I Like Schedules

Today’s Happy Note: Doing nothing tonight!  Well, technically I could be reading a few things for one class tomorrow, but I’ll just read them in the morning and during my first lecture.  I wanted a night off 🙂

I couldn’t go sans peanut butter for the day!  I made a quick trip to the store for “essentials”: spinach, bell pepper, bananas, and crunchy peanut butter!

I had some different (for me) eats today so I’ll share, if you don’t mind!

Breakfast: chobani pommegranate yogurt with a handful of (very tart) dried cherries and a clif mojo peanut butter bar!

I was a busy bee today!  When I look back at the day it doesn’t feel like there are so many components, but I like to include EVERYTHING on my schedule.  If I don’t know what I have to do, I’ll feel overwhelmed.  Plus, I feel extra accomplished when everything is done.  I don’t usually write out a schedule unless I have a massive amount to get done, but I always make a schedule for myself in my head.

Here’s what today’s breakdown was:

8:30 — wake up, shower, get backpack ready

9:15 — breakfast, studying, check email(s)

10:50 head to first class

11-12:50 human rights class

12:50-1:00 walk back to room

1:00 — make lunch, check email(s)

1:10-2:00 — eat lunch and read Freud for next class

2:00 walk to class

2:10-4:00 contemporary civilization class, hand in paper

4:10-6:00 prose writing class (eat snack in middle of class)

6:00- head to gym

6:15-7:30 workout (45 minutes weights, 30 minutes cardio)

7:30 shower and dress, head back to room

8:00-dinner and relaxation time!

10:00-dessert and blog

10:30-watch tv, pick up room, plan out schedule for tomorrow, double check readings/assignments/papers/school stuff

11:00 teeth brushing, crossword/sudoku puzzle, bedtime!

What are your days like? I love routines and patterns and used to think this made me a total weirdo, but now I’ve realized that, for the most part I use them in a healthy way.  Having a schedule helps me stay productive and feel accomplished; I tend to be lazy without one.  But I also know that if, say, I want to wake up an hour later than usual (which I did today) and do an evening workout instead of a morning workout, that’s perfectly fine.  If I want two afternoon snacks and a late dinner time so I can visit with friends, that’s also okay.

Are you a schedule/planning person or do you just go where your day (or week) takes you?  Am I weird about this?

According to my schedule, I had lunch right on time, around 1:15.

Lunch: carrot slice pile, peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat cinnamon bread (very delicious).

Afternoon snack: Berry Amazing Grass Bar. This was my first time trying this bar (it was on sale a few weeks ago) and it was really good!  It didn’t taste grassy at all; I also like the chocolate pb and chocolate flavors.  It only held me over for three hours though, and I started getting hungry during my workout.  I prefer an afternoon snack to keep me satisfied for four-ish hours.

Dinner: 1.5 servings (half a can) of pinto beans with broccoli and carrots, topped with about a half serving of cottage cheese and a dash of salt, giant side salad with spinach, romaine, 1/3-ish avocado, 1 tbsp Annie’s Goddess dressing.

Dessert: two large unpictured squares of dark chocolate and a “smoothie” — I mixed about a quarter cup of skim milk in the blender with a heaping tablespoon pb, a tablespoon cocoa powder, a packet stevia, and a little maple syrup.  This was a really good combination!  Random, but definitely nomable.  A big smoothie with a lot of volume would have been nice, but I have no frozen fruit, ice, or gums, sadly. 😦

I think that’s everything!

Workout: 45 minutes of strength followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical.  The strength was awesome!  I did a ton of arm, chest, and back exercise (everything from bicep curl to overhead presses to pull-ups, dips, and tricep kickbacks), interspersed with a few ab and leg moves to break things up.  Anybody have a favorite arm move? I was looking forward to HIIT for cardio (I’m loving how great it makes me feel), but I had a headache (hormonal, not serious) and going fast didn’t feel good, but just doing steady-state cardio felt fine.  I played around with the resistance for 30 minutes; it felt like a decent workout.  No, I was not pushing myself too hard — when I get these headaches, there are only two things that help: insane amounts of water and gentle exercise.

Happy Wednesday night 🙂

Edit: Just went back for a few more snacks!  A square of toffee chocolate, a few almonds, a small forkful of PB, and an orange; maybe I didn’t  eat enough earlier today?

Good Old Sunday Exercise and Eats

Today’s Happy Note:

This is a black cherry steaz bottle cap.  My last one said “I am powerful.”  I think they’re kind of great, and they make me feel happy and strong and unique.  What more could I ask of a bottle cap?  Thank you, steaz!

Workout:

I listened to my body today and she said she did not want to run.  So I didn’t!  I headed to the gym and did 25 minutes of serious weight lifting followed by 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training on the elliptical.  I first heard about HIIT a few years ago and then was inspired to try it by Janetha.  Basically, HIIT involves a brief warm-up followed by 15-20 minutes of intervals that alternate from easy to, well, high intensity.  Pretty self-explanatory.  You can vary the ratio of hard to easy depending on how you feel; wikipedia suggests 2:1, I have seen 4:1, and currently, I’m at 1:1.  I would do a minute relatively easy (think “jogging” pace) followed by a minute of everything I’ve got.  I kept this up for 20 minutes, followed by a five minute cool-down.

This sounds easy, and the concept certainly is, but let me tell you it is KILLER.  The sprints make it feel like a great workout (and it is) in a small amount of time.  It is, I believe, supposed to burn more fat and be good for anaerobic capacity.

I like to do supersets when I strength train.  This means I pick a group of four to five exercises, and I rotate through them.  So round one consists of, for example:

Superset 1:

12 captain’s chair crunches

6 pull-ups (I can only do 6, even with plenty of assistance)

12 V-ups

12 real-delt rows

I then rotate through the set three times.  I like to alternate arms, abs, and legs so that each muscle group gets a little rest but then has to work again.  I am not sure how scientific this is, but it works for me.  I usually do 3-5 supersets like the one above.

After my power hour at the gym I went to a yoga class at The Shala.  I wasn’t trying to be exercise-obsessive; this is the only time of week for the donation-based (read: inexpensive) class and I like to take advantage of my weekends to do actual yoga classes.  By the end of class, I was exhausted.  After lunch  I took a nice long nap instead of being productive. 🙂

I saw this wonderfully concise and truthful quote in Oprah magazine today and wanted to share with you guys:

“Exercise should be a habit, like brushing your teeth.  It wouldn’t cross your mind not to brush your teeth, and physical activity should be viewed the same way.” – Bob Greene (Oprah’s trainer)

For me, and probably for many of you guys, this is obvious.  Whether it’s twenty minutes on the yoga mat, playing in the ocean with friends, or a marathon; we get it.  But not everyone approaches physical activity this way.  I like to think of my exercise time — my 30-120 minutes a day, typically — as primal: the urge to move feels incredibly natural and human to me.  I think that deep down, this is true for most people, it’s just that many Americans have gotten out of touch with this.  Sometimes my friends question my dedication to running or yoga or laugh when they see me doing a half hour workout dvd.  But my body and mind need this time.  When I exercise, I actually end up having more energy, I’m happier, and, I think, kinder.  It really is like brushing my teeth.  Outside of the occasional rest day, I couldn’t not do it.

How do you guys feel about this?  Is this approach obsessive or just natural?  Do you feel better when movement is a part of your daily routine?

Eats:

I have been consciously trying to eat every three to four hours, and to include plenty of protein and fats.  And I’ve been feeling more satisfied!  Go me!

This is Three Sister’s Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with a half a serving of Tera’s Whey vanilla protein powder (which was not gritty and tasted nice and creamy!  Yay!).  I can’t wait to try the rest of their oatmeal varieties.  I am really liking this company so far, go check them out!

This was one of the best weekend brunches ever.  Well okay, it was three o’clock so I don’t know if that’s really brunching hour.  But whatever.  Two eggs, white cheddar, and spinach on whole grain bread, broiled for five minutes (I have no toaster and the broiler is a decent substitute).  Three large carrots sliced up with two tablespoons Justin’s maple almond butter.  This meal was mountains of delicious.

Dinner: veggie stir fry (swiss chard, peppers, baby bella mushrooms cooked in coconut oil), steak, and hummus.  With steaz on the side, of course.  I marinated this steak overnight in maple syrup, soy sauce, and ginger.  Um, YUM!  This was a bottom round cut from the farmer’s market.  It is a tougher cut so the texture was a bit chewy (I also overcooked it a bit), but the flavor was wonderful.  I won’t lie: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love red meat.  This is not something that I would ever skip out on.  I also believe that meat can be a healthy part of a plant-rich diet, for many people.  That’s my meat philosophy in a nutshell!  Agree or disagree?  Or do you just not like meat? Regardless, I respect everyone’s individual dietary choices; I promise I’m not judging you. 🙂

Triple chocolate hot cocoa.  Dessert is my favorite part of the day!

Minus three ginger cat cookies (tiny) and a similarly small square of cherry dark chocolate, I think that’s everything I’ve eaten for the day!  I’ll probably do full day eats once or twice a week, since I like to have a visual record, but don’t want to bore you.

The end!

Have an excellent week!  Make sure to smile and think positive; this will improve everything, I promise.

BSI Carrot Omelet!

Daily Creativity: See fun new recipe below!

Run: I did manage to drag myself out of bed this morning and the first few miles of my run were going swimmingly.  But then I had to go to the bathroom and only found one after going way farther South than I had intended.  By the time I went in the building, used the bathroom, and got back out, I realized I would be late for class if I ran all the way back.  Crap.  I went into the nearest subway station and tried to talk the MTA attendant into letting me in.  No luck.  She was really rude about it too.  What if I had been lost and didn’t know how to get back home?  Grrrr.  I booked it home, speed showered, got breakfast to go from the bagel place, and made it to class only five minutes late.   Not so terrible I guess.

My leggies were tired and sluggish today, but I think I maintained a decent 10-ish minute pace per mile.  Except on the uphills.  Those weren’t pretty.  But we won’t talk about that, now will we?  I managed to get in 7 miles in about 70 minutes.  Hopefully my legs will pull through for a little speed work tomorrow (which should have been today but I knew within the first mile of my run that my legs were not going fast this morning.  No sir).  I started feeling really tight in my hamstrings toward the end of the run and now I have this funky knot in the back of my right leg.  No amount of stretching or massaging has helped.  Suggestions for hamstring soothing?

Food: I have never done Blogger Secret Ingredient before, but when I heard that Joanne was hosting this week and the ingredient was carrots, I knew I had to step it up.  I wanted something unique but also relatively simple, with lots of individual flavors that came together to make a fun, interesting dish.  I wanted it to involve sweet and savory flavors.  I think I have achieved all of those things with this baby; it’s one of my best recipes ever and I am a very proud mama.  Feel free to try it and let me know what you think!

Introducing…

Sweet and Savory Carrot-Apple-Sweet Potato Omelet!

1 small sweet crunchy apple (I used golden delicious)

2 small/medium sized carrots, w ashed and peeled

1/2 medium sweet potato, washed

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coconut oil

2 eggs

1-2 tbsp white cheddar, shaved or grated

1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

1. Dice carrots and sweet potato.  Here’s how I did so:

2. Cut tablespoon of butter into smaller pieces and add to a non-stick skillet.  Heat on medium-high.  While it melts, dice up the apple.

3. Add carrot-apple-sweet potato mixture to skillet.  Use spatula-type utensil to stir frequently.  Add in spices (salt and cinnamon) and make sure that the mixture gets relatively evenly coated.   Continue to sautee the mixture for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are cooked through (the sweet potatoes should be just fork-tender).

4.  While veggies are sauteeing, grate (or in my case finely chop, if you have no grater) cheese.

5. Set cheese aside and crack two eggs into a bowl.  Whisk until thoroughly scrambled (use a fork if you don’t have a whisk).

My egg totally looks like it has a pirate hat.  Awesome!

6. Remove cooked veggies from pan and set aside in a bowl.  Switch pan to a different, not hot burner!  Let it cool while you measure out your coconut oil.

Melt coconut oil in pan.  When it has melted, add in scrambled eggs.  Cook them SLOW AND LOW.  Medium-low or medium heat works best!  When eggs appear almost cooked through, toss cheese on top.

7. Cook egg/cheese mixture another few minutes until eggs are cooked through.  Take as much of the veggie mixture as you can and pile it high on half the eggs (i.e., pick one side).  I used about two-thirds of the mix and will have the rest as leftovers later on this week.  Immediately use spatula to flip other half of eggs over and press it down onto the veggie mixture.  The melty cheese should help it stay in place.  This should just take another minute or two.

8. Transfer omelet to plate and drizzle with maple syrup.

9. Consume.

The carrots, sweet potato, apple, cinnamon, and maple syrup make this dish perfectly sweet, while the eggs, cheese, salt, and butter make it subtly savory.  This, my friends, is a most wonderful meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.  You might be seeing this in my future.  Um, like, a lot.

Have you ever done BSI?  What’s your favorite way to eat carrots?

Pray that I survive my Contemporary Civilization midterm tomorrow.  I cannot seem to keep Hume, Rousseau, Kant, etc. straight.  They’re all so painfully similar.

Long Run Sunday, Brunch, And Bison

Today’s Mini Goal: Call or email a friend I haven’t talked to in a while.  I always feel better when I keep in touch with the people I love; it makes me happy!

I had a happy little Sunday!  I hope you did too!

Started with a looonnngggg run.  I was only supposed to do ten miles but for some reason I could only imagine doing two loops of Central Park, so I made it a 14 miler, with three fast miles (haha, relatively speaking) at the end.  It was cold but still sweaty.  I felt really strong during the second loop; it seemed like I could feel my individual muscles working.  I felt powerful and lean and good!  I was happy about it.

Came back and made an excellent weekend brunch.  Weekend brunch is the best meal ever.  What’s your favorite thing to make on weekends?

I sauteed two slices of walnut raisin bread in coconut oil.  The oil gave it the perfect coconutty flavor.  I heated up a chopped pear and half a chopped apple with cinnamon in the microwave.  When the bread was warm and a bit crusty I topped it with the pear, part of a container of coconut yogurt and peanut butter.  Heaven.  In breakfast form.

Yesterday Sophia did a post about a stew that she made that reflects her name and her personality.  I think that my brunch and my dinner today both reflect me!  My brunch was the perfect combination of the familiar and the exotic; a new twist on an old classic.  I like to think I’m a classic woman, but also very unique, although I’m not sure I have proof of this.  The coconut in the breakfast added the perfect amount of sweetness and nuttiness; I’m not overwhelmingly kind or crazy, but they’re definitely there.  And warm fruit with cinnamon is such a delicious, happy thing.  I strive to be happy.  And, of course, everything was smothered in peanut butter, which adds flavor and depth to a meal.  I think I’m substantive, but also light when need be, just like peanut butter.  Yum.

After inhaling this pile of deliciousness I scooted down to Union Square for some more yoga at Yoga Shala; this time with my cousin.  The class wasn’t super challenging, which was just what I needed for today.  Pigeon pose has never felt so good.

Ate more food with my cousin afterwards at a cute vegan cafe.

The rest of the day has been full of lots of reading, nibbling, and a bit of relaxing.  Nibbles ranged from hot chocolate to dried pineapple to this masterpiece:

This, my friends, is a carrot tower and it is officially the most exciting way of eating vegetable in the entire world.  My carrots were jsut sitting on my plate, and although tasty, I wanted something more.  Suddenly, I thought, why not build a carrot cabin?  It turned out more tower-like than cabin-like, but nonetheless, it’s pretty cool. Simply remove carrots (or vegetables of choice) one at a time and dip them in a giant pool of almond butter,

Try not to topple it!

Oops.

If you have kids, or if you’re just a kid-like adult, you should try this.  I haven’t ever had this much fun eating my food, let alone eating healthy food!

My dinner was also special.  I guess today was just a special day of eats!

Salad of random mixed greens and shoots, roasted broccoli and chayote squash, and pan seared bison steak.  Topped with a sauce I made by combining about a tablespoon pumpkin butter and a teaspoon Annie’s  Goddess dressing.  Perfect.  I have nothing else to say about this meal.

Mmmmm.

I was really happy with the “trajectory” of my weekend.  I did a good job of making myself happy through the right combination of time spent with friends, time spent by myself, time spent out of my room, etc.  For me, this tends to be a very delicate balance.  A little too much time alone in my room and I start thinking nobody loves me; too many parties and I feel gross and overwhelmed.   Does anyone else experience a similar problem?  I like to have a rough outline of my weekend and plan a little bit of time with friends, but I also need to be flexible.  This plan seems to work best for me.

How was your weekend?  Any fun runs or events?  What was the best meal?

See you guys tomorrow!

Edited to Add: Oh my God, I think I just lost my beloved jar of honey almond butter.  I have looked everywhere.  I don’t know how I will go on.

Long Run Sundays

Today’s Positive Note: I’m not afraid to try new things.  Weird foods, new people, strange activities.  I like to change things up in life so that I don’t get bored.  This trait has led me to many tasty foodie discoveries.

Today was my longest run since my December injury.  8 miles.  I did 3.5 on my own in Central Park (and the garmin was working happily), and 4.5 with Kath, Dori, Janna, and other KERF readers/bloggers (garmin got angry, froze, and never turned back on.  I think  I need to take her to get fixed…).  I did most of the run at a 9-something pace, which was definitely good for me. 

Kath is just as sweet and funny in person as on the blog!  Thanks Matt for taking pictures.

Came back, made breakfast.  Napped, read.  Lunch was a fun combination: peanut butter, pumpkin butter, and thinly sliced carrots on whole wheat bread!

I made a new blog friend yesterday evening!  Averie, from LoveVeggiesAndYoga.  I think I’m going to try making her vegan dark chocolate peanut butter cups tonight.  Weekends are always great for baking (see Meghann’s post today)!

When you do long runs, you end up having a lot of time to think.  Since I have been doing pretty much nothing thought-worthy the past few days, I started thinking about running.  Some of my thoughts:

~I am up at 7 am on a Sunday in January.  Hardcore.

~Why is it that I can run up hills as fast as I want, but the flat portion at the top is so hard?

~I’m an easily-bored-runner.  Seriously, I have probably run on every street/park.trail/path/sketchy alley in Manhattan.  and some in Brooklyn and The Bronx.   I need new routes.

~Other runners seem to lvoe eating peanut butter with a banana or toast before a run, but I absolutely cannot eat peanut butter before I run.  Bad things happen.

~Why do children in parks clearly see you coming towards them, then deliberately step in your path so that you have to throw yourself out of their way?  Seriously, they seem to enjoy throwing you off like that.

~Dogs run really beautifully.

Ok, enough random running thoughts.  Maybe I’ll post some writing later today.  I’m working on a set of short prose pieces based on colors.  Very interesting! 

What do you like to do on Sunday nights?  I like to bake/read/take baths.  Anything relaxing.

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