Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Category: Food

Hoo Boy…

It’s been busy!  Even with a weekend of relaxing and a 3 day weekend, I’m just now getting here to talk about it.

So yeah, things and stuff.

Rosedale Ride: I was going to talk about it in more details, but let’s just sum it up with these bulletpoints

  • Hardest race I’ve done in a while.  Riding for 5 hours took a lot out of me.  This needs to get better by the end of summer because I certainly don’t want to be taking anywhere near that long to ride the 56 miles for my half ironman, but happy to prove to myself that I can go the distance.
  • I’m still terrified of my new shoes.  Falling helped to get that freak out of my first crash out of the way, but the two times I fell down just stopped on the side of the road shifting my balance wrong, I think freak me out more even though they didn’t hurt at all – there is all manner of curb I’ll be riding on, and who knows if I have to stop near somewhere it will be tragic to fall over the wrong way.
  • Regardless, I’ve got my big girl panties on about it and not changing my pedals back – everyone else seems to do fine with them so I’ll learn too.  My heart rate may just stay a little high on rides and I may be chanting *please don’t make me stop, please don’t make me stop* when I get to intersections.  10 miles last weekend went ok though!

My runs have been very hit or miss lately.  Some days I have just draaaagged asssss through the miles and it was all I could do to keep going (but also found that all I needed to do is slow down – 11 minute miles may be frustrating, but that’s all I have sometimes).  Some days, I feel like a rockstar.  I’ve been able to do some pretty fantastic 3-6 mile progression runs where after the warmup mile, I’m pretty easily running under 10 minute miles.  For example this morning, I did 10:45, 9:55, 9:40, and 9 for the last quarter mile.  I just have to have faith that even though the first half to full mile will suck, I usually perk up.

Swims, I’ve been maintaining about 1 per week, about 30 mins for 1500 yds.  I need to get some open water lovin’ in here this month before Rookie in May, but I’m just not concerned.  I did just snag a groupon to finally get Zliten his Christmas swimming lessons, so that’s exciting!

My eating has been fairly subpar (for me).  As such, my weight and measurements really haven’t gone anywhere (I assume with the measurements, as I haven’t gotten the tape out in a few weeks).  This week, I am trying something new: smoothies for lunch.  Instead of spending my lunch break frantically preparing food, I’m trying out some new recipes.  Today, I put in skim milk, chocolate protein powder, water, chocolate pb2, 2/3 banana, and a squish of chocolate syrup (just tasted not quite right without it).  Tomorrow, I think I’ll try the strawberries/strawberry protein powder/banana/milk (trying to figure out a fat to put in there – c0conut oil maybe?).  I’m having a small savory side with it (today, veggie quinoa pasta salad, tomorrow, maybe a greek salad).  I couldn’t drink it all and saved the other half for a snack and felt really full today.  Bonus!

Also, I think that what I really need to do is the “eat 500 calories less than Zliten” diet.  He regularly burns about 500 more than me, and we mostly split our meals down the middle (so he’s losing weight, I’m not).  That’s a lot though – that’s like a whole meal less!  I’m trying to eliminate more snacks instead of a meal then, because I really hate eating 300 calorie meals, I’d rather just try to suck it up and feel like I’m eating a real meal unless my energy levels are super low and I’m feeling bad.  And honestly, the way I’m feeling after my lunch smoothie, I don’t need no stinkin’ snax!

Working on the training program for us through the half ironman.  Let me tell you, having 2 races a month and two vacations (one 4 days, one like 10 days) within a month and a half of race day (like, right during peak training time) is providing a CHALLENGE, but I think I have it conquered mostly.  I’ve never followed anyone’s tri training program, just did my own by feel, and that’s what I’m doing this time (I’ve done a LOT of research and picked and chose what worked for me).  I discussed with Zliten, and instead of a lot of long single sport training, we’re going to pile on the brickage.  That is, instead of getting comfy with overdistances like wanting to bike 100 so that 56 feels like cake, we’re going to do more bike/runs that are closer to half iron distance.  And, of course, we’ll train with the caveat that if our body needs a rest, we’ll back off (and planning in more rest weeks than I have ever before so that should help).

Fun Things I’ve Done Since Last Report:

  • Went to a wedding with a candy bar and BBQ for dinner.  I wished I could stay longer but it was Sunday night and work calls on Monday, so I had my sweets and danced my ass off for a bit and then headed home.
  • Had a board game and pizza day at work as a fun day not last Friday but the Friday before.  We played a bunch of D and D board game and DAMN IT’S HARD.  Then we went home and drank absinth and played more.
  • Spent March 30th without pants or workout gear on.  The most strenuous thing I did was hang out at the neighbors for a while.
  • Saw Hunger Games on April Fools Day.  No foolin’, I enjoyed the movie a lot.  They skipped some of the nuances, but they definitely did the books good and I’m just sad I couldn’t watch the next one yet!
  • Made some EPIC chicken and bok choy in garlic sauce.  I finally figured out awesome chinese food at home – it does just take a little chicken broth and flour to make it right.  I used brown rice flour so it’s a little better, I suppose.
  • Booked our trip to San Diego this summer.  We plan on spending most of our time there with Zliten’s parents, but also are hoping to get in a nice long bike ride early AM Saturday and run America’s Finest Half Marathon on Sunday.  Finally, a race in a different state!
  • Went to Camp Gladiator boot camp.  If I didn’t absolutely need to do traditional training for tris, I might blow off run/bike/swim for a month and do this.  It’s super fun!  We played freezetag!
  • 10 mile ride and 6 mile run at Pflugerville.  We plan on making good friends with the lake this year.  Didn’t have time to swim, next time for sure!
  • Played D and D (the actual role playing game) all day good Friday.  It’s an amazing core workout, the guys make me laugh so hard!  And, I fireballed FIVE trolls to death and ended the game early.  Ha!  Being a wizard is a good thing… here’s me triumphing over the fallen beasts…
  • Did the Mighty Texas Dog Walk, with this cutie pie – he only has 3 legs but that totally doesn’t stop him at all!  He was definitely in the first quarter of finishers, he just wanted to run run run run *sniff sniff pee* run run run run *sniff sniff peeeeee*.  He definitely tired his owners out.  However, he was definitely a sleepy dog after… apparently he barely complained when his parents left to go out later.
  • Between this and the next entry, had brunch, a short nap, got groceries, swam, lifted weights, and got all gussied up.  5 hours definitely was productive!
  • Had fancy birthday dinner with my good gal pal D in which we ingested: blue cheese with honey, pork cracklins, garlic bean sauce on toast, a pimms cup, spicy pickles, a cauliflower steak, buttermilk pie, and sticky toffee pudding (lots of tastes and sharing around the table).  So yum!
  • Then, we went to the Kung Fu saloon and I kicked ass at skeeball (I won almost EVERY game and they had it set up as a competition), drank grape vodka, watch people play an epic game of Jenga, played Jenga ourselves, and had a thoroughly fantabulous evening.  Here we are watching an epic match of centipede.
  • On Easter, we slept in (OMG 9:30 wheeeee), went to my parents house.  We ate ham, played cards, played bocci ball, ate pound cake, played more cards, and then got home and had a little relaaaaaaaaax time.  Not the most flattering pic but whatevs.

So, please forgive me for not blogging, but as you can see, iz been bizzy.  This is ommitting the fact we’re still training 5-6 days a week and I’ve been working hard to meet a deadline at work (met today! woohoo!)

This week, hoping to just train and relax as much as possible, as Thursday is bike maintenance class, and this weekend is the 10/20 (10 mile run race) and Dad’s 79th b-day celebrations, so we’re booked.

Now, I’m off to log some more miles because I’m off work earlier than expected and get my crunchtime on!

Questions of the day: What’s the awesomest thing you’ve done in the last 2 weeks?  Any suggestions on how to conquer my pedals on my bike better?  How long do you need to warm up for on a run before you feel like you’re really IN THE ZONE?  Any bets on how long it will take me to come back and blog? 🙂

Zliten wants to start posting too!

I am not very good at this sort of thing, but I kind of want to post to you people too. So I am going to start with a guilt post for yesterday. Because everyone wants to get to know me by a guilt post.


Yesterday was a day of being sore and taking a day off from the gym. But by doing so I over did it in the food department. I try to burn about 3000 to 3500 calories a day and take in about 2400 calories on average. You know to keep with the weight loss but keep fueled. Yesterday though, it was backwards. 3200+ intake and only 2600 burn. Oops… Oh well I will just have to make it up the rest of the week.

So really, stop trying to give me cake, cupcakes, ice cream, candy, or beer. For a few days at least 😛


Now that that is out of the way, lets talk about how excited I am for the up-coming Tri Season. Its almost here. Only like 5 and a half more weeks until Rookie! Can you believe it? Last year Rookie was my first Tri, and probably one of the most fun I have ever had in a race. I was so nervous and really didn’t do all that great, but it was amazing. This year it will be my 4th overall Tri, and my second one this year, if you count the Indoor Tri. (Not sure I really count that one but for this I will)

Compared to last year, My swimming has improved drastically along with my biking, and I am a whole different person now when it comes to running, I think I was doing about 13 minute miles for a 5k back then, this year I am about 10 minute miles, so its going to be amazing.

My training plan for the week in case anyone cares.



I use Training Peaks as the place where I track all my workouts, races and other stuff. I used to use it for food and exercise, but it was getting out of hand tracking my food in 3 different places.

I have been a Spark People tracker for years now, sometimes on sometimes off the wagon so to speak. It always drives me crazy when I start tracking but once I get a few weeks in it gets better, then I just love seeing the data I have. (Yes I am a data junkie, the more data points I can have the more I like something) Just like this here is my weight chart that starts Jan 1 2008.

I also have a Bodybugg but will go into that on another day. It gives me great stats too.



Finished my 17th book in 17 weeks last night, it was pretty darn good, it was Ashes of the Realm: Juliette’s Dream, Book 1 of the new series from Andrew Saxon. I have to say I tore through the Annihilation series 8 books in 7 weeks. It was a fun romp around the galaxy with a group psychics. Just my kind of pulp science fiction.

Once I finish book 2 of the Ashes series, I will be reading The Expendable Few its the new one from Randolph Lalonde, My buddy Zorak got it for me for my birthday. It’s going to be a fun read I hope. I think its an offshoot of the main Spinward Fringe series, but if you think of all the spinward fringe books its like book 11 of something. Gotta love how prolific these writers are now that they can self publish on the kindle with only a touch of a button. (Sure sometimes there are some errors an experienced editor and publisher would find and fix, but they are mostly ignorable)



Random Recipes and Hurty Butt

I’m gonna make this pretty short as today’s adventures include cleaning, re-organizing the DVDs, cleaning out the closet, and thrift shopping/donating.  So far, the week has been a little *meh* – I had great sprints on Monday, and then we went shopping all day to spend some Christmas moolah – but Tuesday morning… sigh.  I woke up and sat down on the couch (yes, really), and my back flipped out and I’ve been in some considerable butt pain.  Yes, my LEFT BUTT MUSCLE is pulled again.  How on earth do you look someone in the eye and complain about your butt hurting?  Seriously?

I had to skip my workout yesterday and today isn’t looking good either.  I’m probably not going to be able to make up both my runs at least at the pace they’re supposed to be at – but we’ll see.  I’m not quite as worried about the missed workouts as why this has happened TWICE in the training so far.  This time, I can definitely say that I think it was me being lazy about stretching/yoga, so that’s my smack on the wrist not to do that again.  Hopefully it’s better in the next day or 2 or I’ll go nuts!

Anyway, enough complaining, and onto the food!

Super Awesome Chili:

Note, this is not a vegetarian recipe and probably a little high in sodium for some of you, but it’s also a super quick, easy, and delicious meal that makes amazing leftovers.  And if you’re craving something hearty and warm, this is your meal.

You will need:

-1 lb ground beef.  I use 96/4, I suggest the leanest stuff you have available, it’s plenty flavorful with everything else in there.

-2 small jalepenos (or less if you fear the spicy)

-about half a large onion

-a few cloves of garlic to taste.

-chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste

Saute the onions, garlic, and jalapenos in a pan (I usually just use a little spray butter).  When it smells divine, throw in the beef and brown it.  Near the end, throw in your spices to taste.  You can also add them later, so err on the side of caution here.

Then, in a big pot, add:

-a 6oz can of tomato sauce

-3 cans of beans.  I chose ranch style black beans, ranch style jalapeno pinto beans, and southwest style kidney beans.  Note: this is the part that’s a bit high sodium.  You could use beans without sauce but you might need to add another can of tomato sauce and tinker with it.  I leave that to you!

-a can of corn.  Frozen works too.

-a square and a half of chocolate.  We have this fancy schmancy jalapeno chocolate we got years ago, but no need – I would say about 2 hershey kisses or a handful of chocolate chips would work just fine.

Put these together, bring to a slow bubbly boil, and then simmer until it comes together.  Honestly, it can’t really go too long but I’d suggest at least 20 mins.

Top with cilantro, green onions, and you can also add other yummies like some ranch, shredded cheese, or sour cream.


Zliten used to tell me that chili and cornbread was yummy together, and I didn’t believe him.  Then, I tried it and crazy enough, it was good!  Again, going with the super easy theme, we snagged a package of Marie Calendar’s Low Fat Southwestern Cornbread from Big Lots.   It’s a little spicy, and it’s not quite as sweet as the normal cornbread, which I like, but most importantly, all you have to do is add water and mix and cook.

The first time we made it in loaf form, as you can see above, but let me suggest mini-muffins – they’re the perfect size for a bowl.

The pictures are from a few weeks ago, but we just remade it this afternoon for lunch.  I’m about to dive into a bowl of it!  Yum!

Deep thoughts return tomorrow…

This is how we roll on a Friday night at home…

After bolting from my desk at exactly 5:30, throwing on my workout clothes, getting a 3 mile run and some ab work done, and navigating the light traffic home, I started my weekend, the first full weekend in 6 weeks, I believe. To what I’m sure is the first of many “TMI” moments, I had some wicked cramps earlier, and was prepared to just melt into the couch and take painkillers. However, the exercise actually helped this time instead of hurt me, so we poured some drinks instead.

It had just rained hard that afternoon so it was cloudy and cool, which is actually perfect, because the Texas heat normally has it close to or over 100 degrees at that time. We were able to watch the sunset from our patio, which was gorgeous because of those clouds – pinks and blues and oranges as far as the eye can see. If I was thinking I would have grabbed my camera, but I don’t think I wanted to miss any part of it. It was a lot like this. Then, just the colors had burst into life, they faded away into twilight.

Then, Zliten decided he wanted to smoke chicken breasts – which would mean super late dinner but we decided it was worth it. All of a sudden, it was an event, not just a ordinary night (breaking out the smoker automatically equals special occasion!). Then we had to kill some time, waiting the 2 hours before it was done (30 mins, flip, 30 mins, adjust, 30 mins flip again, then 30 mins wait…). I spent some time twirling around for the camera.

Perhaps I should have not twirled sideways, but, you know how it goes, I do what I want!

Then, finally around 10:45 dinner was served. It was totally worth the wait. The chicken was orgasmic, pure and simple. We ate it with BBQ sauce although it really didn’t need it. We had thrown some small potatoes on the grill with the chicken in foil, and the knife cut through them like butter, they were so tender, and had great flavor. A little pepper, pinch of blue cheese, and some margarine and it was sublime. It was rounded out by a caesar salad with my favorite dressing, romaine, black olives, asiago cheese, and pepper. For those who are counting – about a 450 calorie dinner. Again, I wish I had a picture, but we were so hungry, there just wasn’t time.

After eating we just couldn’t continue the reveling, dinner made our bellies smile so much we had to have some couch time, which led to Stargates, which led to sleepytime just after midnight. Since I’m usually the one that tuckers out early, I had to make it known that I was not the one who decided it was bedtime early!

This, my dear blog-peoples, is why I end up being a homebody a lot – we just have so much fun. Lesson learned though – make better use of the camera during blogworthy nights!

It’s Pho-riday!

Even on weeks that are stressful, or that I’m working weekends, I always look forward to a little corner of heaven at lunch time we have aptly named “pho-riday”. Since the beginning of this year, without fail on the last day of the normal work week, we have made our way at lunch to a wonderful little Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Van. If you’ve never had pho (pronounced fuh, not foh), it’s very complicated beef noodle soup. Or you can be like me and be an infidel (or whatever mean name my friend A liked to call me that day) and order chicken pho, with chicken broth and broccoli. Then, you can do anything from eating it just as is, with rice noodles, broth, meat, and onions like our friend P does – or put in handfuls of bean sprouts, jalapenos, cilantro, basil, chili sauce, and hoisin, like me.

Now if your pho looks like this, you’ve got problems. Or you’re on drugs. Nothing wrong with that and all, but chopsticks are pretty tricky to navigate while mentally impared (or for some of us, on a normal day), so you might want to stick to something easier, like cheetos. Or gerber baby food. Or wearable feed bags.

As long as you can stay away from the pho-reaky pho-loating heads in your bowl, you’re guaranteed a great meal. We have not brought one new person to lunch with us who has not been infected with love of the pho. Zliten and I have very few things on our list that we eat weekly, a big salad at the salad bar being probably the only other thing, and rightfully so – Austin has more restaurants per capita than pretty much anywhere in the universe, and variety is the spice of life, as they say.

The greatest thing is that pho is pretty darn healthy! Sure, if you’re on a low sodium diet, you’re going to blow your load in pretty much one meal, but except for you un-salty dogs, it is like the super food of satiation! It’s a total of about 400-600 calories (400 being a small, lean, beef order or my chicken, 600 being a large with fatty beef), and you are FULL after it. A brothy soup appetizer is supposed to help you cut calories at a meal, so eating it AS your meal has to be super awesome, right? I like to spice mine up to ridiculous levels topped only by our pho-riend J, so I’m sucking down water like the well is about to go dry (yay, hydration). Also, it will probably become apparent as we get better acquainted (or for those of you who know me) that I enjoy a good cocktail or 5 on occasion, and those occasions are usually Friday. After my normal breakfast, pho lunch, and a snack, I’m resting comfortably at about 600 calories for the day. That means I can have a sensible dinner and some drinks and I’m not heading into danger-land, or I can splurge and go out for something splurgier than normal. Like the butter drenched red lobster meal I had last night. Oops.

So get on the bus, man (speaking of drugs…). Find a little Pho house and give it a try. The smaller, the less decorated, the more yelling in the kitchen, the better. I’d suggest starting out with a lean beef of some sort and work your way to the tripe and other weirdness, if you swing that way. If you’re not a red meat eater, most places have chicken, seafood, or vegetarian options, though I can only vouch for chicken being tasty. You may not go every Friday like we do, but maybe you’ll fall in love, or at the very least you’ll have tried something new.

You probably don’t have to get as pho-reaky and pho-natically obsessed as we do to enjoy it, but it’s fun to be over the top about things sometimes, right? Well, we’ve even gone so far as to make pictures (above, horrible photo-chop jobs by yours truly), and videos. The latest one was a spoof of the x-files trailer, and we actually wrote up a little script and blocked out the scenes and everything, which definitely was more planning ahead than we did for the last few.

Pho – good times, healthy-ish food, and an event you can look forward to! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to pho-ly and get me some noodle-y goodness in my bowl (chop sticks, soup spoon…meat-a-balls). And yes, we really do eat that sort of thing all the time…or at least, we want to…

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén