Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Face

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope you all are having a sweet and fun day! Inevitably, you all are probably thinking about the Halloweens that you celebrated as a kid. I am. And I'd like to take this moment to call out my mom, who let me go as a nun for Halloween one year when I was in middle school. Can you even think of a less cool costume? Admittedly, I went along with it, but only because my Uncle Frankie made it so easy: he was in our church choir and thus apparently he had the hook up with all the church nuns. (Yes, in case all the needless guilt didn't clue you in, I was raised Catholic.) So, I got a real nun's habit and did my nun thing at school and while trick-or-treating. Sigh. When I look back, there are so many reasons that I felt socially inept while growing up.

Strangely enough, or perhaps quite rightly, I can't really remember any other costumes that I wore. We weren't the kind of family that made and worked on our costumes for a month before Halloween, and thus we usually wore whatever cheap costumes we found at our local Kmart. (Yes, we shopped at Kmart. You would've too if that was the only place your mom drove you.)

Other than these extremely pleasant memories, my Halloween has been pretty uuzch-tastic. That's (usual + fantastic). I went to my bootcamp class at the gym, I ate a boatload of eggs and kale from Whole Foods for lunch:

Why are scrambled eggs tasting soooo good to me lately? P.S. I am not avoiding carbs, FYI. There is just rarely a grain/carb option on the Whole Foods hot bar that looks really good to me.

And then I went to get a grownup "treat" from REI--new sunglasses:

I swear they don't look quite so big in person. I am not glamorous enough for those kind of sunglasses.

I really don't like posting pictures of myself where it's obvious that I have a horseface. That reminds me of a party recently where a friend of ours was taking pictures of everyone. I kept telling him that I'm usually very non-photogenic, but he kept saying that I was ridiculous, silly, etc. However, he kept taking pictures, looking at them, and then retaking them--for almost five minutes!!! Ha!! Proved him wrong.

*Are you photogenic? How do you feel about posting pictures of your face on your blog, if you have one?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shot to the Heart, errr, Shoulder

Today, I am tired. I went to bed last night at approximately ten-thirty and woke up this morning at approximately seven a.m. And still I am tired. Is it true that once you have kids you really start to adapt to having less sleep?

Lucky for me, today I am tired and I have no children. So, I slugged through my usual routine. That included work + breakfast in the morning:

Followed by a trip to the gym for a four mile run and my usual Body Pump class. I'm naturally a pretty slow runner, but today I picked up the pace and ran a couple of fast intervals. I'm not sure why; some good songs came on and my legs just got excited!

Unfortunately, that meant that I was dead.tired. for my Body Pump class. I think I gave the instructor dirty looks at least three times, and really, I should've just left. Can anyone else relate to this, i.e. hating the person who is making you workout harder than you'd like to? I used to do the same thing with my high school volleyball coaches. Clearly, I'm not a petty person at all.

After Body Pump and a fast shower, I headed to Whole Foods for lunch before a few doctor appointments. I neglected to photograph what I ate, but trust me when I say I ate a spinach salad, tofu, and some brown rice broccoli casserole stuff. I sat near the window and observed this:

Not too shabby, indeed. I'm pretty sure I don't appreciate the views in Boulder and at my home enough.

After lunch I went for an appointment with a nutritionist. I asked her lots of questions about protein intake for vegetarians (who might be interested in getting pregnant), mercury in salmon, soy intake, etc., etc. I was hoping she could help me identify any nutritional deficits that I need to address before getting knocked up, but I guess my diet seems okay for now. I might have to start amping up my protein if we do go for baby.

After the nutritionist visit, I went to get my Tdap vaccination. That would be for Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis. By now you can guess why I might have done this. If not, maybe amp up your own omega threes, smartypants.

Pertussis is the main reason I received this vaccination, as there is a pretty major outbreak of it in the US right now. Funnily enough, there are a particularly large number of cases in Boulder...perhaps having something to do with hippie moms who don't want to vaccinate their children...?

After my shot I drove home and pretty much collapsed into some popcorn, which was quickly followed by dinner:

That would be whole wheat angel hair with pumpkin seeds, aduki beans, kale, and parmesan cheese. For someone who has never liked pasta very much I sure am stuffing my face with it a lot lately!

And now, I am going to sign off and watch Season Two of Boardwalk Empire. It's no Homeland, but I need to check out somehow...

*And TV shows that you're hooked on lately? Oooh, ooh, and what are you going as for Halloween tomorrow?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sorry Salmon Sunday

My weekend started like this:

I think it's time to switch from beer to red wine, yes? At least here in Boulder it is, given the storm that we got last week.

The views around here are the only thing that make snowstorms worth it.

Lucky for you peeps, I did actually do more than drink wine and eat pasta all weekend. On Saturday I headed down to Arvada, where my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces live. (It's also where I was raised.)

My niece Riley had a soccer game.

Riley looks happy here, but unfortunately my presence seems to have broken her goal streak. Woopsies.

I still had fun, though. It's pretty hilarious to see a bunch of six year olds trying really hard to move their arms and legs in a coordinated way. Actually, if I were being honest, some of them were better than I used to be when I played rec league soccer. (But I bet none of them can boast that they were thrown out of a game for swearing at the referee--take that!!!)

The rest of Saturday was pretty uneventful. David and Haruki and I went down to Cherry Hills to see David's parents' new house, visit with family, and take a walk. Afterwards we booked it back to Boulder and grabbed "take out" from Whole Foods. Dinner included some Thai dish with tofu and brown rice, as well as a chocolate chip oatmeal "treat" muffin. Yum!

Sunday was even more low key, and included cleaning, a walk with David and Haruki, and then...a trip to the Boulder Cup, which is a local cyclocross race. I went with my brothers and my niece Ella. 

In case you've never heard of cyclocross, it's essentially a cross between road and mountain biking. You take bikes that are light and fast--like road bikes--and then make a few tweaks, including putting on fatter tires that can deal with mud, obstacles, rocks, sharp turns, etc. It's pretty badass, and it was really fun and exciting to watch in person, especially because local races in Boulder often draw some pretty awesome racers, including Olympic medal winners and professionals. 

To celebrate all the hard work that I witnessed at the Boulder Cup, I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home for another round of prepared food.

David was giving a review session for one of his classes, and salmon sounded really good. Because I don't eat salmon very often and am not very good at preparing it I took the easy route. This was herbed salmon with green beans almondine. It hit the spot. Sorry, salmon.

*Do you cook salmon very often?

P.S. Good luck and stay safe for all you East Coaster peeps.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Yah. Sorry, peeps. It's been pretty boring over here on NCK this week. I've been a real bonehead about photographing what I'm eating, and thus there has been a dearth of those photos as well as fun! stories.

Today is no exception. The most exciting thing that I've done this week:

AKA my second ever spaghetti squash roasting. As a kid my mom always made acorn squash only, so it wasn't until about a year ago that I tried making spaghetti squash. Actually, that might've been the first time I'd eaten it, too. So sad.

I remedied all this hardcore last night by roasting this little puppy and then giving it a litta sizzla in the pan with some aduki beans, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Garlic powder has been in all my foods this week for some reason; I got it for a specific recipe and have since discovered that it adds an interesting and yummy flavor to lots o stuff.

The final product, with some parmesan cheese:

Not too shabby, for a novice. After sauté-ing the squash and beans in our cast iron pan I cranked up the heat and let the bottom turn into a nice crispy pancake. I think this would've been even better had I added some eggs and put it in the oven to bake off--kind of like a savory pancake meets breakfast quiche.

The only other exciting piece of news I have to share is the most recent development in Haruki's busted foot. She is still a complete gimp from cutting open her paw, and because we have opted not to torture her with the cone head that prevents licking, David went to work on another device that could prevent her from licking her back paw but not prevent her (and me!!!) from losing another night's sleep because a certain someone has doggy panic attacks with the cone head on.

And so, I give you, The Pimped Out Paw Pipe!

OK, so it's not really a Pimped Out Paw Pipe, but instead a piece of piping from the hardware store that we stick on Ruki like a boot. There will not be another Kickstarter video for this latest of David's inventions, I'm sorry to say.

But it does seem to be working, as Ruki actually slept last night instead of panting heavily at two hour intervals while trying to climb on top of my chest.

Doesn't she look completely dejected? She doesn't realize that that pipe is the only thing standing between her and the cone. And, in case you are a sick f$%* like me wondering, she can walk with this boot on. The best part is that she overcompensates for the boot and picks up her back leg really high--kind of like that little dog in As Good As It Gets--you know, when he walks over cracks in the sidewalk but lifts his paws up as high as he possibly can? I just hope Ruki doesn't realize that David and I are making fun of her while she does it...

*Weekend plans? Got any spaghetti squash recipes for me?

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Does anyone else find it strange to read other bloggers' descriptions of the weather when it is completely different where you are? This morning I read a couple of East coast bloggers who were remarking on the fact that fall had finally arrived.

Here, however, fall is gone. And winter is here instead.

Ta-da! Enjoy the dry roads wherever you are, because it looks like they won't be dry for long.

Last night's storm brought us about five inches of snow, and it gave me a good chance to try out my snow tires on my first snowy drive from our new house this morning. Let me preface this by saying that I do not like driving in the snow. It's scary, and I usually spend the whole drive convinced that I have seconds left to live. Living in the mountains now has heightened this anxiety, since we live up a fairly steep canyon. But, luckily they plow our road really well, and this morning's drive was pretty non-eventful.

The whole day, actually, has been pretty uneventful. I went to run some errands in town, and then I went to a Cardioblast class at my gym. Now I'm cozied up with Haruki, enjoying some CNN and my new hat:

Yup, that's a makeup free picture. I'm not afraid if you all know that I have hair on my upper lip. And, in my defense, I was up every two hours with Haruki, who still has to wear her cone head at night to prevent her from licking herself. She really really really hates the cone, so she woke me about four times panting, knocking her head into me, etc., etc.

This picture does no justice to how hilarious Ruki's cone head behavior is. She is still unused to it, so she has a tendency of cutting corners too close and knocking it into the wall. She's a lot like those elephants in Jumanji, actually.

Luckily for her, David is going to the hardware store tonight to see if he can rig up a cover for her leg that would prevent licking but not freak her out as much as that cone. She has no idea how lucky she is that David is her dog "dad."

*What's the weather like where you are? Do you have a mustache?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ruki's Big Adventure


Ruki had a big adventure, but unfortunately it was not of the good variety. Sigh. Ruki is a very athletic and active dog, and since we live in a remote area we often let her off-leash to run up and down the hills around us. But yesterday she must've hit a sharp rock, or a piece of glass or metal, because she came home from a short run/walk with a bleeding paw.

Here is David and Haruki after we bandaged up her paw. Prior to this, she kept trying to stick her entire foot into her mouth so she could lick out all the blood. (Yuck)

No, David does not have cancer. 

It was actually pretty cute, though after a bit we realized that her paw wouldn't stop bleeding and we would probably have to take her to the vet. If you have a dog then you know that this is bad news, since even having a bandage wrapped is about $100.

As you can see, she didn't look too upset, and actually seemed like she'd rather chase the local fox instead of going to the vet. But about a half hour after she cut it, she started really limping on her leg and wouldn't put any weight on it. So, to the vet we went, where we were told that they would have to put her under sedation and stitch up the cut, which was in the little webbing between her toes and quite deep. Balls! If getting a bandage wrapped is $100, then you can imagine how much it costs to put a dog under and do (minor) surgery. I guess I'll have to forgo all those fancy French designer clothes when we go to Paris next month.

Luckily Haruki is okay, and after ten!!! stitches she came back to us looking totally stoned but okay. (I mean so stoned that her tongue was lolling out the side of her mouth and she stumbled towards me like drunk kids towards a late-night gyro cart.)

Here's an idea of how stoned she was:

She was not leaning her head off the side of the couch. Instead, she started looking across the living room, continued to stare blankly for about five minutes, and then her head just kind of drooped and she appeared as though she were unconscious.

Today, she's all bandaged up resting:

On the bright side, she does have that cute Halloween bandage, _and_!!! she gets to wear a big cone around her head at night so she doesn't chew her foot off. (Hilarious pictures forthcoming--it didn't seem right to photograph her in her cone last night when she was freaking her shit and generally confused.)

*Is it wrong that I laughed really hard when the vet brought her out after surgery and she looked like, well, one of my students on 4/20?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ED Reflections, no. 8

Hey-o, peeps! Happy happy Tuesday! I'm coming to you live, from my couch, with more thoughts about when I was nuttzo--woo hoo! Don't worry, I'm getting to the end of this series, so pretty soon I'll just randomly ramble on the days when I don't have any pictures or stories--i.e. instead of telling you all about my ED history.

When I last left off I was describing how I found myself, at about the age of 25, on a "crap-path" that included lots of dieting combined with lots of binging and purging and absolutely no respite. It was around this time that I became involved with a guy whom I'd met while working as a server at a country club, and let's just say that I would've been better off had I never met him. For the sake of anonymity, let's call him A-hole.

A-hole, when I first met him, did not seem like the right guy for me. He was older than me, about thirty-one, and he was a bartender who seemed to have an angry streak. For example, he would literally yell and rant and sulk when he didn't get along with a particular server. So, from the outset, I wrote him off as not dating material. But then something happened. I'm not even sure what it was. I know that I wasn't just desperate, because I've always been more happy single than with the wrong person. (More happy, by the way, is not the same thing as actually happy.)

Anyway, he started to grow on me. We started talking more, and more, and then finally we started dating. By that time I guess I'd started ignoring all the subtle bad signs I was getting from him, especially the very obvious anger problem that he had. You see, A-hole had a tendency to get into fights. At one point during our relationship--when things had gotten fairly serious between us--I actually felt afraid for my own safety because A-hole wanted to fight some neighborhood guy in the middle of night, in the middle of Denver. (Not a smart plan, to say the least.)

In addition to this situation, and others like it, A-hole and I had begun to fight a lot. Most of the time I was just baffled and completely taken aback, since vociferous yelling and potent anger was not something I'd encountered before (mostly since all my previous boyfriends were pretty geeky). And, as if this wasn't enough, the final straw came one night when we had gone out to dinner. I was staying over at his place, but had a lot of grading to do, so after dinner I went back to his apartment and he went to watch the Rockies game at a bar. Uh, yah, big mistake. I eventually ended up falling asleep, only to wake up alone. He had never come home. And the reason he had never come home? He got into a fight at the bar, was arrested, and spent the night in prison. (Once he realized that I was going to end the relationship because of this, he then lied and made up another story about his whereabouts that evening--also not the smartest plan.)

My favorite part of the story is when I broke up with him right after this, and he said, "I really think you're going to regret this." Hah! Not so much, A-hole.

While this might seem like an unrelated tangent to my ED history, it's not. Because immediately after this relationship and breakup, I started punishing myself. I started running more. I started cycling more. And I started eating less.

I realize now that I was very, very, very angry. Angry that I thought I'd found someone who I could really be with. Angry that I had literally been "worked" by A-hole into thinking that he was someone who was good enough for me. Ashamed that I'd been so, so, so wrong. Ashamed that I hadn't trusted my initial gut instinct about A-hole.

I'll pick up next time discussing how seriously this affected my eating and exercising, but for now, have you had any experiences with romantic partners like this? Would you have overlooked this kind of behavior?

Monday, October 22, 2012


Ours calls for snow this week...eek!! [Pause for call to car shop so I can have my snow tires put on.] Okay, I'm back! Anyway, snow, people, snow. We had a bit of it a few weeks ago, but this looks to be the first actual snow storm, and I am not ready.

This weekend, at least, was beautiful. On Saturday I went shopping at the outlet mall in Silverthorne, Colorado with my parents, my sister in law Sarah, my brother, my sister in law Jennifer, and my nieces.

Including this little strawberry:

Silverthorne is a little mountain town that has become quite commercialized, with big stores and outlet shops. It still boasts some good views, though:

Gas station notwithstanding, of course.

In addition to buying some shirts and pants for David (geez I'm married, aren't I?), I bought myself some new running shoes. But not just any running shoes, I bought stylish and pretty Nike running shoes:

Unlike those other healthy living bloggers, I am not going to post next about how I ran a half marathon in these babies. Instead, I spent most of the weekend wearing them around the house. Actually, David offered, and then did, chase me around the house so I could get some "miles" on them.

After shopping all day Saturday I was exhausted and ready to chill at home, but we were committed to a party that our friend Adam was having to celebrate his new (and first) home! I have no pictures to prove this, but despite being tired at first I had a good time talking to some old friends and meeting new ones. Blech. That sounds a little too perfect and cliché, doesn't it? I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I did really enjoy seeing and talking with a few close friends, which was followed by some moments of feeling socially awkward and tired, which was followed by a decent conversation about books with a female author whom I had never met. At the very least I have some book recommendations now that I didn't have before the party.

Sunday was a day of relaxation, including a nice mountain bike ride with David. We went up Sunshine Canyon through Gold Hill, Colorado and towards the Peak to Peak highway, and it was really nice to be outside, riding, with David. We even argued about philosophy and politics. #truelove #istilldontknowwhatthesepoundsignsarefor

Holy thighs, Batman!

After our bike ride David commenced grading for an exam he gave recently, and I kicked off my Sunday TV program. I don't really care about football, but for some reason I still really like to watch it/have it on in the background on Sundays. It just seems right. 

*Do you watch/follow football? Also, if you've had a baby, did you get chicken pox as a kid yourself or have the varicella vaccine before conceiving? Umm, just wondering...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Heart Warmers

Happy Friday! I gotta make this one a quickie, friends, because I've got a whole lot of ... ummm ... TV watching and reading to do tonight! Yay! Luckily, I don't have too much to report anyhow.

Dinner with my brother and niece last night was great. We met in downtown Louisville, Colorado, which you might know because it was recently named the best US town to live in. I used to live in nearby Superior, Colorado, and I can vouch that Louisville is pretty nice. These photos, unfortunately, don't do it justice:

The same goes for my niece Ella:

Can someone else please confirm that she is, like, the cutest baby ever?

Brian and Ella and I ate at Waterloo, a restaurant on Louisville's Main Street. The restaurant seems to be kind of English inspired, though the food isn't really English at all. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture so you have no other proof of that. Suffice to say I had an average veggie burger with a yummy beer. So I guess it's a wash.

Today has not been an exciting day. I worked in the morning, followed by a step class at my gym. After step and a shower, I headed to Whole Foods for lunch.

This is tofu with tomatoes and olives, brown rice broccoli casserole, and pomegranate and tahini kale. I put it on a reusable plate because my lunchtime beverage consumption skyrocketed my carbon footprint.

After lunch I decided to treat myself to a movie. It's been awhile since I went to the movies, and I especially enjoy seeing a movie in the middle of the afternoon by myself. Today I saw Argo. You should see it. Well, I guess, you should see it if:

1) You like Ben Affleck.

2) You like historical dramas based on real events.

3) You have a thing for how men dressed in the 1970s.

4) You like heartwarming shit.

5) You weren't born until the 1980s and thus everything before seems really intriguing.

Not all of these apply to me, btw. But I did have to bite my lip to avoid crying at the end--that's how warm my heart was.

*What is warming your heart today?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Same Old, Same Old

So peeps, this morning I took a look at some of the photos I've stored up during the last few weeks, and it doesn't look good for diet variety. Let's just say that I've developed a habit of eating brown rice + veg + beans + parmesan cheese + hot sauce. Sounds good, yes?

This blog is named after my feelings for kale, but brussel sprouts are by far my favorite veg.

Last night's dinner. 

Heh. Maybe not so good to have it this often, huh? Luckily David is only interested in über healthy food, so even when I serve him a bowl of rice and veg and beans he's still really happy. It's funny, actually, because when we first moved in together I kept seeking out and cooking fancier recipes. He always liked them, but he always insisted on pouring olive oil and cashews on top--even when cashews didn't really go with the dish. Similarly, when we go to Whole Foods for dinner, he often will pour conflicting flavors onto the same dish--like a teriyaki sauce, a cashew "cheeze" sauce, and a marinara. Who does that??!! Yuck, right?! 

Anyhow, today is Thursday. I'm getting ready to leave for my Body Pump class at the gym, after which I'm meeting my friend Agniezska for coffee. I'm also contemplating going by Nordstrom Rack on the 29th Street Mall to look for a new pair of jeans and a few winter sweaters. Wish me luck, please:-)

After shopping, I'm going to Louisville to meet this guy and girl for dinner:

OMG, the cuteness. I can hardly take it!

*What are you eating over and over again right now?