The Radio Needs to Pull Themselves Together

Here at Give Me My Crown Already, we are all about truth and honesty, so I’m going to lay one on you. I’m a little bit nervous about it actually, but here goes.

Taylor Swift kinda scares me.

There, I said it. I can’t take it back.

Sometimes despite myself, I love Taylor’s music. Each song is catchy and sing-along-able and just fun.

But does it make anyone else a little nervous about how good she is at spouting these songs off? I used to think that she was throwing cheap shots at her exes and enemies, but then I realized that’s the essence of almost every other creative facet, so why shouldn’t she do it? More power to her. But damn, she’s a strong song writer.

There was an SNL skit a few years ago that satirized the way in which Taylor Swift has taken over the world. And yes, I think she might have actually taken over the world, this cute little blonde woman who holds so much power. In the skit, all of these people would try to deny liking Taylor Swift, but then one of her songs would play and it would hit them, they liked her music. Everyone does, unless of course you are strongly Team Katy.

My idea for this blog post was inspired by my conversation with my mom this morning in the car on our way to our shopping adventure. I was having her listen to the new song Wildest Dream because the other day, as I was driving to work, every single one of my pre-set channels was playing that song. This might say more about what I select as my pre-set channels, but still, I think we can agree that the radio can afford to play different songs once in awhile.

So yes, Taylor Swift in her overwhelming popularity kinda scares me, but she is one kick-ass chick and so far, I’m finding I’m quite alright with her world domination. We could have far worse options. For example, she would make a better presidential candidate than say, Donald Trump.

To recap the day thus far, I woke up this morning ready for breakfast. I scrambled up an egg with two egg whites and heated up two whole wheat waffles to accompany it. My phone was charging while I was eating so there is no picture.

As I mentioned before, my mom and I headed up to our local outlets for a much needed therapy shopping trip. Shopping is good for the soul and for your health because we racked up a ton of steps! I got a few more pair of pants and some cute new shirts, so I’m very pleased.

Mid-way through, we stopped for lunch as I was starting to feel a little hangry. We both enjoyed a balsamic chicken wrap with lettuce, peppers, and tomato. Not too shabby! On the way out, we stopped for a cone at the Dairy Queen, which was so refreshing.

In the stores, it was so cold, we suspect because they want us to buy all the warm fall and winter clothes, but outside it was still nice and warm. Now we just want to wear our fun new clothes, but I will not rush the sun away.

Have a good rest of your day!

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I’m a Retailer’s Dream

Ok, yesterday I was wrong. There is something better than an afternoon walk, a morning run outside! Now that I’ve taken my runs outdoors- praise!- I need to get into the kind of shape that allows me to maneuver up and down hills. This is not easy. I’m at a good clip running 3.1 miles, but by the end, I’m tired. I think after next week, I’ll stretch it back out to four and progress from there. It’s not easy running up hills and in my neighborhood, flat surfaces are hard to come by. Soon, an extension of my route will be necessary.

Before getting out there in the sun, I started my day with some Yoga. I can’t believe how stiff my body is in the morning. I don’t realize it until I’m doing Yoga and I can’t stretch as far down as when I’m  warmed up. My plan of attack for the summer is to do strength training with weights 2 days a week, body strength 2 days a week, and Yoga another two. My cardio would be running, swimming, and Plyometrics. I’m trying to mix things up a bit, but also keep my body healthy!

Breakfast was a warm and filling bowl of peanut buttery oats. I enjoyed it with strawberries stirred in, with a big cup of coffee, and some reading material. While I am in the middle of a novel, the past couple of days, I’ve been reading television scripts like a fiend. It’s fun to be able to picture the actors portraying them, but they are also really beneficial to my own writing.

  
For lunch, I mowed down on a stir fry. This one had chicken, veggies, and brown rice. Two hours later, I was starving so I had my snack of grapes, carrots, and a cheesestick early. I was wondering why I was so hungry so early and my mom suggested I wasn’t eating enough fat. See, fat is important! For tomorrow’s lunch, I added a sprinkle of cheese, which I hope evens things out and fills me up! Still tasty though!

  
Sausages, pasta, and a veggie medley were on the menu for dinner. Among the marinara goodness, one might find peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli.

  
Among other things going on in my life, I’m trying to decipher two things about the Red Sox. One is more pressing. How can they keep scoring huge amounts of tuns and losing the game? Going into the season, I thought we had mediocre pitching. To lose 11-8 is dismal. Get your ish together, friends, or I’m dusting off my glove and trying out because apparently we have no standards!

The second matter is a bit more personal. The Red Sox merchandising folks are out to get me. Let me lay it out for you. In 2003, I start to become a huge Sox fan and realize my crush on Nomar Garciaparra is full on love. I buy myself his shirt. They trade him- actually, let’s not go down that road because it’s too painful still! Ok, fine. A season or two later, I buy myself a Johnny  Damon shirt. He signs in hell shortly after. This one player, Jeremy Hermida, was projected to be a huge star, but injuries plagued his young career and his original team trades him. The Sox get him and I hear how everyone thinks he might finally find his groove. He does well for a week or two, I think he’s cute, so I buy his shirt. Doomsday, then he’s released. But then I still have my beloved Jacoby Ellsbury and I think we are going to have one of those one-team forever type relationships. I buy his short and he signs in hell too. Last season, I’m looking for a new shirt because obviously the others haven’t worked out- though I still wear Nomar- and I play it carefully. I put so much thought and caution into this purchase. I wait awhile into the season. I listen to the radio and the tv. Who’s the hottest prospect, who’s on the team for a good long while. I go with our hot stud of a new third baseman Will Middlebrooks. What happens? He’sinjured or in a slump and boom, he’s traded. For the record, it was between him and Grady Sizemore.

So I’m heading to a game soon and I’m thinking to myself how I might want to buy a new shirt. Mookie’s got a chance to be a franchise player, I think. Hanley’s fun  to watch, I murmur, but then I think, oh but Blake Swihart might be coming up soon. And them it hits me. I’m a jinx. Or, at the very least, I choose players’ shirts my my eyes and my heart, rather than my baseball knowing mind. If I were a GM of a baseball team, we might go 0-162, but we’d be on all the covers of the magazines.

No matter the cause, I’ll keep my distance from Mookie especially. Maybe it’s time I go for an  opposing team’s shirt?

Snacking Isn’t (Always) The Enemy

For this week’s version of Rave Review Tuesday, I was at a standstill for what I wanted to talk about. I just finished reading Piper Kerman’s Orange Is The New Black, which was excellent, but since I already reviewed the show, I didn’t want to be repetitive. An idea struck me at the gym, as all the best ones do, that instead of reviewing a book, movie, or show, I could talk more about the snacks I enjoy.

Being home a lot more, I tend to eat bigger meals and snack less. However, when I’m busy and on the run, I usually have one or two snacks between meals, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These range from 100-200 calories depending on how hungry I am, especially if it’s after the gym, which it usually is. Snacks always include a combination of fruits and veggies and protein so that I’m not mindlessly consuming things without ever being satiated.

After the gym today, I came home and started snapping pictures of the most common ingredients one can find in my snacks. Much of what I graze on also happens to be included in my breakfasts, which if you haven’t noticed, is my favorite meal of the day.

I am in no way a photographer, though I did try to array the food in a somewhat fashionable arrangement. I hope this inspires you to up your snack game!

I am a big fan of nuts. Almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, I love them all, on their own or in a trail mix. While I sometimes enjoy flavored varieties, I also like them lightly salted. Pair these with some fresh berries or dried fruit and they are a perfect snack combination. My favorite trail mix brand is the Peanut Butter Cup from Trader Joes that includes tiny peanut butter cups, dried cherries, cashews, and almonds.

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There is no denying at this point that I have an obsession with peanut butter. Sometimes I enjoy smearing a tablespoon on a graham cracker or two with chopped banana or berries, especially the chocolate kind.

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If I’m looking to be more indulgent or for a heavier snack to fuel me, I will throw some peanut butter on an English muffin. Look! Pumpkin Spice to kick off the almost fall season.

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Oatmeal is almost a perfect snack as it is a breakfast. I like tossing in some raisins and dates to make it a fruitier adventure.

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Skinny Pop popcorn is better than any kind of popcorn I have ever had, except maybe for the local movie theater’s popcorn, but only because they use real butter.

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Pardon the sad look of this fruit bowl. We are in desperate need of a trip to the grocery store as that bowl is teeming with fresh apples, peaches, plums, and banana on the regular. You also know my affinity for blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and when my allergies allow it, cherries.

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You can never go wrong with hummus and veggie sticks. Very often, these bad boys will show up in my lunch because it is an excellent way to get in a ton of vegetables. My favorites are celery, carrots, and red pepper, but you can almost use any veggie as a dipper. I’m not too picky on my hummus, though I am hoping to give making it on my own another go.

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Greek yogurt is so good for you and it is lucky that it’s really the only kind of yogurt I like. I do try to stick to the plain variety and add my own fruits and nuts, though I cannot resist the goodness that is Chobani’s Coconut blended flavor. So good with raspberries or blueberries and even on its own, which the plain is not. Again, we are running low on the fruit.

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For convenience, nothing beats a hard-boiled egg and a cheesestick. I love the pepper jack because it is flavorful both with the egg and an apple, during the seasons I can eat them.

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Growing up, I was never one to frequent the cereal section of my cabinets. Every so often, I will have a craving for it, and when combined with milk and fruit, especially strawberries and banana, I am a happy camper. For me, the Raisin Bran Crunch is a bit of an indulgence because it contains a ton of sugar, but it’s my favorite and I don’t have it in excess. I am new to the Puffins train, but hello, peanut butter flavor! Also, honey nut Cheerios are actually my favorite, but we don’t have them in stock.

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I am also a big fan of nachos. I don’t normally order them myself as I try to stick to plain old, but still tasty chips and salsa, but if someone else orders them, I can’t help myself. At home, I can make them a lot healthier, keeping portions appropriate, especially the cheesy goodness. Tossing some chopped veggies like peppers, spinach, and tomatoes on top also makes it even healthier and more filling. Sometimes, I’ll throw some black beans, corn, and a dollop of Greek yogurt to have them for lunch! My favorite tortilla brand is Green Mountain, but, you guessed it, we ran out.

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Don’t get me wrong, on some occasions, I’ll find myself dipping into Cheezit boxes or zeroing in on the Oreos, and that’s just fine so long as I stay aware of portions. The biggest thing that gets people in trouble with snacking is the mindless grazing. With any meal, it’s important to pay attention to the quantity and quality of what is in front of you. A friend who dabbled a bit in advertising for snack companies said that the best snack, to them, are the ones that people can eat without feeling full.

And we wonder why we have weight and health problems running rampant in this country.

I will often prepack these snacks after measuring out servings so that I don’t ever eat too much. By paying better attention to the nutrition of the snacks, you will notice that your hunger signals have been satisfied and can move on until your next meal.

My biggest word of advice when it comes to snacking, passed onto me by my mom: never walk away with the box. Take out what you want, enjoy, but don’t keep coming back for more.

I’m Getting Better At This Food Thing

It’s my favorite part of the week, recapping my meals! This past week was, knock on wood, the last restrictive week as the kitchen is near completion and everything is installed and functioning starting today. You will notice the fancy new counters in my pictures.

Lots of peanut butter topped whole wheat waffles with berries and banana.

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I started making these pancakes before I realized I didn’t have any eggs. I read online that some mashed banana, that I put in my recipe anyways, would do the trick, but it wasn’t the same. Still tasty, but the egg does bring a lot to the recipe.

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I made my favorite oatmeal at my neighbor’s house and it was delightful! Summer can be hot for stove top oatmeal anyways, but with fall coming there will be lots of that and baked oatmeal.

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More waffles and peanut butter. For reasons many may know, my usual grocery store is out of commission, which means I can’t buy my beloved whole wheat sour dough bread. Waffles will do in its place for now.

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Greek yogurt with chopped almonds, coconut, and dark chocolate flakes from Chobani and a bowl of Raisin Bran with banana was on the menu one day. I adore coconut blended Greek yogurt.

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This is my cinnamon raisin overnight oatmeal that doesn’t look very appetizing, but is very good. I promise.

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And this is getting embarrassing, but more waffles and peanut butter. Now that the kitchen is almost ready, I will be developing more creative recipes, or at least with more variety.

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Lunches were mostly salads this week, but delicious ones. This was enjoyed with a slice of mixed berry bread that was excellent.

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Another salad with a small piece of an Italian calzone that was in the fridge. Very tasty and quick on a day where I was running around and didn’t have much space or ingredients to play with.

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My favorite whole wheat penne with zucchini, peppers, and baby spinach with some mozzarella on top. I have to say that the pictures make it look like I use a ton of cheese, but I am following the serving size.

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Another fresh salad with any vegetables I could find in my fridge. For my starch, I enjoyed some multigrain tostitos with cheese.

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My brother and a few of my cousins had lunch with my Grandma on Saturday. We all enjoyed some tasty pizza, salad, and conversation.

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This was a late lunch/ early dinner concoction on Sunday. It included a salad with some buffalo chicken strips, a piece of salmon, and a piece of huffed zucchini. We cut out the middle of the zucchini and mixed it with some peppers, tomatoes, feta, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

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Dinners this week started with some barbecue chicken with zucchini and peppers and macaroni and cheese on the side.

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A cheeseburger between an English muffin, with some peppers, spinach, and more macaroni and cheese came another night.

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I guess we had a lot of salad for dinners this week too. This one was topped with grilled chicken with honey wheat toast on the side.

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This was a steak fajita salad with a side of toast after a very long run/walk that left me itching for carbs.

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This chicken kebab came with rice and a Greek salad. So good and doubly enjoyed when I used leftovers to make a salad. I had this when my mom, sister, godmother, and I met for a girls’ night.

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On Friday night, I had a hankering for Thai food so two of my friends and I went out. It wasn’t the best curry I had and our appetizer was still frozen in the middle, so I won’t be returning. Lots of unrest veggies in the curry though. Not so fresh chicken…

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After a long run, I came home and immediately ate another coconut yogurt. I then had leftover salad and some toast, which hit the spot.

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Finally, last night after a long walk, I toasted up an English muffin and peanut butter. Couldn’t have been better.

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Lots of yummy meals this week and even more to come next! Yay for new kitchens!