Thursday, August 25, 2011


It has not been the best 24 hours. 
It all started last night prior to yoga.  My lower back had been bugging me a little all day, so I was trying to stretch before yoga...and ended up overstretching something in my back, right above my left hip.  Yoga did not help.  I hoped it would go away overnight; it did not; I went to Bar Method this morning anyway and some of it was fine, some of it was not.  I am currently icing, going to invest in some heating pads this afternoon, and have accepted that I may have to actually take a rest day at some point this weekend.  It is really frustrating.  I don't want to do it.  I'm going to try yoga tomorrow morning and hope that maybe it helps.
It also did not help that right after Bar Method, as I was pulling out of my parking space, a crazy lady decided to plow into me and then be a complete jerk about it.  It has not helped my stress level or my back pain.
As a result, I have been stress eating like crazy.  I am...weirdly okay with this as it is something I now do rarely, instead of on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I just had what has to be the most definitively satisfying breakfast I've had in awhile.  Okay, except for the chorizo benedict (yes, be jealous, it was incredible) that I had in Reno last weekend.  Worth the 8 hour drive just for the food.  So I had the most satisfying breakfast I've made for myself in awhile.
If you can get past my terrible photography skills, you might be like, um, that looks like an omelet and I thought you were all about veganism.  You would be correct.  I was
And then on a whim I got Real Food out of the library.  I am only like two chapters in so I should probably finish it before coming to definitive conclusions, but even in the first few chapters, the author makes a pretty good argument that meat and dairy are not the enemy, processed food is.  And I will be the first to admit that while vegan, I'm thrilled when there's something gross and processed (hello, Oreos!) that I can eat, and I will.  I started reading the ingredient list on my almond milk this morning and I was like, hm, that's all a bit scary.  I put it in my smoothie anyway because I'm a big believer in not wasting food, but it's doubtful I'll be buying more.
Ultimately, I'm a believer in the fact that no book can tell you want to do and that you should figure out what works for you and your body.  I know I've generally felt better while vegan, but that may have a lot to do with the fact that I'm eating more fruits and vegetables, not necessarily that I'm not eating meat.  Veganism also works for me because dairy tends to be one of those foods I wildly overindulge in (hello, my friend cheese), and there are certain things, like coconut milk ice cream, that I prefer to the dairy version as they seem to have some redeeming nutritional qualities.  Also, I am terrible at cooking most meat, and I really don't much care for chicken in any recipe where it's not slathered with cheese and/or cream sauce.  Also, I have not looked recently, but I'm pretty sure all this organic grass fed business is going to be expensive.  So where does that leave me?  I think I'm going to stick to cooking mostly vegan protein for myself, but when I really want it, I'll be adding back in organic/free range/hand massaged/whatever meats, and eggs and butter (organic, I suppose) are going to start finding themselves being regulars in my fridge again.  I'm also going to try and cut out pretty much anything that comes in a box; if the ingredient list has more than five things on it or I can't pronounce any of them, it's not going in my shopping cart.
So, back to breakfast.  Inspired by the book and the fact that I actually have eggs and cheese in my fridge, I decided to make eggs.  They were originally going to be scrambled, but they poured so nicely into the pan that I thought I'd try for omelet territory.  It went...better than usual for me.  I also made my usual raspberry mocha smoothie because I had coffee in the fridge that I didn't drink yesterday, and because there wasn't actually as many scary ingredients in my protein powder as I thought there might be. 
And then I did something really weird.  I usually hate eating alone, probably because we are from childhood eating most of our meals either with family or in a group at school (at least I was; we were a sit at the table family; food was never eaten in front of the tv).  As I live alone (and even when I had a roommate, we never at the same thing or at the same time), I usually compensate for my alone-ness by doing something on the computer or watching TV while eating.  At the library, I also got out Naturally Thin (had some useful insights so it's vaguely worth reading but definitely don't spend money on it), and there's a lot in there about mindful eating and really enjoying your food.  So today, I sat down at my recently decluttered kitchen table, and for ten minutes, I just sat and ate and focused on my food.  And it was delicious.  In general, I'm not much of a cook, so this was surprising.  Maybe it's just that I haven't had one in awhile, but the omelet was perfect and light and fluffy and the combination of the eggs with herbs and the melted cheese was just, wow, for something that took me all of five minutes to make.  And thus, I realized that there really is no excuse for Lean Cuisine to be a part of my life anymore. 
Totally perfect breakfast.  450 calories (550 if you count the banana I had before spin).  I realize the one part of my whole food thing I need to get over next is the calorie counting compulsion, but as a former Weight Watcher, I feel like I need to have numbers somewhere in my life to keep things under control.  But it's something I think I'm going to try and work on.
Wow this was long.  Moral of the story:  Eggs good, convenience food bad!  And now, to Bar Method.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Long run fail

So I slept terribly last night.  Maybe it was the wine.  Maybe it was the cat meowing and coughing up hairballs all night.  Maybe it was nerves for the run.
I managed to get up on time and made it to meet J...and we only ended up running about two miles.  We did the whole 3.1 mile loop twice; we just walked the vast majority of it.  This (I am telling myself) was as a concession to J, who isn't in as good of shape as I am, and who doesn't mind walking part of the half marathon.  My goal is to run it all, which means I need to run with her for fewer of my runs, or add an extra run to my schedule.  Obviously I'm going to have to start doing my long run on my own if I ever want to build up any endurance, and I'm playing with the idea of adding something short but fast one day a week on my own.  Le sigh.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things are looking up for ol' Liz Lemon

Today was I think what they call a game changer.  Two days ago, I was complaining of epic boredom in my life.  So of course, yesterday, as I was bailing on work in favor of Bar Method after a terrible afternoon, I ran into a coworker who pulled me into his office to tell me he'd found me a new work assignment.  I thought it wasn't a big deal.
Turns out, it is, I'm switching projects and bosses and buildings and it's all happening really fast and I'm incredibly excited but really nervous about having actual responsibility at work for the first time in awhile.  I'm also going on my first "long" (five miles, whatever, I'm a beginner) tomorrow morning, so I guess suddenly "it's all happening!"  (Goal: Work as many 30 Rock quotes into this post as possible.) 
So in celebration of work and to carb load for my long run (yes, I know you don't have to carb load for five miles, but it's the first time I've done it and I felt it warranted something), I made pasta carbonara (yes, I know this isn't vegan) and I may have had a smidge more red wine than is strictly necessary.  We shall reassess how this feels in the morning. 
So, things are going well.  And, based on the fact that in my experience, realizing your problems on the Internet helps them resolve themselves, I will point out to the magic Internet Fairies that work and workout life are on the up and up for me, so if they could maybe just also make my ex realize that I am fantastic, or send a better new boy my way ( please not the one that hit on me at work today, please, please no), that would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In a rut

So before this evening's yoga class, my friend C and I were trying to figure out why this month has been so miserable at work, and we realized it's because we're wildly bored.  Nothing new or exciting is happening, so everything feels like a slog.  And I realized that's true of my life, as well.  There's no drama with any of my friends, my love life is a dud, and even my workout routine is getting repetitive.  I realized that this is why I'm so excited about running.  Finally, something new and exciting that I've never really done before. 

So for now, running's my thing for attempting to create at least some drama in my life.  It's either that or make out with somebody's boyfriend, which historically, has never worked out well for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Schedule for the week

(mostly for my own benefit)
Monday:  Run with J, yoga
Tuesday:  Bar Method, low key cardio, yoga
Wednesday:  Bar Method, yoga
Thursday:  Treadmill run, yoga
Friday:  Bar method, yoga
Saturday:  Yoga in the park?  Bar method?  Run?
Sunday:  Run (if not on Saturday), pilates? Yoga? Spinning if not running?


Running, day 3

Went on my third official run of half marathon preparation today.  It was more of a walk/jog as I went with my training buddy J, and she's still working on getting into shape.  Also, I insisted on going at 5 so as to make it to yoga at 6:30, so it was still stupidly hot out.  While today wasn't super helpful for endurance, it did feel good to get out and the three miles went by really quickly.  Going to try Thursday's run on a treadmill so I can set a faster pace. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Just did a loop of the Rose Bowl (3.1 miles) in 32 minutes.  This is 10:20, which is faster than the 11:30 I've been running on the treadmill.  Yay!  It is also my first outdoor run in about six months, so double yay. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Training buddy: Acquired

So I guess I'm going to have to get serious about this running thing.  I think I've picked and event that's 12 weeks away, so I'm going to have to sort of commit to some sort of training plan (she said in the most noncommittally phrased sentence ever). 
But this will be easier as I have found a running buddy!  My friend who talked me into running in the first place is fabulous, but he ran the LA marathon this year with the intent of qualifying for Boston, and he probably would have, had he not gotten injured during the last few miles of the race.  Seeing as my current idea of 'fast' is a ten minute mile, he and I are not going to be in the same league, running-wise.  Fortunately, I remembered that another friend had mentioned she was maybe going to train for a half in the fall, so we're going to try and start running together twice a week.  I'm excited to have a buddy and because I've never actually run by myself outside, so this feels both more companionable and safer? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So I was going to write this wildly self congratulatory post this morning about how instead of dealing with my angst yesterday in my usual fashion (diving headfirst into a brownie sundae and a bottle of wine), I just worked out and ate vegan things and was very reasonable.  This was all well and good until work got stressful this morning, which meant me and two coworkers spent lunch diving headfirst into piles of pastrami and a pitcher of beer.  I am doing well so far at not chastising myself for this.  The good thing about voluntary veganism is that it isn't actually the end of the world when it becomes very important to consume the garlic mayonnaise that comes with the french fries, because it is delicious.  I am also not beating myself up over spending a leisurely hour on the elliptical instead of going to yoga, because I just wasn't feeling it tonight.  This whole 'listening to my body' thing.  I think I'm getting better at it.

More on boys (or lackthereof) and running

I'll be honest, I've never been a runner.  In elementary school, I dreaded the Presidential Fitness Test because it meant I'd be stuck, yet again, running a mile and finishing dead last.  I ran track for a year in middle school because all my friends were doing it, but the team was something of a joke, and I finished last in pretty much ever race I ran.  I played field hockey goalie for two seasons in high school despite constant threats to my life (a bunch of preppy girls running around in skirts doesn't sound scary, but talk to me after you've had a few balls hit you in the head) because it involved not having to run up and down the field all the time. 
The only time running has ever seemed like a good idea to me was when I've been going through boy issues. Right after high school ended, I remember doing a few solid days of running to try and clear my head about one particular guy, but the midwest summer humidity kicked in pretty shortly thereafter, and that was the end of that.
The summer after sophomore of college, I went on a general fitness kick trying to forget a particularly painful breakup.  This involved three days of running that felt amazing, and then funny things started happening to my knee, and that was the end of that.  Fast forward about six months to me being in England, studying abroad, and still not being over that boy, and getting really into running for the first time ever.  As in, I ran consistently for probably about a month, loved it, and then exams happened and that was the end of that.
Fast forward to now.  I have some weird feelings about this particular breakup as it relates to running, but I'm trying not to let those get in my way.  I've needed something new and different, something I can set a goal with, and running feels like that.  I know it's wildly premature, but I feel like this could be the breakup that really turns me into a runner.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A new beginning

I'll be honest, today did not start out looking like a promising day.  It's a Monday, I got slammed with a lot of tedious stuff at work, and it happens to be what would be our two year anniversary had I not broken up with my ex four months ago, which I thought would make me happier, but so far has not.  So, in general, I was not enthused about life.
My one beacon of excitement was this whole idea of training for a half marathon.  I procrastinated at work by looking at training plans and found a few that seem doable (okay, I found two at work, but can only find one of them again now. Sigh).  My original goal for this evening was to do two miles, as I have not run really in a long time, but as the day wore on and got worse, I thought maybe I could do four miles with some sort of walk break in between.
Of course, I got home from work and the couch and the cat called to me and suggested that maybe I didn't have to go for a run.  That maybe I should sit at home and wallow instead.  It was tempting, but I managed to get going an hour later than my original planned workout time.  I was still not excited.  And then I started running.
It. Was.  Magical.  Like I said, I haven't been running a lot, so I expected it to feel terrible.  It did not.  It felt great.  There were a few minor aches and twinges that subsided as I kept going.  I made it through both two mile segments pretty easily, and did five miles in the 60 minutes I was on the treadmill, which I know is not amazing, but when you haven't actually run four miles at one time ever, it felt huge.
So, at the moment, I am wildly excited about running and completely infatuated with this half marathon concept.  Maybe like all new crushes it will fade and disappoint me, but for now, I'm going to bask in the glow of this newfound love interest :)

New workout plan?

So for the past few weeks, I've been trying to consistently do Bar Method in the morning, and yoga at night, with maybe some cardio beforehand to warm up.  The cardio rarely happens.  I'm starting to realize that maybe this is not getting me the results I want - I definitely feel like I'm toning up, but based on my near death experience in spin class and some wise advice from one of the yoga teachers about how she used to just do yoga and felt great but "would get winded running to the bus" I think it's time to step up my cardio routine.  My new (insane) plan is to do five sessions per week of Bar Method, yoga, and cardio.  Given I work out in the morning and evening anyway, this is 15 workouts to fit into 14 time slots, which just means I need to triple up on one weekend day.  It seems doable, but am I nuts? 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Current obsessions

Things I'm obsessed with right now (besides recurring players Bar Method, veganism, and dessert):
Morning protein smoothie

I will give you, it is not much to look at in this picture.  But it is delicious.
10 oz coffee (cold, I brew it the night before and stick it in the fridge)
4 oz almond milk
1/2 c frozen raspberries
1/4 c Trader Joe's Chocolate Hemp Protein Powder

Throw in blender, blend, consume.  It tastes much like my formerly beloved Raspberry Mocha Frappucino, except that this is way better for me, lower in calories, and also tastes better.  Magic!

Avocado Toast

I love this.  Some people think it is gross.  Whatever to those people.

Garlic salt

Toast bread.  Smear with avocado.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Consume. 

The concept of running

Aside from a jog before yoga last week, I have not seriously run in awhile.  But I am liking the idea of it.  Had brunch with a friend this morning who ran the LA marathon this year and he's going to make me a training schedule for doing some sort of half marathon in the fall.  I am excited.  We'll see how far I get before I get lazy and/or my knees give out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

On nonbelievers in veganism

I have in the past expressed my skepticism about veganism.  It's still not something I would want to do all the time permanently forever, because, fact, I love me a bacon cheeseburger sometimes.  BUT.  In my day to day life, I really, really am loving veganism, and this is very much because of how much better I feel, not any ethical whateverness.  It is also because my scale at one point this week read 135, which is the lowest it has been in awhile, and was confirmed by the scale at my gym.  Woo!

Anyway, (and I'm sure and sorry that I've been one of these people in the past), there's a lot of people that get really personally offended when I mention I'm doing veganism.  It happened when I did it for Lent, and it's happening again now, and honestly, it's really irksome.  Like, why is it your problem that I'm not eating cheese?  I'm not asking you to not eat cheese, and I'm not doing it forever.  I generally try not to be too annoying when people are picking restaurants and whatnot.  When I was dating someone and vegan, I made a point of making my own food so I wasn't an inconvenience to him, and yet it still seemed to bother him.  Bleh.
I think the worst was when I told a good friend that I highly recommended it and she told me that I was crazy and that really, if I was going to say stuff like that, she should stop being my friend.  This girl has been having stomach issues and is trying to lose weight, and I was merely trying to suggest something that, in my experience, can work wonders and miracles for both of those things.  Fine.  Suit yourself.  Be bloated and fat, it's not really my problem.

First Spin class

Spinning has always looked so scary to me.  That, and it seems like one of those fitnessy buzzwords that makes you sound really sporty regardless of whether you are or not "Oh, I have to get up early for spin."  Bleh.  The people, in their bike shorts and their clacky shoes, drenched in sweat while instructors shout at them.  No thank you.  But my cardio routine has been lacking of late, and one of my friends wanted to try it, so I bit the bullet and went.

On the plus side, the instructor was super helpful with setting up bikes, and wasn't too crazy with the yelling during class.  On the minus side, I was concerned I might die.  On the also minus side, spin bikes are not really built for people who are 5'11".  I'm still worried I freaked out my back from leaning over so far to get to the handlebars.  The other thing is that I've heard spin is this calorie torching wonder, but my console said I only burned 140 calories for the class.  I will give you that I was not pushing it crazy hard, but for the amount I was sweating/breathing heavily/etc, I was burning way more than that. 
Overall, meh.  But as I have learned, one should try everything twice, so I'll probably be going back.  Just not this week.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Veganism FTW!

After a long, tiring, junk food and drink filled but totally fun birthday weekend in Vegas, it's time for a change.  I'm a quarter century old now, so it's time to start acting like it, or something.
Anyway, the day we drove back, I had a Jack in the Box breakfast burrito (gross), ice cream, and popcorn as the foods I ate all day.  Needless to say, I felt terrible afterwards.  And thus, I decided I'm doing at least a week of strict veganism to get myself back on track.  So far, it is feeling great.  Workouts are going well, I feel better physically, and I don't feel guilty if I eat a lot since I know that everything I'm putting in my body is substantial and nourishing.

Recap for the day:
~40 min on the treadmill
~75 minutes of yoga, tough class but felt soooooo good!

Oatmeal with almond milk (never again) and blueberries (300)
Banana (100)

Salad with spinach, arugula, chickpeas, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar (200?)
Red pepper strips (50?)

Otter pops! (160)
Fiber One bar (140)
Trail mix (170)

Two black bean fajitas with avocado (600)