Friday, December 30, 2011

McDonald's Burger is Proven to be Nonfood!

I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about McDonald's and their "deal" on LivingSocial. It grossed me out how many people bought the deal. I describe their "food" as non food. It might as well be buckets of fat and other things I can't spell or describe. And yet, people still buy the stuff.

Today a friend of mine found this online and sent it to me, "Zombie cheeseburger? McDonald’s patty, bun, cheese unchanged after one year sitting on kitchen counter". Melanie Hesketh describes how she put a Mc Donald's cheeseburger on her counter  a year ago and it looks the same! A YEAR!

I can put an avocado on the counter and it goes bad in a few days, bananas are even worse. I even had a loaf of bread out for a few days and mold starting growing. But not this burger. It has no mold, no fungus, no discoloring at all. Disgusting.

When people worry about their digestive systems and wonder why they have issues, think back and try and remember how many of these burgers you had in your life....they might still be in there.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

McDonald's 'Deal' Today Makes Me want to Cringe

I'm disgusted to know over 200,000 people bought the McDonald's Livingsocial today. This is telltale sign American's eat unhealthy. It's not food people!

In case you aren't aware, Livingsocial has a deal today where you can get 5 Big Macs and 5 large fries for $13. I saw the deal today in my email inbox and immediately hit delete.

Then later in the day I got an email from an online deal compiler site that sends me an email daily of ALL the deals in my area. This is where I saw over 178,000 people had purchased the deal. Gross.

Then, as I decided to write about it, I went to the Livingsocial site to grab the link and even more more than 200,000 people have purchased it.

If you love Mickey D's and are dying to uh, well, die from greasy, high calorie stuff they pass off as food, feel free to grab the deal , there is one day left. Click here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dried kale is KALEtastic!

Dehydrated Kale Chips!

I made more yummy kale chips today! After they were done I think I ate an entire bunch of kale while lounging on the couch, they were so good! As I was lazing around today I thumbed through the latest issue of 'whole living.' The November issue says that kale increases sulfur levels in the colon and helps the body ward off environmental toxins. At this rate I probably won't have toxins of any kind in my body!

Kale is a new thing to me. My sister-in-law loves it and I've always nicely smiled and eyed the lettuce. Now I can't get enough of it. It started with a friend making me a fresh kale dish with toasted sunflower seeds, steamed dino kale, olive oil and braggs. Then I got a dehydrator and started seeing online how you can make kale chips. Nutritious and they help curb the urge for crunchy things.

The ones I made today are tangy and sweet. Half the batch I used honey and the other half had more lemon juice. Here is the recipe I used.

2 bunches of curly kale
olive oil
lemon juice

I pulled the leaves off the stem, hold the stem in one hand and slider your fingers down the stem, pulling off the leafy part. Whatever stem is left is fine.

Wash kale well.

Pull kale pieces apart into smaller pieces.

In a large bowl toss the kale pieces with the olive oil, braggs, lemon juice, salt and honey. I didn't measure the wet stuff. I just drizzled the olive oil to coat the kale well, drizzled less braggs. I squeezed a total of 3 lemons for the 2 bunches. If you wanted yours less tangy you could do 2 lemons. Salt to taste.

In half the batch I drizzled it with honey and tossed. The other half I just had the other stuff.

I have a round Nesco dehydrator, I placed the pieces on clean screens over the trays. At the top I added an empty tray because the kale was so fluffy it was hitting the top of the machine.

I started the dehydrator at 145 degrees for an hour. I then took extra trays and alternated, kale tray, empty tray, kale tray, empty tray to allow more air flow. I lowered the temperature to 115 degrees and let it go for another 3 hours. Result? Yummy kale chips!

The clean screens are so great! The first batch of kale I did stuck to the trays, I ended up with a lot of crumbled up dried kale bits. The only downside is because the clean screens have smaller holes, the air flow is not as good; thus the idea to add the empty trays in between. I think it really helped evenly dehydrate the kale and much faster.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CrossFit Fun - Class Two

I went to CrossFit again today. I am doing the 6 elements class which is the basic classes you are suppose to take to learn the techniques. I bought a "deal" for the classes based on the fact that a friend of mine and I would be doing this together. Life got in the way, as it does so many times, and we found ourselves near the end of the deal period, both going out of town! I managed to come back and start just before the deal ended. As it turns out, I was lucky, I came to my first class the week they were starting a new set of 6 classes. How lucky for me. (grin)

My first class we did squats, sit ups and ring pulls. Squats were ok, I managed to get through those no problem. Sit ups?! Ugh. I hate sit ups. I got through them but the last set was a doozie. Ring pulls? These are where you hold onto rings, lean back and use your arm strength to pull yourself up, rings to your arm pits, body straight. I picked a set of rings, tested them out and thought, huh, ok, I can do this. The coach TJ quickly suggested I get a different set, "because those are too easy for you." I'm thinking, of course, that is the point! Not the point?! Fine. I moved to the harder set.

I did the workout. We timed it and we will do the same workout (can't wait) at the end of the six classes to see if we improved (I mean, to see how MUCH we improved) over the 6 classes. Goodie. As I left I could feel my deltoids screaming at me. I felt like my arms were going to melt off. That actually might have felt better than how my arms feel today.

Today I went back for the second class. Still not fully able to do everything I use to be able to do with my arms, like move them, I was skeptical at my abilities for today's class. But...I went.

The one thing I am good at are shoulder rotations, we do them as part of the warmup. We use a pvc pipe and rotate it from the front to the back over our heads. It rotates the shoulder. We do this in the advanced class for Bikram Yoga, it helps open up the shoulders for certain postures. Most people have their hands pretty far out on the pole because their shoulders are tight and that is the only way to get the bar over their head. My hands were just a little outside of my hips. Score for me! We don't actually do that in the workout though so it doesn't REALLY matter. lol

We did more squats, different kinds and rowing. More arm work, you can imagine my delight.

TJ takes us over to the bars. He explains the bars come in three different weights, 45 lbs, 25 lbs, 15 lbs. He gives the other guy a 45 lb bar, looks at me and says "Carolyn, you pick up one of those 25 lb bars."

"Uh, I think I am going to need the 15 lb bar." TJ disagrees with me. I get a 25 lb bar.

So here is our drill today. We are to row until we use up 10 calories, then do 10 squats with a press using the bar. Repeat 5 times.

At round 3, gasping for air and pointing back to the bar while staggering to the rowing machine I try and explain I think I need the 15 lb bar now. Both TJ and John, the other coach, laugh and say no...that I need to think positive. I reply, "I positively think I need the 15 lb bar!" They laugh but don't seem to agree with me. The other guy in the class is almost done with round 5.

I keep going. Are they serious? I finish round 4 and the other guy is done. Great. Now both coaches get to focus on me. Good times. I make it to the end. It wasn't pretty and I won't be getting any grace points but I finished.

This is why I had a personal trainer three times a week for more than a year at the gym. I can't and won't do it on my own. Or more accurate, I CAN do it but I don't want to. I need someone there to tell me to keep going and to push me beyond what I think I can do. This is probably why places like CrossFit are doing so well, there must be lots of people out there that feel the same way.

Needless to say, I will be back on Saturday for the third class. I can only imagine the fun things they have in store for me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Enjoying the See Jane Run from the comfort of my home

Lightening, flooding, medical and police emergencies and an ounce of good sense by the See Jane Run organizers prevented me from running my seventh half marathon. Not too upset; it was raining yesterday when I flew into Austin and it rained all night. I was hoping after looking at the rain would subside for the morning hours long enough for me to run most if not all of the race. Not so lucky. I woke up at 5:00 am to rain.

There are two things I try and follow:
1. Be early. (I have a dad who is fanatic about this.)
2. Training for a marathon or half marathon? Eh, who needs it?! I try but it rarely happens.

Be early. 
This didn't work out so well for me today. The last See Jane Run email I got said, no, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, to get to the race early, by 6:00 am. As a typical rule follower and a common "be early" person, I set my alarm for 5:00 am. I left by 5:40 and was at the Mueller area, where the race started, by 5:55 am. It was near pitch black, apparently lighting is too costly. I found the right street and followed the crowd. That was a mistake. Around I went again. By the time I made it around again the street was full of cars. I waited again. As I got to the front of the line there was a poor soul standing in the rain directing people. I rolled down my window and she shouted out to me, "race has been canceled, check facebook."

Uh, ok. I try and pull it up on my phone. Between the bad lighting, water on the road making the asphalt look like the black hole and traffic, I gave up, opting for a safer option of just driving and getting home in one piece.

As a conciliation prize I treated myself to Starbucks coffee. I didn't run so it was a "skinny".

Once back in a dry place I noticed an email came in at 6:23 am stating the race had been canceled.  I got on facebook and wholly cow...people were pissed! And they stayed pissed most of the day. I am sure some are still upset.

There were several comments from people voicing their disappointment about not being able to run today. Not able to run? You can't do a timed race but you certainly can run! And people did! Several people posted they were running around Town Lake (Lady Bird Johnson Lake). Others posted they ran on treadmills.

Others were upset about training all summer getting ready for the race. Not me!  This is where #2 comes in. I didn't run around the lake or on a treadmill. Even in the best of scenarios I can't seem to find the time to train. The only time I ever properly trained for an event was my first marathon. I trained with Team in Training and it was the best experience. I find training on my own difficult, lack of motivation I suppose. I'd rather run and be in pain like my last half marathon where I was felt my hip pop at mile six and kept going to 13.1. My IT band was basically out of whack and I walked with a pop sound in my hip for weeks. Nothing a little yoga can't fix! LOL

One thing I did learn though from training for a marathon, you get in great shape! And you stay that way for a long time. So for all those people that feel bummed you didn't get to run, cheer up. You look awesome and are primed to run in a half marathon for at least the next month or so. Stick with the training, there are probably another handful of races this year that will be glad to test your running skills.

Then there are the medals, packets and champagne glasses. I had planned to get my packet today before the race but that didn't happen. Thankfully the See Jane Run people found a way to get those that hung around in Austin their packets and champagne glasses. I went down to the Courtyard Marriott to the designated place and waited in line, got a glass and race shirt with miscellaneous freebies. I even snagged a 2009 t-shirt they were giving away just because. I don't plan to wear it but it has a cute design on it...I see a craft project in my future.

Not a bad day; I got a shirt and commemorative glass and didn't have to run!  Oh, sorry, I mean, bummer, I didn't get to run. Even worse, I didn't do Bikram Yoga either, I didn't have any yoga clothes. :(

Will I do the race next year? Eh, not sure. I suppose it depends on the discount they give us.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Attempting to Dehydrate Flax Crackers and Banana Chips

I decided today was the day to try and make flax crackers in the dehydrator. I normally take my dehydrating projects to the yoga studio and watch how the staff gobble up all the goodies. They love just about everything I make. And frankly, I like the feeling it gives me to share! Not that many people like my cooking but dehydrating?! I'm pretty good at it. Well....let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I read several blogs and watched several videos on flax crackers and thought I did what they said but they aren't looking that great. They have been in for about 8 hours at 105 degrees. I turned them about about 5 hours. They seem to thick. And they don't taste that great. These seeds are still slimy.

The best thing about botched dehydrating projects is the compost pile becomes very happy. Wallet, not so much.

It did dawn on me today why maybe my last 2 batches of banana chips haven't turned out that great. I realized today my first batch I had cut early in the day and put in the refrigerator while I was waiting for another batch of things to finish. I put the cold trays on the dehydrator and turned it on. The batch came out with nice looking banana chips. The last two I had just cut and put in the dehydrator and they came out sunken, dark and soft in the middle.

Now I have two trays of bananas in the refrigerator waiting for the flax crackers to finish. I may have to throw in the towel on the crackers if they aren't done soon...bananas are waiting....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do you remember where you were on this day 10 years ago?

I do. I was driving my car to a condo association in Austin, about to do a property inspection. The news came on of the first tower being hit. It was unreal. I really couldn't even believe what I was hearing. It was so bizarre to me I didn't even really believe the news.

By the time I got back to the office, the other tower was hit and they had the news going in the conference room. I thought about if I knew anyone in NY; my cousin lives there but it seemed unlikely he would be in the trade center. I called my parents to check, he was fine.

I actually had worked at the World Trade Center once in 1994 when I was in NY for an internship.

I've been to ground zero several times and always stare in amazement at the whole in the ground. Sometimes I stand in the middle of the street and try and imagine how overwhelming it must have been to see clouds of smoke blowing through the streets.

The most horrific tragedy to happen to America. My heart goes out to all the people that lost loved ones that day. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I won a trophy at the Summer Bath 5K run at White Rock Lake!

Toda's run was great! Weather in Dallas has been over 100 for more than 30 days but the start of the 5k was early so the temperature was nice. The start was a little weird, we had D tags but there was no start strip to run across. We debated inching our way to the front but as we were contemplating it, the race started, and we were off and running.

Some were running, I was mostly jogging. Is there a difference? Apparently yes. I looked it up. According to this website, jogging is more leisurely and less impact to the joints. Running is defined as a pace that means you run a mile in less than 8 minutes. Are you serious?! I have friends that run that fast. I tried it one time on a treadmill. I looked like those cartoon characters that have a million legs drawn. Maintaining that pace would be a joke. I might have to change the name of this blog to Bike Jog Yoga.

This race I jogged for sure. Good news is I jogged the entire time and didn't stop, even to get a drink of water. Nearly choked myself to death drinking and jogging but I didn't walk!

I felt my pace was good, as I was running I  felt pleased with myself for going to yoga 5-6 times a week for the last few weeks. It really seemed to help my breathing and my ability to stay calm and continue to run rather than having to walk. I never felt my heart rate jump up where I felt overwhelmed. Even the hot temperatures didn't bother me.

My overall time was pretty average for me, 36:21 according to my watch, 11:41 pace. Definitely a jogging pace!

The friends I was with run much faster than me (and they really run) and they almost always win an award at the 5K races we run. So we waited for the award announcements and I took pictures of everyone getting their award. Then I hear the announcer say something about a winner in my age group at 39 minutes and something seconds. I thought to myself, wow, I was faster than that, am I getting one too? And just as I finished that thought, he announced my name! Can you believe it?! I got a trophy! I was so shocked.

I've never won an award at a race before. Definitely something to blog about and scrapbook. I am going to find a prominent place in my house for the trophy.

And no one needs to know there were 6 minutes between me and the person ahead of me in my age group. I was SO close to her! LOL And no one needs to know there were 5 awards given and probably only 5 ladies in my age group. Who cares, I got a trophy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crofton Food Dehydrator makes great snacks for cheap!

UPDATE: Please read my updated blog post on the Crofton Food Dehydrator. Click here.

New Dehydrator!
I'm always up for a good deal, often I will buy something just because it IS a good deal, not because I need it. Case in point, Aldi, a discount grocery store, had a Crofton Food Dehydrator on sale for $20. My sister-in-law has an Excalibur Dehydrator and loves it but I remember it being quite expensive. Twenty bucks seems more in my price range.

I searched online for this brand of dehydrator with little luck. I found one forum where someone was interested in purchasing this same dehydrator but no one seemed to have much information on it. I took a chance and bought it anyway.

I bought apples and strawberries to dehydrate first.

Apples from Aldi

I peeled some of the apples and left some with the skin on to see which I liked better. Peeling was obviously more hassle but I think it produces a better product. I also don't own one of those cool apple cores so I just cut out the centers...again, quite time consuming. (I'll buy a corer and a huller now that I now how to dehydrate.)

After I cut the apples, I soaked them in a lemon juice and water mixture to help keep them from browning. I'm not sure this was necessary, I read several sites and some said to do this, some said not to.

Apples soaking in lemon juice
After I soaked the apples I placed them in the dehydrator and moved onto the strawberries. I cut up the strawberries, long and then in circles, again, to see what I liked. I think the circles work better.

I soaked the strawberries, drained them then added  spoon full of sugar and mixed. Then I placed them on a tray.

I stacked the trays back on the base and plugged it in. There is no on or off switch on this dehydrator, it is a pretty basic model. One of the many downsides to a cheap version. Another was the short only is about a foot long which means I have to set in on the counter and basically leave it there.

Strawberries soaking in lemon juice

After I had them all on the base, I adjusted the top vent thing to #2 per the instructions. I also read I needed to rotate and turn the trays every few hours. To make this easier, I marked each tray with a sharpie in four spots, basically at noon, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.  At noon I wrote the tray number on each tray.(see top picture) At the other stops I put hash marks, first one, then two, then tree to help me line up the trays and know where I was in the rotation and turning.

I wrote down on a piece of paper when I rotated and turned the trays; the instructions said to do this every few hours.

Single hash mark, one turn of trays
The apples and strawberries were both in about 12 hours. That is a little longer than the instructions said for strawberries but at midnight I decided I needed to go to bed. I put the strawberries on top, farthest away from the heating element, and opened up the vent to 4 to let out the most heat and went to bed.

I woke up today to dehydrated strawberries and apples!

I took the trays off the dehydrator base and set them aside. I have a raised cooling rack and I put the trays on top of the rack to help cool the trays from the top and the bottom.

The strawberries were a little stuck to the tray so I carefully peeled them up. Some of the strawberries were thick and still moist so I put the dried ones on a tray with the apples and put the other moist ones back in the dehydrator.

Strawberries and apples cooling

Apple trays cooling

After they cooled I put the pieces in plastic containers to "condition" the fruit so the moisture was more evenly distributed throughout. I read on a site to condition the fruit for 7 - 10 days by sealing the containers to help distribute the remaining moisture. 

Fruit being "conditioned"

Wholla! Dehydrated fruit! A healthy snack I made myself! I can't wait to dig in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why I love the people at work; they make me laugh everyday.

The people I work with at the studio are so funny, sometimes my sides hurt when I leave and not from Half Moon Pose. Today was no different.

I took class, no big new there. Afterwards I stayed up there answering some work email and here was the exchange between Sally and me....

Me: "Wow Sally, I think I might have to get Ginger Thai."
Sally: "What?!"

Me: "I think I might get Ginger Thai."
Sally: Very odd look. "You are getting Ginger Thai?"

Me: "What? Yes."
Sally: "Why are you getting Thai for your cat?"

Me: "What?" At this point I am laughing hysterically and can barely speak.
Sally: "What?" As if to imply "What did I say that is so funny? You are the one getting your cat Thai food." At this point Sally is laughing too.

Me: "Ginger Thai Sally, the restaurant across the street!"
Sally: "Oh! I've never heard of that place."
We are both still laughing uncontrollably.

Me: "It's right across the street. Ginger Thai!" I point across the street...still laughing.
Sally: "Oh, I want some Thai!"

We order delivery and wait.

I decide to take a shower (to use my time efficiently.)

While in the shower I think about Sally and the Thai food exchange and how it would make for a funny blog post and as I recount it to myself I start laughing uncontrollably. Even now as I write I can't stop laughing.

For those of you that don't understand, my cat's name is Ginger. She never eats Thai. LMAO

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I love being a pack-rat

I'm cleaning and scanning paperwork today; trying to declutter. I found not one but two gift cards to Pappas in a stack of old credit cards and frequent buyer cards. Most of the stuff I threw away but I saved three things, these two gift cards and my Vitamin Shoppe card. (I recently went there and could have saved a few bucks but my card wasn't registered so they couldn't look me up.)

I registered my Vitamin Shoppe card and set it aside. Then I decided I would go online and see if Pappas has a balance look up option for their gift cards. The cards say to call a 1800 number but they are also more than 3 years old so I was hoping a new feature might be on the website.

I went to the Pappas website and found the gift card section and found out two great pieces of information. One, the cards do not expire. Two, there are no fees. My assumption then is the tiny print on the card that says they take out $2.50 each year it is not used is not correct and the full value is still on the each card.

Score! Each card is worth $25 so that is $50 I can use to go out to eat! 

I'm not sure why I never used the cards, I love to go out to eat and I actually went to Pappasita's a few weeks ago and could have used these gift cards there!

What a nice find in a stack of useless paper and junk I could have just thrown away! Sometimes it does pay to be a pack-rat.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's way to hot here in Dallas to run outside

 It's way to hot here in Dallas to run outside, only crazy people would run when its over 100 degrees outside. Perhaps that's why running the Too Hot to Handle seemed appropriate; I'm a little crazy. 

 If I were a "good" blogger, I would have blogged about this race last weekend after the race happened. Instead I had to go into work right after the race and somehow let the whole week slip away without posting any of my thoughts on the race. Oh well, here it goes....

I saw a race page on facebook a few days after the race, they were asking for comments on the event. Most of the comments were the same; loved the race, was stinkin' hot, LOVED the ice towels at the end... I basically had the same comments with the added one that not getting my race shirt after going to Run On three times was a bit annoying. 

I ran this race in 2009, the 15k, and loved the fact that it was along White Rock, close to home. This year I ran the 5K, I know, I'm a wimp. This year was even better, even closer to my house! I walked to the race down my normal run route, it was perfect. 

Definitely hot, I was sweating before I even started running. The run was nice just a few hills, mostly flat the rest of the way and a lot of it was in the shade. Bonus! I sprinted in nearly dying, to find my friends waiting for me, water in hand! Not far from them was a bucket full of iced down towels, omg, so nice! 

If this race is in the same spot next year, I am definitely putting it on my list!

Chris is like Nicolas Cage in City of Angels

Doug, Kelly and Chris (taken from a better angle!)

New Bag Styles