Odds And Ends

Hello there!  Happy Friday night!  I have lots of little odds and ends to share with you today.

1. I have been LOVING on the short and sweet workouts lately.  A few of my favorites:

  • Levels 1 and 3 of the 30 Day Shred.  Takes about 45 minutes; pretty high intensity and a nice combo of strength and cardio.
  • 20 minutes of Yoga Core (from yogadownload.com) + one level of The Shred.
  • 10-15 minutes of abs + 3 miles on the treadmill, with 4 minutes of Tabata Intervals.
Your favorite short (but still intense) workouts?
2. I have changed my mind about homemade salad dressings and balsamic vinegar.  I used to think it was just easier to buy salad dressings, especially since I don’t make salad that often (confession: I’m lazy and hate washing and chopping that many vegetables).  But I’m starting to feel like salads are really cleansing, even in winter.  My favorite: spinach, carrots (thinly sliced), avocado, and grapefruit.  Dressing: 1 tbsp EVOO, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp mustard, sea salt, pepper to taste.  So simple.  So many nutrients and colors!
3. If you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting pictures, it’s because I left my camera transfer cord thingy in New York (I’ve been in Canada and Michigan).  Not that anyone cares that deeply about my blog.  I just felt a need to share.
Source
4. I got my December LSAT score back.  It was a significant improvement over October, and I am now in a position where I have a good shot at getting into some top 25 law schools and a very distant chance at some top 10 schools.   I’m quite thrilled; exuberant actually.  I’m filling out my applications with surprising zeal.  I’m so excited about this next stage of my life.  It sounds cliche, I suppose.  But it’s true.  I have wanted to go to law school since middle school, and now I feel like my dreams are finally going to come true.  Well, I have to get in first, of course. 😉
5. It pays to be nice to people.  About twice a year, when I am in Michigan, I get a massage here.  It’s not super fancy, but is really high quality.  I often have the same masseuse, Carl.  I’m always really friendly and chatty with him.  I was talking about law school, and he said that once I get in, he is going to give me a free 60 minute massage.  How nice is that?!?!
6. I know what I want to do this summer.  I want to take a trip from Paris all the way to the other side of Eurasia, partially on the Trans-Siberian railway.  I would love to plan it in stages so that I get to see a lot of different places.  Ideally, it would last about a month.  The views from the train are supposed to be spectacular!  It technically starts  in London, if you want to go about it in the historic way, but I like Paris infinitely more.  So there.
Source
That’s all for tonight I suppose!  Any other college seniors out there?  What are your post-graduation plans?

The RWTL Diet

Today’s Happy Note: Rediscovering the best hair conditioner ever!  I used to use this stuff in high school and then it disappeared — it used to be the Dove light blue bottle (NOT the dark blue bottle) and now it’s just called Dove Daily Moisture.  It makes me hair softer and smoother and less frizzy than ANY other hair product.  And I am not easy to please when it comes to hair products!

Marathon Training: I cannot believe it is 6 days away!  It feels like I just started training yesterday and now we’re in the final stages of taper.  I am definitely nervous.  I think that this week is primarily going to be about anxiety control. As long as I can get my mental game under control, I have a feeling the physical side of things will take care of themselves.

I did the 30 Day Shred Level 2 and lots of walking yesterday and my last “long” run today — 6 miles. The rest of this week I’ll do a few 3-4 milers.  Hopefully I will feel nice and rested and relaxed on Sunday.  I am thrilled that my first marathon is going to be the NYC Marathon.  I have wanted to do it since I moved to the city in fall 2007.  I have watched every race since then.  There is something mystical and intriguing about fall in the city, especially in Central Park.  It’s my home.  I couldn’t be more excited.

The RWTL Diet

I wanted to do a post about the way I eat.  It is an endless source of fascination for me to learn about the different ways people feed their minds and bodies.  I think there is both a physical and mental/emotional component to eating/fueling — and in fact, I think that duality is part of what makes eating lovely and fun.

Most bloggers (and people I know in real life too) eat in a very nuanced way.  What works for one person doesn’t work for another.  Everyone likes and needs slightly different things.  This post is about finding the overlap between what I like and what I need.

Through much experimentation, I have figured out that my body needs the following:

  • Lots of protein from a variety of sources
  • Lots of fats (both saturated and unsaturated), again, from a variety of sources
  • Moderate carbohydrates — some grains and some fruits, maybe 2-3 servings a day
  • Tons of veggies; basically, an unlimited amount
  • Occasional desserts — if I don’t have some sweets, I feel deprived, which results in overeating
What my body wants:
  • Flavor!  Spices, fat, sweet, sour, bitter, etc.
  • Variety — I like consistency, but I also get bored easily, so I need a good mix of foods.
  • Breakfast!  Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day.  I crave breakfast foods all the time.
  • Plant and animal sources of protein and fat.  I think this goes with variety, but I have also found that I thrive when I include both types.
  • Pastries.  I wouldn’t really call myself a junk food person — I have no interest in pizza, fries, wings, or candy.  But I love good scones, muffins, or cookies.
So how do I balance the needs and the wants and get good things into my body?
The short answer: with frequent meals and snacks that are built around plants, protein, and fat.  I never build a meal or a snack around a carb.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I am somewhat insulin resistance, and more carbs just don’t do anything for me — I feel sluggish and tired and they seem to make me gain weight.  People have different body types and metabolic systems, so this is NOT something that will hold true for everyone.  I follow some pretty simple guidelines:
Breakfast: build around a whole grain in tandem with protein and fat, sometimes with fruit.
Examples:
On the left we have 1/3 C of oats cooked with 2/3 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, 2/3 cup of water, cinnamon, a little less than a quarter cup of peanut flour, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  On the right we have a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel (a little more carby than normal) with peanut butter and bacon.  It was a delectable combination.
I used to eat tiny breakfasts (100-200 calories; usually an instant oatmeal packet) and would feel SO guilty whenever I had a more substantial breakfast.  But I was always starving by 11 AM and miserably forced myself to wait for lunch. Satisfying breakfast=happy Caronae.
Lunch: Veggies with, surprise, more protein and fat.  I usually either build lunch around a salad, stir fry, egg scramble, smoothie, or, occasionally, a sandwich.  Has to be simple and quick: think things like pre chopped veggies, steamed/sauteed veggies, deli turkey, sliced tofu, avocado, whole eggs, or cottage cheese/greek yogurt.
Examples:
On the left we have half a can of Amy’s spicy chili mixed with a boatload of broccoli and topped with TJ’s hummus/guacamole mixture.  On the right we have today’s lunch of two eggs scrambled in EVOO mixed with chopped brussel sprouts, broccoli, and mozzarella.
Both were quite tasty and filling.  I often add a piece of carb-y fruit, like grapes or an apple, with lunch, depending on how much I’ll be running that day.
Dinner: I usually do more actual “cooking” here, often with fish, chicken, tofu, beans, ground beef, or steak, paired with roasted veggies, squash, and/or salad.
Examples:
On the left is tonight’s dinner of heated pumpkin topped with steamed carrots and a divine stir-fry of ground beef, EVOO, salt, basil, garlic, and portabella mushrooms.  On the right we have baked salmon with a peanut/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed squash with cinnamon and avocado.
Snacks: usually a mix of fats and proteins, eaten in the late afternoon.  I like nuts, protein bars, fruit with nut butter, yogurt with various add-ins, low fat milk or soy milk, eggs, etc.
Dessert: almost always involves chocolate. 🙂  I like hot cocoa with dark chocolate melted in, oats with protein powder, peanut butter, and chocolate chips, pumpkin with cinnamon and yogurt, frozen berries, plain dark chocolate, and weird combinations of the above.
I make sure to eat enough to get me through lots of studying and running and yoga and life.  I would estimate about 2500 calories a day, although less when I am running less.
So there you have it.  The RWTL “diet.”  How would you characterize your “diet”?
Oh, and some Halloween pics for fun.  Guess what I am!
How was your Halloween weekend?  Anything fun?  What’s on the table for this week?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread

Today’s Happy Note: Baking.  I love baking.  Never fails to make me feel better.

Marathon Training: I did my yoga class and 4.5 miles with strides on Wednesday.  Yesterday I started the 30 Day Shred and then USB got here so I didn’t finish.  Today I did 20 minutes of hip-opening yoga before work, and 6.5miles after work.

For the first time in a long time my legs felt great!  It felt like I was gliding along.  I felt light but also strong.  Win.  I did 6×400, two per mile for miles two, three, and four.  It was spectacular!

I am starting to think that all of my hard training may have paid off!  Hopefully the rest of taper keeps going this smoothly.

And now, a recipe!  It’s been a while since I have come up with anything.  And to be honest, I didn’t exactly create this myself.  It comes from my Uncle John!  So, thank you, Uncle John!  It’s in our family cookbook.  It’s really cool!  It has pictures of my grandparents, an extended family tree, and recipes from everyone!

Caronae’s Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

Adapted from John’s Banana Nut Bread

  • 1.25 C Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Oats
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 C pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/3 C melted Butter/Earth Balance
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Milk/Soy Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C chopped Walnuts
Mix all dry ingredients together.  Add in wet ingredients.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake it all at 350 for about 50 minutes.  Let cool before removing from pan.
It’s pretty!  Look!
I shall be back with deeper thoughts tomorrow!
Any exciting weekend plans? I plan on a trip to the farmer’s market, some pumpkin carving, and lots of friend time!

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