The Final Fifty











{May 20, 2013}   I’m Not Quite Dead

I swear I’m still alive, though only just.

Wednesday last week was, blessedly, a music-only rehearsal, so I got my much needed rest night. Thursday I ran, and Friday I got home and ended up taking an unscheduled 2-hour nap, which was desperately needed at that point. After the nap, I managed to do most of my upper body weight regimen, even though I haven’t been able to do it in forever. I’m keeping the brace on so that I don’t inadvertently re-injure the most delicate part of it, but other than that it went really well.

Saturday was my Day O’ Masochism. I got up early to hit up a yard sale with a friend, then went to belly dance class (the fitness one, where we do crazy reps of everything and you leave feeling all the muscles you normally forget exist.) After that, I was sore and tired, but I pushed myself to go out and run anyway. I was thoroughly used up after that, but I sort felt like a big fucking badass, so the payoff was worth it. After that, my friend came over to catch me up on tribal belly dance for a performance we’re doing end of next week. Thankfully that was the milder kind without the intensity, but I was still droopy through the whole thing. Rounded out the night at a party at a friends house.

Sunday was DBF’s graduation, so I just had to walk down to the theater. We went out to a hibatchi grill for lunch, which was freaking spectacular. I had a little bit of green tea ice cream, which was a treat though it tasted really really sweet to me. I don’t really regret it, but reflecting on it now I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would enjoy other things, so I think that might have been my parting wave to proper desert. Every once in a while I’ll let myself have a taste of something that I used to enjoy, but every single time it’s been way too sweet for me to actually enjoy. It might just take me a while to get that through my thick head, lol.

I might have to experiment with ice cream recipes, see about leaving out most of the sugar, or finally do the frozen banana and cocoa powder thing. Maybe I could do something with coconut milk even.

After the graduation and all assorted festivities were done, it was too late for me to go to rehearsal, so I went to my friends belly dance class to practice more for next week. It’s scary, because there’s no planned out ahead of time choreography, it’s all group impov, so it’s all a matter of learning the cues and keeping up with the leader. I figure even if it’s not perfect, it should be fun, and we’re dancing to Led Zeppelin! So excited.

On Saturday, I also made a huge batch of curry squash soup, so that’s at home waiting for me for dinner tonight! I think it’s pretty deadly, too, lol.



{April 4, 2013}   Still Pushing

Yesterday was weight day, but things didn’t go quite as I’d hoped. I wanted to do four full circuits like I did on Monday, but my body let me know in no uncertain terms that that was not happening.

It started with my wrist, which started bothering me towards the end of my first ladder of wall push ups. Fair enough, that’s the one part of my body that I will not push through pain with, so I stopped with the wall push ups and kept working both lunges and squats, but I switched to crunches to break up the leg abuse a bit. By the end of the third circuit, I was getting small pains in my knees/shins and in my ankles. These were not muscle fatigue, they felt more joint related, so I did as many as I could and then stopped at the end of the third circuit.

Still, despite all that, and despite my pretty monumental tiredness at this point, I got most of it done and didn’t just skip the whole damn thing. I still don’t have the muscle soreness, but with the show coming up and all, I’m not going to worry about it. Also, I don’t think avoiding injury is a failing. Injuries are expensive, and they lead to months where you have to not use something so it can heal.

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After that, I pan fried up some broccoli, drowned it in curry sauce, and had myself a huge bowl of dinner. It was seriously gigantic. Unfortunately I didn’t log it until I was already at rehearsal, and found that I ate only a little over 1000 calories yesterday. I didn’t have anything with me to bring it up where it should be, and I didn’t want to eat anything when I got home because it was so late and I was ready to sleep, but I think I’ll start keeping food in my bag sooner rather than later to prevent that from happening again. I wasn’t hungry at all, and I really though I’d eaten plenty, but apparently that’s a thing I need to watch out for.



I still have not procured 10 lb dumbbells, but there are a few reasons. First off, it’s like $15 per dumbbell, whereas if I wait a bit (until I get paid or get my tax return), I can snag a set of adjustable ones that go up to 30 lbs for like $70. Considering that I don’t have room for a whole collection of dumbbells, and also that I don’t want to shell out $30 for each set along the way (10 lb, 15 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb, 30 lb), I think thats probably a better option. Also, I might be able to borrow a set of 10 pounders from a friend to tide me over until I get a better idea of what I want to do.

So, the long and short of it, is that I’m still working with 5 lb weights, but Monday, I managed four full circuits rather than three. It still didn’t give me the DOMS I was hoping for (not that I like being sore for it’s own sake, but thats how I know it’s working.) Maybe I’ll try for five sets tomorrow?

If I had a car, I would just rejoin Planet Fitness for $10 a month and use their equipment. Sadly, I do not have a car, so my options are limited. Sure would be nice to have access to the other free weight stuff, though. Maybe one of these days.

This afternoon I went to the store to pick up some veggies, and to stock up on healthy snacks for the coming shit storm. I got some broccoli and cauliflower that I can fry up really fast and eat with the curry soup and rice, because I can put all that stuff together in less than 10 minutes and have a good, nutritious meal before I have to jet to rehearsal.

I also got some pea snacks, some sweet potato and beet chips, some blue potato chips (not super healthy, but not against my rules and totally natural), and some edamame I can prepare ahead of time. Tonight, when I got home, I portioned everything out into serving sizes so it’s all ready to go before the proverbial shit hits the fan. I even wrote the portion size and name of each thing on the bag, so if I eat something and don’t have time to log it, I can keep the bags and remember what I ate later. I got a couple of Luna bars, too, in case I get really desperate, but those are last ditch “put down the junk food” sort of options.

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I imagine there will be other trips to the coop to pick up random fruit or premade food, but I wanted to wander into battle full armed.

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I also made a Gigantic Pot of Curry Soup, which has worked so well for me in the past. I actively crave that stuff pretty much all the time, so it’ll be good to have it around when I’m likely going to be needing something that appeals to that sort of visceral food drive. I can even take single servings to the theater with me, just in case I have an attack of the HUNGREEEEE. Plus, it’s got enough fiber in it to be reasonably filling. This time I used kabocha pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots. There are so many different things that can go into that soup. It came out really thick and less hot than last time. I might have to add more curry powder to each serving as I use it, lol.

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This is only part of the extra. I think I made enough to last me a week. Maybe, lol.

Joy of joys, I’m also about to start my period, so what we have here is the perfect storm of potential dietary ruin triggers. What I need to do is channel my legendary stubbornness and just grit my damn teeth until the whole week and a half is over and done with. It’s been just about two months now since I’ve started, so a week and a half is doable.

The good news, the gold ring that I’m trying to grab, is that if I can get through this without slipping, I’m pretty sure I can make it through any regular stress that gets in my way. So, barring serious trauma or some crazy apocalypse, this is likely to be one of the most trying periods I encounter for a while. At least until the family gets here, lol.



{March 17, 2013}   Squash Turkey Curry

So, a couple weeks ago, I made homemade Turkey Curry for the first time. It was really, really good, but also extremely rich and fattening, so I could eat very little of it. A week later, I made squash soup, and because I love spicy stuff, ended up putting red pepper flakes and curry powder in it. That soup tasted better than the curry sauce, and it was full of fiber and very low in calories. A friend asked for the recipe tonight, and since I bastardized a few things together, I can’t just link to it, so I thought I might as well post it here.

Please note, I like my curry pretty spicy. The amounts I’ve listed here are a little bit less than what I personally use, but this will still have quite a bit of kick to it. I didn’t put the full amount because it was spicy enough to make it impossible to walk through the house without your eyes burning, before we’d even eaten the soup. If you’re shy about spicy food, I would suggest you reduce the amounts I listed, maybe try cutting them in half. You can always add more curry after blending once you’ve had a chance to preview it. I also added more curry into the ground turkey before adding the soup in. You can skip this if you’re not a culinary sadomasochist like I am.

turkey curry

Squash Turkey Curry

Squash Curry Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 large kabocha pumpkin or large butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 cups water (approximately)
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bullion cube
  • 1/2 can coconut milk

Turkey:

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. If you are using a kabocha pumpkin, you can put it whole, on a cookie sheet, directly into the oven. If using a butternut squash, cut it in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut surface with olive oil or spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with a bit of salt before putting cut side down on the cookie sheet. For either one, roast in the preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until it is easy to poke into it with a fork.
  3. Let your squash cool for at least an hour. At that point, it should be easy to remove the skin, either by pulling it off, or by cutting it off with a knife. Cut the squash flesh into large chunks, and reserve in a large bowl.
  4. Chop the onion coarsely and saute in olive oil at the bottom of a medium-large pot. Add the garlic, and saute until the onion has started to brown and look clear, stirring frequently. Add the red pepper flakes and stir.
  5. Add the squash to the pot, and follow quickly with the water. You want just enough water to come up to the top of the squash. Add the bullion cube and the curry powder.
  6. Bring to a simmer and then cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove soup from heat and blend using an immersion blender until the soup is smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also use a blender or a food processor.
  8. When you open the can of coconut milk, the top half will be solid and the bottom half liquid. You can either heat it up to mix it all together, or estimate and put half of each into the soup. Stir until it has all melted/blended into the soup. You can use more or less coconut milk, depending on how creamy you want your soup. If you don’t have coconut milk, you can also substitute regular milk or cream.
  9. In a separate wok/pan, brown the ground turkey, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp additional curry powder and stir well.
  10. Ladle squash curry soup over turkey until you have as much sauce as you want for your meat. Let simmer together for around 5 minutes to give the flavors a chance to blend together. You may have extra squash soup left over.

I recommend serving over brown rice. The soup is good by itself, or over rice. Next time I plan to add some cauliflower after blending, but you could also add carrots or any other veggies you like.



et cetera