Sunday, February 28, 2010

A different kind of pizza and beer

If you’ve read my profile, you’d know I love beer. Especially dark beer. So this gluten free thing kind of makes that hard. However, I have found a few “beers” that are gluten free, and I tried one that was recommended to me by a good friend of ours from home.

I’ll get to that later. First, I wanted to talk about the pizza.

I tried to make pizza today using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free pizza crust. And when I say tried, I really mean TRIED. I’m not sure if it worked, since it was my first time using a gluten free recipe, but I went along with it anyway.


The dough is very sticky. I know, there’s no gluten in it silly! It’s not going to be like regular dough! But I wasn’t sure what the hell I was getting myself into, and I thought for sure that I screwed it up. But I read other blogs that used this dough and apparently I was on the right track.

I stirred everything up like the directions said and tried to spread it out on a cookie sheet. I was supposed to divide it into two balls but I figured I’d just make one larger pizza and just have some leftovers for tomorrow.


It didn’t look thick at all so I just figured it would be fine.

You can see the consistency here and how strange it is. But I didn’t give up! It tells you to bake for 7-9 minutes before adding any toppings, so I split the difference and baked for 8. I added the sauce (more on that later) and cheese and baked again for 20 more minutes.


However the crust rose while it was cooking, so it didn’t cook all the way through. I had to put it back in for another 25 minutes before I was able to feel comfortable eating it.

IMG_0420  IMG_0421

I really wanted to like this, but it really wasn’t that good. It wasn’t BAD…it just wasn’t great. I’m going to give this crust another try, but next time I’ll be sure to divide the dough half like it says, and hopefully it will cook better for me.

And poor Dennis! He was willing to give this a shot. He actually found the mix at the store, pointed it out and said, “Hey, you want to try this for dinner tomorrow?” I really wanted it to be good for him since he was being so supportive towards it. He felt bad that it didn’t work too. Oh well, maybe next time.

Ok so onto the sauce---I used Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Sauce with Onions and Butter and as per HEAB’s suggestion, I used Kerrygold butter (you are so right about this butter…it’s so good!) but only used 4 tbsp instead of 5, and added some basil from our basil plant. I liked the sauce but Dennis didn’t; he said it lacked flavor and thought it was just too plain. I have plans for the leftover sauce for lunch tomorrow. (I could tell you about it now but…nah you can wait) The sauce is very simple, just as the recipe says, and I think I’ll have an even better opinion about it tomorrow since I used more than half of it on this pizza.

And lastly, the beer.

Our friend Beth suggested drinking this:

redbridge beer

It’s gluten free beer from Anheuser-Busch. You can read more about it here.
It wasn’t bad. I am a lover of dark beer and this was pretty light. I'm kind of a beer snob, so the fact that I didn’t love this beer isn’t a surprise.  It had kind of a sweet taste to it, almost like a very light cidery taste. But I did find it to be rather refreshing, and I didn’t feel gross after I drank it. Score!

The moral of the story?

Our taste buds need time to get used to any kind of change. If this is something that I really think I need to stick with, then I will have to work around things. Luckily there are plenty of things out there that are gluten free that I’m already used to eating. I’ll keep trying new things and gauging how I feel. I will continue to read reviews and take other people’s suggestions. If I feel better then in the long run, then it will surely be worth it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back in the groove

I finally got to run outside with my running group today and I must say, I’m pretty happy with myself. I haven’t run a long run outside in probably 6 weeks with the way this winter has been, so I was wary about how I’d feel. Our group usually sets out to run either 8 or 10 miles (I have no idea why) but I thought 6 would be enough for me. I didn’t know if I’d even be able to handle that much, but I wanted to have a goal in mind.

I made a “Sweet potato smoothie” as my pre-workout fuel …

sweet potato smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tbsp PB
  • 1 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp pureed sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp flax

This held me over very well during my run and was just the right consistency. Not too thick, not too watery, and I didn’t feel “full” when I drank it. I think I may have found a new pre-run fuel!

Anyway, back to the run.

So after brushing off a thin layer of snow off my car (UGH!) I made my way down to the Mt. Vernon Trail to meet my group. It was a cold start but the sun was out so it didn’t take long for me to warm up. I started pacing with a woman who told me she’s also running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. We talked about pacing, the race’s course, and how the winter weather has taken a toll on everyone’s running. Before I knew it, we were at the 4 mile water stop, and I had barely broken a sweat.

My running partner decided she wanted to run the full 10 miles, so she moved on and I headed back to the starting point. At the water stop I started talking about sports (hey, it’s spring training for baseball) and that got me running back with a Yankees fan, Red Sox fan, and a local guy who’s an Orioles fan (sounds like the beginning of a joke…) The smack talk began, and holy shit I ran 8 miles without even realizing it! My Garmin told me I ran 8.02 miles in 1:14:49, averaging a 9:21 pace. Not too freakin’ shabby for not running a long run in 6 weeks. The pace was perfect; I never felt winded or like I needed to slow down or anything like that. It was basically a conversational pace.

However, there was a problem. My hip bothered me afterward. I stretched as much as I could at the park but when I came home, I made a date with my foam roller. I rolled the crap out of my hip/quad/IT band and MAN did that hurt! I just hope this helps take care of whatever the problem might be.

Gluten Free stuff

I’m trying really hard to eliminate gluten from my diet to see if this might be the reason for my bloating, gas, irregularity, etc. It’s really freaking hard. At one of the water stops there were homemade oatmeal cookies that everyone was raving about, so I grabbed one. I ate 1/2 of it, gave the rest to one of the runner’s dogs, and went on my way. It wasn’t until I was asked to join the group after the run at Panera Bread that I realized I ate 1/2 of that cookie. It’s so easy to forget that you have to be careful of EVERYTHING you put in your mouth. I’ve always been pretty cautious of what I eat since I’ve always had a sensitive stomach, but this is way beyond that. I know it’s going to take time to get used to, and also to get things out of my system, so I need to be patient. I’ve heard it could take up to 2 months before I’ll feel any kind of change, which seems kind of long and a little discouraging…

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Locked out

locked out

Talk about a crappy way to end your day!

Our door handle broke so we couldn’t get into our house after work. We waited three hours to get in, and paid $200 for a locksmith to run a plastic thingy down the doorway that got us in in less than 15 seconds. Awesome. But he replaced the handle for “just a tip” so whatever.

Luckily we were able to hang out at our neighbor Sue’s house while we waited. Unfortunately, I ended up being forced to eat an eggplant dinner that, as I suspected, was breaded. I ate around as much of the breading as I could and felt like garbage about an hour later. Oh well. I’ll have to start over tomorrow.

On a good note, I found a treadmill at my gym that kicked my ass this morning. I mentioned yesterday that I needed to run hills, so I asked the gym owner if there was a machine that worked properly (seriously if I had to pay, I would not use this gym. But it’s convenient, and it’s free, so dammit, I use it.) and he showed me this really old school looking treadmill in the corner. It looks about 20 years old, so I never thought to try it. But when I say it kicked my ass, I mean it KICKED MY ASS.

I ran 3 miles in just under 30 minutes with an average 3% incline but it really seemed like so much higher than that. I really needed that run.

Oh, and I tried to do some chin ups and pull ups today…man am I weak! I have a friend who was telling me something about how you can train yourself to do them by using a chair or something like that….yeah, I’m too much of a clutz for that. I need a spotter. The trainer at the gym helped me today but he did more helping than I did working, so I’m going to keep trying until I can do it on my own. Man they’re hard! I want to be kick ass and be able to do 5 in a row of each. A girl can dream right?

Oh and I just wanted to give a big thanks to those who have been helping me with my tummy issues. You ladies have been a huge help. Thanks so much for all of your input! It means a lot!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So much to ingest!

I’ve gotten a few emails and comments from people who either have suffered with gluten allergies or whom have eliminated it thinking that was their problem but found out it wasn’t. So thanks to all of you who are trying to help me understand how this whole gluten thing works.

First of all, I do know this is just an experiment. I won’t know anything until I actually see a doctor. I’m just trying to eliminate as many options as I can before I go see anyone. (And who knows how long it will be before I get an appointment anyway.) Believe me, this isn’t my idea of fun.

Second..I didn’t realize that gluten is in just about everything. It sucks! I was feeling well all day until I got home and had some steamed veggies and shrimp topped with Annie’s Goddess dressing. I started feeling bloated shortly after. Who knows, it could have been the veggies (stir fry veggies-broc, snow peapods, carrots, water chestnuts.) UGH how frustrating!

For breakfast, instead of my usual oatmeal I had 2 hard boiled and made a smoothie that contained:

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 banana, 4 strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. flax
  •   tbsp. coconut

I will have to admit that this breakfast held me over pretty nicely for about 3.5-4 hours and I was really shocked by that. My co-worker brought in some of her kick ass honey whole wheat bread (she and her husband own a bakery) and I sadly had to turn it down. It was that bread that made me feel like complete and total garbage the other day, causing me to think gluten might be an issue (it could be wheat—I’m still figuring things out!)

Anyway this is going to be a process and a major learning experience. Believe me, I need all the help I can get!

Team Challenge training

I was reading Jess’s blog today and she made a point that hit me hard. She’s training for the Boston Marathon (visit her page to donate to her cause) and since she’s up in Massachusetts, she’s also been dealing with the woes of winter. She’s been training inside on the treadmill with no hills and no outside elements. This is something that worries me as well since I’ve been doing the same exact thing.

My training program calls for 5 days of running per week, one cross training day and one rest day. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this program because I don’t like running that many days in a row. I’ve never followed an actual training program before, so I’m not quite sure how closely I need to follow it. It calls for 1 long run by time, not miles (Saturday) one 4-5 mile run (Monday) 1 short 3 mile recovery run (Tuesday) 1 spring workout (Wednesday) Off day Thursday, 3 mile easy run (Friday) and active recovery or cross training (Sunday.) This is kind of a broad view of the program but I’m wondering if I can get away with elliptical days in between running days?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is gluten the problem?

gluten free

Hi all. I’m writing this in a sad, sad way right now, but I think it might have to be done.

I think I might have a problem with gluten. I really need some advice and help with this.

I’ve been suffering for a long time with bloating, irregularity, abdominal discomfort, gas, and many other symptoms that can be correlated to gluten allergies. I didn’t know that ADD, anxiety, Sinusitis (which I get every year-I have terrible sinus problems) Migraines (which I get a lot in the summertime and I think is sinus related) were related to gluten allergies. I also read that many people who suffer from gluten allergies have type O blood, which I have. There are many other symptoms I noticed that I don’t share, but there are others that I do. I’m not sure that gluten is the problem but it’s the only thing I haven’t tried to eliminate from my diet. Let’s face it—I LOVE bread, BEER, and OATMEAL!! Man I’m in for a real challenge. But you know, if I can feel normal again, it will be worth it.

These problems all started when I was a baby. My mom told me horror stories – I even spent some time in the hospital. I’ve had irregular bowel movements my entire life.  And since I’ve been relying on Pepto Bismol to help me fall asleep at night (is it normal to get heartburn from crackers and oatmeal?) I think now is the time to try something new.

I know many of you guys are gluten free. What were the symptoms you were feeling? Did you see a doctor or did you try eliminating things on your own? How long did it take for you to start feeling better? And how the hell am I going to deal with not being able to eat my daily bowl of steel cut oats????

Oh how I will miss you….

Monday, February 22, 2010

Traditional family meal: Yummy Arroz con Pollo


I’ve written about how rice and beans have become a staple in my life for a quick, easy, healthy alternative anytime I’m in a crunch for time. I grew up eating rice and beans, so it’s just a natural choice for me.

So while watching the Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay, we were inspired to make a very traditional Puerto Rican dish that again, I grew up on. The best part about it is that Dennis has gotten really good at making it. The only problem is that I’m much better at making rice than he is, but since he’s better at cooking the chicken, it all works out.

We adapted our recipe from here. My mom gave us a recipe as well, but it’s not really a recipe since she does a lot things through habit and taste.

It takes a bit of time to make, but believe me, it will not disappoint. I love to eat my Arroz con Pollo with avocado mixed in at the end. Yum!



IMG_0321  (the pollo is in there somewhere!)

I’d love to hear what kind of traditional dishes you ate growing up, if you learned how to make them, and if you eat them now. It took me years to realize that I needed to learn to cook my family’s traditional meals. There are a few that I make regularly but some that I still have yet to learn. It’s never too late!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Countdown to 13.1


I know, I know…so many people have been posting things on their blogs about running for a cause, asking for money, etc. I can’t help it, I have to talk about my experience and of course, raise money for the cause.

I had my first meeting this morning with the crew that I will be training with for the Team Challenge Crohn’s and Colitis 1/2 Marathon in Boston. The meeting was inspirational and it got me super pumped for the race.

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw my uncle and his wife were the designated mentors. My uncle (he’s actually my uncle through marriage) has Crohn’s disease and has a very inspirational story as well. He has come a long way and I love the fact that he is so willing to share his journey so openly.

So here’s the deal. For those of you who don’t already know, Dennis has Ulcerative Colitis. He was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 25. In the summer of 2007, he got severely sick with a bout that never subsided. For nearly 2 years, the only thing that controlled his UC was steroids. He was unable to leave the house and was forced to work from home until he got laid off in November of 2008. At that point, he had tried every drug possible to help save his colon, but nothing worked. It was then that he finally came to the conclusion that his colon needed to be removed.

After the surgery he suffered from an abscess that nearly killed him. He spent all of December, 2008 in the hospital fighting for his life. It was a very scary experience; something I would never wish on anyone.

After returning home from the hospital, he was forced to use TPN (total parenteral nutrition) for 2 full months until his body healed enough for the “reversal” part of his surgery. It was heartbreaking to see him hooked up to tubes while I was able to eat normal foods. Thank God it was only for a short time.

In February of 2009, he had his reversal surgery. After 2 years of pain, suffering, and nearly death, he is as close to being as normal as he’s ever been. I’m very grateful to have him here, and needless to say, his experience has changed both of our lives.

This is the VERY SHORT version of his UC story. Honestly it’s not mine to tell. All I was able to do was support him and help take care of him, and now I’m doing whatever I can to continue to fight for a cure.

This is basically how my blogging days started. I spent hours researching his disease and re-teaching myself about nutrition. I started to realize that food played a major role in how we look and feel, and how making small changes could make major differences in our lives overall. I really hoped that changing our diets could help cure his disease, and unfortunately it didn’t; but it has still changed the way I look at and approach food on a daily basis.

In June of ‘08 I raised $700 and walked the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis of New England. This time, I will be working to raise $3000 for my 1/2 marathon.

I’m not writing this to pressure anyone to donate money. Believe me—many of the blogs I love to read have been raising money and I haven’t been able to donate. I was laid off most of last year so every penny I had was accounted for. I’m writing this post to share my experience and let you all know why this 13.1 race is so important to me. If you want to donate, awesome. I will be posting a link to my fundraising page shortly and it will be available for anyone at any time to donate what they can whenever. But don’t be afraid to comment and read even if you can’t afford it. I won’t hate. I understand.

So basically I will be spending a lot of time training with this amazing group of people for an awesome cause, and I get to go back to Boston to run the race! I’m excited to be a part of this and I hope you’ll be just as excited to join me through the blog. I’m sure there will be days where I’ll get  frustrated and overwhelmed but I know it will be worth it.

Fore more information, visit the Crohn’s and Colitis website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Organization meltdown

Help! Paperwork

One of my biggest downfalls is organization. I suck at it. Especially when it comes to paperwork.

I had a major meltdown at work today when I went into a meeting that I wasn’t prepared for. I lost some key notes and couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out where an entire folder filled with very important documents went. As I fumbled my way through my binder and a pile of papers that I had stacked on my desk, my boss just looked at me and said, “Umm, I feel like you’re not organized…you need to work on that.” She was so nice about it too because I should have gotten reamed.

Part of my problem is that I have ADD. Some people hate hearing that and say it shouldn’t be used as an excuse but you know what? It’s a real disorder and it has affected me my entire life. I was diagnosed with it my freshman year in college but never took any meds for it. I’ve learned how to deal with it for the most part, but there are some things I just can’t handle---like organization. My brain just doesn’t know how to process the concept. I look at things and I freak out. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s very stressful. So I finally decided to admit that I needed help and asked for it.

Does anyone out there have any tips on getting organized?

I’ve tried sticky notes, folders, binders with dividers, and even writing lists. Lists work to help keep me on task, but they don’t help me with organization. (Actually I’ve found that I absolutely have to write a list at the end of my day to remind me of all the things I have to do the next day or else I’ll completely forget.)

I have a friend with ADD much worse than me that asked how the hell I can be a runner. She said the thought of running long distances just makes her crazy. I smiled and said, “Honestly, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.”

If only my job consisted of talking, writing and running…(hey, two out of three ain’t bad)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh nuts

I love learning new things about the food I eat. I feel like I’m the one always talking to someone about eating whole foods or how much Ulcerative Colitis has changed our lives. So today, when I needed a little mid-morning boost, I was relieved to hear someone who thinks just like me.

Long story short, there’s a locally owned coffee shop where I work, and the owners are really cool people. They’re from Western Mass, so we immediately clicked when I told them I moved here from Boston this past fall. Anyway, today I was talking about my obsession with Teddie Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter, how I can’t find it here  (I’ve been making due with the Trader Joe’s brand) and how I can go through a jar in 2 weeks.

The response?

“Dude-peanuts are like the McDonald’s of nuts. Seriously. Have you ever had almond butter?”

This statement made me laugh out loud. It was so unexpected, and honestly, I never really looked at it this way before.

Think about it—every time I've eaten mixed nuts, I’ve eaten AROUND the peanuts. When I buy nuts, I usually buy almonds or walnuts, but not peanuts. Peanuts are so cheap compared to the other nuts I buy. But why am I so obsessed with peanut butter?

So we looked up their nutritional values. What I found was that they are both pretty damn good for you, but in different ways.


food chart peanuts


Almonds food chart

I actually found a ton of info on the World’s Healthiest Foods website about both Peanuts and Almonds and each have awesome health benefits.

What’s your preference?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weight policy on airplanes


I have a friend who forwarded this story to me and I thought it needed to be shared and discussed.

Southwest Airlines threw actor/director Kevin Smith off a plane that he bought 2 tickets for because he got on an earlier flight with only one seat available. And obviously, he’s pissed.

I have mixed feelings about this issue and I feel like something really needs to be done about it. We, as a nation, need to look at ourselves and figure out why we are getting bigger.

Now let me clarify something--being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean being unhealthy or unhappy-- but it’s still a major problem that has become a national epidemic. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have started a food/wellness blog, and our nation wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars to work around it.

I will say that I do not agree that SW should have thrown him off of the plane and here is why: He purchased 2 tickets, probably because he knew he needed them both. Whether it’s because he was too big or because the seats were too small, it’s the same premise.
So why, then, did SW let him on another flight with only 1 seat available?

That is where I think they screwed up. If you’re going to enforce a rule, then enforce it from start to finish.

Listen, being overweight isn’t a good feeling for many. When I was 35 pounds heavier, I never felt comfortable in my skin. My knees hurt, my clothes didn’t fit right, I was slow, and I was unhappy. I worked my ass off to make myself healthier. I didn’t blame anyone else but myself, and I did what I had to do to learn about proper nutrition. I’m not by any means skinny, but I am happy and healthy. When I feel like I’ve gained a few pounds (like I did last week from sitting on my ass being stuck in my house thanks to the snow) I accept it and work a little harder to get back to where I feel good. It’s not a particular number on the scale, it’s just according to how my clothes fit and how I feel. That’s just me, and it’s because I didn’t like the way I felt when I was overweight. Plain and simple.

My life has changed dramatically since. Learning about health, nutrition, wellness, Ulcerative Colitis and how it affected our lives; these things have made me who I am today. But this was all by choice.

I have always been active, but now I am doing things I never thought I would have—training for a 1/2 marathon? As active as I was, being a soccer player even throughout college, I never would have thought I could do that. But now I see life in a different light thanks to the choices I’ve made to better myself.

If I had been thrown off a plane the way Kevin Smith was, I would have been pissed too. But we need to start making some better choices in our lives. They don’t have to be all at once, they don’t need to be the same changes I made…but we need to do something.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

I’ve been looking for new breakfast ideas, so when I saw this on the Food Network yesterday, I knew I had to try it.


It’s definitely an adapted version but it was really awesome.

I used 1/2 of a very small sweet potato, 1/4 of a small red onion, some leftover baby bellas and one egg.
I didn’t have sage, but honestly, I didn’t need anything more than just a sprinkle of garlic. The sweet from the sweet potato and the sharpness of the onions blended so nicely together. And the added protein from the egg topped everything off perfectly. It was really good!

IMG_0317  IMG_0318

The Dead show was pretty awesome. I’m a rockin’ kind of girl and they played a pretty rockin’ set. No Uncle John’s Band for you HEAB but still good none the least!

Oh, and get this…we’re expecting MORE SNOW tomorrow. Sheesh! Let’s hope the weather peeps are wrong this time…please!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

7 miles before the show

I love when I go to the gym with no set intentions. Sometimes I need to have a set goal to keep me in check, but other days I just like to improvise. So that’s exactly what I did today.

I warmed up on the elliptical with 2 miles in 21 minutes. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to feel today, especially after this long week of being snowed in, so I thought, ‘I’ll start out slow and see how long I go.’

I jumped on the treadmill and got right to work, banging out 5 miles in 45 minutes. I was only going to run a 5K but I felt so good that I just kept on going. It was a good feeling to know that I still have some good endurance left after being trapped inside during this crazy winter. However, as much as I am excited to report that my hip felt OK, I had to come home and ice my foot. Blasphemy.

On to the show:

Furthur 2010-winter-tour-01

Furthur is playing at the Patriot Center tonight in Fairfax.

Although I’m not the Dead Head per se (that would be D-you should see the collection of live Dead shows we have here) I do enjoy live music and going to shows. The vibe at these shows is amazing, and I can’t get enough of watching my hippy friends dance! I’ll be sure to have a beer for all of you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My kind of taco salad


Oh was this good.

We had some leftover 99% fat free ground turkey and ground pork from some meatballs we made last week, so tacos were on the mind. But I wanted to make this more of a salad than a taco, so that’s exactly what I did.


I cooked the ground meat in the skillet and added some taco seasoning. Then I chopped up some romaine (ok, more than just SOME) and topped it with some of the meat, some crumbled tortilla chips, salsa, a little bit of cheddar, scallions, and avocado. Phew! That’s some good eats right there. And it was really simple.


I finally went back to work today after a long week of being snowed in, and I must admit-it was nice to have an excuse to get dressed in real clothes, do my hair and put on some make-up. And as much as I hate waking up before 6 a.m., I missed starting out my day at the gym.

I decided since my hip was bothering me earlier this week to start my workout on the elliptical to see how I felt. I might have to continue doing this because it’s a great way to warm up and it’s much less strenuous on my body. 20 minutes on the elliptical, then 20 minutes hard on the treadmill. I find that I can run much faster after warming up well on the elliptical too. It felt good to be back!

But now it’s not even 9:00 on a Friday and I’m ready for bed. I’m so lame…

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh how I love to hate you

Being snowed makes me sleepy, lazy, semi-depressed, and hungry. Well, not so much hungry as bored, which makes me want to eat. But today I needed to break out of my rut because I was starting to get cranky.

That’s when I remembered my old friend Jillian and her crazy ass 30 Day Shred.


I spent 20 minutes listening to her talk in her forceful but encouraging way, doing pushups, jumping jacks, static lunges, and everything else that I can’t seem to remember. Every time I do her workouts, it’s like I block it out when I’m done.

Yeah, she’s that good. And bad at the same time. That bitch. (sorry sorry I still love you!)

After hangin with Jillian, I realized I must have not recovered from my fall last week because my knees are still bruised (I couldn’t do girl push-ups because of it) my shoulder felt a little weird, and my back really F-ing hurts. But, overall, the workout put me in a much better mood and I didn’t feel like a big waste of space.

Oh, and remember that kick-ass loaf of bread I made yesterday with my neighbor Sue? Oh yeahhh check out my breakfast.



Damn was this good. (and now that I think about it, I should have cleaned off those crumbs…)

I cooked one whole egg and one egg white, topped it with a slice of Provolone cheese, and placed it on 2 slices of toasted homemade honey wheat bread. YUM.

I decided that since this bread is fresh and probably won’t last long that I should probably freeze it. I sliced it up, wrapped it in wax paper, put it in a gallon size zipper freezer bag and hopefully it will stay fresh.

I’m trying to change up my breakfasts but honestly, it’s either oatmeal or eggs. Or my Heabified pancakes. I normally don’t have time for eggs but I need to try something different. What can I make at work that’s quick, easy, filling, and good for me? I’m talking something I can put in the microwave…or maybe make the night before that will reheat well?

So it’s back to work tomorrow after being home for almost a full week straight. Good thing we have a three day weekend coming up to recover from this mess!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade honey wheat bread …. with a little help from my friend

Day five of being snowed in called for something fun to keep myself from going crazy. We had some insane blizzard like conditions outside. Visibility was nil, and it was so windy that I feared we’d lose power.

IMG_0224  IMG_0226

IMG_0228 IMG_0223

So when my neighbor Sue mentioned she wanted to make homemade bread, I was all over it.

I’ve tried making bread before and I’ve never been 100% satisfied with the way it’s turned out. That is, until today. This bread was so freaking good, I can’t believe I didn’t buy it at a fancy bakery. Really. It’s that good. And what I like about it most is that it’s sweetened naturally.

We took the recipe from It took us about 3 hours from start to finish to make it but it was SO worth it.



In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour and yeast. In a saucepan, heat milk, water, honey, butter and salt to 120 degrees F-130 degrees F.


Add to flour mixture.

Blend on low speed until moistened; beat on medium for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in remaining whole wheat flour and enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.  (We actually used a wooden spoon and our hands for this)

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.






Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.


Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.


Punch dough down. Shape into two loaves; place in a greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. (We placed them on my baking stone which I somehow forgot to photograph)


Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. We added some slits to the dough to make it look authentic..or something like that. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.



I don’t care who you are. You will LOVE this bread. I tried a piece with some butter, and a small sliver with some PB, and both were fabulous.  This would be good as a sandwich bread, eaten with eggs…you name it. And it has a slightly sweet taste from the honey, but not overbearing in any way. It’s a wheat bread but it’s not overpowering, so if you’re not a fan of wheat, you’ll still love it. Promise.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hip flexor issues


I was fortunate enough to make it to the gym this morning despite my fear of losing my parking spot. I’m glad I went though because there were tons of spots open when I got back. If I hadn’t gone, I would have been one cranky Latina…and well, we can get pretty feisty sometimes.

I had a hard time getting into my run this morning. I’ve been finding that I have to warm up longer at a slower speed before I can get into my groove. I’m not sure if it’s just because of the weather or what, but once I got into full force, I was feeling OK.

That’s until I stopped.

I did a five minute cool down, 1/2 of which was walking, and that’s when I felt it. This nagging pain in my hip/groin/quad area that I just can’t put a finger on. What the hell is this? I’m not 100% sure if it’s my hip flexor or not, but I’m thinking that’s where it is. Also, I’ve had an on again, off again muscle spasm in said quad. I’m not sure if this is related but, it’s a symptom so if you’re out there reading this, let me know what you think. I’ve iced the area a few times today to help keep injury to a minimum. Hopefully this will help.

I’m feeing frustrated because ever since I got the stress fracture in my foot over the summer, running on the treadmill has been causing me pain. Not EVERY time but about 85% of the time. So stop running on the treadmill silly! Well, it’s not that easy.

Yesterday I ran outside and felt fine. No issues in the foot, and this hip thing didn’t bother me. And since I’m training for some big races this year, I obviously HAVE to run on the treadmill some don’t I?

I’ve been using the elliptical for at least half of my workouts to break it up and keep myself injury free, and it looks like I’m going to have to use it a little more. I guess using the elliptical is better than not being able to work out at all, so I’m staying off the dreadmill for a while.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: STUPID SNOW! And stupid Dreadmill.

We’re anticipating another 8-12 inches of snow tonight and all day tomorrow. Here we go again!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dealing with Cabin Fever

So we had about 2 feet dumped on us this weekend, and I was fortunate enough to have the day off from work. (Well, kind of. I had to work from home.)
But we’re gearing up for another snow storm; 8-12 more inches to start tomorrow afternoon into Wednesday.


I got the call that I have to report to work tomorrow, but we’re planning on closing early since the snow is supposed to start in the early afternoon.

The only good thing about having to go into work tomorrow is that I’ll get to go to the gym.

So what’s a girl to do when she’s snowed in?

First, I made sure to shovel as much of my car out as possible without any help. I worked on it for about 2 hours total, and man did I work up a sweat.

Second, I decided to venture out this morning for a run. Well, if you can call it that. I ran only on the sidewalks that were cleared (so my run was only about 2 miles) but the were 2 tough miles since I had to climb over huge snow piles to get from one sidewalk to the other. At one point, I actually ran through a path of somewhat shoveled snow, which was actually the most fun part of my run!


I walked by this snowman and it made me laugh.


I had every intention of taking more pictures but the zipper on my vest was stuck so I couldn’t get it out. Bummer!

I was so excited for the Superbowl yesterday that I had 2 beers! I know, I know…2 beers is nothing. But it’s more than I’ve had in a long, long time.

We made our own chicken wings, homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella, red onions, and baby bellas.

 IMG_0218  IMG_0217

And a cheese and crackers spread.

This blue cheese we used was SO.GOOD.


It wasn’t huge, there were only three of us, but it was yummy and fun.

And I just got word that I have tomorrow off from work. Sweet!