New Place – Pho Little Saigon

We went out for Vietnamese tonight at a new place about a mile away from our new apartment.  It’s called Pho Little Saigon.  We both got pho (noodle soup) of course!  Bobby got something beefy and I got one of the non-beef options:


It had 2 pieces of each: shrimp, squid, chicken, pork, fish balls, and fish cakes.  I ate all of the meats, all of the veggies (sprouts mostly) and some of the noodles.  I dipped everything in hoisin and chili sauce (on the left).  I had a few bites of Bobby’s beef soup, but the broth was pretty oily… though the beef was amazing tender and lean.

The only problem with this place (which I discovered once I got home) is that they use a ridiculous amount of MSG.  I should have assumed, because most pho places use it.  After I eat MSG I get this pressure in my temples and my head feels tight.  It’s kind of like dizziness, but it’s more just a weird sensation.  I’m not sure if we’ll go back.  I love pho but I hate the way MSG makes me feel.  Does this happen to anyone else?

I’ll be back soon with my Monday menu plan…

Crazy Asian Salad!

Check out this beauty of a crazy asian salad:


  • base: head of romaine
  • toppings: sauteed white fungus (Coco likes this too), shiitake mushrooms, green peas; steamed kabocha; pickled cucumber (from Asian market; not a pickle!)
  • protein: parmesan cheese
  • dressing: annie’s lite gingerly vinaigrette, shiso fumi fukikake (salty thing you usually put on rice; it’s purple)

I just wanted to address something.  Issue 1: the salads you’ve been seeing recently are NOT the only things that I’m eating.  I cannot and will not photograph everything I eat.  For me, it’s obsessive and unhealthy so I don’t do it (anymore).  I’m not going to write about everything I eat either, because that’s just as bad as taking all the pictures.

Issue 2: the reason that I’m breaking down the salads this way (base, toppings, protein, dressing) is for Leng’s Salad Challenge.  Do NOT think that a few tablespoons of parmesan and bacon bits count as my protein intake for the day.  I like my salads the way I like them (full of veggies, and no beans!) and I’m going to keep them that way.

I AM eating enough (though possibly not enough this week due to my high activity level = moving) and I have been spot-checking my calorie counts the last day or two to make sure of that.  Each of these salads is 350-500 calories on its own (PLUS whatever else I eat at that meal).  By the way, these salads are huge.  I use a whole head of lettuce for each one, and several cups of cooked veggies.

I’ve also been enjoying lots of this:


And I just finished this guy (while watching an ANTM marathon on Bravo):


  • base: head of romaine
  • toppings: sauteed leeks and woodear mushrooms (try them!  found @ local Asian market); steamed kabocha; pickled cucumber (again – NOT a pickle)
  • protein: parmesan cheese
  • dressing: trader joe’s raspberry vinaigrette

Thank you all so much for the response to my post on birth control.  I’ll definitely keep you guys updated as time goes on and I see how my body reacts to going off of it.  I can’t really tell yet what the changes are since it hasn’t even been a week.

What are your weekend plans?  I had a training session today (SAT math teaching) and I think Bobby and I are going out to dinner tonight (possibly with the cousins).  Ikea might be on the agenda at some point, and maybe a hike tomorrow.

Hormones? What?

I’ve been reading this kick-butt book:


And I have learned a lot.  It’s also a little bit scary.  It’s a great book and I’ll write a real review soon (after I finish it).  Tagline:

Does it feel as if you’re fighting your body to lose even one pound—or just to maintain your current weight? Respected health and wellness expert and bestselling author Jillian Michaels has been there, too. So she consulted top experts in the field of metabolism and discovered that she’d inadvertently been abusing her endocrine system for years. After “fixing” her own metabolism, she decided to share what she learned by devising this simple, 3-phase plan that engages all the weight-loss hormones (including the friendly HGH, testosterone, DHEA; and the not-so-friendly: insulin, cortisol, and excess estrogen).”

I identify with a lot of the issues that she talks about and I think my hormones are probably at least a little bit whacked.  I’ve been on birth control (the pill) for about 3.5 years.  While I was on it I lost weight (not because of the birth control) that I had gained as a freshman.  Both of these things definitely mess up your hormones (thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, insulin, ghrelin, cortisol, etc…) and I’m pretty sure mine have taken a hit.  There are SO many side effects of birth control (weight gain, increase or decrease in acne, dizziness, headaches, depression, loss of libido).  Jillian Michaels also talks about an abundance of different hormone issues as well.

Hm.  Apparently hormones are pretty important.  I want my body back! I was all set to go off of the pill and see what would happen but then The Dainty Pig (a lovely macrobiotic blogger) posted her story – and it scared me!  There are side effects/changes when you go OFF the pill too (weight GAIN/loss, acne, bloating, irregular periods, irritability – all the things I DON’T want)!  At first I almost chickened out, but then I decided that I NEED to do this.  Bobby and I have talked about the fact that I’m not the carefree and happy person that I used to be.  I need to see if my hormones are part of the issue.

I want to lead a healthy, happy, clean life – and this means getting rid of toxins and seeing how my body reacts.  I’m following a pretty macrobiotic diet for the first few weeks off the pill to help my body get used to it (the yogurt was really getting to me again, so I haven’t been having it; I am eating small amounts of meat though).  My first day off was Monday and so far I’m doing well.  I have noticed some changes, but I’m going to give it a few more weeks before I attribute them to going off.  Stay tuned.

Have you read Jillian’s book?  What did you think?  If you haven’t, does it sound interesting to you? (Also, feel free to email me – – or comment about your own experiences with the pill.  I’m really curious about what others have gone through and I’d be happy to share more about what I’ve experienced.) The book is a really great read and a wonderful resource – I have learned a lot and I can’t wait to review it properly for you.

I’m tired! (but not of salad)

Moving is so exhausting!  Up and down, up and down, up and down!  3 flights of stairs is a workout!  Today I bought a new TV, which I brought on up.  I went grocery shopping twice (yep, up the stairs with those).  AND I started out the day with a lovely and relaxing, but challenging… yoga podcast (60 minutes, Baptiste power vinyasa)!

Yoga – I did the Philip Urso podcast that I talked about last week.  I definitely did not get as sweaty today as I did last time.  I’m thinking it was because of the temperature?  It was chilly in the apartment this morning; last week when I practiced it was much warmer.  Does this happen to you?  Different intensity depending on the heat?

I have been very salad-y recently, probably in preparation for the summer.  With dinner last night I enjoyed this beauty:


  • base: romaine heart
  • toppings: sauteed carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower; steamed kabocha
  • protein: parmesan, vegan bacon bits
  • dressing: annie’s lite honey mustard

And then this morning I made a “salad” out of my oat bran (by definition – it counts):


  • base: 2+ cups spinach (added at end; more today than before) + 2 cups water (for cooking)
  • toppings: 2/3 cup oat bran, 2 tablespoons raisins
  • protein: hm… missing this.  oat bran counts?
  • dressing: vanilla, salt (mixed in while cooking)

This afternoon I was running around like a madwoman trying to make my house look presentable.  I had a student coming over at 3pm and I do NOT let people in my house unless it’s spotless (I’m a nut).  I’d just gotten the TV and I was running late and I had no time to make anything.  I steamed some kabocha and threw it on top of lettuce – tada!  A salad:


  • base: romaine heart
  • toppings: steamed kabocha
  • protein: parmesan, bacon bits
  • dressing: annie’s lite honey mustard

I’m currently watching my nice new TV (Jeopardy) and figuring what I want to eat.  Do you have to have a clean house before people come over?  Do you like cleaning?  What’s your favorite cleaning thing to do?  I love vacuuming with my Dyson 🙂

I owe you, my readers, some better posts – I promise, they’re coming!  I’ve been so busy the last few days that it’s hard to find time to blog.  But I have a lot to say about a few choice topics, and I hope you’ll be interested (here’s a sneak peek: yoga, birth control, and dairy).  Have a great night!

Survey of 8’s & more salads & earth love

Lots of green today! (Happy Earth Day!) To celebrate I had another green breakfast (can this count as my salad?  Just kidding…):



  • green tea
  • 2/3 cup oat bran + ~2 cups water
  • 2-3 tablespoons raisins
  • vanilla
  • 2 cups spinach blended in @ the end


My real salad was this:



  • base: head of romaine
  • toppings: steamed kabocha
  • protein: parmesan
  • dressing: annie’s lite gingerly vinaigrette


Erin tagged me in this survey of 8’s…

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. Teaching yoga
  2. Learning
  3. The summer
  4. Enjoying my new apartment once everything is unpacked
  5. Getting a TV
  6. Getting a dog (eventually)
  7. Helping my students 🙂
  8. The Future!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Carried lots of stuff from my old apartment to my new apartment (both 3rd floor!)
  2. Ate a salad
  3. Ate green oat bran
  4. Tutored math
  5. Breathed
  6. Listened to music
  7. Played with Couscous (cat)
  8. Hugged Bobby

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. Play the violin (well)
  2. Travel the world
  3. Speak Russian
  4. Speak Chinese
  5. Speak Japanese
  6. Be a getaway driver
  7. Fly
  8. Be more relaxed

8 Shows I Watch:

  1. Real Housewives of NYC
  2. Biggest Loser Couples (this season)
  3. House
  4. Private Practice
  5. Grey’s Anatomy (might quit this; getting dull!)
  6. 30 Rock
  7. erm… I don’t think I watch any other shows.

I’m tagging anyone who wants to!  Or you can answer in the comments…