Fantastic Four

October 5, 2010 at 9:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls for: 4 miles

Miles Run So Far: 248.2

Days Left: 12

My hunch was right!  This morning’s 4 mile run was great!  Even though I smacked the snooze button once and sleepily agreed to wait until Sam’s alarm went off at 6 — once I was up and out of bed, I was alllll business.  I think I may have been the only one.  Both of the monsters had zero interest in leaving their cozy canine quarters.

Ruby gave me the (sleepy) stink eye once I turned on my bedside lamp (she sleeps on the floor next to my side of the bed).

Zora took a different approach and thought if she laid as flat as a pancake, I wouldn’t see her (she sleeps on the floor next to Sam’s side).

Adorable.  They could go back to sleep — I however, needed to suit up!

It was a chilly 46 degrees this morning.  The closer we get to race day, the more I wonder what I’m going to wear — and not in the 7th grade dance “OMG, whatareyougoingtowear?” way.  In the “I hope I don’t burn up or freeze while I try and do this because it’s going to be hard enough as it is” way.  The race starts at 7:30 — so daylight will have just broken and it’s bound to be cold.  It won’t be cold for the whole run, though…so do I layer and shed or just wait to warm up as I run?  I decided today’s run would be a good time to start taking note of how different clothing options feel in different temps.

Can you see me now?  Haha, I love that the reflector panels on my vest look nuclear in this pic :).  At least we know I was visible to traffic!  Visible…blinded them…meh.  Whatever.

I ran in shorts, a t-shirt and threw on an Under Armor hoodie over top.  I took some gloves with me, but ended up ditching them after about 5 minutes.  This combo was too warm.  It’s so hard to tell.

I feel like the running equivalent of Goldilocks.  Too warm, not warm enough, just right?

Sam and I ran together — a rare occurrence on a weekday (!) — and we covered those 4 miles in just under 40 minutes.  I know I’m always saying that pace is not important and numbers do not matter (and they don’t!), but these for these last runs before the marathon, I am going to be more conscious.  I want to get really in tune with how my natural pace feels so I can avoid the “pack mentality” on race day and not take off like a rocket from the starting line.  Too many people burn out in the first few miles from excitement — I need to know I can sloooooow it down and feel that my pace is right.

While I’d like to credit my fantastic four to my previous post on over-coming fatigue, I think more of it had to do with the hearty, healthy dinner Sam made last night.  Fuel is key!

This picture doesn’t do it justice because I camouflaged the delicious-ness with cheese.  Isn’t that always how it goes? 😉

Shepherd’s Pie means different combinations to different people, but in our house, it usually means browned ground turkey, seasoned with sauteed onion and garlic, with mashed potatoes (or cauliflower) spread on top.  In this case, Sam got creative and sliced a tomato on top, sprinkled black pepper over it and oven baked it for a little longer.

The results were so yummy — we had lean protein from the ground turkey and carbs from the potatoes and deliciousness from the seasonings and tomato.  Many people add some cheese in between the meat and potatoes, but he omitted.  I then added.  Compromise — keeping marriages happy for thousands of years ;).

Even though the picture is blah, the principle is fabulous:  this is a good example of a healthy swap.

Ground turkey subbed for ground beef.

(sometimes we sub) Cooked mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. *see below*

Spices and flavorful root veg (onion) subbed for butter, salt and grease.

If you’re starting a healthy journey or are looking to change things up a little, try and sub one thing at a time.  No one wants you to do a complete 180 on your dinner, but changing one thing may lead to more substitutions.  Taking it one step at a time, one ingredient at a time means you won’t go into shock trying new things.  Too often, people think they have to change everything, give up everything, sacrifice everything just to see a difference in their life.  It feels about as good as leaving the hot tub to jump in the pool.  What a shock!  That’s when frustration takes hold and quitting seems like the only option.

Not so.  One change at a time will add up to a big result soon enough.  Patience, grasshopper.

* Now, if you haven’t done the cauliflower/mashed potato swap before, here’s my advice:  try it.  No, really.  Cook the cauliflower (fresh or frozen) and then mash it either by hand or in a food processor.  It will get creamy and smooth like the mashed taters.  You can add some seasonings (garlic powder or Cajun seasoning) and a smidge of real butter and honestly, you don’t notice a big difference.

The difference in the nutritional profile of cauliflower vs. white potato, though — well, that’s something to smile about. 🙂

It’s off to work I go (it’s pledge drive time in my public radio job — wheeee!), but tonight, I have a feeling I’mma get crazy in the kitchen.

Stay tuned, my little soufflé!

Spread the love…Share a healthy swap you make from time to time!

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?

Sunrise YogAHHH

July 12, 2010 at 11:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Training Calls For: Rest Day 🙂

Miles Run So Far: 65

Days Left: 91

What a great day so far!  I hope you’re having an equally awesome day.  What’s on the agenda for you?

I stayed true to my plan to be free of ITB pain by getting my rear out of bed early this morning and practicing a little sunrise yogAHHH.  Okay, the sun had already started to rise by the time I hit the mat in warrior pose, but it was still kinda dark out.  I woke up at 5:45, crept out of bed, threw on some “flexible friendly” clothes and made my way down to the basement.  It was actually a wonderful way to wake up.  I’m not much of a morning person, but I like feeling accomplished and ticking things off my to do list, so getting up early to check off “yogAHHH” on my list worked out well.

I did about 30 minutes of the same ol’ DVD I always do.  It’s a beginner’s flow.  I think I might be in the market for a new one sooner rather than later.  I’m ready for a little challenge. Any recommendations?

It felt really good to stretch and twist.  My muscles were wound so tight I couldn’t even reach my toes in the beginning.  It took a good half hour before I was warmed up and flexible.  Just what I needed, though.  Oh, yogAHHH, how could I have abandoned you so? 🙂  Don’t worry, we’re BFFs once more.  Before I headed back upstairs for some breakfast, I just chilled in Child’s Pose and thought, “this will be a good day…this will be a productive day…this day will rock.”  A little positive mental reinforcement never hurt anyone.

Since I’ve been eating basically the same two or three highly portable breakfasts for the past 6 weeks, I was ready for a brekkie that took some effort.  Enter, homemade Oh Boy! Waffles:

Named so because they make you say, “oh boy!  waffles!” when you realize someone is ladling up the waffle iron.   Two for Sam, two for me.  I’m experimenting with alternative waffle/pancake toppings lately in an effort to A) expand my horizons B) not rely on REAL syrup so much — it’s good, but it is pretty sugary.  This morning, I spread a thin coating of creamy Trader Joe’s PB on each waffle, sliced up a bananner and drizzled honey.

The verdict?  Pretty tasty, but the toppings didn’t really do a very good job of moistening the waffle.  It was a little like eating a warm, cakey hunk of bread.  I got a few pieces stuck in my throat…so next time, I’ll try something with a little more liquidity.  Yogurt?  Again…I seek your recommendations! 🙂

There was a high quality walk with the monsters this morning (they’ve been so under-exercised lately — shame on me!) and then I hit the books for some “class” time.  I’m taking two online classes this summer in an effort to wrap up my second degree and *whew* it is pretty tough to force yourself to teach yourself statistics and biology.

Ugh.  I made it through, though.  Only with the help of a mid-morning bowl of Mom’s Best cereal + blueberries.

Now, I’m just chilling during my lunch hour, chatting with you and scoping out the classifieds.

Confession:  I always read the classifieds.  You can find the funniest stuff in there.  I like the public announcements, land transfers and situations wanted sections.  One of the three always yields a good laugh.  Take, for example, the day I read this:

Looking for: Senior lady to ride in my motorcycle side car.  Meet at Wal-mart Subway.  Dec. 4th, 5th or 6th.  10:00 a.m.

I wonder if anyone showed up?  I can repeat that one verbatim because I actually took a picture of it, I was laughing so hard.  See?

My side dish of broccoli was looking for a container of strawberries to ride shotgun, as well.  Looks like he found love. 😉

I’m pretty excited — tonight Sam and I are heading out to take part in Brew Week.  Each summer, our town hosts a micro/craft brewery festival.  We’re a college town with a ton of bars…so needless to say, there are plenty of places for the brews to debut.  Some pretty yummy concoctions come out to play on the local taps.  I’ve got my eye on a raspberry vanilla porter…but I’m sticking to the one and done rule.  I don’t need another Friday night for a while ;).

Got any yogAHHH DVD recommendations for me?  How about waffle/pancake toppings?  Help a sista out!

Group Run

June 23, 2010 at 9:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training Calls For: 3 miles (again?!)

Miles Run So Far: 19.5

Days Left: 118

Yesterday, I decided I needed a little support for my 3 mile training run.  I’ve done most of the runs for marathon training on my own so far and I sure could use a running buddy lately.  Yes, I know, Sam is my built in running buddy, but with this crazy work schedule (5a-noon) I’m working, it’s hard to coordinate.

So, I took along the next best thing(s).

Well, hello, monsters.  Get ready to run.

I’ve taken Zora running before, but it’s been a while since Ruby hit the trails, so we took it a little slow.  I didn’t bother to wear my iPhone with my RunKeeper Pro.  Instead, I relied on the mile markers along the bike path.  We stopped to walk twice, probably for a quarter-mile total, which was a welcome change of pace for the puppers because it was about 85*.  Don’t call PETA just yet — I brought the necessary tools for a warm weather run:

Water for me, water for them (in the polka dot bowl Zora chewed up as an adolescent puppy).  Post-run was spent lounging in the grass under the shade of a giant tree (them, not me), panting hard (them, not me) with a look of disbelief that run just happened (okay, all of us).

Adorable.  Zora could have kept running (we think she’s part Husky…so go figure) but poor Ruby was tuckered out.  She didn’t even want to get out of the car after we got home.  Even so, I tried to take a group picture to commemorate our group run:

I think that pretty much sums up how everyone feels:  Zora and I are smiling, Ruby is trying to run away and get in the air-conditioned house.  She’s lunging for the front door in the picture, that’s why I’m grabbing her.   No come back!

Even though she was pooped, 30 minutes later, that dog was mosey-ing around the house with a doggie smile on her face.  I think she had a runner’s high!

Dinner last night was really the only meal worth photographing:

Make your own thin-crust pizza.  I used an Aldi multi-grain flat wrap, wiped it down with EVOO, sprinkled Italian seasoning, schmeared pizza sauce, plopped tomatoes and tossed basil on top and covered it with cheese.


There was also a pro-tini served in a mega wine glass, for class’ sake ;).

It’s been a crazy day so far…and I have a feeling it’s only going to get crazier.  I’m looking forward to today’s 3 miler (although I’m ready for a little switch-up in the distance, Hal) as a means of stress relief.

Do you go on group runs?  Who is your running buddy?

Remote Location

June 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Training calls for : REST!

Miles Run So Far: 9

Days to Go: 123

Bojour, mon petit chous!  (that’s about all the French I know ;)).  Hope you’re having a slammin’ Friday!

I’m blogging to you from a remote location this afternoon…

My dad’s study.  Yup, I’m at the parental casa this weekend for a very special occasion, but more on that later.  In Dad’s office, I feel very educated.  In that leather chair, I feel like I should be smoking a stogey, discussing the current events of the nation with my fellow ex-pats, Ernest and F. Scott.

I’m home for a weekend of women…more specifically, the weekend of women in my family.  A couple of months ago, my Aunt Sarah suggested a weekend of the women on my dad’s side of the family.  We’re all getting older, the cousins are all growing up (*ahem* some of us are already grown up ;)) and life is taking hold.  My extended family has never been the kind of all live in the same city/town/state, so it’s hard to spend time together often.  This weekend offered a chance to bring us together.  It’s going to be a good time.

Before heading to my parents’ side of the state, I had to battle through a work day.  A Green Monster Smoothie helped:

Followed by some fruit…

And a scone + coffee Sam brought to me later in the morning.  He’s been on a business trip (you guys know I don’t mention that kind of stuff until after the fact for creeper reasons, right?) so I had been missing him somethin’ fierce.  It was good to see that handsome face.  I was too busy talking and flirting to take a picture of the scone.

One of the best side effects of Sam being home was the fact that we could take our scheduled 3 miler together!  Yay!  It wasn’t nearly as humid and we ran along the shady part of the bike path.  3 miles in 28:30.  Not too shabby.  I really love having a built-in running partner.  About a half-mile left, Sam asked, “wanna pick it up?” and we pushed ourselves to the very end.  It felt great!

I’m not kidding when I say this heat is zapping my appetite.  It’s something I think I’m really going to have to work against.  I ate a banana after my run for starters:

Noshed on some chocolate Sam brought back from his trip…

and re-fueled again with a LaraBar (Key Lime Pie) while I buzzed along the highways.  The flavor was okay…I was kind of disappointed.

An Asian-inspired dinner was waiting at my parents’ house.

And I had a beer to kick off the start of my 3-day weekend.  Yay.

So let’s talk for a minute about how this puppy is helping me think about adaptation:

Oh, Zora, one of our little monster.  Zora is a Lab/Husky (or Shiba Inu) mix…either way, the girl is covered in fur.  Fur upon fur.  While most of this fur ends up on our couches, bed and floors, miraculously, some of it stays on her four-legged body.  With the weather heating up, I’ve noticed her changing her ways a little to adapt.  I’m taking my cues from her as I experience running and training in the summer heat (yikes).

Adaptation #1:  The monsters’ water bowl is constantly empty.  I cannot keep up with them.  I’ve seriously considered SkyMalling one of those pet auto-water stations.  Srsly.  Zora sucks up the agua like it’s her job — so I’m following suit.  I’ll be hydrating all the time, especially in the hours before running.  The weather is causing me to sweat even more and I do NOT deal well with dehydration, so H2O is my best friend.

Adaptation #2: If you pet Zora now, you will undoubtedly unleash mounds of hair from her adorable body.  Shedding is in full swing in our house and I recognize this is Zora’s way to cooling her coat so she can survive in this heat.  I’m taking a cue from this and changing what clothes I’m running in.  Lighter colors and more dri-weave are at the top of the drawer now.  I’ve switched out my socks, too, because I’ve noticed my feet swell a little bit in the heat.  Thinner socks = happier feet.  I’m even going to *gulp* run in just my sports bra on occasion.  I’ve done it twice already and honestly, I’m not as self-conscious as I thought I’d be.  I basically reason it this way: um, I’m out in the heat, workin’ my bod…if someone has a problem with how I’m dressed or thinks I’m being a floozy, they can stuff it or run in front of me with an air conditioning unit the entire way.  Up to them.

Adaptation #3: This pup-princess is currently worshiping the air conditioning vents in our house.  No kidding.  I’m not even sure Zora knew we had AC before this, but now, she not only knows the location of each vent in every room, she is permanently stationed in front of them (see above picture).  Unless, of course, she’s lounging on the bed with me, in which case, she’s expressing her love for the tower fan.

She knows she’s hot and she needs to remedy it.  My similar adaptation will be to appreciate the breezes when I feel them, love AC when I’m inside and most importantly, listen to my body.  Heat stroke is fo’ real and I don’t feel like playing that game.  It is always important to listen to your body for health reasons, but especially when you’re pushing it in extreme weather.

So there you go.  While I’m not crazy about training in the summer time, I AM crazy about running a marathon and it’s more important to me than a little sweat.

Now, pass the water, please.

Do you adjust your routines according to the season?  How do you adapt?  Do you have a “monster” at home ;)?

‘ello ‘ello!

June 8, 2010 at 11:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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‘ello ‘ello, little marshmallows. How’s your Tuesday progressing?

I’ve made it through another early day at work and am about to tackle a long list of to-do’s:

🙂 Dr’s appt. — actually, let’s make that a 😦 Dr’s appt.  I just don’t like ’em!

🙂 3 mile run

🙂 walk the monsters — they’ve become little balls of energy since their schedule has been thrown off…since my schedule has been thrown off

🙂 hunt for bedside tables and window treatments for our almost-there-not-quite-finished-not-yet-photographed re-made master bedroom

🙂 work on bedroom renovation finishing touches (the project that will never be done…)

🙂 study for a Spanish final looming ahead on Thursday (yikes)

🙂 start prepping our house for a weekend of family fun (my brother-in-law is graduating – YAY! – and Sam’s grandfather’s 80th birthday party is the next day).

It looks like quite a bit, but I made another of my super Type-A lists, breaking down my time into segments and designating my duties here and there.  I should get everything done and still have time to breathe!  Yay for breathing.  Breathing is good.

Powering me through this day is a litany of awesome, all-natural eats:

Green Monster Smoothie right off the bat at 4:45 am.  Hence the surrounding darkness — although I look surprisingly awake.  Don’t be fooled.  Also, pay no attention to the leftover ladder in the background.  Again — the bedroom renovation is endless.

A bowl of Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s with skim milk at about 6:30am while at work.

WATERMELON!  The official fruit of summer.  No, that’s not strawberries, those are the official fruit of spring.  Get your official fruits straight ;).

Lunch time came a little early and consisted of leftover tuna cassarole:

Appetizing, I know ;).  Yes, that is the same bowl as breakfast.  When you pack both meals, you have to recycle your silverware and plates.  It’s the green thing to do!  This is the easiest recipe ever.  Sam found it on the back of a Campbell’s soup can in college and we’ve used it ever since.  I made this with whole wheat pasta and soymilk plus cream of mushroom soup, tuna and chicken broth.  Cheddar cheese sprinkled on top gave a little va-va-voom.

I ate an apple, but didn’t photograph it.  Then, there were cucumbers:

I look more like a bug than a beauty queen.  Hmm.  A queen B?

Disclaimer: I never played with my food as a child — only as an adult.  Strangely more fun.

I’m pretty excited for my 3-miler today for two reasons: 1) we’re experiencing oddly cool weather for this time of the year — only a high of 75.  Love it. 2) this marks the unofficial start of my marathon training.  I don’t actually start following the Hal Higdon Novice Marathon training schedule until next week, but decided to repeat week 1 to get a jump start and keep my legs rarin’ to go.

Be sure and check back later — I’m taking you on a field trip!!! 🙂

Furry Friends

May 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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*whew* I had totally planned on another full post tonight, but we’ve had some furry visitors arrive and I need my two hands for more important things than typing.

Our back door is like a big screen tv to dogs.

Recognize our two monsters in the pictures?  Well, now add two more: Lilly the Chocolate Lab and Bernie the Golden Retriever.  Two more in our wolf pack — at least for the weekend.  My in-laws are heading to Georgia for Memorial Day weekend and since we’re sticking around the homestead, we agreed to babysit.  How can you say no to a face like this?

He really just wants you to throw his ball.

See you soon!

Dreams and Goals

May 26, 2010 at 9:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“It’s a dream until you write it down, then it’s a goal.” – Anonymous

What dreams are you dreaming lately?  Will you turn any of them into goals?

I loved this quote when I stumbled across it because I feel it perfectly describes how I feel about marathon training.  I haven’t started the training yet (the schedule doesn’t start until mid-June) and am keeping busy in the meantime with training for the 10K I’m running with Rachel. The marathon is in the back of my mind on every single run I take, though.  It is still a dream.  It won’t be a goal until I actually write it down — in a calendar, in this blog, in an exercise log.  We’ll get there.  One step at a time.  🙂

This morning was a good morning.  I pulled out the Awful Waffle mix I made a while ago from the freezer and baked up three waffles — one and half each for Sam and me.  Yum.  The mix seemed to do better than the last time when it got stuck in the iron and then split apart.  This ickky incident is how it earned the name Awful Waffles.

Much better, eh?  I ate mine with a little bit of REAL butter and REAL maple syrup.  Coffee with organic half and half rounded out the meal nicely.  I love coffee.

The monsters took me for a walk around the neighborhood.  We covered about 2 miles and soaked up the sunshine and checked out the ‘hood.  We have an active little community.  Kids getting on the bus, parents leaving for work, retired peeps doing their retired thang.  What do they do all day? 😉  I guess I’ll just have to wait another 40 years before I can answer that question.

The walk put me in such a good head space all I could think about for lunch was my favorite summertime salad:

Spinach, strawberries, chopped walnuts and hardboiled egg whites dressed in EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  Try it some time.  It’s best chilled.  It will change your salad world.

Sliced peppers with salsa for dipping on the side…

Who says only tortilla chips get to take the plunge?!

A banana begging to be eaten and a Golden Delicious apple in much better standing.

and this yogurt with Cascadian Farms granola has 4 o’clock snack written all over it!

Lunch photo shoot in the backyard — lunch eaten at work.  Booooo.

I’m going to hang on to this good mood as long as I can today.  Ever notice how sometimes you have to work harder to keep a good mood than to be dumped into a bad one?

Why is that?  😉

Hope you have a good mood kind of a day and turn some of those dreams into goals.  You’re the only one who knows exactly what they are!

Drip, drip, drip…

May 12, 2010 at 11:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh, what an interesting morning!

I got up with the intention to do so yogAHHH for my 10K training mandated cross-training, but when I saw we had a break in the rain, I wanted to take advantage of it.  I convinced these sleeping beauties to get up and take a walk (not that it took much convincing ;)).

(Zora has her own bed, but this morning, felt it was appropriate to spoon with Ruby.  Whatev)

The monsters and I enjoyed a nice mile and a half walk around the neighborhood (which included one unfortunate encounter with a cat) and stretched our legs.  It’s funny — when I walk with the monsters, my pace is pretty fast, almost a jog.  Those dogs are so excited to get out and sniff everything, they move at a good clip.

Post walk, I got industrious and mowed the lawn.  This hardly ever happens, but given the mid-week reprieve from the showers and thunderstorms, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  Our yard is finally looking nice and I don’t want to lose momentum!

I was just patting myself on the back I got the yard work done just before it started to thunderstorm again as I went to turn on the faucet to wash my hands.

NOTHING.  No water.

Irritated, I called the water company and was told some state-funded road work in our area had required the water supply to be turned off for an undetermined amount of time.  I was also scolded, as the woman explained, for not knowing this was happening because the water district had put notices in the newspaper and on all the radio stations.

Never mind that I work at a radio station and never heard anything about it.  Never mind that as a public radio announcer, it is my job to announce such things.  Never mind, never mind.

We’re under a boil order when the water does come back on…but don’t worry — they’ll let us know when that’s up using the same efficient methods they employed to spread the word in the first place.  *sarcastic face*

After this phone encounter, I started to think about all the things I was thankful for: I am thankful I showered last night after my run.  I’m not usually a night-showerer.  I am thankful I brushed my teeth, washed my face and put my contacts in as soon as I woke up this morning, instead of putting it off.  I am thankful I filled the Brita pitcher and the dogs water bowls while I fixed my breakfast.  I am thankful I started the dishwasher while I ate said breakfast, as I’m pretty sure it had just finished its cycle when this shut off happened.

Happy thoughts, silver lining, if you can’t laugh you won’t last.

I wish I could say breakfast was a phenomenal creation on my part, but I woke up this morning with an intense interest in just plain ol’ cold cereal.  I ate a heaping bowl of the Aldi brand version of Special K Vanilla and Almond cereal with a sliced banana and skim milk.  Of course there was coffee involved.  I think it’s safe to say even if you don’t see it pictured, coffee was involved.  I can count the occasions on one hand where coffee would not start my morning.  One hand, people.  I love me some coffee.

A reader asked me if Aldi is worth it.  In short: yes.  Our little micro-family runs on a tight budget, partly because we’re not millionaires and partly because Sam and I have big dreams for the future and know what we need to do now to make those happen: save money!  Aldi is always on the grocery route because I find produce, spices and baking items, nuts, cereals and eggs are cheaper there.  It was just an added delight to find that a bunch of their products are natural, too.  This was helpful during “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March I hit Aldi first because you can’t always count on finding exactly the same thing every time, but what you can find is worth it.

I smell a post brewing.  You peeps seemed to like the “cheapy exercise clothes” tips — just wait ’til you see what I can do with groceries. 🙂

I’m off to hydrate at work while I can.  Who knows what the situation will be like when I get home!

Sister, Sister

May 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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So did you do something for yourself in honor of National Women’s Health week (assuming you’re of the lady persuasion)?  Well, it’s okay if you didn’t — you have all week. 🙂  Just don’t forget!

My Monday wrapped up nicely, just another work day behind me!  I started off the day with a pair of Toad in the Hole(s).

I apologize that I just realized this picture looks a little anatomical.  That was unintentional.

I love this breakfast.  So much fun, so unexpected — such a good way to eat eggs and toast.  The key is to lightly butter the side of the bread you put down in the pan.  That gives it a nice little crisp.

I took a good long walk with the monsters this morning, I feel like it satisfied my “stretch and strengthen” requirement for my 10K training.  My hamstrings were pretty sore this morning…maybe because I pushed myself a little bit yesterday?  At least my abs stopped yelling at me (thanks, Pilates).

This morning, I got ready for work, crated Zora and gave Ruby a treat and then headed out the door only to realize I didn’t have my car key on my key ring.  Huh.  I took it off yesterday so I would only be carrying just the key in my running belt during my awesome 4 miler.  Now, where was it?  I started tearing the house apart, dumping my purse on the floor, searching the running belt in my drawer.  No avail.


As soon as I called my boss to let him know I was running a little late, I turned around and found the keys.  Like a dingbat, I left it on the windowsill of the garage window.  We all know that’s a logical place to put your keys.  😦

I ate lunch al fresco, soaking up some sunshine.  Good thing I made the best of the weather, it’s supposed to rain the rest of the week!  I ate a delish salad with red lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and a little honey mustard dressing.

There may have been one…

Or two…

Okay, three mandarin oranges consumed.  And an apple later in the day.

An apple a day, homegirls and boys; it does a body good.  This one was a Gala.

My four o’clock yogurt with cereal mixed in made it into my tummy a little early — I was super hungry today!  We bought a big tub of plain yogurt this time around and it’s taking some getting used to.  I had been eating vanilla, but Sam convinced me the added sugar in the vanilla really wasn’t worth the taste.  I have learned that plain yogurt is no bueno.  You MUST mix in something: granola, fruit, cereal, honey, SOMETHING.  I have distinct memories of my mom eating plain yogurt and grapes while doing Weigh Watchers back when I was in kindergarten.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like it.  Today’s mix-in of Aldi cereal was really good.  The cereal is pretty low in sugar and calories and I can add way more to the yogurt than I could have with granola.  Granola isn’t always good for you, gente.  Check those labels!

A new dinner recipe was experimented with today.  I found a recipe for Mac ‘n’ Cheese with cauliflower in an old Real Simple magazine and thought it deserved a try.  I am a big fan of hiding veggies in where you can and mixing cauliflower in with the mac and cheese seemed like a good way to camouflage a serving of veg.  Sam had this bad boy whipped up when I got home.

Overall, it was pretty tasty.  I had to substitute regular sharp cheddar cheese for extra sharp cheddar and I think this made it a little bland-er.  Having onion and cauliflower mixed in the pasta and parsley in with the bread crumbs made for a nice flavor combination.  I liked it well enough, good thing too!  We have plenty of leftovers. 😉

Yes, there was some of that, too ;).

The best part of my day included a Gchat conversation with my sister, Lisa.  Lisa is in South Africa right now, volunteering with a group to help at a battered women’s shelter.  She’s been gone a little shy of two weeks and has a little more than two weeks before she comes home.  I’m incredibly close with my older sister and consider myself ridiculously lucky to be such good friends with her as adults.  She is my oldest, bestest friend and I have to admit I feel a little off-kilter without our phone calls every day or every other day.  I especially miss laughing about running together — she trained for the half marathon and ran it with all of us.  Her insight was even funnier than mine!

Before she left for Africa, she reminded someone Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Boy, is she ever doing that!  I’m so proud of her.

Are you close with your siblings? Have you ever gone a long time without talking to them?

Edited to Add: My dingbat tendencies continue!  I totally forgot to title this post!  *Shame face*

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