Now That’s a Lot of Beef!

Last night’s dining experience had to of been one of the funniest things I’ve been through in a long time.  I bought a Groupon to Texas De Brazil: Brazilian Steakhouse a few month back and had to use it by the 31st.  As I have plans tonight and tomorrow night, Sunday night was the only night that was really going to work for both Neal and I.

When we arrived at the steakhouse there was an hour long wait, so we headed over to Barnes and Noble for a little perusing before we got our dining on.  40 minutes later, Neal’s phone rang and our table was ready (how cool is that that they called us?  I though that was pretty sweet!).

We sat down to our table and quickly told the waitress that it was our first time dining at Texas De Brazil.  Within 30 seconds, the waitress spit out our instructions but all I caught was “salad bar” and “meat”.  Neal was far more confused than me, so we sat there and laughed for a good minute before we decided to take some action.

I grabbed my purse, we both put our napkins on our chairs (this is an important part of the story), and we headed off to the salad bar.

Now this salad bar was just about the most intense salad bar I’ve ever seen.  There was a plethora of sliced meats, cheeses, pickled vegetables, various sauces of all different colors (bright teal– RANDOM), pasta salads, rice, beans, soup, and oh yes, romaine lettuce.  Neal turned to me and said “what is this place?”.  It was the funniest thing!

We both made our “salads” and headed back to our seats.  When we got back to our seats both of our napkins were back on the table and perfectly folded… it was the oddest thing.  We both laughed and laughed because we both could have sworn we placed our napkins on our chairs before going to the salad bar.

Now the next step was to enjoy our salad and when we were done we had to turn these little cards over from “red” to “green” to indicate that we were ready for meat.  I felt insecure about turning the card over, so when the waitress stopped by I asked her for some reassurance.  She said, “yes, just turn over the card and people will know that it is time to come to your table”.  My heart rate shot up immediately… how does the turning of a piece of paper trigger them to approach our table?  Neal and I sat there in fear.

A few minutes later, men began arriving at our table with long swords of meat.  Medium steak, well done steak, filet minion, ribs, leg of lamb, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, Parmesan crusted pork chops, sausages… IT WAS INTENSE.

hahaha! This picture is so funny!

We both asked for a few cuts of meat and enjoyed our dinner.  I was quickly “meated out”.  It was just too much.  Although I am not a vegetarian (or a variation of it), I don’t enjoy meat all that much.  I enjoy ground turkey, the occasional beef burger (when I need some iron), and chicken breasts.  I guess it’s more that I enjoy meat in different dishes but rarely enjoy eating meat by itself.  I really left thinking, that was too much meat, I didn’t enjoy that.  (please note that I truly respect individuals who don’t eat meat for different reasons.  I am in no way looking to offend anyone).

I was glad to have stopped myself when I did because it can be so easy to keep eating when someone keeps bringing you more and more food.  I didn’t care for any dessert, but my sweet toothed sweetheart jumped on the opportunity to order banana cream pie.  He loved it.

All in all we had a really great time.  It was a interesting restaurant to say the least, but we’re both glad we had the experience.  I don’t think we’ll ever go again though.

Weekly Plan: August 29 – September 4

This is a very short week for Neal and I as we’re traveling to Iowa to see his parents and to attend Fry Fest, Neal’s book signing, and the opening Iowa game.  We’re both really looking forward to this trip!  I haven’t been back to Iowa since March and haven’t been to an Iowa game in 2 years…so it’s long over due.  I’ve planned out my meals for Monday and Tuesday, though they’re really hodge podge.  I didn’t go to the grocery store this weekend, so I’m just looking to use up what I have.  Wednesday-Sunday are up in the air as well, as I never really know what we’ll be eating while we’re there.  We usually eat out a lot, so I need to be prepared to make wise choices.

Neal and I had a great first run this morning and we’re both looking to finish out our first week strong.  Running on Wednesday may be challenging, as we’re flying that day, but we’ll try our hardest to get all of our runs in!

Last week was pretty eventful; earthquake, aftershocks, and a hurricane, so hopefully this week will be mellow and relaxing!

Workout Breakfast Lunch Dinner Plans
Monday 20 min. E run before work with Neal (burned 312 calories) and Ball & Bar class after work Homemade tropical smoothie Oatmeal, apple, peanut butter, dried kiwi Pasta and asparagus Game night with Neal and Matt
Tuesday Spin Homemade tropical smoothie before spin, oatmeal post workout Leftover pasta and asparagus Whatever is left in the house, no grocery shopping this week Getting my hair done!! YAY
Wednesday 2 mile E run Granola bar and fruit Dinner with Neal’s parents Travel to Iowa
Thursday Looking into some spin classes in Iowa Relax in Iowa
Friday 20 min E run Fry Fest in Iowa City
Saturday Off University of Iowa football game!!! Go Hawkeyes
Sunday 3 mile run Relax in Iowa

What is the weirdest dining experience you’ve ever had?  Doesn’t have to have been at a restaurant…

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Weekly Plan: August 22-28

Oh graduate school, how I’ve missed you so… Ok, not so much, but it’s good to start another semester!  As each month passes, I am one step closer to finishing my masters degree!  Today was the first day of the fall semester.  I am now just 4 classes away from finishing my masters degree but my classes this fall look to be pretty tough.   I’ve spent most of the evening analyzing my syllabi and organizing my school work but the highlight of my day was getting my first issue of Bon Appetite magazine in the mail today.

I am OBSESSED with buying magazine subscriptions.  The day it hit me that I could get 2 years (24 magazines) worth of magazines for $20 verses spending $20 on 5 magazines at the store, I was forever changed.

My magazine subscriptions include:

  • Self
  • Shape
  • Readers Digest (I know, I know)
  • Whole Living (From a Groupon)
  • Everyday Living (From a Groupon)
  • Bon Appetit (From a Groupon)
  • Washingtonian  (not renewing after this year)
  • Prevention
  • Real Simple (not renewing after this year)
  • Women’s Health

I know… that’s a LOT but in the end, I still spend less than if I bought magazines at the store each month.  I really enjoy reading magazines.  It’s relaxing to me and takes me away from graduate work when I need it.  I’d love to get Rachel Ray’s magazine and Cooking Light.  Maybe after Real Simple and Washingtonian expire.

Tonight I made a big salad (Seinfeld reference anyone?) with black beans, corn, salsa, and sour cream.  I also cooked up from chicken for lunches and dinners later in the week.  I’ve really fallen in love with the Trader Joes marinated chicken breasts.  Tonight I made the Pesto Genovese, which I plan to use in salads, over pasta, and with couscous this week.

The key to staying on top of my eating and workouts throughout the week is planning my week ahead on Sundays.  Even if things need to be adjusted throughout the week, planning helps me keep my stress levels down when things get busy during the week.  I also feel a great sense of accomplishment when I’ve stuck to my plan, something I’ve really been working on.

Weekly Plan: August 22-28

Workout Breakfast Lunch Dinner Plans
Monday 40 min. elliptical/weight training Quaker Oats squares, frozen fresh blueberries, ½ cup Greek yogurt Leftover Greek pasta salad (pasta, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, balsamic dressing) Salad (mixed greens, black beans, corn, salsa, sour cream) and 1 piece of Naan bread Organizing graduate work for the fall and redoing last night’s Fantasy Football draft
Tuesday Spin Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Lunch at work meeting Salad (mixed greens, black beans, grilled chicken, salad dressing) Create fall training program (running and weight lifting) and graduate work
Wednesday 40 min. elliptical/weight training Bagel thin with 2 egg whites, laughing cow cheese, plum Salad (mixed greens, black beans, grilled chicken, salad dressing) Couscous, grilled chicken, asparagus Graduate work
Thursday Spin Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Couscous, grilled chicken, asparagus Dinner with Neal Graduate work and Redskins Football!
Friday Off Bagel thin with cream cheese, banana Vegetable stir fry Dinner with family Enjoying my Friday night
Saturday Spin Breakfast with my Aunt ?? ?? Graduate work
Sunday Running with Neal Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Work luncheon Dinner with Neal (need to use a Groupon) Graduate work and Fantasy Football draft number 2

The first week of each semester is always rather stressful for me… just takes me a good week to get my brain around my assignments and to create a new routine.  My goal this week is not to overeat due to stress and to make sure I workout as planned.

What’s your favorite magazine?

A Wicked Weekend

I had a wonderfully wicked weekend!

Saturday started off with a number of errands but after an afternoon of homework my BF and I headed into the city.  I love Washington, DC but one thing I do not love is the Metro Transit System on weekends.  Due to lower ridership it’s a great time to do maintenance, but for those who do use the train, it boils down to long waits, packed cars, and LOTS of tourists.

Tourists (teenagers) on the metro

After a fairly long trip into Union Station, I was delighted to see all of the beautiful cupcakes at Crumbs Bakery when we first entered the station.

How rockin’ do these cupcakes look?  I’ve heard they aren’t the greatest in DC (my vote is for Baked and Wired) but they look awesome!!

We then met up with my cousin in the Union Station food court.  She had a fairly tight itinerary, but it was so good to see her.  Not that it was funny, but she shared about the difficulties she’s faced with her in-laws and sister-in-law.  Of course I hated to hear about what she has gone through but I think it was good for my BF and I to hear.

My BF was learning how to take self portraits. He did great!

After visiting with my cousin, we got back on the red line and headed to Clarendon.  Of course, we had a LONG wait!

Disappointed by the train delay (not really, we were just having fun)

In Clarendon we grabbed a beer at Witlows on Wilson where I had my first Shandy.  Shandy is a beer and lemonade combination and it rocked!! I really, really enjoyed it!  For dinner we used our Groupon to Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza and had a grand ole time!  Clarendon is a cute little spot in Arlington.

Sunday morning we helped Rosco move out of his apartment and then it was back to the books for me.  I have a big project due tonight, so I had to get as much of it done as possible before my BF and I headed out to see Wicked! By 4PM I was finally starting to get hungry and had had just about enough of my school work.  It was time to get dolled up and head out with my beau.

My boyfriend and I enjoy getting dressed up but we don’t do it all that often.  Our idea of a fun night is either a baseball game, weeding through our DVR, watching sports on TV, grabbing a quick bite out, or making turkey burgers in.  We’re pretty chill but we do clean up pretty well!

Before heading to the Kennedy Center we stopped by one of our favorite restaurants, Dogfish Head Alehouse, to grab some dinner.  My BF LOVES their Steak Bomb Sandwich and though I almost always get their Salmon Sandwich I opted for the Alehouse Mac and Cheese.

It was super yummy, with red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and summer squash.  You could definitely taste the pepperjack cheese!

We kinda had to rush through dinner but it was amazing and I have to say, the company was pretty awesome 😉

The Kennedy Center is such a beautiful venue.  Whether or not you go to see a show, you should definitely visit it when you’re in town.  The architecture is amazing and the history is pretty astounding.  I’ve seen 3 performances at the Kennedy Center and each time I am wowed.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the start of the show, which was perfect.

We snapped a few photos and then headed to our seats.

The photo I got yelled at for taking... oops!

Wicked is an absolutely amazing show. This is the second time I’ve seen it and it’s really good.  My BF enjoyed it as well, which is great considering he just saw the Wizard of Oz for the first time on Friday!!  Earlier this morning my boyfriend wrote me and said “Why do I have that darn “Popular” song stuck in my head?  :-P”, so I know he enjoyed the show!

We had a wonderful weekend, and although I have a lot of school work to get done today and this week, I’m really looking forward to the 4th of July weekend.  I really need to make it out to the pool soon as well!  Nothing says summer like being by the pool side.

Weekly Plan: June 27 – July 3

Workout Plan

Monday- Elliptical and weights before work (oops… have to go after work today)

Tuesday- Spin @ 7AM before work

Wednesday- Off

Thursday- Spin @ 7AM before work

Friday- Elliptical and weights before work

Saturday- Off

Sunday- Run with BF

Meal Plan

Pre-Workout

Post-Workout

Lunch

Dinner

Monday

1 bowl of toasted oat squares and ½ cup blueberries

Watermelon, 1 peach, Justin’s Peanut Butter, Saltine Crackers

Dinner at Faccia Luna with Bible Study Group

Tuesday

mango strawberry protein smoothie

2 hard boiled eggs

TDR

Turkey Burger at Chef Boyfriendo’s

Wednesday

1 bowl of toasted oat squares and ½ cup blueberries

Salad (haven’t decided what yet)

Pasta with meat sauce

Thursday

1 bowl of toasted oat squares

2 hard boiled eggs, peach

leftover pasta with meat sauce

Sushi at Momo

Friday

mango pineapple strawberry protein smoothie

2 hard boiled eggs

TDR

leftover Pasta with meat sauce

Week’s Events

This week should be pretty mellow.  I want to focus this week on getting back into a routine and cranking out some graduate work.  I’m kinda looking forward to a mellow week!

What’s your ideal fun night/date night?  Going out?  Staying in? 

Weekly Plan: June 20-26

A Sunday Recap

Last week was rather crazy!  Started the week off being sleep deprived, had a few odd mornings midway through the week, and then ended the week with a stomach bug.  Not fun at all!  One of the benefits of being sick though is that I am WELL rested and have had plenty of time to think!  I felt great on Sunday and worked hard to prep for the week ahead.  But what’s hard work without a bit of play incorporated in, right?

Studying for Career Development

Ok, maybe this isn’t all that fun but my breakfast from Mancini’s Cafe Sunday morning was rockin’!  I had the Greek Omelet made with egg whites, home fries, and an English muffin.

After running a few errands I came home and did an overhaul on my apartment.  It’s always good to clean the whole apartment after you’ve been sick .  It also starts your week off with a clean home.

To Do

  • Clean bathroom (shower, sink, toilet, mop floor) – Check
  • Clean kitchen (stove, counters, mop floor) – Check
  • Dust – Check
  • Vacuum entire apartment – Check
  • Hang laundry – Check

I love the way carpet looks after it's been vacuumed

I conclude the weekend with a lot of reading and homework but I finished another week of summer school!!  I’m excited to only have 5 weeks left.  After a wonderful chat with my BF, I packed for the gym and my Monday!

 This Week

Workout Plan

Monday- Elliptical, weights, and abs before work

Tuesday- Spin @ 7AM

Wednesday- Off

Thursday- Spin @ 7AM

Friday- Off

Saturday- “Hard Core Conditioning” (didn’t get to take it last week)

Sunday- Run with BF

Meal Plan

Pre-Workout Post- Workout Lunch Dinner
Monday: Meatless Monday

strawberry banana protein smoothie

Greek yogurt with granola, agave nectar, and a side of watermelon

Whole wheat pasta with Parmesan cheese, broccoli, carrots

TJ’s Asian Vegetable Stir Fry and 1 mini cone

Tuesday

berry protein smoothie

2 hard boiled eggs and a side of watermelon

@ TDR

Chipotle chicken taco salad and 1 mini cone

Wednesday

Scrambled eggs at home

 Chipotle chicken taco salad, watermelon

Turkey burgers at Casa de Boyfriendo

Thursday

mango strawberry protein smoothie

2 hard boiled eggs with a side of watermelon

Chipotle chicken taco salad, watermelon

Dinner with friends

Friday

greek yogurt with granola, agave nectar, and a side of watermelon

@ TDR

Mystery Evening

This week is interesting as I am beginning Freshmen Orientations at work.  For the next 5 weeks, I will be conducting orientation for incoming freshmen Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  On Tuesday and Friday, we are provided lunch through the campus dining hall.  The dining hall is awesome but it can be trouble!  In all honesty, I feel like a kid in a candy store… pizza, tator tots, hummus, tuna salad, and ice cream oh my!  My goal this summer is to load 1/2 of my plate with veggies and to choose my entree wisely.  There are lots of awesome options and I look forward to sharing my choices with everyone each week.

Week’s Events

I’m really excited for my BF to return home this week and to be able to spend some time with him.  Thursday night we’re going to a dinner party with some friends and then Sunday we’re going to see Wicked!! I can not wait to watch Wicked with my BF!  I saw Wicked a few years ago with my Mom and sister and just loved it.  My BF first needs to watch the Wizard of Oz… but we’ll squeeze that in some time this week.  School work is also picking up big time, so hopefully I can be on my “A” game this week, so as not to fall behind.

Have you seen Wicked?  What’s your favorite Broadway Play?

-My favorite play is Fiddler on the Roof

Defining Breakfast

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Monday!

I have to say, it has been a fantastic day so far!  And here’s a sneak peak at why it has been so great so far….

This morning, My BF had a 7AM dentist appointment  (I know! Who has a 7AM dentist appointment?) so we were able to metro together.  We met up around 5:45 and headed off to the metro.  I was at the gym by 6:45, giving me plenty of time to lift weights, run on the treadmill, and workout my abs (I know they are under there somewhere).

Weight training this morning was good.  I used 8 machines, doing 3 sets of 10.  I worked out my inner thighs, outer thighs, triceps, biceps, quads, laterals, and pecs.  Although I enjoy a good weight training session with free weights, its good to use the weight machines some days as they are set up to work various muscles, taking out the need to think.

The treadmill was ok this morning.  I ended up running for only 20 minutes but hey, I ran 20 minutes.  There’s something to be said about exercise classes.  When I take classes, I am engaged and committed to the 60-90 minute class.  It’s no walk in the park, but the fact that you’re in the class for a set amount of time ensures that you will burn 60-90 minutes worth of calories.  Plus with my FT7, I’m able to see how many calories I actually burned during the class.  In the end though, I stuck to my plan, woop woop!

After my workout I was super hungry.  I had a bowl of Weetabix before I left home this morning, but after an hour long workout, I’m ready for some more food.  As I’ve shared a few times, I haven’t quite figured out my breakfasts since switching from PM to AM workouts.  I know I need protein, but what can sit in my bag for 2-3 hours without getting nasty?

Well this morning it hit me!  What if I buy some Greek yogurt to leave at work along with some granola and agave nectar?  So I skipped over to Whole Foods and picked up a few things.

I also saw that Justin’s nut butters were on sale ($.79-$.99 depending on the flavor) so I picked up a few packets.  I think these will be perfect with an apple and some celery.  The packets also help to control my portion sizes, which is always a plus!

I walked away from Whole Foods with Fage fat-free Greek Yogurt, Back-to-Nature’s Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola, Organic Agave Syrup, and 3 packets of Justin’s Nut Butter.

My post workout snack was fantastic.  It really hit the spot and had 14 grams of protein in it! All in all, it has been a great Monday so far.  I haven’t decided on my Meatless Monday dinner yet, but this article gave me some great ideas.

Happy Monday!  I hope it goes by quickly for you!