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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cookbooks, Canines and Cleaning. Oh my!

It's Thursday again and that means it's time to reflect on the things that we're thankful for.  If you're unfamiliar with what TTT is, please reference the original TTT post.  In no particular order here are the things that have made my life awesome this week.

1)  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I decided to order a new cookbook for myself.  I love cookbooks, which is to say I love reading them.  I sometimes forget that I'm actually supposed to cook out of them but that's another story.  This one though is totally different.  I ordered One Pot Cookbook from Amazon because it had a slower cooker chapter as well as having the Points+ values for all the recipes.  We've made about 10 recipes out of this book and all of them have been amazing.  Just when you think you find a favorite we try a new one and it's better than the last.  I'm so glad that I bought this cookbook because we've been eating pretty good around here lately!

2)  With the unseasonably warm weather I've been logging quite a few miles in February.  However I noticed that my feet were starting to hurt so I knew it was time for new running shoes!  I am a firm believer that if you're going to be doing a lot of activity that you  need to have the right gear and that means you have to spend some money on your shoes. Recently Dan and I headed to the New Balance store and got fitted for our new sneaks.  I am so thankful I did because my feet haven't been hurting anymore making those workouts so much  more enjoyable.

3)  I am really thankful for my dogs, Briscoe and Tucker.  From time to time they are really frustrating when they start to fight or find it necessary to go outside every 5 minutes.  However, they do bring so much joy to me every day that I can't imagine not having them.  They are always happy to see me when I come home, no matter how long I've been gone or whether I've brought them a new toy or not.  Plus, Tucker makes a great walking partner and I know Briscoe will make a good running partner when I'm ready for that level of intensity.

4)  As of Sunday I met my activity goal for February.  Granted I set a relatively low goal for February because it's a short month and I wasn't sure what the weather would be like.  I'm excited that I reached my goal and now any activity I get in is really just a bonus but it will definitely help me reach my annual activity goal so that's awesome.

5)  Last week we had dinner with our friends, Sheri and Bob.  While we were there we started talking about hoarding - you've seen that show on TLC right?  Well, the next morning I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation and about the contents of my closet and dresser drawers.  It haunted me so much I got motivated to clean so I went downstairs and got some garbage bags and started sorting clothes.  I have 3 bags ready to go to Goodwill so far.  I am definitely thankful for that dinner and the motivation to purge!!

So, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Frozen Cherries vs. Cherry M&M's

Our February weather has been unseasonably warm.  Especially since the weather folk predicted this was going to be our worst winter ever.  Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in our lack of snow but at least I used the time to my advantage.  As you may recall one of my 2012 goals was to log 700 miles this year.  Well January was disappointing due to illness, frankenfinger and weather.  So I'm hoping to make up some of my missed mileage in February.  As of Sunday's walk I hit my goal for February so the rest of the month is just bonus!  I'm pretty excited about that.

On another exciting topic - or it is to me (and Jen B) at least.  I had a conversation with my friend Jen via text that went something like this:
me to Jen B:  Ran out of frozen cherries for my oatmeal this morning.  Have bag of cherry flavored M&M's in pantry.  Should be same points value, no?
Jen B. to me:  Totally the same.  Love it  
Later that day:
me to Jen B.:  Bought real frozen cherries for oatmeal in the morning.  So excited.  Seriously?  Fruit gets me excited?  Who the hell* am I?
Jen B. to me:  I feel the same way!  I heart cantaloupe! 
* some words were changed to protect the innocent eyes of my readers (clearly it's all about you guys!)

So this either proves that you really can retrain  your brain and taste buds to crave things that can be good for you or that Jen B. and I are both a little bit crazy.  Or both.  In all honesty though I had to make oatmeal with frozen peaches this morning which are as equally delicious but there is something about big frozen cherries, a touch of cinnamon and 1/2 t. of vanilla in my oatmeal that is just so tasty and satisfying to me.

Do you find yourself craving things that you weren't before?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Things Thursday

I didn't forget about Thankful Things Thursday - I've been making a little list all week long when I have 'oh man thank goodness I have this thing' moment.  If you aren't familiar go to this Thankful Things Thursday post where I explain all about it.  So, without further chatting here we go...

1)  I am so thankful that we have friends like Sheri and Bob.  Last night we had the most amazing dinner with them and we laughed until my cheeks hurt.  They made this fantastic gumbo recipe (I have already requested said recipe and will likely be making it and then blogging about it!!) which was perfect because the weather was a little overcast yesterday and it was a great comforting, spicy dish.  YUM.

2)  The other day I wanted a snack but also needed to get some dairy in for the day.  I grabbed a container of yogurt and some fresh blueberries.  It was such a great combination and I love it but sometimes forget how much I love it.  In fact, I'm planning on having it today.

3)  I am currently loving all the Pandora stations especially the cardio/workout themed ones.  I was really getting tired of my playlist but realized that a lot of the music I own isn't really all that upbeat so it doesn't motivate me to push myself during a workout.  The Pandora stations have and I usually only end up with one or two commercials during the hour that I listen.

4)  After working up a fabulous sweat (seriously can someone explain to me why when it's 20 degrees outside I am as sweaty as I am if it's 90 degrees outside?) I love jumping into a nice hot shower. There just isn't anything better than cooling down a little bit (or really warming up I suppose!) and then hitting the shower.

5)  This week, again, I had to use my "snow chains" (as Dan and I refer to them) for my shoes.  For my birthday my mother-in-law bought me a pair of Ice Trekkers.  I've worn them in Northern Wisconsin where there was a ton of snow and I've worn them down here where the ice was the bigger problem.  I loved wearing them in WI but down here I'm not crazy about them. After a few miles I can tell that stride changes slightly since the "snow chains" are actually hitting the pavement/sidewalk instead of sinking into the snow   They do work tremendously well and I can appreciate that and the fact that I haven't fallen down (knock on wood) yet so I'll continue wearing them.

So, now tell me, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm as confused as everyone else

The end of January I stopped working out because of franken finger (which has healed nicely and the lack of finger prints will surely lead me to a life of crime now).  Then in the beginning of February the weather was nice, the walking path was mostly clear short of a couple of spots with some snow on them and I was itching to get outside.  The first week of February I logged 16 miles and the second week of February I logged a measly 8 miles, due mostly to some really confusing and intensive homework that needed to be done.  The good news is that I finally understand how to convert a dotted decimal address into binary but that's a whole different subject.  Anyway, when I stepped on the scale today I was shocked.  So was my leader.  The scale said I lost 4.2 pounds.

Um... wha?????  So... ok that was good.  The only thing I can surmise is that the working out takes a week to catch up?  If you have other ideas I'd love to hear them so hit me up in the comments with your thoughts.

Our discussion topic today was how to navigate restaurant menus.  There are obviously words to avoid (tempura, fried, buffalo, etc...) but there were also some really great ideas thrown out during the meeting.  Diane suggested ordering a baked potato with a side of salsa or pico de gallo.  Oh my gosh, doesn't that sound so yumalicious?  I'm totally going to do that next time we go out to eat!  Another idea is when you're ordering breakfast ask for poached eggs and dry toast.  Poached eggs are cooked in water so there's no chance of dumping a cup of oil onto the griddle with them.  Now I want to go out to eat just to use some of the suggestions that were passed along.

So what do you guys do when you eat out?  Do you ask that your food be prepared in a special way?  Do you just wing it and see what happens?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Things Thursday

One of my favorite bloggers, Ali, writes a post every Thursday called Thankful Things Thursday.  I love reading Ali's blog for a few reasons, one because she has Crohn's (me too!), because she runs (I'm trying!), she's funny (well, I'll let you judge on that one) and she loves dogs (I definitely do).  Ali also started the Thankful Things Thursday posts that I've seen a couple of my other favorite bloggers adopt and they always make me happy no matter what is going on.  So here we go.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Wicking clothes.  I was out for a very sweaty and cold (I don't know how that works exactly) walk/run this morning with Tucker when the wind picked up on our way home.  I was glad that my clothes were wicking because otherwise that would have been brutally cold.  My hat just thinsulate, which is terribly warm but when my head sweats it's bad news bears.  At least that only happens on my head.
  2. The patience my husband has when I start to freak out about converting dotted decimal to binary and calculating subnetting.  He reminds me that things will be fine and even if I get a bad grade in the class it is not the end of the world (I don't necessarily believe him).
  3. Speaking of class I'm thankful that I finally understand how to convert dotted decimal to binary.  Converting to hex is a whole other story.
  4. Gummy vitamins.  Seriously, I really love them especially the sour ones.  They make it enjoyable to have to take pills.  After having to take a lot of pills during my early Crohn's days I am hesitant to like to take any pills long term but these are awesome.  If you haven't tried them you really ought to.
  5. After getting home from my walk/run this morning (3.1 miles walking, 0.7 miles running) and I sync'd my Garmin Forerunner to my computer and started to look at my stats I realized how thankful I am to have that to keep me on pace.  It encourages me to keep trying harder and pushing myself farther.
So, what are you thankful for?  Let's hear it!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Spring races are a comin'

Oh my gosh you guys... I just registered for my first 5K for 2012!!!  I'll be heading up to Oshkosh for the Oshkosh Half Marathon and 5K in April.  I still have to register for the Egg Shell Shuffle which comes before the Oshkosh Half/5K but I wanted to register for this one before the registration fee increased.  I mean I want to do a lot of races this year so I'll save money wherever I can.  Plus, I figured I'd give you guys a few days to decide that you're gonna come and pace me for the race.  Right?  Go on, you can go register for the race too.  I'll wait right here.

In other news... today I had to go to the office for a lunch with my co-workers.  Since I haven't been anywhere that I couldn't wear yoga pants, jeans or pajama pants I didn't have anything to wear.  I made a trip to Old Navy on Saturday and was delighted to buy pants off the shelf from a "regular" store.  I tried them on and they fit and I proudly bought them, some pajama pants (cause really can you ever have enough?), and two T-shirts.  Seriously I was kind of giddy about buying clothes apparently.  Really after 20+ years of buying clothes online both because I don't like shopping and two because it's hard to find clothes that I like/fit when you are an overweight person so it was kind of refreshing to be in an actual store.

Fast forward to after work today when I went to my WW meeting and I told people about my shopping experience and I stood up and did a little twirl.  At which point Melany asked if I'd just bought the pants?  Uh, yes on Saturday.  To which she replied, Jen those are too big.  You should have gone one size smaller.  Clearly I have no idea how to shop for myself when I'm not trying to just buy the biggest size available.  Oops!  Oh well, it's a lesson learned, right?

In one more bit of news, I gained a little this week.  Whether that was due to my new pants/belt combination or the fact that I logged 16 miles so far this month (4 miles per day for 4 days is not too shabby) I'm not tremendously worried.  A little disappointed but last week was a big loss so we're just gonna ride this out and see what next week brings.

Have you ever lost weight and not known how to buy clothes that fit?  How do you know?  I don't want to buy something and wear it thinking it looks good only to have someone tell me that it looks painted on.  Did you take someone with you to tell you when something was too big/small or am I just an idiot?