Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Holy Cow- When Did March Get Here?

Crudola!  How did March sneak up so stinking fast!?!  Okay technically March doesn't arrive until tomorrow (thank you Leap Year)  but, the beginning of March marks *sound the trumpets*  Triathlon Training Season (okay, perhaps instead of trumpets it should really be murderous screams).  I can't believe its upon us already.  I was so hoping that running and I would be friends before Tri training started. So much for that idea.  My first planned Triathlon  is the She Rox Triathlon in Naperville, IL.  It's on June 10th.  So, this Sunday will mark 16 weeks for me.  If you are planning on tackling the triathlon this summer, find your event date and count 16 weeks back from there-  that is your "start" date for full boat Triathlon training.  I'm going to be following the schedule from Beginner Triathlete  .. the one hyper linked here is the 16-week "Balanced" schedule.  For someone who is weaker in one area or another, you can find running focused (which, I guess I really should follow instead of the "balanced one"), a bike focused and a swim focused schedule as well- dependent on what your weakest leg is.    I still can not believe it's already time to start training.  Hopefully here in Chicago the beautiful weather promised this week is a sign that spring will be here early (please PLEASE no mid April blizzards)..  thereby allowing for as many outside training days as possible.  Its so much better to train on actual ground rather than train on machines.

So, I had originally planned to do this race with Emmie from Skinny Emmie but she is having all kinds of problems with her foot of late- and is STILL stuck in her boot-  so I will be flying this race solo.  If anyone has ever thought "hmm, I should do a triathlon"  you could always train alongside/participate with ME :)  We could be besties!  Seriously!

Think about.  You have until Monday before having to jump feet first into training insanity.  You can do it though.  Because, seriously, if I can, you can.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Cauliflower Conundrum

As I discussed last week on my Facebook Page , I had an over abundance of veggies at the end of the week yet to be used for meals.  I finally decided after hemming and hawing to make Cauliflower Gratin, a recipe from my sisters blog Plant Food Fabulous .  Now, Julia Childs I am not... we all know this.  But I figured, it's cauliflower, some cheese and some breadcrumbs ... how hard can it be.  Yeah... that was mistake #1.

The recipe is as follows:

Cauliflower Gratin 

2 tablespoons butter- I used Olive Oil Instead
1 yellow onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, mined
1 large head of cauliflower, cored and diced in 1" cubes- I think mine was more a "medium" head, possibly even a "smallish" head.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour- No Flour- so instead I used Hemp Protein (which in my defense is labeled a "flour substitute")
2 cups cream- Omitted, opted for 4 cups of milk instead
2 cups milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar
6 ounces smoked cheddar- I only had a Shredded Mixture of some form, so used that instead
1/4 cup grated parmesan- at least I had this 
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup parsley, minced
a pinch of salt and pepper 

Considering that food pretty much hates me, therefore, I have to constantly be mindful of pesky things like calories and fat, I immediately omitted the cream and most of the butter (except where absolutely necessary), opting instead of olive oil.  I am admittedly the most germ a phobic person when it comes to food and how long things can be kept without them going bad.  Therefore, things don't last very long in my fridge.  As a result of that, I'm not a person who just has items on the fly to use or utilize- because I never know how long things truly last before going bad.  So, Im not the kind of person that has tons of cheeses or lots of vegetables to use on a whim  or even an over abundance of butter or milk, or flour.  Which is how I get into these situations a lot of times of not having all of the ingredients and making do with what Ive got.  

Anyway, the instructions referenced utilizing a linked cheese sauce from a previous recipe.  But, I didn't actually follow the link to figure out exactly how to make it-  I just figured it was a matter of combining the butter and the flour and the cheese and the milk to make a sauce.  Which-  I did.  I think the fact that I had four cups of milk and not 2 of milk 2 of cream probably resulted in a less than thick sauce.  Perhaps also the fact that I used Hemp instead of Flour may have been the case as well.  But regardless, the sauce did not really thicken to anything more than the consistency of a soup.  I figured though it would distribute more in the baking.  I followed the rest of the instructions with the onions and the garlic and the cauliflower and combined everything into a dish.  I don't have a fancy gratin pan.. so I used a casserole dish instead.  Covered it and baked it.  Fifty minutes later, it essentially looked like Cauliflower Soup.  Or- really, cauliflower floating in a cheesy, green soup. (Yes mine was green because of the Hemp...)  Instead of actually presenting it as it to my husband for dinner (which would have resulted in copious amounts of laughter Im sure).. I decided instead to blend it up and turn it into a soup.  Which helped to thicken it into a nice consistency, and despite the green color actually tasted quite wonderful.    Obviously, since it was soup I omitted the breadcrumbs.  While I could consider this a "Dinner Disaster"  since I failed to produce a beautiful bubbly Gratin like Ms. Plant Food Fabulous has on her site... I was able to rescue this from dinner obscurity into a very delicious, and satisfying (especially since it was cold and snowy)  soup.  I paired it with some boxed cornbread from Trader Joe's and made it a very delicious meal.  :)

I therefore, am putting this one in the "win" column.  :)  No pictures unfortunately.. I forgot to take one of the soup, and really the before pictures of my attempt at gratin would only make you laugh :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear Running... Don't Talk To Me...'Kay?

Dear Running,

Well, I guess the honeymoon period is over.  We sailed along fairly well last week.... until you started to make my thighs hurt, and my ass hurt, and my feet hurt.  Oh yeah, and my back too.  You really aren't very nice.  What happened to the whole slow and steady thing? What happened to the whole if you ease into it, you'll be pain free?  Well guess what running... I do not like you.  I hurt. Everywhere.  Maybe one day I won't feel like this after a run, but right now OH Boy!  And we're only in week two. Imagine how much more my distaste for you will grow as we move into having to spend more and more time together.  You better hope things start to get better, running, because right now we are seriously in a FIGHT with a capital F.  And I mean it!   I'll reluctantly see you again on Friday running, but don't think I enjoy spending all this time with you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Passive Agressive Body Media Monitor

Since Im trying to be friends with running recently, and Im watching what I eat- staying away from sugars etc, I figured I would really put my all into utilizing my Body Media Fit.  I pay for the service every month, but I haven't been logging in to track my activity or log my meals in months.  So, that has changed.  The body monitoring bug was more frustrating than helpful for me in the past because it's not water proof, and I would then lose all of that monitoring every morning in the pool.  It still isn't the greatest.  I forget to wear it a lot of the time (you have to take it off once a day for "off body time" and to charge it.. and thats typically whenI forget to put it back on, so the numbers are never right.  In addition, I think mine is getting a bit old as it takes a while of wearing it before it will beep to let me know its ready and active.  Which, lovely considering Ive only had it for a year.

Anyhow, a lot of stuff has changed on their website since the last time I used it.  There is new software to install directly onto the computer now.  It loads in all its information and suddenly a CONGRATULATIONS comes across the top corner of my screen.  I click on it and it reads " you reached a new goal....  16 hours and 07 mintutes of ....  you ready for it... no really....


Seriously?  #1 Im awarded for lying down? I thought this thing is supposed to be encouraging movement
#2 There is no way I lied down for 16 hours.  No way.  Sat down? Yes (not for 16 hours but at a desk for most of the day, yes)  #3. Way to be passive aggressive body media monitor.  Instead of saying "Hey you lazy slob get off your ass"  you instead shame us with gratuitous congratulations for such preposterous actions as "lying down"?

Oy. Vey.

And, there is NO.WAY.  I laid down for 16 hours....  seriously.  So you don't think Im pulling your leg... here is my "congratulations"  for my new "personal best"  Ohh yeah, I can hear the thunderous applause at my glowing achievement now!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Can Work It Out- A Letter to Running On the 2nd Day

Dear Running,

Did you think that you had gotten rid of me that easy?  I know we were supposed to meet Wednesday and not today, however the day got away from me yesterday.  Our meeting today went well don't you think?  I have to apologize however, for professing that I have "made you my bitch" on my Facebook wall.  This isn't about a power struggle.  We're supposed to be working together, and I know that now.    I wouldn't like it if you danced in my face and proclaimed you had done that to me, it was a mistake and I'm sorry..  I blame the endorphins ...  and the fact that I was able to keep going and push through even though you tried to foil my attempts.  Resetting the count clock on my Phone's 5K App everytime my phone went into "sleep" mode was sneaky-  but I came through, even doing five more total minutes of "running" than I was supposed to do because of it.  Also, shutting off the counter on my machine because I would occasionally stop all together to take a drink of water, thereby being unable to gauge how many miles I had gone ( I think I may have hit a mile and a half, and possibly two miles)  but I wont ever know because it timed out and then turned itself off.  Even with all of those things though, running, we still managed to stick together and work it out today.  Day Two of Two, and we're still on speaking terms.  That's a good thing!

Until Saturday,


Monday, February 13, 2012

C2K Week 1: Day 1

Image Courtesy of Howard Payne

Dear Running,

Now that wasn't so bad was it?  I mean, yeah, we can only tolerate each other in one minute intervals, coupled between one and a half minute walking segments, but we did it, right?  We managed to stick together for a whole thirty minutes.  Okay, so maybe there were a few times where I wogged and a couple times where I flat out walked, but really lets stay positive.  Thirty minutes was a good length of time for our first meeting, because we're still trying to feel each other out.  And, you managed to stay friends with my knees too-  at this moment they are still feeling pretty okay.  Perhaps later tonight when I come down off the endorphin high I'll be singing a different tune, but as of right now I'd say High Five Running on our first achievement.

Until Wednesday,


C25K Day 1:

5 Min Warm Up- Walking
20 Minutes of Walk/Run intervals:  1:30 walk/1:00 Run
5 Minutes of Cool Down Walking

Why Can't We Be Friends? A Letter to Running.

Image borrowed from

Dear Running,

We've had more ups and downs than 13 year old school girls.  Sometimes we tolerate each other, but most of the time, we simply glare at each other from across the room, roll our eyes and talk bad about each other.  But as of today, I'm trying to call a truce.  We don't have to be best friends, we don't even need to be friendly, but how about this:  I will refrain from being petulant if in return you can drop the mean girl act so we can work together.    Don't worry, we aren't going to go from never speaking to suddenly overnight being inseparable.  We'll start slow. Lets say we meet for 20 minutes a day for this first week and see how it goes?  I'm sure it won't be easy, especially since you and I don't really have the most solid of relationships.  I'm sure some days we aren't going to want to see each other at all.  But, remember that movie, The Parents Trap (the original one, with Hayley Mills... we won't talk about the other one)-  anyhow,  they didn't like each other to start off either.  Then they were FORCED to spend every waking hour with each other and look how great that turned out-  SISTERS!  Now, we don't have to jump ahead of ourselves and mire this down with unattainable expectations.  For now, it is what it is.  You don't like me much, I don't like you much-  but we're going to try for the sake of trying.  We'll continue to do this slow and steady thing for nine weeks, after which we can re-evaluate our relationship and make changes from there.  Deal?

Yours Truly,