Undercover Cross Training

March 31, 2010 at 11:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Well, hellllloooo!  I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already.  Where is the week going?

I want to show you what happens when someone finishes up an entire month of restrictive eating, comes home after a five mile run on an empty stomach and does NOT have a plan for dinner or the groceries to get creative.

Pizza.  Pizza happens.  The kind that’s hot when you are ready.  Wow.  It was so bad, peeps, so bad.  All through yesterday, I was thinking about how I was going to keep up my all-natural healthy eating.  My breakfast was good, my lunch was stellar.  I was keepin’ it clean with all my eats.  But I am human.  I finished my 5 mile training run absolutely starving and when I got home, Sam was ready to go re-stock his beer fridge at our local fave beverage store (I suggested the re-stock = 3 awesome wife points).  He asked, “what’s for dinner?” and I said “how about a pizza?” before I could stop myself.  Whatev.

At 8:10pm, after a beer run and a drive thru the pizza place, we were stuffing our faces in the parking lot like famished animals.  Oh the horrors.

The rest made it home, somehow. 😉

Do I feel terrible about this?  Not really.  I did have a little bit of a guilty belly after the massacre was over, but I realized, this eating is very out of character and is a good representation of:

🙂 why you should always have a dinner plan

🙂 why you should properly fuel your runs so you’re not running on empty

🙂 why Michael Pollan says sometimes you should break the rules 😉

It’s also a good look at why diets don’t work.  Now, I know I wasn’t exactly on a diet for the last month, but I was eliminating foods from my digestive vocabulary.  To me, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.  Tell your body no no no over and over again and soon, it’s going to rebel.  At that point, you’re just along for the ride while your stomach takes over and your mouth is second-in-command.  It’s not a good feeling.  It’s pretty much binging and it creates a vicious cycle.

Instead of beating myself up over a pizza, I’m just going to move on.  No biggie.  I indulged.  It’s fine. 🙂  I’m back on track.

In other news, I tried a new form of cross training: undercover cross training.  Hal Higdon says today I should be either running 3 miles today or cross training.  I almost always choose cross training, but lately, it’s gotten pretty vanilla.  My cross training is always the 30 day Shred or yogAHHH.  Not today!  Today, I was going to spice it up AND kill two birds with one stone.

I BIKED TO WORK (I feel hard core saying that!).  My cross training was going undercover as my commute.

I know you’re jealous of my PhysioFit bicycle.  Haha, I know, I don’t know what kind of brand that is either.  I “inherited” the bike when my grandpa passed away, it’s his old one.  I like free things, don’t you?  At least I took the AM radio off the handlebars before I ventured out. 😉  I also packed my backpack with my lunch, laptop and change of clothes for work.  You didn’t think I was going to wear sweats to the office, did you?!  Of course, safety first.

If they ever make a cute looking bike helmet, I’ll be the first in line.  Until then, I will resemble a mushroom.

It took about 50 minutes to bike the 8.62 miles in to work.  I tracked it using my RunKeeper, which has alternative settings for cycling, walking, hiking, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and skating.  Hmm, skating?  Oh well, the RunKeeper has proven its worth!

I wasn’t really pushing myself, just enjoying the sunshine and the ride.  For the last two miles, I was cursing my bony rump.  I either need to get a padded seat for the bike, or figure out how to add padding to MY seat, if you know what I mean. 😉

I got changed at the office and was thankful I remembered this crucial tool for biking to work…

Oh yes.  I have a desire for fitness — not to be the questionably odorous co-worker.  Since it was about 40* out, I didn’t really break a sweat, but better safe than smelly.

It was pretty fun.  I can see myself doing this maybe once a week, maybe more sporadically.  I did have to bike on the actual street, which made me nervous.  I know, I know, I’m a big baby.  I just have a lot of life to live and I would hate to get hit by a car.  It would really put a crimp in my plans!

Ever taken “alternative” transportation to work?  Ever thought about it?  What’s holding you back?

“If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March WRAP UP!

March 30, 2010 at 9:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On March 1st, I began a challenge to transform the way I looked at the food I was eating.  I was unhappy consuming food with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce and didn’t recognize.  What did it say about my personal responsibility of feeding myself if I was eating all these unknowns?  How were they affecting my body?  How could I change this?

The answer came in the form of the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March challenge.  In the simplest terms, I used the adage “if it doesn’t have a mama and it didn’t grow in the ground — don’t eat it!”  I wanted to return to an eating style that relied more on whole, fresh foods and less on processed products.  I wanted to be a Retro-tarian.  Out went the freaky fats, the unidentifiable oils, the chemicals and preservatives.  I posted pictures of what I ate, what I avoided and how I managed to survive the month.

Here are some highlights if you missed the month:

🙂 I realized I was going to have to start paying more attention.  I was looking at labels now, not for their nutritional stats, but for their ingredients.  This was a swap!

🙂 I baked my own bread when I realized my usual whole wheat was an offender.

🙂 I ate at a restaurant, but not before doing a little sleuthing and making some awkward phone calls.  By the end of the challenge, I wasn’t even phased at eating out — I knew how to handle it and how to demand I be fed what was right for me.

🙂 I imposed upon my mother to make an all natural birthday dinner that would fit my challenge, and she did so because A) she loves me B) she is awesome.

🙂 I pondered the legacy of recipes.

🙂 I fell off the wagon — in the name of friendship.

But I got right back on and finished the month strong.  Keeping in mind this was NOT a scientific study, I am NOT a nutritionist or dietician, and we could argue a bunch of different variables: here’s what I learned.

Snacking and Hunger

This challenge changed the way I snacked.  It used to be I would come home from work and inhale whatever I could get my hands on while I was making dinner.  I was hungry, it was available, it was a match made in heaven.  When you actually have to stop and think about what you’re eating, you snack less.  When your choices are fruits, veg or cereal, you tend to think: eh, I can wait until the next meal.  At least, that’s what happened to me.  I realized my “hunger cues” were a little false.  Given the opportunity, I could hold off until dinner was made.  I kept up with my tra-dish-ional 4 o’clock yogurt snack at lunch, but soon realized eating the regular yogurt instead of the lite kind filled me up better.  I no longer got hunger headaches.  I would suffer a hunger headache at least three times a week, almost always at the same time.  That’s how my 4 o’clock yogurt routine started — I thought I was staving off an even bigger headache.  Well, sort of.  I was just fighting the problem with a weak instrument — although eating plain vanilla yogurt for a month got a little boring ;).

At first I was a little tough to not snack in group settings (at a friend’s house or at an event).  I got used to it.  I would eat what I could and avoid what I couldn’t.  Sometimes, I slipped a bar or an apple in my purse just in case.  I didn’t miss ANYTHING by not eating that food.  I was still there, my friends were still there, fun was still had.

Energy Levels and Appearance

You all are aware (at least I hope) that I’m training for a half marathon.  This means I am active in some capacity at least 5 days a week.  I was interested to see how this eating style would change my energy levels.  I am super happy to report that I had great energy this month.  I would go so far to say that it was a high energy month.  I felt more energized during the day, rarely had an afternoon slump (which usually proceeded a hunger headache) and tackled my training with gusto.  *cue triumphant musical theme*  I know, it sounds a little hokey, but it’s true.

On the appearance side of things, I didn’t think much changed.  My hair, skin and nails looked the same as always.  This I expected.  Usually, the introduction of healthy fat creates a difference in those things, but since there wasn’t much of that going on (I ate my share of healthy fat pre-challenge), not much change.  At least in my eyes.  In weeks 3 and 4, I received about 4 or 5 compliments from people I hadn’t seen in a while.  They all used the same word — “glowing”.  They wanted to know what I was doing differently.  Not one to brag (I feel a little snooty even typing this now!), I didn’t want to blog about that.  But the fact that they all used the same description made me wonder if it was because I was fueling my bod with whole, fresh foods.  I believe what you put inside is reflected in your appearance outside…

Weight and Budget

disclaimer: If you suffer or have suffered from disordered eating and you know that discussion of weight and weight loss is a trigger point for you, please scroll through this part.  I respect everyone’s different feelings on weight and do not want to be the trigger for any kind of unhealthy habits.

That said, I know you’re wondering about my weight.  I did keep track from week to week how my weight was changing (or if it was changing).  I thought for sure by cutting out fat-free foods (unless they were fat free by the gift of nature), I would gain weight.  I was ready for it.  I steeled myself each time I stepped on the scale.  Here’s the thing: I actually lost a little weight.  Just about 2 pounds.  Now, please, don’t go thinking this challenge was about weight-loss, because it wasn’t.  It was about feeding myself right.  I ate things that were previously on my no-no list: REAL maple syrup, REAL butter and put olive oil in the pan before almost every egg I cooked.  Let’s remember, I was also training for a half marathon at the time, so the weight loss is possibly attributed to my running.  However, I feel under normal circumstances with a healthy, active lifestyle, eating these REAL foods would not cause me weight gain.  I exercised portion control and enjoyed the food for what it was — REAL.

In terms of budget, I predicted I’d have more trouble sticking to usual amount of food money.  We allocate about $280 a month for groceries.  That’s just for the two of us.  I was pretty prepared to “owe” ourselves money in our budget for this challenge, but it didn’t happen.  Sam was not really participating in the challenge, so where we would have been buying food for both of us to consume, now we were buying different things for different people.   I was able to still shop sales, buy foods I could eat and swap out for alternatives when necessary.  I think this shows you can eat healthy on a budget.

So there you have it.  I’m still trying to decide how I proceed from here, now that I’m not doing the challenge.  Do I keep up this lifestyle? After 29 days, could I really even stop if I tried? We’ll see.  I just know it was weird not taking a picture of my breakfast this morning for you guys ;).

Did I leave anything out?  Any questions I didn’t answer that you really wanted to know?  Ask away!

A Time for Reflection

March 29, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh 4 o’clock yogurt…some days, I don’t know how I would get through without you.

I may be dramatizing, but seriously, I need this little snack!  It helps pull me through until I can go home and inhale dinner.  How do people make it an entire day without snacking?  I never want to know.

Dinner was pretty awesome tonight if I do say so myself.  Sam did all the work ;).  Delicious salmon with white rice, roasted Italian potatoes and mandarin oranges on the side.  Those oranges are actually canned, but since they were packed in light syrup (read: water and sugar) and NOT heavy syrup, I know that they pass the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March test.  They come from the ground; they are A-okay.

A little dessert…straight from the carton…

…and that’s it!  This is the final meal of the final day of my challenge.  I can’t believe how quickly the month passed.  I have a feeling, though, I’ll realize it didn’t really go that fast once I start to re-read old posts and start to blog my wrap up for tomorrow.  🙂  Stay tuned!  Time for me to reflect…

I took today as a rest day and tomorrow there’s a 5 mile run on the schedule.  I’m excited to lace up the sneakers again and hit the pavement.  The weather forecast looks great from here on out!  Hurray for spring weather!

If you’ve been following the challenge, what stuck out to you over the month?  Anything that surprised you?  Did you think I was crazy or did you think about trying this yourself?

Boo Monday

March 29, 2010 at 11:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I was having such a nice time yesterday, hanging with my hubby and just generally enjoying a weather-induced “chill” day that Monday has been quite a rude awakening.

So let’s rewind and enjoy some of the weekend a little longer :).

Sam and I hit up a showing of the Bounty Hunter.  Eh, I give it a B-.  Interesting enough, we laughed a couple of times, but overall, it was pretty predictable.  I can’t seem to enjoy the standard fare chick flicks any more — what’s happening to me?  Am I becoming an old married woman who just doesn’t buy that junk any more?

Nah, I just think they haven’t come out with any good ones lately ;).

At the movies, to avoid snacking on popcorn and soda pop, I packed a TLC bar.  Pumpkin pie flavor.  Interesting.  The bottom was crunchy like a granola bar, the top was kind of gooey like pumpkin pie.  The flavor was yummy, but the bar overall was kind of small.  It’s okay.  Beggars can’t be choosers when you’re only eating all natural foods for an entire month.

Post movie, there was some popcorn snacking (I managed to get it in after all…but under my terms!)  This bowl was made with our air popper and didn’t contain any lard or artificial flavoring.  Add some water (I was slacking in the H2O category) and it was belly filling.

After nine miles on Saturday, my muscles were pretty tight, especially my hamstrings.  I pulled out my trusty yoga mat and DVD and flowed out the ENTIRE HOUR of yogAHHH.  I haven’t ever made it through the whole DVD!  This is what a rainy Sunday will do to ya ;).  It was just a day conducive to yogAHHH, I guess.

Dinner was a repeat of last week — polenta pizza bake.  So yummy, so messy looking.  I feel like calling it polenta pizza pile up.  It looks all cuisine-y in the pan and then the transfer to my plate just destroys it.

Trust me when I say this pile up at green peppers, onions and spinach plus a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Oh so good.

Post-dinner meant a little all natural chocolate chip ice cream…

…and some old episodes of The Office via Netflix streaming.  That’s when things got ugly.  I fell asleep while watching.  Not just dozing, full out head on Sam’s shoulder, drooling slightly (sorry, Sam) completely out of it.  I woke up just long enough to brush my teeth and go to sleep.  My body was clearly telling me it needed rest.  I never fall asleep watching tv.  My brain is one of those that gets way to stimulated by tv or music or conversation, it doesn’t just shut off like that.  Maybe I was just so relaxed and limber from yogAHHH, it finally caught up to my mind.  Maybe.

After 8 solid hours, I feel much better :).

Can you believe that today is the last full day of “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March? I can’t.  I remember getting through day 2 and thinking “it feels like it’s been a month already!”  It was just taking so much attention to make sure I was following my rules.  Does it have a mama? Did it grow in the ground?  Can I pronounce that word?  Is that a chemical or preservative? GAH!

Breakfast was some yummy Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats.  I made a double batch because I am ALWAYS hungry now with all this training.  It tasted amazing with a spoonful of natural peanut butter and chopped banana plus a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Sooo good.  Sooo filling.  Check out the nutritional stats — those are numbers I like to see!  Hello fiber, hello protein.

Plus, organic half and half in my coffee with light agave.  Claro ;).  I was channeling my inner Hofbrau Haus with my mug.

I love the guy who stands in front of the band and starts directing.  Right, buddy, you’re the first tourist to ever do that! 🙂

Lunch consisted of Bob’s Vegi Soup mix (which I added too much salt, bleck!), frozen broccoli destined for the office nuker, mango, and the other half of the banana from my breakfast.

I’m off to battle the Monday blues and do some marinating on just how “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March has affected me, my lifestyle, my eating and my outlook.  Remember, I have a full month to wrap up tomorrow! 🙂

A Soggy Sunday

March 28, 2010 at 11:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It was raining softly when the alarm went off this morning and the forecast says 100% of rain and thunderstorms, so it seems Sam and I made the right choice about running our 9 miles yesterday.  It was tough enough to slug it out in good weather — in the rain, I think the negative thoughts and four letter words would have poured down. 🙂

But let’s back up, shall we?

After the nine mile run  victory, it was time for a little day trip.  Sam drove…

While I sucked down a portable Green Monster Smoothie.

I burned something like 935 calories during that run and was HUNGRY.  I also packed some blackberries so yummy my camera ate the photo and a cherry pie LaraBar (Dear Lara, I love your bars).  Sam mixed up some trail mix.

Just where were we headed?  Oh, for a little family rendezvous.  It was sibs weekend at my sister-in-law, Katie’s, college.  She’s already a junior and I had yet to see her collegiate dwellings.  In case you’re wondering, yes, this does qualify me as a semi-bad sister-in-law. 😉  She forgives me.  Her campus is beautiful.  I loved all the green space and the Adirondack chairs they had scattered everywhere.  I could have totally dozed in one of those bad boys.

Kate is pre-med and has been doing some VERY impressive work with a herpetologist (reptile freak?) so we got to check out her work.  She’s such a model scientist, they took a picture of her and put it in the glass case.  She’s the one on the end in the blue shirt and lab coat.  Fancy!

I, on the other hand, got an actual demonstration.  I am clearly VIP.

I don’t really totally understand what she does with all this fancy equipment (I was a communications major, we just talked at lot, we never DID anything), but I know it’s important and she’s published for it.  So proud.

At one point of our tour, I muttered, “this makes me want to go back to college”.  Sam replied, “you are back to college.  Classes start Monday.”  Oh, yeah.  I’ll be taking a Spanish class this quarter as part of my journey of returning to learning.  🙂  But it’s not the same as Katie’s cool sorority room and science labs and coffee shop.

I was mega jealous this is their coffee shop.  Mega.

For dinner, we hit up a wonderful Mexican restaurant.  Normally, I stay with the same thing at every Mexican eatery: chicken enchiladas.  Since we’re still in the throes of “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March, I had to change it up.  I’m not really sure what’s in the enchilada sauce, but experience has taught me to simplify simplify simplify when eating out if I’m going to stick to my rules.  I ordered the chicken fajitas.  Grilled chicken, onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and tomato.  Looks to me like everything there either grew in the ground or had a mama, wouldn’t you say?  No flour tortillas though, I couldn’t verify them.

It came with refried beans and guac and pico de gallo and sour cream and etc etc etc on the side, but I really only ate the beans.  Beans grow in the ground, yes?  Agreed.

Since no trip is complete to a Mexican restaurant without chips and salsa, there was some of that too.  One of the things I’ve been pleasantly surprised by is that most tortilla chips are natural.  HURRAY!  This salsa was out of this world tamale terrific.  Incredible!  So fresh, so yummy.

And, beer. 😉

It was such a nice visit, it was really hard to get back in the car and come home.  Those monsters were waiting on us, though, and we couldn’t be neglectful pet parents.  I got a black coffee at Tim Horton’s and was surprised by the size.  Um, pardon me, I ordered a small.  Not a teeny tiny.

Oh well.  This morning in the pre-church rush, I scarfed down plain vanilla yogurt with organic granola and strawberries.  Coffee was consumed, but went all Britney Spears and avoided the paparazzi, so sorry, no photo.

And post-church, a little brunch to munch.  All natural whole wheat french toast dipped in egg/egg white/soymilk/vanilla extract/cinnamon combo with ground flax seed sprinkled on top.  A little sliced banana nuked in the microwave and cacao nibs with REAL maple syrup and I was in heaven! 🙂

For a little background on why flax seeds are awesome, check this article on WebMD.  Some highlights include:

🙂 FIBER!  Yay, fiber.  Your colon will thank you.

🙂 Omega 3 fatty acids.

🙂 Plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities found in Lignans.  No, men folk, you will not grow boobs if you ingest the plant estrogen.  Promise.

Go learn yerself somethin’ about them thar flaxseeds.  I try and sprinkle it on french toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal…it can even go in the Green Monster Smoothie.  Just make sure it’s ground up.  The whole seeds tend to not be absorbed.  The point is to ingest the flax for its good qualities, not let it shoot through you like the body flumes at Wet and Wild waterpark.

I think we’re off to take in a movie…maybe the Bounty Hunter?  It’s a good day for a dark theater.  But no movie popcorn or soda :(.  Those are DEFINITELY “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March violators.

NINE is just FINE

March 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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*whew* It’s been an exhausting day and I’ll catch you up on everything tomorrow.  I just wanted to let you know…

NINE is just FINE by me. 🙂  Our nine mile run went pretty well — although, as you can see in the picture, I was keen on collapsing once it was done!  Sam parked his car in a nearby town along the bike path and I stationed mine about 9 miles down the path.  Admittedly, the first 5 miles went better than the last 4 (particularly mile 8 and finally getting to 9), but I was psyched to have run that far!

I’m showing you how far that is on the bike path map.  Look how spread out my fingers are — INCREDIBLE! 🙂  After today’s run, I KNOW I can make it through the half.  It’s all about the mindset and my mind is in a good set right now.  Gotta keep it there for another 2 weeks (gulp!) and then I can say I’m a half marathoner.

What a feeling that will be. 😉

Nighty night.

The bottom of the barrel (or jar)

March 27, 2010 at 8:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Dear Blogworld,

Please excuse Bethany’s absence.  The internet connection at home was being wonky and Sam was setting it straight.  It made for a night without updates.

Thank you for your understanding.

Miss me? 😉  Aww.  Well, you didn’t miss much last night.  It was pretty low key.  When I was in high school and college, Friday night would roll around and it was a time for celebration.  ANOTHER WEEK DONE!  Let’s party!

Now that I’m an adult with a full time job, it’s more like — Friday.  Thank God.  I need to unwind.  And unwinding doesn’t involved much of anything!

That was the story last night.  I came home, starving, to a house lacking groceries.  Had to get creative with dinner.  Must feed myself.  GAH.  My stomach took over my brain momentarily and I ate a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream WHILE making dinner.

What can I say?  Sometimes, you gotta eat dessert first.  Think of all those ladies on the Titanic who passed on the dessert tray!  At least the ice cream was all natural and fit with my “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March rules. *sigh*  Dinner was pretty scant because of what we had hanging around: whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce and a fried egg on top.

Haha, I know, looks weird to you, doesn’t it?  Well, you should try it sometime.  If you lack the ground beef or turkey for the “meat” sauce on your spaghett, a fried egg works wonders.  It tastes pretty good too!

We hit the grocery store for just enough produce and necessaries to get us through to the end of the month.  Remember, we’re hard core budgeters AND we’re technically government employees, so we get paid once a month.  Horror of horrors!  Just kidding.  It’s a fine balance making sure there is NEVER more month than money, but we’ve got it down to a science.  😉  Sam and I are certified budget-ologists.

After shopping, I was still hungry, so I hit up the Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s with skim milk and agave nectar.  What, you don’t eat your cereal in a giant mug?  Me neither, usually.  All the bowls were in the dishwasher!

Bedtime was early because we had all these good intentions of getting up at 7 o’clock to run our nine miles before heading out on a day trip…but that definitely went by the wayside.  Something like this:

Me: looks at clock (mumbling, face down in the pillow) uh-oh

Sam: (mumbling) Wha?

Me: it’s 7:30

Sam: we’ll go later.

Done deal!

I wanted to do a little “carb” loading with breakfast this morning and we had an empty jar of Almond Butter just crying out to be made useful once more.  So…

Oats in a jar.  This, along with the Green Monster Smoothie, might be my favorite food find from blog land.  When you have that jar of PB that is pretty well cashed, but there is  PB hiding in the nooks and crannies, just laughing at you you’ll never get me! scrape it out with oatmeal.  The warm oats melt the nut butter, pull it out of the jar and make it taste delicious.  Plus, you get a little protein with your carby oats then! 🙂 I added a banana and a squirt of honey to mine.  Mhmmm.

Off to stretch and hydrate in preparation for NINE MILES!!!!

What’s your favorite weird food combo?

Do you hear what I hear?

March 26, 2010 at 11:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Happy Friday to you!  I hope your day is going along swimmingly. 🙂

Thanks for your comments on my anxiety — I think I’m in a much better head space now, even if it just helped to share it and admit that’s how I was feeling.  Behold, the power of the interwebs!  I will get through that half marathon SOMEHOW — the how doesn’t matter much, the getting through does. 🙂

I got up this morning, wary of my sore knee.  I did some extra stretching of my IT band last night (since I think that’s the culprit) in hopes it would work itself out overnight.  A day of rest and extra stretching seemed to have done the trick and I was ready to go today!  I set out for 5 miles and just told myself to enjoy the run.  Don’t worry about the pace or the effort, just run 5 miles because you want to.  I took it easy, even slowing myself down a little bit every now and then, and was very happy and very clear-minded when I finished.

My run made me realize you truly need to always listen to your body.  You need to listen, you don’t need to eavesdrop. What’s the difference?

Well, sometimes, when I feel some pain or an ache, I get a little hypersensitive to it.  I over analyze it, I worry about it and I go looking for it.  I take something minor and by eavesdropping on my body instead of just listening, I turn it into a horrible, training-devastating malady.  I thought a lot about this on my run, because I was concerned my IT band would start to act up and I worried how that would affect my last couple of weeks of training.

The first mile, I was totally eavesdropping, just waiting for something to be “said” about the pain.  Then I realized — this is NOT how I want to spend this trip around the neighborhoods.  So I took my ear away from the door and I thought, “pain will find me if it’s going to show up, I will not have to go looking for it…just wait and see.”  The pain never showed up and I’m glad I chilled out about it.  I could have had a less awesome run because I was over thinking things.

Since I learned my lesson yesterday about not having enough protein in my brekkie, I fixed that today!  After a 5 mile run, a 1.5 mile walk with the monsters and a some strength work, I was STARVING.

A Green Monster Smoothie (with protein powder in it) and a smallish bowl of Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s (they pack some protein, too) with skim milk fixed that.  I munched on a piece of almond butter whole wheat toast and some coffee with organic half and half and light agave pre-run for some fuel.  Check out my mug — that’s solid advice right there!

Lunch…ah, lunch.  I have to admit, I really wanted to pack something fun.  I wanted to eat something different.  It didn’t happen.  We’re running low on groceries and my imagination took a vacation.  So, I’m having this:

I don’t even really know if this counts as a sandwich.  Two pieces of all natural whole wheat bread with REAL strawberry jam and half a banana.  I know, right?

On the side, a cup of zucchini slices with pepper (destined to be nuked in the office microwave soon), two Gala apples and “veggie” chips.  I got these at Aldi’s last week because I was intruiged.  A veggie chip?  Natural? Neat!

No.  Not neat.  These are basically just natural, baked (I think?) potato chips.  They used dehydrated veggies to make them.  I won’t be getting them again.  If I’m going to eat “potato” chips, I’m going to eat potato chips (though I don’t very often).  Not worth it.  Oh well, worth the experience!  At least everything fits the “If It Doesn’t Have Mama” March challenge — which is rapidly coming to a close.  I can’t believe it!  Where is March going?

I have a full day of work ahead of me and some fun this weekend, so better buckle down and take care of what needs doing before I can do what feels fun! 🙂

Con besos y abrazos,

Bethany

Without further ado…

March 25, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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*drumroll please* The recipe for Pork a la Sam! 🙂  This is really a basic dish of pork in wine sauce, but it’s Sam’s specialty and he’s always changing it up, so that’s why we call it what we do.  The recipe below is my version.

Pork a la Sam

Ingredients:

🙂 One large (or two smaller) butterfly pork chop (or regular pork chop — just pork people, no bone)

🙂 One medium onion, sliced in rings

🙂 Two cloves of garlic, chopped

🙂 Leftover red wine (any will do — merlot, cab, shiraz, etc) the kind you can’t drink anymore because you forgot you had it — approx. 1/2 cup

🙂 Pepper and EVOO

Step one: Go around a pan twice with the EVOO, set on medium heat (don’t go higher — EVOO has a lower smoke point, meaning higher heat will burn that baby up)

Step two: Pepper your pork liberally.  LIBERALLY.

Step three: Add pork to heated pan, pepper side down.  Place onion rings and garlic around pork.  Pepper the other side of the pork.  LIBERALLY.

Step four: When pork is “seared” on one side, flip to sear uncooked side.  Don’t worry about not cooking the pork all the way through, you’ll get to it.  I wouldn’t let you get food poisoning!

Step five:  Add wine to pan.  Cover reduce to medium-low heat.  Allow to cook for about 15 minutes.  Check for doneness.

Step six: Plate and serve!  Drizzle leftover “wine sauce” from pan over top of onions/garlic/pork.  YUUUUUUUM.

If you’re tired of eating chicken while trying to avoid red meat, pork is excellent.  Versatile and delish, give it a try!

Dinner tonight was almost as snazzy: Jalapeno burgers!  We actually call them “japaleno” burgers — it was a verbal gaff of a friend and has stuck ever since.  Soooo good.

Sam had his with a bun, I had mine without but with Pepper Jack cheese.  No, I’m not going all Atkins, it’s just I couldn’t find reasonably priced buns that fit with “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March. Bummer.  Sweet potato fries made me smile, though, with organic ketchup.  The veggies (Brussels sprouts and lima beans) on the side kept it real, homies.  Real nutritious ;).

I mentioned in the previous post I was going to talk about some anxiety I’ve been dealing with.  I’m sharing it here because I know several of you are runners and could offer some great insight.

Here goes:

I am having a general freak-out over the fact that as of today, the half marathon is 17 days away.  I only have two more long runs (the longest being 10 miles) and then…it’s go time.

Maybe it’s the fact that this is getting more “real”, maybe it’s the fact that soon, I’m going to have to put my running shoes where my registration money is, but this is really getting to me.  I plod along on this Hal Higdon training schedule (which I picked after some Googling, site browsing and instilling my trust in Hal’s blue eyes) and I never question how it’s all going to work.

I question it now.

I’m only running 10 miles before jumping to 13.1.  What if I can’t?  What if I get to 10 and then my motor shuts down or my shoelaces break or I just stop moving like the Tin Man after a rainy day?

These are the stupid thoughts that creep into my regular runs and I try and fight them off as best I can.  I try visualization tricks — I tell myself: imagine the finish line.  There’s my mom, there’s Sam (because he’ll inevitably finish faster than I will), there are all the people getting their participation medals…you’re coming down the home stretch, you feel great, you have a big smile on your face, you’re ready to own this…

But in the back of my mind, I can’t help but think: what if that doesn’t happen?  What if I have to walk to the finish line in this scenario?  What if I never make it to the finish line — I wander into the woods and they find me later, mumbling my race number over and over again?  What if what if what if?

I was doing okay fighting these “lizard brain” voices, until I woke up this morning with a very sore knee.  I’ve had issues with my IT band before and I took today as a rest day in fear it was acting up.  But it’s more than my knee that’s bothering me — it’s my brain.  I’m still just a newbie at this.

HELP!  How do you handle race anxiety?  Do you even have it?  Is it because this is my first “big” race?

Soda, Pop, Coke?

March 25, 2010 at 11:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh, that list last night worked like a charm.  I got everything accomplished (and when I say “I”, I really mean, “Sam and I”.  He’s the real reason things get done around our casa).  It was so nice to get ready for bed early and wake up this morning ON TIME and not panicked, coming out to a living room/dining room/kitchen disaster thinking “there’s never any time….!!!!”

Moving on.

An observant reader posted this question yesterday:

“Of course I understand that you wouldn’t have soda in the Momma/Ground month of March, but do you ever drink soda?  Diet or otherwise?”

She has keen eyes — I’ve written a lot about the things I’m avoiding, but I haven’t specifically addressed the soda/pop/Coke question (I find everyone calls it something different).

The short answer is: sometimes.  I sometimes drink soda.

The longer answer is…well, longer.  Bear with me.  I used to drink soda allllll the time — I remember one summer in high school, my mother had to make a rule: one Diet Coke a day and ONLY after 3pm and NOT with dinner.  If she had to make a rule, you know it was baaaad.  When I was in college, soda was my beverage of choice — always Diet, always with every meal.  It was always available in the dining hall and when I lived in my first apartment, it was always on the shopping list.

Soon, though, I was off the parental payroll and supporting myself on a meager entry-level salary.  When I pared down the shopping list, soda didn’t make the cut.  So I tried buying a 2-Liter, but I didn’t drink it fast enough (I was taking it usually in my lunch and who brings a 2-Liter with them in their lunch bag?!) so it went flat.  Soon I just wasn’t buying it.  I’d have it out at a restaurant or a movie, but it wasn’t in the house.  I just got used to it.  Even later, after making more moola, it didn’t make it back on the grocery list because I was soooo used to not having it.

In my current job as a radio announcer, I have to be careful what I drink.  I have to stay hydrated because it’s pretty hard to talk all day long with a dry throat — but soda makes me BURP.  I never want to burp on-air.  Soda burps are the kind that bubble up and you can’t stop them and then pretty soon….yeah.  It would be so gross.  I would be so embarrassed.  Since I’m at work 40 hours of the week, that’s 40 hours of soda-freeness.

I’m not anti-soda, I’m not all “ooh, artificial sweeteners and badnesssssss” (although maybe that IS something to think about), I’ve just gotten to a point where soda doesn’t appeal to me as much any more.  I do have to say, I feel better NOT drinking it than I do drinking it.  The carbonation kind of makes me feel bloated (ok, not kind of.  I usually feel like the Michelin tire man) and it tastes different (to me anyways) from a fountain than in a can than in a bottle.

Other times, it seems really appropriate — like at the movies with popcorn ;).  Kind of like a beer after mowing the grass.

So there you go!  More than you wanted to know about my personal soda thoughts, haha!  I just thought it was SO NEAT that she noticed that.

Let’s go through some eats for the day, shall we?

Breakfast:

Oh Boy! Waffles with apples and cinnamon on top and REAL maple syrup on the side.  Coffee with organic half and half and light agave syrup.

Look at those warm, delicious apples.  Here’s a tip — always add fruit to your waffles, it’s soooo good and it bangs out a daily serving for ya.  I like to nuke the fruit for a few seconds before I add it to the top.  It breaks down the berries/apples/nanas and brings out some of the flavor.  Yummy.  It also tends to make most fruit a little gooey, so it’s more like a “compote” WITHOUT adding extra sugar or syrup.

Lunch:

Salad (romaine lettuce, spinach, avocado, tomato, carrots, EVOO and balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese).  Gala apples and cantaloupe on the side.  I have some unpictured 4 o’clock yogurt chillin’ in the office fridge.  Think everything fits with the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March challenge?  Me too.

I realized something — I didn’t really have any protein today so far.  BAD.  No wonder I was starving when I rolled in to the office.  I should have added an egg to my breakfast, because it was pretty much all carbs.  Carbs make my tummy happy, but they’re like the flashers of food, I feel.  You get a peek and then poof, they’re gone.  Protein is more like a stalker — it hangs around a while and stares at you. 😉

Good thing I have that yogurt, we’ll see how this afternoon goes.  I feel more and more like a human trash compactor the more I train, so this could be a long afternoon at work.

*sigh*

Back to it, you guys have a great rest of the day.  I’ll be back later to post that Pork a la Sam recipe (I didn’t forget) and to talk about a little anxiety I’m dealing with…uh oh!  This was kind of a long post and besides, shouldn’t you be getting back to work? haha.

Do you have a serious soda stance?  For/against?  Diet/regular?

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