I made a pumpkin-pie inspired tofu from the awesome Avery's blog. The only changes I made was based on what I had on hand and the fact that I don't eat honey. I used canned pumpkin instead of pumpkin butter, and agave instead of honey. I also tossed in a good tsp of the pumpkin pie spice.
I think I over cooked it maybe a little (I probably sliced mine much thinner than I should have), but after it marinated overnight, it was a very tasty treat indeed. This is the first time I've ever made a sweet tofu dish. I'm very happy with it, and I think it'll be a regular item in my reportoire.
Saturday morning was a light breakfast before a workout. I had a cup of vanilla flavored espresso, which was yummy, and my standby pre-workout meal of toasted Ezekiel bread with sunflower seed butter and sliced banana. This has certainly become my tried and true meal when I know I'm either going to be working out or if I know it's going to be a long time before I can eat again (though I have NO problems busting out the snacks in meetings).
Saturday afternoon was the wild rice and radish salad on a bed of spinach, arugula, and with some onion and pepper diced in for fun and color. I can't believe how filling this salad is. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to eat wild rice, and I've certainly never had it as the only grain in a dish. It's much easier to work with than I anticipated, and I really like it. Of course, it's one of those items to pick up when it's on sale since it's certainly not cheap!
In the late afternoon, I was noticing I was feeling really sluggish. I decided what I needed was a fresh juice. D wanted one too, so I made his first. 2 green apples, 3 mandarin oranges, a big carrot, and 4 fresh strawberries. I made mine next, which was the same, but with spinach too. I served D's, and as mine was in the cup on the counter, I washed the juicer and started the dish washer. As I was trying to put the lid on my big cup (24 ounce cup, and nearly 3/4 full of awesome fresh juice), I spilled it all over the kitchen floor. I was SO upset. I cleaned up, and went back to what I was doing (working). The juicer was already in the dishwasher, so there was no option to make another one. Alas. I ended up making a sugar-free raspberry latte with vanilla soymilk! Not exactly the source of energy I was looking for, but it was still good and it worked.
My oldest was at an overnight bday party, so the rest of us decided to go out to dinner. Going through the Entertainment book, we decided to try out a local Italian place (hello...married to an Italian. It tends to be our default option when going out - and it can easily be vegan friendly). So around 7pm, M, D, R, and I piled into the van and drove over to Chef Maria's. Surprise, surprise - they went out of business! So, we drove around a bit, knowing it was a Saturday night, we were hungry, and we didn't want to wait for a table. We ended up in Great Bridge at a different Italian place we had never been to before. I'm pretty sure we'll never be back. The service was so-so, and for an Italian restaurant, we were surprised that the only pasta options were spaghetti, penne, or linguine. They ran out of spaghetti (D's NOT a fan of linguine), so we all had to change up our pastas. M had baked ziti, so he was good. R had spaghetti marinara, but thankfully got the last of the spaghetti in the place. I swapped out penne as my side, and D reluctantly had linguine. My dish was actually really good - very thinly sliced eggplant with marinara sauce. The breadsticks were decent, but not great, the marinara sauce was mediocre, but at least we weren't hungry when we left. Oh, and a totally rude woman tried running into the restaurant ahead of my family (I was holding the door open for D and the kids, and she shoved D aside, nearly ran over my youngest, all trying to muscle what she thought was the last available table from us). Rude people suck.
This morning was a whole foods juice in my Vitamix of frozen banana, orange, flax seed, mango, and strawberry. It was totally awesome, but ugly. Even D said it was an unappetizing color. Perhaps I could have put even more spinach in it (there was already over a cup) to make it greener, but not much could have made it taste better! I also had a slice of the pumpkin pie tofu on a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread. Yummy breakfast!
I wasn't very hungry, but I knew I needed to eat, so I made something I've been wanting to make since I read about it. Yes, it's ANOTHER recipe from Love, Veggies, and Yoga's Averie. It's a microwaved banana cake that should be illegal. I can't believe how ridiculously easy it is, and it's another healthy sweet dish. And that...can never be a bad thing!
Dinner is going now, and while I shouldn't even say it (can you tell who's blog I've read today??), it's another Love, Veggies, and Yoga inspired rice cooker dish. It's still cooking, so I can't say how it is, but I'm really excited about it. I made a specific trip to Sam's club today because I knew they had mango salsa (and trust me...I got a LOT more than just that). I didn't have any canned chickpeas, so I skipped the beans. I put 1 cup of rice, 2.5 cups of water, 2-3 cups of frozen veggies (I used a blend of cauliflower, carrot, yellow squash, green beans, and broccoli), and for the spices, I used one from my Dad's Christmas kit, called Caribbean Calypso.
I can't articulate how wonderful it is to be able to move again. I will never again take for granted the fact that I am healthy, and don't really have anything wrong with me. My back/pelvis is healing, and my ankle is doing well. Being sidelined from workouts for almost 2 weeks was more than I ever want to do again. It's funny, because I spent YEARS being totally sedentary. From the time I got out of the Navy until just a couple of years ago, I didn't voluntarily move my body with any real consistency for a good 8 or so years. It's easy to be lazy, but I can honestly say as one who's been both - being lazy sucks. It may take time and effort to be active, but it's so totally worth it. I am fit (not skinny....but very healthy), energetic, and happy. So trust me, if you're not active now...start. You'll be amazed at how forgiving your body is, even if you've neglected it for years. I read the best analogy about a year or so ago. Think of your body as you would a car. If you never get the oil changed, do no maintenance, and just drive it, your car won't last too long. Your body is the same. If you put time, money, and effort into keeping your car functioning for years - don't you deserve to do that for your own body too? At least a car you can replace. Your body is the only one you ever get, so take care of it. It's NEVER too late!
On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 6am. Ick. However, I was excited, because I was going on my first EVER organized group bike ride. I had been wanting to do this for weeks, but was pretty nervous about it. I spoke to my coach on Wednesday to confirm that it was okay that I came as a total beginner, and he assured me it would be okay.
There were probably 30 or 40 of us there, and we were broken up into grade-related groups (A+, A, B+, B, C). Based on W's suggestion and my own nervouseness, I went into the C group. It was fun recognizing people from the Tri Club - something I've never gotten to experience before. Each group had a leader, and I immediately introduced myself to mine and explained that I was a first time rider. I was in a group of 4, and they really took care of me. There's a lot to learn about road biking safety, and the group leader really took her time to teach me as much ettiquette as she could (like how to hand signal that you were ready to be the lead rider, oncoming cars, cars coming from behind, clear to turn, calling out road hazzards, etc). I'm going to do more research on that! We went a total of 21 miles in an hour and a half, and I loved every second of it.
I was reminded a lot of the bike trip my Dad and I took when I was 15, and it made me want to look into those again. Who knows - if he starts riding soon, maybe it'll be a father-daughter bike trip reunion!! (hint hint Dad!).
After the ride was over, there was fruit and bagels at the shop (Fat Frogs), and I hung out for a few minutes before going home. Nothing like it being 930 am on a Saturday and your workout is already done for the day!
Today was a scheduled swim day, so I took off for the gym around 1050am (they open at 11 and are only 3 miles away). It was another 30 minute steady swim - no drills - and I went a total of 1000 yds. I also wore my new Tri Suit (explanation to come in a few paragraphs). I wanted to work out in it to make sure it was comfortable, and it was.
There were quite a few people there that I knew, which is (just like the bike ride yesterday), still strange. There were 3 women from my Tri Club, one of their boyfriends who is helping coach her with swimming (he's Coast Guard - and very nice), AND a woman I work with who was there with her husband and totally adorable little boy. I'm kind of liking this social aspect of working out!
I find the first 100 yds to be challenging, and then I hit a groove where I feel like I could swim all day. I'm sure that's normal - warming up and all - but I'm not sure how to do that pre-race. On a run it's simple. Run to warm up, then start your race. How the heck do you warm up for a swimming race? I doubt they'll let me get a few pre-race laps in, so I think I'll have to ask W or one of the swim coaches on the team that one....
Once I was warmed up, I really just kept going at a slow and steady pace. I stopped after 30 minutes (that's what's on my training calendar), but I really could've kept going. I spent about 10 minutes in the hot tub, then showered up and came home.
Fat Frogs was going to do a beginner clinic/ride today at 330. My plan was to go as long as it wasn't raining. It was - and I was bummed. It's been a really long time since I've done any bike maintenance, and we were going to go over changing bike tires, and then do a 16 mile ride. At 330, it was raining really hard, and I decided that karma didn't want me pushing it too much.
Tomorrow is my first workout on my new trainer. I'm totally excited, but I know it's going to be hard. We're going to run right after, so we're technically doing a brick tomorrow night. Should be interesting - last time I tried running right after biking, I wanted to fall over.
It's been a nice weekend. Not a lazy weekend by any means, but still nice.
Earlier this week D and I decided that I'm going to take our youngest to Disney World over spring break. He can't take off work, and I've taken the older kids on mom-only trips (A to Florida last year, just me and her, and the year before, M and I to WI to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary). I've never just taken R somewhere, so since we both have off anyway, I'm going to take her to Orlando for 4 days. I'm excited, and so is she.
I've been using an old version of Mastercook for the past 6 years or so to organize my recipes. I started having problems with it, so I started looking at new cookbook software. I ended up downloading the free trial for (and then buying) the Living Cookbook 2011. It is SO cool - I can type in recipes, scan them in, or even update with my iPhone (haven't looked into how to do that yet, but it's still cool knowing I can). I spent a few hours this weekend reading my favorite blogs and then entering the recipes I know I'll make into the software. All the ones I made this weekend from Love, Veggies, and Yoga are in there!
Saturday afternoon I went shopping with A. I stopped at Aquawear (a local swim shop) and bought 3 pieces to make up my Tri suit. The shorts are slightly padded, a swim/run bra, and a tank top. I have less than a month before the Tri, so I knew I was running out of time to get this.
We hit the mall for a bday gift for her friend (she spent the night at a friend's house and then that friend had a bday party today), then went home. I really wanted to do some other running around, but I was so tired I just wanted to go home.
I spent several hours on Saturday working, but that's okay. I have a lot going on, and since I'm usually in meetings all day, this is really the best option I have. At least I was in comfy clothes sitting in my bed while I worked.
After my workout today, I came home to drop my stuff off, went to get my nails done, and then went grocery shopping at Sam's. Aside from the mango salsa, I picked up pears, green apples (with all the juicing, I'm going through fruit like CRAZY!), a fresh pineapple, beer, wine, bread, bagels, and a few other things.
I will say though, that I ran into one of my big pet peeves today....people who don't return their grocery carts. I mean, really?? Are people THAT lazy, that they can't walk the extra 30-40 feet to either take their carts to the cart corrall or back to the store? They'd rather occupy a parking space with their stupid cart because they're too busy/lazy/annoying to put them back? I dislike that more than I can say. It's funny, because my son always volunteers to take my carts and put them away because he knows how I feel about it. That's my boy.
Since coming home, I've cooked, cleaned, and am now relaxing. I watched The Biggest Loser, made my rice dish, amcooking lasagna, and enjoying a glass or two of a red Copolla wine. Life is good.