Archive | December, 2012

New Gadgets and Quick Meals

20 Dec

Good afternoon readers!

It’s been a really hectic couple days with a lot of biking, since my mom took the car home early, so I’ve been pretty wiped out by the time I get home. Nonetheless, I’m still on track and ready to update you guys on the last two days.

Tuesday I had the day off from the lab so I slept in and found myself rehooked on an old addiction, Teen Mom 2. And now it’s even on Netflix! I will definitely catch up on all of the episodes over break. Hey, we all have a guilty pleasure right?

Once I got hungry, I hopped out of bed and made myself something to eat.IMG_1521Sweet Breakfast Scramble with my Cinnamon Swirl PB. Nommmmmm 🙂

Around 130 I was hungry for some lunch. Time for some Grilled Cheese with  Muenster and tomato, with some tomato slices on the side drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and some blackberries. It was pretty good 🙂IMG_1522 IMG_1524After lunch, I met up with Kevin so we could go to the Verizon Store and buy him his Christmas Present!! He was still back and forth on a couple phones, but I was happy to convince him to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

We wanted to talk to the first representative we met with on Sunday, but unfortunately we were waiting over a half hour and I had to bike over to babysitting before he could help us. At babysitting, I got hungry and snacked on a Kaishi Chocolate Chip and Banana Bar.IMG_1525 IMG_1526It was a little dry for my taste, but was filling and pretty good. Again, I think it lacked a lot of moisture though, which left me a little unsatisfied.

Around 5 Kevin called me to let me know he bought the phone! He decided to kick it in Starbucks while he waited for me to get out of babysitting so we could bike back together and I could see him with his new present from me! (Okay, well I didn’t buy the whole phone, but I did chip in as my present to him). And sure enough, when I walked in bought me a very big cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Such a sweetheart 🙂IMG_1527 IMG_1528

Kevin and his very first smartphone!

Kevin and his very first smartphone!

On our way back we swing into Trader Joe’s and picked up some lean ground beef, edamame, tons of veggies and some Butternut Squash Ravioli to help hold me over the next couple days before I go home. After such a big coffee, I couldn’t drink more than half of it, I wasn’t really hungry for dinner so I just made myself a baked sweet potato and had some celery with hummus!IMG_1539IMG_1733Butttttt I forgot to mention, while at babysitting I checked my Amazon account and saw my Garmin Forerunner 210 had arrived at my apartment!!!!!! 😀

Biking home was never easier 🙂 And this new bad boy did not disappoint!IMG_1531 IMG_1533 IMG_1534 IMG_1535Eeeeeeeeeeeee!! I loved the color I chose, at first I was second guessing it, but it’s so bright and fun! (as opposed to all black or dark grey with teal). I unpacked all the charging accessories and instruction manuals, then plugged it into my computer, popped in the installation disc, and got ready to set up my new gadget 🙂IMG_1537 IMG_1538The rest of the evening was spent with the two of us glued to our new gadgets and our butts glued to the couch. We both absolutely love the gifts we got for each other and took a moment to realize how lucky we are and how great our lives are.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning and it was time to be in the lab by 8am. I prepared a breakfast the night before so I could just wake up, to the alarm on my new watch!!!, shower, and go. As you can see, my new bike seat was finally put on my bike! I had some help with that though, okay…a lot of help. But hey, I’m just glad I’m able to have my new seat on.IMG_1554 IMG_1555IMG_1559It’s so pretty!! Although this is the time I scarfed down breakfast, I was so hungry I forgot to snap a photo of it! It was another Sweet Breakfast Scramble though with my Cinnamon Swirl PB. The participant showed up over 2 hours late and I was pretty aggravated. I was exhausted, not feeling well, and was happy to get a little visit in during my time there. In college, I was a part of a sorority and my Big Sister was Nadia. She was in town before moving back to Egypt so she swung by and visited me at work. It was good to chat with her and catch up for a little bit.

After work, I was ravenous so I had a quick snack.IMG_1560 IMG_1563Next I took a nap and then made some lunch when I woke up, again, starving.IMG_1566 IMG_1570For lunch, I whippped up some of those Butternut Squash Raviolis and added some mariana sauce, then had celery and sugar snap peas with roasted red pepper hummus. It was delicious! My stomach started to feel weird, but I thought it was just because I waited so long to eat a real lunch and I was up so early. I didn’t think much of it and kept going.

Then it was back on my bike to get to babysitting. On my way there my stomach began to give me some excruciating pain. Biking was extremely difficult and I even left my phone at the Starbucks I had stopped at to give me a little rest. I didn’t get anything to drink, but I still managed to leave my phone behind. Luckily, when I came back my phone had been turned in. Rough day for me. I whipped myself up half a PB and J to try and soothe it.IMG_1571Coming back from babysitting I needed a very tall glass of OJ and a lot of vegetables for dinner. I found myself making a small chicken cutlet, sauteeing some vegetables – yellow squash, mushrooms orange bell pepper with spinach, slapping some hummus on a whole wheat wrap and having a side of refried beans.IMG_1573 IMG_1574 IMG_1575 IMG_1579 IMG_1580It ended up being exactly what I needed. It was my first time eating refried beans. I enjoyed them! And then followed up with some Christmas Oreos 🙂IMG_17354 was the magic number 🙂

Despite all the running around, I was happy with myself for still managing to eat well 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

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

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