Sunday, January 6, 2013

Showing up - kind of

I named this blog after Woody Allen's comment about how 80% of life is just showing up. While ideally I would like to post every day, my life just isn't exciting enough for that to happen. Realistically, I'd like to post four times a week; it looks like I'm falling short this week by only posting three times.

While not too exciting, here's what's been going on:  I am back on the workout wagon, and I have to say that it feels great. I told Dwight that when I complain about it, he needs to remind me how good I feel when I'm done. I got some endorphins on Friday; it's been awhile since I've felt that rush. I LOVE ENDORPHINS! I've been alternating running / walking with the stationary bike for cardio, and I am following the Abs Diet weight training regimen on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I have found muscles that I forgot I had, but it feels really good. And the good news? It's going to be warm enough today that the sidewalks should just be wet instead of icy, so I can go outside for a run this afternoon! I tried it earlier this week, but there was too much shuffling across frozen driveways that it was just counter-productive. Dwight gave me an actual Garmin watch for Christmas, so now I can feel official.

[A bit of a bummer on the fitness front: I was psyched to register for the Lincoln Half. Registration opened on 12/21, and while I know it's limited to the first 10,000 runners, Emily had signed up a few weeks after registration opened last year with no problem. It was nuts here around Christmas, so when I finally sat down to register on 12/27 - you guessed it. Sold out. Sad face emoticon right here. Emily has been searching for other races, and the most promising is in Kenosha, Wisconsin on 5/4. The only drawback to that - other than the long drive, but we can stay with Jeanie and Tom (right, Jeanie?!?!?) - is that the race is on a Saturday, so that would necessitate Friday travel. The good part is that we wouldn't have to leave right after the race; we could recover for the afternoon and evening and drive home on Sunday. It's still a maybe, but I want to get a spring race scheduled to force me to get the long runs in. It's just too easy to slack off otherwise. Aly and Alex told me that would be the case, and I didn't know just how right they are.]

Onto the food front:

Friday nights are date nights for us, and by date nights, I mean I don't cook. It stems back to when the kids were little and in gymnastics class on Friday afternoons at 4:30 - we always had a family dinner out on Friday night, alternating who got to choose what restaurant. I really think that's how the kids developed such eclectic palates. It could be Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, or just plain good old comfort food. But I digress. This past Friday we decided to try a new-to-us restaurant, Amsterdam Falafel in the Dundee neighborhood. For those of you in Omaha, it's on 50th just south of Underwood. But don't blink or you'll miss it. There was seating for maybe 15 inside, although it does a brisk takeout business.

This was the menu:


I chose the falafel sandwich, and Dwight chose the kabob sandwich. While both were pretty yummy, I'd order the kabob next time - only I'd have the salad. The bread was a huge bun with all the insides scooped out so it was just a shell. We got a choice of sauces - I chose herb, while Dwight chose garlic and spicy. And those curry fries? For someone who's never met a french fry she didn't like, these were pretty close to heaven.

Dwight's kabob sandwich

My falafel sandwich

I made a Costco trip on Friday and just had to buy berries. I've been missing them, as they were a staple of my summer breakfasts. While I love apples, oranges, and pears, I just wanted berries. The blackberries didn't disappoint, but you can tell the blueberries were out of season. I ended up freezing most of them and will throw them in smoothies.

You know who likes Costco runs? That's right. Pete hid in the box and scared Ernie every time he walked by. (What?! A cat in a box?!) For 13-year-old cats, they can still play like kitties.

Looking innocent. Don't let him fool you.
Breakfasts:

Oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. And coffee. Pure comfort food from my childhood.
PB bagel thin, fruit, cranberry juice, and coffee
2-egg scramble with leftover chopped asparagus and corn relish, fruit, and coffee

Lunches:
PBJ, carrots, and Special K crackers
Rotisserie chicken, seaweed salad, and some multigrain chips from Trader Joe's. And a Coke Zero.
Blackened chicken Caesar salad
Snacks:

These were an impulse buy at Trader Joe's. I was in the checkout line, it was 1:30, and I hadn't had lunch yet.

Leftover sweet potato wedges with 1 T PB
And dinner:

I took some of these...
...added to this (Christmas present from my sister-in-law)...
...and ended up with dinner

We had friends over for dinner last night but I didn't get a picture. I made an old stand-by that we had many times when the kids were growing up, mostly because it was easy and I could make it ahead of time and just bake. It was from my sister Jeanie's old parish cookbook, so you know it's good: place 4 chicken breasts in an oblong baking dish, top with sliced swiss cheese, mix 1/4 cup white wine with a can of cream of chicken soup and pour over the chicken and cheese, and top with 2 cups of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. And then drizzle 1/4 cup butter over all and bake at 325 for an hour. Your tummy will be happy.

I served it with Cooking Light's balsamic browned butter asparagus: roast (thick) asparagus spears at 400-425 till done (about 12 minutes). In the meantime, melt 2 T butter, and cook three minutes until browned. Immediately add 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, pour over asparagus, and toss to combine.

Add a salad with pear and kiwi slices, pomegranate seeds, and Trader Joe's champagne pear vinaigrette, and you have a pretty good dinner. And dessert...oh yes...I had made a trip to Jones Bros. Cupcakes - we had cupcakes and macarons. So much for healthy eating. But if the healthy Cathy shows up 80% of the time, I'm not going to beat myself up.

Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

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