Monthly Archives: March 2012

Miller Lite Blue

FOOD

This morning’s breakfast was some leftover brown rice, mixed veggies, and chickpeas.  Sort of bland, but I was in a hurry!

Lunch was some red lentil soup and a kale and beet salad.  Very, very yummy!

On a fun note, I had my first bourbon yesterday!  AC and I had plans, and part of that was a stop at the Public House in Norfolk before heading to meet up with other girls for some happy hour.  AC and her husband are big bourbon fans, and I think she was a bit horrified (over a year ago) to find out I’d never had it.  So finally…we went.  She ordered two brands, and I had to pick which I liked best.  Woodford beat out Maker’s Mark.  It took a few sips, but it grew on me.

FITNESS

Okay, so I came to a painful conclusion today.  It makes me sad, but relieved at the same time.

I’m not going to do any Tri training this year.  I’ve felt like the last few months have been jamming workouts in, and I feel that I’ve lost a certain level of fitness – particularly with running.  I’ve always been a good swimmer and cyclist too, but running is always work.  I worked really hard at it for years, and finally got to a place where I enjoyed them, and looked forward to them.  Since my training runs are so short in comparison to what I used to do (typically 5 mi or less), I feel like my running fitness is slowly fading away.  And between the three sports plus trying to stick to weight training, I just can’t keep up with the amount of time it takes me away from home.  With running, all I usually have to do is head out the front door.  Even though D is doing more of the cooking at home, it’s still become too stressful.

I’m still going to try to swim and cycle on non-running days…if I feel like it.  But I’m not going to push myself like I have been just to get those workouts in.

LIFE

It’s been one HECK of a week.  Actually, the past few have been pretty intense at work and life in general.  Thankfully, Spring Break is right around the corner.  And while I’m not totally taking off the entire time….many people are, which means my calendar won’t be so jam-packed.

Yesterday was a nice little break from the chaos though.  AC scheduled pedicures for she and I after work (and before happy hour).  A couple of days before hand, I asked D if he had any preference as to toenail color.  Of course he said no…whatever I liked.  To which I think I told him to have an opinion and get back to me.  So…Tuesday evening (while drinking a beer), he tells me he has an opinion, and he’d like it if i painted my nails blue.  He’s trying to describe the blue he has in his head, and I point at his can of beer and ask “that color”?.  To which he got excited and said yes!  So now…my toes are Miller Lite Blue.

 

 

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I will be straying from the usual format, just for today.  When it’s been a whole week since blogging, going with my standard format gets quite lengthy!

I just wanted to touch base and reassure you all that I’m still here.  The past week has been very stressful, and I just didn’t have the time or energy to blog.  Thankfully, this week is looking a bit better, so I’m hoping to be back to regularly scheduled programming.

I broke down and started taking Zyrtec D.  My allergies aren’t as bad, but it does make me a bit sleepy, and I hate that.  It’s a fair trade-off though to be able to breathe again!

I took my son to see John Carter.  My personal take was that it was fun.  It’s like a love child between Disney, Star Wars, and Avatar.  M loved it.  D took the girls to the Hubble Imax movie and dinner this weekend, which was apparently fun too.  I love that he takes special time with each of the kids.

One of the best parts of the weekend was Bloody Mary Sunday with S.  It’s been a bit since we did that, so it was long overdue.  Saturday night D and I went out for Indian food, and then came home and watched a movie.  So all in all, it was a nice weekend.

On the workout front, our weather has been crazy, so the planned outdoor workouts were moved indoors (like swimming instead of running in the pouring rain), and even got in a hot yoga class done.   This weekend we’re having a tri club dinner event, which should be fun.

So stay tuned, a return to regular programming is coming soon 🙂

The Season of Sudafed

Spring has sprung, the grass is green, and there’s f-ing pollen everywhere….

FOOD

Breakfast was some brown rice crackers (gluten-free) and curry tofu eggless salad.  It was simple, the eggless salad was already made, and I was sort of in a hurry!

Lunch was leftover baked penne that I made over the weekend.  I love that it was full of zucchini, yellow squash, fresh basil, and tons of swiss chard, not to mention tofu ricotta and yummy marinara sauce.  That recipe is totally a keeper.

I forgot my banana for the afternoon, and ended up having more eggless salad wrapped in a corn tortilla and topped with sprouts.  And dinner…just a simple green salad.  Not feeling like eating anything fun since I can’t exactly breathe at the moment!

FITNESS

Today was a beautiful day, screaming for an outdoor workout.  The Tri club met to run sprints, but due to car issues (which is thankfully now fixed), I couldn’t meet up at the track in Virginia Beach to run with them.  I did, however, do the same workout at home, and spent a half hour running sprints.  My legs are trashed.

Late afternoon, I hit up the pool to make up for the swim that wasn’t yesterday.  I’m glad I did, and now I feel like less of a slacker!

LIFE

Happy first day of spring!  I have a love/hate relationship with the season as a whole.  On the positive side…the temps warm up, and the flowers bloom.  On the bad side, the flowers bloom and I cease being able to breathe through my nose and I become a human snot machine.  My eyes itch, and I sneeze so often that people stop saying “bless you” and just roll their eyes at me.  Sudafed and I begin our intimate relationship that will last throughout the season…and as if on queue…it all started today.  Joy (insert sarcasm here).

Today was a hectic day, namely because we were down a car.  D dropped the bug off yesterday afternoon, and it was supposed to be ready last night.  It wasn’t.  So the new plan was it was supposed to be done by 930 this morning.  It wasn’t, and by 1230 I was panicking a bit that I’d have to cancel my 2pm dentist appt.

Thankfully, it was ready by 1245, and everyone got carted around and dropped off before my appt.  Speaking of…

My teeth are great.  Very little tartar, no signs of any inflammation indicating future periodontal disease, and no cavities.  Bad news…I still have a stress fracture in my tooth (from clenching and grinding my teeth) that needs a crown asap…lest I require a root canal.  Problem is…I had that appt a few months ago, went, and had a really bad reaction to the numbing injection.  So bad..that I never went back, even though I know I need to.  So here I am…still with a broken tooth, and I have to get it taken care of.  Here’s hoping the second time works well…or I’ll end up in jail for killing my dentist.

For several years, D and I have talked about getting a chest freezer.  With the size of our family and the amount of cooking I do, it’s always been something we’ve wanted, but didn’t want to spend the money on.  It came up the other day, and he looked on Craigslist.  Lo and behold, he found one.  We went today to look at it, and it’s hardly been used at all!  We got it for half off retail, and have it home and hooked up in the garage!!

So on that note, I’m going to sign up for my local CSA and give myself (even more of a) reason to cook in bulk….now that I have a place to store my creations!!!

 

Cats, Foods, and a Swim that Wasn’t

FOOD

The past few days have seen some really great meals. I felt a little like I lost my cooking groove for a few days, and maybe that coincided with D being gone, but I’m back to having fun in the kitchen.

I picked up another new cookbook, and I’m really loving it. The Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking. No joke that I love the Idiot’s guide books. And I’m loving this book. I’ve already made several recipes and all have gone over smashingly.

Including…my first ever really successful bready thing! I made pancakes with buckwheat and brown rice flour. They came out REALLY well, and I’m very excited about how easy they were too. I’ve also made a yam/hummus thing, a soup, a killer veggie packed baked penne dish, and part of dinner tonight – an Indian Vegetable Biryani. It’s really a keeper.

Saturday night was dinner out with AC and her husband JC at Gordon Bierch. I was happy to see they have a vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free sections of their menu. I had a veggie stir fry that was actually very tasty.

FITNESS

I almost swam today. As in suit on and goggles and swim cap in hand. I picked R up after work/school and took her to the Y with me. I did a 45 minute strength training routine while she “worked out” in the Interactive Zone (rock climbing, table tennis, biking to a video game….I think I want HER workouts), and then we planned to hit the pool for 20 minutes of lap swimming. While we were scoping out the pool to find a lane we could swim together in, R realized she had a bandaid on her foot from when the front screen door bit her yesterday. She took it off, and her cut just started gushing blood. No way she could go in the pool, so with very sad expressions, we hit the showers….sans swim.

At least I got a good circuit training session in. My heart rate was up there, and I was definitely sweating. Here it is:

Warm Up – 1 set of each (reps in parens)
~forward and back leg swings (10)
~side leg swings (10)
~sumo squat to standing (10)
~reverse lunge with reach back/stretch (8 each leg)
~low side to side lunges (8 each leg)

Circuit 1 (3 sets each)
~single leg hip raise (12 each leg)
~side plank (hold 30 seconds each side)
~plank (hold 40 seconds)
~sit ups (12)

Circuit 2 (3 sets each)
~dumbbell squat w/15 lb in each hand (15)
~single arm cable row w/35 lbs (12)
~barbell straight leg deadlift w/50 lbs (12)
~dumbbell incline chest press w/10 lbs (12)

Circuit 3 (3 sets each)
~reverse dumbbell lunge w/10 lbs (12 each leg)
~dumbbell shoulder press w/8 lbs (12)
~dumbbell lunch on a box/riser w/10 lbs (10)
~tricep pressdown on cable machine 40 lbs (12)
~dumbbell curl 10 lbs (12)

Side planks suck. Just telling you now.

LIFE

The past few days have been really nice. Friday I took M and R to the Shamrock Expo where R picked up a Runner Girl t-shirt. Then I took them out to dinner, where we caught the second half of a basketball game where one of our local colleges (and a major underdog) won a game. It was fun.

Saturday was a crazy-busy day. We went to Busch Garden’s for their pass holder preview day. It was in the 70’s and sunny, and if you read my blog with any regularity, you know we’re BG junkies. The older two went off to ride every roller coaster possible, while D, R, and I strolled around and did a few rides too. It was a really great day.

The evening was dinner and the symphony and drinks with friends. A very nice time.

Sunday I was back to my usual self. Up early (ish), pouring through cookbooks, blogs, and websites looking for fun things to make and doing up my meal plan (love my Menu Planner app…thanks AC for that particular recommendation). After plugging in my meal plans through next weekend, I generated my grocery list and hit up some marathon grocery shopping.

4 hrs later…I was back with a van packed full of food. And I played in the kitchen all night long!

D and the kids did some major housecleaning while I was at the markets, and I captured my crazy suitcase-obsessed cat trying to get in some last minute fun in the bag.

Today was work as usual, and D was able to get the Bug in for the rest of the repairs (and another battery…the last one lasted 4 days with the hosed alternator…both will be ready by morning).

So that’s it! D’s home (yay) and life is blissfully back to normal.

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Syrup and Cottonballs

FOOD

Tuesday was Taco Tuesday, but quesadilla style. Quick and easy Daiya cheese and leftover pintos from the pressure cooker. That was for the kids, I just wasn’t feeling it. I opted for a monster green smoothie instead. So Delicious Vanilla Coconut milk, a frozen fruit blend if peaches, mangoes, and bananas, and as many handfuls of spinach I could fit in the container. It was really yummy. A hint of sweetness from the fruit and the vanilla, but not that cloying sweetness you get from smoothie chain places.

Wednesday morning I had some coffee and then some oatmeal, that I mixed in some soya granules, dried cherries, and raw sunflower seeds. It was remarkably hearty and I was full for hours.

I took the day off to spend with D, and we went out to lunch at a little pizza place in Ghent. I was sold when they had a sign advertising their vegan menu. HEAVEN. I got the veggie calzone which was marinated veggies cooked with vegan ricotta and Daiya mozzarella cheese and baked into a light and flakey crust. Definitely making this place a regular habit.

Wednesday evening meant D was grilling (YAY, he’s home). And when anyone else makes dinner, they NEVER EVER think of me…so I end up going without…or having to make my own dinner anyway. In this case, I made a baked potato. That D accidentally sent crashing to the floor for Sammie to eat when he bumped my arm. I did make a 2nd one because D felt so horrible. I personally was willing to just not have dinner.

Today has been low key also. Toast with sunflower butter for breakfast, a vegan stromboli for lunch, and stir fry veggies and tofu for dinner.

FITNESS

Getting excited for the NTTP schedule to be published tomorrow. With the weather warming up,the outdoor workouts are going to be awesome.

This past couple weeks, it’s been mostly about the running though. I still think running is my weakest sport. I’m a solid swimmer, and can make up quite a bit of time on a bike. I lose that momentum going into the run, and it frankly pisses me off. I’ve decided that after this Tri season is over, I’m going to focus only on running, and aim for a spring full marathon – maybe the Flying Pirate in the Outerbanks.

So speaking of running, that’s what I did. While D was napping off his jet lag, I went for a run to enjoy the sunshine. It was magnificent.

LIFE

I have had one of those weeks where I feel like the dumbest person on the planet. Where there’s no way of talking yourself out of knowing that you did something that was such a brain fart, the entire state was wondering what the smell was.
Here is my submission for the dumbass of the year award….

I woke Monday morning with my eyes feeling all sticky and nasty. Sort of like someone poured syrup in my eyes. I took a shower, washed the gunk out as best I could, took some sudafed, and decided that this was really going to be a day where I wear my glasses. Something I almost never do. As the day goes by, that syrupy feeling gets crustier, and now it feels like I’ve had cottonballs rubbed over them, making them stringy, gritty, itchy, and like I just went on a 3 day drug bender (NOT that I know what this is like…it’s just an analogy people). Tuesday was worse, with my eyes getting very blury and painful. Same for Wednesday. D and I spent the day together, and had to hit up Home Depot for some hippie light bulbs for my bathroom. While sitting in the van wondering if I should even drive with my blury and nasty eyes, I took a look at them. A hard look. You know what I saw? Contact lenses. I had been wearing a pair of contacts for about 5 days straight and never realized it. I felt so incredibly stupid. Especially since I was technically wearing contacts AND wearing glasses the entire time. Dumb. Ass.

We’re having more car drama with my daughter’s Bug. This time we thought it was just the battery,which we replaced (not a cheap thing for a diesel bug). And learned that the alternator is shot, and that’s causing the drains on the battery. $4-600 to get that fixed. Oh well. That’s why we work hard I suppose.

R started her intense private swim lessons today. She’s a very strong and fast swimmer, and the next step is competitive swim team. She’s worried she’s not quite good enough, so she’s going to get some really in depth one-on-one instruction over the next 2 months to increase her confidence and skill levels. She certainly had a blast today.

And I got a pedicure to make my feet cute, spring ready, and with Irish green nails.
I’m very much looking forward to this weekend. I will be hitting up the Shamrock Marathon Expo tomorrow (if you’ve read my blog awhile, you know that I just LOVE expo’s), Busch Gardens on Saturday morning (pending weather), and then dinner and a symphony Saturday night with AC and JC. D and I have the sneaking suspicion that we have something we’re supposed to do Sunday, but are forgetting. Oh well….

Here are a few pics!

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A Wild Week and New Fun with Leftovers

FOOD

Admittedly, I’m not going to write about a week’s worth of food. I can’t remember everything I ate this last week, so here are a few highlights I can remember.

I made a pressure cooker meal of barley, mushrooms, carrots, and kale that was fantastic. It was a simple recipe that I thought would come out like a soup, but there was no liquid leftover, so it was more like a pilaf. Still good though.

I also made my pinto bean version of Moors and Christians, and a tofu and veggie teriyaki.

I also ordered pizza (cracks me up to see the delivery person’s face when they hand me a cheese-less pie).

FITNESS

Mother nature is a fickle woman. In the past week, we’ve had 80 degree days, massive rain, and chilly weather dipping into the 40’s. It’s a miracle everyone in VA doesn’t have pneumonia.

Anyway….I ran when I liked the weather, and didn’t when it was cold. Zumba’d a couple of times, and did another strength training session.

Today I made the time to hit up a hot yoga class. It was a fantastic class – the perfect blend of a warm room to loosen the muscles, a solid sequence of poses, and my favorite…she held the poses long enough to be challenging, but not so long that I felt like I was in the seventh circle of Twister hell. I do miss yoga classes. I do short sequences at home several days a week, but it’s just not the same. With the Tri training and the strength training, I just don’t have the time for a proper yoga class. Hopefully I can make the time 1-2 times per week. My hips were so tight – I know it’s from the biking and running – and the only thing that opens them back up is yoga.

LIFE

It’s been one heck of a week! Extremely busy at work, but can’t complain on that front. The biggest part has been my hubby going out of town. He left Thursday to attend his youngest sister’s wedding, and will be back really late on Tuesday.

He’s getting the chance to see family he hasn’t seen in 15 or more years, and he’s having a very great trip, and I’m so glad for that. But the kids and I miss him, and we as happy as I am for the family who gets to see him…we want him back.

I got to spend some time with AC and my soon-to-be Godson and his big brother and sister the other day, which was very cool. They’re very sweet kids, and it tickles me to death when they tackle me as I walk in the door.

I finally got an electric pressure cooker! A sale and a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon meant a killer deal that was clearly fates way of saying it was time. It’s a thing of beauty and there’s nothing cooler than cooking huge and time consuming meals…in 8 minutes.

The weekend has been mostly quiet. M had a friend stay over, and A spent time with her boyfriend. I finished up a blue hat for S (I hadn’t finished it in time for her bday), and started a new knitting project. I’m calling it a Leftover Blanket. I’m taking all the balls of leftover yarn – either yarn I’ve bought that I didn’t have a plan for, or partial skeins that are remnants of other projects – and I’m knitting them all randomly together into one huge blanket. It’s going to be mismatched not only in color, but texture (so many different types and thicknesses of yarn), and it’s going to be magnificent.

And because this is on my iPad (I got a groovy new bluetooth keyboard and stand for it), all my pictures are below!

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I Am The Lorax. Junior.

FOOD

My planned Tofu stir fry on Wednesday night turned into a spicy tofu soup with gluten-free shell noodles instead.  It was my standard recipe (tofu, onion, garlic, bell pepper, other veggies lying around, tomato, siracha), and I added the pasta to make it a bit heartier.

Thursday morning I was in a rush, so my breakfast was a banana I munched on the way to the office.  I had the soup for lunch.

 

I didn’t have dinner.  Long story….rough day.  No appetite.

I can honestly say that I don’t remember breakfast on Friday, and couldn’t tell you what I ate.  I can tell you that lunch was Thai green curry 🙂

Dinner Friday night was Mexican food with S to celebrate her birthday.  I had the veggie fajitas.

Saturday morning was an old favorite standby…Ezekiel toast with sunflower butter and sliced banana!

Lunch was Tofu/Veggie Pho at the mall, and dinner was a quick veggie meal thrown together really late at home before going to bed.

This morning’s breakfast was a bit more inspired.  I started with a mocha made from my Trader Joe’s Vanilla Coconut Milk and unsweetened cocoa powder.  I After savoring that for a bit, I made a simple tofu scramble (onion, bell pepper, tofu, turmeric, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast), and topped it with some diced avocado and hot sauce.  Served with a slice of Ezekiel toast with Earth Balance, it was a hearty breakfast!

I haven’t decided if lunch was inventive or lazy.  I heated up the remaining tofu scramble, served it over corn tortillas, and topped with avocado and vegan sour cream.  It was really good!

Dinner was a red lentil and rice soup from Appetite for Reduction.  It was different in that it was really heavy on the cumin – which most of my lentil based soups aren’t – but it’s still very good.

FITNESS

Friday morning I went for a 4 mile run.  It was a great run, though it was a bit windy that early in the morning.  I don’t normally like to run in the morning, but I knew I was going out with S for dinner, and wouldn’t have time after work.

Saturday was an ugly day.  Heavy duty rain and wind, turned the treasure hunt run into a wet mud-fest.  It was for a great cause though (Team Hoyt).  Click on the link and be inspired to be a better person and athlete.

We had a tri club meeting at 1030 to kick off our 11 week training program to lead up to Breezy Point…which is a local open-water Tri.  I’m going to do it.  Sign up, bite the bullet, and get over the anticipated fear of open water racing.  What the hell, right?  People do it all the time.  So can I.

Today was another wet and icky day, so it was time to hit up the gym for some circuit training.  I will say, going at 11 when it first opens on a Sunday is a dumb move I likely won’t make again.  It was crowded and a total mad house.  But the workout was good – took me about 50 minutes total, once I staked out my spot.

The first 5 were warm up exercises.  The second 4 focused on abs.  The following 4, I felt strong, so I did the circuit 3 times instead of 2, and the last 5 constituted the 3rd circuit.

Forward & Back Leg Swing 1 10 Ico_delete
Side to Side Leg Swing 1 10 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat to Stand 1 10 Ico_delete
Reverse Lunge w/ Reach Back 1 10 Ico_delete
Side Lunge 1 8 Ico_delete
Single Leg Hip Raise 2 12 Ico_delete
Side Plank (each side) 2 30 Ico_delete
Plank 2 1 Ico_delete
Abdominal Crunches 2 12 Ico_delete
Squat w/ Dumbbell 3 15 12 Ico_delete
Single Arm Cable Row 3 12 30 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 3 12 30 Ico_delete
dumbbell Chest Press 3 12 13 Ico_delete
Reverse Lunge w/ Dumbbell 2 12 12 Ico_delete
Shoulder Press 2 12 5 Ico_delete
Lunge 2 10 8 Ico_delete
Triceps Push Down 2 12 40 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 2 12 8 Ico_delete

LIFE 

Thursday was a rough day I’d rather forget if possible.  On the positive side though, D finished recovering the last dining room chair!  We bought the dining set in 2007, and we made one of the dumbest mistakes ever.  Cloth.  White seats.  I have children…some who like to wipe their chocolate covered hands on the seats.  They looked like crap about 2 minutes after we got them home.  I’ve tried different cleaners, and nothing worked.

During the Christmas holidays, D and I decided it was high time to recover the chairs.  I went all around looking for something vinyl that didn’t look like an old 50’s diner, but I could still just wipe off to clean.  The standard places like JoAnn and Hancock fabrics didn’t have what I needed.  In early Feb, I took A and her friend to The Fabric Hut – a high-end fabric store in Norfolk.  They have a really big home decorating section, and I found the vinyl I thought would work (the color is called Distressed Red).  D hated it at first (when it was all rolled up), but now that he’s finished all 6 chairs, he really likes them.  And now we want to paint the dining room some warm and fun colors to compliment them.

Friday was a much-needed girls night.  Since I missed the girls fun in the Outer Banks last weekend, I wanted to make it up to S.  So I took her out to dinner and then we went out and had a really good time after that.  Live bands, dancing, and mayhem ensued 🙂

I’m posting a picture of the scarf I made her.  I finished it last month, but couldn’t post a pic because she occasionally reads this.  I was proud of it, and she seems to really like it.  Homemade gifts are so cool.

Saturday morning was busy with run and tri stuff, but the afternoon was all family.  All 5 of us went to the mall and then went to see The Lorax in Imax 3D.  While it was INSANELY expensive, the movie was fantastic.  The message they very explicitly states (about saving the environment) is how I feel every single day.  It is one of the reasons I am so passionate about veganism as well, and I loved how they did the movie.  And as a side note, I reaffirmed by belief that my Dad sounds a lot like Danny DeVito.  How cool is that?  My Dad IS The Lorax…the protector of the forest and the speaker for trees.  That sort of makes me the Lorax Jr.

Today was gym time, R had a bday party to attend, A went to her boyfriend’s house, and then I was off to a summer camp orientation for M.  To which no one showed up.  So we went to Sam’s club, came home, I took a shower, and started my normal Sunday bulk cooking fun.

Speaking of…I still have deserts to make (I’m thinking brownies), and then it’s bed time.

A picture D sent me when I was out with the girls.  Totally killing me with cuteness as he and R snuggled on the couch together.