Snacks, Snacks, & more snacks

Happy Friday!

Last night got busy so I never ended up getting to post. My eating was a little goofy yesterday since I had a late lunch and then went with Chris to finally go pick up his family at LAX. I never got an official dinner, just snacked on a whole bunch of things, but it was fine by me. However, my veggie intake was pretty low since the salad shown below were my only vegetables all day.

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In the afternoon I snacked on some grapes (per usual) and finally decided to start making lunch when I felt hungry around 3. I made myself a spinach strawberry salad and a cheese crisp. The cheese crisp is something I used to love to eat at Mexican restaurants and is basically just an open face tortilla with cheese. I used a la tortilla factory wrap, some smart balance, shredded cheddar, and Adobo seasoning- with spicy salsa for dipping- yum!

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This would be a good and easy party appetizer now that I look at it.DSCN0435

I made my dad a grilled cheese and a salad with a ton of stuff in it. I just thought the browning of the grilled cheese was too beautiful not to include 😛 I’m still the master at grilled cheeses. hehe

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I packed an apple, yogurt,banana and Kind bar for the car and am glad I did since it turned out to be my dinner! It was yummy though and I couldn’t wait to try the Kind bar after hearing a lot about them on other blogs. I thought it was good, with the perfect amount of sweetness and chewiness.DSCN0440 DSCN0442 When I got home I felt like I was still a little hungry and had some Peanut Butter Puffins, some popcorn with chocolate Chex mixed in, and also some dried banana & of course, grapes! (not pictured)

This morning I woke up at 8 to go to spinning class. I hadn’t been to a class in 3 weeks, which is very rare for me since I had been going 2-3 times a week. I was just getting tired of the routine because you have to get there at least 30 minutes early to get your name on the list and 45 if you want to claim a good bike. Since I’ve been getting good workouts with my bike and running outside, I have slept in and skipped the classes & pretty much the gym altogether for 3 weeks now.

It was good to be back in the class and a little harder than 3 weeks ago, but not bad. It’s funny to go back though because it’s like I’ve never left. Everything is the same including the people, the teacher, the mad rush to get a bike… I don’t know if it’s depressing or refreshing, but I just found it funny. Though I do like the gym and spinning, I really have been enjoying my workouts outside and in the fresh air.

Before the gym I made myself a bowl of oats to take to the gym and eat in the locker room (always so fun). My camera battery was dying this morning and this is the only picture I could snap.

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The mix was pretty much the same as yesterday except minus the pecans & Barney Butter instead of chocolate pb.

-1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

-1 small banana, cinnamon

-Barney butter on top

-Chocolate/Caramel/Almond/Cranberry Trail mix (I LOVE this topping!)

I’m just waiting for my dad right now and we’re going to go to lunch and run some errands. I’m not sure of my weekend plans yet, except I know I have a lot to clean my room, bathroom, car, and the rest of the house before Monday. My mom gets back from Arizona Monday and is bringing my aunt back with her whose never seen the house before so I want it to look nice. I’m sure I’ll manage to sneak in some fun this weekend though. 😀 I really want to see Adventureland, but Chris’ 14-year-old nephew is coming to town so I doubt we’ll get to go since it’s rated R. I am excited though because I just saw that there is going to be a Sex & the City 2 movie due out May 2010– yippee! 😀

Well I’m off to lunch. Have a good start to your weekend!

Dark Chocolate Dreams

I woke up abruptly this morning when Chris realized he had set his alarm for the wrong time and instead of 7:50 it was 8:50 and he had 10 minutes to get out the door. I quickly ran downstairs to make him some breakfast for the road & a snack. I usually make him a smoothie as well, but instead I just poured him some OJ in a to-go cup. Hopefully he’ll make it on time for his accounting test!

I woke up in the middle of the night with a huge craving for a cinnamon roll- it was strange. I must’ve been dreaming about them, but when I woke up all I wanted was some chocolate-oatmeal. After he left I made myself a decadent bowl of oats.

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Chocolate-Inspired Oats:
-1/4 cup oat bran

-1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon

-1 small banana

-.25 oz of pecan bits cooked in (inspired by Tina)

-1 TBSP New trail mix topping (almonds, choco chips, caramel chips)

-1 spoonful of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB

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I loved the new trail mix on top & the pecan addition. It felt like I was eating dessert for breakfast.

Today I was originally going to go with my Dad up to Los Angeles to pick up Chris’ family from the airport since he’s in school all day, but his mom just called me and said they have a 3 hour delay out of Washington, D.C.–ouch! Looks like Chris will be able to pick them up after all, which frees up my day. I really need to clean, organize and finish decorating my room… I just need to find the motivation to do so. 😛

Totally worth it

One of my baking experiments today was wheat bread. I combined two different recipes and was going for a lighter bread because the only other time I tried to make wheat bread it weighed about 9 lbs and was really dense. However, this one turned out super flat and still pretty dense. I’m not quite sure what happened, but that’s what I get for messing with recipes.

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I tried a piece and it was actually pretty good. It kind of reminds me of a whole wheat Panera baguette without the seeds. It won’t work as great as I had planned for sandwiches, but I’m sure I’ll still put it to good use. Maybe I’ll try croutons again- I’m determined to get them right!

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I met my friend at BJ’s who actually brought another friend I knew from high school and we had a good time. It was good to catch up with them. I had a chicken caesar salad which was delicious. We got a pizookie (a pizza cookie) which BJ’s is known for.

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It was half peanut butter cookie half double chocolate chip & the waiter was funny and came back and added the squares of ghiradelli to the top. I think he felt bad that he took a really long time in the beginning to get our food.

After dinner, I stopped by the grocery store (2nd time today) because there were a bunch of good sales I saw earlier, but was on my bike and knew I couldn’t try to get it all.

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I totally splurged on expensive items I don’t usually buy, but I figured it’s food and what the hell, right?! I rarely clothes shopping so if my big “splurges” are fun food items I figure I deserve it 🙂 (I am such a dork!!)

The loot included:

-Izze- Pomegranate (for Chris & Dad)

-Pre Juices (they boasted about probiotics, also for Chris)

-Almond milk: chocolate & vanilla

-Wheat flour, White flour

-Almond Nut Thin crackers

-Health is Wealth Spinach Munchees

-Odwalla Banana Nut bar

-Chocolate Easter Eggs

-Dried Goji Berries

-Barney Butter: crunchy!!!

I was excited about Barney Butter- I haven’t been buying it because of it’s $9.00 price tag, but it’s worth it!

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When I got home I had to remember what Barney butter tasted like and what better way than on a banana? Also, some more grapes since I’m an addict.

Today probably wasn’t the best day to splurge on groceries considering sales tax went up today- sheesh.

Blogging 3 times a day is pretty crazy, not sure how people do it regularly. I haven’t even read any blogs today yet. I think I did a pretty good job capturing everything besides the salad, random grapes, crackers & goji berries I sampled, & a pack of gum. (Yes, I’m also a gum addict. Gum & Grapes are my vices)

Time to go read some blogs 😀

**I just ate another piece of the bread, man I need to eat less often… lol

Oh Happy Day!

This afternoon was very relaxing and enjoyable– just like everyday should be. I did some baking projects I wanted to get to, but they aren’t done yet so I’ll post when they are.

I went for a bike ride and stopped by the grocery store on the way home.  Before my bike ride I had some grapes. I was excited to get on my bike because I got it tuned up yesterday; the gears were making funny noises. Well it is still making strange noises in the first gear, but then finally becomes quiet- I’ll have to ask my dad what’s up with it or if that’s normal. I got so caught up in my biking and baking that I realized I needed to eat asap. When I got home I chowed on a lot of carrots (more than shown here) and made Chris a veggie sandwich cuz he was hungry too.

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DSCN0408 Mmm… check out all those veggies, I wish that was my lunch, but unfortunately my tastes aren’t that evolved yet…. yet.

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So instead I had a turkey-spinach wrap on a La Tortilla Factory wrap. And some more fruit. It was almost 6:00 before I sat down to eat this and I’m meeting Jess at 8, so I kept it lighter. My meal times have been kinda screwy in the last week since I’ve been sleeping in so late, but once again, I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

I’m watching Oprah right now about “weight loss in the public eye.” They had Valerie Bertinelli, Marie Osmond, and Star Jones on. I liked a few things they had to say about being healthy and not just thin, but each one had some sort of aid. Valerie is Jenny Craig, Marie is Nutra-system, and Star Jones had gastric bypass and hid it. I just think that it says you can’t do it on your own- which you CAN. It may even be easier than trying to eat that nutra-system sh**!! I’ve heard so many bad things about how nasty that food is and saw my aunt’s huge, un-refrigerated box of processed meals over this summer. I even took a look at the nutrition information and was not impressed. They had lots of sodium, not to mention it was hard to find an ingredient I could pronounce let alone knew what it was. Yuck. I just think it’s sad that people watching who need help are going to think they need a packaged meal program or surgery to get healthy. However, some people really do need those things for success, so I guess that is good. Thank god I’m not a celebrity, because I wouldn’t be able to have tabloids and tons of people talking about me when I couldn’t even handle my one friend’s comments lol.

Now I’m just waiting to go to dinner and snacking on some grapes in the meantime. My baking project just came out of the bread maker and looks like a flop… I’ll let you know how it turned out for sure after proper taste testing 😉

Party in a Bowl

Have I mentioned how much I love my bread maker?! It’s sooo simple and easy. I did make pizza dough in it the other day (thanks for the suggestion, Sarah)which turned out perfect. I just forgot to photograph it because we were in a hurry that night. Last night I made more cinnamon raisin bread with a different recipe and I think this one turned out even better.

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I toasted and buttered a few slices for Chris this morning on his way off to work and had a small slice for myself. Yumm

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But of course I couldn’t skip my oatmeal- I was craving a fun mixture today so I went with my trail mix oats in my new bowl. I love adding the trail mix on top because it feels like a party in a bowl.

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-1/4 cup oat bran, 1/2 c water, 1/2 c skim milk

-1 large banana, 1/2 added in beginning, half added towards end

-dash of cinnamon

-1 Tbsp PB on spoon

-2 Tbsp Trail mix topping

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I love how it gets while eating it- when the chocolate pieces melt and get all mixed in. It looks like a pollock creation or if you stare at it long enough it sort of becomes gross looking. It was delicious nonetheless & I enjoyed every bite.

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Shortly after I was craving some fruit so I had a banana and some grapes. 

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Like the cute bowl my mom painted? It’s adorable but took her at least 4 hours! She’s such a perfectionist when it comes to pottery painting and gets so serious and focused- it’s quite funny and cute.

I’ve been having a great morning. I woke up to 2 very sweet e-mails from Sarah and Louise, my sister, about my last post. Thanks, guys, you are the best 😀 I feel so much better and am going to write a quick note back to the girl today just to let her know I’m fine and I am going to slowly let our friendship go. It really doesn’t have much to do with her e-mail, just what I’ve been feeling for a long time. Plus she’s getting married in 2 months so I’m sure things will be changing a lot anyways. Once I do that, I think I will finally be done with this thing that I made way too big of a deal about. Oh well, you can’t help how you react sometimes I suppose but thanks again for everything.

My plans for today are to continue to be a lazy bum and enjoy my last week before school starts. (Gotta enjoy it while you can, right?!) I have dinner plans tonight with an old friend from high school that I haven’t seen since I moved back to Cali. It should be good to catchup with her. Hope everyone’s having a great Wednesday!

P.S. I know the mind is powerful, but dang my legs are sore today!!

The Power of the Mind

The brain is a lot more powerful than I often realize. This weekend I was in some sort of funk. I was feeling like a complete bum and had little motivation to exercise or eat healthy, which is really unlike me. It all started with an e-mail from my “friend” that I let get to my head and affect me way too much.

The girl and I were best friends in middle school and then she moved away after 8th grade and we’ve kept in touch through e-mails and infrequent visits. I saw her over the summer and just felt like she had changed a lot and we weren’t as close as we used to be. We’ve still kept in touch through e-mail though and I never told her I was feeling uneasy about our friendship. After my sprint triathlon I sent pictures to my family & to her to let them know what I was up to and I was also proud of my accomplishment.

Everyone who I sent the pictures to wrote back with really sweet responses- saying how healthy and happy and fit I look and how proud they are of me. The e-mails made me really happy and I even saved them. This is the response I got back from my “friend”:

Speaking of working out and such… Ashley, I love you to death, and I don’t want you to get mad at me, but I’m worried about you. I definitely think you’ve done a great job with working out and changing your eating habits, but I honestly think you may have lost too much weight at this point. I already told Shane I was kinda worried about how tiny you were when we went to the beach this summer, but when I saw the pictures of you at the triathlon I really got worried. There’s one picture where your hands are really clear, and your hands don’t look like a normal 20 year olds… they look really bony, almost like an elderly persons hands. I’m not saying this to be mean, and I don’t think you’re anorexic or anything by any means, I’m just afraid that maybe you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet or something for the amount of exercise you’re doing. Not only did your hands worry me, but in almost every picture I could see the bones in your arms/shoulders, and not the way it looks on most. The definition of the bones was too clear in my opinion, and like I said I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just worried about you. I love you though, and I really hope you’re not mad at me, I’m just concerned.

Immediately after reading this I broke out into tears. I was just hurt, mostly by the part about my hands. It flashed a picture of myself as an old, wrinkly, skinny anorexic person in my head. It made me felt like I was a freak or had a problem. I see pictures of anorexic people or super skinny celebrities and think “yuck.” I don’t want to look like that and I never started my weight loss to look super skinny. Sure, I wanted to lose weight and be happier with how I looked, but my main focus has always been health. So for someone to tell me I didn’t look healthy really upset me.

My dad and Chris read it and calmed me down, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I ended up going on a huge binge that night; I’ve never binged like that before and it was not a fun experience. I didn’t let myself feel guilty though and just went to bed and called it a day. I just was surprised at how I acted.

I still haven’t responded to my friend and I don’t know what to think. Our friendship was already tainted in my eyes before and this just made me think she doesn’t really care about me. I understand being concerned and she hasn’t seen me lose the weight on a day-t0-day basis, but to me it just seems like she is jealous or something. She didn’t even congratulate me on my triathlon. I know deep down I’m healthy and don’t have a problem, it just made me mad and sad how she put it. I don’t know, but I really never thought I would be that hurt that someone said I was skinny. I always heard it’s just as bad to call someone skinny as it is fat, but I never understood it. Now I do.

I feel better since everyone’s reassured me that I look fine and am healthy and doing it right. My friend is probably the one who actually has a problem because she eats a ton of junk and has a big stomach and people often ask her if she’s pregnant. I’ve re-read the e-mail a few times and don’t think it was as bad as when I first read it & I even looked at the pictures again to see what she was talking about and see if maybe I really am too skinny. The pictures I think she’s talking about my hands actually do make them look really freaky. After the bike ride it was freezing and raining and my hands were absolutely numb, so in the pictures they are vain-y and bony and don’t normally look like that. It’s a funny picture to begin with:

Anyways, sorry I just had to get that off my chest. Anybody have any thoughts or similar experiences?

On to happier things… I ran the farthest I’ve ever ran today! 8. 25 miles! I planned on doing 6-7 miles and felt good so kept going. I kept thinking how it’s all in the mind, my body was fine and I just kept going. I really want to do a 1/2 marathon in Laguna Hills on memorial day but the things holding me back right now are are pretty much all fears. It’s 55 bucks which is kinda a lot just to run, but I really loved the tri experience and would love to do another race. I’m scared of not being able to finish, getting tired of running while training, or hurting myself from trying to do too much. I think I should get beyond those fears though and today showed me that I physically can do it (most likely) and will have 7 weeks to improve my mileage.  It would be awesome if I could run 13.1 miles because I feel so great that I ran 8.25 straight and never thought I would have been able to do that in my life.

Oh and since I originally intended this to be a food blog, here’s some of my food pictures from the last few days 😛

DSCN0380 Oatmeal topped with banana & PB drizzle

Love the bowl like Tina’s!

DSCN0364Oatmeal w/pb & chocolate chipsDSCN0370 Strawberry/Craisin SaladDSCN0371 Arnold Thins (that I’m savoring) with PB & Banana

That’s all for now, until I decide to randomly post again 🙂

Recap of Fun

This month has definitely proven to be as good as I hoped, even better actually! I’ve been busy having lots of fun celebrating my birthday, playing with my new toys I got, and finishing my first race ever, the sprint triathlon. Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to:

My 21st Birthday/St. Patrick’s Day included:

DSCN0272 A GIANT bowl of oatmeal

DSCN0278 Sprinkles Cupcakes (aka Heaven in my mouth!)

and of course….

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It was a great time and I luckily didn’t get sick or hung over. I got a bunch of awesome gifts and was especially excited about the following:

DSCN0316DSCN0325 DSCN0229   Measuring cups,  a bread machine, & a new bike!! I know, I’m so spoiled but am sooo thankful. (Thank you everyone for the great gifts)

Race:

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Sunday was my sprint triathlon & oh my gosh, I had a blast!! It was early in the morning, cold, and began to rain halfway through, but I had a great time and finished which was my goal. I actually exceeded my own expectations. I finished in a total of 1:41:12.

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The split times were:

5k: 27:09

17 mile bike ride: 1:08:33

150 yd swim: 5:30

Not the fastest, but I was proud of myself & can finally see what is so addictive and fun about races. During the bike portion I was thinking “this is so crazy, but I’m loving it. It’s crazy that I’m loving it. Who am I?! I guess this is me..” If you would have told me about 3 or 4 years ago that I would be completing a triathlon, eat oatmeal every morning, and love healthy foods, I would probably look at you like you were insane. I never knew this would be me, I used to be the picky eater who would only eat grilled cheese and chicken fingers and couldn’t even run the mile in high school. It goes to show that really anything is possible.

I was also thinking it’s amusing how I pretty much accidentally became an athlete. I was among all these great athletes and I actually sort of fit in and could keep up. (Mention I didn’t say dominate… still a looonnngg way from that :-))

I would love to do more races in the future and plan on it, but right now my budget can’t afford the registration fees… blogger bake sale, anyone? Haha, just kidding- I think I need readers for that first 😛

Playing Around:

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I finally got to go paint pottery this month (twice!) and made these beautiful oatmeal bowls. I have to say- they’re my favorite thing I’ve ever made and I’ve already been putting them to plenty of use already. 😉

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I’ve also been putting my bread machine to work with these projects:

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Raisin Bread & Bagels

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So far my bread machine creations have been successes as far as taste goes. The bagels were pretty hard to make, but I took it as a challenge. They aren’t pretty, but the good taste is there which is the important part.

Well this was a very long recap of my latest “adventures.” Until next time!