Archive | January, 2011

Starting Fresh?

31 Jan

It’s been awhile since my last post– starting up the new school semester was way more stressful than I imagined it would be.

With all of my responsibilities piling up, I’ve really been taking awful care of myself — eating when I’m not hungry, choosing the wrong foods and playing around on the internet instead of doing homework! And the more I do it, the worse I end up feeling about myself and the situation I’m in.

I hope that keeping this blog will help me stay accountable.


Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer

10 Jan

I finally found my digital camera! It’s currently charging at home, but I can safely promise that this will be the last post without real pictures.

My university classes start up again next week, but until them I’m working full time at my on campus research job. I’ve been in this laboratory for over a year now and I love it — the professor in charge is dedicated to his work and very kind to his students and all of the other researchers (both undergraduate and graduate) are awesome people.

The one drawback? I do work with mice.

My PI did give me the option to opt out of the mouse research when I first started at the lab, but after weighing the pros and cons, I did decide to choose the research project he’d created for me. The research protocols we follow are humane and carefully monitored, and much of our research is geared towards finding medications to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and to find ways of making wound healing faster to lessen the pain and discomfort on surgery patients. I feel that it is a truly worthy cause.

Some people don’t understand how I can be a vegetarian and work with mice, but I tell them the truth — I do what I can to prevent my mice from suffering or experiencing any discomfort, and in return, I don’t contribute any business to the meat industry. I know it doesn’t make perfect sense, but I feel good about my decision.

Kind of a heavy post, so I’ll leave you with a happy thought:

‎”Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” – Emerson

Meet the Family

9 Jan

Hey there. I’m posting early today because I’m heading off to work soon. Hopefully I can squeeze in a trip to the gym before I go. I love my gym, but I hate that they close early on the weekends 😦

So I decided that it was time for you to meet the family! They’re all Shiba Inus, a Japanese breed of dog kind of similar to the Akita.  Sampson and Sadie are Taz’s biological parents.

Taz. He's the baby!

Shibas on the move!

Christmas Card 2010.

From left to right: Sampson, Sadie and Taz! Taz and Sam are big little dudes — they actually have a genetic form of canine hypothyrodism, which causes them to gain weight/have low energy. Fortunately, we’ve just started them on a new round of medication, so they should be feeling ship-shape in no time!

For anyone who might actually be reading this — tell me about your fur family!

Doctor’s Note

9 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the doctor to get some stuff checked out. For the past month or so, I’ve been experiencing extreme hunger/dizziness/irritability 1-2 hours after eating a meal and I was curious to know whether it had anything to do with my new vegetarian diet.

My doctor says it sounds like I have “reactive” hypoglycemia — most people get sugar crashes four hours after eating a meal, but *special* people like me actually have hypoglycemic attacks right after eating. Her recommendation was to have a  small, high protein snack like peanut butter crackers whenever I felt the icks coming on.

On a whim, I got a hair cut this morning! It went from shoulder length to a short, super curly inverted bob (love). Is it just me, or does getting a hair cut make you feel like a new person? Feeling rather happy and optimistic about life, I decided it was time for new makeup to go with my new hair. Luckily, almost everything in the cosmetics section of my local CVS was 75% off, so I got a full set of new things for under $20! Including my favorite new nailpolish shade… Gunmetal Grey by Sally Hansen.

After half a day of procrastinating, I finally went to the gym and got in my 30 minutes of cardio. I choose to do 30 minutes, seven times a week instead of longer workouts because I honestly don’t have the attention span for the longer workouts. I usually bring killer music or a great book/magazine to distract myself from the fact that no matter how fast I am run/climb/bike, I’m not actually moving anywhere!

Current read -- I'm a sucker for paranormal fiction.

I’m doing well so far on my mission to “Eat Clean” in the new year; I ate mostly fruits and veggies today, with black bean burritos for dinner. I do have chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt almost every night  — denying myself treats altogether doesn’t ever turn out well.

Not thrilled with this particular brand -- there are only about five chunks of cookie dough in the entire container!

Right now, I’m dealing with some seriously strange cravings — in particular, a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich. I used to eat these all the time as a kid, being the picky eater that I was, but I haven’t thought about them in years!

I’m gearing up to do Shoulders and Arms, the third day of my p90x workout. I actually love this particular workout, but I hate that it’s paired with the Ab Ripper X or whatever it’s called — I didn’t know the true definition of pain until I experienced that 15-minute hell session.

Have a good night!

Filling Up

6 Jan

I work in the afternoons and lately I’ve been getting so hungry during my work shift that I can’t think about anything else! Instead of my usual carbohydrate/protein mix for lunch, today I thought I would try a huge serving of vegetables to see if that makes a difference. Lucky for me, after a bit of searching, I came across Tina’s post about this awesome Cooking Light recipe for Honey Roasted Root Vegetables. Now, I will eat honey on just about everything…

Photo Cred: The Daily Green

But I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on the parsnip. In fact, I had to Google parsnip before I went to the store. I was expecting a vaguely round vegetable of generous proportions, but much to my surprise discovered that a parsnip appears to be nothing more than an anemic carrot.

Credit: The Daily Gardener

I included everything except the turnip — I know from experience that my kitchen knives are far too dull to cut through one of those bad boys. I seriously recommend giving this recipe a whirl; it tastes more like a savoury dessert than vegetables! It’s probably a blessing in disguise that my camera is out of commission, because mine didn’t come out looking nearly as good as hers do! Despite a few charred edges here and there, they tasted wonderful.

While I prepared the veg, I munched on second breakfast: a cup of dry quaker oat squares (milk and I are not friends) and some honeydew melon. I had just enough time to shower, change and yank everything out of the oven in time for work. I also packed a sliced green pepper and the world’s greatest hummus:

Photo Credit: Chicago Examiner Online

My favorite white bean hummus flavor is the basil, which tastes EXACTLY like pesto. Now, as an Italian girl, my greatest dream has always been to dip everything I can into a jar of pesto, but I’ve been told this would be slightly unhealthy. This amazing hummus is the next best thing!


Camera Blues

6 Jan

I swear, I do have a digital camera — I’m just missing the cord that connects the thing to my computer. So for now, I will have to rely on stock photos. Silly stuff.

I switched to a vegetarian diet a few months ago and since then I’ve been having problems with extreme hunger. No matter how much I eat, or how much protein and water I take in, I get hungry less than an hour later! I’m going to see my family doctor tomorrow to see if my blood work checks out alright, but until then I’m going to try to eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of my usual 3 large meals + snack to see if that makes me feel any better.

First Breakfast:

This was my first time trying one of these Kashi Rolls– the ingredient list is wayyyy too long for my liking, but it does pack 12g of protein and enough carbohydrates to sustain me during my workout. The taste is a little odd, like most protein bars, but it’s very chewy and took me forever to eat (which I LOVE). I would definitely recommend drinking it with a full bottle of water– it leaves kind of a sawdust-like aftertaste.

During breakfast, I watched the newest episode of MTV’s show “I Used to Be Fat”. I’ve always had an odd fascination with people who are going through weight-loss and exercise programs and this show is no exception. The girl on this show was sweet, but kind of frustrating — she would burst into tears EVERY time they showed her working out. I kind of rolled my eyes until I remembered what it was like to try and do jumping jacks when I was 200 pounds — maybe she was being a little ridiculous, but trust me when I say it’s hard to walk to class with that much extra weight on you, let alone do the bootcamp style workouts she was doing.

After breakfast, I jumped right into today’s workout — my first official day of p90x! I tried out all of the workouts last week, just to make sure I had all the proper equipment and knew what I was getting into. I’m doing the Lean program, which emphasizes Cardio, Core Strength and Yoga over the Plyo and Strength Training of the Classic program.

Day One: Core Synergistics

This is by far my favorite workout. It mixes bits and pieces together to give you a full body workout that also gets your heart-rate up! I’m not going to lie, I can barely do ONE push up, so some of the crazy stunts they pull are so far out of my league it’s not even funny. If it’s too much for me, I generally switch to modified push-ups halfway through. By the end of the workout, I still feel energized but my core muscles are definitely trembling a little bit.

I’m off to eat Second Breakfast (I feel like a Hobbit from the Lord of the Rings), grab lunch with my lab members and head to work at the library! Thanks for reading 🙂







6 Jan

I’ve been reading food and fitness blogs for almost a year and they’ve completely changed my outlook on healthy eating and exercise. These amazing women have introduced me to so many wonderful foods, challenging workouts and interesting philosophies. Yet most importantly, I’ve learned that healthy eating and exercise isn’t about swearing off chocolate for life or regarding pizza as an enemy; it’s about balance and sustainability. Life is too short to completely deny yourself cookies, but you need to remember to feed your body what it needs, not just what it wants.

So the theme of my blog for 2011 will be “Try”, inspired by this post by the amazing Rachel Wilkerson.


Writing this blog!

Running a 5k

Finishing the p90x 90-day workout

Prepare myself to take the MCAT in May (!)