Monday, August 11, 2014

The least relaxing massage, ever

I got a great massage yesterday.  It was the most unrelaxing massage I've ever gotten. 

It started off with a scalp massage with peppermint oil, which was nice and relaxing.  And a nice way to ease into the more painful portion of the show.  

It ended with a warning that I needed to ice that night or I'd be very unhappy the next morning.  Plus, free samples of BioFreeze. Never a good sign.

It was a deep tissue, trigger point massage, and the massage therapist was very reactive to what my muscles needed.  She'd find a spot and hold it until it was relaxed.  She went off of my feedback - so it was not a silent, listen to the calming music massage.  It was an "ow, that's about a 6 on a scale of 10 on the pain level" and "I feel that all the way down my arm" type of massage.  And it was focused on my left shoulder/neck and left hip - two areas that are a constant bother to me. 

My massage therapist, Jenna, at Hand and Stone Massage in Aberdeen, works with the Rutgers (go RU!) football team as well, and incorporated some stretches and more sports-massage elements in as well.  We also spoke about my past knee problems and other areas of concern, so she was aware of where some of my tightness was coming from.

Luckily, my sister has gotten several massages from Jenna before, and warned me that it was not fun while it was happening, but that it felt great afterward.  So I went with her recommendation and was finally able to book with Jenna (I had tried before, but with no success). I also made sure to take some Aleve beforehand, to ward off any post-massage pain.

So while it wasn't the nice relaxing massage that my mind might have needed, it was definitely the  work out all the kinks massage that my body needed.  And, given the interactive nature of the massage and the feedback loop that was required, it was actually pretty good at keeping me in the moment and forcing me to take deep breaths, which is something that normally doesn't happen for me during massages.

I plan to go back for more sometime soon. But I think that my next massage might have to be more along the lines of a Sweedish massage.  Sometimes you just need a nice, long, relaxing massage.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Red Pepper Gazpacho

I'm usually not a gazpacho person, mainly because I'm not a cucumber person.  But I got introduced to the idea of using other veggies to make a yummy gazpacho a year or so ago, and I really like the concept.  I've used this gazpacho as a dressing on a nice summer pasta salad, but you could also use it as a marinade for chicken, a salad dressing, or as just a cold soup.

Red Pepper Gazpacho:
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil 
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  1. Roughly chop veggies and garlic and add to bowl.
  2. Add a bit of olive oil (I start with about 2 tablespoons) and lemon juice (again, start with about 2 tablespoons) and blend with immersion blender. 
  3. Add lemon and/or olive oil, as needed, until mixture reaches desired consistency. If you like your gazpacho on the lemon-y side, add more lemon.  If you want it a bit less acidic, just go with the olive oil.  You can make it as thick or as thin as you want. 
  4. Add salt and cayenne to taste. 
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or free for later use. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Recap

I love when I get to spend a ton of time outside on the weekend, both doing things and also doing nothing.  This weekend was one of those weekends.  Plus, I got froyo.  So that's always a win. 

It started with working from home on Friday, which was very pleasant.  I don't think I'd want to do it every day, because I'd never have any human interaction.  But occasionally it's nice to work from your couch in sweats and get a little break from the dull drone of coworkers. 

Working from home also meant that we got a earlier start to the evening, and made it down to my dad's at a reasonable time.  Enough time to pick up my sister and go grab pizza and froyo for dinner and dessert.  Then it was back to the house to watch Love It Or List It before calling it an early night. 

As usual, Saturday started early with a 5:30 a.m. wake up call, as Bailey was looking for his walk.  He wanted to switch it up, and we went down a different street than we normally do.  What a crazy way to start the weekend!

After some eggs and toast for breakfast, it was off to the reservoir for a SUP lesson.  It was only my second time on a stand up paddleboard, but I really love it.  It's a great workout that doesn't really seem like a workout.  My only complaint was that we had to wear full on life vests (instead of the PFDs that strap around your waist like a Spi Belt).  So, crappy tan lines.  Which means that when we got back to my dad's house, I laid around on the hammock for a while (and fell asleep for a little while, until I realized that I was really hot).   

After a nice half-nap in the sun, I decided to take care of my neglected garden.  Which meant weeding, digging up some unwanted plants, and using the hedge trimmer to cut back some others (which is so fun!).  And also, dragging the really heavy garbage can around the back yard.  

Finally, at around 4 p.m., I decided to take a shower and put on real clothes. I spent an hour or so inside watching Girl Meets World (not sure how I feel, but I feel I owe it to them to watch) and Say Yes to the Dress.  Then, we piled into the car to meet my dad in Ocean Grove for dinner (pizza again, which was really hot and burned the crap out of my mouth), a concert (doo wop, which we didn't actually pay to see, but just hung out outside with the unwashed masses and "audited") and ice cream (mint chocolate chip and cookie dough hot fudge sundae).  

I slept well that night!  Even Bailey was pooped, and slept in until 6 a.m. on Sunday.  Then, it was walk time!

Since I was already up early, and it was getting hot out, I left at about 8 a.m. on Sunday morning to go to the park and do a hilly walk/run.  Despite my best efforts to beat the heat, it was still hot.  And my legs were tired from SUP and gardening on Saturday, so it wasn't my best run.  But whatever, it's better than nothing. 

When I got home, it was time to help dad trim the hedges for a while.  After showering and heading the the store with my sister for groceries, my dad and I went to the Red Bank Rockin' Country Festival for lunch and some country music for a few hours. Oh, and for a mechanical bull ride.  Which is a lot harder than it looks. 

It was a great weekend, but Sunday night called for some relaxing, which included the World Cup, a yummy dinner, and a bath.  Which is really a great way to cap off a great weekend.