The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Okay…this lunch I made might not be the best thing I EVER ate (props to The Grill Room and other Portland restaurants for earning that distinction) but it’s definitely the most delicious creation I’ve made for lunch at school.

I started by chopping and sauteing a summer squash, zucchini, red pepper, and a yellow onion with some garlic and olive oil. Once they were soft and starting to brown a little bit, I added a generous amount of chopped fresh spinach and some dried basil and let the spinach wilt. Then I mixed in some brown basmati rice that I made in my rice cooker (it was a little overcooked because for some reason I’m awful at making rice, even with a rice cooker. #fail) Then, the best part: I crumbled some herb goat cheese into the mixture once it had cooled.

I put it in the fridge overnight and ate it cold this morning (at the high school we eat lunch at 10:30 every day…and I’m always starving by then) and it was amazing. I thought I wasn’t a fan of goat cheese but I was definitely wrong.

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I <3 the Weekend

Happy (belated) birthday to my sweet roommate! We celebrated Saturday night by having a few people over and going out in Portland after.

The beautiful birthday Girl

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I made it out for a run with Cash. I planned a two mile loop and intended to do it once with him and then drop him off and do it a second time. Cash was struggling by the end and we ended up walking the last half mile or so. I think the hill in the beginning really tired him out! The best part of my run was when I stumbled (not literally) upon a yard sale and stole found a free dining room table! My roommates and I have been scouring thrift stores and craig’s list for weeks trying to find a cheap dining room table with no luck. This one was the perfect size and looked pretty nice too. It’s round with a leaf in the middle. I ran home to get a vehicle and some man power and returned as fast as possible to snatch up my great find. It may have been used that night for some drinking games 😉

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back out to finish my run. And I’ve been too busy with student teaching/cleaning/open house/happy hour/sleeping to run this week.

Four days till Trail to Ale.

Back in the Groove

I’m running again…and I have a new running partner to thank for the motivation! He’s 25 pounds and furry.

I would also like to thank the upcoming 10K and the cooler weather for their part in motivating me as well.

Speaking of the 10K…I got my dates mixed up and it’s not till the 18th. Phew!

On Tuesday I ran a mile loop around our neighborhood twice with Cash and then did this 2.6 mile route on my own (4.6 miles).

Today Cash and I did the same loop we did did Tuesday but ran it three times (3 miles). Before we ran we fueled with sunflower butter.

(Don’t worry, I didn’t let him eat out of the jar…I let him lick the spoon when I was done though!)

When I run with Cash I don’t listen to music so I only have to carry the leash, not my phone/iPod. I don’t mind though because I usually end up talking to Cash like the crazy cat dog lady that I am.

Ten days till Trail to Ale!

Come On Irene

Every time I hear a reference to the hurricane the song Come on Eileen pops into my head, hence the title.

Getting sick really made it hard to run this week. Running any distance with body aches and a fever just wasn’t that appealing. And now Hurricane Irene isn’t making outdoor activities any easier.

Calm before the storm? Maybe.

Just in case we’re stranded here for a while my roommates and I made a necessary trip to Hannaford for a few things.

Just a few.

This week I also made my favorite cookies: chocolate chip zucchini. The recipe is from the book Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver which I credit with igniting my interest in health and in eating local. Don’t let the fact that these cookies are made with vegetables and 50% whole wheat flour stop you from making them as they are so soft and delicious. When I made them I didn’t have honey so I substituted pancake syrup (not the healthiest swap) but they tasted great. I forced them on my coworkers on Saturday night but I don’t think anyone minded. I might have eaten some of them this week too.

Just a few.

Panic Attack

I had a moment of panic this week when I remembered that I signed up to run the Trail to Ale 10K on September 10th. Not only have I only run 6 miles one other time in my life…in high school…but I haven’t been running at all since I moved to Portland last week. Yesterday marked the two week anniversary of my last run and 17 days until the big 10K and it also was the day I decided to get my behind in gear. I wanted to ease back into running nice and slowly so I had a goal of 2 miles. The time went by quickly now that I’m running in a new neighborhood with lots of side streets. I like running in places like these because I can distract myself by choosing my favorite houses or planning how I’d landscape or remodel the exterior…that’s my HGTV-loving side coming out for sure.

Today I took my little Monster out for his first run. I was very unsure of how he’d do but he was great! He didn’t pull too hard and only tried tripping me a couple times. We only did 1.6 miles because Cash was getting tired, but he was a great running partner and I can’t wait to run with him again.

Now this is what he’s up to:

And I’m one run closer to 6.2

Small Victories

I’ve learned to always appreciate small successes in life. For instance:

I survived Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD (level 2) and only had to drop to my knees during mountain climbers three times, pause it twice, and get in child pose once. My shoulders are killing me now too. I’d call that a win

Also, I showered today. That’s a success…even if my arms were shaking as I washed my hair.

This week I also stole found a practically brand new size 2 Brooks Brothers blazer for $28 at a consignment shop. Another point for me.

I was able to replace my favorite flamingo cup ($5 at Reny’s) that didn’t survive a fall at work.

Cash hasn’t had an accident in the house today. Nevermind…guess I jinxed that one.

I successfully created the breakfast taco.

I found an apartment!

I ran twice this week.

I did some baking and I didn’t switch cornstarch for the baking soda (I’ve done that before) or burn them. And I didn’t make too big of a mess.

I caught this sunset.

And I lost another 1/2 inch from my hips. A small victory when you consider that I used fit into size 15 jeans and now I wear a size 2, but a victory that is definitely worth appreciating.

Excuses

I’m the queen of excuses and I have plenty to explain my lack of blog posts lately. Don’t get me wrong, I think most some of them are pretty good. The almost 100 degree weather…working a lot…and not having my computer for the past week or so (someone who will not be named decided that my charger looked like a chew toy). Not blogging because I haven’t been running…now that’s a terrible excuse. It finally cooled off enough/I finally woke up early enough to fit a run in yesterday before I went to work. It’s amazing how running made me feel like a human being again! Of course…I haven’t found the motivation today yet. I did manage to drag myself to the nail salon down the street for a shellac manicure though…it matches the “Cajun Shrimp” nail polish on my toes!

This week I’ve really been trying to eat less at work. Working in a restaurant can definitely be difficult sometimes, especially when there are plenty of extra french fries, chili cheese nachos, and chips. I’m determined that this Summer won’t be forever remembered as the Summer that I ate my weight in french fries so I’m making a conscious effort to bring my own food to work from now on. I still occasionally snack at work (and I will never say no to a couple bites of cheesecake) but bringing my own meals and snacks means that I don’t leave at the end of the night feeling bloated from eating too many chips with bleu cheese dressing. Last week I made a delicious curried tuna salad with granny smith apple, fresh cherries, and almonds over spring mix that was inspired by a recipe in the Whole Foods flyer. Yesterday, in a moment of genius, I created the hamburger salad. Grass fed beef, Farmers Market tomatoes and spring mix (amazing), red onions, and dill relish with a little mustard on top. I decided not to take a picture because it looks very a little weird, but it’s definitely delicious.

Blogging has also been difficult because I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of anything other than a previously mentioned little monster.

He’s a pretty cute excuse though.

Will Run for Smoothies

So I broke up with the training schedule I was using…maybe I’ll try it again but actually start at the beginning this time…duh.

I’ve run three times this week so far, but the heat hasn’t made it easy. When will I learn to run earlier?? My legs also felt like lead the past two days. I blame myself for not stretching after I ran on Monday

Monday: I ran 4.5 miles in 40 minutes. My iMapMyRun app tells me I ran an average of an 8:49 minute mile…I don’t believe it but I won’t argue with technology! I also took sweaty self portraits of myself.

I’m weird…I know

Wednesday the heat definitely got the best of me and I ran 3 slow miles. I ran on a trail for a mile and it definitely tires my legs out faster than when I run on the road

Today my legs still felt like lead and I had to take a couple walking/stretching breaks but I ran 4.4 miles around a neighborhood near my house.

I was feeling pretty tired by the last half mile but the thought of making a giant fruit smoothie when I got home motivated me to finish strong. So after stretching and hydrating, I pulled out the blender and threw in:

A giant handful of spinach (don’t worry, you don’t taste it)

About half a cup of plain greek yogurt

A frozen banana

A generous portion of frozen strawberries and blueberries

Milk to help it blend

The spinach makes it look a little disgusting strange, but trust me, it’s great

I poured the finished product into a tall glass

And enjoyed it outside while hanging out with my favorite guy

Who likes green stuff as much as I do

And smoothies

What I’ve been doing lately

Well…I haven’t been running since Wednesday. But I have been busy!

I’ve been making kale chips

I used this recipe for kale chips from one of my favorite bloggers. I made two trays, one with garlic powder and parmesan cheese and the other with cumin and curry powder. I can now say that I’ve eaten an entire bunch of kale by myself in an afternoon.

I’ve also been doing some reading

I love this book but it’s taking me forever to finish it. I’d say that it really sums up my own food philosophy. I won’t go into detail about the contents because I could write a whole post about this book (I probably should!) but humor me and at least check out this review of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto from the New York Times.

I’ve been hanging out with this guy

Eating ginormous salads

This one had romaine, carrots, cukes, tomatoes, salsa, black beans, red onions, avocado, chipotle cilantro hummus (from the Farmer’s Market!) and fresh cilantro. Delicious.

I’ve been shopping (big surprise)

I take pictures of clothes when I try them on so I can send them to my friends for approval. That’s completely normal right??? Maybe I should just stop shopping by myself.

Going to BBQs

Eating lots of strawberries

(Try this dressing, it’s amazing.)

Celebrating with good friends

And drinking a little wine

No wonder I’m exhausted!

Goals

I love making lists. I make lists for the grocery store…I make lists of things I want when I go shopping……I make Christmas lists…I make to-do lists…but I’ve never made a list of my goals. Writing things down and then crossing them off helps me stay organized and motivated, so I’m not sure why I haven’t done this yet. One goal I’d like to realize this Summer is to become a “runner.” Currently I run…but I don’t consider myself a runner. Every run is an easy run. I don’t challenge myself to run faster or longer and I avoid hills at all costs. So, after a sweaty and exhausting four mile run the other day (I wasn’t running that hard, it was just humid and I was a little dehydrated), I decided that I need to work harder at achieving this goal.

So I found this race:

Old Port 5k (not the half marathon…I’m not that ambitious yet)

And a training schedule:

Hal Hidgon Intermediate 5K Training Schedule

And a cool website that uses these Hal Hidgon training plans to create a schedule in iCalendar based on how long I have to train before the race:

YourTrainingCalendar.com

This is my iCalendar:

I don’t plan on sticking to this 100% because that would mean a pretty significant jump in mileage compared to what I usually do.

I did a speed workout today like the schedule suggests but I only did 4x400s. I ran to the track for a warm-up, which was around 1.7 miles. In between each 400 (1 lap around the track or 1/4 mile) I walked an additional lap.

By the time I got home I had run about 4.4 miles.  Thank you motivation.