Monday, July 2, 2012

What's on YOUR nightstand?

I was dusting our bedroom furniture last night and when I moved the pile of books on my nightstand, I was struck by the randomness of the titles:

We have a little non-fiction, a little young adult lit, a cookbook, some fantasy, a swimming instruction book, a novel translated from Spanish. And you know what's weird? I have a Kindle (well hello there, Fifty Shades of Grey!) and an iPad, both of which I use as e-readers. There's still something about holding a book and turning the pages. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing easier than an e-reader for traveling! No matter how tired I am, I can't fall asleep unless I read a bit.

Looking for Alaska is the YA book, lent to me by Emily. Hey, both my girls are high school English teachers. I have read so many good books recommended by them, two of which come to mind immediately: Thirteen Reasons Why and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I finished "Alaska" yesterday and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars is already in my Amazon shopping cart.

Baby Catcher was a birthday gift from Emily. It's different birth tales told by a midwife, and after reading just the first story, it brought me back to those incredibly painful, messy, sweaty, and ultimately miraculous times almost 29, 27, and 24 years ago. When we were having our babies in Minnesota, everyone had theirs by natural childbirth so I didn't think it was anything special - until we moved to Canton, Ohio, where Erin was born. There the births were either C-section or epidural; they had people coming into my room to watch because they had never seen natural childbirth. For real.

The Book Club Cook Book is a fun book given to me by Jeanie. The subtitle reads, "Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors". It is so much fun to read! The author took 100 books that mentioned food, and has the recipes for them, along with a short discussion. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende? You too can make spiced turkey empanadas. Harry Potter? How about some treacle tart? To Kill a Mockingbird? (BTW, favorite book and movie of all time.) Ambrosia. Water for Elephants? Oyster brie soup. You get the idea. Of the 100 books, I have read 65-and-one-half. Actually, probably more like one-fourth. I just couldn't get through (or into!) Undaunted Courage. It became such a joke that my friend Adie gave me the Scholastic picture book on Lewis and Clark's journey meant for maybe second graders.

So I am starting my half-marathon training again this week, after doing ONLY ONE DAY last week. I can't even use the oppressive heat and humidity as an excuse because, really, it isn't THAT hot at 6:00 am. I was busy calligraphy-ing wedding invitations. I found myself becoming irrationally irritated by people who lived in states with long names (I'm looking at you, Massachusetts), or those who lived on streets with long names (and you live on Massachusetts Avenue?!?!). I found that the max I could do was nine an hour and then I needed to get up and walk around and stretch. (Or empty the dishwasher, or cook dinner, or vacuum... ) Somehow, a workout didn't fit into the schedule. My husband is the best shoulder and upper-back-rub giver ever, though! I handed the envelopes off this morning, so now I can get back to work on real life. And yet again, I am on track with Week One of my training - by having Monday as a rest day! I am getting pretty good at this.

Oh - here's a quick workout:

I thought my shopping at Village Pointe looked funny on MapMyFitness. Mowing the lawn is even more hilarious!

I didn't make anything new or fabulous, but here are a few meals, beginning with breakfast. (You're getting tired of seeing the same things, aren't you?)

Protein waffle, blueberries, and almond-coconut milk

I tell you, the Oikos Key Lime Greek yogurt tastes just like frosting!

Vitatop, more key lime Oikos, and watermelon

Now for some lunches:

Whole wheat tortilla with roast beef, spinach and horseradish, and veggies on the side
Leftover chili lime chicken burger and what I call "summer salad": cherry tomatoes, baby cukes, spritzed with olive oil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and some cracked black pepper on top. Mmmmmm!

Our dinners have been really uneventful; it's too hot to eat anything heavy. And besides, we feel way better eating like this. People are now noticing that Dwight is losing weight, which always feels good. I'm so proud of him. His main reason for getting healthy, other than "it's about time" - his quote, not mine, is that he doesn't want to be the fat guy in the wedding photos!

Abs Diet Reuben Made Betta, side of sauerkraut left over from the sandwich, and watermelon
Parmesan tilapia, broccoli, and part of a baguette
Chili lime chicken burger (we love these things!), broccoli, and watermelon
Grilled cheese on light Italian bread with one slice of pepper-jack cheese and one slice of  muenster; summer salad

I'm really trying to be more conscious about getting calcium in my diet. I've alway drunk milk and eaten yogurt and cheese (and let's not forget ice cream), but I've been pretty casual about it. Besides taking a daily calcium supplement, I'm now getting at least one but preferably two other sources daily. The reason for this is that while my doctor ordered a bone density scan, our insurance won't pay for it until the recommended age of 60. I know I'm not at risk for osteoporosis, being of hardy peasant stock and doing plenty of weight-bearing exercise, but I don't want to take any chances. Especially when I like the food group involved. It's not like I have to eat meatloaf (*gag*) or anything.

I'll leave you with my latest healthy-eating tip. (Like golf, I can only have one swing thought in my head at any one time). I was talking with my friend MaryLu (yes, the MaryLu of MaryLu's Protein Pancakes fame!) and she said that whenever she's hungry and wants to snack on something, she tells herself that no, she really isn't hungry, she's thirsty, so she has a big glass of water and that usually does the trick. And actually, over this weekend, it really did work. I love my friends.


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