Ketchup

I've been away from ye olde blog for a few days as I try to pack in as much fun/quality/romantic time w/ the husband before he heads off for a conference for 4 (FOUR!) days. I know there are women who have their husbands gone for weeks, months, years at a time. One) I don't know how they do it. I really don't. Two) This is the longest we'll have been apart since we first started dating (he was gone for 10 days at the very beginning of our relationship) and I'm kind of frantic about him leaving.

Anyway. We've been packing in the fun these past few days. I managed to do it all while remaining within my points (have we talked about how much I love Weight Watchers yet today?)  Last night we hit Pizzeria 712 (my favorite) and this morning we did brunch at Communal. People. If you live in Utah (or are visiting, whatever) you owe it to yourself to eat at both of these restaurants. Last night I had wild mushroom pizza with goat cheese and truffles. Lordy. I packed half of it up and saved it for today, thus salvaging my points. I also had a Devastator, which is a beast of a beer, making dinner all the more delightful. I generally steer clear of drinking liquids other than water, as I hate drinking calories. Booze is my all too infrequent exception to the rule.

This morning's brunch was out of control. An omelet w/ red onions and spinach w/ homefries, and the absolute best biscuit I have ever even thought about consuming. Communal is nice enough to post the recipe, I suggest you try it. Add a mimosa and some of the most delicious coffee I have ever consumed. Communal is pretty much my new favorite restaurant. I have been put off going there because I thought I was going to have to sit very close to strangers, but turns out you can just sit at a normal table like a normal person. Seriously, dudes. Go. To. There.

We had dinner tonight at Rice King Noodle House. If you're a veggie, you have to ask for their noodle dish that isn't on the menu, but it's pretty good. There were some chunks of fake ham in it, which I wasn't a huge fan of, but the rest of it was delish, and a healthy dose of Rooster sauce (sriracha) helped briefly clear my congested nasal passageways (too bad babies can't eat painful peppers. The tiny one is pretty snotted up herself).

As for my own cooking, things have been, well, for lack of a more descriptive term, arousing. I've felt so much more freedom in my cooking now that I'm doing points and not calories (isn't that weird? I'm basically doing the same thing, but my mind just clicks w/ points. I digress.) and I think it shows.
A few recents:

I decided to eat the same thing for breakfast that the baby was having, oatmeal and blueberries (talk about the makings of a messy diaper). I cooked mine (put the blueberries right in there to cook, I did) in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. It wasn't quite sweet enough for me, even with the berries, so I also added a couple of drops of stevia. This would work well with any berry, so I'm planning on trying it out w/ some frozen raspberries this week.
 Risotto! I have never cooked risotto before, so I was really pleased when this turned out to be one of my favorite things I've ever cooked. It takes patience, so I dragged the pack and play into the kitchen while I stirred for over 30 minutes. But, beyond the patience, it is really easy. I used veggie boullion, and finished it with Cupcake white wine. The peas and asparagus got a little more cooked than I would have liked, but that's an easy fix for next time.  The baked tofu is out of control. I ate like a pound of tofu. Not kidding. I couldn't stop. I have gone from tofu-phobe to tofu-addict.

This week I plan on starting yoga, keeping up with Bar Method, and doing 20 miles of walking/running, all while keeping up w/ my diet. Even though I feel sick, I feel really good about how things are going, and the changes I am seeing.

i romance weight watchers

Today, I wore the jeans that have been eluding me all these months, and they were awesome. I'm looking forward to many more fancy pants purchases in the future. I seriously, seriously am in <3 with Weight Watchers. I stayed completely within my points today, without any challenge. It's this whole being able to eat fruit thing that's completely saving me. I eat meals like normal (though I have added in the heaven that is complex carbohydrates back into my life. I am so much happier!) and then if I'm hungry in between, I have an apple, or a pear, or some grapes, and I don't worry about it.  Before, I was denying myself snacks because they cut into my meal calories, now, as long as I just eat fruits or veggies (though some have points--think potatoes, avocados, etc) as a snack, I don't worry a lick! An apple will tide me over for quite some time, and I don't spend the hours between meals thinking about what I'll eat next, or seeing how long I can go before I absolutely have to eat.  I think this eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day is going to be better for me. I was trying to do it before, but I was no good at it.

For breakfast, I had 2 pieces of Dave's Killer Bread (Good Seed) toasted w/ almond butter and a banana sliced on top. I also had half an apple.  For lunch, I made a deeeeelicious veggie sandwich with avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, spicy sprouts and spring mix. Dinner was so, so good. I'll post the recipe as well. It was super-easy, and super-healthy. I even managed to squeeze in a dessert of Haagen Dazs peach sorbet in. Turns out I can eat pretty much everything I want as long as I am willing to eat healthy portions. Huh. Go figure.

Spring Veggie Pasta (I don't know what else to call it) serves 2 w/ PLENTY of leftovers
1 1/3 c penne pasta (dry) (this is 2 servings of pasta, but you won't eat a full serving in the meal. Good tricks, filling your gut w/ veggies!)
1/2 yellow onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced (I'm a garlic fiend, what can I say...you could probably whittle this down to 3 just fine)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup asparagus, chopped
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup broccoli
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 pkg extra-firm tofu, crumbled
2 T Basil
1 T parsley
1 T Oregano
1 T Tomato Paste
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Nutritional Yeast
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook penne pasta until al dente (about 8 1/2 minutes)
While your pasta is boiling, cook onions until soft on medium-high heat. Add vegetable stock and red pepper. You could pretty much just add all the veggies, but I added them as I chopped them. There's no real order to the veggies, except put the spinach in at the very end. Once vegetables are cooked, (about 10 minutes), add the crumbled tofu, spices, vinegar, tomato paste and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, add drained, cooked pasta. Voila. I know. So easy, and so frakking good. I think it might also be pretty good baked and topped w/ bread crumbs or daiya, which I might do tomorrow w/ the leftovers.

It's so great, because you get pasta (PASTA) but you mostly fill up on super-healthy vegetables. Win win win, folks.

on losing my points

I hope noodles and company is happy. I woefully mis-chose tonight, pretty much clearing out my arsenal of excess treat points. The worst part was, I thought I was choosing something moderately healthy. Damn you, Indonesian Peanut Sautee. Damn you straight to hell.

Seriously, though. It reminded me that I have a lot to learn about my food choices. ACK!

My house is almost completely spotless. Once I organize my pantry and clean my bedroom, I will be an organzied em-effer, which means my brain will have nowhere to hide, which means I am feeling really ready to tackle this all head on. Not that I haven't been, but I often let messes in my life cover up for messes in my brain. Peace out, brain messes.

Vegan Time Out

My friend Joey offered me this term this weekend, and that's where I was, the whole time. No flesh, no thanks, but I certainly had a coupla eggies and more dairy than my innards know what to do with. I'm pretty glad that dairy makes me feel gross, because I'm good now. My cheese craving is gone, and I'm ready to get back to normal life, which leads us to part deux:

I joined Weight Watchers. It makes me feel like an old lady to say, but I've been struggling so hardcore all of February, and have not been able to shake this rut. I'm giving it three months, then I'll decide if I want to keep going with it, or if it was a good decision.

Things I like about it: 1) I don't have to count calories. I always felt like I was way off base when I was doing that, anyway. I'm pretty sure that their point system is just a back door way to getting to calories, and that they are calculating them for me, but I don't care. It's much easier for me to deal w/ points than calories for some reason.  2) I don't feel deprived. When I was counting calories, I was always making deals with myself, trying to save up for something calorie-rich, and then overloading. There is room built in for little treats/snacks (they give you "daily points" and "weekly points". The weekly points can be spread out over your week in small snacks, or inhaled at Red Iguana, as mine were today). Most fruits and vegetables get a free pass, which means I won't be freaking out about the calories in a banana for my smoothie. 3) It works really well with veganism, and I have found some great vegan recipes on the website. 4) I'm kind of a sucker for gimmicks, and gimmicky or no, Jennifer Hudson's hot bod has me convinced. 5) They have a recipe builder that makes counting points really, really easy. This is something I was really struggling with in counting calories.

Things I don't like: 1) It really does make me feel old. I don't know why, maybe because the website is so damn confusing/cluttered/designed like it's meant for old-bones. 2) I feel like I'm admitting that I really don't know about food/diet/nutrition. I consider myself pretty smart, and I thought I could figure this all out on my own, so moving on to something like this feels like a bit of a defeat. 3) Have I mentioned the website? Good hell. 4) Paying money. I guess I'm getting a pretty good bang for my buck, but I really wish I didn't have to toss any dough at this whatsoever.

So, we'll see how it goes. 3 months to see if this system helps me or not. I really, really, really hope it does.

Weight Watchers

Has anyone done it? Had success? I'm strongly (and by strongly, I mean like 75 percent) convinced that it's a good idea.

Today made me feel like I did absolutely nothing, because I never left the house. The tiny one was a royal fuss bucket, and wouldn't really let me put her down, which means absolutely no exercise (beyond the continual lifting of a fifteen pound infant...FIFTEEN POUNDS! can you believe it?) and that food was scrounged in the few moments of respite where she slept before realizing I wasn't holding her anymore.

For breakfast I made the standard tofu scramble, lunch was leftover eggplant from two nights ago, and dinner was veggie burgers and sweet potato fries. I had a couple of handfuls of nuts and raisins in there, too.

Yesterday was much better. I walked/ran for an hour in my neighborhood, and did 3.5 miles. I'm so much slower in real life, and can't run for nearly as long (I guess I'm pushing the stroller, too, which adds to the difficulty) but it felt really good. It's nice to have that option opening up. As long as it isn't snowing/raining or really bad inversion I think I prefer this method of exercising.  It's great because I get a good workout and Evie gets a nap. Win win win.

I had a delicious and guaranteed 500 + calorie breakfast yesterday, but it kept me full for quite some time. I made oatmeal w/ chocolate almond milk (I bought unsweetened for next time, which will make this meal downright healthy) and added chia seeds, cashews and raisins. Lordy lordy.  For lunch, my sister-wife made us a delicious salad with avocado and tofu.

Dinner was notably unhealthy, but exactly what I was craving (it was mostly just a lot more processed than I generally prefer...and it just seemed unhealthy, though the calorie count wasn't too bad).  When I was a kid, my mom used to make hamburger in brown gravy and we'd have it over mashed potatoes. It's how I got my svelte figure. Anyway, it just screams comfort food to me, so I veganized it, and it was right-effing-on. Mashed potatoes were the same as a few nights ago. The gravy was a pack of vegan brown gravy in boca crumbles w/ some corn mixed in. So I didn't feel entirely like my meal was brown/beige, I also steamed some broccoli. It hit the spot like in a way I didn't know was necessary.

Seriously, if anyone has any experience w/ weight watchers, I'd love to know about it. If I did it, I would do it online. It seems pretty easily adaptable for a vegan diet, and I would just try it for a few months to see if I had any success.

The secret to tofu ricotta

Almonds.

I kind of made up a recipe for tofu ricotta tonight, combining recipes and personal know-how, and came up with something ridiculously awesome that will probably never be repeated. I put it in with some eggplant, spinach and spaghetti sauce and baked it, for a delicious...something. I paired it with a salad and pretty much had to pick my tongue up off the floor it was so awesome. The only other thing I ate today was a salad at Fresh cafe in Heber (the company was fabulous, the salad was ok. I had a raspberry vinaigrette that was way too sweet, but the grilled portabello was pretty rad).

Here's a semi-recipe for the ricotta:

1 pkg extra-firm tofu
3 Tbsp lemon juice (or just a mighty couple of squeezes from the plastic lemon in your fridge)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
4 cloves garlic
1/4 nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt/Pepper to taste

blend it all in the food processor for a couple of minutes (until the tofu has smoothed out). The mixture will be pretty thick.

Food Posts are Baaaaack

I'm thinking one of the reasons I've been struggling is because I stopped updating my food, because I thought it was boring, or something. I have to do it, though, so if these bore you, I apologize, these are the building blocks of my food sanity.

I did it, today. Finaeffingly. I made it through the day with no sugar, no wheat (at least not in bread form. I know my Boca patties have it. They shall be the last to go). It was tough, I tell you, but hopefully it will be easier tomorrow, and more importantly, hopefully it will be worth it.

Breakfast was a tofu scramble w/ a lot of spinach (it's underneath) and some hot sauce (tapatio!). This isn't actually the scramble I ate for breakfast, but I didn't have a chance to take a picture this morning. This is the scramble I had on Saturday, which had avocados and Tofutti on it. This morning's wasn't as delectable, but it also didn't have all those calories.



I'm still scraping out the dregs of my Caesar dressing. The more I eat it, the more I like it (it definitely took some getting used to). It had spring mix, 2 boca patties and some cucumbers. I was going to make baked tofu for the protein, but was trying to take care of lunch as quickly as possible before the child woke.

Though dinner may not look appetizing, let me assure you. It was. I made mashed potatoes w/ 2 small blue and one yukon gold potato, a tablespoon of Tofutti and a tablespoon of faux cream cheese. I finally made some baked tofu, and topped it with spicy barbecue sauce (which probably has a little sugar in it. C'est la vie.) Did you know that with a little liquid smoke, salt, pepper and high heat, you can make tofu that tastes a hell of a lot like bacon? That's what this was. Merciful heavens. This shall be my new bacon replacement, bite my butt Smart Bacon, you tasted like dog food anyway. I sliced it thin, oiled a baking sheet and baked it for probably 35 minutes at 450 degrees (times and temps may vary, people). It gets crispy and chewy and salty and smoky. Pretty much perfection.

Between eating well and exercising, I'm feeling pretty good. Still tired, but willing to overlook it for the sake of the overall healthiness I feel today. Back on again tomorrow!

Gymbo Jones

After a rousing speech from Bird last night, I felt pretty obligated to get my ass to the gym this morning. This despite the fact that the kid woke up at 2:30 and I slept like shiz until 4:30 when she woke again. Being up at 4:30 pretty much forced my hand.

I did my 20-minute run workout! WOOOOEFFINGHOOOOO! I stopped a couple of times to catch my breath, but I ran the whole 20 minutes. I ended up actually running about a mile and a half with no walking, and I feel like a badass.

The unfortunate thing about getting to the gym at 5 is that between 530-545 is one of the busiest times, which means the 30 minute cardio-machine rule is heavily enforced, and when you're done with the treadmill, there are no free ellipticals awaiting your stride. So, I've only worked out a half-hour today, but the day is very young, so I plan on getting in a good, long walk (it's supposed to be close to 60 degrees, how could I not go walking?) later on.

MOTIVATION. IS. BACK.

Motivation 2.0

I'm not weighing in today because I don't want any more negative energy. Thank you, everyone for your kind words and messages to get my butt in gear.

I'm on it.

See you tomorrow!

Inspiration

I just want to be Drew Barrymore...



And losing weight brings me just one step closer...Seriously, I'm in love with her, and she always looks stunning, and not overly thin. Ideal!

Also, when I'm shkinny, I would adore rocking the following (more to come)

Yes. I'm scraping the shallow bits right now. Working with what I can...I'm a little hesitant to post things like this because it makes me feel like I'm heading toward dangerous territory. So let's post a few not so shallow motivators:


 One day...not this year, but one day.

 
a VBAC/healthy pregnancy



The weather is helping. Hoping to be back on track 100 percent tomorrow (today was much better than the past week, combined).

Motivation

I have none. I'm struggling, to be honest. I've spent the week eating like crap, not exercising, and just feeling pretty shitty. I know where my problems are, I just can't seem to tackle them. The things that I know help me, I just don't care about anymore. I know which rules to follow, what I need to be doing, and yet, nada. HELP!

Seriously, though. I feel like crap. I get over my sickness, and move straight on to a massive ingrown toenail. My inability to physically exercise is paired with my mental block of not wanting to do a damn thing but sit on my ass and watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix.

Vegs told me his theory about fatness today. It goes a little something like this: we're not actually fat people, it's just that there are fat people that live inside us, and we have to kill them. Unfortunately, those fat folks within will do anything to stay alive. So, help me murder my inner fat!

How do I get my motivation back? I felt so good when I started this, but getting that feeling back seems to be the biggest struggle I face right now. I'm working on it, but it's definitely hard.

Remember when this blog didn't used to be a big old bitch and moan fest, it was actually somewhat motivational and informational. Sorry. Hopefully the good blog will be back very soon, because whatever is going on now is pretty eff-bomb stupid.

Back at the gym

My child has decided to stop sleeping through the night, waking up at 11:30 and somewhere between 3-4:30 every day. I know this isn't horrible, but after getting used to her 12 hour stints, it really just sucks, especially when you're trying to get up to go to the gym at 5 in the morning. Needless to say, the combination of effed up sleep and overall grossness, my first gym excursion this week didn't happen until 5:30 this evening.

Night gym is pretty great. When Vegs and I used to go to Gold's we would go around 7:30 and that was too late for me, I have a hard time sleeping when I get all amped up on exercise that late, but 5:30 I think might just work. I was worried about my energy level, but I did just fine, in fact, I did better than fine, I did awesome.

I had intended to do a full hour, but ended up having to drive up to my parents' house to console my mom who was a bit of a wreck after my little brother leaving for China today, so I only got in my C25K workout, but I did the whole thing--no stopping, no slowing down, 7 minute running intervals. I felt like a badass. Tomorrow's workout has a 20 minute run in it. I'm a little nervous, but if I can do it, I know I will feel cool as hell. After today, I think I have a chance.

The main struggle I'm having right now is that I'm so slow. 13:20 mile is practically walking. I'm proud of myself for being able to keep going, and in fact, I usually go too fast and can't keep up the pace. This is the speed where it's just easy enough that I can actually have endurance, but fast enough that I'm jogging. I'm not going to work on speed until I can do the last week's workouts, but I definitely plan on improving it.

I had big plans to give up sugar and wheat today. I did well all day long until I showed up at my parents' and my little sister had made vegan sugar cookies (her vegan baking is out of control. I'm glad I don't live closer for the sheer fact that I would be having super-amazing vegan treats all day every day) that taste exactly like Granny B's, but she makes an orange buttercream frosting. Amazing.

I made a vegan Caesar dressing today. Not nearly briny enough for my liking (But I had run out of caper juice), but still pretty good in a salad. I also like that its base is tofu, so it's got a pretty decent protein level, which means that salad keeps you full for a long time.

I have mastered the tofu scramble at this point, and am more than happy to eat it over a plate of sauteed veg in the morning. If I can stay away from cookies, I might just have a chance at eating a much lower-carb diet (it was so incredibly hard to stay away from my precious Dave's today).

Upswing

Feeling a bit better today. Headache is just a minor helmet of pain, and the nausea comes and goes rather than being a constant. Hoping to go on a walk to get some fresh air in my bones.

In sad news, I completely lost all of my posts from my old blog about Evie. It's all kinds of janked up over there now. I am really bummed out.

Down with the sickness...

I feel so gross that I just took a pregnancy test even though I'm on my period, because the last time I had a migraine this bad and this kind of nausea, a fetus had taken hold of my insides. Results? Inconclusive (I suppose that's what I get for using 3 year old pregnancy tests). Regardless, my life in healthy activities today consists of trying to keep my child from yelling in my ears (one of her favorite past times) and trying not to barf up toast (I had hopes that I just had really low blood sugar when I woke up. Nope. Just grossness). Needless to say, my workout this morning consisted of me covering my face with my pillow and trying not to die. Eff the sickness, man. Eff it.

Health Oriented

I weighed in again today. I didn't expect to see any weight loss, and sure enough, I didn't. Even though I've had some great workouts this week, there weren't enough of them, that and I've not been eating as well as I know I should.

After talking w/ Sara, and spending the evening looking at body positive blogs, I am realizing how much I need to change my focus. Yes, I want to lose 100 lbs, and will be much healthier for it, but I need to be doing this to become healthier (which I am). I feel so much better when I worry less about how many calories in vs. calories out, and just focus on making healthy choices. I am thinking about making a bit of a change here (I think there will be a lot of changes as I go through this, trying to figure out what works best). This week, rather than counting my calories, I'm going to try and eat intuitively, and exercise as much as makes me feel good. For example: I can eat white flour and sugar and other things that are bad for me, and still stay with in my caloric guidelines, but when I do this, I don't feel very good. So this week, I'm going to try and stay completely away from refined products (fare thee well, Dreyer's tangerine popsicles...) and up my green intake. My workouts I will probably keep the same, because they do make me feel good.

We'll see if this change works for me. It might not lead to pounds off this week, but I'm willing to give it a shot. It's certainly not going to be a change for the worse.

can't walk. so tired...

while 30 minute workouts energize me, 1 hour workouts exhaust me. I can barely keep my eyes open and my muskuls are on firrrrrrrre. Perhaps I overdid it this morning. Hoping that a nice easy walk tomorrow will loosen me up.

Betrothed

I want to marry Runner's Corner in some sort of religiously-sanctioned ceremony. I am in lo-o-ove! I went yesterday to try on some new running shoes and left a convert. Let me tell you some of the reasons why they are awesome:

1) They don't try to upsell you, at all. They are all runners and just want to be missionaries for running, so they have you try on multiple pairs of shoes, and help you pick the best shoe for you, not for their bottom line.

2) I learned so much about how I run/how I should run. According to "Hawk" (pretty bad-ass name, no?) I "run like a woman." While I was initially a little irked by his constant gender essentializing, I eventually just found it funny. Anyway, "running like a woman" means you're not putting your feet in front of each other, rather each foot is kind of on its own path, which means you waste energy, eff up your feet/joints/etc. He taught me how to run effectively, and it feels weird, but I can see that it's right. It will be a long time before that's how I run consistently, but I'm trying.

3) Everyone is really friendly and helpful.

4) They don't care whether you're a 50 miler or a beginner, like me. They just want to help people run.

I outfitted myself with a new pair of shoes, socks, shorts, a hat and some pepper spray. I am so happy w/ the new accoutrement. The shorts are long, but snug, which means no tugging/riding up between the thighs. The hat is my salvation. I despise having hair in my face, and headbands and barrettes haven't been cutting it.

I realized yesterday that I have to work out every single day, including my "off days" so now, my off days are 30 minute workouts, and my "real workouts" are an hour. Yesterday morning I got attacked by a poo bug (seriously, spending 20 minutes crapping your guts out at 6 in the morning is like, the worst thing ever), so I only got in my half-hour C25K run and not my elliptical workout, which means it counts as an off day. This morning, after sleeping in until 9 (wonder of miraculous wonders) I did my full hour workout, went 4 miles, and burned 730 calories. Yup. Awesome. I'm on 5 minute intervals on my runs now, so I actually ran for 15 minutes today. Pretty proud of myself.

Last night, Vegor and I went on our first date in a long time, and the first time we've left Evie w/ someone other than family. It was wonderful. Coming home to a bathed and sleeping baby is the best gift you can give yourself. I planned on indulging, but didn't go as crazy as I thought I would. See, people, I am learning moderation!

We went to Pizzeria 712 for dinner, and it was worth every calorie and penny (both which were on the high end...) I had a farro salad with roasted winter vegetables and a maple vinaigrette. Holy Hell, it was amazing. I also had the mushroom and truffle pizza and a glass of white wine. I had never had truffles, or fancy mushrooms (portabello is really as wild as I get). I think these were chanterelles? Maybe? They were awesome, whatever they were. And you guys. TRUFFLES. Yes. Brilliant.

We also stopped and had a little dessert at The Chocolate. I had a mini lemon curd cupcake and shared a Turtle brownie w/ Veg after the play we saw. I was wholly unimpressed. Maybe I'm just not a cake kind of person, because it was just okay. The brownie was fine, but I kind of wish I would have just gotten dessert at P712 (like poundcake w/ greek yogurt and honey? yes, please.)

Eating like this isn't something I plan on doing very frequently, a few times a year, at best. I liked it though, because it definitely felt like an indulgence and not something I would want to do every day, and I still felt like my food choices were at least ethical, since I know that the Heirloom Restaurant group is really devoted to that idea.  Next time, maybe for my birthday or something, I would like to go to Communal (though I wish they had vegetarian entrees, not just sides) instead, though it's hard to avoid the call of my sweet, sweet P712...

I kick so much ass!

Imagine me dancing around and singing that, because that's how I feel this morning. I didn't post yesterday because I was feeling so dejected from not having gone to the gym (again). But after some uplifting conversations, fear of being raged upon, and some helpful advice I bucked up and got to the gym this morning.

It's the getting there that is brutal for me. The rolling out of bed part, the very worst. If I can get my contact lenses in, we're golden.  So, I got everything ready last night, got to bed at a decent hour, only hit the snooze button once (my problem yesterday was turning my alarm off rather than hitting the snooze button. I fell back to sleep for what I thought was five minutes, it turned out to be 30) and went.

I emailed my long-time friend Sara yesterday who is a personal trainer/nutritionist and in telling her what I was doing, she (re)broke the bad news to me. If I really want to lose weight, I have to work out for at least an hour, most days a week (Not something I didn't know/hadn't been told before, but this time it stuck). So, this morning I did my whole C25K workout (5 minute intervals and all! I just went a bit slower on my runs. A 13:20 mile rather than a 12:00. I know, a real speed-racer over here) and half an hour on the elliptical. Totals? Ok! 1 total hour of cardio, 4.2 miles, 677 calories burned (whatWHAT! being heavy occasionally has its perks...like burning mondo calories).

I just needed to get to the gym so I could feel good again so I would be motivated to keep going. I lost that momentum this weekend, so I have to work hard to keep it going now. The ORC opens at 7 on Saturdays now, instead of 8, which means I will probably try and sneak in a workout on the weekend mornings, too. I hope that will help keep me going throughout the week, because otherwise, 2 days off in a row really kills me.

Little Miss Verbosity

Dudes. I suck. You know when you stop doing something that's only beginning to become a habit, how it's eff-bomb hard to go back to it after you've given yourself a break? Yeah. That's where I am with my gym time. I haven't been since Friday and I feel like a royal schlub. I know it's only Tuesday, and I have the rest of the week to still catch up, but man alive, those early mornings are feeling ever earlier.

I'm forcing myself in the morning, though. Gym clothes are set out, car is in the underground parking so I won't have to scrape. I bought new earbuds for my iphone. Basically, I don't have any excuses other than it being early, but I need to just keep telling myself that I can take a nap during the day if I need to.

I also need to give myself some credit. This. Is. Hard. I sometimes let myself get carried away by momentum (positive or negative) and when that fades, I struggle facing reality. But, it's okay. I can do hard things. I want to be the kind of person who doesn't walk away in the face of difficulty, who doesn't give up because it's a challenge. That's how I got to where I am today, and I don't want to be there anymore. So yeah, it sucks to not have treats whenever you want them, and it's no fun to wake up super-early to sweat your ass off, and one can only eat so many vegetables before it drives them a little batty. But, you know what else? It's not that  hard. I got myself here, I can damn well get myself back out. The fact that this is my "struggle" only speaks to how easy I have it. First world problems, I like to call them. Woe is me, I have too much food. Yeah, I know. Makes you feel like a real piece of work.

There's a great line from a recent Jonathan Safran Foer interview where he says, "People use the fear of hypocrisy to justify total inaction." Man, don't we though? I have always tended to be a tad on the extreme of things, trying to make binaries a real thing (take that postmodernism!) but, I find the closer I come to the center, to being moderate, to living in the complexity of gray, the happier I am (how freaking Zen am I?). Rather that telling myself I have to be 100 percent vegan all the time and the minute I eff up I might as well have a steak, I have to recognize myself on a continuum and know that first of all, no one is perfect, thanks to this little pearl called being a human, and that messing up doesn't make you a hypocrite. Hypocrisy comes from speaking out of both sides of your mouth. It's anti-gay ministers doing blow with male prostitutes. And maybe I just don't care if I'm a hypocrite. I'm trying, for crying out loud. I don't really know where this is going...Oh, wait. Yes I do. I'm going to eat cheese this week (I think). It's Vegs' and my 6th anniversary and we're going to dinner, either Communal or Pizzeria 712. I'm not going to eat meat, because I'm not down w/ the flesh consumption, but I know that  both of these restaurants go out of their way to find ethically-sourced food, so I have no problem in the occasional indulgence. And that doesn't make me a bad person (does it sound like I feel guilty? Because I don't).

I think I'm big on this right now because I want people to be making positive changes in their lives. I know so many people who are trapped in really unhappy situations, largely due to problems with their weight, who won't budge. There's always an excuse (believe me, I have used and will continue to fight the urge to use all of them), which is just a lie you tell yourself to maintain misery. I think being a little more gentle with ourselves when we undertake huge challenges, like completely changing the way you eat, adding exercise, etc. you set yourself up for success. That idea of one mess up meaning the end of it all just cannot be the way we live. So you devoured a large cheese pizza last night? Okay. That sucks. Now, get over yourself and start again. I read an article the other day (who knows where, I read like one bazillion blogs, and they all kind of meld together into one, giant superblog) where they suggested that each meal was "the beginning of your diet." Think of each meal, each workout with that enthusiasm toward change that you have when you start a diet, or start the new year. If you messed up on lunch, that's okay, dinner is an entity unto itself.

Speaking of meals, I have actually been taking pictures (kind of...if you can call them that), but am without my usb cord on the reg. So, no pictures, yet again.

Breakfast
Dave's Bread toasted w/ Earth Balance

Lunch
Garden wrap w/ baked tofu and roasted butternut squash. Holy hell. I put some pickles on there too, and it was an explosion of awesome.

Snacks
Dreyer's whole fruit tangerine bar
Wasa crackers w/ almond butter and jam
2 squares of Chocolove dark chocolate w/ raspberries
(Is it wholly apparent to anyone besides me that my effing period finally showed up after 2 long months away? Hence the constant need for sweets, I reckon.)

Dinner
Homemade veggie pizza, with lots of veg and Teese, which sort of melts. The secret to homemade pizza crust is 2 things: A super hot oven (I par-bake my crusts to make sure they cook all the way throughout the end) and Mark Bittman's crust recipe from "How to Cook Everything". I always double it so I don't have to make it as frequently, but it goes a little something like this:
6 cups flour (whole-wheat/white/spelt/whatever tickles your fancy)
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp coarse Kosher salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil (plus more later)
I also add a few Tbsp of dried Italian herbs and red pepper flakes. You can modify it as you want. Garlic is a nice addition. I like to put a little agave to sweeten things up

I think it really helps to get your bowl really warm before you start. I use a stainless steel one, so I just run it under hot water for a minute. Combine the water and yeast (and sweetener, if you're using it) and let proof for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix (I have used a mixer and my hands...I prefer my hands, fewer things to wash). Knead until all the flour has worked in and the dough is fairly sticky. Add the olive oil, continue to mix, and make sure the dough is well coated in oil so it doesn't stick to the bowl as it rises.  Cover with a warm towel and let rise for up to 2 hours (I warm my oven to the lowest temperature and then turn it off, and let the dough rise in there). Then, roll it out and bake for about 4-5 minutes in a 450 degree (or hotter, if you dare) oven before you put sauce and toppings on. Then bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until toppings are all cooked. Voila!