{The Best} St. Thomas Visit 2016

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Adam and I started our two-week vacation off right with an incredible visit home to see my parents and soak up some sun.  For the first time since college I managed to have the dates line up so that I could make it for Carnival*!  We also went to St. John*, The Baths*, the beach, and got to spend time with old friends.  It was pretty much the perfect trip.

* I took way too many pictures so all of the items starred above are going to have to be their own posts over the rest of the week

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Speaking of too many pictures, I’m limiting this post to the highlights.  Here are some of our favorites from home…

The best hosts – my parents.  In addition to driving us all over the place, ironing my dresses, playing board games even though Adam always throws a fit, and just being generally amazing, they cooked us Adam’s favorite meal and my favorite dessert.  Bill Clinton’s Enchiladas.

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And key lime pie.

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Which meant there was leftover pie for me to eat on top of Greek yogurt.  <– the best thing ever

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I always serve it with flax so it’s basically a health food.

The best breakfast – Barefoot Buddha.

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I got an iced Vietnamese latte and the sandwich I ate on my wedding day, aka the Bigfood Bagel sandwich: egg frittata, smoked turkey, turkey bacon, cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, tomato-onion coulis, and fresh spinach.

The best brunch – The Grille Room at Mahogany Run. My (extra-spicy) Bloody Mary came topped with a stuffed olive, banana pepper, and shrimp!

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I also had a really top-notch chopped salad with shrimp and chipotle-ranch among other yummy things.  And then every singe person at the table ordered a vodka + soda and all was right with the world.

The best coffee – Bad Ass at Yacht Haven.

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My triple non-fat iced latte was perfectly roasty good.

The best pizza – Island Time Pub.  Pro tip – start with a salad, they are gigantic and two-three people can share one.

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Adam and I got a pie with artichoke, Kalamata olives, and roasted garlic.

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Plus their drink menu is on point.

The best johnny cake – served at the window on the Waterfront by The Greenhouse, with cheese.

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Caribbean johnny cake (versus the cornmeal version found in the American south) is slightly sweet, unleavened fried bread.  It is delicious in general and freaking mind-blowing when served with cheese.

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St. Thomas, October 2015

Adam and I took a long weekend and went home to visit my parents last Friday.  It was great!  We hit the beach, tried some new restaurants and ate at old favorites, caught up with family, and just had a fabulous time.

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Here were some of the highlights…

Lots of fancy coffee.

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Including an almond joy iced latte from Barefoot Buddha.  Alongside a Bigfoot Bagel Sandwich, aka the – egg frittata, smoked turkey, turkey bacon, cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, tomoto-onion coulis, fresh spinach – sandwich I ate on my wedding day!

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Bailey’s Delight milkshake from Udder Delight.

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Rum and cokes from Woody’s happy hour.

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Maple shortbread cookies my mom makes every year.

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Pumpkin Chobani with homemade chocolate chip cookie and candied walnuts and ground flax.

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Fish tacos on the beach at Iggy’s.

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Quick dinner at home for board game night.

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Turkey Reuben with smoked turkey, gouda, and cole slaw on rye.  Plus green beans sautéed with almonds.  And we had locally made chocolates for dessert.

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A delicious dinner at The Long Board in St. John.  The Carib Sour = Bullet bourbon, Luxardo amaretto, lemon juice, honey, egg white, and whiskey barrel aged bitters.

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We started with fried plantains and chicken wings with mango glaze and garlic-lemon aioli.

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And my dinner was a salad with romaine, red cabbage, shredded carrot, wakame seaweed, sriracha, crispy wonton, ginger mandarin vinaigrette, and Korean bbq chicken.

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Everything was wonderful, just like our trip!

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Weekend Wrap-Up; Purple Hair Don’t Care

It’s been a fun weekend.  On Saturday I did this again –

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Welcome back, purple hair, I’d missed you.

Things have been pretty low-key since I last posted.  Adam has an insane schedule for the next month and I was trying to soak up as much time with him as I could.

Plus we were pretty productive – we spent Saturday buying him 2 of the 3 pairs of shoes he desperately needs (new running shoes, comfortable shoes for the hospital, and days off shoes).  We even made a trip to the gym.  I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, doing some half-hearted running intervals and incline walking.  I can’t go back for a few days – I can’t wash my hair until the color sets so I don’t want to sweat – but it was a good start.

Here is some of what I did on the food front…

breakfast

Iced Americano with fat-free chocolate milk.

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Still obsessed.

Baked oatmeal with maple and pecans for Sunday brunch.

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I loosely followed this recipe.  I cut back on the sugar and used candied pecans.

lunch

Thursday I had packed a lunch, but then when I went into the cafeteria to buy a drink the special called to me.

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My baked potato with cheese sauce, broccoli, onions, and pickled jalopeños was delicious.  Not as filling as I’d hoped though, I ended up buying a snack later that afternoon.

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Friday my abandoned lunch from the day before was already in my office.

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Quaker Summer Berry Oatmeal,

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topped with Big Slice Cinnamon French Toast Kettle Cooked Apples.

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The apples were delicious, their texture was perfect.  I went to Target that very day to buy more.  Coincidentally, the oat bowls were on sale and I got more of those too.

snacks

Iced coffee from Café Dada.

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Yum x infinity.  I salivate when I think about this coffee.

Adam and I split a rocky nut Snickers.

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The marshmallow layer is crazy.

More sugar.

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We are both completely obsessed with these Juicy Bears.  They are so juicy!

dinner

A fancy Friday dinner.

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Salad – arugula with yogurt blue cheese dressing, shredded carrot, and Emmy’s Blueberry Cashew Super Cereal.

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With groats, raisins, cashews, and dried blueberries the cereal really seems like more of a salad topper anyway.  Plus a reject piece of too small chicken from our new favorite recipe.

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Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken, serves 2 – 4

4 oz light feta cheese

  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 10 queen sized pimento-stuffed green olives
  • medium lemon, juiced and zest (reserve both juice and zest)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp smoked brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.  Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place feta, capers, olives, and lemon zest into the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse until well-combined and no large chunks remain.
  3. Using a serrated knife, slice into the side of each chicken breast until you are a quarter-inch from the other side.  Basically you want to be able to open the breasts like little books.
  4. Open the chicken breasts and place into the baking dish.  Spread filling mixture onto one side of each breast, then close the “books.”  Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the chicken, then drizzle with lemon.
  5. Place baking dish into the oven and bake 40 – 45 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

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Saturday’s dinner was less exciting.  More salad.

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Arugula with carrots, blue cheese, sliced green olives, crumbled feta, and flax.

Plus eggs cooked with pizza sauce, more arugula and olives, and shredded Parmesan.

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The olives seemed like a really good idea but in the end their juiciness was not appreciated in the eggs.

Last night I ate pizza for dinner.

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Thank you, cheese, for being you!

Have you ever dyed your hair a crazy color?

Weekly Wrap-Up; Lonely Island

Let’s be honest – being married to a surgical resident sucks.  Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of Adam that he’s such a smartypants and I love that he gets the opportunity to do something meaningful that excites him, but if I had my druthers I think we would both be beach bums working together at a part-time job somewhere.

We don’t have any time now.  After 11 years together (and 6 years of marriage) we somehow still really like each other so living as two ships passing in the night, as I said, sucks.

It’s not great for blog content either.  Adam was on night shifts all this week and I was home alone which meant I ate cereal and/or popcorn most days.  Not a ton of healthy living to share!  And it didn’t help that when I pulled up my photos  to write this post half of them were horrendous and were promptly deleted.  Here is what I do have to share…

Work lunch 1.

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Fresh mango,

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and a Passion Fruit Noosa.

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This was the first time I had ever tried passion fruit not in juice form.  I liked the crunchy seeds!

Work lunch 2.

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Peach Noosa,

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topped with fresh blueberries,

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and Linwood Ground Flax Seed with Cocoa, Strawberries,  and Blueberries.

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The flax was part of a box of samples I recently received to review.

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It was quite good; you couldn’t taste the berries but it had a nice hint of chocolate.  I keep meaning to bring flax back into my life so the samples came at a great time.

Pink smoothie.

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Chocolate peppermint soy milk with frozen strawberries.  Adam is obsessed with this combination.  The only plus to nights is that he is home with me in the morning for breakfast.

Zing Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar.

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This didn’t have the best texture but it did a great job of keeping me full.

Gummi Koalas.

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These are Adam’s favorites but they couldn’t hold a candle to my new obsession with Haribo Juicy Bears.

Blissinger’s Dulce de Leche with Sea Salt bar.

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Yuck!  Way too salty.  I’m hoping that the husband ends up liking it because it was quite expensive and I could only eat one square.

Santa Fe Salsa Somersaults.

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This one I have no complaints about 🙂

Oven baked fries.

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With evoo, truffle salt, and dried rosemary from my grandma’s garden.

Iowa Girl Eats’ Chicken Chili topped with extra-sharp cheddar, low-fat sour cream, and pickled jalopeños.

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I skipped the brown sugar, doubled the onion, and added some liquid smoke.  Adam loooooved this, and he says he hates chili.

Leftover chili stuffed in a baked potato.

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With more cheese, sour cream, and jalopeños, and roasted broccoli on the side(s).  This was cheesy amazing.  We need to make baked potatoes more often.

Do you feel like you get enough time with your significant other or does work get in the way?

Cider House Run

Let me apologize in advance for what is sure to be a post riddled with typos.  I’ll do my best, but I can’t make any promises.  I’m two days in and I’m going to have to agree with my friends who were in the previous rotation – this placement is exhausting.

Breakfast was a Pirouette Cinnamon Pecan Barre.

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This bar was in my Yumvelope shipment.  The ingredient list is great – dates, walnuts, pecans, agave nectar, hemp seed, rolled oats, hemp protein, ground flax-seed,brown rice protein, vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, peanuts – but I wasn’t a big fan of the final flavor; too much date.

Plus hospital coffee with 2% milk.

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We get free soda and coffee at this hospital so expect to see a lot of caffeine breaks!

Lunch was an easy assortment.  A Pear Chobani.

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A Honeycrisp apple.

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And 70% dark chocolate.

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I also packed this blue algae nut butter packet but I threw it out one lick in.

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Much too gaggy.

At the end of the day, Adam texted me that he and a friend were at a bar near our house so I met them for a quick drink.

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The McKenzie’s Seasonal Reserve Hard Cider was great.  It had notes of cinnamon that were quite tasty.

I headed straight from Cole’s to meet my friend for a gym visit.  I’m back to the Couch to 10k plan, right where I left off, though obviously I’ve got to stick with it this time.  2 minutes of running/3 minutes of walking, x 10.  I am fat, I am out of shape, I was still a little drunk – my workout was so flipping hard!

In spite of my extreme tiredness and Adam’s messing up our meal plan by eating while I was at the gym, I managed to cobble together a good dinner.  I was worried about not having enough to eat, but I think I ultimately went a bit overboard!

My favorite black-eyed pea salad,

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green beans with shredded parmesan,

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and 1.5 servings of Wegman’s vegan “chicken” nuggets with sweet and sour sauce.

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Everything was delicious.  Those nuggets are awesome.

Have you ever done the inebriated workout?

Winter Weight Gain

I came through my first full-time day at the hospital with flying colors!  Well, I guess I was a little in the gray when I ran out of time in the morning and had to skip breakfast, but that was the only hiccup.  I had fun, learned a lot, and made it through 8 – 4 without thinking longingly of my couch once!

We were busy on rounds (walking around the floor and listening to the medical residents give an update on all of the patients) all morning and I was too busy to miss breakfast.  Then I got to grab a tea latte from Tim Horton’s while we charted.

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My earl grey with frothed skim milk was great.  And the RD let me chart on a patient!  I’ve got to do a lot of work independently to meet all of my internship curriculum goals so it was a good sign that they let me hit the ground running.  In the afternoon, among other things, I observed a gestational diabetes education that I’m eager to try on my own.

I was worried about finding a table in the packed cafeteria, but thankfully the RDs invited me to sit with them for lunch.  I’m with a different person each day of the week so it was great to get to meet some of them in advance.

I packed a really tasty sandwich.

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A multi-grain Sandwich Thin with Crofter’s strawberry preserves, 2 slices of Applegate Farms Honey & Maple Turkey, Cabot’s 50% reduced sharp cheddar, and pickled jalopeños.

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A pack of Annie Chun’s Sesame Roasted Seaweed Snacks.

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And a Trader Joe’s 100-calorie milk chocolate bar.

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This lunch was perfect – fun, healthy, and it helped fuel my brain through its first afternoon of actual thought!

Before I knew it, the day was over and Adam was picking me up.  His lab was closed for Martin Luther King Day and I was thrilled that he could drive me because it is brutal outside.  My phone’s weather forecast for Wednesday is a giant, ominous looking snowflake.

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My workday may have flown by, but our errands took forever.  Adam and I ended up splitting an ice cream Twix bar while we were out and about.

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He {claims that he} hates Twix bars so the sharing portions were in my favor.

I also snacked on a Caramel Pineapple Chobani Bite with the last of the blackberries.

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This snack was so flipping good, I can’t wait to eat the rest of the pack of Chobani and I must buy more fresh berries immediately!  The caramel gave the yogurt a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’ compared to the regular pineapple variety and the entire gorgeous carton only has 100 calories.  Plus it smelled delicious and made me want a big slice of cheesecake.

– – – Sidenote:  Why, oh why did I keep scrolling through Chobani’s website?  I need the Key Lime Crumble and Almond Coco Loco Flips, need.  I’m sure they won’t hit Buffalo for another couple of months and I’m basically going to die. – – –

Dinner was a big salad with some confusion about its roots.

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Inside the jumble –

  • baby spinach
  • peanut sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax
  • chopped green pepper
  • chopped red onion
  • buckwheat groats
  • chopped honeycrisp
  • leftover 1000 island bbq sauce pulled chicken

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Somehow all of those flavors just worked together.

I’m still feeling a bit hungry but I did a lot of nibbling while I assembled dinner and tomorrow’s lunch so I’m closing my kitchen for the day.  I’ve been steadily gaining weight since we moved to Buffalo but recently my unhealthy habits have been out of control and I’m officially too fat for some of my work pants.  Pride and health may not have motivated me (though they really should of!) but my wallet sure does – it’s time to lose some weight!  I’m not planning on going on a diet, far from it,  I’m just going to stop being ridiculous.  Wish me luck?

Did you gain any weight over the winter holidays? 

Food Fun At FNCE In Philly

I’m home!  If you didn’t know, I spent the past five days in Philadelphia attending the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE); alphabet soup, much?!

I went with two fabulous friends and we had a great time.  Our days were packed (I need a vacation from this vacation!) and I am very glad I made the decision in advance not to blog.  In fact, I’m barely going to do a recap.

I would love to talk about the sessions I attended, and all of the things that I learned, but I have homework to catch up on, a shift at work this evening, and a huge test on Friday, so I doubt it’s going to happen.

I do have a few shots of some of the fun food though.

Amazing (2nd only to my favorite place in Brooklyn) eggplant pizza that we had the first night when we stayed with one of my friends from high school.

Taro milk bubble tea.

Hot, spiked, apple cider from a street fair.  We also had pumpkin beer and apple pie shots; we were drinking seasonally this trip.

The expo –

My swag –

It was amazing/ridiculous and my friends and I ended up offering a bag of food to a man I saw digging in a trash can as we were walking from the conference to our car.

Pumpkin pie frozen yogurt.

The best espresso I’ve ever had.

Sidenote – I drank my coffee holding back tears.  We went to eat a vegan cheese-steak on our last day in town and found out that the place was out of seitan!

The Chobani bar at the expo was hands-down the best part.

This Strawberry FrozFruit was a very close second.  My favorite thing in high school was the coconut version.

And a final treat at home – tiny chocolate hamburgers that I brought back for the husband.

Who’s hungry?!