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dallas day two

17 Mar

Day two of our little mini vaca was quite fun!  Before I get to that, though, let me finish off day one.

As anticipated, we hit up Whole Foods for lunch.  This picture is actually from day two/Whole Foods trip numero dos.  I got pretty much the same thing both days, though.  Hey, when you don’t have a Whole Foods within an hour radius of where you live, you gotta take advantage of it!

I had a salad with onions, peas, corn, artichoke hearts, cauliflower, mushrooms, grated beets, grated carrots and hummus.  On the side I had a delicious raw kale salad, a zucchini salad, and cappelinni with a lemon marinade and tomotoes.  So, so good!!!!

Saturday night Jon took me to our hotel – Aloft.  It’s a lower scale version of the W hotel, which we only dream of staying at!  Aloft was really nice, though, and we loved having a night away!  We only stayed there one night, and we stayed with my sister the other nights.  Sunday morning we slept in of course, then got up and went on a hunt for our camera.  We ended up finding a really great deal at Best Buy.   We decided on the Canon Rebel xsi.  We love it!   I am now obsessed with it, and I carry it everywhere I go;)  I think Olive is getting a little jealous.  We also did some fun shopping at Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Crate and Barrel.

Warning: there may be some really random pics coming up on the blog because I tend to take a picture of everything I see!

Later that day we met up with my sister and spent some time at Ikea.  We got a few odds and ends.  Once we get them up around the house I’ll post some pictures.  I snacked on a Cliff bar on the way to Ikea.  You definitely don’t want to get caught in the middle of Ikea hungry.

After galavanting around Ikea for about 2 hours, we headed out for dinner.  My sister knew of a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that she wanted to take me to.  She had never been there, but a couple of her friends had and they said it was great.  It was supposedly in a Hindu temple, but that was all we knew.

Unfortunately, we were not impressed with the look of the buffet.  I know a lot of people LOVE Indian food, but I am not a fan, and there was a high percentage of Indian dishes.  It was definitely a very cultural experience, but we opted out of eating there and decided to hit up a different vegetarian restaurant called Cosmic Cafe that she had taken us to before, but not before I snapped some shots of the temple.

Cosmic Cafe is so quirky, and they have a great menu.  I wish I would have taken a picture. We started off with the hummus because it is to die for!  It comes with warm nan for dipping.

I ordered the “Pizza Mystica,” which consisted of black bean burger crumbled on top of nan with a tomoato sauce, mushrooms, spinach, onions, and some other veggies.  I asked for them to hold the cheese.  This pizza was excellent, and I totally want to reinvent it at home!

My sis and Jon both ordered the veggie tacos.  I had a few bites of course.  They were awesome as well!  The black beans that came with them were a little undercooked, but the white rice was awesome!  It had some sort of flavoring on it that I couldn’t quite place.

Throughout our entire dinner I was facing a menu board that was advertising vegan cakes – chocolate, hazlenut chocolate and vanilla chai.  So, naturally, by the time I finished eating I convinced Jon and Cristen to share a slice with me.  We ate about half this slice, then I finished the other half off for breakfast the next morning.  Hey, it’s vacation, right?!

I kind of felt like the blueberries and green sprinkles were a little random, but I wasn’t about to complain!  ha!

Here are a few shots of the restaurant.  This place is so fun; I can’t wait to go back!

After dinner we headed back to Cristen’s apartment.  It was pretty late, and we were all exhausted!  Besides, the babies were waiting for us after having been locked up for several hours.

That’s all for day two!  Stay tuned for day three tomorrow.  Day three was kind of a half day because we had to get back to my hometown by evening, which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive.  Sorry this post is SO long, I think I definitely set a record for number of pics.  I am loving my new camera, though.  I just need to figure out how to use it!

I’m off to make some spinach enchiladas with green verde sauce.  We aren’t necessarily celebrating St. Patrick’s day, but I guess it kind of works out!  Hope you all are having a great day!

I’ll also be working on a post to sum up the 20 day challenge.  I’ll have that up asap.  Let’s just say it did not go as planned, but I’ll go into more detail later:)

back to business

1 Mar

Today was a pretty good day, especially considering I only got 6 hours of sleep last night.  I am starting to really feel it now, though, so I’m gonna keep this short and sweet.

Today was my first day back on my challenge full swing.  You can check out the challenge, as well as my update for today on my “20 day challenge” page.

Lunch today was easy, as I had made up a huge amount of soup yesterday.  I am probably going to get really sick of soup by the end of the week.  I really enjoyed it today, though!

I added all of the following into a giant pot and let it heat through until the veggies started getting soft.

chopped squash
diced tomatoes
brussel sprouts
black beans
chick peas
vegetable broth
chili powder
garlic powder
ground red pepper

After it cooked for awhile, I added about 1/3 of the mixture to my food processor and puree’d it for about 2 minutes.  I also added a bit of water to the mixture.  I then dumped it back into the pot, and continue letting it all cook for about 30 minutes.

It was fantastic!  I really love this soup, and it’s a good thing because it made A LOT!

Next up is tonight’s dinner.  When I got home from work I opted out of going to the gym and instead decided to give Jillian’s Micheal’s 30 day shred video a go.  I hadn’t done it in forever, and let me tell you, it was brutal!  I had almost forgotten how tough her 20 minute workouts can be.  If you haven’t ever tried her videos, you should definitely check them out.  They’re a great workout if you want serious intensity, but don’t have a lot of time.  I digress.

By the time I finished working out and took a shower, I was famished and I really couldn’t feel my arms or legs. haha.  So, I decided on something super quick and easy.  Enter black bean burgers.

Black bean burger on an ezekiel bun with a bit of leftover homemade guac, hummus, alfalfa sprouts, pickles and tomato.  With a side of steamed brussel sprouts – my fave!  This meal was awesome!! Especially considering it took all of about 6 minutes to make.  Win win!

Well, that’s all for today.  I’m off to bed to try to make up for last night.  Making up sleep never really works for me unfortunately, but I can always try!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

a birthday week

28 Feb

picking myself up and dusting myself off…

So, basically a lot of life happened this week, which detered me from regularly posting or updating on the challenge. I knew this was going to be a crazy busy week, but I didn’t realize just how crazy.  Jonathan has been working on a project at work for about a year now.  The university he works for (and our alma mater) has launching the largest fundraising campaign ever in the history of the school.  He is the assistant director of marketing, so his role has been huge throughout the entire process.  Anyway, the campaign went public for the first time on Friday at a big event on campus.  Then, on Saturday, at halftime of the basketball game, there was another big announcement about it, and we spent the day passing out t shirts to students.  So basically, every night this week was filled with working and getting ready for the big day.  Plus, Friday was Jon’s birthday, so any free time I had this week was spent shopping, wrapping and baking.  It’s been a whirlwind.

It’s also been the longest I’ve ever gone without posting.  I missed it so much!  I feel like the spring was missing from my step all week.  I have to be honest and say that between work madness and birthday festivities, some not so good food choices resulted as well. I did do some good things too though.  For instance, I exfoliated my face every three days, drank more water this week and didn’t eat one spoonful of Kashi cereal (yay!).  I have to admit that the other parts of the challenge were hit or miss.  I actually wasn’t as committed this week as I was before I started the challenge.  Boo.  I participated in what some would call “emotional eating,” which I’m not proud of.  It’s something that I struggle with often, but the emotional eating monster struck extra hard this week.  Stress, stress, stress.

BUT, one part of the challenge that I am really being tested on right now is not beating myself up when I don’t do so hot.  I’ve actually had a lot of practice with that one lately.  And truly, I think it is one of the most important skills to practice.  Loving my husband and being there for him in every way possible, and still staying on top of my own job took precedence over blogging and sticking 100% to my challenge this week.  And I’m okay with that.  In fact, that’s the way it should be.

So, it’s a new week, and I’m still shooting for the same goals.  Life and all of the routines that come with it should be back to normal starting tomorrow.  I feel a bit silly that I’ve lost an entire week of only a three week challenge, but there is nothing I can do about that now.  That is, nothing aside from jumping right back in and doing the best I can this week.

Off I go to do some more prep for school tomorrow.  Because the first part of the weekend was so busy, I spent most of today working on grading research papers and planning for this week.  And I’m still not done.  I did manage to squeeze in time to make a soup for lunches this week, which I’ll post later, as well as one episode of Amazing Race.  Love that show!

I hope everyone has a great start to the week.  Thanks to those of you who’ve stuck around through my hiatus.  It’s good to be back:)

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the last few days.

Friday’s eats – cashew cookie Lara, banana (to be wrapped inside almond butter filled wrap) and spaghetti squash concoction which included spaghetti squash, brussels, corn, green beans, chick peas, sliced almonds and humnut sauce.

Gotta love the hubs.  This is his breakfast specialty (except for green monsters of course:).  It’s all about presentation of course.  Ezekiel cinnamon raisin english muffin with cashew butter and sliced banana.  And two almonds to top it off.

Happy birthday to my hero, my best friend, my love.

20 day challenge..what what!

21 Feb

I did some thinking this weekend, and I’ve decided to start a very specific, very pointed 20 day challenge.  Let me back up a bit.

On January 1st, I set a goal to lose 20 pounds by the end of March.  As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, I realized several weeks ago that I wasn’t on track to make that goal.  I wasn’t disappointed at all because my progress was steady, and I’m not really all about deadlines anyway.  My clean eating lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle – so if it takes me a couple extra months to get to my “happy weight” then that’s fine by me.

That being said, I do still want to make progress.  This past couple of weeks, my weight loss discipline has started to wane.  I’ve been doing a lot of mindless snacking when I’m not hungry, and while it’s always on clean foods, it’s definitely hindering my efforts.  So, I decided to initiate a plan in order to finish strong through my original goal date.  I’m throwing out the number of pounds goal and instead just focusing completely on sticking to the guidelines of my challenge.  I’ll make as much progress as I can, and then celebrate whatever results I see in the end!!  Sounds good, eh?

So, here are the deets:

Eating Goals
–    Eat only clean foods
–    don’t eat after dinner unless I’m truly hungry
–    eat five (six if needed) meals each day
–    drink 80 ounces of water each day
–    drink at least 12 ounces of green tea every day (b/c it’s so dang good for you, not b/c of the weight loss rumors:)
–    only clean drinks
–    no snacking in between planned meals/snacks
–    2-3 healthy fat servings each day
–    at least 4 servings of vegetables each day
–    take vitamins/supplements every day
–    no Kashi go lean cereal 🙂

Workout Goals
Monday: arms/chest/abs
Tuesday: cardio – 40 – 60 minutes including at least 20 minutes intervals
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: cardio – 40-60 minutes including at least 20 minutes intervals
Friday: legs/glutes/abs
Saturday: cardio – 40-60 minutes including at least 20 minutes intervals
Sunday: rest

Other Goals
Work on not beating myself up when I slip up
Work on not feeling guilty about illegitimate things
Focus on today and not the future
Exfoliate my face every 3 days
Use my white strips

Honestly, I love challenges.  I’m excited to get back to the basics.  Keep in mind a couple of things, though.  First of all, I already do most of the items listed under “eating” and “workout” so it’s not quite as strenuous as it may appear.  I put those things on the list still so they’ll be fresh on my mind.  The key things I need to really change and improve on are the water intake (I’ve been slacking), the eating after dinner, the mindless snacking and the ahem, crack Kashi issue.  As far as workouts go, I just need to be more diligent about writing down my specific workouts and making sure I’m getting the weight training in.  And, regarding “other goals,” well, I pretty much am terrible at all of those things as of now, so I’ve got some serious work to do there.  Second of all, I don’t advocate guidelines that are this rigid for extended periods of time.  I’m all about moderation and including indulgences in life, but I’m also all about giving it all I’ve got for short periods of time, and really finding out what I am capable of!

I’d love to invite you to join me in this challenge or create one of your own!  Sometimes we just need some inspiration and fresh goals to motivate ourselves.  Let me know if you are doing a challenge as well.  I’ll be updating my progress, daily, on the “20 day challenge” page, so check for updates there.  I’ve taken measurements, so that I can check for progress at the end, however, I’ve also written down some thoughts on how I’ve been feeling mentally and physically, so that I can chart progress that way as well.   If you’re interested, you can check those out on the “20 day challenge” page as well.

Well, that’s all for tonight.  The challenge starts today and ends on March 13th, which is the day that Jon and I leave for our Dallas getaway…yea!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here we go again, Monday!

Olive says goodnight!