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No Staples Week begins, will we survive?

Posted Sep 28 2010 9:51pm

Throwing yourself on top of your futon mattress and passing out at 1 a.m. only for your body to yell “wake up” at 7:30 the next morning does not make a happy Maria. No indeed.

I think I have finally got myself used to waking up regularly at a decent hour. I don’t even want to sleep in on the weekends anymore. What’s wrong with me?

After losing the fight to go back to sleep, I padded barefoot downstairs to our tiny kitchen and whipped up a batch of pancakes using Blendy . (Just a note: making pancake batter in a blender is so much easier than using bowls.)


Looks like someone was trying to flirt with my husband. :wink: I made him some special chocolate chocolate-chip “I love you” pancakes, after seeing Sheila do this for her husband. J loved the idea and was surprised.


Banana-cinnamon pancakes were created for myself. My pancakes never end up looking as good as J’s because I make mine first and they become the “testers” to see if my pan is warm enough and well-greased enough.

I topped the cakes with some extra bananas, cinnamon, honey, and plain yogurt. I would have never thought to use plain yogurt as a pancake topper, but I’m glad some of you fantastic bloggers have shown me the light. Dee-lish.  

The two, smaller whole wheat pancakes didn’t quite fill my tummy up. I had a small bowl of chocolate cereal and granola on the side.


A few hours later, after hanging around the apartment way too long, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and lace up my running shoes for a 3-miler.

I had to plan a new route through town for today. I usually run from my apartment to the city park (it’s exactly one mile), then run however many other miles I want around the park before walking the mile back home as a good cool down. The road to the park has been closed all week due to road work, though, and I’m tired of running around  and trying to find my way there using roads with mountainous hills.


Using , I planned out this 1.5 mile run that took me through the streets of our small town. There and back was exactly 3 miles.

I was astounded when I got to our local train station (the 1 mile marker) and hit the lap button on my iPhone. A 7:29 mile? There was no way.

My splits ended up looking like this:

  • 7:29.9
  • 8:47.5 (Whew! It was a lot of hills.)
  • 7:38.6

It’s hard to believe it, but if this had been a 5k, I would have ended up with a sub-24:30 time. A year sure does change a lot. When I ran my 5K just last October my time was 32:03. I’m happy to see I’m improving.

Post-run, and super-duper sweaty, I realized this is why I’m hot:


No reason to be jealous ladies and gents. :grin: But, you can be jealous of me earning my first 3 miles for Pile On The Miles .

Snacked on a small plate of grapes while I waited on the husband to finish cleaning up the apartment so we could head out for lunch.


If you’ve been reading Chasing The Now for more than a week or two, it won’t come as any surprise to you where J chose to have lunch. He made it a point today to let me know that he loves Mos Burger and “really, Maria, we haven’t ate there in a while.” Okay, okay, you win with the sad face… you can stop that now.

So Mos Burger it was. I like this fast-food chain well enough, but at the end of the day it’s just a burger chain (nothing amazing) and not healthy enough that I feel happy and comfortable eating it on a weekly basisits one of those foods that is okay in moderation. J, however, would probably eat it 2-3 times a week if the choice was completely in his hands.


I usually order a hamburger and fries, but in celebration of No Staples Week, decided to switch the usual out for some chicken nuggets.

What’s in the bags?



I was actually surprised by how good this chicken tasted. It was breaded, and probably deep-fried, unfortunately, but the meat was juicy and tender and the nugget itself wasn’t greasy at all. Who needs a hamburger
when you’ve got such glorious nuggets and honey mustard?


J had his typical double cheeseburger x 2. Mos Burgers, and burgers in Japan in general, are just so tiny. I don’t feel totally satisfied.

A trip to the grocery store was necessary after lunch, and we lucked out and made it back home in time right before the rain started this evening. I was super glad for that. Biking in the rain with a ton of groceries=no fun at all.


I had two of my peanut butter cookies as a snack when all the groceries had been put away.

As per my November goals post this morning, today kicks off the beginning of No Staples Week, an entire week devoted to trying new dishes for dinner. The only rule for this special week is this: anything made for dinner must be a recipe we have either never tried or do not eat on a regular basis (tacos, spaghetti, quesadillas, vegetable soup, regular pizza… they’re all off limits this week).

J looked at me like I had four heads when I brought this idea up. He’s a big fan of the things he likes and not the most adventurous person I know in the food department. He agreed to give the week his best shot, though, so we’ll see how it goes.

This could be really bad guys, or it could be great and we I could learn to cook some new dishes. Please, please let it be the later.

So, first up to the plate (har-de-har-har) was a recipe I found on Whole Foods’ Web site for Pizza Wheels . While we do eat our fair share of pizza, as it stands, this is a new take on the classic that J was actually excited to give a shot. Anytime J is excited to give a new recipe a try, well… we’re gonna try it!

As you can see, they didn’t turn out nearly as well as I had hoped… and mine fared WAY better than the husband’s this time. I know where I went wrong with the recipe, though, and I’m hoping to give them another shot. Maybe next week?

If you try making this recipe make sure you don’t go too heavy on the sauce and cheese. It makes rolling the dough next to impossible.

Oh hey! Look who got a haircut today.

J’s hair has been getting a tad on the long side lately, so I sent him off to the barber. He said he was thinking of going “shorter” and came home with this do:

100_3888 100_3889

Here’s what his old hairstyle looked like before today’s chop-chop:

9.21.09 foodJ 002

I’m a fan of the new style. I think it makes him look younger and more handsome. He’s undecided. Any opinions? :)

I’m so happy to be able to say that I finally made an order on The Flying Pig . It’s a CostCo run Web site that delivers to Japanese addresses. Unfortunately there’s not a CostCo within two hours of our apartment and dragging home a bunch of bulk purchased items on the train and our bikes would be beyond inconvenient. I’d much rather order online and I’ll happily pay the 998 Yen to have my items delivered, thank you very much.

Our food goodies should be here Friday and I can’t wait. There was definitely some items purchased that I’ve been missing out on.

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