Co-ops: The Adventurous Way to Get Food

16 Feb
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The second co-op pick-up

So… co-ops are pretty cool. I had heard about them before (mostly online resources), and people made them sound like a good way to get a lot of product (local, organic, or both) for a better deal. Well it costs me $30 each pick-up, and I get about 15 lbs of produce in my half-share. So that’s an average of $2/lb price for my produce — but it’s all organic. So I guess that is an okay deal. But the thing I appreciate most is that this is forcing me to be more adventurous and creative with my food. I have never tried beets… and I got some in this last pick-up. I will channel my inner Dwight Schrute and make some beet chips using this recipe I found online. I also got some of these weird purple potatoes in my pick-up, which I guess I will eat even though I try to limit my starchy carbs.

It’s a fun adventure, this co-op thing. And it supports local agriculture/farms, so that’s nice.

 

Oh and I thought I would post this funny Portlandia snippet where a couple who gets produce from a co-op get an alien-fruit (durian, ew smelly!). I’m still waiting for the day I find a durian in my pick-up. If that happens, I will be both excited and horrified.

 

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First co-op haul

16 Feb

First co-op haul

The first pick-up

Checking-in: Yoga, Running, and a General Update

9 Feb

I think we’ve all heard about the great things yoga has to offer… flexibility… stress-reduction… whatever. I’ve had my reservations with yoga since I tried it in sophomore year of college and realized it’s actually pretty difficult. Well, for me at least. While yoga brings some people a relaxing way to work-out, it brought me to the point of popping a blood vessel under my eye from straining myself. That was a while ago though… and I figured it was time to try it again.

In my lurking around the running subreddit, someone posted about yoga and how well it compliments/improves running. A commenter posted two videos: one that’s a pre-running yoga session, and one that’s a post-running yoga session. I decided to start doing these before and after my runs. I can’t say if it’s helped much yet or not…but I still find yoga pretty difficult to do. And I figure if something is difficult or feels uncomfortable, then I should probably do it more.

Anyway, I figured I’d post these up for reference and if anyone’s interested:

Pre-run yoga

Post-run yoga

So I guess it’s probably due time for a check-in of sorts. Well it’s early February now… mid-February will mark the 10-month mark of living health-fully. I’m a few pounds away from the 100-lb weight loss mark. I plan to celebrate the 100-pound mark with sky-diving… or something else cool and adventurous.

RUNNING
I’m still running three times a week… 3 miles each time. I haven’t tried running over 3 miles yet… I just don’t really feel interested in doing a lot of distance right now. I’d like to break 30 minutes soon, and the closest I’ve come is 31:51 for 3 miles. Maybe my first 5k race in March, I’ll break 30 min.

EATING
Still eating paleo/primal, though I’ve cheated a few times lately (Super Bowl party anyone?), and I’ve also started to incorporate Greek yogurt (Fage Total Plain) into my diet a few times a week. Yes it’s dairy, which is not ‘paleo.’ But there’s some benefits to be had with the greek yogurt. It’s got probiotics, a lot of protein in a serving, and is incredibly convenient. It’s a good snack for me when I come home at night from a work-out. There’s naturally occurring sugars (lactose), so that’s why I like to have it after a work-out… but supposedly it does spike insulin and can cause problems with weight-loss. I just wanted to try it out as a high-protein snack.

WEIGHTS/STRENGTH
I’m now in Phase 6 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. The work-outs feel weirdly short. I’m not complaining though — the last phase had 2 minute rests between sets, so it would take me over 1.5 hours to complete my lifting work-outs. This phase only takes me about 30 minutes or so… so that’s been nice. This phase has negative chin-ups in it… which is pretty different and kind of cool. I mean, I know it’s not an actual chin-up, but I still think it’s fun to climb up on a stool and hang off a bar and pretend I’m letting myself down from doing a chin-up. Hopefully someday in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be able to actually do real chin-ups.

On the topic of strength training… a friend of mine from work (who is a guy) and I like to have random little competitions. I thought I could out-lift him in a leg press, since I lift regularly, and I’m significantly larger in size than his dainty-self. Well, I lost… he’s surprisingly strong for his size. Or maybe I’m delusional in thinking I had a chance at out-lifting a guy. But I found out I was able to lift 495 lbs on a leg-press. I could probably have done more, but I failed at the 545 mark and didn’t try anything between 495 and 545. My friend completed the 545 rep… then he proceeded to do 4 more reps to rub it in my face. I was disappointed with my loss… but at least I still whooped him in our swim-off shortly thereafter.

3 milers

16 Jan

I just finished my 3rd time running 3 miles tonight. My time is around 34 minutes — not fantastic, but I CAN JOG 3 MILES WITHOUT WALKING. That’s a victory in itself for me.

Running is a funny thing. Sometimes it feels good. Sometimes it feels okay. Sometimes it hurts. And a lot of times, I feel like I’m going to die. There are times on every run that I have to talk myself into continuing on. I am always tempted to walk a few seconds here and there. Sometimes I give in. But these last 2 runs (which I’ve done by myself), I haven’t — I just jog through these temptations and dips in energy. I always surprise myself when I do this.

I’m just really excited that I can run 3 miles now. So there you have it. The Couch to 5k works. I did it! Now it’s time to get my 5k time faster. I should probably integrate some interval training into my running… and it’d probably be more fun that way too. I’ve also been meaning to time myself on a 1 mile run… I know my pace is around 11 minutes currently, but that’s when I’m running 3 miles all together. If I only have to worry about 1, I wonder how fast I could do it…hmmmmm.

It’s been cold here in Dallas. It actually snowed at some point last night… I woke up to snow on the ground and on my car. It didn’t excite me at all…. I guess it’s a sign I’m becoming a boring adult. Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s the cold temperatures, but yesterday I felt like I had an appetite that just could not be tamed. I think we all have those days where we’re just hungry and want to eat everything in sight. I did pretty good about keeping it all healthy foods, but it felt like I was eating a lot and it was kind of frustrating to be that hungry. I actually decided to not work out yesterday because I was just too damn hungry and cold to imagine swimming. Is that wussy-ing out? Maybe… but I’m entitled to at least 1 rest day a week so I guess that was it.

I should probably start tracking my calories/food more closely. I honestly have no idea how many calories I consume in any given day… and that’s probably a little irresponsible of me, I guess. I figured if I just ate when I was hungry, and ate only healthy foods, then it wouldn’t be a problem. Mostly, that’s worked for me, but weight loss rate is getting slower and April (my 1-year anniversary) will be here before I know it. I’m determined it break 100 lbs lost before then (which shouldn’t be hard… I’m at around 90 lbs lost now).

“Meggos” aka Paleo-friendly Pancakes

6 Jan

I’ll be honest: I am a picky eater. I dont’ like cheese. I don’t like mayonaise. I don’t like salad dressing, or sour cream, or liver. There’s a lot of other things I don’t like… I could list them but I’d rather not bore you. But one of them is also eggs. I never could get past their texture… or their smell. I WANTED to like eggs, I really did. I always thought they were fun to crack, and I love the way sunny-side up eggs look… so cute! But I didn’t like them.

When I started to eat paleo/primal, I noticed a lot of paleo meals involved eggs. Frittatas, omelets, scrambled eggs… the list went on. I felt like I was missing out on a very convenient source of protein. And then I came across this blog post that changed my outlook on eggs.

All I had to do to like eggs was disguise them as a pancake. It was genius. Just add a banana and BOOM. Success.

I’ll eat these anytime of day… it’s simple, easy, and doesn’t take much time. I’ve taken to calling them “Meggos” (you know, cus my name is Meghan and all..) but I didn’t come up with this recipe so who the hell do I think I am? Anyway… here’s the recipe:

All you do is:
1. Heat a frying pan on low-medium heat
2. crack and whisk 2 eggs
3. mash up 1 banana (I just use a fork) and add that mashed banana to the whisked eggs
4. I add a dash of vanilla extract and a good sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to my batter to make it even better. Stir that batter up real good..
5. Melt some extra virgin coconut oil in the now-hot pan
6. Pour in some batter. let it sit until it’s firm enough to flip… this can be tricky and even with all the “pancakes” I’ve made, I still screw up and flip too early, too late, etc.
7. Cook on the other side about another minute or so… till it’s golden brown and done.

These are good. They’re not the same as ihop pancakes… but they are comforting, filling, and I really enjoy them.

I also like to take some frozen berries, heat them up in the microwave for about 45 seconds, and then mash them with a fork to make a quick berry-compote of sorts. Pour that on top and you got yourself some delicious berry paleo-friendly pancakes.

25 minutes!

24 Dec

Last night I wrapped up the 7th week of couch-to-5k. I am now running 25 minutes without walking. I never thought I’d be able to do that!

 

Tomorrow I’ll be starting week 8 — 27 minute runs. It’s always a challenge for me… (read: makes me want to kill myself) but I’m hoping that as I do this more and more, I will get better, faster, and hate my life a little less. 

Still. I’m pretty excited. I may sign up for my first 5k in February. I was thinking I’d do one in April, but I think February I may be ready!

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2011 vs 2012

20 Dec

2011 vs 2012

Company Christmas party pics — last year vs. this year

Am I a Runner Yet?

8 Dec

I can’t believe it’s already a week into December! Pretty soon it will be 2013 (unless the Mayans were right after all…). I guess the holiday season is in full swing, but so far it hasn’t been too bad as far as temptations go. I’ve been sticking to eating mostly healthy/paleo, and am just continuing on my way with things. 

I figured it was past-due time for a check-in on the Couch-to-5k program. Tonight I did the second work out of week 5. It involved a 5 minute walk (warm-up), 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes walking, and 8 minutes of running again. 

I know I’m not running miles yet…but I feel so encouraged when I complete my runs. I almost feel like a runner… which is something I never thought I’d become. 

The third workout for week 5 is a straight 20 minute run. I’m scared of this one… it seems like such a jump from doing 2 8 minute runs with 5 min of walking between. But I’m determined to do this.

Running is really cool. As a swimmer, I have always envied runners for a few reasons.

1. You get to listen to music while you run. When you swim, you hear just water-noise. Music is such a nice thing to have when you’re working out. Tangent: did you know that supposedly, the best bpm for running is 180? I learned this while I was looking online for good running music.

2. You get to breathe fresh air. Swimming – you breathe pool air (chlorine fumes).

3. You get to run around nice scenery, or see things. I’m fortunate to have a fairly nice running trail just 5 minutes walk from my front door. I get to see trees, ducks, geese, grass, a creek, and a monstrous display of Christmas lights! In swimming, I stare at a line at the bottom of the pool.

4. Convenience — running just takes putting on your clothes, shoes, and walking out the door. No need to travel to the gym. 

Yes, running definitely has its perks. I just look forward to when I’m at my goal weight (50 lbs lighter than what I am now); I’d imagine running will be so much easier and more enjoyable then.

Updated Work-out Schedule

15 Nov

For my own reference…

 

Rules:

Lift weights at least 2 times, but no more than 3 times weekly

Run 3 times weekly

Swim at least 2 times weekly

1 rest day per week

 

Mon: Weights OR Rest

Tues: Running

Wed: Weights OR Rest

Thurs: Swimming (HIIT/steady-pace)

Fri: Running

Sat: Weights

Sun: Running AND Swimming

I did try running and swimming on the same night after work like a week or two ago… I regretted that decision since I didn’t eat enough food to fuel such a lengthy work-out. I think I’d rather keep the swim/run combo to Sunday so I can make sure I eat enough food to sustain my energy… and/or break up the workouts from each other more.

Follow-up on the doc appointment

11 Nov

So as you guys might remember, I scheduled an appointment (that I was dreading) with the gyno at the end of October. The gyno I saw was a reproductive-endocrinologist in addition to gynecologist, so I figured she’d be a really good doctor to see since I was suspicious about my thyroid function, hormones, etc.

 

The appointment really wasn’t that bad. And she ordered a bunch of blood tests. Everything came back normal except for Vitamin D — which I had 27. I think anything below 50 is considered low. I am not sure if 27 is like… baddddd or just not good. Anyway… she wanted me to start taking a vitamin D3 supplement. So I have been for the past week. I also started taking Biotin every day, and zinc every other day. I’m happy to report that my hair loss seems to have slowed down/decreased. I’m hoping that taking the D3 was what I needed to fix it…. because guess what sucks. Losing weight and feeling better about your physical appearance… only to start feeling self conscious about a different issue. That sucks. Feeling like I can’t get bangs or do certain hair styles because my hair is too thin sucks. 

 

I started running again because I was tired of waiting for my left foot to de-swell. The swelling has gone down, but it’s still puffier than my right foot. I don’t care anymore… I want to be a runner. So I’m on week 2 of Couch to 5k again. I just did the first workout of week 2 today, and then went and swam 3000 yards afterwards. I can feel the running affecting my breathing in swimming — I breath easier when I’m running as well. 

 

This past week I went and played tennis with my friend after work. It was really fun — I remember trying tennis like two times in the past. I remember both of those times involving embarrassment from sucking so bad and not being able to return the ball. When I played the other night, I was able to return the ball maybe 65-70% of the time, which is pretty good considering we were playing in the dark, and I don’t have much experience with tennis at all. I think my fitness level allowed me to run after the ball and be better at moving, therefore better at returning the ball. I felt pretty good about it! yay hand-eye coordination!