Friday, December 23, 2011

A Bloody Mary Christmas

Today's Miles: 1.5 miles....still on restriction and it sucks.

For many people, the Christmas holiday season is THE time of the year they look forward to most. As I age, I'm feeling the reverse of that.

Sad, huh?

I'm not a Scrooge. Or at least I hope I'm not. It's just that I don't get all giddy about Christmas anymore.

I honestly think it started several years back when my Grandmother died a couple of weeks before Christmas. She was the first person that I was really close to that I lost. That was a HORRIBLE Christmas. Then a couple of years ago, I had to put my beloved Tuff down the week before Christmas. Again....another HORRIBLE Christmas, for me at least.

So, for me, the week going into Christmas is actually kind of sad. Full of painful memories.

Couple that with insane people with pepper spray and guns trying to get that gift for their child, because nothing says "I love you" and "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" as much as "I had to fight off 30 other people for this only-one-left-in-the-store-piece-of-crap-toy-you'll-be-bored-with-in-3-weeks with pepper spray". But I did it all for you baby, because you're so special that you deserve to have a mom in jail for the holidays! 

This is why I do ALL of my Christmas shopping on-line. Seriously. I have NO desire to fight the crowds, literally. I hate shopping on any given day of the week, but avoid it like the plague from Thanksgiving until the New Year. I'd rather pay shipping costs that equal or exceed the cost of the gift. Not to mention I'm super lazy and love having stuff delivered to ME rather than me go and GET it. It also has a lot to do with having a job that keeps you on the road all.of.the.time. (I'm fairly certain that by next year, I will be paying Amazon to gift wrap all of those gifts too!)

Another reason I went into this holiday season wanting to yank out all of Santa's beard hair was because I actually had to travel the day before Christmas Eve.

I'm lucky enough to have our family close by and the furthest we travel is less than 50 miles to gluttony. There should be a national law about how far you are allowed to travel for the holidays. No one should have to go further than 100 miles. If your relatives live further than that...too bad. Skype them.

I, against my better judgement, spent the week prior to Christmas working in Pennsylvania, making up for the week I spent on the couch with the flu earlier in the month. This meant that I had to drive from the northern part of Virginia to Knoxville down Interstate 81 on Friday, December 23. I do not know how I survived. Actually, I do not know how all of the people around me survived. This is why I do not carry....I'm afraid I'll actually use a gun if I have it with me.

For unexplainable reasons, we traveled down the interstate in herds. There would be about 20-30 cars per herd....grouped together like a herd of wildebeest in alligator infested waters. You weren't allowed to leave your herd....or you'd die.

But no one wanted to actually be in a "herd." They did everything possible to break free from the herd - passing on the shoulder, riding bumpers trying to push people out of the way, drafting the car in front and trying to pass it on the turn, taking exit & entrance ramps at lightning speed to jump out ahead. But they just couldn't break free.

To give you a better picture of how insane and how dangerous this drive was.....Imagine having about 5 old ladies out on a Sunday the middle of Bristol Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race.

At one point, I actually got off of the interstate and went SHOPPING because I couldn't handle the stress of driving anymore.

That's when I saw Best Buy....

There really are no words. There are only questions.

Please note the print under Sparkle Ceramic Detailer......"Easily creates Edward's textured style in seconds"

Who the crap is buying this stuff?

Gotta Run....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A south of the border recipe

Today's Miles: nada....still under a 3 mile max rule from ole' Dr. Foot

I'm normally not a recipe blogger.

But. Oh. My. Shut. The. Front. Door. These were SO good, I just had to share. And Mark has a migraine so I'm being quiet & playing on the internet all evening.

If you're looking for a little Southwest, set your mouth on fire, low calorie you go!!

Southwestern Egg Rolls

1 boneless skinless chicken breast fillet
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper (about 1/4 of medium pepper)
2 Tbsp minced green onion (about 3 onion ends)
1/3 C frozen corn
1/4 C canned black beans, rinsed & drained
2 Tbsp frozen spinach, thawed & drained (if you get the bag kind you don't have to thaw!)
2 Tbsp diced jalapeno peppers (if you don't want it HOT, reduce this to 1 Tbsp)
1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tspn cumin
1/2 tspn chili powder
1/4 tspn salt
dash cayenne pepper (omit if you don't like it HOT)
3/4 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or some kind of Mexican blend or cheddar...whatever)
7" tortillas (I got the high fiber "healthier" kind with about 70 cal per tortilla)

Avocado-ranch dipping sauce

1/4 C smashed, fresh avocado (about half of an avocado)
1/4 C mayonnaise (I used Light Hellmann's)
1/4 C sour cream (I used light or reduced fat)
1 Tbsp buttermilk (I used skim milk)
1 1/2 tspn white vinegar
1/8 tspn salt
1/8 tspn dried parsley
1/8 tspn onion powder
dash dried dill weed
dash garlic powder
dash pepper

So, before I go further - know this....I don't "measure" anything when cooking (I do weigh it for calorie calculations). I eyeball everything. A 1/4 C is about a small palm full for dry stuff, and 2 heaping kitchen tablespoons of creamy stuff. 1/3 cup is about a full palm full. I just threw in some chunks of frozen spinach out of the bag without thawing (Gasp!! The horror!!). I used a kitchen tablespoon to get out the canned peppers (so I may be over 2 Tbsp!). 1/8 tspn is a big pinch. A dash is a small pinch. 1/2 tsp is 3 big pinches.

Preheat oven to 350F

Grill your chicken breast with just a little salt & pepper for seasoning. Don't feel like firing up a grill for one chicken? Throw a few more on there to eat later this week, or double this recipe. Or be lazy & just use a George Foreman Grill like I did. I'm not going to tell you how long to cook it because every time some recipe tells me "4 minutes per side" or some crap like always takes more or less. Cook your chicken until it is done. Use a meat thermometer if you have to...don't ask me the temperature. I just cook until done. 

While your chicken's grilling...chop up your pepper & onions. Measure (if you must) other ingredients except the cheese and throw them in a bowl.

Heat your 1 Tbsp of EVOO in a large skillet (about one swirl around your pan) on medium-high heat. Saute the red pepper & onion for a couple of minutes until tender.

(If your chicken still isn't done at this point - take your pepper/onion off of the heat & skip ahead to make the dipping sauce. Come back to this point when your chicken is cooked and cool enough to cut up.)

Dice cooked chicken into small cubes. Throw it in the skillet with the pepper & onion. Add all of that other stuff you put in a bowl. Cook & stir. Cook & stir. Make sure the spinach separates & incorporates throughout the dish. About 5-6 minutes. When heated through, take off of the stove and throw in the cheese. Mix it up so the cheese will be melted throughout.

Here's where I diverted from the original recipe. It had you heating the tortillas in the microwave with a moist cloth, making your tortillas and freezing the suckers overnight!!! As if I had read that far into the recipe to know I was suppose to start this shit the night before!!??? Besides, I'm hungry at this point! They also wanted me to heat 4-6 Cups of oil to deep fry these suckers in!! First of all, what am I going to do with 4-6 Cups of used oil when I get done making these? I don't just let oil sit around. And secondly, I don't want all of those added calories!! But by all means - if you want to freeze them and deep fry them tomorrow, knock yourself out!

Take a tortilla in your left hand. Just kidding. You can use your right hand. Use a regular spoon and put a couple of scoops in the tortilla. Fold one side over, tuck the ends in, and roll it closed. Lay it flap down on a baking sheet (which you may/may not want to spray with oil prior to doing this. I use non-stick Reynolds so I don't have sticking issues. Or clean up!!)

Make as many as you want. 2 is good for me for a meal. I just put the rest in the fridge and bake them as I need them.

Stick 'em in the oven for 5 minutes on each side.

So...if you haven't made the dipping sauce yet....get started.

Take your 1/2 of an avocado and mash it up with a fork. Then combine all the other stuff with it. The sauce is a little runny. I like it that way so that it gets all in my roll when I dip it. If you prefer a creamer sauce, then by all means, add some more sour cream. But you may have to tweak the spices a bit.

So for me with the lower calorie tortillas and using stuff like light mayo, light sour cream & skim milk, 2 rolls plus enough sauce to douse the flames off of my tongue was about 395 calories.

Not bad....


Gotta run....

Monday, December 12, 2011

You can eat fried chicken and still lose weight!

Today's Miles: 1 mile. 

I ran today!! I ran today!!!

I'm seriously way over excited about running a whole mile today! But it's been 36 days. 36 very long and very difficult days.

In my running absence, I've had A LOT of time to think about running. What I want to do differently, better. With such a long hiatus, I'm basically starting all over again. So, I might as well do it better this time (and maybe reduce injuries along the way).

One thing I completely lacked in my running/training programs was cross training. I'd bear an elliptical in a hotel gym if the treadmill was out, but ellipticals don't really count as cross training in my book. I'm talking about weight-bearing exercises. Whether that be lifting weights or doing power yoga.

I never really committed to it before. I always had a day of "Rest or Cross-train" on my calendar.

I always chose rest. 

I occasionally did some yoga, but that was rare. So, my new goal is to seriously include cross training in my running program. I know I'll benefit from it. I know it will make my run stronger and easier.

So why am I just now coming to this conclusion?

Who knows. But one thing I must do first is put together a workout 'portfolio' that can be done without weights (because the TSA looks at you suspiciously if you carry a 10 lb barbell in your carry-on) and anywhere (because I'm cheap and won't join a gym, and I need to be able to do it while traveling).

Another thing I've been doing again recently is calorie counting. I decided to do this again for a few reasons:

1) even though I was no longer training for a half appetite didn't get the memo

2) my weight has been fairly stable for a year, and that's been okay, but I'd like to drop a few more pounds

3) writing down how many calories are in something and adding it up at the end of the day is accountability. It's also scary, liberating, shocking and depressing. (Did you know a medium curly fry at Arby's has 600 calories in it. So sad. Curly fries are my favorite kind of fry.)

Here's an example of my meals for the last two days.

Sunday 12-11-11
Trop 50 OJ                                               50
Bacon, onion, cheese omelet                     266
Homemade apple cider donut                    87
PB&J sandwich                                         340
fruit bar popsicle                                        25
4 Krystals w/ cheese                                  640
large french fry                                           380
Weight Watchers frozen latte bar                90
Homemade apple cider donut                     72

For a grand total of                                     1925

Monday 12-12-11
Oatmeal                                                   120
with almonds                                            24
with blueberries                                        17
TacoBell Fresco Steak Soft Taco             150
TacoBell cinnamon twists                          150
Homemade apple cider donut                    79
Homemade fried chicken                           185
macaroni & cheese                                    144
green beans                                               31

For a grand total of                                   900

Funny thing is this...half as many calories today than yesterday, and I'm no hungrier today than I was yesterday.

I try to shoot for a total day's caloric intake of about 1300-1400. I have found that is the range at which I lose weight. Less than about 1000 calories, and I'm starving (except for today for some reason). More than that, I get nothing. My guess is my maintenance level caloric intake (no gain, no loss) is somewhere around 1600-1700. This is where most people go wrong....they believe it's 2000 calories. For an adult, active man, maybe. For an adult, active woman, not likely (unless she is doing some serious exercise program).

But the thing is this....I'm not beating myself up over Sunday's numbers. I felt like making an omelet Sunday morning and Mark wanted bacon. And we've both been sick and cooped up in the house, and I was craving Krystal's last night (don't judge happens). So what if it was 500 over what I had intended?

I even ate out fast food two days in a row! I was out with a bunch of appointments today and needed food on the run.

Guess what?


However, today I made smarter choices. Tomorrow I will try as well. I've lost weight before by doing this, and I will again. I know it won't come off fast - and I don't want it too. That's not sustainable. That's not healthy.

Here's the thing people. It's not about depriving yourself. It's not about denying yourself. (I made fried chicken for Pete's sake! I didn't eat the whole chicken breast, but I didn't want the whole thing! I ate a boat load of green beans to fill me up first.)

It's about being ACCOUNTABLE to yourself. To tell yourself "Well, that didn't quite work out like I had thought. Maybe next time." versus "You failed. You'll never do it."

If you want a donut. Eat a donut (I highly recommend apple cider donuts). If you want fried chicken. Eat fried chicken.

But take responsibility for it.

Gotta run.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dr. Jack Daniels will see you now.

Today's miles: none...still...none.

So, last week I was at my wits end wanting to run, but not running despite my mental state because I was trying to let my foot heal. But Friday was the day...the "Do or Die Day"...the "Make it or Break it Day".

In other words, it was an appointment with my foot doctor....whom I was going to tell because he obviously has no idea what he's doing with utmost respect and authority, that I was going to start running again because Not running was Not helping my foot. His response was to shoot my foot up with Cortisone.

Well. That didn't turn out like I thought.

This is the second or third time I've had a Cortisone injection in my foot. The first two lasted for 3 months and 6 weeks. Somehow this makes my doctor optimistic? Me...not so much. I go back in 4 weeks for another injection. If that doesn't help....he suggests surgery....I suggest...another foot doctor.

But, he did give me the clearance to start running again.....1 mile, three times a week. Then if I didn't have pain, I could increase the next week to 1.5 miles, three times a week. But I could not exceed that until I saw him again in 4 weeks.

I'm all excited when I leave the doctor's office......'I GET TO RUN AGAIN, I GET TO RUN AGAIN!' I even started planning out my Monday to 'fit in' my 1 mile run and enjoy every minute of it.

Then I woke up on Sunday with a very sore throat. I thought it was from snoring heavy breathing while sleeping the night before. The 'run down' feeling came later. Sometime late Sunday night...the beast was unleashed.

Waking up sweating like a pig in line at a barbeque.
A headache that makes a migraine seem like a welcomed diversion.
A throat that feels like I swallowed a porcupine marinated in habanero sauce.
Body aches that could only come from my husband running over me repeatedly with a dump truck.

Death never looked so good on me.

My Monday run was cancelled. My trip to Kentucky was cancelled. The only thing I have accomplished other than this blog is hours of uninteresting entertainment on Facebook and Pinterest. Even Jon Stewart has lost his his appeal.

This morning, things were not looking better. Thinking that maybe this wasn't just going to 'run it's course,' I called the doctor, which of course required a visit and a swab for a Strep test.

So, it's not Strep. Thankfully.

Official diagnosis: The crud. It's going around.

Official prescription: Go home and take some ibuprofen every 5-6 hours. Eat lots of popsicles and take a snort of whiskey every 4-5 hours.

Seriously. My doctor just prescribed whiskey.

Gotta run...time for nap #86 since Sunday...