The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Frozen treats August 31, 2009

And no, tonight I don’t mean a Dairy Queen!  I’ve been enjoying some frozen fruit this week, specifically grapes and now cherries.  Girlfriend and her addiction turned me on to the cherries 😉

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Last week’s produce pact worked out well, and I ran out of fresh goodies on Friday.  Although I ate more fresh produce, I also had too much other food 😦  Overeating at dinner out, throwing in a DQ Blizzard, and drinking a lot probably counteracted the good feelings that eating produce created 😐  Anywho…

This month’s Gourmet Magazine had a great roasted cauliflower recipe.  I didn’t add the kalamata vinaigrette, but all was well 🙂  I don’t like the cauli raw (the man prefers it raw), and roasted is now my favorite.  Give ‘er a try! I like how this recipe called for the cauli to be sliced into big 1″ sections, rather than florets.

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Lily was so cute at dinner tonight!! 

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Since I was a bad girl and didn’t do the rest of my grocery shopping yesterday, I had no lettuce today for lunch.  So, I had a lettuce-less salad of carrot, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, mushroom, and some leftover multi-grain rice from Saturday’s dinner.

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Yesterday was WillaKenzie‘s Day in the Vineyard, a private event for members with wine classes and a wonderful catered lunch at the top of the vineyard.  So gorgeous!  Here’s the spread from the wine & food pairing class.  I didn’t eat but the wild mushroom and chevre tart b/c of the shrimp and fish the other bites contained, and as I ate it the chef casually mentioned it had bacon in it. :shocked: *^%$%$#*&^%*&(*)????!!!!!  Why do ya gotta add bacon??

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Daniel, the vineyard manager, raises longhorn cattle and keeps many of them on the vineyard property.  Here’s Chris getting up close and personal with a friendly cow (she licked his hand!).

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This is the big daddy of the pack—Rodeo Maximus.  His horn span is a whopping 72 inches.  Whoa!!  Better not get too close to that bad boy!

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This little darling was checking her reflection out in the truck.  So cute!  She nosed and licked the truck, and almost took out the mirror with her horn. 

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Lunch was a green and lima (??) bean salad with a citrus vinaigrette, a quinoa salad with squash, tomato, red pepper, onion, a mixed green salad with caramelized hazelnuts and sundried tomatoes, and yummy olive bread.  Not pictured are my four desserts:  two oatmeal raisin cookies, one chocolate-chocolate chip cookie, and one almond biscotti. 

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These two cattle have the optimal longhorns—rather straight out, and possibly a little corkscrew type curvature.  Aren’t they perty!!??

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Speaking of perty…here I am!  We walked up to lunch rather than taking the shuttle van. 

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Compare this pic with the one from last year:

Andrea and her hubby, Chris, had a party Saturday for their 30th birthdays.  I got snuggly with their baby, Basil.  He’s such a sweetie, and so darn cute!!

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Dinner before the party was an inspired creation:  stuffed white acorn squash with multi grain rice, sautéed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic, seasoned with s&p, Nature’s Seasons, and Italian herbs.  I roasted the squash for ~45m at 325, scooped out some flesh to make more room, then stuffed it with the cooked filling and baked another 15 minutes.  Sadly the squash itself was rather bland 😦  What can I do to amp it up a bit?

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Lily had a vet appointment in Oregon City Saturday morning, and on the way back we stopped at Spicer Brothers Produce.  They had tons of great items, with about half of them being local and super fresh.  Fresh apples!  FINALLY!  Although none of the items were labeled organic, Andrea had a great point in that many local growers use organic and sustainable methods, they just aren’t certified.  Spicer’s had great prices on most items, and the guys seemed to smile at me a lot.  This sexy bitch got her bananas at the “overripe” price rather than the regular price. That’s what I’m talking about. 😉

I got three new items:  golden delicious apples, white acorn squash, and donut peaches.  After washing everything thoroughly I dug into a peach.  WHOA!  SUPER sweet taste, with only a mild peachiness.  Ideal for mixing in with less sweet fruits, or used in cereal and other applications.  The apples are great!  Might be a new fave of mine.

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I thought Friday’s salad looked especially pretty:

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After hitting up DQ for a Tagalong Blizzard Tuesday night, we treated Lily to a doggy cone again 🙂  She gets excited when we pull in to DQ now cuz she knows what’s coming.  Oops!

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And that just about sums up the last week.  I’ve still been a less-than-stellar worker bee and am still having trouble getting back in to busy mode at work.  I’m rather like obstinant-non-worker bee 😐

So, I guess I’ll officially announce that Chris and I are buying my grandmother’s house.  This month we’ll be getting quotes for updating the house (gotta green the place up a bit, repaint some, remove wallpaper, change out carpet, add a fence, ya know).  After family is in town for my grandmother’s Celebration of Life party in late Sept. I think we can clear out the unwanted furniture/etc., and then in October the work can be done.  We anticipate taking possession and moving around Nov. 1.  Holy moley—can’t believe it’s really gonna happen!! It’s kind of surreal, frankly, and rather stressful.  But exciting nonetheless 🙂 

Tata!

 

Flippity flop July 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:57 pm
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My day kept swinging from postive to negative as if some sadistic bastard were flipping a switch.  Although the day went up and down and all around, it ended on a tres positive note 😉 

Yesterday’s eats:

Kashi Go Lean with bluebs and almond milk

Kashi Go Lean with bluebs and almond milkI'm diggin' the KGL's nuances and the voluminous portions, and may just have to deal with buying more cereal in a box, packaging and all.Romaine, boca burger, yellow bell pepp, avocado, mushroom, balsamic, grape tomsOh, and some pepitas for interest. Yay!Fruit, glorious fruit! And a carrot 😉

Veggie quesadilla with guac and sc I should have skipped... Oh, and that famous Cazuela

Veggie quesadilla with guac and sc I should have skipped... Oh, and that famous CazuelaLily says hi!Check out this bush...what the hell bush has fluffy balls like that?

I’ve had issues with seeking retail therapy lately.  I run to Target, Costco, and Fred Meyer more than I should.  And that trip to WinCo.  I camethisclose to going to Walmart, too.  Yipes!  I haven’t been to Walmart in 6 years, I think.  Given that Sarah found some great prices on organic fruit, I may have to give them a try.  Gulp, what an endeavor.

Thankfully my retail therapy hasn’t ended with me buying tons of stuff; I have chosen my purchases quite carefully.  The visits are more for me to get out since I haven’t been going to work out as much, and I’ve had a few things on my mind. 
Today:

New library book!  And a repear of KGL and fruit.  Cafe, of course.

New library book! And a repeat of KGL and fruit. Cafe, of course.

 Yakisoba with tofu.  'Fu was kind of meh... I still sort of have my aversion to it.

After a really shitty 11:00-11:30, I had a great lunch from 11:30 to noon 🙂  Business speak while eating tofu yakisoba.  Not too shabby, but for the less than spectacular tofu.  I thought it would at least be sauteed or something.
Not pictured: late afternoon snack of 1/2 my usual fruit and carrot mix. 
Leftover pizza from Saturday, avocado and grape tom salad.  Also sneaked in 1/2 an ear of corn...

Leftover pizza from Saturday, avocado and grape tom salad. Also sneaked in 1/2 an ear of corn...

Although I really wanted to skip working out tonight, I went and did a full body weight session, followed by 45 slower but still uber sweaty minutes on the mill.  I am really glad I got in a full workout, and I hope to get over my desire to skip working out lately.
After working out I refueled with the rest of my fruit/carrot mix.  I almost ate a Kardea bar, but I put them in the freezer the other day ’cause they were soft, and I wasn’t about to try to eat one frozen.  Or wait for it to defrost!  Perhaps tomorrow!!
Off to bed I go… Humpty-dumpty day is officially over 😉
 
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Whipper snapper July 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:15 pm
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I attended my 10 year high school reunion picnic this weekend, and now I wish I would have attended the main even Saturday night.  I pussed out thinking it was gonna be a drag, but now I’m looking through some classmates’ pics, wishing I were there to see more people.  I saw about 20 people Sunday

The last few days I’ve been totally lacking with my photos, although I’ve had some really pretty eats that I wish I could share with you. 

Saturday

Ikea $0.99 breakfast with fruit and coffee!  Yogurt was my mom's.

Ikea $0.99 breakfast with fruit and coffee! Yogurt was my mom's.

 
 Ginger cookie samples ;)

Ginger cookie samples 😉

Funky Swedish seafood products.  Fish in a tube???

Funky Swedish seafood products. Fish in a tube???

After 4 hours at Ikea a froyo cone was in order ;)

After 4 hours at Ikea a froyo cone was in order 😉

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These bars were in my mailbox when I got home!! First sample ever for the blog!!  I don’t eat many bars these days, but I’ll have to fit these bad boys in.

I was so.tired. after Ikea.  Not enough sleep, not working out regularly, and not eating lunch yet was wearing on me.  I finally had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean with berries and almond milk.

My first bowl ever of Kashi Go Lean.  Good stuff!

My first bowl ever of Kashi Go Lean. Good stuff! Apple and PB for a snack

Saturday night my mom and I met our friend, Elizabeth, for dinner at Vista Spring Cafe.  I’ve been going there my whole life, and the place has sentimentality for sure.  To start we shared a salad that sounded vegetarian, but upon first bite I noticed the taste of bacon 😐  No pieces or anything, but I think it was in the vinaigrette. 

We shared our main courses for the most part, and I ate about 3  times as much as I should have–not kidding.  I had three pieces of pizza (cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, herbs, tomatoes…tasty!), tons of my mom’s macaroni & cheese, and some of Elizabeth’s spicy Thai peanut sauce with bread.  I also had two small glasses of Pinot Gris.  Mercy! 

As if that wasn’t enough, I stopped at John’s Marketplace on the way home and got a few bottles of wine–one to crack open, and one to take to the reunion.   I continued with my Pinot Gris theme and had like three or four very small glasses. 

Rated 90 by Wine Spectator, and I agree!

Rated 90 by Wine Spectator, and I agree!

 Sunday

That wine pretty much sealed the deal on me not waking up early to work out in the morning.  I still was up before 8, but was focused on getting food ready for my reunion picnic.  For breakfast I had a bowl of Kashi Go Lean with fruit, and some coffee with Silk Vanilla Creamer.  I was so sad to see my favorite mug’s lid met an unkind fate in the bottom of the dishwasher.  Now I can explain the burnt plastic smell in the house the last few days….

Fruity delight

Fruity delight This is what happens when plastic meets dishwasher heating element 😦

I was kinda nervous and scatter-brained all morning, and we were late getting out the door, but I did manage to try making a modified version of Gena’s raw almondaise!   I only had roasted nuts, didn’t have a lemon, and don’t have a high speed blender or food processor.  I used my stick blender’s mini food processor attachment and went to town on a half recipe.  So good!!!!

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For lunch we had Tortilla Espanola on Italian bread with almondaise, and a beautiful mixed fruit salad that I nearly ate all of before Chris could get a fork in edgewise. 
 
The reunion went well, I enjoyed seeing everyone and hearing what they’re up to, and the rain held off til after the event was over.  I wish more people would have gone to the picnic, and I wish I would have gone to the party Saturday night.  Oh well, this next 10 years will surely pass faster than the last, and before I know it the 20 year will be around the corner. Eek!
 

Snack of bread, almondaise, and olive oil

Snack of bread, almondaise, and olive oil

The familiar graces of a Mexican dinner
The familiar graces of a Mexican dinner

 

Monday

Standard oatmeal breakfast....ahhhhh
Standard oatmeal breakfast….ahhhhh

I met a client at Stanford’s for lunch, where I had the veggie burger sans cheese with a salad.  The smell and thought of BBQ made me crave their BBQ sauce, which I asked for a side of only to eat some and go, “Shit, this isn’t vegetarian!!  It has meat in it!!!”

Instead of just eating half of my burger, I ate the whole damn thing.  Too much food!  I was full, tired, and groggy all afternoon, a combo of my allergies and overeating. 
After a lightning quick 4 hours back at the office we headed home for dinner.  My dinner was left over Tortilla Espanola, Italian bread, almondaise, and olive oil…too much olive oil!  I also had half an ear of yellow corn.  Lots of yellow stuff for dinner!
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I knew I needed to go to the gym, almost bugged out, and then ended up going to do 45 minutes on the stair mill.  That was tough…  It was also tough to get on the scale and confirm what the mirror has told me–I’ve gained a few pounds in the last few weeks, and it ain’t muscle 😦  Booooooo! 
I had a snack-a-poo of fruit after getting home and tackling a mountain of laundry.  Fuji apple, bluebs, rasps, and cherries.  BTW, the organic Fuji apples I’ve been buying at Fred Meyer have been great!
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Hunger persisted after this, and I went for a very small bowl of KGL with AM.  KGL is growing on me…nuances of sweetness and such a texture variety are quite enjoyable.
Do you ever watch “Top Gear” on BBC America?!  I highly suggest you do–very entertaining, lots of travel to great places, and funny hosts.  They’re in the South of France now and I’m pining to go… Anyone gotta spare ticket to France laying around?  Send it on over 😉
Giddyup!
 
 
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Butternut, why do thee hate me? July 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:20 pm
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I’ve been uber frustrated the last three times I’ve made butternut squash chips–they don’t turn out like the crispy gems I’ve come to love.  Rather, they are a bit floppy and just not quite right.  I ran out of my canola oil spray and switched to olive oil spray; perhaps that is the culprit?  But tonight I didn’t really use spray (just a touch on the pan) and I still had issues.  Makes me wanna give up!  The only other change I’ve made is not nuking the squash for quite as long before peeling and slicing.  Is that my problem?  We shall investigate next time…

This blogger has been a cranky bitch the last few days, and has eaten erratically (or so it felt like).  I’ve eaten just to eat, gone for frozen yogurt quite a bit, and haven’t been satisfied at times.  I’m not sure what is up, but mentally things have been a little tougher and that has contributed to my issues. 

Notes of the last three days:

Gotta love the gallery 😉

Oyasuminasai!

 
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Creepy crawly June 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:16 pm
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Have you noticed many more bugs in your house the last few weeks? I know I have 😦  The spiders have moved in recently, and I fear we have a moth problem brewing in the living room.  Given that I don’t like using pesticides in the house, or in the yard for that matter, I usually squash spiders by hand and use the “clap’n’kill” method for moths. Suddenly I’ve seen 4 moths in the last 3 days, and I’m starting to freak out.  I just put out birdseed moth traps–a savior for anyone who has cereal moths in their home.  I also need to investigate the source (move furniture, pull cushions out of couches, vacuum like a maniac….).  Grr, just what I was hoping to do during my relaxing evening…

Anyhow, let’s review the last few days.

Sunday

My bed said it was glad to have me there, and I slept in until about 9 :0 

While outside with Lily I spent time appreciating the wildflowers now in bloom, including this magnificent red poppy.

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With all this fruit in the house I opted for an all-fruit start to my day.  First I cut up the canteloupe, then enjoyed a big plate of strawberries, cherries, blueberries, grapes, banana, and canteloupe.

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Lunch was a nice change of pace: toasted peppercorn focaccia bread with goat cheese & balsamic (mixed and smeard on one side), avocado, mushroom, yellow bell pepp, and romaine.  Tasty!!

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Not pictured is 1/2 a nanner I snacked on while neck deep in yard work.  Chris and I were out there for over 3 hours and I feel like we barely dented the weeds and other maintenance.  Arrrrrrrrghhhhhhh!  It never ends.  Yes, my choice not to use herbicides is making our endeavor harder this year, but I feel better knowing the nearby river doesn’t receive nasty runoff from our yard.  I mean, we go and swim in that water during the summer, our drinking water comes from it (upstream), and Lily drinks out of it when we’re there.  I hate thinking of all the shit that flows off of people’s yards and into storm drains….

Dinner was a visit to Fajitas.  I was uninspired and opted for the veggie quesadilla again, easy on the cheese, with olives and jalapenos.  I drank too much of my Cazuela and was rather buzzed! 

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My night was spent doing housework–washing all the produce, vacuuming, mopping the floor…. before I knew it, it was bedtime and I never got hungry.

Monday

A fabulous start to my day involved this bowl of granola with cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and almond milk.  OHhhhhhhh yeahhhhhh. 

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A hot morning passed by (more on that in a minute) and before I knew it we were eating lunch.  I opted for a salad (big surprise) with romaine, goat cheese, yellow bell pepp, grape tomatoes, avocado, carrot, apple, chow mein noodles, balsamic, and a Boca burger.  I had a few bites of pineapple and canteloupe on the side.

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Mid afternoon I munched on cherries, strawberries, a carrot, and an apple. 

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Chris and I have noticed our offices become really warm quickly if we shut the door (no good when you gotta shut the door for a client meeting for like an hour!), and we weren’t sure we had any air flowing in there, ever.  Turns out the damn vents to our offices were shut off at the main air supply duct, but now we have cool air blowing over us thanks to Chris calling in the maintenance dudes.  Finally, amen!  We are also rather private and prefer to have our office doors mostly closed during the day, but we were paying the price with the air stagnation.  No more, I say!

On the way out I chugged the rest of my almond milk from breakfast.  Man, I love that stuff.  The flavor, consistency, and aftertaste leave me smiling every time 🙂  I prefer Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla–the refrigerated version. 

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Dinner was a multi course journey that started with a wedge of canteloupe to quell the hunger while prepping my b-nut chips. 

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Then something newish:  BBQ’d red bell pepp and mushrooms with Bragg’s, balsamic, and Northwoods seasoning.  Not too shabby, but not hot enough.

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Here’s my b-nut chips prior to applying their seasonings.  Turned into a pretty pattern I didn’t intend!

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Dammit, I took them out too early and they weren’t crispy enough.  They tasted good, but I wanted that crispy texture, dammit!!

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Then on to some BBQ steamed corn with Smart Balance Light.

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Sadly everything was just kind of meh 😦  I think my taste was sort of off or something…

After a 50 minute stair mill sesh at the gym I was feeling hangry (seems to be happening a lot lately).  I opted for a small Genisoy protein shake with almond milk and cocoa, and that perty bowl of mixed fruit.

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And now I’m off to bed!  Giddyup!

 
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Produce EXTRAvaganza June 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:27 pm
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Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, I bought like 28 pounds of produce today! (And I eat nearly all of that within a week, sans rinds/seeds/pits of course!)  I have never added up the weight of the fruit and veggie goodness that finds its way home with me from the store; it was quite astounding to do so.

Buying organic on my trips to Costco ain’t happenin’ much, esp. b/c the prices have been great on their awesome offerings.  Costco’s selection varies between organic and non, too.  I almost need to go to Freddy’s first to check pricing and availability, then Costco, and then Freddy’s again. 

I’ve been really interested in reading other bloggers’ food cost analyses, finding out how much their grocery bills are, etc.  For your enjoyment, here’s what I brought home today and the total cost (I hope this doesn’t bore the shit out of you):

Costco: $26.95

Fred Meyer: $40.15 (including BYO bag refund and $0.50 coupon)

Yowza, excluding the face scrub I spent $59.11, and we don’t have enough protein for Chris to last the week.  My add’l produce intake over the last month or so has increased our bill a bit, but what’s a fruit-addict like me gonna do when all this insane summer fruit is around? 

Do you use a fruitwash and/or wash your produce methodically?  I do, but didn’t get around to it for this batch of stuff, yet.  I’ll be standing in front of the sink for an hour or so tomorrow washing, rinsing, and spinning my produce to squeaky clean perfection.

And now for my predictable trusty content:

An early breakfast of vegan French toast with Garden Sausage, blueberries, and syrup at Bob’s Red Mill 🙂  And coffee, of course.  (Don’t hate me Andrea, I decided to do this late last night and used it as some alone time before the packing and sorting fun at my mom’s.)

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I came home rather hangry and threw together a big salad with some fruit and veg on the side.  Salad had: romaine, grapes, apple, yellow bell pepp, carrot, avocado, Boca burger, chow mein noodles, sliced almonds, goat cheese, and balsamic.

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I had to force in the last few bites of salad and saved the side fruit/veg for later, after my grocery shopping. 

Chris and I visited the gym for a few hours, where I busted out legs, triceps, 25 minutes of running & walking on the treadmill, and 28 minutes o’ sweaty fun on the stair mill.  I was getting hangry again at the end of this sesh, and was glad to quickly move on to….

Dinner was a repeat of a simple, voluminous veg fest:  steamed corn with Smart Balance Light, steamed broc, and oven roasted butternut squash chips.  Oh. So. Good.  I’d already had loads of protein early in the day, so I didn’t feel too bad about not having much with dinner.

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I knew a fruity treat would be in order later on, and when the time rolled around I threw in a little crack as well.  Oh, bowl of fruity, granola-y goodness, how I have missed thee.

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I’m ready for bed, but is it ready for me?  I’ll check it out and report back tomorrow 😉  Enjoy your Sunday!

 
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June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:37 pm
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We interrupt this program for a brief reflection…

It’s really hard to believe Michael Jackson is dead…at 50 no less.  He had such an intense life and influenced so many.  I remember when Thriller came out and I watched the video on MTV.  It kinda scared me, but I liked it.  RIP Jacko. 

It’s also hard to believe Farrah Fawcett died yesterday, too, at 62.  I feel so bad for her because of the type of cancer she had and how strong it was.  I didn’t watch Charlie’s Angels, or other projects of hers, but she did have the hair that changed the world.  RIP Farrah. 

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Ah, Friday is over.  My day was rather quiet, successful, and seems short looking back.  It started with a massive headache from allergies and dehydration, but thankfully I kicked that around lunch time.

I started off with a bowl of traditional oats with a little Silk Vanilla Creamer on top.  My kitchen scale went bonkers last night, so the proportions were a bit off probably, resulting in a goo-ier consistency.  I use the scale b/c it’s easy, and I can’t quite eyeball some things like 10g of protein powder, apparently.

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I’m diggin my lunch salads as of late since I’ve moved away from burrito gut salads.  Today it had romaine, yellow bell pepp, the last of my leftover corn salad, Fuji apple, avocado, chow mein noodles, goat cheese (had that yesterday, too, and forgot to mention it), Boca burger, balsamic, and sliced almonds.  Phew, everything but the kitchen sink!

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I had part of the fruit and veg for a snack mid afternoon, and the rest as a snack before dinner. 

Once home and outside with Lily and caught a few good pics:

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She loves catching the ball, so I figured an action shot was in order:

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The great people over at Blue Diamond sent me a little gift in the mail today–coupons for Almond Breeze and their other products!! Yippee!!  I went online and told them that I love their products, especially the refrigerated almond milk, and they sent me these as a way to say thanks 🙂

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Chris was hell bent on eating at Fajitas AGAIN tonight, whereas I wanted to stay home and BBQ or something.  I always give in to the man, cuz once he gets Mexican in mind nothing else is good enough basically.  I also didn’t have anything to cook for him, so this avoided a trip to the store just yet.

For dinner I had a vegetable quesadilla, light on the cheese, with a little bit of sour cream and guac.  Chips and salsa, a tiny bit of a Cazuela, and half of a La Casa were involved as well. 

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This bitch is getting tired of quesadillas and burritos.  At Fajitas there aren’t many other veggie options, other than cheese enchiladas, chile relleno, and other super unhealthy options I won’t go for.  I had better figure out something quickly because I don’t know if I can stand it much longer!

This lady bug stopped by to say hi 🙂

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Tonight I hit up the gym for full workout session:  upper body weights, abs, and 50 minutes on the mill.  This was my first full workout this week…oops.  An older man was watching me do my chest workout (not quite seedy/creepy, but nearly), and when I walked by him afterward he was like, “Ma’am, excuse me?”  He told me I’m doing well and to keep it up, and that I look good now but am on track to look even better if I keep at it.  He didn’t say it quite like it may sound; it came across very positively and I thanked him for the encouragement.  Alrighty then…

Post workout snack was a shake:  almond milk, Genisoy chocolate shake mix, flaxseed meal, cocoa powder, and ice.  Tasty dark chocolate goodness!

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And so I leave you.  It is already 11:30!  Shit, wish I had a little more time to just chill.   My plans changed a little for tomorrow morning, and I think I’d like to treat myself to a special breakfast, solo.  I’m heading to my mom’s house to sort through crap and pack stuff she’s keeping, so I wouldn’t mind some peaceful time alone and a nice treat beforehand. 

Oyasuminasai  🙂

 
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