Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breakfast, the half-assed way

So today I woke up feeling intensely UN-hungry.*

Which kind of sucks because it's the first day of the Breakfast Bonanza!

But I tried my best.

Coffee with whole milk, Fage with fresh nutmeg, a baby apple (so tiny and cute!) and the puzzle section. Today's sudoku is killing me.

Question for the lurkers: sudoku or crossword?

I'm off to find out what the "Bea"hive is...wish me luck!


*probably because I stumbled home from a very long day at work and decided that dinner was going to be a tin of sardines and a big spoonful of Nutella. yes i know don't judge me!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hey you guys check this out! (breakfast bonanza)

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

-Oscar Wilde

So Miss Running-To-Slow-Things-Down (couldn't find her actual first name - anyone know it??) is doing a fun little challenge this coming week. From her blog:
We all know that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day.
We also all know how delicious breakfast can be. It’s hands down my favorite meal, which is why it’s a shame that I’ve been so repetitive with it.
Which is also the reason why I’ve decided to start a week long Breakfast Bonanza…
If you’re starting to freak out a little right now (breakfast ba-who?), don’t. I did this last year, and the results were amazing. Bloggers upon bloggers, all joining in with the idea of trying a new breakfast for each day of an entire week. You can go wild and crazy or you can stick with 7 different oatmeal toppings, if that suits your fancy a little more. Whatever you feel like doing.
The most important thing? Mix. Things. Up. Break the routine of your breakfast.

Really, this is kind of a selfish thing for me to do. I’m mostly looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Because you’re all invited. :D
Who: Anyone and everyone, whether you’re a blogger or not.
What: Breakfast Bonanza! Make a new breakfast for each day of an entire week starting tomorrow (Saturday.)
When: Saturday (October 30) to the following Saturday (November 6)
Where: Post your breakfasts creations on your blog, and let me know via comment if you would like it to be displayed in my Breakfast Bonanza post next week. :D
Why: Give yourself (and me) some new breakfast options. And, HAVE FUN while doing it.
It's pretty straightforward. Basically, have fun while eating! Always something I'm down for :D
It's unofficial, but here's my first entry:
Leftover carrots from last night, an ounce of smelly mystery cheese, two poached eggs (look at the bowl! isn't it cute? it's a little clay egg on the side!), three Triscuits and COFFEE. Shouldn't really have had the Triscuits but they are my favorite crackers ever and amam got them without realising that I can't really do wheat anymore and they looked SO good and were calling my name. So.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So I don't really like Siggi's all that much

...which I'm kind of sorry to say, considering all the recent hoopla about it in the food blog world !
It gets 10 gold stars for presentation, though. Look how cute it is! All clean lines and friendly lowercase letters and the adorable little drawing of a milk can - I love it!
It's THICK, too - this spoon would have stayed in the upright position indefinitely had I not removed it. The taste is nice, too - tart without being too mouth-puckeringly sour, and nice and fresh-tasting. But it's the texture that makes all the difference to me. I like yoghurt to be perfectly smooth, to the point that when I was making my own on a regular basis I'd strain it a couple times before pouring it out to set. This stuff is just the slightest bit grainy, and has this weird quality that I can only describe as gluey - it stuck instantly to all surfaces inside my mouth and left me feeling like I had to rinse my mouth out.

I really really wished I liked this stuff, if for no other reason that the container is so damn cute! But I don't. Sorry, Siggi's!

I still love Fage more than my firstborn child, though.*

Dinner tonight: salmonburger, roasted carrots with mustard and some other stuff that amam threw together, mashed cauliflower with a big ol' blorp of butter, glass of milk and some Fage Total with nutmeg and way too much cinnamon sprinkled on it. It needed more green but I was lazy and relied on leftovers.

Crossfit today was again a monsterbitch, this time designed by Colin. Colin has gorgeous blue eyes and looks just a little bit like a shorter Jensen Ackles but this workout proves the fact that he has no soul and delights in the misery of others.**
  • Run 800 meters
  • Do as many burpee pullups as possible to finish up 8 minutes
For those who wish to be enlightened, this is a burpee pullup. Ladies, his shirt comes off at about 2:05:

I got in about 12 of those at the end of the run (not moving nearly as fast as this fellow), which took me a pretty pathetic 5:15. We also worked on clean and jerks, working up from a 45lb barbell to 80lbs, doing split jerks, which I officially suck at but I was doing a lot better by the end, thanks to Rich's coaching.

Question for the lurkers: do you all like Siggi's? Did I maybe just get a bad batch? Are the flavored versions any better than the plain one?


*I have no children.
**Just kidding, as usual. He's still awesome, just mean. Kidding!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breakfast and badassery

My breakfast today was AWESOME.

in progress

the finished result, right before OM NOM NOM

Two eggs with half a tomato, roasted red pepper, bleu cheese, 1/4 avocado and some fresh basil. Yes, you read that right. Garden-fresh basil (as in I walked outside to get it) at the end of October. NC is CRAZY, yo. But it's ok because it is also DELICIOUS.

Anything tastes better if you work out directly before consuming it. I went to the 615 Crossfit WOD today, and it was a pretty awesome one. They're doing a thing now where the coaches design the WODs for a week or two, and this one was Ashley's. Check her out, you guys. She's seriously amazing. But anyways, it was 8 rounds for time of:
  • 3 overhead squats
  • 3 back squats
  • 3 push presses
  • 3 front squats
  • 200m row
I used a 45lb barbell all the way through. I think I could have gone higher (last time we did push presses I was doing something like 63lb for multiple reps) but I'm still fairly shaky on overhead squats, so that was the deciding factor there. I got this done in 15:49, which was ok fine but honestly I didn't push myself very hard on this one. The reason? Yesterday's WOD.

21-15-9 for time of:
  • push presses? something overhead. I will check
  • body blasters. INTENSE. A full burpee (chest to the deck) under the pull-up bar, followed by a jumping pull-up (I used the shortest box because I was nervous of just going for it but I think I will totally do that next time!) followed by a knees-to-elbows (or knees-to-chest, in my case) before you let go of the bar.
SWEET BABY JAYSUS this one was a MONSTER. And I loved every second of it :D That one was designed by Rich, I think (Bea's husband). Thanks Rich!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to drive a cat insane (two ways!)

Method #1: Eat something fishy
Lunch! Tomato, sardines, roasted red peppers and balsamic drizzle (no, not chocolate sauce). Background music was incessant, plaintive, feed-me-now-or-I-shall-perish yowling.

Method #2: Be another cat
The interloper appears. Gracie is unamused.

Other Cat decides to take a closer look. Gracie decides the proper course of action is to go apeshit crazy.

Ignoring him won't make him go away... we break out the Kitty Glare of Death!

And Gracie is reinstated in her role as benevolent queen of all she surveys from her, bag.

A good way to start the day

Coffee with whole milk and an apple pie mini Lara bar. And Sudoku which I finished in about 5 minutes flat. And also a crossword that you can't see.

So I'm going to start posting pictures of my food again. I've really fallen out of the habit for a while, mostly because my "normal" meals these days are invariably sardines or eggs, a big plate of veg that while delicious is still pretty ugly, and lots of almonds. And also more than a few pinches of cookie dough while I'm at work, which is not exactly something I want to show off by providing photographic evidence. But I know I still should.

And I do really kind of miss the whole...ritual, I guess you might call it, that was setting up my meals for the photo. Getting out the nice plates and silver, cooking a good balance of colors and textures for visual interest, making everything look just so. I found that, at least for me, it was often the effort that I put into getting a good shot for this blog that made the difference between running around mindlessly munching (and then snacking on more later) and actually literally sitting down to eat and paying attention to the fruits of my labor (and thus being more satisfied with just that).

So yeah. I'm well aware of the danger that is becoming over-obsessive about food, but it seems like this is one minor obsession that's good for me. Keep posted for more pictures from here on out!


Question for the lurkers: I want to start posting more frequently in general, and a way I've seen a lot of bloggers manage this is to create daily categories, like the money check-ups every Monday from Grace, Alyson et al, or Sylvan's Ten Things I Love posts (which aren't scheduled but still a category), or JPC's Spirit Sundays and Wordless Wednesdays (the latter I especially love: she just posts one particularly beautiful photo that she's taken recently and invites all the readers to simply revel in it with her). I've joined in on the Money Mondays idea, but what are some other ones you'd like to see me do? They should tie in with healthy living in some way, shape or form, but that's pretty broad :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Money Monday 25/10

I really like this habit, you guys. Think I'll try to stick with it and see if I can get other people interested, too. Financial stability is sexy!

Grace's original post is here.

This week's questions:

  1. The most I've spent this last week was on my student loan, $150/mo right now. It's still deferred until at least next summer (if I'm not back in school for real by then) but that just means it's the best time to get it down as much as possible. Besides that, the biggest transaction was new exercise shoes...for $65.24. Kind of steep, I know. But my last ones (professionally-fitted super-built-up "real" running shoes) were $130, and those lasted me a good couple years. These are a good brand and I like them, so hopefully they'll serve me just as well, and not lead to so many sprained ankles.
  2. Today I feel kind of nervous towards money. My hours at work just got cut to 25/wk. As I had been getting nearly 40/wk, that's the equivalent of almost an entire week and a half of full-time hours over the month, and over a quarter of my paycheck gone. More on this whole fiasco in another post, perhaps. But for the moment I'm concerned enough to be seriously looking for another position.
  3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was Family Chinese & Movie Night! :D's free for me! And cheap for amam&co. And fun.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I have at least two good leads for jobs. That's callbacks or interviews.
  5. This year for Halloween I am dressing up as a witch, natch! Anything else would just be silly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In which I injure myself yet again

Yes. Again. I blame it on the massive gut cramps I got after only the warm-up and first sprint of the workout last night (which I couldn't finish because of this, bee tee dubs). It really kind of sucks.

This is what I was supposed to do:

5 rounds for time of
  • 200m sprint
  • 20 wall-balls (15lb ball)
  • 10 plank pose, knee to chest and then twist torso (all one move, alternating sides)
  • 20 KB swings (30lb)
  • 10 lateral hops over two cones (that is, two hops to the left, two hops to the right, etc)
I got through about 3 rounds before I had to take a break in the back, at which point I rolled the ankle. This was a really interesting WOD, though - I definitely want to redo it when I'm back to running again!

Today I wrapped it up and got some new, much flatter shoes - conventional running shoes have that enormous built-up heel that turns what would be just a simple trip into a nasty injury, so I'm trying out something different - and went back to Crossfit. It was a MUCH better go-round - here's what we did:
  • 40ish minutes of clean and jerk practice: we started with a 33lb bar and moved up to 73 lbs by the 15th and final rep
  • WOD: 5 rounds for time of 9 thrusters (63 lbs on the first 3, 53 on the last 2), 15 knees-to-elbows on the pull-up bar.
I finished in 16:40, which was dead last and would be pretty a
bysmal if I hadn't spent nearly 5 minutes switching the weights on the bar. This one KILLED my grip and I ended up ripping my callouses yet again. I'm really loving all the pu
ll-up bar work, though. Hoping to get up to unaided pull-ups within 6 months and muscle-ups (link is to youtube) within a year!

In other news, here is what October (almost November) in lovely North Carolina looks like:

Ok, time to get to bed so I can do it all over again tomorrow :D


Monday, October 18, 2010

Kind of a neat idea

So I saw this thing first on Alyson's blog, and it turns out she got it from Grace of these two blogs. Both of these ladies focus on looking amazingly cute while not spending very much (or in Alyson's case, nothing at all for a year!) in the process. The gist is that every week, you answer five questions. The first four are always the same, and are about how well you did at handling money in the past week. The last is just whatever Grace feels like putting up!

It's not quite what the original purpose of this blog was, but I feel like it's definitely health-related in that "healthy" finances are almost as important and useful as a healthy body. So I'm gonna do it this week, and hopefully remember to do it in weeks following as well!

This week's questions (original post here)
  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on gas. That's pretty normal. I drive 60 miles a day just to and from work, so even with my best attempts at hypermiling, that's normally my biggest spending category for the month. $44.76 at the last fill-up.
  2. Today I feel pretty ok towards money. I'm still working on building up my emergency fund, picking a new main bank (as SunTrust's interest rates are just way too low) and tweaking my budget in general. But I haven't splurged on anything for a while, and my accounts are getting back up to where they were before my last big expense, which was vacation.
  3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was hanging out with high school friends, reminiscing about old memories and creating happy new ones :)
  4. I will consider this week a success if I get to Crossfit at least four times! It'll be tight because I have an extra evening at work, but I think I can hack it, even if I have to go in the morning.
  5. My favorite cereal is...I actually don't eat cereal anymore! My "breakfast" is usually coffee with whole milk and a crossword first thing in the morning, then some almonds and fruit at about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. But when I did eat cereal, it was Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds. No contest.
Have a good Monday, everyone!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

I want it all!

Hey you guys.

I just ate an ENORMOUS plate of fried catfish and french fries and hush puppies. I didn't take a picture beforehand because I was too hungry to remember, but it looked something like this, except more so and with FIVE hush puppies:

I dipped everything in ketchup and Greek yoghurt.

And then I washed it all down with a big ol' glass of whole milk.

I did not eat all my vegetables today. I definitely didn't stay within the 150g carb limit. I didn't even THINK about keeping track of calories or fat grams or whatever. I just worked hard, played hard, and then wanted some GREASE, damnit!

A good two full weeks have passed since the first inklings of craving for this delightfully horrible-for-you feast first started to nag. And all that time I gently pushed them away and ate pound upon pound of vegetables and eggs and almonds and my beloved sardines and kept doing structured workouts four or five days a week while working close to 40 hours over the weekends.

And was ENOUGH.

You can say all you like about how cravings should be quelled and replaced with real, healthy, smiley-face-happy foods, which are what your body (poor, silly, confused thing that it is) really wants. And how they're inextricably tied to emotional eating and similar mental food issues, and should be worked through and fought against instead of given in to.

But goddess help me, I swear there is almost nothing so delicious, so perfectly sinful, as a fresh, steaming hot, dripping-with-grease hush puppy that you have been dreaming about for TWO. WHOLE. WEEKS.

So now I am stuffed to the gills and very very happy, if a little over-full. And tomorrow I will wake up at 5 and lift heavy things and then run around herding teenagers all day while munching on almonds , as I do most days. But eventually there will come another day when I will say SCREW 'EM ALL and gorge myself on something deliciously gross. Grossly delicious? Both.

Brief Crossfit update: I did a back squat (Olympic barbell racked on your shoulders behind your head) with 125 lbs for 3 reps, several times, with some seriously sore hip flexors. And also did more than a few pull-ups from a dead hang with only the blue band to help out (blue is better than green but not as good as red or lavender). And I FUCKING HATE double-under jump ropes, and I've got the welts all up and down my legs to prove it.

Lurkers: what's your favorite sin? How do you make it worthwhile and not let it completely take over?

Plus, bonus points for those who can identify the band currently on repeat in my car stereo from the title of this post WITHOUT Googling it!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back on the wagon (again)

...and that wagon looks a whole lot like a pull-up bar. I wasn't doing actual pull-ups, but knees-to-elbows (link is to a Youtube vid. Disclaimer: that chick is much fitter than I am but the general motion is the same). Those mixed with a lot of kettlebell work for last night's WOD left me with these lovelies:That's right! I tore my calluses for the very first time ever! It HURRRTS like a monster but I feel so incredibly badass! I've been keeping them covered in lavender-oil-soaked gauze most of the time, looking up hand-taping methods and ways to avoid this happening again (once is enough to certify me as totally beast, and all said it's really not that pleasant an experience :/)

Yesterday's workout:
  • 15-20ish minutes of warming up: wrist-to-wrist random motion, randori with Colin in the middle chopping at us with a PVC pipe, plank-pose patty-cake. Comment if you want better descriptions of any of these.
  • WOD: AMRAP of 20 sumo deadlift high pulls (24kg/53lb kettlebell) and 10 knees-to-elbows. I got in 5 complete rounds and 15 SDHPs; 5.375 rounds but Colin nicely counted it as 5.5. Yay for rounding!
  • plank pose competition! I made it for 50 seconds but that was because my sock slipped off my foot. Probably could have made it past a minute sans chausettes. Next time...
However, the reason that I was off the wagon to start with is blurrily depicted below:I can write some of this off to the fact that when I was playing rugby in college, I sprained this same ankle really badly during a run (as in should have stayed on the crutches for at least a month), didn't give it nearly enough down time before I started playing on it again and subsequently made it permanently weaker than it should be. But that doesn't change the fact that this particular injury was due to...walking and texting. That's right. That's like one step below walking into a telephone pole and breaking your nose. In my defense it WAS at the Duke Wall, where the paths are all this very fine gravel that disintegrates into ruts and runnels all over the place every time it rains. But still. Not the coolest way to injure oneself. If I'm gonna be laid up for a week, I want a cool story to go with it!

For the lurkers (this means you, Alex P.!): Help me out, guys. What's a cooler story than texting while walking? Besides, you know, everything.