Blisters, Chafing and Other Ladylike Things

For the sake of letting the men in my life continue to believe that women do not poop, belch or fart, I’ll happily play along with their belief that we ladies don’t have any questionable bodily functions.

For instance, the burrito salad I had last night didn’t leave me feeling bloated.

burrito salad

Not at all…

Hypothetically, had the burrito left me waddling around with a food baby, it quite possibly would have been worth it for the mounds of guacamole, sour cream and the pillowy pocket of refried beans and Daiya…

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Hypothetically, of course.

While I’d never admit to a burbling belly after a huge dinner, I’m not one to hide the delightful grossness that accompanies a good gym sesh!

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I woke up this morning freakishly excited about foot blisters and chafing that appeared after last night’s successful 2.5 mile run!

Only a runner would be excited about a raw patch of skin on her foot and thigh!

No pain, no gain…right? 😉

Besides, I see them as badges of honor – badges that represent me finally getting off my tush and back into the running game! Running with blisters, chafed patches and shin splints isn’t horrendous…just as long as those are the extent of my running “injuries”

Oh the joys of training!


Big Money

Good morning! Hope you’re all feeling good after the three-day weekend!

Mine kicked off with an awesome Saturday night trip to Derby Lane, a dog racing track in Saint Petersburg.

Dog Track

Derby Lane

I had no idea what was going on for the first several races, but I caught on to the basics pretty quickly: you eat, you drink, dogs chase a mechanical rabbit, you peruse a program and attempt to understand the barrage of numbers and you toss a few bucks down on the dog you think has the best chance of winning (or the one who has the coolest name).

Got it? Good.

Me neither 😉

The buffet was mainly seafood, but I still managed to get my fill of asparagus and roasted veggies.

Derby Lane Dinner

Since I’m not a big gambler, the $2 buy-in was the perfect way to try my hand at betting without wagering anything I would be majorly upset to lose.

Derby Lane Ticket

I lost a few, but I lucked out on one quiniela – a choice of two dogs to come in first and second (in either order).

I walked away with a whopping thirty bucks. Heck, I tripled what I came with – that’s good enough for me!

derby 005

The next two days were spent chillin’ out, maxin, relaxing all cool…and eating some more traditional 4th of July fare with the Coach and his family.

Vegetarian barbeque plate

You’ll be seeing plenty of that salad around here for the next few days – I grabbed several more bags of it at Publix after falling in love with it on Sunday!

Time to toss back a quick smoothie and get Hales downstairs!

strawberry smoothie

Welcome back to the real world!

Are you a gambler, or are you more financially conservative like me? What are your thoughts on trying your luck?


Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

How shall I put this?

I’m a bit of a…klutz at times. I missed the coordinated gene, but I got more than my fair share of the clumsy one.

I’ve been dying to make my own sushi for ages, but, psychic that I am, I realized that any roll I tried to wrap would likely fall apart before making it to my mouth.

Why not go for the preemptive strike and deconstruct it before I even get it together? 

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

I took all of the elements of my favorite sweet potato and avocado sushi roll and plopped them into a one-dish dinner! Salty and chewy seaweed, deliciously sticky rice, creamy fresh avocado, lightly crisped sweet potato slivers, zippy wasabi and earthy, tangy soy sauce came together for perfect quasi-Japanese entrée.

dried edible seaweed

Sticky rice is the key here – it makes the dish more than just a grain topped with veggies and soy sauce. Sticky rice requires a lot of rinsing and pre-soaking, and neither step can be skipped without sacrificing the starchy texture. It’s a bit of a pain in the arse to make, but the end result is worth the bazillion steps.

sushi rice, sweet potato and avocado

I love that you can play around with the ingredients to replicate your favorite roll. I designed the recipe as a vegetarian sushi bowl, but crab, salmon or any other sushi ingredient would be equally impressive!

vegetarian sushi bowl

Sweet Potato and Avocado Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Vegan, Gluten Free, Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (dry) sushi rice. DO NOT sub any other type of rice – it won’t get sticky!
  • 2 cups water (plus more for rinsing)
  • 1/2 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 large avocado (Haas is my preference over California for this dish)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large strips dried seaweed (I used Lavash)
  • Wasabi and soy sauce to taste

Directions:

  • Pour your Japanese sushi rice into a small bowl and fill to the brim with water. Stir the rice until the water becomes cloudy; drain and repeat 3-4 times until the water runs clear.
  • Fill the bowl up one last time with water and allow the rice to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes (up to 2 hours is ideal).
  • After rice has soaked, bring two cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Drain rice from soaking water and pour rice into boiling water. Cover tightly and cook for one minute.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, leaving the lid tightly on the pot.
  • Turn heat to very low and continue to cook until all of the water is absorbed.
  • Once the water is absorbed, remove pot from heat, remove lid and loosely drape a towel across the top. Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes.
  • Peel, dice and boil your sweet potato. Once boiled, add sesame oil to a small saucepan, stir in sweet potato chunks and lightly brown until the edges begin to crisp.
  • Cube avocado.
  • In a small dish, stir together mirin, sugar and water. Once your rice is room temperature, gently pour mirin mixture over rice (half at a time) and fold into rice.
  • Stir sweet potato and avocado cubes into rice. Plate and garnish with seaweed strips.
  • Serve chilled, room temperature or warm with your choice of sushi condiments.

sushi bowl

Even though the directions sound slightly complicated, the entire process took me no more than an hour to an hour and a half.

Holy wasabi, was the payoff ever worth it – and so much simpler than wrapping a roll!

sticky rice and veggies

What is your absolute all-time favorite sushi roll? I think I’ve made abundantly clear which one mine is!


MINE

Yesterday, it seemed like I had “Seagull Syndrome” from the moment I woke up. Everything I saw, I wanted, and I declared it MINE.

The first Living Social deal to hit my inbox – an unlimited month of Boot Camp classes – instantly MINE.

The Best Daily Deals in North Orlando - One Month of Unlimited Boot Camp - Mozilla Firefox 6232011 70953 AM.bmp

With that price, I feel like I couldn’t turn it down. Even if I only go once a week, it will average out to $5 a class. Oh, it’s gonna hurt so good!

Cold, sweet, extra-chocolatey breakfast? MINE.

chocolatey smoothie

My grabby hands couldn’t make my favorite healthy chocolate smoothie fast enough!

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 3 ice cubes

It’s probably good that there was only a smidge of cereal left over in the box – I’m not sure how restrained I would have been if more goods were available to me!

chocolate smoothie in a bowl

When lunch rolled around, I enjoyed the leftover Chinese food that I finagled away from my mother after our weekend together.

Buddhist's Delight with egg

Leftover Buddhist’s Delight, not quite as good as the first time around, with a scrambled egg beater to freshen it up.

Of course, greedy snackage also occurred:

carrots and hummus

Fun fact: I hate raw carrots plain! I only eat them raw if I have a dip to smother them in!

Even after I escaped the florescent lighting, I still hadn’t escaped the MINE mindset!

yuengling draft

Oh hai, happy hour. When you advertising my favorite draft for $2 right in front of the path where I usually walk Haley…of course I have to swing in! Bam – MINE!

Since I was right next door to my favorite sushi restaurant, it would have been a crime not to grab dinner, no?

shin sushi

Definitely MINE. All mine.

Are you a “see it/have to have it” kind of person, or can you resist your urge to make everything yours?


Vegan “Summer Barbeque” Salad

I feel like such an old lady this morning – I was wide awake until almost midnight yesterday!

If I mentioned that a kayak found its way into a swimming pool, and I found my way into said kayak, would that give you a better picture of last night’s activities?

Before the ten of us headed to the courts for two rounds of beach volleyball (which left me with little wonder as to why I didn’t make my high school team – heh!), we chowed down! My contribution to the first barbeque of the summer was a vegan (but carnivore-friendly) pasta salad based on one of the few recipes I ever remember my mother making when I was a kid.

vegan pasta salad

I never know what my favorite part is – the spirally noodles, the vegan protein (which is always welcome at what tends to otherwise be a red meat fest), the tangy balsamic or the fresh vegetables for crunch!

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With simple, whole ingredients that everyone will recognize and less than 15 minutes of prep time, it’ll be the only dish you’ll want to bring to the summer barbeques this year!

Vegan “Summer Barbeque” Salad

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 1 box whole wheat rotini (aka curly noodles)
  • 1 can black olives
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (approximately 15-20 baby carrots)
  • 2 cups red beans (or try kidney beans, pinto beans or garbanzo beans!)
  • Balsamic Viniagrette to taste (I used about half a bottle of Newman’s Own)

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and simmer until tender.
  • Slice your zucchini into small slices. If you like, you can also halve your olives, but I like them whole!
  • In a large bowl, stir together your olives, zucchini, carrots and beans. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain, rinse and add to the bowl as well.
  • Stir until well mixed; cover with half of your dressing (1/4 bottle of Newman’s Own Light Balsamic in my case) and stir until everything seems evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is optimal so the dressing can soak into the noodles!)
  • Before you serve, add the remaining dressing, pepper (if desired) and stir once again. Serve chilled!

If you’re lucky, you might get some leftovers for the next day!

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The End of the ‘End

Weekends ending is always bittersweet. I love the freshness of the new week, but I hate saying goodbye to soffe’ shorts and lax schedules!

I don’t know about you all, but weekends should begin at noon on Fridays like they did in university!

The Coach dropped by my office Friday afternoon and surprised me with a box of sushi from our favorite downtown sushi restaurant.

sweet potato tempura avocado sushi

You know someone is your best friend when they remember to ask the sushi chef to add avocado to your sweet potato tempura roll!

sweet potato roll with avocado

Right after work, I rolled by apartment to puppynap Haley and set off on the two hour drive to my grandparent’s house to celebrate Father’s day.

dog out car window

She’s too quiet of a travel companion!

One thing I love about my weekends home is that my mother and grandmother insist on putting food in my face nonstop. I’m sure not one to complain!

greek yogurt with fruit

toast and scrambled eggs

fresh canteloupe chunks

Buddhist's Delight

yogurt berries walnuts

In the small town where they live, a restaurant opening is a big event! Of course, in my world, a new sushi restaurant is a huge event, so naturally I convinced my mother to head to lunch with me!

wasabi sushi grill

We split a plate of vegetable tempura to start, and we both were impressed by the assortment.

vegetable tempura

Sweet potatoes, rutabaga, zucchini and broccoli all got the batter-fry treatment.

We also plowed through (well…I plowed through…she gracefully consumed) four different vegetarian rolls: shitake mushroom, sweet potato, avocado and an asparagus/cucumber/avocado combo.

vegetarian sushi platter

I’m not entirely sure if I had enough sushi this weekend!

Regardless, here we are back at Monday. There’s lots to do – I better get crackin!

What was the best part about your weekend? Anything you ate ridiculous amounts of?


Hey Look, There’s a Hole in my Body

In contrast to Fridays, Thursdays are so boring.

Fridays bring the promise of an entire weekend of shenanigans. Fridays are bright and fun and a little bit crazy. Thursdays, on the other hand, are quite tame. You’re so close to the weekend – but not close enough to celebrate. Your brain is entirely over your week’s to-do list, but you still have to power through eight more hours on the clock before unwinding.

Unless, of course, your Thursday evening is spent at a tattoo parlor…

pierced navel

Oh hey, there’s a rhinestone in my navel. How did that happen?

I suppose the spontaneity began earlier on in the day, when I decided on a whim to swing by Cafe Annie’s for a mid-work snack (and leftovers to pack for lunch tomorrow!)

pita bread

As much as I love Cafe Annie’s authentic Mediterranean food, their pita bread is always underwhelming. Too much density, not enough puffiness!

That didn’t stop me from eating several slices though, along with the miniature salad doused in tzaziki!

Cafe Annie's Orlando

After work, I stopped at the Bloodmobile to do the blood donation thang:

orlando bloodmobile

Apparently, having a needle in my arm for 10 minutes triggered the desire to have a needle in my navel for 10 seconds.

I can’t stop looking at the sparkliness! Top that, Friday!

Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Have any of them been a spontaneous idea, or were they all thought out and planned? Would you ever consider another? I love how tattoos look on other people, but I’m too big of a wuss to get one myself. With three ear piercings and the new belly ring, I’ve run out of things I’m willing to pierce!