Monday, May 28, 2012

I love long weekends

Although one could argue that every day for me is a weekend, and one would be correct. But on official weekends and holidays, Dwight is also home. And I use that term loosely, because he's usually at the golf course. He did not have a tee time yesterday, however, so we decided to go to the Farmer's Market at Aksarben Village.

This is as good as it gets with my iPhone camera
My favorite husband AND my favorite cupcake shop!
The stalls were lovely; such a selection of produce! We came home with our share of goodies: tomatoes, leaf lettuce, kohlrabi, green beans, radishes, kale, and some goat cheese produced by a local cheese maker.
A rainbow of goodness
I promptly made a Big Salad for lunch, supplemented with some deli ham we had in the fridge. On the way home we realized that we should have bought a baguette, so I made do with a Flat Out wrap sprinkled with some swiss cheese and broiled.

We had dinner with friends last night, in payment for Dwight helping remove their cooktop in preparation for their granite getting laid. It was fabulous - steak, baked potatoes, salad, and grilled veggies. I didn't take a picture, but it looked (and tasted) as good as it sounds.

I got up and went for a nice bike ride this morning. I haven't been riding nearly as often as I'd like this year; I guess I fell back in love with walking. But I noticed that I'm losing the definition in my calves and triceps that came from long miles in the saddle, so I need to get out there at least once a week this summer. My legs were absolutely dead for the first three miles, but then they came alive and I felt fabulous. Talk about a crowded trail, though - everyone had the same idea as I did.

Ham and cheese with a side of green beans
We were supposed to golf this afternoon but our friends had to cancel, and we sure didn't want to play as a twosome on a day where the tee sheet was packed. I hate waiting, and we would have been waiting on every shot. So we cancelled, and I took a nap. I think I win.

My after-nap snack
Almonds are good for you!
AND you get a decent amount
Dinner tonight will be at the graduation party next door; I have known that child before he was born. Do I ever feel old!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Avoiding GI trouble details. You're welcome.

I thought I'd get out and work in the gardens this morning before the 95 degree heat with humidity to match really kicked in. After 80 minutes, this girl needed some air-conditioning.


Erin sent both Dwight and me this eCard last week; it would be funnier if it weren't totally true. When I used to take aerobic classes (remember those?!) at the Y, any time there was a new person she would invariable ask me if I was okay. Apparently when I get hot I look like I'm about to have a heart attack. I didn't want to make the graduation partygoers who were headed down the street today feel as if they needed to call 911.

It's been a busy week. We spent several days in Bismarck; had a wonderful visit with Dwight's mom and sister. As we were driving across North Dakota, I wondered what the pioneers thought when they hit the prairie. I have lived all my life (with the exception of six years in St. Paul and a brief 19 months in Ohio) on the Plains - North and South Dakota and now Nebraska. I love the wide open spaces, but wonder what people who are unaccustomed to such openness feel.



Being raised in Bismarck, Dwight knew a good walking route around one of the golf courses. We did one circle one day, and two the next. I swear it was uphill all the way. By the end of the second circle, I was pretty much hating the workout, but after a shower my body decided that it felt great. We both had MapMyFitness open on our iPhones, and both started at the exact same time. Dwight's said we went 4.9 miles, while mine said we went 6.7. Apparently I have the good self esteem app. This could make that half-marathon a bit more difficult.

I have been eating pretty strangely since we got home. Without delving into TMI territory too deeply, I have been having some GI issues. I would attribute it to eating sauerbraten, red cabbage, and potato dumplings, except that I have been feeling kind of icky for a few weeks. Instead of thinking that it was probably a virus, I jumped right into lactose and/or gluten intolerance. Damn you, Web MD. No cheese or bread?! Which would be worse? I woke up today feeling somewhat back to normal, so apparently it WAS just a virus. God forbid I should deprive myself.

You can see what I've been eating; notice the lack of anything green. It made my tummy feel just too icky to think of anything remotely resembling a salad. And apparently, I love watermelon, which is very true. One good thing about having three late summer babies was the abundance of watermelon. I bought one at Sam's, and it is SO SWEET. It is also almost gone, so I need to make another trip there, but Memorial Day weekend just wouldn't be a good time.

Dinner the night before we left. Trying to use up stuff in the fridge.
Berry protein smoothie
See? Boring. But unlikely to make my tummy hurt.
Oats in a jar. Yes, we go through a lot of peanut butter.
Dinner of basmati rice, watermelon, and cast iron tofu. (A new fave.)
Lunch the next day. So imaginative.
Breakfast today. I'm feeling back to normal.
New find. Delicious.
One serving = 160 calories. I had this with some baby carrots for lunch, but may have the other half for a snack this afternoon.
To leave you with a smile: this is our grand-dog, Ella, after bounding through the waves of Lake Michigan to retrieve her tennis ball. (On the best day of her life, as Alex said!) I could attach the video of her attacking the waves, but I don't want to be THAT person. (But it seriously makes me happy.)

Mmmm...wet dog smell
Alex caught her drying off. Cracks me up every time.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend; here's wishing you sun, relaxation, and tennis balls galore!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vigilance

source
Vig-i-lance [vij-uh-luhns] - noun. State or quality of being vigilant; watchfullness. Like the Minuteman pictured above. Or like the airman who lived in my apartment building when I lived in Grand Forks. His job was to spend 24 hours at a time underground in a missile silo, just waiting for the signal to launch those ICBMs. He may have just been trying to impress me, but he said there was one time when he had his key in and his commander had HIS key in and they were thisclose to launching the missile when they got the stand down order.

source
(On a weird side note, I always felt safe when we lived in Grand Forks, knowing that the GF Air Force Base and all those missiles would be at ground zero in the event of nuclear attack. Younger people don't understand this concept. I knew we'd be one of the first targets hit and therefore instantaneously obliterated, which was kind of comforting in a macabre way. When we moved to St. Paul, we would be a secondary target: major metropolitan area, transportation hub, etc. We had to have an actual plan then, since we would most likely survive the initial blasts. When we moved to Omaha, we were back at ground zero, with Offutt AFB here. Anyone else think like that? Anyone? No? Just me? It's amazing that any of us born in the '50s can actually function.)

But back to the reason for this post. I can see right now that this will be the most important aspect of this journey. It is all too easy to slip into complacency. "I'm doing so well that one more glass of wine (or ice cream cone, or extra helping, or martini, or fries) won't hurt." Well, I'm here to tell you that it does. And not only that, but I just feel icky when I don't eat right. I guess my body knows what it wants, and it apparently isn't that extra glass of wine or french fries.

There are a few challenges coming up: Dwight's birthday is tomorrow, we have a wedding on Saturday, and then we're headed up to North Dakota. My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook, but it's good sturdy German cooking. There aren't many fresh vegetables or fruits involved. I will have to be - what's the word? - oh yeah, vigilant.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Randomness

I have had a really busy week, and rather than going through day by day (boring), I thought I'd just throw everything at you. Who doesn't like lists?! Organized alphabetically, of course.

1.  Auto Glass. Yes, auto glass. A semi kicked up a rock that chipped my windshield, so I went to have it repaired at Metro Glass yesterday. They were at a critical point in the installation of a 300 pound windshield in an RV and asked if I could come back in an hour since all the employees were helping with this task. And because I was willing to come back, they would do it at no charge. Seriously, if you live in Omaha and need any auto glass replaced or repaired, go to Rich and his staff. They're at 88th and L. I took two dozen gourmet cookies from Kristen's Cookies in today as a thank-you, and the receptionist started crying. She said I didn't need to do that. Well, they certainly did not need to do what they did yesterday.


2.  Bike Ride. I went on a shortish ride today, but as there was a 20 mph south wind, I felt that I got a great workout. Since it was slow-going against the wind, I decided to stop and take pictures of this great mural on one of the underpasses that I have been admiring for months. I thought it was a very talented graffiti artist, but when I stopped to actually look at it, I saw that it was done by Kent Bellows Studio, a local center for visual arts. Keep in mind that I stopped at the bottom of the underpass, giving up any momentum I had gained from the downhill. You're welcome.


3.  Breakfasts. Mmmmmmm.... I felt like getting fancy last Friday so made eggs and Canadian bacon, along with fruit and some mint from our garden as a garnish. Because we're classy like that.


Today was just a container of Chobani, 1/4 cup of dry oatmeal, and some blackberries. The dry oatmeal sounds kinda gross, but if you mix it up and let sit for a minute, it isn't dry at all. The yogurt is nice and thick and takes a long time to eat, which allows the fullness messages from my stomach to get to my brain. Sometimes there is a short in that circuit.


4.  Costco. You can imagine my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the next few days. Enough said.


5.  Fun Bus. I was fortunate enough to be invited on a golf outing down to Firekeeper Golf Club, which is by Topeka, KS. Imagine sixteen people (three women and thirteen men) in an RV for three hours. (A three hour tour?)  We left at 8:00am, arrived around 11, had lunch, then played eighteen holes on a not-so-easy course. We had a lovely dinner, and then because the course is on an Indian reservation and there is a casino, we had 45 minutes to spare before we headed home.

Oh yeah.
AND my team took second.

6.  Greek Yogurt. I have always been a Chobani fan, after trying Fage and not really liking it. Erin told me about the Key Lime Oikos, and I am a convert. This stuff is delicious! I figure if both Erin and John Stamos say it's good, how can I go wrong?! I have two cartons of Chobani in the fridge to eat, then I am trying some more Oikos.


7.  Lincoln Marathon Prep. Emily came home last weekend to run the Lincoln Half-Marathon. What better way to prepare than a pretty blue margarita? (Okay, that was Friday night and the race wasn't till Sunday. She did her carbo-loading the next day.)


8.  Lincoln Marathon Race Day. You can read Emily's recap here, but the smile on her face says it all. While not quite as fast as she had hoped, she did set a PR; nine minutes faster than her last half-marathon. The finish line was the 50-yard line at Memorial Stadium; pretty cool for a Nebraska girl.


Every time I've been at a big race event, I am so inspired by the athletes. The hours and hours of training through all kinds of weather and injuries is amazing. I'm hoping that when I'm doing the Des Moines Half in October that someone looks at me and thinks, "If she can do it, so can I."

9.  New Recipe. I made a Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche that was easy and tasted pretty amazing. My quiche pan is 9-inches, so I made it in that instead of the 8-inch one called for. I don't think it made one dot of difference. The recipe serves four, so you get a pretty hefty serving.

again with the mint
10.  Pretty. Emily has a friend who makes stamped metal jewelry. My mom used to tell the kids "I love you more than all the world," and look what she had her friend make for me for Mother's Day:

I absolutely LOVE this. It says "more than all the world"
I think it looks great with the bracelet that Dwight bought me in Santa Fe last year. (Two years ago?)

Ack! Old lady skin!

Well, that's about it. TTFN!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Note to self

No exercising in heat and high humidity unless it's early in the morning. Also, the songs on the playlist make a huge difference.

I hope I don't get stopped for a traffic violation...

...because I weigh less than what it says on my driver's license for the first time since oh, EVER!!! Maybe there IS something to this eating more to weigh less. My friend Tom reminded me that muscle weighs more than fat so I shouldn't be fixated on numbers. I'm really trying. But have I mentioned I WEIGH LESS THAN WHAT IT SAYS ON MY DRIVER'S LICENSE?!?!?!

Okay. I'm better. It was another Sleepless in Omaha night due to the second night in a row of thunderstorms and me being a light sleeper. And middle-aged. I finally gave up and got out of bed at 4:30 and wrote a blog post that disappeared when I had to restart the computer because my mouse connection was lost. What about the "automatic save" feature on Google Blogspot? It may be your luck; I may be more coherent now with several cups of coffee and some food in me.

This week has been pretty dull, which is okay since last week was so hectic. But wonderful - I loved having the house full of pets and kids. We didn't get to see Emily, but she is coming home to run the Lincoln Half Marathon on Sunday. You know how I will be spending Sunday morning! And speaking of running, congrats to Erin for running a 5K last night. We seem to be doing okay for a family of non-runners. Well, except for Alex, Mr. Marathon / Ironman. He's the only one to which it comes naturally.

So back to the mundane: MONDAY'S workout was a long walk. MapMyFitness says I walked at a 5 mph pace, so either it's lying or I am getting faster. I choose to believe the latter. I've also added some heavier, more regimented weight-lifting into my schedule. Okay, I made a chart. Dork.

For Monday's lunch I had an apple and gouda cheese sausage link and an apple. I guess I was working on a theme. I would have taken a picture, but I was just too hungry to wait.

Afternoon snack was an Abs Diet Banana Split Smoothie (mmmm...) and a hard-boiled egg.

Dinner was Garlicky Baked Shrimp, a Real Simple recipe that I have made before. Still awfully tasty, served over brown rice with a side of broccoli.



I tried something new for TUESDAY's breakfast: Erin has been telling me about VitaTops, found next to the Eggos in the freezer section. I bought the Cranbran and love them. They are basically muffin tops, with only 100 calories. (There I go with the numbers again). Strawberries, a hard-boiled egg, and some juice finished the meal. Last week I was telling Aly how much I loved orange juice but haven't been drinking it because it had - wait for it - too many calories. She suggested I try Trop 50, which I mixed half and half with diet cranberry juice. Delicious! It would be good splashed with some club soda, too. And maybe some vodka. But not for breakfast. That would not be a good lifestyle choice.




I knew I would be running errands after work before I got home, so I planned ahead. I packed Alex's old Ninja Turtle lunch box with a piece of string cheese, Guava Goddess Kombucha, and a new (to me) flavor of Luna Bar: Peanut Honey Pretzel. It was as delicious as it sounds, even if I ate it in the car while driving. And talking on my cell phone, texting, and putting on my makeup. Kidding!


I thought it was pretty satisfying, but I must have been wrong because by late afternoon I was famished. I had a package of cashews and a handful of frosted mini-wheats.

Dinner was another recipe I've made before: Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce. Only I used whole wheat spaghetti and added some chicken.



And because we needed to make room in our freezer for some steaks we had ordered, I had a serving of Edy's Light Fudge Tracks ice cream. While watching The Biggest Loser. Really.

Tuesday's exercise was several hours of gardening. Not too aerobic, but I sure worked up a sweat toting bedding plants, bags of potting soil, and mulch. (I just wrote "potting soul" by mistake. That's how I feel when my hands are in it.)

WEDNESDAYS's breakfast was boring, but exercise was fun. It was the first day I was able to golf in our league, and a five-mile walk with girlfriends, coupled with as many times as I have to swing made for a good day. Any time I can break 100 is a good day, and yesterday was a good day.

haven't seen this before, have you?
Our pub just got a new menu, and I tried a new salad. It's mixed greens, topped with gorgonzola, shredded asparagus, pears, and caramelized walnuts. It was delicious and I'll order it again, but next time I will ask for the dressing on the side. I usually do, but this came pre-tossed so I thought I'd try it as is. It got a little too dressing-y for me when I got to the bottom.



I mentioned the steaks that we get. We have a supplier (sounds like a drug dealer; I don't ask questions), but you can order on-line. We get the 8-ounce filets, but there are other cuts. They come from Sioux City and are the best steaks I have ever eaten. And I live in Omaha, where we know steaks. We rarely eat red meat - maybe once a week - but due to having our supply replenished, we had steak last night, served with some leftover roasted veggies and half a baked sweet potato. The sweet potato was redundant, so after a few bites I was done. Oh, and more ice cream for dessert. We really can't have it around because I am weak where it is concerned.


This morning's breakfast: VitaTop, a banana, and lots and lots of coffee. I'm either going for a long walk or bike ride, depending how things dry out from the rain. I really don't want a stripe up my back.

Have a great day!