We Can’t All Be Julia Child

Today’s Happy Note: Meeting my new students!  I volunteer with high schoolers in NYC public schools and love it.  Some of them told me that I have really strong arms and legs, randomly.  I guess all my strength training and running pay off (although in reality the benefit for me is mostly mental — I want to look fit, but I don’t have a pathological need to “look good” — I’m past that stage, thank God)!

Marathon Training: During my hilly 9-miler this morning, I realized that my half-marathon on Saturday is not gonna be easy.  I have already run 39 miles this week and will probably do 3 or so tomorrow.  Saturday will include the half-mary plus an extra 5 for a grand total of 18 and 60 for the whole week. Wow.  Holy crap.  That’s a lot of miles.

I need new shoes just thinking about it.

Today was another super busy day of running, classes, therapy, more classes, volunteering and….law school fair! This probably sounds really boring to you, but applying to law school is actually something I’m genuinely excited about. Every time I find a new school that seems fun and vibrant and has good programs in the areas I’m interested in, I add it to The List. The List is getting bigger every day.

I haven’t felt so thrilled about most big changes or decisions in my life.  But, like my decision to leave school in the second half of my sophomore year, this is just something that I feel clearly and simply right about. In my heart.

All this is to say that my life is crazy busy right now, just like so many of your lives!  And I want to share with you my favorite easy dinners (and easy dinner-making tips) for when life gets like this.

Sometimes I get home at 8 or 9 and I. Do. Not. Want. To. Cook.

Chopping vegetables and coming up with complicated fish marinades can be relaxing.  But not when you haven’t eaten in six hours and you’re ready to eat the damn non-stick pan you’re cooking with.

Speedy-but-healthy weeknight dinner tips:

  1. Do not fear the afternoon snack. I always have one between three and five.  Usually something relatively large.  A good afternoon snack means that you’ll have the time and energy to prepare a tasty, healthy dinner.
  2. If you can, prep your vegetables on the weekend.  I like to either make a giant stir-fry over the weekend or just cut up a few cups of sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, or whatever is in season and in my fridge!
  3. Simple does not necessarily mean bad.  When you’re pressed for time and money, fancy is rarely an option, in fact.  Pick simple proteins and fats. Don’t buy a live lobster or a 10 pound complicated rack of lamb.  Some of my favorite choices: eggs, hummus and cheese, salmon (cooks quickly!), natural/organic deli turkey, canned beans, canned tuna, quinoa, frozen pre-cooked shrimp, extra firm tofu, and nut butters, of course.  You can spice up a simple protein relatively easily and quickly.
  4. You don’t need a lot of equipment but the essentials are, well, essential.  A cutting board (or a very sturdy plastic plate that I may or may not use as a cutting board), a good knife, a measuring cup, a glass mixing bowl or two, a good spatula, a wooden spoon, a pot, and a non-stick pan.
  5. Invest in some spices and sauces that you can throw into a dish to take it to the next level: salsa, hummus, peanut vinaigrette, green chiles, lemon pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, seedy mustard, guacamole, etc.

And without further ado, easy weeknight dinners in pictures!

I tend to go for easy stir-fry comobs.  This was the one I mentioned yesterday — broccoli, onion, sweet potato, tofu, and peanut sauce.  I paired it with some TJ’s carrot ginger soup.  Soups, provided that they’re low in sodium and don’t have crazy ingredients, can be great sides or main dishes if you add in some fillers.

Sweet potatoes are really easy to steam in the microwave!  I topped mine with turkey here, but you can also use beans, greek yogurt, nut butter — whatever.  Paired with a side salad, dinner was good to go.

Sometimes you just need a Smoothie In A Bowl for dinner.  Throw on some granola and nuts for toppings to make it heartier.  And pair it with a side salad if you’re weird like I am and don’t mind veggies with your smoothie.

Omelets or egg scrambles are always a good choice! Tonight I had one stuffed with broccoli, green pepper, and cheddar, with a bowl of oatmeal on the side.  Breakfast for dinner is usually quick and always tasty!

These have all been dinners from just this week.  It’s easier than you think to be creative but tasty.  Inexpensive yet healthy.

Some of my other favorite weekday dinners include quinoa with beans mixed in, salmon baked up with soy sauce, ginger, maple and roasted veggies, whole grain pasta with marinara and local grass-fed ground beef, wraps with avocado, hummus, spinach, and tuna…the list goes one.

Your favorite quick and easy dinners?

Because let’s face it.  We can’t all be Julia Child all the time.

I have more exciting (and important) things to do than cook dinner.  BUT I still want to be nourished and satisfied. These tips and dinners fit the bill.

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Crazed Runner Thoughts

Today’s Happy Note: Getting started on schoolwork.  This is “happy” because it has been a big source of anxiety for me over the last few days and now that I finally have just started it doesn’t seem so bad!  I will have lots and lots of reading this semester, some interesting, some not.  Right now I’m reading about Harlem Renaissance Literature!

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a very lazy day.  I ate a lot.  When I wasn’t hungry.  Then napped.  Then remembered that I had to run five miles. Crap.  Had to do it on the street because it was already getting dark.  Boring.  Sweaty.  Came home and did 20-30 minutes of yoga. Felt better afterwards.  Marathon training really screws with your metabolism/hunger cues.  I want chocolate.

Sometimes I don’t even understand my thought process surrounding running. 🙂

Today I had to tackle 16 miles.  It’s funny how sometimes a long run can be wonderful (like last week) and sometimes it can really, really suck. Unfortunately, this week was of the sucky variety.

I decided to sleep in, rather than waking up at seven on a Sunday (contrary to popular belief, I am still in college and sometimes I do partake in college-like activities on weekends….).  This meant that I had to go to yoga before my long run instead of after.  Meh.  It was a really nice class, actually, although I probably tired out my legs a bit too much.  I love when we focus on mediation and emotional balance in tandem with the physical asana practice.

I set out for the 16 miles right after yoga, heading down the Hudson river, around Battery Park City, and back up the East River.  Thoughts:

Mile 1: Why do my calves hurt so much?  Why are they so tight?  I can’t think of any explanation for them feeling like this.  This does not make logical sense.  Oh wait, sometimes running makes no logical sense — I am running 16 miles and my friends are eating bagels and cream cheese in their PJs.  Ugh.

Mile 2: Now my calves hurt and I have to pee.  Okay, that’s sufficient discomfort to merit a quick stop.  I peed (in a bathroom, of course) then did some calf stretches, which helped.  It’s drizzling.  I like drizzling.  A little water never killed anybody.

Mile 3: Calves are easing up.  Good.  But now my hip and hamstring hurt.  But not a lot.  Just a little.  I should keep going though.

Mile 4: Why did I decide I was going to keep going, again?  I jsut ran four miles and now I have twelve more.  Also, why is there a random festival taking place on the running/walking path?

Mile 5: There is clearly a sign that says dogs are not allowed in this part of the park.  So why is your dog here?  Oh crap, it’s raining harder.  But I only have 11 miles left and it would be wimpy to stop now, even though the trajectory of the degree of raininess is clearly increasing.

Mile 6: I’m in Battery Park City, by lots of 9/11 monuments and memorials and such.  This is very sad.  I have never been able to fully organize my thoughts surrounding 9/11.  I didn’t live in New York then, but I do live here now.  I’m scared, sometimes.

Mile 7: Why in God’s name is anyone taking the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island right now?  Why is the Staten Island Ferry orange?  It’s officially pouring.

Mile 8: the Lower East Side is unnecessarily confusing.  When am I going to get to Houston?  Shouldn’t I be at Houston already?  Why can’t there be real beaches in Manhattan?  I want to go swimming in the East River.  That would be really gross.

Mile 9: I do not like running up stairs.  I think my body wad not built for stairs — seriously, I get exhausted after a single flight.  Damn UN tourists.  Damn UN traffic.  I don’t like the streets on the Upper East Side.  The avenues should have been better organized.  If I were a municipal politician, I would be so good at organizing streets.  But I don’t think I would make a very good civil engineer.

Mile 10: Snacktime!  I don’t like cranberry flavored stuff (I also do’t like tomatoes, beets, olives, pickles, ham, american cheese, or white chocolate) but these cran-razz shot blocks are pretty good.  Like really sugary juice.  What classes do I have tomorrow?  Do they involve food?  Maybe I should make my own energy gels with dates and stuff.  It would be cheaper.  And healthier.  And I am far, far too lazy for that. It’s.  Still.  Raining.

Mile 11: I miss USB.  Crap, I can’t miss USB because I saw him 36 hours ago.  Pull yourself together, Caronae.  Wow, the water is really swirly and choppy here.  Good thing I took a class about the history of the city — I know exactly why it’s choppy!  It’s because there are a bunch of channels merging in this area and lots of people have drowned here.  I hope I’m not one of them.  I hope this creepy man doesn’t push me over the edge.  I can swim really well though, so at least I have that going for me.

Mile 12: There are many bridges on the East Side.  I can never remember which comes first.  My NYC bridge knowledge sucks.  My NYC street knowledge is, however,  excellent.  For example, I know that the hill pathway under the Queensboro Bridge at 60th Street is closed; therefore you have to go up York Street to 63rd in order to cross over FDR drive and get back onto the East River Esplanade.  sometimes I am so smart.  Other times I am terribly, terribly dumb.

Mile 13: I want to eat a burrito tonight.  Or maybe a taco.  Something Mexican.  Except I am feeling sort of queasy so that might not happen.

Mile 14: I am so soaked that my face is cold any I have officially gained about 7 pounds via the water that is weighing down my clothing.  Yup, I can see my yoga pants flapping about at the bottom because they are officially too heavy to stay put.  I am eating the rest of these shot blox now.  There are lots of homeless peopler under these bridges and overpasses and archways and such.  I feel bad for them.  It’s rainy.  I would give them my hot chocolate, if I had any.  I should have some hot chocolate when I finish this.

Mile 15: I am pretty much dragging my left leg at this point.  I look like one of those people struggling to finish an Ironman.  Except I have only done 15 miles, which is approximately 1546 times less hardcore.  Hip.  Hurts.  I hope this doesn’t derail my marathon training.

Mile 16: I have never loved the sight of Central Park so much.  I am almost hooommmmmeeee.  Except wait.  There are three giant hills standing in between me and home.  Yuck.  At least there are more runners here, who are also soaking wet, so maybe I don’t look like such an idiot.  I wonder what kinds of birds stick around for the winter.  Definitely swallows.  I always see swallows, everywhere.  But not cardinals or robins or blue jays.  Those only come back in the spring.  But they haven’t left yet because there is a blue jay, right there.   I think bird migration patterns are really cool.

End of Mile 16: This is the longest block of my life.  Look, there’s the hospital I was in!  I am glad I am not there anymore.  I want to have some sunflower seed butter now.

There you have it, 16 miles of one crazed runner’s thoughts.

Food from the weekend!

A fig and hazelnut scone.  Definitely…interesting.

That wrap was an excellent combination of TJ’s cilantro-jalapeno hummus, cheddar cheese, avocado, and yellow pepper.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day.  Blech.  Morning workout, doctor’s appointments, work, class (yoga is starting!!!!), job recruitment meeting (with a company I really don’t want to work for but they would not stop harrasing me so I’m going because I feel bad), more class, activities, reading, laundry, dinner, more reading.

I need to remind myself to smile.  Nothing is ever so bad when you smile. 🙂

Happy Monday to all of you, my loves!

Tell me about your weekend!  And feel free to share any crazy-runner-thoughts, if you have them!

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. 🙂

Nut Butter Sneaking Habit

Today’s Happy Note: Napping.  Self-acceptance.  Let me explain: I have felt pretty sleepy and a wee bit lethargic this week.  Normally when that happens, I get angry at myself (“gee Caronae, why can’t you be more productive; you’re so lazy; you suck”).  Not this time.  I had a splendid afternoon nap and I just took it for what it was.  I am not a terrible person.  I don’t spend all my time sleeping.  My body knows when it needs a little extra love and rest, and I listened to it.  I am proud of myself for that.  Small victories people.  Small victories.

Something else I’m proud of: My run today! Tuesdays are speed work days.  I’ve said it before: speed work scares the crap out of me.  It’s really hard for me because my fast twitch muscles are kind of non-existent.  Because I know it’s hard, I work myself up into an anxious fit and then make it even harder for myself!

Not today.  The plan was 2 mile warm up, 4×1 mile @ tempo pace, 2 mile cool down.  I did 1/4 mile easy run/walk between each fast mile, for a total of 9 miles.

My tempo pace goal was 9:00 minutes per mile.  I crushed it!

Mile 1: 8:36

Mile 2: 8:34

Mile s: 8:30

Mile 4: 8:27

I was so shocked.  I worked hard, it felt hard, but I did it!  I love that amazing feeling you get after a good hard speed workout.  I enter into a state of physical, emotional calm and my body and mind become so content and relaxed.

I’m proud of myself indeed.

No Therapy Tuesday today because my therapist had an emergency and had to cancel.  I felt really bad for her; I could tell how stressed and anxious she was when she called; she seemed really upset and I actually felt like the inconsistency bothered her more than me!  Then, as I was walking home from work, I ran into her outside the grocery store. It was really weird to see her outside of the office environment (her office is actually in her apartment, which I really like because it seems more comfortable and less stiff)!  I could tell how completely harried she was; I was actually a little bit nervous that she was about to have a panic attack or something.  Anyways, I told her not to worry and to calm down.  Sort of a weird little reversal of roles.  We rescheduled for tomorrow.

I heart frozen berries.

And chocolate-topped smoothies.

Dinner was epic, not to mention that it took five minutes to prep.  I combined a can of tuna with a few spoonfuls 2% Fage, garlic hummus, chopped bell peppers, and guacamole.  Holy easy dinner.  Holy tastiness.

I just ate a weird iced tea slushy concoction.  It looks really weird so I’m not gonna share any pictures.  It’ for your own benefit, trust me.  It was iced chamomile tea (sweetened with stevia and honey) blended with a boatload (yes, that’s a word) of ice cubes.  Random, but I was craving something cold and icy, and this did the job.

Confession: I have a nut-butter-sneaking habit. I take pictures of most of what I eat, since it is helpful for me to have a record.  But spoonfuls of nut butter and tiny handfuls of nuts often escape the camera.  I don’t deprive myself, ever, but I also know that I don’t necessarily need those extra calories. So I’m making a promise to myself to photograph everything I eat; even those tiny spoonfuls.  I don’t share all my eats on the blog everyday (today there were maybe two spoonfuls of unpictured nut butter and a serving of TJ’s mini PB cups).  Can you tell I like PB?

I didn’t eat a lot today given that I ran nine miles (and maybe walked two more?), but I think it makes sense given that I ate more than I needed to yesterday.  I love how my body balances things out and really figures out what’s going on and what it needs or doesn’t need.  Bodies are so smart.

Be back tomorrow with Therapy Wednesday!

I hope you’re all having a most wonderful week.  Relax, smile, breathe!

Long Run/Weekend Adventures

Today’s Happy Note: I’m content right now.  There are things to be done, papers to organize, a swirl of feelings sweeping around in my body.  There are ideas to process and LSATs to study for and emails to be sent and bills to be paid and dry cleaning to be taken in.  There are letters to be written, friends to call, my legs are all cramped and stiff. But I am content.

Mental Health Note: A year ago, two years ago, these types of feelings completely overwhelmed me. There was no coping.  There was no contentment.  There was binging and self-hatred and fat talk and distress.  Everything is not perfect now, but I can cope, on some levels.  I am beginning to have that ability; I need to remember this when I get stressed about therapy not “going anywhere.”  L has helped me get somewhere.  Here: where I can have a rough idea of contentment and coping and lying on my back over my cool sheets and just breathing.

Weekend Workouts: Yesterday I did four easy miles and 30 minutes of abs/back strength at the gym.  Today I did a ten mile long run.  I feel silly using the words “ten mile” and “long run” in the same sentence.  But I worked damn hard for those ten miles.  Accomplishments come in different forms — sometimes an accomplishment is a 34 mile ultramarathon, other times an accomplishment is getting up and leaving the hospital.  Speaking of which, today is the one month anniversary of my being admitted to the hospital with pulmonary emboli.  It’s crazy that it has been that long, but it also feels like no time at all.  I will continue to respect my body, care for it, and take pride in all of its accomplishments.

I needed to get out of the city to run today.  I headed North to Westchester county, which has a decent trail system. Next time I will go further North, since I ended up in a fairly suburban area.  I like wilderness.  I like knowing that there are no other human beings or man made structures for miles.  Sometimes I want to go to Wyoming or Montana or Alaska and just run for days.  The run itself was pretty crappy.  Meh.  I felt like my legs weighed a hundred pounds.  Each.  I was struggling.  But I finished, which was a mental and physical accomplishment.  So I’ll take it.

Started the day with oats made with half soymilk/half water, frozen blueberries, and a bit of vanilla protein powder.

Yes, I eat things out of pyrex.  Yes, I am a food blogger (sometimes).  So sue me.

Unfortunately, while delicious, this breakfast reminded me why I never ever eat an actual meal (however small) before a morning run (especially a long run).  At this point, I have learned that plain jane oats or a banana is about all I can handle.

Snacked on dried fruit on the train ride home (there is a lot in that container) and an unpictured iced vanilla latte:

Grabbed a SIAB (raspberry/banana/vanilla) to take on the run to meet the lovely, smiling Joanne.

We saw Eat Pray Love. I like chick flicks.  I love Julia Roberts.  I like good storytelling and good writing.  I like journeys and discovery.  I like when women understand the importance of understanding themselves.

Therefore I liked it. Enough said.

Snacked on TLC afterward and got WF hot bar upon realizing I was too hungry to make it home sans food.

Dessert: Frozen blueberries with chocolate hazelnut butter and mini PB cups from TJs.

Yesterday, walking back from the gym, I saw a woman who seemed to me to have a perfectly proportioned, measured body.  Of course, this is an extraordinarily subjective statement, but let’s put that aside for now.  I admired the presence she had in her hips, the small belly, the way her skinny jeans fit.  And I heard myself say (in my head), “I would give anything to look like that.”  Of course, my rational side kicked in and said “that’s ridiculous”, but then something else happened. I asked myself, really, what would I give?

And I couldn’t think of a single thing.  I would not relinquish my creativity, my writing, my piles and piles of poems. I would not trade in my ambition or my sense of justice or my weird thought patterns.  Nor would I give up my intelligence, endurance, strength, health, friendship, compassion, or ability to love.

In short, in the span of about thirty seconds, I realized just how unimportant the precise shape and size of my body is.  In fact, it is at the bottom of my list.  Thinness translates into nothing else: it will not make me a succesful lawyer, it will not make someone truly fall in love with me, it will not help me understand who I am, where I come from, and where I am going.

Whew.  Enough about me.  That was a long post!  Did you have any adventures this weekend?  Any major realizations?

Edit: About  to go find another small snack…

Long Run Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Got in a really good balance of friend time and relaxation time.  This balance is always hard for me to find, so it’s encouraging when it works out and I get to see people I love without feeling overwhelmed.

And see the people I love I did! Starting bright and early this morning…

Bloggers!  Left to right in the picture above (taken in a weird digital window thingy): Jess (Fit Chick In The City), Kath (Kath Eats Real Food), Tina (Carrots ‘N Cake), Me, and Roni (Roni’s Weigh).  Tara (Tall Tara) also ran with us but left before the pictures.

We set out for 6 miles in CP (the main loop, hills and all).  These girls are fast and I had to work!  It was good for me though.  I did another two and a half afterwards for an 8.5 mile long run, plus a mile walking.

Came home and made a giant blueberry-banana SIAB topped with a crumbled blueberry muffin (I had half on the smoothie and half as a snack in the early evening).

I read and relaxed in bed for a bit then met up with my friend Joy for yoga.  It was a good class — a lot of leg work but not too much.  Lots of binds and stretchy poses too.  And the teacher used the most amazing lemony-citronella lotion or oil when she massaged our faces at the end.  Best part!

Time for lunch with my cousin.

We went to a pretty good macrobiotic place  — I was craving some simple veg, brown rice, and tofu.  I rolled with a tofu scramble with tempeh bacon.  It pretty much made my macrobiotic lunch dreams come true (what, you don’t have those dreams?).

Got back to the apartment and rested/watched netflix.  In other words a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon.  Also prepped veggies, went for a little walk, and chatted with my parents.

Afternoon snack was big:

Chocolate-peanut-caramel protein smoothie with extra PB and a clif mojo bar.  So I wasn’t too hungry for dinner.  In fact, it had been over four hours and I still wasn’t hungry so I freaked out a little bit.  I have been practicing listening to my body and eating intuitively while I lose weight (and I think it’s a good habit in general), but didn’t want to skip dinner altogether.  I got a wee bit panicked, actually.  I made a light dinner and dessert which seemed like a good compromise.  What do you do in this kind of situation?

I am, however, proud of myself that I am getting better at understanding when I am hungry and what that feels like and what I need to satisfy it.  That’s an accomplishment.

Two scrambled eggs and lots of scrambled veggies (yellow squash, green pepper, and avocado squash) with a bit of cheese melted on top.  Nice and delicious.

I’m munching on a pear with maple PB and a few squares of dark chocolate right now.  It’s an amazing combination!  If I could only eat one food for the rest of life, it might be PB; it’s got great taste, fats, protein, and carbs.  Pretty wonderful if you ask me.  What food would you choose?

So here we have another full day of (long run) eats.  I think it was probably a good amount but I just kind of feel full.  Maybe it’s just hormones/bloating?

Whatever.

Busy week ahead.  Things to look forward to:

~Lots more running

~Celebration/graduation for the students (my babies!) in second job

~Time to cook/bake/experiment in the kitchen in the evenings

~Top Chef

~Lots of magazines and books to read

What are you looking forward to?

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. 🙂

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