Days 115, 116, 117, 118. Hair clippers, YouTube yoga, poolside parties and homemade tea.

I would like to preface this post by saying that since I have been adapting my lifestyle (not really “dieting” since the foods I cut out I don’t plan on eating again) my posts center even more around food than they did before. Which, I know, is hard to imagine. I’m trying to stay away from mostly all processed foods, most grains, and all dairy (haha, except galaoes don’t count. You know that). Not only do I feel better, I am losing some kgs. I am controlling portions, too, because I’m trying to lose some extra lbs, but after I am done losing, I will keep the diet the same and just increase the calorie count. The end.

Day One Hundred Fifteen (dia um centena de quinze)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

27 Janeiro 2014

 Monday morning: I ran with and without Romeo for 4 miles. The sun was shining and it was at least 60F out. I took some pictures on my run (because I never do!) and Lina posted a picture in the afternoon of Ernesto sunning himself by the pool. In a bathing suit. It was that warm.

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I got home and then John and I moseyed over to the gym to meet Ken. John has been waiting (pretty) patiently for a pair of clippers his mom shipped to us. When we got packages on Friday he hid his disappointment well, but I knew he really wanted to cut his hair. Fortunately, when we arrived at the gym there was another package! From Judi! Hallelujah.

There were a lot of people at the gym. It could be because it’s January, or it might have something to do with Ernesto’s new intern, who is also Candida’s boyfriend. When I first met her, she told me he was like a model. I won’t argue.

Because it was so packed, we split up and changed our routine around a little bit. I did:

  • Single leg RDLs to reverse lunges
  • Single arm squat-to-OH-press to chin-ups
  • core: hanging leg raises, decline sit-ups, SB roll outs x3 rounds @20 reps

Maybe because we were doing pull-ups for a few weeks, or maybe it was letting John assist me, but I did three sets of 7 chin-ups and one set of 6 (by myself!). I felt like a machine. Maybe it’s my new Gluten-free Edge. Ha!

We headed off to Pic Nic and were planning to go shopping later in the afternoon; I had a second phone interview with the undisclosed-company-in-Arlington. However, when we got to Pic Nic I had an email from the girl I was supposed to call that said she was out sick. No worries, I have all the time in the world (well, almost). So after galaoes, we headed to Fatima’s.

We stopped at home to drop off the hair clippers and grab Romeo. John hung out outside Fatima’s while I grabbed our essentials. While Fatima was ringing me up, I noticed the bread van outside. I hollered, “John! The bread van!” I don’t even eat bread, but the smell is actually intoxicating. A few minutes later, the bread van driver opened the back. I handed John a euro and he got some fresh papos secos. Holy yumminess.

After we got home and unloaded the groceries I ate lunch and showered. I headed off to the fruit market and Antonio’s for a few more things. I decided to indulge and buy myself the 6 box of chia seeds I’ve been eyeing, along with brown rice, oats, and sesame seeds. After having gone to the fruit market, I was 0.15short on my tab at Antonio’s! I tried to take a pepper out of my bag, but the cashier said it was fine. #islandlife

While I was attempting to farmer’s walk my 5L agua and 6 full shopping bags back to the apartment, I saw John. JOHN! He turned around and helped me carry the bags. He was on his was back from DAP (the electronic store where I got my hair dryer). He had gone to use his clippers and realized the voltage was too much. He asked Lina and she told him he could get a converter at DAP. After about an hour of playing around with the converter, messing with the power switch on the clippers, and literally pulling his hair out, he gave up. I went back to DAP to return the converter and just buy a pair of clippers. Yes. We could have gone down to DAP and bought clippers that are made for Northern European outlets and voltage and not had John’s mom go through the trouble of shipping them and then having to wait for them. But, we didn’t and so here we are.

The very nice English-speaking woman at DAP told me her husband would have to make sure we didn’t blow up the converter before she would let me return it. No problem, except for that he wasn’t there. I asked her if I could just buy the clippers. No, come back later, she said. So, I went home. About half-an-hour later I went back, and after at least 15 minutes of her poking around on the computer, doing some math, and finally ringing up the clippers, she asked me for my name. I tried to spell it for her, “Eliza. E-L,” but she was too confused. I said, you know what? Here’s my license. You can just read it. She picked up my license and I pointed to my name. “OH!” She says, recognition spreading across her face. “E-leeee-za! El-ee-za!”, as if I had been saying my name wrong before and she had just discovered the correct pronunciation. I tried to explain, “Yes, we say ‘Eliza’ in America, and you say ‘E-lee-za’ here in Portugal. It’s Eliza.” But she wasn’t having it. Funnily enough, “Duddy” she had no problem with.

I scooted home with the clippers and John went off to coach the juniors. I changed and headed over to Toronto Night’s for class (back upstairs in the banquet hall!). I had eight ladies who absolutely killed it for 60 minutes. I am going to miss them.


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Lina sent me home with a giant container of soup and a handful of lemons to squeeze into it. They were orange, but she swore up and down that they were lemons.

When I got home I started dinner. I had bought some fresh couve at the fruit market earlier, so I sauteed up some onions and garlic and then put the couve in to wilt. I cut up some chicken breast and added that, too. In my ongoing effort to stay away from starchy foods I made brown rice to which I added half a head of cauliflower rice (which is so bland on it’s own) and then scooped some of the onion & garlic mix into it before I put the couve in. I made plain white rice for John. My brown rice/cauliflower rice mix was bomb. John’s was a little too plain so he added some soy sauce. We ate when he got back from practice.

As soon as we were done eating John opened his new clippers and set off to finish the haircut he had started earlier in the afternoon. He had been able to clean it up enough before he left for practice so it didn’t look too botched. After he finished his hair and showered, he asked if I wanted to go to Pic Nic for a cappuccino. It seemed like it had been a long time since he’d been home early enough to do anything except for go to bed. I changed from my scrubbiest sweatpants into my going-out sweatpants and out we went. I got an orange & cinnamon (laranja e canela) tea and John got his vanilla cappuccino. Monica was the one working at Pic Nic and she noticed my cough. She asked me if I was sick, and I told her it was just a cough and that it was only bad at night. She said people here make a special mint tea that makes you better and that you can’t buy it in stores—people make it at home. She told me she would bring me some the next time she was at work. Ken thinks she doesn’t like him, but she and I share the same indifference toward professional soccer, so we get along just fine.


Day One Hundred Sixteen (dia um centena de dezesseis)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

28 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran 5 miles without Romeo—sometimes it is just easier that way. When I got back, John and I got ready for the gym. We met Ken and totally split up. I was totally dragging, but I did:

  • rotational cable pulls to lateral squats
  • barbell bent row to back extensions

We got back together do to core, tabata-style, at the end. We had been upping our reps on this set, but would’ve been at 40 x3 rounds this week, so we switched it up. Three rounds :45 on, :15 off: leg lifts, suitcases, side plank w/dips R&L. Dead.

We headed off to Pic Nic and then Ken came over for lunch and a haircut. They heated up Lina’s soup and I made a wicked big salad bowl for lunch, which reminded me of my mom. My mom is probably one of the healthiest eaters I know, but she’s also known to throw a bunch of shit (seeds, fruit, berries… etc) in a bag or bowl and just munch on it, kind of like a bird. Her idea of a “meal” is probably different than yours. I took the leftover salad from the night before (romaine, tomatoes, cukes, and shredded carrots) and added to it the last blob of my homemade hummus, a chopped apple, and two hard-boiled eggs (which the boys informed me smelled like farts). Topped with red wine vinegar and EVOO.


It was delicious.

John turned the bathroom into JB’s Barber Shop. I didn’t get a ‘before’ pic, but he did a really good job with Ken’s hair. Tomorrow he’s cutting Majid’s hair—he’s going to give the barber a run for his money.

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After Ken’s hair was finished, John and I took Romeo for a walk. I wanted to make granola later, so I needed to go shopping. While there is not a ton of “health food” in Povoacao, Antonio’s has a nice little section. They have brown rice, oats, sesame seeds, goji berries, whole wheat pasta, some digestive cookies, and my 6 box of chia seeds. I bought some sesame seeds, raisins, shredded coconut, almonds, and walnuts. I spent 16. Worth it.

After we walked Romeo around the vila we headed home, where I finished making sauce for dinner. John had practice, so after we ate our early-bird special dinner he headed off to the guys’ apartment and I headed off to ALKE. I am officially addicted to zucchini pasta and am going to buy a spiralizer or spirooli as soon as we get back to the States.


I worked out with the ladies in class and then headed home to shower, make granola, walk Romeo, and indulge in a little Grey’s Anatomy. It was the one where Callie gets sued by an ex-Olympic-athlete-turned-double-amputee for malpractice. Depressing.


  • 1c oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • ½ tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4c shredded coconut
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs canola oil

I baked it at 350 for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. It didn’t look done to me, so I cooked it for a little bit longer. I added ¼c raisins, ¼c slivered almonds, and ¼c walnuts after I baked it, because I made some without nuts for JB. I also wasn’t sure if baking the raisins would make them taste funny.


Day One Hundred Seventeen (dia um centena de dezassete)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

29 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran 4 with Romeo before breakfast. I dropped him off about halfway through. I had my granola with soy milk and a banana when I got back. Other than the fact that it didn’t really clump together very well—so it was just a bunch of nuts and seeds floating around aimlessly—it was really good. I guess I could’ve used more honey to get bigger clumps. I hopped in the shower and eventually John got up. He quickly got ready and headed to cut Majid’s hair. I was just getting another loaded salad bowl together and we decided to go to Pic Nic after we were both done.

I meant to put black beans and chickpeas in my salad, but I accidentally opened white beans instead. So it was about 1/3c black beans, 1/3c white beans, red & green pepper, cukes, tomato, shredded carrots, on top of lettuce. EVOO and red wine vinegar. Delish. John came home with Ken and ate the last few bites of it before we went to Pic Nic.


The boys had decided to go the gym and do some arms, but I was planning on doing some YouTube yoga and going for a second run. After feeling good last week doing two runs on Wednesday, I decided that I would do it again for my longish-mid-week-run.

When I got home I did some dinner prep, and John came home shortly after. I was making fried rice for dinner and I had forgotten to buy frozen veggies. So, after John showered we took Romeo for a stroll to go get some. We got back around 4:00pm and I made John’s fried rice so he could eat before the juniors game. Other than not having sesame oil, I thought this Pinterest recipe came out really well. I used canola oil and threw about 1 tsp of sesame seeds in it for a few minutes before I added the onion and garlic. After John ate I did 30 minutes of YouTube yoga (still struggling to find a full length vinyasa/flow class that I like.. suggestions are welcomed and encouraged!) and then went for the second half of my 8 mile run. I felt good: not sore or achey, but I was dragging for sure. I headed off to teach.


After class I took Leila to the gym; her IT band has been bothering her for at least a week and she can hardly walk down the stairs after class. I showed her how to foam roll and she looked like she was going to cry so I knew she was doing it right.

 IMG_1769This is a really old picture of my cousin, in our old apartment in Newton, demonstrating proper foam rolling technique.

When I got back I made my fried rice with my cauliflower & brown rice mix and it was delicious. And super easy—especially since I had already cooked and diced the chicken and made my “rice” ahead of time. I am really hoping to become an efficient cook when we get home so we can continue to eat whole foods and stay away from processed foods. We shall see.


After I ate, showered, and walked Romeo, I headed back out towards the gymnasium to watch John play futsol. I watched him play for about fifteen minutes before it was his turn to sit out. He say for about five minutes before he gathered his belongings and said his goodbyes. He was done.

We walked home together and got ready for bed. I also made some chia seed pudding for breakfast the next day.



Day One Hundred Eighteen (dia um centena de dezoito)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

30 Janeiro 2014

I got up and ran four with (and without) Romeo after eating my new favorite breakfast: chia seed pudding. Since I finally spent the six euros on the damn seeds, I might as well enjoy them. Half a cup of soy milk (if you have access to coconut or almond milk, use that!) and 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. I put one teaspoon of honey in to sweeten it, and it ended up tasting like tapioca or rice pudding. But healthier. I topped it with a banana and cinnamon. #eatcleantrainmean


John and I walked over to meet Ken at the gym. John convinced Ernesto to do our Friday circuit workout with us. Today, I did:

  • Dips to bench plate pullovers
  • Single arm lateral raise to goblet squats
  • Our core workout (burpees, SB pikes, and hanging rotational knee tucks) were supposed to go up to 20 reps this week. Instead, we did them for time.

I know it takes me about a minute to do 20 burpee SPLATS, so I started with a minute. I quickly realized I could not do 1:00 of SB pikes, so I did :45 (still wanted to die) and :45 of hanging rotational knee tucks.

I did three rounds, and since I finished before the boys, and was completely drenched from my sunshine-y run and gym training sesh, I ran home to shower before meeting up with them again at Pic Nic. Monica gave me a big bag of dried herbs and told us how to make tea out of it. It smelled like mint and looked like lavender. I just hoped it would help me sleep—my cough is totally absent during the day and then right around 9:00pm it is unstoppable. I have been up every night this week.

After Pic Nic, John and I headed home where I made absolutely nothing for dinner. John said he was going to grab a banana before practice and eat when he got home, but he didn’t even do that.

Because it was so incredibly warm out, we decided to head over to Lina’s mom’s house and lay out by the pool. Ernesto was already sunning himself when we got there–Ken had gone home first and we arrived at the pool before him. John and Ernesto tricked him into thinking they’d already jumped in the pool, and Ken had to as well. Sure enough he jumped in the (unheated) pool. In January. He heard John cackle as he hit the water, and when he resurfaced said, “You guys didn’t really go in, did you?!”

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Ernesto brought us a whole ton of fruit from their orchard while we were there; bananas, oranges, guava. And then he brought something we’d never seen. They were like really sour/bitter cherries, inside of tiny paper lanterns.

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I went off to teach and after class Lina asked me if I wanted to go to the city for lunch the next day. She had to drop her daughter off for her last exam of her first college semester. I happily agreed and then went home and made my super egg scramble for dinner. Leila didn’t show up for class and I got nervous I had made her leg worse by forcing her to foam roll. Either that or she was afraid I was going to make her do it again.


I was trying to use towels (DTT = Darque Tan Towels) to recreate a slideboard, but it was a fail. I had them do stability ball knee tucks instead. I must find another alternative.

I contemplated making the tea before John got home, but I knew he wanted to try it, too. I got in bed and read my newest book This is Where I Leave You (will be a major motion picture this year with Jason Bateman) since I finished And the Mountains Echoed (good but very complicated). John got home and we made the tea. I decided not to scoop out the herbs and just used a spoon to hold it back while I slurped—I choked on a bud, coughed all night and didn’t sleep a wink. John took it and slept like a baby. For real?


One thought on “Days 115, 116, 117, 118. Hair clippers, YouTube yoga, poolside parties and homemade tea.

  1. Love this, can’t wait to see youin person to really hear the real deal. Have fun with the rents!!!

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