Sparks fly, I cry.

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 7, 2008

My roomie and I – from here on out, she will be known as K, since she’s also my best friend and deserves more than just the roomie title – had such a lovely afternoon. We caught a 5:00 showing of Nights in Rodanthe, the new movie based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. I think Nicholas Sparks is a great writer – a bit cheesy at times, but even at his cheesiest, he always manages to make me cry my eyes out. Tonight was no different. I hadn’t read this particular book of his yet, but I knew I should expect a teary ending, and so it was. I still recommend you go see it because Diane Lane and Richard Gere are wonderful together.

Before the movie, K and I took advantage of one of our $5.00 coupons from Big Bite Nite and headed to a new restaurant for dinner – Lulu’s Dim Sum and Then Sum. Cute name, eh?

The menu has much to choose from, but eventually I decided on the Wide Rice Noodles, a dish that was described as “thick rice noodles stir-fried with broccoli and chicken” in a Chinese Oyster sauce.

The portion was huge, so I took 1/2 of it home for lunch tomorrow. The taste? Unbelieveable! I’d never tried wide rice noodles before, but they had a chewy texture and went well with the oyster sauce. I can’t really pinpoint what the oyster sauce tastes like. It’s not fishy at all – in fact, it didn’t taste much different to me than teriyaki. Maybe my taste buds are on a hiatus? The texture of the sauce is more reminiscent of a ketchup than a soy sauce. I highly recommend it if you’re ever at a restaurant that features it on the menu.

After the movie, K and I ran home in a torrential downpour – the streets were flooded! – and watched the debate. I was a little chilled after getting soaked, so I ended the evening with a mug of Decaf Coffee Cocoa.

Today was one of the few days of my senior year thus far that I was able to be completely self-centered. Ok, so I know that sounds AWFUL, but I mean it in a good, non-bratty way – if that even makes sense. I’ve been running around for the past two weeks trying to please everyone but myself, so it was nice to take a day and just breathe :) Beyond the lovely dinner and movie, I also woke up early and went on another 4-mile run. That’s right – TWICE in three days! That’s relatively unheard of for me when it comes to running! I made a conscious effort to slow down my pace today and finished in 34:40. I honestly felt so much better when I told myself to slow-the-heck down.

When I got back from my run, I did some stretching and ab work before cooking up a wonderful breakfast. It was the typical bowl of protein oatmeal, but today there was one extra special ingredient…

I topped it with a slice of Betta Banana Bread! Yum-o! This bowl consisted of 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp. ground flax and 1 crumbled slice of banana bread. It was just what I needed to refuel!

A nice, leisurely morning was just what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of doctors, Dr. Mercola posted this article today which talks about mounting evidence that certain types of soy can be harmful to our health. If you click on the link, you should scroll down to see the section that has Dr. Mercola’s comments because it definitely had the most information. Essentially, he wraps it up in the first line when he says, “If you were to carefully review the thousands of studies published on soy, I strongly believe you too would reach the conclusion that any possible benefits of consuming soy are FAR outweighed by the well documented risks.”

I don’t know about you, but I find all of these “latest studies” and “newest evidence” articles to be so CONFUSING! It just frustrates me that we as consumers of these foods can never seem to find concrete answers. What’s your opinion?

1 Sarah October 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm

this has got to be quick because its 1130 and i still have mad work to do tonight.
1) dinner looks awesome
2) i HATE getting soaked in the rain. last week it was so bad that even with my umbrella, jacket, and rain boots i got drenched and had to sit through 1.5 hrs of class with wet jeans—the WORST : (
3) GREAT job on the run!
4) I’m legit drooling over that oatmeal combo

Sarah ~ I completely agree – there is nothing worse than sitting in wet jeans!! It’s so sticky and uncomfortable. I hate walking in them, too.

2 magpie October 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Ooo I love the addition of banana bread! That looks so good :)

magpie ~ Thanks!

3 Marianne October 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Your dinner looks so good. I love Chinese food….or pretty much all asian food. It looks like it would be pretty easy to recreate at home too.

Marianne ~ I love all Asian food, too! I think this recipe could definitely be made (and enjoyed!) at home :)

4 Andrea October 8, 2008 at 12:17 am

omg i BAWLED at that movie!! i don’t know why but i was so shocked at the ending and couldn’t hold back the tears… mmm <3 richard gere is awesome haha. and james franco too (more my age) ..

Andrea ~ It’s ok – I’m ALWAYS shocked by his endings even if I know they’re going to be sad!! Hehe, oh James Franco…have you ever seen Tristan & Isolde?

5 Erin October 8, 2008 at 5:17 am

I feel the same way about research studies. The evidence is inconclusive, more studies are needed, the sample wasn’t representative, etc. I generally ignore the latest findings.
I’m so glad you had a much-deserved day to yourself! SELF-CARE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CARE!
I love your oatmeal.
And great job on the running Jenn! Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Erin ~ I think ignoring is a good idea. Thanks lady!

6 Hangry Pants October 8, 2008 at 5:39 am

Your noodles look so good. Maybe you can recreate the sauce. And then tell us what you did!

Re: soy. I can’t even get into it. I think HFCS month made me a conspiracy theorists. All I can think is that the studies were funded by the beef industry. I have no idea if that’s true. See why I need a label reading break? But anyway, I think that it IS confusing and I wish I could know for sure if it’s harmful. Because I don’t, I think if I limit my soy intake two once a week or so, I will be ok. Who knows?

Hangry Pants ~ I will definitely TRY to recreate the sauce sometime. Keyword there is try 😉 And yes, I totally understand where you’re coming from with the conspiracy theory.

7 glidingcalm October 8, 2008 at 5:45 am

mmmmm both the dinner and breaky look spectacular!!! i love the banana chunkies in your oats!!


Thanks GC!!

8 Laura October 8, 2008 at 6:24 am

I think that this article is pointing out things that we already know – avoid processed foods. I have thyroid issues so I generally avoid processed soy unless my other option is some form of meat that I’m sure is worse for me. I have also heard that all soy is genetically modified unless labeled as organic or non-GMO. That freaks me out!

Laura ~ It freaks me out, too. Thanks for your input!!

9 caitlin (seebriderun) October 8, 2008 at 6:38 am

i guess i feel l like everything “Causes Cancer” these days, and soy isn’t quite as bad as cigs, so i’m all good ;D

caitlin (seebriderun) ~ Haha, can’t argue with that!

10 VeggieGirl October 8, 2008 at 7:34 am

Great dinner!!

Blaaah, remember that MASSIVE downpour that my folks and I got stuck in, when we were in your town??? Damn, you guys are notorious for flooding, haha 😉

Oh my heavens, look at that banana bread oatmeal – GENIUS!!!

HOORAY FOR A SUPER-RELAXING TUESDAY!! You deserved it, my friend, so you’re not being selfish :-)

I’m soy-free; but that’s because soy “aggravates” my system (you know what I mean, so I’ll avoid details here, haha 😉 ). I think it’s best not to overdo ANYTHING, anyways, whether it’s soy or another ingredient.

VeggieGirl ~ Oh yes, I remember that downpour VERY well. Oy vey! Thanks for easing my mind about my self-centeredness :) And for your input on soy – very true!

11 Beadie October 8, 2008 at 7:42 am

mmmm..wide noodles are my fav! I always get them at the thai place, noodles of the drunk, so good!

Re: Soy, I agree with veggie girl, everything in moderation.

Beadie ~ Oooh noodles of the drunk! I like it – thanks!

12 fitnessista October 8, 2008 at 8:07 am

so glad you finally got to take some time for yourself! a romantic movie (with beefy mcbeefcake richard gere), delicious dinner and relaxing run (still an amazing pace, even though you slowed it down) sound like the perfect day to me! i still havent seen that movie…
i love the banana bread addition to your oats!!! YUM
regarding soy, i try to limit it to one soy day per week. it’s difficult though because a lot of health foods (even protein bars!) contain it. there are so many grey areas in the food world as to what is good for you, whats going to harm you, and who financed the study.
hope you have a great day!

fitnessista ~
Thanks :) And you’re right, there are way too many grey areas! It’s always important to note who is behind the stuff we read about!

13 Amanda October 8, 2008 at 8:09 am

New reader here, and I have to say I love your blog! I just graduated from college in May and it seems like we have A LOT in common – I used to see a therapist because of my perfectionism/need to please others so I really get what you mean. She used to ask me if I had a free afternoon to do anything, what would it be? For a while I honestly couldn’t answer because I thought that if I had free time on my hands, I should be accomplishing something (doing homework, working out, etc.)
Slowing down and taking time for yourself is SO crucial – and being able to do that is even more important once you are out of school!! My new favorite things to do? Coloring books (sounds SO lame but really makes you stop and enjoy), yoga, lighting a candle and reading, taking a walk (dog optional), reading blogs!
Keep being good to yourself and keep up the awesome work on the blog! You’re an inspiration!!


Hi Amanda!! Welcome to the blog – and thanks for reading :) You’re very nice to say all of those things and it made my day! It’s always comforting to hear that someone can relate to my perfectionist tendencies. It was definitely very hard for me to slow down yesterday, but I’m so glad that I did! Thank you so much for your tips – particularly the coloring book because that’s a new one to me, but it sounds amazing! I will definitely have to pick some up soon! Thanks again – you’re awesome!

14 jenngirl October 8, 2008 at 8:20 am

Ooo I want to see that movie so badly! I even bought the book the other day 😉

Glad you got to take a day to yourself, everyone needs them sometimes. And those oats look spectacular!!!

I am so sick of hearing about studies, especiall when they all are contradictory. My view is that I’m not going to drastically alter my behavior according to these things, because they are all so new and different things are coming out everyday. Remember coffee? It’s baddd, oh no wait, drink up! haha

Have a great day Jenn!!

jenngirl ~ See it soon!! It’s so good! But definitely read the book too because nothing tops that 😉 And thanks for your input on the studies – I agree that it’s important not to take them too seriously and drastically alter the way we live. Where’s the fun in that? Plus, I love coffee!!!

15 Rose October 8, 2008 at 8:30 am

Looks like a nice dinner and movie out with the roomie/best friend. It made me miss my own bestfriend/old roomie!

Good job on running twice in three days! I totally know what you mean – so celebrate that victory!

Love the banana bread oatmeal. As you know, I’ve done that myself, and I would definitely do it again if/when I make a loaf at home.

Have a good day!

16 Rose October 8, 2008 at 8:30 am

Oh, and I will email you about my Chicago trip in February! I found out some more details about where we’ll be staying…

Rose ~ Thanks!! I can’t wait!

17 ChocolateCoveredVegan October 8, 2008 at 8:41 am

Good for you for taking time to be self-centered– you DESERVE it once in a while!!!

CCV ~ Yes, we ALL do :)

18 Krista October 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

Awesome looking oatmeal and I love your coffee mug!

Krista ~ Thank you!!

19 Christie October 8, 2008 at 9:04 am

those oats look so yummy! And soy is def. controversial… I recommend that it be eaten in moderation since there is no real consensus on what the outcome is. Some poeple may be prone to breast cancer and soy can be a problem but if you eat it in moderation and have a balanced diet than it should be ok

Christie ~ Thanks! I appreciate your input – eaten in moderation is always a good idea!

20 Grounded Fitness October 8, 2008 at 10:00 am

i love all of your giant mugs. giant mugs make me feel small.

i dont listen to studies. if anything is proven dangerous, it would not be available to the masses. its too confusing and lifes too short.

Kelly Turner

Kelly ~ I love giant mugs too :) Thanks for the tip on the studies, it’s a good one.

21 ttfn300 October 8, 2008 at 10:31 am

ooh, that banana bread on oatmeal looks like i want to eat it for lunch! glad you got to take some time for yourself :) although i must admit, i didn’t cry when i watched the notebook…

ttfn300 ~ Thanks! Oh man, I cried my eyes out when I watched that movie! I guess it’s different for everyone :)

22 Tina October 8, 2008 at 10:43 am

Oooh, your breakfast looks amazing! Totally my type of meal! :)

Tina ~ Thanks!!

23 thebestsoylatte October 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

thanks for the comment on my new blog :)

I saw the preview for Nights, and it definitely looked like a “good-cry” movie – ah we need those sometimes hehe.
omg I love the name of the restaurant “and then sum”… that is so cute.

your “self-centered” day sounds WONderful! being “self-centered” has a horrible connotation – I believe 100% that it is necessary for sanity to take those kind of days :)

and wowza you’re a fast runner – great job!!

thebestsoylatte ~ Hehe, yay someone commented on the cool restaurant title!! I agree with you on the connotation of being “self-centered” – it gets a bad rap!

24 thebestsoylatte October 8, 2008 at 1:43 pm

oh yeah, and re: the soymilk. I am of the opinion that you can find research on virtually anything that proves or disproves that it is good/bad for you. I think certain foods become a problem when you just eat way too much of them.

thebestsoylatte ~ Thanks for your input!

25 Fit Bottomed Girls October 8, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Those studies are so confusing. I like my soy milk and tofu, so ta heck with it. 😉

Fit Bottomed Girls ~
I like your style :)

26 Kristie October 8, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Self-centered days are ESSENTIAL to sanity. Good for you for taking one. You should take many more. And not feel an ounce of guilt for it. :)

Banana bread in oats is an awesome idea. YUM.

Food studies seem to jump back and forth between being good or evil on a near daily basis. Slight exaggeration but still. I don’t even bother with them half the time. I eat what I like. If it kills me then I guess so be it. They can’t ever seem to get it straight whether it’s going to hurt me or not so the only way I’ll really ever know is if I end up dead. Then it’ll be too late. Of course some things are obviously best to be avoided… but things like soy? Bah. Whatever. I’m going to keep eating it anyway.

Kristie ~ Yes, I definitely need to take many more!! And I agree that studies are CONSTANTLY jumping back and forth. I like your perspective – the only way we’ll ever really know is when we kick the bucket 😉 A little morbid, perhaps – but true, haha!

27 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm

I love Nicholas Sparks! All his books are awesome! I need to see that movie!

Foodie ~ Yes!! Check it out :)

28 runningwithfood October 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

OMG what a great oats combo! I keep forgetting to add protein to my morning bowl!!

Great coffee cup! Way to go on a great run!

runningwithfood ~ Thanks! :)

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