Monthly Archives: April 2011

Productive Relaxation

Hey, hey, heyyy! How is Saturday treating you so far?!  Mine has been GREAT!  Relaxing and productive at the same time!

I know, I know.. How is that possible?! Relaxing and productive are kind of oxymorons – they DO NOT belong next to each other.  I can’t really explain how or why it is that I am feeling this way – but I am certainly NOT complaining!

So, let us begin with the productivity that this day has brought me thus far:

After a yummy bowl of oats, Justin and I hopped in his sparkling new car to do some work!

First stop – picking up my bib and t-shirt for my first race ever tomorrow.

Oh hey now... 253

I had to pick it up at a local gym – one that I am not a member at.  They taped blue tape on the floor for you to follow to the pick up area  – that took me through the entire gym.  A GREAT marketing ploy on the part of the gym.  I got a peek at all the cardio equipment, weight area – saw a pilates class and stepping class in action – saw the smoothie bar. It was a pretty nice gym.  If it were closer to the condo – I might consider it!

Next, we hit up my dad’s favorite store, Bed, Bath, and Beyond!  Okay – so his liking of it has rubbed off on me a little bit – and I am loving it too!

I needed to get a hand grater because Justin has requested a fresh batch of my carrot spice muffins for breakfast next week.  Since we have numerous 20% off coupons, I also picked up a supply of K-Cups so I can have coffee at work.  I am normally a french-vanilla type girl… but decided to be adventurous today and got Butter Toffee. I hope I like it! 🙂

Oh, and if you are wondering – yes my job has a Kuerig Coffee Machine – and NO they do not supply any K-Cups.

Since my race is tomorrow – Justin and I thought we would turn Supermarket Sunday to Supermarket Saturday.

A look into the goods:

Carrots much?!

Those dates.. yeah.. $1 a box. Are you fo real?!

Something new: Baked Lentil Chips. They are pretty tasty. I tired one immediately after taking this photo:

Proteins..

"The Man Goods"

While I love grocery shopping – it can sometimes cause anxiety when the aisles are packed with people.  Today – it was dead though – leading to a very relaxing shop.

The above mentioned productivity was ALL completed… pictured… and put away by 11:30 this morning.  How about them apples?!

After eating lunch and relaxing for a while at home, Justin and headed out to explore a local park.

I think we found a hidden gem that is oh so close to our place.  It will certainly be visited frequently.  It appears as if it is a HUGE estate that must have been sold to the city that we live in.  The main house now hosts weddings and other events.  There is an arts center where local groups perform.

With a playground for kids – open fields where we saw many groups of people playing volleyball and badmittion – tons of hiking trails that are dog friendly and picnic areas – this place could easily entertain a group of friends for an entire day!

Today, Justin and I followed a loop and walked for about an hour – then explored some of the other areas.

Boots in a tree?

All the roots from the trees.. pretty cool looking..

Hollowed tree that snapped at the base

Flooded area of the trail..

Odd...

We came across a frisbee golf course.  There were SO many people playing this game (that is foreign to me 🙂 ). Apparently, you have to throw a frisbee and make it land in a structure like this:

At the beginning of each hole, there is a sign that shows you the direction you have to aim in.  The guys that were playing were really getting some distance on their tosses.

To me, this sport looks incredibly hard!

Now, we are home – doing some more relaxing! 🙂  And that is what I am planning on doing for the rest of the night!

Loving Life!

****

So, I am bubbling with excitment over my race tomorrow.  I may have beaten this topic with a dead horse, but I don’t really care.  I am going to continue to beat it until it is over and done with…

And once it is done with, I will probably still continue to talk about it!

Although I am only running a 10k (as opposed to a half or a full.. which I honestly never intend on doing…), I have been spending a fair amount of time looking into how people prepare for their race in the days prior to it.

I found two very interesting pieces of information – that contradicted all that I had believed before:

  • It is not necessary for carb over-haul the night before a race. Runnersworld.com suggests that eating massive quantities of pasta or carb-y food the night before your race may do more harm then it does help.  Instead – they suggest moderately consuming carbs in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the days leading up to the race.
  • Drinking massive amounts of water leading up to the race may not be the best thing to do. Again, runnersworld.com feels that excess water can dilute your body’s stock of electrolytes – which can lead to muscle weakness and cramping.  Instead, continue to hydrate as you normally would – drinking an extra bit of water 2-3 hours before the race and hydrating again right before you take off.

Some other tips of interest that I found (same source):

  • Don’t try out a new breakfast on the morning of a race.  This one puts me in a bit of a pickle. I eat OATS for breakfast every morning. BUT – I do not think I can run with a belly full of oats.  I do plan on eating 2 hours before the race is set to start – but I am going to opt to go lighter – with some toast and a naner.  (It is not like I’ve never eaten if before!)
  • Wear the clothes that you are used to running in.  I am glad I came across this tip – because I was seriously about to go get a hot new outfit for my race.  But this makes sense. You never know how a new set of clothes will react to your run.  The last thing I want is a tank that is riding up that I have to keep tugging on as I run. I am going to go with what I know (plus I saved a few bucks).
  • Set everything up the night before the race. I will surely be doing this. I even did a whole load of laundry so I have an entire wardrobe to choose from!  My Garmin is charging as we speak. I’ve got my bib and my pins.. and will be getting that baby set before bed tonight!
  • Arrive early.  For many reasons.  Parking, bathroom, warming up! I am an early bird at heart – so I will probably end up getting there even before I am planning on!  The 10K starts at 8:40.  I am planning on getting there at bout 7:40.  I think an hour is plenty of time.. wouldn’t you agree?!
  • Run Relaxed.  Hoping to do this. I am not really nervous – just excited.  But research has shown that when you are tense when running – you end up running slower and exerting more energy. I am clearly NOT trying to win this race.. just hope to get a decent time – and have fun!
  • Smile.  If you are racing, you should have a love for running – and if you love something – you should smile while you are doing this. I am going to TRY to smile.  But to be honest with you – I am probably not going to be thinking about my facial expression. I may actually be mouthing the words to whatever jam is on my ipod!

Questions

Have you ever heard of, played, viewed…Frisbee Golf?

What are your pre-race strategies.  I know I am running a pretty short race – in comparison to many of the runners in the blog world.. but I am having a ball getting caught up in all of this stuff! 🙂


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When you are a teacher…

When you are a teacher… and the seasons change- you might just get to watch the sunrise every morning as you drive to work.

When you are a teacher… you may go to school on a Friday looking like this:

High Five For Friday! 🙂

And you may leave school looking like this:

How'd That Happen?!

It is not easy to turn down a role in a pep rally.  I teach at a charter school – and while it is still considered to be a public school – we only receive 75% of the state funding that students at regular public school receives.

It is the responsiblity of the school to somehow make up the difference.  This can be done through donations, special events, and more.  Earlier in the year, Aaron and Charles Neville did a benefit for our school to raise money.  They also came and visited the students. They thought it was pretty cool.

Today, we had a pep rally for our upcoming event – a 2 mile walk/run!  I am on the event committee – and our goal is to have all students participate!  In order to participate, they must find sponsors and raise a total of $25 each!  It was my job today to get the students pumped up and eager to participate! Hence my new costume!

When you are a teacher, your students may call you Bugs Bunny when you eat a bag of carrots like this every day!

When you are a teacher, and your students complete the asburdly large packet of math homework that you  sent home over April Vacation (yes I am that cruel teacher that you probably hated in elementary school), you can reward them with this:

And then it won’t seem so bad after all.  Didn’t you know that popsicles cure everything when you are in 2nd grade?!

When you are a teacher, and it is Friday – there is no better way to unwind from the week by attending a relaxing yoga class.

When you are a teacher (okay, okay.. when you are a human) and your boyfriend has a much larger appetite, you may have very a different portioned dinner.

Exhibit A:

Homemade Calzones for Dinner

Note the difference in size.

Fillings for Cait’s Calzone: Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, 2 tbs Ricotta Cheese

The Smiling Calzone

Fillings for Justin’s Calzone: Bacon, Ham, An unmeasured quantity of Ricotta Cheese, an unmeasured quantity of mozzarella cheese.

When you are a teacher, you can do nothing but laugh has you watch you boyfriend use about 1 cup of flour to prevent the dough sticking to the roller…turning the crust just about all white.

It is totally the taste that matters, so as a teacher, I am totally content on this Friday night!

Hope you all have an AWESOME weekend!  I am getting PUMPED for my race on Sunday.  Before Yoga, I ran a mile and had no pain in my achilles (knock on wood). WOOT WOOT! I think I just needed to rest it a little.

Tomorrow, I will be picking up my things for the race – and perhaps exploring a local park, weather permitting.

Any plans for your weekend?

xoxo

Egg White Souffle Dinner Cakes – For 1

We all have those nights… regardless of whether we live with a roommate, a significant other, our parents, siblings.. where we are on our own for dinner.

In all honesty – these are some of my favorite nights – when I get to do my own thing – and can eat things that I like – and it doesn’t necessarily have to appeal to the tastebuds of the above mentioned individuals.

What can be difficult though – is making a dinner – with a single portion (or close to it)

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE leftovers.  But 3-5 servings of leftovers can be a little much.

With many recipes, I also don’t feel like putting in all the work of making a full fledged meal.. for just me.. the one and only.

However, the Egg White Souffle Dinner Cake that I am about to show you – is an exception.  To be quite honest – I enjoy making it just for one person – and probably would not be a fan of making  more servings.

These “cakes” are a great texture.  Below, I’ve chose my own add-ins – but you can really through in anything you like!  Different veggies, cheeses.. even a protein if the eggs don’t do enough for ya!

Egg White Souffle Dinner Cakes for One

Ingredients

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 tbps chopped onions
  • 4 stewed tomato halves (leftover from my Paella)
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Pepper
  • Dash of Chili Powder

Preparation

  • Preheat Oven to 365* (I like weird numbers)
  • Cook up your spinach in a small skillet – using a dash of oil if you would like.  Cook until the spinach has dramatically decreased in size.

Before Cooking...

Spinach Shrinkage

  • Add onions and tomatoes to spinach – and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat.


  • Separate your egg whites and put them into a bowl. Add garlic powder, pepper, and chili powder


  • Using a hand mixer, beat your eggs whites until they are fluffy.

The will go from this…

To this.. In about 5-6 minutes of consistent beating.

When your whites have reached their optimal consistency, you should be able to make peaks when you remove the mixing blades.. like so:

  • Fold in your veggies


  • SPRAY A MUFFIN PAN WITH NON-STICK… (Super duper important that you do this adequately!)
  • Spoon mixture into 3-6 muffins – depending on the size that you would like your little cakes.


  • Bake for 13-15 minutes – until tops are nice a browned

It is amazing how much food you can create from 3 little egg whites!  They become so voluminous through the beating!

This meal is pretty quick and easy – and it doesn’t require a whole lot of ingredients.  Basically – if you have egg whites and random veggies/cheeses – you are all set!