Monthly Archives: January 2012

Knitting Requires Advanced Math

FOOD

It’s sad to say, but I’ve only cooked one big meal since Friday night.  That meal had 8 dishes, which means tons of leftovers, but still.  Just one meal.

Breakfasts have varied between smoothies (like this morning) and leftovers.

vanilla coconut milk, spinach, and frozen strawberries. Simple, but yummy!

Yesterday I made a tofu cheezy scramble tacos for breakfast, and that was fun!

tofu scrambled with nutritional yeast, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, tamari, and spices. I mixed in some of the leftover basmati rice, and served it taco style on corn tortillas

Sunday’s dinner was the main event.  I spent about 5 hours making various Indian dishes that culminated in a big feast with lots of leftovers.  On the menu was:

Garlic Naan, red lentil soup, chickpea masala, cardamom basmati rice, yellow split-pea puree (that was the favored dish), curried potatoes and carrots, cabbage salad with mustard seeds, and a beet, mint, and yogurt condiment (So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt was used).

Indian Feast

Lunch and dinner yesterday was a bowl of leftovers.

FITNESS

This weekend was mostly runs, with one bike workout.  With the crazy schedule with D and the kids, I had to work around them a lot.

I have my first injury of the season.  A fun one too!  I pulled a lower butt muscle on my right side.  The pain extends down to about 4 inches above the back of my knee.  I went to the gym yesterday to do some strength training; the same workout I did last Monday; but I could only manage one set of squats before I just hurt too much.

So here’s what I did.  It seems to be feeling a bit better today though, so I’m hoping for a quick and easy run this evening.

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Leg Raises in Captain’s Chair – Abs 2 10 Ico_delete
Jack Knife on Stability Ball – Abs 2 15 Ico_delete
abdominal Crunch on Stability Ball 2 25 Ico_delete
oblique Crunches 2 15 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Barbell 1 30 15 Ico_delete
Side Squat 1 15 Ico_delete
Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Shoulder Press w Barbell on Stability Ball 1 25 20 Ico_delete
Machine Dip 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Machine Pull Up 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 1 10 10 Ico_delete

LIFE

The kids and their friends had a blast at laser tag Friday night.  While they were all sleeping on Saturday, I took R to Williamsburg to do some outlet shopping.  Both she and M needed new shoes badly, so we took care of that.  It was a really  nice day, so we just walked around in the sunshine, had lunch, and then headed home.

We got home just after everyone started waking up.  I took a short nap, and the rest of the day was nice and lazy with an early bedtime!

Sunday was all about kitchen time for me.  D took R out to the movies and the mall (she’s he did something special with A and M on Friday, Sunday was R’s turn).  He came home with an Xbox Kinect!  Apparently there was one at the laser tag place, and the kids were going nuts with it.  D hooked it up while I was making dinner….and my kids were going nuts!  Here are some pictures of them doing some dance game.  D even picked me up a Zumba one!  Can’t wait to try it.

Yesterday was my final hat class at Knit Witts.  I’m very excited to say that I finished!  And it looks like a hat!!!!  I will say that there got to be a point where I had to move from circular needles to 5 double-pointed needles – and start doing advanced math to figure out how many stitches needed to be on each…it was a complicated mess, and I’m amazed it still turned into a sock.  Happy, but holy cow, it’s sort of crazy working with 5 needles at one time!

The next few days are looking to be quite crazy as well.  If all goes as planned, my friend will be admitted into the hospital tonight, and then induced in the morning to give birth to her 3rd baby.  While she and her hubby are focusing on that, I get to stay and play with her two kids, who are 5 and 2 1/2.  We have some fun planned (lots of cooking, games, and swimming if we can), so it’ll be a good time with them as they await their new baby brother.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fun pictures of them for the blog!

Days of the Week Beginning with Q….

FOOD

I had a wonderful green smoothie for breakfast yesterday.  Tons of coconut milk, spinach, and frozen fruit.  It really hit the spot, and I love it when the weather is warmer, because smoothies are just perfect for that.

Lunch was with D at Cutting Edge.  I had the blacked vegan chickn flatbread sandwhich with a side of couscous.  I love that place.

their vegan aioli totally makes this dish...

Dinner was some tofu parmesan!  Thinking back though, I should have had a salad too…..

love something this simple and quick to make

I’m going to whine for a minute though.  I have a tendency (okay, it’s way more than a tendency) to post picutres of food on Facebook all the time.  Very often, I have a particular uncle who weighs in on how gross he thinks my food is.  He can if he wants, but I would just like to say I DON’T EAT BAD FOOD.  Life is too short.

This morning, my breakfast was leftover tofu parm with some quinoa noodles.  Nice and hearty on a wet morning.

Lunch was a big salad, and tonight will be tacos.  And here’s why.  I will recite for you the conversation I had with my 8 year old this afternoon….

me – what do you want for dinner?

R – mexican food

me – like what?

R- is it Tuesday?

me – no, it’s Friday

R – what mexican food rhymes with Friday?

me – Fajita?  Want to do Fajita friday?

R – sure!!!  But can it be quesadillas instead?

Upon which we nearly started talking about which day of the week to rename that begins with a Q so it could sound as cool as Taco Tuesday.  But my phone rang, and that madness ended.

FITNESS

Despite my legs being utterly trashed from the strength training routine on Wednesday, I still hopped on my bike in the morning.  This routine was more about drills, and lasted for 42 minutes.

W/U:

5 min easy pace, with cadence about 90 rpm.

5 min – alternating sitting and standing for 30 min each (this is HARD on a trainer.  I have to bump it to the highest gears, and it’s still a struggle)

6 min – alternating the workload between right and left legs for 1 min each.

Main Set:

7 x 3 min – alternating 1 min on left leg, 1 min both legs, 1 min right leg.  Repeat 7 times.

C/D:

5 min – steady pace

I can tell ya that my legs were burning or wobbly most of the day!

LIFE

Work has been good this week – light on the meetings and heavy on the tasks getting done.  I love January’s for this!  Only one thing got to me yesterday, and it was late in the evening when it happened anyway.

The evening was very relaxing, and I spent most of it knitting while whatching TV with the family.  I’m as far along with my hat as I can be before my next class on Monday, and the scarf is nearly finished.  I’m so excited!

There was a period last night where D and I were making dinner in the kitchen making dinner together.  This was right after getting annoyed by something work related.  I’m pacing in the kitchen, getting angrier and angrier while I’m telling him what happened, and he stopped, grabbed me, kissed me, and started twirling me around and dancing.  There’s no way I can stay in a bad mood when that happens!  He’s so cool.

We all went to bed pretty early (too many of the family still recovering from sinus crap), and it was nice to have a peaceful and non-hectic evening.

The kids had a half day yesterday, and they’re off today and Monday.  D is taking the older kids and their friends to another over night laser tag tonight, so it’ll just be R and me, a movie, and some snuggles.

Just because I clearly can’t resist taking pictures of my cat…here’s one of Bumble this morning on my bed.

You Can Call Me Janet…Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty

FOOD

The only way to improve upon Taco Tuesday leftovers is to make a BAS version of a taco salad for breakfast on Monday morning!

Honestly, breakfast is just a meal.  I got over long ago the need to have “breakfast” food in the mornings.  I do sometimes (oatmeal, smoothies, toast with fruit), but really, give me pasta, stir fry, or anything else left over, and I’m just as happy.

I had my usual cup o joe in the morning and also had half a banana.  I find that I need that before the strength training.  Once I finally had a “real” meal, it was the salad – about 3 1/2 hrs after I woke up.

The taco filling was insanely spicy (can’t believe the difference between regular and ‘hot’ chili powder from the Spice House…but holy crap…perhaps the visible crushed red pepper should have clued me in), but the avocado’s balanced it out nicely.  And the scallions, and cucumbers, and fresh salsa.  I was full for many, many hours.

who wouldn't eat THAT for breakfast?!?

I munched on dried fruits and some veggie slices all afternoon, so my “lunch” wasn’t until nearly 230.  Lunch today was a raw soup inspired by one of Ani Pho’s creations, and was basically a Mexican gazpacho.  One bowl was insanely filling, and at nearly 8pm, I’m still not really hungry.  If nothing else, I’ll have a smoothie or juice before bed.  Need good fuel before my morning bike workout.

full of tomatoes, avocados, chilis, cilantro, limes, and fun things like that

FITNESS

Today was my 5am strength training class.  We were all whining about sore abs, so Y took it a little easy on us for ab work.  Not TOO easy, but lighter than she had planned.  Let’s just say that Monday night when I was trying to pump up my bike tires to prep for my Tuesday morning, the motion was hurting my abs so much, that D had to come finish the job for me!

Class was good, and even though strength training is pretty foreign to me, working with Y and a small group has made a big difference in my outlook towards it.  So much so, that I signed up for the next session that starts Feb. 13th.  I know it’ll only help my Tri goals this year, plus is so important as I approach…(hee hee) 40.

Our workout today was pretty intense, but I learned a whole bunch of new moves.  I love how great our instruction is, and how Y will explain everyting in such detail, and be watching constantly to correct our form and keep up from hurting outselves. One new move was affectionately called the skull crusher.  I can see why, because if that barbell slips, it’s a major whack to the forehead!  Thankfully, Y was there spotting to make sure we didn’t do that.  Essentially, you lie flat on a bench, holding a barbell with hands only 6-8 inches apart.  Keeping elbows tucked in, lower the barbell towards the forehead to work the triceps.  I think that was the hardest thing I did today.  Anyway, here’s the workout we did:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Abdominal Crunches 2 15 Ico_delete
Reverse Sit-Up 2 15 Ico_delete
Oblique crunch (each side) 2 15 Ico_delete
Back Extension 2 15 Ico_delete
Kickbacks, Bent, 1-Arm, Dumbbell 3 12 20 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 50 Ico_delete
Chest Press with Barbell 2 15 40 Ico_delete
Incline Dumbbell Fly 2 15 15 Ico_delete
Lat Pulldown, Seated on Stability Ball 2 15 70 Ico_delete
Seated Row, Floor, Machine 2 15 80 Ico_delete
Squat w Barbell 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Squat w Overhead Press 2 15 10 Ico_delete
Lateral Raise, Dumbbell, Side 2 15 5 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Bridge on Stability Ball, w Pulling Legs Towards Butt 2 15 Ico_delete
Bicep Curl w Barbell 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Step Up w Leg Lift and Overhead Press (each side) 2 10 10 Ico_delete
Tricep with barbell.  AKA…skull crusher 2 15 15 Ico_delete

I did a run later in the day.  I wore yoga pants because that’s what I had that was clean.  Remember the 2004 Superbowl half-time performance with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake?  Remember the “wardrobe malfunction”?  While mine was not so dramatic…I did learn that if one runs in nice and free-flowing yoga pants…they fall off.  My run sucked.  I spent half of it cursing my eldest child who has stolen my running pants over the past few weeks (and not washed nor returned them), and the rest cursing my husband who doesn’t help with the laundry to ensure my non-stolen ones are clean.  So if you live in my neighborhood and I flashed you either I’m sorry…or your welcome.  Your call.

LIFE

I’m sick of waking up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off.  While normally that means the difference between 615 and 630…lately it’s the difference between 4am and 415.  And 4am is dangerously close to 3am, which is dangerously close to “bar time”, and my motto that the only reason to be up that early is to have been up all night is slowing being outgrown.  And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

So when I woke up at 4am, and had to decide if it was worth putting in earplugs to drown out sicko’s (aka D’s) snuffy snores for 15 minutes…I decided to just get up.  I changed, waited for the pre-set coffee pot to be done, and spent a relaxing half hour reading CNN.com while drinking my java.

What made it all worth it was THIS!

after I went to bed last night waaaay before the rest of my family, my youngest R made this sign, that D then hung up at the entrance to the green room. So waking up at 4am sucked a whole lot less once I saw it. She even made the "mom" in all purple because it's my favorite color

After my gym session, it was a day full of productive work while balancing two sick kids.  My eldest had an exam at school today, that if she missed it, it meant a weekend make up.  She didn’t care how sick she was…she was going anyway.  So I picked her up at noon when her main high school classes ended and headed home.  SO glad I work in IT and can do pretty much anything with a computer and phone when I need to.

And I have to say my day was full of fun and cute little moments like these….

playing with Bumble. She fake attacks my wrist...

finding Bumble snuggled in R's sleeping bag on her bed

D and R snuggling up after he got home from work. Such cuddle muffins.

the girls squishing up on the chair together to eat their pizza

Sammie and M on the floor. You CANNOT be on the floor and not have Sam in your face. It's her space, and she wants to pile up if you're in it.

So can’t really beat pictures of my totally awesome family.  So on that note, going to mention how much I love my life…

Good night!

I Now Have the Bedtime of a Pre-Schooler

FOOD

I think I’m back down to one cup of coffee per day instead of two.  Not because I’m trying to reduce caffeine – but I keep running out of time to down my coffee, let my stomach settle, and do my scheduled morning workout.

So today started with one cup.  I actually tried drinking a second cup after my shower (after my workout), but I just didn’t want it.  I was planning on a green smoothie this morning, but with 3/5 of my family sick and in bed, I didn’t want to worry about my Vitamix noise waking them up.  And I was hungry!  So…my intended lunch of leftover tofu/broccoli teriyaki from last night (not the meal I planned, but just as yummy) ended up being my breakfast.

Since I ate my lunch for breakfast, I ended up stopping for a smoothie and wrap for lunch.

And since today is Taco Tuesday, I made some spicy TVP tacos from Happy Herbivore, and served on corn tortillas and topped with avocado, lettuce, onion, tomato, and vegan sour cream.  So incredibly yummy, it was hard eating only the 2.

Ohhh…and I have an apple update.  In an effort to prove to myself (and my husband) that I’m not crazy, I did some research last night on adult onset food allergies.  As it happens, there’s something called Oral Allergy Syndrome that hits adult hay fever sufferers.  And I’m telling you – my seasonal allergies this past year have been the worst they’ve been in the 8 yrs I’ve lived in VA.  Here’s a link to the article, but it describes me to a T when it comes to apples!

FITNESS

Today was another two-fer workout.  Totally not used to this early wake up thing, but I’m doing it anyway.  My alarm went off at 425am, and while I really wanted to get up, my husband’s stuffy-nosed snores convinced me I wasn’t going to fall back asleep anyway.

I had my java and after giving myself about 15 minutes for the belly to settle, I put on my iPod and hopped onto my bike for a scheduled Endurance workout.  This one mimicked rolling hills.  Here’s how those 63 minutes broke down:

5 min – steady, but easy pace warm-up.

5 min – alternate 30 seconds standing, 30 sitting

6 min – alternate focusing workload every 1 minute on each leg.  So 1 min using just your right leg, then 1 min using just left.  Repeat for 6 minutes.

6 x 2:00 – pedal at an RPE (rate of perceived exertion) of 6-10 for 2 minutes, then recover with an easy resistance for 1.  Repeat 6 times.

3 minute recovery interval.  Keeping about a 90-100 rpm

6 x 3:00 – pedal at an RPE of 10-12 for 3 minutes, then recover for 1.  Repeat 6 times.

3 minute recovery interval

5 min cool down, staying in the seat

It was awesome.  My butt hurt the last 15 minutes and it was a struggle to not stand up.

my bike on the trainer in the green room, all set for my morning sweat-fest!

After work it was off to the Y for a swim workout.  This one wasn’t long, so it was easy to talk myself into.  10-20 minute warm up (I did 13), and then a 300 yd timed test to get a baseline.  Then another 10 minute cool down.

LIFE

There’s not a lot to say about today.  I woke up early (again), and was painfully tired between 9-10am.  I resisted the diet Pepsi I was eyeing, and was fine after 10 or so.  I had several meetings that took up most of my day, but they were all just fine.

D, R, and A were all home sick today.  D has to go back to work tomorrow, A has an exam so she has to go back to school, so I guess it’s iffy if I’ll be in the office or working from home with R.  Hopefully she’ll be better, but this bug going around has been annoyingly persistent – and 7-10 days long.

On a positive note, it was sunny and in the 60’s today.  It was hard to not go run outside, but I figured 2 workouts in one day was plenty.  It’s supposed to cool off tomorrow, which is a total bummer because THAT’S a run day (and a strength training day).

D and I made dinner together this evening, which is rare, but cute.  And it’s time to shuffle the sick kids off to bed – and the tired mom who still isn’t used to getting up by 430 in the stinking morning.

The Word of the Day is E-V-I-L. Evil Apples, Evil Pull Ups, Evil Benadryl.

FOOD

Today has been a pretty low-key Monday on the food front.  I had coffee and half a banana before my workout session, and then had an apple after my shower.

I love apples.  I’ve always loved apples.  Raw, sauced, juiced, baked, in pies, on salads, or plain.  So here’s my problem.  Ever since August – whenever I eat a plain apple, the inside of my mouth, my lips, and my throat get unbearably itchy.  It doesn’t happen at all when I juice them, but it’s happened so often now when I eat a plain apple, that I’m starting to be afraid of them.  Have you ever heard of an adult onset food allergy??  The first time I thought it was a fluke…I have a wicked latex allergy, and figured that someone wearing latex gloves packaged my apple slices.  But it’s happened every time since.  It’s highly upsetting.

Since I had to take Benadryl after the apple, I was feeling very lethargic and not too hungry for most of the morning/early afternoon.  I did eat the leftover mac n trees around 2 though, when I was feeling like myself again.

I’m debating on what to do for dinner.  I have some tofu pressing, and am thinking some baked Cajun tofu, steamed broccoli, and a baked potato sound like a good choice.

FITNESS

Pull ups are evil.  Even assisted ones on a torture device/workout machine expressly designed for that purpose.  Evil, evil, evil.

Today was a day 1 of my tri schedule.  Weights and running.  My weight session was at my 5 am class.  Y (our trainer) put the 5 of us through our paces today.  I imagine I’m going to feel it later!  We did a lot of new exercises , like pull ups, dips, and squats using a barbell hooked to a machine, and these crazy ab exercises where I’m dangling by my forearms in this chair-like contraption and swinging my knees up to my chest.  While 5am is ridiculously early to be at the gym, I’m still very glad I’m doing this class.  D has encouraged me to sign up for the next session too, and I’m pretty positive I’m going to.  I don’t want to lose this momentum of strength training!

Here’s what we did this morning.  While most of America was sleeping, nice and snuggly warm.  Jerks.

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Leg Raises in Captain’s Chair – Abs 2 10 Ico_delete
Jack Knife on Stability Ball – Abs 2 15 Ico_delete
Abdmoninal Crunch on Stability Ball 2 25 Ico_delete
oblique Crunches 2 15 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 2 15 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Barbell 2 30 15 Ico_delete
Side Squat 2 15 Ico_delete
Machine Squat 2 15 35 Ico_delete
Dumbbell Chest Press on Stability Ball 2 15 10 Ico_delete
Shoulder Press w Barbell on Stability Ball 2 25 10 Ico_delete
Machine Pull Up 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Machine Dip 2 15 140 Ico_delete
Barbell Row, Bent-over 2 15 25 Ico_delete
Standing Biceps Curl, Dumbell 2 15 10 Ico_delete
Shoulder Row 2 15 10 Ico_delete

After work, I did an interval running workout outside.  It’s a beautiful 56 degrees, so a long sleeve T-shirt and my watch were all that I needed.  Since my Garmin is dead, I’m not sure how far I went, but I did 35 minutes of breaking up a normal run for 4 minutes followed by a 1 minute sprint – 7 times.  I have to say, it was totally awesome.  I felt great through the entire thing.

LIFE

I went to bed quite early last night, knowing I had to get up at a dumb hour.  After my workout, I went back home and took a quick shower to get ready for work.  I will say that Benadryl makes me really dumb (I had to take it because of the apple incident), and I’m glad I didn’t have any meetings until noon.  I wasn’t capable of driving, and ended up working from home all day.

That ended up being a good thing too, because D went into urgent care.  He’s been battling the nasty cold thing for a little over a week now.  He’s being treated for a sinus infection and has to stay home tomorrow (he fears the Neti Pot).  I’m worried that R is getting it too, as she’s a tiny little snot factory the past few days.  She doesn’t fear the neti pot, and we’re doing regular flushes to keep an infection from taking root.  Here’s hoping it works for her.  It worked for me last week!

My afternoon was jam-packed with non stop meetings from 12-5.  Despite my Benadryl induced haze in the early morning, I still felt very productive!

So now it’s off to shower #2 for the day, and then dinner, and another early bedtime 🙂

Raw Foods Detox, Girl Time, and Good Runs

FOOD

So by Thursday night, I was definitely feeling the gluten/processed foods hangover.  I’m still not convinced that I have, personally, any gluten-sensitivity…it just may be that most gluten containing foods are also processed foods – but either way, ugh.  I felt totally and constantly full, even though I didn’t eat much, and the couple of days of having gluten in my meals (pita bread with my falafel, breads, crackers, etc), and I was left feeling pretty icky.

I woke up on Friday and decided that the entire day would be raw foods (minus the coffee, of course).  So, I started the day with some fresh juice.

kale, apple, carrot, orange, strawberry juice!

For lunch, I went to my very favorite (and only…but that does not detract it from being fantastic) raw vegan restaurant in Norfolk, Quenna’s.  Friday’s are Avocado Friday’s, so I had the avocado sandwich, with stuffed tomatoes and “sunbeam” salad.  It was all amazingly refreshing and filling.  I didn’t take any pictures, sorry – but trust me.  Fantastic!

Dinner was a salad with romaine, cucumbers, dried cranberries, corn, tomato, and radish.  By the end of the day, I was feeling pretty much normal.

tossed with a homemade dressing

Saturday was a mostly raw day with some raw oatmeal (soaked buckwheat blended with a large date and vanilla, and topped with some dried fruit).  For lunch I had a raw sammich (I made a batch of raw rye “bread” in the dehydrator on Friday, and topped it with avocado, red onion, tomato, and spinach that was marinated in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and spices).  I will say – this particular batch of raw bread has been my very favorite so far, and I can see making this regularly.

raw oatmeal is SO good....

raw bread dough heading into the dehydrator

finished bread

my raw sammich!

Dinner was cooked food.  Thai food with S to be exact.  Fresh tofu spring rolls, tofu green curry, and red wine.  All gluten-free, of course.

Today I had the rest of the raw oatmeal for breakfast (which I fast see becoming a staple), and went to lunch with AC after church at Pasha’s, where I had my stand-by of red lentil soup and kale/beet salad.  Dinner was Mac & Trees (gluten-free) from Appetite for Reduction.

Mac & Trees made with quinoa elbow noodles

All told, I’m feeling more like myself the past few days, and for that I’m grateful.  You’d think I’d learn my lesson when it comes to eating processed foods.  Processed foods = feeling like crap.  A smart girl would avoid that.

So I will note that the next few months will be interesting with regards to food and caloric intake as my training schedule ramps up.  I have to get away from the mindset that my best fuel is toast, pancakes, or pretzels if I’m going to keep this gluten-free thing up.

Aside from all this, my dehydrator has gotten a crazy workout.  Raw breads, kale chips (about 3 lbs worth, and A ate them ALL), and some banana/cinnamon chips.  I’m reading my camping/hiking trail cooking books, and I’m going to have to start planning major dehydrator sessions to get ready!

prepping for some banana chips!

these are in the Excalibur right now!!! Banana - sliced uniformly on my mandolin - with some cinnamon sprinkled on top

FITNESS

I found myself in downtown Norfolk at the wee hours of the morning, so I did my run down there.  I missed my tri club run because A had to be downtown around 8am, and D was taking R to swimming.

The run was great.  I LOVE running in new areas, and Ghent is just fun.  The houses are huge and old, as is the neighborhood in general.  But it’s also über trendy, so a combination of big old houses and hip yuppies walking their dogs and kids to Starbucks was just fun and energizing.

My run was only 45 minutes (plus a 5 min warmup and 5 min cool down).  I felt like I could have easily doubled that, but I had to be back to the van for when A’s volunteering was over.  It’s a good thing I ran when I did, because 2 minutes after I finished, it started to rain…and didn’t let up all day.

I will give a big shout out to my husband D, who often knows me better than I know myself.  As I was getting ready to leave that morning, I really didn’t want to run or go to the gym.  He told me to be prepared to, because I’d just feel better if I went.  And he was right.  Not long after I parked, I was itching to run, so if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been prepared to.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my Tri training plan.  I still haven’t picked the ones I’m doing, but I’m leaning towards one in DC, plus here in Virginia Beach.

LIFE

It’s been a good, if not busy weekend.  Friday after work was about bulk grocery shopping.  Sam’s club hauls of spinach, mushrooms, cabbage, fruit, and dried fruits.  It was pretty fun, actually.

Saturday was busy in a different way.  Chauffering mostly.  It’s audition time at my daughter’s high school for students applying for next year, and she volunteered for this weekend.  She was assigned the job of photographer, so it was her responsibility to take pictures of all the applicant’s art work for the judges.  To give you an idea….when she had to audition and was accepted to the program – she was one of 19.  It’s pretty competitive, and it’s fun to watch her help out the new kids trying to get it.

After getting back home around 11, it was time for a post-run shower, lunch, and then back to downtown with all 3 kids for haircuts.  That took nearly 2 hrs (without getting into too much detail, A’s haircut took forever because one girl kept screwing it up, and she ended up with 2 people just to fix it).

post hair-cut R

post hair cut M

post hair cut A

Then it was back home, drop off the girls, and take M shopping for a birthday present for his friend.  Then time to take him to the party, and then meet up with S for dinner.  Since we hung out at the Thai place for so long, we decided to hit up a local bar for a quick beer before I had to pick M up at 10.

I will say…that Busky’s is pretty much a red neck bar.  It’s a couple blocks from where I live, and is good for a beer or two (just ask my Dad about their pitchers of Blue Moon!).  What neither S nor I expected was a band of 4 white boys doing a pretty good job of playing live reggae music.  Sometimes I really love VA!

Today was babying my husband and R who are sick, then church, then brunch with AC.  She’s going to have a baby any day now, and I get to keep her other two!  I have so many plans for them (they’re 5 and 2 1/2).  Cooking, swimming, playing, and general spoiling rotten.  It’s going to be so much fun!!!

Afterwards it was time to hit up the fabric store.  I wanted to yesterday, but ran out of time.  I’m re-upholstering my dining room chairs, and am looking for fabric.  Unfortunately, the really nice place isn’t open on weekends, and I had no luck at the other ones.

So I’m wrapping up all my fun things (like blogging!) so I can get to bed in the next hour.  One of these days, my alarm going off at 420am won’t annoy me.  I hope!

Fashion, Fun, and Food

FOOD

My greens consumption has gone down ever so slightly the past few days.  Though I’m sure I eat many more than the average american!

Monday night was baked falafel with a lemon tahini sauce in a pita.  Yum yum yum.  Tuesday was Taco Tuesday like normal – though not with me actually cooking.  We went to Costa Azul just up the street after picking A up from school.  It had been a loooong day, and I wasn’t up to cooking.  And since D is pretty rarely up for it, dinner out it was.

falafel patties heading into the oven

my dinner!

veggie fajitas at Costa Azul

Last night I met up with a girlfriend at Carrabba’s for some Wine Wednesday, and while there we split a zucchini appetizer and I had a salad too.  Carrabba’s is always a fav.

Tonight we’re talking A out for a celebratory dinner, but not sure where yet.  Her choice (though I’m hoping she picks Geisha, my favorite Japanese place!).

FITNESS

Tuesday I went for a nice run before work.  It was clear, in the 50’s, with only some slight gusts of wind, and seemed perfect to bust out a quick 4 miles.  I’m glad I went before work since as the day progressed it got really windy and rainy.

Wednesday at 5am was another WOW session (Women on Weights).  Here’s the workout:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Reverse Sit-Up 2 15 Ico_delete
Abdominal Crunches 2 15 Ico_delete
Goblet Squat (Feet Together) 3 10 15 Ico_delete
Mountain Climber 3 10 Ico_delete
Squat w Dumbbell Swing 3 10 10 Ico_delete
T Push Up 3 10 Ico_delete
Side Squat with Front Raise 3 10 10 Ico_delete
Lunge 3 10 Ico_delete
Alternating Reverse Lunge 3 10 Ico_delete
Push Up with Tricep Raise 3 10 10 Ico_delete
Dumbbell Row, One-Arm, Bent-Over 6 10 15 Ico_delete
Squat w Overhead Press 3 10 10 Ico_delete

I also renewed my USA Triathlon membership for 2012 (woo hoo) and made my winter tri training schedule that will take me through the end of April!  It’s pretty aggressive with the number of days, but the workouts themselves should be totally doable.  I have a few new book resources, and I built the plan from that.  I used this book for my swim workouts (is waterproof and can have poolside!), and this for my indoor cycling.  Also waterproof, so I can sweat on it while it’s on my handlebars!  I added my 3 days a week of strength training, and 3 days of running from a 1/2 marathon training plan.  All told, I should be ready for Tri season!  Now…I just have to pick my races!!!

LIFE

It’s been another good week so far with regards to work.  Early in the year, the meeting schedules are still pretty light, so I can get a lot done.  Which is good, because I have one particular high-profile project with a looming deadline.

Monday I had my knitting hat class!  After a few setbacks in the beginning (wrong sized needles and messing up the cast on the first time), I really got the hang of it.  There are 6 of us in the class, and 5 of us belong there.  One sort of acted like a total know-it-all about knitting and kept trying to correct the instructor.  I figure if she’s that great, she doesn’t belong in a 101 class!

I have my own little deadline to finish the hat and scarf I’m working on.  I must have 6 inches done on the scarf before the next class (in 2 weeks), where we learn how to decrease and finish it.

A few random pictures from dinner out on Tuesday…

M playing with his phone

R jamming to something on the iPad....

and A...probably laughing at something D said...

Today was a pretty monumental occasion.  I’ve mentioned a billion times that my eldest daughter goes to a special art high school.  She has developed a particular love of fashion, and as part of her junior year independent project, she requested to put on her school’s first ever fashion show.  Keep in mind that her school didn’t have any type of fibers or fashion related program until she and a small handful of students showed interest in wanting to learn it.  I love that about her school – if a student has a desire to learn something and they don’t have the program or expertise – they get it.  It’s so awesome for the kids.

Anyway, after months of preparing, the show was today.  A was responsible for the set, make up, models, ensuring the participating designers had their projects done on time, the music, arranging for photography and videography….every single little detail.  So it was really an art AND business/management project.  Oh…she she did 3 dresses for it too.  The only one who did (yes, that’s me, oozing with pride).

Here are a few shots of the event.  They don’t do it justice, and I can’t wait to see the official photos.   Her brother and sister were really excited too!

A (on the right) with her three friends/models, posing for a post-show picture

a quick picture of some of the models....didn't get them all, but honestly was focusing on the girls wearing A's dresses!

and A....the future fashion mogul!!!

After the show was over, the class instructor, the program director and the head of the school were talking to A about her inspiration and other ideas she has, and plans for the future.  The head of the school was very impressed (they all were….A was just glowing with pride, it was wonderful) and has offered to put her name out in some fashion circles to see if anyone is interested in having an intern this summer.  Like in NY.  Holy crap!  She’s SIXTEEN.  hee hee

Okay, I’m done.  Because that’s really been the coolest part of the week!

Greenalicious…Green Lantern…Lizard Woman….You Get The Idea…

FOOD

Green.  The color of the day, and the predominant color of my food.  I’m craving them like nobody’s business!  My youngest had a couple of books a few years ago.  One was called Pinkalicious, and one was Purplelicious.  There are more in the series now, but R is too old.  If you have a 4-6 yr old little girl in your life, I’d suggest picking these up though!  In each, she ate foods of predominantly that color, and her skin and hair turned to match.  That’s going to be me.  Greenalicious!

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie.  Unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious brand as always), many handfuls of spinach, half of a banana, and some frozen pineapple.

Lunch was a turkish red lentil soup and a kale and beet salad from Pasha’s (and a glass of malbec).  The waitress knew what I wanted before I even ordered, which is just funny.

I forgot my camera, so D took a pic of my food with his phone. Clearly my skin isn't green. Yet.

my pretty (and pretty amazing) kale and beet salad

and because he was being cute...he took a picture of HIS food. Turkish french toast. No syrup or anything, but he said it was incredible

For a mid-day snack, I made some kale chips.  I also whipped up a kale salad, and a smokey tempeh and greens stew with….KALE.   I will admit that I was too full to eat dinner (kale must expand 100 fold in my belly), so the salad and stews were left for today!

SO simple. Olive oil, sherry, and then sprinkled with sea salt when they come out after roasting 35 min at 300 degrees. Heaven pretending to be a green chip thingy

This morning I had coffee and fruit for breakfast.  Lunch was the kale salad I made last night (steamed a ton of kale for 10 minutes, then coated in a lemon juice/garlic/olive oil dressing).  I threw in some chopped beets that I picked up yesterday (cheating by using the canned kind, but was still awesome!).

okay, not nearly as pretty as the kale salad from Pashas, but it was good. I steamed the kale too long and used a bit too much garlic, but I'm more than willing to experiment on myself with future versions of this salad

I roasted a big bunch of beets (regular and golden ones) for use in a wild rice and orange salad for dinner tonight, as well as roasted a butternut squash to make a coconut/squash/rice dish.  Oh, and will be serving with some homemade baked falafel.  I guess you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to find out how THAT went 🙂

individually wrapped baby beets, heading into the oven for a long roast

I love winter squash! I actually like it more than summer squash...

FITNESS

This morning was another 5am strength training session!  Only 4 of us showed up (out of the 6 in the class), but we had one heck of a workout.  I’m seriously considering signing up for the next class when this 6 weeks are up.  Thanks to my sister, I track my workouts in a website/application called My Fitness Pal.  Since I already wrote it there this morning, I figured I’d cut and paste it.  Here’s the workout I did this morning, at least when I remembered of it:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Lat Pulldown 3 15 60 Ico_delete
Bench (Chest) Press, Machine 3 15 30 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Seated Row, Floor, Machine 2 12 60 Ico_delete
Front Raises, Straight Arm 2 12 5 Ico_delete
Abdominal Crunches 3 15 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Reverse Crunch 3 15 Ico_delete
Russian Twist 3 20 Ico_delete
Plank 3 1 Ico_delete
Flat Dumbbell Fly 3 12 75 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 3 12 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Leg Lift 2 30 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat 2 15 40 Ico_delete
Squat w Side Leg Raise 2 10 Ico_delete
Box Jump 2 15 Ico_delete
Barbell Row, Bent-over 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Dips 2 15 Ico_delete

Afterwards, I did a quick half hour on the treadmill.  It was 22 degrees out.  No way I was running outside in that, and until my ear ache is fully gone, I’m avoiding the pool.

LIFE

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  After church, D and I went out to lunch at Pasha’s (one of my favorite local places in Norfolk).  Since he’s agnostic (I’m Catholic), we just met up after I was done at mass.  Pasha’s has a jazz brunch thing on Sunday’s, so it was quite cute, just the two of us.

After lunch, we dropped the Bug off at the dealership and went home.  Then I did our weekly meal planning, and headed off to the grocery.

The rest of the evening was spent in the kitchen, and then watching Facebook for updates on the Green Bay Packer’s game.  When no one I knew….my sister, my cousins, or my friends who are diehard Packer friends weren’t posting about ANYTHING, I knew it wasn’t good news.  Alas, GB lost, and the season is over for us.

Today is a federal holiday, so my kids are off of school.  Since we’re down a vehicle, I stayed home while my husband took mine to work.  I had only one meeting, so was able to knock a lot more off my to-do list.  While wearing workout clothes and no makeup.  I love days like today!

Turning an Experiment Into a Committment

FOOD

Back in August when I went to Vida Vegan Con in Portland, I came home with a desire to explore gluten-light living.  Over the course of the past 3 months, I’ve done my best to minimize or avoid it altogether.  The last 4 weeks, I’ve had very, very little gluten, and I can honestly say – this is no longer a trial.  I feel better when I have no gluten.  My stomach is more settled, I have more energy, and I feel more alert and focused.  And to add some TMI – my PMS symptoms were nearly non-existent for the first time in a LONG time (mostly stomach problems).  I’m convinced, and will continue to root gluten out of my life as much as possible.

So again I had a week with pretty much no postable pictures!  It’s not that I haven’t cooked…but I just sort of neglected to take any shots!

I ended up coming down with a wicked head cold on Wednesday, so much of my week has been fresh juices.  There’s something awesome about juicing in the winter.

I’ve made a few vegan chilis, lentil soups, tofu/potato/lime/cilantro tacos, and even gravy-baked mushroom tofu “steaks” this week though.  Sad I didn’t bust out the camera for that!  Here’s a recipe though.

Crissie’s Gravy-Baked Mushroom Tofu Steaks

Ingredients

*1 block pressed tofu cut into 6 steaks

*8 ounce container of baby bella mushrooms (or those of your choosing)

*2 tbsp Earth Balance (or vegan margarine of choice)

*2 tbsp flour (I used chickpea flour to keep it gluten-free)

*1 1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened So Delicious plain coconut milk)

*3 cloves garlic

*1 tbsp soy sauce (I used the gluten-free tamari)

Directions

*preheat the oven to 350 degrees

*in a medium saucepan on med-high, melt the Earth Balance, and then saute the mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms start releasing their liquids and are well cooked.  Mix in the flour.  Slowly add the coconut milk, stirring until thick.  You may have to bump the heat up until the sauce becomes bubbly.  You’re essentially making a cream-of-mushroom soup!

~hint – my eldest daughter “thinks” she hates mushrooms, so I used my immersion hand blender to smooth out the mushroom chunks.  It’s not necessary – unless you’re trying to hide the ingredients the way I did!

*add the tamari/soy sauce.  Simmer for a minute or two.

*dust the tofu steaks with sea salt and fresh pepper.  I did a quick sear in a non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes on each side before placing in a baking dish.  Once in the dish, cover the steaks with the mushroom soup mixture.

*bake – uncovered – for 20-25 minutes

I served with vegan mashers (the gravy from the dish drenched on top), a salad, and steamed veggies.

FITNESS

Another two days of strength training sessions at the Y this week!  5 am classes are early, but I admit to love getting it done and out of the way so early in the day.  Now…if I can only extend that to cardio workouts, I’ll be set!

This week’s sessions were different, but no less grueling.  Wednesday was a lot of leg and butt work, and I will admit to my tush being quite sore.  We did some torturous thing with a band and single leg squats that I thought were going to kill me!  I do like the small person trainer session though.

I ran one day and swam one.  Until I got sick 😦

LIFE

It’s been a busy, but mostly good week.  Work was great.  I either delegated off most of my meetings, or blocked my calendar around the ones I couldn’t avoid.  By the end of Monday, I had read, color coded, filed, and sorted ALL of my inbox at work.  That was almost 1000 emails.  WOO HOO FOR UBER PRODUCTIVITY!!!  I was in the office by 8, had no meetings (other than a quick 15 minute huddle with one of my teams), and stayed until 630 or so (aside from a quick lunch with D at Jason’s Deli), but it was a really good day.  After being off for a bit, it was nice to get in and feel so focused.

Tuesday I had my weekly VP meeting at a different location, grabbed a quick lunch, and then was back in my office kicking ass.  I had a to-do list for each day of the week, and pretty much knocked it all out.

On Wednesday, it all went downhill.  I finished my workout, showered, and was on the way to work when the snot monster struck.  Hard.  By the time I was in my office, I was hunting down my co-worker DS who always has Sudafed and Advil (she’s an allergy monster like I am).  I felt like hell all day, but got through it.  I was home by 430 though, and feeling sorry for myself.

Thursday and Friday was tough, and I felt like dirt.  The Neti pot wouldn’t even break through the clog (sorry for the visual).  I eventually took a hot shower, and then used it right after that.  Miraculous.  It didn’t do much for the ear ache, but certainly helped the drips.  My insomnia tends to double up when I’m sick, so I didn’t sleep much after Tuesday.  Thank goodness for Twitter, Facebook, iBooks, Kindles, and my iPad.  I probably would have gone nuts without those!

Today I feel MUCH better.  Still a bit clogged and itchy eyed, but I can breathe again and itching to get out and about!

On a totally fun note…one good thing about being sick was my ability to catch up on 2 weeks of Vampire Diaries, CSI:NY, and to make massive headway on my knitting.  I also signed up for a hat class at Knit Wits the next two Monday’s!  My goal is to finish my scarf, and make a matching hat!

Speaking of….time to go work on that!

Someone Tell Me What Day It Is!

FOOD

Okay, I can’t possibly list everything the past four days, but here are some highlights:

Curried lentils and rice with some Tofurkey sausages (made at my parent’s house), yogurt and bananas, Cajun tofu, table side made guacamole, veggie fajitas, BEER, Moe’s tofu rice bowl, vegan veggie pizza, and my fav (though no picture) of tofu parm from the Happy Herbivore cookbook made for me on Friday night by my daughter A!

Some of the meals were back in WI, and some here in VA.  I don’t have pictures of them all, but I managed to snap some of them.

Cajun tofu dinner!

 

curried lentils and rice with tofurkey keilbasa

guacamole made at our table. LOTS of cilantro 🙂

veggie fajitas

onion, mushroom, orange bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, Daiya chz vegan whole wheat pizza

FITNESS

Despite the travel, I’m happy that I made time to hit the gym a couple of times.  I spent Wednesday night at my sister’s house, and Thursday morning she and I and her son G went to their YMCA.  She’s been taking the kids there for swim lessons for a while now, but wasn’t a member nor had worked out there (she actually works out every day at her house….something I’m incapable of doing myself!).

Since I’m a member here in VA, I can go to any YMCA in the world – and bring a guest.  I called ahead to be sure, and they set aside a week-long guest pass for C.  We checked in, dropped G off at the kids play area, and I headed to the weight area while C hit the treadmill.

I was setting up to do my strength training workout when I noticed that they didn’t have light barbells (I needed 30 and 40 lbs).  I asked for help from the woman working in that area and she was really wonderful.  They didn’t have the lighter barbells, but showed me modifications I could do with dumbbells.  She also asked if she could look over the workout (I had explained to her where it came from), and she made a comment on what a good workout it was, so that was nice.  I finished up right as C was also, and while I hit the showers, she got the full tour of the place (and signed her family up as members!).

Saturday morning I went to my Y back here in VA to take R for her swimming lessons.  Not to brag (okay, maybe a little bit), my little bugger is the fastest of the group.  She’d lap everyone for each drill.  And I swear…her breast stroke is way better than mine!

After she was showered up, I dropped her off in the Interactive zone to rock climb and play, while I hit the weights.  That makes THREE times in one week.  Probably a record for me.  A bit later that afternoon, I did a 45 minute run in my neighborhood.

LIFE

The funeral was a very emotional time, but also a chance to see family.  I saw and got to talk to relatives that had lost touch over the years, and it was just amazing.  It really renewed my goals to keep in better touch with everyone.  Just because I chose to live far away shouldn’t mean I isolate myself from everyone.

My favorite part was spending time with my niece and nephew.  They just got a Wii for Christmas and really wanted me to watch them play…hence the pictures of the back of them!  We also did a FaceTime chat with D and my kids, which was fun.  At one point, I was doing FaceTime with S back in VA, and G and M (my sister’s M) popped into the screen.  The look on S’s face was priceless, and the kids had fun chatting with her for a couple…until my sister shuffled them off to bed!

M and G playing Wii

yes...that's my sister in a little kid chair playing Wii with my niece 🙂

G playing with my iPad. He figured out how to not only play games, but launch Netflix and find Thomas the Tank Engine!

C and I watched the Lincoln Lawyer (which was good), and went to see Mission Impossible 4 the next day (which I’ve seen twice now, I like it so much).  Then it was back to my parent’s house, where my Dad and I went out for Mexican food and beer.  Okay…only I had beer, but still….it was really nice.

I left WI Friday early afternoon and landed in nice 70 degree weather in the early evening.  I was home by 7, and in bed by 930!

The weekend here has been hectic too, but I’m not complaining.  Gym, running, cleaning, rented movie watching (Super 8), going to a party, church, menu planning, bill paying, grocery shopping, homemade pizza making, and pretty soon, packing lunches for tomorrow, and setting out my workout clothes for my 5am class tomorrow!  Whew.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

So my time off if coming to an end.  I will admit that I’m looking forward to life as normal again, and spending all day tomorrow meeting-free in my office, catching up on the past 2 weeks I’ve been off.