Monthly Archives: August 2011

Eggplant…Its Not So Scary!

Look at what the girl who hates to cook created last night!


An open face eggplant sandwich with pesto and feta cheese, quinoa, and a side salad. I just kind of made the sandwich up in my head, a rarity for me to be at all creative in the kitchen! I’m making progress!

I’m loving these little mini eggplant. They are a little bigger than the palm of my hand. No one else in the house likes it, so the big ones always go to waste. These are so cute, I just love them! I used to be so afraid of eggplant. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. But I am really growing to love them! I just hate they go bad so quickly!


I lightly coated the eggplant in olive oil, salt and peppered and roasted in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Toasted a piece of bread. Spread a little bit of pesto sauce on the bread. Topped with eggplant with feta cheese. Voila! Baby steps….maybe one day I will actually enjoy doing this.

In other news, I may be without WiFi for a week or so and the thoughts of that are pushing me to the verge of a panic attack. I still have my iPhone though! Has anyone ever blogged via mobile phone? I do have the WP app on my phone but have never used it. Hopefully I will survive without my laptop for a week!

Happy Wednesday! What food were you once afraid of but now enjoy?


Two Cats and a Salamander

I have two cats who could really be classified as sloths. I’m pretty sure they sleep 23.5 hours a day, the only two non-nocturnal cats I have ever met.


So when I see a cat scampering across the floor….and FAST, I know there must be something really cool piquing his interest. Today, as I’m surfing the interwebs, Baxter scurries across the floor. I glance down and he’s chasing a salamander. I had to do a double take. A SALAMANDER IN MY HOUSE!!!!!  AHHHH!!!!

Two thoughts crossed my mind

1. I didn’t want the cat to kill the damn thing. Please no animal murders in the house!

2. I didn’t want a loose salamander in the house to later crawl across my face as I slept.

Somehow I managed to think and act quickly and trapped him!


But now what?!?! I sat staring at him for 5-10 minutes trying to figure out how to keep him contained but get him out of the house. Then I began to have a mini freak out because it was taking me so long to figure out this predicament, would he suffocate under the glass?!?!

I finally got a piece of cardboard, slid it under the glass. But his tail somehow got out from under the glass and got chopped off a little. Opps, sorry little guy….they grow back…right???!!! And side note….that tail twitched and flopped for an awfully long time after it was detached from his body…eww!

On the training front….I ran today, 4 miles without any residual knee pain. I was worried that I over did it with Friday’s trail run. I haven’t run trail in SO long, mix the instability offered by trails and a long(ish) run and it could lead to a possible runner’s knee flare up. It was a mentally tough run on the DREADmill, especially after such a lovely trail run last week. It won’t be long before I can resume midday runs outdoors once the temps drop. I can’t wait!!!!

I did an uber short swim today before my run. I really didn’t fell like working on distance, so I worked on speed just a tiny bit. I hardly ever do speed work in the pool, it hurts so badly and almost induces vomiting every time. I was pretty pleased though. My 100 yard time was about 15 seconds faster than the last time I timed it. YIPPERS! And best of all, the kids are back in school and the pool is quiet again. Now if I can just avoid tidal wave man!

Any unusual critters in your house lately? Have you ever chopped off a lizard’s tail (accidentally)?

Oh Trail Running….How I Have Missed You!

Last year I was head over heels in LOVE with trail running. It was shear torture to suggest I run on the road and I would become almost suicidal at the thoughts of running on the treadmill. Fast forward to this year…..I have only done a small handful of trail runs all year! I will admit, that suffering from runner’s knee for over a year, I subconsciously blamed trail running for my chronic injury. Perhaps I avoided trails because I was worried about a flare up.


My husband asked me to meet him after work Friday night for a trail run. I was hesitant, it would be HOT and I was worried about my knee. But I threw caution to the wind and I am SO glad I did. It sparked a little bit of enthusiasm for running that I have been missing lately.

My hub’s Garmin was dead, so I let him use mine (aw, so giving!) because I know one of the trails like the back of my hand, and really didn’t care about my time. Hubs quickly disappeared into the woods, and I was alone….just me and the trail. No watch, no GPS, no music. Serenity now!


6 (ish) glorious, HOT, dusty, miles and 1 blister later……I remembered why I love trail running so much! The constant mental stimulation, the thrill of instability, the shock of almost being tripped by a root, being in nature, being alone, I LOVE IT! I must get back on the trails more often!


Thankfully my knee felt pretty good after the run. I had hoped to run again Sunday to test it out, but I had to take an unplanned rest day….and another one today. I experimented a little too much with a new (to me) beer. I’ve quit drinking through the week to help cut calories, but after Saturday, I might quit drinking all together!


Two Hearted Ale was not so kind to me. I spent ALL DAY long on the couch fighting waves of nausea, and today still feel the effects of dehydration. ICK! Perhaps it was because I was drinking these quite POTENT beers as if they were Bud Lights. Opps!


Back on the workout train tomorrow! I also need to get back on the Project Pull Up train. I didn’t do very well with my exercises last week, but hubs did help me on my pull up “form” so that it doesn’t feel like my chest is being ripped apart! If you’re doing the Project Pull-Up, let me know how you’re doing and send some pics!

Happy Monday!


This week has been sponsored by the word “FRUSTRATION”!

I have written a TON this week, but only managed to publish ONCE this week, UGH. I can’t seem to get OUT what I am trying to write. I have done the virtual wadding up the paper and throwing it in the garbage a million times this week.


And to pile even more frustration onto my already mountainous pile, I decided to weigh in this morning. My normal weigh in days are Monday, but I had a theory that Friday weighs ins may have a more pleasing result since I usually eat better and exercise more during the week. I was DEAD wrong. I’ve gained back what I lost in the last two weeks and I am back to square one. I’m throwing that damned scale away! Why do I care about the numbers anyway??!! Yes, the numbers quantify what is going on with my body, but its more than that.

I really do hate being negative nelly, seems like all I do is complain anymore. But I need to VENT today!!!! You forgive me…right???

I am question everything I do now. Since I quit eating meat, I have gained….not lost. I must be eating worse than I did when I was a carnivore. Nutrition bores and confuses me. I practically slept through Nutrition 101 in nursing school. I don’t count anything….carbs, calories, fat, protein….nothing. I eat by intuition, whatever I happen to be craving. I try to balance a meal with a protein, carb, veggie. But I’m almost certain my diet is very carb heavy….always has been. I ❤ carbs!

I feel like I should seek professional help from someone who actually enjoys analyzing diets….um, like a nutritionist. In a perfect world I would, but I really can’t afford even just a quickie consult, le sigh! Guess I will actually have to put forth effort and at least log my food and let the computer analyze my diet.

I am also questioning my training. Am I over training my body and its in total shock all the time and holding on to fat and calories for dear life? Or am I under training and it’s a simple matter of calories in – calories out?

I’m such a mess right now! A bloated, frustrated, HOT mess! On the outside I may still look the same, everyone says “oh you look great!” But I don’t feel great. I want to FEEL GREAT again! This isn’t (completely) about body image issues, its more about how I feel, and I just don’t feel good.

Help me find a positive way to get through this, because right now, I just muster an ounce of positivity.

Happy Bike-iversary!

It was one year ago today that I locked eyes with that beautiful 58cm blue aluminum frame….my Trek 1.5WSD. It was love at first sight….ok, well, first ride. I searched high and low for her, unsatisfied and uncomfortable with all the others. When I sat on that saddle for the first time in the bike trainer at Liberty Bicycles, the stars aligned and angels sang. I knew she was the one!


From the very first moment I awkwardly pedaled out of the parking lot onto the open road, something transformed inside of me. The freedom, the power, the unreal sensation that riding my bike gives me is nothing that I have ever felt before. It is difficult to describe. I feel strong and unstoppable when I am on my bike.

My first real ride….yah, I don’t ride in skirts anymore!


My bike has taken me places that I never thought I could go. I never thought I could overcome the fear of riding on the open road….and I do. I never thought I could complete a triathlon….and I did. I never thought I could be better at a sport than my husband….and I AM!


I certainly still have a lot to learn about cycling, and can make a bike faux pas and a total ass out of my self without knowing it in front of veteran cyclists. I have fallen off my bike more times that I care to count, and have multiple scars because of it. But despite all that, I feel almost like I am a natural. I finally found my niche, something I can one day maybe excel at?

One of many bike faux pas! Lesson learned, be prepared for all weather conditions!


I love my bike, and I am quite certain that I will never get rid of my very first real bike. Sure I may eventually upgrade, but I have bonded with my bike, and this one will always have a special place in my heart. 


Although I have spent many hours and miles with my bike and poured buckets of sweat over her, she still does not have a name. I do feel that my bike is a chick though, not sure why….just my bike owners intuition. 


I love my bike. I have learned a lot about myself over the last 1300+ miles, thanks to my bike. I hope to have many thousands more happy miles with my best aluminum friend!


Random Friday Facts

1~ I hate to drive. Any trip over 1 1/2 hours, I start looking at other transportation options!

2~ I have small feet for my height (6ft). 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 depending on the type/brand.

3~ I don’t like my toes to be squeezed together, maybe that’s why I LOVE vibrams!

4~ I have strange eating habits. I could do an entire series of posts about them.

5~ I have year round allergies, I live on children’s zyrtec and benedryl. It works better than all the prescription meds I have tried.

6~ I am still upset that my neighbor for killed his roosters

7~ But I am happy with karma, one of the rooster shit on him during the massacre

8~ He ended up eating the roosters. That somehow seems wrong to me, isn’t there some moral codes against eating pets?

9~  I refuse to watch I Am Legend ever again because of what happens to Sam. That movie came out right after Rhett was run over by my husband’s boss. I still suffer from PTSD from that incident!

10~ I procrastinate with almost everything in my life.

11~ It took me 6 years, 2 college transfers, and 4 major changes to get a 4 year degree. See above.

12~ I always run out of conditioner before shampoo.

13~ I am fairly certain my new multivitamins have meth or crack in them, I have been JACKED up ever since starting them!

14~ I will probably never go to my regular Dr again for minor stuff. Minute Clinic at CVS is a million times faster…and cheaper!

15~ I hate to shave, but I also hate body hair. Quite the daily dilemma.

16~ I eat way too fast. I am usually done before most people even get started.

17~ I’m not sure why I use “LOL” because I rarely do LOL when I’ve typed it.

18~ I collect wine bottle corks in a huge decorative cookie jar on my kitchen counter. I bet my guests think I’m an alcoholic because its almost full.

19~ I have to eat Oreo’s in pairs. I take them a part, eat the two plain cookies then mush the two with filling together. Why don’t I just buy double stuffed Oreo’s?

20~ I think I may be falling in love with the dreadmill (GASP!)

21~ If you’re a friend of mine on DailyMile you would know that I swam 1800 yards today with snot stringing out my nose.

22~ I’m loving how swimming is making my arms look!

Project Pull Up

I was a scrawny little weakling growing up, the wimpy girl in gym class. I was fast, but I was not strong. I always tried to be sick on Presidential Fitness Test day, I hated it with a passion. Its probably the root of my adult performance anxiety. I could not do the dreaded CHIN/PULL UP test! It was embarrassing!

Fast forward 20 some years….I still can not do a single (or even half of one for that matter!) CHIN UP or PULL UP! That is going to change!

This is all I’ve got




I introduce LB’s Project Pull Up! This is for all those inner wimpy kids out there that never acquired the upper body strength to hoist their bodies skyward and RISE ABOVE THE BAR! I know I’m not the ONLY ONE…am I??? I challenge those of you who cannot complete a single pull up to join me. And those who can (I’m jealous!)..…you can join in too, or at least mentor us weaklings!

The challenge is to either be able to complete a FULL pull up or chin up (just one is all I’m asking for!) in one month’s time or improve on the number of pull ups you can consecutively do.

Who’s with me? The challenge is on going, you can join at anytime. If you decide to take the challenge, post about it, put up the button, whatever you feel like to spread the word to other wimpies like us.

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Some great ways to help build the strength required to do pull ups include:

  • Build grip strength by just hanging from the bar for 30 seconds reps
  • Dumb bell rows
  • Body weight rows
  • Assisted pull ups with a chair or machine at the gym
  • Negative pull ups
  • Flex arm hang

Check out for demonstrations on some of these exercises

Send your pull up action shot pictures to and I will link you in each week with my progress.

Week 1: probably 80% assist with a chair


Good luck, hope you join me!

BTW, I know in one picture I’m doing a chin up (palms facing me) and in the last picture I’m doing a pull up (palms away). Pull ups are supposedly harder, they are both equally challenging for me at this point. I will be starting with chin ups, then hopefully progressing to PULL UPS!

Happy Birthday Rhett Butler!

Today is our “first born’s” 7th birthday. Happy birthday to our 95lb German Shepherd, Rhett Butler! He also happens to share a birthday with my mother in law. (hehe!)

My how he has grown! Once an awkward opossum looking puppy with HUGE ears


To a handsome mature dog


We have had tons of laughs with him…often at his expense



And some heartbreaking moments as well.



He is one of the only dogs in the world I know that thinks cats are ok (and wears shoes in the house!)


His baby sister adores him! Although she still makes him nervous.


He is definitely a daddy’s boy



But will tolerate mama occasionally!



He is often mistaken for  ferocious


But he is really just a big ol’ baby!



He is the best companion, friend, protector, crumb picker upper, snuggler, and dog (shhh, he doesn’t know he’s a dog!) anyone could ask for. Happy birthday Rhett Butler! We love you!!!!!


Re-Loosing the “Last 10 Pounds”

I am not a slave to the scale. I do not measure my self worth by the numbers staring up at me from that cold piece of metal. So why have I been avoiding that meaningless little tool like the plague this summer?

As much as I like to think my weight is not, at least slightly, important, it kind of is. Its no secret that since June, I have not been the workout beast I was earlier in the year. Yet I continue to eat like I’m training 10 hours a week. And its just a basic truth….more calories in than calories out and your weight increases. Duh!

Last week I felt uncomfortable in my clothes, so I bravely decided its time to assess the damage. I stepped on the scale and I did not like the numbers displayed between my feet…..1.6.2. A full 10 pounds over my comfortable weight.

Because I know how much you love my stick figures. And YES, my hair really does look like this in the morning!


Who knew stick figures weighed so much!

I am not a diet-er, I love to eat and don’t react well to restriction. So I decided a minor modification was in order. I don’t like to drink my calories, but I LOVE beer! I typically enjoy the heavier, more calorie laden brews, and I drink 1-2 beers/night with dinner. Beer = Empty Calories, so I decided to cut it out during the week. That is easily 1200 calories a week eliminated! BOOYAH!!!!!


I also switched from regular skim milk to almond milk several months ago. I did it for no particular reason other than I just like the way it tasted, and my skin did seem to clear up after I cut back on dairy, so I just went with it. But almond milk has 3.5-4.5 grams of fat and 95-120 calories/cup depending on which brand you buy. I could easily cut out 12-16 grams of fat and several hundred calories a week by going back to skim milk. DONE.


I also made more effort to workout more last week. 2 swims, 2 runs, 1 bike, and 1 core/strength workout. According to daily mile I burned nearly 2400 calories. Not to shabby!


So……..I step on the scales this am eager to see the results of my modifications.



I suppose I should be happy, any weight loss is good weight loss, and I know weight loss takes time, but really?!?!?! Only 1/2 a freakin’ pound! I guess if I want to see real results, I need to put in real effort. Cut out the Oreos at night, the simple carb snacks throughout the day, the 5 slices of pizza when 3 will do.

At nearly 6ft tall, 161.5 is still well within my healthy weight range (143-178), but I feel uncomfortable there. 150-153is my happy place. I feel slow and sluggish carrying around 10 extra pounds, 10 lbs could be more stressful on my joints, and my wardrobe is a little snug. And lets just be honest here, I am after all human, and am vain….I think I look better 10 lbs lighter.

I’m not going to obsess over my weight, I just want to be comfortable again. I’m not a serial weigh-er, I only weight once a week at most. It is mildly frustrating that I’ve already lost “those last 10lbs” once, and now I’m doing it again, and we all know “those last 10lbs” are the hardest to loose!

Random Friday Facts

I love ramdomness!

1~ It drives me insane to see alerts on my phone, must clear them all immediately!

2~ I LOVE dirty martinis, but HATE olives

3~ I prefer water to soda or tea or any other drink (except beer…and martinis!) always have, even since I was a kid

4~ I’m still a tiny bit afraid of the dark

5~ Yet I sleep with an eye mask

6~ I am notorious for contradicting myself

7~ I’m a fabulous speller, but I misspelled the word “saxophone” on purpose in an 8th grade spelling bee because I didn’t want to be “the spelling bee nerd”

8~ I’m a nurse, but broken bones freak me out! If you break your arm when I am around, I can NOT help you!

9~ Eyes and faces also freak me out, I could never be one of those people who do other people’s makeup!

10~ I am always 15 minutes early, if I’m not…I feel late

11~ Allegedly, I snore. But I do not believe this to be true.

12~ I love the smell of gasoline, sharpies, and rubber cement. Maybe this is why I am a little crazy. Heh?

13~ My neighbor killed his roosters last week.

14~ His wife told me he “choked his chicken”. I thought she was being a little inappropriate with TMI. Turns out she was talking about the roosters. He literally choked them….I’m not sure why.

15~ I’m not sure if I will be able to speak to him for a few weeks.

16~ I’m even MORE certain I will never eat chicken again.

17~ I am thinking of hosting a PETA protest at his house.

18~ I’m totally kidding about the protest, but not really. I wish I was kidding about the roosters!

19~ I don’t like getting flowers for any occasion

20~ I cannot eavesdrop on someone without watching their lips move, so I’m always busted!

21~ I love getting mail. Too bad most of it now a days is bills and junk mail!

22~ I have nightmares about tornados, but have never actually witnessed or experienced one.

What are some random facts about you? Visit Katie @ This Amazing Day for more RFF fun!