Warm cinnamon fruit salad

Last night I hit the gym to do a 4.5  mile run on the treadmill (it was too dark to run outside at that point) and a full-body strength workout.

When I have to spend more than like 20 minutes on a cardio machine, I normally like to lift weights before I do the cardio because I know I won’t feel motivated to do all of the lifting afterwards, whereas if I do my lifting first, I can usually muster up the motivation to stay on a cardio machine long enough to finish. Does that happen to anyone else?

I feel like the reason is because with lifting, I’m constantly pausing to change weights, start new sets, move to a different machine, etc., and it gives me that many more opportunities to think about how tired I am.  On a cardio machine, I simply start and then chug along until the time or distance is up, and there’s no stopping to think. Basically, if I could turn into a zombie at the gym, I would be really freakin’ fit.

So last night I followed my normal order of events, and after lifting, hopped on the treadmill to start my 4.5 miles. And then at 1.5 miles, I was suddenly hit with the running-on-empty-no-pun-intended-my-stomach-is-an-bottomless-pit feeling. So I incline walked 0.5 miles, stretched, left, and came home to make this laughably easy and delicious experiment instead!  Ah, well. Not every run is your best one. I’ll make up the miles sometime in the next day or two.

Warm Cinnamon Fruit Salad

serves 1


1 medium size banana

1 medium size apple (any kind)

Approximately 1 cup of green grapes

Approximately 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance, butter, or margarine

Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice to flavor

Plain greek yogurt to garnish


1. Slice up all fruits into medium-to-small size chunks.

2. Throw all of the fruit and Earth Balance/butter/margarine into a medium-sized pot on the stove. Set heat to medium-low.

3. Gently stir mixture for about 10 minutes, sprinkling in the desired amount of cinnamon (and I later decided to add pumpkin pie spice as well) about halfway through. Let all of the fruit be coated with the Earth Balance and cinnamon. Don’t worry about the bananas getting all mushy – that’s the best part.

4. The mixture will start smelling really, really good, and infiltrate your whole house. Make sure to continue stirring slowly while protecting it from the others that will surely come in to see what you’re making.

Protect it closely.

5. After about 10 minutes, take the mixture off of the heat and serve immediately.

Garnish with a generous dollop of Daisy plain Greek yogurt. Don’t skip this part! The tartness of the yogurt is the perfect cool, creamy compliment to the sweet, syrupy salad (<– alliteration station). Plus it gives it staying power by adding protein.

The best part about this meal is that it’s healthy and tastes like a dessert. Who doesn’t like dessert for dinner?


Off to try to accomplish that 4.5 mile run before it’s too dark outside.


Weekend recap – Shabu Shabu, Mama Dip’s, basketball and the runs

Well, I didn’t actually get the runs. But I did run!

Happy Monday!

This weekend was a really awesome weekend – it was full of fun activities, quality time with family and friends, tasty food, and beautiful weather. The weather has been so pleasant here I am actually convinced that North Carolina slipped down to Florida overnight.

Friday night Joe and I went to Shabu Shabu for dinner. If you’ve never had Shabu-style cooking (I hadn’t; Joe had once before), it’s really fun. Basically, you get a bunch of different platters of raw foods (we got paper-thin slices of beef, lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels, broccoli, baby corn, cabbage, rice, and three different dipping sauces) that you cook for yourself at your table in big pots of boiling broth. Below is a picture (not mine…I was too busy “swish swish”-ing to take a picture, which is what “shabu shabu” translates to) to give you an idea of what it looks like:

Everything was tasty! Joe and I always really enjoy “interactive” food experiences that involve kind of “playing” with the food instead of just shoveling it in your mouth (of course, we do enjoy the shoveling part…we just like to make a mess before we shovel). Some of our favorite “experiential foods” include:

  • Pistachios
  • Crab legs
  • Artichokes (including the leaves; not just the hearts prepared for you ahead of time)
  • Korean barbecue-style cooking (similar to Shabu shabu, where you cook your own raw ingredients on a grill at your table)
  • Joe loves mussels and oysters (I’d rather chew my toenails. Oh wait…I did that when I was a kid. I don’t.)
  • Chasing down wild coyotes to cook in our fireplace

Just kidding on that last one. We don’t usually have to chase them; we just pick them up as roadkill…

The rest of Friday night was spent re-stocking our wine collection at Trader Joe’s and hanging out at home with our son. Here he is with his favorite toy, the tree that he is slowly destroying:

Saturday morning we both hit the gym – Joe lifted and I ellipticized for 40 minutes and did a circuit of strength-training (<–over an hour spent there. STILL sore.) We bombed around Raleigh in the afternoon, trying to find me a new red shirt to wear to the NC State game we were going to that night, getting Joe a haircut (normally I cut his hair, but we were at the mall and he decided that since he hadn’t had a “real” haircut in a while that he should get a clean-up…what? I don’t cut cleanly enough for you?!), and laying in a field at a local park for two glorious, sunny hours.

Even though we didn’t find me a new red shirt, life had to go on, so we spent the evening at the NC State vs. UVA game. We weren’t really supposed to win, but we were SO close to winning at the end that it was kind of bittersweet.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early to head to Chapel Hill, where one of our best friend’s parents had organized a brunch at the locally famous Mama Dip’s (I got the Sweet Potato Pancake Sandwich for breakfast – two sweet potato pancakes served with one egg and your choice of bacon or sausage – and housed it all with no problem) to celebrate one of our friend’s graduation from nursing school and our jump rope coach’s wife’s retirement.

There were about 10 of our closest friends and it was SO great to spend time with everyone!

After brunch, Joe, Ted and I stopped over at Joe’s grandma’s house to celebrate her 85th birthday with some cake and wine (at 2 in the afternoon…that’s how she rolls). For her birthday present, she requested that they come over and gather a bunch of firewood to replenish her wood-burning stove supply, so they hauled and chopped and spent about an hour thinking they were being manly in general.

As soon as Joe and I got home on around 4pm, I attempted my first run outside (during my training for this half marathon). I love running outside, but since it’s been chilly or too dark when I get home from work to run outside, I’ve been doing all of my running on the treadmill at the gym. I want to make sure to run outside as much as possible when I can, though, so I get used to hills and other factors.

Surprisingly, I was a super speedy gonzalez, finishing 5 miles in 40 minutes! I know I was running slower than that going up some of the hills, which means that I had some sub-8-minute miles going downhill or on flat stretches, which is INSANE for me to think about! Big confidence booster!

Now that you have a minute-by-minute breakdown of my weekend, tell me about yours! Claire and Alex, I’ve already talked to both of you, but feel free to be the only commenters again.


What is your favorite style of food to eat when you eat out? How old is your grandma? What’s the weather like where you are? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you wish it was Friday? How much do you love teacup pomeranians?

3 ways to exercise without exercising

Disclaimer: actually, you will have to exercise to exercise (<–someone just taught me this the other day…who would’ve thought??), but it won’t feel like you’re getting a workout!

Channel your inner B

If you aren’t on close terms with her like I am in my head, B is short for Beyonce.

Dancing is one of the most fun ways to twerk up a sweat, burn a ton of calories, and just feel good. According to the Mayo Clinic, one hour of dancing can burn up to 533 calories for a 160 pound person (now all you have to do is make sure you drink fewer calories than that in the adult beverages you may be consuming while dancing…)

I love breaking it down during a night out with my girlfriends or at an event, but I really love learning choreographed routines in classes or from videos. Last year, I took a six-week hip hop dance class at the local community center and it was SO fun! Not only did I leave each class feeling like a music video diva, but I was always drenched in sweat! Mmmm.

See the resemblance to B below? No? That’s because you need an eye doctor appointment.

Do the double dutch

You saw this one coming, right? If not, you should definitely schedule that eye appointment.

Joe and I have been members of a competitive jump rope team for almost our entire lives, but even simple single-bouncing (when you turn the rope and bounce repeatedly) is a challenging, entertaining, and humbling experience for most people.

Even more difficult and fun than jumping by yourself is trying to coordinate with (at least) two other people to get some double dutch going. Remember doing this on the playground in elementary school with rhymes?

If you haven’t double dutched since the playground, recruit a couple of your friends who don’t mind embarrassing themselves in front of you and go to town. The best thing about jump roping is that you can do it almost anywhere, and all you need is a rope (or for double dutch, two ropes). You’ll get some great cardio activity (Mayo Clinic estimates that jumping rope torches up to 861 calories per hour for a 160 pound person!), work on your coordination, strengthen your leg muscles, spend time with friends, and feel so completely uncoordinated that you are not unlike a baby deer using its legs for the first time.

Yep, I took the time to make that one-of-a-kind graphic. I call it “Fawn Roping.” You’re welcome. Speaking of animals…

Play like your pet

Ever noticed how many times per day your dog or cat goes from completely motionless to full-on-sprinting-for-his-life? Some days I think Willoughby is secretly training for the 100-yard dash at the Olympics and hasn’t invited me yet to watch him compete (he better not even think about not inviting his mother…).

Instead of having your significant other toss frisbees to you and risking an emergency dental appointment, gather a group of your buddies and head to a nearby park to play kickball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, or flag football. All of these sports will have you going from zero to sixty repeatedly – meaning that while you’re wrapped up in the game, you’ll be inadvertently doing interval training. Intervals are is a super efficient way of burning fat, increasing your anaerobic threshold, and revving your metabolism for a longer period of time after your game than steady-state cardio activity would.

Now go play! I’m off to do #1 in front of the mirror.

What activity gives you a workout and doesn’t feel like one? On a scale of 1-10, how much do I look like Beyonce in the second picture? Just kidding, don’t answer that second one (…unless it’s above a 7).

Run and done

Happy Willoughby Wednesday! 😉

Last night I hopped on over to the gym straight from work to check a 3.5 mile run off of my half marathon training plan (I’m on week three).

And here’s what a picture looks like when someone comes around the corner and surprises you and you’re embarrassed that you’re taking a picture of yourself in the mirror.

Hah. Oh, my ego.

On Sunday, I was forced to run for my life since Joe and I had to get home in time to watch the start of the NC State basketball game, so my pace for the 4 mile run was quite a bit speedier than usual for me (around 8:30/mile).

As soon as I stepped on the treadmill last night, I felt like I had no choice but to at least TRY to keep the 8:30 pace for my run. I mean, after Sunday’s run, I actually felt great. So I decided it was a sign that I had just not been pushing myself enough. Sometimes you need to be accosted with situations that force you to do more or go harder than normal in order to prove to yourself that your body is capable.

So I rOcKeD iT oUt:

Aaaaw yeah, baby! Plus it flew by because I was engrossed in an episode of Chopped (have you seen it? I have only seen a couple episodes but love it! It’s almost exactly like Iron Chef, which is probably why I like it).

One of the things I’m finding that I like best about training for a half marathon is that the plan I’m using feels well-balanced: you strength train 2 days each week, run 3 days each week, cross-train 2 days each week, and rest completely for 1 day. I think when I’m not training for anything, I usually feel compelled to do some sort of cardio most days of the week PLUS strength training 3-4 times. Following the plan, I love the fact that I can JUST strength train on Mondays, and I can JUST run on Tuesdays and Sundays. It almost makes it feel like I’m only required to do half of the workout I was doing before, even though I’m getting fitter and stronger this way. YAY for listening to my own advice (#1, bullet 1).

Anyways, that’s about the most exciting part of my day, other than watching the State of the Union on my lunch break (I missed it last night). Did you watch it? I’m not normally big into discussing politics, but I would love to hear your thoughts – I’m making a concerted effort to brush up on candidate views with the election around the corner. I want to make an informed decision when I vote!

I do have to say that it doesn’t matter what your political views are – there’s no arguing that Obama is a phenomenal public speaker. He could make me want to nod my head in agreement and give a standing ovation even if he recited his favorite recipe for macaroni and hot dogs.

Thoughts on the State of the Union? What was your workout today? Does the idea of macaroni and hot dogs make you want to ralph? I loooooove comments that aren’t only from my sister (but Claire, please keep commenting too! Again, we have to take care of my ego. It’s fragile.)

Top ten habits of elite athletes (for the non-elite athlete) – part I

Joe and I went to the gym this morning and had a good quick workout. My training plan called for 4 miles today, and I was going to run outside until I saw this:

It’s also doing a weird heavy-misting-not-quite-raining deal, and since this is how I felt about being outside…

….to the gym it was.

Since I am an elite athlete, we made it home with plenty of time to spare.

SPEAKING of deranged people elite athletes, I came across this interesting article:

Top 10: Habits Of Elite Athletes

(As a side note, there was a link to a video called, “Produce the Best Breastmilk” at the bottom of the page. On a men’s website. Right.)

Reading through the article made me think about my fitness and health habits compared to those of elite athletes. While most elite athletes have access to resources that us non-athletes can only dream about (like personal coaches and trainers and heaps of gold), a lot of the habits here are completely adaptable for the lehman. Below I’ve listed the ways that I think any average person can improve their personal habits using the habits of the elite as inspiration.

10. Envision success

By playing a “mental movie” of their conquests in upcoming competitions, [elite athletes] not only improve their performance, but also pre-emptively calm their nerves. The clearer the visualization, the more powerful the impact.”

Non-elite habit: fortunately, this is an easy one to adapt. Anyone can envision success. The hurdle that many non-elite athletes (and especially those just starting fitness plans) come across is finding the confidence to truly believe that the success they are envisioning is attainable. I have found that the best way to build confidence is by setting SMART goals. Breaking down your objective by making it specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely is proven to increase success (and therefore, your confidence that you can achieve more!).

Here’s an example of a non-SMART goal:

I am going to get famous really quickly from writing an awesome blog.

Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

I am going to earn one million followers for my blog by next January 22 by posting pictures of cats, promising to make my readers into elite athletes, and putting up as many pictures of my attractive husband as possible .

See how breaking it down inherently gives me a plan to follow?…

9. Cooldown

“Cooldowns help facilitate recovery by processing metabolic waste products, restoring shortened muscles to their resting length, and allowing the athlete to unwind mentally.”

Non-elite habit: this is where I messed up when training for my first half marathon. Because I never stretched or cooled down after my training runs, I wasn’t doing my body the favor of allowing it to restore itself. If running were my livelihood, would I have committed to those extra 10 minutes at the end of a workout? Definitely. But just because I’m not getting paid the big bucks or getting publicity for my physical abilities, that doesn’t mean that keeping my body in top condition isn’t important. Remembering that we only get one body, and that we want to be able to comfortably do the activities we want to do for a long time is a great mindset to practice.

8. Consume sports drinks

“Consuming a sports drink during [a] workout also helps maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range so athletes don’t have peaks and crashes in their energy levels.”

Non-elite habit: water is essential for staying hydrated throughout the day and through moderate workouts; however, high-energy activity longer than 60-90 minutes requires that you fuel your body with sodium and electrolytes that you may be losing (source). While most elite athletes probably have little concern about gaining weight, I know many people who want to lose weight and avoid sports drinks because of the high amount of calories or the long ingredients list. There are a plenty of great alternatives to Gatorade for your fueling pleasure, including regular (or chocolate) milk, coconut water, and homemade remedies (see here for a couple of easy, delicious-looking options).

7. Identify with successes

“When athletes make mistakes, they try to learn from and forget them instantly so they don’t linger.”

Non-elite habit: if I had a dollar for every time I have thought in my head, “I KNEW that was going to happen!!” angrily when I got sucked into Bridezilla and let my Eggos burn in the toaster, I would have at least $6. Obviously, harping on the fact that I continue to make the same mistake has not helped me move forward to improve.

The same goes for any situation  – my jump rope coach loves to remind the team that preparing for competition is 90% mental and 10% physical. If you have trained for an event, likely you are physically prepared for what you’ll need to do (unless you get injured or are sick). The mind is a tricky muscle to train, though, and in high-stress situations, it can make even the strongest athletes’ bodies do crazy things. Prepare yourself mentally by practicing in the exact conditions you will be performing in – if you’re running a marathon, eat what you are planning to eat on race day, run the race route before the race, do your specific warm up and cool down, and if you can, do as many races (even if they’re shorter distance) before the marathon day as possible to become comfortable with the race-day atmosphere.

6. Post-game training

“Training after a game “clumps” competition — and training-related stresses — and allows for a prolonged recovery window.”

Non-elite habit: to be honest, I had never heard this tip before. BUT I do have an idea of how to adapt it!

Elite athletes tend to practice or train the same day as a big event in order to have more down time in between games – this allows their bodies more time to fully devote itself to recovering before the next event. The lesson here is that even high-level athletes (well, especially high-level athletes) know the importance of pushing their bodies to become faster/get stronger by pushing their limits and then taking REST days. Though it may seem counterintuitive, training hard four or five days a week with two or three complete rest days will help you grow and recover faster and more efficiently than lack-luster training seven days a week.

5. Pre- and post-game nutrition

“Athletes make sure they get the nutrition they need to maximize their intensity, energy and recovery.”

Non-elite habit: fueling our bodies is just as important (if not more) for optimal physical performance as training is. The article explains is succinctly here:

“[Before working out], [t]he goal is to ingest the right nutrients to provide the athlete the energy he needs.   Afterward, the goal is recovery. Post-workout, the body is “primed” for shuttling carbohydrates into the muscle to replenish depleted energy stores and for stimulating protein synthesis (muscle rebuilding).”

Not only does splitting up your food for the day into little meals help keep your metabolism humming (plus you get to eat more often…aWeSoMe), but it provides your muscles with the fuel they need to perform at their peak and fix themselves after you DESTROY them during your workout (insert caveman scream here). If you feel like you can’t eat anything right before training, even a spoonful of peanut butter and a coconut water will help you power through without weighing you down. Afterwards, fix yourself a balanced meal within a few hours of working out to keep the benefits rolling instead of stalling out when your body runs out of gas.

Aaaand with that, this post became a whole lot longer than I was anticipating! So I’m breaking it up into two parts and then next part will be coming tomorrow.

Happy New Week’s Eve! (aka Sunday).

Duke vs. FSU halftime show

Tonight we did something fun – we were the Duke vs. Florida State men’s basketball game halftime entertainment.

This morning Joe and I hit the gym (I did 40 minutes on the elliptical for cross-training, per the training plan for my upcoming half marathon), came home and had a quick lunch, and then went to pick up our good friend (and teammate) Tim to carpool to Durham for the 4:00 game.

It was a great game (with a really sad and CRAZY ending for Duke), an awesome show at halftime for us, and fun time hanging out.

Afterwards, Joe, Tim, Ted (one of our other best friends and teammates) and I ate at the nearest Red Robin, where we sat next to the entire Plumlee family (the three Plumlee brothers are all currently players at Duke). Those boys are HUGE

The rest of the night is being spent playing poker, enjoying adult drinks and old school rap at our house with my favorite guys – here’s an equally awesome/awkward picture from a couple years ago at a regional jump rope competition because it’s the only one I can find of the three of them.

Enjoy your Saturday night!

Planning workouts ahead of time

Today, the half-marathon training plan I’m following prescribed 3 miles + strength training. Since I played hooky with my strength training that was intended for Monday and combined it with a 3.5 mile run on Tuesday, I wasn’t sure how today’s workout would go (with just one day in between lifting). I didn’t cry getting out of bed and I wasn’t debilitated this morning, so I went ahead with the plan (<– note: you can this measurement in a whole range of situations. Not crying or doubled over in pain after eating dinner? Go ahead, have another slice of pork loin. Are you sobbing uncontrollably or just wake up in the handicapped stall of the women’s bathroom at the bar? Maybe you should get some water instead of another drink. Also, some new friends.).

On a side note, do you plan your workouts ahead of time? I have found that I really enjoy having a loose plan for the week, i.e. “run 3 miles and do some sort of strength training on Thursday.” I’ve never been able to stick with writing out the exact moves.

On one hand, I know that having an specific plan helps take out the thinking and motivates you to check the planned moves off of your list, but on the other hand…I don’t want to carry a list around at the gym. Ha. So I make it up as I go or keep my previously-dreamed-up list up in my noggin.

Instead of repeating Tuesday’s workout, I challenged myself to go through working most of the same muscle groups, but to using different exercises. Here’s what my workout ended up looking like:

  1. 50 crunches on the exercise ball
  2. lunges – 3 sets of 15 with a 30 lb bar on my shoulders (<–never done this before. I looked like a drunk trying to keep my balance during a sobriety test for the first set)
  3. hip adduction machine– 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs (this move was the same as Tuesday…what are some other ways to work this area? I couldn’t think of any!)
  4. hip abduction on adjustable fly machine – 2 sets of 15 @ 30 lbs
  5. hamstring push-backs on adjustable fly machine – 2 sets of 15 @ 35 lbs
  6. assisted pull-up – 1 set of 5 @ 35 lbs resistance, 2 sets of 2 at 25 lbs resistance (also the same as Tuesday…I want to try to fit in this machine a couple times a week so I can actually do a real pull-up someday)
  7. bicep curl with bar – 3 sets of 15 @ 20 lbs
  8. seated chest press on adjustable fly machine – 3 sets of 15 @ 30 lbs
  9. leaning back extension – 1 set of 15 with 10 lbs
  10. leaning weighted side bend – 1 sets of 15 on each side with 10 lbs…and then I got kicked off by a personal trainer. Wah.
  11. run 3.0 miles (26:43, and then walk to cool down for 0.5 miles)
  12. 50 crunches on exercise ball
  13. stretch
After going through today’s list, I see that I really didn’t match Tuesday’s workout at all as far as working most of the same muscle groups. Ha. I guess they just slipped out of my noggin list. Either way, it was a challenging and LONG workout.
Tomorrow is a rest day. Yay!
P.S. – I found this in the ladies’ locker room. Spray deodarent?! Obviously, I used it.

A few things you should know about me.

First thing’s first: you should know that I have some pretty great talents. Some of them include (of course, this list is not exhaustive):

  1. Fitting a reference to cats into almost any conversation
  2. Photobombing/ruining pictures past the point at which my friends find it amusing
  3. Maintaining a super-human immune system due to years of building it up through biting my nails (<– that takes dedication, people)
  4. Falling asleep during the first 20 minutes of movies

And the list goes on. One talent, however, that some of my friends and family may not know about is the fact that I am really good at procrastinating (I’ve been meaning to tell them, I just haven’t gotten around to it). If there was a Procrastination Olympics, I would think really hard for a really, really long time about training for it. If I were the conductor of a train, the first stop would be Procrastination Station. I have actually earned the official title of Master Procrastinator.

The moral of the story here is that I started this blog a really long time ago, and have totally procrastinated on writing my first post. Why? Because it had to be PERFECT, being the first post. How was I supposed to decide what to write about?! Everyone who visits my blog is going to go back to my first post and judge it. Even I’M going to go back and read my first post to laugh at myself and (hopefully) realize how far I’ve come and how much cooler I am than I was (which is now…and I am pretty cool right now, so it’s going to be hard to beat…). It’s GOTTA BE AWESOME!!!

I digress.

With the arrival New Year, just like each year before, I set some goals. My immune system may take a hit this year as I have been forced by my husband am making a valiant effort to stop biting my nails; I am building up my movie-watching endurance (I’m up to 30 minutes); and I have started willing my eyes to stay straight instead of going crossed in group pictures. As far as improving my procrastination habit, I am easing into it, and allowing myself to do an easy post for my first post so I just DO it.

Without further ado (and without a whole lot of creative thinking put into this one), here is my workout for today:

  1. 50 crunches on the exercise ball
  2. leg press – 3 sets of 15 @ 70 lbs
  3. hamstring curl – 3 sets of 15 @ 35 lbs
  4. hip adduction – 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
  5. hip abduction – 3 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
  6. assisted pull-up – 1 set of 5 @ 40 lbs resistance, 3 sets of 2 at 25 lbs resistance
  7. bicep curl – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  8. upright row – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  9. overhead press – 3 sets of 15 @ 10 lbs (per arm)
  10. weighted side bend – 3 sets of 20 @ 10 lbs
  11. tricep extension – 3 sets of 15 @ 20 lbs
  12. run 3.5 miles
  13. 50 crunches on exercise ball
  14. stretch

Currently, I’m training for my second half marathon, so today’s workout called for a 3 mile run (I’m following this plan and am on week 2). I missed yesterday’s strength training, so I decided to play catch up and kill myself today instead. All in all, it was a great workout and now I am replenishing my calories with red wine and Eggos with eggs and cheese, while thinking about finishing thank you notes from Christmas that have been staring at me for a couple weeks.

Eh. They can wait til tomorrow…

P.S. – you didn’t think I would really TRY to make fewer references to cats in conversation, did you? We obviously need to get to know each other better.