Monthly Archives: May 2009

Belated Birthday Post

I can’t believe my 27th birthday was already two weeks ago! What have I been doing?? Time flies.

I had a great time celebrating with my girlfriends, which of course involved some excellent food 🙂

For dinner, we went to this amazing restaurant here in Louisville called August Moon. My mom is the one who introduced me to it many years ago but I hadn’t been there since my 1st wedding anniversary (which is almost 3 years ago)! So I was happy to get back.

I started off with the hot and sour soup which cleared out my sinuses a bit, very tasty!

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For my main entree, I ordered the hot and spicy tofu + vegetables, which I ate with a side of brown rice. It was delicious!

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The portion was quite a bit but since it was just veggies and tofu, I didn’t get really overly full and I ate every last bit of what I was served 🙂

Since the waitress knew it was my birthday, they brought out a complimentary dessert…warm bananas (wrapped like egg rolls!) with chocolate and raspberry sauce. I had one and a half, so good! I should eat bananas this way more often 😉

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My real dessert was back at Courtney’s house for my infamous pink cupcakes! For some reason, one year on my birthday, Courtney made strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing (out of the box) and ever since then, its the only dessert I can imagine wanting on my birthday. I just love them! But I try to limit myself to only eating them on my birthday, which makes it more special 🙂

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I think I had 3 or 4 over the course of the night along with some tea while we watched Flight of the Conchords and Justin Timberlake hosting SNL. It was a great night!! One of the better birthdays I’ve had in a while, if not the best. Thanks girls!

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The no pass out workout!

Today I met my trainer friend for another round of near-pass out strength training, only this time, I did not at any point feel like I was going to pass out!

In case you missed it, here are the two occasions this nearly happened to me: first and second.

Today I paid much more attention to my body and I was prepared! I had a full water bottle, plus a 20 oz VitaminWater 10 (10 cals per serving) and a towel to wipe off my sweat. Then, while we were exercising, each time we moved around the room, I adjusted the fan so that it was pointing in my direction the entire time! This is easy to do because its a small room which is also why it gets so hot in there and I nearly pass out, haha.

Courtesy of Google images

Courtesy of Google images

So today was a major success! Water + Electrolytes + circulating air + towel = No pass out workout!

Here is most of what we did (in random as I remember it order):

5 minute warm up on treadmill (1 minute walking, 4 minutes jogging); 6 minutes in between circuits (5.0, 6.0, 5.0, 6.0, 5.0 and walk for 1 min); cool down 5 minutes (jog, walk, jog, walk, jog 1 minute intervals).

Plie Squats w/ dumbbell

Chest presses (2 sets, one with dumbbells, other with weight bar)

Shoulder presses (several variations)

Bicep curls

Tricep extensions (2 sets, 1 with dumbbell and 1 with bar)

Dips on the bench

Toe touch crunches with 10 lb dumbbell in hands

Rocking horse (ab exercise)

Bridges with legs extended on a balance ball

Back extensions on bench

Lying down leg lifts

One arm rows using weight bar (pulled like a lever)

Dead lifts with bar

Plank (held for 1 minute)

That’s about all I can remember right now!

Hope you all are having a great Wednesday, I’m very much looking forward to girl’s night potluck tonight and getting closer to the Memorial Day weekend! Anyone have any great plans?

Don’t forget to check out An Apple A Day for a great giveaway for her 20th birthday 🙂

Day 2 Caffeine Challenge

Yesterday went very much like the first day of the challenge (coffee, tea) only I did not have the Vitamin Water with caffeine in it, so I could subtract 50 from my total!

Tuesday’s caffeine total = 186 mg

I think its going to be a very easy transition. Once I use up all of my caffeinated coffee and tea at home, I can easily just purchase decaf or half-caf next time and work my way down slowly. Everything I have done gradually over time has paid off, as opposed to quick, cold turkey methods. And like I said before, I will still enjoy a caffeinated beverage from time to time, I just don’t want to be dependent.

Sorry the blog has been so boring lately, I am working on lots of product reviews coming very soon and I can’t wait for my 5k this Saturday (!!) so expect a full report on that too!

I really do want to get back to food blogging because I have not posted pictures of my food in so long that I’m starting to miss it. However, I don’t want it to become so repetitive that it loses its excitement, so it won’t be every meal or everyday but perhaps just the things I get really excited about, which happens at least once a day 🙂

Thanks for sticking around, lots to come soon!

Day 1 caffeine tally

Let me just say, it was hard to come up with the correct number because there are so many websites out there claiming caffeine amounts and I wasn’t sure which one to go with. For the purposes of this challenge, I have decided to use the Center for Science in the Public Interests (aka CSPINET), since I know that source and find it to be trustworthy.

Here’s what they have to say about caffeine in general:

Stimulant: Naturally occurring in coffee, tea, cocoa, coffee-flavored yogurt and frozen desserts. Additive in soft drinks, energy drinks, gum, and waters.

Caffeine is the only drug that is present naturally or added to widely consumed foods (quinine is the other drug used in foods). It is mildly addictive, one possible reason that makers of soft drinks add it to their products. Many coffee drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, sleepiness, and lethargy, when they stop drinking coffee.

Because caffeine increases the risk of miscarriages (and possibly birth defects) and inhibits fetal growth, it should be avoided by women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant. It also may make it harder to get pregnant.

Caffeine also keeps many people from sleeping, causes jitteriness, and affects calcium metabolism.

The caffeine in a standard cup or two of coffee is harmless to most people. But if you drink more than a couple of cups of coffee or cans of caffeine-containing soda per day, experience symptoms noted above, are at risk of osteoporosis, or are pregnant, you should rethink your habit. Note that some “energy” drinks contain far more caffeine than most soft drinks.”

Using their chart, I broke down my caffeine consumption as follows:

  • 1 coffee mug of regular coffee = 133 mg
  • Vitamin Water (I was shocked!) = 50 mg
  • Black tea = 53 mg

Total = 236 mg caffeine

I managed to stay away from dark chocolate and soft drinks yesterday since I have been overindulging in both lately. I try to stay away from soft drinks 98% of the time because of the artificial sweeteners and they just don’t sit right on my stomach, even if Coke Zero does taste soooo goooood. But I’m a recovering addict right now.

So, how “bad” is 236?

Depending on which expert you ask, caffeine consumption can become a problem anywhere from 150 mg – 300 mg (exceeding that number). In general, 1-2 cups of coffee per day is deemed safe or average. But it would depend on the type of coffee, the strength, etc. for a true number.

Once again, I’m not knocking caffeine. It has many benefits along with drawbacks. I’m just trying to see what if anything, it is doing in my life. I also want to be free of all dependencies (if possible), so learning how much caffeine I consume on average, can help me do that gradually.

What about you…how much caffeine do you get in an average day? Use the list I linked above and tally up your total! Don’t forget, some foods, candies and over the counter medications count too.

Happy Tuesday.


Challenge numero 3

Hey folks!

It’s a new week, which means it is time for a new challenge…this week’s challenge will be…Cutting the Caffeine!

As you all have witnessed here at See Sarah Eat (and drink, apparently) I like to drink coffee and hot tea regularly although not truly in excess. I stick to one cup of coffee in the mornings (two on the weekend) and then 1-2 cups of tea in the afternoon and evening, at least one of them being caffeine free.

But we all know that caffeine doesn’t come from just coffee and tea. I do have the occasional diet soda (ick, I’m giving up again, they make me bloat and feel icky) and lately I’ve grown quite accustomed to having a piece of dark chocolate or two almost every day. It adds up!

I’m not totally against caffeine and this challenge is not to cut it out completely, though I have done that before. Instead, this week’s challenge is to be AWARE of how much caffeine I am consuming on average and to start a gradual cut back to a normal and healthy level. A level that would allow me to not be dependent.

I want to get to where its not a big deal to skip a cup of coffee once in a while or have a Starbucks drink one day and not the next without the serious headaches and grouchiness. I want to enjoy the coffee and tea I drink for its taste and antioxidants (which I do) and not for its keeping me awake benefits.

So for today, Day 1 of Challenge # 3, I’m going to go about my normal ways and count up how much caffeine I’ve had. Tomorrow I’m going to subtract one thing and see what difference it makes.

I guess this is really less of a challenge and more of an experiment, but it will still be fun!

Challenges 1 and 2 are sticking. I’m still not counting calories and Josh and I are sticking to our weekly meal plans, preparing ahead of time and having fun by trying new recipes. This week we are going to try another Ellie Krieger recipe, this time for Chicken Parmesan, yum!

Happy start to a new week 🙂

Hugh = Healthy Hottie!

So, I know you’ve been anxiously waiting all week for it and here it is…another round of Healthy Hottie!

This week’s choice is none other than Wolverine himself, Mr. Hugh Jackman 🙂


Full name: Hugh Michael Jackman

Age: 40 (Born 10/12/1968)

Place of Birth: Sydney, Australia

Marital Status: Married to Deborra-Lee Furness since 1996. The couple have two adopted children, Oscar – 9, and Ava, 3.

What makes Hugh this week’s hottie?

  • He plays the piano and does yoga every day!
  • He’s a runner and often posts on his twitter page after his runs, i.e. “Had a great five mile run through Rome this morning. Those Spanish steps are killer…”
  • The fact that he can play both extremely muscular tough guy/mutant Wolverine and also sing, dance and high-kick brilliantly as The Boy From Oz for which he won a Tony Award.
  • Hugh is a longtime proponent of microcredit — the extension of very small loans to impoverished prospective entrepreneurs in undeveloped countries.
  • He’s hosted the Tony Awards 3 times (2003-2005), as well as the Academy Awards in 2009.
  • He used to kiss a poster of Olivia Newton-John everyday when he was in elementary school 😉
  • Was voted one of “The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine in 2003 and then crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2008.
  • On April 14, 2009 he posted on his twitter page that he would donate $100,000 to one individual’s favorite non profit organization. It ended up going to both Charity: Water and Operation of Hope, which each received $50,000.
  • Once peed his pants while singing onstage during a performance of  “Beauty and the Beast” (yes, anything hilarious makes you a hottie too!)
  • Did you see “Australia”? Whew…

Quotable:  “Acting is something I love. It’s a great craft that I have a lot of respect for. But I don’t think it’s any greater challenge than teaching 8-year-olds or any other career. In my life, I try not to make it more important than it is and I just hope that rubs off on the people around me.” – Hugh Jackman.

I’m sure there’s more. What do you love about Hugh?

This week’s edition of Healthy Hottie is dedicated to my best friend Courtney, who suggested Mr. Jackman as this week’s choice. There’s a particular scene during the new Wolverine movie where she leaned over to me, sighed, and with much euphoria in her voice said “I love this movie…” ha ha.

Who is your favorite healthy hottie? 

Here are editions 1 and 2 just incase you missed ’em.

Happy Friday!

This week’s workouts

So I mentioned the other day that I was going to a yoga class and then running later on? Well, I did go to yoga and it was amazing!

I hadn’t realized how much I missed the group / class setting! Even though it was EXTREMELY crowded (first class of the summer) I really enjoyed myself and got some serious stretching and relaxation in my day which is always a good thing. The poses were pretty standard, lots of warriors and seated twists. One thing that was new to me that I really like was lying down tree pose. I love this one standing up and lying down was a whole different experience with the same pose! Ok, yoga nerd alert…

Later in the day, I actually did NOT go running but strength trained instead. I met my friend, who is a trainer, and she had us do THREE circuits of exercises this time. Remember last time how I felt weak and dizzy right in the middle of the second circuit? Happened again, only this time it was at the beginning of the third! I think what is happening is a culmination of heat (it gets really HOT in the gym), plus not drinking enough water, plus I need some sugar or electrolytes while I’m working out. So I’m going to do some experimenting and see how it goes. However, sitting down for a minute, drinking 2 cups of water and taking a few deep breaths gets me back up and running.

Afterwards, I had this and it helped me feel way better!

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SoBe Lifewater – Calm-o-mile Strawberry Kiwi

This was so tasty! I love these drinks because they aren’t real sugary and have mostly natural ingredients, which I’ve mentioned before when I tried other flavors. I have seen there is a zero calorie version but I have yet to try any of those. This entire bottle has 100 calories. I didn’t feel the need to eat a snack this time as I wasn’t hungry. Probably because I had a Fage + granola before my workout 🙂

Here’s most of what we did, I can’t remember it all…25 reps of each exercise!

3 minute warm up on treadmill (3.0 mph)

  • Squats with bar behind head (mine was 9 lbs)
  • Chest presses with bar
  • Dips using weight bench
  • Bicep curls with bar
  • Shoulder presses with bar
  • Tricep extensions with resistance band
  • Bicep curls with resistance band
  • Lateral raises (with 2.5 lb dumbbells, I was pooping out!)
  • Bicep curls with 10 lb weights
  • Chest flyes with 10 lb weights
  • Tricep extensions with 1, 10 lb weight
  • Ab twists with 4 lb medicine ball
  • Step ups on weight bench (the part where I almost fainted)
  • Stationary lunges holding 10 lb dumbbells (each leg)
  • Ab v-crunches using 4 lb medicine ball
  • Back extensions on the floor
  • Bridges (for back)
  • Bent over row using 9 lb weight bar
  • Dead lifts with 10 lb dumbbells
  • Reverse flyes with 5 lb dumbbells
  • Another ab exercise I can’t come up with a name for, toe touches maybe?

Oh my gosh, writing that out made me want to almost pass out! My friend is crazy, but she’s a professional. I totally trust her. 🙂

Between circuits, we did 1 minute walking @ 3.0 on the treadmill and 1 minute of running at 6.0 (for me) before stepping off to start another round.

Today I did get to run…for 30 minutes! I’m so happy to have done it and I feel great, especially after stretching. I’m really looking forward to my next 5K which is next Saturday, oh my gosh! After this race, I’m going to start working on improving my speed, which is going to be fun (haha).

Hope you all are having a beautiful Thursday!

Because I’ve missed it

I think I have enjoyed blogging more since I decided to do more focused posts and not just my every day food journal. That being said, I would like to include the occasional meal picture, just because I have missed taking pics of my food quite a bit and I also like to highlight what I’ve been loving lately!

Like…Green Monsters!

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I cannot go wrong with the ripe banana + spinach combo, I did give kale a fighting chance though. This week marks the first time I have had them with almond breeze and I have to say, its quite good. I also threw in a tablespoon of flax, per usual, for those Omega-3’s. I also had two leftover pancakes I made back on April 19th! I wasn’t sure how they’d reheat from being frozen, but 1 minute in the microwave and some PB + chocolate chips and they were fabulous!

I have been struggling with allergies and all around tiredness lately, but today I’m feeling much better and getting to do two of my favorite things: yoga + running!

I’ve missed yoga so much, I have done a couple of at home downloads over the past week but there’s nothing quite like the class setting which I will get to experience today around lunchtime. My run won’t be until after work and should only be 30 minutes, so I’m not overdoing it by including both today.

Happy Wednesday to all!

Calistoga Cafe

This weekend I got to try a new restaurant, not once, but twice!

The first time we visited Calistoga Cafe was for lunch on Saturday after a 5K we did for our local Humane Society 🙂

Cute doggie alert!

Suzie after walking her first 5k!

Suzie after walking her first 5k!

Calistoga reminds me a lot of Panera but with a different flair. They have mostly sandwiches and soups and serve breakfast too, including their own homemade bagels and pastries. They have a coffee bar too and offer a few flavors of smoothies. Everything is fairly reasonable in price too, especially for the volume of food you get.

For lunch, I ordered the Monterrey Veggie wrap with a side of potato salad (you could pick that or chips, an obvious choice for me). The wrap contained “hummus, feta cheese, caramelized onions, sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, banana peppers, roasted red peppers and leaf lettuce” only I don’t at all remember tasting hummus, mostly because there was just way too much feta stuffed in there (its true, you can have too much)!
I unfortunately lost my picture of the wrap but I managed to save the pasta salad!
This was so good, I devoured it! Very lightly and tasty. It made me want to find a recipe to make my own pasta salad at home sometime or to take to a party.
The next time we visited was the very next day for my mom’s Mother’s Day breakfast 🙂
I ordered a cup of their steel cut oatmeal (which came with golden raisins and brown sugar) and a fruit cup, that contained fresh pineapple, strawberries and cantaloupe. Very fresh and very much in season!
All fixed up!
calistoga oatmeal
The only thing this was missing was some nuts or PB, haha…I just used a couple tsp’s of brown sugar and all the golden raisins (about 1/4 cup). This breakfast was yummy, filling and only just over $5.00!
I will definitely be going back to Calistoga and trying some of the other items on their menu. They have free Wi-Fi too, yippee!

Challenge 2, Day 1

The Ellie Krieger chicken was sort of a bust last night, so much that I didn’t even take a picture (but I have leftovers, so I will anyway). I think the problem came from not having a rolling pin to properly “smash” the cornflakes with. I think next time I will take a “shake & bake” approach and just place the chicken in the bag of smashed cornflakes, instead of rolling it in a dish. That being said, it tasted pretty good, I just couldn’t get enough cornflakes to stick to the chicken to give it that true faux fried look.

The husband said “Not bad” so I guess that’s good, right?

I’m definitely not giving up though! I went through some of my cookbooks, including two new ones I got for my birthday, and found a ton of recipes that I can try out for me and the husband to have for dinner. Okay, so I’m kind of tired of writing the husband, as many of us married food bloggers seem to do. From here on out, he is Josh 🙂

Josh did very well his first day of healthier eating, I’m so proud of him! We had a slight snafu in our “plan” when he called to say he’d have to eat Wendy’s for lunch (he got stuck at a work meeting and didn’t have enough time to come home). After my brief consultation, he decided on the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger (plain) and a small chili. He got the burger but ended up going to a grocery store and getting a banana and some cashews instead of chili. Strange, but just fine by me! This is amazing you guys, normally he would’ve gotten the double (or triple!) cheeseburger with fries and a regular Dr. Pepper.

About me…

I’m still not counting calories, yay! I think I am learning more and more each day how to balance things out. I eat when I’m hungry and I try to eat what I’m craving at the time, but within reason, and keeping portions in check. I’m noticing more and more how much I am craving fresh veggies! I don’t know where this is coming from but I think it might be your all’s blogs 😉

Real (whole) carrots are so much better than mini or baby carrots! That’s all I’m sayin…

Do you notice that you are influenced by what other bloggers are eating, trying, etc.?

I’m still maintaining my weight, which is a plus. But after reading Tina‘s post on about “Feel Great Weight”, I was reminded of my belief that I’m still not quite there yet. I am in what I would call my “comfort zone” and I’m certainly way better off than I used to be. But I think, I would feel my absolute 110% best if I could get just a few more pounds off. This is based on a few factors that may or may not be reasonable: my BMI is just a bit over 25 which is still considered overweight, although I know this is not the best number to judge by. After taking some measurements I realized I do have a “small frame” and I may be carrying a bit too much weight for my frame size. Just for the record, I am just shy of 5’5″ and hover around 150 pounds most of the time. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

That being said, I do not have a negative body image at all! I have learned to love my body, flaws and all, through treating it right and giving it what it needs instead of the many years of abuse it took from me with all the bad eating and not exercising. Even though I carry a lot of extra skin from a major weight loss, I carry it with a sense of pride and as a reminder of just how big I used to be (that and I’m 100% against surgery for it). I have learned to feel good with what I’ve got right now (having a friend buy you a new dress for your birthday helps!) and not focus so much on the future. I will take my relationship with my body one day at a time!

Since I would eventually like to be a little smaller than I am right now, I’m just going to try out some things (food choices, exercise routines, etc.) and not resort to past measures of weight loss (counting calories, overdoing exercise, etc.) because that’s just not the way to go, for me personally. Counting calories (through food journaling) helped me lose 70+ pounds but its something I’d grown very tired of doing and just not realistic for the rest of my life, especially with all the nutritional knowledge I have gained in the process.

The other day I saw that I actually own the book “Intuitive Eating” so I plan to read that soon. I have so many books I want to read this summer, so that may be a future challenge. I’m going to have to start a list, there’s many more weeks left!

Happy Tuesday!