Defending My Lunch

I do not diet.

I would not. I could not. I will not.

I will not diet on a whim. I will not diet in to get slim.

I will not diet for a trip. I will not diet because it’s hip.

I will not diet for a wedding. I’m starting to think  you know where this is heading…

Besides being bad at dieting, I’m also no good at rhyming (one last one!) and that just took way more effort than I thought it would.

Anyway, my point is that it really frustrates me when I’m putting together a salad in the break room during lunch (for the millionth time) and someone asks why I’m on a diet. For two reasons.

One being do you really have to be on a diet to eat salad?  Apparently I’ve been misinformed at some point when I was told vegetables are just a generally good thing to eat on a regular basis?  Weird.Maybe I’m just wrongfully bothered (and greatly annoyed) by the thought process of people who say such things?

Because I happen to  like salads. Just as I also appreciate pizza. Or candy. After a weekend of alcohol and meal after meal of food I don’t normally eat, it is actually sort of refreshing to be eating a little more “clean”. Please, Mr. Coworker, don’t judge me for having an actual craving for it. It may be hard for you to understand, but I’m not judging your craving of Dr. Pepper and a bag of cheetos for lunch.

I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the combination, but will not pass judgement. Partially because a diet coke and snickers was my go-to breakfast my first year of college. And partially because I might even ask for a cheeto later. Unless you think my “diet” doesn’t allow for such things.Furthermore, I don’t do diets.

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. And no, I don’t think I’m above them, or some other silly assumption people would make in response to that statement. 

Quite the opposite. I think they’re great if you’re trying to jump start a new routine. I will encourage anyone who is doing one.  But they really don’t work for me.

I’ve tried. Oh how I’ve tried. Bikini season is coming and I’m just like every other girl in wishing I could shed a couple before I break out the pool wear.

But time after time, I’ve failed. As soon as I feel any little restriction at all, I’m that girl who’s gonna say “screw it, I’ve been good all week, I’m taking down this entire box of cereal and carton of ice cream over the weekend and you can’t stop me!” The week I start a diet is the week I order late night pizza after a night out. The week I cut back on sugar will be the week I end up in fetal position on my kitchen floor with a mixing spoon in one hand and a smear of icing across my face. 

Do you see where I’m going with this?

*Oh and all those things have happened. Except for being in sugar coma on the kitchen floor- it happened on the couch instead (gotta be able to see the tv).

That’s just  how I roll. Tell me I can’t do something, and I’m sure as hell going to turn around and do it anyways. Just to prove you wrong.  I’m stubborn. I’m also a Leo (so you can understand how this happens).

There’s a really good chance this also explains how I ended up with a navel ring.

Anyway, the phrases “cutting back” and “everything in moderation” do not work for me. Unless I’m using them with a sarcastic tone.So after all this time, I’ve just learned to go with the flow. Yes, I may be aware of what I eat and put in my body. But that’s because I know that eating a slice of pizza is going to kill my chances of getting a good run in (unless you count the run to the bathroom I’m gonna make about half way through it). So I may wait until another time or just have one versus two. And the sugar in ice cream/cookies/etc will keep me up all night at a time when I really need my sleep.

So that’s why those things may not be as regular in my daily eats as salads are. Not because I think they’re “evil”. 

But your accusational tone (and seriously- what is up with that?) is making me feel bad about just having a generally healthy lifestyle. I exercise. I eat. I repeat.

Thank you for listening. This has been your public service announcement for the day. (Cue the music and shooting star…)

Can I have a cheeto now?

*Oh and before I go… a few things/shout outs:

- My friend Bailey let me borrow her dress. I’ll have to let her know you all approve. And also find out where she bought it…

- If you’re going to Vegas soon (and some of you are) or have never been, my top recommendation would be the Bellagio fountain. Hands down. It’s a huge, cheesy touristy thing. But there’s a reason for it.

- I’m excited about this weekend because I’m meeting up with Miss Kelly while she’s in the city on a mini vacation!

- BIG shout out to my brother- it’s his 24th Birthday!!!  :)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

2:30 Wakeup Call

Let me lay this down for you.

Sunday Night’s Events…

2:30 (AM) – Wake up. See the time.  “Blah.” Roll over.

3:00 – Still awake?  What’s with that? Weird.

3:30 – Ok.  This is starting to get ridiculous.  I am fully awake and just laying here.  I feel like I’ve gotten 8 hours of sleep.  How is this happening?

3:45- I cannot believe this. Today is going to suck.

3:46- Crap. Half marathon training starts tonight. Nothing like starting training out with a crap run…

(This is where things start to get a little twisted and my crazy starts to shine through.)

3:47- It’d be funny if I went now.  I’ve got nothing but time. Hahahahaha….

3:48- That run is gonna suck soooo bad. I’m going to feel awful. If I were just a little crazier, I’d go now. It’s not like there’s anything stopping me.

3:49- Am I really considering this? I’m just wasting time laying here. And I’d probably get a better run in now compared to after work. It needs to get done.  I can’t screw up my very first day of training (even if it is a distance I regularly run). That’d just be sad.

3:50- If I’m still awake in 20 minutes, I’m going.

4:15- I cannot believe I’m pushing in the code to the gym right now. Seriously? Well, at least I’m absolutely positive no one is on my treadmill…

Four miles. Day one of training. Check it off.

8:38 pace. All things considered, I’m pretty happy with that. And it was weirdly surprising how little I struggled. Because the thought did cross my mind- what if I’m tired enough to stumble and break myself on the treadmill?

Or maybe sleeping is just soooo overrated?

That is sarcasm.  Sleep is important. Go get some.

As you can imagine, I was pretty wrecked the entire day at work. But was well aware of my state of being, so patience  and calmness was overly practiced. You’re welcome, world.

A brightness in my day was lunch. Just like the last time she had a day off, Mon joined Jaime and I for lunch! Those two girls were craving breakfast and I was just craving food (living my life 4 hours earlier than usual resulted in me STARVING by noon). A little hole-in-the-wall diner was just what we needed.They got their breakfast. And I had this monstrous plate. Ordering anything “fish” at a diner is pretty risky unless you like it in fried stick form (which is a safe bet to be disgusting). My head wasn’t on straight when I did it. But this white fish? Maybe it’s the exhaustion/delusion talking, but it was really tasty!

I stayed away from the gigantic carrot slice (that is a carrot, right?). It just didn’t look right.

Can you believe they also gave me fries as another side? I took down the fish, but barely put a dent in anything else. Gotta love the diners- you do NOT leave hungry.

This was the first time Jaime and Mon ever met. Which is funny considering how much time I spend with the both of them. Good friends meeting other good friends is always so awkward. Will they get along? Do they approve of each other? I was all nervous like it was a first date…

Once I got home from work, it can be assumed I did nothing of importance. Other than self medicate.  With wine.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. But I got the needed sleep.

So I’m officially done with day one of my St. Louis half marathon training. Only 11 weeks and 5 more days to go. Oh buddy…

When not able to fall asleep- are you one to roam around or just lay there?  Usually I just lay there because it’ll only be *maybe* 15 minutes and I’m asleep again.  But in Sunday night’s case, there’s an exception to every rule.

Consequences of a Polish Buffet

As a gift to Jaime for her birthday, I took her out for Polish buffet!  Since her dad can cook some serious Polish eats, and since she always raves about it, I thought I’d find a place nearby that makes a few of her favorite dishes.This is where Old Warsaw comes into the equation.  Copious amounts of comfort food in the middle of the day?  Where do I sign???

I’ve been here once before with my friend Jon.  So I knew what to expect when I walked into the kitchy entrance.  Jaime, however, did not.Seriously now- who doesn’t appreciate neon lights, mismatched carpeting/wallpaper, a vinyl tablecloth, and the most fabulous chandeliers money could buy in 1981? 

Only the best for my friend Jaime.  :)

It didn’t take long to fill a plate there.I’m pretty sure the term “Polish Food” must mean “any way possible you can incorporate meat into a dish”.  If you were vegetarian and lived in Poland, you would most likely starve to death.  You’ve been warned.

My favorite was definitely the stuffed cabbage.  Sounds like a bad idea, but I promise it isn’t.Happy Birthday, Jaime!  Sorry the pic is blurry- I must have been a little dazed already by the food coma that would set in right after this…

I also had to get a pic of the columns that in no way, shape, or form fit in with the theme of the restaurant.  Half the fun in going is the amusing decor. Jaime took this pic right as I was getting whistled at from the highway for a pose that apparently was deemed sexy at 1:00 in the afternoon.

Oops.  But dude- whistling at a girl from a beer truck isn’t helping your case. Clearly I’m a lady and will have none of that…As much as I wanted to spend the rest of the day under a desk passed out from food coma, I held strong.  And was also able to get the last part of my workout in.  I was able to actually get up early yesterday (unlike how I failed to do the day before) and do a round of The Shred.  Then, after work, I made my way over to the gym and was able to control the tv long enough to get in some elliptical time while keeping up with The Big Bang!

After a night of cleaning (you’re welcome, mom), I was still able to get a run in this morning because I’m going out to eat with my mom as soon as I get home from work.  4 miles at an 8:22 pace.  That’s a little more like it…

I was a little weirded out this morning, though, because there’s usually just one or two of us working out at the clubhouse workout room.  But I guess some people (i.e. OLD MAN) like to go for a dip in the hot tub at 5:15 in the morning.  First off, the hot tub is gross and I will never even put a foot into the room where it’s located.  Secondly, what are you doing?!?!?! 

To each their own I guess.

I refueled after my run with some fab breakfast and flipping through a magazine.I love ESPN magazine’s body issue!  Because these athletes are crazy.  And their bodies are ridiculous.  It’s literally page after page of strong and healthy men and women.  I find it inspiring- even though I know others have issues with it.  Do any of you get ESPN mag or have heard of this issue?  Thoughts?

Happy Friday, everyone!  Fridays are usually my busiest day at work, so I’m hoping it will FLY!

*Sigh*

That’s how I felt about yesterday in general.  I really have no idea why I always get into a funk when it comes to Tuesdays.  It’s not like it’s Tuesday’s fault.  Well… maybe it is.  Because it sure can’t be mine, right?

Either way, Tuesday, or so lovingly called the speed bump of suck during the week, came and went without too much excitement.

The highlight of my work day was definitely lunch. Yeah, I get excited over a salad with leftovers from the night before in it.  Clearly it was a slow day.  This one included sweet potato, mushrooms and peas.  I’m a wild and crazy kind of gal over here…  ha ha

I did get further in my Russell Brand book, My Booky Wook.  I do believe I adore him a bit more with each turn of the page.  His humor that you know him for is evident and in every story he tells.  But what I love is his unapologetic honesty.  The dude was a mess.  Remember that one morning in college where you wake up and things from the night before are a wee bit blurry?  He lived a number of years in that blur.  Which I personally would find exhausting.  But he’s still willing to talk about how he got through it.  And find some humor in it.  Which I find intriguing to read about.

Anyhoo… I’ve been doing most of my lunchtime reading over in the building next to me. I like it there.  Fresh faces.  Gets me out of the office for a bit.  And most recently, there’s an attractive boy who runs down to grab lunch at about the same time I’m there.  The only thing I really know about him is he likes ketchup on his fries.  Not sure if I can build a relationship on that info alone, but we’ll see what I can do…  ;)

Because my mom occasionally reads this, I expect to get a call about him at some point today.  No mom, I don’t know anything else.  Ketchup.  That’s all I’ve got.

I don’t even like ketchup.  But I’m willing to look past that.

Moving on quickly…

I busted my butt to get to the gym and stake out my treadmill.  Success!  It was ALL MINE.  And in efforts to improve on my speed for upcoming races, I took it a notch or two out of my comfort zone.  Four miles with an average pace staying between 8:10 and 8:15- a bit faster than I normally do my regular runs in.  Nothing special, but I want to be prepared for when I start doing interval training (yeah- I sort of hate it, but my desire to run faster is outweighing the hatred) in a few weeks for the 15k I’m looking at.

Anyone out there a fan of interval training?  Do you like it better than long runs?

And yes, I know a couple of you asked- I’m pretty set on doing the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago on November 6th.  Anyone around here wanna join?  They have a 5k, too… just sayin’… if anyone’s interested…

Ghiradelli is the new sponsor this year (I’m pretty sure Hershey’s used to do it).  Either way, both of those names mean chocolate.  And chocolate and running happen to be two of my favorite things.  So I almost feel like it’s fate that I do this thing!

Now if only I could find a race that was sponsored by a pancake house…

Who’s Going?

I’m talking about the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago this August… Registration is this Wednesday and I’m trying to decide if I want to go!  Supposedly the tickets go pretty fast- so I’ll have to be on the ball if I do.  My only concern is it comes at a time in the middle of my friend’s wedding festivities, attempts at a family vacay, and my half marathon.  So I’ll be busy busy busy- which is fine, I just don’t want to double book myself on accident!  Thoughts?  Did anyone go to the one last year?  Anyone else coming to this one?  Wanna hang out?  ;)

Monday was pretty standard in many ways.  I did some more reading over lunch. Say good bye to the turkey sandwiches! I’m getting close to the end of We Thought You’d Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro.  I just never got into it like I thought I would.  *sigh*  But I feel like I’ve invested this much time, might as well finish it out.  Have you ever just not finished a book?  I’d be the one to stop reading a page or two before it got good… so knowing that, I always finish them.

Training got switched up.  Not like it’s that big of a deal, though.  After spending waaaaay too much time on weather.com, I decided to switch yesterday’s run with today’s cross training.  It’s supposed to be nicer, aka the sun will be out at some point.  So running on the trail will be much more enjoyable today.  Hopefully. 

Cross training isn’t as much fun as running, but it’s not bad.  It’s not so much what I’m doing, it’s where I’m doing it.  There was always a list of characters that used my workout room in my apartment complex.  But I feel they’ve slowly rotated out.  Maybe moved.  Either way, the old suspects have now been replaced with one silent guy who does some sort of interval training (which may or may not be comical to watch) and a few gym bunnies who more or less just pose at their designated machine to say they worked out for the day.  And then there’s me and Mon.  Looking like deadbeats next to them.  Sweaty… gross, 5-year-old tshirts… hair slicked back with a headband and sweat.  So far I haven’t minded the bunnies.  They won’t annoy me as much as weights guy does.  He’s a puffer for sure… and one to let the weights SLAM down.  In a smaller area, this is quite a disturbance.  Almost worthy of a good swift kick in the knee while he’s in the middle of a set.  Almost…

So here’s what I did- 23 minutes on the elliptical (why 23?  No clue.  It seemed like a nice random number.).  A mile-and-a-half on the treadmill.  And 14 minutes on the stairmill at an easy level (Again with the random number?).  With a few weights and crunches on the exercise ball inbetween. 

I wore my new shirt I just recently got in the mail from a giveaway Beth did along with the company Thriv.  I really love the shirt- it’s soooo soft.  And it’s 50% bamboo.  How neat is that?  It’s great to work out in- same feeling as the tech shirts, but a little softer with no uncomfortable twisting or anything when I was mid-run.  Love it!  :)Still looking a little SWEAT-TAY after I got home.  Yet I’m still rocking out to the tunes… Katy Perry’s new single “California Gurls” is my new repeat song.  Yes, I take new songs and ruin them for myself that way- even before the radio can do it for me.  Old habits die hard…

Oh and I’m really self-conscious about the ring I am wearing in the picture- don’t think I work out in jewelry.  I never do.  And sometimes have a hard time taking someone seriously if they go all blinged out.  (see “gym bunny” description above)  But I didn’t realize it was still on until I got there and I’ll be damned if I take that off and set it down only to lose it.  It used to be my aunt’s before she died of cancer when I was in high school.  It’s my fav piece of jewelry- which may or may not say alot because I don’t wear alot of it.  Hence the reason why I feel really weird working out with it on.  But I digress.

I was gonna do a southwestern wrap thing.  But then I realized I was out of black beans- what the?!?!  So I switched it up.  I broke out a can of tuna instead.  And threw in some cheeeeeeese!  I hesitate to call it a tuna “melt” because that just never sounds delicious.  But in all reality, that’s what it was.  And it looks so bland with some frozen sweet corn my mama sent home with me a while ago.Soooo bland looking, right?  But it wasn’t.  I broke out the seasoning.  It may have been seasoning for chicken- but I like to mess around like that.  I’m crazy.  Clearly.

Anyways…it’s Tuesday and we all know I’m not a fan of Tuesdays.  Let’s cross our fingers and get through it together… see ya!  ;)

Blintz Bliss

So my friend Jon and I FINALLY were able to hit up a Polish place for lunch on Tuesday.  If you’re ever having a Tuesday Suckday (like I do regularly), may I suggest you take comfort food to a whole new level with a Polish buffet?I was completely overwhelmed.  Being as how this was my first real experience with all the Polish amazingness, I couldn’t pick and choose!  My favorites out of what I had was for sure the stuffed cabbage and the cheese blintz.  I picked up the stuffed cabbage off of recommendation.  I really didn’t think I’d like it, but tried it just for fun.  And then continued to eat the whole thing.  The cheese blintz, on the other hand, sucked me in as soon as I stumbled upon it because of the word “cheese” (obviously).  And it took self-control to keep from shoving it all in at once.  It was the perfect combo of sweet and savory.  Yummm….  The only thing I really only took a small bite of and discarded was the potato dumpling.  I think it was overcooked.  I was also a little disappointed that the sausage wasn’t as spicy as I predicted it would be.  Unfortunate… 

Of course my super awesome lunch led to a sluggish afternoon.  I’m used to the lighter lunches (aka salad).  I’m also still converting to tea instead of coffee and creamer, so the tea I had this afternoon didn’t quite give me the swift caffeine kick I’m used to.  Combine that with the dark and rainy day and I have no idea how I wasn’t sleeping under my desk.  I won’t question it, though.  Moving on…

Because of the weather, I resorted to gym for my training- which I had expected.  My horrible decision making skills made it hard for me to figure out if I wanted to do the scheduled two miles or cross train.  So I sort of met in the middle.  I did the elliptical, weights, and stairmill.  And an 8:20 mile added in on the treadmill for kicks.  ;)  I felt like a kid running around in the weight room, but I guess that was why it was kinda fun.

Tonight’s another three-mile run.  Again, the weather is less than desirable.  I’d rather not do it on the treadmill if I can avoid it.  Now that I’ve been running outside more, the bored-to-death point is hit by a mile-and-a-half.  Ugh.

Oh and for those of you who asked- my plan is a jumble of sorts.  Mostly based off of a Hal Higdon 12-week plan, but then a couple others mixed in.  Because, like I said, I’m horribly indecisive.

After the workout session last night, I was pretty hungry…A big two-egg spinach sammy with broccoli.

And I might have stuck a spoon in some White Chocolate Wonderful.  Multiple times.  Because clearly I have a peanut butter quota I have to fill on a daily basis.

Speaking of protein… I was fb chatting with a guy friend who expressed concerns (in a severely sarcastic tone of course) about my spans of meatless days that I have.  I said it’s not really on purpose.  I’m more of an accidental vegetarian on most days. I just don’t think about it.  He thinks I need more “old-fashioned protein” aka beef in my life.  But I think I get an adequate amount in my diet.  I mean, hello- egg sandwiches are a staple in my diet.  Even my oatmeal is pretty full of it after I’m done pimping it out…  If you’re not a big meat-eater, where do you get the majority of your protein from?  Do you think you get enough?  Or do you feel like meat is necessary?

And because I feel it very important to include serious and hot topics in the world today in my blog for discussion:This made me giggle.  In a sad, but kind of true sort of way.  Tough break, romaine.  But I still support you through the purchase of your other sister lettuce mixes.  Because I live dangerously like that.

Socialization

I’ve spent a lot of weekends resting and staying in as of late.  I have no problems with that.  I actually enjoy it.  But not this weekend… this weekend I remembered what the concept of socialization was all about (although I may be a little rusty… ;)).

After the three of us (my cousin, her friend, and I) getting our workouts in yesterday, we cleaned up as to look publicly acceptable, and headed down to the city to meet up with cousin #2 in Bucktown for a late brunch.  Really it was well past any hour that breakfast should be served in, but if there’s any cinnamon rolls involved, I still call it brunch.We ate at Blue Line Lounge and Grill- right under the Blue Line stop.  They had a little outside patio area that would have been so cute to sit in- had it not been SO COLD!  (Thank you Chicago weather and your mind games… I’m THIS CLOSE to needing therapy because of you.)  Niki got there right after we did, so as soon as she sat down, the family gossip came out again!  Don’t think we’re rude- there’s 35 cousins on that side of the family- there is a LOT of catching up to do on a regular basis.  Jeanna (my cousin Joanne’s friend) was very awesome about listening to all the tales of our childhood/family musings/where are they nows. 

The food came out and I had the California Stone Flat with sweet potato fries.  After that sandwich, I decided no sandwich is complete without avocado.  Mark my words…Such a sassy group of ladies we are…

After lunch, we all parted ways.  My coming home involved a nap in my favorite spot of my new couch (that would be the corner so I pretty much lay there in fetal position and bask in the glow of the sun shining through my sliding door- I’m a little baby like that.  Or a cat.).

I did, however, wake up and get moving again.  I had some energy stored up at that point and went down to hammer out another mile and a half on the treadmill.  Yes- I used the treadmill yesterday.  The dreaded thing.  The rain made me do it!

Later that night, I met up with my bestie Annie and we went to Rocks in Lincoln Park to celebrate her husband Steve’s birthday.  I really like that place because it’s a casual neighborhood bar.  I’m not so much a fan of the club scene and feel much more at home in a place like this.  Joanne was staying downtown this night and was cool enough to meet up with me again!  We decided this was probably the most bonding time we have had in years!I really want to make a trip to Ann Arbor to see her.  I’ve heard it’s a fun little town to run around in.  Plans must be made…

Anyhoo, because it was Steve’s birthday and Annie didn’t have time to bake anything, we brought a few of the cake bites I made to the bar to celebrate his birthday properly.  I like that Annie called them “cake bites”.  I have decided I’m not a huge fan of the word “balls” unless using it in a more negative tone.  Like, “he’s going to be late and we are gonna be so screwed!”  “Oh balls….”.  So yeah, we’re calling them cake bites now. Happy Birthday Steve!!!

People loved my cake bites.  And can we point out- this is where it sounds better.  Because you can’t say “people loved my balls”.  You just can’t use a phrase like that any more without thinking of Alec Baldwin’s schweddy balls skit.  Which is hilarious and all, but still somewhat awkward.  Nothing like a schweddy ball…

I’m running on little sleep today.  I blame myself.  Didn’t turn the heat up enough.  So I woke up freezing.  But too tired to actually get up and turn up the heat more or grab a cover.  So I laid there.  Frozen.  Looking back, that was a poor choice.

I have got to run.  Time to call my mom (Happy Mother’s Day, ya’ll).  And I have to clean before the peeps show up for a special suburb edition of Lunch Club. Have a wonderful Sunday!

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