Awesome Speed Workout/Awesome Food

Today’s Happy Note: finding pomegranate tea again!  Haven’t had any in so very long, and it is one of my favorite herbal teas.  It was accompanied by lovely conversation, more importantly!

I have to be a speed blogger tonight (haha, NOT my forte — I like talking, in case you haven’t noticed) because USB is coming to visit.  It is going to be such a nice night for a walk!

Marathon Training: I really wanted to do my speed workout and weights today, for some reason.  I knew there was no way both were going to happen before work, since I didn’t go to bad until after 2 (bad Caronae!).  I start work at 11 on Fridays.  This is sad, I know.

I tend to become more of a morning person as the semester wears on, oddly enough.  Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed at 10 and headed to the gym for a half hour of arm weights. Sometimes a half an hour is all you need to get your muscles nice and sore!

I followed that up with a delicious, steamy, spicy chai tea latte (made with soy — I was not feeling the dairy today) and an apple with honey PB:

A delicious bite of cinnamon roll from the guys at the mail room was also had 🙂

I am fully aware that the icing on my hands in this picture does NOT look like icing.  It is, I swear.

I had a late afternoon lunch-snack of a chocolate chip muffin, in honor of Cookie Friday.  Sometimes I think muffins are better than cookies.  I think they *might* be my favorite baked good!  Shhh, don’t tell the cookies that I told you that.

I came home after work and lazed around.  I just did not want to start my run at all.  I was feeling very grey, I suppose.  I finally had a Luna Bar and got my butt out the door around 6:00, only because I knew that if I waited any longer it would be dark by the time I finished and I didn’t want to get mugged in the northern end of CP (which is a wee bit isolated/quiet at night).

The run ended up being wonderful! I felt really fast and strong and smooth.  Some runs you just get into a rhythm and other runs…well, you don’t.  I definitely found my groove today, which was nice after Wednesday’s sucky run.

2 Miles warm-up (10:00-10:30 min/mile pace)

4 x (1 mile “Cruise” Pace, 1/4 mile easy)

2 Miles cool down, easy

I don’t know what the difference is, necessarily, between “fast” and “cruise” and “tempo” and “speed.”  And to be honest, I don’t particularly care.  I have a few paces: 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, and slower than 10:00.  I go based on how I feel.  I think that the important thing for me is just practicing speeding up, learning how to move my legs faster.  I definitely accomplished that today — I would say I was maybe running 8:45s?  Hard to tell, but I worked hard and felt fast on the miles, so I was happy! 🙂 Nine miles in total.

Dinner later on was the giant burrito that I wanted yesterday but didn’t let myself have!

What, you don’t have your giant burrito with a side of steamed broccoli and roasted carrots/okra doused in TJS spicy peanut vinaigrette?

Inside the burrito: green peppers/onions, pinto beans, barbacoa meat (beef), corn salsa, a little cheese, lots of lettuce.  It needed some spicier salsa, but other than that it was divine!  If you ask really nicely at Chipotle, they’ll let you have the peppers/onions (which are normally for the vegetarian burritos) instead of rice.  Rice+burrito+beans would be way too many carbohydrates for me to handle at once.

I love having the options of multiple fats at Chipotle: cheese, sour cream, or guacamole.  Do not fear the fats ladies!

I had a few squares of plain TJs dark chocolate after dinner (which I learned form Averie’s post today might be Scharffen Berger????), followed by about five gallons of water — I can always tell when I haven’t had enough to drink throughout the day based on how thirsty I am in the evenings!

Now onto a little activity inspired by the lovely Janetha G.! A few days ago she did a list of her favorite food for each letter of the alphabet.  I got really bored in Harlem Renaissance Literature the other day and started my own. 🙂

This is a really fun and oddly soothing thing to do.  I might just have to go back and expand the list one day so that I can include all my favorite foods.  For example, I feel like “avocados” and “almond butter” got left out on A.  I don’t want to exclude anybody!

A: apples

B: bananas

C: cupcakes

D: dark chocolate

E: eggs

F: fish

G: gaz (a Persian candy made with rosewater and pistachio and AMAZINGNESS)

H: hummus

I: Indian

J: jumbo shrimp

K: kiwi

L: linguine

M: muffins

N: nuts

O: oats

P: peanut butter (duh)

Q: quinoa (blended, preferably)

R: raspberries

S: spinach

T: tofu

U: upside down cake (it’s a tradition in my dad’d family — a tasty, tasty tradition)

V: vanilla

W: whey protein

X: xantham gum

Y: yogurt (especially2% plain Greek)

Z: zucchini bread

Thanks for the idea Janetha!

What is your favorite baked good?

How do you know when a run (or workout) is good?

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Adventure Saturday: Mermaid Edition.

Today’s Happy Note: Ocean.  Water.  Beach.  Sand.  Seashells.  Waves.  Boardwalk.  Wading.  Wet.  Island.  Mermaids.

I had a spectacular Adventure yesterday!  Any guesses based on my Happy Note?  If you don’t live in NY you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

So what am I talking about?  Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade of course!

Not really sure how to describe the Mermaid Parade.  Other than that it is a parade.  Of Mermaids and such.  It’s just one of those random New York things that everybody loves.  There were goth mermaids, dead mermaids, sexy mermaids, drag mermaids, mermen, child mermaids, pink mermaids, fairy mermaids. Any kind of mermaid. You name it, it was there.

The mermaids were all beautiful, I thought.  Although some just seemed to be taking advantage of the opportunity to wear as little clothing as possible.  It was hot as hell.  What I liked most about the Parade was seeing so many different women — of all ages, races, shapes, heights, backgrounds.  All of whom were, for the most part, comfortable in their own skin.  I saw stretch marks and tummies and thighs.  But I also saw dancing and confidence and smiles.  To me, this is amazing.  It made me want to feel comfortable too.  Just being there was inspiring.  Hopefully I’ll be a little less afraid to prance around the beach in a swimsuit next time!

To all the women out there — mermaids or not — you are lovely the way you are.  Thank you for the vibrancy of your personality and your ability to dance.

But there was more than just mermaids!  Also:

Friends!

I love jumping in and out of the waves.  Oceans are the best thing ever.  Believe it or not, despite living in NYC for three years, I had never set foot in the ocean here before yesterday.

Next up: Wheel of Wonder.

I fueled myself with lots of yummy things!

Apples, peas, moose tracks ice cream.  Perfection.

One spectacular Saturday Adventure.  I just might be headed off on another Adventure right now.  You’ll have to come back tonight to see! 🙂

Happy Sunday friends!  Plans?  Adventures?  Shenanigans?  Escapades?

Happy Sleep, Happy Eats, Happy Self

Today’s Happy Note: I just saw the cutest commercial ever.  It was for chiquita bananas and showed a little baby banana traveling to our stores….adorable.

Seeing commercials for things like bananas makes me happy!  Better advertisements for bananas than Lucky Charms and Double Stuf Oreos.

Speaking of produce. Go read this article.  It talks about organic vs. non-organic produce in terms of pesticide contamination.  Holy wow!  Many common produce items contain 47-67 pesticides!  Egads.  I think the best option is local; I get as much produce from the farmer’s market as possible.  After that, I get organic when affordable.  Some organics are priced similarly to conventionals, while others are a bit outrageous (like grapes).  One of the scary things about this article was that it put forward the idea that some pesticides can’t even be scrubbed off of produce — the chemicals actually seep into the entire plant.  Yuck.  As a student constantly on a budget, this is something I worry about.  Do you worry about this? Maybe it’s not worth the worrying.  I do the best  I can.

No workout today!  I read a post on Fitnessista the other day where she mentioned she woke up tired and skipped a morning workout.  So simple (and obvious –duh Caronae) but so brilliant!  I often drag myself out of bed in the morning to get a workout in before the rest of the day takes over.  Today I opted for the sleep.

Early morning wokrout pros:

  • It’s over and done with
  • Energizes me for the rest of my day
  • Cool outside, not too humid
  • Leaves time in the evening to relax
  • I can’t put it off

Late afternoon/evening workout pros:

  • Sleeping in a bit
  • Leisurely breakfast/morning
  • Less likely to be late for work
  • Makes me tired for bed

In my mind, morning workouts work better for me.  The only problem is that I need an inordinate amount of sleep.  It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this.  I’m not one of these 6-7 hours a night people.  I need 8-9 hours if I am going to be functional and energetic during my day.  I’ve been doing well going to bed early, but sometimes I want to be out with my friends.  I think this is something I’ll have to play by ear; some mornings are going to be more inviting than others.

Lots of happy eats today!

Dinner: exactly what I was craving.  Vanilla Almond Butter and raspberry jam with a side of apple slices.  Disordered eating fact: I have a secret fear of eating fruit (as opposed to vegetables) with dinner.  Fruit has more calories and more sugar, obviously, but it is also perfectly good for you.  And I had plenty of veggies with lunch.  Tonight I was really craving an apple so I went for it!  Perfect little side dish.

Notice the little G&B?  Green and Black’s 70% is my go-to dark chocolate.  Never fails.  Creamy but also deeply chocolaty.

Mental Health Note: No therapy this week (L on vacation)!  Makes me a little nervous.  I’ll probably do some journaling tonight, maybe a little bit of stream of consciousness type of stuff.  I need to at least get some thoughts out; sometimes in therapy I just spew and spew and spew.  I’ll miss L’s insights and kindnesses this week.  But that just means I’ll have to come up with my own!  Here’s to being kind to myself!

I’m Fine The Way I Am!

Today’s Happy Note: Boats!  I was going to go kayaking but it was too windy.  Instead I just walked along the river and admired the boats.  Beautiful boats!

Went for two strolls today.  Very windy — I had to walk backwards for a while!  It’s nice to have one day of the week where I don’t do any formal exercise — no yoga class, no run, no lifting weights.  Nothing planned.  Obviously, walking helps clear my head and gives my body a break from more intense activity, but having one relaxing day like this per week also helps me remember that I’m okay the way I am.  About a year ago, I remember telling my former therapist that I knew I would be perfect and finally happy if I lost 5-10 nagging pounds.  She asked me to describe how my life would be different if I lost weight (that doesn’t really need to be lost anyways).  The only thing I could come up with was that I thought men might pay more attention to me.  Um, really Caronae?  Do you really want men to pay attention to you because of the minute details of your body and weight?  Or do you want them to notice how much you know about history or how passionate you are about running and writing or your deeply compassionate personality?

Christina just wrote about this at Eat The Damn Cake. I read the post last night and my walks today helped me internalize what she said and what I do, deep down, believe: I am fine the way I am.  So simple yet so huge.

Weekend brunch/breakfast is and always will be the best meal of the week.  I try to do something I wouldn’t do on a weekday (oatmeal, smoothie, yogurt, cereal).  It’s glorious to sit down in a sunny kitchen with a morning meal that I feel like I’ve actually created and read the newspaper (or blogs).  No rush.  Nowhere to go.

Today I did a cinnamon raisin bread French Toast with apple and peanut butter.

Doesn’t the peanut butter look like it’s making a little blanket over the apples?   Like it’s keeping them warm?  I actually used some peanut butter oil/drippings in the egg batter.  I couldn’t really taste it in the finished product though.

Fun fact: I got a basil plant (!) at the farmer;s market yesterday.  His name is Balthazar Basil and his sister on the windowsill is Fanny Fuschia. If you didn’t know I was weird already, now you know I’m extra weird.  Like, I-name-my-plants-and-make-pretty-signs-for-them weird.  Hey, it was a fun art project!

Basil is my favorite herb.  Least favorite: cilantro.  Although, unlike most cilantro haters, I don’t think that it tastes like soap.  I just don’t like it.

Dinner was fun and easy!  I call it Lazy Girl Tacos.

1 chopped carrot

1/2 head chopped broccoli

1 veggie burger of choice (I used Dr. Praeger’s tex-mex)

1 egg

1 wrap/tortilla (multi grain gives it a nice chewy texture)

Steam vegetables in microwave (you could use other veggies as well) in a few inches of water for two minutes.  Remove and drain excess water.  Add veggie burger and egg.  Cook entire mixture for another minute.  Remove and break up burger and mix entire mixture thoroughly.  Heat one more minute.  Remove and place on tortilla.  Consume.

Not sure why this works so well given the five random ingredients, but I think it’s amazing.  It really is very taco-like!

Dessert #1

TLC (Oreo and peanut butter flavors).  Light and pillowy.  Makes me feel like I’m eating a cloud!

Dessert #2 (just wanted a tiny something before blogging/bed).

It is one of my core beliefs that you can never have too much peanut butter and chocolate.  They’re a woman’s best friend.

Hoping to squeeze in a CP run tomorrow morning — I haven’t run the main loop in a few weeks!  Tomorrow is a very busy day and I’m hormonal.  Let’s hope I don’t get too crazy and bite someone’s head off.  So much for the “compassionate personality” I mentioned above.  Oh, and my L is on vacation this week.  Hopefully I’ll survive.

Do you feel like there is something wrong with your body the way it is?  Or have you learned to let go and just be at peace with things? I think that, for individuals who are not dangerously overweight or having health problems related to lifestyle, it is actually healthier to just accept ourselves.  I have expended so much mental energy hating myself.  Now, I put that energy towards doing things I like!

Goodnight and have a fabulous Monday!

Important Discoveries: Food Edition

Today’s Happy Note: I try to avoid making food my happy note, but today was a very grumpy day and not much else seemed joyful.  So I’m gonna go ahead and say that my frozen yogurt (cookies and cream/vanilla) with chocolate chips made me happy.  TLC is better though.

Gak!  I wanted to post last night, but discovered that the internet at my new apartment is not yet functional.  I’m going to get a new router tonight so hopefully that will solve things (by the way — I discovered that this is what I needed after talking, for free, with an agent at geeksquad online — it was incredibly helpful!).

I flew back to NY yesterday.  I can’t decide to say whether I “flew home” or “left home”.  Weird.

Plane lunch and snacks!

Shrimp/garlic hummus/spinach sammy on seedy whole grain bread.  This combo was a wise choice indeed.  I am in love with garlic hummus but am afraid to bring it in lunches for fear that my breath would smell.  But seeing as I was on a plane where I knew no one, I went for it. 🙂

Other snacks: orange pepper strips, apple, peanuts, cinnamon roll larabar, cashews in the evening.

Always, always, always plan ahead for travel! You can save money, eat healthfully, and enjoy your food when you do this.  For most flights, I recommend packing a variety of snacks and a sandwich.  Portable and convenient.  I wrapped my sammy in cling wrap and then put it in a plastic bag.  Travel is the one time when I am not nice to the environment with my lunch — tupperware just doesn’t cut it.  Ideal travel snacks: cut up fruits and veggies, granola bars, trail mix, plain cereal, sandwiches, etc.  FYI: don’t bring yogurt.  It is, apparently, a gel — I’ve had it taken away before.  Another thing I like to do is bring my own water bottle (EMPTY) and then fill it from a drinking fountain when I get through security.  No overpriced plastic bottles for me!

What are your favorite travel snacks?

When I got to the new apartment, I did some unpacking and then faced the grocery store monster (I was tired).  Thankfully, WF was not crowded (the one on the UWS almost never is) and it wasn’t so bad.  I got a tasty, easy dinner there as well:

Delish.  Serious question: has anyone ever spent less than $10 at the WF hot/cold/salad bars?  Is it possible? I figured I needed a treat after all that travelling (which, by the way, I totally count as exercise.  Especially when getting lost on the E train and having to walk everywhere with my heavy suitcase.  Dear JFK airport, YOU ARE THE WORST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD.  And this girl has done her fair share of travelling).

This morning I got up bright and early.  Okay, well it was actually seven.  I know some bloggers get up at 5 or 6 to exercise.  I have no idea how they make it through the work day.

I ran a decent five miles along the river.  It’s fun planning out new routes and paths from my new place — it’s less than a mile from my dorm, but the perspective and mileage is totally different!  I like switching things up like that once in a while 🙂

Today’s eating discoveries:

I made a major discovery at breakfast: you CAN cook instant oats (from a packet) on the stovetop!  And they get thick like regular oats.  Why would I do this?  Well, normally I am rushed in the morning and hate cooking oats on the stove, but the apartment seems to lack a microwave and I have no intentions of buying one.  Grumph.

Other extremely significant discoveries (seriously, I should become, like, a food reporter or something.  How fun would that be?)…

~Crack wraps taste good un-melted too!

~Frozen yogurt makes me feel better after a terrible day at therapy, everytime!

~Kashi dark mocha almond granola bars are yummy.  I was always afraid to try them because I thought, “a coffee-flavored granola bar, really?  Gross!”  But good thing this is so not the case.  It had that palatable, sweet, chocolaty coffee taste.  Like coffee ice cream.  I like this better than I like their cherry dark chocolate (my former favorite).

~Cooking dinner for yourself, by yourself, day after day, gets a little lonely and boring. 😦  I need a dinner companion!

I had therapy today (instead of Monday since I was travelling).  I think I’ll share my reflections tomorrow because I don’t want this post to be a massive text-monster and I need more time to think.  I just have not had a good month or so with therapy.  It’s frustrating for every session not to go the way I want it.  What’s even more frustrating is that it’s kind of my fault — I basically refuse to talk to my (sweet, kind, understanding) therapist about everything.  It’s very strange.  As soon as I arrive and sit down, I feel angry and sad and stubborn and like I would rather die than tell her anything about my life.  I have no clue why this might be happening but I hope I will get over it very soon.  Anyone have any ideas?

I hope you are all having the most lovely of weeks.  Summer is coming!

Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note: I now have a beautiful temporary tattoo of a dolphin on my left arm.  My life is complete.

Lazy day again!  I did a 30 minute ab/cardio workout video this evening with my mom.  It was called “Envy Abs” and was actually pretty good.  I hadn’t done a lot of the moves before so it was unpredictable.

Adventure Friday:

Kate went on an Adventure Monday here!  So happy my idea is rubbing off.  It really is fun — I always look forward to my adventures throughout the week.

Today’s adventure?  Visiting my best friend from high school and her family’s seven dogs.  There were actually eight there today since an extra dog was visiting.

Eddy (I *think* that’s who this one is) says hello!  He was trying to eat my…

…coconut milk green tea ice cream!  Seeing as today was supposed to be an adventure at all, when we wound up at the grocery store and wandered past the alternative ice cream aisle, I knew it was fate: it was my time to try the coconut milk ice cream.  The verdict?  Pretty tasty, but with a slightly odd aftertaste.  It honestly tasted like a slightly less creamy version of standard green tea ice cream.  I would like to try more of their flavors this summer and will probably eat this one again as well!

I know this was kind of a lame adventure; I didn’t take too many pictures.  But trust me, being climbed on by eight rambunctious dogs is no picnic.  For some reason they all really liked my feet…

I have always been a cat person but I also love dogs.  When I have my own apartment I want to get a cat, since I think it will be easier to take care of.  I really do like dogs though.  I want to name my cat Stanley.  Or Ceaser.  Or Miller.

Are you a cat or a dog person?  Or neither or both?

It’s been raining cats and dogs here today (pun intended) so adventure options were a bit limited.  I desperately wanted to run but it was, quite literally, pouring.  And it’s supposed to tomorrow as well!  At least the plants will be well-watered.

Eats hodgepodge:

Okay so this was a smoothie made with plain yogurt, water, frozen blackberries, ice, and chocolate amazing meal.  It was disgusting.  I didn’t want to waster it so I added loads of stevia to mask the flavor but yeah, it had a distinct, unappealing grassy flavor.  And I actually like grassy flavor — but this was a bit extreme.  I feel like it’s this kind of food that gives health food a bad name.  For your own sake, don’t buy it.

I do, however, love all the Amazing Grass bars!

Frozen fruit in cereal is really delicious.  Crunchy and cold but also smooth, sweet and satisfying.  You should try it!  And yes, that is peanut butter in my bowl.  I am obsessed with peanut butter — I might even call it my favorite food — and will add it to pretty much everything.

Blondie bars with lots of secret ingredients including cherries — the fruit Michigan is most famous for!  With a glass of milk for dipping.  These are being sent to a friend but I had to test one or two for quality control purposes, of course. 🙂

I want to make scones this summer.  A lot.  With fresh berries and warm butter on top. Nom nom nom.

I may have had the most random dinner I’ve ever consumed tonight: a few unpictured bites of steak with a warm apple with cinnamon and pb.  Hey, it was exactly what I wanted!

Lots of links to catch you guys up on!

Averie is giving away Naturally Nutty here.

Ever wanted to know how a vegan ultramarathoner eats? Check out this New York Times article.

I have a reader (hi Xenia!) who writes a sporting goods/sporting events blog called Be In The Game.  Definitely check it out if you need any equipment or are a traditional sports fan!

And finally, a fun Lite Choice contest here!  Their frozen dessert is one of the most delicious I’ve ever had.  Go support TLC!

That’s all for tonight.  Maybe I’ll be more fun tomorrow.  This rain needs to go away!

Carbs, Carbs, Yoga, Macrobiotic

Today’s Happy Note: Going to a restaurant!  Sounds silly, but I hardly ever eat out and tried a most wonderful place with my cousin this evening.

Well hello there friends!  I hope you all had fabulous Friday’s and are ready for the weekend.  Mine wasn’t stellar; too much walking.  I hope my legs aren’t too tired for my ultramarathon tomorrow!  I haven’t mentioned it too much because I wasn’t positive I would do it, but I’m definitely going to try!  Lots of ibuprofen…and carbs.

Speaking of carbs, there have been plenty of them today!

Started the day with some yummy pb and j oats!  Forgot to bring my camera to work so no picture of lunch, but it was two pieces of pizza, a huge cookie, and an apple the size of my head.  Carbs, people.  Carbs.

I hardly ever crave “junk” foods, but today I absolutely had to have some pizza.  I was at an event with free food, but there were only mozzarella sticks and pigs in a blanket.  If I’m going to have an unhealthy treat, it’s going to be one that I really want!  And that pizza had some protein and healthy fats anyways.  And yumminess, of course.  I smeared the giant cookie with almond butter, duh:

The cheese-fest kept me full for over five hours!  Snacked on some trail mix afterwards, then yoga with my cousin at yoga vida.  It was great today.  I walked at least three or four miles throughout the day and the yoga was the perfect ending.  The teacher was fun and creative; we did stuff like tree pose with block’s on our heads and dancer’s standing on blocks, and lots of cool handstand prep.  I LOVE when yoga teacher’s don’t go exactly by the book.  What do you like in a yoga teacher/coach/instructor?

After yoga we went to Souen, a neat macrobiotic restaurant that I have seen many times on someone’s blog, but I don’t know whose!

I had one of the tastiest, simplest meals I’ve had in quite some time.  It was a platter with brown rice, great northern beans, squash, kale, steamed veggies (turnip, carrot) and seaweed (very tasty).

I have a few thoughts about this meal!  First of all, everything worked so well together!  I had it all with a creamy miso-tahini dressing and I was in vegan-food heaven.  I mixed most of it together and it was like a little melting pot of joy.  Secondly, normally I hate rice and kale, but I love them here.  Weird.  I think I am going to give them a try more often.  Oh, and I got to eat it with chopsticks which was super fun!

My cousin had the salmon, above.

I love the macrobiotic concept, although I think many vegans just eat this way in general, so in that sense it’s not “special”.  I would come back to this restaurant in a heartbeat — and I’ll bring friends too!

I have been muncing on dark chocolate and drinking hot cocoa since I got back.  I might still be hungry.

I’m definitely nervous about tomorrow, but knowing that I’ve done it once before helps.  I can do this!  Wish me luck, and see you with the (painful but awesome) details tomorrow evening!

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