Sunday, July 31, 2011

improvement needed

Yes, I feel like the worst blogger ever. I have been terrible at keeping up this week!

The reasons are many, but between a little family reunion this weekend for my grandparent's 55th wedding anniversary, coming back from vacation, and three work days in a row, and trying to see some friends I have put blogging on the back burner.

This week I was feeling a bit behind on the working out so I actually woke up early between shifts both back-to-back days and worked out. I have never done that before, so to do it twice in a row really impressed myself. One day i went for a quick swim and the other day I did some Exercise TV episodes. I tend to feel like those TV workouts aren't enough, but it was definitely better than nothing!

I'm glad I woke up to work out because I skipped working out two other days this week and those made up for it. For some reason this week felt like an off week with working out. I made it 6 miles running one day, but then another I barely made it four due to humidity that left em nauseous and feeling like I was breathing through a straw. My swim was OK this week, and biking never happened because there are a few issues with my bike. I know I need to be building with my training but this week ended up feeling like a week of minimum maintenance. Oh well, you can't win them all. Its a new week so I'll just have to put my best foot forward.

As for cooking, this week was more gazpacho. I used the typical recipe but added 1 whole raw zucchini and roasted the tomatoes. Honestly, I don't think the flavor changed much at all from either. Roasting the tomatoes, it turns out, is a waste of time unless you roast all of the veggies in order to get a roasted taste. The zucchini was a great add though, because it boosted the nutrition and just added to the texture.

I also made a shortcut eggplant parm. This recipe reminds me of my cousin Meredith because we both love it and have made it together. All I did was layer peeled, sliced eggplant with TJ's Pomodoro tomato sauce and thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. I added a lot of salt and pepper to flavor each layer since the mozzarella and eggplant can taste bland. Once layered, I cover the dish with aluminum foil (vented) and back at 350 degrees. Once the eggplant is soft, I remove the foil and bake it until the cheese is bubbled.

While this is not a substitute for traditional eggplant parm, it's one of my favorite dishes. Its low calorie (no breading, no oil) and simple. There is definitely a strong eggplant taste, can get a bit watery on the bottom from the eggplant and mozzarella, and its not a "company" type dish, but I really like it. I'm not saying don't try it, just saying don't expect anything fancy.

The third, and best, recipe of last week was Marinated Greek Salad. This was inspired by the Greek salad my mom made while we were on vacation. She couldn't find the recipe, so I went off of memory and what I like to put in.

First, I roasted red peppers under the broiler until blistered. To prep, simply wash, dry, and cut in half to remove seeds. Peppers are ready to come out when the look like this...

To peel, simply shake in paper bag and peel off loosened skin when cool, or just peel off skin when cool to the touch using your fingers. I used the latter method. 

Marinated Greek Salad 
(4-6 servings)

3 whole roasted peppers (green and red combination)
1 red onion, sliced 
20 Kalamata olives, sliced (or combination of Kalamata and green olives) 
1 cucumber, chopped and seeded
4 oz light feta cheese, cubed 
handful fresh flat leaf parsley 
handful fresh mint
1/4 cup lemon juice 
1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 cup red wine vinegar 
Sugar or agave nectar
Kosher salt + pepper 

1) Combine first five ingredients in large bowl or container. 
2) Whisk together herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, and EVOO. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust vinaigrette if needed. Agave or sugar can be added to sweeten vinaigrette slightly.
3) Gently toss vinaigrette with salad ingredients. Refrigerate container for at least 4 hours before serving, and up to 4 days. 
4) Toss in spinach salad with chickpeas (shown), mix with any number of salad greens, or wrap salad mixture in a tortilla with lettuce and protein of choice. 

This salad is the best I've made. You could also add artichokes, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, beans, or any number of other veggies to the marinade mixture. The best part about this salad is that when you go to make dinner your prep is finished- just put greens in a bowl and toss with marinade mixture. Enjoy! 

OK now that I'm caught up, I am going to try to be a little better with entries for the week. As tri training kicks up, though, it gets harder and harder to focus on entries. So they will come as they can. 

Lunches and dinners this week will likely be coming from leftovers from the party we had at my house this week and from the freezer once those are gone. I have a lot of breads, veggies, and fruits to use up in the freezer and it seems like a good week to work on those. Anything remotely creative will surely show up here.

Now its time to swim and possibly do a little Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred for strength training. Then sleep and work. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

barefoot and crazy

Miss me?

I made it back on Sunday from a relaxing and fun vacation but somehow found myself too busy yesterday with unpacking, cooking, and exercise so blogging got pushed aside.
To recap:
I hit the road last Friday night and headed to my grandparent's summer house in Long Island.

Remember when I debated as to which fork of LI was better? Well, after a few days on the North Fork I was easily swayed back from my Southern (Fork) pride.

I spent my time in LI with my Aunt Jen, Uncle Mark, and their four kids.  They're always a blast and hilarious so it was nice to ba able to tag along on their vacation. I also got a nice 24 hour visit with Caroline, who was home in LI to visit her family. <3 college roomies.

Enjoyed the swimming, walking, reading, and baking in the sun by the bay. I finished up Anthropology of an American Girl, which I started back in North Carolina and got started on Born to Run. I LOVE this book. Still have a bit left but it is the most motivating and inspiring book I have read in a long time. I'm not usually one to "drink the juice," so to speak, when it comes to a lot of books (those statistics courses at least taught me something!) but this book is fascinating. More on that to come!
Speaking of running, I was able to do a fair amount of it while away. I also got in a bike and brick workout. It was so nice to get some quality training for the tri without any distractions. I made it 15 miles on my bike one day and used a local lighthouse as my destination. Many stairs below was a beautiful, empty beach on the LI sound. My legs BURNED while biking, which made me realize that I cannot blow of the bike training like I thought maybe I could. Not into biking AT ALL so training could be a drag.

I wish I had more pictures, but I tend to check out on vacation and that means the camera often gets forgotten too!
After LI, I drove on to the ferry and headed north to Massachusetts to see my brother Tim and my Aunt Gretel. Tim's living with Gretel for the summer while he interns, so this was the perfect time to visit. Thursday left just enough time to get dinner at a great gastropub- The Biltmore - Tim and I split a burger (topped with fried oysters and remoulade) and steak tips. Holy red meat, these were good choices for a splurge!
Friday was the hottest day in Boston since the 1920s, which screamed beach rather than Boston exploration to me. Luckily Annaliese was home to see her family on the south shore (more college friends- yay!), so I headed out for a visit. We spent all morning and afternoon chatting and hanging out, mostly in the frigid water because the heat was so aggressive. The beach was isolated and wide- very cool- but alas, no camera with me. Upon leaving the beach I headed back toward Boston to see a Red Sox game with my friend Rich, who was nice enough to offer me one of his family's season tickets. Tim, Rich, and I got dinner at a burger place near Fenway- I balanced out the red meat from the previous night with a spicy, tasty veggie burger. Despite the sweltering heat, the game was really fun and it was great to catch up with Rich. We even found our friend Matt elsewhere in the stands toward the end of the game- quite the Hoya filled week.

Saturday was an early boat to Nantucket, where Tim and I swam, battled thunderstorms, ran (in Five Fingers for me!), ate well, and had a generally good time. We stayed with Gretel at her friend's home for the night- so nice that he let us tag along! If you've never been, Nantucket is a must-go kind of place for its beauty, fun, and uniqueness. I wish I'd had longer, but I had to drive Sunday so it was off to shore on the 9 am ferry for the journey home (with a dinner stop at the grandparents along the way).

I know this was long- if you've hung in for the whole entry I'm glad you did. Long, nostalgic memories like this function as journal entries in a way- since I don't have a journal I figure writing about it on my blog will be a nice way to go back and look at what I've done over the years.
Now that I'm back to real life, more blog entries are sure to come along with cooking and such. But for now, it's back to work!

Friday, July 15, 2011

catch ya on the flip side

So my plans have changed. I was planning to head to Long Island tomorrow, but I am leaving tonight instead. Kickboxing gave me the energy I need to drive and it'll be so nice to just be there come tomorrow morning. 6 days in LI then off to Boston to see my brother and a few friends. Probably will not update due to the lack of internet at my grandparent's beach house and the lack of a laptop anyway! Pictures and updates will follow... have a great week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

sunny skies

Just a quick pre-work entry. 

Dinner the last two nights has been Baked Zucchini Falafel, tomatoes, cucumber, TJ light feta and bell pepper over baby spinach. The dressing? Lemon, Greek yogurt, tahini, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mmm. Was going to put this in a flatbread but decided to skip the carbs.

On the side: kale chips (with salt and garlic powder).

And for the car... more Honeydew Smoothies. So delicious. Make one.

As for exercise- yesterday I made it 4 miles despite the fact that 1/2 mile in all of the clouds I was depending on to shade me left and the sun beat down on me. Once I hit the last uphill though, I decided to walk. I never do such a long cool down- 3/4 of a mile- but it was definately needed.

Today was a sleep day but it was SO beautiful that I had to wake up. We're dog sitting so I took a nice 1.5 mile power walk with Gus. Usually I have no interest in owning a dog but he's swaying me.

A nice start to the day- let's hope work cooperates with that!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

honeydew it

Somehow woke up at 9 this morning after turning my alarm thirty minutes prior- which meant I had just enough time to make two pieces of rye toast and a fried egg + white before flying out the door to kickboxing at 9:30. Its been a long while (since before vacation) since I'd been to kickboxing and I felt it. Nicole worked us hard- we did almost everything except the punches while holding weights. I was still half asleep so the class was a struggle but I pushed myself and felt like jello by the end. You know how I keep saying I need to strength train? Well. I do.

Just got home and made a smoothie to cool down and replenish for either either a run, bike, or swim after blogging. Probably run because its actually pretty cloudy and my legs are itching for a run.  Actually mixed up the smoothie today- less of a meal and more of a snack. So refreshing- here's the recipe.

Honeydew Smoothie 
for 1

1/4 small honeydew melon
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
drizzle agave 
1 orange, peeled 
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks 
handful ice cubes

Throw everything in a blender... or a food processor if your blender is busted like mine is... and blend away. Mint would probably taste great blended in too. If you don't like ice, freeze the honeydew before you make the smoothie.

This smoothie was so good that I think the rest of the melon is going to be cut into chunks and frozen. I may even have another one with dinner. 

I need to pack lunch for the next two work nights. I made a burrito-bowl, vegetarian style. The "meat" component is TJ's Soy Chorizo. I don't like to eat a lot of processed soy products since there is a lot of research that shows they work like synthetic estrogens (scary), but a little here and there is OK and this gets sausage gets good reviews. 

This was a really easy recipe, mostly just cooking ingredients and not much skill required. First I cooked 1/2 cup dry brown basmati rice according to package and prepared 1/2 cup dry black beans. While those cooked, I threw onions and EVOO in a pan. Once the onions were translucent, I crumbled 2 servings worth of the soy chorizo into the pan. After that I added chopped tomatoes, chopped zucchini, and frozen corn. I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder into the mixture and tossed int he beans and rice one ready. The result...

I thought this would made tow servings but it actually made more like three. I'll throw in 1/2 a chopped avocado at work and serve Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) on the side.

Additional lunch box items: Diet Coke, Fage Greek yogurt + blueberry acai, organic red grapes, organic raspberries, and a 1 oz chunk of cheddar. May add some TJ's salt+ pepper rice crisps for a snack too because reading I think I will still be hungry.

Off to pack lunches and do some component of the tri. Then its nap, dinner, and work. Have a great hump day!

will run for ice cream

Love having random weekdays off... especially on 90+ degree summer days. 

Breakfast today was a smoothie of a few frozen standards: banana, mango, pineapple, and strawberries plus a fresh orange and plain yogurt. Toppings were the usual PLUS chia seeds. Welcome to the mix chia, thank you WF Arlington, VA for carrying chia in bulk because NJ does not! 

Chia seeds are the poppy seed lookalikes. Yes, all I can think of are chia pets right now too. But chia seeds are supposed to be really high in antioxidants and omega 3s so they're worth a little sprinkle along with my flax seeds. Plus I like the texture they add.

After breakfast I got my cook on. First it was cooking some brown rice, black beans, and chick peas. More on the first two in tomorrows post- they were for work lunches. As for the chick peas, I attempted a more traditional falafel than my Great Northern Quinoa Falafel (though still baked). I added zucchini to pick up the nutrient content. The recipe isn't perfect but its pretty good!

Baked Zucchini Falafel

1/2 large zucchini 
1/2 small onion 
1 cup dried chick peas (cooked) 
1 egg
salt + pepper
1 tsp baking powder
garlic powder 
cayenne pepper
1 handful fresh parsley

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the chickpeas according to WF bulk instructions or any instructions you can get your hands on. Soak beans overnight first for best results. I would explain cooking but I've done it too many times! 
2) Coarsely pulse chickpeas in food processor. Add zucchini, parsley, and onion. Add salt, pepper, about 1 tsp garlic powder, baking powder, and a sprinkle of cayenne + cumin to taste. Continue to pulse until all ingredients are ground finely but not into a paste. 
3) Taste mixture. Adjust spices as needed. If it doesn't taste good before you cook it, don't expect it to magically season itself while it cooks!
4) Scramble egg in seperate bowl. Fold in egg until well incorporated.
5) Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Make golf ball size portions and flatten. Bake about 10 minutes or until bottom is golden brown; flip. Bake another 10 minutes or so until both sides are golden brown. 
6) Makes about 4 servings. Serve with pita, feta, tahini, hummus, or any other Mediterranean ingredients.



I turned the falafel into a salad tonight: topped some baby spinach with tomatoes, orange bell pepper, and cucumber. The dressing was a mix of greek yogurt, tahini, lemon, water, salt, pepper, and lemon. Yumm! 

I ate this for dinner with the intention if it being a light dinner so that I could run after. Too bad my mom pulled out a big, buttery garlic bread loaf. Damage done!

I was having too much fun hanging with the fam and all of the sudden it was 8:45 and quite dark. I really didn't want to miss the run, even though I got a good 3/4 of a mile swim in today, so I mentioned my dilemma out loud. MISTAKE.  Colin and Pat made the lovely offer to ride along while beeping and saying "WIDE LOAD." Thanks. Thought it was a joke until they were running to get changed and followed me on their bikes.

We had the most hilarious run ever- Colin had a bike radio. Typical. Of course, we don't listen to music. Instead he plays siren sounds from his Ipod. Wide Load was also stated while passing a few walkers. It was pretty hilarious and made the run tick by quickly. Plus, with my "pacers" biking along I definitely pushed it. Karma finally sided with me when Colin, while changing the siren noise, drilled into the back of a parked car without any notice. Laughing and running is REALLY hard.

Of course, being teenage boys, took a detour to Kerrin's house so that my brothers could dive in the pool. Run ended. Instead of running home, the boys swam and Kerrin and I went to get ice cream. Third time getting ice cream this week. <3 summer. This time I went for the real stuff, soft serve and it was so much better than the frozen yogurt. After ice cream it was too dark to head back so we got a ride. I think the run ended up at just about 3 miles- success in so many ways.

Bed time! Using one of my last kickboxing classes tomorrow before they expire. I'm sure it will kick my booty.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

lean and green

The benefit to working Saturday night is teh speedy drive home. I was asleep by 9, which is usually the earliest I get home. I was planning to gte up at 4 and get a worlout in, which also never appens between shifts, but I just couldn't motivate myself. Instead I made more lettuce wraps- same everything as yesterday- and some  avocado on whole wheat. I REALLY need to get some more color in my diet this week. The green thing is getting a little bo-ring.

Just wanted to share this article from Tech Crunch about foodie websites and blogs. It has a lotof cool websites, but more than that it really supports the way I like to approach eating. If you're too lazy to read teh article, or not that interested, this is the gist.

    "We are separated from what we eat. We lose that connection as to where the food came from in the first place, where it was planted, harvested, and how it ended up prepared on our plate. That’s what excites me about this particular batch of startups. They may or may not create a Google-like technology giant, but that’s not the point. They’re riding social networks and creating peer-to-peer economies, allowing us to connect with others around food and offering an interesting (and sometimes cheaper and healthier) alternative to frozen dinners and overpriced restaurants. Technology will probably never be able to answer the question “Where should we eat?” That’s OK. What’s important is that how we answer the question could be different in the future, and that’s a good thing. After all, we’re not just what we eat—we’re also where we eat and whom we eat with." - Tech Crunch

It is not a tough concept- we need to start thinking about where our food came from. That means how it was grown, how it was packaged, and how it was cooked. What that means is investing time into buying and preparing the food we eat. If you wouldn't just take a medicine without being informed why eat things every day without a little background knowledge? Give credit where credit is due- without food we won't be around long. Think about food and then share your food with those around you. :)

Props to my brother Tim for finding this article- and many others yet to be shared. He's got my back.

Now I'm off to buy some $1 Honest Teas at ShopRite before work. Thanks for the heads up Aunt Jen!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

weekend work

Sometimes only one day off seems like not nearly enough between night shifts, but it worked out OK this weekend, probably because I made the most of it. 

The weather was nasty last night, so I was completely unmotivated to workout. I decided to fuel up with kale chips (not a fail this time!) and romaine lettuce wraps with Sundried Tomato-Walnut Pesto.

Then I prepped some summer squash, zucchini, and tofu in a Asian-style marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.

I cooked everything in a hot oven- 425 degrees- and the results tasted similar to hibachi veggies.

After cooking I knew I couldn't put off exercise any longer. I turned on the Next Food Network Star and hit the treadmill due to a stormy day. .1 miles in I was feeling claustrophobic and miserable. OS, I got off, looked out into the rain and decided to risk it despite the threat of thunder...

... 6 miles and 1 hour later I jogged back into my driveway. Not exactly sure where all that motivation came, but I had a blast. Once I started and my asthma decided to stop acting up, the run was amazing. I took my time and just enjoyed the cool, spring-like weather. As a forever fat-kid (more on that at another time) picking up and running a long, hilly, spontaneous run ALWAYS feels like such a proud achievement. Love it.

Dinner was quick. More gazpacho, this time topped with avocado and a squeeze of lime. The lime transformed the flavors of this dish! It was so different- who would have thought such a simple change could transform a dish?

Made it out for some drinks with Colleen and Kerrin which made for a fun one night off. I slept until 11 am today! Not much time to enjoy the beautiful day before nap time. Breakfast was 3 pieces of bacon (for 70 calories total I had to go for it), 1 egg + 1 white, and ketchup on whole wheat toast with an organic peach.

Then it was a quick strength workout in my Vibram FiveFingers. I have been neglecting my barefooters so I did some strength in them. So much harder to balance than with sneakers! Also, my strength training is pretty lame when I do it on my own at home. Anyone want to train me? Pleaseeee?

Headed to the pool after for a nice workout, which I will post at another time since I have to run to work.  I ended up doing probably about 3/4 of a mile total. So happy I made it to the pool to enjoy at least a little bit of the amazing day. Working the weekend stinks so much more when its nice out.

Finally got that frozen yogurt/ ice cream fix today. Unfortunately I got a vanilla/chocolate frozen yogurt twist and took a bite only to realize it must have been sugar-free. NOT the fix I wanted. I wish the machine had been labeled as sugar-free because its NOT tasty and I would have gone soft serve ice cream instead. Blegh on artificial sweetener. At least the rainbow sprinkles were tasty.

Just had some romaine lettuce wraps with Sundried Tomato-Walnut Pesto, tofu, zucchini, and summer squash and cukes on the side. May have a bit of gazpacho on my way out the door even though that's what lunch is at work. Mmmm. 

For all of you not working this weekend.... you stink.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

kale fail

Busy at work last night with some sick kiddos which meant I got out an hour late... so this entry will be short and sweet.


SunDried Tomato-Walnut Pesto and Romaine Lettuce Wraps.... eating them right now and they are GOOOD 

And an open-face avocado sandwich... just whole wheat bread with 1/2 an avocado, salt, and pepper. Simple. Tasty. (Threw the other 1/2 of the avocado in for lunch at work tonight).

And the epic fail of tonight... kale chips.

Very burnt kale chips. How do I always manage this?

Last night I intended to have this dinner too but woke up with the worst craving for a huge bowl of ice cream. I made a smoothie in a bowl with the normal ingredients and toppings to try and end the craving. The fix was only temporary and the craving is back. Thoughts on stopping for a McDonald's $1 cone? 150 calories of vanilla frozen deliciousness? I think so.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It's back to the work week after a nice four day break which means, of course, meal prep for this week.  Trying to keep it healthy and light since its hot outside and over the weekend I wasn't exactly a model of health. 

I've had walnuts in the freezer for awhile and sun dried tomatoes in the fridge so I decided to make a walnut-sun dried tomato "pesto." I say "pesto" because its really not a pesto but I don't know what else to call it so pesto it is. I figure this mix can be used all week- planning to use it to fill lettuce wraps, top bread, or tossed with pasta. This is an infinitely versatile, vegetarian recipe. I out the walnuts in a 350 degree toaster oven just to take off the chill but did not roast the nuts. 

If you like sun dried tomatoes this is a must. Use sparingly as there is a lot of flavor, and while the ingredients are healthy they are also very calorie dense. Get creative with your spices! I used parsley but would have done a combination with basil if my basil wasn't so sad looking in the garden. You could also use fresh garlic or garlic powder (the former tends to be too strong for me, the latter was MIA in the pantry).

Sun dried Tomato-Walnut "Pesto"
(makes just about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
2 carrots (peeled)
handful flat-leaf parsley
small sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt + pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse nuts and carrots to very coarse grind. Add sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and seasonings and continue to pulse until well combined to a medium-coarse grind. Add EVOO or oil from sun dried tomatoes as you pulse to give a wet but not saturated texture. Serve over pasta or as an alternative to ground meat such as in a wrap or taco. Refrigerate any leftover.

For lunch this week I made a side dish of bulgar wheat with mango and mint. Loving the mango-mint combination, but I think I screwed up the bulgar. It's too mushy, almost like steel cut oatmeal. Not bad, but not what I was looking for. I will have to adjust my cooking methods next time. Once perfected, I will definitely share a mango-mint recipe. 

And... for the ultimate skinny meal... I made another batch of gazpacho. Used the recipe previously posted but this time I added a leftover carrot and omitted the garlic to keep the breath a little tamer at work.

One serving packs perfectly and BPA-free in a mason jar or other leftover glass jar...

... OK I actually pack it in the jar because it looks awesome. Yes, I am a nerd but if you like what your food looks like then it is only that much more satisfying!

With the gazpacho and mango-mint bulgar I packed a fresh mozzarella cheese stick, Stonyfield Yogurt, granola + chia seed mix, TJ chocolate covered sunflower seeds, an orange, and Diet Coke of course.

Now I am off to unpack from my DC excursion then it's a little strength training followed by that pool workout I intended to get to yesterday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

disappearing act

Totally abandoned the blog without a trace. I meant to post on Friday before work but ran short on time and on Saturday Annie and I headed to DC right after I got home from work. It was so nice to head to DC and see Meaghan for the 4th. :) To recap (without pictures because I forgot my camera at home):

Saturday: Annie drove my car and I chatted in a zombie-like state the whole way down. I thought I was going to sleep but that was a fail, so I slept once at Meaghan's. Despite waking up a few hours later to pick on leftovers for my dinner, it was not quite enough sleep to support a night out at the bars. I did my best as we met up with new friends, but alas 3 1/2 hours of sleep in 32 hours is just not enough. Who'd have thought?

Sunday: Nursed to health by a shower and some bacon, eggs, and bagels. Ouch. We headed to a friend's house for a pool party/BBQ- which was thundered on as we reached the pool. Still fun though- just inside fun! Ate lots and lots of American food buffalo chicken dip, burgers, pasta salad... so full. Stuck to 5 hour energy for the night (my first time trying it- will not make it a habit because I'm sketched out about the ingredients but it totally did the trick this time). We all headed to a bar and I met up with Matt which was awesome since it'd been close since a year since we got to see each other. Always have to see AT LEAST one Hoya when I'm in DC.

Monday: Finally caught up on sleep and got a filling pizza lunch before heading down to the National Mall for a day of card games, blanket laying, country music, and stealthy Gin + Tonic/Arnold Palmers. I bought Q Tonic which I'd wanted to try. This is a "designer" tonic of sorts- the biggest difference being that it is only 24 calories a serving and definitely not sweet. It took some getting used to, but with a squeeze of lemon (forgot the limes) it really grew on me- acquired bitterness, not for the rookie G+T drinker. Such a fun day just hanging out with friends and enjoying lots of people watching in the nation's capital. The day finished with watching fireworks at the Washington Monument. So cool!

Lots of unhealthy and decidedly American foods were consumed, and the visit was purely social AKA no tri-training or other activity occurred. At least 3/4 of the triathaloners were being inactive together!

I got home this morning and after much bumming around I made it to the pool only to find it CLOSED for a swim meet. Plan B ended up being a 5 1/3 mile run with lots of uphill. A good enough trade for me.

A Whole Foods trip ended in a $50 bill for the week with lots of (mostly organic) produce in the bag. Tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, mango, lettuce, kale, avocados, peaches, honeydew melon, onions, and garlic. Not to mention a few bulk items and some other necessities. Another week of getting back on track. Summer seems to be a lot of on and off track- but it's all worth it. Cooking now- recipes tomorrow!

P.S. I made a Twitter today to allow for some updating on the go. I have a super lame phone so all tweeting is done via text but it's a start. Improvements will come over time, but my techie brother insists that I wait for the next iPhone to come out before hitting the smart phone market.