R.I.P. Ipod

My nano is a goner.

As a result of my dead ipod, I went to the gym music-less today.  It wasn’t too bad at first because they play loud pop music in there anyway for example this came on:

So that was fine, until a woman decided the music was too loud for her so she turned it off. Boo!

She was polite enough to ask me if it was okay, but sadly my Italian is good enough to understand what she said but too bad to know how to say “can you just turn it down instead of off?”

The next half hour of my workout was in silence. Woh woh… Not as fun, but the 45 minutes went by pretty fast.  Apparently I have a lot on my mind.

On the bright side, there was basically no one there when I got there!  It was lovely since that place is pretty small.

After the sweaty work out and a shower, I made lunch.  This meal was a crazy mish mash of things that probably don’t really go together, but I sorta loved it.

Tuna Salad + Curried Potatoes with Peas (Aloo Mattar, sorta) + Green beans

Delicious!  I’ll be making those potatoes again. Super tasty and went great with the green beans.  Tuna salad (made with a small can of tuna, mustard, lemon juice, capers, onions, salt, pepper and a handful of garbanzo beans) surprisingly wasn’t bad when mixed with the curried potatoes.  But then again I’m generally a fan of mixing everything on my plate together.  I seem to have this idea that it heightens all the flavors.

True or False? Who knows!  Probably all in my head…

Enjoy the weekend!

Moving Myself

My former (but quited beloved) roommate, Christina, would always say “I’m going to go move myself” before going to the gym.  So in the spirit of missing her… today I moved myself and it was great!

I came home from work, had a snack:

2 egg white and a banana that for some reason look like they’re smiling at me.  Don’t you think?

Then I headed over to Nancy’s, and we walked to the river for a nice jog along the water.  The weather was perfect.  We didn’t go too fast, and I was pretty pleased with life.  After our lovely jog in the perfect 65F Roman sunshine, I headed to the dark dungeon that is my gym.  I’m not sure I mentioned this before, but my gym is in a basement, which is no fun.  It usually sticky and humid down there, probably because there’s no ventilation and tons of people sweating in close quarters.  Not cute.

Per usual, I was a sweaty mess there for a while.  But hey, at least I moved myself a little bit.

Then dinner:

Who says healthy has to be boring?

Certainly not my Palak Chana (Spinach and Garbanzo bean) Masala with Chicken on rice with green beans.  Basically chana masala with spinach and chicken added.

Ready for a recipe?  It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those:

Palak Chana Masala

adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen

1-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 can of tomato puree
4 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2-1 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
1-2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed (I used one since I added chicken)
few handfuls of spinach
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (optional, I actually used less)

Heat the oil in a pot.  Once the oil is hot, add cumin and flour and stir and cook for 1 minute.   Add ginger and tomato puree and stir.  Add the remaining spices (except garam masala) and stir.  Add the garbanzo beans, water and spinach (and chicken if you want to use it), cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  Lastly stir in the garam masala!

Serve with rice and/or vegetable of choice and a dollop of greek yogurt!

Serves 4-6.

Vegetabley mess, just how I like it!

Well, I should probably go do some exit project editing, but let’s be honest, I’ll probably watch an episode of my new (to me) obsession… Alias.

Goodnight!

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was a four and a half day weekend for me, and it was great.

The weekend started Thursday at noon, when Lis and I left work early and headed to the airport for Ibiza!  This also marked the end of countdown to Ibiza.  Success!  Well, I didn’t gain weight, even lost a kg haha!  Although it didn’t really matter because it was wayyy too cold to be in a bathing suit.

After arriving in Ibiza and spending about an hour looking for our hotel, Lis and I made it!  We had a great 1 bedroom apartment with a view of the sea!

Only 29 Euro per night!  That’s what happens when you go to Ibiza in the low season.  Know what else happens?

It’s cloudy and gross.  But we were still happy!

Know what else happens?  No one is there.  You end up being the only ones at the bar and the only ones on the dance floor.  Good enough for us.

The rest of our time in Ibiza was spent walking around.

Surprisingly, we only ate one meal out:

We shared a hamburger, paella and patatas bravas. We like to mix the Spanish and the American… but really that’s the first time I had seen a burger on a bun since I’ve been in Europe.  Truth be told, I miss veggie burgers.

Sadly, we had to leave Ibiza on Saturday.  Just our luck, the sun decided to visit Ibiza as we were leaving.

On Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed to the Vatican.  I had a ticket for the Papal Mass on Easter Sunday.  Can you really pass that up?

There were tons of people and I really couldn’t see anything.  Luckily they do a good job of projecting sound in St. Peter’s Square.

I had never been to a mass in Latin before.  Kinda nice.

The rest of the weekend I was pretty much a bum.  I think that was needed because Sunday night I fell asleep around 6pm and woke up the next morning at 9:30am.  Let’s just say I was pooped!

Then today I made up for all the chocolate I didn’t eat for Easter when my office mate brought in a huge bag of chocolate eggs.

Definitely needing to hit up that gym I dropped major $$$$ for!

Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner last night was the best.

First, because I didn’t cook.

Second, because it was just damn good.

Third, it was meat free, and I miss that.

Nancy made fruit salad and a spinach salad.

Kyla just got back from Ethiopia and brought spices with her.  So she made shiro and a delicious bean stew.

It was to die for.  I’m obsessed with the shiro that Kyla made.  Sooo good and so easy to make (given that you have the shiro spice mix).  It definitely came at a time when I’ve sorta been going crazy regarding Italian food.  Basically I’ve had enough.  I miss spiced food.  I cannot find cumin or cilantro in stores here!  I’m going to the “ethnic markets” in the immigrant neighborhoods this week to scout out spices.   So this dinner definitely helped with my spice cravings.

Spices, beans, grains, fruit, vegetables, friends!  What could be better?

Picnic at Villa Borghese

Yesterday was pretty much amazing.

I slept in.  Had oatmeal for breakfast.

I know that sounds silly but I’ve been getting super tired of Italian food.  Anything tastes remotely like home makes me happy.  Although let me tell you, I’ve only been able to find quick cooking oats here.  Not as tasty as rolled oats or multi-grain hot cereal, but I’ll survive.

Then I met up with some friends for a picnic at Villa Borghese, which is a huge park (actually a garden) in Rome. On my way there, I finally got to take one of the little buses!

Most buses in Rome are normal sized buses, but there are a few that are really small and make me smile every time I see them.  So I finally rode one… But anyway, back to yesterday…

Let me just tell you.  The weather was perfect.  I wore a sleeveless dress with sandals. What could be better?

People trickled in throughout the afternoon.  Everyone brought food to share.

My contribution: PB&J.

The Canadian smiled; the Europeans and Africans weren’t that into it.   Basically most of them hated it haha.

We moved our picnic to follow the sun.

After I had had enough sunshine, I walked home which took a little over half an hour.  The street were ridiculously crowded!  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of it.

The rest of the night I proceeded to be a bum.

Sounds like a pretty great day to me!  Hanging out with friends in the sun was wonderful.  Say yes to Vitamin D!

Apple Mush

At first it was sorta funny and ironic.  Of course I get sick the day I decide to go on a diet.

But today is day 5 of feeling like death.  I’ll spare you the details of my unfortunate symptoms.  Let’s just say I’m tired of it.

Yesterday, I ate two slices of plain toast, a kiwi, and two bottles of powerade.

Today, I made apple mush.  Apple mush is the weak/lazy lady’s version of apple sauce.

I chopped up two apples (with peel, because I have no energy to peel apples), sliced 1 banana and put them in a small pot, sprinkled them with a dash of cinnamon and added 1/2 cup of water.  Then I let it simmer for 25 minutes.  I mixed it around and broke up the pieces a bit and called it apple mush.

My body hasn’t rejected it yet, but I’m reluctant to even write that.

Hopefully these bottles of gatorade/powerade will help.  Italy has strange flavors…

Green Mango?  It just tasted really sweet, not really like mango.

Arancia Rossa is Blood Orange.  Tastes like a stronger orange flavor. Maybe more like real orange than the regular orange gatorade?

It’s been 5 days of illness now.  Cross your fingers that I’ll be better by tomorrow.  I’m tired of my apartment.  I need some human interaction.

Rough Start

Countdown to Ibiza started yesterday.  In terms of eating less, it definitely was a success.  In terms of health, not so much.

I had some sort of flu that entailed vomiting, fever, muscle pain.

Therefore, all I ate yesterday was a kiwi.

and a cup of juice.

Not exactly what I had in mind to start off a diet but oh well.

Still had a little fever this morning so I’m going to work a little late.

So far today, I’ve had an apple.

I have no real desire to eat anything else.

This is definitely not what I had in mind…