Friday, October 27, 2017

12 Things You Can Always Find In My Fridge

For some reason, I love to hear about what other runners/endurance athletes eat. Maybe it's to get ideas, maybe it's because I'm bored, maybe it's because I want to improve my own diet. Whatever the case, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into what's in my fridge. Although I try new recipes each week, I tend to go back to the same staples. And, with these ingredients, I can pretty much concoct a healthy meal at any time.

This is my actual fridge. Guess what's in the white bowl?

1. Spinach - I buy the huge plastic tub of organic spinach. We eat a lot of it raw, but I also put it in soups, sauté it with some garlic salt, and add it to eggs. My new favorite breakfast is two scrambled eggs with a huge handful of sautéed spinach, topped with some grated white cheddar cheese and hot sauce.

2. Eggs - I cannot live without my eggs. I eat them almost every day. If not for breakfast, then egg salad for lunch or quiche for dinner. So satisfying. I tried to talk Ken into letting me get a chicken coop for the backyard. I don't know why he said no.

Image result for chicken coop
This is an actual chicken coop. Look how fancy they are these days

3. Sharp White Cheddar Cheese - This is what goes on top of my egg concoctions. Or, just in my mouth in huge chunks. The best version of this is Dubliner, found at Costco. Trust me on this.

Image result for dubliner cheese

4. Olive Garden Signature Italian Dressing - I have never, until now, been able to nail down a salad dressing that I consistently love. This one is simply the best. Yeah, so maybe it's not organic or gluten free or vegan or in the super healthy category, but I DGAF (don't give a f*ck). It's good and it goes on everything. It even has high fructose corn syrup in it (okay, that's gross. I actually didn't know that until I just looked at the ingredient list), but it's still good.

Image result for olive garden signature italian dressing

5. Kalamata Olives - I will eat any kind of olive, my favorite being huge ones stuffed with blue cheese (preferably in a dirty martini), but if I am making my everyday kale salad, I love the salty, earthy taste of the kalamatas.

6. Shaved Mesquite Turkey - So, I know deli meat is not supposedly good for us (shit, another thing I love bites the dust), but I do crave protein, especially after runs and I like to just grab a bit of turkey, It satisfies! I like the shaved version just because I do. Might be a texture thing.

7. Feta Cheese - Maybe it's because I lived in Greece, maybe it's because it's just damn good - but I like feta cheese on all of my salads, in my eggs and I use it in many recipes (like Baked Shrimp with Feta Cheese and Baked Feta with Marinara). I can't find much wrong with it - there is just something about the saltiness and the texture.

8. Wine - Duh. I don't really eat sweets so this is my vice. For example, I asked Ken to stop and get me wine on his way home last night. He came in with SIX large bottles of chardonnay and one small bottle and said, "I hope this gets you through Halloween." He's kidding! Or not. My economical choice is Woodbridge.

Image result for woodbridge wine

9. Kale - Kale is my go-to salad base. I like how sturdy and full of flavor it is. Yes, sometimes it can be like chewing on a tree trunk, but I enjoy that it has some body and pizzazz. Plus, it's good for you, until someone three years from now tells me it's not. I also like putting it into my soups and sometimes roasting it.

10. Half and Half - My friends laugh at how obsessed I am by putting half and half in my coffee. It is a very serious thing for me and I need a lot of it. I still like the taste of the coffee to shine through, but I just love the creaminess that he half and half lends to my daily cup.

11. Leftovers - I cook from scratch 90% of the time and we always have some kind of leftovers. Leftover are the bomb. I even love leftover soggy salad.

12. Frank's Hot Sauce - I like my food to have a *pop* so I tend to drizzle Frank's on a lot of things from my eggs to my burrito bowls to my ice cream (just kidding, wanted to make sure you are paying attention). It's my fave. And it doesn't even have corn syrup in it!!

Image result for franks hot sauce

So, there you have it. The ultimate ingredient list for your fridge.

Tell me ONE thing you always have in your fridge. Or, more if you want.

How do you take your coffee? Naked? With half and half? As a colonic?

Contest: Whoever guess what's in the white bowl in my fridge will get a prize. Hint: it's not poop.

PS: As of October 30 no one had guessed what was in the white bowl, so keep trying!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Secrets I'd Tell You At Happy Hour

Disclaimer: I am not day drinking. I started this post yesterday evening. Not that day drinking is bad or anything...

If we were chatting over a glass of wine (I wish this were the case, cause right now I'm in my home office with the cat and a glass of wine = kind of pathetic, but at least I'm not drinking alone because the cat counts), I would tell you some crazy and random stuff (i.e., sh*t) that's been going on around here.

God. He's such a drunkard. Get a grip, cat. Go to C.A. (Cat's Anonymous) if you need to

If we were sharing a bottle of wine (or I could drink the bottle and you could just have water), I'd tell you that a week ago I was at home visit for work (I work with families who want to do foster care and adopt through social services - I do their home studies and certification), and I got tackled by a St. Bernard. I'm not going to say "attacked" because that implies the dog was aggressive. He was not, as far as I know. He was a one year old "puppy" with a tad too much energy. You all know I'm a dog person so when he came in the room (I was sitting on the couch) I was more than eager to pet his little (aka gigantic) head. Within seconds, he lunged at my face, head butting me below the eye and also catching my chin. I started bleeding immediately and my face swelled up. Then I headed to the doctor to have the wound glued and to get a tetanus shot. Chalk this up to news of the weird and unexpected. I've never been head butted by a dog. And, I've got to say, this will make me forever a bit more guarded around dogs.

And It's not even Halloween yet. That is ANGRY!

If we were finishing that bottle of wine, I'd tell you that we went to visit Sam at Arizona State this weekend (you know this if you follow me on Instagram - I got a little crazy with my stories). We stayed at the Graduate Hotel, which is right beside campus and tries to be like a dorm. This is our room.

Cute, but what fluids are on that American flag blanket or that remote?
The artwork is TDF (to die for)
This was our room key.

This is very clever. I don't know who she is (well, I guess her name is Ellen). And she is
currently 77 years old, so bless her sorority heart.
I'd confess that I brought my running stuff but somehow forgot my running shorts (maybe I sub consciously needed a break from running - who brings their socks, shoes, shirt, watch and hat and forgets their shorts?) or maybe it means I wanted to run naked from the waist down because that is a bucket list item of mine. I'm sure the frat boys would love it (or would vomit in disgust). Anyway, I didn't run, but I walked a shit load. In flip flops. Probably about 15 miles over the weekend. Then I promptly came home and had a very sore right knee. I'm sure it was from those damn flip flops. So I couldn't run all week until today. Lesson learned.

Anyway, it was a fun weekend with the family and ASU crushed Washington. And, I got to be in mom-heaven having all of us together. Then I sobbed my eyes out on the flight home as we flew right over Sam's dorm. It just doesn't get easier.

My babies.

Can't even see my dog laceration here. Thanks Aviators!
Someone thinks (wishes) he was back in college (except he's drinking good bourbon that
he could never afford in college)

If we were taking a break from wine and having a dirty martini (with blue cheese stuffed olives, because that is the only way to go), I'd tell you that I found out yesterday that a co-worker and friend of mine was at the concert in Vegas during the shooting. It was chilling to hear her first hand account of everything. She's the only person I've had a connection to who was there. She is fine, but one of her friends was shot (also fine).

If we were finishing up that martini, I would tell you that I have nothing big on my race calendar and that needs to change. You know what I have? One stinking 10k Turkey Trot. That is not going to cut it. I am deciding what my next big move will be. Ideas? I'd ask you what to do and you'd say something like "just run a 100 miler" and I'd sign up right now because I've had five drinks and that's what runners do when they drink. Sign up for crazy shit.

Image result for signing up for running races while drunk

If we were winding down for the night, I'd ask you the following (answer in comments):

Ever had an encounter with a dog on a run or otherwise? This was my first. Ever.

Ever sign up for a race after a few drinks? Probably, but I don't remember.

Do you flip flops cause you trouble? Not before this weekend. But I usually don't walk 15 miles in them.

What race should I do next?


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It's Going to Be Okay

Yesterday I could not turn away. Every chance I got I was glued to the news trying, like the rest of the world, to make sense of what happened in Vegas. But, there is no sense to be made, unfortunately. Life can be like that.

Vegas. The adult playground.

Vegas. A place where I have spent countless nights with my best friends playing cards, drinking Grey Goose dirty martinis.

Vegas. The city of anniversaries, birthday, romantic getaways with my one and only.

Vegas. Where I go to escape reality in the best way possible.

None of the above changes for me. Even with the unspeakable shooting that happened on Sunday night. I'll still go there. I'll still love it. Only next time, I'll be visiting a memorial 500 yards from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to pay my respects to 59 people, hopefully not more.

This may sound sick and demented, but I've had this eerie feeling that Vegas would soon be a target. I always thought it would be a jackpot for terrorists - so many people in so small of a space. Huge, towering hotels full of thousands of souls. Right by the airport. The ultimate representation of debauchery, money and luxury. But, I envisioned it as an international terrorist attack. Not one perpetuated by a 64 American male. With 20+ guns in his suite. High above a crowd of 22,000 innocent and unsuspecting concert-goers.

Like you, this was one more nail in the coffin of all of the shit that is going on right now in the world. I don't have to name off all of the traumas that surround us. But, they range from the little kid being abused in his own home to an island country without food, water and power to an insane and disgusting individual who has no respect for human life. Who doesn't deserve the honor of even being called a human being. No, he's a monster.

So, what do I do? What do we do? Well, naturally I run. I think. I pay attention.

On my run today, this song spoke to me. I've long loved this tune, but today it took on a completely new meaning. Even if you don't listen to the whole thing (but you should - and the video is powerful and tells a touching story), listen to this line (at 3:08 of the video):

"All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other"

In the midst of so much terror and sadness yesterday and today, I found myself searching for some sort of meaning. Not so say there is meaning for ANY of it, but to say that I am a believer in hope and positivity.

I believed in it when my cousin, Sherry, was murdered while running almost 6 years ago. I believed in it because there were two evil men who did an evil thing and then there were hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who participated in a virtual run in her memory and who donated to a fund for her kids. Who emailed me hundreds of pictures of support, love and encouragement for her friends and family. And, through my tears I saw something deeply healing and beautiful. So much love. I believed there was more love than hate.

I believe in it because I have to. So do you. How can we continue to to live in this world and not hold onto something?

And, I saw love > hate yesterday. Now, after the dust has settled, we hear the stories of heroes. People who risked their own lives for strangers. And you know why? Because the vast majority of us are not monsters. The vast majority of us, even when we don't really feel it, know we are connected to others. The vast majority of us have innate goodness and care. I know it.

The ONE thing that comforted me yesterday, especially as I struggled to know how to talk to my own kids about this is this, was something good old Mr. Rogers told me along time ago:

mister rogers helpers quote

Yes. The bright spot. The helpers. There are always more helpers and allies than adversaries and enemies.

But, it's not enough to be the helper on that day. You have to the helper every day of your life. This means little acts of kindness and big acts of movement towards change. This means buying a stranger a cup of coffee when they look like they need a boost. This means taking the time to take that stray dog to a shelter even if you'll be late to work.

This also means that if you think we don't identify and treat mental illness adequately in this country, do something. This means if you think we need more gun control (especially for automatic weapons), do something. As Congresswoman Gabby Giffords says, "Your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting. Only action and leadership will do that."

Call your elected officials and tell them how you feel and educate yourself about what is going on. We should not live in a place of giving up, laying down and surrendering.

So, yes, we are going to be okay. Not thrilled with what occurs, not always unafraid, but okay. We will rise up and do what it takes. I know I will.