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Showing posts from March, 2011

Crockpot Chipotle Chili - Perfect Rest Day Dinner

Rocky Start to Rest Day
This morning started off a little rocky. I slept terribly last night and managed to finally fall into a deep sleep right around the time the alarm went off. I'm almost always up before it goes off so when it does actually go off, it really startles me. I leave the lights off for Jason, so the room is really pretty dark. I typically don't have issues navigating in the dark, but this morning I was just a klutz.

I went to lean down to open Maddie's kennel, only I severely misjudged where I was and hit my cheek bone on the corner of the chest of drawers. Brilliant. I was all out of sorts after that. It ticked me off and stunned me at the same time. I'm really hoping it doesn't bruise up, but it's terribly sore.

Speaking of sore, I really thought my legs (quads and hams) would be more sore after yesterday's workout. I mean, I can tell I did a leg workout, but it's my rear end that is really sore. I went ahead with a rest day today. …

Lazy Vegetarian BBQ Sandwiches on Leg Day

Hot Dogs and Heart Health
Well here's a fun day for a vegetarian - a hot dog sale on the floor of your office to raise money for a heart walk. Yes - hot dogs and heart health. Really, I have no other words. I don't think they are even necessary.

But I certainly did NOT want to have to walk down the hall to go to the restroom or have to use the sink in the breakroom to wash a mug. It literally made me sick to my stomach.

Are there any smells that just put you over the edge? For me it'd definitely be hot dogs and the smells of a BBQ joint.

Crappy Weather = Leg Day
Anyway, the weather didn't help my mood again today. So I was probably even more sensitive to the wretched odors and absolute idiocracy of a hot dog sale for heart health...it was supposed to be sunny and 59. I was really excited about an afternoon run.

At noon, the wind chill was hovering at 40 and the clouds were low and thick. Hello Mr. Weatherman, where did you go to school? Bah freaking humbug attitude I …

Crispy Italian Tofu & Kale Pasta & Upper Body Weights

Upper Body Weights 
Today went back to dreary, cool, and stormy. Ah spring, you are now my biggest foe (other than winter perhaps). I decided that I am not going to continue with the total body rotation right now. While I have loved that rotation in the past, I'm just not into it right now. There is no need to force the workouts either. If I don't enjoy it, then I won't look forward to my workouts.

I decided to try a different split doing 2 upper body workouts and 1 lower body workout. I've split up upper body into as many as 4 days before, but I think I'm going to try 2 full uppers and see how that goes, it's not something I've done before actually.

Today I went with supersets of 3x5 after a 10-minute warm up on the elliptical:

Assisted pullups (failed at 4 on the 3rd set)
Underhand barbell rows

Dumbbell curls
Hammer curls (failed at 4 on the 2nd set)

Flat bench chest flye
Flat bench chest press

Overhead press
Lateral raise

Double-arm triceps extension
Ly…

Stew, Chili, and Running to Beat Monday Blues

Sunday Soup Night
Last night I ended up making soup for dinner. It was definitely a soup kind of night. We had storms roll through that included hail even. I had some veggies to use up along with some tempeh. So I came up with a Tempeh and Bean Veggie Stew.


Tempeh and Bean Veggie Stew
Ingredients:
1/2 white onion, diced
3-4 carrots, diced (depending on size)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cannellini beans
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 no-beef bouilon cube
1 package tempeh, crumbled
1/2 yellow squash, cubed
1/2 zucchini, cubed
Broccoli (small bunch)
2 cups water
1 cup no salt vegetable broth
To taste: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, chili powder, cumin

Directions:
In large pot, saute onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, and crumbled tempeh. Stir in remaining ingredients and allow to simmer until veggies are cooked through.

This was a very hearty stew and would also be really good with kale if you prefer that over broccoli.

Running from the Mo…

Another Gray Day but Good Weight Workout

PuPu Platter
Last night I ended up throwing together a pupu platter for dinner as I figured I likely would. I had thawed out some tofu and decided to toss that with BBQ and hot sauces then sprinkle with panko and bake for some crispy Buffalo Tofu Strips. I made up a sundried tomato and artichoke hummus (looks brown because I added balsamic vinegar), cut up some carrots, and also cut up some almond cheese to go with vegan pepperoni and almond crackers.

It was a fun dinner actually. It can be fun to have snacky style foods for dinner for a change. Oh and here are some pictures from last night that made me smile.


Gray Sunday
It sounds like spring has totally run away from almost all of us at this point. Today was gray and 41 degrees. I guess it wasn't raining at least. I did Day 3 of Week 3 of the total body rotation. It called for 3 sets of 15 (yes count 'em 15) reps. I did do some legs, but not 3x15.

Weighted triceps dips
Flat bench chest flyes
Double-arm rows
Pullovers
Preache…

Crappy Weather Cramping Running Style

Indoor Run
What happened to spring? Today was 45, gray, and drizzly out. Not a motivating kind of Saturday I must say. I posted on Twitter and Facebook that this crappy weather is cramping my running style. I mean, doesn't the weather know I was planning to run 10 miles today?

Shockingly, I did manage to convince Jason to actually go up to the gym with me today. Funny thing, on Friday the gym had left a message for Jason saying they'd noticed it had been a while since he'd been and to call if there was anything they could do to help motivate him to come in ;-)

Anyway, today I had really hoped to get in a long run, but the weather was not cooperating one bit. I ended up hitting the treadmill instead. I did 2 miles, then I did 3 x (1:00, 1:30) athletic intervals. This put me at 3.8 miles so I did another 1.2 to round it out to 5 solid miles. I hopped on the elliptical for another 12 minutes for an hour of cardio. Jason spent some time on a spin bike then ran.

He decided to …

Fun Facts Friday - The Trivial Things

Thank God for Makeup
Today I feel like I've been run over. I had a horrible night's sleep. I guess I sort of went overboard with water and was up more times than I can count to pee. If I wasn't up for that, it was because Maddie was banging around like a fool in her kennel, randomly letting out piercing barks too. And then there's this issue with my piriformis/sciatica.

Not sure if it's the piriformis hurting, the sciatic nerve, or the piriformis inflamed pinching the sciatic. Or hell, something entirely different. But whatever it is, it hurts like hell and that kept me up. I am a stomach sleeper. If I even roll over on my side I wake up. Last night the only position that didn't cause the piriformis/sciatic/whatever the hell pain was lying flat on my back with legs straight.

Let's just thank God for a moment for giving someone the wherewithal to come up with the whole idea of makeup. I'm a huge fan today.


Adjusting Weight Workout
The plan for me was t…

Perfect Run & Grilling Goof

Perfect Running Day
Today started off much cooler than yesterday - 45 instead of 65. And the high only hit 60 today. So much for the 80-degree temps. I debated with myself most of the day about hitting the gym for weights or heading out for a run. I decided to go with the run today and will hit the weights tomorrow.

I am so glad I opted for the run. The weather was absolutely perfect. The wind had died down, it was just enough to keep you from over-heating, but not so much you felt like you were fighting to run.

However, I ended up over-dressing wearing capris, sports bra, and a light long-sleeved shirt. I have, however, become very adept at undressing mid-run. No stopping, not faltering. It's quite impressive actually. After I took the long-sleeved top off and tied it around my waist, I felt golden. I had one of those "I can run forever" types of runs. I did reel myself in though and kept it at 6 miles with 6 pickups at the end.


Grilling Goof
Even if it was a little co…

"Sausage" & Peppers Spaghetti Squash for Windy Wednesday

Rest Day
Today I had every intention of getting out for a run after work. But as the day wore on, my legs got heavier and heavier from yesterday's workout. Actually, everything felt heavy! It was also about 81 degrees and, once again, super windy. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be back in the 60's though. As much as I wanted to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, I decided a rest day was the smarter choice.

I won't lie, it was hard passing up the run today. I really needed some mental cleansing. But I knew that it would likely not be a great run for me. Hot, windy, windy, sore legs. Not good combos. There was still that nagging little part of my brain that was telling me it might actually make me feel better, loosen up those legs, clear that head. Then there is the part that was remembering how freaking hot it felt on Monday when I hit the pavement in 80 degree temps.

Oh, and when I walked out the door to head to my car and was having to lean into the wind and being …

Gym Day & Grilled Citrus Tahini Tofu

Gym Day
Today started Day 1 of Week 3 of my total body workout rotation. It called for 4 sets of 5 reps of the following exercises done as straight sets. I started with 10 minutes on the elliptical as a warm up.

Wide grip pull ups
Incline chest flye into press
Squats
Deadlifts
Dumbbell curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Lateral raises 
Static lunges

I did some ab work then finished with another 10 minutes on the elliptical before heading home. I must say that I'm starting to struggle with these workouts after work. I had gotten really used to breaking out the workouts doing weights at lunch then cardio later. I'm doing a lot less cardio now, but workouts are taking about the same amount of time. A lot has to do with getting set up at the gym properly. But I'm starting to just feel tired of it all.

Is it possible to workout just 5 days a week and maintain or even possibly gain results? There was a time, many moons ago, when I didn't workout 6 days a week.The t…

Running, Grilling and Lots of Hummus

Hummus Quesadillas
Last night I ended up using some of that Artichoke Hummus for quesadillas. I just spread it on some whole-wheat tortillas and topped with a small bit of Daiya Vegan Cheddar, spinach, and roasted red bell peppers. Yum.

We enjoyed the quesadillas while watching The Social Network. I had heard really great things about the movie, but I had no expectations. It was really pretty good though. Nothing exactly earth-shattering, but it kept my attention for the most part.

Spring? No It's Summer
Today was another almost summer-like day. We've sort of skipped spring and jumped right on into the beginning of summer with low 80's. I knew I wanted to get out for a run. But it was super windy, and did I mention 80 degrees? But the sunshine was calling my name. I couldn't imagine doing a workout indoors.

Note to self, running when it's 80 degrees, gusting winds after taking a Zyrtec D = tough. I felt dehydrated from the get go even though I had been chugging wa…

Housewarming Recap & Sunny Spring Sunday

Housewarming Recap
Well, to say the Artichoke Hummus was a hit is an understatement. But, I had to remake it unfortunately. The original batch got left at the house. We got to my sister's house and started unloading everything only to realize that container had not made it into the cooler. Oops.

Thankfully Sarah had the ingredients on hand to whip up a new batch. Along with that, I made a Black Bean and Corn Salsa. She had some pico de gallo, Jason made a balsamic chicken salad. We had lots of dippers from corn chips to veggies. I didn't get pictures of all of the food, but did want to highlight some things.

My sister is getting the house all set up the way she wants and it's looking so cute. We did help her rearrange a few pieces just before the party (nothing like last-minute furniture arranging). I really opened up the space more. Everyone seemed to have a great time. We got to hang out with a few long-time friends (as in known whole lives basically). Our mom stopped …

Artichoke Hummus & Long Saturday Run

Early Morning Kitchen Time
After talking with my sister, she decided she just wanted to have some dips and sandwiches. People could assemble their own sandwiches and snack on some hummus with pita and/or veggies. So, by 9 am, I had already made an Artichoke Hummus.

This was my first time making hummus with artichokes. I typically go with roasted red bell peppers or sundried tomatoes. But I had an email conversation about artichokes with Erica from Itzy's Kitchen and mentioned how fantastic artichoke hummus might be. So Erica, here it is!

Artichoke Hummus
Ingredients:
4 whole artichoke hearts (from canned in water or thaw frozen, not in oil)
Liquid from artichoke hearts - use to desired consistency, maybe 1/8 - 1/4 cup
2 cups chickpeas, heated up
Drizzle of olive oil - I try to use as little as possible, maybe 1 1/2 tbsp
To taste: salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice, red pepper
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast flakes

Directions:
Put all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth a…

Fun Facts Friday - Things I Suck At

Rest Day
Today was a much-needed rest day from workouts. I really enjoy taking my rest day on a Friday. It's like an added treat to the end of the week. I'm done and done. Tomorrow I hope to get out for a longer run before heading to where my sis lives. She just moved last weekend and is having a housewarming tomorrow night.

I must get the dogs bathed before we go over there, and I promised to help with the food and drinks. Still trying to figure out the menu. We had thought about doing some tapas, but then our ideas started getting out of hand. We need to scale back. It's a Iacobacci trait - more more more. If 5 is good, 10 is better (more like 20).

We did settle on hummus (that I'll make). And...that's about it so far. My fridge and pantry are getting rather bare so I either have to get creative with what I do have or hit up the store if I can find the time. It may just be a hummus theme with a variety of hummus flavors! Hope everyone enjoys beans ;-)

I'm de…

Vegan Thai Curry Veggies for Thursday & Weight Day

Needles Suck
Well today was one of those, I REALLY don't want to go to work days. This morning I had to do a fasted blood draw at 7:15. Friends, this chick HATES needles. Hate is even an understatement. Since the age of 18, this is the 3rd time I've had blood drawn (I'm 36). I have been known to pass out cold. Oh, and I'm not one who can get up and not eat breakfast. I almost always wake up hungry. A couple of problems with the whole morning fast thing: 1) not a morning person, 2) hungry, 3) really ugly when I'm hungry, 4) even uglier when I'm hungry and it's early in the morning.

I don't know what it is, but there is a certain pain that a needle causes me that I just can't take. I can take on a lot of other pain, but needles are my downfall. I wanted to cry and throw a big fat childish fit even. I didn't though. I kept composure, warned the lady I might pass out, took it like a grown up, and thankfully stayed alert. I think that deserves a da…

Where Has My Mojo Gone?

Compliment
I forgot to mention a compliment I received at the gym yesterday. Normally I try to not make any eye contact with any of the men. Half the time I feel like they're ogling. Which I think is kind of funny because I certainly do NOT feel like hot stuff - maybe a hot mess - but not hot stuff.

Anyway, I had just finished warming up on the elliptical and was starting to set up for weights. There was a man over in the weight area and he had just pulled the plates from the barbell on one of the racks. I asked if he was done, and he was. He had the bar was set up high. So I started to pull the bar down so I could adjust the height and such. He started to walk over towards me and then stopped himself. He said, "I was going to ask if you needed help, but clearly you got it." It's nice being seen as strong and not some scrawny girl. This is why I love lifting weights.

Missing My Mojo
Today was finally, finally sunny. Even better, it was warm. A tad windy, but I'l…

Taco Bowl Tuesday & Total Body Workout Week 2

Gym Day
Today's weight workout marks Day 1 of Week 2 of the total body rotation. This week is the same as last week, only you superset the exercises with the goal of increasing weights by 1.25-2%. The sets are done as 3x5. I started off with 10 minutes on the treadmill then hit the weights.

Push ups - warm up set of 24

SS#1
Chest fly into chest press
Underhand barbell row

SS#2
Squats
Stiff legged deadlifts

SS#3
Hammer curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extension

SS#4
Static lunges
Upright rows

I also did some ab work before finishing off with 10 minutes on the elliptical. I was going to do 15 minutes, but the man next to me smelled so bad, I really couldn't stomach another minute. Another reason why fans (ceiling at the very least) are ideal at the gym.

Other than the unpleasant smell and lack of air movement, the workout was pretty good. I was able to go heavier for some exercises, but not for others. I guess I need to start taking my weighted gloves to the gym with me so…

Comfort Chowder and Vegan Mac n' Cheese

Sunday Comfort Meal
I did manage to get on two coats of paint for the TV stand. My only concern is that the paint will scratch off very easily. I guess it'll due for now at least. It definitely looks better than the black that it was.

Jason, having been sick, was wanting something warm and comforting. It was fairly chilly and gray out, so soup sounded good. He originally mentioned a baked potato soup as we had two baking potatoes. I really didn't feel like that much potato for dinner. I ended up going with a made-up concoction for a chowder. I had used a recipe for a corn chowder ages ago, no idea where it is, so I figured I could wing it. Luckily, winging it worked nicely. 

Corn and Cannellini Bean Chowder
Ingredients:
3 small/medium carrots, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbps minced garlic
1 russet potato, cubed
1 can lite coconut milk
1 1/2 cups cannellini or white beans
10 oz frozen corn
1 not-chikn bouillon cube
3 …

High Reps Weights, Honesty, & Home Project

High Rep Day
I really hate the time change. Ok, so hate might be overkill. I love that it stays light later. That part is fantastic. But to lose an hour on the already short weekend? I felt like I was already behind when I got up the morning. Not the best way to start the day.

It was sunny at least, for a bit I should say. I got out of bed at 8:30 (feeling late of course). I had my breakfast then piddled a bit before getting to my workout. Today is Day 3 of Week 1 of the total body rotation. It called for 2 sets of 15 reps done as straight sets.

Double-arm triceps kickbacks
Lateral shoulder raise
Pullovers
Incline chest press
Incline biceps curls
Squats
Plie Squats

Firewalkers - 2x6
Weighted donkey kicks - 2x18
Roll ins and hip lifts on ball for hamstrings
Inner thigh squeezes with ball

I did the high intensity HiiT segment from Cathe's Intensity workout to hit the legs more then did just 2 combos from MMA Kickboxing (love boxing/kickboxing after upper body weights) then the abs …

Speedy Run & Short Saturday Post

This morning started off bright and sunny (and windy). I was so happy that the temps were finally on the up and up too. I knew I wanted to get out for a longer run today, and the weather was mostly perfect. The exception? That pesky 20+ mph gusting wind.

Jason has been sick all week, and I knew he wouldn't be up for a run. But, while I ran, he could take the pups to the dog park that just happens to be right there where I like to run. Super convenient. Of course, the dog park meant a different starting point other than the actual bridge, so my mile marks were thrown off. I ended up doing 7.9 miles rather than a nicely rounded out 8. But, I was really happy with my speed (maintained an 8:28 average pace) and the fact that I didn't really have any major pain other than my darn calves. Oh, and a blister spot that just won't toughen up.

It was definitely a much more pleasant run temperature wise compared to my half marathon day. It was hovering right at 70 degrees and sunny. H…

Fun Facts Friday - Being Thankful in Midst of Tragedy

Punching into Friday
By some crazy miracle, I woke up on my own around 5:40 this morning with energy to get in my workout. I didn't bother setting my alarm early. I had pretty much resolved myself to a second rest day unless for some reason I woke up early enough on my own.

Since I woke up, I took that as a sign to get it done. I went with Cathe's MMA Boxing as it's a relatively uncomplicated workout for a complicated hour.

It did feel good to be up and moving, blood pumping rather than dragging myself into the bathroom to start getting ready in a total stupor. Of course, I was yawning by 10 am ;-)

Fun Facts Friday - Being Thankful in Midst of Tragedy
Of course today is Fun Facts Friday. I was really struggling with fun facts though in light of the terrible earthquake and tsunami tragedy that we've all seen unfold today. When so many people are suffering, so many lives lost and destroyed, it does make it hard to openly brag about gorgeous weather, sunny skies, and su…

Gym Day & Vegan Habanero Chili Kind of Night

Gym Day
Today is Day 2 of Week 1 of my 12-week total body rotation. I did a warm up of 10 minutes on the elliptical. The following exercises are done as 3 sets of 8 reps (straight sets).

Arnold press
Alternating dumbbell curls
Flat bench dumbbell press
Single-arm row
Cross-body curls
Lying dumbbell triceps extension
Calf raises (skipped these today as calves still pretty tight)
Rear-leg elevated lunges
Squats
Alternating plie squats

I did some ab exercises then headed back to the elliptical for about 10 minutes. It was a pretty good workout overall. Though, I was really more than ready to be done with it about 45 minutes in. I honestly wasn't feeling just super motivated today to begin with.

Spice Anyone?
Speaking of not motivated, I wasn't really highly motivated to make anything special for dinner. I had a few ideas, but in the end, Jason is making a Habanero 2-Bean Tempeh Chili.

Habanero 2-Bean Tempeh Chili Ingredients: 1/2 yellow onion, diced (or whole if small) 1/2 green be…

Back to Running & Stir Fry for Wok Wednesday

Windy Wednesday = Treadmill 
So today I had these grandiose plans for a fabulous 6-mile run after work. It was supposed to be partly cloudy and around 59. Um, apparently the weather folks forgot to check outside today. It was more like no sun (at all), gusting 25 mph winds, 48 with wind chill of 41. So off the mark on that one guys.

I really had no other back up workout plans I did weights yesterday. I really didn't want to wait around until 5:30 for spin, step was out of the question as calves are still too tight for that. So, I decided to hit the gym and split up cardio time between the treadmill and the elliptical.

I started with the treadmill for 2 miles then did 6 1-minute athletic intervals then ran to round out to 4 miles before heading over to the elliptical to finish out another 10 minutes. I really would have preferred that my first run post half marathon be outside, but this worked. I was a sweaty mess once done.

I got home and hit the yoga mat for stretching and rolli…

New Total Body Workout Rotation & Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

Trying Start
Today was one of those days when things just seem to be going against you. It started off relatively ok. I even got to work early. I'll blame it all on the rain for what happened during lunch though. Jason and I need to get our passports ASAP. When we go to visit our friends in Seattle at the end of next month, they want to go up to Canada since we didn't get to do that during our last visit.

So, it's raining and yuck. Jason thinks maybe the lines at the Post Office for passports will be short. I had all the paperwork ready. The photos and ID stuff was at the house though. I didn't know he was going to want to go at like 10:30, but he did. I had a last minute fire to put out on a project then I rushed out. I realized the new umbrella I spent 13 bucks on yesterday was a tiny POS! It was pouring down, my feet were wet, my pants wet all by the time I crossed the street to Jason's office. And the kicker...I had forgot the paperwork on my desk.

So, back ac…

Resting Up & Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Race Night Ouchies 
My calves were hating me yesterday after the race. My low back was getting tight, and I knew that was linked to my piriformis and sciatic nerve. Gradually, it just kept getting worse and my sciatica was hurting terribly.

Standing actually felt better than sitting, but just standing in your living room gets a little ridiculous after a bit. Standing to make dinner was actually good for me, kept me moving. I made my Spicy White Chili - but this time I roasted the bell peppers, onions, poblano peppers, and garlic. It imparted such fantastic flavor and richness.

I went to bed and crashed hard. I slept over 11 solid hours and it felt fantastic. I had taken the day off because I knew I'd want to relax and rest up. I will admit feeling just a hair guilty for not getting lots done on my day off.

Rest Day Monday
At one point I even flirted with the idea of doing at least biceps. Don't worry, I stood up from the couch and remembered why I had taken the day off. Thankf…