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Super Fast Pasta, Food (B)log, and Progress

18 Jun

Hello, all. Top o’the early, early  morning to you. I’m a little extra peppy at this rather late hour due to a late night P90X session that didn’t end until 11! At least I got it in, and didn’t flake like I did last night when I decided to take a 3.5-hour nap after work. Today’s 2-hour nap was much more accommodating to my g-s-d (getting sh*t done) mantra of late. What can I say, I need my sleep. So let’s get to it. Onward and upward.

Easy Peasy Work-Week Pasta

Ingredients:

2 small cans of diced tomatoes or one large can (you could also use two cartons of grape tomatoes, halved)

1/4 red onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 can of cannellini beans

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

handful of brown rice fettucini

Step One (we’ll have lots of fun)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions (mine only took seven minutes).

2. While you’re waiting on your water to boil and your pasta to cook, heat the oil in a large pan (the biggest you’ve got) over medium heat.

3. Get chopping! Chop the onion and mince the garlic. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, then chop those, too.

4. Cook the onion and garlic until they start to soften (3-5 minutes), then add the tomatoes and herbs.

5. Drain and rinse the beans, and add those to the pan – if you didn’t use a big pan, you’re probably starting to panic right about now.

6. Cook for another 3 minutes or until tomatoes and beans are heated through, which should be about the time your pasta is ready.

7. Drain the pasta, and add it to the pan.

8. Mix everything together, and serve as is or topped with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I’ve gotten about four meals out of this batch of pasta, and some included a second bowl. This is quickly becoming my go-to mid-week meal.

Speaking of meals, I left off my last post with Monday’s food (b)log so let’s finish up the week!

Tuesday

Breakfast (10:30 am): Rice Chex, banana, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Snack (post-work out 3:00): chocolate smoothie

Lunch (4:20 pm): stir-fry, 1 chocolate-avocado ball

Snack (pre-work 5:40 pm): 1/4 cup granola, blueberries almond milk

Dinner (10:30): pasta

(Check out those tomatoes! I took these pictures outside, and it made such a difference. The colors are sooooo much better. Note to self, start making dinner earlier so food can be photographed outside in natural light.)

Wednesday

Breakfast (10:40 am): 1/2 cup granola, blueberries, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Lunch (3:00 pm): pasta, 1 chocolate-avocado ball

Snack (4:50 pm): 1/2 cup granola, banana, almond milk

Dinner (10:10 pm): stir-fry, can of Coke, 2 chocolate-avocado balls

Thursday

Breakfast (8:30 am): 1/2 cup granola, blueberries, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Snack (11:30 am): apple with 2 tbsp nut butters

Lunch (1:50 pm): Pasta

Dinner (8:00 pm): Salad with black bean-corn salsa, peppers, salsa, cheese, Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, 2 chocolate-avocado balls

Friday

Breakfast (8:30 am): 1/2 cup granola, mixed berries, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Snack (11:30 am): apple with 2 tbsp nut butters

Lunch (1:40 pm): stir-fry

Dinner (4:30 pm): Salad with black bean-corn salsa, peppers, salsa, cheese, Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, 2 chocolate-avocado balls

Snack (7:00 pm): 1 chocolate-avocado ball

Snack (post-workout 11:00 pm): chocolate smoothie

There you have it. One week of food (b)logging complete. I have definitely been eating more rounded meals and getting more protein at every meal, which were two of my goals. I also haven’t been craving junk as much. I’m not sure exactly why that is. I think it’s a combination of working out regularly and having lots of healthy stuff ready to go. I’ve also been paying more attention to what my body needs. You may notice a big gap in my eating on Thursday. That’s because I came home from work around 4:15 and slept until nearly 8. I was supposed to do the Legs and Back and Ab Ripper X dvd that night, but I decided that I was way too tired to do that, and if I had attempted it, I would have been up until 2 (like I am tonight, but I can sleep in tomorrow), then have to get up early for work again. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that I started on Monday night when I stayed up until 2 to finish reading a book for my dissertation. I put a little too much pressure on myself to finish it that night. I really wanted to check it off my to-do list and be done with it, but that wasn’t the best decision. By staying up an extra two hours, I messed up my sleep schedule for the rest of the week. Now, it is entirely possible that I would have taken a marathon nap Thursday after work anyway. I had closed at my other job for the past three nights, which definitely took a toll, but I made it a whole lot worse for myself by not listening to my body on Monday and accepting my limitations. As I mentioned here, this is something that I constantly struggle with. I know that I’m not alone – I had a much needed talk with one of my brothers who has similar sleep needs and habits, which really helped me deal with my feelings of inadequacy – but it gets hard not to compare myself to other people who can get by on five or six hours (or less).

In other news, I got around to doing the Legs and Back and Ab Ripper X dvd tonight. It was crazy – one-legged wall squats! Are you kidding me?! But I did everything (and completed most of the reps) and enjoyed it. I felt really strong after I finished. And, call me crazy, but I think I might be starting to see some results. Granted, it’s likely a combination of my healthier eating habits, running for the last couple of weeks, and the P90X, but I’ll take it. My belt was definitely looser yesterday. Not dramatically, but noticeably. Also, and this is probably the biggest news of all, I went bathing suit shopping tonight. I have an exciting wine and cheese tasting/kayaking adventure planned with a friend tomorrow so I needed a suit in the likely event that I capsize or trip and fall in the lake, dam, or whatever it technically is. So there I was in the TJ Maxx dressing room with six bathing suits, one large mirror, and some pretty unflattering lighting (though not as bad as other stores, way to go TJs), and I began to try them on, starting with a one-piece. The first two were okay, but not quite right. Then the dreaded bikini – not the tankini, mind you. And I liked what I saw. Can you believe that?! I was pretty stunned. I tried on the last three suits (two bikinis and one one piece). The other bikinis were okay, but not quite as good as the first one, which has a really cute geometric print in teal, brown, white, and coral. The last one piece was pretty cute, too, with a modern fifties feel: halter zebra print with a little ruching at the sides, and a small ruffle at the bottom. I ended up getting both the first bikini and the zebra-print one-piece because I look damn good in both of them. How’s that for progress?

Still Going Strong

14 Jun

…and just a little injured.

This is what you get when you do girly push-up for thirty minutes. I even used a yoga mat! Oh, well. I have a week until I do that work out again; that should be enough time to heal, right?

Now let’s move on to a less painful topic like what I’ve been eating:

Sunday:

Breakfast (9:15 am): 1/2 cup granola, banana, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Snack (1:15 pm): oatmeal chocolate chip bar

Lunch (3:15 pm): salad with black bean and corn salsa, low-fat sour cream, salsa, cheese, and a stray tortilla chip (I added a few lime-flavored crumbs to the salad, realized they were stale, picked them off, and apparently missed one. Whoops.)

Snack (5:15 pm): small movie popcorn with butter (couldn’t finish it all, although I had to be very assertive and ask three times for my butter. That was awesome. Not.) and a small coke

Snack (10:00 pm): chocolate smoothie (based on this concoction; I used chocolate soy milk, a banana, 1 tbsp of almond butter, and hemp protein powder)

I had kind of a weird day of eating because I had to work in the morning and didn’t my break until 1:15. Then, after the movie – Midnight in Paris was soooooooooo good, loved Owen Wilson! And my man, Henri – I went for a run and did P90X, which meant that I didn’t have a chance to eat anything until 10 pm. Not so great. I also wasn’t too hungry so I just went with the smoothie. However, except for the 10-million-calorie snack at the movie, I did get a decent percentage of protein in every meal/snack.

Monday

Breakfast (8:45 am): Rice Chex, banana, almond milk with 1/2 glass oj

Snack (noon – post-workout): chocolate smoothie

Snack (1:20 pm): apple and 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter mixed with 1 tbsp almond butter

Lunch (3:00 pm): stir fry with tofu, red and green bell peppers, bok choy, red onion, garlic, peanuts, and a tamari-almond butter sauce, 1 chocolate-avocado ball

Snack (5:10 pm): 1/2 cup granola, blueberries, almond milk

Dinner (10:00 pm): salad with black bean salsa, red and green bell peppers, etc., medium slushie with coke and mt. dew, 1 chocolate-avocado ball

Work and working out threw a bit of a wrench in my feeding schedule (I generally need to eat something about every two hours) – hence, two snacks before lunch and a late dinner. Not too shabby, though. I intentionally ate a carb loaded breakfast since I was going to be working in about an hour; granola seemed like it would take a little too much work to digest. I was more conscientious about getting some protein with my other meals and snacks, though. I even cooked lunch. That rarely happens. Bonus: I survived my second P90X workout: Plyometrics.

Running and P90X, Day 1

13 Jun

A story told in pictures:

“Running is fun, especially with my new iPod Shuffle.”

“Time to check out my mileage.”

“Alright! 2.61 miles at a new, faster pace. Holla. Damn my Shuffle looks good.”

“Hmm, what should I do now? I know! I’ll pop in my first P90X DVD: Chest and Back and Ab Ripper X.”

“Awesome idea!”

“Boy, that was hard (that’s what she said).”

“And this was just Day 1. It’ll get better, right?”

“And by the end of it, I’ll have a back like this!”

“Well, the girl version…maybe…”