Friday, April 29, 2011

Local Eats: Custard Castle

This place is my favorite custard stand.  Ever.  I used to go there when I was little with my Baba (short russian slang for grandmother).  She lived nearby and watched me a lot in the summers.  She got me hooked!  Now, they serve custard, not ice cream.  Its a different recipe.  I think it has eggs in it?  Or they use cream instead of milk?  I don't know but its delicious.  Not much of a picture blog here.  Oh, and those are chocolate jimmies on my vanilla custard.  Got it?  Order a small vanilla custard (on a sugar cone for me) with chocolate jimmies.  You'll blend right in with the locals ;)

Local Eats: Maplewood II

Let's just say when my mom asked where we were going, she quickly showed her jealousy.  She was invited!  But insisted that Rob and I have a night out.  Anyway!  Off we headed to the Maplewood II.  All I can say about this place is that its scary.  And it smells like my grandmother's basement.  Also, the median patron (and server) age is probably 70.  Haha.  But trust me when I say this is my absolute favorite spot for Italian food.  We just don't go very often because its not as cheap as some closer places.  This place is well worth the money.  Here we go!

First off, they bring out some delicious bread.  Rob was nice enough to cut it.  It has a crispy outside and made a huge mess!

We also got the salad for an extra $1.  Also, they bring out fresh garlic bread too!  That's a lot of bread but oh so delicious.  Fresh baked on site.  Yum!

I got a bit of a special order.  It is just the Shrimp Scampi, which also has lump crab meat on it and I asked them to add broccoli.  I got it over the home made pasta they make there too.  Rob got chicken parm (as usual!)

The pasta is delicious, the shrimp and crab was delicious, the broccoli was fresh, the bread is tasty.  To top it off, they had an accordian player walking around for entertainment!  He was really good!  I didn't want to be obvious and take a picture so this is all I got:

Let's run through:
1)  This place looks, smells, and feels of an older crowd to put it nicely.
2)  The food is totally worth the money. 
3)  They had an accordian player.
What more could you ask for?!  Definitely a prime place on my list.  I know I give good reviews of practically everywhere (what can I say, I'm easy to please when you feed me), but seriously, this place is delicious.  I would say this place is mid range cost wise.  So good though!

Maplewood II
6126 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, NJ 08330-2365
(609) 625-1181

PS.  Maplewood I is in Hammonton, NJ for anyone who was wondering.  I heard the original restaurant blows #2 away.  Never been there.  I'll have to try!  Up next... ice cream!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chickie Update

So the bad news is, we didn't have any eggs hatch.  We had an issue with the new icubator and nothing developed.  We cracked all 40 eggs and they were all empty.  No more than 1 weeks development in only a few of the eggs.

Good news is we have another batch in there and they are going great!  It has been keeping a much steadier temperature.  We are even seeing some serious development in the eggs!  So 21 days from Easter takes us to about May 15th or so.  Let's keep our fingers crossed :)

We do have other worse news.  One of our chickens died.  We think it was either shocked or trampled since it was only a few hours after the neighbor's German Shepard was in our yard.  Well, it is part of owning chickens!

Clean Eating - Dining Out

Yesterday was a bit of a struggle. I'll go through the pictures...
Started with a mushroom omelet and 1/2 a bagel. I made coffee in the morning but wasn't feeling it. Only had a few sips.

I was doing ok, wasn't having cravings, and then a coworker brought in Dunkin Donuts! Luckily I had packed some of my clean banana bread so while they all ate donuts, I munched on that. A little while later, I wanted my fruit and cashews

For lunch, I had leftover tilapia so I made fish tacos. These were so good! Ezekiel small tortillas, tilapia, salsa, and green peppers

Afternoon snack. This was hard. I had my hummus and carrots but then I was starving and was out of food. I ate 2/3 of a donut! Ugh! Is it better to avoid a sugar crash and eat what you've got or just go hungry? Hm.

(not my picture)

After work, I was expecting to go jogging with Lauren. I decided to have a snack instead of dinner. Couldn't think of what to have so I had half a serving of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest with strawberries. And just for fun, I picked some mint and took a picture. It grows like crazy in our yard. Smells nice when Rob mows!

My mom called me at about 4:30 and asked if I wanted to go to the movies. I quickly texted Lauren to see if I could bail on the run since I don't get to hang out with my mom very often. She never answered but I got ahold of her at 5 when she got off. She understood but I felt really bad because I thought she would run at the gym but she was headed home to run. Luckily her boyfriend said he would go with her. He is the sweetest!

Anyway, so the point is that my mom and I had a girl's night out! Which included dinner. I tried to order as well as I could but the bread for me is always a problem. I ordered soup instead of salad because I knew I would eat less of it. I only ate about 1/3-1/2. We went to Carrabba's.

No snacks at the movies because we were full for dinner! Love that! We saw Jane Eyre and it was really good! A little slow at times and they cut the end short but so does the book so I guess that is expected. I am glad we caught it. It was at the old movie theater. We almost completely missed it and I had wanted to see it! Anyway, it was a nice night out with my mom :) Maybe I will try to squeeze 3 miles in today but I have the race this weekend so I'm not crazy worried because I should be tapering anyway. Well, that's it for now. No exciting topics today. My boss is taking us out to lunch so it'll be another eating out challenge. I already sort of have a plan. It'll be ok!

emoticon Again, do you think its better to eat something small that is bad for you when you are very hungry or just wait another hour or two til you get home? emoticon
I am miserable and cranky when hungry. I feel that a little bite of something to hold you over isn't going to kill you! But it is best to be prepared. Once in a blue moon is ok, not every day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clean Eating Packing Challenges

Today started off really well.  The hubby being so supportive and all made sure to add some veggies to my morning omelet (mushrooms) and omitted the cheese just in case I wasn't supposed to have it.  Isn't he the best?!  I forgot to take a picture of the omelet but you know what that looks like!  I should note though that I use 2 whole eggs rather than egg whites.  First, I can't stand the thought of wasting the yolks and second, they are packed full of nutrients.  I don't have any reason to switch to whites!  Ok, here's everything else!

 Oatmeal with cranberries, coconut, and ground flax seed.

 Totally forgot NOT to put sugar in my coffee.  Oops!  Iced coffee with sugar and Hazelnut coconut milk creamer.

 Carrots and organic hummus

 Romaine with ham, radishes, green peppers, olive oil dressing.
  This was way too low in calories so I headed down to the coffee shop to get a snack and something to go with lunch.  They didn't have any fruit (I asked earlier) but when I went back they had made fruit salad!  Ha!  How nice of them :)

 I added a half a bagel with a little butter.  It was fresh baked at the coffee shop so I'll assume its probably "clean".

 The fruit salad that they made for me!  :)  And some almonds.

Dinner:  Tilapia, Jasmine rice, and zucchini.

After run (5 miles) snack:  Mini organic multigrain bagel with All Natural Jif.  Now, this natural peanut butter does have added sugar and a little oil but I'm ok with that.  Because its DELICIOUS!

So I guess today isn't exactly "clean" according to Tosca (woman who wrote the Eat Clean Diet books) but I am just happy that nothing was really processed and I didn't end up eating out.  I also didn't cave into anything bad when I was stuck with only half a lunch and forgetting to pack my afternoon fruit.  Tomorrow will be much better!  Already have my lunch planned and I will remember my apple this time :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clean Eating Day 1

Kristen asked me on my last blog what kind of guidelines I'm following for this challenge.  Well, that is a good question because I didn't really think about that too hard.  I was going to just follow the Fabulous Fitness challenge originally but then decided to do my own thing.  So what are my personal rules?  I guess I will lay them out here and then write them in my handy dandy Journal that I started today (isn't it cute??)

Nutrition Rules

1)  Eat "clean" foods only.
   -  To me this means eating real food.  Anything that sounds like food and is made up of things that sound like food (for example, Larabar's Cashew bar is "dates" and "cashews" so that counts to me).

2)  Eat reasonable portions.
   -  In Eat Clean Diet Stripped, she gives you a description of how to measure portions without measuring.  A protein should be the size of your palm, grains should fit in one cupped hand, and veggies in two cupped hands.  That gives you a pretty good idea of the ratios that should be on your plate too.

3)  Eat more veggies.
   -  I don't eat enough veggies so I am making a point of trying to follow the above ratios mentioned which means getting a whole lot of veggies.

4)  Continue high protein diet.
   -  I already eat pretty high protein compared to most people.  I shoot for 100g per day.  Today, I am "only" at 89 but still not bad.  I help my protein intake by having protein at every meal, even snacks.

5)  Have bigger, healthy snacks.
   -  My snacks are usually pretty healthy but I've been having candy and coffee a lot lately.  That has a lot of sugar.  I think if I make my healthier snacks bigger than I won't want chocolate, sweets, etc.  Also, I am making my snacks a combination of carbs and protein to hold me over longer.

6)  Eat every 2.5-3 hours
   -  I already get hungry every 3 hours or so.  Now I just have to make sure I am ready to stick to that schedule!  I also have to follow all the rules mentioned above for all those meals.

7)  Eat at least 5-6 meals.
   -  I am going to have at least 5 meals per day (3 meals, 2 large snacks) and will add a 6th snack if I am hungry.  Also, since I'm combining programs, I am going to add a protein shake (as my 6th meal) after heavy workouts.

8)  Cut down on liquid calories
   -  This one is tied into the sugar too.  My liquid calories always consist of something that is probably sold at a coffee shop.  Cutting out liquid calories will allow me to splurge on iced coffee but not overdo it!

So that is pretty much it.  Some of these I got from the books I'm reading.  Others are just things I do anyway.  I hope this helps!  And now, evidence of Day 1!

 Breakfast was an egg white omelet with spinach and tomatoes.  Cup of oatmeal with a splash of milk.

 I just can't resist Starbucks!  Had them add a little soy so I could try it.  Not bad!

 Snack:  10 almonds and a Fuji apple

First time trying Ezekiel sprouted tortillas!  Verdict?  YUM!  Stuffed them with some store cooked chicken (lunchmeat but nothing but chicken!), salsa, and green peppers.

 Snack 2:  Banana and 1/4 cup cottage cheese

 Dinner:  Baked trout, spaghetti squash with parmesan cheese, and Jasmine rice (I know, its not brown rice but I wanted the Jasmine and not regular).

 Banana bread!  That's right, I had a treat.  But it was clean!  I modified a recipe out of the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook.  I didn't measure anything either.  I just threw stuff together and hoped it would come out ok.  Baba (my grandmother) gave the thumbs up and that is the ultimate compliment!  I posted the recipe on Spark Recipes.  I eyeballed everything I added and then guessed on the measurements.  Should work fine!

So what do you think?  Was today clean enough?  Remember for me, the next 2 weeks are a jumpstart.  I think I did ok!  I definitely had more veggies throughout the day than I normally do :)

Plan of Attack: 28 Day Challenge

On Spark People and Facebook, I have joined a challenge with the Fabulous Fitness team.  It is a 28 day challenge of workouts and eating clean.  I am modifying it to fit my current situation but I am going into it strong.  Today is Day 1 and it is already going great.  Anyway, here is my plan and my starting measurements and pictures!

Background info:  I bought a bunch of books from Amazon:
I have been reading my new book purchases like crazy. I am taking a bit of something from each of them. I love New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I really love a lot of the advice and tips but I don't agree with the supplement taking and such. He also has no problems eating artificial sweeteners and similar stuff. I'm not into that so I'll ignore that advice personally.  On the flip side, I have The Eat Clean Diet Stripped.  And I definitely LOVE her tips for eating clean and slimming down! This is only intended for a 28 day program so this is my plan.

For the next 2 weeks, I am going to get into the habit of eating clean.  Now, I almost have to giggle at this statement because I eat pretty darn clean already. Actually, in the "Stripped" book, they give a sample of a day's worth of eating clean and it almost perfectly resembles my eating. That was a real (positive) eye opener for me and a confidence booster! But I have a sugar problem in the form of coffee (cream and sugar) and chocolate. So I am going to work on cutting those things out for the next 2 weeks. As to not make myself go crazy, I will allow an occasional glass of wine and maybe a Rita's or ice cream once in a while (but no more than once per week!!!).

Also, I will be working on my fitness (anyone else have Fergie in their head right now?)  I will get back into a weekly routine. This will actually be a little difficult because I have the Broad Street Run next Sunday. I just want to get into the habit for the next 2 weeks, especially with strength training.

My measurements:
Weight: 144lbs (I know, wtf? Up again from Friday)
Body Fat: 25.8% (last night), 24.1% (this morning)
Waist: 29.75
Hips: 36.5
Thigh: 24.33
Calf: 14.33
Arm: 11.75

At the end of 2 weeks, I will take them all again (just for a baseline) and I am going to start my own 28 day plan. I plan on using the workouts from the NRoLFW and the eating plan (plus protein shakes for after workouts) from Eat Clean Diet Stripped. That plan will bring me right up to the wedding/2 year sparkversary/27th birthday. 

Right now, I'm super duper excited to start this plan but I know how quickly the steam can run out of a plan. I've told Rob that he has to make sure I stick with this for at least a week before giving in to whatever sort of excuses I can find. I figure by the end of the week, I'll feel so good, I won't want to give up! I also think that continuing reading all my wonderful new books will keep me excited. I have a few I can read one after the other so I've got enough to keep me going through at least the week!

Feel free to check out Fabulous Fitness on facebook!
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