Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great Eight

I wasn't too hungry after my workout but I knew that I needed something to eat. I decided to try a Greens Plus bar.

Wow, that's a lot of information and A LOT of healthy ingredients. I LOVED this bar. The tangy berry flavor was awesome and the yogurt coating was perfect. I liked the texture too. If it didn't cost over $2, I would buy a lot more of these.

I had some yogurt with a sprinkle of granola around 4 pm. Jared had mentioned running after work so I knew I'd need to have something in my stomach. (That's a photo of my grandpa and me. He passed away last Christmas, but I still think about him a lot)

I got home from work and took care of the dog. Jared was running late so I had a bit of my mom's homemade banana bread for a snack. My mom is known for her banana bread. She uses a recipe she cut from the newspaper in the early 1980s. Nothing can top your mom's baking and the childhood memories it conjures.

Jared came home not just ready to run, but also with the news that Mark was running with us. We ran 7.5 miles and then walked the last 3/4 mile home. I felt great! We ran along the Charles. The path was better lit than I had expected. Plus running with 2 guys who are both over 6 feet helps to make things less scary. The views of Cambridge, and then Boston after we crossed the bridge at Cambridge Street, were so pretty! I love the city at night.

Our goal was to run 8 miles but the Map My Run app wasn't working quite right. I can rationalize. If I add the 7.5 run and the 0.75 walk, we definitely reached our goal. Eight feels great!

If anyone has any good running music, let me know. We're planning one more long run before the 1/2 Marathon and I get bored easily!

There was a chilly wind along the Charles. I was really cold when we got home so I knew soup would be the perfect thing to warm me up. Grilled cheese is ideal with soup. And since we didn't have crackers, I had a few French Onion chips.

After such a busy day I am ready to relax on the couch! I'll probably watch Glee and then drag my tired self to bed!

1st Day of School

I was really nervous to go to HealthWorks for the first time. I'm such a dork! It felt like the first day of school. I had my gym clothes packed and I was so nervous but excited at the same time.

I tried to pack better foods to eat at work. I snacked on the NY apple (Mmm, much better!) around 11 am and then ate the burrito at noon.

I was ready to head to HealthWorks by 12:45 pm. All I had to do was grab my gym bag and walk out through the building's main lobby. HealthWorks was about 15 steps away from the front door.

Crappy shot of my view of the Chestnut Hill HealthWorks. Cars were backing out and looking at me like I was a crazy person for standing in the driveway and taking pictures.

I got a brief tour of the workout facilities and the spa-like locker room. Then I was on my own! I brought Budget Travel magazine to read during my cardio. I chose to use the Elliptical machine for 22 minutes. It seemed like a safe bet. I hate working out in new environments. I get really nervous and I can't focus on what I'm doing. Today I was more interested in looking around, trying to figure out where the wipes were so I could clean the machine when I was done. As I become more comfortable, I have lots of options so I can vary my workouts. Boredom won't be a problem!

After cardio, I found a nice little corner with free weights and all the ab workout items I could ever dream of. I didn't have a plan in mind and I just played around with everything. I did a little bit of bicep/tricep/shoulder work, 3 sets of leg lifts on that stand where you balance on your forearms (does that make sense? I don't know what it's called), and then I stretched on a mat.

I almost got lost trying to go back to the locker room and find my stuff. I feel SO spoiled at this gym. I know I'm paying for the membership but I don't feel like I deserve to be working out somewhere so nice. I changed my clothes and listened to soothing classical music. I even sampled some of the body lotion that was by the makeup mirror. Even though I skipped the sauna today, I still feel pampered and even rejuvinated. Definitely ready to take on the rest of my day!

Someone left free vegetables by the mailboxes. I can't turn down fresh from the garden produce! I took a big zuchini and two little baby squashes. Now I need to think of ways to use this in my meals for the rest of the week. Mmm hmm....

PB & Oats

All of the big-time bloggers use nearly empty jars of peanut butter as bowls for their oatmeal. I decided to make a small portion of stove top oats and give it a try.

My mix included:
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/2 banana
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
I was much happier cutting the serving size in half. This mix was delicious and so filling. Even with a smaller amount of oatmeal, I still had trouble finishing the whole bowl. It's been over 2 hours since I ate breakfast and I am still full. So different from when I eat cereal and then end up snacking by mid-morning!

I tried an ice version of the Pecan Rum coffee. I burnt the top of my mouth eating the oatmeal so it was soothing to my palate. I love drinking coffee on the way to work. It's a relaxing distraction from traffic and it decreases my road rage!

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear! Yeah, I'm waiting at a red light by the Pru and the Christian Science Center.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Biggest Loser

I NEEDED a quick snack before I headed out to the Madewell Fall Denim Tour. A bowl of Wheat Thins did the trick and I was out the door.

After the event I met Jared at Trader Joe's for a quick grocery shopping. We had a lot leftover from our big trip to Shaws last week so I just stocked up on fresh fruit, lunch meat, and a few items that are exclusive to Trader Joe's.

I was the Biggest Loser tonight for wasting my time at the Madewell event. The store was packed! There was barely room to move around and look at the clothes. Servers were passing trays of appetizers but I didn't feel like eating while being jostled by crazed shoppers. It was 1 million degrees in there so I stayed just long enough to grab a goodie bag. The bag contained a Lucky magazine (already read it at the gym), a pin, a poster, and these ridiculous sunglasses. Oh well. It was free and at least I was right near Trader Joe's. Shopping for food was much more fun than shopping for clothes!

I have a great selection of bars in the snack drawer. I took the suggestion to get the S'mores flavored Luna bar and the Z bar. Can't wait to work my way through and try these flavors.

It was my night to make dinner. I made Spinach and Artichoke raviolis and topped them with Trader Joe's Alfredo sauce, and a side salad of lettuce, cucumbers, and red peppers with Italian dressing.

Jared suggested wine...and who am I to argue? I felt a little guilty because we drank wine last night, but I've read enough information about the Mediterranean Diet and I believe that wine in moderation is allowed. This is my 2nd bottle of Gruner Veltliner. I taste that it's a nice, crisp white with the perfect amount of acidity for my palate.

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Raisin bran for breakfast because I was tired, lacking coffee, and not in the mood to create anything good. I promise I'll eat something fun tomorrow!

If my dog Miles had a blog, he'd post this picture twice a day.

Poor Miles eats 1 cup of Purina kibbles every morning and evening. He gets treats to liven things up. But since he's trying to prevent that doggy weight gain, he needs to snack in moderation!

I snacked on an apple and some string cheese around 10:30 am. This apple is from MA orchard. All of the other apples I've eaten are from NY. The NY apples are much sweeter than this MA one. I was disappointed. Maybe tomorrow I'll have better luck with fruit.

What is wrong with this picture?!?! I guess this is my punishment for eating a crappy frozen meal. The chicken doesn't look very appealing in real life. I ate it because I was hungry but it was nothing to brag about.

I went to the Beacon Hill Athletic Club to cancel my membership. Since I was already at the gym, I decided to do one last workout. I read Running Times while I climbed on the Stair Master for 22 minutes. I thought Running Times would give me confidence for the 1/2 marathon. Instead it made me feel like crap. Everyone in the magazine is a REAL runner. They have training schedules, perform at super speeds, and can handle long distances. I need some big time encouragement for the 1/2 Marathon on October 11th! At least I learned how to hydrate and replenish electrolytes as well as how to warmup before workouts and the race.

I had time to squeeze in a quick ab workout before getting ready to go back to work. Everyone at the BHAC is so nice and I feel bad about leaving. But HealthWorks is going to help me get the most out of my lunch time workouts. I'm even going to attempt to follow a weekly workout schedule. (I haven't followed a training schedule since college when I had cheerleading practice 5-6 days/week!)

My favorite flavor of Luna bar so far! I have to remind myself that I am on the hunt for new foods (bars included) I tend to get stuck in ruts and eat the same thing several days in a row.

I ran out of snacks so I decided to try to get rid of my afternoon munchies by making my own ice tea. Here's the Before shot....

And the After. Love my Wall-E wallpaper on my computer. I'm not even going to try to pick a favorite Disney character, but he's definitely in my top 5.

And from last night:'s my dinner. Jared and I got caught up cleaning out the DVR so I forgot to blog. We watched The Amazing Race, Say Yes to the Dress (ok only I watched that one), Hung, and Entourage.
Couscous! Plus 2 pieces of chicken hidden in there somewhere. Accompanied by a glass of Malbec.

Clothes Horse

I love shopping! Possibly even more than I love good food and working out. Ok, not possibly, definitely. If I had to choose between a designer handbag and grocery shopping, I would totally be carrying that new bag.

In Paris! Shopping dream come true....even though I didn't end up buying the coveted Louis Vuitton bag!

My dad got a paparazzi shot of me shopping in London. I'm clearly focused on the impending purchase.

I'm trying to sift through my closet, both at my apartment in Boston and at my parents' house, and get rid of stuff that I won't wear again. I have a huge pile that I need to bring to the Salvation Army.

I like to check out Style Bakery's fashion blog for tips on the latest and greatest...

Items to Update your Fall Wardrobe
1. Leather biker jacket

2. Soft, draped day dress

3. Layered chain necklace: I was able to get a really funky necklace from TopShop in London so I've got this one covered.

4. Printed scarf: Scarves were EVERYWHERE in London. I think I came home with 4 or 5 different patterns.

5. Skinny inky blue or black jeans

6. Studded ankle boots: My Seychelles booties just arrived in the mail.

7. Long cardigan: Obsessed with long "Grandpa" cardigans. They're so comfy and cozy. Plus they cover a lot when I'm not feeling my skinniest.

8. Red bag: Got one from Cole Haan a few years ago. Love the buttery soft leather!

9. Red lipstick

10. Green or purple nail polish: Dark purple is my go-to color!

Dreaming of an engagement ring from Tiffanys!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lower Back Attack

This was a late night snack last night. Spinach and Artichoke hummus, cucumbers, red peppers, lettuce, and good old American cheese. It was refreshing to eat so many veggies before heading to bed.

I had an early morning doctor's appointment in RI so I ate breakfast in the car.

I am FINALLY dealing with my lower back pain that has resulted from 11 years of gymnastics and 8 years of cheerleading. I've been bothered for as long as I can remember. Now I have some Flector patches to try wearing at work. The right side of my lower back bothers me when I sit for long periods of time. It doesn't exactly hurt, but I'm uncomfortable, almost as if I need to twist and stretch and pop something into place.

I have to try 2 weeks of physical therapy and/or a chiropractor. If I don't see any positive results, I'll have to go for an MRI. I hope that this gets taken care of soon. I'll stretch and do PT. I haven't done any serious tumbling in well over a year and I'm tired of feeling like I'm falling apart at 26.

After the doc's, I had a dentist appointment. My mom is my hygienist so I didn't mind going. She made the appointment quick and relatively painless. Though she did force me to wear the fluoride trays usually reserved for little kids! I "borrowed" 3 magazines from the waiting room including one about running in a desperate attempt to get some 1/2 marathon pointers.

No groceries at my parents' house = I ate grilled cheese and Tostitoes with salsa for lunch.

Here's a shot of the Flector patch I rocked while working from home for the afternoon.

I drove back to Boston around 4 and hit traffic on 93, grrr! I went to HealthWorks to take a tour/sign up for a membership and to attend Tina's How to Blog seminar.

I work next to the HealthWorks in Chestnut Hill so this is going to make my lunch hour so much better. (I love that the showers are equipped with everything you could possibly need: shampoo, conditioner, body wash!) Sorry to have to cancel on my old gym but I am saving myself time and gas during my lunch hour.

It was great to meet Tina and learn about her blog Carrots 'N' Cake. She shared a lot of great blogging tips. I was super excited and asked a bunch of questions. Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself and come across as crazy obnoxious. I'm really excited about HealthWorks' blogging program. They're selecting 5 members to blog for them. Fingers crossed! Regardless of whether I get picked or not, it will give me more fun stuff to read when I have free time.

Jared is making dinner now. Once I eat, I have to unpack the stuff I brought back with me including a new pair of booties (hopped on that trend band wagon) and a few belated birthday gifts from my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bills Bar

I used my self-timer for the first time ever! Stretching out before going for my run.

Ok, so I haven't totally figured out the art of self-timer portraits.

It was a little bit muggy and misty, but the running conditions weren't that bad. We ran 3.6 miles at an average pace of 8 minutes, 22 seconds. How do I know this??? Because Jared download the "Map My Run" application on his i-phone. It was really nice to know the exact info instead of planning a route ahead of time and trying to guestimate our pace after factoring in stoplights.

I made a healthy sandwich for lunch: Spinach and artichoke hummus, red peppers, American cheese, and lettuce with some Wheat Thins for crunchiness. It was delicious! I'm craving another one as I type this.

I watched most of the Pats/Falcons football game while cleaning the apartment. I met Jared and Chris at the Harp to watch the Bills/Saints game at 4. The Harp is the home of the Bills Backers, diehard Buffalo Bills fan who live in the Boston area.

I had one Blue Moon and shared some Buffalo Wings and Spinach and Artichoke dip with the guys. Not the healthiest dinner but I didn't eat TOO much. Sometimes it's more important to relax and have fun rather than spend time agonizing over every calorie.

There was a great crowd today. It was disappointing that the Bills couldn't pull off a win. I was happy that the Pats beat the Atlanta, and hopefully Buffalo will do better next week!

Start Your Engines

Jared brewed our new Pecan Rum coffee. It made the whole apartment smell yummy.

When I went outside with the dog, I found the world's tiniest snail crawling on our deck. Aww! Look at the little guy!

I made French Toast for breakfast. I mixed 1 egg, milk, and a bit of cinnamon together, and then dipped 3 pieces of wheat bread in the mixture.

Topped with some warm berries and syrup. Amazingly delicious!

The Polcari's Coffee was SO good. The flavor wasn't as strong as the smell, which was a good thing. I don't like flavored coffee that is too sweet and overwhelming.

We watched last night's SNL while enjoying cups of coffee.

Once we're done digesting it's going to be time for a RUN.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Picture Perfect Day

Jared was in charge of making lunch while I was getting ready to go. He prepared turkey sandwiches with Wheat Thins, baby carrots, and apple slices.

We walked from the South End to the waterfront. It was such a nice day. I felt bad that we were heading inside but for desserts, I made the sacrifice.

Tasty treats, this way!!!

I was in love with the leopard print wrapping around these cupcakes. So cute! I am definitely having cupcakes at my wedding someday!

Pretty flowers to add to the atmosphere.

Wedding cake with slices for sampling

Chocolate fondue provided by the Melting Pot

We walked to the North End and wandered into Polcari's Coffee. Such a cute and old school shop. They're cash only so I'll hit the ATM before I head back there.

We bought 0.5 pounds of Pecan Rum flavored beans. It smells like heaven and I can't wait til tomorrow morning to brew it! I wanted to try the Pumpkin flavored coffee but they had JUST sold out. There are tons of tasty flavors to pick from so I'll be back to sample more.

Cute silverware in the sidewalk...only in the North End where there's an Italian restaurant every 50 feet.

We walked past Haymarket where there were lots of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale.

There was a charity bike race in Government Center. Pat the Patriot was there for the mascot race. We met up with Chris, Mark, and Maggie to enjoy the festivities.

Mascots lined up and ready to go!

The men's race started around 5. The riders did 0.7 mile laps for about 90 minutes. Some of the turns were really tight, and really scary to stand on the corners and watch.

We got bored and cold after watching for 30 minutes so we walked to The Living Room for dinner and drinks. I started with a glass of Blue Moon.

Then I dined on macaroni and cheese and a side salad. Mmmm!

On the walk home, the guys started arguing over who could ID beers in a blind taste test. So we decided to create our own.

They were blindfolded and sampled glasses of Coors Light, Miller Light, and Bud Light. Jared was the winner, getting all 3 correct. Mark and Chris didn't get any right. Sorry guys; maybe next time!

We're all hanging out and watching the Penn State/Iowa game.

So obviously Jared and I didn't go for a short run like we had planned. More proof that we're not morning people. We ran out of time and then just needed to get to the Dessert Showcase. I'd like to think we made up for it by walking around all afternoon and by sampling much fewer desserts than we planned. (FYI, I think I had 1 cupcake, 1 bite of cake, iced coffee, 1 chocolate covered strawberry, and 1 bite of a coconut brownie bar)

We're definitely going running tomorrow. The weather will determine whether we do our 8 mile training run or a quick 3 miler. If it's crappy and we only run 3, we're going to have to do a long run sometime during the week.