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When it rains…

August 22, 2011

It pours.

It’s been a messy couple of days…….

First, let me tell you that I had every intention of writing a post yesterday, and then this happened:

Well, that’s just a photo from Google Images, but it properly illustrates what happened to my poor Dad late Saturday night. He tried to help someone carry things to their sailboat this weekend (Oh I didn’t tell you, he’s an ornery old sailor. In a land locked state. For real.) by walking down a steep grassy hill. He was wearing a beat-up pair of sandals, and there was a lot of dew on the grass.

Needless to say, my dad slipped and fell, narrowly escaped landing on and subsequently killing a hairless Chinese dog that he was carrying, and broke his ankle. He broke both bones and tore a ligament.

My dad was in surgery today. He had 11 screws placed in his bones, but he made sure to be his ornery old self before and after the procedure. That’s my dad alright.

 

On top of that whole debacle, I had problems of my own today.

My car started to misbehave. I was in line for a stop sign, and when the cars in front of me moved forward, I lightly touched my gas pedal to do the same. Only my car stalled and then went the opposite direction, almost hitting the person behind me. Was my car in reverse, you ask? No. It was in drive. Peculiar….

So I hightailed my defiant car to the shop, where they told me I must have hit something (doesn’t ring a bell), because my transmission fluid was leaking. Hence the car acting like it was in neutral when really it was in drive. Ieeeyieeeyiee.

Now that I have that all off my chest, how about some food and workout stuff? Anybody? Bueller?

Ahh, there we go.

I tried out some Green Monster tips from Katie over at peaceloveandoats, and I can officially say that I have found a way to enjoy this smoothie without tasting the spinach!!

This smoothie in particular was really good. I sliced up one of my peaches from the farmer’s market, added a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/4 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup spinach, and two ice cubes. I tried starting small with the spinach, to ease myself into the whole idea. It worked. This smoothie tastes like peaches and cream, yumm!

Lunch for the day (packed for the first day of my last year of college!!):

One peaches and cream smoothie (for post-workout fuel), spinach salad with cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, turkey, herbed goat cheese, and home made balsamic vinaigrette, whole-wheat pita, hummus, and carrots.

I devoured that food. And my body needed it after the workout I did today.

Since I have access to weight machines again (and I have no clue what I’m doing with free weights), I decided that I want to incorporate 2-3 weights sessions a week into my workouts. I had a good one today that worked on legs, abs, and a little lower back, followed by 20 minutes of cardio on my favorite Cybex machine.

For the weights, I did three sets of 12 reps on 30 pounds for each machine: Leg curl, leg extension, abductor, adductor, glutes, leg press, lower back, rotary torso,  and total abdominal. I could feel the burn and I liked it.

What is your favorite way to do weights? Have you ever broken a bone?

I like the machines (for now), and I broke my right pinky at the growth plate in the fifth grade. Ouch.

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City Market and Hummus

August 20, 2011

I woke up early this morning to go to the City Market, Kansas City’s largest central farmer’s market.  I started the day off with some hazelnut coffee and an english muffin with raspberry jelly, a slice of gouda, and an egg that I nuked in the microwave (inspired by PBFinger’s cheese and jelly bagelwiches).

An apple was also enjoyed on the side. I can’t wait until fall when apples are at their best!!

After my trip here I brought home all of this for less than 30 dollars!

 

 

 

Aren’t those colors just gorgeous? The end of summer is my favorite time for farmer’s market food because it all looks and tastes incredible. I ate one of the peaches after putting everything away, and juice was running down my face and hands like a peachy massacre. Mmmmmm.

I don’t know if you noticed that little bag of whole wheat pita bread in the back of that City Market loot, but I can’t wait to eat it. I bought it at Al Habashi Mart, a little ethnic food store in the market area, and it was still warm on the rack. It inspired me (along with yesterday’s post about saving money by making your own food) to make some fresh hummus. My aunt gave me this recipe a while ago, and I altered it a bit to fit my taste.

Aunt Andie’s Hummus (WILAF Style)

Ingredients:

1 Can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1/4 C lemon juice

2 Cloves of garlic (or more to taste)

1/4 C olive oil

2 T tahini

Pinch of salt

Drain and rinse your garbanzo beans and add put them in a blender.

Add in your lemon juice (it tastes best when the juice is fresh).

Next add in olive oil, garlic, tahini, and salt.

Now blend, blend, blend!

If it looks chunky like this, add more olive oil until it reaches a smoother consistency. Or keep it chunky if that’s your style.

Finished product in container with an extra olive oil drizzle:And if (unlike me) you are really patient, you can try using roasted garlic instead of fresh for a more deep bodied flavor, or charring a red bell pepper and blending in the flesh for a smokier taste. Have fun, and be creative!

This stuff is good. Really good. Especially with a squishy, freshly toasted piece of pita bread. Thank you Mr. Al Habashi.

 

 

I wish every day were grocery day…

August 19, 2011

I woke up this morning absolutely starving, so I made myself a bowl of these:

Not the prettiest bowl of oats in the world, but they are mine so I will love them just the same.

Looking through my pantry and refrigerator made me realize just how badly I need to go grocery shopping. Lucky for me, grocery shopping is one of my absolute favorite activities. Everrr.…I write my grocery list at least a week ahead, and then revise it one or two times because something I want but don’t need sneaks on there. It reminds me of the mothers you see at the grocery store who have yet to notice the three boxes of fruity pebbles their kid hid in their cart. I guess I am my own relentless four year old.

Really though, I revise my list so many times because I am a college student, and although I have some form of monetary support, it helps me manage my money better when I shop within a budget. After a few years of shopping like this, I have learned many things about shopping smarter (without having to cut out coupons all day), so I thought I would share them with you.

1. Shop in bulk.

sams      Costco.com

There are a few things that I eat a lot of throughout the week such as spinach and baby carrots. Because I know I will inevitably have to make more than one trip to a regular grocery store if I buy normal sizes of these items, I buy them in bulk. It ends up being cheaper in the long run, and keeps my budget in its place. Buying bread in bulk is great, also, because you can freeze whatever you don’t need for the week and it will come out perfectly fresh and delicious whenever you pull it out again.

2. Shop before you leave your house.

I recently discovered that you can look up the prices of many food items from your local grocery store online and compare prices on other websites. In doing this, i found that spinach and bananas are cheaper at Sam’s than at Hy-vee, and that one brand of organic skim milk is over a dollar cheaper at Hy-Vee than the kind I was going to buy in bulk at Sam’s. For some reason, it ends up being less overwhelming to compare prices online than when you are in the store and some cranky person is about to run  you over with their cart.

3. Hit up the farmer’s market!

                    

Ahh the City Market of Kansas City. I love this place. Need I count the reasons?

Buying fresh local produce, is without a doubt, wonderful because not only are you getting better quality food, you are also helping local farmers. I didn’t have to tell you that though.

Another reason I love the farmer’s market is the prices. Produce is always sooo much cheaper here, and of higher quality and flavor than grocery store produce. It is best to do a quick walk through all of the stalls and check on prices, and then go back to the stands that look like they will give you the best deal.

And don’t forget to always bring cash. Always.

4. Last but not least, make your own food.

There are some items that are easy to buy pre-made at the grocery store, yet are just as easy to whip up at home.

For example, hummus. 

Hummus usually rings in between 3 and five dollars at the grocery store. Now that is just fine, and I have bought it many a time, but when I am really stretched budget-wise I buy a can of chickpeas for around a dollar, a lemon for 25 cents, some garlic for a dollar or less, and use the tahini from the jar in my fridge to whip up a fresh batch of delicious hummus. That leaves you with up to two and a half dollars more in your pocket. And those dollars add up over time.

I know this only hits the tip of the iceberg as far as saving money on groceries, but these four rules have helped me spend much less money in the long run. I hope they can do the same for you as well!

How do you save money when grocery shopping?

Sunwarrior=Hole in Pocket

August 16, 2011

I did it.

I finally broke down and bought some of this stuff…

Sunwarrior Protein Powder

Vanilla style, even though I definitely am a chocolate gal through and through. Vanilla is more versatile in the smoothie world, I am sad to say.

Note to self…do not look at Open Sky after drinking wine. It will lead to unnecessary purchases of completely awesome but utterly expensive protein powders. Next up from The Fitnessista’s store: Honey Stinger Energy Chews. Yumm.

Why, do you ask, did I shell out the big bucks? Well, my friend, I want to get back into my healthy kick lifestyle. Before my previous semester of college ended this May, I was on a roll. I had discovered food blogs and learned about overnight oats, breakfast cookie dough, and the wonder that is smoothies. I ran almost every day (which, now that I think about it, should have been every other day. Note to self.) I ran my first ever 10K and didn’t finish too shabby. I had muscle definition in my stomach for the first time ever. I finally completed 10 miles in one run, which for some is small potatoes, but for me is a definite accomplishment.

And then came summer…

Time for relaxing, working a lot, and vacations. Not worrying about a thing. Eating more cheese than is truly necessary. And chocolate for that matter. Time for Europe, with its’ endless carbs and fat-laden meats and butters that I would normally never eat so much of but were oh-so-gooooood. But you know what?

I am happy with every croissant, bratwurst, and Bitburger beer I consumed while in Europe. They all were an amazing culinary experience, a way to let go, to truly enjoy what sat on my taste buds and not worry about where they landed on my thighs.

If there was one thing I liked about Germany, it was that the women there didn’t care about a little roll on their tummy. Most of them had curves, and seemed perfectly content with them. No shame there! No shame in eating butter on your bread, dipping fries in mayonnaise, and drinking some beer with dinner. In Europe, I learned that having a woman’s body is beautiful and revered, and that is something to be proud of, not ashamed to have.

But I have had this constant itching. This need to feel a runner’s high, to be proud of how I have treated my body. So I have decided that I want to lie in the middle of two cultures. I want to feel healthy, to get that high and sense of accomplishment that can only be found from a hard workout. I want to feel the energy given by vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. I want to feel full and happy, but I also want to be happy with my body as is. I want to love every curve my body presents, and own it.

And so I will try.

New to this…

August 16, 2011

So here’s the deal. I realllly love food. Always have, always will (even if sometimes it doesn’t necessarily love me back). When I was growing up, I had a really bad sweet tooth that resulted in a somewhat chubby appearance. Eventually I grew, and my body evened out until my junior year of high school. Quitting the school swim team and going through the new-love-eat-as-much-as-my-boyfriend phase ended in an extra thirty pounds. Enter: college. The land of bad cafeteria food that I didn’t want to eat and walking everywhere helped me lose a few pounds my freshman year, and access to a gym that I didn’t have to pay extra for had me more interested in fitness. Through exercise and a cleaner diet, I eventually lost those thirty pounds and have since found a love for running, eating healthy, and creating new meals/recipes.

Tonight had me excited because I made not one, but two delicious new things: nutella chocolate chip cookies (based off of Mama Pea’s peanut butter chocolate chip dough ball recipe), and chicken and vegetable stir fry with coconut lime rice and peanut sauce. Mmmmmm delicious, recipes to come!

The thing is, I like to eat healthy, but everyone has a different concept of healthy. For some it means eating lots of meat and dairy or cutting them out all together. For others it’s not eating sweets. For some it means cutting out gluten because it helps with allergies/other conditions. To me, eating healthy means eating everything within reason. I believe you can eat whatever you want if you watch your portions (though I’m not one to sit in a McDonald’s drive-through, blech). I know what works for me will not work for everyone else, but I continue to work at making healthy choices everyday. Even if those healthy choices mean enjoying a few of those nutella cookies I mentioned above…or five.