Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Let the Countdown Begin!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Once September 16 rolls around, my anticipation begins. What event is it that I so eagerly await, you ask? Christmas, of course.

As I explained many months ago here, I have always been a fan of Christmas; it's a time of double celebration for me, since my birthday is December 24th. For as long as I could wield a crayon (or maneuver a computer cursor), I have been making Christmas countdowns. The trend in the past 10 years has been to begin this extended advent season on September 16th, precisely 100 days until Christmas Day. Yes, you may call it premature, and yes, you may say that I am wishing my life away. However, I still appreciate the present--I am just especially conscientious about preparing for the season of utmost joy and peace. Even for those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I am sure there is some season or holiday for which you can identify with this feeling; I think everyone can relate to a sensation that combines eagerness, excitement, and contentment all into one sublime emotion.

Long story short: 99 days until the big day, 98 until my birthday. I expect presents ;)

Onto the grub:

There was free food again at the dining meeting. This time it was from Chai's, a local noodle bar that wants Duke Dining to allow students to use food points at their restaurants. I'm not sure what the dish was called, but I tried the only vegetarian dish there: crispy tofu with bell peppers and egg noodles. I avoid eggs in my diet, so I just picked took a portion and ate the tofu/vegetables with some steamed rice. I was still a little hungry (and desperately in need of vegetables!), so I made a pit stop at the salad bar, where I loaded up on my usual fave veggies (mushrooms, snow peas, tomatoes, etc.), plus a container of cantaloupe. I chomped this down in record time before heading to Bible study.
My smoothie of the evening consisted of frozen pineapple with vanilla hemp and soymilk. Wow! This was quite tasty--almost as good as mango and vanilla hemp. Almost.
I don't have class until 10 on Tuesdays, so I took advantage of the extra time yesterday to construct a parfait. This one featured a past favorite flavor combination of mine: strawberry-banana. I went through this phase in high school where I ate everything strawberry-banana: yogurt, smoothies, even lip balm (gross, I know). Anyway, I got a little burnt out on it--until now. The parfait included strawberry yogurt, sliced banana, Fiber One, and raw cashews.
The pre-run snack was a TJ's fig bar and an apple. I was draggin' a little yesterday, despite an almost all-carb snack.
I picked up lunch at a campus eatery--it was free because I was evaluating it for the dining committee:) I opted for a vegan summer roll (cilantro, basil, carrot, cucumber, and tofu) and a hot tea to warm me up on my walk through the rain. When I came home I whipped up a quick peanut sauce using PB, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Delish.
Dinner was pretty simple last night: just frozen corn, black beans, canned tomatoes (no salt added), and sliced avocado. On the side I had a big salad and some fresh fruit that I had picked up on campus earlier in the day.
I had heaven in a glass for my smoothie last night. (Mango + Vanilla Hemp, in case you don't know what that tastes like).
I had a rather fallish breakfast today: whole wheat toast with almond butter, unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon, and plain yogurt with pumpkin and wheat germ. That last item was a staple in my diet last spring--I had it every day for a good two months. YUM!
The pre-run snack today was a big banana and a PB Mini Clif. This fueled me very well, although I had PB breath throughout the entire workout. Could be worse, right?
Afterward, I returned home to prepare a simple Goddess Garbanzos wrap and a spinach-mushroom salad. Simple, but oh-so-satisfying.
Finally, for dinner tonight I made a tofu salad pita using cubed tofu, vegan mayo, Grey Poupon, dried cranberries, walnuts, and basil. On the side I had green beans cooked with tomatoes and basil, plus a mound of mixed greens. Oh, and a furry little kiwi on the left.

After that, I jetted off to a Sex and the City party, where we didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to the TV, and simply chatted instead. Fun stuff.

One more day of classes until the weekend! Be back soon.


Andrea said...

oooh sex and the city parties are the BEST!!! love your xmas countdown. it's the most wonderful time of the year... hehe

Emma said...

mmmm yummy eatings! I love the sound of that vegan wrap with veggies and tofu in! I have never tried the normal clif bars but I love the peanut butter clif builer bars! There are definitely worse things to have the taste of during a workout!

Maria Rose said...

I have already started Christmas preparation too. I always plan that this will be the year that I get everyone the perfect gift.

VeggieGirl said...

Haha yes, let the countdown begin, indeed!! :0)

Hehe, I love how TINY the clif bar looks next to the banana - yes, I'm easily amused ;0)

"Furry little Kiwi" - remind me of my dog (may she rest in peace).

How fun that you attended a Sex & the City party!! I never get tired of watching re-runs of that show :0)

ChickPea said...

Andrea: I know! I still haven't seen the movie, but I love watching old SatC episodes!
Emma: Hmm I have never tried the Builder bars, but I love the regular ones...perhaps we should trade?
Maria Rose: I am the same way! I have already started taking notes as to what people might like for Christmas:)
VeggieGirl: Aww I am sure your "furry little Kiwi" was a lot more loveable than mine was!

eatingbender said...

Yay for the beginning of the countdown! It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas!

Haha, I used to have a strawberry-banana obsession, too! Especially with yogurt and smoothies. That parfait brings back lovely memories!

Wow, that Goddess Garbanzo wrap sounds sensational. I'll take two, please.

Aw the Sex & the City turned chatty party sounds like so much fun! One of the best parts about college, for sure.

Have a great weekend!

flower said...

I love love love christmas I didnt realise it was close!! 97 days to go.
The food at your school looks like proper food, the best I could get in my university was a huge baked potato with nasty baked beans or fries (i nearly put chips) and the same nasty baked beans! Rant over - love the name of your blog too hehe

sportsnutritionliving said...

I think it is agreat you are part of the dining comitte as campus food often lacks in nutrition but I have to say I see a trend in the offering healtheir options which is great seeing so many kids go away an gain the freshman 15.
I too m obsesed with christamas I love when i start seeing places like starbucks have their cups out or their gingerbread lattes

Allison said...

Your tofu salads look amazing each time you make them! Can I please come over for lunch one day?! :0) I still haven't tried the Goddess Garbonzo recipe...I have no idea what I'm waiting for- it looks delicious!

Yay for the Christmas countdown!!

ChickPea said...

EatingBender: Haha, glad to hear I am not the only one who went through a straw-nana phase.
The Goddess Garbanzo wraps are delicious--I COULD easily eat multiple wraps in one sitting!
The SatC party was fun--I'm starting to appreciate those times more, as my time in college dwindles!
Flower: Believe me, most places on campus don't have exactly vegetarian-friendly menus. I really like the place that I got the summer roll though--they have the best hummus!
SportsNutritionLiving: Yes, I consider myself the healthful member of the board, although there is a nutritionist who attends our meetings occasionally. I don't know how much progress I've made though--they just opened a Panda Express on campus. Agh!
Allison: That would be so much fun! If only we weren't so far away...Anyway, I highly recommend the Goddess Garbanzos--it's definitely one of my "go-to" meals when I don't have time to cook much.

lighterportions said...

I LOVE mango in smoothies. And I also love frozen fruit in general. But believe it or not, as much as I thought I was a frozen fruit hound, I don't think i've ever done frozen pineapple in a smoothie. I'm feeling somewhat inadequate right now. I really want to try it!

ChickPea said...

LighterPortions: Haha, no need to feel inadequate about the frozen pineapple--that was a recent discovery of mine. It's a lot cheaper than some of the frozen berries right now.