Category Archives: Food

Back in Action: Food First

Today was a perfect day.  And perfect days have ball-busting workouts.  Preferably two!

I am sweaty and happy and very, very smelly.

I am sweaty and happy and very, very smelly.

Does anyone remember that the initial purpose of this blog was to see if I could find any enjoyment in physical activity?  Wow.

Everyone tells you that post-marathon blues are practically a given.  I came home on cloud nine after what was unquestionably the best day of my life.  A week later, Tim and I set our WEDDING DATE (as of this moment: 36 days, 16 hours and 17 minutes but WHO’S COUNTING?) and the following week, I delighted myself with an unexpected 10k PR.  I thought I might bypass the typical ennui altogether but that shit trail race left me with a cough, a strained calf, and a slight bout of runner’s knee.  Rad!

While I had drastically reduced my exercise in the last month, I had hardly changed my eating habits at all.  If anything, I was eating more deep dish.  To celebrate!  EVERYTHING!?

I took control of the eating first.  No more BK biscuit sandwiches (waaaah!).  No more deep dish (WAAAAAHHHH!) and most disturbing, I switched my Chipotle tacos out for…

…..salads…..

(With double meat, to soften the blow.)

This is a salad that I ate.

This is a salad that I ate.  There is more lettuce under all the chicken.  And the cheese.

I resumed tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal and I’ve lost 6.5 of the 10 post-marathon pounds that won’t fit in my lovely wedding gown.  Nothing like incredibly expensive photographs and garments to motivate you to drink water and eat green things.

THIS IS CAULIFLOWER THAT * I ATE *.

THIS IS CAULIFLOWER THAT * I ATE *.

I think it was a good choice to focus on getting my eating back on track before pressuring myself to rediscover my running mojo.  My knee and calf felt better every day and over the weekend, I knew that I would be ready to recommit this week.  I’d been attending Dailey Method regularly but my limited running over the last couple weeks had begun to erode my confidence.  And eroded confidence is not what I need on December 1st when I begin training for the Oakland Half!  Next time I’ll tell you all about that the terrifying awesome TERRIFYING training plan that I have selected in service to OPERATION: GET SPEEDY

How do you get your eating back on track?  Portion control?  Elimination?  Cleanse?  Lay it on us!

Oh, also….

I WROTE SOME FICTION.  No idea where it came from.  It’s pretty dark.  Check it out and feel free to leave any comments you like!

Eat This Now: Donut Savant

Full disclosure: I did not get these donuts today.

I got them last Saturday.

Yes, the day after I got these doughnuts.

It feels good to be honest.

Several months ago, SF Gate came out with an article on Oakland’s Doughnut Renaissance.  Timmeh and I took this as a personal challenge, as I’m sure it was intended.  Summer is the time when all magical things happen; perfect time for the doughnut/donut crawl.

Donut Savant is located on Broadway in Downtown Oakland, right next to 19th st. BART.

20 min from SF.  Just saying...

20 min from SF. Just saying…

Super convenient and dangerous for anyone who works downtown or attends the prestigious Oaksterdam University.

(…………Yeah, it’s a school for weed.  No joke…………)

After reading Yelp reviews and looking at their Twitter feed, I was really looking forward to trying lots of flavors.  Oreo?  S’mores?  Done and done.

I'll take.....all?

I’ll take…..all?

It’s clearly an old school donut shop converted into a new school, slightly hipster donut shop.  The majority of the donuts are cake with various icings and sugars.  They also offer an assortment of raised donuts with the hole nestled in the, uh, hole.  You know what I mean.

Every flavor looked good so I got one of each golf ball-sized cake donut and a glazed raised to compare to my beloved Krispy Kreme (krack).

Gluten-full, sugar-full, animal product-full.

Gluten-full, sugar-full, animal product-full.

Clockwise from upper left: Maple Walnut, Chocolate Glaze, Chocolate Dust (hidden), Cinnamon Sugar, Vanilla Glaze, Maple Glaze, Coconut, Glazed Raised (on top).

They were all DELISH.  Both of the maple flavors had a bit of salt and were so, so good.  I loved the crunch of the chocolate dust.  I’m not typically a fan of cake donuts but these were moist and flavorful.  The raised had a good texture and some tang in the glaze.  I liked it and would definitely try the chocolate glazed raised donut next time.

I shared AGAIN!  #donutkarmacoins

I shared AGAIN! #donutkarmacoins

The only bummer about my Donut Savant experience was that a lot of the special flavors I saw online weren’t in the shop on Saturday morning.  The woman who worked there indicated that they roll out some other flavors later in the day.  Looks like I’ll have to go in the afternoon!

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DonutCat needs his fix, after all….

Are you also eating like you’re on Death Row?  What’s your sweet treat of choice?

 

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Eat This Now: Doughnut Dolly

This morning, I had one of the most surprisingly delightful experiences of my life.

I got in and out of the DMV with a replacement drivers license in….

…..TEN MINUTES.

I am not kidding. I did something that I don’t believe I’ve done in my 14 years as a licensed driver: I made an appointment. I felt like Jay-Z (no, not Beyoncé, JAY-Z) gliding past the fifty sad sacks in the no-appointment line. Game changer.

To celebrate my LIFE WIN, I got doughnuts. Naturally.

Doughnut Dolly is an adorable doughnut shop in the Temescal district of Oakland. It’s hidden in a magical little doughnut alley!

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The owner fills each doughnut to order with a menu of delicious creams and jams that regularly change.

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Selecting for myself and future-hubs at home, I played it safe with dark chocolate and naughty cream (vanilla creme fraiche).

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I happened to wear my adorable (and so soft!) See Jane Run ambassador shirt. As the owner filled my doughnuts with goodness, she told me she was doing the SJR tri in October! I was so excited for her! GET IT, AMAZING DOUGHNUT MAKER!

Behind me, another customer commented on the race and it turns out she is training for the coveted Nike Women’s Marathon. What a small active world!

Totally delighted with my experience, I brought the treats home to share with Tim. Sharing is caring.

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HELLA GOOD.

The doughnut was spongey and light with fine sugar on the outside. The dark chocolate filling was rich and fabulous. The naughty cream had the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. I can’t wait to try more flavors!

Temescal is a fantastic neighborhood to eat and judge hipsters. If you ever make it over before 3pm, I highly recommend getting a treat at Doughnut Dolly. Just make sure to check her Twitter feed @doughnutdolly to see if she’s sold out!

Donut/Doughnut fan?

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

I love meat. Meat, meat, meat…

I’m a protein girl at heart. It’s challenging to get me to eat fruit and veggies. I can go months without dessert but a Meatless Monday? When pigs fly (and if they try, I will trap them in a pig butterfly net and eat their cute deliciousness.)

I have a lot of issues around food. Organization and speedy preparation really help me make healthier choices, especially since being tired is my number one unhealthy eating trigger.

Cue pre-cooked food that doesn’t have weird, glutinous and sugary additives!

Where the guac at?

Where the guac at?  I like all fats.

I used to love Trader Joe’s pre-cooked chicken patties with fontina (?) but they disappeared.  I noticed these on a recent trip and was delighted to discover that they don’t have anything weird in them!

Thanks for not randomly adding wheat flour, soy, or brown rice syrup!

Check the granite.  It’s new.  It’s called “River White.”

Pictured: the knife I needed to pry them apart.  I was nervous that they wouldn’t release but even fully frozen, I just had to wiggle the knife around a bit!

As you can see, they don’t add any weird things like brown rice syrup, soy whatever, or wheat randomness.  Just some chicken and some spices.  They’re 150 calories each, lower than your average pre-cooked patty.  They’re pretty thin and I’m happy to save some calories that way.  Same number of bites, the bites are just smaller!

There are several cooking options but seriously, they’re frozen discs of cooked meat.  Skillet, bake, grill, braise, poach, nuke…it’s not going to make much difference.  I opted for skillet.  Dude told me he would have chosen indoor grill pan so it would have marks.  It’s up to you.  It’s empowering.

Sprayed a nonstick pan with some canola spray (also TJ brand) and cooked them on medium high heat for about 3 minutes on the first side and 2-3 more on the second side.  They heated through and came out looking like pancakes.  Poultry pancakes.  Paleo perfection.  Appetizing alliteration.

See!  Pancake looking, right?

See! Pancake looking, right?

I put some salsa on them because I had it.  You might want to serve them with a vegetable or a bun because you’re probably not weird.  The flavor was pretty good.  The acidity of the lime was tasty but they were crying out for some cheese to cut the tang.  A slice of pepper jack or some queso fresco would have been awesome.  Too bad dairy makes me look pregnant and I already had goat cheese earlier today…

Verdict: Thumbs up!  Not amazing but good and very easy.

Now, here’s the picture my cat, Merlin will probably use on the cover of his memoir.

Sleep: A Love Story.  By Merlin Wharton

Sleep: A Love Story. By Merlin Wharton

Do you enjoy meat in disc form?  Sorry, that’s pretty personal.

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What I Ate Weds- er…Thursday – INSANITY EDITION

Those posts where people show you instagrammed quinoa muffins and a kombucha? This is not that.

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You might want to bookmark this post for the days where you feel like a piggie for “indulging” in a chocolate chip cookie or extra guac on your Chipotle bowl. When I say I’m eating like a crazy person, I am not being coy. This is a Biggest Loser temptation room situation.

Ready? Okay.

7:00am Burger King ham and cheese biscuit sandwich (no egg, ew). Large Diet Coke.

12:00pm Sourdough Jack (no tomato, ketchup, or mayo. Again, ew). Large Diet Coke.

If you feel a dull headache, it’s probably the development of a Diet Coke empathy brain tumor. So sorry.

12:30pm Kit-Kat. Twix.

4:00pm Corned beef sandwich with havarti and sun dried tomato pesto. Entire full-sized bag of sweet potato Pop Chips. 2 cans of Diet Coke. I know…

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Stare into the depths.

Am I done for the day?

Well, I have another teaching obligation and Tim came home with two of my favorite ham and cheese individual quiches so let’s just go ahead and add those (and two more Diet Cokes) to the tally.

I don’t know if this is hormonal but it probably is because I actually don’t feel full! I know. It’s impressive.

Ever eat crazy? No? Fine. I don’t need your validation anyway! If you judge me, I’ll just eat your friends and family.

Diary of a Better Day

6:00 am – Woke up.

6:40 am – Woke up again and shrieked “CRONE!!!” upon seeing my 6:40am face in the mirror. DST is a cruel mistress.

I mean, what high school sophomore *wouldn't* find this face inspiring?

I mean, what high school sophomore *wouldn’t* find this face inspiring?

7:00 am – Commuted to my high school vocal coaching job, eating a Larabar en route. Debated stopping for an enormous Diet Coke but drank water instead. Booyach.

8:00 am – 12:00 pm – Taught the singing. Did not crave circus animal cookies or deep dish pizza. Did not hate on myself for yesterday’s crapapalooza smorgasbord.

12:00 pm – Rushed home. Scarfed some Italian chicken sausage and leftover brussels sprouts. SPROUTS, PEOPLE.

1:00 pm – Taught a first lesson to a talented new adult student. So much fun!

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm – See below:

20130314-205815.jpgI didn’t read outside for four hours. I got into bed around 3:15.

6:00 pm – Ate delicious chicken and veggie stir-fry (STIRSDAY!) made by my awesome dude. Watched the season three finale of ‘The Sopranos.’ Working our way back through that amazing series…

7:00 pm – Present – Blogging, chatting, reading, ‘Say Yes to the Dress-ing’ (mydressshipstomorrowOMG), and NOT SNACKING.

What a 180 from yesterday!

Healthy, normal eating = healthy, normal lady. And even more importantly: happy, calm, sane lady.

What makes you feel calm when the world (or your own habits!) make you crazy?

The Tough Stuff

Things are going well.

Let me say that again.

Things are going well.

It bears repeating because in the great, grand scheme of life, things truly are going well. But for the last few weeks, that statement only feels true about 10% of the time.

Almost all of my present unhappiness, anxiety, and frustration are related to the extra weight I’m carrying. The bad feelings are compounded by fact that I’m handling it so poorly. Why should some PMS/ibuprofen water weight send me into this tailspin? And why am I consciously shoving unhealthy food into my mouth knowing full well that I’m *ensuring* guilt and emotional chaos?

Punishment.

Am I punishing myself for getting injured? For daring to think I might actually be strong (when on some level I still don’t believe I deserve that confidence)? Some heavy questions for a sunny Wednesday.

Things have been considerably better since I resumed working out a week ago. The mere fact that I’ve done eleven workouts in the last seven days should quell any fears I have about abandoning my athletic lifestyle. Apparently, I’m not in a place to accept reality if it’s positive.

Today, I had my first outside run. My intention was to run conservatively and respond to any signals from my foot. Most of the signals came from my heaving lungs and I spent 3 miles simultaneously celebrating my pain-free foot and lamenting my loss of cardiovascular fitness. What I didn’t realize until I finished was that I ran considerably faster than I thought and planned. In fact, after my conservative warm-up mile, I basically did a funky progressive tempo-y run.

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Maybe slightly more even splits next time…?

During the run, I felt like it was going rather poorly. It felt hard. In a more generous moment, I wondered if I had simply forgotten that even easy running is harder than hard anything else. Still, I was not impressed with myself. Then I reviewed the splits. Now, eight painless hours later, I recognize that it was a triumph.

My response to today’s success was to defer my entry to the Oakland Half Marathon. I may or may not elaborate on that decision but it basically came down to the fact that I want my next half to reflect the fitness I’ve gained since last October. I don’t want to PR by the skin of my teeth. I don’t want a medal for running conservatively and obsessing over my foot for two hours straight. I don’t want to re-injure myself. I don’t want to hold back. I want to crush it.

And I will.

I mean it.

Quinoa!

This is my first post from my phone! It’s going to be super short because typing on this thing makes me cray.

It’s the autocorrect. It doesn’t understand me. Though, it knew “cray”…

I’m still struggling with balanced nutrition. To that end, I’m experimenting with the gluten-free super grain quinoa!

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I searched the Pinterests for keenwah recipes and discovered that it’s prepared kind of like salad. Dressings, yummy mix-ins, etc.

My beloved grilled some cilantro lime chicken ( I ❤ him) so I picked up some pico. I prepared the 'wa with chicken stock per the directions. Combined with the chicken and salsa, it was healthy and fairly tasty!

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I don’t loooove the texture compared to barley or pasta but the potassium and lack of gluten are a good trade-off. Tonight, I combined it with pesto and salmon for another healthy and satisfying meal.

Wow, this was the quickest post I’ve ever written. Lovely! Back to Biggest Loser. I might have cried when they ran their 5K and a might have squeed when Biingo played baseball. LOVE.

Any quinoa lovers with great recipes to share?

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Um, this happened:

Um......WAT?

NO BIGGIE.

Oh hey, MOJO.  WELCOME HOME!

For my first run of 2013, I headed to Alameda to do 5 miles.  I had a great, speedy tempo run on Monday.  It certainly boosted my confidence but after sucking wind for the last few weeks, I wasn’t sure I was out of the woods.  My goal for the 5 mile run was to run comfortably and get through it.    I set off at a very comfortable pace.  I barely felt like I was running!  I looked down after about a mile to check my pace and it was just over 9 minutes.  I slowed down a bit in an attempt to conserve energy but with plenty to spare, I just decided to go for it.

Full disclosure:  my tummy rebelled and eventually demanded a pit stop right around mile 3.  What are you going to do?

Relieved and cooled down, I headed back.  Though I would have loved to run straight through, it was worth the stop because I wasn’t distracted by anything.  I wouldn’t have any reason to stop other than it being too hard.  And that last mile was, let me just say, HARD.  I wanted to stop about 10 times.

BUT I DIDN’T!

So, after weeks of shitty runs, why was this one so awesome?  It was powered by like 6 cups of my darling man’s barley salad.  I wish I could eat this all the time because I love the toothsomeness of barley.  So toothy.  Unfortunately, it’s a stupid glutenous grain and can’t be part of my regular diet.  I bought some quinoa to experiment with.  Meh.

……..I’ve been picking away at this post for days.  It’s time for it to die.  I ate some barley and ran fast.  Moving on……..

What’s your SUPERFOOD?

Incompatible.

Some things are simply incompatible:

Cats and swimming pools.

Bras and dryers.

Shaunas and mushrooms.

Least compatible of all: under-eating and running.

So, I’m in “Feel Really Amazing and Skinny on Wedding Dress Shopping Day” mode.

That’s a thing.

I’ve been carrying a few extra pounds over the last couple months.  Nothing to be concerned about but on the higher end of my comfy zone for a little too long.  I wanted to drop the layer of fluff but I didn’t want to give up pizza nights with my honey and bacon on my turkey burger.  Earlier this week, I had a random bout of food poisoning  which dropped me down to the exact weight I was hoping to reach before my bridal appointments.  It was gross but SCORE!  As someone motivated by success, seeing the “magic” number on the scale motivated me to avoid gluten, dairy, and added sugar.  I’ve lost another pound and am sitting pretty at the ideal weight.

Two problems:

A.  I peaked too soon!  You’re telling me I have to maintain this until 12/27?!  Through Christmas Eve AND Christmas?!  Uhhh…..

B.  And this is the real problem:  I can’t run.  I had 5 on my training plan this morning.  A mile into the run, I couldn’t believe I had 4 more miles.  I planned to turn around 2.5 miles into a 3 mile loop and come back around.  It was obvious that I wouldn’t complete the run when I stopped just to breathe at mile two.  The combination of the very cold weather and serious lack of fuelage was totally incompatible with running.

Sh*t.

This is not a surprise.  I’ve struggled with fueling whenever I’ve ramped up my workouts.  For me, weight loss and training can’t happen simultaneously.  I simply need too much fuel and too many carbohydrates to get the work done.

I’m not sure what the solution is to this yet.

Today, my solution was to have a big lunch and plan to run the additional two miles after Dailey Method.

Tonight, I research energy dense foods that are gluten and dairy-free.

Tomorrow, I try again.

Here’s a blurry picture of my cat:

Lola and mattress.  2012.

Lola and Mattress. 2012.