Big Day Off & Paying Rent

Well what do you know, looks like it’s Monday again! I hope you all had a quiet, relaxing weekend. Or maybe it was wild and crazy.. whichever you prefer! I [and Nathan] made every attempt to make our weekend as relaxing as possible. Work has been running me ragged lately so when I have a full day off, I take full advantage.

Saturday, I slept in till about 7:30 [hey, no alarm is a wonderful thing, even at that hour!], had a leisurely breakfast on the couch in my jammies, and got myself together to go to the farmers’ market. We’ve been loving all of the fruit from the market; the strawberries and oranges, in particular, have been outrageous! We loaded up on produce and a special porcini salami from Boccalone, and headed home to pack up a picnic.

The weather has been perfect lately; practically 70 and sunny everyday. A couple miles of sunshine later, we reached the top of the hill and unpacked the goodies.

Mountain View Cemetary

Boccalone Salami Cabot Cheddar Cheese Strawberries La Farine Medjool Dates Charles Shaw Chardonnay Blue Diamond Almonds

There’s nothing a jar full of chardonnay can’t fix, am I right? 😉 That and a post-hike nap and Chinese food for dinner. It was the perfect Saturday.

Yesterday was back to work opening the gym. As I said, working 3 jobs has been running me into the ground. Multiple 10-12 hour days, sometimes between all 3 places, has been tough. I’ve been working on balancing the jobs with the rest of my life; figuring out how to find time to eat, cook, spend time with Nathan, and get in my own workouts has been a bit of a struggle at times. Sometimes I have the opportunity to cook dinner in the middle of the day to take to work with me in the evening. And sometimes by the time I get home to see Nathan, all I can do is brush my teeth and pass out.

As I attempt to figure out my workouts, I find that letting somethings go by the wayside are coming back to bite me in the butt. I totally burned myself out on cardio and almost stopped running all together. I’ve been trying to slowly get back into it, even just once a week. Rather than saying my run yesterday was frustrating, I’d like to call it humbling. After expressing my feelings to Nathan, he shared this quote with me.

Success isnt owned, its leased and rent is due everyday. JJ Watt

Of course, I would be naive to think I can stop running and pick right back up where I left off. But just as I’m learning to find balance in my life, I’m learning to re-balance my workouts and sometimes that just means taking more days like Saturday when I can. And sometimes weekends like this have to end in brinner because that’s just the darn best.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Brinner! Roasted sweet potatoes and brussels topped with an egg.
Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Eggs Heinz Ketchup
MondayLemon Moroccan chicken with za’atar roasted cauliflower
TuesdayCashew chicken
WednesdayThai basil turkey rice bowls
Thursday – Saturday – Friends in town!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
What kind of “paying rent” lessons have you learned lately?

What I Ate Wednesday #47: Weekend Favorites

Last weekend was another one for the books. We did a lot of running around and had a ton of fun but I think I’m paying for it this week. Don’t worry though, I’m catching up on my sleep at work 😉

I forgot to snap pictures of a bunch of meals so I thought I’d highlight some of my favorites from the weekend.

Kona Grill Effen Cucumber Mojito Baltimore Maryland MD

Effen Cucumber Mojito at Kona Grill

I met Nathan at Kona Grill for happy hour before a last-minute Orioles game and got this awesome cocktail. It’s on their skinny menu [I’m the expensive one during happy hour..] and is a mix of Effen cucumber vodka [best name ever], mint, cucumber, and splenda simple syrup. I skipped on the sweetener because I know I love cucumber vodka as it is. This drink was so refreshing! I’m definitely going to be making it at home.

Plantain Bread Powercakes Purely Twins Protein Plus Peanut Flour KIND Snacks Granola

Plantain flatbread topped with peanut fluff and granola

Summer Fridays at work are the best. I get to leave work at 3:30 and I love to head home and make myself a snack instead of eating a bar like I do every other day. This time I tried plantain bread. I used recipes from Powercakes and the Purely Twins as a guide and made my own. Serves 1-2.

Ingredients
– 1 plantain- 1 tbsp ground flax*
– 1/2 tbsp coconut oil*
– 1/2 cup water

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a loaf pan. Blend all ingredients together and pour into the pan. Let rest a few minutes, then bake 20-25 minutes.

I topped mine with peanut fluff [peanut flour*, stevia*, and water] and some granola for crunch.

*These ingredients can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Grilled Zucchini Eggplant Corn Tuscan Ragu Parmesan Charles Shaw Merlot

Grilled veggies, Nathan’s Tuscan ragu, parmesan, & merlot. Perfect Friday dinner!

Friday night, we stayed in. I grilled up some zucchini, corn, sweet potato, and kale, mixed it with some of Nathan’s delicious Tuscan-style ragu, and topped with grated parmesan. This is one of my favorite meals lately; it’s like a big bowl of comfort! I may have also polished off the bottle of merlot.. it looked lonely. It wasn’t full when I started though!

Bobs Red Mill Protein TVP Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Sunbutter Zekes Coffee

Protein-Packed TVP Oats

Breakfast is always a highlight for me and my protein-packed TVP oats are the best. I always top with 3 different kinds of nut or seed butters and a little granola; this one has a homemade pumpkin seed butter, crunchy coconut peanut butter, and sunbutter. SO good!

Saturday night, we went out with Nathan’s sister. Before dinner, we took her to Brewer’s Art for some local brews and rosemary garlic fries. We went downstairs to the dark beer cave. It’s a fun atmosphere with, what we refer to as “mob” rooms. I tried to take pictures of the delicious food and drink, but it was just too dark.

Masala Dosa Indigma Indian Baltimore Maryland MD

Masala Dosa with coconut chutney at Indigma

Indigma Lamb Special Vegetable Coconut Korma Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetable Coconut Korma & Indigma Lamb Special at Indigma

After drinks, we went over to Indigma for some Indian food. We shared the huga masala dosa, a potato-stuffed rice and lentil crepe with coconut chutney. I could pass on the potato stuffing next time and just go for the crispy crepe! It was delicious nonetheless. They also brought another flatbread to the table that tasted like it had strawberries in it.. I’m not sure exactly what it was but gosh darnit was it tasty!

Nathan and I shared two entrees; the vegetable coconut korma [which I primarily ate] and the Indigma lamb special [primarily for Nathan]. He ordered his spicy so he must not have wanted to share too much 😉 They were both so flavorful and surprisingly not too heavy. We left there absolutely stuffed and will definitely be going back! Next time, we’ll hit up the lunch buffet so we can try more 🙂

Food for Thought

What is your favorite type of cuisine? Are you adventurous or do you typically stick to American?

What I Ate Wednesday #19 – Road Trip and a Case of Wine

Have you entered my tortilla popchips giveaway yet? It ends this Friday, so don’t miss out! The new tortilla flavors are fantastic!

Ever since Nathan and I took our rainy day trip to Trader Joe’s for the Two-Buck Chuck, we’ve been wanting to go back and get a case. And buy a case (and a half), we did!

Charles Shaw Wine Trader Joes

On Sunday, we decided to hit the road. But not after a delicious breakfast!

Powercakes Power Pumpkin Roll Caphe Banh Mi Vermicelli Pork Bowl Nutz Over Chocolate Luna General Tso Chicken Coconut Oil Roasted Broccoli Zucchini

[Breakfast]
Powercakes Power Pumpkin Roll. It was featured in my Weekender Top 5 as well as my Top 5 in Review. I loved it and would absolutely make it again!

[Lunch]
As with our first trip to Alexandria, we went back to Caphe Banh Mi for lunch. I was thisclose to getting the traditional pho that Nathan ordered last time, but at the last minute, I decided to change my order to the pork vermicelli bowl. Definitely the right choice! The pork was delicious and I love pickled carrots and daikon.

[Snack]
This cute little Nutz Over Chocolate Luna mini was part of my swag bag from my last race. I’d never had this flavor before and it was the perfect sweet treat to hold me over until dinner.

[Dinner]
Pan-seared chicken breast, finished in the oven with a general tso glaze and coconut oil roasted broccoli, zucchini, and red onion. It was light and flavorful and hit the spot.

[Goals Update!]
In my WIAW Holiday Recovery post a couple weeks ago, I mentioned having a 5K on September 29th and I was determined to beat my previous time of 26:08. I’m pleased to be able to update you and say that I ran that 5K on Saturday in 25:47 at a 7:51 min/mile pace!

[Halloween Treats]
Recently I made Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Brittany of Eating Bird Food. They were a hit with Nathan, my family, and my coworkers! If you’re looking for a healthier tasty treat during the Halloween season, this is a great way to satisfy that craving!

Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Eating Bird Food

Food for Thought

What are your favorite healthy treats to snack on around Halloween time?

What I Ate Wednesday #14 – Rainy Day Adventures

We had some awesome plans last Saturday to rise and shine super early and head to Rehoboth Beach for the day. We haven’t been to the beach at all this summer so I was looking forward to it all week!

And then the weather forecast changed. To rain. All day. What do you even do when you’re at the beach and it’s raining? Exactly.

Well, fine then! We slept in, had a nice, relaxing morning, and then packed up and headed over to Alexandria, VA for the day! For what, you ask? Wine.

But not just any wine. Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck. Yep. We drove 1.5 hrs each way for Trader Joe’s wine. Don’t worry, we got some good eats on the way too!

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Peas and Crayons Coach's Oats Pop's Ice Cream Caphe Banh Mi Alexandria Virginia VA Trader Joes

[Breakfast]
Cinnamon protein Coach’s Oats, topped (of course) with Earth Balance coconut peanut spread and fig. Naturally, I had my Tone It Up Bombshell Spell and some coffee with almond milk on the side. Perfect way to start the day!

[Snack]
A relaxing morning turned into a very late lunch, so I munched on some baby carrots in the car. Nothing exciting.. or worth picturing.

[Lunch]
Here’s the exciting part. We googled for a good 30 minutes looking for the best place to go for lunch and ended up at Caphe Banh Mi. If you’re in the Alexandria area, definitely go!

We started out with a vegetarian summer roll with tofu, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and other veggies with a peanut dipping sauce. The sauce made it for me.. anything peanut [butter] related is a big green light! For our meals, we both tried pho (our first time!) Nathan got the traditional and I got the chicken. Traditional is the way to go! The beef was so rich and delicious and I could have eaten all of his! But instead, I ate all of mine. Topped with bean sprouts and fresh Thai basil. YUM!

[Snack]
Old towne is such a cute place! We walked around looking for a place to get a sweet treat and found Pop’s. Peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream. This is no joke. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it (because I ate it too quickly), but that sample picture will do. I would make the drive for the ice cream.

[Dinner]
Late lunch + snack = late [lazy] dinner. Steamed some broccoli in the microwave, topped it with chicken and bbq sauce, and called it a day!

[Summer Staple]
Wine! Yep, I went there. Every summer day is better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe’s in Maryland doesn’t sell wine and we’ve heard so many good things about it. But the biggest thing is that we’re trying to find every way to cut back on our wedding budget, so when Nathan heard about Two-Buck Chuck taking home a big prize, we knew we had to give it a try.

Results are in! And it was totally worth the drive. Wedding attendants, get ready for some Two-Buck Chuck! 🙂

Speak Up!

Where is your favorite place to day-trip? Have you ever taken a day trip for a meal? … Or a drink? 😉