Mar 31, 2010

Baking with a Dirty Blondie...Ginger

After I carbo-loaded on angel hair for absolutely no reason other than loving pasta, I had the urge to bake! I looked down in my own shame, remembered that I'm not currently rocking a tummy roll, and considered the state of my abs. NO COOKIES ALLOWED. 

SAVE THE ABLETS. was a big fat failure for me tonight, so I resorted to other bloggers' goodies. Tina is a blogger from my home state of Massachusetts. Her healthy-eating and fitness blog is right up my alley -- she exercises her butt off, eats really healthy, but knows it's important to indulge...bc we can. Hence the name of her blog "Carrots and Cake." I perused her recipes and found Baked Banana Oatmeal. I made some modifications and created a very similar recipe.

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup Blue Diamond almond milk, original flavor
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 banana, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
2. Combine the first six ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3. Add milk and vanilla and stir.
4. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
5. Add mixture to the pan.
6. Top the mixture with the sliced bananas. 
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly browned.
8. Resist the temptation to immediately devour, and let cool. 

Makes 2-4 breakfast bars -- depends how hungry you are! 
I cut mine into 4 servings. Here is the estimated nutritional information that I calculated using
Please note that this is a calculation using the above site and the specific products that I used.

Per 1/4 of total recipe: 
212 Calories
10g Fat
0mg Cholesterol
40mg Sodium
29.5 Carbohydrates
17.5g Sugar
2.75g Fiber
3.75g Protein

Enough science, onto the baking process. I'm such a blonde. Well, sort of. Let's not get into a 30 minute discussion about how I'm never quite sure what my hair color is. We'll just go with dirty blonde almost ginger. Oh, and my eyes? I-swear-they're-green-but-everyone-else-thinks-they're-blue. For this particular recipe, I was a ditzy, a.d.d. blonde. 

Step 1: Completed without difficulty. Pressing the up arrow to preheat an oven isn't hard.
Step 2: Beautiful success!
Step 3: Also a success!
Step 4: Where the !@#$%^&* is my loaf pan? I started to panic and rummage through the cabinets. Luna Bar stash, sweet!! Can you guess what my favorite flavor is?
Step 5-6: I settled for a little pyrex instead.
Step 7: The baking/sitting with anticipation by the oven process:
immediately after placing in the oven. 
i'm easily excited over baked goods.
ten minutes later. good grief, time is slow. 
i guess i'll clean up.
realizing that i make quite the disaster mess while baking:
oh, look, the spilled milk made a C!
10 minutes left, let's play on facebook/BBM/chug diet lemonade. 
clearly these three things are crucial in my life.
five minutes left. i can't sit still. 
except on the floor in front of the oven i guess.
Step 8: I MADE IT!
There you have it--brekkie bar sucess!

Mar 30, 2010

Sushi and Spinning!

If I didn't look in the mirror each morning I would swear that I had "Be inappropriate around me" written on my forehead. I feel like I'm always experiencing the oddest things. I fully admit that I often experience word vomit and have little to no filter, but today I was just standing there. This morning I picked up some hazelnut coffee from Biggby Coffee and while I was adding skim milk, this conversation happened:

Barista boy 1: Dude, you just squirted that everywhere. (It was honey)
Barista boy 2: That's what she said.
X: gigglegigglegiggle (spill coffee) gigglegigglegiggle
Barista boy 2: Oh, geez, I didn't realize you could hear me.
X: It's ok, I liked it.

Wait, what? Why did I even say that! I am pretty sure the little ginger thought I was even more of a freak than he was. From now on I'm going to walk around like this:
 I knew I stole that from the doctor's office for a reason.

Let's review last Friday's indulgences eats. Santo and I went to a friend's birthday party at Tsunami. I hadn't had sushi in a while, so I was pretty excited. I was even more excited that he was willing to pick me up. We decided to get an appetizer and split some rolls. The fun thing about Tsunami is that they have a ton of different rolls, and their specials change frequently.

For our appetizer, we chose the Seabiscuit: Breaded super white tuna topped with curry and Japanese BBQ sauce, crab salad and scallions.
This was okay.I don't care for fried fish, but the combo of curry and bbq sauce seemed cool. Not so much.

Because I am kind of a freak when it comes to trying new foods with someone, I made Santo try each roll at the same time with me. Is this weird? I don't care; I do it anyway. He's a foodie too, so I'm sure he didn't mind.  Our first roll was the one I chose, appropriately named Heartbreaker. (I have high hopes for myself.) The Heartbreaker is a roll of Spicy Tuna and Cucumber topped with Albacore Tuna, Avocado, and Scallions with a drizzle of sweet ponzu sauce.
Santo's turn. He chose the Firecracker: Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Crab and Red Snapper rolled and fried in bread crumbs. Served with a sweet hot chili sauce.
This was our favorite -- the sweet chili sauce was a great alternative to soy sauce.

And since we were so obviously out of control, we chose a third: Dancing Crab: Tempura crab, avocado, asparagus, red leaf lettuce, sprouts, topped with snow crab crumbled, served with grand marnier mango sauce.
The grand marnier mango sauce was fun. I never mind alcohol in my food. We stuck around enough to not be rude to the birthday girl while secretly whispering to each other where we could eat dessert and have some wine. It took a matter of minutes for me to remember that incredible Bread Pudding that Jenna and I tried at Hall's Chophouse during restaurant week.  I proposed the idea to Santo and we high-tailed it over to the next place. On the way, we made a pit stop in the ghetto for some Tylenol. We parked outside of the Li'l Cricket so he could run in...
And this convo happened:
Santo: I'm locking you in the car, okay?
Xtina:Uh, seriously? Is it that bad?
Santo: I've seen people die here.
Xtina: Gulp.
He locked me in the car WITH THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION! Totally safe. Hijacking isn't a crime or anything. Onto Hall's.

The managers at Hall's are kinda silly. They are super nice when you walk in and act like you're famous and/or we're all best friends. Don't get me wrong - it's nice to be greeted by really friendly people, but how much do they really love us? We sat down at the bar and I ordered a glass of Elk Cove Pinot Gris. No need to look at the dessert menu, we just immediately asked for the bread pudding.
Heaven on a plate!! We dropped a bunch of omg bombs while eating it. There were a couple nuts and dried cherries in the bread and a lot of alcohol in the sauce - we probably could have gotten tipsy from it. We suddenly realized we never even looked at the menu and discovered that it was Whiskey Bread Pudding. Mmm!
In fitness news, last night I tried Spinning for the first time. Best decision of the month! I briefly thought about trying Yoga again, but when a friend mentioned Spin class, Yoga sounded like a chore. Plus, I needed major detox from the above-pictured eats. And detox it was. This particular class was called Ride/Krank/Run: "An ECO Fitness original. In this class you can mix it up using Spinning bikes, Krankcycles, and Woodway Speedboards which are unmotorized treadmills. You can ride the whole class or mix it up and challenge your body and mind in new ways."

Sweat mania -- I entered the gym with straight hair and left with curly. The instructor was energetic and played all my favorite songs -- even "Knockout"! I like how you can mix it up however you want in this class and that it's high-paced. I rode the bike for the majority of the songs, ran on the treadmill for a couple, and just did the krankcycle once.
Doesn't this look like a torture device? That's because it is.
After class my friend handed me a bag and said "Here's your reward for that class." CHOCOLATE FROM GERMANY!
And that, ladies and boys, is why I kick my own butt during the week...I didn't open any though. I'm saving for the weekend!

Tsunami on Urbanspoon

Halls Chophouse on Urbanspoon

Mar 24, 2010

I Might Need Binoculars to See the Weekend

It's only Wednesday and I've:
  • Worked overtime -- um, not okay
  • Broken part of my closet -- don't ask
  • Hurt my ankle more and now my knee is crying too
  • Thrown a temper tantrum at the gym bc I didn't want to do something embarrassing (frog-hops, are you kidding me? I refuse to partake in elementary school activities)
I don't know what's going on but I was a blazing hot mess! I rarely have bad days, and this was 24 hours of emotional and physical instability. Because of my ankle, whatever the heck I did to it, I decided it was not a good idea to run the 10K on Saturday. I don't want to make it worse and I'm sure it'll be fine if I take it easy for a few more days. 

On the bright side:
  • Fat check next pay period
  • Don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn for the run (I love sleep)
  • Apologized to my trainer for acting like a 5 year old
  • New 5K time: 27:10 
  • Sushi dinner plans on Friday!
  • Meeting Erica for brunch on Sunday!
  • And this new sandwich:
Sweet Ham + Cave Aged Gruyere + Pear + Honey on Honey Wheat Bread
This is a really simple sandwich, but because the ingredients pair so well with each other, the end result is amazing.

All I did was take 2 slices of Rudi's Organic Honey Wheat bread, add cheese slices and D'anjour pear slices on one:
and two slices of Publix sweet ham on the other:
I drizzled honey on top of the ham while I heated a pan over medium heat. I added cooking spray...never butter. I put the sandwich in the pan and cooked it just like a grilled cheese -- a few minutes on each side with a lid on top to make sure the cheese melts.

End result:
With peas!! Peas are one of my favorite vegetables :)

It has become clear to me that I have an obsession with trying new foods. I read about Sabra's sun-dried tomato hummus on Jessie's blog and knew I had to have it. On my lunch break, I looked at the Annie's shells & cheddar that I had brought and frowned. This was not meant to be my lunch. HUMMUS WAS. I zoomed over to Publix and picked up the new flavor along with Stacy's multigrain pita chips.  
This hummus flavor was pretty good, but not terribly exciting. Most of the flavor comes from the actual sun-dried tomatoes, and the rest of the hummus is a little bland. Sabra's hummus is very different than other brands because it has much more of a smooth, whipped consistency. I prefer the texture of Athenos' and Whole Foods' hummuses, but Sabra has really interesting flavors. My absolute favorite is Supremely Spicy...and yes, it is. I also picked up the Luscious Lemon flavor, so hopefully that will be better.

I also snacked on a new Luna Bar flavor: Vanilla Almond. 
Mmm this is a good one. It's got a really smooth, creamy flavor with a light nutty hint from the almond slivers. 
The addition of icing is perfect for this bar -- the sweetness really balances the roasted almond flavor out. I bet this would be even better with a big glass of Blue Diamond almond milk in the vanilla flavor!

After last night's meltdown at the gym I felt like I didn't get a good workout in. And Monday's yoga class was more like laying around in funky positions yet somehow sweating profusely. I knew tonight I had to be serious. I ran a 5k the right way -- started off slow at 6.5mph for the first mile, then slowly increased my speed for the remainder of the run. I ended the race at 8.0mph. After the first mile, I always think "Oh my gosh, I have more than two miles to go? UGH SHOOT ME!" At mile 2, the same thing always happens. I kind of just forget I'm running and keep on going. By the time I get to 2.5 miles there's no way I'm giving up. And then when 3.0 hits, I'm like COME ON XTINA, DON'T YOU DARE STOP. I finished right over 27 minutes and then cooled down for two. Cool down is kind of a joke after a 3.1 mile run -- I'm sweating like a champ -- nothing cool about my body temperature or my looks. 

After that I worked on my arms and ablets. I jumped on the monkey bars to do knee lifts and after the second set, my body just kept swinging. Like every time I dropped my legs back down I'd swing like a darn pendulum. Then I just started cracking up remembering Julius saying "You have no control over your body." I jumped down laughing, tripped over the step stool, and decided to lay...and do abs. 

Are you guys ready for the weekend? Only two work days left!! :)

Mar 23, 2010

Try Something New Everyday!

Let's play "Guess What Xtina Ate for Breakfast!"

Breakfast 1: Oat Bran w/ Raspberries

Breakfast 2: Skinny Caramel Latte and Reduced-Fat Very Berry Coffee Cake

EHHH you're wrong. The raspberry oats were Victoria's. I ate coffee cake for breakfast. This is a big deal. I rarely eat anything other than fiber cereal, oats, or toast w/ pb & banana...especially during the work week. What's the occasion? Nothing other than FREE PASTRY DAY at I needed an excuse to eat something fatty. How fun. In my twisted mind I'm already undoing what I'm about to do on Saturday morning...

bb snapture on the way home from work

I'm nervous. The 5K last week went really well--my official time was 27:21--but, in case you can't multiply, a 10K is twice as long. And I did something really bad to my ankles last week. I blame my new sneakers. They feel bruised and when I go down the stairs, I feel like they're going to snap. That can't be good. I decided to take it easy last night and tried something new: YOGA.

Yoga = bizarre. First problem was the guy next to me. WHY did 1 of 2 men in the class have to place his mat next to mine? Spot to the left of me was already reserved for air thank you very much. Don't worry, I made it a point to "accidently" whack his hand with mine...twice. And at the end of the class he apologized for "hitting" me. Good. Now he knows that I take up two spaces and he will never park his sweatiness near me. 

Ok, back to being serious -- it was a good switch-up from the treadmill pounding and I got a good stretch but it was just too slooooooow for me. I can't handle posing in the same position for more than 5 seconds...unless you are taking my picture and planning on tagging it on facebook in which case I will sit and let you snap 500 pictures of me. I'll give Yoga another try next Monday but I also plan on trying Zumba too. According to Eco's site, Zumba "fuses hypnotic latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to creat a dynamic fitness program that will blow you absolute blast in one exhilirating hour of caloric-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspring movements meant to engage and captivate for life."

Key Phrases:
  • easy to follow - unless i'm popping adderall, this is my level
  • one exhilirating hour - as if 55 minutes isn't enough? geez.
  • caloric-burning - great news, more eating 
Please oh pleeeeeease let me learn awe-inspiring moves that will blow someone away. Like maybe if Lil Wayne ever comes to Charleston I can bust out my Zumba moves and become one of his girlz. 
xtina + weezy + nicki - it could happen, right?

Ok probably not, seeing as last week my trainer told me "You don't have very much control over your body today." Uhh. To that I said "Fine, time to lay." And spread myself on the floor until he let me do something different. In that moment, I am 100% sure he hated me.

Let's end on a happy note with a link that is very appropriate to this post. All single girls need to check out this Glamour article!


Mar 21, 2010

The Most Inapprop Post Ever...NSFW!!

Friday's 5:30 therapy session: Whole Foods. Mission: Cheese. I frolicked over to my 2nd favorite section to buy a cheese that Jenna and I tried last week. We literally had a cheese party with two of the workers who let us try 9 different kinds. My intention was to go back for the Cave Aged Gruyere. It is a hard cow cheese from Switzerland that has been aged for a year in underground caves. It has an intense, smooth flavor with little salt crystals throughout. I picked up a slab and then asked the cheeseman about another one we tried: Robiola. Unfortunately they were out of Robiola. Cheeseman came around the corner saying, "We might have some next week, but for now, see what you think of this. It's another soft Italian cheese." He whipped out his permanent marker, scribbled on the wheel of cheese and said, "Here ya go, enjoy!" 
In case you didn't know, "N/C" means no charge. No charge for a 1/2 pound of cheese? HAPPY FRIDAY TO ME! I didn't even have to flirt. Now, here's the stuff I paid for:
  • Bananas
  • Pear, for an upcoming amazing sandwich
  • Apples
  • Honey Wheat bread...bc I could smell it through the bag and just had to have it
  • Sweet potato
  • Parsnip, gosh those things are freaky looking
  • Luna Bars
I sliced the sweet potato and parsnip, tossed with olive oil and cinnamon and baked it for...a long time.
I panicked when I realized I didn't have any ketchup and nervously grabbed my favorite Classico four cheese pasta sauce. I ended up grating Pecorino Romano cheese on it...It became 5 cheese!
A hot mess that tasted delish.
Saturday's breakfast was simple but oh so tasty: Sweet & Salty oat bran:
I mustered up the energy to go to the gym 2 hours later. I was deeply concerned about the state of my abs and/or I wanted to work up an appetite for lunch...which was out of this world. I headed over to Village Bakery for a daily special. Village Bakery is a cute little breakfast/lunch place on Pitt St. in Mt. Pleasant. It's in the same restaurant family as Mustard Seed, Sette, Boulevard Diner, Longpoint Grill, and Uno Mas. They've got great fresh sandwiches, delicious sides, and a pretty decent breakfast menu, too! They also have a selection of teas and desserts! All of their sandwiches are served on freshly baked bread that you can buy by the loaf. One of my favorite sandwiches from Village Bakery is their Turkey and Provolone sandwich: smoked turkey, provolone, and a cranberry relish. And what they mean by cranberry relish is fresh cranberries that have been simmered in orange juice and sugar. Yum. 

Saturday's special was "Balsamic roasted chicken, baby spinach, mozzarella, with a sun-dried tomato basil aioli served hot on a ciabatta roll."
Look at that ooey gooey cheese madness.
As my side I chose the Irish salad: wheat berries with bits of cabbage, potatoes, and corned beef. This was interesting and great!
I washed it all down with a Zevia Black Cherry. This flavor has some kick! Great stuff. 

And now it's time for the Not Safe For Work part of this post. Drum roll, please...
Yes, people, this is real life in the Ethnic section of Publix. I shamelessly snapped a picture of this with my Blackbaby and immediately proceeded to message this to as many BBM contacts as possible.

Aaron: Oh my..
Ally: LOL!!!!! Buy me some while you're at it.
Alyssa: Lol - always the most random stuff with you.
Anna: Wtf!? Bahaha. Isn't it like some sort of english pudding crap?
Brandon: What the f is that? It sounds like a disease.
Callie: hahahahah wtf!
David: Hahaha! Wtf is that sgit! Yeah, he spelled it like that.
Erin: Aaron said its an english dessert?
Frankie: That's English bread pudding and I like the name. I'm telling his wife!
Gerry: Get me 2
Heather: No way!!! Lol lol lol. (Me: Should I buy it?) Eww no thanks spotted dicks can't be a good thing.
Nancy: What the f is that!? Better be good!
Heather 2: What the hell is that??
Heera: Wtf!
Laura: Wtf bahahhahaah
Megan: Bahahaah you crack me up!
Nick: I'll take my dick withoout spots, please.
Nikki: wahaahah gross u ate it? 
Santo: That shit looks disgusting! What is that? Are you eating dick tonight? Promise me you'll blog about it. 
Sean: Stay away from that. You could end up with a spotted baby. 
Scott: They make medications for that.
Anonymous: Just call me.

  • Everybody says wtf. 
  • A lot of people toss in a "b" when laughing
  • I shouldn't buy it.
Whose reaction was your fave? Mine was Santo's. 

Village Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Mar 18, 2010

New, Nuevo, Nuovo, Bago, 새로운, 耗, Nouveau

Everything I ate today was new!! That's why I typed the word new in 7 different languages. Lesson of the day!
  • New - English, so we know what's going on
  • Nuevo - Spanish, my major in college
  • Nuovo - Italian, the language of my love land
  • Bago - Tagalog, for my "sisters" Nikki, Adrienne, and Kaye
  • 새로운 - Korean, for my fave Heera
  • 耗 - Chinese, for my Asian brother Boding
  • Nouveau - French, for you weirdos that actually like the language
I documented everything I ate today. It was 85% fun and 15% annoying. Can I get a pie chart?
As a member of Vocalpoint, I occasionally receive offers and samples of new products. I recently received a sample of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal in Warm Cinnamon Oat. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll take anything with cinnamon. They had to go and stick that adjective "warm" in there and the drool started coming. 
The sample I received was about a cup of cereal. I added Blue Diamond Almond Milk, and 1/2 of a sliced banana. 
This cereal is SO good. In the past, I have found Kashi's products to be on the dull side, but this was great. It was lightly sweet and crunchy with lots of cinnamon. It's a healthified Cinnamon Toast Crunch :). On the side, I drank the other 1/2 cup of my almond milk and some tea! My coworker dropped off a new flavor of tea on my desk:
Um, wow. That's some serious tea. Either they properly named it "Awake" or I haven't had caffeine in too long, bc I was wiiiiiiired for the next hour or so. The taste wasn't terrible, but I do wonder if my coworker has tastebuds, bc he loves it. Even with 2 splendas, this stuff was bold.

All that held me over for four hours and then either hunger or boredom set in. Time for a new Fage Greek yogurt: Strawberry!
Fage continues to impress me. Instead of being syrupy, like the cherry topping, the strawberry was much thicker--kind of like jelly! 
The thickness wasn't easy to spread around, making my new yogurt eating "method" quite difficult. My method: eat as much yogurt as possible with just a little topping and then have the last bites with LOTS of topping. 
Then, an hour later, I was more than ready for the next Luna Bar flavor: White Chocolate Macademia
My thoughts: "Am I in Hawaii? Am I sitting under a macadamia nut tree and one just fell into my mouth while I was eating a piece of white chocolate?" Because that's exactly what this bar tastes like. It was the perfect amount of sweetness.

I didn't get home until a little after 6pm today. You'll see why in a minute. I needed to eat something quick because I wanted to be at the gym by 7pm with plenty of time to warm up (trainer sesh at 7:30). I grabbed my version of crack:
Peanut Butter & Co., WHO ARE YOU? You are going to make me a) poor and b) chub. This pb is making my life so much happier. Haha, I sound crazed, but it's just that good. I ate a tablespoon with the apple. I hit the gym around 7 and ran 2.5 miles at the speed of light. Or 7.5-8 mph. My trainer/idol scared the crud out of me mid-run by poking his hand in front of my belly. I gasped and nearly fell off the treadmill...and then got my ass kicked. I can never seem to remember what we did, but today was brutal. I was jumping on top of benches with weights, running in place with a huge ball (lifting my knees to touch it), doing dips, some arm exercises, some ab exercises, some booty exercises...OK DONE. I was sweating so much that when I was doing push-ups, the sweat was dripping on the ground. Sexy. 

When I got home, still rocking out with my ipod, I saw EGGS in the fridge. I've been eating a hard-boiled egg I was thinking fried egg:
what kind of shape is that!:
With some tuna salad that I made earlier in the week:
I know that looks totally boring, but I loved it. I discovered that I don't love a fried egg without some toast to soak up the yolk. Kiiiiinda freaked me out. I ended up adding some pasta sauce on top of the egg for more flavor.

Now I'm sitting here blogging and drinking more almond milk. I realize that today I had fruit but no veggies...oh lawdy...So why did it take me so long to get home from work? Because I was rewarding myself for my 5K!
I am my favorite person, so sometimes I buy myself gifts. Doesn't it look like the wine bottles are coming out of my purse? I wish.

Here's me post near-death-training session with the cup I got at the 5k. My face is that red bc he busts my booty.