Monthly Archives: August 2010

Can’t come up with a title

Last night, Jason and I rented a Uhaul and bought some furniture from two different friends. Our friend Adriane is moving to California and sold us her sectional and our friend Jamie sold us his dining room table with six chairs. For some reason, moving heavy furniture is always synonymous with ordering pizza. Domino’s was having a 2 medium, 2-topping special for $5.99 each. We got a his and hers combination. One pepperoni and sausage on hand-tossed and one tomato and mushrooms on thin crust with no cheese. Betcha can’t guess whose was whose?!


Despite the fact that my pizza had no cheese, I still felt guilty for eating lots of it. I had to remind myself that I don’t eat a lot of pizza and overeating cheeseless pizza one night is not going to make me gain weight. I wish I could just eat sometimes and not have to analyze it to death.

Moving on.

Today was my tempo run night. Unfortunately, it coinciding with a major stomachache. I drank a diet doctor pepper in the morning because I needed some caffeine. Nearly eight hours later, it came back to bite me in the ass. It’s weird; I would drink a soda and it wouldn’t bother me for that long and then suddenly, boom, major tummy ache. I know that I really need to get to the bottom of my stomach woes. I asked my doctor and she insisted that I just had a sensitive stomach without testing me for an intolerances. I have since fired that doctor. (Not because of that – it’s a long story.)

I went to the gym anyway, hoping that I could run through my stomachache. It wasn’t fun, but I managed to do a 35 minutes tempo run. I did 3 minutes at 3.5mph, 7 minutes at 5.5mph, 20 minutes at 6.2mph and 5 minutes at 5.5mph. This was about 3.25 miles. Of course, I wanted to slow down, but I kept telling myself that if I turned this into a regular paced run at any point, I would have to do the entire tempo run another day this week and that kept me running at 6.2. Yes, 6.2 is my tempo pace. Whatever.

By the time I got home, I felt better. I wanted a simple, easy dinner though. So I just popped a Trader Joe’s Masala burger on the George Foreman and put it on an English muffin with some tomato, mustard and pickles. Jason made some sort of sauteed veggies, so I ate those on the side.


Sometimes I wish that I made nice dinners every night and could share my latest and greatest recipes, but the truth is, this meal is pretty indicative of a weeknight dinner. Simple, easy.

Off to watch Dexter. Season 4 is finally on DVD!


Weekend with my brother

I had a fun weekend, hanging out with my brother who drove 11 hours from Maryland. (He said he likes to drive. Personally, I would have flown, but whatever.)

Before Eric got here, Jason and I had dessert for dinner. Let me explain. A new frozen yogurt shop, Menchie’s, opened dangerously close to my office. Their grand opening was Friday and they were giving away free frozen yogurt all night. Frozen yogurt + free = I’m there!


They had about 10 different self-serve flavors. And a toppings bar with crazy toppings like Pop Rocks!


Jason was excited too. Well, not really. I have more of a sweet tooth while he has… a meat tooth?


He did enjoy his yogurt. As did I. I had a combination of peanut butter, pralines and cream, red velvet cake and cake batter with some random fruit and graham cracker crumb toppings.


The original plan was to have dinner after dessert, but we were so full from the yogurt that we realized that it had become dinner instead. Oh well. We just went home and waited for my brother to arrive.

On Saturday, we all just hung out for a bit until Jason had to go to work. Then, Eric, his friend Michelle and I drove up to Alpharetta (about 40 minutes) to go to the concert. We got there pretty early and hung out in the parking lot for a while. Honestly, I had more fun doing that than going to the actual show. It was nice to spend time and talk with Eric. Since he lives in Maryland, we only see each other a couple times a year.

I’d never heard any of the band’s music. It was definitely a hippie type of show. And a younger hippie type of show at that. I think that the median age of the people there was probably around 22. I felt a little out of place. Especially when I was asking someone next to us about the college sticker on her car and telling her that one of my best friend’s went there. She asked what her name was and I said, “You don’t know her. She graduated 9 years ago.” I got a blank, “you’re old” look!

The show was fun and the music was good, but it was a long day and I managed to fall asleep at the concert. Sad thing is that this is not the first time that’s happened! The show ended around midnight and we were all beat so we just went home.

This morning, I wanted to show Eric and Michelle the city a little bit before they left since all they’d seen was the suburb where I live and the suburb where the concert venue was. I decided that a trip to The Vortex was in order. This is basically where I take a lot of out of town guests because it’s a fun, unique restaurant and they have really great burgers. Well, according to Jason, they do. They have good veggie burgers too. Atlanta is a pretty decent vegetarian town. In fact, PETA recently ranked it Number 4 for Vegetarian Friendliness in a big city. My hometown of Washington, DC was ranked number 1.

They all had burgers and I had veggie chili. We walked around Little Five Points for a while before driving back to my house so they could be on their way. Short trip. 😦

I really had a fun time hanging out with my brother. I wish he stayed for longer. Although, I was able to take a nap and go to the gym and just relax after they left.

I did a 3-mile treadmill run at the gym. I definitely feel like my shorter, weekday runs are getting much, much easier. Phew. I hate that feeling when you first start training after being a running slacker and you worry that it’s never going to feel easy again.

After my run, I cooked some portobello mushrooms for dinner. I used this recipe for the marinade and marinated them for about 20 minutes, while I took a shower. Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 400 in the toaster oven.


I bet these would be really good on the grill too.

Do you live close to your family? My mother and father and stepmother also live in Maryland, although my dad and stepmom are talking about moving to Florida. My sister lives in Raleigh, NC where she goes to school. Sometimes it’s hard living so far from them, but it means that I get a lot of visitors throughout the year. My dad is actually coming to visit me in October.

Signs that I’m old

My 22-year old brother is coming to visit this weekend. I bought him a ticket to one of his favorite bands, Sound Tribe Sector 9, for a graduation present. He graduated from the University of Maryland in May. I knew that he liked this band and I figured that since they were playing here in Atlanta, it would be a fun thing for us to do together and for him to come see my new house.

Here’s where the old part comes in. The concert starts at 5! There are several opening bands (including Big Boi from Outkast which I’m kind of excited about.) But going to a concert from 5-11pm just isn’t that appealing to me and I’m afraid that I’m going to be bored! Plus, he mentioned that he wanted to go out and experience Atlanta nightlife afterward. I’m all for showing him stuff, but at 8pm, not midnight! There is no way that I’m going to feel like going out after driving home from this concert which is 40 minutes away! It really does come down to this – I’m old. While I know I’m not OLD, I really have no interest in doing some things that I used to like and I’d much rather be in my bed at midnight than be at a bar.

Speaking of my bed, last night we had some strong rain and Murphy stood in the bed all night. Yes, stood. He gets really freaked out when it thunderstorms and barks and whines and has to be with us. Then he cannot relax and often just stands on the bed. Murphy weighs 60 pounds. It doesn’t provide a good night’s sleep when he’s standing over me! Poor guy. I wish I knew how to ease his storm fears.

Any fun plans this weekend?

All signed up

After reading Anna’s blog this morning, I immediately signed up for the half-marathon that I’ve been training for. It wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world if it was sold out since there are like 3 other fall half marathons here. But I am happy to do the Silver Comet again because I really think I can PR this year.

I’ve been following Hal Higdon’s intermediate training plan. The intermediate plan has me running 5 days a week which, for me, is too much. So I’ve just been taking one of the shorter run days as a rest day. Seems like it’ll be fine. I know from experience that if I run 5 days a week, I’m going to burn out. Not the best way to get a PR!

Today I did 3.5 miles. I kept it at an easy 5.8mph pace. Sometimes I forget that I don’t need to push myself for every single run. That’s what speedwork and tempo runs are for.

I went Trader Joe’s tonight and an interesting new product – guacamole hummus! Yum, a combination of my two favorite foods, I’ll take it. Have you found any new Trader Joe’s products lately?

Blog’s back

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but for some reason my blog was temporarily suspended last night. I spent the good part of the evening freaking out and emailing wordpress to inquire what was going on. Apparently it was just an error and now it’s back. Phew.

A complete meal

A lot of times when I show a picture of something that I’ve eaten, especially a recipe that I’ve made, I’m only showing you part of what I’m eating. Sometimes it’s because what I’ve made that was intended to be an entree turned out to be a side dish. Case in point, last night’s Kale and Cauliflower Bake.

This came from the South Beach Diet cookbook. Back in the day, I followed the South Beach diet and lost a lot of weight. While I don’t agree with the low-carb, fake sugar thing anymore, most of the recipes taste good and I still make them from time to time.

I halved the recipe to make three servings. Every time I make 4 or more servings with the intention of freezing the leftovers, I end up getting really sick of the meal and don’t want to eat it anymore.


This was good, but like I said, more of a side dish even though it was listed in the vegetarian entree chapter of the book. I guess that’s a problem with a lot of vegetarian meals; they’re just side dishes in bigger portions.

Tonight, I decided to make a complete meal.


Half a block of tofu sauteed in Trader Joe’s Curry sauce. I was going to bake the tofu, but suddenly my oven stopped working. Ugh. The stove top still works at least. With the tofu, I had a side of barley that was cooked in vegetable broth for flavor and bok choy that was stir fried in a wok with oil and a sauce made of soy sauce, cornstarch and veggie broth.

I haven’t been talking much about running. I don’t know why. I’m still running! I haven’t fallen off the training wagon yet. I also need to sign up for the race. I should get on that. I’m planning on running the Silver Comet half marathon in the end of October. Today I did 6 x 400 at 5K pace. I ran the faster 400s at 6.5 mph and walked the slower ones at 3.5. This took 40 minutes to do 3 miles. Afterward, I did a bunch of ab exercises. I do find that when I train for a race, I neglect strength training. It just seems like a lot of time at the gym!

Key to the weekend

I have discovered that the key to having an enjoyable weekend is to go to the gym (or run outside) as soon as I wake up. As tempting as it may be to laze around for several hours in the morning, it makes the day so much better to work out first thing because I don’t have it looming overhead all day and I can do other things without thinking about when I’m going to the gym. Case in point, I would not have been able to do the following today if I hadn’t gone to the gym at 10 am:

• had lunch with my friend Erin
• returned some wedding gifts to Macy’s and bought new pillows
• did two loads of laundry
• went to the Farmer’s Market

Oh, hmm, it felt like I did a lot more than that. But my point is that if I hadn’t of gone to the gym first, I would have wasted several hours in the day doing absolutely nothing and I wouldn’t have been able to be as productive.

So, speaking of the Farmer’s Market, it’s kind of misnomer for where I went. I mean, technically, it’s called Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market (but no one calls it “your”) but it’s really sort of like a big warehouse with lots of produce and lots of people. It’s cool, it really is. There is a ton of produce that I’ve never seen in my life. But it’s so freakin’ crowded on the weekends that it’s really more frustrating than anything. THey have a lot of organic foods but not so much local stuff. All of the peaches seemed to be from California. I mean, really? This is Georgia, there should be local peaches! But I did managed to get some cool stuff anyway, including:

• bok choy
• kale
• organic strawberries
• red peppers
• canned pumpkin
• canned sweet potoates
• chia muffins
• Mary’s Gone Crackers
and some other stuff that I’m forgetting. It’s pretty cheap too.

That chia muffin was bomb. I’m sure it’s not very good for you. They bake the muffins and bread there so there are no nutritional facts on them. I’m just going to pretend it’s healthy. It was damn good.

I want to share with you something that I’ve been obsessed with eating for the past week. Zucchini pasta! I got this idea from Emily at The Front Burner.


Basically, all you do is peel the zucchini into strands using a vegetable peeler. What’s pictured is two small zucchini. After I peeled it, I heated up 1 tsp of olive oil and cooked the zucchini in it with some sea salt for about 3-4 minutes, stirring the whole time. And that’s it! I topped mine with pasta sauce and goat cheese. So good! It’s kind of embarrassing how many times I’ve eaten this in the past week. Zucchini is so cheap and abundant now.

Oh, I remember what else I did today that felt productive. I FINISHED our thank you notes! Yes!!