Posts filed under ‘Favorite products’

Burning a hole in my pocket


I am totally beat today, guys. My weekend certainly gave me a beating. I’ll do a more in-depth rundown later (complete with a couple hilarious pictures), but I wanted to pop in and say hello first. (Plus, I totally can’t focus at work right now…heh).

Part of the reason? PACKAGES!

Confession: I’m totally obsessed with Amazon. I use it to buy almost everything I need, if it can be found on the site. I have purchased everything from chia seeds, to bedding, to appliances and, of course, books. Most recently, I ordered a fabric shower curtain liner (because the makeshift, plastic-y gross one I bought was overstaying its intended temporary welcome), a lunch bag, and a spillproof bottle for smoothies when I take them to work as breakfast. I can’t help myself when it comes to Amazon — their one-click ordering is a TERRIBLE, yet oh-so wonderful invention. Whenever my bank account is burnin’ a hole in my pocket, I go wild with the ‘Zon.

Side note: I’ve noticed that the Fitnessista, Allie (FFF) and Tina (Carrots n Cake) all have really neat to-go-smoothie bottles (especially Fitnessista). Mine are lacking. Anyone else have any other cool finds?

I picked up this guy:

I got it in this nifty green color, although now I’m sort of wishing I had gone with the pink ;) I haven’t tried it out yet, but I can’t wait to give it a test run soon! Should be a great addition to my collection, where I already have a Life Factory and a Camelback, and can be used for the gym too. I love fun water bottles :)

I’m super-duper excited about the lunch bag. Since I bring my lunch to work almost every day now, it’s starting to look a little pathetic when I roll in with a plastic Walgreens bag. I figured I should splurge a bit with the money saved from packing a lunch, and get myself a proper lunch tote. It finally got here, and I’m so pumped!

Please excuse the crappy camera phone pictures. I don’t usually have my good cam with me at work.

This is from Built, and it’s  the “Gourmet Getaway Lunch Tote.” It’s insulated, which is great.

the inside

for size comparison, next to my giant 6-cup OXO container

all together now

It seems like this will have room for everything I need and more, but won’t get too bulky or cumbersome (even though it looks huge in these pictures). It has several folded areas that helps it conform to whatever shape it takes from the stuff inside, and the handles are also obviously very handy (ba dum chhhhh! zing!). I can’t wait to carry this in every day!

It should be able to hold all my goodies, like this:

And these:

Seeing a common theme here? ;)

I finally snapped a pic of my Greek Quinoa Salad + salad combo, since this is like the bajillionth time I’ve had it for lunch. It’s just so good!

How scrumptious does that look?? With this batch, I subbed cannellini beans for chickpeas, because it was what I had on hand, but I didn’t like it as much. I also brought some black cherry Chobani and blueberries to have on the side, but haven’t eaten them yet since I’ll be at work late.

Not posting the pic of the shower curtain liner because…well, it’s a shower curtain liner.

Really though, is there anything more exciting that getting fun stuff in the mail?

I actually ordered this stuff weeks ago, but it came in two separate shipments (there is an additional re-usable travel cup still on its way), so I didn’t think much of it when I didn’t receive the stuff right away. Usually when I order “essentials” or housewares on Amazon, it’s not urgent, so I don’t mind waiting around for the stuff to get there. When I finally got around to wondering where my stuff was, I logged onto Amazon and saw that my package had apparently already been delivered, to my apartment, over a week ago.


This didn’t make sense because I definitely didn’t see the package in our mailbox area. I tried to call USPS to figure out what was going on, but I quickly learned that their automated phone system is THE ABSOLUTE WORST, akin to what you would expect from post office service. I must have gone in circles through the same menu six or seven times before hanging up. Ugh.

I called Amazon, and they assured me that the package had been delivered according to the records (I told them that yes, I saw this too when I looked it up, but I definitely didn’t have the package). Having worked in customer service for years, I really make a strong effort to be nice and courteous to the person on the phone (unless they are a total asshole and/or rude to me) because I remember how much easier that made it for me to fix problems when people would call in. The lady on the phone had to put me on hold several times, so I was expecting them to apologize and tell me that I just had to suck it up and eat the cost of the lost package. But to my surprise, she came back and told me that if the package didn’t arrive on my doorstep by that night, they would ship out a replacement, no questions asked. I was so happy! Amazon seriously has the whole customer service thing nailed — they won’t fight with you, you’ll get a human being on the phone within 15 seconds of calling, and they always follow up to make sure they’ve solved the issue. I was so happy and will continue to buy things through Amazon if their price is best (which it usually is!).

On that note, US Postal Service: YOU SUCK. I wish it were easier to avoid using them, but at least I can do so for most packages.

I ate lots of crap this weekend. I kept portion sizes in check, which felt great, and also made sure to compensate by eating clean and smaller portions throughout the day when I knew I’d be eating junk later in the day. On Saturday night, my friend Megan came into town and we hit up DMK since she had never been there before. Like my last visit, I ordered the #2. We also split the bacon + blue cheese fries (small portion) and the fried okra + pickles (YUM). I also had a delicious fancy drink before dinner came, but I can’t remember the name. Again, please excuse the poor photos — it was so dark inside!

I walked away a very happy girl, mmm.

On Friday night, some of this stuff was consumed while relaxing with some new friends on a torch-lit back patio:

Even though there were lots of festivities, I kept my drink consumption to 1-2 drinks each night, with the exception of Saturday, which was a girls’ night ;) That’s a whole different animal, my friends.

I’ll update ya on my comings and goings on Sunday and Monday later, as well as some more info about the latest running injuries I’m dealing with :/ Blegh!

Have a great rest of your day! And just for laughs, a hilarious post-5k picture in my full Pride gear. Enjoy :D


July 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm 4 comments

Grocery woes + Greek quinoa salad

Hi friends — happy Thursday!

pretty, huh?

I had another impossible time waking up this morning. I stayed up late talking to the guy I just ended things with for a couple grueling hours. He informed me yesterday afternoon that he may be moving to Portland in a month and I was completely flabbergasted. He is still intent on becoming friends, and while I really do care about him, I’m just not sure I can do it. We’ve been doing this awkward back and forth for awhile now, and it’s getting exhausting, so I’m really not sure what to do. I think I still see him as someone I dated, and don’t know if I could maintain the distance to be okay with being just friends. You know, not kissing or holding hands…etc. :(

Have you ever decided to become friends with someone you dated longer than a quick fling, but not long enough for a full-fledged relationship?

Anywho, I’m totally exhausted. We finally got off the phone at 1:30 in the morning, and after that I proceeded to tackle the horrific mound of (stinky) dishes in my sink. I don’t like this living alone thing — I’m turning into a freaking slob! I’m rarely home these days because who wants to sit home by themselves in the summertime when you could be out having fun? But that means I’m dashing in and out, and never spend any time cleaning up. Who wants to come over and help? :)

After getting the news about the guy’s potential move, I was totally bummed out, so naturally, I went grocery shopping.

You guys, I am a food hoarder. Some people stockpile shoes (although I do tend to do this too…) — I stockpile groceries. I have enough food to feed 50 people for a week. It doesn’t help that it’s nearly impossible to leave Trader Joe’s without spending at least $50. I left with lots of tasty produce, some quinoa (theirs is always cheaper), some frozen fruit for smoothies (ditto — you won’t find cheaper pineapple and mango anywhere else), their amazing chicken meatballs, some Kona coffee (!!) and a few other random things that I can’t remember. I think the bill was something like $83….ugh. But I can’t help myself!!!!!

I also picked up this nifty reusable insulated bag, even though I already have like 38492340239450 reusable grocery bags. Again, friends — hoarder, I tells ya. HELP ME STOP.

After feeling crappy about everything all day (despite being able to work from home – aka Starbucks), I headed home, noshed on a small banana, cleaned up a bit, and tossed on my gym gear after winning an internal battle of whether to go or not. It was absolutely insanely gorgeous out last night, so it would have been the perfect time for a run, but I’m starting to think that I overtrained and gave myself shin splits.

I’m not exactly sure how one can overtrain for a freaking 5K, but I guess these legs are not ideally suited for running on hard surfaces. This totally bums me out, because for the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying running outside. I’m considering asking my GP to refer me to a physical therapist so we can take a look at what is causing my knee pain, as well as this shin-splint-y feeling. Have any of you guys ever had shin splints?

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in ages. I’d been avoiding it because, due to my total (okay, not total, but certainly not up to par) lack of exercise commitment, I was almost certain that I had gained some weight. I’ve also been feeling pretty down on myself, self-image-wise, and my clothes have been feeling a little snug, so I really haven’t wanted to stare those numbers in the face. But I think it’s important that I know so I can get myself back on track.

Bad news: I had gained some weight, as I thought.


Good news: It wasn’t that much. If I can hop back on the exercise train and get my freaking act together, I think I should be okay. Right now, I just want my goals to be about eating and feeling better (e.g. getting more protein so my hair stops clogging up the drain in the tub — ugh, gross) and fitting comfortably (and feeling fabulous) in my clothes. Eventually I think I do need to set a general poundage goal, but I’m still unsure of how I feel about that. We’ll have to wait and see.

So, um, I’m kind of thinking I need to get myself out on some dates again. But I’m tired of meeting morons and jerkface buttheads (I’m so mature). Chicago ladies — where should I go to find some eligible bachelors that aren’t of the John Barleycorn persuasion? I live in the ultimate no-man’s-land, straddling Wrigleyville and Boystown. To the east, there are gay — albeit gorgeous — men as far as the eye can see. To the west, it’s the land of the Bro-skis, a class of men so undesirable that I’d rather spoon my cats for the rest of my life. Waaaaah.

I’m crazily excited for my lunch today. I packed a salad consisting of butter lettuce + radicchio, a Greek quinoa salad I threw together, tomatoes, leftover avocado and some organic pea shoots. I grabbed a banana to have on the side. Here’s how you make the Greek quinoa salad (makes about 4 servings):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • a bunch of full-fat feta (as much or little as you want)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced/diced
  • 1/2 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and keep in the fridge, covered. It should stay good about 4-5 days. This stuff is great because it makes packing a lunch SO easy. I topped my salad with it today and can’t wait to try it out with some olive oil vinaigrette as a dressing. Lots of fiber and protein, too — yum! Feel free to tweak the recipe as desired — you can add onions, olives, whatever floats your boat. I recommend using the full-fat feta for two reasons: 1) I think low-fat cheese is disgusting, and 2) low-fat cheese doesn’t have enough flavor, so you end up using more anyway. If you really like the low-fat stuff though, go for it.

I’m off to finish the day. Have a good one!

June 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm 5 comments

Rainy day + sugary sweets

Sometimes I have to laugh at the ridiculousness of my life. I was in the middle of my lunch and realized that I needed to go downstairs to switch my laundry out. Since my cats are fatty vultures, they will immediately jump up and sniff/lick/consume any food or drink that I leave out, regardless of what it is. For this reason, I am always balancing or hiding my food in weird places when I walk away. Today, my lunch was perched on top of the fridge for ten minutes.

I had a delicious open-faced turkey sandwich with TJ’s sliced goat cheese and 1/3 of an avocado, and a salad with chopped romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow bell pepper and TJ’s champagne pear vinaigrette. I just picked up some sliced turkey from the deli yesterday after finishing off the gross pre-packaged turkey I bought last time when the deli was closed. It was the natural, no preservatives kind, but still — that stuff is so slimy and just not tasty. I prefer Boar’s Head ovengold much more :)

See the little flecks of Gorgonzola in the dressing? Mmmm! It’s pretty low-cal too, I think only 45 calories in a serving. I always keep this stuff in the fridge because it makes any salad taste like it came from a restaurant.

Half a banana was also enjoyed on the side.

I was able to sleep in and work from home today (yayyy work-from-home Wendesdays!) and it’s a good thing too, because it’s bleary and rainy out! It seemed like it was actually pretty nice out up until about 1 o’clock, but I was a good little worker bee and stayed inside near the computer, so I can’t be sure. Now it’s raining pretty steadily though, and it’s nice to have the sound in the background while I’m working away.

Yesterday after leaving work, I hopped on the bus to find that it was uber-crowded, so I had to stand up at the very front next to the driver, and it felt like I was playing a video game or something. I was RIGHT up against the windshield. Traffic was bad, so I downloaded a new phone app that is similar to the Hipstamatic for the iPhone and played around with it. Here is an overly-Hipsteresque shot of my ridiculously treacherous-looking spot on the bus.

Crazy, no? That happens from time to time on the bus because it’s the very last stop before it runs express up Lake Shore Drive. It was a beautiful day with tons of people running and biking along the lake shore path, with lots of sailboats out on the water too, but I couldn’t snap a decent enough shot. Sorry! Here’s another.

This app is so neat, I can’t wait to play around with it more. Expect many more hipster-y, vintage-looking pictures in the future!

When I got home, I made a quick run (hah!) to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for the evening’s activities. I seriously don’t think I can leave a grocery store with a bill under $50. Honestly. I think it’s impossible. Thankfully it was still lower than it would have been normally, because strawberries were $1.50 a pack!!! Talk about a kid in a candy store — I went nuts, and left with four packages :D

My friend Laura met me in front of my apartment soon after, and after dropping off the groceries, we walked over to a new restaurant that just opened in the neighborhood called Taverna 750. Immediately after seeing the signs and menu go up a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try this place. It had lots of small plates, homemade cellos (limoncello, orangecello, etc) and a fantastic drink list, all with an Italian twist.

I started off with their signature 750 cocktail, which was very similar to a cosmopolitan, but was made with homemade limoncello and came with a sidecar!

It was STRONG, but very delicious. And how cute is the little sidecar in a bucket of ice? The drink was $10, but I felt like I really got my money’s worth with the extra little carafe. Of course I shared with Laura, and she got a shooter of homemade pistachio-cello. It was sweet and very smooth!

Next we each received our own antipastos. She got a chilled carrot soup, and I got a mozzarella dish wrapped in phyllo dough…they were both amazing.

That’s truffle honey drizzled over the top!

We shared two small plates after that: a slow-roasted pork shoulder in a tomato sauce with creamy polenta and a pesto drizzle (OMG), and a “pizzette” with brie, figs, pepperoni and poppy seeds (OMG!). This is my kind of restaurant.

The polenta was SO creamy and amazing, and paired with the savory meat and sauce, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I will never turn down slow-roasted pork shoulder, it’s one of my favorite dishes. The pizza was amazing too, and I thought the poppy seeds (typo alert – I wrote “poopy seeds” at first…heh) were such a neat and unexpected addition. I can’t wait to come back and try everything on their menu!

For dessert, Laura and I planned on making strawberry rhubarb pie (!) after I texted her earlier in the day saying that it sounded really good (drawback of looking at food all day for work). When we looked at some of the recipes, though, it seemed like the combination of a few tired girls and my very small kitchen might mean we should pick something a little easier. We decided (after a stiff cocktail, of course) that Emeril’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble with Irish Whiskey Butter sounded perfect to these two lushes.

makin' whiskey butter


ready for the oven! see all that berry goodness at the bottom?

the finished product

I have to admit, this dessert was very good, but it was far too sweet for my tastes. I have never been a big dessert or sugar person, and hardly eat much of it from day to day, so when I try something really sweet, it usually turns me off. While the taste was fantastic, I had a hard time adjusting to the sweetness with that first bite. The sauce was also very sweet, so I needed to gulp down a gigantic glass of water after a few tastes.

I think next time (if there is a next time), I’d make this with 1/3 of the sugar or even less, since the strawberries were so naturally sweet. I would also try to figure out a way to make the sauce with less sugar, because once that melted into the crumble, it was just that much more sugar. If you’re a big sweets fan though, this would definitely be for you!

I decided to have dessert after my lunch today, and mixed a small portion of leftover SR crumble into a big blob of Fage 0% and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top — I think this was the key here. The yogurt’s tang really set off some of the sweetness of the dessert, and the insanely indulgent creaminess of the Fage (seriously, this stuff is worth the splurge — it is leaps and bounds beyond every other Greek yogurt out there) contrasted nicely with the crunch of the crumble.

You better believe I licked the bowl clean! Yum.

I have a bit more work to do today, and I’m multitasking by doing some long-overdue laundry that has been staring at me for weeks. There are about nineteen piles of clean clothes on my bed, and every hanging surface available is covered in clothes hanging dry. I’d like to get to the gym at some point before it gets too late, but I have a feeling this is going to take a looooong time tonight…wish me luck.

Catch ya later!

June 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm 6 comments

Fatso Friday

Okay, I  don’t really think I’m a fatso (most of the time). I’m just feeling super bloated because I’m dealing with lady issues. Blegh.

What better way to combat that nasty, puffy feeling than heading to the gym? (Bonus points if this is the first time you’ve exercised in a week).

I wore the free t-shirt I scored from Zipcar at SausageFest last week (thanks, Zipcar!), and did about 25 minutes on the lazy person’s recumbent bike with Fitness mag, then did a quick and sweaty 2 miles. I hit a 11:57 pace!!! (I know this is pretty slow for many of you, but getting under 12 for me is still an accomplishment).

if you give me free t-shirts, I can guarantee they will work their way into the gym rotation!

this little lady was watching and wondering why I was taking weird pictures

Even though it wasn’t the most intense workout, it felt good to get back and get moving. I can really feel the difference in my body after seriously slacking in my workouts the past couple months, and it is not a good change. Must. Step it. Up.

Lunches lately have been variations on the same thing…turkey/chicken sammies and salads! Simple, easy and delicious.

open faced whole wheat naan with turkey, topped with swiss melted over avocado -- so killer!

leftover buffalo chicken on a sandwich thin, topped with, you guessed it -- avocado! (can you tell I'm obsessed?)

turkey, swiss and Hellmann's light, alongside a big old salad. you can't tell with my shitty camera phone, but this romaine (organic on sale!) was BRIGHT green!

delicious mix of arugula, cukes, leeks, carrots and pintos. random, but tasty! (I love raw leeks in salads)

my favorite -- yesterday's salad, with the neon green romaine, cukes, rep pep and cherry tomatoes. a classic!


The weather this weekend is supposed to continue to be considerably cooler than the heatwave we just had. I’ll take it, even if it means a little rain. I do not handle 95+ degrees well!

my big brother, melting along with me at the Ray LaMontagne concert

the sweaty masses -- check out the total bro-ski in the pink shorts

I have plans to go to a few festivals this weekend — RibFest being one of them :D Last week at SausageFest, I saw a Vizsla and immediately thought of Julie!! (and Sadie!)

don't be fooled, this was no Sadie!


I also felt like I earned major cool points with the (attractive) owner for knowing how to pronounce Vizsla :D

Well, I’m off to finish up some work, then hit the gym after work. I got a new (hot pink!!) gym bag from Old Navy yesterday using a coupon and my Groupon, so it was super cheap! It’s little things like new gym bags that get me excited to go to the gym again, so it wasn’t too hard for me to pack up my bag to take to work this morning. Baby steps!!

Hope you’re having a great Friday, and if you need a little boost, check out Ali’s awesome “I Refuse” post today!

June 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm 5 comments


I didn’t charge my camera battery after I used it the last time, so it’s dead.

This is tragic, because I couldn’t show you my breakfast this morning.

It had these:

Some of this:

A little this, a little that:

But best of all, it had some of these guys. Yeah — I finally made Katie’s fudge babies! I honestly didn’t think I could pull it off, but they truly are as easy as she says. I added some vanilla extract, a quick grind of sea salt and a dab of cinnamon to mine (not to mention the *accidental* extra heap of cocoa) and they were SO GOOD. I rolled them up into tiny balls and snacked on quite a few before I had to convince myself to put them away in the fridge.

I promise I will take a picture, but for now, just daydream about how wonderful this breakfast was…I enjoyed every single bite. Immensely.

That is all.

May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm 2 comments


So remember my embarrassingly self-indulgent sobbing fit the other night?

Well, coming into work the next day wasn’t as horrific as you’d think, because of this stuff.

Fresh cosmetics are so insanely adorable, lovely smelling and insanely fabulous that I regularly find myself lusting over them in Sephora for inappropriately long periods of time. Unfortunately, they’re also quite pricey (what in Sephora isn’t?), so I don’t purchase them as often as I’d like to, but thankfully I tried this stuff on a whim.

I have horrible undereye circles, and even though I was blessed to be spared from super puffy bags, even the slightest bit of puffiness exaggerates the crimson half moons regularly hiding out under my eyes. I know that most undereye treatments are just the winning combination of caffeine + hydration, but hey — it works for a reason, right?

This stuff isn’t magic, and it doesn’t work miracles, but if you’re regularly out or up late (check and check), have spent an evening getting intimate with your pillow and a box of kleenex (check), or just look like shit occasionally (check!), try this eye gel. I’ve gotten into the habit of dabbing a tiny bit on every morning (the bottle is itty bitty but you don’t need to use much), and I swear it takes me from looking like I’ve had 6-7 hours of sleep (dream) rather than 4-5 (reality).

I didn’t have the foresight to take some before and after shots for you (although now I’m thinking I wouldn’t want my nasty, crusty eyes on here anyway), so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you don’t trust me (hey, understandable!), head over to Sephora and chat one of the salespeople up. Often, they will give you a sample of a product you’re thinking about buying but aren’t ready to commit to just yet. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I’ve built up quite a collection of “sample” perfumes of my own doing this…hey, I don’t need an entire bottle of sticky sweet vanilla perfume, but I wanted to try it!

Let me know how this stuff works for you, kittens.

May 12, 2011 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Never enough hours in the day [+ pasta rosa verde]

Why, hello there.. *bats eyelashes*

I hope your Tuesday was a lovely one! Mine sure wasn’t, but I’m trying to get myself into bed and move past it…

Remember how I wanted to get plenty of sleep last night? Yeah, that didn’t happen =/ I got caught up making my lunch for today and the stinkin’ pearled barley took for-EVER to cook — even in the rice cooker! After waiting for that to finish, I still hadn’t wound down for bed and couldn’t get myself to go to sleep. I didn’t end up passing out around 2am.

Needless to say, I was tired and a big cranky pants all day.

But I still didn’t work out. What is going on with me? I feel like I’m in a funk :(

At least my lunch was delicious — with the pain-in-the-ass barley (not really, it was super easy) I mixed in some chicken thighs that I popped in the slow cooker with onions, veggie broth and poultry spice on high for about 3 hours. When I reheated it this afternoon, the chicken just fell apart and mixed in with the barley. Super tasty! (Make sure to sneak some of the chicken slow cooker juice though, or else it will be too dry). I also had a side salad. I would have taken a picture, but to be honest, it was pretty boring looking. How about a picture of a puppy instead? ;)

this is what I feel like right now

After work, I had another appointment with my chiropractor’s assistant (or colleague? I’m not really sure of her title) but she does more massage work than the crackin’ stuff. I saw her because I’ve been having issues with my sinuses, and boy did she help. I’m still feeling a little skeptical because I can’t figure out why my health insurance would pay for weekly 30 minute massages…because that’s what these are! Okay…maybe not JUST like a massage, but I always walk away feeling incredible, loose and refreshed. She spent a good amount of time massaging my face [that sounds super weird, doesn’t it?], concentrating specifically on my sinuses and temples — it felt amazing. I was honestly trying not to melt into the table…

As I was leaving, she told me that I need to be wearing a hat when it’s cold out to prevent headaches [I’m not really sure I understand this part.] I laughed and told her my mom would agree with her, to which she responded that I must be the same age as her grandson. The natural jokester that I am (hah), I laughed and asked if he was cute. Apparently that was the magic line, because within seconds she had me writing down my Facebook information and told me she would have him contact me…and she was dead serious! Bahahah! I tried to hold the laughter in and finally burst through the door outside to laugh my ass off….oh my.

Unfortunately when I left to run a few errands afterward, my hair and face were a big greasy mess from the lotion she used. I was a sight to behold, let me tell you…

On the trek back home, the weather dipped a few degrees cooler [and it was already cold, crummy and windy] and started drizzling a bit — just as my tummy was starting to grumble. The icky weather [and relative lack of all things carb/cheese loaded] had me craving something gooey and comforting, but I didn’t want to bust my calorie goals (more on this in a minute), so I decided to play around with a few things hiding in my freezer.


frozen shrimp + frozen broccoli

See my Misto hiding in the background? ;) I sauteed about 3 oz. [this is a complete estimate] of frozen cooked shrimp in some olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. I know you are supposed to thaw shrimp before heating it, but I always just toss it in the pan — is this bad? I don’t see the point in taking 2 separate steps!


cheese and pasta -- now we're talkin!

After cooking about 3/4 cup of whole wheat rigatoni (my favorite pasta shape, next to orrechiette), I poured 1/2 cup Whole Foods marinara on top and mixed in about an ounce of WF goat cheese, then popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. I then mixed in about a cup of broccoli florets, mixed it all together and sprinkled some parmesan on top. Oh goody!


I love the combination of colors in this dish — the red and green look so tasty together!


shrimp time

This may not be quite restaurant quality, but it’s close enough, easy as pie to put together, and pretty healthy to boot. Win!

For dessert, I had a few small squares of Green & Black’s 85% cacao dark chocolate and a bit of Malbec rose. I had thought about hitting the gym, but by the time my food had digested, it would have been at least 9pm — and that just sucks.

I talked a bit yesterday about how crummy I am feeling lately about my self image…One of the great things about living in Chicago is all the incredible restaurants + bars that are a hop, skip and a jump away. But that is also one of the worst things about living in Chicago as well — if you go out to eat/drink regularly, you are taking in a lot of extra calories!

I thought I was doing a good enough job keeping my intake in check, but apparently I have not, as I am feeling very uncomfortable in my skin lately. Add to that the jitters of dating someone new, and, have a recipe for anxiety. So, dear friends…I have begun counting calories again.

BLEGH. I despise counting calories. It is so tedious, so time-consuming and so….sucky! I don’t want to know that my favorite foods are veritable calorie bombs because that means I can no longer eat them! But as any “dieter” will tell you, it keeps you accountable for everything you put in your mouth, and therefore it works. I don’t plan on doing it for long, but I feel that right now I need to get my food priorities back in check and re-learn calorie estimation and budgeting so I can still splurge on dates or weekends [or simply when I want to!]

I’ve been using because they seem to have the most comprehensive list of foods. Here is a snapshot from my tally today:

This isn’t my usual intake of calories, but since I am trying to slim down, I’ve set it so I can drop a certain amount of weight per week [whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen]. The thing that I don’t understand is their goals for protein and fiber — why on earth would they imply that it’s bad to get more of those things, especially if you’re trying to lose weight?! I mean, they keep you full + satisfied — how the hell would someone eat a low calorie diet without adequate protein and fiber and still stay full? Kinda makes me laugh…silly Livestrong app, I know more about nutrition than you! ;)

The only reason I’m over on cholesterol is because of the shimpies I had for dinner, and I’m okay with that :)

They just released the Android app for Livestrong’s calorie tracker, but since it is so new it has horrible reviews and costs a whopping $2.99! I think I will wait until they drop the price and fix the bugs, thank you very much!

If all goes according to plan, my original goal of hitting the gym 3x a week (minimum) should do just fine in combination with calorie reduction for weight loss. The real trick now is going to be sticking to the numbers and getting enough sleep.

Speaking of which, lately I am really feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. How do you gals do it, between working full time, errands, gym time, showers/prettying up, dating, friends, cooking dinner, prepping lunch….my head is spinning just writing this. It’s only Tuesday and I feel like the rest of my week is completely planned out, with nary a second to spare =/

More details to come, but some of said plans involve butterflies and pencil skirts.

I’m hitting the sack early for real this time. Night kiddos!

March 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

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