Sunday, August 31, 2008

Full exposure

I didn't know my grandparents were planning on going out for lunch, so I showed up in my comfy clothes. We went to Patrick's so we could sit outside and enjoy the sun. I've been once before and liked it, but this time the food took a really long time to come out and the service was pretty bad (I hate to rag on restaurants because I work in one in New York, but our waitress was not very attentive). I had a niçoise with the dressing on the side and my tuna medium rare. I don't know if it was my allergies or the heat, but I only took a few bites of my salad. This is very unusual for me, since I usually clean my plate even if I fill up partway through my meal. I packed it up to take home, so I'll probably have it for dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow.

As I usually do when I have lunch with my granny, I had a skim iced latte (which I sucked dry). It was served in a nice big Newcastle beer glass.

Thanks in part to the caffeine, I was inspired to hit the gym when I got back to St. Paul.

I ran 2.5 miles in 30 minutes, average of 4.96 mph including 7.0 mph sprints, 5.3 mph jog, and 3.2 mph walks.

3 x 10 reps tricep machine (30 lbs)

2 x 10 reps deltoid machine (10 lbs)
2 x 10 reps chest press (10 lbs)
3 x 10 reps hip abduction, outer (70 lbs)
3 x 10 reps hip abduction, inner (70 lbs)

I wanted to bike to school to save gas and get some exercise (and it's only about .25 miles) so I tried to pack my gym clothes, shoes, books, and laptop. I only realized when I got there that I'd forgotten to bring a towel and socks, so while I was air drying myself in the shower stall a little blond girl in a bathing suit pulled open the curtain. Poor kid!

I was hungry after my workout so I had the remainder of my Whole Foods salad bar dinner.

I brought a Clif bar in my bag in case I get hungry during the film screening (Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky) since we won't get out until 10 PM.

Sunday already?

I set my alarm for 8:30 this morning so I could go for a run before heading to my grandparents' house to pick up my bike, but I guess I pressed snooze a few more times than I thought and ended up waking closer to 10. I did a little light stretching, but I'm going to have to make sure I get some kind of exercise in today or I'll be really antsy. It's a lot harder for me to get back into it after I've taken more than a day off.

I had some Swiss-style muesli from the co-op up in Ft. Plain, NY, and mixed it in with Quaker Oatmeal Squares, three walnuts and skim milk. I made coffee in our new $9 coffee maker, and as usual had my vitamins with a glass of Emergen-C.

I need to be very organized today since I haven't really had time to do my school work. That is, arguably, what I'm here for, right? I'm going to drive to my grandparents' right now to pick up my bike and have lunch, then I have a few hours before I have to go to campus for a film screening for my Russian Cinema class. Relax, relax, relax...

This is college, after all...

We've spent hours hauling and moving and driving in the past few days, skipping out on the early semester parties and get-togethers to make our house nice. So, Jalene and I thought we could treat ourselves just a little bit. We went to Pizza Luce and got an Athena pizza, which comes topped with feta cheese, grilled artichokes, tomatoes, onions, spinach, mozzarella and lots of garlic. We got a 10" small pizza and each had two slices. We got a salad to go with it, but were too full to eat it. In spirit of this "college" meal, I had some diet Dr. Pepper to go with it.

We thought it would be more fun to eat on the floor...

And, of course, we finished with some ice cream. I love Edy's "Loaded" ice creams because they're so creamy and decadent, yet have only 130 calories and 4.5 grams per half cup. Woohoo!

As I said, this is not a typical meal. I'm not the biggest fan of pizza, but I'd tried this one before during my sophmore year and thought it would be nice to repeat it for a celebratory meal. A little splurging once in a while is good for the morale.

Sunny Saturday

It’s a gorgeous day in St. Paul so today might be a day for… the State Fair! I went once a few years ago when I visited the school; I really only want to go to check out the honey and homemade jam stands. To keep in the spirit of things, I had my oats with thistle honey from the Indiana State Fair, made by Hunter’s Honey Farm. My aunt gets us a variety every year and it’s some of my favorite. My family is a little silly when it comes to things we can spread on bread: whenever we travel anywhere, we come back laden with jellies, honeys and spreads from our travels. And, it’s said that to ward of allergies you’re supposed to eat the honey from that region. I should get some Minnesota honey quick!

I had about ¾ of a cup of oats (cooked on the stove in skim milk) with:
½ tsp. flax seeds
2 walnuts
handful of raisins
tsp. honey
sprinkling of cinnamon

I washed down my vitamin spread with a nice glass of Emergen-C.

We went to Target to get some basic things for the house (yet somehow forgot butter, olive oil, and ketchup. I stopped at the deli to pick up this Archer Farms Southwestern Veggie Wrap. It's one of the only vegetarian options they have, but it's pretty good! I ate this a lot last year; The $2.99 price tag is hard to beat. The images are a little blurry... I've got to find some better lighting for these photos.

Late posting... lunch and dinner 8/29

After poetry I met my friend Katey for coffee around noon. We biked to the Bean Factory and after a few mishaps (some undie flashing and a sore bum) we got there in one piece. Unfortunately, the Acme sandwiches they usually sell were already sold out! I settled for an Odwalla Bar and an unsweetened iced tea (not pictured, part of the bike saga) to tide me over until the end of classes.I got a salad from the campus center around 3:30 (I was STARVING) that was made of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, red peppers and tomato; I topped it with oil and vinegar. The salad wasn’t anything special and I figured I’d be hungry, so I bought a banana as well.
As Jalene and I were walking home (!), we saw a chair sitting on the side of one of the major streets. As half of the furniture in my apartment in New York probably came off the sidewalk, we stopped to check it out: sitting in it, checking it’s squishiness, and seeing if it smelled like smoke or something funky. We decided it was a good find, and turned around only to see a guy around our age and an older man looking at us. They told us to take the chair (after having seen us smell it!), so we told them we’d come back with the car. Free chair! But I remembered I’d been talking (and gesturing) to them while holding my wilting banana peel. Ha. We spent most of the afternoon driving around in Michelle’s truck (and passed a family where we heard a little boy say, “Mommy, it’s a girl driving that truck!) picking stuff up for our house. I started getting really hungry around 7, so I had about three thin Snyder’s pretzel rods and a small tootsie roll (not pictured). We didn’t get to eat before 9PM, and since we have no food we went to Whole Foods and grabbed dinner at the salad bar. I remembered how good the mac and cheese is, so I got a big scoop of that (clockwise from bottom left), “Japanese” tofu, edamame salad, grilled and roasted veggies, grilled artichoke, curried cauliflower, and tofu with Indian spices. I tried not to eat all of it, so there are a few nibbles for lunch tomorrow. I drank another glass of Emergen-C; this might be a house of sick girls if we don’t get this dust cleared out!

Jalene at our new dining room table:
I don’t know why I’ve been so hungry lately, but about an hour after dinner I needed something more. I had a small cup (we don’t have bowls yet) of Mueslix with skim milk. The fresh garlic is trying to get into the picture!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Not quite there... Dinner and breakfast

Last night I was so hungry come 7:15 that rather than go out and look for food, I paid to get into the cafeteria for the second time. Oh well. I had green beans sautéed in balsamic, some corn salad, and a veggie burger topped with cheddar, pickles, onions and a slice of tomato. Again, I should have taken the picture before I slathered it with condiments, but alas. To my boyfriend's amusement and dismay, I have become a ketchup fiend. I used to scorn those who used it at breakfast, but now I can't even think of eating an omelet without the stuff. So hidden under that red and yellow swirl is a standard, cafeteria-grade veggie patty. To make my mother proud, I had a tall glass of skim milk.

I wanted something sweet to finish off the meal, so I had a jello cup mixed with mystery fruit. I think it was orange.
I spent some time unpacking my dry goods in the kitchen and putting them in jars. The family I lived with in Paris did this and it really looks so much nicer than keeping stacks of cardboard boxes.While I was studying with my friend Megan on the floor (since we have no furniture) I snacked on a grapefruit. It was pretty sweet!

I woke up this morning around 6:30 to finish work and squeeze in a run before class. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of my socks, so I ditched the workout and had some Special K Red Berries and a coffee from Comics instead.

The house is pretty bare save for hefty bags and boxes scattered randomly across the room. I'm kind of enjoying how open and light it is (although it looks dark in this photo); Jalene and I are going to try to keep the living room relatively empty so we can have some nice floor space for yoga and whatnot. I set up a little workspace in what will be the dining room.

I had a glass of Açai Berry Emergen-C to wash down my vitamins (multi, vitamin A, calcium/ magnesium, fish oil, and flax oil) while I was getting ready.
Time to go to my poetry class!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cloudy with a chance of... MOVING! Breakfast and lunch

My roommate Jalene and I have been "squatting" in the basement of her aunt's apartment until the lease starts on our new apartment. Last night we got a VERY exciting call saying we'd probably be able to move in today... and we can! I'm pretty terrible at living out of a suitcase, and my car is stuffed to the brim from the drive from New York. Jalene and I have unloaded our cars and just have to figure out how to get our beds and other furniture out of various old roommates' bedrooms and kitchens so that we can finally set up. I hope we get hold of her aunt Michele's truck... I'm a relatively new driver and renting a U-Haul probably isn't the best idea!

Michele surprised it with my favorite breakfast... Steel cut oats! I'm usually in such a rush to get out the door in the morning that I just make the instant Quaker kind, but steel cut are a whole different ballgame. I've read about other bloggers cooking them overnight, which I'm definitely going to try as soon as my kitchen looks something like a cooking space. These oats were pretty creamy, so I only added a handful of raisins and some brown sugar. I probably had 1/2-3/4 cooked oats... I find that when I make the instant kind I "need" more to fill up on; this is probably because they're more broken down than the steel-cut and therefore it's easier for the body to digest.

I also had one and a half cups of black coffee... I don't think I'm quite ready to give it up!
After breakfast I drove to campus to work out at our campus' newfangled "athletic and wellness center"; as miffed as I am about the school putting so much money into athletics and neglecting the departments that really need it (English, for one), the gym is SO NICE. We have tons of treadmills and ellipticals so I haven't had to wait for a machine yet, and they have fancy touch screens and "virtual trainers" (although I've shied away from that). The best part, though, are the huge flat screen TVs that broadcast not reality television, but movies! Today I saw part of "Happy Gilmore," which I've embarrassingly never seen all the way through.

I debated between setting my goal for 3 miles or 30 minutes, but I ended up going with 30 minutes:

2.48 miles
4.94 mph average (30 second walks every half mile or so, light jog at 5.2, and 7.0 sprints)

3 x 10 reps tricep machine (30 lbs)
3x 10 reps chest press (30 lbs)
3x 10 reps crunch machine (30 lbs)
3 x 10 reps various dumbell exercises (5 lbs each hand)

While I was running I realized I'd left the coffee pot on (although I remembered to turn off everything else... I'm pretty forgetful in the morning), so I panicked and drove back to Michele's to make sure the house hadn't burned down. A-OK. I was ravenous, so I ate half a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax bar while I was driving.

I went to the cafeteria for the first time in almost a year. I have to remember to sneak in some tupperware... I had vegetarian refried beans, mexican rice, sautéed peppers and salsa that I mixed up; I had a small salad of spinach with cauliflower, red cabbage, and sprouts which I drizzled with a little pre-made balsamic vinaigrette since I couldn't find the regular balsamic; and a small scoop each of baba ganoush and spinach hummus which I used to dip a couple carrots and celery. The humus was a little to garlicky for my liking. I had a nice glass of skim milk to drink. I had a small granny smith apple for dessert; I was in such a hurry to get to class that I was already halfway finished before I remembered to take a picture!
I had the second half of my Kashi bar on the way to my Pilates class around 4:30 .... Unfortunately the class seems to have been displaced because of the opening for the athletic center so no "zipping the navel" today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Beginnings

Silly name for a post (a bit) but as September comes rolling in and vacation ends, school starts up again, the leaves change (although the "fall" season here in Minnesota is almost non-existant; we go from summer to winter in no time at all) and all that other fun stuff, it does seem to be a time of fresh starts and opportunities. Well, that's at least what I came away with after dragging my mother to the New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, VT (how I got past the name and much less suggested something so New Age-y is still a wonder to me, but I'm very happy we both went). Open your mind! And your stomach, which is what I did as soon as we pulled out of the spa, since salt, butter, oil, and caffeine were off-limits. Yikes.

So, in this new beginning, this new (and final) year of college as I try to figure out what it is I want to do when I wave the Twin Cities goodbye, I decided to start a blog to document that which I am unquestionably most passionate about: food. I love to play with ingredients and create variations of recipes, read cookbooks, go out to eat.... Many of my friends and family are self- proclaimed foodies as well, and it's not unusual for us to go on for hours about what our perfect meal would be. Of course, this can get pretty annoying to even the greatest devotee of the chickpea (or garbanzo, if you will), and often prompts a "Wow, you must be really hungry!" So, in an attempt to channel this unrequited love of mine, the Lilveggiepatch blog was created. (Lilveggiepatch herself has been around for quite some time, but that's an entirely different story.)

Another disclaimer: I've set an enormous (to me) goal for myself to begin long-distance running. I've hated and even dreaded the thought of working out for most of my life, so it's a huge challenge for me. I'm first going to start with a 5K, then 8K, 10K, half-marathon, etc., eventually (I hope) working my way up to the 2009 NYC Marathon. So we'll see. I'm going to try and boost my protein, limit my drinking of alcohol and caffeine (both of which are going to be pretty difficult given it's senior year...), take vitamins, and STRETCH. After the hiking spa, I was sore for the better part of a week and I felt as if I'd tried to smash coconuts with my thighs (and isn't that a pretty picture?).

I'll post my meals, snacks, workouts, and anything else that seems interesting... maybe some good ole RNC pics too!