April 30, 2006

4/30 - Broccoli, Corn on the Cob, and Roasted Potatoes

Tonight's dinner was straight from the farmer's market: roasted baby potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and steamed broccoli. Simple. Delicious. I will have dreams about that corn. And yes, that is in fact ketchup on my plate. Don't judge me.

April 26, 2006

Workout Wednesday 4/26

So Operation: Shake That Ass is still chugging along nicely. We did not, however, get up and go running this morning like usual - The Boy had to work too early and it just wasn't feasible. We're going sometime tonight instead, which is fine but also throwing me off a little bit. That plus the arrival of my period has made for a very blah kind of Wednesday. I'm really tired. I suspect tonight's run may not be a cakewalk.

I'm looking for a new strength training routine, since we've been doing the same one for almost a month and I know it's good to change these things up once in a while. I think I need to start doing some extra ab work as well. I carry most of my extra weight on my stomach, especially the upper portion, which makes for kind of a strange shape. It's really annoying. If I could just cut off my stomach flab I think I'd be halfway to my goal weight. And dying of blood loss, but hey! No pain, no gain.

I think I'm finally starting to see a bit of a physical change, though. Maybe. It's so hard to tell, because I look at myself every day and I don't think I'd notice any changes unless someone snuck in and liposucted me during the night. But I think things are shifting around a bit, in a good way. Possibly.

I'm still at a stand-still when it comes to showing progress on the scale. I know I've probably gained some muscle mass, and the last week has been full of awesome pre-menstrual bloating, so I'm not really sweating it yet. That's the keyword here: yet. I know that what I'm doing is good for me on so many levels, and I do feel better. I have no plans to stop exercising. But it's not like I have just a few extra pounds to lose here. I'm aiming to lose about 30% of my body weight. That's a lot. And I wasn't in the worst shape ever before I started this, but I did ramp things up pretty substantially. I've gone from not exercising at all to doing some form of physical activity 6 days a week.

Granted, my diet hasn't been the best lately. I've been stressed about school and it's taken a toll. I need to work on it. But I haven't been baking, even though I reeeeeally want to. I was going to make myself a congratulatoy end of semester cake, but instead I bought myself a sweet ring that I'd been eyeing since before Christmas. It was expensive, but it obviously wasn't a necessary expense and I couldn't justify it before. But I had to reward myself with something, both for getting through this semester and for sticking with O:STA for a month. I think I might get a few books as well, or maybe a filter and remote release for my camera. Non-food rewards are awesome.

April 24, 2006

Couch to 5K Week 4 Playlist

Here's this week's playlist:

Smooth - Santana feat. Rob Thomas (5:00 warm-up walk)
Stupid Girls - Pink (3:00 run)
Tango Shoes - Bif Naked (1:30 walk)
Never Gonna Come Back Down - BT feat. Mike Doughty (5:00 run)
God and Mars - Days Away (2:30 walk)
La Tortura - Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz (3:00 run)
Fresh Off The Boat - Nelly Furtado (1:30 walk)
Gifts and Curses - Yellowcard (5:00 run)

I'm re-using Yellowcard because I don't have that many 5-minute songs that are suitable for running. And also because I really like that song. I left off the cool-down song this week because I haven't been listening to it anyway. The Boy and I usually just walk around the track one more time and chat.

I apologize for the lack of posts recently - between school and work I've hardly been home, and when I am I'm not cooking. I think I've had one proper dinner in the last week and a half. If I eat one more bowl of plain spaghetti and marinara sauce I will lose all my will to live. Fortunately there is now just two and half classes, one critique, and one test standing between me and four months of sweet, sweet freedom. So things should return to normal by mid-week, hopefully.

April 20, 2006

10 Lbs of Awesome in a 5 Lb Bag

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but Veronica Mars is pretty much my favorite show. There will always be a place in my heart for the Joss Whedon Trio (Buffy, Angel, Firefly) and a few others, but Veronica Mars is my 'currently on air' obsession. If you don't watch it, you should - it just moved to Tuesdays at 9 on UPN. There are only 3 episodes left in the second season, so you'll be seriously confused if you tune in blind but the first season is out on DVD and Mars Investigations is an excellent place to catch up on everything VM-related.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Kristen Bell, who plays Veronica, did an interview with Peta2. I love her extra because she's a vegetarian. You can read the interview here. It's nothing earth-shattering, but when two things I love join forces I feel compelled to let the world know. Plus her dogs are ridiculously cute.

April 19, 2006

Workout Wednesday 4/19

It's time for the first official Workout Wednesday! Concept and sweet banner courtesy of Jessiegirl.

Operation: Shake That Ass is still going very well. I started Week 3 of the Couch to 5K program on Monday, and that run was probably the best yet. It's getting easier to run longer, to the point where I find myself almost not wanting to stop. Today was good as well - the weather here is incredible right now, which just makes everything that much better.

The strength training workout has remained fairly tough, especially that damn 3-point bridge. I suppose that a good thing, since when it starts to get easy it won't work anymore. My muscles are never really sore anymore, whether it's after running or strength training, and I'm not sure what to make of that. I always thought that being a little achy the next day was a sign that you got a good workout, so... I don't know. Anyone?

One thing I need to work on is getting more sleep. I've been a night owl my whole life, and now all of sudden I'm getting up earlier but my internal clock hasn't really registered that. Between that and trying to get all of my final projects done I've been getting maybe 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night, which doesn't exactly leave me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to run at 6:30. It's not terrible - I'm still pretty awake and energetic during the day - but I'm sure more sleep couldn't hurt.

Final projects are also keeping me cooped up inside on these amazing spring days, which is terrible. Seriously, my anger knows no bounds. This is my very favorite weather, and I'm missing it all because I'm stuck inside painting/hunched over my computer working on my digital illustration project. Which is what I'm taking a break from now, actually. Hopefully I'll get all of this stuff wrapped up by Friday, and then one of my big goals is to spend a lot more time outside. I want to go hiking and kayaking and have picnics and take roadtrips. School needs to end like yesterday. Just six more days to go.

In terms of results, well, I suppose it's too soon to tell. The scale hasn't shown any weight loss, which I'll admit is disappointing. I can talk until I'm blue in the face about not using the scale as a measure of success, but it still has power over me. I'm not too worried at this point, but at some point I am going to need to start seeing that number drop or things could get messy. Like I'll bake a cake and eat the whole thing in defiant frustration kind of messy, because if not eating cake doesn't help me lose weight then I'm going to have a whole lot of fucking cake. And then I'll feel guilty about it and it'll start this whole spiral of guilt and shame and frustration and anger. It'll be a bad time. So... hopefully the scale will start cooperating.

I can't say I'm seeing visible results from the strength training just yet, but that could be due to one of three things. Either it's just too soon to see a difference, there is a difference but I just can't see it because I see myself every damn day, or I have too much awesome fat covering up my developing muscles and therefore will not see results for a very long time. I'm hoping for 1 or 2, but 3 is unfortunately more likely. Gotta love that fat padding.

That said, I do feel better. Like a million times better. I have more energy, my skin is clearer, and I'm less inclined toward self-hatred because I feel like I'm making an effort and actually doing something to change what I don't like. So all in all I'd call it a very successful two and a half weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress.

Man, I just went on forever. Sorry about that.

April 18, 2006

4/18 - Indian-Style Spinach and Potatoes

I was wondering how I could work spinach into my dinner tonight when I came across this recipe on VegWeb. Indian + potatoes + pretty much anything = delicious, but it seemed a bit bland with just curry powder to season it so I used it as a base for this similarly-named but differently-spiced dish.

I cubed and boiled some Yukon Gold potatoes, and when they were done I heated a little less than a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. In went about 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin, a little less than 1/2 tsp coriander and garam masala, 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes, and, yes, 1/2 tsp of curry powder. I stirred it a round for a few seconds until the mustard seeds started popping, and then added roughly half a bunch of thinly sliced fresh spinach (I got to chiffonade! Yessss.) and cooked it until it started to wilt.

Then I added the cooked potatoes and about 1/3 cup of tomato puree. It all got stirred around until the spinach was sufficiently cooked and slightly "creamed" from the tomato puree and potato starches. And then of course it got the requisite waterfall of salt and a smidge of pepper. We had it with some onion naan, and I have to say that it was pretty damn good.

Easy. Tasty. Nutritious. A++.

April 16, 2006

Couch to 5K Week 3 Playlist

I'm really particular about my playlists/mixes. You can't just throw a bunch of awesome songs together and call it a mix. No, things have to mesh. The songs have to flow into one another, not similar enough so as to sound repetitive but not so different as to disrupt the mood. It's complicated business. Workout mixes are the most difficult to put together, I think, because their purpose is to motivate rather than simply provide a pleasing aural experience. But these things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Every Sunday night I put together the playlist that I'll run to during the week, with the stop time of each song set to coincide with a run/walk segment. Adjusting the stop time like this is inherently disruptive, I'll admit, but until I can run for longer stretches of time there's naught to be done for it.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this week's mix.

Portions for Foxes - Rilo Kiley (4:45 warm-up walk)
Skeptics and True Believers - The Academy Is... (1:30)
My Paper Heart - The All-American Rejects (1:30)
Girl All The Bad Guys Want - Bowling For Soup (3:00)
The Peacock Song - Bif Naked (3:00)
Dance, Dance - Fall Out Boy (1:30)
Memory - Sugarcult (1:30)
Stronger - Britney Spears (3:00)
Freak Out - Avril Lavigne (3:00)
Gifts and Curses - Yellowcard (5:07 cool-down walk)

Don't mind the Britney/Avril couplet. Nothing motivates like shameful pop, especially when you're nearing the end and don't feel like you can run one more step. No workout mix is really complete without some Britney, anyway. Anyone who says otherwise is a damn liar.

April 15, 2006

4/15 - Peanut Butter Eggs

I first made these last year to assuage the peanut butter egg jealousy that is inevitable when your boyfriend's dad is a pastor. Every Easter the little old church ladies make dozens and dozens of peanut butter eggs, a lot of which end up going to The Boy's dad, and then to The Boy himself. They're mighty fine eggs, I'm not going to lie, but they're also mighty un-vegan. These are pretty easy to make and so seriously delicious that you'll want to wave them in the old ladies' faces and go "nyah nyah nyahnyah nyah." Until they cry. Because nothing warms my heart like making old ladies cry.

These are Omnivore Approved - my vegan-fearing family ate them with no prodding on my part, which means that normal people will stop you on the street and ask for them.

Peanut Butter Eggs

1 c. margarine
8 oz vegan cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 lbs powdered sugar
2 1/4 c smooth peanut butter

24 oz (2 bags) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening

Cream margarine and cream cheese together. Add salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, and peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Roll into roughly 1 1/2 inch eggs. Stick your eggs on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and freeze for about 2 hours.

Melt the chocolate however you want (I do it in the microwave) and stir in the shortening. This is important. I left it out when I first started dipping mine and it was 100 times more gloppy and used up about twice as much chocolate as it should have. The finished eggs aren't as pretty, either. The shortening thins out the chocolate enough that dipping them is fairly easy, and it makes for a nice, smooth coating. Trust me on this one.

Dip your little peanut butter nuggets, put them back on the cookie sheets, and stick them in the freezer to harden up. It doesn't take long - maybe half an hour. I like to wrap each one in wax paper, which keeps them from getting broken and also makes for easy gift-giving. I keep mine in the freezer until I need them, because they're excellent cold.

Makes about 10 dozen eggs.

I don't know the nutritional information for sure, but I believe it's around 100 calories per egg. You know, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

April 14, 2006

4/14 - Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy

I wasn't feeling up to anything complicated tonight, so I decided to finally try out the Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance. I mashed up some potatoes, sauteed some spinach, and threw the gravy on top. Yes, I actually threw it. I had The Boy stand across the room with the bowl and I hurled gravy at him. It was awesome.

Okay, so that didn't happen. The gravy was delicious, though. Isa really knows how to treat a chickpea. Plus it was super simple. Sautee an onion with some mustard seeds and garlic, add a can of chickpeas, mash 'em up, add an array of spices (cumin, paprika, corianer, oregano, thyme, rosemary), soy sauce, and the juice of one lemon, pour in 2 c. water with 1/4 c. flour dissolved in it, stir until thick, and then add 1/4 c. nutritional yeast. Done.

I really don't like the smell of nutritional yeast. It's very feet-y. Then when you throw lemon juice into the mix things start smelling like vomit. At least to me. So that turned me off for a minute. It tasted good enough when it was done to make up for the unpleasant smells along the way, though.

Definitely a keeper. I'm not surprised at all. VwaV has yet to let me down.

4/13 - Cajun Beans and Rice

Tonight was Cajun Red Beans and Rice from La Dolce Vegan, except I subbed black beans for the red beans because I like them better. I also used tomato puree instead of diced tomatoes, added some minced garlic, used a yellow pepper instead of a green one, and left out the celery because I hate celery and therefore don't have any. Oh, and I added some cumin, chili powder, and a whole lot of salt on top of the cajun spice that the recipe calls for.

Overall I'd say this recipe is okay. Not spectacular, but not bad. It was pretty bland even with all the extra spice. It's one of those recipes where you like it well enough the first time around but don't really have any interest in the leftovers. I have about 3 servings of this left in a tupperware container in the fridge, where it will probably sit for a few weeks until it grows mold and gets thrown out. Awesome! I don't know, I'm weird about leftovers.

April 12, 2006

4/12 - Bruschetta and Roasted Potatoes

I found another use for my spinach and sun-dried tomato pesto - bruschetta! Faux-bruschetta, anyway, since it's really just thin slices of wheat baguette topped with pesto and toasted to crisp things up a bit. It was really good, though. I'm going to make a vat of this stuff and put it on everything. The potatoes were standard issue. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder. I love potatoes.

Ass-Shakin' Update: This morning's run was kind of difficult. The Boy was being sluggish and cranky, so we didn't get out the door until 8:00, and then once we got to the track I couldn't really get into it. I felt like I was just dragging myself through along, like a lot of dead weight huffing and puffing and shuffling. The Boy wasn't feeling it either and said that he didn't really want to finish, to which I replied that he could quit if he wanted but I was damn well finishing what I'd started. He didn't quit. We finished the whole thing and of course I felt awesome afterward. I would have been so mad at myself if I'd stopped... like I was admitting defeat. And there is nothing in the world that I hate more than admitting that I can't do something.

It's probably kind of sick that hyper-perfectionism is part of the fuel that keeps me plugging along, but all I can say is that it's about damn time my issues started pulling their weight around here. "Pulling their weight." Hahahahaha. Horrible pun totally intended.

And now, a picture of a cat! Because a blog can never have too many adorable cats gazing at the heavens.

The Sandwich Plus Container

As you may (or may not) know, I usually take my lunch to school and work in a 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox stuffed with tupperware and plastic bags. It gets the job done and is fun to look at (Turtles! Donatello was always my favorite), but all those extra bits of plastic are anything but environmentally friendly. Plus it takes up way too much room in my bag, and that's a big drawback considering all the crap I have to take to school. So I was in the market for something new.

I've been lusting after a Laptop Lunchbox (of Vegan Lunchbox fame) for a while, but it's kind of pricey and not a whole lot smaller than what I use now. The other item I had my eye on was the Sandwich Plus Container from the Container Store. It's substaintially cheaper even with shipping, so I went ahead and ordered two - one for me and one for The Boy.

Basically it's a double-decker container with dividers in the bottom half. You put your snacks in the bottom, close the inner lid, put your sandwich or whatever on top and close the whole thing up. Pretty simple and self-explanatory. It's bigger than I thought it would be from the picture on the website, but it's definitely smaller than my lunchbox and it fits quite nicely in my bag. It's made of sturdy, clear-ish plastic and definitely keeps my lunch safe from falling rocks or stampeding miniature elephants.

The one downside is that you can't really put wet foods in it. I mean, I haven't tried it out myself but it just seems like it wouldn't work very well. Something like pasta salad or rice pilaf would probably be fine, though.

I give the Sandwich Plus Container a 9. Minus one point for lack of wet food storage ability, but an excellent container on all other fronts.

April 11, 2006

4/11 - Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Tempeh Wrap

Tonight's dinner was a tomato-basil wrap filled with marinated tempeh, sauteed onions, and spinach and sun-dried tomato "pesto," with maple-roasted carrots on the side. The idea for a spinach and sun-dried tomato pesto-type spread has been kicking around in my mind for a few days. I suspected that it would be delicious; I was right.

I basically took a bunch of fresh spinach (maybe 3 cups?) and whizzed it in a food processor with 6 sun-dried tomatoes, a lot of garlic (a little less than 1 Tbsp. minced), and a smidge of olive oil. I know pestos usually have pine nuts and a lot of oil in them, but I've never purchased a pine nut in my life and I have something of an aversion to using a lot of oil. Besides, rules are made to be broken and all that. These amounts didn't make a lot of pesto - enough for 4 wraps, probably. I didn't want to waste a whole bag of spinach on something that might've sucked, but now that I know it's good I'd definitely make larger quantities in the future. I can think of a lot of ways to use it, and anything that helps me eat more greens is definitely a keeper.

The maple-glazed carrots came from Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, and were pleasant but not particularly memorable. It was just a bag of baby carrots tossed with 2 Tbsp maple syrup, a little over 1/2 Tbsp olive oil (the recipe calls for a whole Tbsp), and a pinch of cinnamon and roasted. I love carrots however they're prepared, so coated them in fat and sugar was really just unnecessary for me. Not to mention it added a ton of calories, which I don't love. Meh. I probably won't make them again.

Operation: Shake That Ass Update: Week 2 started yesterday with an early run, and I did strength training today. I don't know where I stand weight-wise because I'm trying to divorce myself from the idea that success is dependent on a number, but I definitely feel better. I have a lot more energy. Things in this little compartment of my life are good.

Tomorrow: A very special post about my sweet new lunch container.

April 10, 2006

4/10 - Flax-Berry Pancakes

What could be better after a 6:45 am run than blueberry pancakes? Nothing, that's what. These are pretty much my favorite pancakes ever. They're just consistently delicious, with or without the berries. I used whole wheat pastry flour this time and it worked wonderfully. Sometimes I like to add a little cinnamon, but I wasn't feeling that today.

Flax-Berry Pancakes
Recipe from Vegan Planet

1 1/2 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 c water
1 1/4 c soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c berries

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine flax and water and blend until thick. Add soymilk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Mix wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Fold in the berries.
And... I'm not going to insult your intelligence by telling you how to cook pancakes.

Serves 4, or 2 if you're really hungry.

April 09, 2006

Sunday 4/9 - Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli

Jessiegirl's post about Nava Atlas' Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet inspired me to crack it open last night, after having it on my shelf for years and not making anything from it. I chose the Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli because, as I've said before, I have one whole kitchen cabinet devoted to various sizes and shapes of pasta. It's a little ridiculous considering how seldom I eat regular old pasta these days, but once upon a time it was a staple in my diet and I still buy a box every now and then out of some weird compulsion to stockpile food. I do it with other things too. You should see all the cans of beans and diced tomatoes I have hanging out up there.

So anyway, lots of pasta. I was also intrigued by the sun-dried tomatoes. I have a very tenuous relationship with tomatoes - I only like them when they're cooked to death. Mostly it's a texture thing. And a taste thing. Basically I just really hate raw tomatoes. I'd never had sun-dried ones before tonight, but I always kind of thought I'd like them. And what do you know, I was right.

This dish is very, very simple, in keeping with the theme of the book. It's just pasta mixed with steamed broccoli, sliced sun-dried tomatoes, and a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and eat up. The original recipe calls for parmesan cheese as the 5th ingredient, but of course I left that out. So what we have here is a lightning-quick, dead simple meal that tastes pretty damn good. What more could you want, really?

Score: 10. I love a heavily-spiced dish with layers of flavor as much as the next person who loves that a lot, but sometimes you just want something that's fast and simple and tastes good. Look no further.

April 08, 2006

4/8 - Spicy Peanut Noodles, Udon-Style

I spent about half an hour looking through cookbooks tonight, trying to decide what to have what for dinner. I had it narrowed down to two recipes when my stomach suddenly became a ravenous black pit. Both recipes required over an hour of cooking time. That simply would not do.

So I turned once again to my trusty peanut noodles, only this time I had to use udon noodles because that's all I had on hand. I've never had udon noodles before tonight... they were interesting. Very chewy. And salty as all hell, though maybe that was just my particular package. It was still good though. But I'll admit I do prefer soba noodles.

Today marks the end of week 1 of Operation: Shake That Ass, aka my workout plan. (I like to give these things official names. I don't know why. Perhaps my subconscious has military aspirations. Any plan is more fun covert ops-style.) I did my strength training routine after work, and The Boy joined in. He was amazed at how difficult it was. He had more trouble than I did, actually. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy that a little, since he's not overweight at all. Fat doesn't always equal out of shape. Not that I'm in shape or anything. I'm not. But I've always been very healthy despite my excess weight.

Anyway, I enjoyed my first week of ass-shaking and am very much looking forward to staring week 2 on Monday. Good times.

April 07, 2006

Friday 4/7 - Apple Oat Pancakes

It was 9:30 am and The Boy and I were pondering what to have for breakfast after our run. Not oatmeal. Not smoothies. Not anything savory like home fries. How about pancakes? I turned Vive le Vegan and picked out the Apple Oat Pancakes. I wouldn't call them a complete success, but they weren't a failure either.

There is no conventional flour in this recipe. It is simply ground oats, spices, baking powder, soymilk, a little oil, and thinly sliced apples. I added some ground flax because... well, just because. It wasn't enough to mess anything up, maybe two tablespoons. The diversity of flours is one thing I love about Vive le Vegan, because although I'm not sensitive to wheat at all I know that there are more nutritious options out there, especially in comparison to regular white flour. However, using only ground oats does make for rather fragile pancakes. That plus the apple slices made these a mess on the griddle. Next time I would either grate the apple or cut the slices a lot smaller, so that they would incorporate into the batter a bit better.

In the end I'll say that they are pretty tasty. I added about 3x as much cinnamon as the recipe called for, sort of by accident and sort of because I might possibly be addicted to cinnamon. The taste wasn't overwhelming, though - the cardamom, at just 1/4 tsp, was equally powerful. I had mine with fakey, sugar-free "maple-flavored" syrup, which I know is grounds for death by stoning. But it's not that bad, and I just can't bring myself to use real maple syrup because I like to drown things in syrup and that would just be ridiculous on all counts.

Anyway, I give this recipe a 7. Good but fragile and in need a few tweaks.

April 06, 2006

Thursday 4/6 - Red Lentil Pasta

It was 9 o' clock and I was trying to find something to eat for dinner, so I decided to give LDV a try because I know Sarah has a lot of quick recipes. Red Lentil Pasta caught my eye. I have about 800 boxes of pasta in the cupboard and I love red lentils, so I made it. Bad decision. I was thoroughly underwhelmed.

I'll admit that I got impatient and didn't let the lentils cook all the way. I figured that since I was pureeing it anyway I could just toss in a little extra water and it would be okay. Well, not so much. It was a little crunchy. But flavor-wise it was lacking as well. I added some carrots and yellow peppers to the mix, as well as about 2 times the salt the recipe called for - and it was still bland. So it was crunchy, bland, kind of dry, and surprisingly high in calories. I'm a little angry about that last one. That stupid bowl of unappetizing pasta had more calories than any single meal I've eaten this week. GRRR.

So, a swing and a miss for LDV. I'm not posting the recipe because I don't want anyone else to suffer the same dismal dinner fate. (I almost wrote "dismal dinner destiny," but that would've been 10 pounds of alliteration in a 5 pound bag. Damn!)

The rest of the day was fine, though. Oatmeal with raisins, pecans, flax, and maple syrup for breakfast. Leftover samosa filling, grapes, and fresh pineapple sprinkled with coconut for lunch. An apple with whipped peanut butter and a caramel rice cake as a snack after I did my strength training. And right now I'm enjoying my nightly chocolate chips. So I'm around 1,600 for the day, I think, which is fine. I haven't been counting calories during the day, but sometimes I do a quick estimate when I'm done eating for the day. It's a hard habit to break.

Tomorrow is the last run of the week. It's supposed to rain in the morning, but it's also going to get up into the 60's so I'm not complaining.

April 05, 2006

Wednesday 4/5 - Grilled Tempeh Sandwich and An Exercise Update

And... we're back! It's been a while, I know, but between not having my camera and dealing with the increasing workload at school, I haven't been able to spend much time blogging. As you know. But I got my camera back yesterday, so at least that part is back to normal. I'm glad. I miss obsessively photographing what I eat. Unfortunately dinner tonight was just the VwaV samosa filling, which I've posted like 3 pictures of, so I didn't bother with that. I have one of lunch, though.

A grilled sandwich! The Boy brought home a George Foreman grill that his mom was getting rid of, and this is pretty much the only thing I've used it for just yet. Sauteed marinated tempeh, grilled yellow peppers, and spinach on sourdough bread. I built the sandwich and then stuck the whole thing in the George Foreman for a few minutes. Yum. I want to make paninis now.

And now onto the real news: I've been working out. That's right, I'm actually following up on one of my lofty declarations. The plan is to do cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and strength training on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with Sunday as a rest day. For cardio I'm following the Couch to 5K running program, which works you up to running 3 miles at a time over 9 weeks. I did it once before, so I know I can do it again. I took the month one strength training workout from the Self Challenge, which I did yesterday with 5 lb dumbells and will do tomorrow with 3 lb ones, because 5 lbs almost killed me.

I never really paid much attention to strength training. I was like, yeah, okay, lift some weights, do some crunches, whatever. It just didn't seem that effective. But ooooh man. That workout kicked my butt. I will never doubt strength training again.

The most amazing part of all of this is how early I've been getting up. Monday morning we were out at 7:00; this morning we were already done by then. We're talking about me here - me - someone who thinks 10 a.m. is too damn early. But I've really been enjoying it. I love having my workout done before I even eat breakfast, and the day seems a lot longer when you're actually awake for most of it. Who knew. This morning it was 30 degrees, windy, raining, even snowing a bit, but I didn't even really think twice about getting up to go out. Having a partner really helps a lot.

I've been eating pretty well too. Interestingly it seems like I actually eat less when I exercise. Maybe because I don't want to undo the progress I've made. I don't really know, but I just haven't had the same cravings for the last few days. All in all it's been a good 3 days. I think exercise may be the key for me. Hopefully this easy commitment I've been feeling will last.