Posted by: thefitacademic | January 19, 2011

Delectable Slab-o-meat

I recently had one of the best meals I have ever tasted. And would you believe it was simple spaghetti and meatballs? Over the weekend while in Phoenix my family went out to an Italian place the night before the half-marathon so I could carbo-load (okay, so that’s really more common amongst full-marathoners……but I seized the opportunity anyway, mkay?)

Check out this huge, glorious meatball

(WARNING: Non-meaties….this may be kind of grotesque to you….prepare yourself for a rather large slab of meat!)PICT2894

That giant meatball, about twice the size of my fist, was made from veal and pork and was the most tender melt-in-your-mouth meat I Have Ever Had. Seriously. And would you believe this is only a half-sized portion? Crazy, right! So it cost $20 for spaghetti and meatballs……I think it was the best $20 I’ve spent in awhile Open-mouthed smile

Yesterday marked what felt like the first “real” day back to work. It’s funny because technically I’ve been working all January, but the office has been empty and classes weren’t in session. Classes barely started last Thursday, and then we had this Monday off, so we STILL haven’t even had a full week back yet!

At any rate, yesterday I woke up feeling famished and needed some fuel to power me through until lunch. A big bowl of oats and goodies was just what my tummy wantedPICT2897

I made some steel-cut oats topped with a handfull of blueberries and half a banana sliced up along with a splash of almond milk to give the oats a creamier consistency.

But I still wanted something more.


So then I threw in a handfull of slivered almonds & a good sprinkling of chia seeds. PERFECT!

Chris and I haven’t been on a real “date” for awhile. I mean, we’ve eaten out & we’ve done stuff, but nothing I would consider a legit date. And, I haven’t mentioned it here, but he left yesterday to go back to Texas for a couple weeks for work. Since he was leaving, we decided on Monday night to do a “real” date night. We went to this place we’ve never been before called Claim Jumper.

I saw that they had a macadamia-nut crusted mahi mahi on the menu, but it was served with mashed potatoes and green beans & I really wanted one of the salads on the menu. So, I basically made up my own dish. Asked the waiter for the salad I wanted (which usually comes with ahi-tuna), but with the macadamia-nut mahi mahi on top. The waiter complied (Bonus points for Claim Jumper!) and brought me one of the most delicious salad feasts I have ever had! It saddens me that I didn’t get a picture of the whole salad when it was served, but it was large enough to yield leftovers, which I devoured at lunch yesterday. (What? I’m not scared of leftover salad!?)


The mahi mahi layed on a bed of spinach leaves tossed in a light balsamic vinagrette, with chunks of feta cheese, candied pecans, mandarin oranges, and dried cranberries. It was MARVELOUS and surprisingly delicious even as leftovers! I ate it with a side of cheese tortellini plain, with just a little salt & pepper & a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Does anyone else top their cheesy pasta with more cheese? No? You’re missing out.

And then, since I was alone for dinner (Chris having already left at this point), I had a really simple and easy dinner.


A grilled sandwich with a fresh side salad. You’ll be seeing lots of salads in the near future because I accidentally bought some lettuce, and then discovered that we already had both lettuce & spinach. Oops!

Check out the insides of this killer sandwich!


It was wheat bread with turkey, bacon, cheese, and avocado slathered all on the inside.

And then I kept myself busy with scrapbooking and making protein bars (recipe to come soon)


I ran some errands yesterday after school and one place on my list was Michaels so I could get some stickers for scrapbooking. I’ve now finally finished up the year 2009. Yeah, soooo that puts me exactly a year behind Disappointed smile

No worries, though I’ve got some NEW goals!

At the beginning of January I made some January goals and I like to check in mid-month. But also, since Chris is going to be gone for the next couple weeks (he gets back on January 31st), I want to make a new set of goals specific to the time that he’ll be gone.

So here’s a review of my January goals

1. Take time to myself.   Status = check! I’ve been trying to make time for my hobbies & I think I’ve done a pretty good job.

2. Workouts. Status = Unsure. This goal was a little wishy-washy and not very concrete (tip: Goals should be very concrete if you want to achieve them!)

3. Cooking. Status = half-check? I’ve definitely been cooking more and have been trying to enjoy it. I’ve made a couple fun things (like those thumb print cookies and the protein bars I’ll reveal soon), but the dinners, themselves, have still been kind of blah.

So now lets set some new goals because these aren’t really working for me anymore as my needs have changed. These goals are specific to the next 2 weeks, which is the remainder of January, and is also the time during which Chris will be gone.

NEW January Goals

1. Scrapbook. Like I said, I’m now a year behind in scrapbooking. By February I want to be caught up through at least the end of October 2010. November is going to be a huge month, with all the wedding pictures, etc., so it will take awhile. If I can get done through October I’ll consider it a success!

2. Class Planning. The class I’m teaching this semester has 3 units. Although I have all the readings and lectures worked out, I still need to make all the exams & note cards for each lecture (and this is a LOOOOONG and time consuming process). So, my goal is to finish the entirety of the prep work for at least the first 2 units (the first 2/3 of my class) by February

3. Nutrition. I think with my training and everything I’ve gotten so hung up on working out and exercising that I’ve sort of been slacking off in the nutrition department. I always allow myself snacks and treats with way more frequency than I’m “okay” with (I’m talking daily!) Rather than counting calories or anything, I want to just focus on eating “whole” and “natural” foods. Not 100%, but I want to be very conscious about everything I put in my mouth, rather than just eating whatever tastes yummy. This is going to mean scaling back on desserts and snacks, big time! (or at least eating healthier alternatives)

4. Workouts. You may have noticed in my weekly workouts that this week I’ve included something that I never have before……a bike-ride! Although I haven’t looked into anything yet, I have a very tentative goal of doing a triathlon sometime this year. I’ve never done one before and I’m pretty new to biking, in general. I bike to and from school frequently, but I’m wearing school clothes and biking at a very leisurely pace. I want to start incorporating “actual” bike-rides into my weekly workouts. Also, I plan on taking a spin class here and there, too, to prepare myself for the biking portion of a tri.

Do you make short-term goals, or are you a big-picture person?

I actually do both.



  1. I make long AND short term goals.. but i’m not very good at goals! The only one I seem to keep is my 1 new recipe a week goal.

    HOORAY WHOLE FOODS! I’m excited about this one! =) hopefully i’ll be able to help! ❤

  2. I am waaaay more about the within the year goals than the 5-10 year kinda stuff. My life changes in crazy ways WAY too often to know that my 5 year outcome is always COMPLETELY different!! And that meatball is BONKERS!!! I love it 🙂

  3. I want to start scrapbooking again, too. I love looking back on them. I’m going to make one for my boyfriend’s and I one year anniv, I think!

    • Such a cute idea! I know, I feel like an old lady when I get into scrapbook-mode, but I absolutely LOVE looking at them. I’ve thought about switching to a digital scrapbook (online housing of pictures, basically), but there’s nothing like flipping through the pages in your hands, remembering back on good times : )

  4. i think i’m far more short term goal oriented, but those goals can also be part of long term goals.
    i think they are closely connected 🙂

    scrapbooking looks like so much fun-i think blogging is similar, as it is organizing pictures, memories, thoughts, and ideas. but blogging is a lot less messy! i don’t like messy 😉

  5. I prefer short term goals because for me, they’re more manageable, but I also have long term goals. I feel like my life is really unpredictable at this age, so it’s hard to make goals too far in the future. None of my goals really extend past a year 🙂

  6. Oh man, I am in lOVE with the giant meatball, LOL! Too funny!

  7. Omg, that meatball looks incredible. I wonder if I could make that at home? Hmmm

    I make both short and long term goals. I have my eye on a big race this summer, so I’m making plans for a lot of short term goals to get there!

    • That’s how I like to do it too! My short term goals often feed into a larger goal. And in terms of the meatballs – the chef said that they were so tender because he sauteed them in hot water – the water never quite boils, but it’s close. Then the meat just falls apart in your mouth!

  8. Wow, that meatball is huge!! Love your grilled sandwich idea. Avocado + bacon is a win in any recipe. Can’t wait to see your scrapbook. I’m sure it’ll be super cute! I make short-term goals all the time. This month I’m going to try to recover from my knee injury, and then start getting ready for some more cardio and hopefully a 5K!

  9. I can’t stop laughing at that huuuuuuge meatball. I have honestly *never* seen anything like that before!! I don’t know why I’m finding it so funny…

  10. […] Goals! I had set some original goals, that were then revised in the middle of the month (see here). So here they […]

  11. […] have decided to stop thinking and just GO FOR IT! I’m going to be doing my FIRST TRIATHLON!!!  As you may know, I’ve […]

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