Kelly the Culinarian

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. I totally recognize my content as of late has been light. I've also worked back to back conferences and am going on vacation, so it is what it is. This week's conference was in downtown Chicago and involved a lot of video and live broadcast. Both of these outfits were from Goodwill, and damn did I look sharp.


2. We've been trying to clean up our diets lately and I've realized it gets much easier with time. Even the kids are getting on board. I made this sheet pan chicken with chickpeas and tomato dish over the weekend. Initially, both kids refused to touch it. In the end, they loved the savory yogurt sauce that was served on top and ate the whole thing. I would consider this a big success.


3. I feel like I go through this with every holiday - I clearly need more decorations. But I also realize that more stuff = more to put out, clean up and put back. Ah, the choices.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Three Thing Thursday

1. My sisters and I went to Treat Yo'Self, which was put on by TimeOut Chicago. It was a blast. For $25, you got two drink tickets and unlimited tastes from a handful of dessert purveyors. There was also a DJ, fortune teller, hair stylist and massage therapist. I stuck with treats.


2. The small ones wanted to get a project at Joann's, so we tried sewing. We made pillows, a stuffed bunny and a sleeping bag for a toy. It was only slightly frustrating and they seemed to enjoy the challenge. Plus, I used my sewing machine for the first time in a year.


3. I went to SXSW last weekend (a whole post unto itself) and came home to this. I like the sad girl drawing at the bottom the best:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Donating Bone Marrow, One Year Later


Rocking Door County Half Iron
 that summer
Running a marathon 25 days post surgery
Thursday marks one year since I traveled to Baltimore to donate bone marrow. I don't write about it very often because truthfully, I don't think about it often. The short version is that I went under general anesthesia to have marrow extracted from my pelvis. The same day, it was transfused into the recipient as a potential cure for aggressive leukemia.
My life today is in many ways no different than it was a year ago. I ran 20 miles on the treadmill last weekend (almost a year to the day from last year), I'm training for a spring marathon and a fall Ironman and dealing with the same sort of exercised-induced minor injuries and soreness.

In essence, I am physically the same now as I was before the surgery. A few days of discomfort (never any pain) saved a life and I'm happy to report the recipient today is cancer-free and well on his way to living a normal life.

Swimming across a lake a few months later
It's an interesting paradox in that for a few weeks, the surgery was all I thought about. Avoiding sick people and doing everything in my power to stay healthy was my sole focus, and it was all-consuming for some time. Then the surgery day came and went, and after the first month, I rarely thought about it at all.

My scars are still fading. I was very swollen and sore for a few weeks and even when that subsided, the incisions where the punctures were made were visible for some time. Even now I can still see then, but I doubt anyone else would know what it is.

Bottom line, I would do it again. In a heartbeat. It has given my life purpose to give life to someone else. I feel like my life was moving towards this event in big and small ways for a long time - a flexible job to give me the time to do this, a partner who would take care of me throughout, retired parents to help in the process, an extended family for support, stepkids who gave me enough bugs and viruses that my immune system was in overdrive. Not to mention the results are nothing short of miraculous.
There are very few instances in which a person is given the opportunity to save a life. Be a hero and sign up for the bone marrow registry now.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. I've got that new glasses swagger! These came from GlassesShop and were both cheap and fast. I may never buy glasses from a store ever again. They're so overpriced compared to these, which do the same damn thing for all of $10. Now I'm frugal AND cute.



2. We went to a Mardi Gras party this week, so I got an opportunity to wear this gold dress again. Who would have ever thought I would get so many uses from a gold glitter shift dress?


3. We went on another date night last week to a damn fancy dinner. We had an eight-course tasting at Vie in Western Springs and it was worth every calorie. I have no delusions; I know I ate an ungodly amount of butter but I also don't care. The desserts were ah-mazingly heavenly. This is the surf and turf dish, which was everything I look for in steak. Be still, my heart.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Why Streak Running is not for me


Ah, the beginning. So optimistic.
I first heard about streak running from Mo, who is several years strong on running at least one mile every day. The idea is to get up and moving and run every day until you can't.

It turns out, I just can't.

At the beginning of the year, we decided to give it a try and log at least a mile every day. I made it about 40 days before my body started breaking down. I can't be sure it was the constant running, my shoes or something else, but I know when I knocked off this constant jostling, I felt much better.

By Jan. 1, our Circular Logic Marathon training was well underway. This called for two hard run workouts a week followed by a long run on the weekends. I've followed this plan for several years without incident, typically filling the other days with cycling, CrossFit, swimming or rest. This year, I added a run and some light weightlifting for each "off" day.

My first indication this wasn't working was when I couldn't complete a simple tempo run. These runs are meant to be challenging, but attainable. I had to quit less than halfway through because I was abnormally winded. If I was less stubborn, that would have been the last day of my streak.

Somewhere near the end of the streak
Alas, I didn't stop until I had a pain in my hip that woke me up at night. It was so pronounced that it hurt to cross my legs. I rested until my next long run, which was 16 miles. I realized that if I stopped running, starting again was impossible, so I shuffled through those miles the best I could. I went to go on my run the next day and couldn't make it out of my neighborhood.

The streak was over, but the effects were still there. I got X-rays, which revealed nothing, and have cut back on my mileage. The pain has subsided, for the most part, but I haven't regained my mileage. I changed my shoes, which may have had an impact as well, but I've learned that my body is not happy when I run back to back days. I am healthier crosstraining or doing something else with my body day to day than trying to check the boxes of keeping up with a mile every day. I have deep respect for the people who maintain these streaks for years on end, because it was at times difficult to coordinate as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. If you follow me on Instagram, you know we spent a glorious weekend waterparking in Wisconsin. It was supposed to be a break from the cold, but it turned out to be nearly 50 degrees and sunny the whole weekend. It continued into the week. We've been enjoying grilling, washing the cars, sidewalk chalk and popsicles. This whole global warming thing is totally real.


2. Did you catch this story about a runner stepping on a nail deliberately placed on a trail in Tennessee? Who the hell does this? I'm sure this is the sign of someone who will develop into a serial killer. It reminds me of the time I could've gotten killed or maimed because someone thought it was really funny to place thousands of tacks at the top of a formidable hill on the Ironman Wisconsin course. Luckily, only my spirit was damaged, which was a damn miracle.

3. Napoleon has been particularly melancholy this week and we have no idea. This is just a photo of him looking cute. But this morning, he was following us around and staring intently at nothing. So either he isn't feeling great or our house is haunted. Both are equally possible.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Three Things Thursday

1. The glorious day has arrived. We have a Girl Scout in the house who is the right age to sell cookies. My foyer and freezer will never be the same. We're currently sorting and delivering 63 boxes of cookies, which I believe earned her a badge and a notebook. And me about 25 percent more time on the treadmill.


2. My monthly DeGustaBox arrived with some interesting additions. The Nando Peri Peri sauce is already a staple in this house, but these zero-calorie noodles are rather intriguing. I am very curious as to what these things will taste like, and how easy they will be to prepare. Let's find out together!


3. You might be married to a triathlete if your Valentine's Day looks like this. I am so excited - my old handheld waterbottle was all stretched out of shape, and my new Garmin requires a quick release for my bike. Because my bike frame is so small and I already have an aero water bottle, there's no place to put a bike computer or any other type of mount. More about the 920 another day.