Two Lives, One Lifestyle

PB Banana Goodness by Katie
October 15, 2010, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Dessert, Katie, Snacks

I know the frozen banana custard thing has been out there in blog land for awhile but it still amazes me that something so good and creamy can come out of frozen bananas.   The other day I added a big scoop of peanut butter into the food processor with one chopped up frozen banana and I had to remind myself that I was eating a pretty balanced snack.

I’m not one to shun a real ice cream indulgence considering I’m pretty much a connoisseur having worked in the industry* for 3 years, but sometimes you want something just a little better for you.  If you haven’t given this a try to, it’s a bandwagon I fully support jumping on- even though I have a slight allergy to raw bananas (I finally realized why I don’t love plain bananas after 24 years).

*By industry I mean I scooped ice cream and dished up glorious sundae creations.

Lizard on my Larabar by Katie
August 14, 2010, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Katie, Snacks

For the cross-country drive I stocked up on some easy snacks like this “Cocoa Molé” flavored Larabar.  I found it at a Sunflower Market in Denver and have not seen it since.  It didn’t even sound particularly delicious but I was too intrigued.  Oh yeah, and this plastic lizard has been in my car since high school. I once gave a neighborhood kid a ride home after he missed his bus and he sat in still silence until I finally realized he thought it was real.

Back to the snickity snack.  My brother and I agreed on the taste progression:

First: “Hmm really similar to the apple pie Larabar…”

Second: “Whoa! Cocoa, but not sweet.”

Third: “SPICY!”

Leo, my brother, didn’t like the spicy aftertaste and I have to admit it was different for Larabar’s usual sweet flavors.  However, the chili flavor wasn’t present, just the heat. It really made me want chicken molé and a marg but instead we drove for 15 more hours.

Have you seen this flavor? Are you a fan?  I want to try the cookie dough one I’ve read about but can’t seem to find it.

Party Platter by Katie
May 3, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Katie, Salad, Snacks

Last night, I went to a BBQ with a bunch of the grad students in my office.  Between all the guys (it is engineering grad school, I’m very outnumbered), I knew there would be meat, cheesy potatoes, meat, potato salad, pasta salad, and a ton of dessert.  So I added a little green to our lives. PS- The brisket and flan were indreddddible!


A huge salad with Romaine, spinach, red pepper, celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, and cukes.  Look at all those gorgeous colors!  Let’s just say I’ll be eating this all week.  A few people were really happy to see a big salad but not everyone ;).  I made a vinaigrette to go with it too.

  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp agave
  • Italian seasoning- oregano, garlic, rosemary
  • S+P


Since I knew my salad might be looked at with some trepidation, I brought a sausage dip too.  I made this at grad student Thanksgiving and it was devoured.  I warn you, it’s not the prettiest picture.


But I promise it will be a party hit (unless it is a party of vegetarians).  It’s a really simple recipe too, with credit to do my friend Emily:

  • 16 oz. breakfast sausage: browned, drained, crumbled
  • 1 10 oz. can of Rotelle (or chopped tomatoes w/ chilies)
  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened

It’s good to let it sit for a little bit prior to serving so all the zippy flavors mingle.  I served it with some tortilla chips and celery sticks but any dip scooper works just fine.

What’s your signature party dish?

Cauliflower Power Curry by Katie
March 30, 2010, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Katie, Lunch, Snacks, Speed Work, Wine

At breakfast I was rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ down the almond butter river… letting the AB melt on the hot oats makes it last longer as it spreads over more oats.  More bites with AB equals yummier oats.


Some coffee helped me buzz through a bunch of work and then I rolled on over to Chipotle for lunch.


Pile of guacamole equals fats, albeit healthy fats, but the gall bladder doesn’t discriminate.  Right now that means pain (although any emotion makes me cry, I have a high physical pain tolerance) and some stomach troubles.  Post-surgery my body will have to adjust to digesting foods with fats and it’s suggested to do this trial (and hopefully not error) at home and um, near the loo.

After running a bunch of errands and cleaning, I ate some PBJ toast and eventually made my way to track practice!


Track included:

  • Mile warmup @ 9:10/mile pace
  • 3 x 800 (aka 0.5 mile) @ 7/mile pace
    • Side note: didn’t know I had that in me!
  • Tempo mile @ 8:50/mile pace
  • Mile cooldown @ 10:00/mile pace

I should have done more of the 800s but missed the group heading out to warm-up and had to do that first. Still pretty happy with my speeds!

A cucumber + balsamic simple salad helped tide me over ‘till dinner warmed up.


Way before track practice (love saying that… I feel 10 years younger. OMG, was I really in high school 10 years ago??? Crazy.), I started prepping this cauliflower Indian dish I saw on What’s For Dinner a week ago.  It is VERY fast for me to make a recipe so close to seeing it but  I just couldn’t wait!

A few substitutions were made.  Instead of 3 white potatoes, I used 2 Russet and 1 sweet potato.  Something about sweet potatoes and Indian spices just works.


I did start off with a whole onion as the recipe calls for.


There was a delicious picture of spices and a complex list in Mara’s version but in a “I’m moving in 2 months so I should use what I have” type of logic, I went with red curry paste (substitution #2).  Totally not the same flavor as aloo gobi though, which doesn’t contain curry powder.  Plus this curry is Thai and not Indian… so it was a poor substitution and a completely different flavor.


Coconut milk, tomatoes, and onions swimming around together.


A head of cauliflower, a drained & rinsed can of garbanzo beans, 2 Russet potatoes, and 1 sweet potato later.


Much later (definitely over an hour), after simmering away and absorbing curry.


While my “substitution” might have turned this into a different dish altogether, it was still flavorful and delicious.. thanks for the inspiration Mara!


Unfortunately, after having a few too many bites to “test” it, I wasn’t very hungry once the rice was ready (not that I even needed rice).  I did enjoy a small bowl with some wine on the side.


To bed with me!

Fruitful Days by Katie
March 24, 2010, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Katie, Lunch, Pizza, Restaurant, Run, Snacks

I missed posting yesterday!  My breakfast was blueberry coconut oatmeal and I took advantage of Starbuck’s free pastry day for a snack.  I slowly savored the delicious cranberry orange scone.



[Unpictured lunch of veggie stir fry FYI]

As I mentioned, there was a TNT fundraiser at California Pizza Kitchen last night. John’s parents and lots of family friends were going so I decided to head down.  I left Fort Collins and it was drizzling and when I arrived in Denver it was cloudy but no rain.  However, for about 20 minutes I drove through some of THE worst weather ever: my car was hydro- planing so badly.

Since there was no rain when I got there, I jumped on the chance to run my planned 50 minutes.  The weather forecast had me worried that I’d be forced inside on the treadmill.  Can you tell where snow/rain/whip started whipping me in the face?  Ow!

  • Mile 1- 9:20
  • Mile 2- 8:52
  • Mile 3- 8:52
  • Mile 4- 9:02
  • Mile 5- 9:29
  • Last 0.4- 10:00

Dinner was great and we had lots of laughs.  We watched the snow fall fast and the streets were fortunately pretty clear when we left.

I had leftover pizza this AM for my breakfast.



I snapped this picture of a field when I stopped to get gas.  It’s hard to tell where the snowy field ends and the white clouds start.


While the snow is annoying and makes travel a pain, CO needs all the spring precipitation it can get!

By the time I was hungry for lunch, it was really late (woke up late because I assumed driving would be tough and maybe I’d have a snow day ;)) and I had a big bowl of frozen cherries, Greek yogurt, and granola.


Cherry on top!


I love putting yogurt over frozen fruit- it freezes the yogurt as you can see on the right side of the picture.. maybe?  It’s the candycane looking piece sticking up.


I snacked on some pineapple too.  So delicious.


Before I left for the gym, half a banana and Justin’s almond butter fueled me.  Justin’s was on sale for half off today which was pretty exciting: it’s usually too expensive for my (wallet) tastes!



My workout was a slower than usual 3 miles on the treadmill (and biceps and back day).  I didn’t push too hard because I’m getting a cold.  Unless I’m really sick, getting a good sweat session always makes me feel a little better. How about you? Work out or rest up when you feel a cold coming on?

For dinner, I used up leftover pasta from Monday and added tons of broccoli and artichokes.



My stomach is growling again so I’m going to eat more delicious pineapple! Can someone teach me how to peel/core a pineapple!? 😀

No Such Thing as Leftover Sushi by Katie
March 23, 2010, 12:05 am
Filed under: Breakfast, Dinner, Eggs, Frozen yogurt, Katie, Lift, Mushrooms, Protein shake, Run, Snacks

Once John awoke from his slumber on Sunday morning/afternoon, we went house hunting.  SIKE!  We did walk around the Highlands neighborhood and go through a few open houses though- it’s fun to see what’s out there.

After lots of walking, we were both ready for some food (though it was my snack time and his lunch time).   This is John’s post flip omelet- he is a good flipper.

His cooking skills are a work in progress so he told me his strategy is to get really good at one thing and then learn one more thing, and on and on.

I made a Greek yogurt, banana, & peanut butter snack.

Peanut butter tastes so sweet compared to the tart yogurt (and there is no sugar in the PB).

For dinner, we tried to get sushi again.  I started with a seaweed salad and not sure what the issue was but I could not manage more than 3 bites of the rolls.  I felt so nauseous and full and in pain.  It sounds pathetic but all I wanted to do was get in bed.

Well, after a yogurt + frozen blueberries + granola breakfast (and some Irish soda bread I munched in the car), I got a phone call that might explain my issues.  My gall bladder is broken :(.

By broken I mean it isn’t pumping out bile to digest foods as it should.  The recommendation is for surgery.  With my thesis defense and marathon coming up, this is kind of a bummer but life doesn’t always happen how we plan it now does it?

[I had a turkey sandwich + Cold Stone Tart ‘n Tangy yogurt for lunch but my camera was forgotten.  Impressed with the yogurt!]

After work, I fit in a quick run before it got dark- my legs were feeling heavy!

  • Mile 1: 9:40
  • Mile 2: 9:28
  • Mile 3: 9:10

Glad I pushed a bit for those negative splits. I made a green monster right after with this Terra’s Whey protein sample that was on sale.  The flavor enticed me…

I wish I had tried it just by itself for comparison but I wasn’t a huge fan of it in the monster.  Maybe it was the somewhat weird flavor combo- almond milk + banana + spinach + bourbon vanilla?  It was very sweet too.

For awhile, I was staying right on track with the Fitnessista’s Intro to Iron plan but ever since I was home last weekend, I fell off the bandwagon.  I jumped back on tonight!

  • Overhead press: 3 x 15 with 12-lb dumbbells
  • Dips: 3 x 12
  • Stability Ball Push Ups:  3 x 15
  • Lateral Raises: 3 x 15 with 8-lb dumbells
  • Cable Tricep Extension: 0- cause some guys are machine hoggers

In the ~2 weeks of slacking, I noticed my arms were not as firm.  That’s sadly fast but also great motivation!

I tried to eat the sushi from last night for dinner.  Um.  Don’t do that.  The rice was dried out and crunchy and the eel wasn’t sweet and soft anymore but more like dead eel on the beach.

Instead- whole wheat penne with mushrooms and tomato sauteed with garlic and a splash of red wine.

Oh and parmesan on top of course.

The less than normal appetite (seriously, that is way less food than usual) is bothering me but hopefully this gall bladder is the culprit. Nothing sounds all that appealing.  Every time I think of food, I start to think of how much pain I’ll be in afterwards and it’s a real buzz kill! I like food!  Anyone out there ever had gall bladder symptoms or surgery and have some good tips??

Weathering a Weekend by Katie
March 21, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Coffee, Dinner, Eggs, Katie, Run, Snacks, Wine

Between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the weather went from this:


To this:


Saturday was equally chilly but sunny and today, Sunday, it is already in the 50s.  Just one last storm I suppose!   Friday morning was a boring morning getting things done at the hospital and not being allowed to eat until almost noon.  I’ve always had some digestive issues but it’s been really bad the past few weeks.  It’s never been pegged on anything until now- my gall bladder is looking suspicious!  Friday was filled with non-pictured leftovers and going to bed super early so let’s skip onto Saturday shall we?

I started my day with a nice 7 AM run on a snow covered trail.  The run was for 2 hours, 15 minutes and with stopping for gel and water at the turnaround, and again for water on the way back in, I ran about 13.5 miles (splits were around 9:30 plus the stopping and a few slow spots where we were literally in 6 inches of snow)!  Here is how those miles went:

  • Mile 1:  Why oh why did I do this???? (This first mile must have been covered with extra snow from drifting, plus it was 17*.)
  • Mile 2-4: Okay I’m warming up, this isn’t so bad.
  • Miles 4-6.3: Oh hey stomach, nice of you to join me, why are you so angry at me?  Just make it to the half way point.
  • Miles 6.3-9.9: I think I just time traveled, how did that go by so fast???
  • Mile 10-12:  I need new socks. I’m fading a little, maybe some musical inspiration will help.
  • Mile 12-13.5: This is so hard I can’t do it, I want to stop… yikes getting worked up and almost crying is really bad for breathing, okay deep breaths, stop being so dramatic, think of all the people that would love to be able to run and can’t. I’ve got this! Running through snow is kind of bad ass right? Oh my gosh, I’m so tired, my feet are so cold, alright! I see the end of the trail!!!

Basically, I didn’t know I could experience that many emotions in 10 minutes.

After getting back, I immediately had a big bowl of banana PBJ oats.


It warmed me up from the inside.  After the long runs everyone says things like “Don’t you feel so accomplished!? And now you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want!”  After a long run like that, all I want to do is stretch, ice, elevate my legs, and nap.  Plus I’m so exhausted by 9 PM I’m ready for bed! I do feel accomplished but it definitely interferes with my weekend.

I’m pretty sure my regular argyle knee highs (what? not everyone has those?) are just like compression socks.  They felt great on my legs.


I napped for a little bit and then John and I did some grocery shopping and had snack time (we waiting till 4:30 to break out the wine ;))- Blue Moose salsa, guacamole, and some Irish Porter Cheddar.




John joined Mondo Vino’s monthly wine club this past week.  This entails 2 bottles (a red and a white) each month for 3 months at $75.  Plus, other select bottles are 15% off and all bottles are 10% off.  This French Chardonnay wasn’t as buttery as many chardonnay’s but did have some oakiness.

IMG_0991 IMG_0989

For a late dinner, we wanted sushi.  For some reason, the guac made me think of wasabi and then sushi obviously came to mind!  Both places we tried were at least a 30-40 minute wait so we wandered around the Highlands area to Bang!

From the street front, you can see the kitchen.  We walked down a little alleyway to the entrance in the back.


The inside was decorated with funky art and paint colors.


After we ordered, they brought some bread and nice, soft butter!


I ordered salmon over jasmine rice, with a cucumber salad and a wasabi sauce (around the edges).


The salmon was very well cooked and delicious.  I ate every bite (well not all the rice, there was more than enough of that).


Afterward, I attempted to go out like a young, fun person in their 20s but ended up driving people downtown instead and going to bed at 11 ;).  Sleep sounded so much better.  I think I’m getting a cold (hm maybe it’s these extreme weather changes!?) so it was for the better.

While John slept off his night of fun, I got a bunch of work done at Common Grounds.  Wow, this coffee is STRONG.  I’m typing so fast!

I also enjoyed a egg,cheese, tomato bagel sandwich once I determined John wouldn’t be up at any morning hour.


Now that it’s in the high 50s, I think I’ll get outside and enjoy this weather!