Recipe Rut

September 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Training Calls For: 8 miles

Miles Run So Far: 232.2

Days Left: 46

Lame: (leym) adjective: impaired or disabled through defect or injury.  See also: having to take another unscheduled rest day due to twisted ankle.

*sigh*

Another morning of getting up, getting dressed and then realizing my ankle is not going to let me run for 8 miles.  This little bugger better heal soon or I’m going to go stir crazy!  I continued my “icing” (hashbrowning) routine and wrapped it in an Ace bandage for today.  I hope it gets the message.  The troublesome thing is my ankle doesn’t bother me when I’m walking — only when I run.  I feel fine putzing around the house, but when I start to trot around the neighborhood — whoa, Nellie.  I feel kind of like a little kid faking sick to stay home from school. 😦

Since I can’t tell you about any running misadventures, let’s talk about the other love of my blog life: food.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been in a recipe rut lately.  I haven’t tried anything new, I haven’t gotten up the gumption to create any masterpieces or take any chances.  There were a couple of nights where I didn’t even think far enough in advance to thaw out whatever meat I needed and we ended up having “breakfast for dinner nights” or “Italian night” (read: easy spaghetti because I am a dingbat).

I called an end to this recipe rut this week while I meal planned.  I plopped myself down in front of the shelf of cookbooks and started thumbing through pages.  Pretty soon, I had three newbies to try out and I was actually excited to tie my apron strings and get cooking.

I believe that food is love.  Preparing a meal for someone (or yourself) is an act of kindness and generosity.  It means you like them enough to keep them around and not starve them on stale Cheez-its and a black and blue banana.

Sometimes, love means being a little goofy with your food…

…by channeling an exotic location instead of facing the fact you’ll be 15 minutes late to work because you were searching for tiny umbrellas in the cupboard. 😉

Sometimes, love means being a little daring with your food because you know you’re worth the risk if it could be really, really stellar.

…and you’ll forgive yourself if it’s terrible.  This wasn’t ;).

(“Pearpple” Salad — recipe below).

Sometimes, it means winging it with a new recipe because it reminds you of a time when you were engulfed by love.

(Jerk Chicken — one of the flavors I remember from our honeymoon in Jamaica).

(brand new married Bethany and Sam)

Whether it means you take the extra time to arrange that same old tomato salad a little nicer…

or use cookie cutters for your kids sandwiches or toads in the hole: take an extra minute and put some love in what you’re making or creating.  It will taste so much better that way, I promise. 🙂

Nothing busts a recipe rut faster than remembering you put love in everything you make — so don’t put your love in something crummy. 😉  You’re so much better than that.

“Pearpple” Salad:

🙂 1 medium apple (I used Gala), finely chopped

🙂 1 medium pear, finely chopped

🙂 1/3 cup plain yogurt

🙂 cinnamon

🙂 favorite nut of choice (I used pecans), chopped

🙂 granola (optional)

Mix first 3 ingredients, coat fruit in yogurt.  Sprinkle cinnamon on top and top with chopped nuts and granola.  Delicious and filling!  This baby has simple carbs from fruit, protein from yogurt and healthy fat from the nuts.  Granola just makes it taste so good. 🙂

Darn you, Housewives!

July 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Training Calls For: 5 miles

Miles Run So Far: 73

Days Left: 89

I almost, almost didn’t make it out of bed this morning when the alarm went off for my 5 miler.  Why?  Oh, I stayed up too late watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

*face palm* Somewhere along the way, during those 6 weeks I was working the early morning shift and had my afternoons free, I developed an odd interest in that show because it was always on when I ate lunch.  Is Bravo powered by anything other than Housewives, Kathy Griffin and wanna-be chefs?

When I saw that the episode where the biznass went down between Teresa and Danielle was going to be on — ooh, I couldn’t miss it.  I find that flavor of crazy so intriguing.  What has become of my moral compass? 😉 It’s okay, we all like a little trash tv now and then.

So back to this morning: I’ve heard the hardest part of a run is the part where you get out the door.  Boy, I subscribe to that idea.  I hit the snooze button once, spent about 8 minutes checking my Google Reader, made a piece of PB toast, took my sweet time eating it, considered making a cup of coffee,  stretched, and finalllllllly, laced up my shoes and left the house.

Finally.

I looped around our neighborhood for two miles then trotted over to the next neighborhood for another two and finished up my victory lap back near our house.  The weather was humid but slightly cool.  I am really digging these morning runs…even if I do still end up sweating like it’s going out of style.  I was little nervous about these 5 miles — not because of the distance, but because of my ITB (iliotibial band).  Since it irritated me on Sunday (9 miles), I’ve been adopting a more proactive approach to treating the situation.  Left untreated, I could injury myself to the point of not being able to train.

Not an option.

Proactive approach to my ITB problem: constant daily stretching, rolling after longer runs, yogAHHH on rest days.  All elements in harmony should produce a nicely stretched IT band and carefree running.

Reactive approach: Run until it hurts and be forced to take days (or maybe a week) off from running.  Fall behind in Hal Higdon’s novice marathon training schedule.  Cry.  Worry.  Stress.

I think we all see the benefit in being proactive vs. reactive.  Yes? Yes.  Proactive > Reactive.

Even though I’ve been a good girl with stretching, rolling and yogAHHH, I ran with a little trepidation this morning.  Had I done enough?  Would it make a difference after just two days?  If my band started to hurt, I was going to really have to evaluate my plan.  Each mile passed and I kept checking in with my body: “does anything hurt?” Nope!

Hurray!

I rewarded myself with a gold star for my efforts:

Well, ish.  I know you can’t tell, but I used a star shaped cookie cutter to gut the all natural whole wheat bread for my toad in the hole breakfast.  Fancy, I know.  Too bad it didn’t work out according to plan — instead all you see if a big, eggy center.  Ah, well.  A for effort.  S for strawberries (which I ate a few).

My morning productivity levels continue to soar, which I am loving.  I took care of all sorts of things around the house, walked the monsters (which they appreciated) and high tailed it to work.

Just 15 minutes in to my work day, my stomach started to rumble.  I guess a starry-eyed toad in the hole wasn’t enough breakfast.  Dangit.  Finally, the lunch hour arrived and I met my hot-hot date (Sam) for a mid-day rendezvous.

Subway!  I don’t really count Subway as fast food, in case you’re wondering.  Subway and Chipotle.  I feel comfortable eating at an establishment that assembles my food right before my plexi-glass shielded eyes.  Yes, I’m sure technically, they are fast food restaurants, but they don’t fall into the category of freaky fast food places I avoid.  The kind that are red and yellow themed, offer kids toys relating to the latest summer flick and have ball pits.

*shudder*  I have yet to see a ball pit at a Subway.  I feel like if a restaurant is offering so much more than food, it’s probably trying to distract you from the food.

Look!  A clown!

I got one of my favorites: a BLT on 9-grain wheat with extra spinach, lettuce, tomato, red onion (love!), pickles and a light serving of the regular mayo.  Bueno.  I love that Subway serves yogurt as a healthy alternative to chips.  Double bueno.

I’m not sure what it is with my stomach, but it was like that sandwich was made of air.  An hour later, I was back to grumbling.  Luckily, I had popped into CVS during the lunch hour and picked up an emergency Clif Bar.

I’m not a big Clif Bar kind of girl — I find them lumpy and very dense…but I might just be a convert because this flavor was awesome!  Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch.  A looksie over the label tells me Clif is doing things right by this naturalist — all recognizable products.  High five!

Phew!  I slogged through the remainder of my day (darn you, Housewives!) and then made a quick trip to Tractor Supply Company.  *she thinks my tractor’s sexy…anyone? anyone?*  We don’t live on a farm, I promise, but we do buy the monsters’ food there — it is soooo much cheaper!  Every time I go, though, the “gentlemen farmers” try to carry my 44 lbs. bag of dog food.  I always tell them I can manage.  They always end up doing it anyway.  This time, the clerk actually called an associate to load it into my car for me.

Hilarious.  Where was said associate when I was hauling buns around the neighborhood this morning?  I could have used the help then!

Dinner:

Protein Pancakes.  Not just any Protein Pancakes…

BLUEBERRY!  I think God made blueberries specifically for use in pancakes.  Those little fruit orbs get all warm on the griddle and then blow up inside the pancakes like tiny fruit syrup bombs.

The only kind of bomb there should be, in my opinion. 😉

I’m debating some banana soft serve “ice cream” now…but only if I can turn it chocolatey.  Mmmm.

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