A few favorites and a few new things

I will start off with my favorite meal from last week. As I mentioned earlier, I bought the Oh She Glows cookbook to try out some new vegan recipes. So on Saturday I made the Portobello Burger (except I didn’t make the pesto that goes along with it).

burger

I put it on toasted Ezekiel bread and topped it with caramelized onions. On the top slice I added some smashed roasted garlic, a little whole grain mustard, and tomato slices. And those my friend, are some sweet potato fries on the side Smile Most definitely my favorite meal of the week. It really hit the spot after the 10 mile bike ride my husband and I went on along the Mt Vernon trail. Saturday had some beautiful weather and we took advantage. So did everyone else though because the trail was packed! There was a lot of dodging runners, walkers, and other bikers. Plus I had to slam on my brakes several times when there wasn’t enough room to maneuver. It was still fun though of course. We went about as far as the airport and then turned around. Our goal is to build up our mileage so that we can bike from the beginning of the trail all the way to Mt Vernon and back (about 30 miles round trip I think)

bike 

Funny, my other favorite meal of the week was also on Saturday. For brunch I made arepas because my mother-in-law bought us an arepa maker for Christmas. My husband is half Venezuelan and arepas are a popular dish there. They are a little flatbread made with ground corn flour (masa). You can put lots of different things inside but usually my husband’s family puts cheese and ham. I ended up making perico to go with it instead. Perico is another Venezuelan dish – basically scrambled eggs with tomato and onion. Since of course it’s still Lent and I’m not eating animal products, I just gave myself the tomato and onion, along with some avocado. It’s also very popular to have these with black beans but I didn’t think about it until after. It was morning after all and who wants to think that early on the weekend Winking smile

arepa

Much of what I ate was same old, same old, so I won’t share too much. I did go to Chipotle on Friday since we were out about town for a friend’s birthday. I tried the new sofritos option – the scrambled tofu. It was good and had a little spice to it.chipotle

I was also in the mood for a treat so we picked up some coconut milk ice cream. This was just alright. I think I just didn’t pick the right flavor because my husband got the butter pecan variety and it was a lot better.

ice cream

I’ll end on a high note this week. Training has been going pretty well. I’ve got just about 6 weeks to go now. My friend who is running with me met up with me yesterday morning for our long run – 6 miles this week. I wasn’t too sure how I was going to feel since I did what felt like a million squats and lunges on Friday plus the bike ride on Saturday. But you know what? We took it at a reasonable pace (~11 min/mile) and I felt amazing. When I got home I felt like I could go back out and run again! Definitely a runner’s high after that one. I’m feeling really excited about the race. Hopefully my parents are going to come down to cheer me on (and visit DC for the first time!!) Plus the day after is cinco de mayo so you know there are going to be Margarita specials going on. Yeah, that is going to be a fun weekend for sure. Can’t wait!!!

 

Did anyone else enjoy the weather/ do something fun on Saturday?

Saying it’s been an eventful week is an understatement

It has been a full week since I’ve last posted and a lot has happened. Well, in reality there was just one major event. I was lucky/blessed/fortunate enough to be able to attend the Partnership for a Healthier America’s annual Building a Healthier Future Summit this past Thursday and Friday. The biggest takeaway for me was that I desperately want to incorporate the Farm to Preschool program into the Head Start where I work.  Currently the classrooms plant a garden every year but I think a lot more could be done if we part with Farm to Preschool. The other big takeaway from the Summit was that I got to see the First Lady Michelle Obama! She was the keynote speaker for the closing plenary and the entire room was just buzzing. My coworker and I were able to get seats at the third table from the front which I didn’t think was too bad. At the end we were able to walk up and while we didn’t get close enough to shake hands, we were probably about 8 feet away or so. My pictures came out terribly though because yet again, I only brought my cell phone with me to snap pictures.

10

11

Yeah. That was definitely the highlight event of my week. The food was decent considering the chefs were cooking for 1000+ people. On Thursday, lunch was tofu over quinoa with white beans and kale. There was a side of mixed fruit as well. It didn’t look all that appealing but it wasn’t so bad.

5

On Friday, we ate lunch family style. There were sandwiches of all kinds; I had a portabella mushroom sandwich. Sides included a quinoa pilaf, fruit salad, and roasted veggies. I would have preferred if the pilaf and veggies were warm but other than that, once again not a terrible meal.

8

I also took advantage of being in the city for once and made reservations at Founding Farmers on Thursday night. That place is always packed but I have heard only good things about it so I really wanted to go. I chose the Many Veg Meatloaf (it was vegan I promise!) which was so delicious. It came with mashed potatoes and broccolini and I ate almost all of it. What can I say? I was a hungry girl Open-mouthed smile

6

As for the rest of the week, the food I made myself was pretty darn good as well. I made a lot of different open face sandwiches on my Ezekiel bread. All delicious.

12

One with avocado and tomato. Another with hummus and cucumber.

2

My dessert for the week! I had this several times hehe. I just mixed a teaspoon of cocoa powder into a scoop of peanut butter then drizzled honey on top. Nom nom nom!

I also tried to incorporate other fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans into my daily meals.

1

Curry roasted chickpeas, roasted asparagus and red onion, and a handful of blackberries

15

Kale chips. These never made it to a plate Embarrassed smile

16

Brown rice and black beans with tomato, sautéed spinach, onion, and yellow bell pepper

4

Whole grain pasta with butternut squash sauce and kale

3

Tofu with a lemon dill sauce

For those who follow Angela at Oh She Glows, some of these things might sound familiar. I tried a few recipes off her blog and also purchased her cookbook that came out last week. I have had a hit or miss time with kale chips and her recipe is just PERFECT. They came out exactly right – even my husband ate a couple!

7

Isn’t the cover just gorgeous?!

The last announcement of the week is that my husband bought me a bike! I signed up for the Tour de Cure in September and plan on riding 50 miles so I’m going to start training as soon as I’m done with the half-marathon in May. It’s an ambitious year for me but I thought having events like these would keep me more on track with my workouts.

13

She’s a beauty! Smile We took our new bikes (yes he got one too!) out for a spin yesterday as soon as we got them home. We had to go on the main road to get to the Mt Vernon trail head and it was my first time riding in a city. So scary! Definitely not something I want to do if I don’t have to. I’ll stick to trails if I can.

Those are pretty much the highlights I think. Conference, Cookbook, Bike. Yup, it was a good week. Except for the fact that I didn’t train, do my yoga challenge, or my wall sit challenge for like 4 days. I just needed a little break from all that I guess…. But today I’m back on track. I ran 6 miles (on the treadmill. brr its cold and snowing again….) and caught up on my yoga backbends. I still haven’t jumped back on to the wall sits though. Once I got to 2 minutes I just wimped out! Maybe tomorrow…..

G’night!

It’s been a while. Let me catch you up.

I was going to try to blog daily but that just hasn’t happened. Sometimes when I eat the same thing for lunch as I had for dinner the night before, it’s just not very inspirational to publish Smile with tongue out

Instead now I have a collection of various things I’ve been eating lately. And yes I am still going strong with eating vegan for Lent.

3 bean chili with avocado

chili

Oats with chia seeds and blueberries (made with light soy milk)

oats

A giant salad from Roti. This one has lettuce, red onion, roasted veggie mix, cucumber & tomato salad, red cabbage and carrot slaw, olives, & hummus. There was also a fresh pita on the side (not pictured)

salad

Ezekiel bread topped with hummus and cucumber with a side of blood orange

snack2

Red lentil & chickpea soup with tomatoes and spinach

soup

Stir fry made with tofu, broccoli & cauliflower on top of brown rice. You just can’t see the rice underneath here but I promise it’s there. Also this picture looks sad because of the terrible lighting…..

stirfry

Toast with peanut butter and blueberries

toast

As for my workouts, I’ve been sticking to my training plan as close as possible. I did switch my long run from Sunday to yesterday though because of the beautiful weather we had. My husband and I had a nice run around Memorial Bridge and through the Georgetown waterfront. Today I chose the elliptical since it was cooler out (but still beautifully sunny!). I really need to buy a bike so I can do that on my cross training days…..

The wall sit challenge is getting quite difficult. We are up to 1 minute 30 seconds today and I barely made it. It. Hurt. A. Lot.

Besides the eating and working out, I had a pleasant weekend. I worked Saturday (atypical but it was fine) and then last night my husband and I went to see the new 300: Rise of an Empire. I had heard a lot of praise for it. I however was unimpressed. I’ll let you formulate your own opinions about it though and won’t spoil anything.

The last thing I want to leave off with is just a reminder to everyone to think ahead when doing any sort of extreme diet. Eating a vegan diet makes it extremely tough to get vitamin B12 since that nutrient is found primarily in foods derived from animals. Some foods are fortified with B12 like cereals, soy products, energy bars, and nutritional yeast. In my case, while I don’t typically take one when eating a normal diet, I have decided to supplement with a multivitamin at this time. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Smile

Time Management

Well today was considerably busier than the last two. I had to work at not one but both of my part-time jobs so I had to plan my time accordingly.

Since I am not a morning person, I prepped both breakfast and lunch last night. It gets me out the door much faster. Breakfast was a bowl of oats with light soy milk and blueberries. Oh and coffee. Always coffee.

breakfast

Lunch was decent enough. Honestly I didn’t think far enough ahead when buying groceries and factoring in the whole vegan thing for the end of the week. I made due with what I had considering I didn’t have any leftovers (not that I would have been able to eat that anyway considering we had chicken!). I threw together a spinach and carrot salad with tahini dressing, a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and a dish of sliced up mango for “dessert.”

lunch

I managed to get out of job #1 a little bit earlier than I usually leave and made it home with just over an hour before I had to be at job #2. So what did I do with that time? I squeezed in my workout for the day of course! 40 minutes on the elliptical since it’s cross-training day. Now that’s time management right there! Going to work out after I leave job #2 at 8pm is no fun because I’m usually really hungry for dinner by then. Plus when I work out that late, it pushes dinner back towards 9:30ish and I don’t like eating a big meal that late either. So it was wonderful to get it done “early.”

I brought my post-workout refuel to work with me and scarfed it down. My baggie of cheerios and walnuts did not wait to take a picture. But I did snap one of my very sad banana. It wanted to be eaten yesterday but that didn’t happen and ended up ripening rather quickly.

banana

Dinner tonight was courtesy of my friend, the crockpot. Another meal prepared the night before; I threw in mixings for a 3 beans chili, turned it on this morning, and let it do its thing. I really am a fan of the crockpot and should use it more often I think. When I got home from work, I quickly microwaved a baked potato and dumped some chili over it plus half an avocado. Delicious and comforting on another cold evening. (Good news though – I heard it’s going to start warming up next week!)

dinner

All in all, I think vegan day 1 didn’t go so bad. I’ve just got to continue to plan ahead and get creative. I perused some of the recipes on www.ohsheglows.com because I have heard only rave reviews about Angela’s creations. She even has a new cookbook out that I may just have to go out and get!

It’s also just dawned on me that yesterday marked 2 months until the half-marathon. Eek! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. I just have to remember to stick to my training plan and I should be fine. Right?

 

Are you a fan of the crockpot?

Do you prep meals the night before or just go with it when the time comes?

Preparing myself for the next 40 days

Like I mentioned last night, school was closed again today so I had another day to myself. Unlike yesterday however, my husband went to work so I had the place to myself. I started off the morning with 2 cups of coffee and then a delicious breakfast which I savored every bite of. It’s one of my new favorites. If you haven’t tried this before, I’m telling you now that you must Smile Sunny-side up egg on toast with avocado. I overcooked the egg today though… And a side note, it’s even more delicious with fresh parsley on top but alas I didn’t have any of that. On the side I had a mix of blueberries and blackberries for an extra boost of color.

breakfast egg

For lunch I had leftover Kale Spinach, White Bean, & Sweet Potato Korma with quinoa. I didn’t take a picture; didn’t think it was necessary. Just as good the next day!

After getting some things done around the house and such, I finally set my mind on workout out late afternoon. According to my half-marathon training plan, today I was to do 3.5 miles. Now I am not a fast runner by any means. Heck, my brother jokes that if I go any slower I’d be going backwards. Lately I’ve been comfortable putting the treadmill at 5mph and just going. Today I pushed myself a little more and ran the first 3 miles at 5.5 and finished the last half at 6mph. It was good enough for me and I was a sweaty mess at the end. I think a quote I saw before is quite applicable here Winking smile

download

I also completed Day 4 of both my March challenges. Today’s wall sit was 40 seconds. They are definitely getting harder but I’m determined to keep at it. The AXiD alum who organized the challenge made a nice Facebook group so we can all support each other and keep everyone accountable. So far I think we are all doing well! For #backbendmadness2014, today’s yoga pose was Upward-facing dog. Another easy and gentle backbend to ease into the month. They are also going to get progressively harder as time goes on.

Once I was done, I refueled with cottage cheese (1%, no salt added) inside half a cantaloupe. It’s cute because it’s its own bowl! Or maybe I’m just cracking myself up as usual.

snack

Cottage cheese is another food that I’ve been obsessing over. Hmmm I’m seeing a pattern here! Maybe I do tend to get obsessed with certain foods but I just can’t help it when I find things that are so delicious! Pairing cottage cheese with fruit is my favorite way to eat it. Peaches. Pineapple. Mango. Cantaloupe. All yum.

As for dinner, I made chicken and broccoli with peanut sauce over whole grain spaghetti (as per our planned dinner schedule). Basically I just cook up chunks of chicken and broccoli and pour a mixture of ~1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and a little water over it. Once its thickened up a little I put it on top of the spaghetti.

dinner

Today was a day of eating some of my favorite animal products because starting tomorrow, I’ll be eating vegan! Tomorrow is the first day of Lent if you didn’t get the correlation. Last year was my first year giving up all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy for Lent. It was tough but isn’t that the point? So I’ve decided to do it again this year. Honestly the toughest part is probably coming up with meals that I can make for both my husband and I without them being 2 completely different things. That’s where the planning ahead will come in. Like for Thursday, I have stir-fry on the agenda. I will make chicken for him and tofu for me and the veggies and rice we’ll both have. It makes for extra dishes but I can’t really help that.

If you have any vegan recipes you would like to share, please do!