Tuesday, October 13, 2009

#16 - Running Revelations

I had quite the exhilarating run in the rain today. 43:21 minutes of wet, messy, painful, and enlightening jogging.

Before I went, a friend of mine asked why I would even put myself through a treacherous run during the first storm of the year? My thoughts were, "if I don't get out of this office I will go insane. This is my only option".

This got me thinking during my run. What exactly am I doing still working at a place that I am completely miserable at? Where running for almost 45 minutes in the pouring rain while my ankle hurts so bad that I have to walk every 10 minutes sounds better than sitting in my dry and warm office.

Simple: Money and security. Two things that are extremely hard to come by these days. And two things I personally need for survival. But do the benefits of money and security stop when your happiness takes a huge blow? Don't get me wrong, I love my life. My life from 6 pm to 9 am.

Most of 2009 has been dedicated to me trying to figure out exactly what I think it may take for me to be happy in a career. Only several weeks after I had taken this job, I knew that I no longer wanted to work in entertainment. Soon afterward, I started to realize that working in food and nutrition is something I may be happy doing. The first part of the year was dedicated becoming a certified personal trainer. This was the first step to becoming a certified nutritionist. But soon after I passed the personal trainer test, life got in the way and my nutritionist certification was put on hold. I started to cook more and more and it only seemed natural to start blogging my cooking adventures. And the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. So in September I decided to step my blog up a notch and put myself up to the challenge of nutritionally making over "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2". And once my challenge is over sometime in January, I plan to resume studying for my Nutritionist Certification and passing with with flying colors. Hopefully :)

Now I still don't really know exactly what I want to do with my career. But, I do know that I must really enjoy cooking and nutrition and blogging if I dedicate 20+ hours a week to a job that I make absolutely no money on. As I see it, the blog, the personal trainer certificate and the nutritionist certificate will all make up a pretty well rounded resume for a job that I am sure I will eventually find and love. It's okay that only a few people read my blog (90% of them being my loving and supportive family), I'm still putting everything I got into this. Knowing that someday this will make for a pretty awesome example of what I can do.

But until then, I'm keeping my head up high. Looking at this job as a pathway to my next, and a paycheck to support my blog costs.

Final thoughts/goal: By my 26th birthday (1 year, 1 week, and 2 days from today) I will be mentally and financially prepared to leave this job.

Cheesecake Factory: Chicken Madeira
(adapted from "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2")

2 4oz chicken breasts
4 asparagus spears
2 slices reduced fat mozzarella slices

Madeira Sauce:
6 oz madeira wine
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
1/2 tbsp I can't believe it's not butter
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt

1. Cover each chicken with plastic wrap then use mallet to flatten chicken. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook in skillet (with pam) for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked.
2. Remove chicken from skillet and add oil and mushrooms. Saute mushrooms for 2 - 3 minutes. Then add wine, broth, butter and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
3. While sauce simmers, boil asparagus in medium saucepan halfway filled with water. Boil for 3 - 5 minutes, making sure you do not overcook them.
4. Once asparagus is done, place chicken onto cookie sheets. Criss-cross 2 asparagus' onto chicken then top with mozzarella cheese. Put in 375 degrees oven for 4 - 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
5. To serve, place chicken on plate then top with several spoonfuls of madeira sauce.

Servings: 2
Nutritional Info: 349 cals, 10g fat, 4g carbs, 37g protein
Approx Cheesecake Factory Nutritional Info: 1420 cals

Cheesecake Factory: Original Cheesecake
(adapted from "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2")

1 reduced fat graham cracker crust
3 8oz packages of fat free cream cheese
1 cup splenda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup egg subsitute
2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 tsp splenda
lite canned whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan filled with 1/4 inch of water in oven (this will create your water bath, which helps keeps your cheesecake moist).
2.Combine cream cheese, splenda, sugar, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer (i finally have one thanks to my dear friend sammie!) Once mixed well, add in egg substitute.
3. Pour filling into crust. Place your cheesecake into your water bath (remember the water is hot, so be careful!). Cook at 475 degrees for 12 minutes. Then turn oven down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven to let cool off.
4. Once cool, spread the sweetened sour cream topping onto cheesecake. Then place in refrigerator for 4 hours.
5. Cut into 12 pieces and serve with a topping of whipped cream.

Servings: 12
Nutritional Info Per Slice: 164 cals, 3g fat, 20g carbs, 13g protein
Approx Cheesecake Factory Nutritional Info: 640 cals, 45g fat, 54g carbs


  1. feed me asap.

    I feel the same way. I wish you knew how much I relate to this post!

  2. They both look great... can't wait to try them. I see you have a print tab now yeah

  3. Ash, this post was great, now i get it. I guess i should start from the beginning of the blog, but i'd rather go backwards as the blogs direct.

    Good for you for finding something you enjoy! Few people can say that, and if something great can come out of it, the better! This is so very "Julie & Julia" except that you've got much better hair...