Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everything is Better With Avocado

Since my birthday on Monday, I haven't really done anything all week except work. We've been super busy at the pharmacy and I've been working between 9 and 10 hour days every day. I don't mind though because 1: I really need the money and 2: I don't have anything better to do.

That being said, I may not have done anything super exciting today, but I certainly ate some blog-worthy food.

This morning when I was rummaging through the refrigerator and cupboards looking for something to take for lunch, all I could find was the remainder of the spinach-feta loaf from Bay Bread that I bought last week. Then I remembered that we had some frozen organic ham leftover from Christmas and I decided to throw together a sandwich. Little did I know that this sandwich would be epic.

That's ham, a slice of swiss cheese, spinach and about a tbsp of light mayo. I put the top piece of bread on, cut it up, and was already looking forward to lunch.

But then, I realized that it was missing something.

Something very important.

This sandwich was going to be good, but to be amazing, it needed one more ingredient.

Oh my dear avocado, how I love you so.

Much better.

Best sandwich I've made in months.

I really need to start buying avocados again. Every time I come home, I remember how much I love them because my mom always has some in the refrigerator. 1/4 of an avocado gives you a serving of healthy fats, plus they're delicious! I also love putting them on salads.

Dinner was a chicken burger on a whole wheat bun with the same toppings as the sandwich. Sides included sweet potato fries and canteloupe.

It was delish, but I can't take credit for this yummy meal. The madre was the chef behind this dish :)

I had a major sweet tooth after dinner, so I went back to the kitchen for a half of a banana plus a big gob of vanilla almond butter.

It was definately a day of good eats.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10 of 2010

I have done a lot of crazy things, made some epic breakfasts, and had a ton of great times this year; but for your reading pleasure, I have compiled an ultimate Top 10 of 2010 list for you. This is a list of my best experiences, favorite trips, and most proud accomplishments that I have achieved this year. Enjoy :)

Top 10 of 2010

10: Passing Chemo

Spring semester of P2 year (short for second year of pharmacy school) was by far the worst one. There have been many times that I have worried that I was going to fail a class, but nothing compared to chemotherapeutics. This class is arguably the most difficult one in the curriculum. I was barely passing the class going into the final, and after studying for hours and hours and days and days for that exam, I walked out of it in tears, terrified that I had flunked. Eric and I were so anxious to see our final grades that we couldn't even wait until they were posted online; we actually went to the school after our exams were all over and talked to the professor. When we found out we passed everything, we LITERALLY started jumping up and down and dancing in the hallway. You can bet we celebrated that night :)

9. Blogging

This summer I came across Caitlin's blog, and it was the first food blog that I had ever seen. I would have never figured that people would actually care to read about everything you had to eat in a day, but I found myself reading her blog on a daily basis! I was hooked. As my blogroll gradually started increasing (you can see a list of my favorites on the right column of my homepage), I finally decided to start my own. It's a way for me document my food and exercise habits, keep my friends and family updated on my weight loss progress, and share my journey with other people. I first started blogging on SparkPeople and eventually switched to Blogger. It's a fun hobby for me and I love it, but I pretty much go insane when the internet is down or my camera breaks.

(And yes, this photo was just taken now.)

8. Running

I ran my first mile EVER back in March. Although I could not have done it without Eric pushing me the whole time (he used to be my own personal Jillian Michaels, for those who don't know), I was still so proud of myself. I kept working at it, and I ran my first 5K in July. I continued to run four more 5Ks after that, though I've only run one of those continuously without stopping to walk at all. My best time is 35:09, which was at the Traverse City Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Even though it's hard and I'm not very good at it, running and doing races gives me another goal to work towards besides just numbers on a scale.

7. Moving to Grand Rapids

My third year of pharmacy school is in Grand Rapids, which is about 50 minutes south of Big Rapids where the first two years are held. Eric, Aimee and I decided to make the move at the beginning of the summer rather than right before classes started, and I'm so glad we did. I was able to transfer to a Meijer in the area and I met some great people there.

My roommates and I also had some great nights out on the town, but it kind of stinks living in a city where you live 20 minutes away from downtown and cabs are expensive :( All in all though, it was a great summer and a good decision.

6. Seeing Melissa More

This seems totally random, but it was definately one of the best things about the past year! When she lived in Kalamazoo and was going to school at Western and I lived in Big Rapids, we hardly ever talked or saw each other even though we have been best friends since 9th grade! However, now that I live in Grand Rapids and she's graduated and bored out of her mind lives in Mt. Pleasant, we usually don't go more than a month without getting together. It's fabulous :)

5. Cedar Point

We took a trip to Cedar Point back in September, and this was the first time that I had ever gone there and was actually able to fit into the seat of every rollercoaster. Plus, it was Halloweekends when we went so not only did I get to ride some of the best rollercoasters in the country, but I also got the crap scared out of me. It was awesome.

4. Kappa Psi Fall Assembly in Buffalo, NY

Kappa Psi is the co-ed professional pharmacy fraternity that I am a member of, and our province (region) has a giant conference once in the spring and once in the fall. This October, our assembly was in Buffalo, NY and it was so much fun! Not only was it my first time in New York, but I also met some great brothers (aka other Kappa Psi's) and can't wait to see them all again this spring in Detroit!

3. Kappa Psi Spring Assembly in Chicago, IL

An explanation is not really needed here, since the previous one pretty much applies. However, I think that I may have had more fun in Chicago... :) More of the members from my chapter came to this assembly, plus, DUH; it's Chicago! This was also my first trip to Chi Town, and I can't wait to go back!

2. Vegas

None of my trips top our spring break trip to Las Vegas! Eric, Aimee and I flew out for 5 nights and 4 full days in the city that never sleeps and it was worth every penny that I wasted spent while I was there! We stayed at the Flamingo right on the strip and pretty much walked the entire thing during the course of our stay. We also went to some really nice clubs, including LAX and the Playboy Lounge. Three final words to describe it: Best. Trip. Ever.

1. Losing 60 More Pounds

I've been doing the whole "weight loss thing" for almost 2 years now, and in 2010 I dropped 60 more pounds, bringing my total loss to 110 pounds. I have about 35 more to go until I hit my goal weight of 135 (well, actually more like 40 now that Christmas is over. ha). I would like to reach it by May, so wish me luck in the upcoming months; I've sort of been slacking lately!

December 2008

December 2009
October 2010

I definately had some low moments this year, but writing this post really reminded me of all of the cool things that I've had the opportunity to do. I am extremely greatful for everything that's happened in 2010 and am so blessed to have such amazing friends and family.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and thanks for reading :)

What are your favorite experiences from 2010?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Just like that, another birthday has come and gone. I can't believe I'm 22 already; I seriously feel like it was just yesterday that I was sprinting out of bed and nagging my mom to drive me to the secretary of state to get my driver's license. That was 6 years ago. GEEZ.

Despite the fact that I think I'm getting old, yesterday was still a BLAST. Started with a great arm workout at the gym followed by a 2 mile run at the Civic Center. Then, my mom, dad, sister and I went to North Peak for lunch.

They have the most amazing pizzas at North Peak! I ordered the Chicken Pesto (plus mushrooms) and inhaled half of it.

Courtney and my dad ordered some kind of pizza that was on special but I can't remember what it was called. All I know is that it had bacon and goat cheese on it and it was pretty much amazing.

My mom also made my favorite homemade pumpkin cake and brought it to the restaraunt.

*wipes drool from face*

My parents got me a new pocket-sized digital camera for my birthday. It's a Sony Cyber-Shot and I like it so far, but I haven't really had time to figure out how to use it. I really wanted another camera for two reasons: 1) I want one that fits in my pocket/clutch so I can take it places when I don't bring my purse and 2) I wanted a spare because since I started blogging, I have become extremely dependent on cameras :)

I also got this:

Times Six:

All I can say is, happy birthday to me :)

After lunch, I got a special visit from Eric! He's my roommate/best buddy and was on his way back down to Grand Rapids all the way from Iron Mountain (which is in the Upper Peninsula). Gotta love friends who drive 6 hours to see you :)

We met up with our friends Elena and Phil down at Bubba's (yes, I went back there for another veggie burger) and then went to Minerva's to grab a couple drinks. It was a lot of fun and I'm really glad they went out!

After Minerva's, Phil, Eric and I went to Kilkenny's for another round and then called it a night. I have to work today and Eric's gotta make the drive down to Grand Rapids so we couldn't get too crazy ;)

Speaking of work, I'm off to go hop in the shower and start getting ready. Hope you all had fabulous nights as well :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

From One Bad Run to the Next...

I can tell you one thing, there are lot of ways to describe the way I feel today and healthy is not one of them.

It's like I have a gross disgusting hangover from all of the sugary, fattening Christmas food that just won't go away. I can tell that I've put on a couple pounds without even getting on the scale, and I just want to get back to my old routine so I can get back to normal.

This morning I woke up and munched on a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut butter and half of a banana spread on it. Then, Melissa and I drove over to the Civic Center for a run.

She's training for a 25K (WOWZA!) in May (I'm planning on running the 10K in the same race) and she had a 5 mile run scheduled for today. She did great and ran the full distance in about 43 minutes!

The training plan that I'm planning on following doesn't start until February, but I have a couple of 5Ks planned before that so I need to stay up on top of my running. However, today was right on par with the past 3 runs that I've done: It went horribly.

That is supposed to be my sad face, fyi.

For some reason, my body has just been working against me every time I try to run lately and [enter whiney voice] it's just too hard! I made it just over 1/2 a mile today (I was attempting a 5K) before I started making up excuses to stop my chest started hurting and I got really tired of running. I ended up running/walking for about 3.5 miles, which consisted of running about 1/2 mile and then walking another 3/4 of a mile. I keep telling myself it's better than nothing, but let's be real: I know for a FACT that I can do better. I've done it before.

Enter plan for improvement: As I said earlier in the post, I've been feeling totally gross and not like myself lately and I think these bad runs are contibuting to that. Tomorrow's scheduled workout consists of an arm (biceps and triceps) routine along with a 2 mile run. I think that part of my problem is that I don't run outside enough, so I'm going to hit the gym early for my arm lift and then head to the Civic Center to do my 2 miles, and I WILL complete those 2 miles. I have all of you to hold me accountable, right?

My next 5K is on January 15th, and my goal is to beat my previous time of 35:09. Hopefully by pushing myself with the outside running, along with getting my eating habits back on track, I'll be back to my old self soon.

After we finished our workout, showered and changed, we went downtown to Bubba's for an early birthday lunch (mine's tomorrow!) since Melissa had to head back to Mt. Pleasant tonight. She told me that she loved their veggie burgers, and after I read the menu description I knew what I was ordering!

Holy moly. As a first time veggie-burger consumer, I could not have picked a better place to order one. This thing was delicious!

Yes, those are big old chunks of avocado in that beast. YUM.

We spent the rest of the day shopping at the mall and hitting up the after-Christmas sales.

Oh yeah, and we (well, mostly I) snacked on her mom's homemade white chocolate peanut butter fudge.

I haven't had dinner yet, but if I get hungry later you can bet I'll be eating a spinach salad with a side of carrots.

P.S. I mentioned in a previous post that I was reading Ultra Marathon Man, by Dean Karnazes. I'm not much of a reader, but damn this is a good book! I only started it yesterday and I'm 2/3 of the way through already!

 If anyone can motivate you to run, it's this guy. I think he is some kind of super-human. Seriously, you should read it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Update: Fail

Um...yeah, so about that whole sugar-free Christmas thing?

Oh, don't pretend like you didn't know it was a lost cause right from the start.

A Sugar Free Christmas Day


Unfortunately, last night about an hour after I finished eating all that yummy food, I got the WORST stomach ache. I was so nauseous, and all I could think about was how I was never going to eat sugar again. I even tweeted this:

I fell asleep at about 11 under my down comforter wearing about 4 layers of sweats + the heating pad. I woke up 3 hours later sweating like a pig (which isn't that unheard of for me, stay tuned for a future hyperhidrosis post). Anyways, this morning I was feeling a lot better but still sugared out. Obviously it is completely unrealistic for me to vow to never eat sugar again, but I am making a promise to myself to not overdo it like that for a long LONG time and I AM giving up all sweets until my birthday. (Which, happens to be on Monday. ha.)

Moving on....

I walked into the living room this morning and saw these under the tree!!


The skiis that I have now are about ten years old, but since I quit skiing for a long period of time and just started back up again two years ago, I haven't had a reason to get new ones. My dad found these used Atomics on the internet and bought them from a ski resort in Taos, New Mexico for only $100! These will definately get me through the next couple seasons until I am making enough moulah to buy myself some new NEW skiis :)

Alright guys, I'm ready to hit the slopes like NOW!

We all got some really great stuff this year.

KitchenAid Standing Mixer

Go Pro Action Video Camera (for taking videos while riding his motorcycle, skiing, etc.)

2011 Wall Calendars. Enough said ;)

After we were done opening presents, Mom and Dad got started on breakfast! It's a tradition to have stuffed french toast every year for Christmas (soooooo good!), and this year my mom made our favorite CrockPot Oatmeal too! Everything was delicious.

My plate (minus two pieces of bacon that I had while breakfast was cooking)

Hope you all are having a great  holiday so far! I'll be spending the rest of the day lounging on the couch reading this:

and watching these:

Doesn't get much better than that :D

What did Santa bring you for Christmas?


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