Thursday, January 28, 2010
Last night I left work at 6:00, went grocery shopping (and managed to forget peanut butter and bananas), got home, fed my cat and went to the gym. It seems the more I C25K, the more excited I am to go. Which is excellent! I'm still struggling to do the Week 1 program, but every time it gets easier. I ran a total of 7 minutes and 40 seconds. I shorted two running intervals because I just couldn't get enough wind. However, each time was only by ten seconds and they were the middle two (the 4th and 5th intervals). I believe that next time, I will do even better. Considering that two weeks ago 30 seconds was a struggle and this week is the first time doing it truly regularly, I think it's pretty darned good. I also suspect that some of my fatigue was due to interference from a four or five year old boy who was wandering around the track. His father was walking separately from him- which is against the rules- and twice he ran into the jog lane just in front of me as I was running. It's hard to keep breathing normally when you're telling a little kid to stay in the walking lane. He did it the second time just as I was passing his father who just smiled and shrugged when I waved toward the kid incredulously. I told him to tell his son to stay out of the jog lane. Running is hard enough without human hurdles!
After C25K, I did an upper body strength workout in the fitness room of the community center. It's been a long, long time since I used that room and everything was moved around. I like it, but it was confusing. I finished up my workout and went home at about 9:15.
Did you notice anything missing from my post-work activities? If you're thinking "Dinner," you're absolutely right. I didn't have time to have dinner until 9:30, which is way too late. Then I didn't get to sleep until midnight. It's no wonder that I hit the snooze from 5:00 to 5:42 this morning! This pattern can't last. I need to change something in my schedule to make it easier to eat and get to sleep earlier. I'm just having a really hard time figuring out what. My current commute is 38 miles across Metro Detroit (Canton to Auburn Hills). On a really good day, it takes about 45 minutes. On a bad day, it takes 1.5 hours or more. The most sensible thing would be to wake up earlier and work out then. The community center opens at 5:30 and is less than two miles from my house. If I woke up in time to get tooth-brushed and ponytailed and at the center's door at opening, it would work out exactly the way it needs to. Unfortunately, a wake-up without a snooze hit is like a white buffalo, as far as I'm concerned. I know they happen, but infrequently enough that it's really amazing.
I think I might use my "Other goals" to wean myself off my snooze button. I kind of hate the one on my current clock, anyway. Who's ever heard of a six minute snooze?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Although I've never been much of a cook (I'm good at it, but seldom do it), I have always been a baker. Maybe it was that first obsession with my Easy Bake Oven, but I find baking so satisfying. I always get excited over my birthday, because I bake a different cake every year. For the past year or so, I've been fascinated by cupcakes. Of course, they're super-trendy right now, so it was easy to do. In November, I announced to my family that all I wanted from everyone for both Christmas last year and my birthday this year, was a KitchenAid stand mixer. The model I wanted has been on my Amazon.com wish list for years, but since it's a big ticket item, I never got it. This year, my family listened and got me my beautiful pistachio colored KitchenAid Artisan mixer. I spent the week at my parents' house randomly patting or hugging the mixer. It was a little nuts, I know.
Fast forward a couple of weeks from getting my mixer, and I'd joined Spark People and was finally getting serious about watching what I ate and getting in some exercise. My beautiful mixer sat on the counter unused and forlorn. Then I got a call from a lady at my church asking if I could bring a dish for a funeral luncheon. "Certainly," I said, "I can bring a dessert." That weekend after church, I saw a sign-up sheet for a bake sale this weekend. I immediately signed up to make cupcakes and another dessert which I make extremely well and get requests for.
I'm not going to get into what kind of cupcakes because I think it could be a bit triggery for food cravings, but I think it would have been pretty amusing to see me prepare batter in my mixer for the first time. I was trying to run the mixer on low speed while lifting the beater to clean it off and accidentally increased the speed instead of stopping. Batter went flying all over me and my kitchen. Then I did it again! I suspect the cupcakes taste good, because they're cupcakes. I don't know for sure because as soon as the batter was in the cupcake liners, I put the beater, the bowl and the spatula in the sink and ran water on them. No sense in tempting myself!
I'm baking every night this week and I'm pleased by the knowledge that I can do it without tasting. I'm also very proud of the fact that my baking will raise money to buy coats for needy people in my community and in the Detroit area. So let's see... I get to use my mixer, I get to bake fun treats, I won't gain weight, and I get to help needy people. Forget a win-win situation, I've got a win-win-win-win situation, here! It's awesome!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I made a pretty fantastic dinner yesterday. A co-worker gave me some frozen black-eyed peas, so I made Hoppin' John. I've never made or even eaten Hoppin' John, but when I think black-eyed peas, I think Hoppin' John. And Fergie, but that's a whole 'nother thing. My co-worker recommended smoked turkey instead of the traditional ham hock and bacon, so I bought a smoked turkey leg.
I set up most of the ingredients in the slow-cooker crock on Sunday night and put it on low before I went to work yesterday. Ten hours later, I came home to a delicious-smelling house and added the rice. I had five two-cup servings that will see me through the whole week. It's exceptionally filling, only 437 calories per serving, absolutely delicious and I'll be eating Skippin' Jenny all week.
The really great thing about cooking for one is that I have no other tastes to please, so I can experiment with new foods. Quite often, I have enough food to see me through a few days worth of eating. Since it's often after 6:00 before I get home, this is quite a blessing, especially since I like to eat dinner after I work out and it only takes minutes. Of course, the other side of this is that if I try something new and don't like it, I'm either stuck with it all week or I have to waste food, which I don't like to do.
All in all, I find I'm enjoying cooking for myself again. Now I need to work on eating at the table instead of in front of the TV. That could be a problem because my only company at dinner time is my cat. I wonder if I could coordinate dinner times with my parents, then call and ask to be put on speakerphone? That would probably make my mom happy (and make my dad happy since it would mean their own TV would be muted or off), and would be a neat habit to have. But it would necessitate being home while they're eating. Hmm.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
So, yesterday, between a very early hair appointment and a Trader Joe's run, I called my mother from the Panera parking lot and said, "It's not a very healthy, low fat breakfast, but it will be better than the McDonalds breakfast I was contemplating." I ordered a spinach and bacon egg souffle (strike 1), a carrot muffin (strike 2), and a caramel latte with skim (steeeriiike 3, you are outta there!).
I added them to my nutrition tracker while eating the muffin and I honestly felt sick. Just for comparison's sake, here's what I was in the horrible habit of ordering at McDonalds for breakfast:
Sausage McMuffin with egg (450 cals, 27 grams fat), hashbrown (150 cals, 9 grams fat), medium skim milk caramel latte (220 cals, 0 fat). For a big fat total of 820 calories and 36 grams of fat. Which is really bad.
Now for the Panera breakfast:
Spinach and bacon souffle (580 calories, 39 grams of fat), carrot walnut muffin (440 calories, 19 grams fat), skim caramel latte (380 calories, 14 grams fat). For an even bigger and fatter total of 1400 calories and 72 grams of fat. Which is the worst thing I've eaten since a buffet Christmas party.
There were two things I could have done to prevent what happened. One is read the menu and nutrtional information before ordering. I know Panera has pamphlets with those in it. I should not have been surprised. The other is anticipate hunger, and rather than indulging in a restaurant breakfast, have breakfast at home. I could have made myself a scrambled egg and cheese sandwich on whole wheat toast for 360 calories and 16 grams of fat. Or steelcut oatmeal with dried cherries, an orange and a piece of string cheese for 413 calories and 6 grams of fat. Or if I'd really wanted breakfast out, one of the multitudes of diners/Coney Islands around here would have been a better choice than Panera. Senate Coney Island is just down the road and has two eggs any style with ham or turkey sausage, and whole wheat toast. It would cost half as much and it would have to be better than the equivalent of two and a half pieces of chocolate cake.
So, lesson learned. Healthy eating takes time, advanced planning, and education. For the rest of the day, I had a packet of crunchy granola bars, a Healthy Choice meal, an apple and a bag of popcorn. And I was miserable all day.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
So, this is the third day I've done the C25K week one program, but the first time I've done it already hurting. I've had problems with my knees for years from a variety of causes (skiing, weight gain, genetics). It almost always hurts to some degree, but I've gotten used to it. Becoming a runner is very important to me, so I started, knowing I might get sidelined with periodic pain. The crazy thing is, so far, the running hasn't hurt my knees. At all. However, I did the SP recommended strength exercises on Monday and let's just say, runner's lunges are not a friend to this new runner. It's not the weight on my knees that hurts, it's the flexing. It's probably thanks to 34 years of skiing. Anyway, despite a few misgivings about it, I walked/ran the program tonight. Surprisingly, my knees were less of a problem than I thought they would be. They hurt right now, but not as much as I expected. Which gives me hope. Of course, right now I'm really "pre-week one." I can do about three intervals of running for the full 60 seconds. The other three are stuck at about 30. I didn't really expect the hang up to be that I have no wind instead of that my knees hurt. I'm hoping that will change.
In food news, I've had a funny reaction after lunch for the past two days. I usually have a sandwich and an apple for lunch because I don't have access to a fridge and the line for the microwave gets *long*. Last week I was eating turkey and roast beef with light cheese on crunchy oat bread. This week, I switched to whole wheat, chicken and ham. And I suspect I'm sensitive to either the chicken or the ham because I get flushed and feel disconnected after eating it. At one point, I thought it was a sudden spike in sodium because I misjudged how many servings of lunch meat I was eating by about 100% (note to self- get a kitchen scale). I had a banana, a Diet Coke, and a couple of Tootsie Rolls (the first non-fruit, non-coffee sugar I've had in over a week). Just in case, I was covering all of the sodium/low sugar/lack of sleep bases. I still don't know what caused it, but I did buy some different sandwich fixings. Even at an actual serving size, 29% of RDA for one item is ridiculous. I found a brand from the deli with about a third that amount. And hey, if nothing else, this sodium scare has made me a little more aware of other nutrients. One more thing to track!
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