Thanksgiving Numero Uno

Yesterday I had my first of two Thanksgiving dinners with some friends because my family big meal is on Thursday. I was really excited to celebrate with friends! Also, my friend Liz helped me remember to take photos of the food because she likes reading my blog. Hi Liz!

So what did we have?

Well, our hostess, Jeannine, made a beautiful bird:

Which she stuffed with this stuffing:

She also made the mashed taters:

And, as you may have noticed, broke out the silver and the fancy china!

One of the other guests, Tina, made a cranberry chutney:

And also contributed baked sweet potatoes and asparagus:

I made the casserole:

I chose my plate carefully, and only selected my most favorite of foods. Beleive it or not, I am not a huge mashed potato or stuffing lover. I know, blasphemy, right? But I knew I’d be eating plenty of food so I skipped them (sorry Jeannine!) I had turkey with lots of chutney, a big hunk of sweet potato, and broccoli casserole. Also some unpictured asparagus. And seconds of casserole. 😉

After dinner, we had some coffee made in the cutest little pot:

And eventually I was ready for pie. Jeannine made a homemade pumpkin pie and a homemade mincemeat apple pie. Tina made a homemade apple crisp. All delectable:

My dessert plate:

We ended the evening by playing a long game of Five Crowns which was new to me:

Good fun and good food! We wrapped up at 10 pm and I headed home.

Then, like a crazy person, I stayed up until 1 am, when my mom and I left for Black Friday shopping with her friends. We went to the outlet malls (GAP, a kitchen store, and Dress Barn), then to Old Navy, and finally Kohl’s. I got a couple things at GAP (most noticablly replacement boots for my tall black boots… in both black and brown!), a pair of brown work pants at Dress Barn, and a cute dress & tights from Kohl’s that will be for Sunday’s Thanksgiving Feast but will also double as a work outfit. I wasn’t terribly impressed with Old Navy.

This was my first Black Friday, and I can see the advantages and the deals that can be had. I don’t have money this holiday season, and had also previously ordered gifts for all my girlfriends using some stashed money from paid blog posts I’ve done, so I really wasn’t in the market for gift shopping. Next year, I think I will try to actually take advantage of it the right way – save up money specifically for gift shopping, make a list of people, hunt the ads, and have a plan going in. Kohl’s had some of the BEST deals on bedding and kitchen appliances and whatnot, and I plan to make a killing there next year.

I ended up being awake from 6:30 am on Thursday (because of the Turkey Trot I ran in the morning) all the way until almost 7:30 am this morning. I was feeling pretty ill by the time I got to bed. I slept until 3 pm, so almost the full 8 hours. So at least I got my sleep in. Now I just need to get to bed at a normal hour tonight so I get back on schedule. Tomorrow morning is my final taper run – 8 miles at 8 am!

Good night. Gobble gobble!

How to make Holly’s Mom’s broccoli casserole

Step one: cut a hole cut up the broccoli (this is 4 crowns), wash it, and steam it lightly (I like it a little crunchy):

Step 2: Blend together a 1:1 ratio of Cream of Shrimp Soup and cream cheese (for this amount of broccoli, we used two and two).

Step 3: Put broccoli in casserole dish:

Step 4: Pour blended mixture over broccoli and bake it for 10-15 minutes, only until the sauce starts bubbling.

Step 5: Add french fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes for a nice crunch:

Step 6: Dish out with other Thanksgiving favorites!

Full Thanksgiving dinner post tomorrow!

Girls on the Run is SO MUCH FUN!

I am just so happy over my Girls on the Run group, that now I am going to spam you with a few photos I just received. I can’t promise these will be the last, either!

So very proud of two of my finishers:

Me with about half of my team, and my two assistant coaches:

Girls on the Run

And this is why being a Girls on the Run coach is so rewarding:

They also signed my shirt:

If I can keep spreading the message of healthy living to girls as they grow up, I will be a happy camper. If you have a Girls on the Run program near you, get involved! You can coach, volunteer, or even be a running buddy for a girl in her final 5k race. It’s an amazing experience.

A new running buddy

So this is supposed to be a blog about running and eating healthy. Hmm. There has been some eating going on… not all of it healthy… And running? Well, it’s been happening, on the weekends at least, but it hasn’t been something I’ve been that proud of, let’s say. Hence why you guys have probably started wondering if I’m even still DOING the marathon on Dec 6th. Well yes, I am still running, and I am still doing the marathon. Just in case you were worried.

The Thursday before last, I went to a speedwork session with the crazy fast Solano Stampeders for the second time. And someone MY speed showed up too! Her name was Jaqueline, and she had never been to the track for speedwork. We ran together and told our life stories and enjoyed running together. She went faster than she thought possible! So awesome.

We exchanged numbers, and this last week we ran together THREE times. Now, what is so remarkable about this is not that I have made a new friend (but I’m pretty damn excited about that too), but the fact that my new friend got me running THREE TIMES in ONE WEEK. Hahaha. Because, as mentioned above, the weekend runs were happening, and maybe one in between if I was lucky. =/

On Tuesday we did 3.1 miles around her neighborhood. I was trying my best not to be a whiny pain in the ass to run with, but I was dragging. She’d been worried about me going too fast, and I swear she was pulling me down the street. I’d had a rough day and pretty much eating a whole pizza and box of doughnuts. Only a slight exaggeration. So she drug me along, and then didn’t believe me when we averaged 10:21/mile. Not bad, not bad! But I did not enjoy burping donuts the whole time.

Then Thursday we both managed to get off work before the sun went down, and we met at a park called Lagoon Valley and ran around the lagoon twice, for a total of 3.75 miles. I felt MUCH better on this run, and again we averaged 10:20/mile. But I didn’t want to die the whole way, because I’d had a less stressful day and some healthy eats. So that was an improvement.

And then today, we did our long runs together! She’s doing a marathon about a month and a half after I am, so our runs aren’t totally in sync. She had 18 miles to do, and I was tapering with a measly 12. 😉 She mapped out a path for us, did 6 miles first, and met me for the final 12. She followed my 9/1 pattern and we just kept chugging along. Average 12:30/mile for the whole thing, including walk breaks. I am so totally ok with that. If that’s my marathon pace, so be it!

So there you have it. I’ve been running again! We’ll do Tuesday night together again, then Thursday I’ll be running the Run to Feed the Hungry 5k with my friend Jenn in Sacramento. Saturday I’ve got my last taper run of about 8 miles. AND THEN A MARATHON IT’S IN TWO WEEKS OMG.

I’ve also decided to just show you some of the eats I am enjoying, not necessarily photographing every morsel I eat. But this will actually inspire me to make creative meals that I will be proud to post on the blog! Cuz I do need to cook more often.

Tonight I made Zesty’s Figged and Maple Brussel Sprouts. Brooke doesn’t like brussels sprouts, so it was my challenge to prepare them in such a way that she’d eat them.

Here they are cleaned, cut, and tossed in olive oil:

While they roasted, I cooked the fig and maple sauce:

And tossed them together:

Voila! I served them with chicken breasts in a brandy cream sauce and cous cous.

Verdict? I thought they were delicious! Robert (Brooke’s husband) really liked them too. Brooke said they were edible, and she actually ate more than one. Hahahaha. But no rave reviews from the brussels sprouts hater.

Next I’ve got to try a recipe for brussels sprouts that involves vinegar in some way. She promises to try them with vinegar and thinks that’s her best shot of liking them.

Other good eats…

My morning bowl of Greek yogurt, granola bar, blueberries, and pomegranate kept me going during my run:

And Brooke made pumpkin scones last week that were to DIE for. They were sooooo soft and chewy and delicious. I topped mine with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter and I thought I’d died and gone to pumpkin heaven:

Back to the grind tomorrow morning! It’s the last day of Girls on the Run. They had their 5k this weekend, and all my girls did great. I’m looking forward to their end of the season party tomorrow.

Hasta!

Drive by

Super quick one – gotta leave for work!

Such was the case yesterday morning as well, trying to soak up as much sleep as possible, I rushed out the door with this granola bar in my purse (and makeup not on yet!):

I had the rest of my sandwich as a mid-morning snack:

Lunch was chicken rosemary soup from Safeway, with diet pepsi (camera phone):

Look what I found at Safeway!! My favorite brand!! I bought one plain nonfat and it was my afternoon snack:

I had a clif bar before my run, and my new buddy and I did 3.75 miles just as the sun was setting. It was great!

Dinner was an asian baked chicken breast, corn on the cob, and asparagus:

And dessert was a homemade pumpkin scone that Brooke made. MMmmmmmm. But you’ll have to wait for a picture of that till tomorrow cuz it’s still on my camera. Ha.

Hasta! Long day of work and then tomorrow is my Girls on the Run team’s 5k! Wish them luck!

No end in sight

The crazy times just don’t seem to be letting up. I worked another over 8 hour day with about 45 minute commute each way. Even though I was packed for Crossfit, I missed the last class. Again.

I cannot seem to find a balance. I keep getting not enough sleep, missing exercise opportunities, operating on a very high stress level, and eating crap. This is a downward spiral that I desperately want to get off. So I get up in the morning, pack for working out, have the best of intentions and…. work gets in the way.

People keep trying to give the advice that I need to take a day off or stop working so hard or something. But I simply can’t. This isn’t a made up excuse. I am a brand new RD, in charge of five of my own facilities. I don’t really know what I’m doing half the time, but I am responsible for all of it regardless. Not to mention I don’t get paid time off. If I’m really sick for more than a day, someone will cover some of the most urgent work for me, but I won’t get paid. And there will be a larger than normal workload waiting when I get back. Basically, there is a certain amount of work to be done, and *I* must do it.

Not to mention, some facilities are under inspection. Some I’ve screwed up at. Some are overly demanding and expect more work to be hone in less hours than is possible. I will probably get reprimanded for working over 8 hours today, but I only saw the patients I HAD to see. I did not even glance at the kitchen, they could have been serving dog food for all I know. On dirty plates. I have never observed the dining room. I have to petition for more hours, but this corporation threw a HUGE fit with my company the last time anyone tried. So I have to keep a detailed list of what I’ve done, how much work is NOT getting done, etc. I will need this entire month’s worth of data to support my case.

So, you see, right now work HAS to be my #1 priority. In order for me to move forward in my new life, get a place to move out to, I need to have a solid, stable career. Gotta pay the rent somehow! So right now, I am establishing that career. Paying my dues. All of that.

My plan:

1. Sleep is my #1. 7-8 hours of sleep per night is a priority. My alarm is set for 6 am, and it’s currently 10:15. I will be going to bed immediately after posting.

2. Until the marathon, the only exercise that is a priority is 2 midweek runs and one weekend long run. Other exercise is nice if it happens, but not to be stressed over.

3. Try to eat nutritious foods when possible. But, give myself some room here. Accept that I cannot control the situation I am in and just try to do my best.

Number 3 is the hardest for me. I can feel that I’ve gained some weight and I am NOT happy about it. But any master plan I try to devise is immediately thwarted by work. So I am just going to try to add nutrition.

Here are some ways I did that today:

Glo bar while I worked


Brought a turkey sandwich for lunch (only ate half, the other half is for tomorrow!)


Apple


Added spinach to the pasta with turkey meat sauce that Brooke made

I did have non-nutritious things today as well. But these were good steps and I’m choosing to focus on those.

And now, to bed before 10:30. Goodnight.

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