Tag Archives: breakfast

Good news & long runs.

I have two bits of good news today! First, I’m already way over my total miles from last week! In fact, my run yesterday almost totaled last week in miles run.

4thrun

splits

I made the mistake of trying to run around the park and completely forgot about 4th of July celebrations. I was dodging people left and right! So I made my way down to the trail I usually take for longer runs. I had no idea how long this run was going to be when I started out but once I hit the trail, I was already 2 miles in and I figured, why not just keep going? I ran about a mile and half on the trail, and it started to rain, so I turned around and started back, eventually totaling just over a 10k.

runningtrail2

I love this trail–long and quiet–it’s really peaceful. But it really freaks me out when the cyclists blow past me without warning.

runningtrail3

And it follows a river!

By the time I finished, it was raining pretty hard and my phone was so wet that I couldn’t get the touch screen to work in order to end my run! Maybe I shouldn’t take my phone with me next time it looks overcast… It was a great run though – my longest in a while. It felt good to hit a stride again and not feel like I was dying the whole time. I still had to take a few breaks because my knee was starting to hurt — the post ACL surgery one — bleh. But there is definitely a difference for me between morning runs and afternoon runs, and I think I might just have to accept that.

My second bit of good news is that I just got a new part-time freelance gig! I’ll be starting soon with the Arundel Voice newspaper picking up a few stories on the side. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I haven’t worked in journalism for just about two years and I was starting to miss it.

arundel voice

The best part about the Arundel Voice is that they don’t cover “hard” news, things like political scandals or crime reports. They focus mainly on positive stories in the community — something I’m really pleased about because positive news is really fun to write about.

There were times when I was covering stories during my very first reporting internship when it was hard to sit through interviews because the stories were just so sad or uncomfortable. My very first assignment was covering jury selection for a murder trial for a 16-year-old. That was not so fun…

So my time with the Arundel Voice should be much more positive! Seriously, I am SO excited.

Do you run in the rain?
What are you excited about this week?

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4th of July & What I Ate Wednesday.

happy 4th of july

When I was a kid, I was playing a quiz games with my friend and she asked me what the date of the “Fourth of July” was, and I just could not answer it. She looked at me like I was crazy! But I guess I had never really considered the fact that the 4th of July was literally on the 4th day of July. I still feel like a doofus for that one.

I’m spending the 4th of July alone this year since my roommate went out of town and Ben is still up in Cleveland. He couldn’t make it down in the middle of the week and I have to work on Friday so that means it’s just me and Professor for the nation’s birthday. I’m a little sad since I think I spent last year on my own too, but I have the whole day to relax and I’ll be seeing Ben this weekend so that’s something.

Plus, our fireworks were on the 3rd, so I just celebrated early!

I figured this would be a great time to finally participate in a What I ate Wednesday, put together by Jenn over at Peas & Crayons.

So here we go!

This is what I ate yesterday!

fruit granola breakfast

I started off the day with apple cinnamon granola with blueberries, strawberries, banana, and the last of my soy milk, which I ate at my desk when I got to work. I usually catch up on my emails while I eat breakfast. It helps me get in the mindset for work and saves me a few minutes in the morning. Oh, and coffee. Definitely coffee. Starbucks french roast in my Doctor Who travel mug & almond milk

corn vegetables lentil lunch

Lunch was leftovers from the previous night, including brussels sprouts, corn on the cop, peas, and lentils. Pretty good for being thrown together last minute this morning before work.

Pico de gallo snack

For a snack when I got home, I had a handful of almonds and some more pico de gallo and tortilla chips. It’s the second day in a row I’ve had it for a snack. I just can’t get enough! It’s refreshing and not too heavy so it doesn’t spoil dinner.

lentil taco

I kept the mexican trend going and made some lentil tacos (with more pico de gallo!) for dinner. I had three of these. SO GOOD! I seriously love lentils. All it was missing was a few slices of avocado.

Lentil Tacos

1// Add  1 cup of lentils in a pot with 2 cups of water.
2// Add salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, chopped onions, chopped jalapeños and minced garlic to taste.
3// Bring to a boil then lower to medium heat and simmer for ~15 minutes or until tender.
4// Scoop a few spoonfuls into a soft tortilla, top with pico de gallo & a slice of avocado.

Recipe modified from Budget Bytes’ Lentil Tacos.

fireworks

And after dinner, I finished off the day with a fantastic display of fireworks! :)


What is your favorite blogging community activity to take part in?

Normally I snack a lot more during the day. What do you snack on?

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Filed under Fooding, Living the Dream

Food Lately.

Not every picture I take of my food seems relevant enough to include in my other posts, so I like to gather them all up in one  big food post every so often. Enjoy!

overnight oats for breakfast

I am loving my new breakfast. It’s overnight oats! 1/2 cup oats mixed in with ground flax seed and chia seeds, with vanilla almond milk, almonds, blueberries, and banana! When I made the batch for this week I didn’t have any greek yogurt, which the recipe also calls for (about 1/4 cup).

Morning coffee

Morning coffee! Okay, this isn’t really very telling of how I drink my coffee, but I wanted to show everyone my awesome mug! I have…a lot of mugs. And it’s because I drink A LOT of coffee. Usually Starbucks blend with some Soy Dream enriched vanilla soymilk.

pasta dinner

I have been craving pasta a lot recently, so I tossed it with some broccoli, asparagus, onion, garlic, shrimp, extra virgin olive oil, salt, white pepper, and red pepper flakes. It was delicious! And quite photogenic.

dinner

Soup! I love soup. This is asian inspired, pad thai noodles, onion, garlic, green peas, baby corns, and cabbage in chicken broth, with low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, and  rice wine vinegar. And then a little cilantro for garnish. All measurements were “eyeballed”  based on my taste. I probably also added some garlic chili paste because I love a spicy kick. For protein, you can add some tofu or a little scrambled egg for an eggdrop-style soup.

more pasta

Even more pasta! It must look like I eat a ton of noodles, but honestly, these meals are few and far between. I guess they are just so pretty that I can’t help but take pictures.

stirfry

I love stir fry over brown rice! I usually throw in whatever veggies I have in the fridge with some low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, siracha, and rice wine vinegar. My favorite veggies for this are peas, peppers, and baby corns. Its also my favorite tofu dish. I make this probably once a week.

Pico de gallo snack

Once again, I used the Pico de Gallo recipe from Budget Bytes. Quick and easy to prepare, and tasty even on it’s own with tortilla chips!

creamsickle

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is orange creamsicles. A blast from my childhood that is the perfect amount of tart and creamy.

fancydrink

This drink is my new favorite because it combines my two favorite drinks: red wine and a whiskey sour.
It’s called a New York Sour.
1 1/2 oz whiskey
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz red wine
Just mix up the whiskey, simple syrup and lemon juice, and pour over ice. Then, pour the red wine slowly over the back of a spoon into the drink to keep it from mixing in. Then, enjoy!

What have you been craving lately?

What is your favorite meal of the day?

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Smoothies & 2 miles of struggle.

Yesterday, I took a rest day. Mostly because a crazy storm woke me up in the middle of the night which totally threw me off. And apparently there is something icky going around at my office so I opted for catching up on sleep, but honestly, I was probably just being lazy.

So this morning when I awoke to grey and drizzly weather, I wished I had picked today to be my rest day instead. I almost didn’t get up and run. Weather is a huge deterrent for me, or rather, it makes a great excuse. But I didn’t want to be lazy and take two days off. Plus, I really wanted to run!

run stats

With much reluctance, I got out of bed and hit the road. Once again, getting a late start forced me to knock off a mile for time so it was another 2-miler. I decided since this would be a short run, that I would do it without any stops. Two miles with no stops? No problem, right? Hah! I wish.

It was brutal.

Seriously, it was rough–just all around uncomfortable. It was hot, muggy, still drizzling. I ran slow, but I didn’t stop, so at least there’s that. And at the end, I hit my distance, but I was so close to twenty minutes that I just kept going until I hit that mark.

I don’t know what it is, but this transition to running in the mornings is really difficult for me. A lot of it has to do with my not eating before hand. I can still get out and run on an empty stomach, but my workouts really suffer for it. I just don’t have the energy to do long runs and I can really feel it in my muscles. This morning, my lungs were fine but my legs were actually hurting…and it was only two miles!

Bad runs are frustrating and I seem to be having a slew of them lately. Maybe tomorrow I’ll skip the morning run and hop on the treadmill in the evening instead. It’s not ideal, but it might be good to actually get at least one hard workout in this week.

smoothie

On another note, I am really into smoothies for breakfast right now. They are easy to make, quick, and actually kind of fun to eat/drink. The only problem is now I have way too much to carry when going in to work: my lunch bag, my purse, my coffee, and my breakfast smoothie. Try opening your door with all that in hand! Thank goodness for cup holders.

The smoothie above was my breakfast yesterday, and is sort of a kitchen sink situation, using whatever I had laying around.

Things I typically include in my smoothies//

blueberries
strawberries
blackberries
rasberries
bananas
oatmeal
flax seed
chia seed
salad greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
peanut butter
almond milk
soy  milk
green tea
protein powder

There are a million more options. That’s the best part about smoothies: if it blends, throw it in! Later, I’ll put up some of my favorite smoothie recipes.

What do you eat before you go for a morning run?

What’s your favorite smoothie ingredient?

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Filed under Fooding, Running

Poolside & a Bad Run.

I’ve finally had the time to just chill out by the pool and the weather could not be more perfect this week. One huge perk of working odd hours is being home early enough to hang out poolside before everyone else gets home from work. Although, I am always surprised at how busy the pool is, even at 3pm on a weekday. I mean, I know why I’m home that early, but why are these people free in the middle of the day? My guess is that they work night shifts at the local restaurants or are grad students on summer break (we live too far from campus to be undergrads) but either way, it still throws me off.

breakfast

I’ve recently gotten into starting my day with cereal. After I gave up cow’s milk, I took a few years hiatus from cereal, but I am really loving the new varieties of Kashi, especially with soy or almond milk. I’m still not sure which I like better so I’m doing a little trial to see which I prefer. Toss in some flax seed and fresh fruit = yum!

poolside
I love the way the sun hits the pool in the evening when the sun starts to go down. Everyone has gone inside (finally heading to work!?) and it’s my favorite time to sit out and just relax. The sun doesn’t go down till about 9pm so there is a good bit of reading I can get done before going inside.

Vegetable Dinner

I made myself some sautéed vegetables for dinner: zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. The abundance of fresh produce is probably my second favorite part of summer, right after the warm weather. I love the flavors of fall and winter, but something about a meal full of fresh vegetables just makes me feel good about myself.

Running Shoes; Bad Run

I went for my first run in like, two weeks. Ugh. It was awful. I barely made it a mile, struggling the whole way. The still-full stomach probably didn’t help. In retrospect I should have waited a little longer after dinner before heading out. I just didn’t want to lose the sunlight! Either way, I had to stop after a mile for about a minute, then ran another quarter mile, walked a bit, then started running again. I got through another mile before realizing I forgot to turn my Nike+ app back on before starting running again so by the time I slogged my way home (roughly a 3.1 mile run), the gps only recorded 2.3 miles. All in all, it was just a bad run. But bad runs happen. This was by no means my first bad run, nor will it be my last. At least I got this one out of the way and I can focus on my run tomorrow. It can only get better than today.

What’s your favorite part of summer?

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Filed under Living the Dream, Running

A Sensational Sandwich: My First Sourdough

I have always enjoyed an afternoon filled with mixing and kneading dough, and the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread. It’s one of those hobbies that leaves you feeling accomplished, relaxed, and eager to dig into your latest creation. I’ve made a variety of things in the past: bagels, 100%  whole wheat loaves, english muffins, etc. But the one thing I have never had the courage to try my hand at was Sourdough Bread. For some reason, I just found the whole process (the extra two steps) extremely intimidating. But with all of my recent successes and renewed eagerness to try new things, I felt it was time to drive in and give it a shot.

Sourdough Starter

The first step to sourdough bread is what scared me the most: the starter. To achieve that iconic tangy taste, you have to use a “starter” which is simply equal parts flour and water (with a little bit of yeast) fermented for a few days. But every article I read talked about how you have to “feed” the starter, as though it were a living thing. And technically it is since the yeast is alive.

I used this recipe for the starter, a 5-day process of feeding and fermenting. On the fifth day, I was ready to bake. To the right is my lovely jar of starter. I should really write the date on it so I know how old it is. Apparently, a starter can keep indefinitely as long as it is fed at least once a week. Some of the tangiest breads come from starters that are months or years old. I’m interested to see how long my starter lasts.

When it was time to mix up my bread, I used this recipe from the same website.  The comments noted (and I also discovered) that the wet to dry ratio is a bit off, and the dough was much more moist than I think it should have been. I ended up using about a half to a full cup more flour than the recipe calls for.

Dough Oops

Then I set it aside to rise. Initially, I was going to follow her rise time and have some delicious bread that very night, but with sourdough, the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more sour the taste. I intended to leave the whole batch in overnight, but as you can see, the bowl I had just wasn’t quite big enough for the batch. Oops!

So I ended up splitting the batch in half and setting one part in the fridge overnight, and the other I set out for a second rise to be baked that evening. After a second rise of about an hour and a half, I put the dough set aside for that night in the oven along with a baking sheet underneath (which stayed in during the oven’s preheat.)

Sourdough Success

When I put the bread in the oven, I poured a cup of water on to the heated baking sheet creating a burst of steam and quickly shut the oven door. This helps create that tough, chewy crust that is so delicious and essential to a good loaf of sourdough bread.

The result was extraordinary: a beautiful loaf that I am extremely proud of. You’ll noticed I have used Instagram pictures. I just recently downloaded the app and liked how it framed all of the pictures for me. That’s just one less step I have to do in photoshop. Don’t worry, I am completely aware of how awkward it is to be taking Instgram pictures of my food. I acknowledge it and I embrace it. I’m proud of my creation!

Bread & Butter

Anyway. The loaf came out of the oven fairly late at night so I let it sit and cool overnight on the counter. I prefer to wait until my bread is fully cooled before cutting into it because, while tempting, cutting into a still-warm loaf crushes the insides and makes for not-so-great sandwich bread.

So the next morning, I hopped out of bed because I was so eager to get my first taste. I cut of a piece, toasted it, and smothered it in butter. Perfection. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better. The crust was chewy and crunchy at the same time. The bread wasn’t super sour, but the taste was there. And the hydration was pretty high on this bread so it had the beautiful larger air bubbles. I could not be more thrilled with my first attempt.

Sandwich 1

But what better way to find out if your sourdough turned out perfect than to make a sandwich!

I went with a turkey, tomato, avocado, and spinach sandwich with mustard on (toasted) sourdough. Absolutely incredible. Just as good, if not better than what you would order in a restaurant.

I don’t think I can ever go back to regular bread. 

Sandwich 2

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