40s have never felt so good

It felt like a heat wave today: sunny, blue skies and low 40s on the thermometer. Wonderful!

I didn’t have a very busy day today, so I was able to get home and take Sheff for a nice walk in town. I got to use my Garmin Forerunner (it doesn’t get used much with all my gym workouts) and track our speed. Cool!

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I also took a few minutes tonight to make a donation to the Haiti Earthquake disaster relief. If you’re wondering where to send your money – here is a nice list of charities/agencies that are accepting money, and a summary of their work in Haiti. I chose to donate to Friends of the World Food Program, being the foodie that I am. I know that most Haitians struggle to get by on a normal day, so I cannot imagine what’s facing them now. But if my small donation can get a few meals to a family, then that’s something.

Not too much exciting news to report. Laundry night tonight. Oh, and catching up on this week’s House episode. Now that I finally have DVR, I don’t have to plan my TV shows into my schedule, so I can watch them whenever I please! Lovely.

Dinners this week have been boring, and I even resorted to a frozen pizza last night. It was a Freschetta Brick Oven Spinach and Mushroom pizza, which was fairly good, except for the intensely strong pieces of whole garlic that covered the surface. Good thing I ate it alone!!

Later gators!

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Perfect Weather Weekend

What happens when 5 dietitian friends get together for the weekend?

“Eat bowls of leaves” was The Boy’s idea. This, of course, is related to the fact that we enjoy our leafy green vegetables, and prefer them in salads to the nutritional-weakling that is iceberg lettuce.

But no, salads were not the mainstay of this weekend.

Friday Night:

Sheff and I spent the afternoon getting the house all nice and clean, ready for our guests. Steph was the first to roll in around 6, having the easiest drive from Nashville. We met at the nearby Kroger and picked up ingredients for an easy tortellini soup.

  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 3 cans seasoned stewed tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1-2 packs cheese tortellini
  • parmesan cheese and toast to serve with

Elena, coming up from Mississippi, made it here around 9:30, as did Laura – who won the prize for finding the farm in the dark by herself! I had met Elena and Steph 10 miles out, and then let them follow me back, because the dark country roads are very difficult to navigate. Laura also brought her 2 little dogs, who enjoyed Sheff and our big backyard. Kathy finally made it by 11:30pm. Most of the evening was spent catching up over soup and baked goods (Laura brought some decadent brownies and baklava. Nothing low-fat or nutritionally advised! So yummy….)

Saturday:

Those of us on Eastern Time Zone, and/or owners of dogs, found ourselves fully awake and drinking coffee by 8am. The other 2 were awakened by 10:30am. The agreed upon plan was to hit up the outlets at Pigeon Forge, a free round of Mini Golf (thanks to the millions of extra tickets I have), dinner at The Tomato Head, and then a fire at home with s’mores and hot apple cider. ‘Twas a great day!

I will note that the Pigeon Forge outlets were absolutely crazy packed, like it was the week before Christmas. We had to fight for a parking space, stand in long lines in stores, and dig through piles of clothes strewn all over the place. By the end of the afternoon, we had many bags to carry back and our feet were sore.

But not sore enough for Mini Golf! And somehow, after 18 holes, I manage to win, coming in 5 under par! haha. My prize?

Delicious dinner at The Tomato Head. I had the Kepner Melt again: a toasted sandwich of baked tofu, monterrey jack cheese, walnut pesto, spinach, herbed tomatoes, pineapple and red onion. Amazing! We also scored a free large cheese pizza, after our order (half cheese, half mushroom) confused the kitchen staff.

The fire, smores, and cider were all wonderful. We had The Dark Knight playing in the background, which I tried to ignore and enjoy the conversation with my friends instead. I can’t see that Joker face right before I go to bed!!

Sunday:

Again, the Eastern Time Zoners were up by 8 for coffee, and enjoyed cold pizza for breakfast. The others were up by 10 with no problem. It’s been so nice to catch up and see each other face to face after all this time. I feel like we’re much more grown up than we were just this time last year, now out in the working world, with a lot of learning experience under our belt.

We had wanted to get a hike in this weekend, since the weather was beautiful and in the 70s both days, but the girls needed to hit the road by lunchtime to get back to their respective cities.

After everyone left and I got the kitchen cleaned up, Sheff and I headed out to Knoxville’s Ijam’s Nature Center for some hiking and outdoors time. It was an easy 30 minute drive, and we had the company of many many other families and dog owners. I’m always a little skeptical of hiking or trail-walking by myself, but it was a gorgeous day, and I didn’t feel alone out there on the trails. We enjoyed a couple miles, then returned to the car for water and almond butter sandwich / milkbone, and drove back.

Now we’re out on the back porch, soaking up the last of today’s sun, before it’s time to start the next week.

Next Week:

  • Get the garage door fixed
  • Clean up / wash sheets from weekend visitors
  • Prepare, pack and plan for Nashville weekend road trip!

Healthy Changes: Self-Monitoring

I know, I know, I’m shocking you all for writing 2 posts back to back. But I’m using the local library’s high speed internet and figure I may as well get the most out of it while I’m here.

I just wanted to throw out a few ‘healthy lifestyle’ things from the past few days. Since I am a dietitian after all…. can’t just have a blog about my obsession with cupcake shops and travelling! haha. After doing all my reading/studying/preparation for my upcoming course on Adult Weight Management, I’ve read over and over the importance of self-monitoring, and how most all people who successfully lose and maintain weight, keep track someway of what their diet, exercise, and weight is doing. So, what do I recommend?

  1. Wear a pedometer
  2. Keep a food journal
  3. Weigh yourself once a week

I dug out my trusty pedometer and have started wearing it all day, everyday, just to see how many steps I’m taking. When I first got my pedometer, it was back in high school, when I first starting eating better, exercising, and losing weight. I swear, I wore it every single day, and was meticulous about recording every day’s steps. In high school, I’d get home with only 2,000-3,000 steps, and then would exercise in the afternoon to boost the number. In college, my steps were obviously much higher, walking around a large campus. And yet the weight crept back. haha. I became complacent, assuming that I was getting in enough walking, and stopped wearing it. Then I lost it during my freshman year, had a breakdown (seriously, I did), and fell in love with the janitorial staff when they found it, broken in the hall bathroom and returned it to me – all put back together!

Since then, I usually only wore it when I was going out for a walk, as a way to measure the distance. But then along came mapmywalk, and I didn’t feel the need to wear the pedometer for even my workouts! So it’s been sad and lonely for the last few years, collecting dust. But this week, it’s back on and will stay on!

Now, before I talk about step details, let me just rant about the cheapo pedometers that are given out with various programs. I cannot tell you how many free pedometers I have collected over the years, from all sorts of places. Regardless of how cool they look, whether they play music or are colored, they’re all crap! Seriously people, don’t even bother wearing one unless it cost $20 or so. Because I promise, standing up does not earn you 20 steps, no matter what that thing says. Test it out – walk 10 steps and see what your pedometer says. More than 12? Throw it out.

There are a few online resources about the top pedometers, but I swear by my Accusplit Eagle that I’ve had for years! Looks just like this, small, black and easy to hide on your waistband.

Most of you have all heard that the goal is 10,000 steps a day… which, depending on the length of your legs, is somewhere in the range of 4-5 miles a day. Don’t freak, it’s not impossibly hard. Just take every opportunity you have during the day to walk more. Take stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, all those fun things :) My mom has been laughing at me during the last few days – she says I’m “cheating my way to more steps”. I walk around the house or yard when I’m on the phone, dancing around the house with the dogs, sometimes just walk/jog in place when I’m watching the TV. OK, so I’m not actively walking 4-5 miles, but hey, if I’m moving my body and taking steps, that’s all that matters!

I also found a new website called Fat Secret (not crazy about the name though!) that’s been great to use as a food/exercise diary. I’ve tried multiple, always liked Spark People the best, but thought I’d give this one a shot. The biggest factor for any of these sites is the size and accuracy of their food database. If they don’t have the foods that I eat, then what good is their website!? But honestly, Fat Secret has been great so far. Now, if you want to, you can set up a whole weight loss profile, give them your height/weight, weight loss goal, and it can work out some stuff for you. But really I think just monitoring yourself for a while, to see what exactly you’re eating, can be a great wake up call. And, as a vegetarian, I like to check up to see what my carb/fat/protein ratio is like, just to control my self from eating a completely carb-based diet! But usually, I find that I’m just fine on my protein. So there, all you flesh—eaters who live to mock me!

OK, that’s all for now! Wait, actually one more thing. I’ve had some votes in for the new blog. Since RD2B has to change… we’ve had some votes in for RDBME, RD2DAY, or RDisME. Any thoughts?

Back to walking

Good morning all!

After returning from my trip, where way too much time was spent sitting in cars, and not eating regular meals, I knew it was time to jump back on the bandwagon  and get back into shape. So this morning my mom dropped Sheff and I off at the Maryville greenway for a nice 3 mile walk while she ran some errands. The greenway is a beautiful system, actually runs 9 miles connecting Alcoa and Maryville. I was a little overconfidant initially and thought we could do a nice 5 miles, but after about 3 we were pooped. Hot, sweaty, and ready for a break. I hate that I was done after only 3 miles, but I guess this is what happens when you take such a long break from any kind of programmed exercise (I know it must be close to a month now… aaah!).

Anyway, I’d love to be able to do the full 9 miles at some point before I leave the farm. Maybe I can work up to it. I don’t know if Sheff will be up for that distance, but I know a crazy young labrador that will be ;)

We had a delicious vegetarian dinner last night that my mom made – it was a mexican casserole made from brown rice, pinto beans, salsa, corn, sour cream, monterray jack cheese, all mixed up and baked until hot and delicious. I had that ingenious idea to serve it with my Scoops tortilla chips – perfect! I’ll post the recipe here if anyone is curious. It was great and I think will make a yummy lunch here soon :)

OK, better shower and eat some lunch. I have a full day today – calling the car dealer, comcast, scrapbooking, and finishing up my readings for my upcoming class on adult weight management. Bye!

Sunday!

Greetings all!

It seems we have a London Sunday upon us here in Nashville. Cold, cloudy, gray and drizzly. But… low 40s is the perfect workout temperature, so at least I think so. I went out to Brentwood this morning with my friend Elena for an hourlong walk on the trails. Afterwards… we decided that it was perfect biscuit-eating weather, so we stopped by Cracker Barrel on our way back for a plate of hot, flaky biscuits. Our waitress must have thought we were crazy for only ordering biscuits and 2 glasses of water. “No eggs!? No meat?! Y’all really just came here for biscuits?” haha. Yes ma’am we did. We love your biscuits :)

On another walking-related note, this morning was the ING Georgia Marathon. I can hardly believe it was a year ago today that I finished my first half-marathon. That’s crazy!

momandmeAnd in a month from now I’ll be doing another one! I’m pretty excited about the Country Music Half Marathon here. Although I will admit that my training this season has been not nearly as committed and impressive as last year’s. I think last year I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish, so I had a lot of motivation to get up on all those early mornings and train with the team. But this year, I’m more like “Yeah, I can do this. Maybe not beat my time from last year, but it’ll be fine”. Haha. I’m such a slacker these days.

After getting home from Cracker Barrel, I did a quick 15 minutes of yoga to stretch out my muscles and keep from getting stiff. I have really loved the yoga videos from the “Yoga is Yummy” blog – Polly does a great job of keeping them brief, informative, and easy to follow. Thanks! I did the Yoga for Runners video today, which is only 10 minutes, but I paused it a few minutes to hold the poses a little longer. It felt great!

Alright… on to the rest of the day! Bye bye!!

Dinner and olympics

Mmmm.. that’s the dinner I just finished. It was excellent. My inspiration came from another blogger who had created a flatbread cobb salad. It’s not really a cobb salad, since I don’t eat chicken or bacon, and I didn’t use a pizza crust like she did. I used a whole wheat naan from Whole Foods (or what I really believe to be “whole paycheck” after paying $5 for 3 on-the-vine tomatoes yesterday), topped with olive oil, garlic, pepper, italian seasoning and parmesan, baked for 5 minutes, then topped with baby greens (dressed with a homemade red-wine vinaigrette), chopped tomato, sweet corn straight off the cob, hardboiled egg, and avocado. Yum yum yum! A little messy to eat, but that’s OK. Went along perfectly with watching the men’s synchro diving tonight :)

The weather has been lovely here, hasn’t gotten up to 90 for the last 4 days or so, which I’m very thankful for. Today’s also the first day back at school for Nashville area schools. I have decided that the condo above me must be a family with children. Walking back from my car yesterday, I think I saw some bunk beds in the room above me, which would explain all the thudding that goes on. Sure enough, the little sasquatches woke me up this morning as they got ready for school. I guess I may not even need to set an alarm clock, just hope that my rotations have a similar start time to the littles’ schoolday. And again at 4pm, they were back from school and resumed jumping off the bunk beds and running around. Maybe they’re just really excited about the Olympics, I’ll excuse them if that’s the case.

Speaking of the Olympics, it’s pretty much been my life for the last few days. The mens 4×100 freestyle relay last night has to be one of the most exciting swimming events I’ve ever seen. I was standing in front of my TV, jumping up and down and screaming. I was almost as excited as the oversized terrier. Well, not quite that much because I’m not trying to win 8 gold medals, but you know, pretty excited. I’ve been watching beach volleyball too, since that seems to be the popular olympic sport these days, but it’s not thrilling. Which reminds me – can anyone explain to me why the American men played with their sunglasses without lenses? They looked pretty silly with only frames on…

In tennis news, poor Lindsey Davenport had to pull out of the singles for an injury, but is still playing doubles. Both Nadal and Federer won their first matches, although Nadal lost a set to his opponent. Of course I really want to see Federer win gold, that’s really what his psyche needs at this point so he can get his rear back in gear and knock Nadal off the #1. Come on Roger!

I went on a good walk this morning, almost 4 miles I think and no problem whatsoever with my hip. So I now pronounce myself cured and able to do another half-marathon. yay. I walked through Vandy’s campus this morning, which was pretty dead since classes haven’t started up yet, and Centennial Park. Love seeing the Parthenon in the morning, I could get used to this life! There’s also Shakespeare in the Park starting up this week, so maybe K and I can check it out before the internship starts and our fun ends.

OK, that’s all from me. Back to the olympics-watching. Go USA!

Today’s thoughts

Today’s post doesn’t really have a theme or topic, it’s just a collection of things going through my head. Sorry to disappoint you.

1. Last night I went to see the Houston Symphony do a Pink Floyd show. It was interesting to say the least. My Dad is a huge Pink fan, so he was really looking forward to it. We had fairly good seats way up high, which induced some anxiety in my Mother (who now vows to never return to the Toyota Center, and now Jones Hall). A wide range of people in the audience – the usual, well-dressed season ticket holders for the Houston Symphony, and the big Pink Floyd fans dressed for a rock concert. A good time was had by all :)

2. We’ve finally made our plans for the big move to Nashville. So I have a little less than 2 weeks left in Texas before we head up. I get one day in Athens to pack up my apartment. I wish I could have more time in Athens; I know I won’t want to spend what time I have there shoving things into boxes. However, I know I’ll be coming back to visit people and places, so it’s not a final goodbye to the classic city. Renting a minivan to fit all my junk in has become quite the hassle. We were planning on picking up a rental car as we pass through Atlanta, and return it in Nashville. Yeah, well it turns out that everyone is out of rental cars, and Hertz has a minivan, but for $550 for two days!! I think not. So now the plan is to pick up a rental car in Birmingham the night before, which will save us a few hundred dollars. This will be the last Texas –> Athens drive we ever make, don’t think I’ll miss it at all!!

3. My left hip flexor has somehow become aggrevated, causing me problems for any walk over 2 miles. Very frustrating, it’s hard to believe that I never had any injuries during my half-marathon training (not counting my million blisters), and now that I start walking occasionally during the summer I can’t get home without limping. 6 miles last monday, hip flexor started acting up at mile 2 or 3. I took off the rest of the week so I could let it rest, did lots of stretching and yoga, and felt good. Yesterday, went out for 5 miles, and it started up by mile 2. I have no idea what I did to upset the poor little muscles, I’d really appreciate it if they’d fill me in. I haven’t changed anything; same shoes, same legs, same music and speed… So I guess my plan of action is to rest it, and to give up my long distances. Stick with 1-2 miles until I can do that without problems and gradually build back up. And keep stretching and yoga-ing.

4. Two weeks left for summer cooking at home. There are still some things I’d like to tackle. Namely, homemade gnocchi, and some baking. I feel the need for good homemade chocolate-chip cookies. And after reading a very insightful article from the New York Times on the perfect cookie recipe, I feel armed and ready!