Running at Night.

So first things first (I’m the realest). I’m sorry, I had to.  Couldn’t help myself.  But I hope you all had a really great Labor Day.  I woke up at some point really early in the morning to my husband yelping that one of that cats was ricocheting his feline body off of our end tables.  It sounded sort of like a demon had been released in our room.  So we remedied that by putting the offender in question in the guest bedroom, where he proceeded to rocket around the room like a big cat, but we managed to get some sleep, at least for a little while, which I’m not sure we’ve enjoyed since we got married last week.

I was able to convince Austin to take me to the WaHo (the Waffle House, for those of you not well-versed in all things breakfast).  And for those of you who’ve known me ever, you know I love southern breakfast food, so it’s really nice to treat myself to that once in a while.  So I was able to convince the hubs to take me there with the promise that we would hit up the run club to run a few hours later.

Now if there’s something disgusting on the menu somewhere, there’s a good chance that my husband will order it.  With that in mind, look at this monstrosity that my husband ordered.

BreakfastI believe that is an ENTIRE plate dedicated to hash browns adorned with jalepeños, ham, cheese, tomatoes, hot sauce, and I believe onions.  And he ate ALL of them.  (He ran twice yesterday to make up for it.)

We topped off breakfast by going into my job for a little while for me to catch up on some emails and for me to move the cycling bikes back into the studio for the week after we got the floors refinished, and ended the day with a long, hot run through downtown Raleigh.

Running at Night

I was at the coffee shop writing, right by the windows, when I saw her.

She was tiny, gorgeous, and fast, and she was running.  Nothing wrong with that quite obviously – I run like I brush my teeth, I sort of feel like it’s necessary for me to function like a normal human being, but I was struck by the fact that this tiny girl was running at night.

My first instinct was to think, “She shouldn’t be doing that!? Is she dumb or something?!”

And then I had to pull it back.  I should be able to run out night – she should be able to run at night without me thinking about how stupid of a girl she must be.  And unfortunately, a few stupid, horrible, sick guys have made it so that we can’t even do what we do at night without fearing for our safety.

So me?  I don’t really run at night.  Sometimes, during the winter especially, it’s unavoidable, but running at night, while exhilarating, makes me nervous, and takes away from my run.

Ladies, what do you think?  Do you run at night?

Wedding Wednesday: the weight issue.

Don’t know if you know, but there was a big wedding this past  weekend…

image via E!
image via E!

I texted one of my bridesmaids and asked her if it made me a huge sap that I thought the two of these guys looked legitimately happy…seriously, they seem super pumped, whereas if you remember the special when she married the Hump, things were not as rosy.  (Seriously, do you guys remember the fact that the two didn’t talk in the days leading up to their rehearsal dinner?  Oy.

Okay, so I’ve been working on a few things on my end, this being one of those things.

IMG_3848I’ve got a million more jars, and a million more coming, so I’m happy, but also staring to get a little anxious and starting to doubt my ability to get all of this finished.  I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of wrapping my brain around that.

But today, I want to turn my our attention to something else that I’m struggling with a little bit.

The weight before the wedding thing.

So I’ve seen this hashtag a few times over the past few months.

#sweatingforthewedding

And though I don’t have a weight problem, and I work out extremely regularly, there is this gnawing at the back of my mind, and I honestly think it’s a little bit of pressure from other brides.  And the nagging, needling question is, should I be worried about my weight?  Should I be pushing myself to lose 5 pounds to ensure that I look impossibly thin in my photos?  

And I know the answer to that question – I’m healthy.  I’m at a great weight.  I take care of myself.  And I still treat myself.  But occasionally, those thoughts try and creep in.

Any other brides feel this way? 

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I was inspired by this post yesterday on The Importance of Being Reese – this chick is actually kinda close to me and I didn’t know until I started reading her blog!  Cool huh?

So anyhoo, obviously, as the resident veg in charge, I couldn’t do a chicken tortilla soup, but I used my noodle, and whipped up a quick and delicious veg tortilla soup, totally packed with protein and deliciousness for you to enjoy.

Soooooo here goes, my little poodles.

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What you’ll need:

A thingie of low-sodium vegetable broth

1 can of black beans

1 can of corn

1/2 can of diced tomatoes

Some paprika

Some cayenne pepper powder

A tad bit of cilantro

A some crushed tortilla chips

What you’ll do:

In a soup pan, dump your can of black beans, juice and all in there.  Now drain your corn, and dump that, along with the tomatoes in there too.  Paprika, cayenne, and cilantro to taste, along with with a pinch of salt.  Add a little bit of vegetable broth.  Make it as juicy or as thick as you want, and heat on high til you see a boil, and then let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  As you serve it, sprinkle some tortilla on top, add some guac, or add a spoonful of rice.

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Seriously delish.

What do you think?

The definitive list of the 5 best foods ever.

First and foremost, you guys are amazing.  The responses I got on yesterday’s post were nothing short of amazing, and you guys let me know what the hell foods would ruin your entire day.  I have to say, the top food had to be mayonnaise, which ruled supreme as the creamy white food that you guys absolutely love love love to vomit to.  I swear, you guys had me absolutely cracking up.

After this post from the other night, I can’t have you guys thinking that I’m just this negative Nancy who won’t eat anything, so I bring to you, the definitive list of the best foods ever.
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5.  Grape leaves. 

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image via wikipedia.org

I appreciate a lot about Mediterranean culture.  But one of those things that I appreciate more than anything else, is stuffed grape leaves.  These delicious little green cylinders are, in my humble American experience, typically stuffed with a rice creation, and so refreshing.  So usually, if I’m at the mall, and I can’t find anything vegetarian to eat, I will find  a Greek Fiesta and order a side of these to tide me over until I figure something out.

4.  Wine

Red_Wine_Glass

Red wine is a food group, right?  You are mean and rude if you say it is not.  Please leave. (Just kidding!) (Kinda!)

3.  Donuts. 

Donuts

I maybe eat a donut once every 3-4 months. But when I do, it’s really amazing. And I’m not ashamed.  Had one (two) on Sunday, and I promise you, I felt the earth move.

2.  Mashed potatoes.

800px-MashedPotatoes
image via wikipedia.org

Yassss honey! Unfortunately, because I don’t have a potato masher, I only eat mashed potatoes like twice a year – once at Thanksgiving, and once again at Christmas. I also ate them two years ago when I got my wisdom teeth out from K&W cafeteria, cafe to the stars.  My favorite way to eat them is to mix my corn into them and crunch my way through them.  Thank you God, for this perfect, perfect human interpretation of potato.

1.  Mac & Cheese.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

Not the boxed kind either.  The black kind, that you bake and there’s cheese going everywhere, the kind that makes you do a dance while you eat it, that’s what’s the best to eat. Thank you Lord, once again, for this amazing invention.

Honorable mentions go to….

>>Chicken friend tofu.  Since I don’t eat chicken, this is about the only friend protein I can do.  And it’s awesome.

>>A cold salad with balsamic vinaigrette on it.   Backflips.

>>Biscuits.  One of the things the south has gotten correctly.

>>Nachos.  No explanation required.

>>Green beans.  I can eat these any way you fix em.  Except with bacon on them.

So let’s hear it!  What are you favorite foods!?

The definitive list of the 5 worst foods ever.

So, in addition to having a horribly irritable stomach, which I’ve shared with you time and again, some may say that I’m a picky eater.

I don’t consider myself a picky eater, especially since I eat a wide variety of weirdly healthy things, but since I was a kid, there are some foods I find absolutely reprehensible, and today, I share these foods with you.

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5.  Cauliflower.

Cauliflower
image via wikipedia.org

There is literally NOTHING that I find okay with cauliflower.  For one, it is a strange color, and for another thing, it looks exactly like the wart on the back of my hand after the dermatologist tried to burn it off.  Why would I want to eat that?  Fun fact:  the only thing fun about cauliflower is nothing.

4.   Broccoli.

800px-Broccoli_and_cross_section_edit
image via wikipedia.org

The green, less-disgusting (but still disgusting) cousin to cauliflower, I hate this more than you could ever know.  The absolute worst way that it’s cooked, is when you’re at a cafeteria-type place, and they cook it by simply boiling it until it’s so floppy that you can’y even get it to stand up straight on your fork.  ADDITIONALLY, when you eat it, it completely tears your stomach into 16 pieces. No thanks.  The only way broccoli is delicious?  No way.

3.  Mealy tomatoes.

800px-Bright_red_tomato_and_cross_section02
image via wikipedia.org

The only time I ever feel like no one cares about me is when I’m eating a salad, there’re tomatoes on it, and the tomatoes are mealy.  It sorta tastes like someone sat on the tomato and then left it out for a day or so before chopping it up and putting in on your salad.

2. The gourds.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

Now I don’t mind any of the gourds in a bread.  And pumpkin, zucchini, or squash do just fine when you just throw them in a crockpot, and by the time all is said and done everything in there is the same texture.  But when the gourds are only slightly sauteed, and their mushy gushy seeds kind of just hang off of your fork?  Consider my entire meal ruined.

1. Mushrooms.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

I cannot stress to you enough how badly my life is ruined once a mushroom is introduced into the mix of anything I’m eating.  You know what mushrooms taste like?  Exactly what they look like.  Which is a grey blob from deep in the pits of hell.  The worst part is, that since I’m a vegetarian, everyone assumes I must love mushrooms, and they punish me by offering me a giant mushroom on a hamburger bun. Literally that portabello mushroom sandwich you just offered me?  Just cost you our friendship.

**Honorable mention**

>>I wanna give a shoutout to yellow mustard and to effing pickles even when you didn’t want pickles or mustard on your sandwich for ruining every sandwich the two come in contact with.

>>Another extra special shoutout goes to fruit in my chococlate, without which none of this would have been possible.

>>And finally, I want to thank citrus flavored desserts for making dessert taste like the 409 that you’d use to clean your stove. Sick me out.

Come on, let’s hear ’em!  Comment with the list of foods you hate. 🙂 

My version of clean eating and how it worked for me.

Last weekend, I ate like an animal.

I listed some of the things I ate here, but in case you forgot, they were not limited to:

>>Cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt

>>A plate full of 2 different types of mac + cheese

>>An incredible cheesecake made by a supervisor of mine.  It was one of those dense, heavy numbers that made you feel like you might have a heart attack, but it was really delicious at the same time.

>>Baked beans, the really sweet kind.

>>Deviled eggs (god bless those, how are they so good?)

>>10,000+ pounds of chips + guacamole.

So needless to say, by the time Monday rolled around, the clean eating idea that I’d been bouncing around in my head was really starting to sound like a good idea, and I just went for my version of clean eating.

My version of clean eating goes a little something like this…

>>No booze

>>No coffee

>>Nothing that comes prepackaged.  For me, that means a lot of stuff that I shouldn’t be eating anyways, like my oatmeal bars that are packed with sugar, or my Fiber 1 bars that are the same, had to go.

>>Focus on things that come from the ground, not from a can or something.

So my meals looked a lot like this…

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And this to combat my diet soda bubbly cravings….

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And this to make sure I didn’t grab a frozen burrito or a Fiber 1 bar on my way out the door on the way to work.

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Now listen, I didn’t get overly creative with my meals, but you really can get insane with this stuff.  There are Pinterest universe’s dedicated to the art of clean eating.

My verdict?

Well first, let me disclaim this by telling you that I’m not your doctor, so don’t go doing anything stupid to your diet just because I said so.  Do what WORKS for you, okay?

>>It’s a little time consuming because it involves a decent amount of prep and planning.  But your food should be time consuming.  Your meals should not be as easy as tearing open a package or flipping the top to a can.  So yes, it’s time-consuming, but in the best possible way!

>>Though it’s time consuming say, the night before, your meals can be pretty grab-n-go the following morning.  Once I did things like prep my fulls day’s worth of meals before, like oats and salads, they were really fast to grab the next morning, and usually only required a little bit of heating.

>>Even though I’m usually good about my water intake, it definitely increased since I wasn’t doing coffee or drinks with a lot of artificial crap in them!  I had a lot of fun with it, and infused water with fruits, and took mason jars full of water with me to work that I could sip on.  I also sipped on Kombucha and club soda whenever I got a hankering for something bubbly.

>>When I got the urge to eat something sweet, I reached for fruit, and it seemed to do the trick.

>>Toward the end of last week, my stomach was really very upset because of the sheer volume of fiber that I was unknowingly consuming.  That was one of the bigger downsides – my body wasn’t really down with absorbing those levels of fiber, so I was very uncomfortable toward the end of the week.  I should have laid off of the leafy greens for a day or two between big salads!

Overall, I loved it, and even though I said I was only gonna do it for like a week, I’m interested to see if I can try for another week!

What sort of eating plan do you try to follow?  

I slept for like 15 hours last night.

I’ve been eating clean for a good week now, and my meals have been amazing.

But the thing about clean eating is that you’re eating a lot of things that come from the ground, a lot of grains and salad, and not a whole lot of prepackaged stuff.

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That’s all well and good, except I don’t think my body was ready for the fiber brick that was about to hit it.  By the time Friday rolled around at lunchtime, I wasn’t feeling well.

Friday afternoon, I was feeling even worse, and by the time I got off of work, I went to bed.

I went to bed around 4:00, again around 6:30, and then once again around 11:00 and didn’t wake up until about 10:30 on Saturday morning, just before my Zumba class.

After all that sleep, a few swigs of pepto, and a double fist full of antacid, I feel okay.  I’m not ready to slam like 8 pizzas or anything, but whewwww, next time, I need to make sure my body is prepped for the fiber party!

How’s your week been? 

Oil pulling!

A little while back, I read this article on Fashionlush (cutest, cleverest name, right?) about oil pulling.  I was so intrigued, however, so I took to trip down the baking oil and grabbed a container of Organic Coconut oil.

**As a side note, one of my best friends, Chelsie, recommended that I try to put coconut oil on my skin for some of my acne issues with my forehead, so I finally went and got some**

oil pulling.jpg

 

So what is oil pulling?

So it sounds a lot crazier than it is, but oil pulling involves these steps.

  1. Wake up.
  2. Drink some water.
  3. Put a teaspoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes.

It sounds intense because a teaspoon of anything is a lot, and swishing something that appears to be a solid around for 20 minutes in your mouth sounds insane, but hear me out.

Coconut oil does come in a solid forum when it’s cooled, but it’s not stinky or gross like an oil that you’d fry chicken in or something.  It has a TON of uses.  You can use it on your skin, on your hair, and in your cooking, but for the intents of talking about it’s (sorta ingestion), let’s talk about how this oil pulling things works.

Like I said, you swish for 20 minutes, and pretty soon, you’ll start to see some sweet bennies.

  1. Fixes hangovers!!!!!
  2. Pulls toxins from your bod.  
  3. Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial.  Meaning that any funk that’s chilling in your mouth, waiting to attack your gums and teeth?  This is gonna reduce them.
  4. It strengthens your teeth and gums
  5. And finally, for all of you who are TIRED of your teeth hurting like a mofo after you whiten with those Crest White Strips, I think we found a solution.  This stuff whitens your smile without making your teeth hurt SO bad. 

A few tips

  1. Go for organic.  It’s only slightly pricier, and it hasn’t been treated with persistent pesticides.
  2. A teaspoon seems like a lot.  It is, but just let the chunk melt in your mouth, and it gets a lot easier from there.
  3. 20 minutes seems like a long time, but put if in your mouth, then do something like get in the shower while it’s in there, and it flies by.
  4. When you spit it out, spit it in the trash.  Just like you wouldn’t pour cooking oil down the drain, don’t do it with your coconut oil either.  Be friendly to your environment!

So go out and buy your Organic Coconut oil, and get to pulling!

Any of you guys practice oil pulling now? 

Starbucks.

Am I starting to get over Starbucks?

I never thought I’d see that day, but after I read this article at the Skinny Confidential, I kinda started to back off the Fraps.  To be clear, I’ve always done the best I can to skinny my frap, but reading this, I was really over the concept of spending like $5 on something that was packed with a ton of fake sugars and crap that my body didn’t want to digest.

I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to get my caffeine, but I do know this.

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Two weeks ago, I changed my normal order (nonfat latté with two Splendas) and went for a venti iced nonfat caramel latté.  A few hours later, I started to feel horribly ill.  My head hurt, throbbed even.  I felt nauseated, and definitely was experiencing symptoms that felt a little like food poisoning.  I didn’t think anything of it, but drank as much water as possible, and kinda suffered through the next two days.

So I did a little experiment.

The middle of last week, I ordered the exact same thing, had a bottle of Aleve at the ready, and waited.  And the same. Thing. Happened.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but something with that caramel flavoring takes me from 0-runners trots and I will avoiding that order for the rest of the foreseeable future.

Anyone else have a food that you literally not stomach?