Weekend Wrap Up!

Toffee at rocket fizz

Hey everybody! I had so much fun this weekend, despite the 102 degree heat in my hometown…  Friday night, Matt and I had dinner at our favorite local Indian food place, Clay Oven. I ordered Matar Paneer in honor of my paneer-flop from the night before. It was deeeeelicious! After dinner, we went next door to Rocket Fizz, a soda and candy shop! We sampled a couple different types of toffee and I tried a low-cal rootbeer, sweetened with honey. It was only 30 calories and so refreshing to try a soda made with natural ingredients as opposed to buckets of aspartame, nutrisweet, sucralose, etc.

Pre-lobster snoozing on the sand

On Saturday, I went to water aerobics with my buddy Virginia and did some aqua-cardio for an hour. The fun in the sun didn’t stop, because Matt and I headed out to Zuma beach in Malibu where he boogie-boarded in the waves while I read and accidentally fell asleep on the sand. Note to self, and helpful hint for everyone else: If there is even a SLIGHT possibility that you will fall asleep on the beach, RE-APPLY SUNSCREEN. I am stupidly suffering from my mistake and cringing every time the crease of skin behind my knee cap moves, which is often. My legs seriously look like I’m wearing red tights, and the best part is how white my bum is in comparison. My lower half looks like a peppermint. No, it’s not sexy. Who says wisdom comes with age?

After the beach we went and saw Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is a very interesting film. Slightly depressing, but really interesting to see and learn about the people of Louisiana who live in the impoverished “bathtub” and choose to live free from modern civilization. It was a phenomenal acting job by the 5-year-old who played “Hushpuppy”, but it’s not a movie I’d pick again for a feel-good Saturday night flick.

Shelley and I rock the golden togas

Today, we went to a Golden Christmas in July party! My sweet friend Merrie hosted with her friends Brian and Erin at their gorgeous house in Thousand Oaks. The party was catered with amazing turkey, ham, roast potatoes and cheeses, and I kept well hydrated on the free flowing lemonade and iced tea. Because my friend Shelley is a creative genius, she came up with these gold togas and hair flowers for the party. Aren’t we cute? She’ll be selling homemade toffee soon… it’s out of this world, you can bet I’m going to link it as soon as her site is up!

Sweet, sweet watery relief.

 

One of the highlights of the party, besides the wonderful people and amazing food, was the crystal clear pool. I waded in and it felt like a chorus of angels singing sweet cooling relief to my sun-chapped calves. Don’t I look ecstatic? At this point Shelley and I had changed out of our stylish gold togas, because while as glittery and beautiful as they were, we quickly learned that Lamé does not breathe. It was a fabulous party, and after several hours I had to peel myself away from the cheese tray and head back to the ‘burbs to work on my thesis.

This weekend was jam packed with fun times, and while I had some food challenges (cheese tray, popcorn, birthday cake), I didn’t majorly overdo it and managed to squeeze in some exercise. I’ll be posting a weight-in post soon, but if you’ve been following the My Fitness Pal counter on the side of the blog, I’m down about 7 pounds when the scale is accurate kind to me. The past week has been a little wacky and I’ve been yo-yoing a  bit, but I think that’s more due to some salty choices and weird heat than actual weight gain, because my jeans are feeling loose. (I LOVE that feeling. Such a good feeling.)

Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful week! I start my new job tomorrow, so send me some happy first day vibes, please! 🙂 What did you do this weekend that was fun?

 

 

 

Tempatation: Salty or Sweet?

Happy Wednesday, Double Chinners! Some of you may know that I’m in a cupcake decorating class. It’s been a fun creative outlet for me besides studying and I’m taking it with an old friend from college. Sounds fun, creative and interesting – but doesn’t sound conducive to weight loss, right? Well… I think you might be surprised to know, it ain’t no thang at all! I’m a classic salt lover – give me a pile of tortilla chips over a cookie any day! I’m especially not a huge cake fan (I had to learn to like birthday cake, even), so I knew a cupcake decorating class wouldn’t be a big deal for me.

Luau Cupcakes with Fondant Plumeria and Tiki Men

In class Saturday, we made Luau themed cupcakes, with hand-formed fondant plumeria, graham cracker crumb “sand” and hand drawn fondant tiki men. They’re super cute, right? I ate one out of 17 cupcakes (7 points sans fondant), and now they’re gone – given away to coworkers and friends and neighbors. It’s weird to me that I can have a gorgeous display of homemade cupcakes in my house and cease to even notice they exist, but a bag of tortilla chips is like crack, beckoning to me from the pantry with its salty, crunchy lore.

In fact, I often have little bowls of candy around my home – I love having a bowl of treats for when guests come over, usually something like dark chocolate Doves or like right now, crunchy malted Robin’s Eggs. Again, the candy doesn’t get me into trouble. Occasionally I may have a couple here and there, but it’s never a trigger for me like salty and crunchy are. I can’t even allow myself to buy tortilla chips anymore, because I’ll keep dipping into the bag until I’m shocked that I’ve eaten half a bag on “study breaks”.

Do you have a preference for salty or sweet? Do you find one or the other sets off cravings or triggers?

Low Cost Bounty

  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 leeks
  • 8 turnips
  • 2 beets (my new obsession – for some reason i thought i didn’t like them. They’re so tasty!)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 pounds of apples (for juicing)
  • 5 pounds of satsumas (these are like candy!)
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts (roasted with lemon and evoo -yum)
  • 1/4 pound dried peaches (a delicious snack)
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 1 cluster of ginger

That’s a lot of food, right? For $25, Matt and I strolled out of the Farmer’s Market with stuffed bags and hungry bellies. Did I mention it’s all organic? One of my favorite community activities is going to the farmer’s market. I think it’s an amazing way to support local businesses and operations, and you really score awesome savings on produce. (And we saw Gwyneth Paltrow and her mom there this week!)

This food would have easily cost me double what it had if I had gotten it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Tonight I was in Trader Joes and their trimmed leeks were $2.89 for two of them. I paid $1.50 at the farmer’s market. TJ’s beets were $2.50 for two. I paid $2 for two. Their ginger was $1.89 for a tiny little cluster – we paid $1.

When I first started eating healthy, I used to complain that it cost way more money to eat healthy. Today I realize I’m wrong. It only costs more money in that when you buy healthy things, like fruit and vegetables, you eat more of it because it goes bad faster. In that regards, yes, healthy food can add up because you’re buying more of it. But when I think about how much better I feel after eating a clementine compared to a candy bar? So worth the tiny bump in price.

To save on things like lettuce that last a little bit longer, I buy the jumbo pack of romaine hearts from Costco. It’s $2.89 for six romaine hearts. I chop them up and spin and dry them and then I have tons of salad ready to go for the week. I buy some perishables at the 99c store, because often times, they’ve got overstocked organic mushrooms or bell peppers waiting for someone to take them home. Sure, they might be lopsided or have a little ding in them, but who cares? It all ends up in my belly anyways.

How do you save money when you’re eating healthy? Do you think it’s more expensive to eat healthy? Why or why not?

 

The Last Hurrah

Last night, I celebrated the “last hurrah”. The last hurrah for what, you ask? For my impending membership in…. Weight Watchers! After Alycia’s inspiring guest post and the fact that my work finally got the monthly-pass option, and that they’ve reworked the points plus system, I wanted to give it another try. Not to mention my flex spend account will cover Weight Watchers for 2012 – so I really had no reason not to give it a go. (And if I run into similar issues like I did last time with the meeting/leader, I can now attend meetings other than at work.) Our first meeting is on Thursday.

Sangria Sampler, yum!

Anyways, we had a groupon for Muvico – an awesome movie theatre in Thousand Oaks that has age 21+ movies where you can bring wine and beer into the theatre, and feast on free popcorn! We met up with our friends Shelley and Daniel for a double date! Before the movie, we had a light dinner at the Lazy Dog Coffee. I started my evening with a delicious Sangria sampler consisting of Red Pomegranate, White Peach and Black Currant Rose. The white peach was definitely my favorite – and Shelley’s too! I also had some super tasty lettuce wraps.

Lettuce Wraps

After dinner, we headed in to the movie theatre to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This movie theatre had very plush, reclining seats that also gently rocked back and forth. With my hot, salty popcorn (Fresh from the popper!) I was a happy girl.

POPCORRRRRN!

The movie was really good – very suspenseful and with a strong (albeit a little nutty) female lead. I was enjoying a healthy buzz from my sangria sampler, which regretfully lead to the inhalation of one bag of sourpatch watermelon slices and about a bag and a half of popcorn. I pigged out, and am not proud of it as the bloat from crazy salt manifested itself as an 8 pound gain on the scale this morning 😐

However, I know it’s 8 pounds full of salt and water and little pieces of candy floating around, so I’m not that worried. I’m back on track after my last hurrah, and even spent 35 minutes sweating my butt off on an incline 6 on the treadmill at the gym today. I’m ready to get started… and have even started tracking again! Here’s to hoping this time around I can make Weight Watchers work for me, by consistently tracking, being honest and keeping up the exercise. In this case, my last hurrah was exactly what I needed to get mentally prepared for some of the changes I need to make in the coming months.

When you’re getting ready for a diet or “lifestyle change” (I hate both of those terms), do you ever give yourself a “last hurrah”?

 

 

Cat Tales, Sugar Highs and Candy Cauldrons

Copy Cats!

Hello everyone! How was your Halloween? After a day of sugar, pizza, cheese, mini cupcakes and soda, I can 100% say I’m ready to eat CLEAN! My work put on a great party – excellent for celebrating with my fellow copy cats. (I’m a copywriter and so is every other gal in this photo… so… get it?) They provided pizza, cupcakes, pasta, cookies, candy and soda – a lunch fit for sitting on our butts the rest of the day after! (PS – My pal Amy, second from right, just got engaged!!!! CONGRATS, Amy!)

After work, the party continued at my place where we passed out candy, ate gouda cheese with crackers, and celebrated spooky Halloween! My friend Kozue is in town for a few nights from Japan,  and it was the beautiful Sophie’s birthday, so Julie baked her a delicious funfetti cake. Happy Birthday, Sophie!

After running out of candy last year, Matt and I were prepared and bought two giant sacks from Costco. Good idea to be prepared, right? Or, bad idea to have tons of candy around in the event that we get few tricker treaters? Unfortunately we had way less kids this year – and we ended up with a cauldron full of sour patch kids, swedish fish and various chocolates. Thankfully, the hungry web developers at work have taken care of half of it… other than the mini snickers I just crammed in my mouth.

Party Animals

It was a small, low-key and perfect way to celebrate Halloween – with treasured friends, good conversation and tasty food. But as I said on Monday, now it’s time to get back on track and get down to business. I’m finally down 10 pounds and I don’t want any of it back!

After being on vacation, then getting really sick and now mucking through midterms, I can’t wait to hit the pavement and go for a good heart-pounding run, or zen out in Hatha yoga on Sunday, or sweat to the oldies with Richard Simmons. It’s time. I feel like a slug. It’s not a good feeling.

When the holidays come around, how do you fare? Are you able to resist temptation or are you like me, and struggle a little more with moderation? How’d your Halloween go?

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, bloggies! These are the pumpkins Matt and I carved. Mine is Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas, and Matt’s is…. some creepy thing with big sharp teeth.

We’re having a small group of friends over to help pass out candy, watch movies and eat treats. Luckily for me, I’m learning that treats don’t all have to be sugary! In addition to the cauldron of Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Reeses, M&Ms and Twix, we’ll have a giant veggie platter heaping with celery, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and cucumbers. We also have goat cheese, gouda, light brie and Vinta crackers for a savory nibble.

We would have some of these if they hadn’t all been eaten in a voracious cleaning frenzy… After carving our pumpkins, I washed the seeds to remove the gooey pumpkin guts and tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and some creole seasoning. The result was delicious! Pumpkin seeds have such a fresh, unusual taste to them – and lightly roasting them brings out this wonderful nutty flavor.

I’ve found it a little challenging to eat healthy this week when I’ve been surrounded by candy and junk, but now that I’m finally getting over this horrible cold, I’m excited to head back to the gym and get back into my fitness routine. I’ve been doing okay at keeping my hands out of the candy cauldron, but the hectic pace of the week kept me from doing my best in terms of nutrition.

What do you have planned for Halloween – tricks, treats or none of the above?