Current Obsessions

This weekend flew by faster than most, since Saturday was spent at the SweetLife festival, in Maryland. My friend Kate and I drove up Saturday morning, and spent the day rocking out to some fantastic bands. The festival was awesome, (even though DSLR cameras weren’t allowed, and all I got were a bunch of fuzzy iphone pics…) and the food was amazing. I’ll be dreaming about that falafel for a long time…

As the weekend passed (entirely too fast) I was satisfied with all of these wonderful things:

This for my ipod:

(source)

Just in case your workout playlist is feeling a little stale, you should check out Some Nights by Fun. and Don’t Gotta Work it Out by Fitz and the Tantrums. Some nights is going to be my new summer anthem. And Fitz and the Tantrums were so much fun to watch live, they I’ve decided I want them to be my new best friend(s).

This for my breakfast:

I know, it’s nothing new, although my mixture has been slightly different. The above is soymilk, chocolate protein powder, banana, spinach, and a bit of almond butter. Lately, I’ve been making sure I get at least 20g of protein during breakfast. This seems to keep my stomach from growling at 11am.

This for my lunch:

I have always loved quinoa, but the Texas Beach Soup at The Cellar Door took quinoa to a new level.

G-love & his friend and I stopped by The Cellar Door for lunch, and even though the boys aren’ always into trying something new, they both left agreeing that we would need to go back again soon. This (vegan) soup had a perfect spicy kick to it, and was packed with vegetables. Topped with some crusty bread croutons, I’m pretty sure I could eat this soup every day. (P.S. If you go to the Cellar Door, and check-in for the first time on Foursquare, you get 25% off your bill!)

This for my inspiration:

Fail better. That’s what it’s all about, right?

This for my workout:

(That means running.)

My goal is to run at least 3 miles, at least 4 days a week. I’d like to log 15 miles per week + weight training. I feel like I’ve made progress on my running, and I don’t want to lose that! Any tips to stay motivated would be appreciated!

What are you obsessing over?

Dinner: Healthified

Lately, it’s felt like my routine is more off than on, so I’ve been trying to keep things in check. It’s really difficult to stick with healthy habits when your days are packed with non-optional activities.

When I got back from D.C. on Wednesday, I was exhausted, and craving mexican food. Even though it was $1 enchilada night at Little Mexico, I decided to whip up something healthy at home. Satisfying my craving, while still balancing things out.

I made these super simple Quesadillas:

Black Bean Quesadillas

  • 1 high fiber tortilla (These are the best!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend)
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 3 tbsp salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped vegetables (peppers and onions are awesome!)

I just made mine on a george foreman grill and it literally took 5 minutes to assemble and cook. If you spray the tortilla with a bit of olive oil, it gets nice and crispy!

A quesadilla at a restaurant can run you over 800 calories, and tons of fat. This one (using the tortilla I linked to above) is less than 300, and packs a punch of fiber and protein!

I also discovered Brianna’s Caesar Dressing, which is a delicious vegetarian caesar dressing.

(Source)

Almost every caesar dressing contains fish, so I was excited that this stuff is so delicious! It’s relatively high in fat, so I diluted mine with a little balsamic vinegar, to stretch it a little farther :)

In other news, (because apparently making quesadillas now qualifies as news) I bought a new camera lens! I got a 50mm f 1/8 for my Canon, and I’m so excited to play with it! That’s what I used to take the first picture with!

Are there any restaurant foods you’ve healthified?

What I Ate [in D.C.] Wednesday

Last week was Manhattan, this week, it’s D.C.! I’m up in Northern Virginia for a couple of days for work, so it’s nothing major, but it does throw my food routine off a little bit. I’ve learned to be flexible!

Morning

I started the day off with some protein packed Chobani with blueberries and a bit of the Love Grown Granola, that I got from the Blogger’s Brunch on Sunday. Sooooo delicious! I think I could eat this combo at any time, any day, for any meal. Yes, it’s that good (and I am that boring).

Lunch

By the time lunch rolled around, I was pretty hungry. Thankfully, there were some healthy options. I had some roasted vegetables, orzo pasta, and some greens with a raspberry vinegrette. (I also had half of an unpictured brownie…)

After lunch I also snagged an apple, which I munched on around 4pm.

Workout

We got out of the conference a bit early, so I had time to squeeze in a super quick workout. Maybe it was because I was pressed for time, and wanted to get a really efficient workout, but however it happened… I PRed a mile!

I know this isn’t fast compared to a lot of you, but as Meg said, it’s not about beating anyone but yourself!  I’ve never really run for time, so it was fun to actually see a mile go by so fast!

Dinner

Ahh the awkward trying-to-take-a-picture-at-a-work-function situation. I actually totally forgot until after I had consumed some salad, broccoli, and spaghetti! We also had cheesecake for dessert, which was heavenly! I could only squeeze in a few bites, but it was excellent!

This definitely wasn’t a “normal” day of eating, but it was a fun Tuesday for sure! I’m learning to chill out about an “off” day. And besides, maybe it’s all that food that powered me through that mile so fast ;)

I hope you’re all having a fabulous week!

Do you freak out when your routine is thrown off, or have you learned to adapt?

A Blog-spotting Weekend

My camera actually made the rounds with me this weekend, which means I actually have documentation from all the events!

It’s crazy how much the blog-world was integrated into my weekend!

Friday Night

We had a Kentucky Derby themed birthday party for my two roommates, who were both turning 25!

Aww, aren’t we cute? (That’s Stephanie, Rachel, & Me.)

Since we wanted to stick with the Derby theme, we made these mint julep cupcakes:

We followed a recipe similar to this one. (Thank you pinterest + bloggers!) If you like bourbon and mint, you’d love these. I’m not a huge fan of either, so these actually weren’t my thing.

Saturday Night

Eric and I went to the finale show for RVA Fashion Week, which turned out to be pretty cool. It was fun seeing local designers show their stuff! I can’t wait to see the designs pop up in local boutiques!

I totally saw Leney and Larissa doing their fashion-blogging-thing but I didn’t get to say hi! I can’t wait to see their documentation of the show!

Sunday Afternoon

We had a Virginia Bloggers brunch at Stella’s, which was fantastic! You can read all the details here, but let’s just say the food was delicious and the company was fantastic!

Sarah was drawing numbers for a raffle, which is why everyone looks so deep in thought! I had a delicious egg white omelet, which later powered me through a 3 mile run on the treadmill. Despite the rain, I was able to actually get my butt to the gym!

This weekend absolutely flew by and since I’m heading up to DC for a couple days on Tuesday, I should have some interesting food to document for this weeks What I Ate Wednesday!

Did your camera [phone] travel anywhere fun this weekend?

My New Motto

I hear this phrase all the time from one of my managers at work, and I’ve started loving it:

Work smarter, not harder.

I love this, because it’s all about being more efficient. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like life is jam-packed with activities, and any time saved is super valuable.

But for whatever reason, I don’t always follow this mantra at the gym. I am totally guilty of going to the gym, spending 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes by the free weights, and just barely breaking a sweat. But what’s the point? I realized that usually, my best workouts happen when I’m pressed for time. I want to get in the best workout I can, so I hit the treadmill, do a circuit workout, and get ‘er done.

Yesterday I did this 20 minute circuit:

followed by 20 minutes of intervals on the treadmill.

I was pretty worn out by the end. It was harder than most of my 60 minute workouts, and I did this in 2/3 the time! I’m really going to focus on efficient workouts, so I have more time for other things! Maybe this is also why I love super easy recipes?

Since today and tonight are going to be pretty busy, (happy hour @ Xtra’s followed by a Kentucky Derby themed birthday party for my roommates) I got in my workout early, with Brittany and we followed up our 5k with some iced coffee from Lamplighter. Now I’m refueling with some protein packed Chobani, and I’m ready to tackle my Friday!

… and depending on how they turn out… I might have a Mint Julep Cupcake recipe to share soon!

How do you “work smarter”?

What I Ate [in Manhattan] Wednesday

I’m in New York for a few days, for a work conference, so I’m snapping pics like a mad-woman. I’m sure I just look like a camera crazed tourist, but that’s ok. I could have made this one of those “how to eat healthy when your traveling posts” but I’m not doing that, because to be perfectly honest with you, I usually kind of suck at that. Habits fly out the window, and I tell myself that it’s a special occasion, so I might as well indulge. And that thought process isn’t so bad. Except when every single thing is an indulgence. Then I end up all slugish and full of sugary regret. *sigh*

But what did keep me accountable, was knowing that I’d be sharing all my eats with you guys ;) (Yes, it’s true. I’ll share my fashion faux pas with you, but I draw the line at crappy food.)

So here’s what I ate yesterday, in Manhattan!

Breakfast:

The hotel had plain organic yogurt, so I combined this with some fresh fruit, corn flakes, and granola.

Morning Snack:

We had a break to grab some snacks, so I snagged some fresh fruit, part of a bagel, and a coffee. I only ate the top part of the bagel, because that’s the best part.

Lunch:

They brought in some of NYC’s best food trucks, so we got to try lots of things! I tried the “Mexicue” smokey BBQ black bean tacos, tortilla chips, (and unpictured salad, and couscous). I didn’t eat all the tacos, but I pretty much demolished the rest.

Afternoon Snack:

They had an ice cream stand at the conference, so I had half a scoop of chocolate ice cream!

Thank goodness this stuck with me, because when the conference ended, I did quite a bit of shopping. I didn’t get back to my hotel until after 9!

Dinner:

I picked up dinner on my way back to my hotel, and found this awesome salad place that does GIANT chopped salads! And they post all the nutritional information, so you know exactly what you’re getting! How awesome is that? I also got some Terra Chips, which I devoured on the way home.

There is pretty much every vegetable imaginable in there. It was quite delicious.

Shopping:

… and since I’m sure you’re wondering what I got…

Hat, 2 tubes lipstick, necklace, earrings, tank top, cropped sweater, 3 dresses, and a pair of pants!

Did I mention that I got all of that for less than $100?

Yep, it’s true. I’m a bargain hunter, and I scored some great deals! (Those pants were only $5 at Ann Taylor Loft!) Isn’t that crazy? I was pretty excited! Now hopefully it will all fit in my suitcase ;)

Are you a sale shopper?

Impractical Kitchen Appliances

Happy Monday, friends!

This weekend flew by. Friday night, I laid low thanks to allergies, but Saturday night, Eric and I attended a charity benefit for Equality Virginia, and not only was it really inspiring, it was a ton of fun. (However, the blisters on my feet reminded me why I don’t generally wear heels… and after a few solid hours of tearing up the dance floor… my feet are got pretty torn up as well.)

It was a fun excuse to dress up though! Don’t we look like we’re going to prom?

Equality Virginia is an awesome foundation, so I encourage you to check it out!

Anyways, on to Kitchen Appliances.

Despite curbing my past groupon addiction, I still find myself spontaneously snapping up deals. It’s not really all bad (now that I’ve stopped buying bootcamp classes that I’ll never use) and I managed to score this doughnut maker for $5! Yes, $5. Normally, I wouldn’t spring for a George Foreman style appliance that makes nothing but doughnuts… but this was cheaper than a doughnut pan… so why not?

I’m actually pretty excited… since it seems like I’m the last person to finally get a doughnut pan. Ya’ll are making some delicious looking doughnuts, and I’m sure I could make them into muffins… but come on. Doughnuts are cuter.

I decided to take short cut, since active yeast scares me, and I used bisquick. Since bisquick is vegan (although I’ll warn you not entirely “natural”… I’d recommend springing for a more natural brand, but my grocery story didn’t have it) I decided to make these vegan cinnamon sugar doughnuts! You could also sub in a gluten free mix, and make this GF.

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

  • 1 cup biscuit mix (make sure this is vegan!)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or maybe stevia?)
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

The first thing you need to do is mix the flax and the water in a little dish, and pop it in the fridge. It helps the mixture thicken up a bit. The mix everything else in a bowl. Slowly combine the flax mixture with everything else. At this point, you can either put the mixture into a doughnut pan, a mini muffin pan, or your handy-dandy-doughnut maker. If you’re doing these in the oven, it will depend on the size of the doughnuts or muffins. Mine only took about 5 minutes in the d-maker because they are pretty small.

Mmm. Cinnamon and sugar…

Also, I did the nutritional calculations for all this (based on Bisquick, and regular sugar) and these babies are only 38 calories each! Mine we’re pretty mini though. (About 2 tsp of batter in each doughnut.)

What’s in the bag…

Hi, I’m a vegetarian, and I get plenty of protein.

I’m not going to go off on a rant about how I’m asked this question almost every day of my life. The fact is, I get plenty of protein. Most of the time, it’s from things like beans, whole grains, or yogurt.

But yesterday, I really packed in the protein. We’re talking, 43g of protein in the morning.

What did I eat? Well… it’s probably the most simple thing ever. Ready for this recipe?

6oz 0% Chobani greek yogurt + 1 scoop of About Time Cake Batter Protein Powder

Yes, that’s it. Obviously, you can add anything else you want. I topped mine with some blueberries. I’m sure lots of you have done this before, but I’m not sure why I expected it not to taste good. The protein powder actually blended so well with the Chobani, and I didn’t need to add any extra stevia to balance out the tartness of the yogurt.

So you get 43g of protein… for less than 200 calories. Go ahead meat eaters, beat that.

Since I’ve discovered this, I’ve started carrying Chobani + baggies of protein powder around in my purse.

It’s getting a little crowded in my bag…

Thanks to a not-so-spill proof coffee mug, I had to do an emergency dump of my bag.

I usually have these essentials:

Headphones, kindle, notepad, pen, sunglasses, reading glasses, bobby pins, ponytail holder, perfume, lipstick, iphone (work), iphone (play), ipod, charger (for both), business cards, gum, clutch with credit card, debit card, and ID.

But… before I leave for work, I also usually carry my laptop, charger, gym clothes, and the aforementioned yogurt + protein powder. I have no idea how it all fits… but some how it does.

What do you carry with you at all times?

What I [Balanced] Wednesday

Before I recount my day of eats…

I have an important announcement!

Just when you thought Sarah and I were joking with the #VAis4bloggers hashtag…we are making it reality! We love the community that blogging has provided us and  want to make it easier to discover and connect with other local and statewide bloggers (and blog readers), as well as local events and businesses that support our passions.

We’ve started a site:

www.virginiabloggers.com– as well as a twitter handle @VAis4bloggers.
So if you’re in the Virginia area, or just someone who wants to check out some new blogs, head on over!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled, What I Ate Wednesday!

I have a confession: Mexican food is my weakness. I literally cannot resist a basket of warm tortilla chips + spicy salsa. Mexican restaurants also usually have a decent amount of vegetarian options, which makes things even better.
So when G-love texted me Tuesday morning asking if I wanted to get Mexican food for dinner, the obvious answer was yes. But I knew if I’d be indulging at dinner, I wanted to keep things pretty healthy and light until then.

Breakfast

I’ve been trying to get in a little extra protein, so this was almond milk + banana + scoop of protein powder + 2 teaspoons peanut butter, topped with cookie dough granola.

Lunch

Leftover vegetable soup. It was kind of based on this recipe, but it was a lot more veggies and less barley. Still really filling, and lots of veggie-packed goodness!
 

Afternoon Snack

Even though I didn’t get home until almost 6, I knew I needed to eat a snack before dinner. Otherwise I would literally dive face first into the chip basket.
I sliced an apple with a mandolin slicer and topped with cinnamon and some raw oats.

Dinner

Su Casa is one of my favorite local Mexican restaurants. They actually had  groupon earlier this week, so that made the deal even sweeter.

I enjoyed chips and salsa, plus a gigantic vegetarian burrito. (Just refried beans, onions & peppers!) I could only eat half of it!

What kind of food is your weakness?

Weekend Activities & Eats

The weekend was a bit of a blur, but lots of fun.

Friday night, we went to Blow Toad, a new local pizza place. It was delicious, but unfortunately… I forgot my camera. (Or more specifically, I forgot my camera card. oops.) But I got to hang out with friends, and even catch up with Brittany for a bit!

Saturday, we threw a surprise party for my friend AJ. I’m pretty sure he knew it was coming… but we still had a good time.

Then Sunday was Easter (obviously) which was a little weird, since this was my first one without my family! (Last year, my parents came to VA to visit, and the year before, was the day I moved!) G-love and I went to church with his parents, and then hung around the house, and got some things done, before going out to dinner for the aforementioned AJ’s birthday.

Since we did so much running around, a lot of what we ate was kind of random and here and there.

I threw together some french bread pizzas for G-love. These used to be one of my favorite things when I was a kid. (Except I didn’t like pepperoni… or cheese, for that matter.)

While he munched on those, I enjoyed one of my new favorite snacks:

Zucchini “Chips”

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • olive oil spray
  • 3 tbp parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, garlic salt & oregano (or any italian spices)
  • Marinara sauce

Just spray your pan with olive oil, and slice your zucchini into thin circles. (A mandoline slicer makes this super easy!) Top with parmesan cheese and spices, and broil in the oven for 7-9 min or until the cheese is browning. Don’t take them out too early, or the zucchini will be soggy. Then dip them into marinara sauce. So delicious, and a great way to get in some extra veggies!

Not a great picture, but that’s what happens when you’re on the go!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?