Is it really the 15th already?! This year, the holidays feel like they've come way too fast and I have so much catching up to do. Today after H got home from school, I sat at the table and stuffed Christmas cards into envelopes while they sat and colored. I know! Yes, I just said 'while they sat and colored.' Every once in awhile they surprise me.
We've got almost all of the shopping for the boys done, Santa says he's completed the Wutzke list, and our Elf on the Shelf , Nicky, has been reporting back with mixed reviews to Santa each night, but it's an awfully great blackmail tool for good behavior. H gets out of school on Friday, and I haven't even fully decided what to get for his teachers yet. While I'm sure they'd love yet another plate of baked goods, I'm trying to think outside the box a little bit.
And, if my banana bread from tonight is any indication, I should get anywhere near an oven in the near future. I don't know what happened. I've been trying to satisfy my sweet tooth while still staying within the parameters of the game-on diet, which generally means vegan desserts. Contrary to popular belief, I haven't yet had one that was bad. They're all sweet and just as satisfying as the 'real' thing; though one might argue they are the real thing since they have whole and natural ingredients instead of relying on processed sugars and grains. But I digress.
Tonight I made the banana bread from Natural Papa because I couldn't find the one I'd made last time. The recipe looked very similar, so I got out the bowl and potato masher and within ten minutes, I had a lovely batter in the bread pan.
I set the timer for fifteen minutes, knowing I'd have to do it a little longer. When I tested it, the toothpick came out clean in several places, but the top still wasn't golden, so I put it under the broiler to give it a crispy finish. After removing it from the oven, I turned it out onto the cooling rack and it just didn't look right. Because it wasn't. Realizing there was no way it just needed a little cooling, I plopped it onto a cookie sheet and put 'er back in the oven. After more time, all I can say is thank goodness it tastes so much more wonderful than it looks!
Paired with some fat-free, plain greek yogurt, you've got a great 'meal' (read 5th meal of the day, which I usually make a dessert of some kind) with protein, carbohydrate, fat (walnuts and olive oil) and a little bit of sweetener. I modified it a little bit to make it comply better. This food plan has allowed me to continue to lose weight while indulging in Holiday fun (one day off per week) and feeling like I 'deserve' those times instead of regretting them.
In addition to my never-ending quest to create a more natural kitchen, I've found another new love and that would be yoga. Specifically heated yoga. Now, those of you who know me know how much I love to be hot. Ha! Okay, you know that I get super self-conscious of the ridiculous amount of sweat that pours out of my body every time I just think about moving my limbs. After running, however, I've started to embrace that part of myself. I'm just really good at clearing toxins from my body, right?! Instead of thinking of being sweaty as an indictment of my fitness level, I was able to see that some people just sweat a lot, fit or not.
My friend Jen has a yoga practice that has been the best thing ever. I honestly was thinking to myself as I lay in the final savasana (don't worry, I've had to look all these up too) the other night that if I had her to talk me through contractions I could totally do a natural child-birth. She's amazing, and I would strongly urge any Walla Wallans who've been even thinking about taking a class to start now. I think it's really been a huge part in getting me through this holiday season without a major beyatch episode. Just a couple minor ones. Another huge benefit is that when I go running right after a yoga class I feel amazing. I'm already warm and stretched and that first mile is infinitely easier to slog through.
Which brings me to something pretty huge for me. Since my friends all got a sweet 26.2 tattoo emblazoned on their arches, I've decided that I too will earn that tattoo. They say you're supposed to tell everyone when you set a big goal so that you won't back down. On the converse, I've heard the that you're supposed to hold your dreams close to the vest so that people won't dash them. Well, I have a wonderful coach who's making a training plan for me, a supportive husband, and a will to go the distance. I'm counting on the people in my life to make only positive comments about this training. Because if you can't say something nice...well, you know the rest.
It's going to be a long road, with lots of training, probably some tears from the mental barriers I'll have to push through and about half a year to nine months where I'll be one-track-mind girl, but it will culminate in the most physical feat I've accomplished aside from child-birth. I hope you'll join me for the ride.