Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 29, 2009

Almost Back to Normal!


I have several meal photographs to upload from last week, but right now, I’m still in MAJOR VACATION MODE in Palm Springs, California. I had a lovely short week followed by a wonderful holiday in the desert, where I embraced the warm weather, sat by the pool, and generally did *nothing* for the last three days – a rare treat that I fully enjoyed. I also got some wonderful runs in, including a Thanksgiving Day turkey trot with my sis, who had never run a 5K, which I’ll post to Daily Mile when I return to civilization (Tuesday). The purple mountains here are breathtaking, and jut out of the desert valley seemingly from nowhere. Yesterday, my run went forward in a light drizzle – which I LOVED, because I never get to run in any sort of rain in Southern California. Proof of that is the fact that I slipped and fell during the rainy run! I now have roadrash on my hip, which is sore and a little swollen, but I foresee no long-term issues with it. I sat in the jacuzzi yesterday after my run – wonderful pain remedy.

Happy almost-December and more to come soon!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 23, 2009

A Monday’s Worth of Eats

Here’s what I brought to work today to get me through the day:

Leftover roasted Orange Bowl veggies & tofu, with barley:

Plaint Greek yogurt, to be topped with Homemade Cranberry Sauce:

Snacks include cucumbers, string cheese, a slice of homemade pumpkin bread, and a Honeycrisp apple, which I’ll probably top with the Trader Joe’s peanut butter I keep in the fridge at work:

I’d nearly forgotten that this is a short week!  Hallelujah 😉

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 22, 2009

The Orange Bowl

You may notice that I do a lot of “bowls” for dinner.  Frankly, I’m afraid I’m having a love affair with roasted vegetables of any variety — and I am maintaining a similar obsession with sauteed vegetables of any variety.  I just love the way that a vegetable sweetens when it’s hit with a dash of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, good extra-virgin olive oil, and a flash of heat. They truly need no other spice or adornment.

Staying true to my love, dinner tonight was an Orange Bowl, so named because  roasted orange veggies served as the centerpiece of the bowl.  All in all, it included carrots, sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, and extra-firm tofu.  I laid the roasted mixture on a bed of barley, which I had simmered in organic vegetable broth.  I topped the bowl with a hunk of one of my favorite cheeses of all time — Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, which is a sharp  goat’s milk cheese that really must be tried if you like goat’s milk cheeses.

I imbibed a delicious blonde Belgian brew with my dinner … Leffe cannot be beat!

Glad to be starting a new week tomorrow — good luck surviving your Monday!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 22, 2009

Getting Back to Business

I can tell you exactly how and why my training schedule has fallen apart over the last two weeks. The beginning of the end was a cold, the roots of which were seeded in several late nights at the office that lasted until somewhere between 8 p.m. and midnight.  I managed to pack my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks on those days, but dinners were somewhat haphazard — I either threw together something “snacky” based on what I had at the office, or I went for one of my stockpiled frozen Amy’s organic items.

Here are some samples of what I powered with:

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread, topped with Stoneyfield Oikos:

Spinach Salad with Tofu, Sliced Almonds, Kiwi, and Shredded Carrots:

Breakfast for Dinner!  A Spinach, Grape Tomato, Baby Portobello Mushroom Scramble:

Random Veggies Sauteed in EVOO, and a Side of “Chick’n” Nuggets for Protein:

The other factor that contributed to my lameness was that my race buddy canceled on our next-scheduled triathlon. I don’t have it in me to travel to that one alone, which means I probably won’t be racing that particular race, and therefore, I’m no longer facing pressure to build before the race date.

Next, this week, I felt as if I was on the brink of getting really sick as work, well, “worked me,” but I had something incredibly important to do on Wednesday and Thursday, and it was a huge opportunity I didn’t want to blow.  I knew I wasn’t getting very much sleep, and although I was eating decently, I also knew that if I pushed my body at the gym, or out on the road, it might be the straw that broke the camel’s back, pushing me to a place where I was too worn out or lacking in energy to give my assignment as much attention as it needed. So, I focused on eating fresh vegetables every day, drinking lots of tea and water, and trying not to worry about stretching my schedule even further by maintaining my workouts.

Now that the world is back to normal, and the work emergency is over, I, of course, regret this like crazy. I am not looking forward to going for a run or a bike or a swim tomorrow morning, only to find that I’m slow, I’m tired, and I’ve lost a lot of the stamina that I’d built up.

I tried to ease the transition back to activity by going to an hour-and-a-half of power yoga yesterday — and I’m happy to report that I actually felt strong, healthy, and capable through the entire class.  I was nicely surprised that my body welcomed me back to the fitness world so warmly.

In food news, I made homemade cranberry sauce on a whim today when a bag of beautiful, crimson cranberries called out to me at the grocery store — and they were on sale.  I adapted the recipe on the back of the bag of berries — which just called for berries, sugar, and water — and threw in some other things I had in my kitchen.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice

Bring the sugar, water, and honey to a boil.  Add the cranberries, stirring occasionally as they begin to pop.  When they begin to boil, add the lemon rind, lemon juice, and orange juice, and allow everything to simmer until thickened (approximately 15 minutes).  Let the sauce cool to room temperature, and then pack into tupperware and refridgerate.  I also stuck a tub in the freezer — we’ll see how well it keeps.

I plan to use this as an oatmeal and Greek yogurt topping, and as a sandwich spread this week! Now, I just need to get some more pepper turkey for those sammies I see in my very near future ….

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 16, 2009

Hot Toddy for a Hot Body?

This body doesn’t feel so hot right now.  Shockingly, it seems I’ve contracted some cold germs. I went to work for the smallest amount of time possible today, worked with my door closed, finished a project on a deadline, and scuttled home to continue doing some background reading on the couch.  By the way, working in pajamas with a kitty on your lap rocks, even if it means you’re sick.

I’m headed to bed with a trusty home remedy in hand — the Hot Toddy! I have no bourbon in the house, however, so the reliably citrus-scented Cointreau had to step in for a surprise appearance in my concoction.  The other ingredients are decaffeinated Tazo Lotus tea, boiling water, lemon juice, and honey.

(See the Blackberry in the background here? Hah …)

Hope this works! I need my voice this week for lots of crazy litigation stuff going on in one of my cases.

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 15, 2009

Weekend Highlights & Lowlights

  • Highlight: I just pulled pumpkin-almond-cranberry-flax seed bread out of the oven.  I immediately topped a slice with real butter and enjoyed it for dessert!  I plan to use this as a breakfast base all week.



  • Highlight: I enjoyed a blueberry, spinach, vanilla soy milk, and banana smoothie for breakfast on Saturday.  I later supplemented with a Blueberry Crisp Clif bar — smoothies are never enough to keep me full.
  • Lowlight: I ended up eating a “just okay” reuben and potato knish at a Jewish deli for lunch/dinner on Saturday.  Total comfort food, and eagerly anticipated, but it just wasn’t up to snuff.  No picture, because only the homemade deserves to serve as a food model, in my humble opinion.


  • Highlight: A somewhat rounded breakfast — eggs scrambled with tomatoes, swiss cheese, onions, garlic, and Guy’s special homemade homefries.  That was all inhaled before the camera woke up, though 😉
  • Highlight: I made ham-and-swiss sammies on whole wheat for Guy and myself, and stuffed ’em with red leaf lettuce and roma tomatoes.  It was good lazy Sunday lunch food that was appropriately eaten on the couch!


  • Lowlight: I definitely accompanied that sammie with these amazing sweet onion chips, which have no nutritional benefits.


  • Highlight:  I did a pretty thorough grocery shop last week at Trader Joe’s, but I needed a few fresh items to get me through this week, so I hit Whole Foods.  The nice thing about my local Whole Foods is that I can actually walk there from my apartment.  This week, I grabbed … spinach, five apples, grape tomatoes, two lemons, baby portobello mushrooms, and three bananas.


  • I also couldn’t resist the sale on Amy’s Organic frozen pizzas …


  • And my lean proteins and dairies — extra firm tofu, plain nonfat greek yogurt, and six more eggs.


  • And I also spotted some decaffeinated Tazo Lotus tea on sale.  I popped in some honey and the end of one of my new lemons while I was baking.


In other news, I’m sad to report that my race buddy had to drop out of our next race, which was supposed to be my final one of the season. I’m not sure yet how this will affect my participation, if at all.  I have to travel a little for this race, so not having a buddy complicates things.  In addition, I haven’t yet signed up, so if I move my race to one that she can participate in, no one loses.  We’ll see.

Big week ahead.  Wish me discipline and good health!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 14, 2009

A Week’s Worth of Eats!

This week has been a verifiable training disaster!  I worked until 12:30 a.m. last night, and until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.  I managed to eat pretty well for most meals, though.

  • On Monday, I packed a spinach salad with tofu, crimini mushrooms, a scoop of herbed goat cheese, and cucumbers.


  • I made it through each breakfast at my desk by packing a large Ziploc baggie full of a mixture of my typical oatmeal and yogurt toppings:  Granola, craisins, flax seed, and sliced almonds. I then used these mix-ins with the oatmeal and honey I keep in my desk drawer (or I brought a tub of yogurt with me if I wasn’t up for oatmeal that morning).


  • I tried to remember to pack healthy snacks every day, like carrot sticks and squash slices to be dipped in olive hummus, kiwis and greek yogurt, string cheese and Honeycrisp apples, and energy bars.




  • Some nights, I had to keep dinner REALLY quick — as in, pepper turkey sammies on whole wheat, with spinach, cheddar, tomato, grainy mustard, and soy-naise.


  • But then again, I did somehow find time one morning to make myself banana-flax seed-almond french toast?!


  • And, I did manage to roast up an acorn squash, and lay it on a bed of Israeli couscous cooked in organic vegetable broth, which I topped with a saute of tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach, and yellow squash … this meal sure could have used some protein (though the semolina couscous isn’t terrible).


All in all, this week wasn’t a complete disaster — but let’s just say I am very much looking forward to a long, sweaty run tomorrow morning.  My “baby brick” workout on Wednesday was not enough to keep me satisfied this week.  Tomorrow will be a long, hard workout — and I can’t wait.

Happy Friday!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 10, 2009

I Should Clarify A Few Things.

I’ve gotten a few questions about what, exactly, I’m up to over here.  Answers are below!

  • I’m not trying to lose weight. I don’t pay a lot of attention to what I weigh.  But, I do (1) pay attention to what I put in my body, because it’s fuel for my workouts and my long work days, and (2) enjoy eating healthfully because I can feel the difference in my workouts and my energy levels.  I’ve never counted calories and I hope I never do.
  • I don’t tweet or blog everything I eat. I don’t think of myself as a food blogger, so I don’t document everything that passes by my lips.  This blog is more about my journey as I try to balance my career, and try to behave professionally in a demanding and hours-intensive field, while honoring my desire to treat my body well.  The stereotypes are that lawyers are “walking heart attacks,” divorced, overworked, overly stressed, dull people who are generally physically unhealthy.  I’m aiming to embrace my career, excel at it, and take care of myself at the same time.
  • I tend to eat healthfully during the week, and less healthfully during the weekends. I like (okay, I love) pizza, cheeseburgers, beer, french cheese, pancakes, eggs benedict, corn dogs, french fries … I appreciate food of all varieties — healthy and unhealthy — and I do eat my fair share of the bad stuff.  That occurs mostly during the weekends, by choice.  My aim, however, is to avoid eating junk as a result of working long hours or being focused on my professional goals — I want that In’n’Out burger to be eaten because of a happy choice, not as the result of a stressful emergency.
  • My appetite is on fire when I’m training. I usually eat at least six meals a day if I work out in the morning.  That’s true even if my workout is relatively short or small — I’ve found the consistency of the training routine simply sets my metabolism on fire!

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post them in the comments or e-mail me!

Yesterday, I was at work from 8-8 … but I have photos of my eats to upload at some point 😉

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 8, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting…hubba hubba.

I’m going to San Diego tonight to have an early Thanksgiving dinner with my guy, “Guy,” and his family.

Yes, in addition to working 8-8, training for triathlons, and trying to cook most of what I eat on a daily basis, I’m maintaining a long-distance relationship with a wonderful person who’s totally worth it.

Tomorrow, I’m in charge of bringing dessert, and I fluctuated between pumpkin pies, apple crisps, apple pies, pumpkin cheesecakes … but then I stumbled upon my November 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, which had an amazing-looking recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.

I took a shot at it, but used a recipe for regular cream cheese frosting from my trusty old Fanny Farmer cookbook.

Here’s a shot of the frosted top … a little curled orange peel for decoration, and I’m done!


In case you can’t tell, celebrations are not the time nor the place to try to be healthy, in my book. 🙂

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 7, 2009

Finishing Off A Successful Week

My hearing yesterday went perfectlyWe won!

With all the excitement, however, I struggled to find fuel all day long — first, I didn’t eat a proper lunch because I don’t like to eat before hearings (nerves).  Instead, I snacked on a Balance Bar I found in my purse, a Honeycrisp apple, and string cheese. Then, after the hearing, we went to happy hour to celebrate — and before I knew it, it was 11 p.m. and I had only munched on a plate of shared nachos ordered for the table.  I was hungry but exhausted, and collapsed into bed without eating more.

Needless to say, I woke up starving.  I made a whole wheat bagel with real butter, and two soft-boiled eggs — my fridge is pretty empty of basics, so I headed straight for Trader Joe’s after eating.  I was craving MEAT for some reason on this trip and bought two kinds (see below).

Fresh fruits & vegetables included spinach, bananas, an avocado, a yellow bell pepper, baby portobello mushrooms, yellow squash, carrots, a bag of kiwis (which I may have to freeze — not sure I can make it through the entire bag this week), roma tomatoes, and an onion:


Frozen fruits & vegetables included edamame and strawberries:


Dairy, meats & protein included eggs, Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, pepper turkey, three nonfat organic Greek-style yogurts, olive-flavored hummus, and a package of jalapeno chicken sausages.  I immediately froze three of the chicken sausages for future use:


Grains included honey wheat hot dog buns (which went straight into the freezer), whole wheat tortillas, and Israeli couscous:


And a few miscellaneous supplies for my morning oatmeal and for emergency snacks:


And, of course, wine! Gotta love TJ’s wine prices.  These were $4.99 each.


When I got home, I couldn’t wait for noon for lunch — I had fajitas on the brain!


I sauteed onions with yellow bell pepper, and cooked up one of my jalapeno chicken sausages — this got layered with tomatoes, scallions, black beans, and cheddar cheese on a whole wheat tortilla. 

I had to eat this puppy with a knife & fork — I was so hungry I filled the tortilla to the point where I couldn’t wrap it up!



As for last week, how do you think I did?

  • I managed to bring/prepare/eat homemade meals until Friday, when the celebration got in the way.  This included packing breakfast and lunch every day, and cooking my own dinners every night, as well (again, except for Friday).
  • I didn’t eat meat all week until today.
  • I rode my bike on the trainer for an hour.
  • I swam twice, for a total distance of one mile.
  • I ran twice, for a total distance of 7.25 miles.
  • In total, I worked out five times.

Have a great weekend!

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