Why does LARABAR not have a pumpkin pie flavor?  I feel that this is a huge oversight.  I tried the pecan flavor–not bad, but I still prefer peanut butter cookie, lemon bar, and cashew cookie.  Mmm. I guess I should be careful about what I ask for, though, because the apple pie and cherry pie flavors are not so tasty.  Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie would be good, too, but I think that would be difficult to pull off. 

I wish that Seattle pilates studios would look around at the recession and lower their prices.  I really want to try the machines!  I think that we have enough people around here who are recession-proof that my dream of bargain-basement prices is likely never to come to fruition.  The Eastside seems particularly immune, even with all the Microsoft and Boeing layoffs.  Would someone start a “pilates for the people” movement, please?

My current goal is to do at least 15 minutes of exercise every single day of the week. Sounds like a lot, I know, but I am counting light walks, yoga, etc.  The idea is to make “making time for exercise” a habit.  We’ll see how I do: I didn’t work out yesterday after the Super Bowl.  Obviously that was a failure in planning!

I shop at a lot of grocery stores.  I have visited Safeway, QFC, Trader Joe’s, PCC Natural Market, Whole Foods, and Metropolitan Market in the last 6 months.  Oddly enough, most of the stores I often frequent only have about 5 Larabar flavors: peanut butter cookie, apple pie, cashew cookie, cherry pie, and one of the chocolate flavors.  My jealousy at other people’s enjoyment of flavors like key lime pie, gingersnap, cinnamon roll, etc, has grown and grown.  I want to try all of the flavors, damn it!

I went searching for new flavors the other day and found cinnamon roll, gingersnap, and lemon bar!  I was very, very excited.  I have been doling out these new flavors all week, and I found that, for the most part, I will be happy sticking with my favorites (cashew cookie and peanut butter).  The lemon bar was my favorite so far. Unlike the gingersnap and cinnamon roll, the “main star” flavor wasn’t overpowering!  The gingersnap was like biting into a spice cabinet, and not in a pleasant way, and the cinnamon roll was a similar experience. Plus, the gingersnap seemed…unprocessed.  It was chunkier than I normally see the bars.

The scorecard so far:

Yummy!: PB cookie, cashew cookie, lemon bar

Meh: apple pie, cinnamon roll

Ugh: cherry pie, gingersnap, chocolate-orange (Jocalat)

Not yet tried: key lime pie, pecan pie, coconut cream pie, banana bread, cocoa mole, pistachio, chocolate coconut

The Pacific NW is capricious; I woke up to darkness, then there was a blue sky with lovely, lovely sunlight, and then BAM! We are back to cloudy skies.  I was really happy that it was sunny today; it has been a while since we’re had a lot of sun.

It feels like school has accelerated faster than anticipated, and I am now being pulled along by its momentum.  Actually, the correct image is of grad school bumping along down the road, dragging me along with it.  I am exhausted.

I am having difficulty buying the correct amount of food for the week.  One of two scenarios happens: I end up returning to the grocery store over and over because I just don’t have enough food, or I have to toss out what was once perfectly good food that I did not have time to eat.  It’s frustrating, and I don’t know how to fix it!

My lunch disappeared yesterday.  Presto chango.  I ended up eating various snack bars that had accumulated in my bag instead of the healthy, veggie-heavy lunch I packed yesterday morning.

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I used to be a big fan of cereal.  I ate it for breakfast, snacks, dinner, and dessert.  Today, I still love to nibble on it, but I find it incredibly unsatisfying for breakfast.  I have been thinking that I should try it again, but using “toppings” like I put on my oatmeal.  I just can’t decide what an appropriate base cereal would be: I don’t want to eat a ton of calories in the base if I’m adding more up on top, but I don’t want the cereal to taste like cardboard, either.  I have a feeling that experiments are forthcoming…

I have begun to suspect that every extra pound I’ve put on in the past few years is due to boredom.  When I’m busy, I can go great lengths of time without food.  When I’m not, I not only think about food a lot more, but I can shovel more in mindlessly.  Food (heh) for thought…

I have been on a mission to find a decent ballet conditioning DVD, and this week’s has been the best that I’ve found yet!  It is Element: Ballet Conditioning.  I did ballet as a child, and rather like jumping rope, ballet is much more difficult as an adult!  A small amount of ballet experience would serve you well when following this DVD, but if you don’t have experience, don’t worry too much.  She doesn’t stray from 1st position most of the time.

Ballet requires simultaneous strength and flexibility, much like yoga.  Unlike yoga, I think that ballet conditioning better fits the DVD format.  It’s impossible to see the tv screen from downward dog, but you can definitely see the instructor while doing plies and releves! (I’m too lazy to put the accents in, apologies to my high school french teacher.) 

Because I work in an office, I find that my hips are tight from sitting all the time.  Ballet requires a range of motion most of us don’t use in everyday life.  It is also coupled with a focus on posture.  I think most people could benefit from working on both, so I highly recommend giving ballet a try!

I am almost out of food and I have a ton of errands to run.  It was a busy week, and this weekend is just the same.  I started looking for new recipes this morning and then realized, why not revisit some old ones?  I think that I am going to look at my food journal from this summer and see about whipping up something I liked from then…

Have you seen Workout on Bravo?  The show can be extremely silly, but I do like the parts when they show the trainers actually working.  Like the Girls Next Door, I often get a boost of inspiration when watching it (looking good in a bikini isn’t the only reason I want to be fit, but it’s definitely on the list!).

Yesterday, I tried Jackie Warner’s workout dvd.  The dvd has 3 twenty-minute sessions on it; I did the upper and lower body workouts.  There is an abs/core workout that I have yet to try.  Jackie and several of her trainers do a warm-up during each 20 minute session, and then she works one-on-one with each trainer for about 3 strength exercises followed by 1 minute of cardio.  It is a high repetition workout; you do most of the strength exercises for a full minute.

I liked that she offered a full upper body workout.  I feel like a lot of workout DVDs are targeted towards women and focus more on the lower body.  The workout was challenging; since I haven’t worked out much lately, I did not add weights to the lunges and squats, and I think that I will be sore tonight and tomorrow anyway. 

The DVD was fast paced, gives modifications, and had my heart rate up and down during the 40 minutes I used it. According to my heart rate monitor, I burned around 350 calories.  I think it’s a pretty great DVD; it’s definitely something you could have on hand for those days when you just don’t want to hoof it to the gym.

What if, instead of “whole” foods being healthy, “hole” foods were best for you?  Just imagine: everything with holes in would be healthy!  Donuts, bagels, swiss cheese…  Actually, that’s all I can come up with.

It’s the annual “Choose MY Program” insanity in all the health magazines and all over the infomercials/commercials.  None has really interested me yet.  I’m following along with Self’s “Tip a Day” program, which gives you different tips to try out each day.  The idea is to adopt small changes during the month and see what sticks.

My current goals for the month are to add more fruits and vegetables to my daily meals, focus on back, gluteal and hamstring strength, and increase my weight training.

Family is the beginning and the end of old habits.  There’s the preview for that “Nothing like the holidays” movie when Reese Witherspoon says, “I ate my feelings, ok?” and Vince Vaughn responds, “You must have had a lot of feelings.”  For me, that is what the holidays are all about: falling into or fighting off old habits.

The Pacific Northwest has been a nightmare lately.  There has been no working out outside because it has been too snowy and icy.  There has been very little of anything, actually, because of the horrible snow.  So little that I have NOTHING to write about!

It is a nightmare around here, so much so that we’re all over the news.

I don’t want to talk about it.  I am alive, and I am going to blog more in the new year.  2009, I own you!