1/29/14

Marathon Meltdown (Woohoo!! Wednesday)

I had my first marathon related meltdown last night; it happened while I was making tacos.  

I don't think it happened because I was making tacos, just while.  Perhaps it happened because of the yoga practice I'd done not long before.  It was supposed to be energizing...I'm guessing that the wrong energy got energized.  Maybe?  Maybe.  There was fire breath and I think I said hiiiiyah! a time or two.  

Or maybe it happened because I'm a nervous Nelly by Nature (like Naughty by Nature but different) and as my training calendar stares at me from the fridge, I realize just how real this shiz is.  

It's not like I'm having a baby or going off to war or getting a leg amputated, I signed up for this and I'm am aware that I'm responsible for the butterflies and the injuries and the whatever else is coming my way.  But that feeling of maybe not being able to be successful at something that you really want to be successful at is big and hairy and scary and heavy. 

And, to clarify, being successful in this situation for me would be not giving up.  I'm not really afraid of getting hurt and not being able to finish or the weather ruining things like it did for St. Jude, if those things happen, they happen.  I'm not running with a bone poking out of my leg nor am I running 'cross an icy Mississippi River Bridge.  I'm afraid of giving up.  Of quitting.  Of saying this is to hard or  I cannot press on!  

I'm a girl who lets my head get the best of me.  I'm a girl who just an hour before aforementioned meltdown rolled around on  her yoga mat because side plank or whateverthehelliwastryingtodo was just. to. hard. I'm afraid I'll stop at mile 21 because my mind, not my body, says Enough!  I am done.    

These are the things that prompt mid taco making meltdowns on the phone with my mom.  Of course, I went through a lengthy list of things that I am anxious about, some realistic and some not.  Of course, I felt better after talking about it.  Of course, my mom said (again) you know you can just call me if you need to stop and I'll come get you!  Then she added...you have until 3pm to finish!      

Of course, when I get still and quiet about this, I remember that one of the reasons that I even signed up to do this is because it will be hard and because it will throw me so far out of my comfort zone that I'll probably cry.  

One of my goals is less chitta vritti and more shanti. (Yes, let's all learn new words today!)  How does that happen?  Practice.  Repetition.  Constantly bringing awareness back to right here, right now.  What is involved in distance running?  Practice.  Repetition.  Constantly bringing awareness back to right here, right now.  One day, maybe, I'll wrap my head around all this, I've been talking about it since at least this time last year.  Remember this post

I know that finishing this race/not finishing this race has nothing to do with my worth as a person.  But isn't it amazing when we do stuff that's hard?  Stuff that we questioned our ability to ever do?  Going back to school, moving to a new town, surviving a breakup, making new friends, handling a job loss, having cancer, beating an addiction...this is all stuff that is hard and / or scary but so worth it when we come out on the other end.  Taking a risk is scary but isn't it worth it?   

Sure it is! 
Happy risk taking, friends! 

1/28/14

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Once upon a time, my good friend Leah and I used to meet up after my doctor's appointments in Memphis for an early meal at Macaroni Grill.  By early I mean like 4:30.  We'd have a glass of Pinot Grigio and get lost in a mixing bowl size dish of pasta.  It was beautiful and trashy and one of my favorites. 

So, maybe we only did this once.  But I wish that we would have done it all the time.  Why?  Because I love my friend Leah and I love the Macaroni Grill. 

But let's talk about the Macaroni Grill.  Sometimes, this happens: 

Me:  I wonder why you never take me to the Macaroni Grill. 

Brandon: Do you really want to go to the Macaroni Grill?  With all of the places to eat, you want to go to the Macaroni Grill? 

Me:  Hahahahaaa!  I'm just kidding (but really I'm not kidding).  That place is so lame! (heart breaks as I deny my true love for R's MG)  Let's go get something super hip. 

Brandon:  Ok.  I mean we can go if you want to!

Me:  No!  Ha.  Please.  No. (Yes.  Really though, please. yes.)

So basically, my love of redneck food + pasta in ridiculous serving sizes isn't going anywhere anytime soon and I'm just going to have to deal with it.  Luckily, though, God watches out for fools and babies and as it turns out, the pasta dish that I made for carb loading last week tastes just like something from the Macaroni Grill.  Thank you to the disgruntled R's MG employee that put this one out there.  I mean seriously...1,000+ positive reviews on the Allrecipes should have clued me in to this being golden.  

If you're turned off by the amount of times that I've mentioned Macaroni Grill (or R's MG), stop.  This shiz is good.  And it doesn't have any creepy ingredients.  Well, it doesn't have any fake creepy ingredients.  If you find heavy whipping cream and butter creepy then sorry, I'm not sorry, this one will freak you out!       
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
from All Recipes

3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
6 tbl of butter, divided
4 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
1 tbl Italian seasoning
13 oz of pasta (I used bow tie so I guess this isn't really fettuccine)
1 onion, diced
8 oz of mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup of flour
1 tbl salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
3 cups of milk
1 cup of half and half
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz of shredded Colby Monterrey jack cheese
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup of sour cream

In large skillet over medium high heat combine the chicken, 2 tbl of butter, 2 cloves of garlic and Italian seasoning.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Set aside.  

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.  

Meanwhile, melt 4 tbl of butter in the skillet.  Saute onion, 2 cloves of garlic and mushrooms until onions are transparent.  Stir in the flour, salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes.  Slowly add milk and half and half, stirring until smooth and creamy.  Stir in cheeses until melted.  Stir in chicken mixture, tomatoes and sour cream.  Toss with the chicken and the pasta. 

Serving size 1 cup
Points plus 11 

1/27/14

Artichoke and Red Pepper Pizza + CBC January

Cookbook Club!  We are doing a new switch 'em up cookbook thing and I'm probably going to have to bring in a mathematician or a statistician or some other type of 'stician to help out with the who's and the what's.  In the meantime, though, I'm going to tell you about this pizza. 
This pizza (and the whole meal but we'll get to that) was solid.  It was not only eat it as an appetizer solid but it was also feed it to your family solid.  If, of course, your family is a family that enjoys an artichoke and a mushroom.  If not then come back later, we're having fettuccine.

It's pretty easy to put together...uses a refrigerated crust and aside from some shredding and chopping, doesn't take much effort on your part.  Or my part.  Or whoever's part.  You know what else doesn't take much effort?  Showing  you the picture of the recipe instead of typing it out.  Work smarter not harder, right?  Bam. 
Curious about the rest of our meal?  We had an asparagus tart, a pork tenderloin, some zucchini soup and some spinach madeline.  Everything was tasty and I would make it all again.  We also had a twinkey cake (yes, you read right) but I didn't get a picture of it as I was to busy devouring every last bite of it and then trying to find a not-redneck way to lick the plate.          
Happy Monday, buckaroos!

1/26/14

Over It.

This morning in the church pew, my buddy Nancy and I discussed the riveting topic of burnout.  Not because burnout had anything to do with the sermon or the readings or anything at all, but just because it was in the air. 

This discussion has been in and out of my brain today and as it turns out, my list of things that I'm over is kind of long. 

In no particular order and not all inclusive:

Big Browne's shedding
Running
Meal planning
Cleaning the floors
Minding a budget
Eating healthy food
Wearing pants that button

So basically anything that is good for me and society as a whole, I'm over.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Maybe it's something to do with the planet alignment or this strange warm front or that polar vortex that's on it's way.  Guys.  I just don't know... 

Here's what I do know:  being over things, feeling burned out, comes with a hefty dose of guilt.  I'm grateful for my hound, my legs, the food before me, the house with the floors, the money to budget, the pants to button.  But I'm over it.  Not in the mood to deal with any of it.  Which is not right, right?  

Any one feel me?  Or is the cheese standing alone over here?  

What I'm working on today is being with the funky feeling of being over things, even good things.  Practicing kindness towards myself even when myself kind of sucks.  Knowing that these feelings will pass and even if they don't, we'll all be OK.  We're all doing the best we can, yo, and all of this funkiness will disappear just as suddenly as it appeared.  There are good days to rock and bad days to breathe through.  As long as we are doing at least some of the things we are supposed to be doing then that's enough.  Right?  Right.

Happy Sunday guys!    

 

1/24/14

A Few on Friday!

1.  I love you, goat cheese!  And no, goat cheese isn't a secret name for a secret person.  It's simply a cheese that gives my at my desk salad a bit of a zing.

2.  I bought myself this scarf.  It's not on the website so I'm showing you the ebay site.  I know, I know.  I'm supposed to be mad at Lululemon for their constant shenanigans but I really love this scarf.  And their pants.  And their braws. 

Here's a video:
 
3.  I miss writing in this space.  I'm going to try to come back more. 

4.  What have I been doing all this time?  Researching yoga therapy and trauma and mindfulness and how I can get my teeny tiny brain wrapped around all this information.  I'm going to try really really hard to go to this workshop: Neuroscience, Mindfulness and Modern Yoga for Transforming Trauma.  

I've got flights figured out, rental cars too, but need to sell it to the following people/groups of people:

Brandon (aparently, he likes having me around to share hound care duties

My boss/hospital/co-workers

The Mississippi  Board of Examiners of Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapist (it doesn't offer continuing education credits!  RUDE.) 

5.  Brandon and I have started receiving Fitness magazine.  I don't understand.  

6.  Have you tried to donate to my MS River Marathon OCNA fundraiser?  If so, thank you!  And I'm sorry if maybe it didn't work.  I've got an email out to the powers that be. 

7.  I'm making chicken fettuccine alfredo tonight and I can't even handle it.  It's kind of my last carb it up meal before the race in a few weeks.  I won't miss running for 128 miles but I'll absolutely miss carb loading.  Carb loading is my favorite.

8.  Me and a couple of gals of scheduled appointments to get blowouts in Nashville before my best ghi's wedding.  What do you think they are going to do with this bang?  Nervous.     

9.  If YOU are nervous about anything, you should come to the Let Go and Flow workshop at Sudio A in Greenwood.  Call the spa (866.728.6700) and sign up! 

Happy weekend dear friends!  Be well and do good work!

1/16/14

A Few on Friday on Thursday

1.  Do you love animal rescue?  Do you love to run in 5ks?  Sweet!  Check out the Fondren Urban Ultra on March 29.  You can either run a 5K once or like 17 times BUT all of the proceeds go Cheshire Abbey. Should be fun!  It's the same day as the Viking 5K/Half but I hope to catch it next year.  Join me in donating what would be an entrance fee to this organization so they can continue their good work.

2.  I've read several really really good books lately.  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra.  Both of them were real intense but real good.  Hope delivered in strange packages which is, in my world, the best kind.  Check them out!

3.  The Big Browne Hound has recently become obsessed with cheese.  This leads me to believe that a ham and cheese sandwich might blow his mind....

4.  Delta people:  have you been to Serio's yet?  Well, well.  You should go.  Brandon and I picked up last night and since I was carb loading, I got the Salvo's Baked Pasta.  Well, I probably would have gotten it anyway but it's a fantastic way to carb load, too.  The tamales are lovely as is the pizza.  And most things I've tried.  Also, it's bring your own wine.  That's always a plus!  PS:  the Big Browne Hound also enjoys a bit of hot tamale now and again.    

5.  Here's another reason why things are better when we work together. 

6.  As I write this, I'm chomping on a clif bar and gearing up for a 20 mile run.  I've run 18 so I can do this, right?  I'll report back later......
 7.  Aahhhhaaaahh!  I did it!!  I did it!!  It wasn't pretty, nor was it even a little bit fast but I did it!  If you are as fired up as I am about this you should mosey on over to my fundraising page and make a $20 donation!  Off to do some stretching.  And lay on the floor.  For maybe 6 hours.  

Happy weekend!  I'm heading to Charleston, SC tomorrow to celebrate one of my best ghi Lindsey's upcoming nuptials.  Excited doesn't even begin to describe it.  You got Charleston suggestions?   Hit me up!! 

1/14/14

Mood Boostin' Shrimp and Grits

Nothing says Tuesday like Shrimp and Grits. 

Right?  No, probably not.  Shrimp and grits is probably the least likely thing one would fix on a Tuesday but stick with me, friends. 

I've had some bad luck with my running training lately and I've been slightly down with a slight cold.  Add this to the fact that I'm flying to Charleston at the end of the week and I've felt, I don't know, like I've got some feelings.  A sore throat and some ill preparedness with a dash of flight fear/being sick on a trip fear equals a need for a good supper. 

A good supper can really turn things around.  Next thing you know your slamming EmergenC, excitedly measuring your suitcase and adding new songs to your running play list (um, JJ Fad anyone??!!) and not even thinking about the rest of that dumb junk.  

Thanks be to Delta Meat Market for sneakily making me (well, Brandon) run to them and buy some shrimp by merely suggesting I have shrimp and grits for supper.  Clever. 
Look!! My remote! ^^^

Shrimp and Grits
from Food Network

1 cup of uncooked grits
salt and pepper
2 cups of sharp cheddar, shredded
3 tbl butter
6 pieces of bacon, chopped
1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup of green onions, thinly sliced
3 tsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, pressed 

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until browned.  Transfer to a plate to drain.  Cook the shrimp in the bacon grease until pink.  Add in the green onions, lemon juice and garlic.  Saute for around 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook the grits according to their package directions.  One done, stir in butter and cheese until melted.  Serve the shrimp over the grits.  

Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Points plus: around 18 (kind of a guess)

 

 

1/13/14

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

Well guys, it's gotten to that point.  That point where we bake a cake and and call it breakfast bread.  At least it wasn't frosted.  That might have crossed a line.  

However, this was going to be breakfast for the morning after a 1990s themed New Years Eve bash.  Brandon had a scraggly mustache and I curled my bang.  Was anything going to cross the line?  Probably not.

This cake bread was easy to but together and had a bangin' flavor.  Whip it up for next time you have a morning gathering.  Or a sweet tooth!  Or some extra blueberries lying around.... 
Blueberry Breakfast Bread

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temp
zest from 1 large lemon
3/4 cup + 1 tbl sugar
1 tbl sugar (another one for spranklin')
1 egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour (set 1/4 cup aside to toss with the blueberries)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen....just be sure to thaw!)
1/2 cup of butter milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter with lemon zest and 3/4 cup + 1 tbl of sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour.  Whisk the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt.  Alternate adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture with the buttermilk.  Gently fold in blueberries.  

Grease a 9 inch baking pan.  Pour in the batter and sprinkle 1 tbl of sugar on top.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.      

1/11/14

A Few on Friday

1.  Thanks, NPR, for teaching me the good things that happened this year.  And for letting me know that the restrictions on the import of Burmese Pythons might be lifted.

2.  Have you checked out this NY Times article that can tell you where you live according to the way you answer 25 questions?  It had me dead on.  So interesting.  Check it out!

3.  Do you watch Community?  You should.  It's kind of amazing.  

4.  Speaking of things that are kind of amazing, head on over to youtube and search Jimmy Fallon hashtags and prepare to belly laugh.  

5.  I've obviously been really productive lately.     

6. Can we please all work together and bring back Clearly Canadian?  Visit here and help bring it back.  I want a case of cherry.  And blackberry.  Lord how I love a beverage....

7.  You know what would go perfectly with my Clearly Canadian?  Some hot mess brownies.  

8.  What about all this cold weather?  Then hot weather?  Then rainy weather?  This is a nice reminder.  Thanks Nancy's pinterest board.  

9.  I cannot seem to get on blogging track.  I would say you weren't missing anything buuuut I made nachos last week and they were kind of awesome....

Happy weekend friends!  Have a good one, be well, do things you love!  

  

1/2/14

Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

If healthy eating is at the top of your list in this new year then this is the recipe for you.  If healthy eating is not on the top of your list in this new year then you should still try this dish.  Because it is good and easy.  And an excellent source of protein.  I think.  Protein continues to baffle me.

I made this the day after Christmas, it was a welcome change to the heaviness that goes along with Christmas food.  I did, however, pair it with a ooey gooey grilled cheese.  One shouldn't shock their system to much right after christmas or else some sort of food DTs could occur.  Nobody got time for that, y'all.   
Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

1 tbl olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of tomato, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 large carrot, sliced
2 bay leaves
4 cups of vegitable broth
30 oz black beans (do not drain!)
1/2 cup of cilantro

Heat oil over medium high heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute for about five minutes.  Add in the garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add in the tomato, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes.  Cook it for a few minutes to break the tomatoes down some. 

Add in the quinoa, carrots, bay leaves and 2 cups of vegetable broth.  Cover and bring to a boil, boil for a bout five minutes.  Add in the rest of the broth, the black beans, the cilantro.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove the top, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, let it sit for about 10 more minutes so that all of the flavors can marry.  

Serving size 1 cup 
Points plus 8    
 
 

1/1/14

Bring It, 2014!

Happy 2014 friends!  What are your plans for this year?  Goals? Dreams?  Other jazz? 

I hope to finish a marathon, practice mindfulness in all areas of my life, take better care of my body.

Don't forget your greens and black eyed peas today!