Monthly Archives: March 2011


I told a little white lie last night… I informed my professor that I needed to leave early.

It wasn’t a total lie, I guess.  The alternative would have been to stay in class and have a panic attack.  Somehow, the option of high-tailing it out of there just seemed more appealing.

When I saw my acupuncturist today, I did tell him about the supposed runner’s knee (hey, it helped for my Sartorius, might as well give this a shot… no pun intended)… but I didn’t mention the anxiety.  Clearly, I have no problem spilling that all over the Internet, but for some reason I guess I’m just kind of… embarrassed about saying anything.  Or something.

And my knee hurts.  Boo.

On my way home from school, I stopped at Whole Foods to buy rainbow chard — I’ve been waiting for it to go on sale for weeks — ever since I made this dish.  In yet another display of my extreme genius, I didn’t realize that it was $1.99/bunch; I thought it was $1.99/pound.  Since the people in my house wouldn’t know what to do with chard, or even what it was, if you slapped them in the face with it, I decided to only buy half a bunch, rather than have it go to waste.  So, yeah… the point of it being on sale was kind of lost on me!

Speaking of sales, I just have to state that I only bought the Go Lean Crisp! because I had a coupon for that cereal… I would definitely have preferred to buy one of the new cereals I’ve yet to try!

Deal of the Day, I suppose… which is a big deal when you eat as much cauliflower as I do…

99¢ a head?  Yes, please.

This is the oh-so-exciting purchase that disturbed your sleep:

Two things spurred me to buy this: one, I am a moron and can’t figure out how to get a rearranged playlist onto my old MP3 player, and two, said MP3 player is the size of a brick.  I kid you not:

I took the new one for a test run today.  (Again, no pun intended!)  I clipped it onto the neckline of my shirt… and pretty much forgot about it.  I barely even knew it was there.  That’s all I wanted from it, so there was no need for me to get something expensive!  This will do the job just fine.

Now that you can sleep well, I want to improve the quality of my sleep.  I finally got myself an eye mask. 

I know I shouldn’t have my laptop in my room, but I can’t leave it anywhere else in the house — I feel like an interloper already — and even when the screen goes to sleep, it still emits a faint glow.  (Yes, I know, I could just close it.  Don’t even get me started.)

I’ve had this hot & spicy Primal Strip lying around for ages… I figured I should probably just eat it already, since the “best by” date was in January!

Maybe it’s an unfair judgment, considering that it was technically “expired,” but I didn’t care for this flavor at all.  Then again, it was hot and spicy, so … it made me drink more water?

And oh, yes… the rainbow chard.

Prettier and far more colorful in my mind, but it was lovely.

Back to work I go.  I’ve determined, by the way, that it is totally unnecessary for me to do any cardiovascular exercise, since the point of that is to raise your heart rate, and my heart rate is already insanely fast.  Call it the Panic Workout.

Have a great weekend.

“‘Be yourself’ is about the worst advice you can give some people.” 
~Tom Masson
(nobody ever gave me that advice!)


Twilight Zone

Because I’m in the twilight zone of the semester, and thus perpetually exhausted, I lack the energy to form consecutive cohesive sentences.  That’s why this post is kind of all over the place.  (Also because I’m currently sitting in a b-o-r-i-n-g class, and navigating on my mini is rather difficult.)

This morning brought another sounded-prettier-than-it-looked parfait.

Layers of lemon yogurt and a crumbled toasted lemon poppy seed muffin, which you can barely see since it got lost in the yogurt.  Really — would someone who knows how to construct an aesthetically pleasing parfait enlighten me about the secrets of which I’m evidently unaware?!

New product:

These are, I assume, like (a much more expensive version of) Trader Joe’s flattened bananas (which aren’t kosher, an issue which displeases me greatly).

It tastes like banana, but it has the texture of dried apples.  Very strange, indeed.

This, however, is totally awesome.

In case you don’t understand what you’re looking at… I bought a box of Kashi GoLean Crisp! today.  For 39¢.

That was pretty much the highlight of my day.  Which I guess is kind of sad.  But there wasn’t much else that qualified as “cheery” … I went to school (always a joy … not), where I realized just exactly how overwhelmed and overworked I am, and where I had to gulp down dinner in pretty much five minutes flat because my professor kept us late again.  Besides all that, it was just one of those days where I kind of want to cry because I feel like a lone person on the planet… does that happen to other people??  No?  …Guess it’s just me.

And I bought something else today.  But I’ve yet to photograph it, or even use it, since I haven’t been home yet… I’m pretty confident that nobody will lose any sleep over wondering what this thing is.

Happy Thursday.

“The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease.  The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.”
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Slow Freeze

Coupons have a way of roping you in.  It’s the only explanation for this purchase.

To be fair, I did throw out another tube when I bought this one, but I don’t even really like Cover Girl mascara.  I have to admit that I was curious to see whether a mascara supposedly specially formulated for different eye colors would really make a difference.

Uh… I think the answer to that would be “no.”  But it’s kind of cool that in my iris, you can see my hands holding my camera.  😉

This morning’s pre-run carb of choice:

A lemon poppy seed muffin topped with blueberry jam, since lemon + blueberry = soul mates.  Poppy seeds do have fat in them, but since there’s all of half a tablespoon in the entire recipe, I figured I’d be okay.  Especially since my fickle digestive system was already being kind of iffy anyway, so it wasn’t like I’d be messing with a good thing!

I ran two miles.  And my knees didn’t hurt.  I’m pleased about that, obviously.  Even if they don’t feel fabulous right now!  My ITBs felt pretty tight, but that’s not painful per se, and beggars can’t be choosers.  I wish I had a foam roller in my office, though… it’s one thing to tote ice paks to work (which are pretty awkward anyway when it comes to icing knees); I’m not about to carry a foam roller everywhere I go!

I’ve come to the conclusion that running is at least 75% mental.  Because as a general rule, for the first mile or so, I legitimately hate it.  It takes time for me to realize that I actually don’t hate it, it’s just my lazy body convincing my brain that I do.  Which brings up another point… you know how I’m always saying that I’m slow?  Well, I am, but it’s probably more laziness than anything else.  I tend to keep to a pace that’s on the conservative side of comfortable.  Now, I’m not saying that I think I should be moving at the speed of “OMGIAMDYING,” but still.  It’s annoying.

I tried a recipe from Appetite for Reduction today: soft broccoli polenta.  I had frozen broccoli taking up freezer real estate, and a bag of polenta taking up countertop real estate, so it sounded like a good plan.

I popped it into the oven, which I set on broil, for about ten minutes after it was done cooking… and it was so. freaking. good.  I don’t understand how something that is so incredibly simple can do that, but it was awesome.

Apparently, I was really in a “corn” mood today, because in the interest of attempting to use up some of the insane amount of nut butter I have floating around…

…I put sunflower seed butter and banana slices on multigrain corn thins!

In “variations of the protein cake” news, random flavor:

Orange vanilla!  Using vanilla protein powder, orange marmalade, and orange extract.  (Remember when I bought that orange extract for Alphebruary?… Well, it turns out that I already had orange extract.  So now I have two.  Recipes using orange extract are welcome to apply.)

Then I froze to death.  I stuck my foot into the pool, and my instinctive reaction was to just leave… but I didn’t come all that way to turn around and go home, so I stood in the frigid water and shivered for ten minutes (during which someone stuck her feet in and left because “I’m going to suffer too much”), then swam like a maniac for ten minutes in an attempt to warm up, which never really happened.

I know that 78° doesn’t sound so bad, but look at this as a frame of reference.

That’s a page from my dive log.  The water temperature was between 82° and 84°, depending on the depth.  I remember being comfortable on this dive… and I was wearing a full 5mm wetsuit.

I really do need to get to work on planning my next vacation.  Spurred on by the fact that I’ve apparently entered the twilight zone of the semester… that would be the time period during which no amount of sleep will be sufficient, because I am going to feel exhausted no matter what.  It sucks.

But I still have to try and combat that, so instead of being productive re: schoolwork, I am going to answer the siren call of my bed and my foam roller.  Not necessarily in that order.

Happy Hump Day!

“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” 
~Will Rogers

Truly Shocking

Aww, thanks for the support re: my last post… is it silly if I say it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside?!

In contrast, this is rather pathetic: the race is taking place less than two miles from where I live, and none of my family members can be bothered with me.  But my friend who lives in Boston is willing to come and watch me.  Of course, I told her that she doesn’t have to do that — it’s ridiculous for her to travel all that way just for a silly race — but still, I’m touched that she even entertained the notion.  That really is shocking.

I don’t care whether anyone comes to watch, actually.  My primary concern is that if it’s cold out, I’m going to want to wear a jacket before the race, and if I’m there on my own, what am I supposed to do with it once the race starts?!… Yeah, I worry about everything.

Today’s breakfast was provided by Jess.  (Ingredients-wise, anyway; the ugly is all me.)  I finally got around to trying out the garbanzo bean flour

I made socca.  But next time, I will be less lazy and include ingredients other than the flour, water, Truvia and cinnamon.  Just saying.

I was expecting it to taste kind of… bean-y.  It didn’t, but it was definitely… interesting?  Dense and chewy, which is certainly not a bad thing!  (Topped with slightly diluted cashew butter.  Diluted, because I was trying to get it to drizzle.  Obviously, that didn’t work out very well!)

And… “overnight” oats!

Strawberry banana yogurt, oats, and freeze-dried strawberries and bananas.  I was curious to see what would happen to freeze-dried fruit if I let it soak — they don’t magically re-hydrate, but they do take on an interesting chewy texture.

In other “I wonder what would happen if I did that” news, I combined my love of mushrooms with a veggie protein cutlet… to be baked in the oven.  If you don’t know this about me yet, I love mushrooms.  It’s almost embarrassing how much I love them.  So I figured that if I put the cutlet in a dish with a tiny bit of water, then top it with sliced fresh mushrooms, the mushrooms’ juices would be released during cooking and permeate the cutlet.  Sounds good in theory, yes?… Well, it is, until you remember that I have somewhat of a heavy hand when it comes to spicing.  I tossed the chopped mushrooms with fiesta lime seasoning before I put them in the dish, and then I added a few dashes of Frank’s on top of that.

Like I seem to constantly be saying: it’s a good thing I like spice.  (I suppose that if I didn’t, I’d probably be a little more careful.)

I also like salt.  A lot.  But this is way too extreme even for me:

Are you kidding me?!  The only reason why this was even in my possession at all is because when I saw what is essentially whole wheat ramen, I got a bit overexcited and grabbed it off the shelf.

I know now that it also comes in a reduced sodium version.  In any case, I assume that most of the salt is in the seasoning packet, so I only used a tiny bit of it… and then I got heavy-handed with the fiesta lime seasoning again!

It didn’t taste all that different from the “regular” version, actually.  (There was a time not too long ago when I was o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with these and eating one practically every day.)

There seems to be something that I wanted to mention, but it’s totally slipping my mind right now.  (Isn’t that most irritating feeling ever?!)  Guess I’ll just go off to my nutritionist appointment, then.  That’s always fun.  (I’m only being mildly sarcastic there.  I think.)

Happy Tuesday.

“Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption.”
~Mark Twain

Shocking Shock

This should not be surprising, but I live in an utterly unsupportive environment.

I know, I know.  I tend toward extreme naïveté when it comes to such things; it shouldn’t shock me as much as it does, since it’s been that way all my life, but really, let’s take a look at this.  Here is a little list of things that I love, and the general response they invoke around here.

  • Vacations — You have nothing else to do with your money?!
  • Diving — You’re crazy.
  • Running — Someone like you shouldn’t be doing that!
  • Writing — There’s no room for anything else here.

All of the above responses are interchangeable.  Actually, I’m more shocked by my shock itself than I am by the fact that it seems to be some sort of crime around here to enjoy something.

On Friday, I saw an orthopedist.  I was convinced that I must have been imagining my knee pain, just because I’m so inherently lazy that my body would do anything to convince me not to move, but it was really getting a little ridiculous, to the point that I couldn’t take a single step without wondering is that a “dull ache” or a “sharp pain”?  Am I supposed to be running through that, or do I ignore it?  Yeah.  Annoying.

After the radiologist scared the crap out of me (seriously, if you’re going to follow up your opinion on what you’re seeing with but I’m not sure about that, you’ll have to talk to the doctor, then why are you saying anything at all?), and the doctor scared the crap out of me by even mentioning the word “osteoarthritis” (my mom has it, and she tends to pass along all the good stuff to me), the actual diagnosis is so ironic that I would have laughed if it wasn’t so incredibly frustrating.

I have runner’s knee.

Would someone please explain to me how it is that someone who is not a runner can manage to accumulate “runners’ injuries” the way I do?!

The doctor asked me if I’d stop running.  I said I’d rather not.  He said he couldn’t tell me not to do the race next week, but that “you don’t have to run it fast.”  Well, of course I won’t; I don’t run fast even under the best of circumstances!

I’ve been wearing knee straps, because even though it doesn’t make my knees feel any different after I run, they do seem to help during a run.  So, the knee straps I’ve been using… I have the more expensive one I bought at Modell’s, and I have a pair of less expensive ones I bought on Amazon.  And I usually end up wearing one of each, for the following reason.

They are both “one size fits all.”  The McDavid (which cost more) is apparently worth the money, because no matter how tightly I strap on the Mueller, it slips down, and it’s too big in the first place — my calves are the one part of my body that are consistently slim, no matter what the rest of me does.  (Hence my troubles with finding boots.)  And aside from the fit, the McDavid strap is a lot more effective.  Gosh, I can’t imagine why…

What I’d really like is to be able to not have to use a bunch of crazy accoutrements just to go for  a run.  A one-mile jaunt, which should take no more than fifteen minutes, prep included, ends up taking well over half an hour if you factor in the icing and foam rolling.  Who has that kind of time?!… I certainly don’t.  Which is really too bad, because I’m apparently the Tight Muscles Queen.

In any event, I only did two miles today.  I hope that wasn’t stupid. 

Of course, I’m being hard on myself about it.  My friend told me that after the month / week I’ve had (I’ve bitched to her about a lot of things I’ve kept off the blog), she’s amazed my head is still attached to my shoulders, but that’s not an excuse for me to be lazy, now, is it?!

I also wish I could just stop thinking so. damn. much.  It really is driving me insane.

Moving on.  I actually burned myself out on the PBBF bake, but in keeping with my “need carbs before I run” theory… you can’t get much more “carb-y” than a muffin, can you?

Specifically, a carrot muffin bigger than my brain.

That isn’t actually too hard at the moment, come to think of it — I barely have any brain left of which to speak.  It’s not helping in the schoolwork arena, that’s for sure.

This is how I wrote a paper last night.

Looks like these days, baking lemon poppy seed muffins = writing a paper.  And just as proof of my utter genius, this recipe required zesting and juicing two lemons.  This is my hand:

I did not wear gloves.  If that doesn’t prove my unparalleled brilliance, I don’t know what does.

But I did manage to get some work done on the Paper of Doom this afternoon.  In fact, I’ve said pretty much all there is to say.  Now the problem is that the paper is barely five pages long… and I need ten.  Have I mentioned that I hate school?!?!

Still working on cleaning out the freezers — I unearthed these two hidden treasures from the icy depths.

One veggie burger left in the box; and Steamfresh mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, and carrots).

Variation One:

Steamed broccoli slaw, mixed vegetables, veggie burger… and a “sauce” made out of garlic hummus mixed with water and some Frank’s.  The sauce was actually really good, which was lovely, since now I have a way to finish that hummus without choking it down.

Variation Two:

I found in my basement a box of tofu that had an expiration date of March 29, so I diced the tofu, roasted it with a lot of Bragg’s, and tossed it with the remaining mixed vegetables… and more Bragg’s, of course.  It pleased me greatly.

But I’m extremely displeased with the weather we’re having lately.

It actually snowed last week.  If it’s freezing on the day of my race, I am probably going to cry.  Guess I should probably get the tissues ready…

Happy Monday.

“Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn’t have anything to do with it.” 
~Haim Ginott


That awesome smell in my house last night came from this.

Which turned into this.

And so I had homemade bran flakes for breakfast this morning!

So.  Good!

Because it was so beautiful out today…

Yes, that is snow.  At the end of March.  We also had rain, freezing rain, sleet, and hail.  Like I said, it was a beautiful day.

… so I went and got frozen yogurt.

And felt guilty for eating it, of course.  It’s so annoying — I mean, if I’m going to eat it anyway, why on earth can’t I just enjoy it?!

Dark chocolate covered almonds from Nuts Online:

Almost as good as the dark chocolate covered blueberries.  I only say “almost” because I like berries a lot, and I don’t like nuts a lot.  😉

But combine the two in an almond butter and blueberry jam sandwich on sprouted wheat berry bread?

Why, I don’t mind if I do.

However, I do mind terribly that the professor in my first class kept us late, which left me all of ten minutes between classes to eat and get in some last-minute studying for my midterm, and I didn’t have enough time to do both.  The studying would have been a better choice, because I’m pretty sure that this exam was an unmitigated disaster.

I feel like I’m back in high school — I used to really struggle with the notion that just because I might not test well on “standard” tests (true / false, multiple choice, whatever), does not necessarily mean that I’m stupid.  I thought I was over that.  Apparently, I’m not.  Or I really am stupid.

In any case, it isn’t even 9.30 PM yet, and I am conceding defeat to the day and going to bed.  What an exciting life I lead!

Happy Thursday.

“One fails forward toward success.” 
~Charles F. Kettering
(yeah, try telling that to my professor.)

Nuts Online Rocks

I am going to quit posting pictures of these PBBF bakes.  Really.  It’s getting kind of repetitive… but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  I know I most likely won’t get cramps when I run if I eat this beforehand.  I will, however, be impossibly slow.  I’m developing a healthy hatred of the treadmill — I don’t like having a console filled with numbers staring me in the face!!  And I’m absolutely terrified of really injuring my Sartorius, so when I’m not sure if it’s normal soreness or actual pain, I err on the side of caution… the result being a very. slow. pace.  I’d be more okay with running at a comfortable-for-me pace if I didn’t have those stupid red numbers glaring at me!

Speaking of numbers… these Larabars that I purchased last night?

It just so happens that I prefer Jocalat bars over Larabars; but even so, I will completely admit that for the most part, I’ve stayed away from most of the flavors in the above photo.  I’ve tried them all before (except for the pecan pie), but that’s it… and I’m sure you can imagine why.  See below.

I’ve never eaten pecans before in any form other than this granola bar, and for some reason, after I ate that, my tongue swelled up, so I decided I shouldn’t eat pecans.  I’ve gotten over that, but I still didn’t want this Larabar…

Yeah.  See, my problem with “fat” isn’t that I think it will make me fat, per se.  It’s that fat calories are more condensed than calories from protein and carbohydrates, and I do not like condensed calories.  Anyway, all that aside, this flavor wasn’t anything mind-blowing.  I also really didn’t like this.

Residual grease.  Ew.

Today I was reminded that I tried a new-to-me salsa recently: Whole Foods’ 365 brand in the tequila lime variety.

With blue corn tortilla crisps.  I wasn’t sure I would like this salsa, because it contains cilantro, and I am firmly planted in the “cilantro tastes like soap to me” camp!  But I couldn’t detect it at all, and the salsa was really good.

I only remembered that I had never mentioned this because the salsa played a role in what was, quite possibly, the most unattractive meal ever to exist.

This actually began with an intention of making pasta and nooch cheese… but as I was rummaging around in the refrigerator, I came across a package of shirataki noodles than I needed to use.  So this turned into a “throw in everything that you need to use up” kind of thing… shirataki noodles, some Steamfresh broccoli (cleaning out the freezer!), steamed broccoli slaw, veggie protein crumbles, and a sauce made out of the salsa mixed with hummus and some water.  It looks atrocious, but it was surprisingly rather good.  And it helped me get rid of some of that I-don’t-like-it hummus!

This post is already too long, but I just had to share the most exciting part of my day.  (More for the benefit of some curious people than for me, but whatever.  ;))

My Nuts Online order, which I placed yesterday, arrived!

Loads of exciting stuff… cashew flour, almond flour, rye berries, spelt berries, alfalfa seeds (I’ve been sprouting my own alfalfa for a long time, and I still can’t believe I ever paid for sprouts — they are so overpriced), dark chocolate covered almonds, dark chocolate covered blueberries, dehydrated tart cherries, and dehydrated blueberries.

I immediately had to try the dark chocolate covered blueberries, which I actually ordered primarily because I knew my dad would love them.

And so do I.  They were awesome!!

And then I mixed dehydrated blueberries and cherries into coconut milk yogurt.

The cherries are tart, but they have a slight sweetness which is hard to describe.  I loved both the cherries and the blueberries.  So far, I am very, very impressed with the quality of these products.

Ditto the almond flour, which I used in something this evening, but if you want to know what that was, sorry, you’ll just have to wait.  😉  Though I will say that my house currently smells amazing.

PS, this is what happens when you add too much liquid to a protein cake batter.

Good luck prying it out of there… why should it occur to me to spray the outside of the dish?!

Tasted fine, though.

So, I didn’t go swimming tonight — major sad face — but I did get a tiny bit of work done on my monster paper.  Which resulted in me sending a monster e-mail to my co-worker, who is helping me with said paper.  But I didn’t study any more for my midterm, and I’m rather freaked out about it.  Failing a midterm in my last semester of graduate school is, quite frankly, not something I want to do.  So please send smart thoughts my way tomorrow, because I need either that or a miracle.

Happy Hump Day…

“Boldness is a mask for fear, however great.” 
~John Dryden