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Archive: June 2008

Bum Ankle

When Kev’s BIL and his family were here last weekend we played a little pool volleyball. Kevin and I were set up in the deep end for most of the day, which makes getting to the ball a little difficult sometimes. I went too far back when I was reaching for a shot, and I ended up not only cracking my ankle on the wall, but also bending my foot back at a highly unnatural angle. I’m 99.999% sure I gave myself a hairline fracture. I heard it crack, so I feel fairly confident about it.

I’ve kept it wrapped, but I’ve also been doing about an hour a day on the treadmill. It’s been swollen and a little bruised, but other than that, I ignore it most of the time. That is, until the end of the day. By the end of the day it hurts. A lot. By the time I get up in the morning, though, the swelling has always gone down since it’s been elevated, so I forget about it until I do something stupid, like put my full weight on it.

When I got off the treadmill today, I sat down to pull off my socks and shoes. I wasn’t paying any attention, and whoops, I yanked my foot at the wrong angle. OUCH. If it doesn’t start to get better soon, I may have to break my rule and actually go to the doctor. Damn it.

Star Wars Weekend

We headed over to Hollywood Studios today for a little geek-fest at Star Wars Weekend. Yes, we got our pictures taken with Darth Vader, and we even got an up-close sneak preview of “The Clone Wars”. Now, Star Wars is okay and all, and I liked (most of) the movies, but I’m not an all-out, die-hard, dress-up-in-hot-costumes-in-90-degree-heat super fan. But, oh boy, there sure were a lot of super fans there. I think Kevin had a really good time taking pictures of all the different characters (yes, Josh, even Boba Fett), and we both got a kick out of the obscene amount of Star Wars merchandise. I even got in on that a little, since they had special edition R2-D2s with pink accents (they’re part of a Make-A-Wish….well, wish).

We didn’t dedicate our entire day to the Nerdery, however. Even though we have annual passes, and even though we’ve lived here for QUITE a while, we had never ridden the Rock-N-Rollercoaster. Until today. HOLLA! Hands-down the best ride at any of the parks. In fact, I dragged Kevin on it twice. I want to go again right now. We skipped Toy Story Mania today, though, as we had already spent 8 hours at the park, and it was time to get home and tend to the dogs. I’m quite sure that we’ll both have pictures up before the end of the weekend, though, so you can share in our geekiness!

Loving The Yoga

I could seriously spend hours a day doing yoga. I’m 9 kinds of sore, but I feel so stretched out, and for the first time in I can’t remember, I don’t have any back pain (other than the muscle soreness that comes from doing yoga poses that my body isn’t used to). My posture’s way better, and I’ve noticed myself straightening my shoulders when they start to slump. I’m definitely keeping my back straighter, which I think is contributing to no more back pain. Well, that, and obscene repetition of spinal twists (how can something so uncomfortable feel so good?).

What started with the Wii Fit has carried over into full-on yoga. I’m now doing all kinds of poses, and I find myself being able to hold them a lot longer than I could have imagined. Hooray yoga!

Wii Fit: Week 3

We’ve had the Wii Fit for exactly 3 weeks, and I have to admit that it really is doing its job. I can’t say that it’s a miracle, but to borrow a phrase from “Knocked Up”, I’m definitey “tighter”. Now, I’m not giving up my treadmill, but the thing that I’ve found the Wii Fit is really good for is stretching and balance. The yoga is really great; I’m definitely more stretchy than I’ve ever been. Seriously. My flexibility is so much better than it was 3 weeks ago. I’ve also found that I feel a lot better if I start my day with yoga—even before breakfast. The balance games have helped, too. I’m probably the least graceful person I know, and I’ve never been all that coordinated, but I’ve found that I’m a lot more stable now that I’m forced to be aware of my center of balance every day. Plus, I’ve noticed that if you really get into some of the balance games, they’re an awful lot like squats and/or lunges, but they’re so cleverly disguised that you don’t really notice it.

I find some of the strength training useful, but I didn’t need the Wii balance board to do push-ups. The aerobics aren’t so much aerobic (with the possible exception of rhythm boxing; done on expert for 30 minutes, and you’ll probably break a sweat), but they’re all good for your core. And at the end of the day, the whole reason I wanted the Wii Fit was so I could concentrate on my core. I think that Big Kev’s Heart Attack Eating Plan, the treadmill, and the Wii Fit have certainly helped change things around these parts, and I think it’s safe to say that 1) by the holidays I’ll be smokin’ hot and 2) we’re both certainly healthier than we’ve ever been, and the Wii Fit helps keep me motivated. I give my Wii Fit 5 stars.

More Hungry Girl Recipes

Last night I made the Peanut Butter and Chocolate fudge from the Hungry Girl book. What Kevin didn’t know until after he tried it and declared it “pretty good!” was that it has two cups of pumpkin in it. Kevin detests pumpkin. He won’t even look at it. I waited a good few minutes before I showed him the recipe, though, and aside from his usual “Yuck!”, he still had to admit that it was awfully tasty. It’s even better today. It’s made with brownie mix and a can of pumpkin, and that’s it. The end result is a very dense brownie texture; not quite traditional fudge, but certainly not cake-like. The only thing I would add is just a little bit of Splenda; the pumpkin detracts from the sweetness of the brownie mix, and I like my sweets SWEET.

For lunch today I made the Butternut Squash Fries, and I ended up eating the whole damn squash. These are seriously addictive. I tossed them with salt and pepper, and they tasted like the best crispy fries I’ve ever had. And I don’t even feel guilty that I ate the whole squash, because, hey, it’s squash, and it ended up being my entire lunch.

I’ve got a couple more HG recipes on the books for this week, but I think it’s safe to say that more than a few of her creations will be making it into the regular rotation here at Chez Donahue. All in all, I’m really enjoying the book, but more than that, I’m really glad that somebody else already did all the experimenting so I didn’t have to!

Twin Addictions

My name is Merrin and I’m a French Onion Soup-a-holic. I don’t care that it’s 90 degrees outside. I’ve made HUGE batches of the Cook’s Illustrated recipe at LEAST twice a month since it was published in the Jan/Feb ’08 issue (which, by the way, is the best issue they’ve ever put out, since I make every single recipe in there pretty consistently). The one problem with this is the fact that it takes no less than 3 hours to make, and the house smells so frickin’ good that it’s torture waiting for it to be ready.

The only thing getting me through the endless waiting is finally catching up on my second addiction: season two of The Tudors. Sure, it’s filled with some historical inaccuracies, but damn, this show is addictive. Plus, I get to feel a little redeemed that I’m not just watching reality TV (side note: when does Big Brother start again?).

Sad Sad Day

I’m watching CNN waiting for Hillary to officially endorse Obama. I know that Kevin is jumping for joy, but I am really sad about it. I sincerely hope I see her on the campaign trail again in 2012.

I Stand Corrected

When we first got the Wii Fit, I was convinced that you couldn’t get a real workout from using it. Sure, the yoga is great for stretching, and the strength exercises will kick your ass, but a REAL workout? I was a non-believer. Until today.

From the beginning, I was pretty good at the soccer ball dodge. I wasn’t great, but I was decent. Today I was bound and determined to get better at it, so, after my 15 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of aerobics, I attacked it. For TWO hours. I finally got 3 perfect scores in a row (perfect on the beginner level, anyway). 555 beautiful points. Naturally, I figured I could do the same on the advanced level. Yeah, not so much. The best I could do was 607, and my feet, my calves, by hips, my abs, and my butt are screaming at me.

So yeah. You can get a real workout on the Wii. You just have to stick with it for a couple of hours. It’s not crazy cardio (that’s what the treadmill and the pool are for), but for a core workout, it certainly does its job.

And just in case you’re wondering, we had fat-free chili dogs for dinner, and I made the Hungry Girl recipe for 2 Good Twice Baked Potatoes (scroll down a bit; it’s in the middle of the page). They were delicious. I could eat one of those babies every day.

More Food Talk

I’ve become a little healthy-food-obsessed lately, and it’s really the only thing on my mind (well, food, and the fact that I ROCK at Guitar Hero and I LOVE my Wii Fit). Since I’ve been trying to work even more fish into our diets, I’ve been playing around with six or seven recipes for salmon (Kevin needs more Omega 3’s, and I already do tilapia forty thousand different ways), and tonight I hit a home run.

I think we’ve both gotten tired of the usual Asian-inspired marinades, but the problem is that Kevin is pretty picky when it comes to new stuff, so I usually have to sneak it in on him, let him eat it, and THEN tell him what he ate. Tonight, I tried a honey-mustard glazed salmon topped with a pecan crust, and it was DELICIOUS. I don’t usually like honey-mustard (I’m not a big fan of Dijon), but it was so subtle that it totally worked. This is definitely going into our regular salmon rotation. I took a recipe I found online and made it a whole lot healthier, but you’d never know it. Plus, it was super easy and ready in under 30 minutes. Now that’s a keeper.

Do You Tofu?

In our never-ending quest to eat even healthier than we already do, I’ve decided to be the guinea pig in the family for some new recipes. Today I tried a Hungry Girl recipe that called for Tofu Shirataki noodles. It was her spin on fettuccine alfredo, and I have to say, the sauce was rockin’, and was better than most alfredo sauces you get in any restaurant, plus it took literally one minute to make. The noodles were…..interesting. I’m a texture kind of girl; I’ll try anything, and almost every one of the foods I don’t like has everything to do with texture and not with taste. The best way I can describe these noodles is a calamari texture with absolutely no taste.

I’ve known for a while that I don’t like tofu; again, the texture (both the firm variety and the silky variety) is a HUGE turn-off for me. If I HAD to cut out pasta from my diet, then these noodles would definitely fill the bill. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with the whole wheat pastas from Ronzoni. But I’ll make sure to use the Hungry Girl sauce recipe (which, by the way, has next to no calories and is super low-fat).


Is knowing you have to take your best friend to the airport in the morning. Happiness, however, is the fact that she got to spend 5 days with us here in O-town. And, of course, love is a husband who will fly her in for your birthday.

Thanks, Kev, for surprising me on my birthday with the best present of all. And thanks, Camille, for leaving your family for a little while to hang out here with us. I love you both so much, and I’m so lucky to have you in my life!




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