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!

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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?


Epic.

Today’s Happy Note: Lost.  Anyone else a fan?  It’s been a pretty epic series with some epicly misleading twists and turns, but ultimately, I think the characters are just screwed up enough to make it endearing (fyi: my dad just commented that the people on Lost are so intense they sound like “they just won World War II”).

Hello friends!  I’ve been having an epic weekend, obviously full of epic activities.  For some reason, weekends like this make me want to go camping.  And eat sticky s’mores and play in the lake and the cedar woods all day.  And then sleep in a tent.  And have lots of adventures.

But alas, no camping just yet, as I’m heading back to the city tomorrow.  They should have, like, a Central Park camping club.  Nothing says wilderness quite like ambulances, sirens, and 24-hour takeout.

Exercise: I ran 10-ish miles yesterday and it was terribly humid.  I don’t actually mind running in the heat, but I despise the humidity.  I’ve always been a big perspirer and any moisture in the air seems to wring all the fluid out of my body, leaving me wet, tired, and drained.  I walked another two or three miles later in the day.  Anyone have any great running-in-the-humidity tips? I’ve been running in the summer for seven years now and haven’t figured out.  Maybe it’s just one of those things where you have to suck it up and do it.

Today I did some serious hot vinyasa!  The teacher was a little bit loony and didn’t quite get the spiritual side of things right, but I did like her flows and her reminders to focus on our breath and internal heat.  We did some really fun series that we would go through several times with her and then do on our own.  It lent the session a nice aspect of independence and created a space for personal growth in a very direct way.  I think that airplane and tripod headstand are my current favorite poses.

Onto the weekend’s epic adventures (not in chronological order because I’m cool like that)!

Epic blueberry smoothies!


This monster-sized bowl of tastiness has five, yes five, varieties of blueberries!  No joke.  All I can think of is that crazy, greedy girl from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.  I don’t think this will turn you into a blueberry though.  Hopefully.

Five large ice cubes

1 C frozen blueberries

3/4 C milk (any variety you prefer)

1/2 packet tera’s whey blueberry protein

1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

1/2 C blueberry-pomegranate steaz (or other blueberry drink)

1/2 C blueberry chobani

Toppings: almonds/mixed nuts and fresh blueberries

Epic brownie making!

One of the things I love most about being home is having epic adventures with my sister.  When we were little we fought a lot, but we also did many things together — climbing trees, family birthday parties, playing house (and pioneer people — our favorite game; weird kids), and, occasionally, baking things with our mother.  I don’t remember doing brownies.  But I do remember complicated gingerbread people and houses and wild berry muffins.  These were my mom’s specialties.  My sister and I just liked to eat the toppings.  Somehow, the last batch of everything always got burnt.  It’s a family tradition.

We made these brownies from a Joy of Cooking recipe.  Homemade brownies are so worth the time, labor, and mess.  So rich and fudgy and satisfying.  We made three separate pans worth: almond/cherry, marshmallow/m&m, and plain.

Epic swimming with epic friends!

It’s nice to stay close with friends from childhood and high school.  No matter how long I’ve known a person or how close we are, I feel an ongoing social anxiety.  Sometimes I’m afraid of being “rejected”, but the rational, healed part of me knows how silly this is.  My friends love me and I love my friends.  It’s that simple.

We went to the beach!  Well, more of a woodsy lake with a small amount of sand.  The water was chilly at first but we ended up having plenty of fun splashing around and getting nice tans.  I even wore my bikini without feeling too afraid of my own body, although I will confess that I didn’t feel the most confident.  One step at a time.

It was honestly the perfect summer afternoon.  No obsessive, painful thoughts about food or feeling fat or “I should be exercising, not lying around in the sun with a book.”  Just sun, water, friends, and me.  Happy me.  It was a pretty epic feeling.

Epic date with my dad!

I was never one of those girls who was naturally super close to her father.  But my dad is a fascinating, caring man and I do love spending time with him.  It wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing when I was younger, but I love it now.  Sometimes I wish I could spend more time with my parents and sister.  I usually see them 3-5 times a year.  I’m really still a kid.  I know that.

First we went to the park and explored the river.  I wanted to see some fishies but didn’t. 😦  In the evening we had dinner and went to see The Secret In Their Eyes, which was easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.  It had all the right proportions of mystery, passion, love, truth, and humanity.  Highly recommended.

For some reason, I absolutely had to have pizza for dinner last night.  Every few months I get a serious pizza craving.  Cheese is comforting.  Very very comforting.  I think Joanne would agree.  Wild mushroom and pepperoni:

I think this is enough epicness for one small post.

What epic things have you done lately?

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!

Comfort

Today’s Mini Goal: Actually do some of my homework on a Saturday for once.

Sometime earlier this week my mini goal was something along the lines of “plan my weekend” so that I’m neither overwhelmed nor lonely.  I think I may have successfully accomplished this!  Last night and tonight are nights in, although I have been chatting with friends on off.  Tomorrow morning is a group run for my school road runners club that I plan on going to, tomorrow night is a friend’s birthday party, and Sunday afternoon I’m doing a 5k benefit run with other single runners at JackRabbit.

Run:

Finally got back to running today.  I wasn’t in the mood to run outside (read: I haven’t done laundry in forever and had no clean running pants) so I made my way over to the gym for six very easy miles.  It was nice and refreshing!

Eats:

My appetite and tummy seem to be almost back to normal.  Hooray!  I have been eating smaller meals and am still a bit less hungry than normal, but fruits, veggies, protein, and fat are back in my life.

Breakfast was oatmeal with dried cherries and loads of cinnamon.  You can never have too much cinnamon in your life.  Never.

I didn’t eat lunch until 4:00 (like I said, hunger cues still out of whack), but I did enjoy a chocolate covered strawberry frozen dessert (haha, saying “frozen dessert” sounds so…wrong?) from TLC in the early afternoon.

Then: errands!  Which included Whole Foods.  Which, by extension, included lunch:

Brie and pear pizza.  Ahhhhh.

My weekly splurge purchase was this baby:

Burt’s Bees Conditioner.  I love (and, let’s face it, my hair needs) a good moisturizing conditioner, and Burt’s Bees hasn’t failed me yet.  I took the picture with my arm so blatantly in it because the raspberries on the bottle match my shirt!  Yay!

I found the elusive chocolate oikos!

I just had to test it out as soon as I got home.  I had one with peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips (hey, Katie said we needed to consume insane amounts of chocolate this weekend, so I had to!  I was coerced into it!).  The verdict: overall I really liked it, but the chocolate sauce on its own tasted funny (it’s at the bottom and you mix it in).  But once it was all mixed up I really liked it!  I also picked up some chobani pineapple and raspberry.  If you haven’t had a chance to try either of these flavors yet, I highly recommend them.  They’re probably my favorites, along with pomegranate.  I also picked up my first siggis Icelandic yogurt, so we’ll see how that goes.  What are your favorite yogurts?  If you’re vegan, have you tried yogurt substitutes?  Are they good?

Dinner was one of my new favorite things: bread broiled with hummus and cheese.  Also had a heap of salad.

I love bubbly cheese.  For some reason, this smelled exactly like pizza!

Mental Health:

I started having some “anniversary anxiety” last night and once it began, I couldn’t seem to stop it.  February of 2009 is when I had my meltdown, and it was no minor event. One day I was at school hiding in my room and digging my fingernails into my arms, the next day my dad and I were driving across the George Washington bridge, heading home, where I would be for six months.  It all happened so fast, and this is the first time I have really begun to process what, precisely, happened.  I’m sort of creating a narrative in my head and just trying to place things chronologically and understand why everything became so unbearable.  I ended up crying myself to sleep last night just thinking about that moment in my life.  I tried every trick that I knew; I talked kindly to myself (out loud, even), repeated the mantra “you aren’t alone this time” and tried to breathe deeply.  Nothing worked.  Eventually I emailed my therapist telling her how scared and sad and lonely I was feeling and she sent me the most wonderful,  soothing response.  We emailed back and forth during the day (how awesome is it that she doesn’t mind doing that), and one of the things she said that stuck out to me the most was this:

“The sad part of you is surfacing now, but it need not scare you. You have other parts as well… maybe even some wonderful ones that have yet to be seen!”

Very true, and very comforting.  I understand that I have sad parts and dark parts and complicated memories, but I need not be scared of them.  What a simple, yet powerful, thought.

Has anyone ever said something so clear yet so important to you?  When you are experiencing a moment of panic, how do you bring yourself back to a safe, happy place?  What does such a place even look like?

My safe space looks like a melange of different physically happy places from my life: a snow-covered hiking trail near my house in Michigan, the lit-up Parliament in Ottawa at Christmas, the most perfect meadow in Northern Michigan, my street corner in New York.

Happy Friday everyone, and have a splendid weekend!