REEWIND! Saturday morning I woke up so late — 10 AM. I told Julia I would wake her up around 9 but she just let me sleep since 10 AM is so unprecedented :)

Leaving our cars and bags at Newsroom on Friday night was a stroke of genius that meant we had to walk to the restaurant and have brunch. I know, genius. We both started off with nonfat lattes and shared the most amazing scone. This baby is multigrain, low fat, sugar free chocolate chip cherry banana with sugar free chocolate chips. It tasted fullY delicious!

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We ended up ordering two dishes to share and eating everything but the bread. Too full for bread = second unprecedented thing of the day!

egg white with spinach & onions and well-done red rosemary potatoes

egg white with spinach & onions and well-done red rosemary potatoes

chicken sausage

chicken sausage

frittata-style egg whites broiled with basil and tomato, apple & banana slices

frittata-style egg whites broiled with basil and tomato, apple & banana slices

up close & personal

up close & personal

After this amazing meal, we went back home to get ready for our day of bbqs and party hopping.  We started at the house of one of Julia’s friends from acting; we thought we would know no one else but I ended up bumping into some friends from college (big city, small world stuff) and we buddied up with some of the cool kids from Julia’s classes.  I had a glass of sangria, some fruit, and a few chips with guacamole but otherwise stuck to the diet COKE. What can I say?? It was too HOT in the Valley to think about doing anything else.

At our second stop of the night, we went to visit our friend Brian and ended up with a fan club! Julia kicked ass at a game of washoes (like horseshoes, only with huge metal washers. Invented by the boys of course) and we noshed on random bites of hot dogs and hamburgers and cake. Most of the food was either shared between the two of us or, in the case of my burger, 3 boys “helped” by taking huge bites and I got to finish the rest. Lucky me!

We stayed well into the dance party and then finally called it a night. Thank goodness Bossa Nova is always open until 4 AM and we could grab a mushroom & onion pizza. I wish I had pictures of the whole second half of my day but since I hardly knew a soul I felt a little weird lining them all up for photos!  It was a fantastic 4th; I’m so glad Julia and I got to meet some new people and make some new friends! We missed the fireworks however, which sucked, but we did see the mini display of (illegal?) backyard fireworks at Brian’s.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling pretty refreshed. Still stuffed for sure, but not hung over thanks to my day full of diet soda and no booze. Breakfast came a little later and I made the most of our leftover Newsroom bread. Dipped in Egg Beaters and cinnamon, my slice of french toast was awesome!

topped with 1/2 banana & 1 tbsp maple syrup

topped with 1/2 banana & 1 tbsp maple syrup

Lunch was also more leftovers; pizza crust, some salted corn-on-the-cob, and an Amy’s veggie burger with ketchup.

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I spent the whole day doing laundry, cleaning, reading, watching TV, and snuggling.

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Late afternoon, I had an apple and WAY too much ice cream. I took this lovely picture of my bowl of Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip but ate much more than this little bit. Too much, since it kept me full until almost 10 PM!

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My very late dinner was pretty light.  I made an Egg Beaters omelet with eggplant, mushroom and onions with 1/4 cup dry whole wheat pasta on the side. It was just what I needed to settle my stomach!

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Cute little story about my post title; my two little sisters used to sing the first few lines of “You’re A Grand Old Flag” every single time we passed an American flag on the way to the beach during the summer. Yes, it was so annoying! But around the 4th of July, there would be tons more flags so they would have to sing so fast that the words would flow together and sound just like “You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high highing hag” instead. Cracked them up like nothing else. Ah, sisters, gotta love ‘em!

Hope getting back to the grind hasn’t been too traumatic :) Lucky me actually gets another long weekend since I arrive home in Jersey on Thursday…YAY!

Staying up late watching True Blood on Saturday left me exhausted I guess because I slept until 10:30 AM on Sunday!!! People, this is a major accomplishment and basically unheard of…usually I wake up by 8:30 on the weekends and consider that an extra two hours, so 10:30 was great. Guess I needed it! I decided to whip up some pancakes again just because it was the weekend and I could! I used 1/2 cup of the whole wheat mixture and added in 1/4 cup of those baby Maine blueberries from Trader Joe’s.  Topped with 1/2 banana and 1 tbsp vanilla bean maple syrup, these were delicious! (Still think I liked Saturday’s chocolate pancakes best though!!)

On my cute new plate from Target…I get some type of dish every time I go there!

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I basically did nothing Sunday and was insanely lazy. I always have a huge list of things to get done over the weekend but I am so busy during the week that my body and mind just craves relaxation! The kittens and I cuddled on the couch and watched more True Blood.

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I decided to use some homemade whole wheat pizza dough to make my late lunch. I rolled the dough out pretty thin and topped it with tomato sauce, light cheese, zucchini, mushrooms, green peppers, vidalia onion and fresh basil. It was really delicious!

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I also got into some unnecessary snacks…an un-pictured Skinny Cow and some Puffins. We are definitely breaking up again when I am through with this box. Willpower = out the window!! Meanwhile, the kitten babies moved on from me and snuggled together. How cute are they??

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Courtney came over for dinner and to watch He’s Just Not That Into You with me and Jules. I took over in the kitchen and made whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and fresh basil, chile lime chicken burgers and roasted eggplant and zucchini to eat while watching the movie. This meal was so quick and easy to make and tasted great!

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I thought the movie was really cute and fun. I am such a sucker for any chick flick basically. Court brought over cocoa meringues and brownie bites from Whole Foods for dessert. The meringues were good but the brownie bites were amazing! Between the three of us, we ate almost the whole container. Too bad I didn’t check until AFTER eating them that the brownies are almost 100 calories each!!!!! No wonder my belly was stuffed beyond belief by the end of the movie.

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Today I made the regular yogurt mess but added Puffins instead of Kashi. Don’t worry, I measured them out this time!!

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I also broke into this banana around 11 AM. I bought this just for the Superfood sticker!

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Lunch was somewhat boring but good, just a bowl of Progresso minestrone soup. I didn’t have anything packed when I was running out the door, but am glad that I grabbed this so I didn’t have to spend money or calories on ordering food.

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Instead, I got the same sweet treat as Friday, my favorite no-sugar added light half mocha half vanilla ice blended from the Bean. MMM!

Enjoying my view!

Enjoying my view!

After work, I got an early start on dinner with a Newsroom 9 Grain bread heel topped with a schmear of Better N’ Peanut Butter and some cherry jelly. I was just too hungry to wait!

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Even though the toast kept me full for another hour or so, I was still craving CARBS and debated mashed potatoes and pancakes but decided on continuing the breakfast theme with an omelet. I used 1/2 cup egg beaters, vidalia onion, basil and mushrooms, with red pepper slices on the side. The breakfast theme let me have another bread heel with jelly on the side :)

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Then Julia and I headed out to a BBQ restaurant to meet some guys from her work for a drink.  I had a glass of Pinot while we chatted away. Knowing the bartender meant we got a nice free top off! I avoided eating any of the fries, but did steal Julia’s pickle! It was nice getting out and having some entertaining convo after a long day at the office. Jules is leaving tomorrow for MN and I just wanted to soak up my Julia time!!! I am going to miss her!!!

Long story, but around 11 PM we headed to Santa Monica to scope out parking spaces for Julia to leave her car for the week. We just walked back in the door (it’s 12:30 now) and I can tell that my blood sugar has seriously hit rock bottom because I am being a total crank yanker and am about to make a bowl of instant oatmeal. Instead of taking/uploading a boring picture of that, I leave you with this…

…the video Fight From Above debuted Friday night! Pretty awesome, right?! Don’t the boys sound great?? I am the one in the red plaid/sunglasses at the party and then the leather jacket/bangs at the end in case you couldn’t pick me out. Yes, lighting up…for artistic effect you guys!!

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget :)

Three Things for Sunday

  1. Made sure to measure out portion sizes for everything I cooked for breakfast,
  2. lunch, and
  3. dinner.

Three Things for Monday

  1. Passed up the Sprinkles cupcakes in the office (my work enjoys torturing me)
  2. Brought lunch instead of buying
  3. Ate dinner before going out to the BBQ place

Monday eats were a great kickoff for my week of healthier habits! I started with the usual yogurt mess. This one contained 2 figs, a cubed granny smith apple, frozen blueberries & half cup kashi.

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For lunch I heated up my favorite Lean Cuisine ravioli bowl and crunched on some green peppers.

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I started feeling snacky again not long after finishing, so I made a nice steamy rooibos tea with some cinnamon hazelnut Coffee Mate & splenda. This was a nice treat!

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Workout fuel today was a Clif Mojo bar, the peanut butter pretzel flavor! I have been dying to try this bar. I definitely loved the pretzel bits throughout, but for 200 calories, I was surprised that it didn’t hold me over longer. Seriously, by the time I left the office, I was already hungry again! 

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Instead of finding another snack, I hit the gym for 60 sweaty minutes on the elliptical. FUN!! Haha, not really, but it’s always nice to return to exercise after a few days off.  For dinner, I made a veggie omelet that turned into a veggie scramble with half cup egg beaters, baby bella mushrooms and spinach. On the side, I made sweet potato fries, roasted brussels, and a few roasted red onion pieces. This was very filling and delicious!

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I finished up with the last Grey’s I had taped and then Julia & I watched Gossip Girl. DRAMA MAMA!!! Afterwards, I got into bed with a book and a little snack — 1/4 cup kashi, 1/4 cup oaty o’s, 1% milk, and 2 strawberries, sliced. I have been craving cereal lately, which is pretty unusual for me. This seemed like a much healthier way to handle that craving, rather than curling up in bed with a book and the whole box LOL.

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I’m feeling pumped about the week ahead! I KNOW I can keep this up if only I TRY, TRY, TRY :)

I woke up today without my alarm! I guess I forgot to set it, but I rolled over at 6:50 and was wide awake — whew! Today was one of those Mondays where I really wished it were still the weekend, but I got at least a little pick-me-up from my yummy yogurt mess. I am still out of kashi cereal but had another biscuit so I crumbled that up instead. So good! Especially with the fresh mango.

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For lunch I tested out the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers line as a new possible easy lunch option.  I decided on the Roasted Chicken Marsala, which listed white meat chicken & penne pasta w/green beans and marsala wine sauce as the descriptor.  The nutrition stats for this meal are 240 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g fiber, 17 g protein. Love the low cal/high protein numbers! Overall, it was pretty good. The pasta was by far my favorite part. I am just REALLY not a big fan of any kind of frozen entree chicken. It was perfectly fine and there weren’t any “bad” bits, but I can never bring myself to fully enjoy it like a regular, self-cooked piece of chicken!

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I also had some juicy green grapes!

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And this handful of seeds times two for some crunch :)

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Around 4 I decided to snack, mostly out of boredom because lunch held me over really well.  Plus I was planning a workout, and I always like to have something to eat a little before exercising to tide me over until dinner.  I had a mug of diet hot chocolate and peanut butter Fiber One bar.

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On the way home, I just could NOT motivate myself to go to the gym! My body wanted exercise, but my mind didn’t want to be cooped up. I decided on a nice run outside since the sun was still shining. Fresh air did some good and helped me clear some of the mental cobwebs I couldn’t seem to shake today. I ran a little more than 2 miles and then walked another 2.3ish while chatting with my mom. Another good way to clear mental cobwebs :)

Back at the apt I had some grapes while cooking dinner. I could eat these ALL day long!

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For dinner, I made a veggie omelet with egg beaters, red onion, and mushrooms.  On the side, I sliced up a roma tomato with dried basil and salt. I also made some mini potato & cheddar pierogies.  At 130 calories for 7, these make a great addition!! Most of my family is Ukrainian so I am used to the real deal (aka many hours of labor for the perfect pierogies), but these are nice when you only have 5 minutes, not five hours :) Plus a glass of milk.

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After dinner, Julia and I watched GOSSIP GIRLS (IT”S BAAAAACK!!) and I had the last strawberry shortcake with a rooibos tea. Yummers!

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Sunday morning, I woke up LATE (for me, anyway) — 9:30! Then I realized it was spring forward time, and that I was actually getting up at my usual time, 8:30. Why oh why can’t I sleep in late?! I decided to make some pancakes, using whole wheat mix, unsweetened almond milk, egg white, and applesauce. Topped with extra applesauce, half banana, and 1 tbsp vanilla bean maple syrup. MMM, you just can’t go wrong with pancakes!! I love making them smaller and thinner so I can eat more of them too :)

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This breakfast was just what I needed to fuel me through some errands.  Then I hit the gym for 45 minutes on the elliptical and a round of chin-ups, dips, and free weights. I was super hungry by the time I got home and made the most delicious lunch: an omelet made with 2 eggs worth of Egg Beaters, mushrooms, spinach, and red onion; a toasted Perfect 10 bagel with lemon cilantro hummus; and half a red pepper. Fresh & filling & EXACTLY what my body needed!

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After my late lunch I headed over to Kate’s place for some primping and overall girly-ness before heading out to the main event. We sipped on this mixed white from Pancake Cellars that I bought for the label. Yes, if it has a fun label, I will buy :)

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Luckily it was also really good! So good that the two of us polished off the bottle…We also had some of my favorite fairly healthy, 100% delicious crackers with extra sharp cheddar and hummus.

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We did NOT go overboard on the cheese I am proud to say, despite the wine drinking. Our little munchies ended up being dinner, since we went right from Kate’s to a sweet loft in downtown LA with a great view of the city. Kate’s boyfriend’s band recently got signed to a label and they are in the process of self-filming/directing/editing a music video. For the party scenes, they got a bunch of us together to just hang out & dance, and then they filmed that! It was actually a lot of fun; we just chatted and listened to their songs and danced to them AND while we were there, we get a call that the song they are filming the video for was about to be played on the radio for the first time ever!!! How cool is that?! The band was so stoked; it was really cute to see. I can’t wait to see the final edit!

Man, I am TIRED though today. Happy Monday everybody! Hope this one flies by :)

Kicked off Wednesday morning on my usual good note with another yogurt mess. This one had cherry berry blend, frozen mango & pineapple, 2 figs, half banana and half cup kashi :) No coffee cause we are out and I need to buy some more!

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I have been extra hungry lately, so I dug into this nectarine around 11:30.

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Lunch was a wickedly awesome wrap that I made using 2 small tortillas (the 50 cal ones), turkey, spinach, and an amazing hummus. I decided to leave the two slices of American cheese off the wrap and eat them plain. Plus a serving of BBQ popped chips on the side for crunch!

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Look at those spirals!!

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So I spotted the Pistachio Larabar in Whole Foods the other night and had to grab one, seeing that I’ve never tried this flavor before! I was planning to just eat half since I got hungry and dug into this snack shortly after lunch, but of course had to eat the whole thing (and was hungry again at 4 with no food, whoops!!). Thoughts? Ehhh…well, it was GOOD simply because it was a Larabar, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t taste the pistachios all that much honestly. I probably won’t repeat this one, because there are others I like SO much better!

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After work I hit the gym for a solid 60 minutes on the elliptical. Yay! Dinner was sort of a repeat…I was craving an omelet again and decided to run with it since the Egg Beaters are supposed to be used within one week of opening. I added red onions, spinach, and green peppers tonight, plus a side of raw green beans, grape tomatoes, and some grapes that I finished before taking this picture. A Perfect 10 bagel with light whipped cream cheese was the final touch!

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With dinner, I took cues from the recent Starbucks Rooibos tea lattes and created my own version! This organic rooibos tea from Fresh & Easy was perfect with some added milk and splenda. It was just as good as the Starbucks one — maybe better cause I made it at home :)

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For dessert, I had another of the oatmeal cherry chocolate cookie bites.  These are small enough that you can have a couple but I just savored the one…

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…because after all this, I went out for drinks! I went with Steph and a huge group of partying med students to a bar called Liquid Kitty. Isn’t that a weird/gross name?? I had a Rosebud martini, and then Steph and I shared one called The Diva.  No pictures, sorry! They were good & strong!! I probably would have snacked when I got home but I was just too tired LOL.  I woke up this morning with an icky headache and made another rooibos tea (paired with advil haha) as soon as I got into work. Followed by the usual amazing yogurt that totally kicked the headache — YES!

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Pre-lunch, I dug into my baggie of grape tomatoes, green beans, and grapes that I made last night with dinner.

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Lunch today was a Lean Cuisine. Yeah, I was NOT packing up a lunch this morning!! I had my favorite 3 cheese ravioli bowl.

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Look at all the cheesy goodness in the bowl today!

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I think a chocolate covered strawberry might be in my near future — my deskmate got a box delivered to her today from her boyfriend. So cute! Tonight I am headed to see a screener of a new movie called The Hangover (appropriate, no??) with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Heather Graham. I’m psyched! Dinner might be some popcorn though…stay tuned!!

Today I started off with the regular — coffee plus yogurt w/half banana, pineapple, mango, cherry berry blend, half cup kashi, and 2 figs. So filling and delicious as usual :)

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Lunch was served buffet-style at the office. I had salad and brown rice (got seconds on both of these!)

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And some chicken with asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.

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All of this was great and very healthy! But then came the desserts…I dug into a brownie triangle, an oatmeal zucchini cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie. Like I mentioned yesterday, all of these were made by an at-home diet meal delivery company so I don’t think they are TOO terrible, but it was still an indulgence.

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And then I had another!!!

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This food kept me full all day! I didn’t really want to go to the gym, especially after I forgot my cell phone at work and had to drive back to the office when I was already halfway home, but I decided that it would help me shake off the long-day blues, so I did 45 minutes on the elliptical while reading a new book, The Ten Best Days of My Life. As usual, it was very energizing and now I’m excited to go again tomorrow cause I am really enjoying the book! At home, I decided on a light dinner since I had some baking planned. I made a veggie omelet using half cup egg beaters and mushrooms, red onions, and spinach, with sliced sweet potato and grapes on the side.

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After all these good eats, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and 1) make cookies for the V-day packages I am sending to my mom and sisters, and 2) make cookies for The Chic Life’s Pomegranate Weekly Challenge! I am going to make a new post for these yummy creations when it’s not midnight LOL, but here is a little preview:

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I had one of each of these guys — purely as a taste test of course, plus one spoonful of dough before I cleaned out the bowl :)  The bottom cookies were divine!! More on these pomegranate creations tomorrow. Night!

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