Long, Long, Looonnnnggg Day

27 08 2008

Fall 2008 Classes:

Monday: Research Methods in Foods and Nutrition… hmm… we are starting out with a group lit review… after having already completed a thesis in undergrad ( based on previous literature/studies, I chose to experiment injecting post-natal rats with an excitoxin in their tiny little brains ( about 1 cm)…after they had been pre-natally stressed. Then I had to write my intro, lit review, methods, stat analysis, results, discussion, and conclusion….. I think this class will be lots of busy work and not very difficult. However, it is 3+ hours long!! ugghhh

Tuesday: Gastronomy!
SUPER EXCITED! The basis of this class is what makes a dining experience a pleasurable dining experience? What did gastronomers do and how/what impacts our food choices i.e why do I eat out of a tupperware container and how is that more pleasurable than say having a candlelit dinner on china with Jeff… Today We watched a video on physiology of taste…

Wednesday: Minority Nutrition and Health Disparities…

This class should be interesting because I actually wanted to start out in this area of the field, but have since changed my interests. The prof is the same as monday’s class, whom has already assigned readings due on the first day of class from books that were Un-orderable!

Thursday: Advanced Nutrient Metabolism

I didnt take the pre-req ( Biochemistry ) for this class. However, I took organic chemistry 1 and 2 and got A’s in both- I only started paying attention when we started looking at structures of molecules as what they contribute to be.. like carbohydrate chains and sugar molecules. So that was the best part of organic chem and we reviewed that in this class last week. So it should be a very difficult but rewarding class and the professor is totally like my undergrad advisor… even down to the Calvin and Hobbes syllabus!

Fridays FREE day! and boy am I going to need it! In gastronomy alone we are reading 4 books plus an additional chosen book at a later date!

I am totally overwhelmed by asthma/health insurance/ knee problems and class vs. work right now. I know it will get better but it seems like all at once there is a BILLION things to think about/buy/do/take care of… big sigh! I cant even sleep because my mind is just still racing from my day.

Body: I ran!!!!! HOORAYY!! 2 miles without pain!!! IT FELT ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL!
I stuck to an 8 min/mile pace once I warmed up for 30 minutes on the elliptical. I only wanted to attempt a half of a mile to gage how my knee was… and when it was fine at joggin pace, i up’ed the stakes to 1 mile and a little faster … before i knew it I was back into my groove and happily going. I stopped purposely at 2 because I most certainly do not want to over do it but man it felt good!

Mind: I have researched and gone through countless health insurance policies today hoping to find one that is not $300/month and will cover my asthma perscriptions. I find it totally appauling that the health insurance options in this country are over-priced, complicated, take weeks to apply, then longer to get cards, then you have to present your cards to pay EVEN more to get a perscription after having paid EVEN more to go see a doctor and losing money by having to often take off work to make an appointment! Its absolutely ridiculous and I have been furious about it all day. I am actually more interested now in figuring out which presedential candidate is going to provide the best reform on the US health insurance …

Soul: I cried, a lot today, because I am so overwhelmed right now. It started last week with getting “kicked out” of my job for 8 weeks because my knee is hurt (no stairs no squatting means I cant perform my job duties and no medical leave b/c i am part time because of grad school), then I can’t continue training because my knee is hurt, then i lose health insurance because I am not working, then I cant fix my knee problem because i dont have health insurance, then my asthma gets worse because my inhaler is not covered under my temporary insurance, then my asthma gets worse because i worry about it and because our house is dirty because I can’t clean it because cleaning makes my asthma worse.

positives: I feel better after all the crying today honestly. I took lots of time to smell the lillies Jeff gave me. I talked to my mom for countless hours and helped her de-stress ( she is overwhelmed right now just like me with visitors this weekend and school etc. herself!) .. I cleaned the bathroom, and the kitchen floor. My mom and I discussed options for our house/asthma/allergy dillema…
We should mop the walls, get rid of the old furniture and buy new stuff ( we have been putting it off but i think at this point – its necessary for my health, and for my piece of mind, and will be WELL put to good use)… paint the walls, and maybe buy another air filter. I created a “safe” room- our bedroom door stays closed during the day, Jack (dog) is not allowed in their, the air filter stays on in there too.. So that way I have a clean-air room I can go to if need be.

Breakfast: Smoothie…
I actually woke up before Jeff this morning and tried to get him up by enticing him with scrambled eggs… he asked if he could have a smoothie instead!!
So- I made him one but I wanted something a little different so
1 scoop pure protein
1 cup frzn strawberries
1 cup frzn blueberries
1 glob chobani greek yogurt plain
1 Tb ground flax
3.4 cup milk

I gave him a good 14 oz serving, then gave myself the rest ( about 3 oz ) with the remainder of the chobani, a tsp natural pb, some strawberry smart start oat bites…

Two pieces Whole Wheat toast
1 serving grilled chicken breast strips ( the oscar meyer lunch meat section kind)
1 pickle
1 cup frozen veggies, steamed

Post Workout Snack/ Pre Class :
a bite of a protein bar… not enough but i had to rush to get to class on time!

I grabbed a bag of dole veggie salad mix on the way home from school..

I had about 2/3 the bag ( 2 servings+)
with a Tb of Annes Goddess Dressing
plus a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese
the rest of the grilled chicken from lunch ( the pack has 2 servings, 110 kcal/serv. 22 g protein, 1 g fat)
+ I made Jeff “buffalo chicken sausage and polenta”
so I took a serving of the polenta too with some cheddar on top and I had a bite of the buffalo chicken sausage … NOT BAD AT ALL!
this is the first sausage ever that I kinda like!

For the polenta, I had organic polenta in a roll form.. I sliced it into 1/2 inch slices put it in the pan and drizzled a tiny bit of smart balance oil on each ( i mean tiny.. only so that it wouldnt stick)… then turned them over after about 3 minutes on medium heat, then sprinkled with cheddar! The sausage I just stuck in another pan, covered and cooked on medium heat for 8 minutes, then flipped em for another 5 minutes or so… Super easy and quick …


25 08 2008

Body: The campus gym is closed 9-10 and 11-12.. poo! I got to campus at 9 and started reading before I checked the hours. It figures I wanted to go durig the hours they were closed! Maybe I can be the work-study person for those hours and keep it open! Instead, I took a nice fast walk around campus total 32 minutes…I am going to do some more yoga, strength train, shower and lots more walking while I shop for chairs, books, etc. then walk around campus again before class!

Mind: I read 2 chapters from the 2 books for todays Research Methods Class (once I got to campus and printed them !) and I also read Chp.1,3 and part of 4 for my class wednesday Minority Populations and Health Disparities ( one of my fav topics!). I will finish chp 4 probably before class wednesday. Seriously— Who assigns homework readings BEFORE classes even START.. DUE on the FIRST DAY OF CLASS!?!?!?! Well- It IS graduate school-I am just not sure once I get the MRI on my knee and see if I can be cleared to go back to work how I am going to get it all done. But I will!

Soul: Yoga 45 minutes (total).
Yoga ALWAYS helps me breathe better and feel less stressed so I thought it was a great warmup to my day! My latest goal is to do yoga three (mornings) a week. It may also help Jeff wake up earlier for work – win win !


Smoothies!!!!! I asked Jeff last night if he wanted a smoothie for breakfast and he answered so emphatically Ooo Smoothies, Yes!! I almost didnt believe him!
I am glad you like them so much Jeff!
Today’s Recipe
*No pic and this recipe was split in two, and I scarfed down mine because I was starving when I woke up!

1.5 scoops pure protein
1 cup 1% milk
1 big glob of greek yogurt plain
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
Topped with Just Bunches cereal and 1 tsp ground flax seed on each cup

Flax seeds are like minature sunflower seeds (the inside part, not their shell). They provide an EXCELLENT source of omega 3 Fatty Acids, and fiber (cellulose) and protein and lignans too!!
The omega -3’s are super helpful in regulating brain, cell, and heart functioning, they are also helpful in lowering cholesterol. In my advanced nutrient metabolism class, lipids arent until the end of the semester. So you’ll have to wait for more good info on omega 3’s and Fatty Acids!

(post pic later)
Mixed Veggies steamed
Annies Mac and Cheese
green tea!

Hooray for more omega 3’s ( which also are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties)!

Dinner: will be at Jeff’s parents (yes again, can you tell I really enjoy spending time with his family? I love them as much as my own!)
I think london broil is on the menu and I may try to throw together a desert for them…

Sunday Funday !

25 08 2008
Sunday is always funday for me! It makes it less like the day before Monday!

Body: Strength Training: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Hamstrings… Cardio: 40 minutes on the Elliptical , Biked for 3 miles ..lots of walking during my shopping adventures throughout the day!

Soul: shopping… shopping!
I finally found the “wristlet/clutch” I have been looking for! Jeff found the reel he wanted ! We both got AMAZING deals too! I was searching for a clutch/wristlet because with going to work, then going to the gym, then going to campus for class… then travelling to all kinds of places on the weekends I needed something more versatile like a wallet but smaller to fit into whatever bag I need ( gym bag, purse, bookbag for campus, carry-on..) It so versatile! and Its Red!

Mind: I attempted the readings for class tomorrrow the prof. posted on blackboard. She posted them sideways… so then I tried to print them. My printer installation did not work so I decided I will just go to campus tomorrow morning, read/print to read the assignments then workout on campus, head home for lunch/shower, then back to campus for class. No worries (other than fixing my printer installation!)

Chobani Greek Yogurt (Plain Flavor)

Frozen Strawberries, Frozen Blueberries, Frozen Peaches warmed up (2 servings of fruit total)
Grape Nuts Trail Mix
Ground Flax Seed (1 tsp)
Tsp Peanut Butter ( I use Smucker’s All Natural

Lunch: I made Annies Organic Mac & Cheese with some pepperoni sliced up~ Thought Jeff would like it… and I never enjoyed mac and cheese until I became an “adult”. I hated that when I would go to friends houses as a child, parents would give us either just mac and cheese … or a peanute butter and jelly sandwich ( which I HATED when I was little- I told everyone peanut butter made me cough).

Combined Effort Dinner:

Jeff grilled:
Chicken Breasts with hot sauce on them YUM!
Corn on The Cob

(salmon fillet for me for this week)

I made:
Parmesean Garlic rice

Mixed Veggies .. asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, can you guess what else? I LOVE asparagus and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower!

There is my plate… I saved a few pieces of chicken for Jeff for his lunch tomorrow ( I will probably eat the salmon!)

I need a shower and dessert!!!!

Weekend Part 1

24 08 2008

Body:Saturday I really wasnt looking foward to driving all the way to the gym. I finally decided to go because I really needed to deposit money into my new checking account ( the new bank is 1/2 way to the gym). Jeff nicely agreed to walk with me instead but then I figured if I go 1/2 way to the gym, might as well go all the way. Boy am I glad I did!! I did 32 minutes on the elliptical ( i promised myself to do at least 30 then see how I feel)… Then biked for 3.5 miles!

Mind & Soul: I found out that the books for class next week are going to take 4 weeks to deliver! So I checked other sites and then finally contacted the prof who told me not to worry about it… Phew! In prep for my first full week of classes, I CLEANED OFF MY DESK! Wow that felt great! I also CLEANED my Clothing Room. Yes, Jeff is kind enough to let me use our entire third (small) bedroom as a “laural room”, It has two picture boards of all my friends, thank you notes, etc. My yoga mat, TV, and an armoir with my clothes, shelving with clothes and beauty/hair stuff, and the closet is well filled too!
Sunday: I am going to read the assignments for class tomorrow ( and maybe wednesday’s class too!) I also plan on cleaning the rest of the room, and doing yoga/meditation after a long workout (not sure if I am going to campus gym or planet fitness)

Friday Night updated on friday’s post!

Saturday: Jeff made me breakfast! We had to get up early to go to Jeff’s nephew’s lil league Football game! It was so adorable to see 4 year olds running around playing flag football! and his niece is a cheerleader “lil lady comet” Ah for cuteness! After the games we went shopping at PetSmart for Dog shampoo and new toy
( pink frosted doughnut!) Dick’s for fishing reels, shoes, sports bras, and then headed home for lunch. I cleaned and went to the gym, then when I got back we decided on going out to dinner to catch up with friends since we have been away alot and are going to Elizabeth City next weekend ( Hi Mom!) ..

Breakfast: Jeff made..
4 egg whites
2 pieces WW toast
1/2 grapefruit
1/2 banana w/ pb!

Lunch: left over dinner
WW pasta 1/2 serving
Veggie Tomato Sauce 2 servings
Gr. Turkey w. Mushrooms 1 serving

Dinner ( I was STARVING !! It took 30 minutes to find parking, 30 mintues to wait for a table, 20 minutes to get our salads!)

When we arrived, I looked at the menu and saw Sangria~ Jeff got me a glass and it was great!

Salmon Lafeyette ( brown sugar and cajun spice rubbed- which i scraped off!) , Sweet potato fries, vegetables and a house salad( onions, tomatos, romaine, carrots)

(we purposely saved room for dessert)
Banana’s Foster ! They do a bread pudding then sliced bananas, caramel ice cream on the side then drench it in run, light on fire, then serve it! One of the few desserts I feel like is worth $6.75, and probably 675 calories or more
( I had about 1/3 )

So Full but So satisfied – I totally enjoyed “eating out” for what it is…

22 08 2008

Body: I think with the Soul section you will see, I just needed to rest today. Fridays are always days that seem to have everything “catch up” on me at once. I am going to take Jack on a walk around the neighborhood in a few minutes after job -searching!

Mind: I have been job searching this afternoon and reading on the internet!

Soul: I slept in the extra half an hour after realizing I could this morning and… I took a nap after lunch too! I think I needed “rest” not necessarily sleep. The difference being I needed an outlet for stress ( the doctor’s this week, faxing troubles, driving around, told I can’t work, etc. )… This is one of those times where I really pay attention to that question I often try to ask myself Laural, “What are you REALLY HUNGRY for?” … my body tells me I am hungry for rest & relaxation!
* also see below, I am going to a high school football game tonight! I cant wait to see it because in high school I never watched the games from the stands- I was always cheerleading on the sidelines! *

No Smoothie! I want to see how I go without one today!
I had a chobani vanilla, a small banana with a big teaspoon of pb, some grape nuts raisin almond mix and 1/2 grapefruit.

—- It held me about as long as the protein smoothies but I also went into work and mostly sat and used brain energy for data. I was starving at about 11:15, a little earlier than if I had a smoothie! That is great news so I know I can stick with a smoothie if I need staying power!

I think this is one of my favorite lunches: A whole wheat wrap with grilled chicken, fresh cut veggies for munching/crunching… something sweet to finish: a few bites of mixed nuts and a couple dark chocolate chips!

We are going to Jeff’s brother-in-laws high school football game ( he is a coach)… I am really excited because I haven’t been to a high school fball game since… 2000… 8 years!!!! WOW…
I am planning on a treat at the game of some sort ( or after) … and also planning on making something quick and healthy for dinner before we go ( so we can save money at the stadium!) Jeff even said “id like to eat something at home too since i know it will be hard for you to find something healthy you like” …. he knows me so well.

By the way, I am starting to add pictures to my blog. I just needed to get the hang of my posts, when to post, then figure out how to add in the pics ( still working on it). So look for improvements~~!! suggestions on adding pics to this are more than welcome!!

— Update—
Whole Wheat Pasta
Hunt’s Chunky Vegetable Sauce
Ground Turkey with chopped mushrooms added in

Delicious! One of my favorite meals! I kept my portions small because we didnt really have time, and because I figured on a treat later!

The football game was GREAT! Jeff’s brother’s team lost but not by much, we sat in the stands with Jeff’s mom, stepdad, sister and her two little ones 4 and 6. Jeff’s mom packed enough treats for everyone! She packed small serving bags of m&m ‘s! peanut, peanut butter, dark chocolate! I had a peanut pack and traded Jeff for some of his peanut butter… then I split my bag with his neice Haleigh!
It was fun to watch the cheerleaders and game and play 4 yr old games like “If i throw this ball to you and it rolls through your legs you win, if it doesnt you lose”

We got back from the game at about 11 and I was starving!! I think it was all of the walking to/from the visitor’s stands, playing with the kiddos, and trips to the bathroom ( with the kiddos). So I had a bag of “smart puffs” by the pirate’s booty brand… Its like cheetos natural puffs, cheese ball-ish… but much healthier ingredients!

22 08 2008



45 Minutes of Yoga, 20 minutes Strength Train (back, biceps, quads) and 40 minutes Elliptical!
I am way too eager but hoping to have my knee in good enough condition to start running again next week!

First class! Advanced Nutrient Metabolism! We talked about carbohydrate types today and I know it will be hard but a great class!

Meditated ( and bought some of my textbooks!)

3/4 scoop pure protein
3/4 chobani
5 ice cubes
1 small banana
Ground Flax
– A few Just Bunches and Grape Nuts on top!

I saved some of last nights dinner!
1/2 sweet potato (curried slices)
2 oz ahi tuna
1/2 cup zuchinni

Pre Class/ Workout Snack:
Newly made Trail Mix made of:
smart start oat bites
grape nuts raisin almond mix
just bunches
and.. pistachios/pecans/almonds/walnuts nut mix i just got at Walmart!

( at the teleseminar these four nuts are the highest in Omega 3 Fatty Acids – which help reduce cholesterol– the highest of them is Pecans! not almonds or walnuts as I thought!)

I sliced chicken sausage, mushrooms and organic polenta – put it all in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil…. i tasted it but I really dont like sausage of any kind!.. i made it more for jeff and because i wanted to make polenta!

So I had a slice of polenta with aged cheddar, a whole wheat wrap with 2 oz grilled chicken and about 1/2 cup veggies. I saved room for my latest purchase “Caramel Toffee Crunch” Fat free, no sugar added Ice cream by Blue Bunny…

I will tell you what, it was awesome! I hate that it has such a large name but considering I dont ever like ice cream it was a great treat!


21 08 2008

The teleseminar was “very good” . We had to rate it afterwards and the only thing better than our agreement of “very good” was a rate of “excellent”. It was hard to (hear) understand because it wasn’t in person, it was via telephone/internet. Some new things I learned about other than the DASH diet, AHA diet guidelines for high cholesterol patients I didn’t know is —-that if you are at risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) you should not take additional Folate/ B-Vitamins ( the study used groups taking only multivitamin, a group took folic acid, a group only taking a B-complex, and a group taking both. They found that all the groups taking the extra supplements (Folic acid, B, Both) had increased “Cardiac Events” How interesting!

Lunch: I had some fresh veggies (snap peas, carrots, broc.), 1 1/4 serving of grilled chicken, and a whole wheat wrap with some feta . I didn’t have much time before the seminar, so I grabbed a half of a protein bar but didnt get hungry!


-Got to campus security and got my Parking Pass

-At the Teleseminar, I met two new classmates! The first (julie) is from CA and has her masters in Neuroscience! I laughed and said My bachelors is in Neuroscience!! Its not super common!
The other (Marcy) moved down here after her family did from PA (just like I did!)

-I walked with Julie out of the seminar and good thing because she let me in on the planner books they gave out at orientation before the dinner monday. We walked over to the nutrition building and my advisor gave me a bag with a notebook, planner, pen, CD, and a decal for my car! I LOVE free stuff!

– After that I walked over to the campus gym, did 40 minutes on the elliptical and biked for 2 miles to cool down!

-When Jeff got home from work- he had a suprise for me! Flowers! Oriental Lillies (my fav) and a bottle of wine… Montelpuciano D Brusso… ( thats the grape i believe- a friend of ours got it and we loved it!) HOW SWEET!! I love when he does that… it almost made me cry because it was so nice.

I made :
-Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks rubbed them with a little oil, seared for 3 minutes, then flipped for 1..

-Curried sweet potatoes: I used two sweet potatoes and made thin slices, tosses in smart balance light, some corinader and curry powder. Microwaved for 5 minutes, then put in a 350 oven for 10+ minutes.

-sauteed zuchinni… I fried a little of it too for Jeff and because its yummy… I used chobani greek yogurt as a batter, then dipped the zuchinnis in cornmeal, then put in a light coating of smart balance oil ( the recipe calls for two inches which I just think is a waste! I hardly ever use ANY!)

We are watching a movie now! Mr. Woodcock… never heard of it..