Monday, February 28, 2011

Hungry Man Approved Salad

Not every day can you get your Nosh burger loving, Rogue beer drinking boyfriend to eat a salad. And truly enjoy every bite.

Tonight, I craved a salad and all I had in my produce drawer was this. Pathetic. Our fruit drawer is plentiful with these though.

Hmm, I thought. I had heard of grilling whole heads of romaine so I tried that.

It kind of just seemed awkward to me. I decided to start over which, by the way, is totally find when you are using a piece of produce that cost you 75 cents and when you are the one making up the recipe.

I decided to put some olive oil , fresh garlic and sundried tomatoes in a pan to sautee for a bit while I cut up the lettuce. Garlic makes life better. Don't you agree?
Once the lettuce was more wilted (yet still had some good CRUNCH to it) I turned off the grill and threw a couple tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese to it.

While the cheese melted slightly over the lettuce, I fried up an egg for Andrew and I. I then set up our respective plates with my lovely salad creation and an over easy egg on top. A sprinkle of this stuff  from Trader Joe's and we were good to go. The Every Day Seasoning is a
fabulous blend of spices that you can use for almost anything savory! I love it and highly reccomend it in lieu of salt and peppah.

Perfecto! A light and delicious dinner that will make anyone in your life happy. Off to relax after day one of my 9-5 job. No more waitressing for this lady...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Best Part of Wakin' Up..

Good Morning! Today I woke up at bright and early at 6 A.M because the rest of the house, Andrew and two friends, were going to Saddleback Mountain for some snowboarding. The smell of bacon wafted into my bedroom so I obviously had to get up to see if they had made me an egg bacon sandwich. No dice.

Instead I went with a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. Yum.
What does that quote mean?
After my breakfast, I contemplated going back to bed but instead got some energy to walk the 2 miles to the gym! The streets were nearly empty besides all the crazy dedicated runners on the icey pavement. Bless their souls.
Once I got closer to Planet Fitness, I thought of cozying up here and people watch read the newspaper and drink a cup of hot coffee.
Instead, I trudged on through the unplowed streets to the smelly gym to get my fitness on.

Remember this post when I said that walking in the snow is a real workout? Well, today my point was driven home when I arrived at the gym completely warmed up for my workout.
I had a great lil' workout and now I am home sipping on this stuff and deciding what to do with my day. Enjoy your weekend!

Also, I must bring up the fact that it is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This is a pretty powerful post that I read from Kailey and her honesty is amazing. If you are strugging with an eating disorder, I suggest you read this if you think you're ready to move on in your life. <3

Friday, February 25, 2011

Harder, Better, Faster Stronger: Why YOU should pick up Weights

I grew up in a house where I was lucky enough to have active parents. I remember taking long hikes on weekends, learning how to bike with my dad, and ski trips like the one below.
Fun Skiing Trip!
Whenever I see Oprah or Montel on television, it is hard to not be reminded of my Aunt Barbara intently watching TV while multi tasking babysitting and bicep curls. You could definitely say I got my passion for healthy living from my family.
Mom, Sister, Me
This is probably the reason the gym never really intimidated me. I was there all the time, it seems like, while my parents finished their cycling class or my dad played hoops with us.

When I moved to Portland and joined a new smelly gym. I did feel slightly intimidated by all the meat heads guys doing squats with 500 pounds on the bar.

awkward. Source

I knew that I had to quickly get over this because weight training is part of a healthy lifestyle. A few of the MANY benefits of a weight training program....
  • Use it Or You'll LOSE IT: Muscle mass naturally decreases as you age. If you don't do anything about the lean muscle you lose, it will be replaced with fat.
  • As you have strength gains, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories. As cardio helps you burn a ton of calories at one time, strength training helps your body burn calories after you have left the gym! Perfecto!
  • Happier: Pumping iron has mood altering effects that keep you smilin' and confident. :)
Where to Begin?!
  • Exercise Video's If you've never lifted weights before, start with a weight training exercise video in your own house! Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred is one of my favorites. Best thing about its a only 20 minutes of (sweaty) exercise. You can either buy cheap weights OR use cans of soup. Trust me, 50 reps with 2 cans seems heavy after a while..

  • Feel Good, Do Good I know my best weight workouts come when I feel positive about myself. If I am feeling down or unmotivated before the gym, I pick out a cute exercise outfit and put on a little mascara so when I am pumpin' iron I feel confident!

  • Have a Plan! Whenever I know its a strength workout day, I typically have some sort of routine I am going to follow. This is key to not feeling intimidated or nervous around the weights. Below is my trusty workout journal with work outs that I borrowed from Janetha, Julie, and Tina.

Have a Great Weekend!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using your Five Senses for Happiness

After dealing with bouts of self-inflicted sadness over the years, one day I decided I was over it.
 I didn't want to be one of those people. A pessimist, a party pooper, a debbie downer. Nope no thanks, definitely too much of a cramp on my style. Wait, what style?
Why couldnt I be one of those obnoxious lucky people that always had a smile on their face? I realized the secret of true happiness an my old and wise age of twenty-something:

Its all about genuinely appreciating all that you have in life.

It was like a little light bulb turned on and I finally realized how much I have been given.

All it takes is my five senses to instantly cheer me up and realize how lucky I really am.

What makes YOU feel lucky today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

excuse this brief interruption..

.....While I am busy folding 1,000 articles of clothing...


x this by three. How does this happen?

Or while I am taking this pup on his last walk before he goes home to his momma.
Or I might just be in the middle of eating my tenth second minneola. Finally, some good produce at Trader Joe's! These were $2.99 for 8! Can't beat that. They are perfect- love me some citrus.

But honestly, what I am probably doing is reading this book.

"Comfort Me with Apples" is about a restaurant critic in pursuit of good food and good company. It is great! She travels the world, cheats on her husband, and drinks a lot of really special wine. It's good and keeps my (ADD) self interested.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

R2D2 at Lowes

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!

This week is officially my last week of my old job. Monday starts my first week of my NEW job and I couldn't be more excited or happier.

We have had the honor of taking care of the most well behaved and adorable pup ever, Oliver. I love him. So much in fact that I let him use my favorite pillow and blanket to nap today.
Along with spoiling watching little Ollie all weekend, we threw around the idea of buying a vaccuum. We desperately need one. Dust bunnies are taking over our apartment. Yuck.

 This is not any vaccuum though. We were not ready to shell out hundreds of dollars on one or get a cheap one that didnt work, so one extremely brisk morning we headed out to Lowes and I was talked into bringing home this bad boy.

I am sort of embarrassed to say we will be using a shop vac to clean our apartment but hear me out. This thing is legit. For starters, it has an uncanny resemblance to R2-D2. Secondly, it works like a charm. BEST OF ALL, it cost us only 35 dollars.

We have used it for cleaning our rugs, hardwood floors, and our cars and we are both very impressed by the great job it has done. If you are cheap and sick of living in filth, try a shop vac.

That's all I have for today. Have a great day one :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Passage to India

Last night Andrew and I dined at Passage to India on Wharf St. in Portland, ME.

Usually when Andrew and I go out for a nice dinner, I'll wear these bad boys.
However, when I know I am venturing out on the cobblestones that make up parts of Portland, I stick with something more manageable like my boots. I think Andrew was a little disapointed I wasn't in my sexy heels!

This restaurant is so darn cute inside. As you can see there are brick walls on the right side. I wasnt sure why but they had been painted over- the color of brick? Strange.

Each table is set with white linens and cute little (fresh) flowers. Our servers were very attentive to us and filling our water glasses which I loved!

We started with an appetizer of Naan bread. Naan is Indian flat bread that is typically cooked in a brick oven. Ours was delicious. It was served with Mango Chutney.
For our entrees, I went with the Malai Kofta. "Fresh mixed vegetables, almonds, and raisin made into a ball and cooked in a creamy sauce". Vegetables, nuts and raisins in a ball? Sure , why not?!

Andrew tried the Fish Curry. "Fresh Salty haddock sauteed and cooked with curry sauce, aromatic spices, herbs and curry leaf."

Both of our entrees were really good. Mine was definitely made with coconut milk. Coconut and curry spices happens to be the best combination ever so I was happy. However, I wouldnt say the vegetables in the kofta were fresh.

 Andrew's haddock was definitely frozen but he was still very happy with his entree.

 The portions were perfect and I loved how instead of 2 rice balls they gave us a plate in the middle to share.

I wouldnt say Passage to India is the best Indian I have had, but it is still pretty good and the service is great. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.


This morning, I woke up because boyfriend #2 was licking my face. A girls gotta sleep!!

Then, I thought of my repercussions for NOT getting up....hmm.. I am sure you can think of a few surprises that may come my way. Instantly I got up to get little Ollie fed and out the door!

 I am sure glad I did. Although, it was cold and windy..walking the cutest little pup ever in the sunshine was such a good way to start the day!

Have a relaxing Sunday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the 30 Healthiest Ingredients

Did you read this article in Real Simple? If you havnt, you should. I know this chick-fil-a fanatic and this pug loving lady have.
I love how the last page of Real Simple has perforated index cards filled with a few recipes, exercises, and quotes all from that issue so you can keep them on your fridge or somewhere in sight rather than carry around a big ol' magazine all day.
I was really happy to see many of my favorite and every day foods made the list. How'd you do?

My all time nutrition and delicious foods:
  • Black beans- Canned or dried. A bag of dried beans is dirt cheap.
  • Blueberries- FROZEN. So much cheaper.
  • Broccoli- FROZEN. I always add chopped brocolli to pasta or rice for nutrition.
  • Edamame- FROZEN.
  • Eggs- Love eggs. Glad they made the list.
  • EVOO- use it on everything. Keeps my skin supple too ;)
  • Mushrooms- mmm only fresh.
  • Oatmeal- Love oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter mixed in.
  • Oranges- Vitamin C.
  • Nut Butters- SO happy they made the list!
  • Skim Milk- Yep, check.
  • Spinach- Spinach Smoothies! Frozen is cheap and you get way more in a bag!
  • Sweet potatoes- mashed or fries.
  • Whole-grain pasta- Sometimes..
  • Yogurt- Often!
Andrew and I had a delicious lunch today that incorporated lots of these foods. We picked up some bread from the Portland Farmer's Market today.

Here you see: Sauteed spinach in EVOO with two over easy eggs, some sweet potato homefries, and anadama toast. So easy and delicious!

Here are some pictures of my new boyfriend Oliver. He's staying with me and Andrew this weekend so his girlfriend can have a few nights to herself-- isnt he the cutest?!

We are going out for Indian tonight! Hope you have a fabulous Saturday :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Little Piece of Heaven Portland, ME

All Summer, I utilized our lovely deck for morning coffee in the sun or homemade mojitos with our good friends. Sadly, ol' man winter came and ruined all chance of even seeing the deck with lots and lots of the white stuff.

Finally after months of looking out at a deck full of heavy and dirty snow I finally saw signs of those wooden rickety boards!!

It made me so happy to read my Real Simple magazine while sitting in the sun.

Real Simple makes me feel like such a suzy homemaker- I love it. It really is a great magazine.
The other thing I was reading was an article in the Portland Press Herald that made me super happy. The owner of David's in Monument Square is doing an "in house biggest losers" challenge. How cool is that?! Apparently the chef wants to lose 60 pounds. I say BEST OF LUCK to them all! AND, the best part of the whole thing is that money is involved. CHA CHING.

Read the article here.

I was hoping to find a good sweet potato soup at Trader Joe's but no such luck. I bet I know someone who would enjoy this soup though.
That person is definitely this little guy. It tastes like a delicious puree of something I'd like when I was 6 months old. I have to give it to Trader Joe's though- this does have minimal ingredients and is low in cal's but the taste is off completely.

Andrew really enjoyed these granola bars from Trader Joe's though. They are a glorified candy bar basically. Thats ok though. I tried a bite and they are delicious and would be perfect for a snack.

Also, I must tell you all, I have been ecstatic all week because I GOT A NEW JOB!!! I am so excited to finally make it into the corporate world! ;)

Have a great day!