Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weights, Wraps, and Words

Weight Day Wednesday
This morning I had the alarm set for 5:26 am as Jason had agreed to another morning run. However, when the alarm went off, Jason pretty much said, "NO." I am not one to fall back asleep easily, so I went ahead and got up and opted for a fun step workout. I chose one of the shorter premixes from Cathe's Step Blast. While I hadn't really wanted to do a step workout (had my mind set on a run), it was a fun, sweaty workout in the end.

During lunch I went home to do weights. I almost put it off. I was feeling totally unenthusiastic. I was pretty certain, however, that if I just got off my lazy butt and got the workout started, I'd be very happy that I did. And I was. The set up was 2 sets of 15 reps supersetting the exercises and increasing the weights:

Triceps - Weighted triceps dips
Biceps - Dumbbell curls

Legs - Rear leg elevated lunges
Shoulders - Lateral raises

Chest - Flat bench dumbbell press
Back - Underhand rows

Legs - Squats
Inner Thighs - Plie squats

I really felt better after the workout. I had a nice boost of energy that got me through the rest of the day. It was also nice to just get out of the office for a bit.


Wrap it Up Wednesday
It was another gorgeous day here. Getting very spoiled by this fantastic weather. While I really did want to grill (had a few ideas), tonight wasn't the best night for a grilled dinner. Jason went for a bike ride with a friend after work. So I was solo for dinner (except for the company of the maniacs of course). I decided to do something easier tonight and something that would be easy enough to reheat for Jason.

After reading 2 different recipes using the kale and apple combination (Anna @ Newlywed, Newly "Veg Salty + Sweet = Good"  and Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean "Asian Inspired Raw Kale Salad with Lime Juice" ) I decided it was something I wanted to try myself. I sort of combined the 2 recipes opting to saute my kale rather than use the massaged method. But, I used the flavor combinations from the massaged recipe for a Sauteed Citrus Kale and Apples to go along with a Tempeh "Steak" Pineapple and Pepper Wraps.

Sauteed Citrus Kale and Apples
Ingredients:
1 bunch kale, cleaned and de-stemmed
1 red apple, diced
1 lemon (juice and zest)
Orange juice
1 tsp white miso
agave nectar (to taste)
rice wine vinegar (to taste)
Salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste

Directions:
Whisk together a few tbsp orange juice and miso paste in small bowl. In large skillet, saute kale in olive oil for just a few minutes, then add in the remaining ingredients (this includes the OJ/Miso mix) and saute until kale is just wilted, adding in orange juice as needed.

Tempeh "Steak" Pineapple and Pepper Wraps
Ingredients:
1 package tempeh, cut into strips
1/2 package frozen bell pepper mix (or fresh)
1/2 white onion, sliced
minced garlic
pineapple, finely diced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
To taste: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin
Whole-wheat flour tortilla wraps

Marinade
Orange juice
Soy sauce
Olive oil
red pepper flakes
minced garlic

Directions:
Make the marinade first by whisking together all ingredients in shallow dish and allowing the tempeh to marinate at least 1 hour.

Once tempeh has marinated, heat a large skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Quickly sear the tempeh on both side then set aside.

In large skillet, saute onions, bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeno until soft. Stir in the pineapple, tempeh, and season.

Serve in tortilla wrap with lettuce. Other options would be to serve one a sandwich roll or over rice, barley, or pasta.
The Sauteed Citrus Kale and Apples turned out even better than I had imagined. This was such a great play on textures and flavors. I think another great addition would be cranberries. The wraps were also quite tasty. I didn't get in enough of the heat that I had hoped to get from the jalapeno to play off the sweet from the pineapple. But, overall, it was a great dish.

Food for Thought
I read a post by Eunice (aka rainbwsnkittns) today that had a great reminder to remember to tell the women around us that they are gorgeous. It's so easy to dwell on the tiny nuances, the extra laugh lines, the not so perfect nose, the perceived belly bump or love handles, etc. So, on that note, I thought this list was very appropriate. It comes from Shape Magazine, July 2009 issue:

8 Reasons to Start Loving Your Body
  1. because it’s unique; no one else has the same one.
  2. because it’s capable of extraordinary feats, enabling you to run, climb, jump, lift, squat, snuggle, and spoon
  3. because no matter how badly you treat it, it’s willing to give you another chance.
  4. because it’s expressive, telling you how it feels and broadcasting to others how you feel about it
  5. because, let’s face it, confidence is pretty sexy
  6. because your daughter must learn to love hers
  7. because somebody out there admires, covets, and adores it
  8. because you’ll regret not loving it more later