Faster, Longer, and Uncut

I am a perfectionist. People at job interviews and such always act like this is such a good quality, a great quality, something you should brag about to everyone. I’m such a perfectionist, yea me. But really it means that life is nothing more than one big competition with yourself and everyone else, all the time, and that nothing you do is ever good enough. Sometimes I look at all the things I try so hard at and I wonder who on earth I’m competing with. I beat myself up because so many people ran faster than me in my 10K, when I ran forty five seconds a mile faster than I did in October. But it’s just not good enough for me. I’ve never had a run where I’ve finished and then haven’t beat myself up afterwards for hours, or sometimes even days. Isn’t that weird? Most people aren’t like that. Mr. E thinks it’s terrible, he just shakes his head and looks at me with a sad expression on his face.

I am stressed about the upcoming half marathon, and right now I also don’t feel too awesome. I have endometriosis and so every month when I get my period it just fucking sucks. Sucks to the tune of throwing up or passing out because it hurts so much. And honestly when this happens to you over and over again every month and no one can fix it you get really fed up and tired and angry. So right now I don’t feel good, again, just like I will next month, and this is one of those months when I get angry at how much this has taken from me. I do have medicine I can take but it knocks me out to the point that if I try to work I’ll end up throwing up in my trashcan and going home anyway. Add that to the fact that I’m so unbelievably bloated I can’t stand it, I can’t even look at my ass in the mirror because Jesus Christ, why is my ass so large all of sudden? Of course it’s not even as simple as that, because maybe my ass is the same size that it was a week ago, when I loved it, maybe it’s me that’s crazy now. I wouldn’t know, because I have no perspective whatsoever on the relative size of my ass. All I know is that when I think it seems small, I feel better, and now is not one of those times.

Because I am a perfectionist and I want everyone to think I am the number one winner of all time, I try to control the future all the time. I am a controlling, anal, perfectionist, and I am sure I sound like a barrel of laughs, don’t I? My in laws are celebrating their 35th anniversary this summer and having a huge family week long gathering and somehow that leads to me, the Thursday right after payday, contemplating which J Crew t shirt I should buy to perfectly carry off the non desperate super cute look of preppy casual that I’d like everyone to remember when they think of me and the summer of 2006. Which is ridiculous because no one will even care. I’ll compile the worlds largest and most ridiculous collection of prep and everyone there will be wearing cut off sweat pants and old high school t shirts which I don’t even have because I didn’t go to their high school, and I’ll think “oh, we’re doing THAT look this year. I’m wrong again”.

Even after losing all this weight, I feel undue amounts of stress every morning over what the fuck to wear. I am not ashamed to admit that when you start to lose weight you think it will be the magic answer to everything and that in the morning when you leap out of bed 60 pounds lighter a whole outfit will just snap onto your body, crisp, clean, professional, young, hip, whatever. In reality you are still telling yourself that you don’t need to iron those Target pants that sort of almost fit, at the same time as you wonder – fuck, how did all my t shirts get so fucking short? This is a MEDIUM! I’m 5’ 1”, so who DOES this fit? Seriously. Make the t shirts longer, people.

Sauteed Veggies and Tofu with Brown Rice and Peanut Sauce

This dinner is both easy and a pain in the ass. Easy because the veggies come frozen in a bag labeled “Stir Fry Mix” – just find some you like, keep them on hand, then come dinner time toss them frozen in the frying pan and voila. The tofu, on the other hand, is another story. Slice the light extra firm kind into chunks and dry it by letting it sit in the fridge on paper towels all day. Dry it some more by blotting with more paper towels. Fry it (with a little Pam) on as many sides as you can for as long as you can take, until golden brown and crispy. Make some light peanut sauce (I use the Cooking Light recipe thinned down even more with extra chicken broth) and some brown rice, stir together the tofu and the veggies, and voila. Delicious and so healthy!

Grilled Chicken Strawberry Salad

Mr E and I eat this about once a week in the summer. It’s got grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, carrot shreds, strawberries, pineapple bits, pea pods, almond slivers, celery, and chinese noodles, with an asian sesame dressing. But again, you can throw in pretty much whatever you have around that sounds good. Make sure you slice the breast after you grill it, and throw it on after it cools a bit so it doesn’t make the lettuce wilt.

Elizabeth’s Giant Salad Cheat Sheet

I just had a conversation with someone (hi Sarah!) about how boring salads can get. I probably don’t eat as much salad as I should, but I keep this list posted in my kitchen and I try to keep as much of it on hand as I can, so I can just throw salads together without too much thought. I’m sure there’s stuff I’ve forgotten so if anyone has stuff I should add let me know!

GREENS
Romaine
Spinach
Spring Mix
Napa Cabbage
Etc

VEGGIES/FRUIT
Bell Peppers
Oranges
Mandarin Oranges (canned)
Craisins
raisins
Red Peppers
Artichoke hearts
Carrot shreds
Apples
Snow Peas
Pears
Mangos
Pineapple bits
Jicama
Celery
Tomatoes
Sprouts
Mushrooms
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Roasted red peppers
Cold frozen thawed peas
Canned corn
Strawberries
Red onions
Avocado
Broccoli
Olives

PROTEIN
Sunflower seeds
Turkey, sliced
Ham, sliced
Walnuts, plain or candied
Almond slices
Tuna
Chicken salad
Parmesan cheese shavings
Cheddar cheese bits
Asiago cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Beans of any kind
Grilled chicken
Feta
Shrimp

Victory is mine! 10K, under an hour!

Congratulations on finishing the Novartis Run!
The following are your personal results:

Name: Elizabeth XXXXXXXXXX
Distance: 10K
Time: 57:22
Pace: 9:14
Overall Place: 260 of 382
Place in Gender: 106 of 188
Division F2029 Place: 53 of 71

I never thought shaving 45 seconds off each mile would be so hard, or that it would make me so proud! Imagine, same time next year – I could be running 8:30’s! Hee hee.

Turkey Burgers with Carrot Slaw, Mac and Cheese, and Strawberries and Oranges

Mr. E makes the best turkey burgers in the world. He uses Martha’s recipe, and substitutes parmesan for the gruyere. We had these on whole wheat buns with avocado. Yum!

This was a lot of food, probably one side too many, but I had a long run the next day, so I had to have the pasta. This is Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese, btw, one of my dirty little secrets. Regular mac and cheese is just too bad for you, but I crave it all the time, so when I do I just have the Lean Cuisine version. I can’t even really tell the difference any more. The carrot slaw is Kathleen Daeleman’s Spicy Sweet Carrot Slaw, which I love, and I make it all the time and then keep it in the fridge, and I’ll throw it on salads or just munch on it throughout the week. And then I’m having a love affair with strawberries so I threw some of those in there. Plus they just look so pretty!

Favorite Turkey Burger

Serves 4; Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes
Burgers are an American classic—and they don’t have to be made from just beef anymore.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (preferably 92 to 93 percent lean)

1/2 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese

4 thinly sliced scallions

1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 minced garlic clove

Salt and pepper

Oil

1. Heat grill to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine ground turkey with Gruyère, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties.

2. Lightly oil grill. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side.

Per serving: (without buns) 290 calories; 9.7 grams fat; 37.6 grams protein; 7.1 grams carbohydrates

Note: Cheese and mustard are incorporated rather than used as toppings. For juicier burgers, don¿t use the leanest ground turkey.

Baked Orange French Toast

This is one of my favorite breakfast splurges, and I don’t usually like french toast.
Even though the recipe is from Cooking Light, it’s not overly healthy, so I usually eat only a few pieces and then have lots of fruit on the side.
I also swap out some of the sugar with splenda and use that fake egg substitute for the eggs, so that helps lower the calories as well. Oh, and I don’t refrigerate it, I just dunk all the bread in the liquid first and then pour the rest of the liquid over the bread once it’s in the baking pan. Yum!

Orange-Pecan French Toast Casserole

Making this casserole saves you the trouble of standing over a griddle flipping individual slices of French toast. Assemble the dish the night before your gathering, and pop it in the oven the next morning. Be sure to serve each slice bottom-side up so the pecan mixture is on top.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
Cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
2 large eggs
12 (1-inch-thick) slices French bread (about 1 pound)

Combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup; pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over sugar mixture.

Combine rind and next 7 ingredients (rind through eggs); stir with a whisk. Arrange bread slices over pecans in dish; pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Carefully turn bread slices over to absorb excess egg mixture. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 servings

CALORIES 293(29% from fat); FAT 9.5g (sat 3.9g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 6.1g; CHOLESTEROL 49mg; CALCIUM 69mg; SODIUM 323mg; FIBER 1.6g; IRON 1.6mg; CARBOHYDRATE 43.6g
Cooking Light, JUNE 2004