It's been a while, because I spent the weekend of July 4th out and about, and I didn't even crack open my lap top. My marathon training program has me running six days a week, and yes, it's as exhausting as it sounds. Saturday is my long run, Sunday I do a recovery run, Monday a short run, Tuesday is my group quality workout, Wednesday I run and cross train, Thursday I do a medium-long run, then Friday I get to be off and stuff my face with carbohydrates to start another six-day stretch. Right now, life is a stretch of running, recovering from running, preparing for running, eating, sleeping, and somehow managing to find time for family and friends.
If you know me at all, you know that I don't like to eat junk. I'll fill my belly with plenty a fattening and calorie-laden treat, but I want it to be made of real food (hence my bee-squee series, which will continue soon). However, my office provides us with a host of salty snacks: potato chips, Doritos, and nacho chips, complete with an assortment of fattening dips. Read: processed, trans fats, make-me-feel-like-doodoo junk. There are several healthy options too, like all the fresh fruit I could possibly want, whole grain breads, and grains for salads. But when I need a quick salty snack, none of that works. Last week, I loaded up on several servings of chips - it's amazing how one can crave salt with such abandon - and regretted it. I can do that right now and not gain weight, but my body has to work so hard to digest all those chemicals, I feel almost immediately exhausted.
Time for planning - this week I have filled my fridge with my favorite vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. To salt up, I have three different flavors of hummus. While a snack of huge plate of veggies with a quarter cup of hummus has the same calories as a serving of chips, I feel very full and have a lot more energy. I'm sticking to my daily greens supplement, and have started to follow morning workouts with this Amazing Meal chocolate protein and greens powder with vitamins and superfruits. I shake up the powder with two cups of almond milk and voila: chocolate shake. 230 calories, almost immediately burned after an hour pounding the pavement. It's tres yummy, and not scary like Slim Fast.
While I'm still so exhausted at moments I want to install a cot under my desk, with the help of a little more caffeine than usual I'm doing pretty well. And, I think I might be losing weight. With all the fluctuations of water weight, it's hard to tell, but my waist is definitely smaller. Another benefit: my skin looks pretty good, probably from all the cleansing sweat (ew) and lotion. Because I'm constantly exposed to the elements (sun, pollution, dust, etc), I'm taking meticulous care of my skin, and I gotta say, skin care works. Who knew?
So here comes my next great culinary challenge: pie. Generally, I'm pretty adept at following recipes and making them work well. When it comes to pie crust, I almost always fail. They fall apart, dry and gross. However, soon I will be entering a pie contest of sorts, so I better step up my pie crust game and figure out how to make a buttery, flaky, mouth-watering pastry that could bring tears to the eyes of all tasters.
This weekend, the pie making will start. I will chronicle my processes, challenges, and triumphs in the hopes that pie fearers worldwide will no longer buy pre-made crust and instead produce delightful pastry.
Plus, I have Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream in the freezer and I'm running 14 miles this Saturday. I need a treat.