Monthly Archives: September 2010

Not a great cook

When it comes to running, I often try to talk myself out of going. I knew that I had a 4 mile run to do, but immediately started thinking of excuses of why I shouldn’t run. They were all valid reasons – my legs were sore from lifting yesterday, I was tired, I hadn’t taken a rest day since last Saturday. I told myself that I could have put the run off until tomorrow.

But I didn’t.

It was only four miles and it was nice out. I didn’t have anything else to do. If I put it off until tomorrow, then I’d have to, well, do it tomorrow. Sometimes getting out the door is the hardest part. The run went fine. My legs were sore, but running didn’t feel any different then sitting. And now it’s over and I can take tomorrow as a rest day. Friday rest days are a good start to the weekend.

While I was running, I was trying to think of what I wanted for dinner. I got it in my head that I was going to make a spaghetti squash macaroni and cheese. Umm, it didn’t turn out exactly how I planned! It was more like spaghetti squash with some broccoli and cheese sauce (cheese mixed with milk) on it. This is why I am not the next Project Food Blogger.

Seriously, I have no concept of how to invent a recipe. I am not even that good at following a recipe. I guess that if I cook more and more, I’ll sort of figure out how certain ingredients work together, right? I wish I was a good cook! Here’s my nothing like macaroni and cheese spaghetti squash.

IMG_3625.JPG

Are you good at making up recipes?

Advertisements

Creature of Habit

I get stuck in breakfast ruts. For about two years, every morning, I ate cottage cheese mixed with peanut butter, banana, splenda (back before I realized that it kills my stomach) and cereal. Every morning. Then I got sick of it and never wanted it again. Lately, my thing has been egg sandwiches. And when I say lately, I mean for the past year or so. I do switch it up occasionally, but for the most part, my breakfast consists of either 2 egg whites and an egg or 1/2 cup egg beaters on some sort of bread with a slice of cheese. Today was one of those rare days where I did have something different.

IMG_3612.JPG

A smoothie in a bowl. Yes, I’m totally guilty of hopping on the trendy food (in the healthy living blogger world) bandwagon. Don’t judge! This smoothie was made of 3/4 cup skim milk, 1 banana, some frozen berries, a pineapple ring and a scoop of chia seeds. Then I topped it with Kashi Go Lean Crisp. Pretty good and fun to eat, although I did sort of want an egg sandwich.

I did a decent leg workout during my lunch hour. For some reason, this time I got a lot of different exercises in and finished in like 25 minutes. I like to use the ifitness app and switch up the routines. Today I did the Glutes Definition routine.

Dumbell Calf Jump – 20 lbs, 3 sets of 8
Machine Leg Press – 90 lbs, 3 sets of 8
Dumbbell Lunge – 24 lbs, 3 sets of 8 (each leg)
Dumbbell Front Squat – 25 lbs, 3 sets of 8
Single Leg Standing Calf Raise, 2 sets of 20 (each leg)
Side Lunge – 12 lbs, 3 sets of 8 (each leg)
Swiss Ball Glute Bridge – 3 sets of 12
Side Kicks (I added this one because I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to do a hack squat which was in the original routine.) – 2 sets of 20 each leg

I use this app a lot. I’d say that besides Facebook, EchoFon (Twitter) and Shazam, I probably use ifitness the most.

Speaking of ruts, I tend to get into cookbook ruts too where I make recipes from the same cookbook for a while. Jason has expressed interest in eating healthier so I have really been trying to make an effort to cook so I can prove that healthy food can taste good too. Again, I made something from the PDQ Vegetarian cookbook.

IMG_3621.JPG

This is Lentils with Spinach and Basil over Rice. Except I forgot to get fresh basil and just used a cube of Dorot frozen. Perhaps it would have been better with fresh. It was still good though. I would not classify it as quick, but that’s because I used Brown Basmati rice that took forever to cook. Seriously, I think it cooked for an hour in my rice cooker. The lentils also took 40 minutes to cook. No, definitely not a quick meal, but a pretty easy one to throw together.

Real Dinners

I stepped on the scale yesterday and the number was up 2 pounds from the 5 pounds that I was complaining about the other day! Unfortunately, this set my mood for the entire day. I might have thrown a temper tantrum or two. I hate that the number on the scale dictates how I feel. I don’t weigh myself a lot, but sometimes when I feel like my clothes are getting tight, I do hop on the scale to see exactly what’s going on. Yes, I know that there are fluxuations- this morning it was 1.5 pounds less. It’s just frustrating because I feel like I work out a lot. I mean, I ran 7 miles the day before. I’m not exactly a couch potato. And, I eat pretty decently. But I guess there is always room for improvement. I am going to really try to focus on the snacking issue and try to make real meals for dinner. That’s another problem that I have, I’m usually very hungry when I get home from work/gym and I start mindlessly snacking while I’m thinking about what to make for dinner. By the time I’m done, I’ve already eaten a huge snack plus my dinner.

I tried last night, but I still snacked. Jason emailed me earlier in the day and said that he’d gone to Kroger and bought some stuff to grill. The weather was not cooperating but he was dead set on grilling.

IMG_3588.JPG

We had steak and mashed potatoes.

IMG_3599.JPG

Upon further inspection, my steak seems to be an imposter. But I did make those mashed potatoes from scratch. I roasted some small red potatoes and mixed them with milk, a little bit of sour cream and a little bit of cream cheese. Jason had a real steak.

IMG_3600.JPG

That dancing merengue dog’s got nothing on Murphy.

IMG_3593.JPG

Or Jason for that matter.

I felt better this morning. I know what I need to do to lose these few pounds. I need to stop snacking and choose my snacks wisely. I need to evaluate what’s worth eating and what’s not. And those dumb 100 calorie packs are mostly not worth eating! I am going to also try my hardest to make actual dinners instead of just snacking. Tonight, after my accidental 5 mile run (which was supposed to be 4.5), I made a real meal. From a cookbook.

IMG_3610.JPG

Okay, fine, the veggies are of the Green Giant steam in bag variety, but I did make the cabbage rolls. Unfortunately, they were not that great. This was the Barley Filled Cabbage Rolls with Tangy Tomato Mustard Sauce from the PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook.

The problem was with the cabbage. It was very tough and not good. So, we just took the barley out and topped it with the sauce and that was pretty good. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.

7 mile run

I normally do my long runs on Saturday mornings to get them over with, but the forecast this weekend was a high of 90 on Saturday and a high of 70 on Sunday, so it was kind of a no-brainer to move the run to this morning. You’d think that since I didn’t have to get up early on Saturday morning, I’d go out and party on Friday night. You’d be wrong. We watched Glee (which I’ve actually never seen before, but liked) and I baked muffins. I had some canned pumpkin and chocolate chips in the house so I started to google muffin recipes to find one where I had everything on hand and wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store. I came up with these.

IMG_3580.JPG

The only things that I didn’t have were in the cloves and the eggs. I omitted the cloves entirely and used 1/2 cup of egg beaters instead of actual eggs. The muffins were very tasty in a hockey puck sort of way. They were definitely not airy and light. I’m not sure if it’s because of the whole wheat flour or the egg substitution. They were still delicious though and I’d make them again. Jason liked them too.

This morning, I set out to do 7 miles. 7 miles sounds like a long run to me. Even though I’ve run 7+ miles countless times in my life, this is the first time that I’ve done it in probably 4-5 months, so I was proud of myself. Even prouder for getting it over with in the morning – especially since it’s been raining since noon.

I used Gmap-Pedometer to measure out a route. I’m not as familiar with the streets and neighborhoods where we live now. But, I have a very good sense of direction, so I’m not really that worried about getting lost when I run somewhere unknown.

Picture 1.png

Other than walking up a big hill around Mile 3.5 and stopping at a gas station for some Gatorade, I ran the entire thing. I’m not sure how long it took because I seem to have misplaced my Garmin. The run felt pretty good. My runs tend to fall into three categories:

1. I hate running. Why do I do this to myself? Can I please walk now? When can I walk?
2. I love running! I feel so great. I could run forever. Maybe I should sign up for another marathon.
3. I’m just chugging along. La la la. I wish this was over, but it doesn’t feel so bad. I’ll just chug along until I get there.

Most of my runs fall into the third category which is how my 7 miler went. I just kept running until I ran around a big circle and got to my house. There were some ominous clouds overhead but I managed to get home before the rain started.

I had a major craving for Willy’s for lunch. Willy’s is a Mexican chain similar to Chiptole or Moe’s but far superior. I always get the same thing – a salad with black beans, tofu, salsa, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, olives and guacamole. And then I throw on a heaping amount of tomatillo salsa. Their tofu is so flavorful. Seriously, this place kicks Moe’s and Chipotle’s ass. See for yourself.

IMG_3828.JPG

Since I was in the Emory area, I decided that I might as well stop at Trader Joe’s. I went armed with a list of things that I thought they would have there.

IMG_3586.JPG

I left without:
cabbage leaves
basil
frozen broccoli (I know that they sell this! I’ve had it a million times.)
barley
lentils
tomato sauce (which they did have in a 16 oz jar but I didn’t want to buy that size.)

Looks like a trip to Kroger is in my future. But first, I have to take a nap. 7 miles = nap.

Lunchtime

I’ve been at my new job for two months. Now that I am getting used to everything, I think it’s safe to say that I like it much more than my old job. But there is something that I really miss about my old office and that’s just it – I had an office. Here, I am in a room with three other designers. It has it’s perks; we can bounce ideas off one another and there is always someone to talk to, but not having my own office leaves me with one big question. What do I do for lunch?

I typically bring my lunch. I prefer to save my money and go out to dinner with Jason or with friends than to spend it on mediocre semi-fast food chains. At my last job, I would do one of three things. I would close the door to my office and sleep for an hour and then eat my lunch when I got back to work. I would close the door to my office and surf the web while I was eating or I’d use the office building gym in the basement. Here, the only viable option of the three is to surf the web while I’m eating and I really don’t want to do that because people walking by might not know that I’m on my lunch break and might think that I’m just slacking off and I don’t want that sort of rep.

So, twice this week, I went to the gym. It takes me 10 minutes to get there and another five or so to change. So I have roughly a half hour to work out which is not enough to get anything accomplished. Yesterday, I ran for 2 miles (speedwork – alternating each 400 meters at 5.5 and then 6.5) and today I did an upper body strength workout. So, here’s my question – if I’m running at lunch, can I split my runs up? Like if my training plan says to run 4.5 miles, can I run 2 at lunch and then the other 2.5 after work or does that defeat the purpose? I’m thinking that it might. I mean, I need to train my body to run those miles in a row, right? I can’t even really get in a good strength training workout in half an hour. I wanted to do a full body workout today but only managed to find enough time to do my upper body. I’m kind of thinking that I should just go to the gym and walk for half an hour just to get out of the office and have something to do.

What do you do on your lunch break?

I couldn’t work out after work because I was meeting some friends for a Girls Night Out. It was originally supposed to be me, and my friends Erin, Emily and Maya but Maya couldn’t come at the last minute. The four of us actually went to high school together in Bethesda, Maryland which is pretty funny considering we all live in Atlanta now. We were all friends in high school too. I feel very lucky to have three of my best girlfriends here.

We went to Urban Pl8, which I suggested. I had heard of it and wanted to try it. It was way off the beaten path. You really would have to know where it was to find it. But I’m glad we did because the three of us really enjoyed it. I had the stir fry with tofu.

IMG_3827.JPG

We had a lot of fun eating and chatting. I really like Girl’s Night Out. No offense, Jason!

TGIF!!! Well, in 3 hours.

Faking Fall

I’m done with summer. Seriously, it was 95 degrees out today. So instead of bitching about it, I figured I’d just act like it was fall and maybe the weather would follow suit. And what screams fall more than crock pot soup? Okay, a lot of things do, but humor me here.

I got everything ready last night and put into into the crockpot this morning. When I got home from work, I was greeted by this:

IMG_3576.JPG

This is Mexican Minestrone Soup. I accidently bought sliced canned tomatoes instead of diced. It turned out fine though. Oh, and instead of a 30 oz can of black beans, I used a 15 oz can of black beans and a 15 oz can of butter beans.

I’m trying to make meals that Jason will like. I try to get him to eat healthier, but it occurred to me that trying to shove tofu and chia seeds into his mouth is not exactly the way to get him to enjoy and crave healthy food. So, I’m trying to find husband-friendly recipes – things that we can both enjoy. I think (and hope) that this is one of them. I liked it at least, especially with a sprinkle of cheese on top.

A 4.5 mile run was on the agenda for tonight. I’m not sure how I got to the point in my training where I’m running 4.5 miles on the weeknights. Truth be told, I have kind of been slacking on the training. I’m physically fit enough to where I can run about 6 miles now just fine but I’m not sure how much more I can run so I need to stick with the plan from here on out. The race is on October 30th.

My run tonight was actually really good. A lot of times, running is hard for me so I really cherish the runs that feel easy. The whole time i was thinking, this is so great, this run feels good. A 4.5 mile run still takes me roughly 45 minutes and that’s a long time to be on the treadmill. It does get a little boring.

Is it fall where you are?

Hot, hot, hot

Whenever I read other blogs about how fall is here and there is a chill in the air, I’m super jealous. I hate being cold, but I am so sick of the summertime weather here. It just won’t go away. Yesterday afternoon, I met up with my friends Andrew and Katharine and we went to the Atlanta Arts Festival. It would have been fun if it wasn’t so miserable outside. I was wearing a tank top and linen carpis and I was sweating like mad. I’m not even a big sweater. Despite the heat, there was still some cool stuff.

Typical festival food:

IMG_3499.JPG

And atypical festival food:

IMG_3508.JPG

IMG_3517.JPG

They were actually giving away full sized cups of Chobani. I wasn’t hungry though and didn’t really feel like carrying around a yogurt in my purse in 95 degree weather. Oh well.

Of course, there was art:

IMG_3504.JPG

IMG_3502.JPG

IMG_3521.JPG

That last thing was some sort of kids tent. It was pretty crowded, so we only stayed for about an hour and a half. Actually, that was more due to the scorching heat than the crowds.

IMG_3511.JPG

We walked back to A&K’s house and the original plan was to hang out for a couple hours and then go to Smith’s Olde Bar to see Andrew’s friend Chuck’s (who I’ve met a bunch of times) band play. I felt really sticky and gross so I went home to take a shower. I had all intentions of meeting back up with A&K but once I got home, I just sort of got comfortable on the couch and didn’t feel like driving back down to Midtown. Not sure if that’s because I’m old or that I live in the suburbs now. Probably a combination of both.

This morning, however, I was glad that I didn’t go out, because I felt great. Murphy and I decided to explore Henderson Park. The park is about a mile away from our house. This is really embarrassing, but we drove there! There was a big lake and lots of hiking trails.

IMG_3536.JPG

IMG_3533.JPG

IMG_3552.JPG

My partner in crime and I didn’t really venture into the wooded trails since we were alone, but I’d like to go back with Jason and explore. I think there are several trails, about 1 mile long each.

IMG_3545.JPG

By the way, it’s extremely hard to take a picture of your dog while you’re walking him. I have about 10 shots of the back of his head.

I decided not to go the gym today. Sundays are typically my errand day. I always need to grocery shop, clean the kitchen and do several loads of laundry. Sometimes adding the gym to the mix just makes the day too full. I typically have Monday as a rest day, but I decided to switch it around and see if I like this schedule better. I did manage to go grocery shopping and make a decent dinner.

IMG_3569.JPG

I have a million recipes saved to my recipe box on All Recipes so I decided to randomly pick two.

Baked Tofu bites with Cilantro Cucumber Salad.

The only thing that I did differently from the original tofu recipe was that I didn’t add Liquid Smoke. I think we actually have some in the house, but I don’t like the taste of it. Even when I used to eat poultry, I never liked the taste of anything that was smoked. This recipe was very good but I don’t see how it makes 4 servings. I had half of it, no problem!

For the Cucumber Salad, I used the Dorot Frozen cilantro cubes. Worked like a charm.

Now I’m off to iron. I find ironing strangely satisfying. I don’t even know if Jason realizes that I iron all his clothes, but I do. That’s the division of labor in our house, I do the laundry and he does the lawn mowing.