All Grown Up

Today’s Happy Note: An excursion to the new Trader Joe’s in Chelsea!  It was awesome; spacious and calm and totally the opposite of the Union Square Trader Joe’s.  Not frenetic and crazed.  Loved it.

Pretty good day.  Busy but not overwhelmingly so — those are my favorite kind of days.  I won’t lie though: I may be 20 years old, a senior in college, and holding down two “real” jobs, but there are moments when I wish I was twelve again, reading in my backyard and running through the sprinkler all summer long.  I used to have the house all to myself everyday of summer from when I was about twelve on.  I would make brownies, reread the whole Harry Potter series, and dance outside when it rained.

I kinda want that back.  Being an adult is hard.

Today started with a brunch for Second Job, which ended yesterday.  I feel really sad about it actually.  Organizing and overseeing within the framework of a non-profit has been something I have truly fallen in love with.  My students are my babies, my coworkers are heroic.

Also: I love huevos rancheros.

Cookie the size of my head.

That is oats topped with chocolate and peanut butter.  I know many bloggers have said this before so it kinda isn’t original but: PB and chocolate is my favorite food combination in the entire world. No questions asked.

Other favorite food combinations: hummus and cheddar cheese, carrots and almond butter, mango and coconut, salmon and asparagus.

Your favorite food combos?

I ended the day with a nice little workout: 20 minutes of arm strength and a 6 mile run with lots of hills.  Currently watching movies, snuggling in bed, and thinking of fun things to do this weekend.  Any suggestions?

I need an Adventure!  This is my first free weekend in a while.

What are your plans?

Therapy Thoughts, Sluggish Running, BYOV

Today’s Happy Note: Blogging from the NYPL.  How did I not know this place was beautiful.  In general, I adore libraries.  I have always been drawn to their calm, quiet, but also quirky and smart nature.

That said, the fact that I’m blogging from here means no internet at the apartment yet…but I do have a very nice new colleague who is coming to help me tomorrow!  If that doesn’t work, I might cry. 😦

Onto healthier things!

I have always considered hobbies and passions a major part of a healthy lifestyle.  For many people, hobbies keep them active (dancing, walking, swimming, playing with friends).  My favorite active hobbies are climbing trees (although I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble if I do that in city parks), swimming, walking with friends, and exploring new places in any way possible.  I think yoga, strength, and running are more passions for me.  Whatever.  What I wanted to say is that I have other hobbies too!  Writing, drawing, taking pictures, blogging, planting things, baking, collecting bird pins, studying birds and trees, and READING.  Seeing as I’m in a library right now, I’m going to talk about that last one.

Hobbies keep me healthy because they keep me sane.  No amount of running or working out or eating delicious healthy things can be perfect.  They help keep me sane, calm, and focused, but I need other things that aren’t as explicitly related to my health.  Things that are pure fun.  I think words and pages and lyricism is fun.  So I’m going to do a little feature for the summer called “Caronae’s Shelf.” Every week, I’ll tell you what’s on my metaphorical shelf!  I would love to hear what you guys are reading too.  We can have a mini virtual book club!  Sometimes I might share thoughts, sometimes not.  If you don’t like books, I’d love to ehar about anything else you like to do that keeps you happy, healthy, and sane!

Week of 05/23:

1. Women, Food, and God (by Geneen Roth): Interesting.  I recommend it.  It isn’t necessarily the most straightforward book (there is no precise plan of action), but that’s kind of the point.  I feel like I absorbed a lot of things that made me question my relationship with food and God, and that’s definitely a good thing.  I believe in questioning ourselves and our beliefs.  It helps us grow.

Source

2. 50 Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Food (by Susan Albers)

My response to this just turned into my Therapy Thoughts for the week…

So far this has been really wonderful.  It is geared toward emotional and stress eaters, which I sometimes am, but the tips and discussions are helpful to anyone who is often anxious and unsettled.  I had no idea, but as I was reading,  I realized I have virtually no ways of soothing myself .  I didn’t realize that other people did!  I want to talk to my therapist about this.  I think part of the problem yesterday (I ended up sobbing and feeling unresolved and angry) was that I felt overwhelmed going into the session, and as I began feeling and talking about (reluctantly) some painful things, I had no way of soothing myself.  Isn’t that a beautiful word?  Just the sound “soothing” makes me feel calmer.  I think that going forward, therapy will be easier if I actively work to soother myself when I start feeling or talking about difficult things.  I actually am glad that yesterday seemed to go so badly and that I borrowed this book from my therapist because it led me to this realization.  My therapist has always told me to “be” with my feelings and I always felt like “well, I am!”  But it was never comfortable.  Then she would tell me not to judge myself and to just relax, but it never clicked.  Now it’s clicked and it feels so liberating.  I was always wildly upset when feeling painful things, which, since that was most of the time (both in therapy and in my life), meant that I was often deeply uncomfortable and unsettled.  Sometimes just focusing on my breathing or holding my baby duck Leland or naming different things that I sense around me (“I see pollen on those yellow flowers”, “I feel how soft my sheets are on the bare skin of my back”) makes me feel soothed and calmer.  When I feel calmer, I can deal with things and, eventually, be okay talking about them.  This sounds so simple but it has, apparently, taken me over a year of therapy (eight months with my current therapist) to figure it out!

The biggest thing I got out of yesterday was how upset I feel when I feel lonely.  That’s the place where the upset-ness was coming from.  It brings me back to feeling like no one wants to play with me, and that is one of the worst feelings in the world.  People do want to play with me though!  My friends, my sister, my new co-workers at the non-profit (who I really like, by the way), blog friends.  There are plenty of people to play with.  I know this, and when I do find myself alone, I need not worry so much.  People do like me.

3. Unaccustomed Earth (by Jhumpa Lahiri): excited about this; haven’t read any good short stories or fiction in a while.

That’s this week’s edition of  “Caronae’s Shelf”.  What’s on your shelf?

I did another simple five miler this morning.  This time with ten minutes of abs thrown into the middle (done in some very itchy grass in CP that was in need of some serious mowing).  I felt sluggish again.  It wasn’t painful, but it was slow and groggy.  I don’t know why I feel this way on my runs lately.  I’ll probably run again tomorrow and then do something else on Friday.  I need the running blues to go away.  I like running!

Eats hodgepodge:

I have been craving ice and frozen fruit so badly this week.  I cannot stop.  I had sorbet and frozen mango for dinner last night and about two more servings of frozen fruit (berries and mango) with breakfast today.  I seriously crave it.  Like, when I think about ice, I begin to salivate like other people would over cookies.  I want to chew the ice and the frozen fruit.  And yes, I know it’s bad for my teeth.  I asked my dad what this might mean (I suspected it represents some sort of nutrient deficiency) and he said that a lot of women with iron-deficient based pica crave ice to chew on.  I think maybe I should get my blood tested.  Has this happened to any of you? I have not had a lot of red meat at all lately.  Usually I have it once a week.  I told my dad that I eat my weight in spinach and other iron-rich dark green leafy veggies daily and he told me something interesting: many times, plant-based iron is barely absorbed by our bodies or not absorbed at all.  This is very scary and I did not know that at all!  He is an extremely good doctor who is not biased against vegetarians or vegans at all.  Have you guys ever heard this?  Do you get your iron levels checked?

I had a seven hour meeting this afternoon/evening.  No joke.  Seven hours of presentations and materials and dialogue.  It was important stuff though!

I wasn’t sure what food would be served so I BYOV — brought my own veggies!  This was a good idea as there wasn’t much produce.  I feel better when I eat plenty of fresh produce and I don’t feel weird bringing my own at this point.  That giant container of carrot and asparagus lasted me through lunch and dinner!

Snack was this bar and half a small chocolate chip cookie.

They actually had really high quality pizza for dinner with fresh, yummy sauce.  Yes, I hate tomatoes.  And yes, I like pizza sauce (and ketchup).  Do not ask me why.  I was hangry and had another slice.

I might have more frozen fruit and/or a brownie for dessert.

Because I don’t have Internet at the apartment and, well, I mostly have to do work at work, I haven’t been reading or commenting very much.  I promise I still love you all and will catch up as soon as the Internet is fixed!

I miss you all already!  What’s happening in your life?


Adventure Friday

Today’s Happy Note:  I got housing for next year!  Yay!  I wasn’t guaranteed housing because I took a semester off so this was very good news.

More good news? Fifteen page paper #1 is done!  More on that under “Adventure Friday” section (trust me, it was quite the adventure).

Exercise: I did 7.5 easy miles yesterday morning and 5 tonight.  I have never tried doing HIIT for an outdoor run before, but it worked pretty well!  I did a mile warm-up then about two miles with 10 x 1 minute all out sprinkled in.  I then ran another two miles to the gym for weights.  I pretty much just did a full body workout today.  I have gotten a lot better at dips (on the assist machine) and can now do twice as many as when I started buckling down on strength after the NYC half-marathon.

Funny story: It turns out that the mega-strong guys who seem to be able to effortlessly lift hundreds of pounds are actually quite sweet!  I have noticed that they are always very respectful of me in the weight room, which I would estimate is usually about 95-98% male.  They always offer to let me work in with them and they don’t stare at me.  Today, I was doing this one arm exercise thingy (wow, I am really knowledgeable about weight lifting terminology) with a 15 pound dumbbell.  This is pretty much the heaviest dumbbell I am ever capable of using.  There were a bunch of un-racked weights on the floor around me, including a set of 30 pounders, which I clearly wasn’t using.  But this very strong looking guy came up and politely asked me if I was using them or if he could use them!  It was kind of sexy actually, I won’t lie.  I mean what could be wrong with men who are simultaneously strong and powerful and sweet and kind?  Nothing, me thinks.

Eats: Finals time means easily eatable eats!  I am finding simple ways of getting in lots of produce, like veg/fruit bowls, pre-made salads from the cafe (expensive, but worth it for the moment), smoothies, and stir-fries.  Anyone have any awesome tips for getting in plenty of produce on a super tight schedule (and a budget)?

Couldn’t forget cookie Friday 🙂  See this post from Tina for some lovely cookies, including mine from last week!

I heart smoothie froth!  I’m debating whether or not I should buy a box of cereal or two for the upcoming week.  I tend to go overboard with cereal so I don’t usually keep it around, but I know that between studying, paper writing, regular activities, etc. I’m going to be very pressed for time and cereal is an easy, decent meal solution. I can add fruit and nuts to increase the nutritionals or make an on-the-go trail mix.  Cereal is such an easy food, but I don’t want my diet to be, well, cereal for the next two weeks.  Decision, decisions…

Fun Caronae Fact: I am one of the most indecisive people the world has ever seen.  I could never ever run a company or teach a class.  I can’t even decide what to order in restaurants.

Adventure Friday!

Today’s (and yesterday’s) adventure may not have involved leaving the room, but it was quite interesting!  I am taking a class on the Arabian Nights (aka One Thousand and One Nights) and Islam and had to write a 15 page final paper on anything that had to do with those two things.  I absolutely adore books — I consider them to be one of my best friends.  Give me a giant pile of books to dive into and I will be one happy clam.  But don’t make me eat the clam because I’m allergic.  And the Arabian Nights are absolutely fascinating!  The real version is not the picture book version you heard as a child.  The stories are full of scandal, beauty, imagery, sex, thievery, transgressions, passion, and food.  They are, quite simply, a delight.  While we have been reading various stories and interpretations all semester, I really got into yesterday and today.  Not to be cheesy, but it felt like I had my own little magic carpet taking me all around the world!

Book pile:

Sticky notes=easy quote finding!  Paper is all done:

I could go on and on about books and words.  They’re such good friends, in a very real way, I think.  They absolutely constitute an adventure for me.  I love libraries, archives (I work in one!), bookstores, journals, old pages, letters, inky pens.  I love it all.  Sometimes when I’m lonely I start reading a book and the moments in that book, whether happy or sad, bright or gloomy, take me to a different place and remind me that there are different times in life: sometimes I will experience love, sometimes loss.  Ultimately, I will find other humans with whom to connect, on the page at the very least.  I’m currently reading Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens and The Arabs: A History (for class but quite spectacular).

Some of the books that have changed my life:

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Pablo Neruda’s Selected Poems

Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

Harry Potter series (no, I’m not joking)

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime And Punishment

Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece

What are some of your favorite books?  Do you feel the same way about them as I do or am I just a total weirdo?

Happy happy weekend!

PS — wordpress changed their main dashboard, it seems, and I am VERY confused.  Can’t figure out how to add tags or how to publish, although I suppose that by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably have figured that one out…

Adventure Friday, Groceries, Exercise: What The Cool College Kids Are Doing

Today’s Happy Note: I was productive!  Crammed a lot into the day (all things I wanted to be doing) which always feels good!

I’m dead tired right now (see happy note).  But I do have some fun things to share with you all before I pass out.  At 11:00.  On a Friday night.   I know, I am a really really cool college student. Oh, and warning: this post is very wordy.  Read at your own peril.

Exercise: I definitely overdid it on the physical activity today,but it was unintentional.  It’s strange to me how people can be sedentary when there are so many thing to do!  Although I am spoiled by New York, I will admit.  Anyways, I hit up the gym this morning for some strength training (40 minutes of hard work!) and HIIT (30 minutes on the elliptical, also hard work!)

I probably walked about a mile in the morning and early afternoon just moving between buildings.  After work, it was time for one of my most favorite activities, grocery shopping!  This is another thing that all the cool college students are doing nowadays. Getting excited about buying romaine and english cucumbers and dried mango and almond butter.  Seriously, why do people even need parties?

I ended up walking pretty far with the grocery bags — unintentional arm workout #2.  As soon as I was back from a very active grocery trip it was time to head out the door to yoga!  My cousin and I have a standing Friday night date at yoga.  It’s really fun!  Although she’ll be gone for a few weeks and i don’t have a yoga buddy. 😦  Anyone want to join me?

It was just the two of us and a very hot teacher.  I won’t lie, I have trouble concentrating on the yoga when the teacher is a super attractive, young male.  It’s just hard, ya know?  And I am totally not one of those girls who giggles over every boy she sees.  At all.  AND he was an amazing teacher.  He taught me a few new poses, helped us align/adjust, and gave super-duper massages.  The class was killer though!  If I would have just gone to this and that would have been my only movement all day, I’d have been wiped!

After that I made grocery run #2 to Trader Joe’s.  It was pouring rain and chilly, but I was already near Union Square and wasn’t going to waste the Subway fare to come back down again later!  I ended up walking with my new groceries pretty far again and probably walked another mile or two.  Unintentional arm workout #3.  Seriously, my arms are dead just typing right now.  I hope I’m alive tomorrow.

Wow that was an epic day of exercise.  Do you guys ever have days like that where you are just go go go and you end up moving  A LOT?

Friday Adventures!

I know Janetha (and other bloggers too!) does a little post called Flashback Fridays.  I always want to do it but can never think of what to write!  But then I realized, as I was having a little adventure this afternoon, that this is a very exciting time in my life filled with so many fun and amazing activities, encounters, and experiences.  I can never remember anything fun from the past to write about so why not do an Adventure Friday instead?  Feel free to share your adventures in the comments or to do your own post about it!

Seeing as it was Cookie Friday, per Tina, I decided to make a little Cookie Friday/Adventure Friday fusion quest.  Wow.  Cool college student.  Again.  So cool.  Ada told me about a yummy bakery called Levain last week, so I headed out this afternoon in search of their famous cookies.

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a tiny, adorable little storefront.  It was on a side street, but the line was still out the door.  Don’t worry though, it moved quickly, and I did not experience any cookie hunger pangs.  They only offer four flavors in an effort to keep everything simple, clean, and tasty.  And they most certainly succeed in this.  After much deliberation I settled on the chocolate chip walnut.

Oh.  Dear.  Lord.  It is a good place this bakery is more located two miles from me.  This cookie is abut the size of your entire hand and more than two times as thick, kind of like a scone.  I have no idea how they managed to achieve a gooey, warm center and a perfectly golden, gently crisp outside with such a seriously thick cookie.  But they did.  I don’t think I have ever encountered so many fillings in a cookie either, including those that I have made (and I tend to be rather heavy handed with the add-ins).  There was, like, a pound of walnuts and chocolate chips in there.  Each.  I can’t think of any cookie I have ever had in my life that was better than this.  It’s possible that there has been one that I don’t recall.  But this is now my number one.  There is just one minor problem…

It was $4.00!  I do not now, nor will I ever, I suspect, have room for $4.00 cookies in my budget.  I was willing to buy one and try it once but, unless I win the lottery or someone buys me one of their cookies, I will not be going back.  You heard me Levain: your cookies are exorbitantly priced.  I know this is true because there were SO many customers there; clearly they were raising the price because the demand is so high.  I guarantee that these cookies do not have $4.00 worth of ingredients in them.  So they have lost one customer, despite their deliciousness.

Okay so that was really only part I of the adventure…

I went to Whole Foods for groceries afterwards and there was a certain special someone in their normal sample area.  A special someone, you ask?  Who?  Well I’ll tell you who…

A vita-mix salesperson.  And boxes and boxes of vita-mixes.  I chatted him up for a good fifteen minutes and tried to explain how desperate I am for a vita-mix.  He basically laughed in my face.  Apparently vita-mix is a very elitist appliance.  But one that I covet, nonetheless.  I stared at them for another several minutes and then almost burst into tears.  I am not exaggerating; at certain times of the month I get weirdly emotionally vulnerable, so it’s not entirely my fault.  But as I was walking away from the vita-mixes, I almost cried.  I teared up.  It was that sad.  Okay, at this point it has become clear to me that I am probably one of the weirdest college students on the entire planet. But I’m okay with that!  Being a little weird never killed anybody.

I am making a promise to myself: when I graduate from school and have a full time, and hopefully well-paying, job, this will be my very first big purchase.  For myself.  A vita-mix.  I do not want a fancy dress or a designer bag or a trip to a spa.  I.  Want.  A.  Vita-mix.  And I will save every last penny and buy the damn thing for myself!

Although I have eaten many yummy things today, including new TJ’s finds, I think that’s enough for now!

Lots to do tomorrow!  I like busy days 🙂

Happy weeeekkkkkeeeennndddd!

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!