1. DJ Pauly D knows about 5 phrases in English, which are (in order of frequency used): “Pittsburgh!” / “Fist pump when the beat drops!” / “Pittsburgh!” / Random noises / “Pittsburgh!” It goes without saying that his show was disappointing, to say the least.
2. Britney Spears has absolutely zero idea how to sing, or lip sync. This would be more understandable if she actually was performing challenging dance moves - but this was not quite the case. Actually, I’m pretty sure even not-so-talented Vivi on Dance Moms could have out danced Ms. Spears.
3. Britney Spears has also gotten fat, but apparently is missing a gay best friend to tell her so. I think her gay best friend must actually be on permanent leave, because she also squeezed herself into an array of highly age-inappropriate ensembles and looked like a complete mess most of the evening.
4. When the weather is nice, you must sit outside. We don’t get nearly enough days of nice weather in Pittsburgh, so next time the sun is out or the temperature is up, grab a beer, some friends, and have a party.
5. It is important to have plenty of coffee on hand. Not only will it help you get through the weekend, it just makes everything that much more enjoyable.
6. I’m better at beer pong than I ever realized. Which is great, because you never know when those frat boy skills will come in handy. Oh, and it is just fun to win things … and drink while doing it.
7. I have found myself to be pretty knowledgeable about restaurants in Pittsburgh, but despite the fact that I am constantly trying to eat my way through this city, there is still a lot more I have to take advantage of. I’m looking at this as a good thing, namely because I’m sure I have at least a few more years here.
8. Even coasters can make great gifts. Actually, I usually enjoy most everything related to drinking. Including, but not limited to, cocktail napkins, shot glasses, wine glasses, drink stirrers, and, of course, coasters.
8. Bloody Marys, when made well, can be truly delightful. I recommend having at least two during every Sunday brunch.
All in all, I had a fantastic weekend - and am so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
Going home for the holiday season is always delightful, to say the least. However, I find that when I surround myself strictly with family and friends, I tend to let myself go. Add that to the stress of finals, work, and general lack of motivation to go to the gym, my post-holiday, pre-Chicago body is certainly in need of a little work.
Salvation this year came in the most recent issue of Woman’s World. Mock the source all you want, but this is the very same publication that turned me onto the fabulous (and effective) shake diet.
So, what does said detox entail? Let’s find out …
1/2 C. plain, low-fat Greek yogurt (I prefer Yoplait of Fage)
1/2 C. berries
a pinch of ginger (I think I’ll be using fresh)
1 hard-boiled egg
6 cherry tomatoes or baby carrots
3 oz. broiled/poached chicken breast (or 1/2 can no-salt-added tuna … ick!)
3 C. tossed salad
2 tsp. olive oil (mixed with vinegar, cayenne pepper, and herbs to taste)
15 raw, unsalted almonds or 22 unsalted pistachios
4 oz. wild salmon
1/2 Tbs. olive oil + herbs and lemon juice
2 C. steamed spinach + corriander / tumeric
1/2 C. roasted sweet potato
**All meals and snacks are to also be consumed with 8 oz. of coffee or green tea and 10 oz. of water. Artificial sweeteners and salt are to be avoided.
The diet promises a loss of around 4 lbs. a day … we’ll see just how effective this detox will be.
For Valentine’s Day weekend, Jonathan and I went to Baltimore, where we stumbled upon a cute little juice bar. There, I had a lovely carrot juice concoction with an ingredient I had never seen before - bee pollen granules. As I just received my pound of these lovely things in the mail (better late than never, I suppose!), I decided to do some research and see what all the buzz was about.
Now, I am not sure that I believe all of these are true, but wouldn’t it be great if they were? Although a bit waxy in texture, the granules really do add a delightful flavor to smooties, salads, and more! But be careful - heat destroys the important enzymes - so always be sure to add them after cooking …
Not sure why I haven’t posted this lovely recipe sooner - but it is definitely one of my favorites.
Greek Yogurt à la Zach Cole
6 oz. greek yogurt (I use Yoplait) A handful of chopped, dried apricots A small handful of chopped, toasted almonds A drizzle of Agave Nectar 1/2 c. fiber one (original) - for added fiber and crunch, if you so please
Not only is this packed with protein, simple sugars, fiber, and good fats - it is also absolutely delicious. The tartness of the yogurt paired with the sweetness of the apricots and agave is absolutely wonderful, not to mention the slight crunchy, salty element added by the almonds. A harmonious medley of flavors for sure!
I’m saying now that shakes may have been the best thing to happen to diets since turkey bacon (or, pepperoni). They are just so versatile.
Inspired by the Green Monster Movement, which Jonathan turned me on to, I’ve decided to try them out. Basically, you make a protein shake, but try to cram as many good-for-you items into it as humanly possible. Here’s what I came up with.
8 oz. almond milk A couple handfuls of baby spinach 1 scoop vegetable protein powder (vanilla) 1 banana 1 scoop (about 2-3tbs) chia seeds 1 tbs. flax seed oil Liberal amount of ice (optional)
This shake is very flavorful, but it a good way. The powder/almond milk/banana combination is always delicious - and you can hardly taste the spinach. Definitely a good way to start the day.
8 oz. carrot juice A couple handfuls of baby spinach 1 gala apple, sliced into small bits 1 scoop vegetable protein powder (vanilla) 1 scoop chia seeds 1 tbs. flax seeds Ice
This option is definitely has a more earthy flavor. The protein powder also tastes a bit gritter in this shake option, although it is not unbearable. Perhaps also a more neutral flavor would have worked better here - but, hey, gotta work with what I got. I think some agave or bee pollen (or maybe some ginger…) would add a nice, but not overpowering, sweetness here.
I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as I continue playing with these creations!
After a week chock full of interviews and assignments, I think we can now safely say, the worst is over. Or, perhaps this will be the calm before the storm … either way, now is the time to relax for a bit.
The diet has really morphed into a combination of coffee and delivery, so my body really has been thrown for a loop. This, combined with a lack of sleep, has really left me in quite a mood. So, today, I got myself up and headed off to Giant Eagle, where I purchased some spinach, so I can start making some shakes. Jonathan loves them, so they can’t be too bad!
As for the interviews, I had two at Nordstrom this week, as well as one at Branding Brand. Each are great companies, and I would be happy to get a job at either one. Yet, with the interviewing process over at each, all I can do now is wait and hope for the best.
The diet has really been on and off as a late - namely as a combination of stress, a lack of time, and my “ganas de comer.” But, I have been trying to have at least one shake a day, followed by a healthy dinner full of protein and fiber.
I did, however, finally break down and buy some pita chips … ah well, a couple handfuls of carbohydrates never hurt anyone.
So after my little tumble off the diet wagon, I’m taking this Monday to try and get back on track. But … what can I say? Sometimes one just needs a couple cocktails and some carbohydrates (and of course, buffalo chicken dip, which I am putting in a category all its own, on account of its utter deliciousness).
Another Monday, another couple of shakes. Did the ab workout again, and I have noticed that not only are my abs getting firmer and a bit more defined (as defined as they can be under this layer of fat), I am also getting stronger. I already feel my energy levels getting back up from these shakes. If only I didn’t miss chewing so much …
Last night, exhausted from the depressing literary work of Mr. Sinclair, I went to bed without eating the leftover vegetables I was dreaming about the entire time I was in the library. Truth be told, I was actually dreaming about chocolate … and then Chipotle … and then Milano’s. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
Needless to say, I awoke this morning having had a dream about bread. It was a simple toasted pita covered in olive oil and herbs. I can still see it now, although I wish I could still taste it also. It was absolutely glorious - crunchy, salty, and satisfying. Yet, even in my dream I felt guilty for cheating on my detox and ended up giving 3/4 of the bread away to Danial, who was also there indulging with me.
I can’t really say that I have ever had a dream where I appreciated a half a slice of pita bread so much, but, I suppose this comes with the territory.
In other news, I weighed myself this morning and it seems that I have lost about 6 lbs. so far - not too bad for only 3 full days of detoxing! Breakfast shake in hand, I’m ready to take on the day - and hopefully successfully battle these cravings!
Finished off day two with an absolutely delicious dinner at chez Jonathan - beans, fennel, onion, a tossed salad, and some baked chicken. Simple, but satisfying - and it fit right in with the detox plan.
One up side of this detox I have discovered is that although I am not really eating, I feel absolutely amazing and have a ton of energy. I don’t even need my morning coffee to get me going anymore (however, this doesn’t mean that I still don’t buy it, because someone has to take advantage of its wonderful hunger-eliminating properties).
Just completed Jackie Warner’s twenty-minute ab workout, something I am going to try to do each and every day. Lucky for me, it is available free of charge on Comcast On Demand. However, I do have the DVD Workout at home, and I find it quite lovely.
Sipping on breakfast shake number one now, while figuring out what to wear. I already feel a bit thinner, which makes getting dressed that much more fun. As for this energy excess of mine, perhaps it will come in handy tonight as I continue to read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Qué Dios me de fuerza …
Just mixed together pineapple juice and frozen mango, along with some veggie protein powder and ice. Delicious - but messy! Too thick to flow out of the blender, I ended up spilling half of my lunch all over the sink - oops!
But, on a lighter note, it kind of has the texture of frozen yogurt - yum! I think I have found a great, healthy dessert alternative!
Went to bed slightly hungry, but woke up without any hunger pangs at all. Have to admit, I feel energized and almost cleaner inside.
I have, however, found one con with these shakes. They are very large - and therefore, I find them a bit hard to drink in a time crunch. So, please, ensure you have at least an hour to dedicate to each “meal.”
So after a slight emotional breakdown and the spur of some friendly competition by a friend, I’ve decided to really commit to a diet. And, what better way to actually stay on track than to blog about it. Here we go …
Lose 15 to 20 lbs., improve upper body definition
Have a better stomach than Jeremy by the end of June
I will be kick-starting the diet with a couple weeks of detoxifying. I found a great detox in a magazine that allows for a couple shakes a day paired with lean proteins and green vegetables (unlimited) for dinner. Afterward, I must upkeep my diet as to stay on track with the benefits from the detox. Translation … I need to give up eating pizza. Ugh.
2 shakes down, I am feeling great inside and out. A little bit hungry, but, I feel like my body will soon get used to these liquid meals. Really looking forward to a bowl of hot edamame and some turkey breast cutlet!
So, with Jonathan over for the weekend, what a better way to kick off the festivities than with a mug of hot chocolate (two marshmallows) and a pile of scrapbooks. Needless to say, the more we turned the pages, the more I realized how much I have changed since high school - or even since freshman year at Duquesne.
Needless to say, while sitting around sharing a few laughs with the family and Jonathan (who’s hand I just couldn’t seem to stop holding), I came to realize that I am now (more or less) content about where I am inlife - at least at present; that, I must confess, is a wonderful feeling.