Tag Archives: breakfast

Quality Time

29 Dec

Good evening readers! As my time at home comes to a close, it’s been bittersweet to make plans knowing I won’t know when the next time I will get to see everyone will be. Today, and now tonight, I have been snowed in due to a big snow storm. I luckily got up and out early this morning and was able to drive home when the storm started. It looked gorgeous. IMG_1832I’ve actually been having a really good string of breakfasts and lunches these last couple of days. I’ve been very happy with myself in terms of both staying on track and enjoying myself with each meal. There’s something about being home that makes so many things feel much less stressful. I’m never feeling guilty or conscious so I find myself sitting down to eat a meal and then not worrying about food at all until I’m definitely hungry again. I’m not worrying about when I’ll get my next workout in, I just take them as they come. I also haven’t been running around with a full schedule trying to see every single last person and not having any time to relax. I’ve have a great harmony of alone time and seeing friends this break. It’s been exactly what I needed.

Without further ado, it’s picture time! Thursday morning I woke up ready for some oatmeal 🙂 so I made some Whipped Banana Oatmeal and topped it with blueberries and raspberries at the end so they would pop a little and melt into the oatmeal. I added a big spoonful of Cinnamon Raisin PB to turn this meal into perfection.IMG_1783 IMG_1791IMG_1790Next I ran some errands with my mom and tried on some fun heels while she was looking at after Christmas sales on Christmas items. IMG_1792IMG_1848I came home, caught up with a close family friend on the phone and got confirmation that her husband who teaches in Newtown is okay. Then it was time to meet up with Lacey to go see Les Miserables. I packed a healthy snack pack to enjoy if I got hungry during the movie.IMG_1794Boy am I glad I packed it! The movie was 3 hours. So I dug into the yogurt during and the carrots on the drive home. I highly recommend this movie. I do not do musicals. Rent bores me, Chicago I didn’t even last 20 minutes. Something about Les Mis moved me though and kept me engaged for the entire time. Definitely a must see movie.

After that I came home, skyped with Kevin for a hot second then whipped myself up some sauteed vegetables and spaghetti squash. I even got to teach my parents all about this wonderous vegetable.IMG_1797 IMG_1800 IMG_1802In the bowl was spinach, mushrooms, cauliflower, feta cheese, my dad’s homemade tomato sauce, yellow squash and spaghetti squash. It was filling and really delicious. Definitely hit the spot with my craving for vegetables.

Right after I finished up dinner my friend Haley arrived and we caught up while stalking One Direction and watching Simple Plan music videos. As Haley noted, “Some things never really will change.” We discovered we both want to move to California this year so we tossed around ideas of moving together. We are thinking about two different areas though and I don’t want to take away from her dream so we will see, but it was really exciting to look at apartments together and discuss logistics. Once Lauren came we continued to catch up until Haley got hungry and it was time to head to the diner.IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1807Diner trips are always a tradition of ours so it felt good to be right in our old groove. Although my camera died Lauren made sure that we had 3 rounds of photoshoots. I didn’t order anything, but snagged some of Lauren’s french fries. After that we came home, put the pajamas on, and apparently I passed out in the middle of our conversation around 2am. When we woke up yesterday morning my parents were cooking us a 5 star breakfast.photo-3 photo-4 ImageAfter breakfast, I took some time to blog and digest then went for a 4 mile run. Although I felt a little tired, it felt really great after to accomplish it and be active. After that I went home, showered, and started to cook my first ever chili while waiting for Alex to arrive. I followed this recipe from the blog PB Fingers. I didn’t add any meat though and used fresh tomato. My parents didn’t have all the spices so it didn’t have a lot of kick, but Alex and I both enjoyed it.IMG_1811 IMG_1813 IMG_1814 IMG_1818 IMG_1819Alex was clearly very happy to appear on the blog. I topped mine with some grated cheese and some Greek yogurt for a little extra protein. We also had some sides to munch on while we waited.IMG_1812 IMG_1817 IMG_1816 IMG_1815After catching up we decided it was obviously time for some ice cream so off we went to Coldstone. I had trouble deciding, but went with the Chocolate Devotion which has chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, brownies and fudge. It would’ve been amazing but they put WAY too many chocolate chips in it so I could really only eat about 1/3 of it before giving up. I also asked for the smallest portion, but he ended up making me double that. Whoops!IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1822We both ordered the same size… haha. Coldstone has never really been my favorite, but Alex was craving it and it worked out well since I didn’t want to have a ton of dessert. It was great to see her and we will both be planning trips out to see each other in the coming months.

As for me, I’m now going to snuggle up to some more Scrubs in my bed and fall asleep reading some more of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Until next time,

Natasha

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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

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

Through Sickness and In Balance.

5 Dec

Good morning readers!

First of all, I am very sorry for my hiatus in posting this week. Ever since I ran on Sunday, I’ve been having a weird stomach issue going on. It seems to be pretty unhappy with me no matter what I do. Before we go into that, I’ll do a quick recap of what my week was like.

Monday I went into work for a couple hours at the lab to try and get some data organized and brainstorm ways to increase recruitment. I quickly made a Sweet Breakfast Scramble and then biked to work 🙂 I bike to work every morning. Not only does this save me gas money, and the time of walking, but I bike up a long hill to get to campus so I get a quick cardio challenge in first thing every morning!

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I know, I know, I could really use a new seat. Have no fear, I ordered one that afternoon when I got home from work. It was time.

Kevin had also returned back to DC from Vegas and was sick as a dog. Poor guy. After work, I took a nap, heated up some leftover Trader Joe’s Eggplant Goodness, we played with Liam a little bit, then hopped in the car to take Kevin for some Robek’s. Robek’s is an awesome healthy smoothie place in our neighborhood. They have a ton of different flavors to try and even make their own fresh juice! You can also add kale to any smoothie – aka it’s the perfect place for me. I chose the Emperor Acai and I forget what Kevin ordered, but it was a ginormous citrus smoothie with tons of Vitamin C.

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We also did some grocery shopping, picked up my Mom and brought her home, then I dropped my car off back at my apartment and biked over to Kevin’s apartment. We started a new video game together, Donkey Kong Country Revenge, which is pretty fun and challenging. We played that for a little while, then around 730 made some dinner.

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I had leftovers from my vegetable chicken wrap dinner the night before with Chocolate Milk and carrots with hummus. I tried this chocolate milk before and it’s really good! It’s skim milk, has extra Omega 3s and extra calcium! I treat myself to it about once a month. (this is a photo from October)IMG_1444

Kevin heated up some Mac n Cheese, a corn dog, and then Lima Beans.

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I know, polar opposite meals right? It used to be really hard for me to not over indulge when I ate with Kevin. He is a varsity athlete and needs to take in double, if not triple, the amount of calories and nutrients I do. For awhile, it was keeping me off track and I was making excuses for myself or didn’t want to miss out on an experience with him. For awhile, Kevin actually was cutting back on what he ate around me so that I wouldn’t over eat. While it was a very very sweet gesture, it was also hurting Kevin because his body wasn’t getting what he needed. I had to learn how to manage my own eating, whether or not I was around other people. After Kevin and I talked about it a few times, I knew I had to step up. I had to start holding myself accountable. I started to think about the goals I wanted for my health, maintaining strength, feeling strong throughout my body, etc, and realized I needed to keep these thoughts in mind when I was eating around anyone, including myself. It’s easy to get caught up and eat half the pint of Ben and Jerry’s after you have seconds, or maybe thirds, at dinner. But I knew that wasn’t what I wanted for myself anymore. I wanted a balance. Not over indulging all the time, but not skipping out on meals or restricting myself. I’d have to plan ahead a little more with my meals and be aware and conscious of my goals whenever I was constructing a meal. Although it was a tough one for me to learn, it has definitely paid off in the long run. Now, I stay on track with my way of eating and can balance myself out much much better.

Have you guys ever struggled with staying on track while you were around others? How have you worked on it?

Canon PowerShot S100 & One Killer X Circuit

1 Dec

Good morning!

It’s weird to be awake on a Saturday at 830 AM without an alarm, but I was up 4 days this week at 8AM or earlier so I think my body’s just used to that. It’ll be good though because I’ll get a lot more use out of my day.

First, let’s rewind to yesterday. For this post, I decided I wanted to try out using my Canon PowerShot S100 instead of relying on my iPhone. Kevin bought it for me as my combined birthday and graduation gift last year. I have the Canon Rebel XTi and I had a really basic point and shoot Canon as well, can you see a trend here?, but didn’t buy a great one since I left the last one I had in a cab :(. The goal was for me to always be able to take great pictures without having to lug around my Digital SLR. I did some research before picking out which Canon and decided on the S100. It’s amazing. Not only does the picture quality blow me away, it’s the closest I’ve ever seen a point and shot come to my SLR, but it has a ton of SLR qualities like aperture control. It’s the highest quality point and shoot on the market and I highly recommend it. Thanks Kevin! 🙂

I woke up at 7 to head to the research lab to run a participant at 8. However, they no showed. It’s always frustrating when we make a special case for someone (i.e. allow them to schedule a time slot a whole hour early than the normal slot) and they don’t show up. While I waited, I had some Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea and a Gala Apple.

ImageAround 910 I headed out and decided to try and make it to the 930 TRX class at my gym. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, TRX is a rope-like object that hangs and has two grips on it. Depending on how you adjust the ropes length you can use the grips as foot holds or for your hands. It’s great for doing more challenging planks, push-ups, glute exercises or lunges when your feet are in, but our class tends to do more exercises when our hands are on the grips like ITY’s, bicep curls, etc etc. I was sore for 3 days after the last class and really loved it.

Unfortunately, I walked in right at 930 and all the ropes were already taken! Guess it’s super popular on Friday mornings. I realized I was really hungry, since I hadn’t eaten a full breakfast, and I knew I was planning on going to the Killer X Workout that night at 630 so I decided to bag it and head home.

As soon as I walked in my apartment I started making breakfast. I was starving so I knew the best breakfast to fill me up, Sweet Breakfast Scramble.

ImageI whisked together 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 1 banana (I mush it by squeezing it while it’s in the peel and as it pops out I squeeze it into the bowl), 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Mix it all together and put it on in a skillet on medium heat.

Just like when cooking eggs by themselves, you want to cook this mixture until the eggs are no longer runny.

ImageNow it’s just looks like orange scrambled eggs! This is a good point to take it off the stovetop.

ImageThe final step to cooking this amazing meal is to add a scoop, or two :), of your favorite peanut butter. I’m sure you guys can already guess which one I put in.

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ImageCinnamon Raisin Swirl. Duh!

This was the first time I was able to eat the whole breakfast in one sitting. Normally I only put in 1 egg and 1 egg white and I’m able to eat it all, but whenever I put 3 eggs it’s just too much for me. However, I think between my hard workout Thursday night and my lack of a real breakfast before 10AM I was one hungry woman.

Whenever I eat breakfast, Liam always likes to check out what’s goin’ on and sees if he can try and sneak a bite.

ImageHowever, he decided on his favorite past time instead. Knocking over cups of water.

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“Oh…sorry Mom.”

Luckily I had already drank all the water this time. After breakfast, I realized I was really tired so I snuggled into bed with some Harry Potter, read a chapter, and took a nap.

ImageImageI woke up around 1230 and decided I was going to run some errands. First I needed a little bit of a snack, so I munched on half a fig bar while I checked some emails.

ImageAnd packed some grapes for the road in my re-usable bags.ImageBefore I left I was browsing on Lululemon.com and saw they put the Spin It to Win It top on sale! I just tried it on last weekend and really liked it. A pit stop in at Lululemon would be necessary. Then, I grabbed everyone’s rent and utility checks from the bulletin board and headed out. I stopped the bank first and then drove into Bethesda. When I parked in the parking lot I saw a wonderful surprise waiting for me.

ImageSomeone had left over an hour in the meter!! I felt really lucky and fortunate because once i parked I realized I left my quarters in my other jacket. It’s a small random gesture, that probably wasn’t intentional, but it was still a really nice surprise.

I returned a shirt at City Sports, and bought the top I wanted from Lululemon, after trying it on in a couple different colors to be sure of course :). While I was walking around, I checked twitter for updates on Kevin’s matches in the wrestling tournament.

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Killin’ em.

Next I swung into Barnes & Noble for a little browsing, but the next book I read after Harry Potter I really want to be a good one. I’m going to wait and ask around to see what’s a good read.

I left Bethesda and headed for home. While I was out shopping, my brother emailed out his Christmas List to my parents and I. This was my signal to make my list, so that’s exactly what I did.

ImageWhile I caught up on Glee, Liam caught up on some sleep.

ImageImageAround 4 o’clock my stomach was growling. I planned to eat lunch this late today though since I knew I was getting pizza with my Mom at 8 after my workout class. With pizza on the brain, I wanted to have a healthy lunch with lots of vegetables.

ImageIn the bowl was spinach, avocado, chick peas, rasins, cucumber, tomato, yellow bell pepper, feta cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Delicious!

Around 530 I started to get ready for the Killer X Workout Class. I was so excited about my new top, so I chose it as my outfit for the class. Although the top is designed for a cycling class, I wanted to wear it anyway. Here’s what they say about it on their website:

“When we crank up the cadence in spin class, we want a tank that can handle our sweat and keep our girls under control. We designed this inherently wicking tank with a high neck and a grippy rear hem to keep us covered while we cycle.”

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I had not tried this class yet, but had a feeling it would be challenging. Besides being excited to wear it, I also wanted to test out my new top from Lululemon and see how it would hold up in a high impact class with a lot of movement (what I was anticipating). Since there’s no room for a bra underneath it, you rely on the support they build into the top to hold everyone together.

ImageSo I did some test jumps.

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ImageAnd messed up the timing … a lot.

ImageGot a littttle frustrated.

ImageBut eventually got it! And I don’t have the crazy eyes like I do in that first photo. Anyway, as you can see, even when jumping, and landing, the support they built into the top holds everything secure and in place. It’s also suuuper comfortable. Not to mention eye-catching. Wearing this definitely made me feel great and look great at the same time, so I knew I made the right decision :).

Next I was off to class. Wow, they definitely weren’t joking around when they titled this workout Killer. Last night, she had us do a circuit workout. Since there were 13 of us there, we had 13 stations. No station was a rest station. As I looked around, I was confident I was going to be challenged.

Here’s the workout: (I linked almost every exercise so you guys can do the workout, or any part of it, on your own!)

1. Decline Crunches on the ab bench

2. Alternating Plyo Push-ups (we had 2 steps, one on each side, instead of the singular featured in this clip. When the left hand was on the mat, right hand on the right side bench, when the right hand was on the mat, left hand was on the left bench)

3. Arm Raises (we had a variety of weight choses, I chose 5 lbs)

4. Plank

5. 30 Box Jumps – **This person was the timekeeper. Whenever they completed their 30 jumps they yelled “SWITCH!” and that’s when you knew to switch stations.

6. Box Leg Press (closest I could find to it. Instead of doing the same leg over and over, we alternated one after the other. Lead with left leg, right foot comes up, right foot down first, then left. Then lead with right leg, etc..)

7. Barbell Dead Lift (45 lbs women 60lbs men)

8. Jack knife

9. Squat to Overhead Press (8 or 10 lb dumb bells for women, 15 for men)

10. Battle Rope

11. Jump Rope

12. Burpees

13. Kettle Bell Swings 

We repeated this circuit 4 times!! We weren’t given any rest in-between circuit repeats so if you needed water or rest it was at your discretion. By the end, I was hungry for fuel and feeling like I got a really great workout in. Definitely will be doing this class more often.

I stretched and talked with a couple people I see regularly then walked over to Pete’s Pizza to meet up with my mom!

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We ordered the Down-the-Hill pizza. It had meatball, sausage, bell pepper, caramelized onion and olives. I also ordered a Spinach Olivada salad to start with.

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Spinach Olivada Salad

ImageI never order meat on my pizzas, but I realized I hadn’t had meat in about a week. I was pescetarian (no meat, but does eat fish, eggs and dairy) for almost 2 years and only switched back due to health concerns at the time. I’m still pretty used to not eating meat, but I do try and have it 2-3 times per week.

My mom and I decided we couldn’t leave without dessert. There were WAY too many delicious sounding options. Pumpkin canolis, mini pumpkin spice or red velvet cakes, peanut butter chocolate cup. But we ultimately decided on gelato. It was a tough choice between Pumpkin Gingersnap and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for me, but I chose the dough (since I had pumpkin with breakfast) and my mom got the Double Chocolate.

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My mom and I enjoyed our dessert then took the bus back home. Her apartment is in the same area as mine, 4 minute walk away, so we could get off at the same stop.

I was really pooped after such a long day so I took a shower and got cozy in some wrestling sweats Kevin gave me. I wear them around the house or to sleep when I know he’s competing, kind of like a small good luck charm.

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I finished the latest Glee episode and was off to bed!

Hope everyone’s having a good start to their Saturday so far!

Until next time,

Natasha