Archive for February, 2011

Chocolate Monster

I have a secret… I’m a monster. Well, once a month for a few days in a row, I turn into a monster.


A monster with an uncontrollable hunger for chocolate. Call it hormones, call it whatever you like – but for those few days, if there isn’t chocolate in the house, I will eat everything else in the kitchen until I finally make it to the grocery store to get my chocolate fix.

Tonight’s victim’s eats:

A quick Indian meal for two with a big mound of broccoli

Each day when I read a little more of Crazy Sexy Diet it reminds me to load up on my veggies!

Clearly this wasn’t enough and wasn’t chocolate… so we took a trip to Wally World to get reinforcements. And while we’re on Walmart – let me just say I dread going there now; the healthy foods section is shrinking to being almost non-existent, which is driving me into the loving arms of Chamberlain’s Market, but that’s for another blog post.

Also picked up some super dark chocolate – mmmm rich – yeah that’s the stuff 🙂

And for some reason this monster was feeling salty tonight too, so we made a batch of popcorn.

On a typical day I eat a huge breakfast and a good sized lunch so I don’t feel so snacky towards the end of the day, but today started out with a banana & a spoon of almond butter for breakfast, with a measly greek salad & some spicy french fries for lunch, and a grapefruit & string cheese for a snack at home. Yeah that’s not enough 😛

Do you eat steady throughout the day or have a few big meals? I have friends who always skip breakfast – how do they live???


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Give Spicy Nooch a Chance

If you just want to know about spicy nooch – skip to the bottom of the post 🙂

It’s girls night tonight! And by girls I mean just me… the fiancé’s traveling on business so I got a little “me” time – and it’s been a lot of fun!

I got all primped up for work (this was actually yesterday’s outfit but wanted you to see a pic with full-face makeup), including crazy slept-on-wet-hair head (so what?), eyeliner, mascara and a little powder – still working out the kinks with makeup since the wedding is in <100 days and I can count <100 days in my life where I’ve actually worn makeup…

I’ve never been a makeup fan b/c I realized quickly in high school that most of my friends who wore foundation had major breakouts, so the most I ever experimented with was mascara & lip gloss – eyeliner is a very recent thing for me… as you can tell by this amateur job I did today LOL

But seriously, this is what my skin looks like without any foundation or concealer on, just mascara & eyeliner – generally pretty clear, the only place I really get breakouts these days is on my chest from sweaty sports bras (ugh – anybody know a solution for this??? My wedding gown is strapless!)

After work I was excited to come home and run 3 miles in a tank top for the first time this year! WOO!

(told ya, if you look close you can see what I mean with the sweaty sportsbra breakout above)

I did the “hand trick” again to keep my pace on track – wrote out what I wanted for my mile splits in perfect 3rd grade scribble 😉

Downed 3 of these bloks (6 in a pack, so it was half a pack) – should’ve had the whole thing…

and a B-12 (I take these daily now and will do a post soon about how much I like them!)

And voila – super sweaty red-faced post-run glow… at 2 miles I began feeling lightheaded and my legs literally GAVE OUT (this has never happened to me before – should’ve had the whole Clif Shot Bloks package), so I walked for a minute and then ran the rest of the way home. So yeah… this is a picture of a genuine runner’s high:

My RunKeeper app had this time:

but since that includes time to turn it on, lock the phone, zip it up in my spibelt, then unzip it, unlock it, and turn it off… the real time (aka low-tech stopwatch) was 30:44 for 2.77 miles. I had a 3-mile course planned out and ran it backwards so I forgot to do a tiny loop around one corner, whoops 😛

I was going for a 11:30 minute mile (*usually my comfortable pace is 12-minute-mile) and ended up with 11:10! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Stretched it out and did bun busters to the official Bun Busters Soundtrack… (seriously, the video is coming soon… just gotta get the fiancé to hold the camera without falling over laughing!)

And dinner – immediately after the run I chowed down a grapefruit

And started some okra fries with spicy Creole seasoning – this is my favorite spice and I put it on tons of stuff, but the fiancé thinks it’s too salty so it was another thing I enjoyed while he was gone 🙂

Why yes – it IS great on everything!

Popped these in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees – they were super dry when I took them out

In the meantime, whipped up the spicy nooch cheezy dipping sauce!

It’s about 1/8 cup nooch (nutritional yeast, get it at your health foods store or online) mixed with a few tbsp of water – don’t overwater it b/c it will get runny, you want a thick mustardy consistency – the nooch comes in flakes so it stirs better with a fork than a spoon:

and as I learned in college… everything tastes better with hot sauce 🙂

I chopped up football sweet potato and sautéed it with more Creole seasoning in a pan with EVOO

All together (this is only 1 plate, the rest is leftovers for lunch):

Spicy sweet potatoes are a perfect flavor combination!

mmm okra fuzz 😛

And the cheezy dippy goodness! I licked the bowl when I ran out of okra fries!

All the noochy details…

What I know so far about nooch (nutritional yeast):

  • it’s packed with protein and B vitamins
  • it’s vegan
  • it smells like biology lab (um duh, it’s yeast)
  • the smell grosses me out b/c I did a research project where we grew yeast using Splenda (nerd moment: normally yeast grows on sugar, and I wanted to see if it could grow on Splenda since the reason Splenda is 0 calorie is because the added chlorine is un-digestible by your stomach’s bacteria, I hypothesized yeast would be the same, but to all of our surprise the yeast batch that was fed Splenda grew like kudzu, even more than the sugar batch…. OK no more biology nerd details unless you’re really interested)
  • not a fan of nooch in this recipe we made for the Superbowl party – nobody liked these, including myself :-/
  • I got the idea for Spicy Nooch from this blog where Averie blends a red pepper with the nooch mixture, but I didn’t have a red pepper so hot sauce subbed in
  • spicy nooch is EPIC on baked kale chips!!!
  • spicy nooch is an AWESOME dipping sauce – so awesome that I’ve totally gotten over the smell and LOVE using this stuff now! and the fiancé’s a fan too 🙂

I started looking into vegan cheese options after learning about rennet and how a lot of cheeses list “enzymes” on the ingredients list (here’s the post that shocked us), and they leave out that those enzymes come from inside cow’s stomachs (they have to kill the cow to get to the enzymes), which is just not cool with us. We bought some Daiya cheese for mac-n-cheese and LOOOOOOVE IT – I’ll probably never buy normal cheddar again 🙂 Seriously, get yourself to a Whole Foods or other hippie store and get you some Daiya cheese – the ingredients list will make you happy (it’s allergen-free), it tastes like cheese and doesn’t smell like a biology experiment 🙂

Long story short, we love spicy nooch and it’s here to stay 🙂

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Today’s been a great day 🙂

I woke up and listened to the fiancé’s heartbeat for a few solid minutes, so peaceful. Then we had breakfast together, watched some funny cartoons, and he went off for a boy’s day out – leaving me to my own devices… so I got dressed and headed out the door for what was supposed to be yesterday’s 4-mile long run.


I started out jogging but after 1 mile my rolled ankle flared up :-! so I had to walk the rest. Then I spent about 2 miles on the phone 😉 hey, walking is walking!


I’m worried my ankle is going to be a pain (literally) for a while and might affect me getting ready for the Disney half marathon, but as long as I can maintain a 16:00 min/mile pace, Mickey won’t kick me off the course – so… no chit chat during the half marathon!

I came home and blasted some tunes during my cool-down & stretching, and want to share with you – after any run I spend about 5-10 minutes stretching and doing butt exercises (or as the fiancé says, “keeping it a 10”)

For the Bun Busters, I do a series of donkey kicks in 3 different variations, and promise one day to put a video up for you – and this is the PERFECT song for the exercise sequence, perfect length & tempo for shakin’ your butt 🙂

Doesn’t that video just make you feel 14 again? I wish we had parties like that when I was 14…

For stretching, these songs are my favorites:


and to keep the great day going, I’m doing something I haven’t done in wayyyyy too long – shopping for new clothes!

Hope you’re all having a great day, and if you aren’t – go outside! 🙂

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I Might Just Blog…

On the way home from work today I was thinking “OK, it’s a Friday night, weekend is officially beginning… what to do? … I might just blog!”

I know it’sbeenawhile since the last post and the KLH fans out there are starting to wonder what the heck I’ve been up to, so here’s an update for ya:

Been hanging at the beach scoping out wedding photo spots:

Yup – that’s where we’re actually getting married 🙂

Well hey fiancé (pronounced fyawn-say like Beyonce with an F and a southern twang…) – also set up a wedding website so the out-of-towners can get their info and RSVP 🙂

Been doing good around town:

We upgraded to some super low-flow urinals (sexxxayy) in our office building and donated the old ones to Habitat. I love this store – it’s like a mix between Home Depot and a thrift store 🙂

Been eating some fun new things:

  • Chocolate raspberry protein oats

  • Take-to-work salads

  • Lazy girl’s protein smoothie (1/2 greek yogurt, 1/2 unsweetened applesauce, mixed with a packet of Stevia and slurped down at my desk)

Been catching up on some reading:

SO excited to hunker down with this book this weekend and get a fresh look at food, life, inspiration 🙂

And tonight we’re going out with the fiancé’s mom & sis to see this suspense movie:

Unknown Poster

Catch you later!

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Who’s ready to run an all girls race?

Me! 🙂 This weekend I joined the fiancé’s mom and Kellie the BFF to do a 5K race just for women, at Mead Gardens (very close to home, how could I resist?) – I knew it would be a good time when I saw the pretty tech shirts, because you know me, I’ll run any race for a cool shirt.

I woke up super early since the three of us were riding together, and put on my go-to race outfit (seriously loving those running capris from Target and the Spibelt!)

aaaaaand here’s me at 6am with no makeup (eek!)

The usual pre-race breakfast of PB toast,

and I wanted to try one of these energy gel shots since Kellie loves the coffee/latte/vanilla flavor so much…

I ate that while walking to the starting line… and could barely finish it – the espresso flavor was so strong, I really had to force it down :-/ better luck next time?

At the starting line, everyone was wearing the pretty blue shirts – it was a cool sight! I started in the back with the fiancé’s mom since we decided to walk this race together. Kellie showed up late and met us about halfway through the course, so we had plenty of time to girl-talk about the wedding 🙂

Crazy picture that makes it look like I’m frozen in time…

Walking through the neighborhood reminded me a lot of Palo Alto where all the homes are super nice with lush landscaping

A-ha! There you are Kel! She sorta did the first half of the race backwards (starting at the finish line) and met us up by the water stop at the midpoint.


And just for giggles, we ran across the finish line (that’s me and the fiance’s mom!) because you should always run the last leg of the race! Even when you walked the last 59 minutes 😉


What a beautiful location too – we looked at this venue for our wedding a few months back and liked it a lot but decided on the beach, but if anyone is looking for an Orlando wedding venue, Mead Gardens has a beautiful outdoor amphitheater with plenty of seating!

I snagged this tiny plant to bring home as a present for the fiancé

So this race wasn’t a personal record in terms of a fast chip time (my PR is still the OUC 5K) but it was a good way to get out and get moving! As soon as I got home I set up a training plan to get ready for a 10K in March:


I track all my run times in a spreadsheet so I can see if I kept that pace, what would my race time be, and it helps me sort out what works for me (outside or inside, morning or afternoon…).

I also decided to sign up for a half marathon earlier than I had planned… but more on that later! 🙂

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More than Numbers

To get ready for this Saturday’s 5K race, I had originally planned on running 3 miles on the treadmill, but when I got there all of the cardio machines were taken. It was too dark to run outside, so I decided to do my run tomorrow morning and do weights tonight. I ended up doing 2 sets of 10 of each of these:

  • sumo lunges
  • bicep curls
  • hammer curls
  • tricep overhead presses
  • shoulder raises (front & side)
  • oblique side lifts
  • lunges with dumbbells
  • chest pulldowns (working on that pullup!)
  • back lateral pulldowns

Highlight of the night was when an old man said to me “you look like a real gym rat” – I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

Something you might not know about me… back in the day before running was my main fitness focus, I used to think i wanted to be a figure competitor. I read the magazines, books, anything I could get my hands on and spent hours in the gym most days. I cleaned up my diet to the point that eating a piece of chocolate instantly gave me a headache, weighed my food to control portion sizes, counted calories eaten & burned, and got down to my lowest adult weight (~145 lbs but who’s counting?) Here’s a picture of me around that time (just after senior year of undergrad):

St John 060 

I went to a figure competition in NYC one summer to see what a show would be like, and got to see some of my role models at the time, like Alicia Marie (famous figure model and tall like me).


Then I went to graduate school, got a J-O-B and all that free time I had to hit the gym seemed to shrink. The point I’m trying to make is that I grew up and realized I wasn’t ever going to have a lifestyle where I’d have the freedom to be a competitor and also be a successful engineer (especially in the beginning of my career), and there was also a part of me that wanted to give more. What I mean is all the hours in the gym lifting weights and hours in the kitchen prepping food was only for me, just so I would look good in a very small bikini on a stage. I wanted something to dedicate my time towards that would make a difference for someone else, not just boost my ego. That’s when I started looking at running races, since most of them were for a good cause – I liked being able to give something while at the same time staying fit and setting a good example for my family & friends.

These days I’m not as muscular as I’d like to be, and that’s a direct result of my lifestyle – 40 hrs a week sitting on my butt in front of a computer. That’s why I have to try hard to make healthy choices with what I eat, and I have to make time to run, lift weights, play tennis (we did this yesterday!), go snorkeling, etc.


For a long time I’ve wanted to write about my weight loss story (going from 178 to 145 lbs in about 4 months), but I’ve hesitated because I’m not 145 lbs anymore and I don’t think it’d be fair to write about losing weight that I didn’t actually keep all of it off (as of this morning I’m 160, but I go between 160 and 165 typically, and I’m only saying that because there seems to be a serious lack in transparency with the fitness world).

I used to be a lanky swimmer in high school, at 5 ft 10 inches and 135 lbs, eating boxes of donuts and piles of chili cheese fries, I couldn’t put on weight if I tried! Then I got on birth control, grew curves and added 10-15 lbs (I loved gaining this weight because it all went to the right places and I was no longer a stick figure). I will tell you that when I’m more active, my weight fluctuates between 150-160.

Now I’m a grown-up, I eat what I feel is right for my body on the inside (whole grains and a vegetarian diet). I also pay attention to my body, and if I’m having an insane craving for frozen yogurt, I go get some frozen yogurt – I learned to listen to my body and know that on a few days of each month, I’m going to have crazy cravings for chocolate, so I just give in and enjoy it (without eating the entire cake obviously because that would make me sick) 🙂


So, bottom line –you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for my weight loss story, because this isn’t a before/after tale – fitness is an ongoing challenge/love/hobby/lifestyle/passion for me, and it’s not over once I reach a certain percentage body fat. I’m still trying to sort out how I want to present my story to you since there are serious emotional & personal aspects to it, and I hope that when I finally do get my thoughts together, that my story can help you or someone you know. In all honesty, taking care of yourself really is about so much more than numbers, and I believe deep down we all know that.



*Just for fun, on a totally unrelated note – guess who just cut 10% off her wedding invitation price and got free shipping, thanks to two promo codes @ weddingpaperdivas.com!


More cash for the honeymoon 🙂

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