Feb 28, 2012

What I’m Loving Wednesday

1. Since eating more like a pescatarian, I get asked a lot of questions. Many of those I will answer in an upcoming post, but for now, I will leave you with this pie chart I made on Sunday.
Yup. The most typical reaction people have is shock that I will no longer be eating my beloved Chick-fil-A chicken. I can, however, eat their oatmeal, Icedream, fruit cup, and drink my favorite Diet Lemonade. :) Just imagine the money I’m saving…
2. Firefly makes a skinny tea vodka using Truvia sweetener. I picked up 2 of these mini bottles last Friday  for my roommate and me. I bet they’d be delicious with a Diet lemonade from you know where…IMAG1819
3. I might actually be obsessed with Ali Baba on Daniel Island. Their vegetarian options  are incredible. Everything I’ve ever eaten is so fresh, and I try  at least one new item each time I go. Last week’s lunch consisted of (clockwise from top left): foul madamas, orzo salad w/ golden raisins and apples, grilled vegetables, and fattoush salad. The orzo salad may have been my favorite just for the name.IMAG1818(1)
4. In a crossword puzzle I was doing the other night, clue # made me laugh.
The answer? Geeks. Funny though, because there is a difference between nerds and geeks.IMAG1835
Chocolate before a workout is my favorite type of motivation/energy enhancer. Even nasty 100% cacao.
What are youuuuuuuuu loving?

Spicy Chickpea & Lentil Stew, Bridge Running

Earlier this month, I promised you guys more recipes on the blog. One major difference of the upcoming recipes is that they will be vegetarian! I’m excited to show you all that there are tons of vegetarian recipes that are both healthy and delicious. So, to the last person who asked me “What about protein?” – this ones for you.

Spicy Chickpea & Lentil Stew


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 (28 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz.) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (1 can) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 (6 oz.) container of plain, fat free Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage!)


Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions. Add peppers, garlic, garam masala and cook until peppers begin to soften. Add everything except the yogurt, reduce heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes, or until chickpeas have softened. Add yogurt about 15 minutes and mix well before serving.

DSC_0005 (1024x683)This stew is incredibly easy to make and packs in a ton of flavor…and protein! God bless a chickpea! The addition of the Greek yogurt gives this stew a creamier flavor but is still low in fact.DSC_0010 (1024x682)

Before making the above recipe, I went for a bridge run for the first time in over a month. I missed this beautiful structure! I set out around 6 p.m. as the sun was setting.IMAG1838

I walked 1/2 of the incline to make sure my knee was okay, then ran the rest of the way over and down. IMAG1837

On my way back, it was so much darker!IMAG1840

Eeeerie! I started to wonder how safe it is to run the bridge alone in the dark. Can I shove mace in my sports bra? I could see that going terribly wrong for me…

Where is YOUR favorite place to run?

If you’re a vegetarian, what is the most common question you get asked?

If you have any questions for me, let me know!

Feb 27, 2012

Weekend Highlights

On Friday I was still in recovery mode from NYC. You think I’m joking but I’m not. The entire weekend up there I was saying “I have jet lag you guys” even though (news to me!), you can only have jet lag if you’ve changed time zones. Did you know that? I didn’t until I said it to Kaye and she looked at me like I had two heads. I flew like 600 miles! Sheer exhaustion!

Just kidding.

So anyway, after work on Friday I went to the gym to try to  muster up energy. While there, it started crazy storming and there were tornado warnings. Let me tell you, I used this as my lame excuse not to go out. God forbid I get sucked up in one of those things on a FRIDAY!! I instead got comfortable with my boyfriend, Netflix. He’s a babe you know. I watched two movies:

The Freebie: “a young couple decides to give each other a night off, no questions asked.”

Last Night: “a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love.”

Uhhh weirdo genres, right? Someone pop me a prozac.

Saturday: My friend (and downstairs neighbor!)Tyler invited me to a baseball game. Buff boys in tight pants? Sure! Before going to the game, he let me try some scotch. You guys, that stuff is nasty. These bodies were not:IMAG1822IMAG1823

After telling Tyler what movies I watched on Friday, he threw a DVD at me: The Godfather, parts I, II, and III. I have work to do. (No, I haven’t seen any.)

That evening, I met up with my two favorite winos, Holly and Trish. They had just come from Goat. Sheep. Cow. and brought home quite the spread of cheese, crackers, peppers, olives and pears. My contribution was pita chips & hummus (duh), two bags of popchips, and flowers for Holly’s bday.IMAG1824IMAG1825

While at Holly's, Trish pointed out her baby-sized television from um, the 1980s?  imageAfter we gorged ourselves with “dinner” it was time for dessert. We walked over to Fulton Five for Limoncello…


…and dessert. Pistachio gelato for Trish, pear Bread pudding for me, and tiramisu for Trish. Freaking delicious.IMAG1827

We then jetted to King St, bouncing around from O-Ku, to Hall’s, to Cocktail Club. On the walk home, I started skipping. Wine + Christina = silly. I had wayyyy too much fun with these girls and can’t wait for the next “event” where we say we’re not going out but then end up bar hopping.

Sunday: I spent the entire day glued to the television, something I rarely do. I couldn’t stop watching Parks and Recreation! Aziz, you still have my heart.image

So do you guys. XO!

Feb 24, 2012

The Friday Five

1. What I’m Reading: I am such a freaking dork. Instead of reading on the plane on the way back from NYC, I was engrossed in crossword puzzles.

In an attempt to not spend an exorbitant amount of $ at Ali Baba Deli, I picked up a cookbook from the library yesterday. My behind needs to get back in the kitchen so I can share some recipes with you!

2. What I’m Listening to: This song is pretty old, but when I heard it in a bar in NYC, I fell in love all over again.

3. What I’m Eating: Rachel was going out of town for work, so she left me a tub of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper hummus. I hadn’t tried this flavor before and I’m so glad she gave it to me. It’s so creamy, it’s almost cheesy! Thanks Rach!

4. What I’m Pinning:

5. What I’m Planning this Weekend:

  • a baseball game tomorrow
  • wine w/ girlfriends
  • running the bridge
  • getting froyo!
  • possible brunch on Sunday


Feb 23, 2012

NYC Recap: Days 3 & 4

On Sunday morning, Lucy and I did more frolicking around the city in my two favorite parks: Union Square and Washington Square. They’re both such open, pretty areas where you can do a lot of people watching. One of the reasons I wanted to go to that area is to stop around NYU for one of these pita pockets I had seen on Gabriela’s blog. Gabriela ate these every Wednesday, and I kid you not, even before having one, I began to crave them too.

I was more than excited to find them at Space Market on University Place. IMAG1799

At first I felt crazy shelling out $5 for the Spicy Power-Fu Sandwich, but once I tried it, I didn’t care one bit. They are so freaking good. I immediately wanted more and was sad that I couldn’t get them in SC.

If you read Gab’s blog, you’ve seen these many times. Gab, honey, I thank you. So much. I should fly back to the city for a few more. ;)DSC00194 (1024x768)

Saturday’s shopping adventures included purchasing 3 dresses and a bracelet from Forever 21.orangedressbluedresscitronimage

The second dress is more of a lime green or “citron” than yellow as it shows online. And yes, it’s the exact same dress as the blue. I really liked it!

That evening, we went to Canyon Road for dinner. I had the Southwestern salad: grilled jumbo gulf shrimp, toasted pumpkin seeds, romaine lettuce, monterey jack, onions, pepper & celery. No picture :( After dinner, we went to too many bars:

  • The Stanton Social (upstairs, dark, not bad)
  • Back Room (hidden(ish) bar that served drinks in tea cups. cute, but boring.)
  • Sons of Essex (cool inside, but drinks sucked)
  • Sing Sing Karaoke (dead, so we didn’t stay)
  • East Village Tavern (who really cared at this point? ha)

On Monday, Day 4, I broke my vegetarian streak once more at Chipotle. I had salad with romaine lettuce, black beans, grilled chicken, salsa, and cheese. Their ingredients are so fresh and I’m excited a location is opening in Charleston!IMAG1805

Lucy and I were exhausted at this point of the weekend, so we hung out at her apartment for the majority of the day. We got coffee, picked up snacks, giggled about our evenings, and caught up on Real Housewives and watched the season premiere of Bethenny Ever After. This was Lucy’s and my favorite show when we lived together. We LOVE her.image

If there’s one thing I do in life, it’s find a husband like Jason. That man is handsome, ridiculously patient, and such a good father. Where the hell do you get those? He even dressed up like a PANDA on Halloween for his family. Oh my.

Now for some funnies from NYC.

This mannequin wasn’t looking too hot. Lucy said “Um, homegirl got in a bad accident.” IMAG1800

Next time I make a mess, I definitely want to clean up with these.IMAG1801

Lucy has a store!!IMAG1803

I have a store!!IMAG1798

Needless to say, I had tons of fun in NYC and was not ready to leave on Tuesday morning. I want to go back right now! Or just move there.

As I said yesterday, if you read all this you are ridiculous. And I love you. xo!!


Feb 22, 2012

NYC Recap Days 1 & 2

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my 3 NYC vacations in the past year, it’s not to plan anything. Why? Because every time I specifically plan something, it doesn’t happen. Ice skating? Didn’t happen. That museum? Nope. Pickles? Whoops forgot those too. My friends and I are too free-spirited for itineraries.

With that said, I sure had a lot of fun.

I arrived early afternoon and went straight to Kaye’s house before meeting Lucy at her new apartment. Reunion with my soul mate/old roommate/best friend? Check!! After catching up over some wine, we got ready for dinner at Sushi Samba. Enjoy the one and only group photo from the weekend. We seriously had too much fun to bother with snapping photos. Sad, but not really.DSC00193

Kaye and I split two rolls: Green Envy - wasabi pea crust, tuna, salmon, asparagus, aji amarillo-key limo mayo and the Pacific king crab, avocado, asian pear, soy paper, wasabi-avocado crema.IMAG1794

Lucy and Ann shared a couple different rolls too.IMAG1795

The sushi was fine, but it didn’t wow me. I’ve had better here in Charleston. After dinner we walked over to Wilfie & Nell in the West Village for drinks. While there, I noticed some dude pouring green juice and squealed, “Is that pickle juice?!” A few minutes later, some random man and I were drinking picklebacks: shots of whiskey chased with pickle juice. WHISKEY. My body hated me in the morning.

The hangover cure, NYC style, was picking up precious little macarons from Maison Ladurée. DSC_0013 (1024x652)

I got two flavors: pistachio and caramel with salted butter . They were very flavorful for being such delicate treats. I also had a bite of Kaye’s vanilla and it was by far the best. So darn delicious. Thank you, Anabel, for the recommendation!DSC_0016 (1024x683)

After our “breakfast” of macarons, we had lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. Still maintaining my vegetarian status, I dined on an Organic Black Bean Hummus tartine with avocado and spicy tahini. It was very light and fresh. DSC_0018 (1024x683)

Lucy’s lunch was my second choice: Rustic Tuna, Hummus & White Bean
tartine with diced tomatoes and basil pesto.
I want to make this at home!DSC_0019 (1024x683)

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Saturday’s form of cardio was shopping. We ventured into H&M, Zara, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and Benefit Cosmetics. Out of all that, my only purchases were at Benefit. BADgal plum mascara and  It’s Potent! eye cream.


I went to dinner with my friend Ben who is a fitness blogger/marathon runner. (See what he’s up to on his blog, Motivate Your Ass.) For future references, he will be known as B Dawg. Apparently he thinks it is weird that I call myself Xtina, stating “That would be like if I called myself B Dawg.” So B Dawg it is.

We ate at Euzkadi, a Spanish tapas style restaurant in the East Village.

Euzkadi on Urbanspoon

We tried a bunch of different plates:

  • Goat cheese and honey croquettes
  • White Beans & Chick Peas w/Mushrooms, tomato comfit & vegetables) (my favorite dish)
  • Tortilla Vasca - Potato and egg omelet, w/chorizo, peppers and onions
  • Seared Steak w/ Russian salad & scallion Chimichurre
  • Roasted lamb in a mushroom raisin demi-glace

At first, I shied away from anything that wasn’t vegetarian but as I was noshing away on the Spanish tortilla, I realized there was ham in it. And that’s when it was decided that I would take a vacation from being a vegetarian and enjoy myself in NYC. I still didn’t want chicken, but the ham and lamb? Yeah, that happened. And then we talked about Shari Lewis & Lamchop’s Playalong while feeling (kind of) guilty.

To be continued…

PS: If you read all that, you’re ridiculous. And I love you.