Monday, June 8, 2009

Yesterday, I broke my diet. I started out alright with fruit, almond butter and tofu, but it only got worse as the day progressed.
Finally, I had nonfat frozen yogurt, and buttered popcorn. I have been trying to stay vegan, and this did not happen. I felt so guilty, and stuffed my face when I got home with whole wheat pasta and nutritional yeast. I know I know, at least its healthy, but is anything really healthy when you stuff, and I mean stuff, yourself with it?
On the plus side, I had a good 45 minute run.

Today I started out with an organic whole foods apple with almond butter. I ran five miles (46 minutes). Then, I ate an orange. Later, I ate cheese pizza. Two slices. I legitimately binge ate when I got home, and not just the "I was emotional and stuffed myself", this was literally a binge. It was all healthy (in theory) and vegan, but my god, I can feel my bloated stomach turning. I then had some of Kayleigh's Diet Mountain Dew. I feel terrible.

I honestly can say this is one of the only times I've had a real binge, and not just a "I stuffed myself very quickly" episode. Why is this happening? I never had trouble becoming vegetarian, so why is being vegan so hard? I don't even like frozen yogurt or pizza.
Any insights? Sorry my blog has been so neglected, I just feel so horrible about myself right now and I don't think I could get through a post without breaking down. This is so pathetic that I am so upset over something so insignificant.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It Really is All in What you Eat

Sorry for the late upload!
Like I said I would, I had a glass of red vino last night at the work party:
I don't know what is with that lighting - I can assure you the wine was the most delicious shade of red and did not look like that!
I didn't want to have to explain why I was taking a picture of the wine, so I had to retreat to a corner to take that picture.
I was planning to take a picture of whatever I ate there, but once I got there, I decided I really wasn't in the mood for what they had, so I promised myself I would save my appetite for something I would actually enjoy, some Amy's Organic Lentil Soup! This time there was no sit down dinner or anything, so I was able to spend the whole time mingling with the other work girlfriends, boyfriends and spouses, so this worked well.
However, by the time James got me back to the apartment, it was late and I was not in the mood for curling up with the puppies than eating.
Oh, and you can kind of see in the picture up there I took of myself with the wine, that is the only dress I have dress I was talking about. Oh well, at least it is adorable! I wear pink way more than I should.

And today I slept in until the latest I have slept in a while - 9:15! I had to rush to meet the girls at ten, so I had to postpone my morning run until later - it was a real bummer because I really have started looking forward to my morning runs, and I felt cloudy in my mind all day.

Because of the rush, I was a bad food blogger and didn't take pictures. I did however measure measure measure and write everything down.

1 large organic nanner with 1 tbs peanut butter

Stuck without sustenance, my lunch consisted of a cherry pie Larabar - don't worry, I more than made up for this!

To get rid of the last of my non-organic Sabra hummus (I just bought some Organic Pita Pal Hummus and, not only are the ingredients all recognizable, but you should see how much better the nutrition facts are!) I had some on 2 peices of Food for Life Genesis Bread (the brand that makes Ezekiel), and then decided to try out some hummus "burgers" - basically hummus cooked on the skillet. I saw this idea on a blog and decided to try it out. The taste? Well I thing my organic-snobbery prevented my enjoyment of these, that and the fact that I wouldn't wait for them to cook the whole way.
Later, I had a huge orange (and do I ever mean huge), 1/4 a cup of raw organic almonds, 1/2 a cup of the Whole Foods half popped popcorn kernals (they do indeed have salt and oil of some sort), another banana with more peanut butter than I care to share slathered on it (it is actually kind of humiliating how much there was on there).
I thought about having dinner, but my appetite was completely ruined. I was going to just have a Key Lime Pie Larabar, but I could only get 1/2 of it down, so I figured that dinner was lost for good.

Fortunately, this huge amount of eating (once my stomach got to recovering) fueled me for an awesome treadmill run! I mean really, awesome! After my guts stopped rolling (I just learned a few months ago that that is a Vermontism, but I can't stop saying it because really sometimes there's no better word for it), of course.
I would just like to say to whatever mechanism was trying to punish me for not releasing some endorphins in the morning, "your plans backfired."
From now on, every morning you can bet that I will be stuffing my face before my run. Can you say Green Monster (still need to try that) and oats/a banana with peanut or almond butter? Yes, Please.
So, onto the run. I increased my speed (a lot from yesterday, but not to as fast as I was going when I was only running 30 minutes) and I ran an hour and ten minutes. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to brag at all. I know there are so many runners out there way faster than me who can run for way longer, but I don't know if I have run that long continuously since my track days (unless you count elliptical machines, which I don't).
Now I have no excuse for not having a pedometer. I only wish I had it today, it is driving me crazy not knowing my milage.
So I am about to go do my hair and get ready for a night out with the girls! We're probably just going to hit up some zero-drink-minimum clubs to listen to music because we're bare assed broke staying away from alcohol.
Have a wonderful Saturday night!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pre-party eating

I learned from yesterday's running mistake yesterday and really paced myself today. The slower pace carried me though 43 water break free minutes of running. Just shy of my 45 minute goal, but close enough I suppose.
Right now, I think my problems with running for a long time or distance is all in my head. I definitely know I have the energy to outlast 43 minutes, but all I can think about is finishing so I don't go any further. My secret hope was to run for an hour because of the party I'm going to tonight (I normally try to stay away from alcohol, but James's boss is quite the epicure so they always have good wine at these parties. That being said, I wanted to run longer to offset the empty calories in the glass of red wine I will be having tonight), but my mentality is not strong enough.

About tonight. I am going to wear this pink dress (one of two dresses I own and the only non casual one so I wear it everywhere. V. sad) and this beautiful new bracelet James got me:If the picture is not clear enough, there is a cross engraved into the center bead. Now normally I don't wear crosses, this one is so subtle (especially since it is a bracelet) that I really love it. I personally like to keep my faith more private, but this is just so beautiful. Thank you James!

This morning I woke up to the rest of my organic banana from the food coop. I was surprised, it had barely browned at all being stored in a bag (not in the fridge, I just learned you aren't supposed to keep bananas in there a few months ago).
Yes, I slathered the banana in 1 tbs of organic peanut butter from Costco. I never thought of doing this until I started reading blogs, and I am officially hooked. Whoever thought of this is a genius. The smart carb/protein/healthy fat combination completely fueled me for my run!

Post run, I had this lovely organic apple, thank you for being on sale at Whole Foods!
I felt snacky later, so I devoured the rest of these kale krisps. There were really only crumbs left, so I had to clean the bag.
These are amazing. They are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and the kale is organic. I buy these from a local store, but you can order them online from here.

And then I had a handful of raw organic almonds:
And peice of ezikeil (shown on one of Kayleigh's new placemats):
I love this bread, but was so saddened that baked into it was plastic (I pulled most of it out, but on the top of the picture you might be able to a little of it left). I guess this is what I get for eating processed foods.

And then I of course finished off the rest of my Raw Organic Flax Chips (brand: Matter of Flax, flavor: Mexican).
I dipped them into some organic hummus from the holy land Costco.
I didn't take a picture of them with the hummus on them because that would really drag to take a picture after eat bite, and it would drag to read that as well. I had 2 tbs though.

Right now, because I am extremely low on grocery money, I am trying to finish off what is in my cabinets and refrigerator before I return to the store. This is also helpful since I'm going back up to Vermont to visit my parents and friends for about a week pretty soon, and now I won't have to force Kayleigh to eat all of this or throw it away.

I'll post either tonight or tomorrow morning about what I had at the work party!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ode to Larabar (product review, although if you haven't had these before you probably live under a rock)

If you haven't noticed by now, I have an obsession with addiction to Larabars.
If you're not weirded out yet, you will be.
Here is my Larabar cabinet. Yes, I have a Larabar cabinet. Is that weird?
Beauty shot:
They look so beautiful.
My favorite kind is Key Lime Pie. They remind me of the real thing, but all natural and healthy:
Another favorite of mine is also the coconut cream pie flavor. I have been known to drive across town to Whole Foods to get these as they are the only ones I have found who carry them.
I keep these all around my house. Par example, this half of a cherry pie Larabar that is being saved for later:
And this half of a Cashew Cookie Larabar that is hiding out in a drawer:
This apple pie one that resides in my purse:
And lets not for get the one I keep at work.
These are so filling, and naturally sweet. My addiction started when I decided to virtually give up all kinds of sugars and syrups.
Here's something really sad. Did you ever used to play Jumbling Tower as a kid? The game where you stack up blocks to make a tower and then take turns taking one block out from the tower and placing it on top?

Well, I think when you can do that with Larabars, you have a problem.
We only got through one round with the bars.

Unfortunately, I have never actually tried the Peanut Butter Cookie one, since they don't sell them anywhere near where I live that I know of. It's probably for the better though - given my love of peanuts, discovering a peanut Larabar would be deadly.
I carry these with me so that if someone shows up with a dessert, I am not tempted to eat it and just have one of these instead. These also fuel me for my workouts wonderfully. They are vegan and natural, score! They sell these at Costco for a great price (which is great if you're new to Larabars), but if you want more variety I would buy them individually.
Each of these consists mainly of dates, some kind of nut, and often other fruits or spices (such as raisins, apples, unsweetened cherries, cloves, cinnamon, etc.). One of these though, Cashew Cookie, has only two ingredients, cashews and dates. Eating these will give you some much needed fiber and omegas! If you're a college student like me, or just busy with your job and life, you probably rely on bars to fuel you for the day when you do not have time otherwise. If this describes you, please read the label to that South Beach Diet bar before you eat it! I know some people are cool with eating High Fructose Corn Syrup or unpronounceable chemicals ingredients, but if not, Larabars are for you.

I was actually thinking about this, and I think that if they could come up with a carrot cake Larabar it could be quite delightful. Of course, I would probably eat a kale flavored bar if it said "Larabar" on it. Well, come to think about it, I bet that could be good.

Alright, I am done. I figured I should spend one post raving about Larabars that way in the future I don't feel the need to say "these are amazing" each time I post about eating one and can just go on with my life.

Good day, and Good Health,

Still Sleep Deprived - I Need my Eight Hours!

I planned to run for forty-five minutes straight today. However, I started out running at the pace I had increased to yesterday for a thirty minute run. Because of this, after thirty minutes I took a five minute break because I had convinced myself I could not finish the race. During the break, I almost convinced myself to turn in, defeated. Then I thought of the half marathon, and how great it will feel to get into such great shape that I can actually cross the finish line. I decided if I ran another 15 minutes it would be better than quitting after thirty.
In the end, I ran thirty minutes, took a five minute break, than ran for another twenty.
I ran on the treadmill once again, and someone put Full House on the TV. I haven't seen that show in so long! Anyway, on the episode D.J. was taking the SAT and it was not going so wonderfully! This reminded me of my MCAT that's coming up. I wasn't nervous before, but now I am. Anyone else taking the MCAT or who has taken it? Any tips?

Post workout, I was not hungry at all. I had a delicious snack (1/3 of a banana with 1/2 tbs of peanut butter), but even that was hard to get myself to eat. I knew, however, my muscles needed some fuel:
The banana was delicious (from this organic food coop - yum), and the peanut butter was organic too. I was going to do almond butter because it is so much more nutritious, but my homemade almond butter does not spread as well as this costco peanut butter (at least it's organic, no sugar oil or preservatives, just peanuts and salt).

Later, I am not ashamed to admit, I ate an entire can of Amy's Organic Cream of Tomato Soup. Luckily it was only 200 calories for the whole thing! I also added some organic basil (1 entire tbs, I'm obsessed).:
Unfortunately, I thought this was called tomato basil soup, and forgot that while Amy's is always vegetarian, it is not alway vegan. This soup had cream, milk (and evaporated cane juice which I'm trying to stay away from as well) so I slipped from my veganism. However, no worries because I just checked the website and my favorite Amy's soup, Lentil, is vegan. This was very yummy though, and this small step back should not hurt me in the long run.

And my weight this morning was at 134. Not where I'm used to it being, but it is a pound down. It's hard to be proud of losing a pound when a few weeks ago I would have been horrified if the scale said 127. Sad.

To end on an optimistic note, I am confident that tomorrow I will be able to run longer if I believe I can. I really think this half marathon will be possible!

Also, tomorrow I have a party to go to for James's (my boyfriend) office. I always feel completely out of place at the office parties because everyone is so much older than me! This is what I get, I suppose, for dating a 25 year old who is way too smart for his own good.


Thinking of sleep

So unfortunately I had the worst time sleeping last night, and only got 6 hours of sleep. Needless to say, I felt worthless and "floaty" when I went to work.
But I woke up to a wonderful breakfast cookie using Gena's recipe.
Mine contained:
1/3 oats
1/8 cup organic plain nonfat soymilk
1 tbs hemp protein powder
1 tbs almond butter
1 packed of stevia
1 tsp cinnamon

I was very filled.

And now I'm going for a run. I haven't had lunch yet (oops) so I'll probably address that after the run.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Evening Update

I'm writing this from the sofa and my two puppies are curled up at my feet. They're both 8 and 9 months old (one's a sheltie named maggie and one's a westie named blondie) and they are so sweet! Ok enough dog talk (my girlfriends and boyfriend get so tired of how much I talk about them, but they are basically my children so I basically have to).
Anyway I just all but tripped my way through Zumba, but it is so much fun. I absolutely love dancing and I would like to get more into it. Maybe after I'm finished training, but you need some type of cross training too.

Moving on, I would like to say a few things about self esteem.
In high school, I was a jock, so I really never encountered much criticism to my face. I think a lot of issues with women regarding body image begin around high school since you are so impressionable, so I am glad that I never had to deal with that. Being a jock, I had enough friends not to be targeted, but I wasn't so popular that I had to deal with the stereotypical high school backstabbing. Basically, I had and always have had a relatively high self esteem for a woman at least.
I know I am not fat. I am trying to lose weight to get down to a weight where I am most comfortable (this being the 125 pounds I was three weeks ago before stress eating during finals). Right now, I am 135 pounds, and I don't feel as light on my feet as before.
What I have actually been made fun of for, even in high school, are my fat hands. They are really fat, I cannot even describe. But I am okay with this. In high school, I was 110 pounds and 5 foot 6, and still, even my friends would comment. I cannot fit into standard sized rings. This used to bug me, but now I am completely fine with it. After a race once in high school, I mentioned that my hands swell even more than usual after races to a friend, and he said "Ouch are you okay?" I said I was fine and he said "that just looks really painful, are you sure you don't want me to get the First Aid people". "No, my hands just do that."
Again, I am fine with this. Everyone has flaws, and having fat hands is definitely not the worst thing a person could have. In fact, I think wasting a minute begrudging my hands would be downright selfish given that they are perfectly functional, some people don't even have hands. Maybe I had to quit playing the violin because my fingers are so short and chubby, but I doubt I was meant to be a concert violinist anyways. And also, like Kelly says about her self professed big nose, don't insult my intelligence by telling me my hands are not fat. I know they are, and I am honestly completely fine with it.

So, tonight I am going to focus on the good. I have a small waist. My hips are wide, but that just means I don't look like a rectangle (which reminds me, shopping today I picked out a pair of jeans thinking they were a size four. It was not until I was sporting a nice muffin top that I realized that they were a zero. Oops.). I love my hair, some people would kill to be natural blondes, even if it is "dishwater" (just means I can get highlights and my roots won't be too bad. I really like my nose and high cheekbones.

Anyway, if you are reading this, try not to criticize yourself, at least for tonight.

Training for a Half Marathon

So I decided a few months ago that I wanted to train for a half marathon.
Basically, I felt so good after running one day that I thought to myself "what if I had a reason to keep pushing myself".
At first I thought it was outlandish, but I had just discovered food/exercise blogs and realized that normal people who love running can do these.
Now, I am completely committed. However, I must admit I have no idea what I am doing.
Today, I stuck with the thirty minute treadmill run, but I increased my speed a bit. Tomorrow, I plan to maintain the speed increase, but push for a 45 minute run. Right now, I feel excited to run (I'm getting that post run craving, anyone else get that? When about an hour or so after you run all you can think about is putting your running shoes back on and starting? A few months ago I would have never pictured myself saying this, but I cannot wait until tomorrow's run.)

I was thinking back to my high school track days. I was much faster and had much more endurance back then, but for some reason, despite this, I hated running. I hated being told how far, how fast, how much, or how I needed to run. Each day I dreaded changing into my running clothes. I was good enough for high school track, and my coach told me that with just a little more commitment I could probably run in college, but I didn't want to do that. I counted the days until high school track would end, and four years of college track? Not happening.

Now I love running. As I was listening to a podcast by Dr. Andrew Weil (his website is, you may recognize him from these raw food bars they sell some places) on my run, he mentioned that when he got older he stopped running because it is so harsh on joints. I considered this and it legitimately scares me that I might have to give up running when I'm older. I think the fact that I don't feel like I need to run is why I like it now. In high school, I had to run for a. a sports credit, b. to get into college, and c. to lose weight. Now I'm running mostly because of the endorphins and how great it feels (and a little bit to lose weight).

I'm writing this to justify why I want to run a half marathon. Some day, I hope to do a full one but I'm going to start with the half. Anyway, if anyone with experience training for or running a marathon (or who would like to) has any advice, it would be much appreciated! I really hope to make this goal possible!

And as far as my eating today, the camera is still giving me problems, but today I had:
A handful of almonds
1 tbs peanut butter
air popped popcorn (today I added 1 tbs EVOO)
freeze dried apples
freeze dried bananas
cashew cookie larabar

Hi, my name is Phoebe and I am a Larabar addict. Ironic how I gave up a sugar addiction for a date addiction. I guess it's like switching coffee for alcohol - not great but an improvement.

I have sort of planned out what I'm going to eat tomorrow. The plan is to have my first breakfast cookie (a la Gena) and then some Amy's organic tomato soup for lunch, then a banana with almond butter (I just picked up some fabulous organic bananas from my new love the food coop) and a homemade black bean burger for dinner or some spiralized squash spaghetti with nutritional yeast. Ambitious day for me considering my laziness when it comes to food. On Friday I am hitting up the Farmers' Market to get rid of my lame excuses for never having tried a Green Monster (last weekend it was the blender was dirty, then it was that I have no smoothie-friendly veggies) so be prepared.

And tonight I'm going to another Zumba class. My gym started offering these a year ago and I've gone to a few. They are much fun but it's embarrassing how bad I am at Zumba, or any kind of dancing for that matter.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Grocer Love

Costco Rant (feel free to skip)
I'm officially having a love affair with an older, less fashionable grocery store as of today (sorry Whole Foods). I feel like a forty year old saying this, but I love Costco.
That being said, I feel the need to add that if something is vegan, organic, and relatively cheap (i.e. I can buy it on sale or in bulk) I am almost always going to buy it (for example when I stocked up on 3 six packs of zevia yesterday, which I had never even tried before then, just because they were on sale).
But basically, for a while I have known I can buy huge containers of organic spinach, organic apples, organic raisins, frozen blueberries peaches and blackberries and now hummus (review coming up, be prepared). I also knew that they are green-ish (by selling in bulk [saves on packaging] and reusing shipping boxes instead of using bags) and that they pay and treat their workers fairly.
This is not to say that I could ever replace Whole Foods, but Costco has risen to #2. Never again will I be seen at a Randalls (the Southern version of Safeway).
[end of rant]

Speaking of Randalls, the last time I went in there (2 weeks ago) I realized I had left my green bags in my car, and asked the person monitor the self check out if I could leave my basket by her for five minutes to go retrieve the bags. She looked to be about my age, and when I told her that she actually told me that she thought green bags are worthless. For real. I thought that college kids, in Austin, Texas nonetheless, are supposed to all be pro-environment. She continued to say that I should just use a plastic bag. I told her that I am trying to limit my waste, and she replied "you can just recycle them, they make them into more green bags anyway." This is when I just left and contemplated not even buying the groceries. If you don't care about the environment, fine, but don't try to convince other people not to care either. Another thing I love about Whole Foods - they don't even have plastic bags. Thank goodness someone cares.

Do you have any thoughts about organic vs. conventional? I understand that cost is a big issue (all of my friends are baffeled at my grocery bill and the fact that I have to do lower end shopping to make up for it [I don't mind shopping at Target, but I have friends who would hate to step foot into there]).

Now for the food:
I had taken a bunch of pictures, but for some reason they won't load onto my computer. I will try again tomorrow, but for now I'll just make a boring list.

I began my day with a coconut larabar (a good start makes a good day). later I had 2 cashew cookie larabars (no kidding - this was not planned)
1/2 cup vegan ice cream (I couldn't refuse)
2 "crisps" packages of freeze dried fruit
piece of ezikeil
handful of almonds
1/3 a cup of the corn kernals from whole foods
frozen organic blueberries
organic raspberries
popcorn (air popped)
hummus with flax seed chips

I had a great run today of 30 minutes. I cannot tell you how great running makes me feel.

So after reading about meghann 's marathon, I was inspired to run.
I ran 30 minutes on the treadmill. I felt great!

I went to work and found myself hungry. I walked over the Whole Foods and got:
Half popped corn, one of my favorites. I had 1/3 a cup.

I also got grapes, and proceeded to eat half the bag.
These were by a sign that said "organic grapes." I was tricked into getting these non organic ones (I was going to get the organic green ones, but saw these were so much cheaper. Being an idiot, I didn't check why).

I also sampled a couple of cherries (unshown), and they were sampling organic strawberries, which tasted so good, I had to buy some [and immediately eat half of the container].
I also had about 1/4 a cup of organic unsweetened coconut from the bulk bins.

And then I found...
I have wanted to try these for so long, but they were so expensive. Guess what though, these were on sale (for 1.50 off per 6 pack). I got 3 packs. Not kidding.
Yes I know, first time trying them, I was taking a huge risk. However, I was quite pleased.
The only flavor they had left was root beer, and I used to love root beer so I managed. The taste? Sweet, and the company did a very good job hiding the "stevia" aftertaste (it is only slightly bitter, and a couple of sips into drinking it, I couldn't even taste it). It definitely does taste like a good rendition of root beer, and I will certainly buy these in the future. All in all, for a ZERO calorie all natural soda, I was estatic.

As promised, I had some of Kayleigh's bell peppers with pine nuts with nutritional yeast:
And then I had some pine nuts:
And a bunch of popcorn.

Now I am completely stuffed. Kayleigh rented Seven Pounds, and I just might fall asleep while I watch it with her.
Happy June 1!

I woke up to a wonderful handful of raw organic almonds:
Breakfast of champions.
Later, I had some of Kayleigh's (roommate) leftover bell peppers:
She sautéed red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers, jalepinos, and pine nuts in olive oil. Usually, Kayleigh eats this over pasta, but I am just fine eating it plain:
(my serving)

Very yummy. The plan is to eat more later today with nutritional yeast (it is amazing with it).