Tag Archives: vegetarian meal

‘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.


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


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!


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!


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


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.


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


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!


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!



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!


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Spicy Black Bean Quinoa

Inspired by Anne P.’s Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad


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)


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.

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.


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.


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.


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?

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.)


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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!

Red Lentil Soup

During stressful times, everyone copes differently.  As Hurricane Sandy loomed overhead this weekend, I ran my emergency errands—I am now a proud owner of a flashlight, boom box with AM/FM radio, and Bath and Bodyworks aromatherapy candles—and relieved my anxiety through exercising.  And cooking.

There’s something therapeutic about spending time in the kitchen, and although I really wanted to bake cookies, I figured whipping up a batch of soup would be a smarter–and healthier–decision.

Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly—and inspired by this recipe—this is a basic, no-frills kind of soup.  It’s tasty on its own, but it won’t overshadow extras you want to add.

I’m already thinking about adding a can of chilies and maybe some sausage next time.

Until then, though, I’ll be slurping my soup and waiting out Hurricane Sandy.

Red Lentil Soup


2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced and fire-roasted tomatoes

2 cups dry red lentils

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

8 cups water

1 cup fresh spinach, rinsed

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1.  In large stock pot over medium-high heat, add oil and cook carrots, and celery.

2.  Stir in garlic, oregano, and basil.  Cook for 2 minutes.

3.  Stir in lentils, broth, tomatoes, and 8 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

4.  Just before serving, stir in balsamic vinegar and spinach; cook until it wilts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

White Bean, Kale, and Mushroom Soup

Good afternoon, everyone!  Before moving to the important (i.e. food) part of this post, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate—I completed my first NYC bike ride!  Not only did I cover 19 miles, but I also managed to bike in city traffic. (Just to get over to the West Side Highway bike path, but still.) For a girl who gets nervous approaching small-town intersections—does this driver see me?—navigating the city streets while in the saddle meant a lot.  Interestingly enough, I’ve never driven a car in the Big Apple, but now I can say I’ve rode my bike in the streets.

After my ride, nothing sounded better than a warm bowl of white bean, kale, and mushroom soup.

My friend Maggie posted her recipe a few days ago, and I’ve been thinking about making something similar ever since.

Even though this was my first attempt at making soup, this recipe was a success.

Maybe it’s the sautéed mushrooms, maybe it’s the generous splash of red wine, or maybe it’s the zip from the red pepper flakes.

Whatever the source, you’re going to want to make room for this recipe in your fall soup rotation.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 cup diced carrot
3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
4 cups chopped kale (I cheated and used frozen)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, including the juice
1 can cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup red wine
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon basil
2-3 teaspoons red chili pepper (use less if you don’t like spice)
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and black pepper to taste


1.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have cooked, about 3-5 minutes.

2.  Deglaze pan with red wine; stir to get any bits that might be stuck to bottom of pan.  Cook for 1 minute or so.  Add splash of balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, beans, and broth.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3.  Add kale and simmer, about 5 minutes.

4.  Taste and add seasonings.

Special Talents

Hey, hey—Happy Saturday!  I’m up and blogging at ‘em early because my mom and I are off to the mall.  Anthropologie, here I come!


Say hello to tempeh, my new favorite vegetarian protein.  Sorry, tofu; we had a great run, but this nutty and grainy option has become my go-to.

Thirty minutes marinating and 10 minutes grilling.  Can’t get much easier, right?  Paired with roasted broccoli, mushrooms, and red pepper—plus some of my uncle’s homegrown peppers—this meal was solid all around.  Including in the dessert department.


Armed with liquid egg whites, I prepared “oatless” oatmeal this morning.  Shopping requires some serious fuel.

To the usual base, I added banana slices and frozen blueberries.

According to this week’s workout plan, Saturday was going to be an easy run or a rest day, and I chose the latter.  Yesterday’s 7.25-mile outing was the longest and farthest I’ve run since my half-marathon in August.  And although I don’t mind running in the rain, my right knee thinks precipitation is less than ideal:  I had reconstructive meniscus and ACL surgery the summer before my junior year of high school, and even though my right leg is totally fine now (actually stronger than it was pre-surgery), it has the tendency to “predict” when it’s going to rain. (The change in barometric pressure causes it to swell and sometimes hurt.) Basically, I’m like Karen from Mean Girls.

Anyway, since I’m feeling the effects from yesterday’s “forecast,” and especially since it’s raining now, I’m going to list to my body and rest up.

During my high school AP Language class senior year, my weatherwoman tendencies proved to be quite funny, especially because my teacher (a fellow William Smith alumna) also had ACL surgery.  Class discussions seamlessly transitioned from a lecture on direct objects to a weather forecast.  Good times.

Do you have any “special talents”?

Seven Things

Hey, everyone—Happy Thursday!  I have a ton of information to share today, so I figured a list would keep everything clear and concise. (More for my benefit, really!)  Here we go!

1.  My mom and I went to Cantina Laredo for lunch yesterday.

I hoped our journey to the mall would lead us there!  Chips and salsa to start.

I ordered the vegetarian and gluten-free avocado enchiladas.

They were just OK; nothing to write home about.

2.  I purchased my blog domain:  Fitnessandfrozengrapes.com.


For $18, plus an additional $8 for “private registration,” it’s well worth the price tag.

3.  I have a big-girl interview in New York City next week for a paid editorial internship at a diet and fitness publication—woohoo!

Gerard Butler, feel free to crash on my couch anytime.

4.  Today’s tempo run kicked my booty.


On the bright side, I definitely earned tomorrow’s rest day.

5.  A cool bowl of overnight 60-plus-minute oats made it better.

I let the mixture—half of a banana (ate the first half before running), strawberries, Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup almond milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds—sit in the fridge while I trudged along on the dreadmill.

6.  My bike underwent its first tune-up, and I picked it up at Syracuse Bicycle.

Don’t let the empty-looking parking lot fool you; I strategically planned my visit to avoid both the morning and lunchtime rushes, so I arrived at 11:40 a.m.  In addition to the tune-up, I also asked if the guys could install a second water bottle cage and a wireless computer, the Bontrager Trip 5W.

Because I’m trying to be as legit as possible; fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Plus a pleasant surprise—regripped handlebars!

So long, dirty and sweaty bike handlebar tape!

7.  When in doubt, make a salad.

Today’s blend included spinach, celery, carrots, apple slices, red pepper, and a homemade black bean burger.


Your turn:  Share seven things!