Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Injuries Suck

I've been trying not to complain. Really. I swear. But it is 80 freaking degrees in Illinois in mid-March. And I can't run.

These babies are collecting dust the last few weeks.

Surprisingly, when you feel pain in your body for a good 3-4 months (in this case, my knee) it is actually a good idea to go to the doctor, instead of continuing to run roughly 20 miles per week because you're paranoid that if you don't your life will change dramatically and you'll never be able to finish another marathon. Who knew?

But really, I've been trying to NOT let it get me down. Every time a negative thought pops in my head like "Oh I feel so sorry for myself, I hate that I have an injury, wah, wah, wah...." I really do try to just swoop it away with something positive like "Thank goodness I can walk!" or "I'm so glad I don't need surgery!" But there are days that just gets really old.

And there are times that I just can't ignore the constant reminders around me of how good it would feel to be outside with the breeze in my face. Like hearing Lady Gaga or the Glee soundtrack on the radio (yes, I have an incredibly dorky playlist, and no, they don't really play the Glee soundtrack on the radio). Or seeing one of the thousand runners I saw outside on this incredibly gorgeous day.

Sigh. Instead I will do my silly stretches the physical therapist gives me, and ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes every day hoping I "graduate" to a new exercise that will send me one step closer to running again. And I'll try not to think about the gazillion calories I'm used to burning and how during the next 6 weeks or so I'll likely go slightly crazy and also gain 10 pounds.

Obviously, in the scheme of life this is small potatoes. But it's my routine, my stress relief, my way of life for the last few years. Everything just seems better when you can do what you love.

So embrace the moment, do what you like to do, and don't take it for granted. Today is a gift and you should make the most of it.

One of my favorite gifts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big Italian Salad

Quite possibly the world's perfect salad.

We added lots olives, bacon, and feta to make it even more delicious. Click here to make it!!

Easiest Minestrone Ever

This has been our go-to winter soup this year! It cooks up in under an hour, and seems to make the whole family happy. Perfect with salad and garlic bread!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (or cheat and use cole slaw mix in a bag!)
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup cooked cannelini beans

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add carrots, onions, and celery. Saute for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften.
2. Add cabbage/cole slaw mix and cook another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add tomatoes and broth and turn heat to medium high. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are soft.
4. Add beans and zucchini and cook only about 10 more minutes--doesn't take long to cook the zucchini.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can always add more dried basil or fresh garlic if the seasoned tomatoes don't add enough flavor for you.

Very low carb--I usually just glance at the beans in her bowl and estimate the carbs in the amount she's eating.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bran Muffins


These muffins were our breakfast this morning, and are super delicious (if you like bran muffins!). A nice, quick breakfast to grab and go on busy mornings, and a good dose of whole grain to start the day! They're from Heidi Swanson's new cookbook...her  blog and cookbooks are one of my favorite places to grab recipes from.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup barely melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup wheat bran or oat bran
1 1/2 cups plain bran cereal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine butter, eggs, milk, and syrup. Stir in the bran and bran flakes and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Dispense better evenly between 12 muffin cups.
5. Bake for 18-22 minutes (ours only took 18).

18 carbs each

I think I'll experiment by trying to swap coconut oil for some of the butter, and maybe add some unsweetened coconut flakes next time. They were a hit with my kids!