Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's in a nugget?

I’m kind of dorky in a lot of ways (you’re supposed to act surprised by this statement). And lately, one of those ways is my obsession with eating healthy - ignoring the fact that this week I dominated chili dogs and cheez its. I’m not saying it’s dorky to eat foods that are good for you, but I am saying that it’s dorky to get as excited as I do when I find healthy recipes and snacking alternatives that actually taste good.

You see, I do not like to work out. Actually, I despise it. Twenty minutes on a treadmill feels like an hour to me. And although I still try to work out a few times a week (I'm actually trying to run jog these days, a post on that soon), I never end up working out as much as I should. To make up for my inconsistent workouts, I have tried to introduce better eating habits to make sure I don’t add to the weight I gained in college and never really lost.

A year ago in January, I started counting calories. I never thought I could or would be one of those people but I finally decided I HAD to be one of those people. The days of coming home from high school and dipping my spoon first into peanut butter and then into ice cream and never gaining a pound, have long since passed. The days of eating an entire bag of popcorn by myself in college or going to Taco Bell or Andy’s Hot Dogs and dominating a “fourth” meal at the end of a night out really caught up with me. All of the sudden my metabolism really slowed down and everything I ate, went straight to my gut, butt and thighs - I might turn that into a catchy little tune. "My gut, my butt my butt my thighs - check it out." I have digressed.

So I started counting calories - only during the week, on the weekends I still allow myself to make bad decisions, and I forced my eating habits to change. I try to make smarter choices when I grocery shop and I try to make even smarter choices when I pack my lunch because even though my eating habits have changed, my desire to eat snacks (and lots of them) didn’t just disappear. So I try to find ways to snack but not gain weight (i.e. eat healthy snacks). Last week, I tried another new "snack." I can't believe I'm referring to yogurt as a snack. What has my life become? Where are the chips and dip, people?

Anyway, I was stocking up on our yogurt supply, a staple "snack" in the Robinson household, when I saw some prepackaged yogurt/granola paired together and a lightbulb went off; what a great idea to add something crunchy to your yogurt! But instead of granola (which may have at least had some hint of sugar or something that tastes good) I went straight to my trusted Kashi foods and found their seven-grain nugget cereal. Although I really wished I could have done a taste test before buying the huge box, I bought it anyway with plans to pair it with my yogurt "snacks" at work. The kashi nuggets are filled with lots of healthy goodness (7 g protein and 7 g of fiber in just half a cup) and really low on the bad stuff like sugar, cholesterol and carbs.

Blah, blah, blah the Kashi nuggets are good for you. But how do they taste? Since I bought a huge box of the small little nuggets, that will take me at least a year to finish, I was quite disappointed to find out that they taste awful. I've never tasted cardboard before but I bet it's quite similar in taste to the Kashi nuggets which is nothing. They taste like nothing. That being said, they do add a nice crisp texture to my yogurt and I do like that. Maybe I can just pretend that the crunchiness is coming from chips or something.

I also have to say that the nuggets/yogurt combo really fills you up fast! I could barely finish my blueberry yogurt today! It must be all that fibery goodness! That being said, the lack of sugar in these nuggets did not go unnoticed with me. Other than crunching in your mouth, the Kashi nuggets are not very appealing to the old taste buds. My new strategy is to let the nuggets soak in the yogurt for a bit before I eat them. This has helped. It gives them a chance to absorb some of the yogurt goodness and gives them some, albeit small, flavor.

I'm only on week #2 of this new "snack" and I have to tell you, it's getting easier to eat but it still doesn't look like I've had any. The box is completely full! There is absolutely no chance that Pat is going to go anywhere near this stuff. I had him try a few and he acted like it was poison. So it's up to me to finish it. I'm going to try and be creative and use the nuggets in stuffing and any other recipe I can think of. There will probably be several blogs devoted to "how I got rid of the nuggets."

They sure don't make eating healthy easy, do they?

Disclaimer: Kashi did not pay me to write this rave review of their product.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My weekend in review

Random thoughts after the bachelorette party weekend

Brow pencils are my enemy and I do not need to draw attention to the wild jungle that are my eyebrows

A bright orange bra was probably not my best choice since I could see it in every picture taken of me

My fun nights often include someone stepping on and injuring my toes

Choosing to wear flats instead of heels was the best decision ever

If I ever need a career change, I could always move to Columbus and paint womens boobs for Comfest

Taking shots and drinking mixed drinks all night was a bad choice since it is 11 pm on Sunday night and my stomach still isn't up to par

Speaking of par, putting golf on the tv when we got home was a great choice and put me right
to sleep for a much needed nap

I hope the bride felt better today than I did since she had drive back to Iowa!

Bring on August 27! Rupp wedding here we come!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lessons learned in NYC

Pat and I made it back from our awesome long weekend in NYC. It was Pat's first time in the big apple and although I have been there a handful of times, it was my first time there as an adult and on my own. So it was a new, exciting experience for both of us. And I learned quite a few things while I was there.

1. Comfort MUST trump fashion. I don't care how stupid your tennis shoes might look with your cute outfit, you will regret it if you spend the first night of your trip walking all around Manhattan in flip flops - even if they are your "most comfortable pair of flip flops." Trust me on this one.

2. The biggest giveaway that you're not a "local," besides carrying around cameras, binoculars, city maps and wearing I heart NYC clothes, is actually paying attention to traffic signals when crossing streets.

3. Pay attention to the traffic signals when crossing the streets. Don't follow the "locals" as they walk into the traffic. It's much safer to just wait for the light to change.

4. To quote my favorite movie, Elf; "The yellow ones don't stop." Beware of those crazy cab drivers. It doesn't matter if you have the walk symbol or not, they don't stop.

5. Riding in a taxi is a terrifying experience and not recommended on a full stomach. I do highly recommend it, however, if you need a reminder about how precious life really is.

6. NEVER, under any circumstances use the public restrooms in Central Park. Trust me when I say you are better off peeing your pants or buying something at a local store or restaurant just to be able to use their restroom. The experience is absolutely horrifying and something I don't wish on my worst enemy. Well, maybe my worst enemy, but no one else.

7. Don't travel to a big city to watch a Cleveland sports team. Even if that Cleveland sports team happens to be the best in the league at the time, you can watch them for much cheaper in Cleveland and experience a lot less humiliation when they lose 9-1 and you have to walk around the rest of the day in their city, wearing your Cleveland hat and t-shirt.

8. Eat whatever you want. I've never walked so much in my life!

9. In the "city that never sleeps," I was asleep every night around 10 PM. I've never walked so much in my life!

10. The train system is confusing. I can figure out colors and correspond directions based on the final destination of the train but when you mix in colors, numbers and've lost me. 

It's an amazing city, we had a fabulous time and I can't wait to go back!!!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

If you're looking for clear and logical thoughts, look elsewhere. It's Whatever Wednesday!

I planted an entire crate full of tomatoes a week ago. I have been watching them every single day waiting for them to sprout. On Monday morning, I was so excited to discover all my little green sprouts sticking out of the dirt. Maybe I will develop a green thumb after all! 

There was a dead spider in my mop bucket this weekend - that should tell you when the last time I mopped was - and even though I was 99% sure it was dead (there was a 1% chance it could have been rolled up into a ball to fake me out), I discovered that dead spiders make me just as nauseous as living spiders. I even screamed slightly when I dumped the dead spider into my yard. I am not brave.

I'm embarrassed to admit it but yet I'm too proud of my hard work not to share the fact that my house has never been cleaner than it is right now (except for maybe when we first moved in). All floors are mopped, all toilets are scrubbed, all carpets are vacuumed and for the first time in two years, all carpets are also steam cleaned (that is both exciting and disgusting, I know). I was even down on my hands and knees scrubbing our floor boards and baseboard heaters.

I spent the day of our two year wedding anniversary doing all of the above cleaning while Pat was out golfing. This is the life of a married woman, huh? There is just something cruel about cleaning toilets on special occasions. But before you go feeling all bad for me (you did just feel bad for me, right?), remember that our trip to Mexico was our anniversary trip, Pat had already helped me clean on Saturday, I told him I didn't care if he golfed and it felt really good to finish cleaning our house.

It didn't feel very good, however, when my big white monster of a dog trampled over my crate of tomato plants that had just sprouted for the first time that morning. He completely tipped the tray over and sent the dirt and the little tomato sprouts flying all over my driveway. The rest of my garden that I planted remains a swamp thanks to all of the rain. Looks like my thumb is still any color but green.

Mother nature is still on my $*% list but at least it is starting to feel like summer!!! Even with temperatures near 100 degrees yesterday, it still makes me happy. :) I LOVE summer. We have grilled out both nights this week so far and my new obsession is cherry tomatoes soaked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and cooked on the grill. Doesn't get much better than that!

Just when I thought I couldn't love anymore than I already do, I logged in to check the status of my recent order to find that you can track each item right on the site with updates from UPS all going to one place. It's a great feature that was definitely overlooked by me.

I bought a new fan yesterday. I was the crazy person in Bed, Bath and Beyond putting my ear up to each fan and listening to the noises each made. I have gone through at least 5 fans in the last few years. I'm addicted to the noise of a fan when I sleep and I'm very particular about the noise that it makes. If it starts making weird noises and wakes me up in the middle of the night, we break up. The same rule doesn't apply to my husband and his snoring or else we would have broken up a long time ago. :)