2013 in review

Happy 2014! Thanks for sticking with my sporadic writings on Run, Nikki, Run … I have a couple resolutions I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the coming days, so stay tuned!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Pardon the interruption

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote here on Run, Nikki, Run – and it may be a bit before I can actually get back to blogging regularly.

Life’s been pretty topsy-turvy of late, and there are some big changes a-coming which I am so very excited to share and make a part of this blog, so please just bear with me until The Big Reveal.

Merci beaucoup!

Nikki

Turkey for you, Tofurkey for me

The Vixen in the Kitchen is still thinking about last night’s dinner.

Granted, the main course consisted of Tofurkey pepperoni pizza, which I just had to bake in the oven, but there was so much more to it than that.

While the oven was heating up, I tried my hand at making homemade hummus, having finally bought that jar of tahini I’ve been thinking about getting for the past few months.

After conferring with my certifiable-genius-in-the-kitchen brother (a trait that is clearly not hereditary), I popped open two cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed them, put in a few teaspoons of tahini, some lemon juice and a dash of minced garlic and threw everything in the blender.

Naturally, since most kitchen appliances hate me, this didn’t last long; the chick peas didn’t mash and the motor maybe sort of kind of started smelling like it might soon start to smoke. On to Plan B, where I threw everything in a bowl and turned to my blending stick, which didn’t really do a whole lot either.
Meanwhile, in the tippy top of the one cupboard is a very intimidating device called a food processor, which earlier in the day, I referred to as a “word processor.” What can I say, I’ve got Ink for Blood … ooooh, well-played shameless plug! 🙂

But it did slightly mash most of the chick peas, and by the time that happened, I’d already lost interest in following through anymore and really didn’t want to dirty yet another device – plus it was getting really hot in the kitchen, meaning, it was time to pop the pizza in the oven.

I decided to chalk the hummus up to a learning experience, and honestly, it wasn’t half bad, it just wasn’t as creamy as it could/should be.

Once the pizza was done, I put it on a plate with a side of baby spinach and arugula (my new favorite salad blend), topped that with hummus and some ranch dressing and voila: Dinner!
I really love the times I treat myself to a Tofurkey pepperoni pizza. Its taste and perfectly square bits of pepperoni reminds me of when I used to eat Totino’s pizza every Saturday morning as a kid when I’d roll out of bed in time to catch “Looney Tunes.”

Do you have any tips for making hummus? I also want to try making the black-bean variety, so any tips would be appreciated!

Nikki

40 days and 40 nights

Let’s just get this out of the way for background purposes: I’m a non-practicing Catholic.
Aside from that opening statement, I pretty much keep my spirituality and the things I do practice within it to myself.

Though I haven’t been a churchgoer in years, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always – always – followed the fasting that came with the Lenten season, the season that follows Mardi Gras, the season that kicked off today and ends on Easter Sunday, 40 days from now.
By fasting, I mean abstaining from meat on Fridays (which I sometimes forget about) and giving up something(s) that I love for the duration of the season.

There's no way in hell I'd be able to give some of these up!


Every year, I’ve given up French fries and chocolate – two of my favorite things. I can’t say that I did it entirely for the religious aspect, mostly just to see if I could actually do it. Year after year, I surprised myself.
And gorged myself silly on Cadbury Creme Eggs come Easter morning.

It’s just something that I’ve always done because I went to a Catholic grade school and the abstaining is just pre-programmed, I guess. And frankly, I feel it’s the least I could do.
And that’s as religious as I’ll get – ever. Promise.

This year, what with my newly adopted mostly vegetarian diet you may have been reading about here on Run, Nikki, Run, I’ve decided to go whole hog-less for Lent: No meat for the next 40 days.
I’m also going to brazenly state that I’m giving up fries and chips as well. As I typed that statement, I realized my new obsession, zucchini fries, falls under that category. Shazbot.

Though I’ve really embraced my new eating habits, I’m not going to lie and say I don’t enjoy the near-weekly chicken-wing dates the fella and I have, so I will say that I’ll miss them. But I look forward to looking at the other parts of our favorite restaurant’s menu and seeing what I can find as a replacement.

It’ll be interesting and challenging, but I’m up for it.
Besides, if I could give up chocolate, which is really what I think flows through my veins instead of blood, all those years in a row, this ought to be cake!

What is one food you’d never be able to give up?

Nikki

(Photo from faithandhealthconnection.org)

Bread is dead.

Oh, if only there was some truth to that statement for me.

I’ve never understood the whole “ban carbs” thing.

I wish I did because I’ve seen how super fast my best friend has lost weight subsisting on nothing more than cased meats ands cheeses.  And as much as I adore those things, what’s a hot dog without the bun? What’s cheese without it melting between two thick slices of bread?

And furthermore, ever since I was a wee lass, I’ve loathed milk.  Its smell and taste make me sick. I always made sure to eat cereal – which I love – as often as possible just to try to get the calcium I needed. Luckily, I discovered soymilk and almond milk and fell in love with Silk Coconut, which is a million times better than anything from a cow!

But back to my point.
Going carb free has never really been an option. I’ve pondered it, but when I realize that I couldn’t have my cereal or the crackers I so love putting my cheese on, I lose my nerve. 

Though we're a family of four, this just seems excessive. Goal: Replace most of it with fruits and veggies!

At this exact moment, there are about three thousand carb bombs in my kitchen.
– Eight croissants
– Half a loaf of Sam’s Club’s rosemary and sea salt focaccia bread
– Martin’s potato buns 
– Honey corn bread
– Two half-eaten bags of Sun Chips
– Ritz crackers
– Peanut-butter filled pretzels
– A near-empty box of carraway rye Trickets
– Left-over homemade Christmas cookies from the fella’s mom 
– Three boxes of Special K with red berries 
What? They hardly go on sale so you have to stock up when they do!

So how is a girl to not eat bread or its fattening cousins?
Willpower seems to be faltering, so I’d love any suggestions you might have!

NMM

la·zy, (adjective)

Despite the title of the previous post here, I could come up with a million excuses as to why I’ve not blogged or why I’m not exercising.

The weather.
My crazy work schedule.
That fact that I’m an insomniac and just want to stay under my warm, heavy covers just a little longer … nine more minutes, nine … more … minutes … repeat, repeat.

The list could go on and on and on, but you and I both know that it all comes down to one tiny word.

Lazy.

I don’t want to get up early.
I don’t want to exercise after work.
I want to continue eating everything that’s bad for me because it’s fun.

But I don’t want to be this way anymore.
And there’s the rub.

Nikki

‘There is no excuse’

“There is no excuse for not exercising,” my doctor chided yesterday during my first check up in a year and a half.

This was after the horrific Getting On A Real Scale episode before I went into the examine room.
Why is it that your scale at home is always so much kinder than the scale at your doctor’s office??

After I saw the look of shock at how long it’s been since we’d seen each other register on his face, doctor looked at my chart and then looked pointedly at me. 

I knew what was coming, so I said it before he did.
It would be wise to point out right about now that my doctor is one of those people who run all the time – in rain, sleet, snow, heat, humidity – he’s like a mailman that runs. While impressive and inspiring, it makes me slightly sick.  

“Shoveling counts, right?” I asked hopefully, recalling how I shoveled vigoriously not once but twice this week.

The look I got as response said it all.
Shoveling, no matter how much of it I did this week, doth not replace getting in my workout.

Fine. You win, el doctor.
And yes, I know it’s for my own good that he did the “tough love” approach because I needed it, just like I need to see the “official” number.

Now I need to do what is needed: make the effort, no matter what.

The doctor gave a good analogy:
“We go to work at least four days a week, right?” he asked, and I nodded. “Well, making time for exercise is just like that. Wouldn’t you feel weird not going to work for four days?”
I didn’t answer because seriously, would anyone feel weird not going to work? Didn’t think so.

So I need to look at exercise as an extension of my workday?
That just might work. especially if I book it like it’s an interview I have to do.

What’s your take?

Nikki