Posts tagged ‘coffee’

Small goals + protein needs

Hi there!

I am a tired lady. My sleeping schedule is seriously out of whack at the moment…I’m finding myself staying up as late as I used to in college! Not that I’m too far out of college now or anything (I graduated in 2009), but since I’m now an “adult” and have an “adult job,” I have to be more responsible about getting a good night’s sleep so I can work hard. Last night I was up until at least 3…It wasn’t intentional, but I get such a burst of energy at night that I find it hard to imagine going to sleep when there are so many other things I could be doing!

Definitely drank a giant iced coffee this morning, made half and half with almond milk.

source: Tom and Lissie

Part of the reason I was up so late is that I worked from home yesterday and got a late start. I focused and worked hard, but it was one of those days where nothing was going right and I couldn’t get the answers I needed to get things done. It was very frustrating, so I ended up working later than I planned to try and get more done. I worked most of the day at Caribou, but this time only bought a large iced tea and brought lunch from home — a small turkey, goat cheese and avocado sandwich on whole wheat and a few strawberries (not pictured).

I finally got home and made dinner around 9, and stuck to a simple combo of whole wheat rigatoni, marinara sauce, pecorino cheese, a Trader Joe’s chicken sausage and some asparagus on the side. It was simple, hearty and delicious.

So as much as I hate doing so, I have gotten back on the calorie tracking bandwagon. I am by no means obsessive about counting calories (I think those people who know the count of every single food offhand are a little neurotic), but I’ve realized that it’s really important to help keep portion sizes in check and to make sure I’m not unknowingly going completely overboard with my daily intake. I know that I need to set small goals for myself in order to make continuous and long-lasting changes toward a healthier lifestyle.

It’s one thing to eat three slices of pizza for dinner — anyone with an ounce of sense knows that this is a caloric meal and, if they’re trying to watch their intake, can compensate to a pretty close balance. That’s not an issue for me. My problem is all the really healthy, nutritious, but calorically dense food that I eat. I love healthy food — I love seeing how many superfoods and nutrient-dense things I can pack into my day, and seeing the benefits both in how I look and feel (hello, glowing skin!). But things like nut butter, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, olive oil, avocado….all these things are very calorically dense. I love all of them, so after tracking my portions and calories very closely, I’ve realized that I usually eat more of these things than I need. Sure, I can balance it out with fewer calories from other things throughout the day, but I doubt I would be satisfied or full if I wanted to stick to the same intake goals.

My point is, as much as I despise calorie counting and feel that it can border on obsessive or disordered in some ways if you’re not careful, I think it’s an important tool that can be used periodically to help make sure you’re sticking to the nutrient and calorie intake that your body needs, but not more than your body needs. My problem isn’t too many cookies or chips — it’s the freakin’ avocado!

On a similar note, I’ve noticed that while tracking on Livestrong.com/The Daily Plate that I almost always go over the fiber and protein “nutrient goals” they set. Fiber didn’t faze me at all — lots of fiber is awesome and most people don’t get nearly enough. But the too much protein thing really surprised me! They’re suggesting I need only 41g per day which I don’t think is anywhere near enough (for health, satiety, muscles, etc), so I decided to look up how much protein I (& women in general) really need per day.

Health.com had a really useful tool that helped cut to the chase (I didn’t want to wade through a bunch of text):

via Health.com

As I suspected, I actually need more than twice as much protein as Livestrong initially told me. I’m guessing they just suggest the bare minimum since most people don’t get enough (or get far, far too much) protein, but I was still really surprised to see such a disparity. Interesting! Glad I have been making sure to get plenty and not listening to Mr. Armstrong ;)

One major accomplishment I made last night was finally setting up my wireless router. Even though I moved into my current apartment at the beginning of May, I neglected to set up a wireless connection for a variety of reasons, the main being laziness, but also because my apartment is very small. I could easily leave my laptop on my coffee table next to the modem I needed to plug it into, and it was never really a problem — just a slight annoyance, the biggest drawback being not being able to use my laptop in bed. I think overall that’s probably a good thing, but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough now that I have wireless!

Funnily enough, the only reason I couldn’t figure out how to set up the router was a faulty Ethernet cable! I thought I was going crazy or at the very least had lost my techie prowess because I couldn’t figure out this silly router for the life of me (it was used, but handed over by my parents so still in great condition). As it turned out though, the cord they included was just busted. As soon as I tried a new one (why didn’t I think of that sooner!) and followed the simple steps on the LinkSys website, I was up and running in no time! Hallelujah!

Another major accomplishment last night was making my first protein muffin, the ones that Gina is always raving about! I wanted a dose of protein (how appropriate!) but also something dessert-y. I know I’m always saying I’m not a sweets person, but for some reason lately I’ve been craving sweets much more than usual. Maybe I’m just not a junk food, processed sugary crap type of person? Even as a kid, I thought Sour Patch Kids and gummi worms were disgusting; they always gave me stomach aches!

I did a pumpkin-chocolate combo for the muffin and it turned out delicious! It was almost like a brownie, but it also wasn’t very low-cal either…I’ll post pictures and the recipe I used later, but I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting with this recipe quite a bit going forward, tweaking it to at least make it the ultimate brownie!

I’m off to finish some work and eat my lunch, then I’m having dinner in Little Italy with my parents for my dad’s birthday! I cant’ wait! Due to the freezing AC in my building, lunch is a steamy cup of lentil veggie soup (in my favorite mug!) and a cold, crunchy salad. I also brought a cup of tasty fruit that I cut up. Have a great day!

July 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm 10 comments

Crazy eats, good friends, and life’s ups and downs

Hi friends.

I was still sort of in a funk today. I got to work from home, which was nice, but right now I’m having trouble shaking these yucky feelings.

One thing that did totally make me smile was a slew of Twitter conversations from some of my favorite bloggers :) I’m starting to realize that it’s almost impossible for me to get anything done if I have Twitter open in the background (as Angela noted today on Oh She Glows), so I’ll have to check in a little more sparingly in the future, but today it really did the trick.

On a similar note, I tweeted at Tina, asking if she would blog about how to be productive when working from home. I can’t wait to see what she says!

After running a few errands and wasting a ton of time reading blogs finishing up the working day at Caribou, I called it quits and headed home to drop off my computer. I texted my friend Allison to see if she wanted to join me for a walk since it was so nice out (and the fact that I hadn’t seen her in awhile!), and she jumped at the chance, which totally made me smile. In an earlier post, I mentioned making fitness dates to keep up with your social life — I am a perfect realistic example, right here!

We strolled around the neighborhood while chatting about our respective weekends, then passed some of the tennis courts nearby. Apparently Allison is really good at tennis and has some rackets, so we’re going to try to get a court sometime soon and play! By “play,” I mean having her embarrass me horribly while I run around, red-faced and panting. Even though I totally suck at tennis (poor hand-eye coordination, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself), I’ve always thought it was fun, and it will be a nice change from the run-gym-run routine.

It was a beautiful evening.

After passing though the park, we walked over to the lake and Al showed me how to use my fancy schmancy camera. I still have no freaking clue how to use any of the manual settings on this thing.

I love living so close to the lake, and it’s amazing in the summer when all the sailboats are out :) If this is exercise, count me in!

After strolling around  and chatting a bit more (including some serious discussion over the Casey Anthony trial), we decided to head back. We made plans to get together this weekend though, which I’m super excited over because I never see Allison enough — every time we hang out, I’m reminded about how much I enjoy her company.

As I was walking back home, I realized how hungry I was for dinner. My eats are always a little wonky on work-from-home days because I wake up later than usual and either spend the day parked on the couch in my pajamas, grazing away, or head to a nearby coffee shop and end up getting coffee, iced tea, or occasionally a baked treat.

For example, this was a work-from-home breakfast one week:

deceivingly healthy!

And here was a lunch from last week:

turkey, swiss and spinach -- NOM

nom nom

See? Wildly inconsistent. Today I had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean! Crunch for breakfast with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Lunch was my leftover massaged kale salad alongside a small bowl of whole wheat rigatone topped with a spritz of olive oil and some pecorino romano.

A short while later I was hungry again, so I had a bowl of blueberries. They were SO good though, that I had to have more, so I finished off the pint. I seriously can’t resist summer berries, mmmm.

After working some more, I hit the point where I needed to get out of the apartment so that’s when I went to Caribou. Before walking out the door, I had a Kashi waffle topped with that same cream cheese, fig spread and chia topping to tide me over. While running post-work errands, I nibbled on a mini cherry pie Larabar (not my favorite), then did the whole walkin’ thang with Allison. See! Eats all over the place!

Guess what I had for dinner, though? :D

EAT MEEEE

Yep, another FlatOut pizza. I am so obsessed with these, and I’m getting really good at making them! This one started with a new-to-me type of marinara sauce — it was Bella Terra Organic‘s Tomato Basil, and it was SO GOOD. It had just the right balance between savory and sweet, and tasted super fresh. I wasn’t thrilled about the 25% daily value of sodium in one serving, but I eat too much salt anyway so I was able to look past it, haha. Overall I highly recommend this brand!

Next, I topped the toasted wrap with the usual spinach, then added some sliced roma tomatoes, a few leftover sliced grape tomatoes, yellow bell pepper slices, creamy goat cheese, a few shreds of mozzarella and a sprinkle of pecorino romano. I made sure to do less cheese this time around (although it doesn’t look like it) to see how it would fare without as much fat, and I was so glad I did! The runniness of the marinara, cooked spinach and tomatoes made it super juicy, so you better believe I licked the plate clean. I’m obsessed with these pizzas!

On the side, I cooked up some Alexia spicy sweet potato fries. Note to self: your oven is very small, so it cooks things (and therefore burns things) much faster. Plan accordingly.

I totally burned these, but they were so good I ate all of them anyway! Well, okay, maybe not that one on the left side…But seriously, the combination of the sweetness from the sweet potato and the chipotle seasoning is to-die for, and at only 130 calories and 4 grams of fat, along with loads of vitamin A per serving (30 fries!!!) these are totally a great bang for your nutritional buck. Go out and buy these. Now.

So I got about halfway through this post when I realized that I left my computer charger at Caribou — d’oh! Had to call and frantically run back to retrieve it, but thankfully people in my neighborhood are awesome and neighborly, and someone turned it in to the register. Phew.

Earlier today I got some fantastic news — I called my insurance company about a bill I had received from Quest Diagnostics, a medical testing lab, for $400. Not only do I believe that medical insurance exists to pay things like this, but I also believe it’s insane that they would charge me for super important tests of the female persuasion. After chatting with the lady for about five minutes, she offered to call the company and check into it. As it turns out, there was just a paperwork error on their end, and I never should have gotten the bill. I was SO SO happy to hear this news, I can’t even tell you. I do NOT have that kind of money, plus — where would that leave me to be able to tame the wild hair? ;)

Sadly, I also got some really awful news about half an hour ago, but I’m going to hold off on posting about that, as I still need somet time to process it. If you have a spare second, please send some positive thoughts out into the universe…Not for me, though. Lately it seems as if bad things keep happening to good people left and right. Gotta push the negative out with some positive thoughts.

I’m off to bed — last night I stayed up way too late again reading The Hunger Games, but it’s so good that I can’t put it down! I’m almost finished!

What are you guys reading lately?

July 7, 2011 at 12:37 am 3 comments

PROOF that I’ve been cookin’ up a storm!

egg white, veggie sausage and Muenster breakfast sammie. HEAVEN!

I wasn’t lying, friends…I’m just lazy. Some photos of the past month and a half or so…enjoy!

a recent bowl of greek yogurt, fruit and flax on a sunny day

a curious onlooker

close-up, mmm

steaks from a recent date night with Amy :)

the finished product, with garlic Naan and a rocket + olive oil + mozz salad

packing...there were SO MANY more boxes than this

French press...

...caramel macchiato!

my audience

parsnip and rutabega fries, a la PBFingers!

fish and chips, PLW-ified!

closeup

avocado + goat cheese, magic combination

garlicky Brussels sprouts, emphasis on the garlic :D

 

June 1, 2011 at 1:53 am Leave a comment

Lesson learned

This looks tasty, right?

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin

This is what I had for breakfast #2 this morning. It seems simple enough — multigrain english muffin, egg white, cheddar cheese and turkey bacon.

Think again. While the calorie count and protein/fiber combo is great, the ingredient list isn’t any better than McDonald’s:

Ingredients

multigrain english muffin (unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid], water, whole wheat flour, farina, yeast, sugar, molasses, flaxseed, honey, wheat gluten, preservatives [calcium propionate, sorbic acid], salt, soybean oil, rye, corn cereal, dextrose, ground corn, monoglycerides, brown rice, oats, soybeans, triticale, barley, millet, caramel color, whey, soy flour, nonfat milk), egg white patty (egg whites, whey powder, unmodified corn starch, salt, nonfat dry milk, butter flavor [sunflower oil, natural flavors, medium chain triglycerides, palm kernal oil], xanthan gum, guar gum, liquid pepper extract), reduced fat cheddar cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, vitamin a palmitate), turkey bacon (turkey, water, sugar, salt, natural smoke flavoring, natural flavoring, cottonseed oil). contains: wheat, soy, egg, milk

Source: Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin | Starbucks Coffee Company.

Gross. Seriously, Starbucks — GROSS. You should be ashamed of yourselves for selling crap like this. It tasted good, but it would taste even better if I could pronounce half of the shit in here! Why does a “healthy” breakfast sandwich need caramel color, corn starch and “natural flavors,” which I feel I can safely assume means MSG.

Never buying this again. Lesson learned.

March 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

Meat coma

I have been seriously craving something gooey, cheesy and decadent the past few days, as I mentioned yesterday. I thought at first I wanted pizza, but it was really just anything carb-y and gooey that I wanted. I’m a big believer in letting yourself indulge occasionally so that you don’t go overboard at a moment of weakness — it’s a really good practice of moderation. I’m still working on doing the indulging thing within limits though, as I tend to go crazy on portion sizes if I’m not mindful of it.

Thinking it would quell the craving, I made some eggplant parmesan after the gym last night. It was FANTASTIC and I wholeheartedly chowed down on dinner last night…took some fun pictures and will post them along with the recipe tomorrow becausessseeee — I got my CF card reader in the mail last night!

Apparently, though, the eggplant didn’t cut it, because when I heard the Gaztro-Wagon was coming for lunch today, I got my dolla bills ready.

Yeah, I just wolfed down a huge sandwich. Slow-cooked beef, cabbage, apple, gouda and bacon, all wrapped up in a warm piece of naan.

Cue drooling.

Picture 2

source

I’m pretty sure I forgot to breathe before diving into this thing face first. Needless to say, I didn’t take a picture.

Unfortunately I’m feeling kinda yucky now — a little too full but thankfully not stuffed, weighed down and sleepy. Just a reminder that my body runs best on whole grains, fruits and veggies + lots of water. But this was a fun indulgence nonetheless.

In other “news” — hah! news… — I got my very first french press in the mail last night as well! I’ve heard so many good things about them but always thought they were complicated and/or expensive. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t make a huge mess while making my first batch this morning (grounds EVERYWHERE, oh my), but I knew that my massive $24 Amazon investment (seriously, the one I bought cost a measly 24 bucks) was worth it the second my fancy brew hit my lips.

French press coffee is so good. Go out and buy one. Today. Better yet, do it right now. Here is the one I picked out for myself, huge emphasis being on the “shatterproof” part.

I’m no coffee connoisseur, but from what I understand, the French press allows all the oils of the beans to stay in the brew, giving it a richer, smoother and less acidic taste. My morning mug didn’t have any bitterness to it, and it had a much…fuller? mouthfeel. It was GOOD.

Hope you have a lovely afternoon!

February 24, 2011 at 11:54 am 1 comment


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