About Me

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This is a little spot to call my own. I'm here to blog about what is on my mind and my plate! This is a place to share my journey to becoming a healthier and stronger me!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I got the itch!

I have been wanting to bake for the past two weeks. It has been like a weird itch that I can't scratch. I haven't had the right ingredients or the right recipe. I finally took the time to read some lovely blog recipes and go grocery shopping, so I have been a little Susie homemaker all weekend. It started Friday, when I whipped up (read:chopped for an hour) homemade vegetable soup! I was a little nervous making this recipe because I based it off of my grandmothers, which was then passed down to my meat loving father, who told me it wouldn't be the same without a beef stock. Well father dearest (because I know you are reading) my watered down vegetable stock is delicious! I'm kind of obsessed with it actually, and I made a hugeass pot so I can take portions to work this week.
This weekend has been amazing. It hasn't been any one thing that has made it great, I just kind of feel like everything fell back into place. I went on a run on Friday, and on my way home I saw a sign in Adams Morgan for free yoga this weekend. I called the place when I got home and what do ya know? they were having an opening weekend offer. Heck yes. Free anything and I am there. I spent Friday night like a respectable lady and had a drink at the Irish bar across the street with a guy in my program who is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to talk too. Don't you just love conversations that make you feel like you have known a person forever? Meee too. A male perspective on things does not hurt either.
So Saturday morning my roommate Nicole and I went to the free power yoga class. It was beautiful. I have been relying on yogadownload.com for my sessions lately and it was a very nice change to actually be in a studio. The place is gorgeous too! Its a huge room that holds over 100 people and it has carved ceiling and floor to ceiling windows to let in natural light. When I got back to the apartment, my baking spasm began. I made Flax and Oat Power Muffins from Angela's recipe page at Ohsheglows.com. The picture is of the second batch that I made today because I forced my roommates to try my "health food" and they gobbled them up! I am so glad everyone liked them, but I wanted to make them for a work snack this week, so I had to make another batch!
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and getting career advice from a family friend. I gained A LOT of insight and I am really grateful he took the time to meet with me. I kind of fell of the wagon in terms of food in the afternoon, which I am not proud of, but after it happened I made sure I acknowledged my slip up and then decidedly moved on. I had a healthy salad for dinner before heading to the local Syracuse bar to watch my Orangemen beat down Villanova! It was a great game!!!
I went to bed early so that I could wake up this morning and attend another free yoga class! I ate a banana and an orange for breakfast with coffee and an unpictured power muffin to start my day. The yoga class this time is was Vinyasa and the woman owned my hamstrings, in a good way of course. I wish I could afford a package there, but I really just can't justify that kind of money for something I can do at home. I came home and made this bomb.com salad which had a bunch of spinach, tomato, cucumber, carrot, and the rest of this chickpea concoction I bought from TJ's. With a little balsamic vinaigrette and a toasted cut up piece of pita, I was totally satisfied. (Score 1 for intuitive eating :))
After lunch I decided to play housewife, so I did my laundry, changed my sheets, and made my very first batch of protein bars! I tweaked Susan's recipe from thegreatbalancingact.com. They turned out really well (I think...) They are chilling (both figuratively and literaly) in the fridge right now, but I am excited to have some new eats at work this week!
Since I am apparently feeling like superwoman this weekend, I threw on my tennis shoes and completed one intense run! I went through Rock Creek for the first time since I moved here, and I have got to say, I loved it. I didn't realize how nice the paths were right by my apartment because they have been covered in snow for the past month :P.
It kind of felt like a breakthrough today, I can tell that I am now able to run for longer periods of time and faster without getting fatigued. I completed my run in 52 mins. I don't know exactly how far I went because I don't have a Garmin (although I want one!) but I estimate it was around 4 miles. If you are a reader that knows where I live, I ran from my apartment to the Watergate Hotel and back! I think I got a runners high at some point too because I just felt so great and even though I was tired, I just pushed through it mentally. By the time I got back to my area of town, I wanted to walk around the block to stretch out my legs. It was perfect timing for my friend from high school to call and catch up. I ended up walking around for another 35 mins just chatting! Yay for unintentional milage!
I just watched the U.S. lose to Canada in hockey which does not leave me with a very good taste in my mouth. But I can't go ruining a perfect weekend :)
I am also having dinner with a high-school friend tonight, so there is still so much to look forward too! I hope you all had as great of a weekend as I did!
What was the best part of your weekend?
~Jenn

Friday, February 26, 2010

"A Pound of Prevention is Worth More Than an Once of Cure"

...which is how I justified my trip to Whole Foods today. ;)
But let me back up to yesterday for a second. I tried to post, but once again, this shitty internet provider let me down. I'm ovaa it. Thursday's are my traveling seminar class where we go around DC and meet with people. Each week has a different theme, and yesterday it was Capitol Hill day! We met with some interesting (read:snooooze) people and blah blah blah. I sweat my butt of because that is how I live my life and managed to snag a picture of myself in front of my Congressman's office! Holla at your constituents! (Ignore my horrible attempt to be mildly funny)
I was absolutely wiped out when I got home and just wanted to lay down because I was so cranky. But then...MY GLOBARS ARRIVED!!!! Actually the highlight of my day! It took every fiber of willpower I have ever had to not tear into one. I restrained, put them in my cabinet, and promised myself one for breakfast.
Since I don't work on Friday's I usually go out on Thursday nights. But, in keeping with this whole "get back to a good place" kick that I am on, I stayed in and it was lights out before midnight. I woke up around 8 and headed straight for this...O M G...I totally understand why Glo Bakery is a success. The bar was wonderful! It was the perfect breakfast. Immediately following, I digested a little and scowered my kitchen. I was out the door by 9AM for my first run outside in DC. Apparently I didn't think it through too much though because it was effing windy and so cold. But getting out of the door is over half the battle so I just embraced it! I ran for a little under an hour and I am very pleased with my pace considering the conditions. I estimate I completed around 3.5 miles. When I got home I took my first stab at 13 yoga poses for runners and I think it will help with some of the soreness that I assume is headed my way.
The highlight of this perfect Friday has to be my trip to Whole Foods. I wanted to buy some specialty items that I keep drooling over on all the food blogs I read. I know it is ridiculously expensive, but I would honestly rather spend my money on what goes into my body rather than what is on it (i.e clothes, makeup, accessories). There: JUSTIFIED :) Check out my bounty!!! I purchased several baking basics since I am going to try out some new recipes this weekends. I also purchased a massive assive amount of spinach and kale. Never too much of a good thing right?
The highlight, and biggest splurge (beside Mary's crackers {almost $5 really??} they better taste like gold) was this beautiful jar of peanut butter! I can't wait to try this on anything and everything. Must resist not eating it out of the jar.
So now I am home, with a fulled stocked fridge and pantry. I intend to finish this lovely Friday with as much enthusiasm as I started it with. I have a meeting with my program director at 2 to figure out what the hell I am going to do post-college, and then I am going to SCRUB the bathroom and bedroom.I am also going to try my hand at vegetable soup tonight! Now, I know it will be NOTHING compared to my Dad's (it is my grandma's recipe), but it is cold and icky enough that it just sounds yummy. If y'all have any tips, please please please post a comment. I am not the wisest of cooks.
Oh, and I want to leave a question before I go...
What is your favorite food item to splurge on?
Mine would be nut butters, obviously :)
~Jenn

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Addicted...

...to my google reader!
Seriously, thank goodness I found this happy go lucky foodie community! Y'all make such a difference in my day and I don't know where I would be without all this free entertainment! My internship has been a little light on the work this week, so I have been spending my free time cleaning out my google reader and finding new blogs to read! There are so many great ones out there, i just don't want to miss out! So please if you have any recommendations, I'll be happy to add them to my account! I went to an event this morning that was beyond dull, so I ended up being on twitter most of the time. I also caught up with an old friend via text messaging so it wasn't all a waste, but I do wish I had an internship I could be more invested in. What else what else? Well I skipped on back to work around noon, and it was absolutely beautiful outside! Like top 10 DC day (I like the cold!) but apparently we are in for some snow this weekend :(. When I got back to work, I had no new assignments so I spent some more quality time with you all. I went to the dullest legal briefing ever and then caught the metro home.
Don't you love the power of positive thinking? When I woke up today and told myself today would be a good day, no matter what. And despite my sore throat and stiff neck (which I'm ignoring) I thought today was lovely. The weather was gorg and I showed up to the train station right as the metro pulled up. Even better...it was empty! I got a seat! Love Love Love when that happens. I hate germs and I despise standing in a crowded train with so many bodies pushing up on me! I threw on my workout clothes as soon as I got home because I have class tonight and I don't want to have an excuse to back out of my workout tonight. I have every intention of getting my weight lifting on (arms and back) followed by interval running on the dredmill(30 mins). I want to get back to basics with my workouts. The idea of working out has been getting bigger than me lately so I am trying to go with the idea that doing ANYTHING counts. I used to work out for like 2 hours a day over the summer, when I had nothing better to do, but now I am just so exhausted by the end of the day (which is ironic because I am always sitting) that I don't want to work out. So I will just start from the basics and build up my relationship with exercise again.
I'll let yall know how it goes.
~Jenn

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Out of It

Do you ever just have one of those off days? Ya know, where you are up and down and generally feel all over the place? That is exactly how my day was today. The up: I had some really stellar meals today. The down: I did not have much to do at work and therefore my mind just ran ran ran until I was all psyched out and it was completely my own doing! I also sit all day at work, and that is hard on me. I like running around and staying active, and it is a tough mental battle to sit for 8 hours at work and then have to sit in class for 3 more hours at night.
But, I did have a lovely gchat with a friend from school this afternoon and she and I spent a longgg time discussing what makes us feel good/bad, happy/sad, or content/insecure. We are going through a lot of similar stuff right now and it is so nice to have someone to relate to. (ps I know you are reading this so heyyyyyy girl!) I think I have narrowed down this weird plethora of emotions I have been having lately but I am going to leave it to the wise words of Jason Mraz to sum it all up..."Many people ignore themselves in a situation and look for other people and circumstances to blame, but anger and frustration form from within. Your thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes create the picture of your life." So much more eloquent than I can express it. It comes back to the same stuff I have been battling since moving here. I am not being honest with myself. I do things that are fun in the moment, like drinking, and then feel like shit about it afterwards. The bars are a great scene here, but they are quickly losing there spunk since I keep going weekend after weekend without rest. Going out should be something I look forward to, not something I always do just because. Same goes for other stuff I have been up to since moving here. I gotta chill out and remember why I wanted to come here in the first place. I really need to figure out what I am going to do come December (holy shit!) when I am no longer an undergrad. Since my interests no longer lie primarily in my major, I must take advantage of every opportunity to network and put myself out there! I am already looking forward to the weekend, sighhh, to realign my priorities and get my head on straight. My built in bar buddy of a roommate is going out of town so I forsee a lot of yoga, job hunting, and whole foods in my near future. SANS ALCOHOL. I am all done beating myself up, because if my thoughts and attitudes create the picture of my life then I am going to "draw it well."
~Jenn

Monday, February 22, 2010

Groceries Groceries Everywhere!

Oh how I have missed you all!
I tried blogging yesterday but my stupid internet would not load my pictures! grrrr.
Anyways, I am here now, and thats what really counts right?
I have seen several blog posts dedicated to what people buy at the grocery store, and I for one think it is fascinating. I have been OBSESSED with all things Trader Joe's since moving to DC (if you could not already tell). I am quickly depleting my bank account in this new city, so in an effort to save some dough (bad food pun?) I did not go grocery shopping for, gasp, 12 days! I almost died. Not really, but my craving for greens was getting out of control. Restaurant eats are nice and all, but sometimes you just need a green monster ya know?
After an epically long Friday night, where lots of entertaining shenanigans went down and not enough sleep was had, I woke up around ten thirty and dragged my coffee less butt to the metro. I had one helva grocery list and I spent way to much money, but look at the goodies I came back with! Three HEAVY HEAVY bags! I legit received stares on the metro. Honestly, some people just do not understand how precious goodies are from TJ's.
Okay, so I unloaded my loot and laid it allllll out on the counter for y'all to check out. I really can't list it all (because we would be here for hours) but some of my new goodies from this picture include whole-wheat flat breads and Balela... 3 (yes, good things come in 3's) tubs of Hummus! I am really excited about the Twigs, Flakes, and Clusters after seeing them on another blog last week. They are going to make a mean yogurt bowl.
That schep was exhausting. After putting everything away, I grabbed some toast (ahem post Friday night that was about all I could handle) and opened a package I received in the mail. Guess what came??? YES! I am so excited to read this book! I am about 30 pages in and I cannot put it down! Which I didn't, until I passed out and took a nap for a couple of hours :)
Since my cousin's birthday was that night, I peeled myself out of bed and skipped across town to a new restaraunt for her birthday. Here are three family members in one room. A rarity, trust me. I love spending time with family. Helps set the priorities straight.
Okay, I promised myself some quality time with the elliptical tonight, so I'm off!
~Jenn

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I need to vent...

Hey y'all.
I hope everyone is doing well. I have a sh!t ton of pictures to post today because I am still trying to post everything I eat. Starting with what I came home and ate after class last night...
Not great but I am not perfect and I was legitimately hungry. I am still working on scaling back my portions. It is my greatest struggle with weight loss.
Anyways, instead of dictating exactly what is in my food today, I want to do things a little differently. I want to vent. I need to get some things off my mind because I think that is what is preventing me from getting a full nights sleep. (aside from this nagging cold, gross)
So a lot of what I have been dealing with lately is getting back to the place I was before I moved to D.C. I was in a really good place and so genuinely happy with the way my life was going. I did not feel any voids. It was nice. Before I was going out to bars and clubs all the time, before classes and work consumed my entire day, and before I lost my ME time.
This is not to say that I don't absolutely adore D.C., because believe me I do, but I kind of think I lost my spark. You know, that thing that keeps you going and leaves you happy and untarnished despite what is going on around you.
As much as I still focused on what I was putting into my body (hello Trader Joe's addiction!) and working out consistently (between a gym 2 floors down and my yogadownload.com podcasts its not exactly inconvenient)I just have not been loving me too much. Something is gone.
I have had some serious adventures already, but to be honest, most of them involve drinking. I have a great time when I go out, but it feels like my life is imbalanced. I am not satisfied with the way I am acting, and although some things seem like a fine idea in the moment, I am really not proud of myself. Circumstances have definitely changed since I moved here, and I have learned a lot. I have gotten lost, and have subsequently compensated by treating my body than less respect than it deserves.
As a result, I feel bloated and overweight (despite how much clothes fit and what the scale says.) I have moved on from caring about those things and have shifted my perspective to focus on my health. This is a great change that I have made in my life, and I am very proud of how far I have come in my weight loss and confidence levels. But because of some of the choice I have made lately, I have been kind of down. This is supposed to be the best time of my life, and it will be, so long as I do not forget to take care of me first, and everyone else second. I cannot and will not try to control others or let their actions affect my happiness and well being. I can only provide for me right now, as selfish as that sounds, and I cannot be responsible for anyone else. I very much believe that what goes around comes around. And I know that I have not been respecting my body the way I should. Therefore, I completely believe that I am sick right now because my body is trying to tell me something. I cannot tell you the last time I had a sore throat, let alone a stuffy nose. I AM DONE WITH THAT NOW. I AM MOVING ON AND I WILL BE BETTER FOR THIS PERIOD IN MY LIFE.
I will still go out, and Lord knows I will keep this adventure going, but it will be more balanced from now on. I am positive of this and I am excited and motivated to get things under control. I started on Sunday, with a positive change in my eating habits in the the form of scaling back my portions.
I think getting out my real thoughts and feelings will assist this change and help me get back to normal quicker. When it comes down to it, I (and you) just need to remember some basic things about myself (yourself): WE are amazing people, with special talents that someone would be lucky to encounter. WE are strong, confident, and open minded people with passions and opinions. Such characteristics are easy to lose sight of in the face of a challenge or mishap, but they are still there, WE just need to find them again sometimes.

So if you are still with me, thank you for reading. I truly appreciate it.
If you would like to share, I would love to know what do you think YOUR best quality is?
Personally, I love my feisty personality. :)
Love,
~Jenn

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Work and Class? Oh My!

Bonjour!
I hope everyone is well. I am pooped. I could not get into a deep sleep last night to save my life. I gave up around 6AM and decided that if I was going to be up that early it should at least count for something. So I did a yoga class from my favorite yoga site yogadownload.com. It was great and really set my mind right for the rest of the day. After I showered and groomed for work, I made breakfast and lunch. I needed a dense breakfast because I knew I would be drowsy, which has always been a trigger for me to overeat. To tide me over during the morning hours I made a bowl of organic oats with chia seeds, almond milk, a small spoonful of peanut butter, and a sprinkle of TJ's almond granola around the side so y'all would see something different! I also drank that cup of coffe x2! While sipping on my cups of joe and a bigass glass of ice water, I scrounged this up for lunch. I used a whole wheat tortilla wrap, the other half of my black beans from earlier in the week, lettuce, a schmear of hummus, and 1/3 of an avocado. I packed some TJ's mild salsa on the side so there would be more color :) I also took the opportunity to pack up snacks for the rest of the day. Cue a Mojo bar (so good!), string cheese, an apple, and 2 packets of tea. I only ate the cheese and the Mojo bar though because instead of staying in the office all day I got to leave at 1:45 and go to an event across town. I went here and saw a panel discussion on the role of the United States in the newly formed Human Right's Commission. I learned a lot about stuff I really had not studied previously. Fancy right?
The event let out at 4, so I actually got back to my apartment a little early today! Good thing because it is allowing me to sneak in blogging before class.
I whipped up the rest of last night's frozen veggies for dinner at 5! (ugh so early and I know I will be hungry after class but I have no choice). Green goodness!
I also cut up a squash and roasted it. Smothered in ketchup, as always.
In all, I think I have eaten a lot of fat today (good fat, but fat nonetheless.) I still feel in control. The key will be to not mindless snack after class. I plan to just put myself to bed nice and early!
P.S. Happy Fat Tuesday! I hope at least one of you dear readers goes out partying tonight! As for me, my body is still in recovery mode.
~Jenn
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