Thursday, February 9, 2012

Planning Ahead and Supporting Soundtracks

So much of life seems random. We all encounter unexpected challenges. Planning what we can is a way of keeping a grasp on the reins of life, even if it is just our meal planning.

A few days ago, I made Herb-Crusted Chicken Thighs with a Feta Sauce and Mexican Corn as a side dish. It was a great meal. But although I knew that I would only need 4 pieces of chicken for the meal, I prepare eight pieces.  "Planned overproduction" is a nicer way of saying "I made leftovers."  When you plan for this, it makes meals later in the week much easier and quicker to prepare.

Today's lunch is a salad based on that earlier meal. I made a base of Napa cabbage, baby spinach and mixed greens. I topped it with one portion of Mexican corn, one Roma tomato diced, and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries. I topped that with one chicken thigh, cubed. For a dressing, I used one portion (1 tablespoon) of the feta sauce and thinned it with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Nutritional data for this meal:
Calories:    523
Fat:        35.3g
Sat fat:     8.1g
Chol:     89.8mg
Sodium:  729mg (almost from the Mexican corn)
Carbs:    33.5g
Fiber:       9.1g
Protein:  24.1g

My running is improving daily.  Today I broke the 10 minute mark (jogged for 10:02, which is 0.87 miles at 5.2 mph) and felt really good about it.  My knee started to hurt a little at about the 3 minute mark, but I pushed through it and the pain resolved.  I think I need to make sure I am warmed up better next time.

It helps to have music to help me push through the discomfort. I am not close to the point where jogging is "fun" yet. It is still work, but with the right music on my iPod it becomes less work and more of a achievable goal.  Here is one piece of music that has helped me make progress:

I like the insistent and pervasive nature of the brass and bass line, combined with the bright choral voices that seem to be locked in a chase with the heavier tone underneath. It seems to be a musical interpretation of death's implacable assault, and the realization that death is part of life at the end of the piece.

Note:  Out of curiosity, I just Googled the piece. It is based on a 13th century Latin hymn, Dies Irae (Day of Wrath). It is pretty much as I interpreted it. Huh.  I honestly did not know that until I Googled it. 

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