Adventure Friday: Milk And Cookies And Yoga

Today’s Happy Note: Listening to my body.  I had this whole big workout planned for the evening, but when I got home from work I realized I wanted to do something a bit simpler!  At first I was nervous to ditch my plans for an hour long run followed by an hour yoga class.  I just went to the class and am so glad I did.  It was the perfect amount of movement!  Often, I am afraid to do a shorter, less intense workout (although yoga is actually pretty hard!).  But my body knows when it needs a break and I’m proud of myself for listening.

Perhaps a long run is in store for tomorrow.  We shall see.

I also walked a few miles today all over the place.  I went in search of dumbbells at TJMaxx but was unsuccessful. Where else should I look for low-priced sports equipment?

Announcements, announcements, announnnnnncements!

I have decided to stop tracking my calories!  May not sound like a big deal but it seems significant to me.  I’ve been doing it for a few months and I think I’m at a point where I have a better idea of what portions should be, what kind of food combinations keep me full, and how much I need on different days.  SparkPeople was definitely useful, but I think that if I go too much further with it, it might become obsessive and I do NOT want that.  I have become more intuitive with my food choices and am excited to improve even more, learning how to eat when I’m hungry and nourishing myself well.  With things like raspberry sorbet, of course.

So what was that splendiferous looking dessert from yesterday?

Warmed-up brownie (that I somehow burnt in the microwave) topped with raspberry sorbet and crunchy peanut butter.  That’s it.  So simple, yet so splendid.  I feel like this was a really eloquent dessert.  Does that make any sense?

I used this kind of sorbet:

It’s called Talenti and the flavor is Roman Raspberry.  Smooth, icy, sweet, deep.  Yum.  Okay, so I have a story now.  And I like to talk so I am going to tell it to you.

I thought that I didn’t like sorbet — I mean why not just go for the Ben and Jerry’s, right?  But when I was “home” (in MI) at my mother’s house, she bought this about two days before I left.  She bought it especially for me and I didn’t get a chance to try it (I was out for dinners, didn’t want it for dessert, etc.).  For some reason, this sorbet took on a massive emotional meaning for me.  I literally got to my apartment in NY and cried over it.  I wanted to be with my mother, eating it in the backyard in the evening, watching the peonies open.  I still want this.  But I live here, in NY, by myself right now.  And I confess: I am lonely.  I bought the sorbet a few days ago because it made me feel closer to “home.”  I’ll probably make a picnic for myself for the holiday.  And eat alone in the park.  My friends aren’t here right now.  Loneliness is a terrible feeling.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Being lonely and anti-social has, time and again, proved to be one of the worst things for my mental health.  I seriously spent like ten minutes talking to the cashier at TJ’s this evening.  I will have to find ways to be social and meet new people this summer.  It’s not really an option.  I need people.  Making friends as an adult is hard.

Eats hodgepodge!

I like it when egg yolks get golden yellow, and they’re somewhere between drippy and solid.

Adventure Friday

Being that today is Cookie Friday and Adventure Friday (as every Friday is, I suppose!), why not combine them?  I wanted to run to a new bakery, but just was not in a running mood so I combined a trip to Milk and Cookies with my visit to Yoga Vida. It was a pleasant little end of the week adventure.  Not too strenuous, but still invigorating.  When are cookies and yoga not invigorating, though? 🙂

Milk and Cookies is a bakery near Union Square that is pretty well known for their cookies.  I think Ada first told me about it actually.  I went to their smaller branch which is actually inside of another store.  The woman behind the counter was really warm and welcoming.  She smiled and let me take my time and even pulled the rack of cookie sheets closer so I could get a good look at my options.  So far, so good.  I thought chocolate chip caramel, chocolate mint, and chocolate chip peanut butter sounded good.  I settled on the latter.

The good: Nice chunks of chocolate and peanuts, not too thin or too thick, decent flavor, perfect size.

The bad: The texture was off — there was no chewy, gooey soft factor and the flavor was just okay.  Too dry.  Peanuts were bland.

Overall, I think I’d rather have a bigger, undoubtedly more calorie dense cookie like the one I had from Levain.  This one was just okay.  My home made ones are definitely better.  With that said, I would love to go back to Milk and Cookies and try some of their other flavors, which may be better. Anyone else been there?

I would describe the flavor as dense, slightly chewy (but not enough), too typical, and not sweet enough or bold enough.

Advertisements

Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note: I now have a beautiful temporary tattoo of a dolphin on my left arm.  My life is complete.

Lazy day again!  I did a 30 minute ab/cardio workout video this evening with my mom.  It was called “Envy Abs” and was actually pretty good.  I hadn’t done a lot of the moves before so it was unpredictable.

Adventure Friday:

Kate went on an Adventure Monday here!  So happy my idea is rubbing off.  It really is fun — I always look forward to my adventures throughout the week.

Today’s adventure?  Visiting my best friend from high school and her family’s seven dogs.  There were actually eight there today since an extra dog was visiting.

Eddy (I *think* that’s who this one is) says hello!  He was trying to eat my…

…coconut milk green tea ice cream!  Seeing as today was supposed to be an adventure at all, when we wound up at the grocery store and wandered past the alternative ice cream aisle, I knew it was fate: it was my time to try the coconut milk ice cream.  The verdict?  Pretty tasty, but with a slightly odd aftertaste.  It honestly tasted like a slightly less creamy version of standard green tea ice cream.  I would like to try more of their flavors this summer and will probably eat this one again as well!

I know this was kind of a lame adventure; I didn’t take too many pictures.  But trust me, being climbed on by eight rambunctious dogs is no picnic.  For some reason they all really liked my feet…

I have always been a cat person but I also love dogs.  When I have my own apartment I want to get a cat, since I think it will be easier to take care of.  I really do like dogs though.  I want to name my cat Stanley.  Or Ceaser.  Or Miller.

Are you a cat or a dog person?  Or neither or both?

It’s been raining cats and dogs here today (pun intended) so adventure options were a bit limited.  I desperately wanted to run but it was, quite literally, pouring.  And it’s supposed to tomorrow as well!  At least the plants will be well-watered.

Eats hodgepodge:

Okay so this was a smoothie made with plain yogurt, water, frozen blackberries, ice, and chocolate amazing meal.  It was disgusting.  I didn’t want to waster it so I added loads of stevia to mask the flavor but yeah, it had a distinct, unappealing grassy flavor.  And I actually like grassy flavor — but this was a bit extreme.  I feel like it’s this kind of food that gives health food a bad name.  For your own sake, don’t buy it.

I do, however, love all the Amazing Grass bars!

Frozen fruit in cereal is really delicious.  Crunchy and cold but also smooth, sweet and satisfying.  You should try it!  And yes, that is peanut butter in my bowl.  I am obsessed with peanut butter — I might even call it my favorite food — and will add it to pretty much everything.

Blondie bars with lots of secret ingredients including cherries — the fruit Michigan is most famous for!  With a glass of milk for dipping.  These are being sent to a friend but I had to test one or two for quality control purposes, of course. 🙂

I want to make scones this summer.  A lot.  With fresh berries and warm butter on top. Nom nom nom.

I may have had the most random dinner I’ve ever consumed tonight: a few unpictured bites of steak with a warm apple with cinnamon and pb.  Hey, it was exactly what I wanted!

Lots of links to catch you guys up on!

Averie is giving away Naturally Nutty here.

Ever wanted to know how a vegan ultramarathoner eats? Check out this New York Times article.

I have a reader (hi Xenia!) who writes a sporting goods/sporting events blog called Be In The Game.  Definitely check it out if you need any equipment or are a traditional sports fan!

And finally, a fun Lite Choice contest here!  Their frozen dessert is one of the most delicious I’ve ever had.  Go support TLC!

That’s all for tonight.  Maybe I’ll be more fun tomorrow.  This rain needs to go away!

Happy Rewards and Silly Friends

Today’s Happy Note: Guess who just finished her junior year of college? 🙂

And boy am I ready to be done.  This week has been exhausting.  I am very ready for summer!  I actually like working a lot and I feel more adult during the summer.  I don’t tend to run wild and I love how the season lets me get into a rhythm and a schedule in the way that the school year really doesn’t.  I am planning a few exciting little projects to keep me entertained so stay tuned!

I decided to celebrate my little junior year graduation with two of my favorite things: Oprah magazine and frozen yogurt!

I like to have a balance of food and non-food rewards, so a frozen treat combined with a magazine is perfect for me!  My next big accomplishment will probably be rewarded with a massage!  Hmm, I’ll have to think of something to accomplish 🙂

Do you reward yourself?  If so, what is your favorite little treat?

Finals Health Week Challenge:

Yesterday (day 4) was kind of meh.  I had a lot to do so I knew I wasn’t really going to have time for a workout.  I might have had room for a walk if I hadn’t procrastinated so much.  People are always shocked to hear this but I am actually a major procrastinator!  On everything.  And it just turned into one of those days where you almost don’t have the energy to think up meals or snacks so you just eat cereal all day.  Does anyone else ever do this?  Hey, I had a lot of frozen fruit with my cereal.  That counts for something!

Mash-up of eats from yesterday and today:

Lots of healthy nom nom noms.

I think I did pretty well today (day 5).  I did a relaxing but pretty quick nine miler this morning and walked another two or so miles this evening.  I think my amount of physical activity today probably made up for not doing too much yesterday!  I’ve had a nice mix of treats and nutrition, too: dried berries, popcorn, raisins, peppers and broccoli, chocolate, spinach, frozen yogurt.  You get the picture.  I had two really nice, clear mental moments today too: once was after I finished writing my contemporary civilization exam (my last one).  I suddenly realized that I am a smart woman!  I just wrote, like, 15 pages about the implications of liberty for human equality in the political state!  I don’t think I’m stupid.  🙂  The next moment came this evening at the movies with friends, when we were goofing around and taking funny pictures of each other.  I saw a picture of me and one of my friends and for the first time in a long time, my immediate reaction was “gosh, that girl looks pretty and interesting”, rather than “that girl looks fat.”  Sounds silly, but this is a big deal for me!

I did have an Adventure today for Adventure Friday (saw Ironman II with friends — surprisingly good) but am too tired to write about it!  I am planning on having an adventure tomorrow though so you guys won’t be too adventure deprived.

I think this picture pretty much sums up the evening!  My friends and I are quite silly…We were trying to pose in front of the Sex and The City poster but it didn’t really work out.

Has anyone done an Adventure Friday post? If so, send me the link and I would love to read it and share it with my other readers!

I hope you all have a most wonderful weekend filled with lots of laughter and contentment!  And pretty May flowers too!

Adventure Friday!

Today’s Happy Note: Grocery shopping!   Never fails to make me happy.  And I had some pretty good finds too, like TJ’s mini peanut butter cups and sole fillets on sale at Whole Foods.

Hello friends!  Happy Friday evening.  I had a very exciting day filled with adventures galore!  At the office this morning someone referred to “going on an adventure” and my ears perked right up.  Immediately, I pictured pirates and princesses and dragons and giants.  Actually, the adventure only involved picking up huge boxes from the mail room. But an adventure is an adventure and I like them all.  Seriously, you could probably tell me that the most boring analytical political paper ever (which I will be writing this weekend) was an adventure and I’d probably enjoy it.  Note to self: said paper is an adventure.

Guess what?  I have an apartment for the summer!!!!!!! Perfect location, price, etc.   It’s huge and in a beautiful old building on the UWS with a doorman.  And the woman who owns it doesn’t actually live there!  She works there some afternoons/evenings, and it’s been in her family for over 50 years.  Basically I will have the space to myself some of the time!  It’s pretty fabulous (and beautifully decorated).  The bedroom alone is about twice the size of my current dorm room, and cheaper.  I’m excited!

Exercise: 30 minutes of arm weights and 30 minutes HIIT on elliptical this morning.  When I do this combo I think of it as a power hour.  And it is!  I had to lug around multiple (heavy) bags of groceries later on in the day and I felt really strong doing it.  And I can definitely see more definition in my arms.  I never seem to see much ab definition though.  I can have rock solid arms and legs and the abs will just be, well…there.  Anybody else have this problem?

I also walked at least another 4 miles throughout the day (mostly on my adventure).

Lunch was yummy and Caribbean-inspired!

Romaine base topped with carrots, plantains, coconut rice, and pinto beans.  This tasted surprisingly yummy all mixed up!

I wasn’t in the mood for a cookie for Cookie Friday, but did want a treat.  I found just what I was looking for at the WF bakery…

Rocky Road Brownie! This was so perfectly rich and delicious.  I had a spoonful of my newfound maranatha dark chocolate almond “spread” (no idea why it is a “spread” and not a “butter”) on the side.  Pure chocolatey heaven.  I hope there is chocolate in heaven.

Adventure Friday:

Recap of Adventure Friday #1

Recap of Adventure Friday #2

I was planning on going to the Cloisters but didn’t have enough time because of visiting the apartment.  I needed something to do in a two hour block of time.  Enter…

The Central Park Conservatory Garden:

It was a most beautiful day and walking to the gardens and back was lovely!  A wee bit warm, but the piercing blue of the sky and the lazy, dragging leaves made up for it.  You guys know I like my plants, and today was a day for plants indeed. I saw many of my favorites — lilacs, lilies of the valley, honeysuckle, bluebell.  I also saw a ton of willows.  I think willows might be my favorite tree.  Either that or Japanese maple or white pine.  Hmmmm…

Do you have a favorite flowering plant?  Tree?

My sister became obsessed with edible wildlife when we were kids.  Someone gave her a book about what you can and can’t eat in the great outdoors and she latched onto it for years; if we went to a park or a lake or a botanical garden (what?  you didn’t go on trips to botanical gardens as a kid?), the book went too.  I quickly learned which berries could and could not be eaten, how to properly suck on honeysuckles, and that pine needles are edible.  I have forgotten most of the specifics, but the two of us used to take great joy in rambling around the woods looking for things to eat.  Today reminded me of that!  I started thinking of all the things in the gardens that could be edible…

Alright, I have just admitted one of the major quirks of my childhood.  Now you have to share.

This was a very pleasant little Adventure Friday!  I highly recommend the gardens; it’s nice to find spots of greenery and natural beauty in the city.

I have a monster headache and am off to steam myself and drink gallons of water!  I want to do a long run this weekend, but I know that it might not be the best plan given that I still feel sick and now sound like I have whooping cough…or tuberculosis…or something.  Blech.

Anyone doing anything fun for the weekend? I will be writing three papers!  Yay  Hope everyone else has a fun few days filled with outdoor activities (i.e., not sitting in the library looking like a vampire)!

Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note:  I got housing for next year!  Yay!  I wasn’t guaranteed housing because I took a semester off so this was very good news.

More good news? Fifteen page paper #1 is done!  More on that under “Adventure Friday” section (trust me, it was quite the adventure).

Exercise: I did 7.5 easy miles yesterday morning and 5 tonight.  I have never tried doing HIIT for an outdoor run before, but it worked pretty well!  I did a mile warm-up then about two miles with 10 x 1 minute all out sprinkled in.  I then ran another two miles to the gym for weights.  I pretty much just did a full body workout today.  I have gotten a lot better at dips (on the assist machine) and can now do twice as many as when I started buckling down on strength after the NYC half-marathon.

Funny story: It turns out that the mega-strong guys who seem to be able to effortlessly lift hundreds of pounds are actually quite sweet!  I have noticed that they are always very respectful of me in the weight room, which I would estimate is usually about 95-98% male.  They always offer to let me work in with them and they don’t stare at me.  Today, I was doing this one arm exercise thingy (wow, I am really knowledgeable about weight lifting terminology) with a 15 pound dumbbell.  This is pretty much the heaviest dumbbell I am ever capable of using.  There were a bunch of un-racked weights on the floor around me, including a set of 30 pounders, which I clearly wasn’t using.  But this very strong looking guy came up and politely asked me if I was using them or if he could use them!  It was kind of sexy actually, I won’t lie.  I mean what could be wrong with men who are simultaneously strong and powerful and sweet and kind?  Nothing, me thinks.

Eats: Finals time means easily eatable eats!  I am finding simple ways of getting in lots of produce, like veg/fruit bowls, pre-made salads from the cafe (expensive, but worth it for the moment), smoothies, and stir-fries.  Anyone have any awesome tips for getting in plenty of produce on a super tight schedule (and a budget)?

Couldn’t forget cookie Friday 🙂  See this post from Tina for some lovely cookies, including mine from last week!

I heart smoothie froth!  I’m debating whether or not I should buy a box of cereal or two for the upcoming week.  I tend to go overboard with cereal so I don’t usually keep it around, but I know that between studying, paper writing, regular activities, etc. I’m going to be very pressed for time and cereal is an easy, decent meal solution. I can add fruit and nuts to increase the nutritionals or make an on-the-go trail mix.  Cereal is such an easy food, but I don’t want my diet to be, well, cereal for the next two weeks.  Decision, decisions…

Fun Caronae Fact: I am one of the most indecisive people the world has ever seen.  I could never ever run a company or teach a class.  I can’t even decide what to order in restaurants.

Adventure Friday!

Today’s (and yesterday’s) adventure may not have involved leaving the room, but it was quite interesting!  I am taking a class on the Arabian Nights (aka One Thousand and One Nights) and Islam and had to write a 15 page final paper on anything that had to do with those two things.  I absolutely adore books — I consider them to be one of my best friends.  Give me a giant pile of books to dive into and I will be one happy clam.  But don’t make me eat the clam because I’m allergic.  And the Arabian Nights are absolutely fascinating!  The real version is not the picture book version you heard as a child.  The stories are full of scandal, beauty, imagery, sex, thievery, transgressions, passion, and food.  They are, quite simply, a delight.  While we have been reading various stories and interpretations all semester, I really got into yesterday and today.  Not to be cheesy, but it felt like I had my own little magic carpet taking me all around the world!

Book pile:

Sticky notes=easy quote finding!  Paper is all done:

I could go on and on about books and words.  They’re such good friends, in a very real way, I think.  They absolutely constitute an adventure for me.  I love libraries, archives (I work in one!), bookstores, journals, old pages, letters, inky pens.  I love it all.  Sometimes when I’m lonely I start reading a book and the moments in that book, whether happy or sad, bright or gloomy, take me to a different place and remind me that there are different times in life: sometimes I will experience love, sometimes loss.  Ultimately, I will find other humans with whom to connect, on the page at the very least.  I’m currently reading Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens and The Arabs: A History (for class but quite spectacular).

Some of the books that have changed my life:

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Pablo Neruda’s Selected Poems

Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

Harry Potter series (no, I’m not joking)

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime And Punishment

Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece

What are some of your favorite books?  Do you feel the same way about them as I do or am I just a total weirdo?

Happy happy weekend!

PS — wordpress changed their main dashboard, it seems, and I am VERY confused.  Can’t figure out how to add tags or how to publish, although I suppose that by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably have figured that one out…

Adventure Friday, Groceries, Exercise: What The Cool College Kids Are Doing

Today’s Happy Note: I was productive!  Crammed a lot into the day (all things I wanted to be doing) which always feels good!

I’m dead tired right now (see happy note).  But I do have some fun things to share with you all before I pass out.  At 11:00.  On a Friday night.   I know, I am a really really cool college student. Oh, and warning: this post is very wordy.  Read at your own peril.

Exercise: I definitely overdid it on the physical activity today,but it was unintentional.  It’s strange to me how people can be sedentary when there are so many thing to do!  Although I am spoiled by New York, I will admit.  Anyways, I hit up the gym this morning for some strength training (40 minutes of hard work!) and HIIT (30 minutes on the elliptical, also hard work!)

I probably walked about a mile in the morning and early afternoon just moving between buildings.  After work, it was time for one of my most favorite activities, grocery shopping!  This is another thing that all the cool college students are doing nowadays. Getting excited about buying romaine and english cucumbers and dried mango and almond butter.  Seriously, why do people even need parties?

I ended up walking pretty far with the grocery bags — unintentional arm workout #2.  As soon as I was back from a very active grocery trip it was time to head out the door to yoga!  My cousin and I have a standing Friday night date at yoga.  It’s really fun!  Although she’ll be gone for a few weeks and i don’t have a yoga buddy. 😦  Anyone want to join me?

It was just the two of us and a very hot teacher.  I won’t lie, I have trouble concentrating on the yoga when the teacher is a super attractive, young male.  It’s just hard, ya know?  And I am totally not one of those girls who giggles over every boy she sees.  At all.  AND he was an amazing teacher.  He taught me a few new poses, helped us align/adjust, and gave super-duper massages.  The class was killer though!  If I would have just gone to this and that would have been my only movement all day, I’d have been wiped!

After that I made grocery run #2 to Trader Joe’s.  It was pouring rain and chilly, but I was already near Union Square and wasn’t going to waste the Subway fare to come back down again later!  I ended up walking with my new groceries pretty far again and probably walked another mile or two.  Unintentional arm workout #3.  Seriously, my arms are dead just typing right now.  I hope I’m alive tomorrow.

Wow that was an epic day of exercise.  Do you guys ever have days like that where you are just go go go and you end up moving  A LOT?

Friday Adventures!

I know Janetha (and other bloggers too!) does a little post called Flashback Fridays.  I always want to do it but can never think of what to write!  But then I realized, as I was having a little adventure this afternoon, that this is a very exciting time in my life filled with so many fun and amazing activities, encounters, and experiences.  I can never remember anything fun from the past to write about so why not do an Adventure Friday instead?  Feel free to share your adventures in the comments or to do your own post about it!

Seeing as it was Cookie Friday, per Tina, I decided to make a little Cookie Friday/Adventure Friday fusion quest.  Wow.  Cool college student.  Again.  So cool.  Ada told me about a yummy bakery called Levain last week, so I headed out this afternoon in search of their famous cookies.

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a tiny, adorable little storefront.  It was on a side street, but the line was still out the door.  Don’t worry though, it moved quickly, and I did not experience any cookie hunger pangs.  They only offer four flavors in an effort to keep everything simple, clean, and tasty.  And they most certainly succeed in this.  After much deliberation I settled on the chocolate chip walnut.

Oh.  Dear.  Lord.  It is a good place this bakery is more located two miles from me.  This cookie is abut the size of your entire hand and more than two times as thick, kind of like a scone.  I have no idea how they managed to achieve a gooey, warm center and a perfectly golden, gently crisp outside with such a seriously thick cookie.  But they did.  I don’t think I have ever encountered so many fillings in a cookie either, including those that I have made (and I tend to be rather heavy handed with the add-ins).  There was, like, a pound of walnuts and chocolate chips in there.  Each.  I can’t think of any cookie I have ever had in my life that was better than this.  It’s possible that there has been one that I don’t recall.  But this is now my number one.  There is just one minor problem…

It was $4.00!  I do not now, nor will I ever, I suspect, have room for $4.00 cookies in my budget.  I was willing to buy one and try it once but, unless I win the lottery or someone buys me one of their cookies, I will not be going back.  You heard me Levain: your cookies are exorbitantly priced.  I know this is true because there were SO many customers there; clearly they were raising the price because the demand is so high.  I guarantee that these cookies do not have $4.00 worth of ingredients in them.  So they have lost one customer, despite their deliciousness.

Okay so that was really only part I of the adventure…

I went to Whole Foods for groceries afterwards and there was a certain special someone in their normal sample area.  A special someone, you ask?  Who?  Well I’ll tell you who…

A vita-mix salesperson.  And boxes and boxes of vita-mixes.  I chatted him up for a good fifteen minutes and tried to explain how desperate I am for a vita-mix.  He basically laughed in my face.  Apparently vita-mix is a very elitist appliance.  But one that I covet, nonetheless.  I stared at them for another several minutes and then almost burst into tears.  I am not exaggerating; at certain times of the month I get weirdly emotionally vulnerable, so it’s not entirely my fault.  But as I was walking away from the vita-mixes, I almost cried.  I teared up.  It was that sad.  Okay, at this point it has become clear to me that I am probably one of the weirdest college students on the entire planet. But I’m okay with that!  Being a little weird never killed anybody.

I am making a promise to myself: when I graduate from school and have a full time, and hopefully well-paying, job, this will be my very first big purchase.  For myself.  A vita-mix.  I do not want a fancy dress or a designer bag or a trip to a spa.  I.  Want.  A.  Vita-mix.  And I will save every last penny and buy the damn thing for myself!

Although I have eaten many yummy things today, including new TJ’s finds, I think that’s enough for now!

Lots to do tomorrow!  I like busy days 🙂

Happy weeeekkkkkeeeennndddd!