Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weekend Review: Good Eating and House Guests!

Wow, I've hit an all time low on my weekend reviews. I know I'm already a week two weeks behind but I wanted to let you know about the awesome weekend I had (er...a couple weeks ago).

First stop, Justin, Mike and I took a mini road trip to Baltimore. For dinner we stopped by Chap's Pit Beef of Man v. Food, Diners Drive-ins and Dives (DDD) and Bizarre Foods fame. And wouldn't you know it's in the parking lot of a strip club. The Gold Club to be exact ;)

Justin and Mike about to enter...not knowing the glorious meat-fest that was about to commence...

I got the Guy's Triple D which consisted of pit beef, corned beef and sausage. I didn't eat the bread, but ate it with a side of sauerkraut. It was yummy!

After gorging ourselves on pit beef deliciousness I headed to the Baltimore Tattoo Convention. Here are some shots of the side show acts. There was also a suspension (!) but I didn't get pictures of that...

Sarah Miller of Ink Master fame was there working...

And here I am with the master of "bubble girlie style" Kristel Oreto...I swear, she is all over Pinterest!

The next day was Louie's Birthday so we stopped by Howl to the Chief on 8th St to check out some birthday treats...

There were plenty of adorable treats like these doggie cookie sandwiches...

But we decided on getting a couple of cupcakes.

One for Louie and one for Derby.

Look at how slobbery excited Louie is. He can hardly contain himself.

Did I mention we had some out of town guests? Justin's roommate from college, his wife, and his brother-in-law stayed with us on Saturday! They were in town visiting from Chicago (the BIL lives locally). First stop on the tourist adventure, Eastern Market where we saw some interesting street performers! 

That evening, while Justin and our visitors headed to H. St. Jill and I went to Echostage to hear Calvin Harris! For all my my non-EDM fans you've heard his music, but probably didn't know it was him. His songs include "We Found Love," by Rihanna and "Sweet Nothing" by Florence of Florence and the Machine. Here's a shot of me and my friends Clint and Mark. I swear, we always bump into them at events like this!

Next I took a picture with my friend from college, Mike, who was working security!

It was the first time I'd ever been to Echostage since it changed from DC Star, but I must say I was pretty impressed. Good sound system, decent outdoor area and plenty of room. The lights were pretty cool too. Wasn't sure if they were the club's or Calvin Harris' but they were top notch. * pew pew pew*

Here's a picture of the crowd from the balcony. I am way too old to be standing in the middle of we mostly stuck by the sides. Because quite honestly as much as I love EDM, the DJ isn't really doing anything worth watching to motivate me to get close to the DJ acts (i.e.: Diplo) that's a different story

So back to our out of town guests. In addition to showing them around the Hill, we had to show them Georgetown as well, so I made a reservation at Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers to try out their all-you-can-eat brunch! It was super tasty and my first plate looked something like this. Piled on with salad, fruit, guacamole, and taco fillings!

More of the same...the kale salad was phenomenal! 

Too bad I couldn't indulge in any of these that were being passed around by the servers...wah wah...

We strolled around the Georgetown waterfront a little bit to walk off our food babies! LOL, Overall it was a good weekend with good food, good music and good friends!

I'll be posting about last weekend's festivities at my friend's wedding in New York sometime soon! I hope!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wedding Weekend: A Review in a New York Minute

Last month, Justin and I went to New York for my friend Carmencita-Mia's (aka: Mia) wedding. We drove up on Friday, and met up with our friends Emerald and Tommy at the hotel. They came all the way from California, and it had been a while since I had seen them both.

That evening we decided to take a quick trip into Manhattan to try out Nancy's Pig Heaven.  This place had been featured on the show Rib Paradise on the Travel Channel.

We had to get the ribs of course...

And we also had the suckling pig, which was divine! Too bad they ran out of Peking duck! We really wanted to try it, but it worked out for the best considering our table was running out of space. As we were leaving, there was a band setting up.  We didn't get to catch any of their set because we had to get back to our parking garage; however, we chatted with them for a bit and they seemed like a lot of fun!

The next day, we opted to get bagels for breakfast before the wedding. Unfortunately, none of us remember the name of this place, but everything looked so good! I feel like it was called Brooklyn Bagel (and yes, we were in Queens, so go figure), but don't quote me! :) Unfortunately, I was on my paleo challenge at the time, so I couldn't partake in the bagely goodness.  Everyone got sandwiches, and each of them looked pretty good.

They also had a a ton of unique spreads, such as scallion, tiramisu, samoa cookie just to name a few...

After breakfast, we relaxed for a bit, and surprisingly Justin and I even worked out in the hotel fitness center. Unfortunately, we hit a little snag with our transportation to the church, but luckily we made it just in time!
The tables were decorated with personal pictures of the wedded couple. Below is a picture of the couple the night they first met. I feel honored to have been there upon their first meeting. The groom and I were at the bar celebrating our birthdays. :)

The flower arrangements were beautiful. Full of gorgeous flowers in various shades of orange (the bride's favorite color) and crystals galore!

Em and I with the beautiful bride!

Congrats Mia and Neil! Lots of love and happiness for your new life in Michigan!

Other things that I didn't get pictures of was our trip to Uniqlo (Japanese Gap FTW!), and our meal at Katz's Deli (delish!). I guess in the midst of all the Manhattan craziness, I forgot to snap some pics.  Oh well...

What about you? When was the last time you were in New York? Did you go for a wedding? Interestingly enough, Justin had never been to Manhattan before this trip. He had only been to the Hamptons and Brooklyn. Hopefully, we'll plan a longer trip to NYC sometime in the near future!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paleo Challenge: Halfway there, Living on a Prayer!

Hi Everyone! As my Bon Jovi inspired titled indicates I am just about halfway done with my Paleo Nutrition Challenge. It has been a challenge in every sense of the word and my patience has truly been tested these past few weeks as my weight loss has plateaued. *sad face*  Although I dropped seven pounds within the first couple weeks of the challenge, I have been at a standstill ever since. Talking with my friends and family about it has been extremely helpful. As my support system, they told me that I need to persevere and since I've made it this long (over a month without bread/starches and alcohol!), I can't stop now! They are so right!
After much contemplation. I decided to go to my work nutritionist to get some insight on how I can defeat this plateau. Since this is a free service that my company provides, I figured I had nothing to lose (no pun intended!). I made my appointment for Monday and she initially "poopoo'ed" me for being on the paleo diet. I stuck to my guns and told her this was how I ate and she laid off. I can't blame her since most nutritionists follow the traditional high carb/beans diet plan as a "model" of health. I mean honestly, oatmeal has never filled me up (unless I eat large quantities) and I'm always hungry by 11am! Anyway, I digress...After reviewing my food journal, she was still able offer me some helpful suggestions to get me out of my plateau.
1) Lay of the muffins! Yes my beloved muffins, rich in protein and coconut oil amongst other things...she suggested I limit myself to one per day. These particular ones I made over the weekend were strawberry!
2) Go easy on the Paleo sweets and treats. Therefore, my coconut cream and raspberries need to be once in a while occasion (soooo good!), not an after every dinner treat. wah wah.

3) Continue to eat fibrous vegetables, like brussel sprouts (my favorite!). Look who wants some, even though its not meat and he has no clue what it is. Go figure.  

 4) Although filled with healthy fats, limit my avocado intake to twice a week. She also suggested I limit my nut intake to one serving a day. That means, one serving of almonds or almond butter, not both! And remember measuring is key when it comes to these types of fatty goodness! A little goes a long way, so a dollop of guacamole with chili should be sufficient!

5) Stick with lean proteins like the turkey burgers pictured below. I must admit that I had been indulging on some pretty fatty cuts like sausages and corned beef!


6) No more feast or famine. Basically, that means no more overeating one day and then under eating the next. Guilty as charged. :/ I thought I was doing my body a favor by trying to "undo" the prior day's overeating, but I was actually confusing my body because I had no balance!

So there you go. Six tips to get me on the right track. I'll be sure to update you if they worked!

If you've tried losing weight in the past, what did you do to get past the plateau? I feel petite sized women (like myself!) have it the hardest! Paleo is a healthful way of eating, however, it's easy to go overboard!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekend Review: Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Unfortunately, my weekend reviews are become later and later, but this time, it wasn't my fault because someone *ahem, Justin* forgot to send me the pictures on his iPhone.
Besides it being Easter, our weekend was full of running errands. We had to get the emissions test done on our new car so woke up bright and early (7am!) on Saturday to be one of the first in line. We learned our lesson when we took the FJ and we didn't want to wait 2+ hours in line again!
Afterwards, we took the boys to the French Bulldog meetup. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay too long because we had to take them to their grooming appointment shortly afterward. We usually bathe them ourselves but every other month or so we like to get them professionally groomed. They were getting really smelly!
Later that afternoon, Jill and I went to a two hour Punking/Waacking Workshop at Joy of Motion. Punking/Waacking is a dance style that originated in L.A. and is derived from disco! It's a really fun style of dance that involves at lot of sassy arm movement! You can see a clip of this style of dance here:
It has been several years since we have taken this particular class (or any dance class in general) so you can say we were definitely rusty! Despite our stumbling, we still had a lot of fun bringing out our inner diva.
Photo credit: Esperanto Bean
Sunday Justin and I went to church at St. Peter's on the Hill. Of course we didn't get there early enough so we had to stand, but this time I was prepared and I wore my comfy wedges! For brunch, instead of eating at the Four Seasons as we had originally planned, we opted to do something more paleo-friendly so we went to Chima Brazilian Barbeque in Tysons Corner. Here is a shot of my first plate. A little bit of squash salad, beet, hearts of palm, olives, prosciutto and beef carpaccio to start off with!
I, unfortunately, didn't get any pictures of the meatfest that followed, but let me tell you it was good! For dinner the meatfest continued as we went to my parents' house for a belated birthday/Easter celebration.
I, unfortunately, couldn't eat a lot of the stuff so I mostly stayed on this side of the table. More grilled meats. Barbecue FTW!

The cake and the palabok (Filipino noodle dish) were seriously tempting me...

But luckily I was able to stay on track with kim chee (fermented veggies are good for you!) barbecue short ribs, and the infamous Filipino dish, dinaguan! AKA: Filipino blood pudding, AKA: "chocolate meat." All Nutrition Challenge friendly ;)

So that was my Easter in a nutshell! I hope you did something fun on your weekend!