Thursday, February 26, 2015

Loving/Not Loving

In my neverending quest to come up with blog topics, today's post was inspired by Marcia!

Loving: Trying some new fitness classes (e.g., pilates, cardio kickboxing) during the dead of the winter. Mentally, it feels fabulous to change up the routine. Physically, it feels great to work some different muscle groups.
Not Loving: The killer soreness that I get from targeting those unused muscle groups. After the boxing moves, my deltoids and back announced, or rather, screamed their presence with authority. When it comes to pilates, they might as well just call it what it really is: a core workout on steroids.

Popeye could probably use some bicep exercises to balance out those gargantuan forearms, too.

Loving: My slow cooker for making soups and stews during the dead of winter. I've been using this tomato vegetable soup recipe as a foundation, and tweaking it in various ways (e.g. varying the types of vegetables, and/or adding in things like beans or meatballs or pasta). The leftovers are great to have around, too.
Not Loving: Washing the stoneware piece of the slow cooker after using it. The stoneware fills up nearly my entire sink, plus it's heavy, bulky, and awkward. (I've tried using slow cooker liners, but they are not a magical solution. The stoneware still requires some cleaning afterwards.)

Even the monkey looks unhappy washing dishes.

Loving: Silver nail polish. I think it strikes a nice balance of being unique without going over the top.
Not Loving: How dry my nails (and skin and hair) have been during the wintertime. Blech. I could use an industrial-powered humidifier on full "superblaster" mode.

I got my bottle of silver polish at a swap drive. Truly one woman's trash is another woman's treasure!

Loving: One of the dietary improvements I've been trying to make is to reduce my sodium consumption. I've had some success with my at-home cooking habits. Surprisingly, many of the changes have not been too difficult to implement.
Not Loving: Reading the nutrition labels on packaged goods. Nearly falling over at some of the stratosphere-scraping sodium numbers. On many an occasion, smelling salts (no pun intended) would have come in handy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Loving: I found a blend of almond/coconut milk at the grocery store today and decided to give it a whirl. I used it to make a smoothie and thought it produced a wonderful blend of flavors!
Not Loving: Speaking of nut-based foods, and being the usual late bloomer that I am when it comes to trying all the popular foods, I finally got a jar of almond butter. I promptly discovered that I would prefer peanut butter over almond butter anyday.

Loving: The daily sports reports about MLB spring training. I'm not much of a baseball fan, but hearing the words "spring training" gives me hope for temperatures above freezing!
Not Loving: Tuesday night's awful plight of injuries to Patrick Kane and Derrick Rose. It's going to be a tough ride to the finish line for both Blackhawks fans and Bulls fans alike.

I can only hope to see Kaner later this year in all of his playoff mullet glory.

Loving: Registering for several races based on entirely non-goal-oriented reasons (e.g., the swag). What's on the list?

- Cinco de Miler (I want the cool race shirt and sombrero medal).
- The Race to Wrigley 10K (I wanted to honor Ernie Banks, and Wrigley Field is the only Chicago sports stadium in which I have not yet done a race).
- Fort2Base (the 10 nautical mile distance is right up my wheelhouse, and I am intrigued by the military theme).

(By the way - I just found out about the inaugural Deep Dish Dash 5K. Participants get a pizza-themed race shirt, plus deep dish pizza at the finish line. Interesting concept. However, I am all about efficiency when it comes to deep dish. In lieu of first going through the formality of running a race, I'd rather just eat the pizza from the outset, haha.)

Not Loving: Finding the motivation to get my tush in gear and do speedwork on a regular basis. I do want to break my nemesis 5K PR. I haven't solidified any target 5K races yet for this year, though. 


Tell me what things you are loving and not loving these days!


  1. I recently tried cashew milk and that's good too! SO bummed about both injuries. They sound excruciating. Yay for Fort2Base! I'll be there! Thanks for the shout!

    1. Ah yes, I've been hearing a lot about cashew milk, too! I will have to try it one of these days. Actually, I should try making nut milk at home again... but that's a thought for another day.

      I am heartbroken over the injuries. More so for Patrick Kane than for Derrick Rose, simply because Derrick has been SO injury prone these last few years that I've kind of gotten used to him being on sideline. Sad, right?

      Can't wait for Fort2Base!!!

  2. I could barely function just thinking about Patrick Kane. Goodbye cup.

    1. Kaner's injury is just devastating. I can only imagine how the team and the organization feel, too. Simply heartbreaking. =(

  3. I love almond butter but really only IN things. I don't particularly want to eat an almond butter and jelly sandwich. Weird, right?

    1. I totally get it. Actually, I tried an almond butter and banana sandwich and that was pretty good - probably because the sweetness of the banana helps a lot! I also tried adding almond butter to my smoothie, and that was fine. But yeah, I'm not sure either about an almond butter and jelly sandwich. Would they call that an AB&J?

  4. I, too, am not loving the soreness of trying new workouts. But it's a good thing, right? RIGHT?! (Tell me yes, since I can hardly stand to get out of my chair this morning, lol).

    Dumb question ... do you spray your crock with non-stick before you cook in it? That usually helps me. Plus, I just fill the crock with hot water and soap and let it sit overnight. Ain't nobody got time for scrubbing out baked on crockpot goo.

    1. YES! The soreness of new workouts is a good thing! We LIKE sign when we have trouble doing everyday things like opening door handles or using soap dispensers because our arms are so sore. RIGHT? (Sigh...)

      Actually, I haven't tried using non-stick spray on my Crockpot. I figured that all the soup liquid would just dissolve it anyways. But thanks for suggesting - I will definitely give it a try! Amen to nobody having time to deal with solidified crockpot goo!

  5. Based on your dislike for cleaning the crockpot, I don't know if this will appeal to you, but I've found homemade almond butter to be MUCH better than any store-bought variety I've ever tried. (Which, admittedly, is pretty much just Justin's in one of those little packets, but whatever. Haha.) I've been making my own nut butter for probably about two years not, and a year or so ago I switched over from peanut butter to almond butter (per a recipe in the Runner's World Cookbook), and I haven't looked back since (though I have considered it, since almonds are so much more expensive than peanuts!). If you buy dry roasted almonds at Trader Joe's, all you have to do is toss two cups in a food processor with one or two tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of salt, and then let the food processor do it's thing. (You can also do it with raw almonds, but I've found roasted ones break down faster. The taste is fairly similar in my experience.) Of course, if you don't have a food processor (or just hate doing dishes!), I guess that's not an option, but it's what converted me to almond butter!

    1. Oooh, thanks for bringing this up! I have been hearing about how you have to be careful buying prepackaged nut butter because of all the added sugar and chemical goo that manufacturers sneak in. The recipe for homemade nut butter does sound super easy - and it's probably so much more affordable, too. I will definitely have to give it a whirl (literally and figuratively, LOL). My only thought is that I prefer creamy nut butters over chunky, and I don't know if my food processor is capable of generating a truly creamy texture. But definitely still worth the try! Especially because I believe almost everything is better homemade than prepackaged. =D

  6. Totally agree about the sports injuries. Kane, especially, is heart-breaking. Rose was almost expected. I have yet to try Almond milk or coconut but think they would both make excellent choices for smoothies. Also, I have a bottle of silver polish. Maybe I should bust that out! Struggling to find enthusiasm to run because most of it is on the dreadmill. I just want to get outside! Still trying to convince myself to do the Cinco de Miler!

    1. I was hoping against hope that Kaner's injury wasn't going to keep him out too long. Hearing the 12-week estimate was like a dagger to the heart (not a Chelsea Dagger). I'm actually hearing that Rose may be back before the playoffs - here is hoping!

      Between almond milk and coconut milk, I personally prefer almond milk. I think that coconut milk is really distinctive, and can sometimes be overpowering, you know? Let me know what you think once you get a chance to try them!

      YES on the silver polish! The nice thing about silver, too, is that it's not super noticeable if you get a chip. =D

      Goodness, I cannot wait to be able to run outdoors again on a regular basis, too. C'MON SPRING!!! NO MORE TREADMILL!!!

      Yes on Cinco de Miler!!! Do it for the sombrero medal! ;-P

  7. Ugh I hate doing the dishes! Actually, let me rephrase that - I don't mind doing the dishes but I dish soap and hot water destroy my nails and cuticles! The struggle is real...

    I'm actually not a fan of almond butter either. The first time I ever purchased it back in college, I barely forced myself to finish it off. I do randomly crave it sometimes though, and end up buying the highly overpriced raw organic Artisana brand. I figure I rarely eat it so I should splurge when I do? Makes no sense, I know. Anyway, the point of this random comment is...peanut butter for life!


    1. Ugh, I dislike how dish soap ruins your hands, too! As if the mess and gunk weren't bad enough on their own, right? Come to think of it, I vaguely recall hearing about some kind of "moisturizing" dish soap on the market. That might be worth further investigation, no?

      Peanut butter preferers, unite!!! I'm definitely thinking that the way to finish the jar of almond butter is to hide it in smoothies or with bananas. Definitely tough to eat it on its own! I've actually never heard of Artisana - but I agree that if you're going to go for some almond butter, might as well make it the good stuff!

  8. Have you tried Nuttzo? Delicious and tasty! I tried Nikki's Coconut Butter but did not like it at all.

    Look into being an ambassador for the Fort2Base race. I did it two years ago and loved it.

    My friend told me about the Deep Dish Dash 5K but then found out it isn't timed. Boo. Is it bad that I won't do races if they're not timed?

    1. Thanks for the tips! I have never heard of Nuttzo or Nikki's Coconut Butter. Will have to keep an eye out for them in the grocery store. Coconut anything is so big these days!

      So I did look into being an ambassador for Fort2Base, but honestly I don't know if I'm willing to put forth the time commitment. Are you planning on running it again this year, btw?

      I am TOTALLY with you on not running races if they're not timed. They shouldn't even call it a race - they should call it a fun run! And I don't think it's worth it to pay that kind of registration fee for a fun run, do you agree?

    2. I think you can find Nuttzo at Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe's. I got mine from Amazon.

      I'm not planning to run the race this year because I am planning to be in SD for a half marathon. But if my plans change then most likely I will run it. I understand about the time commitment. I did two fun runs in conjunction with another ambassador and that worked out fine.

      I agree with you on the registration fee for a fun run. I would not pay.

    3. I like the name "Nuttzo" - it's very cute and memorable. =) There's a Whole Foods opening up in my neighborhood this month so I'll keep an eye out for it there!

      Oooh, what SD half marathon are you planning on running? You've long crossed California off of your list of states that you've done a half marathon in, yes? Please do keep me posted on whether or not you might do Fort2Base - it would be great to see you there!

      Another thing that I generally don't like about paid fun runs is that they tend to draw a crowd of folks who don't care about race etiquette, etc. You get lots of walkers lining up in front, people that move five in tandem, too. That makes it difficult for those of us who ARE taking the run seriously!!!

    4. It is the Leading Ladies Half Marathon in South Dakota. I guess I should have mentioned that (not San Diego).

      Oh yes, but let's not forget that in a "real" race, some people till tend to forget about race etiquette. I just rather not pay if it will not be timed. I can be competitive in my own way.