Saturday, April 28, 2012

UDI's dry spot

College town with few GF places. Not wanting to spend $20 on lunch and option 2 being closed when I drove.past, I headed to the grocery store. Ugh. No UDI's bread...good thing I grabbed a.can of this soup at wally world last night.  I give the soup a 4 out of 5. Needs some thyme, bay leaf and pepper (all of which I don't have with me).

Yesterday I had a big juicy Hardee's thickburger for lunch...they put it in a lettuce wrap.for me and yes, the juices did slide down the hand as I was eating the fabulous burger.

Mike had a race this morning. Up at 2:30, to start line an hour later. He left at 4am along with sixtysome other gravel cyclists. 38 degrees, strong easterly wind, fresh rain in the night and this bike cheerleader came back to the hotel, read for a bit and then fell asleep for another few hours.  Headed out for 7 miles about 10th or so, the wind was *only* about 15mph then! I will see Mike again tomorrow after he does 320 miles of gravel!

Did some shopping in town..scores a pair of.vibram fivefingers for 50% off! Yeah!  I,love my other pair but don't wear them often unless it is a hot summer day.

Last night was awesome food at the Grinnell.Steakhouse. can't go wrong with beef! It is a grill your own steak place. Very good food...recommend if you're ever in Grinnell, Iowa right along I-80.

Temps up to 50 now, no sunshine, my rider us still out there.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mashed cauliflower

Last night was a low key night where  I got to play in the kitchen. First I made date balls (dates, choc chips, walnuts, craisins and a smidge of PB). I also made a variation of some with plumkins instead of craisins.  Next step was to roll into bitesize balls.  I mixed it up a little more by ripping a portion of each into some Chia seeds. I like plums, but  not plumkins, so those are The Mike's.

Next up, for dinner: baked salmon with oregano and fresh squeezed lemon tucked into a foil bag and baked for 30 min at 350.  Sides of smashed cauliflower (mashed & placed under the salmon), broccoli and green beans. I tossed on some of the fixed sweet potatoes from Sunday.

I've never had the smashed cauliflower before, but keep seeing it on paleo diet blogs. Yummy!

(Disclaimer: typed on phone with *lovely* autocorrect. Please pardon any sentences with wording that does not make sense). 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nature on the run

I've been getting back to more running and today I decided to mix it up. . . Run TO yoga class and run HOME!   Since I am scared of absolute darkness (and realistically, who isn't?) my heart rate was a little high running to yoga.  5am, still plenty dark and my headlamp kept me company for about half a mile before the street lights were plentiful.  Gorgeous morning, 56 degrees, a gentle breeze. It was pretty much perfect.  I had my ifitness belt on with a small bottle of Cytomax and a small bottle of water. I knew I'd be out doing something for about two hours today, so I packed some electrolytes and protein.   I walked the last few blocks to class, so I'd be "cooled down" by the time I got there. I'm sure my face was turning red, as it does when I'm finished with exercise (aren't I lucky?).  

Yoga was lots of leg work today, and I love that--normally--not so much when I decide to run to/fro though! ha ha.  I got ready to go and headed north towards home. . . Took time to enjoy the ducks (center bottom on rocks) along the river
Then there was another set of ducks on the railroad tracks. You probably can't see the closest one, as she blends in, but daffy's legs are showing at the end of the crossing ties. 

I love watching ducks. . .how they look so still and quite on top of the water and they're treading water like a maniac in order to stay "still".  

I came crossed a smaller body of water this morning--an area that fills with water during floods and otherwise not much goes out or in--and spied a fairly large pod of minnows or giant tadpoles. It was hard to tell from the trail and when  I tried to get closer they all disappeared further beneath the surface! Reminded me of going fishing with Grandpa B and catching minnows for bait and then emptying and filling the trout line he had set.  He'd never let me watch or help gut the fish at the farm, but would send me in to mom and Grandma B. who'd start the cornmeal breading and have coleslaw to serve.

I never know what Morel mushrooms look like, so I never pick anything wild. I'm pretty sure these are NOT the mushrooms everyone loves this time of year. 

Yesterday when I ran out around the lake, I saw a bald eagle on the southern end of the lake diving for breakfast.  It flew off before I got too close and without food as well.  An interesting example of the eagle though, as its head and tail were mottled: mostly white, but some dark feathers still in both areas.

Lake photo via cell phone, no zoom available (sigh)
This morning as I ran toward the northern part of the lake, I spied an eagle sitting on a post at the boat ramp. I tried to sneak up on it, which is very impossible to do, and got about twenty yards away before it flew South across the lake. It was the same specimen, or at least one that was the same age, as the head and tail were partly white and still mottled with black feathers. 

Sunday's meal in photographs:
Zucchini --original recipe is boiling, scraping and stuffing the 'logs'... I mixed it up with slicing, boiling, dicing and then mixing with walnuts, feta cheese and an egg.  We were out of breadcrumbs, and who needs those anyway?  Baked up nicely, covered for about 20 minutes, then covered for about 10 minutes. 
I also baked up a variety of chicken (breasts and thighs) with seasonings for Sunday's meal and leftover for the week.  Thyme, oregano and pepper on most.  
We had a side of cauliflower as well. I'm trying to add in different veggies that we/I normally ignore at the store. 
Saturday's meal was :
It might look good in the photo, but the fish was just 'blah'.  Mac and cheese, fresh green beans, diced and boiled sweet potato and then fish with cajun seasoning and some 0% fat Greek yogurt mixed with same seasoning and lemon juice.  The dressing was good, the fish was just. I don't know, it wasn't appetizing to me. I also wasn't all that hungry, so maybe it wasn't good for my taste buds at that precise moment? It is okay though; there were plenty of the potatoes and green beans (and I resisted the urge to eat the left over mac/cheese!)

Monday, April 23, 2012


It disgusts me when large companies have no clue about how to feed a portion of the public with food allergies or intolerances. I can understand when a small mom/pop type restaurant doesn't know about celiac, which is why we tend to avoid them, which is a shame.  I don't understand when a large corporation says they'll serve a GF meal and then they don't own up to making a mistake: 

This blog post (here)  is disgusting. This family was flying TO their destination and one member was served a gluten food.  

What do you think?  Should Delta make a change, or should their policy and non-apology be acceptable? 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Outdoor fun!

I've come across a lot of lists on Facebook and blogs of "how many of these have you done."  Some of the lists are practical, some are applicable if you have an adventurous palate, or enjoy beer.  

Today I came across this list : The 50 Things to Do Before you're 11 ¾.  

It's courtesy of this Telegraph  article (newspaper in the UK)

It always amazes me how different British English is from American English and yet at the same time, the languages are so similar. 

I've bolded the ones I've done--how about you?-- and tried to translate others.

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone

6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net (does catching minnows in a ditch count?)
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers (British game with two nuts connected by a string)

11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging  (in the game of Cricket, I believe)

16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide

21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you're flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet

26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand (Does a squirrel count?  4-H trip to DC. Farm girl amazes that squirrels aren't scared of humans!)

31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what's in a pond

36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly  (not sure of British to American English translation)
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night

41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting (I think we could add "tubing down rivers" here)
44. Light a fire without matches  (I think we did this in a college class, but can't quite recollect. I did kill a rabbit that weekend).
45. Find your way with a map and compass

46. Try bouldering (not sure I want to try this at all!)
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling (Rapelling in American English) 
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river  (I've been IN a canoe, just not down a river) 

36/50, not bad, right?  Being a farm girl meant a lot of exploring. It's amazing what we did as kids and how we can scare the parents when we reminisce.

This morning I wasn't quite up to being as adventurous.  I decided to get the bicycling done indoors instead of out in the 37ยบ temps. It'd have been a good morning to run, but not to bike (with added windchill). 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

High life, it happens occasionally

I don't weigh myself daily, but often enough in the summer months, especially, so I can tell if I am to dehydrated before or after a run.  Last night, I wrote down my weight and I'm ECSTATIC to report, it's the same as it was last year!!! How rare!  Sadly, it's not as low as it was in October after summer training for the marathon (thank you very much Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!)

I did my last run on Friday and then wasn't feeling the best so I hadn't done any more. . . until last night! Two mile run, trying to take it easy, and then a 1.1 mile walk.  a 5K down and in the books!  It was pretty sunny out, but still chilly and I decided to do the run on the treadmill. . . and watch an episode of Cash in the Attic.  Sadly, I need to figure out if I can put any tape or paint the edges of the treadmill mat. Not for myself, but for poor Felix, who tried, again, to hop on the mat to be with me.  He spun right out.  Thankfully(?) he was trying to get on in the middle of the t'mill and not the end, or else he might have shot back to the litter boxes. 

I put together a chicken roll up last night. Tuesday I asked Mike what he'd like for dinner, he said, chicken, ham and cheese. Since he was out for a 3 -4 hour bike ride on Wednesday night, I had the time to make a fabulous dinner.  We didn't eat until after 9pm at our house, but that's okay, it's only an hour later than normal!  I had some amazing popcorn to tide me over too. (Already popped and flavored, made in the State of Iowa, and purchased at the grocery store.  It was hard to eat just a two cup serving).

Starting ingredients.  
I've tried using the chicken from the meat counter before and the muscle is too mature, or at least it won't--for me--smash down very easily or evenly. 

Easiest way is to put cling wrap beneath and over the chicken.  This is my after Christmas purchase. It has to be discounted after Christmas, no one  would want red cling wrap for any other holiday coming up (oh, say, Valentine's day!) and I don't really care what color my cling wrap is. 

I used the flat side of my meat tenderizer to smash out the breasts. I start in the middle and work my way to the sides.  Interestingly, the smaller chicken breast flatten more easily than the larger of the three. 

Ham is placed over the chicken breasts, covering any holes you may have torn in the breast meat. 

Covered with CHEESE.  See, I said I was cutting down on my cheese, but I still put some in there. Normally I'd have put more in 

Fold the sides in, then roll from end to end. I tucked the ham over (center photo) itself so that the cheese wouldn't be tempted to melt out.  Then I wrapped with kitchen twine and put in an homemade aluminum foil bag (it's easy to make one at home!) Then I baked at 350 for about 40 minutes.  (Okay, it may have been a touch longer than that, but I think that's what would be fine.).

I didn't make any last night, but I think some mushroom soup or homemade gravy over these would be great too.  Or maybe some cranberry-orange sauce for the side.

Wow. Look at that plate! Doesn't it look like something that would have been served on the Titanic? (NO? hrumph, ha ha). 

Green beans, butternut squash slice, chicken spiral roll and a little bit of Annie's GF mac and cheese.  YUM!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunny day

Today is still chilly..though actually the normal temps...but it is full of sunshine. This is different from the last few days where the sun shows his face.every now and again.

Dad is working on planting his corn at the bottom end of the state; he started on Monday. in the northern part, my tulips are finally blooming, but I cut them tonight. I haven't covered any plants.the last two nights. However, my hostas are looking a little sad and so I covered some..the ones that will be most noticeable if they die and have to regrow this spring. 

On the sunny note, I saw two guys in the city park practicing wire walking. No worries!  They were only two feet off the ground.

Tonight wasy first run since.Friday. I'd had some side pain and have no idea where it came from, but it is gone now. Just did two likes plus 1.1 walking, so a 5k is in the books. Hahahaha . Anyone have ideas on how to keep the cat OFF the treadmill when it is running?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Down time = play time?

I'm still on some down time from the marathon. Sounds good, except now I think I've become bored and lazy. It's easy to do when you take time off.  Before the marathon I was getting up early three times a week for yoga and then running for training.  Now yoga is in break period, as is my training.  On the plus side, I've managed to not eat a lot of calories. . .something that was not easy to do after my October marathon (Halloween candy called, then Thanksgiving gravy and pie, then it was Christmas and goodies!).

Last week was pretty normal in terms of food. I realize I need to post food pictures and finally have!

I know I said I was going to eliminate cheese. I haven't been able to do so. I HAVE been able to make the amount of cheese I eat more 'normal' and have definitely cut down on how much cheese I eat.  I think that's some progress!

Thursday we made Nachos for dinner. Heated up the pizza stone in the oven, cooked up some hamburger with taco seasoning, then layered the chips, shredded cheddar cheese, beef, tomatoes, black olives, onions, etc on and set the pizza stone in the oven for the cheese to melt. We just took the metal spatula and cut the nachos in half for lifting them off the stone and onto the plates. Topped with sour cream and guacamole.

April 1st we took a walk on the recreational trail near our house,  We had fun goofing around  in the chilly air. We'd come back from my parents' place at it was in the 80s there, but in the 50s at home. Brrr.

Deer trio. Mike spotted these first, as I was checking out the photos of the ducks.

One of the bald eagles that  hung out near our home in March. Most hung out at the state park or the county park lake, but there were about ten which chose to hang out on the trees near this creek.  This action photo was shot one morning when I stopped on my way to work.  Amazing to see so many bald eagles, when I was a kid (oooh, I sound sooo OLD) it was rare to see one, let along ten at once.  Now we have sightings of twenty, thirty, fifty on their migration to the north cold lands!  So amazing and so wonderful.