Sunday, June 30, 2013

No Words

p: i need

p: that thing

m: ...

p: i will give you a clue

p holds up purple notebook

m hands p purple pencil case

p: AIEEE!!!

p: we are like

p: AHHHH!!!

p: right?

m: sometimes

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Cooking Plan Practice

So I'm definitely settling on the idea that I have to cook at least one day a week, but I don't want to cook more than one day a week. And by one day I really mean just one beat, a morning or an afternoon or an evening. Probably morning, though. And I don't know if what's going on is seasonal and it's just summer when I can barely lift a finger to keep myself fed, or if I'm leveling down to a new level of laziness—no negative self talk!—I mean, efficiency.

ETA: I had an even better idea, don't think of it as a cooking day—that makes it seem like it takes the whole day, it actually takes maybe two hours. Think of this as one of your practices for the week, as important as that. Because you don't get stronger and fitter just by breaking yourself down, that's just the first half and the second half is building yourself back up—i.e., stuffing your shredded muscles with nutrients, and also water, and then going to sleep, go the whole nine yards. Really, why would you go the hard first four and a half yards and then stop short and not do the fun yards where the scoring actually happens, not that the whole nine yards refers to an actual game as far as I know. Pretend that it does and that you know what I'm talking about.

This cooking day practice doesn't cover 100% of my food needs, don't think that's what you have to do. Maybe 80% and since when is 80% pretty damn good? Hyeah, since I stopped listening to my dad. Eighty percent of what I eat is: 1) green tea with lemon, 2) hardboiled eggs, avocado and tomato, 3) chicken, artichoke and pepper vinaigrette mango romaine salad, 4) black tea with chocolate, almonds, and grapes, 5) carne and rice, and 6) greek yogurt fruit chia smoothie. And of these things, 4) and 6) do not require advance prep, so that leaves four things.

lemon eggs chicken with artichoke and pepper vinaigrette carne

So cooking day practice goes like this:

  • Cut a lemon into pieces and put them in a jar and into the fridge.
  • Boil eggs, I do a whole dozen for the week.
  • Drain and divide a can of quartered artichokes between four jars, finely dice a pepper and divide between jars, whirr 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil in the small cup of the rocket blender (easier to wash than the bowl and whisk) and divide between jars.
  • Then take apart a rotisserie chicken: drumsticks and wings (minus wing tips), breasts and thighs, and everything else (including wing tips). Drumsticks and wings get put into a container, breasts and thighs get sliced and divided between artichoke pepper jars, everything else goes into a freezer bag and into the freezer to make chicken stock. Now my lunch jars are done, put them in the fridge.
  • Lastly spice carne asada or carnitas, chop onion and peppers or lime and orange, and get that in the slow cooker.

Some of this overlaps, obviously the eggs come to a boil somewhere in the middle of prepping the artichoke and pepper, then I take them off the heat, cover them, and set my timer, and then the timer goes off somewhere in the middle of prepping the carne, then I drain them and cover them in cold water. At some point I fish them out of the cold water and put them back in the egg carton and into the fridge.

When the meat is in the cooker, I do the dishes. Which is not a lot, just my knife and cutting board, I already rinsed the colander that I drained the artichokes in, my measuring spoons, the rocket blender cup and blade, and my garbage bowl that I cleverly emptied to mix my carne spices in. The pan that I boiled the eggs in just needs to be rinsed.

All that leaves is for the meat to cook, which will take a few hours. When it's done, it gets a rough chop and goes into a container with the cooking juices poured over and into the fridge.

So now this is what I have in the fridge: 1) a jar of lemon pieces, 2a) a carton of hardboiled eggs, 2b) avocadoes and tomatoes, and also lime juice, 3a) four jars of chicken with artichoke pepper vinaigrette, 3b) mangoes and hearts of romaine, 4) grapes, 5a) a container of carne asada or carnitas, 6a) greek yogurt, and also if I'm ravenous, I have a container of drumsticks and wings to snack on, and also in the freezer 5b) Trader Joe's microwavable rice (rice won over cauliflower for spacefood), and 6b) various frozen fruits. In the pantry: 1b) green tea, 2c) kosher salt, 4b) black tea, 4c) chocolate, 4d) almonds, 6c) agave, and 6d) chia seeds.

All set for the week.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh Yes Indeed

p: ♪ you better shape up ♫

p: ♫ cuz i need a maaaan ♪

m: isn't that going to be difficult.

m: given your stated hatred for all men.

p: yes, i hate men.

p: except you.

p: ♪ you're the one that i want ♪

p: ♫ oo oo ooooo ♫

m: oh, you tied it all together.

m: i'm so proud of you.

Summer Food Combos

So food combos, ha ha.

I don't really believe in superfoods that are superfriends, not strongly. I mean, I don't not believe in them. I basically think that, like, avocadoes and tomatoes are good for you, and they taste good together, why not make that a thing and ensure that you eat alot of both of them. And why not try some things that you wouldn't think would go together. And also comb out a few of the tangles you see in this list. And this is how that went.

1. Green tea and lemon

Check. Start the day with green tea and lemon, right? Oh wait you don't know about that yet, I went back to green tea and lemon.

2. Avocado and tomato

What's not to check about that, nothing could be easier or more delicious than two hardboiled eggs in a bowl with cut-up avocado and tomato. If you want to dirty more dishes, you could do scrambled eggs with guacamole. I want to dirty as few dishes as possible this summer, though.

3. Artichoke and pepper

The deal here is supposedly iron in combination with vitamin C. Anything with iron and anything with vitamin C, it doesn't have to be artichokes and peppers. Artichokes and peppers are easy, though, and they happen to be good on salad, better than in chicken stew, actually; so that's how I eat them. "Recipe" TK.

4. Apple and dark chocolate

Okay so, this one is from Dr. Oz and seemed random to me. It's supposedly the quercetin in the apple and the flavonoids in the chocolate. Here's my thing: quercetin is a kind of flavonoid, right? And like a flavonoid is a kind of antioxidant? Can we compare apples to apples, or quercertin to quercetin as it were? Because otherwise I'm just going to wave my hands and vaguely say antioxidants and leave it at that.

In any case apple and chocolate don't go together in my mind, tastewise. I thought I should try them, though, in my mouth, and the thing is, the coldness of the apple—presuming that the ::waves:: antioxidants are in the raw peel—sort of seizes the chocolate so the texture turns waxy in your mouth, not great, but then the chocolate warms and blends with the apple flavor and that is very good. So I tried a homemade nutella made with cocoa powder and coconut and that was really good, but see above about dirtying dishes. So then for a few weeks I was having sort of a gradient of black tea, dark chocolate, almonds, and apple as an afternoon snack, and then I pretty much dropped the apple because black tea has antioxidants/flavonoids/ quercetin, actually, and also apples are not really in season. Now and again I've been eating grapes, which I think also contain quercetin. So that's where I am with that.

5. Salmon and broccoli

Well, I'm not making salmon and broccoli for dinner every night of the week. I'm shooting for once a week. Recipe TK.

6. Greek yogurt and banana

I do really like greek yogurt and banana together; but I figured out how I feel about bananas, bananas are like kids. I really like bananas, like I like people to bring me bananas. But I don't want to keep bananas in my house, because I don't pay attention to them and they go bad. I posted this as my facebook status so everybody could be informed, and Tori said, no worries, just freeze them when they get brown and use them in smoothies! But I'm sad to say even that is too much work for me. Which is how you really know I should not have kids.

If what we're talking about is glucose and amino acids for muscle recovery, greek yogurt and any fruit will do the trick, and by any fruit I mean any frozen fruit that you can throw into the freezer and the only thing you have to do is open the bag and then throw away the bag when it's empty. I have a super simple smoothie recipe for summer with chia seeds, so my omega-3s are still covered if I don't get my salmon in.

Let's see, that leaves salads with healthy fat, that's a no-brainer, just a little vinaigrette covers that; iron-rich grains and vitamin C, which is the iron/vitamin C combo again, and meh, I don't eat a lot of grains; peanut butter, dark chocolate, and milk, meh, I don't drink milk; and vegetables and water, duh, that gets covered breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's sort of a rule now that I drink water with my meals; I can drink other things with meals like coffee or tea, as long as I drink all my water.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Food Chart

My ultimate food chart is coming along, and my summer food planner is the easiest yet.

So really I am eating protein and vegetable for every meal, as simple as that. Though I'm still experimenting with if and how much and what kind of starch works best for spacefood. But basically, it's like this:


tart cherry coco2O
greek yogurt and
eggs &
avocado and tomato
chicken &
artichoke and pepper

Immediately before/after means within 45 minutes of, before/after means within 1-3 hours of, and between means more than 3 hours before or after workouts.

Summer food will be this:

  • Before - Dinner - spacefood - Right now I'm working with carne asada or carnitas and cauliflower or rice. Testing whether I need rice, or if I can just eat ALOT of cauliflower.
  • Immediately Before & During - Workout Drink - simple carbs - CocoCherry2O
  • Immediately After - Post Workout Snack - greek yogurt and banana - It's smoothie season!
  • After - Breakfast - eggs & avocado and tomato - Pretty much exactly what it says, for summer it's two hardboiled eggs in a bowl with a diced tomato, sprinkled with salt, and a diced avocado, sprinkled with lime.
  • Between - Lunch - chicken & artichoke and pepper - In summer I get rotisserie chicken, hello, no cooking. I snack on the dark meat and the white meat goes on salads, artichoke and pepper vinaigrette is new this summer.

Except for a two-week bender at the end of April, I've stuck to my get lean program: alcohol, sugar, and starch—i.e., pasta and bread—limited to once per week, starchy proteins (grains, legumes) and starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes) limited to once per day. Or I guess it's a stay lean program, I've been pretty lean since the end of last summer. I will talk more about that later.

You may notice that I am now specifying avocado and tomato for breakfast, artichoke and pepper for lunch, etc. I'm trying out this list of superfood combinations just for fun, more about that TK too.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Fitness Chart

morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening

Already different from yesterday's chart! My Tuesday client decided that Saturday would be better for her, and that's better for me, too. Efficient, and frees up my Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons for myself.

I guess what I have for summer is three key days and two recovery days, and truthfully one of those "recovery" days is two seven mile bike rides that can be pretty tough if I'm fighting a headwind, plus stuff in between. But, I think I'm within tolerance limits. I think.

Third Coast practices and scrimmage, clearly, are top priority and key practices that I want my highest intensity for. I'm complementing them with the aforementioned bike ride that's supposed to be a volume workout that I try my best to keep at low intensity, and two semiweekly interval workouts that I try to push to my highest possible intensity because they're short. Really short, the total workout is thirty minutes but the high intensity part is four to eight minutes. Details TK.

So it's like this:

volumelow180 min
practicehigh120 min
scrimmagehigh90 min
intervalhigh30 min

Week by week, it's not this nicely laid out. WCR has three travel teams sharing the practice space in summer, so practices rotate every week and every week is different. A lot of weeks I won't have two rest days, but I'm shooting for at least one per week.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Chart

morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening

This is the way it's been ...lately? I don't know for how long. Not that long. Sleep isn't in two parts, I just have it that way on the chart because it makes a pretty sandwich. Between sleep, two minor beats and just three major beats; the minor beats are my morning and evening routines for taking care of myself, and the major beats are taking care of business.

Pink is practice or putting myself out in the world, blue is recovery or bringing it back to myself, purple is sleep—still kind of surprisingly still sorting balanced between them. So work is work, I changed my work days from Tue Thu every other Fri to Mon Wed every other Fri to help Jackie out, Jackie who I work with not Jackie Daniels. For summer, I have four clients! They're marked with carats. I will talk more about practices with my summer fitness chart. I have Tuesday afternoons to review and plan, Thursday mornings to clean, and Saturday mornings to cook. That leaves just Sunday and Thursday afternoons for desk work, which could be studying or writing. Why does that seem so much less than I had. I guess I put Friday as work on this chart, I guess I get to write every other Friday. I haven't had a free Friday for a lot of weeks for whatever reasons, it's been work, crossfit, crossfit, work, work, and last Friday I had to go to the hair salon to be made fabulous for Biggie's graduation, and this Friday also work. Geez. Also I only have refs every other week, so every other Sunday I am free for fun pastimes.

[ETA: This just in, refs are taking a break until August. God bless them, refs have not taken a break in the four years I have been training them. So that opens up Sundays quite a bit, yeee.]

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bout Day Breakfast

hardboiled eggs, avocado, tomato, lime, salt, water, beet juice

Hardboiled eggs, avocado, tomato, lime juice, salt, water, and beet juice.

There's a prize for blog with most pictures of hardboiled eggs with avocado and tomato, right?

More bout day breakfasts!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Survey Says

I'm sitting in a spare chair at Sine Qua Non salon with my hair all done for Biggie's graduation show, might as well do this fitness survey from Peanut Butter Fingers.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Two hard boiled eggs, avocado and tomato, 16 oz water.

2. How much water do you drink a day?

It's basically a rule that I drink a 16 oz glass of water with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So like, six cups? I also drink 8 oz green tea and lemon when I wake up, and usually 8 oz coffee after breakfast and 8 oz black tea midafternoon. And 32 oz coconut tart cherry water at practice.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

Third Coast practice!

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

Probably around 2000-2500? I don't count calories anymore, but I did for a long time and still have a decent idea about them. I'd guess that most of my meals and snacks are around 500 calories, I eat five times a day, so.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

For my afternoon snack, lately I'm having a cup of black tea, a square of dark chocolate, and a palmful of almonds. If I'm home, I add a bunch of red grapes to that. For my post-workout snack, I'm having greek yogurt fruit chia smoothie. But I guess I don't snack in the sense that I don't really eat outside of my scheduled meals, two of which are called "snacks" for no particular reason; they're basically two extra meals.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Lately, rotisserie chicken and artichoke pepper vinaigrette on mango and romaine.

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

Meh I don't train body parts so much, more movements. But I do lots more work on my lower body than upper. But like I love squats, and lunges not so much.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

I do lots less work on my upper body, I want to work in more pushups and pullups this summer.

Actually you know what I do the most work on is my core, because I use it for everything.

9. What are your "bad" food cravings?

My worst dangerfood combo is coke and chex mix, which I will eat for lunch if I haven't had enough sleep or if I haven't prepared food for the week. See, why bother with snacks when you can wipe out a whole meal. My depression food is ice cream, never less than an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia. I struggle with chips on taco night, I used to make really good homemade chips from the tortillas that I don't eat with my tacos and share them with the sweetie man. They're really good but not good enough to blow my processed starch allowance for the week, so I don't eat them anymore. But I always think, how bad really are three tortillas' worth of chips every week. Compared to the vat of coconut-popped popcorn that I eat instead. Honestly I think, not that bad. But I still don't eat the chips because I find that exceptions make a slippery slope; the chips aren't bad, but the slope is bad.

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

No, I keep meaning to get organized about this and not.

11. How often do you eat out?

Well, there's taco night every Tuesday. That's about it, once in a blue moon we'll get pizza from Little Caesar or chili cheese dogs from Choppers. We haven't had Chinese in forever. And Dawnie and I have started going to Feed after Sunday practice.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Almost never, usually only when I'm on the road. Which is almost never. Or the aforementioned Little Caesar's or Choppers.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

The sweetie man, obvs, and my shoalmates.

14. Do you have a gym membership?

Nope, I haven't had a gym membership since I was married. I mean, there's being a member of the Windy City Rollers. Last summer I had a groupon for Rowfit, which was great, and just a few weeks ago I did the Crossfit onramp at Chicago Elite Fitness and would love to continue if I could figure out where to fit it into my schedule.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I guess around eight, but lately my problem has been sleep quality. I have developed horrific sleep habits—i.e., going to sleep with Netflix streaming through headphones and waking up to advance to the next episode of whatever all. night. long. I seriously made myself demented doing this. I have been on the wagon for four nights now.

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

I don't have a cheat day, I am allowed one alcohol, one sugar, and one processed starch per week. So it does require thinking ahead. Like sometimes I'd like to sit on the stoop with a refreshing summer cocktail; but if I know I'm going out with people later in the week, I usually need a drink for that. Ha ha, I didn't mean need. No, I did.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

See above.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

See #3. Roller derby is basically the best workout buddies ever.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I got my ACE Personal Trainer certification and am working as a trainer. Here is my favorite story about that so far, Kris and I usually go on fitness walks as a warmup, and we were walking in the woods and we saw a deer and a fawn. And I was like, this is my job!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

Lunch, I guess. That was hourrrrrs ago, though.

Summer Preview

Previously on State of the Blog, I was considering taking a summer break.


I think I just needed a little break. I took my usual three week break, and then the sentences started to march across my brain again. Where do I put them.

Remember how I said that I blog like other people go to bars? If I'm not writing, I feel sort of ...lonely. Like I don't have anybody to talk to. I mean, I have the sweetie man and shoalmates and talk to them a lot. It's just that the volume—the amount, not the loudness—of talk in my head exceeds, you know, humans.

At the same time, I only have one day a week to use my best self on desk work. Which also has to include studying, I have a list of things that I want to study this summer. For my continuing education credits, but also just stuff that I'm interested in and want to know. Which is good, I think I finally understand what "career" means.


I'm going to try this: I'm only going to post what overflows out of my brain. It seems to me there's two kinds of writing that I do for this blog: stuff that I can crank out pretty easily at bedtime when I'm a little bit tired and a little less critical and so cracking myself up, and stuff that I have to sit at my desk and work out. Also there's photographing food that I made to eat anyway, and documenting all of my clothes, ugh the most dire project I have undertaken ever, and yet I feel compelled to finish. It will be the former this summer, let's see what that looks like. Even if that means holes, in fact holes used to be fine around here—

Monday, June 10, 2013

How Long Till My Soul Gets It Right

p: did you hear brawla said she's going to ravinia tonight, and i asked who she was seeing, and she's like, don't laugh, indigo girls.

p: hahaha.

p: i told her though, i love indigo girls.

p: i've been to like three concerts in my life, and one of them was indigo girls.

p: i'm such a baby unformed lesbian.

p: i'm like the balut of lesbians.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bout Day Breakfast

hardboiled eggs, avocado and tomato, water, coffee

Hardboiled eggs sprinkled with kosher salt, avocado sprinkled with lime juice, tomato sprinkled with kosher salt, water, and coffee.

More bout day breakfasts!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Eat Chicken and Vegetables for Lunch

eat chicken and vegetables for lunch

Moving right along, I am going to eat chicken and vegetables for lunch. Obviously I have been doing so—slow chicken and vegetables in winter, chicken stew and vegetables in spring, and probably green salad and rotisserie chicken in summer is the easiest to pick up because there's no cooking involved. You could start where I did last summer with avocado, romaine, marinated beans, chicken, and fruit—very hearty if you're worried about being hungry, and so many delicious flavors. About midsummer and out of sheer laziness, I dropped the beans so then it was just avocado, romaine, chicken, and fruit. Since then I've gotten an inch stricter about grains and legumes, beans are definitely out and I'm going to try something else instead of quinoa salads for dinner; so I'm going to import the marinated vegetable concept from quinoa salads into green salads, and maybe scale back on fruit? So this summer I am going to try avocado, romaine, marinated vegetables, and chicken, see how I like that.

Marinated vegetables, you may have noticed, have been wandered over the years from pasta salads through quinoa salads to green salads. I'm like the Moses of marinated vegetables.

The Cue

It will surprise nobody that my life is organized around my meals, right? A day in my life is basically divided into two minor beats and three major beats: water, when I contemplate why it is again that I would want to get out of bed; eggs, which is my main reason for getting out of bed and after which my best self gets to work; chicken, for a job well done, after which my best self takes a breather and my loyal but flawed second in command self has the bridge, unless I'm napping in which case nobody has the bridge; then spacefood, for fuel to practice or train; and then yogurt for recovery and winding down so I will want to go to bed.

So the cue for lunch is finishing whatever my morning project is, something clicks in my head and it's time for lunch. I go by that click, and not by the clock. Though I don't know that I haven't just swallowed the clock, and that's what's making me tick.

The Routine

Lunches, or well, all meals for me, are all about preparation. In winter and spring it couldn't be easier, I prepare my week's worth of slow chicken and vegetables or chicken stew and vegetables in jars in the fridge, just heat and serve. Summer and fall are salads, so there's hardly any preparation. All I needed was a knife and cutting board to keep in the kitchen at work, where "all I needed" of course means I procrastinated horribly. I have them now, and everybody in the office uses them. I bring my salad components separately to work, then just cut up the avocado, chop the romaine, and top with the vegetables—no dressing needed, the vegetables are marinated in vinaigrette—and the chicken.

The Reward

So a thing that happened last summer is, I dropped ten pounds without even trying. All I did was swap in vegetables for a good amount of the starch in my diet, a big part of which was green salad for sandwich, chips, and coke. Oh and, here's another thing, certain foods go with certain drinks. You kind of want a coke with a sandwich, and not water. With a green salad, you really want a refreshing drink of water. Your mileage may vary, but I had the hardest time giving up soda until I changed what I was drinking the soda with. I pretty regularly say that weight loss is not a goal for me, but I'm not gonna lie that I don't like how my abs look.

That said, really good salads are really good. They taste really good, and I feel really good eating them. I always felt a little gross after that sandwich, chips, and coke—actually physically gross, not just emotionally gross or morally gross. And salads are sooo easy, summer basically is my break from cooking. Which makes summer a pretty good gateway into getting a taste for good food, just saying.

Status: ACTIVE