Friday, September 28, 2012

GF Pumpkin Loaf

GF Pumpkin Loaf
*also dairy free*
adapted from: Book of Yum

Ingredients:
2 cups GF baking flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp clove (didn't have this!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup applesauce (or olive oil)

directions:
preheat oven to 370 degrees!
1. mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and create a well
2. beat eggs and blend in wet ingredients (including pumpkin and apple sauce
3. fold in wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients
4. once combined place in loaf pan ( i used two and made two smaller loafs, one for me and one for emily!)
5. bake in oven for approx. 45 minutes

also, note to self and all other protein pow users...mixing it with just almond milk and berries creates so weird texture and almost curdled on me? ew! any suggestions?

Sickness Advice

It seems as though everyone I know has a sniffle, or cough, or cold and or some sort of medical malady right now.  Whether or not this coincides with the changing weather and the fact that we are approaching our first full month of school along with midterms I have no clue but I am leaning towards there being some sort of connection.

First things first friends, take care of yourselves. 

This week I did not have an abundance of work that required me to stay up until all hours of the night reducing my nightly sleep to 6-7 hours but I stayed up anyways.  The result? Whatever cold is surfacing around school found its way into my immune system and...BAM! Sickness.  I hate being sick, with a passion.  Not only because it makes me feel awful but it also significantly reduces my productivity with work and training for my 10k.  I kept telling myself every night that I would go to bed by 11 and then somehow 1 am rolled around and I thought that I could still set my alarm for 7am the next morning--no way, jose. Be smarter than that! You need SLEEP!

Last night my friend Emily, from HWS, came to visit and we enjoyed some tasty tofu tacos with a glass of wine before watching the premier of Grey's Anatomy (which I have to say is looking pretty good this season!)  I started feeling sleepy around 10:30 so I listened to my body and went to bed by 11:30 and slept in until 9.  I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it made it my day--already I know I am going to be much more productive, happy and attentive to both my work and fun planned for this evening.

When you feel like you are getting run down, sick or overtired think of it this way...Give your body the rest and respect it deserves.  Take time to sleep a little more or drink extra teat throughout the day.  Take a 20 minute nap if need be and rest your brain for a few minutes over breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Midterms can and will be stressful but I have found that you will perform better if you take care of yourself first and foremost. You need not stress yourself to the point of exhaustion and OCD craziness, I promise it will do no good.  I bet that you will get more done in the day and be much more productive if you sleep and take some "me" time each day to relax, reflect and enjoy the simple things in life.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Typical Morning (For Me)

I tend to describe myself as a very organized person, at least for the most part.  I like to know where everything is at all times and have been found cleaning the refrigerator for...uh, how do I put this, fun. 

Out of the past years I have spent in college I have found that one of the dilemmas that most of us crazy students face is food.  Do we have time to eat it? Do we like what we are eating? Are we eating out of boredom? Have we forgotten to eat all day so now we eat all night?  The vicious cycle of eating at strange hours or skipping meals all together because of work, class or clubs is most definitely detrimental to our health, body and even grades. One of my goals for this year is to make sure that I make the time to enjoy breakfast, pack a lunch and have a quality dinner.  Unless there is a day where I am extremely booked from 7 am- 11pm I should be able to do this. Regardless of the amount of work, there is only so much that one person can fit into the day and pulling all nighters does not feel like the best thing to do as a senior (I still have to do it once but I am waiting for just the right day!)

So, a typical morning for me looks somewhat like this:

1. Get up to the alarm and try NOT to hit the snooze button, I also try to get up an hour or so before I normally would roll out of bed so that I can enjoy the morning

2. morning yoga stretch--this hasn't altered very much and is the same sun salutation I was doing 3 weeks ago but it puts me in the right mindset for the day

3. write 4 goals I would like to accomplish in the day--sounds a bit quirky but it really helps me focus in on what the important things are..these goals could range from being nice to someone I was rude to the day before, thanking a friend for something he/she did, not getting stressed for a presentation or exam.

4. make myself a hearty breakfast or leave time to stop at Starbucks on campus for oatmeal
pumpkin pie oats with chia

5. drink plenty of water and try to stick with tea NOT coffee, which I save for early afternoon!

6. Lunch Box Tuesday! Tuesdays are the BUSIEST day of the week for me with classes going straight from 11-4:40.  I have tried eating breakfast before, breakfast and lunch before or just bringing snacks for after breakfast and nothing seems to give me enough fuel to make it through those last 40 minutes of lecture which is conveniently located at the med school.  

I'm trying something new today, bringing my lunch! (note the lovely lunch box). Into the box today goes GF Snyders pretzels, 2 hard boiled eggs, field greeks and quinoa and some local grapes


Monday, September 24, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake

Happy early birthday to the big guy, my Dad! He is turning the big 55 tomorrow but clearly shows no sign of getting old and decrepit anytime soon.  My mom and I threw together a cake after taking him out to dinner on thursday night but it was an utter failure with the 7-minute boiled frosting that my mom added to the top.  I knew as soon as she brought it into the living room (there was some game on tv he had to watch) that the vanilla frosting would not go over so well.  It resembled gooey marshmallow and had a grainy/ sugary consistency that neither I nor my dad approved. So, to make up for the awful cake I brought home some chicken wings and donated some of my "healthy" beer aka, Micholob Ultra to the cause.  It was a great success!


I also decided it was a perfect time to test out some gluten free baking using the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Flour mix that I had purchased at Wegmans along with the Xanthan gum that is necessary for the majority of gluten-free baking recipes.  (Xanthan gum is used as a thickener for baking and a small bag is a whopping $11, however, you usually use only a tsp at a time).

Keep this a secret but I fed this cake to my dad and forgot to tell him that it was Gluten-free but he didn't really seem to notice and said it was actually pretty good--a bit brownie like, or torte, fudgey but a hit! What a pleasant surprise!

Fudgey goodness?

Too much for a family of three?

My mom also made these amazing lentil stuffed acorn squash which incorporated Masala spice, Tumeric, Curry and Corriander.  It brought me back to South Africa and the amazing indian and malaysia dishes that I had grown so accustomed to over the summer!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour & Savoring Today

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Multi-purpose flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill Baking Flour-GF)
  • 1 cup Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa --Check brand for gluten free
  • **I only had Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder but it did the trick!
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar -- divided
  • 2/3 cup butter -- softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk + 1 tsp vinegar (buttermilk)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract -- gluten-free
**I added a layer of basic chocolate buttercream frosting in between the two cakes, however, do not have the recipe since my mom helped with that while I was out buying tapioca!  Feel free to whip up your own frosting or use the tasty recipe on Savoring Today.
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8" or 9" round pans with cooking spray
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together  flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and 1/2 cup of the sugar
  3. Place butter and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, buttermilk, water, and vanilla into your mixer bowl, and mix until well blended.
  4. Blend in the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Once all of the dry ingredients have been mixed in, beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, to make a smooth batter.
  6. Pour the batter equally into the prepared pans. Using a kitchen scale helps to get the batter evenly divided
  7. Bake the cakes for 30 to 33 minutes
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn pans over onto a rack and cool cakes completely
  9. Once cooled, frost cakes, or serve with powdered sugar and whipped topping

Happy Fall and happy baking :) 

Next on my list is GF Pumpkin Loaf!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Ready. Set. Go.

These literally take 5 minutes to whip up and then a whole 10 minutes to bake.  I was told that they aren't the "best" cookie in the world but that was by my food critic boyfriend who is even pickier than I am on most days.

I came across this recipe the other night while attempting to read 100 or so pages on the history of the U.S. Healthcare System--I actually thoroughly enjoy the class and the readings but have yet to really get into the whole reading thing this semester.  I am trying every measure physically possible to focus.  What better way to focus than a little red wine and peanut butter cookies? I couldn't think of anything better at around 10pm so I came home and got to work.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:
1 cup all natural peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips to taste!

directions:
1. Mix together sugars and peanut butter
2. add in egg and baking soda
3. sprinkle in the chocolate chips, mix and ball up on a cookie sheet
4. Bake and enjoy :)

I put these in on 350 for 12 minutes and they came out just right.  A little hint? Eat them while they're fresh and still warm!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reviews: Feasting in Rochester

Talk about eating out much? When the nutritionist asked me last thursday if I eat out frequently I responded with a quick, "No! I love cooking and baking for myself!"  The following does not actually depict me eating in very much at all and in fact I even had dinner out tonight for my Dad's birthday!

So last year I was really into going to different coffee shops, cafes and restaurants and giving them my amateur review...it was fun and kept me busy as I acclimated to my new school.  Now, busier than ever, I still enjoy it however rarely post anything about my restaurant findings.  I have found some great ones and some that are a bit um, how shall we put it gently....not for me?  I am picky, picky, picky and I hate to admit it sometimes but I am a HUGE internal food critic. Not quite sure what that means in the real world but to me that means I literally scrutinize almost any restaurant I go into (not always sharing it with whomever joined me) and determine if it is a quality establishment.

I'll let you in on a few gems I found in the past week (though I have been to all before!)


Enchiladas Verdes with Chicken and Rice

The best Mexican you will find in the Rochester/ Canandaigua area. By far.  I have tried a bunch including Salena's and none even come close.  They offer amazing dishes that aren't your average tex-mex and serve up some amazing cocktails--fresh squeezed sangria? Yes Please!  They are also extremely accommodating for food allergies and dietary restrictions including vegan/ vegetarian options, dairy-free and gluten free! 

Dishes to try: Enchiladas Verdes (of course) Burro Raffael, Enciladas Mole and of course their house Margs & Sangria


Flaked Albacore atop Field Greens and Ginger Carrots

Special: Turkey Reuben and Moxie Soda

I lived right down the street from Open Face last year and never stopped in to have a sandwich.  I walked by and peered in wondering where their menu was (it is by the door when you first enter) but never took the time to really investigate.  Now I can tell you that this is the place to go for lunch.  In my personal opinion it is better than Mise En Place down the way a bit but in a different way.  The atmosphere is what I would describe as hipster but a bit "posh" with their apothecary teas and natural healing tonics. Sounds crazy? Don't let me deter you one bit. My second time I had to go with the flaked albacore again and yet again I left full and happy.  I absolutely adore small restaurants such as open face that really bring you to a different world--admire the tin cups and Moxie (an older soda resembling Root Beer but with hints of Licorice).  Brendan ordered the Turkey Reuben and agreed that it was a hit though the "reuben" was more of a turkey sandwich with gingered carrots and 1000 island dressing he still said it was great!

They offer a soup and sandwich combo for lunch or you can choose to mix and match two different sandwiches.  They also carry several vegetarian dishes and gluten free baked goods!


Tea Sampling anyone? They bring this lovely tray of teas over to your table for you to smell and pick out.  And no they don't take your tea from these samples! 

They also encourage dress up...just saying!

Clockwise from bottom left: Apple Cobbler, PB&J, Maple, Twixie

yet again, more dress up! Rob you're a champ...

La Tea Da is the perfect place to go if you'd like to step back in time and into your childhood.  That sounds rather cliche but if you stop in you'll quickly realize that the majority of diners are sporting some crazy hats, fairy wings and frequently some boas.  The walls are covered with Alice in Wonderland decorations and each table is adorned with a hand selected tea pot.  You can choose from numerous teas and either a personal pot or one for the table to share.

There is a menu but we chose to just pick out our cupcakes from Sugar Mountain which is connected and enjoy our great choices.  I went with the Twixie which was filled with caramel inside a rich chocolate cake.   Another winner was definitely the Apple Cobbler--spiced apple cake which had me eager for the first of fall (which is today!)

Go here if you want cupcakes, tea, tea parties or a girly lunch.  Rob was definitely a great sport but I wouldn't consider this a first date sort of place!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sorting It Out

I finally had my first appointment with a nutritionist today and what a relief to speak with a professional that understood exactly the issues I have been dealing with for a little over a year!  Since I am such a health nut fanatic and avid whole foods/ clean eating freak to begin with, it was nice to talk to someone about what types of foods affect my body in what way and the various additives and preservatives that are often added that can yield negative reactions.

two things I learned today:

1. The government is fighting against any sort of requirement for GMO (genetically modified organism) foods to be labeled as such--because who wants to know that their food was made in a lab or petri dish anyways?

2. IBS can be triggered depending on the specific sugars you consume.  Natural sugars contain an equal balance of sucrose and glucose (someone correct me if I got these wrong since I'm not totally up on the language). People sometimes react poorly if they come in contact with honey or even agave because the sucrose level is higher than glucose.

Interesting huh?  Well it is for me at least!

So what did I learn about me, my body and what food does to me?  I learned that I have a lot of sorting out to do.  I know that I have issues with soy products and I am pretty sure I have something going on with wheat (yes I know the dreaded intolerance that seems to be sweeping the world) and we will soon figure out the rest.

For now I am on a gluten free diet so I will be posting a few recipes each week to help entertain me during this nutritional adventure and let you know if I have any good products to suggest to you!

Here are a few to start with:

Even if you aren't gluten free these are a winner.  They are so much crunchier than the regular pretzels that snyders makes and have just the right amount of salt.  I can easily convince people that they are normal pretzels if need be

Udi's whole grain bread and their cinnamon raisin bread is actually amazing.  I also really enjoy Ezekial bread which doesn't seem to affect me because it is made with sprouted grains.

I eat oatmeal almost EVERY morning--add a little cinnamon and almond milk with a handful of raisins or chopped up banana and volia, filling and tasty.  While oats themselves do not contain wheat or gluten they are often processed in a factory where the grain can become coated with wheat so it is best to buy these certified GF (if you're picky!)

Again, quinoa. I love quinoa and quinoa pasta is pretty darn good.  It tastes slightly different from regular pasta but with a nice sauce you can barely tell the difference and it is packed with healthy proteins! My friend Clare brought some over a few weeks ago and I promise I couldn't tell the difference--she even said that her family loves eating now too.

Ellie's Bakery is only a few minutes away from me (well more like 20 minutes) but I am bound and determined to stop there ...tomorrow!  They have pumpkin loaf...need I say more?


Welp, here goes nothing! I'm excited to see if these dietary changes make me feel better and if so, can I actually stick to it? I love baking way too much to give it up!

Aja Noodle & I Forgot WIAW!

I seem to be forgetting (for the second week in a row) to take photos of my WIAW.  I will try desperately to remember throughout the rest of the day today and let you know how it goes tomorrow but I already skipped my breakfast photo.

Oatmeal with chia/flax, raisins, almond milk and cinnamon with a cup of chai tea. What a great way to start the morning after a hot shower and some yoga stretches (I may have thrown some abs in there as well).

Last night, a friend and I went out to dinner at Aja Noodle, a "newish" noodle restaurant that has adopted this new craze of asian noodle eateries.  I had never been to such a place and I cannot say that I will or will not go back.  Upon entering the restaurant I was excited and intrigued by the clean and bright atmosphere though taken aback as to how the whole thing worked.  It was a restaurant but a bit more "fast foody" than I am typically used to.  Not saying that it is necessarily a bad thing but all the same, I was a bit skeptical.

I ordered the Pad Thai (again no photo) which tasted quite good actually, for the first few minutes but then gave me wrenching stomach pains for the rest of the night--not something I was looking forward to. 

I began thinking about it and of course did some research into what exactly goes into Thai and Asian dishes.  The answer, lots of salt and sauce (soy sauce).  I also had chicken added to my entree. MSG central. Thanks for the hint Clare!

I never really pay attention to MSG but focus more on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other attitudes and preservatives.  The reasoning behind this? The types of foods my body is used to (a) do not typically have MSG and (b) labels do not always put down MSG.  One major culprit of this three letter awfulness is high-sodium based sauces, soups, meats etc.

Ah Hah! I may have found the culprit to my nighttime demise. 

I love researching and learning about the natural (or not so natural) aspects of food and what they can do to your body.  Did you know that MSG can actually affect many areas including digestion, vision, heart rate, blood pressure etc.

All the more reason to eat whole, natural and non-processed foods on a daily basis to thank and replenish your body for all that it gives you on a day to day basis!

Happy Hump Day :)



Monday, September 17, 2012

Case of The Mondays

Lets start the week of right.  Happy Monday.  A few good things that have already happened today include the fact that I woke up before my alarm (8:15) and regardless of the fact that I probably could have used those extra 15 minutes, I jumped out of bed and started my day.

I am still attempting to do a little yoga each morning before I get dressed, eat or do anything semi-productive but I have been getting more lax about this--my goal for the week is to learn a few new moves and incorporate those into my routine!

This week shouldn't be too busy but I am upping my weekday milage to 3 miles on tuesday (which is now moving to wednesday) and 2 miles on thursday.  Why am I switching the days around? Well, tuesday I have class from 11-4:40, no break. Need I say more?  Class is also a solid mile and a half away so strap on a heavy backpack and there you have some nice cross training for the day.

This week is also my second week doing hospital scans for my independent study--I finally have some "business casual" clothes but I am ALWAYS looking for more.  I've already been suggested to look at Zara--do you have any suggestions? (Not trying to break the bank but I need to look professional!)

We are into our 4th week of school--of senior year for many of me and my friends. Take time to enjoy the extra minutes of the day (MAKE extra minutes in the day to relax), there really is no reason to stress and pack your day so full that you cannot enjoy a cup of tea or to finish my long and somewhat obnoxious posts :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies
adapted from Pennies on a Platter

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking pan ( I used 9x9)
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs and oil
3. In a separate bowl combine four, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and spices
4. fold the dry into the wet and add chocolate chips last
5. spread evenly in baking pan and place in oven, test before removing!

Baking time: 15-20 minutes

** I found that mine were a little mushy at first so I had to add an extra 5 minutes but it may be my oven at school!



Also, these do not have the typical "brownie" consistency and have more of a cakey/ banana bread texture but still great all the same!


Fall is finally here :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

YouTube Videos

You can find my South Africa videos on youtube by clicking HERE!

In case you're too lazy, here is one of my favorites:

Happy Hump Day! WIAW will soon be up :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend in Photos

This is the lazy version of blogging:

Woodchuck makes a great cider (their amber is sheer awesomeness) but this special edition FALL cider is to die for.  I cannot wait to whip up some baked doughnuts/ fresh apple pie and pair them with one of these bad boys.  What's even better is that woodchuck is GF for those of you who hate the bloated and awful feeling that beer often gives.


Friends downtown on Thursday night


Amy's awesome tacos that she made for her birthday and allowed us to devour! She definitely revamped my love for tacos--reminded me of a better version of taco thursday (hello high school).

Brendan came to visit this weekend as well and I finally made him take a new photo with me, as if we don't have enough already!

BPG dance tryouts were earlier last week but I finally snagged this photo from Rebz phone--Team Mulan!

Our suite celebrated Amy's Birthday and Marisa's is coming up soon!

I woke up at 9:30 this morning for an awesome 3.5 mile run.  After having a few rough sweaty runs from the humidity it was nice to feel accomplished on one of my long runs.  This means that week 2 is complete and we are onto week 3 of 8!



Alpha Phifa, Kick it for a Cause was hosted by Rochester Alpha Phi today and proceeds went to support our philanthropy, Cardiac Care!



I finally made my way to the library to do some computer homework and start reading for the week and brought along with me some killer leftovers. Hodge-Podge Mexican Casserole

Hodge Podge Mexican Casserole
EASY PEASY!

All you need is the following:
1. Salsa
2. Brown Rice
3. Chicken Breast
4. Rice and Corn
5. Mexican Spices (cumin, chili powder etc)
6. Greek Yogurt

I took the cooked brown rice and layered it in the bottom of a pan.  Next I took leftover bean burrito mixture which is basically black beans and corn that have been simmered together with garlic, cumin, chili powder and onions and poured it on top.  Next came the chicken that I pan seared quickly, some extra tomatoes I had lying around made their way in along with a mixture of salsa and greek yogurt that I mixed and heated on the stove

30 minutes on 350 and volia, dinner.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chambray and Floral

Shorts: Jcrew Factory Outlet (last season), Chambray button up: JcPenny's

Necklace: Old Biscuit Mill Market, Cape Town, South Africa

*So many people have been complimenting me on this necklace and I am so happy I decided to give in and get it.  My friend Emily had gotten it on our first trip to the market and I oohed and ahhed over it for weeks on end and finally picked one out for myself the day before we left

I had no idea that "chambray" shirts would be so in style again this year--I usually stick to staple items from Jcrew and Gap in hopes of not grabbing onto too many fads but I had to get one.  $60 bucks for a jean shirt though? No thank you.  I found this at Jcpennys while I was hunting for apartment accessories.  It was only $17! 

What have you gotten this fall to keep up with fashion? Have you found any of these at a cheaper price than you were expecting?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WIAW: A First of Many




I like to cook and I like to cook often.  I thought i'd make that perfectly clear in case anyone needed clarification.  I also came to the realization that I have been quite sarcastic on here lately so my apologies. But back to my love of cooking and baking and living in a college suite/ apartment that requires a $915 meal plan.  What to do, what to do.  I refuse to waste my time eating dinners or the majority of meals in campus dining halls--I just cannot do it any longer (once in a while is fine but for the sake of everyone who hears me complain about my stomach issues, I cook for myself).  

Since I do spend so much time in my lovely kitchen I think it would be fun to join the WIAW or What I Ate Wednesday band wagon,which was started by the awesome Peas and Crayons.  I don't want to begin sharing every single pretzel or rice cake that I have for a snack let alone the number of peanut butter scoops that I sneak a day but once a week I can share a bit about my daily routine.

Today seems to be a bit of an odd day to start since I ate out for lunch and only managed to snap a picture of dinner but lets go for it anyways.

For Breakfast I had two poached eggs with Ezekiel 7-grain sprouted bread and some hot sauce for a nice kick.  This was accompanied with a Tazo Organic Chai tea.

Brendan had come up to visit me so we walked around campus and by lunchtime we were both starving...almost literally.  And trust me, when I am hungry I am a mean mean person.  We ate out at one of my favorite lunch spots, Mise en Place. A bit of a yuppy name but actually quite reasonable and my turkey deli sandwich was especially tasty on this hot afternoon.

 photo credit: Beeradvocate.com

This place is great if you need a sandwich on the go even though you will wait a few minutes for them to prepare it and for $6 for a grilled sandwich I am okay waiting!

My afternoon was spent going to Beers of the World picking out some tasty fall beers that I cannot wait to try (especially the Pumpkinhead) and I oohed and Ahhed over the various ciders they offered which were all a bit too steep for my wallet.

Finally I get to dinner. Oh dinner. 

Amazing Burrito Bowl!

Into the mix went field greens and spinach, cucumber, tomato, homemade guacamole, salsa, a little brown rice and leftover bean and corn mixture that Brendan's mom made.

I was a little ambitious with this baby but it was so good I couldn't resist! Now I am stuck with a very full stomach and a ton of reading.

Hope you all enjoy your wednesday evening!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Eggplant Parm & A Lack of Focus

Eggplant Parm and Man Vintners CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
What a great ending to a rather interesting day.  I woke up this morning planning to jump out of bed (without the alarm) and quickly make my way to the library.  However, I ended up slowly creeping out of bed and enjoying a nice bowl of pumpkin pie oats inspired by Katie at Peace Love & Oats.  I love getting up this way and sometimes forget to take a look around and enjoy the nice weather, an amazing breakfast and the friends that I live with.

I made the greatest attempt to focus in on readings today but I still have yet to get into the grind and swing of school.  This is always such an issue for me and this year more than ever before, I am lacking motivation.  This seriously needs to change as soon as possible since I have so many plans and would like to accomplish them all. After a slight freak out at Panera I decided to make some adjustments--or at least consider them.  I may reconsider taking the GRE this semester and focus solely on my studies and independent study work. Since this is only my second year at UR and sadly my last, I want nothing more than to make the very most of it.

In terms of the week I am on week 2 of my 10k training.  Week 2 is the same as week one so I won't have to run more than 3 miles (on sunday) and can focus on building a good base again.  This weekend is also the Clothesline Arts Festival (a personal favorite festival!) and Alpha Phifa which I will share more about later on but it is a soccer tournament that supports Cardiac Care and the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Goals of September

I woke up this morning to amazing weather--sunny and warm but not too extremely hot.  The past few days have been unbearably hot and muggy but today was different.  I woke up to my usual routine of yoga and made my way to a favorite running spot by the canal to complete my 3 mile run.

After running 7 or so 5k's I can usually beast through 3 miles like it is a no brainer but lately I have been having some serious mental blocks with running.  Maybe it is the fact that I am just getting back into it after being gone all summer or it could be getting used to a new routine at school but I tried to not let this get to me.  I am following the Hal Higdon 10k training program for the upcoming race in October and have made it to the second week.  So far it has been pretty easy going--we will see how it pans out once all the school work hits me. 

I'm really enjoying the pace of this program and since it is only a 10k the 8 week program is  perfect. Not too long, not too short and he only has you running for 3-4 days out of the week plus gives some time for strength training.

On my run I was trying to think of some goals for this coming month and this is what I have so far:

1. Stick to the 10k plan and prepare for the MVP Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k

2. Put effort into my school work but leave plenty of extra time for friends

3. Don't get consumed by grades and school

4. Reach out to friends that I haven't spent much time with lately

5. Prepare for the GRE and start looking at schools & jobs (the scary goal)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What I'm Loving This September

Carla and Me at the Rochester Red Wings.

Two classes into the semester and I can already predict that I am going to have a bad case of senioritis this year.  Whether it is because I moved back on campus this year or that I am finally enjoying school more than ever before I am not sure but I will definitely welcome a little fun into my life.

Last night Alpha Phi went to the Rochester Red Wings game for some sisterhood bonding which is where Carla and I were when the picture above was taken.  This morning I woke up at 7, which was more than difficult, and went to the public market with both Clare and Carla--by 9:30 we had collected veggies for the week and a good amount of fruit for tonights sangria (cannot wait for that!).  I had a pretty decent cross training workout at the gym and then finished the morning with some casual wegmans shopping.

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites for september so that if you're ever in the mood you can check them out!

Book: Running the Rift and Healthy Tipping Point
I bought Healthy Tipping Point for my SA trip and it turned out to be a winner--definitely not as self-helpy as I thought it would be.  Running the Rift (Benaron)  I have yet to make up my mind since I started it on the plane ride home from SA (my last ever purchase in Cape Town...tears).  it is about a young Rwandan boy who wishes to run in the Olympics and combines a story turmoil in the country. Winner.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with almond milk, cinnamon/ nutmeg and raisins

Snack: Almond Butter from Red Bird Market (Fairport, NY) and pretzels. Oh and Plums are surprisingly amazing

Quick Dinner: Curried Quinoa on greens with tomato or Eggs and Salsa

Tea: Numi Chocolate Pur-eh

Routine: I started doing a little yoga EVERY morning as soon as I wake up, have a full glass of water and then get into the day.  Try getting up a little earlier to give yourself time to enjoy the morning

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And a casual plug on running, even though it is almost 90 every day. I started training for a 10k this past week and am just about finished with week 1. More updates to come and only 7 weeks to go!
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