Sunday, June 28, 2009

What to do with a grey Sunday morning.

Hike, of course. No need for suncreen, and the trails are much quieter. Somehow even though it's only 60 degrees and there was a light mist, I still managed to sweat my tail off. That is why I do not like summer. I think my internal thermostat is set higher than most people's. Which sadly doesn't translate into higher metabolism, just a bright red face and more sweat. But there were some lovely cool breezes. And there were no bugs, thank heaven.

Anyway, you can see the trail map here. If you see where Exit 2 is off the highway, I took the red trail to the observation tower, then the upper blue line trail to the big star (State Police & reservation HQ) then the lower blue trail back, and the red trail back to my car. It took 2:45, and as you can see from the elevation lines it involved lots of up and down. I had my hiking poles with me this time and was so thankful for them. Hiking as a 4 legged creature instead of 2 legged one makes my knees very happy, and gives a good arm workout, too.

Since I hike alone, I often just have random thoughts running through my head, and for part of this hike I imagined that I owned a little cabin up in the White Mountains and I imagined how I would decorate it. It would have been (or will be, you never know) really cute.

I had cereal before I left, a little of the veggie pie on the hike and some blueberries and strawberries (including some little blueberries that I picked!), and then had an english muffin with avocado on it when I got home.

Dinner might be shrimp, tagliatelle and leeks with roasted broccoli on the side.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Market Scores

This morning's take from the market:
Mint (for the jicima salad)
A pretty little pottery dish for my salt

Breakfast was Barbara's Shredded Oats, lunch was a little of last night's dinner (mahi mahi and fingerling potatoes) mixed with some broccoli and some freeze-dried blueberries. Dinner will be something involving those veggies. Maybe a veggie pie?

My house needs cleaning, and I'm going to bike or walk or something before the day is over. The sun is finally out after weeks of rain.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm in Cleveland, Metaphorically, But Not For Long!

You know when you start out on a road trip, like from Boston to San Francisco, and you're all excited. You stock up on everything you need - snacks, water, music, maps, money and you hit the road in high spirits determined to get to your destination. And then after a while, you're in Cleveland. Your water is gone, your snacks are lost under the seat, your legs hurt, you're tired, you're hungry and you have to pee. And you're in Cleveland.

So what do you do when you end up in Cleveland? Do you think, "well I tried to get to California and I failed, I guess I'll go home." Do you think "It's going to take me a really long time to get to California. Cleveland seems nice. I think I'll just stay here." Or do you say "Let's find a hotel, clean out the car, restock our snacks in the morning, fill the gas tank and get the heck out of Cleveland!"

Well, I'm getting out of Cleveland (and leaving .6 pounds behind from my 2 week stay here). No offense to those who like it, but I'm outta here. I have restocked my kitchen with fruit and fish, will be picking up some veggies tomorrow at the farmer's market, will be drinking more water even when I'm at home (for some reason I only remember to drink water when I'm out and about), and will be biking or walking or yogaing this weekend no matter what the skies decide to throw at me.

Goodbye Cleveland, I'll see you in Davenport! (wait, that doesn't sound right.) I'll see you in Des Moines! (hmm, not really feeling that either.) You know what, I'm just going to be driving west on Rte. 80, beep if you see me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dinner Yum!

Sometimes I get my dinner inspiration from a Twitter friend who tweets about work during the day, and dinner at night. Tonight, she said she was making this for dinner:
Tagliatelle With Leeks And Shrimp Recipe. And when I saw it was a recipe from Lidia's Italian Table I knew it would be very tasty, and it was! Sadly, I left my phone/camera at work so there is no photo, but it was pretty and pink and green and gold. The sauce was made by simmering the stock down, so not too much butter or cheese was needed. And I added some crushed red pepper for a little zing.

I also bought some jicama. It is really best mixed with some lime juice, chili powder and mint and eaten as a salad, but I'm snacking on a little of it in an attempt to get a little more fiber for the day. It tastes a bit like a raw potato. I think that maybe it will be best to save it for some sort of salad tomorrow, as I don't want to ruin the memories of my lovely dinner with the taste of raw potato.

As far as plans for moving tonight - probably going to be some bedtime yoga.

One Foot In Front of the Other

This is how I will get where I want to be. It would have been easy to say "oh, I burned all the calories I need to for the week on Sunday so I can cut back on my exercise," but that wouldn't have propelled me any further down this path.  So, yesterday morning I did some gentle hatha yoga (then lay in bed and watched movies in the afternoon because my knees and feet were killing me so I just envisioned all my cells repairing and restoring themselves) then this morning I got up and back into my routine of a morning walk with the dog.  

I was very glad to find that my cells had indeed restored themselves and I am not achy at all any more.  

Breakfast: eggs on toast. 
Lunch: carrots, ham & cheese on an english muffin with avocado. 
Dinner: ? Fajitas maybe? Lentil something or other? 

Monday, June 22, 2009


Clearly my body is still trying to make up for the fantastic calorie burn yesterday, as I am starving (or else my body is gearing up for winter since it is 56 degrees and pouring rain out). I had a normal breakfast at 8 (whole wheat english muffin with avocado) and by 10:30 I was eating my lunch (ham and cheese on whole wheat bread).  Now it is 2:30 and I am famished. There is some flat bread pizza that I'm reheating and hoping that a nice combo of carbs, protein and fats will keep me sated for a while.  

I might also need a nap. 

Putting the Mountains in "Beets, Butter & Mountaintops"

The view from Bald Peak to the Mt. Kinsman summit. 
I finally made it to the mountains. It rained all week last week and I wasn't going to go to New Hampshire for the weekend because I thought it would just rain up there, but it didn't! It was a little grey and cloudy, but it was perfect hiking weather. 

The trail head was .6 miles from the lodge (it used to be .4 miles but we found it had been relocated .2 miles down the road.)  So, we walked a ways before starting the hike. (Someone dropped a car off for us at the trail head so we could drive back. Heaven.)  

This hike was the inaugural climb for my 4 year old niece and 1.5 year old nephew, who alternately walked, were carried or rode in some form of carrier.  When hiking with small children you cannot rely on book-time to determine how long of a hike you will take.  This hike to Bald Peak, including the walk to the trail head, took about 5 hours. Book time was 2 hours. But the pace did not seem overly slow, and the grown ups appreciated the rest stops and seeing a 4 year old with a little backpack and hiking pole trekking along singing quietly to herself makes for a rather nice hike.  

The trail was very pretty with lots of brook crossings, and at the top we were visited by a very large Newfoundland dog named Bella who apparently made the trip a few times a week with her owner.  

My feet hurt, which I think may be from my hiking shoes. They seem to make the soles of my feet hurt. And I then drove home for 3 hours after the hike which resulted in stiff muscles and my limping around Whole Foods as I picked up some provisions.  But I feel good today and hopefully some yoga tonight will help loosen things up. 

Friday, June 19, 2009

We now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Caloric Intake

I was in the city yesterday which meant that my little routine of lunch and dinner was altered and I ended up eating out for those 2 meals. I also ended up getting about 45 minutes of fast walking in as I trotted around the city from the train to my destinations and back again.  

I ate at UFood Grill for lunch, which is healthy fast food. And healthy doesn't even need to be quotes, because it was. But I had a rather high calorie (and delicious) falafel wrap.  Then I went here for dinner and had steak tips. (that's what my dinner looked like, including the little rosemary sprig) And a Harpoon IPA. Both of which were again delicious, but pushed my caloric intake up over what I generally like it to be for the day.  

So, this morning, I tracked yesterday's calories in Sparkpeople, estimating dinner as best I could and then I moved on.  

My hamstrings are very stiff and sore from one of my yoga workouts combined with sitting in a conference for 7 hours yesterday.  And today I'll be sitting in a car for 3+ hours. But then I will be at the moutains and hiking, even if it's pouring rain.  So I'll try to stretch them gently today and do some walking before my drive so I'm not hobbling about tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I'm loving the YogaDownload podcasts (except for the way one of the instructors rolls her "r"s when saying chaturanga.) Today was yoga for weight loss, which had a lot of "chin locks" meaning you tuck your chin to the notch between your collar bones during certain poses to stimulate the thyroid. For the well endowed that becomes more difficult during inverted poses since tucking your chin into your chest is either impossible or makes it difficult to breath, but the workout it self was a good invigorating one. It ends with plow and shoulderstand which are 2 of my favorite poses.  

Breakfast was 2 eggs on toast. Lunch is...I'm not sure. Carrots, couscous, maybe there is a chicken thigh in the freezer? 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spa Meal

This is the kind of meal that I always think they would serve at Canyon Ranch.  "Wild caught turbot fillet (5 oz) over a bed of whole wheat couscous (3/4 cup) accompanied by local asparagus and roasted sweet potatoes." Although I'm not sure if they'd have the Sam Adams to go along with it. 

It is so pretty and tasty and healthy (700 cals for the whole thing including the beer. 64 grams of carbs if you count those, and 8 grams of fiber.) And it was fast to prepare, which was good since I was hungry.  The veggies roasted in about 15 minutes, the couscous was done in 5, the turbot in 6 or so. 

I must highly recommend this meal, or something like it. 

And the nice thing about an early dinner is that if/when I do yoga later, it will have had time to digest and not be sitting in my stomach while I attempt bow pose. 

Carrots and Bunnies

I decided that the best way to carry my carrots to work was in a little bag with bunnies on it. Thankfully the bunnies did not eat the carrots. And the sandwich wanted to be in a bag, too, so it's in the pretty blue and brown one.  I found a little hummus in the fridge to accompany the carrots. Chick peas are much better blended with tahini and olive oil. And it got my fiber intake up to where it needs to be for the day. And it's delicious.  

The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow

I sometimes have to force myself to not go to bed before 9 since I will usually then wake up around 3am which isn't fun. But yesterday I did my YogaDownload Lunar Flow which was so relaxing I was in bed at 8:45 and asleep by 9:30. And I slept like a rock the entire night, until 5:30 when I woke up to listen to the birds for a while, then got up and walked the dog. 

Dinner last night - I wasn't overly hungry when I got home so I started with a  Sam Adams Blackberry Wittbier (Wheatbeer) which was yummy and not too sweet. Then I had an open faced tuna sandwich on my whole wheat no-knead bread with some chopped up pickled jalapenos in it. Yum! 

I need to find some more veggies, and get some more fruit because at the end of the day Sparkpeople is telling me that I have not had enough carbs and some days I've not had enough fiber. And then I don't get all green check marks, and I am motivated by green check marks. 

Today's plan:
Breakfast - I think eggs and mushrooms, maybe in a whole wheat tortilla. 

Lunch: PB&J. Carrot sticks. 

Dinner: Couscous, asparagus and turbot from Trader Joes. 

See, only 3 servings of veggies there. Maybe I'll make some slaw out of the cabbage at dinner. And have some dried cherries as a snack. We'll see what Sparkpeople thinks of this plan, and make adjustments as necessary.  

Have a great day! 

Monday, June 15, 2009

I don't really like whole chick peas

I think I knew this.  But now I'm picking at my lunch trying to avoid the chick peas and just get asparagus and cous cous. But I do have some mozzarella sticks that I can eat instead, and when I get home I will plan my lunches for the week so that I don't end up with this very weird combo again. 

Alright, I just put the whole lunch away. It was starting to gross me out.  So a little of the salad and 2 oz. of mozzarella will have to get me through until I get home.  

Bridge to Somewhere

 I started doing the free 25 minute sessions from YogaDownload. The instructor talks kind of fast but they are a good workout.  I did a gentle yoga session last night and slept like a rock afterwards. This morning I did the Morning Flow yoga which was full of back-bends like Bridge, Locust, Wheel (which I can't do yet), some Warrior poses then Plow & Shoulder stand to end. It was nice and energizing and a great way to start the day. 

And I just realized that I have a YinYoga DVD from netflix that I can do tonight.  

Breakfast was 1/2 a piece of wheat bread before yoga, then the rest of the kale/cabbage frittata chopped up. It was about 2 eggs worth.  Lunch is a room temp. salad of whole wheat cous cous, asparagus, chickpeas & 1/2 a small avocado.  I had not prepared it last night, so it was pretty much created out of things that could be cooked in 5 minutes or less. 

Now time to start the work day. I wonder if the rain will stay away to allow for a little after work bike ride. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Of Cabbages and Things

I made a bacon, kale, and cabbage fritatta yesterday.  That used up a few leaves of the giant cabbage, and was very yummy.  

Then I made some flatbread pizza for dinner with some cabbage ribbons on it. That was kind of weird.  I was going to make some stuffed cabbage leaves but that seems like a lot of work. For now the giant leaves are sitting in a bowl in my living room since my kitchen is too small to hold them and me at the same time. 

There's bread in the oven, which I am waiting for so that I can have some for lunch.  Making food from scratch is a good way to manage your eating, since you have to wait a while for things to be done.  Of course that only works if you don't keep anything else in the house to eat.  

Little else to report here. Tracking on Sparkpeople continues. Fitting into smaller pants continues. Lack of aerobic exercise hopefully coming to an end soon. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moving in the right direction

My scale and I, that is. Down 4 pounds. 30 to go.  And I seem to have hit the nice stride where I'm able to plan my meals and know what works to get me through the day (and what doesn't.)  

I have a gigantic leafy cabbage sitting in my living room. It's a thing of beauty, and now I get to figure out some cabbage recipes. Maybe moo shi something. Or kim chi. I had one leaf chopped up in a veggie fajita last night, but I'll need to eat more than that.  No wonder so many cultures have fermented cabbage as part of their diet. They had to preserve it since it grows so large.  It appears as though I need some sort of crock and perhaps a wooden mallet to pound the fermenting cabbage.  If I drew or was a photographer, I think I would draw a lot of pictures of this cabbage, or take its photo. It's weird to think that it started as a tiny seed and turned into this giant thing just from dirt and compost and sunlight.  I am not sure why this cabbage has touched me so, but it has. 

I haven't really been exercising too much. I do my sit ups and lift my hand weights most mornings, and I walk with the dog in the morning. The sun is back out after a week of grey and rain so there might be a bike ride in the works. And I have to see if I can remember how to heave the kayak up onto the top of my SUV without having it fall on me like I was Brett Michaels at the Tony Awards

For now, I'm finishing my coffee and then I'll go and see if there are any eggs at the farm (my landlady put the kibosh on my chicken project, she's getting on in years and the idea of chickens made her "uncomfortable"...) so I'll keep supporting my local farm for now.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Avocados are not local

Avocados are not local but I don't care. I have taken to eating about 4 of them a week. They are cute little organic California avocados from Trader Joe's. And 1/3 of a cup (1/2 of the avocado) has 5 grams of fiber. It also has 11 grams of healthy fats.  And it makes an amazing spread for my whole wheat English muffin with a little salt and pepper.  

The other half can be mashed up and used as a dip for carrot sticks, or added to a fajita at dinner. Or served along side some seared shrimp. 

The days I have avocados I stay fuller longer and I like to think they improve my skin. And they just taste so good. I remember my grandmother serving a 1/2 an avocado on a plate, drizzled with olive oil and topped with salt and pepper (yum!) and I remember when I was little and my dad gave me a little slice of avocado to try and I thought it was slightly weird but also good. And I remember when I lived in California and avocados grew on trees (literally) and they were in all the sandwiches and everywhere. 

This post has been brought to you by the National Avocado Appreciation Society. Of which I am now the president. And founder. Or this post was brought to you by not quite enough coffee yet. 

Anyway, I love the avocado and I highly recommend adding it to your daily menu.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This is How We Do It

We* just get up every day and put our shoes on and walk.  Whether or not we feel like it.  Whether or not we want to.  Although most of the time we want too. We plan our meals and our choices. We get the bike out of the shed and ride it. We just do these things. We become one of those people that you see who does those things. We realize that it feels good to move and be mindful of what is going into our bodies.  

*The royal "we." 

So, today I got up and put my shoes on and walked. Then after breakfast I did a resistance band workout for my arms.  Even after just one week of these renewed habits I can see and feel a difference.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just like a triathlon!

Sort of. 

I walked this morning with the dog and my coffee.  Well, first I rolled out of bed and onto the floor and did my sit-ups and some lifting of my 10 pound weights. It helps me wake up, and makes me think I'm still sleeping since I'm lying down.  

Then I make the coffee and put it in a travel mug and go out to walk with the dog. Sometimes I see my neighbor with his coffee and we do the coffee wave to each other. 

After work I had an errand to run, and I decided to take my bike. And wear my bathing suit under my clothes just in case the water was warm enough for a swim. And it was. It was refreshing and breath-taking and I can't wait for my after work swims. (Note to self: do not wear grey t-shirts to swim or you will look like a lactating mother on the bike ride home.) 

So, I walked and biked and swam today and it feels great! 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Well, Hello There

I tried to make a smoothie this morning out of greek yogurt and frozen blueberries and raspberries. It needs work. I think greek yogurt is too thick for smoothies and I had no orange juice to thin it out, so I added a little water. It's rather tart. But it's full of antioxidents and fiber, so I guess it will do. 

I've taken to rolling out of bed and onto the floor to do my sit-ups in the morning. That way I'm sure to get them done.  Then the dog and I go for a walk, (I bring my coffee in a travel mug) and we both have a nice start to the day. 

Things I'm learning: 
1. Avocados are delicious, and have fiber in them. 

2. Sparkpeople has a free iPhone app! 

3. A 20 minute walk in the a.m. +  a 20 minute walk in the evening + 25 minutes of yoga before bed = over an hour of exercise effortlessly integrated into the day! 

4. If I don't have about 900 calories between breakfast, lunch and a snack I come home from work famished and cranky.  Knowing this, I can make sure to plan so that I have enough calories throughout the day, and can prepare dinner at a normal pace.