Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No pain no Painkiller!!

Due to recent events (me getting off my ass and hanging in a gym waver), I've recently gotten to gumption to start working out at my office gym. This is convenient for many reasons. First off, it gives me something to do on my lunch break besides desperately try not to look like a loser who has nobody to eat lunch with. Second, it takes the pressure off trying to get a workout in AFTER work, which is when I'm moody exhausted and probably busy enjoying the 3 hours I have at home. It takes a little extra effort, seeing as how I like sweating when I work out, so I have to bring a bag full of hair care supplies. Thankfully, the gym provides us with towels, which is FANTASTIC. I get to work out, shower, and go back to work! Yay! Except on those off-days (like today), when I forget my inhaler. Not so yay.

I'm one of those die-hard runners, at the gym. No, I don't run outside. Outside is cold and stupid. I run at the gym because I've got it in my head that unless I feel absolutely destroyed and exhausted, I didn't put in a good enough workout. Running provides me with that terrible/wonderful "Why am I doing this to myself!?" feeling, complete with sweat, a red face, and sore muscles for hours after. I like running a 5k and trying to do it faster. I like lifting weights before this, because the internet has told me that lifting weights before cardio will help you to burn more calories. So I do this, within my alotted hour of lunch break time, and then I run. Except today. Because running without an inhaler would be a terrible idea. So what do I do? The elliptical.

Look at this skinny bitch and her tiny thighs..
The stupid smug elliptical. It looks ridiculous. I feel ridiculous. I've been told time and time again that it's better on the joints, works your muscle groups better, is more efficient, blah blah blah... but you know what it doesn't do? It doesn't make me feel like I'm killing myself. Where's the love? In an effort to give myself the pain I so desire after a workout, I decided to raise the resistance until it felt like my butt cheeks were moving independantly of eachother. I raised that resistance until it felt like I was pushing through hard sand, stomping through a sea of liquified dead bodies, pumping those stupid arm pedals like skis. I've never skiid, before, how the hell should I know what it's like?? All I know is that it takes place somewhere cold, so fuck that noise.. but this isn't cold. This is warm, and suddenly my arms are aching and my back hurts and I'm trudging through this thirty minute workout because I want to believe I really am burning 300 calories, whether the count is accurate or not. Anger. Rage. Acceptance. Alright, I guess the elliptical is okay, but why do I feel like such a jackass on this thing?? It truly does make me sweat more than I do when I run, but I don't feel as worn out as I would after the same amount of time on a tredmill. So what gives? Am I burning as many calories? Am I still gonna be able to run from zombies? Will I have the endurance of Bruce Dickinson and his majestic rollerblading workout routine. Will this stupid looking contraption give me the ass of steel I so rightly deserve?

Time will tell. I've added weight lifting into my routine, so here's hoping I can start building some muscle. And we all know that I have only the most realistic goals in mind.

Monday, February 25, 2013

2 weeks of pescatarianism down!

So two weeks ago, I made the plunge into pescatarianism. Not for any health related issues, but because I always give up something for Lent. As a paleo eater naturally, meat is something that is a real sacrifice to give up. I'm used to depending on meat for protein, iron, and fat. I love the taste of all things meaty, and I wouldn't turn down a piece of squirrel just like I wouldn't turn down a burger. I believe in eating every edible part of the animal, too, so I'm not just a filet mignon type of girl. Organ meats are as cool as pork rinds. Meat is a wonderful resource. It's easy to get and easy to prepare. But, I've learned a few things from this experience, so here's a quick summary.

1. Cod
For picky palattes that aren't used to eating fish regularly, cod is a great substitute for land-animal meat. You see cod everywhere at fast food restaurants, but it's usually breaded and fried. Recently, Carl Jr.'s & Hardees came out with a charbroiled cod sandwich. I haven't tried it, but this makes me SO HAPPY. When was the last time you saw a fish sandwich that wasn't breaded and fried?? I hope this sort of thing becomes a trend at restaurants, because while fast food shouldn't be your primary source of nutrition, giving people healthier options is a wonderful step toward getting the public past their fear of healthy food. I've heard all sorts of excuses from people about how they can't eat fish because it tastes too "fishy" (o_O), about how it's too expensive, about how they just can't prepare it right. Well, cod is one of those fish meats that's hard to screw up. I have a really easy way of going about it. Salt.. pepper.. frying pan. Bam. Done. I wish I could grill it, but we're saving up for a new grill. Until then, it's some olive oil in a pan. Eat that fish with a little tartar sauce and a side of broccoli or green beans or anything green, really. Brusselssprouts. My husband's favorite side-dish is caramalized onions with Old Bay seasoning. So easy! So delicious! So low-carb and low calorie! Never fails.

2. Tofu
I've had some hits and misses where tofu is concerned. Actual plain tofu (I got the firm type) was fairly easy for me to cook, and I enjoyed it. I made a simple salt & pepper fried tofu, where I salt/pepper both sides and fry it in olive oil. I added it to a broccoli stir fry and it was fine! No probs! Now, tofu "meat" products. Uhhhh... the hot dogs weren't great. I ate them because I was having some friends over and I needed a vegetarian substitute for the sausages/turkey sandwiches we were serving. The texture was something like... rubber and playdough. I was not a fan. I'll probably make the salt and pepper tofu again, but I'm leaving the soy dogs alone.

3. Beans
Beans take a while to prepare. You have to soak them (because we do things right in Robot House!), and you have to cook them a while in some spices and broth to make them more than just beans. Having a dad who's central American, I grew up on beans. My parents made beans at least twice a week and we always had some in the fridge. They would usually cook them with a pork bone, or ox tail, or some chicken parts thrown in there with a bunch of random vegetables. My mom wasn't big on dicing, so she'd just throw big chunks of whatever into the pot and let it cook ten or twelve hours. That was a regular meal at my house, so doing it vegetarian style at home wasn't too hard. My only issue is that the husband isn't too keen on bean soup, so I'm gonna have to omit this one. It didn't feel right without the pork bone, anyway. Also, let me clear up any rumors.. Central Americans don't have the same reaction that most Caucasians do when it comes to beans. Likely, we've evolved a way to process them so we don't get all gross, so no, there's no horrible gas coming from Robot House.

So far, I've had mostly seafood as protein. Can you believe I haven't had canned tuna, yet? I understand the threat of mercury, but I just haven't gotten around to it. When I do, it will be with this recipe!
Tuna Salad
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. small capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 can (6 oz.) light tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

And here we are, yet another Ash Wednesday where I'm trying to reprogram myself for a 40-day stint of something. Last year, I can't even remember what I did. Did I give up alcohol? Was I successful? I was probably kicking myself the entire time. This year, it's meat. I'm also giving up sweets and bread and all the stuff I usually avoid, but that's more for my own general peace of mind. Giving up carbs isn't something I'd do for religious reasons, because that's something I do all the time. Meat, though? The one place we turn to when we low-carbers are hungry and in need of a quick fix? There's a sacrifice. I forsee a lot of fish in my future, and maybe a few legumes.

I must admit though, I am actually relieved that I've started this today. Having binged on pancakes last night, I felt so terrible for the past few days (having been stuck at home on a limited budget) that restricting myself feels good. At least for now I don't feel all gross and bloaty like I do when I eat carbs. It's fun when they go in your mouth but, uh, they just kinda stay in your stomach for a while. At least they do with mine, which is why as much as I love pancakes, I really hate what they do to me. Thank goodness I only ever do this stuff once a year!!

But I digress, it's no meat for me for the next 40 days. So far I'm feeling great, but I forsee a bad blood sugar drop later. I've got some snacks to take care of that issue, but it's still gonna suck to wean myself off of the carbs AGAIN. Here's hoping I can do it without killing myself.