About Me

My photo
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!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How do you quantify a good day?

For me, a good day consists of a series of small events that all build up and leave you just feeling breezy and content.

Today was definitely one of those days. I was able to take an hour for myself yesterday and do some seriously challenging yoga, so I was feeling stretched out when I woke. I also got up on time today so I would not have to rush through my Green Monster and coffee.

I believe I have perfected the recipe to make super think green monsters. You have to set the blender on a lower setting and then just let it go to work. I have taken to eating mine with a spoon, so it feels like a meal, not just a drink.
Back to today, so I got to work on time and was told that I was going to Capitol Hill for a debriefing. Can you say cool opportunity?? Yea, me too! Cool opportunity! I went to the Longworth office building and arrived a little early, so I went for a short walk.
The weather was absolutely beautiful today, so I had no complaints about moseing around the area and taking in the sunshine. I thought it was interesting that the meeting was held in a relatively small conference room with only five rows of chairs, yet had two (what appeared to be brand new) flat screen televisions hanging on the wall. Seems rather unnecessary, no? I emailed my dad about it, and he came back with something along the lines of "glad my tax dollars are at work." Yea, me too dad, me too.
I left the briefing around noon and chatted with my dad for a bit before heading back to my area of town. And by my area of town, I do not mean right to my office, I was on a mission for greens. I was planning to meet up with the cousin today (so I did not pack a lunch), but our schedules were compromised at the last minute.
I knew exactly what I wanted to try today. My organic-loving heart's answer to Chop't. Mix't Greens. It is advertised as eco-gourmet food, so y'all know I had to try it.
I ordered the Dagwood Salad and added edamame, butternut squash, and tomatoes. Before I do the necessary "omg it was so good!" y'all have to hear about how this salad only cost me $7! The very nice manager of the store kinda sorta chatted me up, and I suppose that because I wasn't a complete bia to him, I scored a 1/2 price salad! Oh happy day! A compliment and cheap greens!!!
Looking at this incident from the bigger picture I would say it can literally pay to be nice to people!
As for the salad. I mean, who doesn't love fresh roasted veggies, goat cheese, and a light lemon vinagerette? Ya, it was wonderful. I actually remembered to savor the favors today, so it was really excellent. I chose to order outside of my comfort zone, and I wasn't dissapointed. I will definitely be a repeat customer,especially because I was given a frequent diner card!

An added bonus to today, I received my metro stipend money for the month of April! I must say, I am very greatful to my internship for providing my transportation costs. It adds up very quickly!
Although this isn't my ideal way to end a solid day, I am gearing up for my only test of the semester tonight. It is on the world economy, and since I have taken two courses previously on the topic, plus prepared ahead of time, I am hoping it won't own my life. Y'all wish me luck!
p.s these are my highlights of the past 3 days!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update

Hey everyone,
Sorry to be MIA this week but I have a huge exam tomorrow night and what appears to be no free time to prepare. I am taking this week off blogging to focus and buckle down. It is my first and only really test this semester, so focusing has been extra challenging.
I'll be back though, no worries :)
~Jenn

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The festival starts today??

Yesterday, the National Cherry Blossom festival officially began in Washington, D.C. Did I realize this when I decided to drag my very hungover roomie to the national mall to "stroll around?" Of course not! SURPRISE! Haha it was such a cluster getting there! The metro was packed with what appeared to be young families with children not over the age of 4. Good thing I fueled with a green monster, fresh strawberries, and coffee! I also tried out my new treat courtesy of my first ever giveaway win! Holla! This stuff does not disappoint. It was so magical that my headache subsided before we even left the house! Mmm...PB&J toast. NOM. As soon as we stepped off the metro, we realized we were in for a treat. There were kites everywhere!! We ended up walking the entire mall down and back. We managed to snag a cute picture together. And independent shots of each of us. This is me "taking D.C. by storm" obviously. :) We sat by the World War II memorial mid-afternoon and grabbed the one thing the roomie had not stopped talking about all day. A street vendor pretzel. I joked with her about the irony of craving something like that in a city with some of the best food and restaurants we have ever experienced. I went with the flow and grabbed one for myself too!
The rest of the afternoon was spent frolicking around and doing touristy things, including checking out the cherry blossoms! By the time we got home, I was a starvin' marvin. I threw together the last of my leftovers from the previous week in a hurry. Quinoa, kidney beans, and nutritional yeast. Microwave for 2 minutes. Instant satisfaction. A plethora of roasted veggies followed. I love nothing more than digging into a mountain of freshly roasted vegetables. This mix included broccoli, carrot, and red potato.
Last night included lots of dancing and roomie bonding in Dupont Circle! Lots of fun was had by all. So much so, in fact, that I did not wake up until 11AM! My knee is now officially in a funk (thanks to the high heels!) but breakfast definitely helped ease some of the pain. Yogurt bowl: Fage 0%, agave to sweeten, Kashi heart to heart, Galaxy granola, and fresh strawberries. Bliss in a bowl. I could eat this daily if my funds were a little freer. Greek yogurt hurts the wallet, fo sho. After some kitchen scrubbing and laundry, I used almost an entire bag of spinach in my lunch creation. I love my greens, ok?!This monster mashup contained light, organic balsamic vinaigrette, feta cheese, slivered almonds, hummus, and toasted pita.That amount of spinach is not for the faint of heart. My months of green monsters have made me a spinach feign!
That's all I have for now! The rest of my afternoon was spent studying for my economics test this Wednesday.
Dinner will be recapped as tomorrow's lunch (clever me making two portions ;)).
I am going to bed super early. The weekend was exhausting. It's hard to be a tourist and a local all in 48 hours! :)
~Jenn

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Ups and the Downs

Today has been...interesting to say the least. I received some news about a friend that was absolutely heartbreaking. I do not really feel like it is my place to go into the details of the situation, but the phone call really put a somber draping over the entire day.

It is so easy to forget just how lucky I am. Surrounded by the most supportive family and friends anyone could ask for, I am so grateful to KNOW that God-forbid something happen to me, they would all rush to my side. I hate to admit it, but sometimes it takes an unwelcome event to remind us of how fortunate we truly are.

Life is not perfect. In fact, it is pretty messy most of the time. But it is important to live it to the fullest extent and remember that nothing is guaranteed.

--
I have no intention of making this a depressing post, but something else awful preceded today's news. SYRACUSE LOST TO BUTLER. I can not fathom this loss, as Andy Rautins was playing his last college game, not to mention we were a #1 seeded team. The roomies and I dressed in our finest gear to attend our mandatory class that lasted well into the first half of the game. (BTW we were supposed to be in business casual, but we were taking a stand!) Therefore, I blame my teacher for Syracuse's defeat. (Not really, but it's a good thought).
I cushioned the blow with some rice puff pumpkin yogurt, which in all honesty lifted my spirits.Well, it was either that, or the wine and screaming "eff Butler" off the balcony until about 1AM. :) We all cope differently.
I woke up this morning to hydrate and alkalize my bod. I am still working my way through the Amazing Grass samples I purchased several weeks ago, which is a good thing because the tubs are expensive!With a heavy heart, I tried to go about my day as normally as possible. I am pleased to announce that I am the very proud new owner of brand new running shoes! This purchase was long overdue, 6 months to be precise, but I could not be happier with my Brooks Glycerin shoes. I think they are beauties, don't you? I love the colors!
To break them in a little before my workout, I trekked across town to Whole Foods to give them my "Whole Paycheck." (oh wait, I am still just an intern ;)) Thank you for the groceries Mom and Dad! I cashed in my Crofter's coupons and snagged a buy one get one deal on all Clif bars, so the trip was definitely worthwhile.
It's odd, grocery stores make me very zen. My head clears for a little while when I am able to browse the products in peace. I know that sounds weird, but it just works for me.
My workout today was awesome due in part to approx. 50% frustration and 50% running in new shoes! I tried a HIIT workout, which I learned about from Angela. I completed 8 intervals, changing my speed throughout to ensure I was getting the most out of my workout. I found that "resting" at 5.5mph and "sprinting" at 6.7mph worked out well.
The rest of my tredmill time was spent jogging to some great jams (so much so that they kept me going even after I told myself it was okay to get off!) and walking/watching the nightly news.
AFTER (I say this because I am usually so hungry I eat before showering. It is gross, I know) I scrubbed down, I made din din. Frozen broccili steamed in the microwave for 2 mins, leftover quinoa, and a salmon burger patty curtosy of TJ's. I added in feta cheese, but it was too salty, so if you ever try this, I recommend it sans cheese. Dessert was a new purchase.... For having no dairy, this "ice cream" is divine. Very rich though, which is a good thing for me, since it makes it harder to overeat.
I ate my portion and was done. Good work.
Alright, I am off to celebrate a girl in my program's 21st birthday. I can't stay down too long and the bad news from earlier today does not mean there is nothing to be happy/grateful about so I am moving forward! Gotta keep our heads up, right?
I hope y'all have a great Friday night!
~Jenn

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Eating is an agricultural act."-Wendell Berry.

It is an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines a the great extent the use we make of the world- and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction.-Michael Pollan Read carefully what is written at the beginning of this post. Stop and think about the words and what they mean in your life.This quote has fundamentally changed the way I think about food and perceive the entire agricultural industry. My grocery receipt each week represents my small part of this big world. Each dollar represents a conscious choice that I have made to say that the status quo is not good enough.
These choices reverberate throughout our lives, and manifest in different areas. It is all political, when you really stop to think about it. Every dollar you spend, every organic vegetable you choose over conventional, it all MATTERS. Take it into your own hands.
~Jenn

P.S. A huge thank you to this lovely blogger who randomly picked my name for a FREE jar of Crofter's Organic Superfood Spread! I can't wait to collect the goods at Whole Food's this weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Leftovers galore!

'Ello bloggie friends! Happy Tuesday to y'all! After a weekend of way to much ahem, fun time, I needed to kick my own butt last night at the hot, sweaty gym in my apartment. Although I did not last long I pushed through. The first workout back after some time off can either be amazing and powerful or weak and painful. Mine was the latter. Here's my stat's:

I followed my sweat sesh with a new recipe that looks unappealing but tastes fantastic! Here's the fixin's: 1/2 cup Fage 0%, 1 tablespoon TJ's Pumpkin Butter, 1/3 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 cup Puffed Rice, a small handful of Almond granola, and a dash of honey! It's tangy, yet sweet, and the puffed rice allows you to eat in bulk for not a lot of calories. The perfect recovery snack.
After my shower I still had some umph left in me, so I decided to save myself some money this week by cooking lunches ahead of time instead of ordering out. Cut to me trashing the kitchen! Not actually, but I was making quite the ruckus at 11PM. I am sure my roommates loved it. So, what did I make? Well, I started thinking that the most logical meal would include a grain, a protein, and a vegetable. With that in mind, I started by whipping up a HUGE batch of my new staple grain which just so happens to be chock full of protein...Quinoa! (It is a love affair really.)
The second layer came straight out of a can...kidney beans! Not such a huge fan, but they must be used up since I apparently had to have them one day at the grocery store. Finally, I topped it all off by roasting some frozen (read: budget friendly) asparagus. I doused them in garlic powder, salt, and pepper so they made the dish full of flavor. The rest of my lunch eats we're the following...
Y'all! That Z Clif bar was so good! Chewy, sweet, and oaty, I am definitely going to be a repeat customer! I noshed on only a few almonds, but I like to have a stash in my purse for emergencies.
After sleeping oh so soundly knowing my lunch was all taken care of, I awoke to take on this gross blob of frozen green. Um, I miss my fresh spinach. That is all. But, in a bind, the frozen sufficed to create my favorite breakfast of all time the Green Monster of course! I poured at least two cups of water in this one, so I started off the day nice and hydrated!
Skipping to dinner since you clearly saw lunch, I made a can of Amy's creamy tomato bisque soup (which I found to be odd tasting...too sweet perhaps?) and a sandwich. I made the 'wich with possibly my three favorite toppers in the world. Hummus! (Aduh)

Avacado! And Cheese! (a laughing cow wedge to be specific.) Dessert had to immediatly follow as I had class tonight and planned another sweat sesh (lifting this time) post brain drain. It appears as though we have come full circle.
So now I must bid you all farewell as I am off to spend some quality time with my new Michael Pollan books! :)
~Jenn
There was an error in this gadget