Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cold Comfort

Things I've learned as my cold moves from my head into my bronchial tubes:
1) Mucinex pills are enormous.
2) The sedative power of two Benadryl is no match for an agonizingly sore throat at 3am.
3) Even my Dr.'s office recommends the Neti Pot.
4) Spicy food is a gift from God.
5) I don't have to worry about leaving a bottle of green superfood juice in the fridge at work. No one will take it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


As tired as I was yesterday, rest proved to be elusive. I was so tired that I didn't actually feel like I could go to sleep. I went to bed an hour early, but I tossed and turned all night, at one point actually standing up on the bed to turn off the fan because I was cold. In retrospect, this strikes me as a good way to break an arm.
It doesn't help that I've come down with a cold. I'm particularly frustrated because I caught a cold after the Crescent City Classic two weeks ago as well. I am hoping I'll be better in a day or two, because I'm supposed to drive to Natchez to spend time at the lake with my high school girlfriends. The majority of them are pregnant, so I don't want to go if I am still sick. It would be particularly cruel to give a cold to several people who can't take cold medication!
On the plus side, I'm really glad I didn't call in sick this morning, because there was smoked Boudin in the break room at work.

Monday, April 27, 2009


This weekend was absolutely wonderful, and I will write more about it after I get some rest!

Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm hosting a bachelorette party for my dear friend Kristi this weekend. On the schedule is cocktails and snacks at my house tonight, tourism and partying in the Quarter tomorrow, and Jazzfest on Sunday.
I've been pretty stressed all week trying to make sure I could get my house ready in time (I'm having 6 people stay over!) and that I wasn't forgetting anything, but now that I've only got a few hours before people start arriving, I'm getting really excited.
It also helps to know that Lauri is coming early to help me get ready for tonight. (Hence the dinner request a few days ago.) And I'm thrilled because the weather could not be better- sunny, high 60's to low 80's all weekend. Most of the girls will be coming in from Seattle, so I know they will be loving all the sunshine this weekend! It's going to be so much fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I just have to show off my new bedroom window treatment!
It features Japanese Noren, courtesy of my wonderful friend Lauri, who is currently living in Japan. Thanks also to my dear boyfriend, who was kind enough to do all the hard work installing the curtain rods!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where to eat in New Orleans if you're looking for light food

My friend Lauri made this request of me last night, and I have to say, its really quite a challenge!
My first impulse would be to say Sushi, but Lauri actually lives in Japan, so the sushi here doesn't really compare. (Although there is a lot of great sushi in New Orleans: Horinoya, Shogun, Ninja, and Little Tokyo (in Metairie) spring immediately to mind. Of course, one has to avoid sugary stuff like eel sauce and snowcrab, fried stuff like crunchy and tempura, and of course the spicy mayo- but overall I think that there are a lot of great, light options to be had on the Japanese menu.)
There are a couple of great light chains that have popped up in the New Orleans area: I personally love Roly Poly (and love that they give you full nutritional info for every roll on their website) and I've heard good things about the Pita Pit.
I think you can also get by pretty lightly at Vietnamese restaurants if you stick with light fare like spring rolls and rice noodle salad bowls. I like Pho Tau Be on the Westbank and Pho Orchid in Metairie.
I think you can also do well with Middle Eastern food. I really love Lebanon's Cafe and Mona's Cafe.
Finally I think that Tapas can work out well for eating lightly. First of all, the portions are small, so you can order fewer plates if you aren't looking to eat very much. And in my experience there are often a lot of vegitarian and seafood options on the menu. There is certainly rich fare to be had as well, but that's always the case when you're eating out. I love all of the tapas restaurants I've been to in New Orleans. Try Vega Tapas, Baru, Cafe Granada, and Mimi's in the Marigny.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I remembered that when we went to Fort Lauderdale for our summer vacation last year, there was a bar, called The Pirate Bar, that didn't have a liquor license. They served only mixed drinks made with Sake. Their version of Grog, basically Sake muddled with sugar and lime, was actually quite good. With this in mind, I added a little lime juice to a glass of coconut water this evening. It was definitely better- the lime brought out the saltiness of the coconut water (electrolytes, ahoy!) and it overall reminded me of a (non-alcoholic) margarita.
I still don't think I'm going to buy any more coconut water, but at least I'm finding ways to make it palatable.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Delicious Healthy Things

Let me just say how much I love the combination of yogurt and granola. Love love love love love. However, I tend to find granola a bit too calorie dense to justify eating it very often. 150 calories for 1/4 cup and I still have to add stuff to it like yogurt or milk? That puts it in the special treat category for me.
Happily, I've found some granola that is cooked with fruit instead of oil! They only carry two flavors of Galaxy Granola at my local Whole Foods (Vanilla Almond Munch and Not Sweet Vanilla Munch), but fortunately I LOVE vanilla almond granola. Calorie wise, the Vanilla Almond Munch is 165 calories for half a cup. Not bad! And I usually only use a quarter of a cup on top of my yogurt in the morning anyway. This granola is delicious. If I think about it, I can maybe taste a bit of a fruity tang to it, but to me, that just adds to the flavor. Its tasty and nice and crunchy.

Another delicious healthy thing I tried yesterday was a chocolate brownie Pure Bar. I went for a long run yesterday morning and ate this bar when I got done. My dear boyfriend walked in, saw me eating it and asked "So are you justifying eating that brownie with the fact that you ran?" Haha! It doesn't have the texture of a brownie, but it is dense, chewy, not too sweet, and has an intense chocolate flavor. I liked it more than a Larabar (which I also enjoy). This bar was a little larger, the chocolate flavor was stronger, and it had nice big chunks of nuts in it. I'll definitely be eating more of these energy bars in the future.

Something I recently tried that was healthy, but sadly, not so delicious, was coconut water. I had high hopes for this stuff b/c it is very low calorie and packed with electrolytes. When I work out a lot, I have a big problem with muscle cramps in my feet, legs, abdomen, and back, and I think it has a lot to do with my electrolyte balance. Gatorade helps, but I don't like it. I don't really like the way it tastes and I'd rather not take in that many calories from something I don't enjoy.
So obviously, I had high hopes for coconut water. Sadly, it is not to be. I don't think its disgusting, but the taste reminds me A LOT of sake (minus the alcohol of course)- which I don't like. So if you like Sake and are looking for an alternative to energy drinks, you can certainly give it a try. :) I find it to be more palatable when I mix it with some Perrier too, so that may be how I get through my little bottle of the stuff.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Aging

I got dressed this morning, thinking that I could really use a couple new sweater sets.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where to eat in New Orleans for a special occasion

This subject is near and dear to my heart. My absolute favorite way to celebrate a special occasion- a birthday, a holiday, good news, etc.... is to get dressed up and go out to an upscale restaurant for a great dinner. I've been to a lot of great restaurants in New Orleans, but some really stand out.
Restaurant August- Chef John Besh is, in my opinion, one of the best in New Orleans and August is a wonderful restaurant. I ate at August for my 26th birthday and I still remember the wonderful duck with duck confit, foie gras, and tempura cherries that I had as an entree. The service was wonderful, and they actually mailed me a thank you card for coming to their restaurant. (I also love Besh's newer restaurant, Luke, for a slightly more casual experience. And if you go there, do try combining an order of the truffled pate with a dozen fried oysters. It sounds strange, but you won't be sorry! It is decadent!)
Lilette- I actually took my dear boyfriend here for his 27th birthday, which we celebrated on the same day that I defended my Master's thesis. I was amazed by the yellowfin tuna, which was served with beets, ginger, basil and mint. The combination looks strange in print, but the taste was amazing!
Bistro Daisy- Bistro Daisy is fairly new- my boyfriend and I celebrated out anniversary there this year. Bistro Daisy combines great food with a lovely, intimate environment and wonderful service. I particularly remember my excellent appetizer (the special)- foie gras with rhubarb compote. It was just wonderful.
Cochon- Cochon is more casual than the places listed above, but Donald Link is another of my favorite local chefs and so far I've loved all of the restaurants he's had a hand in (Herbsaint, Cochon, and Cochon Butcher/sWine Bar- I have yet to try his catering at Calcasieu). Cochon shines because of its menu- an upscale twist on traditional southern food. And Cochon's cornmeal pineapple upside down cake is my all time favorite dessert.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ah, Spring

To paraphrase Tennyson (poorly):
In the spring a young woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of....fresh herbs!
Or is that just me? :)
Yesterday, my dear boyfriend bought a catnip plant for the kitty. (The cat was quite taken with the fresh catnip and we recorded a pretty funny movie of his reaction.)
Since I had to pot the catnip, I went ahead and picked up a bunch of other herbs to grow as well: purple basil, lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sweet marjoram, sage, and savory. My porch looks so nice with all of my little potted plants!
I am also happy because we finalized the plans for our June summer vacation last night. We are going to Maine!! Specifically, Bar Harbor and Portland. I am really excited because I have always wanted to go to Maine and love the idea of escaping the hot, humid New Orleans weather for a little while. Plus, I adore seafood.
I am particularly taken with all of the Bed and Breakfasts I read about. Interestingly, it worked out to be more affordable to stay in B&B's rather than hotels. I love that sort of thing, so its fine with me!
So if anyone has any advise on things to do and see in those parts of Maine, please leave me a comment!
I haven't had lunch yet, so I think I'm going to go try out some of my new basil in a goat cheese omelet. Yum!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I did it! I ran the Crescent City Classic in 62 minutes!
It was so much fun! I've spent the last week saying I was never going to run a 10K again, but I think I may have changed my mind. I had a great time! The weather was perfect, and although it was crowded, it was so much easier to stay energized with so many other people running. Usually I'm ready to be done running by the time I hit 6K, but today I didn't even feel tired until the last mile- and I still had enough energy to sprint at the end.
Of course, in New Orleans, it is a given that there will be costumes. Today we saw The Easter Bunny, Batman, A fleur de lis, a bananna, girls in tutus who were running with the banana, the Blue Brothers, a monkey, a group of pirates (one of whom was carrying an inflatable treasure chest), a cowgirl, a cow, a group of Hooter's waitresses with guys whose shirts read "Jello Shots- Its not like you were gonna win!", and Waldo.
There was also an after party at City Park and I enjoyed lots of water, a beer, a tiny smoothie, gatorade and Jambalaya. Then I went home and took a 2 hour nap. :)
Good times!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Having a day off has been absolutely wonderful! I slept ridiculously late, ran some necessary but fun errands, then spent the afternoon doing a craft project for my friend's upcoming bachelorette party. :) Its been incredibly relaxing to have some fairly unstructured time. Between that and the carbo loading I've been doing for tomorrow's race (I had a little extra low calorie granola and strawberry preserves in my yogurt for breakfast, a ground turkey sloppy joe sauce topped sweet potato for lunch, and mac n' cheese with chicken, spinach and peas for dinner. Yum!) today has been pretty awesome. :)
Of course, aside from a couple loads of laundry, I've gotten nothing chore related accomplished. Which really makes the day even more pleasant!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strange Habits

I don't do this anymore- but I had two fairly strange habits when I lived in a dorm during college. I slept between two comforters so I didn't have to make the bed, and I brushed my teeth in the shower.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Speed Racer

I am getting really excited about running in the Crescent City Classic next weekend. Its supposed to be a really fun event, and I am very proud of myself for the time and effort I've put into training for this race. Before this year, I had never run more than 3 miles, and that was just a couple of times in high school. When I ran, it was usually a 2 mile run. Now I can run 10K (which is 6 miles). Knowing that I can do that makes me feel really strong!
When I signed up for the race, I expected to be able to run it (after months of training) in an hour and 15 minutes. My dear boyfriend and I ran our 10K yesterday in 58 minutes! I am really happy that I'm so much faster than I anticipated.
And of course, a large part of my personality revolves around setting a goal and meeting it. I love that I'm about to meet another goal that I've set for myself. :)
What does the future hold for my running? Well, I'd like to keep it up as much as I can through the summer (and beyond)- given the weather, this means running early in the morning or late in the evening. I will admit I'm not particularly attached to running a 10K again. I've happily run as far as 7K and still felt pretty good, but I haven't gotten past the point of needing to lay around the house for the rest of the day after I run a 10K. It is really hard on me. I have so much respect for people who can run half and full marathons. That's just amazing!!
On the plus side, I've really grown to love a good 5K run. I think I may bump my minimum run up to 5K (after the race, that is- I think I'm supposed to take it fairly easy this week). I feel really energized after a run of that length. I've also gotten to the point where I feel lousy if I don't get enough exercise. That makes it so much easier to exercise and to actually look forward to working out, so I'm hoping I can hold on to that feeling! I've been working out about 6 days a week for over a month now, and I'm amazed at how easy its actually been to keep up (previously, I was working out about 3 times a week). I definitely want to continue this trend. :)