Monday, September 24, 2012


Salmon baked with lemon, dill, and capers; roasted brussel sprouts; baby lettuce mix with red wine vinegar and olive oil; and celery with spinach and kale greek yogurt dip

Failed zucchini bread turned zucchini biscotti!

My coworker brought in more giant zucchini!! I wanted to make a whole-wheat sugar-free zucchini bread, but kind of messed them up in multiple ways...:

1. I forgot to mix the grated zucchini into the liquids before adding in the dry ingredients. I was thinking "why is the batter all crumbly and weird?" then I realized it was because I didn't add the zucchini... I mixed it in  to the batter after so the zucchini wasn't well incorporated...
2. The bread pan I used was too big for the amount I had made. I could've switched to another smaller bread pan, but I really wanted to use this silicone bread pan that I bought a while ago and never used. I just figured I would cook it less and settle for a kind of flat, weird-shaped zucchini bread.
3. I fell asleep with the bread in the oven.... Yeah, I know... BAD. Luckily the bread (or my house) didn't burn, but it was just extremely overcooked and hard.

The next morning, I sliced them in to strips and toasted them to turn them into biscotti! Actually turned out pretty good! Tasted really yummy with the Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice tea (a special holiday edition tea that I found I still had in my pantry)!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Awesome Beach Weekend (and yummy gazpacho)!

The weather in San Diego this weekend was ridiculous.... San Diego's real summer is usually  mid-August through October anyways, but this past weekend was BAD. 105 degrees even along the coast... WHICH NEVER HAPPENS IN SAN DIEGO. When you live and have grown up in San Diego in a neighborhood that is only 2 miles from the ocean, the only bearable temperatures are from about 73-80 degrees. Also, Carlsbad (the city I work in which is also along the coast) reached record high temperatures this past weekend.

Of course, when you live so close to the beach and you can't stand to do anything at home but sit and sleep in front of a fan (I've never lived in a house with AC because we've never needed it), so of course we must spend our weekend at the beach.

My regular beach spot is Del Mar Beach because it's the closest to my house and always so clean and pretty, but I knew this weekend was going to be crazy crowded there.... Luckily, I learned of a lesser known beach just a little north of Dog Beach in Del Mar. It has a little hidden away parking lot (that still had lots of empty spots!) and there weren't that many people over there either! And the beach was warm but still had a pretty nice breeze. It was PERFECT.
Not too many people!

Look what I found! Part of a lobster tail shell

We set up a mat and some umbrellas and spent our day boogie boarding, walking, reading, and napping. We packed a couple giant frozen water bottles, sliced celery and cucumbers, lemon cilantro hummus, baba ghanouj, nuts, and fruits. I also made a cucumber mint gazpacho the night before that we brought to the beach. It was so refreshing and perfect for the hot day! I made it by basically blending up some peeled cucumbers, plain nonfat yogurt, jalapeno, red onion, mint, olive oil, and a little water to thin it out to the consistency I wanted. I let it refrigerate overnight for the flavors to come together, threw it in the freezer for an hour before we left for the beach, and topped each of our cups of gazpacho with grape tomatoes and mint. Definitely making this sometime again on another hot day.

Adventures later that night included Louisiana-style boiled shellfish at Crab Hut (I was craving crawfish from finding that lobster tail shell haha) and a cigar lounge with my boyfriend. New discovery: cigar lounges are actually kind of fun. Even better discovery: a cigar, coffee, and dark chocolate taste AMAZING together.
I got a short little baby cigar haha. My boyfriend laughed at me because I'm pretty short and the cigar is called Short Story...

I felt bad for my dog because she was locked up in the hot house by herself while we were at the beach - we did leave the windows open and fans on for her though - so we took her to dog beach the next day :)

Then we took her to lunch at Station Sushi in Solana Beach after. Dogs are welcome on the patio!
Zoey likes going out to eat too!

HUGE protein roll - no rice! MMMMM

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Instagram: @margomangooo

"This stuff tastes so good you'd think it's bad! Per 2 tbsp serving: only 30 calories, 2.5g fat, and 2g carbs. No sugar, saturated fat, or trans fat. #traderjoes #healthy"


Friday, September 14, 2012

So I have this problem...

I have this problem with buying too many Groupon / Living Social / whatever other deal site vouchers for fitness classes. I get so excited about it and they're starting to pile up!! Just bought this deal for Xtend Barre in San Diego:

$29 for two weeks unlimited classes! 6 months ago I would have never been into paying extra for classes at boutique gyms since I already have a 24 hour fitness membership and there's lots of classes I already like there, but I'm OBSESSED now. I love that boutique gyms give you more personalized attention from the instructors and the classes are so much better since studios will usually focus on one type of workout.

Deals that I have piled up and need to use up soon:
- I still have one more class left on a voucher at Bar Method Solana Beach (purchased from Living Social I think it was 4 classes for $20)
- I still have a little over a week left of my unlimited month at Core Power Yoga (from Groupon $60 for one month unlimited classes)
- I still have one more class left on a 10 class package at Zfitness - this is the only place in San Diego that has Hot Hula Fitness!! (purchased for a $10 off discount from Zfitness during their grand opening)
- Purchased and need to use my one month unlimited classes at Bar Method Carlsbad (from Living Social for $49 - this was also pretty awesome because it wasn't limited to new clients like these deals usually are and it's only one block from my work)
- Purchased and need to use my second 10 class package at Zfitness (from Yelp deals for $30)
- Purchased and need to use my two week unlimited classes at Xtend Barre ($29 for two weeks unlimited)
- I also want to do the $10 for 10 days intro special at the Bar Method studio that's kind of far for me, but close to some friends that want to try it - so I want to take two weekends to work out with them down there
- and I've already taken advantage of the free first class and $10 for 10 days intro special at three other different Bar Method studios (I pretended it was my first time at all three of them... ssshhh don't tell... haha) and I'm planning on doing their $100 for one month unlimited intro special once I finish up all of these other vouchers I have hahaha

I'm pretty much set (and super busy working out) for the next 3 or 4 months lol. AND by February the new 24 hour fitness super sport that is being built close to me will be finished and my 2 year pre-paid sport membership will expire, so I can get the pre-paid super sport membership instead YAYYYYY!!

My tea obsession!

I've bought four new teas in less than a week - these three and also a coconut pineapple rum flavored green tea we found at Whole Foods. The chocolate Yerba Mate actually isn't new me, but I love that tea and I haven't bought it in a while. I've had a tea obsession for a while and had actually built up a pretty awesome collection of teas. In the last year or two that obsession has calmed down - I still loved tea but just wasn't buying them as much and wasn't on as much of a hunt for new and interesting teas like I used to be. But! I decided that I should start getting back in to my teas because it really helps me a lot with dieting. A lot of times when I snack and overeat, its just because I'm bored or just want to have some sort of flavor in my mouth. It's good to have tea instead because they taste so yummy, have no calories, and are supposed to do a lot of great things for your health!

My office keeps tea in stock, but most of them are a little boring... I've started to bring in a supply of more fun, interesting teas to keep in my office drawer for me to have. When I'm work I drink tea when I need a break, when I just want to taste something, when I need a little energy boost, and when I'm cold (our office is freezing!). I'll usually have either yerba mate or green tea in the morning for a little energy boost then herbal decaf green teas throughout the rest of the day.

So far I'm loving my new teas I purchased:
- Yogi Seven Berry Antioxidant - when you open it, it smells a little bit like Robitussin... but once it's brewed and you add a little sweetener (I use Stevia) it tastes amazing! It's still good without the sweetener, but a little sour for me - I prefer this one sweetened even though I usually like my teas as is
- Yerba Mate Chocolate - LOVE this tea. Yerba Mate gives you a nice energy boost without as much caffeine as coffee. Some people seem to hate yerba mate and it's probably because they brewed it wrong. This type of tea is SUPER sensitive to high water temps!! If the water is too hot, it will be extremely bitter! I heat my water until just before it boils, pour it into my cup, then let it sit for a few minutes to cool down before I throw my tea bag in to the cup. Then it tastes amazing and smooth. And the chocolate version is even better - chocolaty and cinnamony
- Yogi Peach Detox - this is another one of the rare teas that I prefer it to have a little sweetener in it. It mostly has a spicy flavor to it - not too much peach - but still yummy. And I feel like I'm doing good things for my body when I drink this.

I really want to get back in to collecting teas again!! :)

My "sandwich"

I tried to make a "sandwich" with lettuce instead of bread for lunch yesterday... It failed bc the leaves were too small so I ended up eating it more like a salad... Oh well, I tried haha. It still tasted really yummy though!! Red leaf lettuce, garlic turkey breast from the deli, bell pepper, tomato, avocado, whole grain mustard, and dijon mmmmmm! Next time I will try doing this with large butter lettuce leaves instead!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Emergency planning for unexpected sweet cravings

Emergency sugar-free sweets for when I have serious cravings for sweets!

- sugar-free jello
- sugar-free fat-free vanilla instant coffee mix
- low carb chocolates (a peppermint pattie one and an English toffee one)
- chocolate Yerba mate tea (not exactly a sweet but I do love this stuff and it does have a hint of chocolate which will help when I have chocolate cravings)
- and a bunch of carbmaster yogurts

Note: I didn't buy these just to have on hand and eat a bunch of them regularly, but I got them just to have when I get cravings for sweets - which I've been having a lot of lately. If I have sugar-free sweets available then I'm less likely to give in to sweets that are more unhealthy.

We were really bad since we got back from vacation 3 months ago... Overall we were sticking with phase 2 but we would just go out a lot to eat (then of course we just get whatever sounds good) and drinking too. I started getting really bad cravings bc I remembered how amazing everything tasted! So we're jumping back into phase 1! We're a week in now, so hopefully I'll get over my cravings soon.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Update on Kombucha flavors

Here's my update on the bottles of G.T.'s Kombucha I tried (previous post)!

Mostly tastes like berries with just a light floral taste from the lavender. When you first sip it tastes fruity and sour - almost like drinking a really good lightly sour candy with out all of the artificial taste. You can taste more of the lavender flavor as an aftertaste. I think this was my favorite and I really wasn't expecting it to be that good!

Honestly, it mostly just tasted like guava juice with just a slight hint of sourness from the kombucha! Yummy.

Raspberry Chia:
I was excited for this because I love pretty much raspberry everything and I likes the grape chia flavor - the chia seeds float in the drink and kind of remind me of little tiny boba bc it floats in the drink and is a little squishy and fun to slurp and chew. But... This one was a little disappointing for me. I don't think I ever even finished the bottle. It wasn't super sour or vinegary like most people seem to be afraid of with kombucha - it just didn't have any great flavor to it. It wasn't terrible - I could still drink it without being disgusted - it was just the only kombucha flavor I tried that I didn't love.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of my favorite times of year

When the huge live basil plants at Trader Joe's cost the same as buying those small packs of cut basil!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Light but filling breakfast

Trader Joe's Plain Nonfat Yogurt with Fiber mixed with Trader Joe's Blueberry Flaxseed and Splenda then topped with fresh blueberries. You get a good amount of protein from the yogurt and fiber from both the flaxseed and yogurt. I like buying plain yogurt and adding my own sweetener (rather than buying pre-flavored yogurts), so I know there isn't a bunch of added refined sugar in there - just natural sugars from fresh fruit and splenda to add a little extra sweetness to the yogurt. This is a very common breakfast for me that is quick and doesn't feel heavy, but still holds me over until lunch!