Feeling Good in the Neighborhood

It is Tuesday afternoon and that means I have exactly 3 days until the moment of truth.  That moment being my doctor’s appointment on Friday.  In my dream world, he tells me I’m done with the crutches, that I can walk around as I please, and resume exercise.  Realistically, I’ll probably be able to put partial weight on my ankle.  I’m sticking to my version for now, but really, I’ll take what I can get.  I’m PUMPED for this appointment.

Today is one of the “Good Day Sunshine” days in my head.  The sun is shining again, I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt in the office (it’s strangely warm in here), I’m having a good hair day, and it’s been a day free of food anxiety.  Also, I got a whole bunch of stuff done.  Paid bills, ordered groceries (including my Fage yogurt and trail mix to add to it), plus had a busy day at work.  Life: I’m killing it.

This morning I was wiggling my ankle around against medical advice, and I was laughing because I can barely move it.  My range of motion has seriously been quartered.  But it does not hurt when I wiggle it, and I even put a littttttle bit of weight on my toes.  That did not hurt either, but felt like the worst case of pins-and-needles I have ever had!  I gave my ankle a little pep talk; she’s ready for the challenge.  I’m going to get good news, I can feel it.

What put you in a good mood today?  Or bad!  We all have bad days too (we know I complain more than my fair share!).

AQ.

Ladies, Let’s Chat

I consider myself very lucky to have grown up surrounded by strong, powerful women.  My family is full of them; my friends have become them.  Being surrounded my successful women my entire life has made me a better person, and a better woman.  And the best thing is, all these women in my life that I admire have chosen different paths.  “Success” means something different to everyone, and that has always been a very strong current in my life.

So that leads me to today.  I love a good life chat.  Anyone who knows me well is aware of the fact that I will talk and talk until your ears bleed.  I love talking about who we are, what we’re doing with this wonderful life, what challenges we face, what makes us smile…I love it.  Tell me how you feel! I will always listen.  And respond, ten fold. 

Last year, my inspiring friend CCJ found this program, called The Conversation: Honest Talk with Amanda de Cadenet.  In it, de Cadnet interviews female celebrities on all sorts of subjects from power to love to money to feminism.  It has now become an online series, where they post a new interview every Saturday.  This past Saturday, the first interview on the new medium was Chelsea Handler.  If you want more, you can watch old interviews and episodes.  Check it out here.  I highly recommend it.

I was especially keen to watch Portia de Rossi’s interview.  As you may or may not know, Portia suffered from anorexia for many years.  She has written a book, Unbearable Lightness, a tough but insightful read about her journey.  A lot of people find it too upsetting, but for me it was like a big hug.  I felt so safe knowing someone else had gone to such extreme measures and made it through to the other side.  Her interview on The Conversation is mostly about her eating disorder, but she has some great things to say about being a woman and finding confidence from what’s inside, not outside.

I hope you check out the interviews and love them as much as I do!  It is an inspiring reminder to spend time on what really matters and to be happy and confident in your decisions.

Hope you all get through Monday without too much spilled coffee!

  
AQ.

I Heart Sundays

My whole young adult-adult life I have hated Sundays.  I always felt so lonely, and dreaded what the week would bring.  (I obviously wasn’t as happy with my life as I am now.)  But NOW, now I love Sundays.  I love going for brunch, bopping around the city doing errands, catching up with people…I find it so pleasant.  And today is one of those great Sundays.

Yesterday I felt extremely trapped and depressed about not being able to enjoy the beautiful weather.  It’s hard for me to see everyone with their race #’s pinned their shirts, or going for runs with their friends…but today I put that aside.  I got up, made myself purdy, and went for brunch with CCJ.  We sat outside, laughed, caught up, and enjoy some delicious brunch food.

Don’t worry, I fixed that fly away after taking this pic.

Mmmm coffee & a mimosa.

Last night, FW surprised me with some treats to cheer me up.  I ❤ popcorn.  We have an almost daily argument about whether I can eat popcorn for dinner.  I lose.  Every time.

It’s popcorn made by Quinn!!

On deck tonight: dinner with FW and Game of Thrones.  Great way to wrap up the weekend.

Well, I just made a blog post out of nothing.  What exciting things did you all do this weekend?!

AQ. xxx

More Thoughts on Sugar


Thinking about the sugar content of yogurt has led me to consider the amount of added sugar I consume during the day.  Friends, be warned: it is a scary road to go down.  I am going to look individually at the amount of added sugar (read: non-essential) in my diet.

Food
Sugar
Breakfast
English muffin w/ Skippy PB
Quaker oatmeal (packets)
2g + 3g (second ingredient)
12g (second ingredient)
Lunch
Naked Green Machine
2 eggs or
String Cheese
All sugars are from the fruit
0g
0g
Dinner
Salads, meat, pasta w/ tomatoes, sandwiches
No added sugars

Breakfast seems to be my biggest problem.  The Quaker Oatmeal individual packets have a LOT of sugar.  This can easily be avoided by making rolled or steel cut outs, and adding your own flavoring (a touch of maple syrup, fruit, cinnamon, milk, etc.).  The English muffin isn’t terrible, but I should switch PB.  Skippy and JIF are too sugary (and so delicious!).  But never mind that: it’s time for me to switch back to natural PB or almond butter.
I know my lunch looks weird.  Lunch is my least favorite/most challenging meal for me to eat, but this one I can manage so I’m sticking with it.  And, it has no added sugar.  Of course there is sugar in the smoothie, but it is from real fruit, not sugar. I used to eat yogurt, and may go back to that.  And what kind of yogurt should we be eating?  That’s right! Plain.
Dinner is much easier, because I tend to eat real food for dinner.  I’m not into dressings/sauces, but if you are, you might want to check out the added sugar before you pile it on.  FW makes his own dressing, and it’s delicious.  I tend to use oil and vinegar, or go bare if I’ve got some juicy vegetables/fruit.
Snacks are the other place that I can make the wrong choice.  I usually have an apple at my desk and go for that at snack time.  Occasionally I will go for a bar, but most bars have added sugar.  This is totally avoidable.  A handful of homemade trail mix or raw almonds makes a great snack.
I love rules when it comes to food; it makes me feel like I have more control.  In the past, rules have been a dangerous gateway to severe habits, and it is not a road I am interested in going down again.  Therefore, while I am going to try and decrease the amount of added sugar in my diet, I am not cutting it out completely.  Rather, I want to be a more healthy and informed eater.  We should be eating real food anyway: processed food may be easier to access, but it is not healthier.  And again, we must respect our bodies.
Have a great weekend everyone!
AQ.

Yogurt Myths

Not all yogurts are created equal.   I suppose I knew this, but on some level didn’t fully believe it to be true.  Well folks, I came across an astonishing statistic yesterday.  I was reading an interview with the super-smart Michael Pollan.  He’s the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and has a new book coming out called Cooked.

In this interview, Pollan was asked about Go-Gurt.  Granted, I wouldn’t pick Go-Gurt up for myself because I assumed it was sugary, but listen to the stat that followed.  He said, “Unless you’re buying plain, there is more sugar per ounce in the typical flavored yogurt than there is in a soda”. Isn’t that shocking?!  That is incredibly sugared yogurt!  Basically flavored yogurt is candy.  What a mean trick.   It shouldn’t be this hard to eat healthy.   But that’s a rant for another day.

I got totally freaked out that I was consuming grams upon grams of sugars in my yogurt, unknowingly.  But what I found was reassuring. 

Corn starch! Noooo…

This is the list of ingredients for Low Fat Plain Stonyfield yogurt.  There are 15g carbs in 1 cup.

CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC NONFAT MILK, PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L. BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. RHAMNOSUS

 And for their Strawberry Low Fat, which contains 36g carbs in 1 cup; the increased carbs comes from both sugar (note, it’s the 2nd ingredient) and flavoring. 

CULTURED PASTEURIZED ORGANIC LOW FAT MILK, ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC STRAWBERRY JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, ORGANIC NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, ORGANIC BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE (FOR COLOR), PECTIN, VITAMIN D3. CULTURES: S. THERMOPHILUS, L. BULGARICUS, L. ACIDOPHILUS, BIFIDUS, L. CASEI, AND L. RHAMNOSUS

Lastly, I looked at Pomegranate Chiobani because that’s what I eat when I’m lazy; 21g of carbs and 19g of those are sugar.

Lowfat Yogurt (cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus And L. Casei), Passion Fruit Puree, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum.


I did not realize that Stonyfield flavored yogurt has so much sugar. I very easily trusted that Stonyfield wouldn’t steer me wrong…trust no one.  Chiobani seems less bad as far as sugar content, which I’m glad to read.  I will be transitioning back to plain yogurt with my own toppings: fruit, honey, maple syrup, nuts, seeds.  The possibilities are endless!

And lesson learned: always look at what you’re eating.  After all, you only get one body.

Go forth, eat healthy yogurt, and be happy!

AQ. 

Loading the Amazon Cart

You know when you are tapering, and all you want to do is run but instead you get pumped and plan for the next run?  That’s basically what I’m doing everyday.  I imagine that when the time comes, I will sprint out the door as fast as I can (only to collapse on the ground breathless from months without running).  I can’t wait for that day!

So, knowing I have a while before that run actually comes, I have planning like a crazy person.  Of course I have a sweet fantasy in my head that next week my doctor will say I can do the elliptical/stair master.  While that is unlikely to be true, I’m holding out.  But I digress; the real planning I’m doing has taken the form of what to wear, what to eat, what to run.   Today I worked on what to eat.

For my special food items, I add things to my Amazon cart until it is worth the shipping.  I’m cheap and I hate paying fees so I have not joined Prime yet.  I probably should because I’m sure I’d save money.  Hmmm, mental note.  So here’s what I’m excited to try:

I’m going to make a pizza on this-c/o Stuft Mama

Seriously yummy hydration.  Sometimes I just get sick of water!  Electrolytes included.

Enter indulgent protein fix.  Apparently you can microwave them and they taste like cookies. 
And last but not least, my old favorite.  I love this smoothie SO much.  And it’s super cheap if you buy it on Amazon; 64oz for $12.73!!
 
I can’t wait to try these and review them for you!  Have you tried anything new lately?
AQ.

Weekend in the ‘Burgh

This weekend, FW scooped me up and brought me with him to “Carnival Weekend” at his alma mater, Carnegie Melon University.  Fun ensued:  a lot of friends, a lot of food, a lot of crutching.  It was a great weekend.  It felt incredible to get away and act like a normal[ish] person. 

We arrived late on Friday night (2:45am!!) so said our hellos and went to bed.  Saturday, we headed out for the big day.  First, lunch at the cutest Italian place owned by the most awesome people.  We even got a free Nutella pizza.  You heard me right: Nutella pizza.   I’m not even a big sweets fan, but this was amazing.  It was their fluffy pizza dough filled with Nutella.  Scrumptious.

FW – driver & tour guide  
I loved the rooster on the roof.  Family: it reminded me of “Cow on a stick”!

My DELICIOUS salad at the most adorable Italian restaurant.  

 Next, we hit up GB’s favorite distillery and enjoyed some $5 cocktails.  Cinco!  So cheap and soooo delicious.  I got a fizzy gin drink which sent me to Carolina (or someplace else warm) in my mind.  FW talked shop with the employees and even got a whiskey barrel.  Pretty great spot!

Buddies: GB (our gracious host) and FW

After a reunion party, FW took me to the CMU campus for a tour.  And tour we did!  It was such a beautiful day and we walked all around the camps.  Well, FW walked and I crutched.  I’m actually quite proud of how far I went-it’s not a small campus!  Later, there was a fun group dinner and I made a sly exit to my bed while everyone else hung out.  I was so tired, I was literally just tipping over.  Sign of a good day.

Before we headed back to the City, FW took me on a drive to see the highlights of Pittsburgh.  Here they are:

View of the river from Mt. Washington

F-Dubs and AQ.  I clearly didn’t shower.
The Fort Pitt Tunnel – from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  A must read.
Lastly, the Heinz Factory.  My favorite food.  Not condiment, FOOD.

Pittsburgh is a fun little city-sort of a mix between Brooklyn and Boston, but with it’s own personality.  Those hills though!  A couple of them were so steep I wanted to run up them just to see how hard it would be.  Runners are gluttons for punishment, aren’t we?  I kept thinking, “this would be the best hill for hill repeats!”.  I’m going to bust out of this boot pretty soon.

My abs are getting a killer workout from crutching.  I did so much this weekend, my abs and arms are sore.  You know what is NOT building muscle?  My sad excuse for a leg.  My calf has shriveled to a disgusting skinny arm-thing.  It’s going to be super hot when I go to the beach with this thing.  Look out kids!  Avert your eyes! Thousands of toe raises will commence.

I would like to end by saying that I am still thinking about Boston and sending my love.  I hope people are starting to find peace.

Happy Monday!

AQ.