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A Case of the Mondays

12 Jun

And on the weekend, no less. What is going on? I’ve been so tired this past week – having weird and creepy dreams that interrupt my sleep, not falling asleep in a timely manner (some nights it’s taken almost two hours!), staying up a little too late (only about an hour, not so bad). Anyway, it has taken its toll. I’ve had a general case of the blahs for two days, although after a couple of mega-naps, I’m feeling much better and calmer. I get so frustrated with needing so much sleep. Six hours does not cut it, and that’s all I’ve been getting this week. Give me nine or ten hours and a two hour nap, and I’m good to go. Crazy? Yeah, tell me about it. Plenty of people have questioned my health (mental and physical) for requiring so much shut eye. You know what, that doesn’t make me feel any better, and all it accomplishes is making me feel even worse and more self-conscious about my sleep needs. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to sleep so long each night. It really cuts into my getting-shit-done time.

Not getting enough sleep leaves me feeling pretty down. Ask anyone who knows me. I get really pathetic when I’m not getting enough sleep. Like an oversized toddler. My voice gets whinier, especially as the day goes on, my eyelids get droopier, I move more slowly, and, worst of all, negative thoughts flood into my mind. I beat myself up for sleeping so much, being lazy, not getting enough work done on my dissertation, not working fast enough, taking notes slowly, reading slowly, not managing my time well, not eating healthily enough, not exercising enough, and then things get really bad. From there, I turn into a mean girl. You know the kind. The girls in high school who with one whithering stare made you realize that you don’t measure up. Throughout all of this negative self-talk,  there is a voice of reason constantly batting away these horrible thoughts that cut me to the quick. I know that these terrible things that I’m thinking aren’t true, but it still takes a toll. So that’s what’s been racing (and I do mean racing) through my head yesterday and today. I think I’m pulling out of it. After a three hour nap yesterday and a two-and-a-half hour nap today, I’m starting to come out of my sleep-deprivation fog. This is the main reason why it’s good that I’m not including a calorie count on my food (b)logs, and I’ve stopped recording them in my planner. Those little measures of energy hold too much power over me. And while I can see that some of my choices haven’t been ideal, I think there have been redeeming qualities to almost all of them – like lots of veggies and beans on my nachos and not an obscene amount of cheese. I think I can learn more from the elements I use to build my meals and tweaking those than from a stupid number that doesn’t take the quality of the calorie into account.

Now for something much happier: Meet Isidore! (Ignore the dirty keyboard – it’s on my to-do list.)

My new iShuffle (yes, I name electronics and cars). He came while I was at work, and I was super excited to get him set up and ready for my runs (which I haven’t taken in the last two days – rest is important). He was a gift from the bf, who has been very encouraging with, well, everything.

And today, this came:

P90X. I found a great deal on Amazon and picked up the accessories (pull-up bar, push-up handles, and resistance bands) for a steal, as well. Woot. I’m looking forward to starting it tomorrow. And, frankly, slightly terrified, too. The package comes with a nutritional guide divided into three sections – “Fat-Shredder,” “Energy Boost,” and “Endurance Maximizer.” The guidelines are pretty reasonable, although I don’t think I’m going to follow them to a T (Tony Horton would not like this). Like the calorie-counting, I don’t want these guidelines to turn into something to beat myself up over, but that’s not to say that I’m going to be stuffing my face with junk. At the same time, I need to fit this program into my lifestyle, and I eat a lot of fruit. More fruits than vegetables, which may not be ideal since there is a lot of sugar in fruit. Even so, I consider it to be healthy and packed with vitamins so I think I will combine my fruit and veggie goals into one. To give you an idea, this is Tony’s recommendation for someone like me in during the first phase (~1800 calories):

5 servings of protein

2 servings of dairy

1 serving of fruit

2 servings of veggies

2 servings of fats

1 serving of carbs

3 servings of snacks

1 serving of condiments (which I think is a really weird category, but whatever, Tony)

As we established yesterday, I have trouble getting protein at every meal, but I think I cracked it. At least for breakfast: GRANOLA!!!!! Hello, complex carbs, good fats, and protein! Breakfast perfection! And it took less than an hour to mix up, bake, and clean up the dishes. Woot woot. I did a little googling (about three minutes worth) to get a feel for ratios, particularly wet to dry ingredients. In the end, I disregarded that, and did what felt right. And it tasted delicious! Even before I baked it.



3 cups rolled oats

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup pecans, chopped

3 tbsp flax meal

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

½ cup raw pepitas, chopped

¼ tsp salt


¼ cup honey

2 tbsp brown rice syrup

1 tbsp agave nectar

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

Mixing It Up:

1. Pre-heat oven to 250.

2. Mix dry ingredient together in a large bowl. Use a fork to distribute evenly.

3. Pour all wet ingredients in a smaller, microwave-safe bowl. Nuke the bowl in twenty-second intervals until everything combines easily with a little stirring. It took me two times to get the right consistency, but my honey was a little dried out – I had to cut the honey bear in two to get it out. Cooking is brutal. And mama needs her granola.

4. Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. I used a heavy-duty spatula to mix everything up. It came together easily and pretty quickly. Make sure all your nuts and oatmeal bits get coated in the honey mixture.

5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I love this stuff!). Spread the mixture out into a thin, even layer (a quarter to half an inch high). If you find the granola piling up too much, use two baking sheets.

6. Bake granola for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. It fills your house will an amazing warm honey smell.

7. Remove granola from oven, and let it cool. It will be very tempting to start eating it now, but don’t. You will burn your mouth! At this point, the granola is still pretty soft, however in about thirty minutes it will start to harden and chunk up.

8. After the granola has cooled, break it up with your hands and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, my food (b)logs for today and yesterday:


Breakfast (8:20 am): Rice Chex, banana, soy milk, half a glass of oj

Snack (11:00 am): oatmeal chocolate chip bar

Lunch (1:30 pm): 1/2 cup plain almond yogurt, 1 cup of blueberries, 1/4 cup walnuts

Dinner (5:15 pm – super hangry!): veggie nachos, can of Coke

Snack (10:00 pm): a taste of granola (quality control:), rest of nachos from dinner, 1 avocado-chocolate mousse ball (original recipe of mini-chocolate mousse tortes, roll ball of mousse in crust crumbles – fantastic idea, Tess!)


Breakfast (8:20 am): 1/2 cup granola, banana, almond milk, 1/2 glass oj

Snack (1:15 pm): apple with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter mixed (love it!)

Snack (5:45 pm): 1/2 cup granola, cup of blueberries, almond milk

Dinner (8:30 pm): nachos with black bean corn salsa (1 can of black beans, 1 ear of corn, 1/4 red onion, 1 tsp chili pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, salt and pepper to taste – yummy and cheap!), can of Coke, 1 avocado-chocolate mousse ball

Not too shabby. Today, I worked at least a little protein into each meal and snack, which is an improvement over Thursday and Friday. Nachos aren’t the healthiest dinner option, and I’ve been having them a lot lately. Good news, though: my bag of tortilla chips is finished. I will, however, be making versions of my nacho salads with the remainder of my black bean corn salsa. I haven’t been tracking my water intake, but I usually drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, more on days I run.

Last night, I finished skimming Runner’s World Complete Book of Running. It had some useful info, especially about common injuries and what to do about them. A lot of the information, I had already picked up from various blogs and fitness magazines. It’s a good start if you don’t know where to begin, and it’s good at encouraging runners to go at their own pace, take it slow, and not compare themselves to other “better” runners. I read the first edition from 2000 so the newer one from 2007 might have more in-depth information.

The No Meat Athlete has a lot of information on his site, and he just put out a half-marathon training guide (with special bonuses when you buy a copy this weekend!), which might be a little more informative if you’ve been running for a while or have already read some about training.

And thus concludes this epic post, and I can finally go to bed (an hour late, again. Drats!). ttfn.


PB & J Steel Cut Oats = Comfort in a Bowl

7 Mar

Is there anything better than old school pb & j? The days of cracking open my Care Bears lunch box and finding my leaky thermos, Handy Snack cheez and crackers (weren’t they fantastic?), a Little Debbie, and a good ol’ pb & j sandwich (and maybe a note from my mom wishing me a great day at school) are long gone, but what better time to bring all those good feelings back than a cold, snowy March morning? That’s right, there is none. This breakfast packs all the gooeyness of the classic sandwich with enough protein and fiber to jumpstart your morning. And it tastes darn good, too.

PB & J Steel Cut Oats


  • ¼ cup steel cut oats
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp ground flax meal
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nut butter
  • 1 healthy teaspoon of jelly
  • ½ banana


  1. Combine the oats, water, flax meal, and salt in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. When your oats reach the desired consistency, remove from heat and decant into your favorite bowl.
  3. Top oats with chia seeds, nut butter, and jelly of choice (I used almond butter and cherry jelly, but that’s just how I roll). Slice up a banana, and Bob’s your uncle.