Today I had a serious craving for pizza. I believe pizza can be the perfect "balanced" meal and I absolutely LOVE the comforting flavors of marinara sauce, cooked veggies and bread. What an ideal combination. Of course, we aren't talking about a deep-pan pizza topped with mountains of cheese. For when you are "creating" your own Marni-creations, it is important that you focus on heart-health as you are building your balanced meal.
I've been at my parents since Wed, studying away. Despite studying intensely over the past month, a little time away at my parents has been beneficial in me absorbing the information covered in the 5 Domains for the RD exam.
A little about the exam from Studyguidezone.com:
This computer-based assessment ranges in length, but it will have at least 125 questions. Of these, 100 are used for the raw score. The remaining 25 are not scored; these are pre-trial items which may be used on future exams. If a candidate has 145 items (the most possible), then 120 will be used for the score and 25 are for pre-trial. Candidates will not know which items are scored and which are not. The entire test will take 3 hours, but of that time, thirty minutes is used for the directions. The time for the actual testing portion will be 2½ hours, and there is a clock on the computer so that candidates can keep track of the time. The clock can be hidden if the candidate does not want to see it. A basic calculator will be provided (candidates cannot use their own).
The substance of the test is broken down as follows:
Food and nutrition - 15%
Clinical and community nutrition - 40%
Education and research - 7%
Food and nutrition systems - 18%
Management - 20%
For this test, candidates must provide an answer to every question before they can move on to the next one. Candidates cannot go back to change or re-assess any preceding items. All candidates will get their results at the end of the test. The raw score (the number answered correctly) will be converted to a scaled score in the 1-50 range. The minimum passing scaled score is 25.
My brain is currently overloaded and has been for some time now. But I feel it is necessary to go in overprepared and exhaust all my study options, in the case that I do fail the exam and have to take it over again (you can take the exam an unlimited amount of times, but you have to pay the $200 fee each time and wait 45 days between tests).
As much as I would like to study every waking minute of the day, I feel it is important to exercise my body and not just my mind.
Having the Gearlink cycling team (Karel's racing team and the team that introduced us 5 years ago) in the area has been a blessing for a little de-stressing. With my recent Retul fit, I am riding stronger than ever before, without any pain in my hips or adductors. I am finally engaging my long-lost glutes and not overworking my quads and hip flexors. I have had 2 great rides with the Gearlinkers (since I arrived on Wed), including the Wed night "crit" ride and the Sat morning "bridges". Oh how beautiful it was to ride in downtown Clearwater, doing two loops of the Bellair causeway, the Sand Key Causeway and the Clearwater Bridge (AKA 70.3 world championship and Iron Girl half marathon bridge). I am really missing Karel and riding on our old roads just isn't the same without him by my side. I can remember 5 years ago, riding along with Karel and hardly feeling confident on my bike, let alone being able to ride in a group while rotating.
It has been quite hot here in the Tampa bay area but I have yet skip a run off the bike since starting my "structured" training just 4 weeks ago (yes, I know..I have a LONG way to go before Kona but I'm a little behind in building my base. Thankfully, endurance fitness comes quickly, it's the speed that will be a work in progress). With a scientific foundation emphasizing the "little things" in designing my "Kona" training plan, I can honestly say that for the first time in around 3 years, I actually crave running off the bike...and running doesn't scare me anymore! Always afraid I was going to "injure" myself, I can now go into my runs feeling strong and confident.
Today I found a quote that I feel is perfect for everything that I am going through right now in my life...I Hope you can relate:
“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy — I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it” - Art Williams
So, on to this wonderful, yummy pizza.
My parents told me about MamaMary's products because of the low-sodium pizza crust. I checked out the nutrition label and I am quite surprised to see a product with less than 200 mg sodium per serving. Very nice! It makes me really happy to see my parents choosing healthy options on a daily basis. While we all believe that there is a time for everything, it's never too late to change dietary habits, especially if you find balance in what you are putting in your body.
While I made a beautiful summer, my dad dressed the pizza. He kindly divided the pizza into 3rds so that the my 3rd would remain vegetarian. My side has onions, mushrooms, pineapple and broccoli and my parents had chicken with broccoli and pineapple. My dad enjoyed a little more cheese than the rest of us but we all enjoyed our serving of pizza with the large salad to share. I realize that many people would not be able to share this size pizza with 2 other people, but the idea is balance. There is no reason to avoid pizza and you don't have to go into your meal only having pizza. There are lots of ways to complement your serving of pizza so get creative so that you can enjoy a little of everything instead of a lot of one thing.
I added low fat cottage cheese to my salad to bump up the protein and topped my pizza with a little salsa and sunflower seeds. YUM!