Working Out with Rachel Carson

rachel carson

This book is perhaps the only interesting thing to come out of my graduate program so far.

  To be honest, I’ve found my graduate school program a little dull. My degree is in educational psychology, focusing on gifted/talented students. Right now I’m taking somewhat of a statistics class and another class on the characteristics of gifted children. I have never once found teaching children dull. That would be impossible. But I’m sure teachers can be honest with each other….the classes leave something to be desired. So when a project came up allowing me some flexibility, I chose to read a biography of a gifted individual and write a 7-10 page paper on that person’s gifted characteristics and eminence. I’m not exactly looking forward to the paper, but the biography is fascinating. I’m reading The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. The title is actually misleading because about half of the book is devoted to the environmental history of the United States, which is fine by me. The author, William Souder, creates a genuine connection between the reader and Carson. Already knowing how her story turned out, I still cried when she died at only 56 years old. (I suppose that’s an overshare.) I enjoyed learning about Carson’s perspective on the parallel between radiation and pesticides. On one hand, certain populations were suffering from radiation fallout that wasn’t anticipated by the government when conducting nuclear and hydrogen weapons testing; on the other hand, Americans were also unaware of the harm that pesticides, DDT in particular, were doing to their bodies and to the surrounding ecosystems. Commercial airline pilots essentially earned a commission to spray pesticides across the country.  There was an eerily familiar article on a similar issue posted today by BBC. You may disagree, but I find these topics to be much more interesting than Renzulli’s Three Ring Model of giftedness.

   Because I dilly-dallied a bit too much this morning, I needed to be efficient during today’s workout. My solution was to read about Ms. Carson while I was on the bike. Whenever I multi-task on the bike, I have to be careful to keep up the speed and resistance. Nobody has time for wimpy cardio. I followed my 30 minute, hill interval bike with a 15 minute circuit.

Quick Circuit 

15 Push ups

20 Straight leg raises

15 Lunges with 15 lb weights, bicep curls at the top of each lunge

15 Squats with 15 lb weights, with shoulder press at the top of each squat

30s Mountain climbers

Repeat the circuit 3x, and adjust weights as needed


  Dinner tonight was simple and delicious. We love roasted broccoli, so today I threw in a few other items: butternut squash, red peppers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and onions. I started out with a recipe, but I wasn’t too keen on the lack of rosemary. 1 1/2 teaspoons of rosemary? More like 4 tablespoons. Rosemary is wonderful. In addition to the rosemary, I also added olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and an Irish seasoning salt (which I believe to be salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic powder). I roasted them at 425 for 20-25 minutes. 


This should last us a while.

  Now the chicken. I was excited about this honey mustard chicken recipe that’s been sitting patiently in my Pinterest board. It took no time at all for me to replace half of the ingredients with my own choices. Here is the resulting recipe: 

Maple Dijon Chicken 

(Serves 6 if you aren’t a big meat eater. Serves 2 if you eat as much as we do.)

3 large chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup all natural maple syrup (don’t be tempted to buy any sugar-free crap)

1 tablespoon of pomegranate vinegar (found at Trader Joe’s)

salt and pepper to taste

rosemary, as garnish

Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350. Mix together chicken, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Place in a baking dish and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken has reached 165 degrees. Garnish with rosemary. 

dijon chicken

Simple ingredients with, of course, much more rosemary than originally planned


Happy eaters!

happy eater 1

Quinoa, balsamic roasted vegetables, maple dijon chicken, and a mint IPA. And a Ryan.


Many blogs I have read include a question at the end of their posts. So feel free to respond or talk about something entirely different. 

Do you have a go-to efficient workout when you’re crunched for time?