// Eating healthy and saving money//

Clearly, I used the completion of the half marathon as an excuse to EAT!!  On Sunday, with a burger for lunch, chicken parm for dinner and Monday morning’s breakfast sandwich on a bagel…I indulged quite a bit. 

After the first half marathon I ran, it was such a shock to my body that I was sore for two weeks afterwards and did not really pay attention to what I was putting into my body.  As a result, I quickly gained 5 lbs in that 3 weeks post half marathon where I did not exercise even once.  This time instead of using that as an excuse, I want to use it as a motivator — to be proud of my body’s accomplishments, but continue on the fitness and wellness trend rather than fall right off the wagon again. So against all my habits and breakfast eating instincts (haha), this is what I got at my local cafe.

I’ve been meaning to try Chobani’s Blood Orange Greek Yogurt after seeing it appear on blogs all across the blogosphere.  I’ve tried some of their other flavors before and they’ve been alright, but this flavor was awesome!  So tasty! I really liked the flavor, but not so much the price. This breakfast cost me a WHOPPING total of $9.75.  Can you believe it?  I definitely cannot afford to be paying 10 dollars on breakfast every day.

After having grilled salmon with steamed carrots and peas for lunch (unpictured) from the company cafeteria, I decided it was time to hit up Trader Joe’s!  My excuse for not shopping at TJ’s in the winter was the weather, and weather was just not an excuse yesterday with the temps ~70s. 

I am aHUGEnerd and that is why I put all the information down of my purchases (Total: 55.40) into excel —so that I could estimate my cost of each meal!  Living in NYC makes it way to easy for me to eat out and get take out all the time and all those costs really add up quite a lot!  I need to start getting more serious about cutting down my debt and saving for grad school, so seeing how little I am spending by making my own meals is a great motivator.

On the menu for dinner! My first ever quinoa meal!  I have never made quinoa but it seems easy enough so I quickly turned my purchases into a quinoa stirfy.

Sorry for the blurry iPhone pic.  I threw some onions, firm tofu, baby bella mushrooms, orange peppers and chopped celery in there. 

There was enough for leftovers for today’s lunch. TADA!

Best of all? My dinner yesterday cost $2.21!!!! (Based on the ingredients I used)  Which means that Lunch today also cost $2.21 and Breakfast that I brought as well cost $5.21 only because I buy an iced coffee from the cafe.  I guess I will try to cut that down too!  Hmm, now I must think of what I want to cook for tonight’s dinner! :) I feel so productive!

// More/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon 2012 Recap//

This past Sunday was the More/Fitness magazine Women’s Half Marathon and I was all signed up!  First I headed over to the expo in Chelsea with my friend X who was also signed up to run the half marathon with me.  We arrived early ~ 10AM right when the expo opened so it was nowhere near as overwhelming as my first half marathon expo, the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon which was so packed that it gave me anxiety.  X and I both signed up for some free sweepstakes (new Ipad2 woo!! One year’s supply of pasta sauce! Disaster! Haha) and quickly made our way through the expo. 

We stumbled upon Elmo in Chelsea and with the weather so nice and plenty of ourdoor seating, we decided to take advantage and enjoy out first outdoor brunch of the year!

What is that? Truffle fries with some type of truffle parmesan topping? An excuse for carbo-loading before the half marathon? YES I THINK SO

X and I each had a bloody mary and eggs benedict with salmon and went on a perfect pre-HM, marathon shopping spree!  My wallet is not very happy with me, nor is my credit card debt, but on the plus side I have cute dresses for summer!! ;)

Onto the actual half marathon!  The race was two loops of central park counter-clockwise and then an extra bit for the last 1.1 miles.  My left hip had been bothering me since Monday’s 5mi training run and was no different at mile 0 of race.  I believe there were about 10 thousand or so women running this race (Women only!!) and was definitely very different from the Disney’s Princess Half.  While there were clearly marked corrals, the Disney Princess half had more staffing, more runners, stricter guidelines on which corral you could be in, and strict times that you had to make it to your corral by (5:30AM, I believe).  And most different, there was no fairy godmother or fireworks to release each corral. 

The first loop was not too entirely awful. I think I walked through the water stops, but did not take any other walking breaks that first 5/6 miles.  However, as I passed the point where runners were breaking into the left lane (to finish the last mile) and the right lane/passing lane for another 7.1 miles, my heart sunk.  Due to the lack of people cheering the runners on in the second loop, my own adrenaline from being in the race went away.  The last three miles were tough, but I managed to finish strong — runnin at a 7:30 pace for the last quarter mile according to my garmin. 

My final gun time was 2:55:06. About 34 seconds faster than my first half marathon with what I believe to be a much harder course.  But I FINISHED and I’m still happy about it.  In the back of my mind, though, I know I need to actually follow a training plan the next time I run a half marathon.  And even though I hated the last three miles of the race (UGH Harlem Hill!), I can absolutely see how races are not only very personally emotional, but also extremely addictive.

WHEN IS MY NEXT RACE? Oh yeah, signed up for the Revlon 5k on Cinco de Mayo, JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in mid June and considering the Color run in august, and NYC Mini 10k in early june.  AHH.

Now let me just wrap up this post with my post half marathon dinner (BACK at Lil’ Frankie’s)

THE most amazing chicken parm with spaghetti

// Filipino Cuisine (for the first time)//

For some reason, the past few days I keep waking up extremely early.  Today, possibly because it was a little dreary and less sunny, I woke up at my normal time: ~ 8AM.  I was EXHAUSTED, probably because I stayed awake to watch the Knicks Vs Bulls game —what a bad decision. I was tiredandangry. Oh well. Off to yesterday’s eats!

Salad for lunch again! But with a mishmosh of other random weird items: a piece of steak, a few pieces of grilled chicken, a few pieces of roasted turnips, and a handful of herb risotto to accompany my salad. And an unpictured side of steamed broccoli…(I lie…it was pictured but the picture looked exactly like it tasted…disgusting…dry, underseasoned)

After work, I had dinner plans with a few girlfriends from high school.  One of which writes food specials for various restaurants in NYC for one of the larger NYC newspaper publications.  Since she has been to so many amazing places, we let her choose the location for dinner and decided upon Maharlika which apparently means royalty in Filipino. After reading various Yelp reviews at work, I couldn’t wait to try Filipino food for the first time. 

Initially, I set out to order the classic Filipino dish, Chicken Adobo, but upon the gracious waitresses suggestions, I ordered the “Pampangan Style Sizzling Sisig”which is pieces of pig ears, snout, and belly cooked three ways: boiled, grilled, sauteed), with garlic, silis, lemon and served with garlic rice.

We also ordered two appetizers for the table: Spam Fries (YUP asians love SPAM!) and something that resembles taquitos (I can’t find the exact name for it on the online menu!)

I highly recommend this place.  Not only was the service superb -the waiters/waitresses were attentive, offered great suggestions for orders and explained the menu so that there was no confusion.

Spam Fries: light and not as salty as typical spam. is. SO GOOD …probably So unhealthy. Oops, at least I ran yesterday?

The taquito type thing: Mm also very tasty, not too oily and had beef in it.

The Sisig was great as well, the skillet was hot enough to cook the raw egg on top, but I wish I had the foresight to remove the cooked pork pieces to another plate! The skillet was so hot that it ended up drying out my meat by the end of dinner (maybe I eat too slow?)

All in all, a great introduction to Filipino cuisine. Oh and did I mention the co-owner was SO SO SO incredibly sweet and personable and even remembered my friend who wrote the piece about Maharlika and comp’ed our meal! Unnecessary because the food was so tasty and vibe so fun that we already had our wallets out to pay. Thumbs up! Oh, and as an afterthought, I really need to explore more restaurants in the lower east side…

// Monday Eats (and a little bit of Sunday)//

Sunday night, after I arrived back at my apartment in the city from the weekend in Nesport, I hadzeromotivation to go out and buy groceries to cook for dinner.  What can I say, laziness rules my life!  After such an indulgent weekend of lobster, lobster, and more lobster… I initially wanted a light dinner ..possibly a salad?  But when my roommate insisted on some italian food…we headed right down to the LES to satisfy that pasta craving.  Who am I to say no to pasta? I’m asian, I love noodles of any type..haha

Although we wanted to go to Rubirosa at first, once we got there we quickly realized that it was closed for Easter. SADFACE.  We moved on to Lil’ Frankie’s Pizza a few blocks down.  Lil’ Frankie’s is a a small, casual restaurant with a fun vibe. Even on a Sunday night at 9pm, there was a steady stream of customers. I already knew it would be good, because Lil’ Frankie’s is owned by the same owner as Supper which has a similar, but less casual vibe. Roommate and I split an order of the calamari —well seasoned, and the tomato-based dipping sauce had fresh basil. Then, we both ordered the Mezzi Rigatoni Polpettini Ragu - baby meatballs in ragu.  Before I make you drool with the dimly lit, awfully taken iPhone flash pic, let me just say that anything “baby-sized” in my mind is instantly tastier…so baby meatballs? Absolutely.

Moving onto Monday, I had to attempt to detox all this eating out. So I had a salad for lunch. Salads for lunch every day!

Colorful lunch = Healthy lunch right?  My salad is a hodge podge of stuff from the company cafeteria. It has a few piece of artichoke, lots of romaine, shredded carrots, black olives, balsamic dressing and most importantly—teriyaki tofu.  This tofu was so tasty!  And a fresh orange.

And then off to a run! I stopped by Mapmyrun guy pretty early so I actually did another half a mile to a mile after this (my garmin kept track of it so I wasn’t to worried about mapmyrun)  

 A slow run, but that’s just my pace! Haha. It’s fun to see what my max pace is and how my pace changes throughout a run (I have NO concept of pacing…). After the run, my coworker and I went to our FAVORITE ramen place by work: Terakawa Ramen for some carbo-reloading.  I apologize that no pictures were taken since we come here so often (and always order the same thing).

Success! Productive Monday!

// Easter weekend travels//

I had friday off of work last week, so my friend S and I decided it would be nice to go up to Rhode Island for the long weekend and enjoy some fresh fresh seafood. S initially wanted to go to Maine, but that drive from NYC is somewhere around 5+ hours, so we compromised for Newport, RI.  This was my first time visiting Newport, and I had heard good things.

But before we arrived in Newport, we made a stop in Narragansett, RI at Champlin’s restaurant. It was featured on Serious Eat’s “17 Lobster Rolls we love in the Northeast”.  When in Rome, right?  S and I both ordered a lobster roll, I ordered lobster bisque and we split some fresh steamed clams.  Take a look at this:

Now that is some fresh lobster.  This was DELICIOUS, and so fresh.  Not too much mayo as well, which was great in not masking the natural lobster flavor.  Champlin’s itself is not the type of restaurant I expected (it was more like…a large lobster shack…), but SO worth it.  Clearly, locals of Rhode Island would drive an hour just to have this.  However, there was a bit of confusion surrounding the steamed clams.  They’re so fresh that there is lots of sand in them! We thought that a little bowl of clam broth was for drinking….and not washing the actual clams! Haha. We learned our lesson pretty quickly with a mouth full of sand.

Onto, Newport!  Saturday morning, I woke up early for a run along the notable “Cliff Walk” and got lost, so it ended up being ~3.5 miles.  Our next eventful meal resulted from some quick and easy yelp-ing from our hotel room.  I WAS STARVING.  And despite it’s name, Franklin Spa was DELICIOUS.  It is the epitome of a local brunch spot, and without the invention of internet and yelp, I don’t think we ever would have found it.  On the menu for both S and myself? LOBSTER eggs benedict. YUM.

HOLY holiness. These were amazing.  Perfectly poached eggs over perfectly wilted fresh spinach and lobster.  WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW.  I love this place and I want to purchase the chefs to bring back to NY with me….Oh megamillions winnings, how I could use thee….

We also split this because we are gluttons:

Butter Pecan French toast.  (Not as good as the maple cream stuffed french toast we had the next day though… haha YES we loved this place THAT much).

We needed to walk our feast of a brunch off (unpictured? A side of bacon also split between us) so off to the Breakers and The Elms, we went!  Can I live in a mansion?  Here are my last pictures from the trip:

The Elms:

" 40 Steps" along the Cliff Walk

All in all, a great and relaxing weekend (minus the anxious Knicks vs Bulls game we listened to via ESPNRadio).  Would I come back to Newport? Probably not for a very long time.  It’s very couple-y and low-key.  Maybe in ten years…  Hope you enjoyed all the pictures! :)

// Snack Taverna//

Earlier last week, I had dinner in the West Village at Snack Taverna <http://snackny.com/index.html> . I normally don’t venture out to the West Village on week nights, but one of my mother’s best friends from college is in town visiting this week from Hong Kong! The restaurant was a bit hard to find, since Bedford street doesn’t actually intersect with 7th avenue (thank god for my iPhone), but once I got there, it was such a cute/quaint hole in the wall type greek place!

Because blogging is still semi new to me, I didn’t think of taking pictures of any of the food (didn’t want to distract from the ambiance with my obnoxious iPhone flash!) until the largest lamb shank ever got brought out…

We had appetizers (the appetizer sampler, a large greek salad, and lamb triangles), entrees (a roasted chicken with chickpeas and raisins dish, the lamb shank, and a striped bass), and dessert (warm rice pudding and baklava) and everything was tasty. I think the ambiance of the restaurant was great, although since we were seated by the window it was slightly awkward/terrifying whenever I realized there were endless amount of potential patrons that were staring at a menu located outside by our seats. Although, I enjoyed my experience, the chances of me actually returning to Snack Taverna are quite small, since there are just way too many restaurants I’d like to try in NYC!

// horoscope of the day//

A few college friends and I have an ongoing email chain every day (or whenever we remember) and it has become tradition that my one friend sends us horoscopes every day. 

Today one line of my horoscope was very intriguing:

. Look into temporarily taking on a vegetarian diet that is rich in organic fruits and vegetables, providing energy and a boost to your immune system.

It’s not that I take my everyday horoscope to heart, but it’s kind of fun to see what it is and when my horoscope is super in line with what is going on that day, all the better! (and kind of creepy/mystical).

Funnily enough, I have been toying with the idea of going vegetarian for a while - as a challenge for myself and to see how I feel.  Three years ago, when I first started work, it was very easy for me to be a “workday vegetarian” and only eat meat a dinnertime.  Then earlier this year, Ibrieflycontemplated going vegetarian for lent.  That idea got thrown out of the window pretty quickly. But, prior to reading this morning’s horoscope, I spottedthisin my usual breakfast spot.

So maybe I’ll try this whole vegetarian deal for a week?

// 2012 belated resolutions//

Every year, I try to set some type of “attainable” resolutions and then forget about them because they aren’t visible somewhere.  This year, I’m going to try and be more accountable by posting them on here. I’m a bit late in the game, but better than never having goals!

1. Save money. (I’ve been living outside of my means and racking up credit card debt…)  I think that I can attain this goal by being more mindful of not ordering takeout, eating out less in general, and making lunch to bring to work.

2. Exercise!  Aside from trying to exercise at least three times a week, I want to run a half marathon that I actually train for.  I’m actually running one this weekend, but I didn’t follow the training plan to a tee (aka I was not responsible and would be really good for a few weeks and then drop off the face of the earth)

3. Take time out to study.  I’ve been meaning to take my GMAT test for over a year now, but I can’t seem to find the time to study.  It’s not because I don’t have any time, but rather I enjoy my happy hours and DVR a little too much.  I need to start limiting these things and squeezing a few hours of studying in here or there so that I am confident that I am fully prepared to take the exam when the time comes (in april!)

That’s really all I can think of for now, I’m sure there will be more additions to this list in time!

// Who do you choose to be around?//

All your life, you are surrounded by family and friends.  While in school, you have classmates who may or may not fall into the friends categories.  So, for about 21 years of your life (if you choose to attend a 4-year college), the majority of your time spent up til then is with people you like and love.

I’ve been out of college and working now for over 2 years and something that my friends and roommates discuss seemingly often is the concept of coworkers.  All my life, I have chosen who I want to be go to the movies with, sit next to in class, eat lunch with and all of a sudden, I am spending half of my day—and half of my life— with people who I never would be friends with outside of work. 

For those of you who work with those you like and like those you work with, this isn’t a problem.  Going to work is a pleasurable experience, and this was the case for me as well in the first year of work.  But much like relationships, after the initial polite phase is over, people start being their real selves.  You can only fool someone so long until your insecurities come out.  How do you deal with coworkers you don’t like? 

Maybe I’m sadistic, but I feel that what typically destresses me the most after dealing with inane comments and behavior from one specific coworker is realizing that I really pity his life.  It motivates me to be better at my job, to apply for other opportunities, and get involved with “extracurriculars”.  At age 30, he is not only performing the same job I am, but constantly making wrong assumptions due to laziness that reflect negatively on his work—showing his incompetency.   At what point can I approach my boss and say that I would prefer not to work closely with this person ever again? 

Last year I went through three rounds of interviews with another firm before deciding to stay at my current job.  This year, I just applied to another role and am waiting to hear back.  We’ll see how this all plays out. 

But honestly, it appalls me that this person is still employed when the unemployment rate is so high.

What do you think?

// Pilot Post//

Welcome to my new blog, “For All Intents and Purposes”! 

It’s meant to chronicle my life in all its forms.  I’m new to the blogging arena, although I have attempted several times before.  However, this time I’ve decided to keep it anonymous so that if ever I talk about my personal life, I can feel free to be more open.

So, enjoy!