Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back to the Gym for Success

After a much less than stellar workout earlier, I was feeling peppier this evening and headed back to the gym. I cranked out a 5K in 40 minutes which is my best time so far. I even ran sprints of 7mph which is faster than I have been able run. Glad I went back, now I am relaxing post-shower thinking about reading my new book:

Turning Shepherd's Pie into a Casserole

This is how my Shepherd's pie began. I had the great idea of subbing barley on top instead of mashed potatoes. Unfortunately my barley ended up like this...

Needless to say I had to sweep up all the barley and scrap that idea so I made a mixed veggie casserole instead. The colors were so pretty.

I also tried my hand at making some GRANOLA bars. I made some Cran-Orange, Apricot and Almond bars. There were a little dry but had a great flavor!

Today I struggled a little with my workout. I worked out with Joey (my trainer)and I usually am able to push a little harder and we only did BACK and BICEPS but I was wiped out. I am afraid I may be trying to beat a little cold (runny nose, slight sore throat this AM) which may explain the unexplained wimpiness. I was wanting something cold on the throat when I got home and I tried making Banana "SOFT SERVE" for the first time. I had cut up a bunch of sale bananas yesterday and froze the slices all spread out on parchment paper so they wouldn't be stuck together. After frozen I dumped them into a big gallon Ziplock bag. I threw 1 1/2 cups frozen bananas, about 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder in the blender. Once it was thick and smooth and topped with pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Yummy! That made me feel a little better, but now I think I want a big mug of hot tea now that I have cooled off.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home Again

Stayed the night in Chattanooga, TN after our hike. Found Aretha Frankenstein's on YELP and decided that is where we needed to breakfast this AM. After leisurely stuffing ourselves with omlette and panCAKE goodness we strolled up the street admiring the houses and yard ART. I am scurrying around the house now cleaning up and have decided that breakfast is finally wearing off at 8PM, so I will be having a very late lunch soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hiking Cloudland

We were late getting started on our hike and were worried about going on the 6.7 mile hike when we noticed that the 5 mile hike was posted to take 4 hours and it was already 4 pm. We decided to play it safe and take the West Rim Trail which was 5 miles. It only took us 3 hours and that was with plenty of photo ops. It was a beautiful hike with lots of ROCK formations and breathtaking VIEWS out over the canyon. We did not do the waterfall hike but we could see it spilling over the side of the canyon. Essentially the hike took us down the canyon, over the river back up the mountain on the other side and around the tip of the mountain and back.

Friday, March 25, 2011

One More Night

I've got one more night at work and then ROAD TRIP with the mom. So last year about this same time our road trip looked like this:
I am certain that this year will be just as much fun if not more and will include lots of silly photos hopefully a wooden cut-out to put our faces in and maybe a photo booth.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sucess Times Two

Sleep was just not happening. I got about 2 hours worth of a nap in while trying to rest up before my shift tonight. When I realized it was useless trying to sleep any longer I got my butt out of bed and went for a walk. Keeping with ditching my all-or-nothing attitude, I knew I would be sluggish because a.) I am still very sore from strength training LEGS yesterday and b.) it is getting pretty hot out and I do not have a great track record with heat. The point is I got out and went for a 37 minute walk and maintained a 4 mile per hour pace = )

When I got home from my walk I knew I still had some extra time for some house cleaning. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get much done but yet again I did what I could. Now I am enjoying a salad and curried veggies before getting scrubbed up and out the door.

Detriments of Perfectionism

I ran across an interesting post on Health for the Whole Self that examined the connection between perfectionism and binge eating. I have seen myself cycle through all-or-nothing failures in eating habits, exercising habits, maintaining household chores, the list could go on and on to incorporate every aspect of my life. This post is not meant to serve as a cop out or an excuse for these behaviors in the past. I am examining how this behavior has been ever present in my life, and now day by day I am going to work on limiting my all-or-nothing thinking. This is going to be a big change so I am starting with small goals for myself.

1. If I have a bad night at work and don't get to eat every 3-4 hours and drink as much water as I should, I will NOT come home and eat everything in sight because I am starving and "I haven't eaten all night." I WILL make a healthy meal and give my body some good fuel since I had put it through stress all night.
2. If I don't complete everything I set out to at work, I will let it go. I will NOT bring feelings of disappointment and frustration from work into the house.
3. I will STOP telling myself that a clean house must be cleaned from top to bottom (baseboards, windows, in drawers, under the bed) and feeling like a failure when I can only do so much. It is OK to tidy up. I will NOT get bogged down in cleaning the nooks and crannies when there is big stuff left to do (laundry, dishes, vacuum).

3 is plenty for now, I don't want to set myself up for failure. So....working on 1 and 2 tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We've Been Pollinated

The culprit: Georgia Pines.

Not sure that I have ever had this much pollen covering my windshield. Much wiper action and spray to get ready to go.

Look at that nasty cloud. ICK!! I had a yellow-green sheen to my skin by the time I made it to the safety of my car.

Went in to work during the day today for skills day and to make next month's schedule. Love the view from the top of our parking deck!

Small STEPS...been taking the stairs more, adding one flight at a time.

My breakfast was a banana, mango, spinach and protein powder shake. Love love love my new bag from old navy! I have a slight obsession with all things BIRD related. I have a great hooters joke that my friends have heard at least 1 to many times. I feel compelled to tell it every time I wear my owl nightshirt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cooking Bug

Made it back from ATL today and went directly into SPRING CLEANING mode around the house. After lots of laundry, organizing, bill paying, and dusting it was time for the gym. Worked out with the trainer today CHEST, TRICEPS, and SHOULDERS. I was a little surprised when he told me he wanted me to alternate 4 minutes of walking with 4 minutes of running (not jogging, running) repeated 4 times. I have not been running for more than a minute at a time and I didn't want to fail, but I think he has a better idea of what I can do than I realize myself. I am not going to lie, the first set was really hard but then it got easier. After my 4 sets I was at 2.7 miles and I decided I had to get to 3.2 miles so I did another set and completed my 3.2 miles in 42 minutes. I can't wait to keep seeing improvements like this!

I left the gym feeling great (sweaty=great). I am sure people at my neighborhood Ingles wondered why I would visit their store in such a condition. After being gone for 4 nights I needed some vegetable/fruit matter for the house. I picked up some asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, and CHIPOTLE sweet potato fries which I roasted together with a little olive oil and more chipotle flakes and celery salt.

I pulled out 2 frozen tilapia fillets and misted them with olive oil, sprinkled them with dill, and covered them with capers and lemon slices and baked until done. YUMMY and super easy!

I also threw together a broccoli and cauliflower casserole. I added navy beans for some protein, cream of celery, sharp cheddar, brown and wild rice, and 1 egg. In the crock-pot eggplant curry is cooking away. I try and cook ahead when I have a stretch of work coming up so I have items to take for lunch and stuff to eat when I come home in the morning so I am less likely to make poor choices.

Spring Has Sprung

It is so exciting every spring to be surprised as the plants that have been hiding away all winter start to emerge. My tulips are in full bloom which happened while I was away. The whole yard came alive in the last few days. Unfortunately that includes the weeds which means I have some weeding to do, and some mowing to contemplate doing. Also the plentiful pine trees have been manufacturing their pollen 24 hours/day and have covered my yard in the yellow stuff *achoo achoo*. If only it was good for something....

I have NO IDEA what this plant is...I got it on sale at Lowe's 2 years ago and this is the first year it has had the weird berries on it. It has silver bottomed leaves and has turned out to be a very fast growing and beautiful plant whatever it is.

Chico is loving the WARM weather. He is very cold-natured. This time of year he comes in all covered in dry grass just as pleased with himself as he can be. I am sure you can tell he was majorly tail-wagging since his tail is all blurry in the pic. Killer update: she is feeling better finally after almost 2 weeks on antibiotics and 5 teeth later. She looks mopey in this picture but I think it is because she is dozing post-lunch and I woke her up. I am so happy she is feeling better, I have really been worried about her this past week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Fun

Saturday night the hubby and I met a couple of friends at MacCracken's Pub. We sat outside and the weather was beautiful. Although it did get a little chilly as the night went on, was glad I brought a sweater. It was the SUPERMOON which was not as impressive as I had hoped. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between it and a regular full moon. But...I can tell you one thing, I am THRILLED that I did not have to work that night!

View from our seat outside, I love how the lights ran along the top of the building!

The hubster chilling after some belated St. Patty's Day beerage.

Sunday for lunch we had leftovers *adding leftovers to my likes list* after I took another 1 hour WALK around the neighborhood. I was much more sluggish than Saturday (only 3.4 miles today), I don't think I realized what a workout it was with all the STEEP hills. For dinner we went to PANANG Malaysian and Thai. YUMMY!! We started with the Penang Popia (a steamed spring roll with jicama) and a cup of Tom Kay (chicken coconut soup). Clay ordered a spicy Malaysian chicken curry and I had the curry vegetables in a clay pot *as seen above. The pot was GIANT! It was so tasty and I have at least 2 servings left that I brought home with me. We couldn't resist dessert, we ordered the Cendol *as seen below. It was green pea flour strips and sweet red beans topped with shaved ice and coconut milk. Awesome meal and a definite repeat place!

After dinner we went to the movies to see the Lincoln Lawyer which was a very enjoyable movie. We got a sweet deal the other day from Groupon for $6 per ticket (regular tickets are $11).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strange Walking Partners

I came around the corner on my 4.3 mile walk/jog around the very HILLY neighborhood and saw what I thought was a pair of fake geese by the road. I quickly realized that I was mistaken and the geese hurried ahead of me into the road as if they were racing me. This is a new one for me. Had a wonderful time out in the SUNSHINE this morning! It was the perfect temperature. Cherry trees, pear trees, forsythia, daffodils, TULIPS *my favorite, and all sorts of other springy plants entertained me today.

More grocery goodies. Excited to try the cassava chips flavored with KAFFIR lime!! Also, I got some chips made from lentils and chick peas and flavored with cucumber dill, I couldn't wait and have already tried them...pretty darn tasty!

Breakfast this AM, shredded wheat, raisin bran crunch, banana, and chia seeds with almond milk. Good way to start the day even if my banana was a little overripe.