WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #5: SNACK MONSTER

Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday, and muchas gracias to the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons for hosting. 

Tuesday (yesterday) started like most... 6AM alarm clock, 6:30AM spin class. I don't know about you, but I had a TOUGH time getting out of bed at 6 on Mon & Tues. I'm guessing it had something to do with the fact that a) it was still dark out and b) it was 55° out.

After cycling, I was elated to grab a venti blonde at Starbucks. Since I was going straight home, I decided to use my organic half and half.

I go through breakfast phases. For a few weeks, I'll only want cereal. Then for the next few weeks, I'll only want a smoothie. This week, I'm going through an oatmeal phase. I've been waking up shivering so this helps warm me up. Usually I only add half a banana and a bit of brown sugar, but yesterday I was feeling saucy, apparently.

Late morning I was still hungry, so I had half a cup of Honest-O's with a handful of blueberries and a splash of almond milk.

I wasn't in the mood for a big lunch, so I kind of ate it in parts. First up was half an Ezekiel English muffin with turkey and cheese and some red grapes.

Next was a smoothie with kale, almond milk, soy milk (ran outta almond), banana, chocolate protein powder, and almond butter.

I have been SO snacky recently. I'd blame it on the cardio, but I don't do cardio every day. For my late afternoon snack, I went with a tumbler of Tazo Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea and these recently discovered honey roasted almonds. (They are AMAZING.)

Dinner was a house salad from a local Mexican restaurant. Mixed greens, swiss chard, roasted corn, tortilla strips, and cilantro lime dressing...

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...and a side of black beans. This place always sends huge servings. I didn't even finish a quarter of this!

And for dessert, I needed my pumpkin fix. I got a mix of pumpkin pie and vanilla bean fro yo topped with carob chips.

Happy Wednesday! What are you eating today?

TEDDI'S TREATS: PUMPKIN PIE SPICE SMOOTHIE {DAIRY FREE & UNDER 200 CALS}

Wow, it really feels like it's (almost) fall here in NYC. We had a beautiful weekend and I loved enjoyed my first Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal in quite some time yesterday.

I didn't grow up with fall. Miami has one season: HOT. And Texas isn't much better. So for as long as I've lived in Manhattan, I've made a concerted effort to actively appreciate Autumn. When October rolls around and sweater weather settles in, I enjoy it.

An afternoon snack I've been whipping up recently is this Pumpkin Pie Spice Smoothie. It's made with a few simple ingredients, it's packed with protein, it's low in sugar, it's dairy free, and best of all, it can be made for less than 200 calories!

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE SMOOTHIE 

1/2 cup frozen pumpkin (I freeze canned pumpkin into ice cube trays - in my trays, 1/2 cup equals about four cubes) {40 calories}

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk {30 calories}

1 scoop Vega Viva Vanilla Protein Smoothie Powder {80 calories}

1 tsp cinnamon {6 calories}

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice {6 calories}

Optional honey graham crumble topping (I used a meat tenderizer to mash up a bag of Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks and use about 1/4 bag per smoothie) {33 calories}

To make: combine frozen pumpkin cubes, protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and top with graham crumbles and more cinnamon if desired. Enjoy with a straw.

You can use any protein powder you like, but Vega is always an easy, affordable choice for me - plus, I love that it's nutrient goodness is equal to two servings of veggies. 

Let me know if you give it a whirl. Pun intended.

Have a terrific Tuesday. See you tomorrow with WIAW!

P.S. I am back in action on Pinterest after a crazy long hiatus. Let's play!

MY FAVORITE MAKE-AT-HOME PIZZA & MONDAY MOTIVATION

The apartment I live in now is my third in NYC, but it's my first with a real kitchen. The space - a railroad kitchen with a window, lots of a cabinets and mixed granite counter tops - is a huge part of the reason why I fell head over heels for the apartment. I've always wanted to share photos of my home on here, but my indoor photography skills are seriously lacking, and we're currently doing some remodeling work that won't make for great pictures. Though we did just get the cutest silvertone reindeer head that B mounted to the wall and I threw a strand of pearls around. I'll post a picture of her. She's just the cutest. Reiny.

Anywho! Anyone who has read this blog for some time knows that I'm not much of a cook. My first few years in NYC consisted almost completely of dining out and take out with a pot of Kraft Mac & Cheese thrown in there about once a week or so. When I took an interest in health and fitness a few years ago, I was living with a mini fridge, a microwave, and a single burner. Designing a meal plan that could be largely prepared and consumed in my teeny tiny studio was a challenge.

I was so wonderfully overwhelmed with my real live kitchen when I moved in almost two (!) years ago. I realized I still didn't know what the hell I was doing, and a popular item those first few months was pizza on pre-made whole grain crust. It's tough to mess that up.

I don't make pizza all that often these days but once every few months it's a wonderful treat. I recently posted a photo of my favorite make-at-home pizza a few weeks ago and was asked for the recipe. (Well, it's more like an assembly than an actual recipe.) 

PESTO, CORN & MOZZ PIZZA ON WHOLE WHEAT CRUST

Ingredients:

Thin whole wheat pizza crust (mine came from Target's Archer Farms brand, two to a pack)

Pesto (you can make your own but I'm lazy and buy it prepared from a gourmet market)

Part-skim mozz (shredded or whole)

Sweet corn (fresh or canned)

Preheat the oven as directed on pizza crust package. Spread pesto onto crust. (No need to brush dough with olive oil first - the pesto covers this. Pun intended.) Top with part-skim mozz (I buy a big ball of it and slice it into thin disks; I prefer it to shredded for this particular pie) and corn.

Easy-silly, right? The flavor combo here is dynamite: the pesto is savory, the mozz is smooth (and the part-skim saves you some cals!) and the corn is sweet. I love, love, LOVE it. 

This is my perfect summer pizza. It's indulgent, yes, but we had it once and I feel not an ounce of guilt. Now I have to start dreaming up ideas for our perfect fall pizza. Any ideas? 

Can you believe September is half over?

Tentative workout schedule for the week...

Monday (Today) = Off

Tuesday = Spin

Wednesday = Pilates

Thursday = Spin

Friday = Pilates

Saturday = Spin

Sunday = Body Sculpt

What are you eating this week? How are you sweating?

FRIDAY FAVORITES #4: 9/12/2014

TGIF. I had a kind of a weird, sad week and I'm happy to see the weekend. In an effort to turn my frown upside down, I'm sharing the things that caught my eye/made me happy this week. Big thanks to Heather at Housewife Glamour for hosting Friday Favorites. 

Here are mine...

 

Halogen Boiled Wool Shawl Collar Coat. I love everything about this... the color, the cut, the cute pocket details. Boiled wool reminds me of my mom, and I live for jewel tones in the fall. I certainly don't need this, but the sale price does make it tempting.

 

Romantic dinners at home. Bottled Newman's Own dressing and all. Mess in the back sold separately. (We're doing a bit of remodeling. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

 

Altuzarra for Target. Ah, my love for the Bullseye. Anyone else excited about this new designer collab?


SoulCycle is coming to South Florida... for good! A few years ago, SoulCycle had a pop-up studio in the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. I never got to go, but ever since I have been on the mad hunt for one of Soul's old-school zip code tanks with the Miami zip on it. At one point I begged someone at Soul's corporate office to search the warehouse for me... but I've never been able to find one. A guy had one on in my spin class yesterday morning, actually... Anyway, now that they're opening in my hometown of Coral Gables, I can at long last own a dedicated Miami Soul tank.

This also brings me one step closer to realizing my pipe dream of moving back to FL to teach indoor cycling. 


Rifle Paper Co. Flamingo Art Print. Speaking of Florida. I need this print in my life.


Britto Freedom Cushion. Because even though I always talk about leaving, I love you New York. A whole lot.

 

Have a great weekend, guys.

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #4: KITCHEN CURSE

Hello, hello! Happy WIAW, where I detail a day in my food life and bore you with the same ol' photos of my Tervis Tumblers. You ready? (Huge thanks as always to Peas & Crayons for hostessing!)

Quick announcement... last week I gushed about my new discovery (and adoration) of lightly sweetened Starbucks Iced Coffee brewed to personalize at home. I LOVE IT... though I thought to myself, I wish I could get it unsweetened.

Well guess what? I can! And DID! (When I found these in Target a few weeks ago, they only had the lightly sweetened version, and I didn't know there were other varieties.) In addition to the lightly sweetened (50 cals per 8oz serving) variety, they also make a caramel (60 cals per 8oz serving) and unsweetened (10 cal per 8oz serving)! I spotted three bottles of the unsweetened at Target last weekend, grabbed two, ran to our cart, ran back, and the 3rd bottle was already gone. Lesson learned. These are a hot commodity, and apparently not the easiest thing to find in NYC. Looks like we'll be heading back to the Bullseye this weekend...

That side note segues nicely into my typical Tuesday morning. I have to admit that yesterday consisted of mostly food fails, but I decided to post this anyway because life is far from perfect and you can't win 'em all. Alarm rang at 6AM, I hit my regular spin class at 6:30AM, and I was home by 7:30 and starving. Yesterday I was in the mood for a protein pancake, and I had the brilliant idea to make it with applesauce instead of my usual mashed banana for more of a "fall feel." The batter looked good, poured perfectly, and I thought I had a winner, until I realized that I'd made the pan too hot and the pancake completely fell apart. I got maybe half of it onto my plate and since I'd used my last bit of applesauce and wasn't in the mood to mash a banana, I ate it. The bit of it that I did eat was delicious, so at least the idea has potential. I will definitely be much more careful about the heat next time. Damn.

I was still hungry so I made scrambled egg whites shortly thereafter, and somehow I burnt some of those, too. This never happens. WTF? 

The best part overall was probably the glass of the unsweetened SIC with a splash of Organic Valley French Vanilla Half & Half.

After that double fiasco, I decided to stay out of the kitchen for awhile. I worked all morning and was starving by 12:45. It certainly would've been easier and cheaper to just make something, but I wasn't really in the mood. So I ran to Chipotle for a cheese and black bean quesadilla. 

By the way, if you're wondering why so many of my meals are photographed on my coffee table, it's because I like to sit on the floor when I eat at home. It's easier on my back. Anyway, back to the quesadilla. Isn't she a beaut? I was so hungry by this point that I thought I'd inhale it, but I ate in very small bites, something I try to do no matter how ravenous I am, and I only ended up finishing about 2/3 of this. It also wasn't as delicious without the usual corn salsa, which for some reason the friendly people at The Chip' wouldn't allow me to add yesterday. Beans and avocado is a very filling combo. I'm glad I took my time and didn't overeat. Though I was still hankering for something sweet, so I had a small bowl of red grapes.

After working a bit more, I did something I hardly ever do during the week. I took a nap. I set my alarm and let myself sleep for a bit over an hour. Getting up was tough - I hate the feeling of waking and rising after a nap - but I needed it. I decided to make a smoothie to regain some energy.

Big mistake! My kitchen curse had not yet lifted. I threw a big handful of kale, frozen strawberries, a cup of unsweetened almond milk, half a banana, and some almond butter into the blender. I usually use protein powder but since I'd had some in the pancake I thought, "eh." The consistency was totally off, and it took me a few re-blends to get it decent enough to drink. Honestly, it was more like a "smuice" than a smoothie. Grumble grumble nutrients eye roll. Whatever.

Okay, NOW I was really done with the kitchen. Luckily I had leftovers for dinner.

Or so I thought. I had made Skinnytaste Orange Chicken the night before, and I took this photo then. I was careful to make enough to feed one hungry Teddi, one hungry boyfriend, and for Tuesday night lefties. Spoiler alert: this dish does not reheat well. It was delicious the first night, however. I just didn't care for the way it translated into leftovers and wouldn't make as big of a batch next time. Live and learn!

I only ended up eating about half of my leftovers. So...

I went to Tasti D-lite and treated myself to a kiddie cup of Dutch Chocolate with chocolate sprinkles. And then I called it a flippin' day. Oh well.

Here's to trial and error... and hoping that the Kitchen Curse has been lifted.

What are you eating this week?

FRIDAY FAVORITES #3: 9/5/2014

Happy Friday! It's time for another edition of Friday Favorites - woo woo! I am linking up with the lovely Heather of Housewife Glamour, who is always such a gracious hostess.

Here are my current favorites...

 

The US Open! I like going to a baseball game, and I love going to a basketball game. But to me, there's nothing quite like the US Open, and there's no one I'd rather go with than my dad. This photo was taken two years ago, and I'm 99% sure at the time of publication that we will be matching in our crocs (NOT the shoes) again today. It's always such a fun event and the perfect way to close out summer. (Even though summer is NOT OFFICIALLY OVER UNTIL SEPTEMBER 21 and can you tell I'm annoyed by everyone who is arguing the contrary. This is clearly the Floridian in me talking.)

 

Samsung NX Mini Smart Camera. Oof. I want this bad boy in the worst way possible. Recently I have realized that I really want to bring a camera with me everywhere, but I really don't want to carry my DSLR. This seems like the perfect and cutest solution...

 

Target's C9 by Champion activewear line. Now that I live in workout clothes, I'm always excited to find inexpensive alternatives to my traditional Lululemon pieces. When the chillier months hit, I live in my Wunder Under pants, but it's time to replace them, as I bought mine in 2011, and they have pretty much bit the dust. These leggings are full length (I fear cold ankles) and they'll be great for cardio come fall and winter.

 

Lightened-Up Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting. How amazing do these look?! I will be baking these over the weekend and should be busy undoubtedly making all sorts of new besties shortly thereafter.

 

Pier 1 Sweet Pumpkin Mini Diffuser. Speaking of pumpkin. We stopped into Pier 1 last week to pick up a few things, and I couldn't resist sniffing their fall fragrances. When it comes to candles, I must admit... I prefer the food scents. Cinnamon, angel cake, fruit... you name it. And their sweet pumpkin is just heavenly. I set this up in our kitchen right next to the sink and it makes me smile as I'm bustling about in there. I also picked up this pretty cloche filled candle in the scent for our coffee table.


Rest days. Last month I talked about how I want to up the ante on my fitness routine and I'm happy to report that I definitely have intensified my workouts in the past few weeks. However, that has come with a good amount of soreness, which has reminded me how important it is to take quality rest days. As much as I love Moving My Booty, hitting 22 workouts a month should not always be my primary concern. Focusing on recovery trumps everything else. (Old cigarette butts and frozen alcoholic concoction not included.)

 

Happy Friday, pretty people! What are your favorites this week? 

WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS

I know it's been said that the magic happens outside of your comfort zone, and I love trying new things and having new experiences. But sometimes this is far easier said than done. Yesterday, I did two things that made me pretty uncomfortable (at first) but ultimately reminded me that I need to keep pushing myself out of my little bubble.

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I was honored when my good friend Daphnie Yang asked me if I would be a part of her HIIT IT! photo shoot. HIIT IT! is a total body workout designed and trademarked by Daphnie, and it's an incredible class that I highly recommend to anyone looking for an invigorating, inspiring sweat session. I was really nervous going into it because a) I did my own makeup (yikes) and b) even though I know and love the workout, I wasn't sure what kind of poses we'd have to hold for the camera and for how long. I wanted to do my best for Daph. Per usual, she pushed me with her upbeat energy and contagious positivity. I held every plank for a few seconds longer than I thought I could... because she always makes me believe I can. It was an awesome experience and I can't wait to see the final product.

Last night, I had tickets to the Athleta show for NYFW, but I realized that it was occurring at the same time as the grievance group therapy session I'd been planning to attend. Yesterday marked 5 months to the day that my mom passed, and I had yet to really deal with my grief or speak to any professionals. It was time.

I walked into the room and immediately thought, "This was a mistake. I want to leave." But you know what? I stayed. And I'm SO glad I did. It was really nice to have this instant bond with a room full of strangers. and to feel as though I could say exactly how I was feeling without fear of judgment or misunderstanding. Talking and writing about my mom's illness and subsequent passing and the circumstances that surround it all has been extremely difficult for me, and it was nice to finally let my guard down and put it all out on the table. The group is held once a month and I think I'll go back in October. 

How have you left your comfort zone lately?