Tripping & Packing

Tripping: Of the sidewalk variety. And of the road variety.

Wednesday evening, I finally worked up the motivation to go for a run. I grabbed my work phone (since I was waiting for an e-mail) and ran out the door. I got about a mile from my house, and glanced down at my phone to check and see if I had an e-mail. That’s when I tripped over the random cliff in the sidewalk.

Faceplant.

There was a lot of blood. I won’t post the picture, because it’s gross, but if you follow me on twitter, you probably saw the aftermath. I actually didn’t feel that bad at first, and I jogged the rest of the way home. I walked around the fan with some friends, and then after a couple of hours, I realized my knee was super swollen, and I couldn’t really bend my leg. Sweet.

I’m mostly just disappointed that I won’t be able to work out for awhile. Then again, it’s not that bad of timing, since I’ll be in a car for most of the weekend.

Eric and I will be road tripping from Virginia to Dallas on Saturday & Sunday.

I’m pretty excited to see the great state of Texas! What I’m not excited about, is packing.

I’m actually really bad at packing. I bring things I don’t need, I forget things I do need. I just throw everything in a suitcase, and then I can’t find things unless I literally empty out my whole suitcase… it’s bad. And since I have to go in a truck from Virginia to Texas, a plane from Dallas to Ohio, and a Yaris from Ohio to Virginia… I need to pack light.

So I did some research, planned it out, and packed my heart out.

Here’s what went in the suitcase:

  • Clothes- 4 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 sets of workout clothes, 1 swimsuit, 3 t-shirts, 3 blouses, 1 pair of cropped pants, 2 summer scarves, lots of underoos.
  • Shoes- limited myself to 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of flats, and 1 pair of heels. (Then I wore my running shoes, since those take up the most space.)
  • Makeup- instead of packing full sizes like I normally do, I picked up the essentials at CVS. These are also perfect for packing to the gym.
  • Jewelry- A girl’s gotta accessorize…
In my giant purse, Ill pack my Macbook, Camera, Kindle, journal, phones, chargers, & snacks. (Obviously.)

Road Trip Friendly Snacks:

I’m not always a fan of what’s available on the road, so these snacks should keep me from getting too grouchy in the passengers seat ;)

What’s the one thing you always forget when you’re packing?

Around the Fan

Normally for “What I Ate Wednesday”, I show you a snap shot of what I ate the day before, but I thought it would be fun to show you some weekend eats, since they were a little more out of the ordinary.

So this is what I ate around the Fan!

*For those of you non-richmonders, “The Fan” is a neighbodhood, near downtown Richmond, shaped like a fan.

Breakfast

I started the morning off with a classic banana smoothie (banana, protein powder, almond milk, ice, stevia, peanut butter, granola) while I read the paper and sipped coffee. Yes, I’m an old man.

And yes, that’s Samoa granola on top!

Lunch

Sarah, Lindsay, Adrienne and I wandered around the Vegetarian festival, trying samples and such.

I loved this kale! They were giving away coupons for the Tahini dressing, so I’ve already picked up a bottle of it. It’s delicious, low calorie, and vegan!

Dinner

In honor of Eric’s departure of Richmond, we had a big bar crawl on Saturday night. To ensure our stomach safety, Eric and I had dinner on the patio before hand, at F.W. Sullivan’s. I’d never actually gotten food there, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this hummus wrap. I mean, I feel like it’s kind of hard to mess up a hummus wrap… but still. It was good!

This kept me nice and full while we crawled to 3 Monkeys, Starlite, New York Deli, and Babes. Is it embarrassing that my legs were sore the next day, from all the dancing? Maybe. Did I count that as my workout for the day? Yes.

We all wore stickers that said “Ay Dios Mio” and had Eric’s face on them, with a twitter hashtag.

Because that’s what real friends do. They wear stickers of their friends faces, to clearly indicate that there is a major celebration going on.

Eric and I leave for Dallas on Saturday! I can’t wait for a 20-some hour road trip!

Do you count dancing as a workout?

Mascara & Sharpies

I blinked, and the weekend disappeared. Thankfully, I found a couple of photos to remind me where all the time went…

Friday

This photo pretty much sums up my Friday night:

Just one of many shenanigans required in a scavenger hunt around downtown Richmond. No big deal.

Saturday

I spent the day at the Richmond Vegetarian Festival. For a full recap of that, head on over to Virginia Bloggers!

Sunday

I got to meet up with the lovely ladied behind Her Late Night Cravings, for a little Girls Night Out event at Sephora.

Mendi and Jayme are not just gorgeous, they’re also super sweet! It was nice to get to put faces to the blog :)

I got my make up done by a sweet lady from Benefit. I was already planning on picking up some more Erase Paste, but I also grabbed some new mascara.

The Erase Paste is the best concealer I’ve found so far. Good coverage, easy to apply. And since I’m a mascara junkie, I decided to try this new one from Benefit “They’re Real” which really did make my lashes look huge. I think Dior Diorshow Mascara is still my favorite… but in the interest of not spending my entire paycheck on make up… Benefit is a better alternative for me. They also came out with a new pore refining cream, so I got a couple of samples to take home.

I try to keep my make up routine pretty simple, but concealer and mascara are two favorites that I can’t live with out!

In other (non food related topics), I’ve identified my next pinterest project:

(Original Source)

How cute are those?! I found some mugs at the dollar store, so now I just have to decide what I want to write on them! I also need to practice my handwriting skills… *ahem*

What would you put on a mug?

Bottom’s Up!

Wednesday, we all went out to Bottom’s Up for my friend Kate’s birthday. I’d only been to Bottom’s Up pizza once before, about a year ago, so I must have forgotten how amazing the pizza was. I remember it being good, but woah. Stuzzi, I might have to revoke your title of the best pizza I’ve had in Richmond. Then again, the pizza styles are different, so maybe I’ll just give you a new category.

Bottom’s Up pizza has some seriously thick pizza crust, and it’s absolutely loaded with toppings. I know, I know, a lot of people prefer thin crust, but I think that’s just a lie, because we all know that thin crust is healthier. So while I often eat thin crust pizza… let’s be honest. A giant piece of thick fluffy pizza dough is kind of amazing. And when it’s loaded with toppings, you can’t really go wrong.

I enjoyed a slice and a half of the “Goat in the Garden” pizza, which was topped with fresh tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, and roasted garlic.

Woah. It was quite amazing. We also had a group of about 16 people (separate checks, of course) and Bottom’s Up was SUPER accommodating, which I really appreciate. (I had made reservations for the patio, but temperatures were 97 degrees, so they actually set us up a table outside AND inside, just in case, and we were thankful to choose air conditioning!)

Since I was snapping pictures like a crazy person, the topic of food blogging came up, and Sebastian was so amazed that I had a food blog. He spent a solid 10 minutes on his iphone, looking at my posts. I promised him a shout out, so here you are Sebastian :) Enjoy!

I will absolutely be going back to this place. The prices were good, the service was excellent, and the pizza was delicious!

And if you’re looking for more Richmond news, I posted a quick recap of the RVA Fashion Bloggers meet up that I mentioned on Wednesday!

It’s over at Virginia Bloggers, if you want to check it out :)

What’s your favorite thing to put on a pizza?

Energized Wednesday

I’m generally a high energy person. Which is a nice way of saying sometimes I drive people around me crazy because I can be a little too perky. Sorry, I can’t really help it.

But Monday, after a less-than-quality night of sleep, I was dragging. I had a two cups of coffee but I was still feeling like I was in a bit of a haze. I decided to go for high energy foods, to keep me from nodding off at my desk becoming one of the people on True Life: I’m Addicted to Caffiene. Yes, I watched that on Monday. Quality TV.

So these are my energy packed eats from yesterday!

Breakfast

Breakfast was nothing crazy new, but I did find a stray jar of White Chocolate Wonderful in my pantry. Just when I thought I was on the verge of being out of peanut butter. It was a miracle.

1 banana, handful of ice, 1/2 scoop whey protein powdered, 2 handfuls of spinach, 5 drops of liquid vanilla stevia, pinch of xanthan gum, plus a little peanut butter.

Morning Snacking

I normally have a piece of fruit, but I knew I needed a little something more substantial so I had half a pack of these.

Lunch

I packed the leftovers from this dinner, so I was glad to have such a protein packed lunch on hand. Broccoli and tempeh. Protein packed, and quite delicious. Not to mention cheaper and healthier than what’s served in the cafeteria!

Afternoon Snack

I finished off the pack of the aforementioned nuts, and also crunched on a giant fuji apple.

Dinner

As soon as I got home from work, I had a bowl of 0% chobani and some frozen blueberries, plus a little more Samoa Granola. A snack with a combination of carbs and proteins (like this one) really gives me a pick me up. It powered me through a quick workout, before I ran off to meet some awesome Fashion Bloggers.

No, I didn’t get a pink table cloth. I ate it from the comfort of my bed, while catching up with my google reader ;)

Dessert

After the fashion bloggers meet up, I grabbed fro-yo at Sweet Frog with Lindsay, Taylor and Brett.

There has been a frozen yogurt turf war going on in Carytown. Sweet Frog has been there for a little while, and now Yapple frozen yogurt moved in right next door. I’ve tried both, so I can officially say that my heart remains with Sweet Frog. Chocolate + cake batter is the best combination, in case you were wondering.

Sadly, the frozen yogurt gave me way too much energy (I blame the sugar!) and I could not fall asleep again. I don’t know why I’ve been having so much trouble sleeping lately, but even my white noise tracks aren’t helping.

What are your favorite “energy” foods?

Revisiting Favorites

One thing I’ve really enjoyed about blogging is how it encourages me to try new things. Not that I don’t like stepping out of my comfort zone, but it’s fun to challenge myself with new things.

That said, favorites are favorites for a reason. So when I re-vamped the recipe page over the weekend, I decided to put a few of my most favorite recipes up at the top. These are ones I’ve made over and over because I love them. In fact, I just took a batch of Samoa Granola out of the oven about 15 minutes ago.

So on Saturday night, I decided to use up some tempeh in the fridge, and went back to this teryiaki tempeh recipe for inspiration. I was craving something a little more garlic-y, so I mixed soy sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and some garlic chili paste together. After browning the tempeh in a little olive oil, I topped it with the sauce, and mixed it with some steamed broccoli.

Who needs take out?

It was a simple recipe, but I love how protein packed it is. I generally get the Lightlife “Three Grain Tempeh” brand, which has 20g of protein per serving. Definitely a good substitute if you’re trying to cut back on meat, but still want a protein packed dinner!

What are some of your things to make?

Four Things Friday

This week literally flew by. I’m not sure where it went, but I’m glad to see the weekend, so that’s fine with me! Let’s jump right into this.

1. I’m currently obsessed with Spotify, specifically the premium/mobile version that basically allows me to take any music with me anywhere, all the time. Other than killing my battery, it’s fantastic. I’m still playing with it though, so before I formally sing a review of praises. let’s see if the honeymoon stage lasts.

2. Last night I met some friends at Sticky Rice. I forgot how much I enjoy sushi. It’s easy to get a filling and healthy meal, without having to make extra demands requests. Sorry for the dim lighting picture.

3. I don’t generally post a lot of fashion stuff on here, but I’m obsessed with this watch. I know it’s nothing new, and probably everyone else already has this style, but I just can’t get it out of my mind.

Since it’s so rare that I fall in love with something this nice expensive I’ll probably never get it. Or I’ll just set an insane goal for myself and consider this a reward. Does staying with in my grocery budget count? (Irony.)

4. If you’re craving a fancy coffee drink, but don’t want to pay 5 bucks, then why not make your own?

Cheap-o Frappuccino

  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, brought to room temperature
  • 1 handful ice
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powdered
  • 3 packets of stevia
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond/soy milk
  • 1 tsp chocolate syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional, it just makes it thicker!)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Blend everything but the whipped cream, until smooth. I don’t actually even like whipped cream (I never have!) but we had some in the fridge and I wanted it to look pretty ;) The best part is? No one here will charge you an extra 50 cents for soymilk…

Are you a fancy-coffee drinker?

What I [Snacked] Wednesday

Since the weekend was full of chips and dip, I decided to start my week with a mission of healthy snacking.

How perfect that Jenn set a goal of healthy snacking. Convenient, no?

So here are my rules tricks tips for healthy snacking!

Be prepared for when hunger strikes! You never know where. I keep protein bars in my car, trail mix at my desk, and a piece of fruit in my purse. You can call me crazy, but you won’t call me hungry!Lucky for me, my house has been well stocked of healthy snacks. I’ve found the key to healthy eating is to be prepared.

Tip #1: Balance: Round out your meal or snack with fruits & veggies

Breakfast

I had the pleasure of attending a Leadership Breakfast led by Ken Blanchard, the author of “The One Minute Manager” (as well as a lot of other books) and brushed shoulders with some politicians and local celeb-usinessmen. Hence, the sneaky-awkward picture of the table. Trust me, I had my big camera with me, and I desperately wanted to photograph the delicious eggs and roasted potatoes we were served. But alas. That’s a bit frowned upon I assume.

I obviously skipped out on the sausage links, and I passed on the coffee cake, but I did say yes to the delicious fruit plate.

Tip #2: If your stomach starts growling, don’t ignore it!

Morning snack

Since my breakfast was a little unusual (read: less protein, more carbs) I was hungry by 10:30. I munched on an apple with a little PB2 to calm the stomach dragons.

Tip #3- If your leftovers are feeling a little… unfulfilling, add in some extras!

Lunch

Since tackling my grocery budget, I’ve been making a much stronger effort of packing leftovers. Monday night, Galen, AJ and I went to Su Casa, and I had a black bean salad. It was so delicious but also really filling, so I packed the leftovers for lunch. It was basically black beans, rice, & veggies, and then I topped it with salsa.

This is actually not the picture of what I heated up. It’s a recycled picture, because the real picture was pretty horrid. I also had some dug into my Wholesome Goodness trail mix which I’ve been keeping in my desk drawer. It’s disappearing quickly because it’s so freaking tasty. The squares of dark chocolate are heavenly. And  I rounded things out with some mango tea.

Tip #4- Healthy choices start at home. Stock the fridge with options that you actually enjoy!

Dinner

I was going to go out for dinner with Eric but we wanted different things and I wanted something healthy, plus it’s cheaper to make dinner at home. So I had a super simple salad.

Dump greens in bowl. Add carrots, Gabby’s habinero salsa, and some Wholesome Goodness chips. Take photo.

I know, not the most exciting. But it honestly tasted amazing.

Tip #5- Make snacks that actually satisfy your craving!

Late night snack

After catching 21 Jump Street with my friend Stephanie at the Byrd, I wanted a little something… I decided to have a couple more of these little babies and then remembered I never gave you the recipe!

Well here you are:

Chocolate Oatmeal Bites

Vegan/Gluten Free

  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup oats (gluten free ‘em!)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 packet stevia (or 1 tsp sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Mash the banana in a bowl, then stir in oats, cocoa, apple sauce, stevia and cinnamon. Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls for little cookies. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. It’s hard to tell when these are done, since they won’t turn brown. Be sure not to over bake them, or they’ll get rubbery!

These little babies are pretty healthy, so they were a good little late night snack! (And they only have ~50 calories per cookie!)

What are some of your snacking tips?

The 80-20 Weekend

You know the 80-20 rule? Well, I followed it this weekend.

I ate 80% chips, and 20% dip.

Just kidding. Kind of. Saturday, I spent the whole day floating in the water with this girl:

and we basically ate nothing but chips. Ok, and an apple. Good thing I packed an apple. But sometimes, you can’t carry a cooler of vegetables around, ya know?

And since yesterday was the Wholesome Goodness Mocktail Party for Virginia Bloggers… I pretty much had to have chips. No complaints here!

We had a crazy delicious spread of Wholesome Goodness chips, and tons of delicious dips. Seriously, I wanted to just eat Mollee’s pesto dip right out of the bowl. And I DID eat Alex’s watermelon salsa with a fork. I have no shame. I’m also so excited about the bags of trail mix we gave away in the goodie bags. Trail mix is my emergency snack at work. (And by emergency, I mean the first line of defense in the war against co-workers baked temptations.)

I’ve blogged about Wholesome Goodness before, (here) because their products are not only delicious, but the company is super friendly (You rock, Kathleen!) so that’s even better!

Since the weekend was quite relaxed (read: no working out) I’m planning on tackling this week head on!

So the plan for the week:

  • Drink more water
  • Eat more veggies
  • Run more miles

Sounds simple, right? Right.

I do think that taking a little time off from the gym, and allowing myself to eat a little “off the plan” is a good way to keep things in balance and get my excited about hitting the gym, and digging into a salad! Sounds weird, but I swear it’s true!

And if you’re in the mood for some dip recipes, check out these:

What’s your favorite chip + dip combo?

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Recipe!

Ok ok fine! I’ll give you the recipe ;)

The credit really goes to Brittany who originally made this recipe.

I switched things up because:

  1. I hate olives
  2. I didn’t have turmeric, nor did I know what you can substitute for turmeric
  3. I had mint in the fridge that seemed like a good idea to use up

So while the idea was the same, the taste actually turned out a little differently, and I think versions both are good!

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Start by chopping up the cauliflower, and dice the onion. Dump them both into a food processor and pulse until very fine. I used my vitamix (because my food processor is tiny) and I did it in batches, because I didn’t want it to be pureed. The finer you can get the cauliflower, the closer it will taste to bulgur. Add in the sliced tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to coat. Add in your mint, parsley, salt and pepper. I know, it’s kind of a lot of salt, so you can cut back if you want. I added a lot since I left out the olives and I felt like it needed it.’

I’m sorry I didn’t take a prettier picture. I kept meaning to get out my “real” camera, but then I’d get so distracted by eating…

It makes 5 large servings (about 1 1/2 cups). Each serving has  ~100 calories, 5g fiber, and 4g protein! (And only 2 WWP+)

For the full nutritional info, click here!

I seriously can’t wait to make this again. I made it on Sunday, and packed it as part of my lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

I had a proud moment at the gym this week.

Actually, two proud moments, because the first day, I wondered if I just dreamed it. But no. Really.

I held a plank position for 5 minutes straight. Five.

No side planks, no downward dogs in the middle. Straight up plankin’ it.

Before. During. After.

On Thursday, because I literally wondered if Wednesday was a dream. I’d been working up to it, but the longest I’d done was around 3 minutes Something just clicked, and I decided to just go for it. Now that I know I can, it’s much easier. It makes me realize how much of it is mental!

What’s your most recent “proud moment”?