Hey lovebugs,

Today has been a bit hectic.  Wait! No! That’s normal over here.

Business as usual, I guess.

This morning, I decided to listen to my body and slept in a few extra minutes (or a half hour but whose counting).  That meant that I had to adjust a bit but sometimes it’s worth it.  I don’t know why sleeping away the time where I usually do yoga/meditate always makes my morning more rushed.  It’s weird.

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I packed a breakfast that I ate between buses.

Banana and a Pure bar.  This apple cinnamon flavor was definitely tasty but really sweet.  My jaw hurt halfway through it which was strange because it usually takes a third large brownie to do that to me.  I was hungry though so I finished it, but next time I’ll have half for a lunch dessert and be a very happy camper 🙂

Underneath my breakfast items is my to do list for the day. It goes to the other side of the page! Yowza! Thankfully, I’m checking my way through it, although I wish I could have someone else check off some of the items for me.  Anyone interested in some Computer Forensics labs? No? Oh well, I actually like it so we can still be friends 😉

Lunch really isn’t worth mentioning but I had a small pita stuffed with plain ole tuna, a blueberry yogurt and baby carrots.  Healthy? Yessir. Satisfying? Suprisingly enough, yes!

Dinner is fabulous. Mini frittatas and roasted potatoes! Mmmmm

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This is beyond simple.

Mini Frittatas
serves 1
1/4 cup grated cheddar
2 eggs
hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease three muffin tins (I used whipped butter tonight but use what works for you).  Divide cheddar equally among the prepared tins.  Beat egg, add S+P and divide equally between the tins.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

The more fun version uses sauteed mushrooms and peppers and all that deliciousness.  This is a basic recipe so play with it! The best part is that you just dump the add-ins into the tins and top with the beaten egg. Easy! (Note: If you do this you might want to fill up four tins since the bulk from the veggies will equal more little minis).

The more frugal version use whole eggs and grate your own cheese, and chop your own veggies. Use what’s on sale that week!

The faster version use eggs from a carton, pre-grated cheese and pre-chopped veggies.  Although, the hands-on time commitment is so minimal I wouldn’t choose this option.

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For the roasted red potatoes.  I just quickly rinsed and chopped them, sprayed them with EVOO, sprinkled with S+P and put into three of the empty muffin tins. Remember, the smaller the chop the quicker they’ll roast and they won’t be in there long so keep that in mind!

Dinner in 20 minutes, including prep time? Dinner that only uses four dishes to prepare (muffin tin, bowl for eggs, fork/whisk, and a knife)? Dinner that I could easily make for two without any extra effort? Works for me!  Now, I just regret not making more.  I imagine that the frittatas would heat up nicely in the microwave the next day (I’d wrap it in a paper towel) so next time I’ll be doing that!

Okay, I picked posting over homework tonight- in the order of events, I’m not going to skip an assignment, of course! So… I must go off to schoolwork land. Later loves.

Wait, I forgot- I have dessert planned…

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RF Cinnamon Coffee Cake from Starbucks… there may be some coffee consumed as well!  I may or may not have had a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte (aka Fall Crack) while there as well!

Hey friends… it’s pretty hectic over here Chez Rebeca.  I don’t know how to explain it but I don’t like doing things halfway.  Which means that I make lots of lists and lately my own education has been at the top of that list (and rightfully so).  Unfortunately, that means after hours of reading, writing and messing around with other people’s computers (my minor is in Information Systems which is heavily PC and I don’t own one, so I mess around on other peoples :mrgreen:) I have little left for my blog.

I have these fab plans with a fellow blogger though that I can’t wait to share with you!

Meanwhile, I’m jumping on a couple of bandwagons.

First, I’m making study/index cards for my classes.  Say what? I haven’t done that since way back in my AP/IB days.  No wonder I had that killer GPA 😉  In all seriousness though, I know that it helps but usually I’m hesitant to “waste” paper and it takes quite a bit of time… but my computer class tests are HARD and I think these will help with the ton of memorization (my upper level Child Development/Education classes are so different!).  Note: I’m the “ill” studier I just changed my style to fit my schedule and I think I need to change my schedule to fit my style!

Second, I finally tried Honey Sunshine.

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Kashi sent out free samples for signing up for something (I don’t remember what :oops:).  It was okay.  I think I was expecting something different.  It’d certainly be a fun “base” cereal since it’s low calorie but sweeter than most of my “bases.”

Third, I made a meal plan for the week.  I checked out sales, my cookbooks and thought up some yummy meals for the week that will make it easier (I hope to make healthy choices- a big struggle lately).

Breakfasts

  • Blueberry Smoothie
  • Banana “Split”
  • Egg Sandwich on English Muffin
  • Apple Pie Oatmeal

Dinners

  • Falafels
  • Rice and Beans
  • Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup
  • Slow Cooker Chili
  • Spinach+ Feta Brown Rice Bowl w/ Tempeh
  • Mini Frittatas

Lunches

  • PB+J spirals
  • Tuna+Veggie Melt
  • Leftovers

I have tried and failed many times to meal plan and where I fail is restricting the days and “overplanning” (the story of my life).  This week I just picked the right number of meals for each “category” and then left things open.  I have yogurts, veggies and fruit to go along with the meals so I can go based on my mood but still have guidelines to help.  I’m pretty excited about all the items on my list actually and it’s exciting to see what I’ll actually pick (at least for me it is :)).

Fourth, notice a breakfast missing?

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(looks kind of gross but trust it’s fabulous)

Oh… there it is. My goodness, this started my day on a positive note.  I don’t know who started it but try it.  It made the loss of my jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams much more bearable.  In fact, I only cried for 10 minutes 😉

I can’t wait to share my fun eats with you this week.  Hope you all had a great start to the week as well!

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Yesterday, I mentioned that I had to be out the door for work at 6:40.  I also mentioned a long time ago that I do yoga every morning before work.

I know for some people an early wake-up call is easy and they have the most energy and do the best work in the morning hours.

That’s not the case for me.  In fact, given the opportunity I think I’d sleep through most of the day and just get up in the early afternoon and start my day then.  Okay, okay, you caught me.  My days off are a lot like that 🙂

During the week though, I have a pretty strict morning routine that allows me to do yoga, shower, read emails, eat (usually) and sometimes even do some cleaning or homework.

This is not an easy feat.  It took me about a year to get to this point and in all honesty some days are easy, but there are many struggles.

How did I do it??

First, you need to get used to getting up early.  There are some keys to this.

  • Start Slow. There was a time that getting up before 6AM seemed like an impossible task that was only worth it for the sake of a vacation.  Now, it’s normal.  In fact, I’m toying with the idea of a 4:45 alarm time.  I know crazy right?  I used to get up at 6:00 (or later) and slowly worked up by five minutes a week.
  • Set a regular alarm time. For me, that means the same alarm everyday.  Setting a regular time will allow your body to adjust its internal clock.  Even if it’s a rest day, I’d say get up and use the time to get an annoying chore out of the way.  I usually scrub my bathroom on my rest day… It’s not my favorite chore but I get it out of the way first thing and I just feel so accomplished the rest of the day.  Ideally, vacation days and weekends would be included in this.  Honestly, I don’t do that.  That’s why one of my rest days is Monday because it’s so rough.  That day, I just catch up on work emails and such so at least I can stay in my bed. (Thursday is bathroom day 🙂 ).
  • Make it worth it. What? By that I mean, take those five minutes and do something that you can look forward to.  The first five minute increment I added soy milk to my coffee (Black was the usual because I like the flavor but adding the milk made it seem decadent).  If I didn’t get up- then it was gone.
  • Don’t do anything. As in, don’t start running or hitting the gym right away.  The key here is to build the time into your schedule before you start doing anything.  You want to give your body time to adjust so that you will have energy and so you won’t burn out before you begin.
  • Go To Bed! This is where I struggle.  Shows that start at 10 get DVRed because I know it’ll mean getting sucked in and not getting myself to bed on time.

After, your body is ready for an early wake-up call you want to get into the routine of exercising in the morning.

  • Start Small. Again? Yes.  That means don’t head out for a 10-miler the first day.  Honestly, that’s why I *only* do yoga currently.  I plan to start including strength training as I go along and when I finally get myself together a run.
  • Be prepared. I sleep in yoga gear and have the DVD, YogaDownload, or DVRed FitTV program ready to go the night before. A plan is nice too.  In my hazy morning state, I need to know what I’m going to do (which is why I need to have those runs planned so I’ll know mileage without having to think/remember anything).
  • Think ahead. Initially, I struggled because I’d run out of time for exercise because I’d be preparing my breakfast or lunch.  So, now I *try* to keep everything prepped the night before.  That means my lunch is mostly, if not all, packed.  I either have a set breakfast plan that’s easy (cereal), have the ingredients prepped (pre-measured oats in the pot, and milk, and other add-in measured and ready as well) or have something prepared (breakfast cookie, museli, etc).  I also have my outfit ready because I really can’t afford three outfit changes. My purse is all packed as well.

I’m actually going to work on implementing these steps myself as I plan to start running more seriously and want to build in the time for longer runs now before the cold winds of December make my warm bed seem even more pleasant!  I do kind of like how hazy my brain is in the morning when it comes to exercise.  Not thinking and just moving is good sometimes and it really helps me get in touch with me rather than with whatever playlist is on my iPod.

My morning routine now looks something like this:

5:18 Alarm goes off, I stumble out of bed, turn it off and hit the bathroom
5:23 Grab a glass of water for post-exercise.  Turn on the TV and get everything started.
5:25 Yoga Time (quick so I’ll have time for the next thing)
5:45 Meditate
5:55 Grab my water and get my coffee pot and/or tea kettle going.
6:00 Jump in the shower.
6:10 Get dressed and “all that.”
6:15 Breakfast and coffee.
6:35 Shoes, bag, keys, lunch and coffee to go (on those days I didn’t follow that bed rule)

I don’t spend a lot of time on the “all that.” Most days my hair is pulled back in a ponytail and aside from the (very) occasional mascara is my morning routine. I also sit on a bus for a about an hour which means if I decide I want *more* to my look I have time to do so, it’s not like I’m driving. I also have a pretty standard work look that’s basic pants (black, dark grey, dark trouser jeans on occasion and a button down OR a day dress so it’s not too hard there). The key for me is preparedness and my cell phone alarm clock.  It starts vibrating at 5:55 and goes off every five minutes which helps me keep track of time.

I hope this helps you guys and maybe one of these I’ll get myself behind the drivers seat and get an extra half hour in my day.  Or even better a new career where I start later in the day or work from home.  One can dream 🙂

Speaking of dreams, it’s time for this lady to get to bed. Night!

Hey Buddies…

It’s been a bit, no?  I had a strange little weekend.  It was really fun just not the norm.  I pretty much unplugged- at least from school work which means this post will have to be fast but it was marvelous.

First, some housekeeping.  I *sent* prizes awhile back by placing the packages in my school office to be picked up.  Today, I was in there doing some work behind the front counter and guess what I found underneath it? Yep, your prizes.  I can’t deal with that… but hey I’m not exactly shocked by the lack of organization. Anyway, I’ll be taking them to the post office this week.  Hopefully, I can get there before they close tomorrow, if not then I’ll run over during lunch on our Professional Development Day later this week.  Again, my apologies!

Friday, I stayed at work for a couple of hours and got major work done.  I may need to make that a habit.  I sit in my quiet classroom plug-in some headphones and just WORK.  It’s kind of fabulous.  Then I met an old friend from from Tufts (where I spent my freshman year).  We had a great time at this little restaurant at Union Square (nothing to write home about).

The rest of the weekend was spent lying around watching standup and movies.  It’s not something I usually do but it was amazing.

Nothing really of note was eaten except for about a pound of guac on Sunday while I was watching FOOTBALL.

Anyway, I’m on a mission. My new schedule has me leaving my place at 6:40, getting to school at 7:50 and starting work at 8:00 to 3:30.  Lunch is at 1:00 and after school I work until 5 or so.  So that means I need something that will carry me at least from pre-6:40 to 11:00 (when my kids have a healthy snack and I can snag a handful of baby carrots or something).  Then a lunch that will carry me to 6:30.  I don’t want to get home starving because that leads to bad decisions.  I can have a snack at 3:30 but I’m not really hungry then.

So, I’m trying to find the combination of nutrients that will work for me.  Today, I went with my favorite. Carbs.

I made overnight oats but then I realized the yogurt was way expired and it grossed me out so I ditched it. Instead, I had leftover noodles.

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Cold sesame noodles isn’t exactly standard breakfast far and honestly I had maybe half a cup and it wasn’t nearly enough because I was starving at around 9 and since the snack was yogurt tubes I had to wait till lunch.

Lunch was more pasta.  That’s mainly because of my unplanned breakfast. Promise I wasn’t trying to eat pasta for every meal 🙂

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Half was penne that was mixed with red peppers and baby spinach.  The other half was tortellini (unstuffed) and pesto and there was enough pesto covering those noodles to get on all the pasta.

It was good but then my co-workers started sharing junkie snacks and I ended up eating half a honey bun (my fave snack of all time) and some Fritos.  I’m not too worried about it though.

In the end- EPIC fail (hence the suspicious lack of photos).  Those carbs went through me (I also walked/ran a couple of miles with the kids after school) and those simple carbs didn’t work (it was white pasta too, yikes).

Tomorrow, I’ll try something different.

Anyone else out of their home most of the day and have healthy, packed meal tips?  How about fun easy to pack lunches?  Or even, make ahead dinners so I won’t succumb to bad choices when I get home? Any help/idea/tips would be greatly appreciated 😀

Notes: I can’t carry a bunch of containers because I’m trying to protect my back which is jacked up.  There is a fridge in my classroom so I was thinking that I could keep lots of cut up fruits and veggies in there so that I can just pack a “main dish.”  Last year I kept a loaf of bread, hummus and cheese to make sandwiches but I didn’t like being forced to eat the same sandwich everyday.  I also can’t really eat breakfast at work so my meals definitely need to be done before 8 and eating on the Metro is against the “law.”  Thanks guys!

On a very sad note… the Bills lost. Seriously… My heart is now broken.

When I was researching companies that fit within the confines of this month’s theme, one that immediately stood out was You Bar. The company is owned and run by a family and from the looks of things even those who aren’t technically related are really part of the ‘family.’ The company is committed with providing with providing healthy, wholesome products that taste great to consumers.

One of said family members, Joel* sent me a couple of samples to try. I was really excited when I got the box!

*seriously watch the video ladies, you’ll like it

The first thing I tried was the Breakfast Bar

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Ingredients: Dates, Egg White Powder, Honey, Cocoa Powder, Instant Coffee Crystals, Cinnamon

As soon as I opened the package, the smell of coffee and cocoa hit my nose and I knew I would like this bar. I’m a huge texture person, so I loved how chewy this was without any strange bits. It was smooth and delicious. It may have been a placebo affect but I was buzzing a bit after this, thanks to the caffeine. For a portable breakfast, I thought the nutritionals were great. I have “grab and go” breakfasts much too often, so something like this and a piece of fruit or a juice blend, and I’d be ready to face my day, even with my unpredictable lunch schedule.

The second bar I tried was the Honey Cashew Bar

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Ingredients: Cashew Butter, Honey, Whey Protein, Nutty Rice Cereal

Have you ever had cashew butter? This tasted like spoonful after spoonful of it. I love cashew butter, so obviously that experience was enjoyable for me! I wasn’t crazy about a 200 plus calorie bar, but that’s just a personal preference on snack size. I ate this a little before a bike ride so I think it worked well, since I got off the bike feeling energized and not lightheaded like I usually do after a long ride. It might have been because my mouth was still so happy from the cashew butter bliss that I wasn’t thinking about food during the ride!
Cons? As much as I loved this, it was a little “stick to your roof” like PB was when we were kids. Now that’s fun for three bites, then it gets old.

I also got two trail mixes to try.

The first was The Best Trail Mix

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Ingredients: Almonds, Organic Cashews, Walnuts, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Dried Sweetened Blueberries, Sweetened Cranberries, Sun Drops Original Chocolate Candies.

This I loved and I don’t really even like trail mix much. I’m very picky when it comes to trail mix, I want chocolate but not too much, I want nuts but I’m picky when it comes to those too, and I want some sweetness to it. This particular kind did all that for me! I loved the ratio of nuts to seeds to dried fruit to chocolate. Perfect! The nuts were the ones that I like (definitely my top three in that order) and I loved the blueberries and cranberries! I mixed mine with plain yogurt and it really made for a great, small meal that had the protein I needed to help me study, but without the bulk that would make me sleepy or uncomfortable while trying to do my mountains of work.

The second was Almond Drops


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Ingredients include Sun Drops Original Chocolate Candies, Oat Bran Sesame Sticks, Dried Apricots, Black Mission Figs, Almonds

This wasn’t really my cup of tea. As much as I love sesame sticks and chocolate, I just didn’t love the combination with the other ingredients. Each on it’s own was delicious, together wasn’t for me. I did mix this with yogurt as well, and it grew on me then. I think I would have added some more dried fruit over the chocolate, personally.

The shakes were by far my favorite!

First, the Blended Bliss


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Ingredients: Whey Protein, Organic Cane Juice, Organic Strawberries, Organic Bananas, Organic Vanilla.

What sold me on the shake was actually when I got to the end, and I saw the little strawberry seeds resting on the bottom of my glass. No, it’s not the same as throwing some fresh berries and a banana in the blender but when you see evidence of how close to nature the product is it’s awesome! It didn’t hurt that it tasted fabulous and was so easy. I blended with organic skim and water and it worked perfectly. I bet it’d work in a shaker bottle as well!
Cons? If I were to grab a packet to take with me to work, it wouldn’t be nearly as good because the first time I made it without ice, took a sip, and dumped it back in the blender with some ice cubes. I guess if I kept a shaker in my work fridge, or something it might be ok?

Then, the Breakfast Shake


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Ingredients: Whey Protein, Egg White Powder, Organic Cane Juice, Cocoa Powder, Organic Bananas.

This was also delicious and had just a hint of the banana taste. It tasted a lot like a milkshake (I used unsweet vanilla almond milk). I have chocolate peppermint soymilk that I think would be fabulous with the shake, as a dessert of course. I made mine with a lot of ice and did have it for dessert.

If I had to pick a product to order, the first would definitely be a shake. I love these. During the school year my breakfast is often a quick smoothie that I drink while walking to my bus stop. I’m not willing to sacrifice sleep or AM yoga for breakfast so that’s what works for me. If those shakes are any example of what YouBar has to offer there, I’m sold! I love the other products as well, and am a big fan of customizing nutrition. Since we all have different needs, there’s no one bar fits all, but YouBar solves that problem!

Admittedly, it took a little while to come up with something today.  Let’s just say that being in elementary school when you’re a child is bliss, when you’re an adult it’s like a soap opera. Good times…

There is nothing better than a good slice of bread though right? Warm and crusty on the outside- soft and chewy on the inside.

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(Subway Wheat Bread literally just out of the oven).

Sometimes it’s the bread you get with your quick lunch and it’s standard but certain days it’s just that routine bread you’ve had a million times but it tastes so much better for some reason.

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(Rudi’s Organic Honey Wheat)

Sometimes it’s a slice from a killer loaf that just makes you happy.

Last week, I talked about the simple things.  Sometimes you just have to find your joy even if it’s in something you experience every day but to appreciate those things makes life better, no?