Tag Archives: meatless meal

Training For the Heat

Happy Tuesday, friends!  How was your day?  I kicked things off this morning with a 75-minute indoor bike trainer ride.

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At first glance, this setup looks like a usual ride, but I made an important change today:  I wore an Under Armour top, which is normally reserved for chilly outdoor runs.

So why rock cold weather gear during an indoor spin?

One of my main concerns about the Nautica South Beach Triathlon (in t-minus 18 days!) includes the heat.  Since I grew up in the tundra Central New York, freezing temperatures don’t bother me, but high humidity is a different story.  Basically, aside from high school field-hockey practices (and the very end of a few long runs this past summer), I don’t have any experience working out in the heat, and I have no idea how my body will respond.  Obviously, I can’t become totally used to warm temperatures during the upcoming weeks, but I do want to get a rough idea of how my body will respond—and how much I can push.  This morning’s ride was a little toasty, and during tomorrow’s Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I plan to wear more layers.  And even though my normal spot isn’t next to a fan, I need to choose a seat that’s in the middle of the room that has zero chance of getting a breeze.  Andrew also suggested spending some quality time in the sauna, so I’ll probably camp out there Thursday and Friday post-workout.

Breakfast

My appetite has been out of control the past few days, and this morning was no exception.

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Post-biking and strength training coffee, water, and overnight oats.

Lunch

I haven’t been posting pictures of my meals because I eat literally the exact same thing every day.

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Spicy black bean quinoa that I almost forgot to photograph with an unpictured side of carrots.  A strawberry banana Chobani served as an afternoon snack.

Dinner

The usual suspects made appearances tonight.

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Baked salmon seasoned with EVOO, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper, and a sprinkle of basil, plus some peas and roasted sweet potatoes.

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?  Any tips for preparing for hot and humid races?

What I Ate Wednesday – The New Normal

Hiya–happy hump day, friends!  Thankfully, this week seems to be flying by—I can’t wait for Saturday’s indoor triathlon!

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This Downton Abbey hipster meme cracks me up!  Not related to this post at all, but I know some of you are obsessed with the show like me.

Anyway, I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today for What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW).

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The blog has lacked food pictures lately, so I figured there’s no time like the present to reintroduce meal photography.  Here we go!

Pre-workout Fuel – 5:30 a.m.

Should I even say that 5:30 a.m. is a late morning for me?  Nope?  OK—moving on.

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This is what I eat before every morning workout:  half of a Kashi granola bar, one cup of coffee (with almond milk), and a ton of water.  The run itself didn’t go so great–after Monday’s a.m. team run and a 45-minute p.m. spin on the indoor bike trainer, my legs were spent.  Guess that’s why you need a recovery week, right?

Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.

Standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich on Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread.

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With another cup of coffee and lots of water.

Lunch – 12:40 p.m.

Spicy black bean quinoa topped with avocado, plus some carrots.

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I could eat this quinoa every single day and never get sick of it!

Mid-Afternoon Snacks – 3:30 p.m.

One of my coworkers was eating something crunchy, which triggered a craving for something similar.

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I snacked on some almonds to keep hunger at bay, and a little while later, I ate a vanilla Chobani.

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Love this stuff!

Dinner – 7:15 p.m.

No surprise here—baked salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.

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Since I meal prep on Sundays, the fish just had to bake for 20 minutes, and the sides went in the microwave.  Easy peasy.

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Huzzah!  Frozen grapes for dessert!

What are some of your go-to healthy snacks?

‘Fun Time is Over’

Hey, hey!  Thank you so much for your birthday wishes via comments, texts, and tweets—they made my day!  My coworkers even gave me a card yesterday, which was such a sweet surprise.

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Another surprise greeted me when I got home—PajamaGram pj’s from my parents!

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Now that I’ve been 23 for a solid 24 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that—to quote Red Forman from That 70s Show—fun time is over.

In the above clip, Red (who reminds me so much of my grandpa!) determines he’s been too lenient in raising his son Eric, declaring “fun time is over!”  And for the past week, I’ve been living in a let-the-easy-workouts-roll world, which screeched to a halt Monday morning with some Full Throttle Endurance tempo work.  After warming up and progressing through some technique drills, my pace group ran around the indoor track for 10 minutes, then hopped on treadmills for 10 minutes of hills—while maintaining our tempo pace. (We eventually built up to 90 seconds at 3.5 percent incline—whew!) Then we repeated this cycle for a total of 40 minutes, and I hit the pool afterward for a 30-minute swim.  This girl was down for the count!

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On Tuesday morning, I shutdown “playtime” (another Red Forman-ism) and upped the weight on all my strength training exercises.

And this morning, our team indoor cycling practice contained mostly solid intervals (80-85 percent of maximum heart rate), plus a few all-out efforts.  My crazy dedicated teammates and I also did a quick run off the bike.  So basically, there will be no more FTE playtime until the end of the month!

Breakfast

After my double-workout, I refueled with a protein smoothie.

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Kind of a gross color thanks to the spinach, but super delicious—one frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a ton of spinach, plus almond milk, chia seeds, and a scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

After breakfast, I met Jen at Starbucks!  She was in the neighborhood for a Finish Line Physical Therapy appointment, and since we tried (and failed) to meet up before Sunday’s race, we made it happen today.  She’s super bubbly and sweet, and you should definitely check out her blog if you don’t read it already.

Lunch

After I ran errands and organized my apartment, I threw together some spinach and leftover spicy black bean quinoa for lunch.

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Topped with avocado of course!

Oh, and before I forget, I have some exciting news to share—my big-girl internship will transition from part-time to full-time starting next week!  I just wanted to give you a heads up my blogging might be sporadic for the next week or two as establish a new schedule.

How often do you back off your workouts or take a recovery week?  Better yet, how many rest days do you take each week?

I Just Like to Kick …

Happy Friday and February 1, friends!

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I ventured to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) office yesterday afternoon to pick up my t-shirt and bib for the Gridiron 4-miler race, and my walk to and from the subway took me through Central Park.  No complaints here!

Workout #1 – Swimming

Recovery week team workouts officially ended this morning in the pool.  How’s this for a pleasant surprise—Andrew moved me from fast lane number two to fast lane number one! (During our team swims, Full Throttle Endurance uses five of Chelsea Piers’ six lanes—one slow, two medium, and two fast.) Technically, I’ve been in the fast lane for this training cycle, but it was the slower of the two. (I’ve mentioned this before, but I should note again that I’m training with the “level-one” team; if I were training with the racing team, then I’d probably be in the slow lane.) Anyway, Young C got called up to swim with the big dogs!  I also learned I’m a semi-decent kicker:  The guys in my lane told me to lead our 6x50s.  I was a little hesitant to hop up to the lead-off spot, but I put on my big-girl pants and set the pace.

I just like to kick—kicking’s my favorite!

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Overall, I really liked life in this new fast lane.  Swimming alongside these guys (I was the only girl in the lane) was definitely more challenging, and I had to work harder to stay on pace.  That will hopefully lead to improvement, though, so I hope to stay in that lane for future workouts.  And honestly, based on my basketball experience, I’ve learned that guys—in terms of both coaches and teammates—push me more and typically don’t take things personally.  Case in point:  All four told me to lead the kicking drills.  This honesty makes it easier for me to do the same.  Case in point:  Once it was time for the pulling drills, I promptly demoted myself and took the caboose spot. (Remember the pulling drills from last week?)

Finally, after practice, we tried on team cycling and racing uniforms! (When we start riding outside, everyone wears a team jersey and shorts, which makes it easier for the coaches to tell who’s in our group.) Much like getting my FTE t-shirt, trying on tops, bottoms, and jerseys made everything seem real—it still blows my mind that I’m part of an awesome NYC triathlon team sometimes.  I’ll definitely share pictures when the gear arrives!

Breakfast

I refueled after practice with my go-to spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich.

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With a slice of pepper jack cheese for good measure.

Workout #2 – Biking

Originally, I planned to ride during tomorrow afternoon’s SU game, but since my family will be here, I want to watch the game with them—and not be pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer.  Around 11 a.m., I hooked up my bike, hopped in the saddle, and put in my 60 minutes of zone-2 work.  Done and done.

Lunch

I can’t decide if I like the spicy black bean quinoa better hot or cold; I eat it chilled at work, but always heat it up at home.

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Either way, the avocado needs to be there!

Time to clean my apartment for the fam—enjoy the day!

Do you prefer working out solo or with a group?  Have you ever trained alongside members of the opposite sex?  What did you think?

Spicy Black Bean Quinoa

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  As promised, I have a recipe to share with you today—spicy black bean quinoa.

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There’s so much to love about this recipe:  it’s healthy, nutritious, delicious, and above all, easy to prepare.  It’s a no-fuss dish that calls for less than 30 minutes in the kitchen, yet lasts the entire week.

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As you can tell from the Tupperware, I’ve gotten in the habit of preparing a batch every Sunday to have on hand for weekday lunches.

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Here’s a tip:  Wilt spinach in the microwave for 30 seconds and then layer the quinoa on top.  More veggies for the win!

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Spicy Black Bean Quinoa

Inspired by Anne P.’s Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red pepper, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 cup salsa

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Tabasco

pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 ripe avocado (optional)

Directions:

1.  Combine quinoa, water, and vegetable broth in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 to 12 minutes (until all liquid is absorbed).

2.  Let quinoa cool, then combine in a large bowl with other ingredients.

3.  Cut avocado and top portion with a few slices.

‘Shorter, Shorter, Quicker, Quicker’

Happy Monday, everyone!  Did you have today off for MLK Day?  Three-day weekends are the best, right?  Before transitioning to the bulk of this post, I want to thank everyone who came to last night’s first official #TriChat.

#trichat-twitter-profile We discussed 2013 season goals, and Jen and I were blown away by the sheer amount of participants and the high-quality conversation.  It wouldn’t have been as successful without USA Triathlon’s presence, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first chat.  If you want to #trigeek out with us (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?) our next Twitter-based conversation will take place Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. EST.  Yes, it’s Superbowl Sunday, but this afternoon chat time leaves plenty of time for football festivities! (After Feb. 3, we’ll return to our normal time of 8 p.m. EST.)

Workout #1 – Running

Today’s workout with Full Throttle Endurance (FTE) included the same running drills we did last week, including more barefoot running.  During the tech work, Andrew told us to shorten our strides and increase our cadence, which will help improve running efficiency, muscle memory, and arguably recovery.  As you can tell from the title of this post, the phrase of the day was “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker”—shorter strides and quicker turnover.  Eventually, we split up into our pace groups for 2-3 tempo miles.  Even though my group’s prescribed pace was 8:28 (which is a little conservative for me), we banged out two miles in the 7:20-7:30 ballpark, so I struggled to hang on for the final four laps.  I kept telling myself “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker,” but I fell off the pace and ended up finishing about 10 seconds after my group’s first runner. (Our group contained three people, and our third member dropped off with 800m left.) I’m obviously disappointed I couldn’t maintain my splits, but it’s early in the season, and I can only improve.

Breakfast

I refueled after practice with coffee (obviously) and a spinach and egg-white breakfast sandwich.

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Mmmm!  A few hours later, I sliced up a banana and sprinkled on some cinnamon and almond butter.

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I don’t usually blog my snacks, but most days, I have a banana or almonds between breakfast and lunch.

Lunch

After doing laundry and watching President Obama’s inaugural address, I turned to the fridge for lunch.

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First, I steamed a boatload of spinach in the microwave and then added some of the spicy vegan black bean quinoa I made yesterday.  It tasted good, but it still seems to be missing something.  Hmmm …

I spent about two hours shopping for big-girl internship clothes—and subconsciously thought “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” as I walked from store to store—which proved to be unsuccessful except for an unpictured Americano from Starbucks.  Priorities.

Workout #2 – Biking

Since Syracuse conveniently played Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m., I multitasked by watching the game and pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer. (I originally planned to swim after this morning’s workout, but the masters swim team had taken over the pool, and none of my teammates wanted to swim with them—ha!) Anyway, my legs felt a little tight and an easy 60-minute recovery ride sounded ideal.  Holy cow, though–what a game!  The Orange barely held on, 57-55!

When you run or workout, do you repeat words or phrases in your head?  What do you say?

Modified Two-Ingredient Pancake

Hey, everyone!  Who’s looking forward to the weekend?  We’re so close.

Workout – Yoga

Even though I didn’t want to wake up and drag my butt to a 7 a.m. class at Yoga Vida, I’m really, really glad I did.  Taking a step back from swimming, biking, and running let me reconnect with my body and stop hating on it for yesterday’s “tempo” run.  Don’t get me wrong; I survived a different type of struggle this morning—Warrior III, anyone?—but moving consciously reminded me how blessed I am to have a capable, powerful body.  Being able to workout is a gift after all.

Breakfast

After reading Natalie’s post yesterday that contained some delicious-looking pancakes, I knew a similar spread needed to happen this morning.  Instead of going the usual two-ingredient pancake route, I got a little creative.

Sure, it looks similar, but its taste is all its own.

Ingredients:

One mashed banana

1/3 cup liquid egg whites

2 tbsp. flaxseed

sprinkle of chia seeds

cinnamon to taste

I cooked it the same way (non-stick cooking spray on pan, heat on medium-low, etc.), and this version might be better than its two-ingredient counterpart; subbing in flaxseed for almond milk resulted in a true cake-like pancake that boasted a heartier texture.  And it also smelled like French toast, which is never a bad thing.

Lunch

After running some errands and going grocery shopping, I finished up the rest of the crock pot tofu and chickpea curry.

To pump up the nutritional profile a bit, I wilted some spinach and added a little brown rice.  Yummy!

Oh, and I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have an interview tomorrow for a paid, part-time editorial internship at yet another a health and wellness publication—woohoo!

What’s the best part of your day so far?

I’m In—2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, Here I Come!

Breaking news:  I officially have a spot in the 2013 Aquaphor New York City Triathlon—woohoo!

I’m so pumped!  Receiving this email set into motion a slew of emotions—excitement, gratitude, anxiousness, and nervousness to name a few.  First, I’m excited to do this swim-bike-run event in my new “backyard.”  How cool is that?  (Plus, I can totally train on the course, which never hurts.) This confirmation message also designates my first official, written-on-the-calendar-in-pen-and-highlighted 2013 triathlon race.

Up until now, I’ve been swimming, biking, and running regularly—it is the off-season, not the “soft season,” after all—but I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been “attacking” my workouts.  Sure, I’ve logged laps in the pool, time in the saddle, and miles on the pavement, but these sweat sessions have lacked that extra drive, umph, and motivation that comprised my in-season workouts.  Now that I have one scheduled race on my calendar, it makes the upcoming season more real.  Yes, July 14, 2013 is eight months away, but this date will change my mental approach.  How can it not?  In the oh-so-articulate words of my high school basketball coach, it’s time to stop “fartin’ around” and going through the motions.  Done and done.

Amidst this triathlon excitement, I tried to install my trainer tire so I can ride to my heart’s content without killing my road tire.  Oh boy.  After watching a few videos online, I felt somewhat prepared to tackle the task.  First, I removed my rear wheel from the bike frame.

And then things went downhill.  Fast.  I managed to successfully remove the road tire (after deflating the tube a bit), from the wheel, but I hit a wall trying to install the trainer tire.  When I added air to the tube, it popped.  It caught me so off-guard I actually jumped!  Yikes!  And during this process, I dropped my chain. (For non-cyclists, this means my chain came off my chain ring.) Sigh.  I became so overwhelmed, threw in the towel, and called in the experts; I went to Zen Bikes, and $9 and 15 minutes later, my bike is ready for the trainer.  Whew!

Breakfast

Totally forgot to post today’s meals.  Whoops.  After running and strength training this morning, I made an open-faced egg white and spinach sandwich.

Lunch

Not pretty, but definitely tasty—steamed spinach with leftover lentils and brown rice, plus a boatload of carrot slices.

Dinner

Three cheers for more leftovers!  My mom left me half of her sole from Saturday night’s dinner, so I zapped that along with some green beans and assembled a salad.

I also roasted some cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms.  Mmmm, veggies.

When you become stressed or overwhelmed, how do you react?

Is It December 1 Yet?

Happy Friday!  I want to talk about my off-season triathlon training, but I must first mention the epicness that was last night’s dinner—tofu and chickpea curry.

Since my first crock pot endeavor proved successful, I decided to put my 1-0 record on the line and try another set-it-and-forgot-it meal.  I basically followed this recipe, but made a few changes (left out the onions and used jarred ginger and coconut oil).  PS – Check out my friend Gabby’s Foodie Friday post!

Now onto my second favorite thing after food—triathlons.  As you may have noticed, I haven’t been to Chelsea Piers since Hurricane Sandy hit New York City.  Julie wrote about the complex last week, and basically, Sandy slammed it; the entire facility remains without power “due to severe damage to the electrical switchgear room.” (That’s what CP told members in an email.)

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Overall, CP has kept its members in the loop via email, Facebook, and Twitter, and right now, its tentative reopening date is Dec. 1.  Which is almost one month away.  This stinks for a variety of reasons—no triathlon-specific workouts with Andrew, no time on the CompuTrainer, and no Full Throttle Endurance off-season training.  Even though I can somewhat fend for myself in terms of the bike and run (my parents are brining a trainer today!), I really need access to a pool this off-season, especially because I should be working diligently on my swim.  With that said, CP has negotiated reduced-rate memberships with nearby fitness facilities, and the McBurney YMCA also gave the nod to allow CP members access.  For free.  Yahtzee! (Well, except during peak hours during the evening.  There’s always a catch, right?) Since I haven’t reeked of chlorine been swimming in about three weeks, I figured there’s no time like the present to return to the pool.

Breakfast

Before heading to the Y, I ate a quick breakfast–Van’s Power Grains with almond butter and banana slices.

Mmmm!

Workout – Swimming

I arrived at the Y around 8:40 a.m. and took care of some registration logistics.

After filling out a form with my contact information, the membership consultant made a copy of my driver’s license, and I received my temporary membership card.

A black-and-white photo makes it super old school, right?  Anyway, my workout went better than I anticipated.  My upper-body was quite tight, which should be expected, but I’m happy to report my fitness hasn’t totally gone down the tubes.  Even though I wanted to swim longer, I drilled for 40 minutes or so; it’s probably wise to ease back into it.

Post-Workout Snack

Back at my apartment, I broke into my stash of Premier Protein products and drank the original chocolate shake.

Although I prefer to make my own protein smoothies, this tasted delicious–very similar to chocolate milk. (In the triathlon world especially, chocolate milk is known as an ideal recovery drink; just ask Chris Lieto and Mirinda Carfrae.) Plus, take a look at the nutrition facts.

Only 1g of sugar and 30g of protein–pretty impressive, right?

What’s your favorite post-workout snack?

Crock Pot Success

Hiya, friends!  How’s your almost-Friday going?  This morning, I went to Yoga Vida for my first practice in … three weeks.  Returning to the mat and stretching things out felt great, but the highlight was walking outside—in the snow!

Yep, hello slush and Bean boots.  Winter has officially arrived.

Dinner

Cold weather calls for warm meals, so I fired up the crock pot.

It was my first time using said crock pot, so I was a little nervous, but last night’s meal was delicious!

First, I rinsed one cup of lentils and tossed them into the pot along with two cups of water, one generous splash of red wine, 1 tsp. crushed garlic, two stalks of chopped celery, one chopped orange pepper, 1/2 tsp. cumin, and 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper.  Then it was time to set it (on low) and forget it (for five hours).  When dinnertime arrived, I added some wilted spinach and steamed broccoli.

Crock pot cooking for the win!

Breakfast

Hoarding:  Accumulating Almond Butter Jars.

Yeah.  Thanks to today’s batch of overnight oats, I’m down to one jar.

I had the same mix as yesterday, and I might try making “oatless” oatmeal tomorrow morning and pouring it into the final jar.  It’s just too chilly for cold breakfasts.

Lunch

Simply leftovers from last night, plus a little brown rice.

And tonight’s dinner is cooking away.

What can I say?  ‘Tis the season.

Have you seen your first snowfall?

PS – Instagram has web profiles now.  So cool!