Bad, bad Blogger!

Quick recap of the past 2 months:
- wearing real heels for the first time since the spinning accident today - oh glorious day!
- not running much, haven't gotten into an exercise groove
- tracking my food/exercise again and trying to revisit "intuitive eating"

So without further ado...

7-8am: wine glass full of green monster (named by Angela at ohsheglows.com)
Filled my go-mug with most of it and poured the rest into one of our big wine glasses.

2 handfuls baby spinach
1/2 frozen banana
spoonful raw almond butter
1/2 c. original Almond Breeze
1/2 c. water
2 ice cubes

Walked to work sans music this morning and let my mind wander. I've been thinking about this whole "Saturn Return" that my friend told me about yesterday. I think maybe I'm entering the beginning of this cycle and it's time to start some spiritual spring cleaning and replanting of my soul's garden. I've worked pretty hard to be a good person to this point, but it seems like my fairly perpetual state of frustration and "funk" may be a clue to some bigger issues that are demanding some addressing. More on this as I (hopefully!) receive the guidance I so desperately need and I start working through my heart and head.

Had one of my small PB&Berry bars when I got to work and snacked on some Kashi cereal and another homemade bar (chocolate chip cookie), which sort of rounded out my breakfast/lunch by 1pm. Had my afternoon snack at 2:15 - strawberry activia yogurt with flax seeds and 3/4 c. Fiber One cereal. I'm thinking about leaving work at 4 to hit the gym and then enjoy my leftover green monster on the way home from my workout. Maybe 45 minutes of incline walking or elliptical? Hmmm...sounds lovely to me!

I'm also thinking of doing a Crap Free Week (CFW) starting today. Angela inspired me and I've set up some goals for my CFW:
- Green monster every AM (even better if I can make a big one and have half in the AM and half in the PM!)
- No refined sugars
- No dairy, except Activia yogurt
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- No mindless snacking - journal all food and take pictures when possible
- Eat all meals on a plate, sitting at a table or desk

The last two bullets are my biggest challenges. I find it so easy to wander into the kitchen when I get home from work and start snacking on dried fruit, nuts, etc. All healthy food, but it's mindless snacking and that has to stop. So far, today has been wonderfully crap free, so here's to another 6.5 days!

Thoroughly enjoyed my workout - 20 minutes of inclined walking at 14% and 4.0 mph and a little bit of running mixed in. Then 25 minutes on the ArcTrainer. Enjoyed Part 2 of my green monster on my walk home and took Bodhi for a brief walk to the dog park. Speaking of Bodhi, today was the first workday we left him out of the crate while we were gone and I'm very pleased to say, it was a complete success! I don't know if we'll do it all the time, at least to start with, but I'm so glad we're making progress!

Had a very tasty dinner - leftover whole wheat pasta with Alaskan cod sauteed in a white wine sauce with lots of fresh garlic and grape tomatoes.

Enjoyed my dessert as well - some dried fruit and raw nuts, and one of the raw chocolate chip cookie balls I've become completely addicted to!

Also working on finishing up my 3L of water for the day and had one more cookie ball around 9pm.

Hope you have a great night!

EDIT: Had a few small snacks at 10pm: 1 cookie ball (taste testing my new batch!, 3 pieces of dried mango and a pinch of dried coconut). It was just too good to resist! I'm trying not to let myself get frustrated b/c, overall, I had a VERY healthy and good day. I suppose that's what really matters, right?


Week 1-ish

Week One-ish started with a farewell from Boston, my Boston office crew and our Boston friends who, thank goodness, helped us pack our moving truck on the 10th. Wednesday the 11th dawned cool and cloudy and we were greeted by a note clingling to the Budget windshield from our favorite lovebirds and my heart skipped a beat as I took one last look at our neighborhood - said farewell to the 4 mi and 2.5 mi loops I'd memorized during early morning runs with our pup, enjoyed a last latte from the Starbucks on the 1st floor of our building and shed a tear for our garage parking space. 4 hours and 1 bathroom stop later, we arrived in NYC and were met by more great friends (side note: how did I get to be blessed with so many wonderful people in my life?) who swiftly - in spite of the abysmally slow elevator - unloaded the truck and returned to their jobs/lives/families.

Sebastian, the intrepid traveller, returned to Boston that night to finish his corporate gig and cash in on his bonus while I remained in NYC in the good care of my in-laws. I had meals delivered, support provided and entertainment in abundance on Thursday and Friday. A quick jaunt to my office on Friday (with a stop to trip on the sidewalk while hustling down Park Avenue, eating an apple and staring up at the beautiful architecture on every block) eased my concerns about my new work environment. To their credit, the New York office is so incredibly friendly. I've been visited, taken to lunch, and included from day 1 and I am so thankful for that.

Saturday was bright and sunny so I leashed up my four-legged friend and we trotted merrily up to 86th St and over to Central Park where we bandit ran part of a NYRR event (I really need to register with them soon, but more on that in a bit) and then discovered a field on the West Side with a group of larger dogs racing around off leash. After a brief moment of concern, I decided to do as Cesar Millan is always saying and opted to trust Bodhi not to run off with a new owner. Free to do as he wished, he darted off to play with two other dogs - Sammie and Nutmeg - and I don't know that he's ever looked happier.

Sebastian returned that evening and we unpacked and prepared for the long workweek ahead as much as possible, though we were not thrilled to be surprised by an overflowed toilet at 10pm on Sunday night!

I'm happy to report that work week 1 went well for both of us. Sebastian is settling into his new job and enjoying the high-horsepower scenery quite a bit. We continued to spend our evenings unpacking and I experimented with some classes at my new gym, until....

Thursday. Oh Thursday. Thursday sent warning signals loud and clear to me from the beginning but I stubbornly refused to comply and ventured out into the world, rather than staying safely under the covers. Several nights of poor sleep combined with a touch of rain in the air and a late start led to a rushed walk to work. I managed to eat both my breakfast and lunch by 10am (I suppose it really is true that we eat more when we dont get enough sleep!) and hurried off to my spinning class at 12:30 to burn off some of those indulgent calories. Not wanting to look like the foolish outsider that I am, I stole glances at the other bikers ("Oh, biker. I'm an idiot) and their set-ups before class began. Apparently I missed the part where you learn how to tighten the straps that hold your feet into the death trap pedals because when we began the "running" segment of our mountainous journey, I dropped the resistance as instructed and promptly spun out of control. Left foot careened toward the floor and was met by the pedal to which it was no longer affixed with a loud "WHACK" and a very unnatural twist and turn as the pedal popped off of the bike due to the force with which it hit me and flew halfway across the studio. If I ever see Carol, the woman who helped my sorry person down from my bike and out to the stretching area, again, I will immediately hug her. After 20 minutes of icing my leg, I hobbled down to the locker room and changed and skulked out of the gym as quickly as possible. Two days of RICE and the swelling/bruising has dispersed over my ankle foot, rather than looking like the golfball that appeared almost immediately, so I'm hoping it's just a sprain and I'll be back in business in a few weeks.

My parents had a party to attend on Sunday in Connecticut so we were lucky to be able to spend some time with them, and my brother, on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Ah the healing powers of a good old hug from Mom and Dad.

Week 2 promises to be chilly, but sunny, here in the Big Apple, and I promise to post photos very soon. I know both S and I are looking forward to less unpacking and more relaxing in our new apartment and hopefully it will really begin to feel like home soon!


Almost forgot!

We got a dog shortly after my post in November!! His name is Bodhi and he's probably one of the biggest blessings in my life. More to come :)
Just a brief update today. Not sure why I felt like posting, since I haven't posted in almost 2 months, but I feel like typing, rather than writing in my journal. Had a good session with Dr. P (not Dr. Pepper!) yesterday. Talked a lot about making my peace with food and my weight. If I weigh a few pounds more, so be it. If I weigh a few pounds less, I'll obviously still be happy, but I can't keep basing my happiness on my weight. I'm weighing once a week again (on Tuesdays) and have a vague goal, but I'm not tracking calories or anything. If I don't see a change on the scale, I'll eat a little less, or run a little more. And if I see too much of a change (rapid loss), I'll give myself a break and add a little something to one of my meals here or there.

We also talked about my desire to plan and how, despite my best efforts and intentions, my desire to plan ends up causing me more stress than I would have had if I'd been forced to improvise in a given situation. For example, on Wednesday, I was talking to S about plans for this weekend and I said I'd like to make lasagna. So then I started thinking about what I should eat when, and how I should prepare for everything and suddenly I was writing down every meal for every day for the next week. Not surprisingly, I ate like crazy that night. S brought cookies over to the living room while we were watching a movie and I couldn't stop. Once the cookies were gone, I moved on to nuts and dried fruit and cereal. So, of course, I felt awful the next day. I think one of my 2009 goals will be to plan food 24 hours in advance and no more. Obviously, if there are extenuating circumstances, I should be flexible, but I think 24 hours is perfectly reasonable and should help keep me from having anxiety about planning.

Sometimes I feel like, by saying things, I jinx them. It's like putting them out into the ether does something to my intentions or thoughts. Like when I set a plan for myself, I follow it up with sabotaging myself. Or when something good MIGHT happen and I tell someone, it doesn't happen. Why is that???


Domestic Weekend

Drank FAR too much on Friday night, went to bed at 4am, woke up at 7:30am to take Vivian for her 50k service and got back home by 8:15 unable to sleep. So, I spent the next three hours cleaning the apartment while Sebastian slept - tidied our wedding stuff, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, dusted, vacuumed, started organizing my new recipes. You know, the usual Saturday morning. After all the cleaning, Sebastian woke up and we made "breakfast" somewhere around noon. Ah, the sweet glory of a little bit of grease and a little bit of coffee:

Cooked up a 3 egg white omelet with sauteed onions and fresh rosemary. Add to that wo pieces of bacon and a cappucino and I was set.

Continued my domesticity on Sunday. After being out late drinking again (I know, insanity!), woke up around 11am and went for one of the best runs I've had in a long time. 7.5 miles at a 8:50 pace, give or take. I would have kept going, but I was on a treadmill and figured I shouldn't burn myself out. Had some oatmeal when I got home and then an apple and some cheese before braving the terrors of a supermarket on a Sunday afternoon. It was rather horrifying, but, aside from realizing after I'd gotten home that my checkout girl had neglected to include all of my purchases in my cart (really? is that too much to ask? this has happened BOTH times I've shopped at that grocery store), it was a pretty successful trip. As the Steelers battled the Chargers, with no help from the officials, and Ted and Sebastian screamed at the TV, I spent some quality time in the kitchen. Over the next 5 hours, I made the following:

Turkey Chili (1 batch from Cook's Illustrated):

I realize the photo doesn't make it look very exciting, but I forgot to photograph it while it was in the Le Crueset dutch oven. This will be eaten over Thanksgiving weekend when our family is here.

Next up, candied orange peels, recipe from Whole Foods. I made 1/2 a batch b/c I didn't have enough sugar for a full batch. Used three large oranges:

Close up:

Then I made fudge with chopped walnuts from a recipe in my Recipe Keeper from Mom (This was 1 recipe batch):

THEN, I made banana walnut muffins (2 boxes of Betty Crocker boxed muffin mix):

That made 2 dozen muffins and I added the walnuts on top on a whim.

Last, but not least, I began the process of making sugared cranberries. They are currently sitting in their cinnamon/clove syrup in the fridge and will come out tomorrow for their sugaring. This was 1 batch and I used 1 full bag of cranberries from a recipe at Whole Foods:

One more:

Both the cranberries and orange peels produce flavored simple syrups and I can't wait to use those in some holiday cocktails!!

And a couple of cool shots:

Next up will be corn kernel cornbread and some lemon poppyseed muffins, to be made Monday and Tuesday night of next week. Then I think I'll be all set except for the main event: Thanksgiving dinner. I have the menu planned so I'll do my shopping on Monday of next week and then the prep work will happen on Tuesday and I can set the table Wednesday to be ready for Thursday. Fingers crossed!


This week - a montage

Had a great run on Monday and Tuesday. Went for a run with AG (can't believe it actually happened!) on Wednesday and as I've told my friends, took it for what it was. It was a run with a friend. We didn't make grand promises to run together every day forever and ever and I didn't allow myself to get sucked into the "we should totally do another long race together!" excitement b/c what it boils down to she needs a running buddy now that her boyfriend has a lamed up IT band. Which I get. Whatever. But in the past, I would have gone along with it, gotten caught up in the fun of picking out a new race and setting up a training plan and then been disappointed when her boyfriend swooped in and wanted to run with us etc. It did leave me a little sad that I knew we wouldn't get around to running a race like she was suggesting, but I'm not going to dwell on it and I'll see her again when I see her.

Had a pretty crappy run today, but that's probably b/c I did 30 minutes on the elliptical last night, ran 6 miles and then took a crazy hard pilates class. Hmm...actually typing all of that makes it SO much clearer. The question now is whether or not I'll still want to run tomorrow morning. A guy I used to run with in TNT wants to get together for 5-7 but we're going to Maine in the morning and I dont want to have to wake up at the crack of dawn. I suppose I should email him either way - maybe he wont want to run super early?

Fighting off the temptation to have frozen yogurt right now. I've actually been feeling really good lately - no dairy, trying to stick with the food combining method and it's done pretty well by me so far. I think not having dairy has really really helped.


Every Smile is a Direct Achievement

I rediscovered my love for running this weekend. Finally. Crawled out of bed early on Saturday (okay by like 8:30 so not that early) and drove down to the river to do a 10 miler. Broke out the fuel belt for it's first run of the season. Set my watch and just started running. Ah, glorious solitary running. In fact, it wasn't completely solitary, which might have been the best part. I ran the first few miles with my headphones in, chugging along at a good clip. Just past the Mass Ave bridge, CO came up behind me and we enjoyed a very nice chat for a mile or two. Turns out her boyfriend, C, is back from his US tour and had a wonderful time, she's still enjoying her job (though had a pretty lousy day on Thursday)and has spent the summer running, visiting family in NH and relaxing as much as possible. CO and I ran until the BU Bridge and then parted ways. I trotted along all the way down to the Elliot Bridge, pushing myself when I had the energy and backing off when I felt tired. I really think this is key, and one of the biggest reasons why I hate the treadmill now.

I know treadmill runs are good - they force you to keep a certain pace, even when you get tired and you build endurance. But I find so often that I'll get a fit of energy and not want to increase the speed on the stupid machine and I end up losing the energy and then feeling tired and psyching myself out. The natural ebbs and flows of my energy during a run just cannot be utilized on a machine.

So on I went, rediscovering my love/hate relationships with Gu (Chocolate Outrage this time) and sipping on my water, appreciating the pockets of shade and pushing through the sections of hot sun. Just when I was starting to feel like mailing in the last mile or so, I ran into TNT Chris just before the bend down to the Longfellow Bridge. He didnt even notice me at first so I tapped him on the shoulder and he reversed his course and we jogged along all the way back to, and passed, my car. One last reverse and we ended up back at Vivian, catching up on what we've been up to for the past 9 months or so since we talked. Crazy to think how much has happened, and yet running generally has stayed the same.

Took Sunday off to rest (and nurse I touch of a hangover from too much Reisling the night before) and had another good run on Monday. Might try to run tonight before pilates, but we'll see. Also, may or may not be running with AG tomorrow night - have exchanged a few emails over the last week or so and she suggested a running date. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but we'll see.

Also want to remind myself of something I read in RW yesterday - to take care of my body. This include everything from stretching to what I eat to taking days off and remembering to moisturize. I find that I can get too wrapped up in things and my increased stress/anxiety level leads me to rush through things without appreciating the time or act. I want to take a minute before I do almost anything now and just breathe and clear my head. As a yoga teacher once said in class, focus on your intention, have purpose.

I think this ties in nicely to the quote on my Yogi tea bag today - every smile is a direct achievement. Be purposeful and take care of yourself!!!