Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Discovered My Limit

Because Anna and I put off our Whole 30 paleo challenge until New Years, I have been eating horribly.  I have been choosing to stuff my face with anything that might possible be considered delicious.  Cookies, beer, chocolate, donuts, french fries, hamburgers, won tons, you name it.  Yesterday I woke up feeling like crap (surprise!).  I went to work and ate my breakfast a little late, my eggs with bacon.  Then probably an hour later I was bored so I ate the leftover half Kim Chee Burger from Big City Diner.  Then I ate the banana I brought.  Then I had the piece of candy that was in my lunch box.  At about 11:30 I got the reminder text that we were having a work meeting at the Golden Lion Chinese Restaurant at 12:30, which I had totally forgotten about.  So I left the school to meet my coworkers and have my second lunch.  I ate a whole bunch of Won Ton Mein.  I saved some of it for later, but ate that immediately upon my return home.  Then I had some chocolate.  And some more chocolate.
Second Lunch Eaten Here
This is how I felt
Luckily I had planned on going to Crossfit at 7pm, so that gave me a reason to stop stuffing my face.  I made some meat and rice stirfry for Nathan and then Keysa and I walked to the box.  My stomach hurt sooo bad.  I told her that I think I had reached my actual physical limit for food consumption and that any more and I might have exploded.  It effected how I worked out.  It made me slow and uncoordinated due to the discomfort.  So I decided last night that I will not be eating like that anymore.  It was truly awful.  I'm not sure exactly why I felt the need to eat so much.  It's strange. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese

The finished product with a side of steak, Yummy!
My brussel sprouts recipe.  I love these and I've always wanted to give the run through on how to make them.

For this recipe you need:
Brussel sprouts- about 30
Anaheim pepper (can substitute any kind of pepper depending on what kind of spice you enjoy)
Balsamic Vinegar
Parmesian Cheese
Large pan with lid.

Pepper in Little Itty Bitty Pieces
 First things first, cut up your veggies.  I only had a pepper, garlic and some brussel sprouts this time around.  When I make them I tend to get too excited and I get the pan hot before I'm ready with all the veggies.  That's what I did today.  Best idea is to cut all your veggies and have them ready. So, I cut up the the pepper first.  I cut the top off, cut it in half, then scooped out all of the seeds and the flesh.  That's where all the heat lies.  I was afraid that it was going to be too hot.  After tasting at the end I realized that I should have left some of the insides in for a little more heat.  But, we like it hot, if you don't, scoop it all out.  I proceeded to cut it up into little pieces.  Put it off to the side for later. 
Sprouts Ready for Cutting
Cut the end off
 Now for the brussel sprouts.  Get 'em ready.  Here's one on the left, in all of its ready to be cut and prepped glory.  Then cut off the end, where all of the leaves meet.  See what I mean in the picture to the right.  Try not to cut too high, you want the inside leaves to stay together.  If this is your first go, you'll probably want to cut a little bit off, then cut more off if you still need to.  The worst is when you cut off too much and the whole damn thing falls apart.
Pull off Outer Leaves
Cut into Quarters
Next, pull off the outside leaves.  I keep going until I am satisfied that all the leaves that have been exposed to the air are gone.  Sometimes you see brown spots.  I keep going until all of that stuff is gone.  You end up with much less brussel sprout than you started off with.  Discard the outside leaves.  As far as I know, they're no good.  Leave a comment below if you know differently.
After you are satisfied with your brussel size and color.  Now cut them into quarters.  I find that this is the best size for this particular recipe.
Garlic with Skin On
Squish it Hard
 Next, the garlic.  Here they are.  I used two, but if you want to have a stronger garlic flavor, go for more. The garlic flavor was not very noticeable with just the two, you get just a hint.

I first squish the garlic with my favorite big knife to loosen the skin on the outside.  It makes it easier to mess around with them.
Then I cut off the top where the clove was connected to the rest of the plant.
Garlic.  In Pieces.
 I don't have a picture of it, but I assume you can figure this part out on  your own.  There is a skin on your garlic clove that is loose after squishing it.  Pull that off now.  Then cut it into small pieces.

Raw Bacon in Pan
Okay, so now you're ready for the cooking part.  If you're a really quick veggie chopper you can do this step earlier, but if you're new to this, (or if you have been drinking) do all your veggies first before putting your bacon in the pan.  I usually put the bacon in a cool pan, then turn it to medium.
There's only two slices of bacon in the pan in the picture, but I would go for three or even up to five.  Honestly, the more bacon the better.  If you don't need any bacon for breakfast in the morning, go ahead and put in the whole package.  When the bacon is mostly cooked to your liking, pull it out and leave just enough bacon grease in the pan to saute your veggies in.  That's only a few tablespoons.  If you've taken my advice and put in the whole package of bacon, pour your bacon grease into a small cup and put it in the fridge and cook your eggs in there in the morning.  Yum!
Keep a dog in the Kitchen.
Go ahead and throw in your brussel sprouts and your hot peppers.  **Careful!! It will sizzle at you!!  Make sure when you put them in, your face is nowhere near your pan.  My advice is to wield the lid of your pan like a medieval shield and throw your veggies in gently while covering your face.  I do not have a picture of this.**
Grate the cheese!
If you have decided to put anything else in there that might want to cook longer, like carrots, you'll want to add those now, too.  This is when my dog, Gizmo, usually rushes into the kitchen, because he smells the bacon cooking.  He stands next to the stove and licks the floor where any of the grease has escaped.  Cover your pan and set your timer for 3 minutes.  While you wait you can cut up your bacon into smaller chunks.  Don't worry, the bacon will go back in later.  This is also a good time to start slicing and dicing your Parmesan cheese.  Have your balsamic vinegar nearby.

Balsamic Vinegar
Bacon in Yummy Pieces
When your timer goes off, either do that fancy thing that chefs do: with the lid on whip your pan through the air and flip over your brussel sprouts.  If you don't know how to do this and are not ready to try, just get a spatula, open the lid and flip everything over.  Toss in anything that you just want to cook a little bit.  In this case, the garlic and the bacon.  Close the lid and set the timer for another 2-3 minutes.
Cheese on veggies.
Add Bacon
When the timer goes off again, open the lid, move stuff around, put the heat on low and then pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan.  This is called deglazing your pan.  You have now just learned an awesome word.  Go show off to your friends.  I don't know how much vinegar.  Maybe two tablespoons?  I just pour enough that it goes all over my goodies, and also covers the entire pan bottom.  Again, keep your face away from the pan, this time because the vinegar will release it's vinegar vapors into the air and although I love the taste of vinegar, it is horrible when a whole boatload of the steam it releases goes directly into your nostrils.  Leave this for a minute, and give your doggie pieces of cheese as you wait.  Then add the Parmesan cheese.  I pushed all the veggies to the side of my pan so I could concentrate the cheese on the veggies.  Cover your pan and leave it be.  Peak at it until your cheese is perfectly melted.  You are done and can now eat your delicious dish!
Cheese is Melted, Yum!
I added some Cheddar on one Side at the End

Scrape it out with Spatula and Serve

Put all Pots and Pans in the Sink and Wait for Someone Else to do Them

Add Meat to Your Plate.  Meat is Delicious.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Nathan's at the Dr. possibly getting his eyelid operated on.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Paleo Challenge Fail

Glorious Beach Walking Weather
Anna and I got home from our beach walk and there was a shit ton of beer in there. Nathan says, "you can drink when you're paleo, right?" Oh boy. I told Anna that we would have to start the challenge later. She was so freaking excited. She went straight for the donuts. Hilarious.

Another Paleo Challenge

Anna and I officially started our Whole 30 challenge yesterday.  The plan was to start on Friday, I was all set, and then got to my training at a Waikiki Beach Hotel in Waikiki.  All was going well, I ate my eggs and went to lunch with some coworkers.  Unfortunately, even though I ordered my burger with no bun, there was no getting away from all of the fried stuff.  I just texted Anna that we would start the next day instead.  To me it's a relief to be back on a "challenge."  I have poor impulse control, so when the brownies are sitting on the counter, I eat one.  Sometimes two.  And sometimes I have a difficult time stopping myself from eating way more than is socially acceptable.  With paleo I always start off wanting to snack a bunch, but I actually remember the healthy snacks that I have available.
View of Waimanalo from the Pillboxes
Yesterday started off fine, Anna made some bacon and eggs.  I went off to hike the Pillboxes with Keysa and Ananda and while I was gone she left for work.  She only took two bananas and two eggs, so I went to the store and got her some roast, some salad, cashews and coconut water.  It was nice to bring her her lunch at work.  We talked for a little bit at the bar, had some cashews,  and I headed home for my own lunch.  I'll definitely stop by there again one of these days when she's working there.  Bars are so different when they are empty during the day.  I had ahi tuna for lunch when I got home.
Dinner was steak, okinawan sweet potato and asparagus.  I am a damn good cook sometimes.  It was really tasty.  It was also a big dinner, so I didn't feel like I needed to snack on anything during the usual "dessert" time of the night.  We watched TV and made plans to run the beach and watch the sunrise.  Well, she's been working hard and hopefully she's finally having a good night's sleep.  It's 7am and she's not up yet.  Surprisingly, the sound of the dogs and I moving around out here didn't wake her up.  Hopefully she's still passed out pretty good.  There will be other mornings for sunrise beach walks.
I love this kind of morning.  I've got Gizmo on my lap, and Titus is on the couch all cozy, but keeping his eye on me.  I can hear the birds chirping outside, the usual air conditioner noise from the bedrooms and our neighbors, and the fishtank gurgling away.  Not too shabby.  I'm gonna make some coffee, then I haven't decided yet whether I will turn on the TV, read, or write in my journal.  I think I will just relax and take this day as it unfolds.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fattening Up and Gluten Loading

So Anna and I have decided that our official date to start our Whole 30 Paleo Challenge will be December 16th.  I will get paid on the 15th, so I can start to replenish the cabinets, fridge and freezer with good for me treats.  Also on this day we shall take before pics so you can be enthralled by our transformations.  To plan I am printing up some Paleo food posters for the fridge and only buying paleo (except for Kefir and Yogurt, I need my good bacteria and can't afford the supplements) from now until the end of the challenge.  In preparation I am eating as much glutenous, sugary, processed food and beer as I can fit down my throat and into my bloated belly.
The plan this time is not to finish the whole 30 with a sugar buffet, but this time to stick with it within reason.  I plan on being super strong and fit for the Warrior Dash in March, so that is my goal.  I am hoping too that Crossfit and Paleo will help me get my knee back in shape in time to run the Great Aloha Run.
Yesterday I had the best time ever, being a part of Keysa Hale's Marathon Pit Crew.  She has been training for months to prepare to run the Honolulu Marathon and only asked that we meet her at some point to hand her some coconut water and grapes.  Instead we created an elaborate plan to meet her at mile 17, hand her the goods, and then run with her relay style until the finish.  I took the first 3 miles.  We chatted about her weekend from mile 17 to 20.  It was awesome running in the marathon.  I got to experience all of the cheering and hullabaloo without actually putting in too much effort.  I did my best to stay out of everyone's way and to enhance Keysa's marathon experience.  At mile 20 I bowed out, called the crew driving nearby and hopped into the car at a bus stop.  We kept driving and when we spotted her and her friend again, Anna jumped out and joined her.  Then Joanna, Ananda and I found them at mile 24 and Ananda and Anna finished the last two miles with her before leaving the track near the finish.  Keysa finished on her own and we celebrated with pictures, oatmeal cookies, and the pool at her hotel.  It was so much fun.  It made Anna and Ananda want to train for a marathon.  It solidified my knowledge that I do not ever want to run 26.2 miles.  I still like shorter distances.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Busy or Tired

Recently I've been pretty busy and in my down time I've been extremely tired.  Like right now.  Droopy eyelids.  On Tuesday I really didn't want to go to TKD class.  I was just so exhausted.  I went anyway, and it wasn't the pick me up that exercise usually is when I'm tired.  This feels different.  Tonight I have TKD again and I just don't feel like going again.  I only have 3 more classes left, so I should go.  I would rather take a nap.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back to Work

This week I haven't felt too much like blogging.  I had a great week last week and an awesome weekend and then Monday it was back to work.  Bleh.  I love seeing the kids and the people I work with are a lot of fun, but there is just so much about the job that I'm not a fan of.  Anything paperwork or planning or data collection related and my eyes just roll to the back of my head.  It's not too hard, it's not over my head, it's just boring.  Some people love data.  I want to cock punch those people.  Not really, I'm not mean.  But I am absolutely positive that when I have my private practice I am going to hire someone to do some of that stuff.  I will have a secretary adm. assistant someday.  The thought gets me through a lot of days.  That person will organize my files, take down dictation, and maybe do some of my scheduling.  I will meet with clients and do the thinking.
Other than work I went to Tae Kwon Do on Tuesday and tonight.  I felt myself not wanting to be there.  I can just tell that I'm ready for some changes.  The job is not going to change right away, but the exercise is.  I signed the paperwork to cancel my YMCA membership tonight.  It will now expire on the 14th, I will have to be responsible for my own exercising until the New Year and then I am joining Crossfit Kailua.  TKD was awesome for 6 months.  I might go back to it, it will be the same curriculum, but I need a change.  I hate it when exercise feels like a chore, because I know it doesn't have to.  I know that when I am doing the right sport/exercises I wake up looking forward to my workout for the day.  I look forward to learning better technique and working myself to the point of exhaustion.  TKD is not feeling like that for me right now.  I am trying to get over the feeling of guilt I have for switching again, but just because other people stick to an exercise forever doesn't mean that's what I am supposed to do.  If I died next week I'd be pissed that I didn't follow my intuition and switch to something more meaningful.  So here I go, changing it up.
On another note, today is December 1st.  It's time for me to declare my Pre-New Year's Resolution.  I always have a health/fitness goal, but this year I want to add on a spiritual one.  Here goes:
Health and fitness:  From now until New Year's I will eat my own version of modified paleo.  Which is basically paleo without being an asshole and also eating cheese and yogurt.  I am not going to set a weight loss goal, I just want my pants to fit better and to feel less bloated as the New Year rolls in.
Spiritual:  This next year I really want to pay more attention to my intuition.  I'm not going to explain why right now, let's just say I've done a lot of research and I think it's important.  So to prepare for the New Year, my Pre-New Year Resolution will be that every day until the New Year I am going to journal for at least 5 minutes every day.  Nothing special or spectacular, just my thoughts.  If things go right I will be waking up early and journaling before I start my day, but even a few quick lines before I fall asleep would suffice.  I am going to go buy a nice book tomorrow to write in.  Yes, I have composition books that I could use, but I feel like this is something more special.  I've been listening to Deepak Chopra recently and he's got me excited about spirituality.  Go figure.
So those are my resolutions and plans for the New Year, what are yours?  Feel free to leave me some answers in the comment section!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Anna's in Hawaii!

Pre-Thanksgiving on Hammock
This past Monday Anna and I were driven to the airport in a fancy schmancy car at 5am.  Her plane left at 7:30am and I slept in the airport until my plane left at 11:30am.  It wasn't so bad.  I also got a tuna melt and a coffee in the airport.  Yummy.  The flight wasn't horrible, I watched a few movies and napped a little.  When I landed I had to stay awake to go pick Anna up at 10:30pm Hawaii time.  I was so exhausted.  I got a little sick and just felt like sleeping for the next couple of days.
Jak and Ananda with Cake
We cruised around to Ben Franklin, hiked the Pillboxes, grocery shopped and prepared for Thanksgiving.
Anna's new Bike, Carmen
Thanksgiving was nice and relaxed.  I made some stuffing and spaghetti squash.  We went to Joanna and Jeff's and surprised Jak with a cake for her birthday.  We talked story with the ladies, then we headed over to Bobby and Corey's place for some more turkey.  Corey prepared a huge spread of food including a stuffed turkey and a huge ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce.  Good thing we went since we were the only ones who showed up to eat all that food.  Anna and I stuffed ourselves, then Anna passed out on the couch.  We got mad leftovers to take home.
I tried to go into work on Friday, but the office was closed and I headed home to do a bit of paperwork.  When I did all I thought I needed to, Anna and I went out and she bought herself a bike.  It's really great, it's purple and she got a basket put on the front and fenders were ordered to be put on on Monday.  We grabbed some applications from a few bars on the way home.
Hamama Falls
Saturday morning we hiked Hamama Falls with Theresa, Joanna, Jak, Keysa and Ananda, and the doggies.  It was the perfect length of hike.  Tiring, but we still had energy for more activities later.  Anna and I headed to the beach in the afternoon.  It was super windy, so we hunkered down and watched the kite surfers.  Then we rode into town so Anna could grab a surf board she found on Craigs List.
Ze Beach is Zat Way!
Sunday we hiked the Koko Head stairs and then headed to the Verizon store to see if we could get Anna on her own phone plan.  She decided against it for the moment since it's pretty expensive with all the texting she does.  We got some yogurt from Yogurtland (delicious!!!) and headed back home.  We were going to head to the beach again since all the ladies and Jeff were headed that way, but we got caught in traffic.  When we got closer we realized it was due to some brush fires that were ignited all along the road side.  We had a whole bunch of ash blow straight at us in a quick windstorm.  Awesome!
Looking for Recyclables
Instead of the beach Anna decided to ride around town on her bike and check out the local stores.  I stayed home and did very little.  I think I had some wine and thought about taking a nap.  Then Joanna texted that they were at a coffee house in town and I met them over there.  It's one of my new favorite stores I've decided.  It had a whole bunch of locally handmade goods for sale and was comfortable, warm and the tea latte I had was delicious.
I finally went back to work yesterday for a full day.  It was good, but I was a little bored.  Not that I didn't have plenty to do, I just didn't want to do it.  I had the same problem today.  I did a lot of work, but my heart wasn't really in it.  It was hard to get back to the same ol', same ol.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.
Smoke from Brushfire

Tonight is Tae Kwon Do, and hopefully it doesn't kick my ass too badly.  I am out of practice and out of shape.  I did go to the grocery store today to pick up healthier food so I am not picking on all of the chips and bread available to me in my refrigerator.  I have plenty of other options now.  No excuses!
It's going to be time to start my pre-New Year's Resolution!  I need to figure it out by Thursday.  Hope everyone else is ready with theirs, too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Wedding, A Baby and a Bonfire Part IV, The End!

Rope Climbing at Crossfit
Day 8, Crossfit and a Baby!  Woke up early next to my BFF Jen Stack and went to get some eggs at the local diner.  Then we dressed up, grabbed Anna and headed off to Crossfit for another round.  This time we did squats, pullups, and pushups AMRAP until the time ran out.  It felt pretty good.
Eating Deli Sandwich on the Road 
Akiva Teaching me about Coffee
Anna and I headed back to Saugerties and packed our stuff as fast as we could so we could be out of the house before Mom came home.  It's just true.  We threw shit in our bags and ran to the car.  We stopped off at Price Chopper to get some deli meat and bread, made sandwiches on the trunk of the car and headed off to Boston.  It wasn't a long drive, but I started to fall asleep while I was driving and we switched off.  Anna took the controls and we swooped in on our nephews and our new niece!  It was so great to see Akiva and Asher, I usually only get to skype with them and it's just not the same.  We gave them their gifts and set off to the playroom to play.  Angela alternately fed and held Elisheva, since that's all she was capable of at that point.  Little 3 day old babies don't do much but eat, sleep and poop.  The boys were adorably excited about the baby and kept reaching out to stroke her cheek or pat her side.  Akiva and I played catch for a while and then we sat down to dinner.  Just simple spaghetti and meatballs family style.  Then the boys and I did some burpees.  The video should be posted in my list of links on the side.  It's super cute.  We played some more games and went to bed.
Awesome Game
Go Fish
Day 9, play, play, play.  Akiva woke Anna and I up super, duper early and since Anna wanted to sleep in Akiva offered to teach me how to make coffee.  Of course I accepted.  This kid is smart.  He walked me through the whole process.  The only thing he didn't know was how many cups of water to put into the coffee maker.  He's awesome.  We got the boys ready for school after some quick games and sent them off.  Anna and I read, slept and then hung out with Ang and Ben for a while until we could pick the boys up from school to play more games.  Since you probably don't care about the nitty gritty of the games, I'll just say that we played the most awesome games of Hungry, Hungry Hippo and War or something.  The boys are hilarious and adorable.   We took turns holding the baby and talking with Ang and playing games and so on and so forth.  Ate, went to bed. 
Cereal and Checkers
Mad Puzzles
Day 10, made a Moby Wrap.  Akiva woke us up super early again and we played a quick game of Checkers while he ate his breakfast and set off for school.  Asher doesn't go to school on Fridays.  Anna, Asher and I put together mad puzzles, and Anna and I took turns cleaning the playroom.  When Ang got home we headed to the closest fabric store, who lied to us about having regular old cotton fabric.  They were a upholstery store.  So we got some heavy cotton fabric, headed home and I whipped up a Moby Wrap.  We tied it onto Anna to practice and then stuck the baby in with Angela.  I hope she gets some use out of it, but I'll probably make another one with lighter fabric for her.  Anna and I planned on leaving for Saugerties around noon, but instead waited around to pick up Akiva from school.  He was really excited that we were still around.  We played a few more games.  Asher helped Anna and I pack and we played the best game of hide and seek ever.  Asher told us to hide and started counting.  Then he hid too.  Anna and I just busted out laughing because he wouldn't come find us, he just wanted all of us to hide.  We would have been there forever if we hadn't been able to talk him into finding us.  Again, love that kid.
Beginning Bonfire
So we said our goodbyes, and packed into the car for the drive.  On the way Andrew called and said he was heading to Saugerties too, so we made plans to meet at Sue's where the Kovaks always get together on Friday nights.  When Anna and I got home, Mom gave me the finger (now nicknamed pulling a Pauline) and Anna and I took off to Sue's.  We hung out with Andrew and friends and finally headed home around midnight.
Day 11, Bonfire.  We woke up early and started rolling logs.  Had to finish up the firepit to prepare for the night's festivities.  It's hard to describe, but I put some other videos up of us log rolling.  It was a hell of a lot of work.  Andrew fixed the bonfire so it would actually light on fire, we stacked wood to throw on as the night went on, we collected hot dog roasting sticks, we hit Price Chopper and bought all kinds of snacks.  Andrew put together a potato casserole to be cooked later in the night as well as some chicken to throw on the fire.  We drank Guiness and got ready.  At around 5:30 the fire was lit.  This was the biggest fire I've ever seen at the Sullivan's.  It was ginormous.  The video hardly does it justice, but the link will be up all the same.  From then on friends continued to roll up, the keg was tapped, hot dogs and marshmallows were roasted.  Mary McGinn, Jen Stack, Mary Jankowski, and Becca Hoppsen showed up and that's all that really matters.  Also present were several of Anna's friends and Andrew's girlfriend Emily, who is very nice.  We partied as long as we could keep our eyes open and headed off to bed smelling like a firepit.  I stripped off the outer most layer of my clothes and curled up in my bonfire gear.  I actually looked at all of my pictures and watched the bonfire lighting video before I went to sleep.
Andrew in the Bear Cave
Andrew at Opus 40
Day 12, Opus 40.  We woke up to prepare bagels and scrambled eggs.  Mom and I headed off to Mass at some church in Saugerties.  When we got home we cleaned up the bonfire area, watched some Hawaii 5-0 and prepared for a trek to Opus 40, this amazing architectural landscape that some guy built by hand over the course of 37 years.  It is a quick walk through the woods from our parents house.  We used to go there all the time when we were kids.  On a hot day the cool air that comes from the quarry rocks feels amazing.  On a day like this Sunday, it was very peaceful, and a little sad.  On the way there Andrew showed Emily the "Bear Cave" that he and his best buddy Ken made when they were in 6th grade.
Andrew at Opus 40
When we got home it was really sad because Mom had made all of these plans for me while I was home and we didn't get to any of them.  True, we could have gotten one or two things done if she hadn't been actively ignoring me most of my vacation, but you can never get all of the things you plan in on these crazy East Coast ventures.  We said our goodbyes, had some coffee and jumped into Vandalf, first to return the keg, then to sleep at Andrew's place since it was closer to the Newark airport than Saugerties.  We hit up the Zombie Hut for the Giants game and then we hunkered down for the night at Andrew's apartment.  We ordered ourselves a car to drive us to the airport at the buttcrack of dawn and passed out for a few hours.