The Key to Unstressing Is To Be Freakishly Busy!


It was cold this morning.  I was really hoping this winter thing was done, but no….psycho Virginia weather strikes again.  Because it was cold, I wanted something that would warm me up for breakfast.  So after I had my obligatory cup of plain black coffee (half the grounds were the Trader Joe’s mocha coffee, half cheapo-Folgers), I decided to make some spicy tofu soup!

I pressed the tofu a few days ago, diced it, and stuck it in a whipped up marinade.  I wish I had written it down, because it was awesome!  I imagine that I’m going to spend the next year attempting (and failing) to recreate it!  Anyway, back to the soup.  It’s a nice stand by I started making a few years ago, and I still love it.  Here’s how it typically goes…

Spicy Tofu Soup

1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
whatever veggies I have lying around (today was frozen peas)
1 block of tofu, pressed and diced.  (today was the first time I used marinated tofu – it’s not necessary as long as it’s pressed)
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh, canned…doesn’t matter.  Today I used canned with chili peppers)
hot sauce (I typically use Siracha, but was out and used Texas Pete)
red pepper flakes – if I’m feeling particularly spicy (I was not today)

Saute the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tofu in a non-stick pan (or use a little olive oil) until the tofu starts browning on all sides.  Stir every few minutes.

Add tomatoes, hot sauce and pepper flakes (if using) for another minute.  Then add veggie broth and whatever veggies you have lying around (I’ve used broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, artichokes, cabbage – doesn’t really matter.

Simmer until everything is warmed through.  Makes about 3-4 bowls of soup.  I’ve throw in leftover cooked rice or quinoa too.  The nice thing about this soup is how versatile and forgiving it is.  It’ll take just about anything and still taste wonderful.

onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tofu in the pan!

simmering away

steamy and yummy hot soup!

Everyone else got pancakes.  I was up so much earlier, that I couldn’t wait…and it’s not like anyone else in my family would eat spicy soup for breakfast!

After my morning workout I snacked on some spicy raw cracker sticks.  They were REALLY good!  Before my afternoon workout, I wanted something hearty, but not spicy for lunch – but something that didn’t require too much prep and time since I was hungry.  I decided on a baked potato (with Earth Balance butter and Tofutti “better than sour cream” vegan sour cream) and 6 Trader Joe tofu nuggets with BBQ sauce.  It was quick, healthy (ish), and filling.

Dinner, though, was so much fun, it’s ridiculous!  I asked R this morning what she wanted for dinner (while we were soaking in the hot tub!).  She starts to answer with things she thinks I want to hear (she initially said rolls and asparagus…).  I finally looked at her and asked what she really WANTED, and her answer was quesadillas.  Okay!  Quesadillas for dinner!  I stopped at the grocery to pick things up (quesadillas have so many possibilities!).  I was walking around and ended up buying a quesadilla maker.  I know it’s cheesy – I can just as easily make them on the stove – but I rolled with it anyway.

I made a totally yummy one for my dinner.  I sauteed some red onion and diced bell pepper and layered it with refried beans (fat free and vegan of course), cilantro, and guacamole.  After a mere 4 minutes in the quesadilla maker, it was scored and ready to go!  I added lettuce, mango salsa, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce.  It was SO good!  D ate two, and the kids each ate one.  I had my own little Mexican restaurant, right in my kitchen!

the contents of my quesadilla innards…

right before it gets into the press

and after!  I forgot how cool finger food is…


I didn’t actually intend on swimming today.  I’m sore from last night’s swim (in a good way…not an injured way), so I figured I’d just bike today as planned.  Alas…best laid plans….

R had her regularly scheduled swim lessons at 1030.  D was feeling pretty rough this morning, so I planned to take her.  Well…I can’t exactly go to the pool and NOT swim, so I decided to work on trying to regulate my breathing a little bit to prep for next weekend.  That’s my biggest worry with the swim portion of the tri – getting winded and not hitting my groove (which usually takes me 75-100 yds to do).  I also wanted to time myself to get an idea of how long 12 lengths would take me.  So I went into the pool, thought I hit my stop watch on my Timex, and started to swim.  After 300, I looked at my stop watch.  It said 10:40.  So at first I thought it took me 10 minutes and 40 seconds to swim it.  Then I look closer and realize that was the time, and my stopwatch hadn’t been started (user error).  So R’s class starts about 1030 (usually a couple minutes later as the previous class wraps up).  So best guess, it took me somewhere between 7-10 minutes to swim it. 

After her class and my swim (after the 300, I just kept going at a steady pace until her class was almost over – about 35 lengths in all).  We swam in the warmer pool for a few minutes and then hung out in the hot tub to warm up!

Since I missed it, I knew I had to bike today.  I then got the bug in my brain that I should do a brick this afternoon – even though I’m doing TWO tomorrow (weather pending).  So about a half hour after my lunch, I threw the bike in the back of the van and headed off to the paved trail to bike 10 miles and then immediately run 3. 

I picked up new yankz laces last weekend that let me slide my shoes on, pull a loop, and tighten my laces without actually having to tie them.  During the tri clinic at Fat Frogs a couple weeks ago, these were brought up as being really convenient – since it’s tough to get out of a pool soaking wet and freezing and adrenaline pumping and be expected to have the manual dexterity to lace shoes.  I figured it would be good to practice with them in advance, so D put them in my shoes and I used them today.  They worked like a charm!

I got to the trail, parked, took my bike out, put my clip shoes on, and took off.  5 miles down, and 5 back.  It was cold and I was dressed in running tights (since they’re long), bike shorts (for the padded butt), a long sleeve technical turtleneck, a t-shirt, a jacket, gloves, and a headband to cover my ears under my helmet.  It was mostly enough for the ride.  The first mile was rough as the muscles in my legs warmed up, but otherwise it was pretty good.  There was a pretty strong headwind on the way back, but not enough to actually piss me off.

I got back to the van, put my bike in, switched out the shoes, and left for the run.  It took me about 2 minutes to transition.  The first 1/2 mile felt totally wrong (noodle legs), but then I was mostly okay.  It was slow going and it felt like I was running through pea soup, but I worked it out, went a mile and a half back down the trail, turned around, and headed back. 

someday I’ll get a bike rack…especially if my kids ever want to be in the van at the same time as my bike!

entrance to the trail.  It’s all paved…and not many braved the 40 degree, overcast, and rainy day

I got back to my van, took my running shoes off and put my cushy slip on sandals (yes..with socks) on.  Then I went shopping.  I imagine my outfit was curious to most people who saw me, but I really didn’t care.  I may not feel like an athlete, but I sure as hell look like one!

In all honesty, while I didn’t intend it, I’m glad I did the workouts today that I did.  I did each leg of the Tri in it’s entirety (and then some on the swim).  If I can do that – I can do them in a row, right?  That’s my thought plan, and I’m sticking with it.

We have two team workouts tomorrow.  The first is a mini-Tri.  The Y is letting us in 2 hrs before they open to do the swim and then we’re going to do an abbreviated bike and run to mimic what it’s like to transition in a race between the three.  Of course, this is weather pending.  Tomorrow is supposed to be worse than today – cold, wet, and maybe even snow!

The afternoon (at 430pm) is another brick on the Smithfield course.  Bike then run.  Again – weather pending.  If I’m not ready after tomorrow…I won’t be ready in time. 


Not much to really report.  Pretty much all of my day was spent working out, getting ready to work out, or getting cleaned up from working out!  Of course there was a bit of shopping and cooking, and I even finished my latest book, but the best thing about today is that I was so focused on the workouts – I didn’t feel a lick of the stress that’s been dogging me (of course now that I say that out loud, it’s back).

I chatted with my sister for a bit and really just enjoyed my day.  I’m thinking tomorrow will be much like today – too busy to really think.  I welcome it to be honest.

But for now…my hubby wants to watch a movie.  It’s almost 9, so I had better go and do that before I fall asleep, forget to set my alarm, and miss my Tri practice tomorrow!  W will KILL me if I do that….

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

4 thoughts on “The Key to Unstressing Is To Be Freakishly Busy!

  1. Oh, I'm loving that spicy tofu soup, Crissie! Thank you for sharing.

    I have to laugh because I can so relate to the idea that when I'm “destressing” I'm running around like a a crazy woman – but doing the things I love, so I don't mind. Today (Sunday) I have a horribly long list of (fun) things I want to do. Can't get to it all but I'll have fun trying 😉

  2. Ugh, we're having the same psycho weather. I am so over 40-degree temps. That soup sounds fantastic. I'm thinking it's going to be soup for us tonight since it's so chilly out. I love making quesadillas. I used to make them about once a week. You can just fill them with anything.

  3. It's funny, I spend so much time writing about the recipes I keep making on everyone elses blogs, I rarely think to write up my creations! I wish I had more time to spend playing in the kitchen, so I typically do make recipes I find online.
    I'd take busy (but fun) over busy and stressed any day! While I don't feel like I slacked at all, I still feel rested – like I made full use of my days off work!

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