticated. I loved how they had these metal trees as decorations throughout the place. They also had tons of huge flat screens. I'm sure this place is packed on game days! The lighting was pretty dark, but it set a nice ambience.

The menu included sandwichs, burgers, salads, wraps, and melts. They also have pizza but no one at my table ordered it. Everything looked so good that I was torn between options. Luckily, my Dad agreed to split meals with me. I ordered the portobello mushroom burger with feta and roasted peppers and he ordered the hot veggie sandwich, which is tomato, onion, basil, garlic, oregano, spinach, roasted red peppers, portobellos, marinated in balsamic vinaigrette with provolone, served on ciabatta.

We had half of each. They were both amazing! The feta was a little salty on the Portobello burger but other than that, I was completely satisfied with my meal. I substituted the fries for a side salad, took off the top of the burger bun, and ate my meal with a large glass of water with lemon.

Sorry about the lack of pictures of everything. I still feel weird whipping out my camera and taking photos of my food and the restaurant. Don't worry, Im sure i'll get used to it soon enough!

For breakfast this morning I kept it simple. I'm currently at the boyfriend's house and scavenged whatever I could find. This ended up being a small banana, smothered in almond butter with a small pear and cottage cheese, sprinkled with cinnamon.

If you have a food blog, how did you get used to taking pictures of your food around people? Do you still or ever feel weird doing it?

I'll leave you with a graduation picture. How funny is this? I graduated with the 3 stooges!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Melting Pot Continued

Good evening!

Sorry for the lack of content but I've been so busy packing and traveling this weekend I haven't had enough time. Normal posts will continue tomorrow!

I found some more Melting Pot pictures on my mom’s camera that look a lot better than mine (and she got the dessert dish that I raved about!) so I thought I'd leave you with some more photos.

Our Entrees as served to us... raw!

Some fondue cooking action (waiting for it to cook)
The waitress pouring the fondue in the pot, and the dessert dipping tray!

Have a good night!

We have to cook our own food?

Good morning!

The Melting Pot was kind of a disaster last night! I knew it was a fondue place but I didn't know ALL of the courses are fondue style. You have to cook your own food!

First they give you a menu and you can choose to order individual entrees that come with an entree and a salad or you could choose the "Big Night Out," which is a four course meal where you get the cheese fondue, a salad, an entree, and chocolate fondue for dessert. The only problem with this is that your table has to agree on everything. That wasn't happening at my table.

There were eight of us: myself, the boyfriend, the roommate, my parents, my brother, and my Nana & Pop. My Nana, Pop, and brother are the pickiest eaters though and like only certain things so we couldn't all order the Big Night Out. Also, they weren't exactly warm to the fact you need to cook your own entree! We ended up choosing the individual entrees and ordering chocolate fondue at the end.

Sorry about the picture quality. It's really dark in there and my camera was just not cooperating!

So after an hour of deliberation and a 10 minute speech by the waitress about how this place works, two fondue pots were brought out. You choose what you want to cook everything in - vegetable broth or oil. We chose the vegetable broth. It was really good, loaded with spices.

Then they bring out your raw entree, everyone gets skewers with a different colored handle, and you spear things one at a time and place them in the fondue pot, waiting 1-3 minutes for it took cook. This makes for a really long dining experience!

As I said, my Pop and Nana weren't exactly into cooking your own food and at first just started dumping their food into the pot without the sticks! Then everyone else's food takes way longer to cook.

I ordered the Vegetarian. It included tofu, spinach gorgonzola ravioli, eggplant, portobellos, asparagus, artichoke hearts, and a sliver of red bell pepper. It was really good! You also get a small vegetable bowl to share with the person next to you that includes broccoli, button mushrooms, and potatoes and a variety of sauces are placed around the table for dipping.

I actually liked cooking the food myself. I could only eat 2 things at a time (you were given two skewers each) and I had a tendency to eat way too fast so it forced me to slow down. Also, the meal lasted 3 hours so I never ended up feeling overly full.

Then it was time for dessert, the real reason I chose this restaurant! I ordered two chocolate fondue pots, s'mores (chocolate, marshmallow, and grahm crackers) and turtle (chocolate, caramel, and pecans). It was so good! They brought out little plates with all sorts of things to dip into the fondue: banana slices, strawberries, marshmallows, cheesecake, brownie bites, and rice krispie treats. Unfortunately, I was so excited about just digging in that I forgot to take a picture!

I tried them all. The banana slices and rice krispie treats were probably my favorite dippers. I had the S'mores pot in front of me and you couldn't really taste the marshmallow once it's mixed but it was good either way.

So would I recommend the Melting Pot? It's definitely an interesting experience if you have people who are up for it. I think it would be great for a couple, rather than a large group. The food was good, I just wish I had been prepared knowing you had to cook it yourself. If I go back, I think I would just go for appetizers and dessert.

Off to get ready for graduation, graduate, and then drive the 6 hours it takes to get home. I filled up three cars with all my stuff. Not looking forward to unpacking!

The quest to healthify my home life officially begins tomorrow!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Heaven in a Bottle

Good Morning!

Gotta make this quick because I got sidetracked last night and never started packing... I want it to look like I did something when the parents get here! Then I'll let my mom pack :)

On my quest to use up all my refrigerated food before tomorrow, I took stock of my inventory this morning when deciding on breakfast and discovered that I still had a serving of my pure maple syrup left!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE maple syrup. It's a good thing it's so expensive because I'd use it everyday otherwise! It's just so good. I really don't understand how people can use that fake stuff. It doesn't taste anything like maple syrup! I'm looking forward to home - my Dad buys a giant jug of it online so we're always stocked up. I think a maple tofu dinner is in my future!

My breakfast this morning obviously had to include maple syrup, and the frozen strawberries I had took out to defrost last night. Strawberry pancakes were calling my name!

I think pancakes get a bad rap. I used Bisquick Healthy Heart pancake mix, egg beaters, and almond milk and added some wheat bran and strawberries. Strawberries were inside as well as on top. Sounds fairly healthy to me! If had time to really healthify them I'd make them from scratch and use whole wheat flour.

With iced coffee and a multivitamin.

It's gunna be 84 degrees today and I found out the gym is closed for the weekend. Guess I'll be running in the heat again! I plan on getting out fairly early though so hopefully it's not too bad. Have a great Friday!

I probably won't post again til tonight after my Melting Pot experience. I'm excited! Has anyone ever been there?