injuries and moving on

Five.  Count ’em, f-i-v-e!!  I cranked out five delicious miles this morning.  Running over hills, hopping and skipping past puddles, smiling ear to ear.  F-i-v-e.

I can’t remember the last time I ran 5 miles.  I think it was way back in February sometime, before knee injuries and plantar problems became part of my life. 😉

Injuries are a pain, yes they are.  But they also teach us important things.  Like, for example, when our bodies say, “hey you, wake up! I’m tired, give me a break!”  Well, it’s *kind* of important that we listen up.  Here are some other “injury-related lessons” that I’ve learned through the months and over the years:

  • An injury is not forever.  Take it in stride and take it as a change in pace.  Find something new to exert your energy on!
  • Remind yourself that doing some other exercise—biking, yoga, swimming, hiking—is just a means to help you return to doing the activity that you love the most.  I biked for 4 months because I am a runner!
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  When reintroducing yourself to your favorite activity, start slow.  Just because you ran 11 miles a couple months ago doesn’t mean you’re now a wimp for doing 1.  Build up gradually to avoid reinjuring yourself and stop immediately if you feel the old pain coming back.  It’s so, so, so important to heal before returning to a regular routine.

Today’s “un” overnight oat mixture:

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. crushed flax
  • toppings: dollop of almond butter and coconut flakes

So delicious.  We’ve had some really chilly mornings lately—perfect for hot oats.  But I still find myself craving the warmer weather fare. 😀

Morning Snack: Almonds and Watermelon

Return. Of. The. Chopsticks.

Eating rice with chopsticks can be a bit on the tricky side.  Especially dry brown rice, since it’s much less sticky than—say—sushi rice.  But it’s still fun and totally doable. :mrgreen:

Simply mixed together brown rice, black beans, frozen corn, a few spices (as in cumin, cajun, etc.) and some salsa.  Heated it all up, tossed with some lettuce greens—I love when it gets all wilty!—and called it a meal.  There were some raw veggies on the side for some x-tra veggies too. 😀

Peachy keen. 😀

It was pouring cats and dogs all afternoon, which was absolutely fine by me.  It kept me glued to my chair with nothing but the sounds of raindrops for company.  Gotta keep memorizing my Medical Terminology.  I have such a tough time remembering certain prefixes, abbreviations and terms.

ABG’s.  Stands for Arterial Blood Gases.  I can not for the life remember this one, but maybe typing it out will help. 😉

Study Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax + Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola + chunky peanut butter

With the risk of being called repetitive, I indulged in white bean and black olive soup once again for dinner.  It was even better then yesterday. 😀

And an ooey gooey cheesy quesadilla is really too delicious to have only once.  Crispy.  Stretchy.  Cheese.

Yum.

I need to get back to studying for some more brain cramming time. :mrgreen:

Tomorrow’s To-Do’s:

  • Last day of preclinical training!
  • Stop at whole foods/trader joes for some necessities.
  • Study.
  • Take post-clinical exam.

Question: Have you ever had a sports-related injury? 

monday morning madness

I don’t care that it’s Monday.

I don’t care that it’s rainy and dark.

I don’t care that the electricity went out last night.  Or that I was out of bed by the ungodly—and completely unnecessary—hour of 5:00am (since I had no way of knowing what time it was until seeing the kitchen clock.)  Do.  Not. Care.

I don’t care.  I refuse to be grumpy.  Refuse

I didn’t say I couldn’t be tired though, now did I?  Because I was.  In fact, I was almost too tired to function.  I figured if anything was going to spice up my morning—making me feel energetic and ready for the new day—it would be a bagel.

I’m hooked on Thomas’ whole wheat bagels.  I covered it with almond butter and honey roasted peanut butter this morning, just because I can never make up my mind about such things (almond butter? honey butter? why not both?)  And bananas.  Sweet, marshmallow styled bananas.

Plus a big ol’ mug of coffee with soy.  Totally necessary. 😉

I like to pack my lunches the night before I actually need them.  I’ll sometimes wait for the morning of, but it never turns out quite the same.  For starters, I hate feeling rushed—especially in the morning.  And the end result is usually a less than stellar lunch.  Nothing is worse then opening up a lunch pack and seeing that I didn’t really put any thought into creating my midday meal.  What a downer.

Today I was prepared.  Last night I had a salad for dinner, so I just doubled up on all the chopping duties and created my lunch for today.  Easy Peazy! 😀

  • mixed romaine greens
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • black olives
  • black beans
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • sea salt

I’m really into bread lately.  This Organic Multigrain Boule is fantastic.  It makes that crusty noise when you slice into it, but the inside is all doughy with specks of seeds and nuts. 

I smeared artichoke hummus all over a big hunk of bread for that perfect, carby counterpart.

+ a peach!

Packed and ready to roll!

So thankful that I brought along 3 snacks for the morning and afternoon.  My appetite was through the roof today, so they came in handy. 😀

My Moosewood Cookbook has been making a reappearance in the kitchen lately.  And I kind of like it.  A lot. 

Tell me this: what is more comforting than a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese quesadilla, on a cold, rainy evening?  Nothing.  I can’t think of one single thing. 

White Bean and Black Olive Soup and a grilled whole wheat tortilla filled with melty, stretchy, sharp cheddar cheese.  I grilled this baby up on a high heat to make the tortilla all crispy and flaky, while letting the cheese do its thing.  😀

My “tiredness” lasted the day.  Until—oddly enough—after dinner, when I went out for a 3 mile walk.  It’s true that exercise releases feel good endorphins, and I definitely felt that effect tonight. 😉 

I am so (so, so, SO) happy that I have tomorrow off from having to drive anywhere.  Wednesday and Thursday are going to be jam packed busy, so I’ll take all of the “relaxing” time that I can possibly get. 😉  Orientation for working in the high school for my food service rotation is this Thursday!  Already!!(?!?!)

Question: What is one thing about yourself that people might be surprised to know?  Okra is the only vegetable that I can honestly say I don’t like.

Comfort in the Kitchen

Cooking is such a comforting activity for me.  It doesn’t matter if I’m whisking an egg or chopping a crisp green bell pepper.  Once the apron is on, I slowly meld into a feeling of complete bliss.  Comfort. 

And there’s something even more special about making a big batch of soup.  Along with baking muffins, it’s one of my very favorite things to prepare (and eat! :mrgreen: )

Brazilian Black Bean Soup—courtesy of Moosewood Cookbook

  • 2 c. dry black beans, soaked
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 3 c. chopped onions
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1-1/2 c. orange juice
  • black pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes (original recipe calls for 2 plum tomatoes)
  1. Place the soaked beans in a kettle or Dutch oven with 4 c. water.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender (about 1-1/4 hrs.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet.  Add onion, half the garlic, cumin, salt, and carrot.  Saute over medium heat until the carrot is just tender.  Add remaining garlic and the bell pepper.  Saute until everything is very tender (another 10-15 minutes.)  Add the sauteed mixture to the beans, scraping in every last morsel.
  3. Stir in orange juice, black pepper, cayenne, and optional tomatoes.  Puree all or some of the soup in a blender or food processor, and return to the kettle.  Simmer over very low heat 10 to 15 minutes more.  Serve topped with an artful arrangement of sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.

Basic Corn Bread—courtesy of Moosewood Cookbook with some tweaking 😉

  • 1 c. cornmeal (I use stoneground, 100% cornmeal)
  • 1 c. flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. buttermilk (or 1 c. milk with 1 T. lemon juice)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. sugar or honey
  • 3 T. olive oil (original recipe used melted butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients separately (including sugar or honey.)  Stir wet mixture with dry, mixing just until thoroughly combined.  Spread into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.  Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

This soup is a bit on the time-consuming side, but it’s mostly hands-off work.  Besides, today I wanted a meal that took a bit of extra time to prepare.  I was in no rush—no rush at all—and it felt good to simmer, spice, and saute.  And when the meal was complete, I plopped myself down onto a chair on the deck, and enjoyed the cool, breezy spring night while eating dinner.  Comfort. 

Question: What is one of your most favorite ways to “unwind”?  For me, it’s baking muffins, making soups or being active outdoors.  It really does the body and soul a world of good. :mrgreen: