Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hello World, It’s Marina Del Ray

I have no explanation for that title. It’s just stuck in my head and I love the Little Mermaid (it’s from the prequel: Ariel’s Beginning). Just that sort of day I guess :)

The other day I was in the mood for cookies but couldn’t decide on what I wanted to make. I ended up throwing many many things together ending up with Whole Wheat, Banana, Almond Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip cookies. They were good (gone in about 2 days!) but not quite cookie-like enough to share the recipe. Just a pic.


I’ve enjoyed a wide range of breakfast over the past few days. Trying to switch it up a little as well as have fun with the various type of fruit we got this week.


Banana Apple Oats with Almond Butter


Egg in a Basket and Grapefruit


Cocoa Banana Oats topped with Strawberries and Almonds


Spinach and Feta Omelet, Whole Wheat Toast, Banana and Strawberry Fruit Salad, Coffee (!)

And just for kicks, a closer look.



Something about my omelet was just perfect today and I inhaled it. Maybe it was the addition of feta (which I haven’t done in a while) or maybe it’s because I bought organic eggs for the first time. Either way, I think it was gone in a minute flat. hehehe.

Lunches have been pretty soupy again lately. I just love soup! Current favorites:





Oh and that little pear and tortilla combo I’ve got going on the side there? That is amazing.


TJ’s whole grain tortilla filled with a few slices of pear and 4 Italian Cheese mix. Drool.

So FYI, the weather in New England sucks again. I tried going out for a run the other day when there was no precipitation but it was so cold that my nose was running the whole time and I got a major headache (the cold does that to me for some reason). I only did 2.25 miles and walked a lot. The good news though is that I may be signing up for another 5k! Right now I’m registered for one on May 15th back home but there is 1 near Raf’s grandparent’s house on May 1 that I’m considering. Simmons Nutrition Liaison is also sponsoring an “Almost 5k” on April 30th which I might as well do to but registration isn’t open yet. So that will be 3 in just about 2 weeks time. Go me :)

Heading out to Worcester this afternoon for more thesis research. Yay for working on the weekend LOL.

Questions: Who immediately knew what movie I was quoting in my title? Or who else is just a big fan of The Little Mermaid? Have a different favorite Disney movie?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A, B, C, Easy as 1, 2, 3

I’m jumping on the bandwagon since I thought this was a pretty good way to get to know some fun things about people.

A.   Age: 23

B.   Bed size: Queen at both houses

C.   Chore you hate: I used to hate chores a lot more than I do now.  In fact I don’t mind doing the laundry or dishes anymore. Hello Susie Homemaker!

D.   Dogs: I’ve grown up with dogs my whole life.  Currently, I just have one – Lena, a soon to be 3 year old black lab.


E.   Essential start to your day: Sadly, checking my email :(

F.  Favorite color: Pink, both hot and light

G.  Gold or silver: Usually silver, or white gold

H.  Height: 5’ 3.5”

I.   Instruments you play: I played the trumpet from 5th-12th grade. Sometimes I miss it…

J.  Job title: Student

K.  Kids: Planning on a brood :)

L.  Live: Grew up in upstate NY, lived in Worcester MA for undergrad, and have now been in Boston for about 2 years for grad school. Most likely moving to D.C. in the future as well!

M. Mom’s name: Tammy


N.  Nicknames: Chrissy

O.  Overnight hospital stays: Well I broke my leg when I was 2. Don’t remember it though but I’m guessing I was there overnight 

P.  Pet peeve: When someone stops the microwave before it’s done and you seeing the blinking “9” seconds forever. Just press CLEAR!

Q.  Quote from a movie: And Shepherds we shall be, For thee, my Lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be. In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.

R.  Righty or Lefty: Righty.

S.   Siblings: Two older brothers: Brian (30) and Mike (27)


T.   Time you wake up: That’s extremely variable but I set the alarm between 8:30-9:30 during the week.

U.   Underwear: Vicky’s Secret.

V.    Vegetables you dislike: Peas, Kale (*gasp* hehe)

W.   What makes you run late: Sleeping

X.    X-rays you’ve had: Leg when I was 2. Like I said, it was broken. And dental ones of course.

Y.    Yummy food you make: That’s debatable, depends on who you ask :) I’m a big fan of breakfasts though. 

Z.     Zoo animal favorite: Leopard, or Tiger. I’m a big fan of wild cats!


Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about me :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

3 C’s – Cereal, Chipotle, & Crockpot Chili

During this low-key weekend I discovered a fabulous food combination.

  • Multigrain Cheerios
  • Uncle Sam Original Cereal
  • Berries of some variety

Example 1:


Example 2:


Simple but delicious.

Yesterday I also got Chipotle which I haven’t had in a very long time. I love how fresh everything is there. You can’t tell by the mound but I got a monstrous salad with -

  • Lettuce
  • “Fajita Veggies” = onions and peppers
  • Black Beans
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Cheese


Unfortunately my sweet tooth hit hard last night and I devoured a bunch of valentine’s hershey kisses. I’m giving up chocolate again for lent this year and that starts soon so I’m just getting my fill now :)

I ended up having to bring Raf to the airport early this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep by the time I got back at like 7:30AM. That resulted in me falling asleep on the couch this afternoon for a couple hours though.  I really dislike when that happens. Feels like a waste of time…

Now I bring to you the delicious vegetarian chili I decided to make today.  When I was driving back from the airport in the snow, I thought it would be the perfect day for a crockpot meal. It was so cold out!  So I chop chop chopped away this morning -  a couple onions, a couple green peppers, a red pepper, some garlic, couple cans of kidney beans, a can of black beans, a couple cans of diced tomatoes, and some seasoning packets.


Over some brown rice and add a dollap of plain Chobani.



I’m contemplating watching the Amanda Knox movie on Lifetime tonight. Anyone else planning on watching it?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Beautiful Days (cue U2)

The weather was just B-E-A-U-TIFUL yesterday and today. Loved it. So excited for Spring.  Ya know what else I’ve been loving again? Oatmeal. I rocked it the past two days plus I’m thinking more to come tomorrow.


  • 1/3 cup oats, 2/3 cup skim milk, 1/2 chopped apple, cinnamon, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp almond butter

I enjoyed it with much needed coffee as well. :) And before I let homework ruin the rest of the day, I went out for a glorious run. A wonderful, amazing, can’t believe how much I missed it, it’s been 2 months (!) run.  I’m still slow but guess how much I care.  Plus I’m sure all the ice jumping, climbing, sliding, and skating I did affected my time ;)


Yeah and bump that distance up to 4.75 miles roughly. Somehow it was calculating time but not distance for a while until I looked down and noticed. I think it’s because I turned it on while inside? Should probably read the manual instead of the quick guide for this thing.  I also assure you that my face was as pink as the hot pink running shirt I was wearing. I put too many layers on :(

Lunch was another meal that I’ve been having kind of frequently. The new egg sandwich:


  • Sandwich thin – hummus on one side, laughing cow wedge on the other, spinach, and an egg sprinkled with basil. Red pepper strips on the side.

One of my homework assignments yesterday involved discussion about stages of change (a frequent topic in my classes) and what we think would be the most frustrating (for you, the dietitian) stage a client/patient could be in. I chose precontemplation because the person might be really sick and not even realize how bad it is and isn’t ready to make a change in their diet.  It was frustrating just thinking about it, let alone actually being in the situation!

Dinner was also delicious might I add.


  • Cumin-rubbed salmon, asparagus, brown rice and beans

I had a really high protein intake yesterday compared to a lot of days recently! Just noticing………

Raf and I (and some friends) ended up going out to see Paul Van Dyke at Club Royale. It was a long night since I’m not really into trance/techno/house etc. and was followed up by Mcdonalds at 1:30AM. Yeah I went there. Deal with it ;)

It was rough getting up after only about 5.5 hours of sleep but I managed with 2 cups of coffee.  My super long day involved sitting at the nutrition table at Simmons Heart Healthy Fair followed by surveying customers at the Big Y in Walpole.  By the time I got home I just wanted to relax and got carried away reading the latest issue of Today’s Dietitian. I felt like such a dork when I got excited about a big article on fiber. Yup, I’m in the right profession! :)

Since I really only snacked on fruit and a larabar for “lunch” and was starving when I got back tonight, I threw together the quickest supper – pasta.


  • Penne (Barilla PLUS) with spinach, pinto beans, tomato sauce (no salt added!), and a sprinkle of mozzarella since we are out of parmesan. mix it up.

Last thing – a bunch of you have asked how P90X is going and how I’m liking it. It’s going pretty well. I’ve gotten used to most of the routines by now.  I’m doing the “Lean” version but I don’t really notice myself getting leaner. I do notice an increase in flexibility which is really one of my main goals so I’m very happy with that.  I like that having the schedule keeps me pretty accountable for getting in some sort of workout each day. I can be pretty lazy ;) so it’s a nice push. Are you other P90Xers liking it as well?

Did you have beautiful days to enjoy? Do anything fun? Share anything! Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Neverending Days

Can I just say that these past two days have felt like an eternity? I feel completely wiped out and it’s on Wednesday night :(

Let’s rewind.


It was cold yesterday so I felt tomato soup and grilled cheese was an appropriate lunch.  I even took the easy way out with my grilled cheese and just toasted the sandwich thin first then put it in the microwave with a slice of cheese haha.

Later I had class for Nutritional Epidemiology.  It’s probably the hardest class in all of grad school but at least it brings up interesting articles to read.  Our current discussions revolve around sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictor values.  Basically, how often is a screening tool giving true positive and true negative results and what’s the likelihood a result being positive.  In one of the articles for class, BMI was tested on adolescent boys and girls.  Turns out that it’s a pretty accurate measure for boys but not for girls.  Overweight (higher body fat) girls were being misclassified as normal weight.

Snackage during class went unphotographed but consisted of a Chobani Champions Verry Berry, some multigrain cheerios, a clementine, and red bell pepper strips. Weird mixture?

When I got home later that night I gobbled down a black bean/quinoa burger with guac and a bowl of butternut squash soup. Must have been a soupy day I guess!



Today was another long day that started out with a tasty breakfast. Did you know it’s National Almond Day? I celebrated with some almond butter on a sandwich thin with a banana. On the side I had a honey-nana Chobani Champion.


After Peapod was delivered, I couldn’t resist making a green monster with my last banana. Guess I’ll have to go to TJ’s again for those 19 cent darlings!


In the mix:

  • 1 banana
  • 4 large strawberries
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup skim milk

This afternoon I worked on a super secret mission with my thesis partner, Debi. I’ll give you two hints: it doesn’t involve thesis but it does involve youtube ;) I’ll keep you posted on what’s to come of it!

Afternoon snackage: BlueBran Vitatop, clementine, red bell pepper, Carrot Cake Larabar. I enjoyed this flavor of Larabar but wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites. The Blueberry Muffin was definitely better. Still 3 more to try though!


Tonight I had my Health Care class. I almost fell asleep that’s how stimulating the lecture is hehe.

Not that I’m counting but only 11 more weeks of school. Uh yeah.

And yes I’m still doing the P90X program. In the middle of week 4 right now!

Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Weekend 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know a lot of people are cynical about this day but I love love so it makes me a happy girl :)

I won’t recap everything because I haven’t posted since Thursday and that is a lot of food to cover! But I will show you this delicious, albeit not pretty looking, quesadilla I made on Friday. I took some leftover chicken, broccoli, black beans and mixed it with diced tomato, onion and garlic. Put it in one of my Trader Joe’s whole grain tortillas with some cheese and slapped it into the George Foreman. I forgot to spray the grill though so it got stuck – hence the ugliness. On the side – some fresh guac. OH YEAH!




And for dessert, a much more visually appealing dish of grapes and clementine in natural light.


So for Valentine’s, Raf and I celebrated early by going to the Cheesecake Factory on Saturday night. We hadn’t been there in at least 2 years and I just really wanted to go! Lucky for me, they now have “small plates” selections so I was able to save room for dessert by picking lighter choices for my meal :) But really there is always room for dessert! Sorry for the horrible quality of photos!


Yes I dug into the bread right away. We had a 45 minute wait (they don’t take reservations!) so I was starving by the time we got in. The 45 minutes was fun though since we perused Barnes and Noble during that time.


My “small plates” of Beets and Arugula salad and a Margherita Pizzette. I finished almost everything but a couple bites of the pizzette.


Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake. It has a chocolate macaroon crust with coconut cheesecake and coconut custard on top. It was super rich so I ate half at the restaurant and the other half later that night ;)

We also went to see “Just Go With It” last night which was much better than I thought! It got bad reviews (which I don’t usually pay attention to) but I laughed a lot and was pleased with the ending.  Plus I just love that girl, Bailee Madison. She did an amazing job in the movie “Brothers” and is just a great beginning actress!

Now it’s back to school stuff. We are out of milk (!) so I resorted to throwing together a different kind of breakfast before heading to campus.


Banana w/ almond butter, Chobani Champion Verry Berry, and a BlueBran Vitatop!

I attended a lecture at Harvard School of Public Health this afternoon discussing the reversal of atherosclerosis with dietary intervention. Very interesting talk! Some of their research alluded to the benefits regardless of weight which I thought was great.  They discovered some beneficial effects on certain biomarkers, like HDL and adiponectin, that continued to improve even if the person regained some of the weight that was previously loss. Hopefully more research will be done to improve upon these results.

Then it was off to Boston Latin School to hand out healthy afternoon snacks. We made trail mix to hand out to kids on their way out :)


Lots of dried fruit and grains. We even got fresh blueberries! Most of what we handed out were bags we put together ourselves but we set up the table for kids to make their own if they wanted. It was a whirlwind but lots of fun as usual.

Time to hit the books now! Hope you are enjoying your day <3

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spontaneous Baking!

I woke up this morning with one thing in mind – Green Monster. Even Misty wanted one!


In the mix:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large handfuls spinach
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 cup skim milk

So while sipping away, I was perusing blogs and saw that Holly posted a Double Strawberry Muffin recipe which sounded delicious! Lucky for me, we just got strawberries yesterday which were on sale. I immediately had to make them. And so I did. Who cares about putting off homework when there is baking to do! teehee.


The batter was a little thick so I ended up putting a bit of water in when it was time to mix in the strawberries. Turned out beautifully though.

I also had errands to run (read – had to go to CVS and the post office) so I bundled up for the walk. It’s just under a mile to get there but boy was it cold and windy! I wasn’t expecting it really. But I survived and returned with new face wash and moisturizer :)

I was starving upon my return which lead to a bowl of butternut squash soup (I used a lot of my TJ’s stuff today!) and a heated up black bean burger with some avocado and ketchup. I ended up obliterating my burger so it would heat up faster!



My CSN order also came in today! I was the lucky winner of $35 from Anna’s giveaway.  I had been wanting to get a mandolin for months now but I fell in love with this apron as soon as I saw it. Isn’t it cute!


And my last magnificent eat of the day: Walnut crusted chicken, baked potato with black beans and CHO, and broccoli. Awesome dinner! Super easy to make and delicious. Can’t get any better than that.


Now Misty is being super snuggly and trying to get on my lap/push the laptop away from me. Persistent much? Goodnight all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First time at Trader Joes

Well I did it folks, I finally made my way over to Trader Joes today.  I figured out that the closest one is 1.2 miles away from campus so I decided to walk over between meetings and class.  It was sad that I could only buy what I could carry back :( Plus I didn’t want to spend that much money either. I walked out $30 poorer with these items in hand -


The bananas were 19 cents each! I haven’t had any in a couple weeks and was craving them so I got the biggest yellowest bunch I could. I also snagged some almond butter, butternut squash soup, tomato soup, some protein powder, and unpictured container of Laughing Cow garlic and herb cheese wedges.  Oh yeah I almost forgot the whole grain tortillas too. I put those items in the fridge already.  I could probably go nuts in that store if I had an unlimited supply of money and people to carry my bags :)

Besides that I was also excited to start using my Chobani Champions lunchbox. I’m such a little kid sometimes.


Yesterday’s at school snacks: Multigrain Cheerios, Verry Berry CHOB, and grapes in the grape container. duh.


Now this was hard to stuff everything in. We’ve got tuna salad in the top middle with Wasa rye crackers next to it. Then the other little container is hummus for the veggies hiding in the red container underneath the strawberries and the Verry Berry.

And for breakfast I had my long lost love – oatmeal!


We had no fresh fruit at that time though so I succumbed to raisins. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Oh and remember those Larabars I was so excited to receive? Well I tried the blueberry muffin today! It seemed a lot softer and squishier (bad choice of word?) than the other ones but the taste was delightful.  Definitely a keeper in my books.

Looking back now at this post, I’m just like “Wow I’m all of the place” but hey maybe at least it’s a little interesting.

I’ll leave you with the best news ever. I’m finished with my internship applications! I just have to submit them now! I’m so so so happy but anxious now for the decision date – April 3rd. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks!

Monday, February 7, 2011

More Goodies – This Time Larabar!

I received another batch of goodies for review over the weekend.  The folks at Larabar kindly sent me a package for review.


DSC01679 Blueberry Muffin, Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Carrot Cake, and Key Lime Pie!

DSC01680 And they came in this cute little bag :)

I’m super excited to try these because the only flavor I’ve had out of these 5 is the Cherry Pie. I don’t go through bars very fast though so you’ll see them sporadically appear when I try them.

As for the rest of the weekend, the only thing I really have to say is that I wish I played pool more! Billiards is so much fun! We went out Saturday night for a friend’s birthday and even though I’m not very good, it’s always a good time.

Today was back to the grind but I did oversleep. That tends to happen on Mondays when I have to adjust from my weekend to week schedule. I threw back a bowl of multigrain cheerios before getting to work. No pic though – I was a girl on a mission!

DSC01711 This is not my favorite book.

Lunch: Black Bean burger on toast with spinach and a laughing cow cheese wedge. Cantaloupe for dessert.

DSC01709 I ended up cutting out the second piece of toast because I wasn’t really feeling it.

I also had a fun snack plate a couple hours later – Chobani Champions, grapes, and half a pumpkin chia muffin with Teddie unsalted peanut butter


Over the weekend I wanted to use my last can of pumpkin I had left and I’ve got a bunch of chia seeds so I made heart shaped Pumpkin Chia Muffins

DSC01708 The heart shapes didn’t turn out that great though :(

Question of the day:

Any favorite Larabar flavor? Or what is your favorite bar of any kind?!