On dreaming of running, dreaming of a house, and that time I wanted to break up with exercise…

I’m not gonna lie. I HATE working out. Hate it. And I think I hate it because I suck at it. I had a dream last night that I was running. I was in full (fancy pants) running gear and I felt like I was flying. My legs felt long and lean and strong and my lungs weren’t burning. My chest didn’t feel like it was going to explode. And in my dream I remember being confused about why I was able to run so gracefully and easily. I woke up and was all, “Yeah, if it was actually like that I might enjoy it.” And that’s true. Cardio for me is just horrible. I feel like I’m going to die after just about 3 minutes. I can’t do it very long. And I just feel disgusting and floppy the entire time. I know that the only way for that to get better is for me to just keep at it and the reason I’m even writing this down is in the hopes that one day I WILL BE like that and readers will be able to read back into my archives and see that I started out just like everyone else and that it sucked, and I cried, and I wanted to give up.

This morning Edward had to run into work for a few hours so I’m gearing up to head back to the gym. They have a 15 minute killer abs class and an hour of yoga today which I miss so much. I’m going to try some interval running before that. Maybe trying intervals will help build my strength back up. It’s so frustrating to know that I used to actually like running and could run 5-7 miles easily. That makes it even more depressing when after five steps I feel like death now. And it amuses me even more that as I write this, runners are converging on my town for the Disney marathon. (I feel awful for them all because it is unseasonably FREEZING outside. There was actually a bit of snow last night. Yes you heard me right SNOW IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA.

I’ve become a really big fan of this new type of creamy green monster. (For those wondering, a green monster is a green juice or smoothie made with fruits and veggies that is super healthy.) I tried today to make the same one as yesterday and liked it even better. I think this is going to be my new go-to recipe. Thank God, because I have been trying these for years now and never had a recipe I was actually excited to have and didn’t have to choke down.

Today:
handful fresh spinach leaves
3/4 c. light vanilla soymilk
1/2 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
3/4 c. frozen peaches
1/4 c. frozen mango
1 green cube 1 red cube (read yesterday’s post if you’re curious about that)
drizzle of honey at the end

Have I mentioned how badly I have house fever right now? It’s maddening because I am not in a place to purchase a house right now. I don’t even know what city or what part of said city I want to settle in. I think it started because our landlord offered us one of his SUPER CUTE properties next year as rent to own which would actually be a pretty sweet situation for us. It’s an adorable little gingerbread-looking house close to where we live now and it’s on a really nice street. Ever since that night when he told us he’d love to sell it to us, I’ve been all HOUSES and CONSTRUCTION and DECORATING… OH MY! I even picked up Domino’s (RIP) Book of Decorating and have been flagging pages that I want to incorporate into my future home. Visions of little puppy feet and little baby feet and a sunny office are dancing through my head. But home-owning scares the begeesus out of me. All that commitment. Being stuck in that one place. What if something breaks? I guess that means I’m not ready yet. But I am ready for the demo and the construction and knocking down the back wall to make the mother-in-law suite part of the house. And landscaping. And painting. And adding trim and buying rugs… oh sweet hardwood floors, how I adore thee. Ok… I’ve gotta get my head out of the clouds and my ass to the gym.

HAPPY WEEKEND!

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On junk food poisoning, and monsters of the green persuasion…

Not even joking I think I had 24 hour junk food poisioning. “Is that a thing?” you ask. Well, hear me out and judge for yourself. Yesterday I felt fine all day. I don’t even remember what I ate during the day because the day just flew by (oh wait, I had oatmeal for lunch). I went out with some friends for sushi, had a business meeting afterward and came home feeling a bit drained. Then the headache started. A slight headache that grew to a full power beast of a headache. (Not quite a migraine, but it was chilling on the borderline.) Then I got revenously hungry. I made more oatmeal, had three bites and changed my mind about the whole oatmeal thing. I drank a big glass of water. I made some tea. Then I had some spinach dip hoping that some salt would ease the snacking jones. When it didn’t I resorted to some sugary cereal we had in the pantry from when we had family in town. And I sat on the sofa and ate half the box before I realized it. Ugh. About an hour later the headache was making my neck stiff and I just felt gross. My stomach hurt, I felt poisoned, I felt emotionally grouchy. And it hit me… the processed sugary food did it! I drank another glass of water because I was feeling parched then fell asleep.  I had the most fitful sleep waking up 3 times dying for water and drinking 3 glasses over the course of the night. Had crazy dreams. And woke up covered in sweat like I broke a fever. WTF? I really think it was the cereal. This past week I’ve been eating so healthfully. I’ve been having lots of whole foods, very little processed anything and I think the shock of all that refined, sugary crap did a number on me. I’m feeling better today but I decided to deal with the cold, turn on the heat, and make myself a big old green monster.

I seem to never be able to create the same monster twice. (Like lightning, if you will.) But this one was definitely very differnet from any other I’ve had. This was the most “green” tasting and also the creamiest. I liked it much more than I expected. Usually I try and smother the “green” flavor with fruit but not this time. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it yourself…

handful of fresh spinach leaves
2 green cubes, 1 red cube*
1/2 c. light vanilla soy milk
1/2 c. frozen peaches
a few frozen mango chunks
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
dash of honey

*The cubes are ice cubes of veggie juice that I made and froze. I do that whenever we have veggies I want to use up before they go bad and then I save them for smoothies later on so I can get some extra veggies in without having to juice them every day. I know that the nutrients aren’t as great as fresh but it’s better than having none, and it helps us save money because two juicings can give me 2-3 trays full of cubes and those last a while.

Green cubes generally have: cucumber, kale, green apple, celery, lemon

Red cubes generally have: beets, red apples, peaches, carrots

PS. I’m on twitter and I’d love to chat with you all over there.
ABBY FLABS ON TWITTER.

Coconut Macaroon Oats

Over the last year I’ve become more and more of an oat addict. And one of my favorite things is copying the flavors of some of my favorite treats and then creating oats recipes that match. So far, in my short career I’ve mastered these flavors: pumpkin pie, Reece’s Cup, peanut butter cookie, Mounds Bar, and now I’m adding COCONUT MACAROONS.

I’m not sure why I got such an intense craving for almond extract and coconut but it instantly made me think of my favorite macaroon recipe and I decided to make it into oatmeal (sans the eggs, obv).

Ok.. now the goods. The best thing about oats is that you can really use whatever you have to make your own versions so if you want to use a different sweetener or whole grain, go for it. Here’s what I used:

1/2 c. oats
1/4 c. Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal (because it contains all these goodies: hard red wheat, rye, triticale, oat bran, oats, corn, barley, soy beans, brown rice, millet, and flaxseed)
1 c. water
———————
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
4 drops pure almond extract
2 tsp. brown sugar
a drizzle of honey
1/8 c. coconut
spoonful of almond butter

Combine the first 3, cook until desired consistency, stir in the remaining 6. NOM NOM NOM!
Here’s a little trick I like as well… I like to add a bit of uncooked oats at the very end to stir in and add a bit of texture and chewyness to my oats. Kind of like crumbling in a granola bar without the actual granola bar part. 😉

PS. I’ve discovered that I really dislike almond butter on bread but can’t stop eating it when it’s mixed in with oatmeal. Go figure.

Perfect for chilly days: Sweet Potato Chili

Today I feel like I’m finally contributing the first, good, real post here. (We’ll call the rest “padding”.) It’s been hitting record lows this week and as a true girl raised in the south, the extent of my warm and cozy wardrobe equates to American Apparel leggings and J. Crew cardigans. I have been wearing  Edward’s sweatshirts a lot because mine are buried somewhere in the bottom of the hamper and I don’t really feel like trying to find them. (Why would I when there’s a big, cuddly, man-scented sweatshirt just waiting at the foot of the bed for me to crawl into in the morning?)

So, like I said, it’s been chilly. And I’ve been finding myself craving warm and savory foods. For serious, everything I’ve eaten and drank in the past 48 hours has been piping hot. Tonight, I was planning on having a nice dinner together but Edward was in a serious mood and just wanted to heat up leftovers so I was left to my own devices. I’m was actually really excited because I had been wanting to try something that I knew Edward wouldn’t be interested in: chili beans on a sweet potato. He thought it sounded weird. I thought it sounded just as delicious as those spicy sweet potato chips we love so much. So tonight, I did it. And holy crap it was FANTASTIC! I found these little individually wrapped Biggins potatoes at Target and thought I’d give them a try. You just pop em in the microwave in their wrapping for 5 minutes and they come out perfectly steamed. Genius.

I scraped the sweet potato out of the skin (because I wasn’t sure how clean it was and I’m weird about stuff like that) and then loaded it up with chili beans, a sliced up seitan sausage, and a bit of cheese. Oh, and a bunch of chipotle tabasco sauce. If you haven’t had that yet, go buy some right now. It’s amazing. And the result was better than I expected. I didn’t need any salt or extra seasonings. It had so much flavor. This is definitely a quick and easy keeper recipe!

I get really excited when meals of mine are pretty much all veggies in some form. And after eating it I didn’t feel tired or sluggish. I really do enjoy how I feel after eating a clean, healthy meal. I hate the feeling of a food coma. I have actually been craving green monsters lately but I just can’t bring myself to make any frozen concoctions when it’s so cold. Murphy’s law, right?

PS. Don’t judge my horrible lack of working out. I’m so bad at it, especially when I’m busy.

(And for those wondering, I still haven’t gotten a tape measure. It’s become a bit ridiculous. But I am determined to find one so I can track my success on this weight loss/healthy overhaul journey.)

So proud of myself…

I did not eat junk food today! After no time for making meals at home (or even eating meals at home because I was out of the house all day long), I refused fast food while STARVING in the car and ate trail mix and a peanut butter granola bar that I had stuffed in my bag this morning (so there’s something to this whole “planning ahead” thing after all). While I most definitely did NOT get enough water today, which I’m sure I’ll be feeling tomorrow, I did eat a power bar later in the afternoon while working and then at a big plate of salad (something I’ve been craving like CRAZY) and a bit of pasta + a roll. Oh, and… purple onions. I’m all about purple onions now. I have HATED onions all my life and now, I can’t get enough of purple onions. (In fact, that reminds me that I need to add them to the grocery list…. done.) I can literally eat them just by themselves. My mom would be SHOCKED.

I don’t have any photos because I was too busy working to take any but, I thought I’d still share. I skipped the 30 Day Shred yesterday because I’ve been so sore from it that I could barely walk and I needed to be able to walk today since that’s pretty much what I spent all day doing. And now, my legs hurt too bad to think about shredding myself. So, I’m going to call this one a day.

Did I mention how proud of myself I am? No junk food today! And it taunted me all day long!

BOW TO YOUR QUEEN EVIL JUNK FOODS!

Big plans…

It’s been a few posts now and I haven’t really talked at all about my resolutions. Or my plans. I guess it’s because I don’t really have them defined yet. There is so much I want to learn, so far I want to go and I’m not really sure what to set in stone as a goal, and what to just let myself naturally fall into. I know that everyone will be updating with wonderful resolutions very soon, but I’ve always been a believer in setting and starting those changes before New Years, just as a mental note that this isn’t just for January 1st, it’s for my LIFE.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. (I may refine as I go. I like leaving myself some flex space.)

Things I definitely want to do in 2010:

1. Get back down to my goal weight/size (Notice how I said size, so don’t send me nasty emails about how weight is just a number) 😉

2. Cook more diverse and creative dinners and meals at home.

3. Run a 5K, then run a 10K

4. Break through this plateau that my body has decided to camp at.

5. Learn more about food pairing

6. Discover new vegetables that I like

7. Plan out meals better so that I can shop at the farmer’s markets

8. Grow in my yoga practice

9. Find some sort of love (or at least less hatred) for running

10. Have flat, defined abs and thighs that don’t rub together. (Laugh if you like, but that’s a MAJOR goal for me)

And, because I’m visual… from the moment I saw this photo in the tabloids years ago, I vowed to one day be the brunette version…

So… the above photo is my final 2010 goal. Watch out!