Monday, September 6, 2010

Perfect Week(end)!

Happy Labor Day! I have to tell you, this weekend was so perfect, I wish I could live it all over again. The weather, the activities, the extra time, the accomplishments...everything has gone so well. Let me tell you all about it!

Let's start Friday. Friday, I had a typical work day except I went shopping at lunch...and bought a new dress! It's super cute. And I had a good meeting with my boss. So that's good. I got home...and cooked dinner. Beef braised in red wine with homemade dumplings, salt-boiled potatoe, and sauteed asian gourd. I cheated and used the pressure cooker ...I also cheated and added 4 cups of sliced mushrooms to 1 lb of stew meat. Do this! I swear, it's delicious, lower calorie, and all the flavor!

Then I went on a glorious 9 mile run in the cool evening breeze. Amazing! I wish I could reach through the computer and make you feel how awesome I felt while completing that run.

I ate a bowl of cereal just before bed because my stomach was growling. 1 c cinnamon life + 1/2 c kashi go-lean crunch + 1/2 tbsp cashew butter. It was good and I needed to eat, but I should've stayed up a little later to digest. My stomach hurt all night.

Upon waking, I had a hot date with Missie and her 7 mo old, Ethan, at the farmers market. I brought home my usual bounty.

Monster chard, chinese eggplant, 3 zucchini that are destined to become noodles, some tomatoes...

Variety of peppers...and this beautiful clamshell of variety cherry tomatoes. They are so cute and I totally owe Missie for alerting me to their existence.

As we were leaving, I spied some snickerdoodles (1 dozen small cookies) and they became the basis for breakfast. I made unsweetened oats with a splash of almond extract, blueberries in their own juices, 1 tbsp sugar, and vanilla, and crushed snickerdoodle on top.
I know you're drooling. I want to eat it again already.

Then the fiance and I did all of our grocery shopping, came home famished, and stuffed ourselves with lunch while we were getting dressed to go to a friend's wedding. I ate an odawalla bar (strawberry superfruit), an apple, and a cheese sandwich. All unpictured.

The wedding also went unpictured because we were LATE. And I was irritated. But I got over it. I assure you it was beautiful and perfect. Congrats Laura and Matt!

So, after eating a slice of the most amazing cake I'd ever eaten, we went home and chilled for a couple hours. Decompressed. And drank some wine. A beautiful bordeaux to be exact.

(That's my new dress...the rest of it is an empire waist with a pencil skirt bottom. Very classy, I think. I'm obviously very excited about it!)

Once at the restaurant, I got the sangria...which was potent, but delicious. I think they used fresh squeezed juice in's the only way I know to make a drink that potent taste so good!

We split 'The Pig Board' appetizer. If you know me, you know this is distinctly not my style of food. I was intrigued. The meat was local and the preparations were homemade.
It was good. There was some ham, some capicola, pork rillets, bleu cheese, homemade dijon mustard, pickles, onion, and hard boiled egg dyed with radishes. I had 2 pieces of bread, one of each of the meats, another rillet, and 1/2 the egg. Because I was saving myself for this:

Greens, candied walnuts, feta, SALMON, and some balsamic. I only use ~1 tbsp. The salad is so good it doesn't need any more.

Which was dominated in no time.

The fiance ate this:
And then we ordered dessert to go home...and eat another day. Too full and quite tipsy by this time.

Pistachio mouse cake and key lime pie.

Finally, this meal was sponsored by Matt and Missie. I watched their cat in their absence (my favorite cat who isn't actually mine!) and they rewarded me with a giftcard to the restaurant. Thanks and I'm sorry we weren't able to eat it with you!

The next morning, I needed a detox.

Strawberry-Banana smoothie without protein powder & coffee. I sat down, read some blogs, watched BBCAmerica programming, and tried to talk myself out of doing my brick workout.

I have a sprint triathlon next weekend. Oh, what? You didn't know? I don't appear to be training for such an event? I know. I'm kinda hoping that I am just able to do that race with minimal training because I already did 3x the distance earlier this summer (recap here!). I've only ridden my bike once since the race (and I am only sure of that because I checked my bike computer and found a 25 mile ride after the 34 mile race ride) and I've been swimming off and on. So I set out to do a 10 mile bike and 2 mile run. It became 11.5/2.5 because I refused to actually map anything before I set out. Close enough. I also made it super hilly and Mother Nature made it super windy. I turned a corner and watched my speed drop from 18 mph to 12 mph in an instant. Oh well. Done and done.

I showered and ate lunch.

Big beautiful salad. When everything is in season, you only need lime juice and S&P for dressing!

Spinach, romaine, carrot, tomatoes, purple pepper, avocado, and onion.

Plus a panini - pressed in my George Foreman. Smoked provolone, lettuce, tomato, basil on Arnold Sandwich thins. So good. H2Omelon in the background for extra hydration.

Then there was a lot of slacking. I watched a lot of TV. I read a book. I cleaned the bathroom (it gleams white now!). I made these...
Gina-inspired vegan macaroons. 
I don't have a fancy dehydrator, so this is my recipe. Maybe some of you poor gals out there like me who lack big, fancy kitchen appliances can follow suit.

Not-so-raw Vegan Macaroons
1.5 c finely shredded UNSWEETENED coconut
1.5 c thick shredded UNSWEETENED cococut
1/2 c real maple syrup
1 cup almond flour (you can just process raw almonds in a blender until you get a fine texture)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp coconut oil (Angela-inspired. I have used olive oil. It works. Coconut is better).

Mix in large bowl. It helps to mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly before mixing in the wet, but whatever suits you. Pour into pie tin or 9x9 pan. You want about 1 inch thick. Put in 350 oven for 20 minutes OR 250 oven for 30 minutes. The tops will just start to brown and the mixture will be sticky. Spray a 1 tbsp (or 2 tbsp) measuring spoon with oil. Scoop the mixture with the spoon and press the mixture into the spoon firmly (I like to put some plastic wrap around my fingers to keep them from sticking). Then WHACK the spoon facedown on a plate or cookie sheet. You should get a perfect 1/2 sphere. If they start to get messy, wipe out your spoon, re-oil and continue your pressing. Once you've used up all the mixture, place the plate of macaroons in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Remove, allow to warm up for 5 minutes. Remove each cookie from plate and store in tupperware in fridge. 

That recipe is uncharacteristically detailed and kind of difficult coming from me, right? I'm normally a stir, bake, done type cook. Well, take that as proof that these are soooooo amazing you will want to spend the time perfecting your macaroon-WHACKING technique. Or pony up for a dehydrator. Whichever is better for you.

Ok, then speaking of cooking, I also made some black beans, some lentil loaf, and I updated my recipe book. Do you have a recipe book that is completely blank?

My lab-sister, Emily, gave this to me. I love it. I've filled in several pages on every tab except the 'fish' tab. Guess this winter will have to have some more creative fish recipes!

Finally, today I got up and make breakfast for the fiance and I.

Fried egg with toast (soon to be covered in raspberry jam and a leftover corn muffin)...and FRUIT.

It needed to get ATE!

Then I went to work. I had a snack at 3, but by 4 I was starving. I got home by 5 and dug into my lentil loaf (actually Jenna's AWARD WINNING carnivore-converting lentil loaf), topped with spaghetti sauce, with sauteed chard and some pasta tossed in pesto on the side.
Perfect. I worked for a few more hours and went on what was supposed to be a 4-5 mile tempo run. Well...evidently I overexerted my legs this weekend, because that wasn't happening. I figured that out by mile 2. So, I decided it could be a run-walk, but I had to make it longer. I walked about 0.75 miles of 6 miles total and still made it back within 60 minutes. Pretty ok.

During the run, I dreamed of this:

SWAMP WATER (aka PB&Greens smoothie. Yum).

Finally, I'll just show you a quick recap of the week's best food:

Fajitas at the mexican restaurant. It's actually a really good meal choice - lots of veggies, some protein. Just choose your carb - tortillas, chips, and rice is kind of overdoing it in my opinion. I ate all the veggie/chicken mixture, all the salad toppings minus the sour cream and guac, and the rice. I left the beans. Sometimes they make them with lard. That upsets my stomach.

Salad with mixed veggies, chickpeas, and bleu cheese topped with balsamic vinegar. With 1.5 corn muffins.

Yogurt bowls. Typical!

Zucchini noodles with pesto, chickpeas, tomato, and 1 c of brown/wild rice mixture. So good. I was full for HOURS.

Homemade tofu lo-mein. My trick is to julienne some veggies (zucchini, broccoli stalk, and carrots work really well) and then use half as many rice noodles. You feel pretty full. It's so good!

I hope you all have a great four day week! If you live in the midwest, enjoy this beautiful weather!

Eating Requires Activity (ERA): Wednesday 4.5 mile run, 1 hour weightlifting class; Thursday OFF So SORE!; Friday 9 mile run; Saturday OFF; Sunday 11.5/2.5 brick; Monday 6 mile run-walk.


  1. Ahhh I am SO happy I just stumbled upon your blog! (Thanks,!) I'm currently in year 3 of a 6 year PhD program in Clinical Psychology, and I got SO EXCITED when I saw your blog title!!! You're the light at the end of my grad school tunnel!! lol Can't wait to read more :-)

  2. I don't know about being a light at the end of the tunnel that is grad school, but I am happy to try to help. I hope to hear more from you in the future!

  3. Hey Sis, Glad you had such a wonderful weekend! I am back in school now! College Comp and Chemistry! I love the pictures a lot they are so vibrant! They really do look professional grade! Ok bye, keep up the good work, talk to you soon.