Thursday, March 8, 2012


I can pretend I'm a well-rounded athlete, what with weight-training, abs workouts, walking, running (I'm really good at the first few weeks of Couch-to-5K), my short foray into swimming, but my real love is cycling. I get on my bike and I'm twelve years old again. And yes, I even say "Whee!!!" while going downhill. Sometimes aloud. All other thoughts leave my head, and it's just me and my bike. The whir of the gears is a very peaceful sound, and I feel like I'm flying.

Unfortunately, living in Nebraska, outdoor cycling is not a year-round sport, at least not for me. So when the temperature on Tuesday looked like this:

I knew it was time for a ride. (But check out that wind - that was the sustained speed. Gusts were higher.)

I wanted to get ten miles in, which is a short ride but since it was to be the first time on my bike since last October, I didn't want to overdo it. (Also, I knew I had to go ten miles otherwise it would be a total waste of spandex!) For a frame of reference for those of you in the area, I drove over to Aksarben Village to hop onto the Keystone Trail. I did have second thoughts when I dropped one of my gloves and it blew half a block before I could catch it. To be honest, right then I almost put my bike back in the car and went home. My original plan was to ride 2.5 miles north, 5 miles south, and then 2.5 miles north so I could finish with the wind at my back. Once I felt the wind, though, I knew if I had to ride into it for even those 2.5 miles, I'd just stop. (And if you're doing the math, I like the northern part of the trail so much better than the south; otherwise I would have started off heading 5 miles south right away. I know. Too much geography. Just wanted to show you my convoluted thinking.) So what I did was go from Aksarben up to the trail head 5.5 miles away at Democracy Park (90th and Fort), then headed back. That wind was brutal. I slowed down to take a drink, and while still pedaling, I almost came to a complete stop.

It felt SO GOOD!! But a few things I am thankful for: strong thighs, padded bike shorts, the fact that my stomach isn't in the way as much anymore when I'm in the drops (yay!), and tail winds!

My food has been pretty boring lately. Dwight had a meeting on Monday night and I didn't really feel like cooking, so I checked out what we had in the freezer and this is what I came up with:

It actually is one of our favorite Trader Joe's meals, and is good to have on hand for such "emergencies." Palek paneer is basically creamed, spiced spinach with chunks of cheese, and is best served over basmati rice. I didn't even feel like making rice, so I basically scooped it up with the naan.

On Tuesday morning I thought I'd change breakfast up a bit. For some reason, I was hungry for REAL waffles (and by real, I mean Eggos). I don't buy the bright yellow ones that we had when the kids were little; at least now you can get healthier versions. I buy the Nutrigrain whole grain ones, and they taste pretty close to home-made. I still wanted my peanut butter, and a little bit of syrup. It was a pretty tasty breakfast:

Our Tuesday dinner was boring as well: grilled chicken breast (sprinkles with Montreal spicy steak seasoning before), wilted spinach saute├ęd with some garlic, and carrots.

It looks like I eat a lot of carrots, and I guess I do. First, I love the taste, and second, I think it makes for nice color on the plate. I think I'm channelling Mrs. Craig, my junior high home-ec teacher. She always preached a well-balanced (remember the four food groups?!), colorful meal.

** A note on carrots (I know. Weird.): I love the big ones (that's what she said) sliced into sticks, but a good close second is the baby carrots by Earthbound Farms. I think the other baby ones are pretty tasteless.

Today is a busy day: a Costco run this morning for fruit (and carrots!), toilet paper, and paper towels, and then working in the yard this afternoon. It's supposed to be pretty nice and after the wind we've had this week, our back yard looks like a trash repository.

Have a great day!

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