Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vegetarian Experimentation - or Amy would be proud

Hi Amy :)

Tonight I made a dish with edamame, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, couscous, and other random things, recipe found here.

It was great! Pictures and captions to follow...

Edamame, garlic, and olive oil in my cast iron pan

Added tomatoes, garbanzo beans, some water, and basil

Added salt and more water - my biggest pan is almost overflowing

Couscous added - time to wait

Feta and green onions added - and it's done!

It was marvelous :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

3, 4, 5 deep breaths

Followed by a heavy sigh...

What a week - already. I hardly slept Sunday night, so I skipped Monday morning's run to sleep. That all made me grumpy, and I arrived at work at 8:15 to turn our equipment on (to warm up) for a 9:15 treadmill, knowing my favorite coworker wouldn't show up in time to do it - he didn't. I'll admit I wasn't the easiest person to work with yesterday, because I've just about had it with this guy. It's to the point that the sound of his voice makes me want to pull out my hair...but I continued to grit my teeth and smile, because I only had 9 more days of work with him.

Today, I got up early to run 400m repeats on the track - I planned 7 of them, ran 4 approximately 40 seconds faster than planned, drank too much water between the 3rd and 4th, and threw up promptly after the fourth. Grumpy again, I quit.

I'll be covering evening exercise tonight because someone has another obligation, so I didn't come in until 10 (10-6:30 = 8.5 hours) - someone, planning to leave early, remember, came in to work at 11. I can't wait to see what time he leaves.

Besides that, there are other work related details that I will decline to write about, save the fact that they are not good.

Lots of italics today...

6, 7, 8 more deep breaths...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's been almost a week

Almost a week, since I decided to go vegetarian. Ok, not since I decided...but it's been almost a week without eating meat. Seems that if you're going to have dinner at someone else's house, it's best to inform them that you're veggie before going over. So last Saturday I had a burger. A few thoughts...

First - tofu. It's not bad. However, it IS bad to overdo soy sauce. Very very bad. I wonder how much fluid I'll retain for the next few days.

Second - Brussels sprouts. They aren't half bad either. Although I sauteed them with onions, and we all know how that turns out.

Third - I also started a new training plan this week, in the hopes of running a 30k (yeah, 18.6 miles. Yikes) at the end of September. I'm awful at training through the summer heat and humidity, and have decided that the only way I will successfully do this is to run early in the morning. Since Monday, I've been trying really hard to get up and run. Monday I got up when planned, Tuesday I wound up having to run in the evening (but I did it!), and Wednesday/Thursday I made it in the morning, but later than planned. All in all it's going well, except I learned that I need breakfast if I'm going to run first thing in the morning. And if that breakfast is cheerios, I will crash and feel dizzy/nauseous by 3:30. Wednesday I added Boca or Morningstar Farms fake meat to breakfast and things are improving.

Fourth - yeah...there's a lot more fiber in my diet now...

This should be interesting! Anyone care to place bets on how long all these changes will last? I'm really optimistic right now, I feel good about what I'm doing and the potential health benefits. I hope I can stick with all this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A day of perspective and small victories

Have you ever just sat back and paid attention to what's going on around you, without trying to control it or intervene? Maybe it's the nature of this job, where several of us share a suite with a common area (and an office under dispute), or where my boss talks on speaker phone like there's no one else in the room. Maybe it's just being innocently caught in the crossfire of things. But really it's amazing what people will say about one another when other people are within earshot. Might make you think...if you sat back and listened.

The last couple of days..
-My diet is in a tailspin, thanks to the reading I ranted about the other day
-My boss swears I'm doing something wrong, the grant says I'm right: small victory
-Now he wants to change it - ouch
-Tough assignment for a grant submission - hard work, but good, right?
-Running sucks lately - gotta get out there today. And tomorrow, and the next day.
-Parking. Enough said.
-Doug's new job :)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Well Crap. This isn't running related...

A whole bunch of different things have come together in my life lately to suddenly make me much more concerned about the world, this country's role in it, and my role in it. Mostly I'm seeing this from a health standpoint - specifically exercise and nutrition, by nature of my education and my personality.

For years I've known that the average American eats a poor diet and doesn't exercise, and I've always been interested in ways to change this. However, only recently have I started reading more about it. Call it growing up, but suddenly it occurred to me that if I was going to rant on and on about things, maybe I should be well-informed. Add to this my recent thoughts about what exactly is in the food I eat, and I've been reading specifically about the American Diet.

One book I began to read is Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins. I'll admit, I got a little bored with that one and I think I'm on chapter 3. In the meantime, I finally joined the Chapel Hill Public Library and am now reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

At first while reading this book I was bugged by the labor practices of the fast food industry and urban/suburban sprawl. Then I got to the chapter about Colorado Ranchers, and one specific rancher who took his own life, unable to face the bleak looking future afforded to him by the meat packing industry. Then there was the chapter about changes in that industry since the early 20th century and all the social problems created by such changes. Then, was the chapter where the author toured a slaughter house. Oh. My. God. I read the whole chapter aloud to Doug and then burst into tears. Oh. My. God. I understand how people want to be vegetarians.

Hey, Amy...I'm going to need to know where to buy some beef that doesn't go through all that, ok? That is, if I can ever bring myself to eat beef again. Damn.