Posts tagged ‘drinking’

Weekend warrior

Hi friends!

So excited for some of the feedback and crazy pageviews (more than I’ve ever gotten!) from my guest post on FFF. I am still in awe of how many people stopped over to check out PLW, even if they didn’t decide to come back, haha. I love Ali’s blog, so I was so excited for the opportunity! :)

My weekend was pretty interesting. I babysat on Saturday, which actually turned out to be a lot of fun. The little boy is 16 mo. old, and I’m starting to adore him. He can be a little difficult at times (e.g. SCREAMING bloody murder when I turn off Finding Nemo), but for the most part he is such a sweet little guy and he is starting to warm up to me — I got a bunch of hugs when I left! I nannied all throughout college to make extra money, so getting to babysit occasionally now just melts my heart. I love little kids and know that someday when I have my own, I’m gonna make a pretty great mama.

BABIES! IN A VASE!

That is not, however, going to happen anytime soon.

If you’re looking for some great fitness-friendly family and prego posts, check out the Fitnessista’s Family page!

After my babysitting gig, I had some serious errands to do and spend most of the afternoon running around like a chicken with my head cut off. These were special errands with a very specific focus, but they turned out to be a total bust. I may or may not elaborate on this, but at this point I am feeling totally let down, like all of my effort was for nothing. I don’t deal well with disappointment/let-downs, so I was feeling pretty down in the dumps.

That evening, I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends, and ended up drinking far too much. I had a pretty good time, but the night also ended on a sour note. I haven’t been on out a drankin’ bender in awhile, so I clearly was not prepared for the traditional drunken feast when I arrived home. Case in point: I woke up at 4:30am, all of my lights on, with the other half of the bagel I apparently couldn’t (forgot to?) finish, cream cheese side down, on the floor, next to the plate.

Phone was next to me, not plugged in, with half-written text message to someone I never talk to, reading, “gjkj gh popsicl hahahah.”

Yeah…still trying to figure that one out. Any drunk-ese translators out there?

Sunday, after sleeping in and sleeping off a wicked hangover, was spent at Laura’s house, hibernating, eating pizza and watching movies on Netflix. We ordered fresh tomato and basil, but Laura unknowingly ordered their thick-crust pizza, which was essentially a loaf of bread with pizza toppings. I wish I had thought to snap a picture, because this stuff was EPICALLY and almost comically thick, but we were far more focused on finding a comfortable spot on her obnoxious futon (sorry, Laura!) and picking out a good movie.

The pizza was good though, and after figuring out how to pick away some of the doughy mass, I had about four square slices for “lunch,” then another 2 or three a few hours later for “dinner.” This is what happens when I’m too hungover to eat anything until 4 o’clock.

Interestingly enough, we chowed down on our refined flour pizza while watching a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which was about an overweight Aussie guy named Joe Cross who goes on a 60-day juice fast to help him rid his body of a chronic skin disease called urticaria. Laura decided halfway through the film that she needed to eat a piece of raw broccoli.

It was far more interesting that I thought it would be (in general, I think juice fasts are a little extreme), but after getting the initial preaching out of the way, he presents the idea in a very approachable manner. The best part of the film was the touching transformation he helped inspire in a 400-lb truck driver from Iowa. It’s on Netflix Instant, so look it up if you’re curious! Fair warning: the website is a little market-y, though, and he is pushing his juice fast, which is called the “Reboot.” I haven’t looked at it yet.

My next 5k is this weekend! How did that happen??? Gotta get myself to the gym and get a few runs in, which I have mostly been avoiding due to possible shin splints and severe congestion. I’m really hoping I start feeling better soon, otherwise this run is going to be a serious struggle.

Have a great day!

July 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

TLC

Well, hello there. *Wink*

After my rough evening last night, I felt like I really treated myself well today.

My lunch went undocumented because I scarfed it up so quickly. Seriously — you gotta make this Greek quinoa salad. It’s easy as pie, keeps well, and tastes incredible!

And for the record, Trader Joe’s organic pea shoots are SO TASTY. They’re like a cross between sprouts and sugar snap peas.

I left work a little early because I needed to get to a doctor’s appointment by 5:15. As I mentioned before, I was dealing with some health issues that were really stressing me out. Well, after today’s appointment, I finally feel like I can rest a little easier.

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the view from the beach in Bonita Springs, FL -- my happy place

I’ve always had a lot of moles all over my body, but never really thought much of it. Recently, though, I have noticed that several were oddly colored, oddly shaped, or would get raised or itchy when I would get a sunburn. After silently stressing about it for far too long, I finally went to my doctor and asked her about it, thinking she would shrug it off as nothing.

Unfortunately, she didn’t do that — she told me to make an appointment with a dermatologist right away to have them looked at. I was super freaked out, but didn’t let my fears get too out of control before seeing the derm. Two weeks ago today, I headed to the doctor, unsure of what she would say. After looking at the three or four that I pointed out, she told me that two were unusual looking, but not overtly cancerous-looking. She wanted to remove them anyway and have them biopsied and sent off to a lab to check for cancerous cells.

I don’t know if I’ve told you guys, but I am completely, utterly, absolutely terrified of needles. It’s a legitimate phobia — one that I know is totally irrational, but one that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve gotten much better about it in recent years, but it’s like no matter what my mind says, my body just totally freaks out. What that means? I faint.

Yep, I faint every time I get a shot. So after they injected the lidocaine into the two spots to be biopsied, I laid there patiently in my paper gown, waiting for the procedure to be over, breathing deeply — in and out, in and out. That is, until I started to feel lightheaded…I’ve fainted enough times to know what it feels like before it happens, but let me tell ya — you don’t have much time to get that message across.

Before I could finish my, “I think I feel lightheaded..” sentence, I was out cold.

Oh, and I pissed all over the place.

………..

Yes, let’s just sit here for a second and let that sink in. I peed all over myself and the exam table at the dermatologist’s office.  For the record, I was unconscious, so it wasn’t inentional. I feel lik this is obvious, but just wanted to, ya know, throw it out there. I debated for quite awhile whether I wanted to post about it, since it was pretty embarrassing, but ultimately it was more hilarious than anything. I think the most humiliating best part was having to throw out my underwear, and then being sent home with a pair of bright blue paper underwear, reserved for liposuction patients. In white jeans. My life really should be a sitcom sometimes.

Well, I went back today, two weeks after the pee incident, and received the incredible news that the lab results came back negative, meaning nothing showed up cancerous. One of the moles had “abnormal architecture,” which basically meant it could potentially have turned into something down the road, but it was removed completely so it won’t be an issue. Needless to say, I am so incredibly relieved.

:)

—-

After leaving the doctor’s office feeling like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders, I had planned on meeting up with a few friends for drinks and dinner. Sadly, our plans fell through, but I had a serious hankering for pizza since our plan was to hit up Piece in Wicker Park. So… I decided to improvise.


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I toasted a FlatOut Wrap in a cookie sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then I added all the goodies.

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And cooked it for 7 minutes or so in the oven at 375 degrees. This bad boy started with some Whole Foods marinara, then I added a hefty layer of baby spinach, some sliced red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, garlic gold and red pepper flakes.

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It was SOOOOOOOOO good. Just what I wanted, and healthy to boot. I didn’t calculate the calories, but now I’m sort of curious. Certainly it’s gotta be better than restaurant pizza, anyway ;)

After taking some time to clean up (but I’m still not even close to being finished) and letting my food settle, I got myself ready for the gym and headed out the door. Unfortunately, the sky was green and I felt a few rogue sprinkles coming down, so I dashed back inside and grabbed my umbrella. The last time we had a big storm, I was unprepared…

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hey, baby

I thought I looked too hilarious and SOAKED not to take a picture. Check out those sexy raccoon eyes! ;) Hubba hubba.

Anyway, I got about ten feet down the street toward the gym when it started to pour. The sky turned black and the wind picked up out of nowhere, it was so neat. I love storms, so instead of giving up and going back home, I decided to wait under an awning for the storm to pass, or at least for the rain to slow down. It took a good ten minutes before my umbrella would have even made a difference, so I was really proud of sticking it out and keeping up wtih my commitment to hit the gym.

Because my legs are still having issues (shin splints, IT band and knee pain, blegh), I decided to take it easy and read my new issue of Women’s Health on the recumbent bike for a good 40 minutes, then I hit the elliptical for another ten. By that point, it was actually hailing, so everybody at the gym was just glued to the windows, mouths agape. Let me tell you — this was good motivation to stay at the gym and keep working out! Haha.

I did some wall squats, which I’ve read are easier on your knees and also strengthen your gluteus medius, which is supposed to help with knee pain. I also did some hip raises (I’m pretty sure my hips are super weak because my running gait is all sorts of wrong) and shoulder + chest exercises. Finally, I finished off with a good ten minutes with the foam roller of death. It hurt, but I could tell I needed it badly. I really need to get one of my own for home.

When I got back, I needed a snack and couldn’t figure out what I was craving at first. After looking through the fridge for a minute, I decided to top a toasted Kashi waffle with some whipped cream cheese and a little fig spread, then topped it with a sprinkle of chia seeds. This was beyond delicious — I think I could eat this every day of my life and not get sick of it.

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eattttt meeeee

Sorry my pictures are kind of blurry — I’m not quite sure why I’m still so sucky at snapping my food!

Speaking of which, I realized I never posted pictures from my dinner with Allie and Mel at Karyn’s the other night. I had two undocumented (aka too delicious to remember to take their picture) drinks — a caipirinha and a Sazerac, and we shared an arugula, potato and Daiya pizza to start.

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I had two slices, and while I’m not a huge fan of Daiya, this was pretty tasty. The heaping mass of fresh arugula really made it fresh and delicious.

For my main meal, I had their “chicken” drumsticks. They were served with barbecue sauce, which was sweet and delicious, and reminded me of Sweet Baby Ray’s, and some spinach and sweet potato hash. I ate the whole thing! The chicken was made out of seitan and was perfectly crispy on the outside, and very “meaty” on the inside. I was surprised by how good they were.

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cute little "drumsticks!"

Again, sorry for the blurriness. But how lovely is that presentation?? I think I moved it around a little bit before taking this, so it didn’t look quite as asymmetrical when they first brought it over ;)

Anywho, I’m going to get a little work done, then hop in bed with my book. I’m currently splitting my time between The Hunger Games and More Than It Hurts You. They’re both excellent and I can’t wait to finish them.

Thanks for all your kind words and comments lately — you guys are so great :)

June 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm 8 comments

Busy bee

To say that this month has been crazy would be the understatement of the year.

After telling my roommates that I would officially be moving out at the end of the month a few days ago, so began the mad dash to find and secure a new apartment. The two that I had considered subletting both fell through, and I was beginning to worry that nothing would work out. So I took a huge chance and decided to sign a one year lease on a studio apartment.

That’s right folks, I am finally going to be fulfilling my dreams of becoming a cat lady living in a studio apartment with two cats. This should be interesting.

The plan is to sublet my new place (the apartment company actually lets you put someone else on the lease, so it would technically be a re-let) when my friend Amy and I find a new apartment when her current lease is up. I feel like I’m playing a giant game of musical apartments!

But now the thought of packing my entire apartment up in a week and moving, all while starting my new job, is daunting to say the least. I am a seriously stressed girl right now. But I know that this will be the best thing for my sanity, or whatever is left of it. So…wish me luck!

Yesterday was my last day of work at my old company, so they sent me off with a lovely tradition called “B&D,” which stands for beer and Doritos. BEER AND DORITOS!!! Really, how awesome is that? The office gets together around 4 o’clock and socializes with a few cases of brew and bags of chips. After the beer ran out, we decided to keep going and headed over to a nearby brewery for a few more beers. I spent some time chatting with my former boss about the power structure at the company and had to hold in the laughter a few times — it’s always so interesting what goes on behind the scenes among the higher-ups at companies!

After that, a few of us split off to go meet Amy for more beers (are you seeing a pattern here?) and get dinner at DMK, an AMAZING grass-fed beef burger place that also happens to have incredible fries. I would have snapped a picture, but my phone was long-dead after a day at work (I tell ya, smartphones are great, but you REALLY need to carry an extra charger around with you if you want to be able to use it!).

I got the incredible #2, which had onion rings, blue cheese and their house made ketchup. The way the cook their burgers leaves them super crispy around the endges and…oh…I can’t go on, I’m drooling here.

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As if I hadn’t had enough at that point, we decided (after drinking since 4, save for Amy) to go to another bar! But as we were leaving, I realized that my coat had disappeared! We looked all over the restaurant, but it seemed as if someone had either stolen it or taken it by mistake. Fortunately I only had my mace (hah) and my Chicago Card (public transit pass) in the pockets and not keys or my phone, but it was a nice coat and now I have to pay to replace my card, which I use multiple times per day. So frustrating!

At this point, I was upset about the coat and, again, had been drinking since 4….I had half a dreamsicle martini, spilled the other half all over the bar, then was given a free replacement by the very nice bartender — I thought that was so sweet! She probably shouldn’t have given me that second one though, as I proceeded to spill it all over my pants. Oy.

After getting shoved into a cab to ensure my safe arrival home, I stumbled into my bed and passed out.

Hi, my name is Laura and I’m a hot mess. Nice to meet you! :)

I’m off to do some shopping with my friend Allison in the hopes of finding a dress for a concert date I have tonight. Wish me luck, and please don’t call an intervention on me just yet!

April 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm 2 comments

Ultimate hangover [+ easy peasy caprese]

Hi friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend, full of relaxation time or crazy time. Mine was a strange combo of both.

My “ultimate hangover” had two parts — food and booze. Let’s just say I was not so good to my body this weekend…

Last week was one of the most stressful weeks  in recent memory. I was waiting to hear about the fate of my current job and whether it would be continued, and if that wasn’t in the cards, whether another position I had interviewed for would give me an offer. My plans for a date were also rescheduled twice then canceled, which not only bummed me out, but brought out some serious insecurities that I struggle with whenever I’m dating someone. I’ve been lied to too many times (in my opinion, once is too many), so I was feeling very vulnerable.

I wouldn’t call myself an emotional eater. When something bad happens, my first urge is to swig a glass of wine, not eat a piece of cake. (Hmm — does this make me an emotional boozer? Haha). Luckily I’ve leaned that a trip to the gym is usually a good substitute that will usually, at least temporarily, chill me out. I am, however, much more inclined to go totally lax on my eating habits when I’m stressed. I tend to tell myself that I don’t care, or that at this point that bowl of pasta bathed in cheese is necessary. Or I’ll go out to eat instead of making something healthy at home.

This was one of those weekends.

Thankfully (and I am thrilled to announce) that I got a call Friday morning with an offer for a new job! Unfortunately, I had stressed myself to the breaking point by Friday, and was in bed with a seriously congested head and a fever when I got the call, but it made my day nonetheless. While I was thrilled (and officially called back to accept the offer a few hours later), my stress levels were still through the roof.

I can say with near complete certainty now that I rarely get sick unless a) I pick something up from riding the bus every day, or b) I am completely stressed out, which is usually coupled with little sleep and not enough fruits, vegetables and other healthy stuff. Alcohol is sometimes thrown into the mix as well. This weekend, my main sources of “nourishment” comprised of mac and cheese, shrimp and cheese grits, buttermilk fried chicken, a steak sandwich and a giant bowl of pasta. There were no vegetables to be seen. But there was lots of beer. LOTS of beer.

Thankfully, these weren’t all in entree size and were instead enjoyed in tastes and sharing sizes, but needless to say, I still felt like…well, shit. I also dealt with two serious hangovers.

Are any of you emotional or stress eaters? How do you get yourself back on track?

After sleeping in to catch up some desperately needed Z’s, I finally got myself over to the gym. Since my cold is still lingering around and preventing any use of my nose, I kept it light to 20 min on the recumbent bike (set on random hills at level 10) and 20 minutes on incline intervals on the treadmill (speed 3.3-3.5 with inclines from 1.0 to 11.0). I tried to complete one of my WH workouts, but after one superset, I realized that there was no way I could do these without doing them half-assed, and that just seemed pointless to me, so I plopped down on the mat and stretched out instead.

And then…Trader Joe’s happened.

While Chicago has gloriously acquired a new Trader Joe’s pretty close to my house (and on my way home from work) on Diversey, it hasn’t been completed yet, so I have to rent a Zipcar if I want to buy more than a backpack’s worth of food and take two buses to get there.

Yesterday was a Zipcar day, and boy did I stock up.

How can you not get completely excited and overwhelmed at TJ’s? They have a zillion new things every time I go, and they have my favorite foodie finds at ridiculously low prices — things like goat cheese (in spreadable, sliced, medallion and every other form you can think of), smoked salmon, frozen shrimp, endive, pre-cut and washed leeks and more. Their produce isn’t always the best but beyond that, TJ’s is essentially my dream come true.

My bill (take a deep breath) was $170. I was almost ashamed of myself, but after a particularly veggie-deprived weekend, I felt good looking down at the four-bag bounty in front of me, full of fresh lemons, avocados, fresh basil, salad fixins, peppers, salt-free spices, white bean chili and even some frozen (!!) brussels sprouts. I also had some goat cheese in there :)

Last night, I was craving something light and fresh since Chicago experienced a freak evening of seventy six degree weather!!! It was damn near balmy outside, so while I cooked some of my mustard maple chicken with the porch door open, I threw together an incredible caprese salad. Into the mix went:

  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes (that needed to be used ASAP)
  • a crap ton of fresh basil, torn + chiffonaded (new word?)
  • good olive oil, as much or as little as you like
  • a good sprinkle of sea salt
  • red wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 asparagus spears sliced into 1 inch pieces, sauteed in cooking spray and blanched in cold water immediately after
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • as much fresh mozzarella as you like

Mix everything together, add more olive oil if you like and DIVE IN. You can play around with the ingredients and portions in this recipe as much as you’d like, because I imagine it would be delicious in nearly any combination (for example, some chilled grilled zucchini or some cukes), but any way you spin it, it’s unbelievably easy, fresh and light. YUM!

Pictures of dinner to come later tonight!

April 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm 4 comments

Oops

Yeah. So I still drank a bit too much.

lady lush

My date last night doesn’t really deserve a full re-cap. I’m not sure I would recap every single detail anyway, regardless of how a date would go, but this one…well, it just needs to be forgotten.

It’s funny how you can surround yourself with pretty good people and forget that there are still so many pretentious a-holes out there. Hah. No, I don’t want to see a picture of your car on your phone, thank you.

I do have to thank this young man, however, for picking up the tab like a “gentleman” (I use this word liberally here), and treating me to some delicious drinks and food at two very tasty establishments. We first went to Sepia in the West Loop which has a really nifty, old-school vibe. It was also filled with white haired dudes in suits accompanied by much younger ladies, but we’ll leave that be….I had their delicious La Brasileña cocktail to start, then a Two Brothers Cane & Ebel and another wheatbeer, the name of which escapes me. Tasty!

We moved on to Gilt Bar and had some fantastic drinks (corn and oil, anyone?) and shared an even more fantastic meal of pork belly, lentils and brussels sprouts cooked with bacon. I never knew I liked brussels sprouts, but I suppose anything is delicious when drenched in bacon fat. Obviously I didn’t take a picture, but I highly recommend this place! We got to sit at the “kitchen bar” at his request as well, which was a fun experience. I ended the meal with a “dessert” of some sort of blood orange vodka something-or-other that was mixed with crushed ice. It tasted like a Tang slushie for grown-ups, and BOY was it good. That adds up to 5 quite strong drinks at this point, and only having food after drink #4. <—- buzzed girl. The whole meal was quite pricey, but thankfully my date picked up the tab.

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After stumbling back home and laughing to myself about what a kooky evening I had, I collapsed into bed (not before knocking over a huge glass of water though!) and crashed. I woke up a few times throughout the night (a common effect of alcohol on your sleep cycle), but thankfully used those little interruptions to chug the (leftover) water I had at my bedside, so I woke up feeling just fine and dandy this morning!

Lunch today was the other burrito I picked up from the store, a HUGE cut up “Plain Jane” cucumber and some red seedless grapes. Boring, but tasty. I actually didn’t bring a lunch, and was going to run to the store (not very good budgeting!), but realized I had the extra burrito stashed in the freezer at work, as well as the grapes and cuke. Meal in a flash!

I wasn’t going to take a picture, but Kara started snickering at my snapping away of something else, so you can thank her for my wonderfully crummy photos :)

too many plates!

I am SO tired of seeing these under my desk every day

Have a great rest of your day!

February 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm 1 comment


Hi, I’m Laura!

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