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Mangoes and Chia

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Wow, now that the world has stopped careening in every direction, I actually have the motivation to write.

To start with, we are no longer a two dog household. On August 30th, we were forced to make the impossible decision to put the Lucy dog down. What started as just her back acting up turned into refusal to eat or drink, and she had been whimpering for at least five hours before we finally decided it was her time. It sounds silly to say that we are still grieving the loss almost a month later, but it’s true. I knew this dog for almost seven years, and it is hard to get used to using phrases that only imply one dog. Like feeding the dogs- dog. Or letting them- I mean Cooper, go outside. Which just reminds us again of the wonderful, hairy, needy, most patient dog ever.

Monkeybear is still very confused as well. Every time he sees a yellow lab, it’s like he gravitates to them in a strange attempt to understand the situation. It’s as if he knows that it’s not HIS Lucy, but it looks like her, and he misses her. At least, that’s all I can figure. How do you explain death to a 20 month old?

Cooper the dog is very confused by the change of dynamic as well. The first week after Lucy died, he was in super guard dog mode, being the only dog to protect the family. He’s settled down a little bit now, and I think he is mostly “over” it. But I do wonder. I had hoped that Lu would pass at home so that Cooper could SEE that she was gone, but that was not meant to be. We’ve tried to give him and Newt (who is completely indifferent to the whole situation) extra love, but who knows?

We had to quickly push that on the back burner though, with Ironman Lake Tahoe looming. We went up there a week before the race, and I have to say; If you can go during off-season, absolutely do it. We stayed in the Olympic Village, and I cannot put into words how fantastic it was. The first half of the week, it was a ghost town. Walking around all the shops, we got to actually stop and talk to the workers, and talk to them about the race, and their excitement about getting business during their slow season. There is a little place called Wanderlust Yoga Studio, and I was able to get in four classes with three different teachers, and all I have to say is that I am utterly impressed with all of them, as well as their facility. And the view! It was the perfect place to practice, and they were able to accommodate Baby-to-Be and me without any difficulty. We got to acclimate to the altitude early on, so by race day, we were walking around without any problems. Mr. IMLT got to do his taper week training on the course, so was able to get a better feel for it.

Now, onto the race.

The day before was horrendous; pouring rain that slanted at a steep angle due to the wind where we were, and snow at higher elevations, combined with the cold. Many people decided not to even start the race because of that alone, and I cannot say I blame them in the least. The day of the race was windy and cold, but clear. I didn’t get to see the swim start, but I have seen the pictures my brother took of the racers disappearing into the mist coming off of Lake Tahoe; the water temperature was in the mid-sixties, and the air temperature was in the thirties. Ouch. Monkeybear and I got to cheer on Mr. IMLT, and got a few chuckles at the sign we held up for him, “ Dad, this is NOT a Parade!” Maybe I will share the story behind this whole Parade business someday. We also got to see him on the run course, and while at the time I couldn’t keep track of his place, I did know that he was doing very well comparatively.  I was blown away by his results at Vineman, but those are in no way able to beat what he did at Ironman Lake Tahoe.

Since anonymity is going to essentially be shot but this, I’ll just use his name. My husband, Timothy Mallen, with an official time of 10:18:31, placed second in his age group, was the 6th fastest amateur, ranked 30th overall (beating some of the professional men and women), and qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Did I mention that this is only his FOURTH Ironman distance race? And that he’s only been doing triathlons for 3 years? Yeah, this man also told me just this morning that he needs to get super strict with his diet again, because he’s had a bad weekend since the race. Riiiiight.

I cannot really fathom my own pride in him. Was this his fastest Ironman time? No. But considering 21% of the field did not even finish the race, and considering how well he did, I am still in awe.

The downside? I have 9 months after I have Baby-to-Be to get back into a swimsuit. Shit.

In baby related news, we found out that Monkeybear is going to have a little brother. As more time goes on, the more excited I am about that; boys are just plain fun. Not to say that girls aren’t fun, because they totally are, but I will say that I am looking forward to NOT having to deal with princesses or One Direction just yet. We’re still thinking of names, but I have landed on a pretty sweet fox theme that I am very excited about. Both Monkeybear and Mr. Kona-Qualifier have had the chance to feel Baby-to-Be, which is suprising since Mr. Kona didn’t get to feel Monkeybear until I was about 26-28 weeks along, and I just hit the 22 week point Saturday. Then again, I am showing a lot more at this point than I was with Monkeybear, so it could be the whole stretched out uterus thing. Maybe? It’s the only this I can figure.

As for me, I was hoping that after Ironman Lake Tahoe, I would be able to come down from some of the stress of that, combined with the loss of Lu and prepping for a new baby, but nope, now I have to start planning for a trip to Hawaii (I know, it’s so hard right? Poor me.) On top of all that, my sciatic nerve has decided that no, I do not get to walk around pain-free in my own home. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor, but it honestly hasn’t been helping all that much. At least it hasn’t made it worse. My weight gain was going excellently up until the week before the race. Now, I’m just trying to slow it down so that I can be comfortable with it. Which is very difficult, since I essentially want to eat everything in the flipping kitchen, which wouldn’t be good. Because we have lots of chocolate that Mr. Kona-Qualifier bought up in Tahoe. And the Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Peanut bars. I swear those things have crack in them.

The story behind this recipe is really simple. With how terrible this week has been calorically and nutritionally, I was looking for a light snack that would be filling, healthy, quick, and easy. It is literally 3 ingredients, and is idiot proof. I didn’t even realize how good it was going to be until I tried it, I was just planning on eating it despite what it may taste like. My walking buddy once said that if someone told her that cardboard was a superfood, she’d eat it, and I’m very much the same way. That being said, this was excellent, or I wouldn’t be sharing it with you.

Chia is considered a superfood because of its high fiber content, omega-3 fatty acids (which are excellent for baby brains), and mineral content. It doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor, but it gives a really nice nutty hint to whatever you are using it in, and absorbs liquid like crazy.

I used frozen mango that is pre-cubed for this, but fresh would work just as well. It’d probably be better, in all honesty, but since I don’t have that on hand, I’ll use what I do have. Mangos have a ton of Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and fiber.

For this recipe, Chinese Five Spice is an absolute essential. I do not authorize the use of anything else. Go out and buy it if you have to. This is what makes the whole thing come together. Trust me.


Mangoes and Chia (Makes 1 serving)



1 cup mango, cubed

1 tbsp chia seeds, raw

Chinese Five Spice to taste (a few dashes should do it, no more than a 1/8 tsp)



Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Eat glutinously.