Thursday, June 28, 2012

my less serious day: calcium edition

Osteoporosis runs in my family and my small frame puts me at high risk of the disease. Today, I tracked my calcium intake. Percentages of the recommended dietary allowance (1,000 mg/day for men & women 19-50 years of age) of calcium for each food is indicated in parentheses below. Today, I consumed 128% of my daily calcium recommended dietary allowance. No worries though, anything between 100% - 250% can be safely consumed.

Bones of steal, baby.


Jeans: GAP; blouse: Banana outlet; necklace: LOFT; flatforms <3: Blowfish.


This morning was my day off of running and I hit the stationary bike for a 35-minute ramp interval ride followed by a 15-minute walk with the pup. I also took L on a 10-minute walk on my lunch break. The day concluded with a 60-minute Body Pump class followed by one more 15-minute walk.


Pre-workout I had 1/2 banana (0.25%), 1/2 mug of black coffee, and 1 pint of water. For breakfast I had this bowl (x2) of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal (0%) mixed with Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans (0%) and Post shredded wheat (0.5%), 1/2 sliced banana (0.25%), and almond milk (90%; this is 2 cups worth of Silk Original Almond milk, conservatively - i like it milky). Breakfast calcium total: 91%.

Note: If not for drinking this almond milk and this quantity, I would have not made 100%. This brand of almond milk has 50% more calcium than dairy milk. Consuming my cereal with 2 cups of dairy milk would have put my daily total at about 83%. And because I can't consume soy products, almond milk is the choice for me!

Lunch was a romaine lettuce (0%) salad topped with tomatoes (1%), carrot (1%), 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese (8%), 2 hard-boiled eggs (5%), red wine vinegar, and Sriracha. Lunch calcium total: 15%.

My afternoon snack was a Pink Lady apple (1%) and almonds (5%). Snack calcium total: 6%.

Dinner was a baked sweet potato (4%) sprinkled with cinnamon, roasted eggplant (1%), baked chicken topped with Italian herbs (1%), and feta cheese (9%). Dinner calcium total: 15%.

Dessert was dark chocolate pudding mousse (Jell-o brand) (0%), peanut butter (0.5%) and Post shredded wheat (0.5%). The shredded wheat was dipped in pudding/peanut butter goodness, clearly. Dessert calcium total: 1%.

Note: this post represents what happened in my world on Wednesday, June 27. 

Previous special edition my less serious day posts:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 40

 Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl (x2) of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal mixed with Kellogg's All-Bran, 1/2 sliced banana, and almond milk.

Figure 2. Lunch: a spinach salad with tomato, 1/2 avocado, cashews, balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of agave nectar.
Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Pink Lady apple, Post shredded wheat, and cocoa-roast almonds.

 Figure 4. Snack so I don't die while cooking dinner: Bugs Bunny style carrot.

Figure 5. Dinner: Annie's mac and cheese, two hard-boiled eggs, and roasted asparagus with garlic and fresh lemon juice. And I repeat, hard-boiled eggs and mac and cheese is a fantastic combination.

Figure 6. Dessert: a Pink Lady apple with chocolate Greek yogurt dip (1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt + 2 T cocoa powder + 1 t vanilla extract + chopped dark chocolate).

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, June 26).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the 20-minutes method: results

I know you guys were starting to doubt my ability to eat slowly at all. Don't feel bad - I don't blame you, as most test methods in this experiment have been unsuccessful. Just when I was starting to lose all hope, my final method in the eating slowly experiment, the 20-minutes method came along and slowed me down.


Well, what can I say? I'm a scientist and I like numbers. I immediately was drawn to the exactness of this method. Time 20 minutes, eat slowly enough. I think I knew from the beginning that I could do this method and do it well. 

Despite the fact that timing your meals in front of others can be a slightly awkward thing to do, this method made me completely aware of my eating pace and was...successful. For the first couple of weeks I literally started my stop watch and the beginning of every meal and continuously checked my pace as I ate. The goal was usually to be about halfway through my meal at the 10-minute mark. Many meals lasted slightly less than 20 minutes and some meals lasted longer, but overall this method completely re-vamped my eating pace. Realizing that I can't carry around a stop watch forever, I switched to checking the wall clock at the beginning of each meal and gauged my eating that way.

If I finished my meal too early, which was inevitable for some smaller meals or certain meal types, I still made myself sit with my empty plate until my timer went off before heading back to the kitchen for considering seconds. Sometimes this pause revealed to me that I was still hungry and I was able to gauge and satisfy this need without acting like a ravaging kitchen-invading beast. And sometimes this revealed that I was completely satisfied. Both realizations are life changing.

This method, I think, could be my eating slowly saving grace.

Have you tried timing your meals? Comment on this post and/or e-mail me ( with your thoughts on the subject. This wraps up the last method in this experiment! Look for one final experiment 'discussion and conclusions' post in the coming weeks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

weekend review: he can cook

You may remember that my boyfriend recently left for a summer-long internship 6 hours away. This weekend I went to visit him and was told to sit down and peruse Pinterest and Twitter while he prepared a delicious and healthy home-cooked meal for the two of us. I did not argue with this arrangement.

And...he did the dishes.

Figure 1. In preparation: local farmers market pork chops topped with garlic and fresh rosemary.

Figure 2 (sorry for the dark photo, it was 9:30 by the time we ate). Saturday night's dinner courtesy of the boy: pork chops with a garlic and rosemary rub and a balsamic reduction, cream-cheese polenta, and roasted zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

my less serious day: home tour

My house is for rent and some guy came by to look at it before I had a chance to pick up. 

Just so you know, four pairs of post-run once-sweaty underwear hanging from your ceiling fan makes for an awkward home tour.


Top: Old Navy; skirt: Anthropologie; necklace: Target; heels: Tsubo.


This morning I went on a 30-minute run at working pace followed by a short 15-minute cool down walk with L. Tuesday means an after-work 60-minute kickboxing class. I finished the day with a 10-minute walk when I returned home.


Pre-workout I had 1/2 banana, 1/2 mug of black coffee, and 1 pint of water. For breakfast I had this bowl (times 2) of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal mixed with Kellogg's All-Bran, 1/2 sliced banana, and almond milk.

Lunch was a romaine lettuce salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, 1/4 avocado, cottage cheese, balsamic vinegar, and sunflower seeds.

My afternoon snack was a Golden Delicious apple and cocoa-dusted cashews.

Dinner was leftover sausage, goat cheese, and spinach fettuccine alongside roasted zucchini and squash.

Dessert was more cocoa-dusted cashews and a piece a of Belgian chocolate (dark chocolate with vanilla filling) my parents brought me back from their recent trip. To.die.for.

Note: this post represents what happened in my world on Tuesday, June 19. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 39

 Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl (times 2*) of Cheerios mixed with (hidden) Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates, & Pecans cereal, 1/2 sliced banana, and almond milk. *I have a new cereal-eating strategy (yes, I have eating strategies): because I like A LOT of milk and hate soggy cereal, I started separating my portion into two bowls and wait to add milk in the second until I'm finished with the first. Just when your cereal is starting to get soggy, you get to dive into a second crispy bowl. Brilliant. So brilliant it is worth the sad half-empty bowl photo.

Figure 2. Lunch: an Amy's Sonoma veggie burger drizzled in ketchup and a Golden Delicious apple dipped in a bowl of PB2.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a banana and homemade spicy honey roasted almonds.

Figure 4. Dinner: two runny eggs, a whole wheat English muffin topped with goat cheese, and asparagus sauteed in olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika.

Figure 5. Dessert: plain Greek yogurt, dark chocolate pudding mousse, and homemade healthy peanut butter honey granola.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Monday, June 18).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the unexpected color combination experiment: black + brown

I knew from the beginning of the unexpected color combination experiment that I wanted to create an outfit pairing black and brown. It may be the lack of appropriate pieces in my wardrobe, but this particular combination was a big challenge for me. But, given that this is the last pairing in this series, I knew I had to give a go.

Results. I paired this (I know it's hard to tell from the pictures) brown wide belt and brown pumps with this solid black dress and walked out the door. I was scared, friends. Shakin' in my heels. But as the hours passed, my love for this outfit grew and grew. Although I'm not sure if this had to do with the color pairing or more to do with the fact that wearing this dress feels like wearing pajamas.

Figure. Black next to potential brown shade choices.

My opinion is that as long as the brown isn't really, really dark it can pair with black. The key is to be deliberate with the pairing otherwise it will look like you just got dressed in the dark. If you are going to do this - do this.

Talk about ending on a positive note. Three, count them three, compliments happened on the day I wore black and brown together. And, just because two came from the same person on two separate occasions doesn't mean they don't count. I repeat, three.

In conclusion, black and brown was the most personally challenging and most successful color combination so far.

This marks the final pairing in the unexpected color combination experiment. Look for a 'discussion and conclusion' post in the coming weeks and be thinking about what fashion experiment you want to see next!

Monday, June 18, 2012

weekend review: quick and easy

This weekend was all about quick and easy. Meals and snacks that took 30 minutes or less to make. I'm just like Rachel Ray, except not completely obnoxious...

Figure 1. Friday night's dinner: sausage, goat cheese, and spinach fettuccine with roasted zucchini and summer squash. I used this recipe from Cooking Light except substituted spinach for the arugula and goat cheese for the pecorino Romano because that was what I had on hand. Delicious.

Figure 2. Saturday afternoon baking: spicy honey roasted almonds and cocoa-dusted cashews.

Figure 3. Saturday night's dinner: mushroom, corn, and poblano tacos topped with sharp cheddar cheese and plain Greek yogurt with a romaine lettuce salad with cilantro, grape tomatoes, and avocado tossed in spicy southwestern vinaigrette.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the fitness class experiment: Zumba

For those of you just joining in, the fitness class experiment is designed to encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone and try new (and sometimes daunting) group fitness classes. 


People love their Zumba. It seems everyone is doing it. And yet, Zumba still Despite this (highly irrational) fear, I recently gave Zumba a go for the fitness class experiment.

Results. Zumba is an energetic, Latin-inspired cardio dance class designed to be easy-to-follow, fun, and effective. The folks at Zumba Fitness® have designed this class that has taken the group fitness world by storm and you can find additional information on their website.The basic theme is each latin-inspired song has accompanying choreographed dance moves that get your body moving and your heart pumping.

My impression? I spent the majority of the class grasping for rhythm and flailing my arms in a slightly embarrassing spectacle. I may or may not have spent some of the class facing the wrong side of the room. Despite my difficulties (which have nothing to do with Zumba, per se, but more to do with my lack of coordination) I had fun, broke a sweat, and....smiled. The more I attend these unfamiliar classes the more I realize that no one cares how you look - everyone is just there to have fun and burn calories - and how that is accomplished is no big deal.

Compared to the other group fitness that I have attended so far, I found Zumba fairly comparable to Hip Hop HUSTLE, although I did find its Latin-based moves easier to follow than the hip hop madness. I still stand by my opinion that these classes would be a lot more successful  after a drink or two. I mean, two drinks in and I can bump and grind with the best of them. Can someone please arrange that?

No special equipment or anything is needed. I'd say anyone could walk in this class, have fun, and burn calories. Winning.

In conclusion, Zumba is a cardio-based Latin-inspired dance fitness class that took me outside of my comfort zone and left me sweaty and smiling. If you are like I was and haven't tried this class yet, give it a go. Worst comes to worst - you'll burn a few hundred calories and learn a few new dance moves.

(images 1, 2, 3)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

what i ate wednesday: issue 38

Figure 1. Breakfast: a bowl of (gasp!) Cheerios mixed with homemade peanut butter honey granola, 1/2 sliced banana, and almond milk.

Figure 2. Lunch: a spinach and green leaf lettuce salad with carrots, roasted red peppers, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, and balsmic vinegar.

Figure 3. Afternoon snack: a Gala apples and cocoa-dusted almonds.

Figure 4. Dinner: wild mushroom couscous, satueed asparagus, arugula, feta, 1/2 avocado, all mixed together and topped with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

 Figure 5. Dessert: more peanut butter honey granola (obsessed) and blueberries.

And that concludes another What I Ate Wednesday (featuring what I ate Tuesday, June 12).

Monday, June 11, 2012

weekend review: life changing

Figure 2. A peak inside my kitchen while preparing Jenna's life-changing channa masala. India Palace, eat your heart out.

Figure 3. Saturday night's dinner: channa masala, rice, and roasted eggplant. This was hands down the most successful Indian meal I've created in my own kitchen so far. So good that I'm writing this post at nine the next morning and I kinda want to dig into my

Figure 4. Sunday morning baking: Anna's life-changing healthy peanut butter honey granola. At half the calories and more than twice the protein of traditional granola - I think I'm in love.

Figure 5. Sunday night's dinner: feta-stuffed chicken, a baked sweet potato drizzled in maple syrup and cinnamon, and green beans with pecans and maple vinaigrette.