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Merganser Learns to FLY!!!


Merganser

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Lord you've done work there!!! Congratulations!

 

Where do you find all that energy to do so many things? :o  ;) 

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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Hehe those eggs are adorable! And I love the brussels with chorizo idea! I always use bacon, but I just happen to have some chorizo in my freezer, I am going to have to give that one a try.

 

Awesome job with the commuting! Sounds like you had a great first week, and are poised for more success :) Cheers!

 

Brussels sprouts are the best! (And I used chorizo mainly because I finally found some without added sugar!)

 

Quite an update - That food looks delicious, and it's always good to see people commuting properly.

 

It really is delicious food.

 

Once upon a time (a very long time ago), I sometimes literally lived on baby pretzels and diet Dr. Pepper, and once upon another time (merely long ago), I subsisted on what my roommate quite accurately described as "the beige diet".

 

It's been a long time since I feared slipping back into either of those diets (thank goodness), but it almost equally amazes me that quite recently I would have a Trader Joe's salad for lunch or dinner and consider myself done!

 

Great update - you're inspiring!  Those Whole30s look really intimidating.  And I'd have to take a month away from hubby and go to a spa or something .... hum ......

 

Yeah, it's a lot easier when I'm only shopping and cooking and eating for/with myself. And have just incidentally not done any socializing for a few weeks. 

 

(Well, not strictly incidentally: I had tentative movie night plans with one friend who is really impressed by what I'm doing but said, "Yeah, you probably don't need beer to be social, but you definitely need beer to tolerate me, so let's together next month". And another friend rolled his eyes -- I didn't see that, but I could sense it -- and said, "Yeah, good for you; call me when you're ready for a cocktail.")

 

I'll probably have post-5K brunch with a friend on Sunday, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get some cheese-free eggs cooked in "good" cooking fat, with some simply prepped vegetables on the side...and I'll skip the Bloody Mary :)

 

Your food looks incredible!!

1. I am SO PROUD OF YOU for riding the tall bike. Seriously, great job!

2. Porch cocktails were the exact thing I missed the most during my W30. It sounds like you are really slamming it though, with lots of new books and recipes!

3. Don't stress on the tums unless you actually felt ill effects. On my Day 20 I discovered a heavily-used spice blend contained sugar way down on the list. I didn't start over - I was feeling great so I figured I hadn't messed up the process too much. Lesson learned, on to the next one!

Keep up your awesomeness!

 

Yeah, the "tall" bike is still pretty short; I'll ratchet up the seat a bit (more) this weekend, but when I lean it next to my other bike, it's actually kind of ridiculously little and light AND close the ground. (P.S. I am also not "tall".) So I'm unlikely (knocking on wood!) to do much damage to myself by merely falling to the ground from it. (Although I'll continue to try to avoid that.)

 

Yay, porch cocktails! I am very much looking forward to my annual trip to Home Depot to stock up for my annual porch sprucing-up! (Including new mint plants, which will now be for summer cocktails and lamb-topping pesto!)

 

And I'm really pleased with how much I'm really enjoying the food planning and prepping (and eating!) aspect of things. I really used to be in the mind set that certain kinds of meals (e.g. steak dinners) were "special" and "complex", or something, and not something I should attempt at home.

 

But while I'm partly not eating out at present because it would be kind of a pain to figure out what I can eat and how it's prepared, it's mostly because there's so much great stuff I'm excited about making at home.

 

(That being said...I was also enjoying the parts of the Well Fed cookbooks where she writes about being efficient...maybe my next challenge will be about becoming a more efficient home cook. I can do weekly themes like the Roadrunner, Speedy Gonzalez, the Tasmanian Devil...hmm, this might actually become a thing...) 

 

Lord you've done work there!!! Congratulations!

 

Where do you find all that energy to do so many things? :o  ;)

 

Food. Lots and lots of food :)

 

(Okay, and maybe a little bit of stored fat :P)

 

Great goals for this challenge -- and super follow-through.  (Not to mention really fun reading!)

 

Thanks! Writing about it is extremely helpful; it's really too bad I missed the "blog" boat back in the days when there were only one or two voices in the wilderness!

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Another busy work-week almost on the books! My team was actually completely derailed for a couple of days due to a (metaphorical) fire-fighting project, but we just applied the software patch and can now resume normal (or rather, "normal") operations.

 

(At least until we receive feedback from the client...but if there's anything to deal with there, that will be Monday's project :))

 

Yesterday was a L-O-N-G day for everyone, so we're taking it a little easy this afternoon: I rescheduled a project kickoff meeting to Tuesday (i.e. a week after it was originally scheduled) so people can just catch up a bit and get themselves in good places for Monday, and probably leave a bit early. And I'm doing the same: testing a few items, writing up a few requirement enhancements, and scheduling a few phone screens for next week. (Although we did hire one new person, and have an offer out to another. Woot!)

 

But yesterday was a slightly less long day for me, because -- apparently -- one of the unanticipated benefits of bike commuting (and also, probably, of being a total klutz) is that your boss worries about your great brain and makes sure you leave the office before dark! :P

 

So, yes, this was my first full week of bike commuting (if you count biking to and from the gym on Monday, which I do), and it has felt great to get back to that. (And also, to an extent that I don't always properly appreciate: tiring! Which is good, of course, but...wow, I'm not out of shape in general, but I'm definitely out of shape for daily bike commuting!)

 

(Although I'm a little concerned: the parking lot around the corner just spruced up their signs advertising bike parking, and I'm worried that they might drum up business by vandalizing bikes chained to street signs and parking meters, i.e. like mine is.)

 

(And I think this because I am, obviously, a terrible human being :P)

 

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And the weather was even reasonably cooperative this week.

 

Tuesday was just beautiful, and although I took the short route to the office, I took the long route (i.e. along the Charles) home.

 

It rained overnight Tuesday/Wednesday, but since it was dry at <gulp> 5:30 AM when I left the house, I biked anyway, and although it rained most of the day, it had stopped by the time I left that evening, which was a nice bonus. (I don't mind riding through the rain -- I have a pair of extremely expensive waterproof saddlebags for precisely this purpose -- but only if my destination includes a hot shower and pajamas.)

 

But OMG was it WINDY that evening!(!!)

 

Since I had finally downloaded the MapMyRun app to my phone, and have been enjoying using it for the limited amount of running I do, I started using it for biking this week. (It actually tracks your performance on certain "courses" against other users, and ranks you; this could be a dangerous feature... :P) And on Wednesday evening, there were 1-mile segments where my speed (or "speed") was only 7 mph! 

 

Thursday was glove weather in both directions, but less windy, and although I put on my gloves this morning at a stoplight -- I'm a good cyclist! -- it was a little warmer, and this afternoon's ride home should be great.

 

And the app also helped me figure out my mileage: the most direct route to the office is 5.9 miles, and the scenic route is 9.10 miles. The gym is 4.5 miles, and from the gym to work is 1.8 miles. So that's good. On a day when I want to get to the office quickly, but have plenty of time to get home, the whole thing is 15 miles, which seems like a respectable day's riding. And a day like yesterday, where I went the long way both ways, is about 18 miles. And one way is more uphill than the other!

 

Which makes me feel a little better about not accomplishing as much other exercise as I intended:

I really do want to get back in the pool, but I'm still leery as long as I've got other fluid in my ears/head. I (finally) scheduled an acupuncture appointment for Monday, so I'm probably going to stay out of the pool until that happens. (And continue eschewing decongestants, since they didn't work before and I'm kind of getting used to this...I mean, sure, I'm a little tipsy when I wake up in the morning or stand up and walk around after being at my desk for a while, but although I'm not drinking wine now, I'm very familiar with its effects :P)

 

And although I planned to do a strength workout at the gym on my own Wednesday, I had to get to the office early that day, and by the end of the day...I just wasn't feeling it. While I was riding home (the long way!) I contemplated making up for it a bit by at least doing some bodyweight stuff when I got home, but then the wind and the hills happened, and I was done!

 

But this morning was my kettlebell bootcamp, and that kicked my ass.

 

And since we had a sub today -- since our trainer is on vacation -- she actually wrote the whole workout (well, except the "bonus" squats/jump squats tabata at the end) on the whiteboard at the beginning of class (unlike our regular trainer, who likes to surprise us with new segments). 

 

And as we learned, our regular trainer is continuing our running "joke" about the fact that whenever she goes out of town, she makes us do BURPEES!

 

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(Hee.)

 

But, seriously: good workout and I feel less guilty about skipping Wednesday.

 

And I'm still eating plenty of FOOD! (Which I need, to fuel bike commuting, and burpees and whatnot, even if I'm not hitting the pool.)

 

For lunch Tuesday and Thursday, I had big bowls of spaghetti squash with olive oil, cilantro, paprika, shrimp and chorizo, with

some spiced cashews mixed in and some olives on the side. It was just adding stuff I had to some squash I wanted to eat as part of my "more carbs!" project, but it was delicious.

 

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For dinner Tuesday night (and also for lunch Wednesday...there's a theme here), I had chicken, steamed asparagus with lemon zest and some fennel and onion that I had roasted after tossing it with olive oil and paprika. And more olives. (I love olives.)

 

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Dinner Wednesday was some lamb chunks I had broiled on Monday, plus some roasted butternut squash with Ras El Hanout which was ungodly good.

 

While I was looking up instructions for cooking lamb, I found a recipe with a sub-recipe for mint pesto, and since I happened to have some mint and cilantro that were no longer long for this world in my refrigerator, and a bag of pine nuts, I made that to dress up the lamb a bit. And, boy, it's whatever "mutton dressed as lamb" is when you start with "lamb".

 

Next time, though, I'll make actual kebabs with vegetables. I think that will be awesome.

 

And since this is only half of the lamb and squash -- and I didn't eat all of the pesto -- Friday night dinner just needs to be popped in the oven for a bit tonight!

 

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Last night, even though I didn't get home until after 8, I made my planned dinner of chicken, "Casablanca Carrots" from Well Fed 2, and broccolini sauteed with some garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil.

 

And even though I didn't eat until nearly 9:30, it was well worth the wait. (Particularly since it is also what I'm having for lunch...right this minute.)

 

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Yum. All around.

 

And except for last night -- when I got to bed around 10:30 -- I've gone to bed early (or in some cases wicked early) every night this week. 

 

Yay.

 

I'm still bummed out that my Whole 30 has coincided with ill health, but when I think about it, it's not like my eating was THAT unhealthy before -- it was just inconsistent more than anything -- so I may not have felt the legendary bursts of energy and whatnot anyway.

 

do notice that the wounds on my forehead from my going-down-the-stairs-to-get-my-bike accident are finally starting to be less visible, so I'm happy to attribute that to more (better) food and rest and all that.

 

But I'm definitely feeling worn out today, so although I was thinking of seeing a show tonight, that may not happen -- I am really just getting too old to wait until 10 PM for a band to go on, at least on the night after a morning when I woke up at 5 AM and bike commuted and went to the gym and went to work :P -- but if not, I'll get a good night's sleep!

 

Tomorrow should be a long (road!) bike ride, and hopefully the weather will cooperate, at least for a bit. And if it's raining in the afternoon: de-cluttering! (Really!) And meal-planning, and food shopping, and food prep (well, Saturday dinner, anyway)!

 

And assuming my friend doesn't back out, we're doing a 5K on Sunday. And once nice thing about the not-so-nice weekend forecast is that at least it won't be 80+ degrees like it was for this race last April!

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Look at that workout! OMG! Is it always so hard or is it because the substitute is an evil from the deepest of hell?

 

Olives are an issue at home. We've only arrived to half-solve the problem by counting how many of them are on the salad and eating exactly the half each one. But I always try to cheat and eat 1 or 2 or 3 more... I think this will be a cause my boyfriend will put on our divorce application someday.

 

Keep the good work! Go for that 5k!!

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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Wow - I'm totally impressed how much MUCH exercise you fit into a week!!!  

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Coming soon .....

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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Look at that workout! OMG! Is it always so hard or is it because the substitute is an evil from the deepest of hell?

 

Olives are an issue at home. We've only arrived to half-solve the problem by counting how many of them are on the salad and eating exactly the half each one. But I always try to cheat and eat 1 or 2 or 3 more... I think this will be a cause my boyfriend will put on our divorce application someday.

 

Keep the good work! Go for that 5k!!

 

Well, the burpees were probably because of the substitute, but it's a pretty standard "Kettlebell Bootcamp" workout. 

 

(The substitute didn't make up the workout; she just supervised the workout our regular trainer made up before she took off to sit on a beach for a few days :P)

 

And that 5K actually didn't happen: the running buddy I was supporting bailed, and I didn't feel any compelling reason to go way out of my way at an inconvenient time of the day in crummy weather to run 3 miles. (But I did do plenty of bicycling!)

 

Wow - I'm totally impressed how much MUCH exercise you fit into a week!!!  

 

Thanks -- that's very reassuring, since I've been a little slacker-ish except for bike-commuting this week. (Oh, and you know: work!)

 

I am just amazed with the activity and LOOK AT THAT FREAKING FOOD!

I'm pretty sure your Whole30 hasn't coincided with anything but pure effing awesomeness.

 

Yeah, the food is pretty great, although the food PREP is definitely mega-time-consuming.

 

But since I'm also making mega AMOUNTS of food, I'm pretty sure I can stretch certain recipes to more than, say, 2 meals.

 

(In fact, I know I can, and since I'm consuming absurd amounts of food right now, I definitely should: I'll assess when I do my post-Whole30 weigh-in next week, but currently, I'm still absorbed by the novelty and like making a different meal every night, but I'm pretty sure that will get a little old sometime soon, and I'll want to be more efficient :))

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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...And once again, the time: it elapses!

 

And quite possibly col-lapses: can it really be two weeks since I started rescheduling my next project kickoff at work because of various and sundry emergencies?!

 

Fortunately, we're wrapping up our second patch release within a week -- one for a critical issue (resolved! and the client is happy!) and the other for a client EOM commitment -- so while things won't exactly slow down here, we should be able to resume normal(ish) operations...and start the next darned project already!!!

 

1) Ride!

 

And speaking of not slowing down...while I have been making some pretty ambitious and exotic dishes lately (thanks, Melissa!), this past weekend I actually ended up making some relatively simple -- and wholly metaphorical -- lemonade:

 

The weather in Boston was crummy over the weekend, but I got out on my road bike for an hour on Saturday morning, and then did a couple of grocery and errand runs on my regular bike, and got home thoroughly soaked and freezing and unable to unfasten my bike helmet for, like, 15 minutes. (Which isn't the worst thing: it meant I still had it on when I went down the basement, which, as I've learned, is a good thing.) After that, I didn't feel inclined to leave the house again and therefore did not.

 

Sunday morning my running buddy bailed on our 5K (it was raining, and not geographically very convenient for either of us anyway), so instead I went out grocery shopping early on my regular bike: a new grocery store opened that morning a couple of miles from my home, so I biked out there to check it out. And it's huge, which was good, because (as anticipated), it was packed. (At 8 AM. On Sunday morning. Godless heathens, every one!) (Seriously, for a week beforehand, there had been illuminated traffic alert signs out on the roads that lead to it, warning about expect traffic delays because of...a grocery store grand opening. People are very weird about Wegman's!) And since I was there, I did most of my grocery shopping (I've started meal-planning on Saturdays, because I had been feeling rushed on Sunday mornings), and it was good. Great MEAT selection, in particular. And mostly downhill on the way home!

 

After dropping all that off, I did the rest of my grocery shopping -- I try to shop for the whole week on Sunday -- at a couple of other grocery stores, and then decided to go for a slightly longer bike ride on the regular bike to -- finally -- accomplish my goal of picking up a plate and cutlery to use at my office, rather than paper and plastic. Which I did (along with some cloth napkins, even!)

 

But on the way there, my handlebars -- which have been feeling a little wobbly for a few weeks -- just totally started moving back and forth, in a way that made my brakes not very accessible -- while I was zipping around a busy traffic circle, of course :P

 

After my shopping, I tried to fix it with an Allen wrench in my bike tool, without success, so I rode it carefully to the bike shop (just a couple of miles) and learned that the something-something stem needed to be replaced. And since they didn't have the part in stock, they had to order it, and it isn't going to arrive until Thursday

 

Horrors!

 

I took the train home and thought to myself (although not in exactly so many words), "Well, my goal this challenge is to become comfortable riding my road bike. And the best way to become comfortable riding my road bike is to ride my road bike..." (I do think in ellipses, though, so that part is an accurate transcription.)

 

So when I got home, I took out my backpack, went down to the basement to retrieve my road bike, and then rode back to the bike shop to pick up some lights for it -- and confirm that I can, in fact, ride with a backpack (I had never done that before) (and even though I do not like it).

 

So that's my big biking accomplishment this week: I'm now on Day 3 of bike commuting in Boston on a road bike!!! (which I do not chain up outside my office, which is why we're both waiting for the elevator):

 

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And...so far, so good!

 

I'm much more comfortable with the braking -- which is what I was concerned about -- and have traveled via the shorter and more circuitous routes, without harming myself or anyone else. (Although crossing 4 lanes of traffic on Charles street at 5:15 PM on Monday to the sound of approaching emergency vehicle sirens was slightly terrifying!)

 

Honestly, I bought the bike kind of impulsively late last summer, and over the winter I started to feel like I might really just wuss out and end up having purchased an expensive (small, light) white elephant. But although I don't like the backpack (well, that backpack in particular!), I am starting to enjoy riding the bike.

 

And after a week with that load, I'm sure I'll feel like I'm really flying next weekend when I'm riding unladen!

 

Elsewhere in biking-related goals, I tried to make a bike fitting appointment in the shop on Sunday, but they were crazy busy and I need to talk to someone special for the time slot I want, so I'll successfully make an appointment whenever I go back to pick up my regular bike.

 

And I'm thinking I need to make my bike goal more ambitious for this challenge: instead of making riding attached to my bicycle a "bonus" goal (which is what I think I did), I think it should be an actual goal.

 

Anyway, it looks like the weather will be more pleasant this weekend, so I should come up with a proper destination ride to do this weekend.

 

2) Run! Swim!

 

Eh. Good thing my main focus is biking, because I (literally) haven't gotten anywhere lately with these.

 

I was planning to make up for my forfeited 5K Sunday with a local run after food prep and before my shower, but it was raining out at that time, so I bailed on that, too :P (Although since I had two pair of shoes still wet from Saturday's adventures, I probably should have gone anyway!)

 

And I just really need to get back to the pool! I had my first acupuncture appointment Monday night (not miraculous, but I'll go for a follow-up) so I feel like I can try out swimming with the whole stupid buzzing ear thing, but while I brought my swim stuff to the office yesterday -- I can't fit regular exercise stuff in my backpack with my computer and breakfast/lunch, but I was able to squeeze most of my swim stuff in -- I did not feel inclined to stop at a pool after a busy 12-hour workday when I also had food prep to look forward to :P

 

But I rode the long way home, and it definitely feels like more work(out) when I'm going faster, so...at least I'm getting some exercise. And the kind that's part of my main focus.

 

3) Eat! Train! Rest!

 

"Train" can be dispatched quickly: none! Monday was an early work morning, and a long work day, followed by an acupuncture appointment, so I failed to make time for a strength workout. Today was another early work morning -- and I would have had to not-bike if I wanted to go to the gym, since my gym gear won't fit in my backpack with the necessities -- but I'm hoping no other issues crop up with the code while QA is regression testing today, and I can leave early. And maybe motivate myself to do a bodyweight workout at home while my lamb is marinating. (I do not like working out at home, but I do feel the need for some squats and push-ups and whatnot!)

 

But I'm still "resting" pretty well, and getting plenty of sleep, which is great. A little less this week because later nights mean later dinner times and therefore later bedtimes, but still a lot earlier than used to be usual. So, yay.

 

And my eating has been fantastic: I'm still enjoying the planning, and the prepping, and -- particularly -- the eating!

 

I'm definitely going to be looking to get more efficient -- and maybe make fewer things per week and make them go further (since I do feel like I'm eating too much...especially if I'm not working out much except for the bike commuting...not that I want to discount that, since it is work!) but I'm really, really enjoying my adventures in "paleo" cuisine and am looking forward to keeping my diet mostly Whole30 compliant even after I finish up my 30 days next Wednesday.

 

For Saturday dinner (and Monday dinner, and Tuesday lunch), I made "Bora Bora Fireballs" (i.e. pork meatballs) from one of the Well Fed cookbooks, on top of some confetti cauliflower "rice" and with some not-peanut sauce on the side:

 

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Super yummy, but...yeah, next time I'll buy ONE pound of meat, not TWO!

 

That recipe involved crushed canned pineapple, and recommended having the leftover pineapple for dessert with coconut milk whipped "cream" and crushed macadamia nuts.

 

And since I am a conscientious follower of recipes, that's what I did. (Even though I probably shouldn't have, since part of the Whole30 is avoiding psychologically affecting foods, and "dessert" after a perfectly well-satiating meal probably fits under that umbrella.) But I added blueberries, just to make things more interesting!

 

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And...wow, it's a good thing whipped coconut milk requires a lot of advance refrigeration, because even though I'm (fortunately) not one of those people who are plagued by a "sugar demon" (not that I don't have plenty of other demons), I could see where a person could be tempted to just keep a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator all the time...

 

(...although all of the coconut milk in my house is in the room-temperature cupboard! Promise!)

 

On Sunday, I decided that since I had plenty of meatballs to look forward to during the week (i.e. dinner Monday, lunch Tuesday) I would have a lighter meal...

 

...which obviously meant a half a pound of shrimp and coconut cauliflower "rice" :P 

 

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(And a chopped salad of cucumbers, snap peas and scallions from a Well Fed book, which I topped with some leftover tomatoes.)

 

And last night I made pork chops for the first time in my life (yet another Well Fed recipe, as was everything else on the plate)!

 

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Very tasty -- I'm sure springing for the organic, humanely-raised pork at the grocery store helped -- and I'm looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today, while everyone else on my floor is eating pasta and pizza and bread :P

 

In slightly-more-mundane cooking adventures, I'm working on my egg-poaching game, with limited success.

 

On Saturday morning, I lost one egg completely in an overly-enthusiastic whirlpool and ended up with what I called Poached Egg Alaska:

 

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I was a little more successful on Sunday, and managed Poached Oeufs Deux! C'est magnifique!

 

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4) Life Quest!

 

I took advantage of the crappy weather on Saturday to make a list of stuff to clear/clean (yikes!) and made a little bit of progress, but nothing particularly photogenic yet. (Although that should probably be a goal of mine.)

 

This weekend will mostly be spring porch cleaning and planting, but I'm planning to make a lot of progress indoors during the back half of the challenge, particularly since my roommate will be out of town on business for 10 days, so I can wreak havoc on the office in her absence without having to get everything done and out of the way in ONE day so she has access to the computer desk :)

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

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"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Drooling at the pork and... Is that an avocado...?

The bike commute via Road bike seems pretty great. I did a bit of bike commuting myself yesterday (apparently it's very different from "riding my bike to work" which I have done often enough!) but not on a road bike, just a bike bike, and you're right, it can be quite a workout, and will compensate, at least partly, for missing out on running and swimming as a result. 4 lanes, eh? *shudder* I take it Boston is also short on cycling infrastructure then? I need to learn to speak Dutch, I think.

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Okay, I'm sold. I'm buying Well Fed! Even that salad looks incredible!

 

And I know your food has been creative delicious nutritious beautiful filling and Paleo BUT IS THAT DISH DEFYING GRAVITY ITSELF?! Absolutely incredible.

 

Sounds like you're getting on at work as well. I'm so happy for all the greatness happening for you right now!

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Level 7 DINOSAUR Scout
STR: 9 - CON: 12 - DEX: 6 - STA: 10 - WIS: 16 - CHA: 11
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Okay, I'm sold. I'm buying Well Fed! Even that salad looks incredible!

 

She's won over me too. I saw those books some time ago and was unsure, but now! I want to eat all that!!!

 

 

It's Well Fed or Well Fed 2 we are talking about?

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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Drooling at the pork and... Is that an avocado...?

Yes it is (looking on my computer now - i only asked because it was tiny on my phone, not because i am a hopeless vegetable non-identifier)

And holy crap, it looks even better when it's big!

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Oh no guys. I think we'll have to start a vegetable non-identifier support group for 18ck. We need to help him before it becomes hopeless!

I've got flashcards. If I get stuck, I just shout "avocado" and hope for the best.

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Drooling at the pork and... Is that an avocado...?

The bike commute via Road bike seems pretty great. I did a bit of bike commuting myself yesterday (apparently it's very different from "riding my bike to work" which I have done often enough!) but not on a road bike, just a bike bike, and you're right, it can be quite a workout, and will compensate, at least partly, for missing out on running and swimming as a result. 4 lanes, eh? *shudder* I take it Boston is also short on cycling infrastructure then? I need to learn to speak Dutch, I think.

 

Yes, the pork chop was pretty amazing -- that was definitely the highlight of my week. And, yes, that is the...4th avocado I've ever purchased. (All of them in the past month; the first was awful, but then I learned how to tell when they're ripe  :rolleyes:)

 

And there's actually quite a lot of good biking infrastructure in Boston; the problem is that not all of it is connected.

 

When I started bike commuting last year, I was a total biking novice (and life-long scaredy-cat) and had never driven a car in traffic without supervision, let alone an unprotected little bicycle. But what gave me courage to try was the sheer volume of people I saw out riding bikes all the time -- normal, non-lycra-clad people -- and how much I had seen that number of people -- and the signage and the bike lanes -- increase in the 20 years I've lived in the city.

 

As you suggested about London in your post-epic-bike-commute post, I feel like in the last few years, biking in Boston has finally passed a tipping point where it's almost a normal form of transportation, and can expect accommodations and improvements. (For example, getting from Boston to Cambridge and vice versa can be a little hairy, but for a bridge they're renovating, they're not just putting in a marked bike lane, but a whole lane separated from traffic. And there's actually a lot of local support for building a similar bike lane all around Boston Common and the Public Gardens -- i.e. that treacherous section I go through when I take the shorter route to the office.)

 

And what's hilarious, is that a lot of it is due to the fact that our former long-time mayor (he was just replaced this year, for the first time in, like, a quarter-century) learned how to ride a bike a few years ago!

 

(I read an article a little while back about how mayors are the most effective sorts of politicians, and my response was: yep!)

 

That food looks amazing!! 

 

Thanks. Mostly, I just follow the recipes, but as someone who used to eat Trader Joe's pizza-on-a-cracker and salad as my default meal (or sliced Italian cheese and cold cuts on toasted ciabatta bread), I've been pretty impressed with myself!

 

(Although I probably won't let my brother -- the former cook -- ever watch me wield a knife in the kitchen...  :tongue:)

 

Okay, I'm sold. I'm buying Well Fed! Even that salad looks incredible!

 

And I know your food has been creative delicious nutritious beautiful filling and Paleo BUT IS THAT DISH DEFYING GRAVITY ITSELF?! Absolutely incredible.

 

Sounds like you're getting on at work as well. I'm so happy for all the greatness happening for you right now!

 

I've been recommending the Well Fed books to everyone who sees my food; just ignore the "Prep Time" notes, since they're a little ridiculous. (Even if you did do all your chopping, etc. over the weekend, it still takes more than 10 minutes to form 50 meatballs, gosh darn it!)

 

(And...er, the dish is bound by gravity, but I don't let it get in the way of my photo editing software.)

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Interesting about your mayor. Our mayor is a complete buffoon but he rides a bike too. In fact, there's a bike-hire scheme that has his name - "Boris Bikes" and I find this very positive. I'm quite happy to tolerate his buffoonery so long as he keeps up the support for the only means of transport capable of humanising our urban spaces again.

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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BTW, I know you stole that picture from Delia Smith's book "Cooking with Helium"

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

Instagram | Wordpress | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Facebook: *spits* I despise facebook!

Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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I'm feeling like I'm getting back on track with my challenge, life, and even work. (For example, I finally kicked off the perpetually delayed next work project today! Woot! And have an on-boarding plan for my new minion who starts Monday! And have reviews in progress for my existing minions!)

 

And although April failed to get the "Winter is Over" memo this year, May seems to have gotten the message (after a cold and rainy half day yesterday gave way to a beautiful afternoon and evening).

 

And also: Friday!

 

1) Ride!

 

My commuter bike is still in the shop, but I bike commuted on the road bike 4 days this week (yesterday was raining in the morning, and although I brought my helmet in hopes that I'd get a call to pick up my commuter bike, they only just got the part yesterday), and it's been great! I feel tons more comfortable riding it (and stopping it!) and as a bonus, I can also ride with a backpack now! So I can go on long bike rides on my speedy bike with lunch!!!

 

I'm even considering taking the plethora of "Warning!" stickers off of it:

 

gallery_25678_963_844274.jpg

 

So, that's been really great, and I'm looking forward to a long ride someplace this weekend and to scheduling my bike fitting and doing my bike fitting and getting new pedals and shoes.

 

It even motivated me to look for a triathlon to do earlier than August, which I did, so I'll be doing one (that turns out to be just a few (well, 15 or 20) miles from my home!) in mid-June...

 

2) Run! Swim!

 

...assuming my foot holds (me) up for 6 miles, and since that hasn't been a problem so far with my recently reintroduced running regimen, I should be okay, particularly if I keep up with my stretching and exercises. 

 

Not that I've tested it recently: I'm still behind with my running, but I should have no excuses this weekend. And now that I have an actual race to prepare for, I'm feeling re-motivated.

 

(Although it seems so odd that the portion of the race I'm worried about is the damned running!)

 

And yesterday evening, I even (finally!) made it back to the pool! (For just the second time since I hit my head in March, and got that horrible cold in April.) I still have fluid or congestion or whatever in my ears, but swimming didn't aggravate that, and after the first 8 lengths of "oh my god, why the hell do people DO this?!", I felt much better  ^_^

 

I even did an actual workout, adapted from an open water workout on the US Master's site:

 

1 x 200 swim

1 x 50 back

1 x 200 alternating build/swim

1 x 50 back

3 x 100 swim, descending (I actually did them continuously, and also descending)

1 x 50 back

3 x 150 alternating 50 fist drill/50 one-arm drill/50 swim

1 x 500 focusing on complete strokes and good turns

1 x 200 alternating free/back

 

So, 2000 yards and 50 minutes, with a few segments of speed(ier) work, but mostly focusing on good form and getting used to being in the water again.

 

(Oh, and being glad that although they were all at home, I do have backup swim caps!)

 

gallery_25678_963_949315.jpg

 

And I am now looking forward to my 1-mile swim in the Charles River in 4 weeks!

 

3) Eat! Train! Rest!

 

I'm still doing my Whole30, and although it hasn't been a transubstantiating experience, I'm definitely still enjoying the food and looking forward to continuing a primarily primal diet going forward...and since it wasn't a miracle cure-all (for me, personally), I won't feel (m)any qualms about reintroducing cocktails and chocolate  :tongue:

 

And I'm also looking forward to revisiting all of the NON-food elements of the Whole9 thing: I've been getting daily newsletters, and they're uniformly packed with great stuff, but it's a LOT to absorb all at one. So I'm going to rely on them for ongoing motivation in my ongoing "moderation" quest.

 

Food-wise, this week was actually a little ridiculous: I decided to ban chicken-breast-and-veggies as a meal option this week, and although I did some advance prep on Sunday, my dinners this week (except Monday, which was leftovers) all took a LONG time to put together, which meant that I wasn't eating until after 9 most days, which meant I definitely wasn't getting to bed between 9 and 9:30 like I was last week. 

 

That has to change, since the other thing that's been great about this Whole30 is the early bedtimes.

 

So, for next week I'm going to plan specifically for quicker meals, and do as much prep as possible on Sunday. The Well Fed books both have big sections on efficiency, so that's my own personal mini-challenge for next week. (The Whole30 is technically over on Wednesday, but I'll keep it up through to at least Friday night...and I am already putting together a plan for Saturday that includes chocolate, cocktails and cheese  :tongue:)

 

But at least the food's been worth it.

 

For Wednesday dinner and Thursday lunch (and also tonight's dinner!) I made lamb kebabs with mint pesto, and sides of roasted butternut squash with Ras el Hanout and lemon spinach with pine nuts and onions.

 

gallery_25678_963_381636.jpg

 

(Oh, except that I ate all the squash; so I'll make some kind of spicy carrots tonight instead, to fill the role of "orange food".)

 

And last night I made spaghetti squash "Pad Thai" (from Well Fed) with shrimp and cashews. Super yummy, and I also had it for lunch today and will have it for dinner Saturday -- probably with some additional fresh veggies to liven things up.

 

gallery_25678_963_393819.jpg

 

But that's another example of a dish I'm getting 3 meals out of, but should have split up into 4 portions. (Which is to say, listened to the recipe!!!)

 

Portion sizes are definitely still a work in progress; I'm a member of the clean plate club from WAY back.

 

Training-wise, the only thing I've done that isn't biking or swimming was kettlebell bootcamp this morning, which was great. It was the first day of a 6-week session, and this time, our trainer wants us to think about what's motivating us to come every week, and come up with a goal to work toward, that we can measure.

 

I said that my motivation was having an excuse to come to work "late" once a week, and that my goal was a big round booty (since there was a song playing at the time that was celebrating such appendages). But I'll turn that into something more serious about glute strength and my forthcoming triathlon and whatnot. (Although I'd be lying if I claimed that there wasn't a vanity element to it  -_-)

 

4) Life Quest!

 

Tomorrow is porch clean-up and beautification day, and since I already have most of dinner already -- and therefore will not spend 3 hours making it like I did last Saturday -- I will also attack the storage units in the office.

 

(And sometime this weekend I will also get a manicure and pedicure because: priorities!)

 

I've been slacking with this cleaning and organizing goal, but I know I'll accomplish some of it, if only because my brother, sister-in-law and baby niece are visiting for several days the first weekend in June, and historically, house guests are a very good motivator for me, cleaning and de-cluttering-wise  ^_^

Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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Oh wow - I'd say you're kicking WAY up.  Look at all that win.  And good food. 

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We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

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By the way, I was thinking of you. I was thinking about how excited I was for "real" recipes from Well Fed, but when a friend asked for cooking notes I went rather the other direction.... :

1. Take 3 - 5 delicious things from around the house.

2. Toss in olive oil and garlic salt to ensure maximum deliciousness, in case anybody was lying when you first picked them out.

3. Cook in skillet or oven until even more delicious.

4. While eating, make sure to comment, "that's delicious!" so everyone knows they've done a good job.

5. Wait about 8 hours, then repeat.

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So close to your W30 last day! I know you have plans for Saturday (which sound perfect :)) but how about after that, where will you go?

 

Yeah, there WILL be porch cocktails and chocolate mousse, but I'm going to enjoy my cheese on pear slices instead of baguette :)

 

And as far as post-Whole30 in general:

 

Foodwise, I'm probably going to stick with the paleo thing for 90% of my meals. I'll probably occasionally have oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, and of course I'm adding back moderate, occasional dark chocolate/wine/cocktails, but I don't find myself missing all that much else. I do like good bread, and a couple of restaurants that make really excellent flatbread pizzas, but I expect bread to be mostly a special occasion, out-of-the-house sort of thing. (Although I may experiment with cauliflower-crust "pizza" at home, or -- just for fun -- baking almond flour "bread", although.) And I'm perfectly happy having added sugars out of my diet, since I don't really have a sweet tooth, so most of the added sugars I was consuming were the hidden kinds.

 

But, yeah: the diet seems pretty great for me, and the advance meal planning, and challenging myself to try new foods/recipes, and bulk shopping and prepping has been really great.

 

When I started my Whole30, I started with It Starts with Food, but for extra motivation, I also signed up for the daily e-mail newsletter. As it turned out, I really didn't need the extra motivation with the "food" stuff, but they've all been chock full of interesting and useful information and ideas and tips about food and the rest of the Whole9. It's been a little much to absorb while I've been focusing on changing my eating and shopping and prepping practices, but I've marked some of them for following up on. In addition to "Nutrition", I'm going to continue to work at guaranteeing good "Sleep" and "Healthy Movement", but I'm going to particularly focus on "Temperance". I'm doing a good job with the foods I'm putting in my body, but I'm not consistently being "mindful" about when and how I'm eating, and listening to my body and eating when I'm hungry (and stopping when I'm full!). (For example, I brought a snack into work today because we were going out to lunch, and I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to eat. I did get a good meal, as it turned out. But I ate the snack when I got back to the office anyway, just because it was there. (Not mindful!)

 

And since I know adding porch cocktails back to the mix (so to speak) will not innately enhance my mindfulness, I think (in fact now that I'm thinking of it, I will) start a Whole30 that's focused on mindful imbibing and eating. 

 

By the way, I was thinking of you. I was thinking about how excited I was for "real" recipes from Well Fed, but when a friend asked for cooking notes I went rather the other direction.... :

1. Take 3 - 5 delicious things from around the house.

2. Toss in olive oil and garlic salt to ensure maximum deliciousness, in case anybody was lying when you first picked them out.

3. Cook in skillet or oven until even more delicious.

4. While eating, make sure to comment, "that's delicious!" so everyone knows they've done a good job.

5. Wait about 8 hours, then repeat.

 

That's awesome! Before I decided to do the Whole30 thing, I bought a set of "foodie dice" that I was going to use for meal planning, but your way sounds much more cost-effective. (And doesn't involve scratching out things like "polenta" from die faces!) 

 

(And there are actually whole sections of Well Fed that are pretty much about what random delicious things to put together, and what to think about seasoning them with :))

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

STR 4 | DEX 5 | STA 5 | CON 7 | WIS 6 | CHA 2

Intro | Current Challenge: Train for Spain!

 Challenge 6: Back on Track...and Then Off Again | Challenge 5b: First-World ProblemsChallenge 5a: Make a Map | 

Challenge 4: Fly! (On a Bike!) | Challenge 3: Run!..(At All!) | Challenge 2: Stretch! | Challenge 1: Swim Faster! |

My Fitness Pal

 

"She was a woman who had wandered almost by accident into a life she had not quite intended for herself..." --Lawrence Osborne

 

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird 

of the family Anatidae on our hands." --Douglas Adams

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