Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rug Pulled

Yesterday I got word that my Nike Women's Marathon race would no longer be a marathon. Oh, they're still doing a race, but only a half marathon. This may seem really odd, especially to a non-marathoner, but I'm super bummed. Why?

1. My fundraising is/was based on me running a marathon. I know of many people who donated because I was running a full. I also have used the 26.2 miles to garner more money.

2. I've run the Nike half, and it was a total clusterfuck. I swore I would never do it again, that doubling my distance under any conditions was going to be 1000 times better than finishing the Nike half with 20,000 other women pushing and shoving to get their blue box and a photo with the firemen of their choice. I would love to finish in a low stress environment, take my necklace, maybe snap a single photo and then have a chance to cool down. Unfortunately, in the half, you are lucky to cross the finish line before you have to stop.

3. I really had a goal to PR my marathon time. After years of lackluster training, IVF treatments preventing me from running, life changes and weight gain, I just needed a goal. Raising money for LLS made me feel good in the random acts of kindness side, and the training is making me feel better physically. Having a goal is keeping me going.

I'm pretty lost right now. I'm waiting to hear back about if TNT will allow me to transfer my fundraising dollars to LA in the spring. If they don't, I have some decisions to make. I really want to run a marathon in the fall. TNT offered Chicago on 10/12 and Marine Corps the last Sunday of October. Unfortunately, not only will those events cost more than I can afford, they will take more vacation time than I have reserved, and they conflict with my schedule. I'm kinda not sure what I will do if they won't allow me to transfer to LA. I really feel I need to run a marathon in the fall, and no other marathon seems to fit my schedule. I also don't want to support Nike and this race. I know they don't care. I know they have a take it or leave it attitude. As far as I'm concerned, they can GO FUCK THEMSELVES for ignoring those who want to challenge themselves, and pandering to the majority.

Needless to say, I'm PISSED at Nike for this bullshit. This is the Nike Women's MARATHON. But no marathon. BULLSHIT.

April End of Month Grocery Results

Mexican Market 4/14
Pineapple
Avocado
Jicama
Limes
Tacos
Total: $11.00

Vons 4/14
Pepper jack cheese $8.79
Beer $8.08
Total: $17.64

Vons 4/15
Moroccan Spices $0 (free with coupon)
White cage free eggs (for coloring)
8 lbs Chicken breasts $15.92
2 packages Organic Chicken thighs $16.01
4 lbs Grass Fed ground beef $14.36 (Even though I have ground beef left from my cow, this was half price - I just threw into my freezer)
2.55 lb bananas $1.50
Lemon $0.50
2 cucumbers $1.00
2 jumbo artichokes $5.38
2 avocados $3.00
1.3 lb baby bok choy $1.55
2.42 lb Purple cabbage (will use some for coloring eggs)
Red beets $1.99 (will use the greens for breakfast and the peels to color eggs)
Organic golden beets $3.89 (will use the greens for breakfast and the peels to color eggs)
0.81 lbs Organic Italian Squash $1.85
Organic celery $1.79
2.54 lbs Organic Yams $4.29
0.54 lbs organic yellow squash
6 pack of organic romaine lettuce $5.00
Organic fresh oregano $2.29
Dulcinea tomatoes $4.29 (splurge, whoops, grabbed the wrong package)
Total: $101.97

Vons 4/16
Kingsford Charcoal (2 bags) $13.98
Lubricant eye drops $6.49
Cold medicine $5.59
Bananas $2.39
Total: $30.92

Vons 4/17
Ricola cough drops $1.99
2 packages Halls cough drops $5.58
Grassfed Stew Meat $6.92
Navel oranges $3.93
Coors Light $6.09
Total: $25.80

Vons 4/20
Haagen Dazs $2.99
McConnells ice cream $6.49
Bananas $2.09
Strawberries $3.99
Total $15.56

Vitacost Order 4/21
Vitacost Extra Virgin Certified Organic Coconut Oil 54 fl oz $21.99
Desert Essence Coconut Conditioner $4.99
Vitacost Organic Coconut Oil Refined Odorless & Flavorless 2 jars $11.20
4 Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste $13.16
6 Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk Unsweetened   $14.28
Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos  $ 5.19
$10.00 discount
Total $60.81

Vons 4/28
Pepper jack cheese $8.79
2 tubes toothpaste $4.98
Bananas $2.34
Roma tomatoes $3.40
3 avocados $5.00
Beets $1.33
2 large artichokes $6.98
5lb bag oranges $4.49
Organic romaine 6 heads $5.00
Organic celery hearts $2.99
2lbs organic carrots $2.29
Kombucha $3.04
Total $57.08

Month total $617.64

Here we go again... over budget. Gah. I'm obviously not so budget focused...

April 14 - Tri tip with jicama, avocado and pineapple salad
April 15 - Leftover chicken with salad
April 16 - Lettuce wrapped burgers with avocado
April 17 - Beef curry with Cauliflower rice
April 18 - Chicken soup with beet greens
April 19 - Leftover chicken soup
April 20 - Dinner made by friends :)
April 21 - Employee party with dinner provided
April 22 - Ground beef lettuce tacos and artichokes with homemade mayonnaise
April 23 - Roasted lemon oregano chicken with salad and roasted sweet potatoes
April 24 - Moroccan roasted chicken and beets
April 25 - Chicken vegetable soup
April 26 - Asian spiced lettuce wraps with sauteed cabbage
April 27 - Grilled grassfed London broil with artichokes and homemade mayonnaise
April 28 - Lettuce wrapped grassfed beef burgers with salad and grilled sweet potato fries
April 29 - Pork Italian sausage with spaghetti squash
April 30 - Dinner out

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life and Death

Life is fleeting, and death doesn't discriminate. I lost a friend this week to pancreatic cancer, and my friend Alethea is in the hospital, recovering from brain surgery and awaiting results of a biopsy.

Please take care of yourself. Please live life to the fullest. Nobody knows how many days we have on this earth.

I am putting all of my positive thoughts into Alethea's recovery. If you can help, please do: http://www.youcaring.com/Alethea

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gonna Do It Again

I have to say, Whole30 apparently grows on you. Aside from a bit of dairy, some wine and two coffees with sugar, I have stayed pretty much on the plan over the last two weeks. I feel like I have interest to try reintroducing non-gluten grains and legumes, but haven't really felt like it. Weird, right? I also notice that I need far, far less sugar in my coffee now. Yay!

Anyway, since I knew I couldn't be 100% perfect with my winter work situation, I had already planned on doing a second one after Easter. So here I am, starting another one on Tuesday, April 22.

This time I am going to be beyond strict. I know I wasn't being perfect when I ate out or after I read nutrition labels, and I learned a whole lot more stalking the Whole30 forums about things I'm not supposed to have but weren't obvious in the book. I also know I need to incorporate more veggies, especially at breakfast.

And, I am going to schedule my bloodwork and physical to coincide with the end of the 30 days. I'm really excited to see how all of this has been affecting my body! If you've been following my life for any length of time, you might remember I've had borderline blood sugar and cholesterol numbers for years and years, and have recently read many articles indicating both of those are related. Since I have mostly cut sugar (sweeteners and refined carbs) out of my diet but been eating a crap ton of eggs and saturated fats, I'll be really interested to see how that has helped or hurt my bloodwork numbers. Also, the constant inflammation my body must have been going through with eating gluten is also done, so with any luck, my bloodwork results will reflect that.

Anyone want to join me this time? I'm trying to talk my husband into it, but he's not convinced he needs to give up cheese. He has a major sweet tooth issue though, so I think this could only help him. Fingers crossed he will join me so he can also find better health.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Aptil Mid-Month Grocery Budget Check In

Vons 4/1
Bamboo shoots  $0.89
Water Chestnuts $0.89
2 Jars 16 oz Herdez salsa $3.30
24 oz Herdez salsa $2.50
Lite salt (for homemade sports drink) $2.99
Pepper jack cheese $7.99
Cage Free Eggs $4.39
Organic Eggs $5.19
Deli turkey $10.98
Bananas $2.49
Cauliflower $3.36
Red onion $1.92
Plantains $2.13
Baby Bok choy $2.26
Brussels sprouts $2.91
Garlic $0.58
Ginger $0.46
4 packages mushrooms $5.16
3 lbs mandarins $3.99
Organic romaine 6 heads $5.00
Organic carrots $2.29
Total: $71.67

Farm Delivery
12 Dozen Eggs (to get us through four weeks) $72
4 lbs Hot Italian pork sausage $28.21
Raw Greek yogurt $4.50
Shipping: $26.18
Total: $130.89

Vons 4/6
Diet soda (for H) $3.89
Seltzer water $1.29
Bananas $1.86
Lime $0.50
2 cucumbers $1.00
Yams $6.21
2 Avocados $3.00
Tomatoes $4.27
Spaghetti squash $3.65
Cilantro $0.34
Organic cauliflower $4.99
Strawberries $5.00
Total $39.49

Health Food Store 4/7
Whole chicken $10.76
Ground pork $4.76
Garlic $1.00
Total: $16.52

Local Bodega 4/10
2 Fulton farms chickens $38.29
Total: $38.29 

Mid Month Total: $296.86

I'm going to luck out this month too, because the next farm delivery is being pushed back a week into May. It meant I needed to beef up my order, but I'm ordering less from the farm anyway, because I've stopped drinking milk and I found a more local chicken option that's more reasonably priced and doesn't have shipping added. It is not organic, but it is antibiotic free and air chilled, and is also from the same state I live in. I will buy organic chickens when I see them in the health food store, but they didn't have any this week. :( I also had to do three fewer dinners in the first part of this month, because I had a client take us out to dinner and a charity event that I attended two nights in a row. That always helps!

Thinking ahead, I need to sign up for our CSA soon - I was considering joining a larger (and more expensive one) but I really like the guy who runs the smaller one. I guess doing this will reduce my target budget to $350-380 a month! I think the larger one has more selection (fruit, meat, eggs, etc.), but the smaller one (mostly salad greens, kale, etc. with a few other veggies mixed in) leaves another $30 a month for "other" produce purchases. I figure since you don't really have a choice of what you get in your CSA boxes, it's always nice to have a little extra cash to buy what you feel like. What do you think? What would you do?

Anyway, here are the details for dinners we made the first two weeks. I have got to get more creative with the beef roasts we have - they are so random, I'm not sure what to even do with them...

April 1 - leftover chicken soup
April 2 - lettuce wrapped beef burgers with sauteed mushrooms
April 3 - chicken legs and roasted broccoli 
April 4 - beef Thai curry with bok choy and cauliflower rice
April 5 - tri tip with baked sweet potatoes and balsamic mushrooms
April 6 - lettuce wrapped taco spiced burgers with avocado
April 7 - hot Italian pork sausage salads with strawberries and cream
April 8 - slow roasted chicken with roasted carrots 
April 9 - Pork lettuce wraps with bok choy
April 10 - dinner out with a client
April 11 - dinner out, charity event
April 12 - dinner out, charity event
April 13 - Roasted Chicken with carrots, sweet potatoes and cauliflower rice

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Whole30 is done!

I owe you guys an update on my Whole30!

It was actually really easy, once I got over the lack of wine. Ha! I suppose if you want to be a stickler, I didn't finish my Whole30 because I had a unexpected opportunity to taste some super expensive champagnes. I had less than an ounce each of four champagnes, so not terrible, but not on plan. It was day 28.

I did have a couple unintentional hiccups as well. I know my whole30 was a little compromised based on the meals I eat at work on weekends. I was able to choose on plan items, but I know at least once non-plan ingredients snuck into my meat and sometimes I wondered how clarified the clarified butter was, you know? The restaurant closes on Easter Sunday so I plan on starting a new whole30 after that day.

While I felt good, I never got the "Tiger Blood" effect some talk about. They say that nuts aren't actually that healthy, and I have trouble with eating appropriate amounts, so I might cut nuts from my diet. I only lost about three pounds, and of course silly me didn't take any measurements, but I don't think I lost that much size wise since I am still wearing the same clothes and can't fit into the pants I accidentally bought in a size smaller. I know I could be much better at eating on template. I tend to eat more fat and fewer carbs than suggested.

So far, I have only reintroduced dairy and wine, obviously the two things I can't bear to give up. Haven't noticed any odd reactions from either of those things, and I have tried butter, sour cream, yogurt and hard cheese. I have also done both red and white wine LOL Very important distinctions!

Anyway, I thought it was an awesome little test and I've realized I don't need a lot of things I thought I couldn't live without. I'm not really planning on adding much in the way of items banned on Whole30, and I'm kinda looking forward to another one!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Final March Groceries and Dinners Results

Health Food Store 3/19
0.29 lbs pumpkin seeds $1.70
0.28 lbs dates $2.10
0.98 lbs organic walnuts $8.22
1.07 lbs organic almonds $12.37
Total $24.39

Vons 3/19
Seltzer water $0.89
Aluminum foil $2.50
Grapes $6.19
Limes $0.50
Cauliflower $2.55
Fuji apples $1.95
4 Avocados $5.00
Plantains $2.61
Pineapple $2.99
Spaghetti squash $5.26
Total $30.76

Costco 3/21
Toilet paper $14.99
Paper towels $14.99
Freezer bags $11.99
White vinegar $3.09
Cascade (the environmental stuff was killing me) $9.39
Huge package of tri-tips (because my husband had to have them) $57.87
Total: $134.02 (but we had a $31.55 credit)

Trader Joes 3/21
Hazelnuts $6.99
Balsamic vinegar $3.49
Olive oil $7.99
Meyer lemons $1.99
3 bags raw cashews $20.97
Avocados $3.49
Roasted salted cashews $13.98
Bag of oranges $3.49
Bag of grapefruit $3.99
Heirloom tomatoes $2.99
4 artichokes $7.96
Total: $77.33

Total for the month: $596.11

Letting my husband go to the city to shop was probably a mistake, but we needed to make a Costco run, and of course we stock up at Trader Joes whenever we can. I am starting to wonder if I need to increase our food budget, but I'll keep on trying to hit $500 a bit longer.

Anyway, here is what we ate:

Wednesday 3/19: Carnitas salads
Thursday 3/20: Book club night! Leftovers and I took fruit salad to share
Friday 3/21: Leftovers
Saturday 3/22: BBQ pork with cole slaw
Sunday 3/23: Tri tip, artichokes and tomato salad
Monday 3/24: Beef Thai coconut curry with cauliflower rice
Tuesday 3/25: Hot Italian sausage with peppers and tomatoes
Wednesday 3/26: Slow roasted chicken with roasted carrots
Thursday 3/27: Meatballs and spaghetti squash and eggplant
Friday 3/28: Chicken soup
Saturday 3/29: Leftovers
Sunday 3/30: Steak, salad and artichokes
Monday 3/31: Asian beef lettuce wraps