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What I Ate Wednesday – Take 3

Sorry that I’ve been MIA the past couple of days – my parents were in town and we were hanging out…

Parents > Blog readers

Very important to get priorities straight!  And I’ve got ’em!  Sorry, friends!

Anyway, today is What I Ate Wednesday…  What better way to get back to you!

This morning’s breakfast = Breakfast of Champions…  Cold pizza with iced coffee, of course!  (Not sure that you’ll find any other bloggers posting their pics of cold pizza in their office at 7:30 AM…  Or, maybe you will.  I dunno…  At least it’s not oatmeal!  (Which I love, and eat 4 out 5 days – the other day is something crazy like cold pizza – sue me.)

Leftover pizza from Monday evening in wine country. Arugula, garlic, artichokes, ricotta, and mozzarella. SUPER good!

Went out for lunch to Whole Foods.  One of my employees has a birthday tomorrow, but she’s off to Germany (lucky duck!), so we celebrated early.  I was in charge of picking out the celebration dessert!  Photos of the birthday dessert to come later…

Picked up an Avocado al Fresco sandwich, some bulk Parmesan potato chips ($0.66 worth!), and a Zevia Dr. Zevia…

Wait, what?  You wanted a pic of the sando?  Okey-dokey!

Vegan Wheat Roll with avocado, goat cheese, arugula, tomato, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Super yum.

Afternoon snack was the aforementioned birthday celebration food.  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, golden raspberries, and strawberries on strawberry shortcake cakes, granola, and non-fat whipped cream.  It was SUPER good.  And, much better than our normal birthday cake celebrations from Ralph’s…  I love being able to pick it out!  Being the boss does have its perks!

BUT…  I don’t have any pictures of it.  I KNOW!  I KNOW!  Worst food blogger ever.  Except, my team doesn’t know about the blog.  Work life vs. blog life.  You know…  Anyway.  I’ll make it up to you.

After Pilates, I didn’t feel like cooking.  So, the salmon in the fridge will have to wait.  Tonight’s dinner was a mishmash of leftovers.  Friday night’s not-so-super pasta dish (whole wheat pasta, parsley, basil, ricotta, and heirloom tomatoes) and Saturday night’s Tuscan chicken with mushrooms in a cream sauce.  Add a hunk of French bread on the side, and a glass of diet Root Beer from Soda Stream, and it was a perfect dinner…

But, for dessert, I had a second helping of shortcake, berries, and whipped cream.  Skipped the granola on this one…  Had a few handfuls on my way to Pilates that I didn’t cop to earlier…

See, the pic was worth the wait!  I wouldn’t let you down…  again.

More posts tomorrow!  Promise!

2011 Nautica Malibu Triathlon

This morning’s Facebook post:

There is no can or cannot.  There is only TRI.  It’s go-time. 

Of course, I posted that as I was getting up at 3:30 AM.  Yes.  3:30 AM.  Crazy!

This was the 2nd year that I participated in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  I was bound & determined to beat my time from last year.  And last year, I was only 2 minutes (2 minutes!) away from making it onto the podium in 5th place.  So I pushed myself to beat last year’s time by at least 2 minutes, and I’d have a spot on that podium.

Sadly, I did not make the podium this year.  On the bright side, I cut 8 minutes (8 minutes!) from my race time last year.  The person in 5th place was still 5 minutes (5 minutes! – are you sensing a theme?!?) ahead of me.  This whole time I thought I was racing against the woman in 5th place, when really I was racing against myself.

2011 – Nautica Malibu Triathlon Results:

  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  0:16:08
  • Swim Rank:  295
  • Transition 1:  0:04:03
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  1:03:43
  • Cycle Rank:  783
  • Cycle MPH:  16.9
  • Transition 2:  0:01:49
  • 4 mile Run Time:  0:42:21
  • Run Rank:  978
  • Run MPH:  10:35
  • Total Time:  2:08:09
  • Overall Rank:  748
  • Rank in Division:  6
As compared to last year, 2010 Nautica Malibu Triathlon Results:
  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  0:18:29
  • Swim Rank:  388
  • Transition 1:  0:04:53
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  1:06:31
  • Cycle Rank:  947
  • Cycle MPH:  16.9
  • Transition 2:  0:3:10
  • 4 mile Run Time:  0:43.42
  • Run Rank:  1130
  • Run MPH:  10:55
  • Total Time:  2:16:47
  • Overall Rank:  933
  • Rank in Division:  6

So, the difference – 2011 to 2010:
  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  Decreased time by 0:02:21
  • Swim Rank: Increase in overall rank by 93
  • Transition 1: Decreased time by 0:00:50
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  Decreased time by 0:02:48
  • Cycle Rank:  Increase in overall rank by 164
  • Cycle MPH:  Increase in MPH by 0.7
  • Transition 2:  Decrease in time by 0:01:21
  • 4 mile Run Time:  Decrease in time by 0:01:21
  • Run Rank:  Increase in overall rank by 152
  • Run MPH:  Increase in MPH by 00:20
  • Total Time:  Decrease in time by 0:08:38
  • Overall Rank:  Increase in rank by 185
  • Rank in Division:  6
Looking at it, I decreased my time in each and every event!  Woot!  My biggest issue this year and last was the run; my best was the swim, both years.  This year’s bike felt really good, although my right hip started with pressure around mile 13, and then it started radiating towards my lower back.  I highly recommend the Yankz shoe laces!  I credit that with my decrease in my Transition 2 time!
Comparing myself to celebrities, I did not beat any of the celebrity relays.  I did beat Ali Vincent, Winner of The Biggest Loser, Season 5!  Only by a minute and 12 seconds, but still!  She is so amazing, I’m so psyched that I was able to power it up to beat her!  The only guy celebrity that I beat was David Denman (i.e., Roy from The Office or Tony from Drop Dead Diva) – who I saw last year.  This year, I refrained from yelling “Woohoo!” at him as I was running out and he was on his way back in…
I have a number of pics (just call me psycho paparazzi) of the various actors from The Office:  Including Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), Ellie Kemper (Erin Hannon), Andy Buckley (David Wallace), Ed Helms (Andy Bernard), and Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson).

David Denman & Rainn Wilson

Ed Helms

The triathlon was run really, really well!  I was very impressed with the whole thing.  The t-shirts are great, and I love the baseball cap.  For raising more than $750, I also received a donation prize of a Nautica jacket.  It’s really nice, and completely unexpected.  To me, it’s unnecessary, and I’d really rather that the money for the jacket go towards Children’s Hospital of LA.  But, I know that some people raise money in order to get the fundraising prizes, so I know that it’s really a good thing that Nautica is doing for the group.

Finishing the swim. I was in the LAST wave of racers, in the light pink cap. I passed all those yellow caps!

Sheena Easton was the singer for the National Anthem.  She really did do a good job with it.  Sometimes, people do a poor job with their “rendition” of the National Anthem.  I find that type of thing annoying — I’d much rather someone took the song seriously and sang it with feeling – and didn’t sing it to put their own stamp of approval on it.  Anyway, she did a great job.  Wondering if she’s trying for a “come back”?
I’m psyched about how well I did.  I’m so happy that my hubby and my parents were here to watch, and were willing to get up at 3:30 AM to watch!  We had a great time down in Malibu today!
The rest of the day was a bit of a lost cause.  I’d burnt 1500+ calories (per my HRM), so I wasn’t too worried about what I ate for the rest of the day.  But, instead of going out, I decided that I’d rather go home and get comfy there.  After showering, I made some leftovers, then took a nice nap!  After getting up, my parents showed me all the things they brought me from home (old-timey wooden skis that we’ll use as decor in the living room, an embroidered chair that my great grandmother sewed from 1880, and a bunch of other items).  We had pizza (more Trader Joe’s pizza crust!) and wine.
Such a good day!  Time for bed!

A Day of Remembrance

It was difficult to get out of bed this morning.  10 years after massive terrorist attacks on the US, I wonder how we can live such a normal life (at least I can).

When I did get up, I put out the flag that we reserve for the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, and the anniversary of September 11.  It’s not much, but at least I feel that I’m doing something

And then I went on with my day…

We started the day with iced coffee and more breakfast tacos…

A rainbow of colors for Sunday brunch. All veggies were the leftover grilled veggies from last night, except for the tomatoes, which were still fresh...

I used 6 egg whites and 2 full eggs, plus about 2 Tbsp of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.  The Fage adds a bit of creaminess to the eggs, but they’re not runny (like when I used to add skim milk).  They also give an extra pump of protein!

Because the Fage doesn’t mix super well in the eggs, I mix them in the bullet blender for about 5 seconds, just enough to get the Fage all mixed in and creamy.

I sautéed the onions first, since they were still pretty spicy last night, because they weren’t fully cooked.  

Pour over the eggs, and scramble away!

Add into corn tortillas, topped with Mexican Red Sauce, and voila!

After breakfast I started making the meal plan for this week…  Stay tuned for a post on that later this week!

This evening, our friend Christina came over again, this time to help me make cupcakes!  We made Jenna’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from Eat, Live, Run.  Except we doubled the recipe (to make a total of 18 cupcakes), and added 1/3 a bag of chocolate chips, because you know I love some chocolate!  And the best part?  I got to break out the new stand mixer that my hubby got me for my birthday!

Mmmm, cream cheese frosting!

The cupcakes turned out well – although they were pretty ‘molasses-ey’.  I’m not sure that’s a word, but I might cut the amount of molasses next time.  And Jenna was right – they’re very muffin-like in texture.

Pay no attention to the messes at the bottom of the oven...

Of course, the frosting more than makes up for that!  Yum.  I cut the tip of my make-shift pastry bag too large, so my frosting skills aren’t fantastic here.

But that just means more frosting.

How could that ever be a bad thing?

Of course, the cupcakes were for dessert.  I packed up 1 for Christina to take home, 11 to take to work, and 2 for Matt & I tomorrow evening for dessert. Remember – I’m trying to LOSE weight here.  While one cupcake once in a while isn’t going to kill me, 18 of them will.

Dinner was a salad with these toppings:

Yellow grape tomatoes, red peppers, heirloom carrots, baby beets, goat cheese & Garlic Gold... On top of butter lettuce with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

And we made a pizza…  Whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe’s (surprisingly amazing!), all-natural pizza sauce, sweet chicken sausage, red peppers and yellow grape tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese and Garlic Gold nuggets.  Of course, I forgot to snap any photos while eating, but behold the aftermath…  The middle pieces were messy, but the crust held up really well.

The crust was PERFECT!

We’re watching the History Channel’s special on the terrorist attacks from September 11, featuring home movies from civilians watching as the towers in NYC were hit.  It really was a terrible, terrible day in US history.  I was shocked to hear on NPR on Friday and read in this morning’s paper that most schools do not teach about this day.  I don’t care about your politics – and I don’t want this to become a political blog.  But teachers are made to teach to the test, and are not able to teach to what’s most important.

Never forget, my friends.  Never.

French Army Knife, Please!

Spent the day with a friend in Santa Monica, after missing my massage appointment.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I’m so upset!  My appointment was for 1 PM, but I was convinced that it was at 2 PM…  So I’m getting ready to leave the house at 1:40, grab my phone and check it, somewhat absent mindedly…  And lo and behold, there’s a message from my Chiropractor’s office, “Hi Lara, Just wondering if you could call us back to reschedule your appointment.”   Aaargh!  That’s the 2nd appointment for something that I’ve missed this week!  Talk about disorganized!

Left my hubby and 10 of his dearest co-workers to DESTROY my kitchen with pizza and beer, while they drafted their Fantasy Football teams.

PS: I was NOT a happy camper when I came home this evening to find my kitchen & living room & patio a mess, hubby up in bed, dogs unfed (and no water!), and spare pizza on the stove (with pizza boxes on the upholstery of the stools at the kitchen counter.  Not a happy camper, indeed.

But, I did have a fantastic time in Santa Monica today!  I picked Tash up & we headed off to the 3rd Street Promenade, where we promenaded to our hearts content, until I realized after leaving The Gap that I hadn’t eaten anything all day.  Despite having 2 iced coffees and running 3 miles.  Totally unlike me!  TOTALLY.  I do not forget to eat!

Amazing what happens when you’re 33 – there IS a first time for everything.

We decided to head over to the mall, Santa Monica Place, and try out a wine bar that she suggested, the Sonoma Wine Garden.

Loved the wooden & cork menus!

I just could not believe that we were in a mall – it was beautiful!

Isn't the chandelier beautiful? I want one!

And I loved the wall art!

Anyone know where I can find one of these? Fleur de lis & all?

We sat on the patio, with a bit of a view of the ocean.  Lovely day, lovely company, lovely wine & lovely food.  Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc to share.

They also had wines that you could serve yourself with 1, 3, or 5 oz pours.  Stick a little card in, based on what you’ve pre-paid for, and get your tasters.  Will have to try that next time.  The only problem is that those were all the way over by the bar, and if you’re sitting, enjoying your company, etc., it might be kind of a pain.  Would be a fun place to spend happy hour though.

We shared the truffle fries, a beet & goat cheese salad, and a “Garden pizza”, which was mushrooms, garlic & arugula, with ricotta cheese.  All of it was fantastic, and the service was very good.  I never waited more than 3 minutes for my water-glass to be refilled (I drink a lot of water when out, and it’s a huge pet peeve if it’s not refilled when I need my next big gulp!)

Mixed beet, Goat Cheese & Avocado salad to share.

The last piece of pizza. The crust was so crispy!

After lunch/dinner (it was about 5 by the time we finished), we headed over to Nordstrom’s.  HUGE shoe sale!  But, they didn’t have anything that I was dying for on the sale rack, so I held back.  But, I did get some new gold Havaianas Slim flip-flops.  Hey, I live in California.  Flip flops are worn year-round!  And, I’ve been lusting after them for a while, but could never find my size (I’m a 10/11 in shoes — closer to the 11, so I never like buying shoes online because I can’t guarantee they’ll fit, and I’m not good at returning stuff when I order it).


Now that the kitchen is clean, it’s off to bed with me.  Wine tasting tomorrow!  (Won’t be blogging until Monday evening, likely…  So much for the PostADay challenge.  Although I did vacuum today, and I also found my retainer!  Winning!

Oh, What a Weekend!

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WARNING:  LONG post!  I haven’t blogged all weekend, and we did LOTS!  Unfortunately, no pics of any of these yummy things!  Sorry!

I pondered naming this blog post “Oh, My Aching Chamois”, but thought better of it.  But, that was too good not to share!  Cycled twice this weekend, 12-ish miles on Saturday, then 29+ miles on Monday.  Monday’s ride didn’t feel so great, until my undercarriage just went numb.  Then I was a-OK.  (Wait. What?  That’s TMI for you?  Ooops, so sorry.)  Both rides were along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu — so beautiful!  Could have done without the head wind on the ride out, but loved it pushing me along the ocean side on the way back!

After cycling on Saturday, we headed to brunch at Coogie’s Beach Cafe in Malibu.  I had their vegetarian version of Eggs Benedict — instead of the muffin & ham, I had portobello mushrooms and sauteed spinach.  Ordered the Hollandaise sauce on the side, but it didn’t need it.  The poached eggs were a bit over done for my taste — which was OK, since I could scoop out some of the yolk & leave them, and they never did bring the toast I ordered once I realized that the stacks didn’t come on the top of English muffins.  2 of those stacks were served with house potatoes (never done perfectly, but I always end up eating all of them, after I slather them with hot sauce), and four (yes, four!) cups of coffee.  

Indian dinner on Saturday night with the hubby and a friend (his wife was down in LA with another friend).  Ate WAY too much — but the flavors were good.  Most of the Indian food I’ve had lately have been lacking in flavor, so I was happy to see that the new place we tried, Saffron, did a better job at that.  We found ourselves comparing it to Bollywood #3, and Bollywood is still the winner.  But with a $40 Groupon, Saffron was hard to beat!

Sunday morning we were up & out the door to go wine tasting.  We stopped at Foley Wines first, where the pups were lavished with all sorts of love from people who were surprised to see that we could bring our dogs there!   Then picked up some sandwiches from Panino — my favorite is #23 (goat cheese, roasted bell peppers, and sundried tomatoes with arugula on focaccia bread) — and met up with Allie & Mike.  Allie is my personal trainer, and it was her birthday weekend!  They’d just been to Sarloos & Sons to do a wine & cupcake tasting, and we decided to meet up so that Matt & I could take them tasting at a few of our favorite (read:  free because we’re wine club members).  

We stopped first at Lincourt, then headed over to Roblar.  We then dropped Allie & Mike off, as they were done with the wine, and Matt and I (and the pups) headed in for some more tastes in Solvang.  We had heard of some pet-friendly places, so stopped in at Carivintas Winery’s tasting room.  Super cute, and they had 2 different types of tastings to do.  We bought a bottle of one of their sweet wines (2010 Sauvingnon Blanc Sweet), and they didn’t even charge us for the tastings!  

Stopped in at the Wandering Dog Wine Bar, where I was able to have a glass of wine from a vineyard that we visited in South Africa (Fairview Wines)!  Matt got a beer, and all was right with the world (he’s more a beer drinker than a wine-o, but enjoys both wholeheartedly!)  Eventually though, we realized that one of us needed to drive home (as there were no pet-friendly vacancies in the area).  So, I got the last 1/2 of Matt’s beer, and he switched to water.  

Headed to dinner at Cecco Osteria Enoteca, where we had the most amazing fried artichoke appetizer.  Our other appetizer and the pizza we shared were also fantastic, but the artichokes were out of this world!  And, to imagine, they were a last minute add-in (me, literally yelling the order, to the waitress as she was walking away from us!) 

On Monday morning, even through my wine mouth and a bit of a hangover, I headed out cycling with my friend Lindsay.  Picked her up at 8:40 (a bit later than planned), and we headed off to Malibu again.  Rode a good 30 miles, then back home to clean up the house and start prepping for our BBQ!  A small group of friends came over, and Matt and I had prepped some flank steak marinaded in Trader Joe’s Soy Teriyaki sauce, some chicken breasts in this fantastic apricot marinade Matt made, and some zucchini, yellow squash, and green bell peppers in olive oil, black pepper & sea salt.  Also had a bunch of berries out, watermelon, broccoli with taziki sauce, as well as a few types of chips & dip.  Lindsay & Mike brought a great salad (arugula, feta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, dressed in olive oil), and Holly brought a buttermilk bundt cake.  A pitcher of margaritas and a few empty beer bottles later, we had had a fabulous cookout!

Mike & Lindsay stayed, so that we could watch “The Power of One”.  If you haven’t read the book by Bryce Courtney, do it NOW.  NOW, I say!  Best.Book.Ever.  The movie took a lot of “liberties”, and not for the better.  I was SO looking forward to re-living the whole of the book.  Oh well — that’s how it always happens, right?!?


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I want to binge right now. The thing is, intellectually, I know I don’t want to. But there’s something in me that’s craving. I gave in and stopped at a cupcake bakery for an afternoon snack on my way home from a dermatologist appointment. 

But then I wanted to head over to the NY pizzeria for a slice or 2. Why? I had a good lunch. Like a REALLY good lunch:

  • Arugula 
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Goat cheese
  • Filet mignon
  • Garlic infused Olive oil with pepper & sea salt

It was a fantastic salad. And I was satisfied. But it wasn’t greasy. Or hot. Or extremely filling, I suppose. I thought it was — but then, on came the need for the cupcake. And the desire for the pizza. To which I said NO! to. (And, only getting 1 cupcake this time is a victory, but still).

Why’d I have to drive my car there? Park there? Get out of my car there? Wait for htem to finish helping someone else there? Get back in my car with my cupcake?

Disillusioned with my successes. Feeling doomed to failure. Not a good way to start the weekend.

I’m not going to the gym

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And you can’t make me. I HATE Tuesdays. I hate Mondays, too, but I really hate Tuesdays. Why? Because I have class on Mondays, which make it a bear to get up on Tuesday morning. I am just SO exhausted. I can’t even imagine going to the gym right now. I’m going to head home, hopefully take a short nap. Grumble – I’m already at 1100 calories for the day, haven’t eaten dinner, and won’t get any workout in. Crud.

Listened to NPR last night on my way home from class — can’t remember which show. They were interviewing a cookbook author who was touting that we need to change the way that Americans eat — more veg & whole grains, less meat. I completely agree! One thing that he said really struck me: (And I’m paraphrasing b/c I can’t find the friggin’ article.):
You don’t NEED to eat when you’re hungry. Be hungry. You don’t always get to take a nap when you’re tired, do you? You don’t always get to have sex when you’re frisky. You don’t always get to eat when you’re hungry. Get over it.

It’s been about 2 weeks since I have had any kind of meat that I don’t know how it was raised. That’s so cool to me! And, I don’t really even notice or miss it (mostly because I can’t imagine all the poisons I was putting into my body. They wash all that stuff with ammonia. That’s like cat pi$$!).

An associate who is on my team came in for a skip-level meeting. I was eating my afternoon snack (Babybel & Ak-mak Sesame crackers) and she proudly announced that she was on the Special K challenge. I kind of wanted to smack her. But, she’s vegetarian, and already eats really well (lost 30+ pounds on WW before she came to work here), so I just gently reminded her about all the HFCS, and we started chatting. I’m not trying to be all high and mighty — she is, after all a vegetarian, which makes her better than me, in my opinion, but I just worry that it’s not sustainable. I passed a bit of judgement. Boo on me.

I’ve realized that I’ve been eating way too much pizza. You wonder how that’s possible, but every time I go to Whole Foods, I get pizza. And every time I go to class, I have pizza for dinner. Not acceptable. I need to start bringing my food for class on Mondays. Only 10 weeks left until Graduation! Woot!

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