Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 Re-cap

I'm pretty behind in my blogging, sorry everyone! It was all worth it because I was fully able to enjoy my time at home for Thanksgiving!!

I arrived early on Wednesday and met one aunt and uncle at the airport. We spent the day hanging out and running a couple of errands. My favorite part of the day was helping my mom with all of the cooking. Nothing says mother-daughter bonding like baking, prepping, and cooking :-)

That night we went to dinner and then I went to a big party downtown with all of my Dallas friends from high school, youth group, and college that were in town.

Thursday morning started bright and early for the 42nd annual Turkey Trot. I fueled with a bowl of hot cereal and an egg white and we headed downtown to start the race. Overall, it was a great morning. There were over 37,000 participants this year and the weather was pretty nice. I was on pace to finish in 1:30:00 up until I got a migraine in the last mile, which I had to walk in its entirety. I ended up finishing in 1:45:00 which I was pretty pleased about but I would like to be able to try that distance again for a better time. It's all part of the running process, I guess.

We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon relaxing. I slept off the rest of my migraine and awoke fresh and ready to finish helping with cooking and getting dinner ready. It was finally dinner time and we were all excited! My mom's family hasn't ever been to Texas for Thanksgiving and it was really nice to host them. The food was delicious, we had a great time eating, hanging out, watching football, and enjoying each others company. It was truly a great day!

On Friday morning, the boys went golfing and the girls set off to do some shopping. My dad ended up meeting up with the girls after the gym since he's not a big golfer and then we all headed home for leftovers. I had a salad with turkey as well as a few sides, mmmm. Then, we spent some time outside visiting, and my dad's parents came over. There was a quick mani/pedi in there (with one of my cousins and aunts) and then dinner downtown at Veracruz, a Mayan / Mexican restaurant.

Saturday was our day to play tourist, which ended up being a lot of fun. I actually met up with a friend from high school for breakfast beforehand. I had a great time catching up and talking about life being back in Dallas. Who knows, maybe that's where I'll be headed next. Stops on our tour included the American Airlines Center and Plaza, Dealy Plaza, and the Chisolm Trail down near City Hall. My dad is a big history buff so hearing his lesson on the assassination was fascinating. We also had a blast playing in and amongst the cows :-) Lunch was had at the Village Burger Bar and then it was time for everyone to head off to the airport.

I was glad to have another day at home to spend with my parents and to recover from all of the activities of the weekend. Now I'm back in DC but am really happy that I was able to be home for Thanksgiving this year!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Early Thanksgiving Wishes

There are many things that I look forward to throughout the year. Summer, birthdays, trips to Dallas for various holidays, seeing friends, and so on. Yet, nothing in my year compares to my Thanksgiving anticipation and excitement!

There’s a few things that distinguish this day from the rest of the year – my family’s participation in the Turkey Trot, the special group of friends and family who have come to our house in past years, the schmoregesboard of food that my mother lovingly prepares (with special gluten-free varieties just for me!!), fall football in the yard, the feeling of warmth and delicious smells that permeate my house in the days and hours leading up to the big meal, and the opportunity to reflect on what I’m thankful for, and what my family is thankful for.

We normally have some of my mom’s family in town from Pittsburgh, and last year it seemed odd not to have my grandmother and great aunt (together, they are the Q-Tips) present at our table. This year, the holiday will have a different feel. It’s the first holiday of the season that we will celebrate without my grandmother, who passed away in February. Most of my Pittsburgh family (minus a small group) flew down for the holiday as well so that we can all celebrate together. We always have a great time when we are together, and I know that my mom is excited to host everyone. I know that we will be thinking of my grandmother as we laugh, tell stories, and enjoy the holiday week end together. It will be wonderful to see everyone again after 8 months.

I’m thankful for my family, among many, many other things, and glad that we will all be together tomorrow on Thanksgiving!

I’m off to a party with a bunch of Dallas friends and then it’s early to bed for this one. I have to get my rest before tomorrow – race day is here. Despite a cold, I’m ready to run trot in the 2009 Turkey Trot! I’m still hoping to complete the 8 miles in under 2 hours but am not sure that my sniffles will allow to me run the way I had originally hoped to. I’m sure it’ll be great and I know that I’ll feel soooooo much better at dinner tomorrow having completed the race.

Good night and an early Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for this year?

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions and memories? Favorite parts of the holiday?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mission accomplished!

Whew, I finally finished the last thing on my to-do list before leaving tomorrow morning. I have to be up at 6am for my flight so this post will be quick. If you're traveling tomorrow, have a safe flight and I hope that you (and I) get to your destination on time!! I'll be blogging from home, where things should be relatively exciting.

Have a good night!

Dinner was a turkey burger on 2 slices of GF bread with broccoli, asparagus, and a salad.

My Biggest Loser snack was 1/2c raspberries with a drizzle of yogurt and one crumbled cookie w/ a sprinkle of AB. Yum!!

Other afternoon eats included salad and the rest of my Cuban beans for lunch and a pear with yogurt, cinnamon, and a few raisins.

Lots to do

Yesterday afternoon and evening were pretty productive for me. After 3 straight weekends of travel, I had a bunch of odds and ends to take care of before I leave town again. I'm happy to say that I got a lot of it done!

While updating my budget and going through email, I snacked on a pear with some AB.

Dinner last night was vitamin packed; a small baked sweet potato, TJ's Cuban black beans jazzed up with some extra bell peppers and spices, and broccoli. I had the mixture on top of half of a brown rice tortilla, toasted.

My night-time snack was 1/4c plain Greek yogurt with a few blackberries, half of a Cherrybrook Farms mini-chocolate chip cookie, Gorilla Munch, and dried cherries.

This morning I was inspired to enhance my normal bowl of hot cereal. I had Apple Cinnamon hot cereal and it was delicious! Of course, I also had an egg white with a sprinkle of cheese for extra protein.
1/4c Bob's Red Mill GF Hot Cereal 1c water 1 apple - 1/4c chopped and cooked with the cereal, 1/4 topped the cereal, remaining half on the side a few raisins cinnamon to taste and sugar-free maple syrup (less than 1 tsp) 1 tsp PB drizzled on top

My flight home is early tomorrow morning and I'm already preparing for a much more challenging airport experience than I had over the weekend. It seems like there's a ton to do today before I head home. Today's to-do list includes:
  • laundry
  • packing
  • cleaning the apartment
  • errands
  • follow-up from the weekend's training
  • gym - last training run and / or my usual cardio-sculpt class
Have a good day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's gross out

I finally decided to drag myself to the grocery store because there were a few things I needed to get for the couple of days I'm here in DC. I tried to miss the rain, but, as my luck would have it, I went out in the midst of the storm :-/

I ran a few errands on my way to the store, picked up what I needed, and had a quick lunch while I was there. I definitely needed some vegetables after my weekend eats, so I had a salad with veggies, black beans, chickpeas, and a dollop of cranberry rice. It hit the spot and I headed home.

I've been catching up on life this afternoon and laying low. I'm still feeling icky and think my training run is out for today. I am trying to decide about yoga class tonight and if I skip, will probably end up doing some stretching here. I have 0 motivation to be outside today!

Gloomy Monday

I woke up around 10 this morning after about 13 hours of sleep. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home yesterday evening and I guess that my body really did need all of that rest!

I'm still not feeling great - sore throat and tired, so I plan to take it easy today, and maybe tomorrow depending on how I feel. I leave early on Wednesday morning for Texas for Thanksgiving so I really need to feel better before flying, especially because the Turkey Trot is on Thursday!!

When I was finally hungry (I ate a lot of junk this weekend so I think my body needed the long break from food) I had a couple of slices of toast with 2 egg whites and a few raisins.

I need to run to the store to get a few things to eat over the next couple of days, and I'm trying to time my outing to miss the rain. I'm supposed to do my last training run today before Thursday but I'm not sure that will happen. I'm going to see how I feel later this afternoon.

Happy short week everyone!! What are you most looking forward to about Thanksgiving?

Leadership Team launches in Indy!

Friday morning arrived and I was excited to start my day (although I do wish that I had gotten more sleep...). I was headed to Indianapolis to begin the start of my sorority's new leadership development team, the CLT.

I started the day with my usual egg white and a bowl of GF hot cereal with blackberries, frozen blueberries, and 1.5 tsp of PB.

The flight was quick and easy and I was excited to get to meet some of the Team as soon as we landed! I spent the afternoon preparing the rest of my materials for the training opening and weekend.

We started off with an introduction session and ice breaker and then headed off to dinner at a local place called Woody's. I was thrilled that they had a gluten free menu! Dinner was delicious! Then, we all headed back to our headquarters for a tour and the CLT met with our Board of Directors.

Saturday started early and was a long day full of workshops, activities, and of course, food and fun.. The hotel staff was fantastic and helped make sure we had whatever we needed throughout the day. I loved having such attentive staff around and kind of miss them now that I'm home! For lunch I had a garden salad with grilled chicken and a few fries.

The training proceeded throughout the afternoon (and snacks were to be had by all) and we wrapped up just in time for a little break and dinner. We headed to PF Chang's (who also had a GF menu) and then hung out in the hotel with the board and the CLT.

Yesterday we started early and worked through the morning until it was time for lunch and to head to the airport.

All-in-all, I would say that everything went pretty well. I was glad that I had put in the amount of effort that I had to prepare for the training and it paid off! The women are fantastic and I'm excited to be working with them for the next 7 months.

I got home around 6, not feeling well after 48 jam-packed hours with no sleep, some crappy eating, and lots of work, and unpacked. After a small bowl of chicken soup, I got in bed around 9pm.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zumba and an Empty Fridge

When I was 5, I started taking ballet and tap dance classes. Sure, it was fun, and I learned all of the basic ballet stances. I can remember carpooling to and from class with a friend of mine, the little pink button with a plastic tap shoe that was the clasp on my very own taps shoes, and that class wasn't so bad. That is, until it came time for our first recital.

I've never been one to be shy, and that wasn't the reason for my recital unhappiness. I admit it - the reason is pretty "me." I did not want to perform in my recital for 3 reasons very important to an opinionated 5-year old. I did not want to 1) wear pink tights, 2) put my hair in a bun, and 3) dance in a purple, sequined tutu with make up on. My first recital was my last and then I either moved on to gymnastics or soccer...

Tonight I caught a glimpse of my 5-year old dancing self in the mirror during my first Zumba class, insert sneakers and workout pants instead of ballet slippers and a tutu! I love to dance when I'm out with friends, at camp when we do Israeli folk dancing, and when the mood strikes me. But I'm definitely not one to ever think about auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance. Zumba class was great - fun, good music, intense cardio, and not a typical exercise class. The instructor was pretty good and the class was split between those who can dance and those who cannot. I fell into the latter category and loved every moment of it - trying to make my body do things that I'm just not good at, getting into the music, etc. AND, to top it all off, I felt like I had a really good workout. I think Zumba might have to be incorporated into the workout routine after Thanksgiving :-)

Tonight I packed, cleaned, and of course, watched Grey's Anatomy. Now it's off to bed to try to get some sleep before an exciting, busy, and fun weekend!!

Lunch #1was the rest of my roasted brussel sprouts, green beans, and 1/2 sweet potato.

Lunch #2 was the rest of my veggie fried rice.

And then I fell prey to the dreaded office distraction - free food. I treated myself to a lovely little bag of potatoe chips and they were oh-so-good!

I had a quick snack of an apple before Zumba. I wasn't so hungry after class so I finished off my lettuce in a salad and also finished the last 1/2c of black bean soup I had left over.

My night time snack was some plain yogurt with raisins, dried cherries and raisins, a drizzle of sugar-free syrup, and cinnamon, with a piece of cinnamon and PB toast. And my last 2 bites of my Babycakes cookie sandwich :)

I'm off to bed, with a thunderstorm and rain as my background noise :-)