Fall in a Bowl.

Yesterday for breakfast, I ate fall in a bowl. For the past month or so I have see pumpkin oats all around on this blog or that. And for the past month or so I have been meaning to pick up a can of pumpkin puree. Well, on Sunday I finally remembered and picked up a can from Trader Joe’s. Since I missed breakfast on Monday, it was clear that I wasn’t about to miss it again yesterday, I mean it is the most important meal of the day, not to mention, I had some pumpkin oats to try!

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Try I did and they were fantastic. At first I thought I had put too much pumpkin and water in the oats I was making. I threw some chia seeds in the mix too help soak some of the liquid up, put in it the microwave for just a little longer than normal, and the crisis was averted. I topped my oats with some fresh blueberries and some agave sweetener (my new obsession) and a little piece of fall was mine for breakfast. (Don’t worry, plenty of fall to go around. Winking smile)

Lunch was another chicken patty from Trader Joe’s (clearly obsessed with these too,) on a Whole Wheat Bagel Thin with spicy hummus, red onion, cucumbers and spinach plus some carrots on the side. Another winning meal, if I do say so myself.

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Dinner’s inspiration was care of my go to blog for healthy recipes, SkinnyTaste. If you’ve never been on the site, go now! It’s great, super easy to search, and has all the nutritional information you need.

I made Chicken + Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce, and it turned out great. The only steps I did differently was skip the flour and butter. I paired the chicken with whole wheat cous cous and a big salad on the side.

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Overall, a pretty yummy day for food. I also had a hard boiled egg in there after my workout in the afternoon.

Speaking of workouts, yesterday I decided to start a Couch to 10K program. The first workout was a little easy, so I think I am going to try the second week, workout one and see if that’s better. I figured that even though I’m not starting from the couch per se, I am starting outside and in a city with a lot of hills. The program is on my iPhone, so it tells you want to walk or run, and no matter where I was on my route, I would run when it said. Sometimes this was up some freaking steep hills (good for the booty!) but it was still a bit too easy for me. So I’m just going to do the first day of each week until I get to a week that I find challenging. Then I will complete the week (3 runs per week.) I may do more than 3 runs a week, I may not. I am just going to go at a pace that comfortable to me, yet challenging at the same time.

I’m frustrated with my fitness improvements over the time I started this blog till now. While I have had lots of big changes since I started the goal of becoming a runner, I really have no excuse now. That being said, I know me, and I know I can over do it. So I am going to try and listen to my body, push myself in a good way, and see where I end up. I am looking for a race to sign up for in the near future, but what to get a few weeks in of running in this new city before I commit myself. I also want to wait a few weeks, because I have decided to go to a Team in Training informational meeting in a few weeks to see if that is the way I want to train. I think running with a team would be so motivational for me. It’s always just been me with my running, and running alone, or going to a race, alone, just seems so depressing to me sometimes. I am trying to convince my sister to go with me, and run with me, so we shall see.

I am sure some of you have been a part of Team in Training. Do you recommend it? Also, San Francisco/Bay Area runners, where do you like to run? I need to get my booty moving, so any information you have, I would love to hear!

Speaking of getting my booty moving, I am out the door to get a workout in! Have a happy hump day!

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Crockpot Productivity.

Yesterday, I was actually productive. And it was all thanks to a crockpot. Okay, not really, but there was something about starting dinner before noon that really allowed me to be more productive throughout the day. More on my crockpot efforts in a minute. In fact so productive in the morning that it was 11am and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet!!

I get somewhat confused when I don’t eat breakfast. I love breakfast. But for some reason yesterday I poured my coffee, sat down on my computer to catch up on emails and peruse job boards, and all of a sudden it was 11am! I finished up what I was doing and was eating lunch by 11:45. A lunch fit for a queen! Or just a big salad, you decided.

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Romaine, red onion, carrots, cucumber + TJ Roasted Chicken Patty, with a little TJ Light Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing drizzled on top. So delicious. If you haven’t tried the Roasted Chicken Patties you are seriously missing out. I love them.

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They are perfect for lunch, and beat cold cuts anytime in my humble opinion. I also had a peach on the side after my salad. It was okay, but I am afraid peach season has left the building.

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After lunch, I got back to the computer to get back to work. They say finding a new job is a full time job and they are correct! There are so many different job boards to go through. Any suggestions out there on good places to look in the Bay Area? I’d love to know!

Since I didn’t eat breakfast my salad held me over until around 3pm when my stomach told me I was in need of a little snack. I decided to boil some eggs so that I’d have some snacks for the rest of the week as well.

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They turned out perfect. No green around the shell. Perfect. And delicious. I loved that it was still a little warm while I was eating it. The perfect snack. Okay, I am done saying perfect. Smile

After my snack it was time for a walk in the rain. I was planning on going for a run, but it was raining and I just received my new running shoes yesterday (Asic Gels!) so I didn’t want to try them out for the first time in the rain. I threw on my Hunters, grabbed an umbrella and took Oliver out for a brisk 30 minute walk. I would have gone longer, but it was all I can take. The rain was just so, well, wet! I was thinking about joining a gym, but I really think I should wait until I have a reliable income. You know, do the responsible thing. (I hate doing the responsible thing!) So I will hit the pavement today and begin working out, outside. Some people hate the treadmill, but it was always just so convenient for me. Maybe that was the problem? Maybe I need more of a challenge. I’ll keep you updated.

After the cold, rainy walk, a hot dinner sounded great. A hot dinner that was conveniently waiting in the crockpot for me. After dinner at The Slanted Door on Friday, I decided I should try to make my own Asian Pork. I looked around for crock pot recipes and found one that looked great to adapt.

Crock Pot Asian Pork Roast
Adapted from Food.Com

Yield: 9-12 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (2-3 lb) boneless whole pork loin roast
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup agave sweetener
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Directions:

  • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and pepper. Cut roast in half; rub with garlic mixture. Put roast in the slow cooker and add bay leaves.

  • In a small bowl, combine hot water and honey; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and cloves. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

  • Remove meat and onions from slow cooker; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring twice.

  • Slice pork; top with onions, sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with mixed sautéed vegetables such as bok choy, mushrooms + zucchini (I mixed the onions into this.)

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    I think this really turned out quite nice. There was a little heat, it was a little sweet, and the veggies on the bottom really worked well with the pork. I’d definitely make this dish again.

    I am off to go for a run. Well, let’s be honest, probable a walk/run combo. Need to start out slow with all these hills!

    Birthday Weekend.

    Whew. What a birthday weekend. Although I have to admit, it was not my typical birthday weekend, it was more age appropriate I suppose (aka I did not drink like a fish Winking smile.) I started my birthday with a little pampering by getting my nails done and a little window shopping. Even though nothing caught my eye it was a nice morning.

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    I wanted to eat at Swan’s for lunch, (best oysters I have ever had,) but the line was too long, so I ended up eating at a little Greek restaurant for lunch called Mykonos. The food was okay, but the best part was reminiscing about the time I went to Mykonos in 2005. Two of my girlfriends and I had a blast, and now I want to go back, as soon as possible!

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    I ordered the Falafel plate for lunch which came with pita, hummus, Greek salad, and Greek country potatoes. I probably just should have a had a gyros. I also ordered a Greek beer. I wanted a Mythos, but they didn’t have it. Oh well!

    After lunch, I headed down for a little more pampering, it was finally time for me to get my hair done! It had been wayy too long.

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    Look at those roots! I wanted something a little more natural and a little darker for Fall.

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    Don’t mind the champagne glass, but look past it towards my hair. I love the final outcome! (And the sparkling wine was delicious too!)

    For dinner my sister, her fiancé and my mom headed to The Slanted Door down on the Embarcadero. I started my night taking pictures but slowly forgot as soon as we sat at the table.

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    I started with a Gin Fizz (pictured above) before moving on too more sparkling wine. I love sparkling wine, and its even better when you are celebrating. The food was awesome, and we ordered enough so that I know that the entire menu is pretty much delicious. I am sad I forgot to take pictures, but we were all enthralled in eating and talking, so you will have to settle for a list:

    • crispy imperial rolls  with shrimp, pork, glass noodles and peanuts 
    • steak tartare  grass-fed tenderloin with mint, thai basil, quail egg and toasted sesame rice cracker
    • mesquite grilled lamb sausage and kusshi oysters  chinese black olive and preserved lemon relish
    • grapefruit and jicama  with red cabbage, pickled carrots and candied pecans
    • grass-fed estancia shaking beef,  cubed filet mignon, watercress, red onions and lime sauce
    • lemongrass grilled petaluma rabbit  with olive oil poached leg, braised fennel, thai basil, chive and lemon
    • cellophane noodles  with green onion and fresh dungeness crab meat
    • chue farm baby bok choy  with baby shiitake mushrooms

    I still cannot believe I didn’t take pictures. But everything again was amazing. The dishes are not too big, so you can have a little of each without feeling too full. We definitely still had room for cake!

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    After dinner my mom headed home and the rest of us headed out for a drink at a fun little bar up on Filmore. Overall, the night was fun, full of delicious food and family! It has literally been almost ten years since I was with all my family for my birthday! So needless to say, it was long overdue.

    On Saturday, it was time for one of my favorite things, wine tasting in Wine Country. Did you know I liked wine? Winking smile My grandpa also lives up in Napa, so it was a chance to visit him as well. We went to several wineries, including:

    Ram’s Gate

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    Hall Winery

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    Grgich Hills Estate

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    Rubicon Estate
    (owed by Francis Ford Coppola)

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    Between wine stops, we grabbed lunch in St Helena at a little café downtown. I ordered a big Cobb Salad to soak up some of the wine. Smile

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    Today, was just an easy day which was just what I needed after a long night on Friday and a long day on Saturday. I got some laundry done, went to brunch at B Star (honey lemon iced tea + huevos rancheros,) and meal planned for the upcoming week.

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    Now that my birthday is over its time to get back on track, which is exactly what will be happening! After all the planning, moving and birthday celebrating, back on track is what has to happen!

    It was a great weekend, with a great final dinner, which I will post about tomorrow! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend too! Good night!

    Tuna-rific.

    Yesterday was gorgeous, today the normal overcast returned to the City. C’est la vie. It was lovely while it lasted. I really don’t mind the cool weather, just as long as I can smell the Pacific in the morning, this girl will be a-okay.

    I woke up this morning and decided to to go for a big bowl of fruit cereal. I did half Maple + Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats and half Kashi Oat Flakes + Blueberry Clusters (a new box I picked up at Whole Foods yesterday.) Oh an about a gallon of fruit on top.

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    Yes, I promise there is cereal and milk down there. I started with some banana and then decided to dump the rest of my fruit salad on top of it. Well, there was clearly more than I thought. I still didn’t finish all the fruit! But it was delicious. And fresh! Winking smile

    I didn’t do much the rest of the morning. Walked Oliver a few miles. (I see improvement!) Watched some TV that I’d DVR’ed. And tried to think of what I would make for lunch and dinner. Yes, food is usually on my mind.

    For lunch I decided to make a tuna sandwich. Something about it sounded so good to me for some reason. I mixed the tuna with a little low-fat mayo (something I rarely have when at home. I don’t keep it in my fridge normally, but since it was in my mom’s I figured why not,) dill, lemon pepper and garlic salt. I toasted a multi-grain sandwich thin, cut up some cucumber slices, red onion, washed some lettuce and grabbed some pickles and threw it all together with some carrots on the side.

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    I don’t know why, but it was sooo good. Seriously, the best tuna sandwich I have ever made for myself. And I have made many a tuna sandwiches in my day.

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    The saddest part? I’ll never duplicate it. It was a fluke! I didn’t measure the spices, I have no idea the amount of mayo I used. It was the first and last of its kind. And yes, I am still talking about my tuna sandwich. It was that good.

    Okay I’m off to start dinner. My sister is coming over and I’m making something Mediterranean-esque and, well, of course fresh! See ya later!

    A Gorgeous Day.

    Yesterday was hands down such a gorgeous day. I know I sound like a broken record, but seriously, so, so gorgeous. So gorgeous I spent the majority of the day outside. Just around lunchtime, I put on some shorts and a tank top, and headed out on a mile and a half walk to Whole Foods for lunch. I had purchased the Living Social deal a few weeks ago and deemed yesterday the perfect day to use it.

    I headed out the door and into the beautiful California sun and eventually ended up at Whole Foods.

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    Now as this is the only Whole Foods I have been to so far in the city, I am crossing my fingers that this is the worst one in the city because I was craving there amazing salad bar and this one disappointed to the max. Maybe I am a snob, and just need to get used to city living, but I am used to the big, luxurious Whole Foods in the DC area. I picked up a few things and then decided on Salmon Avocado Brown Rice Sushi with a Sesame Seaweed Salad on the side. Fear not, I will try another one, and obviously still heart Whole Foods, this one just was conveniently located next to Golden Gate Park where I was planning on picnicking.

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    I sat down in a nice shady area and dug in to my lunch.

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    The sushi had great flavor and I loved the seaweed salad (I seriously love seaweed!) but the only downer was the sushi had wayyy too much rice on it. I ended up taken off the majority of the rice on the outside of the roll. It was not needed.

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    I didn’t let the brown rice ruin my lunch or the bad day. I mean how can you ruin this?

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    I finished my lunch and headed the mile and a half back, quite happy I had bought a bottled water at Whole Foods for the walk back! It was hot! Not that I am complaining one bit.

    I got home, took out Oliver for about a mile, and headed to meet my sister, Katie, and some friends for a beach date with their dogs. (Oliver doesn’t play too well with others, he is more of a person dog, than a dog’s dog.)

    The beach was gorgeous and I so wish I had taken my camera and not just my iPhone because the shots I got does not give the day or the beach justice. It felt so good to be at the beach, it had been far too long!

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    We drank some wine, played with the this little guy, Cooper, and just had fun in the sun.

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    All these dogs are just leaving me dog crazy! I need one, immediately!! Okay, well soon at least. Smile

    After the beach I headed to Benefit with my friend Merry for a much needed session at the Brow Bar. My brows look so much better. They were NOT looking good, and with my birthday TOMORROW, I had to have them look parfait. Non?!

    After our brows were looking good, we headed to dinner at Dragon Well just up the road on Chestnut. We were both hungry, especially after the glass of wine on the beach! The lighting was horrible, but we ended up ordering three dishes to split.

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    The Beef and Chicken dishes were my favorite, both very flavorful and very fresh tasting. There’s that word again, fresh. My new food word. The noodles weren’t my favorite, a little bland, but overall a good meal. I hate when Chinese is too greasy, and this wasn’t in the slightest.

    After dinner we walked back to where my car was parked and I spent the night googling puppies. Yes, I am that girl right now. What can I say? I have puppy fever.

    Do you have puppy fever? Or do you have a dog? If so, what kind?!