Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate + Bacon + Running = Pain

Hey, know what’s a pretty good idea?

Vosges Mo's Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar

This chocolate bar from Vosges - laced with salt and chocolate.  Know what’s a pretty bad idea?

Eating an entire bar of it before going for a run.

On Wednesday, I attempted just that…and failed.  The price and indulgence of this bar indicate that it should not be eaten in one sitting.  It should be savored, square by square, over a longish period of time.  Now, y’all know me better than to think I could do that – I’m like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he buys the chocolate bar for himself.  He barely rips off the package before attempting to shove the whole thing in his face.  So I did that, went to the park, started my run, and I might’ve had a chance if I didn’t hit the wrong button on my iPod.  During my first running interval, I thought I was merely locking the iPod touch by hitting the button on top when in fact, I had paused my C25K application.  Mid-run.  What was supposed to be 3 minutes went on WAAAAAY longer before I had the presence of mind to look down and realize I was hosed.  I skipped ahead to the next walking interval, but by that point, my head wasn’t in it and my stomach was cramping up.  Damned bacon chocolate.

So I jogged half of the next interval, gave up, and walked the rest of the way back to the car.  The good thing is, I didn’t feel like shit about it!  I thought, “now, Katherine…eating that chocolate wasn’t the smartest thing to do for ANY reason, and now you’ve got a stomachache and have missed your chance to finish today’s run.”  I admitted it, accepted it, and moved along.  It makes for an interesting story, at least. 

 

Even though the bacon chocolate + run was totally my fault and absolutely preventable, I’m having another tummy/fitness issue I don’t know how to fix.  Every time I do yoga, even if we don’t do a lot of inversions, I get wicked crazy heartburn.  My mom has reflux disease, and I’m worried I’ve inherited it from her (why I couldn’t inherit her height and slim figure is an issue I’ll forever be bitter about), so flipping my GI tract upside down and massaging my internal organs with stretches and twists can’t be great for reflux.  After picking my resident yogini Christie’s brain about it, I realize that I need to keep a better log of my food and reflux symptoms.

My question to you guys is, have you ever had any issues with yoga + reflux?  Reflux in general?  Got any other food + fitness combos you’ve come to realize you just can’t handle?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So many blogs…so many ideas to copy

I love the blogging community for so many reasons: for the encouragement, the inspiration, the push to make ourselves better…

and for so many great ideas to copy.

A few days ago, Lizzie posted some lettuce wraps on her blog that looked mighty damn fine.  I’ve wanted to try making some but never got around to it, and seeing hers definitely pushed me to finally try it tonight!

I sautéed chopped onions and minced garlic in some EVOO before adding ground turkey and some powdered ginger.

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I used either Boston or bibb lettuce, can’t remember which, and put a scoop of the turkey in each, added some random cabbage + carrot coleslaw mix I had left over from something, then topped each with either spicy peanut sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

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It was pretty good…

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…but I bet Lizzie’s were better.

I made some butternut squash “fries” (referred henceforth as BSFs for ease of my fingers) on the side – no big thang – but it always wigged me out to eat BSFs without any kind of sauce; I need to have something to dip my fries into.  One day awhile back, I had some BSFs in the oven and decided to try mustard + maple syrup.  I did a trial run with both dijon and “cheap yella,” and the cheap stuff definitely is best – the tang + sweet is the perfect compliment to BSFs.  My maple mustard is definitely better because I’ve got real deal Canadian maple syrup from Jaime

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It might look icky, but it’s super-tasty!

Have you developed any weird-sounding recipes or food combinations that turned out to be phenomenal? 

Truly random sidenote: today at Zumba, I re-met a friend I made during a class in the summer of 2003.  We’ve been Facebook friends all these years but I haven’t seen her since then!  Such a coincidence that we went to the same Zumba class tonight!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Miyo’s Pick-Me-Up

Hey y’all! I’ve written a new post for Hollaback Health about being a good commenterYou guys are always awesome commenters, so please don’t think for a second that my inspiration came from my personal blog.  Do you ever read other blogs and just roll your eyes at some of the comments people leave?  THAT’s where I’m coming from.

Last night, Mom and I went to Miyo’s because she had a stressful day and I needed some cheering up.  The first way to cheer yourself up?  A fruity, springy cocktail.

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Second way?  Splitting a tempura roll with your momz.

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Third way? Eating 1/3 of your coconut green curry chicken and vegetables.  And maybe a few forkfuls of fried rice.  Helloooo leftovers.

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Aaaand finally, Godiva chocolate cake will usually cheer you up, even if it does weigh you down.

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I don’t feel guilty about what I ate, because sometimes a good, indulgent restaurant visit is good for the soul.  Plus, for each picture I’ve put here, I’ve eaten a rather boring protein + veggie meal lately that has gone unpictured. 

Did Miyo’s cure my depression?  Nah, but it perked me up!  Now, to go nuke my lunch…

Monday, April 26, 2010

Inspiration-less

I’ve been hit with a major inspiration-less case of the blahs.  I feel like I say that WAY too often.  Blah.

I did Couch to 5K Week 4 Day 1 this morning and it felt awesome…I can definitely tell that my lungs need more strength, but my body doesn’t feel like it’s struggling as much as it did when I started back in the fall.  Plus (knock on wood), my shins aren’t hurting as much this time around.  They’re a little tight, but I’m stretching them a lot to try to prevent shin splints.  Also, I can tell my form has changed significantly since the first time I started C25K; I had a feeling that the way I was “pushing off” with my back foot was contributing to my shin splints, and I’m definitely improving on that this time.  For you runners out there – have you ever had to change your form and seen an improvement as a result?

I was a little nervous to run this morning because my hamstrings are still hurting from this weekend.  We had another work day at the lakehouse on Saturday, and the waterfront went from this:

Before rocks

to this:

After rocks

Several of us transported all these rocks…

Pile o' rocks

…along this narrow path with a rusted-out wheelbarrow….

Narrow path

I pulled a back muscle (due to moving rocks in awkward positions) and smashed a finger, but thankfully I never slipped and fell (which was my worst fear).  It’s a sign of good form that my hamstrings are so sore – it shows I was lifting with my legs!  So yeah, I’m still hobbling around and was nervous to run, but my legs are sorest when I’ve been sitting still, not when I’m moving.

God, I’m putting myself to sleep with this drivel.

To redeem myself, here is my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe of all time, and here are some foodpornalicious pictures of it (I made them for an event I did not attend, and I only ate two while prepping them – w00t!):

Sugar cookies

I dip the mounds in sugar before baking – the effect is much prettier if you use colored sugar!

Sugar cookies

Let’s all hope I find some blogging inspiration soon…

Friday, April 23, 2010

Onederland and Wine

So yesterday morning I got a nice surprise…

Onederland

…and yeah, it was back up in the 200s today, but I SAW IT, so I’m claiming it.  I got a sweet glimpse of Onederland, and I’ll see it again very soon.

 

Tonight, Mom and I went to a wine tasting at Riverbanks Zoo and had a blast!  They poured much smaller samples this year, so I didn’t get as “fit-shaced” as last year, and I felt a lot more comfortable in my own skin which definitely made me have a much better time overall.

Wine tasting

Besides a bazillion different wines (I liked fewer wines this year – maybe that means my tastes are more refined and I know what I like, as opposed to last year when I was open to a lot more stuff?), I tried a few different foods

 

Italian chicken kebabs with prosciutto and artichokes:

Italian chicken kebab

Shrimp and grits:

Shrimp and grits

Some cookie/brownie/bar thingies I split with Mom that were friggin’ amazing:

Bar dessert thingies

Seriously, finger-lickin’ good.

Finger lickin' good.

And a prime rib sandwich with bananas foster cheesecake:

Prime rib sandwich and bananas foster cheesecake

I stayed sober enough to take some pretty pictures!

Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Botanical Garden

Then…Mom and I picked up drunken munchies afterward. 

Drunken munchies

Cake ‘n’ ice cream.  You win some, you lose some.  I finished Week 3 of Couch to 5K today; it doesn’t make the cake and ice cream right, but it makes me feel better about it.  Tomorrow’s a new day. 

 

Speaking of tomorrow, I’m headed to our lakehouse to do some more work on the decks.  What have y’all got going on this weekend?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Courtesy Shower

After my cathartic post earlier, I’m definitely feeling better.  Tonight at Zumba, I shook my ass like it’s never been shaken before, and I definitely needed that outlet to de-stress.  It seems like I push myself harder every week, and I come out feeling better for it on the other side every single time.  Aaaand after class, my friend Rachel commented on my weight loss – score!  I’m starting to feel like I look more “normal.”  I know I’m still obese, but my size isn’t so freakishly huge anymore, so I’m pleased with that.  Aaaand I’m half a pound away from Onederland.  That announcement will be made soon, mark my words. 

 

Tonight for dinner, I threw together one of my roll-up recipes, and I tried roasting broccoli in the oven for the first time.  Can you believe that broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, yet I think I’ve only ever had it steamed?  This recipe helped me think outside the box with my broccoli!

 

For my rollup, I took a chicken breast and pounded it thinner with my muddler.  Yeah, I don’t have a meat mallet, but why buy an extra kitchen tool when your cocktail masher does the job while looking like a robot dildo at the same time?

Muddler

So first I chiffonaded (that’s a technique but is it also a verb whose tense can be changed??) some basil and oregano from my little herb garden…

Basil and oregano chiffonade

…then pounded out each chicken breast and sprinkled it with pepper and garlic powder.  I laid a little of the herbs, some brie cheese, and some oil-packed sundried tomatoes in a line…

Chicken roll-up

…then rolled it up and shoved toothpicks in it to make it stay closed.  I repeated the process and laid ‘em all in a pan I sprayed with olive oil, and I sprayed the tops for good measure before baking it for about 40 minutes at 375°.

Chicken and broccoli

Chicken and broccoli

I was worried the chicken would be bland since I didn’t marinate it, but the stuff inside made it nice and flavorful and moist!

 

As I’m sitting here writing this post, I’m having a conversation with one of my friends on AIM and it’s too good not to share.

Anonymous BFF: ummm, something just hit me.

Anonymous BFF: did you shower before you worked out?!

Anonymous BFF: cuz, that's pretty cool. i'd never do it.

Anonymous BFF: hahaha

Me: I showered yesterday morning.  I ran this morning at the park, came home and showered, then I went to the gym a few hours later for zumba.

Anonymous BFF: i wait until i'm really stinky, then work out, then shower.

Anonymous BFF: you are my personal hero

Me: if I was just going running by myself, that's one thing, but it's kinda close quarters in that room.

Anonymous BFF: im just sayin

Me: hehe

Anonymous BFF: i'd be funky just cause the room is small. i like to make a statement, you see.

Me: OHHH this is good.

Me: can I blog this?!?

 

So, dear readers – what’s your policy on stinking up your gym?  If you were gross, would you take a courtesy shower before the gym, or do you always wait till after you’re done with everything that day?

Also, do you have moments in your everyday life where you think, “OH GOD I NEED TO BLOG THIS” or find yourself asking other people permission to blog about them or use their words?  It’s starting to occur more regularly for me!

D.E.

This post might be all over the place, and it’s wrought with emotion and stupid cyclical behavior, but it’s what’s been going on lately, so I’m putting it out there.

I’ve always been a disordered eater – a binger with a sweet tooth and little grasp of how to eat “normally.”  I KNOW what’s normal and what’s abnormal, but like SOOO many things in my life, knowing what to do and doing it are two different things.

Yesterday for various yet stupid reasons, I didn’t eat (much).  A combination of depression that kept me in one place and a manifestation of self-pity led me to not eat much of anything.  Maybe I wanted my body to feel as bad as my mind?  Maybe I wanted someone to notice and give a shit?  Maybe it was a control thing – I have little control over much of my life, but I could control my food.  [That last point led me to wonder how eating disorders manifest differently in different people.  How can two people share the same characteristics but one end up with anorexia or bulimia and the other end up with binge eating disorder?  I digress.]

Thanks to Jenny, Laura, Layla, and LOST, I crawled out of my little hole and ate dinner, watched “Three Sheets,” and felt a little better.  This morning I got up, had my breakfast, did productive things, then went to the park to do C25K (which went well, by the way!).  On the way home, I had to stop by Publix to get stuff for dinner, and I decided I’d treat myself to one of their turkey cobb salads for lunch.

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While I was there, I casually strolled through the bakery to see if they had any single slices of their best-in-the-world key lime pie.  I could totally get behind a single slice and feel ok about it.  They didn’t have any, but they did have a pack of 2 key lime cheesecake slices.  On a whim, I grabbed it and planned to eat both when I got home.  Pure old habit, pure comfort, pure sweet tooth.  There was a little rationalizing of, “you didn’t eat yesterday! You just ran! It’ll be ok,” but mostly it was “ooh this will taste good and make me happy,” so I quickly stuffed it in my basket and kept shopping.

On the car ride home, I thought about it more.  Like the proverbial “money burning a hole in your pocket” thing, that cheesecake was boring a hole through my soul.  I realized I didn’t *need* to eat both slices and decided I’d wait until after dinner and share one with Mom.  I got home, ate my salad, took a shower, and then started obsessing about it.

If I had been smart, I would have seen where this whole thing was going and thrown both slices in the lake, but somehow my bass-ackwards rationalization won out, and I sat down on the couch with both slices.  I finished the smaller one first and it didn’t taste like I thought it would, plus it was icy in the middle which I hated.  I took a couple of bites of the second and said to myself, “you don’t HAVE to finish it, you know.”  There was a time in my life (which I’m not 100% certain is over yet) where I would have finished the whole thing just because it was there, but I didn’t today (small victories – woohoo!).

I threw the rest away, but the guilt had already begun.  The guilt for buying it in the first place, for not sticking with my plan of sharing (which also made me feel like a greedy glutton), for even attempting to eat both pieces, and a small messed-up part of me felt guilty for making up for part of the deficit I created yesterday.  How’s that for disordered?

This all harkens back to my Men and Chocolate post; how can I practice moderation when, even if I buy a single(ish) serving, I obsess about it until I give in? I should have given myself some sort of incentive for making it last til tonight instead of jumping in right then.  I think it helps that I was able to talk to Jenny at the time it happened, and she helped me to identify some of the feelings that went along with the cheesecake frenzy, but the problem is breaking the cycle of “need comfort, want indulgent food, the two are connected.”

I don’t even know what question to close with; I just wanted to get this all down and be honest.  I know these things to be true: 1) I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place since it wasn’t even what I was looking for, 2) I should’ve done something else to comfort me instead of eating something it, and 3) I shouldn’t give power to food.  Great.  Let’s hope I do all those things next time.  Any experiences you can share or advice you can give besides that is definitely welcome!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blogger Malaise

I’ve heard several people mention “blogger malaise” within the past couple of weeks, and at first I was all, “wow, sucks for them,” and now I’m willing to join a support group.  I don’t know what it is lately, but I’ve been inspiration-less and boring and thus avoiding blogging.  Meh.  This REALLY sucks because there are now 102 of you subscribers!!  THANK YOU!! I think I have a celebratory giveaway in the works; I’m waiting to hear back from someone about it! 

I wrote a mediocre, text-heavy post for Hollaback Health on Friday, “Succeeding Takes Balls,” and while it was a topic that kept buzzing around in my mind, it was a bit of a Debbie Downer-esque post for Hollaback.  Also, I’ve spent the last 4 days working out in the yard.  Thursday – Sunday, I spent waaaaay too many hours busting my ass (and pulling my muscles in a bad way), and I didn’t even take before and after photos!  WTF???  Oh, and when you pull muscles in your back and legs, it’s a bad idea to do intensive yoga.  I thought stretching would ease the discomfort, but it made it 800% worse.  Ouch.  So between being busy, being hurt, and being a Debbie Downer, I’ve been MIA.  Blech.

At least I did something blog-worthy on Saturday – I went to a wedding!

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I grew up with a pretty tight-knit group of people, so it's always fun when one of us gets married!

I started out with a pinot grigio

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…before hitting the buffet line ONCE.

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Shrimp & grits, dips & crackers, stuffed mushrooms, and chicken kebabs.  Perfect!  As the night wore on, I had a couple of light beers and a slice of awesome wedding cake.  I got a good picture of Mom and me…

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…and I think we look better than we did at my cousin’s wedding 13 months ago!

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And I had even Photoshopped this one to make my face look thinner; I would never put pictures of myself on Facebook without Photoshopping them first.  Why?  People knew how fat I was when they were taken.

In other news, I started C25K week 3 today and it felt great!  I even felt so great about it that I did a crazy-fast sprint during my 5-minute cooldown; I saw a sunbeam far ahead of me on the path and decided to run for it.  My legs felt crazy while I did it, but my lungs and heart were happy afterward.    

When I first re-started C25K after having to stop for a couple of months, I thought it’d be more difficult to keep pressing on since I had done it already.  When I did it the first time in the fall, each week was a new milestone that I had never reached before.  This time, I was/am worried that I’d be less likely to push myself, but I’m feeling better about it now.  Plus, I’m trying to stretch every chance I get, so hopefully shin splints will stay the eff away this time.

Do you find yourself more motivated to come back after an injury?  Is it harder to get back where you were before?  Is there an element of fear of re-injury?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pecan, Parmesan, Pomegranate and Dijon Salmon

What a mouthful, right?  This recipe’s huge title is befitting of its HUGE flavor…it was SO GOOD!!  I’ve been on a dijon mustard kick lately, and I wanted to try mixing it with some of my POM Wonderful pomegranate juice in a recipe.  A little more brainstorming and this is what I came up with:

 

Pecan, Parmesan, Pomegranate and Dijon Salmon

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Salmon filets (I used 3 big ‘uns)

POM Wonderful pomegranate juice

⅓ cup of finely chopped pecans

⅓ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

EVOO

Dijon mustard

 

While you’re prepping the topping for the salmon, lay the salmon “face-down” in a shallow dish of POM Wonderful, just to moisten it a bit and give it some fruity flavor.  In a smallish bowl, mix together the pecans, panko, parmesan, and a dash each of salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, combine about a tablespoon each of Dijon mustard and EVOO, then whisk to emulsify.  Pour the mustard mixture into the crumb mixture, trying to uniformly incorporate the wet into the dry.

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Flip the fish over in its dish (I just baked it in this same dish, so it was sitting in a little bit of pom juice when it baked) and spoon the crumb mixture on top, spreading to evenly cover each piece (the picture below was taken before I spread it out!)

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(also next time I do it, I’ll use a bigger dish and spread them out a little more…it’d probably cut down on the cooking time)

I baked the fish at 400° for about 18 minutes; check it 8 minutes or so until it flakes with a fork – my filets were pretty thick.  While the fish was baking, I heated about 2 Tbls Dijon mustard, ½ POM Wonderful juice, and 1 Tbls EVOO in a small saucepan, whisking it together well.  When the fish was flaky in the middle and crispy on top, I plated it and drizzled the sauce on top.

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HOLY. CRAP.

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