Tag Archives: Meatless Monday

‘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.

1:21-breakfast-spinach-egg-whites

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

1:21-snack-banana-almond-butter

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.

1:21-lunch-vegan-spicy-black-bean-quinoa

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?

Back to Two-a-Days and Job-Hunting Frustrations

Did today fly by or what?  I actually did a double-take when the clock read 4 p.m.  Where did the day go?  Oh, that’s right—I ran and swam this morning before I became wicked frustrated and discouraged during my job hunt.

Dinner

Let’s rewind to last night first.  For Meatless Monday, I originally planned to bake tempeh, but during my Trader Joe’s run, some biddie cut me off and proceeded to take the remaining three packages.  Uh, rude.  Girlfriend already had two, so why not share?  I was peeved.  Anyway, I ended up making blackened tofu and green beans.

Luckily, she left one package of tofu for me.

Workout #1 – Running

My day began with a 40-minute run.  Before heading out, I looked at my workout schedule, and I couldn’t believe the last time I ran was this past Wednesday—yikes!  Even though I anticipated heavy legs, I was pleasantly surprised; I felt fresh, rested, and fast enough to sprinkle in some fartleks.  Afterward, I completed some upper-body exercises that will help to strengthen my “swimming muscles” like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and pushups.

Breakfast

A craving for eggs hit hard, so I made an open-faced breakfast sandwich.

Sadly, I used up the last of my Greenmarket spinach.  Oh, well; I guess I’ll have to go again tomorrow.

While my breakfast digested, I caught up on emails and started poking around online for job postings.  I haven’t talked about my job hunt at all because there hasn’t been anything to report.  Even though I’m doing some freelance writing now (I wrote these three articles for SheKnows.com), I still need a full-time “big-girl” job.  My friend Gabby wrote a really good blog entry about the current market, and basically what it comes down to is everyone wants an unpaid college intern, which I am not, or they want an employee with 3-5 years of experience, which I don’t exactly have right now.  Anyway, after searching for an hour, I became really restless, so I headed over to Chelsea Piers to swim.

Workout #2 – Swimming

When I went to bed last night, I mentally prepared for two workouts today.  Given my employment status, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to workout twice a day, or at the very least, swim on a regular basis.  Plus, since I did a bunch of drills with Andrew yesterday, I wanted to work through them a bit more.  From my basketball and strength training background, I know it’s all about muscle memory, which can only be accomplished through lots of proper repetitions.  Basically, hitting the pool 24 hours after working with a coach was a no-brainer.  Anyway, as I walked into the pool, I wondered if I’d see Andrew, and sure enough, he was there working with another triathlete—too funny! (I’m hoping I got a few brownie points!)  During my 40-minute swim, I revisited a lot of the drills Andrew showed me yesterday.  It might be mental at this point, but I’m already starting to feel faster and more efficient.

Post-Workout Snack/Lunch

After my swim, I was staving, so I whipped up a protein smoothie and chased it with plenty of water.

Today’s glass included one frozen banana, frozen kale, a few frozen blueberries, almond milk, and one scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.  I was still a little hungry, so I also ate a no-bake peanut butter protein bar.

It hit the spot!

More job searching ensued this afternoon, and I’ll be honest, it was quite depressing.  There are a few career websites I consult multiple times each day, plus the webpages of big-time publishing companies like Rodale, Meredith, American Media, etc.  I’ve started to think creatively, and I sent my resume and a general cover letter to a bunch of New York City-based fitness brands.  However, for every unsolicited email I sent, there were easily five postings that asked for applicants with at least three years of experience.  One webpage even said, “If you graduated in 2011 or 2012, you will not be considered.”  Glahhh!  So yeah, I’m feeling a little down right now.

How did you land your first job out of college?  What did you do?  Did you like it?  How long did you stay there?

A Rainy NYC Run

Before laying out my running clothes last night, I checked the weather forecast, and it projected cool temperatures and a light drizzle this morning. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this!) Strangely enough, I don’t mind running in the rain; in fact, I kind of like it.  Maybe it’s because I’m from Central New York (my first thought is “at least isn’t not snowing!”).  Or maybe it’s from years of playing softball and field-hockey during downpours.  For whatever reason, I have a strange affinity for rain-running—I set my 5-K PR of 21:13 during a rainy race—so passing up today’s run because of the less-than-ideal weather was never an option.

Even in the mist, making my way along the West Side Greenway was awesome.  Sure, my legs turned red and my curly ponytail somewhat resembled a wet dog, but it was totally worth it.

Dinner

Before jumping to breakfast, here’s a quick look at what I prepare for last night’s Meatless Monday dinner:  white bean, kale, and mushroom soup.

Oh.  Em.  Gee.  If all my attempts at making soup result in this level of success, Fitness and Frozen Grapes could turn into a soup and seafood (and sushi!) blog.  Recipe coming your way tomorrow!

Oh, and dessert.

Pretty predictable at this point, right?

Breakfast

Anyway, after my wet run, I made an open-faced breakfast sandwich with spinach, egg whites, and yellow peppers.

Plus a slice of Ezekiel low-sodium bread.

After my meal and against my better judgment, I wandered through Times Square in search of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

The GNC near me didn’t have any in stock, so I decided to brave the throngs of tourists.

I mentally prepared for the worst, so the walk wasn’t as bad.

And the guy working there gave me a free gold membership card, which I’m sure they do all the time, but still.

Lunch

Back at my apartment, I heated up a bowl of leftover soup.

It’s possible it tastes even better today.  I’m off to track down an apple-almond-butter combo.  Have a great day!

Does your fitness routine change when the weather does?  Do you like running in the rain?

Shopping for New York City—Complete!

Hey, everyone!  How’s your Tuesday so far?  I have some great news to share—this pile o’ stuff marks the end of apartment home goods shopping!

Woohoo!  My mom and I picked up bedding, pillows, and blankets this morning, which comprises the last of the “big stuff” (bulky and heavy items) I’m bring to New York City.  It feels great to finish shopping, but I have a feeling this is the calm before the storm—packing starts tomorrow.  Oh boy.

Dinner

Keeping with last night’s Meatless Monday theme, I prepared blackened grilled tofu.

Holy cow—talk about taste heaven.  This mixture included eight different spices like paprika, lemon pepper, and ground red pepper, and it packed flavor and heat; my spice-loving taste buds were super happy.  I’ll share its exact contents next week.

Breakfast

With a morning of shopping looming overhead, I made a veggie-packed meal.

There were a ton of roasted vegetables leftover from last night, so I added those to a one-egg, one-egg-white base.  For a little extra staying power, I ate a sliver of protein-packed pumpkin bread.  I have a feeling this loaf will be gone very soon.

Workout – Biking

Once NYC shopping was complete, I set out on a celebratory bike ride.  Even though I battled powerful headwinds, I covered the 14.5 miles pretty easily by reminding myself that I won’t be biking around Central New York much longer; it bittersweet to think I have one ride remaining.

Lunch

A blustery ride called for a warm midday meal, and black bean soup fit the bill.

Black bean is easily my favorite soup of all-time, followed by Italian wedding and chicken noodle.

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

One Long Day

Happy October, everyone!  Today has been the longest day ever.  Hopefully, I can string together complete thoughts for this post.  Just to give you a sense of my current state, I’m blogging in my PJ’s.  It’s 6 p.m.

Workout – Running

Thirty minutes on the pavement plus body-weight exercises like push-ups squats, and single-leg squats.

Breakfast

In addition to the protein-packed pumpkin bread I baked yesterday, I also made a batch of pumpkin crunch granola.  Meghan posted her recipe a few days ago, which I altered a bit, and this stuff tastes great.  It’s dangerously good. (I’ll post my version soon!) It needed to be incorporated into this morning’s meal, so a yogurt parfait proved perfect.

Frozen strawberries and blueberries comprised the fruit layers.  Then came plain Greek yogurt and a generous sprinkle of the granola.  For good measure, I also drizzled some almond butter on top.

Success!

Lunch

My mom and I shopped away the morning and took a lunch break around 1:30 p.m.  For Meatless Monday, I made a salad with scrambled eggs, red and green peppers, celery, and apple slices.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a salad, so it totally hit the spot.  I satisfied my sweet tooth with a slice of pumpkin bread.

To use a sports metaphor, lunch served as halftime of today’s shopping spree.  Following lunch, more of the same ensued.  Basically, this is what I wanted to buy.

And this is what I ended up buying.

Contents of this organized chaos include (but aren’t limited to) plates, bowls, wine glasses, plus a duvet and shower curtain.  And we’re going shopping again tomorrow.

To end this post on a positive note, how about some Ryan Gosling?

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which Ryan took the liberty of reminding us.  I saw this graphic on Facebook (thanks, Annie and Michele!), and since I love Ryan Gosling, I thought I’d pass it around.

How was your Monday?  Do you love Ryan Gosling as much as I do?

Recovering from New York City

Hiya!  How’s your Monday been?  I feel like I’m playing major catch-up from my trip to New York City.  Four days of interviewing and apartment hunting can really exhaust a girl.

Workout – Swim-Bike Brick

I’m not going to lie:  Although I was tired, I was pumped to zip up my wetsuit and hit the open water this morning.  After walking and exploring—without proper hydration—my calves have been screaming for three days, so I knew swimming would feel good.  And it did.  After thirty minutes of OWS, my calves felt like new.  Until I hopped on my bike.  I made sure to drink more water than usual during my ride, but lower-body was beat. (Interesting, I held a faster pace than normal during this routine loop.) Until further notice, I’ll be rocking my trusty compression sleeves.

The glamour is just too much; I know.

Breakfast

After my ride, I made a bowl of “oatless” oatmeal.

I’ll share the recipe this week—promise!

Lunch

After tweeting, emailing, and blogging the morning away, I broke at 1:30 p.m. for a simple midday meal.

First, I wilted spinach in the microwave, and then added some rice and beans before warming up the entire mixture.  I also snacked on some unpictured grapes for dessert.

We’re off to Canal View for dinner to celebrate my grandma’s birthday.  Have a great night!

After traveling, do you usually get tired?  How do you bounce back and readjust to your normal routine?

Never Forget

Eleven years ago today, as I sat in Mrs. Webber’s 6th grade RLA class, our world changed forever.

[source]

My classmates and I were diligently working on a grammar assignment when Mrs. Webber turned on the TV. (Later, I discovered our principal and administration debated whether or not to tell us about the horrific events, and if they should let us watch live coverage.) Saying I was shocked would be an understatement; I couldn’t process or wrap my head around it.

[source]

9/11—never forget.

Dinner

For yesterday’s Meatless Monday, my mom marinated tofu, and my dad cooked it on the grill.

Plus roasted broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers on the side.  Delicious and nutritious.

Workout – Bike-Run Brick

Another day, another brick workout.  With temperatures hovering around 45 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, my old friend Under Armour and I reunited. (I guess fall is really here!) Even with this extra layer, my body refused to warm-up as I set off on my bike—tight quads, freezing fingers, and numb toes comprised my first loop around Cazenovia Lake.  About 30 minutes later, I felt warmer (warmer being relative!) and even clocked a negative-split on the second loop.  Following a quick wardrobe change, I hit the road for a 30-minute run.  I’m not sure if it’s the motivation from Sunday’s #runchat or my body becoming accustomed to brick workouts, but the run was great; I actually covered my usual 30-minute route in 20 minutes, which I didn’t discover until I got home and checked my watch.  It’s all about progress.

Breakfast

A chilly morning called for a warm meal, and “oatless” oatmeal fit the bill.

The proportions are almost perfect, and I topped my serving with blueberries and banana slices.

Lunch

Leftovers from last night made lunch a no-brainer.

Reheated tofu and roasted veggies on a bed of spinach.  I’m going to track down an apple for dessert.  Have a great day!

#Runchat

Around 8 p.m. last night, I found myself on Twitter and noticed a ton of tweets that contained #runchat. (Read: hashtag runchat for you non-tweeters.) If you follow me on Twitter, you know my tweets are peppered with the #runchat.  Using a hashtag to categorize popular phrases makes these text snidbits more searchable, and it helps to better connect members who have similar interests.

[source]

Even though I use #runchat frequently, I hadn’t participated in a true chat prior to last night, which is exactly what I stumbled upon:  I checked Scott’s feed and realized the organized chat was up and running.

#Runchat takes place on the second and fourth Sunday of every month, and I’m already excited for the next one on the 23rd.  Here’s how it worked:  Scott and David, who moderated the chat, posed five questions throughout the hour, or one every 10 minutes or so; each participant answered the question and talked to other runners.  Plus, if we had any questions, we could ask those, too.

The guys came up with some great prompts, and my favorite was “who would be on your dream relay team?”

Too funny!  Instantly interacting with likeminded people was awesome.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only person obsessed with Ryan Gosling.

Going into the chat, I had no idea there would be a giveaway taking place.  However, the nine-o’clock hour brought a prize—I won a “Run All Night” package from Ragnar Relay!

Not a bad way to end my first-ever #runchat, right?

I’ve heard the package contains some pretty awesome swag—no complaints here!—and even though winning a prize is cool, I also enjoyed interacting, helping, and learning from other runners.  Most importantly, I left the chat feeling inspired, energized, and ready to take on my next run.  Thanks for hosting last night, Scott and David!  And thanks for sponsoring, Ragnar!

Breakfast

Before this morning’s swim-bike brick, I fueled up with a favorite combo.

Two Kashi waffles with almond butter and banana slices. (Plus two cups of coffee; I’m useless without caffeine!)

Workout – Swim-Bike Brick

In preparation for the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon, I’m amping up my training this week.  First, I hit the lake for a 30-minute OWS, and then ran into the garage for a makeshift transition.  After a quick wardrobe change—take off wetsuit, cap, goggles, and tri-top; put on socks and bike shirt—it was off to road for a 70-miute ride.  This was my second trip with the Bontrager Trip 5W, and I love it; it’s easy to use, and it’s helpful to have instant feedback.  Without it, I wouldn’t have known that I sped through in a school zone! (Why yes; I did clock 21 mph in a 20 mph area.)

Post-Workout Snack

The Paleo diet seems to be all the rage, and I’ve seen a ton of recipes for Paleo-friendly oatmeal, so I decided to give it a try today.  (The Paleo diet centers on what the first caveman ate:  wild plants and animals.  The modern version of this eating philosophy allows unprocessed foods like fish, meat, eggs, and nuts, while forbidding fare including dairy, grains, and legumes.  Here’s a great infographic from Greatist.) Good news—this dish is a keeper!

Basically, this is oatmeal without the oats; it contains egg whites, almond milk, half of a mashed banana, flaxseed, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.  I’m still tweaking the portions, so I’ll share my go-to mixture later this week.  This definitely has an acquired taste, and I can see how someone who loves regular oatmeal’s texture might not like this “oatless” version.  It also has serious staying power. (I wasn’t hungry for lunch until 2:30 p.m.)

Lunch

My mom and I ran some errands this morning, and since we almost went to Chipotle for lunch, I knew exactly what my midday meal would look like once we were back at home.

After wilting some spinach in the microwave, I added a homemade black bean burger, red pepper slices, and some of my uncle’s hot peppers that were leftover from last night’s dinner.  This combo packed some serious zip.

Are you on Twitter?  Feel free to share your handle!  Have you ever participated in a Twitter chat?  Did you like it?

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day, everyone!  I hope you have a fun, safe, labor-free holiday!

Unless laboring means working out, of course.

Workouts – Swimming and Biking

Since I’m doing one more triathlon before the season ends, swimming, biking, and running will comprise my sweat sessions for the next three weeks.  Thinking back to Saturday’s Skinnyman Triathlon, I swam complacently; even though I PR’ed, I want to improve.  So, during this morning’s 45-minute OWS, I sprinkled in some fartleks, or 20-second surges. (Swimmers, is there an official terms for this?) If classic farletks can improve running speed, then transferring this principle to water-based workouts can hopefully yield similar results.  Plus, these sprints provided a challenge and broke up the monotony of swimming at one intensity level.

Unfortunately, my planned 90-minute bike didn’t exactly happen.  As I rode around Cazenovia Lake, my bike felt off—it was making a lot of noise in the front, it was difficult to shift, so I cut my ride short.  I’ve been thinking it might be time for a tune-up—I’ve had my bike since June—what happened this morning confirmed my suspicions.  Unfortunately, Syracuse Bicycle is closed for the holiday, but I’ll take my bike in first thing tomorrow.

Breakfast

Kashi waffles have fallen out of my morning meal rotation, so I decided to bring them back.

Instead of PB, I used almond butter this morning, which was a nice change; it gave the combo a different flavor, and it tasted like a new breakfast.

Lunch

In the spirit of Meatless Monday, I made a vegetarian-friendly salad when lunchtime came.

Two scrambled eggs with S&P topped a bed of spinach, carrots, celery, and red pepper.  Instead of Tabasco, I used Sriracha—holy cow, how have I not heard of this before?  It’s spicier than Tabasco, and it has more flavor.

I’m celebrating my Labor Day with some Downton Abbey.  Have a great day!  How are you celebrating this holiday?

Two-Smoothie Day

Hi, everyone!  Did you have a good Monday?  It’s safe to say I’ve officially caught Olympic fever.  There was no vuvuzela sounding or face painting, but I did spend the day watching plenty of contests—swimming, volleyball, water polo, and beach volleyball to name a few.  And tonight, I’ll most likely tune in to the men’s gymnastics team finals.

Breakfast

Before my workout, I had a quick bowl of overnight oats.

This morning’s mix contained raspberry Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup of almond milk, plus cinnamon and chia seeds.  It’s been a while since I used flavored yogurt, and it was a flavorful treat.

Workout – Swimming and Strength Training

Olympic fever makes it difficult to check items off a to-do list—let me watch one more prelim/serve/goal, and two hours whizz by—but one of its benefits is studying and learning from the professionals.  As I ate my breakfast and watched swimming, I noticed several athletes—like Michael Phelps—breathing every two strokes (as opposed to three, like I do).  They are pros for a reason, and they surely know much more than me, so at the YMCA this morning, I tried breathing exclusively on my right side, which resulted in taking a breath more often.  Although I still prefer the three-stroke method—it also feels easier to sight this way—breathing every two strokes improved my endurance and helped me fatigue less quickly.  At first, I took a breath every three strokes, and transitioned to two when I became tired; eventually, I resorted to the breaststroke, and then shifted back breathing every three with the freestyle.  Overall, this approach—breathing every three strokes, breathing every two, breaststroke—allowed me to use the front crawl more often, which hopefully results in faster swimming.  I swam half of a mile in this manner, and then went to the weight room for some upper-body work.

Mid-Morning Snack

After my workout, I enjoyed smoothie number one.

One frozen banana, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, a handful of frozen strawberries, and a splash of vanilla extract went into the blender.  This mix tasted super fruity, and next time, I want to add some spinach.

Lunch

About an hour later, I whipped up a salad.

The mix underneath scrambled eggs and carrot sticks had spinach, celery, red peppers, and a sprinkle of golden raisins.  I also ate some frozen grapes for dessert.

Afternoon Snack

A taxing afternoon of Olympic watching called for another smoothie.

Oh em gee, this will be my go-to Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie from now on.  To prepare, I used one frozen banana, two scoops of PB, one scoop of vanilla protein powder, and a few drops of vanilla extract.  So delicious and definitely a keeper!

Dinner

I finished off my somewhat intentional Meatless Monday with a homemade tofu kabob.

Veggies included grilled yellow, orange, and red peppers and roasted mushrooms and green beans.

It’s beach volleyball time–see ya tomorrow!