Scroll down for the food

January 28, 2009

I never delivered on my promise to tell you about my fascinating knee treatment. For a few weeks, I’ve been having iontophoresis treatments on my left knee. It was weird and painful at first, and a little frightening when, before my physical therapist hooked me up to the little jumper cables (technical term) the first time, he had to ask another therapist which one was positive and which was negative. Which, if you’re wondering, did very little to inspire confidence. But anyway, the point is that I don’t know if it really worked, but I got discharged from physical therapy today anyway.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I’ve been on and off with my exercising, which means I’ve been up and down with my moods. I only started exercising in summer 2005, but I’m pretty sure I’m a lifer now, because when I can’t sweat out my stress I walk around like a cranky two year old that you woke up early from a nap. So it’s a challenge when I really just can’t do it. Last week was my most normal one in over a month, activity-wise, with four days of cardio at about 40 minutes a pop. But, in the end, I paid for it. IN BLOOD.

Not really blood. Just pain. COURSING THROUGH MY BLOOD. So I took a few days off, read some books during my exercise time, moped around, the usual. And then I decided I needed to make some changes. So, for the next few weeks, I’m cutting down my cardio and ramping up my other stuff, like yoga. I did a good class last night, which was 90 minutes of deep stretching, more or less, and while it probably didn’t burn off the six cookies I ate through the course of the evening, it did make me feel better, and it was good to remember that that’s really why I exercise in the first place. Tonight, in the spirit of Getting Out There And Doing Things, I tried tai chi for the first time. I hated it, but that’s okay. At least I tried. Basically, it was all about centering your mind, but all I could focus on was that I was in a room full of mirrors and I didn’t have a clue how to do what the teacher was doing. And the moves are called things like “stroking the horses mane” and I just couldn’t get into it. So instead of a centered mind, I had more of an “okay, I look like an ass and there’s college basketball on that I’m missing and I really just want to go home and make dinner” mind. Plus, my knee started hurting after the class, so I think I did it wrong.

See, I made you read through all of that just to get to the food.

Dinner made the whole failed tai chi experience seem like a distant memory:

baked quinoa

baked quinoa

This is pretty much the dish to which all of my previous quinoa experience has been leading. We loved it.

I did, however, spend the entire time I was preparing it thinking about how I could never get my immediate family to eat this, even if I paid them all. But hey, it’s their loss.

And now I’m off to enjoy some treats. Matt, in the mood for cookies and looking for a project, baked some chocolate chip cookies for us yesterday, and they’re delicious. To top that off, I had a visit from the chocolate fairy today, and came home to a box filled with these:



There was no note that we could find, so I spent some time this afternoon trying to figure out if it was possible that TCHO could have discovered my address in some secret way after reading about how much I love their products. For what it’s worth, Matt thinks I sent it to myself.

I plan to enjoy it, whomever it’s from, so thank you, silent benefactor!


They’re the only thing that will get me off the couch at this point.


You say potato, I say frittata

December 17, 2008

I know you’ve all been wondering how the fasting went. It actually went much better than I expected, though I did dream about Odwalla bars (Sweet and Salty Almond, specifically). I made it through the full twelve hours, but there was a catch: I had to reschedule my appointment. We got a couple of inches of snow overnight and when I called the doctor to make sure everything was on schedule, a lovely woman completely freaked me out by telling me the roads were “much, MUCH worse than anyone would tell you” and strongly suggested that I reschedule. So all that fasting was for nothing. And I have to do it again Sunday night. The fun never ends.

I worked from home yesterday, so I should have had tons of time to make a complicated and beautiful dinner. Instead, I had leftover sweet potato and lentil chili. I may have added a little cheese and a few Red Hot and Blue chips.

Okay, fine. It was nachos. I had nachos. But there were sweet potatoes involved, so: healthy.

I had physical therapy this afternoon and he made me do about twenty million lunges and something really painful called a crab walk. Crabwalk? One word or two? Anyway, after that, I decided to try my luck at the gym tonight and I actually managed to drag myself there (on snowy roads, no less!) and did an easy thirty minutes on the elliptical. Not the most vigorous workout, but it was nice to get some activity in for the first time since last Thursday. I’m hoping to start with every other day and then work back up to my usual five a week. Hopefully he’ll give me the go ahead for running soon. Or at least walking.

While I was ellipticaling away, I kept thinking about potatoes, so when I got home, we made a frittata with some little red potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, thyme, salt and pepper, and swiss cheese. I think it may have been our best one yet.


After dinner, I rewarded myself for actually going to the gym by having a miniature Reese’s cup. And part of a cookie. And some soy cream. Hey, it’s the holidays.

I did it!

November 16, 2008

No food to be seen from our trip, although we did eat at Wa and Lidia’s and Whole Foods over the course of the weekend. Wa was good, as always, and I had tempura udon and an unagi eel roll. Then I exploded. At Lidia’s, I had the pasta tasting prix fixe meal, which included a salad, limitless supplies of three pastas of the day, and a dessert. I didn’t even make it through a full plate of pasta, for which Matt made fun of me mercilessly. The waitress assured me that only high school boys ever get a second plate. Anyway, I had plenty of pasta, so I really carbed up for my 5k.

This morning, I ran my first 5k and I’m so proud of myself. I took walk breaks, and the course was pretty hilly, but I still finished under my goal time of 35 minutes. I know that’s not actually very fast, but it is for me! I’m still waiting for my results to be posted, so I can see what my actual time is.

Matt did an excellent job of documenting the whole process. Here I am excited to register:


Here’s an action shot of me yelling “take this jacket!” as I approached the finish line. I did a really bad job of layering. It was really cold and windy when I got started but it took about .07 seconds for me to start burning up. Next time I’ll know.


See, there are people behind me!

After the race, there was free food like Smoothie King samples and fruit. And doughnuts. And brownies. I skipped the sweet stuff, as I wasn’t really in the mood to pound a brownie at 9:40am and with a body heat of 800 degrees. The smoothie samples were good, though. We ate at Whole Foods for lunch, and it was pretty great because I haven’t had the Whole Foods salad bar in years. You can say all you want about Whole Foods being corporate and weird for an organic grocery store (they are), but their salad bars are awesome. And they taste even better when the closest one is two hours away from your home. And, they have tempeh! Also, they had Z-Bars in blueberry AND apple cinnamon. It was like Christmas. I bought so many bars.

We came home to supportive messages left for me about the 5k. I would have taken a picture, but there’s no light in the hallway. Thanks, anonymous message leavers!

Okay, I think I’ll stop refreshing the empty race results page and go to sleep.

Master See Food.

November 13, 2008

So, that medication has basically taken over my life. I haven’t slept for more than a couple of hours in the past three nights, so I’m tired and fairly out of it and, really, overall, just in a fine mood.

One highlight of the last few hazy days has been watching Kung Fu Panda. It. Was. Awesome. I especially loved the cute little kung fu master, Master Shifu. I’ve asked Matt to call me Master See Food from now on, in homage.

Last night I was so busy watching that and icing my knee and having a headache that I didn’t post our dinner. Here’s what it looked like


It was a super-hearty potato/mushroom/spinach/gruyere frittata. With some toast and a little salad on the side. It was so good and so fast that we may be having another one tomorrow, as we’re going to be pressed for time in between work and a basketball game. Sorry for the lame picture. Have I mentioned that I’m not really sleeping?

Tonight was a spur-of-the-moment meal, kind of a variation on pasta/white bean/tomato dishes I’ve made before, but much faster.


That’s polenta with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, cannellini beans, and parm. That’s basically the recipe. Cook the polenta. Throw in the spinach about a minute before it’s done. Add some (rehydrated) chopped sun-dried tomatoes, a can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained). Add cheese. I didn’t measure. Let’s say a lot. Cook over low until heated through. Add salt, pepper, some lemon juice, and some roasted garlic. Serve with more cheese.

The next three days are going to be a little insane, with a busy day at work tomorrow followed by a busy weekend of shopping and eating and an out of town 5k. If I don’t get a chance to post tomorrow, I’ll be back on Sunday with all of the gory details, hopefully including pictures of me simultaneously freezing and sweating to death during the 5k. I got this hat that has some kind of body heat reactive technology that’s supposed to hold in your heat to keep you warm and, let’s just say, it works a little too well.


October 5, 2008

On Friday, I was at a conference that had a catered lunch, which included cheese tortellini in a really obscenely delicious cream sauce. It was so good. I only got three pieces or something ridiculous like that, because they weren’t labeled and I didn’t know if they had any kind of beef- or pork-related products in them. I had to stop myself from going back for more. I think I called enough attention to myself by going back to the cookie tray twice and trying to be sly with my “Oh, I’m just looking at the mixed vegetable tray. Aren’t vegetables so good?” look as I swiped another sugar cookie (ETA: I actually ate real food at lunch, including lots of vegetables from the aforementioned tray and some delightful chicken skewers, in addition to three pieces of tortellini and three cookies. Just in case you were worried). Since then, I’ve been wanting more creamy pasta.

Tonight was the perfect opportunity, as I went to the gym and did the hardest group fitness class I’ve done in years. It was a regular 3-2-1 class (three minutes cardio, two minutes weights, one minute abs), but the instructor did something to make it seem like boot camp. At one point, she went into the equipment room to get out a bunch of hula hoops and I said to myself, “Oh, please don’t cry, Jenny. You’ll look so weak in front of these college students.” And then she set up an obstacle course and I tried to pretend it was just more sweat. Coming out of my eyes.

So, basically, I came home and I wanted 1) food 2) lots of it and 3) lots of it with carbs. And so I made pasta with creamy red pepper-feta sauce. Ellie never lets me down.

And now I’m going to go try to read something serious and get ready for the week. And avoid late night snack-cidents. My pants have been a little ill-fitting these last few weeks. And while I’m sure it has more to do with the fact that I’ve cut down on my activity some, stress-eating when I’m not hungry is probably not helping so much. I’m not naming names but I’M LOOKING AT YOU, SMUCKER’S NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER.

While I’m on the subject of stress-eating, I’ve got a lot going on this week, so I may be sporadic with my posts. (And with answering the phone, Mom. Sorry.) I do hope to stick with my meal plan, as it involves pizza.

This post is boring.

September 16, 2008

Today, I did several things to attempt to manage my fatigue

  1. Only had one caffeinated beverage (apparently this works out in the long run, though I’m not sure the people who have to be around me during my mid-morning stupor would agree).
  2. Took a short walk at lunch. I investigated the track on campus and have deemed it worthy. I might even try to take some running shoes with me some day this week.
  3. Did a circuit training class at the gym that made me feel like I was going to keel over. I always read that weight training increases your metabolism, and metabolism=energy, right? Maybe it doesn’t. I’ve never been good at science. If I’m wrong, please don’t tell me. I’m fragile.
  4. Ate animal flesh.

This last one is really the only one that’s relevant here. We’ve been going fairly meatless lately, and whenever my fatigue flares up, my mom always tells me I need to eat some chicken. So, for her, I made lemon/rosemary chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli for dinner.

It was good, but I forgot to microwave the potatoes beforehand and they took forever to cook through. I actually had to put them back in the pan after I took this picture.

Now, let’s see if any of that helps. Considering that I’ve fallen asleep at the laptop three times while typing this, it’s not looking good.

I’ll try to be peppier tomorrow.

I love free food.

September 9, 2008

I went to the gym after work, only to stand awkwardly in the locker room when I realized I had forgotten to pack a few key elements of my workout attire. Like socks. So I left, half work clothes, half workout clothes, looking pretty awesome. These things usually defeat me and mean that I just blow off my entire plan to exercise in favor of eating peanut butter and watching junky television. Not tonight! I’ve worn heels for two days in a row, so I decided that the best way to get the feeling back in my pinky toes was to take a walk. So I did. And only then did I eat peanut butter and watch junky television.

But in between the walk and 90210 (I know, I know) was this:

Pretty simple,  grilled tomato/chicken/cheese sandwich, some vegetable chips, and a lazy salad with mixed greens, yellow pear tomatoes, and some red pepper vinaigrette.

I wish you could see the tomato on the sandwich. It was delicious! Today, Livia brought me some tomatoes from her garden, and I don’t know which kind this was, but it was awesome. It was kind of sweet. She also gave me a purple cherokee and some other kind that is really awesome looking that has a name I can’t remember. Oh, and a cucumber. It was like grocery shopping. At work. For free. Thanks, Livia!

I also had a popsicle. I didn’t take a picture, mostly because I didn’t make it. And also because I’m really clumsy, and the last thing I need is to drop a strawberry on the white carpet in our kitchen trying to take a picture.

During my walk/jog, I made a mental list of the things I need to do this week, and now that I’m home, I’m thinking I need to add “buy new running shoes.” Because, while I’m happy to have the feeling back in my toes, I’m sad that the rest of my feet now feel like I spent the better part of my day walking over knives. So, I’m going to try to do something about that now.