Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mmmm! Yummy recipe discovery for vegetarian/vegan dishes

Hi everyone!  I hope you are having a fabulous day.  I know I am! :)  Wednesday is my day off and it was glorious.  I went shopping and shopping and shopping.  I bought fall decorations for my room (pictures tomorrow when there's good light in the room) and my room now smells like delicious spiced pumpkin via a seasonal spray bottle of Febreeze.  Unfortunately that lovely week of fall weather is gone and it's hot again =/ bleh, but I'm going to pretend there's beautiful crisp fall weather outside.

Well, I've never gotten around to writing an "About Me" page.  I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually ;).  If I had written one then you would probably know that I'm vegetarian.  I've never liked meat much and when I got to college I decided to just cut it out entirely.  It made it a lot easier to turn down meals I didn't really want.

 I've been vegetarian for a little over a 4 years now and the most frequent question I get is "What do you eat?"  This always comes as a surprise to me because I am aware of so many vegan and vegetarian options and I can never understand why others find it so strange or haven't heard of these options.  I mean, it's really a big thing right now.  Vegetarian is the in thing.  Anyways, everyone thinks that the only possible option is salads and pasta.  Well first of all, a salad is lovely when I'm in the mood but I'm sorry there is just no way I'm going to eat salads for the rest of my life.  Absolutely cannot do a salad diet.  I love my salt and I love hot warm comfort foods.  The salt is a story for another day, oh how I wish salt was good for you... sadly it will have to go eventually.  Pasta is fine but I rarely eat it.  No real reason, I just prefer tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce on other things and pasta in my opinion really has no redeeming qualities (although I'll probably be stuffing my face with spaghetti, aka carbs, the night before the race). 

So what do I eat?  A huge variety of things :).  Breakfast is always oatmeal, sometimes with add-ins, currently pumpkin, sometimes blueberries, sometimes bananas but I also love them plain.  I try to add ground chia and flax seeds but don't always cause they get stuck in my permanent retainer and can be a bit annoying.  I usually have small lunches, more like snacks.  Banana and a large handful of nuts or cherry tomatoes with cheese and nuts.  If I'm feeling like a bigger meal I'll have some Ezeikiel bread toasted with spaghetti sauce slathered on with slices of avacado, sliced cherry tomatoes, maybe some black beans, salt, pepper, oregano and some more sauce on top.  Yummy. 

Dinner is always something different.  I've looked up vegan/vegetarian recipes before online and found some great recipes but a lot of the time they're full of cheese or pasta or rice... things I'm not very thrilled about eating everyday.  Other recipes are great but are often really labor intensive.  So, I was very excited to make a discovery!  I am responsible for Wednesday's meals and since I'm busy all the time I needed to find something quick.  I used to make dump chicken recipes on the weekends and freeze several at a time so all I had to do was pop them out of the freezer and into a baking dish but now I only make vegetarian meals for my family.  So what I've been doing is using the same dump chicken recipes and substituing beans/potatoes/sweet potatoes/grains for the chicken.  They have been turning out SO good. 

A few weeks ago I made greek chick peas and potatoes (tasted lemony) and delicious.  Last week I made honey glazed kidney beans and sweet potatoes, roasted until the kidney beans had a slight crunch to them and the sweet potatoes were nice and soft.  This week I made wine and herb roasted canalini beans and red potatoes.  I wanted to skip the potatoes and make some amaranth a la rice style to put the canalini on top of but I ended up making too much wine and herb marinade and had to find something else that would soak some of it up.  These meals are absolutely delicious and have been SO easy.  It takes about 5 minutes to put all the ingredients together in a pan and then 30 minutes or so to bake them.

I have no idea why I haven't been able to find recipes like these on recipe websites but I am so happy that I've made this discovery.  Mmm mmm!

P90X arms and shoulders followed by ab ripper x and then bedtime :) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Always Busy

Is it just me or is every week busy?  I always think to myself: "This week is really busy but it's just this week.  Next week won't be anywhere near as crazy as this week" And then, surprise surprise... busy again!

Because things always seem to come up, I've been very appreciative that I make working out a priority.  Especially now that I'm training for a half marathon and marathon, it's so important to continue training and missing a day every once in a long while is okay but it definitely can't become a habit. 

Now I say all that to say that I've been missing days.  Several days.  I've been getting in all of my running but P90X is suffering a little.  I've kind of pushed those workouts to the back burner.  They're still important but not essential. 

I have some very exciting news to share with you!  Well... I'm excited about it anyways ;).  Saturday I ran 15 miles!!!!  Absolutely ecstatic about this news.  I'd say it was probably one of my easiest long runs too.  I ran the 15 miles in 2 hours and 30 minutes.  This is really exciting to me because this means that I may be able to run my half marathon in less than 2 and a half hours and then I could run the marathon in the first wave!  This is so exciting to me! 

As a marathon rookie it's recommended that you not make a time goal.  Your only goal should be to cross the finish line still moving :).  The main reason for this goal is to prevent injuries.  Running too far too soon or too fast when you haven't trained for long enough can quickly lead to injuries.  Now, obviously I'm not looking to get injured but if that's the pace that I run at naturally then why not try to run the marathon in under 5 hours?

My other news is that I've started to incorporate speed training into my runs.  Now this is exactly what is not recommended for beginning runners.  I've only done two of these and I only plan to keep them for the days when I'm running 3 miles so I feel like this is safe?  I don't know, I'm no expert, I'm just doing what feels good.  Last week I ran 3 miles in 24:42.  This week I ran 3 miles in 22:30!!!  That's a 7:30 mile pace!!  I think this is a great accomplishment!  I sure hope it's not a recipe for injury because it's exhilarating to actually be able to run quickly and feel the wind in your hair.

And now for some fun:

Sunday night my sister found out who her Big Sister is!  I went along to see the action.
Rachel joined the same sorority as I was in during college.  I was in Theta Alpha, one of the first christian sororities.  Since it's fairly new, Rachel was the first legacy!  So exciting! 

To find out who their big sister is the girls have to go around to different stations and perform a task.  Once they perform the task they will receive a puzzle piece.  Once they receive all of their puzzle pieces they then will read the clue on the completed puzzle.  The clue will lead them to an object attached to a string that is attached to their big... they just have to untangle a huge mess to find the person on the other end ;)

This is from the first station.  DANCE PARTY!!!

Rachel is the girl in the middle playing air guitar :) :) :).  Yeah, my sister is awesome.
The girl on the left is my sister's Big Sister, patiently awaiting her arrival
After much ducking and climbing and unwinding...

Rachel found her Big!

Now she's in my natural family and my Theta Alpha family!  Yay snowflake family! :)
She's my Great Great Great Grandlittle :)

Ah!  My family is getting so big!  I've now been dubbed "matriarch"
This is me with all my babies :)

Keep checking back for more running updates!  Hope you all have a wonderful and hopefully not insanely crazy Tuesday!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Huge News

Tonight I officially signed up for the Disney World Marathon!!!!!!

I am SO excited, I can't even express how excited I am!

But I am also very very nervous!!

I know I can do!  But wow.  I watched a video on youtube from the race and it made my heart start beating faster and it also made me cry.  I'm a total dork, I know. 

My biggest worry right now is that the friends I am running with run 10:30 miles and I run 10.  That's not a huge difference so I wasn't really worried but now I'm starting to work on speed and I guess I shouldn't?  To me it seems a waste to run a marathon and run it slow because you're trying to run it with friends.  This is coming from a very independent workout person.  I don't know.  I'm going to continue speed training and see what happens when I get closer. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Busy Mondays

Happy Monday!

You know, I've really dreaded Mondays but now I work on weekends and weekdays alike so it's all the same to me.  I just like starting fresh and having the whole week ahead of me. 

That being said, today was a busy day and I'm not a huge fan of busy days. 

I started off running stadiums with Rachel (my sister).  I texted her on the way to pick her up and said "so pretty outside.  It's 55 outside though so be prepared.  Hah, just to be clear I texted while stopped at a light.  No texting and driving ;).  I was wearing my nike drifit running capris and a sweatshirt but when I showed up at Rachel's apartment she came out in shorts and a t-shirt and then asked me why I didn't warn her about the overnight temperature drop.  It really was so pretty outside.  I'm probably crazy but I just love working out outside with the moon and stars out.  Gorgeous.

And want to hear something horrible?  Hah, I can't believe I'm about to admit this...
Sooo I naturally have pretty dry hair.  Before I was running almost everyday I would probably wash my hair about twice a week.  Maybe 3 times.  Now I'm washing my hair everyday and I know it's really not good for my hair but what can you do when you're sweating like crazy everyday?  Well anyways, today my head wasn't sweaty at all so I didn't wash my hair today.  And the most awful part... I'm hoping that this means I can cut down on washing my hair a lot.  Maybe back to 3 times?  I know, gross.  No one gets close enough to smell my head anyways.  I think? 

I got to play with my sister's puppy :) :) :)  (although this was taken on Saturday before that awful game...)

Please ignore my awkward smile and double chin.  I need to remember not to wear my retainer for pictures.  I just can't smile properly at all.

I spent the rest of the day working.

By working I mean:

Yes, I babysit
I am the most awesome babysitter in the entire world
And this is the sweetest little girl I know
Checkout Elmo, Cookie Monster and Bigbird stuffed in her pockets ;)

And also this:

Aren't they just the cutest?  Last week I promised I would bring a camera and take pictures of them because they're looking so good.  Well I forgot =/.  So I took pictures with my horrible camera phone.

Teaching three dance classes back to back and I am DONE. 

Now I'm home.  I've had dinner and now I'm debating an hour and a half of yoga or bed.  That first 45 minutes is horrible and mentally I just don't feel up to it.  My bed is calling to me... probably because I'm in it ;)

Do you dread Mondays?  Hope you rocked your workouts today! :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Making Strides

Ahhhh... I love all things fall.  I know I am not in the minority at all in saying this but I just thought I would let it be known that I am part of the fall craze.  I just love it!  Now let me clarify... there aren't exactly seasons in Florida.  But whatever it is we're getting right now: LOVE it! 

It was pretty rainy here the first couple days this week.  I skipped stadiums on Monday and Wednesday because of the rain.  Long story but it mostly comes down to the fact that my long run last Sunday messed up a good portion of my week.  Not that I didn't get anything accomplished this week because I did, but I didn't do what I planned to do. 

On Monday I was not fully recovered from my Sunday run and it was rainy and I didn't feel like dealing with slippery stadium steps so instead my sister suggested that we hit up the gym.  I don't have a gym membership but she works at the gym so I got in for free.  Now, there are several reasons that I don't have a gym membership.  Numero uno: $.  I just don't have that kind of money.  I've had free access to the gym at UF for more than 4 years now and have only used it a hand full of times.  I just can't see myself really using it that much and if I'm going to PAY for it and not use it... well that's a problem. 

Probably the main reason why I don't use the gym: I feel super awkward on gym machines.  I just can't figure them out and while I'm trying to figure them out I feel like everyone in the gym is watching me make a complete idiot out of myself.  I really just enjoy my home gym and running outside.  I just can't stand treadmills.  I know I keep going on all these tangents but that reminded me of something I read the other day.  I read that you should train for a marathon on a treadmill.  I can't even imagine running on a treadmill for more than 30 minutes.  Even 30 minutes is difficult.  They suggested popping in a movie and said that "the time would fly by"... don't know how I feel about that statement but I guess if it rained for like a straight week then I would be wishing I had a gym membership.

But now back to my week.  I had worked chest/shoulders/triceps earlier in the day via P90X so I skipped all the upper body machines and did some killer leg exercises.  I usually think I have pretty strong legs.  I dance, I run and I do leg strengthening exercises on a regular basis.  Um... well I sucked at the leg machines.  My sister kept having to decrease the weights for me because I couldn't move the machines at all.  It was pretty embarrassing.  I'm going to go with "the machines work different muscles than all of the other things I'm doing".  Yeah, that's it.

On top of being awful at the gym, on Tuesday I was pretty sore.  I wanted to go on a longer run on Tuesday but with being sore and then running in the evening I ended up just keeping it to 3 miles. 

Wednesday I was still sore.  I don't even know what I was sore from at this point.  Still recovering from the Sunday run?  The gym?  My run on Tuesday?  Who knows but I was definitely still sore.  Stadiums didn't happen and instead I pretty much sat in bed all day.  Wednesday is my day off and this Wednesday I learned that I should not have days off.  I should have done all the chores that I have been slacking on because I'm never home (ie. changing sheets, cleaning my room, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, laundry, etc, etc) but instead I just sat in my bed playing on the computer.  I felt horrible by the end of the day and kicked it into gear some.

Thursday it was a little overcast but it was cool!  Oh my gosh, can I just say, I can do anything about 10x better when it is cool outside.  GORGEOUS!  I went for my 6ish mile run.  It drizzled on and off during most of the run and I kept worrying about my ipod and wishing that I had put it in a ziplock bag.  It never out and out rained though so my ipod was safe but now i know for future runs.

Friday I pulled myself out of bed bright and early and ran stadiums by myself.  I think this is pretty dangerous so I try to always have someone with me even though I really like to go by myself.  When I got there it was still dark out.  It was crisp and cool outside and beautiful.  The moon was out and the stars were pretty bright.  The stadium was deserted which was strange because the past few times I've been there various sports teams are usually there taking up half of the stadium.  It was nice to have the whole stadium to myself.  I ran with my headphones off so I could hear if anyone was approaching but also because it was so beautiful outside that I just wanted to be able to take it all in.

Saturday I ran and I ran and I ran.  Again, GORGEOUS weather.  I ended up running 13.1 and dubbed this run my mock marathon.  It went really well actually.  I still don't have my fuel belt and I didn't take any GU with me but I'm still rocking the runs.  This gives me a lot of hope, I feel like once I do go on a run with gatorade and water and GU I will absolutely KILL the runs.  I sure hope so. 

I was so excited to finish the 13.1 miles that I decided to compare my time with average half-marathon times for other females my age.  Well, lets just say that it was a little disheartening.  I guess I'm going to have to work on my time a little.  I'm kind of guessing on my time because I walked a warm up lap and then came in and changed and did a few other things while I had my watch running but I think I'm probably at about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  This is pretty average to below average.  It is just INSANE that people are running these things in less than 2 hours. 

A friend of mine is running the Disney marathon in January and has been trying to convince me to run it as well.  I feel like I am not prepared and do not have enough time to prepare but apparently I'm ahead of her training-wise.  She finally convinced me to take the plunge and I'll be signing up later today.  Part of me is really excited about this and the other part of me is extremely nervous.  As I continue training and am hopefully able to increase the distance of my long runs then I think I'll start to get less nervous.  It just seems impossible to me right now to be able to run twice as much as what I ran yesterday.  Ahh!  Crazy.  I know I can do it though. 

Is there anything that you have thought would be impossible and then you conquered it anyways?  Tell me about it!