Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Overnight Oats: It's all the rage

So I like oatmeal.  But only steel cut.  Not because it's nutritionally superior (case that's a myth).  I just like the texture.  The rolled oats taste chewier than I like.  I like the nutty texture of steel cut.  But steel cut takes foooooooorevvvver to cook.  And the Trader Joe's frozen- microwave stuff is too much cash for my oatmeal stash (like that?).  I'm smart.

Anyhoo- I've been in collaboration with my crockpot, Edna, perfecting my overnight oat technique.  My first experiment, know as the Pumpkin Slop of 2007, put a bad taste in my mouth for overnight oats.  But earlier this year I decided to try again.  I know a lot of people like the overnight oats that you just put in the fridge.  But I'd prefer it be right there- hot and ready when I get up (that's what she said).  Plus, I'm ever so extremely lazy in the morning.  I gotta be on my second cup of coffee before I use my brain.

And so here's my Overnight Oat Plan:

Get yourself a Christmas light timer.  Cause they gotta cook on low for 6 hrs or they're gross.  No more, no less.  And I was too lazy/tired/annoyed to come down at 12am to turn it on to be ready by 6am.  BTW- why can't they make a crockpot that you can set to turn on at a certain time???  They can do it with coffee makers.  Why not the crock?  That's a crock of shit.


So, once you have your crockpottiness plugged into the timer- set it to turn on at midnight (or 6 hrs from waking).

In your crockpot:

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup half&half or milk or soy milk or almond milk or whiskey 

I like to accessorize my oatmeal in the morning instead of add it at night.  Everyone likes different things.  I usually put some pecans, raw sugar and maybe raisins.  My kids like real maple syrup.  

One serving of Steel Cut Oats :

Calories – 150
Fat – 2.5g
Carbs – 27g
Fiber – 4g
Sugar – 1g
Protein – 5g

That's a sweet nutritional combo for morning ya'll!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So yeah, that half marathon. And stuff...

I've lost my mojo a little with the running.  And find myself doing this at any spare occasion:

I love running.  But the past two weekends have been crazy.  So our long runs for the past two weekends have been cancelled.  But since I'm not about making excuses, I'm gonna get right back on that horse and ride!  (that's what she said)

I've got an 8 miler that is calling my name.  And I'll make her my bitch this week.

In bootcamp news I'm burning mad calories.  Averaging 650 calories per hour!  My bootcampers hate me.  I hate me.  It's hard.  But I loooooooooove the endorphins.  When you've got a case of the crazies, you gotta catch an endorphin high where you can get it.

In other related news....

Shepherd is cranked up on oral steroids from his asthma attack and he's mean.  Real mean.  Like, Whitney Housten mean.  Slaps, fits.  Crazy fits.  At 4am in the morning.  I hear steroids will make his balls small.

I've cleaned and dusted every square inch of my house this week since Shep has been home from the hospital.   And I got so into it that I think I had a cleangasm after running my dirty make up holder drawer thingies through the dishwasher.  I was like Kate Gosselin on crack.

Turns out Shepherd does like apples.  You just have to peel them.  Again, he's like Whitney Housten.

We're almost current on this season's Mad Men.  And we only started it from the beginning a month ago.  Obsess much?

I outsourced Ed to buy my maxi pads this week.  He took it like a man.

I outsourced Ed to buy me cannoli's this week.  That wasn't really hard for him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Fall Apart

I'm sort of an open book.  It's the only way I know to be.  I don't hide things very well if I'm upset.  I don't do well at "playing house."  If shits falling apart, then shits falling apart.  And you'll know it.   When things are going well, then yee haw!  You'll know it.  I appreciate transparency in myself and others.   It's a curse and blessing.

Last year I had a break down.  Break.  Down.  I walked away from my blog.  I stopped sharing.  I shut down.  I was overcome with out of control anxiety.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't function some days.  My mind was always playing.  Negative thoughts were blaring and I couldn't hear myself anymore.  I tried to change things ups and dust myself off and forge ahead.  But the days became long,  the responsibility of life felt heavier than usual.

I tried to escape.  I never wanted to stay still.  To feel.  I'd started feeling Un-Me.  I'd say things I didn't mean.  I'd do things I didn't want to do.  I was convinced that everyone hated me.

"The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."-Mark 14:38

My flesh was weak.  And my spirit was starving. All my spirit got were negative thoughts and anxiety scraps.  And  the thoughts came out of nowhere.  They were irrational.  They were loud.  They were constant.  But mostly they were untrue.  But it's hard to know that when you're inside your head and the noise is too loud to hear the truth.

I was sailing on a choppy sea.  And then eventually went overboard.

When someone has a physical illness, people rally around them.  When someone has a mental illness, people don't really know what to do with them.  So they do nothing.  And I supposed I don't blame them.   And you don't really want to advertise it, cause there's that stigma that comes with mental illness.  Like, there's "normal" and  "bat shit crazy."  No in between.   It's like putting a giant CAUTION sign on your forehead.  Luckily I had a few trusted people in my life that ignored the sign and trusted my heart.

And here's the part of the movie where a weary, beaten up, almost dead person wakes up in a clean, sterile, white hospital room with the heart rate beeping in the background and loved ones staring at them.




I had my loved ones standing there, ready to walk me through this.  I saw a therapist once a week.  And then a psychiatrist.  I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression.  I had been on an anti depressant for 7 years, but apparently it was the lowest dosage and essentially like "killing an elephant with a bb gun" my psychiatrist said.  Good to know.  I was just relieved that he wasn't insinuating I was the elephant.

For the first time in my life I had someone (the professional) tell me that I had been suffering.  That what I was thinking and feeling was actually a disease, caused mainly by chemicals.  He believes that I had severe postpartum after my last baby was born, but was never treated.  Makes total and perfect

Negative thinking can be chemical?  Yup.  The frontal cortex of our brain is responsible for rational thinking.  In those that struggle with depression and anxiety- there is a significant lack of activity in the frontal cortex.

How could a gene lead to negative thinking? Well......the serotonin gene appears to make the amygdala, an emotional center of the brain, hyperactive.
Studies have found that a hyperactive amygdala is linked to extra sensitivity to negative stimuli, such as unpleasant images or events. People end up viewing the world negatively - noticing the weeds, not the flowers.- Cary Goldberg, The Boston Globe

I believe after the birth of my son and his medical issues and hospitalizations triggered my anxiety and depression.  And then it was just like tipping over the that first domino.  I was a hot mess.

But I've come a long way baby....

Anxiety felt like a giant tumor in my mind and spirit.  It was taking over my life.  All because of a chemical imbalance (well, mostly).  I waited longer than I should have to seek professional help.  I tried to cope in all the wrong ways.  I tried to be strong.  But I just wasn't.  It was like putting a bandaid on a gaping wound day after day.  And it only leads to infection.

I still struggle with anxiety and sadness.  Depression has been defined as "anger turned inwards."  That's why I practice kindness with myself now.  When kindness gets louder than anger- life becomes less sharp.  It's still has its challenges, but I guess I don't feel every blow to the core of my being like I did before.  I can rationally back my way out of a negative thought.  Whereas before I'd get sucked into it with no hope of escape for days on end.

Why do I tell you all this?  Well, I'm an open book.  And, sure, it puts me out there.  But, eh, I don't care.  I'd rather be known than put on some facade I suppose.  Not that I had any facade going on here that had me confused with Michelle Duggar or Mother Teresa or anything.  (I'd much prefer Anne Lemott-she knows Jesus, but she's scrappy and makes conservative Christians uncomfortable)

That and I've seen so many veins of life for me come together and merge into one this year.  Exercise, health, food, marriage, motherhood, God.  There is beauty in falling apart.  Not for the sake of being melodramatic or "misery loves company."  I'm not about wallowing in your own mess with no hope.  But I think if we were a bit more honest with where we're at, we'd not feel so alone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gallactic Anaphylactic!

Well, it's been a crazy few day.  Thursday morning Shep's cold developed into a full blow asthma attack.  I took him to the doctor and oxygen levels were dangerously low even after two breathing treatments.  She debated whether we should call an ambulance or if I could drive him straight to hospital.  We decided I could drive to Scottish Rite (Children's hospital).  There they gave him an oral steroid and two full hours worth of breathing treatments.  Can you imagine trying to keep a 21 month old on a bed with a mask for two hours?!  Yeah, me neither.  But when they tell you your kid's lungs are working too hard and might tire out and  he might need to be knocked out and ventilated- you sort of feel like holding that mask on a screaming toddler is a luxury vacation.

After those two hours, docs still felt his lungs were working too hard to breathe.  We were admitted. Wasn't the first time we've been admitted.  This is the third time.  *sigh*  Can you imagine keeping a 21 month old in a small, cage like hospital room with the round the clock breathing treatments and vital checks?  Yeah, me neither.  But we did it.  Shep was a trooper.  He was labeled a "happy wheezer."  Meaning, he might be struggling to breath, but dammit he'll jump on the bed and push chairs around and play with tubes, cause "Hey!  This shit is awesome!"  Happy wheezers are particularly hard to read when it comes to asthma because they really don't let you know it's a problem until it's too late.

Sometime in the middle of the night (between delirium and yoga breaths for myself) Shep stopped weezing.  Vitals got better and better and he was riding high on his oral steroid.  See, the oral steroids make them mean.  Really mean.  Even though it stopped inflammation, it cause excessive inflammation in my face due to slaps from my cranked up son.  He was not happy about me holding a mask on him and the steroids gave him just enough balls to smack the hell out of me out of nowhere.  I took it like a man.  Cause, my kid was breathing and all....

Finally asleep.  After a long morning.

Get this damn purple dinosaur away from me.  It's not cute anymore. 

 Hold Me. 

The next morning he was well rested (that's total bull shit- he slept, like 45 mins) and was ready to play!
I was not ready to play.  But JuJu (grandma) had flown in to be his playmate while I caught a cat nap.

Finally we were discharged (with a gazillion prescriptions in hand) Friday afternoon and thankful to be going home.  Shepherd had been such a flirt and so Ooooey Goooey Cutsie Rolly Polly that the nurses were smitten with him.  Apparently I got the only abuse.  But that's okay.  I'll take it.  Cause I'm the one that gets to cuddle and hold him and be his mama.  And I'm so so grateful that's he's doing better.  

I'm now off to order crazy Helicopter Mom ID bracelets and labels and epi pen directions and inhaler directions to every and any person that comes within 2 feet of my son.  Because the doctor told me so.  She scared this mama.  "He has a very bad combo of anaphylaxis (food allergy reaction where airways close up) and asthma.  This can be life threatening and all it takes is a cold and a bite of the wrong food." 

That's about when I *gulped* and took a deep breath.  And started in with a little self blaming.  

Then I stopped and chose to learn instead of blame.  

So now it's time to get a little more serious about this thing.  I think I've tried to sort of down play it in my head in order to cope.  Thinking he'd grow out of it.  So and So outgrew it by 2- so he will too.  Yeah...... no.  The reality is that he'll always have to carry an epi pen and an inhaler everywhere he goes.  And I'll always have to start the meds as soon as I see that first cough or eye watering.  And he'll more than likely have to get a puff or two when we go to the playground.  Cause thinking back- the poor kid wheezes any time he exerts himself.   

I flashed forward to him as a teenager.  What if he does something stupid (cause all teenagers are stupid) and forgets his inhaler?  What if he eats a pecan by accident while he has a cold?  One day I won't be with him all the time.  Will he remember?  

But then I realized it's not my job to worry about his future.  It's futile.  Cause I'm all about the present aren't I?  And presently I have a strong, resilient, smart toddler man child that is ready to go.  And I gotta keep up with him.  So I'll let tomorrow worry about itself.  In the mean time I'll have my epi-inhaler weapon ready to attack.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sprout your own sprouts. Or is that redundant?

 We love sprouts.  We put them on salads, sandwiches, hot veggies, whatever.  And they're so so good for you.  Sprouts like alfalfa, radish, broccoli, clover and soybean contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals that can protect us against disease.  Canavanine, found in alfalfa, has demonstrated benefit for pancreatic, colon and leukemia cancers. Plant estrogens are also abundant in sprouts. They increase bone formation and density and prevent bone breakdown or osteoporosis. They are also helpful in controlling hot flashes, menopause, PMS and fibrocystic breasts tumors.  (Ladies- down some sprouts with your chocolate when Aunt Flo is near)

Alfalfa sprouts also have saponins.  Saponins lower the bad cholesterol, but not the good HDL fats.  Saponins also stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells such as T- lymphocytes and interferon.

You can find sprouts in the produce section where the pre sliced/packaged veggies are.  Don't buy those.

Instead- Sprout your own!  (And save a butt load of money)

1.  Purchase a packet of alfalfa sprouting seeds at an organic market, farmers market or health food store.  I bought mine online.

2.  Place approximately 1 tsp. to 1.5 tsp. alfalfa seeds into a glass mason jar. Pour two or three inches of water directly over the seeds before covering the glass jar with a piece of cheesecloth. (I got the mason jar that came with the mesh netting) Secure the cheesecloth with a rubber band. Place the mason jar in a cool, dry location away from any direct sun. Ideally, the temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees.

3.  Allow the alfalfa seeds to soak overnight. The next day pour out the all of the water through the cheesecloth. Remove the cheesecloth and use a butter knife to gently stir the damp seeds in the jar. Fill the jar with clean water and swish the seeds around, drain.  Rotate jar around until seeds are dispersed evenly.  Set near a window with warm sunshine.

4.  Repeat this process of over four to six days. The seeds should begin sprouting within two to three days. You may notice small patches of seeds that have failed to sprout. Simply remove and discard them. By the fifth day place the mason jar in a sunny location for about 20 minutes. Doing so helps encourage the enzymes that make the sprouts nice and green.

Look!  It's like spermies!

5.  Harvest your sprouts on the fifth or sixth day. Remove the sprouts from the jar and place them in a clean glass or plastic container with a lid and refrigerate. Use the sprouts that you've grown in the next 24 to 36 hours. Discard any uneaten sprouts after that time.

Now put the little sprout spermies on your sandwich and enjoy!

Now...the winner of my Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway PLUS a cool eco cozy goes to..........

Number 18- Micah!  It's a boy!  

Micah, send me your addy and I'll send this to you.  

Wordless Wednesday..

(Taken by 6 yr old)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holy Cannoli and Good Night

I'm tired. 

Was at a birth all night.  

Was totally worth the lack of sleep though.

It was a redemptive, powerful birth.

Got a mocha on my way home.

Left it on my bed side table untouched.

Fell asleep for 3 hours.

God bless babysitters.

I once started a business when I was 11 babysitting.

It was cutting edge.

With flyers and everything.   

It was called the Babysitter's Club.

It was totally original. 

With a star at the beginning and a heart at the end.

Had a cannoli.

A Holy Cannoli.

It was rolly.

Cause cannolis are rolly. 

Like, literally.  

Now I'm in bed with my girl.  

Damp head of hair laying on me.  

Smells like clean.

And spongebob toothpaste.

And feels just right.

Good night. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fit Whattin?


Yes.  Because every time you add an in' to a verb- it makes it nonassumming, fun, casual and cool as a cucumber.   Just like bloggin'.

"Hey honey!  What am I doin'? Oh, nothin'.  Just bloggin.'"



I really really want to go to the Fitbloggin 11'.  Like, really.  Not only because I blog about fitness (but mostly about the deep meaning of life mixed with coffee and an occasional fart joke).  No- I'm more motivated to  meet the sweet faces of so many fit bloggers I've come to know.  Or stalk.  Whatever, it's cool. They are cool.  They are funny.  And they are fit.

AND...if that weren't motivation enough- you can enter to win a ticket here. 

There's my plug.

Propelling Forward

"When a woman is too far gone from home, she is less and less able to propel herself forward in life."- Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With Wolves

For me, Home is being kind to myself.


It's the spark before hope.

It's the bark before soap.

I'm sorry, I had to write that. It rhymed and it just kept begging me to write it out. I've deleted it twice, but it makes me happy to take a serious thought and smash it up with dorkiness.

Blame my father.  In my family, you are praised for fart jokes.

Okay, okay, where was I?

Oh yeah.


It's the .... *sigh*..."Okay.  I'm okay."

It's the safety net of relief below the tight rope walk of tension and doubt.

It arrives in the 11th hour.
And it's the sweetest gift you could ever bestow on yourself.

How you treat yourself colors everything you do, think, feel.  If you're hard on yourself, you will be hard on everyone around you.  It will paralyze you.  You will be a lawyer with no one to blame.  When you choose to treat yourself with kindness (and it is a choice), it's like a dose of morphine to an ailing body.  The complicated sharp edges of life melt away into a smooth, quiet river. "Peace like a river"- the Bible says.  And right before a unicorn comes galloping around the corner, you get hit with something.  The edges start to turn sharp and jagged again.  Something rocks you and a new lesson is to be learned.  You're swimming in new waters, but you trust your ability to swim.  And so life's never ending wave pool rolls on.

I used to believe that life would eventually settle.  I would arrive at that magical destination place where things would be figured out, Challenge would be a thing of the past, marriage would be perfect, diapers would be changed, kids would not turn into humans that will bear broken hearts, people would be reconciled, stories would be told, I'd morph into Gwyneth Paltrow and Ed would morph into Al Pacino (Godfather 1),  laundry would forever be caught up and a mocha would be on my bedside table each morning (*handed to me by Edward Cullen since he doesn't sleep and would have been up all night watching me sleep because he's THAT in love).

I've got another good 50 years to live (God willing) and I'm pretty sure I'll have some "Why?!!" questions for God when my time is up.  And He can handle them.  But in the mean time I've gotta find beauty in the small, hard things.  The mundane.  The brokenness.  The average.  The overlooked and neglected.  The UNbeautiful.  The last, but not least.  The cobb-weby, dust bunny corners.  Cause folks, if we wait around for that rainbow- we'll spend our lives waiting.

When you love something, you nurture it.  You treat it kindly.  When you love yourself, you treat yourself kindly.  You have a bad day and know "kindness" isn't a tub of ice-cream.  Maybe it's a glass of wine and a bath.  Maybe it's cooking a nice meal after the kids go to bed and savoring it.  Maybe it's a nice 2 mile run.  Maybe it's just *gasp* a walk.  Maybe it's something other than mistreatment.  And maybe you don't have to eat your feelings or hate yourself.  Maybe you're allowed to have a bad day.  And maybe you're okay.  Because this is life and we're all human.  

What you do day in and day out is what you're doing with your life.  Don't spend your life in tension.  Don't spend your life striving to be important.  Don't spend your life being friends with the right people.  Or buying the big house.  Or being the right size.

Think on your death bed- what will you savor?  What will you regret?

Today:  Do what you're doing with your life.  And stop waiting.

*My husband is not jealous of my Edward fantasies.  He thinks it's "cute."  Plus, his name is Edward too, so if I call out "Edward," it's all good.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Act Your Way Into Feeling

You can act your way into feeling.  
But you cannot feel your way into acting.

Sometimes you have to fake til you make it.  When the cycle of out of control eating, thinking, spending takes over, and you feel stuck in it and unable to get out- it's time to reframe.  It's time to be the skinny person.  To be the active. To be the calm person.  To be the person in control of their finances.  The person that's in there, but stuck in the tornado.  

Beating yourself sometimes feels good.  Feels like you're paying the price.  Feels like you're punishing your way into better being.  But it's never works.  It only produces more of the same thing.

Act your way into feeing.  Into feeling like you don't want to binge.  Or  don't want to get lost in anxiety.  Or don't need to spend.  Compulsion is escape.  And there's nothing you have to escape from.  The greatest fear is in the anticipation.

Waiting until you feel like making better choices won't work.  Waiting until you feel like a skinny person will not make you skinny.  Waiting until you feel like running will not make you active. Waiting until you feel like you're content will not breed contentment.

Act.  Act.  Act.  Feelings, like the encore of your favorite band, will follow and blow you away.

Fake it til you make it baby!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tummy Tuck: 1 Year Anniversary Pics!

Actually the anniversary was Aug 22nd, but I forgot to post updated pics.  Ruh Roh.  

Here they are!  Still can't believe it.  Having big babies and 65 lb weight gains with each one just does a number on the ol' abs.   Best money I've ever spent on myself.  No regrets at all!  I actually see definition in my abs now that the skin is gone.  And I never have to think about wearing a fitted shirt again.  Spanx was my bff and I haven't seen her in a year.  Good riddance!  Bitch. 



I'm working on a full tummy tuck progress page with all the gory pics you can imagine.  

And I'm also working on a new blog!
(Well, my genius boy programmer husband is)

With a new name.

But more on that soon......

Come Enter: Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway!

Okay, it's that time of the month again.  Not that time.  Giveaway time.  Though, I think maybe, kinda, sometimes I'm more inclined towards a mocha during that time of the month.  Which means that Starbucks and Menstruation could be forever synced for future generations of women.  Which is all the more reason you need to win this.

But here's the cool thing.

Not only do you get a $25 Starbucks giftcard.  You get this cool eco friend coffee sleeve or drink cozy made from fused recycled plastic bags:

 We use them at home and love them!  They're made by SoSheSews on Etsy.  Check out her stuff.  It's adorable on crack.

So, hold on Spider Monkey--you can enjoy your Pumpkin Latte this Fall with an eco friendly cozy to make it all better.  And no one will know the difference if you decide to add a little Irish Coffee to it.  (wink wink)

So- this giveaway is not complicated and straight forward to enter:

Leave a comment

And....if you're extra special and nice and hot: tweet or blog about this giveaway.  

But I won't hold you to it.

Winners will be drawn randomly next Wednesday.  

And the first one to catch the movie line I referenced-get's a double entry.  


Get your coffee on!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Exercise=More Hunger=More Ass Fat

Well, not your ass fat.  My ass fat.  And really, I'm ok with the ass fat.  Baby got back.  I just want Baby to have less thigh.  Baby got back, but lean thigh.

So I have a subscription to Fitness magazine.  I like to read it in the bathroom.  I'm not ashamed.  You do it too.  The bathroom is the only place us moms can justifiably lock ourselves in a room while our children scream and pound on the door and not have CPS called on us.  Plus, you get to read.  Score.

Anyway, while in the bathroom reading, there was an article about how working out can actually cause weight gain.  So should we stop working out?  A smarty pants at Harvard says no.

"No, but it's not a panacea for weightloss either, because it does increase your appetite.  The food- exercise equation is imbalanced.  It may take an hour to burn 500 calories but only five minutes to eat them back."-Kendrin Sonneville, R.D., a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health
Sorry fellow lazy asses-I was hoping for a get out of jail free card too. Actually, I'd still workout because I actually like it.  And I think it makes me sane.  Almost.

And then I read one thing that I've experienced over and over again.   Exercise suppresses the appetite.  Brilliant!  Burn calories and eat less.

"But later that day, your body's hunger hormones can surge, making you want to eat.  At the same time, your body's satiety hormones-the ones that signal that you're full-may decrease." -Barry Braun, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts. 

So that explains the Oh-My-God-I-Need-A-Paula-Dean-Meal break down about 3 hours after a long run.  And I can't stop eating.

Their advice?

On regular workout days:

  • Take a few bites of an energy bar before or during workout

On intense workout days (more than 60 mins):

  • Focus on carb rich foods (not garlic bread) the meals before.  So if you're running 10 miles at 7am tomorrow morning.  Eat some whole wheat pasta with chicken and a sweet potato and your body will use it to push through the run.  
  • Bring along some electrolytes along for the post 60 mins.  Gatorade or Gummy chews.  

And if I'm running 10 miles and gaining 10 lbs- I'll be one very Grumpy Jen.  And you don't want a Grumpy Jen.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Recipe: Greek Feta Chicken and Curried Rice

I've made this recipe a couple times and my family likes it, so I think it'll be lumped into the rotation.  If I had a rotation.  Having a rotation makes it sound like I have a plan.  Which I don't.  But I!

Greek Feta Chicken:
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts (3-4)
1 cup fat free greek yogurt
1 tbsp oregano
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper
feta cheese

Put chicken breasts in a ziploc bag. Throw yogurt, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in the bag.  Get out as much air as possible.  Massage around until all of chicken is coated.  Put in frig.  Marinate for at least 30 mins.  Put chicken under broil for 6 mins.  Turn and sprinkle each breast with feta cheese.  Broil for 6 more mins. 
Curried Rice:
2 cups cooked brown rice
Olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp of curry powder
salt and pepper

Saute onion, carrot and almonds until onions are clear.  Add rice, raisins and seasonings.  Stir fry for 10 mins.  Add some broth if it dries out. 

I threw some of the leftover rice into hollowed out bell peppers and put them in the broiler: 

It's an Orange Meal:

I love you, whoever you are

I'd like to take a minute and thank all of you who read my lil old blog.  It's nice to have a place to come and type.  And share.  Even if you don't leave any comments!

This year has been all about puzzles.  Taking puzzles a apart.  And putting them back together the right way.  And I'm thankful for what's come out of it.  Slowly but surely I've changed.  Inch by inch.  Thought by thought.  Prayer by prayer.  Like a giant Before/After picture of my brain, life, and heart.

It's cool.

And I like me.

I share too much.  

That's not always a bad thing.

I have 6 women I call friends.

Not acquaintances.

Deep, vulnerable, life giving, balanced friendships.

Good, bad and badder.

They have my back.

I never have to wonder.

Everyone deserves a least one real, REAL friend.

And I've got 6.

I'm blessed.

Spoiled rotten.

I have a marriage that is 100% "on" and I've never been prouder of us.

I couldn't have said that 2 years ago.

I'm in love with my husband today.

I want to grow old with him and watch "stories" with him.

I like that my children look like him.

Sometimes I fart on him to be funny.

You know you do it too.

I make impulsive decisions.

If I'm into something- you won't be able to shut me up about it.

Then it's something new next week.

I change my mind a lot.

I'm full of contradictions.

I make mistakes.

I pick myself back up and keep walking.

I hate my pinky toe.

I crack my neck 30 times a day.

I really, REALLY believe that a massage can change my life.

I'm spiritual, but not religious.

But I'm Jesusy spiritual.

But I'm not Baptisty Jesusy.

I've not been to church in months.

I'm seeing God in my life, mind and heart more than ever.

I have peace.

Like a freaking river.

 I like reality shows about dwarfs.

I know that they prefer being called little people.

But I like to feel like Snow White.

I have an obsession with my kid's toes.

I take pictures of my kid's toes.

And yet I hate my pinky toe?

A little too much.

I'm self conscious.

I put up a tough cover to hide my soft side.

But I'm all soft, squishy, weepy, and sentimental inside.



This can change a woman.

I used to have a hard time saying I was sorry.

I say I'm sorry all the time now.

I've let go of a lot of bitterness.

I've reconciled with old friends.

I see a therapist once a week.

I've come a long way.

And I love you.

Whoever you are.

The Love of My Life

I'd like to introduce you to the new love of my life.  We have a hot, steamy relationship that will never go cold.  

My new espresso machine and milk frother:

One of the many perks of running a business out of your home.  It's a business write off!

And the best part:  you get cute little espresso pods:

You slip one of these bad boys in there (that's what she said) and it makes your espresso in 30 secs!

And the Frother...

You guys!

The Frother froths in 30 sec TOO! 
(Do I have a lisp?)

And the latte is seriously Hole-In-The-Wall-Cool-Coffee-Shop grade.

Add a little somethin' somethin'...

And behold!

Breakfast of champions:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Running is Hard

I'm waiting for running to become easy for me.  I won't hold my breath.  It's always been hard with splashes of that "runner's high" here and there.  And that's ONLY after I run 3 or 4 miles.  Around mile 6 or 7 I start feeling it.  But who the hell runs after 6 or 7 miles??!



We dropped the kids off at Ed's parent's and headed out for our 7 miler.  I was dreading it.  It's hot.  It's hilly.  And I'm so so lazy.  But I know I love it after I'm done.  And I walk around in an endorphin haze for a couple hours after.  All giggly and peaceful and sore.

And so we did it!  And I will never run at noon again.  Ever.  Never ever.  So hot and I had to walk a lot more than I normally do because I was feeling the sickies.  But I did it.  And that counts for something, right?

Our new plan for long runs is to spend the night with Grandparents and run at 6 or 7am to beat the heat. 

In other news:

I have this pumpkin vine that I was this close to pulling out because I thought it was a weed.  But then it looked like a zucchini vine.  But then I realized I didn't plant zucchini under my front porch.  But I did throw out my old pumpkins from last Fall under my porch!  And so I've weaved the vine every which way along the white picket fence in my front yard.  It's like Charlie Brown's Pumpkin Patch.  Except smaller.  And realer.  And more fun.

My first pumpkin harvested:

A poor little rotten fella':

And a bebe pumpkin with squash blossom:

Linus reminds me of Shepherd and his blanket toting ways:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Have a good weekend!

I'll be reading 220 pages of The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  
It's about a 12 yr old girl who wants to commit suicide.  
A real "feel good" book.

Oh and I'll run 8 miles.  Cause, you know, people do that when they train for half marathons.  

And there will be much coffee consumed.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Worm Catchers and The Cullens

So what happens when you need structure?  My personal belief is that if you trust yourself and your decisions- and still feel like an eating plan is right for you, then you should be at peace with that decision.  If you feel like you need to step back in order to be present- then that's the right thing.  Making a decision with a present, whole mind will result in a whole decision.  

I'm 147.0 lbs. Yes, I weighed myself.  Still down.  Just slowly, slowly down.

I won't lie- I wish it were 140.7 lbs.

But it's fine.  I've learned that the scale reveals a number.  And that's about it.

In Food News.....

After dabbling in vegan eating for TWO WHOLE WEEKS I've decided I feel better without sugar and dairy.  Verdict is still out on meat.  It's just so juicy and lovely and... dead.

So I went through some of my old weight watchers stuff and rediscovered The Core plan.




Sounds funny to me.  So I'm doing a version of Core-minus a lot of the dairy.  Add a few glasses because....Duh.

In Fitness News....

In an effort to not go insane, bootcamp has now been divided into two groups: Worm Catchers (morning crew) and The Cullens (obviously better, night crew).  I'm in the night crew.  We're going to meet Mon and Wed at 7:30pm instead of 6am.  Brilliant!  I've been struggling with insomnia lately and the 6am wake up call was fanning the flame.  I'm a changer-uppper and it was time.  So changing it up!

Speaking of bootcamp-  we've entered into a bit of a biggest-loser-esk competition.  We have 6 weeks to lose weight.  Whoever loses the most percentage of body weight wins the pot.  Two.  Hundred.  Dollars.  That's, like, 2 months of Starbucks.

The competition ends October 15th.  I have no excuses.  I'm going to do this.  I'm not going to back out. I'm going to lose the weight and win it!  My goal is 1-2 lbs per week.  That should get me back into the 130's again where my jeans fit better and I don't stare at my thighs quite as much.

So, every week on Friday I'll post my weigh in.  I feel like I'm cheating on Geneen Roth by getting on my scale.  But, honest to God, I'm okay with it.  And I still love Geneen.

In other related news......

I scored a 102 point word on my game with my nemesis, Sheila.  She still beat me.   I love her so much.  But I hate her ass face.  (In my best Christopher Guest voice)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Nerd Alert

I was coaxed by a friend this weekend to go to the Dragon Con parade.  I immediately declined until I heard there would be real life Storm Troopers and Fischer would lose his friggen mind if he saw one.

And so we went.

This is the only picture I had of Fischer.  He and his friend wedged their way to the front and actually got to fight Real Life Storm Troopers with their lightsabers.  And I could not hold my iPhone high enough over the people in front of us to catch it.  

Who ya gonna call?


Scary ass alien thing that apparently everyone in Nerd Fantasy Land "got."

Millie was alarmed.

And last, but not least....Chewy.

After the parade I laced up my running shoes and set out for 6 miles.  I had Ed drop me off 6 miles from home.  For some reason it feels shorter or easier or something to run towards something, instead of back tracking.  I did the first 3 miles fine.  Then I got jittery.  Low blood sugar.  Not cool.  I tried to keep my run 5 min/walk 1 min ratio going but I couldn't.  Got the shakes and felt queasy.  I should have a good protein/carb/fat combo beforehand.  Lesson learned.  I needed to get home- so I just kept walking/running until I got there.  Then I devoured some pretzels with chocolate peanut butter.  It took me about an hour to get back to normal.  I hate that feeling.  And I was bummed because it was such a pretty day and I was really excited about getting that 6 miles in.  Felt like a waste.  Oh well.  Fall is coming and there will be many more running days to come.

But.. I'm trying to figure out some good pre run snacks.  I don't like running on a full stomach because it makes me sick.  But I need a snack a hour before.  Any of you runners have some snack ideas??  

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