My Name Is Caronae And I Like To Eat

Today’s Happy Note: World Cup watching with friends!  Also, I got to see the room I am going to be living in come September and it is nice and relatively spacious (for a dormitory).

Workout: Five and a quarter mile HOT run followed by a 90 minute vinyasa class at Yoga Shala. Sometimes I feel really stressed out and can’t get into a run; usually this comes down to having pre-planned my mileage and route.  I have found that if I let myself go for however long I want, however far I want, and in whatever direction I want, I feel much better.  I always felt that if I let myself run the way I actually wanted to, I wouldn’t go far enough or burn enough calories.  But that isn’t the case at all!  Being happy and calm during a run is definitely worth sacrificing a mile or two.  And you know what?  When I’m happy, I usually end up running further anyways.  It’s kind of a win-win situation.

Onto other things.  More edible things…

Hi.  My name is Caronae.  And I like food. Tasty food only, of course.  Non-tasty foods need not apply.

Protein ice cream = always tasty.

I’ve never met a blueberry-banana smoothie that I didn’t love.

And egg, cheddar, and greens sammies never fail to produce many, many noms.

My camera died just before dinner but it was so delectable I just might die if I don’t describe it: mahi-mahi burger (from WF) topped with a “salsa” made from basil, pineapple, and cucumber.  Served with a side of leftover pasta salad.  This is pretty much the definition of summer dining.

I am slowly coming to the realization that it’s okay to like food.  I’m writing a little memoir/vignette for a writing exchange with Sarah and it is about food.  At first I was infuriated at myself for choosing a food-related memory.  Our topic was simply “Summer.”  Why couldn’t I write about playing on the playground or swimming at the beach or going on canoe trips with my dad?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that food is a healthy part of both our emotional and physical lives.  It sustains and nourishes us, but it also makes us happy and helps us connect with others. In the memory I chose, food (specifically a miniature pie — sorry for the spoiler Sarah!) helps me connect to my sister and clarifies my love for her.  The food, as a child, helped to outline the ways in which we related.

I often stare at thin women who seem to be eating large meals or, well, pretty much anything other than salads.  I envy them and think, “how do they eat so carelessly?”  But I have been able to reframe that question as of late and have begun to wonder “why don’t I just let myself enjoy food more?”  Sometimes I might want to eat a big dessert at a restaurant, or have a slice of pizza after a night of partying (okay, so that only happens like twice a year or so, but I needed an illustrative example).  Sometimes I am so focused on eating — eating X amount of fruits and veggies or forcing myself to eat a meal at a certain time or restraining myself from overeating — that I forget about the actual food!

It’s just food!  And damn it, sometimes it is meant to be enjoyed.  Those women I see eating “without abandon” are not necessarily voracious bingers who have endless problems in their relationship with food.  They might just be enjoying a nice meal.  So I am making a new goal for myself: really think about what I am eating.  Make more consciously enjoyable choices.  Maybe having a big dinner out is okay.  I am sure that it has become clear I struggle with balancing my eating.  Too much/not enough/too healthy/too unhealthy.  But I think that part of the answer to this little dilemma lies in simply enjoying the food that I am eating at the moment I am eating it.

So tonight, as I was eating my fish and my pasta salad, I decided that I wanted a glass of almond milk on the side.  Normally, this sort of extravagance would not be allowed.  But is a small glass of milk ever going to kill me?  Am I so concerned about getting fat that I can’t eat what I want sometimes?  I don’t want to live like that.  In the past week or so, there were a few days when I ate my afternoon snack at 3:00, instead of between 4:00 and 5:00 which is when it is normally “allowed.”  This is obviously ridiculous.

So.  Hello!  My name is Caronae.  And I like my food.  Sometimes I eat it purely out of hunger.  Other times it is a social thing.  Other times, it fulfills a want.  And this is okay.  It is hard for me  to accept this new way of eating, but I am going to try!

This week is looking to be busy.  Lots of work stuff.  Hopefully some nice changes in therapy.  A personal training appointment.  Events with friends!

What is on your plate (forgive my pun) this week?  Anything exciting?

Adventure Saturday: Yoga/Farmer’s Market and Fava Bean Pasta Salad

Today’s Happy Note: Everything!  It was just a very pleasant Saturday.  I need a list.

1. Turtles.  I found this little pond in CP with a small dock.  I ran down the dock and discovered that the pond was swarming with turtles — hundreds of them!  My favorites are the big old ones.  They’re such serene and graceful creatures.

2. Buying myself sunflowers!  See farmer’s market pictures below.  They are brightening up my dining room table.

3. Getting things done: lots of errands and tasks (calling grandparents, buying paper towels, letter writing, etc.).

4. One of my best random dinner creations ever.

5. Spectacular batch of protein ice cream (that I am currently eating).

6. Chatting with friends, even if only briefly.  Always makes my day so much better.

7. Catching up on Bethenny Getting Married, which is the best reality show ever.  I think Bethenny is really sassy and clever.  She is totally someone who I would want as my friend!

I had a spectacular Adventure this morning to a yoga class with live music.  I have never had a class with live musicians and it was fun, especially since the players were kinda cute.  I don’t think it really changed my experience but I did notice I felt a little more relaxed.  Like there was less stuff floating around in my head interfering with my practice.

I have been thinking a lot about compassion lately.  Yoga always reminds me to be kind: towards myself and others.  This is one of my favorite things about it, besides the obvious physical benefits.  After yoga, the Adventure continued to the Farmer’s Market.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera since I only had my running waist pack.  There was such a wide variety of vendors there today.  I wanted to try so many things — fresh goat cheese, blueberry jam, sprouts, lamb, herb teas, squashes.  I didn’t think I should spend my life savings at the FM though, so I had to drag myself away eventually.  My little trip reminded me of Averie!  I wish she could shop at the farmer’s market in NYC with me.  I know she would love it and we would be buddies!

When I was done shopping, I munched on a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from Stone Arch Farms (my favorite baked goods vendor by far) dipped in my newly acquired cashew butter!  I had gotten a few things at WF beforehand. Sadly, the cashew butter was a bit disappointing.  It was sort of thick and goopy and slimy.  Cashews are my favorite nut too.  I don’t know where things went wrong.

Loot:

Peaches, cookies, banana chip bread, eggs, fava beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, sweet corn!  WF loot:

Basil, spring greens, almond milk, frozen mahi mahi burgers (!!!), raspberries, cashew butter.  Can you tell what I was thinking of making for dinner? Probably not.  Because only a few of the ingredients are here.  And only my crazy brain would think up the bizarre concoction that it turned into.

So what did dinner turn into?

Summer Pasta Salad (this is for one)

1 serving whole wheat noodles

1/2 pound fava beans (once shelled, you’ll have about 1/2 – 3/4 cups)

2 C spinach, washed

1 C fresh basil, washed

2 Tbsp EVOO

2 Tbsp hummus

Lemon pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Boil a pot of water and add a teaspoon or two of salt.  While it boils, remove fava beans from pods.  Add them into the boiling water for three or four minutes; meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water.  Remove fava beans from pot and submerge in ice water.  Add pasta to water and cook for ten to twelve minutes.  The fava beans actually have another shell that must now be removed.  I took them out of the ice water and, using a dull-ish knife (I didn’t want to slice my hand open), make a slice along one edge, then squeeze the bean out.  Once all of the beans have been shelled, toss into a frying pan with a little EVOO, lemon pepper, and salt.  Into a blender goes the hummus, the other tablespoon of EVOO, more salt and lemon pepper, and the basil.  Blend until creamy.  Beans should be sauteed for about five minutes, while pasta is finishing up.  When everything is complete, add pasta, beans, and sauce to a bowl.  Toss together thoroughly, then add the spinach and toss again.  Serve with cheese, sunny side up egg, more basil, or other fresh herbs.

The Bean.

This was such a fun dinner!  I was  *this close* to not cooking but decided I wanted to do a little kitchen experimentation.  So glad I did!  It’s creamy yet tangy yet not overpowering.  I will probably make a version of this again.  I need to buy more favas next time!

Do you have a favorite easy summer recipe?

Outside of my yoga/farmer’s market adventure, I also ran and lifted today.  I did about seven and a half miles then twenty-ish minutes of arm strength.  I was proud of myself for that distance.  It felt surprisingly easy, considering that I have run all of five miles in the last two weeks.  I think I should be back up to my regular weekend long runs in no time at all.

Tomorrow will, hopefully, include more Adventures.  I think that’s what weekend are all about

What Adventures are you having on this lovely (albeit sticky) July weekend?

Recommitting

Today’s Happy Note: It’s the weekend.  Somehow, four day work weeks always feel especially long.  My body never quite gets into the right rhythm.  I haven’t been this excited about a weekend in a long time.  With that said, I am feeling 95% better and am planning on enjoying this weekend and cramming it full of goodness and such.

The combination of recovering from a serious illness and the unbearable heat/humidity has left me exhausted. If I had to draw a picture of the way I feel right now, it would be a maple tree being tapped for syrup.  Endless syrup would be flowing out of an open gash in the tree until it was sucked dry.   I am the empty tree.

Bad tree metaphors aside (I have a minor obsession), I. Hate. Summer.  I am ready for it to be over.  My favorite season is fall, followed by spring, winter, and summer, at a distant last.  I overslept this morning, was late for work, and was still too drained after work to do anything besides collapse on my bed and sleep for three hours.  I had made plans for a quick run, yoga, and a meet up with a friend. Tired Caronae=Weakling Caronae=Anti-Social Caronae=Frustrated Caronae. Therefore when I am tired like this I end up frustrated.

I can’t even describe to you the amount of guilt I feel after a few days sans exercise.  I walk about two miles every day getting to/from work and doing errands.  But in my mind, it doesn’t “count.”  Regardless of whether it counts, I want to be moving.  It’s a healthy outlet that relieves my frustration.

So I am making a recommitment to my health. Less mindless eating, more fun exercise.  More fresh fruits and veggies (although my digestion is still not back to 100%, so this will happen slowly), less lying on the couch in a half-dead position watching TV.  Pretty simple.  This is NOT an obsessive goal or a calorie-counting goal or even a weight loss goal (although that might be nice since I did gain weight while sick).  This is just me consciously recommitting to the healthy lifestyle that I know I truly enjoy.  I am giving myself guidelines, not rules.  My goal is to have more energy and to feel better about myself.

Guidelines:

  • Water.  Drink it.  A lot.  I have a 32 ounce bottle and would like to get through it at least twice a day.
  • Strength training: 2-3 times a week.  Lifting makes me feel strong and toned and is, quite simply, fun.
  • One exercise class a week: this is a nice way to switch things up.
  • Cardio: 4-6 times a week.
  • Yoga: 1-2 times a week.
  • Positive self-talk (“gee  Caronae, you look great in this dress today!”): infinite times per week.
  • Real meals: no picking.  Sit down and eat the damn meal.  More veggies and real food in the evenings (this is where I really struggle).
  • Take advantage of the weekends: come up with some new, awesome, longer workouts.

So that’s the plan, roughly.  I might add more guidelines as I go along.  We shall see.  If any readers want to join me, that would be fun! It’s always nice to feel like you are doing a challenge with a friend.

Anyone have any recommendations?  I am certainly open to your suggestions!  What are your favorite ways to “get back on track”?

Okay.  Enough boring stuff.  Onto more important things:

Like blueberry banana smoothies:

And Mr. Softee ice cream cones (this was my Cookie Friday, although really, the whole rest of the day ended up being a Cookie Friday of sorts.  See recommitment plan above.)

Cherry-dipped ice cream cones is one processed thing I will never give up.  Another thing: the occassional goldfish (not the swimming kind, the cute little snacking kind).  Someone had these in our office today and my hand kept sneaking into the bag.  I’m sure they can’t be that bad for me.

The up-closeness of this photo is cleverly designed to disguise the size of my portion.  Which was big.  But I was feling genuinely snacky.  I balanced it out with a power lunch!

Delicious salad beast with spinach, peppers, carrots, plain raw tofu (surprisingly yummy) and sweet poppy seed dressing.

What was your Cookie Friday treat today?

Off to write!  Goodnight and happy weekend!

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