Monday, July 31, 2006

Tasty Summer Fare

Rob and I were talking about a cooking show he caught for a moment this morning. Chicken... lots of butter... heavy cream. Good? Yah, I am absolutely sure. I have ordered and loved every bite of dishes like this... B.U.T. Who cooks like this at home? Seriously, who cooks chicken in a stick of butter with heavy cream?

Not me. I have made some really great dinners lately. Wanna hear about them?

Meal #1

Tonight? No photos to prove it (sorry, I'm not used to taking pictures of my food), but we had a simple dinner of Sauted Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce and Roasted Veggies. Prep time: 15 minutes, cook time 20 minutes. So simple, so tasty:

This is the only thing that takes a bit of prep time and the longest cooking time. Tonight we had carrots and zucchini, but you can really do anything. Our favorites include beets, broccoli, and asparagus. Anyway, take the extra few minutes to slice your carrots and zucchini the long way instead of like coins. It really makes a difference. Spread the veggies in a single layer on a sprayed roasting pan. Lightly coat the top with a little more spray oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss it in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Basil Cream Sauce
Take out your blender or food processor. Toss in a cup of fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, a couple teaspoons of shredded asiago cheese, and 3/4 cup fat free sour cream. We served the sauce as a dip.
(I can't wait to play with this and come up with some new flavors... lemon mint? curry? chipolte pepper? hmmm...)

Slice boneless skinless chicken breast into thin strips. Spray frying pan with non-stick olive oil. Quickly saute the meat in a hot pan. Set aside.

I skipped a starch tonight, but a quick couscous? Little more time- add some potatos to your veggies or even bake a couple red or sweet potatoes?

Meal #2

I had 3 pot luck picnics to attend last weekend. I brought a Roasted Veggie Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing to 2 of them. I really wanted to bring something new that I would enjoy eating and would be a healthy option. I made this up. It was good. This picture shows half the quantity of what I made.

Chop your favorite veggies into bite sized pieces. I used zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, broccoli and garlic. How much? Well I filled a 10x 13 pan with these veggies. Toss lightly with EVOO (I throw it all in a bowl with a lid so I can add a tablespoon or so of oil and really get it all coated.) Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Roast at 375 for about 15 minutes. You want the veggies to keep a crunch.

Meanwhile, shred raw carrots (I used about 3 cups), dice up a can of beets, rinse a can of garbanzo beans, slice up some tomatoes, and toss them all together. Add the roasted veggies when they are done.

In a blender or food processor combine the following:
Fresh diced ginger about 3 tablespoons
2 teaspoons garlic
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons EVOO
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar

Blend and toss the salad. Add the dressing gradually so you don't overdo it. Serve hot, cold, or at room temp. As a finishing touch sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds.

This technically isn't a meal, but serve it up with some simple grilled fish or chicken and voila! How about over some brown rice or couscous?

Whe needs the fat-laden meals? These dishes had a touch of your healthy oils, lots of flavor, veggies, veggies, veggies and some beautiful colors.

Training: 3.1 miles in 40 minutes. Getting up at 6 am did not, in fact, kill me. I didn't feel like I was dying until midway through the last interval. I think I only said "this sucks" once. It was fine. The bike course is now posted and it's 2.58 miles longer than I thought it was. I'll drive the course tomorrow and adjust tomorrow's evening ride accordingly.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I rode 12.2 miles and averaged 12.8 mph. Very slow compared to last week's 16 miles at 16.5 mph. It happens. I hope for a longer ride on Tuesday.

This week in training:

Sunday- 12 mile bike ride
Monday- 3 mile run (6 am)
Tuesday- 18 mile bike ride/ 15 minute swim
Wednesday- 3 mile run (6 am)/20 minute swim
Thursday- 10 mile bike ride
Friday- 3 mile run
Saturday- 18 mile bike ride

I'm terrified by the 6 am runs. Really frightened.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oh, Shit!

So my darling Lucy is usually good for a 2- 3-hour nap each day. Imagine my surprise when I heard her today 50 short minutes after putting her down for a nap. Shock! Horror!

I listened to her delighted babblings for a while and knew she was chatting with her babies. I was cautiously optimistic that she might doze off again... and then I heard it... "Mama... I pooped."

So, clearly she wasn't going back to sleep. Shucks. I open the door and there's my girl reaching out to me. Is there a better sight in the entire world as this beautiful child reaching out to me? Wait... what's that she's holding? "Look Mama, I pooped." Oh, yes. She handed me poop. A little shit from my little shit. Her diaper was folded- clean and neat in the corner. When I lifted it up thinking it might be full of poop she laughed and told me that her buty (translation- pacifier) was in there... sure enough, it was. So, in summary: diaper- clean and folded in the corner, poop- on the hands, on the belly, all over the crib, the sheet, the dress, the 4 stuffies, 2 pillows, 2 blankets she insists upon sleeping with each night, and... on the *gag* face.

Today’s lesson- Lucy is still fascinated by her ability to remove her diaper. This means that even though she fell asleep in the car and you're worried she might not fall back to sleep if you take the time to throw some shorts on under her dress, you hafta take that risk. It just doesn't matter that you were up with her for x hours during the night and the idea of "quiet time" is as appealing to you as crack is to a junkie. You hafta take that risk.

Oh, shit.

Megin's got a new home now. She's snapping and writing about it at Through Meg's Lens. Swing by, won't you?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Hey Mom," 6 year old says, "do you think you'll win your race?"

"No, A, I won't."

"Why not?"

"There are a lot of other people racing and they have been doing it for a lot longer than I have."

He ponders my reply. "Mom, you should really try to win."

"I'm not going to win, but hopefully, I'll finish."

"What if you try really, really hard?"

"Even then, buddy."

"Why, Mom?"

"There are a lot of people who will be faster than me."

"You should try your hardest."

"Oh, I will, buddy. I am practicing every day and I am going to do my very best."

"You might win."

Yup, I might win. If the planets are aligned, God miraculously makes me a runner the night before the event, there is a bizarre forcefield around Range State Park that prevents all other participants from entering the race, oh and hell freezes over. Then, buddy, I might have a chance of placing... maybe. Isn't a 6 year old's mind predictable? I have as good a chance as winning as this chick. What confidence. How delusional. I love it. I can't wait to see his reaction on race day. God, I have to finish.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Products of Camp

Oh, my boys were taking some art classes last week. Art classes called "Petite Paint Party" and "Eric Carle Adventures" Look what my talented little twits made:

Aidan, 6

Clay, 4
Jackson Pollack, look out!

The poem reads: The Mean Dragon
A dragon, a greedy dragon
He was a big dragon
He got sick and then
He sneezed fire.
Aidan, 6

Clay, 4
Clay, that is one very fine seahorse a la Eric Carle

There are piles more of their artwork. We will be revamping the walls in our house to hold it all. They really had a great time and I definitely need to stock up on my watercolor supplies. It really made me want to paint again (she says as though she once had the ability to paint glorious sea scapes or life-like portraits... which she didn't). I like painting bright lively kids stuff. Quite a few years back I collected cigar boxes and painted them for my nieces. They were vibrant and fun and personalized. When can I do that? Hmmm...

This week Clay is taking Espanol 1,2,3 and Aidan is taking Myths of Long Ago, and they are both taking Crazy Constructions. FUN!

Practically Perfect Pasta Palad

Pasta salad is awful for you. All of that mayonaise, eggs, fat, fat, fat, blah, blah, blah.

Pasta Palad (I had to go with the alliteration), on the other hand: delish and nutrish (caution: dork typing).

You are all screaming to know how I made it... ok, I'll tell you:

1. Saute your veggies of choice in about 2 tablespoons of EVOO and fresh garlic. Transfer to your serving dish. I used broccoli, asparagus, carrots and canned diced petite tomatoes (it's what I had).

2. Add about 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a whole lot of fresh chopped basil.

3. Toss in about 1/2 pound al dente pasta of your choice (I like farfalle). You can step it up a bit with the whole wheat pasta. You can serve at room temperature or chill for a couple of hours. If you chill it you may need to add a bit more oil and vinegar.

4. Right before serving stir in about 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella or shredded asiago cheese. It didn't photograph well, but it sure tasted good.

Hope you try it, hope you like it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


First off: I registered for the Wildbear today. Done.

In other headline news I also did a 16 mile kick-butt bike ride today. It took 58 minutes and it wasn't completely flat. I pushed through some hills.

As soon as I got off the bike I shuffled my legs of lead down the street. I can't consider it a brick workout as I only shuffled a little more than .1 mile. It was a taste, and if I am being completely honest, it tasted kind of like liver and onions rolled in dirt. That transition is definitely going to be the biggest challenge at the Wildbear. I need to seek out some more information on training for that.

This week's schedule:

Sunday- 16 mile bike
Monday- 3 mile walk/run
Tuesday- 10 mile bike (with Lucy) followed by run
Wednesday- 3 mile walk/run
Thursday- 8 mile bike (with Lucy) followed by run
Friday- rest/walk day
Saturday- long bike or run

Oh and eating? I'm tracking. I'm on plan all week. I even have some recipes and meal ideas to post about. All excitement, all the time here at Maine-ly Megin.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Food For Thought, My Friends

I really like lobster. Lobster rolls, lobster stew, steamed lobster. YUM. Definitely on my top 10 list of foods that I love. Apparently, strange things occur in the waters of Maine.

What do you suppose this guy would look like when you cooked him? How completely bizarre is that stripe down his back? He must be photoshopped.

Hmmm, what else would I put on my top 10 list? Here are todays top 12 (I just couldn't eliminate any):

In no particular order:

1. roasted zucchini
2. hot fudge
3. hot, salty, greasy pizza
4. fresh baked bread
5. avacados
6. apples in October
7. Lobster
8. warm brownies a la mode
9. sweet potatoes
10. the most decadent of chocolate desserts
11. baked brie
12. red, red wine (shut up, it's my list)

Food, yum. I really, really love food. Tomorrow's list would be totally different. Except maybe for #10. What's the 1 food on your list that wouldn't change?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


37 days until the Wildbear. Past time to get serious about training. I am going to attempt to lay out a weekly training plan and check in regularly.

Saturday- run/walk 3 miles
Sunday- Bike Ride
Monday- run/walk 3 miles
Tuesday- Bike ride
Wednesday- run/walk 3 miles
Thursday- Bike ride
Friday- run/walk 3 miles

I am really going to focus on hitting 2 miles straight running. For this week, the biking is really just to get used to it. I won't set a milage for those days. I do have a bike seat for Lucy now, so managing to fit that in should be easy with the boys at camp.

I was in anxiety mode at bedtime last night and I tossed and turned just thinking about how poorly I've been doing. It's not only the lack of training, but also the lack of willpower. My choices about what I eat have been fine but my portions have been off. Today.

I really want to win the Wildbear. Ha. I really want to finish the Wildbear without throwing up. I want to run the run. Can I increase the amount that I run (without a walk break) by 250% in 14 days? I'm not pretending that the minute I can do that I will be ready to do it after swimming and biking. I need time for some bricks.

Thinking about doing a sprint tri? BeginnerTriathlete has some handy information.

It really is now or, well, you know. Wish me luck, folks!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dear God, Blah, Blah, Blah

Last night I was putting Bun-bun the middle one (4 years 9 months) to bed. As is our habit, I started his prayers for him. "Dear God, thank you for..." and he fills in the blanks.

Me: Dear God, thank you for
BB: this day.
Me: Thank you for
BB: Every single jingle thing blah, blah, blah...

Hee hee hee.

Here's the thing: I am really thankful for every single jingle thing, too. So why is it so easy to blah, blah, blah over it? To lose perspective? Lucy spilling 1/2 gallon of milk. Clay putting underwear on under his pull-up. Aidan losing his figurines (again). Pee soaked comforters (in July)... (again). Brand new special no-tear sunscreen gone missing. Water all over the bathroom floor (again). Damn dog missing (again). A little less thankful for these bits.

Really, why do these things (on certain days) make me want to see if paper wings will help me fly off a really high cliff? Most days my anthem is "Ain't nothin' but a thing." But some days these small bits are the end all be all and I wonder why I don't get a job elsewhere. One with benefits. Oh, right. This job has benefits. Those are for a later post. Today the benefits are milk stained and pee soaked.

Some days my goal is to remember that this my friends, is exactly what I wanted. What I worked towards for 4 years...blah, blah, blah...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lucy turns 2

A Sentimental Mother's Moment:

My baby turned 2 today. I love 2. Lucy is a delightful creature with the most amazing sense of humor. She makes me laugh. My eldest refered to her all day today as "birthday girl." "Bun-Bun" my middle one, tried to hug her to death about a gazillion times.

I am constantly amazed by how each baby comes into the family and so easily finds his/her place, while creating an entirely new place, an entirely new family. Beautiful.

I love that my children have each other. I am so lucky to see the private demonstrations of love. Those moments make the velociraptor-like screeches worth it. Really worth it.

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

FGGF Visitors

Hey, are you visiting from Take a minute to let me know. While you're at it, let me know some of your favorite fitness and life improvement websites. Like you, I am always looking for more sources of information.

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Great Ice Cream, a Great Run, and some kid stuff

Our ice cream party last night was delish. There were about 40 people here, more kids than grown ups. It was such an easy party to have and it was absolutely fantastic to observe the kids (ranging in age from 4 months to 17) playing together. That's right, together. There was a great pick up game of soccer, some red light green light and a whole lot of fun. Other than a few minor falls there was very little crying and so much laughter. I remember being a kid and the excitement of being to "host family" for a party like that. Aidan and Clay felt that, and I loved watching them leading new friends around and truly diving into it. We live in a nice place with nice people and I love that a lot of us really seem to like each other. Oh, and the sundaes? TOP NOTCH.

Despite the fact that I stayed up really late catching up with my sister, I woke up, tied on some running shoes and headed out only slightly behind schedule. I have a running buddy who is at a very similar fitness level. We walk very regularly and we've run together a handful of times. We hit our stride today and were able to run a record 1.25 miles without a walk break. That may not seem like much, but for us, it really is. We were both pretty pumped. I came across this quote: "Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge." - Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training. I felt the slog and drudge for the 1st .9 miles today. And then I realized I didn't have to stop. That felt good. Really good. I pushed on and through. I even picked up a little speed towards the end. We rock ;}.

Later in the day, at the beach, I took a nice fast walk with 3 of my sisters. Tomorrow I'd like to arrive early enough to run on the beach during low tide. That will be a new one for me. I might stick to the road. I need another little blast of success.

So, the beach and some kid stuff:

We really, really like the beach. Sometimes we go very early and stay right through dinner and the sky's really blue and the breeze is light and the water is so cold that your body gets numb. One of those days= 2 regular relaxing days. (Can you relate to that?) Today was the first day of our family reunion and our first visit to the ocean this year. (Damn rain). The sky was barely blue and the wind was just cold. The kids loved it. Lots of cousins, lots of games, lots of time.

My kids approach the water very differently. Aidan dives right in and has no fear. None. Today as the tide was coming in (very quickly) he was in the water with the boogy board and caught some great waves. We had a scary moment when he was getting tugged out just a little too far, too fast. Rob went in to get him. Is that a rip tide? Maybe. Clay stuck pretty close to shore but was still able to catch a few rides right up to the sand. This is new for him. Last year he wanted nothing to do with any of the waves. Lucy loved walking through the rivers as the tide was coming in... as long as we were holding hands. I love love love to see my kids developing this relationship with the water and the beach. It is beautiful.

By the by, Rob made a fabulous pita filler of turkey, shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomato, avacado and a little mayo. He added the avacado last and we are pretty sure that if he had held off on the mayo we could have completely skipped it. It was so yummy. Good food is really good.