Hot Dish, Don’t Ya Know?

My friend who’s originally from Minnesota sent me a casserole recipe the other day, or, as they say up there, “a hot dish, don’t ya know?” Since this is an assortment of stuff, it’s like a casserole post.

Family Time

Yesterday was a snowy day, so I stayed inside cooking. I made a carrot and parsnip soup, cooked some chicken, and tackled our horribly messy pantry. My boy came home early and we had a nice evening working out to the Kenpo exercise from the P90X series he’s been doing. It’s fun and a nice change of pace. Because of school’s late start today, it felt like a weekend.

Injury Recovery

I washed my trail shoes the other day in preparation of going to Oklahoma on Friday. I had to laugh this morning; there is STILL sand in them. It’s Bastrop…that sand never goes away. I was out there on Saturday with friends, which was a lovely run. It brought home to me that 1) I am really healing, and 2) my hamstring tear affected my running immensely.

When I looked over my last runs at the park over the last five months, it’s easy to see that my times took a huge dip after my fall in September. I think the fall started my tear, and the time trial I did shortly thereafter put me in a world of hurt. And I ran for a long time (and did a lot of mileage) with that tear. I’m quite sure that this is what cost me my PR out at Palo Duro Canyon 50K. So even now, not quite being back 100 percent and still having to take it easy, I’m faster than I’ve been in months and feeling better.

Toenail Care

At the beginning of January, I had a big party to go to and fabulous shoes to wear, but HORRENDOUS toenails — in fact, I was missing one, my left big toenail. So I had to spring for a professional pedicure, and the pedicurist made me a fake toenail! It was a miracle and my toenails looked great…until Monday, when the fake nail finally came off. When I took off the rest of the nail polish on my other toes, I realized that I am soon to lose the OTHER big toenail, as it has turned a very interesting color. I’m sure the weekend’s runs will put it over the edge. Ah, well: it’s been a long time coming. Back to the pedicurist!

Going Gluten Free

Monday brought elm pollen into the picture and I had a massive allergy attack. Acupuncture has been handling my allergies well (I’ve only taken an antihistamine four times now since I began treatment, back around September); I went in for a treatment, and my acupuncturist suggested that I try a gluten-free diet, noticing a pattern in my attacks. Back when I was first struggling with my health, the doctor who diagnosed my thyroid problem also put me on a diet, part of which restricted my wheat intake. I lost a lot of weight and felt very good, all of which I attributed to (finally) having a fully functioning thyroid. But there is more of a linkage between all these autoimmune issues, and it makes sense to at least try it out again.

It’s funny: since all my thyroid medication issues last year, I’ve made a point to eat whole foods and avoid as much processed food as I can. I’ve felt SO much better over this last year…and I think a big part of that may be that my gluten consumption naturally lessened quite a bit during this time. My husband has long thought that food is the key to what’s been my problem these last years with running, and he may be right. So here goes gluten-free eating!

Soccer Mom

Soccer game tonight is going to be a cold one! It should be exciting; Westwood High School is playing Round Rock, and the last time they met, Round Rock won — the only district loss Westwood has had this season. Now, WW is No. 2 in the district and it’s crucial they beat Round Rock. I’m such a soccer mom: GO WOOD!

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Hot Dish, Don’t Ya Know?

  1. Hey Leah! I eat wheat-free, so if you need help with ideas or recommendations of g/f food to try or avoid, definitely let me know. (I\’m not totally g/f because I can tolerate oats and love to have my oatmeal for breakfast.) It doesn\’t surprise me to hear with our thyroid connection that you might have issues with wheat, too. Good luck! It can be difficult eating out.

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