Tag Archives: peanut butter

Snowed In

30 Dec

Good morning readers!

Today marks my last full day at home. I’ve already got the suitcase packed so I’m spending the day seeing a couple friends, some time with my parents and some time organizing clothes into piles I can donate or keep.

Yesterday morning I woke up to a lot of text messages so I wasn’t really able to sleep in. It ended up being a good thing since we had an impending snowstorm coming our way, I wanted to get out and try and hunt for a great sweater bargain before it got too messy. First, I made breakfast.IMG_1825 IMG_1826I made a 2 ingredient pancake topped with Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB and washed it down with a glass of milk with blueberries on the side 🙂

Although I wasn’t successful in finding any sweaters that I loved, I ran into a friend from high school, got a pair of 5 dollar gym shorts and scored the BIGGEST bargain I think I have experienced to date.IMG_1842I bought this sweater dress for $5.16 from Ann Taylor Loft. It was the only one in the entire store and I eyed this girl trying it on so I asked her where she found it. She ended up not wanting it (WHY?!?! I will never know) so she told me she left it in the dressing room. I’m so excited to wear it for NYE! 🙂

When I got out of the store, I realized how quickly our town was turning into a winter wonderland and how fast the snow was coming down.IMG_1827 IMG_1828

Once I got home I was starving. My breakfast did a good job of holding me over awhile though. Nonetheless, the first thing I did when I got home was reheat my chili and add some guacamole to it for a little kick.IMG_1835 Then I was home for the day due to all the snow and had to cancel some of the plans I had made and my family friend ended up getting the flu so I won’t be able to see them this break 😦 Although I was bummed, it was great to have some time to myself and my parents. I ended up napping for awhile too. Then I decided I should show you guys some of my Christmas presents!IMG_1844 IMG_1845

I also got this jacket from lululemon (it’s in the wash currently) and these running tights, but we had to exchange the size.

I am so fortunate to have gotten so much quality running apparel from my family. I also got a bunch of small things, like a great new nail polish color I’ve been rocking in my pictures, but figured you guys would be more interested in the big stuff.

After my nap, I lounged around for quite awhile watching Scrubs, Glee and eventually making a big salad for dinner. So big I actually had to move it from a bowl into a mixing bowl haha. IMG_1849 IMG_1850 IMG_1851In the bowl was spinach, zucchini, tomato, avocado, shrimp, cranberries, orange bell pepper, mushrooms, and beets in a balsamic vinaigrette. As if I didn’t have enough veggies in there, I also enjoyed a side of steamed asparagus. The dinner was absolutely what I was craving and filled me up. I enjoyed a couple bites of this local vanilla ice cream afterwards.IMG_1852I then went outside to try and capture how beautiful the snow looked, but I’ll have to get some better shots of it today instead.IMG_1853 IMG_1855 IMG_1856 IMG_1858I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday!

Until next time,

Natasha

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ONE BIG POST:Whirlwind Recap & Christmas Eve ’12

26 Dec

Hey readers, Merry Christmas to all of you! My gift to you this season is a quick recap of the days leading up to Christmas Eve for me! I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, some friends, and resting and relaxing with myself so I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere. Saturday morning I attempted to sleep in before I got started with my day, but I didn’t want to miss my chance to go grocery shopping with my mom and pick up a couple things I would need to stay on track with healthy eating while I’m home. I rolled out of bed, ate a small breakfastIMG_1631and went out to Whole Foods and Costco with my Mom for some samples galore!IMG_1632Then ate a lunchIMG_1637before  I met up with my cousin Lauren and went shopping with her for some last minute christmas gifts for my mom and dad. I finally got the coat I’ve been eyeing on a good deal too!IMG_1770After all that shopping I was one tired girl. I had dinner with my family then went out to Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven with my dad and brother (I had Strawberry since they make it fresh daily it was delicious! And had chunks of fresh strawberries in it 🙂 )IMG_1645 IMG_1649IMG_1646 IMG_1647 IMG_1648

Sunday morning I was up early to go to the Bronx in New York with my family for all the Italian food shopping. I packed a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with Cinnamon Raisin PB to start my day. We wait online for about 3 hours, in 30 degree weather (I wore 6 layers) for our cheese and pasta – we’re a little crazy. After still having to wait for my dad to eat lunch, I snagged some tea and a raisin bran muffin to hold me over.IMG_1654IMG_1661 IMG_1660 IMG_1657IMG_1655 IMG_1656After spotting Kevin Jonas out and about a couple times, it was time for our other tradition, Dominick’s! It’s a locally owned restaurant that has been there since my dad went to college at Fordham and we still see the same waiters every time. You sit next to people you don’t know which is always fun and very much the neighborhood feel. I ordered Eggplant Parm but only ate a small part of the colossal portion.IMG_1662 IMG_1663 IMG_1664 IMG_1666 IMG_1668 IMG_1670I laid in bed for awhile when we got home because I was so exhausted, ate some cereal for dinner, then headed over to my friend Jackson’s where Eric him and Dan were working on music.IMG_1672IMG_1675Monday morning was Christmas Eve! I was able to sleep in, luckily, and woke up to a good start to my day with a solid breakfast. Then a couple hours later, my mom brother and I went for a run and afterwards I made a smoothie then I hit the gym for some strength training and circuit training to try and work on my butt 🙂 (so. many. squats.)IMG_1682IMG_1685 IMG_1686IMG_1687 IMG_1691Ater the gym, it was chocolate milk time!IMG_1692After a quick glass I went upstairs and got ready, realxed until it was snack time around 6 o’clock.IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1700 IMG_1697IMG_1701 IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1706 IMG_1708I enjoyed some of the crab dip, some veggies, a little bit of cheese, and then realized we weren’t going to eat dinner until after 10pm. (so typical for our family, but always leaves me with a headache and not feeling well). So I went into the fridge and whipped up a snack (cottage cheese, raisins, banana) to tide me over while we decorated the tree.IMG_1711 IMG_1710Upon realizing it was snowing, it was time to eat dinner. Zucchini, Veal Parmesan, Fresh Egg Noodle Pasta and Homemade Tomato Sauce.IMG_1715 IMG_1716 IMG_1717After dinner my family whipped out this huge Chocolate Souffle cake my mom always makes, but it was close to midnight and I was full in addition to being exhausted so I opted for my chocolate covered strawberry instead. While my mom got the cake ready, there was some dog snuggling action goin on. He, Oliver, was my Christmas Present 6 Christmas Eve’s ago! 🙂IMG_1722IMG_1724 IMG_1727 IMG_1730 IMG_1731 IMG_1732Then my brother and I exchanged gifts with each other. I got him a couple movies on Blu-Ray and a Timex Ironman Sports Watch while he got me the Lululemon Power Y Tank in my favorite color, blue!IMG_1719 IMG_1721

It was a great evening for sure! Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying the time with your family and friends! My Christmas Day post will be up shortly 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

Peanut Butter Co. & An Annual Holiday Party!

22 Dec

Happy Saturday readers!

Yesterday was my big travel day from Washington DC to NYC to back home in CT. I started off my morning before the sun even came out at 530AM so I could brush my teeth, get ready, and be outside by 6AM waiting for a bus to the metro.IMG_1594 IMG_1596It was cute, since I had to carry my bear a man on the metro bus struck up a conversation with me about it. We ended up talking and he was so sweet. After the holidays he’s traveling to Japan for 8 days. He worked there back in his 20s and always wanted to go back, so he is now! It was a little inspirational to see someone following through on a dream like that and a great start to my “holiday break.”

I took the metro to my bus and met up with my brother. We departed at 7AM so I naturally slept the first hour and snacked on an apple about halfway through the trip.IMG_1597Once we got there, our parents were running late, no big surprise, so Nick and I went to a Starbucks and just chatted for about an hour catching up. While he chose a coffee, I chose a Mighty Mango Naked Smoothie. Always a good go to for me when I’m thirsty and hungry 🙂IMG_1598 IMG_1599However, I only drank half because I knew my family and I were going somewhere extra special for lunch today…IMG_1600Does this look familiar to any of you readers?

To give you a hint, after we ordered our sandwiches I also made sure to get a couple special purchases:IMG_1601Yes! That’s right! I went to the place where Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB comes from!!! 🙂 I was so excited for this little venture and it did not disappoint. There were so many interesting choices to choose from, and the dessert menu was TO DIE for, but I eventually chose The Elvis: maple syrup peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon on whole wheat bread with a big glass of skim milk to “wash it down” as they say on the menu :).IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604Although I wasn’t sure at first if I would get the bacon, I decided to try it. I rarely have it and figured if I was ordering a sandwich called the Elvis, it wouldn’t be right sans bacon. It was delicious. I enjoyed every last bite.

The restaurant had a really classic feel to it. It was small, yet cozy with all these paintings and pictures up from the last couple generations of what peanut butter used to be advertised like. It gave you this really home-y feel and felt very classic.IMG_1605 IMG_1606 IMG_1607What was really cute is on the Potato Chip packaging the owner of the company explains when he was a kid his PB&J was served to him with carrot sticks and chips. He wasn’t allowed to eat the chips without having the carrots. He encouraged us to make sure we ate our carrots or his mom might come after us. I thought it was a great message to send out about balanced eating but in a very approachable and personal way. Peanut Butter Co. you are awesome.

Once home back in CT, I walked into my room and was so happy to see it again 🙂IMG_1609 I laid in bed until it was time to get ready for my friend’s annual holiday party. They’ve had it every year for the last 5 or 6 years and it became especially great once we all went off to college. I can always count on seeing this group of people once a year and it never fails to be a good time. I had some Shrimp and Cashewchinese food leftovers my parents had in the fridge with a simple salad on the side. I knew I would be snacking at the holiday party, so I wanted to get some good nutrients in me beforehand.IMG_1610 IMG_1611 IMG_1612I ate at our dining room table that my mom spends hours decorating each year. Our whole house becomes “Chrismafized” and there’s lots of small details throughout – like my nutcracker name holder. Once I headed out, I swung over to target to grab a gift for the present swap game. Tradition.IMG_1613While shopping, I had a couple gifts in my hand, but ultimately decided to pick a gift for a specific audience. When people get ambiguous gifts they’re either funny or traded back and forth a lot because people want something else, so I wanted to pick a gift that someone would definitely enjoy. I decided to get some Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms and bought myself a book to read over break. Perks of Being a Wallflower 🙂IMG_1614 IMG_1615I got to the party pretty much right on time, somewhat fashionably late by 15 minutes, and was drawn to Jack’s buffalo chicken dip he made. Holy wow. It was so delicious! And Haley’s boyfriend made bacon wrapped salmon which was also, amazing. It was dangerous to sit inbetween the two, but I enjoyed each bite and spaced them out. It’s always hard for me to avoid such temptation at parties, especially when everyone around me isn’t really concerned about it and enjoys what they’re having. At times during the party I found myself beating myself up for what I was eating and at those points I walked around the party and would go talk to someone different to keep me entertained and out of my own head.IMG_1616We played the present swap game, caught up on how everyone’s life is going, shared personal stories, and I was laughing hysterically for a good portion of the night. I didn’t take a picture, but in the gift swap I won The Dark Knight Rises on DVD! WOOO! Such a good gift year for me 🙂IMG_1617 IMG_1619 IMG_1622 IMG_1624 IMG_1626 IMG_1629Then it was time for dessert! I tried one of each, but my ultiamte favorite was the Red Velvet munchkins Haley and Lauren made. They were incredibleIMG_1620 IMG_1621I eventually decided I couldn’t be a prisoner to my own mind games, and just decided I would enjoy the evening, and hop back on the balance wheel tomorrow. Especially since I’m planning on moving to the other coast next year, I’m not quite sure how next years holiday will go. I’m not going crazy, but I want to be able to enjoy things and not penalize myself for it, not carry the guilt. Self control is still something I am working towards, but it will only be that much harder to achieve if I am constantly analyzing and beating myself up for certain things. I’ve gotta balance it all out.

The evening ended around 1am and it was great to stay that late, despite how tired I was. I am really looking forward to the party next year, and hopefully I can make it back for our 5 Year High School Reunion. Woah.

Until next time,

Natasha

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

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

New Day, New Breakfast.

30 Nov

Good evening everyone!

Woof, what a long day today was. One of the best parts though was being able to sleep in a little later this morning, til 930, and have the time to make a fresh breakfast before work. I took this opportunity to try a recipe I’ve been meaning to try for awhile now: whipped banana oatmeal.

I found this recipe off the blog Kath Eat’s Real Food months ago, but haven’t gotten around to making it until today. I started off with 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup oats, and 1/2 cup water in a pan. I brought this to a medium boil then began to slice half of a banana very thinly and place the slices  into the mix.

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Once it all began to boil, I whipped the mixture together quickly until the bananas became part of the consistency. The smell at this point of the process was heaven. I let it cook for about 4 minutes and then added in some pumpkin puree.

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Lastly, I tossed some blueberries in there and hoped for the best. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure if I would like it. I almost began a second batch, but realized I was running low on time so I popped it into a tupperware container and went off to work.

Well, to my surprise, this breakfast was delicious! And ultra filling. About halfway I was considering putting it in the fridge for later, but it was too good! Especially once I added in my Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter. Seriously, I cannot get enough of it right now.

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I ran a participant, made some phone calls, followed up on emails, and before I knew it it was 130! Time to eat 🙂

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In the bowl today was spinach, chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, avocado, raisins, yellow bell pepper and light balsamic vinaigrette. I use the Boathouse Farms dressing and I highly recommend it. Light in calories per serving, but packed with flavor. I actually didn’t even put dressing on my salads for the first 2 years I ate them, but this is my favorite dressing now.

After a couple more tasks at work, I got to head home and have some down time before I left for babysitting. Today went by pretty quickly, I always enjoy my time with Max. He’s 12 and horrible at Mario Kart on the Wii, but a really enjoyable kid to spend time with. Right from babysitting I left for the gym!

Today’s workout was all about getting myself moving. I took Tuesday and Wednesday as rest days so I felt a little restless. I hopped on the treadmill for a nice and easy 3 mile run at a 8:34 pace. After that, I hopped downstairs and completed this circuit Tina from Carrot’s n Cake posted on Health Magazine’s website for the morning after Thanksgiving. I actually did the workout that morning as well and found it to be a good challenge so I went for it again today.

My legs are definitely feeling it halfway through. It’s a tough workout, but a good one! I didn’t leave the gym until 755 so by the time I got in my car I realized how hungry I was. I normally like to be done with dinner by 8 so my stomach was empty and my body ready for some fuel. When I got home, I wanted to just throw together something quickly in the form of veggies and protein so I just grabbed whatever was ready to cook.

The veggies of the evening were broccoli, yellow squash, garlic and brussel sprouts. I tossed in some black pepper, basil and thyme. The combination was so random, but I ended up really enjoying it. I’m going to repeat this one for sure.

To pair alongside my veggies I chose a throwback.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Nuggets 🙂

With only 190 calories and 15 g of protein these little nuggets were the perfect choice for tonight. By the end of the meal my stomach was happily satisfied 🙂

The rest of my evening consisted of showering and getting the blog ready to launch! I’m pretty wiped so I’m going to snuggle up with Liam and read a little bit of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, or any of the series for that matter. I’ve decided I’m going to read through all 7 again and see how fast I can do it. A bit of a mini, but enjoyable challenge for me. I haven’t read for pleasure in awhile.

What are some good books you have read lately?

Well that’s it for me tonight, goodnight everyone!

Until next time,

Natasha