Mini make-over, guilt-free dessert, and a week 3 recap.

Our good friend Dede is racing Ironman Brazil today, so between every paragraph I type, I am on ironmanlive checking her status. She swam a 45 (holy smokes!)

Today marks the end of week 3 of marathon training–30 miles this week. The best part? Over these weeks, 21 days, my pace has gone down and ENTIRE minute per mile at the same heart rate! That is fantastic. Next week is 32 miles with a split run on Sunday, and then a recovery week! 4 week build all up in yo’ face!!

Hmm which do you want to read about first? Dessert or our mini-living room makeover?? I vote dessert. So all over the internets (read: healthy living blogs) Ive been reading about “banana soft serve”. Ill try anything once, but this particular concoction necessitates a food processor. Now that I have one, it was on my “list”.

Step 1: Freeze a banana. Preferably a soft one, slightly browned. Cut it into pieces, put it in a ziploc, and freeze it. Once that is done, throw it in the FP (food processor!)

Step 2: Blend that up good! Puree it until its so smooth you cannot keep from trying it!

(This is where you would toppings. Want to stay core friendly? Add some berries or some dark chocolate shavings!!)

Step 3: Scoop into bowl

Enjoy your mock ice cream! If you sit in front of the tv and pretend youre eating ice cream, it really is the perfect guilt-free moment! I was doubtful of this when I first saw it, but the texture really is deceiving!

Okay onto the mini-makeover! When we moved into this house, the people left their curtains/shades up for us. It was nice at first, because we didnt have any. But then it sent me on a rampage because they were just so ugly!

The green is painful, no? And totally doesnt match the room or wallpaper!

Looking for a quick fix, and taking a cue from Mario’s windows, we invested in some wood blinds. This completely changed the room. Took down the curtains. Put up some shelves. It took us a couple of hours but the room is completely opened up, and the blinds give it a beach-y feel.

(Not sure why the picture came out so dark? I took it at 8am!!)

We are undecided what to put on the shelves. Put up some space-filling pictures for now!

And a little more food porn before I go. The best part about running is being able to THESE guilt free before a run. I loooove bagels!

Yum, yum, yum! Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! The rest of my day entails the in-laws coming up and putting the fence back together, yesss! Finally!

a run, a job, and a meal!

I got up bright and early this morning…alarm set for 4:30 for a PROMPT 5am start to my run! I loooove running before work. Its so quiet and perfect, sets up the whole day. I see the same people every time, we have a little “pre-dawn camaraderie” building! This morning I squeezed in an unheard of 60minute before being at work for 6:45! This includes washing and drying my hair which is an event in and of itself (youve seen the pictures, okay!).

Anyways, got home from work, ran some errands (ie: buying house stuff like shelves and toothbrushes at Target and Wal-Mart!), and then we were invited out to dinner with our pal Andy again (his lovely wife and daughter are down the Cape for the week, he doesnt join them until the weekend!). I picked the place this time. It is a Worcester staple: Brew City! Best beer around (so forgive me for a few typos ;) )

Right off the bat I ordered a local Shipyard Summer, PW ordered the same, and Andy ordered an Ommegang Hennipin, it was almost like Cort was there himself :) For dinner, I was hungry. That 7mile run was catching up to me! I ordered a veggie burger on an oat roll with 1 slice swiss, tomato, and lettuce and no fries (extreme willpower!!!!), it hit the spot!!

PW went with the plain chicken sandwich, only onion. And some fantastic sweet potato fries (I had exactly 2!). For ome reason the picture of his sandwich didnt come out, so heres a picture of the fries. Look away if you must, it may be too much. (We love sweet potato fries in this house!!!)

Andy is racing in 2 weeks and is in the throes of the nutrition aspect of QT2 so he had the mixed veggie salad with double chicken. I am not a fan of chicken nor eggplant, but even I have to admit this looks good!

Its Thursday, its been anextremely long week at work, and I decided to have ANOTHER beer before we left (the horror, I know!). That ended up being a good decision, read on to see why!
Anyways, I ordered a Peak Organic IPA. Completely different from the Summer Ale, but delicious in its own right! In addition to being a sweet potato house, we’re also an IPA house!

Its a dark one (and Im feeling that now!)

Andy went for a different Ommegang (PW was driving so he stuck with the one Shipyard!):

So why was this Thursday night excursion a good idea? PW and I started a little collection of pint glasses when he were in Hawaii. Amongst others, we have a couple from The Kona Brewing Company and Lulu’s. Tonight was apparently Shipyard night, so the “beer girls” were there. And they gave us some pretty awesome glasses to add to our collection!

(The above is a SeaDog one–Its reads “Doggin’ It”! Cute :)

I am full and happy now for sure!

Nothing too crazy planned for this long weekend. A run before work tomorrow, a jaunt to a Marlboro shack for a local band show on Saturday, and maybe some friendly cookout/poker action on Sunday! Excited about that last part, havent seen those peeps in a while! If all goes as planned I should hit 30 miles this week. I can definitely feel the fact this will be my biggest week in 6 months, as I am sleepy. Not just tired mind you, but TIRED!

But alas, tomorrow is Friday! Woot woot! Going to finish off this episode of 30 Rock and then hit the hay!

Salmon and Triathlete Stomachs

I love hot weather. However, I do NOT love running in hot weather! When the forecast said “around 90 degrees” for yesterday, I knew I was going to have to wake up and run before work. The alarm went off at 4:30 and I was out the door at 5:01 on a glorious, early morning, 46 minute jaunt.

Our friend Andy invited PW to run in the afternoon and our plan was to get dinner afterwards. Because of that early morning jaunt, I didnt have to subject to myself to the insane temperatures. Instead I played chuck-it with this little lady:

How cute is she?

We played until she ended up like this inside, recovering:

(This is a creeper picture but you need to see it! Look how awesome their fireplace is!!

Alright so we decided to head a tried and true restaurant. We knew they could be core-friendly!

I was feeling fancy so I ordered the salmon with asparagus and a sweet potato. AND their delicious strawberry pecan salad to start.

This salad had grapes, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pecan, feta, on romaine with balsamic! I dont even like pecans but it was sooo good!

The salmon had some kind of maple glaze which crisped it right up. And the sweet potato came with cinna,onm sugar butter: YES PLEASE!. It was unbelievable!

I ended up eating about half (along with 3 pieces of bread!!!!) and brought the rest home for dinner tonight…Im pathetically excited for dinner!

After dinner, the guys stuck out their “guts” (read: they are so skinny they were really pushing their organs out) because they were so full

We were in Millbury, MA, but the view and the temperature (80!) when we left the restaurant made me feel like we were in Arizona:

Alright I am off to work! Have a faculty meeting after work and a 20 minute run (ohh dont know if Ill be able to fit that in ;) )

Week 2 of 22–DONE!

Somehow, someway, I managed to squeeze in my prescribed 28 miles of running last week for week 2 of marathon training. 28 miles still seems light to me (I got up to 60/week when training for Philly!), but last week was just so obnoxious I am proud of it!
You see, due to the schedule during the week, I had to partake in a BIG no-no…squishing in double runs (shhh dont tell my coach!) On Saturday I did 60min in the AM and then 25 in the PM. Yesterday I did 76 minutes in the AM and 14 minutes in the PM. I am definitely not complaining though–because I LOVE running long! The longer the better, in fact!

Also…yesterdays long run(s) were 36 seconds per mile faster than last Sundays. Hallelujah (ps my favorite song!) its working! Cant wait to not be at a snails pace anymore.

Its supposed to be 90 out tomorrow so my intention is to wake up early (4:30) and get my 46 minute run in before work! No big deal, I have a prep first period to consume some serious food :)

Speaking of food…the core diet is still going well. Boy do I love Oikos yogurt right now! The falafel balls of the weekend are officially GONE as of tonights dinner! Since the consumption is going so well, and because they popped up on iPhoto…here are some pictures of CAKE! Our “wedding” cakes actually!

This was hilarious to me…because no one wanted to eat our faces:

(Check out my haircut! And PWs shoes!)

But the coup de gras? This baby:

That is our actual wedding cake. The one we saved the top layer of to eat on our first anniversary (although we will be at a certain race in Hawaii for it!) That, my friends, is the best cake EVER: Funfetti! PW loooooves Funfetti with that specific frosting and sprinkles…and somehow his mom talked the baker into making it for us! It was awesome and delicious…cant wait until October to have the rest!!

(Back story…my husband and I eloped in Hawaii, when we got back home to MA we had a big party/renewed our vows with all our friends family to celebrate…thats where the cakes are from!)

Last picture, one of my students made me a “BFF” (best friends forever) bracelet. Its the newest craze at the high school. Isnt it so cute??

In case you were wondering, its really hard to take a picture of your right hand, with your left hand.

FALAFEL!

Now, I’ve never had falafel before. In fact, I didn’t even know what was in it! (Its chickpeas amongst other things if youre wondering!) I kept seeing it in blogs and somehow got it in my brain that when I got a food processor, that would be the first thing I would make! So, I looked at about 20 recipes (thank you AllRecipes, and in the end, made up my own.

Definitely necessary!

The line-up! I ended up not using the egg.

Drain a can of chickpeas VERY well and then put them into the food processor:

Add in your finely diced onion, 2 garlic cloves, 3/4 tsp salt and some pepper:


(Side note: YUM i love chickpeas!)

Mix well, using your Spoonula to scrape the sides!

THIS is when you mix in your flour and bread crumbs. I used 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs, and spoonula-ed them to mix :)

Roll into approximately 15 balls and then place them on a sprayed pan!

Cook at 400 for 15 minutes, then flip and reshape and cook until browned (I like everything well done, so I made mine really crispy!). Had them with a side of fresh plum!

I was EXTREMELY happy with falafel in general! Looking at the ingredient list though…how can you go wrong? They would be good over a salad (lunch tomorrow?). Now we’ll see if I can get PW to try one :)

Also had the most unbelievable mocktail. Lime seltzer mixed with storebought limeade. YUM!

Weekly run recap tomorrow!

Is it time to run yet?

Regularly scheduled food blogging to return today, because: Homemade falafel tonight! Check back for the recipe later this afternoon, I am excited to try it out. Never had falafel but the high protein thing is drawing me in! Oh and that awesome food processor I won ;)

A little picture evidence from the haircutting episode from yesterday…a human sized shampoo bottle!

Junior prom pictures (we got ready at one of the gal’s houses and caravanned over to the hotel!

And this one, because N’s face made me giggle:

Had a great time, rocked out with some fellow teachers and the principals. Dinner was a buffet, pretty good! I got a little of everything and ended up having a couple of bites of everything pictured and then proceeded to save room for dessert (they had bite sized cheesecakes, come on, Im not superwoman!):

Under the Sea themed favors:

Last night was also Relay For Life. Directly after prom, we drove to the Relay at a local park. It was packed, at midnight! Tents everywhere, people walking around the 1/2 mi track, and lumineria’s lit in memory of people lost cancer. It was an amazing thing! I didnt get any good pictures, and defintely didnt get any that do the event justice but here are a couple:



Ended up leaving there around 2:45am (I am so not hardcore enough to stay all night–I am a miserable person if I don’t get sleep!), and heading straight home to my bed! It was a great night and it made me realize how really awesome all the friends I have made since getting hired at this new school are!!

Man, have I been spoiled by my DSLR! My point and shoot is annoying. I almost didnt even post the pictures because of how much they are lacking!! The good part though? Man, do those pictures upload fast!

Ive been watching Phantom Gourmet (my favorite show) as I typed this. Yum! Now, I am off for my first of 2 runs today, kinda slacked yesterday between all the craziness and need to tack 30 min on today and tomorrow. Oh, volume, how I love thee :)

Crunch Time!

Crazy week! In the middle of it we went to one of my favorite hangouts.

It has bright lights:

Guys in white:

And it is America’s most beloved ballpark:

Yep! We were at Fenway! Great game too. And believe it or not, we didnt haveany snacks! None! Proud of that because man do they have some good stuff!

Tried to get a picture of us but between the fact it was my point and shoot camera and that my brother was cheering while taking it…it came out more than a little blurry!

Had the relay for life hair cutting “ceremony” today at school. Basically the kids donated money to watch their teachers get their hair cut/heads shaved in the gym. I did get some hair chopped off! Pictures to come!

Now I have to head over to a coworkers house to get ready to chaperone prom! Should be a blast. Got a purdy new dress to wear! A nifty little black and white Calvin Klein number! Pictures and blog post on THAT and the Relay For Life I am heading to afterwards…an all-night walk-athon with teachers and students and the rest of the town. FUN!

More to come…

My favorite eat-out dinner and a PRESENT!

Today I had big plans. I was committed to getting my oil changed (I was over by 1000 miles!) and then I was going to get my car inspected (which may or may not have been overdue.) Step 1: No problem. Travel to Midas directly after school, 20 minutes and and an attempted oversell (no, I do not want to buy new wiper blades from you), and I was on my way. Step 2: Got to the gas station to get my sticker and…couldnt find my registration. The one I renewed last month. BUMMER! Needless to say, they couldnt inspect it and I need to go back at some point (like, tomorrow) to get it done.
This wouldnt be a problem except I have to pick up my dry cleaning, get my hair done at 2:30, and run for an hour :) Ah well, such is life. I have the Sox game to look forward to on Thursday! And something exciting came in the mail…more on that in a minute!

I didnt feel like making dinner. I was starving, I had the day off from running, and today was busy at work so I just wanted to SIT! Obvious destination: CHIPOTLE!

Side note before I show you pictures: Did you know about this AWESOME Chipotle nutrition calculator? Its fantastic.

So, I had my usual. A chicken burrito, no rice, with black beans, mild salsa, lettuce and a tiny bit of medium salsa and sour cream. In one word: perfection. I think if I had to eat at one place for the rest of my life it would be here!

iPhone there for size comparison! My burrito is the one closest to the camera, PWs is the other!

Heaven in tin foil, seriously!

Hopefully the size of my forehead in this one is a result of the camera angle…those of you that see me on a daily basis, let me know if its not so I can get bangs PRONTO!

The Chipotle nearest to us is in a very scenic area (sarcasm!)…the rain doesnt help the view much:

When I arrived home for the day, there was a gigantic box on the front porch. Could it be? The prize I won on Hangry Pants’ blog?

YES! Food processor of my dreams! Cannot WAIT to make homemade falafel and hummus and veggie burgers…so many options!!! Now I just need to win myself a VitaMix ;)

An addition to tonight’s previous post

I wanted to show y’all the version of dinner I made for PW. Same base, but with some stir-fried veggies to bulk it up! I put about 1 tsp (teaspoon NOT tablespoon!) of olive oil in the pan with onions, carrots, red peppers, broccoli, spinach and a few spices and sauteed until tender:

Spread a little secret hummus on the pita (shhh, this is my secret way of incorporating the tasty condiment into his diet! ill tell him after he falls in love with this sandwich ;) ) and then threw in some turkey and the veggies and voila, tasty and filling!

And then we each had one of these for dessert!!

Its an IPA from a new, local brewery called Blue Hills Brewery, a couple of towns over from where PW grew up. I randomly met the owner (would you call him a brewmaster? I dont know) on Friday, and had to give it a try. Pretty good stuff!

A What Not To Do Post

(Also this post is uncharacteristically wordy…scroll to the bottom for yummy dinner pictures!)

I had my Monday all planned out last night before I went to bed. I packed my running clothes (the plan was to run two errands and then run from my parents house after work!) and my lunch in the fridge all ready to do.

Work was uneventful–it’s MCAS, which for me means all the test prepping for my sophomores is done, so now we just wait for the results and grade/plan while they take the test. For lunch I had brought a salad with chicken and steak on top (leftover from the cookout and another sale-tastic Oikos yogurt. I figured I could grab a granola bar or something from my parents house.

Mistake #1: I didnt drink ANY water at work. This is a rarity for me, but I had forgotten to bring a water bottle! I am way too stingy to BUY water and the towns water is….icky.

Mistake #2: I ran my errands (made a hair appointment, for Wednesday, and dropped off my dress at the dry cleaners so it will be purdy for the Junior Prom Chaperoning Extravaganza), got changed, and ran. Forgetting that all important snack.

Mistake #3: I havent been keeping track of the miles on my shoes. YEOUCH! This is a terrible mistake to make.

Headed out on my 42 minute run and felt like death warmed over by mile 3. Shin splints, sweating and thirsty, and bonking like I have never bonked before. This is how bad I was bonking: when I got back to my parents house, I immediately walked to the refridgerator (still panting) and DEVOURED a SNICKERS BAR. That is crazy for this runner chick. Normally after I run, I dont want to eat for two hours. Nope, this time I inhaled 14g of fat within 45 seconds of stopping running.

And I paid dearly because I felt awful after! Headed to the grocery store post candy-bar eating and of course (of course) ran into one of my students there. Nothing like throwing your basket onto the line filled with a random concoction of groceries (umm a ton of conditioner, lemons, turkey, and eggs?) and see a young mind you mold daily at school :)

The trip was worth it though…they had my favorite conditioner for 50% off. I am easy to please. Its Pantene and usually on $6, but seriously….$3? Of course I was going to stock up! It makes my hair smooth and not frizzy and a Staple in my hair care!

Got home from that errand, and despite it being dinner time (my favorite time of the day!), I wasnt too hungry. That Snickers bar was sitting like a rock in my stomach. I knew I should get something with protein in me though, for recovery at the very least. All I wanted was something low-fat.

I decided on a turkey sandwich with a little hummus (which, by the way, makes any sandwich feel GOURMET! Also, expect to see a lot more hummus in my diet this week, since I have that huge container to eat all by my lonesome!).

Long parenthesis comment there. Anyway. Sandwich. On a Joseph’s pita, with turkey, hummus, spinach, and tomato. It was soooo delicious and light and was totally what I was unknowingly craving!

(With a refreshing mocktail of course!)

Doesnt it just look perfect? Yum, yum, yum. Now I am off to put my legs up and read some kindle goodness!