Is it Friday yet?

First, check out this contest to win a personalized box of cereal from Run to the Finish. I am a huge fan of make-your-own cereal mixes so this contest really got my taste buds going. Hurry up though, because the winner will be chosen tomorrow.

My current favorite cold cereal mix: Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s mixed with Trader’s Joe’s Honey, Almond and Flax 9 Whole Grain Crunch cereal, served with diced strawberries and 8th Continent Light Vanilla Soymilk. Perfect blend of crunch and sweetness.

Hot cereal mix: oat bran (I’m particularly fond of the one made my Old Wessex Ltd.) or oatmeal made with sugar free chai, a scoop of Aria vanilla protein powder (or a couple of egg whites), a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and mashed banana. Sometimes topped with a tablespoon of chopped pecans and maybe a packet of Splenda. Comforting, filling and delicious. The egg white increases the protein, which makes you feel full for longer, and gives it a lovely custard-like taste.

Are you a DIY cereal kind of person or do you prefer to just grab a box and go? What are your favorite cereal/oatmeal blends?

Speaking of oats, you should check out my guest blog on The Love of Oats. Lindsay’s moving and was looking for people to write while she’s between houses, so I offered to pen a li’l article about some research I’ve done about those fiber enhanced products that seem to be popping up all over the place now–many which I’m guilty of consuming!

Perhaps it’s a side effect from going to happy hour last night or a response to the dreary weather today, but I am wiped out! Tomorrow afternoon cannot come soon enough. Since Happy Hour/Dinner Out was going to make it near impossible for me to get to the gym, I decided to walk there and most of the way back. A colleague drove me a little more than halfway home because part of the walk is on a very dark street with no sidewalk. In all, I probably walked a total of 3 miles. For the day, I completed nearly 12,000 steps. Unfortunately, I forgot to put on my Bodybugg before work this morning, so today’s numbers will be off.

Hopefully, going to a spin class tonight and fitting in some upper body weights will lift my energy. Otherwise, I’ll have to rely on an early bedtime after packing for a trip to Ithaca, NY (my favorite place in the world) to see good friends and eat good foods. I have to admit, I’m not thinking about calories burned or earned this weekend. Instead, it will be  an exercise in shoving as much food down my gullet as possible without choking intuitive eating: eating what I want but only when hungry and until I’m satisfied. Fortunately, the friend I’m staying with has been seeing a nutritionist and is also a healthy eater. I’ll probably bring some snacks for us to share (cuke slices, carrot/celery sticks, sliced strawberries) to make sure I get enough produce each day and to use up food that might otherwise go bad while I’m away. Biggest challenge: Saturday night is at my favorite Mexican place and will almost definitely be accompanied by a margarita and/or flight of tequila. This place is amazing–their ingredients are fresh, they don’t overload everything with cheese and they have the best vegetarian option: calabacitas, a blend of corn, zucchini, lima beans and onion. And their margaritas… ahhh… no super-sweet concentrated juice blends. Just fresh lime juice, tons of ice, triple sec and the tequila of your choice.

Also, this area of NY has delicious wines, so I’ll have to stock up on some bottles while I’m there. Although this post is making me out to be a bit of a lush, I’m not a big drinker. Wines add great flavor to many dishes and it is nice to enjoy a glass after dinner every now and then.

Unfortunately and fortunately, Ithaca is foodie-land. There are so many restaurants and so many food options–you could spend a month there and not eat at the same place twice. It’s home of the famous Moosewood restaurant. It has amazing international food options (Thai, Indian) and the best ice cream shop, as well as independently run coffee shops with great ambiance. You can see my challenge, right? It’s no wonder I gained 40 lbs in the four years that I lived there post-college.

Ithaca has a long-standing history of valuing independent businesses, the environment, small business and a sustainable local economy. Although big box stores  and chain restaurants have started to infiltrate the town, there are plenty of established, local businesses that are still doing well. There are also tons of waterfalls and hiking trails and a beautiful lake. This is such a different experience than I have here in NJ, where I sometimes feel like I’m in the land of strip malls.

*blush* I actually looked up some real estate listings in Ithaca the other day, just to see what was available. I’m not even close to thinking of moving there or buying a vacation home there (nor could I afford it), but I was curious 🙂

Enjoy the contest and guest blog links!

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