Can we be done with snow?

Another long week in the can. Unfortunately, this one we faced a big snowstorm that nobody was really prepared for. It hung around for about two days straight, dumping heavy, wet snow on all of us. Dan got stuck in our long driveway because our plow company didn’t come frequently enough (and I sort of had our only shovel in my car while I was at work. Oops). At the end of it, the sun came out and all we could hope was that with Daylight Savings now in effect and the extra light and warmth in the coming weeks, the melting would happen quickly and we could have our sidewalks and yards back. And our darn parking spaces at the store. There’s nothing more infuriating than those huge snow mountains littered around the commercial plazas that eat up all the parking spaces and cause the traffic flow to be interrupted.

Backing up a little, this was a strange week at the gym for me as well. I have been going every weeknight lately, and I haven’t had a problem with any weakness or soreness. Unfortunately, I may have finally overdone it. I’m having shin soreness when I walk, and a mysterious bruise has appeared on my knee, which is also sore. I can only think of a time when I was going quickly on an elliptical and I sort of buckled a little and had to stop for a moment to get my balance back. I hope I’m crazy and I just bashed it on something (which I do pretty frequently), but I’ve been told I need to dial back this week. I dabbled in using a heart rate strap, courtesy of my vegan runner buddy, who is helping me learn to exercise within my heart rate zone. Mine is between 138-148, which, for a beginner runner, is a pretty slow pace.

Your speed obviously increases as your body becomes more conditioned and your heart gets stronger. I have about two months until the big 5k, so it’s crunch time and I can’t afford to get hurt by pushing too hard and trying to do too much. My friend and I have different fitness goals, too, which makes our exercising together difficult sometimes. He wants to become a better runner, and he’s very strict with his vegan, raw, natural diet, whereas I am concerned more with weight loss and maintaining a sensible omnivorous diet. I suppose being healthier is in both of our goal banks, so onward we push (and he has his own membership to my gym now, so he doesn’t have to rely on me going, AND we can go on weekends to the one nearer to where we live. We’re next door town neighbors).

I got some cooking in as well, and had some great beer and appetizers at a birthday party last night. I managed to keep my weight gain in check after that, thank goodness. I’m thinking of doing some not so healthy baking today to thank my grade school friend for coming with us last night and really going above and beyond paying for drinks for us (and driving all the way up to our house to ride to the party with us). I found a recipe for Chocolate Stout Cookies with a Salted Caramel Frosting that would use up some rapidly flattening milk stout we’ve had in a growler in the fridge for a few months now. I’ll also be doing some St. Patty’s dessert baking for my office this week, I’m sure, but I haven’t decided just yet what it’ll be! Liquor-inclusive, for sure. My office goes for that BIG TIME.

Onslaught of food photos — here we go! I bought a bag of blood oranges at the store and I’ve been gobbling them up. I love that it looks like a murder scene on your cutting board when you open one, and I also love that they’re only about 70 calories a pop (but give you that natural sugar you crave. I crave. Yeah, yeah I do).

This is turkey bacon wrapped cod with a blood orange salsa, based upon this recipe. We don’t do prosciutto, but I did have the turkey bacon, and I thought I’d bought tilapia and then realized it was cod in the fridge. Eh, whitefish is whitefish. It was sweet-salty and delish!

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Continuing on the blood orange train, I flavored my Greek yogurt with the juice of one for lunch one day, which turned it an awesome pink! Then, I whipped up a salad with chicken and a blood orange vinaigrette, based upon this and put it inside an oat/flax pita to cut the citrusy-ness of the dressing. Dan wasn’t a big fan, but he ate it anyway. I’m pretty sure the original recipe called for kale or arugula or something, but I used baby spinach as the primary green.

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We had Greek yogurt pancakes one night, and then a hearty Beef and Butternut Chili because it was cold outside and it felt right. I halved the recipe to cut down on cook time, and I didn’t make the sour cream-cilantro topping.

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We had a Moroccan Chickpea Chili on Friday night, to which I added spinach to finish up the bag and give it a nice pop of green. Dan admitted he’s obsessed with chickpeas because we’ve been eating them so much. The recipe has a HUGE serving size but is so low calorie. We had enough leftover for Dan to eat for lunch yesterday, too.

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I’ve been trying to reign in my weekend breakfasts because I don’t go to the gym on Saturday and Sunday, yet I’ve been eating larger meals. Not working so well. I decided yogurt was the way to go! We have almond milk and truvia in our coffees (except the sugar-free cinnamon dolce iced coffee I got for the first time from Starbucks yesterday. OMG, my new favorite and practically no calories), and I used both plain and vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt with sliced fruit on top. Yesterday was blood orange, today was HUGE strawberries.

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I kind of love the way almond milk looks in hot and cold drinks. Well, not cold when it gets chunky and settles on the bottom, which is what I’ve got right now since I’ve been neglecting to stir it while typing. Tomorrow marks my six year anniversary with Dan. We’ve only been married about a year and half, but we still celebrate the day we became a couple. It’s weird to think it’s been so long. This coming weekend is St. Patrick’s Day, but Dan is on call for work so we’ll probably lay low. I’ll be sure to exhaustively photograph any sugar-laden treats I come up with.

We’ll see how “taking it easy” goes 😡

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