Archive | May, 2011

Hilton Head

31 May

On the last full day of our trip, Alex’s family gave us a tour of Hilton Head Island.

Neither of us had ever been before so it was nice to see the area with a few experts!

Our first stop was a cute area of small shops and restaurants.  We had some time before lunch to walk around and explore.

Do remember when slap bracelets were the coolest thing ever?!  When I was in about third or fourth grade, they were all the rage but eventually the school banned them because too many kids were getting hurt.  Sad, but true.

Eventually it was time for lunch at the Salty Dog Cafe (not to be confused with the Wreck of the Salty Dog, as pictured above).

Everyone at the table shared an order of fish bites and hush puppies.  I hadn’t seen hush puppies on a menu in so long!  For my entrée, I had the shrimp salad.  It was really great.  The shrimp was plump and juicy and it felt good to eat some veggies.

After lunch, we continued on our way…

Do you see the tiny crab?  There were tons of them crawling under the docks.  They must have been no bigger than the palm of my hand; so cute!

We walked around Harbortown for a bit before stopping for a cool snack.

I went with cookie dough!  It was just what I needed to cool down 🙂

Eventually we made our way to the beach but not without stopping in a gift shop first.  I couldn’t resist taking this picture for all you golf lovers out there.

I couldn’t imagine carrying that around with you as you golf.  Hilarious!

Once we made it to the ocean, we walked along the beach for a little while.  The water was so warm and the beach was quite crowded!

Many thanks to Alex’s family for showing us around Hilton Head.  We had a great time seeing the island!

Have you ever been to Hilton Head?

On the Corner of Fourth & Trade

30 May

Phew, what a weekend!  I took a few days to unplug and spend time with family.  It was great!  I have a couple recaps planned so bear with me as I tell you all about our trip. 🙂

On our second day in Winston-Salem, Alex and I took a walk around the downtown area to get a feel for the city.

Winston-Salem is known as the City of the Arts as it has a prevalent, nationally known arts scene.

We passed some local art stores and took in the local flavor.

The city had a nice, casual feel to it.  It’s true what they say about the pace of life in the south; it’s much more relaxed.  This was a welcomed change from the fast pace of the New York.

Along Fourth Street there were several restaurants full of people dining al fresco.  Some places were new-to-us.

And some were more familiar.

We continued to walk around a bit more to take in the sights.

I snapped that last photo for my mom who is a huge chemistry nerd!  Hi Mom!

As our walk came to an end, we passed the new baseball field that was built a little over a year ago.

The stadium is home to the Winston-Salem Dash.  My aunt told us a funny story about the naming of the team.  Before the stadium was built, the city conducted a contest for naming the team.  They asked city residents to submit names for the team.  Well after much deliberation, the city decided to go with the Dash.  When I first heard this, I assumed that it was meant to mean that the team is fast, as in “they dash to the bases”.  Well that assumption is wrong.  The name was picked in order to signify the “dash” between Winston and Salem.  And what makes this all rather funny is that it’s actually a hyphen not a dash.  Pretty funny, right?

That’s about all I have to share about downtown Winston-Salem.  Alex and I had a great time exploring but I don’t think it was quite enough to sway us from New York.  We’re New Yorkers for life 😉

What did you do this memorial day?

Sights and Bites

27 May

Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready to head to the airport, I got a call from the lovely people at US Airways.  They called to notify me that our flight was delayed an hour.  Boo, I’m not a fan of delays but these things happen and at least we knew before we headed to the airport!

Even though we headed to the airport an hour late, we had some time to kill before our flight.  Alex hit up Dunkin’ Donuts…

… and I decided to take an obnoxious number of self portraits.

I’ve spared you from the bulk of them 😉

After a brief, “one hour” delay, we were on our way to visit with my aunt and grandparents.  The flight was surprisingly smooth and quick, which is all I could have asked for.  I’m an incredibly nervous flyer!

My aunt picked us up from the airport and took us back to her place to serve up lunch.  She had a great spread from Whole Foods of salad, cheese, bread, and fruit.  It had all of my favorite elements and I was in heaven!

After lunch Alex and I took a walk around Old Salem.

Old Salem is a part of Winston-Salem that was once the home to the Moravians that settled in Salem several years ago.  Many of the old buildings and gardens have been preserved.  We were able to walk around and get a feel for life as it used to be.

Naturally, our first stop was to the bakery.

Alex bought a piece of their chocolate pound cake and I bought some strawberry fig preserves.  I can’t wait to dig into the jam once I get home!  We also bought some souvenirs for my family and made friends with the locals.  Being New Yorkers, we’re not used to strangers that are so open and have a tendency to overshare, haha.

We continued on and walked through a good portion of the grounds.

The town has been maintained beautifully.  I loved all the greenery and architecture.  We had a great time walking around but in the end we were ready to head home.  It was so hot out!  We needed to recuperate inside with some water and AC.  It hasn’t gotten this warm in NY yet and we just weren’t ready for it.  But it’s a great sign that summer is just around the corner.  I’m totally ready for that!

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with my grandparents.  This was the first time they’d met Alex.  They were both thrilled to have Alex and I visit.  I’m glad we were able to make the trip down here as I’m not sure if they’ll be able to make it to our wedding.  So, it’s nice to have some time with them now 🙂

Later in the evening we headed to a cute, little Italian place for dinner.  After browsing through the menu, I decided on the spinach calzone.  I love me some cheesy bread!

The calzone was huge!  I barely made it through half.  But naturally I saved room for some dessert.

This place was very similar to one of my favorites in NYC, 16 handles.  They had a large variety of yogurts to choose from and dozens of toppings!

I didn’t hold back.  I started out with cookies ‘n cream and cake batter ice cream and topped it with Reese’s peanut butter cups, cookie dough, and some Jelly Bellys.

Hmmm, not really in line with my goals but it sure was delicious!  Besides, I’m on vacation; all bets are off.

That about does it for our first day in NC.  Today we’re going to spend some more time visiting with family and I hope to get a tour of the downtown area.  Alex and I love getting a feel for each city we visit and what better way than by foot?  (Haha, I just typed “food” instead of foot.  You know where my mind is!)

Have you ever been to North Carolina?  If so, what part?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

26 May

Good morning friends!  We’re heading to Winston-Salem this morning.  Our flight was due to leave at 9:30 but it is now delayed to 10:30.  Bummer, but I guess you have to expect these things with air travel.  At least it gives me a chance to blog about breakfast!

Today I was in the mood for something cold and sweet.  A smoothie it is!  This morning’s smoothie included:

Blend, blend, blend and breakfast was served.

This smoothie was much better than Tuesday’s.  The chocolate peanut butter protein powder and the banana made for a really sweet smoothie!  The banana also added a nice creaminess factor!

I try not to use the BSN Syntha-6 Chocolate Peanut Butter too often because of it’s extensive ingredient list but the flavor is pretty spot on.  It’s a pretty good option while I shop around for other powders.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got to chat about!  I promise the next time you hear from me, I’ll be in North Carolina 🙂

Dessert for Breakfast

25 May

I started the day off on the right foot; I had dessert for breakfast.

Looks like a brownie sundae, right?  Well, it’s probably the healthiest sundae I’ve ever eaten.  For the “brownie” part, I made a chocolate protein muffin a la Smoothie Girl Eats Too.  This recipe is seriously great.  The “brownie” always comes out moist and chocolatey!  The only change I made was to add a boatload of cinnamon.  I love that stuff.

Now, the “ice cream” part was none other than greek yogurt ice cream.  I mixed 3/4 cup of plain greek yogurt with about 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk and 10 drops of vanilla stevia.  Then, I poured the whole mixture over my “brownie”, dressed it with some fresh organic blueberries, and dug in.  This breakfast sure made for a sweet morning.

On the way into work, Alex and I passed a group of Jamba Juice employees passing out new samples of their natural energy drinks.  I ended up with the Pomegranate Blueberry flavor.  The nutrition facts aren’t too bad as the ingredients appear to be real food.  What I don’t love about the stats is the high sugar content.  Most fruit juices have a large amount of sugar.  I usually don’t drink anything besides water, herbal teas, and the occasional glass of wine for that reason.

But, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to try it.  In truth, I didn’t really like it.  The first sip wasn’t so bad but by the third or fourth sip all I could taste was the sugar.  The drink had a very strong berry flavor and left a strange aftertaste.  I highly doubt I’ll drink it again, even if it’s another free sample.

Moving right along to lunch.  Today I ordered another salad!

Shocking, I know, but seriously salads are such a great way to eat lots of veggies.  And since I’m going away for a few days, I’m not sure how many veggies I’ll be consuming in the near future.  Today’s salad included:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Green peas
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Grilled chicken
  • Egg whites
  • Low fat tex mex ranch dressing

It was delicious and protein packed 🙂

When snack time rolled around, I had one thing on my mind.  Another protein muffin.

Seriously.  So good.  Have I mentioned that?!

And I also had some fruit salad…

After work I headed to the gym for another Chisel class.  Tonight’s class was taught by a great instructor.  She’s only a sub so I’m never sure when I’ll get to see her but I’m glad I made her class tonight.  She made us work!

For dinner, I knew I needed something protein packed to refuel and it also had to be quick.  So I made pasta with meat sauce.  It’s the easiest thing to make since PB&J.

First up, I chopped up half an onion and sautéed it over medium heat for about five minutes.  Then I added 1lb organic grass-fed beef and cooked it until the beef browned.  After draining the fat, I added about 1 to 2 cups of tomato sauce and cooked it on low until it was heated all the way through.  Meanwhile I prepared some whole wheat pasta and steamed broccoli.  It was ready in less than 20 minutes and it was darn tasty!

Now I’m snacking on a small bowl of Kashi GoLean, almond milk, and blueberries.  I’m heading to bed very soon since we’ve got an extra early wake up call tomorrow!  See you from North Carolina!

Have you ever had dessert for breakfast?

Back at it

24 May

Today I tracked all my eats again!  It’s hard to get them all as I’m not used to it yet.  But I’ll get there 🙂

Breakfast

I started out the day with a protein smoothie.  In the mix:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Garden of Life Raw Protein.)
  • 1 extra ripe banana
  • 5 frozen organic strawberries
  • a handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

I know the thought of spinach in a smoothie can be gross but it’s actually not bad at all!  I can never taste the spinach and it adds a great nutritional punch!  I will say that this smoothie was not my favorite.  The fruit was hardly detectable as the protein powder really overpowered the smoothie.  Garden of Life Raw Protein is great for baked goods but I’m not loving it in a smoothie.  Does anyone have any recommendations for protein powder that tastes good but isn’t fully of additives?  Let me know!

Lunch

Today I met up with a couple former co-workers for lunch.  I didn’t snap any pictures as I’m still shy about taking them in front of people that don’t know about the blog.  But I did find out that Ingrid reads my blog so if you’re reading this post, Hi Ingrid!!

For the sake of full disclosure, I had a salad with the following ingredients:

  • Baby spinach
  • Grilled chicken
  • Egg whites
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Snack


Repeat!  Since I made a batch of 12 protein muffins, you can expect to see this snack about 9 more times. 🙂  I took an interior shot so you can see how nice and big the crumbs are.  These muffins are seriously so good!

I also munched on an organic Fuji apple.  These are probably my favorite fruit of all time.  It’s true.

Dinner


It’s a wrap!  Since Alex and I had some where to be at 7, we rushed through a dinner of sandwiches bought at a local deli.  Mine included plain tuna, roasted red peppers, and provolone cheese on a whole wheat wrap.  Sorry for the half-eaten picture but I forgot I wanted to share it.  The picture may not look it but it was mighty tasty.

Dessert


After our meeting, we made a stop at one of my favorite places, tasti D lite.  And I got a small cup of my favorite flavor, peanut butter.  Naturally.

Well that’s about all for today and it’s been a long one so I’m going to head to bed shortly.  Have a good night!

What’s your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?

Will you hold me accountable?

23 May

Hello there!  Welcome to another week.  This week is going to fly by for me because I only have to work three days.  Love that.  This Thursday, Alex and I are flying down to North Carolina to visit some of my family.  Then on Saturday, we’re hitting the road to Hilton Head, South Carolina to see some of his family.  It’ll be a whirlwind trip as we’re due back in NYC by Monday evening.  Phew!  I’m looking forward to it and hope to blog a little bit about it on the way 🙂  Do you have any plans for Memorial Day weekend?

Because I’m going to be in and out all week, I thought I’d discuss my daily eats.  I also want to start using the blog as a way to hold myself accountable.  I know I’ve mentioned a few times before that I’d like to lose a little weight before my wedding.  (What bride doesn’t, after all?)  Unfortunately, I’ve found that since I got engaged my weight has been going in the wrong direction.  Now I know that the number on the scale isn’t the best measurement of overall physique.  After all, muscle weighs more than fat.  But I’ve noticed that my clothes are a little tighter and my energy levels are lower.  So, I’m going to work hard to change things up and I hope this will help me stick to it!

My latest challenge has been to cut back on the amount of nutbutter I consume.  I know that nuts are a great source of healthy fats but I think I’ve been over doing it lately.  Changing up the proportions of each micronutrient will help me a lot.  My plan right now is to aim for 30-40% protein, 50-60% carbs, and about 10% fat.  I do not have any support for those numbers besides what’s worked well for my body in the past.  (Please remember that I’m not a nutritionist and am not recommending you do the same.  Be aware of your own body and do what’s best for you.  But please read along as I try to figure what’s best for me!)

Let’s start the day, shall we?

Breakfast

For breakfast I made one of my latest (and greatest) creations.  Greek yogurt ice cream!  I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for eating “ice cream” for breakfast, but allow me to explain.  What you’ll need is 3/4 cup greek yogurt (I use Fage Total 0%), 2 to 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, and 10 drops of stevia vanilla.  Mix until all three are well incorporated.  Now taste and tell me that doesn’t taste like ice cream!  On top, I dumped 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean, 1/2 cup Fiber One, and 1/4 organic blueberries.  Yum!

Lunch

Today’s lunch is brought to you by Tossed.  Tossed is a great salad and sandwich place located in midtown.  They have a wide variety of ingredients and a nutritional calculator so you have an idea of your micronutrients.  Very nice.  Today’s salad included:

  • Roasted Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Apples
  • Bean & Corn Salsa
  • Egg Whites
  • Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette

I also munched on a fuji apple that went unpictured.  But I’m guessing you know what an apple looks like 🙂

Snack


Today’s snack was a treat!  I had a chocolate chip protein muffin.  It was just as scrumptious today as the day they were baked.

I also nibbled on a couple handfuls of Kashi GoLean because my stomach was still grumbling.

After completing a full workday, I still had energy to work it out at the gym.  Tonight’s class was Chisel.  I may have mentioned this before, but just in case I didn’t, this class uses weights and calisthenics to sculpt and shape muscles.  Woo hoo!  It was a tough workout and just what I needed.

Dinner


Now dinner is not as in line with my new goals as I would have hoped but I had to clean out the refrigerator since we’ll be gone for a few days.  Besides, a little cheese, bread, and wine never hurt, right?  I think “a little” are the key words there.  Alex and I shared the above plate and had a glass of red wine each.  It’s such a nice indulgence that we both really enjoy 🙂

That’s about all for today.  I might try to find something in the way of fruit for dessert.  Hopefully I’ll find something good!

How do you hold yourself accountable when it comes to healthy eating?  I can use all the help I can get!