OIAJ, SIAB, Protein, Mindfulness

Today’s Mini Goal: Find more coupons.  Then use them.  I’m a poor college student with an inclination towards specialty products and an expensive produce habit.  Anybody have any suggestions for where to acquire coupons/food discounts?

I have a confession:

Hello, my name is Caronae and I stayed in my pajamas until 5 pm today.

This was hands down one of the least productive days of my life.  I woke up at noon, made some OIAJ, read, munched on snacks, went back to sleep, flopped around on my bed having some thinking time.  Finally around five I dragged myself from the bed, called my dad for some motivation (he had already been to some sort of oncology conference all day, so that made me feel like it might be a good time for me to get moving), and threw on some hodge podge running clothes (sidenote: I don’t have a huge winter running gear stash and I don’t have the time/money to be doing laundry every few days, so I often end up running in some really funky outfits).  I didn’t set out with any particular route or mileage number in mind, which was quite a nice little change from my usually highly  regimented runs.  I love this kind of run.  It felt freeing to be able to turn left if I wanted to, or right.  To pick up my pace here or slow it down there.  To stop for water or notice the way the surface of the river moved.  It was nice.

Way back in September, when I first started seeing my current therapist, I realized how much I value productivity at the expense of me time.  Today, all I wanted was to snuggle up under my covers with a magazine and some chocolate.  And sometimes, that’s okay.  My therapist used the word “aimlessness” to describe this.  I have to give myself permission to just let go and do something that isn’t going to take me to any specific place.  When I do do this, I almost always feel calmer afterwards.  What’s your favorite “aimless” activity?


And what was even nicer than my run was the fact that MY GARMIN IS ONCE AGAIN FUNCTIONAL.  The company sent me instructions to reset it and recharge it which ended up working out after a few false starts.  So glad to have you back in my life Apricot (what I named my baby).  There were a few minor kinks:

1. Pace: sometimes it was just blatantly wrong: I’d be charging along at what was probably about a nine minute pace and it would tell me I was running at thirteen.  Not cool Garmin, not cool.

2. GPS Signal: okay, so this isn’t actually the Garmin’s fault, but rather NYC’s.  Seriously, there are two many tall buildings and not enough open spaces here.

3. Total Distance: the mileage thingy was going totally fine until the last quarter mile.  I was at about 7.9 and suddenly it started going backwards (it went all the way down to 7.2 before coming back up).  It never even reached the point at which it had started going backwards.  At first I thought I had been misreading the screen since it was dark, but I’m fairly positive I had about 0.05 miles left one second and then 0.70 miles left the next…

Anyone have any ideas/solutions?

I ended up doing eight miles in just over eighty minutes.  Tomorrow will be a long run and (hopefully) yoga.  I’m aiming for 16 miles, since I’m three weeks out from the race and I want this to be my peak.


Really random today because of my bizarre I’m-not-doing-anything schedule.

Apple cinnamon chia OIAJ.  This did NOT fill me up, oddly enough, and I was feeling snackish two hours later.

TJ’s 0% pomegranate Greek yogurt topped with shredded coconut, pb pretzels, and TJ’s chocolate raspberry sticks (of which I had 3 or 4 more).  This was the perfect snack, and also the perfect segue into something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while…

Protein Talk:

Many bloggers, and even some health professionals, have acknowledged that Americans have this inflated view of the importance of protein and that we are far too focused on it.  In some ways, I don’t disagree: we don’t need to be cramming our faces with steak, chicken, and protein powders all day long, especially if doing so means sacrificing other important micro- and macro-nutrients that our active bodies need to function.  But with that said, I like me some protein, and I also physically need it. I talked about my PCOS here so I won’t tell the whole story again, but suffice it to say, my body does not function well on a diet that is too high in carbs.  I think I’m somewhat insulin resistant, and I have always noticed that I look and feel better when I am more focused on fats and proteins than carbs (and by the way, when I say carbs I mean bread, pasta, rice, not fruits and veggies).   I do eat plenty of whole grains, but never in place of protein.

My dairy-free experiment (which has of late turned into a minimal-dairy experiment) has been making me think about protein.  I have noticed that without milk, yogurt, and cheese in my diet I have been eating way more in the evenings and feeling like I “can’t get full.”  I think I probably ate three servings of PB pretzels the other night.  I still want to continue my minimal-dairy experiment, but I think that if I am going to do that while continuing to take care of my body, I am going to need to educate myself about and focus on some alternative proteins and fats.

I often incorporate dairy into my afternoon snack.  I have a few other items in my rotation, but I’m starting to get tired of them.  Here are the most frequent contenders:

1. Fruits or veggies with nut butter (e.g., carrots with ab, apple with pb)

2. Bars (Luna, Lara, Clif Mojo, Kashi, etc.)

3. Trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereals

I’m starting to get bored of these options and don’t want to revert to yogurt or cheese or milk.  Does anybody have any suggestions for me? I’m not big on protein powders, and while I love meat, tofu/soy, beans, lentils, eggs and the like, I don’t really envision carrying those around for an afternoon snack.  I need some protein advice, help! “Fat” based snack ideas are also welcome.  Thanks in advance!

Okay, back to today’s eats.

I was starving after my run since it had been so long since I’d eaten.  I think my blood sugar was low and I was a bit dehydrated, so I knew exactly what I wanted: a smoothie.  I so wish I had the equipment to create my own right now, but I don’t (hint hint, mom).  I got a mango smoothie from the student center and topped it with one of homemade granola bars (recipe from Averie) all crumbled up and a few spoonfuls of trail mix.  I ate it SIAB style.  Heaven.  On a spoon.

Three-ish hours later I was hungry for another dinner, so I went with it.  I wanted a giant pile of protein with a side of veggies, so that’s what I had.

I ate the chicken from last night’s sandwich with the sweet potato fries and yellow pepper slices.  This hit the spot.

I’m currently sipping on my favorite tea (jasmine tulsi) with a bit of stevia and some plain soy milk.

I did get a few things done this evening — ran, blogged, read some Adam Smith (pin factories, anyone?), and started a collage!

These are picture cutouts I’m going to use.  And yes, that’s a slice of pie and a baby elephant in the foreground on the right.  I adore hands on creative stuff like collage-making.  The pictures are going to get glued on to a large piece of paper that will say “mindfulness.”  I want to put it up above my door.  That word has really been resonating with me lately.  What word would you choose to describe your thoughts of late?

PS — please excuse the misaligned pictures.  I could not get them quite right!

Therapy Monday

Today’s Mini Goal: Per Monica‘s February Health Goal, I am going to work on putting an end to unnecessary after dinner/late night snacking.  Ocassionally, I’m hungry, but I think this is primarily an emotional issue.  I feel lonely, bored, or worthless, so I consume food.  Not a ridiculous amount, typically — I don’t binge, or anything, but I just want to work on addressing the actual cause rather than covering it with food, and practicing listening to my body.

So, as you may have noticed, January’s positive notes have morphed into February mini goals!  I am going to try to focus on something relatively small (today’s is sort of an exception) each day.  I’m not going to be mad at myself for not achieving everything; I just want to be aware and have the ideas/plans in my head.

No “exercise” today, but I ended up walking about four miles to stretch out my leggies a little, and I might do some abs tonight.  Lots of speedwork tomorrow!

Happy eats:

Last night’s dinner: steamed sweet potato with cinnamon, salad, and a new stir-fry invention: pineapple, carrot, cashews, tofu, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper.  Muy tasty.

Overnight OIAJ perfection.  Layers of oats, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin, and cinnamon.  Nom nom nom.

By the way, you should know that I sliced open my thumb trying to scrape the paper of the jar (it was Maranatha) so that you could see my creation.  That’s food blogger dedication.

Baking happy face!

Banana walnut chocolate chip bread for Cindy, the highest bidder for my baked good from Diana’s Bake Sale for Haiti!

I have been so in love with dried pineapple lately.  It feels like I’m eating a little piece of sunshine.

It’s Therapy Monday!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I just wanted to note that I don’t mention everything I’m working on in therapy on the blog.  Although I love all my new blog friends and am totally open to sharing my experiences, I don’t want to share things that involve family members or friends that they might not want shared.

Onto today.

We mostly talked about boys (men?) during today’s session.  I’ve done a little dating in the last few years, but not very much.  To be honest, it is something that makes me both fearful and anxious.  Because I hated myself — my body, my personality, my thoughts — for so long, I assumed that everyone else, including potential romantic partners, would hate me too.  Apparently, this is wrong!  Of course it’s wrong.  Well, I don’t actually mean wrong in a harsh way, but it was sort of distorted thinking.  I was telling my therapist about how I feel like I’ve just been having more conversations and interactions with guys lately, and she helped me realize that maybe they were always interested (not everyone, of course, but perhaps a few people), I was just too closed off to notice.  I think this is probably true.  Actually, my mom told me something similar about a year ago, but I think that was when I was in my deepest throes of self-loathing and unesteem, and I absolutely didn’t believe her.  Now, I think there’s a posssibility that I am not so horrible.  This is a major improvement for me.  I even hung out with a boy over the weekend.  For quite a long time, I thought that not only did I deserve to be alone, but that my deep feelings of sadness over this painful existence were merely part of my lot in life.  I’m an extremely emotional creature, and I think that I need someone to share this with.  I have my close friends, of course, and certainly my family members (I fiercely maintain that my mother has always been and will always be my best friend), but it might also be nice to have a new kind of relationship in my life.  I have come to the conclusion that this is something I am both ready for (finally) and desirous of.  I also think I have begun to understand some of the things I am looking for — not an extensive understanding, but a beginning, nonetheless.  Most of all, I want to know someone who is deeply passionate about things in their life.  I find this very attractive.  He doesn’t need to have the same passions as me — running, baking, books, for example — but he needs to love something very deeply.  Maybe I see this as an innate proof that he will be able to love me.  I’m not sure.  Whatever the case is, this is something that I am finally truly ready to delve into, and I think that therpay has given me the confidence I needed for this.

Now, how do I meet one of these men…

After classes today I was feeling really anxious — my evening schedule wasn’t working out exactly as I had planned it, and this always upset me.  So I went for a walk around my neighborhood, and stumbled across the peace garden next to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.  I’ve been to both the garden and the cathedral before, bu they seemed to be saying new things to me today.  I see a (light-hearted) post about spirituality in my future.  The garden, the fountain, the miniature animal sculptures, the massive and ornate church all immediately calmed me down.  I was a little awe-struck by it all, actually.  I took lots of pictures to remind myself of the beauty and happiness all around me.  


Birds!  You may or may not know that I’m obsessed.

Until tomorrow my friends.  Have a happy Tuesday!

Don’t Be Creepy.

Today’s Positive Note: I’m very flexible, in the physical sense.  I would say this is the only physical “categorie” in which I would rate myself as unusually talented.  Even as a gymnast (I was a gymnast from when I was 4 until I was 14!), I was more flexible than the other girls.  I used to be able to reach 14-15 inches past my toes, and I can still easily do the splits and weird bendy yoga poses.

Not running yesterday made me really anxious for some reason, which made me have trouble sleeping again!  I have tried melatonin, and I actually have abottle of it, it just makes me sleep for a long time, so if I have to be up early or I don’t think I really need it, I don’t usually take it.  Thanks for all the tips though guys!

Anyways, ran after work today.  I was planning on running to and from Central Park and doing the full loop, which would have been around 7.5 miles.  I was also planning on going to Trader Joe’s later tonight.  So then I had the brilliant idea of combining the run and the trip to the store!  I actually love doing runs where the run leads to some sort of mini adventure; it keeps me entertained.  I’ll run wo Whole Foods (or TJ’s, per tonight), a yoga class, an event in a park, etc.  It’s like getting a little reward after the run.  So I ended up doing ~7 miles, with 10 pick-ups of varying speed and length throughout (by the way, I hate the word fartlek and try to avoid using it at all costs.  It just sounds evil).  I felt really good throughout the run, and even charged up a few of the rolling hills in CP.

How do you guys make runs entertaining for yourself?  How do you change things up, in general, with your workouts?

I had OIAJ this morning, with one packet of kashi honey cinnamon and a pear.  Warm apples and pears are super fabulous, by the way :).  So yummy, I wish I had a jar with a tablespoon of pb or ab left in it everyday!  By the way, I reeeaaaalllly wanted to get the TJ’s peanut butter or almond butter with flax, as shown by Monica in this post, but couldn’t find it.  Sad.  By the way, who came up with the OIAJ idea?

TJ’s finds:

I loved the savoriness of the dark chocolate edamame (tried a few pieces as a snack).

My shoes match my cereal.  Seriously, so well.  My shoes might as well be renamed the “Mizuno pommegranate-blueberry alchemy.”

I have seen dried pineapple plenty of times on Meghann’s blog before and wanted to give it a go myself.  This was an excellent choice!

Why is avocado, cheddar, and hummus such a tasty combination?  I had just such a sandwich on whole wheat for lunch, and it was so wonderful.  And filling.  I didn’t even want my afternoon snack of a Mojo bar, but I ate it anyway, because I kenw I’d be hungry during my run otherwise.  Running makes my hunger really weird.  Sometimes I feel super full and hardly want food at all, and sometimes I am just ravenous.  Thoughts?

I’ve noticed that most poems/short prose pieces I write tend toward the creepy side.  This, perhaps, sounds strange, but I think it’s kind of natural, in a way.  Expressing everyday things in a slightly unusual and/or darker way seems to give them a totally new tone.  I don’t necessarily do it intentionally, but I do do it regularly.  It doesn’t help that my poetry/prose teacher is OBSESSED with the creep in writing.  Honestly, I think it’s really satisfying to take something mundane (like dancing) and make it…odd.  Maybe I am odd for doing so?  For example, a few days ago I wrote a short prose piece (really, I think it was a poem just smashed into prose — I’m still trying to figure out how they are different, for me) about dancing, and it was going to be happy.  I swear.  But then I started thinking about my body, and how bodies moving around in the dark are both beautiful and terrifying, and how really truly scary it is to learn the nuances of your own body.  And, just like that, it became creepy.  Do you write creepily?  If not, how would you chracterize your writing (if, of course, you write at all)?  I find that the blog is a really nice way for me to keep up with writing on a regular basis, even if it’s just about food.

Alright, I’m in my comfy clothes and going to make dinner (which may or may not involve my new cereal) and watch Bones. 

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