Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheesy rice

:: Cheesy-rice topography speckled with black bean boulders ::
Yesterday I spit out another ~ 9.5k or so on the treadmill - cool breeze through my hair - so I declined a workout tonite in favour of baking a casserole. What?!, you might shriek. Isn't that a hippie health nut craze from the 70s? My reply would be: No, I just made this tonight.

As D knows, I am rather fond of mining fridge, freezer and cupboards for scraps to add a little somethin' to a mix like this. A hot pepper or some frozen corn can raise the status of brown rice and beans to great heights, or at least to the point where it can be considered a meal. In this case, I added a cup of raw shredded carrot, minced garlic and some cheese, bound it all up in a can's worth of diced tomatoes and tablespoons of chili powder and cayenne, and baked it for a half hour. The cheese bubbles on top and it smells GOOD.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I jumped out of bed expecting to run outside today on the frozen surface of the canal. Then I checked the temperatures and wimped out, defaulting to Plan B - treadmill at the gym. It's funny that a moderately low temperature can scare me away from running outside for an hour, while the superduper Gaz headed bravely into an ultra marathon today! But it's windy, I whispered to myself...

The treadmills at the gym are your standard hamster running machines, with buttons for speed, incline, TV channels, and so on. Today I noticed a button I hadn't before - a fan with three speeds! Cool air is expelled at the top of the screen, which is at about throat height for me, so after a few minutes I tried the lowest fan speed, and after 30 I boosted it to medium speed. It felt great! What a nifty option. 

I only ran 9.5 km in the hour I spent running. I was expecting another km on top of that, but I probably spent too much time jogging on low speeds to warm up.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Soup and muffins

Making soup and baking stuff satisfies my need to create, at least during winter. Long ago, I got my fix by playing music and making crafts and writing poems, and now I lock myself in the kitchen, one hand clutching a whisk and the other a stack of stained recipes, a paranoid look on my face. It's a weird, nest-y phase but I'm going with it.

This morning I threw ingredients into the crock pot, and then started on a batch of Oatmeal Muffins with Dates, Raisins and Almonds.

- You can't see the chia seeds but they're there. -

The soup - actually it's a chowder - is in its infancy after just two hours of cooking (out of an expected eight). The potatoes are just starting to look tender instead of crisp and attitudinal.


Monday, January 6, 2014

No more scratching

He's been hitting the exercise mats regularly to work out with the P90x DVDs, and occasionally I jump in too. I'm selective, though: I pass on the cardio and wait for days that target back, tris, and abs - areas I'd like to improve in. Running is fantastic for lots of things but it can't strengthen my shoulders or obliques. We pumped things up yesterday when we met the training expectations for the day, then threw in a tad more, and today I'm experiencing twinges in the back of the shoulder when I raise my hand to scratch my head - not necessarily a bad thing but indicating what I'll lightly call progress. I'd been meaning to do exercises for these areas for years! but had no trouble finding loads of excuses to avoid them until, as luck would have it, the very exercises I need presented themselves in my living room, accompanied by my very own training partner who I know pretty well and am fairly comfortable with them knowing that one-arm pushups are not my thing. So for now, I'm keeping my hands down and trying to heal enough to partake in the next dose of pre-packaged pain.