From whenever to now.
So I’ve been dealing with a few issues, from a sore foot stemming from the attempt of my loving Boxer to hurt me so that I would be forced to stay home to a bout of the plague. As a result my workouts have been, well let’s just say, less than stellar. In fact my longest run in a very long time occurred on the treadmill (shudder). On the plus side, it was 10 km and had one of my co-workers stunned when he left the gym and came back to see me still plugging alone. Big up for me!
Because of the crappy weather and really awful footing, the few runs I’ve been able to do at home have been slow and somewhat short. I’ve focussed my workouts at work on running and the odd session on the elliptical. When having to choose between a run and weights…I think we know which way I go.
Now in an attempt at development, I make sure I add in hill and speed work while on the treadmill. I’m still slower than molasses uphill in the winter but hey, I’m a work in progress. I’ve already got a killer speed workout planned out that I am actually a little excited to do. So weird (see previous sentence).
Where I live, it’s a tiny town of less than 800 people and as a result, there isn’t much in the way of sidewalks. So I either run on the shoulders of main roadways which are graded and rough to deal with at the best of times, as in summer, or I run on the side streets of the little enclave that I live in. The problem is that the roads are dirt and don’t get salted so they get a nice layer of ice under soft snow. It’s like running on loose sand even when the roads have just been cleared. I have spikes but they are kind of cheap and not exactly adequate for my needs. For some reason, I look at the $80 price tag on Yaktraks and shy away. I think that I’m going to have to buckle down and get something better than the spikes I have from Costco. Yes Costco. Of course Costco. I have a problem with that place what can I say.
Even though the running has been lacking I’ve still been talking the dogs for good long walks so I’m getting in some exercise. And a few yoga sessions to round it out.
But since I don’t have much in the workout department, how about the food department? I’ve been feeling lazy and lacking motivation getting to the grocery store so there were days when my fridge looked like it belonged to a 20 year-old bachelor with more booze than food. In my defence it was white wine and beer and which obviously needs to be kept chilled. This forced me to be creative and find my foodie mojo. Here are a few of the highlights:
One night I took a whole chicken, rubbed it with olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper, stuffed the cavity with chunks of apples and roasted it at 350 degrees on a bed of chunked apples and onions. Serve that up with some roasted sweet potatoes and you’re living large. There may have been a glass of wine; to make room in the fridge of course.
Another night I took some salmon portions, put them on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before I topped them with peeled segments of grapefruit. I closed up the parchment and baked the pouch at 450 degrees for 20 minutes before adding them to a bowl of cooked sprouted quinoa, more grapefruit, and some slivered almonds. I then drizzled the whole mass with orange olive oil.
Normally I’m not a huge fan of salads but I made a couple that were not too bad. One was a bowl of baby spinach, goat cheese, and cashews with a vinagrette of orange olive oil and marmalade. Simple yet yummy.
Another salad I threw together was some baby arugula, sliced apples, goat cheese (yes I love goat cheese and I bought a huge pack from Costco), with pecans and a vinagrette of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
I have been turned onto this mix of baby pea greens so I took an entire container, dumped it into a bowl and topped it with goat cheese (are you surprised), left over pork chop, sliced apples, pecans, and apple cider/maple syrup/olive oil vinagrette. And yes that photo is of a salad bowl. I ate out of a salad bowl. A nice salad bowl if I do say so myself. It’s a tiny bit of class. Hey I’m single and live alone except for a bunch of animals. The fact that I’m using something other than a mixing bowl is a big step up for me.
And because I have a total sweet tooth, one night I sauteed two sliced bananas in a little pat of butter (but I have also used coconut oil…I mean I could use coconut oil). Once they were brown, I added a teeny splash of rye and once that reduced, poured it over a bowl of greek yogurt, scattered some pecans, and a drizzle of caramel. I’d like to think the healthy outweighed the not-so-healthy.
Another night, I made hot chocolate and mixed in a good dollop of peanut butter and blended until smooth.
I will admit there was one night that didn’t go exactly as planned. I had a steak in the fridge and was thinking about slapping it into my cast iron skillet on the stove. Now the sear is not as good as it could be and I was thinking about what gets hotter. Then came to me: my wood stove of course, burning merrily away to keep the chill at bay. So I threw the skillet in there. Oh it got hoooooooooot. I’m not sure if I burned the cure off or if it was just glowing red. I took it out and put it on top of the stove then added a splash of oil. Now I like to think that I’m not a complete idiot. But in my pursuit of that perfect sear, I forgot about a little thing called smoke point. Or rather ignition point because that oil went up almost instantly. So I stood there staring at the flames burning in my skillet then was distracted when my Boxer Piper leapt off the couch behind me and ran to the front door, bowling over furniture as she did. Well I wanted hot and I had hot so I tossed the steak into the skillet and threw it back into the stove. On a side note: I need new oven mitts because those ones burned almost all the way through. I opened the stove and using long tongs, I flipped the steak, only getting minor burns on the knuckles of my right hand when they brushed the roof of the stove. I’m not sure how long I waited before I took the skillet out and moved the steak to a plate. The skillet was still burning so after I thought for a second, I grabbed the handle and went to the back door, stopping once to change hands, and then tossed it into a snow bank outside. The steak was okay and I’ve since reapplied the cure so it wasn’t a complete loss. And hey I didn’t burn my house down.
Have you been hit with the winter blahs or dealing with minor yet troublesome issues? How have you been coping?