Monthly Archives: August 2011

Keeping Myself From Getting Bored on the Treadmill

I had a stiff neck all day yesterday. Either I slept funny or it was from lifting on Monday, but either way my neck was really bothering me. Nevertheless, I went to the gym after work anyway. I figured if running was really painful, I’d just stop but I wouldn’t know until I tried.

Remember how I was so excited about the new branch of my gym? Well, the newness wore off, I guess, and I’ve been going back to the old branch. I go to the gym at about 5:45 and the only thing on tv is news. Much to Jason’s chagrin, I don’t really watch the local news. I prefer to get my news online. Although, if I am watching, I’ll watch his channel. So, if I’m not really into what’s on tv, there’s really no point in going to the gym with the personal tvs. More than just that though, the older gym has become considerably less crowded. I’m at the point where I’m running more than the 20 minute time limit that you are allotted when people are waiting, so it’s a huge perk not to have anyone waiting.

I ended up feeling totally fine while I ran. Better than fine, even. It was one of those runs where it felt easy. I did 4 miles. I did the first two at 5.8mph and the second two at 6.0mph. Jason’s been running too. We’re doing a 5K together next weekend and he’s been doing the Couch to 5K plan. He’s at the point where he’s running roughly 25 minutes straight and has been asking me how I do it without getting bored.

Here’s what I do and it’s sort of weird. Every song, I’ll look at my ipod and see how long that song is and I’ll figure out what time it will be when the song is over. So if I’m at 11 minutes and I see the next song is 4 minutes long, I tell myself that when this song is over, I’ll already be at 15 minutes and so on and so forth. I have no idea why this helps me but it somehow makes me feel like I’m kind of ahead of myself. I also sometimes will switch up the speed when a new song comes on, but not always.

I actually have a What I Ate Wednesday post photographed, but I’ll have to post that tonight because I’m getting short on time.

If you’re a treadmill runner, how do you keep yourself from getting bored?

Cleansing Food

After a very indulgent weekend of food and wine, I felt pretty bloated and gross. So I went to the farmer’s market and bought a bunch of green fruits and vegetables. I actually didn’t realize that nearly everything I bought was green until I got home.

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Green apples, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, kale, avocados, spinach that you can’t see and limes. I think my body was subconsciously telling me something, that it needed cleansing food. I also got some red grapes, but they didn’t go with the green theme.

I know that some people rely on greasy food to combat a hangover, but I honestly find myself craving healthy food, especially vegetables when I’ve had too much to drink the night before. When I used to go out a lot, I would often get a Whole Foods salad the next morning while all my friends were getting Chik Fil-A or Waffle House. I never said I was normal. It works for me.

I wanted to get some of those chia muffins while I was at the market, but they were out. Guess I shouldn’t go on Sunday nights. Next time.

I did, however, get the ingredients to make veggie burgers and corn for tonight. I originally thought about grilling them, but by the time we got home from the gym and showered and everything, it was already 8 so we just baked the veggie burgers and corn. I used Mama Pea’s veggie burger recipe and followed it to the T.

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With the burgers, we had a side of corn. I coated the corn with 1/2 tbsp melted Earth Balance, lime juice, chili powder and salt, wrapped them up in foil and baked them for 20 minutes. This was an easy and satisfying weeknight meal.

Long weekend this weekend! We’re actually going to Las Vegas. I’ve never been. Any recommendations?

Too Many Corks

The alternative title to this post should be “In which I am reminded why I don’t go to festivals with free wine.”

Backing up.

At about 9pm on Friday night, I decided to join Laura in running the Run for the Park 5K the next morning. I’d done this race previously, two years ago, and remembered it to be a decent race. I got there around 7:15 and registered and found Laura.

The race was a little hillier than I remembered. As usual, I went out too fast and got tired after the first mile. There was a big hill in the middle which was difficult but the last part of the race had a nice downhill. I ended up finishing in 30:45. I’m okay with that. It’s not my best effort but it’s certainly not my worst either. I’m usually satisfied if I can do a race in less than a 10 minute mile and this was 9:55.

After the race, I went home to shower, took a short nap and headed back to Grant Park to go to the Corks & Forks festival. Corks & Forks is tasting event from several different Atlanta chefs and part of the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. Ten different restaurants were participating. Because I don’t eat beef or chicken, I didn’t know how much of the food I would be able to sample.

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Fortunately, a lot of the restaurants had fish. I sampled:

• tuna tartar from BLT Steak
• tuna and red snapper ceviche from Graveyard Tavern
• watermelon and tomato gazpacho from Murphy’s
• some sort of beet salad from Market
• seafood mousse from Legal Seafoods
• some sort of punch from Rosebud
• shrimp and grits from Wahoo
• key lime pie from Seasons 52

My favorite was the tuna tartar.

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And there was wine.

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I think part of the problem was that since they were tastings, I wasn’t sure how much I was drinking and drank way more than I normally would. Fortunately, my friends live walking distance from the festival, so I went to their house afterwards and promptly fell asleep on the couch.

Needless to say, I kind of feel like ass right now.

Food for Thought

I bought an heirloom tomato recently. I knew that I wanted to use it before it went bad and the first thing that I thought of was caprese salad. I had a tomato and I had basil. What I was missing was mozzarella. I thought about stopping to get some but then I thought I’d be inventive and use tofu instead. I mean, it looks like mozzarella, right?

So I had this plan. I was going to marinate the tofu in a balsamic dressing and I’d make this wonderful vegan caprese salad and it would take the blog world by storm. Only there was a problem. I didn’t have any balsamic vinegar. So I used red wine instead. And then I decided that I wanted to make it a sandwich, but I didn’t have any bread, so I used naan.

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Umm, yeah, this wasn’t exactly the OMG this is so great meal I was looking for. It was too dry, the flavors didn’t really meld and I ended up putting a bunch of hummus on it. It’s not worth posting the recipe.

It got me to thinking though. Why do I always feel like in order to have a popular blog, I need to be a good cook? Yes, I read a lot of food blogs, but the blogs that I enjoy the most aren’t really the ones full of recipes. They’re the ones that are full of stories and pretty pictures and life. And maybe a recipe here and there. Trying to come up with a recipe isn’t me. I mean, there is the rare occasion (I can never spell that – I had to try four times) when I’ll throw together something that’s really good, but more often than not, I either follow someone else’s recipe or I make something that’s just sort of eh.

But that’s okay. It suddenly hit me that I don’t have to come up with great recipes for this blog to be successful. I’ll leave that up to the real cooks. For me, I’ll just stick with stories and pretty pictures and life.

The Good and the Bad – Steamfresh Review

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program, I received four Birds Eye Steamfresh not yet released, frozen vegetable sides. About a week ago, I tried the creamed spinach.

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I love creamed spinach so it was no surprise that I really enjoyed this. I know that weird blob of cream in the middle is distracting, but if you ignore that, it was tasty and something that I’d definitely buy again.

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On Tuesday night, I wanted to make salmon for dinner. I had borrowed a coworker’s Real Simple cookbook and the curry salmon recipe caught my eye. Instead of serving the fish on rice, however, I decided to try out a bag of Steamfresh Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans.

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Now, I knew going into this that potatoes in creamy sauce is not my favorite thing but I was optimistic. However, when I took them out of the microwave and got a whiff, I knew that I wasn’t going to like them. The salmon, however, was delicious (and Jason liked the potatoes and green beans).

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I’m not a stranger to frozen veggies. I almost always have a bag of mixed peppers and onions and another bag of broccoli in my freezer that I like to use for my taco salads that I have on a weekly basis. I also often buy the Green Giant Steam in the Bag Green Beans with Almonds and eat them at work. From what I’ve read, frozen veggies have as many nutrients as fresh, maybe even more since they are packaged at their peak. When I don’t like frozen stuff, it’s usually because I don’t like the sauce masking the taste of the vegetable, which was the case with the potatoes and green beans. However, the spinach was still good.

By the way, did you know that frozen food was invented by Clarence Birdseye? Really. I did a report on it in third grade!

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