Reteaching Wonder

Today’s Happy Note: Spending a wonderful weekend with USB!  He loves to talk/cuddle/eat/have adventures/walk…pretty much all the same things I like to do!  It is nice to have someone who wants to have adventures with me.  We still do lots of things by ourselves though — yesterday I went to a map-making class while he did an introductory yoga workshop!  It’s a wonderful balance.  I have been hesitant to say this, because I am afraid of somehow jinxing it, but I’ll just go ahead and say it anyways, because it’s true: USB is, plain and simple, the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in years. I even have a picture today.  Look!

Okay, so referring to that as a picture of him might be a bit of a stretch, but take what you can get!  I don’t have a lot of pictures and wouldn’t really feel comfortable having him on the blog, at this point.  But he does have nice hands, right?

Thanks for your sweet comments about it yesterday.  I feel silly talking about him sometimes, but it’s a good silly. I’m completely smitten and it has all happened so suddenly.  Each moment with him is a new lesson in blessings and gratefulness.  He has retaught me how to wonder. I was a hopeless romantic before, and now, well, I’m downright sappy.  So I apologize for my sappiness.  You’re just going to have to deal with it for a while. 😉

In the above picture, we are eating delicious wraps from this Noodle Shop. We got one of the tofu and one of the duck, and each had half of each.  They were really tasty!  They are definitely snack-sized and not meal-sized though.  Or maybe that’s just my marathoner’s perspective.

I squeezed in a long run today, between studying, cleaning, and cuddling.  I did about 12.4 miles in 2:10-ish. Somewhere thereabouts.  I think I was probably around a 10:30/mile pace overall.  Didn’t feel great, didn’t feel terrible.  For parts of it, my legs felt powerful and strong; at other times, they felt sluggish and sloooow as molasses. Sometimes within minutes of each other.  Weird, no?

It was my last long run before the marathon, so I’ll take it.  My body was happy for the shorter run, and is happy about the lower mileage in the next two weeks.  Less than two weeks from today I will be an official marathoner!  I even got my number in the registration pdf today!  I am number 40920.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Other eats today weren’t too exciting, but did include this very necessary froyo monstrosity:

It’s a mixture of pinkberry original and pumpkin flavors, with my own toppings (seriously, always bring your froyo home and do your own toppings — so much cheaper!).  And yes, pinkberry now has pumpkin flavor.  It isn’t very strong at all and I kind of like it!  I added chunky pb, a part of a crumbled chocolate chip pumpkin cookie, and more chocolate chips.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but I have been *sort of* making an effort to eat less carbs.  The key words here are *sort of*.  I  would estimate that I’m eating about 20% less carbs than I was a few weeks ago, in the heart of marathon training.  I have always liked my carbs, but I have never been obsessed with them.  I don’t love bread.  I actively dislike rice.  I like quinoa but am usually too lazy to cook it.  I also like whole wheat pasta but again, it takes a long time to cook, and it is more of a treat for me.  I have been consuming more sweet potatoes and squash (they’re in season, so it’s easy), about the same amounts of veggies, a little less fruit, and less sugary carbs.

I have made the switch to totally plain yogurt.  I have also started actively buying more proteins and fats lately. Here’s whats in my fridge/cupboard at the moment:

Protein — natural honey maple turkey, TJs grilled chicken, Fage 2%  greek yogurt, eggs, Amy’s spicy vegan chilibeans (refried pinto and plain), natural tuna, and half a block of tofu.

Fats — avocados, TJs guacamole hummus (it’s alright — but not better than either hummus or guac on their own), an assortment of nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts), peanut butter, earth balance vegan butter, Fage 2% greek yogurt (does double duty!), TJs goddess salad dressing, olive oil.

I think that variety in protein and fat sources is key.  I make an effort to do different combinations and flavors and textures.

I am not doing this as part of some silly diet or fad weight-loss craze.  You guys know I wouldn’t do that!  Rather, one of the most widely accepted treatments for PCOS is a lower-carb diet.  For many PCOS patients, it is the only way to manage their weight. I don’t event know if I have PCOS or a different disorder, but I have, in the past, experienced success with a lower-carb diet overall (I am using “diet” in the general sense of what I eat here, not to refer to any type of restriction).

So it’s just something I am trying.  It is easier now that I’m running less.  I am seeing an endocrinologist next week, and will start dietary/medication experiments the following week (after the marathon is over).  It is going to be an interesting journey, to say the least.

Favorite protein?  Favorite fat?

Best part of your weekend?

Are you sappy and romantic or serious and collected?

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Awesome Speed Workout/Awesome Food

Today’s Happy Note: finding pomegranate tea again!  Haven’t had any in so very long, and it is one of my favorite herbal teas.  It was accompanied by lovely conversation, more importantly!

I have to be a speed blogger tonight (haha, NOT my forte — I like talking, in case you haven’t noticed) because USB is coming to visit.  It is going to be such a nice night for a walk!

Marathon Training: I really wanted to do my speed workout and weights today, for some reason.  I knew there was no way both were going to happen before work, since I didn’t go to bad until after 2 (bad Caronae!).  I start work at 11 on Fridays.  This is sad, I know.

I tend to become more of a morning person as the semester wears on, oddly enough.  Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed at 10 and headed to the gym for a half hour of arm weights. Sometimes a half an hour is all you need to get your muscles nice and sore!

I followed that up with a delicious, steamy, spicy chai tea latte (made with soy — I was not feeling the dairy today) and an apple with honey PB:

A delicious bite of cinnamon roll from the guys at the mail room was also had 🙂

I am fully aware that the icing on my hands in this picture does NOT look like icing.  It is, I swear.

I had a late afternoon lunch-snack of a chocolate chip muffin, in honor of Cookie Friday.  Sometimes I think muffins are better than cookies.  I think they *might* be my favorite baked good!  Shhh, don’t tell the cookies that I told you that.

I came home after work and lazed around.  I just did not want to start my run at all.  I was feeling very grey, I suppose.  I finally had a Luna Bar and got my butt out the door around 6:00, only because I knew that if I waited any longer it would be dark by the time I finished and I didn’t want to get mugged in the northern end of CP (which is a wee bit isolated/quiet at night).

The run ended up being wonderful! I felt really fast and strong and smooth.  Some runs you just get into a rhythm and other runs…well, you don’t.  I definitely found my groove today, which was nice after Wednesday’s sucky run.

2 Miles warm-up (10:00-10:30 min/mile pace)

4 x (1 mile “Cruise” Pace, 1/4 mile easy)

2 Miles cool down, easy

I don’t know what the difference is, necessarily, between “fast” and “cruise” and “tempo” and “speed.”  And to be honest, I don’t particularly care.  I have a few paces: 8:30, 9:00, 10:00, and slower than 10:00.  I go based on how I feel.  I think that the important thing for me is just practicing speeding up, learning how to move my legs faster.  I definitely accomplished that today — I would say I was maybe running 8:45s?  Hard to tell, but I worked hard and felt fast on the miles, so I was happy! 🙂 Nine miles in total.

Dinner later on was the giant burrito that I wanted yesterday but didn’t let myself have!

What, you don’t have your giant burrito with a side of steamed broccoli and roasted carrots/okra doused in TJS spicy peanut vinaigrette?

Inside the burrito: green peppers/onions, pinto beans, barbacoa meat (beef), corn salsa, a little cheese, lots of lettuce.  It needed some spicier salsa, but other than that it was divine!  If you ask really nicely at Chipotle, they’ll let you have the peppers/onions (which are normally for the vegetarian burritos) instead of rice.  Rice+burrito+beans would be way too many carbohydrates for me to handle at once.

I love having the options of multiple fats at Chipotle: cheese, sour cream, or guacamole.  Do not fear the fats ladies!

I had a few squares of plain TJs dark chocolate after dinner (which I learned form Averie’s post today might be Scharffen Berger????), followed by about five gallons of water — I can always tell when I haven’t had enough to drink throughout the day based on how thirsty I am in the evenings!

Now onto a little activity inspired by the lovely Janetha G.! A few days ago she did a list of her favorite food for each letter of the alphabet.  I got really bored in Harlem Renaissance Literature the other day and started my own. 🙂

This is a really fun and oddly soothing thing to do.  I might just have to go back and expand the list one day so that I can include all my favorite foods.  For example, I feel like “avocados” and “almond butter” got left out on A.  I don’t want to exclude anybody!

A: apples

B: bananas

C: cupcakes

D: dark chocolate

E: eggs

F: fish

G: gaz (a Persian candy made with rosewater and pistachio and AMAZINGNESS)

H: hummus

I: Indian

J: jumbo shrimp

K: kiwi

L: linguine

M: muffins

N: nuts

O: oats

P: peanut butter (duh)

Q: quinoa (blended, preferably)

R: raspberries

S: spinach

T: tofu

U: upside down cake (it’s a tradition in my dad’d family — a tasty, tasty tradition)

V: vanilla

W: whey protein

X: xantham gum

Y: yogurt (especially2% plain Greek)

Z: zucchini bread

Thanks for the idea Janetha!

What is your favorite baked good?

How do you know when a run (or workout) is good?

Blog Meetup And Happy Yoga Feelings!

Today’s Happy Note: Alicia Keys’ song Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart — it’s just got a really soothing but also penetrating rhythm and oddly makes me really happy.  I’m listening to it on repeat. 🙂

I swapped today’s eight hilly miles for tomorrow’s rest/yoga because it was blazingly hot/human today!  I did walk about four-ish miles over the course of the day and took a really nice advanced flow yoga class at my favorite studio.

Part of my walk today was with Maggie (Say Yes To Salad)!  Lynn of The Actors’s Diet was in town and we had a lovely little meet-up with some of my favorite bloggers, including Ada (NYCollegeEats) and Gabriela (Une Vie Saine).  We had The Lite Choice then strolled then chatted at a new to me cafe where I had a tasty orange carrot juice.

I was having so much fun I never got a group picture!  Above is Ada, Lynn, and reader Danielle.  I love meeting fellow bloggers because we already have something in common and they are almost always sweet, kind, and caring. It’s sort of like you already know one another and genuinely care for one another.  Blog friends are real friends! 🙂

I loved getting to know everyone better today.  Gabriela and I have gotten to see each other several times now and Ada and I ran the ultra together! I had not met anyone else previously.  I think blogging had really helped expand my social circle, in a good way.  If you’re a blogger (or a reader!), have you made new friends through blogging?

I had a really nice moment in the cafe: I couldn’t decide between an iced tea or a juice.  I had a very tiny appetite at lunch and was starting to feel hungry again (it was late afternoon).  At first I thought to myself “I should just have a plain unsweetened iced tea; why do I deserve to consume extra calories at this time of day for no reason?”  But then I said to myself, damn it, I want a carrot-orange juice.  Not only is freshly squeezed juice full of amazing vitamins and nutrients, it tastes good and I wanted some sustenance.  So there.  Take that, crazy brain.

Sometimes I feel like my silly brain gets in he way of just letting me live.  I am learning how to let go of being so obsessive about everything.  I find that my body fits into its natural size and shape perfectly when I do the least obsessing.  Yoga has taught me that.  I went into class tonight feeling sad and angry (not for any particular reason — they were just random moods) and came out feeling calm again.  I love that my practice constantly reminds me to do the best I can — and that I can only do my best.  Miracles can happen, too, though.  Yoga has given me a nice balance and perspective.

Okay, no more seriousness.  I promise!  Onto some rather delicious eats from today…

This is an almost-empty container of fage 2% with about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seed butter, a handful of grapes and a tablespoon of flax peanut butter.  I have decided that sunflower seed butter and I are in love.  It’s like frosting only better.  I had another several spoonfuls straight from the jar after this bowl.  It has this creamy, full, earthy flavor.  It does sort of taste “healthy”, but in a good way, I think — like raw tofu.  But then again, not everyone loves raw tofu.

I get the weirdest health-food cravings sometimes: in addition to raw tofu, I also crave plain steamed broccoli, spoonfuls of sunflower seed butter, avocados, brown rice, salmon, spinach, and plain nuts.  My body really does know exactly what it needs most of the time.  I like that about myself.

What are your “health-food” cravings?  Or junk food cravings! I don’t judge!

This just might be the best dinner SIAB (Smoothie In A Bowl) I have ever made.  It consisted of a cup of vanilla soy milk, a whole lotta ice, half a banana, a scoop of vanilla whey/soy protein, cinnamon, and half an avocado.  Topped with TJ’s honey roasted nuts (aka crack).  The avocado/vanilla/cinnamon combo is amazing.  Move over sunflower seed butter.  I have a new lover.

I’m feeling surprisingly content right now considering the number of things I have on my mind.  Hmmmm.  I like having a clear head, I suppose — it’s a good feeling.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most happy Friday.

And thank you for your sweet comments/thoughts yesterday. 🙂

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?

Revelation: Balance

Today’s Happy Note: Discovering wood sculptures along the river during my morning run!  There were quite a lot of them, made from tree stumps and driftwood; they were really artistic.  I wonder who did them?

I was proud of myself for getting  up to run this morning.  The humidity was practically deadly and my legs were tired from yesterday’s workout (hello squats and lunges!) but I made it through 4.5 miles.  I also walked about 4.5 miles throughout the day.  So I ended up getting in 9 miles without even trying to! Weird.

Work was productive at both jobs.  Busy busy busy day (although I did get a break from 3-5).  I’m now watching Bethenny Getting Married (aka the best reality TV show ever).

I had a revelation on the way home from work this evening.  I have been feeling a lot of anxiety about the weight loss; I have gained and lost the same 10 or 15 pounds several times in the last three or four years, each time ending up weighing a little more than when I started.    Every time I would weigh myself and see a number close to the overweight range, I would freak out and go into “extreme thinking” mode for a few days — I would not eat anything at all, then eat a big meal, then starve myself the next day.

On my walk home, there was a beautiful cool breeze blowing into my face.  I relaxed and loosened up for a moment. And I said to myself: this time it is not about starving myself or having rules.  It’s about finding the balance.  For the first time in my life, I am approaching weight loss (however minimal) in a balanced way. It’s about finding real, healthful, satisfying foods that nurture my body and my soul.   I have never thought of weight loss like this before.  Certainly I have had a good grasp of healthy eating, but I have always reverted back to restrictive habits and destructive rules.  And you know what?  It has never worked.

So here I am.  Twenty years old.  Having a little breakthrough.

Enough of that.  Onto my balanced eats from today!

Banana-berry smoothie made with vanilla hemp/whey protein, soy milk/kefir, and topped with flax AB.

Salad the size of my head with greens, sprouts, cucumbers, eggplant, and leftover meatballs.  Diet peach iced tea snapple.

Farmer’s market bounty!

Kinda random afternoon snack, but it was exactly what I wanted.  Half of a cream cheese chocolate chip bread with PB and chocolate AB.  Hey, at least there were some serious healthy fats going on.  I also had a few tiny handfuls of trail mix.

Evening snack (I don’t get home from second job until almost nine so I always pack two or three snacks):

Best.  Flavor.  Ever.  I’m not a huge Larabar lover but these new flavors are awesome.  Peanut butter+chocolate is obviously the best flavor combo ever, as we all know.

I was hangry for dinner!  Good thing I knew exactly what I wanted. 🙂

Greens, cukes, eggs, salt, iced tea.

Can’t forget dessert!

Chocolate-peanut-caramel protein powder blender with a cup of vanilla soy milk, xantham gum, and an entire tray of ice cubes.  Topped with Lindt dark chocolate.  This was really good.  I love the volume factor!

Another day of delicious, clean eating.  I know that I don’t need to deprive myself or get so anxious over the weight.  I am doing just fine.  Not to mention the fact that who I am on the inside hasn’t changed at all.  I’m still my same self: writer, believer, dreamer, dancer, runner, yogini, lover, friend, woman.  Thanks so much to all of you who have pointed this out over the last few weeks while I have struggled over my body image.  You are all such wonderful friends!

Goodnight and happy Friday to you all!

Edited to add: just had some more chocolate and a glass of soy milk.  I think it was actual hunger and my 9 miles just caught up to me.  I feel more satisfied now and I know I don’t want anything else!  Time to close the kitchen. 🙂

Hot Running, Frozen Treats

Today’s Happy Note: Top Chef!  Anyone else watching this season?  I have never watched it before this summer, but it’s a lot of fun (except Padma’s voice is really annoying)!

I raaaaaaaan today!  Happy face.  I set out for 3-5 miles and ended up doing 4.  At first, I let the angry/bad thoughts come up (“you suck, you’re only doing four miles”, “you’ll never be thin and beautiful when you’re this lazy!”), but then I said, you know what “shut up self” and realized that for me, right now, 4 miles is an acocmplishment.  And I am proud of it.  It may have taken me 50 minutes, but it was also 90 degrees at seven AM and I was pretty tired.  I would love to run again tomorrow; we shall see.

I also did some strength training tonight since I have no idea when else I would be able to do it this week.  I lifted for about 40 minutes, doing leg, arm, and ab exercises.

The heat. Oh the heat.  If you live in the NYC area, you know what I am talking about: the dripping bodies, the sweltering, deathly subway stations, the cracked hydrants.  For everyone else: it’s been 100+ degrees the past few days.  I have had to do work stuff in the afternoon, which has meant being outdoors in the middle of the day.  Even if only for very brief periods of time, being out has been unbearable.  And I sweat.  And sweat.  And sweat.

There is no point to this anecdote.  Other than reminding you all to be careful when walking around or working out in the heat!  Which you all know anyways so I’m being silly.

Thanks for your comments yesterday.  Blog friends never fail to make me feel better. 🙂  I love blogland because it’s like a whole new social network of friends and comrades and supporters!

I have had no less than three delicious frozen treats today.  Two smoothies and one “frozen dessert” from The Lite Choice. Speaking of TLC…





TLC people are so nice!  They’re doing a promotion with Scoop Street, who features local businesses.  They have a special flavor throughout July called Scoopstachio, made from pistachio flavor and ground peanuts.  I think that it sounds tasty!  Anyways, if you go to a TLC you can sign up for more info, win prizes, try the new flavor, etc.

My other frozen treats:

Breakfast (and dessert tonight!): Peanut butter peach protein smoothie!  Frozen peaches, ice, vanilla almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and a giant scoop of PB.  This was perfect.  It filled up that giant 32 ounce water bottle almost all the way!  Had to eat it with a spoon on my walk to work. 🙂

I had an afternoon meeting for my other job.  I brought a hummus/cheese/spinach wrap with greenbeans and blueberries.  But when I got to the meeting it turned out they had provided lunch: pizza.  I tend to be afraid of pizza, but it actually is something that I really enjoy, every once in a while. At first I was going to eat my wrap in the corner while everyone else ate their pizza.  But then I decided that if I really wanted it, I should just enjoy it and save the wrap for dinner!  And that’s exactly what I did.  I had one slice of mushroom and one of pepperoni, with my green beans on the side and blueberries for an afternoon snack.  Alongside this, of course:

Half mint and half chocolate with oreos!

Just ate an unnecessary bowl of cereal.  Meh.  Need to practice some of my self-soothing techniques I learned form this book.

Alright friends, I’m off to start compiling my therapy posts into one monster booklet for L!  Happy Thursday!  Almost the weekend!

I’m Fine The Way I Am!

Today’s Happy Note: Boats!  I was going to go kayaking but it was too windy.  Instead I just walked along the river and admired the boats.  Beautiful boats!

Went for two strolls today.  Very windy — I had to walk backwards for a while!  It’s nice to have one day of the week where I don’t do any formal exercise — no yoga class, no run, no lifting weights.  Nothing planned.  Obviously, walking helps clear my head and gives my body a break from more intense activity, but having one relaxing day like this per week also helps me remember that I’m okay the way I am.  About a year ago, I remember telling my former therapist that I knew I would be perfect and finally happy if I lost 5-10 nagging pounds.  She asked me to describe how my life would be different if I lost weight (that doesn’t really need to be lost anyways).  The only thing I could come up with was that I thought men might pay more attention to me.  Um, really Caronae?  Do you really want men to pay attention to you because of the minute details of your body and weight?  Or do you want them to notice how much you know about history or how passionate you are about running and writing or your deeply compassionate personality?

Christina just wrote about this at Eat The Damn Cake. I read the post last night and my walks today helped me internalize what she said and what I do, deep down, believe: I am fine the way I am.  So simple yet so huge.

Weekend brunch/breakfast is and always will be the best meal of the week.  I try to do something I wouldn’t do on a weekday (oatmeal, smoothie, yogurt, cereal).  It’s glorious to sit down in a sunny kitchen with a morning meal that I feel like I’ve actually created and read the newspaper (or blogs).  No rush.  Nowhere to go.

Today I did a cinnamon raisin bread French Toast with apple and peanut butter.

Doesn’t the peanut butter look like it’s making a little blanket over the apples?   Like it’s keeping them warm?  I actually used some peanut butter oil/drippings in the egg batter.  I couldn’t really taste it in the finished product though.

Fun fact: I got a basil plant (!) at the farmer;s market yesterday.  His name is Balthazar Basil and his sister on the windowsill is Fanny Fuschia. If you didn’t know I was weird already, now you know I’m extra weird.  Like, I-name-my-plants-and-make-pretty-signs-for-them weird.  Hey, it was a fun art project!

Basil is my favorite herb.  Least favorite: cilantro.  Although, unlike most cilantro haters, I don’t think that it tastes like soap.  I just don’t like it.

Dinner was fun and easy!  I call it Lazy Girl Tacos.

1 chopped carrot

1/2 head chopped broccoli

1 veggie burger of choice (I used Dr. Praeger’s tex-mex)

1 egg

1 wrap/tortilla (multi grain gives it a nice chewy texture)

Steam vegetables in microwave (you could use other veggies as well) in a few inches of water for two minutes.  Remove and drain excess water.  Add veggie burger and egg.  Cook entire mixture for another minute.  Remove and break up burger and mix entire mixture thoroughly.  Heat one more minute.  Remove and place on tortilla.  Consume.

Not sure why this works so well given the five random ingredients, but I think it’s amazing.  It really is very taco-like!

Dessert #1

TLC (Oreo and peanut butter flavors).  Light and pillowy.  Makes me feel like I’m eating a cloud!

Dessert #2 (just wanted a tiny something before blogging/bed).

It is one of my core beliefs that you can never have too much peanut butter and chocolate.  They’re a woman’s best friend.

Hoping to squeeze in a CP run tomorrow morning — I haven’t run the main loop in a few weeks!  Tomorrow is a very busy day and I’m hormonal.  Let’s hope I don’t get too crazy and bite someone’s head off.  So much for the “compassionate personality” I mentioned above.  Oh, and my L is on vacation this week.  Hopefully I’ll survive.

Do you feel like there is something wrong with your body the way it is?  Or have you learned to let go and just be at peace with things? I think that, for individuals who are not dangerously overweight or having health problems related to lifestyle, it is actually healthier to just accept ourselves.  I have expended so much mental energy hating myself.  Now, I put that energy towards doing things I like!

Goodnight and have a fabulous Monday!

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