life and times of a lazy cook

figuring out life and my way around the kitchen, one misadventure at a time.

so how IS real life going?

i’d have to say….pretty swell.

it’s winter break so i get to read a lot of fun books in preparation for the upcoming semester and lay around thinking about going to the gym!

just kidding, i actually have been doing well fitness-wise. yesterday i ran 4 miles straight in under 40 minutes. wohoo!

then i dragged my butt  to the gym again today (after laying in bed for a few hours debating health vs. laziness) and did a 5k in 29:03 and 30 minutes on the treadmill.

both runs this week have been really awesome and i’m feeling almost back to normal after the extended holiday celebrations.

however, i’m having one of those weeks when i want to eat EVERYTHING. it doesn’t help that my lovely roomie brought me back a (hello kitty!) advent calendar from oman, complete with chocolate.

but i think i have managed to keep my eating under control, just on the higher end of calories i allow myself. think 1500-1600 a day. sometimes you just need to eat.

breakfast: whole wheat english muffin with natural peanut butter and a banana

lunch: 3 spaghetti squash tacos topped with scallions and fage 0% plus a salad of spinach and baby romaine topped with goat cheese, scallions, my amazing garlic expressions dressing and a sliced up pear (i only put about half the pear on the salad and i chomped on the rest plain). also yes, i LOVE scallions.

dinner: baked (sorta) tofu and garlic/balsamic vinegar brussels sprouts

this dinner was a little bit of an adventure. i got the idea for the brussels sprouts from this recipe: http://www.theschellcafe.com/?p=2183, which my family made for christmas.

i simply sautéed the sprouts with in olive oil with garlic until they were browned and tender. about an hour before dinner (i.e. when i got hungry) i sliced up a package of tofu and put it in a bowl to marinate in trader joe’s soyaki sauce a.k.a. my absolute fav.

i was determined to bake my tofu, but i didn’t pat it off enough before i started marinating it so even after 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven they were still soft so i used my brussels sprouts to fry them for a bit to crisp them up.

i plan to use the rest of the tofu on salads and sandwiches etc. throughout the rest of the week 🙂

delicious and filling if i may say so myself!

nard.

today my ex-boyfriend, first (and as of right now only) real love moved to boston. i had a dream about him last night. i honestly don’t know how i feel about this. i think on the one hand i used him as an emotional crutch. i’ll always care about him deeply and i know he’ll always feel the same. in fact, i have a feeling if i had ever wanted to get back together he would have been very happy.

we had a complicated relationship (aren’t they all really?) and a less-than-clean breakup (i.e. i was terrible and strung him along and punished him for things he had done to me in the past instead of making up my damn mind). and i really just don’t know. i never really saw him before now, but i hate that i CAN’T now.

i mean, i know i can/will see him again since all his family and friends are in the area…..but still. and i guess i kind of regret that i didn’t see him before he left. i saw him a few weeks ago, when he was super amazing and drove an hour to come and pick drunk, crisis-mode, crying me up.

what can i say….i’m an awesome ex-girlfriend.

but also i think seeing him would have been harder. i think i would have romanticized what we had/have. and decided i was in love with him again. because i tend to do that when things get tough.

i don’t really know why i’m posting about this, since it has entirely nothing to do with food, cooking or working out but here i am, writing.

i just still always pictured us together in the end. and maybe that will happen. but for now i guess that chapter is closed.

i’ve also decided to be done with the stupid man-child who was nonchalantly breaking my heart for the past three months. and i have a first date thursday night.

and let’s get real here, i’m 23. i SHOULD be single and dating right now.

well, at least thats what i keep telling myself.

real life: day 1.

so now it’s time to get real. back on track. weight loss mode. in this vein–i weighed myself this morning. as my friend sara says, it’s always better to know. and the scale said 139.4. so let’s round this up to 140. or 141 to be safe since i had a few lovely mimosas last night.

last time i weighed myself i was at 137.6. so yeah, i’m considering that a success. i spent 10 lovely days not thinking about calories or weight loss, but i ran almost every day and also took long walks with my mom. while my sister was home we ran 5.25 miles continuously, which is the farthest i’ve ever run without walking by over a mile. and the cool thing was we started out aiming for a 4 mile run. and then went further. for fun. what?

so today it’s back to the real world. i’m still on winter break for a few more weeks but it’s time to start tracking calories, gymming it up (almost) daily and blogging about it. so welcome back me!

and oh yeah–those resolutions. i’ve decided my “official” resolution is to be healthier and happier in 2012. because i firmly believe we control both those aspects of our lives. but i thought up two more resolutions last night.

me on new year's eve. hint: i'm the brunette.

1. read for fun every night before bed. i used to do this religiously, but now i’m much more likely to watch some streaming netflix or just ponder the day. but reading relaxes me and helps me go to sleep faster and better. plus i have a huge stack of books next to my bed that need to be read.

2. make sure every time i interact with a friend of acquaintance i ask how their day is/how work is going/what’s new with them. i have a friend from work last year who is truly one of the most caring individuals i’ve ever met, and one of the ways she shows this is by truly making an effort to see how the people around her are doing. and i really appreciated it when she would take such an interest in my life, so i want to try to emulate that in my own relationships.

and just because this is going to be the longest post ever (sorry), my time at home was wonderful. well mostly. i loved being able to actually spend substantial time at home, unlike last holiday season when i had the pressure of two jobs keeping my trips short. very short.

i baked with my mom, wrapped about 90% of the presents under the tree and celebrated a high school friend’s wedding. i’ll be honest though–after about a week of constant family time and holiday business, i kind of wanted to gouge my eyes out. i’m the type of person who needs alone time to remain sane. normally running would do this for me, but i was running with my sister since she was home too. which was actually really nice, and it was great to have her there keeping my pace steady and pushing my to go further. but i missed my sanity-preserving solo runs nonetheless.

so come december 30th, i was ready to go home. so i thought. then when it came time for me to get on the bus, i almost cried. yeah, it was weird. coming back to real life is sometimes hard. but necessary.

one last thing–this day of eating?

breakfast: banana, whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and fage 0% with bran buds (best discover ever, thanks mom!)

lunch: spinach and mixed green salad with dried cherries, scallions, crumbled goat cheese and garlic expressions dressing (shoutout to mom again, best salad dressing ever), trader joe’s bruschetta on 2 slices of italian loaf with more goat cheese on top, and maybe some carrots dipped in cilantro and chive yogurt dip. can you tell i went grocery shopping yesterday?

dinner: spaghetti squash tacos, which were waiting patiently for me in the freezer. isn’t it nice how food does that for you?

hey there, 2012.

so i’ve finally emerged from my holiday coma and all of a sudden it’s 2012. i honestly never even got used to it being 2011. can i have 2010 back please? still in college with no real responsibilities….those were the days.

the funny thing about days like new year’s eve is that it’s really just one arbitrary day. yet we give it so much power. resolutions, traditions, superstitions. but really, why january 1st? if you want to make a change, any day will do.

although i started my so-called “fitness journey” last year in january, it really had nothing to do with the new year. or holiday indulgences. i was just unhappy and sick. and fat. i was talking with my family while i was home over the holidays and realized last year i was sick pretty much straight through from october until february. i must confess i worked with young children, but still. that’s excessive.

i don’t really know the point of this post. honestly while i was gone over the holidays i didn’t miss blogging. maybe because i turned my brain off. and because i’m still new to this whole thing.

tomorrow i’ll post a re-cap of sorts since i’ve been gone for FOREVER. but tonight, i’m being emo about life, drinking mimosas with my roommate in honor of the rose bowl i’m actively not caring about and watching the bachelor and pretty little liars. winter break is in full force.

december, 2010.

so yesterday in the shower i started thinking about what life was like a year ago.

i was caught in a dead-end relationship, overweight and unhealthy, super unhappy in both my jobs, and basically just stuck.

so what did i do? i put my big girl pants on,  stopped eating crap all the time, and started reading up on healthy eating choices. and lost 5 pounds right away. i joined a gym (and after a month or so i actually went) and signed up for weight watchers.

since then, i’ve truly come to enjoy health. i had that thought this morning while making my happy yummy banana oatmeal. although i still use an online calorie counter to help myself keep track on my intake, i eat what truly want to eat. i’ve learned what to do to make my body feel happy, and i enjoy the way good health feels.

today i honestly can’t even imagine treating my body the way i did a year ago. no wonder i was unhappy. i may still enjoy the same foods (tombstone stuffed crust pepperoni pizza, i’m looking at you), but once every few months is sufficient; not every week.

i’ve proved to myself i can make healthy choices, but still live a the life of a normal 23-year-old.

on saturday night i had a pint of ice cream for dinner. and it was awesome. but then on sunday i went for a nearly 5 mile run. for fun.

which is why, to be honest, i’m not that stressed about christmas and the associated food. i had this realization when i was mentally packing my lunch/dinner for my super fun full day of traveling tomorrow. i WANT to make healthy choices. in fact, it doesn’t really register as a choice at this point. i don’t have to force myself to pack hummus and leftovers for dinner instead of eating at the mcdonald’s in the train station. i have no desire to sacrifice all of my hard work. i want to eat the hummus.

so if this whole health thing is about finding balance, i think i’m there. no promises i won’t need a wake-up call down the road, but i’m feeling pretty good today.

gotta get down on friday.

friday weigh in. yay. 137.6. i’m actually really pleased. technically it’s the same as last week, but last thursday i went out for a few cocktails and consequently was dehydrated when i got on the scale friday morning.

in other news, i’ve had a bomb ass eating day. oatmeal with sliced banana, buttered whole wheat english muffin and strawberry nonfat chobani for breakfast, hummus and carrots plus my favorite portabella gardenburger sandwich (with a little mayo, red onion and feat on another ww english muffin) for lunch and steamed broccoli and some of a whole foods 365 pesto goat cheese tomato pizza for dinner. YUM.

my run was blah, but i got through it and i’m really proud i finished the amount i set out to do. looking forward to my rest day tomorrow though!

tonight i have a get together with some people from school to celebrate the end of the semester. i’d honestly rather be in sweats watching love actually and baking the delicious treat i have planned for this weekend. but i’m sure it will be fun and since i won’t be out in milwaukee again for a while it’s good for me to try new things.

which leads me to the shocking realization i had this week that i’m totally one of those people who will only go out once a weekend max. because i want to cook up yumminess and have a good run. wow i’m becoming boring and old. it just takes so much effort to put on makeup, do my hair and put on a real outfit! but i digress…….

on tuesday I GET TO GO HOME. FOR 10 DAYS. well 8, since i’ll be traveling for a day on each end, but i’m really excited. i really need some time at home to figure out my plan for next year. and just relax and enjoy the holidays 🙂

which leads me to…..my plan of action for the christmas-danger-time.

basically, i’m just planning on running most days when i’m home in michigan. the weather forecast doesn’t look too ominous so barring and ridiculous snow/ice disaster i’ll be able to get exercise in every day.

other than that, i want to make a point to fill have of my plate with veggies at most meals and stop eating treats when i’m truly full.

but honestly, it’s christmas. and my sister’s birthday. and i have my first high school friend’s wedding to go to. and new years. and the ROSE BOWL (go badgers!). so i’m just not going to weigh myself until january 6th, and hope by then i’ll break even. no sense in beating myself up during a time of the year when i have so much to celebrate. i want to be able to enjoy my break without stressing over every little calorie, while maintaining a balance with my health.

why running is awesome.

so i’m not really sure what to write about today–i’m having leftovers for dinner, doing nothing fun (aka finishing my last final paper) and in general not feeling too fancy. probably because i’ve been wearing sweats, glasses and zero makeup for about two weeks now. thanks grad school.

so. i’m writing about why i love running. i never thought i would think about loving running, let alone write it. in a blog.

i literally hadn’t run since my 9th grade p.e. teacher forced me to do a (very slow) mile until this august. now i’m planning on doing a half marathon in september.

so how did i get here?

well i discovered running is awesome for these reasons:

1. it makes me feel like a boss.

2. it’s a handy excuse to be outside in the 4 months a year milwaukee has  bearable nice weather.

3. running = meditation/alone time/emotional breakdown time (yes, i have cried on a run)/general sanity.

4. unlike most things in life, i actually keep getting better at it.

5. it makes me more confident i can escape muggers/rapists/kidnappers/serial killers. i literally thought about this today on the treadmill. like “oh yeah, i can run so fast now i’ll definitely never be murdered.” yes, i know.

6. it drastically changed my body for the better.

7. i am truly tired at the end of the day and sleep like a baby.

8. as much as we complicate it–it’s simple. one foot in front of the other. repeat. just run.

spaghetti squash tacos.

so i’ve been having a little adventure–going vegetarian during the week. i LOVE meat, but hate cooking it. i refuse to touch raw chicken (and i actually don’t even like chicken enough of spend the money/effort cooking it) and i generally don’t want to spend the money on seafood or red meat.

also my parents have made me really picky about the meat i eat–they buy theirs exclusively from the farmer’s market and when i’m home we only go out to eat at places with grass-fed/farm-raised yummies.

long story short i’m constantly in search of yummy, unique veggie friendly recipes. i can only eat tofu stir fry so many times.

so needless to day i was really excited she my friend meghan texted me last week about the awesome spaghetti squash tacos she had just made. yes, my friends and i text about things like spaghetti squash. cool, i know. while i had already done my major cooking for the week i was eager to try this magical healthy mexican food.

i adapted my version off of this one i found on all recipes.com (my bible) http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spaghetti-squash-tacos/detail.aspx.

i headed to whole foods and got yellow corn taco shells, refried beans, tj’s light mexican cheese, scallions and a fancy schamcy taco sauce to jazz it up.

um. delicious. this is definitely going to be my standard mexican mean form now on. i stuffed the taco shells a little too much, so by the last taco it was pretty soggy. but it actually really didn’t bother me. SO. YUMMY. wohoo! i’m going to have it again tomorrow night as leftovers and freeze the rest of the batch.

typical "i couldn't wait to take a picture before eating" half devoured dinner photo

also i went running today and it was one of the best runs i’ve had in a while. i’ve been little lost/distracted with school and life things. so i went to the gym today determined to run a 5k without walking breaks. and i did! in 29 minutes and 26 seconds.

then i walked .4 miles and ran another mile. AT A 9:13 PACE! which is the fastest i’ve ever run. yay me! this makes me optimistic for my weigh in on friday since it felt really natural to be running that fast soooooo hopefully that means the scale will be down.

in other news my brother-in-law just texted me asking for gift ideas for my sister so i will be spending the afternoon shopping for her! yay! definitely in the holiday spirit.

also……the most exciting news of all……a week from now i will be at home! celebrating christmas/my sister’s birthday/winter break!

needless to say, i’m a very happy alice.

backbone. i.e. getting one.

while this blog is generally geared towards the outward trappings of a healthy lifestyle; balanced diet, exercise, etc. i firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle comes from the inside. more specifically, from the mind. i feel like we can all attest to the fact that our outward bodies reflect how healthy our mental state is. i know on my road to good health, i’ve become a much happier, more confident person. i’ve worked through a bunch of that emotional ickiness tied up with extra weight, but here’s my big remaining issue.

people pleasing. first of all, i find it odd i am such a people pleaser. i’m a very outgoing, assertive, opinionated person, but when it comes to interpersonal relationships i am such a baby. honestly i’m  such a non-confrontational pushover it really bothers me. but i can’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

if it only took awareness of our faults to fix them, wouldn’t the world be awesome?

with friendships i often let things simmer slowly until i blow up. right now, i’m living with a girl who had a lot of little habits that really bother me/piss me off, and yet i have done nothing about it but bitch to my friends, which ultimately does nothing but become a big wedge between me and my roommate

in romantic relationships, it’s really just ridiculous. with the guy i was most recently seeing, my best friend was basically beside herself with joy when i actually managed to have a “what are we doing here” talk with him. while that whole situation didn’t turn out the be a fairy tale (as i’m very much single at the moment), i was also really proud of myself for bringing it up. for the first time ever.

i had a serious boyfriend for a few years in college, and since we still keep in (occasional) touch and are on good terms he’s told me that one thing about me in our relationship that bothered him a lot was that i didn’t/wouldn’t stand up for myself. his point was that the person he fell in love with was the assertive girl who says exactly what’s on her mind, even when it’s the “wrong” thing. when your ex-boyfriend tell you that, it’s bad.

i’ve talked it over with said best friend, another close friend, my guy best friend and my own subconscious time and time again and i simply just don’t understand.

fear of confrontation? fear of abandonment? fear of being yelled at? all of the above?

whatever it is. i need to figure out how to fix it. functioning adults tell people what’s on their mind. and the whole goal is to actually become an adult as i get older, not remain a pathetic little non-confrontational baby.

workout?

so here’s todays dilemma. i’ve been exhausted for the past few days. i mean really truly, i-can’t-get-off-the-couch, tired-to-the-bone exhausted. i’m not too surprised, last week i had a final paper due–which came with the usual stress and sleep deprivation and i did not treat myself very well over the weekend (i.e. i barely slept 8 hours between friday and saturday nights). i ran friday, sunday and monday.

bahhhhh i’m tired. boo hoo. i’m feeling a lot better after 10 hours of sleep last night, but the new question for the day is to workout or not workout?

i have class this evening and i could go the the gym after for a short 30 minute elliptical session. OR i could walk the 2 miles to school instead of taking the bus. i’m less keen on the second option since it will be sunset/twilight/dark by the time i’d be walking (which is like 4:30-5, thanks wisconsin).

i’m trying to vary my workouts a little so it’s not all running all the time. however, i don’t want to over stress my body and i’d like to have a nice long awesome run tomorrow.

sooooooooo to gym it or not to gym it?

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