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. ūüôā

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! ūüôā

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. ūüôā

Transition Stress/Long Run/Meat

Today’s Happy Note: My day involved plenty of chocolate. ¬†Always a good thing.

Mental Health Note: Transitions, of any sort, are always stressful and tricky for me. ¬†At this point in my life, I have come to accept that, and instead of trying to pretend that the stress isn’t there (and thereby making it much, much worse), I just acknowledge it and do my best to soothe myself. ¬†I find moving around — which, unfortunately, happens a lot in college — not just physically exhausting, but emotionally draining as well. ¬†I get attached to places. ¬†I go back and forth between NYC and Michigan (and sometimes Canada) quite frequently. ¬†I am in NYC right now, but have to move back into my dorm. ¬†I’m also making a shift from full-time worker to full-time student and part-time worker. ¬†My life patterns are not all that different during the school year, which helps to ease my mind. ¬†I know that I will still eat oats with nut butter or smoothies for breakfast. ¬†I know that I will find some time in the day to squeeze my run in and that I will make time for friends and life outside of school.

All this is to say that the stress is creeping up on me already — I can see and feel it. It sort of drapes its way around me and sits on my heart and body like a heavy scarf. ¬†I move into my dorm room on Saturday and start classes Tuesday. ¬†I have been mentally preparing myself. ¬†One thing I find very helpful is finding room for extra sleep during my day/night. ¬†Stress often leaves me sleepy-tired, and if I can either sleep 9 hours at night or 7-8 hours at night with a nap in the late afternoon, I am much happier and calmer. ¬†Other things that help include lots of self-care (doing stuff like painting my nails, getting a massage, strolling in the park and looking at the flowers, etc.), reaching out to people I love, and eating delicious but clean foods.

How do you deal with life transitions — physically or emotionally or occupationally? ¬†How do you relieve the stress/anxiety/tension? I love consistency, but I understand that, for the next few years, my life will not necessarily be straightforward. ¬†I am learning how to find the excitement in this.

I got my run in this evening!  It was way too hot at the beginning, but eventually cooled down with a nice breeze. I did ten miles and actually felt really great during it.  I held about a 10 minute per mile pace, but was probably around 9:30 at some points.  I feel like I may finally be back up to pre-hospital strength!  Yay!  I also lifted weights for a quick 30 minutes.

Long run eats:

I’m not showing everything because I think it’s boring. ¬†But I have done a good job keeping track. ¬†And I don’t have a picture since I only just made it, but I am currently eating a delicious chocolate banana smoothie with TJ’s dark chocolate in a nut butter jar. ¬†Nut butter jars make everything better. Seriously, I would be so thrilled if I got my Christmas and birthday presents in (clean) nut butter jars from now on. ¬†It would be so cute! ¬†I’m pretty sure my relatives already think I’m a weird foodie though, so I probably will go ahead and *not* make that request…

Lunch was kinda epic: steamed carrots/yellow squash, green grapes/cherry mix, and a turkey/cheddar/avocado wrap on a TJ’s multigrain tortilla. ¬†I have a lunchtime sandwich fear, for some odd reason. ¬†But on longer run days, I find it helpful to have a sandwich for the extra carbs/calories. ¬†It works out perfectly fine because, when eating more earlier in the day, I eat less in the evenings.

Awesome new snack! ¬†TJ’s (do you see a TJ’s them here? ¬†Hmmmm….) peanut butter crunchy granola bar. ¬†This was a tad sweet but definitely tasty.

Dinner involved more meat — apple chicken sausage, in honor of my sister (it’s one of her favorite foods, but I also really like it as well) with a GIANT salad of romaine, peppers, avocado, and TJ’s peanut vinaigrette (LOVE). ¬†I had okra fries a la Meghann on the side. ¬†They were actually really good. ¬†When I cut up veggies like carrots, squash, or, in this case, okra, into fry form and bake them, I am not intending them as a fry replacement. ¬†I just like roasted veggies. ¬†But these were actually legitimately fry-like! ¬†I coated them in salt, pepper, and EVOO and baked at 400 for about 30-ish (maybe 40?) minutes. ¬†Okra=my new friend. ¬†Oh, and if you are wondering why it’s dark in the above photo that’s because it’s purple okra! ¬†I love veggies in fun colors.

Hello, okra.  You can come over for dinner anytime you want.  Have you had okra?  Do you like it?

Meaty talk:

I don’t eat a lot of meat. ¬†But I think it can be a very healthy part of a diet and I will probably never go vegetarian. I do believe in ethical, moderate meat consumption. ¬†I get as much of it as I can from the farmer’s market or other local, natural, and/or organic sources. ¬†I just realized, while posting, that I had meat twice today! Turkey at lunch and chicken sausage at dinner. ¬†And you know what? ¬†I feel great. The protein and fat really work wonders for me.

I like all kinds of protein sources.  My favorites: salmon, shrimp, steak, turkey, tofu, lentils, black beans, tempeh, whole grains, greek yogurt, veggie burgers, cottage cheese, nut butters, and certain protein powders.

Your fave protein sources?

Bedtime for this stressed chica. ¬†Goodnight friends! ūüôā

All Grown Up

Today’s Happy Note: An excursion to the new Trader Joe’s in Chelsea! ¬†It was awesome; spacious and calm and totally the opposite of the Union Square Trader Joe’s. ¬†Not frenetic and crazed. ¬†Loved it.

Pretty good day. ¬†Busy but not overwhelmingly so — those are my favorite kind of days. ¬†I won’t lie though: I may be 20 years old, a senior in college, and holding down two “real” jobs, but there are moments when I wish I was twelve again, reading in my backyard and running through the sprinkler all summer long. ¬†I used to have the house all to myself everyday of summer from when I was about twelve on. ¬†I would make brownies, reread the whole Harry Potter series, and dance outside when it rained.

I kinda want that back.  Being an adult is hard.

Today started with a brunch for Second Job, which ended yesterday.  I feel really sad about it actually.  Organizing and overseeing within the framework of a non-profit has been something I have truly fallen in love with.  My students are my babies, my coworkers are heroic.

Also: I love huevos rancheros.

Cookie the size of my head.

That is oats topped with chocolate and peanut butter. ¬†I know many bloggers have said this before so it kinda isn’t original but: PB and chocolate is my favorite food combination in the entire world. No questions asked.

Other favorite food combinations: hummus and cheddar cheese, carrots and almond butter, mango and coconut, salmon and asparagus.

Your favorite food combos?

I ended the day with a nice little workout: 20 minutes of arm strength and a 6 mile run with lots of hills.  Currently watching movies, snuggling in bed, and thinking of fun things to do this weekend.  Any suggestions?

I need an Adventure!  This is my first free weekend in a while.

What are your plans?

Adventure Saturday: Tips For a Long Healthful Life

Today’s Happy Note: Spending time with family! ¬†I normally only see my mom’s extended family at Christmas so it was nice to get to see a few of them in the summer, even if only for a day.

Good evening dearies! ¬†I hope it’s been a wonderful Saturday. ¬†I had an Adventure, of course! ¬†I went a bit upstate on the train to see an aunt, two cousins, and my grandfather. ¬†They were here for a wedding (I didn’t go to that; we just had lunch and spent the afternoon together). ¬†We wandered around town, munched on the most amazing pita (so pillowy!), and admired the beautiful grounds and history of the hotel-manor they stayed at. ¬†It’s funny; as much as I despised growing up in the suburbs, I enjoyed myself very much this afternoon. ¬†The small-ish towns along the Hudson are wonderfully endearing and a nice break from the city. I absolutely feel in love with the city, but at times it can be overwhelmingly busy and distant.

I probably walked about two miles today and might go for another walk in a little while, or do some dancing/yoga.  I used to take dance classes at school and I am really missing it. I wonder if there are any local, inexpensive community classes near me? Dancing and yoga remind me of one another.  While I love running, I think they might be more soothing forms of movement for my spirit.

Photos from the Adventure:

Who might this be? ¬†That’s my grandfather! ¬†He’s 95 and a half! Doesn’t look it! ¬†He is an amazing man who has exemplified healthy ways of living since his boyhood in rural Iran. ¬†He has a very powerful internal drive that I have yet to find in another person. ¬†At 95, he still writes papers, read, communicates with friends and family members scattered around the world, attends conferences, and participates in tremendous charitable activities. ¬†He has truly been heroic. ¬†I wanted to take a few minutes during our visit today to ask him how he has maintained vibrancy and health for almost a century. ¬†I’m sure random genetics play a role, but so do our habits and choices.

Without further ado, I present “Baba’s tips for 95 years of healthy living”:

  • Don’t overstress! ¬†In fact, understress if possible.
  • Always keep your mind working in different subjects; for example Baba has been both a mathematician/engineer and a literary/poetic scholar.
  • Stay away from too much alcohol.
  • His super-foods: walnuts, raisins, plain yogurt, lentils, pomegranate juice.
  • It is important to eat these things — and other healthy things — as a child. ¬†Childhood health affects the rest of your life!
  • Always stay active. ¬†Baba has done many activities, games, and sports his entire life. ¬†As an eight year old boy, he found a tennis ball. ¬†This was his only toy. ¬†He kept himself active and entertained by bouncing it around. ¬†Favorite childhood activities: broad jump, high jump, pole vault, and volleyball. ¬†He actually played on the volleyball team at Tehran University as a setter. ¬†Throughout his adult life he has loved racket games — tennis, squash, and racquetball. ¬†He still plays tennis and walks (we probably did about a mile together today). ¬†In fact, he beat me at racquetball two years ago (I was trying)!
  • He has had a lot of sadness and unhappy events in his life. ¬†Overcoming these and persevering anyways has been a very powerful force in shaping his mental capacities.
  • A multicultural lifestyle with diverse interests and connections keeps you healthy because you are constantly learning. ¬†He speaks five languages and is still quite proficient in three of them.
  • Creativity is a “secret” to old age.
  • You have to learn to be satisfied with very little. ¬†Western materiality is destructive to our health. ¬†Being satisfied with little nurtures our spiritual selves.
  • Tea can be “as delicious as a special meat dish.”
  • His vice: sweets! ¬†A little dessert makes us happy and nurtures our souls.
  • He has always rewarded himself with little things. ¬†For example, when he was a teenager, raisins were a special treat. ¬†If someone gave him a handful, he would parcel them out over several days. ¬†Each time he completed a long paper or complex math problem, he would reward himself with a single raisin. ¬†Other rewards: pencils or paper.
  • He is critical of extravagance. ¬†Instead, he believes powerfully in charitability. ¬†He has established a school for 440 poor girls in Iran who otherwise would not receive an education. ¬†He endows the entire establishment (teachers, classrooms, uniforms, sports and games, etc.) ¬†He has a powerful belief in the ability of education to extend and enrich our lives.
  • The entire world can take a hint from more simpler ways of living — that would prevent a lot of bloodshed.
  • His favorite meal: yogurt with jam and walnuts, good bread with chevre.

So there you have it!  Living to 95 years from the expert.  He has an older brother who is either 97 or 98.

I didn’t take any interesting food pictures while I was out because I didn’t want to have to explain the blog. ¬†I did, however take pictures of a major dinner fail:

My blender failed in the middle of smoothie-making! ¬†Grrr. ¬†I can’t get it to work now at all. ¬†Perhaps it overheated? ¬†I didn’t eat all of the above mess, but did eat out the frozen berries and some of the liquid. ¬†It was actually quite tasty! ¬†Better flavor than most of my smoothies for some reason. ¬†I remedied this little failure with some comforting OIAJ…

Nature’s Path hemp oats in a Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter jar with a handful of trail mix and a serving of TJ’s chocolate covered pretzels! ¬†I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a serious statement: NN Vanilla Almond butter is the best nut butter I’ve ever had. It truly is amazing. ¬†It does have some sugar, but only 5g. ¬†The flavors just work wonderfully together. ¬†It tastes like a really premium vanilla almond frosting.

Not sure why, but I was feeling guilty about everything I ate today. ¬†I didn’t have anything “bad” for me at all, but I do think I wasn’t eating mindfully. ¬†Need to work on that; not because I’m trying to be obsessive but because my mind and body feel best when I have a clear, conscious relationship with food.

Any fun Adventures from today?  Adventures tomorrow? I have plans for a long run, yoga, and possibly a movie!

See you tomorrow!

PS — Go enter the most awesome giveaway ever here! ¬†Evan is giving away an ice cream maker!

Adventure Friday, Groceries, Exercise: What The Cool College Kids Are Doing

Today’s Happy Note: I was productive! ¬†Crammed a lot into the day (all things I wanted to be doing) which always feels good!

I’m dead tired right now (see happy note). ¬†But I do have some fun things to share with you all before I pass out. ¬†At 11:00. ¬†On a Friday night. ¬† I know, I am a really really cool college student. Oh, and warning: this post is very wordy. ¬†Read at your own peril.

Exercise: I definitely overdid it on the physical activity today,but it was unintentional. ¬†It’s strange to me how people can be sedentary when there are so many thing to do! ¬†Although I am spoiled by New York, I will admit. ¬†Anyways, I hit up the gym this morning for some strength training (40 minutes of hard work!) and HIIT (30 minutes on the elliptical, also hard work!)

I probably walked about a mile in the morning and early afternoon just moving between buildings.  After work, it was time for one of my most favorite activities, grocery shopping!  This is another thing that all the cool college students are doing nowadays. Getting excited about buying romaine and english cucumbers and dried mango and almond butter.  Seriously, why do people even need parties?

I ended up walking pretty far with the grocery bags — unintentional arm workout #2. ¬†As soon as I was back from a very active grocery trip it was time to head out the door to yoga! ¬†My cousin and I have a standing Friday night date at yoga. ¬†It’s really fun! ¬†Although she’ll be gone for a few weeks and i don’t have a yoga buddy. ūüė¶ ¬†Anyone want to join me?

It was just the two of us and a very hot teacher. ¬†I won’t lie, I have trouble concentrating on the yoga when the teacher is a super attractive, young male. ¬†It’s just hard, ya know? ¬†And I am totally not one of those girls who giggles over every boy she sees. ¬†At all. ¬†AND he was an amazing teacher. ¬†He taught me a few new poses, helped us align/adjust, and gave super-duper massages. ¬†The class was killer though! ¬†If I would have just gone to this and that would have been my only movement all day, I’d have been wiped!

After that I made grocery run #2 to Trader Joe’s. ¬†It was pouring rain and chilly, but I was already near Union Square and wasn’t going to waste the Subway fare to come back down again later! ¬†I ended up walking with my new groceries pretty far again and probably walked another mile or two. ¬†Unintentional arm workout #3. ¬†Seriously, my arms are dead just typing right now. ¬†I hope I’m alive tomorrow.

Wow that was an epic day of exercise.  Do you guys ever have days like that where you are just go go go and you end up moving  A LOT?

Friday Adventures!

I know Janetha (and other bloggers too!) does a little post called Flashback Fridays.  I always want to do it but can never think of what to write!  But then I realized, as I was having a little adventure this afternoon, that this is a very exciting time in my life filled with so many fun and amazing activities, encounters, and experiences.  I can never remember anything fun from the past to write about so why not do an Adventure Friday instead?  Feel free to share your adventures in the comments or to do your own post about it!

Seeing as it was Cookie Friday, per Tina, I decided to make a little Cookie Friday/Adventure Friday fusion quest.  Wow.  Cool college student.  Again.  So cool.  Ada told me about a yummy bakery called Levain last week, so I headed out this afternoon in search of their famous cookies.

Upon my arrival I was greeted by a tiny, adorable little storefront. ¬†It was on a side street, but the line was still out the door. ¬†Don’t worry though, it moved quickly, and I did not experience any cookie hunger pangs. ¬†They only offer four flavors in an effort to keep everything simple, clean, and tasty. ¬†And they most certainly succeed in this. ¬†After much deliberation I settled on the chocolate chip walnut.

Oh. ¬†Dear. ¬†Lord. ¬†It is a good place this bakery is more located two miles from me. ¬†This cookie is abut the size of your entire hand and more than two times as thick, kind of like a scone. ¬†I have no idea how they managed to achieve a gooey, warm center and a perfectly golden, gently crisp outside with such a seriously thick cookie. ¬†But they did. ¬†I don’t think I have ever encountered so many fillings in a cookie either, including those that I have made (and I tend to be rather heavy handed with the add-ins). ¬†There was, like, a pound of walnuts and chocolate chips in there. ¬†Each. ¬†I can’t think of any cookie I have ever had in my life that was better than this. ¬†It’s possible that there has been one that I don’t recall. ¬†But this is now my number one. ¬†There is just one minor problem…

It was $4.00!  I do not now, nor will I ever, I suspect, have room for $4.00 cookies in my budget.  I was willing to buy one and try it once but, unless I win the lottery or someone buys me one of their cookies, I will not be going back.  You heard me Levain: your cookies are exorbitantly priced.  I know this is true because there were SO many customers there; clearly they were raising the price because the demand is so high.  I guarantee that these cookies do not have $4.00 worth of ingredients in them.  So they have lost one customer, despite their deliciousness.

Okay so that was really only part I of the adventure…

I went to Whole Foods for groceries afterwards and there was a certain special someone in their normal sample area. ¬†A special someone, you ask? ¬†Who? ¬†Well I’ll tell you who…

A vita-mix salesperson. ¬†And boxes and boxes of vita-mixes. ¬†I chatted him up for a good fifteen minutes and tried to explain how desperate I am for a vita-mix. ¬†He basically laughed in my face. ¬†Apparently vita-mix is a very elitist appliance. ¬†But one that I covet, nonetheless. ¬†I stared at them for another several minutes and then almost burst into tears. ¬†I am not exaggerating; at certain times of the month I get weirdly emotionally vulnerable, so it’s not entirely my fault. ¬†But as I was walking away from the vita-mixes, I almost cried. ¬†I teared up. ¬†It was that sad. ¬†Okay, at this point it has become clear to me that I am probably one of the weirdest college students on the entire planet. But I’m okay with that! ¬†Being a little weird never killed anybody.

I am making a promise to myself: when I graduate from school and have a full time, and hopefully well-paying, job, this will be my very first big purchase.  For myself.  A vita-mix.  I do not want a fancy dress or a designer bag or a trip to a spa.  I.  Want.  A.  Vita-mix.  And I will save every last penny and buy the damn thing for myself!

Although I have eaten many yummy things today, including new TJ’s finds, I think that’s enough for now!

Lots to do tomorrow! ¬†I like busy days ūüôā

Happy weeeekkkkkeeeennndddd!

April Fitness Fun

Today’s Happy Note: Coming home after work and class and not immediately passing-out or eating carbs! ¬†Normally this is a bad habit for me on my longer days (I think it’s a sort of stress-induced exhaustion), but today I did my workout instead, then cooked a nice dinner and savored it! ¬†Score one for stress management.

Exercise: I did levels 2 and 3 of the 30 Day Shred this evening. ¬†Doing more than one level at once is actually really hard! ¬†I was screaming at miss Jillian and dripping with sweat by the end. ¬†I used to scoff at the idea of having a good 45 minute workout, but this felt really effective. ¬†I was planning on doing half an hour of strength followed by six miles of speedwork at the gym, but I wasn’t feeling it. ¬†Does anyone else really hate the gym? ¬†Maybe it’s just because mine is crowded, dirty, smelly, and not that great. ¬†And there aren’t any cool classes. ¬†Blech. ¬†I can’t wait until I’m in the “real world” with a real job and can have a real gym membership. ¬†Scary to think that all of that is only a little over a year away from now!

April Fitness Goals: While I certainly get plenty of exercise, I want to spice up my routine a bit! ¬†Running 40 miles a week with the occasional yoga class get’s boring. ¬†And my muscles are ready for something new…

1. Strength training twice a week for half an hour. ¬†This should be manageable; I’ve already done more strength since the half than I have all year (hahaha) and I feel so much stronger! ¬†Plus, I like feeling like I can keep up with the boys in the weight room, and that I’m just one of those silly cardio-only girly girls.

2. HIIT twice a week for half an hour. ¬†Old, body dysmorphic Caronae would have said “only half an hour; yeah right, that’s nowhere near enough cardio! ¬†Don’t even think about it!” ¬†New, happier Caronae says “sometimes a 30 minute interval sesh can be really effective and makes me feel strong and fast!”

3. Continue tracking calories and not mindlessly snacking in the evening. ¬†I’ve been doing well with this lately and have noticed that a lot of times when I reach for something tasty to munch on, I’m not really hungry!

This is my version of an April shape-up plan. ¬†I want to feel even more confident than I already do when I go swimsuit shopping and go to the beach. ¬†I want this spring and summer to be the happiest time of my life, and taking care of myself physically is one of the best ways to achieve that. ¬†I think I’ll include some mental health goals tomorrow! ¬†Other things I’m going to focus on include drinking more water and getting more protein.

Gotta make this post short and simple so I can get to bed.  I am going to try to wake up early for a long run tomorrow morning.  I want it to be far enough out from my ultra that my legs are well-rested!

I’ll leave you with pictures of my Trader Joe’s goodies that arrived today (I sent some to myself when I was home for spring break). ¬†It was a nice little surprise ūüôā

I’m most excited about my Naturally Nutty honey cinnamon pb (not from TJ’s), chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate raspberry trail mix. ¬†Yum!

Do you have a favorite grocery store?  Local or chain?  Specialty or discount?  Around the corner or a long drive away?

Workout Fail, Waffle Fail, Trader Joe’s Success!

Daily Creativity: Lots of cooking experiments!  And perhaps more journal writing later tonight.

I got  lots of things done today, at least in spring break terms.  Which means I did like two things.  But whatever.  Hair cut, eyebrows waxed, massage (omg so nice), run, shopping, food experiments.  Okay, maybe I should elaborate.

Run:

I hit the trail with my mom (she walks) for five miles this morning. ¬†They were some of the most brutal five miles of my life. ¬†Oh. ¬†My. ¬†God. ¬†I have no idea what was going on — I haven’t been doing high mileage lately, I’m not exhausted from school, I’m not sore from weights. ¬†I just could not move. ¬†My legs and arms felt like lead weights, especially on the hills, which are long and steep. ¬†I couldn’t even walk up some of the hills, I had to waddle. ¬†It was probably really painful for any squirrels or woodpeckers watching me.

I hate that I can’t pinpoint the problem, especially given that I’m four days out from the NYC half. ¬†I know I’ll be taking it easy with a few 3-4 milers between now and then, but I’m getting antsy. ¬†I hate tapering because I feel like I’m not working hard enough and therefore haven’t “earned” my calories. ¬†Gah. ¬†And I hate my brain for having this mindset. ¬†And I’m still working hard and moving plenty too; I might do a few miles and an hour of yoga or some abs and walking. ¬†Plus, why are my runs feeling hard this week (okay, only today really, but still)? ¬†I know it’s just the taper jitters. ¬†But a part of me that I don’t love is surfacing right now. ¬†The scared, anxious, sad part of me. ¬†And all because of running, which is something I love, so this doesn’t even make sense. ¬†Okay, I’m definitely spewing here; does this even make sense?

Basically, I am feeling food guilt and I am getting nervous about the race. ¬†Being home should be relaxing, but it actually makes things a little tricky for me. ¬†I have always had a lot of trouble with serious life transitions, and going back and forth between rural/suburban Michigan and Manhattan is always a big transition. ¬†No matter how many times I do it — and I’ve probably done it a good fifteen plus times at this point in my life. ¬†It usually takes me a few weeks to adjust to one environment over the other; they’re just so sensorily different. ¬†In New York there are ambulances and subways and a million people and trash in the streets and beautiful old skyscrapers. ¬†In Michigan there are hooting owls and piles of crocuses and trails and old friends. ¬†I wish I could get used to going back and forth. ¬†A part of me thinks I am weak for struggling with the differences, but I know this is the depressed part of me. ¬†Not the self-esteem filled part. ¬†I know that it is hard for me because the two places are very different physically and conceptually they mean very different things to me. ¬†It is okay to be a bit confused when I go back and forth. ¬†It is okay.

That’s totally not what I intended to write about when I started this post. ¬†That’s what I like about writing and blogging; I can start out talking about how I felt on a run and two minutes later I’m talking about the differences between Michigan and New York. ¬†My brain moves very quickly, I guess.

Onto the eats, I suppose:

This is a semi-successful attempt at an interesting waffle. ¬†One of the things I love about being home is experimenting with breakfast foods; the options are limitless! ¬†I’m working on a guest post for Sophia about a “you are what you eat” food and so I’m creating new recipes each mornign while I’m here and seeing what works out. ¬†While this guy was decent and certainly unusual, I’m afraid he doesn’t make the puclished recipe cut, unfortunately. ¬†It was basically a homemade dark-chocolate/orange/walnut waffle. ¬†The flavor and texture didn’t turn out quite right. ¬†I topped it with PB and grapefruit jam (!!!!) which was really good. ¬†I’ll have to remember to take a picture of the jam tomorrow since it’s so wonderful.

I went to Trader Joe’s today so that I could stock up on all my favorite unique TJ’s items and ship them back to myself in NYC. ¬†How hilarious am I. ¬†But seriously though, the NYC TJ’s lines are out of control, and there were no lines at mine whatsoever. ¬†I just walked right up to a register. ¬†It was splendid. ¬†I was chatting with some of the cashiers and told them that I actually live in NY but was buying stuff here to send myself a little care package so that I could avoid the lines there. ¬†Then they were all like, ¬†“oooo, the Union Square Trader Joe’s”? ¬†And I said, “yes.” ¬†Apparently, it is a dream for many of them to go to the NY TJ’s. ¬†It’s the TJ’s mecca. ¬†How funny is that?

I’m a tired little duckling (hey, I’ve got to be seasonal!) so it’s time for me to go to bed!

Have you ever had a total, inexplicable workout fail? ¬†And are you a TJ’s person? If not, you should consider having your brain checked…

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