Has it been a week yet?

At some point in the near past, I announce my switch to veganism for a month. I feel like its been forever since that announcement, but I believe it has actually only been one week.

So far, its been pretty awesome. I’ve had some issues stabilizing my bloodsugar (I go from ‘hungry’ to ‘dying of hunger’ pretty quickly) but its also been really nice to be spending so much time back in my kitchen. I love cooking. I love eating. Its a win/win for me… until it becomes unhealthy that is.

I’ve done some amazing things this week; I ate tofu for the first time (since the last time!) and actually liked it! I’ve made my own almond milk. Several recipes I’ve tried have turned out fantastic*. Kale chips are my new go-to snack.

Unfortunately I’ve been so excited to eat my food, I haven’t photographed any of it. The one meal I did manage ( quinoa pasta with nooch tomato sauce) was just a useless cellphone picture.

I’ll try to be better in the future.

Today I made an executive decision: instead of changing my work schedule for a day to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two – the Midnight Showing, I’d decided to keep my schedule the same so I can work out in the morning. The movie will still be there this weekend.

If you’re interested in incorporating some vegan meals into your diet, I highly recommend the beautiful food porn website, www.findingvegan.com.  Seriously, awesome stuff.

*I was going to upload a picture of some amazing chocolate pancakes I made with homemade strawberry syrup (that was maybe 300 calories all together- omg, so amazing!) but alas, the picture will not upload. Perhaps another day.

Advertisements

Thankful Thursday

I don’t usually have topical posts, but I’m feeling pretty thankful today so I thought I’d chime in.

  • For starters, I’m quite thankful for my job. I work as a Youth Employment Specialist which basically means I put teenagers on jobs through federally funded grants, and help them find their own jobs. I love what I do… when I have something to do. Its very rewarding and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. 
  • I’m also very grateful for my mother. She’s awesome. We’re going to Hawaii in three months and I am so excited I might pee myself before we leave.
  • Doctors. Yesterday my bff’s 3 year-old son had a lump removed from his chest and biopsied. It was a outpatient procedure, but they just don’t know whats going on. I am very glad the doctors got all of whatever the hell was in there.
  • Alaska’s 24 hour sun. Okay, so its more like 19 hours where I live, but trust me, 19 is plenty. It makes sleeping a joke during the summer, but you’re so hopped up on vitamin D that you just don’t care!
  • Payday! Within the next week or so, I’ll be buying my madre’s flight to here in September, and then all the major purchases (that I’m responsible for) will have been taken care of!

Weekend and April Round Up

This has been a very crazy weekend, international news wise. It started with Prince William and Catherine Middletons Royal Wedding, and ended with Osama bin Laden’s death. I stayed up until 5amon friday (having to go to work at 8:30am) to watch the new couple have their first “official” kiss as husband and wife. The Duchess of Cambridge (as she is now known) looked positively glowing, and just as a princess should. I thought her dress was very simple, but stunning, and her sister was just down right hot. The Duke of Cambridge (as Prince William is now known) totally rocked the military uniform. Formal military uniforms are always hot, and Prince Harry was looking pretty sexy too.

I first heard about the bin Laden thing on twitter. One of my cousins retweeted something about a mission accomplished sign being brought out again, and my brow furrowed. “What the heck is happening, world?” I asked myself. I found out quickly enough, and may I say, I am so glad that Obama was the one to give the speech that bin Laden had been killed. I feel like it somehow validates his presidency a little bit further. It also clarifies why he laid to rest the birth certificate issue, which was dumb and a waste of time. I hope those directly affected by the 9/11 attacks and other attacks brought on by Al-Qaeda will find a bit more peace. Surely this will only make for some more unrest, but for now, we can breathe a sigh of ease.

On to less depressing topics, shall we?

Taken yesterday during my walk

This April, I accomplished quite a bit.

  • I finally started to focus on my breathing, which has helped tremendously in continuing the c25k training. I’m on week 4 so far. I can’t wait to continue it tomorrow!
  • I redecorated my blog, made it a little easier to look at, and designed a new header. Also, declared my official exit from the 300’s and entry back into the 290’s. Quite proud indeed!
  • And I completed my second and third walks of the season, a happy 4 mile MS Walk, and this past weekend’s Heart Run.

Things that have happened but didn’t make it to my blog, I registered for 3 more races!

I’m really excited about all these races, but the Portland Rock and Roll Half has got to be the one I’m most excited for.  Just a couple of weeks ago my mom and I were talking about how the only thing our family does during get-togethers is sit around, eat and gossip. And while its fun to catch up on things, it is also not encouraging of healthy behaviors and lifestyles, especially since we all seem to be on a kick start of them recently.

After talking with my absolutely beautiful, wonderful, and most favoritest cousin, Mama T, she decided we would run a half marathon together, and she chose the one in Portland since that is where we grew up. In the week or so since that decision, two of her friends, and several of our other cousins have signed up to run with us. All of a sudden we are having a family reunion based around a half marathon, a first and most epic event in our family history. I am super excited to see her again, and the rest of my family and to sit around, gossip, eat, and run.

Todays lunch

I made Quinoa Puttenesca for lunch today. This recipe was modified from Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes… it included capers. I don’t know what they are, and to be perfectly honest, I intend living the rest of my life without discovering their nature. I replaced them with feta.

It also called for white wine which I didn’t have on hand so I replaced that with vegetable broth. It’s quite tasty. I like the contrast of the quinoa with the olives and cheese. It was a nice change from regular pasta. I do love me some kalamata olives, and this was my first time actually cooking with them. Its been a long time since I’ve had quinoa and I forgot how much I enjoy the nuttiness and the crunchiness. Like little globes popping in your mouth with every bite.

I was in quite the rush today. I went to the gym this morning, after waking up and dreading the idea of getting out of bed. It was a great experience! I finished W2D1 of c25k. I also did 15 minutes on the elliptical cause I love that thing. Though, there was this lunk there that hopped on the treadmill between me and some other dude, even though there were plenty others available, and then kept looking at our progress and making faces. He would just stare until I looked over at him. It was frustrating because I was doing awesome! I kept my heart rate in check and didn’t give up even when I was running out of time to catch the bus, and this guy is going to pass judgment on me for what? His own damn ego? I’mma throw a stick on his treadmill next time!

So I’ve got about 4 more hours of work left before I go home, and my body is deliciously sore, and my tummy deliciously sated. All and all its been a pretty good day. Going to hit it hard tomorrow, and then Friday is my friends birthday. We’re going to the museum and I don’t know what else but it should be a good long day!

Shamrock 5k Scramble Report

I don’t mean to keep putting off this post. Quite a few things happened this weekend that are worth mentioning, the first of which, I completed my first 5k of the year, the Shamrock 5k in Anchorage. It was outside, it was snowy, and I rocked it. I walked the there-and-back course, on the trails groomed for cross-country skiing, in 43:15. This is a new PR for me, though I haven’t really been keeping score. The day before I had walked one mile in 17 minutes and thought that was pretty bragworthy, so imagine my surprise when I saw that I had managed a 14:33 pace! I had no idea I had it in me to walk so fast. All my time at the gym and Zumba’ing has really paid off!

I had never done this race before (I had no idea what the course was going to be like either!) and I had a hell of a time trying to get someone to join me. I eventually went by myself, though I had to call a cab (which was the one thing I was trying to avoid).  Half way to Alaska Pacific University where it was being held, I realized I left my bib at home. I couldn’t ask the cabbie to turn around and cost me even more dollars, so I just went with it. It was very uncomfortable for me to be there by myself, and I wasn’t sure how to dress because, well, its Alaska.

Then, just to make everything a bit more interesting, when I got there, I realized that one of my ear bud jellies had gone missing. What was I gonna do? What else could I do? I couldn’t just… go home. I couldn’t just give up. When I realized that basically everyone around would be running, I wanted to shake myself and ask why I had even gone in the first place. But I did it anyway.

The trail was pretty. The beginning was pretty hilly, and I was kind of scared that the whole thing was going to be like that. But it evened out pretty quickly, and as the runners all broke off, I settled into a walking pace not to far behind those in front of me. It didn’t take very long for me to start passing them. The trail was clearly marked, and with every bend there were a handful of people, and at two occasions, EMT’s,  cheering us all on. Part of me wanted to be rude everytime I walked by and they were cheering me on. It was very difficult to accept their enthusasm as something that wasn’t… contrived. I of course was the perfect picture of grattitude, saying thanks along the way to every one that was cheering. One lady said, “You’re almost there!” and made me believe for a moment, that the turn around point was just over the next bend.

It wasn’t.

I found it very difficult to not stop and take pictures at every turn, yet at the same time, found my pace increasing more and more and wasn’t sure how I’d make my legs stop, even if I wanted. (Thus, I apologize for the crappy photos.) Finally reaching the half way point was less thrilling than I had hoped. It was just a circle marked off, and you wound your way around it. There was one woman, sitting in a chair, and ringing a cow bell.

I kept going, and going and going, I passed all the other walkers, and although all the runners had finished, I was certain I was at the head of the walker’s group. Finally I made it back up the hill, then back down the hill, and suddenly there was a small group of people, a ticker and a pink line with two safety cones on either side, in the snow. I finished. I looked up at the ticker, and nearly paused. 43 minutes, you say? Surely I’ve been out here huffing and puffing for an hour! No? I did pull out my phone, which confirmed I had been walking for less than an hour. My mind was blown. So blown in fact, that it took 4 days to write this blog post about it. Anyway, as I was crossing the finish line, they asked me where my bib was. I felt a wave of shame try to wash over me as I explained as earnestly as possible that I left it at home. They called me a bandit, the first one of the race, and had a laugh. You see, I couldn’t feel too much shame, because I already felt freakin’ awesome.

Actually, Saturday was a very eventful day for me. That evening I went to see No Strings Attached with my friend Rachel. It was my second time seeing it, and I loved it both times. I love how awkward and skinny Natalie Portman is.

However, before I went and saw that movie, I attended my very first, and hopefully only,  Military Funeral. One of my very good friends committed suicide after returning from her deployment in Afghanistan. I didn’t know what to say or do. I still don’t. I just hope she can finally find the peace that has evaded her for so long.

So again, if you have any military people in your life, make sure they’re talking about their experiences, not holding it in. That they’re seeking proper medical assistance if they need it, and make sure they know you love them. I had no idea the last time I saw her would truly be the last time I saw her. I’m very grateful that I was able to see her one last time.

When it rains, it pours… awesomeness

I feel awesome today. I am excreting awesomeness, in fact. Today, I went to the gym, and with no hesitation hopped on the eliptical. I kept my heart at its target rate, rarely going above it (it was nice to be in control of how hard my heart beats) and burned 485 calories in 35 minutes. Then I hopped on the treadmill for 20 minutes. 5 of those minutes, I ran. I ran. I runned. It. Was. Beautiful. I am so proud of my self. I called my mom just after I left to tell her the awesome news. Hey mom, hey. Hey mommy hey. Mommy, hey mom, hey. Hey. Hey, hey mom hey! Guess what I did! You’ll never guess what I did. Guess what I did! I ran. I RAN. I. Feel Awesome. Its like crack. (I don’t know what crack is like.)

Now, I didn’t run all five of those minutes together. I sparsed it out over the 20 minutes, but I’m new at this. I haven’t attempted to run since some killer shinsplints, and some guys watching me out their window from last summer.


Did I mention how awesome I feel? I will probably not feel so awesome tomorrow, I can feel my knee tighening up right now, as a matter of fact, but I’m feeling pretty awesome right now, so I don’t really care. Tuesday. Either in the morning, or in the evening, but I can’t wait to try this again.

Current weight: 302.7

*I was going to make this a post about how awesome I am, and how terrible my new roommate is, and the fact that she’s leaving in a handful of days, but then decided to just focus on how I am currently feeling. I think I’ve fully established how I feel, but in case you missed it, I feel AWESOME.

When in Doubt, Put on your Shoes

While sitting at my desk at work, it was all I could do to keep from pulling out my hair. My heart wanted to race, and my body wanted to sweat, but I was stuck monitoring an empty room, watching the minutes roll by.

Okay. mostly I was hanging out on twitter and playing angry birds, but still; empty room, minutes twirling down the drain.

Fur Rondy, Anchorage 2011. I LOVE this town.

Then finally it was time to make my escape! I was driven home by a coworker, and went inside. I looked over some slightly frustrating mail, used the restroom, then sat down at my computer in  my room.

I didn’t move for nearly an hour.

Where was my drive that I had experienced beforehand? Surely it was in there somewhere. It seemed so much easier to continue watching my twitter, and eventually make my way into bed. Instead, I read off my affirmations, got up, put on some workout clothes and went back down stairs. I told myself, just put on your shoes. You’ll be ready to “move your body, shake it shake it!” as soon as you put on your shoes.

So I did. And then I did. It was exactly what I had wanted. It may have taken me an hour to start, but I did it and I feel awesome.

Affirmation #11) I love exercising. I love sweating.