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Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day of 2010

I'm not much for pondering my past, nor do I usually set resolutions. But I am hopeful that 2011 goes a whole hell of a lot smoother than 2010 did. I am kind of glad it's behind me now. Okay, it will be very shortly! Happy New Year's, where ever you are.

After I got home from Cochrane (ended up running 6.37km with Martin), I changed out of my wet running clothes (it amazes me that I can sweat like a mother bear when it's negative double digits out there!) and changed into dry running clothes. After all, I had the Resolution 5km Run at Eau Claire at 6pm. I had a quick bite to eat, as I also came to the conclusion that I didn't take in a lot of food this morning (a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of milk), and that could be why I didn't do the full intended 10k this afternoon. I whipped up a very fast Lemon Carbanara (cook yolk less egg noodles, drain, toss with one egg beaten with lemon juice, S&P, chili flakes, return to pot and stir till smooth and creamy and "cooked". Top with a little Parm.) and then headed down to Eau Claire.

The swag for this year's run was another winter running jacket like last year, but this year it's orange. Bright "we'll-be-safe-hunting" orange! And to come into a room and see a sea of orange...well, it was a sight! The race was sold out, as always, but this year I really think most people showed up to run it. Usually the temps drop to mind-numbing by the time of the race, and most people just claim the jacket and never show up to run. This year was the exception, as it got warmer, rather than colder. Because of all the construction, the route was a little different, as was to be a 5km, but Mr. Garmin says I did 4.85km. That's okay...I ran the whole thing, I passed people and I felt great at the finish line. So, just over 11km on the final day of the year for me. Yay.

Came home and changed again, after a visit with other running peeps, and sat down to some much deserved appies. Herb Brie cheese, stuffed Queen olives, a type of goat cheese I can't pronounce, and that has a very unusual but tasty flavour, and my absolute favourite, pickled herring. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything pickled, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seafood, so mix the two?!?! HEAVEN!!! I picked up a few treats while picking up my New Year's feast from Sunterra Market.
After appies, I had a Shrimp and Fennel Slaw salad. Very light and refreshing.
After that, it was time for a bowl of soup. Tomato Gin Bisque, to be exact. Double Yum!
Entree consisted of roasted baby potatoes (which I dipped into the garlic aioli provided for the salad...happy, happy taste buds!), roasted medley of vegetables (yellow zucchini, carrots, red bell peppers, snap peas - very colourful) and beef tenderloin. Melt in your mouth tender and TASTY!!! Finished pretty full, so I decided to sit back and watch a bit of the Criminal Minds marathon on A&E (mmmmm...Thomas Gibson floats my boat...that's all I'm sayin!).
Once I felt I had room again, I indulged in the dessert...chocolate cheesecake with berries and raspberry coulis. I may need a cigarette after this...good thing it was small!
And good thing I ordered the Roast Chicken version of this, so I have soup, salad, veggies and chicken for Sunday now, along with chocolate cheesecake!! Tomorrow night will be spent at Mom's with my brother and SIL, eating ham-bone soup (made from the Christmas ham) and salad and Cherry-O-Cream Cheese pie (a no-bake cheesecake)...and a blast from my past. We always had this pie on New Year's day for as long as I can remember.
So, all the best to you and yours in 2011. Work hard enough and your dreams will come true.


250 marathons in 365 days...5 runs a week...10,550 km or 6,555 miles. In one year!

Today was the final marathon of the 2010 Marathon Quest, and I wanted to be a part of it. Now, I haven't been running all the much lately, so 42.2 changed to 21.1 which changed to 10 which changed to "I'll just go and do what I can and enjoy the day for what it is". Resume regular running is #1 for 2011, by the way.

My running buddy D., part of the Eau Claire Running Room. Knew a few people out today, but a lot of our regular group weren't able to make it. Sad for them.

The man of the hour...wait, scratch that...YEAR!

Gorgeous day, but COLD. Actually, I lucked out, starting later in the day (1:30pm), as it was -22C with a -29C windchill at 9 am when Martin and some real die-hards started out. The course was a 2km out & back along the river, in Cochrane, AB., just west of Calgary. By the time I got out there, I think the temp had risen to -12C and the wind had shifted, coming in the from the West, meaning a Chinook! In fact, it's 10 degrees warmer now (11:38pm) then it was this afternoon in the sunshine.
This is early...I still look like I'm having fun!

The group just kept growing and many people came out to see this final run and it was awesome to see how many were kids.

Yes, that is a, it did not rain, nor was it snowing. Very cool!
The final steps to the finish line! He was like the Pied Piper, always surrounded by kids. Which is fitting...he was doing this for them, after all!

I am THRILLED that I managed to get one photo with him after the run was done. So inspiring, and yet the most gracious person, right to the end.
Wonder how he's planning on spending his day tomorrow, since for the first time in 365 days, he doesn't have to get up early to run!
And at last count, we heard he broke the $200,000 mark, but his goal is still $250,000 by February 4th. I'm certain he'll make it...Calgary is pretty well known for helping charities.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Okay...there are times I regret my "put your head down and just do your work till it's done" attitude. Because I was so freaking efficient last week, I am sitting here today with literally NOTHING TO DO! I am waiting on other departments, like dominoes, to put their respective heads down and to do their jobs. I have very high expectations, apparently. Now my boss did say I could go home, but as some sort of weird freak, I prefer to be at work...WORKING. Grrrr...

Had the rest of the borscht and a small cabbage roll, ham that literally equaled two bites and some green salad. Am I weird in the fact that I eat romaine lettuce the same way others eat carrots or celery? Straight out of the bowl (I was "girly" and used a fork today), no dressing, oil or nothun. It's fabulous that way, but my coworkers tend to send me those sideways "does she know there's no gobs of Ranch on that" looks. Breakfast was some more of the pumpkin oatmeal, which was very good the next day. Of course, I did punch it up a bit with Epicure Maple popcorn seasoning. Yes, POPCORN seasoning. Basically it's maple sugar, so just enough sweetness to cut the bland butternut squash.

I am happy that I registered for Boot Camp last night, as there are no more excuses. I did not like the puffiness of the face that stared back at me this morning while getting ready for work. And not puffy due to lack of sleep...rather, lack of control!

Although, if I keep eating mandarins like I am, I'm likely to dispel all of my Christmas choices the good old-fashioned way!! But they're sooooo good!

All right...I'm off to actually hover over people's desks to see if they've managed to do their job yet, so that I may continue forward with mine. Or I may just go home! It's currently snowing and blowing here in Calgary. After our Christmas Chinook and temps of +5C, today's -15C is a bit of a shock to the system. Not sure if I'll make it out to running clinic tonight...or if anyone is for that matter, as quite a few were traveling to other locations to see family.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last day

Can't believe that the 4-day Christmas weekend is done already. At least I was a bit more productive today than I was yesterday...spent the day sleeping, eating, napping, eating more.

Today I managed to make Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal (from the WW Weekly last week)...into slow cooker put 6 c water (I halved the recipe and switched up half the water for milk), 3 c raw pumpkin diced (use pie or sugar pumpkins or butternut squash), 1 1/2 c steel-cut oats, 1/2 c honey, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. Stir till mixed and cook overnight on low. Now, here's what I'll do differently next time...I'll still stick the milk/water combo - made it creamier, but I'll watch how long I cook it for. Some stuck to the side of my slow-cooker and got a little too brown. I'll also roast the squash first, so it gets good and caramelly before it goes into the pot. I find the big chunks of plain squash kind of blah. Definitely more cinnamon, and I'll sprinkle with course brown sugar before eating, for that extra crunch and sweet hit. Only 5 points per serving, and I have 4 1-cup containers waiting in the fridge for breakfasts this week.

Did a load of laundry, so I'd have clean clothes for work tomorrow. Oh well, it's only two days, then I'm off till Tuesday again.

Washed a butt-load...okay, sink load, of dirty dishes. Sadly, made supper and now I have more. I so have to find a new dishwasher in the new year!

Went and fed my friend's cats...and realized I forgot her Christmas present on the back seat of my car AGAIN. Seriously!! I'm there every'd think I'd remember to take the blinking thing up with me. I have till Sunday to remember...want to place odds on that happening?!?!

Changed the litter, hauled some trash, squeezed in a short nap, watched the Home Buyers marathon on HGTV. Made me really want to get my own home. Growing weary of renting. I'll have to work on that goal for 2011.

I did buy dinner, because I was bored with turkey and such. I ended up with a really tasty, chunky Borscht, that worked out to 2 pts per cup. Add a little light sour cream, and a cabbage roll in tomato sauce, and I had a very filling meal. And lunch for tomorrow is ready to go!

Registered for Boot Camp (starts Jan 4th!), and ordered a RoadID. Will be plotting out my month, so that I can figure out boot camp, marathon training (most likely for Calgary in May) and other days to keep me moving every day.

With that, I'm going to go to bed at a decent hour, as 5:30am will come early.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Hangover

Oh, my aching belly...yet I can't seem to stop!
First "decorating" at home...

Enjoyed the last day (and Thursday...forgot to eat it) of the Advent Calendar. Mmmmm...Lindt Chocolate rocks.

After waking up, hanging with my kitties, baking some cookies for my mom (kitchen disaster ensued), I went and got Mom and we all headed south of the city to Okotoks, where my older brother held reign over the kitchen. He seriously missed his calling!

The dining room table...hum...where are we supposed to eat?!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Christmas Palm tree...I am SO getting one of these for next year!!!

Presents piled carefully under the tree. You'll note the lack of toys. That will be solved next year, as my nephew and his fiancee announced their happy news.
Some of the critters that reside here...Nirmac and Jackass. I hear the latter was named after my brother! They are very cute and apparently quite amorous with each other...we're on egg watch!

Tried to get a picture of the other 4-legged family member, Bandit, but she was camera shy. That, and there were so many people and so much food, she just didn't know where to go first! She is a beautiful Siberian Husky and very well behaved. Just doesn't like her picture taken!
This is the turkey platter, with a side story. I hand painted this 10 years ago. My SIL loves to do cross-stitch, as do I (haven't in years) and my mom. So I found a pattern I had, and I "stitched" it onto the clay before it was finished. Did it at Fire Escape, an establishment very close to my house (well, they did move last year) that I spent countless hours and pay cheques at!! When I saw the platter, I remembered all the time and effort that went into it. My hand ached for DAYS as I literally put each individual x on with a little squirt bottle.
My SIL taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her!
Started with a pickle and cheese platter while we waited on dinner. Pickled snap-peas (freaking amazing!), herring (love, love, love!!!), dills, hot olives, cheddar cheese cubes, Boursin with garlic and herbs, crackers. Most yum-a-lishiss!
Finally dinner is served...turkey, maple-infused ham, smashed potatoes, turnip and carrots, Brussels sprouts (steamed...told them to roast next time for a real taste treat), roasted sweet potato slices, corn, stuffing (plain and giblet), "doctored" brown beans (my family adds sliced salami, hot pepperoni, brown sugar, etc to a can of brown beans to take them to the next level...OMG).
We pulled crackers (new to my family, but my SIL and her daughter have done it for years), and wearing our hats, sat down to clean the table!
My plate looked very similar to my neice's. She's here from the south Pacific - she lives in Indonesia, Australia and most recently New Zealand, as she bops from place to place. She is a surfing fanatic, so will be heading "home" soon, to get back to the waves. Had to fill up on home-cooked goodness first!

With full bellies, we sat around and exchanged gifts, shared fond memories and laughed till we cried. That's the one thing about my family...we may be small, we may not have a lot of traditions, but we do know how to laugh. A good, hearty, from the belly laugh! That was my exercise yesterday.
Since part of my gift included home-made "peanut" brittle (I say "peanut" because some pieces are pistachio, some are cashew and some are macadamia nut), I MUST go for a good, long walk today. And since it's a beautiful Chinook winter day, I will head down to the river for a spell. Enjoy it while we've got it. I am not one of those insane Canadians that go Boxing Day shopping...there is nothing I want that badly!

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I'm in love

Granted, it's with a little piece of chocolate, but O.M.G!!!!! The people are Purdy's are pure geniuses! Sweet caramel, wrapped in delicious chocolate (I prefer the dark!) with a smattering of sea salt. It is a PAR-TAY in your mouth!!!

Go get some, and try to stop at one...dare ya!

Merry Christmas Eve...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Run by post

Actually made it out for a run tonight, but I made the mistake of trying to keep up with a group that normally runs about 30 - 45 minutes faster than I do!! I did not bad, if I do say so myself, but they did have to drop back a few times and wait for me..."leave no runner behind"...this is our clinic motto.

Tonight was the last run club before Christmas, so there was hot chocolate and egg nog and cookies to be had back at the shop. And for those of us that really got into the spirit (I pulled out the Elf costume, again), a gift card. Yay me! I can always find something to buy at the Running Room!!

Dinner tonight was very simple...just two dippy eggs and a chiabatta to dip in them. I wasn't feeling too inspired, but figured this was still better than eating at the pub later. While others noshed on fries (nary a one passed my lips), and other items of deep-fried goodness, I sipped my Guinness and told myself that it really is the Irish Meal Replacement Plan. Came home, and plugged the numbers into the Points Plus. Now, there's a website that I looked up the stats of a pint of Guinness on, and per ounce, it boils down to 1.1 carbs, 0 fat, 0 fibre and .1 g of protein. That works out to 2 pts for a pint! Down from 3 points on the old plan. This actually made me happy!!! Very, very happy. Add that to the 11 points I earned trying to keep up with the other runners, and I actually have weekly allowance and activity points leftover tonight. Let's see what the digital devil has to say about it tomorrow.

I do have a headache (elf hat...I hate wearing hats for this very reason) so I am about to medicate up and go to bed.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Almost a full week

I've been following the new PointsPlus plan online for almost a week now, diligently entering my data, and wondering at the math formulas in the recipe builders. How 15 + 2 + 1 could equal 22, for example?! Or how a simple bowl of pasta becomes 11 points in total - I actually weighed out the pasta, so make sure I had it right. And yet we're not supposed to shy away from certain foods! Still some bumps, I guess. But I am trying.

Breakfast was milk, multigrain cheerios and a banana. Lunch was last night's leftovers, which were okay. As I decided last night, the next time I make the Brussels sprouts, I'm skipping the chestnuts and using pine nuts instead. The chestnuts just did not like day 2. I also decided I put too much spinach in the barley, and next time will stir in the roasted asparagus at the last minute, so it doesn't get all soggy. The salmon was nice the next day, but hard to reheat without "cooking" it more. There is nothing nastier than overcooked fish!

Dinner was something simple and from my own recipe book in my head. While some whole wheat penne boiled, I fried shallots and garlic in evoo and added a cup of grape tomatoes, halved, and some brocolini. Lastly I threw in a handful of thawed shrimp and fresh basil. Once the penne was cooked, that also went in the pot, and it was topped with some shredded parm to eat. Nom, nom, nom!!!
Leftovers are already packed away, waiting to be eaten tomorrow at lunch time. I am planning on heading to run club tomorrow, which will feel good. Last run before Christmas. Then I need to sit down, chose some exercise goals, register for a race (or two!) and get my priorities back on track!
That's it, that's all for me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Full belly and special treats!

My wonderful friend M. brought these back from Hawaii with him! O.M.GEEEEE!!!!!!! One bag is officially gone, but the other will be carefully hidden away from myself, until I can figure out another supply source! These ones are so cute too, as some are stamped with mini umbrellas, palm trees...I tried to take a picture, but they were either too bright or too dark. I ate them!
Lunch today was last night's leftovers, and was really good the second day! The burger was still nice and moist, although next time I will remember some chili sauce to schmear on, to make it even spicier! Rounded out the meal with a handful of beautifully ripe grape tomatoes. Yum, yum, yum.
Came home, and pulled the salmon from the freezer to thaw. One the menu tonight:
Salmon and Asparagus with Citrus Gremolata (pg 175), Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts (pg 225) and Barley with Spinach and Asparagus (pg 243). I did skip out on the double asparagus, leaving it with the barley and just roasting the salmon with a simple sprinkle of S&P, and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. The Gremolata was a mix of garlic, parsley, basil (they called for tarragon, I had basil), lemon zest and orange zest. It was yummy. Meanwhile I started boiling the chestnuts...can't do anything easy in my world, but this is what the instructions at that store said to do. Still a pain in the butt, and quite frankly, I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. Next time I'll throw in pine nuts. The Brussels were fabulous though, as I love, love, love roasted Brussels. Caramelly, crispy goodness!!
Lastly, I cooked onion, garlic and the barley in evoo, and added some vermouth (intriguing) and chicken broth, then the roasted asparagus and some spinach that I had thawed earlier this week. That was also quite yummy and quite filling. The plate was looking a little too green, so I threw on some tomatoes to brighten it up a bit.
Tomorrow's lunch is already packed away, and I did dishes (I really need to buy a new dishwasher!) until my back couldn't take it anymore. I'll tackle the next pile's all soaking right now. Planning out dinner tomorrow night...thinking a simple pasta dish of some kind. I've got tons of tomatoes and basil, so I think a pasta toss with hot cooked tomatoes in garlic and basil. Just have to plan out the protein. I'm with Amy on this one...I think the new plan is going to make members shy away from certain food groups, and therefore fall into the "diet" mentality...I'm hoping to stay away from that myself, but also understand the importance of protein at every meal. Maybe a simple grilled piece of chicken or some shrimp. Oooo...shrimp. Just made up my own mind!
Enjoy your evening,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

PointsPlus cookbook

All right...second and third recipes of the day from the book...
I made the Thai Ginger Chicken Burgers (pg 165), with the Thai Curry-Coconut rice (pg 236) and a simple coleslaw that I "Asianed" up with fennel, black sesame seeds and ginger-miso dressing. The burger, with bun, was 9 pts while the rice was 3. My slaw is another thing though...I typed it all into the recipe builder, with only the dressing counting as 1 point. However, the total points for the salad...3. WTF?! I didn't multiply the was as I listed...I just don't know how 1 became 3 at the end. And this is the second recipe that this has happened, where the math doesn't add up. At least not in my favour!
But the burger was really good, and quite easy to make. The rice was also good, but I'll add a bit of water to it tomorrow before I reheat, to moisten it up a bit. Found it a tad dry. The slaw was also good, but for lunch tomorrow I'll switch to a baggie of grape tomatoes. They were on sale, so I bought 3 boxes!
Tomorrow night will be salmon and asparagus, Brussels sprouts and spinach. The trouble with most cookbooks is that they feed 4 or more, so I'll always be cutting the recipe in half and leaving myself with lunch for the next day. That will be a good thing.
Can't believe it's Sunday night already and it's time to return to the office. It'll start being quiet though, as most people begin to take time off for the holidays starting this week. I'll be working through, but that's fine too. It's so quiet and peaceful with everyone away, I can actually get work done!


I think maybe the weather is changing, as I have quite the headache today. Woke up with it and despite coffee and food, it's still hanging on. Okay, so Advil would be a good thing too...just haven't got there yet.

Breakfast started as coffee in my new Hawaii mug, courtesy of H-woman! I feel just like Jaime, as I begin to build my Starbucks collection. I'm only up to 3, but I can build on that!

Flashback to up and met up with H-woman, and we both headed to the south end of town to sit in on Leader Faye's Saturday morning Weight Watcher's meeting. I didn't think she was back from Hawaii (walked the marathon with her hubs) yet, but she flew back on the same flight as H-woman, as fate would have it! I needed that meeting. I admit I am struggling/fighting against the new program, so needed to hear all about it from the leader I trust the most. After the meeting, we sat through the getting started session too, and then H. and I went back to her place (me, with Starbucks in hand) and read through the material, discussed at length and browsed through the newest PointsPlus cookbook. I'm feeling a little better about this, although I still feel this is Core program (which did not work well for me!) whether we like it or not.

Got home and signed up for the two-week etools trial, although I think it should be even cheaper for existing weekly members than the $18/month it is. We'll see how this works for me. So far, I have tracked everything up to date, and entered a few recipes. Not the fastest system, but hoping it does it's job and truly helps me with this. On the way home from H's, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few (okay, a lot) of healthy food options to get me through the week. Lots of vegetables and some fruit...I'm still not going crazy over that. I ate it before, I'll continue to eat it now, free or not. Dinner last night was the last of my pork stew that I made earlier in the week. I added a dollop of low-fat sour cream, salsa and a sprinkling of cheese. And one of my snacks was the juiciest Asian pear I've ever had. Didn't like it cold out of the fridge though, so next time I'll let it sit for a bit.

Breakfast was a whole grain chiabatta that I toasted, with a little PB and a banana. Simple, and something I have enjoyed long before Elvis deep-fried it in butter! Glass of milk and another coffee, and I was set for the morning.

Caught up on some TV that I had recorded, one being X-weighted Families. Turns out this week's episode was the family of a guy that I work with, and whom I've noticed the weight loss. Awesome guy and I'm so happy that this appears to be working for him...and it looks like he's still losing weight, long after the trainers and cameras are gone. Good for him!

Started to get a little growly, so I opened up the new cookbook and decided on a brunch item of Eggs and Polenta with Black Beans. Pretty simple, actually. Bake off some slices of pre-rolled polenta (you can buy it in the pasta section of most grocery stores). The recipe did say to spray with non-stick canned spray, but since I don't like eating propane or butane, I just used my little clay baker instead. Did just as good a job. You bake it till it starts to get a little golden. Meanwhile, in a pan, mix black beans, salsa and some chili powder till hot and bubbling. Pour over polenta and sprinkle with some shredded cheese. Fry up an egg (in my non-stick pan, so no butter or oil) and place on top. Mine was dippy perfection! And the recipe was really good. Granted, I don't eat fat-free cheese (shudder) so I'll take another point or two for the real stuff, but the whole thing is 7 points! And I've eaten to my satisfaction level.

I do need to go outside and clean up the sidewalks...I'm feeling guilty listening to all the snow-blowers out there, but then again, it's only about an inch worth of snow. I'm not in a hurry. I think I'll let the headache ease first (yes, I have since taken painkillers). And plan out goal this week is to cook something from the cookbook each night, so that the leftovers are lunch the next day. No group lunches or potlucks to worry about this week, so I should be good to go.

I may post dinner pics later. Have a happy Sunday.


Friday, December 17, 2010


While sleepily and grumpily walking into work this morning, in the dark, the snow, the wind and the cold, I was waiting for the light to change when I noticed the most perfect snowflake EVER that had landed on my glove. It just sat there, and sparkled in the street light.

That put a smile on my face and totally changed my view of the day. I will just have to remember the feeling that the perfect little snowflake gave me when I'm shovelling its millions of cousins off my sidewalks later!

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Left, right, repeat

That is what I did tonight, for the first time in forever! And it felt AWESOME! Clear night, not too cold (-9C) and the paths are dry. C. (from marathon clinic) and I ran together, as this is basically a first night out for us both. Slow, but I am still recovering from the ear thing, and C. was testing how her knee/IT would behave. But we did 3.14km in 28 minutes. I'll take it. Can't wait to head out Sunday and see how that feels. I think the hardest part is really not having a goal race right now, but with me wanting to join Martin for #250, I think that might be the motivation to get out there that I need. And speaking of motivation, he just passed the 10,000km mark, during run #237! Can you believe that?! Go check out his blog...and better yet, go online to support Right to Play. Martin is still about $100K short of his target, but if I know is hiding behind some door somewhere.

Weigh-in today did not go well. Maybe it was the potluck yesterday, maybe it was because I am still trying to wrap my head around the new program...whatever. I sat there and felt like a big loser (not in the usual way) as I am certain I was the only one who gained this week. That and I refused to act like a two-year-old on a sugar high just because fruit is free. We get it! We can eat bananas again...oh, wait...I've been eating them all along!!! Argh! I just need my Faye back to guide me through this and help me purge all the past WW stuff, so I have room for the new WW stuff. My brain is very full, you know!!!

After meeting, I grabbed what I hope to be my usual "after meeting lunch" of crab salad w/corn, mango salad with cucumber, some tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and feta, and a really nice apple cinnamon salad of some kind. Sadly, when I returned from lunch, there were FOUR sweet squares on my desk. There was a baby shower at lunch, so my pod-mate thought it would be nice to save me some of the treats. And then she saved one of each kind. I know I don't have to eat them...but the nanaimo square didn't last very long! Forty-nine flex points for a reason, right?! Add further insult to of the guys that I've been dropping stuff for to do a report up for him finally succumbed to my "I'll do this, but I'd just like to point out that I really like Starbucks" routine. Sadly, I said Starbucks, he heard Buttercream! It's currently residing in my fridge...who knows how long it will last. Another reason why I went for a run tonight!

Met up with the running group past and present for a pre-Christmas drink after the run, and had a nice visit with folks I haven't seen in a while. Even Garrath made a visit, and gave me a present! Blush...okay, it was a box of Gu! But it's the thought that counts!!! He asked if I was going to pace for the new guy in January, to which I said I would if he asked. So Garrath was going to go tell him to contact me. Guess I did a good job! As long as I get to work on my pacing, that's fine. I have just over 2 years to break 4 hours! While everyone else enjoyed beers, I did stick to I don't want to mess with the antibiotics. While the buzzing is now a dull hiss, I can also tell it's getting later in the day, as my ear starts to ache after 12 or so hours up. I would really like this to go away.

Dinner was a salmon clubhouse, and was very good. On a whole grain chiabatta (eh?? Not too bad for a pub!) went bacon, a spicy chipotle aioli, big slice of tomato, lettuce and the nicest cooked piece of salmon. Okay, there was bacon too... But the salmon was cooked perfectly, which is so hard from some pubs as they insist on overcooking the crap out of it. Nice to know there was someone in the kitchen that knew what they were doing. Now, I "may" have enjoyed some sweet potato fries along side said sandwich, but we'll never know, as there was no evidence of such remaining on the plate!

Home now, and just catching up on posts before I hit the sack. I've been sleeping really well...just need to make it to bed earlier than I have to really get the most out of it.


Monday, December 13, 2010


That's what I'm calling dinner. The piece of pork tenderloin that I rubbed with McEwan's Southwestern Rub that I bought in October. That 'marinated' all night long, so this morning, I chopped up the pork, threw it in my wee slow cooker with a tin of diced tomatoes, mushrooms slices and Epicure dried green peppers and Guacamole dip mix. When I got home, I tested for seasoning (added salt) and then some diced up celery and zucchini, and Epicure toasted onion, as well as a half a cup of the quick cooking barley (7 grams of protein and 8 grams of fibre per serving!) and a bit more water. Let it all work it's magic while I did some running around, and now I have tasty bowl of glop! It may not look pretty, but it was delish. And since the only point items were the pork and the, 6 pt dinner!

Tomorrow is our Christmas potluck, so lunch will be hit or miss. I went the easy route with meatballs and bbq sauce, which I can cook in the slow-cooker. Easy, since we don't have a stove in our kitchen. I've got to weigh-in on Wednesday, as we're having a group lunch on Thursday. It's tough this time of year to get into any routine, and add to that a new WW program. I'm still trying to get used to the idea that I have to check every point value for everything, and remembering to have the little calculator thing everywhere I am. But we will make this work. I may even sign up for etools, even though I hate being charged for weekly meetings and then being charged even more for a monthly access fee for the etools. As a paying member in good standing, the online privilege should be free!

The infection in my ear appears to be getting better, but I can still tell that I'm nearing bedtime, as it starts to ache horribly by this time of night. Time to medicate up and get ready for bed.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

The buzzing continues

Antibiotics since Tuesday night, and yet, there's still this constant buzzing in my ear. Granted, I'm standing a little more straight, and the pain isn't nearly as bad. In fact, just realized that I have missed my midday "hit" of Advil, and I appear to be fine. Just hopeful that the buzz ends soon.

Went to the Epicure launch yesterday. Lots of good, interesting stuff arriving January 1st, but that also means we lose some stuff too. If you are a fan, be sure to contact your dealer...ahem...consultant, and stock up. I then went to Tango Bistro for lunch. Very good...the Parmesan Frites with Aioli was worth the driving alone!! I'm still tasting the garlic! Yummo!! I got there early, so nibbled while I waited for my friend to arrive. She's also a consultant for Epicure, but due to personality conflicts doesn't attend the meetings. So she and I went through the catalogue and made our notes and comments.

Sadly, despite a lovely looking wine list, I opted for plain coffee with lunch. Darn buzzing in my ear! I did partake in my absolute favourite salad...ever...tomotoes and boccocini, with a balsamic reduction. They had both small and regular sizes of the cheese and tomatoes, and rested it all on a bed of peppery arugula. My only complaint is that they had the tomatoes in the freaking fridge!! How to completely ruin the taste of a they not read?! I followed that with the Gnocchi and Pancenta. It was just all right...the gnocchi was a little on the mushy side, which took away from the dish. But on the other side, it was a small serving, so I didn't feel totally stuffed to the gills. That left room for dessert, which was served as a sampler. Key Lime "Pie" with grilled pineapple. It was heaven in a shooter glass! After a great visit, I headed for home, dropped off another Epicure order and then promptly crashed for a few hours. Spent the evening trying to decide what to eat, and watching TV. Exciting stuff, I know.

Today had me up, doing some tidying, hauling some trash, shovelling the sidewalks (okay, so it snowed on Friday...I'm sick!) and showing the empty suite to someone who could not only not speak English but didn't understand it so well either. It'll be interesting to see if she ever calls back. And now, as I have some pork tenderloin in my fridge, I'm going to see what I should make for supper tonight. And have a good read through the new WW plan. Not exactly living it yet, but I am enjoying the case of mandarins I bought, guilt free! I'm also "watching" seven of my friends run the Honolulu Marathon. Two have crossed, and two more have made it to the 40km mark. The finish line is in sight. Unfortunately the weather appears to be on the toasty side...the temp is only 77F but it feels like 90! That is not good running weather. Laying on a beach, sipping Chi Chi's, yes...running, no!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lilting to the right...

Everywhere I go, I appear to be tilting. The ear infection is wrecking havoc with my balance, and when I turn, it takes the rest of the world a minute or two to catch up! BUT the pressure is easing, and I am hopeful the 'biotics kick in fully tomorrow and the annoying buzz in my ear is gone tomorrow. It is exhausting to hear that noise!!

Needless to say, I have done squat all week. I sat on the couch when I got home yesterday and woke up 2 hours later! Oops!! Food has been hit or miss, as I find my appetite just isn't there, and I have no desire (or ability) to stand and cook something healthy.

On the good news front though, I did lose a bit at weigh-in today. What a gong-show that was!! For anyone out there who hasn't made it to a WW meeting yet this week, GO EARLY!!! Three lines, people...three of them! The first line (snacked through the room) was to collect your new weigh-in book. The 2nd line (just as long) was for those who then had to pay, or wanted to purchase the new tracker calculator (because the old ones won't work anymore) or the new 2 pt bars...yes, the panic and dismay echoed through the room...the 1 pt bars were now 2 pt bars. The horror. Lastly, there was one more line to actually weigh-in, which went slowly as the ladies at the scale kept having to send people back to the fist line! Oy... I also didn't like that they "updated" the book, using the data from my last weigh-in book...which is #16 or 17, so they had that I joined this June and that I only had 19 lbs to lose. WTF?!?!? I wanted it changed, but the leader (my Faye is in Hawaii - good luck to her and hubs on the marathon) said "it didn't matter". Matters to me, so I changed it! I don't want to be screwed out of the 35 pounds I've worked so freaking hard to lose.

So what do I think about the new plan, other than it's yet another money grab for WW? I do understand that WW is a for profit organization, and that they are in it to make money. I just grow weary of having to buy everything all over, because they've "tweaked" it again. I do have to read the books in you can well imagine, the meeting started a little late today...and I am happy that fruit is zero points, but am I delirious with joy? Fruit did not cause me to walk into WW, and quite frankly, many times I probably didn't record it correctly, because it's freaking fruit for goodness sakes! My daily points has jumped significantly, which scares me, but then again, so did the points values of so much of what I eat, so I guess it works out in the end. Again, I have to read up, play with it and see how it works. I'll let you know how it goes.

Okay...I've been sitting upright for too long now, and must go lay down again. Sad that I get so dizzy sitting in a chair! Hoping to shake this thing this weekend. I'd like my life back!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Childhood memories...

Instead of baking with mom, trimming the tree, or exchanging family folklore, I thought I'd relive a raging ear infection! Even the Doctor said "euwwww" when she looked in my ear! She then had to go confer with the other doctors to find out what dose of meds to give me, since she so "rarely sees an adult with this". Well, I do like to be different!! Needless to say I feel like, correct that...the stuff that crap just stepped in!!!

Okay...I've medicated up and am going to try to go to sleep. Sadly it's the same ear as the side I sleep on, and that's how I discovered there was a problem this morning. I woke up in such pain I checked the pillow for blood. So I just need the precious Advil to kick in (and the antibiotics, but I know those take longer) and then I can settle down and try to get some sleep.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vegetable Lasagna

Can't believe I never had one of these very own Advent Calendar.

Four days to catch up on...sorry...between blurry, too bright and too dark, this is the best shot of the 4 Lindt Christmas balls I munched on yesterday.

After sleeping in, walking H-woman's Epicure order over to her house (but not getting too close, because I don't want her to get sick, so close to Hawaii!), coming home, coffee and breakfast, dropping stuff off at work, feeding B's cats, shopping at the mall (came home with 2 pair pants, 2 sweaters, 2 long-sleeved t's, 2 pair shoes, some socks and some dish sets for the adopt-a-family and a present for Mom), returning to the office to drop off something else, I came home to make vegetable lasagna.
The thing to note is that I make a KILLER meat lasagna...I've been making since I first learned the recipe in grade 7 Home Economics (so don't know what they call it these days) and it has been a family favourite since. Weighs in at about 10 lbs in the pan, and gosh knows how many calories, but it is goooooooood!! Last week, craving that comfort, I bought a small vegetable one at Sunterra and immediately thought "I can do better".
It all starts with the sauce...into the pot went eveoo, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, crushed chilies, a touch of sage, red wine and finally a tin of crushed tomatoes. Let this all boil and bubble for a good 45-60 minutes.

Needed a good cheesy middle, so I mixed ricotta, an egg, parm and chopped spinach together. Added a little S&P and set this aside.

Meanwhile in the oven I roasted portabello mushrooms and zucchini slices till tender and browned.
Let the layering begin!
- sauce
- noodles (whole grain, oven ready)
- sauce
- mushrooms
- sliced artichoke hearts

Add a layer of roasted red peppers.

Top this with the ricotta mixture and then with another layer of noodles.

On top of the noodles went the roasted zucchini slices (they were brushed with evoo and balsamic).

On top of that (the pan is getting pretty dang full!) the last of the sauce and then a really good layer of cheese (Kraft 4-Cheese Italiano!)...I admit, I am no vegan. Give me real cheese or don't give me any at all.

Oh, holy yum looking and it hasn't even met the oven yet!

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until this comes out!!
Resist all temptation to cut, and let it sit for about 10 minutes to set up.
All I have to say is O.M.G!!!! I am GOOD!

The great part is I have lunch for tomorrow, and will freeze the rest for when I am craving some ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness. And it is so full of veggies, I don't feel guilty for enjoying every last bite.
Day 5 of the Advent calendar is providing dessert, even though I do have some coconut gelato (I needed something for my sore throat!) that I'll also enjoy. And some mini oranges. I need all the vitamin C I can get right now.

I have a full belly and am slowly slipping into a food coma. Hopefully it helps me get over this cold. I'm off to chill.