Workin’ hard Wednesday

Phew — today was a LONG day!  Let’s start with the eats:

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have breakfast this morning, save for 3 cups of coffee.  I was starving by lunchtime, so I had a HUGE mix of whole wheat penne with tomatoes, spinach, chicken, onions, mushrooms, peas, tomato basil sauce and some cheese:

YUM!  This hit the spot perfectly.  I polished off most of it but didn’t feel overstuffed when I was done, and the combo of protein, carbs and veggies kept me full all day 🙂

 

I did snack on the most ridiculous banana ever.  I included my iPod Touch in the picture for size comparison (coughthat’swhatshesaidcough):

After work — early dismissal at 4:00, yay! — I walked over to the gym and ran a quick 2.69 miles in 30 minutes, an 11:09/pace!  Yes, I know I’m slow, but I’m proud that I’m getting faster!  My marathon goal is to finish in under 5 hours, which means I’m going to have to maintain an 11:26/mile pace for the whole race.  Once I build up my short distance speed a little bit more I’m going to start adding in some longer runs to increase my endurance so I can meet my goal 🙂

I also did 15 minutes on the elliptical (crossramp 8, resistance 3) before walking home.  As part of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, I calculated my total roundtrip walk from work –> gym –> home: 1.8 miles!  I was met at the door by a VERY happy Barkley:

Who can resist that face?  I took my guy for a quick walk, then made myself dinner:

Roasted sweet taters!  I was still pretty satisfied from lunch, so this hit the spot.  After dinner I hopped in the shower, then started my Thanksgiving baking projects!!  While I was doing my prep I snacked on a Fruit2Day and Clif bar, partially to keep myself from snacking on batter, and partially because I was still a little hungry 😉

 

Project #1 was pumpkin bread: round 2:

I used the same recipe as last time, but split the batter in half and added chocolate chips to one loaf.  Our apartment smells AMAZING right now; here’s hoping they taste as good as they look and smell!

Baking project #2 was sugar cookies!  Here’s the before:

 

And the delicious after:

One of these cookies may or may not have found its way into my tummy… 🙂

I use a cookie scoop (sort of like a tiny ice cream scoop) to make sure all my cookies are the same size and bake evenly.  I can’t believe I used to try and roll out dough balls by hand; I would NEVER get them even!

Matt and I each had a few of these guys while my baking projects were in the oven:

Here’s hoping I do a better job at keeping them in the house this time around!

 

Alright, it’s time to hit the sack.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

I’ll be back later tonight with my eats and exercise for the day 🙂

Pom-tini!

I’m a little embarrassed to report I didn’t work out today, even after my long post on stopping procrastination and just getting out there and exercising :-/  I’ve haven’t been sleeping well the past few days, and by the time I came home from work I was totally drained.  I got a few chores done around the house, which was good, but other than that I just rested today.  I’m going to try and get a good night’s sleep tonight and have a better day tomorrow.

Now, the food!  Breakfast was the standard Starbucks latte and oatmeal.  I took a close up shot of the oatmeal just to give you an idea of how much heartier it is than the instant stuff I made yesterday:

Look at that texture!!

I snacked on a banana and two clementine cups during the day:

For lunch I had one of my favorite wraps — fresh turkey, cheddar, bacon, sauteed onions, lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat wrap:

Words cannot describe how good this sandwich is!!  I asked for extra lettuce, tomato and onion to try and squeeze in an extra veggie serving at lunch 🙂

My plan was to stop after half of the wrap, and assess if I was still hungry or not before diving into the second half.  Unfortunately, things didn’t really go as planned.  The first half was so good that I immediately devoured the second half, got totally stuffed and was uncomfortable for the rest of the afternoon 😦  Ugh — I should know better by now!  Oh well, live and learn.

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to Crate and Barrel to get a bunch of Christmas decorations for our apartment.  I also picked up a few silly things to make healthy eating more enjoyable, including a glass that I knew would be perfect for pomegranate arils.  I was right!  Check out my “pom-tini”:

Fun dishware definitely makes food more interesting!  Also, I was pleasantly surprised with my pomegranate this time around; the last time I tried pom arils, I wasn’t thrilled.  Guess I just had a bad one…

Anyone know to what to look for when picking out a pomegranate?

Dinner was a bit of a mixed bag tonight.  I cooked one egg and two egg whites in some olive oil and put them on a whole wheat tortilla with a slice of cheese:

Yum!  I was also inspired by Friday’s awesome eats to make my own version:

Steamed green beans sauteed with garlic and a bit of olive oil.  So good!  Our whole apartment smells like garlic now 🙂

Alright, time to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother in bed and get some rest.  Good night!

Kara tries new things #1: Prickly Pear

When I was a really little kid, I ate EVERYTHING.  Seriously.  I was basically an adorable garbage disposal.

Kara BaguetteDee-licious!

When I got a little older (from about age 6-my mid-teens), I did a complete 180 and became a ridiculously picky eater.  I’d probably eat anything if you dipped it in chocolate and/or peanut butter, but I wasn’t open to trying anything new or remotely interesting/”exotic”.  If I hadn’t eaten it before, I wasn’t interested.  The only reason I ever tried fried calamari when I was a kid was because my uncle used my insatiable curiosity against me; he wouldn’t tell me what it was until I had a bite!  After he told me it was squid, I refused to believe him because I liked it so much 🙂

So, now that I’m basically a grownup — and married to the un-pickiest eater around — I’ve decided to try new foods as often as possible, or re-try foods I dismissed in the past.  So far this year I’ve discovered an undying love for onions (a food I used to hate!), sweet potatoes, spinach, hummus and pumpkin, among others.  Now I can’t believe I went so long without these foods in my life!

When ordering groceries online this week I came across a new and interesting fruit in the produce section: prickly pear.  According to Wikipedia, the prickly pear isn’t really a pear at all, but the fruit of the cactus plant.  Here’s the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prickly_pear.

How to disassemble the prickly pear, in easy photographic steps:

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1. Cut off both ends of the pear, making sure to protect your hands when anchoring it on the cutting board.  Supermarket prickly pears have most of the spines removed, but there’s always a chance there are some smaller ones on the skin, and busting out the tweezers when trying to have a snack is no fun. 😦  The internets also suggests soaking the pear in cold water to remove spines before you eat, but I have no idea if that really works.

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2. Put the pear on its side and cut slightly through the skin from top to bottom.

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3. Peel away the skin, revealing the fruity deliciousness below.  This part was really easy; I thought separating the fruit from the skin would involve more manual labor — like peeling a kiwi — but the skin comes off even easier than an orange peel.

IMG_0763…2 seconds later, TA DA!

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I sliced up the pear and just ate it plain, like so:

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The seeds are edible, but incredibly hard, so don’t try to chew them!  The pear has a similar texture to watermelon — a bit mealy, but not in a bad way — and is a little bit tart, a little bit sweet.  Frankly, I wasn’t a big fan, but I think I’m going to do some recipe Googling tonight and give it another shot in something tomorrow.  I was thinking it might be nice in a fruit smoothie, but the seeds sort of complicate that…

What’s a new fruit/veggie/food you’ve tried recently?  How did you like it?

Back later with today’s eats!

Silly confession

So, that pumpkin bread I made yesterday.  I STILL haven’t touched it.  24 hours later!  The problem: I’m terrified that if I try it, I’ll love it, and then I won’t stop eating it until it’s all gone.  Stupid, I know, but it comes with the territory if you have a history of overeating.  That’s why I didn’t open my jar of White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter (which is even more wonderful than it sounds, if you can believe it) for weeks after I bought it!  It was gone the day after I finally took off the lid… :-/

I try not to deprive myself of things I truly love — that tends to trigger a binge more than anything else — but the fact of the matter is I’m still working on my self-control when it comes to certain foods.  So, for now, I don’t buy White Chocolate Wonderful, and the pumpkin loaf remains intact.

Now, to dinner! I snacked on my pomegranate arils with a smidge of sugar while waiting for the husband to come home.  I still haven’t decided if I like pomegranate or not; the arils seemed overly tart to me (and I like tart!), even with some sugar.  Maybe I just got a bad fruit?  How can you tell which pomegranates are ripe?

The husband was kind enough to make ground beef tacos, and they were delish!

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…not so photogenic, however.  Mine had medium salsa and a smidge of cheese on whole grain tortillas (I think they had 5g of fiber each?).  Good work, sweetie!

FYI, the ground beef we used was Organic Prairie.  We’re doing our best to eat ethically these days (hi, Erin!) and really pay attention to the source of our food and the way it was grown/raised, with a focus on local, seasonal produce and humanely raised meat.  Not only is our conscience clearer as a result, but there’s a marked increase in quality without much of a change in price.

Alright, that’s all from me for now.  Good night, and happy Friday!!

Fall-tastic

So, I love fall.  Not only do you get perfect weather (in the Northeast, at least) — the cozy, cool sweater days with intermittent bursts of indian summer — but there’s also soup!  and leaves changing color! and playoff baseball!* and my birthday!!

More recently, I’ve started to get excited about fall veggies.  Now, I’m not the biggest veggie lover in the world, I confess, but I’ve been expanding my horizons over the past few months and have fallen hard (oh man, didn’t mean to pun there) for sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkin.  In celebration of my favorite season (and also, my favorite color!), I decided to make pumpkin bread tonight.

Here’s the link to the recipe I used.  I haven’t tried the bread yet, but the batter was delicious and our apartment smells heavenly right now!  The only modifications I made were omitting the chocolate chips — they didn’t seem all that necessary — and using a mix of half wheat and half white flour.

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The batter in the Kitchen Aid (aka the best wedding present ever!)

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Ready for the oven…

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The finished product(s), ready for my belly!  This is why there should be internet smell-o-vision…

After Barkley and I got home from the dog run I spent most of my evening catching up on the phone with an old college friend, and completely forgot to have dinner!  I had two peach cups while I was on the phone, then chowed on a Clif bar as a dinner substitute after I put the pumpkin bread in the oven, but I think I might have another snack before I call it a night.

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The aforementioned sad “dinner”

I also tried my hand at dissecting a pomegranate tonight, thanks to a handy-dandy tipsheet I picked up at the supermarket next to the POM display.  I’d say I was successful:

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Any suggestions for what to do with the arils?

All in all today I’ve had about 26 WW points.  Considering the fact I didn’t really workout today, that’s probably reasonable, or maybe a little bit low.  Unfortunately, I underestimated my points yesterday — after tracking everything, I was up to 41 — so I’m going to have to be pretty “good” the rest of the week.  I only have 4 weeklies left!

Have a good night!

*A quick note about playoff baseball: I usually LOVE watching the playoffs, but unfortunately this year is (was…BOO Yankees) a perfect storm of TERRIBLE for Mets fans like myself.  No matter who wins, we lose.  Maybe my hockey and football teams will fare a little better than the Mets did this year… :-/