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!

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Day of Nothing...

When is the last time you slept until noon? Can't think of it? Yes, well I could not either until today. I legit woke up at noon and it was glorious, except for the fact that I was not magically cured from whatever yuckyness that I contracted yesterday. Ah, well we can't win them all.
Also not a win this morning/ (afternoon, I mean...)An empty jar of oats. At least I managed to scraped out a 1/2 cup serving before I had to toss the jar. Anywho...Breakfast was divine. My oats contained 1/2 cup Almond milk to 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tbsp sunflower seed buttah, 1/2 banana, and copious amounts of cinnamon. Served with an orange (vitamin C) and coffee. If I had been able to actually taste the flavor in the bowl, I imagine it would have been worthy of a NOM! The next three hours of the day were spent in equal parts blowing my money on iTunes and working on a paper, which by the way, I actually finished! Hallelujah! 1 down...6 billion to go! Clearly all of the sitting made me hungry, so when lunch rolled around (at 3PM mind you) I wanted something clean. Veggie Powerhouse Sammie: In that little guy was 1/4 avocado (all smushed across a slice of whole wheat bread), 1 tbsp hummus (smushed on the other side), a handful of free spinach, and 1 Dr. Praegger's vegetable burger patty. (These are my current favorite's btw. Try them. They are delish.) Served with some carrots and a tbsp of hummus, of course.
I snacked on some grapes mid-afternoon, okay 5 ish because my times are all messed up today.I did manage to get up and stretch/do some yoga poses for about 30 minutes today. That was the extent of my movement, unless you count to and from the bathroom and kitchen.
Dinner was my leftover stir-fry. I am seriously boring today. Dry, if you will, since that is how my stir fry tasted. :/
After some fresh air on the roof, I made some toast. I was a little nosh, lol. I just added some all natural butter spread and cinnamon. It also had no flavor.

Sorry for my boring posts today and yesterday, I need to get my mojo back and then things will resume to my cheery self. 7 days and counting until I am off to Little Rock! Can't Wait...well yes actually I can, at least until those awful tornadoes pass through the state. Please keep my friends and family in your prayers tonight. It is really bad down there.

~Jenn

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Allergies

Last night everything was going well. I was super productive with my group partner and we outlined our entire project. I came home for a snack of 1/2 leftover salmon from lunch, 1 laughing cow wedge, and the TJ's version of reduced fat triscuts.
I even made them into little individual crackers and ate them like a lady. As soon as my head hit the pillow last night, I was out. When I woke up this morning, I was feeling off. Groggy, snotty (gross, I know), and all around weak. I pushed the feelings aside, downed 2 hugeasss cups of coffee and 2 slices of almond butter toast with a banana on top. If anything can make me feel better, it is this breakfast. So filling. Today's class went from 8:30-5:00 STRAIGHT THROUGH. It was Latin America day, which meant lots of lectures on immigration. Which would be fine normally, if I didn't feel like my head was going to explode.I had another iced coffee around 11:30 just to keep moving. Probably not the best idea to drink a dehydrating liquid when you already aren't feeling up to snuff. Live and learn, I suppose.Lunch followed another think tank. I don't remember the name of it to be honest. Remember how obsessed I was with Chop't when I moved to D.C? Well, I went to their location in Dupont today and it was a let down. Something was just off with the vegetable powerhouse today. (or my taste buds are outta whack!)The afternoon crawled, but I did manage to grab a cute picture on the metro with one of my favorite people in the program! It is a love/hate relationship I tell you. And those smiles are fake, because we both felt like sh!t today. At one point this afternoon, I looked over at my roommate and instead of seeing her taking notes, I saw this: A photo montage of our D.C. group! How cool is that! She is quite artistic and everyone in the group got a kick out of her drawing. Here's a close up on me! Very cool roomie, very cool. Anyways, back to the food, since apparently I am supposed to have a knack4nutrition, right? Despite feeling like butt, I was daydreaming about my dinner creation most of the day. I had all the ingredients figured out in my head, so all I had to do when I got home was throw it together. Does anyone else do that??
Everything But the Kitchen Sink, Stirfry Edition:
Ingredients:
1/2 package of frozen broccoli
1 handful fresh spinach
1/2 red and green pepper
15 baby carrots sliced in half
1 can garbanzo beans
1 pouch brown rice
4 tablespoons TJ's Soyaki Sauce

Stir the ingredients together in a saucepan until soft. Add in the pre-cooked rice and stir. Add in the Soyaki Sauce and stir again. Et Voila...Dinner is served in just under 30 minutes depending on how much chopping you need to do.As a sidenote, I added a little salt and pepper to my plate because I could not taste anything...Darn allergies!
But it sure looks pretty!
And with that I am off to bed. So sorry for the scatter brained post, but I am just blech right now.
Tomorrow is another day though.
~Jenn

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

But I Don't Wanna...

Sometimes life is hard. Not in the whole, I am having a dramatic moment and don't know what to do way, but in the daily choices we are faced with kind of way. For instance, last night after class I slipped up with my eating. I was doing really well for about a week, and then last night I lost control. Pretty badly too because when I woke up this morning I felt awful. Like food hangover awful. Groggy. Headachy. Just gross really.

I tried my hardest to just pick myself back up and start over anew today. That meant a cleansing green monster for breakfast. I used a lot of spinach, 1 c almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1/4 c blueberries, 1/2 scoop whey protein powder, honey, ice, and water. I was feeling the whole soup idea, so I put it in a bowl and added 1/4 c English granola and ate it with a spoon. About halfway through, I took a leap of faith, and threw a handful of puffed wheat in, and ya know what, it was good! I was so cranky today at work despite it being my last day. I felt awful, inside and out, and I just could not shake my mood. I removed myself from twitter and tried to pull my sh!t together, but it was not easy. Sometimes those negative thoughts just overtake you ya know? I did not snack this morning (which I suppose accounts for my large breakfast). I met up with my cousin and uncle for lunch and ordered maple glazed Salmon with mashed potatoes and spinach. I saved about 1/2 the salmon for later. The afternoon at work crawled. I could not find energy to save my life. I contemplated hitting up Starbucks no less than 10 times. I resisted because I really want to be able to sleep tonight. I snacked on unpictured carrots and hummus and an orange. When the clock struck 5PM, I busted out of the office like I was walking on sunshine, and if only for a moment, my spirits lifted when I thought about the fact that I never have to sit at that desk for 8 hours again. Everyone at work has been super nice and I will miss them, but I will not miss that desk.
On the way home, I had a serious internal battle. I was feeling lethargic all day and the last thing I wanted to do was exercise. I knew it would make me feel better, but I just did not want to do it. After about 15 minutes of back and forth in my head, I read this quote from Caitlin that always helps motivate me. It is from one of her blog posts awhile back, and it really stuck with me:

"I'm out there, I'm running, and I'm doing my best-TODAY. I might be slower than usual, and I might be taking walking breaks, but neither of these things makes me a failure. A true fail would be doing NOTHING. So SOMETHING, no matter how far or how short or how slow or how fast- is NOT a failure. Change the way you see yourself, not the way you look."

I actually have this quote typed into the notepad section of my iPhone as a simple reminder that I am good enough.

So, I went running. Only 30 minutes, but I went, and that is all that matters for today because the mental battle was much bigger than the actual physical act of running. I meant to take a picture of my Beast at the end, but I was in such a hurry to get ready for class I forgot. I ran 2.44 miles in 30:50. That is a 12:47 average mile. Y'all should have seen my splits though. The trail I did was hilly all the way up so my 1st mile was around 13 minutes while my 2nd was around 10 minutes.

The run has cleared my head. It was nice to run on a relatively private trail in the woods today. I was able to forget about everything I still need to do today and just be. The rest of the night is going to be a chore to get through, but the end of this program is in sight. So I will get through it.
Until tomorrow,

~Jenn

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Google became a verb: What I learned at my first internship.



As my time comes to a close at my very first internship, I spent much of today reflecting on what I have learned working in an office. I learned to love my early morning green monsters and how they fuel me through at least 3 hours of work. I now crave green most mornings and feel icky or off if I don't have it. This morning monster was a classic. It included: A huge handful of spinach, 1 cup almond milk, a very ripe banana, and 4 pieces of ice. I woke up famished so I also made a slice of toast and smeared it with almond butter and Crofter's crack! It may have been dangerous for me to win this in a giveaway, because I am addicted! I learned to drink copious amounts of ice coffee, as they allowed for small breaks in my day to go outside and stretch my legs.(That coffee was owned before 10AM btw). I learned to always pack low calorie, fresh snacks because sitting in front of a computer today is boring, which obviously leads to a very snacky Jenn. I have a new appreciation for private offices with windows, as my desk was in a common room with only fluorescent lighting for Vitamin D. Privacy is apparently earned in the office world, which is okay, because I also learned how to befriend people who are nothing like me. :)I learned to look up when walking to and from the metro, as you never know when the sights will change. I walk slow to and from work on purpose. I enjoy being outside and relish the fresh air.I learned to always pack lunch because D.C. restaurants are expensive, especially when you love greens as much as I do. Tupperware is a wise investment, and will pay off before you know it if you are committed to cooking for yourself. I learned that multitasking is an art. When working for others unpaid, your responsibilities must be divided accordingly as to make for maximum efficiency throughout the workday. This leaves for more free time when you come home to unwind and get the things accomplished that you really care about, i.e. dinner, working out, blogging, and reading.I learned that gchat is a lifesaver, and the value of friends that will stay online throughout the day to help lift my spirits. Today's riveting discussion between my dear friend Bridget and I revolved around when Google will be considered a verb as opposed to a proper noun. Other examples that were cited include Roller Skates. Proper noun that is now a common noun. You might have just had to be there, but it was highly entertaining and helped pass the time.
Finally, I learned just how important the Twitter/Blogging community really is to me. My internship was nothing like I had originally anticipated. I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands and therefore threw myself into Google Reader. Your blogs are all the highlight of my day. I look forward to them, really. I am convinced it is because of all of the reading I have done that I have been able to stay somewhat sane during this semester.
A schedule that demands 11 hours behind a desk two days a week and at least an 8 hour commitment on the other two days of my week has made me really appreciate how good I have it in college. I just don't think I am meant to be a 9-5, behind a desk type of person. It makes me feel like the world is just passing me by while I stare at my computer. I digress... the weekends have obviously taken a toll on my health (cough you know what I mean cough), and I am really still in the early stages of finding a balance between dealing with everything life throws my way and maintaining my health and happiness.
I am sure there is a larger reflection post coming up in the near future as I am only in D.C. for 10 more days (Where oh where has this semester gone!). But until then, I have come to terms with what I have gone through this semester. It has been educational and insightful in the most unconventional ways. I have learned more about myself and what the real world really means to me than I ever thought possible.
I am living with no regrets.
~Jenn

Monday, April 26, 2010

What a waste of $20 bucks.


Before I tell y'all about my day, and why my post is titled so negatively, I have exciting news!!! My sister just went to Trader Joe's for the first time and fell in LOVE!!! Congrats, I am FINALLY rubbing off on you. It only took 21 years.

I woke up extra early this morning (7:15AM! hehe) to get my schmooze on at an event at the Woodrow Wilson Center. It lasted from 9-11AM so I knew I needed a substantial breakfast. My metabolism is raging with my born again dedication to exercise.Multitasking at its finest: putting on make-up, sipping coffee, eating a bomb.com yogurt mess, all while photographing the food in all it's healthy and filling glory. This was kind of an everything but the kitchen sink yog mess. It contained Fage 0% greek yogurt, a drizzle of agave nectar, 1 banana, slivered almonds, puffed whole wheat, and a little bit of my English granola (blueberry flavor).

The event was did not really peak my interest, so I ducked out a little early so I could walk from the center to work. It was raining, but I wanted to stretch my legs, so I sucked it up. I munched on a granny smith apple while strolling. Upon arriving at work, I was hungry again. No joke. You may have seen me griping about it on Twitter earlier, but I listened to my body and dug into my salad I made last night. Nothing exciting to report about work. Oh, except my afternoon snack! I found the coveted Luna Cookie Dough Bar.It was soooo good and really cured my sweet tooth. Only complaint is the long ingredient list. I will probably not buy this all the time because I prefer to be able to pronounce what I am eating. ;) But thats just me.

I did a quick wardrobe change when I got home and headed to the gym. I find that if I plan to workout after work it has to happen immediately or I will just not go. I completed a 45 minute, surprisingly challenging, recumbent bike ride. I just tried to imagine that I was in a spin class. Having my Beast did not hurt either, as I was able to track my heart rate. I also did my nightly push-ups (I am up to 18 in one set!) and A LOT of stretching!

When I came back to the apartment, I took a mad quick shower because the roommates and I finally all had a free night to go out to dinner. We had heard rave reviews about this place in Woodley Park called The Afghan Grill so we decided to check it out. I ordered the ONLY vegetarian option on the menu (my roommates all eat meat and I felt guilty about asking them to go somewhere else just to accommodate me).That's my plate. It was mediocre at best and a decievingly small portion. Oh and did I mention overpriced? Yea, that plate was just shy of $20. RIDICULOUS. I really don't want to give a bad review, but the bread they brought out had MOLD on it and our service left A LOT to be desired. As someone who worked in the food service industry for 2 years, I am usually compassionate toward servers, but when a water glass is empty, refill it please. Especially when there are only 2 other tables seated in the entire place. Rant over. Let's just say I will NOT be going back there. Whew. Much better.

I was still hungry after I got robbed of my $20 (bitter much?), so I came home and made some dessert.. My magical yogurt that has only 128 calories in a pint, pretzels, and a couple of chocolate chips. I also ate an unpictured PB&J rice cake.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I found myself browsing the Internet today and signed up for an impromptu 5k in Little Rock on May 15th. I am running it with my mom, who is quite the fitness junkie, and I can't wait! I love the race atmosphere, it makes me run soooo much faster! I need to do a practice run soon so I can set a goal time for the race.

I am off to read all of your beautiful blogs until I crash. Only 2 more days at my internship!! WooHoo!!

Nighty night!
~Jenn

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Want to see what procrastination looks like?

It looks like me posting twice in one day. In a desperate attempt to do anything other then write this paper I have just finished a cooking binge. The good kind though. This all started innocently enough. I was just staring at my computer in an absolute daze when hunger struck. So I went to the kitchen to make dinner. I have a package of whole wheat pasta that needs using up, so I threw roughly 3/4 of the package into a pot of boiling water. I figured I could use it for lunches this week. Then I spotted the marinara sauce that is on its last leg and the huge bucket o' spinach I bought. Perfect for a quick meal. I sauteed the spinach in 1tbsp of olive oil, but ended up draining most of it out because I forgot how much natural moisture spinach has! Just look at how much spinach I shoved in that pot! And it wilted down to this measly portion. I digress...I heated up a Dr. Praeger's veggie patty and crumbled it on top. And presto. Dinner in no time! There is a whole lotta veggie in that little bowl!Oh yea, and I have adopted this beautiful pair of red chopsticks and currently try to eat as many meals with them as possible. See, I eat really fast, so I figure until I learn how to use them like a normal functioning person, they will slow me down and force me to enjoy each bite. :) Game on chopsticks, game on. I finished up dinner, but I was no where near done destroying the kitchen. I threw a bag of frozen veggies on a cooking pan and roasted them at 400 degrees while I ate. Along with the leftover pasta and 1.5 tbsp of TJ's infamous Soyaki sauce I created two lunches in no time flat!The sauce is technically for stir fries, but I am not normal, so I intend to eat it on pasta. :) I really hope it doesn't suck.
Since I actually created normal sized portions of the pasta dish, I decided that I would need salad at work. So I cleaned MORE spinach and added some red and green peppers I chopped earlier today, carrots, and slivered almonds. Times two. Because that takes longer and my paper can wait. I also portioned out salad dressing+hummus. Forgot the pic, its not pretty though because I put them in the same container.
Finally, just for sh!ts and giggles really, I suddenly became inspired to roast chickpeas for snacks. Smothered in garlic (which my fellow interns are sure to love me for), salt, and pepper and thrown in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Snacks on the cheap. $0.99 to be exact. College kid budgeting. It can be done apparently.

So that is it. Meals for the first part of my LAST WEEK at my internship! SO much food prep. OY. Alright, back to this efffffing paper I suppose.
~Jenn

The 13.1 mile goal

Hi Everyone!
I hope you are all having as productive of a Sunday as I am. Don't be fooled though, I got off to a sloooow start. I went out last night and definitely paid for it on my run today. But we shall get there. I woke up around 10 and made myself a watery (ew) cup of coffee, oats, and a hugeass glass of water. Hydration is key after a successful Saturday night. :)I then proceeded to change my sheets, do all of my laundry, read more about my Beast, and catch up with friends and family. Whew. Needless to say, I am very excited to be reunited with my friends and family back in Arkansas in a mere two weeks! Around 1 my tummy started growling so I concocted a mega salad. In the mix was spinach leaves, red and green peppers, carrots, 1/4 avocado, hummus, a sprinkle of feta cheese, and a Morningstar Black Bean veggie burger. I also added a tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette and a whole wheat pita to the mix. That, my friends, is a powerhouse salad. :)
Whilst digesting, I made a very big commitment. I AM RUNNING MY FIRST HALF MARATHON. Oy! I am scary excited! It is going to be on 10.10.10 and I will begin a 12-week training program shortly after I return from Strasbourg on July 18th. Sidenote: I was so pumped and proud of myself for actually signing up that I busted out a 3 mile run in 32:30. It was humid as you know what today and I am pretty sure I sweat out only alcohol, so I am pleased with the time. My roommate told me my face looked like a cherry when I got back to the apartment. Yea, I am cutting back on the drinking starting now.
Okay, back to my 1/2 marathon schpeal. Interweaved with the makings of an epic post-run yogurt mess. I signed up for the Mohawk Hudson River 1/2 Marathon in Schenectady, NY and will be running the race with a friend from school. Hi Bridget! :)I spent a long time contemplating the pros and cons of running this race. I ultimately decided to do it because I believe I need to be working toward a fitness goal. My fear of commitment (and moreso failure) has held me back before and I am sick of it. So although I am by no means in shape enough to run the race now, knowing that I have already signed up and that people are counting on me can only enhance my journey to get healthy and drop some extra weight. The way I see it now is that I spend a lot of talking, thinking, and reading about achieving fitness goals and now I am finally taking a leap of faith and committing myself to this lifestyle. I just found out that fellow blogger Heather has also signed up for the race and it is her first 1/2 marathon as well! I am glad that I am not in this boat alone and I look forward to a meet up in October!
Whew, that was a rant. I am all done now I promise. :) I figured its time to end the post since my ice packs have officially melted on my knees. NUMBBBB KNEEES.
Until next time,
~Jenn
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