Almond Corn Pancakes (GF, refined SF, DF)

I love pancakes. I basically run for my love of pancakes. I use my love of pancakes to get through long training runs (alone, up gigantic hills also known as lombas). Each week after my 10-, 12-, or 14-mile run I indulge in a re-fuel pancake session. However, since cutting gluten and refined sugar, I’ve had a hard time finding a pancake that doesn’t taste like a soggy oatmeal cookie (not that I don’t love those, too).

This week after my 10 mile solo lomba run, I made pancakes with almond flour and corn flour instead of my usual oats. I topped them with honey, slivered almond, and bananas. They were so good. They were so good that I will continue to run just so I can eat them again. And again. And again.

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Yields: 1 serving (I got 6 silver dollar cakes out of my batch)

Prep & Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 corn flour (not corn starch)
  • 2 egg whites (or one egg)
  • 3 tbs soy milk (or almond… or coconut)
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

Toppings:

  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs slivered almonds
  • 1 sliced banana
  • or whatever you like!

Beat the eggs with non-dairy milk until fluffy. Add in flours and baking powder until just mixed (some lumps are good–they make for fluffier cakes!). Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray, melt a little butter or coconut oil (whatever your style is) and turn heat to medium-high. Pour batter into skillet, about 1/2 ladle-full for each cake. Cook 4-5 minutes before flipping (cakes will be slightly golden) and cook another 3 minutes on the second side. Transfer pancakes to serving plate and top to your choosing.

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Days 122, 123, 124, 125.. Rental cars, tattoos, and leftover chestnuts

Day One Hundred Twenty Two (dia um centena de vinte e dois)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

3 Fevereiro 2014

I got up and moaned about how cold it was. Eventually, after having taken Romeo for his morning stroll, I put my big-girl pants on (figuratively speaking of course, I literally had pants on when I took Romeo out) and went for my run solo.

After my 10 miles the day before, I thought I might be feeling slow. I was not. It may have been me running away from the cold, but I finished my three in just over 25:00, which I was pleased with. John and I got out affairs in order and headed off to meet Ken at the gym.

John wanted to change up his program a little bit—and stay tuned for my new “Fitness” section if you have any interest in what these programs consist of—so I am going to stick with the boys this week instead of creating my own super sets. This day we did:

  • Single arm dumbbell squat-to-OH-press → chin ups
  • Alternating dumbbell bench press → Inverted rows (feet on SB ball)

After feeling like a machine last week doing three sets of 7 chin-ups and one set of 6, I went for 8. I did three sets of 8 and this was my last set:

We did two rounds of core, at 30 reps each: decline sit-up w/weight, SB roll outs, and hanging leg raises. The hardest part about 30 leg raises is holding on to the bar for that long. And while, yes, I do rock the biker chick gloves that Ernesto gave to me (that don’t even match, which makes me more of a boss), I can’t wear them on the bar–they make me slip off. John showed me these wrist-strap-hooks which helped. We went off to Pic Nic.

John was hungry and wanted to go home before going to Fatima’s, but I decided there wasn’t a lot on my list and that I could carry it by myself. Ken and I went off to shop and John headed home.

Majid had already gone shopping for the three of them, so after Ken grabbed a few things for himself, I was on my own. I did my farmer’s walk home.

I finished off the rest of my Couve soup—which will appear under Recipes soon—and started chili for dinner (shameless plug, but will also be under Recipes soon). John had double practices, so I was really only cooking for myself. Since we had finished off the less-than-delicious first batch of Black Bean Brownies, I was excited to try a second attempt. This time I didn’t bother with any sweetener (definitely makes for an acquired taste!) and added the chocolate chips. The end result: delicious unless you get a bite with no chocolate chips.

It was 4:00pm by the time I finally hit the showers. I got ready for my class (these workouts will eventually—hopefully soon—hit my Fitness section) and headed out the door with wet hair. Mistake: It was cold out.

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For whatever reason, I was missing a few solid regulars. More than a few, like 5 of them! And the girl who taught these classes last year was in town visiting (she lives on a different Azorean island now, Terceira) and came to my class. These classes last year were much different than the cardio-strength circuit style I do. They were aerobics. I was feeling a little lame since there were so few people, but then she was challenged by all the strength and said she really liked it. So that felt good.

I went home and ate my chili and my non-sweet brownies and Skyped with my cousin. My mom made a comment about how much Meg and I had Skyped recently, but we were roommates for more than 2-and-a-half years. We used to come home everyday to each other and knew everything that went on with each other. It’s almost like that when we get to Skype for an hour and just catch up on the minutiae of each others lives. It makes me feel less far away.

After we Skyped I took Romeo out, read, and then John came home. He had a good practice with the juniors and got to do a lot of performance training with the seniors. A good time was had by all.

 

Day One Hundred Twenty Three (dia um centena de vinte e trez)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

4 Fevereiro 2014

I woke up to my alarm (which I obviously don’t set because I have anywhere to go, just because I don’t like to sleep all day) as well as the sound of rain. And wind. Oh yeah, that 5.0 mile Fartlek I’m supposed to go out and do? Definitely going down later. I was hoping to get it done before the gym because it is leg day.

Instead of getting out of bed to run, I stayed there until Romeo let me know that he had to go out. We went for our stroll, came back, John got up, and we hit the gym at 10:30am. Ken showed up like 20 minutes later—he runs on his own time in the morning. This was sort of on the early side for us, but John & Ken had appointments to get tattoos! I am super jealous and wanted to go with him, but I have another phone interview. I will go next time.

The new Mira Mar goalie is taking John and Ken to his friend’s tattoo shop in Ribeira Grande (which is halfway between Povoacao and Ponta Delgada).

See?

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We warmed-up, stretched out, foam rolled and then got to work.

  • Front squat to box jumps
  • Lateral step-ups to single leg RDLs

Our core routine for Tuesday is usually suitcases, leg lifts, and side bends, but we maxed-out for time last week. So, we decided to do a plank circuit: :45 each center, right, and left, :45 rest. Three rounds.

We went home so John could shower (I stayed dirty because I still had to do my Farlek, but the sun was shining by this point) and then we met back up at Pic Nic where they were going to get picked up. John also brought our empty propane tank downstairs so I could get a new one. After I had a cafe, I scooted home to get Romeo.

My first Fartlek. After a one mile warm-up, with Romeo, which turned into at least 1.25 because I paused my watch when he stopped to do his business by Casa Cheia and I must not have hit the button again. I happened to check my pace around the Zoo (about three blocks later) and it was still paused. Damnit.  I saw some of John’s junior players and I almost asked them to run up and down the street holding my watch to make up the difference. #runnerproblems

After I dropped Romeo off I set my Tabata for 3:00 of work and 2:00 of rest, for 6 rounds. The coaches at Nike said I was supposed to run faster for 3:00 and then slow down for 2:00 during the three miles after my warm up. I had never done a fartlek before, and I have to say I loved it. The 30:00 I had set my Tabata for took me until about 4.2 miles and then I took the remainder as a cool down.

When I got home I noticed that the propane tank was new. I won’t lie—my first thought was that John brought down a full one without noticing. But, no way, because it’s like wayyyyy heavier than an empty one. Then I thought maybe Carla had seen it and called the gas guy for us (that is totally something she would do). So I ran upstairs (after I lugged that friggan thing inside; I was going to try to bring it upstairs, but decided to leave it for John), grabbed 20 euros, and went down to Carla’s salon. Carla had no idea what I was talking about and said she hadn’t called him. Then she asked if I left an empty one outside, and I said yes. “Oh,” she said, “then the guy took it and gave you a new one.” Without any money? “He’ll come back for the money—he probably thought it was mine.” ONLY ON AN ISLAND DOES THIS HAPPEN. And that is what I told her, “Oh, that would NEVER happen in the States!” I still gave her the money for when he came back.

I had another favor to ask her. My battle against Romeo’s fur has continued. I sweep (and/or John sweeps) daily, and the fur doesn’t stop. It just keeps coming and coming. Also, his nails are out of control. He doesn’t jump on me, but when he plays with John and Ken he jumps on them. Also if anyone in the outside world acts excited to see him, he jumps. And scratches.

Since we are renting a car for when my parents are here this coming weekend, I figured we could get it a day earlier and drive Romeo to the groomer in Ponta Delgada that Carla used for her dog. I asked if she wouldn’t mind calling and making an appointment for Romeo. She didn’t mind. She even made sure the guy spoke English and told him we, and our dog, were American. Romeo is going to get groomed. #thankyoujesus

Once all that was done I finally went back upstairs to shower and eat. Then I went out to rent the car and get some body lotion at Casa Cheia. When I was leaving our apartment I saw Lina was in Carla’s salon. They were on their way to Pic Nic for a galao, did I want to join them? Twist my arm.

We went down to Pic Nic and leisurely enjoyed our coffees. Eventually I did go off to rent a car at 7 Lombas which is inside the pet store. The pet store where the woman speaks English and loves Romeo. This is not the same woman I rented a car from the first time. I told her I wanted it for 5 days, and I wanted the cheapest one. She told me it would be 106 euros and I could pay when I dropped it off and the end of the five days. #islandlife Only on an island the size of the Houston would this happen. Sometimes I don’t even believe it. But, it’s true. Actually, I think Sao Miguel might be small than Houston.

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After I stopped quickly at Casa Cheia, where I never can just grab what I went in for (it’s like Target for me in this way), where I bought body lotion, guava paste, coconut milk, instant coffee, and fabric softener sheets—did I mention our static cling is out of control? Because it is. Sometimes I can’t find a sock when I go to fold the laundry and it’s always stuck to a Dri-Fit shirt or running tights. John’s shirt stick to him like white-on-rice. I found a sock inside my running tights the other days but not until I tried to sit down. I thought maybe there was something on my chair. Nope. Tried to sit again, felt another lump under my thigh. Oh, it’s a (clean) sock. Obviously.

When I got home I got settled in for my phone interview which I will tell you went very well. The more I spoke to the interviewer the more I wanted the job, and we agreed on a lot of practices and philosophies for the job which I’m applying. I am very hopeful. And while it is (or could be, cross your fingers!) full-time, the hours are awesome and I’d still be able to coach, personal train, and still have time to run for myself.

I took Romeo out for a stroll, left John a note, and headed for ALKE. I had a few more women than the night before, but I think I have lost a few regulars. This is sad, but I still have an awesome group of ladies who do come. A few new ladies have become regulars; a few who struggle because they haven’t worked out in a while (but refuse to give up!), but I have one who came out of nowhere and is kicking serious ass. Both types are fun to work with.

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I came home to Romeo and a note from John. He was very happy with his tattoo and would be home after practice. I set out to make chicken lettuce wraps. They were bomb.

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I also did a lot of thinking about my friend Krista’s comment on my Facebook about starting a recipe book. I decided the best way to go about this new venture would be to add a section to my already robust blog about it. Now I can separate out my posts into different sections.

I Skyped with my old roommate Cathy from California and since she announced it on Facebook today I guess it’s OK to say that she and her hubby are expecting a little one in August. I am so excited. In fact, even though I already knew, I cried when I saw the announcement pictures on Facebook.

I took Romeo out again and then went back to working on my new blog. I always think I’m computer-savvy until I try to do anything remotely different that what I’ve already been doing. This took me far longer than it should have.

 

Day One Hundred Twenty Four (dia um centena de vinte e quatro)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

5 Fevereiro 2014

When I woke up the wind was out of control! It was easily just as bad as during Sunday afternoon’s Mira Mar game. Forty MPH for sure. (OK, so weather.com said 29 MPH).

I waited it out for a little while, and then took off for my “easy, comfortable pace” 5.0 mile run. Not thirty-seconds out the door and it started pouring. Awesome, who doesn’t love sideways rain? Right?

Romeo didn’t even want to go out so I let him be. I figured he would wake John up when he really needed to go out.

I contemplated turning around, but I was already soaked so I chose to stay committed. And the thing about wind is, yeah, half the time it is in your face, but the other half it’s pushing you forwards from behind, and that’s not so bad.

The rain eventually let up and I finished my run—but not before the wind literally almost swept me off my feet by the water. If you’ve never experienced this feeling before, it is truly incredible. It reminded me of a backpacking trip I took in high school to Mt. Madison in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We were hiking a ridgeline and had to to turn around because some of us lightweights were having trouble staying on the ground the wind was so intense. Keep in mind we had at least 30lbs. on our backs to boot!

Five miles in the bag. As soon as I got home I immediately put on clean workout clothes (which is one of the mind tricks I use to keep myself going when I’m running; “It’s going to feel so good to go home and put on dry clothes! Keep running!”). John was up and still Romeo was lounging. I bought corn flour on Monday at Fatima’s and I’d been dreaming of making gluten-free banana bread ever since, so I set off to bake in my dry clothes.

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John took Romeo out and we were planning on heading to the gym around 12:30pm. When John got back from his walk he remembered that Serenela has asked him to be the referee at some basketball tournament in the gymnasium at 1:30pm. He took off to the gym and I stayed behind with my bread; I would hit up ALKE later. They no longer close midday on Wednesdays because they have that intern.

Since there was a massive snow storm (and yet another snow day!) going on in Massachusetts, I got to Skype for a long time with my BFFL, Anna. She works from home a lot, but she was taking the morning “off” since everyone else was enjoying a snow day. She called me up and it was almost, almost, like sitting right in the kitchen with her. Technology is a beautiful thing.

I finished my Honey Banana Cornbread (shameless plug for my new blog format) which was bomb. I think I could have cooked it a little longer, as it came out looking nice and fluffy but then settled into a more dense loaf. Banana bread has this tendency anyway, but I think cooking it longer might have helped a bit. Either way, totally nutritious and delicious. Win-win.

I also made more PB balls. This time I used slivered almonds and chia seeds, and skipped the chocolate chips.

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By the time I finished my bread and making an epic salad bowl for lunch, catching up with Anna, and sweeping up Romeo’s fur (again), it was already 2:30! I had told John I would try to get down to the gymnasium to see a game, but I hadn’t even hit the gym yet. I quickly gathered my things and walked to ALKE (in the rain. because it was raining. again.).

Since they’re usually closed during this time, the place was empty. Just me, the intern—Alexandre—and two guys in the locker room on their way out. How did I know there was two guys in there? The locker rooms and the gym are small, and the walls don’t exactly leave anything to the imagination. I foam rolled a lot, did my yogi-warm-up, and then did a 10-down which inspired my workout for class that night:

  • 10 push-ups to 10 alternating V-ups each leg
  • 9 push-ups to 9 alternating V-ups… and so on. I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish.

Then I did a shoulder-arm circuit for two rounds. First round I did 10 reps of every exercise I could think of, second round I did 5 reps. Done-zo.

I walked home in the sun, showered, and shortly after that John got home. I started sauce for dinner, John took Romeo out, Ken came over, and we stopped by Pic Nic. John and Ken were hoping that the Real Madrid game was on, but Benfica was playing. The world stops here when Benfica is playing. This coming weekend Mira Mar’s game schedule changed because Benfica is playing. No one else plays when Benfica is playing.

I continued on to Toronto Night’s where I took the ladies through 5 different 10-down supersets. One of my diehards finished early so I gave her 50 navy seals as a bonus. Her mom is also a diehard, and during a round of burpees she looked at me with a smile on her sweaty face and said “I hate this”. But did she stop? No. Did she stop smiling? Not even a little. I love these women.

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I got home and John and Ken were watching the Real Madrid game on my computer and boiling water for pasta. We all ate dinner (I tried my sauce on raw zucchini pasta…. not as delicious as sauteing it. I need a spiralizer), and then we headed out on a re-con mission.

My parents arrive Saturday morning and stay for three nights. We only have one bed, but the guys have an extra bed in the room where Bobby had lived when he was here. John and I asked Ken if we could “borrow” it for the weekend. We walked up to his apartment, gathered up all the sheets, but left the mattress. John and Ken will move it Thursday night.

John and Ken tied up the sheets like a Hobo bag and I carried them home while they went off to play futsol. I began washing all the bedding that hadn’t been cleaned since before Bobby left in November.

I tried to recreate a “clean-eating” Pinterest dessert which consisted of blending together frozen bananas, PB, and vanilla (I substituted cinnamon). I ate it with a piece of my banana bread–I think I will try it again without peanut butter.

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Day One Hundred Twenty Five (dia um centena de vinte e cinco)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

6 Fevereiro 2014

The weather was poor and only got worse the longer I was awake. I managed to walk Romeo without getting too wet but then decided against running as the rain picked up. I blogged some of my recipes and eventually John got up. As we were getting ready for the gym the doorbell rang. I ran down the stairs but there was no one at the door. I peaked my head around and found Carla’s door open. “Liza!” she said from inside her salon, keys hanging from her open door, “I have something for you!”

Since we were going to the city on Friday to get Romeo groomed I told her I would get her some dog food for her Honey. She gave me some euros and also an empty granola bar wrapper. “Can you look for these?” she asked me. Of course—that is what friends are for. She made the appointment for Romeo, the least I could do what get her some pregnancy-snacks (not the dog food.. hahaha).

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I went back upstairs and we walked to the gym where we met Ken and did all upper-body. I did my warm-ups and stretched, but I could not warm-up—the humidity makes it feel colder than it really is. By this time, it had stopped raining. We all did the first superset together, but did different variations of the second one, and all did core together:

  • weighted dips to military press
  • bent row to plate pullovers (or cable flys or preacher curls)
  • Tabata, :30 on / :15 off, three rounds: mountain climbers, toe touches, internal rotation mountain climbers, penguins.

We walked to Pic Nic where I chugged a galao and put my game face on to run. As soon as we walked in our apartment door I got a message from Lina: “You guys home?” I told her we were, and that I was headed out to run but that John was home. She said she had leftover lunch from friend’s day.

In Portugal they celebrate Valentine’s Day, Girlfriend’s Day, and Guy Friends’ Day. Thursday was Guy Friends’ Day and Lina had served her dad and his friends, Ernesto, Emanuel, and many others a great big lunch at Toronto Nights. While I was out running (4 miles; three “easy” and the last one “faster”) Lina brought over chicken, fish, sausage stuffing, garlic bread, rice, roasted chestnuts (my flipping favorite thing), and the best coleslaw I’d ever.had.in.my.life. When I got back John told me she brought over “a bunch of stuff you can’t eat”. I had about a dozen chestnuts and then made a big fat salad with the chicken and an apple over lettuce and whatever other veggies I had in the fridge. It was all so delicious. I was saving the coleslaw for a dinner treat.

After I ate and showered I went to pick up some veggies at the fruit market and grab our rental car before class. The woman at 7 Lombas rent-a-car spoke such good English that I asked her where she was from. Canada. She has been living in Povoacao almost 11 years. While she said that she liked living here, she seemed surprised when I said we loved it here. She gave me the key and I went to drive home.

The ride is actually longer than the walk because of the one-way streets. It also took me a solid 10-minutes to park on our packed street. The car (a tiny, tiny Hyundai) seemed like it would fit in any number of spots, but when I went to park it I thought I kept hitting curb. Or car. I got nervous and drove until I could pull into a spot. It was only later I realized the noises I heard which I confused with impact were actually the power steering reaching it’s limit. Good to know.

I went off to class and John went off to practice, then burgers at Pic Nic, beers at Cesar’s, and finally a mattress re-con mission at Ken’s (in honor and celebration of Friends’ Day).

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I came home and made veggies for dinner to which I added some of Lina’s leftover chicken, which I enjoyed with a side of the best coleslaw ever. I told Lina it was my Friday night treat. It was not until the middle of the next day that we both realized it had been Thursday when I said that.

I also made more clean-eating “ice cream” with frozen bananas, a little soy milk, honey, and cinnamon. After I blended it in my food processor, I added a handful of slivered almonds and a handful of corn flakes as topping. It was delicious–and having been dairy-free (not counting galaoes) for over a year, it was really nice to have a bowl of ice cream. Or frozen-banana-soy-milk-mush. But, what’s in a name?

I cleaned in preparation for my parents’ impending visit, painted my nails and watched Grey’s Anatomy, did laundry, and read until shortly before John & Ken showed up around 1:00am with the mattress in tow. Very good.

Days Ninety Five and beyond.. Ken comes back and I find Romeo’s twin

Day Ninety-Five (nonagesimo quinta dia)

Monday (Segunda-feira)

6 Janeiro 2014

Romeo and I went for a run in the morning. It is getting “chilly” here, and by that I mean in the 50s. It’s also incredibly humid here, so the air feels especially cold. Now, I know what you’re thinking Mass. Residents, and I am fully aware that I am turning into a baby about the weather. When I get back in the Spring, it will be 50 in Boston. I don’t care, it’s cold here! And there is no heat in houses or apartments (unless you happen to have a fireplace, which some people do) so I sleep in my sweatsuit and hiking socks. It’s so cold, Romeo even sleeps on the bed with us for the whole night (which he usually does for about 10 minutes, and then he gets too hot).

We went out for 3 miles. I dropped him off at 1.5 and finished with 15 sprint intervals. Then, John and I went to the gym, Pic Nic, and Fatima’s. John wants to get on a more regimented program at the gym, some of which I change up because I don’t want to look like the female version of the Hulk who happens to also skip leg day.

  • Single arm squat to OH press → pull ups (and some chin ups…)
  • Alt DB press → lateral squats (JB did lat pull downs)
  • Core: hanging leg raises, roll outs, decline sit ups. 10E @ 4 rounds. My core was still burning from Saturday.

We headed to Fatima’s to grocery shop and then I made a third (and if it turned out bad, it would have been my final) attempt at chicken soup. John only had practice for the Juniors, so we were going to eat after that. I bought a bunch of bananas because the Costa Ricans ones I bought the week before were still lime-green. I read an article about how you can speed-up the ripening process, but I’d say I was fairly unsuccessful.

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I boiled the bone-in chicken breasts with salt and pepper, took them out once they were cooked-through, put an onion, two potatoes, and two carrots in the broth. I let those cook for about an hour before I put the now cut-up chicken back in. I taste-tested the broth and it was a little weak. I was worried about putting too much salt in, so I added more pepper. This was my only faux pas.

John left to coach the juniors and I went to ALKE. I thought about all the New Year’s Resolutioners and I got nervous that my routine wouldn’t work if I had too many women (it was only designed for 12, and I only have 13 black bands). But I needn’t have worried; I had 6 women. It was my 50th class.

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My soup was delicious, albeit a little too peppery. After my other two failed attempts, I’m calling this a win.

 

Day Ninety-Six (nonagesimo sexta dia)

Tuesday (Terca-feira)

7 Janeiro 2014 

John’s phone started tweet-tweeting at 7:00am, which is not a time we are usually awake. It was Ken. Ken was in South Africa for a wedding after spending the holidays with his family in Geneva.

Ken is a very smart kid, so I naturally assumed he was hammered if he thought texting us at that hour was appropriate. He kept saying he was arriving that day to Ponta Delgada and could John make sure someone would be there to get him? And then he stopped texting. I was now incredibly confused because I know it is a 12-hour flight from South Africa to Lisbon and then another two-hour flight to Ponta Delgada. John said he was going to land at 1pm, but I knew this wasn’t possible, especially since Ken also said he was chilling at his hotel and wasn’t sure when his flight was even leaving.

We got up and I decided to run after the gym. Again. This whole eating-before-I-run thing is messing with my schedule. My previous routine consisted of getting up, making green tea, getting dressed, chugging water, all while catching up on FB before taking Romeo out to run. I still want to have my cha verde first, but then after I eat I have to wait an hour before I run. This takes too much time, so I ate my PB&J and we went to the gym:

  • Single arm bent row → RDL (JB did flys)
  • Cable throw downs → back extensions
  • Core: leg lifts, suitcases, side bends. I did six rounds at 10 reps, John did three rounds at 25 reps. My belly was still sore from Saturday.

We headed to Pic Nic and on the way we saw Betinho. Betinho doesn’t really speak English, but he sort of understands it. Just like we don’t speak Portuguese, but we understand some of it. It is a funny conversation to watch: John speaks English to Betinho who responds in Portuguese. Apparently, Ken told both Marco and Betinho that he is arriving on the 8th. Which makes sense, even though he said he was coming back on the 7th. We decided it must have been an overnight flight and continue on to get our galaoes.

Before we moved here my Dell died a tragic death. Me being my-sort-of-anti-computer-self just let it sit dead. For months. I didn’t need it; I had (finally….finally!) finished my master’s and I had a sweet Apple computer at work. What did I need my nasty old Dell for? Oh yeah, all those pictures, songs, and documents… hmm.

For my 25th birthday I bought myself a MacBook. Along with that I got discounted data transfer, the only problem with that was I had waited so long that my hard drive was actually dying. Who knew? Not I, obviously.

My options were either pay thousands of dollars to send my hard drive to Oklahoma or New Orleans, or somewhere else in the vague “south” or cut my losses. And then I found the prince-charming of Geek Squad. He told me whoever had tried the transfer before had neglected to realize the important difference between my PC and my Mac. He said he would try again for me. Free unless he could transfer all my files. I left him with a detailed list of things most important to me.

Twenty-four to 48-hours later and he had moved a few photos. Not totally successful, but it was possible! He told me I could only move one file at a time, otherwise the transfer would crash. He showed me how to do it, and made some joke about if I had hours and hours of time to kill I could spend them doing this. WELL, then I quit my job(s), sold my car, and moved to an island the size of Houston. I finally have the time.

But I didn’t do it right away, which is silly because my hard drive was still dying a slow death (along with all things electronic and sentimental stored therein). I gave up on the tunes a while ago because they don’t transfer in whole songs, but short clips that don’t even sound like the original. Which is too bad because I bought a lot of music…. Is Napster still around? Ha ha ha…

I finally started transferring 6 or so years worth of photos and word documents (the second half of my bachelor’s and all of my master’s work). It is the main reason I am behind on my blog.

I made sauce for dinner which we ate at 5:30pm before I left for Toronto and John went to practice. I had a big fat salad when I got home and then went back to transferring files. Ken did not come back to Povoacao.

 

Day Ninety-Six (nonagesimo sexta dia)

Wednesday (Quarta-feira)

8 Janeiro 2014

I asked John if he wanted to go to the gym, but he reminded me Wednesday is a rest day (which sometimes it is). I went out for a five mile run. Romeo came for half.

I think the reason Romeo can’t run as far hear as he could at home–I could always take him for 3.0 and I could stretch it to 5.0 if it wasn’t too hot, and one time he did 8.0 with me–is the humidity. It is so humid here! Even when it’s not raining (which it often is), the air is like a wet blanket. I think this is why Romeo can’t hang.

The other day when I took Romeo for a long walk I saw his twin. His twin! Remember that time Serenela told me she saw Romeo on the loose but he was really chillin’ with John at Ken’s? She swore up and down that she saw a dog that looked just like Romeo. But I had never seen such a dog.

Then on Christmas Lina told us that one morning after walking Romeo she went shopping at Casa Cheia. She was pretty sure she’d deadbolted the door behind her. However, upon leaving Casa Cheia she saw “Romeo” in the jardim. She said her heart dropped and she went for a closer look. She said this dog was a little too dark and his fur was matted on his but. It wasn’t Romeo.

Romeo and I were just rounding the corner by the gymnasium when I saw the beautiful creature (I didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t snap a pic!). He(?) looked just, JUST just like Romeo! He was a few shades darker, but the same exact color. He looked older, and his tail didn’t stand up anymore so it just fell flat on his back. Also, he wanted nothing to do with Romeo.

There are a lot of street dogs here who wander without owners. Some of them are nice, but a lot of them are nasty. I was worried about letting them play and having no help to break them up if it went poorly so I let Romeo sniff a little but, ultimately we left the doppelganger alone.

After I ran, John and I went down to Pic Nic. John asked me if I wanted to go to the gym then. We can’t, I replied, because on Wednesdays (just Wednesdays) the gym is closed from 2-5:30pm. It was 1:30pm. If we want to go on this day, we have to decide early. We had our galaoes and then went home, where I desperately tried to Skype with my darling friend Carrie but the connection was just too terrible. I started at the top of the stairs where reception is usually the best. Every time I lost her I moved down a step. Finally I was at the bottom and we still couldn’t finish a sentence without “Wait, what? You’re frozen.” Just when I was giving up, the doorbell rang. It was Ken!!

Ken brought us more Swiss chocolates (which are really just Lindt truffles, but he swears they are different) and we caught up on the three weeks we’ve all spent without each other. We took Romeo for a walk and Ken went to get a snack at Pic Nic. In all the excitement of Ken coming back, neither John nor I grabbed a key. We had locked ourselves out. Again.

Never in my life have I been such an incapable human being. Probably because in my past life I just straight-up didn’t have time for that shit. One time in Newton John and I locked ourselves out when we walked to have breakfast and I had to crawl into my bedroom window (luckily we lived on the “garden level”). But seriously, twice in one week? Not to mention all the laundry that falls off my line in between Carla’s salon and her storage room. What can I say? I am not a fan of laundry pins.

Wednesdays are Carla’s day off, so she wasn’t even next door to come to our rescue. And she doesn’t have a smartphone. And we don’t have a regular phone. We walked over to Lina’s mom’s house and Lina called Carla for us. Again, we thank our lucky stars that Carla just happened to be at Pic Nic having a coffee with a friend. A decaf coffee. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Carla found out she was pregnant right before we moved into her apartment. She was only a few weeks pregnant at the time, but now it is public knowledge. Her belly is starting to pop and Saturday she will find out the gender. Francisco will have a little brother or sister in June.

John and Ken went off to coach the juniors and I went to Toronto Nights. Lina made us pizzas for dinner and Ken came home with John. We get them fully loaded with ham, bacon, pineapple, olives, onions, and peppers. And of course, one has half-cheese.

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Day Ninety-Seven (nonagesimo setimo dia)

Thursday (Quinta-feira)

9 Janeiro 2014 

After I ran 3.0 with Romeo, we met Ken at Pic-Nic instead of the gym, where he was having breakfast. Switching things up for the day, I had my galao before working-out and John didn’t have a fofa. We headed to the gym where Ernesto made fun of Ken for having skinny-legs from not working out. While I gained 3kg on vacation, Ken lost 3kg. The difference between men and women #45,749.

We did:

  • Single arm preacher curls → dips
  • Inverted rows (feet on SB) → lat pull downs (boys did military press)
  • Core: hanging rotational knee tucks, burpees, SB pikes

I opted out of military press because after doing this workout last week, I couldn’t lift my arms until yesterday.

John and I started a 30 day push-up challenge today. Day 1: 45 kitchen push-ups.

We headed home to clean up and have lunch and then I took off for some errands. We somehow forgot to buy milk (leite de vaca, cow milk) on Monday. We had it sitting next to our cart and that is where it remained. John’s been drinking my soy milk, but since I can’t count on Casa Cheia to have more I want to buy him a little until we go real-shopping again on Monday. We also don’t have enough towels for when my parents come (or for when Ken comes over after practice sometimes, like yesterday), so I stopped at Euromatos next door to us and bought two nice white towels for 6.50. On New Year’s Day I broke the only real bowl we had (sorry, Carla…) so I went to Euromatos and bought four new bowls for 3.50. I like this store

While I was out I saw the bread van again! And this time he had fofas! I bought seis papos secos e uma fofa. When I got home John and I split the fofa that I heard was better than Pic-Nic’s. It definitely had more cream, but John said it wasn’t better.

John headed up to Ken’s to play FIFA before practice. When I went to leave for ALKE I couldn’t find my key (yeah, here we go again). I assumed John had at least one (hell, he had them both) so I sent him a quick “please-drop-a-key-at-toronto-so-i-am-not-locked-out-all-night” text and headed over to teach.

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The end of class came and gent and John had not appeared with a key (the wifi at the guys’ apartment doesn’t work) so Lina offered to drive me up to Mira Mar. Luckily, as I was walking up the street I saw Pedro driving them to practice. #notlockedout

I am attempting to eat a little healthier (read: eat less crap). So for dinner I made zucchini pasta (#Pinterestrulesmylife) and ate it with leftover sauce. Now, I must admit it doesn’t actually taste like pasta but it is so delicious you don’t care that it isn’t pasta.

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