Posts Tagged ‘Hot chocolate’

This weekend was filled with a bit too much of this:


(Thank you google images)

Way too many of these:

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And plenty of fun times 😀

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We actually ended up going out both nights (that is a lot for me!) since it was our friend’s birthday on Saturday night (where the 2 pieces of cake and about 6 cookies came in to play). But it was fun 🙂 And exhausting!

Breakfast this morning was a delicious cereal bowl! Filled with

  • Strained yogurt
  • Kashi U cereal
  • Almond butter
  • And the ripest honeydew ever!

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My mommy would be so proud – I picked a good honeydew 😉 She taught me to feel for the “tackiest” non-smooth surface you can find.  It works!

I then completed

  • 20 minutes upper body weights
  • 5 minutes abs
  • 15 minutes hip exercises

The physical therapist gave me 4 hip exercises to do to strengthen my hips. We started off with easier versions, but progressed to these basic exercises: (ignore my pictures in real clothes – I don’t normally workout in a sweater 😉 haha)

1. One-legged squat (3x 20 reps each side)

As you sink into a one-legged squat, reach forward with your other foot, as if you were about to step forward.

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As you rise back, bring your foot all the way up.

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And squat again as you reach your leg to the back.

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Make sure to focus on:

  • Keeping your hips/waistband of your shorts in a straight line – do not let your opposite hip drop
  • Keeping your squatting knee in line with you 2nd toe – do not let it roll inward.

2. Power clam – 3x 20 reps on each side. Work up to 2 minutes straight on each side.

Start on your side on your elbow, hips up, knees closed together.

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Lift your top leg up into an open “clam” position, with ankles still touching, then kick your leg backwards.

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Return to “clam” position, and lower knee back down.

3. Plank leg lift – 3x 10 reps on each side

Start in plank position. Tighten the butt and lift left leg. Lower and repeat with right leg.

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4. Hamstring curl – 3x 20 reps each side

Start with one leg lifted backwards, foot twisted so you’re pointing your heel out.

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Curl leg up

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This one is just to give my hamstring a little work.

So there you have my strength exercises! They are tough and my hips are always shaky/weak after the power clam!

I’ve also been instructed to foam roll my hamstring, IT band, and quads. However I wasn’t instructed on how long to foam roll for. Any experienced foam rollers have reccomendations?

Lunch at school was a turkey wrap (rolled up of course) & carrots.

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And an iced SF hazelnut starbies to get me through my afternoon lab 😉

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In lab, I muched on these new Protein Cookie Bites I won in a giveaway.

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They were okay – but I’ll give a better review on them soon.

And dinner was “pizza”.

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  • BBQ sauce
  • Sauteed zucchini, onions, and mushrooms
  • Chopped up chicken meatballs
  • Goat cheese
  • Whole wheat wrap

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I then spent the rest of the evening oggling over this guy


While enjoying 2 of mugs of this:

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+ a little more dark chocolate 😉

Anyone else watching The Bachelor? I normally don’t, but my roommate is into it so I’ve watched the last two episodes with her.


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You know it’s finals week when I disappear from blog-world for days at a time.

Other than facebooking studying and working on my 32587395 milion hour long take-home final I’ve been…

Resorting back to the tried and true PB sunbutter & banana toast sandwich thins. But wait, where’s my banana that I put on the fridge the night before to ripen faster?

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Guess my roommate thought it was hers 😦 Luckily my other roommate graciously “loaned” me one. Toast just isn’t the same without banana slices!  And I needed extra carbs for the gym 😉

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Freezing afterwards (yes – I know you’re all complaining of huge snow storms and coldfronts. But 40’s for central coast California is freeeeezing!!!) I quickly heated up the only soup I had in my cupboard. French onion. It needed more substance, so I plopped a Sunshine Burger garden veggie patty in there. Yes I really did go there and eat this swamp water looking soup.

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The combo really wasn’t half bad. And once I added a slice of toasted bread it was quite delicious.

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I’ve also been eating lots and lots of yogurt messes.

Tuesday breakfast.

  • Yogurt + Chobani blueberry
  • Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise
  • TJ’s pumpkin granola
  • 1 banana
  • Sunbutter

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Wednesday breakkie. Pretty much the same as yesterday’s with:

  • Blackberries (delicious addition!)
  • Kashi Heart to Heart
  • Banana bomb muffin

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The muffin was probably unneeded, but it held me over quite nicely through both finals and a gym sesh.

I’m not gonna lie when I say that I was craving the exact same thing for lunch that I had for breakfast.

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Okay, not the exact same, but close enough. Along with some pumpkin butter, and you’ve got yourself a deal breaker.

All the above yogurt messes contained this granola, which I’ve been obsessed with lately.

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It’s from Trader Joe’s – it’s perfect and I love it.  The perfect sweetness with a definite pumpkin spice taste.  It doesn’t have that “traditional” granola taste to it (anyone else know what I’m talking about, or am I just crazy?).  It kind of reminds me of Nature’s Path.

I’ve also found a new obsessoin. Kabocha squash! I roughly followed a recipe I found online, and seasoned my squash with:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Soy sauce
  • Cinammon
  • Brown sugar
  • Cumin

The combo was beyond delicious, and I am officially obsessed with this squash.

Don’t let this picture fool you. I for sure ate half the squash with my dinner, two nights in a row.

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Tonight, on the other hand, I tried acorn squash and wasn’t such a fan. Don’t get me wrong – it was good. Just not as good as the kabocha. Bit of advice: don’t eat an entire acorn squash (skin included) in one sitting. My stomach wasn’t happy with me the rest of the night.

Along with sauteed zucchini, onions, peas and fiber gourmet mac & cheese. Fiber overload!!

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But the mac & cheese was really quite delicious. It was no Kraft or Annie’s, but for a lower fat, higher fiber version – it wans’t bad tasting! I would, however, prefer if the pasta was whole wheat and not just added fiber to it.

And what’s finals week without a little hot cocoa (x 3 per day to keep warm!)

And delicious snacks? 😉

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This would be Alternative Baking Company’s lemon poppyseed cookie. I’ve had these cookies in my cupboard for a while now, and finally decided to put them to the test. Wow. Delicous. I’m not a fan of lemon or poppyseed flavored baked goods, but warmed up the microwave, this was just heaven. My roommate agreed 😉 Chocolate chip review coming tomorrow!

As far as gym seshies go…

Monday was a 4 mile TM run followed by 12 minutes of whittling my middle.

Today I planned to get a treadmill run in as well, but my knee has been extra sore lately. Extremely. I can’t think of anything I did to irritate, but I think it’s been a little extra tender since my hike almost a month ago. And recently they’ve both been really bothering me. Probably on a scale of 6 (with 10 being the worst they’ve ever been), but enough for me to notice while I’m sitting or lying in bed. I could really feel the sore/stiffness while running today, so I kept the run short to 2.7 miles. Better than nothing 🙂

Now I’m home free (from studying that is) and just working on my take-home final.

How has everyone else’s week been (finals or not!).

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We all know it’s the first day of December! I was going to start out by singing the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, but I’m pretty sure the 12 days are the days directly prior to Christmas, correct? Or the days after Christmas?

While at home this past week, I got to head to Whole Foods and stock up on some Voskos greek yogurt! I haven’t been able to find a large selection here at school, so I was excited to try out more of this brand.

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Breakfast included almost this whole container, Kashi Heart to Heart, Banana bomb muffin with sunbutter, and some pumpkin butter.

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This yogurt was pretty good, but right away I noticed it was much more watery than other brands. I noticed that with the honey flavor as well, althought I still loved the honey.

This fueled my gym sesh of 3.75 miles on the dreadmill and 10-minute whittle my middle plank style:

  • 3 minute front plank (on elbows)
  • 2 x 15 reps of twisting side planks straight arms (1 on each side)
  • 2 x 1-minute side planks (on elbows, 1 on each side)
  • 2 x 90 second straight arm blanks on bosu ball (1 slight rolling from side to side)
  • 2 minute front plank


On Tuesdays, I park my car in a parking lot (conveniently located next to the froyo shop)and walk to campus. Today I was hungry, and massively craving froyo afterwards. No matter what I eat beforehand, I’m always starving after workouts, and crave sweets.

I gave in today.

Planned to get a teensy amount, but once I saw that they had cake batter flavor, all good intentions went out the window. Also picture some pre-photo eaten cookie dough on top.

Needless to say, this killed my appetite for lunch, and I ended up snacking all afternoon.

Coffee to warm my bones + some necessary reading they had at work.

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Handfulls of frosting vanilla cinnamon pecans. (no joke tasted like frosting)

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Please note that my hands are not actually that gross/dry looking. Just the grainyness of my phone camera in bad lighting.

Some unpictured veggie soup. Carrots. And spoonfuls of cottage cheese.

Dinner was eaten in the car on the drive after work since I got off a bit early. But too hungry to wait for home. So sorry for the bad car lighting.

Sunday’s burrito was buy one, get a kids meal free. So I edited a kids burrito to my liking 😉 Chicken, brown rice, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo in a WW tortilla.

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Snacks of the night included an apple.


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Pumpkin ice cream (I really just wanted to use my new bowl!)

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And hot chocolate x2

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So how’s that back on the wagon clean-eating coming along, eh? 😉

I’m also so glad that I got tons not one second of studying done today. Instead I had the Victoria’s Secret fashion show on in the background and occasionally looked up to gape at their thighs smaller than my arm, or the fact that Heidi Klum thinks she still needs to lose 25 pounds. Really?

Camera update: For those of you who hadn’t heard, my poor camera is no more. I scoured the Black Friday ads for good camera deals, and saw a few, but nothing really stood out to me. The camera I decided I wanted wasn’t much cheaper at Fry’s than on Amazon, and with Amazon I save tax money. So I think I’ll be ordering one soon, or perhaps waiting until Christmas? Which I rrrreally don’t want to do. I don’t think I can last another 4 weeks!

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How was everyone’s Thursday?

My vegan morning started out with my usual oats with a few substitutions and additions.

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I omitted the egg, but added a scoop of flaxseed and chia seeds. Both can be used as egg replacers if prepared correctly, but I just added them right into the cooking oats on the stove. I always use almond milk in my oats and coffee anyways, so that was simple enough!

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Topped with sunbutter, granola, crumbled vegan muffin I had in the freezer, and Quaker oatmeal squares.

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Then my larabar tricked me again! I thought I grabbed a PB&J this morning, but it turned out to be cherry pie. I ate 1/2 pre-gym and 1/2 post-gym.

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Run total: 3.5 miles TM

10 minutes whittle my middle. I completed a 3 minute plank today (on my elbows – I find elbow planks harder than staright arms). That’s the longest I’ve ever gone 😀 I’ve been doing 90 second planks, but today decided to go for 2 minutes. By the time I looked at my timer it was 2:20, so I thought “go for it!”

Decaf Americano + 1 pump peppermint syrup with soymilk while waiting for a meeting on campus. (I almost put half & half in, but caught myself just in time!)

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Vegan lunch was kind of random. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much to work with today since I’m trying to dwindle my food stash down in preparation of leaving town next week.

Cocoa chia pudding topped with agave, sunbutter & bananas.

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And french fries (just sliced potato tossed with olive oil, garlic salt & pepper then baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes).

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However it didn’t hold me long at all, and I was starving for dinner around 5:00. I had an apple to hold me over while I ran to the store to pick up a butternut squash (on sale this week!!). And I couldn’t resist the day-old Vegan berry strusel muffin. It was a sign! Although delicious sounding, it was actually very dry and bland tasting.

(I guess my camera liked the muffin because she ate the pictures)

Dinner was another stuffed butternut squash. This time stuffed with a quinoa mix of:

  • Quinoa
  • Sauteed cinnamon apples & onions with brown sugar
  • Applesauce
  • Cinnamon

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I also topped it off more sunbutter (I think I’ve had 5 servings of sunbutter today).

All followed up by a mug of hot cocoa. Made with almond milk, real cocoa powder(vegan!), and stevia.

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I also had random handfuls of these chips all day.

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I’ve been crazy munchy lately.

Thoughts on Vegan for a Day:

While I completely understand and respect everyone who follows a vegan lifestyle, I highly doubt I will ever decide to follow one myself. I’m sure it would be much easier if I actually converted to the lifestyle, and it was my permanent diet everyday, rather than trying to pay attention to it just for one day. Since I’m not used to eating this way, I had to check every label, and even thought of the fact that my gum might not be vegan!

Anyone else who particiated have any thoughts or opinions?

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Happy blog-irthday to “??” Happy Blog-irthday to “??” Happy Blog-irthday to “????????” (long and drawled out). Happy Blog-irthday to “??”!!!!!

It’s a certain special somone’s 6-month Bl ogiversary Blog-irthday (I like birthdays better than anniversaries) today….

Ok…That would be me.

It defiitely snuck up on me, but 6 months ago today is when I wrote my first post! I didn’t even have one picture up! My blog sure has come far, but I want to improve it even more in the near future.

To celebrate, I enjoyed something I discovered on one of my earlier posts – French toast sprinkled with Banana Nut Cheerios.

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Sorry for the blur. Need. New. Camera.

With cream cheese, Sunbutter, and carmelized bananas.

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It’s been too long. I go through food phases, and there was a phase my sophomore year where I would live off this French toast for dinner almost every night. So good.

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It was such a beautiful day today, and I could hardly stand the thought of being stuck in the gym on a boring old machine again. I did something I haven’t done it a while – hike!

I’m seriously so lucky to live in the foothills of this:

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I can just walk out my door and less than 50 minutes later I can enjoy this beautiful view:

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Last time I hiked this, I left one of my favorite Operation Beautiful notes.

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Total: 4-4.5 miles; ~ 1 1/2 hours

But man does it make you filthy!

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I was starving the whole way back down, and made the quicket lunch ever.

A nice big bowl of Kashi golean & Heart 2 Heart with a glob of sunbutter (for protein – duh 😉 )

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Once I cleaned up a bit, I headed out for groceries (and yes, I have definitely gone over the $100 goal this month. I thought it would be easy, but…something happened).

Dinner was something inspired by Miss Cookin’ Fanatic and something seen recently on Meghann’s blog. Unfortunately my camera died right before dinner (charged that dude ASAP) so you’ll have to wait until later this week for leftover pics ;-).

Snacks later in the night (once camera had charged a bit) included

My nightly ritual

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And a delicious combo dessert of:

  • 1 whole apple & pear microwaved with cinnamon
  • Cream cheese
  • Sunbutter
  • Crumbled cereal & granola

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In other news, I got the laundry room all cleaned up, and we got a new washing machine up there as well (our old one was leaking). Well this new one is still leaking. Which means we’re out of laundry commission until our landlord can make it down here on Wednesday. Guess I’ll be re-wearing my workout clothes 2 3 times! Stand back!

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Want to know what goes down during a night of tossing and turning? I finally got out of bed at 3:30 am with a raw sore throat and no voice. Obviously something delicious, creamy, and cold would make it feel so much better.

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And a mug of cereal (chocolate mini wheats + PB granola to be exact) x2.

As much as I love my pumpkin ice cream, I’ve gone through half a carton in the past few days. I think I need to cut back.

After chatting with my sister on facebook (apparently our family has sleep issues), I finally got to sleep at 4:15 and slept until 6:30. Yay for 2 hours of sleep! Luckily I prepared my breakfast the night before in a to-go Oikos container.

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Apple Pie overnight oats!

Night before combined:

  • 1/4 c. muesli + 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 scoop yogurt
  • 1/2 mashed banana, cinnamon, maple syrup
  • 1 T chia seeds

This morning topped with:

  • 1 microwaved cinnamon apple
  • Granola + Quaker maple oatmeal squares
  • Cream cheese

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Mmmm look at those ooey gooey apples.

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I amazingly had enough energy for a quick gym sesh in between classes to fit in 30 minutes stairmaster level 10. Then I hurried to pick up lunch. Does this look familiar?

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That might be because that’s the same picture as last time. But the salad today was the exact same. Okay, that’s a lie. There were no bell peppers or corn this time. Mushrooms + beets + olives + turkey + tofu + kidney beans + feta cheese + craisins + slivered almonds + jicama. Wow.

My energy slump hit at noon and I could barely make it through my 12-2:00 class. Torture. Pure torture. A delicious snackie helped.

Strained yogurt with a Deep Chocolate vitamuffin & sunbutter.

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Decadent. I actually liked this flavor a lot. Very rich.

I’ve been straining a lot of my own yogurt lately, this time using Mountain High yogurt.

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Out of the three brands I’ve strained so far, I’ve found this brand and Trader Joe’s organic to be the best. They strain out the most liquid.

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And make the creamiest yogurts.

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Emily from The Experimentarian recently asked me about the concetration of the yogurt in regards to protein, calorie & carbohydrate amounts. After doing a bit of research, I’m pretty sure that when you strain the yogurt, you’re straining the whey out of the yogurt. The whey is also what contains most of the carbohydrates in yogurt. Therefore, after straining, you end up with a more concentrated amount of yogurt with less whey (carbohydrates), but more protein. So in essence 1 cup unstrained yogurt has the same amount of calories as strained yogurt, but unstrained has more carbohydrates while the strained has more protein.

Does that make sense? If anyone has any other answer, please…let me know!

Needless to say, I was kind of upset glad when my boss emailed me saying the little girl I nanny on Mondays was sick today. So I thoroughly enjoyed a complete lazy afternoon with Ellen, Oprah & more Ellen, and hanging out with muh peeps (aka Friends).

An unpictured mini crunch bar was sitting on the couch staring me down and I couldn’t resist.

Dinner incorporated my new Buffalo style chicken meatballs.

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  • Tons of veggies (literally almost a whole bag of frozen)
  • 5 meatballs
  • Carmelized onion & garlic tomato pasta sauce
  • Plethora of cheeses – feta, cheddar & parmesan

These meatballs are delicious! I love them.

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With Mary’s crackers (x2)

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And a handful of these to satistfy my post-dinner sweet tooth.

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Wow – I love these chips. However, they really just taste like the Sweet Potato flavor with the tiniest ittiest bit of chocolate taste at the end.  I would never guess “Chocolate” if I didn’t know they came out of this bag.

6 servings in this bag? Are you kidding me? The bag was only 1/4 full!

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May I also just comment that my roommate and I had the pure genius idea to put peeps on her baked sweet potato? Umm…yes please!!

In my nightly hot chocolate tonight, I used a new packet of NuNaturals stevia rather than my usual splenda or agave syrup. One thing was for certain – it was waaaay sweeter.

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And just to rub it in everyone’s face – tonight is kind of a “Friday” for me. I have no classes Tuesday, and my work was canceled (bummed because I need money). And we have Wednesday off for Veteran’s Day. Sorry to brag 😀 But I hope everyone else had a great Monday evening!

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I attempted some more homamde Greek yogurt last night, this week with a cheaper storebrand – Lucerine’s non-fat plain.

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I didn’t think that brands of yogurt would matter, but I noticed something right away compared to last time. I ended up with only about 1/4 of the amount of liquid strained out as my last batch with the Trader Joe’s organic yogurt. There was still a little liquid left on the top, so it just didn’t strain as well. I found this rather interesting. Maybe TJ’s yogurt is worth the extra .50 cents to strain?

I incorporated this into my breakfast.

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  • Strained plain yogurt with agave
  • Kashi good friends
  • Nature’s Path pecan crunch cereal
  • Flaxseed
  • Bananas
  • Sunbutter

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Yes, there’s yogurt under there.

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Yummm. The yogurt still tasted good 😉 Though not quite as thick.

I was so tempted to skip my workout after class. I get awful heart burn symptoms occasionally (I don’t think it’s heart burn exactly, but it’s a burning pain in my chest, so that’s what I call it. And yes, I’ve been to the doctor about it, and have yet to figure it out), especially for about a week or so after drinking. So I was greatly suffering from it today. It was so bad in class that I felt nauseous.

But I told myself to just do the stairmaster easy for 15 minutes, and before I knew it I had gone 30 minutes on level 10. Followed by 15 minutes of abs.

Post-gym I tried this bar for the first time:

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Honestly? Not a fan. I was so excited to try it – so many people love this flavor! But it just tasted like another Clif bar to me, with that chalky Clif bar flavor that seems to follow every bar. The only bars I’ve truly been a fan of include the holiday flavors (Pumpkin Spice & Gingerbread), and Banana Nut Bread. The other flavors have been meh. So I whipped out a tried and true bar (that I obviously have lots of, thanks to my friend’s dislike for them, but my stash is finally dwindling!)

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(Recycled picture since I was literally running to class by this point)

In between my next two classes, I ran to the campus market to load up on the salad bar (was really craving it!), and my salad rang up at $1.06! To compare, my Friday’s salad was over $6. Apparently, they’re having a 14-day special as a grand opening special for the new salad bar. I’m definitely heading back um…every day? (Sorry no picture, I also chowed down on this in class).

The next part of my lunch (once I got home from classes) included leftover spaghetti squash stir-fry from last night:

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And a smoothie on my drive to work. (Blurred – in a hurry)

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Some people do green smoothies. I do orange.

I couldn’t resist a few snackies at work, either.

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Dinner = unpictured, but honestly nothing too exciting, so I’ll just skip to my snack after.

A delicious Nutridel cookie!

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I received 2 samples of these cookies a couple of weeks ago – Flaxseed and Pecan. Crispy gourmet cookies made with wholesome, quality ingredients including oatmeal, amaranth, sesame seeds, pecans, almonds, molasses, coconut, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and wheat germ. The nutrition stats aren’t bad on these suckers either.

flax up

Not bad, eh?

Looking at the cookies, they remind me of a crisp cracker. But they are delicious. I was actually quite surprised! They’re nothing like your traditional doughy or even crunchy cookie. But they have a delicious sweet and nutty taste. Both the pecan and flaxseed are yummy, and I’m sure the almond and oatmeal are just as good 🙂

I enjoyed one topped with some sunbutter. Yummmm.

And a mug of hot chocolate. Duhhh.

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Cool swirly action pic.

Here’s a good piece of news: Monday’s over 😀

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