Sunday, September 25, 2011

Farmer's Bounty

It's been an ugly, rainy weekend here in Charlotte.  Not exactly the cool and sunny weekend I had hoped for, but after working a lot over the past couple weeks, I was just thankful for a lazy couple of days.

The highlight of my Saturday was a trip to the farmer's market.  Perhaps one of my favorite things about Charlotte is the abundance of fresh and local produce.  Surprisingly, the fruit and vegetable prices are MUCH cheaper at the market than they are at Harris Teeter.  This weekend I brought home apples (Honeycrisp apples for just 99 cents/lb!!), cucumbers, tomato, bean sprouts, pea pods, baby sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.
All of that for just $7.50
With a refrigerator full of delicious produce, dinner became very easy.  

Local organic chicken breast + stir-fry snap peas and sprouts + roasted sweet potatoes
This was the first time in about a month that I ate meat.  I'm not completely vegetarian, but I really enjoy all of the delicious possibilities with produce and grains.  I eat fish 2-3 times a week and dairy on a daily basis, but otherwise it's all fruits, veggies, grains, and beans.  Surprisingly, since eliminating my daily meat consumption, I never really have a craving for it.  This week, however, all I could think about at each meal was grilled chicken.  I'm pretty confident that the chicken in the cafeteria doesn't exactly meet my local + humanely raised standards, so I held out for the weekend.  8 minutes on the George Foreman, and I had juicy grilled chicken.  It hit the spot!

Stay tuned later in the week, when I'll be creating vegetarian stuffed bell peppers!

Friday, September 23, 2011

160 hours

How I've Spent the Last 12 Days

288 = total hours in 12 days
160 = hours spent working at the hospital

128 = hours not spent in the hospital
12 = hours spent studying/reading for ortho
9 = hours spent swimming, biking, running, and strength training (definitely feeling like a slacking-triathlete)
6 = hours spent in the car between work and home
6 = hours spent eating dinner while watching the news
4 = hours spent getting dressed/hair/makeup in the mornings (NOT fun at 4AM!)

91 = hours left for everything else (SLEEP, mail, laundry, errands, relaxation, cleaning, catching up with friends/family)

That, my friends, translates to a mere 7.5 hours left in each day in which I can sort mail, do laundry, run errands, clean, catch up with family, pay bills, and enjoy an occasional dinner out with friends.  Oh, and that includes my time to sleep as well.  I am, and always have been, an 8 hours of sleep per night kind of girl.  Much to my dismay, that has certainly changed this month!  When faced with the choice between sleep, an ever growing to-do list, mountains of laundry, stacks of unopened mail, and watching endless TiVO recordings, I've been choosing sleep.  Needless to say, I've got a lot to catch up on this weekend.

All of the "STUFF", however, can wait.  Tonight, I once again choose sleep as the priority.  Good night!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Have you ever watched a cooking show and drooled over the delicious foods being made?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who salivates while watching Food Network, wishing I could smell and taste all of the dishes.  I've heard people mention the idea of "smell-o-vision" and I most certainly agree it would be an incredible invention.  Hmm, I might just have to look into that.  Something tells me that successful inventors aren't working 80 hours per week.

If you could smell and taste dishes thru a TV screen or computer monitor, the one I made for dinner tonight might possibly put you into a food coma.  I adapted a recipe for Eggplant Rollitini in Veganomicon and created an Eggplant "Lasagna".  The flavors were incredible, and you'd never guess that there's not an ounce of cheese.  Instead, a tofu "ricotta" serves as the creamy component layered between eggplant, marinara, and spinach.

Someone please tell me I'm hallucinating and that it's not actually Sunday at 8pm.  Surely the weekend isn't over already, because if it is, I have to be awake in less than 8 hours.  4am alarm clock, I will always despise you!  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The List

I'm a list person.  Perhaps that correlates with my type-A personality.  There's no greater satisfaction than making a very intimidating, page-long to-do list and gradually crossing things off.  Here's what this weekend's list had in store.

  • Free Chick-fil-a breakfast
  • Student loans
  • Clean house (1/2 done, took a break for dinner and blog post)
  • Bills
  • Organize desk
  • Log cases
  • Salutation Nation
  • Farmers Market
  • Run
  • Free TCBY
  • Bike
  • Swim Friday
  • Swim Sunday
  • Nails
  • Ortho reading (made a strong effort . . . until I fell asleep)
  • Journal Club articles
  • Dress pants
  • Sunday dinner
  • Laundry (1 load done, 1 to go)
  • Soak up the sunshine (more to come on Sunday)

I'd say I'm making pretty good progress and I still have all of Sunday!

1 hour yoga class + beautiful crisp morning + 70 fellow yogis = great start to the day

Endurance Run (8:12 pace).  It's pathetic how NOT easy this felt.  Residency has definitely zapped my run fitness!

Lunch = Whole Wheat Bagel + Veggie Cream Cheese + Raspberry Jam + Tomato + Fried Eggs + Basil

Most definitely the tastiest sandwich I've had in a long time!  It was epic!

3 pairs dress pants + skirt for $73 dollars.  Have I mentioned that I'm a bargain shopper?

Back to house cleaning I go.  I was trying to procrastinate by enjoying the GA v SC game, but it's really not looking too good for the Dogs.  It's pretty pathetic when cleaning is the better alternative to watching the football game.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moroccan Vegetable Soup

Fall Flavors + Simple Prep + Crock-Pot Convenience
Moroccan Vegetable Soup
1 vidalia onion, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, chopped
2 red potatoes, chopped
3 cups kale, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
1 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup raisins
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp curry powder

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and mix well.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.  Serve with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and a sprinkle of raisins.

Taste of Fall

I had great expectations for the weather today.  For the past week the weatherman has been predicting a rainy Labor Day with temps in the low 70s.  In my mind, I had conjured up visions of a lazy day at home in sweatpants, enjoying the cool rainy day, and making a crock pot meal.  Well, let me tell you, that weatherman was wrong yet again.  I woke up to 80 degrees, sunshine, and 100% humidity.  Not exactly what I imagined, but I went about my day as planned regardless (except for the sweatpants).

Last week I heard the first advertisements for Starbuck's seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte.  My heart may have fluttered with excitement!  The official release date was set for September 6th.  I, however, had a coupon for a free Starbucks beverage of my choice that expired today, one day shy of pumpkin greatness.  In my sneaky ways and absolute requirement to enjoy a pumpkiny latte TODAY, I attempted to convince the barista to break out the pumpkin spice syrup one day early.  Imagine my excitement when I was presented with this:

Venti Nonfat Extra Hot 3-Pump Pumpkin Spice Latte.
And with that, all was right in my world.  It's the little things in life that mean so much!

After prying myself off the couch and out of my pajamas, I took my caffeine-high self to the Y for a swim.  Solid swim workouts are few and far between recently, but this was a good one.
Warm up:  400 swim, 300 drill, 200 pull, 4 x 25 single breath
Main set:  4 x 100 single arm with fins, 100 timed (1:21), 4 x 100 on 1:30, 300 timed (4:20), 6 x 50 (25 sprint, 25 easy)
Cool down:  200 (back/free by 25)

Then I hit Earth Fare to stock up on a few ingredients for my planned crock-pot meal.  While I was there, I couldn't resist the salad bar that was calling my name.  The combination of a grumbling belly and an empty refrigerator at home sealed the deal.  I enjoyed a mix of curried "chicken" salad, soba noodles, slaw, sun-dried tomato pilaf, and a mixed greens salad.  Paired with an extra-large farmers market peach it became the perfect lunch.

Since my workouts have been suffering with my schedule as of late, I decided to make up for it with a second workout for the day.  I hit the indoor trainer and spun my way through one of the The Grind power + torque short-course workouts.  Killer!  1 hour and 20 minutes later I treated my sweaty self to a much needed shower.

And then it was time to reveal the creation that had been simmering for hours.  

The final product was Moroccan Vegetable Soup served with a side of Okra Fries.  DELICIOUS!!

Can you sense the theme to the day - eat, swim, eat, lots of ortho reading, bike, eat.  It doesn't get any better than that!  While the cool-temperatures and all-day heavy rains didn't quite materialize, I enjoyed the day none the less.  Great food, good workouts, and time spent on the couch = happy Crystal!  And with that, the weather has now suddenly decided to get ugly.  Tornado warnings in September . . . really?!?