Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Hump Day!! (humps as in hills, roller coasters, camels backs..)

Happy Hump Day everyone!

For some reason, this weeks has been slow as MOOOOOOOOLLLLAAAAASSSSSEEEEEEESSSSSS.
Or is it just me?

However it's going for you, we are over the hill people! Over that hill! We are descending down, just like that roller coaster at Cedar Point! What was it called, again?


THD and I have a love/hate relationship. You see, I love it when I have an empty stomach, but it hates me when I just ate a GINORMOUS salad full of um, beans and a subway sandwich the size of my face.

Anyway, moving on to real life now because the last time I went on the THD was two summers ago (oh summer, how warm and sunny you are and how I miss you so..)

Classes and life has been CRAAAAAAAAAAAAZY! I forgot that once you reach a certain age, teachers don't care that you have a life and decide to go you massive amounts of homework that make you want to curl up on a couch and watch Titanic (and cry, not drool over Leo..although I do that anyway).

Sigh. I'll never let go.

What was I talking about?
Homework. Besides this thing called 'homework' (what is THAT? WHO INVENTED THAT? WHY?), there's all these tests. One after the other. 

BUT, to get me through these long, suffering school days, I've worked off my frustration by sweating and (of course), eating.   :)

I've been really loving MR. ROW because it makes me feel so dang good. Like, very strong (until I stand up and realize that my entire body feels like jello).

No, that's not me. One, who wears pants to the gym? Too hot. Two, I am NOT a blond. No siree..

Spending 30 minutes on MR. ROW has definitely firmed my body up just a wee bit since I started using it a month and a half ago. 

MR. MILL (aka my treadmill) has been dragging lately. Maybe because I've been staying up later and getting up earlier? Oh well. It's the winter funk that happens every year. (Actually, it was 63 degrees here today <wtfudge?> and tomorrow it's going to be 27 with snow storm, but whatever..)

My favorite part:

My standard sandwich for lunch as of the past 2 weeks has been the above beauty. That, my friends is a whole-grain flat out wrap full of melted mozzarella, ketchup, SPICES, spinach, turkey pepperoni, parmesaen (you can never have too much cheese), ham, and turkey. Eaten with a side of more parmesaen and ketchup on the side to dip AND cheddar rice cakes that taste like cheetos but are actually GOOD FOR YOU.
HOLY YUM!!!!!!
 You can all be jealous. I don't mind.
(And I just realized that I don't really know how to spell parmesaen and am too lazy to look it up on my computer because my fingers are too tired from being used 5 days a week <READ: SCHOOL>)

And of course, my vanilla cake batter protein 'ice cream' has been made NUMEROUS times to go along side my black chocolate 'brownies' and extra peanut butter.

It's like a 'lil party going on in my mouth every time I take a bite.
Side Note: There's no pics of these two beautiful creations together because, well, every time I make them I  they end up getting eaten before I remember to grab my camera. So, yeah. Just use your imagination.

Also, I'd like to thank Menchies for getting me through these difficult times. They've been there when I needed them. 
At least, until my gift card for free fro yo runs out and they leave me no choice but to spend my own money.
(Again, no pic of the fro yo, sorry, because I forgot to take a pic before I inhaled savored every bite. By the way, the peanut butter and strawberry flavors SWIRLED together tastes like legit, straight up pb&j.
Heaven. In. My. Mouth.

More pics (and hopefully of real food this time) to come soon!!

For now, 

 (don't ask)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Classes = new life, more carbs

WOWZA! Is it really Thursday? ARE YOU SURE?

We're so close to Friday, but yet, so far. 
People today kept saying to me, 
"Gosh, I can't believe tomorrows Friday! It feels like we're so close to the weekend! Wow that went fast!"
Um, no. 
Not for me.

This week has gone by soooooooooooooooooooo slowwwwlllyy (like molasses) that it's hard to believe it is a 4 day week. Definitely feels like, ooo a 10 day week? Yeah.

Tuesday was the start of a new semester, which means new classes, new teachers, and more homework.

 I thought finals week was rough (was it really only last week?! WHAT?!). Day 3 of classes and we've already been assigned chapter(s) <---(that would be more than one) of reading, tests to study for, POP QUIZZES (oh how I loathe you) and the promise of more to come.
How kind.

This was me on Tuesday. Minus the whole forgetting what I ate part. 

I've been seriously longing for the days of elementary school where my biggest concern of the day was whether or not I'd get to be star student. You know, the special teacher's pet child for a whole that consisted of special treatment and special snacks and nap time? Nap time.
 I miss you.

So this week has been spent getting used to new classes and my new schedule of morning classes.
There's a reason I didn't have classes in the morning first semester;)
Anyway, I've had to switch my work outs to afternoons instead of mornings, which honestly hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be because of three things, I suspect:

  1. I'm actually AWAKE, not just 'sleepy and going through the motions'
  2. I have more ENERGY, which makes sense I suppose; my stomach usually can't handle any food if I run right when I wake up in the morning, and little food if I cross train and strength train in the morning, MEANING: I didn't have the energy food gives me, resulting in a lackluster work out. Every day. So this leads me to:
  3. I now eat two meals and a snack before I work out. Now I get to eat and digest THEN work out, which is SO much better than just waking up and working out. I give props to all of you who have no choice but to work out first thing in the morning because of your schedules. Major props.
Moving on, I HAVE made time to bake and eat this week. Of course I have.
 I experimented with a new version of my family's recipe for Halva:

Halva is a greek dessert made out of cream of wheat, water,sugar, butter and cinnamon. My mother and I started to experiment with different substitutes for the original 5 ingredients a while back and now use somewhat healthier ingredients. For the most part.

This is a good pre-work out snack or breakfast with some greek yogurt and fresh fruit.
 It is definitely one of those gut sticking foods that stay with you for hours and hours. And I do mean hours.
  I had several pieces after dinner one night (carbo loading at its finest) and ran right when I woke up the next morning feel great! Recipe to come soon!

Speaking of carbo loading..

I've been experimenting in the kitchen with some granola recipes. I made this almond-maple granola the other night, but it's still a work in progress..

granola, peanut butter sauce, strawberry jam, vanilla protein ice cream = YUM

However, that hasn't stopped me from eating the trial run batches :)


On strength training days I've been having this new concoction I like to call Vanilla  Cake Batter Protein Ice Cream.
It may look plain and boring, but HOLY SMACKRAL is that good. Like, mouth watering good. To me, it tastes sort of like cake batter. But that's just me. There's hints of coconut (of course), vanilla, maple, and a slight hint of banana. Ever so slightly. It all blends together to make a creation like nothing I've ever tasted.
Except maybe cake batter :)

Vanilla Cake Batter Protein Ice Cream

2 cups vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients in a freezable container. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours.

1/2 chopped frozen banana
1 pkg sugar free vanilla pudding mix
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. coconut flour

-After freezing milk mixture, thaw slightly in microwave for 45 seconds.
- Place mixture in food processor and blend along with banana.
 -Add in remaining ingredients, one at a time, until chopped banana is broken down and remaining ingredients are blended thoroughly and mixture is thick, similar to soft serve.
-Move to a bowl and EAT!!
NOTE: This makes a HUGE serving, so you can always freeze any remaining soft serve you don't eat in the freezer again. Just make sure you thaw it out again when you want to eat it later.
2ND NOTE: This tastes SOOO SOOO SOOO good with my black chocolate brownies
Especially topped with my vanilla peanut butter sauce. But I'll tell you about that later.

Alright people, I'm off to try to make sense of what-ever-the-heck I'm supposed to be studying for a test tomorrow!


Do me a favor, will ya?

Eat some peanut butter for me.

Friday, January 18, 2013

T F G I F, My brownie obsession

 (FYI: T.F.G.I.F. = Thank Fudge'n God It's Friday) <--THIS IS A  PG BLOG PEOPLE, PG!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This is pretty much how I feel EVERY Tuesday:

But hey! Tomorrow's Hump Day!!! (mind out of the gutter people....)

This week is Finals Week, which basically means that my life consists of


Notice a pattern here?
BUT, I have been enjoying some a lot of treats to get me through this depressing and PANICKING time of need :)


Banana Soft Serve...okay, this isn't a treat. It's more like a staple. My family thinks I'm slightly weird for storing chopped bananas in the freezer, but they don't judge.

 the one,
 the only..............
Okay, so maybe this is just cookie butter with a crunch to it, but there's just SOMETHING about it that makes me get all...excited. Inside.
 And out. <---but only when no one's looking

It's ESPECIALLY good when used as a dip for those cinnamon pita chips from trader joes that got cut off in the above picture because the CRUNCHY COOKIE BUTTER stole the show.
Which is totally understandable.

But you know what goes even better with the CRUNCHY COOKIE BUTTER than cinnamon chips?


Okay, not the BEST picture, but, you see, I was in the middle of the batch of these when I sorta kinda remembered I had a blog. A food blog. Right.
BUT DON'T WORRY! I'm making a new batch of BROWNIES (yes, they're brownies, just with some rather..umm..interesting ingredients:)) as soon as finals are over. 
Which is never Thursday.

So until then,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Horror Films = Fast Running? & Banana Bread!

Happy Friday!!!!

<Insert Friday Song of Choice>

(the song we all love to hate)
(please ignore the subtitles; they mean nothing about me, I swear)

First full week of 2013 down, and only 51 more to go! (And no, I'm not that smart, I had to look that up; but I'm flattered if you thought I was :))

1st semester classes are nearly over; now all that's left to do is STUDY STUDY STUDY for finals and pray I don't bomb.

The only interesting part of my week was hearing about that girl who got her tongue stuck in a metal water bottle.

poor kid. 

I ALWAYS carry my handy dandy and trusty water bottle with me, so I was especially curious to hear about that. I tried to stick my tongue in my bottle, but it wouldn't stay. Very discouraging, I'll tell you.

Just for you, I restrained myself from putting up a picture of my tongue in there. Just use your imagination. (Second thought, don't..too gross)

On a much less-disgusting note, Thursday was a good day solely because of the run I had in the morning. 8 miles at an average of 8:20 min/mile (give or take 10 seconds) all in the comfyness of my basement and Supernatural. Ever seen that show?

(they deserve to have a large photo, trust me)

I just started watching the series in the morning on TNT because it's on everyday from 9-12, which is usually when I run these days. The network runs through the whole seriess, and they're just showing season 1 now, so I'm watching/ recording all the episodes.

OHMYGOSH does it get your heart racing! (And no, not just cuz of their looks, they don't hurt, either;)) 
This show is SO IDEAL FOR RUNNING because I'm constantly on edge and for some crazy reason run faster while I'm watching. For example, when the guys are chasing or being chased by a demon, ghost, murderer, etc., I START TO RUN FASTER.

This is a new thing for me and I'm probably-most-likely going to obsess over this for the next week or so. Maybe I should start watching horror films while I run?

But, as I mentioned in my previous post, my runs have been pretty spectacular, in part, to this lovely thing of carbs:

This is what I call Banana Berry Coconut Jam Grape Bread. Too long? O.K., how about Banana BCG Bread?  Whatever the name, I still like it. Now, I made this recipe two ways; one with berries, oat flour, bran flour and coconut flour(yes, I'm still loving coconut), and the other way with no berries and just oat & coconut flour. I decided I liked the version with berries and less oats, but you can substitute whatever you want!
Behold, I give you:

Banana B.C.J.G. Bread

2 cups oat flour 
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla soy milk)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sweetnener
3 large and VERY RIPE bananas, mashed
1/4 cup dried fruit and/or chopped nuts (I used craisins and pecans)

1 cup grapes
1/4 cup sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
1/4 cup flour of choice or corn starch (coconut flour works well)
4 tbs. jam (I used strawberry jam)

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the dough:
-To make oat flour, process 2 cups oats in food processor until ground into flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine oat flour with coconut flour, milk, salt, vanilla, sweetener, mashed bananas, and mix-ins. Mix well.

For the filling:
-Wash grapes and place into food processor. Blend until foamy liquid forms. Add in sweetener of choice and flour and process again.

-Take a normal loaf pan and press half of the dough mixture into the bottom and press down firmly. 
-Pour grape puree filling on top of dough. Drop jam on top of filling and swirl with a knife. -Take remaining dough and spread on top of filling (it will be clumpy; that's okay!

 NOTE: I added blackberries to the top of the bread right before it went into the oven; I DEFINITELY recommend doing this!!

 Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

 Let cool (if you REALLY feel the need, which I didn't and ended up suffering from a burnt tongue for the rest of the night. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED). 

But, really, it was worth it :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Foam Roller Murder (and what fuels my runs as of late)

Yesterday during my run I was thinking about (besides not tripping, veering off the treadmill <yes, I'm a wimp and run inside, in my basement, with a t.v.> and into the the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band poster my Dad got AGES ago) how often I stare at those men in outrageously colorful outfits.
 I mean, I've been running in the basement for a good 4 years and every time they stare at me with their smirfy smirky expressions (my opinion), it just makes  me want to hurl my i pod at them until I realize that, well, IS MY I POD. And that I'm too broke to fix it or get a new one. It's already too cracked from dropping it on my previous runs. 
(not my fault)

cracked i pod. I know, I'm abusive.

The past month or so I've increased my runs from 5-6 miles to 8-10. This has been a HUGE accomplishment on my part because it took me a good 6 months to build up my endurance after taking a break from running due to health reasons.
There have  been MANY injuries during these 6 months (yeah, I'm talking about YOU ya stupid ankle).


NOT my foot. I swear

But recently my runs and overall work outs have been A-MAZING. With an emphasis on the A-MAZING
Maybe partly due to the fact that I've started to actually stretch? As in, more than a quickie 2 minute stretch down to my pointy toes and back up? I got a foam roller for Christmas and WHOLY MACKRAL does that thing work! I mean, sure it feels like murder while I slowly and painfully roll my muscles over it, but the after effects are worth it.

 the murder weapon, in all it's shady glory

At least, that's what I tell myself while I'm rolling.

Besides the A-MAZING effects of foam rolling and stretching (who woulda' thunk, right?), FOOD (my love) has played a big roll. <---ha ha, get it? 

GREEK YOGURT! Dannon Oikos came out with a (new to me) brand of greek yogurt  called TOASTED COCONUT VANILLA. May I just say that this stuff is like crack in a container? Like crack on a spoon..then in your belly.
Too weird?

The BEST fuel that has powered me through my latest work outs is hands down this coconut ( I'm obsessed) berry banana bread that I made a few nights ago. I had 6 extra ripe bananas needing to be used up before my father "accidentally" threw them out because of their smell (he just doesn't understand how precious those babies are) so I created my own banana recipe with some rather interesting ingredients. Recipe to come soon! (Cuz I know everyone's so eager..;))

I've been eating a large amount (read: half a loaf) the night before my morning runs/ work outs and feel SO full of energy! It's full of yummines (yes spell check, that is a word) and is especially tasty with TOASTED COCONUT VANILLA(<---it deserves the extra emphasis. trust me) greek yogurt.

Of course, there's SOO much more food, but if I put all of them in this post, you'd likely be reading until tomorrow. 

For now, I'm off to go mourn over the last of the coconut banana bread that I just finished for dessert after dinner. <sniff sniff>

Poor thing. It didn't even last 2 days.

And that was the 2nd loaf.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Frenzied Mind, Magical Coconut Bars, & CHOCONUT MEDLEY

Have you ever had a major project or presentation you had to work on that could determine the next stop in life? And if you failed it that could mean you were DOOMED? And you had all of 2 weeks to work on this and then comes the night before and you're running around like a crazy person with a knife bag of chocolate chips trying to remember where you put the flash drive with your presentation on it?
 No? Just me? Well then never mind.... 

I've been in a frenzy-filled-ohmygosh-I'm-not-going-to-finish-this-in-time state of mind  the whole weekend over this presentation-project.


So, now I get to relax and focus on more important things, like food. And the pursuit of happiness. And the shocking and devastating discover I just made 22 minutes ago when I found out my DVR didn't record The Biggest Loser premiere last night. 

But mostly food. 

I've gotta be honest, the only things that got me through the last 3 days (besides chocolate chips), are Angela's AMAZING Lightened Up Magical Coconut Bars.
 Key word: Magical. 
I made these on Saturday (in preparation of my full out frenzy mode the following day) and um, well...there's about 3 bars left.

The only change I made to the recipe was using brown sugar instead of coconut sugar, and using 1 cup crushed bran flake cereal (processed in a food processor) and 1 cup crushed graham crackers (because I ran out of graham crackers.
The ending result was a slightly less sweet crust, but the sweetness of the coconut, chocolate chips and nuts more than made up for it! SOOO GOOD! 

Another sweet treat I've been enjoying is a mix of some random things that have been in the fridge for far too long and might have grown something on them (like, I dunno a pair of legs or eyes or <god forbid> some hair....ew) if I hadn't used up the ingredients. 

I've been enjoying this as a dessert after dinner. It's full of protein and has been good fuel to eat the night before a run  or even after it. 

I give you, the Choco-nut Medley. There's a little bit of tofu, some cocoa powder, coconut flour, sweetener and some other random things:

(don't mind that awkward college letter in the background....)

Choco-Nut Medley

1/4 pkg firm tofu
about 1 tbs. vanilla extract
about 1/3 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup applesauce
little more than 1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 big spoonfuls coconut flour (or any other flour of choice)
1/2 cup sweetener of choice (I used sugar-free maple syrup and hazelnut syrup)
optional: any add ins (I put in some dried fruit, nuts, and topped it  with some
 cool whip<----ohmygosh so yummy:))

Blend tofu, vanilla, milk, and vanilla in food processor.
Add in cocoa powder and coconut flour along with sweetener of choice. Blend again.
Eat out of food processor (If you wanna be like me) or be neat and scrape out of food processor into a nice bowl and eat like a fancy, proper person.

NOTE: This can be very sweet or not sweet at all depending on what flour you use, so adjust sweetener according to your own taste buds)

SECOND NOTE: I LOVE to dip pretzels in this. Amazing. Truly.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


It's 1-3-13 today!

This won't happen again until next January on 1-4-14. Weird, huh? It feels as if the New Year went by really fast and suddenly we're all back at January again. NO!!! I really am not a fan of January. Or February for that matter. And March. Also April. And yes, even May. Basically January- May I don't like. (My apologies to all those who have birthdays, anniversary, etc. during these months. To each her/his own, I suppose). Maybe because during these months it's mostly cold, wet, rainy, dreary, so the natural thing to do is stay inside, watch movies and trash t.v., eat, and also maybe because there's (for some of us), school involved. The countdown after winter break begins and it feels NEVER ENDING until the last day of school arrives. You get back from break and start counting down until Spring Break, then St. Patricks Day (because everyone knows OF COURSE you're supposed to play hookie from work or schools and watch the parade. Wait. St. Patty's is on a Sunday this year......never mind) and FINALLY Memorial Day (yes, it counts, that one day means a lot to some of us).

 But going back to the cold weather; there's just no WARMTH. Your skin gets all pale and dry (unless you're one of THOSE people who carries cream around with them everywhere they go..I'M LOOKING AT YOU MOM), and then when the sun finally emerges and the temperature rises high enough that you don't need to wear 6 layers and extra fuzzy socks, you have to tan in your back yard (because you're so pale it's embarrassing) until your skin looks not so vampire like THEN you can go out with the normal people.

I don't really know where I'm going this ramble.

Any-who, speaking of  New Years Day (I wasn't, was I? Oh well), my family and I celebrated with the traditional Vasilopita (similar to this recipe, but we omit the almonds).

t's a sweet bread made for Easter and New Years. During Easter we braid the dough and put a dyed red egg in the center. For New Years we put in a foil wrapped coin and cut pieces for everyone. Who ever ends up with the coin is supposed to have  good luck for the rest of the year. 

(I've gotten the coin a few years ago and just managed to pass Biology. That in its self is pure luck right there).
Well, THIS year when we cut the bread, the coin JUST SO HAPPENED to be smack dab in the middle between my piece and my brothers. Hmph. Personally, speaking from a completely unbiased and non-prejudiced point of view, I'd say the coin was 70 % embedded in my piece and 30 % in my brothers'. But no one did and now we're sharing it. 

Although, really, I think I need the luck more considering my pale skin that needs help tanning and walking in heels. <--(-that needs MAJOR luck, as in it will take a miracle.)