Monthly Archives: April 2012

Workouts That Will Give Me Nightmares About Navy Bootcamp…But With Better Food

FOOD

Sunday’s dinner was a lot of fun. I spent part of the morning planning the meal (settled on 4 Indian dishes plus rice), and then did my grocery shopping round (Trader Joes, the Asian Market, Fresh Market, and Harris Teeter), came home, and spent an hour or so prepping. I chopped, diced, pureed, blended, and packed everything (down to almost all the spices) in bags to bring with. I even brought my rice cooker!

So off D and I went around 4, and we hung out, cooked (mostly I cooked), hung out, and played with E (AC’s baby…and my soon-to-be Godson). It was really nice, and I was proud of the food. Visions of catering danced in my head all evening…. 🙂

Yesterday I decided I really wanted braised cabbage. Keep in mind, that I’ve never actually had braised cabbage, but I thought it would be a fun thing to make in my pressure cooker. Here’s the recipe….I’ll will say that I just loved it. And what’s cooler than purple food?? Served with some pan toasted tofu in tamari, corn on the cob (plain), and a baked spud, it was awesome.

Crissie’s Spicy Pressure Cooker Red Cabbage

Ingredients

*1 head red cabbage

*1 medium onion

*2 medium jalapeno pepper, minced

*1 tsp caraway seeds

*2 tsp salt

*2 cups water

*1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

*2 tbs agave nectar

*1 bay leaf

1. Shred cabbage (it’s easiest using a food processor)

2. Chop the onions and hot peppers (can us any hot pepper really). I also used a food processor for this.

3. Mix all ingredients into the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes. Use the quick release method.

4. Remove bay leaf.

This morning was a Vega smoothie. I’m seriously loving this stuff. So high in great plant proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals…and it’s the best tasting I’ve had yet. I like it just fine mixed in ice water, but today threw in a banana and a handful of mixed frozen berries.

I hate to admit that dinner was a banana. I’ve been running around (literally) like crazy all night, and just didn’t have time.

FITNESS

Where or where to begin? M and I started Crossfit on Saturday. We went to an intro class at a Crossfit place by us (and these are big warehouses….where all the military and police go…not some polished gym!). I was sore for 2 days. So what did we do?? Went back today and started the Elements series. It’s 3 classes in a week that teach the moves and forms. It’s brutal. But in a good way.

Each day has a warm up, and a WOD (workout of the day). Possibly skills/strength things too. We do things like olympic style weight lifting, running, squats, burpees, box jumps (which intimidate the crap out of me), push ups….reminds me of boot camp! 5 minutes of these circuits is harder to me than running 5 miles. So cool….

M is kicking butt at it. He scores highest in everything (some of the workouts are timed….do as many reps or rounds in a specified time, etc). And he’s loving it. How can I not keep going when my child loves the workouts so much?

When we got home, I changed into my running shoes and went for a run. I have a feeling my legs aren’t going to work well tomorrow.

LIFE

Life is good. Had a major success at work – and feel like the intensity of the past several months has paid off. It’s by no means done…just this phase…but it was pretty monumental, and I’m trying to just relax for 1 day and enjoy the milestone.

D and A are both sick. Stomach ickiness and general malaise, so they’re basically quarantined.

We did have an impromptu outing on Friday night. We were home and in jammies when we found out our friend’s husband’s band was playing at a battle of the bands for a local radio station – just down the road from where we live! D has never seen RS play, so we gathered a few friends and headed up there.

When we got there, some death metal band was playing and I was afraid my ears would bleed. The second band was better – a bit more my style. Then RS’s band came on – they do mostly 80’s hair band music. It was great. My husband and my one friend both had WAY too much to drink, so as the designated driver, it was sort of fun to babysit them. D had a blast. It was cute!

Okay, so I’m off to bed finally. Been a hectic day (but what’s new there??).

20120424-220847.jpg

20120424-230259.jpg

20120424-220903.jpg

Getting My Running and Cooking Groove Back (just call me Stella)

if you don’t get the How Stella Got Her Groove Back movie reference, I apologize if my title wasn’t amusing…

FOOD

I will be honest.  I’ve been such a nut at work, that I haven’t had any time, energy, or inclination to cook.  Which is just sad in itself, since I’ve always said that cooking is my “therapy” or chill time – which I clearly needed after the stress of the past few weeks.  Anyway, I ate well and healthy – but simply and with little to no cooking at all.

The highlight on the food front is probably the Mexican goop I made for Taco Tuesday.  It was one of those “holy crap, I have to make something, and I didn’t plan, and they all expect tacos because it’s Tuesday…”.  But I didn’t really want to cook, so I threw a bunch of stuff into my rice cooker and hoped for the best.  I was lucky.  It was yummy.

Crissie’s Mexican Goop

Ingredients

* 1 cup brown rice (I used a short grain rice)

*1 can tomatoes, drained

*1 can green chilies (4 oz can)

*1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

*1 can full of mixed frozen veggies (I used a blend because it’s what I had)

*2 cups water

*Mexican spices – I really just dumped some cumin, oregano, and garlic in

Turn on to the brown rice setting and wait for dinner to be done.  I didn’t even bother with heating up my corn tortillas – I just put it in a bowl, topped with lettuce, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce.

Tacos in a bowl!  Perfect for the lazy eater in you...

I imagine this would be easy on the stove top.  Just cook according to brown rice directions.

FITNESS

Well, sadly – today was the first day that I had any energy to run.  And run I did!  I went this morning, and it was just great.  After coffee and a banana, I finally got to run in my new shoes.  It was a beautiful morning, and I was just so happy to be running, that I didn’t notice anything else.  The shoes were comfy, and so far, I’m happy with the change.

Tomorrow I’m going to a crossfit class with my son at 10.  Should be interesting, but I’m excited.

Otherwise, I’ve been doing yoga only.  I’ve needed the centering!

LIFE

First things first.  Chelsea beat Barcelona on Wednesday.  It was a league semi-final…in case you cared.  And they play Arsenal tomorrow…so it might actually be on ESPN (they seem to only play Manchester United and Arsenal games from the English Premier League….sucks being a soccer fan in the US sometimes).

The theme in my last (sparsely populated) posts has been stress.  Without going into too many details, I’m doing a major project at work,  and it’s been crunch time.  There are a lot of moving parts, and as of my presentation Wednesday night, I’m done with this first phase of the project.  While there will be more crazy phases to come, Wednesday night was the first I felt I could relax in a while.  Don’t get me wrong – I have a ton of confidence that it’ll rock in the end.  I just have a tendency to make myself crazy in the mean time.

Speaking of, all day on Wednesday I thought it was Friday.  Drove me nuts, because after meetings, I kept telling everyone to “have a good weekend”, and wondered why they looked at me funny.  I figured out last night why.  Since Wednesday night marked an end to a phase of my project, and I feel that an end to something means Friday, I was just confused!  Or…as I mentioned to AC…it’s the cumulative effects of chronic insomnia making me batty.  I’m going to hope for the former over the latter.

But…for those that know me and my troubles sleeping…rest easy.  I actually have an appt with a sleep specialist in a few weeks.  I need it too.  D tried to get me to relax on Tuesday.  Kept telling me to pour a class of wine and to sit still, that he’d make dinner and all I had to do was lie in bed and read or watch TV.  I broke out into crazy hysterical laughter.  I’m sure I sounded insane!

Anyway – looking forward to a great weekend.  Crossfit with M tomorrow, then shopping for a dress for the Christening next weekend of my (soon to be) Godson E.  Then Sunday we’re going over to AC and JC’s house for dinner.  But I’m cooking.  It’s a belated birthday meal (AC, JC, and D all have bday’s within a few days of each other), but due to E’s birth right in the middle, we had to postpone.  Rather than go out, I’m going over to make an Indian feast!  Besides…she picked up new curry powders for me in Richmond at Penzy’s, and I think she’s holding them hostage until I cook.

Sammie!  Pretty pups after her spa day Monday!

Sammie! Pretty pups after her spa day Monday!

My husband sent me the below picture.  A friend of mine told me I’m basically screwed 🙂

But it’s funny…

I’ve Finally Outgrown Ikea

I hate it when I get uber busy. Because when I do, something has to give, and it’s usually the fun stuff. Like blogging. Sometimes I’m having too much fun to blog (like maybe this last weekend), but otherwise my absence is due to there being just not enough hours in the day to fit everything in.

I’m skipping the regular format. I can’t possibly remember everything I’ve eaten in the past 6 days, and I’m sure you don’t care. I will say that my new container of Vega One Berry came last Thursday…and it’s the best I’ve ever had. I mixed it with just ice water, and was amazed. Yummy, yummy, and mixes in a blender ball (so no blender required). Buy it.

D and I went out to lunch today and checked out a sushi place we’d never been to. I think it’s my new favorite. I had an awesome and fresh tofu salad, miso soup, and veggie sushi.

My life has been mostly about work lately. Today was another 12 hr day, but I really do think that’s coming to a peak right now, and the next few weeks will slow down a bit – at least where I should only be working an 8-9 hr day 🙂

Sammie had a vet appointment, and was given a clean bill of health. She’s slowing down a bit, but is still a vibrant and healthy pups. Can’t believe she’s almost 10.

A made a new outfit in a couple hours. Little jumper thing.

The highlight was definitely going to DC for the weekend. We left Friday evening and came back Sunday evening. We rented two hotel rooms (one for D and I, and one for the kids) and had a great time.

Friday was just chilling in the hotel since we got there so late in the evening. We were 4 blocks from the White House, and right in the middle of the city. And I love that city.

Saturday morning we got dressed and just took off with no particular destination. It was the Cherry Blossom parade, and we saw a lot of that. Unfortunately with the early warm weather and previous high winds, there were no actual Cherry Blossoms to enjoy. But it was still fun seeing the 100th anniversary festivities.

We walked through the monuments (R was especially entranced by the Washington Monument), laid down in the grass for a bit, hit up China Town for lunch, and then spent the majority of the time in the Air and Space Museum.

We went back to the hotel, watched an in-room movie, and then ordered room service for the kids. After they ate, D and I went out for a bit to walk around the Dupont Circle area (one of my favorites). We had dinner (which was sort of an almost for me – it was gross and I lost my appetite), then walked around and stopped for a beer on our way back to the hotel. We passed some neat walk ups, and for giggles looked up how much they were. Only a few million for a 5 bedroom in the heart of the city? Ok. Someday 😉

Sunday was all about shopping. We headed south to Woodbridge to hit up Ikea and Potomac Mills. We’ve been toying with some redecorating ideas, and wanted to check out Ikea. We’ve always enjoyed wandering around there, but haven’t lived very close to one since we lived in the Seattle area a LONG time ago. As we walked, we kept thinking “this will be cool for A’s dorm room or first apartment in a year and a half”. And it hit me. Holy crap. I’m too old for Ikea to be cool. We bought some straws and measuring cups. And left.

Potomac Mills was more productive, and the kids left with new summer clothes, we all got some shoes, and D and I got a few shirts too. We hit the road, stopped for dinner in Fredericksburg, and then got home around 9. It was whirlwind, but much needed.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy, and I swear I’ll have regular programming soon. Think of this as TV after Thanksgiving and before spring…mostly re-runs with a few decent new shows sprinkled in. It’s not as much..but still high quality!

20120416-213342.jpg

20120416-213358.jpg

20120416-213415.jpg

20120416-213436.jpg

20120416-213451.jpg

20120416-213501.jpg

20120416-213520.jpg

Only I can Take a Week Off Work and Still Work 9 Hr Days!

FOOD

Lunch on Saturday was really the highlight meal of the past few days…and the only one worth going into detail over!

I went to Pasha’s with LC. It’s our go-to place and whenever we get together, we tend to go there. She’s one of the few people I can have a 4 hr lunch with and it feels like 15 minutes. Over too soon.

I had red wine (Malbec has been my fav for a couple years now) and..admittedly…a pomegranate margarita. Or two 🙂

I also had my very favorite kale and beet salad and their maiden cake, which is a red lentil cake with a vegan aioli. Oh, and we may have gotten their homemade hummus app too. I think I could eat here every day and be happy.

FITNESS

Speaking of LC…she’s been accepted to a yoga teacher training program. I told her I’m a totally willing guinea pig and expect free lessons. Yay!

I went for a few runs this weekend, and today I finally bought new running shoes! It totally felt like Christmas when I walked out of the running shop with them.

I’ve been wearing Brooks Ravenna’s for 3 years now. Since the Shamrock half in 2009 where I had blisters so big they had their own orbit (I was wearing Asics). I ran the Chicago Marathon in Ravenna’s…with no blisters nor lost toenails. The thought of changing shoes has me scared to bits.

However…since Valentine’s day when D bought me a Nike+ GPS sport watch, I’ve wanted to wear Nike shoes to use the pod that comes with it. I bought the adapter for my shoe laces…and they come untied after a mile or so. So I walked into my favorite running store, announced my devotion to the Brooks Ravenna…and asked them to fit me in the Nike equivalent. They did. After 20 min of having my gait filmed, reviewed, and running in a few pairs just to be sure. And I left with purple shoes (my favorite color) and hope that’s a sign of awesome runs to come. I’ll let you know.

Oh, and I’ve signed up for a Crossfit class for the Saturday after next. Should be interesting.

LIFE

Good news is that R has shown no more signs of belly issues. We took it easy on Friday and Saturday, but she’s been just fine.

Sunday was supposed to be a family Busch Gardens trip. Unfortunately D hurt his back very badly, so our day changed. He stayed home and A went to her friends house (and cooked them Easter dinner! Turns out her friends’ family never eats home cooked meals). So I took M and his friend (who spent all weekend at our house…K’s a really nice kid) and R to BG. M and K did their thing while my little monkey and I did ours. We went on tons of rides, hung out with horses, and climbed around in a Survivor-esque obstacle course. Fun times.

This week I’m home, but working. Been busy as can be too, with 6-10 hr days so far…and it’s just Tuesday. But also peppered with Dr appts, vet appts, and all sorts of things that are a pain during a normal work week. We’re going to DC for the weekend though, and I’m very much looking forward to that!

20120410-201604.jpg

20120410-201616.jpg

20120410-201631.jpg

I Keep AAA in Business (and my kid is an art genius)

FOOD

Thursday was a nice, light and simple day on the food front. Breakfast was leftover tofu salad. I really really loved the tofu marinade in that.

Lunch was some smokey split pea soup that I had made over the weekend and frozen into single servings.

Dinner was rice, broccoli, and….no kidding….I picked the tofu out of the leftover salad and put it in the bowl. It was an interesting (but yummy) dish because the tofu was cold, but everything else was hot.

D also bought me a bottle of wine, and I had a glass or two of that!

Today’s dining was far less inspired. If I don’t get any sleep I either have a massive appetite or none. Today was none. I snacked periodically on veggies and hummus, but otherwise no real meal.

FITNESS

Yesterday’s run was SO much better than Wednesday. I had tons of energy, so I ended up doubling my planned distance. It was chilly and windy, but I was warmed up after the first half mile, and ran into the wind the first few miles, so it was at my back as I got home.

I had planned to hit the gym today, but that was derailed. I did a simple 20 minute yoga series at home instead. It helped clear my head, and required less energy than running and lifting would have.

LIFE

Thursday night was low key and nice. R had her swimming (which D took her to), and I stayed home and made dinner and danced around the kitchen with music blasting (a daily occurrence, I admit).

D and I watched most of an episode of Castle and then went to sleep. Bliss…until I woke up just after midnight to find R trying (and failing) to wake D. Turns out the poor baby had thrown up in her bed. I got up with her, cleaned her up, and cleaned her room and changed the sheets. Just as we were about to tuck back in…she ran into the bathroom to do it again.

We snuggled and she fell back asleep around 230. I was wide awake, so decided to keep watch over her and read until I knew she was well asleep. Let’s just say I’m glad today was the first day of spring break and I’d taken the day off.

I will say that today R was just fine. No belly aches or anything else. Maybe dinner just didn’t sit well with her. We kept it light today (toast, crackers) just to be on the safe side, but so far, I think it was a fluke.

I’m posting two pics of A’s latest art work. One is a dress she made of newspaper and managed to actually put on. The purpose of wearing it was to 1-prove she could and 2-document for her portfolio. The second is a watercolor she did based on an assignment. She was given 3 words (dress, catch, elegant) and create any piece of art she wanted. She did a watercolor painting of a peacock in a cage that is the skirt of a dress of a beautiful woman looking at her reflection. She really just blows my mind where she comes up with all this!

I have decided that the AAA service station is only in business because of me. We’ve put some work into the Bug since Jan to make it great for A’s first car, my car has had regular maintenance, and now that A’s driving the Bug, we had to get D’s in for major repairs. Since Jan, we’ve spent over $2800 on car repairs. Here’s hoping I’ve paid my dues to the car maintenance gods for the year!

I’m very much looking forward to a nice weekend. Tomorrow is lunch with L, and Easter Sunday means a family day at Busch Gardens. This will be the second year we’ve done that. Since we don’t live near family, we tend to make up our own new holiday traditions. Hope your holiday weekend is wonderful, no matter what your traditions are!

20120406-212212.jpg

20120406-212224.jpg

20120406-212237.jpg

20120406-212247.jpg

20120406-212257.jpg

My Days of Chauffeuring are Ebbing

FOOD

After my morning java, I was in a bit of a rush to make an early meeting, so my breakfast ended up being celery and hummus.

Lunch was a tofu veggie pocket at Quenna’s Raw and Vegan restaurant. I love that place, and get to where I crave her wholesome food. D keeps promising he’ll go with me, but I think he may be a little afraid. He’s not always the most adventurous eater 🙂

For dinner, I made the Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad w Grilled Tofu from Appetite for Reduction. The salad itself was good….but the tofu was great. It was spicy and awesome, and I can see just making the tofu from that recipe to put in everything else.

FITNESS

Hot yoga should be dubbed ‘yoga for sinus cleaning’. Not giving any more details than that. I imagine you already have a visual in your head that you wish you didn’t.

Several runs in the last week, and it’s felt great. I realized this week, though, that I need a new pair of running shoes. Thinking back. I think I’ve had this pair for nearly a year! Not good.

LIFE

Well, the biggest news of the past week is that my eldest daughter is now a licensed driver! As of last Friday, A is street legal. So far, so good…though I wasn’t sure how to take it when she and her brother returned from a movie on Sunday, triumphantly yelling “we’re home in one piece!”. Is she surprised by that? Does she think that I should be surprised??

She also was accepted to the University summer program she really wanted. She’s finishing up her Junior year, and many art universities have pre-college summer intensive programs. After months of research, she narrowed it down to a few, and got her first choice. It’s fashion and marketing because to quote A, “it’s not enough that I can make a pretty dress. I have to sell it too”. And there it is….a glimmer of developing adult thought processes. I’m so proud!

With A being gone for 3 weeks this summer, and M being gone for one at camp, D and are are taking R to Florida for a few days in July. I think we’re all very much looking forward to summer this year.

20120404-204507.jpg

20120404-204516.jpg