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Archive for January, 2011

Thursday at work:

Kellie: “Hey Kim – are you doing the 5K at Universal this Saturday?”

Me: “Umm… I didn’t plan on it – do you want to do it?”

Kellie: “Sure! Let’s sign up right now so we don’t back out.”

::we both signed up online::

Kim: “So… do you want to do a practice run tonight?”

Fast forward two days, and here we are – crack of dawn, we managed to get in just before the crazy traffic (learned my lesson at the Sea World race)

It was chilly out but my outfit kept me warm enough once we started the race

Everyone waited underneath the giant dome next to CityWalk

Then we all headed down to the starting line – it was a nice size crowd!

Aaand we’re off! Going through the side entrance into CityWalk

 

Go Kellie go!

Coming into Islands of Adventure – it was awesome running through the park instead of at Sea World where it was mostly parking lot.

Tons of cheerleaders 🙂

Harry Potter!!! I still haven’t been here to ride the rides or check out the shops, but it was fun to see it in person before the park opened!

I ran the whole race with Kellie and our goal was to get under 40:00 since we were both a little out of practice with the cold weather plus my rolled ankle. We agreed to run until the first mile marker non-stop – once that passed we said we’d go until the water stop (halfway point).

At the water stop we just chugged a cup each and kept going! I kept shouting “NO STOPPING ANYTIME! NO WALKING!” Before we knew it, Mile 2 came up.

Then I was shouting “OK we made it this far, it’s only 1 more mile – we’re still doing it, keep running!” Even though our run pace is more like a jog, it’s nice to know we still have enough stamina to make it through without stopping for a walk break 🙂

Going through Universal Studios brought back fun memories of when Kellie & I had the Universal season pass a few years back and came here for all the Mardi Gras concerts – I never get tired of theme parks, even after working at them 🙂

 

Almost at Mile 3…

Strike a pose!

There were two guys next to me chanting to each other “make it under 40, make it under 40!” so I screamed at them when we got to this point and said “LET’S GO!!” We all finished under 40 🙂

Then refueled with the freshest watermelon I’ve ever tasted, plus banana, oranges & granola bars, and lots of water

Official stats from the RunKeeper app (I had it turned on using my phone in my Spibelt) – it took me about 30 seconds to fiddle with it after crossing the finish line, so I’m calling this time at 39:13 – not bad for the first race back after the cold!

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This race wasn’t in my original plan for 2011, but it was fun to sign up at the last minute and just go have a good time in the parks 🙂

FYI I bought some more gel blasts at Track Shack to get ready for these next few races, and was psyched to see a new Raspberry flavor:

until I checked the back and saw gelatin on the list :-/

Yes, I’m still going to eat these packs (they’re so good!!) but will be looking for an alternative next time I’m shopping for race fuel. I got this Clif shot to try out and it looks more promising:

That’s what I’m talking about 🙂

Next Saturday we’re doing the Lady Track Shack 5K, it’s close to home and girls only so it should be a lot of fun!

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I knew it was going to be a good day when I saw this e-mail in my inbox:

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I just recently got into online coupon codes since I’ve had to buy a lot of stuff online for the wedding, and last weekend we managed to get $25 at an awesome tapas restaurant in College Park for a measly 4 bucks, so yes – I was ready to do it again!

Well this time, Restaurant.com was giving the certificates away for only 3 bucks, so I jumped on it!

I added $25 gift certificates to some of our favorite restaurants and new places I’ve been wanting to try for a long time (Cafe 118!), then entered the promo code, and voila!

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I am sooooo pumped to go try these places – expect to see pictures! 🙂

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So the grand total was $25.50 for $175 in gift certificates… then they threw in a $10 gift certificate to Restaurant.com, making it more like getting $175 for $15.50!

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Not to mention the 20% discount on flowers… yes, I’m in the market for a couple of bouquets of hot pink lilies for a very special event on May 28th 🙂

Pretty sweet, huh?

Have you ever used these super marked-down gift certificates? Or have any of you been to these restaurants? What did you think?

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One of the first questions people asked me when I made the decision to stop eating meat back in May was “will you still eat turkey at Thanksgiving?” Well – this year I didn’t eat turkey (and from what I’ve read about the history of the holiday itself, I don’t think the Pilgrims did either…) – mostly because of what I read in this book (I’ll spare you the details and let you read it yourself).

So the other night I was at Publix and was pleasantly surprised to see one of these Tofurky roasts in their Greenwise section! Apparently it’s not too late for a holiday feast 🙂

Publix actually has been impressing me lately with their growing selection of vegetarian & vegan foods, plus other natural favorites like coconut water. Looks like someone is paying attention!

When I read the box, it says 5 servings – which apparently looks like a big grapefruit 😛

Until you unwrap it lol then it looks like the Tofurky deli slices.

It also came with a gravy that you microwave – ok… I’m liking this…

The instructions said to put it on a roasting pan and cover it tightly with a lid or aluminum foil, neither of which I had in the house, so I stuck it in the ol’ Crock Pot!

Poured some olive oil on the Tofurky ball and sprinkled sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, plus half a bag of frozen peas, a scoop of Earth Balance (vegan butter) and a few spoonfuls of minced garlic from the fridge, with about a cup of water in the bottom.

Then we played the waiting game…

Finally! It’s ready! I used the serrated knife like the package recommended

and the fiance was so happy when he saw the stuffing inside!

Voila! Tofurky roast & gravy with peas…

mmm peas

mmm stuffing…

The texture on the Tofurky was good enough for me to not notice it wasn’t real turkey – and I liked how salty the stuffing was too – so heads up family members, next time you come to my house you better put your vegan cap on and be ready for a surprise lol

This lasted two meals for the both of us – not bad! 🙂 We’ll definitely buy one again, I might go snatch up the last one on the shelf and keep it in the freezer!

Are you still eating your holiday favorites or have you moved on?

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Well it’s about time I told you all about the fun apps I’ve been glued to playing with on the new Droid phone… I’ve found a few that I like and a few that I don’t, so here’s the down low from a smart-phone newbie 😛 All of these apps are free so you can save some dough.

 

RunKeeper

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This afternoon I came home and it was actually still light outside, so I took my phone and tucked it into the ol’ Spibelt for a walk around the neighborhood (not a run, the foot isn’t 100% healed from the epic ankle roll of last weekend). I don’t have an arm strap yet but who needs it? 🙂 Walked down to the lake and past some gorgeous homes wayyyyy out of our price range, for a total of 2.76 miles in 45:03. That’s an average of 16:18 min/mile and 252 calories burned (this app assumes I care about calories burned… which most days of the year I don’t). I liked that I could pause the app to take pictures of the surroundings (mostly homes I want to check out online later). Also they have an online thing where you can see more details:

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and a bigger map,

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plus your elevation (do what?), pace, splits (woo-hoo! so glad I didn’t buy that Garmin GPS watch!) and comments.

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First impression: lovin’ it 🙂 I’ll keep using this from now on since I literally just have to turn on the app and forget about it until I get home. VERY easy to use and fun, and fuh-reeeeee!

MyFitnessPal

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This is basically a calorie-counting and exercise tracking app, and I downloaded it on a whim since I know some of my friends have used it before. From a technical perspective, the app rocks – it’s so easy to search for foods & activities, and click click boom you have your calories entered. What I don’t like about it is what I don’t like about counting caloriesit sucks, and it’s tedious. I don’t want my phone telling me I have to run off the calories from my afternoon Clif Bar… don’t get me wrong, counting calories can work (I used it as a tool during college when I was first getting into working out), but my problem is that I am super tall, and when my phone tells me I only get 1200 calories a day (to reach a certain weight before the wedding), I start thinking how many calories are burned by throwing the phone far far away. So the verdict is that I’ll be uninstalling this app tonight and reclaiming my sanity 😛

WomanLog

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Alright guys – avert your eyes. This app isn’t technically a fitness app, but I got it because of my new interest in the Fertility Awareness Method (aka I’ve-been-on-the-pill-for-a-decade-and-it’s-time-for-a-change). This app is a calendar (a super cute pink calendar!) where you input things like the day your period starts & ends, when you take your pills, notes (i.e. “I was super moody today and I don’t even know why!”), when you get it on (hehehe), and your temperature. Honestly, the first time I read that you take your temperature every morning to track your fertility, my first thought was “where do you put the thermometer???”

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(*can you spot the fiancé?*)

Then I took my mind out of the gutter and smacked my forehead (the thermometer goes in your mouth, duh!). I’ve been using this app since Christmas and will keep using it after I stop ordering the pill (which is harder than it sounds because it’s automatically refilled and automatically billed… ugh). So – I recommend this one to all the ladies out there.

Music Therapy

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Or as we like to call it in our house, “Sleepy Sounds!” – this is one of my favorite apps and we use it most nights out of the week now to help us fall asleep. The fiancé usually requests it when he’s tossing and turning, and it really does put you to sleep. The downside is it’s only 5 songs – I’m not sure if they have a paid version where you can download more sleepy sounds, but this app is a keeper 🙂

Random Apps

Other fun non-fitness apps I’m loving right now:

  • Checkers – we play this at restaurants while waiting on our food to arrive – it’s a couples app! That way you’re not that epically rude a-hole playing on your smart phone while your coworkers/friends/family/lover are ignored – you know who you are
  • Coupons – every time we go someplace I check this app first (they run new coupons every day – stay tuned for an awesome post on how I got $25 of food for $4!)
  • Navigation – sooooo glad we didn’t buy a TomTom! We use this on road trips all the time and even got a mounter so we can use it hands-free in the car!
  • Zillow – yep, we are in the market for a 3/2 with a 2 car garage in College Park (and suddenly everyone I know is a realtor).

There are other apps I haven’t really used yet (ahem WordPress), and others that I expect everybody uses (music player, memo…). This phone was an awesome gift from the fiancé and I’m psyched about all the ways I can use it 🙂

What’s your favorite app? Leave a comment!

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Hey bloggies – sorry it’s been so long since my last post – things have been insanely hectic here the past week…

  • Bought “the dress” 🙂
  • Worked my booty off at the 9 to 5
  • Had an epic yard sale to cash in on the fiancé’s sister moving in with her new fiancé and unloading her extra belongings at our house (cha-ching! )
  • Rolled my ankle after tripping over said belongings (rendering me useless for any running) and crying like a baby all night with the most supportive and caring man in the world
  • The fiancé’s first baby shower (eeeee!)
  • Finished all four seasons of Dexter… what? It’s addictive!

I thought the cold was gone, but sadly it’s here to stay for a while longer. We covered up the lemon tree and grapefruit tree in the backyard together, I hope they’re making little citrus babies under that blanket…

Get a room! 😛

Before the epic yard sale, we invited over the fiancé’s sis & mom for Indian food – it was his mom’s first experience with it so I wanted to do something mild, not too funky that would taste awesome and leave them wanting more… so I picked two vegetarian entrees (who needs cookbooks when you have Google?): Aloo Gobi Masala (spiced potatoes & cauliflower) with Mutter Paneer (peas & cheese in a sauce).

I learned quickly that when you want to make Indian food from scratch, you’re probably going to need to make a tomato paste and an onion paste – just the job for my mini-food processor.

Purees a few cups of the mixture in a snap, without major cleaning and taking up mega counter space like a normal food processor.

Tomato paste with cashews, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric…

turns into this – YUM!

Onion paste… not so appetizing LOL onions, garlic, garam masala, squeezed ginger…

THIS STUFF IS A LIFESAVER – I keep a tube of basil in the fridge too, and this saves SO much time and tastes great 🙂

Mix the two pastes together to form the sauce base for the Mutter Paneer.

Since we didn’t have real paneer (it’s a hard cheese that has a similar texture to tofu), we just used tofu, with some frozen peas thrown in.

For the other dish, I chopped up potatoes and a head of cauliflower,

Sauteed up some chopped onion, tomato, peas, spices…

threw in the big veggies to mix and cook

and picked up this (too expensive to buy again but had to try it once) Indian rice blend from Publix – it was good but I’d rather just learn how to make it myself at home

and voila – the finished dinner!

The verdict from the Indian-food-newbies: it needed salt. Hardly any of the recipes I use for Indian food call for salt, and I like the combination of other flavors without all the sodium.

My foot is starting to feel normal again so hopefully this weekend I’ll get out and do some running again – I’ve been going for walks around the neighborhood more for the mental remedy and stress relief (I really really miss that when I can’t run), and I’m ready to get pumped up for the first race of 2011!

What’s a new food you tried recently that you would recommend to a friend?

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My 2011 Goals

It’s that time of year again (you know, the beginning…) when everyone makes resolutions for what they want to change about their lives in the next year. I try to avoid “resolutions” because I’ve never kept them, including being vegetarian junior year of college. This ended quickly after a New Year’s Eve Party where I stayed out late, got the munchies and pigged out on chili cheese fries from Jack-in-the-Box… I woke up the next morning with a hangover and a fridge full of soy crumbles – good intentions though! Who knew it’d take me another 5 years to come back around to that lifestyle 🙂

The fiancé is at the Stanford bowl game in Miami with his dad (aka world’s biggest Stanford fan), so I had a lot of free time tonight to think about what I want to do over the next year – notice I said “do”, not “change” – resolutions can sometimes force us to be critical of ourselves in bad ways where nobody wins, so I prefer to think of it as a to-do list.

I did most of my thinking on the elliptical at the gym since I don’t feel safe running in the dark at night, so it was just me and a bunch of senior citizens, sweating away the day’s stress while jamming out to my phone’s music player and watching Mad Money on CNN – love my gym 🙂 I got in a full 30 minutes on the elliptical and left feeling clear-headed.

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I took action today to make my mood brighten up by going out into the sunshine for lunch with Kellie the BFF, which left me with this deliciousness for dinner: lunch leftovers – a Greek yogurt parfait with oatmeal, blueberries, 1/2 banana, flax seed and a drizzle of honey (plus a splash of milk to smooth it out) – hey, dinner for one doesn’t have to be fancy!

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OK, onto the goals… a while back I read this post on one of my favorite blogs and took Caitlin’s advice to make a “Life Goals.doc” so I always have something to reference when I need some perspective. Some of my 2011 goals are private, so I’ll avoid the specifics, but here we go…

Personal Goals

  • Have a happy, loving marriage
  • Own a home
  • Plan for a comfortable retirement
  • Become a better homemaker
  • Bring music back into my life
  • Be adventurous with the fiancé!

Professional Goals

  • Get prepared to take the test for my professional engineer’s license
  • Be punctual and reliable
  • Make a real difference in the world and make a living doing it
  • Stay balanced with extra-curricular events (don’t get over-committed)

Health Goals

  • Get my body in peak shape to get ready for a baby (*note to our mamas: no babies are on the 2011 agenda, this is just for me to GET READY for the future*)
  • Keep my teeth clean and no more cavities
  • Make fitness a fun part of my life with small challenges & milestones (including a half marathon, all of these will be on the blog!)

Here’s an example of how I get into the specifics for a goal… take “bring music back into my life” – that involves 1) signing up for a piano lesson, 2) teaching the fiancé how to read sheet music, 3) getting my viola restrung & tuned, and 4) setting up my music stand in the guest bedroom. Each of the goals listed above has specific tasks with it, here’s a screenshot of the health goals with specifics:

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I’ll end with a few inspirational quotes for you to chew on 🙂

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What are some of your goals for 2011?

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New Year, New Noms

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We just had one of the best long weekends ever at the beach, with family, fun, a little wedding planning, and tons of great food 🙂

Before 2011 was over, I wanted to try some new foods out on the fiancé – enter tempeh bacon!

Served up with kale (sautéed in olive oil)

Mashed sweet potatoes,

and the tempeh bacon… next year I’m going to work on making foods look more like “before” than “after” digestion… This stuff was pretty tasty but hard to cook from straight out the freezer – I’d thaw it out ahead of time next time.

We headed over to the beach for the long weekend and spent a few days with the family, munching on some good eats:

  • Grilled portabella mushroom parmesan sandwich
  • Blueberry pancakes
  • Homemade popcorn
  • Milano cookies (one of the indulgences of going to the family’s house is they keep snacks around!) 
  • Grilled cheese sandwich on the beach

This is the Paradise Grill, aka the only beachfront restaurant on this section of St. Pete Beach – wouldn’t it make a great place for, say, a beach wedding reception? 🙂

Speaking of weddings, we also picked out a cake, looked at a bunch of reception sites, and met with a potential wedding coordinator… it’s all happening really fast but I’m excited because once we get some of these big items nailed down I can relax!

When we came back to Orlando, we picked up our “new” breakfast table – the fiance & his mom took our old one from Goodwill, sanded it down and stained it to match our other furniture – so it looks brand new!

Tonight’s dinner: quinoa with kale & beets topped with feta (loving the kale right now!)

I read somewhere that women are likely to gain weight when they move in with a man because they start eating “man-sized” portions, so I wanted to show you how we split up the meals in our house for a guy and a girl.

My plate usually has less starchy carbs with more veggies,

and his has more of the starchy carbs with fewer veggies (he’s not a kale fan)

Some nights we just do a 50/50 split like if we’re doing spaghetti, but if I have a chance to take more of the veggies and give him more of the bulky stuff, that’s what I do.

This combination came out really good sautéed on the stove top with olive oil!

*looking back at this picture now an hour after dinner, and still thinking “gimme more!”*

I made the quinoa in the rice cooker (1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water) and at the last minute, put in a few spoonfuls of spicy hummus for some flavor – mmm

And dessert!

Frozen banana soft serve (from the first food blog I ever read)

with peanut butter, a little bit of organic skim milk to get it blend-able, and topped with raw cacao nibs for crunch

New year, new noms 🙂

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