Vacation Recap – ROME Day 1/2 and 1


So I decided that I should do some recaps, because i like talking about myself and the things I do.

We got to Rome, Italy Friday (May 16) at around 10 pm.  We got to our hotel (The Hearth Hotel in Rome… Can’t Recommend This Place Enough!) and after dropping off our bags we walked to the closest open restaurant.

Francisco I. (sadly I can’t find the website).

So good.  Especially after being delayed forever and then not eating on the plane and being exhausted.  It was good to put food in our bellies, and it didn’t hurt that it was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had.

We went to sleep rather quickly and woke to find the Vatican bustling.

Yes, that is the Vatican, right outside our window.  YES THAT IS THE LINE TO GET IN.

Because Jason is uber smart, he booked a skip the line tour of the Vatican and it’s grounds so we didn’t have to wait!

This is behind glass because some psycho tried to throw a hammer at it.

Our Awesome Tour Guide Valentina!

I would have taken pictures inside the Sistine Chapel, but because it is a holy sacred place, no photographs are allowed.  A Japanese company came recently to restore the ceiling by meticulously cleaning and repainting portions to bring it back to it’s original (or as much as it can be) state.

Here is a picture that doesn’t do it justice at all:

The Vatican only took like half the day, so we set out to see other things…

The Pantheon

A Pretend Roman Guard

Something Important? Jason? What was this?

We then decided to walk around a bit, find food, and go about our day.  We met this guy…

He was kind of broken up that we wouldn’t stay and chat…

We were then swindled.  This always freaking happens.  We were walking through a court yard, this guy gave me roses, and then told Jason to give him money.  I tried to give them back and it didn’t work.  Then another guy came up did the same thing, and then took more money.  We spent 30 Euros on crappy roses.

After this lesson, anyone who approached me got a “NO.  GO AWAY.”  Jason would laugh because I went from nice American to “YOU’RE NOT TAKING MORE MONEY FROM ME.”

This lasted the rest of the trip…

We had an amazing dinner from the Restaurant down the street (Crap… what was the name… I suck at this).

Gnocchi and Clams for Jason

Gnocchi and Ricotta with Black Truffle for Me

Braised Veal Cheek for Jason (Apparently the best cut of meat he has ever had)

The Best Meatballs I have Ever Had

Wine soaked sweet cake with whipped cream and custard

Of Course Coffee

Two very happy diners…

We went back to the hotel, tucked ourselves in and went to sleep happily.

Tomorrow we go to the Colosseum!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside


WTF.

WTF.

So everyone here in the DC area was braced for this Polar Vortex crap that was coming today.  Last night the weather was getting colder, the wind picked up, and we knew as we pulled on our extremely large, fluffy, warm comforter (reserved for such occasions) that we were in for the cold the next morning.  When we woke up this morning the temperature was 4 degrees.  FOUR.

I decided last night to not shower this morning and simply blow dry my hair from its frizzy state this morning.  It worked well, which is nice, but now I feel groggy and weird because I didn’t have my wake up as I usually do.  The minute I left the house, my car, much like myself, was not ready for the commute in.  Since all of the schools were closed, I hit no traffic, but I still felt like my car was shaking a bit more than usual, and refusing to heat up.  I got to work about 20 minutes later (SHORTEST COMMUTE EVER) or 16 miles, and it still had not heated up.

Anywhoodle.

I ran last night, or afternoon rather, and it was a good 3.1 miles.  I am getting used to running faster, or at least I keep telling myself that, and putting the treadmill at a consistent speed so that I can’t really waiver or slow down due to exhaustion is helping.  This doesn’t mean I don’t jump off at times and curse at the machine, but I figure that as long as I keep doing this my endurance with surely gain strength and I will be able to push through my time at the race in February (Where I currently hold my official PR.).

Today is:

3.1 Miles + Weight training

MuscleandStrength.com

MuscleandStrength.com

eep.

I was given this site’s information after a lengthy discussion with the founder of Eat More to Weigh Less.  I commented on a pinterest post stating that I felt their program was only geared toward lifting and that I also felt at times that they “condemned” runners and cardio lovers a like.  She explained that this is not true and then gave me some information on where to find good workouts.  I am bored with NROLFW and kind of gave up on Drop 2 Sizes because I am dumb.  I plan on picking up D2S after my half marathon and 10 miler races this spring.  But I feel, also, that adding strength training whilst running is still a beneficial idea.  So I am planning the following schedule of workouts that I will aspire to:

  • Monday: Strength Training @ Lunch / Running in the afternoon
  • Tuesday: Running
  • Wednesday: Strength Training @ Lunch
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Strength Training @ Lunch / Running in the afternoon
  • Saturday: Active Rest
  • Sunday: Longer Run

This way I get three days of strength training and 4 days of running.  I like the two a day approach because at lunch at work I have a hard time running because I get drenched in sweat and then showering takes too long and bam I have to stay a lot later than I want to.  This way I still get a sweat session but it’s not horrible and I won’t feel bad simply using body wipes to clean up.  I can pull my hair into a pony tail for the rest of the day and add some nice smelling body spray and I’m good (or so I hope, I don’t care if I smell really bad frankly.).

Next week will be kind of an abbreviated schedule as Wednesday I have an all day meeting, and it can possibly roll into Thursday.  I plan on simply playing it by ear and hoping to at least get a strength session in at home one of those days.

With regards to eating:  I am trying to focus more on getting protein and veggies in over anything else.  I am gearing all dinners to protein and veggies with only a little starch.  I am thinking that my incessant hunger is attributed to the constant reliance on carbs that then turn into drops in sugar.  Frankly I only want to binge on carbs before and during a race.  That is the only time I really NEED them.

I am doing well so far with the Shakeology, the upping of my activity, and drinking water like I’ve just come from the desert.

This will be my year.

MCM Race Review – I’m Back! – Monday


MCM 10k Recap

Yesterday I laced up my running shoes at 4:00 am and headed down to the DC National Mall for the Marine Corps Marathon 10k!

It’s a great course, mostly flat, and it’s filled with marines – very attractive marines – ALL CHEERING FOR YOU.  I don’t trust my balance with my camera phone whilst running so I didn’t bother trying to take it out and snap any pictures.  May be next year…

Anywhoodle.

Untitled

Here is the course map.  It starts on the National Mall and then weaves through DC to the Memorial Bridge.  You “BEAT THE BRIDGE” and then wind into Crystal City.  I didn’t think the Bridge was a big deal, gradual incline and then decline, but then I realized that the bridge was the middle of mile 20 and the beginning of mile 21 for the marathon… so for them, those runners it was beating the bridge.  For us, 10Ker’s it was mile 2… no biggie.  Once in Crystal city we wove around the “downtown” area of it and then under an over pass and then over the same over pass we just went under – if that makes sense.  Then we hit Washington Blvd.  MY FAVORITE part of the race because you pass 3 sides of the Pentagon.  It’s beautiful, and the sun was right behind it so it almost glowed.  This is also where the concentration of Marines were Screaming for us.  I had a group of marines see what my shirt said, and they broke through the crowd to run with me for a few minutes -Scaring me that I was about to get tackled for some reason – but really they just wanted to pat me on the back and say that Jesus was pushing me, and that he would get me through to the end.  This was around mile 5, and my lack of running over the past few weeks was eating at my hamstrings, so I needed that.  Once they were done ‘lifting me up’ symbolically, they jumped off the course and continued to scream for me until their screams melding in with everyone else.  For those of you who couldn’t read my shirt in the above photo – I found these images online to show you what it says.

This is the front

Team-4131

This is the back

I knew what was coming as I saw the mile 6 poster.  I knew that this god forsaken hill would be there in just mere moments.  What I didn’t remember from the previous year, was how long it was.  I remember it being steep, but not long.  I was gunning it but everyone else was slowing down which made for me sprinting to the finish impossible.  Oh well.

After crossing the finish line another woman came up to me and said that my shirt got her through the last mile.  This happens at every race I wear it to – which means I will wear it at every race now.

We muddled through the finish area, where really all I wanted was my medal and my new cold water that they had – I’ve gotten over the whole finish line picture thing – and then I wanted to find Jason.

Jason is amazing. He got up at 4:00 am with me, drove me to the metro, went with me to the race to stand in the freezing cold for like 2 hours and then hung around until my slow butt got across the finish line.

Never complained once.

We left and then once we got home I showered, we got Jimmy Johns for lunch, and then went grocery shopping for the week.  We dropped everything at home and then headed to Barrel Oak Winery for a few hours with my parents for a Belated Celebration of Jason’s Birthday.  Tipsy off wine and the high of racing, we headed home where we didn’t eat dinner, and just had a beer before heading to bed at 9:15 pm.

All in all it was a great day.  Getting up at 4:00 am seems like nothing in comparison to what those Marines go through.  Running 6.2 miles was a trip in the park – almost literally – compared to what they have to endure.  All the men and women who serve our country on a daily basis and put their lives on the line so that I can run free in these races should be held on a higher stage than any of us civilians.  The soldiers I saw throughout the race, running with prosthetic limbs and battle scars were so incredibly heartbreaking and inspirational.

MCM 10K 2013 – 1:07:46 (PR of 9 seconds from last year, but not my fastest 10k time ever)

I’m Back!!

After much discussion, thought, and failures, I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers as of this morning.  The number on the scale is terrifying and I am done playing games.  I’ve pre-tracked today and tomorrow, giving me an advantage to simply look at what I have planned and go from there.  I’m incorporating the Drop 2 Sizes Workouts and my running with this, and I think – I KNOW – this time I will be successful.

I’m looking forward to seeing the changes and feeling the effects of taking care of myself.  I dropped my old username and started new.  I don’t think I’ll jump back on the message boards, because they don’t serve a purpose to me anymore, but I have my group of ladies who keep me supported and inspired.

Monday

It’s Monday.  What more needs to be said?  I’m working then heading home to work out and then heading to Ikea.  Fun times.

Give It To Me:

1.) Did you Race this Weekend?

2.) Do you have inspirational shirts you wear to race in?

3.) Ikea?

Friday Things – Giveaway Winner Announced!


  • Wow I am tired this morning.  That’s what not falling asleep till way after midnight will do to you.  Luckily it is Friday!  I’m running – or going to attempt to run – 12 miles this afternoon.  It’s my last viciously long run before my next race – The Perfect 10 Miler by Potomac River Running.  I’ve run that course before, earlier this year in fact for the Reston 10 Miler, and it’s a great, not really crazy hilly course.  I was running with a friend last time, which made it amazing, but this time I am solo, with my music, and my thoughts.  Scary Eh?  I feel bad for Jason as he will just be hanging out at the finish line for like almost 2 hours waiting for me, but he doesn’t seem to mind that.  I also feel bad for anyone who has to see me that day, because I am sure to be hunched over and crying in pain.  Oh yeah.  I’ll be covered in Compression Clothing and sucking down water I’m sure. 
  • I’m thinking I’m going to start Paleo again on Monday for 30 days.  I think I need a reset.  My energy level has plummeted, my body is reacting in weird ways, and I just want a reset.  I also want to get rid of all the yuckiness I am sure that is in my body at this point.  So I’m figuring Meat and Veggies will be an awesome venture for the next few weeks.  We’ll see if I stick to it. 

photo (9)

Meeeeaaaaaaatttttttt

  • There are some big meetings coming up at work that I am in the midst of prepping for.  While I am super excited to once again prove my amazing abilities with meeting logistics and development, the fact that they are back to back is annoying.  I am tired and don’t really want to spend two days in a conference room. 
  • Like I said before – today is my 12 miler.  I am super nervous about it, because of a various amount of reasons.  I am just always anxious about everything with it.  I am promising myself that I will stretch for 10 minutes afterward and then shower and then Ice everything to make sure I’m good to go.  I’m just being dumb, I realize.  I did 11 last week, I can add one more to that.  I just now wish I had decided to go for one more mile last week, instead of this week.  Stupid hindsight. 

Give It To Me:

  • What are you doing this weekend?
  • Are you running any races anytime soon?
  • What are your feelings on Meat?

News Worthy:

AND THE WINNER OF MY GIVEAWAY IS: 

Amanda Bowen @MiLadyBowen 

Amanda, please email me at bebegetswordy@gmail.com with your address and any flavors of LaraBar you DON’T want. Thanks love!  

Thank you to all who entered!  I’ll have another tasty giveaway in October!

Recipe Review: Skinny Fish and Chips


As seen on The Londoner - I was dying to try this recipe, because when we were in London I pretty much gorged myself on Fish and Chips (The best place that I had on holiday was at The Swan in Paddington – I am sure there are ‘better’ versions, but that one stuck out to me for some reason).

Well if you look at the nutritional information for Fish and Chips anywhere, it will make you cry.  I think the lowest I found – just for the fish, no chips allowed – was 700 calories.  HOW CAN THEY MAKE FISH SO BAD FOR YOU?

Oh… right.

So when I was browsing through the recipe section of my favorite London Blogger and saw that she had a LIGHT version… I about cried.  Then I added it to my menu for this week.

Original Recipe

There might be a difference in my recipe with hers.  She’s in London and I am in the States, so there is bound to be a conversion factor :-)

Ingredients (for two people – or one really hungry runner):

  • 2 Fillets of Halibut or any white fish (I used halibut) – I also bought this fresh – but you can buy flash frozen fish.  Fresh fish is expensive yo’ – especially for my Midwest readers.. buy what you can… I suspect Frozen would work just as well.
  • 2 Cups of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 large Egg
  • Oil

For the “Fries”

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (She calls for 5, but I’m on a diet, and I could eat 5 pounds if I tried)
  • 2 Tbsp of Chili Flakes
  • Rock Salt
  • Oil

She makes her own Tartar sauce – because she’s perfect.  I, however, am  not.  So i bought mine from a store… but for those who are talented and patient enough:

For the sauce:
(The sauce makes enough for about 4-6 people, so just pop the extra in the fridge)
3tbsp skinny mayonaise
1/2 cup Crème fraiche
3 sprigs of fresh dill
2tbsp capers
1/2 a fist full of fresh chives
3 or 4 cornichons (little gerkhins) & a tbsp of the juice from the jar
Juice of half a lemon
IMG_3106 IMG_3109
Instruction:
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F (180 degrees C - What??? Turns out I have readers in Europe!)
Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Throw your peeled and chopped potatoes in to the pan and drizzle with about 3 TBSP of oil, top with the chili flakes and salt to taste.
Use your hands to spread the oil and toppings over all of the potatoes – realllllllllly cover those babies.
IMG_3110
These will need to cook for at least 25 – 30 minutes (longer if you like them burned like me)
While you are waiting you can make the sauce…
Or stare at the Tartar sauce you bought at the store?
This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

Now for the Fish!
IMG_3112
Mix the breadcrumbs and chili flakes together in a bowl.  Crack your egg and whisk it into another bowl.  Cut the fish into strips, if you haven’t done so already, and then submerge each strip into the egg.  Then, roll the egg fish in the breadcrumbs.  Lay to rest on a clean plate at the end of your assembly line.
IMG_3111 IMG_3113 IMG_3114
Soon you will have the beginnings of a fish mountain.  Bask in its glory.
IMG_3115
Check your fries.  If they look done, remove from oven, turn oven off, and add them to a bowl.  Put the bowl back into the oven that is off and cooling down to keep the fries warm.
Put a frying pan on the stove and heat it up.  When it’s just about to smoke, add enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and swirl it around.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the fish strips.
IMG_3116
When you see the fish turn white and the crumbs start to brown, flip them.  When the fish are done they should be white all the way through, no pink or translucent fish here.
I like mine kind of burnt... yeah, that's it.

I like mine kind of burnt… yeah, that’s it.

Add them to a clean plate and scrape the excess breadcrumbs from the pan on to the fish.  Get allllllllll the crunchies you can.
IMG_3119
Plate this amazing dinner and enjoy!
Man Approved!

Man Approved!

I suggest drinking a beer with this while watching Broadchurch or Law and Order UK to get the full effect.
(Which is exactly what we did.)
Nutrition Info – Recipe Builder in MyFitnessPal (not including tartar sauce, and I used 2 TBSP of Canola oil, and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs total – I measured what was left over after breading the fish… so I guess… just use less the begin with… as to not waste)
  • Calories – 570
  • Carbs – 46 g
  • Fat – 22 g
  • Protein – 44 g
  • Fiber 5 g

Not the most healthy meal, but a darn good substitute when you are craving the bad stuff!

Recipe Review : Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice


I must seem like an obsessive fan, but here is another recipe from The Londoner.  She’s most likely black listed my name from most London Venues so there is no chance we’ll ever bump into each other (OH MY GOD I WOULD JUST DIE).  I kid I kid.  She doesn’t know I exist, and that’s cool too.  JUST KEEP POSTING RECIPES.

Ahem.

So here is my recipe review on her Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice.

In her recipe she added Prawns, which would be fine, but I wanted to use the chicken I bought, so this is Chicken Fried Rice :-)

(It is not necessary to call and gloat to your local Chinese takeout place that you don’t need them anymore.. because frankly, You can’t quit them.  Not even with this recipe.  Don’t burn bridges.)

Original Recipe

To Feed 3 or 4 people (OR LUNCHES FOR THE WEEK!)  (Or if you are having one of those days… 2 people):

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 or 3 chilies, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, skinless boneless, cooked and cut into strips
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  • soy sauce
  • Sweet Chili sauce for serving (optional)

Directions:

Grab the cauliflower and tear off the leaves.  Chop the head into smaller sections.  You’ll want to grate these pretty finely.  I used my food processor.

photo (12) photo (13)

If your pile of ‘rice’ is damp wring it out in a tea towel and let it sit out to dry out a bit.

photo (11)

Get a wok nice and hot and add your oils.  Crush the garlic and fry it up until it’s a golden brown.

Next add your chilies.

Followed by your ‘rice’ which you will need to stir thoroughly to get all the flavors mixed in evenly.  After about  a minute, add your spring onions and then 2 TBSP of soy sauce.  Stir well.  Once the rice starts to look golden, you know you’re on the right path.

photo (14) photo (15)

Throw your chicken (or protein of choice) in.  Stir for about another minute or so.  Then make a well in the middle of your rice.

Crack your egg into it.

photo (16)

Let it fry a little.

Then break it up with you spatula and just as it’s starting to look cooked, stir it through the ‘rice’.

Repeat that process with the second egg, and you are done.

photo (17) photo (18)

Sprinkle your chopped peanuts on top, and enjoy.

Or eat it out of the wok.  That works too.

photo (10)

Nutritional Information – From My Fitness Pal Website (Nutrition based on a two serving recipe)

  • Calories – 535
  • Carbs – 26 g
  • Fat – 31 g (but they are all GOOD fats)
  • Protein – 43 g
  • Fiber – 12 g

Recipe Tuesday – Mexican Stuffed Zucchini


So I found this recipe on Skinny Taste and I tweaked it a bit, mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients and I threw out some of the stuff while cooking, so, I had to make it ‘my own’ because I never know how to read ahead in instructions.

So here we go!

Serves 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis – cut in half
  • 1/2 pound of 99% fat free ground turkey
  • taco seasoning
  • 1/2 an onion
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • cheese – coarse grating
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil

IMG_3004

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the zucchinis in half and using a small spoon scoop out the inside seedy area.

IMG_3003

  1. Once the water is boiling, boil the zucchini’s for about a minute.
  2. Place the zucchini halves in a cooking dish inside facing up
  3. Brown the turkey meat in a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil (I used canola, but feel free to use your oil of choice).

IMG_3005

  1. Chop the half of an onion and add to skillet with turkey.
  2. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the taco seasoning to 1/2 a cup of water and then to the skillet.   Simmer until the liquid cooks off.
  3. Spoon the turkey mixture into the halves of the zucchini and top with the coarse grated cheese.  Cover in foil and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes – until cheese is melty and the zucchini is cooked through.

IMG_3006

  1. After it’s done cooking add salsa, sour cream, etc toppings you desire!

IMG_3007