Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

Last night was great and right on track!  I definitely feel more like myself, and it was nice to move past my temporarily food insanity from the day before.  We went to dinner at this Italian place right before the movie, and as I said yesterday Eric had sent me a link to the menu, so I was able to peruse all the items and see what would work the best.  I ended up getting this tuna and white bean salad, and while it's hard to get excited about salad, this one was really awesome!  The tuna was canned, but they tossed it and the beans with lemon, capers, celery and red onion.  It tasted super fresh and flavorful.  They also placed it on a bed of these really beautiful greens.  I didn't feel deprived or like "oh I had to eat a dumb old salad".  I may try to recreate it at home sometime.  I was also proud because the salad came with a roll, which I didn't account for in my calories but really wanted.  I told myself that if I ate the whole salad and still wanted the roll, then I could have part of it.  Once I was done I was pretty full, but took a small pinch off the side of the roll just to have a bite of it.  It wasn't even that good honestly, so I am glad that I didn't waste my time with it.  At the movie I had my clandestine popcorn, so it was a good night.

Today has been busy from a fitness standpoint.  I did a double dose of Richard (Stomach Formula Day 3, and Sweatin' To The Oldies).  The Stomach Formula continues to hurt, but I feel like my core is slightly stronger.  I guess Day 7 will be the test.  Then Molly and I went on a 45 minute walk.  I meant to do yoga, but I have been in hardcore cleaning/cooking mode since I got home.  I'm at almost 12,000 steps for already, and that's before all the trick or treating madness, so I've probably burned more calories running around like a wild woman than I would have from yoga anyway!

I decided to do something fun for Halloween and try out some appetizer recipes from my latest Women's Health magazine instead of doing a full on dinner.  I love eating little bites of several different things, just because I love having that variety, and it just seemed like a fun thing to do to create a party atmosphere for Halloween.  I picked the three apps from the Women's Health article that were the least caloric.  I would have included links to the recipes for those three things, but I couldn't find them online!  I also made a vegan queso dip (from Minimalist Baker) using cashews, nutritional yeast and chipotle peppers.  I don't aspire to be a vegan by any means, but I really love nutritional yeast and it's very good for you.  The recipe intrigued me since it definitely has more nutrients than cheese!  I tasted a bit of the base recipe and it's really awesome!  I am not as impressed with the edamame dip as it was written, it definitely needs some jazzing up.  The stuffed figs and sweet potato bites seem like they're going to be pretty good

And I decided to also make another Runner's World recipe, one for soft ginger cookies.  I LOVE ginger so hopefully they are good.  The batter is a bit weird, so I'm not sure how they're going to turn out.  And eating real baked goods will more than likely keep us out of the candy, although honestly I have felt pretty indifferent towards all the candy we got.  We each picked out our 10 pieces of candy we wanted the most and have them in little baggies.

Our one splurge tonight is a really beautiful Brut RĂ³se sparkling wine from Soter Vineyards!  Should be great with all the apps.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Oat Bran and frozen cherries blended with almond milk
Lunch:  Pineapple and baby kale protein smoothie
Dinner:  Edamame dip with veggie sticks/rice crackers, Sweet Potato Bites, Stuffed Figs, Vegan Queso Dip with tortilla chips
After dinner treats:  Soft Ginger Cookie and champagne!
Activites.  RS Stomach Formula Day 3, RSSTTO, 45 minute walk

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Too Much!

Ug!  I have no earthly idea what happened to me yesterday, I lost my mind for a little bit and totally had too much hummus at lunch, AND crackers to boot.  It was like I was on autopilot.  I finally came to my senses after 12 crackers and just got up and threw them away.  After that I felt so gross and full for the rest of the day.  THEN we went to a friend's house for dinner and ended up having what we were jokingly calling "Friendsgiving".  She had turkey breast, stuffing, gravy, and sticky buns, and I was in charge of salad.  I brought a green salad and made another one of those squash salads with cherries/hazelnuts that I made the other night.

I ended up eating way, way too much.  Like uncomfortable, I-should-know-better eating.  I would have been fine ending the meal as is, but then my friend brought out little apple tarts with ice cream.  I was definitely uncomfortably full after that.  If there's a positive to be had, I did suck it up and log everything into My Fitness Pal this morning.  In the past I would have blown off tracking and seeing what the damage was.  Of course my eyes just about bugged out of my head when I saw the calorie counts, but it was good to see those in a way.

Now I'm trying to diagnose what the issue is.  I have felt very hungry the last two days, so I think that I'm either not eating enough calories or I'm not timing my meals appropriately.  Yesterday I'd done my ab workout, my walk and then my yoga session and had lunch later than usual.  I think being that active and having lunch directly after put me in a "everything in my mouth, right NOW" state immediately.  I really should have eaten lunch as soon as Molly and I came back from our walk.  I don't always eat back my exercise calories, so that could be another issue.  I do find it weird that the craving has been salt, and I typically try to pay attention to those specific cravings because I feel like it's the body's way of saying that there is something lacking.  I do drink quite a bit of water (sometimes 12 glasses a day or more), so I'm wondering if I'm almost drinking too much and it's flushing out too much salt from the body?  So confusing!!  At least I'm thinking about it and trying to figure out why instead of just feeling bad I guess.  I feel a bit more grounded today, so I've been on track and have had my head on straight about food.  This time I've timed everything to where I'm not quite hungry yet before I eat again, instead of eating when I'm starving.

Oh and I had another date with Richard's ab workout today.  God.  All last night, whenever I moved in my sleep, the pain in my abs woke me up!  It's just craziness, but I guess that means it's working.  Day 2 was absolutely brutal, I was in so much pain that I was laughing uncontrollably.  Molly, who is usually indifferent and "meh" to our emotions actually jumped down off the couch to check on me and see if I was okay.  As much as it hurts, and let's be clear it's good hurt, I am eager to continue and see how much of a difference it makes.  I skipped the walk with Molly today because I need a little break from it, plus it's cold and gross outside!  We'll do it again tomorrow, for today I just want to do some exercise videos inside.  I felt tired and weak all day today, so my energy levels are lacking a bit.

Tonight we're going to see this thing called Riff Trax where they are ripping on Anaconda.  Riff Trax is hard to explain if you don't know about or didn't watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 (I suspect Desiree that you are a fan!), but it's the guys from that show.  It will definitely be a good laugh!  Eric was awesome and picked out a restaurant where I could see the menu and plan ahead for tonight.  They have this great looking tuna and white bean salad that I'm going to get.  It was actually listed in My Fitness Pal already, so that made it easy to track!  I am also going to pop some popcorn here at home and stash it in my purse for the movie.  I'm like my mom, I have no shame in smuggling stuff in for movies!

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie  (I've been obsessed with these!)
Lunch:  2 scrambled eggs and a green salad
Dinner:  Tuna Salad with White Beans
Snack 1:  Apple with Peanut Butter
Snack 2:  Popcorn with nutritional yeast
Activities:  RS Stomach Formula (day 2), Ultimate Yogi Yin Yoga + 20 minutes of Yoga Detox

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Richard Simmons Tried to Kill Me

If you have been keeping up with the blog, then you know how I feel about Richard Simmons and his glittery fabulousness.  If are a new reader, well...I have an unapologetic love for Richard.  I really do.  I know it's not "cool" to like Richard Simmons, but I do anyway.  He obviously is a bit of a pill, but that's kind of what I love about him plus he genuinely seems like a kind person who lives to help people.  I don't get the vibe that he's in the business just to make money, it's not like on Biggest Loser where they hawk products in fake situations with horrible D-list acting.  "Oh wow, I was so hungry until I discovered Jenny-O ground turkey, and it's so easy to prepare."  Hooker please with all of that.  Richard is also from Louisiana, and you know, hometown pride and all of that.

I also am not ashamed to admit that I recently bought Sweatin' To The Oldies on DVD, that I do it once or sometimes twice a week, and truly enjoy it.  You do indeed sweat, yet don't feel like you're going to die.  Someone on My Fitness Pal brought up that Richard was kind of the godfather of the dance workout movement, and it's like...yeah, I guess he was.  I mean would we have had Zumba or any of that other stuff without him?  Maybe?  But I digress.  Someone else on that thread mentioned this ab workout from the 80's by Richard that was 7 minutes a day for 21 days, and I TOTALLY remembered what they were talking about.  It's called "Richard Simmons Stomach Formula".  My Mom had it on VHS, and I vaguely remember her doing it.  I definitely need to work on my stomach, so I decided to try to find it.  I searched online for it, but alas you cannot get it on DVD, only VHS.  I do own a VCR, but I figure that I'm not going to go out of my way to get a VHS just in case that VCR ever croaked.  I mean can you even buy VCRs anymore?  So I did what any smart person does, I went to Youtube to see if there happened to be any clips of the Stomach Formula on there.  Bless someone's heart, they posted the WHOLE thing on Youtube (there are 7 different workouts so you don't get bored).  I decided "eh, why not, let's give it a try".

Holy God.  Two minutes into this thing and I was crying for Mommy, Jesus, and anyone else who could hear my pleas and come save me.  This ain't crazy dancing Richard, he's serious and all intense.  My abs were HURTING by the end of it, and I could barely make it to the end of the 7 minutes.  I made my breakfast smoothie afterwards, sat to start composing this post, and my abs are still burning so bad that it's clear I will be in a world of hurt tomorrow.  Somehow my inner thighs also really hurt too, which it's like whaaa?  And if you're saying, "From Richard Simmons??  No way."  Yes way.  If you are still skeptical then I challenge you.  Here is the link to the playlist:  Click for Pain.  The workouts are only 7 minutes each.  Do Day 1 and tell me that shit doesn't hurt.  (And no, I don't know why one of the guys has an eye patch, other than it's the 80's)  But even though he hurt me, I can't hate on Richard.

I'm going to try to do the 21 days since it's a whole 7 minutes, and you know, why not.  I took pictures of my tummy today and will see if there is a difference in 21 days.  I already had to break up with Jillian because all the reasons I hate the 30DS came flying back to me on day 2, so I need some strength stuff to do.  I know, my Jillian stuff didn't last long, but I had to quit.  For one, what's up with not being able to fast forward through all her talking?  You have to wait 15 damn minutes just to get to the menu.  Secondly, it's just not fun.  A lot of what she does hurts, and not like good Richard hurt like I'm feeling now, but just regular joint pain.  It's like, why am I going to spend time doing something I'm not eager to do?  I'm eager to do yoga, walking, running and my Richard DVDs, so I'm not adverse to exercise, so why waste my time on something I don't like.  If you're going to be healthy, just enjoy it.

We are going to a friend's house tonight for dinner, so I am not sure what we're having for dinner other than the salads I'm bringing over.  I'm just trying to get in enough exercise to cover tonight.

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Lunch:  Hummus, carrots, whole wheat roll with coconut oil
Dinner:  ??
Activities:  Stomach Formula (Day 1), 45 minute walk with Molly, 1 hour Ultimate Yogi Gentle Yoga

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Crazy Tuesday!

I am going to keep this super brief since I don't have a ton to write about.  Today has been pretty busy and I've been running around a lot.  The workouts have been short but I got them in.  I ran a mile, then walked for another 15 minutes, then came home to do some stuff.  Later on I dusted off old Richard and did the 45 minutes of that.  It was all just enough to compensate for the calories I ate.

Just thinking ahead, I thought it would be fun to do a "Favorites on Friday" post every Friday of things that I love that I feel contribute to my day to day success.  I'll start doing that this Friday, so keep a lookout!

My food has been weird today, I have had a mega salt craving that I've been battling and losing the battle I might add.  Well I guess I should be more specific and it's been more a craving for fermented foods.  Sauerkraut, pickles, olives, capers...get all of em in my mouth.  I got this really yummy sauerkraut from Trader Joe's that I probably shouldn't buy again because I cannot stay out of it!  I know it makes me weird, but I could eat sauerkraut until I have canker sores, that's how much I love it.  This kraut especially was good.  From a calorie standpoint it's not so bad to have pickles or kraut, but there's too much sodium and I shouldn't be having so much of it.  Ah well

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs with salsa and a banana
Lunch:  Pork loin with leftover squash salad and a whole wheat roll
Dinner:  Black bean burgers (modified from recipe here) with roasted potatoes
Extras:  Crapload of kraut and pickles

I know that Pioneer Woman has both rabid supporters and rabid detractors, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.  Her recipes really do lean towards the utterly unhealthy, although that's kind of what makes them good for the most part.  Some of them are a bit outrageous, and she relies way too much on red meat.  I mean I know she's a cattle rancher's wife, but damn.  This recipe was actually pretty on the up and up, though I did swap out half of the bread crumbs for oat bran just to add a little more fiber.  They are pretty tasty and held together really well, which is not my typical experience with making veggie burgers.  I made two patties for our dinner and froze the other two.  It was a high calorie dinner, I guess I could have not had the bun.  At least the beans have tons of fiber, and hopefully that will help a sister out.

I will close by embarrassing my aunt and wishing her a very happy birthday here on the world wide web!  My aunt is a super awesome woman, my best friend and I am so lucky that we live so close to one another.  Happy birthday Bitsy, love you!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Yes to Jillian, Probably Not to Marathoning

Boy what a lazy weekend!  Other than the 5k I really was pretty lazy, especially Sunday.  We lounged around ALL day and watched football.  We had planned to go to the Bills Backers bar Sunday morning to watch the Bills game, but I decided that we had indulged so much on Saturday night that maybe I shouldn't go eat wings and drink beer at 10 in the morning.  I know, I'm getting so old and responsible.  In hindsight it would have been fun because the Bills whipped the snot out of the Jets, so I'm sure all of the Bills Backers people were going nuts.  Having my Saints and my Bills win somewhat softened the blow of the Seahawks also winning.  Blech.

I was a bit nervous about how I was going to feel when I woke up yesterday morning from a pain standpoint, but I was shocked that my legs felt great when I woke up.  I expected them to be majorly sore for as much as they were burning during the race, but my legs and even my feet felt great.  And you know what I'm about to say, it's all due to Yin yoga!

The menu for Sunday was pretty mellow, though I went over my calories by 24 calories because an ounce of dark chocolate was calling my name!  Just for recording purposes, this was the menu for Sunday:

Breakfast:  Pancakes with maple syrup
Lunch:  Turkey wrap with hummus and sauerkraut
Dinner:  Turkey soup with a whole wheat sourdough roll
Extra:  Nib More "Daily Dose of Dark" dark chocolate

I weighed in this morning and I lost another 1.4 pounds last week, so I am pretty happy.  I also took measurements again (last time was on Oct 13), and since then I have lost over 6 inches total!  This is why it's SO important to take measurements in addition to pulling out the scale, and I certainly need to be more consistent about doing it.  I know it will be psychologically helpful at some point to see the inches going down when the scale doesn't reflect a great loss.

I decided to step my game up a little from a fitness standpoint and to throw my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD into the mix.  I did my first JM30DS session today, and the plus is that the workouts are only 20 minutes, the minus is that I forgot how many jumping jacks are in them.  I think we have discussed this before, but the only people who like jumping jacks are women with tiny boobs and men.  I honestly just kind of flail my arms around really fast, because jacks hurt not only the chest area, but my knees.  Lord knows I have enough leg problems without encouraging more.  I also modified the pushup part and just held planks for the duration.  I don't know why that's easier, other than my arms are so wimpy that there is no way in Hades that I'm doing pushups at the moment.  Maybe 15 days in or something!

As much as I loathe any kind of strength training, it's pretty essential to building muscle and burning more fat.  My legs are already much more toned, but my arms and core need major work.  I don't want to do crazy Crossfit stuff like other people do, I just want some toned muscles, leanness and strength.  The only way to achieve that sadly is by doing more stuff like the JM30DS.  I am going to try my damnedest to do the thing every day like you're supposed to, I just know how sore it typically makes me so making myself do it when I'm sore will be tough.  On the other hand, I was so encouraged by how much leaner I looked in my 5k picture that Eric took that I want to really try to make my best effort towards working a little harder on that.  I also know that it will allow me to eat more calories, which means I can eat some snacks with more fiber in them.  One cannot live on oat bran alone my friends.

After that I took Molly for one of our long walks, since she kind of got shafted since we were so busy Saturday and then didn't go much of anywhere yesterday.  We went for a 2 miler and she was totally an ass the whole time about it.  I think tomorrow she can just sit her butt at home.  To anyone who thinks greyhounds are high energy, it's the opposite!

I think I have talked myself out of doing another full marathon.  It's something I've been agonizing over the past couple of weeks, but I think I'm just about at the point where maybe it's not in the cards.  I can't find one during the time of year that I want to do that won't require major travel and expenses.  I also can't find one that would be somewhat meaningful like Portland Marathon or the Louisiana Half Marathon was.  And of course, the prospect of how grueling it is training for a full weighs very heavily on my shoulders too.  The one wildcard is that I threw myself into a drawing for the 2015 NYC Marathon, so if my some unlikely miracle I won that drawing, then of course I would do it.  I mean, it's NYC, not everyone gets to do that!!  I highly doubt my name would get drawn when only 60 people are getting picked, but you just never know I guess!  If I did, I guess the fates are conspiring for me to do a full!  For now, I'm just going to focus on getting lean, healthy, and gradually training for the Shamrock Half in March.  I'm pretty happy with that plan for now.

I was sort of bad and didn't do a planned menu for this week since we have plans on Wednesday and Thursday.  Doing the menus is nice and all, but I found that I ended up swapping days or having different things a lot of the time, so it's almost just easier to plan three days at a time than trying to do a whole week.  I have enough stuff in stock at this point to just be flexible and be able to pull together a quick, healthy meal.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Oat bran and a clementine
Lunch:  Leftover turkey soup and a whole wheat sourdough roll
Dinner:  Pork Loin & Delicata squash salad topped with hazelnuts and dried cherries. (Modified from RW recipe here)  Amazing and you must make it!
Snack 1:  Hummus with carrot
Snack 2:  Air popped popcorn with nutritional yeast

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloweenathon 5k - Race Report

Yesterday was the Halloweenathon 5k, which was my first race since February.  I was definitely a little nervous since I haven't raced in so long, and let's face it, because I haven't run in so long!  I am pleased to report that the race went pretty darn well!  The race is done by this company called Uberthon and the races are usually small, and better yet, close to my house!  As much as I love Portland, it is nice to do these smaller local races sometimes.  We don't have to leave the house as early so I'm able to kind of take my time getting ready and prepping for the race.  I got up early enough to do the first half of my Yin yoga DVD, which focuses more on legs and hips and the second part is more about stretching the back.  I grabbed a quick smoothie and then got myself ready.

The race location was at a local golf course, and Uberthon was bragging that we had almost exclusive access to the whole course, and that we would be running on the golf cart paths (more on that in a second).  I was concerned that it was going to be storming the whole time, but the rain stopped right as we were driving over, and the sun even started peeking out!  The temperature was hovering around 49/50 degrees, so it was definitely the perfect coolness.

As we were standing there I heard someone say our names, and I saw one of my old coworkers from The Place That Shall Not Be Named coming towards us.  Libbie was the coworker I talked about running with for a spell during the Portland Marathon, and she loves running/racing.  I hadn't seen her since she left our old job, so it was good to catch up.  We ended up lining up together at the start line and running together for the whole race.  As you guys know I am typically a lone wolf when it comes to running, but Libbie was actually a good running partner because she's mostly silent, and we run at about the same pace!  I also feel like she pushed me (even if she didn't know she did) to keep running and to only take one walk break.

I'm a Halloween hat is my costume
So I'm going to call BS right now on the "golf cart path" thing, because 90% of the course was on grass.  Now to be fair I don't play much golf due to the fact that I have no coordination and I would look horrible in plaid pants, so maybe grass IS a golf cart path and I don't know what I'm talking about.  But the way the email was worded was more like "you'll be running on asphalt paths, and sometimes grass", so I assumed the carts ride on the asphalt.  It was completely the other way around.  I train exclusively on asphalt, so running on grass was a whole new ballgame.  I actually prefer to run on asphalt.  We've also had some wicked rain, so the "grass" was really mud.  Three steps over the starting line landed us square on a patch of squishy mud, and my feet were soaked.  It was so gross!  Running in the mud was exhausting, so I was relieved that I had done yoga that morning and at least somewhat stretched out my legs, but was also worried if running on a foreign surface like that was going to cause an injury.  It also amazes me that I managed to do a marathon last year, because this 5k felt like it was never going to end!  There was also a 10k and 15k race, and I could not even have imagined doing another round or two on that course.

I took a short walk break around a mile and a half, just long enough to give my poor legs a break.  After that we kept running, even though my legs (specifically my quads) were screaming at me to stop.  This is where I was glad that Libbie was with me, because it made me keep running so that I wouldn't look lame.  ;)  Eric was cheering us on at the finish line, we crossed over with little fuss, and they managed to mispronounce my last name as I was crossing over.  It's like, if you guys can't pronounce my simple 2 syllable last name, I would love to see what you would have done with my 4 syllable, 12 letter maiden name!

I am pretty happy because my chip time was 39:33, so I did a sub-40 5k after months of not racing, and it's also not that far off from my 5k PR, which was 35:16.  It's always good when you do better than expected, and a relief when you haven't lost too much ground.  And either I AM losing weight or my husband is getting better at taking pictures of me, because I actually kind of look thin here!  This is also why I wish it was socially acceptable to wear compression gear everywhere.  ;)

And you'll have to forgive me for taking a million pictures of the medal, but it was pretty cool.  Uberthon is the same group who did our turkey trot last year and gave out my wonderfully tacky turkey medal that I absolutely adore, and weighs 20 pounds (roughly).  They did it again with this medal, it was totally awesome!

I kind of like skeletons and grim reaper stuff for Halloween, so I definitely loved this.  BUT, that's not all.  Not only is it creepy and cool, but his eyes blink....

...and it glows in the dark!

We came home and cleaned up, then I made a modest turkey wrap lunch since I wanted to save my calories for our jaunt downtown.  We went to see this documentary about the singer Nick Cave called "20,000 Days On Earth".  I honestly didn't know much about Nick Cave or his music, but Eric is super into him and wanted me to see the documentary to see what I thought about all of it.  It was actually very interesting and entertaining, even to someone like me coming in with no knowledge really, and it made me want to delve into his music more.  I'm quite sure this is mission accomplished for my hubby!  ;)  Afterwards we went to one of our favorite beer places called The Abby Bar and got some really freaking awesome Belgian beers, including this amazing sour cherry beer that I fell in love with.  We sat and discussed the movie, then started arguing (good naturedly) about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then disagreed on whether Bill Withers was dead or not.  We're a barrel of excitement, let me tell you.

After that we had an appointment to do karaoke for a couple hours at this place that rents private karaoke rooms.  It's another one of those weird things we do, but it's so much fun!  You can control everything in the room via smartphone, and it's just kind of fun to have a karaoke room all to yourself.  I've sat through too many crappy karaoke nights with drunken frat boys singing Tenacious D, drunk broads thinking they are the second coming of Pat Benatar and douchey KJs with a power trip to ever want to do karaoke any other way.  We had a grand old time eating and drinking way too much and singing silly stuff.

Definitely a great day and a great race experience!  My menu today was impressive until dinner, but I only went over my calories by about 400, so as usual I'm not too worried about it!

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Lunch:  Turkey Wrap with hummus, carrots and bell pepper
Dinner:  Cheese Quesadilla, about a cup of totchos (tater tot nachos)
Extras:  3 beers

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rest Day

I am going to keep this short because there is nothing that exciting to write about.  I took another semi-rest day today because I am feeling very off.  I just feel incredibly drained and tired again, even though I got another good night's sleep.  I can't determine if I'm getting sick or if I am maybe not getting enough calories.  Right now I am operating on a 1200 calories a day goal, and I do make the effort to try to eat back some of my exercise burned calories so that I net anywhere from 1,200-1,600 a day, depending on how much activity I've done.  I don't want to make assumptions, I'm certainly not hungry during the day and I'm pretty satisfied after every meal, so I don't want to up my calories for the sake of upping them.  I'm not even doing enough exercise to justify that right now, if I really am regularly able to run then I will probably up things to 1500 calories.  For now, I'm just going to pray that I'm not getting sick and try to go about my life!

I did Yin yoga this morning, and I swear it should be prescribed by doctors.  It feels so good that it should be illegal, and I'm definitely going to try to squeeze it in again before we leave for my 5k.  The yoga I did yesterday was okay and stretched me out, but nothing gets into my joints like Yin does.  I did a bad thing yesterday and didn't drink enough water after rolling my muscles and doing yoga, so I woke up with a headache and very sore today.  I didn't make the same mistake today!  I grabbed one of my canning jars that holds 64 ounces of liquid and filled it up with water.  My goal is to drink two of those by the end of the day today.  I already drank one jar and am working on my second.

Tomorrow is going to be a bit crazy so I will probably take a break from posting.  I have my 5k, then we are going to see a movie, then going to do karaoke.  Whew!

Today's menu:

Breakfast:  Croissant from La Provence.  It's my favorite bakery ever.  Every bite was amazing.
Lunch:  Turkey wrap with lettuce, hummus, peppers and carrots
Dinner:  Spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rehab Day

Today was what I call "rehab day".  (I was going to post a picture of Amy Winehouse, but then I was like, is that insensitive?)  After yesterday's body weirdness it's clear that I really needed to take the time today to focus almost completely on yoga and working out the knots in my legs/back with both my foam roller and the Stick.  I have been truly awful this week about not doing my yoga, and it's really showing.  Weird pains in my back, my feet starting to bark at me, random pains in my calves, the works.  It's one of those things that I could just slap myself silly for getting complacent over, because I know better.  

I started out with the Flexibility disc on my Ultimate Yogi pack.  I have not delved into that DVD set nearly enough, and holy lord.  To me it was more of a flow/strength type thing than it was about flexibility, but it still felt pretty good.  I did have to take a couple of breaks due to some of the stuff being kind of intense.  My back felt pretty tender by the end due to some really deep spinal twists, but that's good.  My favorite yoga teacher from days of yore used to tell us that doing twists was like wringing out a dirty sponge.  It squeezes out old blood/spinal fluid and gets the fresh stuff circulating.

And do you know that my blasted Jawbone band had the nerve to buzz at me when I was in corpse pose at the end of the session, as in "you are idle so I'm going to buzz" buzzing.  It's like for the love of Pete, I was just doing a bajillion sun salutations and all of this, can we calm it down a little bit?  I got almost 14,000 steps yesterday so I'm sure it will be all over me about not getting as many today.

After that Molly was giving me some awfully pitiful looks, so I decided to break down and take her for an easy walk after yoga.  She gets really ill behaved and bajiggity when she doesn't get her walks, but it was hard core raining yesterday and she would have hated it.  Today was a day where the weather was going to hold off raining or at least not as be intense, so it was a good time to dash out for a walk.  I am worried that my Garmin is about to bite it, because when we got out to our walking place and I went to turn it on but it was totally dead despite my charging it 2 days ago.  Usually it can go over a week without being charged!  I decided to not worry about it and to just focus on having a relaxing walk with Molly and enjoying the scenery.

This tree looked like it was on fire!

These leaves almost looked like they were dipped in blood. Spooky Halloween fun!

"Mom can we go now?"
Yes, but not until we take a picture of this big ass acorn...
...and take a foot selfie in the fall leaves.
The aftermath of a leisurely 45 minute stroll.  The struggle is real...

After we got back I took the Stick and rolled my legs out really well.  I was going to do another session of yoga, but decided to save it for tomorrow.  I think if I do some Yin yoga and do another leg roll out tomorrow that I'll be good for Saturday.  Tonight I have to go pick up my packet for the race Saturday, although I'm a bit annoyed that they aren't starting packet pickup until 4 pm.  Total pain in the butt, but at least it will save us time on Saturday.

Due to some changes in plans, I pretty much scrapped everything I had on the menu for today and winged it, although I feel like I did pretty well.  And true confession here, I threw some unnecessary shade at oat bran yesterday as an "old people" food.  I'd honestly never had it because it did seem like it would be pretty blah, but I had my bowl last night and absolutely loved it.  It kind of reminds me of grits, and the flavor is really nice.  It also helped my situation, if you get my drift.  I liked it so much that I had it again for breakfast today!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Oat Bran with a "sidecar" of orange raspberry smoothie (no protein powder)
Lunch:  Scrambled eggs with a green salad
Dinner:  Turkey wrap with vegetables, avocado and hummus

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Who Gave Me Lead Shoes Suddenly?

The human body just sucks sometimes.

I had a 3 mile run on the schedule, with my long run (5 miles) on Friday, but I decided to swap it out and do my long run today.  My race is Saturday, so I didn't want to have my legs be too tired.  Even though I had a great night's sleep last night, I felt really tired and drained when I woke up today.  I figured I'd shake it off by getting out there and getting active, but when I started my run, it was like I was running through hot tar.  My legs felt so heavy and achy, and I just simply couldn't get into it.  I thought maybe it was just the "first mile" blues and that I would find my groove, but a mile and a half in it was clear that it was going to be misery the entire time.  It didn't help that it was storming, so I was absolutely soaking wet.

I finally told myself that it was okay to walk as long as I did the whole 5 miles.  I really didn't have an excuse since I had driven all the way out there, I was already soaked and I didn't have Molly holding me back.  So I managed to get it done, but I was so disappointed in the difference of how I felt today vs Monday.  I really hope that Saturday goes well, crappy days like this always shake my confidence for race day!

Another body resentment I have going on today is frustration over my lack of "regularness".  (You may politely scroll to the next paragraph  if you'd rather not read about poop!)  But seriously, it's so frustrating especially since it's been an issue for the last few years.  It's extremely uncomfortable and makes me feel heavy and gross.  Ironically it gets worse when I start eating healthier and eat more fiber, which it's like, how the hell does that even work?  I get about 30 grams of fiber a day very consistently, but maybe I need more?  Obviously there are teas and other methods to help things along, but I really need and want a more consistent natural solution.  I got some oat bran at the store today, and I am going to have that as my snack tonight (exciting!), along with a cup of hot milk with figs and a date to see if it helps things.  One would certainly hope so since it's 13 grams of fiber right before bed!  

Just a note on the menu below, if you like tuna you really should check out the link to the recipe I made for lunch.  It takes a lot of get me excited about canned tuna, but I was really into this wrap.  I didn't have spicy greens so I just used lettuce, and also used carrot matchsticks, bell pepper strips and avocado.  I didn't make rice with it because I figure the wrap itself is plenty of carbs as it is!  Really awesome lunch!  I also still cannot roll a burrito, my poor husband had to roll his own this morning since mine was such a disaster!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Lunch:  Spicy Tuna Wrap (HIGHLY recommend, though I omitted the rice. Recipe here.)
Dinner:  Leftover Stuffed Cabbage
Snack 1:  Apple with cheddar cheese
Snack 2:  Oat Bran (I'm officially old)
Snack 3:  Warm spiced almond milk with figs/date

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Me vs My Jawbone

So I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I started wearing my Jawbone again this week, just to get a sense of how many steps I take a day, and what I can do to squeeze some more activity in.  It's been going pretty good, and I typically hit a little over 10,000 steps, but apparently that isn't good enough for Jawbone.  It prompts you to do what it calls "Today I Will" challenges, and it cheerfully suggested that since I was hitting 10,000 steps pretty early on in the day that maybe I should try for 13,000 steps.  I shrugged and said okay, and ever since then my Jawbone has been up my butt about it.  I didn't hit 13,000 steps yesterday or the day before, and it reproachfully tells me every night that I didn't reach my goal.  And that's when my "Today I Will" challenge becomes "Today I will tell my Jawbone to suck it".  I mean jeez, I'm hitting 11,000 - 12,000 steps a day, why does this thing have to harsh my mellow every damn day?  It was nagging me about it again this morning, so I was like fine, I'll try to hit 13,000 again today.

I actually drove out to where my husband works late this morning to meet him and one of his coworkers and go for a walk.  Eric actually has been making it a point to walk twice a day, and he has been doing two miles a day!  I am so happy that he gets to get out for walks, and he suggested that I should come out, bring Molly and do the mile loop with him sometime.  This is going to be the last dry-ish day in awhile, so I called and audible and decided to drive out there today.  We did our mile walk, which was actually super nice.  The temperatures are dropping and the wind is blowing like crazy!  Eric and his coworker had to go back in, but Molly and I kept going so that I could hit at least two miles.  We ended up going 2.75 miles!

Once I got home I plugged my Jawbone in and it started right away with me, getting all on my junk about "oh you're so close", yada yada.  It pissed me off so I decided to throw in my Richard Simmons tape and do some aerobics.  I figured that it wouldn't hurt to get some extra activity in since I didn't run today, plus I just wanted to shut Jawbone up by getting my steps in.  After that was done I was at 12,500ish steps, so I just kept pacing around the house until I FINALLY hit 13,000 steps.  Jesus, finally this stupid band is happy!  Of course now I'm sure it will be like "hey you hit 13,000 steps, why don't you try for 25,000 steps!"

Technology battles aside, I am feeling absolutely great.  The most interesting observation is that I am not really wanting sweet things all that much.  Before my rewards/treats were dessert related, but I'm finding that I'm wanting savory stuff as snacks.  My popcorn yesterday hit the spot, and today I had hummus with a carrot for a snack.  I did have my peppermint pattie last night, and it was all kinds of awesome, but I was perfectly happy with having just the one.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Orange Creamscicle Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftover Meatloaf
Dinner:  Stuffed Cabbage with Chicken Sausage
Snack 1:  Hummus with Carrot
Snack 2:  Peppermint Pattie

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Good Monday!

Today has been pretty awesome!  I got up today and decided to just go ahead and weigh myself and record it on My Fitness Pal.  I lost 4 pounds last week!  I was pretty stoked about it, and it definitely pumped me up for the rest of the day.  I'm going to try to not be obsessive about the weighing, and try to limit myself to a mid week check and then the "official" check.  I definitely feel better in my clothes, though I still have a long ways to go.  But I've got that passion back and I'll get there.

The other great thing that happened today was that I went for a run!  It was a short little three miler, and I was definitely nervous considering how crappy things went the last time.  Imagine my surprise when I started running and everything clicked into place like I'd never stopped.  My feet felt great, my calves felt great and my breathing wasn't labored that badly.  I was bummed because I didn't fully run my first mile BUT, I was able to do some speed work!  I rarely do sprints or speed work, simply because I hate it.  I know it will make me a better runner though, and I had the energy to do it so I did.  I definitely had to do a run/walk thing, but I was very pleased.  I did 3 miles in about 43 minutes, which obviously is slow, but I tend to improve pretty quickly when I am consistent.  I think if I continue doing what I'm doing, I'll be able to get a sub 40 on Saturday at my race.

I made our menu and did our shopping for the week as well, and am still trying to keep things varied day by day, although lunches are going to consist of leftovers from dinners.  Tracking my food consistently did prove a point that my wonderful husband has been nagging me about, and that's that I should be taking a multivitamin.  I've scrunched my face about it but even with healthy eating, I'm noticing that I'm coming up short on Vitamin C, iron and calcium every day.  I'm sure there are plenty more vitamins and minerals I'm coming up just short on, but MFP doesn't really detail them.  I just have such a hard time remembering to take pills, but now that I have to take blood pressure meds I resorted to getting a pill reminder, so I figured I could throw a vitamin in there too and that would be the solution.  I got a women's multi today as well as some flax oil capsules, so I think those will be a little insurance policy to cover me on the stuff I need.

Getting old and caring about random crap like this is so weird.

Breakfast today was pretty boring, just oatmeal with hemp seeds.  I really just don't care for oatmeal, but I know it's good for me so I eat it once in awhile.  I had a chocolate cherry smoothie for lunch, and also threw in some raspberries because I like to be contrary.  Dinner was a Runner's World recipe, but it's actually the only RW recipe I have on the menu this week.  For the first time in my life I made meatloaf!  The RW recipe for it was quite healthy and contained very lean beef, oats and a ton of veggies.  I was pretty pleased with how it tasted, although it didn't really stay in "loaf" form when I cut it, and it was pretty crumbly.  It was so flavorful and hit the spot so much that I can overlook it.

I burned enough calories that I was able to have some popcorn with nutritional yeast this afternoon, and then a very fancy peppermint pattie that I found when I was shopping today.  I've been very excited thinking about having it with a cup of tea tonight!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Recap

Last night with my aunt was super fun, we had a good time catching up and watching South Park and Bridesmaids.  I did end up eating a little more than I'd planned, but everything I made was fairly healthy so I am not terribly worried about it.  I made tortilla rollups (one with turkey and one with smoked salmon), salad, my fav potato salad recipe from Runner's World, pickled beets and also had a few crackers with pimento cheese.  Where I went astray was having a couple extra rollups (the turkey ones ended up being the bomb!) and an extra spoonful of potato salad.  I had one extra glass of champagne, but it was actual champagne from France and it was wonderful, so no regrets.  The real indulgence was the cake I picked up from New Seasons, which was called a "Salty Dog" cake.  I'm familiar with the Salty Dog cocktail, but wasn't sure what the cake was all about.  It was really awesome!  It was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, a sprinkle of sea salt, and also had some butterscotch pieces on it.

I did wake up feeling a bit sluggish from having so much food and sugar.   Today was technically a "rest" day, but I put on Redzone to watch all the football games and tried to busy myself with cleaning so that I could get some activity in.  I started wearing my Jawbone band again so I am trying to be more conscious about my steps per day.  Once I saw I wasn't getting as many steps as I'd like, even with walking around cleaning, I decided to take Molly for a walk.  It was a huge mistake because I forgot about the farmer's market that is there on Sundays, and there were a ton of people around.  Normally it is very quiet around there, but it was a madhouse.  It was starting to get frustrating trying to find a quiet place to walk Molly, plus she was really starting to piss me off.  She goes insane if she thinks you're going to leave the house without her, but when you get her out to actually walk her, she's over it in 10 minutes.  She does all of these bullshit stalling tactics and it just makes it very difficult to walk her sometimes.  It was also 75 and blazingly sunny, because the f'ing sun is never going to go away, so she was getting overheated.  We did a little over a mile, but it was beginning to be so frustrating trying to drag her and also navigate around people that I decided to just call it good.  I was super annoyed, but then I got home and saw the Seahawks lost, so it made me feel a little bit better.  ;)  My Saints lost, so we won't talk about that, but at least the Bills won!

My food has been wack and not very nutritious probably today.  I ate 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast and had a spoonful of potato salad because I am weird.  For lunch I had a couple of leftover rollups, but they gave me heartburn.  :(  Tonight for dinner I am making grilled chicken and we're having more potato salad with it.  I know, I'm obsessed.  I'm also lazy because I didn't feel like running to the store, and I had the stuff to make more potato salad so that's the main reason we're having it.

I am pretty happy with myself for this week, I feel like I've stayed pretty steady with both my food and the exercise.  I have tracked my food and exercise every day.  I feel so much lighter and have more energy.  I am hoping that tomorrow when I do my three miles that I will be able to run more of them.  My feet and legs feel a lot better, so I think I will be able to.  I am NOT bringing Molly with me, so that should make things easier.  She can stay at home and rest since apparently she's exhausted.  ;)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday Update and Saturday Ladies Night!

Sorry for the no show post on yesterday, things got super busy and by the time last night rolled around, I didn't feel like blogging.  You will have to forgive me for the brevity and down-to-business nature of this post, but I just wanted to get it out there because I have a ton of stuff to do today!  Yesterday went great, I actually did a four mile walk earlier in the morning with Molly, which honestly was a little too much for her probably but was kind of how I had to play it.  Not much to report other than it was another nice walk in the fall leaves.

Everything I ate yesterday was pretty on point, though I went over my calorie macros by 91 calories.  I mean I am really not worried about a measly 91 calories, which I honestly probably burned off by running around the house and going up and down the stairs doing stuff.  For breakfast I tried a new Runner's World recipe that I really enjoyed, a quesadilla of sorts made with turkey, cheddar cheese, fig jam and apples on corn tortillas.  It was really delicious and a good mix of sweet and salty.

I met Eric for lunch and we went to a sushi place.  I got the sashimi lunch special, which also included a spicy tuna roll.  Probably was too much sodium, but man do I love sushi!  For dinner I made another RW recipe, mushroom tacos.  I wasn't sure what I was going to think of these, but they were really good!  What put me over my calories was having a fig cupcake AND a cup of cider with all the "trimmings" so to speak.

Today is busy because my amazing aunt is coming over tonight for a ladies night.  She has never seen Bridesmaids, which to me is nothing short of a national tragedy!  I also taped that gluten free themed episode of South Park, so we're going to have an amazing night of watching silly stuff, laughing, gossiping and of course eating!

I did start off with another turkey/fig jam/cheese tortilla, and then went for a two mile walk with Molly.  I would have gone longer, but I think Molly was still feeling the effects of our walk yesterday.  A mile in and I could tell that she genuinely was very tired and not enjoying the walk at all.  I made her do one more mile because that's what we had on the schedule.  I also want to make sure I get in enough exercise to justify what I eat tonight, since I want to try to balance having a good time tonight with being healthy!  I have already logged everything I want to eat tonight, and have fit in 2 glasses of wine and a piece of chocolate cake, so I'm pretty prepared.  I will post the menu tomorrow as well as a recap of the week.

I am off to have a quick smoothie and try to squeeze in some more cardio before tonight!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday - Growing Pains

So before we get into all of the health and wellness stuff, I have to discuss something important that I am currently dealing with and need support for.  After many months with short hair, I decided that I am going to grow my hair out.  It's been rough y'all.

I'm mostly jesting about needing support, but yeah, it's definitely been super annoying because I have curly hair.  As you can see, that gets tricky as my hair starts getting longer, because my hair just looks like one big cowlick.  I also have a mini mullet thing going on, so it's just awkward all the way around.  It makes me wish that I had hair that I could pull out and be long, like Brush and Grow My Little Pony.  Does anyone remember those?  Listen to this if you dare, because it's like an ice pick to the brain.

What the hell drugs were everyone on in the 80's?  And I say that as someone who grew up in the 80's.  In all seriousness I had one of those My Little Ponies and they were pretty rad, to use an 80's colloquialism.  Ah well, on to the fitness stuff.

I actually didn't end up doing yoga or Richard today, or even a walk.  Believe you and me, Molly has made me well aware of the fact that we didn't go on our walk today!  I actually did something I've never done and went and got a flu shot.  I have been dead set against getting them for years, but I had such a horrible bout of illness last December that it made me rethink my stance on it.  In January someone that Eric knew who was around our age passed away from H1N1, which really made me decide that it would be wise to get one.  The nurse who did my shot was very nice and laid back, and we had a great conversation about the flu and of course this Ebola panic that's going on.  We both agreed that 3 people is not a crisis or an epidemic, and that people need to quit flipping out.  She said that the one good thing to come out of it would be for people to be concerned enough about being ill to actually come in and get a flu shot.  ANYWAY, after I had the shot I felt really off, drained, mentally foggy and fatigued.  I'm not sure if that's all in my head, or if the side effects of the shot really kicked in that quickly.  I decided that it would be good to just take it easy today and then start up all my walking and stuff tomorrow.  This will mean Sunday isn't a rest day, but that's okay by me.

I also cheated and weighed myself this morning, which is bad of me but I just can't help it!  Short of having Eric hide the scale from me I'm always going to check it I guess.  I didn't record the number officially, but I am definitely pleased and the scale is going in the right direction.  I put on a pair of jeans today that was uncomfortably snug last week, and I could tell they were looser in the thigh area.

On a food note, I was so proud of myself last night.  We went to the movies to see Gone Girl (pretty good but didn't blow me away), and even though I would have really liked a treat or some popcorn, I decided it wasn't worth it and didn't get anything.  It would have put me over my calorie macros for sure, and since my aunt and I will probably indulge on Saturday night, I'd rather just way until then.

I did almost have a tea crisis on my hands today at the store.  I went back to see if they had anymore of that coconut chai tea, and they didn't have any on the shelf!!  I just kept standing there as though it would magically materialize, or if maybe I was just missing it, but no coconut chai.  I finally started digging on the shelf, and there were two lone boxes of it shoved behind a bunch of other boxes.  WHEW!!  I grabbed them both!  My question is what asshat hid the boxes behind there?!

The menu today was good, although I did change things up.

Breakfast:  Egg and Bean Burritos from RW

Again I forgot to take a picture of my burrito because I was too busy trying to cram it in my mouth, but since I rarely meet a breakfast burrito I don't like I was pretty happy with it.  I think next time I would add some potato to it, just because breakfast burritos are 800 times better with some potato.  And for the record, I am still hopelessly inept at wrapping burritos!

Lunch:  Chicken Breast and Sweet Potato with Butter

So, I was supposed to have leftover peanut and chicken noodles that I made last night for lunch.  But last night after dinner I was feeling pissy because I didn't like dinner, and was frankly hungry about an hour after I ate.  I managed to not snack, but I was awfully grumpy about the whole thing.  In the spirit of enjoying my life I just thought to myself, why would I eat those noodles for lunch and be unsatisfied, then possibly snack the rest of the day?  So I decided to eat something I really liked and would be happy with.  Naturally since I am a sweet potato crackhead I ate a baked sweet potato and then picked out the chicken breast from the noodle leftovers so that I had some protein.  Crisis averted!  I snacked on the chicken while I was waiting for my sweet potato to heat up, then once it did I sat down and really savored it.  So freaking good.

Dinner:  Jerk Spice Shrimp with Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

This is another Runner's World recipe, and you are lucky you got a picture of it because I couldn't wait to dive into it!  It's shrimp, sweet potato (I know, I have a problem) black beans, jalapeno and garlic sauteed with Jamaican jerk spice and a small amount of oj.  I love all of those things so I knew I'd be into this.  I did reduce the amount of jerk spice the recipe called for, which was two tablespoons!!  I used about one and a quarter, because holy crap, I didn't want my head to blow off.  I tolerate spice pretty well, but two tablespoons worth of jerk spice is insane.  If you've never used it it's actually pretty awesome, but too much will have you regretting life.  I warmed up a couple of corn tortillas to eat with this and it was great.  Definitely will be making it again.

Treat:  Sticky Toffee Figgy Cupcakes

You guessed it, another Runner's World recipe, and frankly this recipe alone is worth the price of the cookbook.  I have been dying to make this recipe since I got the book and was not disappointed at all.  I meant to save it as a little treat tonight, but I inhaled my cupcake while it was still oven warm and the caramel topping had been on about 15 seconds. There is basically no fat at all added to the batter, it's all pumpkin puree and dried figs that have been reconstituted in hot coffee.  The cupcakes only have a whisper of sweetness, the coffee gives the cake a smokey layer of flavor, and the figs are both slightly sweet and earthy.  Between the figs, cinnamon and nutmeg, this is screaming autumn.  Somehow despite there being no oil or butter added to the batter and using whole wheat flour, the cake is incredibly tender and moist.  It's a very reasonable treat at 125 calories and 2 grams of fat.  It also has 2 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.  I actually found a link on the RW site for these, if you'd like to try making them:

Can't believe tomorrow is Friday!  Almost one week of healthy choices and exercising in!  :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday - Soggy Walk

This is the first day in awhile that I have been chilly!  It's taken me most of the day to warm up, and I dare say I've been shivering a little in the house.  Better than sweltering and being miserable like we were in the summer!

I am happy to say that my foot pain is much better today.  I only had a twinge when I woke up this morning, and then I did a round of Yin yoga that seemed to put me in an even better place.  I do have this bothersome shooting pain in the back of my right leg that has actually been happening for the last couple of weeks.  I can't tell if it's a muscle thing, or a "blood clot is about to loosen and knock you dead" thing.  I guess if it keeps up I should go to the doctor, but it really only happens when I am sitting.  Someday I will get my dumb feet and leg issues in order, I swear.

Molly and I had a 2 mile walk on the schedule, but we actually ended up doing 2.5 miles despite the rain and the insane wind we had going on.  She was hilariously pissy about having to walk in the rain, but eventually sucked it up and resigned herself to it.

As my dad would say, "Madder than a wet hen."
The rain did stop about 30 minutes into the walk, but by that point we were soaked anyway.  Molly actually had on better gear than I did, I just had on my compression pants and a cotton hoodie.  I was definitely soggy and cold for most of the time.  No complaints from me though, it feels SO GOOD to actually feel cold, and to not be sweating my unmentionables off during a walk.  And of course the leaves right now are just everything.

Tomorrow I only have yoga on the schedule, but I may throw Richard Simmons into the mix too, because when ISN'T Richard a swell idea?

Today has been a good food day, so here is the menu:

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

I adapted this from a recipe in the RW cookbook.  It's just frozen cherries, a frozen banana, chocolate hemp protein powder, yogurt and almond milk.  It's definitely more attractive that some of the other stuff I made, and was awfully tasty too!  I also had half of an apple from one of the apples we got at the apples we got from the pumpkin patch.  They are HUGE, so you have to split them.  I took a picture of a normal apple from the store next to one of the ones we got this weekend so you can see how monstrous they are!

Lunch:  Chickpea & Tomato Soup with Pesto from the RW cookbook

I rarely meet a tomato soup that I don't like, and I think grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup is just about one of the most perfect meals in the world.  It stood to reason that I would like this, and I definitely did.  Although ironically I found myself wishing that it was just tomato soup and didn't have the chickpeas.  I suppose that would defeat the purpose since they provide protein.  I also wish that I had blended the soup a little longer.  I like my tomato soup very smooth and without any chunks.  That's just a personal thing, but I was in a hurry yesterday so it was still a bit chunky.  I added about a teaspoon of fresh orange zest to the soup, which for the record, that is a secret ingredient for tomato soup that will knock your socks off and keep anyone who tastes it guessing.

And can I just say, that sourdough roll was heavenly?  And yes that is real butter, and no I am not sorry.  :P

Dinner:  Chicken and Peanut Sauce with Rice Noodles from the RW cookbook

This is the first recipe from the RW cookbook that I was just not at all impressed with.  While I am the type of cooks that makes tweaks when I see something that doesn't look right as written, I made this recipe as is from a sauce standpoint.  I did use rice noodles instead of soba noodles since the store didn't have soba, but that shouldn't have made a difference.  The sauce was really off, specifically due to the 1/4 cup of rice vinegar it called for.  It was just way too much sour, and there wasn't any layers or balance to the sauce.  I feel like I never have much luck making Asian dishes as it is, but I really wasn't happy with it at all.  Sadly the leftovers are on the menu for tomorrow, so I guess I'll have them.

I was in a hurry and so disenchanted that I forgot to take a picture, but you looked like noodles with chicken on them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday - Sore Feet & Headaches

Things are less dramatic than my title suggests, although I did wake up with a headache.  This always seems to happen when I go back to a better way of eating and cut down on sugar.  I thought for sure I got such a good mix of carbs and natural sugars in yesterday that this wouldn't happen, but I guess I'll just have to deal with it the next couple of days.

The more worrisome thing is my foot being so sore.  Since it's something that I've dealt with for years at this point, I know it can get really ugly really fast if I push too much.  After my walk/run yesterday the arch of my left foot was in borderline unbearable pain, and was still hurting when I woke up this morning.  I am definitely bummed out, and it's something I have to turn attention to ASAP before it gets worse.  I started out the morning with yoga, and judging by how tight/painful a lot of my leg muscles/tendons are, lack of stretching is the culprit.  I also decided to walk my scheduled 3 miles today instead of running, but even that was pretty painful.  I'm hoping that being really strict about doing yoga will put my feet back where they need to be.  I don't want to be injured right off the bat.

I did really enjoy just walking today.  It rained a lot last night, so everything was damp and there were so many leaves on the ground.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so it was nice to take a long relaxing walk and drink it all in!  I technically did an hour and 10 minutes of walking, but I deducted 5 minutes from that number for My Fitness Pal to account for Molly's dicking around.  She is a HUGE smeller/territorial pee-er, so she definitely adds some time to our pace!  I am going to have to figure out another arrangement for her when my mileage gets higher, because I don't know that she can handle more than 3 miles.  She practically acted like I'd had her on a 10 mile trail run than a leisurely 3 mile walk!

Breakfast:  Baked Sweet Potato, Scrambled Egg, Apple

Again, my picture doesn't make this look very appetizing, but this was a great breakfast.  I am a weird person who will eat random combinations of things, and I love nothing more for breakfast sometimes than a sweet potato with butter and pumpkin pie spice.  In fact, I would eat baked sweet potatoes at just about every meal if I could, I absolutely love them.  I wanted to make sure I had protein with it, so I just scrambled an egg with Mrs. Dash and some dried dill.  We got super giant honeycrisp apples from the pumpkin patch on Sunday, so I cut up half for Eric's lunch and had the other half with breakfast.  It's not in the picture because I was snacking on it while I was cooking.  :)

Lunch:  Chicken Pesto Wrap from the RW cookbook

I failed this recipe on many levels, starting with the pesto.  I forgot to buy pinenuts, and the only nuts I had on hand were salted Costco almonds!  I had no Parmesan.  I have a fancy Vitamix blender and tried to make the pesto in that, but the proportions were so small that the stupid blade wouldn't blend it, so then I had to add water to add some bulk.  The pesto ended up never blending, so everything was just in giant chunks.  Note to self, next time just buy pesto or make it in the damn food processor.  The Vitamix pretty much does smoothies and soups and that's about it.

Secondly, the original recipe calls for this to be on an English muffin, which I honestly don't like, so I just bought wraps since we're having breakfast burritos in a couple of days.  Let me just tell you guys, there are a lot of things I'm good at, but wrapping wraps/burritos is not one of them.  I literally had to watch Youtube videos last night to get the basic gist of wrapping a burrito successfully, and I still fudged up the first one I did this morning.  Since I am a wonderful wife, I kept that one for myself and managed to do a better job on the second wrap, which I gave to Eric.

The wrap was just okay.  Besides the chicken the wrap has shredded carrot and baby greens in it.  It was pretty bland and boring, but I would call it less of a Runner's World fail than it was a Mary fail.  If I made the adjustments I talked about above it would probably be better and more flavorful.  I would also probably just use shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the grilled chicken breast next time, just so that the meat is more juicy.

Verdict:  Eh.  Would attempt one more time with adjustments though.

Dinner:  Leftover Polenta and Vegetable Casserole.  Nuff said.

Treat 1:  Celestial Seasonings Decaf Coconut Chai Tea with milk and sugar.

I bought this tea the other day just because I had a coupon, and when I saw the flavor, it just sounded good.  I have never understood why people love the syrupy sweet versions of chai tea from coffee shops, but I generally like unsweetened normal chai.  Last night I was really having the shakes because we normally have dessert in the evening.  I wasn't truly hungry, but just out of habit I wanted something sweet, so I made a cup of this tea.  I had plenty of calories left in my macros to throw in a tablespoon of half & half along with a teaspoon of coconut sugar to make a little tea "latte".  I took one sip, and let me just tell you, this tea warrants a George Takei "Oh my!"

It really stopped my brain from going into overtime about wanting sweets, which I find tea is typically pretty useful for anyway.  It was warm, spicy, creamy and pretty perfect for a chilly fall evening.  And the milk/sugar only was a total of 35 calories, so it was a no brainer treat.  I made another cup like this today at around 3 pm as a little midday pick me up, and it didn't disappoint.

Treat 2:  Hot Apple Cider with whipped cream and caramel

Every year we go to our local pumpkin patch to get our Halloween pumpkins a gallon of apple cider.  There is just something about the real deal, especially when you warm it up in the evening.  It's so sweet, spicy, apple-y and good, and pure autumn in a cup.  I really don't have it except for October through November,

Tonight as a treat/dessert I am making hot apple cider, but taking to the next level with two little mini splurges:  a tablespoon of jarred caramel and 2 tablespoons of whipped cream.  I already can't wait!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday - Resetting of the Mind!

Well the week of reckoning has begun, but honestly I was ready for it.  We had an absolutely wonderful weekend filled with wine tasting, me joining a wine club that we didn't need, picking out our Halloween pumpkins at the local pumpkin patch, and hoovering down caramel apples.  We ate like fiends all weekend, and by the end of it, I was just ready to get the weekend over with so that I could start eating normally and moving my body.

I weighed myself this morning and OOF.  I ain't posting the number here, but suffice to say it's not a number I want to be at.  Ah well, time to get back to work.  I also took measurements on myself, since honestly that's a better way to prove that you're losing, since the scale can and does lie at times.  I am trying to not weigh myself and take measurements again until November 1st, just so I don't get obsessed about it the way that I do.

Before I talk about my first day of training, I am pretty bummed out about my new pants from Old Navy.  I got an XL because the large was just too tight and making me look like a candidate for the "People of Walmart" blog.  But like all women's exercise pants, I've noticed that they are cut really really low, like, you practically have to have a bikini wax in order to wear them.  Has anyone else noticed this?   The "waist" band hits at just about your pubic bone, so if the pants are lose, then you end up having them practically fall off within 5 steps.  I wore them yesterday to the pumpkin patch and kept having to yank them up every 2 feet, so there's no way I'm going to be able to run in them.  I am so irritated, WHY in the name of God do they make women's compression pants like that?  Is it with the assumption that we'll be like Jillian Michaels and be working out in just a bra and pants cut down to below your hip bones?  Not all of us can or want to show our stomachs off, and if I'm buying pants in an XL, then I most likely have a stomach that people would prefer I keep under wraps.  And for the record, this is why I prefer to buy men's compression pants, and will be doing so in the future!

Anyway, today I had 3 miles on the schedule, and was really wringing my hands before I left over what to do with Molly.  She is used to me taking her for a 2 mile walk every day in the morning.  When she sees me getting up to put my shoes and walking pants on, she goes absolutely apeshit, and nothing is going to suit until you take her for her walk.  I don't like walking her around our house because it's boring and not very safe, so I drive her to another location that's quiet and peaceful.  I didn't want to drive 15 minutes away, walk her, bring her back, and then drive back to do my run.  I just decided to take her with me, walk her, then leave her in the car while I did my thing, but then I ended up feeling bad about leaving her in the car.  I ended up walking her for a mile, then putting her in the car while I ran a mile, then got her back out for me to do my last mile at a run/walk.

I was proud of Molly, normally I would sooner take a rabid mosquito on a run than her, but she actually behaved herself on the last mile.  When I jogged, she jogged without veering off, and when we walked she didn't sniff too much and make us stop.  I am SO out of shape though that my run part was discouraging.  It definitely was tough, but I'm glad I did it!  It was pretty today but still too warm for my taste.

I will do my best to post my menu here  with some pictures every day just so that you can see the types of things I'm eating.  I think all of the recipes I picked from the RW cookbook are ones that I haven't made, so I'll also post whether I would make them again or not since not every recipe in every cookbook is a home run.  I spent a grip of time inputting everything into My Fitness Pal, but that couple of hours means that I barely have to do any tracking this week since it's already done!  Here was today's menu:

Breakfast:  Creamsicle Smoothie from the Hungry Hottie cookbook

This was a nice, tropical way to start the morning!  It was a little more runny than I would have liked, but the flavor was great.  It's just basically an orange, banana, one date, vanilla and almond milk.  Oh, and I actually threw in a half cup of frozen pineapple chunks, because as the talented Samantha Fox once said, naughty girls need love too.  (That was just for you Eric)  I know my picture probably doesn't make it look appetizing, but that's because I tweaked the recipe and added 2 tablespoons of chocolate hemp protein powder just to give the smoothie a little more bulk and protein.  The hemp protein powder from Manitoba Harvest is the only type of protein powder that I can really stomach, and I think it's actually pretty good!  Certainly healthier for you than a lot of the powders out there, and at least it doesn't give you 5 alarm food poisoning like Vega One products.  *shudder*

Verdict:  Was very tasty and kept me full, so I'll definitely be adding it to the rotation.

Lunch:  Roast Beef Pita from the Runner's World cookbook

Right off the bat there was a little bit of a fail on this, since it's supposed to have hummus on it.  Unfortunately since I was about to have a panic attack in the store yesterday because it was insanely crowded and everyone was being a douche that I simply forgot to get some.  Ah well.  The second fail that ultimately isn't a fail I guess is that I could not get the damn pita pockets to actually be a pocket.  So annoying, so I just had to cut them in half and use them like a normal piece of bread.  It all ends up in the same place in the same condition ultimately, so I guess it doesn't matter.

It's pretty basic just like most of the recipes in RW, it's sliced roast beef on pita with a dill and cucumber Greek yogurt sauce.  I used dried dill, threw a sprinkle of garlic powder in the sauce too just to give it a little more pizzazz, and also put about a half handful of baby greens on the sandwich.  I added some carrot sticks and cucumber slices on  the side to even things out.

It's not THE most exciting thing I've ever eaten, but I was perfectly happy with it and it made for a very filling lunch.  The hummus would have been tasty on the sandwich but I don't think it really lacked anything without it.  And this may sound weird, but that carrot was one of the most amazing carrots I've ever had!  I oddly enjoyed it the most of everything!  Anyway, the sandwich ended up being messy due to the yogurt sauce, although it was tasty.  Next time I might just reserve some of the sauce as a dip for vegetables.

Verdict:  Basic and not majorly exciting, but definitely filling and satisfying.  Would make it again.

Dinner:  Polenta and Vegetable Casserole from the Runner's World cookbook

I really love polenta, which is just a fancier way of saying "yellow grits" in my neck of the woods, so I was pretty excited about this recipe.  I deviated from the directions a little bit.  It is supposed to make enough for 10 servings, but I reduced it it 4 servings so that we only had enough for dinner tonight and dinner tomorrow.  I also roasted the vegetables before putting them into the dish.  I didn't include the eggplant just because I didn't have room for it in the dish.  Basically you layer the polenta and vegetables with marinara sauce similar to a lasagna.  My vegetable mixture was zucchini, mushrooms and asparagus, and once I got all of the layering done, it got topped off with marinara sauce, fresh basil and goat cheese.

Side note...why are all of my f'ing pictures blurry today?!  None of them look very appetizing either lol.

Back to the casserole.  This was definitely the winner of the day.  The marinara and polenta was a much nicer pairing than I'd anticipated, and it was overall a very homey and comforting dish.  I could foresee making this with all kinds of different vegetable combinations, and it's also gluten free so if you are one of those people who worries about it, well, here ya go.

Verdict:  In the rotation for sure!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Hate Shopping :(

As you can imagine from my title, I went shopping for some new workout clothes today.  While I haven't gained a bajillion pounds, I have definitely gained some weight back and some of my lovely muscle has turned to flab.  The running pants that I ran my marathon and most of my other races in still basically fit, but chub rub got the best of the thigh area because I wore them so relentlessly, so there are holes in them.  My other running pants were fine for when I was leaner, but if I try to wear those things next week it's going to be a trip straight to Camel Toe Junction.  No one wants to see that.

I hate clothes shopping more than anything, but I didn't really have a choice.  I needed wick away pants that fit.  Once you go dry fit, you can't go back man.

I started out at Ross because as one of my relatives once said, "I'm so cheap I squeeze a nickle until the buffalo craps".  I'm totally like that about clothes, mainly because I've never exactly had this glamorous body to dress up, so I don't like spending money on clothes.  But you know, decency laws require I be clothed.  Ross was a total bust, which surprised me.  I found one long sleeved tech shirt that will work once I lose about 5 pounds.  I definitely needed a couple of long sleeved shirts!  I found some Calvin Klein workout pants, but when I put them on the material was totally see through!!  It's like, who the hell designs workout pants that you can see your skin through??  Since Ross sucked I had to do something I don't normally like doing.  I had to go to Old Navy.

So Old Navy...I like their clothes, and I typically can find a decent amount of stuff there.  But I am an old woman and I am just about crazy by the time I get out of there due to the music they play.  As if you couldn't tell, but I'm a rock/metal girl, and being subjected to some D list techno girl pop music is torture!  It's just loud and annoying!  I will say though, they were having sales on their workout clothes, so I was able to pick up a couple pairs of compression pants and a bunch of workout tops that are light, roomy and don't show every lump, bump and roll on my body.

Shopping always makes me feel awful about myself.  I was berating myself for getting out of shape and not being able to fit into the sizes I was able to fit into 7 months ago.  I know I'm taking steps to do something about it, but it's still frustrating.  My chest is the main cause of my woes, it makes shopping for shirts a horrible experience.  If I had the money for a reduction I would go tonight to get one, because it physically hurts and is just all around annoying.  I walked out of Old Navy feeling a bit deflated, but hopefully I will fit back into some of my old running gear soon.

On a happier note, I finally think summer has left Oregon, and THANK GOD is what I say to that.  One thing that's awesome is that Eric and I have been able to resume our nightly tea time ritual this last week since it's actually cool enough outside to enjoy it!  I forgot how much I liked tea and didn't realize how much I missed having a cup (or 3) of tea at night.  I really dig this online tea place I found called Tea Guys:

Since Teavana got bought out by Starbucks and Starbucks generally ruins everything, I'm not really interested in supporting them.  I know a lot of people cream themselves about David's Tea, but I find that their stuff has a really weird chemical/artificial taste to it that is off putting.  The Tea Guys are super awesome and I've been pretty happy with everything I've gotten from them, so check them out if you get a chance.

Tomorrow we are going wine tasting at this fancy winery called Soter.  I've been there before, but Eric hasn't, so I want him to experience it.  I'll have to post some pictures tomorrow!