Tag Archives: smoothie

A, Surprise, Thoughtful Gesture & Packing Up!

21 Dec

Hey readers!

I hope everyone’s travel plans are all set and everyone safely arrives wherever their destination for the holidays may be! As for the blog, let’s rewind to Thursday.

I woke up in the morning, took my time getting out of bed then packed up my bag, cleaned up my room, and made a big smoothie for breakfast to help me power through.IMG_1583 IMG_1584 IMG_1585 IMG_1587 IMG_1588It will be so nice to come home to a super clean room 🙂 I’m really looking forward to that. As for the smoothie in the blend was: 1 banana, 1/3 of a bag of Very Berry Trader Joe’s Frozen Fruit, 1 cup Fage 0% Plain Yogurt and a splash of Vanilla Almond Milk.

After I packed up for the day, I did some relaxing, took a nap, then I was off to my last time babysitting until the New Year! Weird. When I got there there was an envelope on the counter with my name on it! I love holiday cards so I was excited to open it – especially because Max had been telling me how much he disliked the photo selection for this year so I wanted to see what all his fuss was about.IMG_1589I thought the photos were super nice! Inside my card was a check, and I thought it was my weekly payment with a little extra for the holidays. However, when I spoke with Max’s parents, they informed me it was my holiday bonus for being so reliable and having a good relationship with Max! How sweet! I was blown away and didn’t really know what to say, except thank you about 6 times. It was such a sweet gesture and was an absolutely wonderful surprise.

Unfortunately, from there the evening took a bit of a nosedive. I dropped Max off at basketball practice then went to the gym to do a couple max lifts. (You slowly build up the weight and see how much you can lift for each exercise as you decrease the number of reps). I had an okay lift, then went to go grab Max, we had to buy something in Whole Foods to validate the parking, then go back to the gym to find my water bottle – only to discover it was in the car the whole time, then we got back to his house at 640. Kevin’s wrestling match started at 7!! I hopped on my bike, but it was a torrential down pouring outside. So. Much. Rain. Of course, I had chosen sweatpants as my outfit for the day so by the time I got to campus, I was soaked.

I hoped they hadn’t started with his weight class, 149, but they started at 141. By the time I got there I only caught the 3rd period of his match 😦 I then proceeded to watch the rest of the match in my soaking wet clothing eating cold leftovers.IMG_1591At the end of the match I went over to Kevin and he had this huge smile on his face and asked me “What happened?” He thought I missed the whole match because he couldn’t find me in the crowd! I was super bummed I missed the majority of his match, but he was just glad I was able to see at least part of it. I caught up with one of the younger wrestlers and when they were all done the team had Chicken Out and Kevin and his roommates brought some out of the room and sat to eat with me. I was still hungry from my meal since it didn’t have any fat in it. I actually felt like my stomach was a bottomless pit. I scarfed down a small whole wheat roll and some broccoliIMG_1592

After we all got a ride back, thank goodness, I was still hungry. Kevin made and I made icelandic pancakes together. His mom sent him the syrups they use at home so he was eager for me to try them out.

Recipe:

1. 1 cup flour

2. 1 cup milk

3. 1 egg

4. 1/2 stick butter melted

5. A little extra milk

Whip all of it together and make the pan on the stove very hot. Pour about 3/4 cup of the mix onto the pan and tilt the pan until the mix goes all the way around the circle. Flip when you see it bubbling in the middle and around the edges, then flip again in 1-2 minutes. And voila! (They’re kinda like crepes)IMG_1593And always so so delicious. Pictured above, I went with maple syrup on one, the Boysenberry Syrup (that Kevin’s mom sent us) on one, and then brown sugar inside the third with cinnamon on top. Hit. the. spot.

Tomorrow morning I leave back home for Connecticut. I think I am the most excited this year. I really need the break from working and everything in DC and am excited to get the chance to see all my friends from home. It’s going to be great 🙂

What are your travel plans for the holiday?

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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

Not Feelin so Good…

6 Dec

Hey readers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Natasha