Rough Night+Chocolate

Today’s Happy Note: Pandora.  Customizable music stations?  No CDs or MP3s or iPods?  I can listen to whatever I want when I’m studying?  Me likes.

Marathon Training: Yoga class today followed by an easy 4-miler, with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile. Yoga was slow but nice; I definitely felt my legs and hips opening and stretching.  The run was slooooowww.  This is a pattern, following speedwork or long runs, that I have just come to accept.  Meh.

Tonight was rough. Rough.  It started when I decided not to go to my last class.  Then I felt guilty.  Then the guilt was compounded by stress because my INR is too low.  Then there was a laundry fiasco.  Then I was so hangry I almost ate my ears off.  Then the printer wasn’t working properly.  And now my whole left forearm itches.

Blech blech blech.

I’m drowning my sorrows in hulu, some frozen yogurt, and, per my mom’s advice, maybe a bit of meditation.

There is school work to be done.  And it ain’t happenin’ tonight.

So I’m settling into my bed, with my crossword puzzle and some tea.

After blogging, of course. 🙂

Leftover stir-fry topped with avocado.  This stir-fry consisted of sweet potato, onion, broccoli, EVOO, salt and pepper, ginger, tofu, and peanut sauce.  This is one of my fave stir-fry combos ever.

Do you have any fave stir-fry combos?

I reappropriated my leftovers into dinner too!  I wanted to make something else but was too hungry to wait.  Do you ever feel to hungry to cook?  this time, I put the stir-fry into a cup of TJ’s carrot ginger soup with two big handfuls of spinach and ate it stew-style!  Also very successful.

Sometimes I get fro yo and then bring it home and add my own toppings.  Shhhh, don’t tell.  You can’t even see the yogurt under my mess of toppings!  It was half mango/half plain topped with dark chocolate, coconut, and TJ’s cat cookies.

Other food highlights of late:

Chocolate.

Chocolate.

More chocolate.

USB may or may not have given me not one but two boxes of chocolates last weekend.  Did I mention that he wrote me a poem tonight?

Um, yeah.

He’s a keeper, I’m pretty sure.

Goodnight friends! Hopefully when I see you tomorrow I’ll be less stressed!  And happy almost-end-the-week!

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Long Run Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Fall weather.  I may have already said this.  But it’s that awesome that I get to say it again.  I love the colors, the temperatures, the wind, and the leaves.

Hello friends!  Happy Sunday evening!  I should be reading for school.  Confession: I have not done one single ounce of schoolwork all weekend.  Nada.  I only have yoga and one “real” class tomorrow, but it’s in the evening, so I have all afternoon to study, right?  Right? 😉

I just finished watching a very moving video of HLS session on the impact of reading food/fitness blogs, led by Caitlin (of Healthy Tipping Point) and Gena (of Choosing Raw).  You can watch it here. I highly recommend it.  It made me think about what I get out of blogging and reading blogs and existing in this little sphere we call the healthy living blogging community.  It sort of cemented some thoughts that have already been floating around in my head:

  • The way that I eat and the way that I move is something unique to me.  I cannot compare myself to other bloggers (or celebrities or friends or whoever) in this regard because eating and exercising are endeavors that will be the same for no two people.  I will not be ashamed if I eat more than another blogger (or less).  If I eat more protein or more carbs.  If I eat more scones and muffins (I’m pretty sure I could trump almost any blogger on this one).  I will not be ashamed if I practice yoga less.  I will not be ashamed that I have struggled with depression for many years, or that I go to therapy.  In fact, I freely admit that I really enjoy therapy.  Basically, I will not be ashamed for being me in the only way I know how.
  • I have decided that I really enjoy having a “smaller” blog.  Less pressure, more fun and games and friends.
  • I have always been a little bit unsure of my blog’s content.  Sometimes I share stories/memories or other forms of writing.  Sometimes recipes.  Sometimes food pictures or running tales.  And sometimes I talk about a moment in which I really struggled with my mental health — in which my anxiety or depression or sadness took over.  This happened just last night, in fact.  I almost allowed the loneliness to take over, but I stopped it in its tracks by going for a run.  My point is, I have a lot of content.  I understand that the point of a blog is supposed to be focused, but I think that, in its own way, my blog is very focused.  I have come to realize that when I talk about my social life or share thoughts on therapy or describe what is working in my diet — all of this is related.  All of this comes together to form the bigger picture of “Caronae’s Health.”

Onto today’s long run!

It was twelve miles and took me a little over two hours.  It was decent, certainly better than the runs of weeks past.  I am still having the nagging pain in my back left hip, which is slightly worrisome.  It actually feels worse when I try to stretch it out?  I definitely had stretches in the run where I was able to speed up to a 9:00 mile pace or so, which was nice.  I did not feel nearly as dead as usual.  Overall, a success.

I signed up for a half-marathon next weekend on a whim a few days ago.  It’s called Grete’s Great Gallop and is entirely in Central Park.  That was a nice way of saying the course is going to be really boring, and hilly too.  My long runs are normally on Sundays, and next weekend was supposed to be 18 miles, so I’ll have to add in a few miles before or after.  But on the whole, I think it will be nice to have a “race” in this training cycle.  I say “race” because I will not be going all out.  My goal is actually going to be to maintain just under Marathon Goal Pace (which means that I would like to run the race at a 9:30-10:00 mile pace).

Enough running talk!  Onto food.  This is everything I have had thus far today, minus about two unpictured spoonfuls of crunchy PB.  I am doing this not for anyone else to compare but because it’s useful for me to keep track of what I have had on a long run day and see if it is enough and see if there are things that aren’t working. 🙂

Bad picture, but it’s a banana smothered in PB, eaten pre-run.

This was one of the best post-long run brunches I have ever had, because it was exactly what I wanted.  A glass of icy pear cider (amazing!!!!), pile of green grapes, and a warm chocolate chip scone with more PB.  Can you tell that PB and I are friends?

Gabriela and I went to Levain in the late afternoon.  We had delicious cookies and a lovely chat session!  We both agreed that these were the softest, thickest, most satisfying cookies we had ever eaten.  I bought one for USB for later.  It’s a surprise! 🙂

Thank you for the lovely afternoon Gabriela!

Dinner was a tasty sir-fry of onion, sweet potato, broccoli, tofu, salt and pepper, ginger, and TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette.  This was a really good combo!  I had some carrot ginger soup with a dollop of plain 2% greek yogurt on the side.  I have decided that I officially like stir-fries more than salads, fyi.

Might have some dark chocolate or cocoa or tea or an apple later on.  We shall see. 🙂

I actually don’t tend to eat a massive amount on long run days just because I often don’t have an appetite or don’t have the time.  I’ll probably eat more tomorrow, I suspect.

Fun blog announcement: I bought the domain name caronae.com yesterday!  You won’t find much of anything there just yet, but I am anticipating a switch-over to my own domain soon!  I’ll still be wordpress-hosted (it’s very convenient), but will have an easier URL.  I was rpetty excited that I could get my first name as my site.  How many other people can say that?  Hehe.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most wonderful week!

Day 2: Adjusting

Today’s Happy Note: I had an interesting class this evening!  Score.  So far I have felt mostly sleepy and bored in school, but I think it’s just my body/mind transitioning back into student mode.  The one this evening was called Narrative and Human Rights.  Cool, no?

I only had two classes today.  I have three, normally, but Iyengar Yoga doesn’t start until next week.  I’m pretty excited about it!  Confession: I feel asleep about eight times in my seminar this morning.  It’s the same slightly crazy prof I wrote about yesterday.  I have the pleasure of having him for two classes.  Happy happy joy joy.  He seems interesting though, and most definitely knowledgeable.  The problem is that he is so knowledgeable that he spends the entire class talking about the background to the background of the history of the material he’s teaching.  That doesn’t even make sense but I swear that’s what he does.

Harumph.

Marathon Training: Wednesday’s are usually an “easy” day on my plan.  Today consisted of four sloooooowwwww miles with 6×100 meter strides in the last mile.  I took advantage of my very open day to squeeze in 40 minutes of weights at the gym too (arms/abs).  I always forget how much I walk during school days.  I probably did about 3 miles walking today as well.

Eats:

Gloppy-looking 1/3 cup of oats with a fresh peach and an invisible scoop of sunbutter (~2 tablespoons).

Snacky day (also had another spoonful pb).

Lunch!  Don’t let this innocent looking smoothie fool you; it has four servings of produce!  Frozen berries, half a banana, spinach, and cucumber slices (plus almond milk and vanilla protein powder).  I really liked it, but it needed ice.  This is one of the great dilemmas of my life: my mini fridge freezer is too small for an ice tray. I need ice in my life.  I crave it — I chew on it (I know it’s a terrible habit) and think it makes smoothies infinitely better.  I can easily go through a whole tray in one smoothie.

So now my life (and my smoothies) are iceless.  I don’t know what to do.  Help!  Anyone have any ice-making solutions?

I did indeed bring my own nut butter to The Lite Choice (in my defense, I only had the AB in my bag because I was on my way back from WF).

Stir fry leftovers (shrimp, rainbow chard, yellow squash, broccoli,  yellow pepper, coconut, peanut dressing) with brown rice for dinners.  Just had some hot cocoa to end the day, with a little dark chocolate melted in (my favorite way to eat it).

I feel like this is a good, healthy intake for a day of moderate exercise.  I can never tell if I am eating too little, enough, or enough. Eating is a funny thing because every body is different. I am proud of myself, though, for trying to figure out what works for me.  I feel pretty good right now, like I had enough but not too much.  I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap, so I try to think of my eating only in terms of myself — also, I need to remember that most of my friends and peers are not training for a marathon and running 40-50 miles a week right now.  So when I’m with friends and they don’t snack after dinner (or after lunch, or after breakfast, or after snack, or…), I need to not freak out and think I’m being weird or overeating.  I just need to remember to listen to my body.  It gets easier everyday that I do it. 🙂

I hope you all had splendid, happy Wednesdays!

FYI, L has been on vacation so I’ll be at therapy on Friday this week.  Thereafter I *think* I’ll be switching to Thursdays for the rest of the semester.

Goodnight friends!

Hungry Caronae/Back To School Adventures

Today’s Happy Note: I survived the first day of classes!  Definitely something to celebrate.

Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and be straightforward about something: I have senioritis, and I have it bad.  I want nothing to do with lectures or seminars or expensive textbooks or essays.  I do not want to write response papers or sit still for two hours at a time.  I’m just not good at it.  I’m tired of it.  But alas, I do want to graduate from college and have come to terms with the fact that I need to make it through this year.  Some of my classes seem like they could potentially be interesting.  Others seem downright snore-inducing, at best, and offensive to my sense of self at worst (case in point: I had a professor say to us today “This is my last year of teaching; I am retiring next year.  Therefore I can say and do whatever I want and there are no consequences — I can teach you total bullshit if I want!”).

That pretty much sums up the day.  Blah.

Marathon Training: I took advantage of yesterday’s rest day and did a lot of yoga and stretching.  I took a class at Yoga Vida and the instructor showed me a few poses that help stretch out the back of the hip.  They have been feeling great so far and I had no pain on today’s run!  Today was speed work day.  I did 2 miles GP (goal pace — 10:00 miles for me)/2 x 2 miles Tempo (about 9:00 miles for me)/3 miles GP.  Same as last week.  I felt a little bit stronger, especially on the second set of 2 miles.  I might have been just under a 9:00 pace — I don’t have a watch so I don’t know precisely what my time is.  To be honest I kind of like it that way.  There is no pressure and I feel physically freer.  I ended up with about 9.5 miles in about 95 minutes.

I was hangry today — like so hangry that I was ready to gnaw my arm off twenty minutes after every meal.  I think there are two things going on here:

1. I did not eat enough Sunday after my 16-miler (or Monday, for that matter) and

2. My metabolism has officially entered what I like to call “Marathon-training-overdrive-mode.”

Hmmmm.  At this point I am still in the noticing-and-not-judging phase.  I think I have been doing a great job with healthy fats (I have incorporated things like avocados, plain nuts, flax meal, more oils like EVOO, etc.).  I think that helps.  I think eating more frequently also helps.  It’s bothersome because gaining weight is the last thing I need right now.

I am feeling strong and fast though, so that’s a good thing.  Higher mileage makes a hungrier Caronae, I suppose.  One other thing I like to do is photograph everything I eat because it helps me keep track of how much I have had and not snack mindlessly.

Any other runners out there who know how to deal with that bottomless-pit feeling?

I realized yesterday that I have not shared an Adventure with you in weeks!  I have been having small adventures here and there, but nothing blog-worthy.  Until yesterday! USB happens to be an avid adventurer and explorer, which is wonderful.  I love people who like to do things.  He had a surprise adventure for me yesterday!

Can you guess?

It’s the US Open! Somehow USB’s friend had extra tickets to see Roger Federer’s fourth round match vs. Jurgen Melzer.  I’ll be the first to admit that I do not follow traditional sporting events, but this was quite fun (although perhaps USB’s presence had something to do with that… :)).  My dad is obsessed with Federer and always used to make me watch his matches on ESPN, so it was neat to see him play live.  He was clearly very talented (although Melzer put up an admirable fight).

I love getting out and seeing the world, in whatever way that may be — travelling, exploring a new neighborhood in the city, or seeing a sporting event, in this case.  I think that my adventuresome, open spirit is one of my favorite things about myself.  If I hadn’t gone out for a run to the Union Square Park Farmer’s Market a few weekends ago I never would have met USB!

What is one of your most favorite things about yourself?

Onto dinner…

This was my first time really cooking in the new dorm kitchen.  It is not an ideal kitchen, but it gets the job done, and this was pretty damn tasty.  I sauteed a giant pile (as in it was the size of a tennis racket) of rainbow chard in EVOO, salt, and pepper.  I then added in broccoli, yellow bell pepper, and yellow squash.  I rinsed and drained some thawed TJ’s precooked shrimp and threw those in, along with a “sauce” of TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette and shredded coconut.  I topped it all with avocado.  The asian-inspired flavors here were amazing!  I hardly ever measure anything, but the combinations were just right.  It turned out sort of stew like, because the chard was half-frozen and released a lot of water.  I didn’t mind though!  I might try this same stir-fry combo again in the future with the goal of making a soup.  It was the best homecooked meal I have had in quite some time, and the best part is that I made enough to have about four rounds of leftovers.

I won’t lie, I was a little bit proud of myself.

I am more than ready for bed!  Goodnight.

Tell me how all of your days were — I feel like even if you didn’t start school or a new job or anything, today was sort of the beginning of fall.  What’s new and exciting and autumnul in your life right now?

Eating Things In Jars

Today’s Happy Note: Lots of time talking with an awesome friend tonight. 🙂  Sometimes that is exactly what you need!

Looooonnnngggggg day.  Started at 8:00 AM and ended at 10:00 pm.  In and out of the apartment, at the store, at the office, on the phone, frantically emailing, on the bus, to another store, picking up bagels, on the computer, entering data into spreadsheets, organizing last day of classes for second job, crazy, crazy, crazy.

Mental Health Note: I practically didn’t have time to breathe.  But I have learned something really valuable about myself in the last year or so: when I have days or moments like this, frantically, overwhelmingly busy, I tend to wind up sad, anxious,  and depressed.  I tend to get riled up and never get un-riled.  So I like to plan out something nice for myself in advance!  okay, so I didn’t really plan today.  But  it worked out, because I got to spend some quality time with two great friends.   Talking and giggling and wondering and smiling and just knowing each other.  I love that.

No time for a workout today!  I thought about getting up at 6 to run but I wasn’t in bed until 2.  I slept in until 8 instead, which was definitely the better choice.  I was on my feet all day though; definitely walked several miles.  And lugged around several pounds of juice and bagels all over the city.  This is what my job entails.

I made a most excellent food discovery today!  You all know I love my OIAJ.  Well, introducing…

Stir Fry In A Jar!

Last night I wanted something easy to make and portable to take.  I had an almost-empty Mighty Maple pb jar in the fridge.  The cogs in my head started moving…I love maple and peanuts in a stir fry.  I had everything I needed on hand: tofu, salt, EVOO, lemon pepper, green bell pepper, carrots and rice.  I sauteed everything together and steamed the rice then combined.

Holy moly this was wonderful!  Like, maybe life-changing-wonderful.

I would do this with regular PB or perhaps even AB as well.  I want to try it with pad thai next.  Yum yum yum, nom nom nom.

Also eaten in a jar: dessert.

A bit of coconut gelato and various chocolate pieces.

I shall have to experiment with eating more things in jars!  Ideas?  Thoughts?  Do you like food in jars?

Goodnight friends.  Happy Friday!

Perfect Sunday

Today’s Mini Goal: Do some “just for me” writing.  This means that it’s going to be in my journal, it’s not for class or for the blog, and it doesn’t have to be “pretty.” Sometimes it’s very therapeutic to just ramble-write.

I just realized how downright cranky I was this past week.  Sorry guys!  I blame evil hormones.  But any-hoo, I’m feeling happy, healthy, and refreshed today, and it’s the start of a new week.  What made my day so healthy and happy?

Well I shall tell you of course!

1. Leisurely morning! Woke up naturally around nine, read in bed for a while, then met a friend for a delicious brunch, including (but definitely not limited to) sunny-side up eggs and a super sweet latte!

I love nice mugs.

2. Study time!  Not necessarily fun, but it wasn’t too bad and it was nice to spend a few quality hours with the library and just get things done.

3. Baking!  Well, mixing things together at least.  As a busy college-student, I love energy bars.  But I don’t always love their long, sleazy ingredient lists.  Enter Averie’s No-bake pb/coconut/chocolate chip energy bars (I used ab though)!

So fun to mix up with your hands!  By the way, the reason you see Averie’s stuff so frequently on my blog is because:

1. Her stuff is tasty — lots of yummy ingredients all combined together will never fail me!

2. Her stuff is easy — I have no kitchen appliances and and a kitchen the size of my thumb, but I can still make or adapt many of her recipes.  As an added bonus, they’re vegan, if that’s what you’re looking for!

This is how they looked when finished:

With a DCD blob.  So nummy (by the way, that’s a word I made up recently — it’s a combination of “noms” and “yummy”, and I like it.  A lot.)

4. Fantabulous run!  While my homemade bars chilled in the fridge I set out for a perfect run.  The weather was very spring-like today with temps in the 40s, a nice breeze, and mostly melted snow.  It felt like April.  I love love love running in the spring.  It always lifts my spirits, and today’s fake-spring run just made me happy all around.  Despite my legs being a bit sore/tight/heavy from yesterday’s 15 miler, I still felt fast and free.  So splendid.

With the completion of ten miles today I officially hit 40 for the week.  And it wasn’t actually a week, since all those miles were run in the last four days (due to my crankiness/laziness at the beginning of the week).  Here’s the breakdown:

Thursday — 10 miles

Friday — 5 miles

Saturday — 15 miles

Sunday — 10 miles

This is the highest I’ve been since my December injury.  I’ll probably peak around 50-ish. I’m feeling good at this point in my training cycle!

5.  Getting Things Done:  It’s such a stress-reliever to get things done on Sundays.  Here’s what I’ve gotten through so far:

~picked up teaching materials for a program I volunteer with Monday nights.

~prescription pick-up

~checked bank balances

~bought chocolate chips (hey, this is an important weekly task)

~did laundry (in the dryer now!)

~chatted with my best friend J

~called my grandparents and talked with them and two of my aunts

~weekly veggie prep.  I love washing and chopping tons of veggies in Sundays.  That way I can throw them into salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries or eat them with hummus or pb throughout the week.

Leaning tower of veggies = yum.

6. Made an easy, nutritious dinner of half a leftover tuna sammie with a giant pile of stir-fried veggies topped with hummus and white cheddar:

In the stir fry: olive oil, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, rainbow chard, salt, lemon pepper, red pepper.  I love how artsy rainbow chard makes a meal.  So fun!  Oh, and I conversed with a cute boy on my floor while making said dinner 🙂

Next on the agenda: acquire some hot chocolate, fold laundry, and another hour or two of reading (hello Burke!).

I’m really glad I have been able to move on from the downs of the last week or two.  This makes me feel mentally strong and accomplished.  I am capable, beautiful and powerful and I have the ability to move forward no matter what.  Take that, depression!

I hope you had a wonderful, refreshing weekend.  What were you up to?  What grand adventures will you be embarking on this week?

Cold Running and Winter Farmer’s Market!

Today’s Mini Goal: Make a creative/fun meal!  I picked up some bison steak at the farmer’s market today so I’m thinking dinner tomorrow will involve that.  Any suggestions?

I think I did a decent job of staying calm today.  Better than yesterday, at least.  I just have to remind myself to breathe deeply and stay in the present when I get anxious. That usually helps.  What are your strategies for combating anxiety?

I totes failed at timing my day correctly.  Oh well, I survived.  I had to swap tomorrow’s easy run and today’s long run.  I did six relaxed miles on the treadmill tonight. Normally I don’t complain about running outside, but man oh man is it ever cold.  I hope I survive my thirteen miles tomorrow morning!  As I was coming back to my dorm around 11 this morning I saw a girl running in from the direction of the park.  She was wearing pretty short running shorts and a nice sweater (it looked like it was from Gap or something).  Is it just me, or were these NOT running appropriate clothes for 20 degree temperatures?  I wasn’t judging her, I just kind of felt bad.  I heard her telling a friend that it’s so much easier to run in shorts because your legs have a better range of motion.  Perhaps I should have told her about running tights….

I had a chilly but successful adventure to the Union Square farmer’s market this morning.  I love this market.  It can be a bit crowded, but there are so many vendors and the air and ambiance always seem refreshing to me.

Finds included bosc pears (above), tons of apples, carrots, mesclun, sunflower and pea sprouts, coconut oatmeal cookies, milk and yogurt from my favorite farm, and my bison steak.  I asked the bison farmer if he could recommend any inexpensive but still tasty cuts of meat that would be easy to cook for one person.  He dug around through his coolers for a while and came up with a perfectly portioned steak with a tiny tear in the bag (the steak was totally frozen so no bacteria could have been introduced).  He gave it to me for five dollars!  I have never met an unkind farmer at the market.  They are all so sweet and helpful and typically love getting questions about their produce/meat/dairy/cookies.  Do you go to a farmer’s market? I have been so spoiled by the ones in NY.  The CENYC is amazing.

Honeycrisps, I believe.

I LOVE lovelove pear cider, but haven’t seen it in forever.  Today was the perfect morning for a hot, sweet, smoothe cup of this delicious drink.  I like it way more than apple cider.  Unfortunately, my camera died at this point so no more pics from the actual market 😦

In the afternoon I got a special facial/massage combination.  Certain spas do steep discounts in NYC at different times of the year.  The facial was realllllllly nice and calming, but there was hardly any massaging involved.  Oh well, it was still a great weekend treat.

Lunch was two crunchy carrots and an almond butter/pumpkin butter sandwich.  Tastiness: just look at the insides oozing out!

Dinner was a stir fry in coconut oil!  I just got it the other day.  It was pretty good; I could barely taste the coconut, but there was definitely a nice hint of it.  I used broccoli, onion, mushrooms, spinach, two eggs and cheddar cheese.

I also had a salad made with my new shoots!  I think they were sunflower and pea shoots, with some random mesclun underneath…

Topped with some Annie’s Goddess dressing.

Super yum!  All together now:

Twas a perfect easy and nutritious dinner (I’m guessing I had about three or four servings of vegetables in there).

It was a happy little Saturday, although I definitely did not get enough schoolwork done.  Meh.

I’m off to make some hot cocoa and play blog catch-up!

How was your day?  Plans for Sunday?

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