Sneaky Squash

One of the best parts of living in rural America is the ability to have a decent-sized garden…or to get free goodness from your friends’ and neighbors’ decent-sized gardens. And if you, your neighbors, or your coworkers have a squash plant, chances are that your kitchen counter (or work break room) will soon look like this:

 

If you’ve got an overabundance of summer squash, I have good news for you: Summer squash is ridiculously good for you. Here are some squash stats:

  • Per cup, summer squash has 36 calories, less than one gram of fat, and 2.5 grams of fiber (source)
  • Summer squash is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate (source)
  • Summer squash has no cholesterol! A diet low in cholesterol is a diet high in heart health
  • It’s high in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that help fight cancer (source and source)
  • That same beta-carotene that’s good for your heart is good for your eyes, too!

So summer squash is good for you. It’s budget friendly (even if you don’t have a generous neighbor, summer squash is really cheap right now). And it’s easy to eat! My favorite way to eat it is simply to saute it in a little bit of olive oil and a lot of pepper, but like zucchini, it’s also really easy to sneak into recipes. Much to my hubby’s dismay, I’ve recently sneaked (snuck is not a word. Did you know that?) it into pasta sauce and turkey meatloaf. He didn’t even know it was there, but still reaped all the health benefits. Muah ha ha. (That’s my evil healthy laugh).

Here’s the “recipe” for the turkey loaves (of course there’s no picture. Did you think I was a decent blogger or something?):

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 medium summer squash, grated
Small handful (1/4 cup-ish) oatmeal
Several shakes Mrs. Dash

Mush it all together. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, then divide the turkey mixture into the muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Eat with a lot of ketchup.

Do you like summer squash or zucchini? Favorite way to eat it?

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Target Practice Monday

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We spent Friday through Sunday at my in-laws’ doing birthday celebrations and a family reunion. It was a good weekend, but guess what I didn’t do? That’s right: take pictures. Because, again, I am the worst blogger ever. My in-laws even had a new calf born over the weekend, and I didn’t get a picture of it. Fail.  Here, I found you a similar-looking calf on the Internet:

 (source)

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for Target Practice. Remember, I stole this idea from Fit. Fun, Femme. and use it to set little goals for myself each week. Before we get to this week’s, though, let’s see how I did with last week’s goals.

Last week’s life goal was to get a solid start on on setting up my classroom. I’m pretty much there, which is good. One thing I did last week was clean out my file cabinet. I hadn’t done it since my first year (I’m about to start year seven), and I had a LOT of stuff I didn’t need anymore — dated materials, bad ideas that seemed good as a first-year teacher, etc.

picture 007

Look at all the good ideas I didn’t have! This all came from one drawer. Time to recycle.

My health goal last week was to focus on post-run recovery nutrition. As it turns out, drinking chocolate milk after most runs is not really difficult. 🙂

And my fitness goal last week was to complete all my scheduled training runs and strength train three times. Done, to the tune of 56 miles run and three hours of strength work. Boom.

Now for this week’s goals:

Target Practice

Life: Two main work-related goals this week. I found out last week that the (free) web host we’ve always used for the school newspaper is no longer hosting, so I need to figure out what to use now. Second, I need to carefully go back over my curriculum, double-checking standards alignment, so that I’m ready to get syllabi done by the end of the week.

Health: I ate a lot of sugar this weekend. It’s back to the veggie-heavy, sugar-light diet this week!

Fitness: Adding on to last week’s goals … I’m continuing the goals to follow my training schedule and strength train three times, and adding at least two days of stretching and foam rolling. Things are getting tight over here.

What was the best part of your weekend?

What’s one goal you want to accomplish this week?

Larabar Lovin’

Remember the other day, when I was super excited because I bought Larabars, and I’d never seen them here before? Katie over at Healthy and Happy Hour (great blog; check it out) read that post. Know where Katie works? That’s right: at the company that makes Larabars. She forwarded my info to her colleague, and they totally hooked me up! I came home yesterday and found this on my doorstep:

picture 009Blurry picture, but…best mail day ever. I thought about doing a giveaway because that’s what the good bloggers do, but then I realized that a giveaway would mean sharing my Larabars. Maybe some other time.

They also included a request form for my local grocer. You’d better believe that the Wal-Mart manager is getting that sucker ASAP.

Why I’m so Larabar-obsessed? Let’s look at the carrot cake flavor, because that’s the one that I’m currently shoving down my gullet. (I didn’t know there was a carrot cake flavor until yesterday. Spoiler alert: It’s delicious). Here are its ingredients: Dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, carrots, cinnamon, extra virgin coconut oil. Anything on that list you don’t recognize? Nope, I didn’t think so.

For comparison, here are the ingredient lists of a few other popular granola bars:

Nature Valley Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Bars: whole grain oats, high maltose corn syrup, raisins, almonds, roasted peanuts, sugar, rice flour, chicory root extract, fructose, cranberries, canola oil, maltodextrin, vegetable glycerin, soy lecithin, salt, barley malt extract, baking soda, natural flavor, mixed tocopherols (source)

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (Chocolate Chip): granola (whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, crisp rice [rice flour, sugar, salt, malted barley extract], whole grain rolled wheat, soybean oil, dried coconut, whole wheat flour, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, caramel color, nonfat dry milk), semisweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor,  cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), corn syrup, brown rice crisp (whole grain brown rice,  sugar, malted barley flour, salt), invert sugar, sugar, corn syrup solids, glycerin, soybean oil. Contains 2% or less of sorbitol, calcium carbonate, salt, water, soy lecithin, molasses, natural and artificial flavor, BHT (preservative), citric acid (source)

Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars (Chocolate): chicory root extract, rice flour, whole grain oats, sugar, corn syrup, semi-sweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor processed with alkali, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavor), honey, puffed wheat, glycerin, palm kernel oil, cocoa processed with alkali, canola oil, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, salt, natural flavor, malt extract, fructose, cellulose gum, milk, baking soda, caramel color, mixed tocopherols added to retain freshness (source)

And just for fairness, since I used two other chocolate examples, here are the ingredients from Larabar’s Chocolate Chip Brownie flavor: dates, Fair-Trade Certified chocolate chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla), almonds, walnuts, cocoa powder, sea salt.

Which list of ingredients would you rather put in your body? I choose the pronounceable ones that don’t take up half a page and that I actually have in my own pantry.

Since they’re made of all-natural, real ingredients, the nutrition profile of Larabars looks pretty dang good, too. Back to the carrot cake flavor:

Calories: 190 Fat: 8 g (2 g saturated, 0 g trans) Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 15 mg Potassium: 140 mg Carbs: 32 g (great addition to my plan to eat more carbs) Fiber: 4 g Protein: 3g

I don’t think anyone can complain about those stats!

Other Sweet Facts About Larabar: 

  • It’s a Colorado company. The founder came up with the idea for Larabars on a hike.
  • The wrappers are recyclable!
    Terracycle
    (image from http://www.larabar.com/programs/terracycle)
  • They are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher. Basically, unless you have a nut allergy, you can eat these.
  • Just in case you haven’t figured this out…THEY’RE FLIPPIN’ DELICIOUS. And filling. Definitely a staple while I’m marathon training and constantly ravenous.

And that is the end of my Larabar online lovefest. And of my carrot cake Larabar.

lara(It never stood a chance).

Do you like Larabars? If not, we probably can’t be friends anymore.

Local folks: If Wal-Mart keeps stocking them, would you buy Larabars? Please say yes. To me and to the Wal-Mart people.

What’s your favorite non-Lara bar?

Katie and her colleague at Larabar sent me these out of the goodness of their hearts. They didn’t ask me to do a blog post, but I wanted to share the Larabar love. 

Book Review: The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition

finally am posting my review of Matt Fitzgerald’s newest book, The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition. It’s long. I really did try to cut it down; this was as short as I could get it. And it’s a little academic-sounding (why, yes, those citations are in MLA format; thanks for noticing). I think I spent too many years in grad school writing literature reviews to write a book review that doesn’t sound academic. At least Ryan Gosling will like it. And I hope you do, too.

(I saw this on Google images…turns out, it’s from a blog on my alma mater’s website. Oh, Colorado State.)

I love Matt Fitzgerald. I always read his articles in Competitor, and I’ve read and enjoyed two of his other books, Racing Weight and Brain Training for Runners. I bought this book with high hopes, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, The New Rules is my favorite of Fitzgerald’s books. It’s engaging, well-organized, and supported by solid science. I highly recommend it to any distance runner who wants to improve his or her nutrition.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, “The Two-Rule Diet,” discusses day-to-day eating. This was my favorite part of the book (probably because it’s the part I’ll use the most). The two rules of Fitzgerald’s “Two-Rule Diet” are: Make sure you’re getting enough carbs, and eat a high-quality diet. Easy, right?

No, it’s not hard. But a few things surprised me. I thought I’d have rule number one, meet your carbohydrate needs, easily under control. Wrong. Fitzgerald includes a handy chart for determining your carb needs, based on your level of activity. This week, I’ll be training approximately 10 hours (running and strength training), so according to the chart, I’ll need 372-434 grams of carbs each day. I eat a ton of fruit and veggies, so I thought I had the carbs covered. Once I started tracking my carb intake, though, I realized that I’m averaging carb grams in the low-to-mid 200s. So I’ve put a focus on eating more whole grains, sweet potatoes, and carby fruits like bananas. I’m still experimenting, because eating too many grains in one day upsets my stomach, but I’m getting closer.

The second rule of the two-rule diet is to eat high-quality foods. Fitzgerald explains that runners who are training for a long race can’t follow traditional dieting advice (i.e., drastically cut calories) to cut excess body fat. If we do, we’ll risk being undernourished and injured, or at the very least, be “intolerably hungry. In other words, you need to focus more on the quality than on the quantity of the foods you eat” (60).

Fitzgerald’s method of ensuring that your diet is high-quality is the most logical approach I have ever read — for runners or non-runners. He ranks food on a continuum. Veggies (including beans/legumes) are at the top, followed by fruit, nuts and seeds, fish and lean meats, whole grains, dairy products, refined grains, fatty meats, sweets, and fried foods (in that order). Fitzgerald explains it like this: “You must eat ten servings of vegetables, nine servings of fruit, eight servings of nuts and seeds, seven servings of lean meats and fish, six servings of whole grains, and five servings of dairy for every one serving of fried food, two servings of sweets, three servings of fatty meats, or four servings of refined grains you eat. This [is the] minimum requirement to achieve diet quality . . .” (86). Fitzgerald explains that nothing is off-limits or lumped under an “Eat sparingly” heading. “Refined grains, fatty meats, sweets, and fried foods are not poisonous,” he says. “They are foods that just happen to be less wholesome than other foods” (88).  This just seems so logical to me. No “never” foods. No calorie counting. No measuring. Just focusing on quality.

I started tracking my diet using a food log like Fitzgerald suggests. Overall, I eat a lot of high-quality foods already. I was surprised, though, when I discovered that I could stand to cut back my sweets intake. I rarely eat the foods that pop into our heads when we hear “sweets” (cookies, pie, ice cream, etc.), but natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup) and my favorite dark chocolate are still sweets, and it wouldn’t hurt my diet – and thus my training – to cut back a smidge.

Fitzgerald also includes several recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will help you get your carbs in and your diet quality up. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’ve got some ahi waiting for me to make the Grilled Tuna Steak, Amaranth, and Kale recipe.

Part II discusses nutrition while training (immediately before, during, and after the run) and during the taper period. Taking in nutrition before and during a run is such an individual thing that most people just have to fool with it until they find what works. Fitzgerald acknowledges this and gives quite a number of fueling options and strategies. He also discusses recovery, and this discussion really made me realize that I need to make sure to remember my post-run nutrition. You’re supposed to take in a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio within 30 minutes of finishing a workout. My routine is usually this: drink water, water my flowers, talk to the husband, take a looong shower, then make and eat breakfast. The eating is about an hour after I finish the running. So I bought some chocolate milk, per Fitzgerald’s recommendation, and have begun drinking a glass after every hour-or-longer run.

Fitzgerald also goes into great detail about taper nutrition. He suggests “fat-loading” for several days before the traditional carb load. I’d only vaguely heard of this concept, and Fitzgerald admits that it’s a little weird and not for everyone, but he says it can be quite effective. I’m not sure if I’ll try it or not…with my sensitive stomach, it could be a disaster. (Of course, Fitzgerald advocates trying a fat-load/carb-load cycle in training before you try it for a race). He also discusses proper fueling in the last 24 hours before a race and fueling during the race itself; there was nothing new to me in that section, but lots of good reminders.

The final section of the book is entitled “Nutrition-Training Synergy,” and it’s just what it sounds like. Fitzgerald tells you how to put everything you’ve learned about nutrition into practice with your training. He includes several half- and full-marathon training plans that include not only the running workouts but the corresponding nutrition. I think that’s smart; I’ve never seen such a plan. Since I was already several weeks into my current training plan when I read this book, I’m not using one of his plans, but they are a good reference.

As I said, I think this is the best of Matt Fitzgerald’s training books. Everything he discusses is backed up by lots of research, but it’s still accessible to those of us who teach English :). I would buy it in print, though, if I were doing it again. I bought the Nook book, and it would be really handy to be able to run copies of the logs and to more easily flip back and forth.

If you’re looking for some good nutrition info, definitely pick this one up. It’s well worth it.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately (running-related or not)?

No one compensated me for this review. I think you have to have more than three readers to be compensated for something. But if Matt Fitzgerald magically read this and wanted to give me something free, I wouldn’t complain.

Death By Speedwork

This morning, I did a workout that I thought would be the end of me: 6 x 1-mile with 800 m recovery jogs. The repeats were supposed to be at about 10k pace. That didn’t happen. It was unusually humid this morning (75%, according to weather.com). I realize that 70 degrees and humid is considerably more comfortable than the hot temps and 90+ percent humidity that many of you southern and eastern folks are dealing with. But Colorado is so rarely humid that when it is, it really kicks my tush.

  –> me.

I ran a little over a mile to warm up (in retrospect, I should have done a longer warm-up…my legs were not ready for speed), and then did the first repeat. I ran it 20 seconds slower than I “should” have and was already dripping sweat (thanks, humidity).

And then, I nearly gave up. I told myself to just do an easy run, to try the speedwork again tomorrow, when the humidity would likely be lower.

And then, I said, “Suck it up, Petunia. You might not run as fast as you think you should today, but if you don’t push through it, you’ll never get faster.” (Petunia is Porky Pig’s girlfriend. Just wanted to make sure you got the reference.)

 –> not me today!

(source)

So I pushed through all six repeats. They ended up being closer to half-marathon pace than 10k pace, but I’m okay with it. I’m not in peak shape yet. I don’t need to be until October, and by pushing myself through these unpleasant workouts (unpleasant = near-death), I’ll get there.

Also, humidity and I are not friends. Not only did it reduce my pace, but it made me sweat even more than usual. By the time I started my cool-down, I was regularly pulling up my shorts because they were so sweat-logged that they were falling down. Gross. I thought about taking a picture of my sweaty self when I got home but decided to spare you. You’re welcome.

I came home, chugged a glass of chocolate milk (sticking to my goal of proper recovery nutrition), peeled off my nasty, sweaty clothes and took a looong shower. The shower was the best part of the workout, no joke.

And now, I’m off to read some of your blogs and eventually go get my driver’s license renewed. I’m not going in to school today because I’m guessing the DMV will take up a pretty solid chunk of the day.

Do you do speedwork on a track? I didn’t this morning, because: A. The track near where I live is locked up like Alcatraz and I’m too lazy to drive out to use the one at work, and B. This workout was nine miles without the warm-up and cool-down. Nine miles = 36 laps. Too many circles.

How do you pep-talk yourself into completing a workout that you just want to quit?

What’s the longest wait you’ve ever had at the DMV?


P.S. I know I said I’d post a review of Matt Fitzgerald’s new book today, but I’m a narcissist and wanted to talk about my workout instead. Plus the review I’ve written is much too long right now. I’ll edit it down and post it tomorrow. I promise.

Ten Little-Known Perks of Being a Teacher

I wasn’t going to blog today. My plan was to run (8.2 miles in the nice, cool morning air. Glorious.), have breakfast and coffee, and then head in to work to start working on my classroom. But J is going in today, too, so we decided to carpool, and he’s taking a long time to get ready. This is a post I started yesterday, and since I was waiting around, I finished it up.

Ten Awesome Things about Being a Teacher

Obviously, the best parts of teaching are watching kids “get it,” getting to know your students and sharing in their successes and failures, being the shoulder to cry on or the palm to high-five when a kid needs either. Those are the reasons people get into teaching in the first place. But once you are a teacher, you discover that there are some other fun little perks that come along with being an educator (and no, they’re not “June, July, and August.” The next shmuck that makes that joke gets punched in the throat). Here are a few:

  1. The massive paycheck. Ha. Ha. Ha. Just kidding. But since we don’t get a massive paycheck, we do get…
  2. Discounts. While the media may hate us sometimes, people in the real world like us. And they know that we don’t make much money. Many places give teacher discounts (here’s one list ), and even those that don’t advertise discounts might hook you up if you mention that you teach. J and I have gotten discounts on everything from clothes to gym memberships to travel by mentioning that we’re educators.
  3. You don’t have to sit at a desk in a cubicle all day. Sitting is killing you. This recent Runner’s World article is one of many that I have read recently that explain how terrible for you all-day sitting is. As a teacher, you’re on your feet, walking around, literally all day. Extra calorie burn, anyone?
  4. No one judges you for your caffeine addiction. I think it’s actually a prerequisite to drink copious amounts of coffee. I tell my kids that they should probably expect a coffee spill on at least one paper per year.
  5. Or for reading adolescent lit. This took up a fairly substantial part of my summer. It’s research, right?
  6. You’re easily excited. Some things that excite you:



  7. You get to wear a new outfit on the first day of school. I still do this. Every year.
  8. Someone will always laugh at your incredibly unfunny jokes. It’s probably the kid who really wants an A in your class and hasn’t realized that kissing up doesn’t actually affect her grade, but at least you’re guaranteed a giggle.
     (I will forgive the missing commas here because I like what it says.)
  9. You still get to go to prom. Actually, that’s not a perk. It’s kind of gross to watch your kids grind up on each other, and you realize that you’re super old because you’re exhausted before the dance even starts.
  10. It’s never boring. Every class is different, every kid is different, and every day is different. It’s awesome.

Yep, being a teacher is pretty fantastic. I’m getting excited for the start of a new year!

What are some perks I forgot?

If you’re not a teacher, tell me some little-known perks of your job.

Feeling Productive and Target Practice

Happy Monday! I’m feeling productive this morning, especially for a Monday. So far, I ran 6.2 recovery miles, cleaned my whole house, washed a ton of dishes, and did two loads of laundry. And it’s not even 10:00! I guess that’s the one good thing about not having air conditioning — it makes me get up and get things done before it’s 100 degrees.

For the last two weeks, I’ve copied borrowed the idea of a weekly “target practice” post from Fit. Fun. Femme. It’s a great way to set goals for the week and to be held accountable. Here are my targets for this week:

Target Practice

Life: Get a solid start on setting up my classroom. We don’t officially report for another two weeks, but getting set up and ready to go before inservice week makes me a lot less stressed out. I had a dream last night that five minutes before class started on the first day of school, I realized that I hadn’t copied any of my syllabi. I don’t want that to happen in real life, so I’ll start getting set up tomorrow.

Health: Focus on proper post-run nutrition. I’m reading Matt Fitzgerald’s The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition (review coming this week, I hope!), and the recovery section made me realize that I need to put a little more focus on recovery nutrition.

Fitness: Complete all my scheduled training runs and strength train three times. This was a goal last week, too, and I only strength trained twice, so it’s a goal again this week.

This is a picture-less post because I’m a terrible blogger and never remember to take any. Maybe  I should add “actually take photos” to my goals for the week.

What are your goals for the week?

Least favorite housework chore? Mine is dusting. Followed closely by vacuuming the stairs.

Getting Super Strong

It’s a beautiful morning (bah dah dah)!

Be glad you read that and didn’t actually have to hear me sing it. I’m not exactly a gifted singer.

I finally ran outside yesterday. It was amazing. Eight miles of outdoor bliss. My foot still isn’t 100%, and I am NOT doing my long run on the treadmill tomorrow, so I did today’s seven-miler inside just to make sure that my foot could handle the outdoors tomorrow.

I also did some strength training yesterday. In the gym, for once. I usually just do some basic squats, push-ups, etc., but yesterday I decided to go lift some real weights. I went at 3:30, thinking the gym would be empty and I should enjoy these last couple of weeks of being able to work out whenever the heck I want. Wrong. Apparently 3:30 is 19-year-old boy weight-lifting time. It wasn’t a problem, just more crowded than I had hoped. And it was a little amusing listening to them complain about not being able to gain any weight. Enjoy it now, metabolism-blessed boys. It will pass.

(He used to be a skinny kitten.)

Since I was actually going to the gym, I re-read the strength training piece of Kara Goucher’s Running for Women (terrific book. Read it). She includes a two-days-a-week lifting plan designed by her strength coach, Tony Salazar. And since he coaches my best friend Kara, I decided to try it.

I met Kara Goucher(See? Best friends. We met at the expo for Rock ‘n Roll Denver in 2011. I’m sure she remembers it as fondly as I do. Move over, Shalane.)

Here was yesterday’s workout (which is supposed to be the first strength workout of the week, but will be my only one this week):

  1. Barbell squat
  2. Dumbell incline press
  3. One-leg dumbell Russian deadlifts
  4. Pull-ups (I used the pull-up machine. I am way too wimpy to do a real pull-up)
  5. Dumbell step-ups
  6. Tricep pushdowns on the cable machine
  7. Back extensions
  8. Crunches (I used a Swiss ball for these and the back extensions)

    And then I added some extra ab/core stuff.

Kara’s book says to do the program for five weeks, adding weight and decreasing reps each week and taking the fifth off. Then start the cycle again with heavier weights.

I need to get more serious about strength training, so I’m planning to follow this program on Wednesdays and Fridays and keep going to my favorite muscle class on Mondays.  Maybe having a training program for strength will help keep me on track like running training plans do. And I will get super strong.

Are you an in-the-gym lifter or an at-home exerciser?

What do you do during the “rest” part of lifting workouts? I feel like a fool just standing around between sets.

The Little Things

Good morning! Or good afternoon. Or good whenever you’re reading this.

I started my day with 7 miles of 800-meter repeats at 5k pace. It was mildly brutal since I haven’t done speedwork in several months, but I like speedwork nonetheless. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something when I’m done, and even though it’s a small accomplishment, it makes me happy.

Here are some other little things that make me happy (should I be concerned that they’re mostly food-related?):

1. I found these at Wal-Mart yesterday!

picture 004 If you don’t understand why that’s exciting, you’ve clearly never tried to buy Larabars in Fort Morgan, Colorado. I had never seen them here until yesterday. I may have done a little dance in the aisle when I spotted them.

2. This:

picture 005

We found this sweet potato butter at the produce stand we stopped at this weekend. It is pretty much the most delicious thing I’ve ever encountered. The nutrition label says it contains 38 servings. I think this company needs to hire a label-writer who can count.

3. This comic from The Oatmeal.

4. Summer eating. This was my dinner last night:

picture 006 Summer squash, snap peas, corn, sweet potato. Dessert was apricots and yogurt. Fresh produce makes me very, very happy.

See, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Unfortunately, I can get annoyed by little things sometimes, too. Like these things:

1. Apparently this look is fashionable now:

(source)
No, this outfit. Go back to 1994 where you belong.

2. This is a show:


Apparently, it’s like Survivor. Only naked. Wrong, America. Just wrong.

3. Butter-wrapper protesters. Oh, yes, they exist.

4. Bacon obsessions. Not everything has to have bacon in it, you know.

That’s a bacon martini (source). Ick. It’s just pig meat, folks. Stop getting so excited about it.

I don’t want to leave you on an annoyed note, so here’s one more thing that makes me happy. You’ve probably seen it, but it makes me smile every time. This penguin:

What are some little things that make you happy or annoyed?