Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Yup, that's me. If by some miracle I could burn the same number of calories & get the same number of steps in the same amount of time by walking rather than running, I'd never run another step again. It is something I have to push myself to do. Again and again and again.
Everytime I read a blog by someone saying how hard it was for them to run, how they kept looking at their watch, I'm happy. To know that I'm not alone. Only most of them go on to really enjoy running. Most days I'm still watching the clock.
I am getting faster (for me) and clocking more miles (altho my weekly miles are still some people's daily run!), but it just never seems to get any easier.
I am not a believer in "no pain, no gain", so why the heck would I keep doing something that isn't fun to me? It's partly for the challenge. To actually see myself get faster, get stronger, be able to run longer and farther. It's partly because I really need something that works me hard and doesn't take up quite so much time. It's partly because I like the way it's changing my body. And it is partly because I do feel good afterwards.
My hat is off to all of you that really enjoy running. Especially the ones that are still carrying around a lot of weight. I really don't know how you do it. I don't think I would have really begun to run consistently if I were still very heavy -- much too difficult, much to uncomfortable.
There is a running group here that seems very active (anyone familiar with the Albany Running Exchange? Is it worthwhile?). I am still reluctant to run outside, much less run in a group. Too afraid of being too slow -- that old last one picked for the team syndrome, I guess. And, of course, it's actually easier to run inside, on my treadmill. Still, I'm thinking of joining up with them in the spring. It makes little sense to do it now when the snow will be flying soon (we have started to put out shovels just about everywhere).
Yesterday, btw, I had to work out in front of my husband. He came home early from work to work a little from home (had to go to a different site, and didn't want to go all the way back to his office afterwards). He'd parked himself in the family room, which ironically is where I exercise because a) it's carpeted and b) it won't disturb him in the mornings.
I really couldn't wait til later, so I sucked it up and did it. Even tho he almost got a kettlebell dropped on his head a time or two because of sarcastic remarks. At dinner, tho, he out of the blue said what I'm doing is working . . . said that I looked good from the back.
Breakfast, naturally was oatmeal. A chocolate coconut home made larabar as a snack. This one needs some adjustments: it was a bit crumbly (not sure why) and needs more cocoa, because it sure wasn't as intensely chocolate as the actual chocolate coconut larabars. I forgot to take a photo, but since I didn't get home from grocery shopping to almost noon, I was sure glad I had it.
We don't have a Trader Joe's, or a Whole Foods, or really anything like that anywhere close (and I miss Whole Foods & Central Market). They're building a Fresh Market close to my home, and I am excited by that.
We do have a co-op where I shop at about once a month. They make these awesome veggie sandwiches. I don't know why it's so much better when someone else makes it, but it just is. They're humongous, too, so I only eat half at a time.
An apple and piece of adora for dessert.
I had planned to make fish for dinner. But it was a chilly, albeit sunny, day, and the fish I bought were frozen, so I chose to make the Cocoa Coconut Chili from Dreena Burton's "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan".
Of course, I topped it with a dollop of greek yogurt and some grated cheddar cheese, so it became veggie chili, not vegan. But oh so good. My husband was looking for the meat, but he still seemed to enjoy it. It was more soupy than I'd like, tho; not quite sure what to do about that. Less tomatoes? More cooking time? Altho I let it bubble for about an hour after we ate, and it still seemed rather soupy.
I'd planned to have popcorn afterwards, but didn't feel like it in the end and had 1 piece of dark chocolate mousse bar and 1 piece of chocolate hazelnut bar.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I have heard, in more than one place, that if you wouldn't sit down and have an apple or some veggies, then you're not really hungry. In other words, if you're truly hungry, you'd be willing to eat healthy food. If all you want is salty or sweet foods, then it isn't true hunger.
If only life were that simple, eh?
Sunday night I was truly hungry. But I sure didn't want a bowl of broccoli, either. Don't get me wrong, I happen to love broccoli (which reminds me I ought to get out of my brussel sprouts rut -- OTOH, I did buy a head of cauliflower to roast).
Would broccoli have filled me up? Absolutely. Would it have satisfied me? No way.
I think the real trick is to learn to really listen to what your body wants, and that's hard. I have come a long way in that department, but sometimes I'm still kind of deaf. Sometimes half a corn bun just magically jump into my mouth. And the only times I feel guilty about that is when I'm eating it furtively. You know, standing up in the kitchen, snatching a little piece here, a little piece there. It still happens, but thankfully not real often.
Not like last night, for instance. When my husband came upstairs after dinner, i told him I was eating my chocolate. In peace (because he always has to have the tv on and it drives me absolutely batty). He got it, and we didn't turn on that tv until I was finished.
A better eating day. Not perfect, but no foods just jumped into my mouth today. Started the day with oatmeal.
What do you do when you only have 1 slice of pizza? Finish off your beet salad first, naturally. Aren't the pink clementine slices pretty?
Sorry if I start you drooling! There are a lot of local pizza joints here, and we've made it our mission to try all the ones that deliver. Maybe 4 or 5 places so far, with more to go. This place has my favorite white pizza.
But I must admit, after that beet salad and 1 slice of white pizza I was still hungry.
Not too long afterwards I had a raw chocolate chip cookie (no, once again, not the real kind with butter & eggs, but raw as in mostly nuts) for a pre-run snack. Maybe I'm onto something there, because I didn't get any stitches this time and the run seemed just a little easier.
I'd meant to have a green monster post-workout, but I guess that will have to wait for another day. I'd also meant to take a photo, but forgot. These things are growing on me.
Dinner was spaghetti & veggie meatballs. Dessert was a really delicious golden delicious apple, plus about a square & a half of Lindt Fleur de Sel (had to finish off the box, you know).
Monday, November 16, 2009
That's what our WW meeting was about this week. Not about the food, but what we can do to take the emphasis off the food.
One new tradition I might have embraced if we were here is the Turkey Trot. Especially after our meeting -- because my leader happens to be a runner, and she said how fun it is. And that there's lots and lots of people.
Now, I'm sure there's a Turkey Trot somewhere in Seattle. And my BIL happens to be a runner. But have I mentioned that he's a toothpick? And has been running a long time? I'd frankly be too intimidated to even mention it. Bad me, I know, but there you go.
Not that I would really have gotten the chance if we'd stayed home, either. Because I probably would have stayed with my parents and gone to my cousin's (which is almost a 3 hour drive from us).
We don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions, other than my corn buns (see my food blog below). And that's because we've done many different things over the years. Sometimes we've gone to my parents, because Thanksgiving was my mom's major holiday. But we went less and less as time went by -- to much of a hassle to fly at Thanksgiving.
Once or twice we went to the inlaws. Same problem -- too much of a hassle.
Once we went on vacation over Thanksgiving. It was the year of 9/11. We were actually looking forward to a long-overdue vacation right after 9/11, but for obvious reasons, had to cancel it (It involved flying). So we decided to go somewhere for Thanksgiving instead. It was great! The hotel we stayed at had a deal with a local gym, so I even worked out that morning.
Some years we went to friends. We had friends who always had a big family gathering.
Some years I made Thanksgiving -- sometimes just for the 2 of us, sometimes we had friends over. I've made turkeys a few times, but the truth is neither one of us is real fond of turkey. So I've done duck, tried my hand at a goose one year, and made a rib roast a few times.
And a few times we've actually gone out to a restaurant (oh, the sacrilege!). It's actually quite nice. You're not exhausted and there's no leftovers!
But all our traditions do involve a big meal and eating. Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions that don't involve food? Do you plan to start some new ones?
My Thanksgiving sweet corn buns. I tried this recipe one year, and have been making them ever since. This year I used a bit less butter (actually, Earth Balance buttery bars) and sweetener, and no white flour. Flaxseeds in place of the eggs.
DH said they weren't the same. Well, yeah, they weren't. But they were still good, just a bit heartier. And he had one for dessert that first day, one for breakfast the next, and requested that I keep 2 out of the freezer for him to bring into work for breakfast. I guess they weren't so bad after all.
The last avocado wrap. I threw in a little red onion today (good addition), and had red bell pepper slices on the side since I had to slice some up for dinner. I ran out of Ezekiel wraps, so used a Millet-Flax Lavash. It was tasty, but didn't roll well despite being microwaved briefly to soften it first. Plus it was a little smaller, so I ended up using 2 (altho they are loaded with fiber).
I had a green monster for a snack. Then chocolate covered figs (I did almost 2 packages yesterday) because I was still hungry. That is I dipped almost 2 packages of dried figs in chocolate, not ate 2 packages of chocolate dipped figs! I only ate 4.
Dinner was Spanish Shrimp from the FBD cookbook. I really enjoyed this. I used instant brown rice -- didn't like that, the texture wasn't right -- but as DH said, it reminded him of paella (minus the sausage) and I like paella! He thought there wasn't enough shrimp & they weren't big enough. I reminded him that shrimp are expensive.
And then, unfortunately, I got the munchies. I was still hungry. I had a raw chocolate cookie dough bar (the raw ones from the other night, not real raw dough); they're growing on me -- I also gave one to DH, and he said they were "interesting", but he ate it right down (if he asks for one again, then I know he liked it). I had one dark chocolate Lindt truffle square. And then I ate about half of a corn bun as I was putting them in the freezer.
Except for the corn bun, this was all thought out and eaten mindfully. I was just really hungry. I blame TOM, but I know that I've got to be careful about not indulging too much during TOM. I do get so hungry tho, and it didn't help that I wasn't even expecting it.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Most people like to rebel against their parents. I've already mentioned not looking like my mother was a motivation for my weight loss. My parents were also big tea drinkers. They think it can cure anything that ails you. I hated tea growing up -- tasted like hot water to me.
When I first found out I had high cholesterol (which does NOT run in my family), I decided to start drinking green tea. It took me a while to find one I liked, but I discovered a love of chai, specifically Stash Green Chai. Eventually I moved on to Republic of Tea's Green Chai. From there I started to drink Rooibus (pronounced Roy-bus, or red tea). It's supposed to be full of antioxidants, too, but I drink it for the taste. I enjoy my rooibus teas with some soymilk, and that's why it often looks like coffee (heaven forbid! Yuck!) in my photos.
Republic of Tea makes a Rooibus Chai, which I enjoy, and as I've mentioned recently, they have a Yerba Mate Latte I also enjoy (chocolatey), a double chocolate mate, and coconut cocoa teas.
I don't like my tea piping hot. I enjoy it just warm enough so that it warms my hands when I wrap them around a mug in the morning (take that you cofffee drinkers -- hey, hot cocoa works for that, too). Which is why I add a little milk (even if that does cut down on the antioxidants power).
But sometimes I don't get it quite right. Sometimes I brew the perfect cup of tea, and it's just indulgent. Sometimes I use too much water and the flavor is watered down. Sometimes I don't use enough water and the end result is a not-warm-enough mug of tea.
Weight loss is like that, too. Some weeks are just perfect. Others don't go so well -- we might get the munchies, or we're too busy to get all our exercise in. But no matter how my week has gone, I think about it, regroup, maybe make some changes, and just keep slogging away at it. Just like I make myself a cup of tea every morning, summer or winter alike.
I started out yesterday with a slice of pumpkin kugel. Seriously, where did the pumpkin go? You just don't taste it. I snacked on roasted chickpeas before heading out to do some shopping, some errands, and my artist's date, which once again was wandering around Target. Next week's artist date is planned to be wandering around the library -- gotta get away from those stores!
I got about 3000 steps wandering around. Normally I might've gotten almost double that amount, but I didn't want to wander around as much between stores because of the rain. My blog yesterday was rather ironic, because it really didn't stop raining until after dog. The dogs missed their walk yesterday.
I decided to take a rest day. Other than my wandering shopping, I did no exercise. I actually was rather active, but definitely didn't make my 10,000 steps. I find it really hard to take a whole rest day. I'm so used to walking the dogs as part of my exercise program. My head knows that missing one day won't kill me, but sometimes we don't listen to our heads.
Anyway, it was a late lunch of another avocado wrap.
DH did cook dinner. This was the honey curry chicken from this month's O magazine (very good). He heated up some of my roasted veggies for me (I try to make it easy on him, but you certainly wouldn't know that from his attitude), and he made one of my potato smashers that we split.
Dessert were a few Lindt chocolates and some obviously unpictured dried papaya chunks. Seriously, I need to find me some tiny plates. Don't those chocolates look a little lonely? I would have used a smaller plate for dinner, too, but DH was plating it.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Today is one of those rare days: raining. Really coming down. Unfortunately, it started about the time I got up, way before I could get the dogs out.
Pre-dogs, I'd probably complain about a day like today. Or just curl up and stay in bed. One thing living with dogs has taught me is it's the rare day there isn't a break in the clouds. We may think it's raining all the time, but the reality is it isn't. Or maybe it's just getting us ready for Seattle!
I don't really mind going out with the dogs in bad weather that much -- unless they just sit there and do nothing. Some dogs (think big black labs) really love the rain. My guys not so much. Lola refused to even set foot out this morning. Chester went, and he did his business, but he made it clear he really didn't want to.
My point, tho, is that we need to concentrate on the positive, not the negative, and there are always positives out there. Didn't lose weight or gained? You learned something. Maybe you really don't need that extra cookie or all that pasta. Or maybe you just need to be patient. No matter what, gaining or maintaining can actually teach you more than losing. Didn't lose as much as you want? Maybe you need to move a little more. Eat more. Eat more of the right stuff. Concentrate on what you can have, not what you can't.
Started my day with oatmeal again. I actually do miss it when I don't have it! If only I could eat oatmeal and still have other stuff with it. Oh well.
Because the avocado I used for my sushi was just so perfect, I didn't want to let it go to waste. So I made a very simple avocado wrap: ezekiel wrap, a few pieces of romaine lettuce, and the avocado. Plus some mozzarella. I tried a new brand this week, and really didn't like it. No flavor and just doesn't melt well. I toasted the ezekiel wrap with the mozzarella in there, and then just added the veggies. Baby carrots on the side. Adora for dessert.
I finally did get around to trying my pink monster. 1 cup soymilk, 1 banana (frozen), 1 scoop Amazing Grass chocolate superfood, 1 1/2 cups kale, and 1 beet. Looks so pretty, doesn't it? It tasted good at first sip, but had a weird aftertaste. I might try it again just to see if that's just the way it tastes -- maybe I'll try to the pre-roasted beets from Melissa (I did have some trouble totally removing the skin, so maybe that's it).
Dinner was the leftover potato chowder; it tasted better the second time around.
I also spent some of the afternoon making up some more home made larabars and some raw chocolate chip cookie dough (recipe: ohsheglows.com/2009/05/03/raw-chocol
ate-chip-cookies/ ). Only I didn't make the chocolate chips, just used real ones.
Not really quite sure how I felt about this (and looking up the recipe, wouldn't you know I came across that microwave apple crisp recipe I was looking for? Got it right, as it turns out). It hit the spot, but didn't really remind my cookie dough.
It was a raw kind of day. Mostly, anyway. I always feel so good when I get in plenty of veggies. Smoothies really help (I know, how odd is that?) -- I'll miss them while I'm out of town.
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