Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some Of My Favorite Things

Ahhh, I love today.  Today is my Friday because tomorrow I go to the BEACH for the weekend with some of my best friends and I'm so excited.  2 of those friends are flying down from NY as we speak I type.  I actually just got a text from one of them telling me some drunk guy breached security and ran under the plane??? Not sure how that happened but they are a little delayed.  No problem, I have nothing to do tomorrow except sleep and be ready to leave by 1:00, so they can come anytime!

When I was done with work today, I went shopping for some more summery, beach-appropriate clothing.  I only really have jeans at the moment since I've gained weight and a lot of my clothes don't fit.  Shopping brought about the ineviteable slight depression over not fitting into my regular size, but I've done some thinking and I'm moving on from that thought.  I've had an idea for a post for a while now concentrating on the things that I actually LOVE about my body, and after Janae posted it yesterday, I decided now was a good time for me to do it as well.  I think I spend a lot of time criticizing myself about the things I dislike about my body, and I don't think I'm alone in this.  Women get judged very harshly as it is, and I want to take a minute and be positive about myself for once.  So, here goes.  This is my list of the things that I love about myself/my body.

First, even though it may seem cliched, I truly love my eyes.  They are a pretty green color and have long black eyelashes around them.  When I use makeup, I always play up my eyes.  They are definitely my best feature.

My friend Lindsay and I.. she also has gorgeous eyes.

The two best pictures I could find where I didn't have red-eye and you can actually see them.

You will also notice my tan and my nose in the above pictures.  These would be features 2 and 3 that I like about myself.  I really only tend to burn on my face.. the rest of my skin gets a nice, dark tan and I love that about me.  I like being tan, and I have a few very pale friends who can't ever tan.  They have embraced it and look beautiful with their pale skin, but I don't like it on me.  I'm really happy to not be super pale, and not be a person who burns.

My nose is something that I never thought about one way or the other till one day in high school.  A friend of mine was complaining about her nose and was talking about saving up for a nose job.  I told her I didn't think she needed one, and she looked at me and said, "That's easy for you to say, you have the perfect nose."  I remember being like, I do?  I went and checked it out, and she was right.  My nose is pretty great, and another thing that I'm glad I don't have an issue with.

The last thing I'll talk about is my butt.  Yes, I tried to take a picture of it but mostly all you can see is a bright light and my messy bathroom counter.  It's there though, my butt.  I really like it.  I'm ok with needing to go up a size in pants as long as I don't lose it.  It's a little on the big side, but it's perky and makes me feel feminine.  (By the way, I don't exactly love my chest, but I am happy that it's perky like my butt, especially since I'm double-lettering in that department.)  Boys don't seem to hate those assets of mine either.. ;)

So, there you have it.  While I'm on the beach this weekend with my gorgeous skinny friends, I'm going to try not to be jealous of the fact that their bikini's look better than mine does, and I'm going to not stress that I can't and won't wear the skimpy clothes out to the bar like I used too.  Instead, I'm going to try to focus on these things.. especially the tanning thing, since it just occured to me that I may be the only person on this trip who doesn't have super pale skin.  

I'm not taking my laptop to the beach, so I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday!  Leave me a comment and tell me what YOU like best about youself :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Promise I Know Something About Nutrition

Hey peeps!  I hope you all are having a good week.  I didn't post last night because well, I wasn't in the mood.  I didn't open my laptop or phone all night actually.  I was going to go to the gym for a second workout of the day and decided about midway through the afternoon that all I really wanted was some unplugged relaxing time.  So that's exactly what I did and it was fabulous.  The reason for this laziness...

Carbs for lunch.  So delicious, but so make me lazy for the rest of the day.  Note to self: Save the pasta for dinner.  Sleeping at the desk at work is not as acceptable as sleeping at home in bed.  It was delicious though, and since I had been to the gym in the morning for bodypump, I wasn't too guilty about skipping the cardio session after work.

Random picture of Jenny at lunch.  I'm sure she will appreciate this :) Go check out her barefoot running experience, this girl is a badass!

Dinner last night was simple.. reheated homemade pizza that I reheated for a little too long.  It's ok though, I like burnt cheese :)

Like I said, last night was perfect.  My mood was great and everything was going well.. till this morning.  I got to work and pulled into a parking space and suddenly could not put my car in park.  It would NOT go.  I called my boss and asked him to have one of the managers come out and help.  (He is a previous mechanic.)  First thing he said.. "Rachel, you can put the e-brake on and get out of the car now.. you don't have to keep your foot on the brake."  Oh yeah.  Duh.  He checked it out and didn't know what to think.  I called the tow truck to come get it and nearly $300 later, the car will park again.  LAME day.  Although I was panicked all day long that it was going to cost like a grand and I would need a new transmission and all kinds of crazy things, so I am thankful that even though I didn't want to spend that on my car, at least I was able to pay it.  I came home and drowned my sorrows in these:

Bang bang shrimp followed by sliced banana and strawberries covered in nutella and whipped cream.  I promise, I will be back on the healthy eating wagon soon but I was not in a salad mood after the car nonsense.  I'm currently in a nutella coma and feelin' fabulous.

After all these decadent eats, I definitely need to be hitting up the gym in the AM, so it's off to bed for me now.  Gotta make that 6am 'pump class!  Tomorrow is my Friday as I am headed to the beach for the weekend with some of my best girls.. can't wait!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Great Harvest Experience

Hi!  How was everyone's Monday?  And WEEKEND?  Both of mine were great.  I was in a good mood all day today and even though work was kinda boring, I managed to keep my mood high.  I just got back from a walk with Molly and she is worn out.

The weather here is so beautiful, it's about 73 degrees and breezy.  A walk was perfect.

Guess where I went after work today??

Kath has been talking about her experience opening her own Great Harvest with her husband and all the pictures of bread have made me really want to try it.  I googled and found one in my area right down the street and decided to try it.  The nicest girl helped me out and gave me about a million samples to help me decide what was right for me.  I tried a cinnamon bread, a rosemary and garlic flavor, high protein, and a NC spelt.  Although all of them were delicious, (I could have died over that cinnamon bread,) I went with the spelt since I felt it would go best as toast.  I came home and made eggs and toast for dinner and it was soo good.  I took a picture but for some reason didn't have my memory card in the camera, so it's gone :(  I highly recommend looking to see if there is a GH in your area.. the bread is on the pricey side but it's delicious and the employees are really passionate about what they do and really want to help you find what you need.

I'm off to get things ready for tomorrow and watch the Real Housewives of NJ.  They are my favorite and the premiere is an hour and a half!!  See you all tomorrow!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!!  This post would have been up sooner if Blogger hadn't been PMSing since last night.  Seriously, I didn't realize how many times a day I checked it and read a blog post here and there till it was gone.. and I had to actually WORK all day long!  (Kidding, I don't check it THAT much at work, but sometimes here and there I need a small break..)  But last night and this morning I was definitely disappointed.  Thank God it's back up for the weekend!

I've decided to join the Friday Favorites ritual because there are a ton of things I'm liking right now.  The first is the best.. look what I found yesterday!!!!! 

I'm not sure if my local grocery store is dealing in the black market yogurt trade because it's seriously nowhere else to be found and then suddenly it was there, on the shelf.  I only left one.  And I ate this for breakfast AND dinner.  It makes the Greek yogurt I've been eating even more pathetic than I thought it was.  Hopefully I can keep on getting it because it makes breakfast 100% better.

This was a mid afternoon snack one day this week.  It was hot out and I was hungry/wanted something sweet, so a co-worker and I walked to Wendy's for a float for me, twisted frosty for him.  I haven't had a float since high school.  It's one of those weird things because I hate soda, and I'm not a fan of vanilla ice cream, but somehow they make magic together. 

It's kind of pathetic how addicted I've gotten to this stuff in such a short amount of time.  The small bottle on the right is clearly empty and I just bought it last weekend.  Yesterday I decided to splurge and spend $7 on the left bottle.  Let's hope it lasts longer than a week, but I'm not promising anything.  It goes so much better on this dessert than melted chocolate chips.  Speaking of which...

I've had the nutella-version of this for dinner every night this week.  Send help.

Finally, I am loving Crest Whitestrips.  I looked in the mirror a couple of weeks ago and realized that all the tea I drink has been making my teeth look, well, less than white.  I used to use the original version of these in college all the time and they worked really well.  They have changed though.. I remember the strips sliding around and coming off really easily after a half hour.  These become practically cemented on.  It's crazy.  It takes a lot of effort to get them off but the good news is that I feel like my teeth are back to being nice and white.  At least till I stain them again with my daily tea addiction.

There is lots more, but I gotta save something for next Friday.  Right now I have to excuse myself and read the 110 blog posts that I've been unable to read all day, and try to forgive blogger and fight the urge to switch to wordpress.  Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

That's What She Said

It's almost the WEEKEND!!!  My friends and I were just talking at work today about how time seems to be zipping by lately.  I feel like even if a day drags by, the week is gone in a flash.  And the weekend is gone even faster.  Not that I've been dragging at work lately.. I've been super busy.  The past two days I've needed to stay about a half hour late each day, but that's ok.  I really hate being slow and bored at work and that's how it's been the past couple of months.  I'm liking being busy, it makes the time go by so much faster and I don't get bored and sleepy.  Let's hope the workload keeps up!

I got to work early this morning due to waking up with a bad headache and missing my workout :(  I decided to just go ahead and come in, that way I could leave early.  (Silly me, since I ended up staying till my regular time.)  Breakfast was my pseudo vanilla yogurt mess and some hot tea.

It was good, but not as good as Chobani.  Have I mentioned that I MISS vanilla chobani??  And yes, that is tea and not coffee.  All that I had was the ghetto office coffee which only tastes good with creamer.  Note to self: replenish green tea stash asap.

Literally right after I was done eating, one of those "I love my job" moments happened. I work with some pretty hilarious people, mainly the 4 managers of my department.  It's funny actually because I used to work for the "business" before I came to the IT side, and my impression of IT before the move was that it was stuffy, boring, and quiet.  MAN was I wrong.  The guys who run my department are some of the funniest people I've met.  It doesn't matter that they are managers, no joke is off limits.  I remember saying that a requirement document was the biggest I've ever seen, and my boss immediately replied with "That's what she said."  Anyway, I was walking back from breakfast when I saw paperwork on my desk that I knew needed manager signature.  I grabbed it and walked into the lab where 3 of the managers were standing around talking seriously and quietly.  I didn't want to interrupt but I also knew the paperwork was time sensitive, so I kind of walked up slowly to wait for a break in the conversation to grab a signature.  As I got closer, I heard this:  "But why is it always a phone booth?  He never changes anywhere else.."  Yeah.  They were talking about superman.  Sorry to interrupt guys..

The morning flew by and it was time for lunch.  It was not good.

Don't buy this.  I only ate about half.  It's the first TJ's find that's disappointed me but honestly I didn't have super high expectations of what was essentially a classy version of ramen.  I supplemented with some snap peas and an apple and went back to work.  Lame.

Now that the day is over, I'm trying to get rid of the headache that I've had on and off all week.  It prevented me from going to the gym today and I'm not happy about that.  I'm determined to get up tomorrow headache-free and go.  It's bodypump tomorrow and I hate missing that class!  Bedtime for this girl, nite peeps :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why It Seems Like I'm 97 Instead Of 27

Hey peeps!  I hope everyone had a good weekend.  Mine was pretty uneventful like usual, but that's how I like them lately.  I don't usually like to go out and drink anymore since I have been getting regular migraines, and it's nice out so I like to get outside and lay in the sun and just relax.  At night instead of drinking I will usually be watching a movie or reading blogs and going to bed early.  I'm SUPER lame at this time in my life.. you know, right before my 90th birthday ;)  After I get these migraines under control and move out of the apartment I uncomfortably share with my ex, I will try to have more of a life, I promise.

This lameness and grandma-like behavior means that one of the highlights to my weekend was grocery shopping at Trader Joe's.  The store is 10 miles from where I live but I think I will now be going there all the time even though there are 2 other stores within 2 miles of my apartment.  I walked up to the register at TJ's with an overloaded hand basket and three things juggled in my hand, and walked out of there only $50 lighter.  Amazing, since I am used to dropping anywhere from $80-$100 on groceries every week for just ME.  It's the overwhelming amount of produce.. I can't believe I essentially cut this in half and got so much stuff.  I mean, I can't even fill my gas tank on $50 anymore.

One thing you know I got- TOFURKEY!!  It made an appearance in my lunch today along with sugar snap peas and the cutest little mini peppers I've ever seen:

Aren't they SO cute?  Bite sized peppers!  Of course I dipped everything in this dip that I am currently loving:

If you still haven't gotten this, I'm not sure what you are waiting for.  TJ's doesn't send out engraved invites last I checked.  Just do it.  You will thank me.

My workout this morning was spin class.  You're welcome for the following sweaty pictures, just because I felt like sharing.

See the sweat stain?  Yeahhh..

Don't worry, I showered and got ready for work.

Much better

Here is the thing about spin.. it gives me migraines.  Here is the thing about weekends.. they give me migraines.  I wish I was making this up, but it seems that when I get a migraine it starts Friday-Sunday.  Never in the middle of the week.  It's so bizarre and I have no explanation for this.  I had one Saturday for no reason, and then I got one after lunch today.  I felt it coming on since spin class though, but it just slammed into a migraine right after I ate, literally within about 5 minutes.  It hasn't totally gone away so I'm about to take a pill and go to sleep.  See everyone tomorrow! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Debbie Downer, But I Save It With Dessert

Hey blog peeps, sorry for lack of post yesterday.  To be honest, I was in a bad mood all day yesterday and didn't really break out of my pity party till this evening.  I feel stressed about a bunch of stuff right now, not the least being that I have been working out like crazy and trying to eat as healthy as I can and my weight is not budging.  No joke, I've worked out consistently for 2.5 months straight and when I weighed myself yesterday morning, I realized that I weigh exactly what I did when I started.  I have not lost one single pound.  I have been over and over in my head what the reason could possibly be for this.. am I eating too much or too little?  Am I working out too much or too little?  Do I have some sort of medical issue preventing me from losing weight?  Why have I been busting my ass at 6 am at the gym for so long and I don't have ONE POUND to show for it?  I have 40 to lose.. I can't continue like this.  I don't understand why it can't be as simple as, "Eat well and work out."  Trust me, it's not.  And definitely not as simple as "calories in, calories out."  If that were the case, I would be halfway to my goal by now.  What is the problem??

But enough of that.  That was yesterday.  This is today, the third sleep-deprived day in a row, the day when I dragged myself to the gym yet again at 6 am and completed what was possibly the most pathetic elliptical workout ever.  I know the elliptical gets a bad rap, but I always make sure to put in 110% on it, and according to the super accurate calorie counter, I burn almost 700 calories in an hour sometimes.  (In addition to drenching a towel.)  I was so tired this morning that I just didn't have the energy to push myself to the limit.  At least I went, so I am happy with that.

After sleepwalking through my workout and showering, it was time to head to work.  Want to talk about food?  Because I do :)  Breakfast was another Plain-Chobani-mixed-with-too-sweet-vanilla-trying-to-mimic-vanilla-Chobani, strawberries and granola.

Sorry, recycled pic.  Replace berries with strawberries and this was breakfast.

Lunch was another great Trader Joe's find!!

This is a flatbread topped with mushrooms, truffles, and mozzarella.  I took a picture of the baked version, but I don't know where it went :(  Anyway, it was bigger than a dinner plate!  A serving size is half the flatbread, so I ate half last night and washed it down with a green smoothie.  I had the other half for lunch today with a side of red pepper slices and sugar snap peas dipped in TJ's cilantro and chive dip.  Again.. buy this dip now.  It's like crack, but not wack ;)

After work I was starving.  I need to remember to buy snack type foods at the grocery store because sometimes I am totally fine after lunch, and other times I could devour the entire vending machine.  Good thing I didn't have any change on me today or else I would have been in trouble.  I came home and decided tonight was going to be a pasta night.  I haven't had pasta in a couple of weeks and it sounded perfect.  Enter Jenna's recipe for shrimp in a creamy tomato sauce.  You have seen this on the blog before, but I don't think I have made it since I posted about it last in August.

Another recycled pic.  Tonight's dinner was about half this portion.

I paired it with a piece of garlic bread and it was perfect.  Unfortunately I only had enough shrimp for tonight, so no leftovers for lunch tomorrow :(

After eating all that garlic I was in the mood for something sweet.  This is where the blog gets good, so I hope you are still reading.  It all started when I was making the cream sauce and I was eyeing the heavy cream.  I was thinking hmmm, homemade whipped cream sounds good, and I have strawberries.  I mulled this over during dinner, during cleanup, during Bethenny Ever After and my walk with Molly.  The idea eventually blossomed into something much better than whipped cream with strawberries.

Start with a frozen banana in the food processor.  Pulse until you get frozen yogurt consistency.  ( I know I didn't invent this idea, but I've seen it on so many blogs that I'm not sure who to credit with the original idea.)

Banana soft serve


Top with strawberry slices

Melt a few chocolate chips and drizzle over strawberries

Blend up a couple tablespoons heavy cream and pile on top

It was as delicious as it looks.  I also was nearly guilt free eating it because it's mainly fruit.  The cream is literally only a couple of tablespoons, I promise.  It expands a TON while whipping it up.
Due to my lack of sleep the past few nights, I think I am going to turn it in early this evening.  This girl looks like she is ready for bed too.. somehow she is sleeping while laying on the floor with her head up on the bed.  She is too cute :) 

Goodnight everyone!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A New Favorite

To begin, I would like to say that I actually meant to post this yesterday, but the pictures I took were accidentally taken without the memory card being IN the camera.  So I was forced to eat the same thing again today.  The things I do for this blog..

Anyway, I hope everyone had a good weekend!  Mine was great, I went to the gym and spent lots of quality time in the sun by the pool.  It was really relaxing and low key, just like I like it.  On Saturday, I forced asked a friend of mine to come with me to Trader Joe's because she always finds great stuff and I get overwhelmed by the small space and never really branch out and get different food.  She introduced me to a new mac and cheese, a truffle-mushroom flatbread, tofurkey, (and she isn't even the vegetarian so I will let you decide how wrong and backwards that is,) and a few other things.  In return, I introduced her to Sunflower Seed Butter and we went for fro-yo.  I'm nothing if not fair ;)  So far I haven't tried everything, but the one thing I did try was tofurkey.  And ohmygod, how did I go for 2.5 vegetarian years and never have this??

Let's start with breakfast.  She told me their English muffins were so much better than Thomas's, and she was correct.

There is an egg under that giant slice of cheese, I promise.

Egg and cheese on the best English muffin I've ever had in my life.  Sliced strawberries on the side.  What?  You figured that out on your own?  Oh ok.

Lunch was the masterpiece of the day.


This is a TJ's bagel with a melt of TJ's tofurkey, TJ's spinach, and TJ's muenster cheese.  On the side was a TJ's yogurt dip with chive and cilantro, TJ's carrots and TJ's sugar snap peas.  I'm not sure why I felt the need to specify that everything was from Trader Joe's, but now you know :)  First let's talk about the tofurkey: J walked in while I was making this and asked what smelled good.  Even though we are no longer dating, I'm nice to him every once in a while and let him have a piece of tofurkey.  He said he would never have known.  Coming from the most hardcore meat-eater I know, that's all I needed to know that this was legit stuff.  Second, let's talk about the dip.  I have never really been a veggies and dip person.  Chips and dip perhaps, but unless it's blended in a smoothie or mixed in a salad I don't tend to eat a lot of raw veggies just as is.  Until now.  I want to DRINK this dip.  I would probably eat any raw veggie thrown at me if I could only eat it with this dip.  I also dipped the sandwich in it.  The best news of all is that since it's a yogurt based dip, it's only 50 calories for 2 tablespoons!  Guilt free dip?  Pssh, DONE.  (PS I bought the dip and tofurkey on Saturday.  The tofurkey is already gone, and the dip isn't far behind.  Obsessed much??)  If you live near a Trader Joe's, go buy those two things immediately.  I would never steer you wrong.

I'm off to decide whether to watch 90210 or Bethany Ever After.  I have really hard decisions in life.  Have a great night everyone :)