Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oatmeal blues

I have a like/hate relationship with oatmeal. It is one of those foods that nutritionists, health magazines, food writers, and bloggers always recommend as a healthy and filling breakfast. According to them, it will fill you up and get you set for the day - you will have energy and not need to eat again until lunch. So, several years ago, after years of only eating oatmeal in cookies or when camping, and then only the instant packets, I set out to reintroduce oatmeal into my life. I tried rolled oats and couldn't stand them, not even when doctored with sugar and spices. Then I discovered steel cut oats (also sold as Irish oats) which are much chewier and heartier. I figured out a recipe that made them taste good without being too sweet or too bland. (And I have tried many, many variations.) Apart from taking a long time to cook (which can be reduced by soaking them overnight) they seemed to be a good breakfast alternative. 

And then I ran into a problem - in direct contradiction of everything the bloggers, food writers and nutrion people said, if I ate oatmeal for breakfast, I would inevitably have a drastic drop in blood sugar about an hour after eating. And when I say my blood sugar drops, I mean I get the shakes, I can hardly do anything and have to eat something else immediately. At first I thought it was because I sometimes ate oatmeal with grapefruit. But even without the grapefruit involved, I still had the problem. Then I tried adding peanut butter, to provide some more protein, and that helped some of the time. But lately, even that hasn't been enough. If I have oatmeal for breakfast, I spend the rest of the day regretting it; I am tired, low energy and can't seem to get my blood sugar back to normal. 

This is kind of a bummer, because I actually do like oatmeal once in a while, but I am on the verge of giving it up as a lost cause. 

Does anyone else have this problem?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Grandpa's visit

A couple of weeks ago, my dad came to visit Malcolm (well, us too, but mostly Malcolm).

We did all sorts of fun things, like gymnastics. Malcolm loves swinging on the bar. We go almost every week, and today he was practicing letting go and falling on his bottom, which he thought was hilarious.

There was story time at the library. Malcolm enjoyed showing Grandpa the cars that he was playing with before it started, and the scarves and shakers they play with every week.

As usual when he comes to visit, my dad also had to do some yard work. Even after all the raking I did in the fall, there were still plenty of leaves to be raked. Malcolm is getting to the point where he can almost be helpful, instead of just a hindrance.

And of course we had to have some Southern food, so we headed to Cotham's for burgers, fried okra and fried green tomatoes, in matching Hawaiian shirts. Malcolm loves fried okra, Grandpa loved the fried green tomatoes. 

Two of my favorite guys.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Downtown Dash 10K report

I've tried to start this post several different ways, but my brain just keeps going back to "Woo! I ran a 10K! I ran a 10K!" On the scale of athletic accomplishments, I know it isn't huge - just the result of consistent training - but as someone who used to loathe just the idea of running, I am pretty excited.

I accomplished all my goals: I finished, I didn't have to walk at all, and I even enjoyed myself. For those of you who care, I ran it in 1:07:12, around a 10:50 mile pace. That is a slower pace than my fastest 5K, but then I was running with a more experienced runner friend, and she helped push the pace. It is faster than I think I have been running on my training runs, especially the ones where I pushed Malcolm in his stroller. I am not certain about that though, because I don't have anything remotely capable of telling me my pace, not since I lost my only digital watch on a run back in late January.

It certainly helped that the course - two laps of a circuit around some of the eastern parts of downtown Little Rock - was a lot flatter than almost anything I ran during training. Any long run I do in Maumelle has at least a couple of really steep hills, not to mention the hill I walk up at the end of every run just to get home. I was super happy that I was never even tempted to start walking. The weather also helped; it was cool and gray, but not raining. Just about perfect running weather - a lot better than the first 5K I ran when it was at least 80 with 80% humidity at the start, and a lot better than the last 5K when it rained the entire time.

So, to recap - I ran a 10K, it didn't suck, and now I want to do it again! I think 10K is just about right for me at this point. I could probably do longer runs, but with Malcolm around and tennis as my main sport, my training time is somewhat limited. I can do a long run of 6 miles on the weekend without much trouble or disruption to the other adults in the house, and the weekday runs aren't so long that Malcolm gets bored riding along in his stroller.