Breakfast’s Little Beige Dress

August 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls for: Rest (yogAHHH)

Miles Run So Far: 173.1

Days Left: 78

Hi! My name is Bethany and I like to make my oatmeal taste like dessert.

Exhibit A:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Oatmeal:

🙂 ¼ cup Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

🙂  ¼ cup light vanilla soymilk

🙂  ¼ cup water

🙂  ¼ cup small curd cottage cheese

🙂 ½ cup pitted dark, sweet cherries, cut in fourths

🙂 🙂  a small palmful (maybe ½ T) of Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.

In my renewed commitment to eating healthy and eating to fuel my training, I tried for a balanced, filling breakfast today.  After a half hour of basic, flowy yogAHHH, I hauled it into the kitchen and dumped all the above ingredients into a saucepan.  When it started to boil, I brought it back to a simmer for a few minutes, then pulled it off the heat to let it thicken.

Oatmeal is breakfast’s little black beige dress.  If you claim you don’t like oatmeal, I’d bet it’s because you never mix anything in.  Who can claim to like a plain lumpy mess of grain?  Um, only the brave, strong few.  The rest of us need a little help, ala mix-ins.  Mix it up to make it taste like your favorite sweet treat.   If you add PB and a few dark chocolate chips, it tastes just like a no-bake cookie.  Scouts honor.  Going for something a little more complex?  Here’s an example: if you love carrot cake, maybe throw some shredded carrots in, add some cinnamon, raisins or walnuts and vanilla.  A pinch of brown sugar could be delicious, too.  Voila!  Instantly better oatmeal.

In fact, I think I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow, now! 😉

YogAHHH was just what the doctor ordered this morning, although it was pretty tough to get out of bed for it.  Sam (to my surprise) asked to join me in my private studio (the basement) for this morning’s session.  Alarms were set for 5:30…we didn’t get down there until 6, which is saying a lot considering we only had to roll out of bed and walk maybe 50 feet.  Mondays are tough.

Once the mat was rolled out and the DVD was buzzing, it felt good to stretch and just ease into Monday.  It instantly put me in a much better mood, woke me up (maybe the coffee helped, too) and got me ready to get back in the groove.  I’m feeling much more balanced.

The monsters and I rambled through the neighborhood for about a mile and a half.  I was delighted it wasn’t boiling hot!  Maybe we’re getting to the part of the year where we turn the corner into fall.  Oh please, oh please.  Mother Nature, are you listening?

My healthy breakfast inspired a healthy lunch:

I packed a salad with red romaine lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber and carrot, polka-dotted with a hard-boiled egg and sprinkled with Colby Jack/Pepper Jack shredded cheese.  On the side, a plum, banana, carrots sticks with PB and yogurt with mixed berries.

Funny how when I get back to natural eating, my cravings disappear.  I no longer scavenge through cupboards for leftover candy from Halloween.  A week ago, I was definitely in scavenger mode – think a raccoon in a garbage can.  I was hunting for junk.

P.S. A note about carrot sticks with PB – after seeing Meghann from The Inner Workings of a College Graduate eating carrots with almond butter, I decided to put my misgivings aside and try it.  Delicious!  It seems odd at first, but you’d eat PB with celery, wouldn’t you?  I rest my case.

Sam made dinner tonight, his famous, original One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Pork!  I do love a man that can cook.  Good thing I married one.

Although, we had a little miscommunication about when the pork would be done versus when I should start roasting the Brussels sprouts, so these babies were like a second course.

And then, of course, there was pie.  A little sliver with a little scoop (or two)  of all-natural ice cream.  Delicious.  Best pie I’ve made in a long while.  Must have been that rolling pin.

There’s a three mile run on tap for tomorrow and I’m going to make an effort to get to bed a little early tonight so that alarm doesn’t seem quite so rude…oh, who am I kidding?  At least I’m going to bed with the feeling that it’s going to be a good, good, run.

What do you put in your oatmeal?!  How do you dress breakfast’s little black beige dress?

A Pie for a Pie

August 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Training Calls for: Cross Training

Miles Run So Far: 173.1

Days Left: 79

I spent most of this afternoon counting my dough rolling skillz (yes, with a z) as cross training.  For shame.  What kind of marathon runner am I?

Answer: The kind that loves pie and recognizes when cherries are on sale, you must bake.  Must!

I had a little help pitting these delicious dark beauties.  Sam used our brand new cherry pitter to force those pits flying out of the fruit.  I ❤ cherry pitters for making pie creation so much easier.

Action shot!

The pre-bake final product.  I even did the real criss-cross lattice work.  I was not messing around.  Pie making reminds me of my grandma.  She’s been gone for 8 months now and sometimes I’m caught off guard by how much I miss her.  I’ll be doing just fine and when !wham!, something reminds me of her and I get a little teary-eyed.  I’d be lying if I said that pie crust was completely tear-free.  A drip drop or two may have made it into the oven.

But you probably don’t read this blog because I wax poetic about my grandma.  You read it because I’m training for my first marathon.  Let’s get back to that, then, shall we?

Friday night’s dinner was a new standard in my household: pasta!  I know there is some disagreement about carb-loading and whether it makes any difference in your glycogen stores, but I say to heck with all that nonsense.  I like pasta.  Pasta is easy to make.  Done and done.  This Friday’s pasta dinner included a few special guests.  They traveled far and wide, from the freezer section at Aldi, to be a part of Friday night’s feast.  Please join me in welcoming The Mussels.

Yep.  Frozen mussels.  I was skeptical, being that I don’t really “do” discount seafood (*cough* Captain D’s *cough* Gorton’s Fish Sticks *cough* Long John’s), but at just $2.99, I got sucked in by the box and the price.

With instructions to steam them open myself, things looked a little sketchy at first…

They stayed in box formation longer than I thought was absolutely necessary, but eventually, it was a beautiful union — on my plate.

They were delicious!  I officially nominated the Sea Queen mussels in a box as the surprise hit of 2010.  Very awesome.

Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 6, then again at 6:30, then once more at 7.  Finally, Sam and I dragged ourselves out of bed, but not in time to miss the beginning of the hottest, most humid day we’ve experienced in a very long while.  With 10 miles on the schedule, we dressed, stretched and loaded up the car with water and towels to head out to the bike path.

I thought for sure 10 miles would be a piece of cake (pie?).  12 had been fantastic, 13.1 was phenomenal.  10 was terrible.  I am not meant for 10.

The heat + the humidity + starting too late + blaring sun = disaster.  Well, and something else thrown in the mix.  And here’s where I confess something to you in the name of education.

I had been calorie counting this past week.

I know for different people that means different things, so let me explain:  I don’t usually calorie count.  I didn’t have a great weight loss journey that brought me to this point in my life.  I have always been average-sized.  When I started running, I naturally slimmed down because my activity level picked up significantly and my body (I think) naturally wanted to let go of a few pounds of un-fitness.  I had been previously thin and out-of-shape.  Now, I’m thin and in-shape.

Well, our vacation at the beginning of this month threw me for a loop.  Dessert every night, wine with dinner and beers on the boat (or on the shore, or in the house, who cares the location?!) had me coming back several pounds heavier.

Looking back, my attitude is, “what did it matter? return to your regular, healthy, mostly dessertless eating and you’ll be fine”, but my attitude the minute I saw those numbers on the scale was, “oh geez, oh geez, what happened?”  Then, I threw myself into get-rid-of-it mode doing what I know has worked in the past: counting calories.  While this can be an effective way for people to lose weight, it’s not the healthiest thing to do when you’re in a heavy training schedule.  Why?  Here’s the niblet of education for you:

Marathon training is not a weight loss program.

My runs this week were exhausting, lackluster and draining.  Our long 10-miler was no different.  It was probably the worst run I’ve had in a long long time.  It wasn’t just the weather, it was the fact that my body was telling me it could not perform the way I wanted because I had not fed it the way it wanted.

Shame on me.

I reason that I should share this with you because I want you to know I’m human and I freak about weight gain like 99.9% (damn you, Gisele) of the female population.  It’s normal to be conscious, but it not normal to be extreme.  I learned the difference the hard tiring way, and now I’ve put my little calorie notebook away…as evidenced by my weekend eats:

French toast post-run (with blueberries and REAL syrup).

A little road trip with Kelly to P-burg for shopping and Panera’s smoke turkey breast sandwich and black bean soup (is it just me or have their portions gotten smaller?!).

Green Monster Smoothie with 2 scoops of protein powder.  Can’t you still see the hungry look in my eyes? 😉

And a cookie.

Plus a bunch of un-pictured other nibbles.  Didn’t count a single thing.  Worried more about natural, healthy, balanced eating.  Felt tons better.

This morning, after a cup of coffee, I inhaled 1 egg + 2 egg whites, dribbled with Texas Pete hot sauce.

And bacon.  I believe in bacon.

See?  I’m starting to look less hungry already!  This was turkey bacon.  All of the flava, less of the guilt.

I can’t actually remember what I had for lunch, so it must not have been all that great.

I feel foolish I let a couple few several pounds motivate me to chose poorly for my body.  It isn’t about the number, it’s about the feeling.  I felt a little off after all my vacation indulgence and instead of doing what would make me feel better, I did what I thought would “fix” the “problem”.  This ended with me feeling worse.  Since I believe you can only learn from your mistakes in an effort not to make them again, I’m doing just that.

I’m working towards feeling fabulous and fit.  Screw those numbers…I think I learned firsthand that the word “numb” is part of “numbers”.

I’m curious though: what are your thoughts on calorie counting?

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