Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello, October!

Welcome to October!

Fall has officially made its way south, and Florida's temperatures have dropped to chilly 80 degree highs and are in the 60s at night. I just wish I could leave my sliding door open, but alas I live on the first floor, so that's not happening anytime soon. Thankfully, the reduced temps make it easier to run outdoors!

October also granted me to the ability to eat some of the fall goodies I was talking about Wednesday - and they didn't disappoint!

This Morning

I woke up bright & early this a.m. for my favorite class, Body Pump.

Great bodies aren't born, they're forged.

For some reason, it seemed to drag on and on, especially during the squat and tricep exercise tracks. I just couldn't focus! And then the not focusing got me even more off track... My mind was all over the place this morning!

After I got my sweat on, I came home to an even better sight: a package with the seasonal flavors of Clif bars in it, as well as a Five Hour Energy pack - thanks :)

I'm currently snacking on a new (to Target and to me) granola bar from Quaker: Life's Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan.

These bars contain:

  • 5g of fiber
  • 6g of protein
  • 20% of my daily value of 5 B-Vitamins
  • 150 calories; 35 from fat

The Life bars are dense, chewy and had chunks of pecans and raisins in them, not just bits and pieces here and there. I bet they would be even more delicious heated or crumbled over Chobani. I'd give them two thumbs up!

Have a great Friday night!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Foodie Fall

Fall: a time where the seasons begin to change, leaves start to fall and boots are pulled on over jeans. This is the norm in 85% of the US, unless you live in Florida, are headed to Clearwater Beach this weekend.

I have to get creative and find my Fall fix in other ways.

Enter: Edy's Limited Edition Pumpkin-Flavored Ice Cream. Perhaps the fact that its a limited time treat associated with my favorite time of year (Halloween, Thanksgiving... I love holidays!), or the fact that it's simply delicious, no other ice cream flavor has ever come close to this.

Topped with whipped cream and graham cracker cookie crumbs, this dessert is a legitmately close knock-off to pumpkin pie.

New treats, courtesy of Target's holiday aisle:

A little less delightful than the previous ice cream, this is much more Pop-Tartty, if you catch my drift, and was a little too processed. Not in love, but it was nice to try out for a while. Feel free to stop by and sample these if you'd like;)

A shared blend (blog friend) favorite is next on my list of fall favorites: the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Grande, full-fat milk and whipped cream is the only way. In my opinion, when it comes to PSLs, you either go big or go home.

Add an iced pumpkin scone (calorie bomb) on the side and you have the perfect fall meal filled with treats. It's a bit much for breakfast, but I've been known to take these to night classes and have a Monday night class this semester.

Mouthwatering. I think I may have to keep the tradition going.

What are your favorite fall treats?

Blacklist: The Gym Edition

Gainesville Health and Fitness Center has recently lost the brownie points it once had on my list of favorite gyms I've belonged to.

I've moved around a bit for college and have had the chance to scope out a few besides GHFC: Lifestyle Family Fitness, L.A. Fitness and Bally Total Fitness, to name a few. The Boca Raton L.A. Fitness ranks high on my list regardless of the herds of silicon-infused women parading around the gym, because I came thisclose to Brody Jenner. We did squats next to each other. NBD, he's not really my type.

GHFC is on my blacklist today because they got rid of my favorite machine: the Precor elliptical EFX5.31 trainer.

Perfect for studying (the sole purpose of going to the gym, right?), I used to prop my notebook up on these and go to town while killing two birds with one stone.

Gainesville and its large population of UF students lack the ability to be productive while getting their sweat on: the new machines do not comfortably rest a notebook, folder, or even a Smokin' Notes packet on their dashboards.

However, the new ellipticals do house an iPod connecting cord, which I find extremely offensive as a new Android user.
GHFC, I beg you, bring the old ellipticals back!

Do you have any favorite gym equipment or classes your gym got rid of that you wish you could get back?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce

This morning, I ate at one of Chicago's numerous restaurants for brunch: Yolk. I arrived hungry after a night of supporting the Gators as they beat Kentucky.

Fun Fact: UF Coach Urban Meyer celebrated his 100th win last night, and second-string quarterback Trey Burton scored a record-breaking six touchdowns!

Back to the (food) business: Brunch.

I ordered the Iron Man, an egg white & veggie scramble. It was so good I even tweeted about it! My friend ordered a meat-laden breakfast, and got a small (sarcastic) side order of the most delicious, dessert-like pancakes. Ever.

My newest obsession.

Yes, this is a side order, of luscious, buttery, fluffy pancakes topped with powdered sugar, strawberries and chocolate sauce. Holy deliciousness! I used all of my willpower to eat veggies before stealing a few bites of these.

Comical: said friend asked for maple syrup to top these babies with.

My sugar-free approach to life went straight out the window when these were placed at our table, and they were absolutely worth it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chobani: Nothing But Good

Yesterday was a long, but great, day. If you follow my tweets, you know that I woke up bright and early - 6 a.m. isn't for the faint of heart - put on a suit and trucked all over campus.

When I arrived home mid-afternoon, a UPS sticker on my door led me to my apartment complex's office, where I was greeted with a lovely, large surprise from Chobani!

You can see just how large the box is by the fact that it almost covers half of my kitchen island. Thanks for your generosity, Chobani!

As soon as I tore open the box with my bare hands (a small stretch of the imagination), a smile broke out across my face - look at that loot!

    I'm a lucky lady!

    These are the flavors Chobani gifted to me:

    • Pomegranate
    • Peach
    • Raspberry
    • Honey
    • Pineapple
    • Non-Fat Plain
    • Vanilla
    • Strawberry
    • Low-Fat Plain
    • Low-Fat Strawberry Banana

    I did what any college student lacking space would do - stacked them nicely in my vegetable drawer. I eat my vegetables so quickly, there's no point putting them on the bottom of my fridge!

    Nicely stacked in an unlikely place!

    Fun Facts about Chobani yogurts:

    • Chobani yogurts have between 100 and 160 calories per 6 ounce cup.
    • Chobani gives 10 percent of their profits to charities worldwide (nice!)
    • Chobani has a recipe page on their website that includes recipes for dishes such as guacamole, baked ziti and even cream cheese frosting! It really is amazing how you can transform Greek yogurt to fit into so many other dishes.
    • Chobani's unique straining process, which their site claims "is what makes Chobani Greek Yogurt “Greek," full of flavor and health benefits:
      · All natural. No preservatives. No artificial flavors.
      · No synthetic growth hormones: No rBST-treated milk.
      · Includes 5 live & active cultures, including 3 probiotics.
      · Made with real fruit.
      · Twice the protein of regular yogurts.
      · A good source of bone-building calcium.
      · Gluten-Free and Kosher-Certified.
      · Safe for people with corn, nut and soy allergies."

    Sounds good to me!

    My first victim: Honey 0% Greek Yogurt. I think I'm going to dress this guy up with some raw oatmeal, PB and a drizzle of honey on top - yum!

    Have you ever tried Chobani yogurt? What are your favorite flavors & how do you dress them up?

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Grilled Cheese Dreams

    This past weekend had me craving cheese in many forms: queso, Laughing Cow, and cake forms all sounded delicious.

    However, none could top the delight a hot, buttery grilled cheese could provide my taste buds. So I did what any normal 20-something woman would do - I Google searched "grilled cheese recipes" and "grilled cheese blogs." My discerning tastebuds wanted something sweet (even though I've been trying hard to cut sugars!) and led me to this sweet grilled cheese: The Quencher.

    Just look at that baby!

    Fun fact: it's a small world! The creator and blogger behind Grilled Cheese Social is MacKenzie, Clearwater-native-turned-New-Yorker who went to my high school. It's times like these I love the blog world that much more.

    And check out The Quencher's beautiful ingredients:

    Mmmm, buttah. It was not questioned in the making of this grilled cheese:

    Stilton, butter, cranberries. I know ya'll have the butter and cranberry thing down pat (get it? butter down pat? cheesy, I know), but stilton? Luckily I had the folks at The Fresh Market to help me out, but I'll let the Wikipedia wizards educate you on this rich cheese.

    Fun fact: "A 2005 survey carried out by the British Cheese Board reported that Stilton cheese seemed to cause unusual dreams when eaten before sleep, with 75% of men and 85% of women experiencing "odd and vivid" dreams after eating a 20-gram serving of the cheese half an hour prior to sleeping." (From the same wiki).

    Interestingly enough, I had a unique dream that night as well! Are cheeses known for giving their eaters crazy dreams? Must be cheese karma;)

    Have you ever had dreams after eating foods that you think could be attributed to that certain, unique food?

    *Photos courtesy of Grilled Cheese Social. My mouth chose to devour instead.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Thank Me Now

    But later doesn't always come so instead, I'll thank these products now, a la Drake, for getting me through the next couple of hectic weeks in my life.

    My number one, now in my favorite flavor:

    Does this seasonally-themed Clif bar awaken me just a bit more to the realization that my graduation is just around the corner? Why yes, the bar does. Still tastes great, but now it comes with a side of neuroses;)

    Who says 22-year-olds can't have crises?

    And my partner-in-crime. Thankfully this summer (due to a lot of driving back and forth between here and Tampa!) my love for Sugarfree Red Bull has come back in full force.

    I hear this isn't great for you, but I'm gonna need a little pep in my step and know for a fact this will give it to me!

    Last but not least, I'd like to thank Katy Perry for making this song so dance-worthy that people in O'Hare got to see a few jam sessions last week. Good for cardio, too!

    Random: Are you a Leo? Found this tweet via ZodiacFacts : "Nothing will keep a Leo imprisoned for long," and found it to be very true. Do you believe in or follow astrology?

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Sugar, Sugar

    My skin has looked much better than it has as of late, to put it kindly. Though I use cleansers, wash it after the gym and wear lotion that contains sunscreen, it just doesn't seem like enough.

    I'm well aware of the culprits:

    White sugar. It comes in many forms - white breads, cookies, my dad's 60th birthday cake. As of late, my life has not been very "everything in moderation," and that needs to change.

    Diet sodas: Dr. Pepper and Coke.

    Since school started, I've been drinking a lot of these to keep me fueled and high-energy throughout the day. I don't know if I'm addicted, but I need to find replacements.

    And I think I've come up with some good ideas:

    Plain iced coffee: No more sugar-laden creamers - you know the ones I'm talking about! I don't think they're helping my skin situation.

    Red grapes: I currently have a huge bag of these in my fridge. I think natural sugars are a lot better than the refined kind.

    How much sugar do you consume? Do you have any sugar-free or low-sugar foods you really enjoy? I would love some suggestions!

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Carb-Free is the Way to Be

    Thought that title would catch your eye. While I believe that everyone has the right to choose the appropriate, healthy diet and food choices that fit their lifestyles, I've been researching one diet, in particular: The Atkins Diet.

    More specifically, I've looked up:

    • The foods Atkins permit and does not

    • How to apply that to a diet where one would fuel for fitness

    • If I could approach the Atkins diet, and make it last for my fitness and lifestyle choices.

    Bye, bye, Carbs (?)

    What do you eat for breakfast every morning? If you're anything like me, the woman behind Exercise and Eat, your answer probably sounds similar to "a bowl of oats topped with pb, cereal, fruit, granola" or a combination of all of the above. You're not alone!

    Would you be willing to follow the Atkins Diet and substitute that comforting bowl of carbs for sausage, egg whites, and some veggies? If you're one of the strong-willed who answered yes, I have serious admiration for you. Not to mention when lunchtime and dinner roll around, giving up sandwich bread (Thanks, Arnold Bread, for providing me with your lovely Thins thanks to the Healthy Living Summit) or even wild brown rice at dinner.

    Not to mention you don't want to be within 500 feet of a carb-free Demartini. Guess it's the Italian in me:)

    Fueling for Fitness

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are carbs on the covers of these fitness cookbooks?

    Thought so.

    I believe that carbohydrates are an essential component to muscle-rebuilding post-fitness. I don't feel the same amount of lasting energy and fullness from strictly veggies and protein. Carbs round out a meal, and do it very nicely.

    Could Exercise and Eat handle the Atkins diet?

    While I'm impressed that others have the courage to go through life as carb-free individuals (and lose weight successfully while doing it), I am neither desiring to lose weight or eat meats at every meal - and will pass because of that.

    Croissants, pasta, bagels - bring it on!

    How do you feel about the possibility of life without carbs? Could you follow the Atkins diet? Do you have any experiences, positive or negative, with Atkins?

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    The Good Kind

    Do you remember the feeling of being a kid on Christmas Eve (or one of the nights of Hannukah, Kwanzaa, what have you)?

    Or do you still feel that way? I know I do!

    Don't Christmas pictures make you so happy? Just looking at Google Images of Christmas trees makes my insides warm up a bit. I'm not willing it to come quickly though - I'll have graduated by then! I've got a lot left to enjoy:)

    You're anxious, happy, not tired, a little nervous... Well, I'm feeling it tonight! This evening I'm heading to Tampa, and will be flying to Chi-town (#HLS! I miss you so) the next morning - on an 8 a.m. flight - a first!

    Beautiful city and beach - the best of both worlds!

    On top of my plans, I have a list of all the things I want to do that I missed last time - visiting the Navy Pier, taking architecture tours. Touristy, but all stuff I can't wait to do. Driving around the Batman Begins areas of town (the underground, La Salle) again may be something I would be interested in, if the opportunity arises;)

    While the weather is slightly intimidating me (highs will be in the 60s - for a FL girl that's atypical for September), I've toughened up for colder climes before and can do it once more!

    And who knows, maybe a little of this will be involved?
    If I'm lucky;)

    Off I go! I'll be tweeting while I'm gone and might post there, but absolutely will post tons of photos when I get back!

    The Feelings of Full

    In my last post, I showed you pictures from my dad's 60th birthday party.

    A weekend of eating nothing but passed apps, drinks and cake (of course, birthday cake) got me thinking about feeling full, being stuffed, and foods that are "worth it" and those that are not.

    When I eat, I like to load up on 80% "good" foods and 20% unhealthier eats.

    I realize it may not be the best mentality to label foods as good as bad, but broken down I basically mean that:

    • Good foods are simple, whole and don't leave me feeling weighed down in correct portion sizes (oatmeal, lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, nut butters, etc.)

    Bad foods are what I'd label most of the party treats - Publix cake with thick icing, white chocolate-covered cannolis, and flaky, oily appetizers.

    I know I don't eat like this often, but it got me thinking about the feelings I associate with being full and more importantly, how important it is to eat the right foods.

    When I eat the foods I like, even if I overindulge, I feel like it's alright, doable, that I'll be fine. When I eat (too much) overly buttery, carby, sugar-laden foods, I feel like garb-age (said with a French accent). I feel best when I eat lighter, healthier foods.

    If I'm overly full, I'm tired, irritable and honestly a little unhappy with myself. I feel like I need to go to the gym and work out harder and faster. I usually try to balance out the next meal with some vegetables, less carbs.

    My best bet would be that by tomorrow, I'll be back to "normal," but does anyone else feel this way after a weekend of heavy eats? Does you have foods you consider good and bad? How do you combat it?

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Jalapeno - Tough to Eat and Spell

    Hello, loves and happy Sunday evening! I just watched Justin Bieber's VMA performance. He's a cutie, but he made me feel like an old woman!

    Just like this freshman did:

    I was literally towering over her whilst walking to class. It officially feels like it's time to get outta Gainesville. At least after football season!

    Spent some quality time with Glamour and the beautiful, talented Lea Michele tonight:

    Love her voice and I cannot wait for the new season! Starts the night of Career Fair - something to look forward to at the end of the day!
    Loads of hummus - they were buy-one-get-one at Publix - can't beat that!

    Sun dried tomato, jalapeno and two roasted garlics, one of which is mysteriously missing;) Wonder where it went? Speaking of jalapeno hummus... my mouth was literally on FIYAH after just a couple bites!
    Good thing I have these veggies left over from my Dad's birthday party to pair it along with:

    And cheeeeeese. For good measure. Some of which has jalapeno chunks in it. Demartinis love their spicy foods.

    Off to watch more of the VMAs! Just saw Usher's performance - anyone in the blog world love him as much as I do?

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Man v. Goals

    Good evening, readers! How goes it? I'm having a lovely little evening munching Clif Bars(chocolate chip) like its my job, and ruining my appetite - so worth it! I wonder what kind of salary Clif Bar- eaters make?

    And watching Man v. Food. Richman is currently chomping his way through Syracuse's famous frittata. Impressive, but I couldn't handle all of that savory food at once.

    This is much more up my alley:

    Richman's journey to Voodoo Donut makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I could eat sweets all day long! Anyone up for a dirty snowball? Rumor has it people have been married in this donut shop - no need to travel far to look for your wedding cake!

    I've been more productive than that today - class, meetings, tabling, gymming, job applying - you name it, I've done it! I was lucky enough to come home and unwind with lululemon's Ask a Goal Coacher live event. Did any of you attend? Did you learn more about your goals?

    I even asked the host, Matt, a question: "How do you suggest the best way to map goals for the next five years of your life?"

    Matt answered: It can vary depending on what inspires you. I like mind maps or a paragraph that describes my vision in 5 years. Visuals help a tonne too! - Matt

    Mind map a la Art Beneath the Cotton Woods:

    This is easily the most beautiful mind map I've seen, but mine might be a little more simplistic since I lack drawing skills. Nonetheless, I'm going to get started on mine asap.

    Fill in the blank: I will __________ by _____.

    These are my answers to lululemon's fill in the blanks. Some of them seem idealistic to me as of now, but I like to aim high, dream big and work for what I want.

    • I will get a job by December 31,2010. I'm working hard on this goal on a daily basis, and plan to keep my strategies the same. I've created an Excel spreadsheet of where I've applied, when I sent my application in, and if I've heard back or followed up with the company. Some refer to this last statement as nerdy, but I'm proud of my organizational skills. My planner may or may not be color-coded.
    • I will be more confident starting now. I think my nerves about my previous goal are getting in the way of this. As of now, I'm going to be more confident and in my abilities - or at least fake it til I make it!
    • I will run outside more starting when the weather isn't so humid. I am the first to admit I'm terrible at running outside. I don't have much practice, and when I finally give it a go I get sweaty and uncomfortable and give up. When the weather drops to the low 70s, I'm going to take on the roads of Gainesville!
    • I will become a more experienced cook starting now. While I love eating my dad's enchiladas or lasagna, I feel that reaching outside of my ability to bake or cook limited items is a must. I'll be attempting (and blogging) about my attempts to recreate Oh She Glows' Peanut Butter, Jam and Banana Breakfast Pizza and Kath's Smoked Salmon and Vegetable Frittata, to name a few.

    If you had to fill in the blank, what would you write? You will ________ by ____. The possibilities are limitless!

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Goals a la Lulu

    Lululemon Athletica, more commonly known as lululemon, is without a doubt an amazing company. Besides providing the blog community (and the rest of the world;) with fantastic yoga clothes, apparel and free yoga classes, they provide something even better: inspiration.

    Not too long ago when I blogged about setting goals for the month of September, I discussed getting a job. I think a lot of us bloggies would be blown away with the opportunity to work for lululemon, and I decided to take a chance and apply with their company.

    Lulu's was not a typical application. Besides, name, resume, and all the particulars, I was asked to fill in goals for time periods of my life: for one year, five years and ten years. It caught me off guard, and was a lot to think about. I gave the best answers I could, but the idea of goal-setting resonated with me.

    Love the saying "Do one thing every day that scares you."

    The company has even been tweeting about the importance of setting goals. This iheartquotes retweet from lululemon caught my eye:

    "iheartquotes: "You've got 2 be very careful if u don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." ~ Yogi Berra via @1Luvee #iheartquotes"
    I thought about this quote from lunchtime, when I ate a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif bar and a fruit bowl on-the-go from Body Pump to a friend's)

    (How many times can I say I could subsist on these forever? I'll keep saying it til they stop tasting so darn good!)

    Later on in the day, after my lunchtime pondering and after I had re-tweeted that, Lululemon tweeted me. As a large aside, I always feel special when someone famous or a large brand or company retweets me. I'm still waiting for Bobby Flay or Bethenny Frankel. One day, one tweet at a time.

    Regardless of Frankel or Flay, this is the message I got:

    lululemon @ExerciseAndEat We have a fantastic event this Wednesday for you, Ask a Goal Coacher! We'd love to see you there

    So what are my goals? What will I learn from lululemon's "Ask a Goal Coacher" event? Will it change any goals I currently have?

    Stay tuned;)

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    If you're not a Gator,

    You're Gator Bait!

    Welcome to the Swamp, UM Ohio! Prepare to be crushed:)

    Today's events involve time-honored southern traditions: SEC football. The game is a noon game, and I think most of Gainesville usually sleeps later than this during the week!

    Football = worth a lack of sleep!

    Tail(gatoring) will be involved:

    If you're headed to any football games today, I hope you enjoy it and good luck to your teams - unless you're our opponents;)

    "God must be a Gator because the sun is orange and the sky is blue."

    Go Gators!