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! 🙂

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Trying something new

March 22, 2010 at 8:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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It’s always good to try something new — branch out, explore new horizons.  I’m always up for a change in pace, especially when it comes to exercise.  Last night, I scrolled through the FitTv listings and found a Sharon Mann In Shape flexible yoga program.  Perfect!  I set the DVR and was all ready to tackle it this morning.  I love yogAHHHH on the day after the long runs.  It takes all the muscles I tightened up with all those miles and stretttttttches them back into shape.

After a Green Monster smoothie and a cup of coffee with organic half and half, I hit the mat.

Not until after I staged a catalogue shoot with the adorable yoga mat bag my sister made me for my birthday.

I love the color and the ribbon closing it is perfect!  If you’re interested in placing an order, I’ll see if I can get her on Etsy.com ;).  Haha.

My first impression of Sharon Mann is that she is intense.  I mean, I spent a good 2 minutes thinking that I had actually DVR-ed a Saturday Night Live parody of a fitness show.  It was that kitchy.  She was popping into poses instead of flowing into them.  She’s like an aerobics instructor who’s heart never stopped racing long enough to enjoy a good yoga flow.  She’s no Shiva Rea, that’s for sure.  I’ll share a little secret: while I may make fun of the crunchy-granola-super-soothing voice most of those yoga instructors use, but I actually appreciate it.  It has a nurturing Mother Nature quality I find comforting.  That’s why I do yogAHHH, because it’s comforting.

Um, not this morning.  I generally don’t think of yogAHHH as a workout where the instructor wears an over-the-ear mic and makes the exhaling “whew!” noise as we hold a pose or counts down from 8 while encouraging, “keep going, you can do, sweat it out!”.  I like relaxing yogAHHH, not yogAHHH-robics.  I mean, you know it’s bad when the people behind the instructor in the video have the “what the heck?” look on their face.  Check out this guy:

And a close-up:

Yep.  Farhan there (yes, that’s his name) is clueless.  I did as much as I could stand (about 20 minutes) and I’m going to do a combo of abs and more stretching to round out the workout.  Zora wouldn’t even come out to watch me, and she’s my usual yogAHHH buddy.  Not this morning.  Sharon Mann freaked her out.  They say animals are very intuitive, I believe it! 🙂

What exercise did you try that left you feeling a little less than satisfied?  Any workout you did sporting the “what the heck” face? 😉

Besties

March 10, 2010 at 9:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day!

I “slept in” until 7 this morning — which made me feel very old and very refreshed at the same time.  🙂  I woke up to rain and sunshine at the same time — when we lived in Tennessee, I learned this weather means “the devil is beating his wife”.  Odd, isn’t it?  I kind of like that pairing — rain and sunshine.  It’s like they’re “besties” and besides, isn’t that how rainbows form?

The rain made me cancel my walk with the monsters (we could have walked, but then the smell of 2 wet dogs would have lingered and I am just not woman enough to deal with that).  I had extra time this morning, which was fantastic.  Not being a morning person means I tend to “ease” into my morning whenever possible.  This is why I’m in such a good mood now ;).

I started with another pairing of besties — tea and agave nectar!

I know, different from my usual coffee, but it’s good to mix things up.  I’m really becoming a fan of the agave nectar.  It has the consistency of honey, but doesn’t have the flavor, so it’s the perfect sweetener alternative.  An interesting note: that New York mug is so old, the skyline includes the Twin Towers.  Wrap your mind around that.

For half marathon cross training today, I decided to keep with the “mixing things up” theme and found a new pair of besties: FitTv and DVR.  🙂  I scrolled through the menu last night and found Shiva Rea daily flow yoga on the schedule.  Boom!  DVRed and ready to go for me this morning.  I read the Fitnessista’s review of Shiva Rea and really wanted to try it.  I think this FitTv thing might just become routine.

Zora cheered me on during my yoga from her spot under the table.  Well, cheered me on or stared me down like a creeper.  She really likes to watch yoga — every once in a while, she emerges from under the table to give me a little kiss on the forehead in cobra pose or on the shoulder in downward facing dog.  Such a sweetie.

After yoga and about 60 loads of laundry folded, breakfast became a priority.  I pulled out the leftover “Oh Boy Waffles” batter from the freezer, set it in some warm water to thaw and churned out two amazing waffles.  Sprinkle a little flax seed on top and a few teeny bits of REAL butter and a side dish of REAL maple syrup for dunking and it was awesome!  Oh, and a small glass of fat free skim milk.

All delicious and all within the boundaries of “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama” March. Fabulous!

I’m off to finish up more morning things then head in to work.

What’s your favorite pair of “besties”?  Is it a food pairing?  A workout pairing?  A scent pairing?

I like Mike…

March 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I heard an interview with food writer Michael Pollan today on NPR.  I think he and I could be friends.

I know of him on the surface, can name two of his books and give you the basic low-down on his philosophy — but I’ve never actually read his work.  I think I’m going to have to change that.

Over the course of the interview (which focused on his rules for eating), I heard three things I liked:

🙂 “don’t eat anything your grandma wouldn’t recognize” — can we say “Retro-tarian”??  I think so!

🙂 “there is no one proper way to eat” — agreed!  Everyone is different with different philosophies and needs.

🙂 “break the rules from time to time” — I bet this is the part where you think I fell off the wagon today with the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama March”…well, let’s see, shall we?

I used that fab homemade bread for a little French Toast this morning.  Bread + egg + egg white + splash of milk + cinnamon + REAL vanilla extract (not some chemical poser) =

YUHHHHM.  Plus coffee (with organic half and half) and a side of pineapple for good measure.  See that little bowl up at the top of the plate?  That’s my 100% real Maple Sugar.  Yowzas.  That thing was expensive compared to my usual off-brand sugar-free syrup (6.99 vs. 2-something) and calorically speaking, it packs a wallop.  1/4 cup is 210 calories.  The same serving is 35 calories for my sugar free.  Why bother telling you this?  I think it shows this challenge is not about weight loss or calorie counting.  I choose the real over the fake.  I used a lot less of the real, however.  I do the same trick with salad dressing at restaurants.  I choose the real over the fake (fat free Ranch — puhlease), ask for it on the side and then dip instead of smothering.  With my syrup this morning, I estimate I only used a tablespoon of the real rich stuff :).  Bueno.

I had a very elementary school lunch — pb on bread with some “Just Fruit” blueberry jam.  An apple, green beans (frozen to be heated up later in the work micro-nuker), tortilla chips (from Aldi — cheap AND natural), salsa and of course, my beloved 4 o’clock yogurt (which went mysteriously un-pictured…hmm).

Sam whipped up dinner tonight while I made more bread (that one loaf only produced 10 slices…not gonna cut it this week!).  Pork a la Sam (with pepper, garlic powder and salt), barley (if rice and oatmeal had a baby, it would be barley) and sweet green peas.

Obviously, as evidenced by the photo, I hated it.  Couldn’t bring myself to touch it.  Boy, I’m lucky Sam cooks. 🙂

Oh, and I imbibed with a glass of red wine.  It was one of those days.  But if you’re wondering if I slacked on the challenge — that’s a big ol’ NO! 🙂

So let’s talk yoga.  Or as I like to think of it “yogAHHHHHH”.

I have had the same yoga DVD for probably 6 years, it’s low budget production quality and kind of cheesy…but you know what?  It works.  By no means do I consider myself a yogi or a hard core cobra poser, but I do enjoy how it makes me feel.  Yoga provides for me:

🙂 intense stretching that helps with the days after long runs…hurts so good

🙂 improved balance

🙂 improved flexibility — a year ago I couldn’t touch my toes…my how things change

🙂 a good workout without breaking into a hard core sweat session

Sometimes I feel like yoga is a kind of a polarizing exercise — you either enjoy it or you don’t.  You either see some benefit to it or you’ve brushed it off because you “could never do that”.  Maybe you’re not approaching it right.  I have attended a grand total of 3 yoga classes in my life — but that DVD has had its turn around the player so often it should be worn out by now.  I feel more comfortable in my own living room, where the only person worrying about my chi is ME.  Sam doesn’t make fun and the monsters only occasionally come to bother me and offer their take on downward dog.  If I mess up, if I fall down (which I have…that triangle pose is a toughie the first time!), if I want to stop after only 20 minutes — that’s up to me.

I’m a firm believer that the no. 1 killer of exercise motivation is boredom and lack of spice.  Spice it up!  Get a DVD, clear a spot in the living room and try something new.  You’ll be the only one who knows.  😉 You can even rent them from the library if you’re a commitment-phobe.

But a word to the wise…maybe watch the whole DVD before attempting an unfamiliar activity.  When I first started, I would stop at about 30 minutes (so halfway) in to the yoga DVD.  One day, I went that extra minute, just in time to hear the instructor say, “Good.  Now you’re reading to move on to the other leg.”  I had been yoga-ing one leg the whole time.

*facepalm*

Never be afraid to try something new, honeydew!

the “If It Doesn’t Have a Mama March” whole wheat bread recipe: (adapted from this one on Allrecipes.com)

🙂 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)

🙂 2 Tablespoons EVOO

🙂 2 Tablespoons light agave nectar OR sugar

🙂 1 Teaspoon salt

🙂 1 cup bread flour

🙂 1 cup whole wheat flour

🙂 1 Teaspoon rapid rise yeast

🙂 1/3 cup ground flax seeds (for added fiber and omega-3s!)

Assemble ingredients according to your bread maker’s instructions and select the whole wheat setting.  Let that bread maker do its bumpin’ thumpin’ thing for about 3 hours and voila!

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