A Dainty Diary of Lifting

Skating, celeriac and borscht

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Today was somewhat stressful. I finally got a call back from a temp agency, and I had to go meet one of the recruiters this afternoon. Nevermind that I’ve never interviewed well, I actually think I’ve been unemployed for so long now that I forget how to work.

This is the type of situation where I’m prone to feeling stressed and then binge eating. The thought did cross my mind, today: as I was walking to my appointment, I considered stopping in at the grocery store to stock up on Reese’s PB ice cream cups. Except that before it could happen, I just said no. Instead, I realized that I’d already been coping with stress by distracting myself with cooking all day.

This morning, I made a Shepherd’s Pie, with a celeriac mash in place of the potatoes. I always consider it an achievement when I incorporate a new vegetable into one of my meals, and this one was a huge success. Using celeriac seemed somewhat intimidating: how do you cook a vegetable that looks like brains? But I made it work and in the end, the whole dish seemed so much more grown-up. It was very sumptuous.

More importantly: I made borscht!

Even though my father is Mr. “I don’t eat vegetables”, both my sister and I somehow came to love borscht when we were younger. We are not Russian. We are just from Saskatchewan, where everyone else happens to be Ukrainian.

When I was in college, my mom used to send me a dried soup mix that I would mix with beets and water in the slow cooker. At the time, I considered this one of my more accomplished home-cooked meals, and I would subsist off a vegetarian version of split pea and beet soup (with lots and lots of sour cream on top) from December through March.

Then, earlier this week I happened across a recipe for Dad’s Uber Borscht in my blog feed. I knew right away that even though this version was a heck of a lot more labor intensive, I was going to make it. First of all, it was PNLE-friendly, because apparently Russian peasants don’t have the luxury of eating junk food. And if I’m not eating like my grandmother would, well at least I’m eating like someone‘s Baboushka. Second of all, this version of borscht (love!) included a green apple. I don’t know what it is, but for the past 6 months, I’ve become convinced that any recipes is automatically improved by the inclusion of a granny smith apple (See for example: Homemade ketchup). And so this morning I set off on a full-day culinary adventure, which included making the beef stock, rehydrating fancy mushrooms, baking and grating beets and chopping a fuck ton of vegetables.

Oh. My. God. This was totally worth it. Have I mentioned how much I love borscht? This was frickin’ delicious. There is nothing more that needs to be said, really. Except maybe that the best part was not in fact the green apple, but the crispy bacon. It will be a while before I undertake to make this recipe again, but I know what I’ll be eating until the end of March…. Otherwise, everyone is invited to my house for dinner. And if you come for dinner, then we must go skating.

Today was my active recovery day, and for the first time all week, the canal was open so it was obvious I had to get on the ice. I started off kind of shaky, but there was a little girl who she didn’t look old enough to walk, let alone skate and still her mom was chasing after her. At that point, I had to say to myself, “Look. If that little kid isn’t afraid of skating, you shouldn’t be either.” And then I managed a 35 minute skate without falling. I’m basically a professional, at this point.

I did fall my ass once I’d changed into my boots, but that totally doesn’t count. That’s just my normal state of existence.

After skating and borscht, I rounded out the day with some squatting and benching. My quads are le tired! If I plan to go skating tomorrow,  need to do it in the morning so I have the rest of the day to recuperate before hitting the gym. I am really happy that benching went well, though. I hit 125x2x3 without any pain, so Tuesday must’ve been a small glitch. Then I did some seated rows because I am trying to avoid becoming a hunchback. Overall, I kept it pretty light in anticipation of deadlifts tomorrow.

After I lifted, I opened my locker only to be overtaken by the smell of borscht. My winter coat is giving off beet fumes. I really do want to share my beet soup with the world.

Food Log

9:20 – Breakfast

  • 1 cupped handful of steel-cut oats with blueberries & walnuts
  • 1 palm-sized serving of greek yogurt
  • 1 cupped handful of baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp fish oil
  • 1 cup black coffee

12:15 – Shake

  • 1 scoop of whey
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 thumb PB2
  • 1/2 thumb of cocoa powder
  • splash of vanilla

15:30 – Shepherd’s pie

  • 1 palm sized serving of ground beef with carrots
  • 1 cupped handful of celeriac puree and green peas
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • 3 thumbs of “sugar-free” homemade ketchup

19:10 – Post-skating

  • 1 1/2 cups of borscht = cabbage and beets and beef and beans and potatoes, oh my!
  • 1 palm-sized serving of greek yogurt
  • 2 green onions

One thought on “Skating, celeriac and borscht

  1. There is nothing I would love more than to come eat borscht and go skating with you. Lets also do some squats afterward. Sounds lovely.

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