Friday, January 25, 2008

Done with winter like I'm done with smoking

You know you are so over winter when on January 25 you're already researching hiking trails for the spring thaw.

Other than being cold, things are still going very well. I am right on schedule to achieve my 15 pound weight loss goal for January 4 - April 4. There are ten weeks left and I'm just over 1/3 of the way there. It certainly doesn't help that Mike's been kicking ass too. Imagine my surprise Wednesday when I got home from work and Mike was 25 minutes in to a workout on our new exercise bike. Yesterday we worked out together for the first time and it was fun. It's a great reinforcement without any of the resentment that can come with one person being lazy and the other not so much.

But winter really is slow and I'm excited to get outside again.

On another random note, Juno was a great flick. That's definitely one for the collection and I highly recommend it. The first few minutes of dialog (hmmm, was this ever spelled dialogue? I thought it was) may turn you off but surprisingly, you get used to the rough lingo pretty quickly as you start to love the characters.

Mike and I have a date tonight at Wegmans. We're picking out three vegetables we've never had or are totally unfamiliar with. Mike called eggplant and I'm thinking radishes and beets. This is all subject to change of course based on seasonal availability. When we date, we go all out, I know.

Or maybe cauliflower. I don't think I've given it a fair chance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy New Year!

2008 is off to a great start. I think I may actually succeed in quitting smoking this time too. It's looking pretty damn good.

Christmas was nice. New Years was pleasant. I've been working out and eating right and overall, feel much calmer. Mike went to San Francisco for a few days with his three best friends leaving me a few days to really focus on enjoying a smoke-free environment and exercise. I had a blast. Every night I drank tea in bed and wrote in a journal which I hadn't done in many years. It is so much better than this!

Sorry, blogger, you're great too. I meant no offense.

Probably the biggest highlight was Saturday afternoon. I jogged three miles and then went home and did some pilates and yoga. I was so relaxed I was almost falling asleep on my mat. So I finished up and changed out of my wet clothes. I was still very cold so I got under the covers and just laid there breathing. I never fell asleep. I remained conscience in my consistent ignoring of the silly little chores calling me out of bed. I just laid there, warm and in a little comfort cocoon of body and mind. When I finally decided it was ok to get up, it was an hour and half later. I was shocked, but not upset. It was an amazing experience. I finally was able to turn my mind off.

I love yoga. I love breathing.

Mike started working in his new place today. He said it took him 18 minutes to get to work and there's a chance he'll now be home before me. I think exercise is contagious because he asked if he could use the exercise bike after I'm done today. I think the commute really was just slowly killing him and now he realizes he can actually do things after work like normal people.

School starts next week. I am not excited about that and have enjoyed having the past month off. It's only 15 weeks then school's out for summer. I can do anything for 15 weeks. And I actually am a little excited. Just not a lot.

Here's an excellent winter recipe for some fantastic no guilt potato leek soup that I actually can remember:

1 lb leeks, tough greens removed, thoroughly cleaned and diced (4-5 leeks)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
1 qt. organic low sodium vegetable broth
14 oz yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced small

Melt butter in a soup pot or whatever you want to use to make soup in, add leeks and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt, cook on medium/high heat for 4 -5 minutes.

Turn heat to medium/low and sweat leeks for about 15 minutes. They'll be super soft.

Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are very tender.

Take soup off the heat and blend with an immersion blender. Enjoy.

*This recipe originally called for buttermilk and heavy cream to be added at the end. I found that after I blended the soup, the potatoes made the soup plenty creamy so why add the fat.

I could go on about how positive the new year seems but I don't want to bore you. Just trust me.