Thursday, May 31, 2012

Worth It

I have this posted on my wall at work hoping it will get me through today's killing.  By killing I mean my rowing test.  I have to hit 2000 meters in at least 9 minutes and 15 seconds.  It doesn't sound like much but I've constantly been hitting a wall when trying to reach this goal.  Just 35 seconds shy of reaching it as a matter of fact.

Two days ago a friend came to me and said she signed us up to complete the test because it would be the last time until September.  Well...two days...two short days?!?  I scoffed in disbelief, shock and then fear.  After some time working on my mind I decided I had to do it.  If not now, when?  It's worth a try.

So I found this quote somewhere and decided it was speaking to me.  Hurt it will. The grunting that causes an acid like taste in my mouth.  The burning arms and legs. Yeah... I know this pain well.   Time....oh dear sweet time. I won't ever get it back.  It has taken a couple of months of dedication, willpower, healthier decisions and sacrifice.  There was temptation and for the most part I've turned my back on it.

My goal is 9:15.  It will be worth it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Ate It

Last week was full of food laziness.  I waited the last minute to prepare lunches, made bad choices and put off grocery shopping.  I have a habit of snapping pictures of my lunches and after viewing them, I've decided things were not so terrible.

I started out doing OK.  This was a salad of avocado, black beans, cucumber, tomatoes and vinaigrette with fruit on the side.  It was very satisfying.

This pitiful breakfast was the result of poor planning.  I was running late.  When I got to work I took half my lunch yogurt and a few blackberries and mixed them in a cup.  Luckily I found a half bag of sliced almonds in my desk that added just the crunch I needed.  Without crunch it is very hard for me to tolerate the texture of yogurt in the morning.

The same poor planning day resulted in this lunch.  It's turkey bacon, egg, cucumber and orange.  Surprisingly enough, it was fairly filling.

I was wanting something other than my apple to snack on at work.  I have a jar of crunchy peanut butter in my desk.  This teaspoon is used to make sure I don't go overboard as I find peanut butter sometimes tempts me beyond the tablespoon snack.  This went well with the apple.

Chai tea at my desk.  Tea is probably one of the best snacks I have at work.  It calms my stomach when I have nothing to munch on. Unsweetened with a drop of creamer and it's much better than a vending machine choice.

I did finish off the week with a decent meal.  I've had this one before because we tend to have leftover fish.  That's oven-fried tilapia on french bread with iceberg and tomatoes with a side of fruit. Yum!

There you have it.  My choices aren't always perfect but I do eat and I'm not too hard on myself.  I was recently accused of depriving myself because I turned down cookies at work.  Honestly, at the time I just didn't want them.  That doesn't mean I don't eat them.  I am just trying to be mindful about eating the junk.  Is that so bad?  No.  I eat and the meals don't always make sense but they give me enough fuel to make it through the day.

Happy Eating! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Edamame Avocado Salad Wrap

While drooling over food pics on Pinterest before work, I came across the Two Peas and Their Pod site recipe for Edamame Avocado Salad Sandwich. I had all the ingredients and I decided I would be having this for my lunch.  I actually threw it together about an hour before leaving for work.  It was fantastic!
I didn't have fresh cilantro but found these cubes I bought a while back. I also substituted bottled lemon juice, distilled vinegar and garlic powder.
Chopped edamame. This is where the preparation shots end.  Time got away from me and I still needed to shower and get dressed for work.  Sorry...
Some cucumber, shredded cabbage and fruit made for a fast lunch.
I had lunch in the break room and ended up printing out the recipe for several people that tried it before I spread it on my flat out bread.  I think it's safe to say this will probably become a regular go-to for fast lunches this summer. 

I had some leftover and used it as a dip for lunch the following day.  I dipped cucumbers, carrots, celery and crackers in it.  Very tasty and filling.

Here is my version of the recipe:

Edamame Avocado Salad

1 /2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cilantro cube
1/8 teaspoon wasabi paste
Green tabasco
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread slices (I use wraps)
Cucumber, Lettuce, or Shredded cabbage for serving, optional

1. Place edamame in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to chop up the edamame, you don't want a puree. Scrape the edamame into a bowl. Add the avocado and mash the edamame and avocado together with a fork. 

2. Add in the garlic, green onions, vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro, wasabi, and tabasco. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread salad on wrap with cucumber slices, lettuce (or cabbage). Serve. 

Note-The salad is best eaten the day it is made. The salad filling can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but it might turn slightly brown due to the avocado. Save the avocado pit and place it in the middle of the salad or add a little extra lime juice to prevent browning.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Viva! Streets Austin

Today the husband and I decided we would get out and mix and mingle with the locals.  I found out about Viva! Streets- Austin through a Facebook invite from the local chapter of Black Girls Run.  Per the website, it's a free festival that invites you to bicycle, play, get fit, people watch, and celebrate good health.  Free and fit?  That was right up our alley.  We had a blast.  Here are just a few pictures.
Two miles of car-free 6th Street.  We walked....
And walked some more.  I will say there is no shortage of ATM's on this street.  
Then we stopped as the stations were getting into gear.
There were tons of bikes.  It was great to see so many people taking advantage of this day.
BikeTexas is a non-profit bicycle education and advocacy organization.
The event was well organized with plenty of clean facilities.  I have issues with these things but at least they were clean enough to erase some of my phobia.
There were even bikes for the bike-less!
A little friendly competition.
My favorite stop at the stage for some Zumba in the streets.  This group was my favorite.
I'm no side-liner. I had to get in there and work up a sweat.  

Then there was yoga.  I didn't get to join because the hubs got hungry.
While in search of edibles, we made note of a few places we'd like to come back and try another day.  This was one of them.  They weren't open so we didn't get to see the menu.
Just the other day the husband was telling me how his favorite 'sweet' bread was Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate filled Croissant).  We came across a cute little place called Easy Tiger that happened to have them.  They  were indeed delicious.  Think we will be going back there for sure.
The garden looked promising but I was thrown off by the littered river.  
I liked this sign.
The bike atmosphere was everywhere.  Pedal powered shaved ice snow cones were very popular.
This guy was pleased to give the hubs his very first snow cone.
He was  leery but several people told him he can't live in Texas and never have a snow cone.  It's a summer necessity!  Turns out he really liked it.
Fun with the camera.
And this was the end of our stress-free weekend.  It was a lot of fun and probably the first time I've actually enjoyed 6th Street.  Glad I could prove to the husband that even a bar-hopping street can prove to be fun.  After walking 10 miles back and forth we headed home and spent the remainder of the evening listening to music and chatting.  It was lovely.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Good Mood Food

I'm proud to say that I have gotten to the point where I use working out as a sort of therapy.  I've had a lot of crap going on in my life lately and if it weren't for a little sweat, I might have given in to the negative side effects of it.  Sitting at work the other day I got yet another text from family with an update on my sick sibling.  I immediately felt my body tense up and my mind started doing that thing where it goes to the worst case scenario. I sat there trying to fight it off and concentrate on my work.  Then I felt the beginnings of another tension headache.  People, stress is no joke.  It can and will make you sick!  When I finally stopped to take a break, I reached for my phone to call them and get more information.  Something stopped me and I called my husband instead.  He listened to my concerns and told me to calm down and pray for a bit.  Then he asked me if I intended to go to the gym after work.  I had not thought about it but then it dawned on me that this was exactly what I needed.  I told him I might do that to work off some of the stress.  Figuring he wanted to workout with me, I told him I would come straight home.  His response was, 'No.  You stay and do the Cross fit class and then when you come home, we can run on the trail.  This will give you an extra workout. You need it.'  I listened and did exactly that and it was a good move.  After an hour and a half of sweating, I came home smiling and feeling like things weren't as bad as I was making them out to be.

Working out has now become my good mood food.  Who'd have thought that?!?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shadow of Peace

I'm sitting here listening to my husband talk about the political discussion currently airing.  He is very much into the argument.  I would say he's passionate but he would scoff at it.  He always says he's not political.  Lol.  I see different. When he gets this way, I tend to only half listen. Shame on me...I know. But every now and again (like now) I catch something he says that snaps me to attention.

Discussing how everyone wants something from political leaders but not everyone gets what they want.  He compared it to the political strife in his country.  Admittedly the situation there was much worse than anything we suffer here but the phrase would fit anywhere.  He said, 'Everybody wants fruit from the tree but not everyone can have it.  Some have to fight for the piece they are able to get; others have to be content with the shade because it's free.  This shadow is peace.'  He was referring to people making compromise regarding the choice of leader in his country.  Some didn't like the change but that change brought peace that the country had not seen in years.

Gotta love someone who can see fertilizer instead of crap!

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dr. Feel Good In The Morning

Breakfast in bed.  Yeah...he's Ivorian so that big hunk o'bread
is normal and there is a drop of coffee in that mug of milk. Lol. 
I went to bed with a mild migraine.  I managed to wake up to a bad one.  Felt like a little mean short man was inside the front of my head pounding out his anger with a little sledgehammer.  While still in bed, the husband asked me if my headache was better.  I moaned, groaned and didn't say much.  His response was, 'Yacko.  Stay in bed.  I'll bring you something and make you breakfast.'  For a change, I obeyed.  I must have gone back to sleep because the next thing I knew, he was asking if I was asleep.  I opened my eyes and didn't see him and turned to find him at my bedside table with breakfast, and Excedrin migraine and a glass of water. Even in my haze of pain, I was grateful and almost in tears (which makes a headache worse).  He's my Dr. Feelgood.  Yes he is.   

Though today's quote means something entirely different, it does the trick.

Quote of the Day: 'That man takes care of all my pains and ills. His name is Doctor Feelgood in the morning.To take care of business is really this man's game. And after one visit to Dr. Feelgood, you understand why I feel good, in this pain.' ~Aretha Franklin's 'Dr. Feelgood'

Friday, May 11, 2012

Snub Me? Go Right Ahead!

I'm no skinny-Minnie.  I'm no muscle maiden either.  I'm a work in progress. Keeping this in mind, here is what happened to me today.

I went to Cross fit and it started like any other class.  The class was filled with regulars with the exception of one woman.  She looked to be in pretty good shape if visible muscle tone showing through spandex is any indication.  She was standing next to me.  Me who tends to still wear the XXL men's t-shirt and yoga pants that are getting baggier by the day.   Anyway, we started warming up for a medicine ball workout.  The instructor wanted everyone to pair up.  Normally, we all just choose the person next to us.  I turned to her and she looked me up and down, then turned to the guy behind her.  He looked uncomfortable and wasn't sure what to do.  I usually pair up with him when my coworker is not there. Seeing she didn't want to pair with me, I said whatever and found someone who didn't have a partner.  She didn't know me!

When the team moves were done, we followed the board protocols.  Being a 1st timer, she didn't know what half of them were.  She asked me about a couple of the moves.   I wanted to be ugly and ignore her.  But remembering God don't like ugly, I did the next best thing.  I told her to just follow along with what I was doing.  And I couldn't resist but added, 'Just do the best you can.  We've all been doing this a while.'  I know that was bad but I couldn't help it.  She incorrectly assumed because I am not shaped a certain way that I couldn't hang with her?  Please!  I'm competitive and let me tell you I busted out those moves and then started the protocol over to move to advanced.  Again....she just didn't know who the heck she was dealing with!

Keep up the good work people!

Quote of the Day: "She don't know me. I'll break her down like a fraction." ~ Cora in Meet Brown Meadows

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fast Freezer Meal

After a night of laziness and a morning of over-sleeping, I had to toss together a quick lunch.  I found a steam bowl and hit the freezer.  I found an almost empty bag of pot stickers, a bag of frozen broccoli and peas.  I tossed it all in frozen with a shake of seasoning and went to work.  Lunch came and I popped it in the microwave.  This will definitely be a regular go-to lunch for me from now on.  It was deliciously edible!

Quote of the Day:  Edible, adj.:  Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.  ~Ambrose Bierce

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's In That Cup?

My grown-folk cup of green tea.
I was sitting at work the other day, minding my own business and trying my best to stay awake.  Along comes a coworker who asked, 'Whatcha' drinking? That looks like a grown-folk's drank.'  Lol. As long, boring, hard or irritating as some days can be, there are always shining moments like this that keep work tolerable.

Have a good workday!

Quote of the Day: “If you can laugh together, you can work together” ~ Robert Orben quotes

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Pity= Good Workout

I showed up to class yesterday with little motivation.  My energy was next to none and I had an attitude to match.  Thanks hormones.  Why did I bother showing up?  Well a few weeks ago I was in the same frame of mind and sent my husband a text telling him how I felt and that I was just going to go straight home.  He's not one to sugar-coat things.  His response back to me was 'If you are feeling that way then you need to go.'  Short and simply put...that's how he is.  I read it and was so annoyed and a bit angry he didn't sympathize with me.  I decided at that point I didn't want to see his face and stayed.  Of course I felt so much better and had to eat the angry crow by the time I was done.  He was right...again.  Damn the man!  Lol.  Sadly I don't remember these things when they happen again.  I sent him several texts all day yesterday telling him how tired I was.  How I wanted to just lie down.  How much people annoyed me.  His response yesterday was, 'Yacko.  I'm sorry you are tired.  You will feel better after you workout.' Humph!  I called him on my lunch and whined again.  He said he would have me dinner waiting when I was done with my workout.  So, I went and of course it turned out well.  I know now that even when I'm at the worst part of 'that time', I can still work through it.  I just have to keep my head in the game.  I knocked out a 2000 meter row in 9 minutes 48 seconds and then did a drill of rows, push ups, abs and leg work.  'Flo ain't got nuthin' on me!  Lol.  I got up this morning and did a 3.5 mile walk/run.  It was pretty good.  I ran a little faster and longer than before.  That was my goal for the week.  While on the trail I also got to cheer on some little kids participating in the neighborhood Kids Swim and Run.  They were so little but so fast.  I'm sure triathlons are in the future for some of them.  They were so fast with the switch and running in little swim suits were nothing for some of them.  Seeing the smiles on their faces when they realized I was cheering them on was priceless!  It was a good morning.  I indulged in an afternoon nap so now I guess it's time for me to try and be productive.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Never, Ever Give Up

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page.  I like inspirational stories and thought it was worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Work and Food

While taking a much needed break, I came across this on the front of the HR magazine.  Made me chuckle a bit.  I would like to go on record and say work does not make employees fat.  Employees make employees fat.  Lol.  I hear all sorts of excuses day in and day out about how someone is making someone fat. Someone brings in a cake and there are declarations about how they just have to have a piece.  Or how they had to buy a burger because they didn't like what the cafeteria served.  Or even how they don't bring lunches because they think the break room fridge is disgusting.

I don't blame them though. I used some of the same excuses and even have created some of my own.  But I now work to combat the fat by bringing food that I think is healthier for me. 

Even when groceries are low, I do everything I can to throw together a good lunch.  Here I found about a cup of lettuce and 1/4 tomato.  I didn't think it was enough but the husband reminded me that I had canned beans. I tossed in some rinsed black beans and made a quick yogurt dressing and voila...lunch!

Sometimes I forget to check the clock when getting ready for work each morning.  These are the days I have to take breakfast to work.  Instead of spending $3 for the cafeteria breakfast, I grab a slice of bread, cup of OJ, and some egg whites in a bowl.  When I get to work I microwave the eggs, and toast my bread for a decent breakfast.  

Of course the fruit/yogurt smoothies work well in a pinch.

This was a pitiful substitute for sweet. I really, really wanted a slice of that office cake but refused to give in.  I had to quickly peel an orange.  It did the job but I would be lying if I said I didn't still want the cake.

Leftover's salad.  I'd say I put a little bit of everything in this bowl that I find in the refrigerator.  Chopped lettuce, beans, peas, tomatoes, couscous and top it with vinegar/oil mix.  We don't waste a lot of food in our household so I have a lot of meals like this for lunch.

Yep.  That's a slice of cake on my desk.  I was away on break and came back and there it was.  A co-worker put it there.  It was her birthday.  She said she knew I would refuse so she only gave me a small piece.  Small?!?  That sucker was huge.  I only had one bite. Really!  I would say I was proud of myself but it was not the best cake so it was easy to refuse more bites.

I'm not perfect but I do the best I can for me.  

Quote of the Day: "A nickel's worth of goulash beats a five dollar can of vitamines" ~Martin H. Fischer