Category Archives: Williamsburg

Wednesday Reruns and a Giveaway Reminder!

Hi!! I hope everyone had a nice day! There was no sunny lunch picnic in the cards for me today, but there was an umbrella. A chilly rain has been falling all day, and when it’s raining out, all I want to do is nap! How about you? Despite the weather, I had a pretty productive day. Thank goodness! I’m trying to get things wrapped up at work since I’m leaving for Alaska on the Monday after next. I’m hoping to tie up as many loose ends as I can before I go. I can’t wait to be on vacation!

I had several food reruns today, but I think that’s a good thing. I love a warm breakfast on a rainy day. I started out with a bowl that looks almost exactly like yesterday’s breakfast:

Another Bananabrannerriffic Bowl25 grams of oat bran

15 grams of wheat bran (the rest of my little bag… I need to buy some more from the bulk bin…)

10 grams of Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder

1 cup of water

1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar free Smucker’s syrup

1 banana

ginger 

cinnamon

more cinnamon

I decided to add some ginger and a ton of cinnamon to the bowl this morning, and it’s amazing what a difference it made. It really spiced things up! This bowl was quick and simple, and got me off to a warm start on this chilly morning. Along with my bowl of bran, I had a cup of coffee using some of the beans I bought at my favorite coffee place in Williamsburg the other weekend. As you can see, I stocked up on the beans!

Beans!Since I get them whole, rather than ground, the beans tend to stay fresh for awhile. That’s good. It will definitely take a while for me to make my way through five pounds. I do love the Coffeehouse! I had skim milk with my coconut coffee, and it was soooo yummy!

Just like yesterday, my breakfast wasn’t quite as hefty as it is some days (no PB today for one thing…), and I was ready for a pink lady with some Bee’s Knees PB around 11:00. I think I kind of like having a morning snack. I might start going a little lighter on my breakfast and factoring in an 11:00 nibble. It’s a thought, anyway. Do you eat a morning snack, or do depend on your breakfast to hold you until lunch?

Look Familiar??Speaking of lunch, I had a leftover turkey burger from the batch I made last night and some chipotle cheddar cheese on an Arnold’s thin. I think Arnold’s thins make awesome buns! I also had some Tribe chipotle hummus and a pile of orange pepper slices. Leftovers are your friend! This lunch was tasty, although my office smelled like a turkey burger for awhile. Who knew they were so fragrant?!

Lunchy LunchI also had a bowl of peach Chobani, some Fiber One for crunch, and another of my yummy little crunchie mini bars from the stash in my desk. I was full and happy!

Crunchie!When I got ready for a snack, I had another rerun from yesterday. I had the other half of my berry Fruit Newton Crisp pack with some more PB. I like this combo, and it is going to be a great way to use up the crisps. As I said, they are yummy, but they have no staying power.

Drool-worthy ReadingI decided to pose my snack on top of the book I’m currently reading. Yes, that is a post-it note from the middle of the pad. I was out of napkins and didn’t have time to go in search of one so I improvised! I finished reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on Monday evening. After reading that, I decided I needed something a bit… lighter. I loved the movie, Chocolat, which featured one of my favorite actresses, Juliette Binoche. It also featured Johnny Depp. Yummy. Anyway, I thought I might like the book when I found it for a dollar at a used book sale not long ago. I started it yesterday, and I’m really enjoying it so far. If you like mouthwatering descriptions of chocolates and other candies, this is the book for you. I might have been drooling a bit while reading it on the metro today. 

My final snack of the day was another rerun:

Afternoon Oatmeal SnackI told you yesterday that I thought the afternoon oatmeal might be turning into a habit. I had another bowl today, and it held me over nicely until dinner. It also satisfied my afternoon sweet tooth while providing a bit of positive nutrition. I think that’s always a good balance to strike! I’m almost out of the pre-flavored pouches so this habit may get broken, whether I like it or not, if I don’t make a trip to the store. We’ll see what happens.

When I got home, I heated up another leftover turkey burger, and made a big salad:

Leftover SaladI topped some of my lettuce from the farmer’s market with a chopped up turkey burger, the rest of my chipotle cheddar, some scraps of gouda that were sitting in the fridge, a bit of Greek yogurt and a little bit of salsa. I also wanted a bit of baked potato so I microbaked one, chopped it into chunks and added half of it to the salad. It was a big potato, so I’ll have the other half tomorrow. This salad was tasty, and had lots of nice protein in it. It really hit the spot. Who says that leftovers have to be boring? I’m all about reinventing them whenever possible!

After that, I had a bowl of LaLoo’s vanilla snowflake topped with some chopped vanilla almonds and a few blackberries. I loved this combo, and I didn’t even miss my usual side of cake. Aren’t blackberries beautiful?

Lovely LaLoo'sAfter all of that, I had a little time for my food to digest before I went to kickboxing. My workout schedule has gotten a bit mixed up lately. For example, I won’t be working from home tomorrow, like I usually do, so tonight was my only opportunity for kickboxing this week. That’s ok. The Wednesday night class is a good one, and I definitely had a great workout! The only bad part is that my Thursday evening won’t be free since I can’t work out during lunch. :-( I like to free up my evenings when possible, but those opportunities are rare during the week. You can usually find me in the gym at night, and that’s why my posts tend to be a bit on the late side. It actually kind of works out since I often get home from the gym around 9:15, and then I need some time to unwind from my workout. That’s the perfect time for me to write my evening post! 

Now, I’m feeling nicely “unwound”, and I need to get ready for bed. I’m probably going to have another little snack before I hit the sack, and then I suspect I’m going to sleep well. Kickboxing really is a good way to burn off excess energy, and that always helps me to sleep better. 

Before I go, I want to remind you again that you have until midnight on Friday evening to enter to win Sweetie Pie’s Prize Pack! I hope you will enter, and tell your friends to enter too. :-) I’m going to announce the winner on Saturday, and I can’t wait!! 

Have a great Thursday! The weekend is getting closer every second. Ciao for now, bloggies!! :-)

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Filed under Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Williamsburg

Back from the ‘Burg

The 'Burg in BloomWilliamsburg was in bloom this weekend, and the weather was gorgeous! After enduring the usual traffic frustrations yesterday on I-95, I’m finally back home and in the usual routine. The reunion was fun, and it was nice to revisit some of my favorite places in Williamsburg. I’ve missed posting, and I thought I’d give you a few highlights from my weekend.

On Friday, I started the day off pretty normally with a healthy breakfast and lunch. I packed some apples and bars, along with my ever present bottle of water, and set out for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the ‘burg. Thanks to some crazy traffic, it took 2 1/2 hours to cover what should have been the first hour of the trip. What was my response? Eat snacks! There was also a frustration fueled snack wrap eating incident during a bathroom break (remember the water) at a McDonald’s somewhere along the way. 

When I finally got to my hotel and checked in, it was such a relief to be out of the car. I changed clothes, and walked up the street to meet some people at this place:

Berret's

Berret'sBerret’s has great food and some of the best bloody marys around, and I enjoyed one of those on the patio along with the gorgeous weather. After we had drinks at Berret’s, a few of us went to dinner at The Fat Canary.

I Saw the Sign

Fat CanaryI love the saying over the door. By the way, I should tell you that I took these photos during my run, which is why they are all sunshiny. It was quite dark in the restaurant, so, even though I didn’t take any photos, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have turned out anyway. Here’s the menu, just so you can get an idea of the type of fare they serve:

On the MenuI had the Crispy Cornmeal Oysters to start, and they definitely got the meal started on the right foot! The cornmeal gave them a nice crunch without weighing them down in a heavy gummy batter, and the chile butter was such a perfect accompaniment. It was a great start to an amazing meal. For my main course, I had the Grilled Beef Tenderloin. The beef was perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the Roquefort butter was just decadent. I have to say, however, that my favorite thing on the plate was the Oyster Mushroom and Leek Tart. This was a little square of fluffy phyllo with some perfect springtime mushrooms and leeks nestled in the middle. I could have just had a huge tart and been happy. After that, of course, I had to have dessert. I am Sweetie Pie for good reason, and dessert was, not surprisingly, my very favorite thing of the evening: Warm Cinnamon, Apple and Walnut Cake with Butterscotch Rum Sauce and Calvados Ice Cream. Pure happiness on a plate. We also enjoyed several different wines with dinner, including a very good pinot noir from the Van Duzer Vineyards. I love a good pinot noir, and I’m glad I have friends who are good at choosing wines that make me happy. 

After dinner, we went to hang out at the Green Leafe, which is where many of us spent a good deal of time during law school. Law school friends, this photo’s for you! :-)

The LeafeThe next day, I planned to get up and go for a run. The weather was amazing so it wasn’t too hard to stick to my plan. I had a Luna bar and an apple before heading out.

BrekkieI took some obligatory photos of Colonial Williamsburg as well as the above photos from the places we visited the night before while I was running up and down Duke of Gloucester Street. I call this style of running “Photo Op Training.” I really only stopped a few times, and I still managed to burn 450 calories in less than an hour. Not bad, right? The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I managed to exercise at all on my little mini-vacay. That doesn’t usually happen! I often pack my workout clothes and never unpack them until I get back home. Now, for a few Williamsburgian pictures:

Blooms

Historical Reenactors

More Blooms

Faux Colonial Grocer

Horsies

Spring really is a beautiful time of year to visit Williamsburg– especially, if you love tulips as much as I do! After my run, I got ready to go and meet a couple of friends for lunch at one of my very favorite places to eat in the ‘burg, The Cheese Shop.

It's a Sign!

Amazing Sandwiches This Way...The Cheese Shop makes the best sandwiches ever, and I’m a big fan of their house dressing. They also have a great selection of gourmet food items and cheeses. It’s well worth a stop if you are in the ‘burg. I had a turkey and ham combo on whole wheat with house dressing, water cress and provolone.

Cheese Shop GoodnessIt was well worth the wait, and there WAS a wait. The Cheese Shop gets really crowded during peak tourist times, but they have a relatively efficient system given the number of people they serve. I got some yummy bean salad out of the deli case to go with my sandwich (congratulating myself on choosing veggies rather than chips…) and a piece of cake topped with a berry streusel mixture. I don’t miss a chance to have dessert when I’m on vacation! :-)

After lunch, I got started on a couple of my Williamsburg errands. Coffee bean shopping was at the top of the list. As a student, I became hooked on coffee from this place:

 They Roast Their Own Beans!

I used to stop on my way to school each morning for a huge cup (with tons of cream and sugar), and I always stock up on their beans when I’m in the ‘burg. They roast their own beans at the Coffeehouse, and they have a coconut flavored coffee that is my absolute favorite. I bought two pounds of the coconut beans, as well as a pound of hazelnut, a pound of English Toffee and a pound of a lovely dark roast called Celebes Kalossi. I’m sure you will be seeing some alongside my oat bran in the days to come!

While at the coffeehouse, I ran into some other friends who were in town for the reunion, and they were there buying beans too. Did I mention how good the coffee is?? I decided to meet up with them, after I had my beans safely in the car, for a little bit of ice cream at Bruester’s. Ah yes, dessert #2 of the day. I sipped some coffee from the coffeehouse while I enjoyed my little ice cream treat. I got the smallest cup of cake ice cream, and that was just enough. It had interesting big chunks of blue frosting. Blue food. Yum!

Ice Cream!!

After that, I made a quick trip to the outlet mall and scored a great deal on a new dress at the BCBG outlet, which I then wore to the dinner that night. Dinner wasn’t until 8:00, and I tend to get hungry earlier than that so I snacked on a bar. I didn’t take any photos of the dinner, but it was your typical buffet. I sipped some wine and nibbled on some cheese and figs during the cocktail hour before dinner, and then ate a pretty big plate of food. I had a salad with blue cheese dressing, a little bit of pasta, a few roasted potatoes, a small slice of chicken, a slice of beef, or “dinosaur leg”, as one friend described it, carved up by a nice lady with a big knife, and a roll with some butter. For dessert, I had a little tartlet with some nondescript fluff and a little bite of cake. Yum. Cake!!

After dinner we returned to the Green Leafe, and hung out there until we determined it was time for late night sandwiches and Doritos from Wawa. I had forgotten how good Wawa’s sandwiches are. I don’t typically eat sandwiches at 2:00 in the morning, but it seemed like the thing to do. I enjoyed mine. I wish we had Wawa closer to where I live now, but, then again, maybe it’s a good thing we don’t.

The next morning, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to have for breakfast. The only thing I really wanted was a cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts WITH cream and sugar. I sometimes get their coffee black, but I very rarely treat myself to their coffee with cream and sugar. I decided that I would just get the coffee, resist the temptation to grab a couple of donuts since I could have those any day, and have the coffee and an apple along with a bar I picked up somewhere along the way. I had the peanut butter one before the dinner, and the vanilla one for brekkie.

BarsThis filled me up sufficiently, and I’m glad I saved those donut calories. I was going to need them. I went back to the outlet mall to pick up a few more things, including a set of tartlet pans that I can’t wait to play with, and then I went to meet some of my friends for lunch. The Green Leafe on campus where we hung out at night has opened up a second location in a big new development called New Towne. I hadn’t checked out New Towne yet, and it was so interesting to see all of the stores and things that weren’t there during our law school days. In case you haven’t noticed, sticking an extra “e” on the end of words is ye olde colonial thing to do!

When it came time to place my order at the Leafe, I had my heart set on a burger and fries. I decided on the Gorgonzola BBQ burger, and it was huge!

Lunch!

I ate all of the burger, but I didn’t eat all of the fries, although they were some of the best I’ve had in quite awhile. Afterwards, I didn’t feel so good. That was the first time all weekend that I was uncomfortably full, which says something about the choices I’d made up until then, but I really didn’t feel well. I should have eaten about half of the burger instead of the whole thing.

After lunch, we said our goodbyes and I set out on my last errand before heading out of town. I had read that Barney Butter was available at the Fresh Market, which was my favorite grocery store when I lived in the ‘burg. There are a few things I haven’t been able to find anywhere else, like my Bruce’s sweet potato pancake mix, so I usually make a stop by the market when I’m in the ‘burg to pick up a few things. Sure enough, I found some Barney Butter. I bought a jar of the chunky and jar of the smooth. I can’t wait to try them! I also picked up a couple of snacks for the car…

Treats

I was always so tempted by their bakery section, and I guess I still am. I got a cannoli, an almond pillow cookie and a fresh bottle of water, and then I hit the road.

Traffic was frustrating again, and I ended up stopping at the same McDonald’s I stopped at on the way up. I don’t ever go to McDonald’s unless I’m on a road trip. I was still stuffed from the burger and the car snacks, but I decided to get a coffee and a little ice cream cone. I was feeling sleepy and I thought the caffeine and the cold ice cream might help to wake me up a bit. 

Fueled up with some empty calories, I couldn’t wait to get home and have a big salad with the spinach I’d grabbed while at the Fresh Market. Thoughts of vegetables, fruits and whole grains were dancing through my head after the over indulgences of the past few days. When I got home, that’s exactly what I had: A big spinach salad and a plate of strawberries dipped in Kozy Shack green tea chai pudding. I nibbled on a couple of Jordan almonds too and a fiber one bar before heading to bed.

Looking back over the weekend, I know that I could have made better food choices, and I know that I could have made worse choices too. Here’s what I think I learned:

Lesson one: boredom eating can be even more problematic in the car than at work. Bars are great, but they rack up calories more quickly and take less time to eat than a lot of fruits and veggies I could have brought along.

Lesson two: exercising while on vacation is a good thing! I should continue to pack my workout gear even if I’m not sure whether I’ll actually use it or not. It’s worth the investment of suitcase space on the chance that I actually will get a workout in.

Lesson three: having apples and substantial nutrition bars on hand resulted in a couple of breakfasts that were on the light but satisfying side. That’s a good thing, since I consumed plenty of calories during the rest of the day. At least I saved a few in the morning without skipping breakfast altogether.

Lesson four: don’t skip the veggies. There were a few little veggies on top of my burger, but I’m pretty sure that part of the reason I felt so sick was the quantity of fried and greasy fare and the lack of fresh crispy veg. My body just can’t handle that very well. I should view a plate lacking in bright colorful veggies as a warning sign, and proceed with caution in the future.

Lesson five: don’t eat it if it’s something you could have any day. This lesson applies to my weird McDonald’s snacks. There is a McDonald’s a couple of blocks from my office, but I hardly ever go there, and, if I do, it’s usually just for an ice cream cone. If I really wanted a snack wrap or a McDonald’s ice cream, I could get one right up the street. I know I was eating out of boredom, and certainly not out of hunger, but I did it anyway. I will say, on a positive note, that I sort of already had this lesson in mind, and applied it at Dunkin Donuts. I didn’t get donuts because I knew that I could have one of those anytime.

Hopefully, taking note of these kinds of lessons will help me to further refine my vacation eating strategies. I don’t regret the desserts, but there are some things that I could have done better. Live, eat and learn, I guess. :-)

So, that’s about it. Whew! What a long post! It was a fun weekend, and I had plenty of tasty eats, but I was pretty happy to get back to my predictable and healthy fare today. I do hope you’ll check out some of the places I mentioned if you ever visit Williamsburg. I think they are the best!

Now, I’m off to the gym to burn off that canolli… or maybe the ice cream… I’ll see you all tomorrow!

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Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Uncategorized, Williamsburg