Food Matters

Good evening from a lovely on-the-warmer-side winter evening!

After my relaxing rest day yesterday, I got back into the swing of things this morning with a pre-work strength training class and then yoga at lunch. I was definitely a little lackluster during the leg exercises this morning (and wouldn’t you know, today was the day my teacher decided to unveil a 9-minute block devoted only to legs!), but my upper body felt good and I feel pretty great all-around. I have this secret wish that after my running-less week is up, all of my soreness will have abated and I’ll be sprinting through the trails – but I’m trying to keep my expectations in check!

I almost wrote a second entry yesterday afternoon. I was having food issues. I would say that 70% of the time I have food stuff going on, I can identify it – granted usually it’s after the fact, but I know my culprits – being tired, being sad, being bored. Yesterday I really don’t know what happened – I had my favorite pancakes and coffee for breakfast, as I do, and then about an hour later, with zero hunger, just started rummaging around the kitchen. I can’t even remember what I ate – I know there was some cheese, Pirate’s Booty, and a very small bit of leftover ice cream – but the point is that I wasn’t hungry, wasn’t sad/bored/tired/whatever. I just ate.

Thankfully I had errands to run (appropriately enough, I needed groceries!), so I got out of the house and had a nice walk to/from the store, then got a pedicure, and by the time I came home to start cooking for the week my little mini-binge was over. But still – weird. I ate so much that I had to skip lunch – not exactly a tragedy – but not my game plan either.

Anyway, I write all of this because I was thinking about it last night and how my little blog has helped me stay accountable through my runs (many, many times I would want to quit early or just not go at all, and would then think that I’d have nothing to write about if I didn’t go), so I should use it similarly with food stuff. After all, the workouts I typically DO get through and enjoy; the food stuff is where I need help. So I am hoping to focus a little more on that moving forward.

On that note, I mentioned cooking yesterday afternoon – oh my lord – for probably the first time in my life I felt like I could serve what I made to other human beings!! Granted I have had my share of dinner parties and brunches from time to time, but inevitably something doesn’t come out quite right, or is bland, or isn’t how I remember it tasting when someone else made it. But yesterday’s meals…wow…I actually did something right!

For my lunches I made a “lasagna soup” recipe from Pinch of Yum, one of the cutest cooking blogs out there – and I am even attaching the link!

Then for my dinners I made a recipe from the NY Times – all I did differently was double the butternut squash (mainly by accident; I bought 2 containers of pre-cut squash and realized each had 3 cups – rather than just let one languish in my fridge, I cooked it up!). This might be one of my new favorite meals, like, ever. It fluffed up in the oven and looked so pretty! And it calls for nutmeg, so it smells like a combination of Christmas and my mom’s kitchen (she loves nutmeg!) in my house, which I love!

And I even made dessert! Earlier in the day I was debating whether I could handle buying ice cream at the grocery store and realized I wasn’t too excited about it, but I was craving granola (weird, yes) and still wanted something ice cream-ish – and then it came to me – frozen kefir! If you’re not drinking kefir I totally recommend it – on its own (plain/unsweeetened), it tastes like a very thick but drinkable yogurt. It’s made with probiotics so allegedly it’s great to help with tummy troubles (and god knows I have enough of those). You can buy flavored kefir but there’s added sugar; since I like mine tangy, I just get the plain kind. I played around a little on Google for a frozen kefir recipe but the ones I found all called for it to be blended with cream and then sweetened up. Instead I took matters into my own hands – I just threw a carton of kefir into my ice cream maker and added some granola and blueberries. Presto, a light dessert that I can actually handle – a small serving and I’m done!

Today was much better, food-wise – I ate my soup at lunch and my bread pudding at dinner (along with an orange earlier and a salad later), and had a green smoothie after my workout and my regular oatmeal for breakfast. Hopefully tonight I’ll just have some popcorn (I air pop it so it’s a very light snack) and some kefir and that’ll be it. I say “hopefully” because…that is the plan…but you never know. I don’t know why food sometimes has a hold over me, but at this point I’m more likely to indulge than fight it. There’s a blogger I follow who advocates “intermittent sampling,” and I’m all about it -basically when you have a craving, go get a taste of whatever it is, and then call it a day. Sometimes this works really well for me. Sometimes the sampling leads to straight-up overeating. We’ll see how it goes!


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