Friday, January 29, 2010

The Obelisk

Sorry I've been MIA this week- school got in the way. :( Thankfully, I now know what classes I'm going to take next year! I'm really excited for my english classes; I'm taking first semester Creative Writing and second semester Eastern Humanities. To get into Writing, you need to submit a short essay to the teachers. Just to make sure you can, uh, write. The prompt is to write about an important place, so I wrote about "the obelisk". I know y'all want an explanation, so here it is:

First off, this is an obelisk...My obelisk isn't in Egypt, though. It's at a forest preserve. Yes, smack-dab in the middle of the forest. The preserve is very confusing, ya know, with different colored paths and stuff. I've gotten lost many times while running. But the obelisk always signifies that the run is almost over. It's worked for XC races, long runs, etc. Whenever I'm on this trail, the obelisk is my BFF. It's like it says "Yay! Go Courtney! You can do it! Just a little bit more!" And it's nice. :) So yes, the random obelisk in the forest is my "special place". Thankfully, the rest of my running buddies feel the same way about it, so I'm not totally crazy. =D

<33 cor

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Banana chocolate cake? Yes please!

I woke up this morning at, get this, 11:15!!! A new record for me! I love early mornings, but I've been having trouble beating this bug, so the extra sleep probably helped me. =) My parents and I went on a lovely shopping trip, where I bought a dress for my, say it with me, "tea pah-ty" next weekend. It's for the presentation ball this upcoming December, which I'm really excited about! I love dressing up. Just FYI, buying a dress when you're short is super hard!! All you tall chicas- you're lucky!

Later, we went to California Pizza Kitchen, where I had a yummy slice of sourdough bread- CPK has the best bread! Then I ordered the field green salad. It had lettuce, slices pears, candied walnuts, and a dijon vinagrette. I ordered mine topped with grilled salmon. It was delicious!

This was much needed- banana royale cake. So. So. Good.
And then we went to see Avatar! No, not this one...

That's more like it. It definately lived up to all the hype- it was great! I can't really think of anyone who wouldn't like this movie, as it has something for everyone. I personally liked the jellyfish bugs. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go see the movie. Right now. =D

Overall, it was a very nice, relaxing day with the fam. Luv em. The new outfit didn't hurt, either. =D

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Greek Week!

Hello everyone! I don't have very much to say, actually. :/ I havn't been feeling good today, must be some sort of bug. I've already had the flu (yes both types) this season, and I'm pretty sure it's not that. Anyway, the entire day I've been craving popcorn with chocolate chips. Does anyone else like this? I think the saltiness of the popcorn goes great with the sweet, slightly bitter chips. Yummy! I popped some Orville Redenbacher's Natural popcorn, liberally doused it in salt, then added some Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips. The key is the mix in the chips while the popcorn is still hot, so the chocolate gets just a bit melty. It's incredible. If you've never tried it, please do!! Seriously- it's so good!

I've also enjoyed lots of yogurt. Which is a good catalyst for this "review-off". Oikos vs. Chobani. I tried the vanilla flavors of both brands, and here is my take on which one is better.
Let's start with Chobani:

Price: $1.69, pretty typical for Greek yogurt
Nutrition: 120 calories/6 ounces, 36% DV protein
Ingredients: Nonfat milk, evaporated cane juice, natural vanilla flavor, cultures
Taste: Very creamy, not as tangy as most yogurts. The vanilla flavor comes through, but is not too strong. A good balance.
Stirability: When it's separated (liquid on top, solid on the bottom), it can be difficult to re-stir it. However, this rarely happens, and normally it is smooth and creamy.

And Oikos:

Price: $2.09, but is often on sale

Nutrition: 110 calories/5.3 ounces, 30% DV of protein

Ingredients: Organic nonfat milk, organic sugar, organic vanilla flavor, cultures

Taste: Much tangier than Oikos, with not as strong of a vanilla flavor.

Stirability: Separates often, but stirring it will solve the problem. Not as creamy as Chobani

So the winner? It's obvious- with a better value, more protein, better flavor, and better consistency, CHOBANI! =D

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wordy Post =)

I figured out how to get on Blogger from school! Yay! I feel so dangerous right now... ;) Anyhoo, 2nd semester started today, and I still need to get some scheduling issues figured out. =( I guess they don't offer any art classes 1st period except for photography (I like taking pictures, but I don't want to take a class on taking pictures). So I have to take another study hall. Ugh.

I wrote an essay for school about why we eat meat. It's for English class, so it's more opinionated than informational, but maybe y'all would like to read it! I still need a title... opinions/critique are most definately welcome. Here goes...

My Essay

Why do we eat meat? It’s something we’ve all considered, or at least wondered, whether we’re high-raw vegans or frequent diners at Outback Steakhouse. I’m not going to try to convince you to stop eating meat; I eat it too. But why? If all the livestock suddenly disappeared from the earth, would we survive? Of course we would! This is the 21st century and in America, food is everywhere. In impoverished nations where meat is the food source, there is just cause to eat it. The entire reason we started eating meat in the first place was its accessibility. But now, all food has nutrition labels, everyone has their own preferences, and if you want something specific, chances are good you can easily find it at the grocery store.
If you were given the choice between a steak and a block of tofu, you would probably pick the steak. It’s been scientifically proven that our flavor preferences are more or less determined in childhood. If Mom used to give you a chocolate-chip cookie after you cleaned your room, then you probably like chocolate-chip cookies. If you always got a peanut butter sandwich on Wonder bread in your lunch bag, it’s no wonder you think wheat bread tastes like cardboard. Likewise, the foods you dislike are decided during childhood, too. I, for one, cannot drink fruit punch because I saw another child vomit it up at a birthday party when I was three years old. I know somebody who dislikes macaroni and cheese (the epitome of kid food) also because of a bad childhood experience. And I bet you’ve seen the baby food commercials which claim that babies who eat vegetables will continue to eat them as they grow up. The same is true with meat. We tend to make choices based on what we know, and what we know we will like. A child growing up in a vegetarian household will develop a taste for tofu just as one in a meat-eating family develops a taste for steak. The vegetarian child never craves steak, nor does the meat-eating child crave tofu.
But if we develop our flavor preferences during childhood, why is meat such a prominent part of our diets? Because it has a healthy reputation. We all need protein for our bodies to function properly. But how much do we really need? The USDA’s food pyramid states that we should eat approximately five ounces of meat per day, which is about the size and thickness of two decks of cards. Do we even need this much? Some theorize that the five-ounce recommendation was developed by meat processing companies to encourage sales. But even with this recommendation, have you ever seen a five ounce steak on a restaurant menu? Me neither. Portion sizes are out of control, and no matter what the food pyramid says, it is incredibly difficult to estimate exactly how much meat you’re eating. Even if you eat six ounces of protein per day instead of the recommended five, you’ll end up eating twenty-three pounds more per year than you (supposedly) need. Not only can too much protein be unhealthy, so can too much fat. Unsaturated fat is good for you, while saturated and trans fats are not. Saturated fat comes from animal flesh. When you eat it, it is digested to become fat on your body. Even if you purchase the leanest cut of meat, it still has some degree of saturated fat in it. However, foods like yogurt, nuts, and beans can all be purchased with no saturated fat. And these foods often contain healthy unsaturated fats, plus vitamins and minerals that meat lacks. Meat does, of course, have some nutrients in it, like iron, but so do beans, eggs, and leafy green vegetables. So, all things considered, why do we continue to eat meat if there are more nutritious alternatives available?

And that's it. =)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Treadmill = Ouch!

Hello! I've got a good story for y'all today. So last night, I was showing my sister how to use the treadmill. I got on it, then tripped and fell. Bad enough, but I decided that maybe I could pull myself back up, so I held onto the handrails while the treadmill was still moving under me! It scraped up both my legs pretty bad, and it really hurt! Note to self: Don't overestimate upper body strength. :/ Anyway, this is how I've been feeling all day.

Some yummy eats today include cucumber bits + hummus

Cedar's Garlic Lovers' Hummus:
I love garlic hummus. Hence, I'm probably a "garlic lover". This hummus was good, but the garlic flavor was light and a bit artificial-tasting. It was definately very creamy, with no chunks of anything in iy. I prefer Sabra's garlic hummus, which has herbs and spices at the top that you stir into the hummus before you eat it. The final rating? 2.5/5 stars

And some of this frozen yogurt... I'm hurt, so it's ok. ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Why hello sweet bloggies =) Happy Sunday! It's been a relaxing weekend in the RFTH household, including a refreshing workout in my new shoes. Which fit very very nicely! I didn't have any arch pain, which is incredible for a shoe as light as this one. Here's the link if you want to purchase a pair for yourself- I highly recommend them for cross-training and racing. Plus they come in lots of fun colors!

Here's my workout:

5 mins treadmill- mini ladder workout
1 min- 9 minute mile
1 min- 8 minute mile
1 min- 7 minute mile
1 min- 8 minute mile
1 min- 9 minute mile
30 mins elliptical
Crossramp level 10
Resistance level 6

Want a recipe? Really, you do? Well, if you insist... =)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I used 60% cacao)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter, sugar, and egg in a large bowl. Add salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and flour. Stir, then add oats and chocolate.

3. Scoop the dough into 2-inch-wide balls on the cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Car Faces?

Hi! Thanks to finals, we had a day off school today. My Mom and I took the oppurtunity to practice my driving by driving to the outlet mall. It was scary!

Am I the only one who notices happy car faces? The headlights are the eyes, and the front part is the mouth. Like, this is an angry car face:

And this is a happy car face:

At the mall, I bought some chocolate chips at the Ghirardelli outlet. Only $2.50 a bag!

We also stopped at the Nike store. I looked for some racing shoes, due to my dislike of track spikes. They have no arch support, so they make my feet hurt reeeeally bad. I know they're supposed to make you go faster, but if I'm dying of foot pain, the lightness of the shoes doesn't matter! Plus, they remind me of these. So here's that I found! They're super lightweight and have a nice, stable sole. I'm planning on wearing them for track meets and races, but hey, they're cute enough to wear every day! I absolutely love the color.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Finals are over!

I feel so relaxed now- the tests are taken, the grades are in, and there's nothing I can do about it now. I didn't do as well as I had hoped =(, but I'm trying to look on the bright side and remind myself that I still have a whole other semester to get my grades up. After my last test (French, it was pretty hard!), I ran home. I live about 4 miles from my school, so this was a perfect route. I haven't run by myself in forever, and this felt pretty good. No music, no conversations, just me. It was a great way to decompress after a week of tests. I'll need to remember this for next semster!

Here's a recipe for you, in celebration of the end of finals...

Fudgy Brownies:

3 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate for 30 seconds in the mcirowave. You can use a double boiler if you're so inclined. Stir, then microwave it again until it is just melted. Add the sugar, and let the mixture cool slightly.

3. Stir in the eggs, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread the batter into the pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Haha get it?? Tachy = tachycardia = fast heart rate? I like this thing. =)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Courtney the Neurologist?

Guess what?? Guess what?? Actually... you'll never guess.


I *might*, emphasis on the *might*, be going to neurology summer camp! (In case you haven't yet realized, I'm kind of a nerd...) You see, I want to be a nurse or a doctor, so when I got a brochure for this "educational camp" and saw that they had a neurology program, I was super happy! It said you get to learn about nervous system disorders (of which I have!) and just a lot of awesome stuff! It'll be really fun! =)
Love this 'lil guy. And speaking of science, I've got my AP Chem final tomorrow (oh joyyy) and I'd better get to studying. Sorry this was such a quickie post, but just know that I'm literally pulling myself away from my laptop to study! Have a great day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Happy Sunday everyone! Sadly, it's been a not-so-fun weekend for me. =( Lots of studying, a not-so-fun run, and more studying. But more on that in a bit. In the meantime, I've been listening to lots of this.

[Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson]

Perfect brain music. Of course, when Tik-Tok comes on(I shuffle the songs), I feel I have the liberty to get up and dance. Which is often followed by a study break. I have no attention span, fyi.
Anyway, back to that run. My 2 friends and I decided to go for a run today. We didn't realize it was 12 degrees outside with a bad windchill until we were already at the start. So, we decided to go anyway. Bad. Idea. :\ We ran for a whopping 13 minutes before calling it off and going to Einsteins. I'm still chilled to the bone right now! At Einsteins, I got a toasted double chocolate chip bagel. It tasted almost like a brownie... so yummy! I didn't take a picture because I ate it too quickly and I didn't bring my camera. Two wonderful reasons, if I do say so myself.

[Ummmy carby goodness]

[Study Snack]

Yes, I am one of those people who eats Nutella straight out of the jar. In my house, there's "Courtney's Nutella" and "Everyone Else's Nutella", to prevent cross-contamination. Its just too good by itself to mess up the flavor by spreading it on toast. Anyone with me on that?

I'd better get back to studying... or not. Everything in moderation?

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Now let me tell you, I'm not an incredibly fast runner. I'm *good* on my school's XC and track teams- the "second seven" if you will. I'm not bragging about these times- I just want to post them so they're all in one place, and I know when I've improved! =D

5K: 21:42
3 Mile: 21:38
2 Mile: 13:24
1 Mile: 6:23
800M: 2:55

And, my favorite record...

Distance Record: 12 MILES!!!!


It's almost final exam time, which can only be described as...

I don't really like finals. (Does anyone?!) I want to get an equal number of A's and B's so I can be on the honor roll, which means I have to study a lot. =( Thankfully, track starts February 9th! Yay! I've decided to make a workout calender so I can get in shape for the team. As always, the coach informed us that there are still spots open for the 2-mile race. Last year, there were about 8 people who ran it, but this year it's only my friend and I! Two people! I'd better get into varsity shape. =/ So, I'll try to get that calender set up. =D Happy Thursday, y'all!

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite kind of exercise?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Clicking My Heels

I love my Asics, I really do. But when I saw these in my Roadrunner catalogue, I fell in love. I mean, the pink sole?? Awesome. It's too bad they're racing flats. =( I bet every runner has a story about their feet, and I have mine, too. Want to hear it? Great!!

So... it all started when I was a little ballet dancer. My feet have always rolled in (overpronated), and I had to strengthen them A LOT for ballet. I used resistance bands, foot exercises, everything! I wanted to be a professional dancer (oh, how I loved to dream) and the only way to do that was to have perfect feet. In 8th grade, I finally got my pointe shoes. I loved them- they made me feel so strong. My first two years en pointe (yes, it is spelled with "en") were great- my teachers were very experienced and were able to tell me exactly what I was doing wrong and whether my shoes fit correctly. My 3rd year, I switched dance schools, and that's where things got bad. My feet were callused and messed up, and my teachers didn't spend time helping me with them. Not good. =(

Of course, this affected my running. I started noticing a sharp pain in the ball of my right foot, and when I went to the podiatrist, he told me I had sesamoiditis. He said that my sesamoid bone had shattered, and if I hurt it anymore, I would need surgery to remove the shards of it! Ew! We tried everything- gel inserts, custom orthotics, even steel plates in the bottom of my shoes. Nothing worked. My breaking point was when I ran a community 5k- my feet hurt like never before. I thought my arches were literally going to break in half! It was horrible. No shoes fit "great" and whenever I tried a new shoe store to get more opinions, they always had me try the same one! I'm still looking for that perfect shoe- one with enough arch support to keep me from pronating, but enough cushioning to keep my sesamoid bones from breaking again. Anyone have any ideas?