New Lunch

With my healthy eating back on track the last couple of weeks, I felt like I needed something new for lunch.

Breakfast and dinner fill me up and I don’t need a snack afterward, but there is something about lunch that I can’t seem to get right. No matter the size of my lunches, I am hungry (like growling stomach) an hour or two later. I always have a salad filled with protein and veggies, and other times I have greek yogurt with fruit, whole wheat cereal & peanut butter. That works longer than a salad for me, but I wonder why my metabolism is revving at lunch time? Any ideas?

The one thing that does the trick is the delicious vegetarian baguette sandwich from Macaron Cafe. However, at $8 a pop and on a baguette, it’s a bit of a splurge. I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday to set out on creating my own version, healthier and much cheaper!

My version this week was more like a breakfast sandwich, but since eggs are super cheap and I love them, they are the protein source of this sandwich. I might try turkey if I can find some un-processed kind somewhere. So I microwaved 4 egg whites (take a large coffee mug, spray with pam, crack egg whites in, shake in seasoning, stir & microwave for 1.5-2 mins) to save time vs using a frying pan. Lazy.

Most important part of the sandwich: the carbs! I work out almost every day, and I think incorporating a good carb at lunch is the key to making my lunch last in my belly. I opted for Trader Joe’s high-fiber sprouted wheat bread, which is made with wheat berries instead of flour. The consistency is a bit stale, but once toasted it’s the same as whole wheat bread. I really love wheat berries as a grain and thought it would be cool to try in bread!

In my avocado phase but too lazy/confused as to how to peel and cut one, I opted for Trader Joe’s spicy avocado dip. At 40 calories per TWO tablespoons, it’s the perfect amount to spread thick on my sandwich and create an amazing flavor that mayo could never top!

The last part of my sandwich this week: cheese. I went for cheddar flavored soy cheese and melted it on top of the egg white patty. I had this for lunch Monday open-faced with a side of mushrooms & hummus:

Kept me satisfied and powered me through the most intense spin class ever Monday night! The room was literally foggy with everyone’s sweat. Deeeeelicious!

Yesterday I had the same sandwich with baby carrots and grapefruit on the side. Didn’t end up eating my afternoon snack because I wasn’t hungry! Score!

My workout yesterday was 30 Day Shred Level 2 then another intense spin class. 2 spin classes in 12 hours = ouch. In places that it sucks to be sore ūüôā

Dinner last night:

Ahi tuna fillet, edamame, broccoli, hummus, guacamole, goat cheese. Lean and green!

Breakfast right now is 2 slices of sprouted grain bread with Better’n Peanut Butter and a sliced banana and coffee with light vanilla soy milk. SO delish! I just wasn’t feelin’ oats this morning because it’s not very cold!

Today is my day off so I am going thrift shopping at a few of my favorite places. I’m thinking if I find anything good I’ll do a post on that?! Most people know I love fashion and I would love to start doing some fashion posts, if not for anything more than to inspire myself… sometimes fashion falls by the way side when you aren’t feeling your best ya know? Shopping will be followed by some gym action.. I’m hoping for a run and some time on the elliptical! My knee is feeling a little better, but I don’t want to push it. Cross-training is really helping!

NuGo obsession

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling exhausted after getting back into the city late Monday night. I somehow managed to trek downtown to bust out Level 2 of 30 Day Shred with Caitlin, but wasn’t feeling so hot during or after. I decided to use a sick day because hey, my last day is Friday and if you don’t use ’em ya lose ’em. Sweaty and tired, I crawled back into bed and got a couple more hours of sleep. Actually, I made a spinach protein smoothie to refuel from my workout and chugged it down quick before my return to slumber. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to spend a day with John as it was his day off! After a shower, I chowed down on a bowl of protein oats with a sliced apple instead of a banana, peanut butter and sugar-free syrup.

It was reaaalllly¬†good and it felt great to enjoy a hot breakfast with hot coffee in my kitchen and not at my desk. I met John on the lower east side after he got his hair did (ha) and we wandered the rainy streets and found solace from the rain in a little bakery named Panya. John loved up on a 8000 calorie danish of some sort, and I enjoyed a hot americano. It’s a little Japanese bakery and they have some delicious looking bread, treats and food that I want to try at some point. We also hit up the East Village location of my fav store, Buffalo Exchange, and I found a vintage Yves Saint Laurent blazer! It’s not my style, but I am hoping to sell it on eBay or make a stop at a store that I have been dying to shop at: Second Time Around, which you may recognize from the show Fashion Hunters on Bravo. It’s an upscale consignment shop which is my idea of a good time.

After a pit stop at Trader Joe’s, I made up a quick (late) lunch before spin class. I was pumped for spin class all day, which makes me so excited! I really didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m falling for it. Lunch was a reduced carb whole wheat wrap with tabouli, egg whites and fat free feta with cukes, celery and hummus. Super delicious and great fuel.

I hit up a 1.75 mile run on the tread before spin class. When the instructor was adjusting my seat for me she asked, “Did you already work out?” Apparently the massive beads of sweat already dripping from me gave it away. She looked at me like I was nuts and yeah, I am. Already my butt hurts less after spinning my heart out for 50 minutes! She played great music and was really enthusiastic, plus this class was¬†completely¬†full unlike my first one where there were only about 8 of us.

Favorite part of this class: when “Empire State of Mind” came on and Alicia Key’s belts out “NEW YOOOORK!”, everyone in the class was trying to sing/scream and it reminded me how lucky I am to be a New Yorker. The pride of it all is moving, as corny as that might sound! But since it’s been a dream of mine for 20 years, it felt pretty euphoric ūüôā

I finally hit up a little healthy market on the corner of my gym’s street and found some gooooood¬†stuff.

Justin’s brand peanut butter (honey flavored) was on sale and I have been wanting to try it. My favorite peanut butter I used to buy upstate (1st natural PB I got hooked on!) was on sale, and my new favorite protein bars. Seriously, Nugo bars are my new favorite food/thing in the world. The first one I tried was the chocolate pretzel with sea salt when I was upstate over the weekend and I literally had to hold back tears this thing was so good. It seems that something that good could never be healthy, but they are definitely Jen(that’s me) approved. Every bite had a touch of sea salt and if you are crazy about salty/sweet combo’s, these will swoon you. The next one I tried was from the NuGo slim line, and I ate the roasted peanut with dark chocolate bar.

PERFECT post-workout refuel bar. Stats: 190 cals/ 7 grams fat/ 21 carbs/ 9 (!) grams fiber/ 2 grams sugar/ 15 grams protein. I am making an effort to eat within 30 minutes of a hard workout, and these are just what I needed. I also love the fact that there are no¬†artificial¬†sweeteners in these because my stomach can’t digest them. Last night I fueled through 3 finals with the help of coffee and NuGo’s¬†peanut butter cup bar. This bar is not part of the slim line so there is a bit more sugar, but it comes from natural sources such as delicious dark chocolate. I was full for 3 hours, which¬†coincidentally¬†happened to be how long my finals took ūüėȬ†Get yourself some of these bars- you will NOT be disappointed!

At the end of my finals, I needed a quick bite- it was too late for dinner, so a Chobani pineapple Greek yogurt topped with Once Again crunchy peanut butter was the perfect fit.

Yums.

What’s your favorite kind of protein bars? What things do you look for in a bar (calorie wise/low sugar/etc)?

1st spin class!

Yes, I finally took my first spin class. After what seems like forever of putting it off, I dragged my extremely stressed out and frazzled ass there last night. But first, what’s really important… delicious food. Particularly, the delicious food I ate yesterday.

I slept in and got to make one of my favorite breakfasts: protein pancakes. The recipe I use is basically just my oatmeal mess but with added egg whites and made into pancakes. I used mostly wheat bran in yesterday’s batch which came out amazing. Topped with banana, peanut butter and sugar free syrup. Egg-nog flavored coffee on the side.

Kept me full until I had a little snack at 1. Greek yogurt with raspberries.

And a new-to-me protein bar that I am really digging. No funky protein taste, only 120 calories, very low sugar.

After eating this, I had an unpleasant conversation at work which left me upset and therefore with a crippling stomach ache that lasted for over 2 hours. Anxiety flares up my stomach issues like no other. After lots of water and a few hours, I finally ate my real lunch. Left over ahi-tuna, spinach, sweet potato & mustard.

I skipped my walk home to take the bus (ew) and make sure I got my ass to midtown in time for spin class. I chomped on a giant pear on the way.

I am 96% sure the guys sitting next to me were taking a picture of me on their iPhone while I was eating this. Their phone was up in the air and I know I pull the “I’m just texting” when I’m really taking creepy pictures of people.

I was nervous to say the very least about spin class. I got an amazing deal for a 2-month membership at Gold’s Gym and my plan is just to take a few spin classes and finally try Body Pump before I decide if it’s the gym I’d like to join since I’ll be working in midtown shortly ūüôā I warmed up with 10 minutes on a Precor elliptical (WAY better than any other I’ve used!) and then got into the room early. The instructor was an awesome girl who showed me how to adjust the bike according to my height and how the resistance knob works. The bike was very basic and definitely uncomfortable, which I had anticipated. The class had about 10 of us total, some men and some women. I took a picture of the room to send to Caitlin to prove I was there since I have chickened out of going about 89 times.

I’m creepy. Anyways, the music started and we were off for a bike ride. I was sweating within 5 minutes. Drenched¬†by 10! I loved the seated sprints, semi-liked the standing jogs in position 3, neutral about the standing jog in position 2… HATED THE JUMPS! The 4 second count jumps weren’t so bad, but the 1 second and the 1/2 seconds? Forget it. I did as many as I could but just made sure that even if I had to sit back I kept¬†peddling.¬†At first I was really shocked by how weak my legs appeared to be; I run all the time and do tons of squats and lunges via Jillian Michaels, but I couldn’t hold a sprint or a jog in the standing position for the full 30, 45 or 60 seconds until halfway through the class. Just like that, I fell in love about halfway through. I haven’t ever in my life sweat that much for anything. The floor around my bike was literally drenched, as was everyone elses. It was AMAZING! The music was fun and I was totally singing along, and before I knew it she announced that it was the last song. Seriously, 50 minutes flew by like nothing. Again, this picture can’t even touch on how sweaty I was.

I love running, but I am planning to have an affair with spinning. Don’t be hurt running; it will only strengthen our relationship in the end ūüėČ

It more or less feels like I had the roughest sex of my entire life (that’s probably TMI, but if you know me you know anything goes and comes out of this mouth!) and sitting at my desk all day hasn’t been fun. But it’s been a reminder that I’m stoked to get better at it and plan on returning tomorrow for a 5:00 class. Working out that late on a Saturday? I must be in love.

Dinner last night is not pictured because I inhaled it. I had 3 egg whites and 1 fried egg on whole wheat toast with organic ketchup, and another piece of whole wheat toast with goat cheese & honey. So simple but so good. Unfortunately even though my¬†endorphins¬†were high, I gave in a bit to the stress I had had that day and ended up eating a few whole wheat wraps with peanut butter, bananas and honey plus a small oatmeal cookie from Trader Joe’s. Nothing crazy, but not needed because it was eaten after dinner when I wasn’t hungry. First time in a week giving in to stress eating though, so I’m making progress!

Today I overslept thanks to my late night workout (I was up most of the night unable to sleep, I have to get readjusted to night-time workouts!) so I thought I’d make today my rest day. Turns out, my legs wanted to run 2.08 miles on my lunch break so I let them have what they wanted. 9:36 pace in a winter fashion coat because I was just¬†anticipating¬†to walk? I’ll take it. Sorry that my cute coat is now a little sweaty inside though…

Tonight is consisting of Caitlin, Erica and I taking on NYC. We are eating dinner at Angelica’s Kitchen¬†and bringing a few bottles of wine because they are a BYOB! I love that concept. We are planning to get pretty wasted and celebrate my new job, Erica’s boyfriend coming home from Alaska SO soon, and Caitlin’s general¬†fabulous-ness¬†and her trip to Germany next week. I have 4-5 miles to run tomorrow if the hangover isn’t so bad, but I’m not holding myself to it. Tonight is about being 23, living in NYC, and pretending like booze is water. Once in awhile, this is needed.

Are you a spinner? What is your favorite thing about spinning?