Monica Does Connecticut

Have you noticed how I love writing suggestive titles? ‘Cause I do…

My Saturday started with a 9 mile run. I changed my long run this week so we could get a early start to CT. So, I ended up doing 9 miles yesterday and 9 miles today. It is completely NOT the same as an 18 miler. But, next week I will get back to a long run. I have to admit it was nice to have a week off 🙂

After I got back I made pumpkin oatmeal in a PB container (I don’t say jar because it’s plastic).IMG_2407

Topped with the devil trail mix. I am giving that stuff away today. After I have a little bit more that is…IMG_2409

Then, it was a l-o-n-g drive from MD to CT. We packed lunch, but planned to pick up drinks. The easiest thing was to drive through McDonald’s. I got a diet Coke and Ben got a coffee and fries. Great Ben, bring fries within arms distance. I had a few of course. IMG_2413

The rest of lunch consisted of a week-old tuna in a wrap. Yes, you read that correctly – tuna that was a week old. I live dangerously, are you impressed? IMG_2411

And these chips. Chips are necessary for any road trip. IMG_2414

And so is road mix – oh, I mean trail mix, even though we weren’t on a trail.IMG_2405

Finally we got to Ben’s brother-in-law’s sister’s house (Emily)! We finally got to meet Owen, our new nephew! He is adorable and Ben loves him so much. Ben loves babies. I don’t know what to do about that right now. No comment.  IMG_2426

Emily made vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie! She is an amazing cook and I was sooooo happy to find a vegetarian dish for dinner.IMG_2422 I loved loved loved the Whole Foods Shepherd’s Pie I used to eat in CA, but never could make it for Ben because he swears he doesn’t like it! Well, he loved it so now  I am totally going to recreate it at home! Loved it. IMG_2424

We brought an apple pie, let me rephrase that – HUGE apple pie from Costco. So, dessert was apple pie, ice cream and home made whipped cream. For real. IMG_2430 I feel like I’ve really been overdoing it lately. I am not sure how to get back on track, but luckily I have a 5 hour drive tomorrow to think about it. Stay tuned for a crash diet extravaganza!!!

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Time for a makeover!

I’m getting a makeover! Well, not me, but the blog is getting a makeover – and it may be down for a bit after 7pmEST tonight. Hope you give the new look a thumbs up!IMG_0827Actually, I would like a real makeover – I’ve always wanted to go blond.

Question: If you got a free makeover what would you change about yourself? Anything? Nothing?

I packed something other than PB&J for lunch again today! This is a very tasty and fun challenge 🙂 I’m not making anything “new”, but it’s good to get back to some old favorites.

I made a HUGE salad with tons of veggies and beans for protein. I used my favorite TJ’s Peanut Dressing too.IMG_1011

IMG_1010I also had some Kashi crackers and 2 seltzers with lunch. I may or may not have had another seltzer later. I am an addict.IMG_1043

For dessert – 2 of my chocolate chip cookies 🙂 Dessert with lunch is so fun! But, these have to be microwaved to taste best the next day.IMG_1047

I brought a lot of fruit to snacks today – kiwi and grapes. I love fruit! I ate some more Kashis since fruit doesn’t keep me full for long.DSCN2054

See ya later 🙂

I’m Going Downhill Fast

Yes, I have to admit that I’m going downhill fast. And then, when I go uphill I’m slow! My training plan called for 1 mile easy, 5 miles at Marathon Pace and 1 mile easy. I did pretty well keeping my Marathon Pace, but the last 3/4 mile of my 5m Marathon Pace is uphill and killed me!

See how I’m going downhill fast:

Downhill mile: 8:24

Hilly mile: 9:00 (and this was me trying super hard!)

I’m proud of myself even though I walked some of the last easy mile since I got a side cramp – that never happens?!

Breakfast was cereals with soymilk and a banana. I don’t get eating half a banana – they come individually packaged by nature so I figure one is one serving size. I also feel the same way about watermelon though. IMG_1037IMG_1036

I ate some of the banana with PB 🙂 The key to making cereal keep you full for more than 15 minutes is nut butter!IMG_1033

I had to wake up super early to take Ben to the airport for a short business trip. This means I have time to myself after work! I used to go to Target or get my nails done when I had time like this, but since I’m poor I’m not sure what to do…

Edit – Last night I wrote “flower” instead of “flour”?! Feel free to correct me if I make errors like this that you notice. I think it’s kind of embarrassing and know it bothers some people.

Mini Batch of Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been dying to bake for a week now and finally got the chance today. But, since baking is a major danger zone for me I decided to make a mini-batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies! I made a small batch that made 9 cookies total. I didn’t want to bust out a recipe so I made this up as I went along…IMG_1029

Ingredients – Makes 9 Healthy Cookies

1/2c oats

1/2c whole wheat flour

1/3c brown sugar

1/4 tsp baking powder

dash salt and cinnamon

1 egg

1  applesauce (snack pack size)

1/3c chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients, then wet ingredients. Drop spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. *I spray the pan to prevent sticking since the cookies don’t have butter. **You can’t eat more than a bite of the cookie dough since it doesn’t make that much. Yes, I eat the batter even though it has raw egg. Have you ever heard of anyone dying from eating cookie dough? If you ever do, it will probably be me and I won’t regret it.IMG_1025Let’s remember that these are healthy cookies and may disappoint Ben your significant other.

The whole batch on a plate! Dee-lish!IMG_1030

I didn’t just have cookies for dinner (not that I’m above that). I had some polenta left over from the other night and recreated that meal. I love cooked spinach with tomato paste and spices. Love it.IMG_1018

IMG_1014My afternoon snack was kiwi and a yogurt. I was hungry and also ended up eating a handful of Kashi crackers! Maybe two handfuls?DSCN2053

When I got home and started making dinner I thought I would be “good” and plate my snackage of Pirate’s Booty. But, let’s be honest and say that I ate handfuls of this stuff straight out of the bag too.IMG_1007

In other news…I’m going to Mississippi next week for work! I’m covering a story about a church building a house for a family who lost their home in Katrina. Exciting life of a reporter!?

My Lunch Doesn’t Stink

…but it smells like it does!

After heating up my lunch today my co-worker asked me, “What did you bring for lunch today?”

Because I managed to bring the two smelliest lunch foods I could – cooked broccoli and egg salad! Ha. After the fact I realized that I stunk up the office. But, it tasted great! I prepped it all last night after dinner and took a pic then.DSCN2026

Stinky, but delicious egg salad made with 2 eggs, mayo, S&P and Lawry’s knock off. I would have done 1 egg and 1 egg white, but Ben made the hard boiled eggs and I lost most of the whites while peeling them. What is a tried and true trick to avoid this? I always flush them with cold water after I cook them.  *I use light mayo not FF. I think FF is often full of sugary fillers to replace the fat, and tastes different.DSCN2029

Scared of the Flu? There has been so much talk about Swine Flu this year! It’s easy to be afraid with all the hype. Then, we have to worry about the regular old flu too! At least there are a few easy steps you can take to stay healthy – like keeping up your healthy eating habits and getting enough rest.

Healthy Eats (like Vitamin C from fruits and veggies) + Rest = A Good Defense Against Illnesses.

Question: Do you do anything extra to stay healthy during flu/cold season?

Me: I’ve never really done anything extra since I already get lots of fruits and rest in my life. But, I may do something extra since I will be living in the shitty Arctic tundra Maryland this flu season!

No run on Tuesday?

This is my second week of  “4 Runs a week” and today was really weird. I have always run on Tuesdays (well, at least for the last 5 years)! Last week I had just come back from my trip and was feeling sick so the Tuesday off from running was welcome. But, today it feels wrong. I want to give it a shot because everyone that does the FIRST program swears by it, but I am having hesitations about it.

I know from training for my first marathon in February my body was rebelling toward the end of training and I wasn’t looking as forward to running. I think as the mileage increases I will be grateful for a 4 day running week, but right now I miss it. I’m sticking with it for now, just thought I’d share.

Anyways, today was an active Rest Day. I did some strength moves and the elliptical for 30 minutes.

Breakfast was a smoothie and an english muffin. IMG_1001

I put PB on one side and ICBNB with sugar and cinnamon on the other 🙂 Some sugar and cinnamon may have gotten on the PB side too…IMG_1003Off to work! See ya later 🙂

Time for Dinner!

After a few cold dinners on the table Ben and I have declared 7pm Dinner Time. This way he knows when he should be home and I know when I will be eating dinner and can plan my snacks accordingly. I am thinking between 3 and 4pm is the best time for my afternoon snack so I’m hungry for dinner. Do you have a dinner time? I never had one before, but we’re trying this whole shack-up marriage thing and we want to eat dinner together 🙂 How cute.

In case you were wondering what I look like when I get home from work…I was trying to explain to friend that I look like I am coming home from a walk in the part – not work, when I get home. This is because I change out of nice, work clothes and put on walking clothes for my “commute” home 🙂DSCN2025

My afternoon snack was supposed to be this…but I ended up ditching the yogurt for a Kashi  bar. It was good, but the yogurt would have been better 🙂IMG_0996

I also had some of these True North Nut Clusters. The company sent me over some samples of their goodies and this was the first one I opened. I have to say that they are delicious! And I sent some in Ben’s lunch last week and he came home asking about them, saying that he loved them! Two good reviews in one and we haven’t even tried the other samples 🙂DSCN2035

Here are the nutrition stats.DSCN2036

My only hesitation with buying these  is that 5 clusters is a serving size. It’s hard for me to stop at 5! But if you pack them in your lunch it’s perfect. You get to enjoy the clusters and have portion control 🙂DSCN2039

Visit the True North website for a $1.00 off coupon! I will let ya know what I think about the other kinds too 🙂

Dinner was leftovers from Indian food on Saturday…DSCN2033

And I really really wanted dessert so I had a handful of chocolate chips before deciding to make cinnamon toast with chocolate chips! DSCN2044A little later I  was craving hot chocolate and Ben reminded me that we bought chocolate in Guatemala that turned out to be for making  (Mexican) Hot Chocolate! Have you ever had Abuelita? The best hot chocolate ever. You break off pieces of the chocolate bar and mix it with milk. DSCN2046

It is seasoned with cinnamon and other spices – it reminds me of my Aunt Martha since I rememeber her making this for me and my cousins 🙂DSCN2047Someone asked about the ingredients of my precious Pumpkin Butter…here are the stats…DSCN2041Cut the Crap – I have gotten a lot of emails about how my Cut the Crap Month seems to be hurting my Intuitive Eating. After much thought, I agree. As soon as I said I am not going to eat something my instinct is to eat it! It’s very frustrating, but years of restricting/binging has completely screwed up my head and body.

I feel like it is a complete cop out to say I am stopping my efforts to Cut the Crap 😦 So, I am going to continue to make an effort to eat foods that make me feel good and fuel me well! But, I am not going to restrict myself to x number of treats a week.

My small goals each week are building on eachother am I’m doing well with those so I’m going to continue

1. Not eating for 30 minutes after I get home

2. Brushing my teeth after dinner/dessert and closing the kitchen