Friday, September 21, 2007

Surprisingly Delicious

I'm pretty sure this is delicious, although it's weird enough that I can't be sure. At any rate, it's been one of those nights where I come in from a run and eat anything that moves, so my judgment might be impaired.

Quinoa Peanut Butter Pilaf
1/3 cup quinoa (I use 1/3 cup because that's about as much as I can eat at one sitting)
1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter (unsweetened, unsalted)
1 Tbsp honey (good stuff, preferably organic and raw)
Salt to taste

Cook the quinoa by simmering it in twice as much water (in this case, 2/3 cup). It's done when the grains are translucent (you can see a tiny dot or squiggle in each one), the water's gone, and it's tender. Immediately add the peanut butter; you need the heat to melt it in. Then add in honey, and sprinkle with salt. I know it sounds weird (and it's not actually a pilaf), but it was pretty good. Unusual, but tasty.

Let me know if I'm truly crazy.

Health is my Addiction

Health is like a drug. Two years ago, I couldn't run more than two miles at a time. I ate sensibly, but I would never think of counting calories or grams of protein. And I certainly would never have given second thought to the idea of a weird diet like all raw foods.

Yet I find myself strangely drawn to this idea of a raw lifestyle. What I've read about it seems really promising. As far as health goes, it seems like a wise move. And the recipes . . . they look pretty good. Besides, it's not like I have to go 100%, all-out raw (at least not right away).

What I'm realizing is that health is addictive. At first, I was just working out. Then I started becoming so healthy and strong. I loved being in tune with the contractions of my muscles
going up stairs and lifting groceries. It was a new feeling, and I really enjoyed it. I had a new rapport with my body, and so I wanted to take better care of it. Which means that I'm willing to go to greater and greater lengths to . . . let's call it detoxifying. Partly I've realized how much of what we, as modern consumers, put into our bodies is harmful. Unnatural. Toxic.

I want to cut all of that out, and make my lifestyle as natural as possible. But reading about what's involved . . . no cooked foods? Sprouting? Dehydration? Wheat grass juicing? I waver between "This is a bit excessive," and "No, this is the way things are supposed to be; this is natural."

So . . . natural lifestyle. I've decided on one raw meal a day, less sucrose, less sodium chloride, less gluten. Which means less bread. Sigh . . .

And new raw recipes coming soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm Back!

Guess what! My keyboard is fixed! No more number/letter combos! No more deleting every other key! What does this mean for you, dear reader? It means that my excuse for not posting is gone! Which means that I'm back in the blogging mix.

So what's new? I'm working about 20 hours/week at my gym, and have officially taken over our tri training club. My coworkers are awesome . . . so supportive, so friendly and encouraging. It's only 20 hours a week, still . . . and that's only part classes. The other part is working (read: babysitting) at the club's rock wall on weekends. It's mostly a good thing . . . I love climbing, but haven't been able to really do a lot of it in several months. My hands and arms are definitely much stronger; I can already tell a difference in my finger strength. But it is boring, at times, since the traffic at the wall is so light. Most of the time I just sit there and watch sports on TV. The kids who come in are mostly nice and well-behaved. I make just a little above minimum wage (which is the lowest hourly wage I've ever been paid, in five years of working). But I think that the pros and cons pretty much balance out.

I look at this job as an internship; I never had one in school, and now I'm paying my dues. I'm investing in a company that I believe in with high hopes that someday soon it's going to work out as a full-time, secure job for me.

Kind of like training. You put in the time, deal with the pain, run when you don't want to run, keep your legs turning over when your muscles scream, continue swimming even when you're kicked in the face . . . and what drives it? It's an investment. Whether in speed or pride or lifetime fitness, it's an investment. And it's a really smart investment, at that. Have you ever found yourself, at the end of a race (or even of a workout) thinking, "That was so not worth it." Of course not! In fact, I would say it's much more likely that you might wish that you had invested more.

Anyway. Investment. I'm still investing. I'm investing in my half marathon training, I'm investing in my fitness career, and I am investing in this blog. To that end, I'll have some more of those spinning workouts up for download later this week.