November 15, 2013
I read somewhere once that you should always give 100% everyday to whatever it is you’re doing. But the kicker, is that what is your 100% one day may be nowhere near your 100% the next day.
That, I have found – is so so true.
The good news is that my trip to the dentist was remarkably uneventful – I say remarkably, because the level of sensitivity and pain in my teeth was enough to have me double over at different points in the day. If you know me, you know my tolerance for dental pain is also pretty dang high. I’m not being a hero, rather the opposite. I hate going to the dentist, so I have adapted to tolerate almost any level of pain in order to avoid it. Case in point: I let an abscessed tooth go for over at least a year – and I’m willing to bet longer than that. So I put on my brave face and called up the dentist. Turns out – the pain wasn’t an abscessed tooth, but in all probability a nasty sinus infection that I’d been fighting off for a few weeks now, that suddenly decided it wanted to be BFFs with the nerves running to my teeth. Thanks for that.
So – while the dentist was thankfully uneventful (I did stay for my cleaning though! Gotta be better about these things.), i’m still left fighting off this sinus infection that isn’t symptomatic enough to warrant antibiotics, but pesky enough to make this blast of cold weather we’re having one of the most painful to date. I try to keep my medication overload to a minimum, choosing instead to fight unhealthy with healthy. But my efforts have certainly been a bit subpar to my normal standards.
So this week, my 100% looked like significantly lower intensity workouts and zero traditional cardio (the movement set my teeth throbbing). I lifted far less weight than I normally would aim for. But I worked out. And I attempted to have nutritious and healthy balanced meals each night. Sometimes, my 100% was a bowl of soup, but soup with greens and protein. Sometimes, like last night, my 100% looked like a heaping bowl of pasta, a beer and NO workouts. Turns out, I’d been blaming a lack of motivation and will power when it was probably my body saying “‘scuse me, but you’re sick, yo”, ok and maybe a little bit of lack of will power 🙂
Yes, I probably could have pushed a little more this week, but in the end – I would’ve been even more miserable than I already was. I am proud that I got in my workouts and plan to keep on getting them in. I’m ok that I have to modify them right now, because its not the end all be all of workouts and it feels better to do something than nothing. And eventually, when I’m feeling better, the workouts will ramp back up. But for now, this girl just wants to sleep! Its reassuring and kind of cool to be able to acknowledge a mental progression of sorts. A year ago, I would’ve been so angry with myself for not putting in a full workout I had planned. Growing up is cool.
Happy weekending y’all!
November 13, 2013
Sick = soup, always – right?
While I’m definitely not full blown sick, I have been feeling pretty drained and under the weather lately. I’ve been trying to keep up my workouts at a lower intensity and keep my body fueled with good healthy foods to fight off whatever it is that’s wrong with me (my money is on a Sinus Infection/Tooth Infection – yuck).
Yesterday was a particularly rough one and by the time I was home and had finished my workout, I had ZERO appetite. Not eating wasn’t an option, so instead I threw together this easy soup that reminded me of my “mom, can I have a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup?” days. Salty, comforting and with a few extra healthy bits and pieces to satisfy my lifestyle.
I started with half a cube of Veggie broth bouillon into 2 cups of water and added some diced carrots and celery I had already cut up in the fridge. Next went half a package of pre-cubed tofu cubes, some freshly grated ginger, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, a trifecta of sick blasters! Once the veggies were nice and tender and the soup was ready to eat, I threw in a handful of torn up kale and let it steam a bit, to up the greens factor.
The result was cozy and comforting, salty and nourishing. Not too heavy, but still nutritious enough to satisfy. A big bowl of this would fill me up on a regular (feeling good) day, especially with the addition of some grains or noodles. But for now, it was perfect as was. Tonight, I’m feeling like a hungry beast, so I’m hoping a nice solid biceps/back workout will put me in the mood for some roasted acorn squash….get in mah bellay!
I’m off to the dentist tomorrow (I really hate the dentist…) to try and figure out if the tooth is the problem, or the sinuses are the problem. Chicken or the egg?
See also – go give my friend Dom some serious love over at his page. He just got back from running the NYC marathon. Major inspiration right there.
August 21, 2013
When I first started running and was serious about getting back into a workout schedule, I found the motivation to be a lot easier than it is today. I signed up for races and had a training schedule that told me when and for how long to run. I joined a gym that had a class schedule that I followed in order to make my monthly payments worthwhile. Since then, without a training or gym class schedule to follow, I’ve been trying to figure out different ways to get myself motivated to put in the miles. The recent move and tough summer resulted in completely undisciplined workout schedules and basically getting it in when I could-so on top of trying to figure out a good routine, I was also working against my lack of motivation and definite loss of endurance – i.e. the idea of putting in even a few miles on the treadmill was enough to make me want to quit before even starting. So I started out slow, focused a bit more on lifting, which I honestly enjoy and took an active re-interest in creating fun and nutritious meals, while slowly working the cardio back into piece by piece.
All of this to say, that even though I’m not motivated to just run 3-4 miles straight as my workout, I AM getting in my mileage. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with running intervals and breaking them up with a lifting set. Not only is this helping to keep me from losing focus or getting bored, its also a good way to incorporate lifting and work on endurance/speed. It’s a lot easier for me to sprint a shorter segment than try to maintain a faster pace for a whole run. Plus, it lets me focus on certain muscle groups on different nights. So, I started out with running quarter mile segments between lifting sets, and tacking on a mile or so afterwards, then I upped it to half mile segments with a walk to finish. Last night, my workout looked something like this:
Run: 1 mile
Lift: Squats + calf raises x10
Lunges x5 forward and rear lunges per side
DB Bench press + butt lifts -x10
DB leg curls – x10
Repeat for 3 miles.
See? Still getting in my mileage and still working hard. Even though I didn’t get in a solid 4-5 mile run, (or hell, even a 3 mile run) – I sprinted the last few minutes of my final mile and enjoyed that exercise high that you can get when you push yourself pretty hard and you break that peak of endorphins. Its moments like that, that I remember why I’m working so hard to get back into a schedule, on top of all the other benefits – sometimes it just feels good to kick some ass 🙂
February 26, 2013
It’s no secret that I love my crockpot and last night’s soup did nothing to change my mind. However, it is a little more prep than normal involved. I came up with this idea after a serious hankering for some root veggies roasted with a healthy dose of Smoked Spanish Paprika. Normally I’d be perfectly content to toss the veggies with some pasta and call it a day. The problem, was that last night my husband needed a fuss free dinner and a clean kitchen. So a crockpot meal was in order. Besides, roasted veggies is a weekend meal in my book, since otherwise it would mean eating dinner at 10. Not really, but it would still make for a late night meal.
Instead of giving up on the idea, I went ahead with roasting the veggies on Sunday night, including 2 sweet potatoes, 3 large carrots, 1/2 medium celery root (peeled), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 small/medium onion, tossed in olive oil and smoked paprika. The next morning I threw them all into a crockpot with about 5 cups of water and half a veggie bouillon cube and let it cook away on low for the day. You wouldn’t need the crockpot either, you could absolutely roast the veggies and simmer in some veggie broth directly afterwards. For us, the crockpot was the way to go and when we got home, it smelled great as was, but didn’t look altogether appetizing and I already had my mind set on a bisque of sorts, so I used my immersion blender to whiz it up, adding in more water bits at a time (and a splash of almond milk, although I don’t think it needed it) until I got the right consistency. Alternatively, you could’ve thrown it into a blender in smaller batches and pureed it that way. The immersion blender is fast and easy and requires less transporting of the soup, which in my book = less mess and a happy husband.
To top of the soup I added in some more paprika (plus a garnish for my soup, I can’t help it, the stuff is addicting!), a touch of cinnamon and a splash of Rye (Bourbon would do the same thing). We served it with a side of homemade molasses cornbread, where I replaced the sugar (we have none in the house right now) with molasses. It had the perfect amount of sweet, without being overly so. Slathered with some earthbalance, it was a proud moment for me when I got the “this is pretty good” nod from B. Baking without sugar in the house has been an adventure to say the least, but its just not something we’re looking to add to the grocery list right now unless we have a reason to. Saving money can be so fun :-p Actually, this non-sugar thing has been a fun experiment, to see what it is we really need in order to satisfy our “sweet cravings”, which happen few and far between to begin with. I have to say that the molasses served its purpose well and may be a future replacement for most cornbread options from hereon out in our house!
Life can be stressful sometimes, especially on a Monday after a sleepless weekend, but bowls of soup like this are a nice way escape it for a while. 🙂
If you try it let me know and enjoy!
February 21, 2013
It’s been one of those weeks, where I had a big presentation on Monday, and instead of having that exhale moment where I go home, have a cup of tea and relax, I stay at work late, can’t sleep and generally don’t relax. I have upped my mug of tea quota though. So at least there’s that.
In other news: this justins chocolate almond butter needs to simultaneously get in my belly and out of my drawer at work, because it is delicious and very hard to not eat. I had some on a banana this afternoon for a snack, but eventually cut out the middleman and knife fed it to myself. I managed to stop before things got bad. Thank goodness.
Dinners have been a bit meh this week. But last night it was nice to finish off the last of our asparagus with this fun new salad recipe from an old vegetarian cookbook. Steamed asparagus, grape tomatoes and orange sections on a bed of spinach with a whip it up quick citrus vinaigrette. Easy, quick and a refreshing change from the heavy winter foods as of late.
Fear the purr.
February 14, 2013
So yesterday was the beginning of Lent. A day my husband likes to jokingly call a 2nd chance at some New Years Resolutions. I have to laugh, because generally that’s true. Most people give up something unhealthy and last year for Lent, (we’re not Catholic, but I enjoy the idea of Lent) I cut out dairy and eggs, essentially starting a Vegan lifestyle. Which I have been able to continue through to the present time, with no plans to change!
Its funny though, because this year, I did something very different. Without realizing the day, I actually ended up giving up my gym membership on the same day as Lent starts. How strange is that, that on a day where most people are trying to reboot their healthy habits, I went ahead and did something silly like that. It was initially a hard decision for me, but I broke it down and came to the following conclusions:
1. I love my gym – but I’ve only been going for yoga classes once a week. But I’ve been revamping my at home gym weights, etc.
2. The cost of the gym, is about the same as going to a yoga studio (probably less!) once a week, so I justified the cost.
3. I love love LOVE my yoga class.
4. I haven’t actually been consistently going to yoga lately.
5. We’re saving up some money for a house, so even when the amount is trivial, its still money saved and not spent.
So I opted to not resign my membership for another year. We’re not sure if we’ll be living in an area that its convenient for me to even be a member at this gym and I can always resign up later. But truthfully, i’m in no rush. I’m grateful for the gym and what it helped me accomplish last year, but like with a lot of things in life, I seem to have grown out of the gym routine. When I submitted my membership cancellation request last night, I was almost relieved. Even though yoga was only one night a week, that one night had me feeling roped into a schedule with levels of guilt and stress related to working out that just shouldn’t be there, in my opinion
So I gave up my gym membership for Lent and I’m hoping to use this as an opportunity to develop a stronger workout rotation at home, with more variety and different challenges. I’ve also kicked around the idea of giving up alcohol (except for maybe special occasions, but a beer or glass of wine is sometimes just so good!) or maybe added sugars (but, Valentine’s day!?). Its funny to me, that giving up dairy and eggs didn’t seem like a big deal at all,but a month without a drink or some added sugar? That’s debilitating! But one of my best friends used to always say that she gave up the hardest things for Lent, because it was a reminder to her of how important the practice was. It sort’ve puts my excuses to shame, eh?
Anyhow – a rambling post for a lovey dovey Holiday! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY YA’LL!! We’re celebrating by my working a little later (d’oh), having some takeout on the couch and watching As Time Goes By, our favorite British Comedy.
ps – did anyone elses’ hallmark envelope flap taste like chocolate when you licked it shut? Well played Hallmark, well played…
February 12, 2013
We’re big fans of Caesar salads at our house and since discovering Alicia Silverstones Caesar dressing from The Kind Life, it’s been on constant rotation. The thing that is fun for me, is deciding what to put on top of the salad. Since meat and seafood are out, I tend to lean towards some marinated portabellas as our topping of choice. This past summer I tried out some roasted cauliflower (delicious) and last week, in an attempt to clear our fridge of leftovers, I grabbed the final stalks of asparagus and cooked them up in our grill pan with lots of fresh ground pepper. As a side, they would’ve been tasty, but wanting. As a salad topper, they were delicious and added a fun new twist. So you can imagine how happy I was, when I offered up bellas or asparagus as toppings for Caesar salad to my husband, who responded with a “yes”. So tonight, it’s Caesar salad with bellas and asparagus. Y.u.m. Anyone else choose fun things for salad toppings besides me?