Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

Update: Mid-wedding, post-move, forever workout May 4, 2013

Filed under: food,life — lexd @ 4:54 am

There is just an incredible amount going on. Before I get into that, I’d like to just point out how much more quickly time moves now as opposed to how it moved when I was a kid. I’ve read a bunch of articles on how as you get older, each year is a smaller fraction of your life, so it seems to move more quickly … I’m kind of worried about how fast things will move when I get even older.

The long and short is, I’m pretty much enjoying life right now. We moved (YAY) and while I know both Fiance and I are missing the quick 10-minute bus ride to downtown Seattle (Pike Place, Westlake, Pacific Place, the stadiums, etc.) there’s something that is super appealing about suburbia right now. While we live damn near on the freeway, we’re protected from road noise, our patio faces an incredible greenbelt (so many bluejays alighted on our patio today!), and we always have parking. We’re 5 minutes away from Woodinville wine country, and about 10 minutes away from great breweries and a Wal-Mart. Also, in a new home with more space that I actually like, I’m more invested in keeping it clean. It feels livable, it feels more like home instead of a place where our stuff is.

The wedding is finally coming along. Booking vendors, getting things established. And boy, it is exhausting. We spent last weekend with my parents at the venue/doing vendor meetings and it actually took me two days to catch up on sleep. The honeymoon is booked (Aruba!), the menu’s decided, the dress is bought, the florist is booked and the photographer and DJ are in the process. Once we have us a cake and an officiant, we’re good to go! (Minus the 1,000,000 little decisions we still have to make …)

Work is good/work is stressful. PR is a serious balance. When it’s good, when I’m doing well and feeling good, with time to get all the stuff done I need to — MAN is it good. I love this job. I’m getting to work with both exec VPs and senior VPs directly on projects (unheard of for an AAE), as well as mentor another individual at our agency, and manage our peer group in addition to my normal campaign work. I feel needed. I feel valuable. I feel like I’m effective at what I do. The dark side: When things get stressful and I don’t have time to do anything but address/stave off crises … that’s a bad time. I’m quickly discovering this is often the case with executive comms programs: Things may seem okay for a few days, but go to hell in a handbasket very quickly.

At the risk of sounding like some Susan Powter-esque mouthpiece, I love working out. I love working out. I know when I’m grouchy, it’s probably because I haven’t been to the gym. The wedding is an easy excuse.

I suppose I should be more specific. I love lifting weights. I detest cardio, I get too bored too quickly. Same goes for yoga. In order to create a well-balanced workout routine, I’ve restarted the couch-to-5k program and even downloaded the app … literally I just do what the app says I need to do on the treadmill, while listening to music. It’s awesome. And, I downloaded some 20- and 30-min sessions off of YogaDownload.com and even did one today. I suppose my viewpoint on it is, if I’m going to do the fun stuff (lift super freaking heavy, 5-6 reps), I have to make sure I have the cardio and yoga in place to balance everything out. PS: Deadlifts. I’m finally doing them AND IT IS AWESOME. Talk about empowerment at the gym! SWOLE SISTER STATUS

7nkt95

Same for diet. I’ve shifted to about 1,600 cals a day (though I don’t always calculate) … lots of fruit, veggies, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and hummus for the first two meals, and a healthy/normal meal for dinner (Fiance needs more cals).

Anyway, enough rambling, just thought it was overdue.

Currently loving: This recipe, though I only use about 1-1.5 T peanut butter and I omit the honey; this Macklemore song, video filmed all over western Washington! This song is straight sick; dresses (sheath, maxi, wrap, jersey … I have a “dress lust” list about a mile long from various retailers)

 

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COMMENCE: The best time of the year November 16, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 7:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? Guys? GUESS WHAT?

Thanksgiving is in T-minus NINE DAYS. There is no emoticon that can express the size of my smile right now.

Ok, just for the heck of it: 😀

I know I wrote about it last year, but I have to do it again. People, this is my favorite holiday of the entire year. More than Christmas, more than my birthday (especially now that I’ve passed 25). Why? Because a D family Thanksgiving looks like this:

Cooking + eating + beer + football

Have you ever seen a more perfect equation?

As is our tradition, we’re going to shake up at least one of the recipes we always have. (TBH, I don’t know why we do this. Everything usually turns out SO delicious … we just can’t stop trying new stuff, I guess. Some people skydive. My dad and I shake up Thanksgiving recipes. It’s that kind of rush.) I’ve already done the unthinkable and decided on a new green bean casserole recipe, to get that french onion/mushroom soup monstrosity off of our table. Of course, the recipe I chose isn’t too risky … it’s Pioneer Woman’s green bean casserole recipe. I tell you, that woman does with food what Michaelangelo did with marble. To be honest, I am trying to resist copying her entire meal. Kind of kills the fun of recipe-hunting.

We really liked the stuffing recipes we did last year … gluten-free swiss chard stuffing (although I’ll be sure NOT to get any red chard this year. Pink stuffing never looks yummy, unfortunately), and a gluten-free cornbread and sausage stuffing. Over the next 9 days, I think I am going to try and turn my gravy recipe gluten-free … we’ll see what I can make work. It’s SUCH a good recipe, though. Thank you, Sunset magazine.

As far as everything else goes, it’s still up in the air. We generally have garlic mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, this jell-o ring my mom makes every year (I think that might be the one recipe out of my reach, though), sweet potatoes/yams, and cranberry sauce.

As I mentioned above, I am currently recipe-hunting. And, I am feeling sort of overwhelmed. I’ve developed quite the arsenal of food blogs over the last year, and THEY ARE ALL DOING A THANKSGIVING SERIES.

One thing I do want to accomplish this year, however, is to have some more vegetables that aren’t slathered in mini marshmallows, butter, or cream sauce. I know, blasphemy on the most gluttonous holiday of the year. But I’ve been doing a really excellent job incorporating more fruits and vegetables in my diet, and I’m going to be hurting next Friday if I don’t try and keep that up. We’ll see what I can slip by the family. Maybe something from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan?

Also … I want to tell you a secret before I sign off. (I am a huge nerd, I just did shifty eyes after typing that … and there is nobody here but me.) I think I am going to try and replace at least half of the mashed potatoes on our table with …

CAULIFLOWER.

Bear with me, and check out this recipe from Cheap, Healthy, Good. I’m going to lobby to replace the potatoes entirely, but I have it on good authority that you can mix potatoes and cauliflower without sacrificing taste … but saving serious calories. Or, maybe that broccoli/potato/red pepper mash I’ve made a few times?

Now you see the pickle I get myself into the week before Thanksgiving. And this is BEFORE I realize I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas yet.

Currently loving: Pumpkin yogurt, my new running shoes (Mizuno Wave Rider 11s) … they let me run without shin pain!, HARRY POTTER MOVIE RELEASE THIS WEEK

delicious picture by scubadive67

 

There’s ALWAYS something else July 25, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 5:15 pm
Tags: , ,

So I am waist-deep in packing our apartment for the upcoming big move (I’m not sure what “waist-deep” means in terms of packing, but whatever), and I am pretty much swinging back and forth from “I have this under control” to “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO REVISE THE MOVING CONTRACT AGAIN.”

Like, swinging back and forth every 5 minutes.

I thought it was going to be awesome that BF will still be here after I leave, but it’s starting to make packing really hard. I know I can leave some stuff, but not too much … otherwise he won’t be able to fit it in his car. And, it’s starting to mess with my “if I can’t see it, it must be packed” mentality. Because there’s a lot of stuff still left out. I’m starting to veer into that “JUST FUCKING THROW IT AWAY” crazy-lady mentality.

And by “starting to” I mean “I’m here but don’t want to admit it.” BF poured himself a Jack and coke about an hour ago, and that’s when I knew I was crossing a line. This has got to be taken care of, though.

Anyway, I put this picture from CuteOverload on my iPhone background to take the edge off:

See? It totally helps 🙂

Also, I made myself this seriously incredible shake for lunch. I made it yesterday post-workout, and couldn’t believe how delicious it is, and even the texture … YUM. It’s like a semi-thin delicious milkshake.

Heaven in a Glass

1 frozen banana (I pre-peel a few and just throw them in the freezer for a week)

1 c. plain almond milk

1 level scoop of Designer Whey chocolate protein powder (although any chocolate p. powder would probably work)

1 T. creamy peanut butter (I use a natural one without added sugar)

Put all of the above in a blender and go to town for 20-40 seconds (until it’s mostly smooth). OMG I want another one right now. I may or may not have used my fingers (carefully) to get extra out of the blender. It’s that good. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good mix of carbs and protein.

 

Attack of the Snack Monster July 18, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 6:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I have been outrageously snacky today. I had a solid breakfast (2 eggs-in-a-basket) and was fine … and then for some reason the snack monster reared its ugly head about 30 minutes ago. This is not me being modest … in the last half an hour, I’ve eaten:

  • String cheese
  • Piece of toast w/2T of hummus
  • 3/4 c. watermelon
  • Finger swipe of peanut butter
  • 2 bites of leftover cubed steak
  • 1 c. Frosted Mini Wheats (the tail end of the box) with almond milk, flax seed and 3/4 c. blueberries

I’ll also probably snag a piece of the parmesan cheese pretzel I brought BF from Mellow Mushroom Friday night (he just heated it up).

I think this snack rampage is the result of a few things:

  • Crazy workout yesterday. At the very end of my workout (went back to the Couch to 5K), I was at 8.5 mph! I sort of thought I was going to throw up afterwards and couldn’t even “walk it out,” but it turned out fine. I also upped the weight on all my strength training, and my arms/chest/back are killing me!
  • Aunt Flo is due in town later this week
  • I came up way short in calories yesterday, even though I never felt hungry after eating
  • Anxiety and stress from packing (our apartment is an absolute PIT right now, but I’ve packed 8 boxes already)

I probably should have gone to the gym earlier, in order to temper my hunger … for some reason working out tends to make me less hungry for the rest of the day. Maybe later tonight … BF and I are considering going to see Inception (which is amazing because we NEVER see movies in theaters), or maybe spending a little extra cash at Publix and making something fun and super yummy for dinner tonight. Gotta budget — we’re choosing one or the other.

Speaking of something super yummy, I wanted to share the recipe I made off the top of my head last night. If you’ve never stuffed chicken breasts before (or pork chops, Costco has SUPER thick ones that are perfect), I highly recommend it. It’s a good way to take something that is normally really “blah” to about an 8 on the flavor scale. My favorite combination is asparagus and a really melty cheese like Gruyère … but I didn’t have either of those on hand. So…

Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts (serves 2)

3/4 c. cooked broccoli

2 T. shredded/grated parmesan

4 T. shredded Italian cheese mix

Pinch Italian seasoning

Garlic powder and salt, to taste

Olive oil

Chicken stock

White wine

Red pepper flakes

Lemon

All I did was cook the broccoli, chop it up, and then mix it with the two cheeses, Italian seasoning and garlic salt. I butterflied the chicken breasts and then put half of the stuffing in the middle of each breast. I also topped mine with red pepper flakes (BF is not a fan). I pulled the top part back over and secured it with some toothpicks, and seasoned the top of the chicken with some olive oil and salt.

Then, I put them in a glass baking dish (I had to use a pie pan, since some of our stuff is packed, grr), and added a couple of tablespoons each of white wine and chicken stock to the dish. I covered the dish tightly with foil, and put it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once I pulled them out, I plated the chicken breasts, pulled the toothpicks out, and drizzled some fresh lemon juice on mine.

The nice thing about this recipe is that you can substitute just about anything. No broccoli? Try cooking up some spinach, asparagus or chard and using that instead. Instead of Italian seasoning, you could use oregano or parsley. You can also vary the types of cheeses, but it works best if the mixture consists mostly of a cheese that melts well (so … don’t use 6 T. parmesan). I bet a smoked mozzarella would be tasty!

Hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend!

Currently loving: That I’m FINALLY full, jeez; throwing stuff away/donating stuff that we’ve been holding on to unnecessarily; date night at home tonight 🙂

EDIT: Scratch that about the pretzel. BF just put the last bite in his mouth, and then tried to take it out and offer it to me as I looked at him mournfully. I love him, but I’m not a baby bird … no thanks!

image from pinkyjane

 

Protein sources May 27, 2010

Filed under: food,other,rant — lexd @ 3:02 pm
Tags: , ,

While I really enjoyed my personal training session on Sunday (so much so, actually, that I find myself enviously watching people with PTs as I’m sweating on the treadmill at the gym), there were a couple of things that irked me about it. The biggest one happened to be the discussion he and I had about protein.

After working out, he sat me down and asked me some basic questions about my dedication to my health, how much time per week I could dedicate to exercise, and my diet. Things were fine until that last topic, and then I told him that I was eating mostly soy-, wheat- and dairy-free (because seriously, I feel better with less in my diet), and trying to avoid meat for 2/3 meals a day.

His response: “So a low-protein diet, then.”

I’ve seen this gripe before on other blogs, and so I replied, “Not really. I eat a lot of eggs, beans, hummus, protein grains, protein powder and peanut butter.” For some reason, this still didn’t connect for him. “But no meat,” he said again. “Not if I can help it,” I replied. “So low-protein,” he said again.

At this point I realized that he subscribed to the protein = meat theory. He’s a personal trainer and he’s certified in sports-related nutrition, so I just kind of let it go at this point.

I understand that meat is great protein, especially skinless chicken breasts. But, that’s expensive, you have to keep it refrigerated, and frankly I hate dry chicken breasts (which that particular cut of meat is wont to be). But as far as I know, you can reduce your meat intake (or eliminate it completely) without negatively impacting the amount of protein you ingest … it’s all about what you choose to replace it with.

At this point I realized I haven’t really been tracking my protein intake very well. I usually try to get one source in at every meal and have some sort of protein shake within 30 minutes of working out if I’m not going to be eating soon after. Maybe this wasn’t enough?

WRONG.

After tracking my diet this week, I’ve discovered a trend — I am eating AT LEAST my recommended allowance of protein every day. On Monday, I was more than double.

The numbers may be just a little bit off, but when I can, I either record the nutrition facts straight from a web site/package on to MyPlate or use their “verified” foods … so even if this is ballpark, I’m still kicking butt on protein intake. Take that, meat-obsessers.

I also discovered that I eat a LOT of fiber … way more than the recommended amount. I can’t think of anything really bad about this; it’s not having any negative impacts on my digestive system or anything. Just something I discovered.

Anyone else run into the protein = meat issue?

PS – For those who care, the fort is still up in our living room.

Currently loving: NEW MOON (I just rewatched it last night for the first time since seeing it in the theaters) Team Jacob, that BF saved egg whites for me after making a key lime pie last night, the Costco-sized tub of spinach and artichoke hummus that is sitting in my fridge, compliments of BF (<3)

image from Phillie Casablanca

 

Wake up call May 24, 2010

Filed under: food,other — lexd @ 3:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Fair warning: This is going to be a long post. I have provided pictures to get you through it … none of which have anything to do with the subject matter, but they make me happy.

For the last few months, I’ve been lackadaisical about eating/working out. Basically, I’ve done a decent job … but it definitely could have been better. I’m still trying to make adjustments in an effort to find habits that I can maintain as part of my lifestyle, and I guess I’ve erring on the side of “too relaxed” lately.

I joined a gym near our new apartment on Saturday, and as part of signing up, I went through a session with a personal trainer. I took some good things from the workout, including a reminder to shake things up early and often (mode of cardio, pace, rate and frequency of weight reps, etc).

Then, the part that everyone dreads … being weighed and body fat percentage-tested. I hate scales, so I tried not to put too much emphasis on that number, but it was the highest I’ve been in my life. Like, not even “ok, this sounds like a lot but I am still okay with it” high … seriously fat high. And, my body fat percentage is outrageous. Like, probably seriously impacting my health high.

I know I’ve gained some weight, but I didn’t quite realize it had gone this far.

As you can imagine, this scared the everloving shit out of me. I worked hard for 3-4 months, relaxed a bit the last couple months, and I haven’t even inched closer to the weight I was at three years ago. In fact, everything has gone higher. In addition to everything else, this made me feel like shit about my body. Negative body-talk reached an all time high over the last 24 hours, and even now I am trying desperately to stop.

So, long story short, I ended up signing up for a 1x/week personal training session for 12 months. It was a great price, and I’m pretty sure I’d see results, but when I later sat down to look at my budgeting, I realized there’s absolutely no way I can add this into my expenses and make any sort of dent in my credit card debt. I am supposed to have my first meeting with my trainer tonight, but I called this morning to let the gym know that I’m going to have to cancel the program (you have a 72-hour grace period to do so).

This makes me feel like shit for a number of reasons, including:

  • I already tried to lose weight on my own through a number of methods. Clearly, it didn’t work.
  • I’m worried that I’m going to get charged for something.
  • My weight and body fat percentage are out of control. Maybe this is something I should do, and eat the cost.

I guess I’m just at a point where I’m questioning my ability to do this on my own. I am flat out not getting any support from BF on working out or eating well, so I’m doing this 100% solo. But it wasn’t good enough last time, and I really gave it my all! What if things just keep getting worse no matter how hard I try?

And then the rational part of me says, “calories in, calories out, Lex.” And I respond, “okay, back to My Plate it is.”

So, this morning I called the gym to cancel the personal trainer. I got to work early so I could re-calibrate my MyPlate account. I also took some time to organize a health journal that I plan to carry with me. MyPlate will be the main way that I count calories, but the journal includes the following for each day:

  • Fruit/veg serving count
  • Water count
  • Place to check off that I remembered to take my vitamins
  • Total calories
  • Workout

Basically, I thought about everything that I could be doing to benefit my body and my health, and I want to keep track of that in this journal. I’ve already organized information for the week. For the “workout” section, I’ve either written in a commitment to a class (spinning tomorrow, Yoga on Thursday), or put information from Gina‘s Summer Shape-Up 2010 on a sticky note so I can just take it out and put it on my waterbottle when I go to the gym … and then re-stick it on the journal when I get back.

I’m also going to dedicate time on Sundays to making food in bulk for lunches during the week. I made a batch of 4 of these quinoa black bean burgers yesterday, and have enough leftover quinoa for another meal (probably a tabbouleh-type thing). This way I’ll be able to save money and eat healthier.

It’s Monday. I’d already cried by 9:30 this morning. Creating the journal and re-activating MyPlate took the edge off, but I am still seriously freaked out and desperate-feeling. I am trying to think of today as the first day of Summer Shape Up, a start to a new week, the start of clean eating again, the third day that I’ve worked out in a row. It’s really hard right now, though 😦

Currently loving: Pirate Radio, my mom sending me the newest House of Night novel, taking action to incite positive change in my life (I am trying really hard to make this a big deal amongst the negativity in my mind)

flower image from Lel4nd

sunset image from Per Ola Wiberg

penguin image from Me-Liss-A

 

I BURST WITH PRIDE … May 18, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 5:51 pm
Tags: , , ,

… instead of Greek food. To celebrate our office manager getting her US citizenship, we ordered Greek food and had an office lunch together today.

It should be noted that I love Greek food. Yesterday when we submitted our orders, I was awful and ordered a gyro platter (deconstructed gyro).

First thing this morning, I went and changed my order to a Greek salad and an order of hummus in an effort to align the meal with my less meat/dairy/bread goals.

Sure, I still had feta on my salad and I had 2 small triangles of pita bread. But considering what I first ordered, I am proud of myself 🙂

Currently loving: that Stephen King’s Under the Dome on audio book is waiting for me at the library, that I found Veggie Booty at Publix yesterday, and that my sunburn is finally fading!