Tag Archives: chia seeds

A Real Winter Wonderland

24 Jan

Looks like Mother Nature finally decided to put her money where her mouth is and gifted us with the white stuff this morning. Because I keep my window shades down at night, it didn’t even occur to me to look outside until I received a text from Stefano, saying his school had been delayed.

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At first, I didn’t understand why his school would just be delayed and then I looked outside.

IMG_1931[1]Unfortunately for me, I still had to go to work. Upside: the weather is a toasty 19 degrees, up three from yesterday. Baby steps.

I think I’m getting better at this staying warm thing. The key is to leave no skin unexposed, which leaves me looking a bit like a babushka, but whatever it takes, right?

IMG_1932[1]I still pick winter as the season to get voted off the island.

Workout

Body Pump was killer last night! Not so much because of the difficulty of the tracks, but because the room was heated to a bajillion degrees. By the time we got to planks during our abs session, I was feeling a little nauseous and dizzy. Despite chugging water like a madwoman, my throat felt really dry during the whole class. Too cold outside, too hot inside – moderation, people!

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do tonight. I am thinking about going home and doing a workout there, but it seems that every time I try, the couch and Netflix ends up sucking me in. I have a new three-month exercise plan that I am planning on unveiling next week! It’s going to run from February until May and I’m really looking forward to switching things up.

Eats

My more recent blog posts have not given much insight into what I’ve been eating, but it’s mainly because I have been enjoying the same meals for a long time and one can only post so many pictures of eggs or yogurt before they all start to blend together. One thing I have been a fan of is a bowl of yogurt (3 scoops plain, 1 scoop honey) with a sprinkle of oats and chia seeds, alongside a big sweet potato.

IMG_1926[1]The combination of healthy carbs from the sweet potato and protein from the yogurt keep me nice and full until lunch. Fun fact: although the nutrition facts are very similar, sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes (i.e. Russet potatoes). The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating, so foods that have a low glycemic index do not cause a quick spike in blood sugar. As a result, people don’t experience the same roller coaster of sugar highs and lows and low-glycemic foods keep you feeling full longer.

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Since deciding to mix up my salads, I have really been enjoying all the different combinations I can come up with. In the salad up top, there’s a mixture of baby spinach, cannellini beans, dill pickles, Persian cucumber, grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Yum! I also had some roasted butternut squash (chopped, baked in oven at 425 for an hour) that I had sprinkled with the seven-spice I purchased from Hashems. The seven spice is a combination of ground black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, coriander, and cumin.

I usually save the apple and trail mix for later in the afternoon so I’ve got some energy for my workout in the evening. So far, I think I’ve found a pretty good combination of macronutrients to keep me feeling satisfied during the day.

Articles of Interest

I’m not sure what it is, but this week has been chock full of articles on health and wellness that I have been enjoying. Here are a few that people might find interesting and informative:

  • 13 Reasons to Start Bodyweight Training: This is an excellent article that gives an overview of why bodyweight training is so effective and how different types of training can be done.
  • Is It Too Cold to Exercise?: The Washingtonian breaks down the weather and how to protect yourself from the elements if you choose to exercise outside.
  • Interview with Emmy Rossum in SELF: I have liked Emmy Rossum as an actress since back in her Phantom of the Opera days, but I like her even more because of this down-to-earth interview she gives SELF about her fitness regimen. I hate it when actresses say that they eat junk food and don’t work out much and it is refreshing to hear about somebody who admits that she works hard for the body she has (Gwyneth Paltrow is another one).

Okay folks, that’s all for me on this end. Please share your thoughts on any of the articles I’ve mentioned, I love to hear your feedback, dear readers! Stay warm and have a wonderful Thursday ❤

What’s My Age Again?

24 Oct

Hey, hey, hey!

So I’m 23 now and it feels…well, it feels like 22 does, but somehow even less exciting. At what age is it appropriate to just stop looking forward to birthdays because it’s only a reminder that you’re getting older? One birthday related thing I never tire of is beautiful flowers from the boyfriend.

Other than my beautiful bouquet and wonderful gifts, my birthday was pretty low-key. Lunch was packed, I read a book, and ate a pretty usual meal.

After work, I went to the gym to get my Zumba on. Our usual instructor was out, so we had a sub who did a fabulous job. Her dance style was more Cuban and I had a lot of fun! When I got home, one of my roommates was around and we sat in the kitchen and chatted while I made dinner.

On the plate: balsamic vinegar-infused couscous, some frozen veggies that had been sauteed in balsamic vinegar, and two mashed sweet potatoes with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt on top. I used TWO dishes – win. I am so into sweet potato, squash, and other root vegetables right now and thanks to the microwave, they’re so easy to prepare. I cooked these sweet potatoes on high for 6 or 7 minutes and they turned out perfectly. Conveniently, the couscous also took about 7 minutes to cook, so everything came together and just the right time.

My roommate decided to make an apple pie last night and while I went to bed before it was finished, I am definitely going to get in on that after dinner tonight.

Speaking of apples, I decided to change up my yogurt bowl this morning by adding some chopped pieces of Macintosh apple to the mix. With some chia seeds, half plain yogurt, half honey yogurt, and some Kashi Go Lean, it was a good way to start off the day.

One reason I was looking forward to turning 23 was finally listening to this song and being able to relate.

Ah, Blink 182.

My boss is out of town for work for the rest of the week, so I’m holding down the fort. The journal is all printed and packaged, so now I’m off to the copy room to stamp a whole lotta envelopes.

Food For Thought: Do you make a big deal out of your birthday? How do you usually celebrate?

 

 

 

 

What Will Get Me Through Winter

16 Oct

I’ve found it. I’ve discovered what will get me through the dark mornings and the bone-chilling cold of winter.

It was a rather serendipitous moment when I discovered it, actually. My co-worker and I were sitting outside Caribou Coffee at lunch yesterday, when it began to rain. We still had a good 40 minutes of lunch left, so we decided to move inside and continue our conversation. She was wielding a Starbucks coffee and I had my ever-stylish pink lunchbox, so I decided to buy something to stave off potential employees demanding our expulsion. It was cold so I was looking for a hot tea and this one seemed to be the most appealing. Best $2.11 I have ever spent! Except for, perhaps, my pumpkin from the weekend.

I usually sweeten the crap out of add some sugar to my tea, but this was naturally sweetened and delicious. “An invigorating blend spiced with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel” you guys! I am also fighting the urge to not use an Oxford comma in the quote, but they didn’t use one. It hurts.

I liked it so much that I bought a container of it this morning and I’m hiding it away in my desk at work so nobody can steal it. Thank you, Caribou gods.

As I may have mentioned before, I am on a major peanut butter kick right now and I’m trying to find vehicles for it that aren’t spoons or fingers. Enter toast. I’m probably eating too many carbs between the toast and cereal but I don’t care – I have to stay warm for winter! Underneath that mess is some TJ’s Honey Greek yogurt and sliced strawberries, with a few chia seeds. Stef and I didn’t have our usual Trader Joe’s date on Friday night so I am running low on groceries – this must happen tonight.

Speaking of date, my roommates and I had a house dinner date at home on Sunday and we put together this little masterpiece:

The pesto ricotta chicken I had prepared for a dinner party awhile back made another appearance, along with some salad and seasoned rice. Love me some roommate bonding.

As for Tuesday’s Tidbit, here’s a picture of neighbors down the street from my house who are all ready for Halloween. Excuse the quality, it was dark and rainy when I took the picture. Adds to the overall “feel” though, right?

Food for Thought: Do you dress up for Halloween? What is your costume going to be this year?

I’m thinking about going as Catwoman!

 

 

 

Storm Watch

18 Sep

Hey everybody! Sorry for the late post – I had to finish up a work project before I could get to bloggin’. We’re on storm watch in Washington, with tornado warnings issued for parts of D.C. and Northern Virginia – yikes! I can honestly tell you that I have never lived in a city with tornado warnings.

Something in the sky is definitely a-brewing because it was rainy, windy, and chilly when I left the house this morning. I put on the first scarf of the season! I have amassed an enormous collection of scarves over the years and it looks like I’ll have plenty of opportunity to use them in the next few days.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted something warm or something cold for breakfast this morning, so I decided to split and do both! I had a small yogurt bowl with Kashi Go Lean and some chia seeds, but also enjoyed a toasted PB & J on an English muffin.

The weather is putting a bit of a damper on my plans today, I was originally planning on having Stefano, his brother, his cousin and girlfriend, and a friend over for dinner. That is still on, but burgers were on the menu and it doesn’t look like it would be a good grilling experience in this weather. I could always cook them on the stove, but burgers are just meant to be grilled over a fire, caveman-like. Or over charcoals, evolved caveman-like.

Instead, I will have to come up with something that can be made without interference from the elements. I’m really feeling Mediterranean food (because when am I not, really?), so I’m thinking pesto-ricotta stuffed chicken breasts with a grilled vegetable couscous. I saw some intriguing recipes in the cookbooks in my kitchen this morning, but will investigate more thoroughly over lunch.

Any ideas for a storm-worthy dinner for six?

 

Freebies

17 Sep

Oh hayyyyyy! Somewhere today I got my second wind and I have so. much. energy right now! I am playing ‘Danza Kudoro’ on repeat and wiggling in my while writing this post – I might have a solo dance party in my room tonight.

Today was all about good eats and some of them were free! It started out with a pretty tasty breakfast of hot oatmeal, because it freezing this morning! I made it with vanilla soy milk instead of water and it ended up being sooo rich and creamy – that’s going to be a permanent change. In went some maple syrup, crushed walnuts, raisins, and some chia seeds.

It did an excellent job of warming up (and filling up!) my belly. It’s back to three-layer season for me…at least in the mornings.

The first half of the work day zoomed by and before I knew it, I was out the door to meet Stefano’s brother for lunch. He was out and about doing touristy things and decided to stop by. We were originally going to get sandwiches, but he was intrigued by all of the food trucks lined up in Farragut Square, so food truck food it was!

I decided to order a falafel sandwich, while he went for some Asian tacos. I was pretty pleased with my selection.

He was even happier with his selection:

I was craving a little something sweet (as I usually am) and made the executive decision to grab some frozen yogurt before we went our separate ways. I decided on a mix of mango and vanilla yogurt with shredded coconut and almond slivers, ’cause I’m all about the crunchhhh.

And tons of hot caramel. Duh.

While wandering around the square, we nabbed some freebies from a lady with a big container of…yogurt? Not the most common freebie food to hand out, but it’s free and it’s yogurt – fine by me. I managed to save it all the way until after my Body Pump workout, but then I needed something to tide me over while I was making dinner.

Strawberry is one of my favorites, but I had to admit that I was a little confused when I opened the lid…

Is there a special trick to getting the triangle of strawberry flavoring stuff into the yogurt? I rather dubiously scooped it into the yogurt with a spoon, but if there’s some special procedure I didn’t pick up on, please fill me in!

Actual dinner was one of my favorite go-tos: scrambled eggs with veggies, sausage, and cheese, wrapped in a toasted tortilla. I was planning on making something I little fancier that I could make extra of to have for lunch tomorrow, but hunger took over and I needed immediate satisfaction.

Topped with tomato, avocado, and basil? Delicious. I’m not one of those people who needs to eat something different every day and I could probably eat the same meal for a week straight, but that would make for some pretty boring reading on your part.

Whelp, it’s coming up on ten o’clock over here and I need to burn off some energy or I’ll never be able to get to sleep and boy, was I tired this morning, so I really need to get to bed soon. Time for some hardcore solitary dancing – join me!

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