Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Brussels Sprouts and Bengay

If there's anything lacking in my diet it's vegetables. I don't need to look at the food pyramid or plate (or whatever shape they're now changing it to) to determine that I certainly don't eat enough. So lately I've been trying to incorporate them as much as possible.  You all know I love me a green smoothie, but even I get sick of them after awhile. And salads? If I have to eat one more stinkin' salad I might lose what is left of my mind.

The solution for this, of course, is to add more veggies to my meals.  While these days it's easy to find almost any vegetable you want at any time of year at the grocery store, during winter the assortment of truly fresh, in season ones are few and far between. Therefore, it didn't take me long to exhaust the list of winter vegetables I enjoyed (one can only eat so much kale and butternut squash soup).

So last week I set out to find some delicious, fabulous in-season vegetables.  Unfortunately I didn't find much other than brussel sprouts, cauliflower and something called treviso. Since I've already determined I don't like cauliflower unless it's mashed and mixed with copious amounts of butter and I still have no clue what treviso is, process of elimination gave me brussel sprouts. Fortunately a friend had recently mentioned they were her kids' favorite vegetable, so  after I fell off my chair in shock from the fact that her kids actually have a favorite vegetable I inquired about how she cooked them (figuring a kid-proof recipe would be perfect for me). She surprised me again with a recipe for roasting them that even I could handle ("throw them on a pan with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and toss them in the oven")!  And, after wandering around the Trader Joe's produce section for ten minutes before finally getting up the nerve to ask "which ones are brussel sprouts?" we were on our way!

While I'd love to be able to say that they are now my kids favorite vegetable, too, I'd be lying. They were, however, a big hit with me and The Spicy Chicken.  I actually loved them so much I attempted to eat them with my eggs the following morning. Eww. While they won't be served for breakfast again, they will be permanently added to our dinner winter vegetable repertoire.  Yum!

The one thing I didn't love so much about the brussel sprouts? The smell.  I didn't actually notice it so much while I was cooking or eating them, but when I got home from the gym later that night it nearly took me out.  

Things got incrementally worse when I remembered I'd finally picked up the Salonpas my friend Erika had recommended a few weeks earlier for my back pain.  After my workout I had The Spicy Chicken carefully place each little pain-reducing sticker one on specific spots on my back. Within in a few minutes I was throwing up.  

Don't get me wrong - the Salonpas felt awesome, but the Bengay-like smell, coupled with the brussel sprouts was a combination I would not recommend to anyone.

Oh, the price we pay for health...

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm No Dance Mom, But...

I'm not the type of mom that feels like she needs to live vicariously through her kids.  My parents gave me lots of opportunities growing up, so I had my own time on the court, field, stage, etc.  However,  when my girls (led by Coach Spicy Chicken) earned the opportunity to play in the Virginia Basketball Academy 5/6 Grade Girls Championship game on the University Hall court this weekend, I may have gone a little 'Dance Moms' about it. In all of my years of competition, I never played in a championship, let alone one on a big court like that.

I'm writing about this not to brag about my girls (while I am extremely proud of their efforts, there were only 4 teams in their league so they had a 50% chance of making it...) but rather because I thought the whole experience was so cool.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I thought it was cooler than the girls did, but they're young, what do they know?

I say that sarcastically, of course, but the truth of the matter is that they really don't know how lucky they are.  Most young players never get the chance to play on the floor of the University Hall court with the blue and orange under their feet, lights shining all around them, a real announcer calling their names, Eminem playing at timeouts, complete strangers cheering them on, a former hoopster placing ribbons around their necks.... 

I never did. Until today.  It was awesome.  Oh wait, I didn't actually play, did I? 

Don't worry - I didn't do anything too idiotic (unless you count yelling "Come on ref, you gotta call that - she's hacking my baby!" that one time...).  I did, however, Tweet and post on Facebook about how proud I was of them a little more than they would have liked.  Oh well, there's nothing wrong with being proud, is there?

They ended up losing the game by 4 points, but in my mind the experience itself was worth it.  While the odds that either will find herself playing across the street at John Paul Jones Area some day are pretty slim, it's fun for them to get a little taste of it and dream that it might happen some day.  And in the event that it doesn't, at least she has the memory of playing under the lights that one day in 2013...