I can’t believe I leave tonight for my four day weekend! I’m so excited! Monday morning it felt weird getting back to the grind. I was tired and cranky and even my Tupperware of glorious messy yogurt couldn’t cheer me up.

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After a somewhat stinky morning, I dug into a bowl of “leftovers.” Doesn’t look familiar? When I made my omelet Sunday night, I cooked extra eggplant, mushrooms and onions and put them to the side.  I also made a serving of pasta with my little 1/4 cup.  Plus the addition of an Amy’s veggie burger nuked at the office and voila! “Leftovers.” It was actually really good!

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I also brought some mixed veggies which worked great as an afternoon snack.

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After a somewhat long and uneventful day, I headed home to eat an early dinner before meeting Courtney at the movies! Not in the mood for anything in particular, I started with 1/2 cup of salted edamame.

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Followed by one of the TJ veggie eggrolls.

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And finished off with a little dessert — ice cream! My bowl actually was this size this time 🙂

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After dinner, Courtney and I met at the Grove to see My Sister’s Keeper. Thank goodness I brought us some tissues because I cried like a baby throughout the movie. I think my contacts were crusty with salt when we left. Gross, but true. Courtsie had never read the book before so I got to tell her about the real ending.  We both agreed that the screenplay probably worked better in this case because the book’s ending probably would have felt like WTF since they can only set up the plot so much in the limited amount of time!

After the movies, we chilled outside on the fountain and talked all about Court’s amazing trip to Italy, boys, acting, moving to Santa Monica, summer plans, and boys again.  It was so great catching up! My dinner/dessert left me pretty full the rest of the night, although I did snack on a few pieces of fresh pineapple when I got home.

Tuesday morning was yogurt. Again. My fun toppings are dwindling down but I don’t want to buy any more right before going out of town!

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Around 11 AM I snacked on some more fruit. I’ve never bought a whole pineapple before — it tastes so fresh!

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Since work was dragging, Julia suggested treating myself to something special to make the day more exciting. As soon as she said that, Poquito Mas came to mind! I got the usual Nature’s Grill Burrito with eggplant, black beans, zucchini, peppers, and onions — sans cheese or sour cream.  You don’t need it, I swear! I had these chips (plus another few handfuls) on the side. Then I was a good girl and gave the rest away to my fellow co-workers who were eyeing my meal with very jealous stares.

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I finished off the day pretty strong and headed home.  I wanted to go for a run but just REALLY wasn’t in the mood. I convinced myself using the old “you won’t regret it” mentality and hit the streets.  I cut the run a little short (maybe 2.5 miles this time?) because every single step was torture. My calves are totally killing me today too. It’s crazy how some days it can feel so amazing and empowering to get outside and exercise and others it just drags! You know?

I got home feeling hungry but not quite ready to sit down to dinner. I hate eating before 7 PM if I can avoid it because I stay up so late and then there are too many hours between dinner and bedtime. Ding! Smoothie time! I worked at a Smoothie King in high school and pretty much considered myself the queen of smoothies. I even brought a blender to college so I could make them at a moment’s notice (everyone eyed me jealously that my mom let me bring a blender to make mixed drinks. Um, no, this baby is for my refreshing pineapple banana protein shakes people!!).  So I used half this 100 calorie protein drink, 1/2 banana and a whole lot of ice to make this pretty, frosty glass of deliciousness!

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See that fuzzy white light around the glass that looks like a halo? Yes, angels were singing.

This smoothie turned out to be the PERFECT thing to hold me over until a later, 9 PM dinner, which means I had plenty of time to shower, clean, blog and do some errands before eating. Dinner was more pure randomness and an attempt to eat a lot of veggies.  I cooked some edamame and chicken but needed to bulk up the dish.  I ended up tossing eggplant, onions, red cabbage, pineapple salsa and chile paste into a pan and cooking it all up together til everything was warm and tender.  This was one of those meals where I had NO clue how it would all taste but I was v. happy with the results! Normally I would make some grains/carbs on the side but all the veggies & protein & spice left me stuffed!

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Not too stuffed to eat a Skinny Cow, of course 🙂

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Today I skipped the yogurt and had a slice of 9 grain Newsroom bread topped with Better N’ Peanut Butter and some cherry jelly.

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This tasted really good but made me feel immediately sick to my stomach which was weird. Luckily the feeling went away in an hour or so and I was good to go! I had a snack around noon — just some of the delicious pineapple.

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I took a little break to meet up with India for lunch.  She’s been filming in North Carolina and I haven’t seen her sweet face in weeks!! We hit up Century City’s awesome food court and I got my regular mayo-free tuna salad from Coral Tree. Repeat photo, original taste!

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After lunch I was crazy busy trying to finish all my work for Thursday and Friday too.  It was rushed but SO worth it!! Now I am at home, sipping another smoothie and getting ready to pack. I think dinner will probably be a repeat of last night — I really enjoyed it!

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My flight leaves at 11:40 PM and I get into NJ bright and early at 8 AM! I am beyond excited to be home and to see my family.  I will try to recap a bit while I’m there if I can but I’m hoping to be so busy that I hardly have the chance 🙂

I always have this O.A.R. song running through my head whenever I go home!

There are few things pure in this world anymore,
and home is one of the few.
We’d have a drink outside,
maybe run and hide if we saw a couple men in blue.
To me it’s so damn easy to see
that true people are the people at home.
Well, I’ve been away but now I’m back today,
and there ain’t a place I’d rather go.
I feel home,
when I see the faces that remember my own.
I feel home,
when I’m chilling outside with the people I know.
I feel home,
and that’s just what I feel.
Home to me is reality,
and all I need is something real.

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Ah Monday! Today I tried the “fake it to make it” trick and it really worked! I left work with a big smile on my face and ready for a fun night. Oh yeah, the other trick to a good Monday — making plans for a relaxing night 🙂

The day started with an exceptionally good yogurt mess, packed with frozen blueberries, frozen mango, bananas, strawberries and cereal.

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We had our regular Monday morning meeting, which is never fun. It does move the day along pretty quickly though. For lunch I had a side salad of broccoli slaw and mushrooms topped with a lil balsamic vinaigrette.

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I also had a La Tortilla turkey wrap with Popchips on the side.  The turkey was on its last leg (ick) but it did the trick.  This meal holds me over like WHOA.

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After lunch I took a nice little walk to get some fresh air. It might be chillayy but at least that sun is shinin!!  I got snacky around 4 but decided to just save my appetite for dinner. It was a multi-course meal — my favorite kind!  I started with a little bit of Honey Moon.

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Followed by 1/2 cup salted edamame, nom nom!

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And a TJ veggie eggroll. I love how these are so easy to make AND low-calorie…could it be any better?!

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My roomie was inspired by her trip home to make some Hmong cuisine.  Apparently St. Paul has one of the largest (if not THE largest) urban Hmong populations in the WORLD so restaurants there are aplenty.  LA however doesn’t seem to have any Hmong restaurants (if you know otherwise, let me know, Julia will be so happy!) so she decided to whip up some on her own.  And graciously share with me of course! While she was cooking, I nibbled on a few carrots and broccoli florets dipped in spicy chipotle hummus.

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Julia’s dish contained lean pork, veggies, garlic, EVOO, lemongrass and lots of spice…jalapenos and chile paste! My mouth was on FIRE. It was amazing 🙂

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Right now we are watching Nurse Jackie and I am contemplating a Skinny Cow to finish off the night. Can you picture it? Probably — here’s a gratuitous shot anyway 🙂

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On another good note, my girl Amy gave me the One Lovely Blog Award; isn’t she the sweetest?? I love the pretty roses. Thanks for the Monday pick-me-up girlie!!!

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I’m supposed to pass this along to another seven people; my bad if you already received it!

  1. Lara, with her fabulous food and adventures across the pond!
  2. Diana, with the best photography skills, hands down!
  3. Kaneil, with her bubbly personality and great advice!
  4. Kailey, with her undying love for PB!
  5. Jess, with her wicked photo recaps!
  6. Biz, with her fabulous meal plans and savory breakfasts!
  7. Coco, with her brilliant food — everything always sounds delicious!

Hope everyone had a great Monday.  See y’all tomorrow!

Just kidding about catching those rays! As the lovely Caroline pointed out to me… “wait, isn’t it supposed to rain this weekend?”…Ryan Seacrest is a BIG FAT LIAR and it’s actually supposed to be 60 and raining. Boo, hiss!!

I kicked off Thursday (can I rename this day to Almost Friday??) with my yogurt mess.

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Today I knocked some magazine reading off my to-do list. I had a huge pile to get through! Think this times 20. I know, such a hard task 🙂

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For lunch, I started with some cinnamon-doused fuji apple slices, which I ate while reading about Chef Chris Bianco’s delicious pizzas. I can’t wait to try his dough recipe!

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I also had spinach, grape tomatoes and mushrooms tossed in some light balsamic and topped with my leftover bean burgers.

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I saved some of the burgers to eat along with a sweet potato. This lunch was super filling!

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At 2, we all got booted out of the office for a building fire drill.  We had to walk down from the 14th floor…YAY for boosting my heart rate!  It was super long, which was annoying, but we got to spend 40 minutes outside, which was nice 🙂

I grabbed an iced coffee from Coffee Bean because I really needed the caffeine boost.

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I got a second boost with my pre-workout snack, the Fiber One Chocolate Mocha bar.

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After work, I was having one of those days where I really wasn’t feeling the gym.  So I made a bargain with myself to do 30 minutes.  Plus, I am out of Kashi and the grocery store is next to the gym 🙂

After my half hour on the elliptical, I headed home for a good free weights workout.  This is one thing I really want to add back into my routine!

For dinner, I decided to make chicken potstickers, veggie eggroll, edamame and broccoli.  I cooked the potstickers in 1 tbsp soy sauce to get them extra flavorful!

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This ENTIRE dinner, complete with the soy sauce for cooking, comes to 460 calories. Pretty good, right?! Much better than if I ordered from a Chinese restaurant for sure.

Three Things for Thursday

  1. Ordered iced coffee instead of a latte
  2. Bargained with myself to do 30 minutes at the gym AND a free weight session
  3. Decided I was full enough after dinner to skip dessert!

Tomorrow night I am hoping for a relaxing evening, maybe with Bride Wars and another calzone. I have been oddly tired this week and am in need of a major lazy Friday night!

I got my first tastes of summer this weekend! Sorry in advance for the super long post; my computer is broken, so I couldn’t blog this weekend.  I am working on getting something to use though, even if just temporarily! Friday started out with some amazing coffee from The Fresh Market that Diana sent me in our swap, plus 2 slices of Newsroom bread with 1 tbsp almond butter and 2 tbsp cherry jelly. MMM!

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And a very crunchy pear.

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I tried to track down some sushi at lunch but the restaurant we went to had CLOSED two weeks earlier, so I ended up with a spicy tuna roll from Whole Foods.

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And since I can’t resist their salad bar, I had a scoop of edamame, a scoop of some qunioa mix, and a nice fat falafel ball on the side.

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This lunch held me over forever, until a late dinner of homemade veggie pizza. I had two slices of this whole wheat crust, spinach & mushroom pie.

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Steph and I enjoyed our pizza plus a scoop of froyo topped with some PB puffins (my first time having these — I am addicted!!) and a few chocolate covered dried cherries while watching The Wrestler. The movie was so much sadder than I was expecting.  I liked it overall, but some of the fight scenes were gruesome!

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Saturday morning, I did a quick 30 minutes walking/running on the treadmill as soon as I woke up, followed by a yogurt mess with coffee. I tried and loved this vanilla bean flavor!

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My mix had 1 cup frozen cherry/blackberry blend, 1/2 small banana, and a heaping 1/2 cup PB puffins. I enjoyed this breakfast while watching Slumdog Millionaire. Awesome movie! I totally understand why it won all the awards this year.

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I had lunch outside while finishing up Edgar Sawtelle. The sun this weekend was strong and gorgeous! I started with an apple and some seltzer.

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I also made up a plate with a skinny stick of homemade bread, 4 ak-mak wheat crackers, and a handful of pretzel flats to use as dippers…

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…for some TJ’s Egg White Salad with Chives! This stuff is SO GOOD, and the whole container is only 100 calories!!

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Check out that dipping action 🙂

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Lunch dessert was a repeat of Friday night, which I ate while watching The Secret Life of Bees. I heard this movie didn’t do that well with the critics, but I loved it. Maybe just because I also loved the book? And I really like Dakota Fanning too.

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Later I got kind of snacky and munched on some fishies and veggies.

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For dinner, I met up with a big group of friends for some Mexican. I started off with a house margarita on the rocks with salt. It was definitely the best thing I had all night! I also snacked on about a dozen chips with salsa and guac while waiting for our food. I was actually pretty restrained, normally I can eat half the basket!  I started with one of these chicken skewers.

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Followed by two tortillas filled with some of this steak/shrimp/veggie fajita mixture. Sorry about the blurry photo!

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After dinner I went out dancing with India. We had a nice hookup with some free drinks, but I only had a few obligatory sips of my vodka cranberry. I just wasn’t feeling it I guess!  Sunday morning we bummed around and watched a few episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras. Anyone else ever seen this show?? It’s like the runaway train wreck that you can’t look away from…those poor little girls!  I had a pink lady apple while watching.

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Followed by a bowl (plus another half bowl!) of yummy honey nut cheerios.

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After breakfast, India and I went on a nice long walk in the hills behind her house. The sun was beating down and I even got a little burn! We cooled down with some sugar-sprinkled grapefruits.

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It was so nice outside, I decided to relax a little by India’s pool with some magazines. Lunch came pretty late and consisted of another yogurt mess, same as Saturday’s breakfast.

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With some really good iced coffee.

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Since lunch was on the light side, I followed it up with a pre-dinner snack of a skinny Newsroom bread heel. This bread is addicting! Every few bites, you get a nice crunchy sunflower seed/oat taste that’s divine.

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For dinner, I found myself again craving instant Asian by Trader Joe’s: edamame, potstickers, and a veggie eggroll.

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I also had a nice salad with some light Asian Sesame dressing.

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Even though this was a lot of food, I couldn’t resist a cup of Ben & Jerry’s frozen yogurt for dessert. I got a couple delicious cookie dough bites in this 🙂

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I think I did better with my weekend overeating, although I did do some mindless snacking since I was basically just bumming around.  This week is looking INTENSE. I have so much to do at work, it’s already stressing me out. I am going to try to get to the gym and eat fairly well so I don’t have that bugging me too! Hope everyone is having a good Monday kickoff!!