Dancer and prancer and donner …

And that title does not in any way refer to me actually dancing. Because you should know that I absolutely cannot dance in a way that doesn’t make me look like I need to be in a hospital stat.

Anyway, breakfast …

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Breakfast was none other than the dazzler I’ve been eating all week: cinnamon bun on flax-oat bran.

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This time, I put 2 tbsp part-skim ricotta in the center (instead of mixing it in) to increase visual appeal:

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Part 2 was half of a sliced apple with 1/2 cup yogurt/ricotta and a tbsp PB2 (ahhh addiction alert!):

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I also made it to the gym this morning. I had to walk there because of the groin issues, and it was much colder out than I had anticipated. Could have used my fleece! Anyway, once there, I did 20 minutes on the new elliptical that has an arm workout setting (yay for multi-tasking), hip ab/adductor and glutes on the Cybex, 20 minutes on the regular elliptical, stretching/abs, and the jog ouch walk back.

No shocker on my morning snack around 10:30. I had yogurt/ricotta with flax (some mixed in and some on top), PB2, and sliced banana:

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At noon, we had a meeting with snacks provided. Here’s my plate (I am considering this my lunch appetizer course) with carrots, salsa, tortilla chips, and an apple:

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After that, I had two more chips and two more helpings of carrots with salsa (and I also grabbed another apple to take home!).

Main lunch course was Thai seafood coconut curry with the repurposed veggies:

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And a piece of Jessica’s orange:

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And about an hour later, there seemed to be a second wave of lunch going on. My afternoon visit had gotten cancelled, so I joined the group with my donation salad:

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In the process, Nydia hooked me up with about two cups of grapes. Obviously, they’re not all pictured.

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Grapes are so easy to pop. I’ve mindlessly eaten two pounds of grapes on more than one occasion in the past … just because they’re there and so yummy. Like popcorn.

And then, Pura, the trouble-maker, came up and dropped some donated Dancing Deer cookies on the dreaded conference room table. Once again, the infamous view from my desk:

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I wrapped up one of each (sugar Cookie-Lime, Chocolate-Tangerine, and Molasses-Clove) for later and then broke off a bite of each from the remaining cookies:

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The cookies kept taunting me throughout the afternoon. I had this peanut butter Fiber One bar that Jessica gave me yesterday because I was actually feeling hungry (sometimes, several pounds of produce leaves me with an emptyish feeling in my stomach that I just can’t tolerate!) and I didn’t want to accidentally eat all three packages of cookies.

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I won’t lie, though. I kept going back for one more bite and one more bite and one more bite until I had eaten the rest of that Molasses cookie. Eric from the environmental department came by (I can usually count on him to house food upon request when I need it to disappear from my sight) and finished off the pack of chocolate cookies. I claimed the crumbs:

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When I left work at 5, there were three cookies left. Rosey, Rosalie, and Nydia forced me to take them home with threats that the cleaning lady would just end up throwing them out. I had no choice! So the pile of sugar in my freezer is now six cookies larger. It’s a rough life …

Whew, this post got really long really fast. And I still have way more to say because the food didn’t end there. I think I need to save it for tomorrow, though!

Obviously, there’s a stockpile of cookies and caked in my freezer. Do you have anything stockpiled?

Intermission

I’m surfacing for just a moment to do a quick recap of the day, and then I’ll be back into the school/work/sleep abyss for the next 24 hours!

Breakfast was more cinnamon bun on flax-oat bran:

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With 1/2 sliced apple and 1/3 cup yogurt for dipping, all dusted in cinnamon:

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To hold me over until lunch, I had yogurt/ricotta with flax, pb2, banana, and strawberries (from Hunter’s lobby last night):

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Lunch was more Thai coconut seafood curry, mixed with the veggies from Hunter’s lobby:

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Veggies make everything prettier, don’t they?

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I also had a spoonful of Belkis’ perfect perfect meat and rice:

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And a salad composed of leftover salad bits from Mildred, Jessica, and yesterday’s mangu lunch. I topped the salad with some of the innards of the chicken, tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwich piece Emily gave me in class last night:

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I have an identical salad waiting for me in the fridge for tomorow πŸ™‚

Later in the afternoon, I had an orange:

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And another pb-chocolate-apple parfait:

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I also opened up my first tin (as opposed to roll) of Newman’s Own Organics peppermints. They’re so cute — just like little Altoids:

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I had a bunch during the day. I did not count.

When I got home this evening, I prepped food for tomorrow and then headed out for some exercise. I jogged for 25 minutes until the pain won out, and then I switched to walking for another 20. Somewhere in there, I did 10 reps of the inchworm exercise that Olga told me about.

When I arrived back at the apt, I had a serving of the same chocolate-pb-flax custard that’s in the parfait above with a couple little slices of banana, a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut, and a tsp of pb2:

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OK, off to report for bed duty so I can wake up tomorrow and do it all again. Ahh, I can’t wait until this semester is over and the papers are behind me!

A non-mentally-taxing question for tonight: How many separate things did you eat today? According to this entry, I ate 10. That might be a record low!

Layers of stress

I did go out for a breather last night to combat the homework- and heat-induced hallucinations … and ended up running 3.2 miles! This was a very exciting accomplishment, 12-minute miles and all, as the chafing of my shirt against my arms was more painful than my aggravated muscles. Stats: 38 minutes, 304 calories. I hope this improvement keeps up!

I came back and made a complicated snack to keep my mind off the final paper drama. These were some of the things I used: chocolate-peanut butter-flax egg custard, a mom-gifted apple, and the rest of Vani‘s crunch time peanut butter.

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Here’s the scoop on the chocolate-peanut butter-flax egg custard. My roommate Tara had three egg yolks left from her breakfast yesterday morning, so I whisked those over low heat with 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp ground flax, 2 chopped dates, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and 2 tbsp PB2. Once the mix thickened, I ran the immersion blender through it for good measure and poured it into three small ramekins to go into the fridge.

ForΒ  last night’s purposes, I used half of one of the ramekins as the inspiration for this parfait:

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For the other layers, I used (1) half of the apple, shredded and mixed with the pb and (2) 1/3 cup total of yogurt mixed with part-skim ricotta and 1 tbsp pb2.

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I topped it all off with a biscotti bite for fun.

That mind-blowingly delicious parfait distracted me from school stress for about 30 blissful minutes. When the bliss wore off, I pulled out this little slice of frozen cake from my mom’s birthday πŸ™‚

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And then I went to sleep since I knew I wasn’t going to get anything else done!

This morning at the gym, I did 20 minutes Stepmill, legs/chest on Cybex, and 15 minutes elliptical, along with stretching/abs and the jog/walks there and back (hurt again this morning, grrrrr). Stats: 1 hour and 16 minutes, 475 calories, 129 average heart rate, 172 max.

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Breakfast was ready to go straight out of the fridge because I prepared it last night, and the day is too hot for hot oats! On the stovetop, I cooked 3 tbsp oat bran and 1 tbsp ground flax with 1/4 cup soymilk and 1/2 cup water. When it was done, I mixed in 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta and lots and lots of cinnamon. I ate it cold this morning topped with 1/4 chopped cinnamon bun from the hotel buffet and more cinnamon.

Icing!

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I mixed it all up to eat:

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On the side was half of a thinly sliced apple with cinnamon and a tsp of south of the border pistachio butter:

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And white peony iced tea (with green in the background!!):

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This week is going to be full of research madness. I may never surface again. HA, I’ll probably be back tonight. But if I seem to disappear into a black hole without warning, please don’t be alarmed. I’m just hyperventilating somewhere.

Are you hyperventilating about anything today?

FYI, you can get a free sample of KFC’s new grilled chicken today!

Right on schedule

Well, everything’s back to normal with a full internship day on the horizon followed by class tonight. I spend 13 hours straight away from home on Mondays, and at least 3 of those hours take place on the subway! Sigh. Maybe I’ll have a car someday.

Breakfast this morning was more creamy oat bran with prune groatmeal topping, mmmm.

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Since I’m out of tofu, I made the oat bran a little bit differently last night. As usual, I cooked 1/4 cup oat bran with 1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk on the stovetop, but I also added in 2 tbsp ground flax and an extra 1/4 cup water and let it boil for a minute. Once again, it thickened up successfully in the fridge overnight and reheated perfectly in the oven this morning.

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I topped the groatmeal with a spoonful of homemade sunflower seed butter and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut:

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With a soymilked almond sunset/black tea combo on the side and a tall glass of water:

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I also went to this gym this morning and managed to enjoy it tremendously! My body has clearly missed it the past several days. I jogged there and back — the jogging still hurts, but I tried some of the simultaneous knee/butt kicks that Amy recommended to me last week, and they actually minimized the pain a bit and made me focus on lifting my legs up instead of just throwing them out in front of me … although I probably looked less than sane while doing them. Here are stats from the crazy jog, 20 minutes on the Stepmill at Level 11, two sets each of hip adductor, abductor, and glute machines, and 15 minutes on the elliptical cross-country program: 1 hour and 15 minutes, 588 calories (still WAY higher than normal), 145 average heart rate, 183 max (also higher than normal).

Some extra things to note:

First, biscotti bites are everywhere! Kelsey, winner of the jasmine tea biscotti bites in Meghann‘s bake sale, has received them and reviewed them here!

Next, To Be the Whole Package is hosting this week’s BSI contest. Go check it out and start thinking about your recipe!

Next next, enter the HangryPants Stonyfield giveaway by midnight tonight!

Finally, I’ve been tagged by Mara at What’s for Dinner? to complete this “Survey of 8s,” so here goes

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. income (start date of this is questionable …)
  2. the end of this semester
  3. the weekend!
  4. lunch
  5. Erin Gunn‘s wedding in October!
  6. consistently warm weather
  7. a life of traveling the world saving babies
  8. my next chance to sleep

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. traverse the east coast (or at least the stretch between NC and NY)
  2. eat pancakes
  3. rock in a rocking chair
  4. take 3 trains (thank you, track construction) to get home from the airport
  5. cook
  6. nap on a plane
  7. unpack
  8. blog

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. live alone
  2. use a car for errands once in a while
  3. run without pain
  4. travel the world saving babies (any ideas?) and eating fun food
  5. move south right now
  6. relax
  7. lie on a beach
  8. live closer to my family

(Note: I just realized that several of these wishes conflict! Hmmm, I am going to have to figure this out.)

8 Shows I Watch:

Is it completely terrible that I stopped watching TV when I started grad school in June 2007? There’s just no time! Sometimes I have the Food Network on for background noise.

8 People I Tag:

Many of you have probably been tagged already, so I’m just going to open the survey up to everyone reading this post! Let me know one thing you did yesterday, one thing you are looking forward to, and one thing you wish you could do (or more, if you feel like it!) πŸ˜€


Busier off

Ack, it’s pretty late for me to be getting around to this! I always expect to have so much extra time on my days off, and the opposite always ends up being true.

Anyway, I had today off since it’s my class day and Hunter is closed for spring break πŸ™‚ I had lots to get done because I’m leaving for the weekend tomorrow — my old college roommate is getting married in North Carolina! I woke up around 8, got my laundry started at the laundromat, and then came back for breakfast:

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That’s right, exactly the same as yesterday: tofu oat bran with prune groatmeal topping! Such a pleasant-sounding name, right?

I topped it with cashew-almond butter and unsweetened coconut again today, but
I decided to go wild and throw on a sprinkle of cinnamon as well.

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Lunch, even though it was my day off from work, was the usual group effort.

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I had a salad made with rescued brown and leaky roommate lettuce and Heather’s leftover lunch lettuce from work yesterday; half of an abandoned zucchini that I found on the conference room table yesterday (I think it was Inginia’s?) sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and a few thawed pieces of seared tuna from the Electrolux event a couple weeks ago; peanut roasted chickpeas; Newman’s dried berry blend; grated homemade parmesan; and the rest of my sundried tomato dressing from last night’s salad.

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On the side, I had one of Myrna and Mildred’s empanadas from Heather’s baby shower and Heather’s leftover guacamole from her lunch yesterday.

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I didn’t know whether the empanada was chicken or cheese until I took a bite.

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Chicken it was! Delicious πŸ™‚

Lunch dessert was another tbsp of peanut roasted chickpeas and the rest of the Newman’s berries:

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After laundry and lunch, I went out on a mission of many errands. I walked down to Brooklyn’s poor excuse for a mall, Atlantic Center, and picked up a new pair of sneakers (in the white/berry/storm color) from DSW on sale for $60. More money than I’m really free to spend, but the health of my knees is worth it!

img_8063I also hit up Target hoping to find a cheap dress for the wedding that suits my new, ahem, “curvier” figure (thanks to the injury-induced reduction in running). No luck, though, so I’m going to have to raid my closet! I did, however, pick up a coffee bean grinder. I don’t like coffee, but my mini-food processor bit the dust after three batches of nut butter, and I thought (rather, I called my mom and she thought) the grinder might be a good and cheap ($15!) interim solution until I can get my hands on a powerful processor. Mom was right, and I made some sunflower seed butter when I got home. Sure, it took three batches (and I had to stop the grinder after every pulse to scrape the sides) to make 1/2 cup’s worth, but I now have delicious sunflower seed butter!

I also stopped into several grocery stores on the way back to try to put a dent in my stockpile of coupons. In addition to heavily discounted produce, I also picked up a free kashi meal, free tempeh, free cereal, and free yogurt πŸ˜€ The checkout people kept doing double-takes as they rang up my coupons.

By the time I got home, I had been gone for three hours and 3.5 miles of walking. I had a quick snack of a date with my last tsp of cashew-almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon:

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And then I went out for an inaugural run with the new sneakers! I could definitely feel the difference in my knees. I felt like I was running on clouds, sigh. I made it about 22 minutes until the muscles started giving me grief, so I took a 20-minute walk/run/stretch pain-break. Once things had calmed down, I resumed a solid run for the last 10 minutes. I think I usually run by wildly throwing my legs out in front of me (yeah, I’m sure that’s part of why I’m injured, too) but I noticed today that I felt a lot less pain when I focused on lifting my knees UP instead. I’ll have to make a point of this on future runs. Anyhoo, stats: 55 minutes, 421 calories, 144 average heart rate, 168 max. It was probably around 4 miles total. After the run, I did most of the 20-minute Yoga for Runners — sometimes I just can’t keep my attention on it long enough to finish!

Now I’m off to go finish dyeing my hair, do a little wedding fashion show so I can figure out what to pack, and then start packing! I will hopefully be back soon — I should have a good amount of airport downtime perfectly suited to blogging tomorrow πŸ™‚

Are your days off busier than your days on?

Erin at I Walk In This World is going to be hosting a bake sale/auction next week to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Go check it out!