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.
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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.
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That’s all for tonight I suppose!  Any other college seniors out there?  What are your post-graduation plans?

The LSAT Monster

Today’s Happy Note: The LSAT is over. Over.  Over.  Over.  Well, for this time at least.  I am kind of freaking out because I know I really screwed up at least one section (read: I guessed on over half of the questions) so I might have to take it again.  It took 2 hours to get to the site, then there was 4 hours of testing interspersed with 3 hours of administrative BS then 2 hours to get back.  Yep, I left the dorm at 6:30 this morning and got back a little after 5.

Craziness.  It was one of the most intellectually/physically/emotionally draining things I have ever done.  I am *praying* I did ridiculously well on the sections that I thought went alright.  Feel free to join me in prayer.   We’re all constituents in this universe.  And I think that going to law school would make me a better constituent.  Therefore I need a good LSAT school.

Okay, that sounded really selfish.  Sorry.  You don’t really have to devote your prayers to my LSAT score.

I made a new friend while I was there though!  She is a super hot mom librarian.  Yeah, I know, random, but she was awesome — she even gave me a ride back to the train station afterwards so I didn’t have to take a cab.

I love when nice people come out of nowhere.  I needed it today. My LSAT story in pictures:

Studying on the elliptical last night.  Don’t worry, that wasn’t the first time I studied!

Taking the LSAT is pretty much an exercise in national security: you can only bring a limited amount of items into the test center, all in a one gallon plastic bag. Your water bottle must be less than 20 ounces with no label. You can only have an analog watch.  You get fingerprinted.  You bring your passport and should basically have your Social Security Number tattooed on your head.  It was super intense.

Moving on though!

First of all, thank you guys so much for your sweet comments Thursday!  It means a lot to me that people want to read about my therapy journey and that it proves valuable to some of you.  It certainly is valuable for me to write about it! 🙂

Fun fact: I have not taken a single picture of food in front of USB.  Not one.  And you know what?  I don’t want to.  I do take pictures of most of my food, both for personal record-keeping (I find that it helps me to keep track of what I have eaten, and to make sure I am getting plenty of variety), and to share in some posts, but not around USB.  It was something I thought about for a long time: I thought that I wasn’t being a true food/healthy living blogger if I didn’t photograph absolutely everything.  But, as my first nine months (!!!!) of blogging have shown me, blogging about health is about finding a balance.  Sometimes it is a very delicate balance, but I do believe in my heart that it exists for everyone.  For me, that balance has a couple of points relevant to this situation:

1.  So much of my health and well-being is tied to being social and having loving, caring people in my life.  USB is more important than any meal or any food picture.

2. Taking a brief break from thinking too much about food everyday helps clear my head; that way I don’t get obsessive about it.

By no means do these things hold true for all bloggers!  This is just what works for me.

Conclusion: USB and I have gone to lots of nice restaurants that I might tell you about someday, but for now, I don’t really want to think about food when I’m around him. 🙂

Dried fruit and nuts is the best snack ever!  I had dried apple rings with honey sesame almonds for my snack during the break for the test and it was definite brain food.

Oatmeal reflections.

I just did an awesome 20 minute pilates video from yoga download.  I also walked a bit — I needed a really easy day, activity wise.  Last night I lifted weights for 30 minutes and ellipticized for 40 minutes.

Hopefully all the rest I took from running this week (which I reallllllly needed) will pay off on tomorrow’s 20-miler!

Time to go in quest of some dinner.  And back away from the LSAT percentile/score chart websites. Back away, Caronae.

Nighty night!

Super Spectacular Really Good Yummy Pancakes

Today’s Happy Note: Spending time with my wonderful cousin before she moves to San Francisco.

Today felt both really busy and really lazy, at the same time.  Do you ever have days like that?  Sort of an odd feeling, I guess, but also kind of pleasant, because I wind up feeling both energized and relaxed.  I spent the morning making (and consuming) awesome pancakes,  the afternoon teaching a band of very sweet high schoolers, late afternoon with my cousin and her husband and then LSAT studying (mostly the dreaded logic games), and the evening working out.  I squeezed some grocery store shopping and tv watching in there and that was my day!

I like to procrastinate my schoolwork until Sundays. 🙂

Let’s start with the pancakes!

I made these up on the spot and they turned out splendiferous.  They were soft on the inside (that “ohmygoshthisissopillowy soft” not that “thisissosoftitmustberaw soft”) but crisp on the outside.  Thick, with plenty of volume.  And made with totally wholesome ingredients, and not a lot of added sugar at all.  Basically, these are love, in protein pancake form (I am only calling them “protein pancakes” because the “base” is mostly protein-y and not carby — they are not some weird health food or anything, I promise!)

I was stupid and didn’t measure things out precisely or write the measurements down but this is roughly what it was:

1/4 C peanut flour (yes, I know this is a blog “fad” but it is an awesome fad that I actually like)

2 Tbsp oats

1 scoop vanilla hemp/whey protein powder (half serving)

1/2 Tsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 whole egg

1/4 C pumpkin

Water (as needed) to thin out

Earth Balance or butter, to coat the pan with

Combine all dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients until pancake-consistency is achieved (I know, I am really scientific).  Heat the butter in the pan (you don’t need more than a teaspoon, at most) and when it starts to pop, dollop on your batter.  I made three generous ‘cakes.

Top with more butter, real maple syrup, and fruit or nuts of choice.  I used sesame almonds!

Don’t let this up close picture fool you.  These pancakes are generous.  Also, far more nuts than that were involved. 🙂

This morning meal made my day.  Bonus: it kept me full for five hours of teaching bleary-eyed high school seniors. I needed a meal with some serious stamina and this was it!  I have not made a “real” weekend breakfast in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is.  It’s nice not to have oats or yogurt or a smoothie for once!  Mmmmm.  Now I just need some bacon and we’ll be all set…

I got home from my afternoon shenanigans around 6:00.  I was technically supposed to run 8-10 miles, since I had skipped out on yesterday’s run, and tomorrow’s run isn’t going to be very long (10-12 miles).  But I just was not feeling it.  I don’t think it was a matter of laziness, either.  It was a matter of “I need to have some oatmeal with nut butter and lie on my bed and read blogs and snuggle up in my fleece blanket right now“, in all actuality.  And so that’s exactly what I did.

I find it sort of odd that oats with nut butter and melted dark chocolate and maple syrup are my comfort food.  But hey, there are worse things.  These are all whole foods.  Delicious whole foods.

What’s your idea of comfort food?

BUT after a few hours of winding down, which my brain/body needed, I felt ready for a workout.  Normally, I am an all-or-nothing girl and I either feel like I have to “waste” my day by eating poorly and not working out or have a hardcore workout and eating perfectly.  Silly, right?  By this point, I genuinely wanted to run, but was feeling anxious about it, because of said all-or-nothing mindset. I felt like, “how can I go run now if I have been lazy all evening?  Aren’t the two mutually exclusive???”  Um, no.  Duh, Caronae.

I ended up having a lovely workout!  I lifted (arms and abs) for about 30 minutes then ran a slow, easy five miles, which was exactly what my body needed.  Sometimes I just need my brain to shut-up so that I can listen to my body. 🙂

All in all, a lovely Saturday.

And I’m looking forward to making tomorrow a lovely Sunday.  And then having a lovely week.

Thanks for your support yesterday about my “busyness” — for lack of a better word.  I truly don’t think I could do it without you all as friends. 🙂

On the schedule for Run Write Therapy Life this week:

~Long run (tomorrow)/Long run eats

~Easy college student dinners

~Mental/Physical Health Intersections

~A fun announcement about the site

Should be a fun week!  Stay tuned, friends.  Goodnight for now!

The Monster Post That Almost Wasn’t

Today’s Happy Note: USB. Makes me oh so very happy.  It stuns me every day.  This morning, he was getting into a cab to go to the airport and I walked the other way, towards the train station.  As the cab pulled away, he called me and said “you have a beautiful smile; you were beautiful walking away.”

Um, is he purposely trying to make me melt???

Okay, so this is going to be a monster post!  Lots of running and workouts and meals and snacks and thoughts!

First, where have I been?  I know that you all probably don’t care about the mundane details of my life, but I like to make lists.  So I am making this list.  Of the ten billion things going on in my life right now. It clears my head (FYI: these are not necessarily in order of importance):

1. School. School school school.  I have six classes (okay, so one is yoga) and I’m a history major.  Which means I spend my evenings reading hundreds and hundreds of pages about early Sumerian writing systems and the intricacies of Iran’s 19th Century civil service system.  I have to keep everything on track and get a lot of forms and such in so that I can graduate on time this May (wow, I can’t believe that it’s only eight months away).

2. LSAT/Law School Applications. Quite frankly, I have been neglecting my LSAT studies.  Hello more logic games and less fun.  I think that part of the problem here is the anxiety surrounding my future.  I am quite confident that the LSAT/law school application thing is the right thing for me to do at this moment in my life, though.  And the anxiety dissipates more and more as I become surer and surer that this is what I want to do.  And if I don’t get in, so be it.  The world will not end.

3. Health. I had. A. Pulmonary. Embolism. Two. Months. Ago. My Warfarin management is going decently, but my INR levels have been inconsistent, at best.  I have, currently, seven doctors, you read that right, seven, plus doctor mom and doctor dad.  A PCP, a warfarin-management doctor, a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, a pulmonologist, a hematologist, and, the most important, a psychologist (L).  I will most likely have to undergo some genetic testing soon to see what caused my emboli and if I have a serious long-term clotting disorder.  I also have to sort out my endocrine/hormonal problems.   So there is quite a lot going on here.  Not to mention taking care of my depression and anxiety, which is muy importante right now.

4. Marathon Training. Need I say more?  Last week I hit 45 miles, next week and the weeks after I will be at 50-55.  Not to mention the amount of non-running time I spend stretching, eating, sleeping, thinking about running, eating, more eating.  Lots of mental and physical energy is expended here.

5. Social Life. My friends are super important to my sanity.  I love them.  They love me.  They keep me happy and healthy and glowing in a way that no amount of exercise ever will.  Spending time with them, whether it’s studying or eating cupcakes together, is something I have learned cannot be sacrificed.  Not to mention USB.  And love.  And sharing things.  And understanding another person like that.

6. Blog/Writing. Not to much to say here besides that these things are super important to me and I won’t be giving them up entirely either. I need them.

7. Family. Duh.  Most important people in the world.

8. Work. I love my job and wish I could work a bit more, but I’m having to squeeze in 8-10 hours in a week where I can. No working=no money, therefore it is absolutely necessary.

Reading this back over, I feel like I am sounding a bit wimpy.  I should be able to handle this.  I can handle this.  Time management.  And self-love.  those are the crucial things right now.

I can make it through these next few months, I know I can.

I have changed my mind about the direction of this post.  Don’t really want to talk about running at all.  I took an extra day off this week (today) which I am feeling guilty about.  But I know I needed it.  I ran this week.  Lifted weights and did some yoga.  The end.

Mostly, I just want to stop talking and show you pictures of yummy things:

Annnnnnnnnd my pictures aren’t uploading.  I think that signals the end of this post.

Goodnight my friends!

Thank you for always being there; I truly feel so supported by you guys!