Good morning!

Yesterday after the gym I munched on fruit snacks, adult version:

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Half a banana, half an apple, and pom arils
I really had no idea what I wanted for dinner but eventually I settled on Italian! I halved a spaghetti squash and baked it face down in about an inch of water for 50 minutes on 350. I topped it with tomato basil sauce that I threw some onions and zucchini in and topped it with parm. Parmesan cheese is seriously just so amazing – I think it’s my second favorite after goat cheese! I improvised garlic bread by sprinkling a multigrain english muffin with garlic salt and toasting it:

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I know I said I was trying to stop snacking before bed, but that of course made me obsess about having something sweet. I had some of my favorite trail mix and another friendly clementine:
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Cranberry Fitness Mix
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Clever Clem
I slept really well again, but I also took Advil PM last night and the night before, for knee pain and sleep. Normally night time meds make me actually wake up more and feel restless, but it’s been working the last few nights. I hate having to take something to sleep, but it’s better than not feeling rested!
Breakfast was one of my favorite combos:

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Plain 0% Fage, banana, raspberries, MultiGrain Cheerios + coffee with skim and Truvia

The plain Greek yogurt, MultiGrain Cheerios, and banana combination is just so perfect – seriously, TRY IT! We had some fresh raspberries hanging around from a family get together so I threw them in for fun and deliciousness! Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits … although I can and do say that about most things .. bananas, apples, strawberries, mango .. whatever, I love it all!
I tried to do Sun Salutation Flow #2 by Dave Farmar but I had to shut him off to shut him up! He made me chuckle a few times, but I like a fast flow and NO DISCUSSION – yoga is quiet time, not story time, Dave! When he started to literally “om”, I paused him and free-styled a few sun salutations before making breakfast.
Nothing much going today (shocker): gym, Target, maybe heading to the mall? Anything exciting going on in your day?
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Good evening bloggies! First of all – I’m trying out a new layout and a new picture size. I think the default ratio on ecto is a tad too big. Also, I am LOVING getting all of your comments – keep them coming! I also respond to each one, so go back and check if you wrote me a note on my last post!

Where did we leave off? Dinner, last night .. turned out to be super boring. Mah b.

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Buffalo Crackwrap, steamed brocc with parm, steamed carrots and brussels with S&P

I got expectedly snackalicious:
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Plain Chobsies with frozen blueberries

It turned into a giant purple mess of antioxidant-y goodness – loves it!
Today. Ohhhh, today. Well, I haven’t been sleeping that well at home this break, which is incredibly unusual for me, as I always sleep the best at home, in the sense of restfulness and not waking up. Every single night this break, I have woken up around 3:30. Sometimes I can toss and turn and fall back asleep, sometimes I’m in and out until about 5:30 when I actually fall asleep again. But this morning, I could not get back to sleep. I turned my TV on for white noise. I flipped channels. I read blogs. At 6ish, I finally got up and did the 20 minute free podcast of Morning Flow #1 from YogaDownload.Com – ahhhh. I’m pretty sure I’ve finally fallen in love with yoga, to the point where I crave doing it, all thanks to that one-hour class and Heather.
I made coffee, watched some TV, read some more blogs, tried to nap, gave up, ate breakfast:
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Fuji, pom, MultiGrain Cheerios with warm skim

I thought about going to the gym. I continued the TV, blog, and nap attempt cycle a few times. I made lunch.
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Tuna salad in a Joseph’s wrap with some granny covered in cinn

Santa’s not going away anytime soon. Well, until I’m back at school a week from today. Blech.
I dressed myself for a Target and gym trip, felt snacky, popped a cookie:
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Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar

and immediately felt too full. Fail.
I bought some socks, a new pair of sweet royal blue running shorts, and the new pina colada Orbit flavor at Tarjay, and still super full, headed to the gym where I had a hideous run. Hideous. I won’t dwell on the worst run I’ve had in at least two months, but I finished 4 miles in 37:37 and walked another 20 or so minutes. My hamstrings are gloriously sore (but not too too bad) from yesterday’s amazing yoga. The run and walk made them feel fab but they’re still pretty tight – in a good way. I love sore muscles!
I snacked on some very friendly clementines while I made din:
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They’re only a couple weeks late. Dinna:
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Baked sweet potato rounds with s, p, and chili powder + hummus and spring mix on fluffy whole wheat

Nom. My favorite sweet potato parts were the burnt ones! They taste like toasted marshmallows. I need to remember to slice much thinner slices for the crunchy, fry-like texture. Actually, I might do a batch super thin, like some of mine were, so that they’re like chips! Honestly couldn’t tell the difference. Oh sweet potato, you are the perfect food.
Congrats to all the Disney marathoners! Meghann, Caitlin, Ashley, the twins, Megan, and everyone else did AMAZING! My friend Jess, who I’ve known since kindergarten and ran (she ran, I walked) cross country with in high school finished in 3:37.48 – she is obviously beyond awesome and qualified for Boston!!!!!!!! I’m so proud of her! AND it’s her birthday! She celebrated by running a marathon. I went shopping and ate a lot of Japanese and had cake. It’s cool.
I really want to make an inspiration/goal board a la Gina for 2010. I have a few ideas of what to put on it, but it definitely needs to be fuller :0) Did you make an inspiration board? What is or would be on it?

I’m feeling snacky!

So obviously as soon as I posted about not being hungry, my stomach immediately demanded food. I went with my second sample from Chobani. Thanks again!

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2% Strawberry Banana Chobani Opinion
Taste: Just like a strawberry banana smoothie! More strawberry than banana, but seriously – gasm. 5/5.
Texture: Thick like any Greek yogurt and extra creamy since it’s 2% = perfect. There were definitely strawberry chunks, but no banana – it would probably brown? 5/5.
Fill Factor: Great for my nighttime snack with some MultiGrain Cheerios. 14g of protein and 3g fat will keep you satisfied! 5/5.
Ingredients: “Cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, cream, evaporated cane juice, strawberries, bananas, natural flavors, locust bean gum, pectin, fruit and vegetable juice (for color), contains five live active cultures including S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L.Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Casei.” 4/5.
Nutrition: Like the other 2% flavors, there are 160 calories in 1 6oz. cup. 3g of fat (2g saturated), 5mg of cholesterol, 65mg of sodium, 19g of carbs (1g from dietary fiber and 17g of sugar), and 14g of protein. Again, sugar is pretty high from lactose and fructose, but also from the third ingredient of evaporated cane juice (before both strawberries and bananas). 4/5.
Overall: Seriously did not want it to end. I’ll definitely be buying this regularly once it’s in stores. It was absolutely delicious. 5/5.

The carb/fat/protein combo kept me full into the morning, when I had to get blood drawn without eating anything first – so good job smoothie yogurt! After that surprisingly calm experience, I did some glorious detox yoga a la YogaDownload.com podcast. After that 7-miler yesterday, my legs and hips are kind of stiff but yoga definitely helped.

I kept breakfast light:
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1/2 pear, mango, with cinnamon and milk

Surprisingly wasn’t feeling this at all. I dumped it and made apple cereal instead:

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Huge fuji chopped and warmed with cinnamon, TruVia, and warm skim

Before my mom and I stopped at the store, I snacked on the other half of my super juicy pear:

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And came home and roasted a small country’s worth of vegetables:

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Zucchini, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, sweet potato, eggplant
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La Tortilla Factory wrap with hummus, brussels, onion, sweet potato, zucchini, eggplant, carrots with a side of crispy broccoli

Broccoli fries, anyone? Delish. I think I’m going to add balsamic to the three tons of leftovers I have in the fridge – like my favorite balsamic grilled veggies from the student union at school!

I lazed around all afternoon and had my mom’s amazing minestrone soup for dinner:

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With a Joseph’s low carb pita – mmm!

There were so many goodies in the soup!
  • Whole stewed tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Pink beans

I snacked on the other half of my Cashew Cookie Larabar for some pre-gym fuel and some tea for caffeine:

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Larabar Cashew Cookie Opinion
Taste: Pretty light taste of cashews, which apparently aren’t my favorite.  2/5.
Texture: Moist, chewy, nutty – perfect!  5/5.
Fill Factor: Kept me fueled for 7 miles yesterday and an hour on the elliptical today without hunger pangs either time, which is really, really unusual for me. 5/5.
Ingredients: “Cashews, dates.” Maybe they should throw some salt in there? But still – 5/5.
Nutrition: 230 calories (highest count in a Larabar I’ve seen), 13g of fat (2.5g saturated, 0g trans fat, 2.5 polyunsaturated, 8g monounsaturated), no cholesterol or sodium, 340mg potassium, 23g of carbs (4g from fiber, 18g from sugars, and 6g of protein. 4/5.
Overall: Least favorite flavor yet. I was pretty disappointed, considering that I’ve heard such great things about. I won’t buy it again unless I’m craving cashews – and I can’t be trusted around unportioned nuts. 2/5.

At the gym, I did 60 minutes on the elliptical – “Kilimanjaro” aka mountain setting, at level 10. I probably should have taken today as a rest day after running more than I ever have before yesterday, but my legs weren’t sore at all, just a little tight, so I thought going easy on the elliptical would loosen them up. It did, and I don’t regret it, but it just wasn’t a good workout. I was however, extremely entertained the entire time.

To my left was a small man I see a lot, maybe in his late twenties, watching “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on ABC Family. To my right was Rabbit, from 8 Mile. Legit. Complete with black hoodie covering his head and face (yet I could see him creeping) and ragging his finger – you could just tell he was angrily rapping at the poor elliptical. The finger wagging was so intense and consistent it actually really started to annoy me. Pretty persistent out of the corner of my eye there, Slim Shady.

I also watched the first half of “The Bachelor” premiere. Wow. Some of those girls are just … they just have to be following a script. There’s not way that show is unscripted. “Do you have a registry for those guns?” First of all, is your hair up or down? Second of all, that is not the proper term. Third, really?

Anyway. Post-gym snack:
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0% Plain Chobani, a clemmie, and a packet of Stew Leonard’s Cranberry Fitness trail mix

Looks just like my brother! Except his eyes are green, not walnut hazel. I loveee this trail mix! It has peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, cranberries, raisins, and maybe one other seed? SO healthy and SO good.

I need to rehydrate – maybe with some more clementines! Have a great night!

I’ll be honest – I kind of lost track of the day after Christmas.

I’m assuming this was dinner?

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Shrimp and black bean burrito with guac and hot sauce + carrots and salsa
It was great and NEW!
  • La Tortilla Factory wrap
  • Romaine (would shred it next time … good thing I eat with my family)
  • Black beans
  • Leftover shrimpies
  • Laughing Cow
  • Guacamole
  • Frank’s Red Hot

While impatiently waiting for your burrito to cook, this is a good snack:

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Is guac the new hummus?

I also found it necessary to have two salsas for carrot dippage/burrito slatherage: Tostitos and this newbie:

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You know you’re a foodie when you get specialty salsa in your Christmas stocking.

It’s pretty good! Spicier than I was expecting and not too sweet. I had a strawberry Chobani with granola later on, but you’ve seen that.
Yesterday’s breakfast was nothing new but still amazing.
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Chopped warmed fuji, cinnamon, TruVia, skim, and Kashi Heart to Heart

I headed to the gym, intent on 4 miles on the treadmill trying not to fall off out of boredom. However, this guy

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got me to 5 in 47:02. I love you, Elliot Stabler. I also did some reps on the hip adduction and abduction machines and the glute machine. That’s all it is called, apparently. Just glute. Anyway, I came home and made a semi-new lunch:

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Shrimp and black bean salad!
  • Romaine
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Shrimp
  • Black beans
  • Annie’s Lite Gingerly Vinaigrette

Plus a side of Kashi crackers in Original 7 Grain. So good! And filling, until those 5 miles caught up to me and I needed a Santa snack plate.

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Carrots, sugar snap peas, hummus and Frank’s

Dinner part one was pretty obvious:
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Sweet potato with black beans, Fage, and Frank’s Red Hot

I also had a new tea with dinner. My step-aunts gave my mom this cool tea cup and set from Tea Forte:
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It includes:
  • Sweet Orange Spice
  • Winter Chai
  • Crimson Nectar
  • English Breakfast
  • White Ambrosia

I chose the Winter Chai, described as:

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The holidays aren’t over until after New Year’s, right? Here’s what it looks like out of the box and “unwrapped.” The tea bag itself is very nice – almost like silk. And I love the tiny leaf for the string!

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I followed the directions:

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And got this:

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So cute! I really loved the Winter Chai flavor. It was perfectly spiced and sweet. Definitely reminded me of winter, but I can picture it tasting amazing iced in the summer too, with milk. The sweetness was seriously perfect. I didn’t need to add any sweetener but it wasn’t at all overpowering. I can’t wait to try the other flavors!

The cup there is double-insulated, so it keeps the tea warm but your hands cool. It was really fun to use, I even had another cup of tea (the last of my Candy Cane Lane 😦 ) in it a little while later!

I was really craving veggies and volume today, so dinner part two was another salad:
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Romaine, corn, black beans, salsa, and guac with a toasted sandwich thin.

With my baby Little Mermaid fork because otherwise I take huge bites and eat too fast. I ended the night with a clemmie:
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Have a great day!
Edited to add:  Don’t miss Iowa Girl Eats’ VitaTop giveaway here!  Or wait, actually do, because I WANT THEM!

This is going to be quick since my day was nothing out of the ordinary and I’m super sleepy!

Last night my 5 miles had me snacking in bed:

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Clemmie (x2) and a 100 calorie pack of almonds and walnuts

Great combination of exactly what I was craving!
I woke up at 7 to go the gym, but I realized I wouldn’t have time to get in everything I wanted to shower, get ready, and get to my friend’s house by 10 so I pushed it back. I lounged around with some coffee before making breakfast.
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1 cup plain 0% Fage, 1 cup of MultiGrain Cheerios, and a banana

A little bit on the bigger side for me since I didn’t know when I’d be able to eat lunch. I got ready and met my friend at her house before we headed to New Haven. We stopped at IKEA where she picked up some Christmas presents and I admired all of the home decorations I want for my nonexistent apartment. Then we headed to Urban Outfitters where I admired all of the clothes I can’t afford 😦 Christmas can’t come soon enough! It doesn’t seem like it was that long, but our trip ended up being about 3 hours with all the weird and unnecessary traffic we hit going home. For some reason we were both exhausted (and cranky) and just couldn’t wait to get back! I rushed home to quiet my rumbling tummy. Lunch was extremely green!
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Buffalo Crackwich (Arnold’s MultiGrain Sandwich Thin, hummus, LC plain wedge, Frank’s hot sauce) with spinach! Plus steamed brussels and green beans with salt and pepper.

I devoured it (SO GOOD!) and promptly passed out for 3 hours. How old am I??? I woke up intending to head to the gym, but I had to wait for my brother to get back with my car. While I was waiting, I ate this half of a banana:
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I intended to just go the elliptical and stair master today since my legs were a little tight and sore from yesterday’s 5 miler, but when I finally got to the gym, I felt like running. I banged out a 5k (3.1 miles) in 28:28 and then ellipticalled on random for 10 minutes + a cool down.
Dinner was muy delicioso:
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Baked sweet potato with 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/4 cup of Fage and Frank’s + 1 cup of spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and parm.

Two of my new favorite things together = fab.

I just had a great snack!
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1.5 tbsp of Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup of skim milk and a packet of TrueVia + 2 clemmies

Real hot cocoa is so good! As much as I rely on the packets, this was so yummy and satisfying! I’m seriously exhausted – still catching up from finals I guess? Watching The Office and passing out. Good night!
Highlight of the day: Getting almost $50 ($47.38) in change turned into cash at the bank! Yay spare change!
P.S. Yes, I eat almost every meal and snack on Santa and my snowman bowl. Don’t worry, I was them every time!

Oh wait, I am!

Currently I am sitting at my kitchen table, having just finished a warm and delicious breakfast, sipping coffee, and listening to Christmas music from my family’s creepy stereo that likes to turn the volume up on its own. Cool. But it is, because I am ECSTATIC to be home for 4 glorious weeks! Last night, as I was having a wonderful night of sleep in the most comfortable bed in all of the land (mine), I actually woke up and thought about how happy I was in that moment – to be home and cozy, warm, and comfortable in my cocoon!

Last night I couldn’t wait til dinner – not surprising considering I literally ate only fruit yesterday. Dinner wasn’t going to happen until 5:30 and at 4:20 I was HANGRY and ate my last apple, a Fortune, to tide me over. It did the trick until an hour later when I was once again ravenous. My little, grand little, and I intended to get dinner at the restaurant at the Student Union, but the wait was over an hour, so we just headed down to the food court. Nothing was appealing at all, so I just had a large side of my fave balsamic grilled veggies. I headed home straight after – and fast, as my bladder, stomach, and hatred of nighttime driving were screaming at me the whole way. I had serious thoughts about stopping for some Whole Foods salad bar along the way, but my mom sealed the deal with the promise of Veggie Patch falafel balls and tzatziki waiting for me in the fridge at home.

I barely made it through the door before whipping up this salad beast of my dreams:

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Green leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, falafel balls, pools of hummus and tzatziki + Frank’s, of course
NOM. Just what I wanted/needed. Every taste in there is such a great combination. Please, please, try and enjoy. And thank me.
Oh, and my citrus addiction manifested itself in two dessert clemmies:

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I concluded my night with a cup of English Breakfast tea. Ironic, yes.
My early waking hours this week effected my internal alarm and I was up by 6:30. I laid in bed a while but knew I wanted to start my morning and my Christmas break with some yoga. I whipped out my mat and did 30 minutes of Vinyasa On-Demand. It was boring, since I’ve done this video before, and nothing super challenging or new. Yet, my shoulders are still shaking from Warrior 2 = success. My body is so so tight from sitting and hunching all week. I might do more yoga later today, although I promised myself a 5 miler on the treadmill at the gym – it’s too frigid here for running, my lungs would be shot. Breakfast was an improved-upon repeat.
it started with come Christmas blend:

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Then I washed a Gala with this much-neglected product:

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Chopped ‘er up:

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Microwaved, mixed, added cinnamon and TrueVia, microwaved again, added skim, microwaved again, added Kashi Heart to Heart and:
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SO GOOD and warm and comforting! But it was missing something – I think I might add raisins or peaches (from my frozen stash) tomorrow. Since I know this’ll be making a repeat.
In other fun news, I got my first Christmas present yesterday! From my little:

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A new Pandora charm! The faith, hope, love one – with a cross, anchor, and heart. It’s a sorority thing. I added it to my sad and pathetic Pandora bracelet, which is now still far from complete with three beads:
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I’m getting lunch with my dad later too! I told him yesterday I wanted Indian, but now I think that might be too heavy for lunch? Maybe Mexican. We’ll see. It is freezing, I kind of just want soup! Also later, find out what this monstrosity is:
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Have a great day!

Yes, I am slowly going insane as I rot in my kitchen chair for hours on end, replaying the Wicked soundtrack while my brother begs me to stop. He’s so anti-musical. And anti-fun.

In an effort to reduce the stress-induced hump that my back and shoulders are forming, I did end up heading to the gym last night. I spent 15 minutes on the elliptical, 20 on the treadmill – averaging a 9 minute mile, and then 15 on the StairMaster. I think that the treadmill was flat out wrong about what speed I was going. I can easily keep up at 9:30 mile outside, but it’s ALWAYS harder on the treadmill in the gym at school. But yesterday, at my gym here at home, it was easy. I even kept up a 7mph pace for quite a while, hence the 9 min/mile average. And on an incline. I just don’t think that’s right. The treadmills at school are Precor and this one was a Cybex – does anyone know if they’re known to be inconsistent or different at pacing? Maybe I’l google it.

Before the gym there was snacking:

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Yummy clementines!

Anyway, I came home sweating and not-yet-starving and so made a little bit more effort with dins:

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Amy’s Black Bean Burrito + Fage and Frank’s with carrots, celery, and cukes to dip in Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus.
More effort = making my Amy’s burrito in the oven instead of the microwave. Aside from a crispier burrito, no difference!
My brother had the Burrito Espcial:
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Mine:
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I find it odd that in my black bean burrito, black beans aren’t the first ingredient, but they are in his. Interesting? No? Just me? Okay.
I was super full from dinner that I didn’t snack all night. I woke up this morning and had my favorite:
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2 Eggo NutriGrain WW waffles with 1/2 a Macintosh + cinnamon and coffee times 2

Lunch looks familiar, yes?

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Sweet potato with black beans and plain Chobani + Frank’s, and a WW bread nub with a tbsp of hummus
Snackies:

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Hot cocoa + more clems

I also diagnosed Allie from The Notebook with Stage 23of Alzheimer’s Disease, in which there is a moderately severe cognitive decline and intensified confusion, including being unable to recall the names of family members and life events.


Then I went to the gym with my 38-page study guide. I spent an hour on the treadmill, alternating walking 3mph on an level 8 incline with walking 3.5mph on a level 9 incline. There is quite a difference, believe me.
Dinner was breakfast:

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Arnold’s MultiGrain sammie thin with three egg whites, a plain LC wedge, and organic ketchup + a Fortune apple with leftover Chobsies + cinnamon
I saw the Fortune apples at the grocery store yesterday and picked some up – I’d never heard of them before. The sign described them as slightly crisp and slightly spicy. I thought spicy was a good description – hard to explain, but true! They were both crisp and a little mealy, which I generally don’t like (hence why I despise Red Delicious) but I liked it here, since it wasn’t too much meal.
I was going to head back to school late tonight, but it’s raining and I hate driving at night, especially in the rain. What can I say, I’m not the best driver. Plus how can I turn down another night in the world’s most comfortable bed? Even if it means getting up at 5:30 …