Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade pizza dough FAIL

You know when you get a craving for something and then something happens to keep you from getting it in your tummy? I had all the ingredients for my Sunday homemade pizza sitting in my fridge ready to go, but I realized somehow the dough went bad. The oven was already pre-heated and my toppings were all ready cut. What the heck am I going to do now?
Why, make my own dough that’s what!

On a scale of 1-10, I’d say I’m about an 8 in the kitchen. I’m a pretty good cook and an even better baker. So I thought making my own dough shouldn’t be THAT hard. I’ve always been afraid to make my own dough for some reason, so there’s no better time than now.

I found this quick no rise recipe in my favorites (I think for some reason I got this from Polly but I’m not 100% sure) It seemed easy enough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)


  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees C (190 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

This recipe sounds like it would be great if followed correctly. However, I thought it would be a good idea to use half regular flour with half whole wheat. This was mistake number one.
It didn’t say to knead or anything. So I didn’t. Mistake number 2.
And I don’t think one cup of water was enough (since whole wheat four absorbs more water than all purpose, but of course I didn’t know that until after the fact.) Mistake number 3.

As I was rolling everything out I realized I was in trouble. (No picture, the camera was charging at this point) It wasn’t a pretty sight—it wasn’t stretching, it was breaking apart instead. But I’m a fighter so dammit, this was going to work. I don’t like to waste food.

So I give to you, pizza dough fail pizza…with dough that ended up tasting more like bread than pizza crust.



Can you see how doughy like bread this looks? What a sad looking pizza I made.

Next time I’ll follow a real whole wheat pizza dough recipe. Anyone have an easy, no crazy dough utensils necessary whole wheat dough recipe? I honestly don’t want to deal with machines and waiting for things to rise (although I will wait the 20 minutes to rise if I have to.)

I ate two slices but it wasn’t really good. <Sigh.> I’ve learned my lesson: Don’t try to substitute anything while you’re making dough!!!

*Sidenote* Weird Al is one funny mutha...
“Can’t you see I’m white and nerdy? Look at me I’m white and nerdy….”

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday morning blues

Thank God for coffee and HEAB’s wonderful oatmeal in a PB jar concoction.


Being able to scrape up all the peanut butter from the sides of the jar is the best part!

I had a late night last night. I spent the entire day cleaning the new place-and boy did I clean. I scrubbed the bathtub so hard that I ended up with bloody knuckles. I used so much bleach that I made myself sick with the fumes and ended up on the couch at 7:30 feeling like poop. Then, at around 11:00, I got a phone call from my mother, in hysterics, from the hospital.
She’s OK, don’t worry. She slipped and fell in some mud and broke her ankle at a friend’s 30th birthday party, and no one was sober enough to transport her to and from the hospital (she went in an ambulance.) I’m 300 miles away, so all I could do was try calling people to help her. Since the people that were awake were drunk  and at the party, and my other friends who weren’t drunk were sleeping and have little kids, and there were NO taxis available (What??!!) she stayed in the hospital until someone was sober enough to bring her home in the morning. Soooo needless to say I didn’t have a great night last night.


She’s finally home and in her own bed and some of her friends have already come over to clean her house and cook her some food. We’re working on a plan to be sure she’s not alone for too long. Can our summer get any crazier?

On to the foot update:
I’m really happy to report that my foot feels great! I know I still need to take it easy so I plan to use the elliptical and weight train today, and then I will try to figure out a workout plan for the week that will include some more running (but not TOO much.)
I’m really excited to be able to add running back into my life—although I will admit that I was still able to stay in pretty good shape without it. I used the elliptical, lifted weights, and walked a lot while I was injured and was still able to maintain my strength and run my first 5K back with some decent speed. All the while without being in any pain, so I might have to use this as a wake up call. Do I want to give up running? No. But maybe 10Ks might have to become my new race distance. We’ll see how I do within the next few weeks. Remember, this is only a test.

I’m off. Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

First run back

Through all the moving and climbing up and down three flights of stairs, (only to haul everything back down again two days later…ugh!) my foot went through a major test that I honestly expected it to fail. I was so worried that after carrying heavy boxes up and down the stairs that I would be in pain for a while, but surprisingly (and thankfully) I was not. I gave myself a full day of recovery, moved some stuff down yesterday and felt so good today that I decided it was time to give running a chance.

And boy did I need it. Moving is stressful!

I laced up my Nike Air Pegasus (my favs) and set out for a 5K run. Knowing that it had been more than 6 weeks that I’ve been able to run, I figured a 5K would be the perfect distance—not too long, but not too short. Like Goldilocks….juuuuuust right.

I started out slow just to be sure I’d have the stamina to get me there. Honestly, since I never stopped working out, the 10 minute mile pace I started out running felt way too slow for me. So I turned it up—and ended up running my first run back since the injury in 27:57—8 minute, 50 second miles. Did I just run my first run back from being injured in sub 9 minute miles? Yes. Yes I did. And I feel awesome.

I paid attention to my foot the entire time and would not have been afraid to stop if I felt I was aggravating it. I ended my run on a sprint, then slowed it down for a five minute cool down, then I walked for five more minutes just to be sure everything was working. As soon as I came home I iced it and honestly, I really feel great. It’s definitely something that will take some time to heal completely (it’s not pain, it’s not tender, but there’s still something there that reminds me I’m not exactly 100%) but it’s good enough to slowly start adding some mileage. Tomorrow will be another test…if the foot hurts or aches at all tomorrow, I will go back to strictly using the elliptical for another few weeks, but I’m really hoping I won’t need to.

On a food note, I accidentally bumped into those Mary’s Gone Crackers that I’ve been reading about. I have to say that I think these will definitely be my replacement for my saltine crack-er addiction.


Check out these stats:

Now I just have to stop eating my graham crackers and Nutella…well, maybe not the Nutella…
I actually tried to eat Nutella on a slice of toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel Bread figuring it’s much more natural than the graham cracker, but it was too sweet for my taste. I really need to knock the graham cracker kick though because I just looked at the ingredients and wow are they full of crap. Now if I could just find some Mary’s Gone Crackers graham cracker replacement…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The joys of moving

Wondering where I’ve been?





At least Marley could get some sleep.
We’ve spent the last two nights sleeping on the third floor studio in the house of our new apartment. We have way more stuff than showed in the pictures but they are spread out between all three floors of this house. Long story short, we had to leave our last apartment, which was absolutely beautiful and lovely, because our landlords refused to let us live there on a month-to-month basis while we figured out job situations. After a year of keeping their condo neat and clean, paying our rent on time every month, dealing heating bills of $450 in November, $500 in December and $550 January and February, (not to mention Dennis and the 6 weeks he spent in the hospital and 8 weeks he spent recovering…since that’s a completely different story) and a broken heater in the back bathroom that caused us to lose 2 months of its use, we were told we had to move somewhere else. That’s OK though, you see, because I believe everything happens for a reason. We don’t know what that is yet but we will sooner or later.  Selfishness and greed only gets you so far in life my friends, and my landlords will be reaping what the sew at some point.

And I’ve also found that my fool proof steel cut oats recipe has failed me. I had to use this microwave to make breakfast in this temporary situation:


It’s probably 25 years old and nothing I told you guys to do for the perfect bowl of oats worked. 50% power on here barely warmed my bowl. I guess I learned my lesson there too—every microwave (and bowl) is different. But for the most part it has worked on nearly every newer modeled microwave I’ve used, so that’s a plus right?

We will be moving out of the studio this evening and will be very glad to sleep in our own bed, have a hot shower, and unpack what we can so I can cook again. I’m very grateful to have a roof over my head, but I also can’t wait to get back into a place of my own.

Until the next move….

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The best way to cook steel cut oats

Last week there was a sale on organic oatmeal at our local supermarket – 2 for $5. Sweet! I eat oatmeal every morning this is PERFECT!
Well, that’s until I opened the container and realized they were steel cut oats. UGH!
I was so upset because they look different, and I was obviously going to have to cook them different. Why didn’t I read the damn box??

Well I’m happy to report that after giving them a try, I love them. And I actually think they’re slightly better than rolled oats. They’re more filling too. One serving with my regular toppings of 1 scoop of PB, 1 Tbsp. flax and one banana keeps me full for around 5 hours. 5 HOURS?! Yes. Not that I like to go that long without eating but I’ve gotten caught running around and realizing I went that long beyond lunchtime and was absolutely fine. That never happens with me.

I also found that it takes less to fill me up for the rest of the day too. My lunches and dinners are much smaller because I’m still slightly satisfied from my breakfast. Who can complain about that?



Okay, so let me take a step back to talk about the main difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats. It’s the cut. Rolled oats are rolled out, flattened, and slightly steamed or cooked a little for a faster cooking time. Since rolled oats are rolled out, the texture is much different than steel cut oats, which are the whole, raw oat cut into smaller chunks.


They almost look like bird seed or cut up corn kernels.
Vs. Rolled oats

You all know what a regular bowl of oatmeal looks and tastes like. Steel cut oats have much crunchier, nuttier flavor and texture.
I’ve read in many places that some people think steel cut oats have more soluble fiber even though the containers both say they have the same amount. But I do feel that because the steel cut oats are not pre-cooked to advance the cooking process, more water is allowed to be absorbed into the small kernels, ultimately leaving you feel fuller longer.
And yes, with more absorption means a longer cooking time. This is the negative that people find with steel cut oats; they are a pain in the ass to cook. I went through many-a-dry bowls of this oatmeal before I figured out how to make it work. Warning: I am a microwave person. I know many people don’t like to use them, but they help me save time and dishes. If you don’t like to use a microwave, these oats will take up to 20 minutes to cook. That’s not including the time it takes for them to cool down and thicken up enough for you to eat.

This is how I make steel cut oats in under 10 minutes, all in the same time that my coffee is brewing:

  • 1 serving rolled oats (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk * The extra liquid is very important to cooking these properly!! Otherwise they will be way too dry and you’ll have to add it in the end anyway.*
  • sprinkle cinnamon

Place the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and cook on medium power for 5 1/2 minutes. Cooking on medium power is the key here people. If you put it on high, the oats bubble over and overflow. This has happened to me so many times and I can’t tell you how much I hate losing half, if not all of my breakfast--especially when I’m at work. I found cooking it on high is too much heat for any kind of oatmeal making, so using medium heat allows them to cook more thoroughly without any fear of overflow.

While the oats are microwaving, I clean out my coffee carafe, measure out and grind my coffee (I will never go back to pre-ground beans again) and start making my coffee. By this time, the oats are just about finishing up round 1 of cooking.
When the oats are done, take them out and stir them. Stir them well. Place back in the microwave for another 3 1/2 minutes on medium power.
During this time, my coffee is just about done. I pour my coffee into my mug, mix with milk and agave nectar, and bring to the table (or my desk.)
When the microwave beeps to tell you round 2 of cooking is complete, they will look watery but they need to look like that. Not so watery that they look like they haven’t cooked at all, but watery enough to give some time for the oats to continue absorbing the liquid. Oatmeal always thickens after it’s done cooking! Give the bowl a good stir and add whatever ingredients you wish. I add one small banana, 1 tbsp. whole flax seeds, and 1 large tsp. crunchy PB. I stir again really well and then I get the perfect consistency.


I like them to be a bit more creamy so if you like yours a little thicker, just cook them for another minute on the second time around, and next time add 1/4 cup less liquid.

It is important to know that the first round of cooking is just a prep. If you don’t take them out to stir, you will be waiting on them forever. I’ve tried just putting them in for 8 minutes to cook all in one step and I still had to stir and put it back in for another few minutes. If you don’t do it in two steps, it will not work! (as least it never has for me) And for some people who say they don’t have time, I found that you can do other stuff in between: i.e. make coffee, or on days that I’m rushing, finish getting dressed, put on my makeup, etc. If you don’t have 10 minutes to make breakfast, you can do like I do and wait until you get to work to make them. Most work places (most) have microwaves available. So when you get to work, put the stuff in the micro while you’re starting up your computer and getting settled in. (however some bosses would rather your breakfast be done before your workday begins. When I had this type of boss, I got to work 10 minutes early. I didn’t even miss that time in the morning. It’s all worth it to me for a good, hearty breakfast.)

I also know there are people out there who just don’t like to eat breakfast. I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t tell you that you need to change that dirty little not-habit, but this is a good post for you too just in case you feel hungry enough to try.

I still will eat a bowl of rolled oats if I want to do a cold breakfast (overnight oats) but I still don’t seem to stay full and as satisfied from rolled oats as I do from the steel oats.

Have a safe and healthy Saturday folks! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A little confession

It’s been just over five weeks since my 15K (click to review my race here) and exactly five weeks since I realized something was wrong with my foot. After taking a full week off from everything to recover and four full weeks of just walking and using the elliptical trainer, I decided it was time to try a short run.

Now don’t worry—I am smart and I know what I can and can’t handle. I’ve been working very hard at keeping my cardio up so I don’t have to start from scratch again, but obviously the foot is what I need to focus on. I walked for 5 minutes to warm up, ran for 10 and walked for 5. I told myself that if at any time while on the treadmill I started to hurt, I would get off immediately.

That 10 minutes of running was awesome. I felt great and I didn’t feel any pain or pressure at all, and it just flew by. Although I wanted to keep going, I stopped myself and then used the elliptical machine for the rest of my cardio session. However, on my way home from the gym I started to feel guilty.

“Should I have done that? What was I thinking? Ugh what if I just aggravated it again? I’ll have no one to blame but myself!”

I came home and iced it for 20 minutes (using frozen peas, mind you) and I will admit, it hurt a little, but I figured the real test would be how I felt today. I feel great. Not enough to go running again, but enough to know that I can slowly start incorporating it back into my workouts.

Training for the Team Challenge 1/2 marathon for Chrons and Colitis starts next month, so I will only allow myself to increase my runs by 10% twice a week. I don’t want to push it, so I figure if I run slow, short runs to start, I can gauge how I feel when the training starts. If I don’t think I can handle it, I’ll pull out and plan to walk the race instead. If I’ve learned anything in this last 5 weeks it’s to appreciate my body for what it can do. If this is a sign that I shouldn’t be running long distances anymore, then so be it, but if I don’t try to slowly get myself back into the game I will never know. Hence the name of the blog, my competitive nature will not let me give up without a fight! (although in my older age I realize I might have to give in much sooner than before. <sigh>)

Also I wanted to comment on this:
A got an email from yesterday that blew me away. It was a marketing campaign for MGD 64. They’re trying to get people with active lifestyles to promote MGD 64 by showing other fit peeps how they can incorporate it into their active lifestyles. Read about it here.

First of all, if I want to have a beer, I’m going to have a BEER. None of this 64 calorie crap. Give me the good stuff. Since I know how to drink in moderation, one GOOD beer isn’t going to do any damage. This is just promoting crappy low carb/low cal beer so you can drink more of it. If any of you have not read HEAB’s post on refueling, I suggest you check it out. We need to remember that exercising and being healthy is about balance and joy, not about working your ass off so you can eat and drink shit. Plain and simple. What’s the point?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It’s HOT up in here


Some of you may have already seen this picture but I thought it was worth sharing again. It’s oppressively hot and humid outside and when it’s this hot, Marley is NOT a happy guy. He has to hang out in the bathroom because it’s the coolest spot in the house. Poor guy. (Don’t worry, no kitties are suffering in our apt. We put the AC on in the office and have all congregated in there for now.  The kitties are much happier, and so are we.)
I was hoping to go for a walk around the river later but I’m assuming it’s going to be MUCH later than expected.
Stay cool everyone!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Thanks to Jessica for noticing that this is my 100th post!! Woo Hoo!!
I’ll keep it a simple one.
I don’t think I’m alone when I look back at how much I complained about how we lost half of our summer to cool, rainy weather. Well, those days are gone. It is HOT outside. 92 and grossly humid. For ya’ll down south this is normal, but for us in the north, this is brutal.

But, it’s better than no summer at all right?

So I decided yesterday to spend a few hours by the Charles river with my book Midwives. My friend Elizabeth passed this book my way and I finally finished it yesterday. It was OK, not a favorite but good enough to finish. And for all you Oprah fans out there, it was one of her book club books. I am not a big fan of her, but I read it anyway.

IMG_2533  IMG_2534

IMG_2535 IMG_2536

No I’m not naked. Ever since I got my new bra I’ve been able to break out all of my tube tops that I’ve neglected all summer. I was trying to be super cool about taking my own picture and felt so silly that I put the camera away and left shortly after. I didn’t want to be that person.

It’s nice sometimes to take a step back and just relax. It’s something that I’ve always had a hard time doing. I might be a procrastinator and a wee bit lazy sometimes, but I honestly don’t give myself enough time to just relax. Part of finding balance is taking time to stop.
We all need to take time to appreciate where we are. Right now. Today. Don’t even plan it, just do it. It doesn’t have to be long…whether it’s a quick yoga session, a walk around the block, reading a good book or just taking a few minutes to listen to your favorite song, we all need to remember to breathe.

So go do it and then tell me what you did.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What a weekend!

I’ll have to admit…most of the time my weekends are pretty boring. I usually spend my weekends cleaning, cooking, lounging (most of the year there’s some kind of professional sport on TV that we’ll end up watching) and either working out at the gym or going for a walk or run around the Charles River. I don’t normally go out and I rarely have friends over….mainly because we live in an annoying part of town that makes it, well, annoying for people to come over and vise versa.

But this weekend was packed to the brim with stuff going on and gorgeous weather. Who can complain about that??

It started on Thursday when I met my friend Amanda for a walk around the Charles. I never get to walk around at night but I was feeling an evening stroll and I knew Amanda would protect join me.
We walked about 4 or 5 miles on Thursday night and of course I forgot my camera so I couldn’t take pictures of the skyline (it was beautiful.) It all goes in part of my love/hate relationship with this town.

Then early Friday afternoon, Dennis’ mother and sister Chris drove in from upstate NY so we spent Friday afternoon walking around. We started with lunch at the Purple Shamrock, but unfortunately I found that a chicken Cesar salad with no dressing was not the right choice for a lunch that needed to hold me over for 6 hours. We spent the next 2 hours walking around the city and I was ready to gnaw my arm off while waiting for our dinner!
Dennis made some kick ass lasagna but it wasn’t ready until 8:30. I ate our dinner so fast that I had no time to take a picture…it was THAT good. As hungry as I was, I have to admit it was worth the wait. (I’m not a huge lasagna person but I love his recipe.)
I love how much Dennis likes to cook. (He’s the cook and I’m the baker although I can put together some mean dinners myself)

Saturday morning I took Chris to see some more of the city. We spent about 2.5 hours just walking around and catching up on all things life. We started out on the Cambridge side of the Charles (by Trader Joe’s! My favorite spot!) and walked all the way around to Fenway Park so Chris could see where her favorite Red Sux Sox play. (Sorry Chris, I couldn’t resist)
IMG_2513 The infamous Citgo


I’m not a Sox fan but I love baseball and I more than appreciate this historical venue. And I appreciate the rivalry. It’s what makes baseball baseball.

After our 5 or more mile walk, we bid farewell to the family and I got ready to meet up with the Healthy Living Blog Summit girls!

One thing about Boston is that it is really touristy in the warmer months. There is so much history here and people come in droves….like the summit ladies. So when 40+ of us met up at the Radisson Hotel in the theater district to walk across town to the North End to go to the Fisherman’s Feast Italian Festival, I should have known it was going to be chaos. But we still found a way to have a good time.

We walked another 2 miles or so to get to the North End (after taking a detour) and after about 10 minutes realized there was no way we could walk in this group of people. It was PACKED. And the streets in the North End are so small that you could barely move (or breathe.) So we broke out of our group to find a place to eat with the intention of meeting back up at a beer tent to move on.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, I walked off with two lovely ladies, Jessica and Catherine, and we found a hole in the wall type bar/restaurant with AC (yay!) to grab a bite.

Jessica on the left is a Registered Dietitian who shares so many of the same opinions as I do about food and trying to get kids to understand nutrition at an early age. She also works with kids in the public school system (!!) She’s a local girl (western Mass) so we will definitely be meeting up again. *Side note…Jessica said she won’t hate on me for being a Yankees fan. AND she got to meet Eddie House. Hoorraaaay for Jessica!!!*

Catherine is from the Baltimore area and was very kind enough to share her amazing stories with us as well. She doesn’t have a blog at the moment but she’s thinking of starting one up very soon! I hope she does!

Although I was sad not to have met back up with the other ladies, I was very glad I was able to meet and hang out with Jessica and Catherine. They were really friendly and surprise!! They liked to talk just like ME! It was a fun time and I’m sure we’ll be in touch.

(BTW, my boobs aren't really this big. Thank Victoria's Secret and their Ipex body shaping seven-way bra. One of the first things to shrink since my most recent 15 pound weight loss was in my breasts, where I lost an entire cup size. This bra has helped me tremendously and I didn't notice it until I saw this picture. Thanks VS!)

Who goes out to hang out with a bunch of people they’ve never met before? We do. (yeah we’re all weirdos and a bunch of nerds but if you’re reading, you are too!!)

Today is another beautiful day. I’ve walked about 15 miles this weekend already but I don’t think I can let this day slip by me without another stroll around the rivah. However, since my foot was swollen last night by the time I got done with my day, maybe I’ll keep the stroll to a minimum and bring a book to read instead.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jackie Warner and chocolate milk

Hello All! It’s finally Friday! And the sun is back out! WOO HOO!
I think it’s sad that it’s August and I have to be happy about the sun. The weather up here has been insane all summer long.  (I say that as if I live in Canada or Alaska or something.)

So I was talking to one of my BFFs Liz about diversifying my workouts and she told me I should look into buying Jackie Warner’s Workout One on One Training with Jackie. Liz graduated with a Phys. Ed. degree and was a personal trainer at New York Sports Clubs for three years while working on her masters to be a teacher. She is also a former soccer teammate with a rockin body. She has a 2 year old daughter and if you were to look at her you’d never know. She is naturally (and luckily) smaller in frame, but she’s also worked very hard to tone her body, especially after the baby. I asked her what she did to get her rockin body back and she said weight training is what helped her most.

Liz and I giving her twin sister Amy a bride sandwich. This picture was taken four months after Liz had her daughter. She had lost 10 pounds in that time by weight training, and still lost another 5 pounds after without trying. Can you believe that after 10 years of being BFFs with these two that I can’t find any other recent pics? And this was from October of 2007?!

Upon her suggestion, I ordered Jackie Warner’s Workout: One on One Training with Jackie. As soon as it gets here, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about it.

Have anyone of you guys out there tried her DVD?

OK now on to the chocolate milk.

I don’t drink much milk but I do love me some soy milk. Part of the reason for my massive weight gain in college was my love for Nestle’s Nesquik full fat milk that was available to us via food points on my meal plan. One serving had 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 30 grams of sugar. Each container had about 2.5 servings. I drank this about 4 times a week…you do the math. (this, on top of mozzarella sticks and whatever crap I could get my hands on just before the late night session of the food center closed)
Even though this made me SO SICK every time I drank it, it was like a drug. It was SO GOOD and I couldn’t stop going back for more. (I can’t say my late night munchies were exactly controllable if you know what I mean)
Since my college years I have given up all things drink that have calories (except beer, wine, and soymilk) and focus on water, unsweetened teas and of course, coffee. But I have found out recently that chocolate milk is the best thing to drink after a workout—especially after lifting.

Now, I can’t lie, I’ve actually known this for quite some time, but I was just reminded by my Women’s Health magazine, so I thought I’d share it.
According to the magazine:
There's way more to milk than just calcium. In fact, it's a damn near perfect food, giving you a lot of valuable energy while keeping your calorie count low, says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D. The chocolate kind is loaded with calcium, vitamins, and minerals just like the plain stuff, but new studies confirm that milk with a touch of cocoa is as powerful as commercial recovery drinks at replenishing and repairing muscles.

So go have a glass of low-fat chocolate milk (or chocolate soymilk) after your workout. What a great way to kick off your weekend!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A new kind of running for my ladies out there

Since I’ve been dealing with this “stress fracture” I’ve been taking it very easy. This coming Wednesday will mark  four weeks since I’ve attempted to run. I still workout 3-4 times a week, giving myself a day of rest in between not to overwork my foot and for the most part I’ve been feeling great.

However, Houston, we have a problem.

After adding the orthotics to my sneakers, my knee has been fabulous. I haven’t had any knee pain (usually the knee will hurt even without running) but I really think they is the cause of my stress fracture.
While I’ve been wearing the orthotics to the gym, I haven’t been using them in my walking sneakers (AKA my Sketchers that I wear around campus while I’m working.) Last week I decided to put them in my Sketchers because I felt I needed to get used to them, and only then did I start to feel the pain in my foot come back. It wasn’t anything major, but enough for me to notice a difference.

But yesterday’s walk clarified it for me. My foot does not like these orthotics.

I set out for a nice, long walk around the Charles River yesterday so I could get my exercise outdoors. (I’ve been going to the gym to use the elliptical and balance ball and I’ve been missing my outdoor runs a lot) While I was walking around I realized that my foot was really starting to bother me, so I had to turn around and try to get back in as little pain as possible. I walked about 5 miles total, but my foot ached all night last night and like in the beginning, the pain shot all the way up to my hip.  I’ve walked about that much at work with no problems throughout these past few weeks so I didn’t think a long walk would damage me. Common sense says to ditch the orthotics but it’s really been helping my knee. UGH!

Views from the Charles:

  IMG_2207 IMG_2054

 IMG_2055 IMG_2053

OK now on to the fun stuff.

Back in April I ran a 5K in Nashua, N.H., that I found while stumbling across the local running blog scene. While at the race  I noticed someone taking a lot of pictures and thought, “This must be the author of the blog I was reading!” and like the friendly journalist I am, asked her if she had a blog. She was shocked (and grateful) that I recognized her,  so we chatted for a bit.

This was my silly “I just beat my best 5K time!!!!” picture at the Otter Run 5K in Nashua.

I recently checked out her blog Trail Pixie Trespas, and found two new amazing things: pacing and the Nuu Muu.

Let me start out by saying I am not being paid to write about the Nuu Muu, nor have I received anything from the company. I saw Emily’s review and how cute she looked sporting the Nuu Muu, so I asked her if I could post her link to my blog. These look super cute and I know some of you out there really enjoy wearing running skirts, so I thought this would be something to pass along. Check out Emily’s review here.

She also talks about pacing for longer races and it sounded amazing. I know for a fact that I would never have finished my 15K in the time I did if it wasn’t for my friend Ann who pushed me through those last two miles. I run alone about 99.9% of the time, and now I am dreading having to run my 1/2 marathon (if this foot ever heals!) by myself. That’s why when I realized there are actually people who help get you through the end of your Ultras, I said, That’s AWESOME! I wanna do it!!!

Check out Emily’s blog for more info on the Nuu Muu and see how awesome pacing is.

Also, I wanted to point out how fabulous my dinner was last night.
Who would have thought that I would start using Almond Butter as my main condiment?


And this is just part of what got me through the foot pain. What a stinkin cutie! Nothing like sleeping on our moving boxes…at least the cats can see the fun in packing.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mornin’ Lovins

I might lose some readers by saying this but I guess I’ll just have to deal.

I’m a Yankees fan.

Yes folks, I live in Boston and I am a Yankees fan. 
Dennis is not. He’s a Red Sox fan.

Below: Us at a Yanks/Sox game at Fenway Park 2006.

Me and dennis fenway

We were sitting just above the media box when one of the photographers spotted us. He thought it was so funny that we were an “intermixed couple” so he offered to take our picture.


This was at another series in 2005 at Fenway.

So those of you who follow baseball (and even those who don’t) understand that there’s a major rivalry going on here. And we’re in the middle of a four game series. There’s no doubt about it, one of us is going to bed mad when the Yanks and the Sox play each other. It’s just a game, yes, I know, but dammit, we’re die hard and there’s nothing we can do about it. Last night’s game kept us up late going into 15 innings, so when Marley tried to wake us up nicely this morning for his breakfast, neither of us were feeling it.

He was not happy to be ignored so when he ran across my legs at 9:00 this morning, I woke up very quickly. 26 pounds of fierce on my shins followed by a “MEOW!” isn’t always the most fun way to wake up.

These cats are funny. They have a routine and they like to stick with it.  After I drag myself out of bed to feed them, Dylan comes running over with a friendly “love me” meow. He likes to play in the morning. Once he’s done with me, he runs across the house to get attention from Dennis.

Keep in mind, Marley is eating this entire time.

IMG_2450  IMG_2448

My buddy playing with my stuffed soccer ball (I’ve had this for about 16 years.) He loves this thing! Marley—not so much.

Moving on to my attempt at making healthy stuffed peppers.

The Recipe:

  • Six whole bell peppers (red, yellow or orange preferred)
  • One pound lean ground turkey
  • 1C. brown rice
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper and brown in skillet on medium-temperature.
  3. In the meantime, cook the rice with half the amount of liquid (using chicken stock rather than water will add flavor) and half the time as noted on the box directions. Once the rice mixture is transferred to the peppers, the liquid in the peppers will cook the rice the remainder of the way in the over. Be careful not to over cook the rice before filling the peppers as it will get soggy.
  4. Add the can of tomatoes, liquid and all, into the skillet with the ground beef.
  5. Once the rice is done, add that too to the skillet along with the minced garlic and salt and pepper.
  6. Combine all ingredients well.
  7. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove all the seeds from inside.
  8. Take your meat and rice mixture and fill the peppers to the top. If there's any extra stock from the rice, add it to each individual pepper. After the peppers are full, put the tops back on.
  9. Cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil and throw the dish into the over for 50 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

I found this recipe online when I Googled Healthy Stuffed Peppers.

IMG_2456 IMG_2454

They were OK. I really wanted this to be an awesome recipe but it lacked something…and since they said not to cook the rice all the way through, I didn’t and it was hard. Next time I’ll just make the stuffed cabbage I wanted to make in the first place. I thought Dennis would like the peppers better. Oh well. Plus, peppers give me heartburn big time. Boo.

I’ll leave you on a positive note with more kitty lovins. Enjoy your weekend!

Above: Marley hates it when it’s hot!
Below: Sharing the window


Sunday, August 2, 2009

We're Doug and Carrie

I love The King of Queens. I joke with Dennis about how in 10 years it will probably be my mom in our basement causing the same problems that Arthur Spooner causes. Not that I’d put my mom in the basement, but you get the idea.
Well, my friend Elizabeth confirmed it today. After spending the afternoon with us, she said that we remind her of Doug and Carrie.

I thought it was hilarious.

Of course, Dennis used it as a way to pick on me.
Dennis: “Carrie’s the psycho one. Ha ha! Elizabeth thinks your psycho!”
Me: “No! Doug’s the chunky and lazy one, so maybe she’s saying that you’re chunky and lazy!”
Dennis: “I’d rather be chunky lazy Doug than psycho Carrie!”

We’re Doug and Carrie. I can handle that! (I think…)

I made some interesting eats this week but I only have pictures of one of the meals. (BOO!) My camera chip is being funky – it keeps locking up on me which prevents me from taking pictures.

We watched this show on the Food Network about best breakfasts, and one chef mentioned this pasta/egg dish. She said it was the perfect breakfast for those late night shifts where she doesn’t get to bed until 7 or 8 a.m. It’s basically fresh pasta cooked al dente, then added to a pan and cooked up with scrambled eggs as your sauce and any veggies you want.
I’ll admit, I thought it was strange at first, but I decided to give it a shot.

I present to you….Carrie’s Nicole’s egg ‘n pasta dinner!



So as you can see, I cooked up some asparagus and mushrooms for a few minutes in a pan with olive oil and garlic while the pasta (whole wheat) was cooking. I only used 1/2 cup of pasta since I knew the eggs would be filling.
Then I scrambled 1 whole egg and 1 egg white. When the pasta was done, I drained it and threw it in the pan with the veggies and immediately added the eggs. I cooked everything together, threw on some fresh parmesan cheese and VIOLA! It was complete. It took me about 20 minutes total. And I have to say, it was pretty darn good.

This afternoon we took the chance on the rain (that we never really got) and hung out in our yard. Now, I don’t know about you but I love me some good, homemade potato salad. Dennis really likes pasta salad, so I don’t make it very often. Plus I’m trying to stay away from mayo because it’s pretty gross. Today I decided to make some kick ass potato salad with plain Greek yogurt and some garlic hummus, and you know what? It was actually good! I’m really super picky with my potato salad. I only eat my own or my mom’s. I’ve tried so many other ways to make it and only like it MY way so it says a lot that I liked it with the yogurt. Food for thought ( pun intended) next time you’re looking for a mayo alternative.

I will leave you with some really nice pictures of the men’s boathouse (rowhouse) at Harvard. This building was built in 1900 after a fire destroyed its previous boathouse. When Harvard built this building, they were told not to build it out of wood…so they used slate instead. It’s an awesome building.

IMG_2414 IMG_2436 IMG_2421 IMG_2431 This door is awesome!