Some New Numbers

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I am thoroughly enjoying my relaxing weekend in Northern Idaho. It’s gorgeous Pacific Northwest weather–nice and drizzly! It’s a bit colder than we all would like (low 60s) but I am enjoying it before returning to the suffocatingly humid East Coast.

This weekend has been full of delicious healthy and not-so-healthy treats–my kind of weekend!

Saturday opened with a Zumba class. I have wanted to try Zumba for a long time, and I finally had the chance to go with Ammi’s friend Ginna. I liked and disliked it. It was awesome to move around in different ways, and I love to dance. I have really tight hips, so it was good to open them up and engage in exercise that demands different types of flexibility. However, I am pretty used to intense exercise–running, old school calisthenics, kickboxing, weights, so this workout wasn’t quite the intensity I would have liked, but I had fun trying to loosen my stiff little body up!

Back at home, we had a delicious Liver Cleanse drink. On my cleanse, I had a special drink I had to drink, which my cleanse buddy lovingly referred to as the Shrek Drink. It consisted of a plethora of ingredients–from tomato juice to garlic to cilantro–that I never was able to blend in a satisfying way. Part of the problem was that my blender was on its last legs, so maybe it just never got blended enough. Anyway, we kicked off our cleanse with 5-days of the Shrek Drink, and I was happy to see those five days end.

 The liver cleanse that Ginna makes includes some similar ingredients but it has a refreshing citrus taste.

She blends 1 grapefruit, a lemon, garlic, and cayenne into a delicious and refreshing drink!

My Liver Says Thanks!

I followed up the liver cleanse (and of course the corresponding coffee) with some delicious Vollkornbrot. This is a dense German bread full of seeds and deliciousness. It’s pictured with Hummus but I chucked that back and just enjoyed the bread!

Ich liebe deutsches brot!

Ammi and I had a perfect afternoon pampering ourselves. I think it’s so important to nourish our bodies on so many levels, so we decided to go to the spa and get pedicures! We spent some time in the steam room and then sipped Soy Lattes while gazing out at the beautiful lake. My toes are a deep red with a sprinkling of “fairy dust.” I also enjoyed a teeny hunk of some bread Ammi’s mom made. She has Celiac’s disease, so she created a delicious gluten-free, sugar-free apple bread using Xylitol as a sugar substitute. I had never tried Xylitol before, but the bread was delicious!

When Ammi and I returned to Ginna’s house, she had prepared a fantastic Morroccan Chicken soup! Since everyone is currently napping, I promise that recipes for all these fabulous soups and cleanses will come soon!

So delicious!

We feasted on soup and a fantastic spinach salad with homemade nut dressing! Do I ever have to leave Ginna’s house? I feel like I’m at a spa!

Ensalada

We decided to go see Sex and the City to relax before the big 5k! Of course, we three fabulous women knew that we could only enjoy the four fabulous women of SATC more with a cocktail. Since we’re all fairly health conscious, we made a fantastic healthy cocktail (if there is such a thing).

We blended frozen coffee, coconut milk, chocolate vodka, and agave chocolate syrup in the Magic Bullet and then poured them into perfectly portable jars! Ginna has so many more blog-beautiful dishes than I do!

Alcohol + chocolate...

Blend it up!

Slide it into the purse...

Enjoy with popcorn!

Now, I know that movie popcorn is not the most low-cal treat, but what’s a movie without it! I didn’t add butter and savored every piece in this small bag. Mmmm…. I think life is meant to be enjoyed, and if that means the occasional cocktail and movie popcorn will keep me from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, then so be it.

I had a bit of a “freak out” moment when a reader of this blog mentioned that I might want to be careful of the calories I am consuming. Obviously, this past week I went out a fair bit and then came on vacation, but I no longer want to be obsessed with numbers. The clear intention of this blog is to feel healthy and full without achieving some arbitrary number. I want to feel strong and nourished. I want to feed my body food it craves rather than worrying about how many calories are in such food. If I find myself going off the deep end, of course I will pause and reevaluate, but for now, I think I am on a healthy path.

That being said, there are two new numbers that I encountered today that I am going to focus on for a little while.

Today, Ammi, Ginna, and I ran the Coeur d’Alene 5k. The Coeur d’Alene Marathon and Half Marathon were held today, and we decided that we wanted to be part of the festivities! Ammi and I met through a running board back when we were both living in Germany, so part of today’s run was “for old times sake.” We woke up at 5AM and guzzled coffee. (I think I’m back on coffee. Oh well, I love it!) We also had bananas, which I dipped into almond butter. Delicious! We bundled up and got in the car for the trek to Coeur d’Alene, about an hour away. I loved looking at the scenery on our way up. Idaho is gorgeous!

Up early and getting pumped!

All bundled up!

I actually ended up adding more layers when I got to the race because it was chilly. Maybe it was that extra layer that slowed me down! (more on that later) I bundled up in my high school long sleeve tee from 2001! I wore huge clothes back in high school because I was so uncomfortable with my body. I have come a long way!

As I said, Ammi and I met in Germany in 2005/2006. Here we are at the Limeslauf Half-Marathon in 2006. I ran the half and Ammi ran the 10k. It was only two weeks after we ran the Hamburg Marathon, and she was coming off a cold. I stupidly ran the Half-Marathon, which was a trail run. It was pretty abandoned out there and the Germans were serving carbonated water, which made me sick. I nearly panicked. Luckily, I had a great friend meet me near the finish to pace me in!

Ammi helps me to the finish

Ammi and Heather in May 2006

Heather and Ammi in May 2010

Sadly, under all my layers I am wearing the same blue top! Luckily we went shopping after our 5k Celebratory breakfast. I enjoyed a “Cautious” Omelette with eggs whites, steamed veggies, light jack cheese, and salsa accompanied by potatoes (I had to! I’m in Idaho!) and bread–neither of which I came close to finishing. It’s been kind of a munchy day for me. After our shopping trip, I had some trail mix, leftover Moroccan Chicken Soup and am currently crunching on some pretzels as a type. We all have days like that I guess, but I’m setting another goal for myself not to eat dinner until I am truly hungry!

Egg Whites came into my life with John. Thanks babe!

I entitled this entry “Some New Numbers” because as we all know, that one BIG number I am trying to avoid; however, today I encountered some new numbers that I think I can work with.

I fully admit that I have not been running very much this year. In fact, I did my “Every Odd Day in May” to get ready for this trip! (I have switched around the days a little being here. No biggie.) But, I still find it astonishing that no matter how much or little I run or how much or little I weigh, I cannot crack one big barrier.

I cannot get below 24:20 in a 5k! I set that PR in 2005 at the end of my senior year in college. For the past five years, I have hovered right around that number no matter how much or little I weighed or how much or little I had been running.

Case in point, I ran the “Buffalo Stampede” 5k in Delaware in July 2008. It was a steamy day, and I was much heavier than I am now and hadn’t been running consistently.

My time? 24:28.

Today’s race was perfectly cool though a little bit windy. I am at a much healthier weight though haven’t been running very much.

My time? 24:27.

Seriously!! I also think that strange mile markers contributed to my time today. The 2-mile marker was off, meaning the last “mile” was probably closer to 1.5 miles, making it harder to pace. I think my time is respectable, and I felt good today. I also know that I actually need to train to improve, so I am going to. I am going to crack 24:20 by the end of the summer! Now to find a race!

The other number that I came into contact with today is my body fat percentage. Of course, I have left the scale behind, but I thought that it might be nice to know my body fat percentage and understand my body composition, especially since John and I are starting Velocity soon. It will be nice to have a clear measurement of progress. Though I don’t want to obsess about any numbers associated with my body, knowing my body composition actually makes me feel informed. (I also can’t check it everyday, so it doesn’t lend itself to obsessing the same way scale weight does.) After the race, I got my body composition analyzed. I made a big fuss of not seeing my weight during the process, and Ginna found that interesting. She said I should blog about my reluctance to know my weight. Obviously, she had seen me taking pictures of my meals and I had told her I was keeping a food blog, but then I had to explain the premise of the blog. I didn’t want a fantastic weekend and a strong race overshadowed by some number. I know I need to get to a place where that number doesn’t matter, but I’m not there yet.

My body composition is as follows: 74.4% lean mass and 25.6% fat. Being 24 or below would put me in the Optimum range, so my other goal for the summer is to crack 24 in the body fat percentage category. (Wow, that number 24 obviously has some power for me today!) Changing my body composition isn’t about obsessive weight loss but rather working out and challenging my body. I am ready for the challenge. I am looking forward to an awesome summer.

…and 24, it’s on!

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Welcome to…

Idaho!

sadly, I have yet to try their famous potatoes, but I have had some good eats!

The trip was long but fun. I departed from the Wilmington Train Station for BWI on the Acela. It was a smooth and quiet trip and almost as nice as the ICE in Germany. My goal for the afternoon was not to eat until I felt actual hunger, and by the time I arrived at the airport around 5PM I was huuungry. Whenever I am on a healthy eating kick, I try to limit my snacks, which ends up backfiring. So I decided to find something healthy but real to eat. I wanted something that would fill me up and taste okay, and I eventually found a wrap.

That's a wrap!

I enjoyed about 3/4 of this wrap and then meandered around the stores in the airport debating about whether or not to buy myself a treat. I opted not to as I knew I was just tired not hungry. It was the last day of school, and I had gotten up early to run, so I really needed a nap not a treat, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying some chai on my layover in Denver.

Chai with a view!

By the time I arrived in Spokane, WA, I was weirdly wired and hungry, but luckily my friend Ammi is a super-healthy and prepared eater, so she tossed me an apple as we got into the car and made our way to her hometown in Idaho!

My first day here was relaxing, hanging with Ammi and her daughter and touring around Sandpoint, which is such a pretty, quirky place. The internet connection is a little slow here, so I am only going to upload the highlights.

The day began with Ammi’s perfect coffee and a good book. I bought myself this book instead of candy yesterday. I have been trying to turn to “comfort reads” instead of “comfort food,” and though normally that consists of old favorites like Anne of Green Gables, maybe this was a “food treat.” I am really enjoying The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because it offers a neat perspective on Sweden, and as someone who has lived abroad and gotten to know another country pretty intimately, it’s nice to have a view into a fairly unknown place.

The best part of waking up...

Ammi is a coffee mastermind. I have so many great memories of hanging with her in Germany, drinking coffee blended perfectly with soy milk and honey, and getting ready to go for a run. Unfortunately, she’s got a pretty nasty cold right now, but hopefully we’ll still get in some of our traditional physical activities. We followed up coffee with a cleanse-drink made by her friend Ginna that included grapefruit juice, garlic, and cayenne pepper (and some other secret ingredients), some Fennel, Flax, and Fenugreek tea, and I split a banana with Ammi’s daughter–light and perfect.

We meandered downtown for lunch with Ammi’s mom and business partner. They are midwives, and it was so interesting to hear about their jobs and their take on health. I devoured my steak salad with gorgonzola and raspberry vinaigrette. It was the perfect lunch! I skipped the bread because it just didn’t seem that appetizing to me. If I’m going to have bread, it needs to be perfect.

mmm...delicious!

We snacked on grapes as Ammi prepared a gourmet meal. I have tons of great pictures, but I’ll share my favorite dish. We savored chicken roasted with oranges and rosemary, a yummy Shiraz from nearby Washington, some beets, strawberries, and this unbelievable soup. Recipe coming tomorrow…

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it might be this!

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DORA?

Delayed onset running appetite?

Just like we get DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) the day after a tough weights workout, I wonder if there is DORA for running. I got up and ran 8 miles this morning to celebrate the last day of school. I certainly had a solid breakfast after my run, but I haven’t really been hungry today. I’ve nibbled on some snacky stuff but not eaten a real meal. It could also be due to the extreme high temperatures in school. I’m so glad the east coast didn’t get hot until this week; we would have been miserable in May!

guzzling the water after this morning’s run. The eyebrows look good, huh?

I am so proud of my fun run this morning. I didn’t push myself for speed; I just wanted to enjoy the distance and solitude in the morning. I run without my glasses, so it can be kind of exciting. Every stick turns into a rattlesnake and every bush turns into a wild dog.

Just your basic Green Monster with a strawberry peeking out for good measure.

Adding the toppings! Not quite like an ice cream sundae, but I do love my Chia seeds and wheat grass.

The thought of this GloBar got me through the workout. I love them, and I especially love that they are made by a woman who is about my age who had a dream and started her own business. So inspiring!

and some nuts to munch on in the library. I enjoyed some of these last night as a “treat” too.

One of my coworkers made these sweet potatoe brownies for her class. They read Things Fall Apart and apparently the sweet potato is a major aspect of the novel. (I’ve never read it.) I wanted to try her creation, but I just wanted a taste–it was good and sweet. All of my classes had little parties today as we reviewed. I manage to successfully avoid most of the garbage (not a judgment here, I just know how I feel after eating that stuff) but I did taste some chips and homemade salsa and a toffee that one of my girls brought in because she had written about it in an essay earlier in the year. Pretty good stuff! Storebought cupcakes and cookies-not worth it.

a light lunch of some cukes and hummus. Maybe all the snacking and the big breakfast just did me in…

After all my classes, I enjoyed some Nan and spreads that one of my colleagues brought in.

and berries for dessert.

But really, I’m not hungry, so it’s time to stop. I must have filled myself up with that amazing Green Monster. Often, I get these urges to eat even when I don’t have real hunger, so my goal for this afternoon is to not eat again until my body is actually asking for it. That might seem like a ridiculous goal to many people, but for me it’s important. I am kind of hoping that hunger will strike in the airport so I can get a Decaf Soy Latte…

The trip is going to be fun! It’s a train and two planes to visit Ammi, but I am so pumped to see her! Catch ya on the west coast!

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The Carrot at the End of the Stick

That’s how I felt about my blog today. It was the carrot at the end of the stick. I wanted to write in it ALL day, but I knew that I needed to accomplish some “real work” first. I had to slog through the last ten papers of the year, and I did it! It’s amazing to me to feel so overwhelmed by such a small amount of papers. I can fly through them in the winter months, but school is coming to a close, and it’s so warm outside…

After last night’s dinner, I was really in the mood for something sweet (“and healthy!” I told myself). I walked over to Trader Joes to buy some yogurt and planned on cutting up some strawberries and banana. However, when I walked into my uninspiring kitchen, I realized that I didn’t want yogurt and fruit. It was too heavy. I really wanted some chocolate, and that was okay. I’d rather just follow my craving and enjoy what I craved than try to avoid it and end up giving in later and eating six times as much.

I laid out my cocoa next to my very special mug that I got from Oktoberfest 2005. You pay a pfand (deposit) in Germany when you buy a drink, and when you return the glass, you get your deposit back. I was so confused and unable to speak German at that point, I thought the woman was giving me the mug, so I paid my money and walked away with the crowd. It was a lucky mistake though. I’d rather have this mug than a few euro!

In this recipe

1 tsp sugar

1 heaping tablespoon cocoa

1 cup soy milk

Ahhh....

This definitely hit the spot! I missed cow’s milk; I think it gives drinks like this a creamier flavor, but I definitely savored my treat as I half-watched Glee and half-watched Biggest Loser. It was fun for me to see Biggest Loser after making a change in my life. When I watched it before, I was always jealous and frustrated that these obese people had ended up smaller than me… but now I’m right there with them living a healthy lifestyle.

Question: Do you snack at night? I don’t want to get into a habit of eating junk food at night, and I think that we can often snack mindlessly during nighttime tv, but I do crave something sweet at night. Should I give into the craving? Do you have any favorite sncaks?

Good morning, Jillian!

I ran yesterday, so I thought I’d do some weights today. I love Jillian’s workouts, and I thought this was fitting after last night’s Biggest Loser finale. I will definitely be doing a review of Jillian’s workouts soon!

I went down to the kitchen where delicious overnight oats were waiting. I have made vegan overnight oats in the past, and I liked them but didn’t love them. I made Simply Cinnamon Overnight Oats last night when got home. What a way to start the day! I can definitely recommend this recipe. It was creamy, filling, and had the perfect cinnamon taste–not too overpowering, almost like a pie!

The view

Yes, I have the glamorous job of proctoring the library in the morning. Isn’t my view gorgeous?

The topping.

The oats.

The task. Isn’t teaching fun!?

I taught four classes this morning but had luckily prepared a delicous lunch the night before.

Hummus salad. I added a little X-marks-the-spot of tomato paste. I love the flavor of tomato paste!

Veggie burger on a pita with spinach. Unbelievably good!

Berries for dessert.

After such a filling breakfast and lunch, I thought I would be completely satisfied for the rest of the day, but my body had other plans. It was the last day for one of my classes, so we had a little party.

I enjoyed some pretzels. I try to avoid garbage-carbs, but I only had a serving (more than pictured) and I was HUNGRY!

After school I went to Panera to…finish grading! Both shocking activities I know.

Think pink! I filled up my water bottle and enjoyed a strawberry smoothie made with lowfat vanilla yogurt. Delicious!

And, still grading…

Panera is in a perfect location for my afternoon errands. I planned on getting a massage and buying a new suitcase, but I decided to get my eyebrows waxed at the last minute.

Still thinking pink!

I am so bad about easy aspects of my appearance. I rarely do my hair or wear makeup. I have a hard time finding the best or more flattering clothes to wear. But I only have myself to blame because I don’t really give these things much thought. I want to start though. Any tips on baby steps to a better appearance?

Despite filling meals and snacks, I was still famished when dinnertime rolled around. I guess my body knows that I want to run hard tomorrow, and to respond to its wants, I had a fairly carb-y (for me) dinner.

Thanks again, Panera! I promise I cook at home, but it’s such a great place to grade and blog and people watch. I really enjoy looking at what other people are eating. I try to look at healthy people and see what they feed themselves naturally. I think a lot about what I eat in order to pick the most healthy meals, but I think there are many people who listen to their bodies and respond to their bodies’ desires. I find that fascinating. It’s a skill I want to learn. I find it sad to watch superskinny teenage girls pick at lettuce and nibble on the crusts of bread, and I watch in astonishment as very overweight people order the least healthy options on the menu. I know I shouldn’t be shocked because obesity is such a problem in the US, but I just don’t understand how in the age of information people can still make such bad choices. Food habits and cravings are such tough things to overcome, as many of us know.

Delicious vegetable and pesto soup.

A Mediterranean vegetable sandwich with hummus.

And a hunk of bread to get ready for tomorrow’s long run!

Today was a day full of food. Question 2: Do you like hungry-days or do they make you nervous? It can be fun to eat more than usual but also nerve-wracking to stray from our normal habits. Do you let your body or your diet plan dictate what you will eat?

I think I’ll listen to my body… maybe that will mean another sweet treat! (After I pack for my trip!)

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Bloggymoon

I am sure that my posts to this blog will start to slow down, but for now I’m in my Bloggymoon. I love writing in this space; I love that it keeps me accountable; I love that I am rekindling one of my old passions. I spend all day teaching reading and writing, and I spend a lot of my private time correcting other people’s writing. Naturally when I come home, I don’t want to read or write even though both of these passions led me to become an English teacher!

One of my other passions is running. I discovered this passion in college and ran pretty consistently throughout my four years. After leaving college, my passion for running waxed and waned. I ran a marathon while living in Germany, but when I moved back to the US to work full time, it was harder to squeeze in running. Plus, I felt like running had been part of me in college, but as a new worker, I felt pretty adrift. I didn’t look like a runner, so I had a hard time asserting myself as one. Even though I coached cross country, I had lost my running confidence.

When I started to lose weight in September, I was running pretty consistently with the team and kept up my own workouts until a nasty hamstring pull. I was able to do other workouts, but I couldn’t run for awhile, and I started to feel like I had never been a runner. You know those first few attempts at working out when you’ve been lazing around for awhile… I sputtered and coughed; I struggled and walked. I certainly wasn’t graceful.

At the beginning of May I woke up. With plans to visit my hardcore running friend Ammi over Memorial Day weekend, I needed to get my running legs back, and I decided to do it in a calm way: The “Every Odd Day in May” Plan. By setting a reasonable goal, I have managed to become a runner again. The first few weeks were tough. I was getting back into shape and still on my cleanse, which limited carbs. Now that I’ve had a few weeks to run and have integrated some carbs back into my life, my running is awesome! I may not be able to keep up with Ammi, but I won’t be as pathetic in my attempt.

Normally, I am an early-morning exerciser, but with today’s commute, I was forced to move my run to the afternoon. I don’t normally like afternoon workouts because I am exhausted from the school day. Plus, temperatures hit the 80s today! Ick. However, this run was AWESOME! I felt so strong and powerful–minus some cramping that forced a quick walk on the way back of my out-and-back route.

On my way home getting pumped for the big run and keeping those muscles pumped by hauling my lunch bag, purse, and school bag around with me.

Chugging water–it was a hot day!

My happiness after a powerful run shines through this blurry photo!

Even after a great run, I still feel some body insecurities. My least favorite part of my body is the “pooch.” I know I’m not yet at my Happy Weight, but even when I am, I will probably always have this pooch. That’s just how my body is made, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I am fairly self-conscious about this part of my body. Even when I wake up in the morning and it looks pretty flat, but the end of the day, I feel like it has grown exponentially. This part of my body really reacts to any food intake, and to me it doesn’t seem like other woman deal with the same issue. Does anyone else feel like a part of their body triples in size over the course of the day?

I even gave my stomach a name in college. I called it “Killer” because I thought it was scary and that I should have a “Beware of Stomach” sign the way people with an aggressive dog (who might also be named Killer) would have a “Beware of Dog” sign. Even though I was incredibly fit in college, I never felt that people could discern my fitness level because of my appearance, so I could work my exercise into almost any conversation. “I’m a runner.” “I teach aerobics.” “I love to spin.” I’m sure it was obnoxious, and luckily I don’t feel the need to be quite so overt about my fitness habits anymore (although maybe the existence of this blog disproves that statement)but I still do feel some of those same insecurities. They dissipate when I am eating healthy though!

Dinner was at Panera. It does seem like I eat out a lot, and currently it’s for three reasons:

1-I’m going on vacation in a few days, so I don’t have a lot of food in my house.

2-I am grading after eating, and I like to be in a loud space to stay alert.

3-Would you want to cook in this kitchen? It’s okay when I set aside some time on Sunday, but it’s so drab that I didn’t want to be in there on a beautiful afternoon. I share a kitchen, and it’s pretty small and dark.

My area of the kitchen–notice the cutting board, chia seeds, and wheat grass!

Can you guess which side of the fridge is mine? Hint: it’s probably not the side with the giant sheet cake, bag of bagels and ginormous tub of regular peanut butter. I can’t really keep PB in my house anyway. More on that later… 😦

I went to Panera for dinner. I departed from my winter order of BBQ Chicken salad and soup for something a bit lighter and fresher.

I had a delicious Asian sesame chicken salad.

A 1/2 chicken salad sandwich. Normally I avoid sandwiches with that much mayo, but I was pretty famished after the run, and I wanted a sandwich. This one was only okay. I probably won’t order it again.

This apple became apple slices, which are so much more fun to eat! The apple didn’t really satisfy my craving for something sweet, so if I grade enough papers, I might pop over to Trader Joes afterward for a sweet treat to enjoy during channel flipping between Glee and Biggest Loser.

Have a great night!

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My First Review

At Starbucks this morning, as I was waiting for my latte, I started perusing the variety of foods they have on display by the cash registers. It’s the same selling tactic that results in buying that three-pack of socks in H&M, and it worked.

I was intrigued by the Gojiberry Granola Bar produced by Two Moms in the Raw and decided to purchase it and review it here. I have enjoyed reading reviews from other bloggers and am certainly intrigued by the free samples that really successful bloggers receive. So neat!

I nibbled on half the bar throughout the course of my morning classes. (I was right that the banana & coffee wouldn’t hold me over.) Then, I pulled out the other half after lunch for dessert and my friend Francesca and I decided to taste test it.

Here is the package. It definitely has one of those “I’m a healthy product” looks.

You can see the healthy ingredients–apple, coconut, sesame seeds and other delicious ingredients that you can find here.

Francesca tastes the treat. Mmmm…. One note about Francesca (and she will admit it herself): she is not into trying new foods. She definitely has her favorite treats, but she has recently committed to a healthy lifestyle. She is boxing, running, and integrating more organic and fresh products into her life. I really admire the way she eats even though it isn’t always the healthiest because I think she really listens to her body. If she’s not hungry, she doesn’t eat something, which is definitely a skill that I am trying to learn. I’m proudly taking a picture as she goes beyond her comfort foods like cheese popcorn and Special K! Go Francesca!

So, instead of grading our students papers, Francesca and I carefully evaluated this bar. We both loved the different textures and tastes. It was interesting and fun to eat a piece of apple followed by that satisfying crunch of sesame seeds and pecans. The cinnamon taste was delicious and a nice balance for the other flavors in the bar. The one negative was a slight strange aftertaste. To me it tasted like soap, and Francesca thought it was kind of strange and sharp. I don’t know if that’s the agave syrup (which I am not used to eating) or another ingredient. I would definitely have this bar again though! It might work better as an “after school snack” because it is pretty dense and caloric, but I find that I am normally pretty hungry during breakfast and lunch. Today isn’t as bad because I’m working out after school… in the heat! I am going to have a nice light snack of berries before that run.

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Healthy Lunch

I am addicted to this blog! I love writing it, and I’m finding already that it’s helping me to stay healthy! It’s really fun to photograph my meals although I know that I need to work on getting beautiful blogger dishes and a better setting, but I eat lunch in my office in between classes. I tried to find a bookshelf, so you can see the glamorous lifestyle of an English teacher! Thus far, none of my colleagues have asked about my constant picture-taking, but our waitress last night certainly found it amusing. “We have a website,” she said, puzzled.

Here’s lunch!

A delicious side dish of cucumbers and hummus. YUM!!

A yummy veggie burger. Here are the toppings: avocado, tomato paste sprinkled with ground black pepper, hummus, and spinach.

Here is the finished product on a Sandwich thin. Sandwich Thins don’t necessarily follow Michael Pollan’s rules about food (less than 5 ingredients, ingredients your grandmother would recognize), but none of the stores I went to this week had Ezekiel wraps, so sandwich thins will have to do for now. Look at those books in the background! I’m so academic 😉

A bit of a delicious break…and more grading! I leave for Idaho–hiking, running, gossiping!!–in two days!

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