Sunday, March 27, 2011

T's and S's

Hi there! Hope you're having a great weekend! My weekend has been good, but a little lazy today. Yesterday was a fun and eventful day. One of my favorite friends and I hung out in the evening and had dinner at a Thai restaurant. We both ordered Pad Thai, and it was so yummy. We then went to browse around at TJ Maxx, picked up a few things at the Indian grocery store, made a Target run, and got some ice cream to take home while we watched some television. Thai food, TJ Maxx, and Target. No, the T theme was not planned, but it worked out pretty well.

While at TJ Maxx, we both found some nice sunglasses and I found a pair of beautiful BCBGeneration shoes. The moment I put these shoes on I knew I had to have them. They are the kind of shoes that make you feel sexy. They are gold-ish colored, 3 inch or so peep-toed stilettos. Best part, they were only $40!!

Sorry for the bad pictures - my camera does not take good blog pictures, but you get the idea!
How was your weekend? What did you do that was really fun?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Fix Friday: Sandwich Spread...or Filling?

Hi guys! I meant to post this earlier but ended up having to take care of something...and now that I'm posting it I realize I forgot to take a picture of the food. I was really hungry and so was hubby, and I just didn't think to take a picture before clearing my plate.

Vegetarian or Vegan Sandwich Spread/Filling
  • one can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • about 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise or Vegenaise (I tried this and it was pretty tasty, just like mayo!)
  • about 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh or from concentrate)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • about 1/2 or one whole roasted red bell pepper, chopped up (I have a jar of these in my fridge)
  • whatever bread or wrap or pita you want to use the filling in (I used a pita pocket for fun)
  1. Mash up the garbanzo beans - they don't need to be smooth like a paste, just mashed up
  2. Mix in the mayo, lemon juice, celery, red bell, and you can add in salt & pepper too if you want
  3. Fill the pita pocket or spread onto your choice of bread and eat with a huge salad beast!
We ate these with a simple salad of romaine lettuce, avocado, feta cheese, and sesame ginger dressing. It was a very satisfying dinner!

*I didn't really measure out the lemon juice and mayo, just mixed them in to my taste and kept testing it until I liked it. Super easy recipe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

gettin some happy in my day

Hello blog friends! I hope you've had a nice Wednesday. The week has just been moving along quickly, no? I must say that I've enjoyed this week thus far. Some things that have made me happy over the last few days:
  • beautiful weather in TX, finally!
  • a couple appointments were cancelled at work this week, giving me more time to do other stuff
  • jumping on my neighbor's trampoline on a beautiful Tuesday evening
  • going for a walk after dinner with hubby and the dogs earlier tonight
  • seeing my doggies swimming in the pool - they LOVE swimming, it's so fun to watch!
  • getting yummy food from Central Market, including this dinner:

I picked up veggie spring rolls and a broccolini-tofu-mushroom side dish with balsamic and garlic (I think). It was really yummy, healthy, and filled me up after my quick strength workout. The one thing that didn't make me smile this week: a very busy gym this evening! I don't like working out in the evenings because it gets so busy, but sometimes that's the only time in my schedule to work out. I wanted to do squats with the oly bar but the weight room was crazy busy with big muscle-y men. I used the seated leg press instead and did some cable kick-backs. Also did vertical chest press, seated row, and ab work (plank). It was quick but effective. :)

How has your week been so far? What's made you happy this week?

Yesterday's post

Hi blog friends! Someone posted that they weren't able to access the link I posted yesterday to another blog. The website is, in case anyone is interested in seeing the post I talked about.

Also, I hope nobody was offended by anything I wrote yesterday about being vegetarian or vegan. I'm not trying to get anyone to convert or to feel bad about consuming animal products by any means. I just wanted to share my journey through this process and what I've been reading about and thinking. My husband is a meat-eater and I'm the one doing the cooking for him, so you can see I don't push my values onto him, although I do tell him about what I learn and why I'm trying new things. Okay, maybe I do persuade him to eat more vegetarian-ish a little, but he doesn't mind. ;)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't be a bully!

I had some down time in the office this morning and was browsing through blogs and came across this post about vegan bullying. Had never heard of it before, but since I've been trying to eat more of a vegan-ish diet, I was curious to read it. I'm glad I did, because it makes me feel better about not yet being 100% vegan. And I'm not even sure I will be 100% vegan. I would like to be, because I appreciate the idea and what that means, but in practicality, I don't know if it will work for me. And anyway, making such dietary changes takes least for me.

Not eating meat anymore wasn't that difficult since I've been an on-and-off vegetarian throughout life. Getting rid of eggs and dairy, not so easy. I cut out eggs a week ago and that hasn't been too hard because I had been considering it for a while, but even in just a week, there were a couple days where I would have just like to scramble some eggs for breakfast, or dinner. It's not so much about the taste (although I do like the taste of scrambled eggs with cheese and hot sauce!) but about convenience sometimes. Eggs and dairy are easy sources of protein. However, I'm not really sure what I believe about how much protein our bodies really need after all the conflicting information I've read recently. (This is something I'll have to research some more.)

Anyway, although choosing not to eat scrambled eggs or an omelet isn't that difficult, letting go of dairy products is a whole other story. There are just so many things I love to eat that involve dairy in some way. Or even include eggs as an ingredient for that matter. Certain things, like desserts, sauces, pasta made with eggs, ice cream (although I've found good alternatives), and many other things. Ordering pizza would not be the same - what about the cheese?! I LOVE cheese, and that is something I have reduced over the week, but not sure I could cut it out least not anytime soon.

However, to help make these transitions I've been trying to focus on what I will have more of in my diet, rather than solely focusing on what I will have less of or not have at all. I've been enjoying really yummy salads (you can get pretty creative), lots of fresh fruit and fresh juice (remember our new juicer), snacking on my favorite nuts (cocoa almonds), and making my own creative desserts. What it really comes down to is time and being able to plan out meals and be creative. We live in a busy world, and being able to create a yummy and healthy meal is not always easy, but this is one thing I try to do at least a couple times a week, if not every day. I'm beginning to understand that if we invest in our health now, we will reap the benefits in the future.

Well, I guess this post took a different direction than where it started but I hope you had a chance to read the post I linked at the top and are assured that vegans and vegetarians are not haters! Overall, be compassionate in whatever way you are possible...if that means eating less meat, that's great. If not, that's okay too. There are many ways to be compassionate toward others (humans and animals). Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crunch No More

Well, getting back to a "real" Monday after a week off from school wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Actually, it was pretty productive. Started my day off with the usual green juice, then I finally hit the gym! Last week I worked out at home and even though I have weights and a stability at home, my work-outs are usually lame. My workouts at the gym are always much better. But for some reason, getting my butt to the gym is sometimes difficult...

Luckily this morning that wasn't the case! I had a great workout with some weighted walking lunges, wide-grip lat pull-down, chest flys, leg curls, squats with the olympic bar, assisted pull-ups, and ab work. For my abs, I didn't do a single crunch! I'm in the "no-crunch zone" now. What's the no-crunch zone you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

I just bought The New Rules of Lifting for Abs last week...gotta work on that six-pack for summer, haha! just. kidding. A flat stomach would be nice to start off with. Anyway, this book basically says that crunches don't do anything for you. One of the exercises it suggested was the plank. I often do the plank, but this book offers many progressions to the plank that work your core. For example, there's the 45-Degree Plank, Plank with Leg Lift, Swiss-Ball Plank, and many more. 

This book offers a lot of information, including some simple nutrition guidance. If you want to try something new and work on getting those sexy abs, pick up this book!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Name

Hi friends! I decided to change my blog's title and address. The other one wasn't really feeling like a good fit and I had created it just on a whim, while messing around one day. But now this blog is sort of going in a direction, which happens to be the direction I'd like my life to go be healthy and happy.

I'm pretty happy right now, and I think I'm healthy, but I know there are definitely ways to improve my health. Thus, I'm always trying to work on that. Earlier today I came up with many cute blog titles but they were all taken, so my lack of creativity left me with this: Healthful and Happy. The kind of life I want to live. And there you have it.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Food Fix Friday: What's cookin'?'s more like what's not cooking. Even though I've been home all week, I've only cooked a couple times. I made indian lentils for hubby one day and there were leftovers for dinner the next day. We had some huge salads a couple other nights, and earlier in the week I made turnips (indian dish with roti).

My lunches have mostly been salads or veggies with hummus and I've been doing more snacking than usual. My favorite snack this week has been hummus with sugar snap peas. The one thing I made this week that was new, but not cooked, was white chocolate almond butter. I bought my first "real" food processor, a Cuisinart. I was so excited to use it that I tried making almond butter. Well, it worked! But almond butter alone wasn't that exciting, so I added in white chocolate chips and it came out so creamy and yummy...mmm.
As you can see, I didn't make very much since I was just trying it out. But since it came out so good I will definitely be making it again soon!

Btw, I haven't eaten eggs all week...except I haven't been checking ingredients of packaged treats, so that's another thing I will have to look out for. It's going to be a lot more difficult to go vegan than I thought, but I'm willing to go for it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

adios huevos!

Over the last couple days I've been reading CSD and really thinking about whether or not I want to make changes in my diet, and why I would be doing so. I definitely decided that I want to make some changes, like eliminate eggs and reduce dairy products after the things I've read and just my feelings about using animal products in general. I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes. The first thing I'm letting go of is from this Monday to Sunday = no eggs. I'm also going to reduce dairy products this week, starting with milk. I think reducing or eliminating cheese is going to be the hard one. I LOVE cheese, especially in my salads!

For now, letting go of eggs will be enough of a change. Actually, I had been thinking of letting go of eggs for a while now because of one specific reason. WARNING: If you love eggs, don't read the following sentence because I don't want to gross you out. I've been noticing what I assume is blood in eggs lately...for like the past few weeks, but I've just ignored it and continue to eat them. I use cage free brown eggs, so you'd think they are healthy...anyway, glad I'm finally going to give it a try. With the rest, I'll take baby steps!

The day has started off nice - slept in till about 10 (I woke up a couple times this morning and ended up turning off the alarm). Had a yummy green juice. I should have written down the amounts of stuff I used since it tasted good. This is roughly what I put in:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 green pear
  • 4 or 5 celery stalks
  • 2 or 3 romaine leaves
  • 2 or 3 kale leaves
  • 2 or 3 twigs (?) parsley
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 inch lemon slice with rind
It was very refreshing and felt clean. I know it probably sounds weird that a juice felt clean, but that's the description that came to mind. 

Did a quick weights workout at home and had a yummy salad beast for lunch, the same as the other day. 

Plans for the rest of the day include trying to be productive! Here's what I'm aiming for:
  • finish CSD
  • do a load of laundry
  • make Indian food for hubby
  • work on writing an essay (school-related)
  • play with the doggies, get some outdoor activity in
Hope you all have a great Monday! Since I'm on Spring Break, I actually like this week's Monday! ;) 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Crazy Busy Fun

Hi there! Hope you all had as great a Saturday as I did! It was the best day I've had in a while...probably because I didn't worry about school and just enjoyed the day with my doggies and hubby, did some housework, shopping, and ate yummy food.

Started my day with this:
Green juice - green apple, cucumber, celery, romaine, parsley, ginger
Orange juice - 2 oranges and one pink grapefruit
I had the orange & grapefruit juice, hubby had the green juice. There was only enough cucumber for one juice, and I really wanted the green one, but let him have it instead. See how nice I am. :) Btw, I am NOT a fan of grapefruit - next time I will have to add in another orange or something to reduce the bitterness.

Then, as hubby went to work out and be all healthy, I decided not to hit the gym and instead spend some time with the doggies outside since it was such a beautiful day. We went to visit my neighbor who loves the doggies and they love her. I jumped on her huge trampoline while they swam in her pool. It was great!

Lunch was a "salad beast" as Gina and other bloggers refer to huge salads:
Salad beast - romaine, red bell pepper, feta cheese, avocado, sesame ginger dressing
For extra protein - crispy tofu in soy ginger sauce
After lunch I got ready to do some shopping with hubby. We were out for a few hours trying to take care of a couple errands and look for specific items. He found what he was looking for but I only found some random things that were not on my list...but bought them anyway. I don't know why I've been having such trouble finding clothes lately. It's an unusual problem. However, I did find these two lovely dresses at Nordstrom Rack:
I saw this dress last week at the Max Studio outlet but it was double what I paid for it today. Score! My two fave colors - red and black, and I can wear it to work. It fits nicely and gives me some shape.
close up of the lace

I like the color and lace on this dress, and it seemed appropriate for spring. I could wear it to work with a cardigan. It was only $25!!
I also got these shoes...they were so comfy and I figured they would be cuter than flip flops to wear to the pool or something...but hubby thought they were weird. What do you guys think?

They are like so jelly shoes or whatever they were called. They were only about $17 and super comfy, but maybe not so stylish?

Our evening continued with a trip to Whole Foods. Here are a few new things I picked up to try:

I tried the choco macaroons as soon as I got home and they were amazing! YUMMY and healthy apparently!!

Oh, and we had dinner at Bliss Raw Cafe. It's a raw, vegan, organic restaurant. I had the spaghetti and "meatballs". It was pretty good. Here are my leftovers:

Hubby didn't get any food because he ate at the mall, and I also think the menu items didn't appeal to him...but he had a healthy drink of goji berries and some other stuff in it. He said he liked it. I can't wait to go back and try some more of their dishes!

Well, I think I'm going to read some CSD and get to bed. Hope to make it to church in the morning! Have a great Sunday!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Fix Friday: Ice Cream...for breakfast?

Yes, you read that right. Ice cream. For breakfast. Haven't you always wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast? Well, now you can, and not feel guilty about it! I got this idea from Gina's blog (I love her blog! Check it out when you get a chance). She made protein ice cream and I was so tempted to try it that I finally did a couple weeks ago, and then again this morning after my workout. It's a good way to get some extra protein in and also feel like you're having a treat.

Protein Ice Cream:
1 scoop of protein powder of your choice (I use Syntrax Nectar Sweets chocolate truffle)
1/2 c almond milk
about 1 c frozen mixed berries (or other fruit of your choice, and it doesn't have to be frozen)

blend in blender/magic bullet/Vitamix

Note: I also like using bananas instead of berries, it's a bit more creamy and tastes yummy! The more fruit you add in the more ice cream-y texture you will have.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crazy Sexy Diet

I just downloaded this book on my new Kindle!! Well, mine and hubby's new Kindle to share. ;) It's kind of fun to read on here. Looking forward to reading this book and sharing my thoughts about it with you all.

The week has gone by quickly! Just been busy with school and work, and getting those dishes clean every night before bed, haha. No sink full of dishes in the morning!

I hope to get in a good cardio workout tomorrow and make plans for Spring Break...even though I won't actually be going anywhere, I need to plan out how I want to make the most of my time off - getting some work done, organizing/cleaning the house and my home office, eating healthy and working out, and spending time with others!

Hopefully I will have a good food post for you tomorrow. We shall see!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday thru Sunday and plans for Spring Break

Things have been crazy busy and I haven't really had much time to blog about fun stuff...not much fun has really been going on. At least not blog worthy. :) Pretty much whatever I write on here is related to my life at the moment, and right now my life is all about getting thru graduate school (with all its ups and downs) and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. As you may have noticed, I started entering my workouts for the week in the box on the left. One of these days I'll post a whole workout - from The New Rules of Lifting for Women, which I used to follow a few months back and am trying to get back into once in a while.

As for food, I will have to post a nice recipe on Friday. Until is a new post idea I'd like to try, called Monday thru Sunday. It's mostly for me to stay on track and try something for every day of the week, whether it be something to do, something to include in my meals, or whatever. Basically to help hold me accountable for my goals for the week. This week, my goal is to go to sleep without a sink full of dishes! Sounds simple enough, but my the middle of the week I get so tired when I get home that I'll leave dishes to wash the next morning. And who wants to wake up to a sink full of dishes? Plus, I don't like using a dishwasher...there aren't enough dishes to justify using it unless we have a dinner party or something. However, I would probably waste less water with the dishwasher...

So, this week's Monday thru Sunday: wash all dishes before bed!!

Spring Break, you are so close...I can't wait! I'm going on a wild cruise for a week! I'm super excited!! Just have to get everything done before I leave...NOT. I'm not going anywhere. I could, but it wouldn't be a wise decision. See, I have all these requirements for my grad program and Spring Break would give me a whole week where I don't have to go to work or be on campus, and can actually get some work done on those requirements. Sounds fun, right? Yeah, tell me about it. But I am definitely going to have some fun things planned during the week...hopefully. Any ideas?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fruit Craze

Hi friends! I've been a bad blogger the last few days. I was super busy on Friday and forgot my Food Fix post. Sorry about that! School has been crazy and upsetting and I've just been trying to get things on track. Unfortunately, not everything is in my control with school and it just makes things frustrating. Enough about that for now.

Weekend was fun but too short! Went to the Allen outlets with hubby but didn't find much...I think I've lost my shopping mojo! I went to the Galleria mall the day before and left with nothing. That almost never happens! Maybe it's because I'm looking for specific things and not finding them. Anyway, at the outlets the only place I bought anything was at Ann Taylor - a blue printed top, a black beaded headband, and a long silver necklace. Will try to post pics later this week.

My favorite purchase of the weekend is from today - the Jack LaLanne Juicer!! I've been on a fruit kick all week and have been eating multiple servings of fruit daily. Since trying to eat healthier, I've wanted to try making fresh juice at home but out previous juicer sucked. So today I talked hubby into buying the Power Juicer. When we got home I made orange-carrot juice and it was super refreshing! Looking forward to trying some green juices that I keep seeing on other food blogs.

That's it for now. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Night is the Best

Reasons why Wednesday night is the best:

  • I don't have to be at work until 9:30 on Thursdays, so I can leave the house at 8:30, which means I can sleep in a little bit.
  • Half the week is over.
  • It has ended up being my 'visit Central Market on the way home' day. Got some more fresh fruit and veggies today.
  • I get to see all the fun people at work.
  • It's my 'rest day' from working out...for now.
I like Thursday - Sunday too, but for different reasons. No, I didn't forget about Monday. I just don't like it. Monday should just be part of the weekend I tell you. 

Anyway...I didn't get to go on a real shopping trip yet but made a quick stop at Kohl's just to see if I could find something cute there, but I only found a necklace. I don't know how Katy always finds the cutest things there. But I do love my new necklace, and it was one of the things I was looking for, so success! It was about $8 on sale from $24!

Wish List Wednesday

Today, I only wish for time to slow down...or for more hours to be added to the day. I have a million things to do for work and school and there is just not enough time to get it all done in a timely manner.

I've been thinking about this Wish List Wednesday post - I don't really like doing it anymore. It was fun at first, but my wish list isn't always realistic and I just feel greedy posting all these things I want. I always want something. Thus, I won't be doing a weekly Wish List post, but will replace it with something that fits more in line with my values/goals/thoughts...keep an eye out for it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A New Month, A New Wardrobe?

Okay, new month, yes. New wardrobe, not so much. Well friends, my self-imposed shopping ban is over and you better believe that I am going shopping ASAP...which means this weekend. Maybe I can squeeze in a mini trip during the week. Don't worry now, I'm not going to go all crazy. My first priority is to look for the items I mentioned in a previous post. Those are things my closet needs at the moment. Any sales going on this week?

I'm participating in Two Truths and a Lie Tuesday from Melissa's blog once again:

  1. I am a vegetarian.
  2. Washing dishes is the only household chore I don't mind doing.
  3. I played the drums for my high school marching band.