Perspective.

Today I woke up feeling peaceful. After having a week from hell, I woke up at 5 am this morning feeling like today was going to be a pretty decent day. The pup and I spent our morning running around Greenlake while the sky turned pink. The geese (there are babies! So cute!), ducks and the notorious blue heron were playful this morning, teasing my dog as he attempted to pull me into the lake.

All of the birds were especially lively this morning. I like to think it was a sign that he is still a powerful presence in this world, and it is okay to feel happy today. Here’s looking at you Jim.

It was a bluebird on my shoulder kind of morning. Full of plans—most of them founded on spontaneity and curiosity of old friends and new places.

I do think it is time to shake the dust (Holler at my boy). To accept the ebb and flow of friendships and relationships. To get over the fear of trying something completely out of my comfort zone. To really start fresh with all of this, and come to terms with the fact that an adventure is all that I need.

So today I will work my 8 hour shift. I will bike home in the sunshine. I will reconnect with an old friend. I will BBQ with my bestie and cuddle up to my warm and sleepy hound dog. I will probably drink too much of something, and make questionable choices. I will let today be completely, 100% based on instinct and impulse.

In line with the drinking too much and making poor (or awesome, depending on the perspective) choices, I will most likely pop by the liquor store on my ride home from work (classy… I know) so I can whip up one (or two, or three) or these bad boys.

It will be a picture perfect afternoon. Backyard-sunshine-lounging with the roomies while marinated mushrooms, asparagus and kale roast on the BBQ.

I raise my glass to shaking the dust, and doing it all with a goddamn smile.

The Salty Chihuahua

  • Juice of three grapefruits
  • 4 oz  tequila
  • 2 oz orange liquor
  • Salt for rim
    • I think we know how to make this. You juice the grapefruits, you pop in the tequila and orange liquor and pour in glass with a salted rim. Drink. Celebrate. Repeat.The goal.
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Colds, Curry and Google MD

I really feel like I am falling apart. Health wise that is. I have googled my symptoms and I could possibly have lymphoma, TB, mono or throat cancer. Note to self: never EVER self diagnose via the internet.

Needless to say, I kind of feel like crap. I haven’t been able to run for a week, I am going to bed at 9 pm, and my bike ride home literally sucks away all of my energy… what in the hell is wrong with me? I hate going to the doctor, so I just keep putting it off. With a fast approaching trip to Las Vegas and the itch to start running again, I need to figure my shit out.

Speaking of running again, I am almost done with Born to Run—a book that has rocked my world. My co-worker, an avid runner/climber/soccer player bad ass recommended it. I had been hankering to read it after I started my barefoot running endeavor and OH MY GOD, I am so happy I did. The book is amazing. It really makes you want to rip off your shoes and go run through dewy fields for hours upon hours upon hours. To learn that humans evolved to run… WHAT?!?! Now I feel like I can never say, “I’m just not a runner”.

Heck yes I’m a runner. A long distance runner. That is what we were made to do, after all.

Well, not the “me” right now. That “me” is kind of a hot mess.

That me wants to curl up in bed with my dog and sleep for 14 hours straight. That me wants to drink a bowl of pho the size of Texas and wear Nana’s knitted booties. That me wants to drink tea sweetened with honey and watch documentaries on Netflix. That me wants to never, ever, ever have to change out of lounge wear.

Too bad you can’t give in to all of those “me” type of situations. Instead, I have to make sure I go to work, so I don’t take unnecessary paid-time-off. I have to make sure Zep gets his 1.5 hours of exercise. I still make plans with certain people that I just don’t/can’t/won’t cancel with… Priorities people. PRIORITIES.

I am hoping that tomorrow, when I go to the doctor they will give me the news that I am just over reacting, that I don’t have mono—that all of my fears really are allergies. If that really is the case, well then this would be the worse year of allergies in the history of humanity. Not to be dramatic or anything.

I have a feeling that it will be more along the lines of some sort of crazy virus I probably caught from a small child flinging snot into the air while simultaneously smearing drool and god knows what else on every surface in every room. I do love my job, but MAN, working at a Children’s Hospital really exposes you to a few things you would probably be okay not catching.

So although I am going to just keep going, like the little engine that could, I will take a second to pause and make some warm, spicy curry and hopefully clear whatever has decided to camp in my face/neck/nodes/head… ILLNESS BE GONE!

Spicy Panang Curry

1 tbsp canola oil

½ cup Shallots

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup peanut butter

2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp thai red curry paste

1 ½ cups water

1 can coconut milk

1.5 tsp lime zest

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp sea salt

1 package tofu

1 sweet potato

1 bunch kale

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

½ cup roasted cashews

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots, ginger and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in peanut butter, turmeric, cumin and curry paste and let cook for another 2 minutes. Whisk in water, coconut milk, lime zest, maple syrup and salt. Add tofu, sweet potato and kale and bring to a boil. Let simmer, covered, for 30 minute, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in lime juice. Garnish with cashews and serve over brown rice.

My Knee

So my runner’s knee is flaring up again. All I can hear is that damn doctor a few years ago that warned me, ‘If you don’t do your physical therapy, this will come back to haunt you.” DAMN YOU DOCTOR! How right you are.

Of course this happens right after I sign up for my very first marathon ever. I am now committed to running 26.2 miles in October. Really, knee? REALLY?

It is okay. I know how to combat this. I just need to be diligent with my exercises, and make sure to send positive thoughts to my right knee. I love you knee, I love you hip, I love you random ankle pain. Luckily, all of these aches and pains are allowing me to get some medical massage action—that is something I can get behind.

Needless to say, after my morning run I was a little disheartened to have that familiar twang as I bent down to towel off my dogs muddy feet. Three miles caused it to flare? What happens when I get up to the 12 mile training runs, or the 20 milers? (ugggghhh, the thought makes me all squirmy inside)

I spent quite a bit of time researching runner’s knee and how to solve this all too common ailment.

Here is what I learned:

  • Runner’s knee can be caused by overuse, misalignment, weak thigh muscles or flat feet. From my previous trips to the doctors and physical therapists I have discovered that I am all kinds of misaligned, my right thigh muscle is almost 2 inches smaller  than my left (WTF) due to this misalignment and I pronate. Awesome body, just AWESOME.
  • To cure this you have to rest, ice and ibuprofen it up. Just like any sports related injury. In order to keep the pain away? Lots of stretching and exercising. Most of the time us runners have tight IT bands, tight hamstrings and tight hip flexors. Combine all that tightness with a body that is off kilter? That just spells disaster… that spells ME.
  • I should start running again when I feel no pain in my knee when I bend or straighten it, no pain when I run/walk/sprint and when my right knee feels just as healthy as my left.

What I learned left me feeling defeated. It also resulted in me cursing my lack of symmetry and the fact that my misaligned body is leading to so many damn physical ailments.

Negative Nelly over here, sheesh. Snapped right out of this mind-set when I was flipping through the roomies Runner’s World magazine and stumbled upon an article about the world’s oldest marathoner. He is fucking 100 years old. You KNOW that dude has aches and pains like you wouldn’t believe. You know that my little case of “runner’s knee” is like peanuts to this guy. Yes, it took him over eight hours, but HE IS 100 YEARS OLD. WHAT THE SHIT. I CAN DO THIS SHIT LIKE WOAH!

Take that Doctor, take that bum knee, take that any one who doubted THIS girl. I’m going to use that 100-year-old Indian man as my guru for my marathon training and keep plugging along.

This is My Confession.

Four confessions.

1. I can breathe again. This isn’t much of a confession. But I keep touting about how healthy I am– or how healthy I try to be with my lifestyle choices– and the truth is I have been sick for 3 weeks. My step by step plan failed me, like an asshole, and I have been a snot factory. Gross. Every time I would run it was like a green mucus ghoul popped out of my throat/nose… too much? So I succumbed and went to the doctor– which I hate– but at least now I have health insurance. And I got all kinds of fun drugs. So now I have given this cold/infection the middle finger. It feels so good to not feel like my head is made of cotton.

2. I mailed a letter today that I probably shouldn’t have. My roomie plays the devils advocate. You know how you are supposed to have an angel and a devil on each shoulder? I’m pretty sure my angel peaced out awhile ago. And now I just have this little devil that tells me, “yeah! that is a great idea! spill out your heart and your soul and be kind of a creep… GREAT PLAN!” (yes roomie, I am calling you a devil. DEAL WITH IT) As I watched the envelope fall into the box, I made a movie-esque attempt to grab it, failed, and then considered finding an axe (what?) and smashing the blue mail box to smithereens to retrieve said letter. True, this would lead to my arrest…Oh yeah, most importantly, I don’t have a fucking axe.. goodness me. SO, the letter is sent. THANK YOU DEVIL.

3. I hung out with my mormon friend today. And guess what, we talked about religion AND gay marriage AND abortion– and guess who didn’t get fired up and flip over a table? THIS GIRL. Perhaps I am a real adult, I listen, discuss and value others opinions and faith. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

4. I wear toe shoes. AH HA, and you didn’t think I was going to get back to running/veganism or yoga.. did ya? Yes, it is almost shameful to admit– but those creepy ass shoes with the five-finger slots.. the ones that you laugh at blatantly and mock endlessly? I wear those puppies when I run. I used to wear them for all my walks as well, but after breaking my toe four times (yes, four) on my dog, I got some other, less atrocious looking, barefoot shoes. However, I can’t just cut the vibes (the five-finger champions shorten the name. NBD) out of my life. They got me through my first half marathon. They used to be white, now they are grey. They smell like a foot. Forever. I love them. Yes, I love my god damn vibrams.

These are my confessions.

May All Aquaintance Be Forgot…

I have a giant zit on my chin. My head also feels like it is full of fluff, and I am working a ten-hour shift.

waaaa waaaa. Pitiful me.

No no no, 2012… I will not start my year off feeling like a cotton headed ninny muggins (when else would I ever be able to use that line from Elf??)

So here is my cliché new years resolution list for 2012… Yes, most of it involves running, veganism and yoga. Deal with it.

1. Practice yoga at least four times a week. This means going to a class four times a week. The other three days, at least incorporating some sort of meditation/yoga/stretching into my daily life. YOGA EVERYDAY.

2. Diversify my vegan diet. Spend more time with kale. Use the new immersion blender/regular blender (my mom thinks vegans eat a lot of soups and smoothies) and make magic in the kitchen.

3. Continue training for my full marathon. RUN RUN RUN.

4. Allow myself space to be quiet. To sit and do nothing. To not plan every minute of every day scheduling something. Meditate.

5. Be kind to my body. As I am constantly being bombarded by germs from all angles (I work at a children’s Urgent Care clinic; sickness is literally FLYING at me)

6. Climb Mt. Baker– I will succeed in reaching the top of a mountain and once again reveling in the fact that our bodies can do amazing things, and this world we live in is a beautiful place.

7. Allow myself to be a quirkyalone for as long as I want. I refuse to ever settle, even if the loneliness sets in and the world tells me to fall in love for the sake of companionship.

8. Start a girl band with my friend Molly. She will play the ukulele. I will play the banjo.

9. Learn to play the banjo.

10. Make time for my friends. Always. Long walks with the dog. Chats over tea. Girls night out. Sessions in the sauna. I am the people I surround myself with. My friends are my sanity.

Here is to you 2012. Lets make my 25th year EPIC.

 

Divas Never Doubt

Sometimes you stay out too late. Sometimes you drink too much. Sometimes these things can lead you to questionable decisions. The type of decisions that are at the front of your brain and the tip of your tongue for the rest of the day/week/month/eternity… hmmmm. Solution for said decisions?

Running.

There really is something to be said for using running as therapy. It is a time where you are alone with your thoughts. Or in my case, alone with my thoughts and a crazy ass dog that tries to trip me every five minutes… keeps me on my toes.

I set out this morning with the intention of using my morning run as therapy. Running and breathing and thinking= therapy.

It worked! I got home feeling different—a sense of acknowledgement and acceptance of my aforementioned decision washed over me. I feel like I MAY be able to conquer the world.

I followed my run with a insanely hard  yoga class that left my arms trembling. However, my favorite teacher of all time told me that I had a beautiful practice, which further inflated my head and yes, I am sure that I can– and will–conquer all.

I’m not really this terrifying or egocentric, I promise.

However, I can’t imagine that I would be in this mental head space or find this clarity if I didn’t move my body. Exercising has become a crucial part of my routine. Recently, when I was sick, I wasn’t able to exercise. I went fucking stir crazy. I literally felt like a blob. I was moody, I was short-tempered. I was lethargic. I was a hot mess.

And look at this turn around! Now that I’m back in my routine, I feel like my inner diva is coming out. And I mean diva in a good way. I mean diva like Beyoncé (who is by far, the greatest person in the world—I can’t wait to see how her kid turns out. HOT DAMN.) It is amazing what confidence and movement will do to ones outlook on self-worth and life choices.

Yes, I did drink a few too many on Sunday. Yes, I did wake up the next morning and say to myself, “holy shit…” BUT, it happened. And who knows where this decision will lead me.

All I know is, DIVAS NEVER DOUBT.

Success!

I did it! I made all of the dishes I set out to make for my first Vegan Thanksgiving.

Not going to lie, my stuffing kicked the other stuffing’s ass. (sorry mom)

But really, it was impressive.

However, we may have gone a little overboard with the amount of food, and I believe I will be eating thanksgiving all week-long… which can get a little repetitive.

So, this is a short and sweet post. But here is what I am thankful for.

1) My family– they rearranged Thanksgiving for me. They play Bananagrams and Mad Gab AND they watch elf while eating candy canes… my family is the most bitchin’ family around.

2) My ability to let things go. And what that means for the future me. Forgiving and apologizing has literally made blue birds land on my shoulders, and sometimes I break out into a spontaneous grin. It is a beautiful thing.

3) My drive and ambition to achieve a plethora of different goals. These goals include: climbing a mountain (next summer!), running a marathon (next fall!), complete a triathlon (next spring!), going back to grad school (I think I figured out what I actually want to do– it might take me a billion years.. whatever), become a yoga instructor, meditate on a regular basis, make a quilt… the list goes on and on.

All BIG goals. (especially the quilt– I get distracted)

What can I say? I’m a dreamer.

Pinned Image

Fuel

I decided that today was a good day to move my body.

A lot.

I am planning on registering for the Portland Marathon next year.

I think I am crazy. After finishing my first half marathon this summer, I vowed to never run that much ever again. Now, I’m like, “sure! yeah! lets register for that x 2!”

What the shit is wrong with me?

Perhaps I will blame it on my imaginary bucket list, and chalk it up to bragging rights– no one can doubt THIS girl if I am strong enough to run 26.2 miles. Sure, I cry at Hallmark commercials, but I ran 26.2 miles, SUCK IT.

So I have vowed to run four times a week, starting now until next October. Lofty goal, and I am sure some weeks will consist of one half-assed run, but I am setting the bar high.

This morning–bright and early–I put on my tight ass lulu lemon pants (which make me looks like a thunder thigh super hero– I can’t believe I go out in public) met up with my step-mom and went on a leisurely jog. My pup was happy, I was happy, it felt good to run and gossip with the s-mom.

I followed my run with 75 minutes of hatha flow yoga. Because, why not? I do a work exchange at a delightful yoga studio, so if I’m already at the studio, there is no excuse NOT to practice. Little did I know that this class would involve approximately 900 plank poses and runner lunges that left my hips and quads saying WTF.

Needless to say, today I am eating like a hormonal teenage boy. CARBS! PROTEIN! HUNGRY ALL THE TIME!

Also, all of this moving caused me to be a lazy ass pre-work, so I did some makeshift cooking. Here is the result.

I call this the, “throw-it-together-burrito”.

Here is the truth, I wanted to catch up on Parks and Recreation (Amy Poehler is a goddess), and going to the store was not an option. I had carrots, potatoes, onions, black beans, quinoa and avocado. Throw all of that together with some tabasco, and you have yourself a burrito.

It was delicious. This just shows that you can always eat healthy– just keep that kitchen stocked of go-to healthy foods. And be flexible with what you put in your face. Who knows what kind of combinations you come up with? Whole wheat noodles with “peanut sauce”, yeah… I’ve been there.

As the evening wears on at work, I am still ravenous like a hippo, but I brought my trusty left overs to hold me over.

Not going to lie, I did sneak a few crackers meant for the kid’s consumption only… WHAT??! DON’T JUDGE ME!