Tuesday, February 28, 2012


How is it Wednesday already?

 Is it just me, or is this week flying by! Not that I'm complaining. The sooner the weekend gets here the better.

So far, this week has been a great one. I am feeling good, in a great mood, and actually enjoying my classes. How often do you hear a student say that? Hopefully my future students will feel that way everyday. Haha, yea right. Especially with high schoolers. Eh, a girl can dream.

Well, we all know what Wednesday means... the best blog part of the week!
Thanks, again, to Jenn for hosting my favorite distraction!
This is how Tuesday looked. A busy, busy day, full of great things.

I don't have class until 11:00 so I let myself wake up naturally, which was, of course at 8:00am. But, I woke up hungry and ready for my perfect breakfast.

8:30 Breakfast:
The classic: oats (always in a mug) with apples , strawberries, and cinnamon all topped with almond butter. Washed down with my giant mug of coffee. Served on top of my Spanish Linguistics book because, obviously, it's the perfect serving tray.
After my 11-12:00 class, I scurried over to the rec center and did a sweaty cardio sesh followed by some stretching. It felt so good. Switching up my workout routine has really been working for me.

I finished around one, and after the walk home (super sweaty, through the crowded student center in the busiest part of the day. Sorry I'm not sorry, for being the sweaty girl) I had about 40 min to shower, get myself decent-looking, make lunch, and shovel it into my face before head out to my next class.
Mission Accomplished
Simple outfit today, but at least I did my hair. That's saying something considering the time crunch. To dress it up, I followed one of my classic style rules: When in doubt, add a scarf. My collection is almost disgusting, but they're my favorite, cozy accessory. This one, I bought on my trip to Granada, Spain, and it's one of my faves.
 Along with making myself presentable, I managed a delicious and satisfying lunch (1:40ish)
Rand-oh veggies steamed in the micro (carrots, celery, broc slaw) on a bed of spinach with some wild rice and the last of a jar of salsa. All mixed up and eaten in about 6 min. I did manage to taste some, though, and it was mighty tasty.
 After 3 grueling hours of class (if going on a geocaching scavenger hunt in tech class can be called grueling) I headed home to start dinner.

Dinner (6:00)
A bunch of roasties: sweet potato, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, onions, and tofu. Accompanied by sriracha-spiked tomato sauce. I actually at about 3x this, but didn't remember to take the pic until about I had already begun to dig in.

Obviously, I couldn't finish off the night without something to satisfy my sweet tooth. Especially after the ridiculous amount of time I spent in the library slaving over mastering some Abstract Algebra/ kicking ass! Cue chocolate oats. Topped with some PB of course. 
I also munched on about a half a dozen clementines (no joke) and a couple handfuls of pretzels throughout the day.

Here's to having a great, busy day when you least expect it!
~ Rach

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Discovery and My Grading Scale

This weekend, I had a food discovery. Don't you just love when new food trials surprised you?

I hit up the grocery store bright and early on Saturday morning. A perk of not going out Friday night is that I could get it all done before the crazies pulled themselves from their beds.

I went early enough that I wasn't hungry before, so I planned to eat my breakfast after. Needless to say, I came home with far more groceries than I had planned. It's true what they say: "Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach". All healthy stuff, but much more damaging to my pocketbook (why doesn't anyone say pocket book anymore?) than I had planned.

As I was prepping my carrots for the week (I bought big ones this time and cut them into babies myself- so much cheaper), I got a little adventurous. I shredded up the last carrot rather than slicing it, and I mixed it in to the oatmeal mix I was planning for after the food prep was done.

Enter, my version of carrot cake oats! I have seen them around the blog world, but it always seemed like too much work to shred the carrot and get all the other ingredients together early in the morning. Well, this weekend was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

The verdict: Yummmmm! I loved the texture and slight sweetness they added to my oats. I will definitely be repeating this one when I have time in the mornings. Plus, it's a great way to get a veggie into breakfast, especially since mine are consistently made of carbs and fruit. This one gets an A on the grading scale, for sure.

The grading scale is something that I came up with on my old blog. As all of my teacher training has shown me, I have to have some sort of systematic way of evaluating student work new experiences/restaurants/recipes in order to be able to best communicate feedback. I designed this rubric-of-sorts, and I am bringing it back here now:
  • A: To receive an "A", means that this is something that far exceeded expectations: something I want to do again, something I want to eat/make again as soon as possible. (Casa Nueva gets an A, fo' sho').
  • B: A grade of a "B" indicates that it exceeded expectations, but was not an overall perfect experience. I would do or eat this again, but I am not jumping in my boots to do it.
  • C: Met expectations, but did not exceed them. An average overall experience. The hunk would call this a "mehh" event.
  • D: A below average, slightly un-enjoyable time. Definitely not positive, but it didn't send me running for the hills.  
  • F: Something has to be pretty awful to receive an "F". I don't like the idea of failing students, but sometimes, you just have to do it. This would be an experience that made me cry, food that made me vomit (or almost) or a restaurant that I wouldn't send an enemy to.

Phew, the teacher in me feels better now.

After the yummy weekend, we have arrived at Monday.

Since I laid low this weekend due in an effort not to repeat the rough-ness that was last weekend, I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, but sore! I worked out hard all weekend, and my modern dance class last night was awesome. I was reminded what "dance battle wounds" feel like, and I woke up with a few bruises this morning. It hurts so good!

Although I do feel refreshed and great this morning, my body is exhausted, and the gym is the last place I feel like going today. So, I'm letting myself have a rest day. I am listening to my body, and rather than go to the gym when my class gets out at 3, I am going to come home, take a shower, maybe even take a nap, and get a head start on my work for the week. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

Here's to eating well, listening to yourself, and feeling good!
~ Rach

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Girl's Night In: Keepin' it Classy

After last weekend's craziness, all I wanted and needed for this weekend was a relaxing night in with some good company. Luckily, my friend, Val was in the mood for just that.

We went to a neighboring town for a little retail therapy, and then we went to her apartment to cook  a yummy dinner and chit-chat.

 Pretty fancy for some college girls. Yea, right. Under there is some whole wheat penne, covered in sauteed broccoli, asparagus, and spinach, all drenched in tomato sauce. I think I could drink that stuff. However, I actually drank a glass of the cheapest pinot grigio we could find. Like I said, couple of college girls on a budget.
 Naturally, our classy meal was accompanied by the classiest of TV: a rerun of Jersey Shore.
 My second bowl all mixed up. Told you there was some pasta under there.
Again, the class was unmeasurable for dessert, too. Old-school double stuff Oreos. They were so delicious, and I ate way too many. Way. Too. Many. Although I had a great  night at Val' and totally enjoyed every sugary bite I took, the way I felt all night after and all day today has shown me what I already knew. Eating crap makes me feel like crap. I have been bloated, lethargic, and uncomfortable all day, and I honestly hate that feeling.

So, my goal this week is to clean up my eating. I need to get away from all of the processed food I have been snacking on, and go back to eating the foods that make my body feel the best. In no way am I trying to restrict or "diet", I just miss the way good, whole foods makes me feel.

So, here's to no regrets, and starting fresh- with food and everything else!
~ Rach

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I seriously love Wednesdays. 

I have no class, so I get to spend the whole day with myself, doing things that make me happy and getting things done for the last 2 days of the week. Normally, I like to be with people, but Wednesdays are my days to unwind and hangout with me.

Felt pretty good today.

I got up and had a leisurely breakfast before heading to the coffee shop to get some work done. I came home around 11 and changed for the gym, where I had a great, sweaty work out. Today was one of those days where I completely zone out and before I know it, almost an hour has past. It felt awesome.

I came home, made lunch and met my friend at the library to do some maj-oh studying for out Linguistics exam tomorrow. We knocked it out, and I was home at the perfect time to get to cookin!

As always, I loved spending time in the kitchen today. It really is my favorite part of my day. And, as always, I had some successes and some failures. Let's start with the good:

I have been getting kind of bored with my dinners. Don't get me wrong, I love my stir fries and plates of roasties, but alternating between the two is getting old. Solution? SOUP! I decided to use my veggies in a gigantic pot of Italian-style veggie soup.
Yes, our pots and pans are pink. College-girl style.
I promise, it's way more delicious than it looks. Created "Rach-style" a.k.a. throw sh!t in a pan/pot and season till it tastes good. Seriously, I can't follow recipes for the life of me. My mom always asks me to write things down I cook at home, and I really couldn't even tell you how much when in there. In the mix this time:
  • onion
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • 1/2 a teeny butternut squash
  • broccoli
  • canned (no salt) tomatoes
  • TJ's low-sodium veg broth
  • seasonings: red pepper flake, garlic salt, pepper
I ate this x2 along side some Mary's Gone crackers.
Holy crap, this hit the spot! Maybe because I had been dreaming about it all afternoon, but I'm holding it's because it really is that good. And, better yet, leftovers for the rest of the week!

To continue my cooking mood, I set out for something sweet. Again, I have been dreaming lately about pumpkin bread, and finally had the time to bake some up tonight. I found an easy recipe and set about it.

The batter was tasty. Lot's of pumpkin. Not too sweet. Then it hit the oven...
 55 minutes at 350* later, and this was what I got. It literally didn't rise at all! I have no idea why! I followed the recipe... well, sort of. Like I said, my process is to throw things together and see how they turn out. Every time I bake, I learn the same lesson: baking doesn't work like this. I know, but I will always want to try again. Maybe, I should just face the music that I am not a baker. Haha, fat chance. It just makes me want to try again.
 Cutting into it, I got a texture that can only be described as "gloppy". Dense, hard, gooey. Not what I was going for.
 After I slathered it with a little Earth Balance, it didn't taste too bad. But, then again, what doesn't taste good with some EB melted on top. 

Well, that one went strait to the trash. Not even worth the space it would take up on the counter. Eh, you win some, you lose some. I'm only bitter that I wasted a can of pumpkin. Oh the horror! The silver lining, I have just about enough leftover to make some pumpkin oats in the morning!

Here's to winning some, losing some, and laughing at ourselves!
~ Rach 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Forgiving Myself

This weekend was... well, it was something. The highest of highs, and some pretty low lows.

Let's start with the fun stuff. Friday night was my friend, Ashley's birthday, we had a Black Tie party at her favorite spot. We all got gussied up and went out for a no-holds-barred party night. It was outrageously fun, especially since we all looked so dressed up hot!
All the roommies ready to head out. Yep, that's the hot pink blazer. I might be obsessed with it. Too bad it's one of those pieces you can only wear occasionally.
After Friday night, it's needless to say that Saturday was a little rough. I mean, I totally set myself up for it, and I knew it would happen, but I was prepared for it and went easy on myself. I had no intention of going out Saturday night too, but with a little convincing from my upstairs neighbors (who have become some pretty close friends), I found myself back out on Saturday.

Another great night, followed by one of the worst days I have had in a while. I'm not even talking about how physically terrible I felt. Emotionally, it was really hard for me. See, when I'm "sick after a night out" (you know what I mean), I just want to sleep and eat every fatty-carby food in my kitchen. And, on Saturday, I did just that. So, I had a headache and was nauseous from the night before, and then I was binging and getting bloated all day long.

The afternoon and evening were spent in a cycle of binging, hating myself for it, and binging again. It was a cycle that I am all too familiar with. I felt like I had already treated by body like sh!t for the whole weekend, so I might as well keep going. I deserved it. I had undone all of the hard work I had put in during the week, so I might as well take it to the extreme. I was almost punishing myself for the weekend of excess.

The only thing that pulled me out of the cycle and got me off the couch was that I had my dance class at 7:00. I paid for it, so I was going, bloated and hungover or not. Thank goodness I did. I went to the rec center, and did a little cardio to get my muscles warm and the blood moving, and then I let myself get lost in the class. When I left, I felt better and had a better perspective on the past weekend.

Last night was one of those nights where I had to consciously forgive myself for the way I had treated my body that weekend. I had to reassure myself that I would not immediately gain 20 pounds. I had to take a deep breath and release the self-hate that was swimming around in my head and bloated belly. It's hard for me to do, but I am proud of myself for catching myself, and forcing myself out of the negative thoughts.

I have an old-school, non-electronic, journal that I write in whenever I feel like this, and I did it again last night. It's a ritual that allows to me to put into words what I am feeling, and let it go. I literally have to tell myself that I forgive myself and will use tomorrow to make better decisions and treat my body better. 

Today, I have tried really hard to do that. I did my normal workout this afternoon, and didn't force myself to do extra to help "burn off the weekend". I consciously made myself not restrict food to "undo the damage of the partying and hungover eating" even though the bloatedness lingers still. And, although this was beyond uncomfortable for me, I know and I recognize that it is all too necessary. I need to put forth a real, mindful effort to end the disordered thoughts and subsequent behaviors that have become a much to habitual part of my life. 

I guess the silver lining is that I can use this past weekend as an opportunity to do just that. Even writing these words is a step in that direction, and I can see evidence of progress I'm making. I still get disappointed in myself for the self-hating thoughts that I allowed to hang out in my head all day yesterday. It's like a day wasted or a day backwards in the process. But, today was a step back in the right direction.

Here's to forgiving myself, and staying in the positive.
~ Rach

Friday, February 17, 2012

Switching It Up

I had a bit of a revelation this week. Well, I had a few, but one that is really worth sharing.

After a weekend of too much fun and busy productiveness, I was at the gym around 7:15 on Monday morning. I had forced my body to peel itself out of bed and make the trek to the rec center and climb up on the elliptical. I practically dragged myself through my entire not-very-satisfying workout.

Thinking more about this lethargic, weak feeling I was experiencing, I realized that I had felt like that almost every morning that I had managed to get my butt to the gym during the week before.

And, it dawned on me.

Duh, Rach. 
You are forcing yourself out of bed after several straight nights of around 6 hours of sleep, making your body exert itself, sweat even, all with no fuel to get it through.

At the beginning of this quarter, this felt awesome. I loved starting my day sweating because it started me off on a healthy and productive note. But, as time has passed, I have gotten better at the workout exercise thing, and I have wanted to go harder and push myself further. My body needs more sleep and some sustenance before it will perform the way I want it to.

Again, this is a hug "duh" moment, but to someone trying to pull themselves out of disordered eating behaviors, it's one of those "light-bulb" moments when you realize that your body actually needs more than you thought in order to power you through whatever comes your way that day.

So, after patting myself on the back for acknowledging and accepting this revelation, I decided to listen to what my body was telling me and switch up my schedule. Starting Tuesday afternoon, I have been trying to get to the gym during the day/afternoon instead of the morning. Confirming my suspicions, I feel so a million times better during these workouts. I have more energy, I sweat more, I can push myself further. I get to sleep in a couple extra hours and feed myself a meal or two before I hit the gym, and my body is thanking me for it.

Although, it does mean more showers during the day and some better planning (like packing gym clothes to change into after class), it is making enough of a difference that I want to continue this schedule. This is one of the occasions that proves to me that listening to my body is really going to get me better. And I can't let it pass me by without recognizing it and responding in a way that I know will benefit me.

I'm throwing myself a little "Yay me!" party in my head for this one.

On another note, the 2 best food moments of the week happened yesterday, so I just have to share.

First, breakfast. My almost empty peanut butter jar became some scrumptious OIAJ. I think I have finally figured out how to cook and layer these so that no microwave disasters happen
The combo this time was blackberries, apples and cinnamon all in my near-empty PB jar.
Served along side a giant mug (that my roomie got me. she knows me so well) of café solo. Perfect breakfast, if you ask me.
 And then, dinner. After my afternoon workout and a hot shower, I was ready to get down on some dinner. I'm talking some serious hunger here. I needed heft, and I found it in a delicious bowl of savory oats topped with some sauteed veggies and tofu and the always-necessary srirach/tomato sauce combo.
Holy awesomely-satisfying-filling-nutritious-delicious-ness, Batman!
I was literally "oohing" and "ahhhing" over this bowl, but none of my roommates were home to share my excitement with, so I probably looked pretty ridiculous praising myself for this creation. But wow, beyond good. I still don't know why I don't do this more often, but it will definitely be making a return soon.

Here's to listening to what your body truly needs, and celebrating your ability to give it just that!
- Rach

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Single-girl Style

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We can all move on now from the maudlin overkill of yesterday. Let's call it "Single Awareness Day".

During the past four months or so, I feel like I have been dedicating all of my time and emotional energy picking myself from the awful breakup that I went through in September. I surprised myself, actually, with how well I handled the reminder that Valentine's Day threw in my face that I am no longer in that relationship. More than anything, I was maybe a little overly-cynical and easily-annoyed today, but I didn't get emotional or upset, or sad. And for that, I give myself a pat on the back! Yay me! Maybe Definitely a sign that I am really getting over this. I really do feel like I am. Gosh, it takes a long time!

But, onto some fun stuff...
It's WIAW over at Peas and Crayons!! Luckily for me, it always falls on my mini-weekend in the middle of the week.

This is Tuesday's eats, and a look into how I celebrated V's Day, Single-girl Style! I actually did a really good job recording everything I ate today, which looks like a lot. Because it is. I told you, I'm a grazer.

Breakfast (8:30)
The usze (like short for usual): oats-in-a-mug with black berries, chopped apple and cinnamon, topped with peanut butter.
 Off to the library to study, study, study for my Abstract Algebra midterm at 2:00.
My Valentine for the day.
 Lunch (veg wrap, carrots, a couple clementines) went unpictured because I was studying with a group and didn't want to come off weird.

But, after hopefully kicking some Abstract Algebra a$$, I cam home to the best Vday present ever... from myself!
My iHerb package arrived! Some snacky essentials.
 Naturally, some more grazing ensued:

I apologize for the blurry picture that looks like barf. But, this was delicious! Chopped apple, PB2, a little bit of oats. Yep, second time today I had oats.
Carrots and spicy brown mustard has become one of my fave, random combos.
 A real meal! Dinner
A bunch of roasties: cabbage, sweet potatoes, tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Obviously, with sriracha-spiked ketchup.
 And some necessary Vday Chocolate.
Cocoa oats topped with PB. Third time today having oats. Third time having PB. Food rut maybe?  Sorry, I'm not sorry.
 And, the remnants of a late night snack
Cheerios + TJ's fiber cereal + Abreezy + cinnamon = perfection.
Yep, it was a lot today.
Much served in mugs (because everything is better that way).
Oats x 3. 
PB x 3.
Happy belly.

Here's to revelling in the freedom that being single provides, and doing what I need to love myself everyday!
~ Rach

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I regressed a little this week. In age, I mean. I am generally a pretty youthful person, and I often get mistaken for a high-school student... even though I am 22 and almost done with college? Whatever.

But this week, I had a true "little kid" moment on Monday when I had this random desire for some quality Mom-time. I hadn't seen my mom since New Year's and, frankly, I just missed her. So, I called her up and we made plans to meet today in Columbus for some shopping time. Dad decided to tag along, too! It was a great day with the 'rents. Sometimes, you just need to see family and let them baby you a little.

Breakfast was a mug of oats with blackberries, topped with peanut butter... and some saltines to try and cure the too-much-fun feeling from last night.
More remedies for that feeling?
Happy Valentine's Day from Starbucks.
 The mission for the shopping trip: teacher clothes. I start student teaching in about a month, and I had a grand total of one pair of nice pants. That won't fly. Luckily, "teacher professional" is a little more laid back that business professional, so I have a little more freedom with my wardrobe. But, like I said, I hear often that I look like a high school-er, so I have to dress professionally enough to separate myself from my students and maintain authority. The most exciting purchase of the day:
Ohhhh yea, that is a hot pink blazer!

The last stop of the day was a quick run through TJ's for some goodies I can't find at school. And, after the 1.5 hour drive back to school, those goodies made my dinner.
TJ's minestrone soup, and mini pita's with the hummus quartet. Followed by several PB spoons.

 I started out this morning feeling physically awful. It's my fault, but sorry, I'm not sorry. Last night was a blast. After seeing my parents, I feel so refreshed! Leave it to family to give me just the boost I need to power through the last half of the quarter.

Here's to staying connected with those that matter most.
~ Rach

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Perfect Friday

Today started out a little rough. By rough, I mean my alarm didn't go off, I spilled a huge cup of water all over the floor in my room, and backed into a pole trying to pull out of the impossible parking lot outside my apartment building.

Yet, somehow, it turned itself around, and I am sitting here laughing with my roommate, thinking about how utterly perfect today has been. 

First, I taught my fourth graders this morning. As part of FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools), I have been paired with a fourth grade class at a local elementary school. I go every Friday morning to teach a 30 minute lesson on basic Spanish vocabulary and grammar.

They always make my day! It's almost painful to roll out of bed and get myself there on a Friday morning, but I always leave feeling energized and fulfilled. The kids are always so excited to see me, and they respond so well to my lessons. I am always blown away by the amount the retain from week to week. This week I had them speaking complete Spanish sentences about what kinds of foods they like to eat.

As a reward for being so AWESOME, I brought them in some little treats.
Spanish Valentines for El Día de San Valentín! They were so excited and took turns reading the Spanish phrases out loud.

I got a treat as I was leaving too. My cooperating teacher (so the fourth grade teacher I work with) gave me a little note thanking me for doing such a great job and taking them above the basics. It was such a nice surprise. I feel like teachers don't always get the gratitude that they deserve for how hard they work everyday. My heart soared to hear such nice things from a fellow teacher so early in my career. I can't wait to see them next week. We're doing weather expressions, I think!

FLES was followed by class (where I kicked my quiz's a$$), a sweaty gym sesh (including my friend Brit's awesome Zumba class), and another class (which is an impossibly-hard math class that I actually enjoy? What's that about?).

I went home to create this masterpeice:
My latest, favorite monstruo de ensalada: spinach, tomatoes, carrots, half an avocado, marinated artichoke hearts, Italian seasoning, balsamic, and nooch. So delicious!

Tonight should be great. My friends and I are going to get fancy beers at one of my favorite bars down here, Jackie O's, to celebrate my passing the Praxis!! It will definitely be a good time.

Here's to celebrating the small things that makes everyday a great one!
~ Rach

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Random Gym Day

Happy Wednesday!!!

For me, that means no classes. For whatever reason, at my college Spanish and Math classes both follow and Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday schedule. Since those are my two content areas, I usually get away with packing all of my classes onto those four days and getting a little mini-weekend on Wednesdays. This is one of those quarters because I am not taking any education classes, which follow the usual Mon/Wed or Tue/Thur schedule.

Usually on Wednesdays, I keep my normal workout routine: getting up at the a$$ crack of dawn to be one of the first crazies at the rec center so that I can be home, showered, breakfast-ed, and ready to hit my favorite coffee shop for cranking out some work by 10ish. I always get tons of work done on Wednesdays. Definitely the best part of the mid-week break.

This morning, though, I could not peel myself out of my bed. I mean look at this thing:
Under that beautiful quilt (made by my incredibly talented mother) is a down comforter and flannel sheets. Add in cuddling with my teddy bear, Elvis, (yes, his name is Elvis, and yes, I am 22 years old) and it is maybe the most comfortable place in the world. It was below 20* outside this morning. My room was freezing. I was tiiiiired. The gym was not happening.

Totally fine, I just headed to do work at my coffee shop a little earlier, and went to the gym in the early afternoon before the rec gets crowded with all the gym bunnies who go after their classes.

I got to the gym around 12:30, and it was still beyond cold outside. Of course, I'm always cold. No joke: always. Winters are rough. See, I have what's called Reynaud's Syndrome, a circulatory problem in which I lose feeling in my fingers and toes when the temperature gets too low. It's not an issue, really. Just a little uncomfortable. Evidence of my poor little fingers when before my workout.
See how white the ring finger is compared to my pink little piggies. Yea, there's no circulation going on in there. It always starts in my ring fingers and seems to spread to the others. It freaks people out which is kind of funny sometimes.
Usually, I run my hand under warm water and massage the finger until feeling comes back, but I didn't really have that option in the cardio-loft at the rec center. So, I let the cardio, heart pumping do the work for me.

I had a great, sweaty workout! I do like to start the day with an early-morning workout, but sometimes it feels better to do it later in the day. I have no idea why, but I'm not complaining either way. It was delightful.

I followed it up with some stretching, and as I was sitting a little more twisted up than usual, I noticed how ridiculous I must have looked in my color combo for the day:
Yep, you see that right. Bright orange shorts, purple shirt, blue and pink Nike's.
What was I thinking when I was getting dressed? Oh, probably that my shirt was already kind of dirty so it wouldn't hurt to get it all sweaty. And, that I absolutely had to wear my new tempo shorts! I love new workout clothes. It always makes getting to the gym a little easier when I feel extra snazzy in my new digs.

So, today's gym adventure was full of random happenings. This seems to happen to me pretty regularly in different activities. My brother always tells me that I over think things. I like to think that I revel in the small comedies of my day.

Here's to laughing at ourselves!
~ Rach

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday "Muse"day

I don't have any specific topic to ramble about today. But, I do have a couple of random musings from the past couple of days. Why not share them here?

1. For the first time ever, Trader Joe's has let me down. 
I generally love all of TJ's products, and that I don't have to go bankrupt to stock up on them. When I saw this jar of Sunflower Seed Butter during my last visit, I was uber-excited to give it a go. Nut butter is my "crack", after all, and I have really enjoyed the sunflower seed butter I have had in the past.
This guy, though, not so much. I cracked it open, gave it a stir, and eagerly took a finger full. And, it was mediocre at best. The texture was weird and kind of gummy, and the sunflower seed flavor was barely noticeable behind a cloying sweetness. I turned over the jar and discovered this:
Yep, there it is. At the bottom, second ingredient: evaporated cane juice. HOw could I not have noticed it was sweetened before I bought it? Sweet nutbutter just doesn't do it for me. I feel like the seeds are sweet enough. Next time, nuts/seeds only. And maybe a little salt.

Luckily my roommate, Rebecca, digs it. All yours, lady.

2. I'm loving my outfit today.
Classic hallway-mirror-iPhone pic
I had extra time between the gym and my first class today (gotta love not starting till 11:00), so I took the time to make myself cute. Granted, I am still wearing leggings, but it still feels good to actually put some effort into the way you look sometimes. Actually, I have really been trying to do this more. It just makes me feel good.

I passed the Math Content Praxis 2 exam!!! I talked about taking it here, and I found out my scores this morning. I definitely didn't blow in out of the water, but I passed, and that's all that counts! Done and done.

Now, I'm just waiting on the results of my Spanish Written Proficiency Test that I took last week, and I still have to take my Oral Proficiency Interview, but It is safe to say that I am about 66.6667% of the way done with all the standardized tests I have to take for my degrees. May, it's feeling good.

This week has started off a little rocky, mostly in clumsy and comedic ways, but it's looking up! Here's to keeping the positivity ball rolling!

- Rach

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up (2/4-2/5)

This weekend was kind of fantastic. Like really great. After the mediocrity that was this week, it was the perfect thing to pull me out of my midterm-week/time-of-the-month/senioritis-I-don't-want-to-do-any-school-work-at-all slump. That might have been TMI. Sorry I'm not sorry. You know exactly the feeling I'm talking about.

Cue the highlight reel:

After a movie night in with my roommate, Allie, Saturday morning started off perfectly with some oats with blackberries in an almost empty jar of PB. Mmmmm Mmmm!

My friend, Taylor and I hit up the Athens Farmers Market and luckily, the weather was pretty nice, so there was a pretty good showing. It was also great to hang out with Taylor again because we hadn't had time to catch in a while.
Delicious Gold Rush apples. Have you ever tried these? They are tart and sour and perfect. And some spicy chipotle salsa.
 Saturday afternoons my friend Brittany teaches Zumba at the rec, so I definitely hit that up this week. Then did 5 sweaty, delightful miles on the elliptical and was ready to go out with my girls for the night.

We went on a little roomie date to one of the coolest bar/restaurants in Athens, Casa Nueva. Always a fave. I'm sure I will be writing more about it soon to come. I indulged in some delicious brews. They always have good stuff on draft. Then, to accompany my beans, rice, 2salsas and lettuce bowl, I had to go with their house margarita. On the rocks, no salt. As always. Seriously, the perfect combo.
Extra spicy with their chipotle-hot salsa and salsa verde. Pairs perfectly with tequila. Just sayin'.

And now, Super Bowl Sunday!!! Yea, too bad I couldn't care less about the football game. But, my friends are all getting together at one house to watch the game and eat snacks and hang out, and I am all about that. My contribution: Boyer Beer Bread. Recipe courtesy of my ex's amazing mother. This lady knows her baked goods. 
Hot out of the oven. Disappointing picture. NOT disappointing bread.
 Boyer Beer Bread
  • 3 cups self-rising flour (or 3 cups flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tsp salt) I used whole wheat because that is what I had
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 12 oz. beer I used a can of Budweiser
  • 3 tbs melted butter I used soy free Earth Balance

Mix everything but the butter in a bowl. Dump it in a greased loaf pan and top with melted butter. Bake at 350 for about 50 min. Doesn't get easier than that. And damn, it's good.
Even better with more melty Earth Balance
Even though I am not looking forward to all of the studying I have to do after the game tonight, I am so ready to start fresh this week. Bring it on! And LET'S GO.... wait. Who's even in this game tonight? Eh, who cares.

Happy Sunday!
- Rach

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Oatmeal in the Morning, Oatmeal in the Evening....

Happy February, Friends!!!

I hope everyone is entering the new month in good spirits! The weather was absolutely gorgeous today! Mid-60s. Sunny. Smelled like spring. Does anyone else think that the seasons smell different?

So, recently, I have been doing some maj-oh nighttime snacking. After dinner, my tummy is happy and full, but about an hour and half or so later, I become the world's largest munchie-monster. When the snack attack hits, it usually involves a spoon and a jar of peanut butter. Although, I am all about the ooey-gooey,  healthy fats of my peanut butter, I'm bummed because the jars aren't lasting as long as I would hope they would.

Also, I hate the feeling of being hungry and mindless snacking so late in the evening.

I have this theory that my dinners aren't calorie dense enough. I think I need to really make sure that I am getting all that I need earlier in the night so that I am not scavenging in the kitchen right before bed. I have hard time sleeping on a heavy stomach.

Solution: OPERATION bulk up my dinner.

Generally, dinner consists of protein (either tofu or tempeh) or a starch (brown rice, quinoa, or a sweet potato) and tons of veggies. I rarely have the protein with a starch. It's probably definitely a remnant of my disordered days. As I realized recently, they are closer than I realize. And now that I am truly committing myself to recovery, I know that this type of dinner isn't balanced or what my body needs.

Tonight, I took a step into bulking up my dinner. I decided to incorporate a whole grain, protein, and veggies into one bowl. Novel concept, I know. and I have to say, it was A.MAZ.ING. Check this out.
As my whole-grain base, I cooked up some of my oats with garlic salt and lots of Italian seasoning. I tried some of them right out of the microondas and holy-DELICIOSO! Like polenta, only with that nutty-oatie-yumminess.
Topped with some sauteed shrooms, cabbage, tempeh, and tomtoes. I really hat about 3xs what you see here. I wanted to attempt a pretty picture for you all. With my iPhone camera. Eh it was the best I could do.
This. was. beyond. Like so good! I loved the creaminess that the oats dded and it really did feel like a more satisfying meal. Don't worry, though. The spoon still made an appearance in the jar of peanut butter, but I didn't feel the need to eat half my jar. I'll hopefully be able to hold onto this jar a little longer. My wallet will thank me.

I think it is going to be my new February goal to make sure my dinners are hefty and well-balanced every night. This should, obviously, be a given, but when breaking out of disordered thought patterns, it isn't always so clear. How I am feeling physically right now, after a better dinner, proves that it is necessary. 

Who knows what random concoction I will come up with tomorrow, but I'm excited to experiment!

Health and Happiness,
~ Rach


Woohoo! It's Wednesday! Which has quickly become my favorite day of the week. No classes. Relaxing morning in the coffee shop. Productivity. And, the Challenge on MTV. Sad, I know, but my roommates and I watch it every week, and we are definitely addicted.

A very happy Rach
So, let's get into it. Last week, I explained how I am a definite grazer. This week, I really wanted to try and capture everything I ate in a given day (Tuesday). And, it was hard. Random handfuls of grapes and a few Wasa crackers made it without getting pictured. But, hey, I tried. A for effort.

I was feeling really run down yesterday, so I gave myself a day off of the gym and slept in a little.

Breakfast (9:00a)
Daily oats: oat bran, black berries, apple, topped with pb. With agua y café. On my mess of a desk.
Lunch (12:40ish)
Hummus, avocado, tomatoes, cukes, romaine, and spicy brown mustard all wrapped in a Flatout. Mmmmm
With a side of carrots and the all-so-necessary dill pickle spear. What is a sandwich or a wrap without one?
Grapes about a half hour later for "dessert". Basically the entire bunch.

Snack #1 (2:00)
Needed something right before class. Triscuit Thin Crisps. Are. Addicting. This x8.

Snack #2 (5:00)
Was feeling munchie but not really hungry after class. Cue the crunchy satisfaction of raw veggies.
Dinner (6:45)
I have been really into roasting for dinner lately, but tonight I needed something quick before my Spanish Club meeting. Enter stir-fri: onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and tempeh. With Bragg's Liquid Aminos and sriracha. Obviously, with more sriracha on the side.
Dinner is never complete with something sweet. I know it looks like tar, but it's delicious "Poor Man's College Girl's Berry Crumble": Blackberries in the bottom, topped with a sprinkling of oats and some stevia. Zapped for 3 sec so the oats kind of cook in the berry juices. Ugly, but delicioso.
I'm going to go see The Artist tonight at the little indie theater uptown, so there will definitely be some sort of snack-packing for that. 
Here's to hoping the rest of the week goes better than the first! Roommate drama. Enough said.
- Rach