I Need Some Silliness Right Now

January 10, 2021

After the seriousness of my last few posts, and remembering the time and effort that went into crafting them, I need to post something simpler, and sillier. Richard Simmons action figure to the rescue!

I pre-ordered this action figure in the summer, and then completely forgot about it, until it showed up on my front porch six months later. Yup, it’s a Richard Simmons action figure. Yup, it’s official – Richard signed a licensing deal so this company could make and sell this. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Notes: Chart Update, A Bean Spread Recipe, Pool!

February 11, 2011

Over the past couple days I’ve written a little blog to-do list – topics and things I want to share with everyone… so why am I wasting time on an intro?  I’ll cut to the chase and see if I can’t cross a few of them off the list.

1) Chart Update. I weighed myself yesterday morning, and the number on the scale was the same as it was about a week ago: 241 pounds.  I’d like to think that I didn’t lose weight this week because my workouts have been a little more weight-training focused, and the added muscle mass is canceling out the fat loss, but really I have no idea why I didn’t lose weight, and you know what?  I don’t really care.  I’m aware that now that I’ve already lost 161 pounds, the weight is gonna come off more slowly, and if that means there’s weeks where it doesn’t come off at all, than so be it.  All I can do is continue to eat well, exercise, and stay positive about my successes.  So, I’m not gonna focus on the number not changing.  But I am gonna update my chart:

One month ago today my interview with Ellen DeGeneres aired, and on that day, I weighed two more pounds than I do today.  Losing only 2 pounds in the past month is definitely my least-successful month so far.  Stop, David.  Stop focusing on what you haven’t done.  Focus on what you have done.

OK, I feel better… thanks for that little pep talk, me!  Moving on…

2) White Bean Spread. The other night I finally got around to flipping through a new cookbook that my brother got me as a Christmas present.  It’s a compilation of healthy recipes from Good Housekeeping:

The cookbook really inspired me.  I love that each recipe includes the nutritional information, and I was pleasantly surprised on how Good Housekeeping was able to reign in the calories and fat on so many dishes that I really want to make, like their Black-Eyed Pea Salad, their Balsamic Chicken and Pears, and their Vegetarian Tortilla Pie.  Check out the cookbook for yourself here. I decided that the first thing from the book that I would make is their Tuscan White Bean Topping:

They include it as a bruschetta topping in their appetizer chapter, but I don’t really care about the toast part, so I made it to use as more of a spread or a dip.  And, of course, I modified it.  The first thing I did was leave out the olive oil and salt.  I didn’t think I would need it, or miss it, so that was an easy decision.  What I realized next was that I didn’t have to mash the other ingredients with a fork, as the instructions suggest, when I have a perfectly fantastic informercial product to do it for me.  So, I broke out the Magic Bullet.

I added to the Magic Bullet cup the can of white beans (drained and rinsed), the juice of an entire lemon (which is more than the recipe called for, but I wanted to compensate for the lack of oil, and plus, I love lemon), and some black pepper.  The recipe also calls for fresh parsley and sage, but I didn’t have parsley, so I threw in some fresh rosemary and thyme instead.  Here it all is before the Magic Bullet performed its wizardry:

And here it is after:

It was thick and chunky – a cross, texture-wise, between hummus and mashed potatoes, and very tasty.  The herbs added a lot of flavor, and little pops of green, and it was very lemony.

For my lunch, I used it in a wrap.  I started with an Ezekiel tortilla, which I recently bought for the first time:

There’s no flour in these tortillas – they’re made from a variety of sprouted grains, so they’re thicker and a tad tougher than regular tortillas.  It’s said that eating sprouted grains is a lot healthier for you than eating processed flour, so I was willing to give them a go, and they’re pretty good!  You’re not gonna think you’ve wandered south of the border when you bite into one, but you’ll enjoy it, all the same, for what it is.  I actually need to give a shout-out to Michelle, another blogger, because she was the one who taught me about sprouted grain products a few weeks back… she’s very funny and insightful, and you should definitely check out her blog.

Anyhoo… I took a tortilla, spread on a layer of my white bean concoction, then piled on some diced tomato, mushrooms, cucumber, and radish.  Some carrot and celery sticks on the side, and voila!  My lunch:

Here’s how good that bean spread was:  I put about 1/4 of it on the wrap.  I ended up making a second wrap, and used another 1/4.  A mid-afternoon snack was more carrot, celery, and bell pepper sticks, with 1/4 of it for dipping.  And the final 1/4 of it was part of my dinner.  Bye-bye bean spread!

3) Pool. As I mentioned yesterday, in my post about the run that nearly killed me, I’ve decided to keep swimming in my workout arsenal.  Here’s the quick version of my history with swimming:  I practically grew up in water, and swam competitively for about 10 years, until I quit in high school.  I didn’t swim a lap from high school until late last year (nearly 15 years later), when I started swimming at the gym when I was in Michigan for the holidays, during which I recalled all sorts of swimming memories and realized, Hey, I forgot how much I like this!

A few nights ago, I researched pools in my area, and learned there’s one at a nearby park:

I’ve been to this park a handful of times to cheer on friends who play in softball leagues, and my friend Emily literally lives across the street, so how did I now know there was a pool there?  Maybe because it’s tucked behind a pretty nondescript building (which houses the locker rooms and office and whatnot):

Here’s the pool itself:

It’s a great pool.  And it’s a HUGE pool.  It’s Olympic-sized in one direction (50 meters) and 25 yards in the other.  Today (and most days, I think) it was set up to swim the short way, and there were 18 lanes.  Fantastic!  The Bally’s pool in Michigan has 3, and 1 sucks because there’s a staircase at one end that prohibits you from making it all the way to the wall.  Oh, and I really want to go off that high dive.  Really badly. Note to self: Check diving well hours.

Despite the years and years of swimming I have under my belt from childhood, swimming laps in an outdoor pool is pretty rare for me.  Most pools in Michigan, including all the ones in schools, are indoors, so they can be used year-round.  In the summers, the club team I swam for growing up would rent time in an outdoor Olympic-sized pool and hold practices there, but the only available time we could use it was from 5:30am-7:30am.  Those early morning practices were brutal!  At that hour, the water was warmer than the air, and the heat would rise from the pool, creating a fog so thick that every once in a while, you couldn’t see one end of the pool from the other.  The only other outdoor pool I’ve swum laps in was when my sister and I swam for another club a good 45 minutes from home that had an outdoor pool just feet from Lake St. Clair.  That was a 25-yard pool, and the worst thing about those practices was the commute, although my sister managed to get us there in 25 minutes some mornings.  Speed demon!

Swimming outdoors this morning was a really nice new thing for me.  Don’t hate me, but I kinda loved that I could even do it at all!  There’s not many places where one can swim outside in February and have the air be right around 60 degrees at 9am.  Gotta love LA!  And this pool had flags, which made doing backstroke easier (if only I could do something about the sun), had operating digital interval clocks, and I had a lane to myself – perfect!  It was a productive workout, too, which was nice, since it’s been a few weeks since I was last in a pool in Michigan.  Here’s what I did:

  • 1000 yards warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM)
  • 2 x 100 yards free (at 80% effort), followed by 1 x 50 yards all-out sprint.  I did that cycle 4 times, for a total of 1000 yards.  I tried messing around with finding intervals that worked for me, but struggled with that a little, and ended up averaging 6-8 seconds rests after each element.
  • 2 more 50 yards all-out sprints, just because I was feeling good.
  • 200 yards cool-down.
  • TOTAL: 2300 yards (92 lengths of the pool). It took 55 minutes.

Keep it up, David!

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