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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Twitter, Calming Yoga, UNWFP Blogger Against Hunger!

Today’s Happy Note: Afternoon nap.  I might have to make this a regular Friday afternoon activity. 🙂

Before beginning, I just need to say that, apparently, someone used the term “asparagus therapy” to find my blog yesterday.  I’m totally curious.  Not sure how the two go together; if you’re the “asparagus therapy” searcher feel free to leave a comment and let me know what “asparagus therapy” might mean!

No post yesterday because WordPress was down!  It was kind of scary.  For a while you couldn’t access any wordpress hosted sites.  Fortunately, my new tweeps assured me that all was okay; everyone was experiencing problems.  Unfortunately, WordPress relaunched right as I was about to go to bed.

That’s right friends: I’m on twitter.  To be honest, there was no special reason.  I am not trying to market the blog, I just like writing out my thoughts (as you probably know by now) and I like the challenge of making it short!  It’s fun to feel like you can be in immediate communication with friends as well.  My twitter name is Caronaeh.  Are you on twitter?  What was your reason for joining?

Two great workouts!  Yesterday I took the bootcamp class at my gym again (hard!) followed by an easy three mile run.  Today I did an hour yoga flow class at Yoga Vida, which is by far my favorite NYC studio.  I do not just do yoga for the physical workout; it is also very emotional and spiritual for me.  Despite being physically difficult, it is also deeply relaxing.  Today towards the end of class while in a lovely hanging forward fold, I had the most intense calm, happy, peaceful moment.  I simultaneously felt elated and grounded — it was splendid.  I can’t remember the last name I felt like this.  It felt like a release from my earthly problems.  It reminded me how silly it is to turn to unhealthy methods to “solve” my problems (i.e., restricting or emotional eating, isolating myself, getting angry/sad) when I have something so simple and so lovely to soothe me.  Next time I’m feeling overwhelmed, confused, hurt, or just depressed, I know exactly what I’ll do: take a nice long forward fold.

Do you have a favorite relaxation technique?

Eats hodgepodge: things have been pretty simple the last few days because I was low on groceries.  Trader Joe’s solved that problem this evening. 🙂

As you can see, I’ve been having fun throwing things in the blender.  I feel like blender possibilities are endless.  Tonight’s dessert: loads of ice, chocolate whey protein powder, low-fat chocolate milk, scoop of peanut butter.  Topped with a crumbled cookie.  Noms.

Your favorite blender combo?

You can probably see a new widget on the side of my blog!  I have joined the Unites Nations World Food Porgram (WFP) Bloggers Against Hunger group!  I may be a student on a budget, so I don’t have a lot of money to give to the many worthy organizations I would love to support, but I can at least spread awareness.  Growing up, my parents made sure to impress upon my sister and me the many injustices in this world.  While I grew up in my comfortable suburban home in the 90s, children in, say Rwanda or Bosnia, were dying of hunger or genocide or preventable disease.

If you click on the photo on the side it will take you to my “homepage” at UNWFP.  I am not asking for donations or anything, rather, please just click around and learn more about the program.  I am a huge supporter of the United Nations and the invaluable work they do in supporting global cooperation.

Some important information about hunger:

I’ll be back with an adventure tomorrow!  And an interview post, hopefully.

Have a spectacular Adventure Saturday everybody!

Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: New book from my therapist!  She has so many and I love picking out a new one every week.  It’s such a thrill.  More on this tomorrow.

Exercise: Went to the new gym for the first time!  It’s only a few blocks away.  I ran there but threw in some extra blocks so it was a nice mile warm-up.  Once there, I did arm and chest strength for about 25 minutes, then 30 minutes HIIT on this weeeeiiiiirrrrrdddd machine.  It’s a combination elliptical/starimaster.  So you can go forward and backward and up and down, each to varying degrees.  It was fun, but I didn’t feel like I was  working that hard.  On the high intensity minutes (I did 5  WU, 20 of 1 easy/1 high intensity, 5 CD) I felt like I couldn’t get my speed up that high.  It was definitely interesting at least and a decent workout.  I also walked a few miles in one of my new pairs of shoes and they are so painful.  I never wear heels and this is why.  Anybody know of a nice heeled shoe that is also sensible for someone who walks a lot and hates foot pain intensely?

Eats Hodgepodge (Cold Food Edition):

I cannot seem to eat anything hot for breakfast, or any other meal for that matter.  So much frozen fruit, smoothies, yogurt, cold salads, raw veggies.  That is when I have any appetite at all — I’ve been having to force myself to eat dinner in the evenings.  I have no idea why.  It’s just so hot and humid and my appetite has just gone *poof*!  Anyone else experiencing this right now?

Spidery-looking dried hibiscus flowers a good snack do make.  From TJ’s.

Therapy Tuesday

Today, for the first time in a month or so, things went beautifully again!  Looking back, I see a lot of microscopic shifts in behavior for both of us.  My relationship with L (I’m tired of saying “my therapist” every two sentences so I’m officially changing her designation to “L”) is sort of a microcosmic social relationship with its ups and downs.  I still cannot pinpoint exactly why the very idea of therapy has made me feel so intensely distraught over the last few weeks.  I do know that I have felt a rather poisonous mixture of the following: fear, anger, sadness, and confusion.  Going forward, I think that I feel more comfortable just being in therapy.  It has become one of the safest spaces in my life.  Maybe that’s what my anxieties and frustrations over the last few sessions have been about: getting out those last residual feelings (sad/bad/mad/scared) and moving into a place where therapy and my therapist can, even in times of intense distress and sadness, be the ultimate comfort.  I have, of course, felt comfortable before, but I think maybe it can be a more consistent thing now.  I know I have said previously that there is a difference between happiness and comfort, but I have not quite grasped these concepts as individuals.  As their own unique sets of feelings and experiences and words.  So this is actually a revelation for me!  I just moved through a storm in therapy, I suppose.  Through it, I knew that if I came out still warm and breathing and speaking, there would be a turning point.  And so comfort is the turning point: I have an idea of what it means now.  How to soothe myself.  How to allow others into my most intimate life and to let that be a comfort.  I am simply more aware of that here, on the other side of the storm.  The constant know in my heart has been replaced by a simple idea of comfort.

Today we talked a lot about loneliness and friendships.  I have always felt like a loner — even when  have had many friends.  I’ve always felt somehow on the periphery.  I’m noticing myself for this but not making a judgement.  I am not actually fundamentally unlovable.  I told L the ways in which I feel unliked and undeserving of love, and even as I listed them, they sounded ridiculous.  And, in fact, for the first time in a long time, I mentioned parts of me that I like and think other people might like as well: my hair is long and thick and has a certain power to it.  I find my spine and back very quiet and elegant and graceful.  My ability to be compassionate and fundamentally good towards others stands out.  It’s rather strange to hear myself say these things, actually.  But also healthy.  I don’t distinctly feel unloved anymore.  I’m in a more neutral space now.

The fact that I have not spent my life in the “in-crowd” reflects the ways I am unique, not my “unlikeable qualities”.  I gave L a sort of resume of my life in friendships and it was surprisingly joyful to look back and see how much I have loved people and been loved in my life.

Goodnight loves!

Career Girls

Today’s Happy Note: I am now the owner of a skirt suit!  It’s cute though, I swear.

Sorry for not posting yesterday!  When I’m on vacation I tend to get into an all-or-nothing mode and yesterday was, well, kind of the nothing mode.  I did shop though!  Which counts as exercise and productivity, since I needed new clothes!

I ran ten miles this morning and it was terrible.  Yucky weather, yucky legs, yucky run.  I know that not every run can be great though and sometimes you’ve just gotta slog through it.  I wasn’t really hurting either, just…sluggish.  Very, very sluggish.

Random side note: my mom and sister both thinks it’s insanely weird that I take pictures of my food.  They make fun of me for it, but in a loving way I suppose.  It only takes about a minute to photograph each meal or snack and I enjoy it, so I think it’s perfectly healthy.  It’s creative, artistic, reminds me what/how much I’ve eaten, and helps me share my eats and recipes with you guys — my friends!  Do you have family members or friends who think food photography is loony?

Eats hodgepodge:

The obligatory dairy queen visit.  I only go once or twice a year when I’m in MI.  DQ is one of the relatively few processed fast foods that I make an exception for.  I honestly have no interest in grease-soaked fries, burgers, or suspicious-meat tacos.  But I do have an interest in ice cream.  A strong interest.  Especially when dipped in fake cherry coating.  Majorly yum.

Are there any foods you know are terrible for you but you couldn’t imagine going without?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake:

6-8 big ice cubes

1 medium banana

2/3 C low-fat chocolate milk

1 scoop favorite protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp favorite peanut butter

Put all ingredients in blender, with ice on bottom, and whir!

This combination has always been one of my favorites.  It reminds me of afternoons spent with my oldest friend, Danica!  We met in fourth grade, when she moved to MI.  We were both geeky bookworm weirdos who liked studying outer space, bugs, and reading during recess.  The very first day of school, our teacher introduced us, and I actually said “maybe I’ll play with her when I finish my book.”  We quickly bonded over our shared oddball natures.

Sometimes I would ride the bus to her house after school when my parents were really busy at work.  Her mom made us chocolate banana smoothies.  Twas delicious.  We still have loads in common — we like to argue, are interested in politics, and are ambitious!  She moved to Idaho when we were about fourteen and now goes to college on the West Coast, but we’re still friends!  We rendezvoused in Mexico in January of 2009 and talk on the phone every month or so. She’s my oldest friend and I hope I can still say that when I’m a hundred!

Do you have an old, childhood friend who you still keep in contact with?

Speaking of ambition!

I have been thinking about my future a lot lately.  As a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist for a long time.  Then an orthodontist.  And a chef.  And so on and so forth.  Right now?  Well I am not totally sure — the good thing is that I have a lot of options.  In the next year or so I will be searching for a job; I plan on staying in NY because, well, I love it, as we all know!  In 3-5 years I would like to go to law school so that I can graduate when I’m 26-28.  In the meantime, I might like to work in a legal field — either government/public policy, human rights, or international stuff.  Potentially as a paralegal or legal researcher.  I also might be interested in non-profit work, although let’s be honest, we all know how well that pays.  Another option is to make good use of my history degree and continue work or research in that field.  I love working in a historical archive and could see myself working in a library or government archive as well.  Finally, I could see myself doing something with writing: journalism, magazines, editing, creative work.  I do, at some point in my 20s, hope to publish a book of my poems.

In my mind, I see so many possibilities as a good thing!  Some people have more narrow preferences, but I think that keeping my options and interests open to all the things I like will, in the long run, be more productive.

What are your ambitions? I say follow your dreams!  I have no interest in being chained to a career that I don’t love.  Sometimes it takes a little searching and experimenting, but I know that.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.  What have you been up to?

Trail Running 101. And Smoothie-Making 102.

Today’s Happy Note: Tree climbing with my sister.  Or at least attempted tree climbing.  Either we have grown or the trees have shrunk.  I think it’s the former.

I wish that those could be real classes.  Other fantasy classes of mine:

  • Learning How to Please Your Mother (10,000 level)
  • Adventure Travel: Pretty Birds Edition
  • Experiments in Oatmeal-Making
  • Cuddling With Ducks and Other Cool Animals
  • How To Use a Fax Machine Without Going Crazy/Why Are These Dinosaurs Still Being Used
  • Why Stars Are Pretty
  • How to Date (Remedial Version)
  • Studio Art: Clay, Pastels, Collages!
  • Marine Biology for People Who Don’t Know Anything About Biology And Just Want to Scuba Dive with Exotic Fish
  • How Best to Use Your Wok

I could go on but I’ll spare you. What fantasy classes would you dream up?  Or is it just me who thinks of these things? After all, it is already well established that I’m off the charts in geekiness ratings.

Exercise: A most breath-taking two hour trail run one on of my beloved Michigan trails.  And there were no snake encounters!  Only moles, squirrels, and butterflies.  Wildlife success!

I took pictures for you!

Winding trail.  This trail is spectacularly hilly.  I’m talking quad-busting-long-squelching-I-want-my-mother-to-carry-me-up-hills.  I think I ran 11-12 miles but it was probably the actual output equivalent of several more.

My favorite segments of the trails.  Meadows.  That’s all I have to say.  And look at that sky!

Iced Oatmeal Raisin Luna Bar snack photographed while running.  I’m glad I am able to put my talents to good use in this world.

Not exactly sure why I look like such a man here.  Whatever.  You win some you lose some.

I like trail running because…

  • I feel like I’m flying.
  • Nature tends to provide endless entertainment (squawking sucks!  shiny turtles!  tiny pink flowers!)
  • The challenge keeps you on your toes
  • There is something freeing about it: the up and down and fast and slow and rocks and roots and grassy patches — all of this gives you, briefly, a new outlook on the world.

Lessons in trail running…

  • Always make sure someone knows where you are going.  If you have never been to a certain trail or park, try to go with someone.  If you can’t, then study the maps and stick one in your pocket if possible.  I always carry my cell phone and an emergency snack as well.
  • If you get lost, don’t panic.  Look for a trail marker or a fellow hiker or runner.  Bring extra layers in case you are out later than expected.  If you are very lost, try to follow a stream or a road.
  • Be prepared to let other runners or bikers pass you.  If there are mountain bikers, be careful; they often come around curves on narrow paths very quickly.
  • Respect the wildlife.  If there are a million trilliums or marsh marigolds, it’s probably fine to pick one, but don’t go pulling things out of the earth, leaving trash (and yes, goo wrappers are trash), or displacing anything natural.
  • Animals live in nature.  There, I said it.  It is highly unlikely that they will bother you.  Be kind to them.
  • Watch your footing!  Rocks and roots often seem to come up out of nowhere.  I fell on my face at one point today and I am an experienced trail runner who has run this particular trail probably 20 times.
  • Bring kleenex for bathroom emergencies.
  • Be kind to other runners or walkers.  Say hello or wave or smile.
  • Wear sunscreen if need be or a hat or sunglasses.
  • Make sure you have appropriate footwear, i.e., good running shoes or even special trail running shoes.

Anyone have any additional tips?

Now for the smoothie-making lesson.  Mmmmm.

This is my post long-run breakfast.  A blueberry-banana smoothie topped with a wee bit of shredded spoonfuls cereal (weird name, no?) and a slice of seedy toast with pb.

Why, you ask, is the smoothie in a bowl.  Because all things — and smoothies especially — taste better when eaten out of a bowl with a spoon.  This has been scientifically proven.

What’s in this smoothie?  Frozen blueberries, half a banana, half a cup of vanilla soy milk, half a cup plain greek yogurt, about half a cup of water, amazing grass berry amazing greens (only tasted a faintly grassy berry taste!), and six large ice cubes.  Pure and delicious.

My smoothie is ready for her close up.

Why I like smoothies…

  • Nutrition, volume, and taste all rolled into one.
  • Smooth, cold texture is perfect for summer
  • Easily customizable! Choice of fruits, milks or yogurt, nuts, protein, flavorings, etc.
  • Can be both unglamorous, portable meals OR fancy sit-down meals, depending on how your “plate” it.
  • They’re fun!  Who doesn’t like eating/drinking/slurping a smoothie.

Smoothie-making tips…

  • Include ice or frozen fruit or both.  It helps with the volume and that classic icy-but-not-icy texture.
  • Also experiment with protein powders or gums for better texture/volume.
  • Play around with fruit and flavor combinations!  And yes, fruit is pretty much essential.  Options are endless: blueberry-banana, strawberry-rhubarb, raspberry-peach, mango-vanilla, peanut butter-banana-chocolate…
  • Don’t be afraid to try some seemingly random things: throw in a few cashews or a spoonful of peanut butter or cinnamon or almond extract or coffee or tea or mint or lavender.  Have fun with it!
  • You don’t necessarily need milk (of any sort).  Sometimes I like the texture that results from a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt and a cup of water.  You could also try coconut milk or water or even frozen yogurt for a treat.  In the summer, peach ice cream is an amazing smoothie ingredient!
  • You don’t need a vita-mix, although you may want one.  I have a proctor-silex which works fine for everything except banana soft serve.

What are your smoothie tips and tricks?

Happy Rewards and Silly Friends

Today’s Happy Note: Guess who just finished her junior year of college? 🙂

And boy am I ready to be done.  This week has been exhausting.  I am very ready for summer!  I actually like working a lot and I feel more adult during the summer.  I don’t tend to run wild and I love how the season lets me get into a rhythm and a schedule in the way that the school year really doesn’t.  I am planning a few exciting little projects to keep me entertained so stay tuned!

I decided to celebrate my little junior year graduation with two of my favorite things: Oprah magazine and frozen yogurt!

I like to have a balance of food and non-food rewards, so a frozen treat combined with a magazine is perfect for me!  My next big accomplishment will probably be rewarded with a massage!  Hmm, I’ll have to think of something to accomplish 🙂

Do you reward yourself?  If so, what is your favorite little treat?

Finals Health Week Challenge:

Yesterday (day 4) was kind of meh.  I had a lot to do so I knew I wasn’t really going to have time for a workout.  I might have had room for a walk if I hadn’t procrastinated so much.  People are always shocked to hear this but I am actually a major procrastinator!  On everything.  And it just turned into one of those days where you almost don’t have the energy to think up meals or snacks so you just eat cereal all day.  Does anyone else ever do this?  Hey, I had a lot of frozen fruit with my cereal.  That counts for something!

Mash-up of eats from yesterday and today:

Lots of healthy nom nom noms.

I think I did pretty well today (day 5).  I did a relaxing but pretty quick nine miler this morning and walked another two or so miles this evening.  I think my amount of physical activity today probably made up for not doing too much yesterday!  I’ve had a nice mix of treats and nutrition, too: dried berries, popcorn, raisins, peppers and broccoli, chocolate, spinach, frozen yogurt.  You get the picture.  I had two really nice, clear mental moments today too: once was after I finished writing my contemporary civilization exam (my last one).  I suddenly realized that I am a smart woman!  I just wrote, like, 15 pages about the implications of liberty for human equality in the political state!  I don’t think I’m stupid.  🙂  The next moment came this evening at the movies with friends, when we were goofing around and taking funny pictures of each other.  I saw a picture of me and one of my friends and for the first time in a long time, my immediate reaction was “gosh, that girl looks pretty and interesting”, rather than “that girl looks fat.”  Sounds silly, but this is a big deal for me!

I did have an Adventure today for Adventure Friday (saw Ironman II with friends — surprisingly good) but am too tired to write about it!  I am planning on having an adventure tomorrow though so you guys won’t be too adventure deprived.

I think this picture pretty much sums up the evening!  My friends and I are quite silly…We were trying to pose in front of the Sex and The City poster but it didn’t really work out.

Has anyone done an Adventure Friday post? If so, send me the link and I would love to read it and share it with my other readers!

I hope you all have a most wonderful weekend filled with lots of laughter and contentment!  And pretty May flowers too!

Long Run, Emotional Eating, Springtime, A Surprise!

Today’s Happy Note: Started a semi-interesting, and at least important, task at work today.  It’s really hard to explain but basically involves cross-checking a lot of lists about what’s in our collection.  Fun-ness.  Made me feel more useful than when I just get the mail and answer the phone. Oh, and it’s April now, one of my favorite months!

Exercise: Finally got the long run in today — 15 miles!  It was the most beautiful springy day in NYC.  There were so many people in CP, but the views were worth it.  I saw crocuses, violets, daffodils, tulip shoots, cherry trees, magnolia trees, dogwood, wild rose buds.  Delicious (does anyone else enjoy using food-related adjectives to describe non-food items, or is it just me?).

I felt fantabulous for the first ten or eleven miles, but the last four were painful and slower.  Meh.  Maybe not enough fuel beforehand?  The last few miles hurt in a really weird way; it was like my pelvis was sore.  I have this pain a lot, but it was really bad.  And my hip flexors and ankles were tight.  Guess I need to stretch more!

Eats: So, confession.

I ate way too much yesterday; I just started snacking in the afternoon and could not stop.  I often snack a little too much after dinner but this was more than too much.  Ugh.  I’m focusing on keeping my eats cleaner than usual the next few days; ultimately, I don’t think that one day of overeating will matter, since it probably only happens a few times a year, but it annoys me to feel not in control, ya know?  I hate that my immediate stress-response is eating.  I identified several stressful situations that were stressing me out at the time; I think that’s the first step.  I also want to make a list of alternative responses:

1. Drawing/sketching

2. Writing

3. Puzzles, cards, word games

4. Getting blog stuff done (new pages, guest posts, etc.)

5. Making tea

6. Reading the newspaper or fiction

7. Call friends/stop by their rooms

That’s a pretty good list I like to think!  Do you guys use any of these tactics or any others?  Or are you just one of those people who never feels the hunger monster?

I’ve heard that there are such people but I don’t know any 😉

Pretty eats from today and yesterday, followed by a special announcement!

And my surprise….

I’m the proud new mama of a blender!  I have been coveting one for months.  I was going to possibly get one at home but the timing didn’t work out.  My mom sent it to me for Easter, my favorite holiday!

Blenders potential uses:

smoothie/protein shake  master

chocolate avocado pudding creator

-soup-maker extraordinaire (love some of Gena’ s recipes!)

banana soft-serve/ice cream producer

-?????

As you can see, I am quite the excited girl right now.

What is something that happened to you today that you’re excited about?

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