I can Move! And Restaurants Galore

Today’s  Happy Note: My dad and my sister are here!  They came to visit me because they were so worried.  I still don’t feel sick but I know I am on the inside.  Kind of an odd feeling.

I inadvertently walked about five miles today — I wasn’t trying to go that far.  It was never more than one to two miles at a time.  It wasn’t a struggle at all.  I wasn’t short of breath and had almost zero chest pain.  I could actually walk quickly without having to gasp for air!  I am NOT pushing myself or anything, it’s just nice to feel like I can move a bit.  I went to a yoga class yesterday and might do a yoga video tomorrow.

I kinda miss  serious cardio — running, stair-climbing, kickboxing, swimming, dancing.  But at the same time.  It is nice to have a break from the gym or the running path.  Not for too long though.  Another week of this and I’ll be bored.  My doctors said I could start exercising as soon as I felt better/within about a week.  Which means I might go for a run this weekend; maybe three or four miles, nothing intense, I promise!  And I’ll stop if I get tired.  I am NOT doing it because I feel like I have to exercise.  I like running: it clears my head and calms me down and gets all my nervous energy out!

In other health news: my INR is not high enough yet which means that my Coumadin dosage is not right.  Grrrr.  It is a very delicate drug that has to be carefully tweaked.  This just means I have to continue on the Lovenox injections a little longer.  I have another blood test on Monday.  I have had so many needles and IVs and shots in my body in the past week that it honestly doesn’t hurt any more.  I used to be quite squeamish and hated needles and now it’s just like “eh, whatever.”  Weird.

I have been able to go to several wonderful restaurants since being out of the hospital!  Which is good.  I need to make up for all that inedible hospital food.  On Saturday I was still feeling quite tired and a little out of it, but I had  already made plans with Joanne and reaaaalllllllyyyy wanted to go.  So I went.  And had one of the best evenings I have had in a while.

We went to The Meatball Shop, a most interesting place.  I was in the mood for some serious red meat, and this satisfied that craving in about two milliseconds.  I loved how the menu was simple and straightforward.  I think single-concept restaurants (i.e., peanut butter  or sliders or squid…well not squid, but you get the point) do well in NYC.  You get to choose your ‘balls, your sauce, a side dish, etc.  The only problem with this type of menu is that if you don’t like one component of the meal, the whole thing could be thrown off.  Good thing I liked it all.  Joanne and I practically licked our plates clean while gossiping about boys (why oh why can’t there be any good ones at our schools?) and other very important things.

I went for the beef meatballs with parmesan cream sauce and a simple salad on the side.  You get to write your order directly onto the laminated menu!  I love fun touches like this.

Delicious  delicious meatballs.  We couldn’t possibly pass on dessert when we saw our options.  Ice cream sandwiches. In which you could choose a cookie  flavor and an ice cream flavor.  We were instantly sold.

Peanut butter cookie and caramel ice cream.  There are no words.  So I’ll stop now, before I turn into a rambling, spewing, meaningless, incoherent…

Next up in my restaurant adventure-ing: Russian Tea Room for restaurant week!  One of the best parts about having my parents around is having my parents pay for things.  I  would never go somewhere for restaurant week on my own.

A real live samovar.  Awesome.

And the food.  Also awesome.

I need more salmon in my life.  I was about to say “I need more chocolate in my life” too, but if I added any more chocolate to my diet, I would pretty much be subsisting on it.  No judgment.

It was a wonderful (albeit expensive) meal.

Have you gone anywhere for restaurant week? It’s pretty fun, I must admit.  Other cool restaurants in the city you’ve been to (and want to tell me about, hint hint)?

Goodnight my friends! Again, thank you for all the love and caring.  You are wonderful. 🙂

Recommitting

Today’s Happy Note: It’s the weekend.  Somehow, four day work weeks always feel especially long.  My body never quite gets into the right rhythm.  I haven’t been this excited about a weekend in a long time.  With that said, I am feeling 95% better and am planning on enjoying this weekend and cramming it full of goodness and such.

The combination of recovering from a serious illness and the unbearable heat/humidity has left me exhausted. If I had to draw a picture of the way I feel right now, it would be a maple tree being tapped for syrup.  Endless syrup would be flowing out of an open gash in the tree until it was sucked dry.   I am the empty tree.

Bad tree metaphors aside (I have a minor obsession), I. Hate. Summer.  I am ready for it to be over.  My favorite season is fall, followed by spring, winter, and summer, at a distant last.  I overslept this morning, was late for work, and was still too drained after work to do anything besides collapse on my bed and sleep for three hours.  I had made plans for a quick run, yoga, and a meet up with a friend. Tired Caronae=Weakling Caronae=Anti-Social Caronae=Frustrated Caronae. Therefore when I am tired like this I end up frustrated.

I can’t even describe to you the amount of guilt I feel after a few days sans exercise.  I walk about two miles every day getting to/from work and doing errands.  But in my mind, it doesn’t “count.”  Regardless of whether it counts, I want to be moving.  It’s a healthy outlet that relieves my frustration.

So I am making a recommitment to my health. Less mindless eating, more fun exercise.  More fresh fruits and veggies (although my digestion is still not back to 100%, so this will happen slowly), less lying on the couch in a half-dead position watching TV.  Pretty simple.  This is NOT an obsessive goal or a calorie-counting goal or even a weight loss goal (although that might be nice since I did gain weight while sick).  This is just me consciously recommitting to the healthy lifestyle that I know I truly enjoy.  I am giving myself guidelines, not rules.  My goal is to have more energy and to feel better about myself.

Guidelines:

  • Water.  Drink it.  A lot.  I have a 32 ounce bottle and would like to get through it at least twice a day.
  • Strength training: 2-3 times a week.  Lifting makes me feel strong and toned and is, quite simply, fun.
  • One exercise class a week: this is a nice way to switch things up.
  • Cardio: 4-6 times a week.
  • Yoga: 1-2 times a week.
  • Positive self-talk (“gee  Caronae, you look great in this dress today!”): infinite times per week.
  • Real meals: no picking.  Sit down and eat the damn meal.  More veggies and real food in the evenings (this is where I really struggle).
  • Take advantage of the weekends: come up with some new, awesome, longer workouts.

So that’s the plan, roughly.  I might add more guidelines as I go along.  We shall see.  If any readers want to join me, that would be fun! It’s always nice to feel like you are doing a challenge with a friend.

Anyone have any recommendations?  I am certainly open to your suggestions!  What are your favorite ways to “get back on track”?

Okay.  Enough boring stuff.  Onto more important things:

Like blueberry banana smoothies:

And Mr. Softee ice cream cones (this was my Cookie Friday, although really, the whole rest of the day ended up being a Cookie Friday of sorts.  See recommitment plan above.)

Cherry-dipped ice cream cones is one processed thing I will never give up.  Another thing: the occassional goldfish (not the swimming kind, the cute little snacking kind).  Someone had these in our office today and my hand kept sneaking into the bag.  I’m sure they can’t be that bad for me.

The up-closeness of this photo is cleverly designed to disguise the size of my portion.  Which was big.  But I was feling genuinely snacky.  I balanced it out with a power lunch!

Delicious salad beast with spinach, peppers, carrots, plain raw tofu (surprisingly yummy) and sweet poppy seed dressing.

What was your Cookie Friday treat today?

Off to write!  Goodnight and happy weekend!

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?

Very Lazy Day

I decided to make today a total rest day.  I hat being on vacation for too long — for some reason, having 24 unscheduled hours in the day is really hard for me!  I have no motivation to work out, make fun healthy meals (enter cereal and ice cream…), or leave the house.  I wasn’t totally useless today, I got a few errands in (post office, grocery store, library, banking stuff) so I don’t feel totally guilty:)

Getting a month off between semesters is tricky for a girl who is used to fitting a billion things into the day (job, classes, studying, cooking, workout, seeing friends, club and organization meetings, writing).

I found a cool new fruit at the grocery store today: pumello!  It looks like a giant green grapefruit.

Image source

Does anyone know what I should do with it, or how to tell when its ripe?  I will try pretty much any new food or dish that is presented to me unless it involves any of the foods from my top-5 hate lists:

1.tomatoes

2.pickles

3.ham

4.american cheese

5.white chocolate

When it comes down to it, I don’t think I’m very picky at all, unless someone is trying to force a bunch of processed stuff down my throat.  I also can’t stand white bread, but that’s usually pretty avoidable.  Tomatoes, on the other hand, tend to lurk EVERYWHERE!  They are in sauces, salads, side dishes.  Everything.  And I hate them so so so much — just thought of cutting into a tomato makes me feel nauseous.  What foods do you not like?

Hopefully tomorrow afternoon I will go on a lovely, long and refreshing trail run.  Michigan has the most beautiful trails in winter, and it is so peaceful and everything looks like a postcard from Norway or something (okay, so maybe I don’t really know what Norway looks like, but I bet it’s pretty in the winter!).  That’s one of the things that annoys me about New York (which is where I actually live): there are very few trails and no big nature areas.  But I love living in the city (at least for now), and we all have to make compromises sometimes.  This is one of the trails I run on (although it’s a little snowier at the moment):

Image Source

Have a good Thursday!  It’s almost the weekend for you worker bees!

Edited to Add: Just did a quick 20 minute strength workout (using my mom’s Physician’s Desk Reference Book and an unopened case of orange La Criox) and I’m feeling much better.  Exercise always does that 🙂  I also got my copy of Born to Run in the mail today.  So excited to read it!