Daily eats 1/25

Anyone interested in what I ate today? I have to admit it sounded like a much more interesting blog post when I was half asleep and came up with it last night or this morning. I apologize for the iPhone photos. I’m not quite devoted enough to find my actual camera and learn how to use it.

Well after going to bed at midnight last night, I woke up absolutely starving at 6 this morning. So I had a serving of Trader Joe’s peanut butter filled pretzels. Yum yum yum.

Back to bed for a few more hours, then breakfast of old fashioned oats. I make a big batch with just water and a bit of salt about once a week and just reheat daily. It’s the having to clean the pot that I object to. In any case, I reheat my oats with unsweetened almond milk, about a tsp of brown sugar, raisins and a spoonful of peanut butter. I have this fabulous recipe for ginger apple jam that I need to make, I just haven’t managed to find two hours at home to leave the stove on.

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J and I attempted to run a few hours later and only made it about a mile or so. We’ve both been physically exhausted the past few days, his leg has been bothering him, and my calves are still ridiculously sore from a workout class I went to on Friday. Jumping jacks AND high knees AND mountain climbers AND squat jumps. Really? Ouch. But a mile run and a mile walk with the dogs and I call it good. No need to push it.

I was hungry again before we even left to run so I started lunch cooking while I showered.

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Homemade tomato sauce with chickpeas and the miniscule handful of spinach I had left in the fridge, served in a sweet potato. I go through phases with sweet potatoes. I’ll eat them for two weeks straight and ignore them for three months. The best sweet potato pairing? Try them with bacon. I’m telling you. Really.

Anyway, the recipe was taken from this post on The Kitchn. Their picture is prettier.

Relistened to Friday’s lecture, ran some errands, got home from the grocery store and was hungry again. It’s just been one of those days where my hunger suddenly catches up with me. But a heaping serving of Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix was my snack of choice. Chased by a sneaky Cadbury Egg. Those things always seem to jump in my basket as I check out from the store. What can I do?

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Snacks, like the peanut butter pretzels, trail mix, and tortilla chips I tend to portion out based on the serving on the package because they’re so easy to overeat and so calorie dense.

I dragged J to Odell’s in the hopes that they had gotten more keychains in, they’ve been out since before Christmas! But no luck. I had to settle for a beer. Darn.

I’ve been trying to start cooking for/with J once a week. I can’t decide which. So far it’s been recipes I’m very familiar with so I just kind of do it all, and part of the idea is that I need to get more comfortable cooking in front of other people. And for other people. But he wants to learn more recipes too, so we’ll have to see where this takes us. Tonight’s entree was Jenna’s Turkey Taco Casserole that I love so much.

I almost forgot to take a picture, and the one I did take is horrible so please just go check out her pretty photos with the recipe. It’s kind of like a Mexican lasagna and really quite easy.

And now to quell my sweet tooth I’m having a cup of bedtime tea with honey. The tea is a habit, the honey is a treat.

Other exercise this week:

Sunday: 2.5 mile run in 26 minutes.

Monday: Rest, the rec was closed most of the day and wasn’t offering classes due to the holiday.

Tuesday: 1 mile run. My mid-week run is usually short but quick. I’m trying to get faster!

Wednesday: Yoga Sculpt class. Loved it, bought an unlimited mind-body pass the next day (I’d already been planning on it though). (Yoga and spin classes are free for the first 10 days of the semester, after that you have to pay.)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Interval Burn class. Kind of like a Jillian Michael’s workout with alternating cardio and strength bursts. Didn’t love it, honestly.

Saturday: I intended to go to a 10:00 yoga class, but slept until 9:30 and couldn’t bring myself to push it to get there on time.

Sunday: 1ish mile run and 1 mile walk.

Since the weather has been relatively mild this week I’ve also been biking the mile back and forth to class, sometimes a few times a day.

So that’s that. I’ll try to post another next weekend if anyone is interested.

On introverts. Again.

“Extroverts and introverts are apples and oranges. Extroverts sparkle, introverts glow. Extroverts are fireworks, introverts a fire in the hearth. Extroverts attract people who like razzle-dazzle, introverts attract people who want to bask in your warmth.”

I love that.

I’m reading this article on The Introvert’s Corner. The first thought that runs through my head is “how on earth did I ever get voted runner-up biggest flirt in high school?” I thought it was a joke then and I still don’t quite get it. Me? A flirt? That means I actually talk to people. That doesn’t happen often.

But you know what it might be? That whole thing about introverts coming out of their shell if you get to know them. I’d been in school with most of my class since kindergarten. They’d had a good 12 years to get to know me before senior superlatives were voted on. I was relatively comfortable around them. Or some of them, at least.

I just felt the need to share, and it felt a little long for a Facebook status.

What works for me

This is a post for my cousin. And if she gets her wish, it will even become a running series… or maybe I’ll even go back to writing a food blog.

The final project for one of my classes this semester was to review a popular diet book and present it to the class. I’m a fan of Mark Bittman’s column for The New York Times, so I chose his recent VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health… For Good.

But first, a little history: I believe I was skinniest back in my vegetarian days, when I had just completed my first half marathon and was playing with the idea of training for a sprint triathlon.

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Wow, what babies we were.

For the year before I moved out to Colorado I worked with a personal trainer and I was pretty happy with my body that first summer of 2013 too. Once here, I tried to continue working with heavier weights and move into an even stricter paleo-style diet. But between the social isolation of living in a brand new place with no one I knew and the sense of deprivation created by trying to cut out a whole food group, I’d find myself stopping by the bakery on my late night drive home from work to buy that lovely combination of chocolate chip cookies and buttercream icing. And I gained about 10 pounds in just a few months.

(Other people thrive on a paleo-style diet, my roommate is one of them. We all have to play around a little and find what works for us.)

But since then I’ve quite the bakery dessert habit, stopped restricting myself to heavy weight lifting just a few days a week and the goal of a routine closer to weights twice a week, running twice a week, and yoga once a week. But that grad school thing can get in the way. I think I only managed that one week last semester. Oh well. My weight was still heading in the right direction before winter break hit and the rec center stopped offering classes. And then there’s the sleep deprivation from being jerked around between early morning and late night shifts at work and the leftover cookies in the back office. The drive for sugar as a temporary source of energy isn’t doing me any favors either.

To bring this post back around, VB6 reminded me that eating something closer to a vegetarian diet is what works best for me. I’m not someone who will make a main course and various sides to go with it. My vegetables have to be incorporated into the main dish or they won’t even leave the grocery store with me. I’m not strictly following the concept of eating vegan meals before dinnertime. I’ll have half and half in my coffee or eggs in my cornbread, but I’ll try to make two out of three meals a day vegetarian at least.

And by vegetarian I don’t mean slapping a machine-processed veggie patty on a bun, I mean soaking a pound of dry beans, sauteing some onion and garlic before adding the beans to the pot with water, cooking them, and towards the end tossing in some red pepper flakes and three pounds of kale. Or sauteing onion, garlic, sweet potato, black beans, red peppers, and various seasonings before adding a cornbread topping (my lunches this week). I’m trying to come back to living by Michael Pollan’s words “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

If you have loved ones suffering from heart disease, this mindset also ensures that you are following the Mediterranean Diet (recommended by the American Heart Association) or the DASH diet for those with hypertension. How very convenient.

Unfortunately, all of my recipes come from blogs that I follow so I can’t post them here, but I’ll try to make more of an effort to share links to my favorites as they are consumed.

A correction

Thank you all for your concern, I seriously thought about taking that post down, and even did for a few minutes. But let me clarify instead.

I wasn’t upset about being alone and not having anyone to hang out with. An evening alone in the apartment without my roommate and her boyfriend around is something I absolutely savor.

Instead, while looking for an incident in one of my old journals (really, the ONE time I didn’t write everything down… so frustrating) I ended up looking through those from my early twenties and I just couldn’t believe the insecurity and negative self-image I found on those pages. I know I wasn’t happy then, but I managed to block out just how bad it was.

On New Year’s Eve there was an incident of domestic violence at the hotel. The girl was taken to the hospital, the guy fled, we have to get the blood out of the carpet. Last night, J. and I realized that when she came back to pick up her luggage the next day she was with the guy who did it.

“That’s a shame,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you want out of that situation??”

“Because they get so far into your head you think it’s your fault. You know what pushes their buttons and you should have avoided it. You feel like you brought it on yourself,” I explained.

Because it’s true. That’s how you feel. It’s certainly how I felt on rare occasions. And the fact that I was weak enough to even let it happen is what I was mourning. And now I have even greater appreciation for how much I’ve grown, how much stronger I am, how far I’ve come.

(Because I know it will come up, there is no actual hitting in my past, more of an angry wrestling. Arm twisted behind back and forced to the ground. It was rare that I even walked away with bruises, though my bathroom door and my car were not always so lucky. I am not at all comparing my situation with the poor guest this week, but it has certainly made me think.)

Christmas break

(random note, anyone miss my old food pictures? no? well here’s one anyway. My grocery haul after getting back from Christmas in Atlanta)

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My dogs continue to be an endless source of amusement, of course

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There have also been several moments of “Piper, go pee! It’s way below freezing out here!” “But mom, the snow makes my tongue feel funny *nom nom nom*”

My mom got me back into knitting, by not making me the hat my brother didn’t want.
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And Christmas vacation brought a new appreciation for Atlanta. It only took a year and a half. The skyscrapers, running through Piedmont Park or Tech’s campus, walking the BeltLine and seeing neighborhoods grow and develop new personalities, visiting all of the places where I formed my best memories.
Driving down 10th St or Monroe, through Virginia Highlands or Inman Park, wandering Lenox Square, wandering the zoo and finding new faces (panda twins!).

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I’m not moving back any time soon, at the very least I have grad school to finish, but I have more reason to look forward to trips home. 

And really, I absolutely adore my friends here. 

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Back again

I have so much that I want to say, and no one around to talk to at the moment. And sadly not many of them are ready to be shared on a public forum like this. I love my friends here. Unfortunately they’re sick, or out of town, or otherwise unavailable tonight.

I love the way Sam started her most recent post: “Being in grad school is weird. It’s weird in a lot of ways that I keep meaning to write about, but keep not writing about, because grad school.”

Isn’t that just it, though? I’ll try to better, I swear.

Going through old journal is an absolute roller coaster ride. High school was such a funny time. Old AOL IM conversations printed out and pasted in. They were just SO important. And it’s somewhat amusing to me that I can still tell you who the guys behind the cryptic screen names are.

Undergrad and the period soon after is a different story. Not my happiest period, and I’d only write when I was upset. I know there were good days, but the absolute misery on those pages literally brought tears to my eyes.

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Piper refuses to let me be sad though.

It seriously brings all new meaning to the song “Let It Go.” I knew it was a big hit, but damn. It hits a different way now.

So wants to come over and break me out of this funk?

A moment of regret

I seem to be going through a phase where this move to Colorado feels incredibly selfish. Maybe it’s just because I’m still twiddling my thumbs, waiting to start school. Perhaps because I still haven’t made many friends here yet. But people I love back home are going through difficult times and it feels selfish to have moved away to challenge myself and see what I can make of myself. I’d much rather be back in Georgia where I can give them my love and support. 

I’ve been challenged by one to ask deeper questions. He feels that people don’t truly care about him because no one tried to find out how his mind works. It makes me feel slightly guilty because I’m one of those who never did, but it’s an avoidance tactic for me. I don’t think about my own answers to such questions, so I don’t ask them of others because I don’t want them to return the question. So far we’ve covered deepest regrets, If you could change one thing what would it be (past and present), if money weren’t an issue what would you do with your life to be happy (also, describe your perfect day). I was aware that he is unhappy, but it definitely brought more of it to light and I’m glad that he does have some awareness of it. Any suggestions for next week?

Maybe it really is a lack of friends here. Considering how much planning I’ve put into my parents visit in May when they haven’t even bought plane tickets yet, I clearly need more excitement in my life. 

Not the happiest post ever, so here’s a picture of Piper enjoying the sun from a few weeks ago:

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