Archive | December, 2012

Where’s My Head At?

18 Dec

Good morning readers!

Yesterday was off to a more normal start and I was at work by 10AM. I got busy right away and didn’t really sit to eat breakfast until I realized I was starving at 11. Luckily, I came prepared.IMG_1495Before I left for work, I prepared some whipped banana oatmeal and tossed some blackberries on top at the end to warm them up. Awesome breakfast.

I worked straight through the afternoon and found myself starving around 130ish. I scarfed down a yogurt.IMG_1496From there, Hana came in for one last goodbye (and to drop off my frying pans). We kept it brief and simple, wished each other luck, and she was off to her last final. I then swung over to meet up with Kevin on campus and found out some interesting facts about the original Donkey Kong game and Mario.IMG_1729Back then, not only did Mario date someone other than Peach, her name also began with P but I can’t remember it, but the iconic hat he wears is due to the fact they could not animate hair for him. They also gave him the moustache because they couldn’t make a defined mouth so the moustache allowed us to be able to show the difference between his nose and mouth. Lastly, he wears suspenders because it was a way to make it easier to see his arms. Now you know where it all comes from!

After that I went home and rummaged through my fridge. It seems it’s not working as well as it should so a lot of stuff I was going to eat went bad. Luckily, I had some frozen vegetable lasagna I could eat.IMG_1497 IMG_1498It was pretty good! Not overly cheesy, which was awsome, and very filling. I was happy with it. I was still craving something to eat afterwards though so I snagged a Fiber One Brownie and had a glass of skim milk.IMG_1501 IMG_1502I then proceeded to pass out for about two hours. It. felt. awesome. When I woke up, Mariam was leaving for Egypt so I said my farewells and then on my own way out of the apartment, I spotted a very bright, very pink, and very fun looking PACKAGE!!! 

IMG_1503FINALLY!! My package from PVBody came!! It’s this great company I signed up for where every month you are billed $40 and every month they send you a fitness top and bottom! You first run through a style quiz so they can know your sizes, preferred color schemes, and styles of tops/bottoms you like. Here’s what was in mine! (A Cardio Queen)IMG_1504 IMG_1516 IMG_1519The shirt from 15Love retails at $59 while the pants from Electric Yoga retail at $78.

Reminder: I GOT BOTH FOR $40!!! Crazy. I tried them on and everything fit me really well and flattered me in all the right places. Great picks for me PVBody! I hope next months package has some more color, but my gray top will go great with the new shorts I just bought yesterday!

I was starving for dinner and luckily had some vegetables I could throw together. I was also craving a two ingredient pancake so I made one of those as well.IMG_1505 IMG_1507 IMG_1508 IMG_1509 IMG_1511 IMG_1512Chicken nuggets ended up being a great choice. The onions, tomatoes and yellow squash were also pretty good prepared together and gave me a meal pretty quickly. I enjoyed everything while watching Scrubs.

After eating dinner, I started to feel pretty down on myself. I’ve been exercising as normal and eating as normal, but have been feeling uncomfortable in my body once again. Starting to play that head game with myself where I don’t feel like I deserve to eat the food I am eating, that I’m not working for it enough. I’ve been trying to work on my posture and back strength, but so many things leave me feeling uncomfortable that it’s hard to feel like I’m doing “the right thing,” leaving me frustrated and annoyed. I started comparing myself to myself and thinking of all the times in the past I was happier with my body and how I felt in it. It was all in all a bad road to go down. Kevin offered to help me write some new strength goals down for re-motivation and had me do a mini workout so he could correct some of my movements and give me some confidence. Unfortunately, while I was happy to have his help, I was being a pretty whiny and miserable person. I was so frustrated with myself and my body for not being able to have these motions down and have it be so difficult for me. I went to bed still feeling the same way, but it’s hard to communicate it.

I understand I have to be patient and work the system more, but it’s just a hard day when you feel so foreign in your own body. I also don’t want to take this too far and go into unhealthy habits or behaviors. I need to be open about it and seek support out from others. Everyone has these days, it’s just a matter of what you do from there. On tap for today, I’m going to drop by the running store and see if they’re hiring and then do some circuit and strength work at the gym.

First things first though, I’m starving! Today is within my control and is an entirely new day. I want to start off on the right foot and try to work this mentality a little differently.

What mental games have you struggled with yourself?

Until next time,

Natasha

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Research, Research Research & New Running Shoes!

17 Dec

Happy Monday everyone! It’s back to the grind one last time before the Holidays!! We’re so close, hang in there!

My Sunday was off to a very slow start. Which was a good thing! So many times I run all around and try and fit a bagillion things into my schedule. It’s important to remember to slow down and enjoy yourself, especially when such a horrible event takes place. Growing up in Connecticut, the shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary hits very close to home. Fortunately, my relatives and friends do not live in the area, but I do know a close family friend who teaches in Newtown. I put a call into them, but I do believe they are alright. My heart goes out to those who are suffering during this time.

With that in mind, it’s been good to focus on the things I can appreciate in my life currently that I am extremely lucky to have. Kevin also pointed that out last night, to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful set-up I’m lucky to be a part of right now and not always daydream about the future or how everything could be better (which is funny because I used to do that for him! It’s good we can do this for each other though)

So Sunday I woke up late, around 11 and started to figure out what my plan was for the day. An old friend who was in town mentioned Eastern Market, my roommate Autumn wanted to watch Inglorious Bastards, but while waiting to hear back on the first plan Autumn and I decided to pick another day. All in all no plans ended up being made – but I held true to my goal of doing some Christmas shopping!

First things first, I was starving when I woke up. I snacked on a couple prunes to hold me over until I could make some breakfast.

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Love prunes. After blogging and catching up on a couple things I was super hungry so I went back to the kitchen for some cereal and blackberries. Yum!

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In the bowl was some skim milkPumpkin Flax Granola, and Total Multi-Grain Flakes and, of course, my blackberries.

It was super filling which was great! Around 2 Kevin started making “breakfast”, I wanted a little bit of peanut butter so I snacked on half a piece of toast and he whipped me up my first Sunny Side Up Egg.

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After that we got moving and headed out the door around 3. We decided to bike to all our shopping destinations of the day. I was so happy with this decision ultimately because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a in-house circuit workout or take the day off. However, biking was a great form of exercise and got us where we needed to be really quickly!

First stop, the running store! Kevin did a lot of research on which present to get me, but knowing me, decided to share his thoughts and opinions with me rather than give me something different, even though it might better, than what I asked for on Christmas. From there we started doing a lot of research together, but wanted to see the watches in person. I was deciding between the Garmin Forerunner 10 and the Forerunner 210.

We originally set our budget for between $50 and $75 dollars because we bought a lot of big ticket items for each other throughout the last year. We also decided we wanted to do less “big” presents and focus on smaller, more meaningful gifts. I was joking with Kevin because the Forerunner 10 runs at $129 and the Forerunner 210 at $199 (due to the capability to be a Heart Rate Monitor as well). I told him no matter what, he was going over budget! (The original watch on my list, Timex GPS Marathon runs at $99). He insisted that this is what he wanted to get me and had the money to do so.

Once we got to the store, we liked the fit of both, I have THE world’s smallest wrist so they are going to look kinda bulky either way, but ultimately decided on the ForeRunner 210 since I know I want to have a HRM down the line, it’s better to have the all-in-one watch versus one that can do only one function. Both have Garmin Connect though (a program that uploads all your running data to your computer and provides a TON of feedback) which was what won me over on the Garmin versus the Timex. We ordered it off Amazon (to avoid taxes and shipping and the store didn’t have the white) so it’ll be here Wednesday!!

I proceeded to ask the woman who was helping us about running shoes (another item I put on my Christmas List and Kevin was deciding between the watch and the shoes). I had done some research on this as well and felt confident I wanted to switch from running with Mizuno’s to Brooks. Well, I picked the right woman. Not only was she sporting one of the Brooks shoes I was looking at, but she was extremely knowledgeable about all of their features, design specs, and differences. I tried on the PureConnect and the PureFlow (part of the Pure Project…check it out!!)

Although the purple color was enticing on the PureFlow’s, I ultimately chose the PureConnect. They are an approach to a minimalist shoe so they bring you down to 4mm (as opposed to 0mm in a minimalist shoe). I felt SO connected to the ground while testing them out and decided that’s the experience I want going forward as a runner – or at least to test out 🙂 They were on sale for $69 bucks. TOTAL DEAL. So I purchased them for myself 🙂 Merry Christmas to me and my feet! I also got a pair of shorts on sale.

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I’m also super glad I tried them on. I’m normally a 6.5-7, 7.5 in running shoes, but I never would have guessed I was an 8! If I had the money, I definitely would have also bought the PureFlows and used them as my competition shoe. Who knows what the future will hold though 🙂

Next we were off to the Verizon Store to look at phones for Kevin, then to the apple store for some Mac questions, then back to the Verizon Store. Kevin ultimately decided he wanted to do even more research on all of the Android phones currently on the market, once he decided against the HTC Windows 8 phone. At this point, I was starving. We had a Groupon for The Burger Joint so off we went!

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I ordered “The Burger” with “The works” except with the Mojo sauce on the side. It came equipped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and pickles. I chose grilled asparagus with Parmasean cheese sprinkled on top and a Strawberry Milkshake. They put chunks of fresh strawberries in it, which makes it even more delicious! Kevin ordered the same thing, except for a Chocolate Shake and Sweet Potato fries. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but for me it’s worth the indulgence once in awhile.

After that, we biked back towards home and stopped at Safeway on the way for some cat food, and random supplies. We picked up eggnogg, since I’ve never tried it before, so I’m excited to give it a go. I’m gonna look up some recipes and see what it would be good to pair with!

As soon as I was inside I popped my new shoes right on and began to walk around in them, as suggested by the woman at the store. I’m seriously so in love with them. I’m even wearing them at work right now! 🙂

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Some interesting facts about these bad boys is the shoe is completely biodegradable in 25-30 years (most running shoes take at least 1,000 years!), the shoelaces are made entirely from recycled materials and it’s a completely vegan shoe! Way to go Brooks! I think you’ve sold me 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

Mean Girls, Sushi and a Mini Cannoli

16 Dec

Happy Sunday everyone!

I hope your weekend has been a good one so far. Mine has been really busy, but really enjoyable. Let’s start off with yesterday morning.

I woke up bright and early at 730AM and had to check the car before my mom left for home to make sure I didn’t leave anything in it, I blogged, then started to get a little hungry.

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Smoothie time! 🙂 I’ve just absolutely loved waking up and having juice in the morning. Adding berries and some yogurt into it makes it more filling and, since I love their taste, more enjoyable for my taste buds – which also leaves me more satisfied.

Since I wasn’t starving though, I made a smaller one today – again sans banana.

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Then my roommate Autumn woke up. We had plans to watch Mean Girls at 10AM.

Good morning Autumn!!!

Good morning Autumn!!!

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We were laughing about how we had to actually pencil in this time to make it work with both our schedules. She’s busy with finals and her capstone and I work a lot during the week so we both set alarms to make sure we would be up Saturday at 10 for our viewing pleasure.

While we watched, I got a little hungry so I toasted half a Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thin and put some Cinnamon Swirl PB on top.

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I wasn’t able to go to my internship for Potomac Pathways today which was a total bummer. They were doing laser tag!! But since my mom took the car it would’ve made everything much more complicated for me to get there, so I decided to nix it this time. Instead, I swung by Kevin’s to see Liam and help move a couch. The night before I spotted this flyer in the elevator for a free IKEA couch! This apartment was just giving it away and they were only one floor below Kevin. Today was moving day!

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It has a couple bleach stains on it, but no big deal! David and Kevin did all the heavy lifting, but I got hungry so I had some yogurt then some oats with milk, banana, cinnamon and honey.IMG_1426

Liam has been absolutely loving his new abode. He has been doing some full on exploring. So cute.

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For today’s workout, I was in the mood for a nice long run. My goal was 6 miles, so I set my Nike+ to let me know when I reached 10k and I went on my loop that I know is over 5.5 miles.

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Well, about halfway through my run it told me I completed 1k. ONE?! I knew it was wayyyyy off today, but this was ridiculous. It’s not the most accurate watch (Nike+ Sportband) and is normally off by .4 of a mile, which is still a good amount off, but it told me I ran 3k with a 21 minute average pace!!! What the heck?!

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Ridiculous. I’m so glad I put a new GPS watch on my Christmas List this year. I’m definitely ready to say goodbye to my Sportband.

Next I hopped in the shower, got dressed and biked over to meet up with Hana and Erika for our last dinner together 😦 Hana is going abroad to India next semester and I’m planning on moving come May so we likely won’t be able to see each other for a long time. Even though we just met this summer, we formed a great friendship and I really really enjoyed getting to know her. I’m going to miss her for sure 😦

I picked Murasaki for dinner, my favorite Sushi restaurant in DC! Both of them had never been which always makes it more fun 🙂IMG_1431 IMG_1432

I love this restaurant not only for the best sushi, but I love their dining sets. They’re so beautiful and simple.IMG_1434

We all had a tough time deciding what to order. I normally get the Hidden Dragon Roll which is eel and avocado with 2 shrimp tempura rolls. Amazing. ClassicBut this time I decided to venture out. I ordered a California Roll and their Tenleytown Roll which has lump crab meat, eel, asparagus, roasted red pepper and old bay spicy sauce! I used to hate spicy things, but now I enjoy mild-medium spicy foods from time to time.

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My Tenleytown Roll 🙂

IMG_1435 IMG_1437Hana got one roll to start, Murasaki Roll (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, avocado and red tobiko), while Erika and I both order California Rolls and Erika’s second choice was the Market Roll (shrimp, crab fishcake, eel, avocado and roe), she later also ordered a Philly Roll. Everyone enjoyed their rolls, although Erika was disappointed by the Philly, and was happy with our choices. We shared some really hilarious stories, Hana even knocked her head into a nearby waitress from leaning back and laughing so hard, and really had a great time. Hana was still hungry so she ordered meat and noodles and gave me all the vegetables 🙂

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And of course, we had our waitress snap our first, and only, picture of all 3 of us together. (Color coordination not planned for).

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Erika felt strongly about getting some Cheesecake and we definitely were not going to disagree. We thought of walking down to Cheesecake Factory, but decided it was a little too far/cold and chose Whole Foods instead. Cheesecake also would’ve been pretty crowded and hard to sit and take our time, so Whole Foods ended up being a way better choice for us. We all took our time deciding what to get, but once we paid we got some free Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Samples!

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Mine was a little too salty for my liking, but it was still tasty. For dessert, I chose a mini cannoli, Hana got 3 fruit tarts, and Erika chose a raspberry chocolate cheesecake slice. She ended up getting her cheesecake slice for free (a $7 value) because the card machine wasn’t working and another worker came over to say Erika had been waiting too long so the cheesecake was on them. Happy Holidays from Whole Foods Erika!

We sat in the upstairs part of WF to sit and enjoy our delectables.IMG_1448 IMG_1449 IMG_1450 IMG_1451

While we ate we goofed off a ton and talked for almost 2 hours. It was so nice to just be together, not rush and enjoy our evening.IMG_1454 IMG_1458 IMG_1459

Luckily I’ll get to see Hana for a hot second on Monday, (I’ll never say goodbye), but I really am sad to see her go. She will have a blast in India though – and fully catch them up to speed on everything they need to know about pop culture.

Until next time,

Natasha

Making It and Catching Up

15 Dec

Hey everyone! Good morning, bright and early. I have a lot to do today, including taking a big nap later and doing a lot of rest, so I wanted to get right to it this morning!

First things first, let’s recap yesterday!

So yesterday was Friday, YES, and I had the day off from the lab. I, however, didn’t sleep in too late because I was not going to miss the 9AM TRX (and here) class again. No way. And I am proud to say guys…I MADE IT! Yes I did, yes I did 😉

So, I woke my butt up and headed out the door after snacking on 3 delicious Prunes from Trader Joe’s! Yes, these typically are for old people (they help you poop due to high fiber content) but to me they have always been SO delicious. Even as a kid. Hey, don’t knock it til you try it!

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Yesterday’s class was tough. It might’ve been because I was battling this extremely weird onset of intense nausea the whole time, but Chad always gives us a good challenge. What I like most about this class is we rely solely on our body weight, with the help of the TRX ropes, for every movement we do. It’s really tough, but allows me to feel connected to my body at the same time, which I really love. Feeling connected to the skin I’m in is one of the reasons I started my blog. Some people feel that connection through yoga, I more often feel it through a good sweat session with only myself on the invite list for equipment.

Post workout, my roommate Mariam met up with me at my gym when my workout ended so we could run to get her some moving boxes from Staples. She’s shipping back to Egypt 😦

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Post workout, I was really not feeling well. My roommates and I have been trying to diagnose my random string of symptoms I have been dealing with for the last week. Still not really sure what’s going on, but I’m just taking it day by day. I began with what I knew I needed: fuel.

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Mmmmmm smoothie. It’s really been hitting the spot lately. In the cup:

-1/3 bag of Trader Joe’s Very Berry Frozen Fruit (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)

-1/3 cup of Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt

-a good splash of Trader Joe’s OJ (with added Calcium)

No banana in that mix today. Just straight up burries.

And a sweet breakfast scramble. Again, I only used 1 egg and 1 egg white so it wouldn’t be overbearing. And a big spoonful, plus a second one, of Cinnamon Swirl PB. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it yet – buy it.

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Also, as per usual. Somedays I wish I could walk into my kitchen, tell my chef “the usual” and have it appear in front of me. However, my roommates saying “Are you making that pumpkin egg thing again?” seems to suffice. Two even branched out to try it! Ami didn’t care for it, but Mariam was a fan.

After breakfast, I settled onto my couch. Time to order that ticket home! Oh, what’s that? I had earned a free bus ride? Thanks Vamoose for letting me go home for Christmas Break free of charge! 🙂 (Every 5th bus ride you take is free).

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Seeing $0.00 as my total definitely put a smile on this girl’s face. Then I got a text from my friend Zach! He’s back in town after moving to Costa Rica 4 months to work/volunteer over there. I had completely spaced that we were meeting up today so I got my lazy butt off the couch, into the shower, dressed and then out the door where he picked me up! I chose Cava Mezze for lunch. Not only do they make DELICIOUS spreads you can purchase at any Whole Foods Market around here, but their house-made falafel gets me every time. The atmosphere of the restaurant is really cool too. It’s all exposed wood and feels very natural instead of those places with so much fake lighting and plastic constructed booths/tables that you feel like you live in a Barbie house.

Anywho, how it works is you choose a base (salad, rice or pita) then choose 3 dips, 1 meat, and then as many toppings as you want! Zach ordered a pita as his base and got their house-made meatballs. While I chose the spinach salad as my base, and a mini pita 🙂 with roasted red pepper hummus dip, crazy feta, and tzatsiki. I chose the house-made falafel and then put cucumber and onion salad, cucumber and tomato, lettuce, quinoa, cabbage salad, feta cheese and olives  into my ginormous bowl of yum.

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Welcome back Zach!

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Yum, yum YUM. Always hits the spot and leaves me super satisfied. It was actually so satisfying, that I didn’t even get hungry for dinner!

After some lounging around with Liam, Kevin called me over for some serious Donkey Kong work.

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Around 830 I realized my mom was taking the car to CT tomorrow morning! Yikes! It was time for Liam’s bro-cation to begin a litttttle bit early. While I’m home for the holidays, since Kevin will be here for wrestling, Liam will be crashing at his place. I packed up all his things and brought him over while also running to Whole Foods for some whole wheat rolls so we could make burgers.

But, by the time I did all the running around and biked back over it was about 10pm. Kevin and I were both not hungry but we decided to try and make a burger to share. Aaaaaand the meat smelled SO BAD. Literally. The worst stench I have ever smelled in my whole life. I felt terrible that I had been so careless as to waste a whole purchase of ground turkey, but what’s done is done. From there, we changed our game plan. I whipped up a grilled cheese & tomato sandwich while Kevin had a really good idea to make Breaded Salmon Burgers.(When I made the GC, I didn’t realize he was planning on adding the burger portion to the Breaded Salmon, oh well the rolls were whole wheat 🙂 )

Want to make them? Here’s what to do:

1. Pour some olive oil into the skillet over medium heat

2. Grab your slabs of salmon and throw em into the pan of oil

3. Once they have cooked about 4-5 minutes (2-3 on each side) take them off. LEAVE THE PAN ON

4. Have one bowl of flour, one bowl of egg mixed with milk, and one bowl of breadcrumbs ready.

5. Dip the salmon into the flour, covering it, then the egg, then in the breadcrumbs.

6. Carefully place the salmon back into the pan.

7. Cook over low medium eat for the next 10 minutes or so.

Voila! We also tossed in some portabella mushrooms into the mix. We both love mushrooms.

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Once they were done cooking, off the pan, and onto our plates Kevin poured a little Cayenne Pepper in his hands and slowly rubbed his palms together back and forth over each salmon filet. Then layered some mixed greens, tomato and a little bit of cream cheese on the buns with the Breaded Salmon on the bottom.IMG_1408IMG_1410

They were actually really good. For some last minute, seriously it was 1030pm, eating and planning we had an excellent meal! Both of us weren’t hungry and full a couple bites in, but we ate the whole burger and mushroom dish anyway. Kevin had an early practice the next day and I knew I hadn’t eaten since lunch with Zach so ate we did.

I then spent some time admiring our Christmas Tree. It makes me so incredibly happy. The ambiance and the simple comfort it provides makes me feel more connected to the holiday and excited to go home than normal. It was also such a small joy to be able to share this experience with Kevin. Here’s some better, as promised, pictures of our tree! IMG_1398 IMG_1399IMG_1402

This little Lego man here is a Lego Star Wars Lego Man from a kit we built together. He’s very symbolic for us. The summer Kevin and I met, we would stay up really late talking for hours while playing the card game, Set, or Lego Star Wars II on my Playstation 2. Once we began dating, we decided that would be the first thing we beat together. Although we switched platforms, and games, and eventually beat The Full Saga on the Wii, it took us over a year to complete it. During that year, so many things happened, but like any challenge we faced in the game we figured out a strategy and kept moving forward. Since it has a special meaning to us, we knew we had to have part of it on our tree.

I also realized how snazzy our feet look together when we’re out in our sneaks.IMG_1403

We have some serious style. 😉

Alright readers, it’s now after 9 and I have to get started with my day! Hope you all had a good Friday and are enjoying the weekend!

Until next time,

Natasha

One Week Later, One Still Not 100% Girl.

14 Dec

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry for my second hiatus. I’m mostly apologizing to myself for not keeping up with this blog no matter what. Going forward, I need to build in more time for myself and more time for the blog. Even if I’m not feeling great, my health is a big priority in my life. I have to take the ups with the downs more and continue to do things for myself.

A quick recap of the weekend involves a LOT of napping, sleeping in, seeing Wreck it Ralph with Kevin, getting a great workout in Sunday and a good dinner with Hana. She came with me to her first wrestling match ever and we watched Kevin win!

Monday was back to the grind and I ran to the gym with my roommate Autumn, had a great Kettlebell circuit workout and then ran home! Unfortunately, I think the combination of the 4 mile run and Kettlebell class took a lot out of me. Tuesday I felt really out of it, but managed to go to all 3 jobs of the day. Wednesday I had the time to string the tree for Kevin and I. After watching 4 different YouTube videos, talking to my Dad and having everyone tell me to start at the top, I started at the bottom. Let’s just say I like to do things backwards sometimes. Oh well, it still turned out well! And it was my first time and I really enjoyed it. I got to spend a lot of good quality time with Erika and Hana, and then Kevin and I decorated our tree!

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Let’s fast forward to today. I woke up after another, super lucky, day of getting to sleep in til 1030. I knew pretty quickly I was going to do two things. 1) I was going to drive into work today and 2) I needed a big fruit smoothie. I quickly grabbed my things, made a smoothie, slabbed some crunchy PB on a slice of toast and drove to work. In the smoothie mix today was a banana, a 1/2 cup 0% Fage Plain yogurt, and 1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s Very Berry frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries).

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This week I really have been trying to listen to my body. Whenever I’m not feeling well I tend to either completely veg out or keep going full throttle and end up super sick. I feel like I’ve maintained a better balance between the two this last week. I still got a couple solid workouts in to give my body some energy and help the sickness move out, but also took a lot of rest days and time to myself to recharge. It’s still hard for me to give myself time to rest, sometimes I feel really guilty for it and other times I’m worried I will get off track. But this journey is all about a healthy life for me here and now. Being healthy requires a balance. I’ve been learning to control my on or off switch and learn to live somewhere in the middle. 

After a few busy hours at work, the phone was ringing off the hook!, I hopped back in my car and swung home for some snacks. Bad idea. Not only did Tine surprise me with a big delicious cookie at work, but Aly had made the rest of the funfetti cupcake batter! I heated up my sweet potato wedges and found myself grabbing a cupcake as well. Oh well, I enjoyed it 🙂

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Then it was off to babysitting I go! I had a banana and PB as a snack.ImageThe best part of today’s afternoon with Max was his basketball practice. The location of where he practices is 3 blocks away from my gym! You better believe I took advantage of this and drove my little butt to the gym. There I did the following workout:

1) Row 1,500 meters. Every minute, stop and do 10 squat thrusters with 10 lb dumb bells. Keep going until all 1,500 meters have been completed.

2) 20 box jumps on the small box, 20 leg presses on the bigger box, 20 walking lunges with 10 lb dumb bells.

3) 21’s and Military Presses. I grabbed a 20 lb barbell and did 7 bicep curls to my waist, then 7 from my waist to my shoulders, then 7 starting from the bottom to the top.

I didn’t rest much in-between exercises because I knew I didn’t have too much time, but I also wanted a high intensity, but brief workout. I walked out feeling great! Good burst of energy, good challenge, but I didn’t feel overworked or too exhausted. Balance 🙂

I swung into whole foods to pick up some essentials: bananas, blackberries, and more cinnamon swirl PB. I even saw a guy having a tough time deciding which peanut butter to buy. I carefully guided him to the bottom shelf and told him about my obsession. He put one in his basket too 🙂 Spreading the love this holiday season, even if it’s just for peanut butter.

I went over to my mom’s for a chat after babysitting. It was really good to talk with her about where I’m at. She is more supportive of me than ever of moving to California. She pitched the idea that we all drive me out there together! Which honestly, was the best thing she would have said. I have always wanted to drive cross country. There are so many gorgeous natural landscapes I have always wanted to see and now will be the perfect chance to be able to! I’ll also be able to bring some of the furniture I will want with me over there so I’ll save money on buying new. Eeeeek! It’s becoming so real and it’s honestly making me even more happy and excited about the whole process. 

Then, I was starving for some dinner. What did my body want? Veggies and protein. So I did it up!

ImageI sauteed broccoli, yellow squash, garlic, onions, and red bell pepper with kale. I seasoned it with black pepper, basil, oregano and thyme. I also cooked a chicken breast in the same mixture. But something was missing…the taste was a little too bland.

ImageI kicked it up a notch with this salsa and BAM! Delicious. It added just the right amount of a different flavor and kick without drowning out the taste of the vegetables.

ImageI’m enjoying Glee and relaxing before another big day tomorrow. TRX class in the morning, taking Mariam to run an errand in Bethesda, then taking a nice big nap before job hunting in the afternoon and Killer X Circuit at 630.

Hope you’re having a restful Thursday before the weekend!

Until next time,

Natasha

 

 

 

Spaghetti Squash Thai Style

7 Dec

Good morning readers!

Thursday ended up being an awesome day of rest for me. I knew I really really needed the sleep and was more than happy to get it. Although I had some trouble falling asleep due to stomach pain, about 4 hours worth of trouble to be exact, I was able to sleep in until 1130AM! Woo!

I started my day with a blueberry, strawberry banana milkshake with about 1 cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and a Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thin, topped with Cinnamon Swirl PB of course 🙂

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Then I was off running errands when I got an email from Urban Outfitters that they were having a 50% off what’s already on sale sale. Deadly.I will post a picture of everything I bought tomorrow, but it was a steal. Just to give you an idea, I bought a gorgeous white lace dress that was originally selling at $80 for twenty bucks. I hit the jackpot.

Anyway, after babysitting I picked up my friend Erika so she could come over for dinner and a movie. For the movie, we chose Madagascar 3. For dinner, we chose veggies, chicken, and spaghetti squash (no pasta) in a peanut sauce. Why use noodles when you can use spaghetti squash? This is hands down one of the best meals I’ve had.

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First, we thought we would be creative and make our own peanut sauce. After realizing how hungry I was though I decided against it. Erika brought a bottle of peanut sauce with her that was going to be thrown out before she went home for winter break, so I felt it was better to use that anyway. So, then we started to cook the veggies and toss the peanut sauce on top of them.

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In the pot was spinach, one red bell pepper, 2 gloves garlic, onion, 2 tomatoes, broccoli and 2 yellow squashes. Since we were trying to be healthy, and I always love experimenting with my foods, we decided to serve the thai entree over spaghetti squash instead of noodles. Not only does this give us an extra serving of vegetables, but it’s less junk in our food (since we had the peanut sauce anyway) and is a healthier version. We put the spaghetti squash in last, then added a HUGE heap of peanut butter into the mixture.

While that was marinating, I cooked 3 small chicken breasts in pepper, thyme and basil. My favorite spices combo for chicken.

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Then we put it all together and had Erika do a final set of stirring. She didn’t know just how to pose for the blog, but here’s what she came up with.

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Gorgeous.

Then we dug in while watching Madagascar 3. Which admittedly, was cute and some parts had me laughing out loud. I liked the scene with the zebra and his “circus afro.”

I helped myself to a big bowl then enjoyed every single bite of a French Vanilla cupcake Erika brought me from Au Bon Pain! 🙂

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I’m super excited to have some leftovers for lunch today!

Hope your Friday is off to a good start!

Until next time,

Natasha

Not Feelin so Good…

6 Dec

Hey readers!

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been having some stomach issues this week. It’s definitely been a little frustrating and I am trying to figure out exactly what the problem is. Last weekend, when I was eating I started to feel full in my stomach, but my body still felt deprived. I figured I wasn’t getting enough intake. However, my problem has persisted despite what I eat. Usually my pain starts in the morning when I wake up – but it doesn’t feel like the familiar, hey – I’m hungry, feeling. It feels more like a stomach strain or like my stomach is cramping up all over. Sometimes I’ve been waiting longer to eat, to give myself time to rev up to hunger status, but other times I eat something small to try and help it out. Either way, it’s not really abating all that much. I’ve also been experiencing my stomach feeling completely empty after I eat a full meal, but I don’t want to eat anything more. Have any of you had this before?

Despite this confusion, I woke up on Tuesday and tried to give my body some good fuel. A banana strawberry smoothie with yogurt powder and a Cinnamon Raisin english muffin with a little bit of butter.

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About an hour and a half later, I was starving so I snacked on an Apple Cinnamon fat free yogurt. Delish!

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Around 2 o’clock I found myself exhausted. I walked over to the Eagle’s Nest, a store on campus, and made myself a pumpkin iced coffee. Only $1.80 for a small cup! Definitely a great way to get really good iced coffee for cheap. They also don’t charge you for the syrup pumps!

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After my morning in the lab, I headed over to babysitting around 330. After I took Max to soccer practice, I ran around the neighborhood to get in a workout instead of burning time.

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On my run, I saw this mailbox! How creative!

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The rest of the evening was spent at my internship with Potomac Pathways, a relapse prevention program for adolescents coming home from substance abuse treatment, then I spent an hour at CVS, then home for bed.

Wednesday was another day at the research lab, and then babysitting. Today my stomach was really in a full upset mode, but I also haven’t been able to sleep very well so I was exhausted. Knowing the caffeine would agitate my stomach, I decided to go for it anyway because I needed energy for work and paired it with another Apple and Cinnamon yogurt.

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Around 11 I was pretty hungry, but my stomach was still bothering me. I knew I needed fuel though so I ate my way through my Sweet Breakfast Scramble, but it didn’t have PB because I had forgotten it at home. Rough.

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I also snagged a Subway sandwich around 2. I was starving again. I got turkey, provolone, spinach, tomatoes, olives, banana peppers, cucumbers, green peppers, avocado and pickles on a 6-inch whole wheat sub.

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Around 330 I went to babysitting, took Max to Hebrew School, then we both went on a run together around his neighborhood. He feels he’s out of shape – despite the fact that he plays soccer and baseball. However, he had a break between his seasons and feels himself struggling to have endurance during practices. He loved running with me so much that he wants to go every Wednesday which is totally fine by me! It’s a fun thing for us to do together and a great way to combine my love for health and my job, while getting to spend some quality time with Max.

As promised, after our run, I took him to the burger joint and we had dinner together.

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And, to add to the day, Kevin had a surprise present for me! I had no idea what it could be – I was thinking ice cream or something of that nature, but he told me it wasn’t food. Instead, it was a….

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CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!! I was soooooo excited! What an amazing surprise! Kevin won’t be able to go home for Christmas this year and last year they were sold out by the time we went, so I was more than ecstatic to be surprised with one! My parents started buying a fake tree when I was round 12 so I haven’t had the experience in a longgg time. We are going to buy ornaments and lights this weekend and decorate it together 🙂 More, and better, pictures to come!

What’s your tree tradition? Do you get a fake tree or a real tree?

Until next time,

Natasha