Monday, March 25, 2013

A New Day

I swam this morning!

And now I feel like going to sleep.  I was determined that today would be the day I also refocus on my clean eating, but I think I may need to have a Diet Coke in a little bit here, or else my head is going to hit the desk.  A day of clean eating + a Diet Coke = not TOO terrible, right?

Today the sleepiness is non-shingles-related, at least.  It is a legitimate sleepiness brought on by meeting my swimming buddy at 6 AM after not going to sleep until probably midnight-ish.  I'm not sure of the time exactly.  I tried to go to sleep earlier, but then Jason came upstairs and we spent awhile ruminating on the changes to our church congregation.

(Mormons are weird in that our congregations are organized by geography and yesterday our regional leadership let us know they had decided to split up our congregation among a couple of others, and then add some people from another congregation to ours, simply by changing which town lines make up which boundaries.  Anyway, I'm trying to be positive, but if I'm honest, I'm a bit irritated at the results.  So is Jason.  Thus, we were up late talking about the impact.)

But the real point is, I swam 2100 yards this morning and I'm tired and maybe even a little sore, but it's a start.  Again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Is Not Going as Planned

It's the first day of Spring!  Which, you know, great, except for I feel like time is flying by and I'm not where I wanted to be at this point at all.  I'm feeling frustrated, but also pretty philosophical about it, because, what can you do?  I can't spend my days angry and shaking my fist at the sky because I've been sick and haven't lost the 10-15 pounds I was hoping to have lost by this point in the year, and I haven't yet been able to train for my St. John swim.  It is what it is.

I talked to the other 2 members of my relay team on Sunday night and we're pretty confident that, if pressed, we could all swim our part of the swim right now.  It wouldn't be pretty, and we wouldn't post a stellar time, but we could do it.  So, really, I have 2 months still to get my pace up to something respectable.  I can do that.

Just as soon as I get over the shingles...

Friday through Monday I felt pretty good.  I had a fair amount of energy and I needed it because I was really busy.  Sunday I didn't take any Alleve at all, which was great.  Then I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like I was hit by a truck.  I dragged myself downstairs to the loveseat, where I sat for the rest of the day, working from home.

I have a lot more energy today and I'm back at work today.  I am itching to get back into the pool, and my fingers are crossed that next week is the week I start back in earnest.  However, I don't think I'm going to be ready to join Masters again in 11 days.

The good news is, I've been experimenting with additions for my grain-free cookies and came up with a couple stellar ones.  First, Heath bar toffee bits.  Second, half semi-sweet chocolate chips/half cinnamon chips.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Improved Grain-Free Cookies

I've gone on and on about how good these Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies are, but I have to tell you, I made them even better!

First off, I started using butter instead of coconut oil.  I love coconut oil, but it definitely gives the cookies a distinctive coconut flavor.  If you want chocolate coconut cookies, then by all means, use the coconut oil.  People eating strict Paleo don't eat dairy, so I understand making these cookies dairy-free as well as grain-free.  However, I've never had a problem with dairy, and we love butter in our home.  So butter instead of coconut oil.

Then, I decreased the amount of honey and eventually took out the honey altogether.  The first batch I made were very sweet and very honey-tasting.  So the next batch I made, I halved the honey in the recipe.  Honestly, the chocolate chips add a lot of sweetness to the cookies and you don't need as much sweetener.  But the cookies still tasted a lot like honey.  Not a bad thing, per se, but not exactly what I was looking for.

So a couple of days ago I sweetened the cookies with a bit of maple syrup.  Yum!  The cookies don't taste like maple at all, and I think this is the closest I'm going to get to mimicking real chocolate chip cookies.  Jason agreed, best cookies yet!

Here's my recipe.  I went ahead and doubled the proportions from the original recipe because, frankly, 18 cookies is better than 9.

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: around 18 cookies

2 1/2 cups ground almond flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of maple syrup
4 teaspoons of water
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (also try butterscotch chips because butterscotch!)

1. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Place on cookie sheet and put in the oven at 325 degrees.
3. Cooking time can vary from 10-15 minutes.  They are done when they start to brown a little on top.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


For some reason that even he doesn't remember, Jason calls me "P".  I think the last time Jason actually called me "Kelly" was maybe our second or third week of dating. "Kellito" was popular for awhile, but now it's "P", which morphs into "Peasworth" at times.

Nicknames are big in his family.  His brother Taylor was "Taylora" then "Lora" then "Lora Bora" and now just "Lobo" or, as Jason likes to call him, "Lobo Grande".  Our cat Tiny has about 75 different nicknames, bestowed by both Jason and his brother Brandon.  Tinykins, Tiny Whiny, Chutsworth, Pooper, Pooper Charlie, Agent Bauer (following a viewing of a particular episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia").  Brandon even taught his 3-year old daughter to call the cat "Pooper Charlie", which I'm pretty sure is what she thinks the cat's actual name is.

(Story: when they visited us last July, we went to a local park to watch the sun set.  As we were leaving, I said, "OK, Anya, time to go home."  She exclaimed, "Yeah, have to go home and see Pooper Charlie!")

Anyway, ever since my diagnosis on Friday, Jason has taken to calling me "Shingley P", which makes me feel beautiful and like a delicate flower, as you can imagine.  Thanks so much, Jason.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Don't Look At Me, I'm Hideous!

Even though logically I understand that shingles is just a flare up of the long-dormant chicken pox virus, it doesn't change that I've always thought the name "shingles" sounded like something disgusting.  Like there should be a sign on our front door crying out "Pestilence!" while I cower inside.

But actually I just have a little rash and my back hurts and the rash hurts and suddenly this afternoon I got really, really tired.

I also got some anti-viral medication that will hopefully keep the rash from spreading any further around my torso.

Based on what people are saying on Facebook about shingles, either I have a really mild case, or it just hasn't really hit me yet.  Because, yeah, it hurts, but it's not the worst thing ever.  Frankly my crazy awful case of chicken pox when I was 7, when I could only hobble a few steps across my bedroom on the sides of my feet because the bottoms of my feet were covered in pox and I was so insanely itchy and my parents put as much calamine lotion on me as they could to stop the itching and I was a calamine monster and it still didn't really ease the itching that much AND it was Christmas! -  THAT was worse than what I've experienced so far.

It's good to know that people nowadays get vaccinated for chicken pox so they won't really catch anything from me.  And they'd only catch it if they actually touched my rash, which, ew, and please get out of my personal space.

Knock on wood that this is the worst and I'll be through to the other side soon.  Man, am I tired...

Thursday, March 07, 2013

I Was Doing Well For A Minute There

Last Saturday my swimming buddy and I swam!  Granted, most of that was social kick (the equivalent of going for a long chatty walk, only with kickboards and fins), but we were there, we were in the water, and we swam some laps.

And I don't know about her, but wow, am I out of shape.

Then we did it again on Monday!  I got to the pool at 6:30 AM and swam and it was still hard, but it was good too.  Actually, we commented to each other on Monday how we had each felt so *good* on Saturday following our swim.  Something about being back in the water.  It really is my happy place, even if it is a dank, indoor YMCA pool.

The PLAN was to elliptical Tuesday, strength train Wednesday, swim this morning, strength train tomorrow, and swim with my buddy again on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, I was lazy.  That's all I got.

Wednesday, I was tired.  We got home from choir rehearsal around 10:30, which meant I was in bed asleep around 11:30, and after a full day of busy work followed by choir rehearsal, I wanted to sleep instead of get up at 5:45.  I don't even remember my alarm going off, if I'm honest.

This morning we woke up to slushy, slippery snow and an unplowed street.  And 40 mile per hour winds.  No.

Then I come in today and turns out tomorrow morning I have an 8 AM conference call.  Surprise!  That means the 6:30-7:30 strength training class won't work out.  However, swimming buddy and I might be going on a walk tomorrow after work, depending on how the storm heading our way tonight shakes out.

And we're definitely swimming Saturday!

So I won't be meeting my goals this week, which are to swim 3 days a week and strength train 1 day a week.  But at least I'm finally back in the pool.