Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rest Days

I'm the kind of person that skims directions and then tosses them aside. I want to know everything about everything, but who has the time? Never mind that it usually takes 10x as long to figure it out yourself.

Obviously I've run in my life, I've just never tried to be a runner (I still say that loosely for now...). I kind of didn't read the part of Couch to 5k that tells you rest every other day. At least the first week is a lot of walking, but 3 days in a row makes for one tight-calved Amanda. Going down stairs is not the picnic it was pre-Saturday.

Let's be honest, some weeks I'll rest, no problem, but others I'll work out 5 or 6 days in a row. I know rest days are very important and I take MORE than my fair share, but I just can't get down with only half an hour of light cardio 3 days a week and then calling it quits. No bueno. But from now on, running of any kind will be on alternate days only.

But mannnnnn, even crap-running makes you HUNGRY. I feel like I ate non-stop Saturday-Monday. Today I did take off and luckily the beast was quelled for now, but geeeez. Maybe that's why they built in the rest days :-P.


I need protein pancakes every day of my life. Usually I roll with oat, egg white, and protein powder varieties, but lately have take a queue from Julie and cottage cheese-d them up. I've made both her pumpkin & banana varieties and both get two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Toppings today included a little maranatha pb, a little maranatha chocolate almond butter, & a drizzle of maple syrup. Yes, please.

I debated whether or not to include coffee, as I've cut wayy back, but pancakes, especially ones covered in nut butter, scream for nice, hot coffee. Chocolate flavored (I forget the exact name) Godiva coffee, it was. With a large splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk + vanilla stevia. Mmm Mmmm.

While I waited for the french press to do its thang, I put the almond milk & stevia in the mug....and then forgot about it & shook the cup out for some reason (to see if there was excess water in the cup from being washed, I guess?) Good thing it was over the sink, because liquids went a-flying. Ooops.

Got to work late like we do every single day and got some things done. Of course, also as always, we had too much drama, too many things to get done, and not enough time.

I managed to cram a little food down my face late in the afternoon, 2:40 or so. Good thing protein pancakes are long-lasting goodness.

What was it I ate, you ask? Sorry, it was too ugly to share evidence, but here's a wordy description: Last nite I prepared a wrap using a brown rice tortilla, a torn up piece of land o lakes white american cheese, red pepper hummus, and organic spinach. I brought a Quorn veggie cheeseburger alongside to heat up & add inside at work, but our work microwave is a little too potent and killed it. No big deal, it was good enough without it. Those brown rice tortillas are my fave taste-wise, but I don't think I'll be toting them around anymore. Portable they are not. I opened up my wrap, doused it in mustard, and as I tried to assemble it all back, it crumbled all over the place. Rude.

Tuesdays are an early day, (though not as early today *cough drama*), so I just went home and caught up on TV & snuggle time with the pups. Nothing better! I don't want to wait until January for the Lying Game to come back. ABC Family, I love youuuu!

Every single day I say I'm going to make salmon. So far, it's still in the freezer. Today included. I knew I wanted peas, but wasn't sure what else. The fridge proved useless, but a peak in the freezer made up my mind: goat cheese and cranberry stuffed Quorn "chicken." If I couldn't have the burger for lunch, the faux chicken patty would more than do. I was gonna make a salad too, but got lazy. Maybe later. Add in a ginger ale Zevia once I couldn't find my coconut sparkling water and I was set.

That's a lil pat of Irish butter in the peas, just FYI.

And yes, it too was deeeeelish.

For dessert I'm currently considering a chocolate vitatop warmed up & crumbled into some frozen yogurt, maybe with a little nut butter, but who knows for sure!

Can't wait for Ringer tonite! Anyone else watching? That & Revenge are probably my two new fave shows this season. What about yours?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

I am Not a Runner

I went to my doctor on Thursday for a routine med check and gave her the heads up on what's been going on with my shoulder. She knows I suffer from an unknown chronic pain syndrome, but the car accident, and most likely subsequent shoulder discomfort, occurred a week AFTER my last appointment. She had me do basic strength and movement tests, which I knew I'd pass with flying colors (and did), but she can see some muscle tightness around the rotator cuff, most likely caused by inflammation that's never gone away. After telling her I recently realized weight lifting has exacerbated the pain and kept it lingering around just when I think it's starting to heal, we decided I probably need to cut out ANY upper body weights entirely. Arms, shoulders, back, chest, almost everything. She said once I feel like the injury is 70% healed I can start reintroducing weights and see how it goes, but not for at least 3-4 weeks. *gulp* I miss it so much already!!! But do feel less pain, I must admit. *sigh*

She also told me to take a prescription NSAID once a day for 3-4 weeks & to go to physical therapy. I'm popping the pill as instructed, but last time I went to that place for physical therapy I HATED it. Plus, it's VERY time consuming, so I'm holding off for now. If I really thought it would help I'd make it a priority, but I just don't have the faith. *shrug*

Meanwhile, since I still hate the cardio options at the new gym and am now resigned to being a temporary cardio queen, I'm trying to have a workout to look forward to. I decided to take up running. I've always wanted to be a runner, but let's be honest here...I'm just not. Not at all.

Call them excuses if you will, but I have everything going against me. I have the flattest of flat feet that severely overpronate, I have asthma, bad knees, need I go on?

I don't think I've ever been able to run a mile straight, even when in great shape. I don't know if it's purely a mental obstacle or if I truly do have physical limitations, but obviously I could do it if I worked harder, no matter what the issue.

I decided to try out the Couch to 5K program.

Yesterday was day one, at the gym. It went pretty well. I don't know exactly what speeds to go for walking vs running, though. I'm slow. Real slow. I'd like to challenge myself, but not overdo it, ya know? I think I've started out a wee bit slower than I probably should, but then again I already feel overwhelmed!

Today, technically day 2, I forgot to switch over on my iPhone app, so I accidentally did day one again. You'd think for a program that is even for people who legit have NO endurance, days 1 and 2 wouldn't be much different, but it kinda is. Oops. Tomorrow.

Anyway, today I attempted my first outdoor "run." Errr....not there yet. I got to minute 12 (aka only ran for 3 minutes at that point, not consecutively either) and then ran back in my house and finished it on the treadmill. MUCH better. Who knew it was THAT drastic of a difference? Ouch.

I hope I improve. And that it's not miserable! My (lack of) arches are already killing me.

Time to go make a fun playlist. Let's do this.....


Friday, October 14, 2011

Burger & Buffet Glutton

Where have I been?

Why, being a glutton, of course.

Naturally, when you should eat extra good for a certain purpose (i.e. mine = doctor's appt = scale), instead you eat extra bad, am I right? Oops.

Last week?

Twisted Root Burger.

A Dallas institution I have yet to partake in. Until now.

1/2 lb standard sized cheeseburger with guac. I ate 3/4 of it. Next time, I share. Lived up to the hype, but 1/4 lb would be much more reasonable. I forgot to say wheat bun when I ordered. I was not disappointed. That bun was amazing.

I also tried a couple of their fried green beans. Also did not disappoint.

The Egg & I

OK, this one is actually kind of healthy (it's on their health menu, after all), it just doesn't look it. But it happens to be my favorite menu item anyway. The Mediterranean Frittata (chicken, mozzerella, sundried tomato...). No butter on the english muffin. & Fruit. Plus coffee. French Vanilla, this time. I miss the seasonal chocolate macadamia. Come back soon!

I took my Mom to see Motherhood the Musical.

The venue often serves up a buffet style dinner before various shows, ours included.

I was going to stop there (for the entree, DUH dessert was coming next), but I was still a wee bit hungry, so I had seconds on the salad.

I was pumped all day for the dessert bar. I wanted to eat like 10 pieces of cake.

Instead, I took two, both chocolate. Normally I don't like chocolate cake, but I was craving it! Or a chocolate dessert of some kind.

Meh. Disappointment x 2. I ate maybe half of the bottom one, but really should have left all of it and stuck to my (decaf) coffee. They also didn't have the bread pudding they always have. No fair! The only saving grace? See that white part at the end of the far right? It was a sugar cookie. A really good sugar cookie. I wanted to grab the rest, but thought that would be a little tacky to destroy all of their cake just for the cookie edge ;).

One buffet in a weekend not enough you say?

I gotcha covered.

I had a travelzoo voucher for brunch that was going to expire in late October for the new restaurant, Q De Cheval, in the Intercontinental Hotel.

Don't mind if I do!

We arrived approx. 20 minutes late due to a.) an unforeseen circumstance I can no longer remember & b.) rain. The host was a little rude to us, saying they normally won't hold a reservation past 15 minutes, but he'd see what they could do. Understandable, but I could have done without the attitude. And we wouldn't have minded waiting a little. Instead, we were seated less than 1 minute later. I'm guessing we were the only party of 2 and they had an open 2-top table. His attitude changed as he sat us, and we got to eat, so no harm done. Sorry we were late and it offended you, bud! :-P

Now, let's eat!

I pretty much destroyed this plate. Happily. Shrimp pasta, jalapeno mashed potatoes, lox bagel with a million capers, shrimp cocktail, grits with poached egg. Big smile.

Served alongside bottomless mimosas, champagne, & bloody mary's. And coffee, natch.

I stuck with 2 mimosas to start.

They don't play. You know how most bottomless mimosa buffets water down the mix? Not this. It was more champagne than anything. And considering they used Ketel One for the bloody mary's, I'm pretty sure this was some decent champagne at that. I approve. (Though I do adore the taste of cheap champers, not gonna lie, so I'm cool either way).

+ water & our own pot of some pretty delicious coffee.

Not only did the waiters bring your beverages, but you could also go up to a table and serve yourself the booze. Bottomless, indeed. I barely finished the 2 during the entree portion of the meal, but my 21/22 year old self would have been quuuuuuite impressed with the set up. They, however, may have rethought it once I left. Kidding. Sort of.

Plate 2?

Barely got touched. It was still v. good, but not quite as good as plate 1 (luckily!). Not worth making myself ill over. Caramelized banana french toast, a little fruit, eggs benedict.

Took a 10 or so minute break and then let the dessert eating begin!

The entire meal I was eying the chocolate mousse. When it's good, it's gooood. However, I kept noticing mostly-full glasses go by on the waiters plates of empty dishes. I worried people kept grabbing it, but not liking it.

Still, I grabbed the last glass. Phew. Just in time. I had to find out for myself! I'm never one to turn down mousse, come on now.

As I perused the other desserts, they brought out a new concoction in the same martini style glasses. We didn't know what it was, but my Dad grabbed one for us to try, while I went to town on the chocolate fountain.

Of course the marshmallow was what I most wanted to get covered in chocolate and it was the only thing that wouldn't play fair!

But when I got back to the table and I remembered the chocolate hardens I didn't really want it anymore. I always think I love chocolate fountains until I sit back down. Oops.

OK, back to the mousse(s). So, the chocolate mousse wasn't as good as many I've had in the past, but it wasn't bad at all. The reason people kept sending most of theirs away? It's pretty huge. We soon discovered a little mousse goes a long way. Those crunchy little chocolates on top didn't last, though. De-lish.

The other glass? Tirimisu! My Dad ended up only liking the top portion, while I was going to town on the bottom. Could have used more of the bottom if you asked me. Again, good, but not amazing, and a little went a long way.

So, for the second time in 2 days I was a little let down by the dessert buffet. Nothing blew me away. But that's probably a good thing. A few bites and I was good. Oh, and I also downed half a glass of plain champagne with the chocolate.

All in all, I wouldn't pay the regular price for the buffet ($30/person), though it was overall worth it, but if I got the chance at another voucher I'd buy it for sure (ours ended up being a total of $45 for 2, including tax & tip). Even then it was pretty pricey for breakfast, but well worth it for what we got. The only thing I would have changed? I wish they would have had their famous duck quesadillas I read about online, but maybe that's just an evening thing? But what we got was a nice change of pace!

To top it off, on Monday I went to the regular Indian Buffet. It didn't photograph pretty, so we'll omit that evidence. Buffet, buffet, buffet. My poor body! But hip-happy taste buds. Oh yeah.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lavendou + Pet Halloween Costumes

Despite being less than a 2 hour flight and 1 hour time difference, my trip has me WIPED. OUT. It was a great long weekend with stories and pics to come, but for now let's start a little smaller.

My first set of vouchers from groupon and similar sites are starting to near the expiration dates, so I'm trying to get on it! Today, my Mom and I used one for Lavendou, one of our fave French restaurants, that we're especially fond of during lunchtime.

This voucher allowed us to each pick a soup or salad, entree, and the dessert of the day.

I chose the salad to start.

I immediately regretted the decision and wished I had gone for the french onion soup instead. My Mom picked that and it looked delicious. So much so she spilled it all over the white tablecloth-haha. Although my salad was basic, it was very fresh tasting.

For my entree I went for the crepes of the day: chicken crepes.

I love crepes and these were no exception. I think shredded chicken or perhaps bigger pieces of chicken would have been tastier texture-wise, but the crepes themselves were perfect and the sauce was great. I tried to smother the vegetables in the sauce. I ate 1 crepe and all of my vegetables. It was the perfect amount and I had another crepe and all of my mom's vegetables for another meal.

I had my fingers crossed for a chocolate dessert of any kind, but that was a no-go. We were brought out a pastry with strawberry & a thick whipped cream.

I wouldn't order it if it was my choice, but it was still good.

The food is ALWAYS amazing, but sometimes the service at this restaurant leaves something to be desired. This time? Not at all. They knew we had a voucher from the get-go, so I thought it may be even worse, but nope. The waiter was super friendly and even offered to get my Mom a fresh soup when hers spilled (she declined--but still the thought). It definitely made me want to go back.

Do note, though, not to go here if you're in a rush. They're always pretty slow, even when they aren't busy. But it's a nice place to take it slow and really enjoy your meal if you have the time! Also, their iced tea is delightful.

Thanks Lavendou! YUM.

I went to Target after to pick up a few necessities (what? canned pumpkin IS a must) and ended up getting the pups their 2011 Halloween costumes! Last year I reused old costumes, but had really wanted Bella to be a hot dog. This year, that dream will come true lol.

Now THAT'S a hot dog. HAR HAR, get it? Get it?

Buster's I went back and forth on. I *almost* got him a shark suit, but instead? The banana prevailed.

Can't you tell how thrilled he is? :-x. I think I got a size too big, oops, but so frickin cute. Ohhhh pets, you bring me such joy.

What are you gonna be for Halloween? Your pets?