In my last post, I spoke of something that had changed since I was a child — I feel a little guilty about taking Christmas presents.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about that and I realized that something else has changed also.

I can no longer eat holiday food for days on end without a noticable food/sugar/over indulgence hangover.

As a kid and as an overweight adult, I was capable of eating and eating and eating. Sweets, rich food and all of the things that only come around during the holidays stood no chance around me. Despite the obscene amount of sweets that were presented to me as gifts or as items just left around the house or office, I would manage to eat through them all by New Year’s Day.

No joke.

That’s a lot of sugar consumption for 7 days….

Those days, are no more.

I have been feeling like I’ve been dying of a sugar overdose for days. I admit, despite being pretty “holiday’d out”, I still have been having a few cookies or pieces of candy a day. I was feeling pretty lousy about my lack of self-control, until I realized how far I’ve come.

A couple of weeks ago, I made this post, in which I showed half of the batch of Peppermint Mocha Fudge that I bid on during Tina’s bake sale fundraiser. I said that I had plans on freezing my half for later, as there were too many treats hanging about.

If this were 2006, I wouldn’t have frozen that fudge. I might’ve told you I was going to, out of embarrassment at the thought of you all thinking I was a fatty for eating it, but more than likely, I would’ve sat in my room eating it until I was sick.

But it isn’t 2006.

It’s 2010, and my half of the batch of fudge is safely in the freezer. I froze it with a few squares per Ziploc baggie, so that when I am ready to enjoy it again, I can just take out a small portion to enjoy. I did leave a few pieces on the counter to enjoy now. I still haven’t finished them all.

The day before that post I had made another post about all of the sweets that I was surrounded with.

In 2006, all of those TJ’s candy packages would’ve been long emptied and discarded. The Melty Kisses and most of those kit kats would’ve been gone too. The kitkats and Melty Kisses probably wouldn’t have made it to that photo shoot even.

But it isn’t 2006.

In 2010, I did eat a few more pieces of TJ’s candy, but all three of those partially eaten bags of candy are still in my desk drawer at work. There’s been so much food around, I haven’t been the least bit tempted to go back to them since that post. The Melty Kisses that I claimed wouldn’t make it to Christmas are still here. I didn’t eat another one after taking those pictures. I think I may’ve eaten ONE kitkat, but I think it was from the previous batch Maya had brought back in June.

That’s right. In 2006, there wouldn’t have been any kitkats from June to eat in December.

When I ran the Christmas Classic 5K on the 19th (recap is coming…waiting for my official time….it’s still not posted!! Grr!), they gave us Double Rainbow ice cream after the race and there were 4 See’s Truffles in our goodie bags.

If it were 2006, I would’ve eaten the ice cream AND all four truffles on the walk back home from the 5K.

Who am I kidding?  I wouldn’t have been RUNNING a 5K in 2006. Period!

9 days later and I still haven’t eaten the candy.

In addition, my Mom gave me a box of See’s in my Christmas stocking, as she always does. That would’ve easily been half gone by this point if it were 2006.

My See’s box is still in its plastic wrapping. The Swiss Miss and Kashi Cookies are unopened too.

So what does that all mean?

I’ve spent an amazing amount of time this year beating myself up because I put on 15+ pounds. Because there were some moments where I overindulged. A few times where I even ate an entire box of cookies or an entire pint of ice cream in one day. By myself. Are any of those things good? Of course not! But it’s life. Sometimes we do those things that are not good for us.

And after we’ve done them, it’s time to move on and look at the bigger picture.

I have come a long way, and while there still are bumps in the road, I feel good about all of the changes that have stuck.

Another fact:

In 2006, I would’ve been too ashamed to write this post. To tell you all about how I used to binge behind closed doors on chocolate and snacks.

Not in 2010. I’m not willing to waste one ounce of shame this holiday season on what has already been done. I suggest you not waste any either.

What changes have you made that have stuck?

Having sort of a dilemma.

I’m supposed to be running the Christmas Classic 5K on Sunday morning in Golden Gate Park.


Running this race would be difficult in the first place, given I haven’t been running much. That 5K distance is feeling mighty long lately. However, regardless of how much I’ve trained, I know I can always get through 3.1 miles. Maybe not as fast as I want to, but I can get through it.

So where’s the problem?

Here is the problem:



It’s supposed to rain on Sunday.

It’s actually supposed to rain everyday until December 26th. Maybe it’s supposed to rain after that too, but the weather channel only has a 10 day projection.

Normally I wouldn’t mind running in the rain. I even stopped by the Sports Authority and picked up a Nike track jacket that was on sale, as well as a dri-fit cap to wear, so I’ll be dressed in a way to better fit the weather than I was when I ran “Run Wild for a Child” (which I will post about soon).  The problem is that for the last 4 days I’ve been teetering on the edge of illness. I had a horrible headache for both of my days off, then yesterday and today I’ve had a scratchy throat. I’ve been drinking lots of tea and other than these two symptoms, I’ve been feeling a-okay. I’m concerned, however, that if I go out an run 5K in a cold, windy storm, I will get a full blown cold or flu.

Few things are worse than having a cold or flu during the holidays, so I’d like to refrain if possible.

I guess I’ll just see if the scratchy throat goes away by Sunday and decide then. I’d really hate to waste my $25 though. Well, I mean, the money would still go to a good cause….but you know what I mean.


Speaking of good causes, a couple of weeks ago I participated in Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s Holiday Bake Sale to raise money for the  Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I was lucky enough to win an awesome batch of Peppermint Mocha Fudge!


The fudge was made by Tina from Faith Fitness Fun

Tina sent me a HUGE batch of fudge…seriously, she sent twice as much as was on this plate! I put out this plate in the office kitchen (hence the plate with the chip…slim pickings for dishes in this place…) earlier and it’s almost half gone! People are digging it big time!

I kept the other half for me, but I plan on freezing most of it to enjoy at a later date. It happens to be a little too delicious for me to keep out in the open right now…

In order to distract myself from all of the goodies in the office, I’m enjoying this beauty.


Yum…grapefruit! Nature’s fudge…er…okay…not really…

Have you ever run a race in the rain? Was it horrible?

I spent a lot of time in my kitchen today.

First, I had to make breakfast. Admittedly, my choice today required very little effort.

I went with a Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel with a serving of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread. I also had coffee. I must tell you guys that I think TJ’s bagels are really disappointing. I mean, they’re okay, but I like my bagel to be a bit more doughy…more chewy. While they have the bagel taste, these sort of have the texture of a really thick piece of toast. I’m not a fan.

My breakfast was a non event because I just needed something to fuel me on my run. I did an easy 2.5 miles. After reading Sarah talk about RunKeeper’s pace coach, I decided to give that a try. Big mistake. Sarah is right…when you fall short, that lady’s voice gets MEAN!

I mean, really. I feel like I’m in middle school gym class with that chick speaking down to me like that.

I think I’d rather just suck, speed wise, without the commentary.

After I came home I realized I had a problem. My new CSA box was coming and I still had not finished the produce from the last box. Fail. I had a pretty eat out intensive week last week and I just couldn’t get through everything. Regardless of my recent eating habits, I needed to make room in the fridge, so I took to cooking up some of my leftovers.

First I made more of Amanda’s dish. I had no onions, but I had apples and cabbage. I know. I made this three times in the last 2 weeks. What can I say? It was a winner and I am a creature of habit. When something tastes good, I stick with it!

Once the apples and cabbage were cooked up, I served up a bowl, topped with a fried egg. Then I checked the fridge to see what else had to go. Pumpkin. This canned pumpkin had been open for quite some time…I was concerned that it might’ve gone bad, but it seemed to taste and smell okay.’s edible…but what to do with it?

At that exact moment, Heather at Hangry Pants posted this recipe for box mix brownies with a pumpkin substitute. Nice. I didn’t have a box of brownie mix on hand, but since I needed to go to Walgreens anyway, I decided to check if they had any.

They had the exact same box that Heather used.

The batter tasted pretty fantastic.

Not that I’m some fat kid who eats brownie batter.

(Yeah, I’m totally some fat kid who eats batter)

I still don’t have a baking dish, so I made the brownies in a muffin pan.

Pretty darned tasty. Yay pumpkin!

Okay. Back to the fridge. Time is running out, as my CSA box is supposed to be arriving at any minute. What’s left? String beans. I felt pretty badly that I had not eaten these earlier, but luckily, they were still salvageable. That’s one thing I really like about CSA produce–it lasts much longer than stuff you get at the supermarket.

I didn’t have some amazing recipe thought up for these guys, so I ended up roasting them with some olive oil and garlic. I wound up having some of these mixed in with some microwaveable Trader Joe’s macaroni and cheese. I would’ve made whole wheat pasta myself, but, well, let’s face it–I wanted mac and cheese!

Do not be deceived, no matter how this looks, it tasted wonderful!

I still have one more recipe I might crank out tonight before bed, but I’m afraid you’ll have to read about it another day. I’m too busy watching the end of this NLCS game. Come on Giants! Why does it always have to feel like torture?!

What’re your favorite dishes to make when you need to use up produce?

Yesterday was a very long day. 14.5 hours on the clock kind of sucks, but sometimes, that’s just the way work rolls. I reminded myself that I had an entire three days off coming my way whenever I felt myself start to get whiny. Once I got home I brushed my teeth, threw on my pajamas and got ready for a nice sleep in.

Then I woke up at 6:30am. Fail.

When it became obvious that I wasn’t going back to sleep, I had some breakfast and coffee, figuring I’d eat and then head to the gym. The plan was to drop my stuff off at my gym’s locker room, grab a runner’s stamp and then do the 5K loop down to AT&T Park. It was a good plan, except that I couldn’t get myself to get up off my futon and go. I may’ve not been sleeping, but I also had no interest in moving. By 10:30am, I realized that I couldn’t go run the Embarcadero as planned. I had waited too long to leave. Since the 3rd game of the NLCS would be starting at AT&T at 1pm, fans would already be swarming.

Alexa doesn’t like crowds.

As I rolled around, whingeing at the thought of working out, I started day dreaming about something magical. Mitchell’s Ice Cream. But no. I was supposed to be working out, not pigging out. Just as I was about to return to my procrastination, an idea crossed my brain. A brilliant idea.

Sure, you can have ice cream, Alexa. You just have to run for it.

So I set out on the 2.5 miles to Mitchell’s. I felt pretty good today and the first 2 miles went easy. I seriously haven’t been so strong mentally on a run in several weeks, so this felt great. After about 2 miles though, I started to wear down. I decided to stop in at a corner store for a bottle of water. I downed about half of it and resumed my run. The water made a huge difference and I started to instinctively run faster, and I got my strong feeling back. It made me think that I have not been getting enough water lately. I struggle with water consumption. Not sure why…I like water.

Finally, at the 2.5 mile point, I see it:

Now first, I must tell you. I love Mitchell’s Ice Cream. One thing that really bugs me about San Francisco is how “hipster” it has become. All of my favorite Mom & Pop places are slowly going under because they can’t afford the rent. Then they are replaced by sleek, modern places that have no heart. Mitchell’s, however, has lots of heart. It’s located in the Mission and has been there for over 50 years. Even today, it is still family owned and operated. Their ice cream has won tons of awards and the place gets so busy that you literally have to take a number to get served on a hot day.

Mitchell’s also holds a special place in my heart because it was a place that my family would go together. Though we lived in the Mission, Mitchell’s wasn’t an all of the time thing. It was special. Just a few times a year my family would head in for a sundae or cone. My father would tell me about how he used to come here when he was kid too. He used to only live a few blocks away on Army  (now Caesar Chavez) Street growing up. Mitchell’s is tradition.

A damn tasty tradition.

There are many flavors available at Mitchell’s:

But let’s be serious, there’s only reason why I am there:

Oh. My. God. It’s here!!

I would’ve run a million miles for this ice cream cone. Pumpkin is a seasonal flavor and Mitchell’s pumpkin ice cream is literally my favorite ice cream in the entire world. Some people wait for Mitchell’s egg nog (the holiday drink…though they make the ice cream flavor as well), others wait for the Peppermint Candy. Alexa waits for the pumpkin.

Seriously. When all of you Food Buzz people come to San Francisco, do yourselves a huge favor and check out Mitchell’s. You will not regret it. You will look happy like this:

Except, you know, without the sweat or iphone case blue glare….

Before I leave you, I just want to give a shout out to my San Francisco Giants. I love you guys. Even if watching you play is pure torture. Kick the Phillies’ butts!

Lifelong fan here! Another San Francisco family tradition! Humm Baby!

What food would you run for?

Work was tough today. Mentally, that is. All day I dreamt of a trip to one of my favorite dessert spots:


Normally, I hit up Loving Cup for the rice pudding…they have five different flavors everyday:


The first flavor I ever had was Cookies n’ Cream:


But today, I wasn’t interested in rice pudding. I needed FroYo. Stat.

At Loving Cup, you pick a base flavor, and then they actually blend in whatever you want. Kind of like the Cold Stone of FroYo:


Today, I got a chocolate base with raspberries blended in. Topped with just a tiny bit of granola:


It was fabulous.

Then I was ready to tackle my CSA box haul. I decided to make an “Eggplant Burrito”. Often times when I get a lot of produce, I prep it (clean, chop, etc.) ahead of time, so as the week goes on, I can easily grab a handful of this, or a handful of that. It makes me less likely to say, “Eh, cooking is too much work…let’s have pizza!” So while I got everything ready for dinner, I decided to chop up all of my bell peppers and one onion and one eggplant for usage this week:

peppers.jpg onions.jpg


After the chopping was done, it was time to make my burrito filling. I started by sauteing garlic and onions in some extra virgin olive oil. Then I added the bell peppers:


Then I added the eggplant and let it cook. Once it was almost ready, I added liberal dashes of chili powder and cumin:


Then I grabbed a Flat Out wrap, topped it with a handful of spinach and half of the eggplant–the rest is for lunch tomorrow. Then I made it even more awesome by adding a dollop of Fage greek yogurt, 1/4 of an avocado, 1 small chopped heirloom tomato and a sprinkling of mexican blend shredded cheese. The tomato was the BEST tomato I have EVER tasted in my entire life. It was perfect. Such flavor. Such sweetness. I want to marry it and have its babies:


Sorry. I was casting a shadow, but trust, me, it looked awesome.

And it tasted awesome, as just after this shot, I rolled it up and consumed it in about 30 seconds. Tasty!

Now I’m off to geek out with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Happy Saturday night!