Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee Politics … and Puke

So, yesterday we were in the local coffee shop and the barista introduced to us a coffee house special: The Barack Obama and John McCain blends. Buy one and which ever a candidate you choose gets a “vote,” he told us.

Dan observed the two bags of coffee, looked at the guy and said, “I would rather vomit in a cup and drink that instead of drink something with John McCain’s face on it.”

No, honey, tell us how you really feel.



Filed under August 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

Getting Reacquainted!

I am back in Pittsburgh! What a great week on my own; I learned some fabulous things about writing and myself. And it is amazing how much more quickly you can get work done when you have zero distractions! I am looking forward to applying some of these lessons in everyday life.

A recap of the last few days:

I went for an early-morning run on Thursday, clocking four miles in a little under 32 minutes. That means I was running a consistent 8-minute per mile pace, except for the last mile where I picked it up a bit. It felt good to get out and get my body moving pre-breakfast.

One tip I want to share with you: I had a little bit of side cramping, and a long time ago my mom taught me a method for easing the pain. Next time you have a cramp, try blowing against your lips as if you were blowing a gust of wind. You will feel totally goofy, but the pressure against your lips has a massaging affect on your ribs and sides. I did it for a bit on Thursday, and after a few minutes, the pain eased up.

Thursday breakfast was a morning staple: You guessed it, Quaker Oatmeal Squares! I had about 1 1/2 cups with 1 cup skim milk. I followed breakfast up with black coffee and a banana about an hour later.

Shortly there after, Dan and Luke arrived (they were my escorts home), and we made a group decision to hit up Cavallario’s one last time for the year. We decided to call it a lunch/dinner, or as my sister likes to say “linner.” But because I was extremely hungry I ate a snack of wheat crackers and my favorite hummus: Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Hummus. I had about 12 crackers with a bit of hummus on each.

“Linner” was two pieces of pizza, one mushroom and onion, and one plain piece. I could not get my favorite pesto pizza because the boys just weren’t feeling it. So, I compromised and it was still very yummy!

We did a little bit of running around after dinner, and then headed home for a movie and ice cream. I hadn’t been eating sweets while I was on my own, so I probably overdid it with the ice cream. But, oh well — It was tasty and worth it!

I did some packing after the movie, and then headed to bed. I only got about 5 1/2 hours of sleep, so I was a bit tired for traveling in the morning, but I mustered some energy and we got out of there at a decent time.

Friday breakfast: We were rushing so much that I had to eat a bowl of cereal on the road. I had my helping of the usual, as I am sure you already assumed. (: I also had some coffee about two hours after breakfast. It was sorely needed after skimping on sleep last night.

I kepy it healthy while driving despite the typical temptations of M&M’s and Twizzlers — I nixed them completely. I was also keeping in mind that I was heading to a 4th of July party later that night, and that always involves lots of temptations. Lunch was a packed PB and banana sandwich on whole grain bread.

When we got home, — it’s a 7 1/2 hour drive — I was rushing to get reacquainted with everything (I had been away for nearly three weeks) and before I knew it I had to start getting ready to head back out the door. It felt kind of weird to put a little makeup on and proper clothes after three weeks of a hassle-free bathroom routine, swimsuits and sweats!

My sister and her boyfriend, Anthony, were the hosts of the party. Check out some of the yummy food I munched on for dinner! There was pasta salad, fruit, chicken, burgers, buffalo chicken dip with bread, and a salmon spread, which looks unappetizing, but it is so, so good! That’s a recipe my sister stole from my mom and it totally rocks with some bagel chips or crackers.

Dinner was followed by chocolate chip cookies and a Fourth of July cake my sister made from white cake and icing, strawberries for the stripes and blueberries for the stars. I totally forgot to snag a picture, but it was beautiful! I hated to see her cut into it, but I was glad she did — it was delish! I had two small cookies and a small slice of cake.

We watched the city fireworks from the deck, and it was a fun night had by all. I love good food, company and a reason to celebrate!

Today has been a busy day — work and cleaning up around the apartment. Breakfast was about 1 cup of shredded wheat with skim milk while working, and I had an iced coffee and oatmeal cookie a bit later. I am way behind on eating today, so I need to go get on track; skipping meals always makes me so headache-y. Time just really slipped away from me today!

I hope you enjoy the three-day weekend that so many people are celebrating!


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Workin’ Those Abs for Summer Fun!

I started off the day with some Ab exercises from Fitness magazine. Hey, it is vacation time, so that means it is also time to bare my lily white belly.

Gotta get in bikini shape!

I found this program in Fitness’ Web site called The 4-Week Ab-a-thon. Pretty cute, right? Anyway, I just kicked off Week 1 today, and boy did it get my tummy muscles going! My kitties were pretty freaked out by the figure eight exercise, but I could definitely feel it in my obliques.

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite ab workout, but we will see how my stomach feels about it tomorrow.

One bonus: I like waking up in the morning and sweating, even if it’s just for a bit. It always seems to give you that extra jolt you need to get your morning started!

Breakfast was a bowl of cereal; about 1 cup of All-Bran’s Strawberry Medley and 1/2 cup of Cascadian Farms’ Raisin Bran with 1 cup skim milk. I am not to fond of this brand of raisin bran, so I have been mixing small bits of it into more favorable cereal so it does not go to waste. I also had a juicy nectarine — it was perfect!

I had a homemade iced coffee in between breakfast and lunch — still fighting that caffeine addiction!

Lunch was leftover chicken salad from yesterday (about 3/4 cup) on 2 slices of whole grain bread with shredded carrots and lettuce for toppings. I also had the rest of last night’s broccoli on the side.

In addition to lessening coffee consumption, I am also still working on getting more sleep. Last night was about 5 1/2 hours again, and I am definitely feeling it. I just keep reminding myself that vacation is coming!

I am still working on getting outside on this fabulous summer day for a walk or run. I will keep you posted, but for now I have got work to do!

Happy afternoon!!

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Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

No More Saggy, Wrinkly, Ol’ Skin!

fountainofyouth3.jpg It seems like since the moment each one of us spent our first day on this planet, the people and the world that surrounds us have been flooding our brains with anti-aging concerns.

“Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes.”

“You’re getting too much sun. Do you want to have wrinkles?!”

“Don’t rub your eyes — you are going to make them sag!”

It really is craziness. And it is a matter that, at the time, makes us want to be like, “What – EVER!”

But the truth is, we are all consistently thinking about ways to preserve our youth; a way to make aging seem a bit softer.

So, I found it rather interesting when I came upon a story the other day that talked about interesting ways to look younger. I know many of you are thinking, “But you’re 23! What do you have concerned with?” The truth is, however, that even women and men in their 20s should begin to use a basic anti-aging cream to protect their skin from the effects of aging.

Here is what Surprising Ways to Look Younger had to offer — Oh, and I did a bit of research for you, so you can check out some of the products that offer the elements the article discusses:

  • Put your blow-dryer on cold — According to the article, you should use your blow dryer on a cold setting to dry your lotion and sunscreen, allowing skin care products to set. This quick trick will also make your makeup go on more smoothly and last longer.
  • Apply mushrooms — Supposedly, the newest age erasers are fungi-filled face products. I still kind of think it sounds disgusting (maybe it’s the whole fungus part), but, according to the experts, the “antioxidant-rich mushrooms decrease inflammation that leads to wrinkling and a loss of firmness, and they don’t cause irritation.” Some fungi also contain enzymes that “speed cell turnover, slow collagen breakdown, and improve tone and texture.” Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Orgins Planidote Mega-Mushroom Face Cleanser.
  • Use coffee bean berry extract — At first, I was really excited when I saw the word “coffee” — I thought that maybe I could somehow justify my obsession with the oh-so-wonderful bean. But instead, the article informed me that CoffeeBerry, a new skin care ingredient, was in fact what would promise a younger complexion — not the java. “The extract, which comes from the berries that house coffee beans, packs polyphenols, antioxidants with the most free-radical fighters.” According to the skin docs, this means it protects against cellular damage, a main cause of aging. Check out the REVALESKIN CoffeeBerry Skin Care Kit.
  • Get a moisturizer that multitasks — Find an all-in-one moisturizer! The newest lotions and creams come chock-full of hydrators, tightening compounds, and even a bit of glow or gradual self-tanner. Try Lancôme ‘Glow Sensuelle’ Daily Luminous Face Moisturizer.
  • Use a sleep-time moisturizer — According to Look Younger, last year consumers spent about $56 million on nighttime moisturizers alone. So, what are the benefits of an evening moisturizer? Cosmetic chemists agree that “many anti-aging ingredients stay active longer when they’re not exposed to sunlight.” My favorite is Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment.
  • Sleep flat on your back — YAY!! I sleep on my back, so I guess I will be young forever!! Anyway, research has shown that “smashing your face into a pillow creates fold lines that eventually become permanent if they’re repeated every night.” What’s more, sleeping on your back is supposed to also counter some of the effects of gravity that occur on a daily basis.
So, here is to looking younger! May the fountain of youth be yours!!
Now, go eat your broccoli — it puts hair on your chest! Wait a second …


    Filed under February 2008

    Organic for the Cheapos — Like Me!

    apple.jpg I am always looking for a bargain. And when it comes to food, I would totally love to be able to eat organic and keep it on the cheap side. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s better for you, it’s better for the earth — it’s a good deal all the way around.

    But, unfortunately, organic food can be pricey and I don’t have the dough to always be buying produce of the luxurious kind.

    So, you can imagine I was totally psyched when I saw an article on MSN this morning that talked about the Top 12 Foods to Eat Organic.

    According to the article, the Top 12 Foods are as follows:

    • Beef – According to the Environmental Protection Agency, meat contains higher levels of pesticides than any plant foods.
    • Milk – Hormones, antibiotics, ewww!
    • Coffee – Buy Fair Trade beans which ensures that no pesticides and chemicals were used, and that farm workers were treated fairly.
    • Peaches – Forty-five different pesticides are used on these babies!
    • Apples – Organic apples are chemical free, and taste sweeter. — Yum!
    • Green Peppers – One of the most heavily sprayed veggies.
    • Celery – This green vegetable does not even have a skin to protect it from chemicals.
    • Strawberries – FIVE HUNDRED pesticides are used per acre of this fruit crop — need I say more?!
    • Lettuce – This leafy green is contaminated with what are considered the most powerful pesticides used on food.
    • Grapes – The fruit’s skin is so thin that even washing and peeling will not eliminate the pesticides that seep into grapes.
    • Potatoes – Idaho’s best are ranked the highest for pesticide residue.
    • Tomatoes – Chemicals will eventually saturate the whole tomato, again, because of the fruit’s thin skin.

    This article really made me think, and I feel a bit better knowing my options. Unfortunately, at this point in my life everything I put into my body is not going to be organic; it just does not help to balance my checkbook! But if I can eliminate from my diet some of the very obvious sources of chemicals and not break the bank, then I will be happy with that for now.

    So, do you think double-fudge, chocolate ice cream is organic, too?




    Filed under Eat, February 2008