Friday, May 30, 2014

Bout Day Breakfast
 Second Wind vs Dairyland Dolls B

hardboiled eggs, strawberries, water

Hardboiled eggs, strawberries, and water.

Coffee and doughnuts on the road TK.

More bout day breakfasts!

Egressions #144-147

144. Grilled watermelon?! Via How Sweet Eats.
145. Savory watermelon salad? Via Triple Max Tons.
146. Pickled strawberries. Via Aida Mollenkamp.
147. Roasted strawberries! Via Brooklyn Supper.

Actually I saw this recipe for a carrot salad three ways—fresh, roasted, and pickled mixed together—and I'm thinking about that for a strawberry salad.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

State of the Blog
 spring 2014

odie is two

Monday was Odie's second birthday.

Hoo boy, the state of the blog.

As I alluded last month in the state of the biz, blog stats have leveled up, still consistently around 350 hits per day, with the occasional 400+ or 500+ outlier. Let's talk about that for a sec, this is mostly owing first to this racerback dress being a perennial I guess on Pinterest, and second to my movement and muscles series getting looked up on Google pretty regularly. I'm more excited about the latter than the former, even though curiosity about internal and external rotation at the hip is coming in a very distant second to hunger for how to cut a racerback. Because movement and muscles is more my topic, you know? But by all means if you want to cut up old t-shirts into racerbacks, they are pretty universally flattering and I'm happy to help. But in either case, it's stuff from the vaults, the racerback was originally written in 2009 and the muscles and movement series is from 2012.

Hellooo, 2014. I think I had enough in the pipeline to keep pumping through the end of February, and it's been fits and starts since then, March, and then April, and now May. Maybe June. What happened, well. What's been happening is everything that I've been talking about in my last state of the biz and state of the break, just a little more of everything, a little more work, a little more biz, a little more derby. Which means a little more rest, actually a lot more. Which means a little less writing. Actually a lot less.

Which is how it goes, I always said that it could go like this. I'm not a person who even tries to do all the things. Or well, not anymore, that has been part of my development. So on the one hand, blogging is at the bottom of the list—actually moving blogging to the bottom of the list has also been part of my development, and actually crafting is at the bottom of the list and I haven't done that at all in at least a few years—and now, blogging looks like it's being pushed off the edge of the world.

On the other hand why did I even get started and then keep writing this blog, well, for my aforementioned development. That's what I've been doing here in a nutshell, developing systems for managing food, fitness, and fashion. Of course there's always room for improvement, but there's also that moment when the coelacanth hauls itself out of the water and goes for a little walk, that's the moment I feel like I'm in. Like I've got my act together and I'm taking it on the road for a little bit.

I still want to, and think I can, keep up with:

  • quarterly charts
  • quarterly fitness charts
  • monthly food charts
  • monthly cooking practices
  • monthly state of the break/biz/blog
  • egressions in weeks that I'm posting

Let's just say that, at a minimum, for now.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Odie!!

odie is two

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF vs HB

fried eggs on fried quinoa with korean ground beef and kale, coffee, grapefruit juice, and water

Fried eggs on fried quinoa with korean ground beef and kale, coffee, grapefruit juice, and water

More bout day breakfasts!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pizza Quest
 john's pizzeria

thin crust with pepperoni and green pepper

Welp, another post street teaming pizza for me and Dawn, just us so no pics, you know what we look like.

The 20 Best Pizzas In Chicago Via Chicagoist.

John's Pizzeria Ristorante and Lounge
John’s is old school in all the best ways. While they do deliver, in my opinion the best way to consume their pizza is at their actual location in one of the three rooms; a more traditional diner, a nicer dining room, or a more basic bar area. (Personally, my favorite is the dining room though be warned that many families decide to host rather large group dinners back there. Whether you decide to eat on site or at home, my recommendation is to order whichever pizza you choose with their double dough crust. I am not a deep dish person, but I am very much a lover of all things crust, so this double dose of goodness hits the spot every time. It’s not your typical Chicago pizza, but it’s one of my favorites in the city. —Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

John's Pizzeria Ristorante and Lounge is located at 2104 N. Western Ave.

I was very charmed with the dining room, very old-timey. And I did order the double dough crust but the waitress didn't hear that part, so we just got a regular thin crust pizza. Il est okay. This crust is not blistery or bready or cornbready, this is the kind of crust you get on a typical takeout pizza. Sort of like a thick cracker, you know? This kind of pizza cut up into squares is the kind we used to get all when I was a kid, so it's the pizza I grew up on. And I generally like pizza, so it did the job. But. I would have liked to have tasted that double dough crust, but I wasn't so impressed that I would go back? With fourteen more of Chicago's best pizzas to go.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Egressions #142-143

142. Start with a walkout for beginners. Via FitSugar.
143. End with a pullup for the very advanced. Via The Post Game.

Not a fan of adding weights to load burpees, probably my ideal burpee progression is:

  • walk out burpee
  • kick out burpee ← i am here
  • kick out burpee with pushup ← i can do these but only like seven
  • kick out burpee with pushup and pullup

I've always been meh about burpees. I don't think they're hell, I just think they're awkward. But since I'm on my way to doing forty-four of them, I've figured out a lot about them. To wit: burpees are about vertical movement, horizontal movement, and the transitional passage on the drum between vertical and horizontal, and that last part is the awkward part. If you think about it, what makes awkward is not knowing where it's coming from. Now I know. Well, this.

ETA: So we have been continuing to talk about burpees on facebook, and what I mean about the transition between horizontal and vertical (nevermind the passage on the drum, that's from Howard's End) is the squat. You know that burpees are also called squat thrusts, right? Well, you can technically transition from horizontal to vertical by just folding forward and kicking straight out, tremendous energy saver, haha, also quite decent for your core strength. But. Squat. And the lower you squat, the smoother your transition. So really we are talking about:

  • squat and walk out, and walk back in and don't forget jump!
  • squat and kick out, kick back in and jump
  • squat and kick out, pushup, kick back in and jump
  • squat and kick out, pushup, kick back in, jump and pullup

And actually the squat is a natural landing for the jump, so it flows in a nice loop.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Thursday Cooking Practice
 meat, greens, and quinoa

meat greens quinoa

So it might be on a Thursday or it might be on a Tuesday, but I do generally make meat, greens, and quinoa in one fell swoop:

  1. Start either some Korean ground beef or Chinese ground pork in a saute pan.
  2. Also put on a pot of water for the kale. I like kale the best with these ground meats, but I can be flexible in a pinch.
  3. By the time you put the meat on the back burner to simmer for twenty minutes, the water should be boiling for the kale. Dump the kale into the boiling water, blanch it for a few minutes, and then drain it.
  4. While you're waiting for the meat to be done, you can throw a cup of quinoa with two cups of water into the same pot that you just blanched the kale in. Bring it to a boil, then put it on the other back burner to simmer for fifteen minutes.
  5. When the meat is done, put it into its container and throw the kale into the same pan the you just cooked the meat in. If you're feeling fancy you can throw in some chopped garlic, or not.
  6. When the quinoa is done, put it into its container.
  7. Some time after that, the kale should be done to your liking and put into its container.

To serve: scoop of ground meat, scoop of greens, scoop of quinoa, don't waste my time. If you're wondering why I always say scoop of this, scoop of that, don't waste my time, it's from City Slickers. It means when something is dead easy.

meat greens quinoa bowl

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

 a.k.a. beet apple juice


Not gonna lie, I settled on mixing my beet juice powder with apple juice just so I could call it beetlejuice. And well, I already had apple juice in the fridge for buttered rum and mulled wine. Now I can use my apple juice for good.

I also settled on Activz Organic Whole Food Beet Powder for my beet juice powder, I first tried Eclectic Institute Beet Juice POW-der and that was fine too, but you can see it comes in a like a vitamin jar and I used that up in a second. I'm drinking this before every workout, I need more like a pound of powder that I can keep in the fridge and the Activz fits that bill.

I'm giving creatine a try again and have been throwing that in, too. Creatine doesn't dissolve all that well in anything, this has been a good place to hide it.

1/2 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp beet juice powder
—the Activz scoop I think is about a tablespoon
1 tsp creatine, obviously optional

I use the small cup that came with my rocket blender—pour in the apple juice first, then scoop in the beet juice powder and the creatine. Otherwise, the powders get stuck on the bottom on the cup and don't blend. Screw on the cap, blend and drink 2-3 hours before your workout for best results. (That's for the beet, the creatine you just take every day whenever and however it's convenient.)

You don't actually have to blend these in a blender, you can also just put them in a jar with a lid and shake the hell out of them. Or I suppose in a glass and stir them with a spoon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spring Tuesday Cooking Practice
 egg bites or chicken stew or...

I definitely do not like cooking in the afternoon, I just don't. Now that I'm done with taxes, I'm switching back to cooking in the morning and desk work in the afternoon; then take a little break, and then off to train and practice.

It's further turning out that I make either egg bites or chicken stew or meat, greens, and quinoa on Tuesday or Thursday, do you see what I'm saying? Like I might make egg bites on Tuesday, chicken stew on Thursday, meat, greens, and quinoa the next Tuesday, and then back to egg bites the next Thursday, and so on. Ish. If all I had to do was cook. Which. Taxes. Paperwork. What a month. Friday night egg bites and Sunday afternoon chicken stew, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria...

Things are calming down now. I just thought you'd like to know that it's not always calm, you already knew that. In case you didn't know that I knew, now you know I know.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Food Chart

Black apple tea, most mornings in bed.
Egg bites for breakfast.
Chicken stew for lunch.
Green tea and cuties for afternoon snack.
Ground meat, greens, and quinoa for pre-workout dinner.
That little rascal is taking selfies again.
Beetlejuice for pre-workout drink.
Cococherry2O for workout drink.
Mint almond latte and pb dates for post-workout snack.
Maloma and coco popcorn for Friday evening snack.

Smack dab in the middle of spring, now serving all the spring things.

I've been combing over the ultimate food chart, teasing out some things like reordering my teas. Not ordering like ordering them from Amazon, ordering like putting them in order: black tea in the morning for my morning drink, green tea in the afternoon with my afternoon snack, and mint tea in the evening with my post-workout snack. In descending order of caffeine, right? And now that it's not so cold, I'm back to tea with apple cider vinegar for that morning drink. Put those two together and you get the slightly less euphoniously named black apple tea, it used to be green apple tea. But actually, black tea tastes better with apple cider vinegar. Than green did.

We already had a head start on egg bites and chicken stew, still going strong.

Jewel has cuties a.k.a. haloes again, so okay. I do prefer them to other oranges because they're easier to peel.

Time to switch from slow carne to Korean ground beef and Chinese ground pork, and I thought I'd give quinoa a try as a starch. So now I have this ground meat and greens quinoa bowl going on for pre-workout dinner, so good. On paper I'm supposed to be making fish cakes for Friday night dinner, but in life I've hardly been home on Friday nights.

There's a new kid on the ergogenic drink block, beetlejuice for pre-workout. I auditioned this a little bit before, winning recipe TK.

After my little detour with mochi oatmeal in winter, I thought I'd give dried fruit and nut butter another try in spring for post-workout snack. And last but not least, I have in my finite wisdom plotted a drink, i.e., an alcoholic drink, for every season: mulled wine for fall, buttered rum for winter, and then I decided malomas for spring and campari sodas for summer, yum... but I'm not really inclined to drink that much, and I don't think I should try to up my game in this regard, and anyway I'm more likely to save up my drink chit (yes, singular) for drinking with people, and not all by myself. Just saying the drinking is not really happening, I hope that you're not disappointed in me. Or that you won't be disappointed if all of a sudden I start.

Ultimate food chart! Always tweaking...
Spring food planner for the extremely detail-oriented.